Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!