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How the IICRC Benefits the Restoration Industry

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

IICRC Institute.of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration SERVPRO Industries, LLC is an approved IICRC Training School.

The IICRC's Contribution to the Restoration Industry

Companies in the professional restoration industry work with homeowners and businesses in Westchase, FL, and other areas to mitigate damage after a storm, fire, flood, or other disaster. The IICRC is a third-party certification source for this industry. Here is a closer look at the institute.

Background Information
Some key points about the institute include:

  • It was formed in 1972 as the International Institute of Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Inc. by Ed York.
    It has more than 49,000 certified technicians around the globe.
  • It provides 26 different types of certification.
  • A Board of Directors manages the institute and represents the applicants' interests.
  • The Board of Directors is also responsible for upholding the industry's standards and shaping future directions.


Technicians who work for a professional restoration company may need training in various capacities. The institute provides certification for relevant areas. If a technician needs a mitigation certificate, for example, the institute can train and certify the employee.

Programs include content processing, fire and smoke damage restoration, carpet repair, building moisture, commercial drying, and water damage, among many others.

SERVPRO Industries, LLC is an approved IICRC Training School. It offers year-round training for many related topics. It provides self-paced programs for Employee Certification training, including:

  • Employee training
  • Water and fire restoration
  • Carpet and upholstery cleaning

After employees complete course materials and an exam, they are awarded certification.

Trained Professionals Benefit the Consumer

It can give you great peace of mind knowing you are working with certified technicians. After a disaster, you don't have time to question whether the restoration company has employees that understand what to do. It's good to work with a business that has industry knowledge and experience.

SERVPRO works closely with the IICRC to provide certified employees that keep up with industry standards and know the latest restoration techniques.

3 Tips for Preventing a House Fire

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Keeping your home's smoke alarms in good functioning order is a crucial element of fire preparation.

Three Precautionary Steps to Avoid a House Fire

Your Lake Fern, FL, home is likely your most important investment, and protecting it from the damage a house fire can do involves more than installing a few smoke detectors. Fire preparation includes a variety of actions and keeping a few tips in mind as you reduce this risk may help you feel more confident when it comes to protecting your home and family.

1. Reduce Clutter

Paper and fabric clutter can contribute to a home fire, especially if it is stored near a heat source, such as a heating vent or electrical wiring. Old boxes, paper goods meant for recycling and stacks of discarded books and magazines can fuel a fire with one spark, so storing these items in clear plastic tubs, away from any type of heating vent or fuse box, can reduce the risk of a fire.

2. Test Smoke Alarms Monthly

One important aspect of fire preparation is to ensure that your home's smoke alarms remain in proper working order. You can make it a habit to test the alarms on each floor or area on the first day of every month, as changing the calendar and testing the batteries in your alarms can go hand in hand as a habit that is simple to develop.

3. Practice Drills for Fire Safety

When a fire breaks out, there is usually little time to figure out how to get to safety, so holding fire drills a few times per year and discussing planned escape routes can increase the chances of your entire family leaving the house safely. Fire restoration and cleanup services can also provide you with further information about creating an escape plan that is unique to your home.

Practicing fire preparation for your Lake Fern, FL, home can prevent common actions that may cause costly blazes and serious damage. The sooner you make a plan to discuss preventing a house fire with your family, the safer you can keep them and your beloved home.

How To Address Odors After a Flood

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of black fungus in the apartment and house. Mold growth is common after water damage. Addressing and repairing the source of the problem is critical to eliminating lingering odors and problems.

How To Deal With Flood Odors. 

If your Oldsmar, FL, home has sustained water damage, it often means that you also have to deal with mold growth. Even if the affected area has been cleaned, lurking odors are a sign that more damage was sustained than thought. Properly addressing the situation is essential to eliminating a potentially ongoing problem.

Steps to Dealing with Flood Water Odors

At the first signs of a musty odor, the following steps should be taken:

  • Find the Source: The musty smell means there is damage somewhere. If you had a sewage loss or broken pipe, it is likely in that vicinity. Sometimes mold growth is difficult to locate. Since it likes to grow in damp, warm and dark places, check bathrooms, the basement and the attic.
  • Fix the Source: Once you know what is causing the issue, time is of the essence. Mold quickly grows and spreads, so it is imperative to quickly repair the source of the problem.
  • Dry Everything Out: The quicker the affected items and areas dry the better. Along with ensuring excess water is extracted, opening windows and using fans may speed up the process.
  • Eradicate the Mold: In most cases, this is best left to the professionals. If only a small area has been affected following recommended safety and cleaning protocols.
  • Sanitize and Deodorize: Once the mold is gone, the entire area should be cleaned and deodorized to eliminate lingering odors. Keep windows open and use fans to enhance airflow.

Ensure Proper Mitigation

While those steps seem simple enough, there is a lot that goes into ensuring the mold issue and odors are properly eradicated. If the affected area is more than 10 square feet, it is best to contact a professional mold and water damage restoration company. A certified provider will have the all-around expertise to find and fix the issue, as well as ensure that no mold or odors linger.

Mold growth is common when there is water damage. Addressing the source of the problem and fixing it is essential to eradicating lingering odors and problems.

3 Steps To Take After a Basement Flood

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

the old dirty cellar flooded from a pipe break After a basement flood, you can't just dry everything out and go back to normal. Mold can grow quickly and cause significant damage.

3 Things To Do After A Basement Flood

Nothing ruins your day quite as much as coming home to a basement flood. When that happens in your Westchase, FL, home, you might be unsure how to proceed. Here are three steps to take when you have a flooded basement.

1. Identify the Source of the Water

Before starting repairs, you need to find out where the water is coming from and stop it. If you have a leaking appliance or burst water piper, turn off the water main to the house. However, if floodwaters cause your basement to flood, you'll have to wait for them to recede before starting to pump the water out.

2. Check Insurance Coverage

Depending on your coverage, you might find that your insurance policy doesn't cover everything. Insurance typically doesn't cover repairing items in your home that caused the flood, such as a broken dishwasher or water heater. Additionally, your plan won't cover damage from an outside flood unless you purchased additional flood insurance.

However, property insurance will cover the cost of repairing and replacing your personal belongings damaged in the basement flood. Those items include:

  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Furniture

When speaking to your insurance agent, ask what proof they require for your damaged items so you can start the repair or replacement process as soon as possible.

3. Contact a Clean Up Service

After a basement flood, you can't simply dry everything out and go back to normal. Mold and mildew can quickly start to grow on things and cause much more damage. Additionally, depending on why your basement filled with water, you could have unsafe chemicals and hazardous materials all over your belongings.

Because of that, you should contact a flood damage restoration company to do the clean-up for you. They will safely remove all of the damaged materials and clean everything, so your basement is safe to use again.

Rising waters in your basement can be hard to handle. However, knowing what steps to take when it happens can make a hard time a lot easier to manage.

How To Prepare for a Potential Fire at Your Business

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Thoughtful planning can ensure your business continues functioning when its fire damage risk is high.

How To Prepare Your Business For A Possible Fire

Whether your business Lake Fern, FL, faces an average or high fire risk, you need a contingency plan to continue operating and an evacuation plan to lead everyone to safety if disaster strikes.

Understand Your Risks

Thoughtful planning can ensure your business continues functioning when its fire damage risk is high. Companies that may be susceptible to fires are:

  • Operating in flood and earthquake zones
  • Dealing with hazardous materials
  • Functioning in old buildings
  • Using dated kitchens and electrical appliances

Understanding your business's fire risk can ensure that you have a strategy to continue essential business functions after a damaging fire. 

Plan To Continue Operating

It is essential to outline specific strategies for addressing your business's vulnerabilities and how it can continue operating seamlessly after a fire. Starting by creating a multi-tiered list of your operations according to their importance will help you and your team continue performing your most pressing tasks. For example, plan to update, repair and remove potential fire starters, including faulty wiring, outdated appliances, and non-functional fire extinguishers and sprinklers, on your premises.

In addition, your contingency plan may include negotiating emergency inventory replacement with suppliers, establishing a relationship with a staffing agency and maintaining an updated emergency contact list, including services that can facilitate your business restoration efforts and temporary relocation.

Plan for Evacuation

You and your employees may need to evacuate the premises during an emergency, but chaos may ensue without a clear plan. For example, it is vital to pre-determine viable routes to lead everyone to safety and assign staff to assist those with special needs.  

Effective evacuation must also include a strategy for communicating with your team, accounting for each person after exiting, and assigning staff to oversee safety measures. 

When disaster strikes, you must rely on others to help your business recover. When you create a contingency plan to continue operating and an evacuation plan to ensure everyone's safety, you increase the likelihood that your business will recover from a fire in Lake Fern, FL.

Routine Maintenance Can Protect Your Business From Storm Damage

4/9/2022 (Permalink)

Construction worker wearing safety harness and safety line working on a metal industry roof new warehouse Once a year, before storm season, have your building inspected by a professional. Examine the walls for cracks, gutters, and weak spots in the ceiling

Storm Damage Can Be Avoided With Routine Maintenance

Routine exterior maintenance of your East Lake Woodlands, FL, commercial building can help the structure better withstand inclement weather. Whether you are anticipating strong thunderstorms or heavy snows, a strong exterior will keep your business protected.


A thorough building inspection will alert you to any weaknesses or problems that make your building more vulnerable to storm damage. A full exterior inspection will cover all of the following areas:

  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Brick, stucco, siding, etc.
  • Gutters and downspouts

The frequency of inspections depends on a variety of factors, including the age of the building and local weather patterns. At minimum, have the building professionally inspected once a year, ideally before the stormiest season. Make sure the building is checked for cracks in the walls and foundation, loose gutters and weak spots in the roof. A trusted building inspector can let you know what areas of your structure may need more frequent inspections.

Even a building that passes an inspection can still be vulnerable to storm damage. If this happens, an experienced restoration service can get your property back to normal so that it can successfully weather the next storm.


In addition to routine inspections, it is important to keep your building maintained. Exterior maintenance involves more than simply repairing the issues discovered during inspections. Keep gutters and downspouts clear and make sure they are not loose. Remove debris from the roof. Pressure wash as needed to minimize fungal growth. Make sure all signage is securely attached to the building.

The nearby landscaping also affects the structural integrity of the building and should be properly maintained. Keep limbs trimmed and make sure trees are healthy and strong to prevent them damaging the building. Consider grading the lawn away from the building and installing plants and mulch to prevent flooding.

Stormy weather can cause serious problems for your commercial building. However, a little routine exterior maintenance can prevent many situations.

How To Prevent Clogs in Old Drain Pipes

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Plumber working on pipes. Limit main line blockages and use regular enzyme treatments to prevent a severe water damage in your building.

How To Keep Clogs Away From Old Drain Pipes

An old rental building in Westchase, FL, comes with plenty of charm. It may even be cheaper than an ultra-modern premises is. However, a property that was erected decades ago may also have a lot of problems. Clogged pipes, for instance, are particularly common in older structures. That is because these buildings usually feature polybutylene pipes that wear down over time.

Clogs are not just minor inconveniences, either. A major backup could cause a flood that necessitates water damage restoration services. You thus need to perform extra maintenance on your pipes to keep them functioning properly.

Enzyme Treatments

A clog can occur in a sink or in the main plumbing line. To prevent both types of blockages, follow the below steps:

1. Run Hot Water

Enzymes do their best work in warm temperatures. You should thus run the water in the sink until the temperature increases.

2. Make and Pour Enzymes

Enzymes are essentially powdered bacteria that destroy soap scum and other debris in the drain. Add water to liven up the dry enzymes and then pour them down the drain.

3. Turn on Water

Let the enzymes sit in the polybutylene pipes overnight. Then pour boiling water into the drain to flush away the remaining gunk.

Repeat this process in each sink at least once per month. You should also clear your main lines by flushing one cup of enzymes down the toilet. Do this four days in a row during each season.

Preventing Clogs

Besides using enzymes, you can also prevent clogs by keeping the pipes clear of debris. This means installing a lint catcher in any laundry rooms and making sure your tenants keep the drains clear of food and hair.

Tree roots are common sources of clogs, as well. You may want to chop down troublesome trees or use root killers in your toilets.

Polybutylene pipes in older properties can wear down or clog easily. Limit main line blockages and use regular enzyme treatments to prevent a severe water damage in your building.

How To Handle Post-Flood Cleanup

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in an office When disaster strikes, call SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase. Our staff is available 24/7, 365 and can help with all types of flood damage restoration

How To Deal With Flood Cleanup

Don’t let the idea of content cleaning after a flood get you down. It’s never impossible to restore your business to its former glory with proper cleaning and sanitization as long as you know the ins and outs of how to properly recover from flood damage in Tampa, FL

1. Create a Cleanup Plan

The very first step in reclaiming your property after flood damage is to establish a structured, methodical cleanup plan. Identify which cleanup tasks are dependent on others and prioritize key areas first. Section off your floor plan into places that are most to least critical regarding what needs to be handled for health and safety reasons versus what is just part of cosmetic damage restoration.

2. Identify What You Can Salvage

Although content cleaning can feel like razing everything down and starting from scratch, you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some of your belongings can be salvaged simply by drying them out, particularly if they are made of non-porous materials that don’t absorb water. Set aside what can be rescued to dry out properly in a sunny, well-ventilated place.

3. Discard Porous Materials

Even if you may be able to salvage some things, other things are too risky to keep. Anything porous that may have absorbed contaminated water may have to be completely destroyed. This can range from furniture that was completely soaked in water to even the sheetrock of the walls, and for more complicated tasks, you may require the assistance of restoration services to help.

The problem with porous materials absorbing contaminated water is that even when they dry out after some content cleaning — and they will take much longer to dry out — any residual particles from the water may still remain in the material, trapped in porous fibers and openings. Unfortunately, “residual particles” often mean fecal matter since is wastewater from toilets and sewage mains. 

How To Remove Odors After a Flood

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in an office SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase was quick to the scene after a rain storm flooded this local salon. When water finds a way inside, call us!

How To Get Rid Of Flood Odors

Even after the flood water has receded in Westchase, FL, it can leave its legacy behind. One of these legacies is a litany of foul odors, which can indicate anything from mold growth to sewage loss left behind in the building. When cleaning and restoring after flood damage, odor elimination is one of your top priorities.

1. Dry Everything Thoroughly

Your first step in preventing odors is to dry everything as thoroughly as possible, as quickly as possible, before standing water has time to set and seep into any porous surfaces. Drain standing water as best you can by using vacuum suction if you need to. Mop and blot every surface. Open all windows and doors to let air in to further dry out, and use fans to hasten the process. Water left behind can lead rapidly to mold growth and should be addressed quickly.

2. Remove Anything That Might Hold Odors

Unfortunately, some of your possessions and inventory will have to go. Fabric, carpets, and other items may hold odors that are impossible to get out of porous surfaces without particular types of deep chemical or steam cleaning. Even if you intend to have them cleaned, remove them from the premises during initial cleanup before the odors start to set.

3. Make Use of Disinfectant and Odor Absorbers

Disinfectant is your friend in preventing mold growth. Every surface you mop dry should also be thoroughly disinfected. Odors can hang in the air, however, and can cling to surfaces. Believe it or not, kitty litter is a great odor absorber to spread over surfaces. You can also buy chemical odor absorbers and special steam cleaning and humidifier devices specially intended to remove odors from the air and open surfaces.

4. Hire Professionals

If those pesky odors still won’t abate, you may have to bring in professionals. Professional storm restoration and flood water damage cleaners often have commercial equipment not readily available to most homeowners and business owners, and they are licensed to handle more hazardous but effective chemical cleaners.

3 Helpful Tips To Minimize Residential Water Damage

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a home. Our equipment is working hard to make this residential water loss "Like it never even happened." Call us when you need it!

3 Tips To Minimize Water Damage In Your Home

Plumbing lines allow convenient access to water in your home. However, a variety of situations can leave your pipes susceptible to damage, increasing the risk of potentially destructive leaks. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to safeguard your residence with water damage repair services.

1. Protect Your Pipes During the Winter

Frigid winter temperatures can wreak havoc on pipes. Supply lines located in uninsulated rooms or adjacent to exterior walls may be particularly prone to freezing and bursts. To minimize the risk of a broken pipe, you should insulate exposed plumbing structures in your garage, basement and other cold zones inside your residence. You can also circulate warmer air around bathroom and kitchen pipes by opening cabinet doors.

2. Routinely Inspect for Leaks

Water in your home flows to numerous appliances as well as bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Over time, connections can loosen, and supply lines can crack. To help prevent extensive water damage and mold contamination, you should routinely check under your dishwasher and around your washing machine and refrigerator for pooled fluid or dampness and promptly commence any necessary repairs. You should also regularly inspect around toilets and under kitchen and bathroom sinks.

3. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

Clogs are a frustrating plumbing issue that can sometimes be difficult to clear. While it may be tempting to use a chemical solution to perform a pipe cleanup, drain cleaners can corrode or warp both metal and plastic tubes, making them vulnerable to cracks and leaks. To safeguard your home’s water lines, you should use a safer alternative to clear obstructions, such as an auger snake or a plunger.

Like most homeowners in Oldsmar, FL, you may rarely worry about a broken pipe and unexpected water in your home. Seepage from damaged lines can, however, cause extensive destruction. Taking proactive steps can help you protect your home’s plumbing infrastructure and avoid a messy cleanup.