15 Storm Damage Prevention Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
Cleaning your rain gutters regularly can help prevent leaks and water damage to the exterior an interior of your home.
Spring has finally come. Floridians know that aside from a rise in temperature, lots of rain and thunderstorms are on the way. As an industry leader in storm damage, SERVPRO has extensive knowledge of what it takes to both prevent damage as much as possible and thoroughly assess a property for damage once a storm has passed. Here are some tips to help you adequately prepare for the storms to come.
Storm Preparation Tips
Preventing Water Damage
- Perform roof inspections regularly and search for shingles that are loose or curled. This applies to wind damage prevention also.
- Properly grading your lot will help to prevent water from seeping into your property.
- Proper drainage of your gutters is crucial for preventing leaks. Make sure to clear gutters and downspouts of any debris regularly.
- Weather Stripping can be applied around doors and windows for a reduction in air and water leaks.
- Search the property’s foundation walls and basement floor for any cracks and seal them completely.
Preventing Wind Damage
- Minimize potential damage by replacing rock and gravel landscaping materials with shredded mulch.
- Protect windows and glass doors by installing impact-resistant shutters or boarding up.
- Relocate your outdoor items indoors and secure the items that can not be moved.
- Make sure to trim down trees and shrubbery. Weak trees that may fall should be removed completely.
- Park any vehicles away from trees, lampposts, and power lines.
Preventing Hail Damage
- Make sure delicate outdoor items, furniture, and glass are covered and protected from potential hail impact.
- During a hailstorm, keep doors and windows completely closed for the duration of the storm.
- For added protection, install UL 2218 or FM 4473 as Class 3 or 4 roof shingles.
- If you have a garage, keep your vehicles parked inside with the garage door completely closed.
- If you do not have a garage or have more vehicles than your garage can fit, cover your vehicle(s) with a tarp to protect the paint. For added protection against dents and broken windows, try covering your vehicle with a thick blanket prior to tarping.
Local Storm Damage Help
If you follow the tips listed above, you have a higher chance of preventing serious damage to your home and property during a storm. However, disaster can strike at any time, so should you receive damage after a storm, SERVPRO of Winter Park is ready to assist you. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and our highly skilled technicians are available for services like water extraction and water damage restoration. For more details, give us a call at (407) 678-5391.
5 Steps Used for Mold Remediation
In this instance, water was still present in the affected area, so a dehumidifier forces hot air into the contained environment to continue drying.
Mold in your Winter Park home or business can appear without warning and spread rapidly. While size and severity of a mold remediation job can vary, the 5 steps shared below are the foundation of the process we use every time.
Step 1: Mold Inspection
In Florida, the law states that the mold testing company cannot perform the actual remediation. We recommend having a mold assessment company take air quality samples in and outside of your property first. After receiving the test results from the samples and a protocol to perform an inspection, we then send a technician to thoroughly inspect and assess the damage to your property.
Our inspector checks for visible signs of the mold first and then proceeds to identify places where it may be hidden such as cabinets, baseboards, sheetrock, and under carpeting. Prior to remediation in areas over 10 square feet, it is important to have mold samples taken and tested.
Step 2: Mold Containment
The initial step is the most vital when beginning mold remediation. To ensure mold spores do not spread throughout your home, plastic barriers must be placed to separate affected and unaffected areas. We create a contained environment by systematically setting up a barrier and using negative air pressure. Negative air pressure creates a vacuum that forces the surrounding air that may contain mold spores into the contained environment. All entrances and exits of the area are completely sealed to prevent the spores from contaminating the rest of the property.
Step 3: Air Filtration
To achieve successful air filtration, we use powerful HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums work by forcing air through a fine mesh to trap harmful particles. Some of the particles captured by a HEPA filter include pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. Our technicians perform this step to capture mold spores that become airborne after removing drywall and similarly affected components of the property.
Step 4: Mold Removal
The mold removal step can vary in difficulty and length of time based on the extent of the damage and size of the affected area. Our technicians use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments such as Benefect, which is a plant-based and safe-to-use treatment. These treatments work to eliminate existing mold colonies and prevent new colonies from growing. In larger mold removal jobs, it is not uncommon for carpet and drywall to be removed as well, especially if they are infected with mold.
Step 5: Restoration
After removal, the next step is to clean and disinfect components of the property that have been affected by mold. Items such as curtains and furniture will be cleaned and deodorized. Repairs such as carpet replacement and painting are also made to restore the area. Because mold is a living organism that thrives inside of drywall, baseboards, cabinets, and clothing, it is necessary to remove them completely to eliminate the problem.
Your Local SERVPRO
SERVPRO of Winter Park is a family-owned business and knows what it takes to help you with your mold disaster. Give us a call to speak with a mold remediation expert and get the process started.
How to Remove a Minor Vomit Mess from Your Carpet
Wearing protective gear is the most important step on any biohazard cleanup.
Many of us feel that we can handle a typical biohazard cleanup ourselves, such as vomit, in our homes. Perhaps your toddler could not make it to the restroom and vomited on your carpet. These things happen, and although they are not fun, most people assume cleaning vomit only requires some wipes and a disinfectant spray.
Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that without removal of a porous surface, you can never truly disinfect it. This holds especially true when there are any infectious viruses and diseases present. In the case of biohazard cleanups that you feel are too large or difficult, you should always reach out and call a professional remediation company. If the mess appears to be manageable and you decide to handle it yourself, we have put together a few tips to aid you in properly addressing the situation.
Be Sure to Protect Yourself Before Cleaning
Safety should be your number one priority when attempting to handle a biohazard mess. This means using protective gear such as face masks and plastic gloves. It is important to avoid making any physical contact with the substance you are removing. Always be mindful of your hands and make sure you are not touching your face, eyes, and mouth. Once you have on protective gear, follow the steps below to remove small amounts of vomit.
1. Remove as Much Solid Waste as Possible
It is important that as much of the waste be removed as possible. Use household items such as an old towel or dustpan to remove all solid waste from the floor or carpet. Make sure to keep a trash bag close to dispose of all waste.
2. Use a Blotting Technique for Removing Liquid
Additional household items such as paper towels, rags, or even another old towel may be used for drawing liquid from the surface of the floor or carpet. Use the items to blot the area and go over the spot numerous times until as much liquid has been removed as possible.
3. Apply Baking Soda or Cornstarch
Blotting will remove most of the liquid in your carpet, but to remove more you can coat the area with baking soda or cornstarch. Leave a liberal amount to set for about 15 minutes and soak up the remaining liquid. Afterward, you may vacuum the powder to remove it.
4. Use Enzyme-Based Cleaner for Stains and Odor
As experts in biohazard remediation, we recommend using an enzyme-based cleaner when removing stains and odor. Most registered disinfectant products have a broad spectrum kill claim but enzymatic cleaners have fewer chemicals and can still break down stains and odors.
5. Dispose of all Hazardous Materials
Take care when disposing of the rags or towels you used to clean up the stain or launder them immediately. You do not want to spread the contamination.
When Should You Call a Professional?
The method provided above should only be taken assuming that the vomit is minor and manageable. It is important to remember that although the vomit is removed, there is no way to truly disinfect the area without removing it completely. If a sickness has spread throughout multiple inhabitants of your home, the amount of vomit and other bodily fluids may be too much to handle in your household alone. If you feel that the mess is too large or a serious virus could be the cause, you can call SERVPRO for assistance. We can remove and disinfect the entire affected area properly. We even run tests to ensure that no biological material is left behind.
5 Ways Commercial Restoration is Different from Residential
Commercial restoration jobs typically require more equipment on-site due to larger affected areas.
There are many ways that a commercial restoration job can be different from a residential job. Today, we share our five most important differences. Whether the job involves water, fire, or mold, knowing what to expect as a commercial client can go a long way for your restoration process and experience.
1. Size of the Area Requiring Services
The most common difference between a commercial job is the size of the area that requires services. The actual size varies from job-to-job based on several factors. For example, a pipe burst on an upper floor of a building can affect the lower floors and cause damage that may not even be visible. On the other hand, a mold removal job in the ballroom of a hotel would require the entire room being sealed and contained.
2. Additional Furniture and Objects
With larger affected areas, usually comes a higher amount of furniture and objects that must be removed. These objects can include filing cabinets, desks, various types of machinery and more. To properly dry carpets these items should be removed. In cases where objects cannot be moved, the restoration company must work around them, making the process trickier.
3. Different Specifications
Buildings are oftentimes built with different specifications and can cause delays or complications of the restoration process. During the process of cleaning water, additional challenges can include removing excess water and even testing for dryness levels. If a commercial unit has firewalls, drywall could be twice as thick making it more difficult to locate and extract wet insulation.
4. Multiple Insurance Claims
Another difference comes in the form of insurance claims. Aside from the claim itself being larger in most commercial cases, clients such as apartment property managers can have multiple residents and their belongings affected. This can lead to the need for multiple individual insurance claims being filed. More claims mean more claim handlers in need of continual job updates along with the tenants and property manager.
5. Open Business Hours
An important factor to consider in a commercial job is if the business will continue to operate on-site during the restoration process. Many businesses cannot afford to cease operations during this time. In these cases, the restoration company should be mindful of working employees by keeping noise to a minimum and even creating accessible walkways and work areas. For mold removal jobs, all parties must understand the importance of keeping contained areas sealed. Clear communication between the restoration professionals, clients, and their employees can make all the difference in these situations.
Best Commercial Restoration Company
The 5 differences between residential and commercial restoration listed above show just how important it is to choose a company that knows what they are doing and what to expect. SERVPRO of Winter Park is available 24/7 to respond to your emergency restoration call. Our highly trained professionals understand what it takes to get the job done right. We are Faster to Any Size Disaster and even have a warehouse that can store your business’s belongings. Give us a call at 407-678-5391 and get started today!
Water Damage Restoration Process
Washing machines are a common cause of water damage.
Some common causes of water damage in Florida are air conditioning units, excess humidity, and lots of heavy rain showers. AC units typically run on a daily basis for the duration of the year. Other causes include overflowing washing machine units, backed up sewers, hurricanes and storms, and lakes and rivers in close proximity. Quick action following any water damage is important because each of these issues can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew.
Trained Water Damage Specialists
Quick action is also the most important step in your water damage claim. By calling SERVPRO of Winter Park, we can have our water mitigation experts onsite within an hour. Our experts begin the dry-out and repair process to restore your residential or commercial property as fast and efficient as possible. All of our specialists are completely trained and use the most advanced equipment and techniques in the industry.
Our Restoration Process
No two water disasters are the same. Every factor can vary from the amount of water to level of contamination. The steps below show our process for the more common typed of water-related emergencies.
1: Emergency Contact
2: Inspection and Damage Assessment
3: Water Removal/Water Extraction
4: Drying and Dehumidification
5: Cleaning and Repair
We Are Here to Help
SERVPRO of Winter Park is available 24/7 to respond to your water and mold emergencies. We are Faster to Any Size Disaster! Give us a call at 407-678-5391 to have one of our water mitigation experts assess the damage to your property.
Contained Mold Removal Companies
It is important to completely seal off the contaminated area.
In a growing industry, options for mold removal companies are numerous. More options create the need for paying closer attention to quality. A major factor in your decision to hire a company should be whether or not the mold is removed in a contained environment. To better understand the importance of a contained environment, it helps to understand exactly how mold can spread.
How Mold Spreads
If left exposed, there are various ways for mold to spread throughout a home or building. Mold releases microscopic spores that can travel through vents, air currents, people or even pets. The spread of these spores is more likely to occur if the environment is not contained before removal.
When creating a contained environment prior to mold removal, it is crucial to completely seal off the entire area that’s affected. The size of containment can vary based on the size of the contaminated area. Smaller mold issues typically require limited containment and can be sealed with a layer of polyethylene and duct tape. Larger issues require full containment. Full containment involves a sealing process using two layers of polyethylene, a barrier between the contaminated and non-contaminated areas, and an airlock chamber for the entry and exit.
Choosing the Right Professionals
Avoid any company that says containment of your mold issue is not a necessity. Mold can cause health effects so choosing a professional is in the best interest of all occupants of your home or commercial building. If you have a mold problem, you can contact a professional at SERVPRO of Winter Park for fast, reliable, and 24/7 service at (407) 678-5391.
The Aftermath Of A Fire
After a fire and after its flames are extinguished, there still exists some safety risks.
After a devastating house fire, you are anxious to enter your home, but do not touch the carpets, draperies, upholstered furniture or clothing. They are likely covered with soot, which is oily, and it stains easily. Soot includes fine black particles, consisting mainly of carbon, as well as acids, chemicals, metals, soils and dust. Its removal should be handled by SERVPRO, professional fire remedial experts.
A common residential fire results in the burning of a variety of materials, from wood, paper, plastics, foams, fabrics, wool, wood products, synthetics and asbestos containing materials. Fire damage to Orlando residential and/or commercial buildings will result in soot contamination. Exposure to soot may occur via the eyes, skin, inhalation and ingestion.
Airborne soot particulates are invisible, thus after a fire you may unknowingly be affected. Soot particles can enter the bloodstream and cause a variety of health issues. Firefighters today are very well-trained in safety, plus they were protective gear, yet they experience a higher incidence of respiratory problems than the public.
After a fire and after its flames are extinguished, there still exists some safety risks. Soot is just one of the secondary fire residue risks, which cause damages. Not all soot residues are the same. There are different types of soot which are easier to clean than other types. SERVPRO professionals will clean any of four different types: dry smoke, wet smoke, protein smoke, and fuel oil smoke residues.
Industry issued safety equipment are essential in reducing possible exposure to dangerous soot conditions, including water related health problems from firefighting efforts. The fire restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Winter Park use IICRC professional tools and industry approved remediation methods. Our knowledge and expertise are at the heart of a thorough and safe fire restoration. Call us at (407) 678-5391 and let us help restore your property back to normal.
Florida State of Emergency: 5 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Matthew
Path of the Hurricane
Its been 12 years since Central Floridians were socked with 4 devastating hurricanes: Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Charley was the first of these storms to hit Orlando, and the worst to hit Florida since Andrew in 1992. When hurricane Charley made landfall as a category 4, winds got up to 150 mph causing $15 billion in damage. Driving wind and rain flooded homes across the state of Florida.
Once again, Florida is in a State of Emergency and SERVPRO of Winter Park is ready. When the storm rolls In, we roll out. Just as we have been getting ready for the tropical cyclone here in our office, its equally important for you to protect your home.
How to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Matthew:
- Internet may be out. Searching for phone numbers online may not be an option. Before the storm strikes, make sure all of your emergency contact numbers are listed on paper and posted in a visible place where everyone can see. This includes your insurance agency’s phone number, your policy number and your emergency restoration service provider, SERVPRO of Winter Park: 407-678-5391.
- Put together a good first aid kit, including bandages, tape, scissors, antibiotic cream, aspirin and an antiseptic wash in the event that water supplies become tainted. In addition, have any and all prescriptions filled, in the case your pharmacy might be closed for days or weeks.
- Stockpile hurricane supplies such as canned and dried food, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, candles, matches, propane for gas grills and ice.
- Place sandbags around the perimeter of your home, especially if your house is in low lying or flood zone areas.
- Keep heavy duty plastic and tarps handy along with durable tape, nails and a hammer. If any side of your home is exposed to the elements, consider covering windows with plywood.
Once again its time to hunker down, stay inside and stay tuned to your local news station for updates on the hurricane. As always, you can depend on your neighborhood family restoration business, SERVPRO of Winter Park. We are here for you to help make it like it never even happened!
Commercial Water Damage Resolved By SERVPRO
Orlando Water Damage Gets Help from SERVPRO
With the Help of SERVPRO, Businesses Reopen Faster After Water Damage
After a water emergency strikes in a commercial building, you own your immediate concerns involve both personal losses along with the added stress and responsibility to get all of your tenants back in business or living comfortably in your units again. SERVPRO offers the resources locally and on a national level to rehabilitate even a complex commercial water damage scenario. We exceed your needs both to repair your property and also to restore the trust the companies and individuals have invested in your professional commercial management.
Although burst pipes or a roof leak may start in a confined area of your office building, apartment complex or warehouse space, the resultant flood and seepage of water can spread far from the original breach. Many if not all of the businesses or residents renting from you are in peril of losing personal and professional property as well as their means to make a living if you do not take immediate steps to solve your Orlando commercial water damage. Even if the water overflow can be traced to the negligence of a tenant, you as the owner are charged with the task of protecting your building and fixtures and ensuring that all those who live in or operate a business within your commercial property have the use and quiet enjoyment of their leased premises quickly restored.
SERVPRO understands how important it is to limit the downtime of your and your tenants’ business operations. We make every effort to clean and dry the structure quickly, staging the restoration process with an eye to reestablishing business operations even before the entire remediation is accomplished if appropriate and safe. Preventing secondary damage from contaminated water is a major goal, made more attainable if we are involved as soon as possible in the process. Our services for you and your tenants can also include a pack out and detailed inventory of documents soaked by the water. We follow up with our state of the art procedures for saving and drying paperwork, books, pictures and other crucial work products you and your lessees may have feared would be lost due to the water infiltration.
If your commercial property has suffered water damage, call SERVPRO of Winter Park immediately. We can be reached at (407) 678-5391 24 hours a day every single day of the year, our technicians eager to return you and your renters to business as usual swiftly
SERVPRO Professionals are the Storm Damage Experts
SERVPRO is ready to deal with any size storm damage. Call today!
Quick Response and High Standards Will Leave you Satisfied after Remediation
When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,650 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great.
Storm damage in Orlando can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “like it never even happened.”
Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home and in the process, we also restore your and your family’s peace of mind. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified, current in Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIICRC) for any procedure needed to bring your home back to the comfortable and comforting refuge you deserve. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored dwelling.
Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of Winter Park. Dial (407) 678-5391 24/7 and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.