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How Do I Know If My Business Needs Flood Insurance?

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Flood insurance

One of your many responsibilities as a business owner is to make sure you're protected in the event of a natural disaster. If your property is in a known flood zone, the government mandates that you carry flood insurance. However, even if you're not in a flood zone, flooding can still happen. Then it's up to you to decide if the risk is worth having a separate rider with your regular commercial insurance policy.

Flood Zone Categories

A visit to FEMA.gov will help you determine which flood zone your property falls into. Here's a brief explanation of the zones:

Zone A: Zone A denotes that your business sits on a noncoastal flood plain.
Zone B: Zone B properties fall into the moderate risk category.
Zone C: If your property falls into Zone C, your risk of flooding is minimal.
Zone D: This zone indicates the possibility of flooding, though the degree of possible flooding has not been determined.
Zone V: If your property falls into Zone V, you are in a coastal area and flood insurance will be federally mandated since the risk of flooding is high.
Zone X: In new construction areas or rate maps, Zone X is often used in place of Zone B or Zone C.

Flood Designation
Not all flooding is a direct result of heavy rain. If your building is in a colder climate, snowmelt can cause flooding if the weather warms quickly, either by overflowing rivers and streams as runoff, or oversaturating the frozen ground near your property. Construction or accidents can cause water main breaks, in-ground sprinkler systems can malfunction and cause local flooding around the building. What differentiates flooding from other water damage is its origin: Floodwaters are always at ground level.
After arming yourself with the proper knowledge, talk with your insurance agent about whether it's recommended to carry a separate flood insurance rider on your property in Hollywood, FL. Not only does it cover repair and replacement of damaged materials, but it will also pay for the cleanup and restoration process that is necessary to get you up and running again.

How Restoration Experts Clean Contents With Fire Damage

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

Picture collage, workers using protective gear while working on a warehouse damaged by fire Commercial fire in Hollywood Lakes, FL.

How Content Cleaning Fits Into The Restoration Timeline

Direct exposure to open flames can ruin contents, but items that are only indirectly affected by a fire may be candidates for cleaning. Content restoration experts work in an off-site location equipped with specialized dry-cleaning and wet cleaning equipment and store cleaned items until fire damage restoration is complete at a commercial property in Hollywood Lakes, FL

Remove Contents From the Fire Location
After inspecting the damage to the property, restoration professionals will advise property owners about the condition of the contents. The degree of damage will determine which of the following approaches is the best option:

  • Cleaning contents
  • Disposal and replacement
  • Data recovery for electronics

All of these measures require the removal of contents exposed to fire and smoke damage from the building in which an incident occurred. Whether contents can be cleaned or require replacement, the building must be restored before items are put back in place.

Clean and Restore Contents With Specialized Equipment
Commercial property owners should not attempt to clean fire or smoke damaged contents or use consumer dry-cleaning. Restoration-grade cleaning equipment can make it possible to restore items without causing further damage. Dry or wet methods may be best based on the composition and condition of each item.

Store Contents Until Restoration Is Complete
Clean contents should not be returned to a structure that is still undergoing restoration. Content storage is essential until a damaged building has been restored. It may be necessary to store contents for days or weeks, but storage expenses are likely less than the cost of treating recontaminated items.
Content cleaning is usually done at the same time as restoration of a building in Hollywood Lakes, FL. Removing contents makes it possible to pursue dry-cleaning or other cleaning methods without risking recontamination and leaves the location of a fire open for cleanup and rebuilding.

What Makes Category 3 Water Damage So Severe?

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

standing water on carpet in an office building Commercial water damage in Hallandale, FL.

When flooding enters into a commercial building in Hallandale, FL, restoration professionals identify the incident as Category Three water damage. Learn more about what this categorization means and find out why flood water is referred to as black water.

Contaminants In Water

Category Three water is grossly contaminated. The reason this type of water damage is called black water is because it may contain any of the following substances:

  • Heavy metals
  • Pathogens
  • Solid waste
  • Toxic chemicals

The presence of solid waste along with these other hazardous materials distinguishes Category Three damage from Category One water damage caused by clean, treated water that gets released from a broken or leaking supply line. Category Two gray water may be contaminated with chemicals or microbes but does not contain solid waste.

Saturated Porous Materials
Porous building materials and contents that become saturated with flood water may be difficult to disinfect. Even after treating the surfaces of these items, contamination may linger deeper down and lead to ongoing contagion or mold infestation risks. For this reason, restoration professionals often recommend tearing out drywall, insulation, and carpeting.

Flooding Causes Mold
Storm damage that involves flooding can introduce all of the elements necessary to support mold growth. Mold requires moisture and organic, carbon-based food sources in order to multiply. Category Three water can provide sources of nourishment and introduce spores into a structure. It is important to extract water, tear out ruined materials, disinfect and dry any areas exposed to flooding within 24 to 48 hours.
The contents of Category Three water can pose contamination risks to building materials, contents and occupants. It is important for property owners and managers to act quickly to remove floodwater, disinfect areas exposed to black water and tear out damaged materials. Mold may start growing in a commercial building within just 48 to 72 hours after flooding in Hallandale, FL.

3 Tips for Fire Hazard Mitigation While Cooking

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Severe fire in a kitchen home Kitchen fires are the leading cause of residential fires in the nation.

Here Are Three Tips For Doing So

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2014 to 2018 U.S. fire departments were called to approximately 172,900 home fires connected to cooking activities. Kitchen fires are the leading cause of residential fires in the nation and can result in serious fire damage that may require the services of a professional restoration business in Royal Poinciana, FL, to deal with. It is important to take safety precautions to lower the likelihood of a devastating event like a grease fire occurring. 

1. Keep Flammable Items/Substances Away From the Cooking Area While Cooking
If you have your stove or oven on, combustible things like wooden utensils, oven mitts, oil-coated spatulas and food wrappers can easily go up in flames, so it is important to move them out of the danger zone. Grease splatters, puddles and buildup also easily catch fire, so it is important to keep your work area clean.

2. Install the Appropriate Equipment
There are some things your home needs in case of a fire:

  • Carbon monoxide monitors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers

Having these valuable tools can help you identify and handle such situations before they become too severe, or at least alert you to the danger so you can evacuate in time.

3. Don't Leave Fires Unattended
This is one of the most important tips. You do not ever want to walk away from cooking food. If you need to take a phone call, go to the bathroom for a prolonged period of time or leave the proximity for some other reason for longer than a couple of minutes, you should turn the range or stovetop off.
These are not the only fire safety tips you should heed. However, they are important ones. Fire, and by extension cooking, is not something to be taken lightly. Because of this, it is best not to cook while tired or distracted, particularly if you are frying something or using grease.

Why Your Water Heater Is Making Noises

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Man works on a hot water heater with a pipe wrench Keep your water heater running smoothly.

How To Address A Noisy Water Heater

Often the noises appliances make are the sounds of normal functioning, but sometimes they indicate a problem. Here are a few explanations for the noises the water heater in your home in Golden Beach, FL, is making, along with a few suggestions for how to address them.

1. The Elements Need Attention
Element tubes are installed vertically through electric tanks. Sediment collects around these tubes and traps water beneath them when the elements are off. Crackling, popping or rumbling sounds may be heard when water forces through the sediment buildup. The problem should be solved by cleaning or replacing the elements. You may also hear a humming noise from water flowing around them, which can usually be solved by tightening the elements.

2. A Valve Needs Adjusting
When water is forced through a small opening it creates a screaming sound. Check the valves at the water heater and at whatever faucet the noise is coming from to ensure that the valves are opened properly to allow water to flow.

3. You Need a Water Hammer Arrestor
Knocking or hammering sounds are heard when water to the tank is abruptly shut off. The sound is related to the pipes heating internally. It's known as "water hammering." The sudden shut-off of the water causes pipes to move and bang inside the interior of the walls. It's not dangerous to the heater but could lead to wall damage. Installing a water hammer arrestor should solve the problem.

4. Your Tank Needs Maintenance
Most noises that come from tanks can be taken care of through regular maintenance. Installing a water softener may decrease the sediment buildup in the tank. An annual water heater flush is a proactive way to keep your tank operating properly.
You don't recognize how often you rely on a water heater until it stops functioning properly. You need hot water for bathing, laundry, and even washing your hands. Pay attention to the noises your heater makes and respond to them. Keeping your heater running smoothly will prevent the need for water damage repair specialists should the tank malfunction and leak.

How the Storm Restoration Process Works for Businesses

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

A man standing in front of drying machinery inside a truck loaded of drying equipment. Leave storm response to the professionals.

Storm Restoration Process

When you experience a flood, overflowing sinks, or leaky plumbing, your business needs storm and flood damage services — and it needs them fast. Here is what you should do in the aftermath of an emergency situation:

1. Keep an Emergency Plan on File
You should have an emergency plan in place for your business that contains your insurance coverage, emergency contacts and other important documents. That way if you find yourself in an emergency situation, you won't have to scramble to find your preferred storm restoration provider and begin the restoration process

2. Call a Professional
While there are some things you can do on your own, it's best to leave storm response to the professionals. A SERVPRO Franchise Professional in Aventura, FL, can quickly assess the damage and get your business up and running in no time.

The restoration process typically includes:

  • An initial assessment
  • Water removal
  • Drying and dehumidifying
  • Cleaning and sanitizing

3. Safely Do What You Can Before a Professional Arrives
Your top priority after an emergency is safety. Electrical hazards should be one of your main concerns. If it is safe to do so, you can perform a few storm restoration tasks, such as:

  • Removing antiques, books, art and other valuables from the area
  • Mopping up excess water
  • Moving furniture from wet carpeting
  • Blotting wood furniture

4. Know Your Limits
Exercise common sense as you do what you can to begin the cleanup. Remember that wet materials are heavy, for example. Most household vacuums are not equipped to handle water, so don't attempt to remove water that way.
You can turn on air conditioning in the summer months to aid drying, but don't turn on ceiling fans or light fixtures if the ceiling is wet. Generally speaking, if the area feels unsafe, it's best to leave it to the professionals.
One of the most important aspects of an emergency situation is your quick response. Having a provider that's there for you at any time will help speed up the storm restoration process.

A Few Things To Know About Mold Testing

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold testing in Hollywood Lakes, FL.

There are several reasons you might suspect you have a mold problem in your commercial building in Hollywood Lakes, FL. Signs include the presence of musty odors. An indoor environmental specialist can help you determine if excessive mold is present even though there are few if any visible signs. This professional should have experience and training in mold-sampling protocols. The specialist should have the equipment to perform tests and the knowledge to accurately interpret the results. The entire procedure should follow methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association or other professional organizations.

An Accurate Mold Test

When testing for the presence of mold, it is important the test be reliable and accurate. DIY testing kits are likely to produce ambiguous results, making it unclear if mold is actually a problem or if it just exists in small quantities. There are many benefits of working with a qualified indoor environmental specialist:

  • Advanced training
  • Specialized equipment
  • Professional certification
  • Clear results

A specialist will also work with other technicians to develop a remediation plan. This will ensure that all troublesome mold colonies will be removed in a way that will prevent a reoccurrence of the problem.

A Quality Cleanup

A professional mold remediation franchise has the resources to treat the trickiest situations involving mold growth. SERVPRO technicians are always Here to Help. They have seen it all and they know how to contain the spread of mold and to clean mold from air ducts and other difficult locations. They use best practices for stopping fungal outbreaks with powerful cleaning agents. An indoor environmental specialist is just one of several technicians that ensure a lasting cleanup of your property. Mold will almost never go away on its own and it is resistant to many types of regular cleaning methods. A professional remediation is your best choice.

What Is Category 1 Water Damage?

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

clear water on the floor, water damage in commercial building, standing water Category 1 is considered clean water and typically results in less damage than categories 2 and 3.

Water damage is categorized in different ways based on the cleanliness of the water and what contaminants it may contain. Category 1 is considered clean water.

Sources

There are several potential sources of category 1 water:

  • Supply line: broken pipe
  • Overflow: sinks or bathtubs
  • Toilets: broken tank
  • Environmental: rain, snow, or ice

Damage
Since category 1 is clean water, it will not contaminate things it touches with any harmful microorganisms. Therefore, most items damaged in the flood can able be salvaged by simply drying and cleaning them. However, any type of water can cause mold growth. Mold grows in wet or moist areas, so if the flooding is not properly dried and treated, you could develop a mold problem. Fluid and mold can also deteriorate building materials, such as wood, and cause structural damage. A water damage restoration service in Hollywood, FL, can dry the area, clean it with antibacterial sprays to prevent mold growth and check for structural damage.

Cleaning and Drying
Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, meaning contact with water that is touching any part of an electrical circuit can result in electrocution. You should turn off the power in the flooded area before attempting to clean the fluid.
Once the electricity is turned off, you should remove items the water has touched and move them to a place where they can dry. You should then open windows and doors to help dry the area. You can then begin soaking up water with towels or using a pump to remove the water depending on the extent of the flooding. Once you have removed most of the liquid, you can plug in fans to help dry the area faster. Lastly, you should have a professional treat the area for mold growth.
Category 1 is considered clean water and typically results in less damage than categories 2 and 3. If you know the right cleaning procedures, you can minimize damage and salvage most items that come into contact with the water.

How To Fix a Leaky Faucet

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Faucet and water drop close up A leaking faucet can happen at any time

A leaking faucet can happen at any time. Not only does the leak have the potential to substantially increase your water bill, but it can cause serious damage to your home in Golden Beach, FL. A dripping faucet needs to be taken care of immediately.

Preparing for the Repair

Different types of faucets will require different steps in the repair process. There are three things you should do before beginning, regardless of the type of faucet you have. You should start the repair process by:

  • Shutting off the water to your sink
  • Plugging the drain so that you don't lose any small parts
  • Discovering what type of faucet you have


You either have a compression faucet, which is the easiest to recognize because it has two handles, or you have a ball faucet, cartridge faucet, or ceramic disc faucet. The ball faucet will house a ball bearing, while the cartridge faucet will contain a cartridge. A ceramic disc faucet houses a ceramic cylinder.
If, upon closer inspection, you find that your leak has caused extensive damage, including the presence of mold, call a remediation specialist to assess the damage. You'll want to ensure proper cleanup so that the damage doesn't continue to progress even after you have a fixed leak.


The Repair
Repairing a leaking faucet requires you first remove the handle or handles. For the compression faucet, also remove each nut and washer until you come upon a rubber seat washer. This is the piece that is likely worn and needs replacing. The easiest way to find a replacement washer is to take the seat washer to the store for a physical match.
A ball faucet will require the purchase of a repair kit. Everything you need should be in the kit, including instructions.
For a cartridge or ceramic disc faucet, after removing the handle and then pull the cartridge or disk cylinder out. On the cartridge faucet, you'll need to replace the O-rings, while the ceramic disk faucet will have seals that needto be replaced.
A leaking faucet can wreak havoc on your home. Don't wait until there is damage that requires extensive repairs. If you don't feel confident in your repair abilities, you can always call a plumber.

Expect Water Damage After a Fire

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out fire in an old building Fire damage in Royal Poinciana, FL

After a fire breaks out in your Royal Poinciana, FL, business it may not just be fire damage you have to deal with in the aftermath. Depending on the size of the fire, it may mean hundreds of gallons of water saturating the property. With that much moisture being absorbed into porous materials, the likelihood of water damage and potential mold growth greatly increases.

Common Damaged Areas

As the fire hose unleashes water throughout the building, there are few areas that won’t be affected. After the fire is out, the following should be inspected.

Drywall – This porous material quickly absorbs water, which also makes it a prime location for mold to grow. While some may be salvageable, some of it will need to be replaced.
Flooring – The type of flooring will determine how extensive the cleanup or replacement will be. Wood floors naturally have cracks that water can find its way into. Any signs of staining, buckling, or bubbling indicate the need for replacement.
Ceilings – While the fire damage on the ceiling will be noticeable, a water issue may not. If the fire broke out on a second floor, be sure to inspect the ceilings on the floor below it for signs of trouble.
Personal Belongings – Smoke, soot, and water can wreak havoc on permeable items, such as rugs, clothing, drapery, and upholstery. Different materials are also affected differently, such as wood and metal.

Get Professional Help
While it may be easy to feel at a loss of how to get everything cleaned, there is help that Faster to Any Size Disaster. A certified fire and water restoration company will have the expertise, tools, and techniques to handle both types of damage. Along with restoring the property to its preloss condition, they have an arsenal of cleaning methods to remove all signs of damage from salvageable belongings.
Fire damage alone is overwhelming. Adding a water issue on top of that may seem like it’s a lost cause. Taking quick action and getting the right assistance eases the process.