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Honing Our Skills
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
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.
The Cleanup Process After a Flood
Don't let standing water take over any part of your home.
After a Flood, How to Clean Up
Dealing with the aftermath of a flood can be devastating for homeowners. Looking at the remnants of their lives as they float contaminated by potential black water is a struggle most people fear. Thankfully, floods do not have to destroy all memories; through content cleaning and the disaster cleanup process, water remediation services in Captiva Island, FL, claim more than you think can be salvaged.
1. Water Excavation
Still, before a company or homeowner can discover what contents are potentially salvageable, they must remove the water from the property. Excavation can begin immediately if the flooding is only located on the property. However, if the area is flooded, you will likely have to wait until exterior water levels recede.
Once water can be removed, it is performed by equipment and not manual means. Services will use pumps and shop vacs to eliminate the water as quickly as possible.
2. Debris Elimination
Following the water excavation, a remediation service will walk the disaster site to process all debris. Anything that is clear trash or unsalvageable will be appropriately discarded. If contents were affected by black water, the service would take special precautions to ensure everyone's safety.
3. Property Drying
When the site is clean of water and debris, the company you choose can begin drying the structure. Drying time will vary based on the extent of the flooding. The team will use fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers to help speed the process along.
4. Content Cleaning and Restoration
Any items that can be salvaged will likely be moved offsite to be cleaned and treated. The restoration company will focus on restoring the house to pre-disaster conditions by installing new drywall, flooring, etc.
Dealing with the aftermath of floods is about more than content cleaning. With the help of mitigation service, homeowners can successfully navigate the cleanup and restoration process.
How To Deal With Electronics After a Fire
Even a small electrical fire may have a big impact on the vital electronics in your business.
To successfully run your Estero Island, FL, business, there is a good chance you rely on various electronics to make that happen. If an electrical fire happens, you need that equipment functioning to preserve and recover essential data. Unfortunately, some electronics won’t be salvageable and those that are will require special techniques and equipment for the cleanup. Understanding the type of damage is important to determine the extent of the damage.
Types of Damage
There are three types of damage that professional fire damage restoration will look for to determine salvageability and cleaning methods.
Fire: Electrical fire damage is the easiest to spot. Devices that have been touched by flames will likely have visible plastic melting or scorch marks. In many cases, fire-damaged items will need to be tossed.
Soot: This black residue drifts in the smoke and attaches itself to items. It is often oily or smears easily. Soot also has a high acidity level, which may affect the longevity of electronics even after cleaning.
Smoke: When there is smoke, there is still heat and residue drifting into devices. It also leaves a lingering odor. A professional is usually able to eradicate that odor and bring devices back to life.
The Effects of Smoke Damage
While soot and char marks are indicators of damaged equipment, smoke is a bit tricky. Even if the flames never reach a device, they can still be damaged by smoke. Smoke carries an electronic charge that may short circuit a device. This makes it important to inspect all electronics that have been in the area in which the fire occurred.
Even a small electrical fire may have a big impact on the vital electronics in your business. While it may seem easy, computer cleanup requires expertise and tools. While not all may be saved, turning to an expert may result in not having to replace devices.
Understanding Mold in Your Business
If you are in need of a fungus cleanup for your business in Sanibel, FL it is important to take the proper steps to remove the mold properly.
Understanding Mold in the Workplace
Mold growth can appear on damp surfaces within 24 to 48 hours. Mold reproduces by tiny spores that travel through the air. Once they land in a new location with moisture, they will start to destroy your building in Fort Myers, FL. This can cause a lot of expensive damage. Here are some questions that you can use to understand this fungus.
Why Is There Mold?
Buildings can develop mold growth after a storm that causes flooding. Some of the big problems that occur during storms that lead to mold include:
- Sewage backups
- Roof leaks
- Flooded basements
- Open windows
- Foundation problems
How Do You Dry a Building?
The best way to dry your building is to hire a storm restoration company. Otherwise, you can do this on your own with some bleach, fans, and dehumidifiers.
What Do You Need To Clean It?
You will need personal protective gear to clean mold yourself, such as gloves and a mask. Aside from this, you will need standard cleanup items, including buckets, scrub brushes, brooms, trash bags, shop vacs, and sponges. Finally, you will need something to kill the mold, like a detergent or bleach.
What if You Have Health Problems?
Everyone is regularly exposed to mold spores inside and outside of buildings. However, standing water makes the risk from mold spores much greater, so it is better for people who have health problems to avoid working inside buildings that have recently experienced flooding.
How Can You Prevent Mold in the Future?
It is not possible to remove all mold growth from your business. However, there are many ways that you can limit the amount of mold that grows in the future. The best methods include stopping any leaks, keeping your business clean, keeping surfaces dry, and routinely disinfecting areas at risk for mold.
While bacteria may be the first contaminant on your mind after a storm floods your business, you should also be concerned about mold. This fungus can do costly damage, so you need to take the proper steps to dry your building and prevent mold in the future.
How To Spread the World About Candle Fires via Social Media
A candle caught this bathroom on fire.
People have a tendency to forget that candle fire is a leading cause of home blazes. The more people become aware of this reality, the safer they will be. Here are some facts that underline the peril presented by candles, along with concepts for social media posts to spread the word.
Facts About Fires Caused by Candles
Here is a smattering of alarming data points regarding infernos caused by candles.
On average, 21 fires caused by candles are reported every day
Roughly three out of every five home fires caused by candles happen as the result of combustible materials being left nearby
Falling asleep is a factor in 10% of all household fires triggered by candles
Even if nobody is harmed when a candle fire breaks out in Ft. Myers Beach, FL, the smoke cleanup process is bound to be highly distressing.
Social Media Posts About Fires Caused by Candles
Reduce the number of fires involving candles by informing as many people as possible about this sensitive topic. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Because of their association with Christmas and Hanukkah, December is a peak time for fires caused by candles. Design an appealing holiday greeting to draw in viewers and end with a friendly reminder to keep decorations away from open flames.
Design a safety video using children. Explain the importance of blowing out candles before retiring for bed and then depict your rug rats doing so. The inherent cuteness factor is bound to attract eyeballs.
Put a positive spin on this deadly topic by creating a slideshow of candle alternatives. Provide reasons why incense burners, electric candles and oil diffusers are so appealing. Where natural, slip in select facts concerning the inherent danger of candles.
The destruction caused by a candle fire is often considerable. Do your part to lower these frightening incidents by enlightening the public regarding the risk.
3 Benefits of an Electronic Claims Service
As water damage specialists, we are prepared and ready to serve you at any moment.
Benefits of an Electronic Claims Service
A qualified disaster remediation company will likely have an electronic claims service. This is because they work with their clients to help them file an insurance claim and get paid to restore their building in Sanibel, FL. While it is a great feature for the company, it also offers key benefits for clients.
1. Submit Claims to Your Insurance Company
One great benefit of choosing a company with an electronic claims service is sending their estimates directly to your insurer. This means your information will get there faster, and your insurance claim can be processed quicker. In other words, you can deal with any rejections or denials as soon as possible and have a greater chance of getting them resolved. You will also have less work to do. After all, your contractor is submitting the crucial information for you. Because of this benefit, you want to look for a company that offers an electronic claims service, such as SERVPRO. This company works with many insurance companies and has experience in getting claims approved.
2. Receive Detailed Reports
Business owners need to stay updated on how their restoration is going. Fortunately, an electronic claims system has a customer portal where you can view regular updates from your contractor. This can report crucial information, such as project costs. It can also update you on other things, like if your remediation is ahead of schedule. These reports make it easy to understand what is going on with your building. This means you never have to wonder what your contractors are doing.
3. Resolve Any Rejections or Denials
If your insurance claim gets denied, it will automatically show up in the customer portal. This means you can quickly get to work resolving this alongside your contractor.
While electronic claims services are a great option for a restoration company, they also offer clients key benefits. If you need help working with your insurance agent, want to receive detailed reports, and avoid denials, you should look for a contractor that offers this service.
3 Things You Should Know About Ice Dams
Install or reinforce insulation to keep the heat inside the building.
Ice Dams: Three Things You Should Know
One risk factor to observe during the winter is an ice dam. This temporary structure usually forms on the edge of your business's roof. While the icicles may give the Estero Island, FL, building a pleasant look, it can also create a variety of issues, including the emergence of black mold. Learn more about dams and act before they harm your establishment.
1. Common Causes
Ice dams occur when the heat on the rooftop is distributed unevenly. Usually, this means the snow on the top part will melt to the edges where the gutters are. However, the meltwater will freeze in those areas instead of flowing away from the building. The frozen water creates a dam that also blocks melting roof snow. With no drain system available, the water enters the building through shingles or any present cracks.
2. Effects on Business
Even though the ice dam seems distant from your business, it can affect it when left untreated. The roof water can spill on the walls, floor and other property inside, damaging it in the process. The combined humidity, present nutrients and high temperature create a perfect environment for mold growth. The problem increases if the water seeps into out-of-sight areas like between the walls. Since this mold is hard to notice and clean, it will instead develop and spread throughout the area.
3. Resolution and Prevention
Once you see the fungus, call your insurance company and a commercial mold cleanup crew. Also, bring in roof specialists to remove the dam from the affected area and repair the roof as needed. Preventative actions stop the damage before it even starts. Find and seal any areas in the roof and ceiling where heat escapes to keep the roof consistently cold. Additionally, install or reinforce insulation to keep the heat inside the building.
An ice dam can cause heavy water damage and mold growth if it is not treated immediately. Contact the right specialists to eliminate the damage and keep the roof's temperature even to prevent any more dams.
3 Things To Do When Turning On Your Irrigation Sprinklers
It is important to perform irrigation maintenance.
Three Steps To Maintain Your Sprinklers
As a business owner, you probably turned your irrigation sprinklers off before winter. Winterizing the system is especially important for areas with a long season where the plants are dormant. When spring returns, it is time to turn this system back on. However, when the temperature starts to rise, you need to perform some irrigation maintenance. Doing this ensures you have a welcoming lawn this summer. There are a few key steps to take to maintain your sprinklers as you turn them back on properly. Here are 3 helpful steps.
1. Turn the Water on Slowly
The most important part of irrigation maintenance is to turn the water on slowly. If you turn it on too quickly, you will blast your sprinklers with a high amount of pressure. This can lead to the heads popping off, fittings breaking, and sprinkler flooding on your lawn. You can ensure that the pressure stays low and you don't have any problems by slowly turning the water on.
2. Locate the Shut-Off Valves
There are a few valves you will need to find before you can turn your sprinklers on. Make sure you know where the stop, waste, and pressure vacuum breaker valves are located.
3. Turn On the Valves
To move the waste and stop valves for your system in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, you will need a key. Take the key and turn them 90 degrees counterclockwise. They may leak at first, but this should stop momentarily. Additionally, you will find the pressure vacuum breaker next to the valves. When it is parallel to your line, it is on, and if it is perpendicular, it is off. You want to make sure this is on before unleashing the water. Remember to turn all of your valves slowly.
You should follow proper irrigation maintenance protocols when turning your sprinklers back on in the spring. This ensures you don't do any damage and need to hire a water remediation company.
4 Things That Should Always Happen After Sewage Damage
Drying area to avoid mold growth.
Four Things To Leave To Professionals After Sewer Damage
If you experience backed-up sewage in your Sanibel, FL, home, you may be tempted to try and clean it up yourself. However, doing sewer cleanup on your own can put you at risk. Sewage is full of dangerous bacteria that can cause serious illness if accidentally inhaled or ingested. It’s best to call professionals anytime sewer backup occurs. Here are four things you should always leave to a professional after sewage damage.
1. Water Extraction
Before anything else happens, sewage water must be cleaned up. Water damage cleanup professionals have specialized equipment that can safely and quickly remove water from a flooded toilet or any other source. They wear special safety equipment to keep themselves protected from harmful bacteria and contaminants in the water and will likely recommend that you stay away from the area during the cleanup process.
2. Property Drying
Once sewer cleanup has occurred, professionals use state-of-the-art equipment to dry your property and reduce the chance of mold development. While it’s certainly possible for you to use fans, open windows and air conditioning systems to dry your home, professional equipment is much more effective and can get the job done faster. It can also monitor and measure the drying process to ensure that your home and belongings are completely dry.
3. Damage Restoration
Professionals know how to restore the damage that sewage backups cause. In some cases, belongings may be damaged beyond repair, but flood restoration companies will do everything in their power to salvage your belongings whenever possible. Restoration services may include minor or major repairs to drywall, carpet and other belongings or structures in the home.
Sanitizing your belongings is an important step in the cleanup process. Professionals use special products to clean and sanitize items to remove bacteria and odors.
Sewer cleanup can be a lengthy and challenging process. The good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own. For best long-term results, it’s a good idea to let professionals deal with your flooded toilet sewer backup.
3 Ways an Electronic Claims Services Helps After a Disaster
Choose a company that uses an electronic claims service.
Three Ways an Electronic Claims Service Can Assist You
The aftermath of a disaster in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL can be devastating to homeowners and making an insurance claim can be complicated at times. However, choosing a restoration company that has an electronic claims service can be beneficial for many reasons.
1. Ensures a Timely Delivery
One of the first things that are required of homeowners after a disaster has affected their home is to make a claim. Unfortunately, items that are mailed can become lost in transit or can be misplaced upon arrival. Even if a physical copy of a claim makes it to its location, it can take time for the claims to be seen. Electronically filing a claim is generally quicker and easier than the alternative.
2. Receive a Quick Response
Often, a homeowner needs their insurance claim filed quickly. However, companies that do not have an electronic claims service may take longer to respond to a claim due to the time it can take to receive mail and review the paperwork. Homeowners and agents who choose to work with a restoration company that uses an electronic claims service can provide everyone involved with information about what to do next, quickening the process overall. If any papers are missing, agents and homeowners will also be able to see what else needs to be done.
3. Information Is Easily and Quickly Accessible
Sometimes, an insurance agent or a homeowner needs to make a major decision about restoration in a timely manner. Not having access to information about a claim can cause an agent or a homeowner to make uninformed decisions or can stall restoration until the claims are available. An electronic claims service, however, lets agents and homeowners view information about their claims anytime, anywhere.
Employing a restoration company with an electronic claim service ensures important documents are delivered, increases the likelihood that the insurance claim will be made quickly and makes important information readily accessible. If you or your clients need a restoration company with electronics claim, consider contacting SERVPRO, the restoration experts.
4 Steps for Mitigating Wind Damage
A small roof leak can quickly turn into a huge hole.
Four Steps to Wind Damage Mitigation
High winds from thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes can turn small objects and debris into dangerous projectiles in Estero Island, FL. When these items hit buildings, they can cause a roof leak and broken windows. With some planning and preparation, structural damage can be kept to a minimum.
1. Maintain the Landscaping
Trees, shrubs and decorative items such as fountains and planters can turn into missiles in high winds. Keep the greenery trimmed and secure the fountains and planters. If tying them down isn’t an option, move them inside during storm season. This can prevent them from being hurled against the building or through windows.
2. Cover the Windows and Doors
Keep a supply of plywood on site to protect the windows from flying debris. It is strong enough to protect the glass from most large items and small debris such as gravel may embed itself in the surface, without penetrating all the way. Screws can be more effective than nails when securing the plywood to the building.
3. Reinforce Weak Areas
For buildings that have loading docks or interior parking for company vehicles, the garage doors may be susceptible to damage caused by debris. Strengthen glider wheel tracks and add braces across the back of the door to minimize damage. Plywood can be used to cover windows and bolster the braces.
4. Inspect the Roof
As materials age, they weaken. This can result in a roof leak or missing shingles during storm season. Use tarps and plywood as temporary measures to protect weak areas and prevent an already damaged roof from getting worse.
Severe storms can devastate a business in Estero Island, FL. Untrimmed trees and downed powerlines can result in a damaged roof. A minor roof leak can become a gaping hole. If a severe weather event does strike, a disaster recovery team can help you keep downtime to a minimum, whether a passing thunderstorm or a significant hurricane caused the damage.
How To Make a Water Damage Claim
Water cleanup process in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL.
How To Make a Water Damage Claim
Bursting pipes and other mishaps that flood your home can add a lot of tasks to your to-do list. You must find the source of the water so you can minimize overall damage. You need to arrange for repairs from a certified water restoration company. You will also probably want to file an insurance claim. Filing a claim can be daunting if you don’t understand whether your policy covers the accident or what you are entitled to receive. The following information may help demystify the process.
Factors Affecting Claim Acceptance
Standard homeowners’ policies cover a myriad of sudden accidents that may lead to water damage. Whether your policy covers the damage to your home in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, depends on several factors:
- Type and scope of policy
- Source of flooding
- Timing of damage onset
Some policies cover more than just bursting pipes. Coverage can vary by state or region and the amount of extended coverage you purchase. If floodwaters come from outside your home, particularly if you are in a flood plain, you may need an extra flood policy to cover the loss. If the damage was brought on by an ongoing problem rather than a sudden issue, your claim is more likely to be denied.
Tips for Minimizing Denials
The best way to avoid a claim denial is to understand your coverage and make sure it is adequate to protect you against the specific risks to your home. Your agent can explain your policy and suggest extended coverage when necessary. It is also important to keep up with a regular maintenance schedule for your home. Most gradual damage claims are denied because they indicate a lack of vigilance on the part of the homeowner. If you fix a broken pipe in a timely manner, for example, it is less likely to cause significant damage.
Hiring a restoration company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster can improve the chances of claim acceptance. Knowing your rights, as well as your responsibilities makes filing after a bursting pipes incident easier.
Dealing With Smoke Damage
Fire damaged building in Sanibel, FL.
How To Prevent Smoke Damage
A fire at your place of business in Sanibel, FL, can lead to costly downtime and other disruptions if not dealt with effectively. Learn how to prevent smoke damage from derailing your workflow with a few dry-cleaning tips.
1. Repair Versus Replacement
The most critical element of smoke damage restoration is a procedure that allows you to discern which items should be restored and which should be replaced entirely. While many of these decisions may be obvious, some are best left to a qualified fire damage restoration service. These professionals are typically IICRC-compliant, ensuring a set of content cleaning standards that your business can rely on.
2. What To Restore
Many items suffering from smoke or soot damage in a commercial fire can be brought back to functional condition through conventional means. Clothing, upholstery, and other fabric components can usually be cleared of any smoke discoloration or odors by simply dry-cleaning the affected materials. Most dry cleaners have specialty detergents and deodorizers for dealing with fire-soiled materials. Documents and other paper materials can also be restored through a vacuum freeze drying process if they were damaged by water-based fire suppression.
3. The Building
Fixed components of your place of business, such as the ventilation system, the floors, and the walls may also suffer from smoke damage. In these cases, there are also a number of processes that can avoid costly replacements. A restoration service will ensure adequate air circulation by changing out air filters. Drywall and other porous materials can frequently be cleaned depending on the type of paint used and the extent of the soot accumulation. Your chosen restoration service can assist you with content storage during the smoke cleaning process.
Don’t assume that your commercial fire means a total restart for your valued assets. Through a careful inspection process and a little professional help, you can repair and retain many of the items your business uses through dry-cleaning and other sound restoration practices.
After the Flood: Make the Most of Your Insurance Claim
Flood damage in Estero Island, FL.
Now that the flood waters have receded, it’s time to survey the damage and take steps to restore your property. As the holder of a flood insurance policy, you are already ahead of the curve—but there still may be significant work to be done before you can collect on a flood claim. Here are some steps that can help guide you through the process in Estero Island, FL.
1. Stay safe. Take every precaution to be certain your home is safe to enter and that there is no threat of further flooding, electrical mishap or collapsing infrastructure. Assume that water is unsafe for human consumption.
2. Contact your insurance company. Contact your insurance claims adjuster as soon as possible. Provide him or her with cell phone and/or email contact information so you will be readily available for an onsite visit.
3. Document the damage. Take photos of the damage to document your loss. If you have pictures of the areas prior to the flood, it would be useful to have them on hand for comparison.
4. Start the cleanup. Begin the cleanup process and call a restoration specialist in Estero Island, FL, if needed. If the adjuster has not yet made his or her assessment, be sure to note everything you intend to include on the flood claim. Make a list of lost and damaged items and include dates of purchase, estimated values and receipts, if possible.
5. Retain evidence. Keep any damaged materials you may remove from the house as the adjuster may need to see them for proof of loss purposes. If possible, store these damaged materials outside on your property.
6. Work with your insurance company. Once the adjuster arrives and finishes the assessment, you will likely be asked to sign a proof of loss statement that will follow specifications as set forth in the insurance policy.
Be sure to file your flood claim within 60 days of the actual flood event. By following these steps, you can be assured of the greatest possible chance for a successful insurance settlement.
You, the Bath and Shower Leak Detective, Solve the Case!
Learning to discover a shower or bathtub leak is an important skill for a homeowner.
You, the Bath and Shower Leak Detective, Solve the Case!
Homeowners wear many hats. Today, you'll be wearing your inspector hat, like that famous inquisitor from Baker Street, learning how to find the source of that most elusive bathtub leak or mysterious shower puddle so you can put a stop to it. A good detective knows to look in the hidden places for clues: adjacent rooms, a crawl space, or the ceiling underneath your bathroom. To help you interpret your findings, here are a list of clues and corresponding deductions:
• Splash leaks. Water stains on the ceiling below, loose tiles or warped vinyl, water on the floor or baseboards, or mold spots on the floor or wall nearest your bath might indicate splash leaks. Splashing some water on your shower door will help you find the gaps.
• Drain leaks. Clues such as water stains on the ceiling below your bathroom or damp floors in a neighboring room are good indicators of a shower pan leak. Plastic or fiberglass materials used in tubs and shower pans are susceptible to cracking from normal use. The flexing caused by standing often leads to breaking the seal around the drain. To test for a bathtub leak of this kind, buy a test plug from your local hardware store (don't use the tub's regular plug), fill the tub or shower with some water and mark the water level. Let it stand for an hour and check the water level again. If the water level is lower, you definitely have a drain leak.
• Tile leaks. Loose tiles, staining of the ceiling below, and moldy or crumbly grout all point to a tile leak. Inspect the area for gaps in the caulk or grout.
Learning to discover a shower or bathtub leak is an important skill for a homeowner in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL. Water damage clean-up requires some special restoration procedures. Homeowners definitely assume the role of daily inspector, but thankfully there is help available from professionals that can restore your home back to normal.
How to Streamline the Repair Process After a Fire
Commercial fire damage in Estero Island, FL.
When dealing with fire damage in Estero Island, FL, you may be wondering how best to get your business up and running again. Streamlining your repair process can help the restoration process stay on schedule. There are a few things you may need to know to help the repairs proceed efficiently.
Understand the Steps Needed for Repair
After a fire occurs there are several steps to the restoration process. Knowing these may help you estimate repair time. The steps include:
• A damage assessment
• Protecting the area from further damage
• Removing water from the area
• Drying the area
• Removal of smoke damage
• Sanitizing the area
• Restoring the area
Understand the Damage that Can Occur After a Fire
In many cases, you may have water damage as well as smoke or fire damage after a fire. Water damage can occur from several sources. Many fire suppression systems may use water to slow or extinguish the flames. The heat from a fire can cause a pipe to weaken and burst. The suppression solution from a fire hose can leave an area flooded. In many cases, your insurance adjuster may be able to recommend a professional restoration service with the training and tools necessary to deal with multiple types of damage.
Understand What You Can Do
There are fire mitigation techniques that can be put in place before a fire occurs. These may help slow the spread of the flames leading to less damage after the event. In some cases your insurance adjuster may recommend a mitigation expert who can offer advice on what you can do. Options may include installing a fire suppression system, keeping extinguishers in key locations, or safety training for certain types of equipment.
Repairing your business after fire damage can be a big project. Understanding these things may help the restoration process proceed according to schedule. Choose a company that can deal with multiple types of damage and restoration, as water damage often occurs along with a fire. Understanding the steps of the restoration process may also help you estimate the time needed for repairs. Mitigation beforehand may help prevent issues before a fire happens.
Tips for Maintaining a Clean Office Fridge
Fridge mold is a common problem in office buildings.
Tips For Maintaining a Clean Office Fridge
It's the problem that everyone knows about but no one wants to mention. As neglected mystery lunches from days gone by and forgotten leftovers start to pile up, the office fridge takes on a life of its own. It does not take long for the break room in your building in Sanibel, FL, to start to smell like fridge mold. Mold remediation experts say that it only take 24-48 hours for mold to start to develop in an area that has excessive moisture and organic matter to feed it. It is essential, therefore, to follow these tips for maintaining a clean office fridge.
1. Put Dates on Everything
Everything that goes into a communal refrigerator should be marked with the date that it entered the fridge. Keep a pile of sticky notes and a pen in a prominent place near the fridge to encourage everyone to do this. Set a limit to the amount of days an item will be allowed to remain in the fridge. If you stick to the time limit, you should never have to worry about that dreaded mold smell.
2. Post the Rules
No one sets out to be the creator of fridge mold, but without clear rules, it's difficult to know what the office expectations are. This can lead to passive aggressive hints being passed around the water cooler and the poor morale that often follows such statements. By posting the rules right on the fridge, everyone knows what is expected.
3. Put Someone in Charge
You can have the most detailed set of rules, but without anyone to enforce them, they will soon be ignored. Designating someone with the responsibility of disinfecting the fridge on occasion and throwing away outdated items is crucial to its ongoing cleanliness.
Fridge mold is a common problem in office buildings, but it doesn't inevitably have to be your problem. If you set rules and have someone who is willing to hold the office accountable to them, everyone should be able to use the fridge without fear of mold.
5 Steps to Make a Fire Escape Plan
It is good to have a fire escape plan for your home.
5 Steps to Creating a Fire Exit Plan
A well-thought-out fire escape plan can help you get away from a home fire as safely as possible. Developing a plan is one of the most important fire preparation measures. Proceed through these five steps to develop a potentially lifesaving plan.
1. Study a Floorplan
Look over an accurate floor plan. You should test every escape route you come up with to ensure it will be practical in the event of an emergency.
2. Identify Primary and Secondary Escape Paths
A fire escape plan should have primary and secondary paths leading out of every room in your home. You may want to obtain a fireproof escape ladder to make secondary paths more viable.
3. Display Pet Decals
Don't forget to factor pets into your fire safety plan. You may be able to evacuate animals with other occupants, but it is also a good idea to post a window decal near entrances to help firefighters rescue any remaining animals.
4. Practice Sealing In
If you cannot take any escape route, seal into a room with a window that opens, access to a phone, and one that is equipped with duct tape and towels. Close the door and seal the cracks and any air vents to keep out smoke. Open the window to admit fresh air and be sure to notify firefighters of your precise location in the residence.
5. Do a Fire Drill
Test the plan you have made at least twice a year and demonstrate how to move low to the ground, feel doors with the back of your hand, and assemble at a safe location outside.
These steps will help you create an effective fire escape plan for a residence in Sanibel, FL. Practice fire safety and make sure you have a sufficient number of functional smoke detectors. If a home fire causes damage, contact a mitigation and restoration service.
3 Steps to Snake a Clogged Pipe
A snake may clear a stopped pipe without the need for a plumber.
Steps To Snake Out a Drain
A drain auger or snake is a coiled metal spiral about a quarter-inch thick with a handle that has a hand-crank or drill attachment. If plunging does not clear a clogged pipe, you may want to try this tool. A snake is not difficult to use and may clear a stopped pipe without the need for a plumber. Here are three simple steps to snake out a drain.
1. Insert the Snake
Put the auger down the sink drain and continue to push more of the length in until you encounter resistance. The sharp curve of the sink trap may pose an early challenge. Apply pressure while cranking to make the snake bend and proceed down the pipe toward the blockage.
2. Push Until You Encounter Resistance
Continue feeding the snake down the sink drain until you encounter more resistance. This should be the cause of the clogged drain. Now it is time to crank or drill the snake.
3. Drive the Snake Through the Clog
Some augers require cranking by hand to rotate the tip. Other designs have an attachment for a power drill. Soft clogs tend to get broken up by the snake and go down the drain. Solid clogs may get caught in the auger's head. If twisting does not gradually become easier, try pulling up the snake. The head may have captured a solid clog.
Run water down the affected drain for several minutes to make sure the clog is completely clear, and then clean off the snake. Homeowners may want to purchase an auger or snake, but you can also rent this equipment from home improvement retailers.
Contact a plumber if you cannot clear a clogged drain yourself or experience a pipe break. If a sewer backup causes damage to your home in Estero Island, FL, you should also hire a residential water damage restoration service.
How Can Fire Damage Cause Water Damage?
Fire in a commercial building in Sanibel, FL.
How Does Fire Damage Lead to Water Damage?
In the event of a fire, your Sanibel, FL property may need a good deal of fire cleanup work, even if there was only damage from smoke. Yet did you know you may need to handle water cleanup, as well? After a fire, water damage is just as likely as smoke or fire damage.
So How Does It Happen?
Water damage usually happens in one of three ways:
• Pressure and high-volume water saturation from fire hoses used by firefighters to douse the blaze.
• Burst water mains and pipes damaged during the fire.
• Sprinklers activated by smoke.
Each of these instances can saturate your belongings in water, which can be highly damaging for electronics and inventory. Water cleanup is imperative as you recover your property from catastrophe, and to prevent additional health and safety issues caused by standing or stagnant water.
How Can I Prevent Water Damage?
It may not be possible to wholly prevent water damage when much of it happens during times when you should either be in the process of evacuating the building or should have already evacuated. However, you can make it a practice to cover your inventory with waterproof materials, and cover your electronics once you leave for the day.
How Do I Clean Up After Water Damage?
The first step of water cleanup is safety. Water conducts electricity, and after a fire, you may have exposed wiring or other safety hazards. Do not enter the building until a fire professional has cleared it as safe. Once you are able, dry the building as much as possible. Mop water from the floors and wipe down any surfaces. Open windows and doors to air everything out, and tear out waterlogged carpet and drywall. Haul anything wet out into the sun to dry. Take inventory of everything water-damaged and keep accurate records for your insurance company.
When Home Fires Are Not Covered By Insurance
Home fire in Ft. Myers Beach, FL.
Houses That Are Not Covered By Typical Insurance
A residential fire in Ft. Myers Beach, FL, can be costly. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average home fire or lightning strike between 2011 and 2015 caused $43,983 in damage.
Thankfully, insurance can cover much of the damage. But there are two types of house fires that are not covered by typical insurance.
1. Arson Insurance Fraud
Any time you make an insurance claim for fire damage, investigators come to your home to determine the cause of the blaze. If the fire was the result of an electrical failure or a weather event, you should be covered.
Insurance even pays for your damages if the fire was accidentally set by someone in the household. However, if investigators determine that the fire was intentionally set for the sole purposes of collecting insurance money, the insurer will not cover your claim.
2. Vacant Home Fire
Insurance may not cover a home fire if the property was vacant at the time of the blaze. The National Fire Protection Association reported that there were an average of 30,200 vacant property fires annually between 2011 and 2015, causing an average of $710 million in damages each year.
Vacant doesn't just mean abandoned, either. Most insurers define a vacant home as one that has been unoccupied for 30 days in a row.
That means a fire in your summer home during the winter months could cost you money out of your own pocket. However, you can supplement your existing policy with vacant home insurance that covers fire or storm damage.
Whether your home fire is covered by insurance, the potential for damage doesn’t stop once the blaze is put out. Soot can linger in the carpets, and the water used by firefighters can cause flooding and other issues. Fire restoration experts can help mitigate these damages and limit how much you or your insurer has to pay.
How Does Blasting Remove Mold?
Mold damage in Estero Island, FL.
How Does Blasting Remove Mold?
You pride yourself on your homeownership skills. If a problem arises with your Estero Island, FL, house, you know exactly how to fix it. And, if you can't do it yourself, you know who to call. That's why you weren't too concerned when you found mold in your crawlspace. Rather than fret, you plan to simply call in a residential mold remediation expert. This professional may come to your house, inspect the damage and give you a cleanup plan. For many snug areas, a mold soda blasting technique is considered best.
Consider the Cleaning Process
While you trust the advice of experts, you still want to learn more about the process. The typical blasting procedure is done in the following steps:
1. A cleaning solution is combined.
2. The solution is put into the spraying equipment.
3. The spray is applied to the moldy walls, floor and ceiling of the crawlspace at a high-pressure setting.
4. A vacuum is used to suck up the fallen mold spores.
5. The surfaces are given a final wipe down to ensure the fungus has been cleaned away.
With these steps, most mold damage will be removed from the space.
Learn About the Benefits
Now that you know how it works, why is this mold removal process right for your space? The high-pressure cleaning and the mixture used cleans deep into the pores of the wood to ensure even the mold roots are washed away. You'll also be surprised with how quickly mold soda blasting can be completed. If the same team came into your crawlspace to clean the fungus growth by hand, it would take them almost four times as long to clean the space.
If your home has recently been touched by flooding, you may be extra concerned about the possibility of there being new mold growth. Thankfully, you know exactly where to turn should you find any suspicious signs or smell anything musty.
Mold Always Follows a Flood
Before you start the final restoration, you want to make certain that mold growth is no longer a problem.
Once a flood invades your home, the mold isn’t far behind. It won’t wait for the water to recede or for your home to dry out. In 24 to 48 hours you can expect that mold growth has begun and there is only so much you can do until the moisture is removed. Before you start the cleanup, contact your insurance agent and take pictures of the damage.
Following that, there are several things you can do to hurry the cleanup along.
• Eliminate standing water using pumps and wet/dry vacuums.
• Discard items in the flooded area that will not be restored.
• Send items that are to be restored out for restoration.
• Put undamaged items into storage to be brought back later.
• Treat wet areas with disinfectant to minimize the negative effects of bacteria.
• Tear out damaged sections of walls and floors but not structural components.
Remove the Moisture From What Remains
Typically, this means opening windows and operating fans to circulate the air and send the moisture out of the house. You can find nearby restoration specialists in Sanibel, FL, who will bring their experience and specialized equipment to help with the drying process.
It Is Never Too Soon to Start Looking for Mold
While this moisture removal is underway, use your eyes and nose to look for evidence of mold growth. Assume you will find some. A mold problem can be addressed even if your house Is still wet, but removal cannot be declared complete until the house is dry and carefully inspected. Also, bear in mind that mold needs to be removed. Covering mold with caulk or paint is not an effective method of control.
Don’t Finish the Restoration Until You Are Certain That the Mold Is Gone
Before you start the final restoration, you want to make certain that mold growth is no longer a problem. You didn’t go through all this effort only to bury mold behind walls and under floors. Your restoration specialists can help you determine that you are ready to complete the restoration.
Flooded Homes Have an Unpleasant Odor
The key to flood cleanup and the prevention of mold growth is knowing how to deal with the several different aspects of flood damage.
Although the smell of your flooded home in Estero Island, FL, may be repulsive, that is not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem has to do with the source of the odor. Frequently, that is mold growth. No two flooded homes have the same issues, but they all have things in common.
1. Floodwater Sets the Stage for a Massive Mold Problem
From a property damage perspective, this may be your biggest threat. If the odor you smell has a musty component to it, you may already be well on your way to a mold problem. The only way to remove the musty odor is to quickly dry out your home and remove any mold that has started to grow.
2. Sewage Backup Is a Serious Health Hazard
Sometimes, flood water will cause sewage to back up from the sewer system into your home. The pungent odor it brings with it is a reminder of the bacteria and other dangerous organisms that the sewage contains. It is a risk to humans and animals and can result in significant property damage and sewage system loss. Left untreated, sewage can also be the source of mold growth. This odor will not disappear until the sewage is removed and the affected areas are cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.
3. Floods Bring in Other Sources of Odor
When the water recedes, you can expect to find that the flood left just about everything imaginable behind including topsoil, garbage, and other debris. There may also be traces of gas, oil, and other petroleum residues. In small quantities, none of this poses a significant hazard. They can be easily cleaned up and deodorized.
The Foul Odors Are Gone, and a Fresh Smell Has Returned
The key to flood cleanup and the prevention of mold growth is knowing how to deal with the several different aspects of flood damage. Consider bringing in a team of local flood remediation specialists with the experience and equipment to do the job right. Your home will thank you for it.
Black Mold and Why It Shows Up in Homes
Remember, black mold is a living organism that lives in your home because it thrives in moist places.
Mold exists in many natural forms and is found naturally in indoor and outdoor environments. Most of the time, mold isn't a problem, but it can quickly develop into one when it spreads throughout Sanibel, FL, homes. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent black mold from spreading through your home.
1. Control Moisture
The most effective way to prevent and control the growth of black mold in your home is to keep moisture at bay. If you live in an area where humidity is consistently high, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier. Other steps you can take include immediately cleaning up any spilled or leaking water, keeping appliances and appliance filters clean and dry, clean and repair roof gutters, and remove condensation from windows. Make sure you have adequate ventilation wherever water is used in the home.
2. Guard Against Leaks
It isn't unusual for older pipes to weaken and develop leaks. You may find that your pipes burst during an especially hard winter. Learn as much as you can about the potential for leaks in your home and then take steps to prevent them. For example, removing hoses from the outdoor spigots and protecting spigots from winter weather is a good way to guard against flooding in the spring.
3. Respond Immediately to the Presence of Mold
If you do find that mold has developed in your home, act immediately to arrange for mold cleanup. This means thoroughly cleaning the area and then using appropriate cleaning materials to kill remaining mold spores. If drywall or carpeting was affected, you may need to contact mold remediation professionals for stronger cleanup measures.
Remember, black mold is a living organism that lives in your home because it thrives in moist places. You can take steps to prevent mold growth and there are many professional resources available for when mold gets out of hand. As soon as you notice mold, take steps to eliminate it for the long-lasting well-being of your home and family.
3 Reasons You May Have Noisy Pipes
Broken pipe in Estero Island, FL.
Three Possible Causes of Noisy Pipes
It can be unsettling to hear knocking, hammering or whistling coming from your walls. However, plumbing can get noisy as the years go by. You don't always have to suspect a pipe break when you hear a funny noise in the wall. Check out the three reasons for noisy pipes below.
1. Momentum Changes: If you're running a shower and quickly close the faucet, you may hear a clanging in your pipes. This is caused by the water's rapid change in speed. While not necessarily a problem by itself, the vibrations caused by the hammering can actually lead to loose pipes or a pipe break in extreme circumstances. You may be able to fix the problem in two ways. First, try to tighten or replace your straps. Second, install an anti-hammer device.
2. Obstructions: Blockages in your pipes can lead to a whistling sound whenever the water is forced past it. Distorted washers in valves, loose screws or sediment buildup could be a cause of an obstruction in your plumbing. You can fix the noise by locating where the whistling sound originates from, and then replacing the appropriate faucet washers and screws. If the blockage is somewhere within the pipe, you may have to worry about the possibility of a burst pipe should the obstruction grow. The best way to clean out the pipes is to call in a plumbing cleaning service.
3. High Pressure: If the water pressure in your Estero Island, FL, home is set too high, it can cause your pipes to become quite noisy. While the sound may be annoying, you should be more concerned about the potential problems it can cause. It may not cause a pipe burst, but it could damage your dishwasher, washing machine or other appliances. You can fix this issue by making sure your water pressure is set no higher than 80 pounds per square inch.
The pipes in your home may be noisy for a wide range of reasons. Some of the noises can even leave your plumbing vulnerable to a pipe break. It is important you fix a broken pipe as soon as you find the problem.
4 Reasons Mold Is Growing in Your Home
Black mold growth on an attic.
4 Causes of Mold Growth in Your Home
If you’re trying to rid your home of black mold, it’s critical that you identify the reason it’s growing there. Until you eliminate the conditions that nurture mold, it will continue to regrow after every mold cleanup, even when carried out by the best mold remediation experts in Sanibel, FL.
Mold can derive nutrition from almost anything, and its spores are found everywhere, which means it will grow any place there is sufficient moisture. Mold in your home is a sign that you have a moisture problem. Here are four of the most common sources of excess moisture that cause mold to thrive.
1. Broken Supply Lines and Water Pipes
A water pipe or supply line may have developed a leak inside your wall. If you notice mold growing in your bathroom, kitchen or any areas adjacent to rooms with fixtures, check your water bill to see if it’s gone up. If you suspect you have a leak, call in a plumber to take care of the problem.
2. High Humidity
If you live in an area with a humid climate, you may need to take extra precautions to prevent black mold from growing. Keep rooms well-ventilated, move furniture away from walls and invest in a good dehumidifier. You’ll need to keep the humidity inside your home below 60 percent (preferably below 50 percent) to keep mold at bay.
3. Past Flooding
If your home has flooded in the past, you may have failed to fully dry out the affected areas. Water-logged floors and walls should be handled with industrial dryers and fans. A water damage professional in Sanibel, FL, can ensure that your home is completely dried out to prevent mold growth.
If black mold is growing in your attic or around windows or doors, a leak may be allowing rainwater to seep inside, encouraging mold growth. Call in an experienced contractor to make necessary repairs.
Before you arrange for mold cleanup, make sure you tackle the source of the problem. An experienced mold specialist can help you identify the source of moisture if you’re having trouble doing it yourself.
Team Zubricki Wins Icon Bronze Award
Team Zubricki Wins Icon Bronze Award at 2021 SERVPRO Convention.
Team Zubricki Wins Icon Bronze Award
This last year was one for the record books. It was perhaps the most disorienting, difficult and wild year in our country's collective memory. And like every family and every other small business spread across this great land, we took everything that came our way in stride.
It’s true what they say, “difficult moments test people.” In 2020, we were tested, our culture, our commitments and our expertise. But over the course of this last year, we persevered to make the year count and to do what we do best, help those when they need it most.
And we are proud of that.
This last month SERVPRO Franchises from around the country gathered in Orlando, FL for our annual convention. Conventions are always a fun time; we see old friends, hear and share restoration war-stories and spend time hearing industry updates. But there’s also a moment for congratulations and awards. This year Team Zubricki received an award for our 2020 Sales Performance and ranked in the top 15 franchises in the country.
Yes, you did hear that correctly, Team Zubricki is a top 15 SERVPRO in the country. We are floored and excited because this is the culmination of hard work, perseverance and tenacity.
Please celebrate with us as we revel in a job well done. We appreciate each one of you, our team members who fought hard and our friends who’ve trusted us with their emergency restoration and professional cleaning needs.
2021 is already partly over and we are full steam ahead.
To another great year!
Testing Your Business for Invisible Mold
Mold grows anywhere moisture and oxygen both reside. This is often visible in areas such as near water pipes, on carpet or near walls. If there is a strange musty smell or water damage but no mold to be seen, you may have mold lurking somewhere out of sight. Leaving it unattended allows it to spread everywhere it can and become more of a nuisance. Luckily, an indoor environmental specialist can assist in locating any mold at your business.
Where Water Runs, Mold Can Hide
Mold growth can be in unknowingly wet areas of your commercial property. There are several locations where mold often hides:
- Behind wallpaper
- Behind removable panels
- Above ceiling tiles with leaky pipes or roofing
- Under carpet or padding
- Under porous liners of ducts
- Around drain pains inside the building’s HVAC
- Behind mostly stationary furniture
While it is hard to identify these by sight, a professional mold test is adequate for figuring out which hiding place your mold problem has chosen.
Specialists Who Know Mold Can Find It
With scientific protocols, mold can be found by an indoor environmental specialist no matter where it is. Using technology such as a digital hygrometer, the specialist evaluates the moisture in the air around porous building materials such as drywall and wood.
If the hygrometer is not enough to locate the problem, he or she will use an infrared camera to look for hidden moisture with thermal imaging. The specialist’s methodology and expert use of the tools will locate the mold to allow you to act upon the problem.
Experts Who Know Mold Can Eradicate It
Once the indoor environmental specialist has identified the problem, the burden of cleanup falls back to you. Fortunately, there are professional mold cleanup companies that can ensure the area is free of mold and remains inhabitable to further mold growth. Mold should only be invisible at your Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, business, not because you don’t know it’s there. It should be invisible because it’s nonexistent.
Locating Bathtub and Shower Pan Leaks
A dry home is a happy one.
Locating Bathtub and Shower Pan Leaks
Water damage in your Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, home can be a major inconvenience and expense, but keeping an eye out for a shower or bathtub leak can nip this potential problem in the bud. Training yourself to think like a professional home inspector can be a smart strategy in maintaining your home’s integrity.
Inspecting the Bathtub
Some leaks are easy to spot. However, there are others that can take a bit of detective work to pinpoint.
- Faucets that drip can be readily seen and sometimes heard.
- Grout can crack and shrink, which can allow water to infiltrate construction materials.
- Overflow drains have gaskets that can crack with age and hide a leak.
- The tub itself can develop a leak. A bathtub leak of this kind is uncommon but can be detected by wrapping dry newspaper around the exterior before filling it.
Inspecting the Shower
Whether your home has a tiled shower or a prefabricated stall, a shower pan leak is a potential source of water damage. Routine examination of a few vital spots will likely keep water where it is supposed to be.
- Check connections between the grout, tile and base of the shower. Resealing grout and caulking connections can prevent water intrusion.
- Inspect the threshold, also known as the dam, thoroughly. Traffic can create wear, and expansion and contraction can create openings.
- Check the drain connection in the shower floor to ensure proper alignment. Keep it clear of hair and other debris.
Benjamin Franklin’s adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is overall great advice when applied to maintaining your home or investment properties, especially when the “cure” involves your hard-earned money. The intrusion of water into construction materials through a shower or bathtub leak is not only unsightly and destabilizing but also can create health and safety hazards.
Inspecting your dwelling routinely can offer significant peace of mind. A dry home is a happy one.
5 Tips To Keep Kids (or Irresponsible Adults) from Setting Your Kitchen on Fire
The aftermath of a kitchen fire in Estero Island, FL.
Tips To Prevent a Kitchen Fire In Your Home
In Estero Island, FL, you would prefer to avoid any sort of fire damage to your home, which is why you have that ban on anyone stepping foot into your kitchen who isn’t you. As time goes on, however, and you make friends or maybe even a family, it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep troublemakers out. Luckily, there are five easy tips to prevent you from having to meet a firefighter the embarrassing way:
1. Your kitchen should have a working fire extinguisher and smoke detector. Make sure smoke detectors are tested monthly and batteries replaced as needed. The fire extinguisher should be kept in a secure, but easily accessible place. Get 100 percent comfortable with how to use your extinguisher so that you can do so in the heat of the moment.
2. Avoid baggy clothing and draping sleeves. Aside from clothing catching fire, baggy clothing can result in tripping or getting caught on things, which is a fire risk as well.
3. Ensure flammable items and fabrics never sit too close to the stove. One of the best tips is to choose oven mitts over towels to move pots and pans from stovetops or the oven.
4. To prevent a grease fire, clean your stove often to avoid the buildup of grease in or around the stove. Always use proper-sized pots and pans for whatever you’re cooking, especially if you’re using cooking oil.
5. Never leave the house while cooking and avoid even leaving the room if possible. If children (or irresponsible adults) are in the kitchen, they should always be well-supervised. It is better to keep them away from the stove or oven, but at least ensure they are given one-on-one attention from an adult who is directing and standing close.
Fires in the kitchen may be difficult to entirely prevent, but armed with the right knowledge, you can keep them rare and more easily maintained. There are many resources out there to use so you can keep your home intact and don’t have commit to solitary cooking for the rest of your life. Utilizing the tips above, you should be ready to start allowing people into your kitchen again.
Tips for Returning to Work After a Flood
Storm after affects in a dental office.
Tips for Returning to Work After a Flood
If you are listening to the weather channel, you can sometimes hear that 50 mph winds and record-breaking rainfall are happening in Sanibel, FL. Consequently, your business is located there. As the floodwaters recede, you check in at your property. Contaminated, black water is everywhere. You are worried about shutting down during the restoration process but do not want to endanger the safety of your employees. At what point during the flood cleanup process can they return to work?
Employees Leave Premises
Stay away during the early stages of the flood cleanup process. Reasons include:
• Flood water and mud are considered contaminated. This black water carries viruses and bacteria that can make you and your employees sick.
• Professional restoration specialists use specialized equipment and are trained in handling this type of water. Excess flood water and related debris are safely removed using professional grade pumps.
• Not all parts of the building can be properly cleaned; some must be discarded. The restoration experts remove soiled insulation, wet drywall, carpet padding and other contaminated contents.
• Remaining structures and objects that came into contact with flood water are sanitized and disinfected.
Employees Return To Work
It is safe for workers to return during the final phases of restoration. Reasons include:
• Once the contents of the commercial property are sanitized, your employees’ health and safety are no longer a concern.
• During the rebuilding and restoration process, it is safe for employees to be present. Air filtration devices may help retain the quality of the air during this time.
When a storm floods your business in Sanibel, FL, the resulting black water is a health concern for you and your employees. It is not safe to be on site for the initial stages of flood cleanup, including removing excess water, discarding contaminated structures and disinfecting remaining contents. Once the rebuilding and restoration phase begins, it is safe to return to work.
What Is Black Water, and How Should Owners Deal With It?
With sanitization finished, restoration begins, and rebuilding the establishment.
A sudden influx of flood water proves troublesome for commercial owners in Sanibel, FL on many levels. This moisture, labeled category three, isn't harmless. It can harm the structure and belongings. The fluid seeps easily into porous materials, and you cannot extract it with towels and air-dry methods. Rot, fungus and mildew may set into the impacted section. Proprietors should understand the danger of this condition and how to seek appropriate restoration efforts. The following are three critical things to know.
1. What Exactly Is Category Three Water?
Flooding falls under the highest form of water contamination. Named black water, this fluid houses a plethora of hazards and can come from various sources. Potential risks arise when overflows occur in external bodies of water such as rivers, oceans and ponds. Flash floods and sewer backups are also a common cause.
Unbelievably unsanitary, this water houses one or more of the following pollutants:
2. What Are the Consequences of not Seeking Action?
If flood water isn't cleaned up quickly and appropriately, microorganisms set up residence within the flooring, drywall and ceiling. Long-lasting penetration weakens structures, produces stale odors and permits organism reproduction. Mold spores, for instance, develop within 24 to 48 hours.
3. How Is This Treated?
Space must be cleaned professionally by a flood restoration company. Certified professionals enter the premises, testing the walls and air to determine what type of irritants have entered the facility. They then put together an action plan to combat the storm damage.
This phrase includes remediation in which the team tears out affected structure, scrubs the air and vents and thoroughly dries out the entire section. Industrial dehumidifiers work to extract excess humidity from the building, restoring appropriate moisture levels.
With sanitization finished, restoration begins, and rebuilding the establishment.
Take flood water seriously. Be aware of the blackish water and how it devastates buildings. Remember, responding quickly and with specialist assistance aids in avoiding significant damages and expensive costs.
3 Things You Can Do To Help Your Business Survive Hurricane Floods
Commercial owners in Fort Myers Beach, FL can defend their properties, hopefully minimizing the devastation and expediting the cleanup.
Whether a Category 1 or 5, a hurricane is a powerful gale, capable of wreaking havoc on a building. Intense winds, flood water and tornadoes are all possible, leading to various structural damage that costs upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. Commercial owners in Fort Myers Beach, FL can defend their properties, hopefully minimizing the devastation and expediting the cleanup. The following are three things to do before any sign of a storm.
1. Create an Action Plan
Prepare for both the best- and worst-case scenarios. Put together an action plan for various storm systems detailing how to handle different events. For instance, if you experience a flooded building, employees should understand not to enter until permitted by restoration professionals.
Share the following information with staff:
-How to safely exit during severe weather
-Where to seek shelter in the building
-How to fortify the property from flooding
-How to contact a water restoration company
-Where to locate supplies and how to use them
2. Collect Documentation
Regularly upload your company's significant paperwork onto a server or the cloud. Flood water poses a risk, destroying financial statements, contracts and insurance policies. These papers are essential to operations and insurance claims. Pick a day once a month to safely store them online.
Also, keep crucial documents in one location so that the hard copies are easy to grab. If you have time before the evacuation, take what you can. If not, relocate them to higher ground.
3. Invest in Supplies
Stock up on materials that make the early days efficient. Have a generator on hand so crews can immediately evaluate and tend to water damage. Be aware that this device gives off carbon monoxide. Read the directions, and understand where to use it for appropriate airflow.
In addition, have flashlights, batteries, clean towels, soap and tools. For personal use, have plenty of clean bottled water and snacks. Hand sanitizer and hygiene items should be stocked as well.
If flood water breaches your establishment's walls, know how to act to mitigate the harm. Call in the professionals, and have supplies on hand to get started with the cleanup.
How Does Smoke Damage Spread?
Smoke cleaning should take place after fire damage cleanup.
Factors That Cause Smoke Odor
Smoke damage can spread throughout a structure after a fire in or near a commercial building in Estero Island, FL. From airborne transmission to the increased damage that may be caused by direct contact with or foot traffic through soot, here are a few factors that cause smoke odor to become detectable in every part of a building.
Smoke Is Carried Through the Air
Smoke consists of fine particles and gases that are small and lightweight enough to become airborne. A wide variety of chemicals that includes the following substances may be present in smoke:
- Carbon monoxide
- Volatile organic compounds
Immediately during and after a fire, particles and gases that contain these substances may circulate in a structure. Gusts of air that occur as a fire spreads can spread smoke throughout a building.
Smoke Gets Into a Building HVAC System
In addition to lowering the quality of interior air, smoke damage can also spread through an HVAC system. Particles that enter vents and linger in ductwork cause smoke smell to persist. It is important to shut off the HVAC system in a smoke- or fire-damaged structure and arrange for cleaning during restoration.
Smoke and Soot Can Affect Nearby Locations
Smoke and soot can travel through the air and affect nearby businesses. Fortunately, smoke and soot damage are covered perils for the primary location affected by a fire, surrounding areas in a commercial building and nearby structures. Smoke cleaning is necessary to keep the telltale odor of fire from lingering and affecting building occupants.
Smoke damage cleanup may involve using air filtration and odor neutralizing treatments to lower the concentration of particulate in interior air. If a fire has occurred at a commercial property in Estero Island, FL, cleaning up ruined materials and soot is the first step toward restoration. Smoke cleaning should take place after fire damage cleanup.
Can I Claim Commercial Property Losses on My Taxes?
Ceiling damaged due to storm in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL.
Unexpected commercial property losses have the potential to be devastating financially, mentally and time-wise. They can massively derail operations and cause a great deal of hassle. Even if you have coverage, it can be a big headache to deal with the insurance adjusters, filling out paperwork, contacting a professional cleanup and restoration service in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, and/or handling anything else that needs to be done in the wake of an incident resulting in one. One thing you may be glad to know is that storm damage, fire damage and other business-related losses are tax-deductible regardless of whether they are in a federally declared disaster area or not.
These include damage, loss or destruction arising from any kind of unexpected or sudden incident like a natural disaster (storm damage, smoke damage and etcetera). Normal wear and tear or time-related deterioration are not casualty losses. The three kinds (labeled as federally declared disasters) are:
- Qualified disaster losses
- Federal casualty losses
- Disaster losses
Since it involves income-producing property, your loss amount is the adjusted basis of said structure/possession (your cost, with deductions and additions for things like depreciation or renovations).
If someone steals from your business, the theft loss is also the adjusted basis. If it is due to a Ponzi scheme, the rules may be slightly different.
Tax Claims Facts
Any expected or received payout from insurance companies or salvage value lowers your loss amount. You must prove any loss you claim, so detailed documentation is important. You also run the risk of acquiring capital gain if you end up with insurance reimbursement that is higher than your adjusted basis.
Storm damage and other forms of harm to your enterprise's property from events like hurricanes are tax-deductible. Theft is as well. It pays to be careful when claiming them on tax forms, especially if you do not know how much your indemnity policy will pay out as it can lead to you owing taxes again instead of gaining a deduction for a loss.
What to do Following a Fire at Your Home or Business
In order to appropriately address smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell after a fire in home fire, professional assistance is a must.
A fire in your home is one of the most devastating experiences you can face in your lifetime. If that occurs, there are some specific steps you need to take to best protect your property in the aftermath of a residential fire.
Emergency Fire Damage Response
A crucial step that you need to take in the aftermath of a fire in a home is obtaining prompt emergency fire damage response from a professional. The reality is that fire in home damages are best mitigated if a professional team is on site as soon after a fire as possible. The reality is that not every fire restoration company in operation has the ability to provide a rapid response for you.
Securing the Premises
Another important step following a fire in home is securing the premises. This includes securing the premises from further damage, but also from others who might try to enter the property inappropriately.
The process of securing the premises following a fire includes a proper board up. The board up process covers the obvious, including windows. However, when it comes to the board up process, doors are likely to be damaged. Indeed, the board up effort may need to include sections of walls as well. In the aftermath of a residential fire, engaging a professional who is experienced in all elements of securing the premises, including appropriate board up, is vital.
Covering the Essential Elements of Fire Damage Restoration
Appropriate fire damage restoration is a multifaceted endeavor. The process begins with essential fire cleanup. Fire cleanup is a task that must commences in a timely manner to prevent further degradation of the premises. In addition, fire cleanup in a prompt manner is necessary to open the doors for the remaining tasks that must be undertaken to remediate fire damage. Fire cleanup is best undertaken by a professional.
Once the preliminary cleanup tasks are completed, the focus moves to address issues like addressing smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell. Once again, in order to appropriately address smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell after a fire in home fire, professional assistance is a must. In order to thoroughly address issues like smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell, a home or business owner must have access to a professional with suitable skills and equipment. As part of the fire restoration process, smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell must be addressed in a timely manner to protect the property and minimize the long-term impact of fire damage.
Residential Versus Commercial Fire Damage
When seeking fire damage restoration services, you need to make sure that you select a restoration company that focuses on both residential and commercial fire damage, depending on your specific needs. The reality is that there are difference in what needs to be addressed when it comes to residential and commercial fire damage. You must access a restoration company that works in the realm of residential or commercial fire damage remediation, depending on the nature of your situation.
Expenses and a Fire Restoration Company
There are notable price disparities between fire damage restoration professionals. Although you must be quick in obtaining assistance, you can take a reasonable amount of time to engage in at least some price shopping. Take the appropriate amount of time to examine the price points of fire restoration services available in your community. In addition, make sure you examine the scope of services offered by a particular restoration provider.
In the final analysis, you are best served engaging a professional that provides comprehensive restoration services for your home in Fort Myers Beach.
Life After Fire Damage
During the restoration, fire cleanup experts begin by cleaning up any smoke damage, fire damage, soot damage, and eliminating smoke smell.
In the unfortunate event of a fire in home or fire in business premises, you might find it challenging to perform the process of home restoration. Restoring a home or premises can be stressful, time intensive, and hazardous. As a property owner, you might employ the services of a restoration company to restore your fire-damaged property. How extensively damaged you property is determines the complexity and duration of the damage restoration process.
Significant damage may require a longer duration of time whereas minor fire damage may only take a day to complete in Fort Myers Beach. Contracting a restoration company such as, SERVPRO of Sanibel/Ft Myers Beach is essential as fire cleanup experts simplify the restoration process. This ensures that your home or business is restored to a good and reusable condition. Read on to find out what the process of fire restoration entails.
1. Emergency Contact
A reputable damage restoration company provides emergency response services. As such, they can respond quickly to your alarm providing fast relief to the property you own. Given this factor, it is important that you look for a restoration company that is professional and responds quickly to help you address damages of fire in home or fire in business. However, why do you need fire damage restoration services? In the event of a fire in home or fire in business, it is the prerogative of the fire department or a restoration company to help with fire damage. Also, fire damage restoration can minimize the extent of harm to your property. Always have emergency contacts of your fire department and a fire repair company at hand.
2. Fire Damage Assessments
Initially, a fire damage restoration agency will assess the extent of harm caused by a fire in your premises. Typically, this step involves fire cleanup experts evaluating the extent of fire damage, smoke damage, soot damage, the presence of smoke smell, furniture, and wall damage inspection. Damage assessment is necessary as only through it can fire cleanup experts formulate a proper restoration strategy. After damage assessment, you should expect to receive a quote if what it is going to cost you to restore you home from the effects of soot damage, smoke damage, and smoke smell. A board up may be necessary when conducting a damage assessment of fire in home or fire in business premises.
3. Fire Tarping and Sealing Services
An essential activity of the restoration process is minimizing the effects of damage on your property. For example, the repair company may begin by restoring holes burned in your roof or walls. Similarly, commercial fire damage restoration usually integrates water damage restoration. Fire tarping and sealing services are crucial in the commercial fire damage process especially when dealing with busted plumbing. Your contracted company will act quickly to rectify leaks in plumbing because of commercial fire damage.
During the restoration, fire cleanup experts begin by cleaning up any smoke damage, fire damage, soot damage, and eliminating smoke smell. Due to commercial fire damage, your property may appear charred, dark, and stained. As a result, an initial activity of the company is to clean the damage restoring the property to its original condition or state. In this stage, the fire cleanup crew uses submersible pumps to clear any standing pools of water as well as board up, sanitizing, and drying any wet surfaces.
Water damage poses significant health hazards, so sanitization is necessary. During this stage, the company devotes particular attention to eliminating the presence of smoke smell and commercial fire damage from your property by performing a board up. Activities involved in this process include surface re-carpeting encompassing adjacent rooms as well as those directly affected by the fire to eliminate the traces of smoke damage, smoke smell, and soot damage. Also, the restoration process includes the disposal and removal of severely damaged items such as damaged carpets or unrepairable furniture. Typically, the best approach is to throw these things away and purchase replacements.
5. Renovations and Repairs
This stage involves the restoration or repair of damaged furniture, walls, carpets, wallpaper, and property repainting. With an excellent commercial fire damage agency, you get not only repair services but also property renovation services. Sometimes the restoring company may recommend a board up of your property while restoration and improvements are ongoing. Most of these businesses can capably repair your property leaving it better than it was initially. The fire restoration process can be an opportunity to redesign your property.
Steps to Removing Smoke Odors After a Fire
Whether dealing with residential or commercial fire damage, these professionals will clean both the walls and the floors.
Whether it's a fire in home or fire in business situation, the smoke smell left behind can linger for days and even weeks. That odor can penetrate deep into your nasal tissues and make it hard for you to catch your breath. Those odors can even bring back bad memories of that fire. To get rid of the smoke smell, you need to opt for fire damage restoration and hire professionals to help you with the fire cleanup after a fire in home or fire in business.
Remove Items for Cleaning
One of the first things that fire cleanup professionals will do is remove any items from the room or home that need cleaning. This can include mattresses, box springs, upholstered furniture and even your kids' stuffed animals. If there is anything in the space not suffering from soot damage or smoke damage, professionals can safely store those things for you.
Removing Soot Damage
Soot damage is a type of residential or commercial fire damage that the fire left behind. This thick soot can look like dark streaks on the walls or floors and completely coat surfaces with a thick layer of black soot. Removing this type of fire damage often requires extensive cleaning. Fire damage professionals will do a thorough inspection to ensure that home is safe and habitable before doing any soot damage cleanup.
Fire in Home Evaluation
Part of the fire damage restoration process involves a deep evaluation of the home. Fire cleanup professionals will take the time to identify the cause of the fire and look at the smoke damage left behind. This is an important step in the fire cleanup process because it ensures that there is not any significant damage to the structure that needs fixed before the fire cleanup can begin.
Cleaning Walls and Floors
Whether dealing with residential or commercial fire damage, these professionals will clean both the walls and the floors. The smoke smell and smoke damage caused by that fire can penetrate inside those surfaces and cause the odor to stick around long after the fire is out. Experts generally use chemicals that are safe for both pets and small children. They may also use specially made deodorizers designed for use after a fire in home or fire in business that neutralize the scents left behind.
Specially Treated Surfaces
If you ever experienced a fire in a Sanibel, FL business or home before and tried to clean it up on your own, you likely found that the smell lingered for a long time. This is because you do not have access to the same tools and supplies as fire damage professionals do. The professionals you hire can treat your walls, floors and even ceilings with products that work like sealants. These products actually lock the odors and keep those scents from taking over your home or commercial property.
For Commercial Fire Damage
Fire damage restoration experts use many of the same procedures and steps when dealing with commercial fire damage. A fire can break out in a commercial building because of faulty wiring, an electronic that overheats or a sprinkler system that doesn't kick on when a fire spreads from another building. Fire cleanup professionals both evaluate and inspect the structure to look for any repairs that you need to do first before taking care of the smoke damage. Your building may need a total emptying of all the furniture, decorations, office supplies and stock that you have before cleaning begins.
The smoke smell left behind after a fire can bring up traumatic memories in your mind and make you want to spend less time at home or work. Fire damage restoration experts have all the tools and experience necessary to eliminate those odors. Once you experience any type of fire in any type of building, call a trustworthy fire damage cleanup company to help you remove soot, smoke and other types of damage.
Visit our website for more information on fire damage.
What To Consider When Buying Smoke Detectors
Dual-sensor alarms contain components of both sensors, making them ideal for home use.
As a homeowner, you know the importance of fire safety. Limiting blazes can keep your loved ones safe and prevent flames or smoke from destroying your cherished assets.
Buying smoke detectors is an easy way to protect your Sanibel, FL, house and family. However, there are many different options on the market. It can thus be hard to decide which smoke alarm to get. Here are some factors to consider before you make your purchase.
Type of Alarm
There are three main kinds of smoke alarms. They are identified by the censors they use:
Photoelectric alarms are designed to detect smoldering fires, including those that occur in beddings or electrical wires. Ionization alarms, meanwhile, detect quickly burning flames from grease or paper. Dual-sensor alarms contain components of both sensors, making them ideal for home use.
Place one alarm on each floor, one in each bedroom and one in every hallway that leads to a bedroom. You can even purchase a system that electronically connects the detectors. This way, they will all beep when one of them is triggered.
Some smoke detectors have additional features for added convenience. Look for a smoke alarm that is simple to test. Ideally, the detector should have a button that you can press to ensure the device is working. If you do not want to climb a ladder to reach the alarm, pick a detector that can be tested via remote control.
You should also get an alarm with a "hush" feature. This lets you silence the detector during a false alarm without actually disabling the device.
Cleaning a smoke detector regularly can limit these false alarms. You may want to consider alarms with removable or hinged covers that make it easier to vacuum the device.
The right smoke alarm can limit your need for fire damage cleanup services. Pick detectors with modern features and those that can detect several types of blazes.
What Are Storm Services and How Can They Help Insurance Agents?
You need a top restoration company as soon as possible after a disaster.
When a major storm, such as a hurricane, strikes Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, insurance agents can have great difficulty in finding any storm restoration available. Not only is this vexing for your clients (as well as you), it leads to greater damage when mitigation efforts aren’t applied immediately to storm damage. You need a top restoration company as soon as possible after a disaster.
As soon as the storm has passed, damaged buildings will be searched by a storm response team. The next step is to secure the property. This is done in three ways:
- Reinforce the structure as necessary.
- Remove any floodwater and squeeze out the moisture.
- Tarp and board exposed areas.
That’s the job of the restoration company. They’ll bring in everything needed to reduce further damage.
SERVPRO has a separate National Accounts Division to provide storm services directly to insurance agents and their clients. As a Preferred Vendor, they’re used to working closely with insurance company professionals to expedite the claim. They know exactly what forms you need and can often begin storm restoration within days – or hours!
What Do Storm Services Include?
As a Preferred Vendor, they can begin to protect the property even before the claim has been formally begun. Their top priority in a storm response is to prevent further damage.
To expedite the claim, all their files are available electronically through the cloud. With a computer or smart device, insurance adjusters and agents can share all the files instantaneously, dramatically increasing response times. It also removes any confusion or lost paperwork – and hard copies are also available, of course.
In a major disaster, SERVPRO can bring in assets from over 1,700 locations to begin the process even faster. Hundreds of local franchises will band together in a crisis to shift trained crews to where they’re needed, even for widespread flood damage.
The close collaboration between a Preferred Vendor and an insurance company ensures the highest quality storm restoration at a pre-arranged cost. It’s the best way to reduce stress for everyone involved.
5 FAQs About IICRC Certifications
Any individual with the proper cleaning, restoration, inspection, or mitigation certificate can certify their company.
The best disaster remediation companies have and want their employees to have an IICRC certification. Here is some more information on these certifications and what they mean.
1. What Is This Organization?
IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This is the standard and certification setting organization for the remediation industry. It has partnered with other restoration organizations to help set the standards in many countries across the globe. It does this by offering different training courses.
2. How Do You Get a Certification?
To get an IICRC certification, individuals must take an approved training course. At the end of the course, they are expected to pass an exam.
3. Do You Need To Maintain These Certifications?
Individuals who receive their certification have to work to maintain them. Inspectors are expected to earn a certain number of credits every 2 years. Technicians need to earn a certain number of credits every 4 years. Masters in a certain specialty are expected to earn a certain number of credits every 2 years.
4. Are Their Annual Registration Fees?
Once someone has become a certified business or technician in Sanibel, FL, they are expected to pay annual registration fees. These ensure that their certifications are current and give them access to continuing education credits.
5. Can a Company Be Certified?
Any individual with the proper cleaning, restoration, inspection, or mitigation certificate can certify their company. They do this by submitting an initial request. The organization will process this. Once it has been reviewed and approved, the company will be considered certified and is listed on the firm locator. Additionally, firms will receive organization logos, to use in their advertising material.
A technician or company that is certified by this organization is a highly trained professional. They can be expected to stay up to date on their education and provide high-quality service.
5 Requirements for Making a Business Interruption Insurance Claim
To prepare for a large water damage scenario, it is important to know when you can file a claim with your business interruption insurance.
If you experience a disaster, like flooding or a broken pipe, in your business in Estero Island, FL, you will probably want to file a claim on your business interruption insurance. However, there are few things you should know about the requirements for making a claim.
1. There Must Be Physical Damage to Your Property
This type of insurance is typically added to your property insurance. Therefore, your property must sustain some damage, like flooding, and the associated costs, such as hiring water remediation professionals, before you can file a claim.
2. The Damage Must Be at the Property on Your Policy
Sometimes there may not be damage on your property, but a neighboring business with serious damage can prohibit you from running your company. In this case, you will probably not be eligible to file a claim.
3. A Covered Accidental Peril Must cause the Damage
If the damage was caused by a covered peril, like an accidental fire, you could receive benefits for the time you had to shut down to recover. However, if it was caused by something that is not covered, such as flooding from a hurricane, you will not receive funds from your claim.
4. The Damage Must Cause the Suspension of Your Business
Occasionally, business owners will want to shut down their company after a small disaster to remodel the place. This is not considered suspension due to damage, and if business owners can run their business after a disaster, their claim will bring no benefits.
5. Your Business Income Must Be Completely Stopped
Business owners often want to file a claim because they experience financial cuts due to a disaster. However, this doesn't guarantee benefits. You will only receive funds when your business operations must be completely stopped due to damage.
Disasters, such as large water damage scenarios, can be devastating for businesses and force them to shut down. To prepare yourself for this situation, it is important to know when you can file a claim with your business interruption insurance.
Why Cleaning and Containing Mold Quickly Can Protect Your Business
Mold can spread rapidly, penetrating deep into walls and ceilings where it can compromise your business's structural integrity.
Addressing mold clean up at the first signs of a problem can prevent significant and costly damage to your business in Ft Meyers Beach, FL.
Identifying a Mold Problem
Mold spores are not visible to the naked eye, but signs of mold contamination in your business environment include:
-Brown stains on walls and ceilings
-Employees exhibiting health effects
If you suspect a mold problem, a mold remediation service can apply various containment measures to prevent its spread.
Containment is the key to avoiding irreversible mold damage. When you suspect that mold exists throughout a large portion of your business, mold cleanup efforts may entail using physical polyethylene barriers to keep mold spores out of unaffected areas. A negative air pressure chamber can also provide access to clean air while remediation efforts are underway.
Addressing Affected Areas
Professional mold remediation services handle mold clean up using industrial-strength equipment and methods. Microscopic mold particles can make their way into extensive areas and hard to reach spaces. HEPA vacuums can trap these tiny particles, making them highly effective for removing spores, ranging from three to 45 microns.
Powerful air scrubber machines can attract pathogens in the air, drawing them through HEPA and ultra-violet filter systems that destroy them. These air scrubbers return purified oxygen molecules to the environment. Cleansing the air also involves using fogging machines to attack and remove offensive odors by releasing gases, such as ozone, into the environment. These gas molecules attract and neutralize odor-producing mold particles in the air.
Mold can spread rapidly, penetrating deep into walls and ceilings where it can compromise your business's structural integrity. When this happens, preventing irreparable damage frequently involves removing and replacing drywall, flooring and paint infiltrated with rapidly growing mold colonies.
Addressing mold clean up immediately and thoroughly is vital to ensure that your business can continue functioning without interruption in Ft Meyers Beach, FL.
3 Steps To Confirm Commercial Mold Coverage
Give your agent a call and ask them about mold coverage.
3 Steps To Confirm Commercial Mold Coverage
The cost of cleaning up a mold infestation in a commercial building can add up to thousands of dollars. Building and business owners may want to carry sufficient commercial insurance coverage that includes at least a limited amount of coverage for mold. These three steps will help you confirm your current level of coverage for mold remediation at a building in Estero Island, FL.
1. Review Your Property Policy
Check the terms of your property insurance policy with regard to water damage and mold damage. You should also review any relevant endorsements and exclusions.
While many general property policies cover primary water damage, coverage for secondary damage may be cut out or limited. It can be challenging for a business or commercial property owner to account for every factor that could impact coverage levels.
2. Consult With an Insurance Agent
It may be more effective to go over your coverage with a commercial insurance agent. Professionals can identify circumstances under which mold coverage could be available, as well as factors that could prevent coverage.
You may also find it helpful to review limit amounts in light of the average costs of cleaning up and restoring the damage. The average cost of mold damage remediation ranges from $15 to $30 per square foot. Be aware that some insurers require agents to report clients’ intention to file a claim.
3. Consider Additional Mold Coverage
Owners of flood-prone properties may want to obtain mold coverage as a rider on an existing policy or a supplementary policy. Ask an expert about how multiple policies such as general commercial property insurance, flood insurance and mold insurance could affect coverage.
Expenses can add up during the removal of mold from a commercial structure in Estero Island, FL. Check your level of commercial insurance coverage and take timely measures to restore water damage to reduce the degree of secondary mold damage.
5 Tips for Maintaining Old Pipes
No matter how well you maintain your polybutylene pipes, your unit in Sanibel, FL can still have issues.
5 Tips for Maintaining Old Pipes
If you own a rental property, you know that you need to worry about your plumbing. As a landlord, you are responsible for keeping the plumbing in working condition. When you have older polybutylene pipes in your unit, this becomes unavoidable. The key to avoiding plumbing issues that require you to hire a water remediation company is proper maintenance.
1. Use a Plumbing Lease Clause
Ensure you have a plumbing lease clause covering the polybutylene pipes going to your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. This holds your tenants responsible for any damage they cause and encourages them to maintain the plumbing.
2. Provide Plungers
You should provide your tenants with plungers as a way to encourage them to fix small clogs immediately and avoid damaging your pipes. You should include both a dome and bell plunger to make it easier on your tenants.
3. Provide a Drain Snake
If your tenants have many drain clogs, you should provide them with a snake to limit the damage to your plumbing. Make sure you give them one for the toilets and one for the rest of the drains to improve sanitation in your unit.
4. Avoid Harsh Cleaners
When cleaning old pipes, avoid harsh chemicals. These can damage your pipes and cause leaks. Additionally, filling your plumbing with caustic chemicals will only endanger your plumber when you need to replace the pipes.
5. Call a Professional
No matter how well you maintain your polybutylene pipes, your unit in Sanibel, FL can still have issues. When they do, you should try to do any basic plumbing repairs by yourself. However, any major problems that include disassembling the pipes should be left to a plumber, so you don't do any further damage to your plumbing.
One thing a lot of landlords worry about is water damage from plumbing issues. If you would like to avoid this, you can take appropriate maintenance steps to protect your pipes.
3 Things To Expect from Fire Damage Cleanup
Fire damage in Sanibel, FL
Three Tips For What To Expect During The Cleaning Process
In addition to structural repair at your business in Sanibel, FL, there are some other things that you hope to be able to restore. From personal items to business essentials, content cleaning is possible when you depend on the fire restoration services of a local mitigation company. Here are three tips for what to expect during the cleaning process.
1. Dry Cleaning
Soap and water isn't the only way to remove smoke smells and soot stains from items. Some items that need to be cleaned only need a gentle once-over with a dry rag and a degreaser, while it's important to remove build-up from other things prior to deep cleaning using another method. Dry-cleaning most often refers to take clothing and other fabric items to be cleaned by a professional to remove smells and soot.
2. Ultrasonic Cleaning
Ultrasonic cleaning is a newer cleaning method that can salvage just about anything. If dry-cleaning didn't work, it is possible that the ultrasonic method might. This method of cleaning involves a special piece of machinery that gently cleans and dries your items and removes smells and damage after a fire.
3. Foam Cleaning
For items that can't be dry cleaned and don't fit in an ultrasonic cleaner, foam cleaning may be the solution. Especially with upholstery where the color may bleed if you use water or shrink if you try to wash and dry it, a foam cleaner can prevent additional damage when applied by a professional.
Depending on the severity of the fire damage to your business and the amount of structural repair you're facing, you may need to move your items to a different location. Content storage after cleaning is often offered by the mitigation company that is servicing your home so that you know your belongings will remain clean and secure until you're ready to set up for business again.
Whether dry-cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning, or foam cleaning, professionals will use the best methods they know to salvage your personal and businesses items after a fire.
4 Sump Pump Maintenance Tips
A sump pump system is a critical tool for preventing extensive water damage to your home
Sump Pump Maintenance Tips
A sump pump can be an invaluable tool for directing water away from your home during a flood situation. However, for your pump to work effectively, it needs to be properly maintained. Consider these four maintenance tips when planning your maintenance routine.
1. Clean Your Pump
Regularly cleaning your pump is an important part of pump maintenance. If you use your pump to dispose of water from your washing machine, clean the pump screen or inlet opening every month. Otherwise, clean the screen or inlet opening once every three to four months. Remove the pump and clean both it and the pit once a year.
2. Have Your Pump Inspected Annually
A once annual professional sump pump inspection can help ensure that your pump is functioning correctly. Contact an inspector in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, to examine the pit, backup power source, check valve, cover, alarm, and discharge location. Any problems noted during the inspection should be addressed promptly to reduce the chances of flood damage that may require professional water damage restoration services from occurring.
3. Perform Annual Maintenance
At least once per year, you or a professional should unplug the pump and examine it for rust and corrosion, lubricate the parts if necessary, check the float switch and check the discharge pipe for debris, dirt or vegetation.
4. Replace Your Backup Batteries
If you have a battery backup for your pump, be sure to check the battery level and replace the batteries whenever there is a low battery warning. If you haven't changed the battery in a while, it is a good idea to also test the pump to make sure it is still working.
A sump pump system is a critical tool for preventing extensive water damage to your home during heavy rainfall or other flooding situations. Regularly maintaining your pump will help ensure that the pump is ready for action when you need it.
How To Find Out If You Have a Shower Leak
Following up on a leak in the bathroom is important for preventing long-term damage to your home.
A bathtub leak isn't always as straightforward as discovering that your faucet has been dripping or that you suddenly have a large puddle of water on the floor after every shower. Often, bathroom leaks are subtle and hard to detect until the signs that they are occurring are big, glaring problems. If you're suspicious that you might have a leak at your home in Estero Island, FL there are a few signs to look for and some tests that you can do.
Signs To Look For:
1. Damaged Flooring
Depending on the type of flooring in your bathroom, you may notice different things if a leak occurs. Tiles might come loose, the floor may feel spongy, or you notice cracks and stains where there weren't any before.
2. Stagnant Water Smell
If you notice a musty smell even after cleaning your bathroom, it may be a sign that you have a bathtub leak. The water that is leaking from the pipes never gets to dry out, which causes the smell of stagnant water.
3. Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are the biggest dangers of a leak in the bathroom. The musty smell and damaged floors could mean that mold is growing in your bathroom. The best way to investigate is to call a local mold remediation specialist who is trained to safely inspect for and clean up mold.
4. Shower Pan
One place where you may not think of a leak occurring is in the base of your shower, or the shower pan. To determine whether or not you have a shower pan leak, seal the drain and fill the tub with water from a bucket. Allow the water to sit all day and check to see if water appears on the floor around the tub.
The shower head or tub faucet are other possible culprits of a bathtub leak. Turn off the water source before inspecting your fixtures and look for worn out hardware or seals that aren't holding.
Following up on a leak in the bathroom is important for preventing long-term damage to your home.
Understanding the Fire Cleanup Process
Don't let smoke damage sit in your home for too long. Remediation professionals can take these steps and more to properly clean your home.
If a fire starts in your home, your priority is to get out safely. You will next be concerned about the state of your home and your possessions inside.
Unfortunately, some things might not be salvageable. The good news is that with the right help, you can clean damaged items and restore your home to a livable condition once again. By learning how the professionals clean up after fire and smoke damage, you can have peace of mind knowing that this process can be effective.
Calling the Pros
When you have something as serious as a house fire, you need a professional disaster cleanup and restoration company to get you back on your feet. Professional technicians offer these benefits:
-They can respond promptly and give fast service.
-They have experience cleaning up after house fires.
-They have the tools and equipment to thoroughly handle smoke cleaning.
-They are licensed and insured.
Getting Rid of the Smell
The odor of lingering smoke can stay in your home for months or even years after a fire. Smoke damage can especially affect furniture and clothing. To remove the odor, technicians dry-clean the items and then use a deodorizer. Professionals also use ozone generators, which eliminate the molecules that smoke leaves in your home.
Removing the Soot
After a fire, the smoke will likely leave a layer of soot on the surfaces of your home. Soot damage can be detrimental to electronics, carpet, and other materials. You can start by wiping off the damaged surfaces with a damp cloth. Professional cleanup teams in Sanibel, FL use powerful soot-removal sprays to eliminate the layers. After spraying the affected area, the product hardens and technicians can then peel it away, bringing the soot and its harmful components with it.
Don't let smoke damage sit in your home for too long. Remediation professionals can take these steps and more to properly clean your home.
Brief Overview of Category 3 Water Damage
Besides water damage, it propagates the spread of mold and sickness, so it is best to have it handled by professionals as soon as possible.
All water damage is not equal. In the same way, not all flood water or water from other sources result in equal amounts of harm. When a professional cleanup and restoration company in Sanibel, FL is contacted to handle devastation caused by water in commercial property, one thing taken into account is the category of water that caused it.
There are three categories, Category 1, or clean water, Category 2, or grey water and Category 3, or black water. Category 3 is the worst kind of water damage.
What Is Category 3 Water Damage?
Category 3 water damage is caused by water that is highly contaminated. This black water contains substances, chemicals, microbes and other contents capable of causing severe illness and even death.
What Are Possible Sources of Category 3 Water Damage?
Black water comes from dirty and bacteria filled sources. This includes:
-Toilet overflow from a backed up toilet
-Flood water that has picked up garbage or toxic materials
-Runoff from rivers or the sea
What Are Options for Dealing With Category 3
Because of the severe health risks associated with black water, Category 3 water damage should never be handled solely by untrained individuals. It is quickly absorbed by construction materials like wood, sheetrock, carpet and anything that is porous in commercial buildings, allowing pathogens to spread and mold to breed. Exposure to such water carries the potential of contracting diseases like Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Norovirus.
Building contents that have come into contact with the water must be thoroughly sanitized and may have to be disposed of. Cleanup should be left to professionals wearing proper personal protective equipment.
Not all flood water causes Category 3 water damage. However, since it can pick up harmful things as it travels, rising flood water often does. Besides water damage, it propagates the spread of mold and sickness, so it is best to have it handled by professionals as soon as possible.
Preventing Mold Growth After Water Damage
Mold damage often co-occurs with water damage. Fortunately, acting quickly decreases mold appearing & increases the chance of getting back to business
If your Sanibel, FL commercial property suffers water damage, there will be many things for you as a business owner to deal with. One of the most important is preventing mold growth.
How Water Incursion Leads to Mold
There are a variety of reasons that your business could be inundated with water. The following are some of the most common:
When water from any source enters a building, the risk for mold increases. This is because most indoor areas have all of the conditions necessary for mold growth except a water source. Most commercial buildings are in the right temperature range to sustain mold and have a variety of sources of nutrients present, including drywall, upholstery and other materials.
How To Prevent Mold After Water Damage
Because water is key to mold growth, it is also key to mold prevention. As soon as everyone is safe and the damage has been documented, it is important to begin drying out the property. An experienced restoration service can assist you with this process if necessary.
There are wet/dry vacuums and specialized pumps available that you can use to extract standing water. If you do not have access to these tools, you can use buckets to scoop out the water. After removing the standing water, there will likely be moisture remaining in porous surfaces. Dehumidifiers and fans can help dry these items.
Ideally, you should ensure the property is completely dry within 24 hours. After this, mold can begin to colonize the area. Even if you believe you were successful in fully drying the property, remain vigilant for signs of mold growth, including a musty odor or deterioration or discoloration of walls and floors.
Mold damage often co-occurs with water damage. Fortunately, acting quickly decreases the likelihood of mold appearing and increases the likelihood that you can get back to business.
3 Steps To Eliminate Microwave Smells
If you’ve ever accidentally scorched your popcorn or burned your French bread pizza in the microwave, you know that the worst part is the smell.
If you’ve ever accidentally scorched your popcorn or burned your French bread pizza in the microwave, you know that the worst part is the smell. The smoke smell can linger for days or weeks, affecting everything in your kitchen. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a smoke restoration specialist to eliminate the smell. Try these easy steps for a fresh-smelling appliance.
1. Clean Your Machine
In many cases, you can remove smells with ordinary cleaning.
Fill a cup or mug with water and heat on high power for three minutes. The steam loosens cooked-on grease and grime.
Remove the cup and any racks or turntables. Clean the interior and vent grill using a wet sponge or rag and a drop or two of dish soap. Use a clean, wet rag to get all the soap out.
Leave the door open and let things dry out for an hour or two.
2. Try Steam Cleaning
If you’ve thoroughly cleaned your microwave’s and the smoke smell persists, try steaming the scent out. Stir a tablespoon of either lemon juice or vinegar into a cup of water in a bowl or mug. Heat on high power for five minutes, then wipe the interior clean with a paper towel. The acidity, combined with steam, should neutralize any smells. Note: If you use vinegar, be sure it is plain, white vinegar – never attempt to clean with apple cider vinegar or other flavored vinegar.
3. Deodorize With Baking Soda
If you try both of those methods and still smell a smoky scent, baking soda may do the trick. Open a fresh box of baking soda and place the entire box inside your microwave. Close the door and leave the baking soda inside for at least eight hours. The soda should absorb any remaining smells.
These steps should help you eliminate the smoke smell and get your Estero Island, FL kitchen smelling fresh and clean again.
3 Mold Emergency Tips
Understanding how to proceed until help arrives can help you protect your property and prevent widespread mold issues.
Leaking water appliances, outdoor flooding and other unexpected water events can all lead to mold growth in your Sanibel, FL home. Some strains, such as black mold, can form rapidly and appear in affected areas in less than 24 hours after the initial flood. If you find yourself dealing with mold growth after flooding, there are several steps you can take to protect your belongings until help arrives.
1. Turn off Ventilation Systems
One way you can prevent the spread of mold and the need for widespread mold cleanup is to turn off your heating, ventilation and cooling system. Mold spores can spread throughout your home via the ducts when the system is running and settle in other rooms of your home. Close ducts in affected rooms to keep the problem contained.
2. Reduce Humidity Levels
Humidity levels can cause black mold to grow at a more rapid rate, so lowering them can stunt the spread and growth of this dangerous strain. Open windows and use ceiling or floor fans to circulate air in affected rooms, but remember to keep doors and vents closed to keep spores from spreading. Keeping fans on a low setting can also prevent spores from spreading, especially in rooms with severe mold damage.
3. Call for Help
No matter your moisture problem, calling in a mold cleanup and remediation crew can be an important part of the recovery process. Professional crews have the know-how and equipment to clean up the mold and even remove spores from the air to prevent their spread. Trying to remove mold on your own can cause mold spores to detach and travel to other areas of your home, where they can create future issues.
When black mold and other strains of fungi invade your Sanibel, FL home, knowing how to handle the cleanup can be difficult. Understanding how to proceed until help arrives can help you protect your property and prevent widespread mold issues.
3 Tips for Cleaning Up After a Water Heater Leak
Cleaning up correctly after a leak will help prevent future problems and get your home back to normal quickly.
Do you have "flush hot water heater" on your yearly home maintenance list? If not, you may find yourself with a leaking water heater. Water heaters that are functioning may not cross your mind, but a water heater that floods your basement can suddenly take up a lot of time and money. If you find that there is water damage in your basement after your water heater has leaked in Ft Meyers Beach, FL there are some steps you should take to quickly restore your home to its original state.
1. Turn Off Water and Power
If you can safely do so, turn off the power source and the water supply to the leaking water heater in order to prevent further water damage. If other electrical equipment is in standing water, do not try to salvage anything or clean up; rather, wait for help to come.
2. Call for Help
Even if you think you can manage the standing water from a failed water heater by yourself, calling a water removal and damage restoration specialist to assess the extent of the impacted area is a good idea. Especially if you have a finished basement, you will want a professional to ensure that everything, from the floors to the walls to the wiring, is all completely dried out.
3. Clean Up All You Can
When you've received the go-ahead, try to remove as much standing water as possible. A broken water heater that has gone undiscovered for some time can leave you with a big mess, so a pump or shop vacuum might be a good choice. A mop and bucket or towels can also help if you caught the leak early. Carpet, rugs, and furniture should be removed from the space if possible. Run heaters or air conditioners to help speed up the drying process.
A leaking water heater can cost you a lot of time and money. Cleaning up correctly after a leak will help prevent future problems and get your home back to normal quickly.
Dry, Arid Locales Doesn't Mean Mold Won’t Grow
By thinking ahead and quickly addressing any moisture issues, you can prevent damage from spreading.
No matter where you live, mold is a part of the natural world. Even in dry, arid locales, such as Estero Island, FL more than 1,000 species can be found outdoors and indoors. While outdoor mold is beneficial in breaking down organic matter, finding black mold in your business can be overwhelming.
One shared trait of any type of mold is that they don’t need sunlight to grow. Unfortunately, they only need four things to flourish:
1. A viable spore
2. Nutrients from organic materials
4. Warm, humid temperatures
Once those conditions are met, mold can grow just about anywhere. If your business has an attic, basement or area that is dark and damp, even if the conditions outside are hot, the inside might have created the perfect environment for black mold to grow. Although some mold is always present, keeping it a reasonable level means staying on top of any form of water issue.
While mold cleanup is best left to mold remediation and restoration specialists, business owners can make a difference in preventing the growth from happening in the first place. Controlling moisture and immediately responding to any water issues are the top ways to minimize a loss and prevent a spore from colonizing. Additional tips include:
-Immediately repair any plumbing leak.
-Regularly inspect the property for wet spots or condensation.
-Maintain humidity levels below 60%.
-Ensure HVAC drip plans are unobstructed and properly flowing.
-Vent appliances that generate moisture, such as dryers, outdoors.
-Verify that the area around the building properly slopes away from the foundation.
-Identify areas of former leaks and ensure a proper repair is completed.
While a warm, dry climate may seem the opposite of where black mold would grow, the right conditions can lead to an unwelcome infestation. By thinking ahead and quickly addressing any moisture issues, you can prevent damage from spreading.