Recent Commercial Posts

Keeping Your Building Secure After a Fire

10/22/2022 (Permalink)

Board up commercial building Board up windows and openings with plywood as soon as possible after the fire has been extinguished.

Keeping Your Building Secure After a Fire

A fire can be devastating for a business in San Antonio, TX. Not only does the building need to be repaired, but you also need to worry about looters who will try to steal anything of value in your building after an emergency response has passed. If you don't take action quickly, you could lose even more than just the contents of your store: lost revenue from looters can add up to billions of dollars each year. The good news is that there are simple things you can do during and after an emergency that will help prevent looting and protect your business.

Board Up Your Windows and Doors

How do you keep looters at bay? Board up windows and openings with plywood (or whatever suitable material is available) as soon as possible after the fire has been extinguished. The best way to prevent looting from happening on your property will be to keep your doors locked. Another thing that might help is making sure your home looks unoccupied; this means removing any valuables from view so that potential thieves will not target your place for the valuables they see. 

Looting is a Common Issue 

Looting is a common issue after fires in commercial buildings, especially if there are no security guards present. Looting is opportunistic and criminals look for easy targets to steal from. A fire can cause looting because the building will be full of merchandise and items that can be sold. There is also often very little security on-site during the cleanup process after a fire so it's prime for criminals looking for easy targets.

Looting Makes Getting Back On Your Feet More Expensive

Looting is not just an issue in the aftermath of a natural disaster but also after fires. Looting occurs when people take advantage of an emergency situation to steal property or money. It's a crime that can carry serious penalties if you're caught and convicted. For victims of looting, it’s more than just an inconvenience; lost revenue from looting adds to the costs of recovering from a fire.

To prevent looting, make sure your building has adequate security measures in place throughout its lifespan—not just after it's been damaged by fire.

Call the Fire Damage Experts in San Antonio

Fire damage cleanup is a specialized service, and it's important to find the right company to help you. Fire damage restoration companies have the tools, training, and experience needed to board up buildings after a fire. These experts can get your business back on its feet much faster than you could do it yourself.

It's also important to note that many post-fire cleaning companies will not take down building coverings or boards because of liability issues. They mostly just clean up after fires, so this may be something you should consider when deciding which company you want on the job.

The obvious answer is that you want to board up your building as soon as possible after a fire.

Fire damage is not the only thing that can happen after a fire. Looters can cause damage, steal your property and even harm your employees if they discover them before the police get there.

If you don't take action immediately, you could be liable for any injuries sustained by looters who break in through windows or doors on the front of your property. If they're caught inside doing so, they could also sue for damages caused by their own actions in stealing from or vandalizing a business location.

The best way to protect your building after a fire is to board it up quickly and securely. A fire cleanup company, like SERVPRO, can help you do this.

How To Restore Water-Damaged Documents in 3 Steps

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents due to flooding Protect your information in these documents from future damage by either digitization or storing physical copies in a secure location.

Restoring Water Damaged Documents

If water damage occurs at your San Antonio, TX, business, you are likely wondering whether or not you can restore wet documents. Fortunately, the answer is often yes. The following outlines the three-step recovery and protection process.

1. Document Drying

When it comes to drying documents, you have a few options. If the documents are only slightly damp, you may be able to let them air dry. Avoid laying them flat to prevent smudging. For more severely damaged documents, a certified restoration service can use more sophisticated techniques. Freeze drying involves freezing the document and then using a high-pressure vacuum to turn the liquid into a vapor. This removes the moisture from the papers without exposing them to liquid again.

2. Document Sanitizing

Wet documents have often been exposed to bacteria and other contaminants through the water they came in contact with. They can be sanitized through a process known as gamma irradiation. This technique exposes the material to Cobalt-60 radiation, which kills the offending microbes without further damaging the documents.

3. Document Digitizing

Unfortunately, not all flooding can be prevented in the future. Despite today’s sophisticated restoration techniques, not all documents are salvageable. This means that your important documents should be protected from future water damage. You could make copies and store the originals off-site in a secure location. However, it is often simpler to digitize the documents. There are scanners and software available that make this process easier, or you can hire professionals to do it for you.  

When a business incurs water damage, many owners worry about wet documents. In many instances, these can be restored and cleaned so they are safe to use. It is also important to protect the information in these documents from future damage by either digitization or storing physical copies in a secure location.

Does Your Team Know How To Use a Fire Extinguisher?

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Thai people in the conflagration preventive extinguisher training program, Safety concept. Focus on fire tray. Selecting an appropriate fire extinguisher and training your employees on how to use it can help you avoid extensive fire damage at your business.

Does Your Team Know How To Use A Fire Extinguisher?

A fire can negatively impact your business's daily operations in San Antonio, TX. Equipping your space with fire extinguishers and training your employees to operate them can prevent fires from spreading and devastating your business.

Which Extinguisher Should You Choose?

A fire can potentially break out anywhere in your business, but having multiple extinguishers throughout your premises can provide significant protection. Also, you must know which types of extinguishers can effectively address different fire causes.

  • Class A extinguishers contain pressurized water that puts out fires involving solid combustibles, including paper, wood, cloth and plastic. They can help prevent fire damage in office settings containing documents, furnishing and electronics.
  • Class B units can extinguish fires in industrial settings. They contain CO2 or dry foam to combat oil, petroleum, gasoline, paint, propane solvents-related fires.
  • Class C units address fires due to faulty wiring or electrical malfunctions and are helpful near a fuse box or office equipment. However, they rob these fires of the oxygen that sustains them.
  • The powdery agent in Class D extinguishers puts out fires involving metal substances at businesses dealing with biotech materials.

You may need to consult with a fire restoration and cleaning service to address the extensive damage resulting from a kitchen fire. However, a nearby Class K fire extinguisher can minimize flames involving fat, grease and oil. Dry and wet chemicals in these units can keep these fires from spreading by lowering the high temperatures that cause combustion.

What Are the Steps for Operating an Extinguisher?

Keeping extinguishers on your business premises is not enough to prevent fire damage. You must ensure that everyone on your staff knows how to use them by following the PASS steps as follows:

  • P: Pull the unit's pin
  • A: Aim the unit nozzle toward the bottom of the flames
  • S: Squeeze the handle while the extinguishing agent discharge
  • S: Sweep the extinguishing from side to side while it emits the extinguishing agent

Choosing an appropriate fire extinguisher and training your staff to use it can prevent help you avoid extensive fire damage at your business in San Antonio, TX.

Creating a Fire Escape Plan for Your Office

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

evacuation plan - first floor For any business, the top priority should be employee safety. Office safety guidelines should include a thorough fire escape plan.

Developing An Office Fire Escape Plan

Unfortunately, office buildings can catch fire with little warning. Constructing and practicing a fire escape plan will effectively keep your employees protected in emergencies. Ultimately, being prepared contributes to the safe guidance of occupants out of the building. Consider the following elements when building your escape plan.

Properly Prepare a Fire Escape Plan

Planning for the unexpected is essential to avoid panic when a fire breaks out. Ensuring everyone's safety is a vital part of the plan. To give employees the confidence necessary to remain calm should an emergency arise, proceed with these steps:

  • Train employees on building alarm systems
  • Clearly label exit routes
  • Practice fire drills four times a year
  • Create a chain of command for effective evacuation from the premises

Following these procedures will elicit a more favorable outcome during an emergency.

Keep Your Escape Plan Uncomplicated

It is crucial to make your emergency escape plan as straightforward as possible. Add evacuation maps near building exits with easy-to-read instructions to avoid future disarray. Taking this step provides occupants with a concrete path for a safe escape. Hang signs next to the elevators that stress the importance of taking the stairs during a fire. Keeping elevator doors closed holds oxygen away from the fire, limiting its expansion ability and giving people more time to get out.

Find a Reliable Recovery Team

Dealing with the fallout of an office fire can be devastating, both for the business and the individuals involved. When choosing a fire recovery service in San Antonio, TX, do your research. A disaster recovery team will play a vital role in promptly getting your property up and running. Your team should identify the business's priorities, establish a plan of action and work closely with insurance companies.

For any business, the top priority should be employee safety. Office safety guidelines should include a thorough fire escape plan. With the help of these safety protocols, you can offer your employees the comfort of knowing you have their well-being in mind.

3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Storm

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

Construction worker wearing safety harness and safety line working on a metal industry roof new warehouse When you know a storm is coming toward your business, you should take time to prepare your business against the probable effects.

Three Steps To Storm-Proofing Your Business

A winter storm can cause a devastating amount of damage to your business in San Antonio, TX. However, there are steps you can take to protect your business before a storm occurs.

1. Fix Small Issues Quickly

When you know a storm is coming toward your business, you may not think that it’s important to take the time to look at minor issues that are affecting your business. However, strong winds and heavy rain can turn a small issue into a major problem; a leaky pipe can result in a pipe break, for example, which could result in major water damage. If you notice minor issues before a storm, it’s often best to have these issues fixed as soon as possible to ensure these little problems don’t create disasters.

2. Assess the Landscape

Structural damage is often an unfortunate result of a winter storm. However, taking a look at the environment around your business can be an essential step in preventing structural damage. If you notice any large limbs or debris on the ground, it’s best to remove these items prior to a storm. Additionally, you may need to trim or cut any limbs that hang close to or over your business to ensure they don’t fall and damage your building during the storm.

3. Protect Important Belongings and Documents

Recovering valuable and important items after a storm can be difficult, especially if you need access to documents or other items that have been damaged. In general, it’s wise to keep important documents and items in waterproof, fire-resistant containers. Additionally, it can be helpful to make copies of these documents, both online and on paper, just in case you aren’t able to recover them after a storm.

By fixing minor issues, assessing your landscape and ensuring important items are protected, you can decrease the likelihood of a winter storm causing major damage to your business. However, if your business has already sustained damage, you may want to consider contacting storm damage restoration professionals.

What You Need To Know About Smoke Damage Affecting Your Business

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores Fire damaged a five-store business in San Antonio, TX.

The Importance Of Smoke Cleaning

When a fire occurs in your business in San Antonio, TX, you likely will want to begin the cleanup and restoration process as soon as possible. However, many business owners do not realize the impact smoke can have on a business and the importance of smoke cleaning.

1. Damage Smoke Can Cause

Though smoke does not cause structural damage to a building, can still have a drastic impact on a business. Soot and smoke damage can cause the odor of smoke to linger, and items in your building may be covered in a layer of soot as a result of the fire. In addition to the smell of smoke that can affect the building and items inside the building, some items may also be discolored.

2. How Smoke Is Removed from a Building

Even if a fire starts in a nearby building, insurance will generally cover the cost of cleaning smoke and soot. Smoke cleaning involves using different methods to clean and sanitize all surfaces, including everything from the ceiling to the floor, that have been affected by smoke. Often, air scrubbers and other devices are also used to ensure the air quality is returned to normal.

3. Time Matters

It’s often important to get rid of smoke odor and soot damage in your business as quickly as possible. The odor of smoke can permeate into walls, furniture and other items in the building, and soot can cause some items to deteriorate over time. As a result of this damage, some structures or items in your building may need to be replaced entirely. Generally, the longer soot and the odor of smoke remain in a building, the more damage is likely to occur.

Knowing how a fire can drastically affect your business and understanding why smoke cleaning is important can help you better prepare for the cleanup and restoration process. Consider working with fire cleanup professionals if your business has been affected by a fire.

What If A “Fresh Start” Leaves Something “NOT-So-Fresh” Behind?!?

12/26/2021 (Permalink)

You never know what may have happened behind the doors of any tenant-occupied space…until they move out! Those tenants MAY have looked and acted “normal” but you never REALLY know how they used your space – until after they vacant the premises!

The approach of the end of the year means many people – and businesses – begin to make plans for a “fresh start” as the New Year dawns. For some, this takes the form of resolutions or setting tangible goals. Others’ vision takes a more tangible route, as they make a physical change by moving to a new neighborhood, city, state or country. But, regardless of the nature of these fresh starts, often it is spurred by the desire to leave a “less-than-fresh” situation behind.

Suddenly, THEIR “fresh start” becomes YOUR nightmare! For owners of tenant-occupied properties – whether a single-family residence, apartment or condo complex, or commercial space – when a vacancy occurs, it inevitably means they face the task of preparing the space for new occupants.

In some instances, this can be accomplished by a simple cosmetic updates – some paint, maybe new carpet, a few simple upgrades. Those are a property-owners’ dream come true. Unfortunately, this is all-too-often not the case. Let’s be honest, they seemed like normal people, they looked like normal people, they said all the right things…then you saw what they left behind.

One look tells you, it’s time to call in the pros! In a surprising number of cases, even a deep cleaning that would make your Grandma proud, cannot eradicate certain odors or questionable “stains” those tenants may have left behind. The same holds true for physical damage caused by water, ice, cooking and other “mysterious” on-site activities. And whether it’s a residential or commercial space, the headaches can be the same…and frequently compounded as the full extent of some “hidden” damage may be uncovered.

From biohazards to mold to smoke and other odors, it can all be handled efficiently – and professionally – by the specialized technicians on the SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio team. With our industry-leading, proprietary EPA-approved hospital-grade cleaning solutions that adhere to standards set by the CDC, no decontamination job is too daunting. And we all know mold can appear so quickly in damp environments and pose such serious hazards, you need trained remediation experts to properly contain and remove all affected materials. But to ensure all traces of the offending mold has been thoroughly eradicated, this also involves both complete air filtration and then our unequalled odor removal process.

While we’re speaking of air, don’t forget that post-construction punch list. Between dust from new sheetrock and sawdust from new floors or other installations, your air vents are now FILLED with all of those particulates…not to mention fumes from paint, adhesives, plastic coverings and any plumbing updates. A clean space does not “feel” clean if it doesn’t smell clean. And a simple spritz of an air freshener won’t do the job. Put the finishing touches on your beautiful new space, with air duct cleaning and professional-level odor removal treatment.

And, if you want to streamline the process, you can keep all of the work – from start to finish – under one roof: SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio! Not only are we your “go-to” for any sort of commercial property “disaster” issues (and we all know, some tenants definitely qualified as “disasters!”), but we also offer complete building and reconstruction services. Not only does it make it easier for rental property owners to coordinate required work and timelines, but often saves money. As a bonus, since our company has long-standing relationships with most major insurance carriers, we know how to submit claims and properly detail covered work. And, thanks to our SERVPRO credo – “Like it never even happened“ – we really can give even the MOST “less-than-fresh” space the fresh start every property owner wants…and deserves!

The “A-B-Cs” Of “Gamma-Delta-Lambda” For SAFELY Managing Public Spaces

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

All of the COVID variations may be “Greek” to property managers, and how to respond can be equally confusing. Do the COVID strains feel like “Greek to you”? Managing commercial properties in this pandemic landscape can be overwhelming…and why you need PROS!

Honestly, it’s hard to keep up with the constantly evolving local, state and federal mandates – not to mention the varying recommendations from health authorities – when navigating the COVID landscape. Now, with the school year starting again and students from preschoolers to college post-grad academes returning to classroom learning (some after more than 18 months), the pressure is not only the kids socially and mentally, but also on teachers AND institution administrators to balance an educationally nurturing yet clinically “sterile” environment. Quite an undertaking!

And that’s just one facet of creating new protocols for people returning to public spaces – despite the Delta surge – making the idea of staying safe once again a “top-of-mind” issue. With reported vaccination breakthrough Delta-strain cases, (as well as the growing number of cases among the unvaccinated), we’ve begun to hear talk of a possible Lambda variant…and who knows how far this mutating virus will progress down the Greek alphabet.

Even if you participated in the Greek system (or actually studied the language itself), this parade of mutations has still left many people saying, "It's all Greek to me!" Compounding THIS confusion are the "fluid" legal and civil mandates on safety protocols – especially within our schools, offices, retail and entertainment venues. Mask or no mask? Vaccination passports? Social distancing both indoors and out? Daily or weekly testing? It all has to leave those responsible for any “public” space feeling totally overwhelmed, and asking “So what steps CAN we take to protect our buildings – and the workers and visitors who inhabit these spaces daily?!?”

Well, you have experts for keeping your HVAC systems humming along, and professional security services (and even possibly on-site personnel) for protection, not to mention skilled landscapers to maintain your building exteriors, because you certainly don’t have the time or expertise to do this personally! The same holds true when dealing with a virulent biohazard like COVID.

YES, the COVID virus IS a biohazard! Normally, we think in terms of toxic chemicals or weapons; we’ve all seen those movie scientists in specialized biohazard suits, who arrive in those state-of-the-art mobile units ready to deal whatever mutant organism may be threatening the population. But, if you think about it, this could also describe a lot of what we’ve seen on the news over the past 18 months. So let’s break down this whole “biohazard” thing as it relates to our current COVID circumstances. "Bio" signifies any living organism, which definitely includes viruses. And, well..."Hazard" is pretty self-explanatory.

But you CAN take steps in the face of this new Delta surge…and whatever may be coming down the Greek alphabet line. And it all starts by calling in trained, certified biohazard experts – like SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio. With our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned medical-grade process, you don’t have to decipher the Greek. You can just trust the pros to give you the peace of mind that YOUR commercial space is safe!

Are You SURE You’ve Covered ALL Your Business Bases?

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial properties that lack adequate protection from a storm or damage Even if you THINK you’re covered for everything involved in doing business, are you REALLY sure…because one simple omission can cost you BIG!

Let’s get real for a minute; sometimes being a “grown-up” sucks, totally overwhelmed with everything an adult is actually supposed to be responsible for. Then, compound that with being responsible for not only yourself (and your family), but also everyone supported by your business if you’re an entrepreneur. So, we suck it up and do the “adult” things as we go about our daily lives.

And this starts with our conditioning – as responsible adults – to make sure we schedule all of those preventative check-ups. Health check-ups... vehicle check-ups... financial planning check-ups... and who knows how many others may apply to your life! So we don't want to add to your already-full plate, but when was the last time you did a business property and liability insurance check-up?

As a company who works daily with insurance companies, our team at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio too often sees the heartbreaking results of failing to update property coverage. Sure, you've PROBABLY covered all the bases when it comes to disasters like flood and fire. But even though you ticked all those boxes, you MAY have overlooked some vital areas!

Did you do any remodeling during the lockdown...or planning to now? The cost to recreate that new interior or façade or signage has ALSO probably increased; but have you updated your coverage to accurately reflect these financial investments? You also need to consider any equipment or facility upgrades, due to shifting business models as a result of the ever-changing COVID-related protocols. And, of course, those new pandemic electronics ALSO call for additional replacement cost coverage.

Now, when it comes to construction – whether a remodel, expansion, build-out, or breaking ground on an entirely new facility – this brings additional insurance shortfalls which can easily be overlooked…especially since it’s all going to be “temporary.” Let’s start with everyone who is actually doing the work and bringing your plans to life.

Do you have additional liability coverage for all those trades working on your property? If this is being done in conjunction with a landlord/tenant agreement, VERIFY who bears the burden for insurance coverage during this period. And if this is your building or construction site, then triple-check to make sure EVERY possible scenario has been anticipated – and covered! Additionally, you may need “interim construction” insurance since appraisals on something that does not yet exist would be guesswork, at best.

This type of insurance provides protection for theft of materials and equipment (including any on-site tools, etc. belonging to subcontractors). Nothing can be more disheartening than discovering your new plumbing and fixtures were stripped for copper, or your beautiful new walls and exteriors vandalized by graffiti…or worse. It also helps you to maintain good relationships with these skilled professionals, who you will probably be using again for either repairs or future construction.

Oh...let's not forget your landscaping and outdoor upgrades. This can span everything from a fancy flagstone sidewalk and entrance, to a new blacktop coating, stripes, bumper blocks and designated space signs in your parking lot. Added covered parking? That cost money, too – and may require a special policy rider since these outdoor improvements may NOT be covered since they are outside your actual office or structure!

And this is just a starting maybe it's time to get an insurance check-up on your schedule NOW! As we’ve seen demonstrated so comically in the new Rocket Mortgage commercials featuring Tracy Morgan, “pretty sure” may NOT be good enough – especially when it comes to your business, you want to be REALLY sure!

Hey – WE Gotta Guy...Do YOU? 'Cuz Everyone WILL Need "A Guy!"

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Two people offering a referral, because everyone needs one sometimes If you don't know how to do something, then you gotta have "a guy" who CAN. It feels good to have an "inside" connection when you REALLY need it!

An important life lesson we all learn at some point: If you don't know how to do something, then you gotta have a "guy" who DOES...or at least friends who "know a guy." Admit it, it feels good to have some sort of "inside" connection when you REALLY need something!

Whether it's someone who can get you deals on cars or appliances or jewelry or even a vacation, it gives us a sense of control when we can pick up the phone – or even just pop by – and know you will get both VIP treatment and a "special friends" rate. And especially in those time-sensitive or urgent situations (when we're most likely to feel as if we have absolutely ZERO control), it's comforting to know "a guy" or “gal”…right?!?

So while we've posted about being prepared for storm season AND building relationships, one of the SMARTEST moves any business owner can make is to establish their own personal "go-to" list of folks. And if you don't have pros who are experts, NOW is the time to connect...BEFORE you need them!

Now, as the "go-to" team for disaster mitigation, remediation and restoration, even our SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has our OWN list of "guys" (and "gals") because we know nothing beats knowing your own pros. And the best part about having reliable network is not only our ability to call on them at a moment’s notice – BECAUSE we have that established relationship – but also to have a trusted list of experts to which we can proudly refer our customers!

This allows us, as business owners, to enhance our customer service offerings which translate into company growth and glowing reviews. However, it also serves us well “when the going gets tough.” Yes…we have emergencies, too! And during those times, it gives us a “life preserver” so we can get back to business serving OUR clients more quickly. And THIS is one of those “priceless” commodities in business.

We’ve seen the value of having “a guy” at our fingertips, as well as the tangible benefits for OUR business, SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio. And we also know any business owner will, too…because you NEVER know when you’ll need THAT “guy!”

“Spic & Span” Pans Are Not The Only Ingredients In A “C.L.E.A.N.” Restaurant!

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Reopening food establishments in the post-COVID era demands new levels of cleanliness – easy with this “C.L.E.AN.” checklist! Just use the “C.L.E.A.N.” checklist to ensure your restaurant or neighborhood “watering hole” isn’t just to whet your whistle, but CLEAN as a whistle!

With public COVID lockdown restrictions slowly but surely relaxing, businesses which may have been shuttered for months – or even a year or more – are literally dusting off the past shutdown and ready to get back to business. And possibly the most anticipated activity will be a return to “normal” dining in favorite restaurants and local hangouts.

Yet, these environments may also be the most vulnerable to “cleanliness” issues. Of course, no five-star chef or dedicated short-order cook worth their salt (so to speak), would settle for anything less than immaculately clean cookware and prep surfaces. But we also know that “clean” in any dining environment goes WAY beyond the kitchen!

So to help you cover all the bases, we’ve put together a little mnemonic checklist to use as a starting point to once again start serving the public. Just think “C.L.E.A.N.”


Obviously, in this almost-post-COVID era, maintaining a visual – and clinical – image of cleanliness. In addition to making sure high touch-point areas can be easily and frequently cleaned, it’s important to provide “sanitation” options for your patrons.

Add an extra layer of protection and peace of mind, with prominently displayed “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” decals. Remember, you are the host inviting your favorite guests back; your job is to make them feel comfortable and be able to enjoy themselves!


This one may seem almost too easy. Sure, you look around your establishment every day. BUT…do you see it with “fresh” eyes, observing every little detail as a first-time guest would? Stand outside your restaurant and just look around. Does the sidewalk need to be power-washed? Are all the illuminated signs properly lit; are there missing or burned-out bulbs?

Now, walk in the front door and look UP. Are there stained ceiling tiles, dearly-departed insects in light fixtures, smoke stain from candles? And now, do the same for the floors, table and chair legs, the bottoms of any bar areas, areas that may have been bleached by sunlight. We ALL fall into the trap of walking in an “employee” entrance and just focusing on our specific area…without ever genuinely examining what impression your guests may get from their perspective!


At this point, most professional restauranteurs and culinary purveyors must be thinking: “Well, DUH!” But aside from those “high-touch” pieces of equipment, many other things get just as much use, but quietly function unnoticed. And each of them also need professional maintenance and cleaning – especially if this equipment has also been either on “sabbatical” or “limited duty.”

So while the stove top and oven may receive regular cleanings, what about that vent hood and exhaust system…including a thorough air duct scrubbing to remove any “residual” aromas that may not enhance the dining ambiance?! And don’t forget those high-moisture exposure areas. Thorough professional steam cleaning can help eradicate the infancy of mold spores and save a lot of grief (and money) later. Stainless steel backsplashes, appliances and doors can also benefit from a deep-clean to remove those invisible contaminants which may linger past a spray bottle-and-cloth wipe down. You can have the same level of sanitation as a top-tier hospital kitchen…just with tastier cuisine!


As mentioned above in the “Equipment” section, air ducts may be too easily – and frequently – overlooked in the day-in, day-out business of preparing and serving food. And most diligent management routinely ensures air filters in HVAC and exhaust systems are changed. However, you still continue to “recycle” the “dirty” air and particulates lurking throughout your systems.

The same holds true for public areas like dining rooms, restrooms, patio, porch and lanai areas, where whatever people exhale is now part of your air quality ecosystem. And yes, even those outdoor areas with any sort of “enclosure” or “covering” will still act as an air bubble, getting pulled inside every time someone opens or closes a door. But DON’T PANIC! With regular professional air duct “scrubbing” and periodic decontamination blanket fogging, you and your guests can breathe easy!


Okay, we’re the first to admit we took a little bit of liberty with “naming” this final item. But it actually DOES cover this final checkpoint quite nicely – if you’ll pardon that pun! No matter how “casual” a dining environment might be, the “theme” is somehow incorporated into the ambiance and décor. Upscale…lamps with elegant fabric or cut glass shades, luxurious window coverings, upholstered chairs and banquettes, tasteful area rugs scattered subtly about. Talk about your soft surfaces, nooks and crannies.

Even the most casual environment may have patio cushions, wall hangings and decorations and natural touches. Trust us, no feather duster or hand vac will get all of THOSE surfaces clean. The first thing any successful entrepreneur learns is when to trust the pros. That’s why you hire personable and efficient servers, affable and entertaining bar personnel and a skilled and inventive culinary team. So when it comes to making your establishment the embodiment of your vision, with whatever “niceties” you may choose, trust the total commercial cleaning pros to make sure it does truly looks “nice!”

Of course, we realize each establishment is just as unique as its owner and team, but at least this gives you a starting point to start “thinking outside of the pots and pans” and equip you to be the host or hostess with the most-est! And you can always reach out to our commercial specialists at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio and we can do a personalized survey and put together a custom plan to take your venue “spic-&-span” beyond the pans and make everything “C.L.E.A.N. as a whistle!”

Spring Cleaning ISN’T Just For Grandmas…Or HOMES!

4/9/2021 (Permalink)

Any space can benefit from a PROPER “Spring Cleaning”…especially commercial spaces! “Spring Cleaning” may bring to mind granny's annual DEEP clean or now a Marie Kondo “de-cluttering.” But commercial spaces could benefit MOST from it!

With the arrival of idyllic springtime temperatures, many just want to throw open their windows and doors to let in the fresh breezes, and embrace the new start this season represents! And for a number of us, that also means undertaking the annual ritual of “Spring Cleaning.”

This monumental set of tasks may evoke memories of our mothers or grandmothers, basically “gutting” the house and then thoroughly cleaning EVERY surface before “reassembling,” but this process has evolved over the years, and may now more closely resemble an extended Marie Kondo or Gwyneth Paltrow Goop session.

Of course, there remains the stalwart group who still engages in that “top-to-bottom” springtime rite of passage. However, did you ever think about instituting – or enhancing – this effort for your commercial spaces?!? Despite the fact these “public” or business environments see exponentially more traffic than the average home, and have a whole host of unknown variable contaminants literally walking in your door, the annual spring cleaning may be an oft-overlooked practice in commercial facilities.

For those who own or manage these spaces, you have a few options. One – just continue “business as usual” without giving much thought to the idea of a real spring cleaning. Then there’s the second choice – bribe staff with the time-tested “pizza and beer” incentive to schedule a time for the team to pull together for a day of sprucing up and cleaning. However, each of these options has inherent flaws!

With the first alternative, this could backfire in this slowly-but-surely reopening of society in the post-COVID era. If someone sees even the smallest thing, which leads them to think your entire space is not “clean,” it could cost you business…and even open you up to liability!

So, let’s move on to the second option listed. While the “beer and pizza” bribe may have been quite effective during your college and early adulthood years, it just doesn’t have quite the same appeal at the professional level, when the task involves a serious “deep” cleaning of your office, retail or community space. And, if coerced into this position, chances are the level of “clean” would NOT pass your grandma’s inspection!

At this point, you may be thinking “So what the heck am I supposed to do???” Honestly, sometimes the best answer in these situations is fairly simple – hire professionals. But, HOLD ON…not all “cleaners” are created equal!

Most assuredly, a professional janitorial service is DEFINITELY a cut above asking staff members to be responsible for this massive undertaking. That said, even the best cleaning companies can only go so far to ensure your facility is “Mom-Approved” clean. That’s when you take it to the next level…SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio clean!

Our highly-trained staff prides itself on staying up-to-date with industry-leading techniques and health standards. Going beyond the scope of anything even your regular janitorial staff may do, we’re the industry-recognized specialists in handling any – and every – thing the public can throw at your space…including things that may not have even crossed your mind!

As a little experiment, step outside your building and approach it as someone who has never been there before. Take a GOOD look at the exterior…windows, entrance, signage and the full building façade. Then examine your interior from top to bottom, as if this were your first time ever viewing the space. Had you gotten used to seeing that dinge or stain on your floor? Did you ever notice the condition of your overhead light fixtures and ceiling? How about that “odd” smell around upholstered or fabric items? This “fresh-eyes (and nose)” approach could reveal a lot of things which could REALLY benefit from a good spring cleaning!

Truthfully, why would you settle for “kinda” clean, when you can have the confidence and peace of mind that comes from a SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio clean…a “clean” good enough to pass the inspection of even the most critical eye like your Mom or Grandma, and even your customers and clients!

When Time Is Money, Your Business Really CANNOT “Afford” To Wait!

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Time really IS money when a business faces a disaster For every minute that passes after a commercial enterprise experiences a disaster, owners can literally count the dollars ALSO running out the door!

Legion “biz-speak” phrases pepper our working vocabularies…phrases like “think outside the box”… “there is no “I” in team”… “manage the optics”… and, the granddaddy of them all, “time is money.” However, before we excoriate these clichés – and those who use them – consider this: clichés are used to the point of becoming clichés because they DO convey valid and valuable principles!

And while some terms may fall in and out of fashion, certain nuggets remain timeless, such as the aforementioned “time is money” axiom used across all business platforms and by those of multiple experience levels and positions. Again, there’s a REASON for this! Anyone who has ever operated any business enterprise or set their sights on increased productivity, knows – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that time DOES have value and can translate into cold, hard cash.

Whether it’s waiting on delayed shipments, coping with multiple layers of bureaucratic red tape, or recovering from a disaster, that elusive element of “time” can represent a (pardon the use of yet another, nonetheless VALID, cliché) make-or-break moment for your business. And we see this daily in our business, too! Our clients need their work done NOW; and our ability to respond 24/7 is the bedrock of our business.

For our commercial clients, every minute they remain closed or hampered due to a disaster – whether flood, fire, contamination or crime has impacted their business – represents a dollar (or usually a LOT more) lost. We understand the immediacy of their needs and importance of expediency in restoring their facilities and contents back to operational levels.

If we learned nothing else from the 2020 COVID lockdowns on business, we did see the tangible evidence of how just a few weeks can be the difference between solvency and bankruptcy for any company. And while many managed to pivot (yep, there’s another one of those “words”) their business model to accommodate the restrictions, in the event of many “disasters” that is simply NOT an option.

Restaurants moved to take-out and delivery as their bottom-line “bread and butter.” However, imagine if the kitchen were destroyed by a fire or flood. No “Plan B” can account for this unforeseen turn of events. Or, what if mold is discovered in a commercial rental space – be it residential or corporate – and ALL the space is uninhabitable? Bye, bye rental income! And, in both of these examples, this translates into “bye, bye profits!”

Fortunately, for a lot of businesses, they received subsidies during the COVID crisis to assist in covering overhead and keeping them from permanently closing their doors. And, when a disaster strikes most commercial operations, they also have a “safety net” in the form of insurance to assist in the restoration. But that usually only covers the ACTUAL remediation and repairs…leaving you still holding the bag for all of that lost income DURING the restoration! And that’s when the whole “time is money” concept really comes into play.

Yes, you have the funds to mitigate your property losses – but now you’re at the mercy of your selected restoration team’s OWN timeline. At SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio, we know it’s not only about our expert training and equipment geared specifically to commercial properties, but also about a QUICK response and action! And that’s where our experience becomes a “priceless” asset, since we do this every day and have both the skilled personnel and specialized equipment to immediately get to work – to get YOUR business back to work.

So when we “get down to business” you can rest assured this isn’t just a cliché we throw around, it’s something we take to heart and have made it our mission to be able to get the needed “boots on the ground” and the “available bandwidth” to make sure YOUR business isn’t “leaving money on the table!”

A “Defining Moment” That Defined SERVPRO

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

This was the scene that SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth encountered when they voluntarily stepped-up in the aftermath of 9-11. Just as the rest of the nation stepped-up in the wake of 9-11, we’re proud to say SERVPRO also joined the efforts to recover from the devastation!

Every modern generation recalls their particular “defining moment” of their era. For our grandparents and great-grandparents, chances are that moment was December 7, 1941 when they heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor. For Baby Boomers, it was probably the assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963. And for most who came of age during the 2000s, it was undoubtedly the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Each generation VIVIDLY recalls exactly where they were, and what they were doing, when they heard the news. In each instance, we sat rapt in front of either our TVs or radios, as witnesses to the unfolding horrors.

However, each of these particular “defining moments” shares a common thread – our collective, subsequent, reactions. In EVERY case, we came together and mounted overwhelming mobilized responses to the tragedies! Military recruiting stations were flooded with volunteers after Pearl Harbor. People gathered in stunned silence to comfort each other when President Kennedy died. And, the outpouring of patriotism and rush of first responders to the sites of the 9-11 crashes still fills us with pride!

And, we’re proud to say that a SERVPRO franchise team was among those front line workers at the Pentagon that fateful September…and we would like to share a snippet of the SERVPRO Decatur/Forsyth recollection:

“Following the attacks, reconstruction of the event was an enormous task. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals were called upon to assist with the cleanup and restoration on the Pentagon. Despite of the difficulties and emotions that involved the restoration, SERVPRO completed the process of drying over 300,000 square feet of property due to water pipes bursting. In addition, SERVPRO also provided fire, soot and smoke cleanup and restoration services.”  

This level of dedication and service represent just one of the hallmarks of SERVPRO owners nationwide…and SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is among them! And, although our local team was not on-site during the 9-11 aftermath, we honor those who could be counted in those legions and applaud their bravery and tireless efforts. We also take pride in the fact that the United States government trusted SERVPRO to assist in the massive restoration of the heart of our military defense operations!

So while the remembrances for 9-11 this year may be in the rearview mirror, we can strive to recapture that degree of caring service and reflect those high ideals ALL year long, in EVERY call we respond to, offering a shoulder to cry on and a path to recovery and restoration!  

Invest In That “Ounce Of Prevention” & Avoid Paying "Pounds" For The Cure!

8/28/2020 (Permalink)

Proper sanitation of professional spaces can avoid costly fines, remediation, or lawsuits Doesn’t it make sense to pay a LITTLE now, and avoid paying a LOT later!?!

Growing up, we ALL heard variations of certain “sage” quotes… things like “Look before you leap”… “Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched”… and, of course: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And, for the most part, these nuggets of wisdom have shown to hold true.

Of course, we all tend to play a little “fast-and-loose” with the timing of some of these bits of advice. But, as they say: “Experience is the best teacher” and we’ve all learned a few lessons “the hard way.” Sometimes we DO get carried away by emotions, or pure excitement, or even the current state of our finances! For instance, if we DID look before we joined our friends for a skydiving party…well, you know. Or perhaps you got so excited about a new idea, maybe you didn’t put it through your normal stringent, 87-point checklist, standard “pro-con” vetting before proceeding…which might have killed a terrific opportunity.

Sure, choosing to ignore these time-tested adages does come with a degree of risk. Using our previous examples, your parachute COULD fail to open, or your idea COULD fail. But, sometimes we just have to “play the odds.” However, in other instances, the odds are NOT in our favor.

Let’s consider your personal vehicle. It probably represents one of your major investments. And thus, it’s in your best interest to protect it. For some, this means keeping every regular maintenance appointment and adhering to a strict schedule of upkeep recommended by the manufacturer. Others may take a more casual approach, making sure to get their regular oil changes and tire checks. And finally, there are those who don’t even CHECK their oil, much less change it every 3000-5000 miles, whether through indifference or financial constraints.

Now, let’s travel down the road with all three drivers. ODDS are, the owner of Car A will have fewer major repairs or issues over the years, and have a car that lasts longer. Car B has a reasonable expectation of some costlier repairs after the warranty period, but should still get quite a few years of good use. Then there is Car C – YIKES! Anyone who has either experienced this or had a parent who STRONGLY suggested the importance of oil checks and changes, knows a simple $29.25 oil change you ignored, is SUBSTANTIALLY more affordable than the consequences of throwing an engine rod! (And just in case this is all Greek to you, a thrown rod translates into having to replace the ENTIRE vehicle engine…see, there IS a reason why your Dad yelled at you about checking the oil!)

The same goes for your health, your home, and yes, even your family, friends and community. We take care of the things that genuinely MATTER to us. This even includes your finances and investments. Some investments are paper or digital portals, while others are “brick-and-mortar” properties. So to protect those investments, here’s where that “ounce of prevention” comes into play. Proper PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE not only physically enhances your building or facility, but – MOST importantly – it's that “ounce” you pay for now, to hedge your “odds” against future fines, remediation or even, GULP, lawsuits!

And talking about “paying through the nose,” we have to address the inevitable commercial liability should anyone’s health be affected by the conditions in your property. In the current COVID-19 climate, major personal injury law firms have ALREADY started running advertisements for prospective clients who believe they contracted the illness from their offices, high-rises, assisted living campuses, schools, churches, or even a neighborhood business they might have previously frequented!

Having both the peace of mind and the confidence to display that your property is CERTIFIED: SERVPRO CLEANED, protects you and the lifeblood of your business…the people who come into your building. The specially-trained, experienced (they’ve been providing this special care for YEARS, not just the last six months) technicians of SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio become that “ace up your sleeve” to tip the odds in your favor! After all, we all know: “A penny saved is a penny earned!”

What Happens When Your Investment Unexpectedly Becomes A “Fixer Upper”?!?

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Investment Property Restoration "Life happens"...even to investment properties. And your SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio team knows how to protect & restore YOUR investment!

Have you noticed the explosion of both programming and networks devoted exclusively to enhancing – and frequently, profiting from – real estate? Yes, we enjoy the witty banter between these celebrity rehab experts, and sure, we pick up lots of nifty ideas for our “dream home” wish list. But, virtually EVERY show ends with some type of “dollars-and-cents” recap – just to remind us that behind the “entertainment,” this is a BUSINESS!

Add in the rise of REITs and personal investment property management, and “The American Dream” represents a significant financial segment of today’s economy. And we’re not just talking about the traditional single-family home, anymore. (Although private investment in rental and rehab residential properties IS at an all-time high, thanks to HGTV and other off-shoots…including the highly-anticipated launch of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network, right here in the Lone Star State!)

That said, investment in larger tracts, buildings and complexes, along with other commercially-zoned areas, has seen a sharp rise. And no small measure of this can be attributed to retiring Baby Boomers – along with Gen Xers getting a head start – all seeking that “worry-free” retirement passive income. On paper, it seems like a no-brainer and many highly-respected fiduciaries include these real estate investments in their clients’ diversified portfolios. Not only does it ensure an income flow throughout retirement, but ALSO builds in a legacy wealth factor. Win-win, right?

NOT SO FAST! While commercial real estate has withstood the test of time as usually a good investment (and definitely over the long haul), for many tasked with making those management decisions, it can be anything BUT a “hands-off” scenario. Let’s paint a picture:

It’s 3 AM and you get a call from the resident property manager at a mid-size complex you own. You’ve done your due diligence, hired experienced people to handle the “day-to-day” operations, and you’re just the “big picture” guy or gal. So, when your manager calls at THAT hour, you know it’s got to be serious.

Or, maybe it’s an overnight utility worker at the other end of that call, notifying you of an “issue” on-site at that lovely professional office park you invested in. Even worse, it could be a neighbor calling about those houses you’re renovating on their street. Whether a 50-story high rise building, or something more modest, a MAJOR headache is about to spring from the other end of that phone call! It’s a major water line break, and it’s flooding YOUR property, drowning all of the contents, ruining walls and even gushing water from pipes in the ceilings.

Now what?!? It’s YOUR investment – and you did NOT sign up for this! Once the source of that problem is located and repaired, “who ya gonna call?” Let us clue you in, the Property Brothers or Martha Stewart won’t come rushing to your soggy scene! This isn’t something even the “Ghostbusters” would touch with a proton pack!

Luckily, you have an option akin to those paranormal wranglers – experts in making it "Like it never even happened." – the “Wet Busters,” if you will, at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio! See, we’re business owners, too. We UNDERSTAND the need to protect your investment. And we take pride in restoring commercial properties to their “pre-soaked” condition. Best of all, we’ll answer YOUR call at 3 AM, too. So even though you didn’t anticipate suddenly finding yourself with a “fixer upper,” you now have your OWN team on-call to make your investment, once again a good investment!

Business Emergencies

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

Always Open SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is ALWAYS open to help your business!

Most of our waking hours are spent at work. Many of us are spending more time with our co-workers than our own families. Our work environment becomes a second home in a sense. So when our work place and work are disrupted by a sudden water or fire/smoke damage it has an impact.

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio, we’re ready for any disruption to your work place. Many times, these emergency events happen at night or when no one is present. This type of emergency brings its own challenges. How do we continue to produce as a company? Is the workspace usable? Do we need to work remotely from home and if so, are we prepared for that?

Water/fire/smoke damages become at that time, the most important thing in the affected company’s world. The company’s got to get this handled and now. Time and mobilization of resources is paramount to the business getting back up and running.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is specifically trained and structured for this exact call. We’re ready to react and mobilize at a moments notice. Understanding the complexities of the commercial world is necessary to meet the commercial clients expectations. The need to bring the entire warehouse with you is the goal. From personnel to equipment at the ready are what SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is prepared for.

No one expects their work to ever be affected, but when it is having SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio on speed dial is the right move.

Please call us if you need our services at 210-521-3313

What SERVPRO Can Offer YOUR Business

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

Here to help Let SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio give you peace of mind at your place of business.

During this unprecedented time caused by a global pandemic, this is a reminder that we at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

SERVPRO Northwest San Antonio is prepared to disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: kitchen/food areas, bathrooms, schools/classrooms, offices, retail spaces, water fountains, shelving/racks, sales counters, carpet and rugs, stair handrails, elevator cars, playground equipment and fitness equipment.

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the virus.  Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of virus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Please give SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio a call if you have questions. We’re here to help in any way. 210-521-3313

Fire and Water Damage Clean Up and Restoration at your Commercial Property in San Antonio

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

If your San Antonio business is affected by fire  or water damage, it can be devastating. We know first hand that damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio very often to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire or water damage. We are here to be the caring expert you will need to guide you through the process for restoring your commercial property.

We’ve been there to help with the restoration of many types of properties including:

  • Multi-level Commercial Buildings
  • Multi-tenant Facilities
  • Small Office Buildings
  • Shopping Malls
  • Apartment Complexes
  • Hotels
  • Industrial Facilities

Our Number One Priority is to Return Damaged Property to Pre-Loss Conditions

When disaster strikes, we know your first priority is the safety and well-being of your clients. Whether it's an industrial facility or multi-family properties, our professionals are experienced in maintaining the security and safety of the facility and tenants while isolating the damage. We work efficiently to minimize the interruptions for your tenants' daily lives.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our restoration professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and work efficiently 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 Northwest San Antonio

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a fire 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 and training to restore your property.