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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How Long Does It Take for a Roof Leak to Cause a Mold Infestation?

5/15/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growing in the corner of a wall. To prevent mold growth, it is important to address a roof leak promptly and to dry out the affected areas as quickly as possible.

A roof leak can be a frustrating and potentially costly issue for homeowners, and one of the concerns associated with a roof leak is the potential for mold growth. In this blog post, we'll explore how long it takes for a roof leak to cause a mold infestation and what steps you can take to prevent mold growth.

Timeline for Mold Growth

The timeline for mold growth can vary depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the leak, the temperature and humidity of the environment, and the type of materials affected. In general, mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours of a water intrusion event, such as a roof leak.

Signs of Mold Growth

At first, mold growth may not be visible, as it can occur in hidden areas such as behind walls, under carpeting, or in insulation. Over time, however, mold growth can become more visible, with signs such as a musty odor, discoloration, or even visible mold growth on surfaces.

Preventing Mold Growth

To prevent mold growth from a roof leak, it is important to address the leak promptly. This may involve repairing the roof, replacing damaged roofing materials, or addressing any underlying issues that may be contributing to the leak, such as clogged gutters or inadequate ventilation.

Drying Out Affected Areas

Once the leak has been addressed, it is important to dry out the affected areas as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth. This may involve using fans, dehumidifiers, or even professional drying equipment to ensure that all moisture has been eliminated.

Addressing Existing Mold Growth

If mold growth has already occurred, it is important to address it promptly to prevent further damage. This may involve removing affected materials, such as drywall or insulation, and cleaning and disinfecting the area with specialized equipment and cleaning solutions.

How a Professional Can Help Address Mold Growth from a Roof Leak

In some cases, a roof leak and resulting mold growth may be too extensive for homeowners to handle on their own. In these instances, it may be necessary to enlist the help of a professional disaster restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Jacksonville South. These professionals have specialized training and equipment to address mold growth safely and effectively, minimizing the risk of further damage or recontamination. With their expertise, they can also help identify and address underlying issues that may be contributing to the roof leak, ensuring that the problem is fully resolved and that your home is protected from future mold growth.

In conclusion, a roof leak can lead to mold growth within 24 to 48 hours if left unaddressed. To prevent mold growth, it is important to address a roof leak promptly and to dry out the affected areas as quickly as possible. If mold growth has already occurred, it is important to address it promptly to prevent further damage. By being proactive, you can protect your home and prevent costly damage from mold growth.

Guide to Making an Insurance Claim After a Fire in Your Home or Business

4/12/2023 (Permalink)

A home with roof damage caused by a fire. Damage to your home can be devastating and traumatic.

Experiencing a fire in your home or business can be a devastating and traumatic experience. In addition to the emotional toll, it can also cause extensive damage to your property and belongings. This is where insurance comes in to provide some relief from the financial burden of the damage caused by the fire. In this blog post, we will go through the steps to make an insurance claim after a fire.

Step 1: Contact your insurance company

The first thing you should do after a fire is to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This will enable them to begin processing your claim and get the process moving. The insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your case who will guide you through the process.

Step 2: Document the damage

Take photographs and videos of the damage caused by the fire. This will help the insurance company assess the extent of the damage and determine the appropriate amount of compensation you are entitled to.

Step 3: Protect your property from further damage

It is important to prevent further damage to your property after a fire. Cover any exposed areas with plastic or tarps to protect them from the elements. If you are not able to stay in your home or business, make sure to secure the property to prevent theft or vandalism.

Step 4: Gather important documents

Gather any important documents related to your property such as your insurance policy, receipts, and invoices for any repairs or replacements you have made in the past.

Step 5: Work with the claims adjuster

Once the claims adjuster is assigned to your case, they will work with you to assess the damage and determine the appropriate amount of compensation. Be sure to provide the adjuster with all the information they need to process your claim. This may include a list of damaged items, estimates for repairs, and any other relevant information.

Step 6: Keep track of expenses

Keep track of any expenses related to the fire, such as hotel bills, meals, and other costs incurred as a result of the fire. These expenses may be covered by your insurance policy.

Step 7: Review the settlement offer

After the adjuster has assessed the damage, they will provide you with a settlement offer. Review the offer carefully and make sure you understand what is covered and what is not. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the adjuster for clarification.

Step 8: Accept the settlement offer

If you agree to the settlement offer, sign the necessary paperwork and receive your payment. If you are not satisfied with the settlement offer, you can negotiate with the insurance company or hire a public adjuster to help you get a better offer.

In conclusion, making an insurance claim after a fire requires patience, attention to detail, and good communication with your insurance company. By following these steps, you can ensure that your claim is processed efficiently and that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Remember, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and your loved ones during this difficult time.

5 Steps To Keeping Your Business Running After A Loss

3/9/2023 (Permalink)

office water damge Having a plan for your commercial water damage is important to keep from business interruptions.

A crisis can be devastating for a business. Even if you're prepared, dealing with a loss can be stressful and overwhelming. However, having a plan in place before a crisis occurs can help ease the process and ensure your company's continued growth and success. Here are five steps to keep your business running after a loss.

What is a business continuity plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that helps you react and recover from a disaster. It should include your company's key processes, data, technology and people. A BCP can help you get back to normal operations as quickly as possible after a disruption or disaster.

The goal of creating an effective BCP is to reduce the impact of disruptions on your organization by identifying potential risks and developing response strategies in advance so that when the time comes for action, everyone knows what needs to be done without having to think about it.

Step 1: Determine risks and potential impact

You can't plan for everything, but it's important to identify the risks and potential impact of each risk. For example:

  • Identify the risks, such as data breaches or natural disasters.
  • Determine the likelihood of each risk occurring (i.e., how likely is it that someone will hack into your system?).
  • Determine the impact if a particular risk does occur (what happens if someone hacks into your system?). 

Step 2: Create an effective response plan

The next step is to create an effective response plan for your business. The first thing you'll want to do is identify the different types of risks that could affect your business, and then create a plan for each type of risk. For example, if there's a fire in your building, what would happen? What if someone stole something from your office or hacked into your system? What about natural disasters like floods or hurricanes? These are just some examples--you should think about all possible emergencies and create plans for how each one might be handled.

Step 3: Determine roles and responsibilities

The next step is to define roles and responsibilities. Who will do what? Who will be in charge of communicating with whom? Who will make decisions, and who will be the contact person for all things related to this loss?

This is an important step because it creates a clear plan of who is in charge of what, making sure there is no stone left unturned. It is also important because it allows you to determine if there are any gaps in your team's knowledge or skill set that need addressing before the business can move forward again.

Step 4: Create a clear line of communication

The fourth step to keeping your business running after a loss is to have a clear line of communication. Communication is vital in any business, but it's especially important when trying to keep things going when something goes wrong.

Step 5: Regular training

The final step in keeping your business running after a loss is to ensure that employees are trained on how to follow the procedures outlined in the business continuity plan. This can be done through a variety of methods, including classroom instruction or online training modules. It's important to note that regular testing and training should also be implemented as part of this process; it's not enough for employees simply to learn about their roles during initial implementation--they need continued reinforcement so they know what they're doing when an emergency strikes.

The last thing you want is to be caught off-guard by a crisis. By taking the time to plan ahead of time and develop a business continuity plan, you can be sure that your company will remain operational after an emergency situation. The five steps outlined above will help guide you through this process and ensure that your business survives any disaster.

Fire Protection Tips for Your Valuables

2/9/2023 (Permalink)

fire escape plan Have a plan in place incase of a fire to protect your home or business.

Fires can be devastating. While your insurance company might provide some protection, it's important to take steps to protect yourself from fire as much as possible. You should also know what to do if a fire does start in your home or office so that you are prepared for any situation. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from a fire.

Prepare your property with Fire-Resistant Materials

Fire-resistant materials and products are designed to withstand the heat of a fire, so they can help you protect your valuables. Fire-resistant walls, choose drywall with low or medium combustibility. Consider using noncombustible panels if you're renovating an older building, as they offer better protection than standard drywall.

You can also choose fire-rated exterior walls, which are made of high-density concrete or metal and are required in some areas by building codes. Fire-resistant flooring, make sure that any new hardwood floors have been treated with a flame retardant coating or have been certified as having been kiln dried at high temperatures (above 160°C).

If you're replacing carpeting in your home or office, consider installing ceramic tile flooring instead—it has excellent insulating properties for its weight and is far less flammable than traditional latex foam padding underneath carpets.

Install Smoke Alarms

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and replaced every 10 years. If you experience a power outage, change your smoke alarm batteries immediately to ensure that it is functional when power is restored. Smoke alarms should also be replaced immediately if they are damaged by water or fire.

Evacuation Plan

It is important to have an evacuation plan and practice your evacuation plan regularly, especially with children. If a fire did start in your home, everyone would need to know where to go and how to call for help. You should also make sure that everyone knows what to do if they can't get out of the house on their own.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

Smoke detectors are a must, especially in bedrooms. They should be installed on every level of your home and in the basement, garage, and anywhere else you store valuable items. You should make sure that you have an adequate number of fire extinguishers in the right locations throughout your home and office and make sure you know how to use them. Also inspect them to make sure they are properly labeled and in good working order.

Don’t let a fire in your home or business ruin all of your valuable possessions. Take these tips to heart and make sure you are prepared for anything. Remember that you should always call 911 if you see flames or smoke, even if it means just going outside until the fire department arrives on the scene.

Hurricane Safety Tips

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

White van driving through flooded street Never drive through a flooded street.

Hurricanes are dangerous for everyone, but older adults, in particular, need to take extra precautions to stay safe during a storm. If you live in an area that experiences hurricanes or tropical storms, it's important that you prepare before disaster strikes. This can help keep both your home and your health protected when bad weather hits!

Avoid Flooded Areas

To keep yourself safe, avoid areas where flood waters have risen significantly. Flood water may be contaminated with sewage and other hazardous materials like oil. It can also sweep you away if it’s moving quickly.

Follow Evacuation Instructions

Evacuation instructions will be given by local authorities. If you are told to evacuate, follow those instructions and go to a safe location. If you have pets, make sure they are with you in the car or escape vehicle of your choice. If you have elderly or disabled family members who cannot travel on their own, get them to a safe place as well.

If an evacuation order is given, do not delay! Everyone should leave as soon as possible because delays could put lives at risk.

Know Your Area’s Risk

You should know the risk of floods and landslides in your area. These natural disasters can be very dangerous and cause damage to homes, roads and property.

Floods are often caused by heavy rain or snow melt, which causes rivers or streams to overflow their banks. Flooding can also occur when dams break, after earthquakes or during hurricanes. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a "flood map" that shows areas at risk for flooding based on elevation above sea level and rainfall data from historical events. This map can help you determine if your home is at risk for flooding.

Plan and Practice

Know your area’s risk of floods and landslides. Know where you can go if you need to evacuate. Practice driving routes to your safe location. If possible, leave early enough that roads are less congested for other people who may be evacuating as well.

Prepare an Emergency Kit and Make a Family Communications Plan

To prepare for a hurricane or storm:

  • Make an emergency kit that includes a battery-powered radio, flashlight, first-aid kit, water (1 gallon per person per day,) non-perishable food, and extra batteries.
  • Get your car’s emergency kit out of the trunk and learn how to use it.
  • Make sure you have enough water, food and medication for your family.
  • Make plans for reuniting with your family after the storm if they are not at home.

Download the Emergency App

Download the emergency app to receive real-time alerts and information on severe weather in your area. You will need a data plan with your wireless carrier to use this app. Please check with your carrier for details on how much it will cost to add a new line or change your current plan. Make sure you have enough space on your phone for the app.

Do not Drive Around Barricades or Through Flooded Roads

As you are making your way through the storm and trying to stay safe, there are certain things you should not do. Do not drive around barricades or through flooded roads. If you encounter a barricade, do not try to drive around it. The police officers who placed these barricades there have done so to keep people out of danger.

Do not drive into water that is over your vehicle's fenders or deeper than 12 inches; if your car stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground before the water rises further. Do not attempt to cross bridges that have been flooded; instead take an alternate route until after heavy rains subside when these structures have had time to dry out and stabilize themselves against any possible collapse due to fractures in their foundations or structural integrity issues caused by flooding damage over time (which could happen during even small amounts of rainfall).

Preparation 

It is important that you become familiar with hurricanes to ensure your safety in the event of one hitting your location.

Preparing for a hurricane:

  • Install hurricane shutters on windows and doors. In some cases, these can be purchased from stores that sell storm-related products. If you are unable to find them in stores, they can also be found online or purchased from a local contractor who specializes in installing them for homes and businesses.
  • Fill any containers with water (buckets, trash cans) so that you have access to clean drinking water if needed during or after an emergency situation like a hurricane strike. Keep them stored away from windows where rain could enter into these containers and contaminate whatever water remains inside once it rains heavily during landfall season (June through November).

It's also smart not only because it makes sense but because locals know how dangerous it can get when there's no power available -- especially in places where temperatures rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit!

We hope that you have learned a lot from these tips. We want everyone to be safe in the event of a hurricane, but we also know that it is important for people to take action on their own behalf. The more prepared you are, the better off you are going to be when something like this happens.

What Is The Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew Mold and mildew grow on plants

Mold and Mildew – What’s the difference?

Mold and mildew are both types of fungus that grow on the surfaces of your home, but there are a few key differences between the two. While mold grows from moisture and thrives in dark, damp places, mildew loves light and humidity. Here are some tips for identifying these common household pests and getting rid of them.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that grows in damp places. It's usually black, green, or brown. Mold can grow on food, in your home, and even on furniture and clothing. If you have it on any of these things, you should call a professional immediately so that it doesn't get worse!

What is Mildew?

Mildew is a type of fungus that can grow on many different surfaces, also including fabrics, food products, and plant leaves. While mildew looks similar to mold in some cases (it can be white or gray), there are some key differences between the two that help you determine whether you're dealing with mold or mildew.

Mildew grows in moist areas and can appear as a powdery substance on surfaces like shower curtains or tiles. If left untreated for too long, it will start to smell bad and damage your belongings. To prevent this from happening to your home's valuables like furniture or clothing items:

  • Avoid storing damp items together in one place (e.g., towels next to swimsuits)
  • Clean up spills immediately so they don't get wet again later

What is the difference between mold and mildew? 

Mold and mildew are both fungi, but they are different from each other in many ways. Mold is a type of fungus with hyphae, whereas mildew is a type of fungus with spores. These differences can make it difficult for people to tell the difference between mold and mildew. Both types of fungi grow on plants as well as in homes and buildings where there is moisture present (i.e., humidity).

How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew in Your Home

If you have mold and mildew in your home, the first step is to get rid of it. To do this, you should use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels in the air, which will prevent future growth. If you don't want to spend money on a full-size unit for your entire house (which can be expensive), try investing in one that's designed specifically for small spaces like bathrooms or closets. There are also smaller versions available so you can put them wherever they fit best.

The best step to take if you discover mold growth in your home is to call a certified mold remediation specialist, such as SERVPRO of Jacksonville South. They can take care of any size mold remediation necessary or give you tips on how to take care of your mold growth on your own if the mold growth isn’t too serious. 

How to Prevent Mold Growth and Mildew 

You can prevent mold growth by keeping the humidity level in your home around 50% and ventilating the house. This is especially important if you have a basement or crawlspace, as these areas are usually damp.

Keep your house clean by cleaning up spills immediately and removing any mold or mildew you see growing.

If you find yourself with an infestation of mold or mildew, it may be best to hire professionals who know how to properly remove it so that they don't cause further damage to your home during the process.

The difference between mold and mildew is that mold is a fungus that grows on damp or wet surfaces, while mildew is a type of fungus that grows on dry surfaces. Both are unsightly and can be dangerous to the structure and belongings of your home if you don't take care of them quickly. 

Water Damage Tips

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall due to humidity Mold is a common problem after water damage.

6 Water Damage Restoration Tips Everyone Should Know

Water damage is a serious issue that can significantly impact your property, safety, and finances. It is important to know how to deal with water damage in order to limit the damage it does and get your home back in shape quickly. Often times people underestimate the extent of water damage and then end up spending thousands more than they would have if they called a professional restoration company right away. Here are six water damage tips everyone should know:

Do not wait to call a professional

Do not wait to call a professional. If you don’t, you could be left with a host of problems that will cost you more money and time than if you had called a water damage restoration company right away. Water damage can cause serious problems, mold growth, structural damage, and electrical issues as well as fire hazards and other concerns for your family members.

Shut off the power

Shut off the power (only if it is safe to do so). If you don’t know how to turn off the water or gas, call a professional. Using your electrical equipment after a water loss can be dangerous.

If you see any smoke or fire, shut off all utilities and leave the house immediately.

Inspect for Mold

Mold is a common problem after water damage. It can grow in as little as 48 hours, and it can cause serious problems. If you allow mold to grow and spread, it can cause significant damage to your home that takes time and money to remediate. 

Mold spores are usually found on organic matter like wood or paper products that have gotten wet recently (like from a leak). These spores propagate when they come in contact with moisture and create more mold colonies.

Dry Water Out

The third step in water damage restoration is to dry the area. To do this, you'll need to remove excess water from your home or business.

  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the area as quickly as possible.
  • If a wet/dry vacuum is available, use it to remove standing water.

Remove Damaged Materials

The next step is to remove any damaged materials. If you have water damage, you will want to take care of this as soon as possible. Materials, such as insulation and carpets, that have been affected by the water loss need to be disposed of. Failing to remove damaged materials can cause even more damage to your home.

Some materials can be repaired, but it is important that you allow the professionals to conduct the repairs and disinfection to ensure that it is clean and safe to bring back into your home.

Disinfect Remaining Areas

Lastly, it is important to disinfect the remaining areas. Depending on the type of water damage that you have experienced, your property can be covered in bacteria and viruses. To keep yourself and others on your property safe, it is important to disinfect the remaining areas. Disinfection can also prevent mold growth.

Water damage recovery is best done by professional restoration companies

In the aftermath of a water damage event, you’re likely to be feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The last thing you want to worry about is how to effectively repair the damage and restore your home back to its normal state.

Even if the damage is not too severe and you think you can handle it yourself, remember that water damage restoration requires special equipment and expertise. You should always call a professional when dealing with such a serious matter. Our SERVPRO of Jacksonville South team is always here to help!

How Much Revenue Can I lose After a Fire?

10/8/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Jacksonville, FL.

How Much Income Can I Lose Following a Fire?

After a fire, you need to make sure that your business is able to get back on its feet as soon as possible. This means making sure that you have the right insurance coverage in place and that a highly trained and experienced restoration company is onsite as quickly as possible. If you don't have the right coverage in place, it can lead to long-term consequences for your business.

Fire damage can lead to severe income loss.

Fire damage can lead to severe income loss and may even put you out of business. The time it takes to recover depends on the extent of the damage, but with proper management and planning, you can get back on track in no time.

How much time does it take for a business to recover financially after fire damage?

Your insurance company should have an estimate for how long it will take for you to get back on your feet financially after a fire. They do this by estimating how much revenue can be lost due to downtime and lost profits during that time period. 

How much revenue can I lose after a fire?

This is where things get tricky because we all know different industries will experience different levels of loss following the incident. If there's $1 million worth of property damage but only 30 days' loss in normal operations - then this could mean over $2 million dollars in damages overall!

Business income coverage addresses the revenue you lose from a fire.

Business income coverage is a form of property insurance that provides protection for business owners against the loss of revenue they might incur after a fire. These policies can help with operational expenses and repairs to your property, which means you won't have to take so much out of your bank account every month.

Your business insurance can help you continue operations in case of fire damage.

When your business is impacted by fire damage, you need to ensure that your financial needs are met. This type of coverage can help with the cost of cleanup and repairs, lost income, lost business records and inventory.

While a fire can be devastating, it's important to know that you can get back on your feet with the right insurance policies and the right restoration company helping you out.

The business interruption coverage option may help you continue operations after a fire. This policy pays for lost revenue if damaged inventory or equipment prevents you from opening your doors as usual. The good news is that business interruption coverage covers many kinds of losses and allows you to stay open for as long as possible after suffering from fire damage.

If your business suffers a fire, you may be able to recover some of the revenue losses with this kind of coverage. In any case, it’s important to have a good understanding of what your insurance will cover and how much you can expect to get back after a fire. If you are in need of fire damage cleanup and restoration services in Jacksonville, FL, don't hesitate and give our SERVPRO team a call today!

The Dirty Dozen: Black Water Facts

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

wet carpet, flooded building Flood damage to a building in Jacksonville, FL.

What Is Black Water and How To Treat It

A severe flood occurs in Jacksonville, FL, causing water damage to your commercial property. You contact your insurance agent and a storm restoration specialist. At this point, the experts inform you that the flooding consists of black water. What does this mean? Review the twelve facts below to learn about this type of water and how it is treated.

1. Blackwater is considered Category 3 water damage. Category 1 is clean water and Category 2 is gray water.

2. The color categories refer to contamination levels. Black is considered the most contaminated as it contains viruses, bacteria and microorganisms.

3. The source is important to differentiate between the levels. The most contaminated water comes from floodwaters or sewage backups.

4. Contaminated water may be hazardous to your health. Do not touch or ingest this water. Viruses may also be airborne. Specialists wear protective gear during mitigation efforts.

5. Cleanup of this type takes the most time and effort. Due to the impact of bacteria, professionals take extra caution and measures during the recovery process.

6. Storm restoration technicians set a containment area. To prevent secondary contamination by floodwater or airborne germs, the impacted area is sealed off.

7. Contaminated water is pumped out. Industrial pumps and vacuums remove excess stormwater.

8. Impacted, porous materials are removed. Items such as drywall and carpet padding soak up the infected water and must be disposed of properly.

9. Remaining areas are professionally dried. Moisture is monitored and removed from structures, contents and air.

10. Once dry, exposed contents are cleaned and disinfected. This process kills remaining germs and mold.

11. Air filtration devices sanitize the air. This removes any lingering germs and odors.

12. Rebuilding and restoring take place. Your property can be properly restored.

When your commercial property falls victim to water damage in Jacksonville, FL, it is critical to act fast. This is especially true when flooding results from storm water. Although mitigating contaminated black water is time-consuming, the process can help restore your business to pre-storm condition.

Why You Should Not File an Insurance Claim After Every Water Loss

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

Home insurance claim form Before you make an insurance claim, you should check your policy

You may be tempted to file an insurance claim following any water damage to your Deerwood, FL, home. However, if you make too many claims over a short period of time, your insurance company may refuse to renew your policy. Excessive claims could also raise your insurance rates.

When Insurance Rates Increase

There are several factors that determine the rates you pay on your insurance policy. Obviously, if the damage to your property was the result of your negligence, the insurer will charge you more money in the future. Other circumstances that could cause your rates to rise include:

  • A high number of previous claims
  • A low credit rating
  • Frequent natural disasters near your home

The rate hike could be as much as 40 percent. This increase could stay in effect for several years.

When To File a Claim
Before you make an insurance claim, you should check your policy to see if filing such a claim will increase your rates. Ideally, you should understand the consequences of making a claim well before your next water emergency.
Since a large number of claims can hike your rates, you should avoid filing claims unless absolutely necessary. If your home only sustains minor flood damage, you can afford cleanup and restoration services without involving your insurance provider.
Filing claims for large disasters only can save you money, as well. Decide how much you can afford to spend on any one loss. You can then put that amount into a savings account and increase your deductible to that same number. The savings account can collect additional interest, and your higher deductible should reduce your rates.
Making an insurance claim can cause your bill to increase. You should thus only file a claim following a large home flood or similar disaster. Minor repairs should not cost you that much money, so save your insurance for the major restorations.

What To Look for When Troubleshooting a Commercial Irrigation System

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Broken sprinkler head A broken sprinkler head may be easier to fix than an electrical issue.

How to Troubleshoot a Commercial Irrigation System

A faulty sprinkler system can be a huge problem for your business in San Marco, FL. If sprinklers malfunction, they might spray excessive amounts of water in the area, which could disrupt business operations or even cause structural damage to the building.
If you see a problem in your building's irrigation system, you may not know how to find the source of the damage. Here are several things to look for when troubleshooting.

1. Electrical Issues in the Irrigation System
There are many electrical parts in the system that can be damaged, such as valves, solenoids, wires, and timers.

2. Broken Pipes and Sprinkler Parts
If someone steps on a sprinkler head and damages it, the sprinkler may start to malfunction. A broken sprinkler head may be easier to fix than an electrical issue.

3. Damage From Tree Roots
One of the common causes of pipe damage is pressure from tree root systems.

4. Stress From Traffic
Extensive foot traffic in the area over an irrigation system can create stress that damages pipes and supply lines. If this is an issue, you may need to evaluate the placement of the sprinkler system and how you might change it.

5. Evidence of Water Damage
If you see that standing water has leaked into a building or commercial structure, you should be wary of potential damage to the building's structures and mold growth. Even if you cannot see any flooding, there may be serious damage nonetheless. A large sprinkler leak can cause water to seep into the basement or the building's foundation.
If you suspect that there may be water damage, it is a good idea to reach out to a professional water restoration company. A team of professionals can help you assess the damage and prevent mold growth.
Looking for these common issues may help you diagnose irrigation problems. If you are unable to ascertain the source of damage yourself, seek professional help.

3 Requirements For Flood Damage Restoration

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Water intrusion in a home Water intrusion after a storm in Baymeadws, FL.

Flood Damage Restoration

Flooding can introduce highly contaminated Category Three water into structures where it is likely to cause extensive primary and secondary damage. The cleaning requirements established by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, the certifying and standard-setting body of the restoration industry, are necessary to reduce the risk of fungal and microbial growth after a flood damages a residence in Baymeadows, FL.

1. Extraction

Restoration professionals must remove standing water prior to cleaning or attempting to restore materials or contents at a residence. These experts often use pumps. Depending on the portion of a home that is flooded, it may be possible to pump quickly. Otherwise, more gradual extraction will be necessary. It is crucial to allow the pressure on basement walls to gradually equalize to avoid structural damage.

2. Disinfection

Flood damage usually involves grossly contaminated Category Three water. Restoration specialists also refer to this type of water as black water. It may contain bacteria, chemicals, fungus spores, heavy metals, solid waste and other risky substances. One of the most important cleaning requirements involves using a flood disinfectant to prevent infection or mold growth.

3. Drying

It is essential to completely dry any part of a residence that has been exposed to water. Moisture and organic material combine to support many types of fungi. In addition to extracting water with a pump or wet vac, flood clean specialists may also recommend the use of a dehumidifier to lower relative indoor humidity levels to the range of 30 percent to 50 percent. Low humidity levels can inhibit mold growth.

Damage restoration professionals certified by the IICRC meet the cleaning requirements set forth in industry-leading standards. It can be challenging for non-professionals to properly clean up flood damage, but experts can use commercial-grade equipment and EPA-rated flood disinfectant to reduce the residual risks of storm or water damage at a residence in Baymeadows, FL.

Bathub Sewage 101

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Overflowing water coming out a bathtub A sewer backup can be quite unpleasant - especially when it occurs in your bathtub.

Bathtub Sewage 101

A sewer backup can be quite unpleasant - especially when it occurs in your bathtub. If you are suffering from this type of sewage, you probably want to take care of the issue as soon as possible. However, there are times when it makes sense to fix the backup yourself and times when expert help is needed. Here’s how to figure out which situation you are dealing with.

Do-It-Yourself Scenarios

If the bathtub backup is small and did not cause extensive damage - and you have the proper protective gear and equipment - you can attempt to begin cleanup yourself. Here are some tips to remember during the process:

  • If you are dealing with flooding, do not run your air conditioner or heating system.
  • Throw away any non-essential items ruined by the sewer backup and keep them away from clean areas.
  • Move clean items into a clean space as soon as possible.
  • Open your doors and windows if it is sunny and dry outside.
  • Try to learn techniques to prevent future backups, with or without professional assistance.

If you run into a bigger issue at any point during the cleanup, remember to call a plumber, cleanup service, or other professional for help.

Expert Help Scenarios

There are certain cases that call for professional assistance no matter what. If you are facing a huge flood, extensive damage, or a massive backup, a professional water damage restoration company in Jacksonville, FL, should be called to help with cleanup tasks. You may also need to talk to other experts to handle specific issues that arise.

Final Advice

When it comes to a sewer backup, you want to use all of the resources available to you to get your bathroom back in clean, usable shape as soon as possible. It can be hard to ask for help, but assistance and investment are both worth the end result of a safe and secure home.

4 Common Water Issues To Look For in Your Building

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

White plastic pipe leaking Faulty pipes can accumulate water throughout the building.

Four Common Water Issues in Your Building to Watch Out For

Water damage can present itself in a number of ways within a commercial building. Whether the impact is minor or catastrophic, a water damage restoration company can provide necessary cleaning and repair services. Here are four of the most common water issues to look for in the event your Tinseltown, FL, business is impacted.

1. Leaking Pipes
Faulty pipes can accumulate water throughout the building. This can either be due to a pipe break brought on by cold temperatures and insulation, high water pressure, or most commonly, worn-out pipes. Perform routine inspections to check the condition of pipes and replace them as needed.

2. Toilet Overflow
A toilet backup that causes water to spill out of the bowl is one of the most common plumbing issues. A blockage is likely somewhere in the drain, so try using a plunger or toilet snake as the first line of defense. To avoid major issues, replace all toilet hoses every three to five years for optimal plumbing.

3. Roof Leaks
When water starts to drip from the ceiling, your roof is compromised. Just like leaking pipes, your property's roof needs routine inspection for damage as this can lead to major water issues due to heavy rains or melting snow or ice. Make any necessary roofing repairs such as total replacement or clearing gutters to avoid water backup.

4. Fire Sprinklers
If you have fire sprinklers installed in the ceilings, they can account for business loss due to water damage. Sprinklers can cause water issues should they be activated in the event of a fire or due to faulty mechanics. Prepare for either scenario by having a fire prevention plan and also inspecting the sprinklers.
If you have water collecting in your commercial building, a common cause is likely responsible. Check for leaking pipes, toilet overflow, a leaking roof and fire sprinklers, as these are most prevalent to businesses with water damage.

How To Clean Your Gas Range

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Hand wearing a plastic glove, using a sponge while cleaning a stove Clean your gas range.

When you’re preparing a home-cooked meal in Prime Osborn Convention Center, FL, you want the aroma of your dinner to fill the kitchen. If you get a smoke smell wafting up from the stove instead of the mouthwatering scent of your food, it’s time to clean your gas range.
Fire damage restoration experts recommend keeping natural gas appliances clean and well maintained for fire safety. Fortunately, range cleaning is simple and doesn’t require elaborate or expensive products. 

Five Steps to a Clean Range

These simple steps will ensure that you remove the grease and food spills from every part of your range. You’ll need vinegar, dish soap, a scouring pad, and a straight pin.

1. Scour Stove Top
Lift the grates off and set them into a sink full of hot water and dish soap or solvent. The area around the burners will have some spillover, and since this surface gets hot, the residue will be cooked-on. Soak with vinegar to dissolve this stubborn mess. Use a toothbrush if necessary to remove lingering stains and make your gas range shine.

2. Maintain Burner Heads
Remove the burner caps and put them in the sink with the grates. With the burner caps out of the way, you can access the burner heads. Use your pin to carefully remove all debris from the grooves on each head so air can flow as intended.

3. Clean Under the Hood
Lift the stove-top and wipe away all crumbs, grease, and food build-up you find. This area doesn’t get as hot as the surface above, so the grime won’t be as hard to remove.

4. Scrub Grates and Burner Caps
Take your scouring pad and detergent and apply some elbow grease. Soaking should have softened things up, but these items tend to collect a good coating of grime.  When they're sparkling again, put them back in place on your gas range.

5. Finish
Pull off and degrease all knobs, wipe clean underneath, and return them to their posts. 

5 Ways to Use Landscaping To Protect Your Home

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Hand holding dark mulch You can use mulch to protect your home during a rainstorm.

Five Ways to Protect Your Home Using Landscaping

During a big storm in Gate Parkway, FL, you take precautions to protect your home. You board up windows and place sandbags to divert water flow. Did you know that you can use your landscaping to protect your yard from outside flooding? Here are five ways to do it.

1. Extend Rain Spouts

The downspouts on your home are supposed to help move water away from your foundation, but only when they're correctly installed. Many rain spouts are too short, so rainwater pools next to the foundation. Extend rain spouts further into the yard to prevent flooding.

2. Choose Heavy Mulch

You can choose many types of mulch based on appearance or price. You can use mulch to protect your home during a rainstorm. Heavy mulch such as shredded bark won't float away but will help the soil absorb excess water and keep it away from your home.

3. Plant a Rain Garden

A rain garden can be planted on a slope and helps to absorb excess water. You can divert rainspouts into a rain garden which protects your house and keeps your home beautiful.

4. Research Native Plants

The most effective way to plant a rain garden is to use native plants. Native plants thrive in your yard, develop deep roots, and help prevent soil erosion. If outside flooding has become a problem at your home, a storm restoration company can make helpful suggestions to prevent future flooding.

5. Level Your Yard for Rain Drainage

A more intense intervention is to correct the slope of your yard. If the ground slopes even slightly toward your foundation, you are more likely to have inside flooding during a storm. You can work with a professional landscaper to correct the slope and help water flow away from your home.
Outside flooding during a storm can cause inside damage. Use landscaping strategies to protect your yard and home from water damage.

5 Fire Prevention Tips for Your Business

5/27/2022 (Permalink)

fire sprinkler in an office Minimize fire damage by ensuring you have correctly installed sprinklers.

Fire Safety Tips

There are many fire safety tips to follow at your home. You never leave food cooking on the stovetop unattended. You unplug the Christmas lights at night. You extinguish candles before you leave a room. There are some surprising fire prevention tips to keep in mind at your office in Avenues, FL.

1. Maintain Equipment
One primary cause of a business fire is faulty wiring or equipment. Any electrical equipment can start a fire from lunchroom microwaves to copiers and extension cords. Follow a quarterly inspection plan of all equipment in your office and promptly replace anything that is beginning to show wear.

2. Create Space
Electrical equipment can also overheat, especially if they experience a high volume of daily usage, such as the office coffee pot. Another fire prevention tip is to maintain adequate space around electronics that put off heat.

3. Install Sprinklers and Alarms
If a fire does break out, minimize fire damage by ensuring you have correctly installed sprinklers and fire alarms. Alarms help notify everyone in the office of an emergency no matter where they are, and sprinklers keep people and products safe. A commercial restoration team can help you clean up the office after a fire.

4. Mandate Cleanup Days
Clutter around the office can be another significant fire hazard. Dust, stacks of paper, and piles of packing material can all easily ignite from a single spark. Provide your team with dedicated time to clean up their space from time to time to maintain a safe work environment.

5. Stay Up to Date
Communication and swift responses can help to prevent fires. Don't let requests sit unattended because you're too busy with other things. Show your employees that you care by addressing maintenance issues promptly.
Fire prevention in the office is as simple as staying organized and promptly addressing maintenance concerns from employees.

How To Handle a Fire-damaged Roof

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

Blue tarp on roof Tarping is vital to protect your property.

How to Deal with a Burned-Out Roof

If the roof of your Bowden, FL, business has been damaged, it means not getting the protection you need. While your first thought might be about the fire cleanup process, it’s important to immediate steps to minimize the chances of secondary damage and get the help you need.  

Initial Steps
While you may be anxious for the roof repair process to begin, there is also a to-do list before that can happen. Below are key steps that need to happen to get back to business as fast and smoothly as possible.

Ensure the building is safe before entering.
Contact your insurance provider. The sooner you file a claim, the faster the process will happen. When there is roof damage, it is especially important to get the ball rolling to avoid potential water damage.
If possible, assess the damage to gain an understanding of other potential problems. Ensure that the interior of the building is also inspected.
Call a licensed professional fire damage restoration. Along with providing fire cleanup services, a professional will properly assess the damage and provide a detailed list of needed repairs.

Tarp Services
While waiting for the work to begin, it is essential that any openings in the roof are covered. If you have contacted a fire mitigation company, they typically provide board-up services. Tarping is vital to protect your property and will likely be required by your insurance company. If the damage isn’t properly covered, it creates the possibility for secondary damage to happen, such as mold growth. This type of damage will not be covered by insurance and takes additional time and money.
Before fire cleanup can happen, there are vital steps to getting the process rolling. By taking these steps and turning to professionals, it makes it easier to get back to business faster.

How To Recover Documents From a Flood

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents A document damage restoration service in Bayard, FL, can recover all kinds of documents.

Document Restoration

If your business in Bayard, FL, experiences a flood, you may think that your documents are lost forever. Fortunately, document restoration is possible. SERVPRO can dry, sterilize and even digitize your damaged documents.

Document Types

SERVPRO, a document damage restoration service in Bayard, FL, can recover all kinds of documents:

  • Photographs
  • Papers
  • Books
  • Parchment
  • Files

Their innovative methods of restoration can accommodate nearly all paper types. No matter what types of documents were affected, you should contact a professional as quickly as possible to minimize the damage.

Damage
Flooding can damage documents in several ways:

  • Water damage
  • Chemical exposure
  • Contamination by bacteria or viruses

Document drying and sterilization can repair structural damage to the documents and remove any harmful substances.

Freeze Drying

Freeze drying is a method of document restoration that dries the item without harming it. The documents are frozen in a special vacuum that converts the water straight from its solid to a gaseous state, meaning the documents don't get wet in the process. This method is a safe and effective method of document drying that can be used on many different types of items.

Cleaning

Flood water can contain harmful substances that can contaminate documents. These documents can be cleaned using gamma radiation. This removes chemicals and kills microorganisms without damaging the documents.

Digitizing

Technicians can help you digitize your documents during the restoration process. This ensures that you have backup copies of important papers that are accessible virtually. This will also help you get rid of unnecessary clutter and organize all the documents you need.
Whether you lost photos, papers, books, files or other items, SERVPRO understands that your documents are important to you and your business. They use advanced document restoration techniques, including freeze-drying and sanitizing with gamma radiation, to help you minimize losses. They can even create digital copies of all of your documents so you never have to worry about losing them again.

4 Tips for Keeping Mold Out of Your Rental Homes

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on a wall Mold damage in Brooklyn, FL.

Mold Prevention

The best way to avoid water damage from mold growth is to be very serious about mold prevention. Use the following list of tips to reduce the risk of mold and related damage in your Brooklyn, FL, rental properties:

Inspect Your Property

One of the reasons that mold is a common problem is that it survives well in a variety of situations and especially in dark, out-of-the-way corners. Your very first step should be peeking into those corners, inside closets and cabinets, in the basement, at the foot of the shower, and in the attic. Look for visible signs of mold and for any signs of water or moisture.

Teach Renters To Clean Up Spills and Leaks Immediately

It's easy to think that a spilled glass of water isn't problematic, but, in reality, anytime you leave moist areas on the carpet or watery footprints on the floor of the bathroom, mold could begin to grow. Mold prevention requires that your renters respond immediately to any type of water in places where it shouldn't be. Even in places such as sinks and showers, the humidity levels must be controlled.

Lower the Thermostat and Increase Ventilation

A cozy warm corner with consistent humidity is inviting to mold spores, so keeping your properties a bit cooler during humid weather could reduce the risk of mold. Airflow is effective at reducing humidity in bathrooms and kitchens. Discuss these facts with renters.

Reach Out to Professionals

If there's already mold on the property, contact mold remediation professionals right away. With specialized equipment and training, these technicians can respond thoroughly to existing colonies. It only takes a little hidden spot of mold to grow throughout your rental property.
Use these mold prevention tips to protect your rental property. Thoroughly inspect for water and mold, clean up all moisture, use temperature to resist mold growth, and get help when you need it.

The Dangers of Chemical Drain Cleaners

4/15/2022 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration Chemical drain cleaners can be harmful.

Chemical Drain Cleaners Can Be Harmful

Many commercial building owners use a chemical cleaner to fix a clogged drain. However, this could just cause more harm to the premises. Here are some reasons your clients should only use chemical products as a last resort. These cleaners can actually cause harm in several ways.

1. They Can Hurt Pipes
The heat produced by chemical cleaners can harm certain pipes. Older metal or plastic pipes are particularly prone to damage from chemicals.

2. They Can Hurt the Environment
The chemicals from drain cleaners do not stay in pipes forever. They eventually end up in landfills, lakes and rivers, where they could poison various animals.

3. They Can Hurt People
Cleaners can even cause adverse effects to humans. Simply breathing them in while trying to clear a clogged drain could irritate the throat and eyes.
Since chemical drain cleaners can be dangerous, your clients should first try to clear the clog with mechanical options such as an auger or plunger. If that does not work, they can use non-toxic cleaners that use bacteria or enzymes to eat the clog. These cleaners work best on clogs that result from organic materials such as soap, hair or grease.

To prevent damage to your clients' Bayard, FL, buildings, you should tell them to avoid pouring chemicals down a clogged drain. An auger or enzymatic cleaner can safely remove the clog without harming the pipes.

If a broken or deteriorating pipe does harm your client's property, you will need to call sewage cleaning specialists to dry the premises and remove any mold. SERVPRO franchise professionals will respond quickly to the emergency and do what they can to thoroughly restore the property while keeping costs down. The franchises have the corporate resources to tackle big projects yet remain locally operated and owned.

SERVPRO is thus a preferred vendor for numerous insurance providers. Whether your client's water loss resulted from a chemical drain cleaner or a frozen pipe, SERVPRO can assist with the repairs.

Should You Get Commercial Property Insurance?

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Outdoor of a building destroyed by a storm, roof damaged Storm damaged commercial building.

Is Commercial Property Insurance Necessary?

If you own a commercial property or business, you have a lot on your plate. If you haven't already, you should look into your commercial insurance options, so you aren't left high and dry should any sort of emergency occur. There are several important aspects to consider when tailoring your insurance to your specific needs.

What Does It Cover?

This type of insurance protects your commercial property against all sorts of disasters. Depending on where you are located and after an assessment of risk, you should determine what areas you would like your insurance to focus on. For instance, if your business is in a location that frequently experiences tornadoes, you should more heavily invest in that genre of coverage. Some common sources of risk include:

  • Fire damage
  • Flood damage
  • Other natural disasters, like earthquakes
  • Theft and vandalism

What Exactly Should You Insure?

The most obvious part of your property to consider insuring would be the buildings that contain your business operations. Commercial insurance can be applied whether you own or rent those buildings so that services such as fire remediation can be applied when appropriate. You are also able to ensure all supplies and equipment within those buildings, including furniture and electronics. Less tangible assets like records, documents and databases are also insurable.

What Will It Cost?

To determine how much you will pay, first, you will need to figure out the total value of your physical assets. Most likely you will meet with an agent to discuss the coverage you want and what it will cost per the amount of property you own. Luckily, as a business, you can usually deduct the cost of your insurance as an expense on your taxes, which should give you a substantial break.
One of the smartest things you can do for your commercial property is to protect it from any potential threats it may face with the proper commercial insurance. Make sure your business can thrive no matter the circumstances.

Dealing With Fire Damage

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

Building on fire, firefighters putting out fire police is there. Fire damage in Town Center, FL.

Fire damage can seem scary, and that reputation is well-deserved. If you understand the repercussions and prepare accordingly, you can make it much easier on yourself should a fire occur on your property in Town Center, FL. There's no need to panic if you have a plan.

What To Expect

Unfortunately, fires can cause more than just plain fire damage, which is sometimes forgotten. Part of what makes them so destructive is their variability and the side effects they produce. Some common additional forms of damage are:

  • smoke and soot damage
  • water damage
  • damage from fire suppression materials, such as foam, powder and pressurized hoses
  • heat damage, primarily the melting of materials

Collateral Costs

On top of the damage itself, there are more logistics and costs to consider after the flames are put out. You will probably want to find temporary storage for the unharmed contents of your building until the repairs are finished. You may even consider looking for a space to conduct business in the meantime. Your insurance adjuster may also require an inventory and evaluation of all items damaged.

Orchestrating the Process

You could run around attempting to find a service or professional to address every separate issue mentioned above. However, it is usually much more efficient to find a one-stop fire mitigation service. These types of services understand everything you will need done and it can be much less confusing if you only have to keep track of one contact. This will also ensure that these processes are coordinated and completed in the correct order.
The concept of fire damage may seem simple at first, but is actually a problem containing many layers. To make sure that everything is done right and nothing is overlooked, hiring a company that can provide every service necessary in the aftermath of the fire is key. Consider choosing one that is right for you before you actually need them!

Why Insurance Agents Should Work With Storm Restoration Services

3/19/2022 (Permalink)

Empty office room, ceiling collapsed, debris on floor Storm damaged office in Pine Forest, FL.

Why Should Insurance Agents Work With Storm Restoration Companies?

Property damage after a storm can be catastrophic and costly. If a storm strikes your area in Pine Forest, FL, you will likely be flooded with calls from insurance clients looking for help. Working with reliable storm restoration professionals can help ease the process and ensure that all of your clients have their needs met.

1. Quick Response

A storm response needs to be quick in order to be as effective as possible. Returning a structure to a physically stable state, removing flood water, and cleaning the debris left behind should all happen quickly in order to establish safety and prevent mold growth from starting. If mold is prevented, this lessens additional damage and lowers the cost of cleanup. Restoration specialists like SERVPRO pride themselves on their quick response to every type of disaster.

2. Trained Professionals

Storm restoration specialists are trained in responding to every type of storm. Whether it's a hurricane, flood, snowstorm, or tornado, they know how to deal with the damage. After a storm, there is rarely just one type of damage to a structure. There might be wind damage to the siding and water damage from flooding in the basement. These damages require different types of cleaning and repairs. Restoration specialists know how to catalogue and deal with wind damage, flood damage, and more simultaneously. This eliminates the need for multiple specialists working on the same restoration.

3. A Network of Resources

Working with a restoration specialist with a corporate system in place like SERVPRO connects you and your clients with a large national network. Disaster response teams located throughout the country can mobilize and help where and when they are needed. With many clients in the same area needing assistance at the same time, having a large network to draw from after a storm can be highly beneficial.
Recovery from storm damage involves specialized cleaning, repairs, and often rebuilding. Undertaking these tasks in a timely manner is extremely important to help prevent further damage. A storm restoration specialist like SERVPRO can help speed up the claims process and help your clients recover every step of the way.

Why Does My Commercial Building Smell Like a Forest?

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Dust around air duct. Ensure your air ducts are clean.

Keep Your Building Mold - Free

The way a property smells tells a lot about the condition of its construction materials. A musty, forest smell is a clear signal that there is mold growing somewhere in the building. When the fungus is given the conditions to grow, the chemical compounds it releases in its various stages of growth will give off an odor. These are known as microbial volatile organic compounds, or MVOC's. Property owners in Southside, FL, describe it as the smell of dirt or wet dog. Mold thrives on:

  • Wood
  • Grout
  • Concrete
  • Insulation
  • Drywall

If a musty smell circulates when the HVAC system turns on, it is likely the mold is inside of the air ducts. Here are three ways a professional HVAC cleaning service will keep your building mold-free:

1. Improved Air Quality

Mold spores are airborne microscopic particles that will circulate throughout the building with each use of the HVAC system. The air quality of a building is measured by how much pollution is recorded. This is determined by the number of particles traveling the air. Having your cooling system cleaned regularly will lessen the number of particles in the air, improving the overall air quality.

2. Controlled Humidity Levels

Your HVAC system protects your building from the natural elements that threaten to decompose it. Mold thrives in dark, damp spaces that offer the right nutrients. Keeping the humidity levels at 40-60% will ensure the construction materials remain dry, protecting them from an invasion of fungus.

3. Prevents Hidden Mold

The dust inside of your HVAC air ducts is an excellent source of nutrition for fungus. The ducts also provide a damp, dark environment, giving mold optimal conditions to develop. An HVAC cleaning service will ensure your air ducts are cleaned, preventing a mold problem from circulating.
Cleaning vents and having your HVAC system serviced at least once a year will contribute to a healthy, longer-lasting building. Hire an HVAC cleaning service to keep your system from spreading fungus. If your commercial property smells like mildew, you can contact a professional mold remediation service to help clean and restore the building.

Do’s and Don’ts of Business Water Damage

2/28/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded carpet, standing water on carpet floor. Water damage in a building A flooded business in Lakewood, FL.

What To Do When Floods Hit Your Business?

What should you do when water rises in your building and threatens to cause water damage? How do you tackle the problems that broken pipes bring, including the tremendous job of water cleanup? The better question may be “what should I never do?” Here are a few things you should always keep in mind when floods hit your business:

  • Don’t panic. Have a plan instead.
  • Don’t use electricity in the area.
  • Don’t wait to act.
  • Don’t go it alone.

These are some actions that you should avoid, but what should you do instead? Follow these steps to prevent further water damage:

1. Secure the Area

Your safety and the safety of those in your building should be your primary concern. If the flood is from a broken pipe, first shut off electricity to that area of your building to keep people from receiving an electric shock. Then, finish securing the area by stopping the water. You can do this either at the faucet itself or by turning off the main water to the business.

If the flood is from a rainstorm, get to higher ground and call for help. Always put your safety above the things in your building. The belongings can be replaced or restored; you are irreplaceable.

2. Call for Help

Once it is safe to do so, call a professional restoration crew. These experts can restore the damage that water caused and get your life back to normal. Some such companies in Lakewood, FL  are open 24/7 to help, so there’s no reason to wait.

3. Begin Cleanup

If the water came from broken pipes, you might not have to wait for the restoration crew to arrive to begin cleaning up. You can start removing porous materials and cleaning damaged belongings. The longer you wait, the more water damage can occur. If you’re not sure how to get started with water cleanup, ask the restoration company in Lakewood, FL when you call.

3 Steps To Minimize Mold Damage After Flooding

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

Air mover inside a room with book shelf The quicker we can dry out your property, the better!

Minimizing Potential Mold Growth 

You’ve found yourself in one of the worst situations most business owners in Deerwood, FL can imagine: Your building has flooded. Whether the water intrusion is from a storm or plumbing issue, there is no time to waste after flooding. Destructive mold growth can begin in 24 to 48 hours. Here are three steps to take in the critical hours following a flood.

1. Dry Affected Areas

Drying is the most important step in the cleanup process and should begin as quickly as is safe after a flood event. All standing water should be cleaned up and removed by a commercial restoration service. Saturated items such as upholstered furniture should be taken outdoors to dry if conditions permit.

Carpeting that has been exposed to flooding should be taken out of the building. Drywall that has been saturated will need to be cut away.

Get as much air circulating as possible. Open windows and run air conditioning. Bring in portable heaters and consider renting a dehumidifier. Spores need moisture to thrive. Removing the moisture quickly will help minimize mold growth.

2. Discard Unsalvageable Property

Some items, such as carpet and carpet pads, extremely saturated furnishings and cardboard boxes of printed materials will need to be thrown away. Be realistic with yourself here. Don’t keep items that you know will be damp for a considerable amount of time.

3. Clean Thoroughly

Clean hard surfaces with a disinfecting detergent to remove harmful bacteria. If mold is present, scrub it off. You should dry surfaces promptly after cleaning.

Porous, absorbent material such as ceiling tile and drywall generally can’t be cleaned once thoroughly soaked. Once mold has been detected in these items, it can be nearly impossible to remove spores.

Minimizing potential mold growth following a flood can be a painstaking process. It is crucial to act fast, dry and clean thoroughly, then determine what property can’t be saved. Follow these steps to quickly return to business as usual.

6 Common Causes of Home Fires

2/18/2022 (Permalink)

ceiling collapsed of a home, severe fire damage inside a home, walls covered with smoke damage, debris on floor Fire damage in San Marco, FL.

Causes of Home Fires

Sometimes an inferno can erupt without warning. Often, however, homeowners can take proactive steps to minimize the risk of a home fire. To correct potential vulnerabilities and safeguard their property from fire damage, every resident of San Marco, FL, should recognize six common fire causes.

1. Faulty Wiring

Faulty components in your home’s electrical system can be dangerous. If you frequently blow fuses or notice lights dimming while an appliance is in use, you should promptly contact a licensed electrician.

2. Electrical Hazards

Frayed electrical cords and overloaded outlets can also be hazardous. You should refrain from using any device with a damaged cord. In addition, you should limit the use of extension cords, avoid plugging multiple items into a single outlet and refrain from running electrical cables under carpets and rugs.

3. Heating Equipment

Heating equipment can also spark a home fire. To alleviate this concern, you should routinely clean existing chimneys and hire a licensed professional to inspect your furnace annually. It’s also important to keep portable heaters away from upholstered furniture, paper, blankets, curtains and other flammable objects.

4. Kitchen Accidents

Many blazes originate in kitchens where flammable grease can splatter and unattended pots can overheat. To prevent an accidental inferno, you should never leave the stove unattended while cooking. As a precaution, you should also be ready to smother any flames that may erupt with a metal lid or a fire extinguisher.

5. Smoking

Improperly extinguished cigarettes can also pose a threat. If you smoke, you should use a deep ashtray to extinguish butts and refrain from smoking in bed where embers can easily ignite flammable cloth.

6. Curious Children

Children are naturally curious about the world around them. To help prevent accidents, it’s important for kids to recognize the dangers fire can present and understand why they should avoid playing with matches, lighters and candles.

Most homeowners probably have no desire to add fire cleaning duties to their to-do lists. Although preventing every home fire may be impossible, everyone can take preemptive measures to reduce the risk of a destructive blaze.

Understanding the 3 Types of Contamination

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

Dirty toilet, dirty bathroom Water damage from a toilet overflow.

Three Water Categories

When dealing with an issue of flooding or contaminated water in Baymeadows, FL, it can be helpful to know commonly used terminology in cleanup and insurance settings. Knowing what kind of water has gotten into the home can determine the necessary sanitation processes that will need to be carried out by water removal specialists.

Category 1: Clean Water

Category 1 water usually comes from either your home’s supply line or your water heater. This type of water is not directly toxic in terms of human exposure. For this reason, cleanup procedures are usually limited to thorough drying, dehumidifying and ensuring that places such as floors and walls have not been affected by water. Even in the case of clean water flooding, you should still phone a water removal expert to make sure all the water gets out.

Category 2: Gray Water

Category 2 water, or gray water, usually comes from appliance leaks, such as from a washing machine. The water has been affected by clean and dirty chemicals, so extended exposure or drinking can be harmful, but minimal exposure should be harmless. Sanitation is often required in category 2 cases; this constitutes the primary difference between category 1 and category 2 flooding issues.

Category 3: Black Water

Category 3 contaminated water, is very toxic, often coming in from sources outside the home. This type of flooding requires extensive rehabilitation work, and professional sanitation is a must. With this type of cleanup, the utmost caution must be taken to prevent illness.

When phoning a local water removal expert to help with flooding, it will be important for them to know what category of water they will be dealing with. Knowing these three categories can help speed the process of home restoration after exposure to contaminated water.

Is Mold Testing Really Necessary?

1/30/2022 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold assessment test in a Jacksonville, FL home.

Is it Really Necessary to Test for Mold?

When mold gets discussed in the media, it is often dramatic and involves a worst-case scenario of some poor homeowner who had a life-changing event occur because of the mold problem reported. However, when most people run into a colony of the fungi in their Jacksonville, FL, home, their first instinct is to grab some bleach water and wipe the spots away. When the spots return, it is probably time for a professional mold assessment to determine what type of fungus is attacking the building.

What Does a Mold Test Look For?

A mold test is typically done to locate the species of mold and contamination levels within a particular area inside the home. These tests can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Stachybotrys, or toxic black mold
  • Aspergillus, or a group of 200 dangerous molds
  • Contamination, or the levels of spores in the air
  • Mildew, or an innocuous type of fungus

What Happens After a Mold Test?

Since the majority of mold lurks inside walls, it can be important to know where the mold is, what type it is and how large the contaminated area really is. A professional assessment team can do just that; in fact, the certified mold assessment professionals at SERVPRO of Jacksonville, FL, are Here to Help anytime mold is found. The team can locate the source, remove the polluting fungi and repair the area impacted by the mold.

Attacking the surface mold with a cleaning solution can do little more than stall the problem because mold colonies hide inside and under the surface. Letting a professional mold removal team locate the problem and remove it can save time and money. Why not defend your home and alleviate the situation with a mold assessment test before and after repairs to assure there is no longer a mold issue in your home?

5 Ways To Ensure Optimal Fire Sprinkler Performance

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler A commercial fire sprinkler system can be an important safety feature inside any business.

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Fire Sprinklers

A commercial fire suppression system can help extinguish a blaze and minimize fire damage inside any Southside, FL, business. To ensure optimal performance in the event of an emergency, it’s important to routinely evaluate the entire system, including each fire sprinkler head. Completing five essential steps can help you ensure your facility’s sprinklers are ready to battle a potential inferno.

1. Complete an Annual Inspection

The suppression unit may consist of numerous components. Conducting an annual inspection provides an opportunity to check for corrosion, leaks and pipe issues requiring repairs. It also helps you verify proper calibration and ensure there is adequate water pressure.

2. Clean Sprinklers

Over time, dirt, grease and grime can coat the surface of heads, which may impede their ability to function. To help alleviate this concern, you should utilize a gentle degreasing solution and complete a routine fire sprinkler cleanup. It’s especially important to conduct this maintenance procedure in kitchens where grease buildup is more prevalent.

3. Avoid Painting Heads

Paint can also restrict water flow from a fire sprinkler. To eliminate this problem, you should avoid painting heads.

4. Routinely Check Control Valves

Some fire suppression systems utilize electric control valves that automatically open, but others use non-electric versions. Because a closed head cannot release water, you should routinely inspect control valves on manual devices to verify their position.

5. Ensure Adequate Clearance

Stacking objects on high shelves directly under sprinklers is another potential impediment that may restrict water distribution. You can help ensure heads have adequate clearance by finding alternative storage solutions away from ceilings.

A commercial fire sprinkler system can be an important safety feature inside any Southside, FL, business. Over time, however, issues can arise that may impede optimal performance. Completing routine inspections and maintenance may enable you to detect and address potential problems, helping to safeguard the wellbeing of your staff and facility.

Do You Know When To Flush Your Home’s Water Heating System?

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler To keep your water heating system functioning properly, you must occasionally flush it.

Keeping Your Home's Water Heater System In Shape

Like most residents of Lakewood, FL, you use hot water inside your home every day. After all, not only do you enjoy rinsing off in a soothing shower, but you also must keep dishes, clothing and other items clean. To keep your home’s water heating system in tip-top shape, you must occasionally flush your water heater.

Signs of Wear and Tear

When the water heating system in your home is functioning properly, you probably don’t think much about it. If there is a problem, though, the heater can be impossible to ignore. If you notice any of the following, your unit may need some work:

  • Strange noises
  • Leaks
  • Rust
  • Deposit buildup
  • Failure to heat water

A Timetable for Flushing

To keep your water heating system functioning properly, you must occasionally flush it. While every system is different, you must think about usage to know when a water heater flush is appropriate. Use the following timetable as a general guideline:

• For households with one or two members, flush the system approximately once per year.
• For households with three to five members, flush the system approximately every eight months.
• For households with six or more members, flush the system approximately every six months.

Special Considerations

The above guidelines are effective for most homes in Lakewood, FL. Occasionally, however, certain factors require homeowners to inspect and service water heating systems more frequently. If you use well water or have high levels of sedimentation in your water supply, you probably should inspect your home’s water heating system every two or three months to ensure you do not develop a water leak. If you do, you may need to contract with a reputable water restoration service to mitigate damage to your basement and other areas.

With a bit of work, you can decrease your chances of having a problem with your water heater. With regular inspections and flushing, you ensure your home’s water heating system remains in excellent shape.

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