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6 Ways of Preparing Your Commercial Building for a Flood

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

Green hard drive Be sure to back up important data and files

6 Ways of Preparing Your Commercial Building for a Flood

Even if your commercial building isn’t in a flood zone in Golden Beach, FL, there’s always a chance it could be affected by rising waters. After all, your building is not only susceptible to storm damage but also to flood damage due to a plumbing mishap. It’s important to have a plan in place before flooding occurs. Be sure to:

1. Check Your Insurance Policy

If you have flood insurance, check with your agent to make sure you have enough coverage based on your area. You may not be able to get flood insurance if you’re not in a flood zone.

2. Move Valuables To a Higher Location

The floodwaters might be higher than you predict, so make sure you move anything that could be water damaged to a higher location or out of the building completely. This includes anything valuable, such as books, paper items, etc.

3. Backup Important Computer Data

Your computers could be damaged in a flood. Be sure to back up important data and files. Backing up to the cloud is ideal since it’s offsite and therefore, more secure.

4. Perform Outdoor Maintenance

Clean gutters, downspouts and drains and cut back dead tree limbs. Also secure outdoor items, like benches, tables, chairs, and trash cans. Flooding of just a couple of inches can sweep these items away, becoming a hazard to people and cars.

5. Make Contact Information Easily Accessible

Make sure you have a hard copy of all of the employees’ current contact information. Also, add to the list other businesses that you may have to contact such as a mitigation company to clean up any water damage.

6. Safely Store Important Documents

Store hard copies of important documents (e.g., contracts and insurance documents) in waterproof containers. It’s also a good idea to make digital copies of these documents and to back them up to the cloud.
Whether relatively clean water or black water, if your building incurs damage from flooding you can rely on water damage cleanup experts. They’ll return it to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

How To Identify Mold in Your Home

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind baseboard Growing mold in Aventura, FL

Mold in the home presents a number of difficulties for homeowners and renters. At times, the fungus can be hidden behind walls or in inaccessible areas. At first, the only indication of its presence might be a musty odor emanating from an attic or a crawlspace. Other times you might notice a dark green or blackish discoloration on the walls, but you are not sure what it is. You also might not be familiar with the best methods for mold cleaning. At this point, your emphasis should be on determining if you have a mold outbreak in your home in Aventura, FL.

Seek Professional Testing

The American Board of Industrial Hygiene administers the credentialing process for certified industrial hygienists, also known as environmental hygienists. If you suspect your home may be vulnerable to mold damage, these trained technicians can be of help in several ways:

  • They can accurately identify if you have mold growth in your home
  • The technicians can identify the type of mold strain present
  • They can recommend a plan of action for mold cleaning
  • They will look out for the health of you and your family

Testing kits for mold are available to purchase; however, these kits do not come with the knowledge that a CIH holds. To accurately understand the extent of mold in your home, and to come up with a plan of action, it is always a good idea to consult with a professional.

Select Professional Mold Remediation

The appearance of mold colonies in your home can lead to damage to your walls and belongings. A local mold mitigation franchise has the experience, training, and equipment to deal effectively with the problem. The company will seek to halt the spread, address any moisture problems in the home, contain and remove the mold spores and restore any damaged areas. The final step will be mold cleaning with powerful cleaning agents.

How Cold Weather Can Cause Water Damage to Your Business

3/8/2020 (Permalink)

Insulation for pipes Add insulation to areas that contain plumbing

It is not surprising that many people associate flooding and water damage to warm weather storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes. However, cold weather events in localities such as Hollywood, FL, also have the capacity to produce expensive damage to a business. This could come in many forms. Heavy snows could result in flooding during a sudden warm spell, and ice on roofs often create pathways for water to enter. Sometimes, the plumbing pipes get too cold and freeze, often resulting in a burst pipe. Not only can this bring water into an office, but if the broken pipe is from a sewage line the situation could be even worse.

What Causes a Pipe to Freeze?

The properties of physics do not stop just because you are a conscientious business owner. When water in a pipe freezes it expands. This process is nearly unstoppable, even if the water is enclosed in a plastic or metal pipe. The result: a burst pipe and water coming into places where it probably does not belong. To be proactive, you can usually prevent pipes from freezing with these actions:

  • If possible, turn off water to pipes that are exposed to the elements
  • Add insulation to areas that contain plumbing, such as attics and basements
  • Look into removing or relocating pipes that have frozen in the past

A little forethought is a good way to avoid standing water in your building. It will likely be less expensive than dealing with water damage.

What To Do If a Pipe Breaks

A local water remediation franchise can be on site at your business in hours if a frozen pipe breaks. The company can assess the situation and begin drying out the affected areas with powerful fans and other specialized equipment. A fast response prevents the possibility of mold gaining a foothold. When cold weather causes a burst pipe, act quickly to minimize water damage to your company.

How to Safely Burn Candles at Home

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Candle lit up Generally, you need to be very careful when using candles

There’s something about the homey scent of candles that keep people buying more, centuries after the invention of light bulbs. However, these decorative pieces feature an open flame that makes them a fire hazard. In fact, the NFPA reports that an average of 1 candle fire incident occurs in Hollywood Lakes, FL, every day.

Here Are Some Candle Fire Facts:

  • Most candle-related fires start in the bedroom
  • Falling asleep while a wax light is burning leads to house fires and even death
  • December is the peak time for candle fires

Never Leave a Candle Unattended
Leaving a candle flame unattended is perhaps the biggest mistake any homeowner could make, especially when there are children and pets in the house. The idea is to place the wax lights away from any flammable objects such as furniture, beddings and decorations. Also, be careful not to touch or move it while it’s still flaming.

Place It Strategically

Placement is another crucial thing to consider when dealing with candles. Never leave them on a window seal where a breeze could push the curtains towards the flame, causing a fire. It is also a bad idea to place any pieces of paper near it. Instead, put all burning candles on a stable surface, preferably in the middle of the table.

Trim the Wick

The National Candle Association recommends that candle wicks should be trimmed to a 1/4 of the remaining size before burning, every time. You can use a candle trimmer or nail clipper to cut as it prevents uneven burning, dripping and flaring. It is also advisable to keep the wax pool clear of trimmings and debris to eliminate the need for a smoke cleanup.
Generally, you need to be very careful when using candles, especially in December. A candle fire will not only threaten your home’s structural integrity but will also result in soot and water damage.

How to Clean up After a Water Heater Leak

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater For severe leaks, you should drain the leaking water heater

It's hard to imagine what you would do without properly functioning appliances. You rely on your refrigerator, microwave, oven and dishwasher to simplify your life. Your water heater is also critical to your daily comforts and convenience. Over time, however, your water heater will begin to wear out. A leaking water heater is often a sign that it's time for a new unit. This problem can also lead to flooding and significant damage in your Hallandale, FL, home. Thorough cleanup and repair job can save you from a lot of hassles and stress.

First Steps

It may be easy to detect a failed water heater because you won't get as much hot water as you used to. However, you may not discover a leaky water heater for a while. After a few days or weeks, the leak could turn into a flood, threatening building materials, flooring, and personal belongings. Here's what you should do right away:

  • Turn off the water to the tank.
  • Turn off the power supply to the appliance.
  • Find out where the leak is coming from.

Preventing More Damage

You should next pull up wet carpet and lay it out to dry. If there are other items in or near the water, move them out of the way immediately. This includes furniture, electronics, clothes, and documents. You may have to tear out drywall if the broken water heater affected those materials. Next, contact a flood cleanup company to assess and repair the damage.

Drain the Unit

For severe leaks, you should drain the leaking water heater. This will help save the unit and stop more water from coming out onto the floor. To do this, attach a garden hose to the drain valve and place a bucket underneath. Open the drain valve and pressure relief valve to release the water.
It's helpful to know the right process to address a leaking water heater. Prompt action can spare your home and help you get the heater working again.

The Advantages of an Emergency Ready Profile

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Information of an emergency ready profile from SERVPRO If you want to be "Ready for whatever happens", an Emergency Ready Profile is the answer

The Advantages of an Emergency Ready Profile

A competitive advantage in your line of work can come in many forms. A great plan for dealing with an unexpected disaster is one way to strengthen your company in Royal Poinciana, FL. Disasters come in the form of fires, storms, flooding, cyber threats and more, and being prepared could save your company from going out of business after a disaster. An emergency profile allows a disaster remediation team quick access to your property and can significantly improve aid in the recovery process. The features of this program include the following highlights:

  • A free assessment of your facility
  • A Profile Document that contains critical information needed in an emergency
  • A guide to minimize any business interruption caused by a disaster
  • The establishment of a clear chain of command when it comes to authorizing work
  • The identification of important facility details such as shut-offs and priority areas

Choose an Industry Leader

Your emergency profile should be set up by a recognized leader in the restoration business. SERVPRO has local disaster mitigation franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada, offering trained technicians and fast response times. They also have access to corporate resources that enable each franchise to deal with large events. Making the entire program more effective is the presence of a mobile ERP app that puts an emergency response in the hands of property managers and owners.

Protect Your Company From the Unexpected

Everyday companies experience major problems that are difficult to deal with and that result in a business interruption. About 50% of business may never recover from an emergency. The ones that do often fare better because of advanced planning. An emergency profile does not take long to set up and involves minimal costs, but it can be a big advantage for your company. If you want to be "Ready for whatever happens" and work with an industry leader in disaster response, an Emergency Ready Profile is the answer.

4 Strategies To Keep Claims Costs Down

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Water filtering from the ceiling, a man holding a bucket under the water filtering Calling SERVPRO right away helps lower the cost of the claim

No two disasters are alike. A flood might involve black water that poses a safety risk to humans. A fire could be relatively minor or result in a catastrophic loss. Certain aspects of disaster relief, though, benefit from standardized actions. A fast response is crucial, as a disaster relief team should arrive on the premises within four hours of being called. Technicians should be trained and should have access to the best equipment for the recovery process. A variety of methods, such as pretesting, should be used to minimize expenses.

Measures for Cost Containment

An insurance agent appreciates keeping costs down when practicable. This is one reason a SERVPRO franchise is preferred over other remediation teams. In many cases, items such as flooring, walls, carpeting and equipment can be restored instead of replaced. Pretesting of items furthers this concept of cost containment in the following ways:

  • Testing of every item
  • Analysis of suitability for restoration
  • A philosophy of "restore when possible, replace when necessary"
  • Testing to find hidden damages such as mold growth

With advanced technology, testing is an effective way to assess the level of damage of many items. Without this approach, a perfectly good material could be tossed out at an unnecessary expense. Furthermore, testing can find and treat hidden areas of water damage and soot odors, eliminating the need for additional restoration visits in Golden Beach, FL.

Steps for the Claims Process

Work on an insurance claim begins as soon as the recovery company is called. The initial inspection and damage assessment begins an orderly record of damages incurred. Digital photos are taken to record damages. Pretesting happens in the pertinent circumstances. Eventually, a detailed estimate is sent to adjusters, which is then communicated to the business owner. Information can be delivered via hard copy or electronic file. With all of these resources in hand, the insurance agent can better deal with clients.

What Are the Standards for Commercial Mold Cleaning?

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage.

What Are the Standards for Commercial Mold Cleaning?

Are there mold standards for professional cleanup? What does the government say is required for a building to be deemed sanitized? The United States Department of Labor does have an established guideline, dictating protocols for both commercial and residential property. If your business in Aventura, FL, is impacted by fungus growth, look over the safety manual and guidelines supported by the following organizations: EPA, OSHA, and IICRC. In addition, speak with a mold remediation company about how to get your establishment back up and running. You should witness the following steps.

1. Identify the Affected Regions

When a crew arrives, the workers must determine the origin of the problem as well as the extent of mold clean up. This may require testing, especially if the growth is not visible. The initial issue needs repair first. Then, allow experts to isolate the polluted area, preventing it from spreading. Do not permit employees into the space. In fact, the team should establish a boundary, trapping air into a certain location and preventing others from dragging spores into other rooms.

2. Prioritize Pollution Removal

The mold standards emphasize tearing out contamination above using cleaners. Sprays may be used to kill microbes; however, biocides such as bleach do not penetrate the porous substances, making it hard to determine whether fungus has truly been killed completely. Impacted structures such as carpet pads, drywall, and baseboards absorb moisture; thus, they should be thrown away and replaced with something new.

3. Use Industrial Equipment

Black mold decomposes, chewing away at wood and other organic matter. If it's missed, it could mean the structural integrity could be compromised. When your workers arrive, they should begin to remove moisture, cutting off the mold's source. The air handler isn't sufficient. Dehumidifiers should be used.
Yes, there are mold standards. Before you begin work on your establishment, look them over and speak with experts about how they intend to clean your place.

How To Salvage Electronics After a Fire

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

ic or chip in circuit board fire burn How to salvage electronics after a fire

How To Salvage Electronics After a Fire

Following an electrical fire in your Hollywood, FL, office building, you may be wondering if the blaze harmed your other electronics. You also may have to deal with water damage from the sprinkler system or hoses used to douse the flames.
Smoke damage is common after a fire, as well. Smoke can actually affect electronics in several different ways. Specifically, smoke:

  • Adds a magnetic charge
  • Leaves behind acidic soot
  • Produces black film

How Smoke Harms Electronics

Each of the above actions affects electronics in different ways. The magnetic charge present in smoke can short-circuit various devices, including computers and televisions. Meanwhile, the acidic soot created by smoke may cause your electronics to break down more quickly.
Black film may also form on interior parts of smoke-damaged items. This may make electronics overheat more frequently, which can shorten their lifespan.

How To Clean Electronics

If your building suffers an electrical fire, you should immediately contact your local emergency restoration services company. Experts will have the best tools for salvaging your belongings.
In the meantime, there are steps you can take to mitigate the smoke, water and fire damage to your electronics. Your computer hard drive should be removed so you can transfer its contents to another device. The professional cleaners can then work on saving the rest of the computer. You should also turn off and unplug any televisions in the building.

How To Clean Appliances

You probably have appliances in your commercial space, as well. Any microwaves or toasters in the kitchen should also be powered off and unplugged before the professionals arrive. You should also check your warranty records to see what damage is covered.
Computer cleanup after an electrical fire can be a complex process. While you can take some steps on your own to limit the damage, your best bet is to call in the restoration experts.

3 Surprising Types of Storm Damage

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

A kitchen wall covered with mold Mold damage in Hollywood, FL

Mention storm damage and the average homeowner’s thoughts immediately go to downed tree limbs and the like. But storm damage can include more things, from burst pipes to standing water. Knowing all the risks can help you prepare your Hollywood, FL, home for the worst. Here are three surprising types of storm damage - are you prepared?

What Causes Storm Damage?

Physical storm damage can result from many factors, depending on the type of storm. But the bigger cause of damage is often failure to prepare. Some ways homeowners fail include the following:

  • Not securing property debris
  • Not replacing old exterior elements, like windows
  • Not replacing aging interior elements, like pipes

Burst Pipes
Pipes typically burst due to cycles of freezing and thawing. Ice forms due to low temperatures, and frozen pipes expand. One or several episodes of this following a winter storm weakens the pipe, leading it to burst. Prevent this by insulating your pipes in advance.

Roof Damage
Wind and even hail can cause major roof problems. Gusts lift shingles, while hail dents and dings them. Both can create openings that let water inside, setting the stage for new problems. Inspect your roof annually and cover holes with heavy-duty tarp.

Few homeowners associate this common household problem with a storm, but a storm can be what initiates it. Water can get into your home via a pipe burst or roof damage, creating the perfect moist environment for mold to thrive. Prevention can involve the previous tips for pipes, as well as caulking up holes in your home that could let in rising waters during a storm.
Be it a burst pipe or a broken window, storm damage can create high bills that your homeowner’s insurance may not cover. Prepare in advance using these tips from your local water cleanup expert and you’ll be ready for whatever the storm brings.