Recent Posts

Summertime Fire Safety

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

According to the United States Fire administration, just under 8,600 Americans are injured by fireworks and almost 5,000 are injured by charcoal/wood burning and propane grill fires, annually. A barbecue grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping off the grill.

Summertime should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. The following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), will help keep you safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluid designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD (personal floatation device) when boating, jet-skiing, tubing or water-skiing. Air-filled swimming aids, like water wings or inner tubes, are not substitutes for approved PFDs. An adult should always supervise children using these devices.
  • Be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and shut down motors and heating devices before fueling a boat. In case of a spill, wipe up fuel and check for fuel leakage and odors.
  • When camping, always use a flame retardant tent and setup camp far away from the campfire. Only use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns inside the tent, not liquid-filled heaters or lanterns.
  • Always build a campfire down wind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your campfire. Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish, cover with dirt or pour water over the fire.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
  • Consider leaving firework use to trained professionals. Stay back at least 500 feet from professional fireworks displays.

4 Signs of water damage in your home

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Signs of water damage can vary depending on the experience. It can range from slight discoloration of certain items to major structural damage that should be apparent. 

1. Warped Wooden Fixtures

If water damage has leaked into the home or business for some time, you will notice warped wooden fixtures if applicable to your building. Water damage has a way of removing stability and causing entire wood fixtures to warp or change over time. This sign of water damage may take some time to set in, but it is a common sign and one that is hard to miss.

2. Discoloration on Wood or Carpet

One of the most common signs of water damage is discoloration of certain items such as flooring. If you have hardwood flooring, you will likely notice black splotches if you are experiencing water damage. Carpet can be more difficult to spot if the carpet is a darker color. 

3. Musty, Old Smell

Sometimes the signs of water damage don’t come visually. If you are smelling an old, musty, damp smell in your home, this is a sign of water damage and mold. Mold growth can start fairly quickly after any water damage event.

4. Cracking, Bubbling, or Flaking

Sometimes the water damage can remain hidden and damage things such as ceilings after prolonged exposure. If your ceiling is cracking, bubbling up, or flaking, this is a very common sign.

Once you notice this sign of damage, it is highly recommended you contact a water damage remediation company.

How to tell if there is water damage inside of your walls

5/15/2021 (Permalink)

Staining on ceiling These clients noticed staining on their ceiling which lead to finding a leak in their upstairs bathroom.

If your building has been exposed to a flood, hurricane, or another disastrous event, contacting a water restoration service will provide you with quick, effective remediation. While most of the water damage will be immediately apparent, water within the walls is a subtle issue to be wary of. The following guide highlights some signs of this issue, so you know when to contact a professional.

3 Signs of a Water Leak Behind the Walls

1. Stains

Water stains can appear on the ceiling and interior walls, and they may look like brown rings or discolored paint. The visual changes are caused by the wall's saturated materials. If there were existing water signs on the walls or ceilings, monitor them in the following weeks to determine if they're darkening or growing.

2. Musty Smell

If water leaks within the walls and is absorbed by the surrounding drywall, sheetrock, or wood paneling, you'll likely detect a musty, slightly dank odor. If you notice this scent emanating from the interior, it's crucial to contact a water restoration professional immediately. This is because the scent is often a sign of mold growth, which can put your family at risk of health effects.

3. Peeling or Bubbling

Noticing water stains can be challenging if your walls are painted or covered with wallpaper. However, you can identify damage by checking the wall covering's condition. The adhesive on wallpaper won't effectively stick to a saturated wall, and the moisture will cause coats of paint to bubble.

If you are experiencing any of these signs, give SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase a call today!

813-543-0053

Berkeley Preparatory School 3rd Annual Inshore Invasion

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

As a small business located in Tampa, Florida we strive to develop a culture that is client and community focused, with a dash of fun!  

SERVPRO is a Water mitigation company first and foremost, as such we look for charitable avenues which align with our culture and business principles.   

The 3rd Annual BPS Inshore Invasion fishing tournament was a great marriage of education charity, fun and water!    While we did not win the grand slam, the day was a success in terms of dollars raised for the endowment fund and time spent with friends and families.   We look forward to the event next year and to serving the local community for any Water, Fire or Mold issues they might encounter in their home or business.  

SERVPRO of Oldsmar Westchase is here to help! 

Storm team travel

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

On the road to Dallas SERVPRO of Oldsmar Westchase on the way to Dallas.

Did you know when a large scale Storm or National Disaster impacts a community, SERVPRO puts out a call for all available storm teams to mobilize?

2020 brought a prolonged deep freeze to parts of the South which are unaccustomed to that type of severe cold.    Many homes and business were impacted in the form of broken pipes, water pumps and structural damage.   

170+ SERVPRO franchises answered the call for help and traveled to various parts of Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri for the 2020 Texas Freeze.   

In our case, we spent 4 weeks in Dallas and helped numerous families and businesses get their properties on the path to reconstruction.   

We arrived in Texas to 20 degrees Ice and Snow, and when we left Spring had arrived! 

What to do when your home floods

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Broken pipe Winter Storm Uri caused a broken pipe in this home's ceiling.

No matter the source of the flood here are are the first steps you should take to prevent further damage.

Identify the water source. If your home is flooded from the inside, like a pipe bursting, make sure you turn off your main water to lessen the damage as quickly as possible. If your home is flooded from the outside, hurricane, sewage, heavy rain, be mindful of your family's health and safety.  Outside flood water could be contaminated with bacteria or sewage that could cause illness if ingested. Your water could also be an electrical hazard if the flooding is high. Make sure to call an electrician to assess damage. 

Call your insurance and document damage. Once you are safe and have identified the water source, call your homeowner/flood insurance company. Explain to them what's happening and file a claim. Then call a professional water mitigation company. As you are waiting for the mitigation company to arrive, if you can safely document damage, you should start. Take pictures of the standing water and any and all furniture, flooring, wall coverings, etc. that are impacted. Professional mitigation companies can work with your insurance to make sure your home is properly dried and keep mold from growing. If you try to dry your home yourself, you run the risk of being denied coverage for your insurance claim or not drying the walls enough and mold could grow.

The faster you start removing water from your home, the less damage is done. If you're dealing with a flood in your home or business, give us a call (813)543-0053. SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase is always here to help!

Document Restoration in Safety Harbor

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

Important documents in degraded condition Degraded documents ruined by leaking AC unit.

A local office had an air conditioning unit leak and left these important files in very poor condition.

   SERVPRO of Oldsmar / Westchase took the files and boxes back to our warehouse and repackaged for the secure transit to our home office in Gallatin, TN.    Our team of professional document restoration experts filed them into our vacuum freezing chamber in order to achieve sublimation.  Upon exit of the chamber, each page is cleaned and treated to restore to near original form.   The entire process takes four or five weeks, but clients are stunned with the positive outcome.    Sterilization, deodorization and digitalization are other add on steps of the process we offer to our clients in the document restoration service line at SERVPRO of Oldsmar Westchase.    Don't forget about the documents when you have a water loss or flood.     

What You Should Do During a Grease Fire

4/11/2021 (Permalink)

Grease fires occur when oil gets too hot and creates flames. These fires are common in kitchens, especially when you're frying or cooking greasy food on the stove, and they often spread quickly. You may need fire restoration services to get back to normal after a grease fire, but the first priority has to be safety. These tips can help you minimize damage and risk.

Do:

Turn off the heat.

The heat from your stove or oven warming the oil is what keeps the fire burning. If you can safely reach the controls, turn them off, and the fire should slow or stop as long as it hasn't touched other flammable items. However, avoid moving the pot or pan, as this could cause grease to splash, spreading the fire to other surfaces.

Keep an extinguisher in the kitchen.

 

The best way to quickly put out a grease fire is to use a Class B fire extinguisher designed for blazes with liquid accelerants, such as gas and oil. These often use compressed gas to suffocate the flames, so spray it within a few feet of the source. Since grease fires can spread quickly, keep this type of extinguisher close to your stove so you can grab it within seconds.

Don’t:

Use water on the flames.

Water has a different density than cooking oil, so the particles don't effectively mix. Thus, pouring water on the flames won't extinguish them. In fact, water may cause the oil to splatter, which can spread the fire to other surfaces, such as cabinets or nearby cookbooks.

Forget your fire safety plan.

Every home should have a safety plan in place for fires, which should remind you to turn off the heat and note the nearest fire extinguisher's location. However, if the fire has already spread to cabinets or other surfaces, your priority should be to get out of the house and call emergency services.

Roof leak in Oldsmar Florida

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Pool of water on flat roof This pool of water on the roof leaked into living room below

As rainy season sets into the Tampa Bay area, now is a good time to review your home and roof line for weak spots.

A roof leak during a wind and rain storm in Oldsmar, Florida caused the living room below to show signs of water damage.   As storm season approaches, be mindful to check your roof and walls for cracks or areas where water can pool. 

SERVPRO of Oldsmar Westchase can help with tarping of roofs or drying out the impacted area after the storm passes.  Flat roofs are an example of places which should be given extra scrutiny.  Make sure all the fallen leaves and pollen have been cleared off.   It is also a good opportunity to check or clear out your gutters.  

What Should You Do if There's Mold in Your Rental Property?

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

If you're encountering mold for the first time as a landlord, there's no need to stress. Mold is a common household problem that can be fixed with quick action and the right approach. Learn more about the mold remediation process and what steps you should take immediately below.

How to Determine if There's Mold in Your Rental

You'll likely first learn about a potential mold problem from your tenants. They might say they noticed an unusual musty smell, wet spots, or discoloration on the walls, floors, or ceilings. If the mold is widespread or the tenant is particularly sensitive to it, they might also have health effects that they only notice at home.

Once your tenant mentions a potential mold problem, address their concerns quickly. Document everything they tell you about what they've noticed. If there are health effects, you may need to work your tenant on a temporary housing solution until it's completely safe to return.

Next, arrange for a mold inspection and testing as soon as possible. During the inspection, a professional will search for mold throughout the building, including hard-to-reach spots, such as HVAC ducts or crawl spaces. They'll also check growth-prone areas near sources of moisture, including sinks, tubs, and showers. If they find mold, they can gather samples for testing, which helps you develop a treatment plan.

How to Get Rid of Mold Quickly & Prevent Future Problems

Mold thrives in dark, damp areas, and without interruption, it can spread rapidly. That's why it's critical to arrange for an inspection and mold remediation as soon as possible. Additionally, you don't want your tenants to live in a home with this issue for safety reasons. Even if they don't have health effects now, mold problems can escalate quickly.

Once you know that certain parts of the building are prone to mold, take steps to prevent future problems. Make sure tenants know to quickly alert you about leaks so you can fix them before mold grows. Next, remind tenants to run fans while showering and give them dehumidifiers to control humidity levels if needed. Finally, keep an eye on problem spots so you can catch signs of mold growth early on.