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Mold Testing in Orlando and Winter Park

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Testing in Orlando and Winter Park Even if mold is visible, it is important to conduct an air quality test to determine how far it may have spread.

If you suspect you may have mold in your home or you are certain that you have mold in an area that is larger than ten square feet, you should absolutely be seeking a professional hygienist to perform mold testing. Many of our initial conversations with clients consist of explaining the mold remediation process and guiding them towards taking the correct actions. In this article, we will explain what it means to have mold testing done in your home, why it is important, and what you can do to get the process going correctly.

Does SERVPRO Test for Mold?

Most of our callers assume that testing for mold and removing it are the same service. However, while SERVPRO of Winter Park is licensed to remediate and remove mold, we are not actually licensed to test for mold or determine whether you have a mold issue at all. Here’s why.

In the state of Florida, there are laws in place that protect businesses and homeowners by not allowing any particular business to simultaneously hold a remediator license and a testing license at any given time. The licenses are separated to ensure that you, as the homeowner, are safe from conducting business with any company that may wish to perform testing on your property, inflate estimates for remediation, and overcharge you for services performed.

If SERVPRO Can’t Test, Who Can?

The decision of who to call to schedule mold testing services is entirely up to you unless your insurance company specifies otherwise. There are many testing companies available in Central Florida but it is important to know what you should expect from your company of choice. Be wary of companies that offer to perform remediation as well or companies that do not provide full documentation after tests are completed. While SERVPRO of Winter Park does not provide this service, we understand how confusing the search for a trustworthy mold inspection company can be, which is why we provide our callers with recommendations for mold testers that have proven to be efficient and thorough.

What Should I Expect from The Mold Tester’s I Choose?

Multiple Tests

Solid mold testing companies in Orlando and the surrounding areas will actually perform more than one test in your home. Taking surface samples from your home can determine the type of mold you are dealing with, however, doing this type of testing alone is insufficient in determining the extent to which your home is affected or the actions that must be completed to successfully remediate and ensure the problem is gone.

Air quality samples should also be taken from multiple areas throughout your home. Mold is a living organism that releases spores that become airborne and can travel throughout hour home and ventilation, affecting other areas as well. Air quality tests will determine how much of your home is affected and to what extent.

Comprehensive Reports and Protocols

A professional mold assessor will provide you with the full details of your testing results and their findings. You should expect a report that contains a variety of information such as the type of mold species that was found, how many areas are affected, and which areas contain the highest concentration of spores.

Just as important, you should make sure to receive a written protocol from the mold testers that details what actions are needed in order to successfully remediate the mold so that the problem does not worsen and will not come back.

Will SERVPRO Remediate Without Testing?

SERVPRO of Winter Park will NOT perform services for any client that cannot provide a written protocol for proper remediation. As an IICRC licensed remediation company, we follow strict guidelines to ensure quality work and services are provided to our client’s.

The only exception to this rule is in the case of clients who have a mold problem that is only affecting an area that is less than ten square feet. While we still recommend proper testing is performed, areas smaller than ten square feet do not require testing and be removed of mold or mildew, treated, and sanitized.

How to Get Mold Testing Started

Once again, finding your own mold testing company is your choice. Be sure to do as much research into the company you choose as possible and remember the key points made in this article. If you need assistance, direction, or recommendations for trustworthy mold inspection companies, call our office at (407) 678-5391 and we will be more than happy to assist you!

Mold Damage on Clothing in Orlando

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Damage on Clothing in Orlando Most types of clothing are extremely susceptible to mold growth as their porous materials provide the perfect habitat for the organism to thrive in.

SERVPRO Can Help You Determine Which Items are Salvageable

Mold in the house is something every homeowner in the Orlando area fears. Mold problems usually mean that you have water or moisture coming from somewhere. Therefore, your first priority should be to address this source, whether it is a hole in the roof or a leaky basement. When correcting the root of the mold problem, it is important to remove any mold that has managed to grow on any of the surfaces. This includes furniture, walls, and sadly, even your clothing.

Mold damage on your favorite clothing can be heartbreaking. One of the main ways mold may develop on clothes is if they have been in storage for too long. Perhaps you stored your winter pullovers in boxes in the attic where there is a hidden moisture problem, or you accidentally tossed wet clothes into a storage bag before they had a chance to dry completely.

What Type of Clothes Does Mold Grow On?

Clothes made from natural fibers like silk, wool, rayon, jute, ramie, linen, and cotton are more susceptible to mold damage than those made with synthetic fibers. SERVPRO of Winter Park offers mold remediation services. Our technicians can help you sort out those that are salvageable with mold remediation techniques. When mold develops on clothes, it produces enzymes that break down the protein or cellulose to compounds that the mold uses for food.

What Signs Should You Look For?

Often, the initial sign of mold damage on clothes is a distinct musty smell in the closet. After careful examination, SERVPRO technicians can detect stains with visible mold growth or visible pigmentation. Mold on clothes can appear in the form of spores, which are easy to clean up using simple mold control techniques.

In case of severe mold damage, it is best to get rid of the item. Even then, such clothes should be handled with caution because certain species of mold may cause health effects. Here is some more information on restoring contents.

6 Fire Restoration Do's and Don'ts for Maitland Homeowners

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 6 Fire Restoration Do's and Don'ts for Maitland Homeowners Some cleaning after a fire can be done yourself but the only way to ensure proper removal of soot is to contact a professional restoration company.

It is extremely common for Maitland homeowners to panic even after a fire making countless mistakes that can both put their safety at risk or make restoration more difficult and costly. Knowing what to do and what not to do beforehand can make you better prepared to handle the situation at hand and save you money and keep you safe as well. Here are some examples of what you should and should not do after a fire.

6 Fire Restoration Do's

1. Avoid soot particles from being embedded into your home's carpets and tracked throughout the rest of the property by limiting movement through your home.
2. Avoid soiling your home's upholstery, walls, and woodwork keeping your hands completely clean at all times. To make this easier, use disposable gloves and change them out multiple times throughout your cleaning process.
3. Prevent additional foul odors by removing your fridge from its electrical source and propping the refrigerator and freezer doors open. Also, remove perishable items from the refrigerator.
4. Wipe soot from metal surfaces and fixtures such as sink faucets and appliances.
5. Use a damp rag or cloth to remove soot from household plants.
6. Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.


6 Fire Restoration Don'ts

1. Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a professional fire restoration company.
2. Don't attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting a professional fire restoration company.
3. Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
4. Don't consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. There is a high probability that these items have been contaminated.
5. Don't turn on any ceiling fixtures if you suspect that your ceiling is wet. Wiring may also be wet or damaged and can cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
6. Don't send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Establishing an ERP Plan for Your Business

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Establishing an ERP Plan for Your Business An ERP plan ensures that you have a dedicated response team to your disaster that already has an actionable plan to restore things back to normal.

There is no way to predict when a disaster can strike your business, but there are ways to be prepared for it when it does happen. Why is it important to be prepared? Well, a disaster occurring in your business has the potential to bring your operation to a screeching halt, which means your business could lose more money than it would if you had a plan in place to get things up and running again quickly. Some disasters can lead to a long road to recovery that is not only for commercial restoration but also being able to offer services, help your clients and customers, and start bringing money back in.

SERVPRO of Winter Park knows just how important a running business is to its owners and is able to establish a plan for your business called an ERP, or Emergency READY Profile.

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A Profile Document containing only the crucial information you will need in case of an emergency. It doesn’t take very long to complete, but it will save you a lot of time (and from one more headache) if you ever need it.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. By having an immediate plan of action, you can help minimize downtime. Here are some of our building services.
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Winter Park as your emergency mitigation and restoration provider. You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is located right here for Winter Park and the surrounding area.
  • Identifies the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so that we can begin the work of mitigating the damage immediately, which can save you both time and money.
  • Provides important facility details such as priority contact information, priority areas, and shut-off valves. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

Are you ready to set up an Emergency READY Profile for your business or have more questions on what the process is like? Give SERVPRO of Winter Park a call today at (407) 678-5391.

6 Things Your Flood Insurance Will Not Cover

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 6 Things Your Flood Insurance Will Not Cover Floods are stressful disasters to deal with. Knowing what your policy does and does not cover will help you be prepared and know what to expect.

Flood Insurance Does Not Cover Everything

Flood insurance is extremely important when trying to make sure you are prepared for a worst-case scenario during a large storm or hurricane. While this type of coverage is worth looking into, it is important to know that there are types of damage that are actually not covered by your policy so you are not blindsided if you ever need to make a claim. Knowing the key restrictions and limitations of your flood insurance policy will leave you better prepared.

1. Water Damage from Internal Malfunctions

A flood that is caused by internal malfunctions in your home such as a pipe burst or overflowing toilets is not covered by a flood policy. Damage will only be covered if the source of water that caused the flood is external, such as an overflowing lake or heavy rain during a storm. Make sure that you are covered for floods from internal malfunctions by having a homeowner’s insurance policy as well. Talk to an agent or adjuster from your insurance policy for more information and questions about the kind of water damage your policy will cover.

2. Landscaping and Swimming Pools

Although your swimming pool may be located outside of your actual home, if your home is flooded by your pool it will not be covered by your flood insurance policy. Also, damage to flower beds, gardens, trees, or any other landscaping on your property will not be covered.

3. Damage from Small Floods

Unless the water that causes damage to your property covers at least two acres or has also affected another property, the water will not be considered a flood by your insurance company. Also, if your home sustains damage from mold or mildew that could have been prevented, you will not be covered for the damage under your policy.

4. Living Expenses and Business Interruption

Any living expenses that you incur from the flood, such as renting a hotel room, will not be covered by your flood insurance policy. Also, if you run a home business and your operations are interrupted, financial losses will not be covered.

5. Money and Important Papers

Your policy won't pay for the value of any currency, precious metals, stock certificates, and other valuable papers that get destroyed in a flood.

6. Improvements and Most Contents in Below-Ground Areas

You will not be covered under your flood insurance policy for any improvements made to your basement, such as finished walls or floors. Also, personal property such as clothing, computers and electronic equipment, kitchen and office supplies, furniture, and other items located in your basement or any other areas below the lowest elevated floor of your home will not be covered.

2 Free CE Classes for Insurance Agents & Adjusters

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

Community 2 Free CE Classes for Insurance Agents & Adjusters Join us at SERVPRO of Winter Park on September 26th for 2 Free CE Classes!

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. #292716 will be offering TWO FREE Continuing Education Seminars on:

September 26, 2018

CLASSES WILL BE HELD AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATION:

SERVPRO® of Winter Park

665 Jackson Avenue

Winter Park, FL 32789

For reservations contact:

SERVPRO® of Winter Park

407-246-9713

kristin@SERVPROwinterpark.com

  • Breakfast and Lunch will be provided
  • Class Size is Limited
  • Please Confirm Guests Attending

The subjects will be:

Restorative Drying for Water Damage

This course has been approved by the Florida Department of Financial Services for insurance continuing education credit.

Course Credit: 4 hours

Course # 97654 agt./97655 adj.

Registration Time: 8:00 a.m.

Course Time: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

*INTERMEDIATE LEVEL – This course has been designated by the Florida Department of Financial Services as INTERMEDIATE level. It is intended for the student who has a basic knowledge of the subject matter or who has limited experience with the subject matter.

100% Attendance is REQUIRED in order to receive CE Credit for this course.

Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry

This course has been approved by the Florida Department of Financial Services for insurance continuing education credit.

Course Credit: 2 hours

Course # 98756 agt./98757 adj.

Registration Time: 12:45 p.m.

Course Time: 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

*INTERMEDIATE LEVEL – This course has been designated by the Florida Department of Financial Services as INTERMEDIATE level. It is intended for the student who has a basic knowledge of the subject matter or who has limited experience with the subject matter.

100% Attendance is REQUIRED in order to receive CE Credit for this course.

Flood Insurance Policies for Florida Homeowners

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flood Insurance Policies for Florida Homeowners Make sure to get a flood insurance policy 30 days or more prior to hurricanes to ensure that damage is covered!

A common mistake that many Florida homeowners make each hurricane season is the assumption that their homeowner’s insurance will cover property damage that is caused by floods and hurricanes. If your property is in an area with a high risk for damage, such as near a lake, then you may want to consider purchasing a separate policy to make sure your home and its contents are covered.

How Do You Get Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) but can be purchased through your insurance agent or broker through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Availability for these policies is open to NFIP-participating communities that have agreed to pass and enforce specific stormwater and floodplain management laws. To reach an agent, contact the NFIP at 888-379-9531.

How Much Coverage Can You Get?

NFIP flood insurance policies can provide a maximum coverage of $250,000 and $100,000 for contents. These types of coverage must be purchased individually but can be a part of the same policy. According to the NFIP, the average cost for a policy typically runs around $700 annually. Additional coverage may also be purchased through private insurers.

Do You Really Need this Policy?

When purchasing a home in a designated high-risk flood zone and receiving a mortgage loan from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase flood insurance.

If you live in a zone that has been designated as a moderate or low-risk flood zone, you are not required to purchase a policy. However, though you are not required to purchase the policy, you may want to consider doing so anyway to protect yourself from paying out of pocket in case of an emergency. According to FEMA, approximately twenty-five percent of flood insurance claims come from areas. That still makes up a large portion of recorded home damage due to hurricane and flood-related disasters!

The good news is that if you do live in a low-to-moderate flood risk zone, you may be eligible for a much lower insurance rate. Some premiums of flood insurance policies for these homeowners have been seen to be as low as $137 per year for both property and contents coverage.

Are Payouts for Contents and Property Different?

Yes, there is a difference in the way insurance companies will pay out for different types of coverage.

  • Contents - Flood insurance will pay a cash value for the cost to replace lost or damaged contents. The amount paid out also factors in the depreciated value of used goods.
  • Property - If receiving insurance for a single-family home as your primary residence, you can opt for the replacement of damaged or lost property with new property, regardless of depreciation. The amount of coverage for your property is set in advance and is typically either eighty percent of the full replacement cost for your property or the maximum amount available under the NFIP.

Why You Should Act Now

Flood insurance works a bit differently than other types of insurance policies. With a few exceptions, your coverage does not typically kick in until you have had your active policy for 30 days. If a disaster, such as a hurricane, occurs within this time frame, your insurance policy will not cover the costs of damage.

Also, there are other benefits to activating your policy early. Aside from hurricane damage, a flood insurance policy will also cover you for damage resulting from heavy or prolonged rainstorms, coastal storm surges, clogged storm drainage systems, and mudslides!

After Receiving Flood or Hurricane Damage

After hurricane damage or flood damage has occurred, you should call your insurance provider and establish a claim. Once your adjuster has been notified, calling a professional restoration company can ensure that your damage is attended to properly and your home gets back to the way it was. SERVPRO is the largest nationally recognized name in restoration and is recommended and trusted by many of the largest insurance providers. SERVPRO of Winter Park is available around the clock for emergency storm damage services and have the fastest response times to begin extracting water from your home and drying the property out. If you receive flood damage, give our office a call at 407-678-5391.

10 Orlando Fire Damage Facts for Homeowners

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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.

Fire Dangers

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

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 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.