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Types of Flood Contamination

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle Water damage can result from any type of flooding

Not All Types Of Floods Are Handled The Same Way

It's important to prepare your business in Lake Fern, to face any type of flooding or water damage. That being said, not all types of floods are handled the same way. There are three primary types of floods, each categorized by the types of contaminants present in the water itself.

Clean Water Floods
Category 1 floods are also called clean water floods. They are categorized by an absence of contaminants and are the least dangerous types of floods. Even though the water is clean, you still need to make sure that you take the situation seriously to avoid suffering unnecessary water damage. If left untreated, clean water floods can quickly turn into more serious disasters. Category 1 floods are typically a result of one or more of the following:

  • Supply line rupture
  • Water pipe burst
  • Flooded sink, shower or bathtub

Gray Water Floods
Also called Category 2 floods, these waters are categorized by a minor amount of contamination. They are often the result of a Category 1 situation that either wasn't resolved quickly enough, or came into contact with some type of external contamination. Likewise, Category 2 situations will become a Category 3 if left untreated for more than 48 hours. Gray water flooding is typically caused by:

  • Malfunctioning appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines
  • Rain or snowmelt flowing off of the roof
  • Broken aquariums

Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods, also known as black water floods, are the most dangerous types of floods. They are categorized by the presence of lethal contaminants, such as human/animal fecal matter, raw sewage, chemicals and other dangerous biohazards. You should never attempt to remediate a Category 3 flood by yourself; always consult professional assistance. Category 3 flooding is often caused by:

  • Sewer line bursts
  • Toilet overflow
  • Riverbank flooding

Water damage can result from any type of flooding. It's important to take immediate action as soon as the incident occurs. Contact flood remediation experts for assistance dealing with any type of black water flooding that your business suffers.

How To Maintain Your Fire Sprinklers

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

fire sprinkler The fire sprinklers in your building in Tampa, FL are there to protect your property and the items and people inside of it from a fire.

The fire sprinklers in your building in Tampa, FL are there to protect your property and the items and people inside of it from a fire. While water damage is preferable to having everything completely burnt down, you also don't want your sprinklers to go off unnecessarily. To prevent a malfunction of any kind, your sprinklers need some regular attention.

1. Keep Them Clear

The first step in sprinkler maintenance is to make sure that if they do need to spray water they can do so effectively. Make sure none of your sprinkler heads have been painted over or are covered in dirt or grime. This is especially important in areas such as kitchens, which produce a lot of grease that can coat the sprinklers and block the water. In addition, make sure that shelves and other furniture aren't so close to the sprinklers that they'll prevent the water from reaching the entire room.

2. Inspect All Valves

Each quarter you should have a professional check your sprinkler system's water pressure. While it should be fine as long as the rest of your building's water is, it's important to make sure no valves have been bumped or anything that will prevent them from working. If your system has non-electronic control valves, you should add a weekly inspection of these to your sprinkler maintenance routine.

3. Check the System Annually

One of the best ways to make sure your fire sprinklers are working properly is to have them professionally inspected each year. This will ensure that all of the sensors and pipes are working correctly in case of a fire. After all, a malfunctioning sprinkler system defeats the purpose of having one.
Proper fire sprinkler maintenance is the best way to protect your building from damage. Neglect it too long, and you might end up with more fire damage than necessary or a flood that results in the need for water damage remediation.

How Sprinkler Systems Fight Fires

11/7/2020 (Permalink)

Factory roof structure and automatic fire protection in building system. Commercial fire sprinkler in Oldsmar, FL

When you walk through your building in Oldsmar, FL, do you notice the fire sprinkler protruding from your ceiling? You should. Understanding how your sprinkler system works and maintaining it is one of the most effective ways to protect your property from fire damage.

How the System Works

A fire sprinkler is only one small piece of a hidden water system that is made up of pipes installed behind walls and in ceilings. Sprinklers are placed along the piping to allow the most effective fire suppression for your building. When a fire breaks out, the heat from the flames triggers the sprinklers that are closest and releases the pressurized water in the pipes. Not all of the sprinklers go off at once. This way, the water goes where it is needed.
Contrary to common myths, sprinklers will not go off due to smoke. It is also very rare that they activate accidentally.

System Maintenance
Like any important piece of your building, sprinkler systems need to be checked and maintained. There is more to look for than just leaky sprinkler heads. The following should be checked at least once every quarter to make sure they are in good condition and operable:

  • Valves
  • All system gauges
  • Alarms
  • Fire department connections

Annual inspections also need to be conducted and should include sprinkler head checks.

When Fire and Water Collide
There may come a time when your sprinklers are going to have to do what they are meant to do – put out a fire. This could mean a lot of mess to handle. Not only is there the aftermath of the fire, but the resulting water issues from putting that fire out. By working with a professional fire and water damage company, fire sprinkler cleanup can go smoothly.
Protecting your property from fire damage only takes thinking ahead and maintaining your system by checking a fire sprinkler every once in a while.

What Can I Do To Save My Business Contents After a Flood?

11/7/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Documents damaged by water

What Can I Do To Save My Business Contents After a Flood?

When a flood strikes your Cheval, FL, business, you want to do everything you can to get cleanup underway. You understand the importance of hiring a professional restoration company, but you also know that time is of the essence. Here are some guidelines for what you can save from your flooded company while you wait for cleanup crews to arrive.

Protect Yourself
If you must enter the building, keep in mind that floodwater is typically filled with bacteria and other microorganisms, especially water from outside or from a broken pipe. Minimize contact with contaminated water by wearing protective gear, such as rubber boots, waterproof gloves, and safety goggles. Follow the CDC’s safe hygiene guidelines for flood cleanup, including:

  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, eyes or face near floodwater.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after handling flood-damaged items.
  • Don’t eat, drink, chew gum or smoke while working in or around floodwater.

Preserve Important Documents
If the flooded company houses any critical or irreplaceable documents, try to move them out of harm’s way if possible. Documents which have not been exposed to floodwater should be moved off-site so they will not be damaged during restoration work. Documents which are already wet can often be saved by freeze-drying. Place each wet document into a separate plastic storage bag and put it in the freezer.

Remove Textiles and Other Porous Items
Next, attempt to rescue porous items, especially textiles. These materials, such as carpet, clothing and draperies, can absorb contaminants from floodwater. Many textiles can be fully restored with proper machine washing or dry cleaning if they are removed from the flooded area quickly enough.
For the safest and most reliable restoration work, cleaning up your flooded company is best left to experienced flood remediation professionals. These experts have the tools and training required to get your business up and running again as quickly as possible.

Why Mold Cleanup Takes an Expert

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

When mold pops up in the corner of your basement, your first instinct is probably to grab a sponge. Before you start scrubbing, you need to consider that without the proper process, you could end up spreading mold throughout your home.

How Mold Spreads

Mold is a fungus that can grow in any moist environment. Leaking appliances, poorly ventilated bathrooms and corroding basement pipes are all enablers for mold growth. Add organic nutrients such as wood and fabrics, and it is easy to see why mold would like to move into any home.
Once mold has begun to grow, it spreads rapidly by releasing spores that travel through the air looking for another food source. They get around your home easier by:

  • Traveling through air ducts and HVAC systems
  • Being circulated by fans
  • Getting caught in your pet’s fur
  • Catching a ride on your clothing

With so many ways to spread, it is difficult to isolate and completely kill mold.

Cleaning Mold Can Make It Worse
It might seem illogical but trying to clean an infestation yourself can end up spreading mold. When you see mold spots, what you are seeing is the buildup of spores on surfaces. Scrubbing those spots can release spores into the air. Without proper containment, the fungus will spread.

Why You Need an Expert
Mold remediation is a complex process that is best left to professionals. Aside from the possible spread, there are toxic molds, such as black mold, that can cause illness and allergic reactions. Specialists take the necessary precautions to protect you and themselves from getting sick. They follow proper containment, filtration and cleanup protocols to ensure that every last spore is destroyed.
Spreading mold is easy to do. Containing and cleaning mold damage is the tricky part. Let your local mold remediation company in Waterchase, FL, handle it so you know that the fungus is gone.

How To Fix a Leaky Toilet

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe A leaking toilet is a relatively easy household repair to make

Toilets are typically very sturdy and dependable household fixtures, but even they tend to break down from time to time. Neglecting to fix your leaking toilet can lead to serious water damage. Follow the below steps if your home in Lake Fern, FL has a leaky toilet.

Step by Step Toilet Repair

The good news is that repairing an leaky, old toilet is a relatively simple process, even if you don't have any plumbing experience.

Disconnect the water to the leaking toilet by using a wrench to shut off the supply valve. Make sure the valve is closed before draining all the water from the tank and bowl.
Remove the caps covering the closet bolts. Use a wrench to remove the hex nuts. These are located at the base of the toilet.
Carefully grasp the toilet by the bowl and lift using your legs. Set it down on an old towel, blanket or cardboard sheet to prevent water damage on your bathroom tiles.
Check the closet flange for damage. Scrape off all the old wax gasket.
Loosen the screws that secure the flange to the bathroom floor before sliding a repair strap underneath.
Center the new wax gasket on the closet flange.
Connect a brand new water supply tube to the threaded fill-valve shank. This is located on the bottom of the toilet's tank.
Apply downward pressure on the rim of the toilet bowl in order to compress the gasket. Tighten the closet bolts before continuing to apply pressure.
Trim the tops of the closet bolts using a close-quarter hacksaw. Tighten the nuts and then replace the caps.
Reconnect the water supply tube to the shut off valve. Open the valve and flush the toilet. Make sure to carefully check for any leaks.

A leaking toilet is a relatively easy household repair to make. Doing so is essential when it comes to preventing water damage and all the subsequent problems that come along with it. Contact water remediation experts if the above process does not effectively repair your toilet leak.

Fulfilling Basic Cleaning Requirements After a Flood

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

outside of a home with flooded water Flood damage in a Westchase, FL home

Fulfilling Basic Cleaning Requirements After a Flood

Storm damage, flooding, and similar natural disasters can bring contaminants to your home in Westchase, FL. Therefore, you must meet several cleaning requirements to make your house safe from these agents. Even if you hire water damage professionals to repair and perform a storm or flood clean, you should still ensure they meet the right guidelines for the best results.

Disinfecting Surfaces
The surfaces throughout the house are the areas most affected by pollutants and the ones most people touch. Technicians should use EPA-approved flood disinfectant and tools to clean surfaces. Note that some procedures are different than others depending on the surface or material. A piece of cloth submerged in a chlorine and hot water solution works with most surfaces, while others require boiling water, slow drying or outright removal and replacement. Talk to your specialist about specific treatments for each.

Removing Contaminated Materials
There are certain items like mattresses, wallboard and wood veneered furniture that cleaning requirements consider complete losses. They may either absorb floodwater too easily or the costs of repairing them are too much to be worth it. Even though it is tempting to salvage them, the water may alter them too much to do so. These items lose their intended function and the contaminants can place others in peril. Experts will decide whether this measure is necessary.

Drying Out Property
Sometimes the best way to expedite the flood clean and repair process is to dry out surfaces, equipment and objects. This process makes the materials less vulnerable and easier to disinfect afterwards. It also prevents mold from growing on the surface. Drying methods vary depending on the items, from using air conditioner and fans on furniture and cloths to cutting off wet wallboard to air out the less affected sections.
While every affected surface and object in your Westchase, FL, house requires different cleaning methods, they all follow common cleaning requirements. Ensure the company working with you follows these basic rules.

5 Ways to Reduce Fire Hazards While Cooking

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Young Man Using Red Fire Extinguisher To Stop Fire Coming From Oven In Kitchen Oven fire in an Eagles, FL home

Fire Safety Tips

Cooking accidents are among the leading causes of fires in the United States and often occur because the person in the kitchen wasn't making the proper fire safety precautions. Reducing your personal fire hazard risk while cooking is an excellent way to protect your home in The Eagles, FL, from becoming another statistic. Follow these basic fire safety tips to help keep your kitchen safe.

1. Never Leave Your Cooktop Unattended.
Your stove and other cooking appliances generate open flames, which can easily spread out of control if you aren't careful. You should never leave the room while your stove is on. If you must leave, make sure to turn your appliances off before you go.

2. Clean Up All Grease Spills Immediately.
A grease fire is one of the most difficult home fires to manage once it starts. You can help prevent fire damage by immediately cleaning up any grease spills you happen to come across.

3. Never Store Anything In Your Oven.
You can't always see the inside of your oven, so it can be easy to forget that items are inside. Many kitchen fires are caused when people begin to preheat their oven while these combustible items are inside. It's best just to be safe and never store anything inside the appliance.

4. Never Throw Hot Grease In The Garbage.
Your garbage can is full of highly combustible materials and throwing hot oil into the trash can is a guaranteed way to ignite a grease fire. The best grease disposal tips involve waiting for the oil to cool off before throwing it away in a separate can.

5. Never Cook While Wearing Loose Clothing.
Dangling sleeves can hang down onto hot surfaces and quickly catch fire. Prevent these types of accidents by either wearing short, tight sleeves, or rolling your sleeves up before you begin cooking.
Carelessness is one of the main causes of home cooking fires. Staying vigilant and following the above tips can certainly help reduce your risk. If a fire does break out in your home, make sure you contact fire remediation experts as soon as possible.

Flood Safety Tips

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

When weather may become dangerous, the National Weather Service issues alerts for Oldsmar, FL. To stay alive, flood safety requires that everyone be aware of three basic types of flood alerts:

  • Flood
  • Flash flood
  • River flood

Watch Versus Warning

Each type can be further broken down into a watch or a warning. A watch means that there’s an elevated risk of the listed flood type happening in your area. Keep a closer eye on the weather. A flood warning is an emergency. Access the National Weather Service for immediate bulletins.

Floods Can Be Killers

Floods cause the most fatalities of all weather phenomena. They can strike without warning. Around 86 individuals are killed in the U.S. annually. However, when flood safety procedures were properly followed, only a handful of deaths were recorded. New wireless technologies promise to keep Americans even safer.

Flash Floods Happen in Minutes

In 2010, 20 people were killed as a flash flood barreled down narrow mountain canyons, overwhelming a popular campsite while the campers slept. If you’re spending time outdoors near hills, check the weather on your smartphone or weather radio hourly during storms.

River Floods Also Occur Suddenly

Some river floods are more gradual than flash floods. However, if a levy or ice dam suddenly breaks, the water level can rise in minutes. River flooding is measured by gauges set by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
For all floods, there are a few basic safety tips to stay alive:

  • Never drive on a road covered with water.
  • Assume all floodwater from outdoors has sewage in it.
  • Check the weather frequently.

Ultimately, flood safety is based on being conscious of your surroundings, known as situational awareness. if you get an alert on your radio or phone, find out what’s going on and determine if it may impact you.

Following these safety tips helps prevent calamities. Once the flood passes, you’ll need an expert flood damage restoration company to clean up. With large-volume air movers and custom sanitizers, SERVPRO returns your home “Like it never even happened."

A Landlord's Responsibility for a Mold Infestation

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold contamination on a wall Mold contamination in East Lake Woodlands, FL

A Landlord's Responsibility for a Mold Infestation

Though laws vary from state to state, renters have a right to live in apartments that are clean and healthy. The presence of black mold in a rental unit in East Lake Woodlands, FL, is definitely unacceptable, and may even be grounds for a lawsuit. Not only can certain types of mold cause harm to a person's personal belongings, but it can also be a significant detriment to indoor air quality and good health. For these reasons, a landlord has a responsibility to address the situation immediately. Any sizable mold outbreak requires the services of a professional mold remediation company. This ensures the process will be completed following the highest industry standards.

The Plumbing Connection
Black mold and other types of harmful fungus growth proliferate in damp conditions. This is often the result of leaks into the home from faulty roofs or failing pipes. The moisture problem should be addressed to effectively control mold. Common sources of excess moisture in a rental unit include the following:

  • Cracked pipes
  • Toilets seals
  • Old appliances
  • Leaky water heaters
  • Cracked foundations

In most cases, it will be the responsibility of the landlord to fix any areas that allow water to come into an apartment. This is a beginning stage for mold remediation.

The Cleanup Process
Highly-trained technicians arrive to a building that has a black mold problem and starts an inspection and assessment of the property. They determine the extent of the mold outbreak and then look to identify areas where water may be leaking into the building. After addressing the moisture problem, the technicians then seek to contain and control the mold infestation. To limit the spread of microscopic mold spores, they use containment barriers and negative air filters. They then scrub the mold from surfaces using effective cleaning agents formulated to kill mold. When the process is done to high professional standards, the mold should not return.