Recent Posts

How To Tackle Fire and Water Damage

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Burnt content in a bathroom and walls covered with soot. Fire cleanup is a job for an experienced and professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Sanibel/Ft Myers Beach.

How Deal With Fire and Water Damage

The fire at your house in Estero Island,FL is blazing out of control. You watch from the street as the fire hose saturates your home with 1200 gallons of water per minute. You breathe a sigh of relief as the fire is extinguished. Now you face a new challenge, a combination of fire damage and water damage. To combat this disastrous duo, take the following steps to return your home to pre-fire condition.

Initial Steps

It is overwhelming when you first see the destruction in your house. You recognize that you cannot clean up the mess yourself. Who do you call?

• Contact the insurance agency that holds your homeowner’s policy. Inform the agent of the damage and discuss coverage and next steps.
• Call an emergency fire and water restoration company. The specialists typically arrive at your home within hours to inspect and assess the damage, day or night.
• Before restoration efforts begin, the specialists may board up windows and/or place a tarp on the roof to secure your property and prevent further damage.

Water Damage

Firefighters use a significant amount of water to snuff the inferno, leaving your home drenched. What steps do water restoration specialists take to properly dry your home?

• Wet/dry vacuums and pumps extricate flooding and excess water from the house.
• Industrial strength dehumidifiers and air movers remove moisture from walls and floors.

Fire Damage

The fire is gone, but the soot and smoke remains. How do fire restoration specialists clean and deodorize your house?

• Specialized equipment is used to remove smoke and soot from walls, ceilings and floors.
• Fogging equipment and air scrubbers remove smoke odors from the source.

It is heartbreaking to see your home in Estero Island, FL engulfed in flames. The aftermath of water and fire damage is equally hard to face. Work with your insurance agent and a fire and water restoration specialist to return your home to pre loss condition and resume your life.

What to do When Sewer Backup Threatens Your Business Property

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

Two man removing wood flooring in a home Sewage cleanup in Sanibel, FL.

If your business is located in Sanibel, FL, it may be at risk for flooding and sewer backup during the next storm. Knowing what preventive measures to take, and what to do if your business does flood, can help you in the event flooding does occur.

Reasons Backup Occurs

There are a number of factors that can play into sewer backup. These may include:

  • Excessive storm and rain water which can cause overflow
  • Recent construction that changes the landscape and redirects water into the sewer
  • Fresh pavement with a new drainage grade can change the runoff flow
  • Failure to regularly clean a septic system can cause a backup

If you think there’s a chance your business might face sewer back up with the next storm, it’s best to take preventative measures.

Take Preventive Measures

Flood water is classified as black water because some of it can come from contaminated sources such as a sewer. This means clean-up can require extra sanitation steps. Taking preventive measures beforehand may help mitigate the damage. Ensure then trap plugs are clean, snug, and secure as these can filter debris that may back up in your pips. Some buildings may also qualify for a backwater check valve.

Conduct Cleanup as Quickly as Possible

In the event you do find flooding its best to take care of the cleanup process as quickly as possible. Remember to turn off the electricity to the flooded area before entering. Remove items from the flooded area and be sure to clean and dry them. Because flood water is classified as black water, everything should be sanitized as well. You will also need to clean, dry and sanitize the flooded area after the water has been removed. A professional service may also be able to help.

Flooding from sewer backup can cause a number of problems for your business. This is why it’s important to take preventive measures beforehand. If excessive rain water does lead to sewer flooding at your business, knowing what to do beforehand can help save valuable time.

What Happens To a Mold Damaged Painting?

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration: closing of a final painting touch-up Once your painting has been restored, you can hang it up and enjoy it once again.

What Happens to a Painting With Mold Damage?

If you have residential mold in Iona, FL, your first instinct might be to throw everything that has mold damage away. Thanks to mold cleaning, this isn't necessary, and you can restore many items that are important to you. Understanding your options can help you figure out what is worth saving and give you peace of mind when it comes to items that are irreplaceable.

Identifying Mold On Paintings
If you have old paintings that were stored somewhere, survived a flood, or were otherwise damaged, it is possible that mold might be growing on them. The first thing to do is have the painting examined by a qualified professional who can tell you the extent of the mold damage. Then, they can help you take the first steps toward restoration.

Understanding Mold Cleaning
A professional will usually begin the process by using something to stop the further development of mold. It is possible for mold spores to become airborne and move along to other parts of the painting. Arresting development of the current state of the mold can stop this. Much of the cleanup process will depend on the type of painting, how old it is, and what areas are in need of mold remediation. The same applies to the frame; in some cases, it is possible to have the original frame cleaned.

Enjoying Your Artwork Again
Once your painting has been restored, you can hang it up and enjoy it once again, without fear of mold spreading any further. A mold remediation and removal service can help you figure out the best way to address this. Depending on how your painting was damaged, such as in a flood, your insurance company might even help cover the cost.
Mold cleaning for Iona, FL, can save your painting and allow you to enjoy it once again. Once you know if your items are affected, the sooner you can act to save them.

4 Steps To Take After Water Damage in Your Home

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a laundry room Drying equipment in an Captiva Island, FL home.

Four Steps to Follow If Your Home Has Water Damage

It's hard to know what to do first when you've had a flood in your Captiva Island, FL, home. While no one wants to anticipate flooding or water damage ahead of time, it's good to have a plan in case you need it.

1. Protect Yourself and Your Home
One thing you might want to do right away is look over the damage to your home, but you need to do it carefully. When it is safe to return to your home:

  • Turn off the electricity.
  • Wear boots and rubber gloves.
  • Retrieve the most valuable belongings.
  • Elevate wood furniture if possible.

2. Stop the Water Source
If the flooding is from a source you can stop, such as broken pipes or a roof leak, mitigate the problem right away to prevent further damage. If your area has experienced heavy rain and more is expected, do what you can to protect your home, such as stacking sandbags or digging trenches.

3. Begin Cleanup
Water clean up should begin as soon as possible to prevent mold growth or secondary damage. A flood restoration company can help you through the process. Professionals can assess the extent of the water damage, identify the water contamination category, perform a safety inspection and move furniture. They can begin the water removal process almost immediately with high-powered vacuums and pumps. Using infrared cameras, technicians can test your home for water in hidden areas behind ceilings and walls.
Once standing water is removed, technicians can use dehumidifiers and professional-grade air movers to drywalls, carpets and furniture.

4. Restore Your Home
Once your home is thoroughly dry, you can begin restoring or replacing damaged items. Some areas may be restored after cleaning and disinfecting, while others may need replacing or remodeling. A restoration company can help with the process by disinfecting, sanitizing and removing any mold growth.
Water damage in your Captiva Island, FL, home can be overwhelming, but you don't have to go it alone. A professional restoration company can help you every step of the way.

Will Insurance Cover My Business After a Storm?

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Man holding a bucket toward a leaking a roof Roof damage due to a storm.

Business owners may find themselves wondering if their property in Iona, FL is covered if the building is damaged by a storm. If you have commercial insurance, the short answer is yes, in most cases. However, it's worth taking a look to see what exactly your storm insurance covers.

What Does a Standard Policy Cover?

Typically, commercial insurance will cover losses or damage caused by:

  • Fires
  • Wind storms other than hurricanes
  • Hail storms
  • Tornadoes


If your roof sustains damage from a storm and water gets in the building, most policies will include insurance coverage on this type of water damage if the roof was in good condition prior to the storm.

What Is Not Covered in a Standard Policy?
Most commercial policies will not cover damage from hurricanes, earthquakes or flooding. Water damage caused by rising water or heavy rain will require coverage from a supplementary insurance policy. Sewage backup may also fall into the category of flooding, as heavy rains can cause sewer mains to back up into buildings. If you do not have separate insurance for flooding, consider purchasing it for your property. Flooding can happen in any geographic location, and having coverage available for emergency restoration services is a good idea.

What Are Hurricane and Windstorm Deductibles?

Businesses in coastal areas covered by storm insurance may have a wind damage deductible. Hurricane deductibles apply to damage caused solely by hurricanes. Wind storm or wind/hail deductibles apply to any kind of wind damage. In most cases, the insurance company will determine which deductible will apply to a claim. Deductibles may be a dollar amount or a percentage of the property's value. Options vary by state and are subject to regulations, so be sure to review your policy with your agent if you need information about your insurance coverage.

It's best to know your storm insurance coverage before a disaster strikes. Review your policy with your agent to make sure you are prepared for a weather emergency.

Saving Wet Documents After a Flood

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents An experienced flood restoration company can extract water from the premises, clean, and dry wet documents.

Document Preservation Following a Flood

If your business experiences a flood in Estero Island, FL you may take urgent measures to save your furniture and equipment from water damage, but what happens to wet documents? The valuable information on original papers may not be lost forever, thanks to these document drying and preservation techniques.

Vacuum freeze-drying

This paper restoration method, also used by the Library of Congress, is the best way to restore your irreplaceable documents. It involves freezing the wet paper as quickly as possible after flooding to ensure that the ink does not have time to bleed or that delicate fibers are not compromised further. The documents then go into a sealed chamber that creates a vacuum. Controlling the chamber's temperature causes sublimation, which causes the frozen water to convert directly to gas and evaporate out of the document.

Gamma Irradiation

Flood water can carry bacteria and other pathogens that contaminate wet documents. A professional restoration company can use powerful sanitization methods to remove any traces of harmful particles without damaging your papers. The gamma irradiation process allows gamma rays to pass through the document. Along the way, they cause ionization or electron disruption at a molecular level that kills contaminants. The process does not harm the paper or ink.

Digitization

If your business has a significant amount of paper files, you may want to consider the following benefits of digitization:

-Better security and compliance
-Lower risk for damage
-Easy retrieval
-Efficient storage


A professional service with the technology to efficiently and carefully scan and digitize bulk or fragile documents can help ensure that the most sensitive information upon which your business relies is never at high risk for future water damage.
Flooding of your business can lead to significant damage.

An experienced flood restoration company can extract water from the premises, clean and, dry wet documents and prevent further problems that keep you from operating in Fort Myers, FL.

3 Ways To Keep Your Space Heater From Causing a Fire

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

Space Heater A space heater can be a lifesaver in the colder months, but it can also be dangerous.

Three Ways to Prevent a Fire From Starting With Your Space Heater

If you need some extra warmth in the winter, you might use space heaters in your Ft Meyers Beach, FL, home. They're small and portable and put off a great deal of heat, but they can also be dangerous. Approximately 1,700 house fires a year in the United States are caused by space heaters. Here are three ways to keep your space heater from causing a fire. 

1. Buy the Right Kind To Prevent a Burned Space Heater
A safety certification is the number one thing to look for in a space heater. Different organizations put heaters through rigorous tests to ensure they are safe for consumer use. Never buy a heater if it doesn't have a safety certification. You also want to purchase a heater with a shutoff feature. Look for one that will shut off if the device gets too hot or knocked over. The automatic shutoff feature can save you from a burned space heater and a major smoke cleanup after a fire

2. Place It in a Good Location
When you set your heater up, ensure it is on a solid, level surface. Never place it on anything combustible. If you only have carpet in the areas you need to place it on, purchase a few large, sturdy tiles to set the heater on. Fire mitigation specialists recommend that you leave at least three feet of open space around the heater at all times. Never place it near curtains, furniture or combustible items, such as paint cans. 

3. Never Leave It Unattended
When you leave the room, turn off the heater and unplug it. You also want to ensure that you turn the heater off each night before bed. Leaving the heater unattended for even a short time could be enough for a fire to start from a burned space heater. 
A space heater can be a lifesaver in the colder months, but it can also be dangerous. Following a few safety tips and being mindful of how you use it can keep you and your family safe and warm. 

Board Up Services Essential After a Fire

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Broken window of a home and boarded up at the same time Board up services in a Sanibel, FL home.

Along with the chaos and potential loss of precious belongings, a fire in your Sanibel, FL, home means that the structure is compromised. After filing a claim, you may have to wait for the damage to be repaired. That is why it is essential to board up any exposed areas.

Benefits of Emergency Board Up Services

In many cases, boarding up and tarping your home will be required by your insurance provider. If you don’t get it done, it may mean not getting as much out of your claim. Along with maximizing your coverage, there are other benefits.

Avoid Secondary Damage: While it may have been a fire that caused damage to your home, exposed areas are at risk to weather damage. If a storm blows in, that rain may lead to additional water damage and an increased chance of mold growth. That added damage likely won’t be covered by your insurance, meaning you will have to pay for repairs out of pocket.
Prevent Theft: A broken window is an invitation for thieves and vandals. If they have easy access, belongings that weren’t damaged by the fire may be stolen, including appliances and electronics. Vandals may also find their way in and create other issues that will require even more repairs.
Reduce Liability: When your board up your home, it is a clear sign to stay away. Not doing so may mean people entering the home. If someone gets injured, you may be the liable party.

Why Go With a Professional?
Although putting up tarps and boards may seem simple enough, it needs to be done right to work. To ensure that happens, it is best to call a fire damage restoration company. Not only will they provide the boarding services you need, but they will also be able to provide all the services necessary to return your home to its preloss condition. That includes finding hidden issues that may be easily overlooked but have the potential to cause severe damage.
A key part of getting back to normal after a fire is to board up exposed areas. Along with avoiding additional damage, doing so enhances the chances of maximizing your claim.

Honing Our Skills

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Training session Our SERVPRO teams participate in continued education training at our Chicago, IL facility

Restoration Training Session in Chicago

At SERVPRO, we place a high premium on continued education and company culture. We never stop equipping our teams with the latest knowledge and techniques in restoration to ensure the best possible results for those who need our services.

This past week, our Chicago teams held a training event for all company staff, including our Florida teams, and those who could not make it in person attended virtually. The training was broken down between teams, with dedicated sessions for sales, office, and production staff. 

We are passionate about creating powerful company culture that brings people together to help others, and trainings like this one help us do just that — not only bolstering our top-notch but also our relationships with each other. 

If your home or business has been affected by water, fire, or storm damage, SERVPRO is here with the training and technology to restore your property faster and better. 

3 Ways To Fix an Overflowed Toilet Caused by Your Shower

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Plumber unclogging a toilet with manual auger Snake the drain cleanout.

Three Solutions for a Toilet Overflow Caused by Your Shower

Have you ever stepped out of the shower and found water spilling out of your toilet? Experiencing an overflowing toilet while running the shower indicates an unseen plumbing issue in your Iona, FL, home. Follow these tips if you notice toilet overflow while running your shower.

1. Attempt To Clear a Clogged Pipe From the Toilet
When there is a blockage in the pipes from your toilet to the sewer, your home's wastewater lines get backed up when the shower is on, leaving them to overflow through the toilet. The first line of defense for this issue is to try to clear the blockage yourself. A toilet snake, preferably one over 25 feet long, is the most helpful plumbing tool when it comes to handling this type of clog and sewage cleaning. If you snake the toilet and the shower still causes water to overflow, try this next tip.

2. Snake the Drain Cleanout
Bring your toilet snake to the drain cleanout in your home, which is the cap on your main drain pipe. Prepare the area by placing old towels or rags around the drain should any sewage spill out. Remove the cap with a wrench and place the snake inside the pipe, pushing it deep to force sewage cleaning by dislocating the blockage. After snaking, put the cap back on the drain cleanout and turn on the shower to see if the issue persists.

3. Consult With Professionals
If your own efforts aren't doing the job, rely on professionals. Contact a plumber to handle the drain blockage and help you prevent further problems. A water damage repair and cleanup company can properly sanitize the area and treat foul odors.
If using your shower results in an overflowing toilet, be proactive about pipe and sewage cleaning. Utilize a plumbing snake to clear any clog in both the toilet and main drain cleanout before calling professionals for help.