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The Difference Between Water Mitigation and Water Restoration

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO vans parked in the outside of a building Commercial Restoration in Orlando, FL

The Difference Between Water Mitigation and Water Restoration

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

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

ic or chip in circuit board fire burn Electronic on fire

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 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

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing Many homeowners struggle with entering crawl spaces, which are only several feet high

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

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

1/27/2020 (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.