Recent Posts

Finding and Treating Mold in Your Commercial Property

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Graphic with mold stating it can grow within 48-72 hours Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours

Did you know that your commercial building could have a mold problem without you even knowing it? Unfortunately, mold can grow in places that are not visible in a casual walk-through. Knowing what enables mold growth and common places it occurs can help you keep your business mold-free.

Where Mold Grows

Mold can grow anywhere it is warm and wet, but there are certain places that are more prone to mold infestations than others. Make sure you check the following areas in your building for mold:

  • Ductwork
  • Carpet
  • Electrical equipment
  • Paper-storage areas
  • HVAC units (particularly drainage pans and terminal units)
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Masonry
  • Walls (wallboards and inside cavity walls)

Mold can also result from high humidity, so be sure to keep the inside humidity low, ideally below 45%.

Mold Growth From Water Damage

Mold can begin growing as quickly as 24 hours after flooding, leaking or any other event that causes water damage to your property. Therefore, it is important to dry the water as soon as possible. Wet/dry vacuums, dehumidifiers and fans can all help with this process. Anything that cannot be fully dried should be removed from the area.

Treating Mold

Often the first indication of a mold problem is a musty smell. If you cannot see any mold, it may be best to call mold remediation experts to help you find the source of the mold. After the mold has been found and the water source addressed, it is important to contain the mold. This can be accomplished by turning off fans and the heating or air conditioning in the area. Professionals may use more advanced methods. Then an antimicrobial or antifungal cleaning solution should be used to clean the mold. Anything that cannot be fully cleaned of mold should be thrown out. After the mold has been brought back to normal levels, any needed reconstruction or repairs can begin.

Mold in your Holopaw, FL, business can be a serious problem. However, routinely checking for mold growth and addressing it quickly can prevent a minor issue from becoming a disaster.

How To Stop a Bath or Shower Leak

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Plumber inspecting the leak in a bathtub Consult a plumber to stop the leak in your bathtub

How to Identify and Fix a Shower or Bathtub Leak

A leak can result in standing water around a shower or bathtub that can leave signs of discoloration. Water damage may be apparent on the same floor, on the ceiling of the one below it or in a basement or crawlspace. Here are several pointers for identifying and fixing a shower or bathtub leak.

Replace the Shower Pan

Shower pans play a critical role in preventing leaks. If this component has worn out, you are likely to see signs of water damage. You can make sure the problem is a shower pan leak by taking the following steps:

  1. Fill the bath with 1.5 inches of water
  2. Have someone stand and walk around in the tub or shower
  3. Keep checking over several days

A bathtub leak caused by a shower pan may be more extensive than a drain problem or poor sealing. Expect to replace this piece every 30 years.

Repair the Drain

A faulty drain flange or gasket can also result in moisture damage. Pour water from a bucket or hose down the drain while someone monitors the area underneath. If leaking is spotted, you may have located the source.

Reseal Caulking or Grout

Caulk creates a waterproof barrier between tile and other fixtures or surface materials. If you notice standing water on the bathroom floor, re-caulking may be needed. Grout prevents moisture from getting in between tiles or behind walls where hidden mold can form.

Clean and Maintain the Shower

A shower head could also be the source of a leak. Make sure that the escutcheon is sealed with caulk or putty. It may also be necessary to replace faulty components, such as cartridges, gaskets, stems and washers.

Depending on the cause of a shower or bathtub leak, any of these measures could resolve the problem. If you cannot find a way to stop a leak, consult a plumber or a water damage restoration service in Reunion, FL.

3 Ways To Lower Your Business Interruption Claim

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Hair salon that has been flooded Salon flooded in Osceola County, FL

Ways to Lower Your Business Interruption Claim

Flooding can cause your business in Osceola County, FL, to temporarily shut its doors while the process of restoration begins. Though it's often necessary for a business to temporarily shut down after a flood, the loss of business can take its toll. However, there are several ways you can lower your business interruption claim.

  1. Stop the Flow of Water if Possible

When a natural disaster causes a flood, it's rarely possible to stop the flow of water. However, you can often stop water from continuing to enter your building if a flood is caused by a broken pipe or malfunctioning appliance. If a burst pipe or broken appliance is causing your building to flood, quickly shutting off the water in your building can be a useful way to stop the flow of the floodwater and can decrease the likelihood of major damage occurring.

  1. Make a Claim in a Timely Manner

Making a large water damage claim soon after flooding affects your building is often helpful. Different insurance policies will provide varying coverage, and knowing what costs your policy will cover can help you to prepare for restoration. You can talk to someone at your insurance company if you have specific questions about your policy, but it's generally beneficial to make a claim as soon as possible so you can begin restoration and can start to mitigate the damage.

  1. Begin Restoration Quickly

Starting restoration quickly is often wise after a disaster occurs. Waiting to begin the restoration process can cause additional damage, such as mold growth, to your building. To ensure your restoration is as effective and cost-efficient as possible, it can be helpful to employ emergency restoration services. By starting the restoration process as soon as possible, it is likely that you will be able to reopen your business sooner rather than later.

Having your business interrupted after flooding can be costly. However, reducing the cost of your business interruption claim often can allow you to begin restoration quickly and can make it easier to reopen your business in a timely manner.

When Do You Need To Clean Your Dryer Vent?

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Lint vent full of lint from the dryer A lint fire can be a dangerous situation and cause a great deal of damage

So, What Are the Signs That Your Vent Needs Cleaning?

As a homeowner in Saint Cloud, FL, you're probably very diligent about fire safety. You may have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors on every floor, but have you checked your dryer vent lately? Many homes are damaged each year as the result of a lint fire. If the vent isn't cleaned out regularly, a dryer fire can result. 

  1. Clothes Are Taking Too Long To Dry

If your vent is blocked, your clothes can take up to two or three times as long to dry. You may find that clothes you put in for a regular drying time are still a little damp when the cycle is over. This is happening because the blocked vent isn't allowing the moisture to be released to the outside.

  1. Hot Dryer and Clothes

A blocked vent can also cause excess heat. If your laundry feels unusually hot when you take it out, and the outside of the dryer feels very hot when you touch it, this could be the problem.

  1. Burning Smell

If you smell something burning inside the dryer, that's a sure sign of trouble. The drum casing, exhaust tube and trap can get clogged, which makes it easy for a lint fire to start. If you're smelling smoke, turn off the dryer immediately and call a professional right away to inspect it.

  1. No Regular Inspections

Your dryer vent should be inspected at least once a year by a vent cleaning specialist. A do-it-yourself job is certainly an option, but hiring a professional can ensure that the job is done thoroughly. These technicians are well acquainted with all the various brands of dryers and have the proper equipment to efficiently clean out the vent.

A lint fire can be a dangerous situation and cause a great deal of damage. But you can easily prevent a fire from happening by looking out for the signs outlined above.

The 4 Steps to Residential Fire Restoration

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

A graphic with a house with fire damage talking about tarping and boarding. Restoration companies offer board-up, tarping and fencing services.

Residential Fire Restoration Process

The residual fire and smoke damage after a disaster and rescue efforts are likely one of the most devastating experiences of any homeowner's life. However, fire restoration companies exist to repair the seemingly irreparable. Regardless of the size of the property or home, every restoration effort follows the same necessary process.

  1. Securing the Property

The first step to getting your home back to normal is to secure the property. Most insurers require homeowners to mitigate further loss, which is why restoration companies offer board-up, tarping and fencing services. These companies make sure that no elements, natural or human, disturb your property or risk your coverage.

  1. Removing Water and Drying the Home

Another step in the mitigation process is removing any excess water from the rescue efforts. While it may be disheartening for homeowners not to see smoke damage be cleared away, every effort is made during these early stages to reduce liability concerns for insurers, making it easier for your claim to succeed.

  1. Cleaning and Removing Smoke and Soot Damage

After the mitigation work is done, the restoration company you have chosen will begin the process of debris removal and soot and smoke cleaning. Using specialized equipment and chemicals, these companies will clean the existing structure from top to bottom ensuring that all harmful residue is removed before moving on to the final phase.

  1. Restoration

Once a fire restoration specialist in the Saint Cloud, FL, area has performed all the necessary mitigation and cleaning, they will begin the process of actual restoration work. While some jobs are small enough for one company to handle, many professionals hire outside contractors to rebuild and restructure the home when necessary.

Fire and smoke damage might be extensive after a fire, and homeowners may feel like there is no hope for restoration. However, in the hands of experienced professionals, even the most devastating situation can be rectified.

3 Ways a Leaky Pipe Can Cost You Money

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

A wall with mold forming from water damage Moisture build up and caused damage to the walls.

Three Ways a Damaged Pipe Can Cause You Money

If you have a water leak in your Holopaw, FL, building, you might be tempted to push it to the back of your mind. You have more important matters to deal with, after all, right? Well, it turns out that a small leak can become a big problem if you don’t have it fixed right away. Here are just three ways that a damaged pipe could cost you a lot of money.

  1. Restoration and Repairs

Over time, even a small water leak can contribute to damage in your building. The moisture can build up and cause warping in walls and flooring, weakening the structure in that area. If it is unable to dry, you can end up with a mold growth that can cause discoloration and an unpleasant musty odor. Eventually, you will need to hire a water damage restoration specialist to repair the damage.

  1. Increased Water Bills

Depending on the location of the leak, a high water bill might be the first sign of water damage that you notice. While it might seem that only a small amount of water is lost, even tiny drips add up throughout the day. If the leak continues over a long period of time, you could be wasting hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars each month.

  1. Loss of Business

Sometimes, a leak is indicative of a larger problem. If your pipes are old or damaged, then ignoring a leak could potentially end in a pipe break. This will cause a much larger amount of damage to your building and can even prevent you from doing business while the repairs are being done, costing you valuable profits.

Because a water leak seems like a small problem, it is often overlooked or ignored, but this can end up costing your business big time. You should be sure to perform regular maintenance to keep everything in your building working properly. Fixing a leak early on will save you both time and money in the long run.

5 Preparedness Tips for Flooding

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Sandbags lined up to prevent a flood Have sandbags ready on entry points to your building

How to Prepare for the Possibility of Flooding

Storm season can certainly keep you on your toes. When you have a business in Kissimmee, FL, it’s good to know how to prepare for the possibility of flooding. Here are five tips to help you be well prepared for anything a storm may send your way.

  1. Have an Emergency Plan

A big part of preparing for flood damage is simply having a plan of action in place. Evacuation paths should be mapped, and those maps should be posted on every level of your building so that people know where to go in an emergency. Designate emergency responsibilities before the disaster occurs so that people know what is expected of them.

  1. Waterproof Your Building

Even if your building is flooded during a storm, having a solid building envelope can lower your flood cleanup costs. Have your building inspected regularly to find cracks or spots that are worn so that you can get the necessary repairs.

  1. Elevate Equipment and Furniture

Electrical equipment and furniture can both be damaged beyond repair during flooding. Elevate furniture, sockets, electrical panels, appliances and all wiring where floodwaters can’t get to them.

  1. Have Sandbags Ready

A good way to stave off excess water is to put up barriers. Set sandbags near doors, windows and other vulnerable entry points to your building. Barriers may delay the flow of water enough that you can avoid storm damage altogether.

  1. Update Your Insurance Coverage

It’s a smart idea to check your insurance policies periodically to make sure that all potential problems are covered. If you don’t have a policy that pays for services from storm cleanup experts, you may have to pay for a lot of damage out of pocket the next time a storm heads your way.

Flooding is a common occurrence when there is a storm in your area. By making sure your employees, your building and your insurance is adequately prepared, you can prevent a lot of damage and handle the problems that do occur with relative ease.

Maintaining Your Business's Roof for a Longer Roof Life

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Rain gutters clogged with debris. Debris blocking gutters can cause a backup of water that may lead to a roof leak

Steps to Prevent Roof Damage

You might not think much about the roof over your business, but each day it protects your assets and operations. A roof leak interrupts your business and adds unexpected expenses, so take steps now to prevent roof damage.

  1. Remove Debris

Roofs are designed to allow water to run off quickly during storms. Any debris on the roof can hold water, which may damage roofing materials. If you have trees nearby, make sure they are pruned away from the roof, and check after winds and in the autumn for branches and leaves that may have fallen on the roof. Check your roof regularly and after storms to ensure it is clear.

  1. Clean Gutters and Drains

Debris blocking gutters can cause a backup of water that may lead to a roof leak. Gutters are designed to drain water away from the roof and building, but their function is reduced when water cannot flow freely due to debris and blockages. Wind damage can also affect gutter function if a gutter becomes loose or falls. Check gutters after every storm or wind event and frequently during the autumn when leaves fall.

  1. Inspect for Signs of Damage

Storm conditions may cause minor roof damage that, if not addressed early, can lead to significant damage. Winter storms can be especially damaging due to the weight and expansion of ice. After a storm, in addition to clearing the roof and gutters of debris, you should also look for tears, gaps, bubbles, cracked seals, bent or gapped flashing, and missing shingles. Any of these issues can be a small repair if caught early rather than a major repair or roof replacement if left to worsen. As a business owner or manager, you'll want to call a storm cleanup professional in Kissimmee, FL, to inspect your business's roof.

Protect your business and avoid unexpected expenses by monitoring the health of its roof. Keep your roof and gutters clear and inspect them regularly for signs of damage in order to avoid issues that can lead to a roof leak.

Escaping a Fire

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

Causing more than 2,500 deaths and 12,600 injuries each year in the United States, house fires are extremely dangerous for those that are unprepared for the event. But they are preventable.

To be prepared should a fire occur in your home, it’s important to know what to do:

  • before a fire
  • during a fire
  • after a fire

To ensure that your family remains safe throughout the ordeal.

It takes just two minutes for a fire to become life-threatening and just five minutes for a residence to become consumed by a fire. While the flames are what most people fear, that’s not what’s most dangerous as the heat and smoke do most of the damage. This is because the inhalation of extremely hot air can sear the lungs. A fire also has the ability to produce poisonous gases that can make you disoriented and drowsy making them all the more dangerous. In fact, the leading cause of fire deaths is asphyxiation which exceeds burns by a three to one ratio.

Preparing for a Fire

To make sure you’re prepared in the event of a fire, there are certain precautionary measures that must be taken to ensure your safety. The most important step is to create an evacuation plan for your family. Every second counts when a home is filling up with smoke so you need to know the fastest way out. Creating a plan and going over it with each member of your family will ensure that everyone can get out safely.

When developing your evacuation plan, make sure that you have two routes to escape each room in case one is blocked. Once your plan is formed, you should practice the plan at least twice a year. Being prepared for a potential fire means making sure that windows aren’t locked, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be opened. You should also have your family practice feeling around in the dark with their eyes closed replicating the environment they’ll be in if there’s a fire and teach the children not to hide from firefighters who are there to help.

The most important device to making sure you can safety escape a fire is a smoke alarm. Having working smoke alarms will significantly increase your chances of surviving the fire. To make sure that your smoke alarm will alert you of a fire in the home, test the batteries monthly, replace the batteries at least once a year, and replace the smoke alarm every eight to 10 years.

How to Escape a Fire

If a fire does occur in your home, you should escape the building as quickly as possible. However, there are some things you need to remember to safety evacuate. The first step is to get to the floor and crawl to the exit as heavy, toxic smoke and poisonous gases gather initiallly at the ceiling. When you get to a door, feel the doorknob and door before opening it. If either the doorknob or door is hot, you should leave it closed and go to your alternate way out. You should also leave the door closed if smoke is coming from around it. If you are able to open the door, do so slowly and be ready to shut it quickly should heavy smoke or fire be on the other side.

But what happens if you can’t get out? If the event occurs where you’re trapped in a room, cover the vents and cracks around any doors with cloth or tape to keep any smoke out. Then call the fire department and tell them where you are. You can use a light colored cloth or flashlight to get the attention of the firefighters. If you catch on fire yourself, simply stop, drop, and roll with your hands over your face to put yourself out.

What to Do After a Fire

If you’ve suffered a fire in your home rendering it uninhabitable and you have nowhere to go, contact your local disaster relief service like The Red Cross. If you have fire insurance, call the insurance company for details on protecting your property. You also should contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Osceola County to remediate the situation as soon as possible. The sooner they begin the restoration process, the more of your home and possessions will be salvaged.

A house fire is a devastating event that can lead to serious injury or death if you’re not properly prepared. These tips will ensure that you’re prepared for a fire and that you and your family can escape safely.

Keeping The Workplace Safe

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Keeping the Workplace Safe

Encourage your employees to...

  • Practice Good Hygiene 
    • Stop shaking hands – use other non-contact methods of greeting
    • Clean hands with sanitizer or wash their hands frequently
    • Avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes
    • Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly
    • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
  • Be Careful with Meetings and Travel
    • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible
    • When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces
    • Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings
    • Assess the risks of business travel
  • Handle Food Carefully 
    • Limit sharing food with others
    • Strengthen health screenings for cafeteria staff and their close contacts
    • Ensure cafeteria staff and their close contacts practice strict hygiene
  • Stay Home if...
    • They are feeling sick
    • They have a sick family member in their home

About Coronavirus

The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has spread to 60 locations internationally (as of this publication), including cases in the United States. The virus known as “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”) is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.