Recent Commercial Posts

Does your Business have a Disaster Plan?

5/31/2022 (Permalink)

Business Disaster Plan - Columbia SC Business team in Columbia SC preparing a disaster plan.

If you own a business in Richland County, developing a disaster plan is a vital part of making sure you are covered in case an emergency were to arise. Having a written plan in place will help your employees stay safe in an emergency situation, keep everyone informed, and help you reopen your business quickly. There are a few key elements that can help you be certain that you are fully prepared.

Path for Building Evacuation & Staying Put 

Depending on the type of disaster you are facing, it may be necessary to evacuate while other disasters may necessitate staying in place. To be fully prepared for whatever situation your business faces, it is important to have a procedure in place regarding both of these things. 

Make sure that you have well-marked evacuation routes in the building in case employees must leave suddenly in the event of a fire or flood, and practice evacuation drills frequently so everyone knows what to do. In the event that you must stay put, pack an office emergency kit with enough food, water and medical supplies to sustain you and your staff until official help arrives. 

Effective Communication Strategy for Employees and Management

In the event of a disaster or emergency, there will likely be a lot of confusion from staff regarding what this means for the business and their livelihoods. Making sure that you and upper management have a strategy for communicating with staff will help you (most importantly) ensure everyone is safe, communicate pertinent information and keep any rumors at bay. 

Outline of the Recovery Process 

For business owners, stakeholders, and management, your livelihood is likely on the line if your business or organization has an unexpected closure.  It’s recommended that you have a recovery plan in place in advance so you can expedite your time to reopening. 

Make sure you are aware of how to start recovery, including knowing your insurance information, and preferred commercial restoration company that you will be using to mitigate damage, restore your property, and get your business reopened as quickly as possible. 

Need Assistance?

If your business has experienced a disaster, you can count on our restoration services. Contact SERVPRO of Richland County at (803) 419-0470 to learn more about our commercial restoration process.

Why Property Managers choose SERVPRO for Emergencies

5/31/2022 (Permalink)

Why Property Managers choose SERVPRO Apartment Building in Columbia SC

As the go-between for tenants and property owners, property managers have to juggle many responsibilities -- finding new tenants, fielding questions, dealing with complaints, performing inspections, overseeing landscaping, maintenance repairs, securing property, and ensuring the building’s good appearance. 

When it comes to handling fire, water and contamination cleanup emergencies, property managers have a secret weapon that’s just a phone call away: SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team. 

We get it. There’s never a convenient time to clean up from fire damage, water damage or a biohazard contaminant. Every minute spent cleaning and restoring a business or property results in lost time, revenue and productivity. 

When a disaster or emergency strike, our commercial services team is ready to respond -- 24 hours a day and seven days a week -- regardless of a commercial property’s size or scope of the damage. 

Wether it’s retail to residential and manufacturing to motels, SERVPRO’s commercial services team helps make it “Like it never even happened,” so property managers can focus on their other roles.

  • If a massive storm floods a mom-and-pop ice cream shop, we’ll respond immediately to tackle initial storm cleanup and damage mitigation and rebuild the affected areas. 
  • If there’s a funky smell coming from somewhere in a 10,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, we’ll locate the source of the offensive odor and eliminate it. 
  • If a fire sprinkler system fails during the grand opening weekend of a retail boutique, we’ll clean the property and manage the restoration process - from start to finish.   
  • If an electrical fire breaks out in the middle of the night at a restaurant dining room, we’ll restore it to pre-fire condition -- from fire and smoke damage to odor control and upholstery and fabric cleaning. 
  • If a husband and wife test positive for COVID-19 just two days after vacating their high-rise apartment, we’ll get it Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned in no time so it’s ready for the next tenant. 
  • If an older apartment building has mold infestation from a slow roof leak, we’ll prevent it from spreading to other parts of the building and remove it through our commercial mold remediation process.

For more information on how we can help your commercial property call us at (803) 419-0470.

We're available 24/7 and are here to help you in Columbia SC.

Does My Commercial Property Need Flood Insurance?

2/14/2022 (Permalink)

Image of Flood Insurance Policy for Business Flood Insurance for your Commercial Property

Natural disasters can be disastrous to businesses, especially in southern communities like Columbia SC. While damage caused by some types of natural events—such as lightning or wind—will usually be covered by commercial property insurance, you need a special policy if you want protection from flood damage. This Q&A will help you understand this type of coverage and determine if your business needs it.

Frequently asked questions about flood insurance

Does my commercial property insurance include flood coverage?

No. Damage from flooding, including flooding generated by hurricane-generated storm surge, typically is not covered under a standard commercial policy, including a Commercial Package Policy (CPP) or a Business Owners Policy (BOP). Flood insurance is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance covers damage to your building and contents caused by flood. This includes losses resulting from water overflowing rivers or streams, heavy or prolonged rain, storm surge, snow melt, blocked storm drainage systems, broken dams or levees, or other similar causes. To be considered a flood, waters must cover at least two acres or affect two properties. Generally if water comes from above—for instance from rain or melting snow overflowing gutters and leaking onto your inventory—you’ll be covered by your standard commercial property insurance.

What isn’t covered by flood insurance?

Property outside your building generally will not be covered. For instance, landscaping and septic systems will not be covered. In addition, flood insurance will not cover damage to your business vehicles, but this can be included in the optional “comprehensive” portion of your business vehicle insurance. Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property are also not covered.

Do I have to purchase flood insurance for my business?

If your commercial property is located in a high-risk flood area and you have a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase a flood insurance policy.

How do I determine my risk for flood damage?

Location is the most important factor for weighing your risk for flood damage. Is your business located in or near a flood zone? (Flood map search tools can be found FEMA.) In what part of the building is your business equipment and inventory located? Anything housed on a lower floor, for instance, will be at greater risk.

Where can I purchase flood insurance?

Flood insurance is available from the NFIP and some private insurers. However, NFIP coverage can only be purchased through an insurance company and/or agent; your business cannot buy it directly from the federal government. To find a local insurance professional who is familiar with the National Flood Insurance Program, contact the NFIP at 888-379-9531 for an agent referral.

How long does it take to get flood coverage?

Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before your policy goes into effect.

Does my flood policy cover mold?

Damage from mildew and/or mold resulting from the after-effects of a flood is covered, but each case is evaluated on an individual basis. Mold/mildew conditions that existed prior to a flooding event are not covered, and after a flood, the policyholder is responsible for taking appropriate and reasonable mitigation actions to eliminate mildew and mold.

How much flood coverage can my business get?

Typically, commercial flood insurance provides up to $500,000 of coverage for your building and up to $500,000 for its contents.

What if I need more coverage?

Businesses can purchase excess insurance coverage to rebuild properties valued above National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) limits. Excess coverage includes protection against business interruption.

Still Have Questions about Flood Insurance?

Contact your local and licensed business insurance professional in South Carolina to discuss your flood insurance coverage for your business or organization. 

Also, the South Carolina Department of Insurance provides helpful information regarding Flood Insurance.

Commercial Property and Smoke Odor

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

Man holding odor removal can in business room filled with smoke. Removing Smoke Odor from Commercial Property

A common question from Columbia SC property owners is: How to remove smoke odor? Nicotine is a challenge to  even the most skilled deodorization and odor removal experts.

Removing the source is the key to eliminating odors. But nicotine is made up of very, very small micron-level particulates that can embed themselves into almost anything.   

Masking and other do-it-yourself methods are powerless against odors from vaping, cigarettes, and cigars. Even extensive cleaning doesn’t offer assurance.

The smelly reality of smoke odor

If you buy a property where it has been smoked in for years. You’d probably have to remove or replace everything that’s either pulling or pushing air and made of porous materials. HVAC systems, exhaust vents in bathrooms, carpet, and carpet padding. These places tend to absorb smoke and may be unsalvageable. 

Wet washing walls with cleaning products may eliminate some odor, but it’s no guarantee and may cause further damage in some instances.

Commercial odor removal and deodorization

The science of identifying and eliminating odors in your property can be complicated because they can come from a variety of sources both inside and outside your building, office or other structure. SERVPRO of Richland County has local experts trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors using  deodorization agents, air scrubbers, and  thermal foggers. For questions, contact us anytime at (803) 324-578.

Commercial Deep Cleaning: Small Business, Office, and Facilities

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Technician Deep Cleaning Office in Columbia SC Commercial Cleaning = Peace of Mind

Corporate and commercial business owners and property managers who are stepping up their sanitizing game to institute and maintain healthy and safe work environments. Proper cleaning and disinfection routines can significantly reduce or eliminate pathogens on surfaces and objects in workplaces, offices and facilities. 

Commercial Cleaning = Peace of Mind 

Business owners in the Columbia SC area can be proactive by adopting a defensive pathogen cleaning program. With many employees now working from home and essential facilities operating with minimal staff, it’s a convenient opportunity for deep cleaning. Knowing a workspace or business has followed exposure and cleaning procedure guidelines provides peace of mind for employers, employees, vendors, clients and customers. They can feel confident the environment was thoroughly and professionally cleaned according to Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) and local authorities. 

Examples of High-Touch Surfaces

In the workplace, frequently touched surfaces are tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, fixtures and electronics (phone receivers and keypads, computers, keyboards, tablets, touch screens, kiosks and remote controls).

Other commercial spaces may include sales counters, water fountains, soda and snack machines, kitchens, break rooms and food areas, bathrooms, meeting rooms and classrooms, shelving and racks, carpets, rugs and drapes, furnaces and air conditioners, stair and escalator handrails, elevators, and playground or fitness equipment.

How Long do Pathogens Stay on Surfaces?

While the World Health Organization doesn’t know how long every virus or pathogen survives on surfaces as an infection threat. Studies suggest viruses may last on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days, depending on the surface type and the environment’s temperature and humidity level.

Commercial Cleaning Levels & Standards

SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston County is a member of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the certifying body for the cleaning and restoration industry. We adhere to CDC and local authority guidelines related to exposure and cleaning procedures. Our primary cleaning technique includes hand wiping surfaces and fogging, a process that uses an ultra-low volume or electrostatic sprayer to apply disinfectant to surfaces. 

Reactive Cleaning 

When someone known to have a contagious disease has been exposed to the workplace or facility, we recommend enhanced or reactive cleaning. In these cases, we customize services based on the specific needs of a facility. And, we may use a cleaning protocol developed by a third-party industrial hygienist.

Additionally, the CDC recommends opening windows and doors to increase air circulation and closing off all areas used by the infected person. Wait 24 hours (or as long as possible), then clean and disinfect offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment and any other areas the infected person may have used. 

Reactive Cleaning 

When someone known to have a contagious disease has been exposed to the workplace or facility, we recommend enhanced or reactive cleaning. In these cases, we customize services based on the specific needs of a facility. And, we may use a cleaning protocol developed by a third-party industrial hygienist.

Additionally, the CDC recommends opening windows and doors to increase air circulation and closing off all areas used by the infected person. Wait 24 hours (or as long as possible), then clean and disinfect offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment and any other areas the infected person may have used. 

24/7 Commercial Cleaning Assistance

Although SERVPRO of Richland County is part of a national network of 1,700-plus franchises, we’re locally owned and operated and part of the community. Our highly training cleaning technicians are employees, not contractors, which means our team can respond very quickly and with more resources. For questions, contact us anytime at (803) 419-0470 or request help online

Call SERVPRO Today To Schedule An Emergency Ready Profile For Your Business

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Schedule you Emergency Ready Profile today..

SERVPRO offers at no cost to you an Emergency Ready Profile. If you do not have an Emergency Ready Profile, you may want to consider the risk you are facing. 50% of businesses that suffer a disaster may never reopen. Are you ready? By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile, you minimize business interruptions, along with possible secondary damage. SERVPRO will also provide the Application for your cell phone which will provide you with emergency contact numbers for your business, and utilities associated with your business. This immediate plan of action can help minimize how water and fire damage affects your business. Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster. No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be "Ready for whatever happens."  The quicker the response the quicker you get back to “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Is A Restoration Company You Can Trust With Your Commercial Disaster

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

SERVORO utilizes their Disaster Recovery Teams to help you get back to "Like it never even happened."

Should your business suffer a fire one of the first calls you should make (after 911 of course) should be to your insurance agent. They can help you determine if you should file a claim or pay out of pocket for the steps necessary to restore your business. If the fire was small, let’s say a break room kitchen fire or something similar, you very well could be better off not filing a claim against your insurance. Your agent may also recommend a restoration service they know and trust to help you with the cleanup process while protecting your property from further harm.

SERVPRO works directly with the insurance companies, and the mutual goal is to get you back to "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Knows Quickness Is Key To Getting Your Business Open After A Fire

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Has your business suffered fire damage? Call SERVPRO of Richland County, the trusted leader in the restoration industry for fire damage restoration.

Soot and smoke are extremely difficult to clean without the proper knowledge and equipment to do so. We always recommend calling a professional fire restoration service to handle this. SERVPRO of Richland County offers board-up services to secure your property and keep unwanted guests and animals out. We also offer tarping services if damage has occurred to the roof. This prevents water from gaining access to the space and causing further damage.

If water was used to extinguish the fire you may also be facing water damage, this requires a restoration company also. If the water damage is left untreated, you’ll likely be facing issues with mold down the road.

Has your business suffered fire damage? Call SERVPRO of Richland County, the trusted leader in the restoration industry for fire damage restoration.

Restoring Your Richland County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Richland County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility. We understand the importance of minimizing your business’s down time.

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need. SERVPRO of Richland County. (803)419-0470

Are You Ready For The Future?

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Are you familiar with the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP)? This tool can make one very important part of your facility management responsibilities easier. Let us help prepare your commercial property from any disaster.

Every facility manager knows they should have a detailed disaster plan, but coming up with one from scratch can be a time-consuming task. It’s tempting to put this job to the side and deal with the many metaphorical fires you have to deal with every day than prepare for a real, but hypothetical fire in the future.

That’s what’s great about the ERP. One of SERVPRO of Richland County’s representatives can come to you and walk you through creating a reference document that details the important building and contact information for your property. 

The ERP can be used as a standalone document or as a supplement to any existing preparedness plan. Thinking through what to do and who to call in advance is the key to timely mitigation, which minimizes the effects of any weather-related disaster, water, or fire damage to your business.

No matter where you live, it is important to be informed and prepared for any disaster that may occur. Though Mother Nature's is often unpredictable, the ERP is one thing we can do to help you take control before disaster strikes.

Contact SERVPRO of Richland County to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your property. SERVPRO's ERP serves as a quick reference document, In any emergency, make sure you have experienced professionals on the line. No matter how big or small, SERVPRO of Richland County will be ready to help make your property damage "Like it never even happened."

Six Tips for Preventing Water Damage to Your Commercial Space

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Six Step Too Protecting Your Business

Our community is very important to us here at SERVPRO of Richland County. We fully understand how important commercial business is to that community. We operate 24/7, 365. We are always ready to help! Here, are a few ways you can protect yourself.

  1. Train all employees on the location, of the water shut off valves and make sure the valves are easily accessible.
  2. Find out if your business is located on a flood plain and if your area offers programs for business owners.
  3. Conduct regular inspections of your HVAC units, roof, water heaters, refrigerators, sinks, toilets, and any other area you have that may have a water leak.
  4. Make sure your insurance policy is up to date and you are insured.
  5. Keep any documents, inventory, or anything critical to your business' survival at least a few feet off the ground.
  6. Be prepared for a water damage event. The faster the water is removed and dried out, the better off you are going to be. Time is an important factor. Please save our number to your phone so you know who to call. SERVPRO® of Richland Country, (803)419-0470.

Are you ready for the seasons to change?

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

As the winter months give way to spring, the weather is often unpredictable. There may be days when the temperature drops below freezing and days filled with rainstorms. Too often, the capricious changes in weather and the abundance of moisture cause flooding problems for Richland County businesses. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to protect your commercial property.

Check Your Interior and Exterior Pipes

Hopefully, you made sure your pipes and hoses were empty during the fall before the first major freeze. As spring brings warmer weather, any frozen pipe is likely to thaw. Unfortunately, as water froze in those pipes, the developing ice could have created cracks or weak areas. As the ice thaws, it releases water into your building – sometimes dripping into your walls or down the foundation.

Inspect the Gutters and Other Elements of the Drainage System

Just as the pipes are weakened by ice, so the gutters can also become damaged when snow or ice flows build up. Be sure to keep the gutters free of debris and double-check to be sure that drainage areas can accept the flow of water from spring flooding.
Each season is full of change, but some are predictable. Melting snow, early rainstorms, and frozen gutters or pipes can cause flooding. If you aren't sure what to expect or if your property has suffered damage from too much water, contact SERVPRO of Richland County. The Water Damage Cleanup and Repair Professionals. (803)419-0470