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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Here's How To Avoid Water Damage After Construction

1/28/2022 (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 their 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

1/27/2022 (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 carpets. 

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

1/24/2022 (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

1/19/2022 (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 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.

Prepare and Review for 2022!

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

While we only hope to see good things come about in a new year, it is always a good idea to plan ahead for the not-so-good things -- like fire or water damage-- that are always an unexpected and unwelcome disaster. This year, take the time to be "Ready for whatever happens." Preparation and review will help get you through anything in 2022!

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Plan (ERP) will help you ensure you and your facility are prepared. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. 

Whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood, having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes --- resolve to be READY. 

Precautions to Take With A Gas Leak

1/3/2022 (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 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.

Performing Beyond Expectations To Ensure A Job Well Done

1/3/2022 (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.

Tips for Inspecting Your Buildings Exterior Before a Storm

12/27/2021 (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.

4 Tasks Property Managers Should Do to Prepare for a Storm

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial property can't be completely ignored when inclement weather comes through, and business owners can't control all elements of storm preparedness, especially if they lease space. With that in mind, managers must take action, doing what they can to protect the assets. Here are four things they can do to help.

1. Establish Communication

Regular updates are important. People need to know if the area is safe or whether evacuation and boarding should occur. Furthermore, everyone should be on the same page about how to prepare for the storm and who has what responsibility. Therefore, property management should compile a list of everyone's phone numbers and email addresses. Send messages often, ensuring that everyone is aware of your progress. 

2. Have a Plan

Well before a system appears, sit down and discuss the protocol for storm preparedness. Gather together and upload online important legal and financial documents: This includes contracts, mortgage papers, bank account numbers, and insurance policies. In addition, think ahead of whom to call in an emergency. 

3. Prepare the Grounds

Once a watch is issued, property management should begin looking at the facility. Are the shingles loose on the roofs? If so, have them secured or covered. Does the pool area require attention? Have employees clear the deck of any furniture. Also, walk around. Trim tree branches, and pick up any loose debris. Eliminate objects that could be become projectiles from the high winds. 

4. Record the Property

Before the gales hit, grab your phone and videotape the building. Make sure this has a timestamp, verifying for insurance that you did attend to the location. Should leaks or structural problems occur, this evidence may help expedite the approval for a storm restoration company's services.

Be proactive. Management companies should consider storm preparedness early, mapping out their tasks and establishing a strong line of contact. Protect the space. It's valuable too many.

Safe Cleanup of Water Leaking Into Light Fixtures

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

It is not uncommon to find water in light fixtures, or even ceiling damage following a winter with a heavy snow load, or a series of rainstorms. This damage may not always be a major problem, but could definitely develop into such if allowed to continue.

Leaks of this nature may come from a leaking flange around a chimney or vent on the roof which has developed a gap, infiltration by birds or squirrels, or from an aging roof. It may also come from an overhead pipe that is leaking due to settling, loosening of joints, or freezing temperatures. Finding and repairing the point where water is getting in is important and should be given priority attention.

How To Handle Cleanup

In order to prevent worsening damage from the water leaking in through the roof, immediate cleanup needs to take place.

The attic space should be inspected to see if the insulation has become saturated. Not only can that put an excess load on the ceiling, but it can also develop mold if left alone. It may need to be removed and replaced.

If the leak is from a pipe running above the ceiling, be sure to shut the water off as soon as possible to stop the leaking.

If you find water in light fixtures, shut off the electricity to all affected fixtures before attempting to inspect or replace it, and do not turn the electricity back on until certain all water has stopped leaking.

Get Professional Help

Call a water damage cleanup specialist to evaluate any ceiling damage and make a plan for repair. They can determine which materials need to be replaced, ensure that any mold is cleaned and removed, and restore your home to a safe condition.

If you do find water in light fixtures in your home, take it as a serious hint that some repair and cleanup is needed. This will help prevent a worse scenario and help you get your home restored to a safer and healthier condition.

Five Pieces Of Equipment Used In Mold Remediation

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

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 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 effects.

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.

Secondary Damage After A Fire

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

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.

Precautions To Take When Your Home is In a Flood Zone

11/13/2021 (Permalink)

Living next to the beach or in a low-lying area may be a lifelong dream, but it can come with added risks. One such risk is having a home in a flood zone. You don't have to give up what may otherwise be a great location, though. There are several precautions you can take to minimize your risk of flood damage.

Protect Your Home

An active storm season in Florida can test the boundaries of your home like nothing else. While you may not be able to fully keep your home from flooding, there are several ways you can prepare for an upcoming rainstorm:

  • Put sandbags out as a barrier against rising water.
  • Install a sump pump in your basement on or the lower level of your home.
  • Place outlets or sensitive equipment higher on the wall or on a shelf.

It's also a good idea to have an evacuation plan, just in case the water rises so high you need to leave your home. Even if your home floods, you can have measures already in place to deal with the fallout. 

Purchase Insurance

If your home is in a flood zone, you need to have flood insurance. This coverage is not typically part of your homeowners' policy, so you'll need to purchase it separately. If your insurance company doesn't offer flood insurance, you can get a referral for a company that does from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Plan for Remediation

Flooding can produce serious damage to your home. Have the contact information for local flood restoration specialists handy. They can assess the damage to your home and give you an estimate of how much the repairs are going to cost.

When your home is in a flood zone, you have to take some factors into consideration that other homeowners do not. You may be able to minimize some damage. For the damage that you can't avoid, though, you need trusted cleanup professionals and an insurance policy that covers it.

Cleaning Requirements After a Home Flood

11/13/2021 (Permalink)

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.

Keeping Your Business Above Water After a Water Damage

11/6/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Orlando commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of SW Orlando

SERVPRO of SW Orlando specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage

11/6/2021 (Permalink)

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms.
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.

Handyman Review

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

Check us out, we have been featured as a top Orlando option for the Handyman Reviewed! The Handyman Reviewed showcases the best handyman services in your location! Our franchise was selected as one of the 7 best options for water damage restoration in Orlando! 

Turn and Test

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

Great Advice from American Red Cross!

Did you know:

  • Every day 7 people die in the United States due to a home fire
  • You have two minutes- that 120 seconds – to escape a home fire
  • On an annual average, the Ohio Buckeye Region of the Red Cross responds to over 3 home fires per day in our 45 counties!

The American Red Cross cares about your safety and encourages you to test your smoke alarms and replace your batteries as needed.  This is a lifesaving action of our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which rallies communities across the country to protest people from these everyday disasters. Don't ignore the beeping sound of batteries going dead on a fire alarm, take a few minutes and go change the batteries right away! Your safety is in your own hands!

What To Do Right After a Storm Damages Your Home

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

You hear the wind blowing and the rain pounding on your window panes, and you hope your home will remain untouched by the storm. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A tree falls on your roof, and water pours into your home, soaking your carpets and covering your hardwood floors. Here's how to stem the tide of storm damage in the event's immediate aftermath.

1. Document Damage Before Attempting Immediate Repairs

If you are planning to submit a claim to your insurance company for the damages, you will want to record them prior to attempting any immediate repairs. Make a list of damaged items, and take photos or videos of each.

2. Make Immediate Repairs Only To Prevent Further Damage to Your Home

Take the following steps when attempting immediate repairs or cleanup:

  • Cover leaking roofs with a tarp to prevent more rainfall from entering the home.
  • Pull up a wet carpet to prevent mold and move it to a dry location. 
  • Throw away all perishable food that has spoiled.

Make sure all articles being removed from the home were documented on the inventory list of damaged items.

3. Exercise Caution If You're Staying in a Damaged Home 

To restore lost electricity in your home, use generators outside, away from windows and doors. Make sure your sewer system is working before flushing toilets, using water stored previously for this function if necessary. Open windows and run fans inside your home to circulate air and aid the drying process.

You may also choose to contact a company that can perform emergency restoration services in your home. If so, keep receipts for services provided, as well as for any purchases made for immediate repairs, such as a tarp for the leaking roof.

Hopefully, your home will never be subjected to storm damage. If it is, however, these storm tips can get you started on the road to recovery and get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. 

Flood Risk

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

If you’re in the process of buying a house or you’re looking for a new homeowners insurance policy, you might be familiar with what a flood zone is. If you don’t know what they are, you might want to start reading upon them.

Zoning for Floods?

A flood zone is an area in a specific geographical space that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined has at least some risk of flooding. There are four primary types of zones, which correlate to the severity or category of excessive water events that can occur in that area.

  • Moderate to Low-Risk Areas
  • High-Risk Areas
  • High Risk – Coastal Areas
  • Undetermined Risk Areas

How to Find Your Zone

Each area’s zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map, also known as FIRM, which can be found online at https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-rate-map-firm. You can also contact your local municipality or look on their website, most cities will have zoning information available online. You can try searching for the term “flood elevation certificate” for faster results. 

Some people may think that these zones can only be found next to a large body of water or along a river or stream, but that’s not the case. Houses that are nowhere near a body of water can experience a flood if there’s a large rainstorm. 

Emergency Preparedness

Knowing what kind of flood zone you live in can also be helpful for storage options and emergency preparedness. If you live in a high-risk zone, for example, you probably don’t want to put boxes directly on the floor, and you might want to increase the number of your emergency supplies. 

If you weren’t aware that your home is potentially at risk for a flood, and a storm causes water-related damage, you should contact a storm damage specialist in your area to determine your best course of action and get the damage repaired as quickly as possible. 

Leading Causes of Fires - How to Avoid

7/17/2021 (Permalink)

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires & injuries in the U.S. Cooking fires often result from unattended cooking and human error, rather than mechanical failure of stoves or ovens. Although it is important to make sure your appliances are functioning properly and kept up to date, it is equally important to cook with caution and never get too comfortable in the kitchen.  

Heating is the second leading cause of residential fires. However, heating fires are a larger problem in single family homes than in apartments. Unlike apartments, the heating systems in single family homes are often not professionally maintained. Make sure your heating systems are being professionally regulated during the colder seasons. 

Although accidents happen, it is important to be prepared and alert in order to minimize these chances before they occur. Here are a few simple safety precautions to take to decrease the possibility of a fire. 

  • Keep flammables away from ignition sources.
  • Utilize flammable storage cabinets.
  • Know your chemical properties.
  • Do not block fire extinguishers with equipment.
  • Utilize those with electrical expertise/installations/assistance.
  • Do not overload outlets - use a track plug.
  • Practice good housekeeping techniques in the lab/office/work area.
  • Inspect wires for possible damage and replace as needed.

Forgotten Causes of Commercial Water Damage

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Business owners usually think commercial water damage is caused by floods, massive rains, and storms. That’s often true. Weather events, storms, and flooding do shut down businesses and create major water damage in commercial buildings. Unfortunately, many business owners, commercial space renters, and entrepreneurs don’t think about and try to prevent other typical causes of water damage.   
 

1. Sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty, not well maintained, or in need of replacement. Many a time a poor sprinkler system has damaged commercial inventory and business assets and shut down businesses. Check your system to make sure that it’s not faulty or in need of repair or replacement.

2. Appliances and equipment
Restaurants and catering businesses sometimes suffer water damage from their appliances or equipment. But any business that has appliances or equipment that use water could suffer water damage. If an appliance fails and spews water across your commercial building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water damage emergency.
 

3. Pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residential home, the plumbing system in a commercial business can fail. A broken pipe or faulty plumbing can result in major water damage in just a few hours.

4. Sewer lines
Sewer backups are another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated black water which can cause health issues and ruin products and office furnishings.
 

5. Water Heaters
Water heaters in commercial buildings can crack or lose their seal because of high pressure. You want to make sure and follow the manufacturer's guidelines and flush your water heater regularly to make sure it is working properly.

6. Roofing
One of the more obvious ways commercial buildings suffer water damage is through an old or leaky roof. Inspect the roof frequently (at least every six months) to make sure it does not need to be resealed and to be sure it drains properly. Even small leaks should be fixed immediately.

Prevent Mold Growth After A Flood

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth after flooding in your Orlando, FL, home can be a major headache. However, if you act quickly, you can protect your residence from mold damage.

Preventing Mold Infestation

Because mold can begin to grow as soon as 24 hours after a flood, it is important to address the problem right away. Here are the basic steps for drying out a flooded area:

  1. Remove standing water. The amount of water present will determine the best method for this job. Pumps and wet/dry vacs are commonly used.
  2. Make a flood cut. Because water tends to wick upward behind walls, it is important to remove all drywall and insulation up to at least 12 inches above the waterline.
  3. Dry or remove any other wet items. Make sure anything you decide to keep is completely dry.
    Run fans and dehumidifiers in the flooded area. This will help to remove any remaining moisture and retard the growth of mold.
  4. Disinfect all of the surfaces that were exposed to water. Flood water is considered black water and contains harmful bacteria. Trisodium phosphate, bleach, and commercial mold cleaners are all effective methods for disinfecting, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Remediating Mold Growth

Unfortunately, it is not always feasible to fully dry out a flooded area before mold begins to grow. However, it is still important to work quickly. Containing and cleaning the mold as soon as possible may prevent it from spreading and doing more damage to your home’s structure. Turn off the HVAC unit so that mold spores do not spread throughout your home. You may also want to use an air scrubber to capture any mold spores floating in the air. Bleach and specially formulated mold cleaners can generally kill much of the mold present on your home’s surfaces. However, areas with more extensive damage may need to be replaced.
Although the aftermath of a flood can be overwhelming, help is available. Whether you are drying out a space to prevent mold growth or dealing with an existing mold issue, a professional restoration team can make sure the job is done thoroughly, safely, and quickly.

Orlando 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of SW Orlando is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (407)704-0327 

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of SW Orlando has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of SW Orlando

SERVPRO of SW Orlando specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

How To Clean Your Building After a Toilet Flood

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

There may not be much that is nastier to deal with than a sewer backup, and your business plan may not include the budget for a sewer cleanup, so, it might be worth looking into flood insurance. Nonetheless, problems can occur and the unexpected can happen, throwing a wrench into the works. Differing from a category 1 or clean water flood, a flooded toilet carries serious contaminants that must be properly dealt with.

How Do You Clean Up Sewer Water

If the water is running clear, stops upon shutoff and is confined to a non-porous bathroom floor, you may be able to mop it up and clean it with detergent and chlorine bleach. If the water has any color to it, is coming from deeper in the drain or is spilling out onto carpeted areas, down a heat duct or is deep enough to be standing you will likely need assistance from a professional sewage cleanup service.

Remove everyone from the area to avoid exposure

Find the water shutoff valve and turn the flow off, if possible

If the water is not running mostly clear, it may be coming from the sewer rather than the supply line

Water must be extracted and cleaned up

Sanitizing and disinfecting must be thoroughly done as sewage can be considered a biohazard

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The sewer line may need to be cleared professionally to unblock the drain. A sewer cleanup service may be necessary to help with that as well as the cleanup. Sewage water is likely to contain bacteria and viruses and it is critical to contain the spill and begin professional a sanitizing process as soon as possible, using industrial disinfectants. Every nook and cranny needs attention. Any rugs, carpets or soft surfaces will likely need to be disposed of.

Employ preventative measures such as regular drain and supply line inspections and enzyme treatments to reduce the risk of flooding. When prevention fails and the need for sewer cleanup occurs, take it seriously to ensure proper restoration.

Basics of Fire Damage

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

While flooding and mold can be scary, there’s nothing quite like a fire to remind homeowners how fragile a building can be. For all homes and businesses in Southwest Orlando, fire damage is something that needs to be dealt with quickly and professionally. Once the immediate emergency has been taken care of, it is time to call in the restoration experts from SERVPRO.

This guide to dealing with fire damage in Southwest Orlando will help you get to grips with some of the steps involved in repair and restoration.

How Long Does Fire Damage Restoration Take?
Clearly, this will depend on how extensive the damage is. If you’ve had a small kitchen fire, for example, but it was put out quickly, the work will probably be quite efficient. If the damage is mostly superficial – burn marks on the outer surface of walls – painting and redecorating should be easy and uncomplicated.

If the damage is more extensive, the restoration could take months. Our reliable SERVPRO fire damage repair company never rushes or compromises on the quality of a job, in order to get occupants back inside faster, because this can put lives at risk. The best way to stay in the loop is to work with our fire damage restoration company that keeps you constantly updated during each stage of the repair process.

Can a Restoration Team Eliminate Smoke Damage?
Yes, our skilled restoration team will use a combination of fogging and ozone deodorization techniques to remove the smell and sight of smoke from the building. Both methods involve heavy duty equipment, so you shouldn’t try to tackle them independently. Let our experts do the job efficiently and professionally, so that you can get back to enjoying your home.

Can You Hire a Fire Damage Team Without Insurance?
Strictly speaking, you don’t need to be covered by fire damage insurance to hire a restoration team. However, it is strongly advised. If you don’t have any type of cover in place, you will be responsible for paying the cost of repair and restoration, in full. As this kind of work requires specialist skills and equipment, it can be expensive. Make certain that you have an insurance policy, so that the expense doesn’t become another disaster.

To get more information and advice on the best ways to deal with fire damage in Southwest Orlando, talk to the experts at SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando. Call (407) 704-0327 to speak to a friendly advisor today.

Pet Storm Preparedness

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that almost all dog and cat owners don't have disaster plans for their pets? SERVPRO of SW Orlando urges you to make sure this isn’t you.

You made a disaster kit for yourself and family, so make one for your pet. This includes medical records and medication, food and water with can openers, leashes, and carriers.

Tips:

  • Keep pets inside during a storm. Animals can become confused and run away from home during a disaster.
  • Arrange a safe haven for you and your pets during evacuation. Do not leave pets behind.
  • Store an emergency kit—with items such as pet food, bottled water, medical records, a blanket, a flashlight and leashes—as close to an exit as possible.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags. 
  • Have your pet microchipped in case of a lost collar. 
  • Place a rescue alert sticker to your front home to let rescuers know that there are pets inside.
  • Choose a caregiver to take care of your pet in the event you are unable to.

SERVPRO of SW Orlando 407-704-0327

Dealing With Water Damage

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Dealing with water damage can be unexpected and frustrating. If you or someone you know has had water damage give us a call. We are always here to help. Water damages can be caused by numerous things. Some of those things are listed below.

  • Toilet overflow
  • Water supply line break
  • Roof leak
  • Flooding
  • Fish tank break
  • AC Leak 
  • Fridge Leak 
  • Water Heater Leak
  • Slab Leak 

Many things can cause water damages. Call us if you have any questions.

SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us today, we are always here to help.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch vs. Warning

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

It is always important to keep up with what’s happening with the weather in your area. One of the biggest questions asked is, what is the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a severe thunderstorm warning? A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) and means that there is potential for the development of thunderstorms that can produce large hail or damaging winds. When a severe thunderstorm is in progress or has developed and is shown on your local news radar it is called a severe thunderstorm warning.

 SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us today, we are always here to help.

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.

Mitigation
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.

Restoration
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.

4 Tasks Property Managers Should Do To Prepare for a Storm

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial property can't be completely ignored when inclement weather comes through, and business owners can't control all elements of storm preparedness, especially if they lease a space. With that in mind, managers must to take action, doing what they can to protect the assets. Here are four things they can do to help.

1. Establish Communication

Regular updates are important. People need to know if the area is safe or whether evacuation and boarding should occur. Furthermore, everyone should be on the same page about how to prepare for the storm and who has what responsibility. Therefore, property management should compile a list of everyone's phone numbers and email addresses. Send messages often, ensuring that everyone is aware of your progress. 

2. Have a Plan

Well before a system appears, sit down and discuss the protocol for storm preparedness. Gather together and upload online important legal and financial documents: This includes contracts, mortgage papers, bank account numbers and insurance policies. In addition, think ahead of whom to call in an emergency. 

3. Prepare the Grounds

Once a watch is issued, property management should begin looking at the facility. Are the shingles loose on the roofs? If so, have them secured or covered. Does the pool area require attention? Have employees clear the deck of any furniture. Also, walk around. Trim tree branches, and pick up any loose debris. Eliminate objects that could be become projectiles from the high winds. 

4. Record the Property

Before the gales hits, grab your phone and videotape the building. Make sure this has a time stamp, verifying for insurance that you did attend to the location. Should leaks or structural problems occur, this evidence may help expedite the approval for a storm restoration company's services.

Be proactive. Management companies should consider storm preparedness early, mapping out their tasks and establishing a strong line of contact. Protect the space. It's valuable too many.

Safe Cleanup of Water Leaking Into Light Fixtures

12/20/2020 (Permalink)

It is not uncommon to find water in light fixtures, or even ceiling damage following a winter with a heavy snow load, or a series of rainstorms. This damage may not always be a major problem, but could definitely develop into such if allowed to continue.

Leaks of this nature may come from a leaking flange around a chimney or vent on the roof which has developed a gap, infiltration by birds or squirrels, or from an aging roof. It may also come from an overhead pipe that is leaking due to settling, loosening of joints, or freezing temperatures. Finding and repairing the point where water is getting in is important and should be given priority attention.

How To Handle Cleanup

In order to prevent worsening damage from the water leaking in through the roof, immediate cleanup needs to take place.

The attic space should be inspected to see if the insulation has become saturated. Not only can that put an excess load on the ceiling, but it can also develop mold if left alone. It may need to be removed and replaced.

If the leak is from a pipe running above the ceiling, be sure to shut the water off as soon as possible to stop the leaking.

If you find water in light fixtures, shut off the electricity to all affected fixtures before attempting to inspect or replace it, and do not turn the electricity back on until certain all water has stopped leaking.

Get Professional Help

Call a water damage cleanup specialist to evaluate any ceiling damage and make a plan for repair. They can determine which materials need to be replaced, ensure that any mold is cleaned and removed, and restore your home to a safe condition.

If you do find water in light fixtures in your home, take it as a serious hint that some repair and cleanup is needed. This will help prevent a worse scenario and help you get your home restored to a safer and healthier condition.

Specific Items You Can Save From Mold With The Right Treatment

12/20/2020 (Permalink)

The presence of mold, whether it comes from water damage or high moisture, can permanently damage your possessions. While there are items you should throw away, such as food and medicine, there are others with the sentimental value you might hesitate to throw away. Mold cleaning, especially when handled by mold remediation specialists, can bring back some of these possessions with no health hazards and no permanent damage. Take note of the specific items you can save with the right treatment.

Leather Items

Leather can be an appealing choice for several items in your household. It can have a classy look that also brings extra warmth to the user.

  • Jackets 
  • Furniture
  • Baseballs and baseball mitts
  • Briefcases
  • Purses

It can be difficult to dispose of these leather items if they suffer from mold damage. Thankfully, there are chemicals that can clean and fight the mold's mycotoxin, such as borax and tea tree oil. Ultimately, a remediation technician will make the final call depending on the item and damage. 

Clothing

Nothing can be more frustrating than seeing mold grow over your favorite clothes. Just as with leather, there are a variety of mold cleaning products such as hot water, vinegar, bleach, or borax. There are even specialized laundry machines, such as the Esporta Machine, designed to remove all types of damage from clothes, including mold and mildew. Use these resources depending on the clothing's specifications so the cleaners avoid damaging them. Once again, consult with cleaning specialists for the best solution. 

Paintings

The paintings in your residence may effectively decorate your home but salvaging them from mold growth can be difficult. Painting over the mold is not recommended, as the paint can peel off and the toxins can remain. Instead, consult a specialist that can remove the mold safely with the right tools and chemicals. 

Even though mold can ruin many of your priceless possessions, they are not beyond salvaging. Research mold cleaning professionals and techniques, to bring your prized possession to former glory.

5 Pieces of Equipment Used in Mold Remediation

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Secondary Damage After A Fire

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

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

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Precautions To Take When Your Home Is in a Flood Zone

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Living next to the beach or in a low-lying area may be a lifelong dream, but it can come with added risks. One such risk is having a home in a flood zone. You don't have to give up what may otherwise be a great location, though. There are several precautions you can take to minimize your risk of flood damage.

Protect Your Home

An active storm season in Florida can test the boundaries of your home like nothing else. While you may not be able to fully keep your home from flooding, there are several ways you can prepare for an upcoming rainstorm:

  • Put sandbags out as a barrier against rising water.
  • Install a sump pump in your basement on or the lower level of your home.
  • Place outlets or sensitive equipment higher on the wall or on a shelf.

It's also a good idea to have an evacuation plan, just in case the water rises so high you need to leave your home. Even if your home floods, you can have measures already in place to deal with the fallout. 

Purchase Insurance

If your home is in a flood zone, you need to have flood insurance. This coverage is not typically part of your homeowners' policy, so you'll need to purchase it separately. If your insurance company doesn't offer flood insurance, you can get a referral for a company that does from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Plan for Remediation

Flooding can produce serious damage to your home. Have the contact information for local flood restoration specialists handy. They can assess the damage to your home and give you an estimate of how much the repairs are going to cost.

When your home is in a flood zone, you have to take some factors into consideration that other homeowners do not. You may be able to minimize some damage. For the damage that you can't avoid, though, you need trusted cleanup professionals and an insurance policy that covers it.

Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms.
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.

Keeping Your Business Above Water After a Water Damage

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Orlando commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of SW Orlando

SERVPRO of SW Orlando specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Flood Risks

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

If you’re in the process of buying a house or you’re looking for a new home owners insurance policy, you might be familiar with what a flood zone is. If you don’t know what they are, you might want to start reading up on them.

Zoning for Floods?

A flood zone is an area in a specific geographical space that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined has at least some risk of flooding. There are four primary types of zones, which correlate to the severity or category of excessive water events that can occur in that area.

  • Moderate to Low Risk Areas
  • High Risk Areas
  • High Risk – Coastal Areas
  • Undetermined Risk Areas

How to Find Your Zone

Each area’s zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map, also known as FIRM, which can be found online at https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-rate-map-firm. You can also contact your local municipality or look on their website, most of cities will have zoning information available online. You can try searching for the term “flood elevation certificate” for faster results. 

Some people may think that these zones can only be found next to a large body of water or along a river or stream, but that’s not the case. Houses that are nowhere near a body of water can experience a flood if there’s a large rain storm. 

Emergency Preparedness

Knowing what kind of flood zone you live in can also be helpful for storage options and emergency preparedness. If you live in a high-risk zone, for example, you probably don’t want to put boxes directly on the floor, and you might want to increase the number of your emergency supplies. 

If you weren’t aware that your home is potentially at risk for a flood, and a storm causes water related damage, you should contact a storm damage specialist in your area to determine your best course of action and get the damage repaired as quickly as possible. 

What To Do Right After a Storm Damages Your Home

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

You hear the wind blowing and the rain pounding on your window panes, and you hope your home will remain untouched by the storm. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A tree falls on your roof, and water pours into your home, soaking your carpets and covering your hardwood floors. Here's how to stem the tide of storm damage in the event's immediate aftermath.

1. Document Damage Before Attempting Immediate Repairs

If you are planning to submit a claim to your insurance company for the damages, you will want to record them prior to attempting any immediate repairs. Make a list of damaged items, and take photos or video of each.

2. Make Immediate Repairs Only To Prevent Further Damage to Your Home

Take the following steps when attempting immediate repairs or cleanup:

  • Cover leaking roofs with a tarp to prevent more rainfall from entering the home.
  • Pull up wet carpet to prevent mold and move it to a dry location. 
  • Throw away all perishable food that has spoiled.

Make sure all articles being removed from the home were documented on the inventory list of damaged items.

3. Exercise Caution If You're Staying in a Damaged Home 

To restore lost electricity in your home, use generators outside, away from windows and doors. Make sure your sewer system is working before flushing toilets, using water stored previously for this function if necessary. Open windows and run fans inside your home to circulate air and aid the drying process.

You may also choose to contact a company that can perform emergency restoration services in your home. If so, keep receipts for services provided, as well as for any purchases made for immediate repairs, such as a tarp for the leaking roof.

Hopefully, your home will never be subjected to storm damage. If it is, however, these storm tips can get you started on the road to recovery and get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. 

Turn and Test

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Great Advice from American Red Cross!

Did you know:

  • Every day 7 people die in the United States due to a home fire
  • You have two minutes- that 120 seconds – to escape a home fire
  • On an annual average, the Ohio Buckeye Region of the Red Cross responds to over 3 home fires per day in our 45 counties!

The American Red Cross cares about your safety and encourages you to test your smoke alarms and replace your batteries as needed.  This is a lifesaving action of our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which rallies communities across the country to protest people from these every day disasters. Don't ignore the beeping sound of batteries going dead on a fire alarm, take a few minutes and go change the batteries right away! Your safety is in your own hands!

Is Your Business Prepared?

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Up to 50% of businesses never reopen following a disaster. This usually happens because the amount of damage was too large and too expensive to recover from. Your business should be prepared to minimize the damage to your business so that doors can open back for business.  

There are a few things you can do make sure your establishment is ready.

Continuity Plan

Business that do reopen after a disaster most had a preparedness plan. You must identify the components of your business that are essential for it to continue running. Prepare a plan with the appropriate staff as well. Your staff must know who and what should happen in the case of an emergency.

Prepare your Emergency Plan

Have a plan in place. Letting SERVPRO prepare an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) will help minimize the damage by having a quick response to an emergency. Knowing what and when to do will ensure that the right steps are taken.  Something as simple as just knowing where the shutoff valves can save you from extensive water damage.

Review Your Insurance

Make sure you are familiar with your insurance. You need to know who to call when you need answers regarding your business. Understanding your policies will help you be able know what is not covered and reassess if your needs require more coverage.

Cyber Security

The physical damages to your property but also internal damage to important files and data. Be sure to have all your data backed up.

How to Reduce the Chance of a Kitchen Fire

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

How to Reduce the Chance of a Kitchen Fire

Though fires can start in any area of the home, many fires often begin in kitchens, and kitchen fires can cause widespread damage to homes. Fortunately, there are various tips you can follow to help to reduce the chance of a kitchen fire occurring in your home.

1. Don't Leave Cooking Food Unattended

When cooking, it can be easy to become distracted. Though you may be tempted to leave your kitchen while cooking, however, this can result in a fire. Items left on a stovetop can burn and catch fire in a short period of time if high heat is used, and if you are out of the room when the fire begins, you may not be able to stop the fire from getting out of control. For these reasons, it's generally best to stay in the kitchen when cooking.

2. Clean Your Kitchen Often

When it comes to fire prevention tips, cleaning your kitchen can be beneficial. If grease has spilled on your stovetop or in your oven, or if you use a dirty, greasy pan, a fire can start quickly. A grease fire can be particularly dangerous because it can spread at an accelerated rate and cause major damage to your home. Cleaning your kitchen often, however, can reduce the likelihood of grease causing a fire.

3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

Though a flame in a kitchen doesn't necessarily spell disaster if it is quickly extinguished, fires that aren't quickly controlled can cause devastation to homes. If a home has been affected by major fire damage, many homeowners find it helpful to contact emergency restoration services. However, the sooner you are able to extinguish a fire, the less likely that your home will sustain major damage. Having an ABC fire extinguisher (an extinguisher that can put out fires caused by trash, grease or electricity) in your kitchen can be wise.

Since kitchen fires are incredibly common, knowing tips to prevent this type of fire can be useful to homeowners. Preventative methods can include remaining in your kitchen when cooking, frequently cleaning your kitchen and keeping a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.

Choosing A Good Water Damage Restoration Company

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

The reality of a Floridian: tourists, beautiful beaches, seeing an alligator in our backyards almost as often as we see squirrels, questions like “Do you go to Disney like, all the time?”, and… storms. Lots and lots of storms.

So if you get water damage, no matter the cause, it’s not usually that surprising. It sure isn’t fun, though. You should know that if water damage, for even 24-48 hours, your chances of experiencing secondary damage such as mold or is very likely. By acting quickly when you experience water intrusion, you’ll not only reduce the possibilities of further damage, but you’ll also lower the potential of getting a denied insurance claim. By not taking fast action when you experience water damage, you are risking potential higher costs involved in repairs as well as health hazards for you and your family.

But with so much competition in water restoration, how do you know who does good work, who is fair, and most importantly, who will take good care of your property?

Educate Yourself on What a Good Restoration Company Should Do

After water damage, time is of the essence. By researching companies ahead of time, you are taking preventative measures to help protect your property in the event of water damage. Keep their phone number with any other emergency contacts in your cell phone. That way you are prepared. They should assess the situation at no cost to you. Other things to consider:

  • Check out their reviews on Google.

Google is most used search engine on the internet. They want to stay #1. In order to stay the THE go-to search engine, Google gives the most accurate data possible when someone searches. That goes for the reviews too. When in doubt, check out the company’s Google Reviews.

  • Do they offer 24/7 emergency services?

If they don’t answer when you call, and you leave a message, they should call back within just a few minutes. If they don’t answer, and they don’t call back within a few minutes, don’t use that company. Again, time is of the essence.

  • Are they able to solve all the issues you might have with water and mold?

If a water damage restoration company discovers mold in your home when drying out issues with water damage, make sure that they have the qualified training, certifications, and equipment to handle it. Their technicians should all be trained and certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification). Ask to see credentials. IICRC sets the standards for the Restoration Industry. They have rigorous training and certifications processes. If the technicians are not certified by the IICRC, go somewhere else.

If you have suffered property damage due to flooding or water intrusion, call SERVPRO for immediate help, quick response, and a free estimate today.

Prevent the Spread of Mold in Your Home

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Homeowners everywhere will most likely face the horror of spreading mold at some point. You probably won’t escape it, no matter how clean your home is. Black mold can be especially worrisome. If you find it, what should you do to stop it from getting worse?

How Does Mold Spread?

Mold is a type of fungus. It reproduces via microscopic airborne spores which are invisible to the naked eye until they start breeding a colony. So, mold exists wherever there is air and is attracted to moisture. It also thrives in warmer temperatures, usually between 77 and 86 degrees. Mold grows as multicellular filaments called hyphae which give it a fuzzy appearance and emit a distinct musky odor. Spreading mold can cause structural damage to your home if left unchecked. Some common types of mold are:

  • Black mold — Stachybotrys chartarum
  • Blue/green mold — Penicillium
  • Pink mold — Aureobasidium
  • Yellow mold — Serpula lacrymans

What Not To Do

If you discover mold damage in your home, do not attempt to remove it yourself. If you do so, you are more likely to contribute to its spread rather than getting rid of it. There are specific steps to follow for the removal of mold, so it’s best to leave this process in professional hands.

What You Should Do

Your home can never be completely free of mold because of its nature as a microscopic airborne particle, but growth can be stopped and removed, and appropriate spore levels can be managed. Your first step is to set up a mold damage assessment. There are many specialists that offer mold remediation processes that include containment, removal of infested materials, air filtration, cleaning of belongings and restoration of the area. These techniques all follow strict protocols and professional standards.

Mold is an especially tough obstacle to overcome for the average homeowner. To avoid accidentally spreading mold and making it worse, don’t be afraid to turn to the experts.

Should You Include Insurance Coverage for Water Damage in Your Business Policy?

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Choosing appropriate coverage for your business or commercial property can be hard. There are so many things that could happen, what is most relevant to your situation? There are a few business claim constants, and one of them is water.

A Common Problem

Water damage can happen to anyone, anywhere. There are many different sources: flooding, storms, plumbing issues or sewer backups. What does this mean for an owner of commercial property? 

The average water and freezing damage claim cost is $17,000.

It is the second most common insurance claim for a commercial property to make, right under burglary and theft. 

It can be exacerbated by geography- certain areas are more prone to severe weather patterns than others, including harsh freezes and hurricanes.

Not Always Covered

A typical business insurance policy might not have specified coverage for water damage, although you may be able to make a business claim under an "all perils" plan. So, this means that your coverage will depend on your situation. If your water damage is a result of an issue that is easily avoided with routine maintenance, it will probably not be covered. If it is sudden and could not have been prevented, it probably will be covered. However, there are add-ons for specific situations, also known as riders, that you can ask for in your policy.

Preventable

Proper care can go a long way for reducing the likelihood of water damage coming from your plumbing. Freezing is a big cause of pipe break, so be sure to insulate any exposed pipes and maintain a temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Have your drains regularly inspected and check for leaks often. Just in case, find a reliable water damage remediation company to respond should the need arise.

When looking at the history of commercial insurance and the typical business claim of commercial properties, it becomes clear where your priorities should lie. Water is present both inside and outside almost every building, so be prepared for what it can do.

SERVPRO Storm Response

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to fire & water damage, or specialty cleanup needs, it's SERVPRO brand that comes to mind. Our TEAMS work endlessly to make sure our customers are happy, and have one objective in the aftermath of disaster, to make their loss "Like it never even happened." 

No matter the job size, our SERVPRO teams are ready to handle any size loss. With 1,700+ franchises nationwide, we have access to numerous highly trained personnel and thousands of pieces of equipment. Our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery teams are strategically placed throughout the country to respond when needed. Our Teams have a proven track record for success, assisting with cleanup of floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and damage caused from frigid temperatures. 

Whether it’s a major storm event, or faulty appliance, we will be there with one call.

What You Need To Know About Black Water

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

If your home has experienced serious flooding, you’re probably facing extensive water damage. Flood water is considered black water, which means you will need to call in experienced remediation specialists who understand the best practices for restoration to handle the cleanup. This is because black water poses a serious threat.

What Is Black Water?

During a flood, sewers and toilets can overflow, pipes can burst and flood waters can pick up any number of contaminants as they flow through an area. This contamination with feces, urine and other dangerous pollutants are what make flood water “black.” Any stagnant water that has been around long enough to support the growth of harmful bacterial is also considered black.

Why Is It Dangerous?

Contaminated flood water carries dangerous bacteria that can cause humans and animals to become sick. This can occur from accidentally swallowing water or having it come into contact with small wounds or scratches. This includes the flood water saturating possessions after the bulk of the flooding has receded, which is why you should not attempt your own water damage cleanup. Diseases that can be caused by black water include the following:

• Hepatitis

• Gastroenteritis

• Giardia

• Campylobacteriosis

• Typhoid

• Cholera

What Should You Do About It?

Because flood water is considered black water, you shouldn’t attempt to clean your own home after a serious flood. Contact a professional remediation service to handle it for you. After its representatives have assessed the situation, they will begin the process of extracting the remaining water, disinfecting your home and drying it out with industrial equipment. It’s critical this process happens quickly to avoid irreversible damage and mold growth.

When you’re facing water damage after a flood, don’t endanger your family’s health by trying to clean it up yourself. Hire a trained professional who has the knowledge and specialized equipment to handle the damage safely and effectively.

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready! 

SERVPRO specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important.  A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster.  We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,800 franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams  that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 1(407)704-0327

Leading Causes of Fires - How to Avoid

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires & injuries in the U.S. Cooking fires often result from unattended cooking and human error, rather than mechanical failure of stoves or ovens. Although it is important to make sure your appliances are functioning properly and kept up to date, it is equally important to cook with caution and never get too comfortable in the kitchen.  

Heating is the second leading cause of residential fires. However, heating fires are a larger problem in single family homes than in apartments. Unlike apartments, the heating systems in single family homes are often not professionally maintained. Make sure your heating systems are being professionally regulated during the colder seasons. 

Although accidents happen, it is important to be prepared and alert in order to minimize these chances before they occur. Here are a few simple safety precautions to take to decrease the possibility of a fire. 

  • Keep flammables away from ignition sources.
  • Utilize flammable storage cabinets.
  • Know your chemical properties.
  • Do not block fire extinguishers with equipment.
  • Utilize those with electrical expertise/installations/assistance.
  • Do not overload outlets - use a track plug.
  • Practice good housekeeping techniques in the lab/office/work area.
  • Inspect wires for possible damage and replace as needed.

How To Clean Your Building After a Toilet Flood

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

There may not be much that is nastier to deal with than a sewer backup, and your business plan may not include the budget for a sewer cleanup, so, it might be worth looking into flood insurance. Nonetheless, problems can occur and the unexpected can happen, throwing a wrench into the works. Differing from a category 1 or clean water flood, a flooded toilet carries serious contaminants that must be properly dealt with.

How Do You Clean Up Sewer Water

If the water is running clear, stops upon shutoff and is confined to a non-porous bathroom floor, you may be able to mop it up and clean it with detergent and chlorine bleach. If the water has any color to it, is coming from deeper in the drain or is spilling out onto carpeted areas, down a heat duct or is deep enough to be standing you will likely need assistance from a professional sewage cleanup service.

Remove everyone from the area to avoid exposure

Find the water shutoff valve and turn the flow off, if possible

If the water is not running mostly clear, it may be coming from the sewer rather than the supply line

Water must be extracted and cleaned up

Sanitizing and disinfecting must be thoroughly done as sewage can be considered a biohazard

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The sewer line may need to be cleared professionally to unblock the drain. A sewer cleanup service may be necessary to help with that as well as the cleanup. Sewage water is likely to contain bacteria and viruses and it is critical to contain the spill and begin professional a sanitizing process as soon as possible, using industrial disinfectants. Every nook and cranny needs attention. Any rugs, carpets or soft surfaces will likely need to be disposed of.

Employ preventative measures such as regular drain and supply line inspections and enzyme treatments to reduce the risk of flooding. When prevention fails and the need for sewer cleanup occurs, take it seriously to ensure proper restoration.

Cleaning Under Home After A Flood

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

Under Home Cleaning - After Flooding

Many homeowners are eager to begin cleaning their homes after a flood although, few people realize that the area underneath houses often need to be cleaned after a flood. Here are a few helpful things to know about cleaning crawlspaces after a flood.

Though damage in a crawlspace may not be immediately apparent, identifying damage in a timely manner is often important. The following are common indicators that a crawlspace has been affected by a storm:

  • An unpleasant, musty odor in areas above and around the crawlspace due to mold growth
  • Damaged subfloors or warped vinyl floors
  • High levels of humidity in rooms above the crawlspace

A home flood can cause major damage to both the interior and exterior of a home, and though crawlspaces are often overlooked, they are still prone to damage. When water quickly accumulates under a house it is not removed or drained, the structure of the house can be affected. Crawlspace damage can also occur if there are high levels of humidity in the area. This can cause building materials to absorb the moisture and weaken. 

Thankfully there are steps that storm damage restoration company professionals take to clean your home’s crawlspace. First, water is removed from the crawlspace. If mold and high levels of humidity remain present after all the water is extracted, professionals may create negative air pressure in the area to dry it up. Once the area is dry, professionals may restore or replace any materials that have been damaged. 

Though floods can wreak havoc on your home, it is important to understand the cleaning steps to take after, to prevent any future issues. Knowing the signs of a damaged crawlspace, common causes of damage and how the underside of your house is cleaned can make the clean up process much simpler. 

Possible Reasons Your Toilet May Be Leaking

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Do You Notice Water Every Time You Flush?

You may have a leaking toilet. A buildup of standing water in your bathroom could lead to water damage, mold or mildew, so it’s best to find the source of the problem as soon as possible- especially in Kansas City, MO. As a complex system, there are multiple reasons this could be happening. Toilets are an everyday necessity, so be sure to take the proper measures to get it back in working order.

Diagnose the Problem

First you need to figure out where the water is leaking from. Clean up as much of the water as you can on both the floor and the toilet itself, so that you can follow the water as it builds again. Try flushing the leaking toilet to jumpstart the process. Usually the water seeps out below the toilet, which will be addressed below, but during this process more unusual causes may present themselves, such as a:

  • Damaged toilet tank 
  • Valve that does not completely close
  • Sweaty bowl
  • Supply tube that is wobbly or movable

Tighten Up

Water pooling beneath your leaking toilet may be the result of floor bolts that hold the toilet in place becoming loose. Simply remove the protective covers and tighten each one with a wrench. Be sure not to make them too tight, or you could damage the toilet. You should visibly notice the leak stop. If not, there may be a deeper issue.

Wax Gasket

If tightening bolts did not stop your water flow, that probably means that the wax seal on your gasket is dry or cracked. Luckily, it is replaceable. Be sure to shut off the water and drain the toilet before beginning the process. Next, disconnect the water-supply tube and lift the toilet from the floor. You will need to scrape off the old wax before installing the new wax gasket.

Leaking bathrooms are no fun, but that does not mean they should be ignored. Diagnosing the problem is half the job. Feel free to reach out to a professional.

The Difference Between Water Mitigation and Water Restoration

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Mitigation
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.

Restoration
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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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.

Methods for Removing Smoke Odor After a Fire

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

House fire

When you have a house fire in Orlando, FL, it may seem like the smell of the smoke will never go away. Smoke particles can infiltrate every nook and cranny in your home. They can even imbed themselves into furniture, flooring and walls. Professional restoration experts, however, have methods for extracting smoke odor from your home as part of the restoration process. Here are some smoke cleaning processes that may prove effective in removing the stench from your home.

Air Filtration Devices

One of the first methods the experts are likely to try is an air filtration device. This air scrubber sucks in the air in your home and returns it clean and refreshed. The filters in this system are specially constructed to reduce smoke odor. Some common features of filtration devices that remove smoke odor include

• HEPA filters
• Activated carbon filters
• Treated filters that specifically target smoke

Ozone Machines

Another method of smoke cleaning involves the use of ozone machines. Rather than taking air in, these machines create and expel ozone, the same compound chemical created by a rainstorm that gives the outdoor air its fresh scent. The ozone flows throughout your home, oxidizing smoke residue and neutralizing its odor.

Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers create deodorizing droplets that permeate the air as well as porous materials in your home to get rid of smoke odor. Using heat and pressurization, the fogger creates tiny particles that can go wherever the smoke damage has gone. Your home is deodorized and cleansed of the stench of the fire.

One of the many advantages of hiring smoke cleaning professionals to remove odors from your home after a fire is that they are equipped with industrial machines that can be used to eliminate the smells. A process that would take weeks or even months with any device you could buy retail can be completed in a matter of hours or days with the advanced methods used by professionals.

Immediate Steps to Take if You Suffer From Water Damage

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Follow these tips so you can be prepared.

Let’s face it, water damage is threatening to your property’s value and can cause some serious, well damage. Whether you’re facing a storm; a flood; leaks from a weakened roof, HVAC or busted pipes; or experience overflowing appliances, water damage can wreak havoc in an array of emergency situations. To prevent further damage and to increase chances of salvation, it is critical to act quickly within the first 24 hours. Considering you have safely evacuated the premises and safety officials have declared it safe, follow these steps to immediately rectify your business from water damage.

Avoid Additional Risks

Upon returning to your property, survey the premises and document any visible structural damage that may further endanger you and your property. Look for signs of warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, and holes. If safety officials haven’t done so already, contact utility companies to cease all water and electrical sources. Even if the power is still out upon your return, physically turn off the main power line and individual fuses to avoid risk of electrocution should the power be reactivated.

Document Everything

While surveying your property, take photos and document all damages. Digital photos will allow you to properly store, back-up and transfer files quickly and conveniently. Be sure to document all damages prior to removing any water or starting on any repairs; otherwise, you risk decreasing the extent of your insurance coverage.

Contact your Insurance Provider

Contacting your insurance provider is critical immediately following water damage and your return to the property. Your insurance provider will be able to assess the situation, file a claim, determine whether or not the damage is severe enough to send an adjuster, and provide invaluable next steps. They will also ask for the documentation you’ve collected so it’s important to have that readily available. Pro Tip: if government authorities have declared your region a ‘disaster area’, property owners may have access to increased resources, services and financial assistance.

Secure the Property

Place board over broken windows, fasten tarps, and carryout other measures to avoid further leaks and water damage.  Be sure to document all of your efforts to secure your property from further damage.  If these precautionary steps are not taken and something else happens, additional damages may not be covered by your insurance provider.

Mitigate Mold Damage

It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop following a flood or water damage. If items have been wet for less than 48 hours, they may be salvageable. Remove wet contents such as carpeting and furniture as soon as possible. If an item has been exposed longer than 48 hours, it may be harder and more expensive to salvage. If possible, you can start the drying out process within 24 hours and eliminate mold and mildew growth by: 

  • Removing wet furniture or lifting it off of carpet
  • Place aluminum foil or other carpet separators on furniture to prevent carpet stains
  • Remove and hang area rugs to dry
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out wet areas
  • Turn air conditioning on to help remove humidity and speed the drying process

Contact A Professional Restoration Service

If any amounts of water need more than a mop and you’ve followed the immediate steps to secure your business, water removal may require professional attention. SERVPRO of SW Orlando has the expertise, training and equipment to quickly remedy water damages and help your business get back to working order faster. Give SERVPRO of SW Orlando a call at 407-704-0327.

What Not To Do After a Flood

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is typically extensive in a flooded home, leaving many items destroyed. Flood water contaminates everything it touches, making surviving the aftermath almost as dangerous as the storm. Staying safe after a flood doesn’t have to be challenging, but there are a few things that you should not do.

1. Don’t Go Out in Regular Clothing

As flooding water is contaminated and it is likely hiding additional dangers, like downed power lines and submerged electrical outlets, it is essential to wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and rubber gloves. Additionally, you should avoid wearing anything that will allow your skin to come into direct contact with the water.

2. Don’t Touch the Water

You should avoid direct contact with any standing flood water because most of this water will be considered category three black water. Black water is a mix of sewage and other contaminants that are highly toxic to humans and animals, and this water does not need to be ingested to inflict harm.

3. Don’t Let Your Cell Phone Die

Try to maintain a full battery on your cell phone, if at all possible. As many areas will still be covered in water, a cell phone may be your only way of contacting friends and family or emergency services.

4. Don’t Buy New Furniture

While it is tempting to purchase replacement furniture for your home, buying new furniture so soon after flooding can be a bad decision. The cleanup process takes a lot longer than most homeowners expect, and you don’t want to bring new furniture into a contaminated space because you risk further contamination.

5. Don’t Go it Alone

Call your local SERVPRO, SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando, to help you through this tough time. 407-704-0327

Keeping Your Business Above Water After Water Damage

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response.

Flooding and water damage events at Orlando commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of SW Orlando

SERVPRO of SW Orlando specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Preparing for a Storm as a Property Manager

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage in an Orlando, FL warehouse

Here Are Some Tips to Prepare During all Stages of a Storm

One major responsibility for property owners along coastal areas is storm preparedness. You have a duty to ensure that both your property and tenants are prepared for a natural disaster. Here are some helpful tips to prepare during all stages of a storm.

Before the Storm

Proper preparation before the storm hits is critical to help minimize storm damage. You should work with key individuals who can help create a detailed property management action plan. These individuals could be managers and emergency personnel. Your pre-storm hurricane action plan should include the following:

  • Evacuation routes
  • Emergency response numbers
  • Shelter information
  • Disaster-relief information
  • Contracts and policies
  • Emergency contact list
  • Designated liaison during a storm


Good property management skills demand that you have both physical and intellectual assets secure. Make sure that your files are backed up on a hard drive or in the cloud. Proper storm preparedness should also include annual training for staff and tenants to help minimize flood damage. Additionally, it’s a good idea to take pictures of your property and equipment before a storm. This documentation will be helpful during insurance claims.

During the Storm

Once it’s determined that a hurricane is about to happen in Orlando, FL, and winds have reached speeds of 45 mph, it’s necessary that all staff and tenants evacuate. Property management personnel should shut off all possible equipment according to emergency evacuation guidelines. Before all staff and tenants leave, be sure to give clear instructions that no one should return until hearing from the designated liaison.

After the Storm

Once it’s safe to return to your property, a thorough investigation should be conducted. Provide both written and photographed documentation of your property and possessions. Inform all employees and tenants that it’s safe to return. You should also contact a commercial storm specialist to assist in your flood cleanup efforts.

Proper storm preparedness includes planning for all storm phases. Storm cleanup will go much easier if all individuals know what to do before, during and after the hurricane.

The 5 Most Common Causes of House Fires

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

If you experience a fire in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of SW Orlando at 407-704-0327.

Here are top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.

  1. Candles

From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.

Safety tips:

  • Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
  • Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
  • Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
  • Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
  1. Smoking

While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.

Safety tips:

  • If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
  • Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
  • Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
  • Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
  1. Electrical & Lighting

According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.

Safety tips:

  • Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
  • Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
  • Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
  • Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
  1. Dryers & Washing Machines

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage. 

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
  1. Lightning

From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.

Safety tips:

  • Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
  • Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
  • Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
  • Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.

Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Speciality drying equipment for large commercial water damages.

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms.
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.

Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Repair leaking toilet tanks as soon as possible to prevent water damage in your home

Learning the different ways that you can protect your house in Orlando, FL, from the ravages of water in home situations can spare you a good deal of inconvenience. A broken pipe can spew hundreds of gallons of water in a short time, and depending on its location, it can saturate not only your carpet and flooring but also your home’s structural materials. The good news is that leaks can often be prevented.

Water Damage Prevention Tips

The best option for avoiding the need for pipe cleanup is to prevent water from entering in the first place. The following list may offer you some guidelines in this matter:

  • Check fittings and faucets and tighten or replace where needed
  • Keep rooms warm during periods of extreme cold to prevent a broken pipe
  • Use heat tape in unheated areas
  • Repair leaking toilets as soon as possible
  • Fix gaps in floors by tubs and showers where water may seep through

Why It Is Important To Avoid Leaks

A small leak can, over time, wreak havoc on the inside of cabinets, walls and flooring. A pipe burst, especially if it occurs when no one is at home, can produce great amounts of water, ruining flooring, sheetrock and other building materials. When the water in home damage comes from a toilet, contamination may also occur. A broken pipe will produce clean water but should not be left to sit, or mold and other bacteria may still occur.

Get Help If Needed

Using a professional water remediation service in Orlando, FL, is a good idea in either situation to ensure that water is extracted thoroughly and mold and bacteria are sufficiently cleaned up. They can help assess which items can be saved and which may need to be removed or replaced.
Leaking water in home pipe systems can cause a good deal of damage, but that does not need to be the case. If you inspect your plumbing regularly, keep pipes warm to prevent freezing and repair small leaks at the first sign of trouble, you may just prevent a catastrophe.

Keeping Kids Safe: 4 Techniques to Teach Your Children About Fire Safety

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

One technique to ensure kids safety is to crawl, don't walk.

Sit Down And Teach Your Kids Safety Procedures

When smoke floods the house, and the smoke detectors are blaring, do your loved ones know what to do? Are they prepared to navigate through a home full of flames? If not, sit down and teach your kids safety procedures. Taking the time to practice these tips now could give them the pivotal knowledge to survive an unexpected disaster.

1. Know the Exits

The first priority must be to leave the house, so establish a plan. Make the children think quickly about which way they should turn. Teach them which windows and doors are good access points for the outside. Do you have a second level? This could be trickier. Kids should know where fire escape ladders are located, how to open the window for escape and what to do to install and use the ladders. Finally, designate a specific location to reunite.

2. Crawl, Don't Walk

Because breathing in the smoke is dangerous, explain that everyone should keep heads low to the ground. One technique to ensure kids safety is to walk like a dog on all fours, keeping that nose to the ground. If the heat is intense, they could slither like a snake with noses down low.

3. Check Doors

Doors act as barriers, keeping flames out. When opened, they can be a powerful igniter as oxygen reaches the home fire. Have kids learn to touch the door with their palm. If it's hot, tell them they should not open it. Instead, they will need to find an alternate path. If it's cool, they should slowly crack it open, inching their way out and always closing the door behind them.

4. Scream for Help

If they cannot reach an exit point, have them open a window and scream for help as long as possible. Tell them to grab a sheet and hang it outside, signaling for help.
Giving your kids safety techniques empowers them. They are, after all, irreplaceable. While the physical loss of your home is hard, it can be rebuilt with the help of fire restoration crews in Orlando, FL. Protect those that matter.

The 3 Essentials of Water-Damage Protection for Your Business

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

Preparing an emergency kit with first aid, water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, towels and blankets

Understanding the Three Essentials of Storm Preparedness


The right amount of water in the right place is life-sustaining. When too much water makes its way to the wrong place, it can endanger lives and property. Weather conditions that cause flooding are a primary contributor to commercial property damage. Understanding the three essentials of storm preparedness may help you avoid costly water damage restoration, due to a severe weather event.

Staff Preparation

Preparing your coworkers may prove essential if rising water becomes a reality. Consider the following measures.


Registering with an emergency notification service
Providing your staff with emergency preparedness training by a water emergency specialist
Posting building evacuation routes
Preparing an emergency kit with first aid, water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, towels and blankets
Choosing an emergency preparedness team leader


With your staff now prepared, you may want to bring your building into compliance with flood-safe practices.

Building Preparation

A few precautions can help you avoid costly water damage to your facility. Winterizing your irrigation backflow preventer in cold winters can prevent broken pipes. It may be useful to equip your sump pump with a battery backup that can allow the pump to run, even in a power outage. Regular cleaning of gutters and storm drains can prevent flood-favorable conditions from developing near your structure. With your staff and facility prepared, the third area to address is your financial protection.

Insurance Coverage

Because water-related damage can result in destruction of irreplaceable items, insurance coverage is recommended. If your Orlando, FL, business is located in a high-risk area, you may have been required to purchase a separate flood insurance policy when you purchased the property. Even if your flood risk is low, you may still benefit from a policy that includes coverage for other common types of water damage, such as roof or pipe leaks.

Because water cleanup is generally a disruptive and costly process, you may ultimately be glad you devoted some time to preparation. Taking care of a few preventive measures could prove well worth the trouble by minimizing the impact on your valuable property and your bottom line.

Mold Enjoys Helping You Do the Laundry

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Does your washing machine stink?

Think back to the day that your washing machine arrived. It was clean, dry and had that new-appliance smell. Soon, it was hard at work cleaning the dirty laundry. The new-appliance smell was quickly replaced by the scent of your favorite laundry detergent. Little did you know that mold already had plans to change that.

Your Washer Provides Everything Mold Needs To Thrive

After a while, your washer developed a smell that overpowered both your fresh-smelling detergent and fabric softener. Whenever that happens, the culprit is usually mold. It’s important to remember that a washer provides mold with the everything it needs to grow:

  • Food in the form of unused detergent, soap scum and residual dirt
  • Moisture from the wash and rinse cycles
  • Warmth from the water and nearby dryer

A Complete Cleaning Will Remove the Mold Smell

There are commercial products available that claim to clean a washing machine and remove the smell. If you don’t wish to make a trip to the store, you probably have everything you need to do it the old-fashioned way. It is a simple four-step process:

  • Mix 1/4 cup each of water and baking soda and place them in the detergent dispenser.
  • Pour 2 cups of vinegar into the drum.
  • Run the machine on the hottest wash and rinse cycle.
  • Clean the gaskets and front of the washer with a scrubber.

Preventative Maintenance Is Another Option

Some people prefer to keep their washers clean and dry between laundry sessions. Regular cleaning may not guarantee a mold-free washer, but it should increase the time between cleanings.

Every Source of Mold Is a Cause for Concern

Washing machine mold may be common, but it is just as dangerous as other molds. Left untreated, it may spread may to other areas of your home. If that happens, there are mold treatment specialists based in the Orlando, FL, area. Their training, experience and equipment make them an excellent choice to deal with your mold problems. They are just a phone call away.

How To Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Make a flood cut

Mold growth after flooding in your Orlando, FL, home can be a major headache. However, if you act quickly, you can protect your residence from mold damage.

Preventing Mold Infestation

Because mold can begin to grow as soon as 24 hours after a flood, it is important to address the problem right away. Here are the basic steps for drying out a flooded area:

  1. Remove standing water. The amount of water present will determine the best method for this job. Pumps and wet/dry vacs are commonly used.
  2. Make a flood cut. Because water tends to wick upward behind walls, it is important to remove all drywall and insulation up to at least 12 inches above the waterline.
  3. Dry or remove any other wet items. Make sure anything you decide to keep is completely dry.
    Run fans and dehumidifiers in the flooded area. This will help to remove any remaining moisture and retard the growth of mold.
  4. Disinfect all of the surfaces that were exposed to water. Flood water is considered black water and contains harmful bacteria. Trisodium phosphate, bleach and commercial mold cleaners are all effective methods for disinfecting, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Remediating Mold Growth

Unfortunately, it is not always feasible to fully dry out a flooded area before mold begins to grow. However, it is still important to work quickly. Containing and cleaning the mold as soon as possible may prevent it from spreading and doing more damage to your home’s structure. Turn off the HVAC unit so that mold spores do not spread throughout your home. You may also want to use an air scrubber to capture any mold spores floating in the air. Bleach and specially formulated mold cleaners can generally kill much of the mold present on your home’s surfaces. However, areas with more extensive damage may need to be replaced.
Although the aftermath of a flood can be overwhelming, help is available. Whether you are drying out a space to prevent mold growth or dealing with an existing mold issue, a professional restoration team can make sure the job is done thoroughly, safely and quickly.

How To Recover From Water Damage Inside Your Home

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded home in Orlando,FL

Coming home to discover that bursting pipes have caused your home in Orlando, FL, to be flooded can be an unwelcome surprise for almost anyone. After all, removing excess water may require professional intervention. This is because oftentimes, water may have pooled in difficult to reach areas or deep within carpeting and walls which can result in irreversible water damage to your home and possessions. Luckily, by enlisting the help of experts you can be on your way to making your flooded house feel like a home again.

Why It Happens

When unexpected flooding occurs inside the home, the cause is not always so obvious to the untrained eye. Water is constantly flowing or held in pipes throughout the home and when one of those bursts, it can wreak havoc inside your home. Some of the most common reasons for bursting pipes include the following:

  • Corrosion due to regular wear and tear or expedited by an imbalance in water’s PH
  • Water pressure that exceeds the recommended psi
  • Pipes that are not installed or secured properly and damaged from excessive movement

The Recovery Process

While a skilled home handyman may be able to temporarily fix the issue, any extreme cases or long-term solutions may be better left to an experienced specialist who can correctly diagnose the issue, offer advice about how to prevent it from happening again and help with the recovery process. This can include adjusting your water pressure, checking your water’s composition, having to fix broken pipe equipment, system replacements not to mention recovery for any existing damage inside your home.

Being Prepared

It’s easy to think that large-scale water damage due to bursting pipes won’t happen in your home in Orlando, FL, until it does. By keeping the main causes of damage in mind, you can be proactive by properly caring for your pipes, checking your water pressure and ensuring your water is balanced. While it may take a bit of effort to do this, it can be worthwhile considering the inconvenience and costs of recovering from a flood.

What To Do After a Flood

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Mopping the area
Flooding can take a huge toll on business owners as they try to deal with cleaning and restoring their building after a flood occurs. While the first inclination might be to start cleaning the area and salvaging whatever can be saved, there are several hazards to be aware when entering an area affected by flood water. Before doing anything after a flood occurs, quickly take the following steps.

Determine Safety

Your first concern when addressing a flood in your business is to determine whether it is safe or not to enter the area. It is very important to consider if the water might be contaminated. If dealing with a sewage backup or water from a nearby river, the water is considered Category 3 water. Also called black water, this type of flood water contains contaminants that can potentially cause harm to people or pets nearby.

Call for Help

If a lot of storm damage or water damage has occurred, it will be nearly impossible to effectively handle the situation on your own. Quickly get in contact with a water damage cleanup company to help mitigate the damage and restore your building to its original condition. If dealing with Category 3 water or another hazardous situation, do not enter the flooded area until the specialists say it is safe to do so.

Dry the Area 

If you have determined there are no safety concerns, you can try to dry some of the water in the area while waiting for help to arrive. Depending on where the flooding is located, you can try mopping the area, moving belongings and furniture, or hanging damp fabrics,
Knowing how to act in the case of a flood can help keep everyone in your building in Orlando, FL, safe and minimize the amount of damage the flood water causes. While you want to act quickly, make sure to analyze the situation first and get the help you need.

How a Mitigation Company Can Help Rebuild Your Business

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in an Orlando,FL building

When you’re facing fire damage in your Orlando, FL, business, it can be overwhelming to think about how to begin the rebuilding process. However, consulting a professional fire mitigation company can help to alleviate the destruction caused by the fire incident. If you’re ready to call for help and begin restoring your business, this guide gives you an overview of the mitigation process.

Assessing the Situation

When mitigation professionals arrive at your business, they assess the damage that your building has sustained in the aftermath of the fire. Some of the forms of damage that they inspect may include:

  • Smoke damage
  • Soot damage
  • Water damage (from firefighting efforts)

These types of harm may be present in addition to fire damage caused by direct contact with flames. Professionals can help you determine what the degree of destruction is in your business.

Protecting Against Additional Harm

Examining the extent of damage to your commercial building allows mitigation specialists to prevent further harm from taking place. If your building has any missing walls or windows, professionals can board up these surfaces. They may also place tarps on the roof if it has been damaged as well. Moreover, having your business protected from additional damage can help when an insurance adjuster visits to inspect the state of your building.

Cleaning and Restoration

Finally, fire mitigation professionals clean any damaged items in your building and work on restoring your business. The steps in this process depend on the extent of damage that you are experiencing. If there are any signs of water damage, restoration specialists can remove and dry excess water. Likewise, they may clean any surfaces in your building that contain traces of soot or smoke.
Whether the restoration process involves minor repairs or a full reconstruction, mitigation professionals can improve the condition of your business. Be sure to call a specialist immediately to help you rebuild, no matter what type of fire damage you’re facing.

Repair Your Leaking Roof Before Mold Sets In

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can begin to propagate in as few as 24 to 48 hours

In Orlando, FL, a roof leak can be sneaky. Ice, water, sun and wind can all cause hidden damage that may not show up for weeks or months. Since the roof is high out of sight, you may not notice a leak until the damage has progressed significantly enough to cause a visible ceiling leak inside the house, even the possible growth of black mold.

How Much Time Before Mold Growth Begins?

Mold can begin to propagate in as few as 24 to 48 hours depending on temperature and humidity, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Mold and its spores can be found virtually everywhere and thrive in damp or wet conditions, so once water appears inside your roof mold has a way of following.

Steps To Removing the Damage

Once you discover a roof leak of any size, you should take action as quickly as possible to ensure that the structural and black mold damage is abated. Here are some things you can do.

  • Repair the Roof – This includes potentially removing and replacing broken joists or cracked shingles, sealing cracks, etc.
  • Dry Things Out – Use fans if needed or create an opening to allow air movement and help dry things out
  • Remove Mold – If uncertain as to how to go about this step, getting help from a professional mold remediation service is a good idea

Check Periodically

Once the repair is completed, check periodically to make sure mold is not coming back. You may want to install a dehumidification unit to help with moisture. Annual inspections in late summer and early fall can help prevent a leak from occurring during the wet winter and spring months.
Prevention is always preferable, but sometimes things are beyond your control, even with the best of intentions. If that happens, make the repairs and quickly to avoid damage and the black mold growth that can accompany it.

Things to Know in Advance of a Grease Fire

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Reach for the fire extinguisher

Things to Know in Advance of a Grease Fire

Few home events cause the sort of panic that a kitchen fire will. You’ll only have seconds to react. How you respond could mean the difference between getting away with minimal damage or losing the entire house. Since the kitchen is typically used multiple times a day, the chance of a fire on the stove at some point is pretty good. All fires are not alike, which means that a method of putting out one fire may not work for another fire, and may even make it worse. Here are some things to know in advance of a grease fire.

1. Do Not Use Water

Oil and water don’t mix; water is denser than oil. When water is poured onto burning grease, it immediately goes under the grease and evaporates, taking some of the grease particles with it, and spreading the fire even further.

2. Snuff Out Fire with Pot Lid

A pot lid or baking sheet, if used soon enough, can stop a grease fire before it really has a chance to get started. Don’t remove the lid until everything has completely cooled off.

3. Turn Off Ignition Source

As soon as the fire is under control enough that you can reach the knob, turn off the ignition source.

4. Choose Baking Soda or Salt

Baking soda and salt remove the oxygen a fire has to have to burn. These retardants are particularly effective in smaller fires.

5. Reach for the Fire Extinguisher

For a less manageable residential grease or oil fire, a Class B extinguisher is necessary. This is a dry chemical extinguisher made for smothering a fire originating from combustible gases or liquids. The use of a fire extinguisher will result in a lot of cleanup, so you might want to make this a last resort.
When a grease fire occurs at your home in Orlando, FL, do everything you can to extinguish the fire and minimize damage. At this point, you might want to consult fire damage restoration professionals to handle your fire cleanup needs.

Canceled Flights Don't Have To Ruin Your Plans

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Canceled flight

Tips to Avoid a Canceled Flight

Flying during the winter or hurricane season can be nerve wracking. You may never know whether or not your plane will actually be taking off when it's supposed to. To avoid a canceled flight in Orlando, FL, or handle it with ease, there are some simple tips you can follow.

Track the Weather

Especially if you are traveling during a season with rough storm patterns, you should watch the weather news carefully leading up to your trip. Sometimes airlines will compensate you or allow for a different booking because of bad weather. Don't forget to check in on any storm damage happening to your property. Some storm tips to keep in mind:

Check the forecast before booking in the first place.
Avoid connecting flights that include cities experiencing weather or are prone to it.
If you happen to see something pop up on the radar with enough notice, try to immediately reschedule your flight.

Wait It Out

When you find out about a canceled flight, whether you're traveling to your destination or trying to leave, you might have to stay put. Sometimes hotel stays are unavoidable. Try to make the best of it and think of it as a mini vacation- maybe even treat yourself to some room service. Sometimes airlines will cover the hotel stay for you, so be sure to give them a call or check at the airport.

Call the Airline

If you're already in the airport when your flight is cancelled, don't join the long line at the service desk. It can be way quicker to call the airline directly to re-book your flight. Sometimes flight apps can achieve the same thing. Then, while everyone else is still waiting, you can get on with the rest of your arrangements or head on home until your next flight.
A canceled flight can be very frustrating. If you keep your wits about you and plan for the worst, nothing the sky sends your way can throw you for a loop. Don't let a single obstacle prevent you from having a good trip!

The Ins and Outs of Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

A fire sprinkler system can prevent much of the damage caused by fire

A fire in your Orlando, FL, business is a scary prospect. A fire sprinkler can provide you with peace of mind, but it’s important to understand how it works before selecting one for your business.

Types of Sprinkler Systems

There are several types of sprinklers available:

  • Wet pipe
  • Dry pipe
  • Pre-action
  • Deluge

Wet pipe sprinklers are the most common. In these systems, water stays in the pipes at all times, and when a fire is detected, the water is released. Dry pipe sprinklers work similarly, but the water is not stored in the pipes. This is good for colder areas where the water in pipes often freezes. In both of these types of systems, heat triggers one or more sprinkler heads, and the fire sprinkler is activated in that area.

Pre-action sprinklers, however, require two areas to be triggered — the sprinkler head and a pre-action valve that releases water into the pipes. This dual-trigger process decreases the chances of an accidental sprinkler activation, benefiting areas that store extremely valuable goods, such as electronics and antiques. Deluge sprinkler systems release more water than other sprinkler types, so they are ideal for fire suppression in open spaces where a fire can spread quickly or in areas that store highly flammable materials.

Fire Sprinkler Cleanup

Although a sprinkler system can prevent much of the damage caused by a fire, the sprinkler itself can cause water damage. However, immediately enlisting the help of professionals will minimize the damage. Depending on the amount of water present, some or all furniture and other goods may be removed from the premises to be treated and restored separately. Then, specialized equipment will be used to locate and remove the water from the building. If necessary, commercial-grade dehumidifiers and dryers or fans will be employed to dry out any remaining water. Finally, the surfaces will be cleaned and all necessary reconstruction and replacement will be completed.

A fire sprinkler system can prevent much of the damage caused by fire. If that happens, and the water used causes damage to your property, a team of restoration experts can get your business back to pre-fire condition in no time.

Water Damage Categories and What They Mean

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Uncontaminated water is usually called white water

What Category of Water Causes the Flooding?

When your Orlando, FL, business suffers a broken pipe, you may need to schedule a restoration service to survey the damage and conduct a water pipe repair. The exact nature of the restoration and the steps followed may depend on what category of water caused the flooding. Here's what you may need to know.

1. White Water

Uncontaminated water is usually called white water and often comes from a broken pipe or water main. This is water that is usually considered safe for drinking or bathing, and may easily be cleaned up without worrying about sanitation issues.

2. Grey Water

The professional performing your water pipe repair may categorize any water that comes from an appliance or area that may have come in contact with minor contaminants, such as soap or cleaning chemicals, as grey water. This water is not safe for human consumption, but is not carrying harmful contaminants such as those that might come from a sewer related issue.

3. Black Water

The black water category is usually used when referring to any water the carries sewer contamination such as that from a flooded toilet. This may also refer to flood waters from storms or overflowing rivers as it's difficult to tell exactly what sources such water may have come into contact with. It's highly recommended that a professional be called any time water damage is suspected to fall under the black category, as specific sanitation and safety steps need to be followed.

Flooding is often categorized into three types. The category the flood damage falls under may influence the steps necessary when conducting a water pipe repair at your place of business. It's important to understand which category the water that cause any damage and your business comes from so that the appropriate restoration steps may be taken. If you have any questions it's best to talk to your water damage restoration professional.

Being Prepared for a Flood at a Residence

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Flood in an Orlando, FL residence

Ideas Homeowners and Residents May Consider in Order to Being Prepared for a Flood

Disasters can strike at any time, and it is important to be as prepared as possible for any unforeseen and troubling circumstances. A flood at a residence in Orlando, FL is an example of an event that could suddenly devastate a home, and there are certain steps that an individual can take to be ready if such a disaster strikes. Here are a couple of ideas that homeowners and residents may consider in order to be as prepared as possible.

1. Prepare the Family

Water damage may totally disrupt a family and their residence for an extended period. It may be a good idea to plan and take precautionary measures, such as creating an emergency plan for the family. This plan may include designating tasks for each family member to complete in the event of an emergency or deciding upon which important documents to keep secure and easily accessible in case an immediate evacuation is necessary. Additionally, an emergency bag may be a great idea to organize now. This “escape bag” can include essential items such as food and water to last for several days until professionals who specialize in repairing water damage can access the home.

2. Prepare the Home

A flood may occur for many reasons, including natural causes such as weather and storms, as well as something within the home like a broken pipe. If a homeowner has prepared his/her home for an emergency, this may significantly reduce the time that it could take to recover. Going through the home and making a list of preparations may save precious time. A homeowner may consider taking notes of any areas within the home that may need repair, and jot down tasks such as “fix broken pipe,” or “fix electrical outlets near the sink,” for instance. It may also be a good idea to explore the option of purchasing flood insurance coverage.
It is impossible to predict when a catastrophe may strike. However, if the family and the home are prepared, getting back to normal after a flood may be possible – and in a short amount of time!

How to Prevent Mold From Spreading

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Keep your air conditioning system off to prevent the circulating air from moving spores through the house

Things You Should Do if There is a Fungal Growth in Your Home

If you have found black mold in your Orlando, FL home, it is important to remove it as soon as possible, as mold can grow quickly even over short periods of time. If the mold cannot be removed immediately, you should take steps to prevent it from spreading throughout the house. Here are a few things you should do if there is a fungal growth in your home.

1. Keep Everything Dry

In many cases, mold grows as a result of a moisture problem in the home. This can come from leaky pipes and faucets or high levels of humidity. Reducing the moisture in your house can help keep mold from spreading further. Be sure to dry showers and sinks after use and repair any leaks as soon as you can. Opening windows or using exhaust fans while cooking or showering can help lower humidity levels.

2. Turn Off Air Conditioners or Heaters

If the black mold growth has become severe and you notice mold in multiple areas of the home, you may have mold spores traveling through the air. In order to minimize the spreading of mold, you should reduce airflow in the building. Keep your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system turned off to prevent the circulating air from moving spores through the house.

3. Call a Remediation Service

The best way to prevent the spreading of black mold and remove it from your home is to call a mold remediation specialist. These professionals will have the necessary experience and expertise to locate the source of the mold growth and remove it. They can perform cleanup to restore any damaged belongings as well.

If you have noticed a growth, you should have mold cleanup performed as soon as possible. Taking steps to prevent it from spreading will help the remediation process go more quickly and easily. If you are unable to remove the mold on your own, a professional service can do so for you.

How to Maintain Your Furnace

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Keep your furnace maintained for better results

Keep You Furnace Properly Maintained

During the autumn and winter months, you will often need to heat your Orlando, FL home. If you use a furnace, you should be sure to keep it properly maintained to reduce the risk of a house fire that could lead to lost belongings and damage that requires fire cleaning. To ensure that your unit is working as it should, remember to do the following.

1. Clean or Replace Filters Regularly

When you are using a furnace to heat your home, it is important that you keep the filters clean and replace them when necessary. When they are not regularly cleaned, filters are unable to work as intended and can allow dust, dirt and allergens to enter the air during heating. It also makes it more difficult for the furnace to operate and can cause overheating which may start a fire. While cleaning your filters may seem like a nuisance, it is a much better option than having to go through fire cleaning.

2. Inspect the Unit Before Use

If it has been a while since your furnace has been used, you should inspect the unit before operating it for long periods of time. Make sure that all of the components are clean and working correctly. You should also check that the furnace is receiving power or, if powered by fuel, has enough oil to operate correctly.

3. Hire a Professional

The best way to ensure that your device is operating as intended is to call in professionals to inspect and maintain the unit for you. They will have the experience needed to locate any problems before it becomes a bigger issue. To reduce your chances of a fire and consequent need for fire and smoke cleaning, you should have your furnace serviced once or twice a year, specifically before the cooler weather in autumn begins.

While properly maintaining your furnace is a good way to reduce your chances of a fire, sometimes unexpected problems arise. If a fire occurs, a fire restoration service will be able to do fire cleaning and repairs to get your home to its previous condition.

Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Mold will quickly grow in the first 24-48 hours

Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

There is a lot that needs attention after a flood. One of the most serious issues is mold growth, which can cause property damage if left untreated. If your business in Orlando, FL, is affected by mold after a flood, take these steps to prevent any major damage to your building.

Remove Any Moisture

After a flood, it is common for water to accumulate in lower levels of a building or in a nearby yard. This standing water can lead to problems with the following:

  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Insects
  • Vermin

Mold and bacteria are particularly frequent in the presence of standing water, as they both favor moist areas to grow and reproduce. Professional services are available for water removal, making cleanup quick and easy. Be sure to get this done as soon as possible, since mold can begin growing within hours.

Control the Mold

If left untreated and allowed to grow, mold can cause many different problems for a building. Some materials such as drywall and insulation are very porous and will be unsalvageable once mold has grown. Any surface made of wood will eventually be destroyed, as the mold will eat away at it and absorb the nutrients within. Though concrete will not be destroyed by mold, it can act as a moisture source for the spores to grow and spread. Any of these can lead to added expenses or repairs if not addressed.

If you do find that mold has grown as a result of flooding, call a mold remediation specialist to handle the mold growth. Mold spores can enter your business via doors or windows, a ventilation or heating system or on the clothes of employees. Without any kind of mitigation, mold will quickly grow in the first 24-48 hours after the flooding has occurred. The specialists will work quickly to remove the source of the moisture and bring the mold spores back down to a normal, safe level.

Flooding can cause many problems for a business, but mold growth is one of the most serious. Get timely help from experts to ensure your business keeps mold under control.

3 Steps To Repair a Roof After Storm Damage

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage in an Orlando, FL home

Roof Repair

When storms in Orlando, FL, damage your home’s roof, the idea of a roof repair can seem overwhelming. However, understanding what repairing a roof entails may make you feel more at ease about the process.

1. Assessment

Storms can affect various parts of a roof, and in order to know how to proceed in the repair process, it’s often necessary to assess the damaged roof. Hail and wind damage can cause shingles to crack or even blow away entirely, and the extent of the damage will determine what will happen next. In order to receive a thorough and accurate assessment, it can sometimes be helpful to employ storm damage restoration professionals.

2. Mitigation

Part of the roof repair process generally includes mitigating the damage. After an assessment has identified roof damage, tarps and board-up methods are often used to prevent the roof from further deteriorating. In addition to preventing the exterior of the home from sustaining more damage, it can also be useful to take measurements to protect the interior of the home. Roofs that have been affected by storms may cause water to become trapped in the home’s ceilings. Removing water from the ceiling in a timely manner can help to minimize the damage to the interior of the home.

3. Restoration

After an assessment and mitigation, the roof is restored. Any debris that is on or around the roof is first removed. Then, individual shingles that have been cracked or that have blown away due to strong winds can be replaced. If widespread damage has occurred to your roof, however, it may be necessary to replace the roof entirely to ensure the home is properly protected.

Knowing what is involved with a roof repair can help make the repair and restoration process less stressful. The repair process often involves the assessment of the roof, mitigating the damage and restoration.

Ways to Lower Your Business Interruption Insurance Loss

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of SW Orlando can restore any residential or commercial building back to normal as quickly as possible.

Can you imagine starting a business and not purchasing property insurance, fire insurance or other hazard coverage? It would be unwise to even consider go without these benefits. In the event of a disaster such as flooding, these plans could save you and your Orlando, FL, company from financial ruin. A severe emergency could make your building unusable and thus temporarily cease operations. Business interruption insurance is critical in these cases. There are ways to make sure your financial losses are minimal.

What It Covers

If you have to close your doors to your office due to large water damage, you could start to lose money and watch as customer jump ship and head over to your competitors. Business interruption insurance can help in the following ways:

  • Compensates you for lost income if you have to leave the building and not conduct business
  • Covers operating expenses such as electricity
  • Covers the revenue you would have brought it had the disaster not occurred.

What Do You Do Next

If the flooding is extensive and shuts you down longer than you expected, your costs may exceed coverage limits. To avoid heavy losses, you may think things are out of your control. This will largely depend on how long it takes to clean up after the incident and make your building safe for work again. A quick recovery will help keep these losses down.

Hire the Right Help

This is where it’s critical to bring aboard an experienced, skilled flood restoration company. Whether it’s a broken pipe, sewer backup or other reason the water damage occurred, a competent team of professionals will move the recovery process forward more quickly. The crew will use the most advanced equipment and techniques to remove all water and then dry and sanitize the affected area.

If major flooding shuts down your business, make sure you hire the right cleanup team to get you back to work. This will help ensure the costs don’t exceed coverage limits.

Mold in the Building? Take These Steps Immediately

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Mold infestation in Orlando,FL

You go about your business each day at work focused on the tasks at hand. You probably give little thought to issues such as mold cleanup and fungal growth. However, if you come across this concern, it could cause great alarm for you and everyone in your Orlando, FL, workplace. On the bright side, there are some effective actions you can take when you discover this nasty substance.

Don’t Delay

The second you discover mold spores in your building, take appropriate action. Don’t shrug it off or procrastinate. This could only make matters worse and result in bigger concerns. Here are some essential steps:

  • Get in touch with the building manager.
  • Take some pictures.
  • Call a professional mold cleanup company.
  • Contact your commercial building insurance company.

Inform the Property Manager

It’s important that you speak with the building manager about the situation so he or she can take necessary steps to prevent further mold contamination. The building manager will apprise other tenants of the situation.

Take Photos

This is an important step when you speak with a cleanup team and with your insurance agent. You want to document the extent of the damage and what type of mold is present in your office.

Call the Pros

This might be the most crucial step in the process. Mold cleanup isn’t something you should handle on your own. There are trained, capable professionals who have the equipment to thoroughly dispose of the mold in your building. The team will also clean and sanitize the area so you can rest easy knowing all the mold is gone.

Speak With the Insurance Provider

Your insurance plan may have provisions where it covers mold and all cleanup and restoration efforts. Discuss your concerns with your insurance agent and ensure that you understand your policy completely.

Quick action and mold cleanup is essential when you find mold at work. Get a professional crew on the job, and you should be in good shape.

How Do I Get Rid of the Mildew on My Plants?

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Watering your plants more is another easy solution for powdery mildew

Whether flowering or fruit bearing, bushy or prickly, plants can clear the air and generally bring personality to our homes. But when plant mildew takes hold, you may worry your plant’s days may be numbered. Fortunately, getting mildew doesn’t have to spell the end for your plant. With a little effort and some things you can likely found around your Orlando, FL, home, you can rid your plants of mildew in no time.

About Powdery Mildew

One of the most common fungi to show up on plants is called powdery mildew. It can look a bit like a fine powder you can simply dust off. But it comes back again and again, coating leaves and giving your plant a dull look. Powdery mildew often

  • Looks like white or gray spots
  • Prefers warm, dry environments
  • Shows up when plant foliage is dry

While mildew growth won’t immediately kill your plant, it’s a good idea to clear it before it gets out of hand and becomes a real threat

Cleaning Powdery Mildew

Common grocery store items are your first weapon against plant mildew. Baking soda mixed with liquid soap and water sprayed on plants can neutralize mildew and be a preventative for new mildew formation, while spraying plain mouthwash on leaves can kill mildew spores. Milk offers a surprising antiseptic effect on powdery mildew. Mix one part to three parts of water and rub on leaves to relieve your plants from fungal effects.

Watering your plants more is another easy solution for powdery mildew, erasing the dry environment the fungus loves.

Plant mildew is an unsightly menace that, if left alone, can eventually leach nutrients from your plants and cause them to wither. Look in your cabinet for tools to eradicate it or, in serious cases, talk to a mold specialist to learn about fungicides and other options to keep your plants at their beautiful best.

Drip, Drip, Drip: How To Tell If Your Shower Is Leaking

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Shower leaking in a Orlando,FL home

Water damage can be costly to the unsuspecting homeowner. In the fast pace of a daily routine, it can be difficult to remember to check for potential damage from something as mundane as a bathtub leak or shower pan leak. However, the earlier a leak is caught, the higher the chance that all you need is a simple repair.

How To Look for Damage

The first thing to do when looking for damage from a leak is to visually inspect the area. If you suspect a shower or bathtub leak, look for obvious signs of water damage:

  • Look for any obvious cracks or damage to shower tile or the bathtub itself where it looks like water could be escaping.
  • Peeling or loose trim can indicate potential damage from repeated water exposure.
  • Check the faucet or shower head by running water for a short time and then turning the water off, observing any unusual water flow where the fixtures are attached to the wall.
  • You may also be able to see issues with the threshold of a shower while the shower is on, such as water escaping when the shower doors are closed.
  • Any stains in the ceiling directly underneath a bathroom are a definite red flag and need to be addressed as soon as possible.

What This Means for You

If you find any of these signs of possible leakage, it’s time to contact an emergency restoration professional. An experienced professional can not only prevent further structural damage from occurring around the bathtub but can also take steps to eliminate any mold or mildew buildup from trapped water.

Just remember, if you find any signs of a possible shower or bathtub leak in your bathroom, you can rest assured that a restoration professional in Orlando, FL, is Here to Help. Enlisting the aid or experienced professionals can help you get your home back to normal as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

3 Ways an Expert Document Drying Service Can Lower Costs After a Disaster

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Contact SERVPRO for residential and commercial restoration

Document Restoration Services

Despite all you do to keep your Orlando, FL, business safe, unexpected disasters can still strike and cause damage to your building and its contents. While insurance may cover some losses, you might still be faced with how to restore certain items without stretching your company’s budget to its maximum. If you need document restoration services, there are several ways using an expert and experienced service can help lower costs as you work toward recovery.

1. A Variety of Options

When important documents become damaged by flooding, fire or mold, calling in a professional restoration service can help you discover a variety of options so you can choose one that suits your budget. Having more than one solution, from sanitizing to transferring your documents to a digital format, can help you keep costs low so you can focus on other necessary repairs.

2. Prevent Money Waste

After a flood or other natural disaster, you may be tempted to try some do-it-yourself document-drying tactics to save money. However, this may end up costing you both time and other resources, and not all of these ideas may be viable for the type of business documents you are trying to salvage. Contacting a professional restoration service right away can ensure that your document restoration items are repaired correctly the first time.

3. Bundled Services

Companies that specialize in restoration may be able to offer you bundled services after a disaster to help you save money. For example, a professional service like SERVPRO not only offers document drying but other services such as flood mitigation, tear outs and odor removal. Bundling these services may keep costs down, especially if you create an on-call contract with a restoration company as proof against damage caused by weather or fire.

When disaster strikes your Orlando, FL, business, the cost of document restoration and other repairs can be overwhelming. However, calling in a service that specializes in these processes can provide you with some options that may help keep some costs low.

Why You Should Have A Fire Extinguisher

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Office buildings need specific fire safety equipment to keep both employees and clients safe. This includes smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire alarms, and extinguishers.  

The first step in fire damage restoration is to put out the fire using the proper tools.  A first responder may use an approved portable fire extinguisher to prevent a small fire from growing and causing further damage.  

The National Fire Protection Agency publishes a series of standards and requirements for portable fire extinguishers called NFPA 10, available here.

No matter what the size of the fire, your first priority should be to get everyone out safely and call 911.  Once the fire has been put out, you can call SERVPRO of SW Orlando (407) 704-0327 to assist with the fire damage restoration.  

Here is a link for another great resource on why you should buy a fire extinguisher for your home. 

Understand our Terms and Lingo

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Terms used in the insurance industry by restoration professionals.

SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando is always "Here to Help". We know the jargon can be confusing so we usually try to break it down as easy as we can out in the field, but we know that our customers like to stay informed. Here are some common terms used in the field with their definition so you can understand better what is happening in your home or business.

Anti-Microbials: A substance, mechanism, or condition that inhibits the growth or existence of an organism.Commonly applied after a water damage to prevent mold from developing.

Fire Damage Recovery: The process of restoring and recovering property and belongings after a fire. The objectives include minimizing existing damage, damage mitigation, structure stabilization, soot & odor removal and reconstruction.

Fungi: The unicellular or multicellular eukaryotic/ DNA organisms embracing a large group of microflora including: molds, mildews, yeasts, mushrooms, rusts and smuts.

HVAC: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

HEPA Filter: High efficiency particulate air filter, a specialized filter capable of removing 99.7% of particles. Commonly used in mold or odor job sites. HEPA Vacuum or HEPA air scrubber. 

Masking Agents: Designed to prevent or remove heightened awareness to odors by providing a fragrance, which is stronger and more pleasant to smell while the source of the odor is being eliminated.

Smoke Damage Removal: Neutralizing or removing smoke odors that linger after fires.

Smoke Particles: Smoke is composed of gases / sometimes aerosols, and airborne solids. Dry wood, natural fibers and paper all produce small non-smearing material. Plastic, foam, and rubber (polymers) produce large easily smeared residues.

The Restoration Company for All Insurance Adjusters

2/21/2019 (Permalink)

As a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration, SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando offers your insurance company an array of competitive advantages. Our goal is to restore both your customer’s property and their peace of mind through timely mitigation and adherence to IICRC standards. The result? Lower claims costs and satisfied customers – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando is uniquely qualified to help. Our results create a measurable difference, giving you many competitive advantages. We 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.

Emergency Response to Claims

Restoring property is our 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." Our highly-trained professionals make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability.

Claims Inventory Service

At SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando we can provide an itemized loss inventory. You will receive a link to an inventory site that will provide pictures of important items and the status of the contents in the cleaning process.

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
  • On-line 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. Our staff is trained to IICRC standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration. In addition, continuing education classes are available to all SERVPRO Franchise Professionals at SERVPRO Industries, Inc.'s state of the art IICRC Approved Training Facility.

Vendor Qualification Compliance and Professionalism

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

  • A National Call 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

Our job is to reassure the customer, perform quality service and to 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. Our documented, measured performance increases value to you and your shareholders, managers and customers.

Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando a leader 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.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando today at 407-704-0327!

What Happens to Your Belongings After a Disaster?

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

We will be able to keep your items safe and secure with our in-house storage.

Water and fire damage affect not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of SW Orlando understands that your home is more than a structure. Your furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings are important to you. Your belongings are important to us, which is why we provide the following to help restore and protect your belongings while we are restoring your home.

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of SW Orlando can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out will provide several benefits, including the following:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.

On-Site Storage

We have in-house storage where we can keep your belongings safe from further damage, and can provide cleaning and restoration services for your belongings. We have four warehouses dedicated to storage where we can keep your items safe and secure. Your items will be placed in clearly identified and secured containers. You can rest assured that your items are being taken care of.

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims

If your home and belongings need restoration services, rest assured that SERVPRO of SW Orlando has you covered. We can pack out, store and restore your belongings. Give us a call today at 407-704-0327. 

ERP's and Why They Are Important

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Being a business owner can have many responsibilities, and you may have to take on multiple roles.

In most cases, disaster is the last thing you are thinking about, but every business owner, regardless of how new or old your business is, should have a plan and guide for what to do in the event of a disaster.

SERVPRO of SW Orlando offers a free community service called the "Emergency Ready Plan", or an ERP.

ERP's are handy little guides that we make at SERVPRO that contain basic information regarding your property, who owns the property, and where your emergency shut off locations are.

We document and photograph where your electrical, water, and gas shut offs are, as well as your sprinkler system and security system. We also have the contacts for those utilities companies in the event that you must make contact.

Key contacts are also listed in the ERP, such as the owner, the insurance agent for the property, the SERVPRO representative, and the managers of the building.

The emergency contacts and services page has the fire department and police department's emergency and non-emergency numbers as well, that way, if contact is needed, you know where to find all those phone numbers and contact points.

It's very beneficial to have an ERP because although the business owner might know where everything is and who to contact, your employees might not know. Having a guide like this can help so much if the business owner is not present.

ERP's are very convenient as well, we are able to provide a paper copy, and we can provide a digital version on the Ready Plan app! Which makes ERP's very easy to access in times of need.

When you run a business, it's good to prepare for not just the next day's shift, but for the things that happen unexpectedly.

SERVPRO of SW Orlando is always here to help!

How to Perform a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

If you need professional fire, smoke and water damage cleanup and remediation after a fire, call the experts at SERVPRO of SW Orlando.

Home Safety: How to Inspect a Fire Extinguisher

When was the last time you took time to check the fire extinguisher that sits under your kitchen sink? Or the one hanging from a dusty hook in your garage? If you’re struggling to remember, it’s time to check it. Like any other piece of safety equipment, a home fire extinguisher should be inspected regularly to ensure it’s in proper working condition. A fire extinguisher in good working condition is your first line of defense when a home fire erupts.

Ideally, you should inspect your portable home fire extinguishers every month.

Tips for Performing a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Check

Check the label or tag.

Every fire extinguisher, whether disposable or rechargeable, has a manufacturer’s label or tag. Read the tag and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance suggestions.

Check the tamper seal.

If the tamper seal has been broken or is cracked, a disposable fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. If it’s rechargeable, it needs to be serviced professionally. Check the locking or pull pin as well to make sure it’s in the correct position. If the pin missing, the fire extinguisher needs to be inspected or serviced by a professional.

Inspect for physical damage.

Physically inspect the fire extinguisher for obvious damage. This may include but is not limited to dents, corrosion, cracks and obvious leakage. If a fire extinguisher has leakage, it’s no longer under full pressure and may not work properly when you need it most. Check the fire extinguisher nozzle as well, to ensure it’s not clogged by grime, dust, bugs or leakage from the unit itself.

Check the pressure gauge.

Check that the pressure gauge needle indicates the fire extinguisher pressure is in the optimum operating range. Often the correct pressure range will be designated by green on the gauge.

Is the fire extinguisher full?

During your monthly check, lift the fire extinguisher and determine if it still feels full. If there has been a leak, it will feel light, and it won’t have the right amount of pressure to work correctly.

Shake it.

If you have a dry chemical fire extinguisher, it should be shaken once a month during your inspection. This helps prevent the chemical dousing agent from solidifying at the bottom of the unit.

Write inspection date on tag.

Keep track of every inspection date by writing it on the fire extinguisher tag.

Ensure easy access to your fire extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers should always be easy to access if there is an emergency. You don’t want to have to search for it once a fire breaks out. Don’t block fire extinguishers with furniture, boxes or any other items. Everyone who lives in the household should know where the closest fire extinguisher is located and how to use it in case of an emergency.

In the event of a fire emergency, first make sure to get people safely away, then call 911. A home fire extinguisher can be used to put out or control small fires, but it’s still safest to call professional fire fighters before you attempt to control a fire on your own. 

Shut Off Valves at Work

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

We also have shut off tags you can put on your water valves so they are easily noticeable.

Many workplaces always call's on the boss or the maintenance man when something goes wrong. What if they were home sick, or in a meeting and you need to locate the water shut off, where do you start? 

SERVPRO of SW Orlando can help commercial property in planning for a water, fire, storm damage. How, with a free Emergency Response Profile created by the SERVPRO Marketing Department. 

By having a plan of action and including it into your regular training at your office you can minimize the cost if an unplanned event happens like a frozen pipe, fire, or anything. 

Some property manager use this as a tool to keep everything organized in one central location. 

Is your business ready for a disaster. Even a simple pipe burst can cause a lot of damage and headache. With a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile it can have the critical information to minimize damages, provide the resources for the employee's of the company, and provide property details and information. This is a FREE services that we provide to commercial properties. 

Make an appointment today to get started!

If the unthinkable happens, call your local SERVPRO of SW Orlando Professionals at 407-704-0327; 24/7 to help you avoid the cost and hassle of secondary damages.  We will help make it "Like it never even happened."

Forgotten Causes of Commercial Water Damage

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

The best commercial water damage is the damage you avoid.

Business owners usually think commercial water damage is caused by floods, massive rains, and storms. That’s often true. Weather events, storms, and flooding do shut down businesses and create major water damage in commercial buildings. Unfortunately, many business owners, commercial space renters, and entrepreneurs don’t think about and try to prevent other typical causes of water damage.   
 

1. Sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty, not well maintained, or in need of replacement. Many a time a poor sprinkler system has damaged commercial inventory and business assets and shut down business. Check your system to make sure that it’s not faulty or in need of repair or replacement.

2. Appliances and equipment
Restaurants and catering businesses sometimes suffer water damage from their appliances or equipment. But any business that has appliances or equipment that use water could suffer water damage. If an appliance fails and spews water across your commercial building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water damage emergency.
 

3. Pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residential home, the plumbing system in a commercial business can fail. A broken pipe or faulty plumbing can result in major water damage in just a few hours.

4. Sewer lines
Sewer backups are another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated black water which can cause health issues and ruin products and office furnishings.
 

5. Water Heaters
Water heaters in commercial buildings can crack or lose their seal because of high pressure. You want to make sure and follow the manufacturers guidelines and flush your water heater regularly to make sure it is working properly.

6. Roofing
One of the more obvious ways commercial buildings suffer water damage is through an old or leaky roof. Inspect the roof frequently (at least every six months) to make sure it does not need to be reseal and to be sure it drains properly. Even small leaks should be fixed immediately.

Commercial water damage? Call SERVPRO of SW Orlando. Call anytime 24/7 at 407-704-0327.

Remediating Flood Damage

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

When your home is flooded, SERVPRO is the company to quickly call for drying out services. We will dry out your carpet and assess the pad underneath.

SERVPRO Technicians Systematically Dry Out Your Carpet to Try and Save the Pad Underneath

Storms around the Orlando area are usually calm enough for the drains and area creeks and rivers to handle. When they are severe enough to generate floods, every home in their path is affected to one point or another.
 
Unless the water generated is massive, most Lee's Summit flood damage restoration efforts center around drying the carpets. SERVPRO technicians attempt to use in-place drying for carpets if possible and remove most of this water by extraction.
 
Our teams start the process with specialized equipment that pushes into the carpet and squeezes the water out through an extraction wand. They first remove water from the center of the room and then move the furniture either to the center or remove it completely from the affected area before starting. Once they finish the center, the teams begin extracting water from around the perimeter of the room in sections of 10 square feet or smaller.
 
After our teams complete one pass over the affected room, an inspector or team leader carefully lifts up one corner of the carpet and examines the pad. If he can squeeze water out of it, the restoration team repeats the extraction process until no more water squeezes out of the pad. They do this as quickly as possible since carpet pads rapidly deteriorate if underwater too long.
 
If the inspector sees that deterioration has started, he recommends removing and replacing the pad immediately. In-place extraction takes longer to remove water, but it can cost less in labor since time is not wasted by detaching the carpet and removing it from the affected rooms.
 
Once the team completes extraction, SERVPRO uses a combination of dehumidifiers and air movers to remove moisture in the surrounding air and to dry both the underside and the surface of the carpet. These devices working together can return a room to its pre-flood condition in just a day or two.
 
Drying carpets are one of the processes SERVPRO of SW Orlando uses to return homes to a dry, safe condition. If you are dealing with any recent or older flooding, contact us today at (407) 704-0327 to schedule an inspection. We are here to help.

How to Keep Mold and Moisture Out of Your HVAC System

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Contact us to remediate your Orlando home!

Tips and Tricks From SERVPRO of SW Orlando to Keeping Mold and Moisture Out Of Your HVAC System

In the warm summer heat, it's easy to build up moisture; especially when it gets sticky, muggy and humid. When this happens, you naturally crank the A.C., reach for something cold, and kick back in your lazy chair. The problem is, when you're relaxing and enjoying the nice cold breeze, mold is spreading through your ducts, vents, and HVAC system, leaving a nasty haze of mold that you can smell all over the house. If you're running a business, your customers could smell it too- which is why you should always call our service professionals to deal with the problem as soon as possible. 

How Does Mold Get in The HVAC System? 

Mold damage in Orlando is no laughing matter. Mold, fungus, and other bacteria are in their perfect environment when they're trapped in your HVAC system. It's dark, warm, moist, closed in, and humid, meaning that spores can grow practically unabated. You'll notice more and more scent as heat and humidity is generated from outside and pulled through your ducts. 

When this moist air gets in your air system, it collects within and above your HVAC units. At this point, the spores of mold and other fungi easily rise through the air, setting up colonies as your condenser forces them up through the duct system. These aren't the only cases of mold that we've seen at SERVPRO; we've seen mold stick to people's clothes or shoes, and it's all brought inside by excess humidity caused by rainfall. 

Here Are a Few Tips on How to Remove Mold From Your HVAC System 

1. Continue to clean and maintain your HVAC system, even when you aren't using it. Check the ducts for wet spots, and regularly check and maintain your HVAC filter. 

2. Double check the drainage systems on your HVAC for mold. Allow for "dry-out" areas where the drainage comes out to prevent excess moisture. 

3. Get dehumidifiers for your home. They are ideal for collecting excess humidity, and they help with the temperature inside your house, too. 

4. Always insulate your pipes, walls, and ceilings. Use caulking for cracks to control cracks and leaks. 

5. Contrary to common beliefs, keep your windows closed when it's hot outside. Humidity, dust, and dampness easily travel inside. 

What Can You Do to Fix Moldy Clothes?

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Your dryer is your friend.

The reason clothing is so susceptible to mold growth is not just because of the mold-inviting circumstances within the laundry room. Generally, when it is worn, clothing collects sweat and skin cells, as well as dirt and other forms of moisture and organic material that mold loves to feast on. Then, it is placed in the laundry hamper and usually sits for days before it it is finally washed. This scenario is typical and may not result in a noticeable mold infestation, but should the soiled laundry be allowed to fester long enough, a mildew smell may be present, as well as visible signs of green, blue, gray, black, or sometimes even white mold on clothes.

Another scenario is becoming more common due to busy lifestyles and poor habits. The quick development of mold on clothes after washing may be surprising to some, but it is quite an ordinary occurrence for those with overwhelmed schedules or those who are vulnerable to procrastination because they often forget to remove clothing from the washing machine once the cycle is finished. As time passes, this leads to the rapid proliferation of mildew and mold on clothes after washing, due to the remaining moisture. Neglecting to put the wet clothes in the dryer for a few hours is not what makes mold grow. Neglecting the clothes in the washer for 6 hours or longer–sometimes a day or even a few days–is the problem. Before too long, a mildew smell will be detected in the washer and clothing. Some assume this is the residue of soap, and while that may be true to some extent, the fact of the matter is that most soaps contains lard and other organic (even synthetic) materials that mold can thrive off of. The smell is not necessarily the residue of soap, but an indication that mold is producing a secondary metabolite–the mildew smell–from consuming that soap.

What is a natural detergent to kill mold?  Here is what you will need.

  • Two 5 oz. organic castile soap bars (naturally-scented with lavender or peppermint is great but non-scented works just the same)
  • 3 cups of washing soda (no, it’s not the same as baking soda)
  • 2 cups of borax
  • 30 drops of  certified-pure lavender essential oil (optional but highly advisable for a mold killing laundry detergent)

Once you have all the materials, this is what to do. 

  1. Cut the castile soap bars into small pieces or chunks. (This is crucial to avoid damaging the food processor.)
  2. Place the cut castile soap pieces or chunks in the food processor bowl. Pulse the soap on high until what remains are large crumbs.
  3. Add the washing soda to the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. (After pulsing, all the ingredients should be in powder form and well-combined. If not, try running the food processor again and then mixing with a spoon.)
  4. Empty the washing soda and castile soap into the storage container. Add the borax and blend well with a spoon.
  5. Add the essential oils of choice (optional but beneficial) and be sure to mix well.

Do not place this mixture into the drawer or dispenser, place it directly in with the laundry.

Pet Storm Preparedness

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Don't let your pet be unprepared.

Pet Storm tips from SERVPRO of SW Orlando -

Did you know that almost all dog and cat owners don't have disaster plans for their pets? SERVPRO of SW Orlando urges you to make sure this isn’t you.

You made a disaster kit for yourself and family, so make one for your pet. This includes medical records and medication, food and water with can openers, leashes, and carriers.

Tips:

  • Keep pets inside during a storm. Animals can become confused and run away from home during a disaster.
  • Arrange a safe haven for you and your pets during evacuation. Do not leave pets behind.
  • Store an emergency kit—with items such as pet food, bottled water, medical records, a blanket, a flashlight and leashes—as close to an exit as possible.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags. 
  • Have your pet microchipped in case of a lost collar. 
  • Place a rescue alert sticker to your front home to let rescuers know that there are pets inside.
  • Choose a caregiver to take care of your pet in the event you are unable to.

SERVPRO of SW Orlando 407-704-0327

Orlando 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of SW Orlando provides 24 hour water damage restoration service in Orlando.

SERVPRO of SW Orlando is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (407)704-0327 

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of SW Orlando has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of SW Orlando

SERVPRO of SW Orlando specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Dangers of Flash Flooding in Orlando, FL

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

If flooding does occur in your area, listen to and adhere to weather alerts and warnings and know your risk!

Flooding is the number #1 weather related cause of death, with majority of those deaths caused by flash flooding. Flash flooding is when there is a large amount of rain that comes down within minutes or hours. Other causes can be heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or melt water from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields.

If flooding does occur in your area, please remember

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for current and forecasted conditions in your area.
  • If flooding begins in your area, go to higher ground immediately.
  • When driving, always be aware that the road bed under flood waters may be severely damaged. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Remember that it takes only two feet of water to carry away a vehicle, including pickups and SUVs.
  • When walking, do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Remember that it takes only six inches of rushing water to knock an adult off his feet.
  • If your vehicle stalls, get out immediately and go to higher ground.
  • Be extra cautious at night, when it is harder to see possible flood dangers.
  • These four words could save your life: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.

When it comes to water damage from flooding, safety is the number one priority. When you can insure the safety of your family and conditions have improved, that is when to call in the professionals and assess damage. Our SERVPRO team is ready for whatever happens.

SERVPRO: Your Experts in Commercial Water Damage in Orlando, FL

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Have questions? Call us today - 407-704-0327

If you have recently become a victim of commercial water damage in Lee's Summit, MO, you may be wondering what you can do to mitigate your damages. There is a critical period in which certain actions must be taken to preserve as much of your property as possible and to decrease any health risks when water damage has occurred in a commercial space.

Preparing a Space for Water Damage Restoration

Before you enter your commercial space or any flooded building, you will need to make sure the electrical power to the structure is shut off. You should also be aware that during a flooding event, small animals or reptiles tend to seek shelter inside of buildings. Be prepared to deal with the discovery of wild animals in your space.

Protect yourself from entering any flooded building by wearing an organic vapor respirator. You can purchase these at any local paint and building supply stores. You also want to have rubber gloves, protective clothing, and eye protection. The first thing you should do is ventilate the affected areas by opening the windows and placing fans where possible.

Unfortunately, there likely will be items that you need to throw away. Any items that are porous and have absorbed contaminated floodwater cannot be restored. If your commercial space has drywall, mattresses, pillows, box springs, particle board, carpets or carpet pads, these will need to be discarded if they have become saturated. However, there is good news: If you have clothing or household fabrics that can be machine-washed, you may be able to salvage them. Use your washing machine to clean these items with a 10-minute soak at the minimum in hot water with detergent. The soap and normal wash should remove most of the contamination and any staining that is present.

Be aware that your commercial space will need a thorough professional inspection, cleaning and possibly restructuring. Water damaged walls and installations must be removed and repaired, and pockets of saturation should be exposed for drying and sanitizing. Always remember that mold growth could take a few days to appear as it thrives in a moist environment with organic-type materials such as paper or particle board and in temperatures that range between 60 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep good airflow throughout the interior environment, and maintain moderate temperatures to decrease the risk of any mold growth. It is also important that you let your space dry out before any rebuilding occurs.

Services You Can Count On in Orlando, FL

You can depend on SERVPRO to provide reasonable prices for commercial damages and other services in the Orlando area. Our restoration services include cleanup after water damage, fire damage, and storm damage. We also assist with mold remediation, and we're qualified to provide cleaning and building services. Our trained and certified IICRC technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to begin your restoration. 

Is Mold Covered by Your Homeowners Insurance?

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of SW Orlando today with any questions about mold, 407-704-0327.

Most owners insurance comes down to the source of the moisture to where the mold damage started. If you are unsure if your homeowners insurance covers mold, go over your policy. Make sure you look for mold exclusions or limitations and call your agent if it still unclear.


If mold results from a sudden and accidental damage, like a pipe bursting, the cost of mold remediation would be covered. Now, if it mold shows up because of neglecting home maintenance then most claims would be rejected.

Here is sample of damage done by an inch of flood water:

  • Replace carpet, flooring: $2,700
  • New baseboard molding: $2,250
  • Replace drywall $1,350
  • Cleanup, materials: $1,000
  • Bookshelves, lamps: $500
  • Total: $7,800


Source: National Flood Insurance Program - https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program


You could also buy a mold rider as an add-on to your existing policy for extra coverage. If your insurance carrier doesn’t provide a rider, specialty companies might sell you a stand alone mold policy. Just to warn you, there will be a big price tag for that route.


If your insurance does not cover mold at all, moisture prevention is the key.

To help prevent mold growth, take the following steps:

  • Lower indoor humidity with air conditioners, de-humidifiers, and exhaust fans
  • Inspect hoses and fittings on appliances, sinks, and toilets
  • Use household cleaners with mold-killing ingredients like bleach
  • Opt for paints and primes that contain mold inhibitors
  • Clean gutters to avoid overflow and check roof for leaks
  • Avoid carpet in wet areas like basements and bathrooms
  • Remove and dry carpet, padding, and upholstery within 48 hours of flooding

Source: House logic https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/homeowners-insurance-mold-covered/

Commercial Cleaning Services

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

If you are a business owner, or run a particular business that receives a lot of visitors and foot-traffic, you know how important it is to keep your business looking clean and in good shape. A lot of times, you don't have the time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office.

When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of SW Orlando for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.

SERVPRO of SW Orlando offers cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:

  • Air Ducts and HVAC
  • Biohazard and Sewage
  • Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
  • Odor Removal and Deodorization
  • Vandalism

Mold Remediation Process

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Call SW Orlando SERVPRO today if you have any mold issues. 407-704-0327

Mold Remediation Process

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the “typical” process:

 • The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of SW Orlando (407)704—0327. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.

•SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. They use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. 

•They use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. They may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.

 • Their specialized filtration equipment allows their Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. They utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

 • The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. SERVPRO of SW Orlando uses anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

•SERVPRO of SW Orlando will clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

•Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or busines

How SERVPRO Assesses Flood Damage After a Dishwasher Breakdowns in your Orlando Home

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Orlando flooding relies on SERVPRO of SW Orlando for cleanup and water removal.

SERVPRO's Array of Measuring Devices Ensures a Dry Home Post Flooding

Dishwashers are a welcome addition to many households. After all, who does not love being able to simply rinse the dishes, set the cycle, and let the machine do the work? It is very convenient. However, like any other appliance, a dishwasher might malfunction, and a dishwasher breakdown often equals a flood of water in your kitchen.

Flood damage to your Orlando home can be a serious cause for concern. A dishwasher might cause a surprisingly large flood in your kitchen, so naturally, you want to get that cleaned up as quickly as possible to mitigate any further damage. That is why we recommend you put in a call to SERVPRO at once -We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.
 
An essential element of our job is assessing the damage to your home. A thorough assessment lets our experts know how much moisture is present, which is vital information that we need to decide upon the best course of action.
 
A visual inspection is an important first start, but of course, that is only one part of the process. Our teams come prepared with a range of powerful equipment to help us assess the flood damage to your home:
 
A moisture sensor to help us ascertain how deeply water has penetrated into soft materials. The sensor displays a blinking light and makes an audible beep when moisture is present, and this allows us to measure the extent of the damage. We have other models that work silently.
 
A moisture meter to help us measure how much moisture is in any structure. Meters are useful for testing the damp content of every part surrounding your dishwasher including not only the floor but also walls, wall insulation, cabinets, and rugs or carpets. Do not worry if you have a wooden floor. Our SERVPRO experts also come equipped with penetrating moisture meters that can be used to take a reading under wood flooring or even inside the wall. Our technicians calibrate the instrument to suit the material that we are testing.
 
Thermo-hygrometers. Thermo-hygrometers measure the temperature and the relative humidity in your kitchen. Our technicians use these readings to determine the extent of the water damage. This is usually used after the water has been removed, a verification that a standard RH has been attained.
 
A complete evaluation of the situation assists us in drawing up an effective individual drying plan for your kitchen. We monitor moisture and humidity throughout the drying process so you can rest assured your kitchen is at optimum dryness and humidity before we call the job done. We can also provide documentation to your insurance company.

Grilling Safety Tips - Home Safety

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando for your fire restoration needs (407) 704-0327.

Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines.

General grilling tips:

  •  Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Propane grills:

Before you use your grill:

  •  Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
    • If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

When the grill is on:

  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal grills:

  •  There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Is Your Southwest Orlando Business Prepared

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Don't fall under that statistic.

Up to 50% of businesses never reopen following a disaster. This usually happens because the amount of damage was too large and too expensive to recover from. Your business should be prepared to minimize the damage to your business so that doors can open back for business.  

There are a few things you can do make sure your establishment is ready.

Continuity Plan

Business that do reopen after a disaster most had a preparedness plan. You must identify the components of your business that are essential for it to continue running. Prepare a plan with the appropriate staff as well. Your staff must know who and what should happen in the case of an emergency.

Prepare your Emergency Plan

Have a plan in place. Letting SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando prepare an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) will help minimize the damage by having a quick response to an emergency. Knowing what and when to do will ensure that the right steps are taken.  Something as simple as just knowing where the shutoff valves can save you from extensive water damage.

Review Your Insurance

Make sure you are familiar with your insurance. You need to know who to call when you need answers regarding your business. Understanding your policies will help you be able know what is not covered and reassess if your needs require more coverage.

Cyber Security

The physical damages to your property but also internal damage to important files and data. Be sure to have all your data backed up.

How to Prepare for Water Damage in 5 Steps

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando today 407-704-0327

Most water damage that happens to your home is uncontrollable and unpredictable. It could potentially cost you thousands of dollars. When the water starts coming into your home, there is not much you can do to stop it but there is a couple things you can do to prepare for it. Here are a few steps you can take so you can be prepared for the worst.


Step 1: Stop the Source of the Water
If it is possible, stop the water at its source. If it has to do with your plumbing then turn off your water line as soon as possible. This will help with decreasing the amount of damage.
When the flooding occurs from storm water, there is no stopping a storm but you can try and divert the water away from your home by blocking entry points.


Step 2: Think Safety
If it safe, then shut off all electrical sources by turning the circuit breakers or unplug devices. Water and electricity don’t mix, remember that. Make sure everyone, including children, are away from standing water.


Step 3: Protect Your Possessions
Try and remove or raise your furniture from flood water. Water soaked furniture begin to mold very quick and you the last thing you will want is to throw away all of your belongings after a flood. Protect the things that are irreplaceable rather then carpet and other flooring.


Step 4: Contact Your Insurance Company
Now is the time to call your insurance and see how they will approach the water remediation. All insurance companies have professionals who specialize in this kind of emergency so they will have the best people to restore your home back to normal. Do not try to remove the water by yourself. You can just end up cause more damage.


Step 5: Work With the Professionals
When you are choosing a company to perform your water remediation; you need to compare everyone highs and lows. Make sure they have good reviews and are available at your earliest request. SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando is highly dependable and will exceed your expectations for your water remediation.

Storm Damage Can Happen Anywhere!

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Call Southwest Orlando SERVPRO today to begin you ERP. 407-704-0327

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® Southwest Orlando Professionals can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.

Your local SERVPRO® Southwest Orlando Professionals are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened."

Basics of Fire Damage

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Southwest Orlando fire damage is something that needs to be dealt with quickly and professionally.

The Basics of Southwest Orlando Fire Damage

While flooding and mold can be scary, there’s nothing quite like a fire to remind homeowners how fragile a building can be. For all homes and businesses in Southwest Orlando, fire damage is something that needs to be dealt with quickly and professionally. Once the immediate emergency has been taken care of, it is time to call in the restoration experts from SERVPRO.

This guide to dealing with fire damage in Southwest Orlando will help you get to grips with some of the steps involved in repair and restoration.

How Long Does Fire Damage Restoration Take?
Clearly, this will depend on how extensive the damage is. If you’ve had a small kitchen fire, for example, but it was put out quickly, the work will probably be quite efficient. If the damage is mostly superficial – burn marks on the outer surface of walls – painting and redecorating should be easy and uncomplicated.

If the damage is more extensive, the restoration could take months. Our reliable SERVPRO fire damage repair company never rushes or compromises on the quality of a job, in order to get occupants back inside faster, because this can put lives at risk. The best way to stay in the loop is to work with our fire damage restoration company that keeps you constantly updated during each stage of the repair process.

Can a Restoration Team Eliminate Smoke Damage?
Yes, our skilled restoration team will use a combination of fogging and ozone deodorization techniques to remove the smell and sight of smoke from the building. Both methods involve heavy duty equipment, so you shouldn’t try to tackle them independently. Let our experts do the job efficiently and professionally, so that you can get back to enjoying your home.

Can You Hire a Fire Damage Team Without Insurance?
Strictly speaking, you don’t need to be covered by fire damage insurance to hire a restoration team. However, it is strongly advised. If you don’t have any type of cover in place, you will be responsible for paying the cost of repair and restoration, in full. As this kind of work requires specialist skills and equipment, it can be expensive. Make certain that you have an insurance policy, so that the expense doesn’t become another disaster.

To get more information and advice on the best ways to deal with fire damage in Southwest Orlando, talk to the experts at SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando. Call (407) 704-0327 to speak to a friendly advisor today.

Do's & Don'ts of Water Damage

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

#SERVPRO #WaterDamage

No one wants to come home to a flooded basement or to wake up to the sound of a broken pipe spraying water on valuable furniture and household possessions. However, the possibility of water damage occurring in your Southwest Orlando home is very real. Whether it is a pipe burst or a weather-related issue, it is important to arm yourself with some basic knowledge to deal with this type of emergency before it happens.

Here are a few tips to help in the event of water damage in your Florida home:

  • First, ascertain whether it safe to stay in the house.
  • Make sure there are no active electrical devices or outlets immersed in or near the water.
  • Note that wet floors are slippery and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Keep in mind that wet materials can be VERY heavy.
  • Have your plumber’s phone number ready and available.
  • Contact your SERVPRO Professional at (407) 704-0327 for complete restoration.

While waiting for your SERVPRO Professional to reach your location, here is what you CAN do:

  • Shut off the water
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air condition on for maximum drying in the Summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects and other prized possessions to a safe, dry place
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT to do After Flooding:

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.

Storm Damage - How to Take Care of Your Property

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

Don't let storm damage ruin your day, call SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened"

Dealing with repairs and insurance companies after severe weather hits your property can be difficult. Homeowners can use the following tips to help tackle the storm damage caused by hard rains, flooding, or storm-related issues.

SAFETY FIRST

If you and your family were away from home when the storm hit, do not return until it has been confirmed safe. Contact a storm damage expert like SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando; we’ll help you determine if your home is safe to return to.

INSURANCE

You will need to contact your homeowners’ insurance adjuster as soon as possible. If your neighborhood has sustained widespread damage, find out if any special teams of insurance agents, relief workers, or contractors are coming to the area. Check your policy to find out what actions you need to take or talk to your agent to make sure you are following the proper procedures. Not following these actions correctly could result in a reduced claim. Inspect your property and make a list of all damages; take photographs of all noted damage if at all possible.

RECORDING AND DOCUMENTING

Document your neighbor’s damages, as well; this can prevent the insurance provider from downgrading your claim by saying the damage is from your neglect of maintenance or other unrelated issues by giving them a way to compare. Keep a record of all the communication you have with your insurance provider, and don’t do any unnecessary repair work yourself. Hire a trusted storm damage restoration service provider such as SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando to handle any repairs.

BE SCAM FREE

Always check the adjuster’s identification. If you are evacuated, ask for money from your claim upfront. If they agree, you will be given a check for an amount that will be deducted from your final settlement. Some providers will automatically offer a partial payment early on during the process. Review it carefully and decline it if you feel uncomfortable with any part of it. Never be afraid to ask questions and to expect an answer that makes sense or seems fair. 

Dealing with a storm's aftermath is stressful, but reacting properly will be an immense help and can prevent problems down the road.

The SERVPRO of Southwest Orlando team is ready to help 24/7. Call us for your fire or water damage issues at (407)704-0327

Getting Rid of Dryer Lint Effectively

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

To keep your home safe from a lint fire, you need to clean your dryer vent regularly.

Excess dryer lint: It’s a problem just about everyone deals with, but it can be much more serious than you may think. Over time, your dryer will collect lint from your apparel as well as towels, blankets and anything else you wash and dry. If you neglect to dispose of these materials and clean out the dryer exhaust, a lint fire could result in your Southwest Orlando, FL, home. The consequences of this could be disastrous. Fortunately, there are some basic ways you can handle this situation and avoid catastrophe.

Clean the Screen

The simplest ways to clean lint from your dryer and stave off the risk of a dryer fire is to clean the lint screen. Depending on the type of dryer you have, you can find this at the top of your dryer or even inside the door or on the side.


* Gently pull out the screen; do not bend.
* Run your hands across the screen and collect the lint; discard it.
* Vacuum the surface of the screen.
* Rinse the screen with water.

Clean Inside the Trap

Often, cleaning off the screen isn’t enough to avoid the risk of fire damage. It’s a good idea to regularly clean out the trap as well. It’s easy for lint to get trapped in this area, so take a vacuum and suction out any remaining debris. Make sure you get your vacuum hose and attachment as far down the trap as possible.

Clean the Exhaust Hose

Another important way to reduce the risk of a lint fire is to unplug your dryer and remove the exhaust hose. You can then vacuum inside the hose or use a long brush to remove lint that may be stuck far inside. Make sure when you put the hose back on that it’s secure.

If you follow these steps, you can help ensure you won’t have a lint fire in your Southwest Orlando, FL, home. Cleaning your dryer regularly is an essential way to stay safe.

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