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Category : Waterproofing

The Potential Health Risks from Water Damage

(A-One) The Potential Health Risks from Water Damage

For most areas, a wet season can be unusual but for others, it can be pretty bad. Water entering your building is never a pleasant experience. If water or any accumulated dampness is not fixed quickly, it can cause potential health risks. Here are some precautions and remedies to consider if leakages and intruding water have made their way inside.

The Potential Health Risks from Water Damage

Your Health is Important

Quick and proper clean-up is important for your health. If materials are not cleaned up properly or discarded quickly, poor air quality can result. Microorganisms can contaminate indoor air in the presence of excess moisture and cause respiratory problems and allergies. Floodwaters can contain microorganisms such as bacteria, molds, and viruses and can contain raw sewage too.

Long-Term Damage Caused by Water

You must immediately dry out anything that came in direct contact with the water, such as drywall, and any equipment. If clean up does not begin quickly you may be at risk for long-term damage and ruined equipment as well as damage to the integral structure of your building. The most critical part of the cleanup process is drying out the area completely. Moisture can hide in drywall and sub-flooring and may go undetected. Signs of damage can include odors from mold and mildew on walls, bucked floors, peeling paint/wallpaper, and weakened sub-floors. It may be necessary to remove portions of walls, ceilings, and floors to completely dry everything out. Consider removing and replacing those materials to avoid future indoor air quality problems, especially if the drying process did not begin within 48 hours which is the recommended time.

When To Bring in a Professional

There are many different situations where water damage may occur, and depending on the source, water that causes damage that can be categorized into three basic types: clean water, gray water, and black water. Professional restoration companies will use different techniques to remove the water depending on its classification.

  • Clean water comes from a clean source such as an indoor sink. Clean water sources usually do not contain any contaminants.
  • Gray water comes from a source that may contain contaminants, such as snow or rainfall, machine or toilet overflows.
  • Black water includes sewage, floodwaters from rivers or streams, or groundwater. Black water contains pathogenic, fungal, and viral contamination, pesticides, or heavy metals. This can be the most serious health risk to anyone who comes in contact with it unprotected.

Insurance companies recommend and almost always require immediate clean up quickly to avoid long-term damage. A Water Damage Restoration Company can provide you with an assessment to help you determine if you should be filing a claim with your insurance. In the meantime, there are a few things you should be doing.

  • Remove water: Pump, sweep, or drain water from the building, remove any debris, remove all equipment and any items damaged by the water.
  • Remove moisture: Use fans (if it is safe to use electricity), open windows to increase air circulation, ventilation, and drying and use dehumidifiers with windows and doors closed

It may also be necessary to remove portions of walls, ceilings, and floors to completely dry out the inside of the building or rooms. Continue the drying process for days or weeks until humidity levels return to normal (35-55%). There should not be a musty odor if the areas are completely dried.

Final Thoughts

The next thing to do is to determine the source of the water. There are many ways that water can enter your building such as leaky roof, faulty gutter system, or cracks in the foundation or structures. It is important to determine the source and solve the problem after you have mitigated any threats to your health. Call us today if you have any concerns and we can help identify any repairs needed to prevent future problems.

 

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Let Us Help You to Waterproof Your Roof

A-One) Helping You to Waterproof Your Roof

The best way to protect your roof and building structure from water damage is with waterproofing systems. Waterproofing is a great way to keep the elements out and will also save on energy. A properly sealed building enhances the longevity of the building inside and out and saves on utilities because air will not have any place to leak or escape.

Let Us Help You to Waterproof Your Roof

What Causes Leaking?

There are a few conditions that will likely cause leaking in your roofing system.

  1. The presence of moisture or water
  2. Water moved along by a force such as wind or gravity
  3.  A breach in the envelop that allows water to penetrate

Waterproofing Methods

  • Liquid waterproofing membrane: This is a thin membrane consisting of a primer coat and a few topcoats that are very flexible and when cured, the liquid forms a rubbery coating that is difficult to penetrate.
  • Polyurethane liquid membrane: This is best for flat roofing areas and those exposed to severe weathering. Its higher flexibility makes it popular but expensive and it is also sensitive to moisture content.
  • Cementitious waterproofing: This is considered the easiest way to waterproof your building and the materials are easy to apply and find. Wetter areas with lots of rainfall are better suited for this waterproofing system.
  • Bituminous coating: This is a flexible and protective coating made with polymer-grade and reinforced fiber, and it is popular for coating surfaces like concrete foundations.
  • Bituminous membrane: This is popular for low-sloping roofing systems. As a self-adhesive, it is quite unlike any other membrane option. Composed of asphalt, filler, and polymers, its adhesive qualities can be improved by adding certain oils or resins for more enhanced waterproof protection

Conclusion

There are several things you need to do to ensure your roofing is waterproof and environmentally sound. Make sure you are aware of any water sources that the building and roofing could be exposed to and work with a professional to get a system designed to prevent leaks. Waterproofing is essential for the integrity of your roof, your building, and your investment. Call us today and we will help you waterproof your building to provide safety and peace of mind inside and out.

 

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Tips for Property Managers: How to Decorate Your Building for the Holidays

Commercial Building Decoration

There are so many reasons to celebrate in December, as Hanukkah begins the night of December 2nd, followed by Christmas on the 25th, Kwanzaa on the 26th, and of course, the New Year on the 31st. So how to share the holiday spirit with your tenants?

You may not be big on decorations, but if you don’t decorate your building or host a party, you may be viewed as a modern-day Scrooge. On the flip side, if you add too many holiday symbols (Christmas trees, wreaths, lots of tinsel, yards of lights, menorahs, and Kwanzaa’s traditional Kinara candle holders), you might be accused of going overboard.

How can you strike a happy balance? According to Ginny Decker, vice president of property management for Monument Capital Real Estate Services, Miami and Katherine Furniss, marketing manager at CFH Group, another property management group in Miami, founding the middle ground has helped them keep tenants happier and encouraged them to renew.

Question: What is your company’s approach to decorating so building owners or property managers show they care—without making the building look like Santa’s workshop?

Decker: We let the on-site staff at each building decide based on tenant demographics. You want to have some decorations but not so much tinsel—for example—that it makes it hard for prospective tenants to see the building and sign a lease. We encourage an “understated ” look.

Q: How does that translate into decorations?

Decker: Generally, we say you can’t go wrong with simple, classic, white holiday lights that make residents feel good when they return home from work or when prospective tenants drive up to the building. Lights always add cheer.

Furniss: We take the same approach of keeping decorations simple and using maybe one color of lighting so they look generic, and maybe light the entrance and corporate leasing office. We might also put a wreath at the front door. We refer to all the celebrations as “the holidays” rather than to specific events.

Q: Anything else you do beside lights?

Decker: Because we try not to celebrate one denomination, we like other generic symbols such as snowflakes, snowmen, silver colors, as opposed to red and green, a tree, menorah, or Kwanzaa symbols. We want to be inclusive, especially since we often don’t know which holidays our residents celebrate.

Q: Have you had tenants complain about too much or too little?

Decker: Not so far.

Q: Do you also host holiday parties this time of year on- or off-site?

Decker: We do, and they’re on-site. The specifics vary from community to community-based on the resident profile. For buildings with young children, we might bring in a Santa Claus for photographs with the kids. For other sites, we might have gift wrapping parties where we supply the gift paper. We’ve also organize pot-luck suppers where we provide a ham or turkey, and residents bring side dishes and desserts. At some buildings with mostly lower-income residents, we may give away turkeys. We try to find out what residents want most by doing a lot of surveys throughout the year.

Furniss: We’ll host a party in the common area of a clubhouse or maybe on a pool deck of a building. We might have a movie night and ask residents for suggestions, and if their movie is picked they’ll get a prize. We’ll set up “Santa’s workshop” at each building with all the supplies needed to wrap gifts–paper and bows, and make it available the entire month of December. Many of our managers have been with us for years so they tend to know what works and doesn’t.

Q: How about saying thanks with contributions to a favorite charity in your tenants’ honor?

Decker: We try to do something like that during the season, or ask tenants to donate canned foods and toys so we all give back to our community beyond the building. We also let tenants know where their community may be hosting dinners they can attend.

Q: When do you suggest taking down decorations?

Decker: Usually, by the middle of January.

Furniss: We’ll take them down right after Christmas.

Q: Do you decorate for any other holidays to build camaraderie and good building morale?

Decker: We try to do things consistently year-round and in each quarter such as Halloween decorations come fall and a pool/barbecue around July 4th or some time during the summer. Again, we ask for tenant feedback to find what they want.

Furniss: We decorate for Halloween, and sometimes the staff dresses up, often with a theme such as witches

Q: Do you set a budget for these types of expenditures, and if so would you share?

Decker: I can’t give you a dollar amount since it varies so much by community and the number of units and occupants, which influences the amount.’

Furniss: Our buildings tend to spend between $500 and $1,000 for such events.

Q: Any parting advice?

Decker: Yes, keep decorating and hosting these kinds of celebrations and polling residents regarding what they want so they’ll take advantage. If we get 30 to 50 residents at an event, we consider that a good turnout and a success. We find that by taking time to do these things residents tend to renew their leases and remain longer with us

Furniss: We often try to have an event that offers children an activity when we can.

Now we’d love to hear from you! What do you do at your buildings to keep spirits up through the holiday season and even into the long month of January?