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The Difference Between Water Mitigation and Water Restoration

3/7/2021 (Permalink)

As a business owner in Orlando, FL, it's important to know what to do if disaster strikes. Water damage can be devastating to your business and property. Knowing how to handle a water emergency can make the recovery process easier. Here you can learn the differences between water damage mitigation and water damage restoration, both of which should be performed by a professional flood cleanup company.

Mitigation happens first.
Mitigation is a temporary fix.
Restoration follows mitigation as needed.
Restoration can be a long process.

The mitigation process is designed to stop the effects of water damage from spreading. This process does not repair or replace any affected items, but it helps prevent further damage. During mitigation, a licensed restoration company uses specialized equipment and techniques to address water damage. Wet furniture, flooring, and drywall may be removed from your property. Materials and items that are deemed salvageable are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, then the building is professionally dried and inspected for structural stability. Your flood cleanup company will have the expertise to handle water emergencies quickly and efficiently.

Specialists in water damage restoration will be able to help you through a water disaster. After the mitigation process, your restoration company will begin the process of rebuilding. Restoration is designed to return your property to its pre-disaster state. The exact process will depend on the extent of the effects of the emergency. Generally, restoration services include replacing walls, floors, and other saturated materials, addressing impaired roofs, removing mold, and testing moisture levels to confirm problems are fixed. When the restoration is complete, your building will be safe again.
After your property has been affected by water damage, you need a flood cleanup company you can trust to help you get back on your feet. While mediation and restoration can be done separately, most emergencies call for both processes. The goal is to get your Orlando, FL, business back to its preloss condition in a safe and efficient manner.

Cleaning Electronics After a Fire

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

If you experience the unfortunate event of a fire in your home, you'll worry about the safety and well-being of your loved ones most. Your thoughts may then turn to the home itself and whether you can still live in it after the fire cleanup. Of course, you can't forget about your possessions either. Items such as furniture, documents, and keepsakes could be at risk. Your electronics are also vulnerable to damage from the fire and smoke. Thankfully, cleanup is possible.

What to Avoid After a Fire

In the aftermath of a fire in your home, you have some immediate responsibilities. Once crews put out the blaze, you'll want to inform your insurance company of the incident and file a claim. You should also call a professional fire mitigation company in Orlando, FL, to restore your home. When it comes to damaged electronics, keep these things in mind:

  • If it's safe to do so, unplug all of your electronics.
  • Never try to turn on any electronic devices.
  • Don't start cleaning the electronics unless you know what you're doing. 

Getting Help

It's best to leave electronic cleaning to the professionals. Experienced technicians can take devices with smoke damage and salvage them for further use. The pros have the right equipment and know-how to safely handle these items. 

The Process

As part of the fire cleaning process, technicians will take damaged electronics and first wipe away all soot and ash. A technician will then take apart the device to remove any debris or water from the inside. The professional may also use compressed air to blow out media ports or other smaller areas of the electronic item. 

Your Responsibility

Always make sure to back up files and data on your computers. For these and other devices, check with the manufacturer about any warranties. 

Fire cleanup can be extensive, so make sure you rely on the professionals. Skilled crews may even be able to salvage your electronics.

3 Steps To Take When There Is Water in Your Crawl Space

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Crawl spaces are often overlooked by homeowners until there’s a flood and they are forced to investigate. These areas are usually located between the ground and the first floor. Many homeowners struggle with entering crawl spaces, which are only several feet high. What you do not want to find is water in these spaces. These three safety tips are essential for ensuring that all water is removed from your home after heavy rainfall. 

1. Locate the Source of a Flood 

A wet crawl space is a result of water entering your home in an undesirable way. The following might cause this frustrating problem:

  • Poor foundation of the building 
  • Malfunctioning downspouts and gutters 
  • Ruptured water lines 
  • Excessive subterranean water 

It’s important to at least make an educated guess about what caused the flooding so that you can do everything you can to not make it worse. If you suspect a broken pipe, for example, it’s wise to avoid your shower, sinks, and toilet until your wet crawl space is clean. 

2. Consult With the Experts 

Orlando, FL, has many companies that specialize in residential water issues. Ideally, you want to trust water damage experts that are experienced and trained. They should be able to look over your property and know exactly what to do to make it as good as new. Repairs can be an extensive process, so patience and faith in a company are key. 

3. Waterproof Your Crawl Space 

Nobody can control the weather. Waterproofing your crawl space is an excellent way to get peace of mind when the clouds start to gather and you think your home might be the target of a natural disaster. There are many waterproofing techniques ranging from applying a sealant to your home’s foundation to installing a sump pump. 

The dark and muddy depths of a wet crawl space can be intimidating, especially when it's flooded. These three safety suggestions can help eliminate anxiety and simplify the clean-up process.

Here’s How to Avoid Water Damage During Construction

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Managing a construction business in Orlando, FL, is like juggling fireballs; your priorities rapidly change, and you always feel like you’re being burned. Regardless of the heat, water is not your friend here – in fact, water damage is something all new construction must deal with.

Preventing this damage is critical since at least part of the costs will be absorbed by the contractor, even on insured properties. Water pipe repair, replaced materials and added labor costs quickly add up, so anything you can do to stop damage before it occurs is to your advantage.

Pre-Construction Is the Best Chance to Prevent Water Intrusion 

Before construction begins, you should create a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program. A major part of that should include

  • Identifying areas susceptible to water infiltration
  • Building proper drainage to avoid areas being flooded.
  • Sending a request for information (RFI) to the engineer about any areas of concern.
  • Your Construction Company Should Have a Dedicated Quality Control Director 

Any large or mid-size construction company requires needs a specific person who is responsible for developing documentation, auditing, and improvement of all ongoing projects. They’re responsible for inspections and continually revise the plan as needed for changing conditions. They designate who will pay for damage and any necessary water pipe repair.

During construction, subcontractors should be fully aware of your QA/QC program. The director and your contract should clearly state a “no defects” policy, requiring all subcontractors to be responsible for broken pipes or creating a situation that interferes with your pre-construction planning.

Testing Your QA/QC Program 

Once the roof is in place, it needs to be tested by an expert. When the plumbing has been installed, run an air pressurization test of all piping systems. When the lines are filled with water at its nominal pressure, closely monitor them for at least the first 24 hours, with one person ready for immediate water pipe repair.

If you have questions about how to protect your construction site from water damage – or have suffered storm, flood, or burst pipe water intrusion – call a top restoration company for immediate service. SERVPRO is Faster to any size disaster. 

Choosing a Mitigation Company After a Fire

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

If you find your business has experienced fire damage, knowing what to do can feel overwhelming. After the emergency crews are done, you may be left with fire and water damage and wonder where to turn for help. Luckily, there are professional companies that handle the entire cleaning and restoration process regardless of the type of damage or structural repair needed. Here are five steps most fire restoration companies use to seamlessly return your business to its pre-fire condition.

1. Assessing the Damage

When you place a call to an insurance adjuster, they are likely to state that mitigation repair costs will be covered after paying a deductible. The restoration company will send a team to assess the damage and create an action plan.

2. Keeping the Area Protected

If your building is missing areas of the roof, outer wall, or windows, water could enter and cause more damage before the cleanup crews begin work. To prevent further water damage, the onsite team may install tarps to protect these areas.

3. Removing Water

Fire damage may not be the only problem your building faces. Water damage can also occur as a result of extinguishing the fire. Clean up teams may extract the water and use industrial blowers to dry the area quickly.

4. Cleaning Smoke and Soot

Now that the area is dry, the team may begin cleaning soot and ashes. If needed, they may use techniques to sanitize and remove smoke odors.

5. Returning the Area to Normal

As the last step in returning your business to normal, fire mitigation experts will repair items that can be fixed and replace items that cannot. During this phase, they may repaint walls or install new carpet. 

Working with a professional mitigation company after fire damage allows you to have a single point of contact throughout the entire process. They know what needs to be done to get your business looking and smelling like the fire never even happened.

Gain Restoration Peace of Mind with Trained, Certified Experts

1/24/2021 (Permalink)

If you get sick, you go to a trained medical professional to back to optimal health. If something happens to your home or business in Orlando, FL, don’t leave restoration up to chance. Count on trusted, certified restoration experts to handle any property damage, from flooding to mold to fire. Finding the right help means finding the right help that adheres to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification standards.

What Is IICRC?

For nearly 40 decades, this nonprofit has globally become an industry leader for setting standards and certifying technicians. To achieve a mitigation certificate, technicians take specialized classes on standards and techniques and are required to pass an exam. Afterward, they maintain certification through ongoing training. Areas of certification include:

Cleaning – Subspecialties include carpeting, flooring, leather cleaning, masonry, upholstery, rugs, and general cleaning.

Inspection – Technicians are trained to inspect all types of flooring, including wood, marble, laminate, tiles, carpet, and stone.

Restoration – This training focuses on techniques for microbial remediation, structural drying, fire and smoke damage, odor, water damage, commercial drying, and health and safety.

Why Training Matters

The lingering effects of water, smoke and fire damage can cause further problems and create unpleasant environments. When a storm happens or a fire breaks out, you want to fix it and forget it. SERVPRO prides itself on having IICRC certified professionals, as well as provides its own training to ensure every franchise has experts to handle any disaster. Along with learning the best techniques, they are also trained on using innovative equipment to ensure that mold, smoke, water or other damage is eradicated. Our ongoing franchise training means that no matter what you are facing, we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

While some situations may seem like they can be taken care of on their own, some damage to a property can remain hidden. Instead of hoping for the best, get the best to get your property back into pristine condition without any worry.

What To Do if You Smell Mold in Your Building

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

You never want to see mold growing in your Orlando, FL, building. This fungus can spread easily and is sometimes difficult to remove. However, there may be a problem that’s even worse. In some cases, you may notice a mold smell without any visible growth.

1. Why Do You Smell Mold if You Can’t See Any?

In most situations, a fungus smell will indicate that there is mold growing in the area, so you should never ignore it and hope that it goes away in time. The chances are that it will continue to get worse if it is not taken care of. The most likely reason that you are smelling mold without seeing growth is that it is hidden somewhere, perhaps inside the walls or underneath carpeting. It may even be lurking in the plumbing system.

2. How Do You Know if There Is a Growth?

One way to determine if the mold smell is indeed the result of a growth is to use an infrared camera. With this technology, it is possible to see areas of differing temperatures which can indicate moisture and the presence of fungal growth. You should have a professional come in to inspect the building as he or she will have a better idea of what to look for.

3. How Do You Get Rid Of It?

If it turns out that the mildew smell in your building is the result of mold growth, you should have it removed as soon as possible. The area should be contained to prevent spores from spreading throughout the building, and protective gear should be worn at all times during removal. The area should be thoroughly dried to keep the mold from coming back.

A mold remediation company can help locate mold growth in your building. They will then perform cleanup to remove the excess growth as well as the mold smell. Once the process is complete, your building will look and smell good as new.

Performing Beyond Expectations To Ensure a Job Well Done

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

When clients call about a property loss, it's important to verify the damage and create a plan to handle the issue. Insurance agent paperwork begins, focusing on fixing the situation with the correct attention and time. It's important, then, for companies to have a reliable place, somewhere that emphasizes expertise, organization, and contact. SERVPRO's restoration and remediation teams offer it all.

1. Going Above Guidelines To Provide the Best Work

As part of your preferred vendor program, the company strives to demonstrate professionalism and excellence at all times. That's why the national office diligently collaborates with franchises, maintaining high consistent standards. Insurers can expect detailed background checks for all employees, both full and part-time; in addition, regular quality assurance audits are completed to ensure that each branch continues to meet IICRC certification as well as corporate's 21 common ground rules.

2. Offering Thorough Communication and Documentation

Insurance agent communications, when done efficiently, can lower costs and streamline the process for all participants. When clients initiate a claim, staff begins a detailed file, focusing on relaying timely information and requests. Also, expect all equipment and processes to be noted throughout the job, ensuring that, when the task is finalized, insurance can have evidence from beginning to end of the problem and its resolution.

3. Educating and Training Employees Around the Clock

SERVPRO knows that it's not enough to know about how to work on an issue; employees need to continually grow in the profession. That's why our workforce has continued training, learning about new techniques and procedures that could save money and time. From IICRC classes to online self-paced modules, franchises stay up-to-date on how to best serve customers and insurers.

Insurance agent claims need punctual and accurate attention, working to mitigate damages the right way while keeping costs low. With SERVPRO's expert knowledge and timely tracking, projects can be completed to service both the customers' demands and the insurer's needs.

Precautions To Take With a Gas Leak

12/26/2020 (Permalink)

Occasionally, a news story will show the devastating results of a gas fire in a home. These damaging events sometimes result in a large explosion that destroys the entire home. A gas leak should be treated as an emergency and the proper precautions could save lives and property. Here are 5 steps to take if you smell gas or hear a hissing sound in your home:

Check the Stove. Since this is the most likely cause of gas in your home, make a quick check that all of the burners are off.

Avoid Electricity or Sparks. Turning on the lights or any small electrical devices could cause a spark, which could ignite a gas fire.

Know-How To Turn Off Your Gas. The gas turnoff valve is usually located outside the home near the gas meter and can be turned off with a wrench.

Open the doors and Windows. This will provide ventilation and airflow, dissipating the natural gas. 

Evacuate. Get out of the house and call 911.

Prevent a Gas Explosion

Quick action and smart thinking can prevent the sparks that could ignite a fire or an explosion. Educate your family about the above steps to take and make sure everyone knows that this is a dangerous situation. Calling in the proper authorities will result in an inspection to determine the source of the gas. The utility company can help with information on dealing with a gas leak.

Enable a Fire Cleanup

If a fire does develop get out of the house and call the fire department or 911. After the fire, contact a fire remediation team to proceed with the cleanup. The removal of soot and smoke damage after a gas fire is a job for trained technicians. Special equipment and techniques will restore your home "Like it never even happened," and allow you to return to your home once the cleanup is complete.

Tips for Inspecting Your Building’s Exterior Before a Storm

12/24/2020 (Permalink)

When a storm is coming to your office, you can't just focus on the assets inside the property. You need to make sure the outside of your building is safe from flood damage, as well.

The best way to preserve the walls, roof and windows of your property is to survey the outside of the office. You can then perform any necessary exterior maintenance. While this may sound time-consuming, it will limit your need for storm cleanup services in the long run. Below are some tips for conducting a building inspection.

Check the Walls

Water can easily seep through wall cracks during floods. You should thus look at your walls carefully to see if there are any gaps. You also need to look at the wall gaskets to make sure they are secured.

Look at the Siding

Siding is commonly damaged during major storms. This, in turn, can put your employees at risk. As part of your regular exterior maintenance, you should make sure the cladding of your building is secured. This could limit how much you spend on energy, as well.

Watch for Warning Signs

Corrosion, rust, leaks and degradation are seemingly minor problems that can become more severe if not treated before a storm. Some of these warning signs may be hard for you to find. That is why you should bring in a professional engineer or architect to help you keep the building maintained. Still, you should also conduct cursory walkthroughs on your own in between the formal inspections.

Focus on the Windows

Your windows actually break down more quickly than other parts of your building do. Make sure to check the seals to ensure no unwanted air or water can get into the office.

Proper exterior maintenance can limit harm to your office. If your property does suffer storm damage, however, flood cleanup and restoration specialists can help you rebuild.