Recent Posts

The Top 5 Storm Preparation Tips

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Various items needed for a storm, ie...flashlight, water, lantern, etc. Have your emergency kit ready in your Celebration,FL property.

Preparing for a storm may reduce the amount of wind or water damage sustained by a commercial property in Celebration, FL. Property owners or maintenance supervisors should follow these five steps to prepare for a storm, keep flood water out, or deal with a flooded building.

1. Develop a Storm Response Plan

In the event of a storm, there should be no confusion regarding responsibilities. A building owner or maintenance supervisor can delegate tasks such as boarding up or taping windows, making and placing sandbags to keep out flood water, or storing loose external objects such as antennas or trash containers.

2. Keep Drainage Systems Clear

Functional drainage systems prevent rainwater from accumulating and causing leaks from the roof or around the foundation of a building. An owner or maintenance supervisor should schedule drainage cleaning and maintenance at least twice a year. Reduce the amount of debris and the risk of storm damage by having overhanging tree branches pruned.

3. Assemble an Emergency Kit

A storm emergency kit should include supplies for personnel as well as property. Gather first aid materials, flashlights, and a battery-operated radio. Keep sandbag materials or alternatives, plywood, duct tape or masking tape, and hand tools on site.

4. Acquire and Maintain a Generator

Property owners may want to obtain a commercial standby generator. This device can provide almost uninterrupted power to critical systems with an automatic transfer switch. Store enough fuel to power the generator for several days.

5. Keep Track of Important Numbers

Ensure that important phone numbers are easily accessible. An owner or maintenance supervisor may need to contact an electricity or gas company or notify a business insurance provider of damage after a storm.

These tips can help owners and maintenance supervisors prepare for severe storms in Celebration, FL. If flood water breaches a building, contact storm and water damage mitigation specialists.

6 Entrances to Seal from Water Leaks

8/9/2022 (Permalink)

Even a small leak in your home can cause major water damage. For this reason, it’s important to seal all entrances where water can enter the home. These leaks can occur in several places in your home and may not even be noticeable until it’s too late. That’s why you need to be vigilant and take preventative steps to stop these leaks before they start.

While one type of material used in a house in usually very weather resistant, houses are made up of many different types of materials. Most of the leaks in homes come from where these different materials meet. Sealant fills the gaps in these materials in order to create a waterproof barrier. These are six places where you need sealant to prevent water leaks.

Window

Due to their access to the outside, windows are common causes of water leaks into a home. To prevent these potentially dangerous leaks from occurring, sealant should be applied to the entire perimeter of the window, both inside and outside. The sealant will keep the water on the outside from sneaking its way in and, if any water does gets in, it will keep it from getting all the way in where it can do damage. If the window has trim, the bottom of that trim shouldn’t be caulked as it allows the water to trickle down and outside.

Door Frame

Door frames are a common entrance point for moisture to creep into the home. Sealant should be applied around the frame and threshold everywhere that’s flush, which is to say anywhere that there are two perfectly even adjoining surfaces. Sealant should also be applied to where the door frame and the trim or siding meet. Remember that there are several different layers that make up the door frame and you want to make sure that you seal all of them so water can’t get through.

Soffits and Fascia Boards

Soffits are the underside of a roof overhang while fascia are the front boards that gutters are typically attached to. Being outside and on the roof of the house, soffits and fascia are constantly around water making their protection of the utmost importance in order to protect the home from potential water leaks and eventual damage. The application of sealant behind these boards will not only ensure that water doesn’t leak through them and into the home but will allow them to last longer.

Where Deck Attaches to the House

It doesn’t matter what type of deck you have, a roof deck or a self-supporting deck, whenever two types of materials come together, there’s a chance that water can get through. Applying sealant to these areas is key to ensuring that water doesn’t get into your house causing damage. Another spot to be aware of is where the railing attaches to the house. Again, these are two different types of materials that come together which provides opportunity for water to sneak into the home.

Cracks and Gaps Along Concrete or Masonry

Any cracks or gaps that may appear along masonry should be sealed using transparent caulk to ensure that water doesn’t enter into the house. If there are any cracks or gaps in concrete, you should use gray caulking which is specially made for use on concrete. While filling in cracks or gaps in concrete should be done regardless of where it is, special attention should be paid to where the concrete meets with other materials which is susceptible to water leaks.

Flashing

The purpose of flashing is to bridge any gaps where two materials come together like where the roof and chimney connect or where a deck connects with the house. This strip has its own seams where two different materials come together making it susceptible to potential water damage. Wherever flashing is in your house, sealant should be applied. And while you’re at it, check to see if any of the flashing needs to be replaced.

The smallest of water leaks has the potential to create major water damage in your home. Applying sealant on these six vulnerable areas on the house will help to prevent any potential leaks from occurring. If water damage does occur in your home, contact the professionals at SERVPRO to correct the situation.

What To Do When You Don't Have Flood Insurance

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

FEMA paperwork for storm readiness. When your home has been affected by storm flooding you can apply through FEMA agency for some help

What To Do When You Don't Have Flood Insurance

When storms flood waters rushing into your home, there's not much time to do anything other than pack up your belongings and your family and move to a safe area. Eventually, however, you'll have to confront the costs of repairs. If you don't have flood insurance, you may feel at a loss regarding how to recover. If you live in an area where there's potential for flooding, you should consider getting a policy that covers:

  • Contents of your home
  • Repairs, reconstruction, or replacement of your home
  • Temporary housing

Make sure you discuss the many things that insurance won't cover, such as items in the basement and swimming pools. If you don't have insurance, however, there are some steps you can take.

Financial Assistance

When your home and possessions have been affected by storm-related flooding, you can apply through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for some help. You may qualify for small grants or low-cost loans. This help through FEMA is only available for your first home, not a second residence. The type of assistance you receive may be influenced by whether the president has declared the floodplain or your state to be a major disaster area. Your specific county must be named to qualify for individual assistance.

Loans

Low-cost loans can cover some of your costs that flood insurance would have covered. For example, you may qualify for a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration to make repairs or replacements to the structure of your home. Don't plan to use this money for upgrades or additions. Work with home repair and reconstruction professionals to determine the cost of repairs and rebuilding.

Grants

Grants from the federal government may be available to help you find a place to stay while you can't remain in your home. These grants may also cover at least part of the uninsured damages, belongings, and disaster-related expenses. These expenses may include childcare, medical costs, and funerals. However, grants are only available if you don't qualify for a loan through the SBA or when you need more help that is available through the loans.
When you don't have flood insurance, and sometimes if you do, federal agencies may provide the financial assistance you need to get back into your Lokosee, FL, home. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself upfront and to get further assistance as needed.

Signs of Water Damage

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

It may not seem like it but even the smallest plumbing or roof leak can create major water damage to your home. It can cause damage to your furniture and other possessions, some of which will have to be thrown out.

Often by the time you realize there’s a danger of water damage, it’s too late and the damage has already occurred or is occurring. For these reasons, it’s important to stay alert for any signs of unwanted water accumulating in your house. Here are some tips to help you stay vigilant and detect if any water damage may occur in your home.

Paint

If paint on the walls is blistering, bubbling, and/or flaking, that’s one of the main tell-tale signs that there’s water somewhere you don’t want it. The same goes for loose or peeling wallpaper. In these cases, there is likely water accumulating in the wall and is possibly already eating away at the structural integrity of the home.

If you’re looking around for a new home and you notice that the current owners of the home have recently painted select parts of the house such as just the ceiling or just one wall, they could be attempting to hide signs that there’s water damage.

Kitchen or Bathroom Sink

Probably nothing gives more telling signs that you might have water damage than kitchen or bathroom sinks. If a faucet base is coming loose or the caulking is starting to deteriorate, it could be a sign that you have water damage. This is especially true if the loose faucet or deteriorating caulking is combined with a laminate countertop detaching from its base or if dampness is mysteriously found under the sink cabinet or vanity.

Floors

Floors made of wood such as hardwood, engineered wood, or laminate will show water damage by the planks buckling and sticking up higher than the surrounding planks. Another sign is that they have shifted out of place. In a tile floor, if the tiles are loose or are damp for hours after anyone has used a bathtub or shower, that can be a sign of water damage.

Doors and Windows

If doors or windows gradually become harder and harder to open or close, it could be caused by water absorption causing the wooden frames to swell.

Walls and Ceilings

If any drywall is stained, usually yellow or brown, it’s likely been caused by water damage. It might also have swollen edges and seams. Any wooden wall trim, such as baseboards or crown moldings, that start crumbling could be doing so due to water damage.

Cracked Foundation

Cracks in a house’s foundation are a serious potential result of water damage. For residents of northern states, a cracked foundation could be caused by frost heave, an upward swelling of soil caused by the presence of ice. But if it’s not during the winter or in warmer climates like Florida, a cracked foundation is typically a sign of water damage.

Odors

Sometimes it’s not what you see but what you smell that alerts you to the existence of water damage. If there’s a musty mildew odor apparent in the home, it’s not because every older home eventually gives off the scent. You should find where the odor is coming from because it’s one of the signs of water damage. Another smell that could alert you to water damage is an acrid smell like that of wet diapers.

Sometimes it’s not what you smell but the reaction of your nose that alerts you that there’s water damage in the house. If your nose is itching, dripping, and/or you’re sneezing and allergies are not the cause, it might be because you’ve got water damage.

Sounds

If it sounds like there’s running or dripping in the house and nobody is using the plumbing, that’s a sign that there’s water somewhere you don’t want it to be. In this case, you should find where the sound is coming from so you can find the location of the leak.

Bills

If you’re all of the sudden paying more for your water bill and you’re not using any more water than usual, that means that water is running somewhere in the house. If it’s not a leak from a faucet that’s easily noticeable, you need to find where the water is coming from.


Water damage is one of the worst situations a homeowner will face. It can damage the building’s structure, and can damage your possessions, sometimes irreparably. If you’ve suffered water damage, contact SERVPRO to remediate the problem.

Home Candle Safety Tips

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Burning Candle on a coffee table. Candle safety tips for your Florida home.

Each year, a number of candle fire mishaps occur in households in Florida, and across the U.S., leading to injuries, structural damage and the need for professional restoration and smoke cleanup. It's important to know how to properly use candles in your home and avoid a possible mishap. Here are some tips for candle safety.

1. Keep Candles and Matches in a Safe Place

Make sure any lit candle is well away from any areas accessible by children or pets, as it's easy for them to knock over a candle that's sitting out on a low table or shelf. Also avoid candle fires by safely storing matches, lighters and candles in a cabinet that kids can't get to.

2. Place Candles Securely

Candles should be placed on a sturdy surface in an area that's uncluttered. Make sure that the candle is at least a foot away from anything that might catch fire. When using a candle holder, make sure it has a stable base and can't be easily tipped over. Also make sure you have several different sizes of candle holders on hand, and that you put the candles on a heat-resistant surface.

3. Be Aware

Never leave a candle burning in a room without keeping an eye on it. Leaving candles unattended can lead to disaster. Make sure to watch the airflow around the candle. If the flame is constantly shifting direction, move it to a place where the flame stays stable.

4. Burn Candles Safely

When lighting candles, make sure to keep your hair out of the way, and keep the flame well away from any loose clothing. If a candle is down to the last inch or so, put it out and throw it away. Don't allow it to burn down close to the candle holder. Never use candles if someone in the house is using an oxygen tank. Don't use candles in your bedroom. You could easily fall asleep, leaving the candle unattended and increasing the risk of a fire.

Using candles safely is easy. With the aid of these common-sense tips, you'll be able enjoy the beauty and warm glow of candles without the risk of a candle fire.

Causes of Wildfires

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Wildfires are growing rapidly through the state of Florida and effecting our own communities and homes. Many believe the causes of these wildfires are the lack of rain Florida has had this spring, which is definitely a factor, but not the only one. Humans are actually one of the leading factors in these occurring wildfires even though we, Floridians are in a drought. In the United States, 90% of wildfires are caused by humans. What are we, as a society, doing to cause acres upon acres of burning?

  • When cooking with fire on a grill or over a campfire, people are not taking the right precautions, whether that is not making sure all debris around the fire is clear or keeping a close eye on the fire or leaving it unattended.
  • Some smokers are negligently discarding cigarettes or cigars, and in dry weather are unintentionally igniting debris or leaves.
  • Children playing with fireworks, matches, or lighters.
  • People who are intentionally participating in acts of arson.
  • Equipment malfunctioning such as vehicles, tractors, yard equipment that uses gas, garage tools, etc.
  • The burning of trash in yards or on large properties. These fires can easily spread by burning ashes or leaves or debris close to the fire. 

Emergency Response After Storms

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Ceiling and tile damage to a home in Kissimmee, FL Storm damaged home in Kissimmee, FL

Emergency Response After Storms

Many homeowners in Kissimmee, FL, are inadequately prepared for a life-threatening storm situation. Understand the role of FEMA and other agencies in responding to a natural disaster and assessing the damage.

1. The Aftermath

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will typically send an inspector or other government official directly to the site of a flood or other disaster in order to ascertain the amount of damage and the needs of the populace. At this stage, it is helpful to be present to expedite the process. If the home is safe to enter, you can assist the FEMA official in getting a rough tally of what belongings and parts of your home structure are inundated, wind-damaged, or contaminated. Some homeowners may choose to have a complete inventory of the home as a matter of course.

2. Proof of Ownership

In a disaster situation, the federal government needs to determine the owner of the damaged property. Ensure that during a disaster or evacuation that you have access to the various deeds and titles that can prove legal ownership of your home, land, and vehicles. This will greatly expedite the process of disbursing federal aid and getting your life back on track.

3. Adjusters

After the danger of flooding is over, your insurance agency will send an adjuster to ascertain the validity of your damage claims and take a general inventory. This process is different from the type of inspection that FEMA performs to determine the severity of the disaster for the purposes of federal aid. Homeowners should be aware that public adjusters independent of any particular insurance agency also exist, and can be hired to assist with disputes over liability or coverage.

While severe storms and other natural disasters can cause significant damage and disruption, FEMA and private insurers exist to alleviate the burden and get homeowners the professional cleanup services they require.

Florida's Extreme Heat Safety Tips

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months in Central Florida. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. As Florida residents, we have a greater chance of being chance of being affected due to the high temperatures and humidity. There are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you and your family.

Prepare Your Home

  • Install windows air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
  • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
  • Install temporary window deflectors (for use between windows and drapers), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep call air in. This can also help keep your electric bill down in the summer months.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awning or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
  • Keep storm windows up all year.

Prepare Yourself Before Going Outside

  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake on those days.
  • Be aware and pay attention to signs of Heat exhaustion

If possible, limit your time outside on extremely hot days and stay indoors in the air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Staying hydrated will help you from experiencing heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life- threatening. Signs of heat stroke are high body temperature (103+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness.

DID YOU KNOW? On average, heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States.

About your local SERVPRO of Osceola County in Central Florida

SERVPRO of Osceola County specializes in fire, water, and mold remediation. Our highly trained technicians are restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your home quickly and safely. We service the residents of St. Cloud, Kissimmee, Celebration, Four Corners, and Champions Gate. Contact our office staff if you have any questions about water or mold damage in you home or business area. Schedule a FREE Assessment at 407-933-0707

How to Avoid Water Damage

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

A house’s foundation is what holds the building together and nothing weakens a home’s foundation more than water damage. It damages the core strength of the house potentially causing structural damage, mold, and mildew. Damp wood in the house attracts termites and carpenter ants that feast on the wood and attack the structural integrity of the building.

If you don’t take preventative measures with your home, it could end up costing thousands of dollars down the road. Here are three ways you help prevent water damage in your home.

Ensure Good Drainage

Poor drainage in your home can cause the foundation to get wet causing cracks, uneven settling, and giving water pathways to entering the house. You can improve the drainage to your home and keep water away from the foundation by routinely cleaning your gutters, directing your downspouts away from the house, sloping your yard away from the foundation, and keeping the soil from getting too dry.

When your gutters get clogged, the rain water slides down the side of the house damaging the siding and foundation. Cleaning out your gutters regularly so that they don’t get clogged will prevent this problem from occurring.

You should direct your downspouts five to 10 feet away from your house. If your downspouts are too close to the house or otherwise not placed in the proper location, water can build up and seep into the foundation causing water damage. You can attach an elbow at the bottom of the downspout to redirect the water the direction you want it to go.

Sloping your yard at least six inches over a 10-foot span away from your foundation will help to keep water from getting in next to the foundation. This will prevent potential hazards such as leaning walls, cracked masonry, and leaks. If you have crawl spaces, keeping any excess water away will ensure that it doesn’t pool underneath the floor. Allowing water to get in under the floor can cause problems like mold, rot, and insect infestation.

If your soil gets too dry, it can potentially cause water damage later on. When the soil around the house is dry for a long period of time, it shrinks. Then when a big rain comes, the soil expands putting pressure on the foundation walls. You can avoid this by running a soaker hose about six inches out from the foundation and three inches under the soil. This will keep it from contracting and expanding.

Test Your Sump Pump

You may not think about your sump pump very often but you will when a storm hits. To ensure that you don’t find issues with your sump pump when it’s too late, you should check the pump at least once a year. Ideally you would check the pump several times during heavy storm season.

You can test the pump by slowly filling your pump pit with water and watching for the float to rise turning on the pump. The float you’re looking for is similar to one you would find in a toilet tank. If the water level falls, your sump pump is alright. You can test your backup pump the same way but you’ll want to unplug the main pump first. 

Fix Any Water Leaks

Any persistent water leaks can lead to the growth of mold, mildew, rot, or the introduction of termites and carpenter ants. These insects appear when there is moist wood as they like to chew on the soft wood. If you’re able to fix these leaks quickly, there may be no long-term damage.

Dark spots under the pipes inside sink cabinets, stains on the ceiling, toilets that rock, and drips are signs that you may have a leak. At least once a year, you should inspect your roof to check for any missing, loose, or damaged shingles that can cause your roof to leak water. Make sure to replace any cracked caulking and check for any leaks that may be around flashing.

Preventing water damage has the potential to save you thousands of dollars due to the damage water can cause to the foundation of your home. These measures can help you to prevent water damage from occurring in your home. However, no matter how much you try to avoid it, water damage still does occur. If you have suffered water damage in your home, call the professionals at SERVPRO to remedy the problem.

Certifications and Professional Teams

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

If you’re in need of disaster repair the SERVPRO of Osceola County team is here to help. Each and every one of our professionals are highly trained in property restoration to better serve our community. From initial and ongoing corporate training to regular e-training and continuing education classes, you can trust that your SERVPRO Professionals have the knowledge and experience to handle your disaster, no matter the size.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the governing body that sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. All members of the SERVPRO team study IICRC standards and best practices to know how to restore damaged properties correctly. The certifications include:

Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT): This course covers mold and sewage remediation techniques and how to perform the proper procedures in the field to keep all workers and occupants safe.

Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD): Through this training, technicians learn how to dry water-damaged structures safely and efficiently.

Carpet Cleaning Technician (CCT): This course covers pre-inspection, fabric identification, cleaning chemicals and equipment, and proper cleaning techniques.

Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT): Through this training, technicians learn about smoke and fire damage, job planning, equipment, odor concepts, and practical cleaning procedures in fire and smoke settings.

Odor Control Technician (OCT): This course covers odor control, odor causes, and deodorization techniques.

Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician (UFT): Throughout this training, technicians go over fiber identifications and upholstery cleaning methods.

Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT): During this course, trainees learn about the concepts of water damage, its effects in different settings, and procedures to deal with water losses, sewer backflows, and contamination.

At SERVPRO, we understand that having the knowledge and training to handle an array of damages and disasters is crucial to meeting and exceeding the needs of our customers when the restoration is required. Our extensive SERVPRO training program includes the following:

IICRC Training
Employee Certification Training: This voluntary, self-paced program allows our professionals to learn more about crew training, fire restoration, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and mold mitigation.
Initial Franchise Training: This 15-day hands-on course at our training facility allows new franchise owners to master topics such as fire restoration and mold mitigation.
e-Learnings: Through this web-based training, team members can stay up-to-date on industry standards and professional quality.
Continuing Education Classes: These programs are designed for insurance agents, adjusters, real estate professionals, and franchise staff to learn more about emergency mitigation.

As your Kissimmee disaster repair professionals, you can trust that we have the equipment and personnel to handle your cleanup and restoration needs. Often people will try to tackle their flood, mold, or fire issues without realizing that they will most likely do more harm than good without the appropriate technology and safety procedures. When you work with SERVPRO, you can trust that our services will restore your damaged property, while also keeping you, your family, and your belongings safe. Regardless of the cause or source, our team can handle any sized disaster.

Since 1967, SERVPRO has been changing the restoration and mitigation industry. To better serve our customers, SERVPRO created the National Training Center in 1992 to teach restoration and mitigation skills to franchise owners and insurance industry employees. Through professional training, our team is uniquely positioned and qualified to help when disaster strikes. Not only is our team trained in the most extensive performance guidelines in the industry, but we're also the ones who created them.

As a homeowner, having a certified team completing your damage restoration ensures that your home is safe and sound for you and your family. From your carpet to your ceiling and everywhere in between, our team has the expertise and tools so that you don’t have to worry about safety when playing with the kids on your living room carpet or preparing dinner on your kitchen counters. Whether it’s mold or fire that affects your home, our team will restore each and every piece to its pre-damage glory.

To learn more about our services, training, certifications, or processes, contact your Kissimmee disaster restoration professionals today!

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