Household Mold Tips and Tricks
If you believe you are dealing with a mold growth issue in your home, contact our mold remediation specialists today to learn more about SERVPRO!
Mold spores, while often difficult to see with the human eye, are likely living in your home and workplace right now. Located both inside and outside, mold is fungi that thrives when moisture is present. As such, dark, warm, and humid regions are goldmines for mold spores to grow. A countless number of different mold types exist. In fact, there is actually an unknown number of fungi species, although experts estimate up to three hundred thousand or more mold species. Mold, also called mildew, is often found in the kitchen and bathroom areas of a home because these are moist regions.
While most people think about mold in regard to appearances and how its presence may alter the look of their bathroom or kitchen, mold can actually cause health effects. As such, it is important to be acutely aware of mold growth in and around your home in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. The following are some household mold tips and tricks:
- Check for mold often, as catching it early can save a lot of money in mold removal
- Mold test kits are often unreliable, so we recommend hiring a mold inspection company to do a thorough check
- Look for things like mold growth on walls and even foul smells
- Be aware of any leaks in areas like your kitchen near appliances and your bathroom near the shower or the toilet
- Check your air conditioning system for mold growth
- If your home has sustained any flooding, the likelihood of mold presence increases
- Leaky windows or roofs should be fixed immediately to prevent mold growth
Unfortunately, visible mold in your home can be an immediate turnoff for guests, as its appearance often looks disgusting. In addition, mold growth, if left untreated, can be a problem for the health of you and your family. In order to minimize or limit the development of mildew in your home or workplace, try to keep humidity low with a dehumidifier and ensure that ventilation is adequate. If you believe you are dealing with a mold growth issue in your home, contact our mold remediation specialists today to learn more about SERVPRO!
9 Hurricane Prep Tips for Your Home’s Exterior
No matter how many hurricanes you have gone through as a South Florida resident, it is important to remain vigilant every single hurricane season.
As Florida homeowners, business owners, and residents find themselves right in the middle of hurricane season, it is absolutely critical to establish a plan of action for protecting their properties. South Florida is no stranger to nasty hurricane seasons, but with false alarms and constantly-changing hurricane paths, it can get easy to fall into the trap of failing to prepare properly. A lot of people think that buying extra water and canned goods is enough to get themselves and their families ready, but doing just that puts your home in a very risky position. Focusing on preparing your home’s exterior during hurricane season is extremely important for all Floridians.
This hurricane season, keep the following tips in minds as you prepare to safeguard and protect your home’s exterior:
- Install shutters on all windows and doors throughout your home
- Consider replacing your windows with impact-resistant glass
- Be mindful of your garage door and potentially brace your door to withstand hurricane-force winds
- Purchase a standby generator to power your home (or a few important areas of your home) in the event that your power grid goes down
- Spruce up your landscaping in order to remove any and all possible debris
- Inspect your home’s downspouts and gutters to make sure there are no blockages which would prevent water from flowing freely
- Remove any and all lawn furniture, any type of planters, and grills that may blow in the wind
- Secure any outdoor items that cannot be moved inside
- Move your vehicles into the garage or close to the home to prevent damage via fallen trees
No matter how many hurricanes you have gone through as a South Florida resident, it is important to remain vigilant every single hurricane season. Far too many Floridians take for granted being lucky and thus feel immune to hurricane damage. When it comes to Florida hurricanes, it is always better to be prepared than to be sorry. Contact SERVPRO today if your home has suffered any storm damage and our team of restoration professionals will be right there to help!
How To Spot Water Damage
At SERVPRO, we are dedicated to unmatched customer service, high-quality work, and making it “Like it never even happened.”
Water damage may seem like something that would be obvious to detect. Things like buckled wood and discolored ceilings are dead giveaways, however, some of the most common signs of water damage are far more difficult to spot. Most of the time, water damage is actually located underneath your home’s floor boards, behind your home’s walls, or even somewhere on the outside of your house. Residential water damage and commercial water damage alike can be extremely costly for the property owner, especially when not identified early on. As such, it is extremely important to be aware of some of the most common water damage warnings.
A homeowner has a lot of things to think about and scanning the house for water damage is probably low on the to-do list. Nevertheless, being aware of some of the more typical indicators can save you and your family a ton of money in the long-run. Keep the following list in mind for how to spot water damage:
- Foul odors are often an indication of residual water and mold growth
- Stains present on ceilings and walls
- Mold growth
- Painting peeling
- Discoloration of the ceiling
- Bubbling or cracking wallpaper or paint
- Changes in floor texture such as buckling, warping, expanding, or sinking
- Leaking or pooling water behind appliances
- Issues in the attic and/or roof like mold or staining
- Exterior home damage near gutters
Being knowledgeable about the potential signs of water damage is the first step in mitigating the financial cost and overall damage caused. If you have spotted any of the above indicators throughout your home, it is imperative to contact a professional water damage team right away. At SERVPRO, we are dedicated to unmatched customer service, high-quality work, and making it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today to learn more!
Tips for Business Owners to Reduce Liability Claims
Being aware of the possibility of a liability claim is the first step in being proactive to prevent this from happening.
General liability insurance claims are those that typically come from either your customers or your vendors. As a small business owner, the ability to reduce the risk of these potential lawsuits is imperative for keeping your business running smoothly. One of the most common claims comes from slip and fall accidents. In these situations, a customer is walking through your store when they fall on the wet floor, causing injury or damages. In this scenario, the business is often held responsible for the accident and will therefore be liable for any type of injury or any damage that the fall caused. Being aware of the possibility of a liability claim is the first step in being proactive to prevent this from happening.
While there are certainly things out of the hands of a business owner, preemptive measures can absolutely be taken to reduce the likelihood of something like that occurring. Keep the following tips in mind to reduce liability claims in your business:
- Be sure to keep the store well-lit so that customers can see where they are walking. We also advise that you conduct emergency lighting system checks each month.
- Keep floors and carpeting as clean as possible. Place signage in areas that could be deemed a potential walking hazard.
- Install handrails on any stairways in the building.
- When a spill occurs, place an employee near the spill to warn customers until the spill is properly cleaned.
- Keep the bathrooms extremely tidy.
- Check the outside walkways near your store and look for any potential hazards.
- Keep trash and any other clutter away from the areas where customers walk.
- Be aware of condensation drips from things like air conditioners and refrigerators.
- Avoid the use of extension cords and other dangerous items in areas where foot traffic is heavy.
General liability insurance is crucial for business owners. However, it is important to continually make improvements to keep your store as safe as possible for all of your patrons. If you are in search of a reliable, professional commercial restoration and cleaning service, contact SERVPRO at your earliest convenience!
Smoke Alarm Safety for Your Home
Having a smoke alarm in the house in one of the most effective ways to save you and your family’s lives. Keep in mind these smoke alarm safety tips.
Properly functioning smoke alarms are a key aspect to general home safety when it comes to potential home fires. Unfortunately, statistics point to the fact that approximately 60 percent of home fire deaths are a direct result of fires in properties without working smoke alarms. While it may seem like an afterthought or a bonus for a home, the reality is that smoke alarms save lives and missing or broken smoke alarms can be the cause of fire deaths or fire injuries. When a fire starts in a home, it spreads incredibly fast. As such, it is absolutely essential for all South Florida homeowners to have working smoke alarms installed throughout their homes to ensure they can get out as quickly as possible.
Some experts say that a family has one minute or less to get out of a home in the event of a fire. Having a smoke alarm in the house in one of the most effective ways to save you and your family’s lives. Keep in mind the following smoke alarm safety tips:
- Make sure your alarm system is interconnected so that when one alarm goes off they all do
- Check your smoke alarms every month to make sure they are functioning correctly
- Get new smoke alarms installed every 10 years
- Smoke alarms should be installed both inside and outside of all bedrooms or other sleeping areas
- Smoke alarms should be installed on each level of the home
- Replace smoke alarm battery at least one time a year (9-volt battery)
- Practice a fire drill in the event that the alarm goes off
- Once the smoke alarm sounds, everyone must get out of the house fast
An estimated 3,000 people are killed each year in the United States due to fires. Ensure that you and your family are taking every measure to be protected from fire danger. The first step in safeguarding your home is to deploy the above smoke alarm tips right away. If your home has suffered any fire damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO today to learn more!
Hurricane Season Preparation Tips
If your home has suffered any storm damage, it's critical to fix it now, before hurricane season strikes again. Contact our SERVPRO storm damage team!
Springtime is a wonderful time of year where the temperatures are perfect and spending time outside is ideal. With every spring, however, inevitably comes summer and that means South Florida residents must aware and educated on looming hurricanes. Hurricane season begins on June 1st every year and spans through September, most often reaching its peak in the month of August. As such, springtime is the right time to begin storm preparation. Homeowners in South Florida are no strangers to hurricanes and the storm damage that they can cause. Therefore, having a plan in place is essential to keep you, your loved ones, and your property as safe as possible.
Hurricane forecasts are always frustrating. Early predictions can have the storm heading right towards your area and late forecasts can change the direction completely. As a result, hurricane preparation must involve getting ready for the unexpected. Keep these hurricane season preparation tips in mind this month:
- Make a realistic evacuation plan and make sure your family understands it
- Purchase supplies like water, food, clothing, and blankets now and store them in an accessible place
- Know your insurance coverage and change it if you are not covered for things like flooding
- Do a full backup of your most important electronic devices
- Keep extra chargers and batteries with your packed supplies
- Keep copes of important documents (financial, medical, legal, etc.) in a safe, secure place
- Check your shutters and generators now to ensure they are functioning properly
- Communicate with your family so they know the status of your preparation and the steps to take right before the storm hits
It may seem early so start thinking about hurricanes again, but being prepared now will alleviate a ton of stress come hurricane season. Plus, things like stock piling supplies will put you at an advantage when stores start to run out in pre-hurricane panic. If your home has suffered any storm damage, it is critical to fix it now, before hurricane season strikes again. Contact our SERVPRO storm damage and restoration team today to learn more!
Most Common Places for Mold in Your Home
Every mold damage scenario is different, and requires a unique solution, so contacting professionals to assess the damage is very important.
Mold damage is all too common for South Florida homeowners. Thriving in damp areas, mold growth can occur in dark spaces with minimal air circulation. In South Florida, rainy seasons bring moisture that can get trapped in areas of your home, eventually causing mold growth and a number of potential issues. First and foremost, mold growth in your home can be a health hazard for you and your family members. When a home suffers a water damage event, a mold infestation can quickly arise and spread throughout a home in 48-72 hours. Because mold can produce allergens and irritants, you will want a professional that has training and experience to properly resolve the mold infestation.
Being able to recognize mold presence early on is critical to addressing the problem right away. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some challenging areas of the home to be on alert for mold growth. The following are the most common places for mold in your home:
- Shower floors and corners of shower walls
- Ventilation ducts
- Below kitchen sink
- Under carpets that have become wet
- Under or behind refrigerators
- Below bathroom sink
- Walls near plumbing
- Near air conditioning unit
- Near window sills
The garage and attic are also problem spots for mold growth in Florida homes. Every mold damage scenario is different, and requires a unique solution, so contacting professionals to assess the damage is very important. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura is close by and ready to help with your mold-damaged property. We are proud to be an active member of the Hollywood community and want to pitch in and help make our community the best it can be.
Keeping Your Business Protected in Storms
With heavy rains and high winds, it is important to prepare. Commercial water damage can be stressful, but SERVPRO is here to help!
While we just welcomed the spring season, South Florida residents know that the rains are about to come. From the spring to the summer months, our region of the state is often deals with afternoon showers on a daily basis. Protecting your commercial property form severe storms is critical for business owners of all kinds. Last year, Hurricane Irma was a reminder of just how serious Florida storms can be. When a big storm is approaching, the best strategy for business owners is to be proactive it preparedness in order to protect your employees, your property, and your business as a whole.
Minimizing damage is essential for your business in the event of a major rainstorm. Things like high winds and heavy rain can do a lot more damage than many would think. As such, it is important to take careful note of the following tips for keeping your business protected in storms:
- Remain watchful of storm forecasts to give yourself plenty of time to prepare
- Make sure that your employees all have specific action plans in place
- Keep your staff contact list updated and readily available
- Check your utilities to make sure that your lines are not connected
- Ensure that your landscaping is trimmed and prepared for storm winds
- Unclog your gutters
- Double check your fire protection equipment
- Remove any potential debris from the commercial property
- Give your staff ample time to leave and prepare their own homes
With heavy rains and high winds, it is important to prepare sooner rather than later. Commercial water damage can be stressful, but SERVPRO is here to make sure that you can go back to business as usual as soon as possible following a large storm. Our team of commercial property damage professionals will take care of your property like it’s our own! Call us today to learn more!
Immediate response is key
Water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Hollywood/ Hallandale/ Aventura provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including holidays.
In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs:
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and bio-hazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
The majority of fires are believed to be caused by candles and cooking incidents, yet it is best to have knowledge of the unexpected household items that may cause fires, to prevent them in advance:
- Cooking Equipment- Pots and pans can overheat and cause a fire very easily if the person cooking gets distracted and leaves cooking unattended. Always stay in the room, or ask someone to watch your food, when cooking on hotplates.
- Heating- Keep portable heaters at least one meter away from anything that could easily catch fire such as furniture, curtains, laundry, clothes and even yourself.
- Smoking in bedrooms- Bedrooms are best to be kept off limits for smoking. A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame, as the butt may stay lit for a few hours. It could burst into flames if it came into contact with flammable materials, such as furniture.
- Electrical Equipment- An electrical appliance, such as a toaster can start a fire if it is faulty or has a frayed cord. A power point that is overloaded with double adapter plugs can cause a fire from an overuse of electricity. A power point extension cord can also be a fire hazard if not used appropriately. Double check the appliances and power points in your home.
- Candles- Candles look and smell pretty, but if left unattended they can cause a room to easily burst into flames. Keep candles away from any obviously flammable items such as books and tissue boxes. Always blow a candle out before leaving a room.
- Curious Children- Kids can cause a fire out of curiosity, to see what would happen if they set fire to an object. Keep any matches or lighters out of reach of children, to avoid any curiosity turned disaster. Install a smoke alarm in your child’s room and practice a home escape plan with your children and family in case there was a fire. Teach kids understand the “stop, drop, cover and roll” drill as well as knowing their address.
- Faulty Wiring- Homes with inadequate wiring can cause fires from electrical hazards. Some signs to see if you’ve bad wiring are: 1) Lights dim if you use another appliance; 2) For an appliance to work, you have to disconnect another; 3) Fuses blow or trip the circuit frequently.
- Barbeques- Barbeques are great for an outdoor meal, but should always be used away from the home, tablecloths or any plants and tree branches. Keep BBQs regularly maintained and cleaned with soapy water and clean any removable parts. Check the gas bottle for any leaks before you use it each time.
- Flammable Liquids- If you have any flammable liquids in the home or garage such as petrol, kerosene or methylated spirits, keep them away from heat sources and check the label before storing. Be careful when pouring these liquids.
- Lighting- Lamp shades and light fittings can build up heat if they are very close to light globes. Check around the house to make sure. Lamp bases can become a hazard if they are able to be knocked over easily, and so should be removed if they are. Check that down lights are insulated from wood paneling or ceiling timbers.
In the case that any home or business fire occurs, contact SERVPRO of Hollywood/Hallandale/Aventura to assist you in leaving your home "Like it never even happened."