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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Predictions for the Upcoming 2022 Hurricane Season

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

destruction from Hurricane Michael Hurricane Michael was the last major storm to hit Florida and devastated the panhandle.

Florida hasn't experienced a major hurricane since 2018, but forecasters are predicting a more active hurricane season for 2022. This could mean an increased risk of Florida experiencing a major hurricane for the first time in more than three years.

For the 2022 hurricane season, forecasters say that there is a more than 44 percent chance that Florida will be impacted by a major hurricane during the 2022 season. This prediction was made by Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project.

During a typical hurricane season, the same forecasters at Colorado State offer a 29 percent chance that Florida will be struck by a major hurricane. To be exact, the university's predictions say a major hurricane could strike within fifty miles of Florida.

The lead researcher at CSU, Phil Klotzback, says, "In the last couple of years, Florida has generally gotten 'lucky.'"

Klotzbach says that Florida has experienced some impacts from major storms in the last few years, but these impacts haven't been direct ones. Klotzbach points out Eta in 2020 as well as Elsa, Fred and Mindy. "But they weren't huge impacts. Obviously, Louisiana has been the state that has been kind of ground zero in the last two years."

CSU ranks a major hurricane as one that has been categorized as a Category 3, 4, or 5. These storms contain winds of at least 111 mph or higher.

The hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30.

The research team at Colorado State University has predicted seven consecutive years of an above-average hurricane season, beginning in 2015. This year's forecast holds that at least nineteen named storms will develop, four of these will be major hurricanes and nine storms will upgrade to hurricane status (this means winds reach 74 mph or higher).

During an average hurricane season, the odds of a named storm impacting Florida is 86 percent; however, this year, CSU is predicting that there is a 96 percent chance that a named storm will hit Florida. The odds of a hurricane (a named storm with at least 74 mph winds) will impact Florida is 75 percent; on an average, the chances are only 56 percent.

Researchers at CSU predict that a major hurricane will impact the East Coast, including Florida, during the 2022 hurricane season at a 47 percent probability. Typically, this is only a 31 percent chance. The odds that a major hurricane (Category 3 - 5 with winds above 111 mph) will impact states along the Gulf Coast (from the Florida Panhandle to Texas) is 46 percent this year. On average, that chance is only about thirty percent.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has announced that they believe conditions are favorable for at least fourteen named storms during 2022 and seven hurricanes. NOAA predicts there will be three major hurricanes in the Atlantic this year.

Why is Water Damage Restoration Important?

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO techs setting equipment in a water damaged kitchen Having the proper equipment is only half the job. Our techs are trained to handle any sized water damage disaster.

Professional Restoration Companies

In the age of technology, water damage is an important issue. Many people don’t realize the importance of a good damage restoration company. A good Restoration company like SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando can help you to get your property back in good condition as quickly as possible. Ten of the best reasons for water damage restoration are mentioned in this article.

1. It Aids in the Prevention of Water Contamination

Water contamination is a very serious issue, and thus it is important that we take care of our homes and offices so that they do not become contaminated with harmful bacteria or viruses. Such damage can cause many problems, such as mold growth. Having concrete damage control methods in place will prevent these issues from occurring.

2. It Helps Reduce Mold Growth and Other Hazards

The reduction in the growth of molds and other hazards will help prevent additional damage from occurring. If there is some kind of water leak, then it is necessary to have a professional come over and check out the situation. They will also be able to tell if there is any kind of leakage in the home or office. In this case, the problem should be fixed immediately.

3. It Ensures All Contents of the House Remain Safe

If there is any kind of leak in the home or office, then it is very likely that the content inside the home or office could get damaged. This means that all the items stored within the home or office may get ruined. The presence of water damage can lead to the destruction of furniture, electronics, etc. Therefore, it is important that the condition is repaired as soon as possible.

4. It Makes Sure that the Home or Office Remains Dry

Having a wet home or office can be extremely uncomfortable. There are chances that the moisture present in the home or office can make the air feel damp. This makes it difficult to breathe properly. Also, the humidity level in the home or office increases when there is water damage. This can result in various kinds of diseases. Thus, having a professional come over and repair the leak is highly recommended.

5. It Helps Remove Odors

Odors are one of the most unpleasant things about water damage. When there is such a situation, there is always a strong smell associated with it. This is because the water has been leaking into the walls, floors, ceilings, etc., for quite some time now. Once the odor starts to dissipate, it is advisable that the professionals come over and fix the leak.

6. It Improves the Appearance of the Home or Office.

When there is water damage, it is usually accompanied by a lot of mess. This includes water stains on the floor, walls, etc. The presence of such damage can also result in the discoloration of the ceiling and walls. This is why it is important that the leak is fixed as soon as possible. The sooner the leak is fixed, the better the results will be.

7. It Prevents Further Damage to the Home or Office.

When there is water damage, the first thing that happens is that the walls start to crack. This is due to the fact that the water pressure is too high. As a result, the walls start to break down. This leads to more cracks appearing. Over time, the leaks can spread throughout the entire wall. This is why it’s imperative that the leak is fixed right away.

8. It Reduces the Risk of a Fire

Fire is another major concern that people face when their homes or offices become flooded. This is because the water can easily find its way into electrical outlets, appliances, pipes, etc. This can cause a serious fire hazard. Therefore, it is essential that the leak is fixed so that the fire does not occur.

9. It Protects the Value of the Home or Office

The presence of such a situation can affect the overall look and feel of your home or office. This can lower the value of your property. However, a properly executed restoration will prevent that from happening.

10. It Increases the Lifespan of the Home or Office.

If no immediate action is taken after a flood occurs, the home or office will continue to deteriorate. This is because the moisture will remain trapped inside the walls and other parts of the house. Eventually, the walls will begin to crumble. This will lead to mold growth which will eventually rot the wood.

If you have ever had such a situation in your home or office, then you know how expensive it can be. It is very important that you hire a professional who knows what they are doing.

SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando

SERVPRO is able to assist you throughout the entire water damage restoration process. We have years of service experience serving the central Florida area and can handle disasters of any size. If you need assistance with a water damage event, call the professionals 24/7 at (407) 678-5391.

Why is Fire Damage Restoration Important?

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

dire damage sponge being used to clean a soot covered ceiling SERVPRO has all the tools and knowledge to get your property back on track after a fire damage event, regardless of its extent.

Fixing Physical Damage and More

Fire damage can be one of the most devastating things that can happen to a home or business. Not only is there the physical damage that needs to be repaired, but there is also the emotional toll that fire damage can take on people. It is important to have a professional fire damage restoration company come in and help you get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss why fire damage restoration is so important.

1. It Protects Your Property from Thieves and Vandals

Your fire damage repair work will need to be performed soon after your home or business has been damaged by fire. After coming back to your house or business, you may have no idea that someone went in while you were away and stole something. Who wants to discover that the family heirloom is missing? The best way to prevent theft and vandalism is by having the fire damage restoration company fix the damage quickly.

2. Odor is One of the Most Overwhelming Factors in a Home Fire

Many different odors are released into homes or businesses that have been damaged by fire. A professional fire restoration company will be able to find the source of the odor and help you mitigate the problem before it becomes too much for you to handle. Fire destruction repair is not something that should be taken lightly, and having a professional company perform the work for you will help ensure that everything is done correctly.

3. It Cleans Up Smoke and Soot

After a fire department has put out a fire and you have had time to inspect the damage, you will probably notice that there is soot and smoke damage throughout your home or business. Having the proper equipment to remove this is critical to restoring your property. A qualified company will have the knowledge and equipment necessary and insurance coverage to clean up smoke and soot after a devastating fire safely.

4. It Helps Save as Many of Your Items as Possible

Having a good fire reclamation company come to your home or business and help you clean up after a fire is essential, but there is also another benefit to the work they will be doing. If you can save any items damaged by smoke or water, it will help with the emotional distress associated with a home fire. The sight of all of your belongings damaged by fire can be overwhelming, as well as depressing. Also, finding things that were damaged in a fire can become very time-consuming. Having your property cleaned up by professionals will ensure that you can save as many of your belongings as possible.

5. It Prevents Further Damage from Occurring

If you let a fire burn out after it has caused extensive damage to your home or business, there is a good chance that the smoke and water damage will not be able to be cleaned up. If this happens, you face the possibility of mold and mildew issues in your home or business. The best way to prevent further damage from occurring is by having a licensed team complete what should have been an easy task. Fire impacts reclamation companies are trained to minimize the effects of smoke, water, and mold on your home or business. Also, by using the proper equipment, they will give your property the best chance at surviving the fire destruction.

6. It Assists You with Documentation for Insurance Claims

The corporate insurance policies necessary to replace property can be challenging to approve. Most people will find that they cannot get the necessary documentation to approve their claims with the company if their home or business was damaged by fire. This is where a fire destruction restoration company comes in. They can thoroughly document your belongings and any areas where damage may have occurred due to the fire. Also, they will document how much time and money it takes to restore your property. This will help you get the maximum amount possible once the claim is approved.

7. It Gets Things Back to Normal as Quickly as Possible

If a fire causes significant damage to your home or business, the last thing you want is to have it sit idle while you wait for a repair company to tell you when they can start repairing your property. Once a fire starts, there is usually not enough time to properly begin the restoring process. It is important to get things back up and running as quickly as possible to resume your daily life. Having a fire restoration company come in will make this process much easier for you.

Fire Damage Restoration Companies

There are many reasons why fire damage restoration is so important. Not only will it help you and your property, but it will also likely save you money in repair costs later on. If there is one thing that you should remember from reading this article, it is that there is no substitute for a professional fire damage restoration company when it comes to your home or business.

SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando has been serving Orlando and its surrounding areas for over a decade. When it comes to getting things back to the way they were, there’s no time for anything but the best. We are extremely knowledgeable in fire restoration and are capable of handling any size disaster, residential or commercial. After calling 911, give us a call at (407) 678-5391.

When an Inspection for Mold is Necessary

9/30/2021 (Permalink)

lab testing with mold in a petri dish after an inspection for mold Your mold assessor will send samples to a lab where they will test for the type of mold as well as the concentration of spores.

When you have a suspicion that your house has mold, it’s crucial to get an inspection from an expert mold tester. The signs of mold will be little spots that spread very quickly. The spots may appear velvety or powdery, and you won't also miss the earthy smell. But you should know that mold can also affect areas in your house that you can't see, and that is when you need an inspection for mold the most. Every home has potential for mold, so even if you haven't noticed any visible signs, you still have to be careful. Here are the tests you should expect from an environmentalist and the benefits of having a professional inspection.

Types of Tests

Air Quality Testing

Air sampling is the best test to decide if you have mold spores in your house. It shows the number of spores in the air and makes it easy for the mold testing professional to know if there is an indoor mold reservoir. You will get all the information you need to make remediation plans. Mold removal may require another professional company. The law in Florida requires two separate companies for inspection and remediation. So after inspection, you will have to find other professionals to get rid of the mold.

Surface Sampling

A surface sample is direct and will show you if there is any mold on different surfaces around the house. If there is a presence of mold on the sample location, chances are you have mold growing around the house. The test will be analyzed immediately; you won't have to wait for a long time to know if there are spores or not. The particulars of a testing protocol may differ, but surface sampling is one of the accurate methods. Sampling surfaces can show you an indoor reservoir of mold that has not become airborne yet. It’s best to catch a mold issue early before it causes a lot of damages.

Post-Remediation Testing

You still need an inspection for mold after remediation. It's necessary because it confirms that the contactor was successful in getting rid of the mold. A mold issue is not good for your health and that of your loved ones. That is why you have to be more than sure that no spores are lingering around the house after the removal project. Mold grows very quickly; a small number of spores can be a big problem in a short time. Get the professional company that deals with an inspection to come back after the contactors are done with mold removal.

Benefits of a Professional Mold Inspection

It Keeps Mold From Spreading

As you already know, mold spreads very fast; an inspection is the best way to discover the spores early and prevent growth. It only takes less than 48 hours for the mold to colonize your house. Locating the mold is the first step to permanently getting rid of them. It’s important to hire a professional because DIY inspection may not be successful.

Reduce Structural Damage

When mold grows in areas that are not easily visible, it can cause structural damage. A mold inspection will help you maintain the structural integrity of your home. You will also discover moisture in your house that you never knew existed. You can work to prevent costly damages when you discover the issue early. Mold grows in damp areas, mold growth and water can cause severe damages to wooden structures. Electrical wiring and insulation around the home can also be affected.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

If you want to improve the air quality in your house, you need an inspection first to determine how bad the situation is. When mold in your home becomes airborne, the quality of air around the house will significantly decline. The spores can be dangerous to your help, and most people don’t know when they are exposed to mold. To be on the safe side, get a professional to perform air quality testing. Mold exposure will start causing minor symptoms, which can be severe if the air quality is not rectified. You may start coughing, experiencing headaches, and sometimes a runny nose and congestion. You need air filtration as soon as possible to return your home to where it was before the mold.

Prevent Health Effects

Mold has the potential to cause various health effects. To prevent health effects in your home, you have to ensure no mold grows anywhere around the house. The first step you need to take is hiring a mold testing professional to inspect different areas in your home. When you locate the mold, you can organize mold removal, also known as mold remediation.

It Helps You Get A Thorough Cleaning.

There is no need to put everyone at risk for medical problems by cleaning the mold yourself. When you leave mold removal to the experts, you will get a thorough cleaning. Once the inspection identifies the source of the mold in your house, the remediating team will have an easy time with the cleaning. The contractors have the experience and skills to get the job done better than you. They will help you prevent any future problems which will save you a lot of money. A proper mold assessment will determine how well the removal job is done.

Conclusion

It's no secret that mold issues can cause many damages and are also dangerous to your health. You need a regular mold inspection to determine if you have mold growing. The experts know where to look and can easily tell the severity of the problem. You will need two different professionals to perform the inspection and removal because of the Florida state laws. Inspection for mold is more of a necessity than a luxury. So get yourself a reliable company and request the services.

SERVPRO Commercial Cleaning Services in Orlando, FL

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee in full PPE gear wiping down surfaces In addition to regular commercial janitorial services, SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando also offers COVID-19 disinfecting services.

Maintaining a clean work environment is essential. Commercial cleaning services have become more important than ever today because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 cleaning and Covid-19 sanitizing have become a priority in the workplace.

You need to source cleaning services that will not only keep your employees safe but also protect your business. Regular cleaning and Covid-19 disinfection will help curb the spread of Covid-19. To get the best results, however, you need to hire professional commercial cleaning services such as SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando.

So, if you reside in Orlando and are in need of office cleaning services, we're only a call away. We offer a wide range of professional cleaning services, including janitorial work. Our team of experts is well versed in coronavirus cleaning, and they always follow the health measures put in place to minimize the spread of the virus in Orlando.

Experts claim that COVID-19 can spread easily in offices and other work environments. Consequently, SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando has trained employees who have adjusted to the new Covid-19 requirements. Building cleaning during the pandemic involves more than basic janitorial tasks, which means that you need to get skilled and qualified professionals to get the job done.

Is Coronavirus Cleaning Necessary?

According to reports by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Covid-19 can thrive on a wide range of surfaces. This means that you could contract it when you come into contact with a contaminated surface.

Some people who get infected are asymptomatic while others show symptoms. When they finally do, it's mostly after 14 days. Therefore, exercising caution contributes to minimizing the spread of coronavirus significantly.

One of the guaranteed ways to curb this spread is hiring skilled commercial buildings cleaners. You need SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando to keep your surfaces disinfected, thus reducing exposure to this virus. We work on a wide range of businesses. Since you're responsible for the safety of everyone who visits your business premises in Orlando, you can hire us to enhance it through Covid-19 cleaning.

We train our employees to follow the appropriate cleaning and disinfecting protocols for coronavirus. We also prioritize disinfecting businesses whose owners believe that their work environment has been exposed to the virus.

Steps to Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces for Covid-19

Our trained employees understand that cleaning surfaces for Covid-19 requires plenty of attention and precision. Therefore, we don't use basic cleaning items to clean and disinfect the surfaces. Usually, the process requires significant planning. Once we have assessed and mapped the space, we use specialized equipment and products for Covid-19 disinfection.

We focus on thorough cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing all the surfaces in your workplace. First, we send our team of experts to assess your commercial property. Most importantly, we prioritize buildings that people suspect have been compromised. From here, we follow the established cleaning protocols so that your building is disinfected suitably.

Our specialized cleaning service involves cleaning surfaces such as computers, keyboards, touch screens, desks, door handles, hallways, seating areas, shopping carts, handrails, and other contaminated areas. Our skilled employees also make sure that they clean common areas in the office thoroughly. However, you need to know that our cleaning procedure depends on your type of business.

Normally, we use high-quality cleaning products. We only use those that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because we understand that safety comes first, especially during a pandemic.

That means you can resume your day-to-day office work after the cleaning exercise because all our products are safe. We also prioritize our employees by making sure that they wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the cleaning and disinfection exercise.

You also don't have to worry about us leaving any waste behind. Our cleanings services also involve proper waste disposal, especially where bio-hazardous waste is involved. We aim to leave your commercial property sparkling clean and properly sanitized to minimize the spread of Covid-19.

Types of Commercial Cleaning Services we Offer

One thing that businesses expect to experience regularly during the pandemic is an increased focus on disinfection and sanitation. That said, here are the services we offer.

1. Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is standard practice in our company. Its importance, however, has significantly increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, and we don't intend to stop anytime soon. Regular deep cleaning contributes to proper sanitation, and it makes your business feel more welcoming. Moreover, it minimizes the buildup of grime and dirt and makes daily cleaning tasks seem seamless.

2. Upholstery Cleaning

We offer upholstery cleaning services to get rid of dust, dander, germs, and allergens. Proper upholstery cleaning not only extends the lifespan of your upholstered surfaces but also prevents damage. It is especially important if you run a high-traffic business because it means your upholstered surfaces have heavy daily use. Since it's difficult to know who's infected, thorough upholstery cleaning will help reduce the spread of the virus.

3. Floor Mat Cleaning

Floor mat cleaning helps to keep your commercial property tidy and clean. Additionally, it makes your work premises safer. In the Covid-19 era, having clean mats helps communicate your business's commitment to cleaning and sanitation. That way, your clients feel at ease whenever they're in your workplace.

4. Carpet Cleaning

Carpets usually improve the outlook of your office and enhance its comfort. However, they're also a hotbed for allergens and dander. Carpets tend to trap a lot of pollutants, which explains why you need routine carpet cleaning. You should always hire experts for the task to make sure your property is well sanitized. Additionally, proper service leaves your property looking and feeling great besides extending the lifespan of your carpet.

5. Janitorial Daily Services

As cleaning experts, we always advise our clients to maintain a consistent cleaning schedule. Daily cleaning is a priority during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it involves a couple of tasks. If you need daily cleaning services in Orlando, therefore, do not hesitate to reach us. Here are the services we offer:

  • Vacuum floors
  • Cleaning all hard floors using a mop and disinfectant
  • Spraying and washing glass with a standard glass cleaner
  • Wiping down all hard surfaces, such as desks, with a CDC-approved disinfecting solution
  • Emptying and sanitizing trash cans
  • Sanitizing sinks, toilets, and bathrooms
  • Wiping all light switches, door handles, register buttons, and high traffic areas with a disinfectant.

6. Janitorial Weekly Services

For some tasks, weekly cleaning makes more sense. Here are the weekly cleaning services you should expect from us.

  • Cleaning and wiping down the refrigerators in your break rooms. The process involves sanitizing the handles and sides of the doors.
  • Buffing and polishing hardwood floors and tabletops
  • Deep cleaning all the windows in your commercial property, and
  • Dusting all the surfaces, including high and low

7. Janitorial Monthly Services

For your commercial property to stay spotless and reduce exposure to the virus, you might also require monthly cleaning services. Our experts carry out several monthly cleaning services, including:

  • Cleaning fabric chairs and other upholstered furniture in your office
  • Dusting and wiping down high surfaces, such as ceiling corners
  • Deep cleaning all surfaces in the building

To Sum Up

Covid-19 hit the world unexpectedly. To remain safe in the pandemic, proper cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting have become more important than before. If you run a business in Orlando, you will require regular cleaning and sanitation that follow the health guidelines and protocols. Consequently, we suggest you hire highly trained cleaning experts, such as SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando, for all your cleaning needs.

Fire Safety for Your Home Appliances

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

fire from a dryer in a closed and unventilated room Always make sure that the laundry room has proper ventilation because detergents can produce harmful gases when mixed with hot water and air.

Fires are common in the home, with one out of every six Americans experiencing a fire each year.
While many home appliances come equipped with safety features, others do not. Consumers must read the manual for their appliance and be aware of any specific safety features that it has before purchasing the product.

Why Home Appliances are Particularly Suitable for a Fire?

Home appliances are particularly suitable for a fire because of their sensitive materials.
Home appliances are made of highly flammable materials. This means that the fire can spread quickly and easily if it starts in one room.
With that said, there are a number of general safety features that you should check on all of your appliances to ensure they're safe:

  • Check the plug and make sure it's on a circuit without other appliances plugged in. This is to ensure that there is enough power for the appliance while it's running.
  • Look for the UL approval seal which assures you that the appliance has been inspected by a certified independent testing lab and meets all safety standards.
  • Check all cable connections and tighten if needed. This ensures that there are no problems with circuitry in the appliance, which could lead to a fire hazard.

And, there are also some specific tips when it comes to individual appliances:

The Refrigerator

Refrigerators are a common source of fires in the home.

It is important to follow a few safety precautions when using the refrigerator. The following are some of the important ones:

  • One of the best ways to make sure you don't start a fire is to keep your refrigerator door closed when it's not in use.
  • Keep any flammable materials away from the appliance.
  • Never store items that give off fumes, such as nail polish remover, near your fridge.
  • Keep children and pets away from an open fridge door that doesn't have a child lock on it, and do not place anything that might tempt them next to the door handle.
  • Check your kitchen for any loose wires that could become a fire hazard.

The Washing Machine and Dryer

We cannot forget about safety when using the washing machine and dryer. You need to make sure that both machines are installed in a safe place. You should carefully follow the installation instructions and keep a watchful eye out for any signs of leaks or spills around either one of them.
Since electricity and water are involved in the process, it is important to know what can happen if something goes wrong with either. Many factors can cause a fire or other injury if not careful, so here are some helpful tips for safe usage:

  • The fire safety rule is to make sure that there are no combustible materials nearby.
  • The laundry room is filled with flammable substances like fabric softener, dryer sheets, and detergent. This is why a fire extinguisher should be placed in the laundry room for protection.
  • Always make sure that the laundry room has proper ventilation because detergents can produce harmful gases when mixed with hot water and air. You should also make sure that you don’t overload the washer by using too much laundry soap or fabric softener. Overloading can lead to a buildup of excess heat which can cause a fire.
  • Try to avoid using a gas-powered dryer as much as possible.
  • Make sure you clean up the area surrounding your washing machine before use and always take care of small or medium-sized clothes separately from big ones like sheets and blankets.

Microwave Ovens

Here are some of the best precautions to take:

  • When microwaving, you should always make sure that you're in a well-ventilated area and that the microwave is at least six inches away from any other object.
  • If you are cooking anything besides plain, frozen food, then make sure to cover your dish with a lid or paper towel. Also, avoid using plastic containers as they can release chemicals into your food when heated.
  • Microwaves can emit radiation so don't stand right next to them and keep some distance between the oven and yourself while cooking.
  • Microwaves can actually create sparks and cause some fires, which becomes a serious problem if you are using metal containers for your food. Ergo, you should only be placing microwaveable items inside.
  • One of the most important safety measures for microwave ovens is to make sure they are turned off when not in use. Microwaves release strong electromagnetic waves that can easily cause a fire if precautions aren't taken.

The Dishwasher

You have to be aware of the potential fire hazards associated with using a dishwasher. For instance, you have to be careful of the risk of electrical shock if water leaks into any electrical parts or connections.

With that in mind, here are some steps for maintaining fire safety while using this important kitchen appliance:

  • Keep an eye on the dishwasher to make sure it does not overheat or get too hot
  • Clean up any spills right away
  • If the power goes off, turn off the dishwasher and do not restart it until you are sure there is no leak or spill inside
  • Do not put any combustible materials in the dishwasher.
  • Make sure that when you're looking at buying a dishwasher from a store or online that it has an automatic shut-off system - this will help stop any potential burns when opening the door after it has finished running its cycle.

The bottom line is that fires can happen in any home. But, there are a few things that you can do to make it less likely for a fire to break out.
If you keep in mind some of the most common causes of house fires, you should be able to plan for them. Here are some of the things you need to look out for:

  • Faulty electrical wiring and appliances that are not maintained or installed correctly,
  • Lack of smoke detectors,
  • Improper use or storage of flammable liquids and gases,
  • House fires caused by cooking equipment, etc.

In the Event of a Fire

It is important to have a fire escape plan and a fire extinguisher handy in the event of a fire. Above all else, do not risk your life if a fire spreads rapidly. Prioritize your safety and evacuate, then call the Orlando Fire Department immediately. After the fire, you will need the assistance of a reputable restoration company to handle your fire damage cleanup. Call SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando at (407) 678-5391 for the experts in fire damage restoration, smoke and soot cleanup, and even working with your insurance company!

Causes of Leaky Toilets and How to Prevent Water Damage

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

leaking toilet on a wood panel floor External leaks will not only lead to wet feet but also could lead to water damage in your bathroom.

Toilet Leaks and Water Damage

Toilets can develop both external and internal leaks. External leaks will not only lead to wet feet but also could lead to water damage in your bathroom. Not to mention, any leak could turn into a huge waste of water if left unattended. Here you'll learn some common causes of leaky toilets and what you can do to fix them and prevent water damage.

1. Cracked Toilet Tank


Toilets are designed to last, however, cracks can occur over time. They'll often start as a hairline crack and develop into something more serious.

Toilet tanks are constructed to withstand water pressure for a long time. But, even the best designs can develop cracks over time, especially hairline cracks in the glazing. It's important you act on these cracks immediately to prevent water damage. Don't wait until you see water penetrating the glazing since that would mean you're now facing a full-on replacement instead of a simple repair.

If you have a crack in your toilet, you'll want to call a plumber to see what action to take. While you can repair cracks yourself, you'll want to have a professional plumber take a look and advise you on the best course of action you should take. If they do tell you it's okay to fix the crack yourself, here are some basic instructions:

To fix:

  • Turn the water off
  • Dry the tank on the inside
  • Apply silicone plumbing epoxy to the crack
  • Smooth out the sealer with a putty knife
  • Let the silicone epoxy thoroughly dry
  • Fill the tank back up with water

2. Old Wax Ring


If your toilet is loose, you'll need to replace the wax ring. Also, you might have to replace the wax ring if it's old and worn down and isn't pliable anymore. This would mean the seal isn't intact any longer. So, it can cause water to flow through the base.

To prevent water damage you'll need to remedy this. You'll need to remove the old wax ring and replace it with a new one. Using a putty knife, scrape the old wax away from the opening of the drain. Be sure you remove all the old wax.

Once you scrape up all the old wax, install the new one. Be sure the plastic cone faces down toward the drain when you install it. Position the tee bolts properly on each side of the flange in the key openings.

3. Damaged Flapper


Until you flush your toilet, its tank is holding water. When you flush it, the tank's flapper lifts, allowing water to flow into the bowl from the tank. This replenishes the water supply to protect the inside of the bowl from bacteria and stains.

The flapper is a plastic or rubber part that holds the seal in order to keep water in the toilet tank. After the flapper goes back to its original resting position, water begins filling up the tank again.

Although the flapper is a simple device, it's not indestructible. As time goes on, it can:

  • Crack
  • Warp
  • Break


If this occurs, it will not be able to control the water flow any longer between the bowl and tank. And, this could lead to water leaking into the bowl from the tank, creating a trickling sound. Plumbers call this a "silent leak" since it's hard for homeowners to detect it.

You'll notice your water bill climbing if you have a silent leak. You'll want to check for water sounds that come from your toilet after flushing. You shouldn't hear any water trickling into the bowl once it fills if there's no leak.

Damaged flappers are simple and fairly cheap to repair yourself. There are toilet repair kits available where you can remove the old flapper easily from the tank and install a new one.

4. Loose Water Supply Line


If you have a loose water supply line, there will be water leaking from your toilet base constantly instead of only when you flush the toilet. To prevent water damage, check the connection where the tank and supply line are connected to ensure the rubber seal and nut are tight.

5. Bad Float


Once it reaches a specific level, water should stop flowing into the tank of your toilet. The float rests on top of the water which monitors the level of the water and disengages the supply once it reaches the required point. If the tank of your toilet overflows, you can probably blame a bad float. The good news is, a faulty float is simple to repair. In most toilets, you can easily install a replacement float since it basically slips into place with very little effort and no tools.

6. Damaged Fill Valve


If your toilet tank does overflow and the float isn't to blame, you might have a damaged or corroded fill valve. This valve controls how much water flows into the toilet tank when it's paired with the float and ensures the toilet tank is full to the precise number of gallons.

It's not difficult to replace the valve, but it's typically more complex than fixing the float. There are several pieces to a fill valve and all pieces need to be looked at to ensure they still work or if the whole fill valve unit requires replacing.

If you choose to repair this yourself, there are usually detailed instructions with most replacement valves. Since the project does require evaluating the viability of a variety of parts of the toilet, in some cases, the best way to deal with a damaged fill valve is shutting the water off and having a trained plumber look at it before you try and fix the fill valve yourself.

In the event there is water damage from your toilet leaking, you'll require professional services immediately. Aside from hiring a plumber, you can prevent further water damage by calling a restoration company. SERVPRO uses cutting-edge equipment to repair damaged property and bring it back to its original state. SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando is always updating its equipment and fleet so clients in the SE Orlando area or in other locations can have quick access to services and very skilled professionals.

Emergency Preparedness for Children: How to Prepare Your Family for Disaster Scenarios

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Parents showing child how to be ready in an emergency Emergency preparedness is an important part of keeping your children safe. Teaching them the basics improves their ability to react to a crisis.

According to the National Household Survey, out of 5,000 polled, 47% had personal or familial experience with disasters. This statistic shows the importance of having a disaster plan for all types of disasters that may occur. Disasters can include weather events, personal injury or health crises, and break-ins, or other external threats. When creating your disaster plan, it’s important to involve all members of your household, including your children, so everyone knows what to do in an emergency event. Feeling prepared in an emergency event can help lower fear and anxiety, which can help lessen the impact, both physical and emotional, of disasters. 

Know What Your Child Is Capable of Handling

How you educate a four-year-old on emergency preparedness is going to look different than how you educate a 12-year-old. Therefore, it’s important to tailor your discussions towards your child’s emotional maturity, and their ability to understand why what you’re saying is important. 

Children Under Five

For children under five, you may want to start simply with emergency phone numbers, like 9-1-1 or a parent’s phone number. Mnemonic devices like songs can be helpful when trying to get younger children to memorize phone numbers or their home addresses.

Children Between Six and 12


For children between six and 12, you can start to incorporate a more active role in emergency preparedness. You can start to practice typical questions that emergency personnel may ask them or establish a safe meeting point, such as a grandparent’s house, in case they can’t return home. 

Teenagers

For teens, you can engage them by giving them an active role or responsibility. For example, you can put them in charge of knowing where the flashlights or candles are in the event of a blackout. Even as your children get older, it’s still important to tailor their responsibilities to their emotional maturity. Over-burdening them can cause excess stress that can be life-threatening in an emergency. Talk with your child about what they feel comfortable taking on before establishing responsibilities. 

Educate Them On How to Use 9-1-1 and Other Emergency Services

When educating your children about emergencies, stress the importance of knowing not only how, but when to dial 9-1-1. For example, a friend falling off a jungle gym and breaking a bone at a park wouldn’t be a 9-1-1 call right away. Instead, your child should find their chaperone, or drive to the nearest hospital if they are able. However, if your child’s friend has a deadly peanut allergy and ingests something made of peanuts, they should call 9-1-1 immediately, and then locate an EpiPen if there is one nearby.

The difference between these two situations is the level of danger. A broken bone isn’t typically a life-threatening situation, while anaphylactic shock can be. Discuss with your child how they can identify whether or not they are in a life-threatening situation, and whether they need to call 9-1-1.

Other emergency services and numbers important for your child to know can include:

  • A parent or guardian’s phone number;
  • Poison control;
  • Animal control;
  • Local fire and police departments;
  • Their school;
  • Locksmith. 


You can print these numbers out and leave them in a community space, so the whole family can access them. You can also program these numbers into your child’s phone if they have one, for even easier access. 

Make an Emergency Plan

Having an emergency plan and teaching emergency skills can reduce injuries, losses, and even prevent personal damage altogether. You should have a tailored emergency plan for each major type of emergency. 

Build an Emergency Kit

You can find specific resources for different types of weather events and natural disasters on the FEMA website, however, each disaster kit should include: 

  • A gallon of clean water;
  • A first aid kit;
  • At least three days of non-perishable food;
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio;
  • A whistle;
  • A flashlight; 
  • Extra batteries;
  • Face masks;
  • Clean blankets;
  • Garbage bags for personal waste;
  • Manual can opener;
  • Moist towelettes or baby wipes;
  • Cell phone chargers or backup batteries. 


If you live somewhere with heavy snow, like Alaska, you may want to have some version of this kit in your vehicle, in case you’re stranded in your car. 

Health Emergencies 

If you or your loved one has a medical condition, it’s important to discuss what to do with all family members in the event of an episode. You can also teach your children how to be ready for spontaneous health emergencies, such as if someone starts choking. This can be a good time to reinforce when and how to call 9-1-1, or other emergency services.

Skills that can help your children handle health emergencies before help arrives include:

  • Chest compressions: Chest compressions can save a life in the event of someone’s heart-stopping. Chest compressions should be applied with firm pressure, at 100 bpm. Several songs run at 100 bpm that you can teach your children to do chest compressions to, such as “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. 
  • Tying a tourniquet: A tourniquet is a tight band tied above a major wound that can help stop bleeding. It can be created using any material that can be tied tightly around the limb, such as a belt, scarf, necktie, or piece of rope. This can be a life-saving temporary solution before medical professionals arrive. 
  • The recovery position: The recovery position is a way to assist people who have fallen unconscious. The basics of the recovery position include turning someone on their side so that their airways can remain free, and pillowing their head. The Epilepsy Society has published a full video on how to execute the recovery position


Enrolling in a basic first aid course can teach you all of the above skills, as well as other important skills for a health emergency, such as the Heimlich maneuver and basic burn care. 

External Threats

External threats can include burglary, shooter threat, or hostile animals. Emergency plans for these types of threats may include:
 

  • Having an evacuation route from the home; 
  • Setting an agreed-upon family meeting place somewhere outside the home;
  • Teaching children how to notice signs of a break-in;
  • Teaching children how to remove themselves from an aggressive animal


Many schools will run safety drills that will teach children how to deal with some of these external threats. These drills can be carried over and applied at home. 

Teach them About Natural Disasters 

Natural disasters, such as fires, floods, blizzards, thunderstorms, and other major weather events are another important part of disaster preparation. The area in which you live will help determine what kind of weather events you need to be prepared for. Someone living in California will want to have an earthquake kit handy, while someone living in Oklahoma will want to be more prepared for tornadoes.

In some cases, emergency preparedness can help you reduce the amount of damage to your home and personal belongings. For example, if you live somewhere with earthquakes, you may want to bolt tall furniture like bookshelves to the wall or keep breakables in a chest, rather than on display. Other damage, like fire and smoke damage or flooding damage, may not be able to be avoided.

Teaching your children the different effects of different natural disasters can help them reduce their safety risks, and help them to prioritize saving themselves over saving objects. 

Find Creative Ways to Educate Your Children About Emergencies

Finding fun and interactive ways to teach your children about emergency preparedness can help them retain information better. As mentioned before, mnemonic devices can be a great way to teach phone numbers or acronyms. Having their direct input in creating an emergency kit, such as letting them pick out the color of the flashlight, is another way that you can get your kids involved.

Keeping your approach to emergency preparedness light and engaging is important not only to increase retention but to decrease feelings of dread or anxiety around severe topics. 

Watch Your Tone

It’s important to remain calm while doing any sort of disaster education. Sounding scared or stressed may deter children from wanting to learn valuable skills, or heighten their anxiety should an emergency occur. You can instill confidence in your child’s ability to handle a crisis by providing positive reinforcement and answering their questions honestly. 


Emergency preparedness has been proven to prevent personal injury. The National Household Survey additionally found that engaging in one emergency preparedness action is associated with engaging in others. By starting to educate your children about emergency preparedness when they’re young, you can create habits that can carry over into adulthood.

Home Inspections: What Are They, When to Conduct One, and Why They’re Important

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

qoman with magnifying glass over a house Home inspections allow future homeowners and property managers to get a better feel for what areas of the home need to be replaced.

A home inspection is a non-invasive, thorough examination conducted by professionals to get a better understanding of the current condition of the home. There are a few reasons why someone may have an inspection done. For instance, rental property managers may choose to conduct them quarterly and/or upon a tenant moving out. Others, like future home buyers, may choose to have them done before buying a home. 

What Happens During a Home Inspection?

The inspection process will vary based on what type of inspection is being conducted. For example, if the inspector is there to look over the condition of the home after a tenant has moved out, they will look for structural damage, hazards, and/or defects. 

In addition to the above, home buyer’s inspectors will also take a thorough look at the interior and exterior of the home to ensure it is up to code with local standards. If upon inspection they find anything that is not up to code, damaged, or that may need repairing, they must then report it to the buyer. 

It is important to note that it is not the inspector’s duty to repair any damage found in or around the home. Instead, they are only there to make a record of the home’s current condition — it is up to the landlord or home buyer to decide how they want to approach making any necessary repairs. 

How to Find a Home Inspector

Just as with hiring any contractor, you will want to be sure to look for a trustworthy home inspector with a good reputation. However, this can be difficult, especially since it’s hard to tell someone’s skill-level just by looking at them. Luckily there are tips to follow to help ensure you hire a reputable house inspector:

  • Just because your real estate agent referred you to someone doesn't mean they’re the best. Do your research on the inspector before hiring them;
  • Reach out to trusted family and friends who have recently purchased a home to see who they recommend;
  • Check their credentials and see who is certified by a professional organization;
  • Look at reviews online;
  • Look for someone who has many years of training under their belt.

Finding an inspector with little to no experience — or failing to hire an inspector at all — may cost you more in damage repair in the long run. 

What Do Home Inspectors Look for?

There are numerous parts of the home that an inspector will look at, regardless of the job’s purpose. This includes the:

  • Attic;
  • Basement;
  • Ceilings;
  • Doors;
  • Electrical systems;
  • Flooring;
  • Foundation;
  • HVAC systems;
  • Interior plumbing;
  • Landscaping;
  • Major appliances;
  • Roof;
  • Structural components;
  • Walls;
  • Windows. 

When observing these different spaces, the inspector will make note of any damage that is done to report back to the homeowner and/or property manager. 

What Isn’t Looked for During a Home Inspection? 

It may seem like housing inspectors look at everything from front to back. However, there are a few things that are out of their area of expertise. For example, inspectors will not look for:

  • Asbestos;
  • Lead paint;
  • Mold;
  • Pest damage.

If there are any signs of these in your home, you should call a professional that specializes in mold remediation, pest control, and asbestos removal. If there are signs of mold or asbestos, you may want to consider finding temporary housing — for these can be harmful to be around. 

How Much Do Home Inspections Cost?

The average cost of a home inspection ranges between $300 and $500. However, the pricing is subject to change depending on multiple factors. Some factors to consider when budgeting for a home inspection include:

  • The size of your home;
  • What the inspection is for;
  • What you want to be inspected;
  • When your home was built;
  • Where you live.

If anything, you can get a quote from a local inspection company to help you prepare for the cost of the inspection — keeping in mind the tips listed above when finding a local company to reach out to.   

What Happens After the Home Inspection? 

Depending on what the inspector finds, the homeowner/property manager may want to consider making a few changes to their home. For example, if they find signs of water damage — dark/wet spots, cracking in the walls, sounds of running water — they may want to consider looking into water damage restoration services

Black soot and/or lingering smells of smoke could be an indicator that the home was once damaged by smoke or fire. This may require restoration services that specialize in fire and smoke

If the home was previously damaged by flooding or storms, like visible water infiltration, broken gutters, water stains, wall cracks, cracked molding, and even crooked doors, then hiring a professional that specializes in flooding restoration services may be worth looking into. 

Other potential restoration projects would include replacing the electrical and plumbing, installing new flooring, updating the HVAC system, or even pouring new cement in the basement. 

Housing inspections are an important part of the house buying process. Without them, homeowners and property managers alike may be surprised with damages down the road that should’ve been caught earlier on. Regardless of why you need to hire an inspector, just know that it’s worth the initial cost and can save you money in the long run.

Tips for Running a Brick-and-Mortar Business: Innovative Tactics to Keep Your Physical Business Relevant In a Digital World

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

storefront of a brick-and-mortar business with door sign reading yes we are open Brick-and-mortar businesses face hardship in the digital age, yet offer unique value to consumers that keep physical stores alive in today's economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a turning point for e-commerce with unprecedented growth when consumers and businesses largely went digital to meet changing social dynamics. However, the rise of e-commerce does not necessarily mean the end of brick-and-mortar, as consumers still have shopping preferences that they prefer to do in-person. 

Brick-and-mortar businesses have the opportunity to meet consumer desires but need to adopt tactics to meet modern consumer behavior and capitalize on the 65% of American shopping budgets that are still spent in-store. This article outlines essential strategies and tips that can assist brick-and-mortar companies that are looking to stay relevant to consumers in an increasingly digital world.

Create a Digital Presence

Even if the main focus of your business is your brick-and-mortar presence, physical retailers need to integrate both an on and offline presence. Your primary directive may be in-person sales, but your businesses still need to be visible and available online. 

Having a strong digital presence can provide deep insights into your customer preferences with the wide variety of digital analytics that can be gathered through online channels, social media, your websites, and even an email marketing campaign. An essential checklist for creating a digital presence includes:

  • Optimizing your website for visibility and mobile use.
  • Creating an active social media strategy and producing content for all online channels that encourages consumer engagement.
  • Designing a newsletter and email marketing campaign that provides additional value and insight into your products and business operations.

Step Up Your Customer Service Game

One of the greatest benefits to consumers who shop in physical stores is great face-to-face customer service, and the opportunity to build a shopping experience that your consumers are sure to remember. To capitalize on the valuable resource of customer experience, businesses need to refocus on customer service strategies that deliver and meet consumer expectations. This includes:

  • Maintaining a safe and clean environment.
  • Adopting new transaction and checkout processes that accommodate touchless interactions and digital payment options.
  • Providing added value through sales and coupons that compel customers to make purchases.
  • Designing personalized shopping experiences that are curated to their target audience. Examples of his may include:
    • Allowing customers to make in-store purchases but shipping the product to their residence. 
    • Providing superb customer engagement with friendly, highly knowledgeable, and trained staff.
    • Ensuring that the store is organized, comfortable, and easy to navigate.
    • Providing digital options for customers to provide feedback.
    • Creating easy-to-use return policies and customer service channels for questions and concerns about products.

Stay Current With Industry Trends

Staying up to date on industry trends can give your business insight into what your consumer preferences are, as well as what your competitors are doing to outperform you. Competitor analysis can provide deep insight into how your consumers react to changes being made and can be used to leverage critical decisions that impact how your consumers perceive, engage with, and make purchases from your business. 

Harnessing the use of big data as a resource can also support smart decision-making. Data can provide insight into your target market and beyond, opening up opportunities to find and define consumer demographics and dynamics. Data can be gathered from your online presence and website, social channels, competitive research, and more, and can be leveraged to critically think about your consumers, develop and test strategies, and support critical decision making. 

Take Pride In Your Store’s Appearance

One of the hallmark values of in-store shopping is the experience the consumer has within your store. Cleanliness is a top priority for customers, it is essential to keep your brick-and-mortar in safe and clean good repair. This may include: 

  • Creating a checklist for the most common places that need cleaning and setting a schedule to ensure that these areas are regularly maintained. This includes restrooms and high-touch surfaces such as door handles and check-out areas. 
  • Ensuring that the building itself is in good repair. This may include:
    • Replacing HVAC air filters and cleaning ducts.
    • Upkeep plumbing, mold remediation, and water damage repair from leaks.
    • Replacing burned-out interior and exterior light bulbs.
    • Inspect the property for signs of rodent or pest damage.
    • Replacing cracked or broken windows or mirrors and keeping them clean.
  • Having a safety and sanitation plan for recovering from unfortunate events or natural disasters. This may include using commercial services for fire restoration or storm damage and cleanup.

In addition to the essentials of cleanliness and safety, brick-and-mortar businesses may also consider how to arrange their store to best accommodate the consumer’s needs. Examples may include:

  • Comfortable sitting, waiting, and congregating areas outside of dressing rooms, or for customers that may need to wait while a product is being prepared.
  • Highly trained staff and information desks that can assist consumers with essential questions about products and services.
  • Open display areas where customers can engage with products and easily learn about them. 
  • Added value through expert advice or classes with a representative of the company.

A store’s atmosphere and layout will also impact consumer buying patterns. The aesthetics and design of your store are essential to the customer’s experience. The aesthetic and signage of your brick-and-mortar location should showcase your brand and image, and needs to be easy to navigate so consumers can efficiently find what they need.

Host In-Store Events

According to a survey on event marketing, 91% of overperforming businesses place great emphasis on live events as a form of marketing, and 87% of C-suite executives are leaning into and planning to invest in events in the future. Events are a cornerstone in experiential marketing that is defining the future of brick-and-mortar retail. 

In-store events directly engage customers and can create valuable memories, insight into offerings, and brand experiences. Events are an excellent way to showcase a new product or rollout, create social media buzz, and provide consumers what they are looking for most: a great experience.

Events may include launch parties, holiday and milestone celebrations, sales and coupon offerings, meet-up groups, classes, and workshops. Creating a great in-store event is more than putting out party tables and decor — it should have a specific focus and goal that creates value for the customer. 

Create a Customer Loyalty Program

A survey conducted on consumer mindsets and customer loyalty showed that:

  • 51% of respondents enjoyed loyalty programs and noted that loyalty programs encouraged them to “like” the brand or company more.
  • 49% of respondents felt they get significant value from loyalty programs.
  • 46% of loyalty programs make the respondents feel like an exclusive group of valuable customers.
  • 40% of respondents noted that loyalty programs were a key decision-maker for them to choose that specific retailer or brand.

Customer loyalty programs can be a great addition to a brand’s digital presence through the use of apps, email marketing, and providing a great experience. Creating a valuable loyalty program should incorporate the use of consumer data to ensure the program delivers the greatest value and can be utilized in tandem with other digital and in-store event marketing efforts.

7 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Extreme Weather

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

men boarding up windows in front of a store With a disaster plan, open communication, safety systems, proper insurance, and disaster resources you can equip your business for extreme weather.

Small business owners have a lot to juggle and one critical aspect is extreme weather preparation. A United States Federal Reserve small business survey found that 40% of small businesses do not reopen after experiencing a major disaster. As a small business owner, it is important to consider the different ways that a large disaster can hurt your business.

A continuity plan outlines the different measures you have in place to ensure that your business stays operating. Creating a continuity plan for your small business is a good safety blanket. Businesses need to consider all of the ways to prepare their business for extreme weather to protect their business, employees, and customers. Below is a list of different methods for doing so.

1.  Protect Your Employees

Your business is not the only aspect at risk for extreme weather. First and foremost, you need to think about what you can do to protect your employees. The first step to this is assessing your risks. Different areas are more susceptible to different types of extreme weather. Analyze the extreme weather risks where your business is located. You can utilize the online National Risk Index for Natural Hazards (NRI) for better insight into the different types of extreme weather your business may be exposed to. Once you have an understanding of your risks, then you can better plan for the following:

    • Creating an evacuation procedure: Your evacuation procedure should fluctuate depending on the type of extreme weather. Extreme weather can be frightening and stressful — be sure to write down your evacuation procedure and keep it in an accessible area;
    • Establishing onsite and offsite meeting areas: You should determine both onsite and offsite meeting areas. If there was a building fire, you would want to evacuate the building. But if there was a tornado, you would want to get down into the basement or storm cellar. Consider creating a map of the building with arrows pointing where to go in case of each respective risk;
  • Create a disaster supply kit: In some cases, staying in the business may be the safest option. Be sure to build or purchase a disaster supply kit that includes things like food, water, flashlights/batteries, maps, flares, and a first aid kit. Be sure to place this in a safe, accessible place.

2. Install Safety Systems to Protect Your Property

It is good to be prepared for any type of weather, but you should prioritize safety systems based on what you’re at risk for. Consider the following safety systems:

  • Storm shutters: Storm shutters can be used to protect your windows from being broken by flying objects during high winds;
  • Surge protectors: A surge protector helps protect your electronics from power surges that can occur during extreme weather; 
  • Generators/backup power supply: Extreme weather can often take down power poles leaving entire neighborhoods and cities without power. When you have a generator or some form of backup power supply, you can reduce potential downtime and make your business a viable place to wait out the storm;
  • Storm cellar: When you have a storm cellar, you and your employees (and potentially customers) all have a place to hide out and wait out the storm in a more secured area;
  • Secured tarps: If you store any of your inventory outdoors, you may want to get tarps to protect your inventory from the elements;
  • Utilize building treatments and materials: There are treatments and materials like double pane glass, fire-retardant wood, and weather-resistant roofing to better equip your building to withstand weather and natural disasters.

3. Secure Important Documents

If you have boxes upon boxes of important business documents, or you rely heavily on digital data, you will want to be sure to backup your documents. Extreme weather may damage or destroy important documents entirely. Listed below are several options for securing important documents:

  • Use a scanner and make digital copies;
  • Utilize cloud storage;
  • Make physical copies and store offsite.

4. Educate Your Employees On Safety Procedures

Spend time educating your employees on the different safety procedures that you have in place. This should be a new-hire requirement and you can also schedule recurring safety procedure meetings to keep employees prepared. 

It can be a good idea to have drills to go through what an actual emergency would look like and what employees should do. Training videos are also another viable option for educating your employees. Consider getting your safety procedures in writing as well and supplying your employees with them. 

5. Communication Is Key

If your workplace becomes unsafe, you want to be sure that you can communicate that with your staff and your customers. Sending out mass emails or mass texts can be a great way to send weather warnings, and having clearly labeled exits and other signage can help direct employees and customers if they are in the store when extreme weather strikes. It is a good idea to use a loudspeaker to issue instructions for your customers and staff to follow. Social media can also be a good tool for communicating. You can post weather warnings and store closure warnings. 

In the case that a powerline is knocked down, try to communicate via text message. Text messages do not operate in the same way that phone calls do, so in a pinch, you are more likely to get ahold of someone with a text message than a phone call.

6. Review Your Company’s Insurance Policy

Be sure you have a good understanding of what your insurance policy covers and what it does not. All businesses need liability insurance and that will generally cover things like customers, staff, and property damage. Liability insurance doesn’t cover any operational losses and in some cases, you may need additional coverage for natural disaster protection. 

For the least amount out of pocket, assess your risk for specific types of extreme weather and purchase additional coverage where you are most susceptible. You should consider getting business interruption insurance to protect against loss of income after a disaster.

7. Know What to Do After a Storm

Different storms cause different types and amounts of damage. After a natural disaster, there are certain things to consider before reopening. As soon as the storm clears, you will want to document everything for an insurance claim. During this time you’ll want to communicate with your staff, customers, and any stakeholders in your business. Once you have talked to your insurance company, you may need to use different restoration and repair services — for example:

Be sure to keep all track of all of your restoration and repair expenses for insurance and tax purposes. If you are in a situation where you can’t afford to pay for out-of-pocket repairs, there are several organizations and sites designed to help small businesses with disaster relief — a few examples are:

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Top 5 Causes of Commercial Property Damage and How to Prevent Them

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

surveillance camera in a store aisle. Commercial property damage is almost inevitable in the many ways it can occur. However, there are ways to reduce the amount of damage done.

Even though residential and commercial properties are both at risk of property damage, how to prevent either from happening will be two different experiences. Businesses have to protect their merchandise, employees, storefront, and everything in between, whereas homeowners, must protect their families, their homes, and personal belongings. 

This doesn’t go to say that commercial properties have more at stake than residential properties. However, it does mean that the steps they have to take to prevent damage from occurring can be more tedious than those protecting their homes. 

Let’s take a closer look at the top five reasons why damage to commercial property occurs and how to prevent it. 

1. Theft and Burglary

Unfortunately, business theft and burglary aren’t uncommon. One study conducted found that external theft and shoplifting make up 35.5% of lost sales. Another study surveying 24 different shoplifters discovered that 29% of them found it was “very easy” to steal from a business. In fact, 8.8% of small businesses were victims of burglary in 2016.

The difference between theft and burglary is easy to identify. Theft is “the act of stealing” or “an unlawful taking,” whereas burglary is “the act of breaking and entering a dwelling at night to commit a felony (such as theft).” However, it is important to note that burglary can happen at any time of the day, not just at night. 

Those who burglarize a business often leave behind commercial property damage. Luckily there are ways to prevent damage to your commercial property caused by thieves and burglars.  

What to Do About It

Here are burglary prevention tips that every commercial property owner should know:

  • Double-check that every entry point is locked before closing down for the day;
  • Hide your safe in a secure location;
  • Install more light fixtures around your building; 
  • Invest in more security cameras both in and outside of your business;
  • Keep track of the keys/only let trusted personnel have access to the keys;
  • Keep the premises tidy;
  • Move valuable inventory away from the windows;
  • Replace traditional glass in the windows and doors with shatterproof glass.

Another way to deter burglars is by giving people the illusion that someone is still occupying the building. This can be done by posting a photo of you in the building after hours on your social media or leaving a light on. 

2. Water Damage

If your commercial property is an area that is prone to storms and flooding, then you may be all too familiar with water damage. Even using too much water in your facility can cause leaks, drainage issues, and water spillage. This is why it’s important to take preventative measures and limit your building’s water consumption by investing in commercial water-saving technology. 

If your property has already been impacted by water damage, then you may want to consider looking into flooding and water damage restoration services. Doing so not only improves the appearance of your building but can help prevent these issues from occurring in the future as well. 

What to Do About It

You can’t prevent storms from happening, but you can prepare your business for the next case of extreme weather. This includes:

  • Installing safety systems like structural support, surge protectors, storm shutters, and backup generators;
  • Securing important documents in a high and dry location;
  • Communicating with employees and customers if your store is not safe;
  • Having easy access to details of your company’s insurance policy. 

Educating your employees on your business’s continuity plan is another great way to help them understand how to recover from a natural disaster

3. Smoke/Fire Damage

There are multiple ways in which a fire may break out in your business — kitchen fires, fires outside of your business, or even electrical fires. Structural damage, smoke/soot damage to the walls, scorch marks, and a lingering smell of smoke can cause business owners to shut down until the fire damage restoration process is complete. Which, depending on the severity of the damage, can take days or even weeks. This is why it is crucial to have fire safety protocols set in place. 

What to Do About It 

As a business owner, it is your duty to create an emergency plan that helps you prepare for unexpected occurrences such as fires. Some things to consider adding to your fire safety plan include:

  • Ensuring windows can be opened and screens can be removed;
  • Frequently checking for damaged or overloaded electrical outlets, cords, and cables;
  • Keeping flammable materials away from electrical equipment;
  • Maintaining the cleanliness of the workspace and equipment;
  • Making sure smoke alarms and fire sprinklers work properly;
  • Never leave portable heating devices unattended;
  • Planning and practicing escape routes and posting them clearly around the building. 

4. Wind Damage

Wind and hail damage can be sudden, yet impactful. Fallen trees, shattered windows, and missing shingles are common results of severe wind and hail. Some insurance plans will cover the damage, but it is up to you as a business owner to set a plan in place that helps reduce the impact. 

What to Do About It

The weather itself can’t be prevented. But you can follow the below tips to help reduce the amount of damage done to your property. 

  • Educate your employees on wind and hail safety — instructing them to stay away from the windows during an intense wind storm;
  • Inspect the roof for damage after storms and make repairs as needed;
  • Install impact-resistant windows;
  • Make sure any loose equipment left outdoors is secure.

5. Vandalism

Vandalism is “damage done to someone else’s property, simply for the sake of causing damage.” Typically, those who partake in vandalism do so with the malicious intent of defacing personal property — not to steal. The most common types of vandalism that occur on commercial properties include:

  • Billboard defacement;
  • Broken windows;
  • Sign damage;
  • Spray painting;
  • Trash dumping. 

What to Do About It

The ways to prevent vandalism from happening are similar to those that can help prevent theft and/or burglary:

  • Increase the number of surveillance cameras outside of the building;
  • Repair any weaknesses in the exterior of your building (holes in fences, burnt light bulbs, and remove any foliage blocking security cameras);
  • Use anti-graffiti paint on the building’s exterior;
  • Build a great relationship with local authorities.

Not every cause of damage can be prevented, but there are ways you can reduce the amount of damage that is done. Following the steps above can help ensure that your commercial property takes on less damage — even during the biggest storms.

Why SERVPRO: Getting Your Business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned sticker on business door Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned certification is offered to those businesses who commit to high standards of cleanliness and quality performance.

What It Means for Businesses to Be "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned"

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned certification is offered to those businesses who commit to high standards of cleanliness and quality performance, ensuring your facility is safe, healthy, and productive. The certificate is designed to address the need for secure locations, clean and safe access, and a commitment to compliance with all state and federal health and safety standards. It's also a great option for those looking to upgrade their facilities and ensure that all their guests, partners, and the general public receives a consistent level of clean and sanitation service from their business. SERVPRO has had a long history of helping to eliminate sanitation safety and quality hazards in the workplace and the customer experience.

SERVPRO's Commitment to Excellence

What does Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned mean to their customers? The company is dedicated to hiring highly qualified technicians who receive continual training. Each Certified SERVPRO technician must complete at least 25 hours of training on cleaning equipment, appliances, vehicles, engines, and the end-user. The company is dedicated to hiring highly qualified technicians who receive continual training. Each Certified SERVPRO technician must complete at least 25 hours of training on cleaning equipment, appliances, vehicles, engines, and the end-user. Authentic Services – Each Certified SERVPRO technician must be a public power or municipal utility member to qualify for Clean Sweep.

The SERVPRO Cleaning Process

A Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned logo communicates the quality of service, care, and safety their technicians bring to their customers. They have made it a habit to ensure that they are the first to see a brand-new color every time they start a job. Their customers' expectations are extremely high, and the distinction of Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned signifies their commitment to excellence.

As the leader in the cleaning industry for over half a century, SERVPRO understands the challenges associated with maintaining high standards of quality, safety, and efficacy in the cleaning process. As the cleaning industry evolves, so must the cleaning process. That's why SERVPRO has made the bold decision to institute a standardized cleaning process that uses the most effective cleaning methods to help make clients' properties as clean as possible while saving clients the time, effort, and expense of other methods.

To earn the SERVPRO Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Seal, clients must submit a written complaint, set forth the details of their job, and include a variety of inspection pictures and specifications, like the color of the carpeting and the exact color of the cleaning products.

SERVPRO Cleaned Risk Mitigation

Program (RMMP) guarantees that their technicians will meet or exceed the industry standards for cleaning facilities, water and ventilation systems, and potentially hazardous areas. Not only are they 100% guaranteed a comprehensive clean, but they are also 100% guaranteed to save your company money.

In addition to meeting industry standards, Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned's five levels provide each client with a meaningful level of confidence. The different levels of certification provide options to meet different requirements and budgets for your company. These levels include:

  • Fresh & Energized
  • Trusted & Committed
  • Expert & Led
  • Expert & Optimized

The distinct advantage of Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned lies in their deep reservoir of expertise, research, and technology that has fueled all their SERVPRO Cleaned brand services. Through the extensive use of their specialized equipment and years of cleaning experience, they guarantee that you will find us to be the ultimate one-stop shop for any complex cleaning needs you may have.

For nearly 20 years, the SERVPRO Cleaned brand has been the industry leader in innovative cleaning, restoration, sanitation, and recycling equipment for industries such as car washes, storage facilities, amusement parks, schools, healthcare, food processing, restaurants, animal care facilities, manufacturing, and numerous sectors.

Conclusion

COVID-19 should never be a total-failure alert or a total-failure scenario. Even if you do not get a perfect score on every item, you can still achieve outstanding results. If your employees perform exceptionally well, what does that tell you? Their job as an industry is to set the right expectations, which is precisely what Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned does.

The more they know about what happens in the CRE and industrial cleaning industries, the more they want to share the information to create a safer work environment. As they do, they continue to build a bigger and better picture of how industrial cleaning agents are used and learn what else they can do to keep the products on the market safer for their clients and customers.

Why SERVPRO: CDC Approved Benefect Botanical Decon 30

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

bottles of Benefect Decon30 on shelf Benefect Decon 30 is a CDC-approved product for disinfecting to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Cleaning is vitally important. Everything in the modern world has to look good. You want to have interior spaces that are warm and inviting. You want spaces that immediately make people feel at home. At our company, SERVPRO, we get your needs. We work hard each day to come up with solutions that make any space look good and feel even better. We're always in search of new products that will bring everything you need and want. We know that you rely on us to help. That is why we are pleased to announce our plans to use a product that we know gets results every single time.


Benefect Botanical Decon 30

With this goal in mind, we are pleased to announce we are using a product known as Benefect Botanical Decon 30. Benefect Botanical Decon 30 is our cleaning product of choice for our clients. There are many reasons why we are using this product to help our clients cope with the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.

The Benefits of this product include:

  • Pleasing scent,
  • Works Fast,
  • Nothing Synthetic,
  • Eliminates Odors,
  • Totally Safe.

A Nice Scent

One of the very best things about using Benefect Botanical Decon 30 is that it has a nice scent. Some products leave your entire home or place of business with an unwanted chemical feel. That can make any cleaning job off-putting when the cleaners are finished with the job. This product eliminates this problem. When our clients walk into a space when we're done, they're left with a scent that pleases the senses and leaves them feeling happy. That makes this an ideal product for any room in your home or your place of business right now.

Fast Working

Another great thing about the use of this product is that it works fast. When we come to your home or your place of business, this allows us to work as fast as possible. Unlike some other products on the market, this is one product that does the job really quickly. A standard disinfectant can take as long as ten minutes to work. This one does the entire job in a mere thirty seconds. That makes it easy for our team to work fast and get the results you want when you hire us.

A Pure Substance

The CDC-approved Benefect Botanical Decon 30 is so useful in part because it is a pure cleaning material. There are no synthetic fragrances in it. The same is true of dyes and bleaches. This is a totally all-natural substance. That means there are no harsh chemicals or unwanted residue that have to be cleaned up after it is used on any surface. It uses a component of thyme oil that is known to be safe and pleasing. This is why we find this an ideal product to use when we're on your site to clean up.

Eliminates Odor

Unpleasant odors are the last thing you want in any space. Lingering odors can make it hard to occupy spaces and get things done. Benefect Botanical Decon 30 gets rid of the odors in your spaces. Many water loss problems happen in the kitchen where there lots of odors. This product will help ensure that such odors are gone after we're done cleaning. That means your workers and you can return to work when our work in the kitchen is done. Food preparation is a snap when you're not battling vapors that make you feel uncomfortable.

A Safe Product

When we're on-site, you don't need to evacuate your workers or leave your home just so we can get the job done. Benefect Botanical Decon 30 is safe for our workers and safe for everyone at work as well as your entire family. We don't need to bring in PPE to clean your spaces. We also don't need to rinse or wipe surfaces once we're done with the task we've been asked to complete. This is our promise to you as we work to get the job done for you today.

Drying After a Water Damage Event

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

drying equipment placed in a gym after water damage A professional restoration team will know how much equipment to place for proper drying, as well as how to achieve the fastest drying times.

Water damage is a serious threat to your home. Even something as small as a leak from a sink could have serious consequences for the health of your family. One part of the restoration process after water damage is drying. It's easily the most vital part of the recovery process. Here's why.

What is the Drying Process?

The drying process is one of the first steps taken for water damage restoration. It takes place after the water has been removed from the area. Drying can take anywhere from a few hours, for small water problems, to a few weeks, for larger water problems. It depends on how long the problem persisted and the location of the water damage.

Certain materials take longer to dry. Wood, for example, absorbs water. If wood isn't allowed to dry by air or through other means, then it can take several days, if not weeks, for the wood to be fully dried.

Insulation is another material that can take a very long time to dry. It's built to absorb and trap moisture. Too much moisture, like that from water damage, can soak it right to the middle. It can easily take weeks before insulation is fully dry.

There are a few steps you can take to help the drying process occur faster.

DIY Drying You Can Do On Your Own

A professional should always be around to take care of the heavy-duty drying process. However, there are a few things you can do that can make their job easier. The first is to open up windows and doors. In order for something to dry, it needs airflow. Opening up windows and doors provides air circulation throughout the area.

You don't want to open the windows if it's raining or especially humid outside. This will only bring further moisture into the home.

Another thing you can do to help the drying process is to remove any molding or baseboards that you have in the area. Baseboards, especially, can collect moisture that sits at the bottom of it or between it and the wall. Removing the molding and baseboard gives those areas a chance to dry out.

If you have a dehumidifier, then it's also a good idea to have that running. Dehumidifiers will remove the moisture from the air. It will draw any moisture from the walls, wood, or other materials, too.

Wallpaper should also be removed. Most types of wallpaper are designed to trap or hold moisture within it. The problem is that it can cause the wallpaper to sag and keep the moisture trapped in the wall. Removing wallpaper will keep the wet material from making contact with the wall. It will also help dry out the wall, itself.

Why The Drying Process Needs to Occur Quickly

You may wonder why there's such an emphasis on quick drying. The reason has to do with the spread of mold and damage. Water expands quickly. As soon as it seeps through one material, it's onto the next.

Water is also the breeding ground for mold. When water and insulation mix, mold is especially happy. It can feed on insulation and have a warm and moist environment in which to grow.

The faster that you can dry an area out, the less likely you are to have mold growth. At the very least, it will help stop the spread of mold. Black mold is the primary culprit behind water damage. It's dangerous to breathe and can make certain situations unlivable.

If you don't dry your home quickly enough, then the mold may overtake your home. You may be forced to vacate the home until a mold remover can take care of the house for you.

Water also damages wood. The longer that water is able to access the wood, the weaker the material becomes. Your home may become unstable. Parts of it may need to be rebuilt in order to provide structural security.

Order Professional Drying Services

Clearly, drying after water damage is important. The speed with which drying occurs can determine how expensive your repair is, how much damage is done, and whether or not your home remains habitable. At SERVPRO, we have the expertise you need to keep your home safe after water damage. Call us to get started.

Floormat Drying Systems

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

floormat drying system on hardwood floor After traditional water extraction methods, a floormat system can help to remove water that an extraction wand cannot.

Floormat drying systems are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to dry your hardwood floors. After a water damage event, water can seep beneath your floor planks and even into the wood itself. After traditional water extraction methods, a floormat system can help to remove water that an extraction wand cannot.


What Are Floormat Drying Systems?

Floormat drying systems help to dry hardwood floors fast. They are generally used with an extractor to remove standing water, and the drying system works to vacuum and blow out any remaining moisture from the crevices in the floor.

Floormat drying systems provide a cost-effective way to do this because there is no water involved with cleaning these mats - instead of using detergents or other fluids, all you need is an electrical outlet!


The Benefits Of Using Floormat Drying Systems

There are many reasons why floormat drying systems work well:

  • They don't involve any harmful chemicals, making them environmentally friendly.
  • It only takes about two hours for your floor mat to dry out completely, making it easier to keep your floors clean.
  • They're also good because they don't require any additional equipment.


Easy Floormat Drying System Setup

Floormat drying systems are easy to set up, as well: Simply place the mat on the floor and connect the hooks to a single hose. Then, turn the mat on and let it dry in place.


Maintaining the Floormats

You can wash the mats about once a week with a mild detergent, warm water, and a damp cloth, and it's recommended that you dry them off with a towel or dry cloth each time.

They can be stacked together for easy storage, and these floor mats are easy to connect with up to three of them per blower.

This professional drying system for wood floors is a safe and effective solution that removes water from hardwood floors by drawing moisture from the floor's surface. It is an excellent way to save on having to replace expensive wood floors. These floor mats are also effective for natural disasters like floods from hurricanes and storms.

If you are looking for a more affordable and practical way to dry your floors, a professional floormat drying system may just be the answer. Floormat drying systems offer an efficient solution using warm air that dries wood flooring quickly without damaging it.

Drying mats have been used in construction sites because of their durability, which makes them ideal for use on hardwood floors. The only thing required from homeowners with these products is lowering the temperature setting on the blower or shutting off when vinyl starts peeling off due to excessive heat exposure.

These floormats also require upkeep, like replacing at least one mat every few years, so they don't get too worn out over time.

What to Expect at a Central FL Hurricane Shelter

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

shelter worker examining cots Retreating to a hurricane shelter in the event of a hurricane be a safe choice but also confusing. Knowing what to bring and expect can help.

Going to a Shelter for Safety in the Event of a Hurricane

Hurricanes can be deadly and destructive. Hurricane winds and waves can severely damage and destroy homes, produce heavy rain and flooding, and can flood whole communities. Hurricanes produce dangerous rip currents along the Florida and Georgia coasts and bring up to 5-foot storm surges. In general, pay attention to your neighbors' safety because everyone's needs may be different.

  • What are the signs of a hurricane? Sea-level water becomes higher than normal, and the winds start to blow.
  • What should people do during a hurricane? Be aware of the emergency, and make sure you are fully informed. Listen to radio and television for announcements.
  • During a hurricane, if you are inside, get in a doorway or a closet away from doors and windows. Stay away from windows.
  • If you are outside and in your car, buckle your seatbelt and secure your hood. Pullover as far as possible from buildings and trees.
  • If you're in a boat, get out. Don't tie yourself down or put anything around your waist that might get caught in the lines of a boat.
  • Remember: There is a life-threatening risk to you, your family, and your neighbors during a hurricane.

When it comes to water safety, the first and foremost rule is to know how to swim and do it well. You should have a swimming life vest at all times, and when possible, you should also have a waterproof one. The next most important safety step is to know how to float if you get into trouble. You need to remain calm and think. If you are calm, you will be better able to swim to safety. Also, make sure to have a first aid kit and any necessary medications with you, just in case you have to cut a limb or are otherwise injured. You should also remember that a life jacket or life ring is necessary if you are stuck in a boat. All boats should be appropriately stowed and anchored well.


How to be prepared for a hurricane

Put together a hurricane plan. Make a family communications plan: purchase flashlights and extra batteries. Have supplies that can serve you for at least three days. Don't forget an emergency kit. Remember, no one knows when a hurricane will strike. Make a plan to stock the kit with the right items and store it in a safe place—store three days' worth of water, food, medications, and pet food.

Among the ideal methods to prepare for a hurricane is to buy or build a safe boat. Then, practice navigating. Once you know how to navigate your boat in a hurricane, you'll be less likely to get lost. If you live near the coast, you'll need to add your stock. You should have supplies on hand, including:

  • Bottled water
  • nonperishable food
  • baby food
  • bath toys
  • flashlights
  • money

Don't forget the pets! Bring them with you to the shelter or keep them at home if you live in an evacuation zone.


Winding Up

Hurricanes are very dangerous, especially since they are centered in warm water. They are also often fueled by an abundance of warm water. There are many of them in the Atlantic basin each year. As you can see, a hurricane can easily devastate a community. What other disaster preparation strategies would you add to this list? Do you know other tips for hurricane survival?

Hurricane shelter options for central Florida – Volusia County, Seminole County, Orange County, and Osceola County.

  • Stop the power – Do not touch any power lines. Keep clear of anything touching a downed power line. Avoid driving into flooded roadways.
  • Always keep your pets at home during a hurricane because strong winds will blow things around. If you decide to leave your home for shelter, make sure to bring your pets with you!
  • When faced with an emergency, be prepared to act quickly and decisively.
  • Stay away from windows and try to avoid the corded phone is damaged during the storm. A battery-operated radio will provide vital information and will help people to know what to do.
  • If you've any medical challenges, don't drive. Instead, walk to a shelter or a hospital. Do not drink alcohol while drinking water.
  • Listen for evacuation notices and calls from your local emergency managers.
  • Listen for the sounds of the house as it struggles to withstand the wind and rain and falling trees.
  • Use a room of sturdy construction. If you have a safe room in your house, then make sure to put this room ready. Ensure you have enough blankets, pillows, and other items.
  • Always carry your emergency supply kit. Use candles as a backup power source. Buy a can opener.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date emergency supplies at your homes, such as candles, nonperishable food, and a battery-operated radio.
  • Do not store your generator in your home because it can overheat. Don't work on generators indoors.
  • Please make a list of important family members and have them updated. Be prepared to evacuate quickly.

Let the storm pass and begin to rebuild. Ensure you don't get overwhelmed by the emotional aspect. Even if you do lose everything, you will survive and will be much stronger and more resilient. To perform storm damage service consider SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando.

Damage Caused by Hurricanes

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

mobile homes damaged during a hurricane The potential damage left in the aftermath of a hurricane can be devastating in more ways than one.

Storms such as hurricanes are some of the strongest on the planet. They can cause a lot of damage and destruction depending on where they make landfall with strong winds, heavy rains, high waves, and storm surges.

This article will talk about what types of property damage hurricanes can cause and how you can prepare for them so your home and family will be safe.


Property Damage Due to Hurricanes

One of the most common types of damage is when a hurricane increases water levels in rivers and lakes to cause flooding. This phenomenon can also be caused by heavy rains preceding or following landfall and storm surges from hurricanes that make landfall near waterways like the Gulf Coast.

Damage to property that typically occurs during floods includes things such as bridges getting washed out, dams bursting (resulting in dangerous floodwaters), and homes being filled with water until they're either swept away downstream or destroyed entirely.

Another type of property damage that often happens due to high winds is uprooting trees, knocking them over on buildings and cars below while also causing power lines to come down across streets, making it impossible for people to get around without serious risk!

Extreme flooding due to storm surge from the hurricane can cause major property damage. Hurricane winds may blow down power lines, causing a loss of utilities for days or weeks in some cases. Huge trees and branches will be uprooted with these strong wind gusts and may knock out windows or even fall on homes nearby.

Different types of property damage can be caused by hurricanes:


Structural Damage

This is when a hurricane wreaks havoc on the physical structure of your home. It might blow off roofs, shatter windows and break down walls. But with having storm protection like plywood or shutters, you could reduce this risk.


Hardship Damages

These are costs incurred after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico because people don't have access to food, water potable water filters for their homes, or fuel for their cars.


Financial Damages

If a hurricane damaged your home, you might have to pay costly repairs and renovations on top of the price of living in temporary housing while yours is being repaired. The long-term effects could include decreased property values with no insurance policy available because it's not covered under an older one or if there are other issues like foreclosure after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.


Losses Due To Flooding And High Winds

A hurricane can also cause flooding, which will increase water damage costs and structural damages to homes from high winds that tear off metal roof panels and blow out windows.


Damage to the Roof of a Property

Hurricanes can cause major damage to the roof of a property, which is not only expensive for repairs but also inconvenient as it will make living in your home more difficult.


Water Damage

Suppose you have water running into or under your house from rain and seeping through windows because high winds blew them out during a hurricane. In that case, there's an increased likelihood that mold may form, which could lead to a variety of health effects.

Some other risks associated with this type of damage, include structural issues caused when pipes freeze and burst due to cold weather coming inside your home after winter storm conditions return. The risk continues even longer than the duration of one season, though, since many people don't dry their houses completely before turning on their central heating system.

If you have no power, your refrigerator and freezer will stop working properly, which could lead to food spoiling as well as an increased risk of bacteria growth in the fridge or freezer if it's not cold enough.

Other risks with this type of water damage include household goods getting wet, including books and photos that may be irreplaceable. There are also some safety concerns because there could be hidden electrical hazards such as exposed wiring inside walls where insulation is pulled away from them during the storm.

Water damage can also cause mold spores to grow after flooding sewage backups into living spaces due to a broken sewer line under the house, caused by debris being washed down residential streets into drainage culverts when the storm drains are overwhelmed.


In Conclusion

Hurricanes can cause a tremendous amount of damage. It is essential to protect yourself, your family, and your property from natural disasters.

Steps to Take After a Fire in Your Home

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician assessing fire damage It is always recommendable that you hire fire damage restoration experts to help you perform a comprehensive and complete damage assessment.

Although it is impossible to arrange for fire devastation in your home, it is recommendable to minimize the damages. Irrespective of the size, avoiding destruction requires you to act fast and prevent further damage due to smoke.

Finding out the scope of damage caused by the fire is usually the first step in fire damage restoration. It also involves securing an entire property before the renovation activities commence.

Are you looking for cost-friendly ways of renovating your building as a result of fire damage? If so, read through this article to help you avoid costly repair bills.

1. Damage Assessment

Generally, the step to take after a fire in your home is assessing the extent of fire damages, including smoke damages. Be sure to inspect the depth of the fire to your home walls, structure, furniture, and fixtures, indicating the damage due to heat.

It is always recommendable that you hire fire damage restoration experts to help you perform a comprehensive and complete damage assessment for your home.

Also, for insurance purposes, make sure that everything is documented and well recorded. Additionally, removing the undamaged furniture from the house will reduce smoke damages, and the sooner this is done, the better.

2. Professionals Only

Before you decide who to hire for your home renovation after fire damage, be sure to take your time and do thorough research. You might also check out your house insurance firm for recommendations.

However, be sure to research the company's history before hiring them. Also, it is essential to note that some companies might show up tricking you into signing them in for the renovation, be sure to ask them for a fire renovation license and work insurance.

3. Securing Your Home Foundation

The primary aim of any renovation work should be to help you avoid any damage from happening in the future. This involves plugging in any weakened structures, and any holes cause by the fire. In addition, your hired renovation experts will help you assess if your roof or floor requires replacement or if repairs are enough.

It is also essential to bear in mind that home renovation due to fire damage should also involve water damage renovation. Therefore, have the experts perform assessment tests intending to prevent your home from moisture or water damage.

Find the best fire restoration professionals who will help you prevent and repair risks of water damage after a fire. Working with you will ensure that your home is safe from vapor and moisture barriers.

4. Dusting and Removal

At times the soot and smoke damage might be a challenge to completely clean as some stains go beyond your home surface. However, sanding, deep scrub, and refurnishing will help you remove all the stains on your home surface.

In addition, fans and special heaters are usually used to dry out moisture contents before cleaning everything. This is a vital step as it helps avoid pockets of mold that can cause health effects.

The renovation process involves removing the smoke odors after the fire, including cleaning all your carpets and all fabrics within your house. However, this might lead to an added cost to your home renovation after the fire.

5. Repairing

Generally, fire usually creates blistering and bubbling of paints on your ceilings and walls. For this reason, fire damage renovators will help remove the stains and repaint your home, giving it a new look.

In addition, for your wood surfaces which are usually damaged by smoke, or soot, applying the sealant to trap or mask the odor might be an option for the unfinished wood. However, for the best outcome and complete restoration, finished wood is the recommended option.

Repairing your home wood surfaces helps you eliminate the trapped odor ensuring none of it stays behind. For best results, let professional cleaners help you through the process of restoring your wood surfaces damaged by fire or affected by smoke.

6. Renovation

Most people use fire tragedy as their starting point to performing the home renovation. However, the cleaning and repair process might take longer to complete. The renovation process after fire damage allows you a chance to get out of the traumatic fire damage experience.

If extensive fire damage restored your home to what originally is close to impossible, starting over might be your only option. Many fire damage services provide renovation services along with repairs as well as restoration.

With professional fire damage renovation contractors, you can be sure of the best renovation services. However, bear in mind that the renovation process might mean throwing away some home items or rebuilding some parts afresh.

Conclusion

Generally, fire damage renovation involves more than dusting and repairs. It might not be easy to make these decisions right away after the fire damage. For this reason, be sure to consult SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando. We offer all the necessary options and tools to give your home its original look and feel.

At SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando, we promise to take care of your entire renovation process beyond your expectations or what most people can't realize at a glance.

Additionally, we also offer you services to help you protect your house from moisture and water damage, along with cleaning your air conditioning, heating, and ventilation (HVAC) system. With our services, you can be sure that we will cover your entire home environment. We help you restore necessary home safety.

Be sure to contact or visit us today and learn why big businesses and homeowners trust us when faced with fire emergencies and other natural disasters.

Prevent Storm Damage to Your Commercial Property

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

flooded warehouse after a storm Powerful storms such as tropical storms or hurricanes have the potential to cause major damage like flooding.

Storms are sometimes things you know are coming, thanks to advances in meteorology. Local weathermen are a lot more accurate than they used to be. Then again, many storms still happen without much warning, if any. In either case, you need to practice a preventative approach in regard to storm damage. Doing so helps you make sure you enjoy business continuity, and that's possible thanks to specific tips you can use to prevent or at least minimize storm damage to any commercial property you own or are responsible for.


Keep Your Records Maintained

You need to keep well-maintained records of every single installation, improvement, and repair that is made to your specific property. Even when your property doesn't actually show signs of damage, you should still document its overall condition prior to storms happening. This will help you file any necessary insurance claims. Take photos of your property, especially of the roof. Be sure you get images of the flashing and edges of your roof, but also go inside and get pictures of the ceiling that is immediately underneath the roof. 
Clean Your Commercial Building's Gutters and Roof

Debris that is left on top of the roof can result in damage when there is a storm. Maintain a routine cleaning schedule in order to manage risks such as these. This is particularly important if your property has an easily punctured single-ply roof. Open drains and gutters need routine cleaning in order to prevent the roof from flooding. 
Don't Neglect Maintenance Appointments

Routine appointments with a residential roofing service provider keep the roof over your home in great shape. The same applies to commercial properties. Routine inspections and any necessary corresponding maintenance will help keep your commercial property roof in great shape. Loose seams and small punctures can quickly turn into much bigger issues when there's a storm. Finding, identifying, and repairing small issues in advance helps to minimize the risks involved with leaks. 
Stay Current With Your Insurance Premiums

You should ideally consult your insurance provider at least once each year to be sure that your commercial insurance premiums are current and up to date. The last thing you want after storm damage is a claim that gets delayed or even denied since the policy isn't where it's supposed to be. 
Why This All Matters

If you fail to keep up the roof of your commercial property, the consequences can be severe. At a minimum, a leaking roof creates slip and fall hazards inside your building that pose a risk to employees and customers alike. You could even wind up having to close your business until the structure is repaired enough to be open to the public again. If that happens, you'll still have overhead to pay, and possibly employees, but no sales or revenue generation to offset it, much less make money.

The even worse consequences can be far more drastic. Failing to keep your roof up to par might void certain clauses in your insurance, resulting in denied claims or even loss of coverage that you need to legally operate your business to start with. Furthermore, if you're leasing a building from someone, not caring for the property could result in a breach of your rental agreement, risking eviction.

On top of all that, the less you take care of your roof, the less it takes care of you. Leaks and issues will happen more and more often, resulting in more wasted time and money, along with interruptions to your business. It all adds up to a total roof replacement when you could have otherwise had more years before you needed to face that expense again. 
After a Storm

When the day comes that a storm does hit, you need to check out your roof as soon as you safely can. If you're in the building during the storm, you might be able to start checking the ceiling immediately under the roof during and just after the storm. Look for wet spots on the ceiling and any signs or sounds that might indicate leaks have happened.

Don't go up on your roof immediately, especially if it's still raining. Wet surfaces make ladders and roofing very dangerous places to be, and it's not worth risking your own health or life, or that of any of your employees. Even a flat roof, common to commercial structures, is still dangerous when wet. Also, if it's water-logged or has puddles, then the extra weight of a person might be enough for it to sag or collapse.

As soon as you can, though, get up there to look for obvious damage. Even if you see nothing, have a roofing professional also come by to take a look. If there is damage after a storm, it's best to find it quickly for two reasons. First, the service provider can possibly patch it until more permanent fixes can be applied. Second, you can make your insurance claim faster and get the funds or reimbursement for the work that needs to be done. 
In Conclusion

Following damage prevention tips like these can make life much easier for you if you're a commercial property owner. Then again, this is Florida, so storm damage is pretty much inevitable, no matter how much you get ready for it.

For the best in storm damage restoration service, contact the industry professionals of SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando.

SERVPRO Commercial Cleaning Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians getting prepared before a COVID-19 cleaning job Professionalism is a must when it comes to any kind of response to the pandemic. Our employees have the tools they need to do the job properly.

COVID-19 is an incredibly dangerous virus. The virus seemingly came out of nowhere. This dangerous virus began to harm humans in Asia and then rapidly spread to other parts of the globe a short time later. In the United States alone, hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of the pandemic. While this is scary, there is very good news. It is possible to take steps to combat this virus. Proven techniques that are recommended by health officials have many benefits. They can help reduce the risk of infection and make it easier for everyone to avoid getting sick.


Working With SERVPRO Commercial Cleaning Services

SERVPRO Commercial Cleaning Services is one company more than ready to step up and help with the process of keeping people safe during the ongoing pandemic. At our company, this is what we do on a daily basis. That is why we have many happy clients who continue to hire us to help with this important process. There are many reasons to hire us.

These include:

  • Professional service.
  • Ease of booking,
  • The right cleaning products,
  • and years of experience.

True Professionalism

Professionalism is a must when it comes to any kind of response to the pandemic. At our company, we provide the kind of vetted help that you need to make it all work out for everyone at your site. Our employees are highly trained. Each one is given the tools they need to do the job properly before they show up at your venue. We take the time to make sure that all of our employees fully understand the guidelines set forth by the CDC from the very first day. This means that all of our employees know exactly how to adhere to the guidelines set forth by the most important health agency in the world.

Our bioremediation services are done in accordance with all necessary policies and procedures that have been set up to keep people safe. This means you'll have interiors that have been properly sanitized, disinfected, and thoroughly cleaned once we're done with the process. This is one of the many reasons why our company has been called on by so many businesses and community leaders in Orlando, Florida to keep workers, customers, and all visitors safe from the threat of COVID-19.

Easy of Booking

At our company, we know you're busy. We know that you're dealing with lots of things at the same time. This is something we understand very well. We're also very busy helping other companies keep their employees and clients safe. We also know that our clients want to have a convenient service. This is why we offer our services on a twenty-four hour, seven days a week basis. That makes it easy to book our services when it is most convenient for any of our clients. If there's a sudden issue such as an outbreak locally, we're also here for you.

We can come to your door when you need us in response to changing conditions. That means you can have your interior spaces cleaned and ready for action again as soon as we're done. We'll be there to help with the process and get it all up and running normally as soon as possible. That is our guarantee to all of our clients.


Effective Cleaning Products

Officials at the CDC recommend the use of hospital-grade disinfectants. This has been shown to work on all surfaces in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. When we come to your door, this is exactly what we bring with us. The cleaning products that we use are cleaning products that meet the standard required by the CDC. They are designed to carry the EPA-registered emerging pathogens claims. That will ensure that you are making it easy to protect all of your employees as well as your business clients as they come to your spaces. We follow all protocols set up by the CDC. We all follow all guidelines set up by local authorities to protect people.


Uniquely Prepared

With years of experience in this highly important field, we at SERVPRO Commercial Cleaning Services are fully prepared to step up and help all clients. We know exactly how to clean and disinfect any private or public space. Our company has been dealing with the process of removing biological contaminants for many years. We move beyond the ordinary scope provided by janitorial services. With our skilled guidance at your side, you'll know exactly how to cope with the pandemic. We will show you what has to be done right now. We'll also demonstrate what must be done on a routine basis in order to meet all necessary CDC-issued guidelines.

This is our promise to our clients in the middle of a pandemic.

Cleaning Fire Damaged Electronics

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

electronic motherboard cleaned of soot and smoke damage Smoke can permeate your electronic devices and cause damage even in areas you can't normally see. Seek professional help to avoid further damage.

You may be wondering what you should do with your electronics if a fire has damaged them. You don't need to worry! There are many ways to clean these items and get them working again.

We'll go over the different cleaning methods and how best to avoid damaging your devices in the future.


How to Clean Electronics Damaged in a Fire

There are many ways you can clean your electronics to get them back into working condition. The best method for the device will depend on its make and model, but there are some general things you should do first before any other cleaning occurs.

First, unplug the device and remove any external power sources. Next, open up the case of your device to make sure there isn't anything inside that could cause another fire.

Finally, wipe clean all surfaces with a dry cloth or lint-free wipes (available at most electronics stores). You may also want to use a vacuum cleaner for crevices if possible. Now you're ready to start cleaning!

After this step, we recommend using distilled water with toothpaste squeezed onto a soft cloth-"not gel," as these types contain alcohol, damaging plastics, and metals. Fire-damaged electronics, especially televisions, should be handled by a professional. Always unplug the device before moving it, and never use a vacuum cleaner, steel wool, or detergent.

The best method for the device will depend on its make and model, but there are some general things you should do first before any other cleaning occurs.


Different Cleaning Methods

There are three different ways you can clean your devices: using water alone, wiping it down with a commercial solvent-based cleaner made specifically for electronics, vacuuming out dust and debris from cracks and creases in the case, keyboard keys, ports on the outside of the computer towers, etc.


Cleaning Smoke Damage from Electronics

Smoke damage can be in soot, black film, or a magnetic charge on affected electronics. The way to clean soot from an item is to use a mix of dish soap and water to create suds. You can also use rubbing alcohol if there is an oily residue on the surface that needs more attention.

For black film or magnetic charge, you'll need to rub in as much butter onto the affected area as possible-the longer it sits, the better! The process should take about 15 minutes for the best results. Then wipe with a soft cloth and dry off with another one gently afterward, so any remaining moisture doesn't leave streaks behind.

It's essential to be careful with smoke-damaged electronics because turning them on before they have been cleaned can cause more damage.

Be sure to look for your warranties for your electronics because the damage may be covered, and you may be able to get them replaced for free.


Having Your Electronics Professionally Cleaned

Another good idea for cleaning smoke and fire-damaged electronics is to leave it to the professionals. SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando can assist with fire restoration services. They have the equipment and expertise to remove all types of smoke particles, including those embedded in soft surfaces like foam or carpeting. You can arrange for your fire-damaged electronics to be picked up from your home, or many businesses have a convenient drop-off location.

If you're not sure if it needs professional cleaning, then use this simple test: Put on gloves and wipe off as much surface soot as possible with a dry cloth without wiping away any visible traces of water or other liquids. The cleaner is probably ok-otherwise, get them professionally cleaned! If there's an oily residue left behind after washing, use rubbing alcohol instead.

Fire Insurance Coverage in Florida

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

fire insurance form with pen and money on table Fire insurance allows homeowners to have financial protection after a fire, and it also allows for property recovery if someone loses their life.

How To Get The Best Rates On Fire Insurance Coverage In Florida

One of the most important aspects of owning a home in Florida is having proper and adequate fire insurance coverage. If a fire should occur, the loss of life and property could be devastating. Fire insurance allows homeowners to have financial protection should a fire occur, and it also allows for property recovery if someone loses their life or property in a fire. Several things need to be considered when choosing a homeowners insurance policy in Florida. This list will help you get jumpstarted and figure out what insurance you need.
When buying a Florida homeowner's insurance policy, there are some basic coverage requirements that everyone will need to know about. Depending on where one lives, they may not have all of the coverage requirements that others in the state do. However, they are still important for anyone to understand before signing up for an insurance policy. Here are some coverage requirements in Florida that everyone should keep in mind.

The amount of coverage you will need depends largely on the type of insurance you purchase. In most cases, if you purchase homeowner's insurance, you will have full replacement cost coverage. This means that your insurance company will cover the cost of rebuilding your home from the original building to the current condition.

Most homeowners insurance in Florida will also provide coverage for lost rent due to damage to the home. With this in mind, if your home is destroyed and you can not rent it, your insurance company should cover the cost of renting your home to another individual. Additionally, lost income due to a covered loss might also be covered by your policy. This means that if your home is damaged and you cannot work in it, your insurance policy should also pay for the wages that you would have lost if you were no longer able to work in your home.

Some insurance companies in Florida actually offer more than just property damage coverage. Many companies include rental reimbursement coverage with their insurance policies. If a customer has to stay in a hotel to get replacement value on a piece of property, your insurance company will kick the bill into the foot. In addition, your insurance company might provide a percentage of your lost income as well. Any additional coverage can be added as additional funds from your pocket.

All major insurance carriers in Florida also offer storm damage coverage as well. If you live in an area that receives an off-season climate, you can usually find a good deal of discount prices on this type of insurance. Many insurance companies in Florida are constantly trying to outdo each other when offering discounts, so be sure to shop around for the best price possible.

In many cases, a fire insurance policy is unnecessary in Florida. Florida has a mandatory smoke and fire policy in place, but many people choose to skip it. Fire coverage typically only covers the cost of clearing away burning debris from your business or residence and does not typically cover any losses associated with your property. The cost to replace your personal property after a fire can be astronomical, and a good fire insurance policy will protect you in that regard.

If your business is destroyed by fire and you have coverage from your existing insurance policy, you might be able to recover some or all of your losses from your policy. You should always check with your current insurance company before purchasing a new fire insurance policy to ensure you are still covered. Many companies also offer specific coverage for fire damage in Florida.

Minimizing Damage To Your Home Before A Storm

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

men boarding up a window to a house Hurricane impact windows add protection in the event of a storm. If there is an impending storm you can also board your windows temporarily.

Living on a coast with water frontage is a dream of most homeowners. There's nothing like enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine while watching the surf gently caress the shore. The cool breezes blowing off the water give the house an atmosphere lots of homeowners pay a lot of money to have.

The trouble with coastal living is that for a few months out of the year, those breezes turn lethal. The winds surrounding a storm complex throw anything loose against a house, break windows, tear off the roof, and repark your car in strange places.

Storms may be the price we pay for coastal living, but it doesn't have to be too damaging for the checkbook. Securing loose things, trimming back trees, and bringing indoors what could easily become a projectile is a simple and effective way of prepping a house for storms with high-velocity winds. Here's how.

1. Bring In Loose Lawn Furnishings And Toys

Patio furniture, swing sets, climbing toys, grills, trash cans, and planters all become projectiles in hurricane-force winds. Bring them into the basement or garage. Secure your fencing, mailbox, and deck boards as well. The winds can get under things, ripping them out of the ground, and make a mess of them. Hire a professional to help you secure these things well before the storm season.

2. Double-Check Your Trees And Shrubbery

Dead tree branches frequently are ripped from trees and hurled against houses. Have a tree specialist examine your trees and shrubs for dead matter and remove them. If tree limbs are too close to the roof, have them trimmed back. If trees are wrapped around power lines, have them trimmed back. The city or county usually takes care of this, but time is of the essence here. Get it done for the safety of your home.

3. Secure The Roof

The technology built into today's roofing materials takes into account hurricane-force winds. They're usually good for winds up to 140 mph. The best roof materials are metal roofs of tin, zinc, copper, steel, or aluminum. They're a little more expensive, but they last up to 50 or more years. Asphalt shingles only last about ten years before they need replacement. Architectural shingles are made to last 20 to 30 years and to resist winds of up to 130 mph. Before the next storm season, look into replacing the roof.

4. Secure The Windows

Considering the billions of dollars of damages done by recent storms, coastal governments now require homes to have hurricane-impact windows. You might want to upgrade if you live in a home built before this building code was enacted.

Hurricane-impact windows offer heavier, break-resistant frames. They also resist projectiles hurled by 150 mph winds. They protect against water introduction as well as reducing your insurance premiums. You'll want windows with a design pressure rating of 50, which stand up well to hurricane-force winds of 200 mph.

There are different types of shutters that are effective against high-velocity winds. Hurricane shutters are hinged and close on the outside to protect windows. Accordion shutters and Bahama shutters are a little more expensive, but they're all effective protection for your windows.

5. Reinforce Your Doors

Air pressure is the bane of a house. Since your garage door is the largest of your house's doors, it's especially vulnerable to hurricane winds. If it isn't reinforced, it can be snatched off. Air pressure then builds up. It can possibly blow the roof off the house.

To guard against this possibility, install a garage door that's hurricane-resistant. They have reinforcements of steel, springs, and more hardware to strengthen the door. If hurricane garage doors aren't in the budget, you can still prep your garage door using steel panels and storm braces for extra strength.

For the front, back, and basement doors leading outside, fiberglass has been tested for hurricane-force winds. They tend to keep water out very well. They're not cheap, but $150 can get you a basic fiberglass door resistant to wind and rain.

Tip: Did you know that closing all the doors in the house including the garage door reduces air pressure by 30 percent? This gives the roof a better chance of sticking around.

6. Secure The HVAC Unit

One thing you don't want crashing into your house is your HVAC unit. Prep it before a storm by strapping it down. Use a cage or trap around the unit to prevent blowing debris from damaging it. Clear foliage around the unit to prevent clogging the fins. Hire an HVAC professional to service the unit before the storm. Buy a backup generator in case of a power outage.

During the storm, turn off the circuit breaker to the unit to prevent damage. Following the storm, have an HVAC professional check the unit over to make sure it's safe to use. Do not, repeat, do not turn on the unit if there's standing water around it.

7. Important Things To Heed

Make sure your gutters are cleaned before storm season rolls around. Ensure the downspouts are clear and pointed away from the foundation.

Make an inventory of your home's belongings, both inside and outside. Take pictures of the property before the storm season arrives. This will make any insurance claims a little easier on everyone.

If you can fit them in, put your cars in the garage to protect them from damage.

Build a survival kit of medical supplies, a hand-crank radio and flashlight for remaining informed, and enough food and water per person for at least five days.

2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Safety

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

hurricane near north america The best way to ensure Atlantic hurricane season safety is by making sure that you know how to prepare for hurricanes in advance.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1st and ends November 30th. Storms can form any time of year, though, so it's always important to be prepared. During the active season, however, it's critical. Your and your family's safety relies on being prepared for a tropical storm or hurricane before it's even formed. And there is plenty you can do to be safe during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

Prepare even if you're not in the direct path

Whether you're new to the area or you've simply never been in the direct path of the storm there, you always need to prepare for the season. Unlike tornadoes, tropical storms and hurricanes do form early and therefore allow time to prepare. But they're also unpredictable and can shift their projected path unexpectedly and quickly. Even if you think you're not in danger, it's a good idea to have everything ready just in case.

Stock up on food and water

This is often said, but it's usually when a storm is expected to or is approaching. However, once a storm is on the way, it may be too late. You might find that the items you need most are out of stock because everyone else needed them too. Instead, stock up early in the season (or even before) and do it slowly over a period of weeks. Remember you need at least a gallon of water per person per day, including pets. When it's especially hot or someone is pregnant, more water is better. Have enough food and water to last a minimum of three days up to at least two weeks.

Secure your home

Protecting your home is essential to your safety and that of everyone else who lives around you. Storm-force winds can pick up even heavy objects and carry them longer distances than you might think. Before a storm, go outside and move anything you usually leave outside indoors: patio furniture, umbrellas, children's toys, bikes, etc. Take down trampolines and swingset if possible. Put hurricane shutters or plywood over your windows and reinforce garage doors. If you can, strap or clip your roof to the home's structure. If there are repairs that need to be made to keep the house safe, get those repairs made before a storm is approaching.

Prep a "go bag" with essentials & non-replaceable items

Whether you plan to evacuate or plan to try to ride out the storm at home, you should prep a "go bag" with essentials and non-replaceable items. These would be things like:

  • prescription medications
  • insurance policies (and photos or videos of your home and contents)
  • legal documents (birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage licenses, divorce & custody documents, medical records, etc.)
  • important family photos
  • clothing
  • treasured toys or mementos
  • backups of computer and tablet contents (and the devices themselves, when possible)


Prepare a "go bag" for every member of the family, including pets. This ensures that whether you evacuate as planned or need to go unexpectedly, you have the most important things along with your family.

Be prepared to evacuate

Many seasoned Atlantic area residents choose to stay in their homes and wait the storm out. They know the dangers and they're okay with them. But even when you think you want to ride it out at home, you should still be prepared to evacuate. A tropical storm or hurricane can change paths or intensity at a moment's notice. If your area sustains more damage than you expect, or your own home is damaged, you may need to get out immediately. Know the routes you can take, the locations of various shelters, and places you can stay outside the affected area.

Turn down the fridge & freezer

If the power goes out, your food will stay chilled for several hours - longer with a generator. If you turn down the temperature of your fridge and freezer, you can extend that time even more. While you have no control over when the power is restored, this gives you more time to use your grill or gas-operated cooking devices to cook and eat your refrigerated and frozen foods before they go bad. If you're evacuating, freeze a cup of water and put a quarter on top. When you return, if the quarter isn't still on top of the water, toss everything.

Fill your gas tank

As a rule, it's best to keep your gas tank as full as possible during hurricane season. As a storm approaches, many areas in its path will start to see fuel shortages that cause long lines and empty pumps. If your tank isn't full and you hear a storm is brewing, head to the gas station and fill up.

Carry cash

After the storm has passed, the power might be out for days or even weeks. But you'll start to need things again. And if the power is out, your debit and credit cards will be useless. So will your insurance cards. If you need food, water, medication, or a visit to the doctor, you'll need to pay cash. You might get reimbursed by your insurance later for medication or doctor visits, but you'll likely be required to pay up by the provider initially.

While the historic level of storm activity in 2020 is not expected to be repeated, 2021 is still forecast to be an above-average year. Safety is paramount and that requires preparation. Get ready now so you can be safe later.

Water Damage Insurance Claim Denials and How to Prevent Them

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

hand covering house with water It's important to know how extensive your water damage coverage is in your insurance policy before a water damage event to avoid denials.

Damage caused by water is one of the most common disasters that people have to deal with. The water can come from anywhere, such as a broken pipe or an overflowing sink. When it does happen, you'll need to file a water damage insurance claim so that your homeowner's policy covers your home and belongings.

Unfortunately, many people who try this find out that their insurance company denies their claim for some reason. In this article, we'll discuss what causes denials and how you can prevent them from happening in the future!

Different Kinds of Water Damage

There are several different types of water damage, including damages from floods, sewage and water backup, heavy stormwater damage, overflow, and sudden or accidental water damage.

You can choose from a range of coverage options for homeowner's insurance, so you will want to ensure you have a policy that includes water damage.


Water Damage Home Owner Insurance Claims

Homeowner's insurance should pay for damages if a water-related incident occurs on your property.

However, to be covered in the event of such an occurrence, you will need what is known as "all-risk" coverage, which pays for any damage or loss incurred by fire, hail, explosion, and water damage. Some policies have varying levels of protection depending on whether there was contamination from hazardous substances like sewage during the flooding.


What Can Cause Homeowners Insurance Claims to Be Denied?

One reason homeowners' insurance claims may be denied is inadequate coverage because they do not have all the risk protection mentioned previously. This means that even though it is windy outside and rain has been predicted, their policy does not cover damage incurred by water.

Another reason a claim can be denied is if a policyholder did not adequately maintain their property. Suppose it becomes infested with mold or another type of fungus because they were not aware that this could also cause damage to the home when there was flooding caused by rain than sewage backup.


How Can You Prevent Homeowners Insurance Claims From Being Denied?

It's always best to invest in all risk coverage, such as flood insurance, so you are covered even if your area experiences sudden weather changes like heavy rainfall without warning. If your claim has been denied to insufficient protection, it's best to read your policy to ensure you know what kinds of water damage are covered.

There is coverage available for water leaks from pipes, roofs, toilets, and other places around the house where water could cause problems.


Gradual Water Damage

If you are experiencing gradual water damage, it's best to call a professional as soon as possible. Gradual water leaks could be coming from places like your pipes and can lead to more severe problems if they're not addressed quickly enough.

Homeowners need to know what coverage their homeowner insurance policy provides regarding flooding or other types of water damage, so there isn't any confusion when filing an insurance claim should the need arise.

Insurance companies receive many homeowner's insurance claims for gradual water damage. These often include moldy or rotting materials around the home, electrical wiring that has been damaged, leaking pipes and plumbing that has damaged the ceilings, walls, or floors, and other types of water damage that a gradual leak has caused.

Gradual water leaks are often difficult to identify and may not be discovered until the problem is quite severe, which means homeowners insurance policies should cover these unexpected expenses as per their coverage agreement with the company.

If you're worried about whether or not your homeowner's policy covers damages from flooding due to a sudden event such as an overflowing toilet, read over your plan details carefully. Read before filing any claim for this type of situation, and it will likely require additional proof for them to pay out on this type of claim.

Flooding can also happen from plumbing issues like pipes bursting apart or leaking under floors; if this happens, call a professional right away so you can have the issue repaired before you end up with extensive water damage.


Why Homeowner's Insurance Claims Get Denied

Homeowner's insurance policies cover damages from unexpected events that are not covered by any of the other types of coverage they have, such as car accidents or natural disasters. However, the company may deny your claim if you can't provide proof to back up your story since this is often required for these kinds of situations when there isn't an obvious cause, like a storm showing signs of damage on their property.

Regardless, it is always worth filing one, so you aren't left without any backup if something goes wrong and you need help paying for repairs. Suppose you live in areas prone to flooding due to heavy rains or snow melts which slowly rise over time, causing extensive water damage below floors and walls.


How You Can Prevent Your Claim From Being Denied

If you know about a flood, leak, or any other type of water damage coming your way, then try to get preventative measures in place. This can be done by installing anti-flooding devices like sump pumps and backflow prevention valves which will keep as much water away from your property before it's too late.

There are also ways that you can create an emergency plan for yourself as well as the rest of the family should such a disaster happen:

Cover all exposed electronics with plastic sheets or towels so they don't come into contact with anything.

Pack up necessary documents and important items along with food supplies - just enough for a few days, these may be needed if there is no power during this time--and store them safely and out of the way of the water.

Take any necessary medications or medical supplies and make arrangements for a place to stay.

Why SERVPRO is Your Best Restoration Option

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees with restoration equipment in a home Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. SERVPRO employees are trained to return your property to pre-disaster conditions.

SERVPRO franchise professionals understand your situation. As an agent or adjuster, you have a responsibility to keep claims costs down while still providing the best services possible for your customers.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are uniquely qualified to help. Our results create a measurable difference, giving you many competitive advantages.

Emergency Response to Claims

Restoring property is the SERVPRO franchise professional's first priority. Your customer will appreciate the immediate response and you will know everything is being done to limit the damage.

Pretesting Reduces Claims Expense

Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Claims Professionals know the rule is, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." SERVPRO franchise professionals make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability.

Claims Inventory Service

SERVPRO franchise professionals can provide an itemized loss inventory. You will receive an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items.

Electronic Claims Information

Our Claims Information Center provides fast, accurate information you need to make sound decisions, including:

  • A Complete Electronic Job File.
    • First Notice of Loss.
    • Detailed Estimate.
    • Digital Loss Photos.
    • Scanned Forms and Paperwork.
    • All delivered by email or hard copy.
  • Online Access to All Files.
    • New Assignments.
    • Pending Jobs.
    • Completed Jobs.
  • Informative Reports to Improve Results
    • Job Cost Data.
  • Performance Comparison to Industry Standard.

Superior, Time-Tested Training

Effective training is the best way to help ensure your customers receive the service they deserve. Franchises are trained to IICRC standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration. In addition, continuing education classes are available to franchise professionals and insurance clients at our state-of-the-art IICRC Approved Training Facility.

Vendor Qualification Compliance and Professionalism

If you call SERVPRO, we will use only qualified vendors to service your customer. That commitment resulted in:

  • A Customer Care Center to achieve prompt handling of the claim.
  • Implementation of best practices and job process programs.
  • National Accounts qualification criteria and annual compliance checks.
  • Crew and vehicle standards.
  • Insurance requirements.
  • File documentation requirements.
  • Quality assurance program.

Serving Adjusters and Their Clients

A SERVPRO franchise professional's job is to reassure the customer, perform quality service, and report to you quickly. We know your job is to interpret the policy and adjust the claim... and not to deal with problems from vendors! Working together we strive to save you time so you can focus on priority files while having complete control of every loss you are assigned. 24-hour emergency response, damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic file are available to you within hours. SERVPRO franchise professionals’ documented, measured performance increases the value to you and your shareholders, managers, and customers.

Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO leaders in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. The SERVPRO System is geared to achieve customer satisfaction and mitigation results, adding to your company’s competitive advantage.

Cleaning After A Grease Fire

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

pot with grease on fire on a stove There are five million kitchen fires in the United States every year, according to statistics.

There are five million kitchen fires in the United States every year, according to statistics. The majority of these are grease fires, which spread quickly and can be hard to extinguish.

Because smoke and soot from grease fires can cause considerable damage, cleaning after a grease fire is time-consuming and often challenging. Usually, the job will require the expertise of professionals.

WHAT TO DO IN THE CASE OF A GREASE FIRE

If something you're cooking catches fire, don't panic. Keep calm, and remember the following tips:

NEVER PICK UP A BURNING POT OR PAN

Trying to move a burning pot or pan can cause the fire to spread or even result in personal injury. Be sure any fire is extinguished and the pot or pan cooled before you attempt to move it.

DON'T USE WATER

Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Not only will water not extinguish a grease fire, but it will actually cause the fire to spread.

COVER THE PAN WITH A METAL LID

Carefully covering the burning pot or pan will deprive the fire of oxygen, causing it to extinguish.

DOUSE WITH BAKING SODA

If there is no lid handy, dumping baking soda on a grease fire will also do the trick.

USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER

The surest way to extinguish a grease fire is to use a fire extinguisher. Every household should have an extinguisher at the ready and within reach of the kitchen.



CLEANING AFTER A GREASE FIRE

Cleaning up following a grease fire can be a daunting task. The first thing you'll want to do is to open all the windows and get a few fans running. Be sure to turn off the HVAC system, as it may carry smoke and soot to contaminate other areas of your house.

Use vinegar to clean soot and grease. In addition to being an effective cleanser, vinegar helps remove the smell of smoke.

While cleaning, be sure to check surrounding appliances for smoke, soot, and grease damage. If your microwave is mounted above the stove it will likely need to be replaced following a grease fire.


PREVENTING GREASE FIRES

The following tips can help you significantly lower your odds of experiencing a grease fire while cooking:

DON'T LEAVE THE STOVE UNATTENDED

Because grease fires can spread very quickly and prove difficult to extinguish, the sooner they're caught the better. Never leave a pot or pan on the stove unattended.

USE OIL PROPERLY

When cooking with oil, be sure to use the correct amount. Also, be sure to heat oil to temperature slowly. Never cook frozen food in oil.

KEEP STOVE AREA CLEAR

Store dishtowels, pot-holders, and anything potentially flammable away from your oven and stove burners.

HAVE A LID HANDY

Always keep a metal lid close by when cooking on a burner. Having one handy with which to suffocate a grease fire can be the difference between a small incident and a dangerous and costly event.

WHEN TO CALL IN THE PROS

Because grease fires cause such extensive damage, and because cleanup can be a long, intensive process, it's almost always advisable to call in professionals.

Experienced experts like the folks at SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando know how to clean your fire damage quickly and efficiently. They also know how to locate hidden fire damage, such as soot and smoke contamination inside heating and air-conditioning ducts.

GREASE FIRES AND YOUR HEALTH

Soot and smoke are unhealthy and prolonged exposure can lead to significant health effects. In the event of a grease fire immediately remove children and pets from your home. You'll also want to replace any filters in your home, such as those in your refrigerator and furnace. Finally, discard any food that may have been contaminated.

A grease fire can be a frightening and destructive event. Should you experience a kitchen grease fire in your home, be sure to follow the above tips to lower your risk of injury and help minimize potential damage to your property.

Repairing Water Damaged Wood in Commercial Properties

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

empty office with tables, chairs, and wood flooring If your commercial property has wood flooring, knowing what steps to take after a water damage event can help save your flooring.

Water damage can happen to anyone. One minute your property is fine; the next, it's a soggy mess with water leaking through the roof and walls. It's important to know how to fix this problem and get your commercial property back up and running as soon as possible.
In this article, we will discuss what you need to do when repairing water-damaged wood in commercial properties so that you can get back up on your feet quickly!


Water Damage on Commercial Property: What Is It?


Water damage can happen anywhere, including commercial properties. The first thing to know is that when any water gets into your property, it's not just the carpet and floors that will get ruined.

It would be best if you also looked for signs of mold growth on walls or ceilings, which signifies more serious potential health effects.

The second thing you should do if there has been an episode of flooding in the building, contact a professional restoration company who will have all the equipment necessary to fix this problem quickly! 


How To Repair Water Damaged Wood In Commercial Properties


Once you've contacted these professionals, they'll be able to come out and assess how difficult the situation is before coming up with a plan of action and will be able to do the work promptly.

The next step is clean up which involves drying out all wet materials and removing any water-logged items from the property as soon as possible! If you try to salvage stained or damaged furnishings, likely, they'll never look good again, so just throw them away - many stores specialize in this kind of thing for your convenience.

It also goes without saying that if you have heavy furniture near surfaces touching the water, move it at least three feet back before letting anyone dry these areas with fans.

Now we can get into some serious restoration: After everything has been dried thoroughly (at least 48 hours!), sand patches where mold might grow and then use a dehumidifier to prevent any recurrence of the problem.

Next, remove all stickers that contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can release toxic gases when heated. This includes some adhesive labels on items such as canned goods or furniture legs.

Finally, spray surfaces with an extra-strength mold killer before painting over water stains or replacing damaged boards; it takes about two weeks for DIYers to finish these steps, so be patient!

When professionals undertake restoration work in commercial properties, they often have more tools than amateurs like you and me. They may apply fungicides after removing old sealant from wood decks made out of synthetic materials since dampness usually causes problems. 


Different Types of Wood and The Effects of Water Damage


Just as different types of wood react differently to water, the same goes for finishes. It is crucial to match your finish with the type of wood you are using to withstand contact with moisture and doesn't peel or chip away from exposure to rain or wet ground. 


Wood Types/Water Damage

 *Oak - The best materials for refinishing oak are natural oil-based stains like tung oil because they have a tough surface film that resists moisture penetration. You can also use wax if you want a glossy look!

If you need an extra layer of protection, apply either varnish or polyurethane on top before applying the final coat (or mixed), which will be just as durable but won't provide the same level of transparency.

*Cedar - Cedar is a softer wood, and so it's best to use oil-based products as they'll penetrate the surface more deeply, meaning you can get away with fewer coats!

*Maple - Maple has a fairly soft texture, too, making it difficult for water to seep in deep enough to cause any damage unless there are cracks that allow moisture inside. That means if you refinish maple using oil-based stains like tung oil, one should be enough to make it waterproof.

*Pine - Pine contains more sap than oak or maple, so it can't take as much moisture before being damaged and has an uneven grain pattern which can cause problems with absorption when using oil-based products (so use them sparingly). The best thing to do for pine is to apply varnish on top after applying stain! 


Professional Equipment Used to Restore Wood from Water Damage

 Deep-Clean - This process will remove any minerals, dirt, and water from the wood before you can refinish it. It's an expensive option but well worth it if your damage is severe enough to need it!

Sanding - A very important part of the restoration process for all species of woods as this removes deep scratches or gouges to prepare them for stain/finishing products. The sandpaper grit ranges from 220 (very coarse) to 800 (extra fine).

Staining - After sanding, use a rag dipped in tung oil. Wipe the wood down gently with long strokes until the desired color has been achieved, then quickly follow up by wiping over the surface with mineral spirits, so drips don't form.

Refinishing- This is ultimately the process that will give you a beautiful, finished product. There are many different products out there, but an oil-based polyurethane will work just fine for most commercial properties!

There are many ways to handle water damage to wood in commercial properties. In many cases, the wood can be restored or replaced. Water-damaged wood can be sanded and restored to its original state. If the finish has been stripped, it will need to be refinished. There are several different options and ways to handle restorations.

Maintaining Control of Infectious Diseases in the Workplace

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

seated man sneezing near onlooking female coworkers Avoid contact with sick individuals and stay away from public places where there may be an increased risk of infection by airborne transmissions.

What Are Infectious Diseases?

 The World Health Organization reports that communicable diseases caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses are the major cause of death in the world. The WHO also estimates that these types of infections account for about 2 million deaths annually.

To reduce this number, we must first understand how they spread and control them in the workplace. 


Infectious Disease Control

 Infectious disease control is preventing and controlling infectious diseases to reduce or eliminate their harmful effects. This includes both occupational health and public health, which work together with a common goal: To protect people from illness caused by microorganisms that they may come across at work or as part of daily life. 


The primary methods for preventing infectious diseases in the workplace are:

 
  • Hand hygiene
  • Vaccinations
  • Proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)


A solid rule to follow is that if you think you might touch your nose, mouth, or eyes before washing your hands, you should wash them.

This is an important precaution because these are the parts of our body that are most likely to become infected with bacteria and other organisms.

 


The Importance of Infection Control in the Workplace

 It is important to take precautions in the workplace because many infectious diseases can be transmitted by coming into contact with blood, other bodily fluids, or items contaminated with these substances.

Awareness is the key to maintaining control of infectious diseases in the workplace and preventing them from spreading. 


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes gloves, masks, and eye goggles/face shields. The type of PPE will depend on the exposure risk. For example, if you're working with a known pathogen, then gloves and possibly eye protection are necessary to prevent contamination from occurring during contact. 


The steps for donning your PPE properly include:

 -Make sure all clothing is removed before putting on any personal protective equipment.
-Put on the gloves and make sure they fit.
-Take off your rings, watches, bracelets, or anything else that can't be worn inside PPE before putting it on.
-Wear any items such as boots or gloves first, then put on the other layers.
-Attach your mask by tying it around your head or slipping over your nose and mouth where it will stay in place with elastic bands at either side of the top of the face shield to hold tight against your forehead. 


How Infectious Diseases Are Classified

 Infectious diseases can be classified into two categories: non-communicable diseases and infectious diseases. Communicable diseases are transmitted from person-to-person while non-communicable diseases are not contagious or passed on from one person to another.

This article will focus on communicable infectious diseases in the workplace, including their prevention, symptoms, transmission methods, and treatments.

Viruses, bacteria, and fungi cause infectious diseases. Viruses can be transmitted in droplets or fluids from coughing, sneezing, or spitting. Bacteria may be spread through contact with a wound of an infected person and the ingestion of contaminated food and water. Fungi can also contaminate foods that have been left out. 


Ways to Prevent Infectious Diseases

 The first step for prevention is to maintain a safe and clean work environment by following these simple steps: 
  • Wash hands with soap or disinfectant, especially after touching common areas such as handles, keyboards, etc.
  • Clean surfaces that are touched frequently, including doorknobs and desks.
  • Store food in the refrigerator/freezer and, if necessary, in a clean area.
  • It is best not to eat at your desk or while working on the computer.

No one wants to get sick! These simple steps will go a long way towards preventing infection from common infectious diseases such as colds, flu, and norovirus, among others.


The second step is for people who have been diagnosed with an infectious disease to:

  • Not return to work until the illness has gone away.
  • Follow any instructions from your doctor to prevent the spread of infection.


If a person is exhibiting symptoms, they should stay home from school or work to not pass on whatever it is they have to others.


The third step is for immune-compromised people, such as those with HIV:

  • Stay away from public places where there may be an increased risk of infection by airborne transmissions, like shopping malls or theaters.
  • Take precautions when coming into contact with other people, including avoiding touching hands and surfaces that might have been contaminated.


The fourth step is for people who are not immune-compromised, such as those without HIV:

  • Avoid contact with sick individuals and stay away from public places where there may be an increased risk of infection by airborne transmissions like shopping malls or theaters.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after touching a surface that may have been contaminated, such as a shopping cart handle, a door handle, a computer keyboard.
  • Avoid making contact with others if they are sick. If you must make contact with someone who is sick, wash your hands thoroughly first and refrain from touching surfaces that may have been contaminated.


The fifth step would be for people in the workplace:

Make sure all employees feel confident about recognizing symptoms of the disease
Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

To take precautions against disease-spreading mosquitoes, people can take measures to reduce contact with them:

Stay inside during evening hours, dusk-dawn, where mosquitoes are most active. Take steps to avoid mosquito bites, like use mosquito repellent.
Drain or cover containers that hold water, as mosquitoes need standing water to reproduce.

By understanding the importance of controlling infectious diseases in the workplace, we can prevent the spread of diseases.

Preventing Mold Growth in Orlando Commercial Properties

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

messy office with mold and water stains on walls Mold that is left untreated can cause significant damage to your commercial property in Orlando

Mold is a common problem that plagues many Orlando commercial properties. It can result in significant damages, as well as lost revenue for the property's owner. To prevent mold from growing in a commercial building, it's essential to take specific steps. 


What Kinds of Mold Grows in Florida's Commercial Buildings?


In Florida and other hot states, there are a few common types of mold that will grow in commercial buildings: 


Aspergillus - Aspergillus is amongst the most commonly found mold species and thrives indoors in the right environment.

Stachybotrys atra - This type of mold can grow in buildings that are damp and humid.

Penicillium - This is one of the most common molds found indoors and growing on many surfaces from carpets, clothing, food products like cheese, bread to building materials.


To prevent mold growth in your office, follow these steps:


Keep humidity levels below 60% by using a humidifier or dehumidifier. Heating and air conditioning systems should be installed to regulate the temperature for optimal indoor comfort with a range of 65°F (18.33°C) - 75°F (23.89°C).

Avoid overuse of ventilation units which can cause condensation on surfaces where water may collect if it's cold outside or too humid indoors.
Be sure that all floors are clean before leaving them wet from mop bucket water spills. Wipe down any upholstery furniture and carpets regularly, so dust collects less inside. Clean windowsills, window seats, vents, and other areas.

 

Commercial Buildings: What Can Cause Mold Growth


Mold can also grow in a variety of areas, but they thrive on warm and humid surfaces. This is why it's essential to wipe down all upholstery furniture and carpets regularly, so dust collects less inside the building.

Windowsills allow moisture from rain or snow into your buildings, where it can collect for days before evaporating back out again, which means if you have leaks around windowsill seals, then mold will form quickly as a result.
Ventilation systems that are not adequately designed or cleaned also contribute to humidity levels increasing indoors.

Some tips to prevent potential mold growth at home or work include keeping humidity levels below 60% using a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Also, be sure to use a dehumidifier and clean out the ducts regularly. Be sure that your building has good ventilation and that the heat is not making it too humid.

Mold can grow in Orlando commercial properties if there are leaks around windowsill seals, inadequate ventilation systems, or high humidity levels. It's always best to practice prevention to don't have to deal with mold growth later. 


Steps To Take to Prevent Mold Growth


Remove any musty odors or leaks contributing to the growth of mold. Install quality air conditioning and heating systems so if there are excess moisture levels in the building due to flooding or heavy rains. They will be able to properly escape from the building without becoming trapped and causing more moisture problems down the line.

Other steps you should take to prevent mold and mildew growth are installing a high-quality, tight grout sealant in the seams of your building's foundation. You'll also want to remove any stagnant water sources that may be present on your property or nearby it.

This includes puddles from storm runoff or other potential hazards like ponds without lids. Finally, make sure there is proper ventilation for all drywall joints so moisture doesn't get trapped behind them - this can lead to more severe problems down the line if not caught early enough. 


Removing Mold from Commercial Buildings

 The Florida humid climate is perfect for the growth of mold and mildew. Mold typically grows in damp areas with a lack of air circulation, like bathrooms or kitchens with poor ventilation.

It's essential to take preventative measures against these types of infestations so they don't spread throughout your commercial building and make it uninhabitable.

One way you can do this is by keeping moist surfaces dry as much as possible. If this isn't possible, try using an appropriate surface cleaner that will kill any living organisms trying to live on wet materials such as tile grout sealant or disinfecting wipes explicitly designed for killing mold spores around sinks and drains.

It would be best if you refrained from cleaning up spills yourself; instead, contact professionals trained in commercial mold removal.

Additionally, it would help if you washed out any sponges or mop heads used to clean and disinfect surfaces that may contact water after use. It's important for these materials not to be reused because they could quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus spores.

These simple precautions will go far in preventing mold growth and its related damages on Orlando commercial properties throughout Central Florida.

Protect against lost revenue due to downtime periods caused by these issues properties throughout Central Florida and protect against lost revenue generated by downtime periods due to these issues.

Newly Constructed Home Fire Damage Story

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees outside of fire damaged home The garage of this newly built home went up in flames before the family even finished moving. Luckily, they relied on SERVPRO in their time of need.

A Dream Home Nightmare

Picture this: Five years ago, you bought a piece of empty property in a beautiful neighborhood you’ve always desired to live in. You have the opportunity to build your dream home and design it the way you want it. You design a beautiful home that is perfect for you and your family to live happily in for many years to come. You spend lots of time pulling the proper permits and finding a home builder that you can trust to bring your vision to life.

It takes a lot of time, but you finally break ground a few years later. You can see the dream home you envisioned finally come to life. Now let’s fast forward to June of 2020. Your home is nearly completed. All it needs are some finishing touches before you and your family can move in. The excitement you and your family have grows the closer you all get to moving day.

A week later, your home is finally done and it's ready to start moving into. The feeling of relief is great as you start to move your furniture into your new home. You can see the smiles on your kids’ faces as they get settled in their new rooms. The day is finally here. Now you can enjoy life living in the dream home you always imagined. You spent the day and got all your furniture and belongings in the living room and kitchen settled. You head back to your old house as you prepare for the next big day of moving.

All of a sudden, the last thing you would ever expect to happen in your brand new home, happens. The faulty wiring in the electric panel causes your garage to go up in flames. Your neighbor alerts the fire department but by the time they arrive, the blaze has already burned away a good portion of the garage and caused substantial damage to your brand new home.

This is no random scenario.

This is a true story of what one of SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando’s clients actually experienced. When we first got the call and went out to inspect, we could only imagine how upset the homeowner was to see their brand new home go up in flames and undergo major damage. His family had not even fully moved in yet before their home was destroyed. They never even got to enjoy the home they spent years designing and building before it was damaged by the flames.

Besides the completely ruined garage and half the living room, the rest of the home was damaged by smoke, ash, and soot which were remnants left by the fire. However, not all hope was lost.

What Did the Homeowner Do Next?

The homeowner called on SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando to help and we were able to save and restore the family’s new home. We used air scrubbers to get rid of the smoke smell and had a demolition crew remove walls, ceilings, and floors affected by the soot. This was all necessary in restoring this home to its previous state. Once all the smoke damage had been removed from the home, it was finally time for them to start rebuilding.

It has sure been a long, stressful process for the family but SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando was there to help when they thought all hope was lost. Currently, the home’s garage has been demolished and is being rebuilt. Very soon this beauty will be returned to its former state, and it will be - "Like it never even happened."

Fire Damage Restoration Process

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

woman looking at the aftermath of a fire in her home There are many hazards that come with the aftermath of a fire. You should wait for an inspector to deem the property safe before you enter.

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

Few events can prove more detrimental to a property or its owners than fire. Fortunately, such occurrences do not necessarily have to spell the end of said structures. However, favorable outcomes in the wake of these events often necessitate the aggressive intervention of a fire restoration company like SERVPRO.

Salvaging a residential or commercial property following a fire requires adherence to strict guidelines such as:

Ensuring The Property Is Secured

Fire-damaged properties often possess several notable safety hazards.

First, these locations could still be precariously warm. The smoldering ashes and soot enveloping various internal components can still be too hot for persons to safely spend extended time periods and might precipitate potentially serious health effects.

Additionally, fire can create unsafe air. Oftentimes, infernos send a host of contaminants and pollutants into the surrounding air. Inhalation of these particles could result in short and long-term health effects.

Furthermore, the fire-destructed property could prove structurally unsafe. Structural instability could result in injury-inducing, potentially fatal events like building collapses.

Therefore, structural engineers and other safety experts must examine the fouled construction and ensure it is safe enough to spend any appreciable amount of time inside.

Performing A Thorough Assessment

Once the structure in question is secure, a team of experienced fire restoration professionals can enter the said property and perform a comprehensive evaluation. These trained subjects will determine the percentage of the structure that sustained fire damage, in addition to the severity of said destruction.

These findings will enable the investigating team to opine what remediation needs to be executed and the most befitting way to complete the said process.  
Minimizing The Overall Damage As Much As Possible

The extent of the fire event often dictates if any personal property or the structure's interior components can be salvaged. However, following minor to moderate events, homeowners might be able to save certain property or heirlooms. Said holdings should be taken out of the damaged construction as soon as possible.

Beginning The Cleaning Process

As soon as the appropriate authorities deem the structure secure, the cleansing stage should commence.

Fire damage often leaves a significant number of large messes to clean, including soot, ash, and an appreciable accumulation of water used to douse said flames.

Many fire restoration specialists will reiterate the potential hazards contained in fire byproducts like soot and ashes. That said, water contamination can be just as if not more harmful to the property left intact, those executing the cleanup efforts, and the residents, employees, or patrons returning to the soon-to-be restored residential or commercial construction.

Small quantities of water are more than enough to cause extensive damage to interior features, such as walls, ceilings, various types of flooring, and furniture upholstery.

Moreover, water can quickly spurn the growth of illness-inducing substances like mildew and mold. These materials are known to precipitate appreciable health effects in sensitive individuals.

Ergo, these materials must be removed as quickly as possible by those holding the experience to complete said task properly. Furthermore, even the most minor fires will leave a trail of smoke, stains, and foul odors behind.

Eradicating these problematic occurrences often necessitates intense and comprehensive cleansing using products and implements specifically designed to tackle such jobs. Additionally, water removal may require specialized fans, dehumidifiers, and heaters. Furthermore, thorough remediation of carpeting and upholstery might be indicated to remove bothersome odors.

Restoration

Restoration is the process's final stage. The extent of this undertaking will depend heavily on the fire's severity and the type of material damaged as a result.

Typically, paint is a common fire casualty. This aesthetic wall covering often develops discernible bubbling and blistering following said events. Such damage must be scraped clean and thoroughly repainted.

Moreover, there is no one universal method for remediating, repairing, or replacing damaged materials like wood. Every building product falls under its own set of therapeutic protocols that must be carefully followed.

Skilled restoration contractors will possess this experience and know the proper remediation techniques to employ.

Contacting SERVPRO

Fires are often devastating events. However, residential and commercial property owners can recover from them. That said, they must act quickly and entrust an experienced restoration company like SERVPRO to handle the delicate but crucial steps needed to complete the restoration process.

Trying to Remove Cigarette Smoke Damage from Your Home

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Hand turning off a cigarette in an ashtray full of ashes and cigarettes The process for eliminating smoke odor in your house depends on the severity of contamination.

Don’t let the stale odor of cigarette smoke contaminate your indoor air quality. Removing cigarette smoke demands patience – the acidic smoke leaves resins and tars that permeate everything in the vicinity.

The process for eliminating smoke odor in your house depends on the severity of contamination. If someone smoked inside for a decade, restoration may require a more invasive approach, such as throwing items out or even replacing the drywall and carpet. If the room smells like an ashtray, consider throwing out items that don’t have sentimental value – sometimes that overstuffed couch is just too smelly and not worth the time and money you would spend on restoring it.

SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando has a few suggestions to show you how to remove the cigarette smoke smell from your house. You might be able to eliminate the smoke smell with just a few of these tips, or the job may require a combination of several methods (and repetition) to remove the odor entirely. 

Start with Hard Surfaces

Begin by opening all windows and doors to provide ventilation while you clean. Use a spray bottle and a rag to wipe down all hard surfaces with a 50 / 50 solution of white vinegar and hot water. You may also wash the walls and ceiling with a mixture of 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, and a gallon of hot water.

Leave no surface untouched: Clean walls, doors, knobs, light fixtures (bulbs too), ceilings, fan blades, and anything the smoke came in contact with. Wipe down all knickknacks, photo frames, and decorations as well. Consider throwing out items such as lampshades and throw pillows that absorb odors well and are easy to replace. To reach high spots, use a ladder or an extension pole with a rag clamp.

Wash Fabrics

Next, focus on fabric, carpet, and upholstery – beginning with what you can’t throw in the washing machine. Sprinkle everything with baking soda, and let it sit for a few days. Once the baking soda has had a chance to absorb the odor, vacuum it all up and repeat as necessary. Then steam clean the carpets. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, you can buy or rent one at your local hardware store. If your steam cleaner has an upholstery attachment, use this to clean drapes or upholstered furniture too.

Wash your laundry-safe fabrics (couch-cushion covers, some drapes, and curtains) in the machine with 1/2 cup vinegar instead of detergent. Follow up with another wash cycle with your preferred detergent. It’s best to let these items air-dry outside to prevent shrinkage. 

Air Circulation & Purification

If weather permits, keep windows and doors open for as long as is practical. Use fans to encourage air circulation – have one fan blowing air from outside on one side of the room, and put another fan across the room to exhaust the air outside. An air purifier with a HEPA filter can help remove odor-causing molecules. If the odor remains after you air out your home, place activated charcoal or bowls of white vinegar (or even apple cider vinegar) around the rooms to absorb odors. Replace the charcoal or vinegar every few days. Be wary of scented “odor removal” products, which may just mask the smell instead of removing it. 

Homeowners should also replace HVAC air filters. Your home’s air filters help remove odor-causing molecules, and they work best if they’re replaced every two to three months. Consult with the furnace or AC unit manufacturer to find a filter that may help with odor removal (e.g., charcoal or HEPA filters). You should also inspect your ducts for any dust or debris that may contain smoke molecules; this may be contaminating the fresh air in your home as it travels down your ducts. If you see buildup, hire a professional to clean your ducts. 

Ozone Generator

If the smoke odor still lingers after you complete all these steps, an ozone generator is your next best option. Ozone is a powerful cleanser and is very effective at eliminating odors. Ozone generators create activated oxygen. By oxidizing the smoke molecules, they can eliminate the smoke smell entirely (if used properly). Homeowners can rent or purchase ozone generators from their local hardware store. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, which usually involve leaving the machine running in a closed room for a specific period of time. 

Call the Experts

Removing the smell of cigarette smoke can be a frustrating process. SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando can assist with placing HEPA-filtered air scrubbers and Ozone equipment. However, we cannot guarantee that the smell of cigarette smoke will be removed from a property. Give us a call today for more information!

2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

satellite image of huricane over florida According to a forecast released by Colorado State University, we are unlikely to have a passive hurricane season this year.

After everything that’s happened over the past year, we may feel like we deserve a quiet hurricane season.

“We are forecasting a well-above-average hurricane season,” said Phil Klotzbach, research scientist for Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project, in a presentation Thursday to the National Tropical Weather Conference.

The forecast cited two major reasons to expect a busy season. This year is unlikely to experience an El Niño, the warming of part of the Pacific Ocean that produces high-level winds over the Atlantic that can tear up storm systems before they can form hurricanes.

The forecast, if it turns out to be accurate, would not be as bad as last year’s record-breaking season, which generated 30 named storms, including 13 hurricanes, exhausting the list of hurricane names selected for that year.

The prediction released last month by AccuWeather, the private forecasting service, which said to expect seven to 10 hurricane, with three to five reaching major strength.

Early season forecasts have varied in accuracy. Last year Colorado State’s April forecast called for eight hurricanes for a season that would produce 13. But the previous year, the April forecast was pretty close, predicting five hurricanes for a season that would produce six. And the year before that, the prediction called for seven hurricanes, and the season produced eight.

Forecast released closer to the season’s start date tend to be the most accurate. Colorado State and other forecasters will be releasing updated outlooks, including ones before the season’s peak begins in August.

Hurricane Names for the 2021 Season

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

radar image of Hurricane Charlie over Florida Some hurricane names are remembered far longer such as Hurricane Charlie which caused significant damage in Florida in 2004.

The start of our hurricane season is under two months away. It's hard to believe the season is approaching so quickly, but now is a good time to review your hurricane plan. 

What You Need To Know

  • List of names for a hurricane season rotates every six years
  • This list was last used in 2015
  • Elsa and Julian are new to the list of names
  • The World Meteorological Organization selects which names are used

There are many people moving to hurricane-prone locations, particularly from non-tropical locations where hurricane seasons are a new concept.

Here’s what you should consider as we approach hurricane season:

  • Know your evacuation zone
  • Create an emergency supplies kit
  • Have a list of important documents and medications
  • Think about finances- have extra cash available in the event of power outages
  • Write your hurricane plan and review with the family
  • Review your insurance policies
  • Strengthen your home

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Remember, storms can form during the “off-season.” It happened just last year when Tropical Storm Arthur and Tropical Storm Bertha during the month of May. 

This year is likely to be busier than average, but remember, it takes only one storm to make a hurricane season bad for someone. 

The names for the 2021 hurricane season are below.

Did your name make this list?

  1. Ana
  2. Bill
  3. Claudette
  4. Danny
  5. Elsa
  6. Fred
  7. Grace
  8. Henri
  9. Ida
  10. Julian
  11. Kate
  12. Larry
  13. Mindy
  14. Nicholas
  15. Odette
  16. Peter
  17. Rose
  18. Sam
  19. Teresa
  20. Victor
  21. Wanda

There are six lists of names for the Atlantic hurricane season that rotate out. This means this list was used six years ago in 2015 and will be used again in the year 2027. 

The only names that don't recycle with the list in the future are those that become retired. This year, the names Elsa and Julian are new to this list after Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Joaquin were retired in 2015. 

Tropical Storm Erika was a 50 mph tropical storm affecting the Antilles, especially Dominica. The flooding was the notable component of this storm after over 30 inches of rain fell. There were 31 fatalities from Tropical Storm Erika. 

Hurricane Joaquin led to 34 deaths in 2015 after slamming into the Bahamas as a Category 4 hurricane. 

Where do these names come from?

The World Meteorological Organization is the agency responsible for retiring storm names and coming up with names for the season lists. New for this year is the naming convention of tropical cyclones after the original list of names is used up.

Historically, storms would be named after Greek letters, but that will not be the case moving forward.

Recovering Water Damaged Floors

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

warped hardwood floor from water damage Buckling or warped hardwood floors are common signs of water damage.

No one wants a water-damaged floor, but in many cases, it can’t be helped. Over time, invisible leaks, added humidity, or seeping groundwater can make even durable, waterproofed floors give way.

If you suspect water damage to your floor, here’s what you need to do:

1. Look for Signs of Moisture Damage

If you’ve experienced flooding, leaks, or any water incident, you need to check your floor for signs of damage. Damage to hardwood floors is the easiest to spot. Wooden floors may show peaking, buckling, cupping, and discoloration.

Telltale Signs of Damage in Different Floor Types

Hardwood Floors

Cupping in hardwood floors.

The most common sign of floor moisture in hardwood floors is cupping. The board edges curl upward, leaving the midsection with a slight dip. In addition:

  • Crowning or when the center of the wood gets higher than the edges
  • Discoloration
  • Dark spots (mold or mildew)
  • Buckling or when the wooden planks detach from the subfloor (foundation for a floor) beneath it

Laminate Floors

Moisture isn’t a laminate floor’s friend. While it is considered more durable than hardwood floors and vinyl flooring, laminate floors give way when exposed to water or moisture.

Common indicators of water damage to laminate floors:

  • Cupping
  • Warping, swelling, and separation
  • Splitting, cracking
  • Mold

Tile Floors

Tiles, especially those constantly getting wet (ex. bathroom tiles) also get damaged over time. Water can infiltrate the grout cracks and affect the subfloor beneath the tiles. This can cause the tiles to move and detach from the subfloor. Signs of tile floor damage include:

  • Loose, moving tiles
  • Cracked and/or discolored grout
  • Hollow sounds when tapped
  • Stains
  • Mold and presence of pests (ex. Termites, ants)
  • Musty odor

Vinyl Floors

Vinyl flooring is waterproof but it’s still susceptible to damages due to flooding or extreme moisture. Water-damaged vinyl floors may appear:

  • Discolored (and/or moldy)
  • Bulgy
  • Warped
  • Buckled

2. Fix the Leaks

Before doing repairs, you must eliminate the source to keep your new floor from getting waterlogged the next time. Excess moisture can come from:

  • Clean water (rain, leaks)
  • Gray water (waste from appliances and clean toilets)
  • Black water (contaminated water, ex. sewage)
  • Groundwater

Clean water leaks are safe to clean and with basic plumbing know-how, you can manage the leaks by yourself. Contaminated water leaks, however, need extra care. You can hire experts (ex. general contractors or plumbers) to get the leaks cleaned up and repaired safely. 

3. Prep the Floor for Repair/Replacement

Usually, it’s best to have professionals perform both the cleanup and repair. However, you may do this by yourself.

Step 1. Remove the surface water. Use a shop vacuum to remove as much water as you can from the floor’s surface. Using a sponge/squeegee may also help, but don’t forget to wear a pair of rubber gloves!

Step 2. Clean the floor. Mix your preferred detergent with a mild disinfectant. Using a stiff brush, scrub the entire floor with the solution. Make sure to scrub away dirt, grime, silt, or any organic material from the floor. If there’s mold, treat the affected area with trisodium phosphate.

Step 3. Let it dry. Allow the floor to dry naturally. Open the doors and the windows to maximize airflow.

4. Make the Necessary Repairs

The decision to repair or replace your water-damaged floor is entirely up to you. Light damages will only need repair, but floors with extensive and obvious damage will need replacement.

Special Tips for Recovering Different Types of Water-Damaged Floor

Hardwood

Simply screw or nail boards that appear slightly lifted back into place, but remove the water-damaged floor planks. Using a saw, cut the damaged floor planks. Lift the damaged section and remove it with a pry bar. Next, nail the new boards to the floor. Before staining, sand the old and the replacement boards so they match. Apply stain and a polyurethane finish.

Laminate

Water-damaged laminate boards show signs of swelling and separation. In this case, you may replace the damaged boards individually. However, in the case of extensive water damage (ex. flood), the usual option is to replace the whole floor. 

Vinyl

Make sure the floor is dry before attempting to replace or repair buckling on your vinyl floor. Cut out the damaged vinyl then pry it off the floor using a screwdriver. You can replace the damaged part or reuse the vinyl.

Tiles

Water-damaged subfloors expand and cause the tiles to crack or detach from the subfloor. To remove ceramic tiles, lift the loose tiles and pry them up from the floor. You may reuse the tiles (unless they’re cracked or broken) after cleaning them. To reinstall, make sure to use a matching grout. If you want to make sure the installation is water-tight, seek expert help.

Flood Water Classification Overview

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

white toilet with lid open against a dark background Flooding from water that is known to be contaminated such as a backed-up septic tank or toilet is classified as "Black Water"

Three Main Water Categories

There are three main classifications of floodwaters: clear water, gray water, and black water. Although their names imply it, these aren't wholly determined by the color of the water, but instead by a few factors related to how many contaminants are in the water. Clear water is somewhat rare, as most of the time it picks up enough contaminants to become at least gray, but black water is by far the most hazardous and damaging of the three. Never try to deal with black water yourself, as its interaction necessitates the kind of heavy gear and training that SERVPRO equips its technicians with. Here are a few key facts about each type of water.

Clean Water

Clean water originates from water mains, pipes, and other sources of relatively untampered water in your home. Knoxville flood damage with clear water is lighter and easier to restore than other types of damage, due to both reduced volumes of water and lighter safety procedures during the task. This water is usually identifiable as being clear and unclouded. However, time is important, as without quick removal clean waters can progress and become gray.

Gray Water

The awkward middle child of flood damage, gray water concerns water that may or may not have significant contaminants in it, and thus pose a potential health risk. More care is required in these waters, and they can be deceiving, as they too may sometimes be clear in appearance.

Black Water

The most dangerous and damaging type of water that SERVPRO deals with is black water, which can originate from a storm flood, a major health hazard such as a septic tank overflow, or when gray water is left untreated. This water contains dangerous contaminants, including fungi and microbes that may cause health effects. Black water stains surfaces easily and is often more violent in their damage, so in addition to having the most restrictive safety precautions, this type of water also often causes the most damage.

Commercial Sprinkler Floods in Orlando, FL

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

sprinkler head with flames in the background Although a sprinkler system can help minimize the potential overall damage from a fire, the aftermath of flood damage still needs to be addressed.

A typical business owner in Orlando, FL, doesn’t spend time pondering the effects of catastrophic flooding due to fire sprinklers being activated. However, it’s a problem that can quickly get out of control and cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. The obvious solution to the problem is prevention, but you first need to know what causes the issues.

Reasons For Accidental Activation

Contrary to popular belief, modern sprinkler systems aren’t activated by fire alarms or smoke from burnt food in an employee breakroom. They instead have to be subjected to extreme heat that will either burst the red liquid bulb or melt the metal sensor. However, there are cases where they will activate accidentally, and the following are common reasons for this to happen:

Sprinkler heads being used as hangers

Improper installation

Vandalization

Factory accidents

Immediate Steps To Mitigate Losses

In an emergency flooding situation, the first critical step is to turn off the water. In an office or factory setting, it’s important to have multiple designated employees who know how to do this. Once the water is shut off, cleanup can begin. Hundreds of gallons of water can be released in a short period of time, so water damage to floors, walls, and machinery happens quickly. The most thorough plan is to contact a water restoration company, which will be able to correctly dry each surface and reduce mold risk.

Long Term Approach

Once the initial cleanup is underway, the next step is to contact the insurance company and prevent the problem from ever occurring again. Employees must be trained to never touch or hang anything near a sprinkler head, and ideal placement for them is in a location difficult for a person or machine to accidentally contact.

Flooding in your business can seem overwhelming. However, there are steps you can take to prevent and minimize damage. A good water restoration company will have your facility looking “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO COVID-19 Cleaning Services in Orlando, FL

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees gathering before a COVID-19 commercial cleaning Our team takes every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of both parties when performing COVID-19 cleaning services.

Get Your Home or Business Cleaned and Sanitized Today!

As we face any type of crisis, we need to take every precaution to protect ourselves, our families, our businesses, and our community. Locally owned and operated, SERVPRO of University and SE Orlando is here to help you address the cleaning needs in your Athens home or business. 

As individuals in Orlando, each of us has a role in helping to prevent the spread of this illness by washing our hands, keeping an appropriate social distance, and keeping the surfaces in our indoor environments clean and germ-free. If you are overwhelmed, SERVPRO has services available to not only clean but also to apply disinfectants to minimize the chances of the spread of germs in Athens.

Our team at SERVPRO of University and SE Orlando understands the urgency of the situation and is working diligently to help our fellow Athens residents. 

  • When we arrive at your property, we make a plan and discuss it with you.
  • We apply EPA-registered solutions designed to help eliminate pathogens on a variety of hard and soft surfaces.
  • We may use specialized equipment to maximize the coverage of antimicrobial products such as foggers and air scrubbers for larger spaces. 
  • We pay close attention to any potential risks and wear the required personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job. 
  • We have extensive experience in assisting individuals and organizations when it feels like things have turned upside down.

Contact SERVPRO of University and SE Orlando by calling 407-678-5391. In this time of uncertainty, we are clear on the scope of services we provide, and they translate into additional protection for all of us.

Advice from the medical and scientific community regarding how to deal with the coronavirus is based on present knowledge, which is subject to change as the situation continues to develop. There can be no assurance that disinfectants alone will be adequate to fully eliminate the virus. We are not physicians or infectious disease professionals. Consult your medical professionals for individual medical advice.

Getting Your Business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned sticker being placed on a business window Being a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned business can help your employees, customers, and clients feel more comfortable with visiting your establishment.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities in Orlando re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry-leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high-frequency touchpoints, foot traffic, and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for the cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of University and SE Orlando today at 407-678-5391 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision-makers on the first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. A study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

Flooded Garages in Your Orlando Home

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

garage with workshop heavily flooded Excessive flooding needs to be handled by experienced professionals with the equipment to properly extract water and dry the structure of your garage.

Water Damage in Your Orlando Garage?

If you have recently experienced water damage to your Evans garage, one of the first steps would be to call your local SERVPRO of University and SE Orlando to help with clean up and restoring your property. The quicker you can start the drying process with our equipment, the quicker your home and your contents can be restored.

After calling your local SERVPRO of University and SE Orlando, we begin by arriving on-site to remove excess water. This is the most important step in our process as it can save your home from extensive damage. Our franchise uses 2 types of processes for drying:

  1. Extracting, or in other words, removing the water which would then use a truck mount extractor to pull the water from the affected area.
  2. Evaporation: This process requires the use of a dehumidifier to remove the water that has infiltrated the air that will then be disposed of through a drain in either a bathtub or sink.

After the Area Has Been Dried

After the extracting and dehumidifying process has been completed and the area will return to a normal moisture range. The next step would be to clean and make any repairs necessary to your Evans water damaged garage. This would include cleaning of any contents or textiles that may have been affected. We often clean floors and walls as well to assure that odors will not be present once we leave.

Need Help?

Call today if you have experienced water damage to your Orlando garage at 407-678-5391. SERVPRO of University and SE Orlando is always here to help!

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