Recent Posts

What Happens During Mold Remediation?

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Mold found behind baseboard. Any type of mold inside a building is bad news.

Many people worry about black mold, but any mold inside of a building is bad news. Molds feed on organic building material, such as cellulose in wood and paper, and during the digestive process, some molds make odorous byproducts known as mycotoxins. Here are the basic steps for remediation so you know what to expect for your facility in Hollywood Lakes, FL.

Basic Steps for Mold Remediation

1. Stop the source. When you find black mold or any other mold, stop the source of the moisture and call immediately to schedule remediation work. A professional restoration company will be available for your emergency any time of day or night.

2. Inspect. Professionals may use detection equipment to help find mold or water damage that can't be seen with the naked eye. This ensures thorough cleaning to reduce the spread of the infestation.

3. Prevent the spread of spores. Personal safety and prevention of additional contamination are key priorities for remediation specialists. Prepare for all ventilation and HVAC systems to be off during cleanup. Negative air pressure and barriers may be used to create a containment area that reduces the spread of spores during mold cleanup. HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers are also used to contain spores during the process.

4. Removal of contaminated materials and mold remediation. When black mold digests organic food sources, those materials are destroyed. Specialists are able to assess which materials can be cleaned with biocides and fungicides, and which must be replaced.

5. Cleaning of personal items. There are many different ways to clean items depending on the type of materials involved. Some paper documents are critical to your business, and there are several processes that can be used specifically for document drying. Specialists will determine if your documents can be restored and which method is best.

6. Restoration of Structure. Repairs, such as replacing some drywall and painting, or full replacements of structural material will be completed.

When it comes to running a business, downtime during a major cleanup process costs you additional money in lost work. Counting on professionals for mold remediation can get you back to work faster.

How To Use a Portable Fire Extinguisher

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Portable fire extinguisher If a fire starts in you home use the portable fire extinguisher only when the fire is small or in the early stages.

USING PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Having a portable fire extinguisher at your home in Aventura, FL is an excellent safety precaution. Hopefully, you never need to use it. But if you do, reading the instructions during a kitchen fire is not the best time to learn. Know how to use this device ahead of time to put the flames out quickly and reduce the fire damage to your home. The acronym PASS spells out the four steps to remember when using this equipment:

1. Pull out the safety pin. The fire extinguisher will not function with the handle pin in place. For safety, pull the pin and stand back from the fire about 8-10 feet before moving on to the next step.

2. Aim down at the fire’s base. Point the hose at the bottom of the flames where the fire originates, not at the flames. Use the largest extinguisher you can handle with ease, as you will need to hold the base with one hand and aim with the other.

3. Squeeze the trigger on the handle. Slowly squeeze the handle to release the fire dampening agent from the container.

4. Sweep the nozzle from side to side. Continue to aim at the fire’s base and move the device from side to side until the fire is out or the container is empty. Once the fire is out, make sure there are no small flames left to reignite.

When armed with the above knowledge, you are prepared to efficiently use a fire extinguisher in an emergency. If a fire starts at your home in Aventura, FL use the device only when the fire is small or in the early stages. Before dousing the flames, quickly ensure that you have a safe exit out of the house and never turn your back on the fire. If you have any doubt about your safety, immediately leave the house and call 911. Whether you or the fire department put out the flames, you will likely be left with fire and water damage. Contact a fire and water restoration specialist for guidance on repairing your home.

Possible Causes for Water Damage in Your Home

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a shower cabin with glass wall that is damaged Don't let a water leak catch you off guard.

Causes & Categories of Water Damage

An old poem has the line, “water, water, everywhere”. When you need to say this in your house, you know there is trouble. You may be looking at water damage. There are several different possible causes of water damage in Royal Poinciana, FL.  

Causes can include:

  • Leaky dishwashers or washing machines
  • Clogged pipes
  • Leaking roofs
  • Broken toilet pipes
  • Heavy rain
  • Water heater leaks

The amount of water damage depends on the amount of water and on the cause of the damage.

It is also important to start the cleanup as soon as possible. The longer your home or business is water-logged, the more damage.

Categories of Water Damage:

  1. Clean water. It might come from an overflowing sink or a broken appliance. The water does not pose a threat to people. Keep in mind that any water will become contaminated after it stops flowing.
  2. Gray water. This water is contaminated from the get-go. It comes from broken toilets or sump pumps. It might not look dirty, or it might be brown.
  3. Black water. Like gray water, it might not look dirty. One major source of black water is broken sewage pipes. Another source is any water that has been standing still.

Unexpected Fires

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a house Fire in a house.

Unexpected Fires

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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. 

4. Electrical Equipment- An electrical appliance, such as a toaster can start a fire if it is faulty or has a frayed cord. A powerpoint that is overloaded with double adapter plugs can cause a fire from 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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."

How Cold Weather Can Cause Water Damage to Your Business

7/9/2021 (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 Hallandale, 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 creates 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 Effectively Clean Mold From Your Home

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Mold found on wall Mold damage in Aventura, FL.

How To Cleanup House Mold

Although finding areas of mold in your Aventura, FL home is an unwelcome surprise, there are easy ways to solve this issue. Here's how to effectively clean up house mold and prevent its recurrence.

Assess the Damage
If you're wondering whether you should contact a professional to address your mold problem, consider the following factors:

  • the area of the mold infestation
  • whether your HVAC system is contaminated

If the size of your mold problem is less than 10 square feet, you can usually handle the problem by yourself. However, you may need to contact mold remediation specialists if it has spread to a larger area. Furthermore, if you think that your HVAC system is contaminated with mold, you should reach out to a reputable and experienced professional. Be careful not to run the HVAC system if you think that it's contaminated, as this can spread mold throughout your Aventura, FL home and cause a bigger infestation.

Address Your Mold Infestation
If your house mold problem is minimal and can be handled without professional assistance, there are a few tips to keep in mind when cleaning it. First, it's important to fix plumbing leaks or any other water-related problems, as mold thrives in moist and humid environments. Be sure to dry all items thoroughly before engaging in mold cleanup.
You can scrub mold off hard surfaces with a scrub brush, detergent and water. However, if mold has germinated on porous surfaces, such as carpet or ceiling tiles, you may have to throw away these items. Because mold colonizes the crevices of porous materials, it can be extremely difficult to eliminate completely.

Prevent Further Growth
Once you've removed any existing mold from your home, you'll want to prevent any further spores from germinating. Because mold grows in humid environments, turning on the bathroom fan while showering can be an effective way to stave off mold growth. Be sure to keep humidity levels in your home low, and maintain airflow by using exhaust fans.
Although the mold remediation process differs depending on each situation, the general plan of attack remains the same. Following these tips can help you effectively clean house mold.

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.