Is your business disaster proof?
As many as 50% of business may never recover following a disaster. Of those that survive, most already had a preparedness plan in place. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate action plan. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW.
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it it's a pipe burst, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time for planning to deal with it is not while it happens, but well in advance.
The SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information need to begin mitigation and recovery.
- A no-cost assessment of your facility
- A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
- Establishes SERVPRO® of Milton & North Oakville as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority work areas, and priority contact information
Do it right!
We had been called in to correct a sub-par water remediation performed by a competitor.
The homeowner had experienced a leak in the kitchen from a burst pipe, which lead to extensive damage on the main floor and the fully finished basement.
The competitor had performed initial demolition and placed drying equipment, but did not get the property completely dry before removing the equipment. A few days later, mould had flourished on both levels.
We were called in to perform the mould remediation on both levels, so that the home was fit for reconstruction.
We worked co-operatively with an independent industrial hygienist, the insurance carrier, and the homeowner to resolve this situation as quickly as possible so they could move back in to their home.
Proper containment minimizes spreading of contaminants
As part of a mould abatement project, erecting proper containment is important to prevent spreading contaminants to other parts of the structure. There are 3 different types of containment we might use, depending upon conditions:
- Source Containment
- Local Containment
- Full-Scale Containment
Source Containment might be appropriate if there is a very small amount of mould, say less than 10 square feet. We would use 6 mil poly sheeting to directly cover contaminated surfaces, such as walls, minimizing disruption to the spores. We would use 6 mil poly bags to enclose contaminated contents. The objective is to secure and remove the contaminated objects from the structure so that they can be cleaned or disposed-of.
Local Containment is more complex and is used when larger amounts of mould are observed or suspected, say a surface area up to 100 square feet. Again, we use 6 mil poly sheeting, preferably with a flame retardant rating. Temporary walls are erected using the poly sheeting, typically with spring loaded poles, or even stud walls. The poly sheeting is secured to the walls with tape and spray adhesives, or even staples if attaching to unfinished wood. Once the containment barrier has been erected, the contained area is put under negative pressure using a negative air machine, which sucks air out of the contained area. The negative air machine is equipped with a High Efficiency Particulate Air filter (HEPA) to capture airborne particles.
Full-Scale Containment is used when an area >100 square feet is affected, or if an entire room or section of a building is contaminated. The methodologies are essentially the same as with Local Containment, however the scale is different. With Full-Scale Containment, there is also the consideration of filtering make-up air to the contained area.
Working at Heights- Rescue Plan
Health & Safety Moment:
Working at Heights training is now mandatory in Ontario. As an employer, one of the key aspects that you are responsible for is ensuring that a rescue plan is in place should a worker fall.
911 is not a rescue plan, however it may be an important component of the plan. A quick response is essential. The fallen worker may have sustained injuries; if the worker is suspended from a harness, it may cut off blood circulation and increase the potential for blood clots, which could lead to an embolism or even a stroke.
It is essential to get the worker down safely, in a timely manner, and to follow up with first aid, or even a hospital visit.
Here is a prototype rescue plan for a ladder rescue:
- If the fallen worker appears injured by the fall, alert 911 and continue with the rescue.
- Set up additional ladder or ladders to reach the fallen/suspended worker.
- Rig a separate lifeline for the rescuer(s) to use while carrying out the rescue.
- If the fallen worker is hanging from a lanyard, attach a lowering line to the harness.
- If more than one rescuer is present, other rescuers should lower the fallen worker to the ground while the ladder rescuer helps guide the fallen worker safely.
- Once the fallen worker has reached safety, follow up with first aid protocols.
- Transport to a hospital if necessary.
What to do after a fire
Even small fires contained to one room can spread soot and harmful fumes throughout your home. Putting out the fire may create a water damage or a mess of fire extinguisher foam.
Your first instinct may be to start cleaning whatever you can, but you may actually make the damage worse. You should consult a fire restoration specialist certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to learn what you can do and how best to save your property.
Our restoration professionals are committed to restoring your property. We want to help you reoccupy your home as fast as possible.
Our experienced crews will help you navigate the restoration process. Their know-how and commercial cleaning products will prevent secondary damage to your belongings.
You can safely wipe soot off chrome fixtures. Consider applying a light coating of lubricant to protect them from soot disturbed during cleaning.
If the weather is cold and the heating system is disabled, you should pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilets, tubs, and holding tanks to prevent pipes freezing.
Check Your Appliances
If you do not have power, empty the freezer and refrigerator of food and leave the doors open. Otherwise, you will get bad odors in them.
As with plumbing fixtures, you can wipe the soot off chrome appliances and apply a lubricant, but you should not attempt to use an electrical appliance until you are certain it was not damaged in the fire.
Protect Heating System
Cover your HVAC intakes with two layers of cheesecloth to prevent soot and other particulates from getting into the system. You may also change the air filter, but you should not try to turn the system back on until an HVAC professional has inspected it.
Remember Your House Plants
Plants are living organisms that need to breathe. Wipe away soot from both sides of all leaves to help them survive. Consider moving them to another location if the temperature during restoration is too hot or cold for them.
How to prepare in case of a fire
It is always important to take preventative measures to ensure you and your family will be safe in the case of a fire. Doing fire drills can help enhance your families readiness, by eliminating the need to wonder what to do in an actual emergency. Always test your smoke alarms to ensure they are functioning properly. Adding a few fire extinguishers can help in an emergency, especially if you catch the fire in its early stages. Always remember to check wiring for excessive fraying. Remove any flammable materials from heat sources and always check to make sure the oven is fully off.
Fires are severely traumatic and life changing events. It is always good to prepare, so that you are ready when the unexpected might happen.
Heavy summer rain facts and safety tips
Did you know on Aug.19, 2005, up to 175 mm of rain fell over Toronto in less than 2 hours. Total costs from damage associated with the storm exceeded $500M - the second largest loss event in Canadian history!?!
There are two different types of summer heavy rains that Canada experiences:
Large scale weather systems with long-term rainfall -
These large weather systems can last several days. Environment Canada issues Rainfall Warnings for this type of event.
Short-lived thunderstorms with significant rainfall -
Within a short period of time, sometimes only minutes, localized downpours from thunderstorms can produce flash flooding. Environment Canada issues Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for these types of rainfall events.
Here are some useful heavy rain safety tips:
Routinely monitor the Environment Canada weather forecasts for watches and warnings of potential heavy rains or severe thunderstorms with local heavy downpours.
Know potential risks for flooding in your area and plan an escape route to higher ground but keep in mind the threat from lightning which is greater on high ground.
During heavy rains, avoid roadway underpasses, drainage ditches, low lying areas and water collection areas. They can unexpectedly flood or overflow. DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE ACROSS A FLOODED ROAD. You can’t tell the condition of the road under the water.
Stay away from power lines or electrical wires during floods.
Monitor the provincial government flood forecasts and warnings.
The above is sourced from the Government of Canada Environmental Website.
Wind storm blows fence wide open
After an intense wind storm had knocked down a local fence in the Toronto, Ontario area, a local business' private outdoor lunch oasis turned to be not so private anymore. We were able to remove the old Fence that had been knocked down completely off the footings and properly dispose of it. Our team quickly got to work and replaced it with a like fence! They were able to mount it to the concrete pad making sure it is more stabilized than the older fence. After staining and sanding the new fence, we quickly wrapped up the project in just a few days to have the employees out enjoying there lunches in the very few remaining summer days!
If you suffer any damage from storms, do not hesitate to give us a call to get things looking "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of Milton & North Oakville
Cold and Flu Season
We are experiencing the worst of cold and flu season right now- on top of what we are dealing with for COVID-19. The flu is one of the top 10 causes of death in Canada, accounting for approximately 3500 deaths* every year.
What can you do about it?
- Get the flu vaccine - it's free
- Wash hands frequently
- Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not your hand
- Clean and disinfect frequently touch surfaces, like doorknobs, phones, tv remotes, etc
- Healthy eating and physical activity to help keep your immune system strong
- Get plenty or rest and sleep
In addition, we recommend a good carpet cleaning for your home or business using a hospital-grade germicidal agent.
Contact us today to book an appointment!
*source: Public Health Agency of Canada
In the restoration industry we are often faced with a lot of different challenges, from residential fires to commercial floods. On a gloomy afternoon, a call came in. It was a furniture warehouse that had been flooded. The owner was frantic, confused and generally concerned about the safety of this business. While on the phone we assured him that we have dealt with these kinds of emergencies many times before and that he is in good hands with SERVPRO. After the call we loaded the truck with a few fans, and we were off. Upon arrival we noticed that the water had saturated the carpeted floor and rugs. Doing a quick walk through we realized the water had migrated far past the showroom into the back room and even the office area. The water damage was extensive to say the least, and the customer was unsure what to do next. After talking to him briefly, he told us one of the toilets had overflowed throughout the night. So, when he came in the next morning it had completely flooded. The scope was extensive, first we would have to remove all contents on the showroom floor. We would then have to extract the water from all affected areas. Then strategically set up 20 plus fans to start drying the carpet and rugs. Also, we would need to set up dehumidifiers to help remove the moisture from the air. Unfortunately a lot of the wooden and melamine furniture had adsorb a lot of moisture as well so we would need to try and catalog what was damaged and what could be repaired. In short these kinds of incidents happen all of the time, and can cost a business or home owner a pretty penny. To prevent these kinds of incidents and others, regular preventative maintenance is ideal. Call your local SERVPRO to create an E.R.P (emergency ready plan), you’ll be glad you did.