Recent Posts

What Exactly Is Mold?

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the bottom of a wall Mold damage in a Cleveland, Fl home.

If you are a homeowner in Cleveland, FL, chances are that you have wondered about mold, especially black mold, at some point. Being prepared before you have a mold issue on your hands is the best way to deescalate any water-related concerns that arise. The following information should help you better understand mold, what you can do to remedy it once it exists and how to prevent it from emerging in the first place.

What Is the Definition of Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus made up of spores that grow wherever moisture is present. Because moisture is so common, these spores are found just about everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Since the spores are microscopic, it is extremely easy for them to come in through windows and other entry points, including clothing, and attach themselves on different indoor surfaces. There are three basic types of mold:

  1. Green mold
  2. Brown mold
  3. Black mold

While the third is typically considered the one that is most concerning, the fact of the matter is that any type of mold can cause property damage and should be handled with care. If you already have an existing mold problem from a recent natural event, a mold remediation company should usually be your first choice to get your mold cleanup accomplished as quickly and thoroughly as possible while preserving your home.

What Can I Do to Solve My Moisture Problem?

If you have humid areas from a recent storm that you think may lead to black mold or other kinds of spores in the future, you may find that this is another situation where a mold remediation service in Cleveland, FL, could be of great help. Companies often handle water damage in addition to mold remediation, so the technicians that arrive at your house will know what trouble spots to look for and how to restore them to as close to their original states as they can.

How To Determine Your Flood Hazard Area Status

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Black shoe standing on a puddle of water A flooded home in Solana, FL.

How to Determine the Flood Hazard Status of Your Property

When you are purchasing a homeowner's insurance package for your home in Solana, FL, flood insurance may be mandatory if you live in an area that is particularly prone to flooding. Such an area is called a flood zone or flood hazard area. Homeowners in moderate to low risk areas may purchase flood insurance if they want to do so, but it is often a required coverage if you live in a high risk area. To assess your risk and determine if you need to purchase a flood policy, you need to take a few steps.

1. Enter your address on FEMA's Map Service Center page. FEMA works in conjunction with the National Flood Insurance Program to provide information about flood hazard areas to homeowners. There you can find out the official flood hazard status for your area. You are also able to see the date from which NFIP sanctions are in effect and download a customized copy of the information for your home's specific area.

2. Evaluate your special flood hazard area status. The flood zone map may show your property in an SFHA. What this means is that a flood that exceeds the floodplain has a 1% chance or better of happening every year. If you disagree with this determination, you can either purchase the insurance suggested or contest the status.

3. Contest your flood hazard area status. If you believe the map is wrong, you can submit a letter of map amendment online. After reviewing your submission, FEMA can decide whether or not the map is in error. If it is, you may not be required to purchase flood insurance.

Even if you don't live in a flood zone, it may be a good idea to purchase flood insurance. Most homeowners' policies don't cover flood damage remediation after a storm, so having that extra coverage may come in handy.

How Long Does It Take To Repair Water Damage?

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

A water damage in a bathroom Water damage at this Fort Myers home was caused when the toilet supply line burst over a weekend when the homeowners were away

When It Comes To Water Damage, How Long Does It Take To Fix?

Flooding caused by bursting pipes or some other plumbing disaster can affect your Fort Myers, FL, home on a variety of levels. Water can cause considerable damage to your large appliances, floors and furniture. When a flood occurs, you may be unsure about the extent of the trouble or how long it might take to fix. However, working with flood restoration professionals and your insurance company can help you create a working timetable for necessary repairs.

Location Matters

Where the flood took place can affect how long it takes to make repairs. For example, small or slow leaks in a utility room can be repaired quickly if they come from these sources:

  • a leaking water heater
  • a washing machine
  • a clogged sink

However, bursting pipes in your basement due to a sudden cold snap may take four days or more to repair, especially if the resulting flood waters are more than a few inches deep.

Plumbing Problems May Slow Repairs

Water damage can be slowed or stopped by shutting off the supply lines in your home. However, if you need to call a plumber in to fix a broken pipe, this may extend the repair process by several days, especially if you cannot find someone to come out right away. In the meantime, you can ask your flood restoration experts to remove standing water and begin repairs to your walls and floor if necessary, and contact your insurance agent to begin a claim.

Material Drying Can Affect a Timetable

If your floors and countertops were affected by a flood, the material they are made of can affect how long it may take to repair them. For example, hardwood floors may need to undergo a special drying process to ensure they do not warp or suffer discoloration.

Flooding in your Fort Myers, FL, can occur for many reasons. However, whether you are dealing with bursting pipes or a leaking appliance, being able to gauge how long it will take for repairs to be completed can help you feel more confident about their outcome.

Adding Storm Shutters to a Home

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Storm shutter shade windows in a yellow house During a storm, storm shutters can protect you and your home's interior from flying glass and debris.

Types Of Storm Shutters

When nature is at its most wrathful in North Fort Myers, FL, high winds are often responsible for property damage. Installing window protection can be a prudent investment to protect your home and its contents. Learning about the window types available is the first step toward making an appropriate purchase for your needs.

Know Your Options

Shutters designed to be a temporary application when gales are predicted are the least expensive and least aesthetically-pleasing option. Permanent ones can be costly but add design interest and practical functions. Shutter styles include:

• Temporary: These are made of steel, aluminum, or polycarbonate and are held in place by channels bolted onto the house above and below windows. Channels are removable, and the cost is usually less than $20 per window.
• Accordion: These are permanent, manually operated, and stored in boxes alongside windows when they are not in use. Made of polycarbonate or metal, they usually cost between $15 and $25 per square foot.
• Rolling: These are also permanent and have the added benefit of offering insulation and increased privacy as well as protection from high winds. Made of polycarbonate or high-quality steel, they can be manually or automatically activated. Prices range from $20-$30 per square foot.
• Bahama: These offer shade and privacy as well as storm protection. They range from $15 to $20 per square foot.
• Colonial style: These are both permanent and decorative. Depending on window size, the shutters can be tri-fold or bi-fold. They are bolted into place when needed and range in price from $200 to $500 per window, depending on size and material.

Storm shutters can protect you and the interior of your home from flying glass and debris in the midst of a storm. However, in the event that high winds damage your home, professionals can help with interior and exterior damage and cleanup once the storm has passed.

Why is Mold Growing Here – Again?

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

brown stingy hairy mold growing around air conditioning system Mold growth around air conditioning system.

When mold first appeared in your Fort Myers Shores, FL, business you took immediate and thorough steps to address the problem – only to see it return to the same spot as if nothing ever happened. Mold growth is a pervasive issue both frustrating and endangering to your place of business, threatening property damage and an array of potential health effects. However, it shouldn’t become a recurring issue.

Understanding Mold Growth

Mold spores are a natural occurrence, microscopic in size and present almost everywhere. To grow into the familiar fungal nuisance the spores require four factors:

  • Darkness
  • Moisture
  • Organic nutrients
  • A surface to grow on

Dark places such as HVAC units or ductwork, interior walls, carpet and subflooring are all prime examples of places mold can thrive. The microscopic nature of mold spores doesn’t require significant amounts of water to grow, and when confronting mold in the same location water damage is most often the culprit. Check for remaining water damage in the location of the mold; HVAC systems can leave condensation and poor insulation may leave moisture buildup within the interior structure. Furthermore, check for humidity levels within your building. The EPA recommends indoor humidity levels remain between 30 and 50 percent. High humidity can create water vapor in the air; just enough for mold spores to thrive.

Understanding Mold Remediation

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as complete mold removal. The microscopic spores will always remain, but without the four key factors will not have the opportunity to grow into a colony. Thus, when mold is a recurring problem, it is a sure sign that water damage is still present in that location. To remediate mold, moisture levels must be addressed:

  • Fix leaky pipes and malfunctioning HVAC systems
  • Dry any liquid spills quickly and thoroughly
  • Regularly utilize a dehumidifier
  • Consider replacing porous material that mold has grown on

If you have taken these steps and mold growth is still occurring, a professional mold remediation team may be required. With the appropriate training and high-tech equipment, they can effectively keep mold the microscopic neighbor it should be.

Fire Damage Specialists In Punta Gorda

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

Yellow banner that says Caution, background of a burned house House fires are rare, but it is good to have a plan for them just in case.

Fire Damage Specialists

People do not ever plan on something going wrong in their homes. House fires are an incident that everyone knows can happen, but most people do not think that it could happen to them. However, accidents can take place even here in Punta Gorda. House fires are rare, but it is good to have a plan for them just in case.

Of course, the first step is to make sure the fire is out, and everyone is safe, then the damage can be assessed. At this point, it's wise to contact SERVPRO's fire damage experts in Punta Gorda. The specialists come in and figure out what needs to be done to restore your home back to its original condition.

When a home gets burnt, a fire causes two types of damage. In parts of the home adjacent to the source, the house's structure may get burnt or charred. In other places of the structure, smoke and soot produced from the fire can cause damage to places in the house that are not right next to where the fire burned.

Areas of the home that suffer burn damage will either get treated or replaced. If the drywall did not get burned too badly, then the walls can get scrubbed and then sprayed with a special sealant paint. If the drywall got burnt badly enough, then it must be removed, and the stud must get inspected. In some cases, if the studs do not get burnt then they can get sanded down and sprayed with a special paint that seals in odors.

When a fire takes place in a home, smoke from the fire can damage other places in the home besides just the room the fire burned. Our crews at SERVPRO are skilled at smoke damage and odor restoration. Smoke damage in the home can get treated by scrubbing the soot off of areas with specialized sponges and chemicals. In some cases, an ozone machine is used to get odors out of contents inside the home, carpet, and curtains.

Having a fire inside your home is never a pleasant experience. If ever your life gets turned upside by a house fire, contact SERVPRO of N. Ft. Myers / Punta Gorda at (941) 575-5910 for help 24/7.

What To Know About Water Heaters

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Water heater Periodically inspect your water heater and look for any signs of damage or build-up.

You can thank your water heater for the hot water that fuels your dishwashers, showers, and baths. These appliances are in almost every household and are used to heat up cold water that runs through the pipes. However, many homeowners don’t maintain their heaters as well as they should, which can increase the risk of water damage. Here are a few tips about this helpful appliance.

What Your Water Heater Does

The large cylinder contains a heating mechanism that heats the water inside. The water goes through a pipe within the machine and is heated. The heater is a great insulator, so the heat remains inside the cylinder and doesn’t escape into the air. The heated water within the appliance moves through the pipes to your faucet on demand.

Why The Heater Should Be Maintained
These appliances are large and full of water, so they can be a big hazard. Most steel tanks are glass-lined to prevent damage and leakage, but this doesn’t mean that problems can’t occur. If the heater suffers from a hole or piercing, it should be replaced quickly.
There are a few ways that these appliances can be damaged:

  • High pressure
  • Large sediment build-up
  • Rust

These issues can cause a lot of damage and might require you to get professional water damage repair.

How To Take Care of Your Water Heater
It’s important to take care of your home in Salvista, FL, by keeping an eye on your appliance. One of the best ways to maintain your heater is to flush it often.
To do this, first, drain away from the water. Once all the water has left the appliance through the pipes, refill it up halfway with cold water. Access the water heater flush panel to clear away sediment and fill up the heater with fresh water. This can help prevent blockage and reduce high pressure.
Periodically inspect your water heater and look for any signs of damage or build-up. By doing this, you can reduce the risk of water damage.

4 Tips for Preventing Dryer Fires

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Horizontal photo of female hand taking the lint out from dirty air filter of the dyer machine Clean out the lint screen after every load.

How Can You Prevent A Dryer Fire

There are many ways for a fire to break out in a home in Fort Myers, FL. One overlooked location is the dryer. There are a number of ways for a dryer fire to develop. Nearly 3,000 of these fires are reported every year, and they result in over $35 million in property damage annually. Fortunately, with some routine maintenance, you should not have to worry as much about a lint fire forming.

1. Keep the Top of the Dryer Free of Any Debris

In the event a fire does break out in your laundry room, you do not want to give it more fuel that could cause it to spread to other areas of your home. Therefore, do not leave anything on top of your dryer. This includes clothing, boxes and books. You also want to keep the areas behind and around the dryer clear.

2. Clean Out the Lint Screen After Every Load

A good habit to get into is to clean the lint screen before every use. After a while, you will start doing it without thinking about it. Even a small amount of material in the system can result in a lint fire. To remind you, you should keep a small wastebasket in your laundry room.

3. Clean the Vent Line Regularly

You should detach your vent line once in a while and make sure it is not getting clogged up by lint or various pieces of debris. If you are unsure of what to look for in the vent, then you should consider hiring a professional to come out and take a look at it.

4. Inspect the Vent Hose

Another component to examine regularly is the vent hose. If your current hose is not made out of aluminum, then you should replace it with one that is. You want the hose to be as short as possible to reduce the likelihood of it getting crushed and potentially starting a lint fire.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Commercial Property for a Storm

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded hallway of an office building Storm damage to a Punta Gorda, FL office

How Do Businesses Prepare For A Storm?

When strong storms sweep into Punta Gorda, FL, they can wreak havoc on your commercial property. This can be distressing, as high winds, heavy rain and flood water have the ability to cause thousands of dollars in damage to your building and its inventory. However, if you know a storm is inevitable, there are a few strategies you can use to prepare and possibly minimize the damage.

1. Back Up All Your Data

Your company’s data can be destroyed in a flash if it is stored in the basement of a flooded building. Paper archives can be especially vulnerable, so you may want to take time to move boxes or file cabinets to a safe location where the information can be transformed into electronic data and stored in the cloud. Avoid archiving information in company computers, especially those on the ground floor and vulnerable to flood water. In fact, you might be better off moving any company computers to a higher floor, if possible.

2. Remove Items From the Floor

Inventory, machinery and valuable company tools that sit at ground level can be susceptible to water damage. You may want to remove these items from the building or put them up on high, stable shelving. Heavier machinery can be lifted up onto stacked wooden pallets, which may keep them dry and unharmed during flooding.

3. Have a Restoration Plan in Place

It can be difficult to gauge how much damage your business may suffer before a flood, so it is wise to have a restoration plan in place before a disaster happens. Contact your local flood damage and mitigation service to discuss what the company’s technicians can do for you in the event that your building takes on the damage. Discuss possible services like odor cleanup and mold mitigation.

Flood water and high winds in Punta Gorda, FL, can damage your commercial building and put you in serious debt. However, careful planning and having a mitigation and restoration strategy in place may help you come through a flood with the least possible amount of damage.

3 Pitfalls of Lacking Interruption Insurance

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Charlotte Park, FL.

What Is A Risk Associated With Business Interruption

A business that is unprepared for the worst-case scenario may experience instability if an unforeseen event prevents operation for days or weeks at a time. While property insurance covers damage to a structure in Charlotte Park, FL, general commercial policies do not include interruption insurance. Here are three potential pitfalls that could be experienced by business owners lacking business interruption coverage.

1. Liability for Ongoing Expenses
An owner of a business who does not have interruption insurance may have to pay for ongoing expenses after a business fire. Meeting payroll, making lease payments or keeping the utilities on may cost thousands of dollars over one or more weeks of closure.

2. Revenue Loss During Closure
A business owner may also experience a partial or total loss of revenue during closure. If it is possible to operate out of an alternative location on a temporary basis, it may be possible to get around the need to make a business interruption claim. Otherwise, making an interruption claim can offset lost income.

3. No Recourse After Shutdowns
A business owner with interruption insurance can choose whether to make a claim. If the owner decides to do so in order to offset continuing expenses or lost revenue, these costs should be covered as soon as interruption insurance kicks in after the typical 48-hour waiting period. Business owners who lack this coverage have no option but to pay all costs above and beyond fire cleaning, which is covered property damage.
Business interruption coverage may be available as a rider or endorsement to a general commercial property insurance policy for a location in Charlotte Park, FL. If these options are not available, business owners can take out a separate policy. While interruption insurance raises the total cost of insuring a business, the peace of mind these policies provide in the event of a disaster is worth the expense.