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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Weather Alerts and Emergency Notifications to stay Informed about Severe Weather

9/25/2023 (Permalink)

Severe weather events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms, can strike unexpectedly in the Southeast region. Staying informed about these weather conditions is vital for ensuring personal safety and preparedness. In this blog post, we will explore the different ways you can receive weather alerts and emergency notifications in the Southeast, enabling you to stay one step ahead and make informed decisions during severe weather events.

Local Weather Apps and Websites

In today's digital age, local weather apps and websites are invaluable tools for staying informed about weather conditions in your area. These services provide real-time weather updates, radar images, severe weather alerts, and forecasts specific to your location. Popular weather apps and websites include The Weather Channel, AccuWeather, and the National Weather Service (NWS). By downloading these apps or visiting their websites, you can access the latest weather information at your fingertips.

Mobile Alerts and Text Messages

Mobile alerts and text messages are another effective way to receive weather notifications in the Southeast. Most wireless carriers provide free emergency alert services that automatically deliver important weather information to your mobile device. These alerts are issued by government agencies and weather organizations, ensuring that you receive critical updates directly to your phone. Ensure that you have enabled emergency alerts on your mobile device settings to receive these notifications.

NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations that provide continuous weather information 24/7. These stations broadcast weather forecasts, severe weather watches, warnings, and other emergency messages. NOAA Weather Radio receivers are available for purchase and are an excellent investment for staying informed during severe weather events, especially if you live in an area prone to power outages or have limited access to internet services.

Social Media and Online Communities

Social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, have become crucial sources of information during severe weather events. Many local news stations, emergency management agencies, and meteorologists actively share weather updates, alerts, and emergency notifications through their social media accounts. Following these accounts and engaging with online communities dedicated to weather updates can help you stay informed, gain real-time insights, and access valuable resources during severe weather events.

Local News and Radio Stations

Traditional media sources, such as local news stations and radio stations, remain reliable and accessible channels for receiving weather alerts and emergency notifications in the Southeast. Pay attention to weather reports and news bulletins during severe weather events. Many news stations now have mobile apps and websites that offer weather updates and live streaming, providing additional options for staying informed.

When it comes to severe weather events in the Southeast, staying informed is paramount for your safety and preparedness. By utilizing local weather apps and websites, enabling mobile alerts, investing in a NOAA Weather Radio, and following social media accounts, you can receive timely weather alerts and emergency notifications. Remember to always have multiple sources of information and to seek shelter or evacuate when instructed by local authorities. By staying informed, you can make well-informed decisions and protect yourself and your loved ones during severe weather events.

Counting the Costs: Understanding the Potential Revenue Loss After a Fire Damage

9/12/2023 (Permalink)

Experiencing a fire at your business can be a devastating and traumatic event. Apart from the obvious physical damage, the financial implications can be significant. A fire can disrupt operations, cause inventory loss, and even result in temporary closure. In this blog post, we will explore the potential revenue loss that can occur after a fire damage and how to mitigate its impact.

Temporary closure and loss of revenue

Following a fire, it is common for businesses to temporarily cease operations while the damage is assessed, repairs are made, and the premises are deemed safe. This forced closure can lead to a substantial loss in revenue, especially if the downtime stretches for an extended period. The length of closure will vary depending on the severity of the fire and the time needed for repairs.

During the period of closure and even after reopening, some customers may be hesitant to return. The disruption caused by the fire may lead them to seek alternatives or simply lose trust in your business. Rebuilding customer confidence and reestablishing your reputation will take time and effort, resulting in a potential loss of customers and a decrease in revenue.

Inventory and equipment damage

In a fire, inventory, equipment, and other assets can be severely damaged, or in some cases, completely destroyed. This loss not only impacts your ability to serve customers but also represents a significant financial setback. Restocking inventory and replacing damaged equipment can be costly and may further delay business operations.

It is important to review your insurance policies to understand the coverage provided for fire damage. Business interruption insurance can help mitigate the revenue loss during the closure period. This type of insurance typically covers lost income, ongoing expenses (such as rent and utilities), and additional expenses incurred due to the fire.

Disaster recovery and contingency planning

In order to minimize revenue loss and ensure a quicker recovery, having a comprehensive disaster recovery and contingency plan in place is crucial. This includes, but is not limited to, regular backups of data and important documents, off-site storage of sensitive information, and having emergency contact information easily accessible. By having these plans in place, you can mitigate the impact of a fire on your revenue and resumption of operations.

After a fire, it is advisable to work with fire restoration and recovery experts who can assess the extent of the damage and provide guidance on the steps needed for a full recovery. They can assist in salvaging items, cleaning affected areas, and restoring your premises to a safe and functional state. Time is of the essence, as quick action can help minimize revenue loss and expedite the reopening of your business.

In conclusion, the potential revenue loss after a fire damage can be significant and far-reaching. Temporary closure, loss of customers and reputation, inventory damage, and equipment replacement are just a few of the financial challenges that businesses may face. However, by having appropriate insurance coverage, implementing robust disaster recovery plans, and seeking professional assistance, it is possible to mitigate the impact and recover more swiftly. Being prepared and taking proactive steps before a fire occurs is essential to ensure the continuity and financial stability of your business.

What Can Cause a Flooded Basement? Exploring Common Culprits

7/17/2023 (Permalink)

A flooded basement can be a homeowner's worst nightmare. Not only does it create a mess, but it can also lead to significant property damage and pose potential health risks. Understanding the common causes of basement flooding is essential for homeowners to take preventive measures and minimize the risk. In this blog post, we will explore several factors that can cause a flooded basement, providing valuable insights to help you protect your home.

Heavy rainfall and poor drainage

One of the most common causes of basement flooding is heavy rainfall. When the ground becomes saturated with water, excess water can seep into your basement through cracks in the foundation or windows. Poorly designed or clogged gutters and downspouts can also contribute to water pooling around the foundation, increasing the likelihood of basement flooding.

Foundation cracks and leaks

Cracks in the foundation walls or floor provide an easy entry point for water to infiltrate your basement. Over time, natural settlement, soil pressure, or temperature fluctuations can cause the foundation to develop cracks. Additionally, hydrostatic pressure from groundwater can push water through foundation walls. Regular inspections and timely repairs of foundation cracks are crucial to prevent basement flooding.

Faulty or overwhelmed sump pump

A sump pump is designed to pump out excess water from your basement, preventing flooding. However, if the pump is not functioning correctly or becomes overwhelmed due to excessive water intrusion, it can lead to a flooded basement. Regular maintenance, including testing the sump pump, cleaning the pit, and ensuring proper discharge, is essential to keep it in optimal working condition.

Burst or leaking pipes

Plumbing issues, such as burst pipes or leaking supply lines, can cause significant water damage in your basement. These issues can result from freezing temperatures, aging pipes, or poor installation. Regularly inspecting your plumbing system and addressing any leaks or weak spots promptly can help prevent basement flooding due to pipe-related issues.

Sewer backups

Sewer backups can occur when the municipal sewer system becomes overwhelmed by heavy rainfall or blockages. When the sewer line is unable to handle the excess water or waste, it can cause sewage to back up into your basement through floor drains or toilets. Installing a backwater valve and avoiding flushing inappropriate items down the drains can help reduce the risk of sewer backups.

Improperly graded landscaping

The grading around your home plays a vital role in directing water away from the foundation. If the slope of your yard is incorrect or the landscaping is poorly designed, it can lead to water pooling around the foundation, increasing the chances of basement flooding. Ensuring proper grading and implementing appropriate landscaping measures, such as installing French drains or rain gardens, can help prevent water from seeping into your basement.

A flooded basement can be a homeowner's nightmare, but understanding the common causes can help you take proactive measures to prevent such occurrences. Whether it's heavy rainfall, foundation issues, sump pump failures, plumbing problems, sewer backups, or landscaping concerns, addressing these factors can significantly reduce the risk of basement flooding. Regular maintenance, inspections, and timely repairs are key to safeguarding your basement and protecting your property from water damage.

Navigating the Waiting Period: Steps to Take Before the Insurance Adjuster's Evaluation

6/18/2023 (Permalink)

When your property suffers storm damage, it's important to act swiftly and notify your insurance company to initiate the claims process. However, waiting for insurance adjusters to assess the damage and process your claim can take time. In this blog, we'll explore practical steps you can take to protect your property, ensure your safety, and expedite the recovery process while awaiting the arrival of insurance adjusters. 

Why You Shouldn’t Wait

When your property has been affected by storm damage, it's important not to wait for the insurance adjuster to arrive before taking action. Immediate action is crucial to mitigate further damage and ensure the safety of your property and its occupants. Storm damage, such as roof leaks or broken windows, can allow water to penetrate your home, leading to extensive water damage and potential mold growth. By taking prompt measures to protect your property, such as covering damaged areas, removing debris, and drying out affected spaces, you can prevent additional harm and demonstrate your commitment to mitigating the loss. Remember, your insurance adjuster will still need documentation and evidence of the damage, so it's essential to document everything through photographs and detailed descriptions. Acting promptly not only safeguards your property but also expedites the recovery process and ensures a smoother insurance claim experience. Let's dive in and discover what to do in the meantime.

Document the Damage

While waiting for insurance adjusters, it's crucial to thoroughly document the storm damage for your insurance claim. Take detailed photographs or videos of the affected areas, including structural damage, debris, and personal belongings. Make a comprehensive list of damaged items, noting their approximate value and any relevant details. This documentation will serve as valuable evidence during the claims process, helping ensure a fair assessment of the damage and a prompt settlement.

Mitigate Further Damage

To prevent further deterioration of your property, it's important to take immediate action to mitigate any potential secondary damage. If safe to do so, cover damaged areas with tarps or boards to protect against water intrusion. Clear debris, fallen branches, and any hazardous materials from your property. Additionally, turn off electricity and water supplies if you suspect any damage to electrical or plumbing systems. By taking these proactive measures, you can minimize the risk of additional harm to your property.

Maintain Open Communication

While waiting for insurance adjusters, maintain open and frequent communication with your insurance company. Keep a record of all interactions, including names, dates, and details discussed. Update your insurance provider with any significant developments or changes to the property's condition. Clear communication will help ensure that your claim progresses smoothly and that any necessary additional information or documentation is provided promptly.

Seek Professional Assistance

Engaging the services of a professional disaster restoration company can be invaluable while waiting for insurance adjusters. These experts specialize in storm damage restoration and can provide immediate assistance and guidance. They will conduct a thorough assessment of the damage, offer temporary repairs, and provide an estimate for the restoration work. Their expertise can help streamline the claims process by providing detailed documentation, estimates, and expert opinions to support your insurance claim.

Keep Detailed Records

Maintain meticulous records throughout the entire process. Keep track of all expenses related to temporary repairs, hotel stays, and additional living costs if your property is uninhabitable. Retain receipts, invoices, and any other relevant documents that demonstrate the extent of the damage and the expenses incurred. These records will help ensure that you are properly reimbursed for eligible expenses when settling your insurance claim.

While waiting for insurance adjusters to assess storm damage, taking proactive steps is essential. Documenting the damage, mitigating further harm, maintaining open communication, seeking professional assistance, and keeping detailed records will help expedite the recovery process and ensure a fair settlement for your insurance claim.

What to Do When You Find Mold in Your Apartment: A Comprehensive Guide

5/30/2023 (Permalink)

Discovering mold in your apartment can be concerning, but it's essential to take immediate action to address the issue and protect your home. Firstly, notify your landlord or property management company about the mold problem. They should be informed promptly and given the opportunity to address the issue. Document the mold growth by taking photographs or videos as evidence. In the meantime, try to minimize your exposure to mold by avoiding direct contact and limiting your time in the affected area. Keep the space well-ventilated and consider using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.

Notify Your Landlord

The first step is to notify your landlord or property manager. They have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and healthy living environment and should take action to address the mold issue promptly. Be sure to document the mold with photos and keep a record of any communication with your landlord.

Assess the Extent of the Mold

Assess the extent of the mold growth to determine if it's a minor or major problem. If the affected area is less than 10 square feet, you may be able to clean it yourself. However, if the mold covers a larger area or is in a hard-to-reach location, it's recommended to seek professional help.

Take Precautions

It's important to take precautions to prevent exposure to mold spores. Wear protective gear such as gloves, a mask, and goggles, and ensure proper ventilation in the affected area.

Clean the Mold

If the mold is minor, you can clean it yourself using a solution of bleach and water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) or white vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water). Apply the solution to the affected area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing the surface and rinsing with clean water. Dry the area thoroughly and dispose of any contaminated materials in sealed bags.

Follow Up

After cleaning the mold, monitor the area for any signs of recurrence. Keep a record of the date and method of cleaning in case you need to provide documentation to your landlord.

In summary, if you find mold in your apartment, notify your landlord, assess the extent of the mold, take precautions, clean the mold, and follow up to prevent recurrence. Remember, your health and safety should always be a top priority, so don't hesitate to seek professional help if needed. Contact your landlord for immediate attention. Give SERVPRO a call at the first sign of mold or water damage to your property.

Stay Warm and Safe: Top Tips to Reduce Space Heater Fires in Your Home or Business

4/20/2023 (Permalink)

Space heaters can be a convenient and cost-effective way to warm up a room during cold weather, but they can also pose a fire hazard if not used properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for one-third of all home heating fires and 80% of home heating fire deaths. To keep your home or business safe, follow these tips to reduce space heater fires.

Choose a safe location

Keep space heaters on a level, non-flammable surface, at least three feet away from combustible materials such as curtains, bedding, and furniture. Do not place them on carpets or rugs, and avoid placing them in high-traffic areas where they can be bumped or knocked over.

Check for safety features

Make sure your space heater has safety features such as automatic shut-off switches, tip-over switches, and overheat protection. These features can prevent fires and protect your home or business.

Read the manual

Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and follow them. The manual will tell you how to safely use and maintain your space heater, including information on safe distances, recommended wattage, and cleaning.

Don't leave it unattended

Never leave a space heater unattended. If you leave the room or go to bed, turn off the space heater and unplug it. This is especially important for gas-powered space heaters, which can produce carbon monoxide if not properly ventilated.

Keep children and pets away

Children and pets can accidentally knock over a space heater or get burned by its hot surface. Keep children and pets away from space heaters, and do not use space heaters in rooms where children or pets are unsupervised.

Don't overload electrical circuit

Space heaters can be a high-wattage appliance, so make sure you don't overload electrical circuits. Do not plug other electrical devices into the same outlet as your space heater, and do not use extension cords or power strips with your space heater.

Maintain your space heater

Keep your space heater clean and well-maintained. Dust and debris can build up in the heater, reducing its efficiency and increasing the risk of fire. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and maintenance, and have your space heater serviced by a professional if necessary.

Replace old or damaged space heaters

If your space heater is old, damaged, or not working properly, replace it. Old space heaters may not have the same safety features as newer models, and damaged or malfunctioning space heaters can pose a fire hazard.

By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of space heater fires in your home or business. Remember to always use space heaters safely and responsibly, and never leave them unattended. If you have any questions or concerns about using a space heater, consult the manufacturer's instructions or a professional electrician. Stay safe and warm this winter!

3 Reasons To Worry About Water In Your Crawlspace

3/18/2023 (Permalink)

flooded basement If you have water in your crawlspace, give SERVPRO a call to help prevent secondary damages.

When it comes to the home, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. You might have bad wiring or foundation issues that need fixing, and sometimes those problems can be hidden away. But what about when something goes wrong with your crawlspace? What is a crawlspace anyway? And why should you worry about water in your crawlspace? Let's take a look at these questions.

What is a crawlspace and what is its purpose?

When you think of a crawlspace, you probably picture an enclosed space with dirt floors and lots of spiders. In reality, it's more like a small unfinished basement: there are no windows or even doors that lead outside.

A crawlspace is a space below the main floor of a building and exists to create a buffer between your home and the wet earth below. They're usually not insulated and can be damp, dirty, and very unappealing. There are several reasons why you should worry about water in your crawlspace:

  • It can cause mold and mildew growth
  • It can damage the foundation of your home
  • It can cause damage to the structural support beams

Water damage from leaks or flooding can cause structural damage as well as foundational problems that may not be visible until later on. This means that if you ignore a leak in your home for too long, you could end up with major problems down the line when everything starts crumbling around you!

3 reasons to never ignore a crawlspace leak

You might not be able to see it, but water damage could be happening in your crawlspace. If you have a crawlspace that's not properly insulated and ventilated, moisture can build up in the air and eventually cause a wide array of problems. Three of the most common issues seen after a crawl space water loss include:

  1. Mold and mildew begin to grow and spread.
  2. The structural wood beams in your home could begin to rot.
  3. The foundation of your home could experience significant damage.

All of these causes could mean problems for your house's stability! It's important to know that it is an easy fix. If you notice any signs of water damage in your crawlspace (like discoloration or mold), call us right away so we can get out there ASAP with our crawlspace repair services before it gets worse!

Water in the crawlspace should be carefully monitored

Water in the crawlspace can be problematic and should be carefully monitored. If you see water in your crawlspace, it's important to understand how it can affect your home and why it's important to address the issue immediately.

The crawlspace is a part of your home that you should take care to protect, especially if it is prone to leaks. The best way to do this is by monitoring the water level in your crawlspace and taking action when necessary. If you notice any signs of leaking or flooding, contact our SERVPRO of Punta Gorda team immediately!

Is your faucet leaking?

3/15/2023 (Permalink)

There are few things worse than a leaky faucet. It's like a dripping faucet that just never stops! But did you know that it's often possible to fix a leaky faucet yourself? All you need is the right tools, some patience and persistence, and most importantly, the will to do it yourself.

Turn off the water to the faucet.

You should turn off the water to your faucet at the main valve. If you are not sure where this is, or if it's too hard for you to reach, call a plumber. Once the water is off remove the handles and screws to access the correct part of the handle that may need to be tighten to prevent further leaking

Remove and replace worn washers.

It may be that there is other parts of the faucet that are faulty. Remove the faucet stem and handle, then loosen or unscrew the nut that holds in place whatever device is keeping your faucet from turning on its base. Once you've done this, take out the old worn washer using needle nose pliers or tweezers. Replace it with a new one that is made of stainless steel (not copper) and fits snugly into place over its O-ring seal.

Tighten loose stem packing nuts.

To tighten loose stem packing nuts, you'll need to remove the faucet handle. On most models, this is done by turning a screw below the handle with an Allen wrench. Once you've removed it, take a look at how far apart your stems are from each other--if they're not very far apart at all (less than 1/2 inch), then it's likely that there's not enough pressure in your pipes for water to flow through them properly. The solution here is simple.

Replace damaged parts.

If you've tried to fix your leaky faucet and it still leaks, then you probably need to replace the faucet. You can find new replacement faucets at any hardware or home improvement store.

If you don't want to buy a whole new faucet, but just want to replace one part of the existing unit (like the sprayer), then look for parts online or at your local hardware store.

If you have a leaky faucet, it's likely that the problem can be fixed without replacing the entire unit. In fact, many times it's easier and cheaper to repair than replace.

If your faucet is dripping or leaking around its base, then this is usually an easy fix. simply tighten up the screws holding everything together. If your handles are loose or popping off when you turn them on or off, then simply tighten up those screws as well. If you continue to have a leaking faucet, give the professionals a call. They have the experience to replace your faulty product and restore it back to normal conditions.

Things to check for in the Wake of a Natural Disaster

2/8/2023 (Permalink)

After a natural disaster strikes, it's important to stay safe and assess the damage. If a flood or natural disaster has damaged your home or property, there are a few things you should do right away. Assess the damage and call a restoration company immediately to help reduce cost and secondary damages.

Check for Damage to your Home

First thing you want to check is structural damage. If you notice that your home has sustained any damage, make sure to call a restoration company immediately. The sooner you discover the issue, the better it will be to mitigate any further damage and receive compensation for repairs.

Check for gas leaks. In the wake of a natural disaster, there is a chance that gas lines could have been damaged or severed by falling trees or other debris. If this happens to be the case in your home, turn off all appliances that use natural gas immediately and contact local authorities before attempting to repair them yourself as they may still be live with leaking fuels inside them.

Exterior of Home

Check the exterior of your home. Make sure doors and windows are still secure after heavy winds have passed through the area. This is important to ensure intruders can do access the property if needs to be left unattended.

Look around your house for signs of water damage. Check electrical outlets and power strips for sparks (an indicator of a possible electrical fault). Assess whether there is any flooding in basements or crawlspaces if possible. Check drains/sewers for blockages, to ensure there is no water backing up into your home. Look around foundation, it's common after major flooding events like hurricanes that flood waters can enter your home through ground level windows and doors.

Have a Emergency Plan

In case of emergency, ensure your family knows the emergency preparedness plan incase you have to evaluate the property. Have a safe spot to meet within the property, and if in need of emergency call 911 to ensure quick response to recover all persons.

Check the safety of Food and Water

If your home is damaged and you have been gone for an extended amount of time, it is important to check your safety of the food and water left behind. Check the expiration date on your food, temperature of your refrigerator and freezer, temperature of your water heater before using again and check the drinking water before consuming.

It’s important to look out for these things after a storm, so that you can take care of any issues right away. The more damage you find now, the less you’ll have to deal with later on when everything resumes normal operations. Give the professionals at SERVPRO of North Fort Myers a call at the first sign of water damage after a storm or natural disaster.

How to avoid Water Damage in your Home

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

How to Avoid Water Damage in your Home

Water damage is one of the most common and costly home repairs, so it's important to know how to prevent it. Water damage can happen in any room of your house, from the basement to the attic. In this article, we'll look at some of the most common sources of water damage and how to protect against them.

Check your roof.

The roof is the most common source of water damage in a home, so it's important to check for leaks and make repairs if necessary. Look for signs of damage, such as:

  • Missing or damaged shingles
  • Missing or damaged flashing (metal pieces that protect the edges of your roof)
  • Damaged gutters or downspouts
  • Soffit (the material that covers the underside of your eaves) or fascia (the flat surface overhanging your windows)

Keep an eye on your sump pump.

Sump pumps are small units installed in your basement to collect water, and they’re powered by electricity. But if they fail, or if debris gets sucked into the system, they can cause major problems — even flooding your Cleveland, FL home.

You should have a backup sump pump that isn’t as susceptible to damage as others because it’s not running all day long (you should only run this during heavy rains). It will also be easier for you to maintain since it doesn’t need constant cleaning and repair due to debris build-up. And if there's ever an issue with your primary pump (like when it fails), having a backup will prevent any potential damage from occurring until repairs can be made.

You should have an inspection done every few years on both types of pumps: primary and backup.

Protect your walls.

The best way to protect your walls from water damage is by using a moisture meter. You may have heard of these before, but what are they and how can they help you avoid water damage?

A moisture meter is an instrument used to measure the amount of moisture in your home’s walls and floors. By finding out where the moisture is coming from and how much water damage has occurred, you can determine whether renovating or repairing existing structures in your home will prevent future problems with mold growth or other types of rot.

This tool will allow you to identify areas that need attention so that they don’t cause further damage or illness as time goes on. A professional technician would be able to use this information when planning repairs or renovations.

Inspect the outside of your home.

  • Inspect the outside of your home. A leaky roof or foundation can lead to mold, which will cause considerable damage if left unchecked. Look for water damage on the exterior walls and check gutters and downspouts for clogs — if there are any, clear them out so that water can flow freely away from your home.
  • Repair any leaks in windows or doors quickly; this will keep water from seeping into your walls as well as prevent mold growth inside your house.

Be aware of appliances.

There are several things you can do to avoid water damage in your home. First, be aware of appliances. Here are some ways that appliances can cause water damage:

  • Overloading outlets with too many devices. If you overload an outlet, the circuit breaker will trip or the fuse will blow and stop power from reaching the circuit. This can cause damage to the appliance and result in a fire hazard.
  • Leaving appliances on when not in use (like a dishwasher). Appliances like washing machines can leak if they're left running for too long without being emptied or unplugged first. Be sure to turn off any unused appliances before leaving homes for extended periods of time.

Check your pipes.

When you check your pipes, look for leaks. If you find one, be sure to turn off the water supply before attempting repairs. If you don't know how to do this, call a professional plumber — the last thing you want is for the leak to get worse while your doors are open and exposed.

Next, check if any of your old pipes need replacing. You can tell if this is necessary when they're corroded or leaking. If so, make sure to use copper pipes rather than PVC or lead ones: copper won’t corrode as easily over time and will keep your home safer from flooding caused by broken plumbing systems during storms.

Clean up spills quickly.

  • Clean up spills quickly. You should mop up small messes as soon as possible to avoid any damage from mold or mildew. If you have hardwood floors, vacuum them immediately with a soft brush attachment to get rid of dust, dirt and sand that can scratch your flooring over time.
  • Protect electronic devices. It's best to keep your electronic devices off when it rains because they are more susceptible to water damage in wet conditions; however, if you do need to use them during a storm, make sure they're plugged in, so you don't have any power surges during weather events!
  • Check gutters regularly for clogging debris such as leaves or branches that could result in flooding inside your home if left unchecked over time due to clogged gutters overflowing onto sidewalks/driveways below neighbors' homes who may not be able to see this happening until too late.

Knowing how to prevent water damage is half the battle.

Water damage is not only unpleasant to deal with, but it can also be expensive to repair. This is especially true if you have a basement or crawlspace and experience flooding during heavy rainstorms. If you know how to prevent water damage in your home, you can save yourself from having to pay for repairs down the road. The first thing that needs doing before any type of water damage occurs is making sure all appliances are working properly and are turned off when not in use. You should also keep an eye on those faucets and make sure they aren't leaking anywhere in the house by checking them regularly for drips or leaks.

If you do discover any leaks or drips around your house, try fixing them immediately instead of waiting until later because this will reduce the chance of bigger problems occurring later down the road

Water damage is a common problem, and it can be difficult to avoid if you aren’t prepared. But by following these tips and getting to know your Cleveland, FL home better, you’ll have a much better chance of stopping water damage before it happens. If you have water damage call SERVPRO of North Fort Myers, we are here to help!

How does smoke damage affect your property's contents?

12/22/2022 (Permalink)

How Does Smoke Damage Affect Your Property's Contents?

If you've ever had a fire in your Cleveland, FL home, you know how devastating it can be. But did you know that the smoke damage from a fire can do more than just destroy your walls and ceiling? Smoke can also affect the contents of a home after a fire — items like furniture, drapery, and carpeting.

What exactly happens when smoke damages the contents of a home after a fire?

Smoke damage is caused by the burning of materials, and smoke can cause a fire to smolder for days, even after it has been extinguished. Smoke damage will likely be the first thing that you notice about the contents in your home that's been affected by the fire.

The most obvious symptom of smoke damage is discoloration — colors may fade or change entirely. This can happen to any object that contains dyes or fabrics: clothing, upholstery, and carpets all tend to become discolored after a fire. Smoke may also cause objects' surfaces to become brittle or flaky; they might even disintegrate entirely in extreme cases.

Smoke damage to the contents of a home in Cleveland, FL can be devastating.

When you think about it, smoke is just soot and tar, which means it can easily be transferred from one item to another. In addition to being toxic and odorous, inhaling smoke particles has been shown to contribute to heart disease and other health problems.

Smoke will create an odor that can be difficult to remove from porous surfaces such as carpets, upholstery, and drapes.

The smell of smoke will often linger in the air for a long time after the fire has been extinguished and sometimes even months after the fire has occurred. Smoke contains many chemicals that are harmful if inhaled, therefore it is important to eliminate any lingering odors caused by this chemical contamination before attempting to clean any damaged items or furniture.

The best way to salvage contents after a fire is to quickly contact a company like SERVPRO of North Fort Myers for help with any fire and smoke damage cleanup.

We will ensure that your items are properly cleaned and restored, rather than being left to deteriorate as they sit in their contaminated state.

You should also avoid using vacuums or steam cleaners on these items (or any other electronics), as these devices can spread dust particles around even further into crevices where they may not have been previously visible.

There are a few things to know about smoke damage and how it can affect your property's furnishings.

Smoke damage can be a serious problem for homeowners, especially if you've never experienced it before. The smoke can affect the contents of your home, causing damage that's difficult to detect and even more difficult to repair. While some smoke damage may be obvious, like when a nearby fire has left behind soot and ash, other types of smoke damage are much more subtle.

If you have experienced a fire and need help with smoke damage cleanup, we can assist. At SERVPRO of North Fort Myers, we provide the highest level of service when it comes to clean-up after fires or other types of disasters. Contact us today for more information about our services or to schedule an appointment for your property.

My Basement Flooded - What Will Insurance Cover?

11/4/2022 (Permalink)

If My Basement Floods, Will Insurance Pay?

When you're dealing with a flooded basement, the last thing you want to do is call your insurance company and find out that they won't cover it. Flooding can be an expensive problem without any help from your insurer. So how do you find out what your policy covers?

If you don't have flood insurance, your home insurance likely won't cover it.

Homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding because the damage is caused by a gradual process that's not covered under most policies. However, if your home becomes flooded due to a sudden and accidental event—like an overflowing bathtub or burst pipe—your homeowners’ policy will pay for repairs up to its limit. This may be less than the cost of repair work required after a major storm or hurricane passes through an area and causes widespread flooding, which can cause significant property damage before moving on elsewhere.

If a sewer line backup caused the flood, your homeowner's insurance may cover it.

The key word here is "may."

A sewer line backup is considered an "insured peril" under most homeowner's policies, which means that if the cause of the flooding was not your fault and it occurred due to a covered incident (like rain or wind), then you should be able to file a claim for damages. However, this does not mean that your insurance will pay for all those costs; rather, the policy will reimburse you for certain expenses related to the damage caused by the flood.

If a sump pump failure caused the flood, your homeowner's insurance may cover it.

Sump pumps are designed to pump water away from the house and into a nearby drainage system or dry well. Sump pumps can fail for several reasons:

  • They may be clogged with dirt or other debris.
  • The battery may have worn out or died.
  • The motor of the sump pump might overheat and burn out.

If your sump pump failed because of any one of these problems, then you could be covered by your homeowner's insurance policy for damages related to flooding—but only if it was caused by circumstances beyond your control. To receive coverage from this type of damage, however, there are some important factors that must apply.

Your home insurance might cover some of the cost of removing flood water and cleaning and restoring the damaged area.

How much coverage depends on your policy, but many plans will pay for a portion of these costs if you meet certain criteria. For example, if you have a claim for a fire in your basement that was caused by faulty wiring, your insurance company may pay to have the water-damaged walls torn out and replaced with new drywall. But if you’re claiming damage from an overflowing toilet or washing machine overflow, they may not cover it under standard policies. If your home has been significantly damaged or destroyed by flooding, it could be worth buying extra protection through flood insurance if you don't already have it.

If you've had a sewer line backup or sump pump failure, your insurance may cover the damage. If you're unsure about what to do next, speak with an insurance professional who can help you file a claim.

Tips On How To Clean Your Electronics After a Fire

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

Tips On How To Clean Your Electronics After a Fire

A fire doesn’t discriminate, it will damage everything in its path, including your electronics. After a fire, what you should do is remove any electronics that may have been damaged by heat or smoke. This includes anything from computers to cell phones, laptops, and tablets. A device that has been exposed to extreme heat can become damaged internally as well as on the outside. Even if your equipment isn't showing signs of being affected by the fire (such as no visible burn marks or smoke damage), you should clean it with anti-corrosive agents before using it again. Here are a few tips on how to clean your electronics after a fire.

The first step to cleaning electronics after any fire is to dry them out.

Although there are many ways to dry out electronics, we recommend that the first step is to use a hair dryer in the lowest setting. Avoid using vacuums and heat guns as both can damage your electronics. You also don’t want to put them in an oven as this could damage sensitive components inside of them.

Using a soft brush, clean the outside of your equipment and remove soot.

Using a soft brush or non-abrasive cloth, gently clean the outside of your equipment. Do not use water or harsh chemicals. Be careful not to use electronic equipment with damaged circuitry. Remove any protective casing and covers from the damaged equipment before cleaning it so that you can get into all areas of the device more easily.

Use an anti-corrosive solution to clean the electrical parts while they are still wet.

After the fire, you should clean all the electrical parts using an anti-corrosive solution. This will prevent any corrosion from occurring in the future. The best way to clean these parts is by using a cotton swab dipped in a non-corrosive agent such as detergent or vinegar and baking soda solutions.

Clean the exposed circuit board, memory card, and drive heads.

Clean the exposed circuit board, memory card, and drive heads with a cotton swab dipped in a non-corrosive agent. You can use isopropyl alcohol or distilled water to wipe the surfaces, but make sure not to touch any components with your bare hands. Use a cotton swab, not a cotton ball; it will be easier to properly clean the small areas you need to reach without damaging them.

If you have experienced a fire in your home or business, we hope that this post has been helpful. Cleaning your electronics after a fire can be very difficult and, in many cases, requires professional help. If you are in need of fire damage cleanup and restoration services, including electronics cleaning, don’t hesitate and reach out to our SERVPRO of Pflugerville team today!

Please contact us if you have any questions about what to do after a fire or how our cleaning services could help.

3 Reasons Black Mold Keeps Invading Your Home

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage on wall Mold remediation in Bayshore, FL.

If you found black mold growing in your home in Bayshore, FL, and thought you had it taken care of with proper mold cleanup, you may be upset to find the fungus invading your home again. You can never remove all the mold from your home, but there are several reasons that infestations might keep returning after cleanup.

You Don't Prevent the Spread

Microscopic mold spores can get into the air during the cleanup process and spread to nearby areas, where they can settle and start to multiply again. There are steps that should be taken to help stop mold from spreading during the cleaning process:

  • Installing physical barriers
  • Using air filtration systems
  • Turning off fans, air conditioners, and heating units

You Leave Mold on Porous Surfaces

With insufficient cleaning, black mold may be left on porous surfaces where it will start to grow again. Materials such as drywall and carpeting should be removed and disposed of properly. Decorative items such as furniture or curtains might also need to be thrown out or thoroughly cleaned. Professional mold remediation using antifungal and antimicrobial treatments should be applied to any infested areas that can’t be completely removed from the home.

You Don't Stop the Source of Moisture

It is important to find and remove or repair the source of moisture creating a damp environment that encourages mold growth. Mold spores naturally exist in the air, and when they are exposed to moisture, they can quickly multiply. Excess moisture can be coming from a water leak or simply from high indoor humidity levels. A mold infestation is likely to keep returning if steps are not taken to locate and cut off the moisture source.

It is always important to have any visible black mold in your home properly cleaned, but it is just as important that these mold remediation procedures are also used to stop the mold from returning and spreading.

How To Fix a Wet Crawl Space: 6 Things You Need To Do

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Six Things That Need To Happen

When there is flooding under your home in North Fort Myers, FL, it can lead to costly and exhausting problems down the road. To prevent mold and other types of damage, you should act soon as you notice a wet crawl space. If you are unsure where to begin, a flood remediation expert can offer professional assistance. Regardless of who does the work, here are six things that need to happen.

1. Protect the Floors Inside Your Home

If the only way to access your crawl space is through the interior of your home, make sure you cover the floors to protect them from any damages that may occur during the work.

2. Identify Water Source

With the help of some reliable work clothes and a flashlight, someone needs to crawl around the wet crawl space to identify where the water is coming from.

3. Dig and Fill a Trench

Next, it is time to start digging. Dig a trench around the entire foundation of your home, with about 1 to 2 feet of spacing between the foundation and the trench. Fill the trench with gravel.

4. Invest in a GFCI Outlet

Do not forget about safety. If you are not particularly handy, this may be another job for a professional, but you need to ensure the space under your house is safe with a protected GFCI power source. Always remember: Electricity and water do not mix.

5. Install a Sump Pump

After prepping the area for the work, water removal is next on the list. Typically, people install a sump pump to do this.

6. Air Things Out

Finally, you want to make sure you install better ventilation. This can help you prevent mold in the future by keeping everything dry.

No one wants to deal with a wet crawl space, but sometimes having one is an inevitable part of seasonal changes or severe weather. Knowing what to do when it happens can help you keep your home protected.

Property Management: Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded building Damaged business by a flood

Planning For the Worst-Case Scenario in Property Management

Storm preparedness and emergency planning are both tools in the property managers arsenal. These tools can be the difference between maintained business operations or complete shutdown. The four points below can guide you through the steps and the significance of emergency preparation.

1. Preplan for Disaster

As an owner or a manager, you may find that a significant part of property management revolves around employee safety and disaster prevention. Businesses require this type of preparation to help ensure business continuity; therefore, you will likely want to accumulate a list of contacts and operational procedures in case of an emergency.

2. Prepare an Emergency Checklist

Storm preparedness can be as simple as creating an emergency checklist for employees and clients. You can post this checklist around the property and make sure that every employee has a copy, ensuring that everyone will know what to do during an emergency. These lists should include maps to exits and shelter areas along with an action plan.

3. Practice Emergency Procedures Regularly

While the creation of preparation materials and checklists are a good starting point, these tools are nothing without regular practice and guidance. Many municipalities suggest performing monthly emergency walk-throughs and safety meetings. These monthly meetings will allow employees to ask questions and practice the developed safety routines while allowing management to rectify any potential concerns before a legitimate emergency.

4. Consider Restoration Specialists

When you think of the term restoration specialists, you may not immediately think of emergency preparations, but some restoration companies in Punta Gorda, FL, provide a form of emergency planning for businesses. These companies may offer property evaluations to help pinpoint safety concerns as well as offer custom plans for your business in the event of an emergency or disaster.

An essential aspect of most business planning is storm preparedness, but it goes beyond the installation of storm shutters and backflow valves.

Storm readiness means preparing for emergencies, not only from a business operations perspective but a safety perspective as well. Creating procedures and checklists as well as performing monthly meetings can all benefit your business and employees, ensuring that everyone and everything is prepared in emergent situations.

Why a DIY Mold Testing Kit Can't Replace a Professional Inspection

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Here’s Why

There’s a lot of debate as to the accuracy of home mold testing kits, but even the most accurate DIY kit can’t match the benefits of a professional mold investigation. 

1. A Professional Will Conduct More Thorough Testing

The testing process for a typical mold kit consists of placing a Petri dish in a single location in your home and waiting for mold to accumulate. An environmental hygienist, on the other hand, will take samples from surfaces and from the air in multiple locations throughout your home. He or she will also collect control samples to establish the normal mold levels for a home in Fort Myers Shores, FL, which are likely different than what's "normal" for a home in another part of the country. The lab results from a DIY mold kit will tell you how many mold spores were found. However, these numbers are meaningless unless you understand what constitutes a “normal” count.

2. A Professional Will Perform a Complete Home Inspection

A mold expert will inspect your home to discover any visible signs of mold and to identify possible sources of excess moisture, like leaks, condensation, or humidity. Mold professionals have extensive knowledge of home plumbing and ventilation systems and can locate sources that most people would miss.

3. A Professional Will Create an Action Plan

An environmental hygienist will consider your mold testing results, together with his or her findings from the visual inspection, to determine what needs to happen next. If you’re working with a full-service mold remediation company, they will create and carry out a plan to eliminate the moisture source and remove the existing mold, if necessary. A mold expert can also advise you about how to avoid future mold outbreaks.

DIY mold testing kits may seem like an inexpensive alternative to professional mold inspections, but these kits offer only a fraction of the benefits when compared to the real deal.

Why Your Business Need a Security Fence

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Why Your Business Need a Security Fence

If a fire breaks out at your business building in Cleveland, FL, your immediate concerns will be:

  • Employee safety
  • Property damage
  • Insurance reimbursement
  • Cleaning
  • Reopening

Did you know that erecting a security fence can protect your business in the following ways while it is vulnerable during cleaning and restoration?

Protects Against Theft and Vandalism
When you and your employees cannot enter your business environment after a disaster, you cannot keep a watchful eye on your property. A vacated business can tempt thieves and vandals to come and go freely without deterrents. Fencing creates a secure barrier that protects your valuable property.

Protects Against Liability
Disasters like fires can cause structures to collapse, scattering debris throughout a business's premises and creating various accident hazards before a disaster restoration company can start cleaning up. During this time, your business is vulnerable to potential lawsuits and damages from individuals who get hurt by walking near dangerous conditions.

Protects Against Animal Activity
When dealing with the existing fire damages, the last thing you want to worry about is additional liabilities that animals entering your abandoned building might cause. By erecting a security fence around your business's perimeter, you can prevent animals from using it for housing.

Protects Your Insurance Claim
Most commercial insurers will cover damages from disasters, including fires. In most cases, they will not cover secondary damage if it is preventable. For example, some commercial insurance policies require businesses to install mandatory fencing after a disaster to prevent losses unrelated to the primary cause. You must pay out of pocket for repairs or replacements that would not be necessary had you installed fencing.

After a fire at your business in Cleveland, FL, hiring a professional cleaning company and installing a security fence will ensure a full and uncomplicated cleanup and recovery so that you and your employees can resume your normal activities.

The special Techniques Needed for Cleaning Sewer Damage

7/9/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage backup Sewage backup in Salvista, FL

The Special Techniques Needed for Cleaning Sewer Damage

A sewer cleanup in Fort Myers, FL is a highly technical process that involves many factors. To begin with, sewage water is likely to contain pathogens and microbes that are harmful to human health. This necessitates a number of precautionary steps. Employees and customers of the building should be kept clear of the contaminated water. Cleanup workers should wear PPE such as gloves and masks when dealing with dirty water, and they also might want to consider the following vaccinations:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid fever
  • Tetanus
  • Polio

Risk factors vary from location to location. Restoration workers who might encounter a sewer backup should consult with medical professionals as well as the company they work for to learn more.

The Principles of a Sewer Cleanup
It is important to understand that the presence of raw sewage in a commercial building is an emergency. A quick response is mandatory. A reputable water remediation company should be called right away. Certified workers will arrive in a matter of hours and immediately go to work to stop the spread of dirty water. A flooded toilet and a flood are handled in a similar manner, though one might contain more water. The technicians will stop the flow of water, contain the situation, remove the water from the building and then clean and restore the affected areas.

The Use of Specialized Equipment
A quality restoration company has many resources at its disposal when dealing with a sewer cleanup. This allows workers to safely remove water from the building and to dry out and clean walls and other building materials. They can also engage in advanced testing to make certain all standing water or excess moisture has been removed from areas that are hard to reach such as attics and behind walls. Restoration technicians have been trained in the proper use of a variety of specialized equipment. Sewer damage presents many complications, but a professional team is up to the challenge.

How to Maintain Your Furnace

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Maintaining Your Furnace

Many people overlook furnace maintenance due to busy lives or a simple lack of knowledge. Cleaning your furnace keeps it running smoothly and prevents safety hazards requiring professional fire cleaning. Here are some helpful tips for when and how to maintain the furnace in your Fort Myers, FL, home.

1. Clean Regularly

Do not begin any cleaning until the furnace is completely turned off. Regularly clean away dust and dirt from the motor, blower, and filtration. If too much dirt builds up, it can reduce airflow.

2. Replace Filters

Furnace filters help trap dirt and contaminants. They need to be replaced every three months and before cold winter temperatures kick in. Some experts also recommend changing out filters once a month when the furnace is in regular use. If filters are not changed often enough, the furnace may overheat and cause a fire, requiring smoke cleaning and other damage repairs.

3. Check Carbon Monoxide Detector

If a furnace malfunctions, it can produce a deadly, odorless gas called carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens more in the winter when furnace use is highest. Take preventative measures by installing carbon monoxide detectors near the rooms you and your family sleep in. Check the detectors once a month to ensure they work and replace any dead batteries. 

4. Assess Wiring to Prevent Fire Cleaning Services

Ensure electric components are not broken or loose lest they may become a hazard requiring professional fire damage restoration. Call a professional if you suspect an electrical problem with the furnace. Do not try to repair it yourself.

5. Check the Thermostat

Make sure the thermostat is accurate and clean. Broken or dirty thermostats may cause the furnace to run more, leading to higher heating costs.

6. Hire Professional Services

Get your furnace professionally cleaned once a year. You can save money by arranging the maintenance appointment at the end of the high-use season in early to mid-spring.

Regular furnace maintenance can help you save money on heating bills and professional fire cleaning services. Follow these tips to keep your furnace functioning at optimum levels and prevent safety hazards.
 

How To Remove and Prevent Standing Water in a Crawlspace

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

How to Get Rid of Standing Water in a Crawlspace and Prevent It

If you found standing water in your Fort Myers, FL, home's crawl space, you might want to ignore it. However, no matter how long it sits there, it's not going to go away on its own. Here is some equipment you can use to remove the water and ways to keep it from coming back.

Use a Trash Pump
If the water in your crawl space is from a flood, you likely have more than just water in your crawl space. Floodwaters pick up everything in their path, so your crawl space could be full of a number of things. Some items commonly found in floods are:

  • Clothes
  • Plants
  • Tree limbs
  • Garbage

If you tried to use a regular pump to remove the water, you'd likely find that it quickly gets clogged by these foreign objects. Instead, rely on a garbage pump. This type of equipment is designed to suck up water and small items without clogging.

Use a Truck-Mounted Pump
When flooding happens regularly in your crawl space, it could be happening because the water you're pumping out is going right back into the crawl space. When this happens, hire a company with a truck-mounted pump to remove the water for you. The company will pump the water and any debris in the crawl space into a tank on the back of their truck. They will then empty their tank in an approved location for disposal.

Install Preventative Measures
Instead of constantly hiring companies to pump the water out of your crawlspace, take measures to keep it from happening. Contact a water damage prevention service to install a sump pump in your crawl space or have them encapsulate the space. You never want to attempt to do the encapsulation yourself because it takes specialized equipment and training to ensure that it is done correctly.

Flooding in your crawl space is a hassle, but you can get the space clean and dry in no time with the proper hardware and help from the pros.

What To Do When Your Water Heater Leaks

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

What Should You Do If Your Water Heater Leaks?

A leaking water heater can cause a lot of damage if it isn't addressed quickly. Water damage restoration specialists can clean up the water, mitigate damage and prevent mold growth as a result of a failed water heater.

Damage

A broken water heater can inflict damage in several ways:

  • Structural damage
  • Deteriorating building materials
  • Mold growth
  • Electrical wiring damage

If your water heater in Punta Gorda, FL, is leaking, you need to contact an emergency restoration service that can get there fast.

Drying Process

The restoration service will first remove all water, thoroughly drying the area. Depending on the amount of flooding from the leaking water heater, they may have to use submersible pumps or vacuums to remove the flooding. After the water has been pumped out of the building, they will use fans to ensure that all surfaces dry fully.

You can help by removing wet objects and taking them outside as soon as you notice the flooding. You can also open doors and windows to help the space dry faster. If the water may be in contact with any part of an electrical circuit, you could be electrocuted if you make contact with the water. If this is the case, do not touch the water. Wait for professionals to arrive.

Mold Treatment

Mold grows quickly in moist environments and could be harmful to the building and its inhabitants. After the area has been dried, the restoration service will clean every surface with antibacterial sprays. This will kill any mold that has already formed, stop further growth and prevent future damage.

Structural Damage

If needed, the repair service will repair any structural damage from the flood. This could include things like damaged drywall or weakened wood beams.

When your business in Punta Gorda, FL, encounters flooding from a leaking water heater, you need an emergency restoration service to mitigate damage. They will dry the area, treat for mold and repair structural damage.

Ways To Prevent Mold After a Home Flood

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

drywall removal from a water damage from a roof leak Mold growth is common after water damage. Addressing and repairing the source of the problem is critical to eliminating lingering odors and problems.

Mold Prevention After A Home Flood

As a homeowner, mold growth is a significant worry, especially after water damage. With a quick response and effective mitigation practices, flood remediation services in Punta Gorda, FL, explain that it is possible to avoid mold. Still, even if mold occurs after flooding, homeowners are not without options or solutions.

1. Remove Water Quickly

Removing water from the house is the first concern. With a significant water presence, it is nearly impossible to treat or remove any developing mold. Unfortunately, homeowners do not always have control over how quickly water is removed.

If the flood is a result of a storm, you will need to wait for the water to recede outside before removing it from the inside. Keep in mind that mold can begin to develop within 24 to 48 hours after a flood.

2. Perform a Flood Cut

With the water removed, it is time to assess possible mold growth. Professionals will perform a flood cut, which is a cut above the flood line by 12 inches. The cut is made to the wall, so the wall cavity is exposed. The purpose of cutting above the flood line is to find a dry structure.

3. Remove Debris

The mitigation company you hire will begin to remove all debris from the affected area, including insulation from within the wall. By removing all damp or affected materials, you can reduce your risk of mold.

4. Contact a Mold Removal or Mitigation Service

With all debris and water removed, you can hire a mold removal or testing service. The company will inspect your property for any signs of mold. If they find anything, they are qualified to remove it, reducing the risk of further contamination.

While mold growth after a flood is concerning, mitigation services understand how to protect your home. The goal is to find and expose all dry surfaces and remove or treat all wet ones.

3 Ways Water Can Cause More Damage After a Fire

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

3 Ways Water Can Extend Fire Damage

A fire at your business in Fort Myers, FL is stressful. Your thorough emergency plan protected your staff, but your building is in ruins. You know that you have to submit a claim for all the fire damage, but there is also a lot of damage from the water used to put a fire out. Careful documentation of all damage is the best way to get the results you want from your insurance company. Here are three ways water can cause more damage after a fire.

1. Electronics Can Be Ruined by Water Damage

If the fire was contained in one area of your business, your electronics might be salvageable. A commercial restoration company can take your electronics to be assessed by professionals who are knowledgeable about soot and smoke damage to electronics. However, electronics in the main area of a fire may be in more danger of moisture. While a local professional should give their input, water in computers and other electronics might mean you need new equipment.

2. Carpeting Can Be Salvaged from Flooding

A fire truck's hose pumps hundreds of gallons of water into a property that is on fire to extinguish the flames. Carpet can be professionally cleaned to remove the soot and smoke smell, but water-damaged carpet requires more intensive intervention. Since mold can form within 24 hours of exposure to water, any carpet that is growing mold should be pulled up and thrown out.

3. Walls Can Be Damaged by a Fire Hose

You may have a sprinkler system at your business. Sprinklers prevent fires from spreading rapidly. While sprinklers do some damage, a hose produces much more pressure and, therefore, more damage. The fire damage done to walls may have only produced burn marks while a powerful hose can break down drywall and seep into any porous material and cause mold to grow.

Fire damage is devastating, but more damage can be done by water when fire crews put the flames out. Careful documentation of every inch of your commercial space is essential for filing a claim with your insurance company.

How SERVPRO Can Make Your Business's Mold Remediation Process More Efficient

5/1/2022 (Permalink)

How SERVPRO Can Improve Your Company's Mold Remediation Process

Black mold isn't a pleasant thing to discover in your Fort Myers, FL, business building. Fortunately, its presence doesn't need to be permanent. One of the most important steps to take going forward is calling a mold remediation company. This will allow you to have your building properly handled by experts. A particularly effective company in this regard is SERVPRO. If you want to know why, here's how SERVPRO can make your business's mold remediation process more efficient.

1. Quick Arrival

When it comes to remediating mold, swift work is vital. After all, you may be unable to use your building until it's done. SERVPRO is dedicated to responding quickly to reports of black mold, so you can start to get back to work soon enough. The company also asks a series of questions before sending people over, which ensures that the trip won't be delayed by a lack of necessary materials.

2. Various Containment Techniques

Containing fungus is an essential part of the remediation process. It ensures that the mold can't spread any further. These are a few techniques the experts use, particularly for more advanced issues:

  • Turning off HVAC systems and fans
  • Creating negative air pressure
  • Creating negative air chambers

Containing the mold quickly can greatly minimize the damage, so this is especially helpful.

3. Trained Specialists

Since SERVPRO specializes in mold and water restoration, you'll have help from experts in these fields. These professionals conduct assessments soon after arrival to determine what needs to be done. For instance, the workers may find that the mold is secondary damage from a more pressing problem.

4. Advanced Filtration Equipment

This may sound gross, but mold can live as microscopic spores in the air, especially in an area with high humidity. In order to get rid of it, SERVPRO professionals use a specialized method of filtration that involves HEPA vacuums and "air scrubbers". Doing so gets rid of the spores and stops the entities from spreading further.

If you discover black mold in your building, don't panic. SERVPRO experts can complete the remediation process with efficiency while you run your company.

Hotel Fire Safety for Vacationing Families

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

Hotel Fire Safety For Families On Vacation

Everyone looks forward to arriving somewhere new on vacation, but leaving home means sacrificing a bit of control over our lives. Placing ourselves in environments far away from Punta Gorda, FL, means we run the chance of encountering a hotel fire caused by factors beyond our control. Here are some fire safety tips regarding holiday accommodations.

Hotel Room Fire Assessment

As soon as you enter your room:

  • Locate the closest building exits
  • Verify that there are fire alarms on your floor
  • Examine the evacuation plan on the back of your door

Inform everyone in your clan of what you have discovered. If your building lacks smoke detectors or a fire procedure notification, move to another hotel. Wherever you stay should be well attuned to fire prevention measures.

Hotel Room Fire Escapes

In the event of a hotel fire, leave in a quick and orderly fashion. Place shoes, pants, wallet, medication and keys by your bedside for easy access. As soon as fire alarms blare, make your exit even if you suspect it is only a drill or they are going off accidentally.

Before opening the door, feel for heat.

If it is warm, keep it closed. Fire may have engulfed the hallway. Windows sometimes lead to fire escapes, so use one if possible. If no escape ladder is present, lift the pane, lean outside and yell for help.

If conditions permit, shower with clothes on before entering areas covered in flame. Cover your mouth with a dampened washcloth to prevent smoke inhalation and stay low. With luck, you will escape unharmed, leaving you to recommend a professional disaster repair company to hotel management. Without a doubt, they will need to conduct a thorough fire restoration.

A hotel fire is the last thing you want to experience while relaxing in exotic lands. Use these tips to make sure you and your loved ones remain safe when exploring distant locales.

The Best Methods for Clearing a Clogged Drain

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

The Most Effective Methods For Unclogging A Clogged Drain

More than likely, you have faced the prospect of a clogged drain and wondered what is the best solution. In general, you want to clear away the clog without causing any damage to your plumbing system. To begin with, you will want to see if there is a mechanical answer to your problem. This begins with something as simple as looking around the drain to see if any visible obstructions are present. For example, you might notice a ball of fur or hair just below the drain trap that you can reach and pull out. The next step is to go beneath the drain and disconnect and clean out the first elbow in the pipes, as items often accumulate in this area.

Gentle Solutions

Plungers or augers are often used to clear a clogged drain. This consists of forcing air into the drain to remove a clog or inserting a wire into the drain to break apart the obstruction. The advantages to a mechanical approach are several:

  • Quick and easy
  • Inexpensive
  • Gentle on pipes
  • Simple

Another possibility is to use biological agents to break apart fats, oils and greases. These are eco-friendly and non-toxic. They can take as long as 24 hours to work, but they are gentle on pipes and are effective on obstructions caused by grease, hair and soap.

Harsher Possibilities

A chemical drain cleaner can be fast and effective, but these cleaners come with several negatives: they have the potential to harm pipes, they can cause damage to human skin and they tend to be harmful to the environment. They should be used sparingly and as a last resort to clear a clogged drain.

Any time you face a significant water spill in your home, you should consider the services of a local water damage restoration company in Fort Myers, FL. Trained technicians have experience in areas such as sewage cleaning, damage mitigation and structural restoration.

Why It’s Imperative To Clean the Breakroom Fridge on a Weekly Basis

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier in kitchen. Dehumidifiers like this one help stabilize the environment and minimize mold growth.

Take a look in your breakroom fridge and make note of what you see. Do you see nice, clean and organized shelves of food, or do you see bags of forgotten food, rotten fruit, spills and stains, and maybe even a growing patch of fridge mold? Chances are, it’s the latter. Office refrigerators hardly (if ever) get cleaned, which may be why so many come with that telltale mold smell. NBC News ran a report about the dangers of an unsanitary fridge.

That said, while disinfecting the fridge should be a weekly chore, there are better and worse ways of going about the process. If you want to clean up your breakroom fridge, here are a few tips from your North Fort Myers, FL mold remediation team:

• Be mindful of expiration dates, and if something looks funky, toss it.
• However, always ask before discarding anything, otherwise you risk having a lawsuit brought against you for throwing away someone's personal property.
• Wipe up spills to prevent fridge mold, and always make sure the caps are securely fastened to their bottles to help prevent future spills.
• Make cleaning out the office refrigerator and disinfecting it a weekly chore.

To make the last one fair for everyone, devise a cleaning schedule. This way the same person isn’t responsible for cleaning up after everyone else each week. Also, ask each co-worker to go through the fridge every Friday and throw out any leftover items of theirs that have gone bad. If some items are still good, such as bottles of mustard or jars of jelly, ask them to wipe down the containers with a warm cloth and place them back in a designated spot in the fridge.

Office refrigerators can be pretty gross, but with five minutes of everyone’s time at the end of each week, your breakroom fridge can be a clean and healthy place to stow your food. Best of all, it can be free of that dreaded fridge mold.

3 Tips To Minimize Odors After a Flood

3/15/2022 (Permalink)

A room flooded It’s important to act quickly after a flood to minimize damage to your business. Please, contact SERVPRO.

3 Ways To Reduce Odors After A Flood

After a flood, getting your business cleaned and ready to reopen can be an overwhelming amount of work. One often-overlooked aspect of flood damage cleanup is dealing with the odors that typically linger after a flood. These odors are typically caused by contaminants in the flood water itself, as well as by the mold growth that usually begins shortly after the waters recede. Try these tips to rid your Solana, FL, business of unpleasant odors after a flood.

1. Act Quickly

It’s important to act quickly after a flood to minimize damage to your business. Evacuate the business, including any customers, clients, tenants, employees, and pets. You can contact your insurance agent and emergency cleanup crews even before the water recedes so that they can be on standby. In a flooding situation, time is always of the essence. The water often brings a host of contaminants into your building, and it only takes a matter of hours after the flood for mold growth to become rampant.

2. Protect Yourself

Flood water, especially water caused by storms or overflowing lakes and rivers, is often filled with dangerous contaminants. The water may contain all manner of chemicals, organic material, sewage loss from flooded and overflowing sewers, bacteria, and more. If you must re-enter the flooded building, wear protective gear and be careful to limit your exposure.

3. Enlist Professional Help

During a flood, highly contaminated water saturates and seeps deep into any porous materials in your business. Completely removing these contaminants and the resulting odors requires extensive training and specialized equipment. Be sure to call a professional flood remediation company, and don’t attempt to handle cleanup on your own.

Take immediate action and bring in professional remediation crews as soon as possible after a flood. Fast cleanup helps minimize offensive odors and mold growth in your business so you can get back to work sooner.

Commercial Content Cleaning Can Save Thousands After Flood Damage

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Office storm damage If your commercial building suffers flood or storm damage, call SERVPRO, we stand ready 24/7 to respond to the emergency needs of our customers

After A flood, Commercial Content Cleaning Can Save You Thousands Of Dollars.

After a flood in Punta Gorda, FL, your commercial building is likely to be a serious mess. Besides the damage to the structure, everything inside that the water touched must be inspected and cleaned.
The key to saving money is for your restoration experts to have a “restore” versus “replace” mentality. Their custom equipment and content cleaning solvents can frequently salvage and repair your contents instead of replacing them.

Content Replacement Can Be a Massive Cost

Many businesses in Punta Gorda, FL, have thousands of dollars worth of equipment and inventory inside their building. Much of this can be restored instead of replaced. This includes items such as:

  • Appliances and electronics
  • Stock and inventory
  • Documents and storage devices
  • Carpets and furniture

Electronics Can Be Tricky

If you can shut off your electronics before a flood, there’s a chance they can be restored. Also, quick action after the storm is critical to prevent further corrosion, but never attempt to turn on any water-damaged electronic device without it being inspected.

Appliances that are disconnected from power have a good chance to be recovered. Ideally, you’ll have turned off all the breakers before the flood hits.

Porous Items Can Sometimes Be Cleaned

Depending on the amount of black water mixed in, items such as carpets and furniture can often be saved with advanced content cleaning methods. The more porous the item is, the harder it is to clean. Inventory below the flood line will all have to be inspected, as well.

Saving Documents Usually Requires a Professional

Once documents get wet, they stick together, becoming a goopy mess. However, new innovations in document restoration mean many of them can be saved if you take immediate action.

Fortunately, SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster. They’ll arrive immediately and begin the process, even using freeze-drying and thermal vacuum technology to salvage every possible item. 

Expediency is the key here – you need to call your experts or insurance agent before the floodwaters have subsided. Content cleaning can save many items, a lot of money and considerable time compared to replacement. It all depends on the skill of your restoration company.

3 Potential Causes of Sewer Backup

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

Three Potential Sources Of Sewer Backup

If you own or manage a business, you may offer restroom facilities to your customers or clients. If you run a dining place, there are probably sinks. Commercial buildings are usually connected to sewer systems.

A flooded toilet, blocked-up sink or other issue caused by sewer backup can be a hassle to handle. Such occurrences often result in big messes. You may have to contact a professional remediation service in Pirate Harbor, FL, for sewer cleanup and sanitation. An important part of dealing with sewage-related incidents is locating the source or cause to stop further leakage. There are many possible reasons for a sewer backup.

1. Blockages

Sewer backups may often be attributed to clogs in mainlines and pipes. People, both employees and patrons, tend to throw things they should not into drains or flush them down toilets without considering the consequences. Examples of such products and materials include:

  • Grease, oils and fats (in restaurants)
  • Fibrous food particles (in restaurants)
  • Pads and tampons (in public bathrooms)
  • Sanitary wipes (in public bathrooms)

2. Damaged Pipes

Broken pipes may malfunction, leading to a sewer backup. What happens is that they fail to properly drain, causing buildups of sewage that overflow, creating the need for sewer cleanup. Damage may be due to a number of factors, such as improper installation.

3. Nature

One unpreventable factor that can lead to waste problems is nature. Earthquakes are one natural phenomenon that can harm pipes, which, as mentioned earlier can affect their performance, resulting in backups. Tree roots often negatively impact sewer lines as well. They are capable of diverting or blocking drainage and wrapping around, crushing, cracking and/or pinching pipes. They may even cause them to burst. Floodwaters from a storm or rising waters can surge through your commercial property's sewer lines or the city's main ones, pushing chemicals and hazardous materials out.
Insurance may or may not cover sewer cleanup.

If the backup originates on your property, you may be able to have it fixed yourself. However, if it arises due to a fault in the public sewer system, officials will most likely have to get involved.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

2/25/2022 (Permalink)

Seven air fans or air movers placed on a long hallway of a building. SERVPRO of North Fort Myers is Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

When you are processing an insurance claim for water damage in Solana, FL, you know that the response needs to be immediate. You’ve seen what happens to building materials and personal belongings in that first 24 hours and you know how fast mold sets in. With water, the damage becomes substantially worse in a matter of hours and secondary damage, like mold growth, can make claim costs climb exponentially. You need a preferred vendor that can get there, wherever there is, faster than any other contractor. That’s why many insurance companies rely on SERVPRO: because they are Faster to Any Size Disaster.

National, but Local

So, what do other insurance companies know that you don’t? Why are they using SERVPRO and what makes them Faster to Any Size Disaster? The simple answer is that it’s a national company, with locally-owned franchises. What does this mean to you?

• Service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

• A national call center means your customer calls are returned within an hour.

• There are more than 1,700 franchises so there is a location ready to respond wherever your customer lives.

• Training is IICRC approved, consistent and provided from the national company so you can rely on knowledgeable remediation and restoration professionals and that translates into fast work because the crew knows exactly what to do.

• A national company provides consistent standards and procedures, so work is done right the first time.

• State of the art, commercial-grade equipment cleans, dries and monitors for quick and thorough cleanup.

With all the benefits of a national disaster restoration company and all the accessibility of locally-owned franchises, Faster to Any Size Disaster means significant cost reduction through the prevention of subsequent damage caused by delays and exposure. This provides more opportunities for restoration, which is much less costly than replacement. You can have the best of both worlds with SERVPRO.

Three Types of Smoke Alarms and How to Maintain Them

2/25/2022 (Permalink)

How To Maintain Different Types of Smoke Alarms

Fire alarms are important safety tools for your Charlotte Park, FL home. They can warn you when a fire starts and, in some cases, allow you to prevent significant fire damage. Not all alarms are made the same way, so it is important that you know how your alarms are powered and how to maintain each type.

1. Alarms That Use Replaceable Batteries

When you think of a smoke alarm, you will likely think of this kind first. These alarms use a nine-volt battery that needs to be replaced at least once a year. The alarm will start beeping as a reminder when the battery starts to run low. When this happens, you should replace the battery right away to ensure that the alarm continues to work properly.

2. Alarms That Use Non-Replaceable Batteries

If you have a newer smoke detector in your home, then it might use a non-replaceable lithium battery instead. These batteries will last for up to ten years and you should not try to replace them. Instead, you will need to replace the entire alarm when it is time. The manual that comes with your alarm should have instructions on how to determine when you need to purchase a replacement.

3. Alarms That Use Electricity

Some alarms are connected to your home’s electrical system and do not require a battery to function. However, even if your smoke alarm is hooked up to the electricity, it should always have a backup battery in case of a power outage. You should replace this battery once a year, the same way you would with a battery-powered alarm. All types of alarms need to be tested monthly and should be completely replaced at least once every ten years.

No matter what type of smoke alarm you have in your home, you should be sure to maintain it properly by replacing the batteries or the alarms themselves when necessary. Fire damage restoration services are available in case of damage to your home, but keeping your alarms working can save your life.

What Not To Do After a Pipe Breaks

2/25/2022 (Permalink)

wet carpet, footprints on carpet, Water damage in a Pirate Harbor, FL.

When a Pipe Breaks, Don't Do These Things

Panic: It's the one thing that business owners around Pirate Harbor, FL, need to stop doing when they see bursting pipes on their property. That doesn't mean that you should take it easy if you have water damage. Wet conditions are the precursors to all kinds of nasty problems, including:

  • Black mold
  • Unpleasant smells
  • Rotting material

Don’t Put Off Cleanup

Act quickly to reduce your risk of falling prey to these persistent undesirables. If there's even a sliver of a doubt regarding the completeness of your cleanup and drying processes, take a second or third look at your site to prevent these issues.

Don’t Forget to Check Everywhere

Unfortunately, black mold is one of the trademark issues with flooded buildings. Even after you fix a broken pipe and dry up the area, this mold can pop up seemingly out of nowhere. The issue with black mold is that it requires very little moisture to propagate its spores and create massive toxic colonies. Bursting pipes spray, drip and soak, creating a larger footprint than you might imagine. All affected materials should be removed to avoid mold. It is also prudent to dry any crawlspaces or wall cavities thoroughly, by cutting ventilation holes if necessary. Most good water cleanup companies will know just how much needs to be done to get you back to business as usual.

Don’t Ignore Odors

The issues surrounding most secondary water problems pale in comparison to the health hazards and persistence of black mold. Nasty smells can be just as damaging to businesses, however: driving away customers and making workers uncomfortable or unhappy. Rotting material, apart from producing odor, also provides habitats for pests and potentially weakens your building's structure.

The bottom line is that it's better to get your water issues cleaned up as soon as you have a chance. Secondary damage from bursting pipes is costly, both in terms of cleanup invoices and diminished stakeholder confidence.

Keep Your Fire Sprinklers Ready for Action

2/25/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damage on ceiling. Fires can be scary, but SERVPRO is here to help!

Water-based fire protection systems, or fire sprinklers, should always be kept in working condition and tested periodically to ensure maximum fire suppression capacity. Your sprinklers are your home or business’s first line of defense in the event of a fire, and it may be mandatory in North Fort Myers, FL to conduct routine tests and inspections.

1. Check the age of your sprinkler system. Modern standards require that sprinkler systems adhere to NFPA 25 requirements, but systems in buildings older than 60 years may be outdated and in need of a full replacement.

2. Check your sprinkler installation. Faulty or defective installation equipment and procedures can lead to sprinkler malfunctions in the event of a fire.

3. Always keep your fire sprinklers clean. Dirty fire sprinklers can lead to obstructions that block the water flow and prevent sprinklers from working correctly, or even from detecting and activating in the event of a fire. Many organizations and inspectors recommend an obstruction inspection every five years.

4. Periodically test your sprinkler functions. Sprinklers can be tested in a variety of ways, including simply testing that they work through routine checks. However, more complex testing such as corrosion testing and hydrostatic testing can uncover additional issues that may not be readily apparent on a simple functional test.

5. Immediately replace defective parts. Because sprinklers are so deeply interconnected, replacing a defective part may require replacing larger sections of the sprinkler system. However, this is highly advisable as a matter of safety to prevent any issues should the sprinklers fail to activate in the event of smoke or fire.

One benefit of fire sprinklers is that fire sprinkler cleanup is usually much less messy than cleanup after fire suppression using stronger means. Sprinklers can make a serious difference in prevention of property losses and safety issues, and should be maintained at all times.

3 Workplace First Aid Basics You Should Know

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Knowing what to do in the wake of a health emergency can literally mean the difference between life and death. That’s especially true in the workplace, where things like fires can lead to devastating injuries and potential liability. Implementing a workplace first aid plan is crucial. Learn the ins and outs of basic workplace first aid following Cleveland, FL, fire damage and what you can do to keep your staff safe.

What Is First Aid?

First aid involves providing help to a person before medical personnel can arrive to take over. Types of burn first aid include:

  • Administering CPR
  • Applying pressure to a wound
  • Putting bandages on a wound

CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is among the most important forms of first aid. During a fire, smoke and toxic materials can be inhaled, causing breathing difficulty that can get serious fast.
Businesses should invest in basic CPR training well before a fire to learn how to respond. In general, CPR involves alternating between pushing on one’s chest 30 times and giving rescue breaths. Even without training this can be helpful until help arrives.

Applying Pressure

Bleeding wounds are often an unexpected side effect of fire damage, be it from efforts to put out the blaze or from escaping. First plug the wound to promote clotting. This can be done by applying clean gauze and holding it steady. Next elevate the wound above the heart to slow down blood flow.

Applying Bandages

Burns in particular are vulnerable to infection and need to be cleaned and covered fast. Wash out burned areas with cool water and use clean gauze to cover them. Never break any blisters or apply butter or folk remedies to a fresh burn as it can cause more harm than good.

Fire damage can have impacts well beyond property. When facing fire injuries, call 911 first, then take the above steps to minimize both damage and discomfort.

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