Recent Posts

Here’s How to Avoid Water Damage During Construction

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Water extraction equipment on a carpet Water extraction in Orlando, FL

Here’s How to Avoid Water Damage During Construction

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.

What To Do if You Smell Mold in Your Building

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall Mold growth in an Orlando, FL building

What To Do if You Smell Mold in Your Building

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.

Gain Restoration Peace of Mind with Trained, Certified Experts

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

White brick wall with the words WHAT IS THE IICRC SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage

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.

How To Design an Escape Plan for Your Office

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Escape plan Having a good fire escape plan can help keep everyone in your building safe

Steps to Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Office

One of your top concerns about your office building is probably the safety of the people who work there. While you may not like to imagine a fire breaking out in your commercial building in Orlando, FL, thinking ahead can help you prevent fires and keep employees safe if a fire does occur. The following steps can help you come up with an effective fire escape plan for your office.

1. Post Fire Prevention Strategies

The best emergency escape plan is one you never have to use. If you can prevent fires in the first place, you protect both your building and your people. Make sure everyone knows where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them. Post fire safety pointers such as a reminder to turn off burners in the staff break room. Make sure everyone in the building knows how avoid electrical fires and how to store flammable liquids safely.

2. Plan Escape Routes

Despite your best efforts, a fire may break out in your building at some point. If that happens, you will need a fire escape plan that gets people outside in an organized and efficient manner. When plotting the best route, take into account the path firefighters will likely need and be sure to keep it clear.

3. Assign Emergency Tasks

It's important for everyone to know what their roles are in an emergency. Your plan should include assigned tasks such as who is in charge of communicating with emergency personnel and fire restoration experts as well as who is responsible for making sure that everyone is accounted for.

4. Practice the Plan

Once you have a solid plan on paper, you need to put it into action. Host regular fire drills so that everyone can walk through the emergency protocol and understand how it works.
A fire in your office is a possibility regardless of how careful you are. Having a good fire escape plan can help keep everyone in your building safe.

Mitigation and Restoration, What To Know

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

A person using a water extracting vacuum to a carpet in an office Water restoration to an Orlando, FL commercial building

What To Know

If your business in Orlando, FL, is at risk for storm damage you may be looking at keeping the number for a reliable flood cleanup company on file. You may also want to know if there are things you can do to protect the company property before the storm arrives. Fortunately, a professional can help with both the mitigation and restoration processes, but these steps may look very different depending on which one you're talking about. Here’s what you’ll need to know.

1. Mitigation Occurs Before the Storm Arrives
Mitigation is the term often used to describe taking steps ahead of time to prevent an event from happening. In the case of storm mitigation, these steps can include installing a sump pump to help prevent flooding. It can also include maintaining a roof, cleaning out gutters and drainage ditches to prevent overflow, trimming overhanging branches or dead wood from trees, and tarping over any damage prone areas for added protection.

2. Restorations Fixes Damage a Storm Has Caused
A flood cleanup company most often dealt with restoration. This term deals with any repairs made to return an item or area to its original condition. A restoration service can remove water and debris, clean a damaged space, replace destroyed materials with new, and even help prevent mold growth.

3. A Professional Can Help With Both
In both cases a local storm damage restoration company may be able to help. These professionals have the tools and knowledge needed to repair storm damaged areas, as well as deal with any flooding. They may also be able to help make recommendations for mitigating any potential damage to the property before it occurs. If you have questions it’s best to call them before damage occurs to see what services they may be able to recommend.
When speaking to a flood cleanup company, it’s important to know that restoration is the process of repairing a damaged area while mitigation is the steps taken to protect that area from damage in the first place. Fortunately, a professional should be able to help and make recommendations for both parts of the process.

Better Understanding Mold Growth in Your Home

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spores (3D illustration) - Words that say They Thrive Molds come in every color of the rainbow, but there are only a few that normally grow in homes.

Your home’s air is full of different substances, and there are always a few spores floating around. While they normally have no harmful effects on your building, the right conditions could allow them to take hold and create dangerous black mold buildup. If a moisture problem or other circumstance occurs in your Southwest Orlando, FL house, it’s important to get help from a licensed mold cleanup service as soon as possible. Here’s everything you need to know about this potential household hazard.

Favorable Conditions for Growth

Like any other living thing, mold needs the right environment to flourish, and there are a few areas of your house where these circumstances are more likely. Go through your home and make a note if you notice the following:

-Indoor humidity levels above 50 percent
-Water leaks
-Lack of sunlight
-Stagnant air
-Permeable surfaces such as newspaper and blankets

While you can prevent some of the favorable conditions for black mold on your own by opening window shades, operating fans and installing dehumidifiers, others might require intervention by experts such as basement waterproofing contractors. Your goal should be a space with plenty of moving air and low humidity levels.

Common Types of Household Mold

Molds come in every color of the rainbow, but there are only a few that normally grow in homes. Here’s a brief overview and how to identify them:

-Penicillium is a green or blue growth usually found in areas damaged by water.
-Cladosporium is quite common and usually manifests as black or green dots in fabric and carpets.
-Stachybotrys chartarum, which is commonly referred to as black mold, forms in areas that are constantly wet, such as air conditioning ducts and around leaky pipes.

It’s important to understand many species look alike, so contact a remediation specialist if you suspect growth in your home. Once black mold and other growths take hold, it can be difficult to contain their progress, which is why you should take action as soon as possible.

How Does Water Enter Your Home's Crawl Space?

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Leaves in rain gutter Rain gutter clogged with leaves

Inside your walls and under your floor boards, you have spots of open air. If water gathers there, it's hard to detect. This wet crawl space is worrisome because darkness and moisture can combine to produce mold; therefore, not only could you have damaged structure, but you might have fungus. Complicating it further is the air conditioner, picking up these spores and spreading them throughout the residence. Protect your place. Be aware of what to look for and how to correct it.

How Did Water Invade My Home?

While your home may seem tightly sealed up, it may actually have some openings, leaving your place exposed to flooding issues without you even knowing it. For example, perhaps you have a few shingles that have fallen off. If that's the case, rain water could easily sneak beyond into the ceiling, pooling up in the attic unbeknownst to you. What about a pipe in the wall? A small crevice could be releasing drips into the walls. In addition, the following reasons could create hidden moisture problems:

  • Foundation issues
  • Irrigation pipe problems
  • Main water line leaks
  • Gutters clogged with ice or leaves
  • Air handler trouble

Try and pay attention to your surroundings and see if you're having changes in humidity or noticing water stains. Those could be indications that you need to check for wet crawl space.

How Do You Get Rid of It?

To remove the liquid, you'll need to fix the initial complication. That means bringing in professionals to repair any damage. Then, find a water remediation company in Orlando, FL, to evaluate moisture levels. If pools accumulated, you may be open to fungus growth or structural damage. This team of experts can dry out the area, take out any problematic sections and begin repairs. Hopefully, it will feel as if the flood never occurred.
Be aware of your surroundings, and understand how water can hide in your home. Areas such as roofs, attics and foundation levels should not be ignored, rather, they should be checked regularly. If you suspect you have a wet crawl space, call experts to dry it out and make repairs.

5 Pieces of Equipment Used in Mold Remediation

11/29/2019 (Permalink)

Specialist wearing protective equipment while combating mold in an apartment Specialist wearing protective equipment in an Orlando, FL apartment

Proper Safety Equipment Used in Mold Remediation

For a homeowner with a mold remediation project in Orlando, FL, it’s important to know what safety equipment to wear when in the proximity of the contaminated space during the remediation process. Fortunately, your local mold remediation professionals can show you what tools and equipment they expect to use. Here are five things you may see, from face masks to shoe covers.

Gloves

When working in areas of mold damage, gloves should be worn at all times. This will help prevent skin contact with the mold spores. Gloves can come in a variety of materials and styles, so it’s important to talk to a professional about which kind he or she recommends.

Coveralls

You may also see your remediation professionals wearing coverall suits of some kind. These suits are worn over regular clothing and can be removed when leaving the contaminated area to prevent the spread of spores.

Masks

Professionals will also often wear face masks when working with mold. This helps prevent breathing in spores, which can lead to some health issues.

Goggles

Goggles are also commonly worn to help prevent mold spores, dust, and other debris from getting into the workers' eyes. There are many types of goggles, so you may want to talk to your remediation professional about what he or she recommends.

Shoe Covers

Shoe covers are also often utilized during mold remediation. Similar to coveralls, they are worn over the shoes while in the contaminated area and then removed when the worker leaves the area in order to prevent the spreading of spores.
The protective equipment your restoration professional recommends should be used at all times when in the contaminated area. These include gloves, coveralls, face masks, goggles, and shoe covers. It’s important to have the proper safety equipment both for your own health and to help prevent the spreading of mold spores to other areas of the home.

Don't Forget Secondary Damage After a Fire

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Ozone machine, removes smoke odor An ozone machine removes smoke damage odor

Secondary Damage After a Fire

A fire can be devastating and often leaves many types of damage behind in Orlando, FL. Try not to forget about any of the secondary aspects, such as smoke cleaning, to make sure that your home is fully rehabilitated and livable.

Smoke Odor

Before you can remove the smell, you need to eliminate any and all sources of smoke damage odor, such as burned materials. Then you can start to circulate the air and filter it. You may need some specialized equipment to accomplish this:

  • Air filtration devices
  • Ozone machines
  • Thermal foggers
  • Hydroxyl generators

Soot Residue

Even if an area of the home or a particular object wasn't burned, the particles carried by smoke can still blacken what fire did not touch. Soot, otherwise known as carbon residue, is the result of organic matter that hasn't burned completely. It can smear and permanently stain your walls or surfaces if you use a normal sponge or rag. Instead, use a dry cleaning sponge that can absorb this type of deposit. Be sure to ventilate the room by opening windows and turning on fans before tackling this kind of smoke cleaning.

Water Damage

It may seem counter-intuitive, but water damage resulting from the fire-fighting process is as common as smoke odor after a fire. If water issues are left alone, they can quickly turn into the much bigger problem of mold. Some materials cannot be thoroughly dried, so you may have to get rid of carpeting, insulation or certain types of drywall. Be sure to remove and dry all other items and ventilate the room as much as possible. Bring in a water damage remediation specialist to be sure that everything is taken care of properly.
Unfortunately, your work isn't done after you've cleared out the burned materials from a fire. Smoke cleaning, soot removal and water damage will give you just as much trouble as the initial damage. Hire a company that can do it all to make your life less stressful.

Cleaning Requirements After a Home Flood

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

A man in white personal protective gear shuffling through trash Before you start cleaning a flood you need to use proper safety gear

Cleaning Requirements After a Home Flood

There are certain cleaning requirements you need to follow when sanitizing your home after a flood. You need the right flood disinfectant, and you must take steps to prevent the buildup of mold.
A flood clean is lengthy and complicated. It can also be dangerous if you are not properly protected. Before you start washing and drying everything, you need the proper safety gear. This includes:

  • Boots
  • Pants
  • Long sleeves
  • Elastic gloves
  • Face masks
  • Goggles

You also need to know how to clean the various rooms of your home. Different items need to be cared for in different ways. Below are the basic cleaning requirements and techniques for restoring your flood-damaged house.

Applying Disinfectant

To prevent the spread of bacteria throughout your home, you need to disinfect any surfaces. Start by scrubbing these surfaces with hot water and a powerful cleaner. Then apply a disinfectant. You can create your own by combining a gallon of water with a quarter-cup of chlorine bleach.

Cleaning the Kitchen

Metal items such as pots, utensils and pans should not be cleaned with bleach. Instead, disinfect them by boiling them in water for 10 minutes. A bleach solution can be used on china, glass, porcelain and enamel items, however. Be sure to disinfect your counters and cupboards before putting dishes away.

Saving Your Valuables

Some items, such as mattresses, stuffed animals and toys, may have to be thrown away after a flood. However, you may be able to freeze books and photographs after wiping off excess mud. You can then thaw them and take them to an expert for cleaning.
Most floods cause complex damage that one person cannot handle by himself. If you do start the process alone, be sure to follow the above cleaning requirements. However, your best bet is to contact a company that provides emergency restoration services in Orlando, FL. Professionals can safely clean up your home and dry your belongings.