10 Orlando Fire Damage Facts for Homeowners
Aside from flames and soot, additional damage in a fire disaster can also occur from firefighters cutting ventilation holes and spraying water.
While flames can cause the most visible damage to your Orlando property during a fire, smoke and soot are silent and sometimes invisible hazards that could cost lives. Water is also a reason for damage after a fire. Even firefighters themselves may cause some damage before they can completely put out a fire. Here are 10 important things to know about fires.
1. Most deaths in fire disasters are a result of smoke being inhaled, not from contact with the flames themselves. When avoiding flames from a fire, make sure to remove yourself from any areas with smoke as well.
2. Soot is a coating of fine, black dust created when wood, coal, or oil-based substances are burned. These carbon particles float into the air and settle anywhere. Inhaling soot can cause severe lung deficiencies or even death.
3. Other effects of soot inhalation that can occur are cancer and serious defects in newborns. Soot produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are responsible for gene mutation for particular groups of genes.
Water’s Effect on Fire Damage
4. Certain types of fires can be successfully put out using water. It is important to make sure that after a fire is extinguished, all wet components of your home or business are completely dried. If moisture is allowed to remain, mold, mildew, and other consequences can grow and lead to further damage and loss. This is why SERVPRO of Winter Park provides industrial dehumidifiers and air movers to dry saturated carpets, padding, furniture, and any other wet items.
5. Orlando and the rest of Central Florida are known for high levels of humidity. Because of this, mold colonies can begin to grow just 48 hours after water damage occurs. The combination of fire, water, and mold damage to your commercial property or home could result in a complete loss if not handled properly. See more about mold remediation here.
Firefighters Break Windows And Cut Holes
6. Firefighters often must break windows and cut holes in the roof of buildings on fire. As a fire burns, the fire moves up and down and across, growing very fast. Firefighters break windows and cut holes in roofs to provide ventilation that slows the fire’s growth. Ventilation also helps get rid of dark smoke that makes it hard for firefighters to see where they’re going. The holes and broken windows help firefighters fight the fire more quickly. The bottom line is that breaking windows and cutting holes in roofs help save lives and property. Damage caused by these techniques should be repaired quickly and properly to avoid additional damage.
7. Firefighters will also cut holes in walls at times. This is not done for the purpose of ventilation. It’s done so the fire department is sure that the fire is completely out. Fire departments don’t want to risk leaving a fire that’s not visible but is still active inside the walls or in other hidden places.
8. If you have a fire, get a copy of the fire report. In most areas, a fire report is a public document. Ask for it at the fire department or fire marshal’s office. The fire report will help you with information that your insurance company and other official offices may request.
Fire Damage Restoration
9. If soot contaminates items in your home or business, an Orlando fire damage restoration service provider like SERVPRO of Winter Park must assess the damage to see if restoration is possible. A professional company can properly assess the damage, provide closer estimates for the cost of repairs, work closely with your insurance company, and ensure that damage is restored properly.
10. Use caution if you decide to do some of the cleanups after a fire. Never start your cleaning process until you’ve attained the proper safety attire. Wear heavy-duty gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask. Carefully cover your nose and make sure your safety glasses have no place for dust or soot to get into your eyes.
Here To Help
Our team has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services and natural disaster cleanup in Orlando and the surrounding areas.
Call SERVPRO of Winter Park at (407) 678-5391 anytime, 24/7.
How Water Damage Affects Carpeting in Your Orlando Home
Our before and after tests determine the amount of moisture in your carpet and ensure it is completely dried when we are finished.
When a pipe bursts or water enters your Orlando home through faulty roofing, the water will follow gravity as it flows into your home. If your home has carpeting, it is important to know how water damage can occur in the event of a water disaster. Carpet fibers are porous so water can soak into the material and hold moisture. If carpeting gets saturated, glues can weaken causing the backing to peel away from the fibers.
Padding and Subfloors Can Also Be Affected
Carpet can also hold in moisture causing microbes to develop on the surface of the subfloor underneath. When mitigating water damage in Orlando, our SERVPRO technicians take extra measures to save carpeting materials. When the padding underneath the carpet gets wet, it can disintegrate and fall apart. Pad often gets removed and replaced since it is typically inexpensive to install.
How Moisture is Removed
We follow a water repair process that is proven to work and do not cut corners to save time at your expense. The first step in removing moisture from carpet is to extract it using specialized equipment. Either a portable or truck-mounted extractor gets used to pull water into a disposal tank. Industrial strength wands are applied to the wet carpet and are connected to the water extraction equipment. Extracted water travels from the extractor to the truck mounts where it is kept until properly drained elsewhere,
After extraction is completed, drying equipment gets set up to dry out the carpet inside your apartment. Air movers push air in a circular motion speeding up the evaporation process. Dehumidifiers then get utilized to pull moisture out of the environment and lower the property's relative humidity.
In some cases, the carpet gets extremely wet and the subfloor underneath also gets affected by moisture. In situations like these, our SERVPRO water damage restoration technicians pull up the carpet and place an air mover underneath it to float the flooring material drying the floor covering from underneath while drying the wooden subfloor at the same time. Once moisture levels in both affected elements return to what they were before the loss occurred, the air movers get removed.
Professional Water Damage Services
Before we finalize the project we use carpet tools to put the material back into the same condition, it was before drying procedures took place. The last step usually involves cleaning the carpeting with disinfectant solutions. If you ever need help dealing with wet floors, call SERVPRO of Winter Park at (407) 678-5391 24 hours a day.
Choosing Professional Restoration For Your Water Damaged Orlando Retail Store
Choosing a professional restoration company is the fastest way of getting your retail store running again!
Running your own business comes with a handful of challenges that you seemingly regularly work to overcome. Natural disasters and unforeseen events occurring within the building of your business pose another threat that you cannot ever adequately prepare for, leaving you contending with varying degrees of damage to your Orlando retail store. In cases of even low-end water loss incidents, choosing the right professional assistance can make the process run much more smoothly.
The Advantage of Professional Restoration
Regardless of the cause of the water damage to your retail store, you instantly get preoccupied with how to restore the damage and get your store back to the way it was. Fortunately, when you choose the right professional restorers, this does not have to be the daunting task that it could have been.
As a business owner, you often get fixated on the cost of the work that needs to get done and how these unfortunate circumstances are going to affect profits in the months to come. While in many instances of water damage your doors have to be closed for a period to allow for restoration work to occur, the time it takes to do it yourself vs. professional restoration is rarely close. In fact, with the experience and equipment available to our SERVPRO professionals, restoration work often takes much less time than it could have for a business owner to work on the damage themselves.
Another critical thing to consider when choosing SERVPRO over any of the alternatives at your disposal is the quality of the work that we do. In instances of water damage throughout your retail store, lingering moisture and dampness from improper cleaning can allow for much more severe occurrences like mold and fungal growth in your store.
Choosing the Right Company
When water damage threatens your business, it does not just stop with the structure itself. All of the stock and contents of your business are at the mercy of this moisture and wetness, causing irreparable damages that can cost you even more. Trust in our SERVPRO of Winter Park technicians to respond rapidly and get right to work on correcting the situation you face. Give us a call anytime you require assistance at (407) 678-5391.
When is DIY Mold Removal an Option in Winter Park?
You should not attempt to remove mold if you are experiencing health problems of any sort.
Many homeowners are interested in DIY (Do-It-Yourself) mold removal. They want to know how to clean mold themselves because they want to save money. Some also like the satisfaction of doing a job themselves. In some cases, it makes sense to handle a household mold problem yourself. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to call in a professional that knows how to clean mold, like SERVPRO of Winter Park
When Is DIY Mold Removal a Good Idea?
Cleaning up mold yourself may be a good idea if:
- The mold only covers a small area.
- The mold is growing on easy-to-clean surfaces like glass, metal, tile, tubs, or sinks.
- The mold is growing on hard-to-clean materials, like carpet, that are easy to remove and replace and you know how to do it properly.
- You don’t have any health problems likely to be made worse by increased exposure to mold (check with your doctor if you’re not sure if it’s safe for you to clean up a mold problem yourself).
Of course, you always have the option of hiring a professional mold remediation company for the job if you don’t want to do it yourself or simply don’t have the time or energy for what can be a time-consuming process.
When Is DIY Mold Removal Not a Good Idea?
In some situations, it’s better to call in a mold remediation professional for assistance. Cleaning up mold yourself is probably not such a good idea if:
- The mold covers a large area (greater than three feet by three feet, according to the Environmental Protection Agency).
- Mold develops after flooding with water that might be contaminated with sewage or other potentially hazardous substances.
- There is mold in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (most homeowners have neither the knowledge nor the equipment needed to properly remove mold from their HVAC systems).
- You aren’t sure how to do all parts of the job correctly (if, for instance, there is mold inside your walls and you don’t know how to remove and replace drywall) or you don’t have all the tools required to do the job (such as a drywall saw, if you need to remove moldy drywall).
- You have moldy wood that cannot be removed and replaced, so the moldy area needs to be sanded and encapsulated instead (it’s recommended that only mold remediation professionals sand moldy wood since it significantly increases one’s exposure to mold, which can lead to potentially serious illnesses).
- You have a medical condition that might be made worse by increased exposure to mold (check with your doctor if you’re not sure if increased exposure to mold may exacerbate your medical condition).
Expert Mold Removal Services and Advice
If you need help with mold removal, or if you’d just like some professional advice before beginning DIY mold removal, we suggest consulting with a mold remediation specialist in Winter Park. You can schedule an in-home consultation with a professional that knows how to clean mold. You can use our expert advice to determine whether or not it’s a job you’re prepared to tackle yourself.
If you suspect mold that you cannot handle or need advice, contact SERVPRO of Winter Park at 407-678-5391.
Timeline for the Water Damage Restoration Process
SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to take your emergency water damage call!
Flooding and water damage can occur for a number of reasons and can happen very quickly with very little notice. SERVPRO of Winter Park arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process for your property almost immediately. This prompt response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
- Water quickly spreads throughout the property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost may increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Winter Park
SERVPRO of Winter Park specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. Give us a call if you have any questions (407) 678-5391!
Cleaning Different Types of Smoke and Soot in Winter Park
Soot caused by dry smoke can be removed with dry sponges and cleaned with water-based chemicals.
When a fire occurs in your Winter Park home, the heat and flames are not the only fire damage causing problems to be concerned about. Smoke generated from the blaze burning structural materials and other components can travel throughout an entire home and ruin its contents. Residue from the smoke can permanently stain contents and building materials requiring them to be replaced. In some cases, it is possible to salvage contents and materials by cleaning and removing soot residues. The level of difficulty for doing so is contingent on the type of soot that is present in the property following the fire.
Wet Smoke Versus Dry Smoke
The length of time and overall cleanability of soot strongly depends on how wet or dry the smoke that caused the damage was. Dry smoke is a result of the blaze burning natural materials quickly and with a significant supply of oxygen. Wet moke occurs when a fire burns synthetic materials at a slow pace with very little oxygen. It is extremely common for a fire to create both types of smoke while burning.
The easiest soot to clean is caused by dry smoke. SERVPRO of Winter Park uses dry sponges to wipe dry soot off and also can clean it using water-based chemicals. As an additional step, it is very helpful to vacuum carpets and fabrics to remove loose soot and debris. Removing soot from smoke that is too wet, requires much more aggressive cleaning methods that can be extremely difficult or even impossible in some cases.
Smoke Damage from Protein Fires
A large percentage of kitchen fires have a protein fuel source. Protein types of fuels that are commonly burned as a source include meat, poultry, and fish. These proteins produce smoke that leaves behind a residue, which is usually yellow or amber in color. These residues create a foul odor and must be fully cleaned in order for the smell to be removed. Some of this residue cannot be seen but will still cause a foul odor. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the property thoroughly in order to remove the odor completely.
Smoke Damage Cleaning and Odor Removal Services
If you have experienced a fire in your property, SERVPRO of Winter Park is a professional fire restoration company that can help you restore your property, clean soot, and remove odor caused by smoke. We work closely with you and your insurance adjuster to make this stressful situation as smooth as possible. Give us a call 24/7 at 407-678-5391 to get started!
Creating the Right Mold Remediation Plan
The extent of remediation and work that must be done will be outlined in your written protocol, which is used to build our remediation plan.
Mold Remediation is a process that both removes materials damaged by mold and identifies and corrects the conditions that allowed for the mold growth to begin in a safe and effective manner. Every property with mold damage should have its own custom plan created in order to properly address the issue.
Air Quality Test and Written Protocol
In the state of Florida, the same company that performs mold testing on a property is not allowed to perform its remediation as well. SERVPRO of Winter Park performs the actual remediation side of the process, however, we have a network of trusted companies that can perform an air quality test and provide you with a written protocol. This is an essential step in the overall process for a number of reasons. In addition to providing information such as the type, cause, and severity of your mold problem, a written protocol by a professional mold assessment company will also provide you with an outline for remediation. The next part of the process can begin after this protocol has been sent to us.
Creating a Mold Remediation Plan
After receiving the written protocol, SERVPRO of Winter Park will schedule a day and time to have a mold professional visit your property to take pictures and measurements. This, along with the contents and outline of the written protocol, will allow us to build an estimate for the cost of remediation and finalize a remediation plan that is catered to your specific mold problem.
The final remediation plan should include steps to correct the source of moisture that led to the mold growth. The plan should also detail other aspects of the process such as the use of personal protective equipment and steps for carefully containing the mold and affected building materials so that further contamination is prevented. The length of your remediation plan will be based on the size and complexity of the job and can vary greatly from other remediation plans. It is also important to know that new discoveries or changing circumstances during the remediation process can result in a revision of your plan to ensure that the remediation is thorough.
Most importantly, the foundation of your remediation plan should be the safety of all inhabitants of the property and the remediators performing work as well. Your remediator should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dust while performing work. If your HVAC system is contaminated with mold, or mold is present near the intake of the system, you should not run your air conditioning unit. Doing so can spread the contamination to the other areas of your home. In properties that are highly contaminated with certain specific types of mold, it is common for your remediator to recommend that all inhabitants be temporarily relocated for their safety until the property is remediated and cleared by a post-remediation air quality test.
Professional Mold Remediation Company
If you suspect mold in your property, give SERVPRO of Winter Park a call at (407) 678-5391. We offer knowledgeable and professional mold remediation services and can even refer you to a trustworthy mold testing company to get the process started for your property.
4 Must Do's After Hurricane Damage to Your Home
SERVPRO emergency water damage services are available 24/7 help prevent further damage to your home.
Hurricanes have devastated countless families and homes in Florida in the past. Storm damage to a home from a hurricane is a stressful experience for a homeowner in many ways and can even be worse when they are not sure what steps to take afterward. In the event of your home becoming damaged by a storm, take the following steps:
1. Take Photos and Document the Damage
It is important that all storm damage to your home is well documented to make your insurance claims process much easier. Take as many photos of all areas affected and make sure to compile a list of all damaged items as well.
2. Perform Emergency Repairs
After sustaining damage, prioritize the repairs that have to be made to the property. Your focus in doing so should be to ensure that additional damage does not occur. Some examples of these emergency repairs include covering broken windows with plastic or securing tarps to your roof to prevent rainwater from entering. Any permanent repairs should be placed on hold until your insurance claims adjuster is able to review the damage. Until your adjuster is aware of the full extent of the damage and has all materials accounted for, you should refrain from throwing out any damaged items.
3. File a Claim Quickly
It is important to know that insurance companies sometimes work on a first-come, first-serve basis, especially if overwhelmed by many claims during a hurricane season. Because of this, you should work to get the process started and file a claim as soon as you are aware of the damage. After contacting your insurance provider, provide your claims adjuster with photos, an inventory of affected items, and fill them in on the extent of the damage. Your adjuster will come to your property, further assess the damage, and work to determine the payout amount your insurance will cover.
4. Secure Safe Lodging
Safety should be the number one priority at all times for you and all inhabitants of the home. If the home is uninhabitable, or unsafe for any reason, we strongly recommend finding a safe place to stay while repairs are being made to the home. Keep in mind that if your damage is part of a covered claim, the loss of use coverage in a standard insurance policy will typically help pay for your family's lodging. Ask your claims adjuster if you are covered by your policy.
SERVPRO of Winter Park is a professional storm damage company that specializes in water damage, fire damage, and mold damage. Our emergency services are available 24/7 to assist you at 407-837-8990. Click the following links for more information on our services or general hurricane information.
5 Things Your Commercial Carpet May Be Hiding
Vacuuming is helpful, however, it does not get rid of all problem-causing things hidden in your carpet.
Let’s be honest, when there are no visible messes or stains on your carpet, hiring a professional carpet cleaning company is probably not on the top of your agenda. Most property managers or business owners will pass a vacuum quickly and call it a day. However, just because a large mess or stain is not seen, it does not necessarily mean that your carpet is clean or that it does not have potential underlying issues.
To show how important it is to have a professional carpet cleaning every so often, here are some of the problem-causing things that could potentially be lurking in your carpet:
Dirt and Dust
The average home in the U.S. builds up to 40 lbs. of dust per year, with potentially more in a commercial setting like an office. Dirt, dust, and sand typically gets stuck to the bottom of shoes and is spread throughout carpeting. Passing a vacuum eliminates approximately 85% of dirt and dust from a carpet, leaving a significant amount behind.
Food and Drinks
Many employees eat lunch and snacks while at their office desk. Stains and food accumulating on a carpet can be noticeable, however, a larger concern is the potential for bacteria growth and carpet odor as well.
Mold, Mildew, and Other Germs
Mold can easily go unnoticed and thrive while hidden under a carpet in a moist environment. A spill that was not dried quickly enough can lead to this hidden issue. Mold remediation can become a large expense if not covered by the right insurance policy. The best way to prevent these problems from happening is keeping your carpet clean and dry.
The average person sheds approximately 1 million skin flakes a day. When you think of how many employees work in your business, the duration of their shifts, and where those skin flakes go once shed, it’s easy to consider the amount that ends up in your carpet.
Some bugs are easy to spot while others are not. Oftentimes, a carpet will serve as the perfect environment for microscopic bugs such as flees and dust mites. Many of these bugs actually feed on the skin flakes mentioned above and can be attracted by them. Another concern is allergies that can be caused by some of these bugs.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
We are not saying that vacuum should not be done in your commercial office setting, or that is not a great start. However, the problems mentioned above are common and can be more easily avoided by having your carpet deep cleaned at least once per year by a professional. If you would like to schedule a carpet cleaning for your commercial establishment, give SERVPRO of Winter Park a call at 407-678-5391!
7 Orlando Water Damage Restoration Tips
You can speed up the overall Orlando water damage restoration process by using a mop or towel to remove standing water from the affected area
Experiencing water damage in your home or commercial business is a stressful situation. If you have made the choice to contact SERVPRO of Winter Park, a professional Orlando water damage restoration company, then rest assured knowing you have made the smart and right choice. The professionals know exactly what to do to correct a water damage situation and prevent further damages, however, there are steps you can take to minimize damage even further while you wait for your technician to arrive. Here are some ways you can help the process.
Keeping yourself and other inhabitants safe during a water damage is the absolute best way you can help yourself and your restoration company. It is very common for slips, falls, and electric shocks to occur during these situations. Also, be wary when attempting to lift objects, as soaked contents tend to weigh much more and can even cause bodily injury. Safety should be your first thought when handling any tasks so that a bad situation does not become a worse situation.
2. Water Source
Our team is fully capable of extracting large amounts of standing water upon arrival, however, the duration of this process can be much shorter the sooner the water source is shut off. Doing so promptly can also minimize the extent to which your property and contents are affected. In most cases, the water shut-off valve is located either in your garage, utility room or outside your home near the water meter.
To avoid possible electrical shock, it is always a best practice to shut off the source of electricity to the affected areas of the property. Locate the breakers and read the manual, usually attached to the inside of the breaker panel, to shut off power to the correct areas. Also, if possible, refrain from using anything electrically powered near the affected areas as wires and other components may be wet as well.
4. Air Conditioning
Mold growth in Orlando is extremely common and oftentimes occurs at an accelerated rate due to the humidity of Central Florida. Part of our water damage restoration process is to make sure all components get dried out so there is no moisture. You can also help prevent mold growth, by keeping your air conditioner running until help arrives to keep humidity down and even help contents to begin drying.
5. Floors and Carpeting
While help is on the way to your property in Orlando, you can expedite the process by removing as much standing water as possible. Using a mop or towels can help bring down the amount of water. Be careful not to spread the water to other areas while doing so. If the affected area is a soaked carpet, you may also remove soaked Oriental rugs from the area and blot the soaked wall to wall carpet with towels.
6. Fabrics and Clothing
Remove any fabrics and clothes from the area and transfer them to a dry area. Also, make sure that drapes and curtains do not stay in contact with your wet floor or carpet.
To avoid more damage, remove any light pieces of furniture from the area and dry them to the best of your ability. Discuss these contents with your technician when they arrive so they can check them for moisture as well. If possible, try to elevate any furniture that can not be removed. If elevating furniture is not an option, another trick is to place plastic bags or plastic wrap under the legs of heavy furniture to limit their contact with the water.
Need Water Damage Restoration in Orlando?
SERVPRO of Winter Park is an Orlando water damage restoration company that has years of experience with situations like yours. We pride ourselves on providing fast, reliable, and trustworthy water restoration services to our community. If you have a water disaster, make sure to choose the restoration company you can trust. Our phones lines at 407-837-8990 are open 24/7 to assist you with your emergency. Give us a call today!