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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How To Contain Mold and Begin the Cleanup Process

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold cleanup in Westchase, FL

There Are Three Major Steps To Containing Mold

Finding mold in your office building requires immediate attention in Westchase, FL. If you think you have a fungus problem, start the mold removal process as quickly as possible. One of the first and most important steps in mold cleanup is containment.

1. Isolating the Area
Physical barriers are set up to isolate the affected area to prevent mold from spreading into neighboring areas. Heavy plastic is often used to separate the contaminated and uncontaminated areas by sealing doors to individual rooms or covering air vents and windows. Any area that allows air flow to and from the contaminated space should be closed off.

2. Creating Negative Air Pressure
Air from the contaminated area must be removed. HEPA-filtered negative air machines pull air from the contaminated area and expel it outside using a tube or hose, removing airborne mold spores from the site. Once the air pressure inside the containment area is less than the pressure outside, a negative pressure environment is created, continuing to move air out. This is essential for controlling any spores that become airborne due to the mold cleanup process.

3. Stopping Air Flow
Mold contamination can spread quickly if air moves across the affected area. Turning off any cooling or heating fans prevents any spores from growing and multiplying.
After the mold is contained, the next step is removal and remediation. Calling a commercial mold remediation service is always recommended to ensure that mold is carefully removed and the impacted areas of your business are thoroughly cleaned, dried and disinfected. Once removal and cleaning are complete, you should begin restoring and damaged areas. Drywall, flooring and structural components should be repaired or replaced, depending on the severity of the damage.
There is no time to waste if you spot mold in your building. Act fast to contain the area and begin the mold cleanup process immediately. Swift action and containment can prevent additional spread and mitigate the damage and losses, ensuring your business recovers more quickly.

Which Common Water Losses Are Covered Under Commercial Insurance Policies?

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water on the floor Commercial water damage and removal

Which Common Water Losses Are Covered Under Commercial Insurance Policies?

Damaged pipes are one of the most common water losses. If you have proper commercial insurance, your policy should cover cleanup and restoration services following a sudden discharge of water from a pipe. However, floods or frozen pipes may not be covered. Read on for more details.

Covered Perils
Many water losses are covered under commercial insurance policies. These perils include:

  • Ruptured pipes
  • Broken appliances
  • Sprinkler leaks or accidental discharges

In general, any sudden event that causes water to build up in your Oldsmar, FL, building should be covered. The insurance money can be used to remove the water and salvage or replace any damaged items.
Most policies also include "rip and tear," coverage. This helps you pay for the cost of replacing any walls or floors that had to be torn in order to access the damaged pipes or appliances.
Keep in mind that insurance does not typically cover repairs to the broken appliances or pipes themselves. However, there are some exceptions. Insurance does pay for the cost of replacing or fixing a fire protective system if the damage to that system discharges foam, powder or water into your building.

Uncovered Perils
Typically, the insurer will not cover any damage that results from your inaction or negligence. Slowly leaking pipes, for instance, are usually excluded from coverage.
Damage caused by frozen pipes or equipment may not be covered, either. The insurer believes it is the property owner's responsibility to keep the building warm enough to prevent freezing.
Finally, flooding due to storms or sewage backup is not part of a commercial property policy. However, you can purchase separate flood coverage.
The harm caused by damaged pipes that suddenly burst should be covered under your commercial insurance policy. However, pipes that slowly leaked over a period of time may not be covered. By properly maintaining your property, you can increase the odds that your insurer helps pay for your next water loss.

3 Rules To Teach Kids About Fire Safety

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Young mixed race woman in white dress crawls on ground by trees destroyed by wildfire while covered in ashes Crawling to safety

Teach Your Kids The Following Tactics

When was the last time you practiced a fire drill in your Cheval, FL, home? Do you think that your family would know what to do? Kids safety is the main priority as a parent, so help prepare children for a fire by teaching them these three escape tactics.

1. Roll out of Bed
In a home fire, the temperature difference between the floor and ceiling of a room can be over a hundred degrees. Teach children to roll out of bed to limit their exposure to high temperatures and smoke inhalation. Kids should avoid sitting up and instead roll onto their stomachs and slide onto the floor next to the bed.

2. Stay Low to the Floor
Once on the floor, kids need to stay there. Practice your planned fire escape route with your children by crawling to safety. There are two types of crawls kids need to know. The first is to get down on their forearms and knees with their noses as close to the floor as possible. The second is very similar except that they flatten their legs so that they are as close to the ground as possible.

3. Check Doors
Another important step in ensuring kids safety during a fire is to teach them to check doors before they open them. Show children how to use the back of their hands to check if doors are hot to the touch. Hot doors should stay closed. Cool or warm doors can be opened using a shoulder, and if the kids can see fire or smoke rolls out of the door, they need to close it. Make sure to teach children to close doors behind them, too. Doing this helps slow the spread and prevents fire damage.
Kids safety is important to every parent. Having a plan with clear fire safety rules will make sure children can keep a cool head and get out when needed.

3 Times You Should Trash Your Carpet

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Machine extracting water from carpet If a leak or pipe break soaks your carpeting, contact a professional water restoration service

Why Should I Replace My Carpet?

Dealing with wet carpeting is one of the most difficult aspects of a home flood. Whether your carpeting can be salvaged depends on the type of water: Is it clean water from a supply line or pipe break, or floodwater from a storm surge? Time is also a key factor: how long has the floor been wet? In many cases, restoration specialists can clean and restore your carpeting. However, there are some situations in which you should always replace your carpet.

1. It’s Been Exposed to “Black” Water
“Black” water, also called “category three water”, is highly contaminated water that may contain organic matter, bacteria, chemical pollutants, and/or other toxins. Examples of black water include floodwater from rivers or lakes or sewer backups where feces is present. Carpeting that has been saturated with black water is impossible to safely restore and should be replaced.

2. It’s Been Wet for 72 Hours or More
Time makes an enormous difference in your carpet's restoration outlook. Even clean water from a supply pipe break will mix with dust and chemicals in your carpeting and mold spores in the air. Bacteria and mold multiply rapidly and can begin to spread throughout flooring materials in a matter of hours. Replace carpeting that has been wet for 72 hours or longer.

3. It’s Dry Now, but It’s Starting To Smell
DIY attempts to clean wet carpeting often result in some moisture left behind. Mold spores and moisture can remain hidden deep in the subfloor and padding. The mold spreads throughout these surfaces and infects your carpeting from underneath, and you may notice a musty or sour smell. Restoration is no longer an option at this point, and you should replace the carpet.
If a leak or pipe break soaks your carpeting, contact a professional water restoration service in Lake Fern, FL, right away. The sooner professional cleanup efforts begin, the more likely that your carpeting can be saved.

Got Mold? Insurance May Not Cover It

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in walls after water damage Mold damage in Lake Fern, FL

Got Mold? Insurance May Not Cover It

As tricky as mold growing in your Lake Fern, FL, home is to deal with, figuring out if it is covered by insurance can be just as tricky. When fungus growth rears its ugly heads, a number of factors will decide whether mold insurance will cover the necessary repairs by a mold damage and mitigation specialist.

What Is and Isn’t Covered
Although not all policies are the same, the removal of mold is often only covered when it is associated with a peril that is part of the policy. Before an event happens that results in mold spores making your home their own, it is important to understand what your particular policy covers. In many cases, unexpected and accidental water damage, such as a burst pipe or appliance, that results in fungus growth will be covered. A claim will likely be denied if:

  • A long-term leak has not been addressed.
  • The growth is the result of high humidity that could have been avoided with a dehumidifier.
  • Natural flooding is the main source of growth.
  • If you have additional flood insurance, the latter may be included in the policy. Be sure to discuss add-ons with your agent.

Prevention Is Key
Instead of worrying about what mold coverage you have, it is better to be proactive and avoid a colony from spreading. Along with immediately addressing any leaks and removing visible standing water, below are other ways to minimize the chances for mold to grow.

  • Keep indoor humidity levels under 60%.
    Ensure kitchen and bathrooms have exhaust fans.
  • Avoid carpeting in areas prone to dampness, such as basements and bathrooms.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris and properly flowing.
  • Regularly inspect basements, crawl spaces, attics, cabinetry and areas around appliances for excess moisture and leaks.

Dealing with fungus growth can be time-consuming and an expensive endeavor. To avoid extra costs, be sure to be proactive and understand what kinds of damage your insurance will cover.

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.

How To Contain the Formation of Black Mold

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo on picture, standing water on the floor of an office Water damage in a Fox's Corner, FL commercial building

Black Mold Can Lead To Severe Consequences For Your Business

Excess water and high humidity can ruin office equipment and furnishings at your Foxs Corner, FL, business. They can also lead to secondary damage from black mold. Common causes of excess moisture include

  • Broken pipes
  • Fire suppression
  • Roof damage
  • Faulty insulation
  • Poor air circulation

A professional mold remediation service can do the following to ensure a clean environment for you and your employees.

Address the Source
Unless your business has experienced a flood or a burst pipe, it can be challenging to know the source of excess water and humidity. Commercial buildings often experience hidden leaks from toilets, faucets and inferior structural materials. Poor ventilation that doesn't provide proper airflow is another culprit. Knowing the cause of a black mold problem is the first step toward fixing it.

Remove the Water
Water can quickly overtake a space after events like fires and floods. Any water extraction and drying method should occur within 48 hours to avoid secondary damage from toxic mold.

Clean the Air
Mold spores floating in the air can be invisible, but a musty odor is a sign that they exist. Mold remediation services can purify the air with methods that include

Air Scrubbing
Portable machines draw the air through powerful HEPA filters, removing contaminated particles and mold spores, and pump clean air back into the environment.

Ozone Treatment
Superficial deodorizers do not eliminate the presence of mold spores in the air, nor do they effectively address odor. The most effective methods to remove foul mold odors include ozone treatment, which employs oxygen that contains three molecules rather than the usual two. The third molecule seeks and attaches itself to the air contaminant, leading to its destruction, thus eliminating the odor.
Black Mold can spread quickly and lead to severe consequences for your Foxs Corner, FL, business. By performing regular inspections and maintenance of your building's physical structure, you can avoid potential damages.

5 Ways To Prepare for Floods

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Excavation contractor using a track excavator during the installation of a new large block retaining wall at a new commercial Build a retaining wall it can help you divert floodwaters away

Do You Think About Flood Prevention?

When you think about building in Heritage Harbor, FL, do you think about flood prevention? Flooding is a common issue that affects many communities and structures. By being prepared, you can ensure that your new construction project is ready to withstand rough waters.

1. Make a plan. Knowing the weather patterns, major waterways and potential flood hazards for your building site can help you prevent flood damage. This information is beneficial when designing the drainage system and deciding on the upkeep of those systems when it comes to debris and clogging.

2. Plant vegetation. Incorporating sturdy shrubs, trees and other plants into your plans is a good way to help prevent flooding. Plants create an expansive root system that loosens soil and makes more room for water to be absorbed. This reduces the chances of standing water and adds curb appeal.

3. Build retaining walls and overflow areas. Blocking and redirecting water is one of the main flood prevention tactics used in construction. Some of the most common retaining walls used are dams and levees. You can also create flood plains or spillways to help divert floodwaters away.

4. Educate people. Once people start to move in, teaching them simple ways they can help prevent flooding can have a big impact. For instance, just keeping fallen leaves and other waste out of storm drains can help a drainage system handle flood water efficiently.

5. Have a backup plan. No amount of planning can completely prevent natural disasters. Even if you’ve done all of this preventative planning, it is good to have a plan for flood cleanup. Research professional flood cleaning resources in your building area and know who you can call.
Flood prevention means being ready before, during and after a storm surge. Covering all of your bases lets you rest easier knowing that you’ve done all you can to combat flood damage.

So You've Had a Fire in Your Rented Home. Now What?

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Surviving an apartment fire in Oldsmar, FL can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. If you have recently had a fire in a rental property, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure how to proceed. Some of your personal items, as well as the apartment structure itself, have probably suffered fire damage or smoke damage that will require the help of a professional fire restoration company at someone's expense. If you are unsure which expenses are covered by renters, and which are the responsibility of the property owner, the answer to a few key questions can easily clarify things.

1. Do You Have Renter's Insurance?

An apartment fire is just one of many potential disasters that can leave a renter in a precarious financial position. For those with the foresight and resources, getting renter's insurance before a disaster is always a good idea. Insurance companies should be able to reimburse renters for furniture, personal appliances, or other possessions lost to fire.

2. Does the Damaged Property

Belong to the Tenant or Landlord?
Generally speaking, structural features of a property, including plumbing and ventilation, are covered by the landlord or landlord's insurance. Personal belongings within the household, such as furniture and decor, are the responsibility of the renter.

3. Which Party Was Primarily

Responsible for the Fire?
Unfortunately, negligence on the part of renters or property owners is frequently the cause of destructive domestic fires. It is always important for tenants to document any evidence of a landlord's negligence, as this may entitle tenants to compensation for fire-related losses.

If you think you might qualify for reimbursement for possessions that were lost or damaged in an apartment fire, it is wise to inventory your items meticulously. This will give you the best chance at receiving compensation for your losses and start you off on the right foot on your journey back to normalcy.

What To Do After a Fire

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

If your business in Oldsmar, FL has suffered a fire, it is important to begin the fire restoration process as quickly as possible. By working with a company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster, you can help mitigate the risk of additional damage. If your fire sprinklers went off or you have water damage, mold could begin forming in as little as twenty-four hours. There are several things you need to know about what to do after a fire.

1. Call the Experts

Most business owners have fire insurance that will cover the majority of damages, often after paying a deductible. As a first step to getting your business back on track, call your insurance agent to report the damage.

2. Do Not Touch Damaged Items

As tempting as it may be to begin the cleanup process, it is not a good idea to do it yourself when fire restoration is involved. There can be damage in places you cannot see, like subfloors, which could make the area unsafe. Additionally, you may unintentionally spread hard to clean soot or ash to other locations throughout the building. Cross-contamination could make smoke cleaning more difficult.

3. Perform Board-up Services

After a fire, your building could be open to the outside world in places it was not before. Not only can fires burn holes in walls and roofs, but sometimes firefighters cut holes as a way to help put out the fire. These openings can lead to further damage if animals, looters, or water enter. Most restoration teams will put a board or tarp over exterior holes to help prevent any further damage.

Fire restoration may involve more than just heat damage. There could also be problems from water, smoke, or fire suppression methods. When you work with an expert fire remediation company, your business will get back to its pre-fire condition as quickly as possible.

How To Care For Burns in the Workplace

8/30/2020 (Permalink)

Proactive approaches are important in fire safety. Commercial owners in Oldmsar/Westchase can have a fire restoration company evaluate the premises, offering ways to reduce fire damage to the structure. In addition, proprietors should consider the people, taking the initiative to train employees on how to help with fire injuries. Here are three things the staff should know.

1. Evaluate the Case

A minor aggravation may simply be looked at on the spot, using the burn first aid kit. These are usually small and superficial, resulting in some redness, pain and blistering. If the person is suffering greatly or has any of the following conditions, he or she may have significant trauma, requiring treatment from a doctor or emergency care:

  • Deep impact
  • Areas larger than 3 inches
  • Charred skin
  • Patches of white, black or brown
  • Trouble breathing or moving

Call 911. As you wait for help to arrive, keep the coworker comfortable and monitor life signs.

2. Support Those With Major Issues

When the fire damage harms someone greatly, the business's medical personnel or employee should aid in moving the patient to a safe area. Begin to watch for swelling and difficulty breathing. Remove anything constricting such as jewelry or belts that could restrict air flow or cause discomfort. From the supplies, locate a cool, moist bandage or sterile cloth. Place this over the burn, safeguarding it from exposure. Do not, however, wash it with water as this could do more harm.

3. Treat the Minor Impacts Carefully

Locate the first aid supplies. Rinse the reddened section with cool water or use a compress. Don't touch the blisters. They are best left alone. If they do open up, you'll want to apply an antibiotic ointment. Then, take off anything that could become tight from inflammation, particularly rings. With the skin cool, rub a soothing lotion such as aloe vera or moisturizer. Once this is completed, loosely apply a gauze wrap.

Remember fire damage affects more than your walls. Members of your team can be impacted too. Be ready to provide assistance.

IICRC Designation - Meagan Peppers

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Oldsmar / Westchase is proud to announce office manager Meagan Peppers has recently passed certification and received the industry-standard IICRC designation. Way to go! 


Who Pays for the Damage After an Apartment Fire?

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

An apartment fire in Oldsmar, FL is an unfortunate incident where the tenants can lose their homes and property owners can lose their livelihoods. However, both parties need to create a plan to respond, recover property and determine who pays for the damage. Determining liability depends on several factors, including the insurance plans involved and what exactly was damaged.

What To Do After a Fire

Even after safely evacuating the building, the people involved can still get overwhelmed by the experience. However, it is important for both parties to act fast and perform the following actions:
  • Call their respective insurance companies
  • Choose a recommended fire damage restoration company
  • Contact each other and exchange incident information
  • Ensure both parties have insurance lined up
  • Assess the damage and recover property together

Both the landlord and the tenant should be careful even after the fire is over. They should never enter the damaged area without the fire officer's permission.

When the Landlord Pays

When an apartment fire affects the building itself, the landlord's homeowner's policy is required to cover the loss. This structural damage can be either partial or complete. The coverage also extends to certain home systems such as plumbing and electrical since they are significantly connected to the building itself. Even in the cases where the tenant is responsible for the fire and must pay the deductible, the landlord still should update the homeowner's plan.

When the Tenant Pays

 The tenant is mainly responsible for the personal property inside the rental unit. This can include items such as electronic devices, furniture, clothes and other belongings. These items are covered by renter's insurance, which the tenant is recommended to obtain when moving to a new apartment. The landlord can be held liable for the tenant's damage if the latter can prove in court that the former's negligence caused the loss.
During the aftermath of an apartment fire, it can be difficult to determine roles and responsibilities. Tenants and landlords should inform themselves about these topics to make the process less stressful than it should.

The Mold Remediation Process

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold found in the  corner of a wall Mold remediation services in Keystone, FL

Do You Have Any Experience Dealing With House Mold?

While common, mold in your home can be a nuisance. You may find it on bread, in your bathroom or on your clothing. How did you get to this point, and what can you do about it? You should call a mold remediation service in Keystone, FL. These companies specialize in mold removal and have a precise process for containment and removal that keeps you and your family safe.

1. Air Quality Testing
The first thing a mold remediation company will do is assess your property. The team will search your house for signs of mold. If they locate an area of mold growth, they will probably take samples to test and identify the species. Once the results are in, the company will know how they must move forward.

2. Containment
Depending on the size of the house mold infestation and the results of the tests, the remediation crew may need to contain the affected area. They will seal all doorways, windows and vents with plastic to ensure that any mold spores that are forced loose during removal will not contaminate another area of the home.

3. Removal
With the room or rooms sealed off, the crew will dampen the surface of every wall to weigh down the spores. Then, the team will begin cutting away drywall and getting a clearer picture of the infestation. During the removal, they will also look for the underlying cause of the issue. If a plumbing problem or leak is found, the team will resolve it before moving onto to cleaning and restoration.

4. Cleaning and Restoration
With all contaminated surfaces removed, the crew will clean and sterilize the entire area. They will then test the space again to ensure the mold has been removed. If tests are good, then the company will restore the property.
Fighting house mold can be challenging. If you suspect you have a problem, contact a remediation company in your area for assistance.

Understanding Your Options for Flood Recovery

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

disaster recovery centers staffed with recovery specialists from FEMA FEMA also provides assistance through grants and their Housing Assistance program

It’s impossible to predict flooding from a natural disaster, even if you live in a flood plain. Unfortunately, given the right conditions, flooding can take place nearly anywhere, so it’s not a bad idea to purchase flood insurance, especially when it’s affordable. If your property in East Lake Woodlands, FL is ever inundated, you need to know what options are available for recovery. In addition to insurance coverage, the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA also provides assistance through grants and their Housing Assistance program. Low-interest disaster loans are also available to homeowners and renters from the Small Business Administration, or SBA.

Federal Disaster Assistance

If you’re a property owner or renter in a disaster-designated area that has sustained damage to your property and possessions, you can register with FEMA for disaster relief aid. These grants cover several expenses related to your disaster, including the following:

  • Temporary housing
  • Emergency home repairs
  • Uninsured/underinsured personal property losses
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Funeral expenses

Income-dependent assistance is also available that covers housing through the agency’s Housing Assistance program. If you are not a legal US resident, you can still request assistance on behalf of a child that is a citizen or qualified alien that lives with you. Applicants with flood insurance policies should check with their providers first before registering. Even if you’ve already repaired your property, you should register as you still may be eligible for assistance.

Understanding Coverage
Federal disaster relief is not intended for bringing your property back to pre-flood conditions. Disaster grants are intended to pay for losses not covered by property or flood insurance. Each relief request is analyzed on a case-by-case basis. You may need to apply for an SBA loan to cover the expenses of a full home restoration which should be completed by a qualified provider that is equipped and experienced when it comes to best cleanup and repair approaches.

Necessary Preparations for Potential Fire Threats

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Every company needs a contingency plan if a disaster strikes

Necessary Preparations for Potential Fire Threats

The most significant threat to a business after a disaster is time. Repairing the damage and getting back to work is of the utmost importance for your company, employees, stakeholders, and clients. As with most things in business, preparation through a contingency plan helps to avoid long-term interruptions. Any fire restoration company in Cheval, FL, will explain that there are three things a company can do to limit damage and speed up the recovery process.

Fire prevention systems
Fire Escape Plans
Business interruption procedures

Fire Prevention Systems
If you wish to limit the extent of fire damage to your facility, then fire prevention systems should be installed. Many municipalities require commercial properties to have sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers on-site, and those same governing bodies likely regulate these systems. While you may need to install these systems, often the type of system is up to you. Sprinkler designs come in several varieties, including non-water. However, the one system that helps to limit the damage is a zoned system. These systems will only release in areas where a fire is detected, meaning the rest of your facility remains dry.

Fire Escape Plans
Every company should have an evacuation plan, and it should be given to every manager and employee. Escape plans should also be posted in hallways and meeting rooms. A plan needs to have at least two exits from every space in the building.

Business Interruption Procedures
As the primary concern of business owners is limiting interruption, a contingency plan should include ways to continue operations without the building. Can employees work remotely? Can orders be fulfilled through external distribution centers? Who needs to know what is happening and how services change? Answering these questions and many others will help you limit the financial strain of a fire disaster.
Every company needs a contingency plan if a disaster strikes. It is also useful to have a disaster mitigation professional on standby to help move the recovery along.

Community Partner Bank of Tampa

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

4 SERVPRO team members and local banking manager Local Partners are great Partners!

Big thanks to Chad Wammock, VP commercial relationship manager at the Bank of Tampa for his help during our start up phase! 

The Key Elements of Water Mitigation

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater A leaking water heater can spill gallons of water

Whether you own a home or a business, there are many scenarios that could cause water damage to your property in The Eagles, FL. Having a plan in place to deal with a leaking water heater or a flood in your area is the foundation of protecting your investment. The SERVPRO name is synonymous with Faster to Any Size Disaster. Highly-trained technicians can arrive at the site of an emergency in four hours and begin clearing up the problem, whether it is a failed water heater or some other calamity. They follow a proven process that is designed to efficiently return a home or business to excellent condition again.

The Important Steps for Remediation

A leaking water heater can spill gallons of water over carpeting, drywall, and personal belongings. A quick, professional response is needed. While each situation is unique, the classic response incorporates the following elements:

  • Fast arrival of technicians
  • Inspection and damage assessment
  • Water removal and extraction
  • Drying
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration

An experienced emergency response team is certified to clean the property to the highest industry standards. Technicians use advanced equipment and technology throughout the process. This could involve HEPA vacuums, moisture-detection devices, and mold-containment barriers. These methods are adaptable for such problems as cleaning up after a broken water heater or restoring a property after a flood.

The Best Methods for Mitigation
A fast response to an emergency such as a leaking water heater can reduce expenses and eliminate the need to replace items. A restore versus replace mentality allows technicians to salvage clothing and furniture that can be saved. Advanced cleaning techniques such as dry cleaning or abrasive cleaning can often restore personal belongings and materials to good condition again. Even such items as documents or electronics can be saved under the right conditions. Working with a quality mitigation team in your area increases your chances of success when dealing with any form of water damage.

How To Reduce Your Home Flooding Risk

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Sandbags Outside Front Door Of Flooded House Home flooding in Foxs Corner, FL

Home flooding and the resulting damage account for a large share of homeowner’s insurance claims. Basements and crawl spaces bear more risk than most other areas of your home because water seeks the lowest points. This discussion on minimizing residential flood risk may help you prevent a basement flood and an expensive, disruptive cleanup process.

Sources of Home Flooding 

Part of preventing water-related property damage is understanding the potential sources of the problem. These are the primary scenarios that can cause residential water damage.

  • A broken water pipe or leaking appliance
  • A failed sump pump
  • An overflowing bathtub or toilet
  • Storm-related flooding
  • Municipal failures such as dam breaches or water main breaks

While homeowners tend to associate extreme weather with home flooding, both internal and external water sources can be the culprit. A malfunctioning sump pump can turn a minor rain storm into a basement flood in a matter of minutes. Empowering yourself with knowledge about flood risk reduces the likelihood that you will experience a home flood event.

Flood Risk Reduction
A risk assessment for home flooding will help you make some decisions about proper preventive measures. Your homeowner’s insurance agent or local flood remediation service can help point out vulnerable conditions in your location, elevation, structure and climate. This will help you determine what measures could reduce your risk.
Based on the outcome of your risk assessment, you can develop a custom flood prevention plan that includes preventive repairs and maintenance, emergency preparedness and household readiness. For instance, maintaining perimeter drainage routes can prevent a basement flood. Involving your family in emergency evacuation drills reduces risk by preparing residents to act quickly in an emergency. It is smart to sign up for any local or national emergency notification services, so you will be aware of any major threatening events.
The best plan for preventing a flood in your Foxs Corner, FL, home is to survey your property for weak points and address them. A little bit of preventive maintenance and some household preparedness could mean the difference between a muddy back yard and a completely flooded first level.

3 Dryer Exhaust Cleaning Tips

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning a dryer exhaust A clogged dryer exhaust can cause a lint fire

Three Dryer Exhaust Cleaning Tips

Whenever you use your dryer, lint gets trapped in your dryer exhaust, vent, and ductwork. A clogged dryer exhaust can cause a lint fire. These three dryer exhaust cleaning tips can help you keep your dryer ductwork free of excessive lint.

1. Find Your Duct
You can not clean your dryer duct if you do not know where to find it. Most dryers have a 4-inch diameter exhaust behind them, which connects to ductwork inside the wall by an aluminum elbow or pipe. The outside exhaust vent is usually located within a few feet of your dryer's exhaust and covered by a vent cover that should be visible from the outside. If you are having difficulty locating the vent, try following the pipe connected to your dryer.

2. Use a Brush Made for Cleaning Dryer Vents
Vacuum attachments can be used to remove some amount of lint from the dryer duct, but because they do not agitate the lint, they are not very efficient and can leave a substantial amount of lint behind, increasing the risk of a lint fire. Dryer brush kits come with long-handled brushes designed to reach deep into the dryer ductwork and efficiently remove lint from the interior walls.

3. Replace Your Flexible Duct With a Rigid One
Flexible dryer ducts used to be very popular, because they were easier to route through tight spaces. However, because their ribbed design can easily trap lint, they pose a higher risk of starting a fire than rigid types. If your dryer has a flexible duct, replace it with a rigid duct to make cleaning easier and reduce your risk of a dryer fire.
Failure to regularly clean and maintain your dryer vent can lead to a lint fire. These three tips can help you reduce your fire risk. If you have suffered fire damage to your home, a fire restoration professional in Heritage Harbor, FL, can assist you with your cleanup needs.

How To Deal With Water in a Light Fixture

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever seen water in light fixtures? While the problem can occur in commercial properties frequently because of warehouse-style properties, it is a strange sight in residences, but it is not impossible. Dealing with a flooded light fixture is two-fold: you need to deal with any electrical problem and resolve the water loss. There are at least three steps to ensuring your safety and restoring your home.

  • Turn off the power and water supply
  • Call a professional
  • Clean, dry and repair the area

Turn Off the Power and Water

Supply Water and electricity do not mix. Touching any wet surface with an electrical current running through it is dangerous and ill-advised. If you have water in your lights, the first place to go is the circuit breaker box to shut off the power supply. After the electricity is off, find the water valve supplying the leak and shut it off too.

Call a Professional

Dealing with water in light fixtures is not a common problem and is likely not something you are equipped to handle. Contact any of several water mitigation companies in [City, State], to resolve your issue safely and effectively. They can also inform you of any preventative steps to take to avoid the recurrence of this unusual problem.

Clean, Dry and Repair the Area

Whether or not you hire a mitigation service, the affected area needs cleaning, drying and repair. Drying the socket is not enough to ensure the problem's resolution. In most cases, plumbing behind the ceiling and insulation needs replacing, which also leads to the discovery of ceiling damage and likely electrical repair after inspection. If you notice water in light fixtures, do not wait to correct the problem. Contact a professional to inspect the affected area and determine the correct method for restoration. If you're lucky, the ceiling will only require minor repairs.

Signs That You Have a Shower Leak

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Some water problems in your home are obvious and severe. Others are subtle and gradual. In either case, you need to take care of the matter as soon as possible to mitigate the damage. You could have a bathtub leak and not even know it for weeks or even months. There are some clues that this problem persists. Once you identify a leak, follow the right steps to repair it.

Check the Faucet

Most people in Oldsmar/Westchase, FL, have experienced the annoyance of hearing a consistent drip from a sink. It's worst late at night when you're trying to sleep. Constant dripping can occur in tubs and showers too. It's a telltale sign that you have a bathtub leak. The dripping can look or sound like this:

  • A small, steady stream of water

  • Dripping that occurs every few seconds Water coming out of the faucet even when the valve is firmly shut

The Outside of the Tub is Wet

If there is a poor seal in the tub or shower, or if the grout is don't doing its job, water can easily escape and get onto your floor. When you shower or bathe, if the outside of the tub is wet, there could be a sealing problem. You can set some towels or newspaper outside the tub and fill it up. If by doing this you see water on the item, there could be a crack in the tub. There may be a weak seal somewhere too. This can occur in the form of a shower pan leak as well.

Drainage Problems

Sometimes, leaking can occur because of poor drainage. While bathing, if you notice the water level going down, the drain assembly is likely not sealed correctly. You may also hear the water escaping. A bathtub leak can lead to flooding. You can call a trusted flood cleanup company to help, but you can also follow these steps to prevent major damage.

5 Flood Safety Tips You Should Know

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! Make sure to turn off the electricity to avoid shocks or fires

Safety Tips Before You Begin Working on Your Home

If you experience a large storm at your Cheval, FL, home that causes flooding, then flood safety can be an important part of getting everything cleaned up and repaired. Here are three safety tips you should know before beginning work on your home.

1. Turn Off the Power

One of the most important safety procedures you can follow is to turn off the power to any area that has been flooded. Water conducts electricity so it’s important to have the power off before entering a flooded area to ensure that it’s safe to even begin work. Only after it’s determined to no longer be a possible hazard should the electricity be restored.

2. Wear Safety Gear

Another important flood safety tip to observe is the wearing of safety gear any time you deal with flood water or other repair needs. This gear can include boots, gloves, coveralls for clothing, face masks, and work goggles. This equipment can help you avoid skin contact with possible contaminated water, as well protect you from air-blown debris.

3. Call a Restoration Service

It’s also highly recommended to contact a local damage restoration service to help with any storm damage or flooding to your home. These professionals should already have the safety gear and equipment needed for the job, as well as training on how to correctly conduct repairs. Allowing a professional to work on your home can help prevent many of the possible accidents that could be caused by inexperience.

When it comes to flood safety one of the first things to remember is to turn the powers off to the area. It’s also important to wear safety gear such as gloves when dealing with floodwater. Lastly, it’s recommended to contact a professional restoration service to safely make repairs. If you have any questions about the repair process or other safety precautions you can take, a professional should be able to help.

5 Signs of Commercial Water Damage

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Large crack in a reinforced concrete foundation and brick wall Foundation crack in Keystone, FL

Five Signs of Water Damage

Most commercial property owners know that a blocked sewer can lead to a toilet overflow, which is why routine cleaning and inspections are necessary. However, not all water damage is so obvious. Most water damage experts in Keystone, FL, will tell you there are at least five other signs of water problems.

  • Foundation cracks
  • Staining
  • Odors
  • Landscaping issues
  • Utility bill

Foundation Cracks
When a pipe breaks under a building’s foundation, it can cause soil displacement. The shifting soil contributes to less support under the facility’s structure, causing the foundation to shift and sink, which results in cracks. If you notice cracks that appear to grow and widen, you may have a serious water loss problem.

Water stains on ceilings or walls are also a sign of water loss. You may have a leak in the roof, or some water lines may have sprung pinhole leaks. Whatever the cause, the sudden appearance of stains is concerning.

If you smell foul odors coming from drains, you may have a blocked sewer main. Commercial properties have many people entering and using the bathrooms and sinks daily. It is impossible to know what is being flushed or discarded, which is why sewer inspections are necessary.

Landscaping Issues
Many commercial properties still tie into old cast-iron pipes. These pipes are prone to deterioration and collapse. If these lines collapse, you may notice a dip or sunken area in your property. Collapsed sewer lines can also lead to odors inside and outside of your facility.

Utility Bill
Sometimes, you will not see any significant damage to your property. Minor leaks or breaks may not lead to staining or cracking right away. Instead, monitor your water bill. You may see an unexplainable increase in your costs.
A blocked sewer leading to an overflowing toilet is not the only sign of water loss in a commercial building. Focus on the five signs of water damage, and contact an expert when anything seems awry.

Mold Grows Quickly Following a Roof Leak

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores on the top of the picture it says MOLD SPORES NEED MOISTURE When water is introduced a spore can grow into a colony very quickly

The roof of your commercial building in East Lake Woodlands, FL  plays a larger role than you might realize. It keeps sun, snow, and pests out of the building, protects your employees and inventory from damage, and provides stability for the building itself. It is important to consider the slope, expanse, and load that your roof will carry when planning your building, so that appropriate materials and methods are used. No matter the material used, the roof must be routinely and properly maintained to prevent leaks and black mold growth from occurring.

What Causes Mold Growth and What Materials Are Affected?

Mold spores are carried on the air and settle like dust on virtually every surface. When spores are exposed moisture, they begin to colonize and reproduce. High humidity, combined with any organic material, creates a perfect feast for mold to flourish on. A roof leak can allow growth on the following materials:

  • Roof Decking and shingles
  • Sheet insulation
  • Blown-in insulation
  • Sprayed-on insulation
  • Wooden joists and studs

How Long Before Mold Develops?
Because black mold spores are ubiquitous, they already exist inside your roof. Once moisture has been introduced to the area, it can take as few as 24 to 48 hours for mold to colonize. It is not just unsightly and odorous; it is also capable of causing big dollar damage to your building. It can cause dry rot and failure of beams, decking, and joists in the roof, and can spread through the insulation into the sheet rock surface causing a ceiling leak. It is critical to take immediate action to minimize the destruction.

How is Mold Growth Removed?
Trained mold mitigation and cleanup technicians in East Lake Woodlands, FL should be brought in to assess and clean up the damage. This could entail containment of the affected area to prevent spread, cleaning with industrial products, and possible removal and replacement of structural materials.
Black mold is nothing to sneeze at. It helps to know, however, that to a great extent, growth and damage can be minimized or avoided if proper roof maintenance is regularly performed.

Treating and Caring for Burns After a Fire

4/11/2020 (Permalink)

First Aid Training - Burn injury. First aid course. Treat the burn

Treating and Caring for Burns After a Fire

When business owners think of fire damage, most think of charred structures and immense heat. However, ask the restoration companies in Oldsmar, FL, and they will tell you to be wary of burns. Many people do not understand the correct first aid response for burn victims. As an employer, you need how to do three things related to burn first aid.

  1. Identify the burn type
  2. Treat the burn
  3. Seek medical attention

Identify the Burn Type

If a fire injures any employees, you need to identify whether the burn is major or minor. Major wounds are distinctive because they are larger than three inches in diameter and deep. The skin may appear charred or have brown, black or white patches. The texture of the skin may feel leathery and dry. Minor burns are often superficial, but they are painful and may cause blisters. The burn type will often determine the first aid response.

Treat the Burn

For minor burns, you want to cool the area under running water or apply a wet compress. Don’t use cold water because that can make the pain worse. It is also important not to break the blisters. Apply lotion instead and loosely bandage the burn with sterile gauze.
For significant burns resulting from fire damage, do not immerse the wound in water, use a cool, clean cloth instead. Make sure the injured person keeps the injury elevated and watch for symptoms of shock, like shallow breathing, fainting or pale skin.

Seek Medical Attention

Minor burns do not require medical attention, but major burns will. The severity of the injury can lead to significant health risks, especially those associated with infection. If the damage is too substantial, call 911 immediately and ask for help.
It is easy to limit fire damage to a property when thinking about it, but if workers are present during a blaze, then physical injuries are possible. Contact a local emergency service or restoration company to learn more about fire safety and first aid.

Introduction to Buying Flood Insurance

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says flood damage SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase is available 24/7 to assist with flood damage!

As a Florida business owner, you have important decisions to make about protecting your employees, your company, and your assets. Because commercial insurance does not cover flood damage to your property, it is wise to consider flood insurance and ask yourself the following questions.

1. What Determines a Flood and Are You at Risk?

To be considered a flood, the resulting water damage must be to two or more properties (or over two acres). If your property is at risk for flooding, your mortgage broker will require you to carry insurance. Even if your broker didn’t include this in your policy, do your research to see if Westchase, FL, and its surrounding towns have had any flood or storm damage in recent years.
Examine what their plans are for capital infrastructure improvements as well. This research is essential because both heavy rains and damaged infrastructure, such as blocked storm drains, can cause flooding. As a result, if your city has not modernized its drainage systems, you could have a higher risk of flooding.

2.What Are Your Insurance Options?

Some private insurance companies offer flood protection, but most of the time, they are managing the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program. NFIP typically covers up to $500,000 for your building and an additional $500,000 for its contents, but you can buy excess coverage to insure against business closures that resulted from flooding.

3. Did You Include Flooding in Your Emergency Plan?

To ensure the safety of your employees and business, be sure you have a plan for what happens in case of different emergencies. Include contingencies for flooding into your emergency plan and double-check that your local restoration company is prepared to assist with flood cleanup.
Do your research about flood insurance when you start your business. That way, if the worst does happen, you can focus on the safety of your employees, knowing that your flood and commercial insurance will cover your livelihood. Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westchase,_Florida for more information on flood and storm damage.

How To Detect Mold in Your Home

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says mold fact Did you know? Mold is one of the only organisms that doesn't need light.

Your home is your pride and joy, and though taking care of it can be a lot of work, that hard work all pays off. If you suspect that your Westchase, FL residence may be growing mold or have mold damage, time is of the essence. Some cases of the fungus are evident, but some may require the expertise of an indoor environmental specialist. Here are some ways to find out if you have a mold problem in your home:

Use your sight.
Use your sense of smell.
Use a professional test.

When To Test

Mold requires moisture in order to thrive, so regularly inspect areas of your home that are prone to dampness. If you have had a leak of any type, this is a prime spot for mold growth. Use your eyes and nose for an initial test. If you smell a musty, stale odor, this is an indication of mold. Additionally, look for discolored areas of black, white, or brownish coating on your walls and floors. Sometimes, you may find the scent and not the visible signs. At this point, you should enlist an indoor environmental specialist to perform a mold test.

How To Treat

If left undetected and untreated, mold can affect the air quality of your home. It can also lead to structural damage, so you should take positive mold tests seriously. You should contact professionals in mold remediation and restoration to keep everyone in your home safe. Experts in this field have the proper equipment and training to detect the source of the issue and get your space back to a clean, safe state.

Don't let your pride and joy in Westchase, FL fall victim to mold damage. If you suspect any fungal issues, reach out for help. Together, an indoor environmental specialist and a remediation team can assess the situation and devise the best plan to restore your home to its full glory.

Property Manager Storm Preparedness

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

A graphic that says storm safety tip When thunder roars, stay indoors.

Storm preparedness can help keep people safe and minimize damage caused by heavy storms. The United States experiences an average of 10 tropical storms and 1000 tornadoes each year. With statistics like that, you can see why it is a good idea to have a plan. Here a few things you can do to prepare your property in case of a storm in Oldsmar, FL.

1. Plan Ahead

Those responsible for property management and property owners need to work together to create a contingency plan. Contact information for all key players must be easily accessible and current. This document should include locations for emergency exits and how to notify residents if the need for an emergency message were to arise.

2. Staff Responsibilities

Employees should be trained on which duties they would have during a disaster. Special attention must be given to ensuring the safety of the staff while assisting the community. Once an evacuation order is given, all people must exit the property. Employees should be given instructions on whom to contact and when to return to the building.

3. Secure Property

When there is advance warning that a storm is coming, and it is safe to do so, employees should initiate their storm preparedness action plan. This may include securing outdoor furniture, using the emergency alert system, telling people to remove items from their balconies, securing the pool area, or emptying dumpsters. Anything that could be carried away by high winds should be brought inside or protected.

4. Gather Information

If a storm leads to damage, you may need to file a claim with your insurance company. To help your adjuster assess the damage, you can take some pictures of the property before the storm. Another option is to have someone conduct a pre-storm analysis.

Even with the best storm preparedness, you may still experience damage to your property. If this happens, you can hire a professional storm remediation company to restore your building to its previous condition. Visit https://www.SERVPROoldsmarwestchase.com/storm-flooding-restoration for more information on storm damage! 

We are cleaning experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Worker Cleaning Commercial Space SERVPRO is performing all cleanup and bioremediation in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

• Kitchen/Food Areas

• Bathrooms

• Schools/Classrooms

• Offices

• Retail Spaces

• Water Fountains

• Shelving/Racks

• Sales Counters

• Carpets and Rugs

• Stair Handrails

• Elevator Cars

• Playground Equipment

• Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus.

Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts at SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase (813) 543-0053





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