Archived Blog Posts
How to Handle Water Leaks and Floods in Your Kissimmee Home
Water can easily destroy the walls, floors and structure of your house.
Osceola water damage can be a real problem if there is a leak or flood in your home. Water can easily destroy the walls, floors and structure of your house. It can cause dangerous mold to grow. It can ruin personal possessions and appliances. You should know what to do when faced with a water leak or flood.
Try To Stop the Leak
The first step is to try to stop the leak. Find the source of the water. If there are shutoff valves nearby, then turn them off to stop the flow of water. Alternately, you could turn off the water mains to the entire house. If neither of these steps is an option, then you might be able to seal off the source of the leak with duct tape, rags or other materials. Attempt to do this only if you can walk safely through the water.
Stop the Water from Spreading
If your home is flooding, then try to stop the water from spreading. You can use sandbags, towels or other items to create a barrier that the water cannot pass through. This will help even if you can just slow the water down a little from flowing freely into your home. You could also attempt to put down towels if the water is very shallow. This will help to limit the amount of Osceola water damage.
Get Your Possessions off The Ground
If you have possessions on the ground where the water is leaking, then pick them up. Pick up rugs, furniture and anything else. You do not want the water to destroy those items. Additionally, porous items like paper, fabrics or wood can become sources of mold after the water stops leaking. Put your items somewhere high up so that they are not in danger. Hang up any wet or soaked items to dry if possible.
Contact a Restoration Service
You should contact a restoration service like SERVPRO as soon as you realize that there is a leak and have stabilized the situation. These professionals will come into your home, remove the water and start dealing with the damage. They can dry out you floors, walls, and some personal possessions. They can also remove damaged parts of the home that are not salvageable. Restoration services are critical for recovering from water leaks or floods.
Take Preventative Action
You want to take some preventative action after the restoration company has finished. You want to inspect your plumbing regularly. Check and maintain your appliances. Have your roof checked for damage on an annual basis. Keep the number for the restoration company handy just in case. These steps will reduce the chance that you will have to deal with serious Kissimmee water damage again in the future.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
SERVPRO of Osceola County is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or water emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Kissimmee community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.
We proudly serve:
Water Damage Kissimmee, FL
and surrounding areas.
How to Tell if Your Kissimmee Home Has Mold Damage
If you see mold or smell it anywhere within the home, this means that you may have a mold problem that needs to be taken care of right away.
There are a variety of ways for you to tell if your home is experiencing mold growth. Make sure to look for these signs so that you know when it's time to get the professionals of SERVPRO to take care of the issue for you.
One of the first signs of Kissimmee mold growth would be seeing the mold growing in one or more areas of the home. If the area in question is always damp, like a basement or bathroom, chances are pretty good that you'll eventually see some mold growth. If you do not see the mold, you may also smell it because of its tell-tale musty odor that it tends to leave in the air. If you see mold or smell it anywhere within the home, this means that you may have a mold problem that needs to be taken care of right away.
It might also be a good idea to consider why and where mold can grow so that you can tell if you may have a problem without even having to look around for it. For example, you might have a basement that is always damp or you have an area that tends to be warm and humid no matter what time of the year it is. These types of environments are vital for mold to grow, so you may have a mold problem even if you cannot see or smell the mold right within the room. Mold can also grow underneath flooring beams and behind walls, so only a professional company can tell if it is there.
If you discover that your home does have a mold problem, it might be a good idea to consider hiring the professionals at SERVPRO. SERVPRO is there to assist with mold restoration to get rid of the mold damage. They are trained and experienced with Kissimmee mold damage, so they can do the job that you cannot and make sure to leave your home looking great and in a completely healthy state so that you and your loved ones do not have to worry about it all.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Osceola County is close by and ready to help with your mold-damaged property. We are proud to be an active member of the Kissimmee community and want to pitch in and help make our community the best it can be.
When a major storm or event occurs, we can call upon our national network of 1,650 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams if we need additional resources or personnel.
Safety Tips for Heating Your Home
If you see mold or smell it anywhere within the home, this means that you may have a mold problem that needs to be taken care of right away.
If you have a fire in your home, SERVPRO is there to help. But we also want to help you prevent fires in your home.
Cold temperatures during these winter months have led to people frequently using their heaters. However, this can cause problems as, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths. And half of these heating equipment fires predictably take place in the winter months of December, January, and February when heating equipment is used the most.
Abiding by the following safety measures will keep yourself and your family safe from any potential dangerous of using heaters in your home.
Stay Three Feet Away
One way to stay safe when heating your home is to keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment. That includes a furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
Enforce a Three-Foot Rule for Children
The curiosity of children can cause a problem if they focus their attention on one of these heating options. Wanting to explore the equipment, the child could accidently catch on fire or start a fire in the house. Therefore it’s a good idea to have three-foot “kid-free zone” around all open fires and space heaters.
Don’t Use Your Oven As a Heater
Never attempt to use your oven to heat your home. The inefficacy of an oven as it pertains to heating could cause it to go out or not burn well which could potentially lead to carbon monoxide poisoning endangering the lives of your whole family.
Use Only Qualified Professionals When Installing Heating Equipment
Make sure a qualified professional installs your heating equipment. A novice installing your space heater, water heater, or central heating equipment could lead to serious mistakes that could potentially cause a fire. Hiring qualified professionals will ensure that the person installing your equipment adheres to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
Get Your Annual Chimney Inspection
It’s important to have your heating equipment or chimney cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. In early 2000, the NFPA set a new standard that ensures that inspections include a thorough inspection and cleaning. Based on the purpose of the inspection (annual inspection, system change or real estate transaction, potential hazard) the inspector will inspect on one of three levels. Thoroughness of the inspection will increase at each level of the inspection.
Never Leave Portable Heaters On When Leaving a Room
Always turn off and unplug portable heaters when leaving a room or going to bed. Portable heaters can short out while you’re away and start a fire before you return.
Make Sure to Use Correct Fuel
Use the right kind of fuel when using fuel burning space heaters. The manufacturer will specify which fuel that specific space heater will need. Using the wrong kind of fuel could cause the fuel to burn hotter than the equipment was designed for and could cause a fire in your home.
Use a Fireplace Screen
It’s important to make sure that your fireplace has a screen in front of it. Without a screen, sparks could fly into the room and start a fire. Also, if you plan to dispose of ashes in a metal container, ashes should be cooled prior to entering a metal container. The container should also be kept a safe distance away from your home.
Test Smoke Alarms Monthly
If a fire starts in your home, a smoke alarm can save your life. Smoke spreads quickly and a properly working smoke alarm will give you enough time to get out. So make sure you test your smoke alarms each month. Also make sure to replace your smoke detectors once every ten years.
When burning anything larger than a candle, make sure to provide good ventilation. You can do this by opening windows, doors, or fireplace fumes. Good ventilation will substantially reduce the amount of smoke that can be harmful to those in the home.
On cold days heating is a must. But without the use of certain precautions, it can be a very dangerous decision. By following the safety measures highlighted by the NFPA, you can ensure that you will be warm and safe during the cold winter months.
Tips for Drying Out a Flooded Building
Any building that has experienced flooding has to be dried out before it can be repaired. If you have any flooding, you should contact the professionals at SERVPRO rather than attempting to make repairs yourself. Otherwise you can make mistakes that could permanently damage your home.
However, if you’re interested in how the drying process takes place or would like to know some of the steps taken in drying out a flooded building, here are some tips.
Natural ventilation or evaporation is much better for drying out buildings than heated forced-air or an air conditioning system. This is especially the case for historic buildings. Rapid drying can cause irreparable harm to the significant features of these structures.
Turn Off Power
Before any drying occurs, it’s important to turn off power. Always assume all power lines are live. Even if the power appears to be off around the neighborhood, you should turn off the power in your building.
Make sure to check for any odor that may be detectable from liquefied petroleum or natural gases and turn off those services. If the water damage is due to floodwater rather than rainwater, it may be contaminated with sewage or animal waste and could present a health hazard.
Before you begin cleaning up, take photographic evidence of the damage. This will help when you’re negotiating with the insurance adjuster. When cleaning up, make sure to protect your eyes, mouth, and hands. Also use disinfectants to wash your hands before you eat. If you feel uncomfortable entering the house, don’t do so.
How Water Saturation Affects a Building
There are three ways that water saturation can affect a building. The first is that the water directly causes damage to the building’s materials. This includes wallboard disintegration, wood swelling, warping, and rot. Electrical parts also have the ability to short out or malfunction, which can cause a fire. The second effect is that mud, silt, or other contaminants can get into the water and can- contaminate everything making the water unhealthy. This is more of a problem with floodwater than rainwater. The third effect is that the dampness caused by the flooding can cause the growth of moisture-related mold, mildew, and fungus, which can lead to dry rot.
Drying Should Start in the Attic
Whether you’re attempting natural drying or controlled drying, it should start in the attic. If the insulation gets wet, it should be removed and disposed of properly. After it gets wet, most insulation becomes ineffective. However, it can still hold moisture for a long period of time and will create high moisture conditions that can damage metal, masonry, or wood.
Any items in the attic that have been soaked by water should be removed for treatment. The weight of water soaked boxes can cause the plaster ceilings to crack onto the floor below. You should open all windows and vents to allow fresh air to circulate around the attic and building. If you determine that the electrical system is fine and you have an attic fan, you should turn that on as well.
Before you enter any rooms in the building, you should inspect the ceiling of that room first. Wet plaster and wet sheetrock are very heavy and could potentially fall through to the floor below. Any bulging in the ceiling could be holding trapped water and it will find a route to the floor below. Poking holes at the edge of the bulges will allow water to slowly release so you can catch it in buckets.
Plaster Dries Better
Plaster dries out much better than sheetrock. However, its durability depends on its plaster mix, the original application, the degree of water saturation, its placement, and the type of lath used. Plaster that has been placed over metal lath is likely to need replacing. If it’s over wood lath, the lath may expand if it gets saturated and that could cause the plaster keys to break.
If the plaster has been saved by clean rainwater, it can most likely be saved. If sheetrock has been exposed to water for less than two hours or more, it will probably need to be repaired. If it’s been saturated by contaminated water, replacement will be required.
Wash Down Wood Features
Wood features such as trim, doors, mantels, or stairs should be washed down with fresh water to remove mud and silt. To clean off mold and mildew, you can use a weak solution of Clorox and water.
Don’t Pump Out Basements
If the basement has been flooded, it shouldn’t be pumped out. Draining the basement while the surrounding ground is saturated could cause uneven pressure on the basement walls and the floor and could result in cracking and eventual collapse.
The flooding of a building can cause significant damage but many things can be saved if it’s handled properly. These tips are a starting point for drying out a flooded building but if you’re home has been flooded, call the professionals at SERVPRO to ensure the everything that can be saved is saved.
Overview of the Flood Cleaning Process
Moisture meter checking progress of damaged walls and flooring of your Celebration,FLhome
When your home in Celebration, FL, floods, you may feel overwhelmed at the start of the recovery process. There is so much to do, and you may not know where to begin. In order for your home to be inhabitable, there are certain cleaning requirements that may need to be completed. The following steps can help you work through the tasks successfully.
1. Contact Professionals
Your insurance company needs to know about the damage to your home as soon as possible. Document the problem before the flood clean begins so that you have proof to show your adjuster. To avoid secondary damage that may not be covered by insurance, you also may want to secure the help of flood mitigation experts as soon as possible.
2. Eliminate Water
The first thing experts are typically going to do is dry out the flooded areas of your home. They remove excess water and as much moisture as possible from every surface.
3. Remove Items
One of the important cleaning requirements is to take everything out of your home that has been affected by the flooding. Personal items as well as unsalvageable walls, carpet and insulation must generally be removed.
4. Clean Surfaces
Because floodwater is highly contaminated, it is important to use EPA-approved flood disinfectant on the remaining surfaces in your home. The remediation technicians can clean and test the whole area to ensure that it is properly sanitized.
5. Disinfect Items
Every item that you want to keep must usually be disinfected before it can return to your home. The specialists who clean your items have specific processes they follow to clean different types of items. Anything that cannot be cleaned must be thrown away or specially processed.
When your home floods, there is more that goes into the cleaning process than just getting rid of the water. By following cleaning requirements in a timely manner, you can get the damage repaired and get back into your home as quickly as possible.
How the Experts Will Clean Up Your Office After a Fire
Fire damage in Reunion,FL
No matter how well you prepare, it’s not always possible to prevent accidents, mishaps, and disasters in the workplace. You don’t want to imagine a fire starting in your office, but if this happens, you need to rely on an experienced, skilled company to clean up so you can be up and running as quickly as possible. The best fire cleanup professionals will use proven, thorough methods to take care of smoke damage and the many other problems a fire can leave behind.
Obviously, a fire in your Reunion, FL, office building is a devastating event. You may face extensive damage and monetary losses. It’s important that you don’t delay and contact the appropriate people as soon as you notice a fire.
- Call 911 and report the fire.
- Call your insurance company and file a claim so a representative can assess the damage.
- Call a competent cleanup and restoration company to help get your office back to working order as soon as possible.
The cleanup team will first conduct a walkthrough of your building to examine what areas the fire affected and how severe the damage was. The crew will make note of soot damage and other damages to the structure and to electronics, furniture, documents, and other items in your workplace.
Once the team has a plan, it will use high-tech equipment to conduct smoke cleaning on your sensitive items. The team will deem which areas of the office and which items it can salvage and which it must throw away.
Once the cleanup professionals have removed smoke damage, they will sanitize the affected areas, so it’s safe for you to return to work. They will also tear out and replace ruined area such as drywall and flooring, as appropriate.
Smoke damage from a fire can hamper your business. However, when you call the right professionals to clean up after this terrible incident, you can have peace of mind that you can be back at work in a timely manner.
Mold Development Due to a Roof Leak
Mold development due to a roof leak in Osceola County,FL
When your business in Osceola County, FL experiences a leak in the roof, mold can often grow as a result. Black mold in particular can cause extensive damage to a building and the cleanup process can be expensive and time-consuming. Understanding mold growth can help you restore your building.
What Causes Mold?
Some people may be unaware why a roof leak can often result in mold growth. Factors that make mold more likely to grow can include, but are not limited to:
- Damp environments
- High levels of humidity
- Areas that are exposed to sunlight
Does Mold Form Quickly?
Leaks from roofs can go unnoticed for long periods of time and may sometimes be dismissed as minor issues. However, with the right environment, mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours. Though black mold sometimes grows more slowly than other types of mold, it still can occur in a matter of days. When mold is spotted, it is often wise to find the cause of the growth and keep water from the affected area.
Can You Prevent Mold?
Although mold tends to grow quickly, it is still possible to prevent mold from growing. There are several ways you can protect your business from mold growth. Keeping an area dry can help to prevent mold growth. If your business has a leaky roof, fixing the roof quickly can help to prevent the mold from spreading and damaging other areas of your business. If a leaky roof is noticed immediately, it is sometimes possible to prevent mold growth entirely.
Knowing what causes mold, how quickly it can form and how to prevent the mold from growing and spreading can help you prepare your business for potential black mold growth due to a ceiling leak. If your business has been damaged by mold, it can often be helpful to contact water and mold restoration professionals.
Home Candle Safety Tips
Candle safety tips for your Lokosee,Fl home
Each year, a number of candle fire mishaps occur in households in Lokosee, FL, 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.
The Top 5 Storm Preparation Tips
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.
What Water Pipe Noises Might Mean: 3 Reasons Revealed
A broken pipe can make you end up with a flooded home in Holopaw,FL
If the water pipes in your Holopaw, FL, home make a variety of noises, you might think it is normal for them to do so. However, certain sounds may be indicative of a big problem or impending malfunction, such as a pipe break. Listening to these sounds and learning what they mean can help you find their source and resolve the issue before you end up with a flooded home and a hefty repair bill.
If your pipes squeal when you turn the water on, this may mean that there is a blockage or that a washer or screw is not positioned correctly. A blockage can be a more serious issue, as a pipe break could occur if it is not removed. If you notice the squealing gets worse over time, you may want to call in a plumber to locate where the blockage is before it causes damage.
Water pipe banging can be alarming because it may sound like a pipe burst is about to occur. However, this is not a serious plumbing problem and is quite common. When water is shut off quickly, the valve closes all at once and the remaining water in the pipes moves rapidly, causing them to vibrate against the wall. You can wrap the shaking pipes with insulation or place flexible padding behind them to reduce noise. If you notice any cracks or bulging, you may want to contact a water damage and remediation service to fix a broken pipe before it can cause a flood.
3. Toilet Whistling
If your toilet whistles upon filling, this is usually more of a tank issue than a pipe valve problem. If the sound stops once the tank is filled, check the ballcock unit and adjust or replace it as needed.
When water pipes make noise at your Holopaw, FL, home, it can be startling. However, knowing what the noises mean and whether a pipe break is imminent can help you prevent costly floods before they happen.
Fire Sprinkler Maintenance: Here Is What You Need To Know
Fire and water damage in Saint Cloud, FL
Fire sprinklers are an essential part of any building's safety system, and sprinkler maintenance an essential business function. In fact, reports shared by the National Fire Protection Agency reveal that working sprinklers not only prevent costly damage but also prevent injury and even death. Below are just a few of the most astonishing findings:
- When sprinkler systems are present during a fire, the firefighter injury rate is, on average, 80 percent lower.
- When both sprinklers and fire alarms are present, the death rate drops by approximately 90 percent.
- When working sprinklers are present, fires are restrained to the room of origin 97 percent of the time.
These stats indicate that sprinklers are not only necessary, but that sprinkler maintenance should be a key function of any business.
How To Maintain Your Sprinkler System
Fire sprinklers should be inspected on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. During your weekly inspection, you should check the gauges for a read on normal air and water pressure. You should also check the control valves to make sure that they work properly and that they're locked, sealed and ready to open when necessary.
During your monthly inspections, re-inspect your gauges and check your alarm valves. During the quarterly checks, examine the alarm devices and the hydraulic nameplate to ensure that it is secured to the sprinkler riser.
As a business owner, you are required to have a licensed technician inspect your sprinkler system on an annual basis. During this yearly inspection, your technician assesses and maintains all aspects of your system, including the following:
- Alarm devices
- Pipes and fittings
- Control valves
- Sprinkler heads
- Deluge valves
- Antifreeze solution
- Backflow prevention components
- Water flow alarm
- Main drain
If the technician notices any issues or obstructions, he or she will perform the necessary repairs.
Sprinkler maintenance is a key business operation. Your attention to your sprinkler system can prevent costly and even potentially fatal damage. For more information on what you can do to maintain a safe work environment, contact your Saint Cloud, FL, fire remediation team.
How To Handle Roof Repairs After a Storm
Storm damage to the roof in a Celebration, FL home
Storm damage can be stressful, and roof repair needs can top the list of post-storm concerns. Wind damage, hail and even fallen branches can leave your roof in bad shape. Whether you are waiting on a roofer or are making repairs yourself, there are a few things you should do following roof damage from a storm.
Assessing the Damage
Storms can damage your roof in many ways.
- High winds can rip off shingles and expose underlayment
- Hail can leave your roof dented and pockmarked
- Driving rain can seep under loosened shingles and cause water damage
As soon as it’s safe, get a good look either from the ground or an extension ladder to gauge your roof repair needs. It helps to take pictures for insurance purposes or to know which materials to buy if you’re doing your own repairs.
Take Immediate Protective Steps
Water seeping through a roof can set the stage for serious water damage in your home and make your roof unsafe in general. A stop-gap for many Celebration, FL, homeowners is placing a waterproof tarp over the damaged area. It isn’t a substitute for permanent roof work, but it may mitigate further damage to your roof and your home’s interior.
Get an Estimate
Whether you want to pay a roofer for a roof repair or try to DIY it, it’s still a good idea to get a professional estimate. A pro may be able to help guide your own repairs or even offer a price that’s better than expected. If water has already gotten into your attic, look for a remediation company that specializes in drying building materials and restoring attics as part of your general roof restoration game plan.
From devastated shingles to pockmarked surfaces, storm damage can wreak absolute havoc on your roof. If you’re facing roof damage after a storm, let these tips guide you to the best outcome.
A Mildew Primer
Mold damage in a Kissimmee, FL home
It is quite common to refer to a mold infestation as “mildew.” The characteristic odor of mold is often thought of as a “mildewy smell.” The fact is that mildew is a very specific subcategory of mold that only afflicts plants. It is either white or gray in color and has either a powdery or a downy appearance. Plant mildew is almost always confined to the leaves, buds or fruit of a plant — it is rarely found on bark or woody stems.
How To Get Rid of Mildew
Mildew is more likely to appear on plants growing in wet or consistently humid climates. If you discover mildew growth on your plants in Kissimmee, FL, there are some simple steps you can take to get rid of it:
- If the afflicted plant is indoors, move it outside.
- Wash it with a plain water spray to remove the heavy plant mildew growth.
- Prune away the affected sections. This will also increase air circulation around the plant and help to keep it dry.
- Spray the plant with a mildewcide such as neem oil or baking soda and detergent.
How To Prevent Mildew
To be certain that the plant mildew you have found is not part of a larger household problem, it is advisable to call a mold professional to assess the situation in and around your house. To keep your plants healthy and prevent further mildew growth, you should water plants from below to prevent wetting the leaves. This keeps the moisture at the roots, where it is most needed. When possible, keep plants in the sun and keep weeds and plant debris away from them. Disinfect all garden tools and make sure the soil is well fertilized.
Remember: mildew is a subcategory of mold that only affects plants — hence the term “plant mildew.” Fortunately, it is relatively easy to treat and to prevent.
How To Secure Damaged Roofs and Other Problems After a Fire
Fire damage in Celebration, FL
A fire in a commercial building can lead to a variety of problems and delays for your company. A fire cleanup company can take care of these problems and prevent new ones from occurring, but what happens if the structure of your building is severely damaged? Here are three things you can do to prevent further damage while you are waiting for the full restoration of your building.
1. Cover Any Openings
Often, fires can damage the walls and roof of a building, causing them to cave in and expose the interior rooms to the outside world. Roof repair may take a while to complete. To prevent further damage from rain, wind, or other outside conditions, consider covering any openings with tarps. Your professional restoration company may offer tarp services, or you can purchase some supplies from a local appliance store.
Using tarps to secure all openings is a quick, easy fix that can save time and money in the future. Once all holes are covered, you can wait for fire cleanup services in Celebration, FL, to permanently fix the openings.
2. Secure Your Building
If your building was severely damaged in a fire, you might have temporarily relocated your business. However, it’s still important to secure the damaged building to avoid any break-ins or other unpleasant situations. You may want to board up easily-accessed windows with plywood. Another great way to secure your property is to add stronger locks to all doors that enter the building.
3. Protect Valuable Equipment
If you can re-enter the building after the fire, salvage all equipment that is important or vital to your business. Soot and smoke from the fire can permanently damage objects if they are not treated. While you are waiting for fire cleanup, you may want to clean and protect affected items.
By doing these three things, you can take care of your building and prevent further damage. Once fire cleanup services come and repair the damage, you can be assured that your building will be completely restored.
Preparing Your Business for Bad Weather: 3 Tips
Roof leak caused by a thunderstorm in Saint Cloud, FL
When freezing temperatures and snowstorms arrive in Saint Cloud, FL, they can impact your business. Slippery roads can pose a danger for employees trying to arrive on time for their shifts, and single-digit temperatures can wreak havoc with your building’s pipes. However, there are a few ways you can protect your business, employees and customers if a snow storm is in the forecast.
1. Remain Aware of Watches and Warnings
Watch the news the night before and the morning of the impending storm. If the forecast says bad weather is imminent, you may want to consider closing for the day to protect your employees. Your web designer, social media managers and data wranglers may be able to do their jobs from home. Have your web managers announce the closure on your business’ page so your customers do not get injured trying to reach your business.
2. Insulate Exterior Pipes
If a snow storm is due to arrive, you may want to wrap your building’s pipes to prevent them from freezing. Frozen water can cause a pipe burst and flooding, which can cause serious damage to your building. Use rags or foam insulation on basement and exterior pipes to protect them from cold temperatures.
3. Have a Mitigation Plan in Place
If the worst should happen and your business suffers damage during bad weather, having a mitigation and restoration plan in place may help you recover faster. Contact a storm damage and cleanup service before the winter season and learn about their services and how their technicians might be able to help in case of flooding or other disasters. Careful planning can mean the difference between a quick recovery and weeks of closure.
A snow storm in Saint Cloud, FL, can interrupt your business. However, having a bad weather plan in place can help you protect your employees and building and give you peace of mind all winter long.
How To Fix a Leaky Faucet
Water damage at a Kissimmee, Florida residence
While a leaky faucet might seem like a small nuisance, leaving it unfixed can lead to a number of unwanted consequences. Some of the more serious reasons you should take care of this issue are because a leaking faucet can
- Waste hundreds of gallons of water each year
- Increase the cost of your water bill
- Cause structural damage as severe wood damage or mold.
The DIY Guide to Fixing Your Leaking Faucet
Are you ready to take on the task yourself? Fixing a dripping faucet isn’t usually too complicated of a job. Follow our easy instructions and you should get your tap dry in no time.
1. Prepare Your Sink for Fixing
Before you fiddle with your faucet, look under your sink for a handle along the pipes leading up to the tap. Turn it clockwise to stop the water. Then plug your drain before you take apart your faucet, so you don’t lose any small screws or washers.
2. Determine Your Faucet Type
There are four different commonly found faucet types. A tap with separate temperature handles is called a compression faucet, while a tap with one handle can either be a ceramic-disk faucet (contains a ceramic cylinder), a ball faucet (contains a ball bearing) or a cartridge faucet (contains a cartridge).
3. Find Your Replacement Parts
Take your tap apart to check for broken parts (such the rubber washers on compression faucets) and give it a deep cleaning by soaking it in white vinegar. Take the stem and inner parts to a hardware store to find an exact replacement. Reassemble your new faucet and you should be good to go.
Assessing the Damage
If you’ve had a leaking faucet for a while, it’s good to get your sink area assessed for further damage. Find a restoration specialists in Kissimmee, FL to check that your house is mold free and not at risk for any structural damage. They can also make sure that your fixed leak isn’t going to come back anytime soon — a comfort to any homeowner.
Florida's Extreme Heat Safety Tips
Summer days in Central Florida can be dangeous because of the extreme. Know how to protect your home and family before Florida's extreme heat is here.
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 reflectors (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 electrical 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 Oscoela County specializes in fire, water, and mold remedition. 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 Courners, 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
Mold: When to Call the Professionals
When is it a good time to call Mold Professionals in Celebration, Florida- Osceola County.
There are particular situations where the homeowner can clean up mold. However, there’s a time when it’s passed your ability, and it is time to call the professionals. The best thing for you and your family is to know the different. Here are some examples of situations:
Call the Professionals:
- If there has been a large water damage in the area the mold is located, and if there is more than 10 square feet of mold growth.
- If you think your AC unit (including ducting and ventilation) could be contaminated with mold or if you visibly see evident of mold around the outside of the vents or returns.
- DO NOT run your AC unit, you can run the chance of spreading mold spores throughout your home.
- If any water damage or mold growth was caused by the sewage system.
- If your regularly experience allergies or respiratory issues.
If there is Less than 10 square feet of mold or fungi inside your home.
- If there is any on the surface of your bath tub or shower.
- If you see mold or fungi growing or the outside of your home, such as windows, doors, concrete, stucco, etc.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Osceola County specializes in mold removal and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained technicians are restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely. We service the residents of St. Cloud, Kissmmee, Celebration, Four Corners, and Champions Gate. Don’t hesitate to contact our office staff if you think there may be mold in an area in your home. Schedule a Mold Assessment at 407-933-0707
5 Mold Prevention Tips
The steps towards the prevention of mold is ultimately the key for keeping mold out of your house. Here are 5 tips on how to prevent mold.
Living in Florida isn’t the best environment for preventing mold. Florida’s all year around high humidity, the constant Florida showers, and the coastal sea breeze is a prefect recipe for mold to grow. Here are 5 tips for preventing every Florida homeowner should know.
#1 Eliminate Clutter
When there are many items and lots of furniture in one area the air flow decreases and can prevent your HVAC system from circulating the air correction. Over time, this can cause issues in you AC ducting and could cause condensation which can lead to mold growth. By removing the items you don’t use or need anymore, the air flow in the home will increase.
#2 Control Indoor Climate
During those hot and humid Florida days, but sure to keep your eye on your thermostat. A health home should keep the humidity between 40% to 55%. When the humidity is higher than 60%, there is more water in the air than your air conditioner can handle. Which can lead to areas in your house collecting moisture, and moisture is the prime feeding source for mold. To prevent this, set your thermostat around 77F and keep the humidity around 50%. If your humidity is around 60% or more, think about investing in a small dehumidifier.
#3 When AC is On, Shut Windows & Doors
When your air conditioner is on and your windows and doors are open, your cool air is escaping, and hot and humid air is entering from your house. Not only is your money flying out the window, but condensation starts to form around areas of exchanging air temperatures. Be sure to keep the windows and doors when the AC in on and let the family knows that too.
#4 Look for Standing Water
Standing water can turn a small problem into a big problem. Make sure to consistently check areas where water or condensation can build up such as the pan under the hot water heater, the area your HVAC handler is set on, and moist/humid areas like around the shower, bathtub, and bathroom air vent/fan.
#5 Proper AC Unit Size
It gets hot in Florida and 8 out of the 12 months the temperature is in the 90’s. But bigger isn’t better where it come to your AC unit. If your AC unit is too big for you home, it will constantly shut off and turn which will waste money and fluctuate the temperature often. If the unit is too small, then the air conditioner will continually run without adjusting to the desired temperature and increase cost.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Osceola County specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our technicians are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely. We service the residents of St. Cloud, Poinciana, Four Corners, and Champions Gate. Don’t hesitate to contact our office staff if you think an area in you home may have mold. Schedule a Mold Assessment at 407-933-0707
Stay Fire-Free this Holiday
Ensure your family's safety this holiday by following these recommendations of a fire-free December!
This Fall season in Florida has brought us cooler temperatures, amazing weather, and an abundance of outdoor activities. You can help make sure your seasonal plans don’t go up in smoke by taking a few precautions. Keep your family safe and fire-free by planning ahead this season.
Decorations like flowers, wreaths, and Christmas trees are likely to dry out and are very flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
While celebrating these Holidays, be sure to keep all decorations clear from any emergency exits, whether that’s a window or a back door. Nothing should be blocking an escape route.
Though Florida isn’t known to have many bon fires, they still occur on those rare cold nights either on the beach or in a backyard. Teach your children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.
If you’re like me as soon as December arrives, my seasonal and holiday candles are out and lit! But even adults should use caution using real candles. Ensure that nothing flammable is close to the candle before lighting, such as paper, linens, and decorations.
Locally Owned, with National Resources
SERVPRO of Osceola County is locally owned and operated so we are part of the Celebration and Harmony, Florida community too. When you have a fire, flooding or water emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. As fire and water damage specialists, we have the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. Please call (407) 933-0707
Does your Office Have a Fire Plan?
Business Emergency Evacuation Plan for fires are essential to keep your staff safe.
With holiday’s right around the corner, our minds are not always focused on safety, especially at the office. Now-a-days emergency escape plans are not a requirement for all businesses. If your office had a fire, would you know what to do? Every second counts during a fire. Experts say people have as little as two minutes to escape before it may be too late. Let’s plan ahead this season to help ensure your office and staff is safe and fire-free.
Organize an Emergency Plan
Gather all employees and review the company’s Emergency Plan and procedures. Make sure everyone knows and understands the escape route, and if anyone has any questions be sure to go over them.
Post Evacuation Procedures
In the office building post the evacuation produces somewhere where the entire staff has access to see it. Be sure to clearing mark all routes and exits in the building and ensure all are well lit and unobstructed at all times.
Exercises and Drills
Set aside a time to actually conduct an office evacuation exercise. Before starting, discuss a designated safe spot outside the building for all staff members to meet after the evacuation. Once the drill is over, evaluate how well the exercise went and how the plan worked.
What To Do Until Help Arrives: When Water Damage Occurs
This water damage occurred during a Florida thunderstorm and was caused by heavy rainfall, which flooded the entire home.
Central Florida has been bombarded with thunderstorm almost daily the last several weeks. These storms’ lightning and heavy rainfall have caused many of our Florida homes' roof damages and water damages. SERVPRO of Osceola County has seen an increase of houses affected this summer, and some of the damages have been catastrophic. These emergency tips will assist homeowners and their families in taking the proper actions until SERVPRO of Osceola County arrives. By following these Dos and DON’Ts, it will help to reduce the amount of damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.
Water Damage from Clean Water (Rain Water)
- Find the source of the water if possible and stop or block the water from entering the home.
- Turn off the circuit breakers in the wet areas of the house. Be sure the access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock before doing so.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirts off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Turn of ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
2017 Hurricane Outlook
This Hurricane Season
The first of June is the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, and does not end until the last day of November. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season’s start date is a little different. It begins on May 15th, but ends on the same day as Atlantic Ocean, November 30th. On both coasts, most of these storms do not occur until the peak of the hurricane season, which is around August through October. This is because the Atlantic Ocean and El Nino’s waters are warmed from the summer months, and hurricanes first condition needed is warmer waters.
Each year on May 25th, the Climate Prediction Center releases its outlook on the upcoming hurricane season. For the Atlantic, this year is predicted to be an above-normal hurricane season. “The region has a 70 percent chance of experiencing between 11 and 17 storms with sustained winds of 39 mph (62 km/h) or higher. Between five and nine of these storms may become hurricanes, or storms with sustained winds of 74 mph (119 km/h) or higher. And anywhere from two to four of these storms could become major-category 3, 4 or 5 hurricanes, which means they would have sustained winds of 111 mph
(178 km/h) or higher” according to National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.
For the 2017 hurricane season, the following hurricane names could come into play in the North Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, according to the WMO:
Causes of Wildfires
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 camp fire, 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.
8 Items to Toss out During Your Spring Cleaning
It is important to know and stick to your medications expiration date. Over time medication can lose its original potency, decreasing its effect. Instead of allowing these expired medication cluttering your medicine cabinet, simply flush them down the toilet or crush the pilled form and mix with dirt, kitty litter, or coffee ground and throw the mixture in the trash.
First make sure you do not need the receipts for any kind of tax purpose. If you don’t, you should then shred the receipts (by hand, scissors, or shedder) and toss in the trash.
Frozen foods can be tricky, but foods that are freezer burn or any kind of meat products that are older than one year should certainly be disposed. The best way of disposing of these foods is waiting until trash day, this way the frozen foods will not have time to thaw and start smelling.
Believe it or not, makeup and nail polish have an expiration date. It’s not printed on the items, but if you “google it” people have put together charts with lengths of time each type of makeup product lasts. Nail polish should be thrown out once too much air has gotten inside the bottle and becomes like molasses.
Your clothes that don’t fit, are discolored, or have holes, must go. They are just taking up valuable closet space that could be replaced by items you would actually wear. Throw out the clothing that are discolored or have hole and drop off the others at Goodwill.
Towels and blankets wear overtime and loose that soft fluffy feeling it had when you first bought it. Take these worn linens and donated them to your local animal shelter. You will feel good about it and get to treat yourself with new ones.
Recycling gift bags is a great way to save a few bucks, but that requires you to actually use them. If you did recycle them, you did it! If not, the bags are probably bent or ripped a bit and taking up storage space. Toss them out and feel good about the space you’ve recovered.
If you’re like me and always bringing home the mini travel size shampoo, conditioner, and lotion and believe that I’ll be able to use them for the next time I travel somewhere. But in reality, these samples are forgotten underneath the bathroom sink, simply taking up space and collecting dust.
14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Down Your Home
Electrical fires can occur rapidly and takes minutes to burn down your home.
As busy homeowners, fire prevention has taken a back seat on our list of priorities creating bad habits. House fires are becoming more and more frequent due to common bad habits that can quickly become a fire hazard. Without you realizing it, these potential fire starters are hiding in plain sight throughout your home. For instance forgetting to take the time to change a dull light bulb or leaving an abundant amount of lint in your dryer. Our mind disguises these simple tasks as harmless, when in reality, it can become quite devastating.
1. Piling up dirty, oily rags- If left sitting, these rags could oxidize and spontaneously combust.
2. Misusing electric blankets- If heat starts to buildup or the coils bend the wrong way, the electrical blanket can catch on fire.
3. Neglecting appliance recalls- Last year defective appliances caused 150,000 fires.
4. Lingering dryer lint- The combination of lint buildup and excessive heat creates fire.
5. Letting your laptop overheat- If the cooling vent airflow is restricted, the laptop can over heat and catch on fire.
6. Choosing the wattage- Using the wrong wattage of a light bulb can initiate an electrical fire.
7. Using too many extension cords- This can create an overload leading to a short circuit, which produces a fire.
8. Performing DIYs you’re not qualified to do- Electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC mistakes can easily ignite fires.
9. Disregarding dust- Dust buildup around electronics and electronic sockets can become a fire hazard.
10. Storing batteries improperly- If the battery’s terminals make contact with other metals (screws, papers clips, etc.), it can short out the battery producing enough heat to possibly catch flammable material on fire.
11. Ignoring mice or other rodents- These animals are known for chewing on electrical wires, which removes the sheathing and exposes the heated wiring. This can lead to sparking surrounding surfaces caused by short circuiting, resulting in igniting a fire.
12. Forgetting the chimney sweep- Chimney fires are commonly cause by buildup of creosote, dead animals (usually birds or raccoons), and cracked mortar.
13. Overlooking the range hood- Grease and other cooking buildup that’s left on the vent hood filter can drip down on the stovetop, catching the fallen material on fire.
14. Arranging furniture unwisely- Furniture can unexpectedly ignite, if you position it by a source of heating such as a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater.
6 Misconception About Water Damage
You may think water damage is quite straight forward. However, there are actually quite a few misconceptions about water damage. Here are some common misconceptions to avoid.
It will dry itself
When water leaks into your home and gets onto your floors and walls, there is no doubt that mold will grow if it is not removed properly. The area may appear to be dry, but water can hide in the walls and underneath your flooring, which increases your risk of mold growth. That mold can be extremely expensive to remove the more it spreads and the area will create a musky odor. Water damaged areas begin to stink if they are not completely dried out and treated with the proper antimicrobials. The water will not actually dry on it’s own, but it will seep into other areas and cause damage the more it is able to travel.
It is not a big deal
The mold and bacteria that begin to grow in standing water can cause diseases and infections if left untreated for even just one day. Proper sanitation, disinfection, and anti-fungicide treatments must be applied immediately to ensure that the health of everyone in the area is not compromised. SERVPRO has the equipment and products that guarantee the area is cleaned thoroughly and properly. Do not brush the situation off and think that standing water in your property is no big deal, it has the possibility of becoming a tremendous health hazard if not addressed immediately.
I can dry it myself
This may be many people’s first instinct, but we heavily advise against trying to clean up a large amount of water on your own. This can lead to serious mold growth and eventually cause your flooring or walls to be completely ruined. SERVPRO has the state of the art equipment and skilled technicians necessary to expedite the drying process and save the walls and flooring in your home.
I can’t see it so it’s not there
The tricky part about dealing with water damage is that once water starts to leak, it can hide in your walls, floors, or ceiling after any flood or spill. The SERVPRO advanced technology actually gives us the ability to detect moisture throughout your home so that it is guaranteed that no water can hide and cause further damage. Whether it is water on the floor, or on your belongings, our trained experts are able to detect the moisture and eliminate it quickly so that your home can return to normal.
The cleanup is expensive
The cost of hiring professionals to take care of any water damage is usually the reason people avoid it and attempt the cleanup on their own. The idea that hiring SERVPRO for an inspection and cleaning is going to cost an arm and a leg is actually a myth. The powerful equipment used by our cleaning and restoration specialists are able to both clean and remove contaminants, which saves anyone from having to replace all of their belongings. A few hundred dollars of cleanup and restoration can turn into thousands of dollars of replacement, especially if any of the process is put on hold or delayed. The reality is, you actually save money by bringing SERVPRO in to handle the cleanup and restoration because it will be done correctly the first time.
It is a good idea to check with your insurance company on what they cover as far as water damage goes. It may be that insurance will cover the damage and the whole process will actually result in no money out of your pocket. If that is the case, it will cost nothing to have all of your property and belongings cleaned and restored.
It can wait
Water is the base of all living things and it does not take very long for life to begin to grow in standing water. Mold starts to grow within 24 hours of water left standing and spreads quickly. Take initiative right away so that the situation does not become worse. It is much cheaper to clean up the water and repair the damage than it is to replace entire walls, floors, and furniture. Call SERVPRO of South Brevard immediately and one of our highly trained technicians will respond to your need right away. We have a 24-Hour Emergency Service and are locally owned and operated. You need the company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property.
Tips to Avoid Water Damage
Water damage is a serious risk for buildings. If not addressed immediately, it can create irreparable damage to your personal possessions, the structural stability to the building, and can cause health hazards for occupants. However, there are steps that you can take to help avoid such a situation.
Identifying Potential Hazards
The first step to avoiding water damage is to identify the potential hazards where water damage can occur. Most notably, if you have any leaks or cracks that can allow water in, they should be fixed as soon as possible.
Windows and Doors
As usual openings into the building, windows and doors are common sources of water damage. Regularly checking your windows and doors for leaks will help ensure that they don’t cause water damage problems. If there are leaks, it may be an issue with the sealing around the opening.
Oftentimes, water damage initially comes from the roof. When leaks or roof damage allow water to infiltrate the building, that water will slowly make its way through the home damaging the attic, walls, and eventually the floors. Primary issues that result in water damage from the roof are leaks around vents for the exhaust for plumbing, rooftop air conditioning units, and other types of specialized equipment. Another common problem is with the roof’s drainage system, particularly the gutters. Making sure your gutters are in good condition and draining water properly will ensure it doesn’t cause water damage to the building or its foundation.
Foundation and Exterior Walls
Water can do the most damage to the foundation and exterior walls. Water damage to these parts of the building can compromise its structural integrity and cause openings such as doors and windows to stick. To avoid any danger of damage occurring to these areas, seal any cracks or hold that may have accumulated in the exterior walls, joints, and foundation. You also need to make sure that your yard slopes down away from the foundation and that the roof drainage system directs water well away from the building.
Inside the building, most water damage problems occur from areas where water use is common. Make sure that there are no leaks in the plumbing fixtures, that the pipes are not dripping, that the drains are not clogged, and that any water drainage systems are not defective.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition (HVAC)
HVAC systems are made up of various components that can cause the accumulation of moisture in a building. Some of these components include chilled water piping and condensation drains. If the building is in a humid climate, a HVAC system serves the purpose of reducing the ambient air moisture level. If the system is not working properly, it will not do this which could result in water damage.
Inspect and Maintain
A key to keeping water damage from negatively affecting your home is to decrease the chances that water damage can occur. The best way to do this is to regularly inspect and maintain any parts of your home that could potentially be vulnerable to water damage or water intrusion.
Flashing and Sealants
The purpose of flashing is to prevent water from entering the home where two different types of building materials come together. Flashing is usually a thin metal strip and can be found around doors, windows, and roofs. Similarly, sealants and caulking are typically applied to prevent any moisture intrusion at the building’s joints. To keep water from slipping past these parts of the building, they must be well-maintained and in good condition.
If your vents are not properly maintained, they can be hazards for water damage. To avoid such a problem, all vents in the building should have the appropriate hoods, exhaust to the exterior, and should be in good working order.
Many HVAC systems are made up of several components that could potentially cause water damage if regular maintenance is ignored. Check all these components such as water lines, pumps, and air handlers for leaks. You should also make sure that the drain lines are clean and don’t have any obstructions and that the ductwork is insulated so it prevents condensation on exterior surfaces.
The relative humidity of a building should typically be 30 percent to 50 percent. If the humidity is too high, it will likely show through condensation on the windows, wet stains on the walls and ceilings, or musty smells.
If there are any areas of the building that commonly become moist for any reason, these areas should be cleaned off and the area where the moisture frequently collects should be dried.
If not taken care of immediately, water damage can have very negative effects on a building. It can cause severe damage to personal possessions, cause damage to walls and floors, and make the building uninhabitable by putting into question its structural integrity. These tips will help you avoid having to deal with such a situation. If you do suffer any type of water damage to your home, call the professionals at SERVPRO for a full restoration.
4 Ways to Protect Your Foundation
A sturdy foundation is integral to the stability of your home. Issues with the foundation can cause structural issues with the home which will result in thousands of dollars of damage and can create issues that would require further repair. There are measures you can take to protect your home from such a problem and to check to make sure that the foundation of your home is properly protected.
Grading to Keep Water Away from the Foundation
If the excavation of soil is done poorly around a house, the water could potentially be directed toward the base of that house and could funnel into the foundation. To avoid this problem, the yard should be graded at least six inches in 10 feet, which will ensure that the soil slopes away from the house. To make sure that the slope is enough to avoid such an issue, you can simply use a leveling tool. With one end of the level where the ground meets the foundation wall and the other end sticking out, measure the space from the end hovering over the ground to the surface of the ground. This will tell you the slope. If you are using a two-foot level, simply multiple the results by five to find what it would be at 10 feet.
Direct Water Away from the Foundation
Any downspouts of the house should be directing water away from the house and its foundation. This will ensure that any rainwater or roof runoff is flowing away from the house and not down into the foundation. To avoid the water flowing down into the foundation, the downspout should extend five to 10 feet away from the house, otherwise it will simply be dumping water onto the foundation which can cause extensive damage. While simply purchasing extenders is a way to handle this situation, there is another way. You can bury a long diverter underground which will drain the water all the way to the curb, to a storm drain, or to a spot that is further out in the yard where the water will be of no danger to the foundation.
Avoid Dry Soil
When soil around the house completely dries out, it has the ability to contract, then expand when it gets wet again. It’s important to avoid letting any soil that is around the home become completely dry during any long dry spells as the next time it rains, the soil could become soaked causing it to expand and put stress on the foundation walls. You can avoid this problem by running a soaker hose around the house about six inches away from the foundation and three inches underneath the soil any time there is a drought. This will keep the soil from contracting and expanding, keeping your foundation safe.
Protect Your Foundation from Roots
During a drought, there is only so much moisture to go around, so tree and shrub roots are forced to share moisture with the soil. Lacking enough moisture to go around, this issue can cause the foundation to settle and sink unevenly. The result of this is that drywall can crack and windows and doors may stick to their frames. The way to avoid this problem is by planting any deep-rooted trees and shrubs away from the home. If the branches of the trees or shrubs are touching the house, they are too close and can potentially cause a problem.
Damage to a home’s foundation is a serious problem. In addition to causing structural issues for the house, it also has the ability to cause problems to drywall, windows, doors, and floors. The result of the foundation issues could be thousands of dollars of damage to correct multiple problems throughout the house. But water damage can be corrected with little to no permanent damage if it is caught fast enough and if the appropriate steps are taken to correct the situation. The difference between a quick notification and waiting could be devastating. If you suffer water damage to your home, it is important that you contact that professionals at SERVPRO right away to ensure that the matter is properly handled to avoid any further damage and to correct the situation right away.
Avoid Water Damage Caused Air Conditioners
Here in sunny Florida, air conditioners are a warm weather necessity. Now that fall is here and winter is right around the corner, it is the perfect time to show your air conditioner the tender loving care it needs in order to avoid any water damage to your home.
When an air conditioner is not running properly, it can begin leaking water. Air conditioners commonly leak water when a pump is broken, the outside temperature is too cold, or there is air leakage because the seal is not tight enough. When issues with air conditioners occur, the ice within the unit melts, causing water to overflow from the pan and cause damage to ceilings, floors, and drywall.
As with every appliance, maintenance and upkeep are key when it comes to getting the most out of the product. Keeping air conditioners properly maintained can prevent any of this from happening, so that when the hot and humid summer days roll back around, cool air is easily available.
Here are some tips on how to maintain your air conditioner so that it is summer ready.
Have Your Air Conditioner Inspected
This should be an annual process done by an experienced SERVPRO technician. The inspections include checking the drains, the coils, and the contacts. If any repairs are needed, the technician will make sure it is serviced immediately. During an inspection, SERVPRO technicians will check the refrigerant levels, test for any leaks, check for duct leakage in the system, measure the evaporator coil airflow, inspect the electric terminals, clean and tighten any loose electric terminals, and check belts and oil motors. Lastly, technicians will check the accuracy of the thermostat indoors and ensure that it is monitoring airflow correctly.
Purchase an Algaecide Treatment
The algaecide treatment ensures that algae does not grow within the air conditioner and lead to clogged rain. It is a reasonably priced treatment and is worth it in comparison to having to purchase a new air conditioner as a result of algae growth.
Change the Air Conditioning Filter Regularly
Once a month, your air conditioning filter should be changed and replaced with a new, fresh one. Dirty filters, a well as any tall grass or shrubs too close to the air conditioner can restrict air from entering the unit. When air is restricted, the air conditioner works harder and risks the chances of further damage occurring to the unit.
Condensate the Drains
The drains are the main area that water, whether it be frozen or condensed travels in an air conditioner so make it a point to run a stiff wire through the unit’s drains annually to prevent a unit from reducing humidity. The result of a clogged drain could be moisture that can damage walls and carpet.
Invest in an Overflow Shut Off Device
This device is installed on the drain line and prevents drain back up that could possibly result in water overflowing from the air conditioner, resulting in damage. It simply shuts the air conditioner off if there are any backups in the drain. If that is the case, you will notice that your air conditioner is not running and that you should call a SERVPRO technician to come inspect the issue.
Prepare for Winter
Since the air conditioning will not be used in the winter months, cover any room air conditioners or remove and store them. If you have an outdoor unit, cover the air conditioner to protect it from debris. Everyone needs a break sometimes and this includes your air conditioner. If it is in good condition, give it the winter months to be off duty.
SERVPRO has a trusted staff of experienced technicians who are available 24-7 to inspect, repair, and restore any water damage caused by air conditioning leaks. If your air conditioner seems to be leaking water or is not functioning properly, it is crucial to take care of the issue as soon as possible so that it can be resolved quickly and further damage does not occur.
4 Signs Your Gutters May Cause Water Damage
Every homeowner fears the threat of water damage. Many of these threats come from situations such as leaks in the roof or some other way that water passes into the home. One of the most common and noticeable appliances that are designed to keep water from entering the home are the gutters. The purpose of the gutters is to carry rainwater down and away from the home. This allows the home to avoid any potential water-related problems, such as flooding, leaks, or damage to the foundation. If your gutters are not working properly, the result could be very serious water damage occurring to your home. These four signs will tell you that your gutters are not working properly and are in need of repair or, possibly, replacement.
Gutters are Sagging Away from the House
If your gutters are noticeably sagging, they will not be properly doing their job of leading the water down and away from the house. This is one of the easiest ways to tell that you may have an issue because you can tell it’s happening simply by looking up. The reason why your gutters may be sagging is that they are full of heavy water. This can cause the gutters to not drain properly which could result in other issues such as cracks or holes forming in the gutters. If this happens, water may start spilling down the side of the house causing water damage in the home or to the foundation.
Gutters are Starting to Show Rust
Noticing that your gutters are starting to rust is not as easy as noticing that the gutters are sagging. For this problem, you’ll have to climb up onto the roof or climb up a ladder to notice it. However, if you are able to get some elevation above the gutters, the rusting will be quite noticeable. To ensure that your gutters are working properly, you should regularly inspect them. Any rust should be easily noticed during this inspection.
Over time, if the gutters are not attended to, holes or cracks may form which could cause water to spill out of the gutters, run down the side of the house, and damage the foundation of the home. If your gutters are rusted and are in need of a replacement, you might want to consider getting aluminum gutters. These gutters don’t rust which will ensure that your problem doesn’t happen again.
Marks Are Showing Up On the Exterior of the Home
Cracks or holes in your gutters will cause water to stream down the side of your home. This will leave water stains, cause paint to peel, and mold to grow. Signs of these problems will show up on the exterior walls of the home or right underneath the gutters. This is a sign that your gutters are not directing water down and away from the house but that water is escaping the gutters. As the water continues down toward the ground, it can eventually cause water damage to your home and damage to the foundation of the home.
Splits and/or Cracks Are Forming in the Gutters
Tiny splits or cracks that form in the gutters may not seem like a big deal as water is not even escaping at that point. But the force of the running water can cause these small cracks to become big cracks rather quickly. Water will then easily escape the gutters and stream down the side of the house where it can cause damage to the house and its foundation. Sometimes you can repair these cracks using specialized tape or roofing cement but you may have to completely replace the gutters if the cracks are too big or if there are too many of them.
If there are problems with your gutters that are causing them to stop directing water down and away from your home, issues involving water damage can arise. In some cases, you may be able to repair the gutters but in many cases, you will have to completely replace them. Either way, it’s important that you keep a close eye on your gutters through regular inspection as this will allow you to avoid potential water damage. If you do suffer from water damage, call on the professionals at SERVPRO for a full restoration.
What Goes Into a Water Damage Assessment
Water damage is one of the most devastating events that can happen to a homeowner. Not only does it have the ability to immediately cause substantial damage to your property and possessions, but the situation can get worse over time if the water damage is not properly treated. The first step to planning the appropriate restoration is to complete a full assessment of the water damage. This water damage assessment will let those working on restoring the property know exactly what needs to be done to restore the building as well as allow them to determine what can be saved and what must go.
If water damage occurs in your home, it’s important that only professionals handle the cleanup. Cleaning up water damage can be a complex task and attempting to clean up the damage yourself may only make matters worse. Plus, the longer you wait to get professionals involved, the worse the damage will be. While you should get out of the way and allow the professionals to clean up, this is the assessment they will perform upon arriving.
The main type of water damage assessment that the crews from SERVPRO will accomplish is a structural assessment. Assessing the structural issues of the home that have been caused by water damage will allow them to decide on the necessary course of action. These are the aspects of the structure that will be assessed during this process.
The roof acts as a building’s main line of defense against the elements of nature. Issues with the roof that allow water to seep in and collect in the attic and crawl down the wall can create additional problems such as mold. During the structural assessment process, inspectors will look for any areas of the roof that may be vulnerable to collapse, any missing or damaged shingles, any bent or damaged gutters, any crack or damaged chimneys, and any stains or cracks on exterior surfaces.
Exterior Walls and Windows
Water has the ability to move into places and cause damage that you probably wouldn’t expect. Based on how the damage occurred, there can be several types of damage to walls, windows, and the exterior walls of your home. When water collects behind walls and other areas around the house, they can put the stability of the structure into question without the occupants noticing. When the inspection is being completed following water damage, the inspectors will look for any collapsed walls, broken or cracked windows, wet bricks or exterior walls, and any signs of water coming through windows.
Front and Back Yard
While the inspection of water damage will be primarily focused on the building, there are other parts of your property that may be of interest. As you might expect, a large accumulation of water can collect in your yard and in garden-type areas. Flooding in your yard not only will ruin your landscaping, but can also cause damage to the foundation of your home. As you would probably guess, flooding in garden areas of your home can kill your plants and flowers.
Damage that might occur to your roof such as missing or damaged shingles or holes can allow water to make its way down into your attic. While water damage in your attic is bad enough considering many attics are used as home storage units, the water can seep into your walls from creating unseen damage that could result in health risks such as mold. When your home is being inspected, your attic will be examined to see if there has been any damage that needs to be treated. Signs of water damage in the attic include a wet or cracked ceiling, walls, or floors, wet insulations, and wet or damaged vents and ducts.
One of the first places that will be examined when your home is inspected for water damage are the rooms themselves. The inspection will include looking for any wet spots in the ceilings, walls, or floors, sunk electric and phone jacks, warped or damaged wood, and cracked or broken windows and doors.
Given how much water goes through your bathroom, this room is often a cause of water damage. Even though these rooms are built with consideration of how much water will go through it, issues with your plumbing can cause significant water damage if not addressed immediately. Signs that your bathroom may have water damage include damaged bathtub, stains on sinks or countertops, and leaky or slumping ground around your toilet tank.
If you have water damage in your home, every minute counts. As more time goes by with the proper treatment, the damage worsens and becomes more permanent. When the professionals at SERVPRO respond to your call, they will start with a water damage assessment to get a better understanding of the extent of the damage and see what can be salvaged and what must be discarded.
Preventing Water Damage in Vulnerables Parts of Home
Water damage is a problem that all homeowners fear. Whether it is from a gentle rain or a torrential downpour, the littlest of water damage can put a significant dent in your bank account. Water has several ways of entering your home. Be it from insufficient insulation in the roof or some other entrance around the home, water can easily sneak in and collect. Sometimes it can get into the home without the occupants noticing. The next thing you know, it’s too late and you have thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home.
The damage to your home is not just financial either. Water damage worsens very quickly and causes other problems that can affect other aspects of your life. If in the proper environment, as water damage typically is, mold has the ability to grow. Sometimes this mold grows inside walls where it cannot be seen by the occupants. This can cause health issues for occupants of the home which include respiratory problems, allergies, among other illnesses.
While water damage can be very hard to notice until it is too late, especially by someone that does not know the tell-tale signs, there are steps that you can take to avoid water damage, or at least limit the amount of water damage. Here are some tips to help you avoid potential water damage in your home.
Wrapping Potential Water Entrances
There are several potential entrances for water around your home. Be it from the roof, window, door, or some other spot of the house, these entrances could make your home vulnerable to water damage during the next storm. A way to avoid such problems is housewrap. You may have noticed housewrap covering houses during construction. The reason for the invention of housewrap was to keep water out of the crevices of the home. Typically, housewrap does exactly as its name implies, it wraps all the way around the home, keeping it safe from potential water intrusion. The areas you would expect to be vulnerable to water intrusion, windows, utility penetrations, and intersecting roofs should be given special consideration.
Seal Your Windows
As parts of the house that are designed to open, windows are particularly vulnerable to allowing water into the home. Obviously, windows can’t be completely sealed like many parts of the house because they need to be able to open. That is, if they want to be used the way they were designed. But, by ensuring that your windows have the proper flashing and sealants layered on the window, you shouldn’t have a problem keeping water out of the house.
Houses often have areas that can be exposed to the outside elements due to utilities. This could include a hose bib, dryer vent, or some other fixture that allows the house to be exposed to outside elements. It is situations like this where flashing has its biggest impact on your home. Just like with windows and doors, flashing will ensure that these utility necessities keep the house protected from any potential water damage while still allowing the utility what is needed to serve its purpose.
Where the Wall Meets the Roof
The most vulnerable areas of a house to water damage is where two different materials meet. When the home is being built, contractors put protections in place to ensure that these parts of the house are protected from potential water damage. But, over time, the elements can wear down those protections so it is a good idea to keep a sharp eye on those parts of the house. As rain water hits the roof and slides down the house, no part of the house is more vulnerable to water damage as where the wall meets the roof. Making things even more potentially troublesome is that if water were to get into a crease in that part of the house, the water could travel down the wall and create significant damage before the occupants of the house were even aware of the initial damage.
No matter how you attempt to protect it, certain parts of your home are going to be vulnerable to water damage. Even though the amount of water might be small, depending on where the water ends up, the damage could be extensive in the price to restore. These tips will help should you find yourself in such a situation. If you have water damage and are in need of restoration, call the professionals at SERVPRO.
Dealing with Water Damage
Water damage is one of the most distressing situations for a homeowner. It has the ability to cause extensive damage to the home and requires a costly cleanup. If water damage occurs in your home, it’s important to have the situation remedied quickly by professionals to avoid further problems.
How Water Damage Occurs
There are several different ways in which water can enter the home. These include leaks in the foundation, pipes that have burst, appliance valve failures, and poor drainage around the home. A burst pipe, valve failures, and sewage backups are the most substantially damaging events as they create the possibility of several inches of water accumulation in just a matter of hours. A burst pipe and valve failures are less harmful but create extensive damage. A sewage backup produces harmful water that can cause serious illness to any who ingests it.
Potential Dangers of Water Damage
There are many potential dangers associated with water damage in the home. When water collects throughout the home, it has the ability to soak through anything that it comes into contact with rather quickly. If the collected water has been contaminated, it creates further problems. Contaminated water is the environment in which a variety of microbes, that can include dangerous viruses and bacteria, live and grow. So any organic materials, such as textiles or wood, that have been damaged by contaminated water must be restored for the safety of the home’s occupants.
Another major concern when water collects in a home is mold. The ideal environment for mold growth is damp and warm, which is why the growth of mold is such a danger following water damage in the home. If the mold growth is not soon treated, the spores have the ability to spread through the air which allows it to spread quickly and to areas that seem dry. While being exposed to mold in the short term is not necessary dangerous, the consistent inhalation of the spores over a longer period of time can cause various health issues such as respiratory infections, nausea, agitation, malaise, fatigue, and neurotoxic problems. These medical issues are especially a danger for children, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system.
Water Damage Should Be Addressed Immediately
Water damage in the home is not something that should be put off, but should be addressed immediately. The more time you wait to start the restoration process, the more problems and more expense will occur.
Within just minutes of the water damage occurring, the water will begin to spread throughout the house, saturating everything it comes into contact with. This can cause the finishing on furniture to bleed, which can cause permanent staining on carpets. Photographs, books, and other paper products may start to swell and warp.
Within the first day, damage to permanent fixtures around the house will occur. Drywall may begin to well and break down, metal objects may begin to tarnish, furniture may begin to swell or crack, and dyes and inks from cloth or paper goods around the house may start to spread and stain. At this point, you may also begin to notice a musty odor around the water damaged house.
From two days to a week, the damage will increasingly get worse and start to damage more parts of the house. At this point, mold and mildew may begin to grow and spread which could start creating health issues. Doors, windows, and studs in the wall may begin to well up and warp creating structural issues in the house. Paint in the house will begin to blister, wood flooring may swell and warp, and the possibility of serious biohazard contamination may occur.
If you wait more than a week, the damage will be catastrophic. The time and cost of the restoration will have already increased significantly as the replacement of contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be quite extensive.
Water damage in a house can be a difficult experience for a homeowner. It has the ability to cause property damage and can cause health issues for occupants of the home. If you have water, fire, or mold damage in your home, call on the professionals at SERVPRO to fully restore your home.
How to Handle Water Damage to Floors
One of the biggest fears of homeowners is the threat of water damage. If not quickly addressed, water damage has the potential to worsen and create bigger problems that negatively affects the health and well-being of the building’s occupants. Mold, for example, thrives in an environment like a water damaged building and has the ability to create problems throughout the building. It can also cause structural damage to the building over time. Understanding how to identify whether or not you have water damage and knowing what to do when you do identify water damage is key to quickly getting the issue resolved which will allow you to limit the damage.
Causes of Water Damage
There are many parts of a building that are susceptible to water damage like the ceiling and walls. Another area that’s susceptible to water damage is flooring. There are many different reasons that you may have water damage to your flooring. A pipe that is leaking, a roof that is leaking, or a drink that has spilled are all potential causes of water damaged flooring. Flash flooding is likely to cause more water damage to the floor than anything else. Finding out the cause of the water damage is key to knowing how much water damage exists. It will tell you where to look for the water damage and how extensive the cleanup will be.
Signs of a Water Damaged Floor
If you think that you may have water damage to your floor, you need to be aware of the signs that there is water damage to your flooring. If you have suffered a roof leak, a leaking pipe, or something else that could potentially cause water damage, you’ll need to be on the lookout for the signs that there’s water damage to your floor. These signs include a discoloration of the carpet, a sagging spot in the floor, or rotten wood the sinks beneath the shoes. If wood is rotting, it will sag down more than a hard wood floor. It also won’t echo as well if you knock on it. If any of these signs are apparent on your floors, you’ll know that you must take action to prevent any further damage from occurring.
Finding the Water Damage
Noticing the signs of a water damaged floor is the first step, but more needs to be done to find out exactly where the water damage is and the extent of the damage. One way you can find out more about the damage is to pull up the carpet. Pulling up the carpet will show definite signs if there is water damage. If you don’t want to pull up any of the carpet, you can look underneath the crawl space. However, if there is water damage to the flooring underneath the carpet, it will eventually have to be pulled up regardless. If the carpet is discolored or has signs of mildew, it will need to be replaced.
Professionals Should Be Brought in to Restore
Just like with any other type of water damage, if there is water damage to the floors, professionals should be called in to handle the job. Professionals know the necessary steps, safety procedures, and have the training to ensure that the area is properly and safely cleaned up. If you’re inexperienced in cleaning up water damage, attempting to take on the task yourself could result in mistakes that could further damage the building or create health hazards for the occupants of the building. Hiring professionals to handle the job will ensure that the building will be fully restored and that no additional damage will be caused. When they’re finished, you’ll be able to reoccupy the building without fear that there’s any damage or health hazards in the building due to the water damaged floors.
Water damage is a worry for all homeowners. In addition to ceilings and walls, floors are also a part of the house that’s susceptible to water damage. Anything from a roof leak to a leaking pipe or spilled drink could potentially result in water damage to the floor. If you do suffer water damage to your floors, or any other part of your house, call on the professionals at SERVPRO to ensure a proper and safe restoration.
5 Keys to Removing Mold
Mold can be easy to attract to your home but difficult to remove. Once you have mold, it can spread through the air throughout your house damaging both the materials in your home as well as the air quality. If you do have mold, it’s important to contact the professionals at SERVPRO immediately to come remediate. While small quantities of mold can be removed by homeowners, mistakes could lead to damaging results. If there are large quantities of mold in the home, only certified professionals are capable of removing it. Either way, here are the five general principles for removing mold from a home.
Mold can be dangerous for those that are around it or come into contact with it so, when dealing with mold, safety measures should be taken. Personal protective equipment (PPE) like N-95 respirators, gloves, and goggles should be worn when dealing with the mold. This will reduce the exposure to the mold to ensure those cleaning it up remain safe. If the contamination is more widespread, addition protective garments may be needed. The contamination area may also need to be sealed with polyethylene sheeting. By running HEPA filtered fans, negative pressure and airflow can be created which will ensure that none of the air that’s already been contaminated can escape and spread the mold to clean areas of the home.
In order to effectively remove mold from a building, you must know the extent of the damage. To find this out, a thorough inspection of the affected area must be completed. It’s important to find out what has been contaminated, what materials have been affected, and knowing the size of the contaminated area. The inspection will provide basic information that’s necessary to assess the situation and later verify that all of the mold has been removed. Professionals might also use special detection tools that provide data about moisture and mold.
As a homeowner, having documentation of the damage prior to the cleanup may help with the insurance claim process. Having documentation of the area prior to cleanup as well as updated documentation throughout the cleanup will ensure you don’t run into insurance troubles down the road.
One of the biggest potential hazards, and a key reason why you should hire professionals to handle the cleanup process, is that the mold could spread to other parts of the house. Once mold spores get airborne, they are much harder to capture, unhealthy to breathe, and can quickly spread the mold throughout the house. To avoid any further contamination, the professionals will cover the affected area with polyethylene or clear plastic sheeting which will help to prevent the spread of the mold spores.
Other methods that may be used to prevent the potential spreading of mold spores include keeping the affected surfaces wet during the cleanup to avoid any dust buildup, using HEPA filtration vacuums to capture the spores and fragments, and using HEPA air purifiers in the affected areas.
Completely Remove Mold
It’s not enough to just kill the mold that affects a home or to cover it up. The mold must actually be physically removed from the building to ensure a full cleanup. Occasionally, carpet, upholstery, or drywall may have been infested to the point where they must be removed and disposed of as well.
Mold thrives in environments where moisture is present. To prevent the continued growth of the mold and the potential spreading of mold spores, moisture in the building must be controlled. Any existence of moisture around the home needs to be identified, located, corrected, and controlled immediately to ensure it doesn’t grow or spread any further. Continuing to keep the home dry going forward will further ensure that there’s no unwanted mold growth and that there isn’t a recurrence of the mold.
Mold has the potential to cause several problems in a home which include damaging the materials of the home as well as the air quality. If mold is a problem in your home, professionals should be brought in to restore the area and ensure that the mold is properly disposed of and doesn’t spread. These five keys will ensure that the mold situation won’t get worse. If you have mold growth in your home, call SERVPRO to solve the problem.
Escaping a Fire
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, and 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 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.
6 Entrances to Seal from Water Leaks
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.
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 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.
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.
How to Avoid a House Fire
A house fire can be a devastating event. You could potentially lose many of your possessions in addition to your home. While it may seem that some of these fires are unavoidable, there are ways that you can prevent these events from occurring. These are six of the most common causes of house fires and how you can prevent them.
A NFPA study found that between 2007-2011, an average of 10,630 fires were started by candles causing 115 deaths and 903 injuries. About $418 million worth of property damage was caused by these fires. One-third of these fires were started in the bedroom which were 39 percent of associated deaths and 45 percent of associated injuries.
There are several causes of candle-related house fires. More than half of the fires that were started in the bedroom were because open flames were left too close to flammable items. Other causes of these fires include leaving the room unattended, someone playing with the candles, and the candle knocking over when someone or a pet bumps the table.
To avoid candle related house fires, keep any candles 12 inches away from any flammable items, never leave a candle lit in a child’s room or an unoccupied room, make sure the candle fits securely into the candle holder so it won’t tip over, and blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.
According the the NFPA, 17,600 house fires are a result of smoking. That’s resulted in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage. In 2013, the NFPA found that there had been a 73 percent drop in smoking-related house fires from 2008-2011 mostly due to a decrease in the number of smokers. Also helping the drop in smoking-related house fires were new regulations creating non-flammable mattresses, clothing, and furnishings.
The causes of these types of fires are usually ashes or cigarette butts not being completely put out, smoking near a medical oxygen tank, or lacking attention to the cigarette due to falling asleep, drinking, or taking medication while the cigarette is lit.
To avoid causing a smoking-related house fire, smoke outside, use wide and sturdy ashtrays to catch all butts and ashes, and be aware of any cigarettes that may have fallen under furniture or between seat cushions. Also make sure that there are no lit butts that have fallen where they can’t be seen.
Electrical and Lighting
The NFPA reports that in 2011, approximately 47,700 house fires were caused by an electrical failure or malfunction of some sort. These types of fires resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries, and caused $1.4 billion worth of property damage.
Causes of electrical and lighting fires include equipment malfunction, an overloaded circuit or extension cord, an overheated light bulb, a space heater, a washer, and a dryer. Of all the fires caused by electrical and lighting between 2007-2011, 63 percent were due to wiring problems.
Ways that you can avoid starting an electrical or lighting fire include not overloading outlets or electrical cords, ensuring you’re using the right cords (inside cord for inside and heavy duty or outside cord for outside), not leaving Christmas equipment (lights and trees) on overnight or when you’re not home, and having an electrician perform an annual checkup on the home’s wiring.
Dryer and Washing Machines
The NFPA found that 16,800 house fires in 2010 were caused by dryers and washing machines resulting in more than $236 million worth of property damage. Of the fires started by dryers, 29 percent were caused by lint or dust and 28 percent were caused by clothing. For washer-related fires, 26 percent were caused by wire or cable insulation, 21 percent caused by appliance housing, and 15 percent were caused by the drive belt.
Tips to avoiding these types of fires include cleaning the lint screen frequently, ensure there are no leaks in the lines in gas or propane dryers, ensuring the dryer is vented to the outside of the house so that nothing blocks the vent pipe, clean the vent pipe and area where the screen is housed, and keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
The NFPA says that from 2007-2011, an average of 22,600 house fires were started annually from lightning. These fires are different than the others on this list as they were primarily started during the summer months of June, July, and August rather than December and January.
To avoid lightning-related fires, stay away from doors or windows during an electrical storm, don’t use corded electrical equipment during storms, unplug major electronics when lightning is close by, and avoid plumbing fixtures like sinks or baths during a thunderstorm.
Nearly 40 percent of all house fires are started from cooking. That 156,000 house fires per year and they have caused $853 million worth of property damage. Two-thirds of these fires start due to food or other materials catching fire with 57 percent of these fires starting on a range and 16 percent of these fires being caused by an oven. These fires are typically started either when grease is left unattended or when frying something.
To prevent the possibility of a house fire when cooking, don’t leave your food unattended, don’t attempt to put out a grease fire with water instead putting a lid on the pan to smother it, keep flammable items away from the heat source, and make sure your smoke detectors work and there is a fire extinguisher nearby. If a fire occurs in the oven, shut the door and wait for it to extinguish itself.
A house fire can be a traumatizing event but there are ways to prevent them. By knowing what causes these fires and understanding safety measures, you can ensure you won’t suffer this fate. If you do suffer a house fire, call SERVPRO to remediate the problem.
SERVPRO Osceola County Named Top 100 Franchise
SERVPRO Osceola County has been recognized as one of the top 100 SERVPRO franchises in the nation. Additionally, the brand itself has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top five franchises in their most recent ranking.
For the past 37 years, Entrepreneur Magazine has ranked the top 500 franchises in the country. These rankings are based on several factors which include financial strength and stability, growth rate, and the size of the system. This year, SERVPRO was named as the fourth ranked franchise overall and were the top franchise in the insurance/disaster restoration and cleaning industry. The only companies ranked ahead of SERVPRO were Jimmy John’s Sandwiches, Hampton by Hilton, and Supercuts.
Not only was SERVPRO ranked as the fourth best franchise, it was one of only five restoration and cleaning companies to be named to the top 500 list. The next closest competitor came in at number 155. This is the seventh straight year that SERVPRO has been ranked in the top 10 overall by Entrepreneur Magazine and the 13th consecutive year that they were listed as the top restoration company.
In addition to SERVPRO being named one of the top 500 franchises in the country, the company itself named SERVPRO Osceola County as one of the top 100 franchises in its annual Top 100 Franchises in the Nation list. This award recognizes the SERVPRO franchises that have contributed to making the company one of the top brands in America. It also recognizes those franchises that have shown dedication to serving their customers to the best of their ability.
Being named as one of SERVPRO’s top 100 franchises in the country in a tremendous honor for owner John Robertson and his team. The fact that SERVPRO itself was ranked so highly by Entrepreneur Magazine further solidifies SERVPRO Osceola County as the premier restoration and cleaning company in the area.
If you’re in need of restoration for water, fire, or mold damage, call on the premier restoration company in Osceola County to help.
Signs of Water Damage
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. Additionally, it could threaten the health of the occupants in the home and put the integrity of the structure into question. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 has the ability to cause health problems, 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.
Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning
For many people, indoor air pollution is a growing concern. The air in a home generally circulates five to seven times a day through the HVAC air ducts. During these circulations, it carries the dust and debris of everyday life. For this reason, it’s important to get an air duct cleaning.
While your furnace filter will catch most of the dust and debris, neglect, remodeling projects, or shoddy duct installation can lead to a buildup of undesirable debris inside your air ducts which will threaten the efficiency of the system. You’ll know you’re in need of an air duct cleaning because clogs of dust, cobwebs, debris, or noticeable particles will blow out of the supply registers. Other possible signs will be visible mold inside the furnaces of ducts or rodent droppings and deceased insects inside the ducts.
Having the professionals at SERVPRO clean your HVAC air ducts will ensure the removal of the dust that’s accumulated so it won’t spread into the household. It will also ease the airflow and increase your system’s efficiency by as much as 40 percent.
Air duct cleaning is the process of cleaning the various heating and cooling system components of a forced air system that includes supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans or drip pans, fan motor and fan housing, and air handling unit housing. If the system is not properly installed, maintained, and operated, these components can potentially become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen, and other debris. The existence of moisture can cause the growth of mold which can cause health problem to the building’s occupants. These mold spores have the potential to be released into the living space. Other contaminants can cause building occupants to have an allergic reaction or other symptoms.
If you’re having your air ducts cleaned, it’s important to have all of the components cleaned. Failure to do so could result in one contaminated component re-contaminating the entire system which would negate all potential benefits of the cleaning. Professionals that are hired to handle the job will bring specialized tools that helps them to dislodge dirt and other debris in the air ducts. Then they’ll vacuum the dirt and debris out of the ducts with a high-powered vacuum cleaner. They may also propose the application of chemical biocides to the inside of the ducts and other system components.
Do You Need Your Ducts Cleaned?
There are several reasons why you may need the air ducts cleaned in you home. If the occupants of the building are experiencing unusual or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and you think it might be related to your home environment, you should have your air ducts cleaned. You should also make sure to consult a doctor about the symptoms.
Over time, air ducts will collect dust and debris so it’s a good idea to have them cleaned occasionally. It’s also important that you use the professionals at SERVPRO to avoid other potential problems. If the cleaning is not done properly, the cleaning could cause even more indoor air problems. An example of this includes using an inadequate vacuum collection system which could end up releasing more of the dust, dirt, and other contaminants than if it had just been left alone. If the service provider hired to clean the air ducts is careless or has been inadequately trained, he or she could cause damage to the ducts or the heating and cooling system. This could force costly repairs or replacements.
There has been some research to suggests that having your heating and cooling system components cleaned can improve the efficiency of the system which could result in it having a longer operating life. This research has also suggested that due to operating a higher efficiency, cleaning may result in energy and maintenance cost savings.
If your heating and cooling system hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it may be time to have it done. Ridding your HVAC air ducts of dust and debris can prevent potentially harmful growth like mold from accumulating in the ducts. If your air ducts and heating and cooling system hasn’t been attended to in a while, call the certified professionals at SERVPRO to handle the job.
How to Avoid Water Damage
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.
6 Tips for Preventing Storm Damage
The clouds darken in the sky. The winds start to pick up. A major storm is headed your way.
If you have a major storm system headed in your direction, you need to make sure you’re prepared to avoid potential storm damage. Depending on the size of the storm, you may need to prepare for it in advance.
In Florida, the annual hurricane season means that you should always know how to prepare for a potential major storm that could hit. The following are some tips to make sure you’re prepared to limit the amount the damage to your home.
Preparation Weeks Before the Storm
If you’re in an area where major storms could hit your town, like in Florida, it’s important to keep your trees trimmed that could potentially fall on your house. Make sure any diseased branches, dead branches, or low hanging arms are removed so they won’t fall and damage your house should a storm come.
These branches can be removed at any point during the year but if you live in a climate further north that gets cold during the winter, it’s best to clip the branches during the springtime before the leaves appear. Repeat the process again in the winter when more trees are in a dormant state.
Last Minute Preparation
While much of the preparation for a major storm may have been taken care of during the days and weeks prior to the storm’s arrival such as trimming trees or putting boards over windows, there are some preparations that have to wait until the last minute.
First put your car inside of your garage and back it up to the inside door. You do this so the door won’t twist-up if the winds become too vicious. Next put bikes, children’s toys, potted plants, outside furniture, or anything that can be stored in the remaining parts of the garage. Anything that’s left outside and not nailed down needs to be stored in the garage as well. If not stored during the storm, those objects can become projectiles that could damage your home.
Make sure to tightly shut every window in the house and move away from them. During the storm it’s important to be in a room without windows so if any projectiles fly through the window, you’ll be safe. Unplug any small electrical appliances and shut down your personal computer.
During the storm, it’s important to have a battery-powered radio on hand to supply you with all the news of the storm going on outside. Find your local station that is a good source of weather information before the power goes out so you’ll just have to turn it on and be at the right station.
If you want to be extra cautious you can purchase lightning conductor rods to install at the highest point of your house. You’ll want to make sure they’re grounded so that any direct strike will immediately be directed straight into the ground.
Moving the Movable
Make sure that you have everything that is outside either secured to the ground or brought inside. Heavy winds have the ability to pick up and throw lighter objects through the air and potentially damage your home or injure you. Larger objects like grills may be able to be left outside but you’ll want to be certain that it won’t cause damage to your home when the storm comes.
It’s important to fix any leaks you may have around your home before the storm comes. If the storm is likely to dump a great deal of water in your area, a simple drip can turn into a flow of water and once the storm arrives, there’s nothing you can do about it. These unfixed leaks can become washouts and cause significant and costly damage to your home.
Prepare for Possible Evacuation
If the storm is bad enough, either a voluntary or mandatory evacuation could be called forcing you to vacate your home. To prepare for the possibility of an evacuation in advance, put together a small suitcase with essentials like a change of clothes and important objects like photos or anything that holds significant importance to you.
Put the suitcase somewhere it will stay safe and out of the way so you won’t trip over it. Also make sure that it’s stored somewhere that’s easy to get to so you can make a quick getaway if the time comes for you to evacuate.
If a major storm hits, follow these guidelines to help prevent potential storm damage to your home. But sometimes, regardless of how much you prepare, damage will occur. If you suffer storm damage, call on SERVPRO to come to your rescue.
Everything You Need to Know About Mold
Within as little as 48 - 72 hours mold can spread throughout your property and begin to produce allergens and irritants that can cause health effects. As your Kissimmee disaster restoration professionals, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your mold situation. Any home or business can become infested with mold from a simple roof or plumbing leak, which is why understanding mold and its potential effects on your home is important.
Mold spores are microscopic and exist almost everywhere. Since these spores naturally exist outside and inside, it’s impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. These spores travel through the air which makes it easy for them to get into your home through windows, doors, air conditioning systems, or clothing. Mold thrives off of moisture and can quickly grow into a colony if left untreated and exposed to water. Oftentimes, mold produces a musty smell that can help lead you to the source of the problem, which is the first step in mold remediation. “Black” or “toxic” mold can be an extremely dangerous type of mold, which is why any mold in your home should be treated with caution and you should contact a qualified mold remediation company before anything else.
SERVPRO professionals are highly trained to handle any mold situation. Since water and mold restoration is a cornerstone of our business, our team includes an Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist, Water Damage Restoration Technician, and Applied Structural Drying Technician to efficiently and safely tackle your mold issues. Our team also has the equipment to detect the source of the water feeding your mold, isolate the area, and remove the mold to keep you and your family safe.
As your Kissimmee SERVPRO professionals, you can trust that we understand that each mold situation requires a unique solution, however the typical process will remain the same. Here’s what you need to know about the mold remediation process:
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The process begins when you call our national call center (1-800-SERVPRO). A representative will talk with you to find out the necessary equipment and resources to tackle the job.
Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
Your Kissimmee SERVPRO professionals will then assess your mold damage and inspect your property. Oftentimes mold feeds on water and cellulose that’s hidden from plain view, which is why our team will use different technologies to determine the source of your mold.
Step 3: Mold Containment
To prevent the spread of your mold, our team will use advanced containment procedures to isolate the area and keep the spores from spreading throughout the cleaning process.
Step 4: Air Filtration
Specialized filtration equipment will allow your SERVPRO team to remove spores from the air in your home.
Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the scope and severity of your mold. Using antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies, your SERVPRO team will prevent new colonies from forming. Removing certain surfaces such as carpeting or drywall may be necessary to prevent the spread or formation of new mold colonies.
Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
Our team will use a variety of techniques to clean your personal items, such as furniture, clothing, or decorative items. They will also use fogging equipment to remove odors from your home.
Step 7: Restoration
Depending on your mold situation, certain walls or materials in your home may be removed. In this case, your home may require minor or major repairs to restore your space to normal.
If you have a mold issue in your Kissimmee home, don’t wait to contact your local SERVPRO professionals. Mold can cause serious property damage and health effects if left untreated, which is why our team is highly trained with the proper equipment and experience to handle your mold situation as soon as possible. If you suspect that your home is infested with mold, contact us today and we’ll have your home restored and repaired in no time!
The Process Involved In Water Damage Restoration in Reunion
Although water damage can happen quickly and cause immense damage, there are ways to prevent a lot of it.
Water Damage Restoration Process in Reunion Residential Homes
Water Damage Restoration: Processes And Procedures
Water damage in Reunion is a complex household disaster that can have a devastating effect on a residential property owner's living space. In addition to precipitating mold growth, water damage can do substantive damage to the structural integrity of the homeowner's property. However, attaining high-quality water damage restoration services can preclude this property destruction from transpiring. There are several processes and procedures that restoration experts will utilize to restore the homeowner's property. Here are some of them:
Evaluating the Damage:
Once the homeowner calls a Reunion water damage restoration company, one of the first things they will do is a property evaluation. This assessment involves evaluating the property to determine the depth of damages. Contractors will document the materials that were affected by the damage and also develop an estimate for how much repairing the damages will cost. The evaluation is completed through the use of specialized tools such as water sensing equipment. This equipment enables the contractors to determine how deeply the water has penetrated household structures and materials.
Once the contractors complete the evaluation, they will move forward with the cleaning, drying, and sanitizing work. They will also deodorize the regions of the property that were affected by water damage in Reunion. The next part of the process involves treating the structure of the property with equipment like dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, wood floor drying systems, sub floor drying equipment, and air movers. Once the drying period is complete, the property structure will be assessed to determine whether any blemishes or inconsistencies exist. If so, they will be perfected.
Observation and Supervision
Completing the water damage restoration work in a thorough fashion is immensely important. To ensure that all processes are completed thoroughly, contractors will monitor the restoration procedures so that top notch results are achieved. Some of the things that may require observation and supervision include the setting up of drying equipment and ensuring that machines are working properly.
Intermediate and Completion
During the immediate stages of the restoration process, the drying and setting of the property structure is completed. After these steps are completed, a final inspection is done to ensure that the process has been finalized correctly.
Although water damage can be a challenging issue to deal with, the professionals of SERVPRO can assist you. Our IICRC-certified technicians will provide you with the diligent, detail-oriented work that gets your residential property back in great shape. Don't delay a moment longer.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Osceola County is strategically locateCall us today! (407) 933-0707
Understanding Osceola Residential Water Damage Repair - The Basics
98% of basements in the U.S. will experience some type of water damage during their lifespans.
Understanding The Basics of Residential Water Damage in Osceola
Water Damage Restoration 101
Once water damage in transpires in your home or office, there's only one thing to do: call an Osceola water damage restoration company. Learn more about the helpful restoration services these individuals can offer you by reading the short outline provided below:
How Does Water Damage Repair Work?
There are several steps in the water damage repair process, and they are all designed to help get your property back in exceptional condition. Some of the steps include:
The emergency assessment is designed to determine the extent of the damages done to your property. During the assessment, the contractors will thoroughly examine things like the structural integrity of your property to determine the best course of action. After doing so, they will develop a customized treatment plan designed to expedite and optimize each aspect of the Osceola water damage restoration process. The contractors will also remove water-damaged personal possessions from the property and take them to a warehouse where they will be photographed and cleaned.
Content restoration is another component of the water damage cleanup process. Trained professionals understand that many of your personal possessions are salvageable even if they have been subjected to severe damage. For this reason, restoration experts will use advanced remediation techniques on items like photographs, books, dinnerware, china, electronics, and furniture.
Another component of the water damage remediation process is the removal of excess water. Technicians will use cutting edge equipment to remove water from your ceramic tiles, subfloors, ceilings, drywall, and hardwood floors. They will then utilize a thorough dehumidification and structural drying process. Some of the specialized equipment used to expedite the drying process includes thermal energy systems and desiccants. These devices combine airflow and heat to optimize evaporation.
When your residential or commercial property is subjected to water damage, a mold invasion can be the outcome. Luckily, trained technicians can utilize advanced, customized mold remediation services to remove the unwanted fungus from your property.
When you find that your home or office is impacted by water damage, there's only one company to call for excellent restoration services: SERVPRO. Our IICRC-certified professionals are passionate about getting your home or office back in excellent condition with lightning speed, and we also offer 24/7 emergency services to ensure that we can start working as soon as an issue surfaces.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Osceola County is strategically located to respond quickly to your flood and water emergency event. When water damage occurs in Kissimmee, Osceola, or surrounding areas, we have the resources and personnel to help. Call us today! (407) 933-0707
What Should I Do When My Property in Kissimmee Is Affected By Water Damage?
Too Much Water in the River
SERVPRO Will Get You Back into Your Kissimmee Home After Water Damage
When water damage impacts your home in Kissimmee immediately addressing the issue is important. Once the initial damage has occurred, water can make its way into the structure of your property. If not acted upon quickly, the result can be extensive structural damage coupled with the onset of mold and mildew. However, immediately reacting to the water damage can help limit secondary water damage. This will save you not only time and money, but also precious possessions. To expedite the remediation process contact a water damage restoration company like SERVPRO. Learn more about water damage and why attaining professional assistance is important by reviewing this short outline:
Water Damage: A Brief Overview
Water damage is the result when your property is impacted by a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, or tornado. Water damage can also occur due to household issues like leaky faucets or pipes that burst. Causing structural damage to your property because of unwanted water intrusion can generate a number of other challenges:
• poor air quality
• mold and mildew growth
• humid atmosphere
• unpleasant odors that permeate your ceilings, floors, and walls
• damage or loss of furnishings, art, electronics and more.
Mitigate the loss of possessions and structural damage by getting SERVPRO to begin water removal and cleanup.
Why You Should Call A Water Damage Specialist
Calling a specialist as soon as your property is impacted by water damage is important for many reasons. First, SERVPRO will perform a thorough assessment of your property to determine the nature and extent of the damage. This work empowers the specialists to develop a detailed, customized clean-up plan that will help optimize and expedite the restoration process. Additionally, SERVPRO can send multiple contractors to your property quickly to start the restoration process.
The Importance Of The Drying Process
After water pumps have removed the standing water, then vacuums, powerful air-moving machines, and dehumidifiers will eliminate the balance of water and moisture. With fast action and the right equipment, you can often lessen the need to replace hardwood floor, carpet, and walls. You can also minimize stains and bad odors that result from mold and mildew.
Acting immediately upon the onslaught of water intrusion is the most important step to take. Calling a team of professional water damage restoration experts like SERVPRO should be done right after reaching out to your insurance company. Here at SERVPRO, we're trained in offering a fast response that helps ensure that your home in Kissimmee is restored with lightning speed. "Like it never even happened." We're also pleased to provide all of our customers with 24/7 emergency services.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
SERVPRO of Osceola County is locally owned and operated, so we are part of Kissimmee too. When you have a water or flooding emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Kissimmee community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.
We proudly serve Kissimmee, FL, Osceola, FL, and surrounding areas.
Call us and we will see you within one hour of your water emergency. (407) 933-0707
SERVPRO of Osceola County Changes Ownership
John & Kim Robertson
SERVPRO Industries, Inc. is proud to announce the new owners of SERVPRO of Osceola County. John and Kim Robertson took ownership of SERVPRO of Osceola County in May 2015. John and Kim are business owners of SERVPRO of South Brevard and SERVPRO of West Brevard in Melbourne, Florida. They’re excited to expand the SERVPRO® Brand, a leader in the restoration industry, to Osceola County.
SERVPRO of Osceola County was originally opened in 2005 by Sam Evans and has served the Kissimmee and St Cloud area for the last 10 years.
“I look forward to providing the highest level of service to our customers, and continue to serve this community,” said John Robertson.
SERVPRO® is a leader in commercial and residential cleaning and restoration services. From residential fire smoke and water damage restoration, to large commercial disaster response,
For more information on the services offered by SERVPRO® of Osceola County, contact our local franchise at 407-933-0707 or email our Marketing Representative, Tammie Rodabaugh, Tammie@SERVPROsb.com.