Recent Commercial Posts
Maintaining Your Commercial Property
With yearly returns falling between 6-12% of purchase price, commercial property is one of the best investments available today. An investment that profitable commands an extremely high time commitment. Moreover, if you own multiple properties, the time it takes to maintain all of those properties is all but impossible for one person to handle alone. At best, it’s like adding an additional full-time job to your current list of time commitments. At worst, it will completely overrun your life. Here’s some of the best and most time-effective ways to maintain the value of your commercial property.
1: Keep Your Tenants Happy
Tenants are the single most important aspect of your commercial property investment. A property without tenants is always doomed to lose money. It stands to reason, then, that keeping your tenants happy is the first step towards a successful investment.
2: Keep the Building Safe
Keep communication channels with your tenants open. If tenants always know that they can get a hold of you when something goes wrong, they will be more confident doing business with you.
3:Keep It Clean
Nothing will ruin someone’s opinion of a property faster than filth and clutter. Your property is likely the face of your tenants’ businesses. If it’s messy and poorly maintained, their clients will become dissatisfied, which will ultimately fall back on you.
4: Maintain and Upgrade Your Property
Commercial property maintenance involves more than just vacuuming floors and wiping down windows. In fact, there are hundreds of things that you must do to keep a building maintained: check the roof for leaks, ensure that all fire and emergency equipment is functional and up to code, keep the air intake clean, and much more.
5: Invest in Efficiency
Making your building more green both maintains and increases its value. The gold standard for green buildings today comes from LEED certification. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.” Buildings that are LEED certified demonstrate more environmental consciousness and energy efficiency than normal buildings.
Commercial Fire Alarm Systems
Commercial properties are held to a high level of maintenance to ensure safety of all occupants. These buildings include:
- Office Buildings – including serviced offices.
- Industrial Buildings – warehouses, distribution centers and garages.
- Retail/Restaurants – includes shopping centers, leisure facilities and pubs.
- Other non-residential properties such as entertainment venues, hotels, nursing homes, medical and self-storage complexes, as well as many more
Legal requirements for commercial fire alarm systems
As you can imagine, there is a lot more legislation concerning the installation, placement, testing and maintenance to regulate fire alarms in commercial premises than in residential buildings. British Standards provide guidelines that should be complied with and failure to do so is seen as a breach of a responsibility towards safety and can be punishable by law.
Fire alarms systems play such a key safety role in commercial buildings and there are a lot of lives potentially at steak. If the fire alarm systems are not sufficient then harsh penalties can be given, including hefty fines and in the case of extreme negligence, this can even result in imprisonment if lives are lost as a result of an ineffective approach to fire safety.
In addition if a fire does occur on a commercial property, insurance policies may be voided if it can be proved that the fire alarm and smoke detectors were ineffective. Be sure to test your alarms!!
How Does Commercial Insurance Work?
Your insurance policy will cover certain perils, which are causes of damage such as fire or theft. Coverages included in your policy are called inclusions, whereas perils not covered in your policy are called exclusions. It’s important to know what is covered in your policy and what is not covered.
Here are some of the primary items covered in a commercial property insurance policy due to loss from a covered peril:
- The building, owned or leased
- Business equipment loss
- Damage or loss due to wind, hail, fire or theft
- Accidental damage of property
- Business Interruption (lost business income)
- Electronic data
- Interruption of computer operations
- Valuable papers and records
- Forgery or alteration
- Accounts receivable
Of the covered items in a commercial property insurance policy, the most important items to cover are the building and the business’ assets contained within it. Business interruption, which covers a loss of income when your business is forced to suspend operations due to a covered event, is also necessary coverage in the property insurance policy.
For more information, reach out to your local insurance provider.
How to Prevent Commercial Fire Sprinklers from Freezing
Mineral fiber insulation is one of the primary ways to reduce the risk of sprinkler system from freezing. Although insulation alone may not prevent freezing when temperatures are cold enough for an extended period, properly installed insulation can significantly reduce the chance of sprinkler systems freezing.
A basic knowledge of heat flow will make clear how insulation is used to reduce the chance of sprinkler pipes freezing, according to the Insulation Institute.
How Heat Flow Works
Heat moves from warm areas to cold areas, and insulation slows the flow of heat. Insulation does not stop heat flow, so it is important that the pipes are installed in areas within or close to the heated part of the building and insulation is placed between the sprinkler system pipes and the colder outside.
Insulation’s property to slow heat flow is expressed as R-value. The greater the R-value the greater the ability to slow heat flow. It is important that the heating system remains on to supply heat to the building. If the heating system fails and the temperature goes below freezing for a long enough time the heat in the water will move to the colder areas and the pipes may freeze.
Another strategy to reduce the chance of pipes freezing is to use “heat tracing,” which is a flexible electric resistance heating element typically controlled by a thermostat, which is wrapped around the pipe to supply heat when needed, but this will not help when the electric power is out.
Options for Using Insulation to Reduce Freezing
Properly installed mineral fiber insulation is a practical method to reduce the chance of wet pipe systems (or those that always contain water) from freezing. Below are illustrations to show some possible designs for insulation systems for fire sprinkler systems which contain water. Note there are many other acceptable systems which will reduce the chance of sprinkler systems freezing and the systems shown are not guaranteed to prevent pipes from freezing.
Why Should you have your Commercial HVAC System Cleaned?
Why should you have your HVAC system cleaned?
NADCA addresses this question in a short simple answer: because they get dirty over time and they have the potential to contain large amounts of dust and particulates.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is one concern that building managers and building inhabitants have when they decide to investigate HVAC system. Through normal occupation in a building, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the ductwork.
While a contaminated HVAC system doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy air, the situation may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
Understanding Your Commercial Insurance Policy
According to the Insurance Information Institute, for small businesses without specialized risks, a Business Owners Policy—or BOP—may offer the basic property and liability coverage that you need. But if your company is growing in size and complexity—or you face specialized risks due to the nature of your business—you may want to consider purchasing a Commercial Package Policy, or CPP for short.
Customized insurance under one policy
Like a BOP, a CPP enables you to bundle various types of coverage within a single policy. However, while a BOP has limitations—it is only available for certain types of smaller businesses and covers only a few types of risk—Commercial Package Policies are available for a wide range of businesses, and can be better customized to the specific needs of your business. Most CPPs begin with:
- Property insurance - Covers damage or destruction of buildings, equipment, inventory and more.
- General liability insurance - Covers costs if someone is injured at your business or from using your product or service.
From there, you can add a range of coverages to your CPP, including:
- Business income insurance - Also known as business interruption insurance, this replaces lost revenues and covers extra expenses in the event that your business has to shut down or relocate due to fire, wind damage or other covered losses.
- Business vehicle (or fleet) insurance - Covers vehicles owned and used by your business.
- Business crime insurance - Covers losses from burglary, computer fraud, employee dishonesty and other business crimes.
- Commercial umbrella liability - Increases and broadens liability coverage, filling in gaps left by other coverages.
- Electronic data processing coverage - Covers costs associated with the loss or damage of electronic data processing media or equipment.
- Equipment breakdown—Also known as boiler and machinery insurance, this covers losses from the malfunction of heating, electrical, air conditioning, telephone systems and other equipment.
- Employment practices liability—Covers costs tied to disputes with employees over termination, discrimination, sexual harassment and other employment issues.
- Inland marine—Covers the transport of goods over water and land, providing comprehensive protection for assets that are moveable or mobile in nature, while in transit—such as from a warehouse to a store—or in storage.
- Pollution liability—Covers costs related to pollution, including clean-up and personal injury.
A range of other types of insurance—covering professional liability, supply chain risk, terrorism, farming or ranching losses, and more—can also be included in a CPP.
What a CPP doesn’t cover
A CPP can provide your business with coverage against a broad range of risks. That said, it’s important to recognize that your CPP will not include:
- Directors and Officers (D&O) liability
- Health and disability
- Life insurance
- Workers compensation
These coverages must be purchased separately; discuss your additional insurance needs with your insurance professional.
Every Minute Counts in Getting Companies Back to Business
Businesses will always be susceptible to fire, water, or natural disasters. In best case scenarios, the damage may be minor, however after a devastating storm, the damage may be severe. Subsequently disrupting business operations for days, weeks, or even months.
Every day that the business is closed, revenue decreases, while expenses remain the same. Additionally, there is the increased risk that if business is disrupted for an extended period of time, customers may choose a competitor for future needs. That is why it is essential that business owners and property owners throughout the Metro West area prepare for the worst-case scenario. In today’s competitive economy, a business simply cannot be over prepared for a catastrophic event.
A quick and thorough restoration of your property after a flood, fire, or other damage will help you get back to business, helping to secure your future and the loyalty of your valued customers.
While it may be tempting to save money by doing the restoration yourself, the truth is that you can lose more revenue and incur greater costs by doing so. SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley, serves business owners and property managers across the metro west area. Our team is highly trained, equipped with the best tools, and is faster to any size disaster to help you keep your business moving forward.
We can work directly with your insurance company, freeing up your time to contact your employees, tenants, customers, and vendors. It is our goal to make the process of water damage restoration in your property as easy on you as possible. Professional water damage restoration helps to ensure that mold infestations don’t affect hidden areas of your property requiring mold remediation and repair. Our team uses industrial dehumidifying fans to bring humidity levels back to normal levels after a flood, leaky roof, broken water pipe, or other water damage has affected your business.
SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley is ready to respond 24 hours a day when disaster strikes your commercial property. Rely on us to do what we do best – clean commercial properties throughout our surrounding communities after water, fire, smoke, and storm damage occurs. That allows you to do what you are best at – growing your business and serving your customers. Call us anytime, our water damage restoration technicians, applied structural drying technicians, and our upholstery and fabric cleaning team will respond quickly to any disaster that strikes your commercial property.
Floods in Educational Buildings
When disaster strikes an education facility it can disrupt the learning environment, costing students and their educators valuable time and resources. Cleaning up the aftermath of a flood, fire, storm or other tragic event requires an efficient, timely response. Whether you have a small school building or a higher education campus, SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley professionals will work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area so that normal operations can resume while we restore your facility.
Types of Facilities:
- Early Childhood - Preshool and Nursery Schools
- Primary - Elementary and Middle Schools
- Secondary - High school and Academies
- Higher Education - College and Universities
- Athletics - Gymnasium, Sports Complex and Stadiums
Our professionals are available 24-7/365 to help remediate any damage, regardless of the cause, scale of the loss, or the size of your facility.
Have an emergency at your educationfacility? – CallSERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley: (617) 332 9000
Asbestos Testing Is Mandatory
Thankfully asbestos used in construction and manufacturing for the most part, is a material of the past. However many buildings today still retain traces or even large quantities of asbestos. Particularly in older buildings, testing for and identifying this asbestos is an important job, but one that is unfortunately neglected by many business owners. Failing to test for asbestos when making renovations or restorations to a building can cause long-term negative health effects for restoration professionals, customers, and even yourself, creating a legal and financial disaster large enough to ruin most businesses. There are specific Federal regulations mandated by the EPA regarding renovating buildings, and asbestos abatement.
SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley provides certified asbestos testing to ensure the safety of our technicians and your customers alike.
Asbestos testing for a business is not only advisable for practical reasons, but also for legal ones. Failing to test for asbestos can lead to steep fines and regulatory penalties, regardless of whether or not the substance is present. OSHA has explicit guidelines in place regarding demolition or renovations of commercial structures, especially schools, and other municipal buildings. Furthermore, if a customer or employee gets sick as a result of untested asbestos, you may be at risk of a costly and difficult lawsuit. Federal and state authorities alike take this process seriously, which is why it is always recommended to hire a certified company like SERVPRO to complete the task.
In addition to laws on the subject, testing for asbestos should be a major consideration for your health. Asbestos can cause many negative health effects, some of which can shorten your lifespan or lead to long-term illness. Asbestos is a known carcinogen.The longer you are exposed to it, the more likely many of these side effects are to manifest, meaning that valued employees and regular customers may also be at risk. Just as the removal of mold growth can help to avoid a medical emergency in your business, so too can asbestos testing prevent a host of serious medical issues.
SERVPRO of Newton Wellesley is certified in asbestos testing and guarantees a fast and efficient process for your business. Call us today for our services or a quote.
Common Causes of Water Damage
It is crucial for business owners to make sure their property is in pristine, working condition, and that’s not just for aesthetics. You must understand the basics of water damage and in many cases why it happens. You can improve your chances of running a business without getting negatively impacted by water damage by following these simple suggestions provided by SERVPRO.
Common Causes of Water Damage:
1. Plumbing issues, old solder joints, eroding pipes
2. Roof or foundation failures
3. Malfunctioning appliances, especially in restaurants, and laundromats
4. Water back-up, clogged drain lines or sewage systems
5. Weather-related flooding from storms or hurricanes
6. HVAC problems, poor circulation resulting in high moisture levels and condensation
7. Fire extinguishing work completed by firefighters can lead to substantive water damage.
Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance will reduce your chances of water damage that was not the result of Mother Nature. But in the event something does happen, call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley and we’ll take care of the rest.
Always Be Prepared
SERVPRO® of Newton Wellesley wants to make sure everyone is ready for the new year! Did you know up to 50 percent of businesses that suffer a disaster may never reopen? For those that do survive, the majority have an emergency readiness plan available before disaster strikes. Advantages to of the SERVPRO® of Newton Wellesley Emergency READY Profile are:
· A no cost assessment of your facility
· A concise profile document containing 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 us 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 areas and priority contact information
Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.
Don’t wait for a disaster to strike, call SERVPRO® of Newton Wellesley today to schedule your ERP (617) 332-9000
Common Causes of Commercial Building Fires
We should take care of our homes and families first, making sure safety features are in place to prevent traumatic events such as a house fire. We also need to apply the same passion and vigilance to public and commercial buildings where personal safety as well as someone’s livelihood could be at stake. Greater numbers of people can be placed in harm’s way when public and commercial buildings are rendered unsafe. Although many cases of commercial fires are the result of human error, there are still many other factors that may lead to a potentially deadly toll.
Arson is the leading cause of damages from fire in a workplace setting, resulting in harm to innocent victims as well as to the dedicated firefighters who answer the call. Often arson is instigated by the owner for the hope of collecting insurance on a failing business. Other reasons include a discontent employee or client seeking some kind of senseless and misdirected revenge.
Besides premeditated reasons, there are common careless human errors that lead to a fire. Common examples of poor judgment in the work place are leaving a cigarette unattended and leaving the coffee pot on. The possibility of having an incident increases with the number of employees in a work place.
Apparatus such as Water Heaters, Boilers and Furnaces
There are strict codes regulating the installation and maintenance of water heaters, boilers and furnaces and with good reason! The price is paid when these strict codes are not enforced and not followed properly. The mishandling of an installation and the lack of maintenance can ignite a fire in a building without warning. Equally important to remember is that storing combustible materials like chemicals, paper products and trash in the same area near equipment is a formula for trouble.
Electrical fires also are responsible for many building fires and often are the result of the misuse of an appliance. An appliance used for a purpose than what it was designed for or overloading circuits set the stage for a disaster. Another important reminder in regard to electrical fires is the high cost of hiring the cheaper unlicensed individual to do the electrical work. You are risking the possibility that the electrical work will not be done to code. Electrical code violations are most often committed by unreliable builders and workers resulting in severe consequences.
The 24-hour emergency services provided by SERVPRO Newton / Wellesley come to your rescue with dependable water and fire damage training as well as with a wide range of knowledgeable expertise to help you through a difficult experience. Once the fire department leaves the scene, you are left with a non-functioning business suffering from water damage caused by firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire and water damage and the ability to efficiently restore your business to pre-fire condition.
Keeping Your Business Open In The Event Of An Emergency
When an unexpected and often devastating storm, fire or water damage affects a businesses, statistics have shown that 1 out of every 4 businesses afflicted will never reopen. Especially for smaller businesses that typically have all of their operations in one location. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety has provided a checklist on their website that allows business owners to reassess if they have everything in place in the event something catastrophic could happen. See checklist: http://disastersafety.org/wp-content/uploads/OFB-EZ_Toolkit_IBHS.pdf
In addition to recognizing what the potential risks (earthquake vs. tornado) it is also important for a company to outline not only their backup plan but more importantly, who to go to for help! That’s where SERVPRO Newton/Wellesley come in. Our 24 hour service is specialized and ready to come to you for cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage, because we all know catastrophes don’t always happen during business hours. We can also mitigate mold and mildew from your home or business. SERVPRO Newton/Wellesley’s chief goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."
Sprinkler Systems Help Saves Lives And Property
According to The National Fire Protection Association, the evidence is clear that automatic fire sprinklers technology, which has been commonly used in structures for many years, is a proven way to protect lives and property against fires. Sprinklers also respond quickly and effectively to the presence of a nearby fire, and function well, without creating problems for homeowners.
Ten businesses located in Framingham Massachusetts, know this all too well, when they experienced a devastating fire in their strip mall this past spring. The swift moving fire broke out at 2 a.m. in the attic, which took three fire stations and four hours to extinguish. Thankfully, there were no casualties as no one was onsite at the time, but the building was a total loss.
The facility had fire sprinklers installed but regrettably not in the attic where the fire originated. At the time the building was constructed in the early 1980’s, it was not mandatory to have sprinklers installed in the attic.
Despite the total devastation, the business owners vowed they will rebuild.
ERP - Emergency Ready Profile
Did you know that 50% of businesses may never reopen after experiencing flood or fire damage? Of the ones that do survive, the majority have a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at giving you that reassurance that you have an action plan in place for your company.
Having a plan in place not only lets you know how to handle emergencies timely and efficiently but helps speak trust to your clients and employees by knowing that should your business be affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.
Advantages of having an ERP:
- A no cost assessment of your facility
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
- Establishes SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, "Are you Ready for whatever happens?"
Call us today at 617-332-9000 to set up a free appointment and get started.
When Your Business Experiences Water Damage
If you have recently become a victim of commercial water damage you may be wondering what you can do to mitigate your damages. SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley is here to help. There is a critical period in which certain actions must be taken to preserve as much of your property as possible and to decrease any health risks when water damage has occurred in a commercial space.
Before you enter your commercial space or any flooded building, you will need to make sure the electrical power is shut off. You should also be aware that during a flooding event, small animals or reptiles tend to seek shelter inside of unoccupied buildings. Be prepared to deal with the discovery of wild animals in your space.
Be aware that your commercial space will need a thorough professional inspection, cleaning and possibly restructuring. Water damaged walls and installations must be removed and repaired, and pockets of saturation should be exposed for drying and sanitizing. Always remember that mold growth could take a few days to appear as it thrives in a moist environment with organic-type materials such as paper or particle board and in temperatures that range between 60 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep good airflow throughout the interior environment, and maintain moderate temperatures to decrease the risk of any mold growth. It is also important that you let your space dry out before any rebuilding occurs.
Does Your Company Have an Evacuation Plan for Employees?
On their website, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides important safety information as well as life saving tips for employers to share with their employees should it be necessary to evacuate a building in the event of an emergency. It is worth taking a look, you will be surprised at what you learn! Check it out. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/evac.html
And although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, OSHA highly recommends that you provide an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business space during an emergency situation. Here are some tips:
A disorganized evacuation can result in confusion, injury, and property damage. When developing your emergency action plan, it is important to determine the following:
- Conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary.
- Conditions under which it may be better to shelter-in-place.
- A clear chain of command and designation of the person in your business authorized to order an evacuation or shutdown.
- Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits.
- Specific evacuation procedures for high-rise buildings.
- Procedures for assisting visitors and employees to evacuate, particularly those with disabilities or who do not speak English.
- Designation of what, if any, employees will remain after the evacuation alarm to shut down critical operations or perform other duties before evacuating.
- A means of accounting for employees after an evacuation.
- Special equipment for employees.
- Appropriate respirators.
During development and implementation of your draft plan, think about all possible emergency situations and evaluate your workplace to see if it complies with OSHA's emergency standards.
Emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (617) 332-9000
SERVPRO in the Healthcare Sector
We understand that time is crucial for both your operations and your patients. Our employees know how to handle regulated medical waste and undergo special training to work in operating rooms and other restricted areas, always adhering to HIPPA regulations. We also coordinate with environmental and infection control teams to monitor progress and make sure that all necessary health certifications are obtained prior to completing any job. Our number one priority is to quickly and safely take full responsibility of your cleanup needs so that you are free to focus on your number one priority: the patients. At SERVPRO Framingham and SERVPRO Newton /Wellesley, our professionals are trained in adhering to the highest sanitation standards.
Our experience in the healthcare industry has given us the ability to provide a variety of detailed services for the following healthcare facilities:
- Assisted Living Centers
- Outpatient Surgical Centers n
- Electronics and Machine Restoration
- Hospice Facilities
- Senior Living Facilities
- Medical Office Buildings
- Document Drying and Restoration
Please visit our website: http://www.SERVPROnewtonwellesley.com, for additional information. We’re here to help!