Recent Commercial Posts

5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

A big hole on ceiling Holes, cracks, or other injuries to your roof can allow water into your building

5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

From faulty fire sprinklers to a broken pipe, there are many ways unwanted water can enter your commercial space in Monterey, TN. When it comes to preventing excess water, knowledge is power. Here are five of the most common causes of commercial water damage.

1. Malfunctioning Fire Sprinklers

Sprinklers are a must-have for maximum fire safety. If they malfunction, however, they can shower your commercial property with unwanted water. Routine checkups can prevent your sprinkler system from activating when you don't want it to.

2. Roof Damage

Holes, cracks, or other injuries to your roof can allow water into your building. Just like your sprinkler system, the best way to prevent roof problems is to perform regular inspections and repair small issues before they become big ones. If your building has gutters, keeping them clean can prevent water problems too.

3. Broken Pipes

Your building likely relies on a large network of pipes to deliver water to wherever you need it. Lots of pipes means lots of opportunities for something to go wrong, whether that's a poorly installed joint or a broken pipe. When a pipe bursts, it can cause considerable flooding in your building, so be sure to protect your pipes against freezing by insulating them or, when temperatures drop extremely low, leaving a small stream of water running.

4. Toilet Overflow

A backed-up sewer line can cause myriad problems for your commercial space. In addition to water damage, an overflowing toilet can also unleash contaminated water into your building. When that happens, it's best to leave cleanup and water repair to an experienced water damage restoration company

5. Water Heater Damage

Over time, your building's water heater may start to show its age. If your water heater loses its seal, cracks, or otherwise malfunctions, it can cause water damage. Regular maintenance and flushing of your water heater can prolong the life of your unit.
When you maintain a commercial building, the potential for water damage is always on your radar. While it's virtually impossible to prevent every broken pipe or overflowing toilet, with consistent inspections and maintenance, you can reduce the likelihood of water damage to your property.

Smoke Damage and Your Company: Talking to Your Insurance

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Call a professional for help

Tips To Keep In Mind When Talking To Your Insurance Agent

If your Cookeville, TN, business has been through a fire, it may contain some smoke damage. In many cases you may believe that your insurance policy should cover this. However, the process of filing a claim can seem tricky. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when talking to your insurance agent.

1. Create Records of the Damage

Before your insurance agent arrives on the scene you can begin documenting any fire or soot damage you may find. You will want to date everything and note locations and type of damage, the estimated value of the original item, and when possible take photographs. This will help your agent begin the claim process when they arrive.

2. Know What Your Policy Contains

It is also your responsibility to know what your insurance policy contains before any smoke damage occurs. This way you can know what is covered and what is not, and purchase any additional policies you may desire to fill in any coverage gaps.

3. Call a Professional for Help

In many cases your insurance agent may have a professional restoration service they recommend to help with any repair and smoke cleaning. These services already have the tools and knowledge needed to safely restore the property to working condition. They may also have tools in place that can help your insurance agent check up-to-date information, as well as streamline parts of the claim filing process.
When discussing your claim with your insurance agent, it's important to have documented everything. You may even want to include photographs where possible. You should also know what your policy contains as well as any additional insurance coverage you may have purchased for your company. This may include smoke damage as well as damages caused by the fire itself. It's also a good idea to ask your agent if they recommend a professional service, as some of these already have tools in place to help make the documentation and claim filing easier.

Dealing With Leaky Pipes at Your Commercial Property

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage cleanup in Woodbury,TN

When it comes to running your commercial building in Woodbury, TN, you probably know that time is money. Being forced to close in order to orchestrate a pipe burst cleanup isn't ideal for your business. It's a good idea to have a plan in place to make the process as efficient as possible.

Spot Sources of Water Damage

If your commercial real estate is old or hasn't been properly maintained, your plumbing might not be in the best shape. Something like your supply line leaking or a sewer backup can cause serious water damage. Water damage can compromise the structural safety of the building. There are common signs to keep an eye out for, including:

  • Pooling water in the kitchen or bathroom areas
  • Consistent dripping from a particular spot in your ceiling
  • Overflowing toilets
  • Backed up drains

Mitigate Water Damage

If you find evidence of potential water damage, it's best to turn off your water completely. Clean up what you can and call in the professionals, to avoid causing further damage. Certified commercial water restoration technicians follow strict protocols to ensure the area is properly cleaned, dried and restored- especially when it comes to a pipe burst cleanup. They also know how to specifically handle upholstery and odor control.

Prevent Water Damage

To keep another big water cleanup from happening again, you may want to organize a maintenance schedule for all of your water-related systems. That way you can catch issues early and replace what you need to before the mess. You don't need to keep track of all of this yourself, there are plenty of companies out there that provide support for commercial buildings.

Managing commercial property can be a lot of work, especially when encountering seemingly inevitable obstacles like a pipe burst cleanup. If you know what to look for and have a plan prepared, you can make it easier for your future self.

Prepare Your Business for a Fire

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare your Business for a Fire by having an evacuation plan.

Running a business in Cookeville, TN, is difficult enough, not to mention the potential issues you may run into that don't even involve your day-to-day business transactions. Thousands of businesses in the U.S., both small and large, have been destroyed by fires. Unfortunately, fire safety isn't a top priority for many business owners, so they're not prepared when an incident occurs. Not only can this threaten the lives of their employees, but it also increases the chances of the business becoming a complete loss. Here are a few ways you can create a contingency plan for your business to avoid a devastation like this.

3 Steps To Prepare for a Fire

  1. Invest in Fire Insurance

Most businesses don't have the finances to make a comeback after a serious fire, because losses often include the building (walls, flooring, roofing, etc.), inventory, important documents and equipment. Luckily, many business insurance plans include fire coverage. Take a close look at your policy to make sure fire coverage is included. If it's not, it may be worth paying extra for it.

  1. Install Fire Alarm and Sprinkler Systems

Fire damage can be significantly decreased with proper alarm systems. Find one that will immediately notify authorities of the emergency so firefighters can put out the fire before it spreads. Automatic sprinkler systems can be a good investment to help slow down a fire until help arrives.

  1. Create an Employee Evacuation Plan

Without proper planning and organization, chaos can quickly ensue during an emergency, putting many people in danger. Create an evacuation plan so your employees know where to go (and where not to go) when they hear the fire alarm. Practice it twice a year and revise it as necessary.

It's still possible to be impacted by a fire, even with a solid contingency plan in place. In these cases, look for a reputable fire restoration company in your area to help get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

What If This Is Your Business?

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Would you be ready?

As many as 50% of businesses never reopen after a disaster. In case you misread that, FIFTY PERCENT of businesses never reopen. In just two years’ time, over 50 % of businesses experienced an unforeseen interruption, and the vast majority (81%) of these interruptions caused the business to be closed one or more days. An estimated 95% of disasters are man-made or internal, such as fire or internal flooding.

Now that the statistics are out of the way, what can you do about it?

I'm sure your business has evacuation plans and basic emergency plans:

  • Do you know where they are?
  • Do all of your employees know where the gas shut off is?
  • Would you have access to all of your primary contact numbers should the office catch on fire?

SERVPRO of Cookeville / Carthage / Smithville / Woodbury provides free Emergency Ready Profiles for all commercial properties. These ERP's provide facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. It is a startup approach that provides critical information needed to begin mitigation and emergency services, saving you time and money. All of this in one folder for easy access.

But wait! There's more! (You better have said that in a Billy Mays voice.) Once all of your facility's information has been captured, SERVPRO of Cookeville will provide you with a digital copy via our mobile app. The app is password secured, but has the abilty of profile sharing should you want to delegate it to some of your team.

So I ask you again, what if this is your business? Would you be part of the 50% that never reopens? Would you know who to call? By working with SERVPRO of Cookeville to develop your personalized EMERGENCY READY PROFILE your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any man-made or natural disaster. SERVPRO of Cookeville / Carthage / Smithville / Woodbury is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Fire Suppression System: Performing a Water Flow Test

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

A fire sprinkler system is required in commercial properties

Fire Suppression System: Performing a Water Flow Test

A fire sprinkler is a common and often required fire prevention tool in commercial properties. However, it is necessary to test your system at least a couple of times a year and have a full-blown inspection at least once a year. To check your system, follow these four steps.

1. Notify Proper Authorities

If your fire suppression system is connected to a central alarm, then it is necessary to notify the property authorities about your test. While it may not be apparent, a test of your system will notify the authorities, and it will not come through as a false alarm. Reach out to your alarm provider and your local fire department to ensure that they do not respond to the test alarm.

2. Open the Test Valve

Every fire sprinkler system will have an inspector’s test valve. To test the water flow within the system, you merely turn the valve so that it is in line with the water pipe. This will pressurize the system, creating a controlled alarm without dousing your property with water.

3. Wait For Alarm To Sound and Confirm

Once the valve is open, you will need to wait about 60 seconds, at which point the alarm will sound. When the alarm sounds, call your alarm provider to ensure that the signal was received.

4. Close the Valve and Notify Authorities

Once you have confirmed that the alarm is operating correctly, you can slowly close the valve. After the valve is shut and the signal is off, call the fire department and your alarm company to let them know the test is finished.

Additionally, once everything is off, walk your property and check for any leaks that may have occurred during the test. If you find leaks, you can call a fire remediation specialist in the Cookeville, TN, area for not only the fire sprinkler cleanup but also to replace any damaged lines.

A fire sprinkler system is a lifesaving piece of equipment. Performing water flow tests and scheduling annual inspections will ensure the functionality of your system for years to come.

How Smart Business Owners Prepare for Emergencies

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Evacuation procedure, including escape routes in Carthage,TN

If you are like most business owners in Carthage, TN, you want to do what you can to protect your business from catastrophe. Of course, safeguarding your building and other physical assets is only part of the equation. You also must take steps to ensure your employees and customers are safe during an emergency. By taking your routine fire drill to the next level, you increase your odds of avoiding disaster.

Develop an Emergency Action Plan

Business owners have a duty to protect their employees and customers from injury. Before planning your drill, you must draft an action plan. To comply with OSHA regulations, business action plans must include at least the following components:

  • A procedure for reporting emergencies
  • An evacuation procedure, including escape routes
  • A description for continuing essential operations
  • A method for accounting for employees during the situation
  • An assignment of rescue and medical duties for designated employees
  • A detailed list of contact personnel inside and outside the organization

Hold Periodic Drills
Your organization’s action plan is only good if your employees know how to implement it. The best way to train your employees is to hold a fire drill. During the drill, encourage employees to follow the action plan completely. You may also want to collaborate with emergency responders to make the drill as realistic as possible. Remember, planned drills are usually not as good as surprise one.

Evaluate the Success of Your Action Plan
After you complete a drill, you must have a method for evaluating its success. Ask each department to prepare a report card. Then, look for holes in your action plan. If the plan needs rewriting, do so before your organization’s next drill.

While you can probably use a restoration service to repair your business after a catastrophe, you can’t replace human life. With a complete action plan and a regular fire drill schedule, you can likely boost your odds of keeping everyone in your company safe during a disaster.

Key Steps You Should Complete During Sprinkler System Maintenance

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial water loss in Smithville, TN

Depending on the nature of your Smithville, TN, business, your sprinkler system may be a vital component of your success. Because it’s idle during winter, it’s important to ensure that this system is functioning properly before you restart it at the beginning of the growing season. To accomplish this, you should complete routine irrigation maintenance.

Optimal Performance

An irrigation system evaluation enables you to identify any existing issues that may interfere with optimal performance, such as broken sprinkler heads, clogs and water leaks. It also ensures your system is ready to go when you need it to perform, helping to minimize potentially harmful irrigation delays.

Initial Steps

Before you turn your system’s water on, you may want to remove sprinkler heads. This may help clear debris near valves, reducing the risk of obstructions.

When you’re ready to initiate water flow, increase pressure slowly. If you immediately turn the water on full strength, the intense initial pressure may cause some components to crack or burst.

Maintenance Checklist

Once the water is turned on, you can evaluate how individual components are functioning. To complete an efficient irrigation maintenance review, you should take the following steps:

  • Ensure the system has adequate water pressure
  • Confirm that each valve has the proper orientation
  • Verify the rotation of heads and adjust as needed
  • Clean filters, if necessary
  • Inspect and clean sensors

It’s also important to check your system’s controller. You may need to reprogram this component to setup automatic watering. You may also need to replace backup batteries.

Avoid Sprinkler Flooding

Every business owner wants their sprinkler system to efficiently perform its duty. Completing annual irrigation maintenance can help minimize the risk of performance issues as well as potentially destructive sprinkler flooding. Flooding can be costly, especially if it flows into your building and necessitates the need for extensive cleanup efforts. In short, an annual irrigation system evaluation helps to ensure optimal performance as well as protect your property and financial interests.

3 Steps for Preparing for Mold Remediation

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

These steps can effectively address mold issues.

There are many misconceptions about mold, making it difficult for property owners to understand how long the process should take and how to budget for the work. For example, many people don't understand that mold exists everywhere. Spores get into buildings through open doors, ventilation systems, and on clothing. Consider the following facts about mold:

• Spores are microscopic and can't be completely removed from a building.
• Moist and mildly humid conditions promote mold growth.
Mold removal (or remediation) begins by identifying areas of moisture and correcting those issues.
Black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, isn't always toxic. However, when you find any type of mold in your building, you should stay away from that area without disturbing the mold.

With these facts in mind, take the following steps when preparing for mold remediation. Many Cookeville, TN, businesses have built these steps into their maintenance protocols to avoid costly repairs in the future.

1. Learn how moisture gets into your buildings. Before you call a mold removal professional, you can begin resolving this problem by finding the source of moisture. This often requires visually inspecting your entire property. If mold has spread throughout your building, the source of the problem may be pretty far from the initial source of moisture. Professionals will also want to inspect the source of trouble to prevent future mold growth.

2. Make a record of the problem. Insurance companies in Cookeville, TN, often require proof of mold before agreeing to pay for remediation. Your written records and photos of the area could also be used by professionals when they plan their remediation efforts. Your records may also be used to determine the extent of the problem.

3. Plan for three to seven days of remediation work. The mold removal process typically includes the same steps:

• Resolving the water problem
• Isolating areas of mold contamination
• Misting contaminated areas to control dust
• Removing and disposing of damaged materials
• Thoroughly cleaning and drying infected areas
• Replacing removed materials

These steps can effectively address mold issues. After the area has been cleared by professionals, you can safely begin using that part of your property again. For more information, visit

The Process of Drying Important Documents After a Flood

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Floods can cause a great deal of devastation, but that does not mean that all is lost.

When your business in Cookeville, TN, experiences flooding, it is likely to affect more than the floors and the furniture. Many of your important documents may also be damaged. If you have wet documents as the result of a flood at your company, a document restoration company can help you salvage them. This process has four or five steps, depending on the type of documents being restored.

1. Drying

The first thing restoration specialists have to do is remove the excess water. Document drying can be performed with a variety of methods, but one of the most effective ways to dry important documents, books or photographs is freeze-drying. Freezing the documents halts deterioration and allows documents to maintain their basic structure by solidifying them.

2. Sterilizing

Wet documents are often breeding grounds for bacteria after a flood. Many restoration companies use gamma irradiation to penetrate the fibers of documents and kill any microorganisms that are embedded within without the use of chemicals or heat.

3. Deodorizing

Another benefit of gamma irradiation is that it deodorizes your important papers that have been affected by potentially smelly floodwaters. If you must keep the paper itself, you want a process that removes any trace of musty odor.

4. Digitizing

A flood often changes the way businesses keep records. One way to safeguard your documents from future flooding incidents is to digitize and back up your important data. Recovered documents can be digitized, which helps you maximize your protection and also saves storage space.

5. Re-jacketing

For items that cannot be fully digitized, such as books, restoration experts in Cookeville, TN, may be able to replace the book jacket. This process can help you save the book even if the cover is not salvageable.

Floods can cause a great deal of devastation, but that does not mean that all is lost. Restoration professionals may have the tools you need to recover wet documents so that you don't lose important information. For more information, visit

Restoring Your Cookeville Commercial Property After a Water Damage

9/13/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Cookeville 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.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

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.

About SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.