Archived Blog Posts
Preventing Mold in Commercial Properties
Commercial properties like schools should take precautionary measures to ensure any water damage incidents do not lead to mold growth
Mold growth in your commercial property can lead to structural damage to the property itself and health concerns for those exposed to it. There are many factors that can lead to mold growth as well as steps that can be taken as preventative measures. This article will cover both to keep you, the business manager or owner, better informed and prepared to handle a mold situation.
How Mold Can Spread in Commercial Properties
Mold thrives in damp, dark places. So you can find mold just about anywhere that moisture lingers in the air. Mold spores can cling to and grow on a variety of building surfaces including stone, brick, wood, drywall, and metal.
Here are three factors that contribute to the formation and spreading of commercial mold.
1. Moisture Due to Humid Conditions
When outside temperatures fall during the fall and winter seasons, mold often begins to form indoors where the air is warmer and more humid.
You can sometimes see condensation forming on the interior of glass windows and skylights. If this moisture drips down the walls and manages to penetrate into seams and cracks in the walls, it is very likely that mold will begin to grow.
2. Water Leaks From Roof and Plumbing
One of the biggest causes of mold infestations is leaks in the roof or leaky pipes in the walls. These leaks often go undetected for months or even years, allowing massive colonies of mold to fill the spaces in attics and inside walls and ceilings.
This water damage combined with mold can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage, and it often will require entire facilities to be shut down for mold restoration and remodeling.
3. Condensation forming in an HVAC system
Other troublesome spots where mold forms in commercial buildings are the heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system. Due to the heating and cooling of the metal ducts and vents, condensation often forms on these surfaces that are hidden away from view. These dark, damp places become a breeding ground for various types of mold.
And the worst part is that the ventilation system then blows mold spores throughout the entire building. Those spores can lie dormant for a very long time. But once they come in contact with moisture, they can begin to grow and spread.
How to Prevent the Spread of Mold in Commercial Properties
Preventing the spread of mold should be a high priority for commercial property managers. Whenever mold or water leaks are discovered, swift action must be taken to prevent further growth and damage. Here are three strategies that need to be implemented consistently.
1. Inspect Moisture-Prone Areas Regularly
As noted above, the HVAC system needs to be routinely inspected for mold and moisture, particularly the evaporator coils and drain pans and pipes. Surfaces should be inspected, cleaned and disinfected once a year or more if necessary.
Roof tiles should also receive a professional inspection annually, and attic spaces should be checked for water damage too.
All kitchen and bath areas should be checked, including in the backs of cabinets and vanities, as mold thrives in dark spaces. And again, all surfaces should be cleaned regularly.
2. Clean and Disinfect All Surfaces Frequently
Routine cleaning cannot be emphasized enough. Not only should areas when mold and moisture are spotted be cleaned thoroughly, but all floors, walls and counter spaces should be disinfected regularly to kill spores that lie dormant.
3. Use Dehumidifiers to Reduce Moisture in the Air
Lastly, some commercial buildings that have routinely humid conditions might benefit from the use of dehumidifiers placed throughout the building or in conjunction with the HVAC system. These remove excess moisture from the air and make it difficult for mold spores to grow.
Fighting commercial mold can be a challenge for business owners and commercial property managers, but by knowing what to look for - and by engaging in consistent and thorough cleaning practices - mold can be kept in check to provide a safe environment for everyone.
Preventing Mold in Your Maintenance Closet
Maintenance closets are one of the most common places where mold growth is found in commercial properties.
Lack of Air Circulation
Closets, in general, are a very common hiding place for mold. This is due to the fact that there is usually an absence of ventilation in closets. When you open a closet and then close it shut moist air can easily become trapped within. The moisture will usually lead to condensation on the wall without the chance of evaporation. This provides an excellent environment for mold to thrive in.
How to Prevent
The simplest task you can perform is to routinely check the walls in the closet for condensation. This can help you notice a moisture issue before it becomes a mold issue. However, the best way to prevent the problem is to create an avenue for air to circulate in and out of the closet. Installing air vents on the upper and lower areas of the closet door can help ensure better airflow and prevent moisture from being trapped
Leaking Water Heater
Many times, utility closets will share a space with a water heater. If the equipment has not been maintained, it is common for a leak to occur.
How to Prevent
Be sure to run routine checks on your water heater to make sure it is working efficiently for you and not causing a water damage situation in your closet which could lead to mold growth
Mop Buckets and Cleaning Supplies
Maintenance closets are usually deemed the perfect place for hiding mops, buckets, used towels, and other cleaning supplies. However, these items can lend to the moisture that gets trapped in your closet and leads to mold. This is especially true, for mop bucket spills!
How to Prevent
If possible, keep the items mentioned above away from your storage closet. If you must store them there, make sure that mop buckets are emptied and wiped dry. Mops should be squeezed of excess moisture and towels should only be returned to the closet if dry.
Clutter along the floor of your maintenance closet is the perfect opportunity to hide spills, moisture, and mold growth from your line of sight.
How to Prevent
Try to keep clutter to a minimum and put loose items on shelves in your maintenance closet. This makes it much easier to identify moisture on your closet floor or even cleaning after water damage that may have seeped into the closet.
8 Reasons Mold Can Keep Coming Back
Many DIY solutions for getting rid of mold can be ineffective. Proper testing and remediation by professionals is the best way to prevent its return.
Mold is stubborn. It can spread throughout a property very quickly and even cause a variety of health issues for individuals who occupy the same space. Mold is extremely persistent and has been known to return even after it has been cleaned. Many homeowners and business managers make the choice to handle mold issues themselves and try using ordinary cleaning methods that just are not effective when dealing with this type of problem.
What is Mold Exactly?
Mold is commonly mistaken for and treated as a stain or dirt, however, mold is actually a living organism that grows, especially in damp places. Mold spreads by releasing microscopic spores into the air. In fact, mold spores are naturally in the air all around us. It is actually impossible to completely remove mold spores from the air. Understanding why mold can keep coming back can help ensure that you make the right decisions towards removing it if it becomes your problem to handle. Here are some reasons that mold can return in a property:
1. Neglecting Water Damage
Water damage can occur in numerous ways in properties including roof leaks, overflowing toilets, leaky pipes, faulty dishwashers, etc. Disasters happen. However, making sure that water is cleaned up and any moisture is removed from affected materials quickly can prevent further damage. Water damage that has been neglected or gone unnoticed can lead to mold growth in as quick as 48 hours.
2. Cleaning Porous Materials
DIY cleaning methods can sometimes be effective if the surface being cleaned is non-porous. Most cleaning methods will not work for porous materials, such as wood and drywall, because the mold will avoid the cleaning agent by retreating deeper into the material, only to resurface again later. Cleaning portions of the mold is ineffective if the nucleus is not destroyed. Affected materials should be carefully removed, discarded, and replaced to ensure the mold does not return.
3. Painting Over Mold
It is not uncommon to find that a previous mold problem was simply painted over to hide the temporarily hide the issue from new tenants or homeowners. The mold usually does not take long to eat through the paint and reappear. Not to mention, hiding the mold does nothing to solve the issue of damage spreading behind the wall.
4. Excess Moisture and Ignoring Source
Since mold thrives in damp areas, the first step to removing it is to reduce the moisture levels in a home. Disregarding the source of the mold issue only means that the problem may occur again. Call a professional to fix leaky pipes, broken air conditioning units, roof damage, etc. and use a dehumidifier to get the moisture out of the air. Similarly, it is important that all damp fabric is allowed to completely dry. Hang up towels so that they can fully dry. Kitchens, basements, and bathrooms are common places for mold.
5. Indoor Humidity
Mold is extremely common in Florida due to high humidity levels that allow mold to thrive. Making sure your air conditioning is running correctly and constantly can help prevent high humidity in your property making it more difficult for mold to grow. Indoor humidity that exceeds 60% can become a source for mold all on its own. Also, make sure that every room has proper ventilation so that any excess moisture in the air does not become stagnant and cause an ideal environment for mold to grow in.
6. Generic Cleaning Products
Generic or all-around cleaners will not work on mold. Bleach does not work for all species of mold. It can be effective on certain species of mold but inefficient for others sometimes making the situation worse. Make sure to experiment with natural alternatives and invest in mold-specific cleaners. Be generous as you spray and do not wipe it right away. The cleaner needs to work its magic and kill the living mold at its nucleus. The most effective method is to test for mold and receive a treatment protocol from a licensed mold assessor.
7. Keeping Affected Items
Some items may be permanently affected by mold. If an old couch has a lot of mold on it, you may have to get rid of it instead of trying to save it. Similarly, glass is easy to clean whereas wood is harder and will most likely have to removed and replaced. Wash clothing and discard any items deeply affected by the mold. This can minimize the risk of the mold spreading back to the structural components of your home. To be on the safe side, it is best to hire a professional remediation company with experience in salvaging materials affected by mold.
8. Not Consulting Professionals
If you have dealt with major water damage to your home, it is wise to try and get ahead of mold issues by consulting professionals. Experts know where mold is likely to fester, and they can use the best equipment and techniques to properly remediate the issue. You may not have the expertise to do everything yourself. They know why mold may be returning, and they have the tools to get rid of it for good. Investing in professionals' services protects your home, furniture and family's health. Proper air quality testing by an environmental hygienist can provide accurate insights into the type of mold you have, its source, areas affected, and how to remove it for your specific instance.
Mold is persistent and can grow very quickly. If you have tried to remove it and it returns, know that this is normal. Oftentimes, homeowners can make a mold situation worse, which makes the remediation more costly. For the best results, call in professionals to keep mold from returning. The quicker you act, the better.
Why Post-Remediation Testing is Recommended
Mold spores are microscopic and when airborne, can help mold spread to unaffected areas of your property and also potentially cause health issues.
Mold is not always visible and is capable of hiding away quietly inside of walls and deep under foundations eating away at the crucial structures of your home. It is also very common that complications related to the health of those who come into contact with mold are reported. Mold remediation, the treatment and/or removal of mold, can be costly but not nearly as costly as a failure to address the issue. The longer mold goes unnoticed and unmitigated, the further it can spread and more damage it can cause. If you discover a potential mold problem, you should absolutely have it tested and addressed. However, remediation efforts should always be followed up with a post-remediation mold test. Here's why.
Leading Up to the Final Test
In order to diagnose a mold issue in the first place, mold inspectors will conduct a visual search but even more importantly, they will collect air quality samples. Mold often forms deep under foundations or behind walls where you can't see it but will permeate the air with mold spores. These spores are microscopic and when airborne, can help the mold to spread to unaffected areas of your property and also potentially cause health issues when breathed in.
Once the samples have been tested and it is determined that you have a mold problem, the inspection company will create a written mold remediation protocol that must be followed in order to properly treat or remove the mold issue. The problem, of course, is that once again you cannot see the mold, which means you will have no idea whether proper protocols were followed or if the mold issue was properly attended to. This is where the post-remediation test comes into play.
Why Do I Need the Post-Remediation Test?
A post-remediation test is sometimes referred to as a clearance test. It is essentially the same test that was conducted to find mold in the first place, only this time there should be no high concentrations of mold spores in the samples taken. If the air samples show the number of spores have been reduced to normal levels or below, the problem has been addressed correctly.
If proper protocols are not followed, however, mold will continue to grow without you being aware of it. A post-remediation clearance test is the only true way to determine if your remediation was successful. Ordering the test allows you to either have the peace of mind of knowing your home is mold-free or have the remediation company revisit the remediation to achieve the necessary results.
SERVPRO of Winter Park
Our franchise performs the remediation portion of the mold process and has certified professional mold technicians. We require a mold protocol before remediation and highly recommend performing a clearance test after. If you believe you have a mold issue and are seeking the help of a highly trained professional, give us a call today at (407) 678-5391.
Why a Mold Protocol is Required Before Remediation
A written protocol outlines the necessary process that a company performing remediation must follow in order to achieve the best results.
Mold Remediation Protocol
In the state of Florida, it is typically required that professional remediation organizations such as SERVPRO of Winter Park have a written mold remediation protocol in their possession before conducting any work. The protocol accurately assesses the proper treatment and removal of mold in areas of a building that have been affected by mold. Mold lab results can be combined with the findings of the professional mold inspection and an intimate understanding of the property’s layout. Using all of this knowledge and data, the remediation professionals can devise a plan that is tailored to the specific mold problems impacting a client’s property. Adhering to the protocol’s instructions ensures that the company performing the remediation can complete the process safely and promptly. Among other things, the protocol can specify when carpets, furniture, and other items that have been impacted by mold can still be cleaned and when it’s time for these materials to be removed.
Steps of the Protocol
The following are the steps required during the protocol process.
The property’s present conditions are surveyed and discussed with a person who is authorized to handle the property’s affairs.
The areas that were affected are given a physical site assessment. The site assessment accomplishes several functions: the site assessment visually inspects the damage(s), gathers temperature and relative humidity (RH) readings, takes air samples and direct samples for mold (if necessary), and collects room dimensions to draft the required floor and room drawings to specify the location(s) of concern.
Non-viable spore trap air sampling is designed to get an approximation of the concentration of airborne microbial (fungal) spores. The most commonly used entrance of the property is used to collect at least one outside sample. After the outside sample is taken, air samples are gathered in the property’s areas of concern. If elevated airborne spore concentration levels are detected, this may mean that there is one or more indoor microbial reservoir(s). It may also mean that the microbial remediation plan must include either the cleaning of the HVAC system(s) or of personal effects within the building.
Direct sampling is used to pinpoint the type and relative concentration of the microbial spores that have affected tested materials. The direct sampling results are also used as source contamination reference material during the air sampling process.
Florida State Guidelines
There currently are no federal guidelines in place concerning mold remediation and testing procedures. Certain states, including Florida, have qualification regulations in place for licensed Mold Remediators and Mold Assessors. In Florida, companies are not allowed to hold both an assessor and remediation license simultaneously. It is recommended that only Florida licensed Assessors or Remediators are used during both sides of the process.
Why is This Protocol Required?
There are two main reasons for this mold protocol: the potential for conflicts of interest and data that can be gained prior to any removal actions.
Conflict of Interest Potential
Most mold remediators in Florida will not take a remediation assignment without an independent mold assessment and protocol being performed beforehand. Some years ago, the state of Florida implemented licensure procedures for both mold assessors and remediators. The regulators were so convinced of the necessity of both of these services that it forbids a single company from taking on both roles for any given project.
Valuable Pre-Removal Data
The second reason why the protocol is necessary is that the majority of contractors will not start a remediation project without a protocol being conducted. Without the protocol, the contractors will not have reliable data on the extent of the spread of the microscopic spore and the particle varieties of mold contamination. Failing to have this data on hand before remediation can lead to accusations of subpar testing or adherence to procedure between the parties involved in the mold assessment and remediation process.
Benefits of the Protocol
The protocol ensures that mold contaminations are properly assessed to facilitate the remediation process. It protects property owners from having to pay for additional remediation fees. It also provides a safe and healthy environment for visitors, residents, remediation companies, and property owners.
SERVPRO of Winter Park
For properties in need of mold remediation, contact SERVPRO of Winter Park at (407) 678-5391.
Restoration for Commercial Properties
SERVPRO of Winter Park has the equipment needed to handle disasters on a commercial scale.
Whether you do business in Orlando, FL or someplace else, commercial property damage can be a frustrating experience for any property owner. To address this expensive and stress-inducing concern, commercial restoration services are available to restore your commercial properties as efficiently as possible. These commercial restoration services typically provide an assortment of services that work together to fully restore your commercial property, saving you time and money in the process.
This article will go more in-depth into what commercial restoration services do, why they are important and how they operate.
Types of Damage which Impact Commercial Properties
In terms of damage, residential properties and commercial properties are essentially the same. The most common forms of commercial damage include:
• Mold: Mold is both an eyesore and is unhealthy to be around. Once mold has infested a property, it can rapidly spread as air-borne spores if left unchecked. Mold remediation measures are essential for preventing a property’s mold situation from out of control.
• Fire damage: Fire damage can come from many different sources. A lightning strike, a faulty gas stove or even a neglected, lit cigarette can be sources of fire damage to a commercial property. Fires can cause catastrophic levels of destruction to a commercial property, requiring restoration and cleaning services to return the property to normal.
• Water damage: Water damage can also come from a variety of sources. Severe floods, severe rain, and busted pipes are just a few of the ways that water damage can impact your commercial property. Water damage can create more damage if left untreated, resulting in issues such as contaminated water on surfaces and furniture, eroded materials and mold infestations. Electricity combined with water damage is a particularly deadly and destructive force.
• Wind and storm damage: Severe storms and strong winds can smash windows out, tear off roof tiles and damage unsheltered commercial equipment and other properties.
The Importance of Commercial Restoration Services
If your commercial property has some damage, you must reach out to a commercial restoration service as soon as possible.
Commercial property damage follows the same principle as most other types of damage: when left unchecked and unattended, the damage tends to get worse over time. What started as roof damage can lead to rainwater falling into your property, causing preventable water damage and mold issues. A neglected broken door can easily lead to your business’s valuables being susceptible to vandalism and theft.
Commercial property restoration is very important for another reason. Every day that your commercial business is closed due to damage, your company loses money and potential customers. Commercial businesses deal with a lot of overhead: bills, office and equipment rentals, salaries and services offered in good faith that they will be paid back. Commercial property damages worsen their overhead because the companies cannot earn their money back or turn a profit. Under these conditions, commercial properties will continue to lose money until they can open back up for business. Commercial restoration companies that can provide efficient services are an invaluable benefit to commercial properties under these circumstances.
Operations of Commercial Restoration Services
Commercial properties seeking commercial restoration services should look for companies that provide emergency services 24 hours a day. These types of companies can offer immediate relief whenever they are called, or as soon as emergency services have appropriately handled any potential health issues or risk factors.
Once the commercial restoration services arrive, they will usually start by assessing the damage level of the commercial property. Conducting the assessment will allow the restoration team to plan out a way to handle the damage and to start restoring the building’s functionality. It’s typical for the damage to be more serious than initially presumed. Smoke from a room affected by past fire damage may have seeped into another room. The mold that started in one room could infest another room due to water damage. To determine the extent of the damage, these restoration companies use sensors and other detection devices to accurately determine the extent of the damage to the commercial property.
Afterward, a commercial restoration company will begin any necessary preventative measures to ensure that no further damage will occur. This could mean making repairs to the property’s roof or its pipe system, or it may mean adding temporary equipment or components while the restoration team works.
Whatever isn’t salvageable will be disposed of. Some equipment and objects that normally stay inside of the commercial property may be temporarily moved from their usual places. For water damage, the restoration specialists will clear out water with large pumps and clean affected areas with scrubbers and other equipment. Any damp surfaces will have to be thoroughly dried to stop the potential for mold spreading to other rooms and surfaces. Sanitization measures will also need to be put in place for several health reasons.
Once the commercial property is cleaned and the building is sealed, the commercial restoration teams will repair and remodel its rooms. Numerous furnishings may need to be replaced, and other parts of the building may need to be redone, such as wall paint and carpeting.
These commercial restoration services will restore your commercial property after it suffers various sorts of damage. The restoration process will allow your business to return to normal operations as soon as possible.
Business Owner Tips
Here are a few tips on commercial restoration for companies such as yours:
• Do thorough research on commercial restoration companies near you before any damage happens
• Check for insurance policies that will cover damage from sources such as water and fire.
• Plan for worst-case scenarios and determine ways to keep earning revenue.
• Consider having staff work from home while restoration services are being conducted.
SERVPRO of Winter Park
If your commercial property needs restoration services, contact us, SERVPRO of Winter Park. SERVPRO of Winter Park serves the Orlando, FL area, providing a variety of affordable commercial property restoration services.
The Importance of a Fire Escape Route in Your Property
Find the safest exits in your property and educate your household or employees where to go in the event of a fire
A fire can happen suddenly and grow quickly. Fire can become deadly and needs to be taken seriously. Is your family or business ready if a fire were to happen in your environment?
For most, the answer to this question is no. The first step to fixing this issue is to make a plan for where everyone is located and how to handle it. The best way to do this is to map it out. Put pen to paper with the layout of your home and/or business, where each individual or group is located, and what route they need to take during an evacuation.
After making a map be sure to mark on that map where all of the smoke alarms are. To be up to standards there should be one on each level, and ideally one in each room. Make sure that these batteries are changed at least every 6 months.
The next step is to establish the exact place where everyone needs to meet. For a family, it may be the giant oak tree across the street. For a business it may be one place or several places if it is a large establishment. It is important to know where this place is, and how many people should be there. When the fire station comes they will ask if everyone is present and accounted for to know how many and who they need to look for.
When you have made it to a safe place you will finally need to call 911. The fire department, ambulance, and police will be dispatched in ordered to get the fire under control and any medical attention taken care of.
When everything is under control give us a call at SERVPRO to help clean everything up and get you back into your home.
Tropical Storm Dorian Gaining Power
The latest Tropical Storm Dorian update from the National Hurricane Center features some potentially encouraging news for Floridians.
A still-uncertain long-term track showed the storm near Florida over the weekend, but Hurricane Hunters couldn't find a clear center during their latest flight due to the storm moving across St. Lucia. That disruption and dry air have kept Dorian from intensifying.
The storm's effects are expected to be felt in Puerto Rico by Wednesday afternoon and travel up to Hispaniola that night. Forecasters say Dorian will then head toward the Bahamas Friday and Saturday and reach southeastern Florida by early Sunday.
While uncertainty is high, Florida residents should monitor the progress of Dorian and ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.
There was a slight adjustment north in the forecast cone Monday night to include Orlando and Daytona Beach. The cone was also tightened up to cross the eastern side of Hispaniola, meaning it is less likely now that the mountains will have a chance to significantly weaken Dorian.
If the storm goes across the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the mountains might weaken it, but if it stays over the ocean, weather officials believe the storm could gain strength as it travels towards Florida.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that as of 11 a.m. Tuesday the storm has maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour and is forecast to strengthen during the next 48 hours before hitting the U.S. territory. It is currently 60 miles west-northwest of St. Lucia.
We're in the peak of hurricane season
Dorian is the fourth named storm of this hurricane season. Generally, the season reaches a peak in the eight weeks surrounding September 10.
Two-thirds of all the storms produced in a typical season occur during this period.
That's because conditions in the tropics become ideal for storm development. By the end of August, water has typically warmed to the mid-80s in many parts of the region.
Storm Tips 2019
Nail down roof shingles or use adequate adhesive to keep them from blowing off in a violent wind.
No matter where you live, you'll encounter storms. Most of the time these are routine, but some cause serious and dangerous problems. Here are tips for preparing for storms, and weathering them safely.
- Always keep a battery-powered radio in your home so that you can tune to radio stations if you lose electricity. Check or change the batteries frequently.
- Keep a flashlight in an easily accessible spot on every floor of your home. Check the batteries monthly, and replace them as needed.
- Keep a supply of candles on hand for power failures.
- As a safety precaution before leaving the house on vacation, unplug all electrical appliances except for those lights connected to automatic timers.
- If you live in a storm-prone area, nail down roof shingles or use adequate adhesive to keep them from blowing off in a violent wind. For roofs with shingles that are not the seal-down type, apply a little dab of roofing cement under each tab.
- A lightning-protection system should offer an easy, direct path for the bolt to follow into the ground and thus prevent injury or damage. Grounding rods (at least two for a house) should be placed at opposite corners of the house.
- Don't go out during a hurricane unless you have to; however, if flooding threatens, seek high ground, and follow the instructions of civil defense personnel.
- When a major storm is imminent, close shutters, board windows, or tape the inside of larger panes with an "X" along the full length of their diagonals. Even a light material like masking tape may give the glass the extra margin of strength it needs to resist cracking.
- When a tornado threatens, leave windows slightly ajar.
- The basement is not good shelter during a tornado -- it's too close to gas pipes, sewer pipes, drains, and cesspools. A better shelter would be underground, far from the house (in case the roof falls) and away from the gas and sewer systems. Let all family members know where the shelter is.
- Keep an eye on large trees -- even healthy ones -- that could damage your house if felled in a storm. Cut them back, if necessary.
We've covered numerous key tips for preparing for storms and getting through them safely. Now you can regard gathering clouds with a little less trepidation.
Fire Safety for Orlando Hotel Managers
Fire sprinklers are a great way to alert staff and guests of a fire and can help minimize the damage sustained.
In Orlando, FL, concerns about fire safety is typically the last thing on the minds of your hotel’s guests. Hotel fires can put many people’s lives in jeopardy, particularly sleeping guests and those who live on the higher floors of the hotel building. Fires can also cause large-scale damage to your business.
Policies within the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 require hotel management to conduct fire assessments, to apply fire control and prevention initiatives, and to give people the tools and knowledge to evacuate a fire as safely as possible.
Hotel fire can be very deadly, often taking the lives of those who are unaware of the danger and who are unprepared for it. Applying an appropriate amount of safety training and resources for your hotel can prevent the unthinkable.
Fire Safety for Hotels Checklist
The Regulatory Reform establishes a series of fire control responsibilities that must be handled to ensure that your hotel is safe for both guests and your staff. Any hotels who are lacking in fire safety measures can be issued notices requiring the hotels to address these deficiencies. In the most severe cases, the authorities may prevent the business from operating as usual until there is progress on attaining full compliance with the Reform’s standards.
This Fire Safety for Hotels Checklist is divided into these topics:
• Fire Risk Assessment
• Fire Wardens
• Fire Training
• Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems
• Fire Route Plans
• Fire Evacuation Plans
• Informing Guests of Fire Safety
Fire Risk Assessment
A fire risk assessment involves five steps.
• Hazard identification: consider the means by which fires can happen, such as obstructed ventilation and damaged electrical plug sockets. Locate potential sources of kindling as well, such as paper, laundry, chemicals, and furniture.
• At-risk individuals: you must assess who are the most vulnerable people in the event of a fire. Guests should be your main focus. They generally don’t know your building’s layout and could even be soundly sleeping when a fire breaks out. Another important group to consider are those with hearing, seeing or mobility disabilities.
• Fire safety measures: assess ways to establish or improve upon current fire safety practices. This may include better housekeeping procedures, such as periodic checks of electrical appliances and plugs. Constructing disability-minded escape routes on the levels above the ground floor may be another measure.
• Record findings and corrective actions: The Regulatory Reform authorities will inspect your hotel records to ensure that you are actively managing your fire safety risks and hazards. This includes past compliance with their standards. This means that it’s necessary and wise to write down everything that you do and everything that still needs to be accomplished.
• Review: hotel buildings and their appliances do not last forever. This means that new hazards will show up from time to time and past fire control measures will lose their effectiveness. You must periodically reassess risks, reestablish control measures and rerecord fire prevention and control-related information.
It will be your responsibility to appoint someone with sufficient competence to serve as the hotel’s fire warden. This person will be responsible for the hotel’s fire safety, prevention, and evacuation guidelines. The fire warden can be someone picked out by you, or you can serve the role yourself. Either way, the designated fire warden must gain both technical and practical training in fire safety procedures so that they are well-versed in preventing and combating fires.
Hotel guests can’t be expected to know the building’s escape routes enough to evacuate efficiently, meaning that they may rely solely on someone who can guide them to safety during a fire. Fire wardens should maintain a guest list for this reason, and they should work with fire rescue personnel in cases when someone on the list cannot be accounted for in the evacuation process.
Some hotels are so large or complex that they need multiple fire wardens. At the bare minimum, there should be one fire warden on each floor, for each shift. Considerations should also be given for holidays and covered shifts for sicknesses or vacations.
You must provide fire training so that employees can respond appropriately to the alarm ringing. This includes situations when an employee should sound the alarm if it doesn’t go off automatically. This training includes fire hazard prevention measures, such as spotting and reporting problems, as good housekeeping practices. Training should also include the different types of fires, fire extinguishers, and how to correctly use them. Hotel training should familiarize the staff of all types with fire escape routes and locations for people to assemble during the evacuation phase. All employees should know who are the appointed fire wardens and when they have to fulfill that role.
Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems
A hotel's fire detection and alarm system are legally mandated. It’s your responsibility to ensure that manual call points are installed throughout the building in easy-to-spot locations. If the staff can find these manual call points without any trouble, then they can activate them more efficiently if a fire or fire damage is observed or reported.
Smoke detectors should be inspected monthly at a minimum. Manual call points should be tested weekly during normal business hours. Alarms throughout the hotel should be loud enough to immediately wake up guests and alert hotel staff of the fire hazard. Room alarms close to the head of the bed should ring around 75dB. Hotel guests must immediately wake up and begin evacuation efforts in the event of a fire. This is because guests can suffocate from unsuspectingly inhaling smoke while asleep, even post-evacuation.
A competent employee with technician experience or an external contractor should periodically check equipment and conduct necessary repairs.
Some items that should be inspected include:
• Kitchen appliances
• Fire doors
• Firefighting equipment
• Plug sockets
Make sure to keep maintenance and repair records. They serve as proof that your hotel is in compliance and inform you of upcoming servicing and checks.
Escape Route Plans
Escape routes should be positioned in ways that ensure that anyone can safely reach them even if the fire blocks out a different path.
Escape routes should:
• Be enclosed with smoke- and fire-resistant materials
• Be obstruction-free
• Be accessible for those with disabilities
• Remain closed as much as possible to prevent the spread of smoke and fire
Fire Evacuation Plans
For hotels, one of two evacuation plans are typically used:
• Simultaneous evacuation: small, uncomplicated hotels have alarm systems that warn all rooms and floors to evacuate simultaneously.
• Horizontal/Vertical phased evacuation: for more complex hotel structures, the system is designed to sound alarms and evacuate those who are in immediate danger first.
Your risk assessment and your local fire service can inform you if you need more information.
Informing Guests of Fire Safety
Your hotel guests should be immediately informed of manual call points and escape routes. Fire safety information forms for guests should clarify:
• Steps to take if the guest sees a fire or if the guest hears the alarm.
• The closest fire exit route from their hotel room & a floor plan.
• The closest assembly point location.
SERVPRO of Winter Park
In the event of a hotel fire, reach out to SERVPRO of Winter Park, serving the Orlando, FL area. SERVPRO of Winter Park can manage fire damage restoration projects at commercial levels for hotels or resorts.
How SERVPRO Conventions Benefit the Client
The SERVPRO convention allows trusted vendors to set up booths and sell products and equipment to franchisees.
SERVPRO is a national business and a leader in the restoration industry. Every year, SERVPRO holds a convention for their many franchises and vendors. Although it may seem like this convention does not provide value for restoration customer from the outside looking in, there are actually multiple ways the client benefits from this gathering.
SERVPRO franchises are individually owned and operated. Although they all benefit from being under the corporate powerhouse that is SERVPRO, the fact is that some franchises are bigger and have been around longer than others. At the convention, franchisees are able to purchase the latest equipment from trusted vendors at discounted rates. Better and more equipment translate to your local SERVPRO being better equipped to handle your disaster efficiently.
Aside from equipment, franchisees also have access to discounted vehicles during the convention. Locations short on vehicles get maxed out quicker and tend to give jobs away to other locations that may not be as close. Adding to their fleet ensures that franchises can cover more ground in their territories and arrive at jobs faster.
A huge part of the convention are the many classes that franchisees and their management staff can take part in. These classes range in topic and include training to improve the efficiency of office staff and customer service. A business that is run better is a business that is more successful in pleasing its customers.
Fire and Water Damage in Hotels and Resorts
SERVPRO of Winter Park is trained to get you fast estimates with the best calculations to get you a clear idea of what repair costs may be.
Cleaning and restoring your hotel, resort, convention center, or other hospitality business following a fire or water damage event can be a daunting prospect. Luckily, the experts at SERVPRO are here to help. We'll work with your management and staff to make sure any inconvenience to your guests is minimized as we isolate and fully restore the damaged areas.
Fire and Water Damage
Ruined flooring is perhaps the most obvious result of a water damage event. Water can destroy tile, vinyl, and wood flooring. It can also compromise the wooden sub-flooring beneath carpeting. Ceilings may also be affected as water leaking from one floor finds its way to the one beneath. Often times walls (or the bottom portions of them at least) will need to be replaced also, as they're made of porous materials that absorb water.
Soot, smoke damage, and water damage can destroy furniture, artwork, and other hotel property. Customer and client property may be damaged also, adding to your already considerable financial burden.
As costly as a fire or water damage event can be, the costs of not having the cleanup done correctly can be far greater. Improper or incomplete cleaning and restoration can lead to the growth of off-putting and potentially dangerous mold. Mold growth affects air-quality and is malodorous. Few things will damage the carefully maintained reputation of your resort, hotel or convention center quite so quickly as this toxic invader.
Why SERVPRO of Winter Park?
At SERVPRO of Winter Park, we understand that response time is critical when dealing with a fire or water damage event. A fast response can limit damage and potentially reduce costs. We stand ready twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to serve Central Florida's many resorts, hotels, and convention centers.
No job is too big or too small for SERVPRO. We scale our response teams and equipment to best suit any given situation and, should the need arise we'll mobilize one of our Commercial Large Loss teams.
Whether you run a hotel, resort, school, or convention center, SERVPRO knows that you'll need to continue operating as cleanup and restoration are performed. We'll coordinate with your management to allow for normal operations to continue around the safely isolated cleanup area.
SERVPRO of Winter Park provides a host of other restoration services too. In SERVPRO's fifty-years experience, we've become experts in dealing with mold removal, vandalism cleanup, document recovery, and even the isolation and cleanup of biohazards.
There's no way to know when disaster will strike, costing you money in damages and disrupted operations. When and if catastrophe finds your hospitality business, you'll be glad to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing the experts at SERVPRO of Winter Park have your back.
If you've experienced a fire, or water damage event, visit our website to learn exactly how our many services may be applied to the quick and efficient restoration of your establishment. Or even better, call SERVPRO now at 407-678-5391.
How to Avoid Claim Denials for Water Damage
Asking your insurance adjuster if you're more likely to be approved or denied when they're on-site is an opportunity to get answers to concerns.
Home insurance claims stemming from water damage are among the most frequent of insurance claims around. We will cover water damage types, what damage is covered and what claims are typically made by homeowners. We will also cover why home insurance companies deny certain claims and how to avoid these denials.
Types of Water Damage
There are many kinds of water damage. Different homeowner’s insurance policies will cover different types of damages and situations. Some of the more common sorts of water damage that will show up on a policy as either covered or excluded from coverage include:
• Water damage caused by heavy storms
• Flood damage
• Water backup or sewer backup
• Accidental or sudden discharge
Home Insurance Claims for Water Damage
Homeowners usually want to know what sorts of water damage will be covered by their policies. Common types of water damage inquiries are for leaks, such as from leaky roofs, toilets or pipes around the house that distribute water. Coverage for water damages will be determined by the damage’s origin, the policy that the homeowner signed up for and if the claimed damage is both sudden and accidental or if the damage was gradual.
Gradual damage is water damage deemed to occur slowly over a long period of time. Some forms of gradual damage will be hard to spot until it is too late, such as when the damage is occurring within the interior walls of a home. Though these sorts of issues can lead to structural damage down the road, most of these damage claims would be denied since they didn’t occur both accidentally and suddenly.
Homeowners frequently make claims ultimately caused by gradual damage such as the following:
• Leaky pipes, plumbing, and faucets damaging walls, floors, and ceilings.
• Watering seeping in from foundation weaknesses or from holes around the home’s exterior.
• Worn down tiles, flashing or other roofing materials that are allowing water to enter the home.
• Damage due to corroded, moldy or rotting materials.
• Electrical wiring that has become worn and less effective.
• Sub-standard home repairs or non-repairs.
Though not always, insurance companies may cover the “resulting damage” of issues or parts that originally wouldn’t have been covered by the present policy.
If a homeowner wants to know the finer details of what is covered and not covered in their policies, then it’s best to consult the insurance company or their insurance broker or advisor. They can go over the exclusions and details of a homeowner’s insurance policy for complete coverage details.
Reasons that Claims can be Denied
Homeowner’s insurance claims can be denied for a variety of reasons. Gradual damage, coverage lapses or miscommunications are just a few reasons for claim denials. No matter the reason, the homeowner should request a complete explanation of why the claim is not being granted. This includes an elaboration of which part of the wording within the policy doesn’t apply to what the homeowner is seeking compensation for.
Keep in mind that many people represent the home insurance organization during the claims process, so it’s a good idea to determine from whom the denial is coming from. Was it the contractor, an insurance agent or a claims adjuster? Each person has a different role within the organization, opening different paths for reviewing or negotiating through the process.
One reason for the claim being denied was that it was for an issue that the homeowner had to specifically request or endorse beforehand. It’s one of the homeowner’s rights to know what conditions were covered on their policies for present and future reference, including the optional endorsements and features.
How to Avoid Claim Denials
• Keep records of home repairs, including the names of the professionals hired for the home’s maintenance.
• Maintain an accurate account of the homeowner’s responsibilities and of the policies and exclusions of the insurance coverage package.
• Implement periodic home maintenance, at least every spring and fall to mitigate and prevent damage.
• Select the best insurance package for the specific needs of the home and look into extra features that can provide added value.
The Dangers of Stagnant Water
The greatest danger of a water damage situation is electricity. Be sure to shut down power to affected areas before work begins.
Standing water in your home can affect your property in ways that can be financially prohibitive to address as well as creating severe health issues. Any time there is flooding of any kind, water extraction needs to happen as quickly as possible. Water simply getting into your home in any way creates a serious issue but the longer water is allowed to stagnate, the more serious of a problem it creates. Here are four dangers associated with stagnant water.
Some of the most common health issues related to stagnant water are malaria, Legionnaires’ disease, and dengue. When water is clean, such as from a burst or leaky pipe, it doesn't start off containing bacteria but bacteria breed quickly, which means it can quickly become contaminated. Flooding that occurs as the result of storms or sewage overflows will generally already contain bacteria. The longer it sits, the more prevalent the bacteria become, creating a major health hazard. The longer water stands in your home, the more likely you are to contract a serious disease from it.
2. Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew both have the potential to create a variety of health issues. Mildew generally has a strong odor, but mold will often be odorless so you may not even be aware of its presence. Mold spores are highly toxic, however, so if you have mold or mildew in your home, you will still feel the effects of it even if you can't see or smell it. One of the biggest dangers of stagnant water is that it allows mold and mildew to develop deep inside furniture or carpet padding or even inside your walls.
3. Risk of Injury
Waiting to have standing water extracted can pose a serious risk to those in the property. If circuit breakers are not turned off, there is the potential of being electrocuted. If the water is murky and can't be seen clearly through, there is also the risk of injuring yourself on unseen objects.
4. Structural Damage
Drywall works essentially the same way as a sponge does and is vulnerable to a process known as wicking. This is where the lower edges of the drywall will absorb water and transport it high up into the wall. Once it is there, it is generally hidden by the paint and even feels dry to the touch, so you may have no idea there is water in your walls. As the water dries, it will warp the drywall or even make its way into the wooden beams that form the support structure for your entire house. Once water works its way into the support beams of your home, it can wreak all kinds of havoc that can be very costly to fix.
5. Dry Rot
Dry rot is actually a fungus that produces spores which travel through the air. The fungus feeds off of the cellulose and hemicellulose in wood, which are the components which give the wood its strength. The mold spores need three things to grow into a fungus: heat (ideally between 70 and 77 degrees), moisture and a source of food (wood). When flooding occurs inside your home, it creates the ideal environment for the fungus that causes dry rot to develop. It is important to remember once again, that the entire support structure of your home is made of wood, which is largely hidden behind drywall.
Any time you have a flood, it is imperative that water extraction takes place as quickly as possible. Once the majority of the water has been extracted, however, it can still leave furniture, floors and even walls overly damp. This is why it is important to work with a professional restoration company. The moisture you can't see is generally what will do the most damage. A professional restoration company will not only take care of the water you can see but also the moisture you can't.
Why Insurance Adjusters Should Use and Recommend SERVPRO
Get your insurance client the best help available by using SERVPRO and taking advantage of trained and certified technicians.
When homes are damaged in natural and other disasters, it is always in an insurance company's best interest to make sure that any damage is fixed properly the first time. When flood or water damage does not receive proper remediation, it can lead to much more severe and long-term damage. When insurance adjusters recommend companies that address damage properly and appropriately, they not only help protect the homeowner's property and save their company from having to pay even more expensive claims down the road but they also help strengthen and build stronger relationships with their clients. Here are three reasons why insurance adjusters should use and recommend SERVPRO to all of their insurance clients.
1. Locally Owned and Operated, Nationally Known
SERVPRO is a chain of locally owned and operated franchises that make up a network of over 1,700 operators across the US and Canada. That means we all benefit from understanding the unique needs of the communities and geographical areas we serve as well as having access to a wealth of information and experience from other franchise owners across the country. With that many franchise owners all working together, you can rest assured that the needs of your clients will be handled quickly and professionally.
2. Workers Ready and Waiting
Unlike other types of structural damage, water damage must be addressed immediately to have the best outcomes. When hurricane season hits or other natural disasters strike, other companies can be overrun with requests and it can take several days or even weeks to get teams out to help mitigate the damage. This leaves anxious homeowners susceptible to being taken advantage of by a number of scam artists that quickly move into the area in the wake of any natural disaster. SERVPRO, on the other hand, can call upon any number of regional franchises to get additional help in place whenever and wherever it is needed, so your clients get the high level of expertise they deserve.
3. Start to Finish Service
We understand that it's not enough to just simply do a great job restoring the homes of your customers. It is also important to keep costs low, provide a clear paper trail of all work performed and even save you the headache of dealing with multiple vendors. We offer a National Call Center that is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you promptly handle all claims. We also pre-screen all vendors to ensure they are fully qualified, insured and licensed when necessary. Our Claims Information Center maintains a complete electronic job file, which we can provide to you at any time and within hours of any claim. The file includes a detailed estimate, digital loss photos as well as a "First Notice of Loss" and scanned forms and paperwork which can be delivered either by email or hard copy. We don't just provide a superior level of service to your clients, we also offer that same superior level of service to claims adjusters as well.
We understand that to be the best in the business, we can't just offer superior restoration service. We also have to offer superior service to insurance companies to help you gain a competitive advantage. All franchisees are trained to IICRC standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration as well as offering continuing education classes to both Franchise Professionals and Insurance Clients at our state of the art IICRC Approved Training Facility. Our performance standards are both measured and well-documented, which can help provide increased value to you, your shareholders, managers, and customers.
Avoiding Hurricane Insurance Scams in 2019
Scams have become more frequent with each passing year and present an additional possibility for a disaster following a hurricane.
Hurricane season always brings the potential for significant property damage, which is often covered under homeowner's insurance policies. Unfortunately, the insurance industry as a whole collects more than $1 trillion a year in premiums, which makes it a prime target for a wide range of fraud, including hurricane scams. While homeowners themselves may be innocent of any wrongdoing, they can also become the unwitting victims of insurance fraud or even unwitting participants. Insurance fraud costs the average American family anywhere from $500 to $700 per year in added premiums. Here are four ways to protect yourself from hurricane scams during the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
1. Be Wary of Anyone Knocking On Your Door Offering Unsolicited Repairs
For the most part, reputable contractors and repair services will more than have their hands full in the wake of a hurricane. In fact, the long waiting list for estimates and repairs is what creates a prime environment for scam artists. While reputable companies may send out door knockers offering estimates, they will never perform repairs right there on-the-spot.
2. Always Get at Least Three Estimates
You will want to get at least three estimates before deciding on a contractor and check each one carefully to see what work they are recommending. In some cases, unscrupulous contractors may charge for services that should be free and in other cases, they may try and charge for work that doesn't actually need to be performed. When you get estimates, you don't want to just look at the price but also at all the work recommended. If an estimate recommends significantly more or less work than the others, that might be a red flag. In the case of too little work, they may try and bill you more for additional work later and in the case of too much work, they may charge you for services they don't actually perform.
3. Check the Contractor's Credentials Carefully
Any natural disaster brings a flood of impostor contractors, so be sure and check their credentials carefully. In some cases, reputable contractors may come in from nearby areas to help cover the overflow of work, but you should still be able to check their credentials, no matter where they come from. Most states require contractors to carry worker's compensation, property damage, and liability insurance and may even need to be licensed. Ask for a copy of their license and insurance and then contact your local or state licensing agencies to ensure their credentials are in good standing and they meet all the requirements. You will also want to contact their insurance company to ensure their insurance is in good standing and their policy has not lapsed. Last, but not least, you will want to check with reputable agencies like the Better Business Bureau or Angie's List. Your insurance company may even be able to recommend a number of pre-vetted contractors.
4. Get a Clear, Written Contract and Read It Carefully
Before the contractor begins work, you need to ensure you have a clear, written, detailed contract that clearly defines everything the contractor is being contracted to do. This should include prices for labor, materials, clean-up procedures and estimated start and finish dates. Also, make sure there are no blank spaces on the contract that can be filled in at a later date and that you read the contract carefully before signing. One of the biggest scams plaguing the insurance industry is Assignment of Benefit or AOB scams. This is when the homeowner simply signs away their benefits, leaving any negotiations between the contractor and the insurance company. While this may seem like a good deal and alleviate a lot of paperwork, in truth, it opens homeowners up to repairs not being completed and insurance companies being billed for services never performed.
Cleaning Clothing After A Fire in Orlando
Sort through clothing carefully to make sure you only attempt to wash items that are salvageable. Discard items that have been burned and have holes.
Recovering from a fire in Orlando can be a long, time-consuming process, even if there was little to any physical or structural damage. Just the smoke from fire alone can create a significant amount of damage, which can be difficult to mitigate. Clothing, furniture, and upholstery can all reek of smoke, even if they are far from the flames and in some cases can even be stained with soot. In most cases, you will likely need to hire a professional remediation company to restore furniture and upholstery, but you may be able to restore clothing on your own. Here are four steps to cleaning clothing after a fire.
1. Inspect Clothing Carefully to See What Can Be Salvaged
Some clothing may have burn holes or be stained or damaged beyond your ability to salvage it. Because clothing restoration is a time-consuming process, you want to focus on only what can be salvaged. Your fire insurance will most likely cover the cost of replacing clothing that cannot be salvaged.
Before clothing can be cleaned it will need to first be deodorized through a process called an ozone treatment. Ozone treatment is an oxidation process that cleans your clothing similar to the way rain cleans the air. Before you attempt to clean your clothes, it is extremely important to have them professionally deodorized with this unique treatment. Using ordinary fabric deodorizers will merely mask the smell temporarily, but eventually, the perfume of the deodorizer will evaporate, leaving your clothing once again reeking of smoke. The smell will also permeate any new clothing you purchase, so it is vitally important to have them professionally deodorized. In some cases, a fire restorer will use an ozone generator and in other cases, they will deodorize them in an ozone room.
3. Sort Remaining Clothing According to Type
Some types of fabric will be more difficult to get the smoke smell, soot stains or other stains out of, so you want to sort clothing by recommended care (found on the label), color (Light/ medium/ dark) and degree of soil (light/ medium/ heavy). You may end up with several small loads of clothing, but you want to keep them separate rather than combine them into larger loads. You will almost invariably have to wash each item several times, so it is more important to sort them by care label than you might with a single wash. Some clothing will need to be taken to an Orlando dry cleaning facility, but they may need to be professionally wet cleaned in spite of the dry clean only label.
4. Choose the Right Detergent
Different detergents will be more effective at removing scents, stains, soot and soil from different fabrics. The majority of clothing items will most likely be cotton, polyester, or poly/cotton blends. The effectiveness of cleaning will depend largely on the type of fabric and the type of detergent used. In tests, 100% polyester has the least likelihood of being returned to its original color and state. Pure cotton and poly/cotton blends are most effectively treated by washing in warm water anywhere from one to four times with either a liquid detergent or a low phosphate powder detergent and a liquid chlorine bleach. Because bleach will damage some fabrics and is not generally safe to use on darker clothing, it is better to use liquid detergent on darker clothing. Lighter clothing and whites will generally fair better with chlorine bleach. Powder detergent on its own is only partially effective at returning clothing to its original state. Dry cleaning is also the least effective method, so some dry-clean-only clothing may not ever return to its original condition.
Mold In Commercial Buildings and Schools
Mold can grow unseen in hidden areas such as in the ceiling above a classroom posing a danger to students.
With each passing year, concern over indoor exposure to mold increases. The public has become increasingly aware of the potential dangers linked to mold exposure. In addition to personal properties and residences, property managers and those responsible for the maintenance of commercial buildings, hotels, and schools should be aware of hidden dangers and acquire some knowledge of mold growth to protect the health of building occupants. With some basic knowledge of the subject, even inexperienced and untrained individuals can be capable of making reasonable judgments as to whether a situation can be handled in-house or requires the help of trained professionals.
Molds Can Be Found Almost Anywhere
They can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.
It is Impossible to Eliminate All Mold
This also holds true for mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors. Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.
Mold Can Have Various Effects on Health
Molds can produce allergens that can trigger health issues to inhabitants. Health issues can vary between individuals. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth. Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include:
- Roof Leaks
- Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building
- Unvented combustion appliances
- Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings
Moisture problems in portable classrooms and other temporary structures have frequently been associated with mold problems. When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems may be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dust as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants.
Causes of Residential Water Damage in Orlando
Pipe bursts and fixture leaks are a common cause of water damage in both residential and commercial properties.
Water damage is a terrible event that can have devastating consequences for your home in Orlando if it is not properly and quickly addressed. This happens as excessive amounts of water start pooling up where it does not belong. There are a number of factors that can cause excessive water build up and resulting damage. They include the following:
- Plumbing system problems
- Leaking or burst pipes
- Water buildup in spaces that tend to gather water like residential attics, crawl spaces, and basements
- Issues with your HVAC systems (heating and air conditioning)
- Malfunctioning or defective appliances
- Natural disasters and ugly weather created problems
Once you are aware of the likely suspects causing this damage, you can take proper steps to head off floods and leaks before they get out of hand. The faster you recognize the issue, the less work the water extraction process will require. It will save you a great amount of damage restoration work and repairs as well.
Plumbing System Problems
It is true that occasional plumbing issues will happen behind the walls. You can not detect these when they occur. Many other issues start when pipe joints or hoses are not correctly attached. By taking an occasional look under your sink, you should be able to head off most serious plumbing issues. Clogged drains are another common cause of overflowing sinks, toilets, and bathtubs leading to water damage.
Leaking or Burst Pipes
Leaking pipes (or those which burst) are all too common causes of damage by water. Toilets and drains can back up, which causes a blockage. This leads to excess pressures on the pipes that respond by either leaking or bursting altogether. Improperly functioning garbage disposals are another frequent reason for why pipes can burst. Roots growing into sewer lines are yet another. Finally, if your pipes are rusty or simply old, this can cause them to leak over time.
Water Buildup in Spaces that Tend to Gather Water
Some places that lie hidden in your home have a greater tendency to suffer from accumulating water and resulting damage. This includes basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Crawl spaces themselves are built under houses so that workers can gain access to install electrical wiring and pipes.
The problem with this is that such damp and dark crawl spaces encourage mold to thrive. This leads to structural damage. Moisture that drips down through concrete foundations leads to basement leaks. Air getting in between the house and the attic causes condensation on the roof underside. This can create mold growth and rot. You should check around your house from time to time, especially accessible pipes.
Issues with HVAC Systems
HVAC systems include heating, air conditioning, and ventilating systems. They commonly cause water-related damage. If air conditioners are not routinely serviced, then this leads to a buildup of moisture. The cooling moisture encourages mold to grow in the ducts of the air conditioning system.
Malfunctioning or Defective Appliances
Appliances age with time, causing the piping to rust and the hoses to weaken. This includes refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters that can all be subject to deterioration. You should closely watch machines that are older. Hot water heaters and washing machines are generally the two appliances that create this kind of damage in a house.
Natural Disasters and Ugly Weather Created Problems
You can not control natural disaster borne water issues. But you might undertake all necessary preventative safety measures before they strike to mitigate their impacts on your house. Hurricanes, flash floods, and unexpected storms all lead to damaging water buildup. Clogged rain gutters, roof damage, and cracks in the foundation are common causes of water damage during bad weather.
The Water Removal Process
Fortunately, there is a process of water extraction that can remove nearly all of the water in your Orlando home. Professionals like our staff at SERVPRO Winter Park can decrease the drying time to stop mold or additional water damage from occurring. We utilize truck mounted vacuums and potent pumps in order to rapidly take away from hundreds to thousands of gallons in excess water.
Step One: Pack Out
Should your house require an extensive cleanup and restoration job, our professionals will efficiently move you out to save your belongings from suffering from additional damage.
Step Two: Emergency Water Removal
Expertly trained water removal techs will start removing water almost right away. They could utilize submersible pumps along with industrial grade wet/dry vacs. This crucial step will reduce the amount of time needed to dry the house and aid in heading off secondary water damage and mold before it begins.
Inspect Carpets and Carpet Pad
Our pros will investigate the damage to the carpet and its pads to learn if they need to be taken out to save the sub-floor. We use such detection equipment as hygrometers, moisture detectors, and meters to ascertain the moisture saturation levels. We could utilize infrared cameras to locate that hidden water lurking behind ceilings and walls. Gas powered and submersible pumps do this job of constantly pumping away high levels of water. Our portable and truck-mounted extraction units will ensure effective water removal.
Dehumidifying and Drying
It is possible that once the water has been removed, your residential walls and floors may appear dry but still feel wet when touched. This is because, unfortunately, the majority of building materials (including wood and drywall) retain large amounts of water. This will warp, break down, or swell the material and lead to mold damage as well. It is where the dehumidifying process begins.
Our Orlando experts will manipulate humidity and temperature levels to dry the remaining moisture. We utilize particular equipment ideally suited for this, such as dehumidifiers and air movers. This will get out that water that has been retained. The high-speed air movers will cause an airflow over carpets and pads, furniture, and walls to evaporate the moisture. Our Orlando experts will closely monitor the progress by utilizing moisture meters to determine the point where all materials have reached necessary drying levels.
Which Restoration Companies are Best for Commercial Jobs?
Commercial water losses at places such as hotels with multiple floors and units affected requires more equipment than most small companies have.
Sure, just about any restoration company you come across will tell you they can handle your disaster. The truth is, restoration has become an increasingly competitive market and many companies will make claims that they are unable to fulfill. Although many of these companies can certainly handle a residential loss, there are many additional factors to be considered when taking on water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation on a commercial scale. If you have a large commercial property and seek the help of a restoration company, here are a few things you may want to consider before making your choice.
1. How Long Has the Company Been in Business?
Find out how long the company you are considering has been in business. Less established companies may say yes to a commercial job and become overwhelmed before it is completed. A restoration company that has been in business for years is more likely to be experienced with the process and needs of handling a commercial sized job. They will be able to provide more accurate estimates and accommodate your operations to make sure further damage to your business is kept to a minimum.
2. Business Location VS. Home Office
There are many smaller restoration companies online that appear to be larger than they actually are. This can be accredited to good marketing most of the time. Many of these companies will run their operations from a home address. Because of the huge decrease in business overhead, they are able to undercut industry standard rates and offer to complete jobs at a lower cost. As is the case with most things, cheaper does not necessarily mean better. While this can seem appealing to most consumers, the fact is that the companies that do this oftentimes are unequipped to handle jobs at a larger scale. This can also cause smaller companies to band together to complete a larger job. The major downside to this is a decrease in the quality of work you are receiving by having multiple companies with different teams, standards, and levels of communication working on the same loss.
3. Equipment and Vehicles
Commercial jobs usually mean a larger amount of manpower, equipment, and vehicles. For example, a flooded bathroom and hallway in someone’s home will not require extraction on the same level as a pipe burst in a hotel or resort that has affected multiple units and floors. In this case, you want to avoid using a company that is only equipped with small portable water extractors and go with a bigger company that has truck mounts and is able to extract water at high volumes quickly. Also, a company that uses its own equipment and has a large stock will be able to get the drying process done much quicker than a company that has to rent equipment for your disaster.
TSP Products for Smoke Odor Cleanup and Removal
Aside from cleaning soot and residue, odor from smoke can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
TSP on Garments
Products containing tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) can reduce odors in fabrics. TSP is caustic so be careful! Read the label for directions and safety instructions.
Test garments before using any treatment, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Smoke odor and soot can sometimes be washed from clothing that can be bleached. Measure 4 to 6 tbsp. Tri-Sodium Phosphate and 1 cup household cleaner or chlorine bleach for every gallon of warm water you will use. Alternatively, consider washing clothes in cold water with your usual household laundry detergent, and adding one tablespoon of pure vanilla extract.
TSP on Walls, Furniture, and Floors
To remove soot and smoke from walls, furniture and floors, use a mild soap or detergent or mix together 4 to 6 tbsp. tri-sodium phosphate and 1 cup household cleaner or chlorine bleach to every gallon of warm water. Wear rubber gloves. Be sure to rinse surfaces with clear warm water and dry thoroughly.
Wash walls one small area at a time, working from the floor up to prevent streaking. Rinse with clear water immediately. Ceilings should be washed last. Do not repaint until walls and ceilings are completely dry. Reduce the chances of growth of mold and mildew by wiping down all surfaces that had gotten wet with a solution of one cup of liquid household bleach to a gallon of water. (Test surfaces to ensure that the bleach solution will not discolor these surfaces. To conduct this test, wipe a small area of the surface with the bleach solution, and allow it to dry at least 24 hours.)
Washable wallpaper can be cleaned like painted walls, but do not wet through the paper. Use a commercial paste to repaste any loose edges or sections.
Lightning Safety: What You Need to Know
Tall thunderstorm clouds are more likely to produce lightning strikes.
The chances of being killed or injured by lightning are slim to none. However, that does not mean it can’t happen or that you should not exercise caution during a storm. The most important tip for being safe during a lightning strike is actually quite simple. Avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lightning is generated on a scale that is too large to be influenced by small objects on the ground, so if you are struck by lightning it is because you were in the spot that the lightning was already going to strike. Victims of lightning strikes in the past were struck regardless of the metal items that were or were not around them at the time.
Instead of thinking about the items that are around you, you would be better suited to focus on where you are. Avoid the areas where lightning can strike which is, essentially, anywhere outdoors.
Staying indoors during a storm is the number one way to keep safe from a lightning strike. If lightning strikes a house or a building directly, it will tend to follow the available paths to ground, including the electrical wiring, plumbing, cable or telephone lines, antennas and/or steel framework. Structures like bus shelters, outhouses, lean-to shelters, or any small non-metal structure do not provide any lightning protection. Although most homes serve as a safe shelter from lightning strikes there are still safety measures you can take inside to minimize danger such as:
- Don't use any wired appliance or device. Wireless appliances (cordless phones, razors, etc) are safe to use.
- Stay away from water pipes and faucets. (No baths, showers, etc.)
- Don't stand on a basement floor or patio slab, or anywhere where standing water or excessive moisture is present. These areas are 'ground current' danger zones.
- Stay away from walls where electrical wiring is present. Lightning will occasionally jump through the air inside a house or building to reach a better grounding path, such as from electrical wires to a water pipe.
Go to Your Car
If there is no other option for shelter, you are safer in your vehicle than out in the open. This is only true for hard-topped vehicles and does not apply to convertibles or open vehicles such as golf carts. While inside the vehicle keep your windows closed and make sure to avoid touching metal parts of the car. The current from a direct hit from a lightning strike will usually travel through the frame of the car and through the tires before hitting the ground. After a strike, make sure to check the vehicle to make sure fuel was not ignited which can lead to an explosion.
Does Clothing Matter?
Clothing and accessories you are wearing do not influence your chances of being struck by lightning. That being said, if you are struck, metal items you wear can act as conductors for the electrical current. These items can become vaporized, leaving burn marks on your body.
Lightning Warning Signs
In addition to the obvious warning of an ominously darkening sky, there are certain conditions that can alert you to a lightning danger before the strikes threaten. You are in a 'danger zone' and need to seek immediate shelter if you experience any of the following:
- Rain and hail can signal the presence of a thunderstorm cloud overhead especially if the rain is heavy. In fact, larger raindrops can occur when a thunderstorm cloud is tall and more likely to produce a lightning strike.
- If you can hear thunder or see flashes from lightning strikes, you are in the range of the next strike.
- AM Radio static, crackling, and popping noises can occur when lightning strikes are present.
- Doppler weather radar will show thunderstorms as red, orange and/or yellow blobs. There are many resources online that you can utilize to see this radar including mobile applications. The Weather Channel also shows Doppler radar periodically.
Early Predictions for 2019 Hurricane Season
Early hurricane season predictions help us know what to expect, however, we should always prepare for the worse as they have been wrong in the past.
Even though the severe weather from last year's tropical season only ended four months ago, it is just another month until the upcoming 2019 Atlantic hurricane season kicks off on June 1st. The season extends through November 30th, with approximately 95 percent of all the major storms happening after August 1st in the so-called peak season. Earlier in April, Colorado State University's highly respected hurricane predictions research team unveiled its early tropical predictions for 2019. With more than 35 years under their belts, this year they are calling for a slightly less active than usual hurricane season.
Early Hurricane Predictions For 2019 Hurricanes Season
Colorado State University is predicting for 2019 hurricanes 13 named storms, with five of them becoming hurricanes and two evolving into major hurricanes. This is close to the usual quantity of predicted storms. The good news is that overall tropical activity (measured based on the storms' intensity and total energy rather than the number of named storms) has been forecast at a little below the average season. In the typical tropical season, there are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes sweeping through the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea.
How These Predictions Are Made and Compare to the 2018 Season
The Colorado State University team contemplates the present day state of El Nino and the Atlantic Ocean temperatures in coming up with its highly anticipated tropical outlook. The two important elements are showing the season will be less active than usual.
In 2018's tropical season, the number of storms proved to be 15 named, 8 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. The two major storms were Hurricanes Michael and Florence. Hurricane Michael landed in Mexico Beach, Florida with stunning total winds of 155 miles per hour on October 10th at almost Category 5 power. This proved to be among the most potent hurricanes to ever make landfall in the United States. For its central barometric pressure, this was the third most powerful storm in history to land in the U.S. No landfalling storm since Hurricane Andrew (smashing into south Florida in August of 1992 and leveling everything in its landing) boasted the winds of Michael. Michael's economic impact is estimated by economists to run $25 billion.
Hurricane Florence landed in North and South Carolina back in September of 2018. The storm poured out over 30 inches worth of rain, causing severe flooding for many days. Over a dozen individual rivers reached major flood levels, causing forced evacuations and devastating property damage. Both Hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Floyd (1999) had their flood records destroyed by Florence. It caused an estimated approximately $25 billion in damage as well.
Colorado State University's team is not the only one making hurricane season forecasts. AccuWeather the private service has predicted a greater number of storms for the season, with from five to seven full hurricanes. AccuWeather was quick to remind that seasons with fewer storms than average have still produced devastating hurricanes.
Predictions Have Sometimes Been Far Off In The Past
In the last several years, the initial forecasts from Colorado State University have been pretty accurate. In 2018 they called for seven hurricanes and eight occurred. For 2016, they predicted six when seven hurricanes actually formed.
Yet they missed the outcome of season 2017 pretty significantly, as did the other hurricane forecasting outfits. While they predicted four hurricanes in 2017, the season produced 10. Among these were the hugely destructive Irma, Harvey, and Maria. This once again goes to show you that even a low number of predicted hurricanes for a season can still lead to hugely destructive hurricanes in the end. Because of this possibility, it is always important to prepare for a hurricane regardless of early predictions.
5 Tips to Prepare You in Case of a Fire
Check fire extinguishers regularly to ensure they are working properly in the event of a fire.
A house fire is a disaster that is easily preventable. Every homeowner and family member should take the time to do the following to ensure fire safety.
1. Install Smoke Detectors Throughout the Home
The first step for preventing a residential fire is properly installing enough smoke detectors throughout your home. Smoke detectors should be installed on every floor of your home and close to any bedrooms. To make sure that the detectors are always in working order, you'll want to test them out once a month. Batteries in smoke detectors should be replaced once a year. Smoke detector manufacturers suggest that they should be completely replaced every 10 years. Do not disable any smoke detectors while cooking, as this can potentially result in tragedy.
2. Install Fire Extinguishers
Once you've got the smoke detectors installed, it's time to make sure that you have fire extinguishers readily available throughout your residence. These will come in handy should you experience a small fire. Using a fire extinguisher will prevent you and your family from having to battle a bigger fire. Fire extinguishers should be kept in the kitchen, garage, and any workshop areas of your home. Similar to smoke detectors, fire extinguishers should be checked regularly to ensure they are working properly.
If you are not sure about how to use a fire extinguisher, consider contacting your local fire department on training information to get you started. You'll be able to learn how to properly use and maintain it. It is also important to know that there are different types of fires and different types of extinguishers used to put them out.
3. Teach Kids About the Dangers of Fire
Let's face it, kids are curious. This is a good and bad thing, but when it comes to something life-threatening like fire, curiosity can quickly turn into danger. Over 100,000 fires are set every year by kids under 5 years old playing with lighters or matches. To avoid this from happening, it's essential to educate children about the potentially deadly consequences of playing with fire. Inform them to STOP, DROP, and ROLL if their clothes catch on fire in an emergency. Also, teach them about what firefighters do, and to not hide from them when they are in sight.
4. Create a Plan for Escape
Having a well-thought-out and organized plan is very important. Think about it. The last thing you want to do during a fire is to try and think rationally about what to do next to survive. Developing a plan for escape in advance will spare you some time (which is a huge deal during a fire).
Not only should you create a plan, but you will also want to discuss it with your family members in detail so that everyone is on the same page should a fire take place. The escape plan should include at least two escape routes from every bedroom. Everyone living at home should be familiar with basic home fire safety procedures. This includes checking doors for heat before opening them, staying low on the ground to stay out of the smoke, and knowing the closest way out. These little things can go a long way in saving lives during a blaze! Make digital copies of any valuable documents and records like birth certificates, and keep them in a safe place easily retrievable in the event a fire takes place.
In addition to creating a plan and talking about it, practice it. Fire drills are not only for grade school students. They're a good reminder for everyone of all ages.
On top of having a solid escape plan in place for yourself and your family, it's also crucial to make sure that everything at home is in working order. For example, windows should not be stuck, and if you have any window screens, they should be easily removed if need be. Use security bars? Make sure they can be opened properly.
5. Have a Family Communications Plan Set
Got the escape plan out of the way? Now it's time to plan out your family communication methods. Firstly, make sure that everyone knows how to call 9-1-1. In an emergency, it's important to ensure that everyone at home knows who to contact if they are not able to locate one another, or in any other instance. Spend some time to speak with family members about who to call and where to meet in such cases, to be extra prepared.
Tips for Water Damaged Furniture
Flood water is considered to be black water. Because of dangerous toxins and materials, it is recommended to throw these affected items away.
Furniture that gets wet is not a pretty picture. Important questions that arise when you suffer from such a disaster in your home include: Can you save the furniture and how can you save it? The first critical step with any form of water damage involves determining the levels of risk factors in the contaminating water. This refers to the amount and types of pathogens that are found in the water. It is critical to make sure that a disease will not be contracted from exposure to the water.
The 3 Types of Contaminating Water
The first step is learning from which type of water your furniture has suffered damage. There are three types of water that can cause damage to your furniture. These are as follows:
- Category 1 - Clean Water - the drinkable water that comes from the regular pipes in your home. You could drink this, and it poses no threat to your family's health
- Category 2 - Grey Water - there are some contaminants found in greywater from either biological or chemical agents. These could be from the leakage of a water heater, an overturned fish aquarium, or an overflowing washing machine. While it will not kill you, you would not want to drink the water or get it in your eyes, which could easily burn on contact.
- Category 3 - Black Water - this is really nasty water including sewage or runoff from a river. It could make your family terribly ill. You should neither come into contact with it or even breathe the air surrounding the water.
How Furniture Items Can Be Cleaned
It is important to determine the water category to learn the proper path for cleaning the water damaged furniture. There are many cost-effective methods for treating the first and second categories of water damage. When black water has infected the furniture it usually cannot be saved. Methods of treating furniture vary according to whether it is wood or upholstered.
Wood suffers from water damage very quickly. When it is on a large scale it becomes more serious as wood furniture is tricky to fix. If you allowed the furniture to sit in water for several days, it is likely completely ruined and should be discarded. For one thing, the bindings or glue that hold it together may be irreparably damaged.
Yet even still it might be saved. You can take pieces apart to clean and dry them before putting them back together. The furniture will generally require re-stripping, bleaching, cleaning, drying out, and refinishing. This will be both a labor and time-intensive process. It is wise to get a cost estimate done before you start the project to ascertain if it makes more sense to restore an original piece or replace the furniture entirely.
Upholstered couches and chairs are sometimes tricky to dry and clean. The items may be pressure treated in a special way. Extremely high-temperature water will first kill off pathogens such as bacteria. After the furniture has dried properly it will be put in a room with a dehumidifier and air movers set up.
Such air movers will be strategically placed to move dry, hot air through and over the furniture. The moisture will evaporate, and the industrial dehumidifier will gather in the moisture. It will finally be released outside of the house.
There are circumstances where the upholstery has to be removed. These include when the water has soaked into the furniture over a long period of time. Cleaning, then a treating and drying process will reach the places that are hard to get to which have become water damaged.
When Items Should Be Disposed Of Finally
It is critical to realize that you can not hope to clean out water damaged furniture which has been soaked by the black category 1 water damage. There are cases where it could be sensible to try if the piece was very expensive (like with a Persian rug). The costs of trying to do this generally are far greater than simply replacing the items. This is true for most any kind of porous-surfaced furniture. The best plan is to take the black water damaged item and simply throw it away.
For furniture that is upholstered and heavily damaged by other categories of water, there are limited options. Fabric that has become watermarked or stained is difficult to completely restore. It is possible that after a few hours of soaking in water, silt and mud can penetrate the padding and fabric as well.
Padding also still holds in water even when the rest of the furniture appears dry. This is when mildew forms outside and inside. Wood that is finished will turn cloudy. The wood can mildew if the flood water manages to penetrate the finish. Joints within wood frames can also become loose. If the furniture was sewage-contaminated or has industrial chemicals or pesticides from the flood water within it, this is the time to throw away the upholstered or wood furniture and start over with new pieces.
Water Heater Leak Cleanup in Winter Park
Make sure to clean up and dry as much water as possible to prevent further damage.
If you have recently experienced a water heater leak, there are several simple steps you can take to clean up the leak and minimize safety risks. Try to limit the extent of the leak as soon as you notice a leaking water heater. Contact a plumber to fix a broken water heater or replace a failed water heater, and then determine the extent of the water damage. Follow these four steps to address the leak. For complete peace of mind, especially with a larger leak, you should contact a company that provides water damage restoration in Winter Park.
Unplug electrical appliances in the affected area. You don't want to risk electrocution or other appliances being adversely affected by a leak.
Remove soaked carpets and moveable items from the area surrounding the leaking water heater. You may be able to dry out some items, but carpet may not be salvageable.
Drying the Area
Dry the floor as soon as possible. You can use a mop, towels, or a wet-dry shop vacuum to remove excess water. You can also use a desiccant such as silica gel near soaked floors or walls.
Circulate air and dehumidify. This will speed the drying process and limit the extent of the water damage while making the environment less conducive to mold growth.
If you notice a leaking water heater in your home while the leak is still small, you may be able to limit the extent of the water damage by taking immediate action. If the leak is larger or has gone unnoticed for more than 24 hours, you should contact a residential restoration service in Winter Park, FL. Either you or damage restoration experts will need to clean up and dry all the water to prevent mold. Make sure to also have a plumber replace a failed or broken water heater to prevent another leak.
2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Tips
Florida has a long history of dealing with hurricane seasons. Make sure you are prepared over the next 2 months before the 2019 season begins!
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season begins in just two months. Many Floridians are already accustomed to what that means and the possible dangers that come along with it while others may be newer to Florida. Whether you are accustomed to hurricane seasons or not, being a resident in Florida means that the threat of hurricanes is very real and having the knowledge of what to do before, during, and after a storm can make all the difference. Stopping a tropical storm or hurricane from happening is not an option. However, taking the appropriate steps to make sure you and your family are both safe and prepared in the event of a hurricane is. Below are a few helpful tips and reminders for the upcoming season.
Preparations Before A Storm
- Emergency water supply
- Have at least 5 gallons of water per person (which should be enough to last 3 to 5 days)
- Gather clean containers for water.
- Get supplies to make your drinking water safe (like iodine tablets or chlorine bleach).
- Emergency food and medicine supply
- Put together a 3 to 5 day supply of food that doesn’t go bad (like canned food)
- Make sure to have enough baby food or formula (if needed).
- Gather any prescription medicines.
- Safety items
- First aid kit and instructions
- Fire extinguisher
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Sleeping bags or extra blankets
- Personal care products
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet cleaning cloths (like baby wipes) in case you don’t have clean water
- Tampons and pads
- Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them near every phone in your house or on the refrigerator. Program them into your cell phone, too.
- Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it.
- Find out where the nearest shelter is and the different routes you can take to get there if you have to leave your home.
- Make sure that everyone in your family knows what the warning sirens in your area sound like and what to do if they go off.
Stock up on materials to help prevent unnecessary damage to your home in the event of a hurricane. Have tools and wood ready to board up windows. You can also purchase sandbags to block water from coming in via entrances such as doorways and garage doors.
If you can afford to, have a roof inspection done and repair any old or broken materials to help prevent against water entry. Also, make sure all rain gutters are cleaned out to allow water to flow away from your property as intended.
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Get familiar with your current homeowner’s policy and make sure you understand what you are and what you are not covered for if a storm damages your home. Add any additional coverage for flooding to save yourself from having to come out of pocket completely if the worst happens.
What to Do During A Storm
Put your plan into action. The most important thing to understand is that the safety of you and your family is always the priority and any decisions made should reflect that. If you have properly prepared, stay indoors and wait out the storm. If you do not feel you are completely prepared to do so, head to the nearest shelter with plenty of time to spare before the hurricane approaches your area.
- Use a portable radio to listen to important storm updates, information and instructions.
- Stay inside and keep away from all windows, skylights and glass doors. Go to a safe area, such as an interior room, closet or downstairs bathroom.
- Never go outside the protection of your home or shelter before there is confirmation that the storm has passed the area. The eye of the storm could create a temporary and deceptive lull, with high winds still approaching.
- If power is lost, keep the refrigerator closed to keep cold air trapped and delay spoilage of perishable food.
- If you use a portable generator, follow all the manufacturer’s instructions. Generators should be properly grounded to prevent electrical shock and should never be operated indoors, in garages, basements or outdoors near any windows, doors or vents. Because generators produce carbon monoxide (CO), make sure you have a working CO detector in your home.
What to Do After A Storm
If you have sustained damage to your property, file a claim as quickly as possible. Insurance companies will be overwhelmed with calls of damage so the sooner you can file a claim, the sooner you can expect compensation. Make sure to document any damage as thoroughly as possible to speed up the process for your insurance adjuster and the entire process overall.
After filing a claim, working with a trusted restoration company is best for getting your property back to pre-hurricane conditions. A national brand such as SERVPRO has the manpower and equipment to remove large amounts of water from your home, dry out affected structures quickly, repair and restore property damage, and even remediate mold if it becomes an issue in your property.
Safety Tips Include:
- Stay tuned to local news organizations, such as a radio or television station, for important announcements, bulletin, and instructions concerning the storm area, medical aid and other forms of assistance, such as food, water, and shelter.
- Remember that you may not have immediate access to your home. Emergency rescue crews, power crews, and other personnel may be attending to special needs. Roads could be blocked, power lines could be down and people may be trapped and in need of assistance.
- Make sure that you have current identification. You may have to pass through identification checkpoints before being allowed access to your home/neighborhood.
- Avoid driving as roads may be blocked.
- Avoid sight-seeing or entering a storm-ravaged area unnecessarily. You could be mistaken for a looter.
- Avoid downed power lines even if they look harmless.
- Avoid metal fences and other metal objects near downed lines.
- DO NOT use matches in a storm-ravaged area until all gas lines are checked for leaks (keep flashlights and plenty of batteries at hand).
- Avoid turning the power on at your home if there is flooding present. Have a professional conduct a thorough inspection first.
- Consider having professionals/licensed contractors inspect your home for damage and help in repairs. This includes electricians, as well as professionals to inspect gas lines, remove uprooted trees and check the plumbing.
- Remember that downed or damaged trees can contain power lines that can be a hazard.
- Use a camera or camcorder to record thoroughly any damage done to your home before any repairs are attempted.
- In certain areas, the flooding rains that accompany a storm can create pest problems. Be aware of potential pest problems in your area, such as mice, rats, insects or snakes that may have "come with the storm".
- Telephone lines will likely be busy in the area; use a phone only for emergencies.
- Flooding brings with it the risk of waterborne bacterial contaminations.
- You should assume that the water is not safe and use properly stored water or boil your tap water.
Fire and Smoke Damage Insurance Claims
Dealing with insurance after a fire can be just as stressful as the fire itself. Make sure you know what your policy covers and prepare beforehand.
Your biggest concern after a fire is probably getting things back to normal at your home. You may not have the funds to make the repairs yourself. Most homeowners insurance policies cover fire and smoke damage though. You won’t need separate fire damage insurance. With careful planning, you can make filing your insurance claim easier by following a few simple steps after the fire.
What a Standard Homeowners Policy Covers
Fire is one of the perils that a standard homeowners policy covers. It reimburses you for damage to your home’s structure and its contents. “Contents” refers to clothes, furniture, personal items like jewelry, sports equipment, and other items. The contents coverage usually equals 50 to 70 percent of the insurance coverage on the structure.
Before anything happens to your home, conduct a home inventory. Make a list of all of the major items you’d need to replace if a peril occurred and the cost to replace them. Store this list offsite at your office or in a safe deposit box.
Documenting the Damage
If a fire does occur, document the damages from smoke and fire. Also, document the losses of contents items. Use the home inventory you created to provide exact descriptions including serial numbers of items and the amount they cost.
Your insurance company will need specific information to file your claim. This information includes:
- the fire’s time and date,
- the type of loss,
- the damage location – address and rooms damaged,
- photos of the damage,
- any injuries that occurred,
- involved parties,
- the home’s condition,
- the specific damaged items with descriptions,
- necessary repairs, whether temporary or permanent,
- the police and fire reports.
Do this as quickly as possible so that you do not miss the claim filing deadline. Your insurer will likely respond, requesting more information. It will want estimates of the fire damage cost to repair before funding the work. This means you will need to obtain cleaning and repair estimates from a company like SERVPRO and share these with the insurance company to document the fire damage repair costs.
Keep Accurate and Complete Records
You and your insurance company will exchange many emails, letters, and documents during the claims process. Start a binder or folder that contains only items related to this.
Your homeowner's insurance should cover the damage to your home and its contents. Careful documentation makes it easier to obtain your reimbursement for the damages. If the insurance adjuster declares your home a total loss, then your policy should cover your home’s reconstruction. In most cases, your homeowner's policy is all the fire damage insurance you will need. If your insurance denies your claim, try hiring a public adjuster to obtain a second opinion on the fire damage cost that you can use to appeal the insurance company’s decision.
Water Extraction Company
We are conveniently located in Winter Park just north of Downtown Orlando and can mobilize quickly to start extracting water!
It can be hard to believe that water is the most powerful and destructive element in an indoor environment. Yet flooding and excessive moisture can easily lead to structural damage and destruction of personal property as well. Such issues can become very serious indeed if the water clean up is not done quickly and the water becomes unsanitary.
The Importance of Having Water Quickly Removed
Reducing the harmful side effects of indoor water can be done through efficient and quick intervention. The first 24 to 48 hours are crucial. Water damage may look hopeless to fix, but quick response cleanup, drying, and restoration can yield simply incredible results.
The good news is that a water extraction process will remove this damaging water from your home or office. When you trust our water extraction company professionals at SERVPRO of Winter Park, you will have your drying time decreased to stop secondary water damage and mold from taking over. Our professionals utilize truck mounted vacuums and powerful pumps to rapidly pull out large amounts of water from your property.
The Negative Effects of Leaving Water Damage Unattended
There are various negative side effects that your property will suffer from if you do not quickly address the results of water damage indoors. One of the most severe is the formation of potentially toxic mold. Mold is a terrible problem that you have to stop before it gets started in earnest.
There is not much time to stop the growth of mold. This is generally a matter of only hours, never days or weeks. In order to stop mold from developing, you have to count on a rapid response from a water damage and restoration contractor that is professional and quick. While it is true that seriously perilous molds do not form every day, any such mold can create health problems. This is why effective mold removal should be done as soon as possible.
Restoring your property is more science than art. We look at three crucial criteria to determine if your personal property needs to be replaced or can be instead restored. These are the following:
- The quantity of damage to your property
- Contamination degree of the property
- Restoration costs versus replacement costs involved
Not dealing with this critical water damage upfront can also lead to serious interruptions in business for commercial properties, possible negative health risks, and increased financial burdens later.
How Our Water Extraction Process and Methods Work
The water extraction process starts with you making emergency contact with our company. SERVPRO of Winter Park will send out an inspection team of highly trained technicians. They utilize equipment including hygrometers and moisture detectors with other meters in order to determine the extent of the saturation. The team may also utilize infrared cameras so that they can locate any water (that is not obvious) behind ceilings and walls.
They go straight into the third step of water removal practically immediately. The amount of work involved and the process varies according to how much water is on your property. In cases where there is a lot of water, they might utilize potent submersible pumps to suck up excess water before turning to standard industrial wet and dry vacuums. These gas powered pumps will allow water to be constantly pumped out at a rapid rate and level. Units can be portable and truck mounted. In both cases, they efficiently deliver water removal fast. This way, we are able to decrease the amount of drying time so that you can avoid secondary water damage and stop mold from forming in the first place.
After the fourth step of drying is completed, we move on to step five sanitizing and cleaning. The final step six centers on the actual restoration work.
Using SERVPRO Over Smaller Water Damage Companies
There are a variety of reasons why you would want to work with a trusted bigger brand name company like us at SERVPRO rather than one of the smaller water damage firms. This starts with our ability to immediately respond and begin the water removal work. You simply can not afford any delays from when you call the contractor to when they respond, or you will have more problems and potentially greater damage. All water restoration companies may claim to be emergency providers, but few can deliver on that pledge. Our company will generally respond in an hour or less.
A bigger company like ours also has enough manpower and equipment available to not only quickly begin, but also to rapidly finish the job. We specialize in delivering such rapid water removal services so that we can get your property entirely dry quickly.
Another advantage of a larger and better-established company is that we can offer fast and accurate estimates and insurance company billing. Not only are our estimates quick and easy to get, but our project manager and inspection team will come out as fast as possible to put together a complete work proposal so that you know our price quote in advance of beginning the water removal and cleanup.
If you are covered in a flood or water damage insurance policy, then this will help you with the costs. Rather than have to pay upfront and wait for a claim to be reimbursed, we are able to dispatch the bill straight over to the insurance company. This saves you from having to pay upfront to begin the work. It removes the hassles from upfront billing and the later reimbursement paperwork and process.
Finally, a larger, more reputable firm like SERVPRO will offer completely guaranteed services. There are any number of poor quality contractors in this business. It is easier for them to keep operating as their services are usually paid for by insurance, not the customer. It leads to greater instances of poor quality workmanship, unfortunately.
Making sure that you get the best service possible, we offer an upfront guarantee. You will be 100 percent satisfied with our work when we complete the water cleanup services. Our job is not completely done until you are fully satisfied.
Prevent Commercial Water Damage for your Business
Water Damage can put your business operations on standby. Have a plan in place to minimize the possible delay.
There’s nothing like the look and feel of a new business space, the machines all ready to run, furniture set up, and even the smell of the new carpet. Your mind is miles away from thinking about water damage. Hopefully, you’ll be lucky and nothing bad will happen. Or, heaven forbid you do have a flood, and the hard-taught lesson is learned. Either way, it’s always good to have some tricks and fixes up your sleeve so you can avoid commercial water damage and big headaches.
It has been said that commercial water damage is the most expensive problem you can have in a business with so many things that could be damaged and require repair or replacement. The damage may even cause further problems in the future. But there are several steps you can take to avoid the problems that could be thrown your way. It’s just a matter of keeping track of your office surroundings and acting to keep the status quo.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when thinking about the prevention of commercial water damage in your business:
Make a Plan
- First, make a list of things that could happen to the items in your office. Come up with as many bad scenarios you can think of so you can realize the things to be taken care of.
- Find and store good contacts for services you may need in case of flooding, mold issues, or a fire.
- Make sure that you have an emergency space available to you in the unforeseen event that you need to have extensive renovations done on your office space.
- Also have a contact list of employees, vendors, and anyone else you may need to reach if things go awry.
- Have a good record of your belongings and find a place where you could take them for repair if necessary.
Put your plan into action
- Have an inspector come to check your building’s plumbing, pipes, roof, and the building structure itself.
- Be sure to follow instructions from your inspector regarding the issues he finds. Coordinate with the building’s owner to be sure you’re on the same page.
- Schedule yearly inspections so you know what needs to be repaired.
- Take a good look at any gutters that are adjacent to your office space. Clogged gutters can cause a great deal of trouble. It’s an easy fix in advance to keep a schedule and clean those gutters periodically.
- Parts and pipes age and need to be kept up to avoid leak problems.
Water damage in your business space is not only costly but traumatic. It can feel like you’ve taken one giant step backward in your goals and peace of mind. Understanding your potential pitfalls and knowing what you need to do to keep the status quo are your best options. But if you do have any kind of water damage, you can get great recommendations on the internet-they can help you through the process to ease your way.
Preventing Orlando Water Damage in Your Commercial Building
Water Damage can halt your commercial business operations and cost you a lot of money if you don't take precautionary measures.
Making sure your Orlando business is able to run and function smoothly should always be a priority for business owners. Orlando water damage to commercial properties poses a serious threat to your operations. If not taken care of immediately, even a minor water issue can lead to extensive damage in a building such as mold growth and structural damage. Mold has the potential to make the damage increasingly worse, heighten repair costs, and affect the health of your employees. There are cases where water damage just cannot be avoided, such as natural disasters. However, most cases of water damage can absolutely be avoided and can be if commercial property owners take the proper precautionary measures to do so.
Because commercial spaces are typically larger than residential ones and are frequented by more people, they usually use up a larger amount of water. The costs for water are already higher but your utility and repair bills can increase dramatically with the presence of water leaks. To ensure your business is able to run without interruption, follow the tips below and prevent water leaks in your commercial property.
Schedule Routine Inspections
Paying attention to the property that your business is in is just as important as paying mind to the business itself. Make sure to routinely inspect the building’s pipes, plumbing, fire sprinklers, structure, and roof to make sure everything is as it should be or catch potential issues before they worsen. Wear and tear are completely normal and common in any building but should be addressed by a professional when noticed.
Seek Professional Assistance
An untrained eye can miss many issues. On top of looking for issues yourself, it is always best to seek the assistance of a trained professional in order to find and solve any problems you may have missed as well as conduct regular maintenance.
The more often you have regular maintenance to your property, the lesser chance you have for issues arising. It is important to know that just because you don’t notice any alarming concerns it does not mean that everything is ok. Leaks and damage can occur in hidden areas and can cause water damage to your Orlando property that is also unnoticeable. A professional can find these hidden issues and make sure they are properly taken care of.
Check and Clean Your Rain Gutters
Rain gutters are designed to redirect excess water away from your property when it rains. When they are not cleaned regularly they get clogged with leaves and other debris. The blockage makes it so that excess water is not able to escape and accumulates until it leaks into your building either through the foundation or the roof. Water damage that occurs this way can oftentimes extend from your roofing all the way through your insulation, walls, flooring, and foundation. Keeping your gutters clean and free for water to pass through can prevent a major disaster from happening.
Upgrades and Repairs
Water fixtures can wear out pretty quickly in a commercial establishment due to a large number of people using them. Many times, older pipes and fixtures are not able to handle the high-volume usage that comes along with the business. This can lead to leaks as well. Consider upgrading your fixtures and pipes to make sure they are able to handle the usage and do not wear out. An inspection by a professional will help to determine what should be upgraded in your building. You need to act fast though because the longer Orlando water damage goes unaddressed, the more the damage will spread, worsen, and will likely lead to mold growth.
If You Come Across Water Damage
In the event that you or a professional comes across water damage in your commercial building, you should take steps to prioritize your safety first and contact a water damage restoration company as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Winter Park has a convenient location near downtown Orlando and the manpower and equipment to handle water disasters of all sizes. We have the fastest mobilization around and our phones are open 24/7 to assist with water extraction, structural drying, damage repair and more. If you need assistance, give us a call today at (407) 678-5391!
Water Damage Repair Winter Park
We have the fastest response time and service both Commercial and Residential clients.
SERVPRO of Winter Park is the number one restoration company when it comes to performing water damage repair in Winter Park. Our independently operated and family-owned franchise is conveniently located right off of Fairbanks Avenue and has been servicing our locals since 2011. We take great pride in making a difference for homeowners and commercial property owners who experience water damage disasters. Here is what you can expect from choosing us as your local restoration service provider:
- 24/7 Emergency Water Damage Services
- 1-Hour Response Time or Less
- Most Knowledgeable Technicians in Winter Park
- IICRC Trained Office and Production Staff
- Fast and Fair Estimates Provided
- Large Vehicle Fleet and Fast Mobilization
- Large Equipment Inventory
- Warehouse Storage Availability
- Continuous Client Support and Communication
Water Damage Repair Process
Our Staff at SERVPRO of Winter Park is knowledgeable and experienced with water damage repairs and can expertly guide you through the process from beginning to end. Our IICRC certified professionals help to ensure that our services are provided professionally and all structures are completely dried in a timely fashion to stop chances for mold growth and further structural damage to the property.
Residential Water Damage
We work directly with homeowners to relieve as much stress as possible during their water damage disasters. For insured homeowners, we provide our knowledge of how the insurance process works during restoration and even communicate with insurance providers directly to make the process easier for our clients. We also work with self-pay clients and keep them informed of costs throughout the entire process.
Our team is trained to treat each home with the individual care it deserves and takes into account any unique structural designs to provide the best service as possible catered to your specific property. We are trained to extract water and dry multiple types of flooring including carpet, tile, laminate, and hardwood floors. Our approach is always to put our clients on-course to restoring their home to the way it was before sustaining water damage.
Commercial Water Damage
Our specific franchise has extensive experience in handling commercial water damage projects with a high degree of efficiency and professionalism. Our location is equipped to handle large scale water damage emergencies effectively. We also understand that not every business has the option of shutting down for repairs and do our best to provide you with great service while catering to your specific business needs during the process. In the past, we have been successful at closing off work areas while providing easily accessible pathways and work areas for our clients to continue running their business. We also specialize in handling water damage services for clients with high privacy needs who must keep their clients and customers unaware of the disaster. Our Operations Manager will work directly with your management to ensure that all specific needs are included in our approach.
Do You Need Water Damage Repair in Winter Park?
There are plenty of options to choose from when considering a restoration service provider in Winter Park. Our SERVPRO location is backed by the nation’s leading restoration company and has the resources and customer service to get the job done right across the board. Choose a company that is located right here in Winter Park with the fastest response time around. Our customers love us and share their experiences with online reviews that can be seen on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. If you have a water damage emergency, contact our office at any time or day at (407) 678-5391!
8 Fire Safety Tips for Deep-Fried Thanksgiving Turkey
Thawing a turkey before frying it can prevent hot oil from coming into contact with water which can easily cause a rapidly spreading fire.
With each Thanksgiving that passes, deep-fried turkeys become increasingly popular in Florida. Deep-frying a turkey can be dangerous, though, and the process causes numerous fires each year. Make safety your priority when deep-frying turkey and follow these eight tips or you may find yourself calling a SERVPRO near you for fire restoration services.
1. Choose a Safe Location
To drastically decrease the likelihood of a fire in your property, set your deep fryer on level ground a safe distance away from your house, garage and shed. Avoid using the fryer on wooden decks, near piles of wood or under trees. A safe bet for a location is the center of your driveway with no cars present.
2. Completely Thaw Your Turkey
Water and oil do not mix. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before you bring it anywhere near the fryer. Otherwise, when the ice hits the hot oil, it could cause the oil to rapidly boil over, causing a large and quick-spreading fire.
3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Because of the potential for fire, you will want to have a fire extinguisher within arm’s reach at all times. Fires can start and spread quickly, and you will not have time to run inside to retrieve one.
4. Do Not Overfill the Oil
A good way to know how much oil you will need is to place the turkey in a cold and empty fryer, then fill the fryer with water. Remove the turkey and note the water line. The oil should be filled no higher than that line to ensure that it does not spill over when you add the turkey.
5. Place Turkey in the Oil Slowly
Be careful handling the turkey, which will likely be slippery. If you slip and accidentally drop the turkey in the oil too quickly, the oil could overflow or splash, burning you and creating greater potential for fire. Lower the bird in slowly and gently.
6. Wear Safety Gear
Hot oil has a tendency to splatter, causing burns, blisters and ruined clothing. Make sure you wear goggles, gloves and an apron, and do not stand closer to the fryer than you need to.
7. Use a Thermometer
A thermometer is a great tool to use throughout the entire cooking process. Make sure the oil is hot enough before you begin, but watch that it does not become too hot. Cook the turkey only until it reaches the correct temperature then remove it and turn off the fryer immediately.
8. Never Leave the Fryer Unattended
Under no circumstances should you ever leave the fryer unattended. Bring everything you need outside before you begin cooking and ask someone else to retrieve anything you forgot. Fires can start in an instant and you will need to be there to act quickly.
In Case of a Fire
If you experience a fire this Thanksgiving Holiday, make sure to dial 911 immediately and inform your local fire department. If your property is damaged by the fire, call SERVPRO for the fastest response time and professional fire restoration services. SERVPRO of Winter Park specializes in cleaning smoke and soot left by smoke, extracting and drying water left by firefighters, and can help make sure your property is completely restored to the way it was before your disaster. Our phone lines are open 24/7 for emergency fire and water services at (407)-678-5391.
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
- 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
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
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.
Water Damage Timeline Following a Disaster
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!
Water Damage in Orlando Hotels and Resorts
Many tourists cannot bear the Orlando heat and rely heavily on air conditioning units that can malfunction and lead to water damage.
Orlando is one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world, making it prime real estate for many hotels and resorts. All year round, the city serves as the anchor for tourists going to various events, theme parks, and beaches. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your hotel or resort business consistently runs at its optimal levels. For many of your guests, the heat and humidity of Central Florida can be nearly impossible to bear so a room with air conditioning is extremely relied upon. It is common for these units to fail and unload a considerable amount of water. When this type of situation is not dealt with quickly and efficiently, it can cause a significant amount of damage.
Making a Bad Situation Worse
One mistake often made by management in these situations, is the assumption that a temporarily unrentable room is the extent of the problem. However, in most hotel or resort facilities, there are adjoining rooms and areas below the room that have a high chance of damage spreading and affecting even more guests. Delays in the proper removal of water and drying of all affected areas can quickly make the problem worse by introducing mold growth into the situation.
Commercial Water Restoration
In order to lessen the severity of your profit loss and prevent adjoining rooms and areas from being damaged, it is important to act quickly and find a professional restoration company that can have technicians onsite promptly. SERVPRO of Winter Park offers 24/7 emergency services and can help resolve your commercial water damage issues. We restore the damage by using water extraction equipment to remove all standing water and the majority of water that is soaked into carpeting. Afterward, the affected area is completely dried by strategically placed powerful air movers. Tests are also performed to determine the extent of the damage, how much restoration is necessary, and ensure that no moisture is left behind to prevent mold growth in your business and additional issues.
Trusted Restoration Company
Peak season or not, we strongly advise that water damage issues be taken care of quickly when they arise. If you have air conditioners in your Orlando hotel or resort that lead to water damage, give SERVPRO of Winter Park a call. We can be reached anytime at (407) 678-5391.
Working with Insurance Adjusters After a Fire
Taking photos of the damage during an inspection helps for building an estimate and even providing documentation to your adjuster.
Experiencing a fire in your Winter Park home is a possibility that no homeowner wants to consider, however, it is a possibility that occurs more frequently than you may think. There are many causes of fires and they can occur any day, without warning, and cause an overwhelming amount of damage and prolonged effects on your property. Aside from the stress of dealing with a fire itself, the aftermath and process of restoring your property can be equally stressful as well.
The Process with Your Insurance Adjuster
SERVPRO of Winter Park knows how stressful these situations can be and works to make the fire damage restoration process as smooth as possible. Not only do we work to communicate clearly and constantly with you throughout the actual restoration process, but we also communicate with your insurance company and adjuster to help determine which areas of your property require professional restoration services and what items are a loss. Our team works closely with you and your adjuster to make the right determinations and provide the necessary information to get your claim going as quickly as possible.
Fast and Comprehensive Estimate
Working quickly and accurately to provide you and your adjuster with an estimate plays a crucial part in expediting the process of your claim. Our team inspects all of the damage to your home, visible and nonvisible, in order to determine the best course of action for restoration and the amount of equipment, personnel, and time needed to complete the project.
Fire Damage Restoration Process
Once your claims are filed and you are covered by your insurance company, our fire restoration team can get started with the fire damage restoration process and work to get your property restored and functional once again. The length of this process can fluctuate based on the severity of the fire and components affected.
Our crew works diligently to make sure the appropriate measures get taken to overcome all of the damage that your home experienced from the recent fire. If you are facing fire damages in your home, you can trust SERVPRO of Winter Park’s professional team to help you get going in the right direction. Give us a call at any time or day at (407) 678-5391.
8 Signs that Can Predict a Falling Tree
Trees that have multiple trunks are a higher risk of splitting and causing damage during a storm.
Trees can be the perfect accent to the appearance of your home or property. However, they are also one of the most common sources of roof damage, especially during storms. With storm season among us in Central Florida it is important that homeowners and property managers alike are able to recognize some of the signs of trees that are more likely to fall.
1. Leaning to One Side
A slight lean of your tree should not be a huge concern since most trees do not grow perfectly straight. However, be wary of trees that lean uncomfortably in one direction, especially if in the direction of your roof. Leaning trees that are very close to the point of falling sometimes have exposed roots near the base and cracked soil on the opposite side of the lean. In some cases, the cause of the lean can be a weight distribution issue that can be balanced by pruning branches.
2. Multiple Trunks
If you have a tree with U-shaped multiple trunks, be sure to inspect for deep cracks and other signs of weakness. Mature trees are most at risk for splitting down the middle during heavy rains and stormy weather. To prevent the tree’s splitting, consider hiring a certified arborist who can attach cables between trunks and braces to strengthen their bonds.
The best offense is a good defense when it comes to protecting your roof from falling trees. Take the time to inspect trees on your property and mark ones that match some of the above warning signs. Don’t be afraid to remove unstable trees, though you should call an arborist before attempting to fell the tree yourself.
3. A Hole in the Trunk
A cavity can form in the trunk of a tree when the tree prunes itself by dropping a branch. That can lead to decay inside the tree. This doesn’t always mean danger, though, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. If there’s enough sound wood around the cavity, the tree probably won’t fall.
4. Missing Bark or Deep Cracks
An area where tree bark is missing, gashed or indented is called a “canker”. A canker can make a tree more likely to break at that spot, even if the wood looks OK, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Deep cracks in the bark are a bad sign, too.
5. Dead or Falling Branches
When trees start dropping bits of branches or entire branches, it’s a clue that something’s wrong. The tree tries to make itself smaller so there is not as much to feed. Dead branches are a major danger and can come crashing down even on a calm day, according to the USDA Forest Service
6. Losing Leaves from the Outside In
When a tree loses leaves in this pattern often it means something is wrong with the root zone. The root zone is where the tree gets nutrients and water — and it’s what holds the tree up. Without a healthy root system, a tree can fall more easily.
7. Rotten Roots
Root rot can be hard to spot. Look for mushrooms growing around the base of a tree. Fungi growing on the trunk can be another clue that the tree is rotting inside.
8. Tight Branch Growth
When branches grow close together in a V-shape, it’s a bad sign. A strong union will be U-shaped. Elm, maple, oak, yellow poplar and willow trees tend to break at weak forks. When the wind blows, these trees can fall apart. This problem is easiest to spot in winter after the leaves have fallen off.
Risks After Roof Damage From Fallen Trees
The roof is a protector of your home. So, make sure your trees are ready to withstand the stormy weather. A damaged roof may make it easier for your property’s interior to sustain additional damage from water and in many cases mold growth. If you have sustained roof damage, make sure to call a professional roofer to repair the damage. Also, should the roof be damaged during a storm, SERVPRO of Winter Park is available 24/7 at 407-678-5391 to extract water and dry your property to prevent further damage.
5 Mold Remediation Don’ts to Avoid
Painting over mold is looked at as the cheapest option for many property manager and homeowners but only limits your ability to visibly notice growth.
There are plenty of myths out there in regards to proper mold remediation and what actually works. New discoveries about mold are made all the time, and the recommended processes for treatment improves and adapts along with each discovery made. Because of this, predated information still exists and homeowners and property managers tend to use techniques that either make a mold situation worse or have no effect at all. Here are our top five mold remediation don’ts to avoid.
The most common don’t when it comes to mold remediation is the use of bleach for the cleaning or removal of mold. While at one point The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommended the use of chlorine bleach in mold abated, they were the first to retract their recommendation. The Environmental Protection Agency has since retracted their recommendation as well.
The truth when it comes to using chlorine bleach is that it actually CAN kill certain mold types (Aspergillus niger and Trichophyton mentagrophytes) when used on a non-porous surface. The main problems with this are that there are many other types of mold and remediation typically involves disinfecting wood and wood-based building materials, all of which are porous materials. Because the properties of chlorine bleach prevent it from soaking into wood-based materials, the bleach is not able to reach and affect the roots of the mold to stop it at its source. Mold membranes will recognize bleach as a threat, retreat further into the material to avoid it, and in some case, mold can even use the bleach as a fungal food to grow more rapidly. Yes, bleach can potentially make the problem worse! Be wary of any restoration company that recommends the use of bleach as a solution to your mold problems.
Another popular household item that is often used to deal with mold is vinegar. Vinegar is mildly acidic and actually can kill about 82% of mold species. However, when treating mold as a homeowner, you must be aware that visible mold growth in your property may not be the only area that is affected. Choosing this option runs the risk of missing additional mold growth within your property, leaving you unknowingly open to an increasingly worse mold situation. Seeking professional mold testing is always the best option for determining how bad your mold situation is, as well as determining the type of mold you are dealing with. In most cases, calling a professional mold remediation company is the best option, especially when the mold is widespread.
3. Scraping Off
One misconception is that you can remove mold by simply scraping it off. This is a big don’t for a few reasons. Mold is a living organism and disturbing it releases spores into the air which can potentially be breathed in. These released spores also cause the mold to contaminate other accessible areas of the property helping the mold to spread throughout. Scraping mold not only means a significantly higher bill for treating and removing it but also poses an increased health risk for all inhabitants of the property.
4. Ignoring Mold
Aside from making the decision to remediate on their own, many homeowners and property managers also make the decision to leave the mold as is. There are an enormous amount of risks involved when ignoring signs of mold. Mold that is exposed and left untreated is at high risk of being disturbed and spreading. Prolonged exposure to mold, visible or otherwise, can have different effects on people’s health. Another issue with leaving mold untreated is the structural damage that it can cause to your property. The longer that mold is ignored, the bigger your problems will be down the line across the board.
5. Painting Over
Due to either a lack of knowledge on mold or in some cases pure negligence, there are plenty of property managers, landlords and/or homeowners that choose to hide mold by painting over it. One of the biggest issues in property managers doing this is that it limits the inhabitants from quickly noticing the mold. Mold can eat through the majority of paints and become exposed again. By the time this happens, the mold growth is usually significantly worse. There are also mold resistant paints that are misconstrued as a viable option for painting over mold. These paints are intended to be used prior to mold growth on a clean surface to prevent the growth from happening. Using these paints will not take care of the issue and will only prevent you from noticing the problem get worse.
Local Mold Remediation Services
If you notice mold growth in your home or property, call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Winter Park. Our phone line 407-837-8990 is open 24/7 to assist you with your mold disaster.
5 Ways a Roof Can Sustain Storm Damage in Orlando
A lightning strike can cause damage all on its own and can lead to water or fire damage as well.
Whether you are a property manager or own a home, storms in Orlando and the surrounding area can be abrupt and severe, potentially causing damage to your property. Initial damage from these storms can occur in multiple ways including from rain, hail, wind, and even fallen trees. Knowing the possibilities of damage can help you prevent or prepare your property for future storms.
1. Damage from Rains
Orlando is no stranger to heavy and abrupt rainstorms. Strong downpours during a storm have the potential of washing away the granular surface on shingles. The rainwater can also travel under missing seal strips and damaged flashing. Damage from downpours can compromise your roofing system and lead to interior leaking and mold growth as well.
2. Damage from Hail
The size of a hailstone can vary but is usually between pea-sized and marble-sized. The force of these stones pounding down on your rooftop can cause tiny indentations in your roof or dents in the metal flashing of your roof. At a quick glance it may not appear so, but after taking a closer look you may possibly find compromises in the roofing membrane. This particular damage can affect your roof’s ability to prevent water from entering your home. Similar to rain, a persistent amount of hail can remove the granular surface of your roof shingles, which removes their ability to protect your home from UV rays and premature aging. This further increases your likelihood of sustaining extensive roof damage in future storms.
3. Damage from Winds
The most obvious wind damage to your roof is when winds are so strong that they blow your shingles off. Additionally, winds can lift or break a shingle’s sealing strips. Without these strips, water can get underneath your shingles. if not fixed immediately, the water that enters can cause mold growth, roof leaks and damage to interior insulation, plywood, and drywall. Undetected compromises in your roof that are exposed to future storms can even lead to a damaged underlayment causing roof rot to your decking.
4. Damage from Fallen Trees
Trees, or even just tree limbs, can cause damage beyond the visible hole they create in your roof. If the damage occurs during a storm, the hole in your roof provides incoming rainwater with access to other areas of your roof. This can weaken your roof structure and also create mold growth. Even if a fallen tree does not create a hole in your roof, cracks in your rafters or punctures in your shingles or other roofing materials can also lead to water damage.
5. Lightning Strikes
Although it is not common, lightning has caused damage to residential and commercial properties in the past. In just a few seconds, your home can go from perfectly sound to severely damaged from one strike of lightning. Roofs often take a major hit, and metal gutters are especially susceptible, too. A bolt of lightning can puncture a roof, sear the surrounding materials, and tear through attics. A powerful enough strike can tear off shingles and gutters, leaving the roof a disaster. In addition to leaving your home exposed to water damage, a lightning strike can also potentially cause a fire, increasing the amount of damage.
Has Your Roof Experienced Storm Damage?
If you have sustained damage to your roof and property after a storm, SERVPRO of Winter Park can assist you with water extraction and drying your property. While your roofing company makes sure to fix the damage to your roof, we make sure you are not sustaining long-term damage in all areas of your property. Give us a call at any hour in Orlando at 407-678-5391!
Types of Fires and How They Are Extinguished
Knowing the type of fire you are trying to extinguish is essential for safely attempting to put it out and can help avoid making the fire worse.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were approximately 1,345,500 fires nationwide in 2015. As a homeowner or property manager, being aware of the different types of fires and how they are extinguished can help you to quickly resolve a fire incident, avoid making it worse, and even determine when the risks are too high for any attempt at extinguishing the flames. In the event of any fire, your safety and health should be your number one priority at all times. If you are concerned about your safety at any point, vacate the property, keep a safe distance, and wait for your local fire department to arrive. The types of fires are generally split into the 5 classes listed below.
Class A - Ordinary Combustible Fires
This common type of fire happens when materials are heated to their ignition temperature. Heat, oxygen, and fuel will allow a combustible fire to continue burning. Rubber, plastic, textiles, wood, paper and organic carbon-based compounds are a few of the materials that can be involved in these types of fires.
Combustible fires are usually the most simple to extinguish since spraying with water will cool the flames and source material. By removing the supply of heat, the fire is left without the essentials needed to burn. A water-based or foam based fire extinguish is recommended for Class A fires.
Class B - Flammable Liquids
Any liquid substance that has an ignition temperature below 100°C is classified as a flammable liquid. These liquids burn easily due to having a low flashpoint ( the temperature of a substance where enough vapor to be ignited is released). If a spark, flame, or any other source of ignition is applied to a flammable liquid, they can burn at any temperature. Types of flammable liquids include, but are not limited to, petrol, kerosene, alcohol, solvents, and paints.
When attempting to extinguish a Class B fire, it is important that you DO NOT use water to put the fire out. Splashing water can cause the flammable liquid to spread, spreading the fire along with it. Instead, smother the flames using a foam extinguisher. It is also important to note that Class B fires produce a thick and black toxic smoke, so avoiding the fire and waiting for the professionals may be the best route.
Class C - Flammable Gases
Butane, propane, and petroleum are a few flammable gases that have the potential for creating explosions if triggered by a spark. These fires are amongst the most dangerous and only need about a 5% concentration of flammable gas in the air to burn.
These fires should always be left to your fire department. Once on scene, they will have to isolate the fire’s gas supply and then use dry powder extinguishers. Most other extinguishers are ineffective against Class C Fires.
Class D - Metal Fires
Metals are good conductors and most require a lot of heat to ignite. Certain types of metals can burn if ignited. Metal shavings and powders pose a higher fire risk than solid masses of metal. Alkali metals such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium can burn when in contact with air and water. Therefore, spraying water or foam onto metal fires will increase the intensity of the flames and can potentially cause explosive reactions sending pieces of burning metal in all directions.
When dealing with a Class D fire, the safest approach is usually to allow the fire to burn out on its own. These type of fires tend to occur in industrial properties with large amounts of burning metal and an increased chance of explosions. Class D fires have a tendency for producing large amounts of ash, which builds up and starves the fire’s supply of oxygen. For metal fires that are spotted early, special type D powder fire extinguishers can be effective. Just make sure to check that they are the specific dry powder type intended for use on metal fires.
Electrical fires do not have a class of their own and are designated to Class C in the United States. However, they have their own fire safety requirements and are important to mention. These fires can be caused by short circuits, overloaded switchboards, faulty equipment and damaged wiring.
Before attempting to extinguish an electrical fire, it is important to isolate its electrical supply as quickly as possible. Water and foam are both conductors for electricity, so even after isolation, it is not safe to use them as extinguishers. The only types of extinguishers recommended for safely addressing electrical fires are carbon dioxide and dry powder fire extinguishers.
Class F - Cooking Oil Fires
Fires that involve cooking oil and fats are classified as Class F. These fires are common in homes, businesses and professional kitchens. They pose a very difficult challenge to extinguish, due to the high temperatures involved. Simply trying to cool the fire with water will not work. In fact, using water on a burning pan is likely to cause a rapid spreading out of the flames, making the fire worse and potentially injuring anyone in its vicinity.
For this reason, special fire extinguishers have been developed to address Class F fires. Wet chemical extinguishers contain a formula which cools the fire and then mixes with the oil to seal the surface and prevent re-ignition.
Fire Damage Restoration
SERVPRO of Winter Park does not extinguish fires. In case of a fire emergency, please contact your local emergency services and fire department for assistance. If you have suffered from fire damage to your property, give us a call at 407-678-5391. Our phone lines are open 24 hours to assist you and our skilled technicians can help you assess the extent of the damage to get the fire damage restoration process going.
Orlando Water Damage Companies
Our technicians are trained to use the best equipment available to restore your property.
One of the main disasters affecting residential and commercial properties in the USA is water damage. For the Orlando area, the most common cause of water damage is severe flooding. SERVPRO of Winter Park specializes in incidences like burst water pipes, floodwater, and many other causes.
Any type of water damage encountered in the Orlando, FL area should be immediately seen to by a professional expert in the Orlando water damage restoration industry. At SERVPRO of Winter Park, our team consists of highly trained and experienced staff. Our expert teams go through a proven step by step process for rectifying your problem and getting you back into your property. Our water damage restoration process has been proven effective for many years and results in the fastest turnaround times to get people back into their homes or businesses.
Safety should not only be a priority for you, but for your restoration company of choice as well. The best Orlando water damage professionals understand the importance of safety and the health risks of everyone involved when safety precautions are not taken. Make sure the services provided are thorough. For example, baseboards should be pulled to ensure there is no excess water trapped behind them that could lead to mold growth. Many times, mold is already present during water extraction jobs where the damage happened a few days or more prior. In these cases, your restoration company should be doing everything possible to prevent mold spores from being disrupted and spread further throughout the property.
The SERVPRO brand and reputation has been built over years and all our customers have complimented our reliability. At SERVPRO of Winter Park, we stand by our reputation as a reliable water damage restoration company by setting clear expectations before jobs are started. We communicate with our clients throughout the entire process, keeping our clients informed, answering questions, addressing concerns, and making good on our promises. Returning you and your property to the state it was immediately prior to the flooding occurring is how we ensure full satisfaction in every possible situation.
Distance from Property
It is important to hire a restoration company that is near in proximity and can arrive on scene quickly whether during an initial emergency call or routine visits throughout the process. Our SERVPRO franchise is physically located in Winter Park, however, we service the Orlando area as well and utilize the many access routes to place us on the scene at your property in a timely fashion.
As a registered and fully certified company, SERVPRO of Winter Park is always striving for excellence and improvement in processes to ensure that you always enjoy excellent service with our dedicated response teams. We keep up with the evolution of technologies and processes to make sure that we use the newest resources and techniques available to make your restoration job a full success.
No disaster is a fun situation for our clients. During this highly stressful time, we do our best to ensure a smooth process and meet our clients' goals while maintaining high standards. We pride ourselves on making a water disaster “Like it never even happened”. We keep noise to a minimum and try to respect the need for accessible pathways for employees or residents.
A good practice to keep when searching for a restoration company is looking at their public reviews. Let a company’s past clients paint a picture of what your services with them may look like. There is something to say about a client who’s disaster situation was taken care of so well that they took to an online platform like Google or Yelp to let the public know about their experience.
If you are in a situation that requires an Orlando water damage repair company and you want to make sure that your problem is dealt with in the best possible way, then give us a call at (407) 678-5391 any time of day no matter how severe the problem is.
Water Damage and It's Hidden Signs
Watermarks and stains are a sign of a previous or existing leak.
Water damage is one of the last things any property manager or homeowner wants to deal with. Unfortunately, the weather in Central FL cities such as Winter Park and Orlando is known for its spontaneous rain and storms. Couple this with the fact that any facility, whether residential or commercial, must have a substantial supply of water and a clearer picture of how likely a water disaster can strike is painted.
A few examples of how water damage can occur on a property are sewage overflow, ruptured water pipes, water heater leaks, dishwasher malfunctions, or in many cases flooding from a severe storm or hurricane. Aside from the visible or obvious causes of water damage, what many homeowners and property managers may not notice are slow leaks and/or plumbing issues that can quietly damage a property.
Knowing the signs of hidden water damage will better equip a building or homeowner to detect leaks that can lead to damage or even discover if a property has suffered from water damage in the past.
Signs of Hidden Water Damage
- Wallpaper and Paint - If a wallpaper adhesive is used on the property, check for signs of peeling. In properties with interior paint, a water leak behind a wall may cause raised and wavy lines.
- Baseboards and Trim - Look for baseboards and trims that are separating from the wall. Exposure to water may cause swelling over time, which may push the baseboard from their flush placement against the wall.
- Wooden Furniture - Wooden furniture may swell if exposed to water for a prolonged time.
- Bathroom Tiles - Check the floor tiles around your toilet for darker colored grout. This is a sign of a leaking toilet.
- Unexplained Moisture - If a pipe ruptures in your concrete slab, it can slowly lead to warped floorboards, cracked tile or damp carpet if the right amount of water is soaked up by the under-padding.
- Sweating Walls - Blotches of condensation are a common sign that excessive moisture is festering behind the walls. This can be caused by a leak or a mixture of high humidity, poor ventilation and/or inadequate insulation.
- Mold - Any presence of mold or mildew is a solid sign that an area has been exposed to water and the right amount of humidity for at least 48 hours.
- Watermarks and Stains - Ceiling marks and stains, commonly seen in office buildings, are a sign of a previous or existing leak.
- Swollen Door Casing – Water leaks can cause an exposed door casing to swell and become unaligned. A door that begins to have trouble opening and closing could be a sign of a leak.
Keep these hidden signs of water damage to your property in mind to be better prepared and aware if a water disaster strikes. Should you notice a sign of damage, hidden or visible, SERVPRO of Winter Park’s phone lines are open 24/7. Our experts in the restoration field can perform an in-depth water damage assessment to ensure our restoration services are successful. To speak to a water and mold expert, give us a call at 407-678-5391.
6 Common Causes of Residential Fires
Fires related to cooking make up about 42% of all reported causes of residential fires in the U.S.
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) The United States averages between 350,000 and 400,000 fires every year. That translates to an average of 39 – 46 fires every hour! By knowing the most common ways a fire is started, a majority of these fires can be prevented.
The leading cause of residential fires are incidents related to cooking. Cooking incidents actually make up about 42% of reported house fires in the country! For example, an oven or stove left on and unattended is a disaster waiting to strike.
Electrical fires are another common type of home fires. One of the leading culprits is the over-use of extension cords. Extension cords are designed to safely pull a certain amount of amps, so make sure to read labels and know the limitations of the cord you are using. We recommend having an electrical inspection performed by a certified electrician at least once a year.
Teaching children about fire safety is definitely something every parent should consider. It is extremely common for items such as lighter and matches to be left within reach of children who are not aware of the dangers of fire.
Smoking is the source of many house fires and leads to almost 1,000 deaths a year. Lit cigarettes that have been left unattended, forgotten about can make contact with flammable items in your home and lead to a fire. Another common occurrence is smokers falling asleep while smoking in their home. We recommend not smoking in your home or quitting altogether, however, if you choose to smoke in your home you should always make sure to extinguish your cigarette.
Candles should never be left unattended but oftentimes are. When leaving a room with a burning candle make sure to blow it out or take it along with you if necessary. Forgotten candles are very dangerous and can quickly lead to a fire disaster.
Dryers are all too often forgotten! It is important to remember to empty out your dryer vents and be certain that they are properly vented. Remember to maintain your dryer by cleaning the vents at least once a year.
When Disaster Strikes
There are many possible causes and contributors to residential fires. Being aware of the causes listed above will go a long way in helping to prevent fire damage or much worse in your home. In case of an emergency, please be sure to dial 911 to reach a local emergency responder. Also, keep in mind that SERVPRO of Winter Park performs excellent fire restoration services and is available 24/7 to take your call!
4 Commercial Water Damage Steps to Take After a Disaster
Protective shoes and gear can protect you from hidden hazards you can not see in the water.
Hopefully, you never experience a major commercial water damage disaster in your business. With that being said, it is critical to know how to handle a water damage situation before it happens so you are adequately prepared if it does. Flooding can cause a variety of issues including structural damage. As a business owner, you can avoid additional disasters by ensuring the following steps are taken immediately after water damage occurs.
1. Protect Yourself
The safety of you and your employees should be your first priority. Make sure to never put your hands anywhere you cannot see first. Wearing sturdy shoes when walking in flood waters can protect your feet from hidden debris in the water that can trip or cut you. Flood waters can be contaminated so wearing hip waders is also a good idea. Look out for snakes or other creatures that may have been displaced by the flood.
If you are unsure or concerned about your safety at any point in time, remain outside of the property and wait for your restoration company to arrive. They will know all of the procedures and safety precautions to take in order to keep themselves and others safe.They will also have protective gear to wear as they are assessing the situation.
2. Shut Off Potential Hazards
If it is safe to do so, you will want to make sure that you turn off any electricity to the affected areas. You don’t, however, want them to be turned on before you are ready. Doing so can potentially mix electricity and water or create a gas leak before the flood damage can be corrected.
Your restoration company will have access to special tools that can detect moisture. This is key to ensuring the property is completely dried out and preventing any mold from growing. For example, a digital moisture meter is able to find signs of moisture behind walls
3. Take Plenty of Photos
For insurance purposes, it is a great idea to be as thorough as possible when documenting the water damage in your property. Taking lots of pictures will help you when filing a claim with your insurance company. Get photographic evidence of the damage that was left behind by the water, plus any water that is still there. Document all that you can and then speak with your insurance company as quickly as you can to get the claims process going.
4. Salvage What you Can
Keep in mind that it is extremely common for any property affected by a water disaster to experience mold growth. Mold only needs about twenty-four to forty-eight hours to start growing. Drying out the entire property as fast as possible is essential to preventing it from doing so.
The professional restoration company can assist you in this, but you will need to throw away anything that has been saturated for over forty-eight hours and figure out on a case to case basis what else can be saved or needs to be thrown away. Rugs and padding will always need to be tossed if they are damaged by flood waters.
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.
Water Damage to Fabrics
Water Damaged Sofa in Orlando? Let SERVPRO Help.
SERVPRO Can Salvage Fabrics from Water Damage
Some of the most at-risk objects and materials in a home come in the form of fabrics. Fabric and textiles make up our furniture, our flooring, drapes, our belongings, and sometimes even our walls and appliances, and all of these are highly susceptible to water damage. Thankfully, most types of water damage to fabrics are restorable and treatable in the hands of trained professionals. Depending on the type of fabric and its use, we vary our approach considerably when taking on a job for water damage restoration to fabrics.
Issues in General
Common throughout most types of fabric taking on water damage in Orlando are a few constant problems. For homeowners, the most troubling are often staining and discoloration, which can permanently ruin the appearance of some types of fabric if not treated correctly. Depending on the kind of water damage and fabric, our technicians may be able to remove this staining without replacing anything.
When it absorbs water, carpeting and padding can become heavily warped and misshapen. If not treated quickly, this may lead to a complete replacing of the material. Furthermore, carpeting is often harmed through flooding, which means that the general fabric damages are often most dangerous and prominent here. However, if only a portion of the carpet is too far gone, it can typically be removed and replaced if a successful drying out of the remaining carpet and pad has been accomplished.
Drapes and Window Coverings
Drapes and window treatments can also sustain water damage through flooding, but are also a common casualty after storm damage. If the damage is significant, it can be difficult to fully restore large and heavy drapes, although damage is often light enough to allow for full restoration.
Fabric furniture pieces can sustain all of the usual problems, but are also highly susceptible to color bleed. Following a flood or significant water wicking into a piece of furniture, we recommend removing all pillows, sheets, and cushions from the furniture, if possible. This may help to mitigate damage to the non-fabric portions of the furniture.
Most articles of clothing can survive light to moderate water damage with a thorough dry cleaning. For heavier damage or flooding, however, it is typically best to replace most items, as they may present a hazard or be too costly to restore.
SERVPRO of Winter Park is an experienced and well-staffed home restoration and cleanup service provider which has helped dozens of local home and business owners to get past even the worst catastrophes. For our services or a quote, call us 24/7 at (407) 678-5391.
What to Do After a Commercial Fire Damage Emergency
Fire Damage in an Orlando Office Gets Restored by SERVPRO
After Flames Close Your Business, Call SERVPRO for Fire Damage Restoration
Thousands of businesses are affected by commercial fire damage each year due to a wide range of causes. Whether it's a restaurant that encounters a fire, an office in a building that was affected by a nearby disaster, or a severe storm that sparks flames, such an event is never easy to deal with.
Few proprietors are prepared to grapple with the aftermath of a fire because it's not something that most business owners expect will happen to them. Entrepreneurs who suffer commercial fire damage in Orlando may feel at a loss when it comes to picking up the pieces and resuming business as usual. Here are three key steps you should consider taking after a fire has shut down your business.
1. Get in contact with your insurance company right away.
Not only will this be one of the most relevant steps to getting back open and serving your customers, but also your insurance company will provide the funds needed to make repairs to your business. We know how to navigate the commercial claims process, and any repairs that we complete will meet or exceed your insurance provider's requirements.We do emphasize that we are not an insurance company.
2. Secure the remaining equipment and property in your building.
Unfortunately, commercial fire damage increases the likelihood of vandalism and theft, as your building will be left vulnerable and less secure. Patching up walls, doors, and windows, even temporarily, can go a long way towards preventing further problems. The experts at SERVPRO have the experience and tools needed to secure your business's exterior and interior quickly. As a result, your property will be safeguarded, and any further damage to the building will be minimized.
3. Be mindful of smoke damage.
Even if it appears that your business was only minimally affected by commercial fire damage, the building likely has lingering smoke that will destroy your equipment, documents, and inventory over time. When you call SERVPRO, we'll thoroughly inspect your business for smoke damage and effectively clean it up, eliminate odors and restore satisfactory indoor air quality.
The team at SERVPRO of Winter Park knows how devastating commercial fire damage can be, and we're committed to helping you get your business back up and running. To obtain a quote or get more information about our fire repair and restoration services, call us 24/7 at (407) 678-5391.
Cleaning Up Fire and Soot Damage
Smoke Damage Degrades IAQ in Your Aloma Home
Fire & Smoke Damage Cleanup is SERVPRO's Cornerstone Expertise
The term fire damage is actually a little inaccurate. The source of most damage to someone's home doesn't come from the fire itself. Most damage and the resulting replacement and restoration costs would come from smoke and soot unless it were a major incendiary event. In areas with large amounts of surrounding vegetation, like ours, the smoke damage to a home can come from blocks away.
Regardless if it comes from the surrounding area or if your home itself is the source of fire damage, an Aloma home can suffer thousands of dollars in damage after just a few minutes. SERVPRO has the equipment and the expertise to put homeowners and renters back into their residence as swiftly as possible.
Once damage does happen, our technicians are fully trained and certified under the guidelines of The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to restore your home to its original state. Our technicians also receive corporate and franchise level training. Local teams learn the latest procedures to clean carpets, furniture and surfaces of soot and to remove the smoke odor that can linger for weeks in an untreated home.
Our franchise maintains its set of commercial grade vacuums to remove soot and other residue. Our blowers and exhaust fans can be adapted to work from a large family room to a small laundry closet. We also maintain a very deep shelf of cleaning products specialized for every surface in a home from marble countertop cleaners to soaps and dry sponges that gently remove soot and not the paint underneath. Please note that whatever else you may do before help arrives, there is one thing you must NOT do once damage has happened, especially if you can already see soot. Do not turn on your HVAC unit, even if there is sweltering heat; not even the fan by itself. It's almost overpowering to want to clear the air, but if you do, you will blow even more soot throughout your home, even into areas that might not already be fire and smoke damaged. All filters have to be replaced first, and the registers in each room must be covered to prevent further contamination. We can use HEPA grade filtration systems, air scrubbers, and ozone machines to help improve the IAQ, indoor air quality.
SERVPRO of Winter Park is a locally owned franchise. All of us here are part of the community and have a vested interest in helping our neighbors. You are not just a paycheck to us. If you have fire damage or would like to schedule a free inspection to help prevent future damage, call us today at (407) 678-5391.
Carpet Cleaning Professionals
Regular Carpet Cleaning Can Extend the Life of Your Carpet
SERVPRO Can Get the Deep Dirt Out of Your Carpet
It is suggested by carpeting manufacturers that carpets should be professionally cleaned every 12 months. During the interim, carpets should be cared for with regular maintenance solutions. These steps involve using walk-off mats to lessen the amount of soil tracked onto the carpet; regular vacuuming; removing spots, pilating (or grooming) the carpet to prevent matting and moving furniture to change traffic patterns. As beautiful and aesthetic as carpeting is, it is a natural dirt and soil filter trap. It traps and holds dust, crumbs, dirt, gasses, pet hair, and other soil contaminants.
Our Winter Park carpet cleaning service is designed to keep your indoor air a healthy breathing environment. When you look at your carpeting, you may only see the dirt trapped on the top fibers. The truth is that more dirt, bacteria, and germs are hiding below the surface. The hidden contaminants are causing damage to the life of your carpeting. We offer specialized cleaning methods based on your carpeting material. We provide a premier cleaning system, which also involves bonnet cleaning, hot water extraction, deluxe preconditioning and rinse, as well as a quality dry cleaning.
Let us take the drudgery of carpet cleaning out of your hands. Place this necessary chore into the hands of your local professionals. We offer regular carpet cleaning services that will keep your carpet looking new. Protect your flooring investment by having SERVPRO clean and maintain your carpets. We use safe state-of-the-art equipment and solutions. Our certified and experienced technicians will get the job done right the first time and every time.
SERVPRO of Winter Park is your go-to carpet cleaning service. We are proud to be a part of the community with our locally owned and operated company. Our expert professionals are here to fulfill your office and/or home carpet cleaning needs. When you need your residential and commercial carpet cleaned, don't hesitate, contact us today at (407) 678-5391.
SERVPRO appears on News 6 Storm Prep 2016
Victoria and Vern of SERVPRO of Winter Park participated in the News 6 'Call Our Experts' Storm Prep 2016 broadcast.
SERVPRO of Winter Park representatives Vern Boatman, Lynn Sadowski and Victoria Boatman participated in the News 6 Storm Prep 2016 broadcast. In addition to appearing on News 6 sharing helpful storm tips as Tropical Storm Colin crossed the state, they also manned the phone lines answering questions from Winter Park, Orlando and other local residents.
Helping home and business owners recover from storm- and flood-damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained team of local professionals use advanced training and specialized equipment to quickly restore your property to pre-storm condition. We’re available 24/7 and dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to minimize secondary damage to your residential or commercial property.
Our team was at the WKMG News 6 Studios to help local residents prepare for the storm season. We shared helpful hints on air as well as through the ‘News 6 Call Our Expert’s’ phone bank. Emphasis was put on the ‘Three S’s’, 1 - Safety, 2 - Salvage and 3 - Service.
You can watch the two News 6 interviews by clicking here and here.
As the local leader in resolving water damage, we have a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. For information on how we can help you prepare for a storm, call us at (407) 678-5391.
What to Do if You Have Downtown Orlando Commercial Water Damage
Commercial water damage in downtown Orlando can be devastating for any business owner.
Getting Help With Water Remediation Service in Downtown Orlando
Floods can occur in downtown offices, retail and other commercial spaces for a number of reasons. For example, a flood may develop after a heavy rainstorm, a plumbing issue or for other reasons. If you are dealing with a flood on your property, you may want to restore the property as quickly as possible. Your urgency may be to continue business as usual. If you have downtown Orlando commercial water damage, you may be wondering how to respond to the situation that you are facing.
Turn off the Water Supply
If your downtown Orlando commercial water issue is the result of a plumbing problem, the first step that you should take is to stop the flow of water into the property. You can do this by turning off the main water valve that supplies the broken pipe with water. In some cases, this may be the main water supply to the entire building or a localized valve to a particular section of the plumbing. You can also call a plumber to repair the pipes for you as soon as possible so that you can once again turn the water valves back on.
Remove the Water
Immediately after you take these steps, you will need to begin working on removing the standing water from the property. You should not start the water extraction process yourself but contact a professional downtown Orlando commercial water remediation service. Professionals will use extraction equipment to remove the standing water quickly from the smallest spaces. Keep in mind that it is important to remove the water as soon as possible so that the potential for additional damage is kept to a minimum.
Dry out the Property
You may think that the property is dried out after the standing water has been removed, but this is not necessarily the case. The reality is that the air, drywall, and other surfaces may still be moist. Additional efforts must be taken to return humidity levels to normal and restore the condition of the home as much as possible. Professional remediation services use powerful fans to dry out the air and the surfaces in the home so that they are returned to normal. After this, the property can be restored through construction or other methods.
Call for Professional Assistance
Restoring a property after a flood is not a matter to take lightly, and you may understandably want to restore the property as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Winter Park is the water extraction and remediation company to call for fast results. We are a local company that is ready to respond to requests for service without delay. You can reach us today for assistance with your property by calling (407) 678-5391.
SERVPRO For Reliable Restoration Services
When you are dealing with the aftermath of College Park water damage to your property, you will need to call upon the assistance of professionals.
Call SERVPRO for Water Damage Cleanup In College Park
Water damage to your College Park property, you will need to call upon the assistance of a professional cleanup and restoration service. Whether the damage is due to a burst water main, sewer system malfunction, or flash flood, it is always best to address the damage and repair it as soon as possible.
A Fast Response to Your Emergency Situation Is Crucial
It is highly important that the professionals hired to take care of the job respond to your emergency in a prompt and professional manner. As soon as they arrive at your property, they will begin an immediate inspection of the damaged areas and then offer you a professional assessment of the work that needs to be performed.
Once the initial examination and evaluation are completed, the primary objective is to clear out all of the remaining water from your property. This process begins with the removal of all of the water that is standing in your house, collecting in pools and causing bacterial and other damage. The method also includes fully vacuuming your home and repairing any cracks and crevices where water can collect unseen and potentially cause further damage months or years down the road.
After all of the water has been removed from your property, they will then proceed to remove all of the debris and other foreign matter that may have collected on your property as a result of the emergency. Once the waste cleanup is complete, the professionals should be able to remove all remaining odors and other residual sources of trouble to make your property completely secure for you and your family to live in again.
SERVPRO of Winter Park Can Help You Deal With College Park Water Damage
When you need a prompt response to your emergency situation, it makes sense to call a local restoration service to get a timely and efficient response. Our team is available to residents in the entire metropolitan area, including College Park, Orlando, Maitland, Thorton Park, Baldwin Park, Oviedo, and Waterford Lakes. You can feel free to contact us at any time with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding our property restoration services. When it comes to dealing with College Park water damage, it pays to call upon a professional provider of property restoration services. When you need a fast, cost effective solution to your water damage crisis, we have the knowledge, skills, and experience to be of service to you. Contact SERVPRO of Winter Park today at (407) 678-5391.
After A Devastating Fire Damage in Orlando - Steps to Take
When a fire strikes, call a professional restoration company to help restore your home back to normal.
Fire Damage - Steps to Take After a Fire
When the devastating fire that ripped through your home is extinguished, and everyone is safe, you want to focus on measures you can take to minimize damage and reduce expenses for restoration. To do that follow these steps:
1. Clean all clothing to remove smoke or fire odors that could cause damage to the fabrics. Not to mention you can make them smell better. Clothes that are severely soiled from A damageing fire should be taken to a professional cleaner.
2. Thoroughly scrub all outside areas of your home with a strong disinfectant. These cleaners can help remove soot and harmful bacteria. Be sure to wear gloves and other safety equipment. Target all areas of your home such as floors, walkways, walls, glass, and screens.
3. Now you can move to the interior of your home. Cleaning inside includes scrubbing and disinfecting walls, cabinets, counters, tables, flooring, tables, chairs, and other areas. Remember to wear the same safety gear for interior projects.
4. Clean all of your fire damaged furniture in Orlando thoroughly. You do not want to damage sensitive material with harsh cleaners. Some furniture may need to be discarded if it is too badly damaged.
5. Next, restore fire damaged draperies and tapestries with an odor neutralizer spray. This spray helps combat the soot and fire damage that has penetrated deep into the fabrics. If your fire damage in Orlando is too much to handle on your own, consult a professional restoration expert.
6. Deodorize carpets and mattresses if possible. Steam cleaning could be considered as an option. Wash or dust all household items.
7. Finally, do not forget the importance of cleaning the ventilation systems in your home. The HVAC cleaning requires calling a fire damage restoration professional in Orlando. Heating/Cooling systems need all vents, ductwork, and filters thoroughly cleaned to ensure soot and smoke particles are not being cycled through the air in your home.
If you suffer fire damage , we respond to your needs day or night. We want to help and serve our community. For more information or an estimate call SERVPRO of Winter Park at (407) 678-5391.
Dont Wast Money Water Damage Requires Immediate Treatment
Don't Waste Your Water and Money on a Leak, Call SERVPRO
SERVPRO Can Restore Your Water Damaged College Park Home
Water damage in College Park results in a frequent service call to SERVPRO of Winter Park. As an area known for its older homes, water damage can be more intrusive to an older structure, making time the most important element of the cleanup process. We take great care in giving our customers the best possible outcome. To ensure this during a water leak, such as a pipe burst, we encourage our clients to contact us as soon as they become aware of the leak. But not all leaks are created equal, and some will come slower than others. If you notice a smell, soft drywall or growth in your home, these could be indicators of a small leak that has built up over time.
The Big Burst
When a pipe in your College Park home decides to break, it can be a very unexpected and shocking experience. To prepare yourself, make sure you know where the water shut-off is in the case of an emergency such as a pipe burst. The City of College Park should be able to assist you in locating your water shut off valve if you are unsure. Knowing how to turn your water off can be a vital element if you experience a pipe burst. It can keep water from affecting additional areas in your home and potentially save you time and money in repairs. If you still haven’t found the water shut off by the time SERVPRO of Winter Park comes to assist you in your emergency water damage, then our experienced technicians will help in any way they can. An essential element for restoring a water damaged home "Like it never even happened" is discovering and stopping the source of the water flow. Then SERVPRO of Winter Park will be able to start the process of removing the water in your College Park home. In these situations, it’s not only critical that we get all the water out but that we prevent additional damage.
Leaks come in all shapes and sizes, but the smaller ones are usually harder to identify. Your College Park home could be experiencing soft drywall or small puddles that keep reappearing. Unlike pipe bursts, these pinhole leaks emit water over time and become more damaging the longer they’re left untreated. If you believe your College Park home has a leak, contact SERVPRO of Winter Park, and we will happily come out to assess the water damage repair. With our state-of-the-art equipment, such as the infrared camera, we can unobtrusively tell if there is moisture in a wall. Our trained professionals will then be able to walk you through the next step to remediate your water damage.
We Use Advanced Drying Equipment and Techniques
Using specialized equipment and products, SERVPRO of Winter Park technicians extract standing water and dry your property quickly and efficiently. We complete the job with professional-grade cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing products. Call us 24/7 for emergency fire and water damaging events in College Park, Orlando, and Oviedo. (407) 678-5391
How to Stop Damage from a Window Leak in Orlando
SERVPRO Has the Devices and Equipment to Keep Your House Dry
Water Damage Can Escalate Fast - Orlando Can Count SERVPRO
If you have identified a leak in one of your windows, it can lead to water damage in Orlando. Take steps to fix it quickly. If left to deteriorate, the problem will turn into something much more difficult to repair. It is very easy for invading water to cause additional damage and wood rot, so waste no time and call in an expert water damage team, if necessary.
Identify the Source
The first step is always to try and uncover the spot where the water is making its way inside. While this might sound simple, it can be very tricky. Just because you find water pooling in a particular spot on the sill or around the drywall, this does not mean that this area is the point of intrusion. Water will run with gravity, often quite far from its source. Take a close look at the whole window, focusing mainly on the frame, sash, and the edges of the glass. Carefully examine the caulking around the perimeter, because degradation of this material is a common cause of leaks.
A lot of windows only show signs of leakage if the rain outside is bad or there is a storm, so you may have trouble finding the source in dry conditions. You can, however, ask a helper to step outside and spray the window with water (from a bucket, hose, etc.), so that you have a better chance of discovering the water damaged problem area. SERVPRO can check with a moisture meter for hidden wet areas within the window area or adjoining walls and ceiling. Dehumidifiers and air movers can be placed to pull out moisture and increase evaporation.
Fix the Leak for Good
The only way to tell if you can repair the leak alone is to identify its source and assess how serious it is. If the water is entering in the flashing, above the window, it will need to be removed and upgraded. Or, you may need to replace the caulking around the window. If you are not confident about the outcome, call in a professional to do the repairs.
Water damage can appear in many forms. If water wicks into porous material like drywall or ceiling tiles, it usually has to be discarded. We recommend hiring a leak detector or plumber to find and stop the leak from the source. For any amount of standing water and/or moisture, it may be wise to call in SERVPRO for an assessment of the problem and suggestions for remediation. Don't allow a small quantity of water to cascade into a major, expensive water damaging event. We can restore water damage 'Like it never even happened."
Highly-Trained Water Restoration Specialists
We are water damage specialists. SERVPRO of Winter Park gets your property in College Park, Orlando, and Baldwin dry and back to pre-water damage condition. We are ready 24/7 to help. (407) 678-5391
Downtown Orlando Commercial Fire Damage Advice
SERVPRO Says Keep Fire Exits Clear
SERVPRO Offers Fire Damage Preventative Tips For A Downtown Orlando Business
Fire damage to a commercial enterprise can be catastrophic on the property damage issue and of closing the doors to clients and customers. A commercial property owner, having to deal with this unexpected extreme event, needs all the help he can get. The fact that the fire can force a business owner to stop temporarily operating or even shut down permanently can result in deep financial consequences. However, learning more about business fire prevention and what steps to handle them can limit business owners from experiencing substantial financial loss, stress, and the complete destruction of their property. Discover more about these important issues by referring to the quick reference guide provided for you below compliments of SERVPRO.
What Causes Business Fires? A wide range of factors can cause business fires.
- fire from an adjoining commercial property or suite
- electrical fire, or commercial kitchen flare-up
- lightning strike, very prevalent in the Orlando area
- natural disasters like earthquakes, more likely a sinkhole
Business Interruption Insurance
Typically, companies who are not able to survive following a fire fail to do so because they did not have business interruption insurance. While companies who do purchase this insurance may find it challenging to recover fully, it is still easier for them to get back to business. Thus, although the insurance typically costs 10% more than a business owner's standard premium, the investment is considered to be a prudent and practical one. And SERVPRO is usually at the top of the list of preferred vendors for many insurance and property management companies. We can coordinate a restoration plan with your insurance adjuster and help manage the insurance claim, reducing your stress.
Fire Prevention Strategies
In addition to investing in business interruption insurance, business owners should implement the following fire prevention strategies:
- Do not store flammable items in an open spot. Keep an organized stockroom and inventory storage area to prevent damage from fire.
- Check quarterly that your smoke alarms are functioning properly, and if installed, working fire-suppressant sprinkler system.
- Develop and implement a thorough, effective fire evacuation plan, have lighted exit signs and no blockage of emergency exit doors.
- Make sure that your appliances, electronics, and machinery are shut off when closed, if possible.
- Ensure that fire extinguishers and emergency directions are in viewable and accessible locations, emergency phone numbers visible
- Make sure that your backup drives and critical paperwork are kept in a fireproof safe or cloud storage.
Call SERVPRO Today
Unfortunately, even extensive planning cannot prevent your commercial property from possible fire damage in Downtown Orlando. A lot can happen in this thriving environment. However, if disaster strikes, the professionals of SERVPRO can provide you with the fire damage restoration services that get your property and business back into operation. Our IICRC-certified technicians offer a fast response. And we can mitigate the water, smoke and fire damage and handle the restoration project, saving you money. From start to completion, our goal is to get your doors reopened in minimal time and cost. "Like it never even happened."
Commercial Restoration Presents Unique ChallengesSERVPRO of Winter Park has the equipment, experience, and training to handle large commercial fire damage emergencies in Downtown Orlando, a big box fire in Winter Park or even a small motel in College Park. Because we are faster to any disaster, we respond 24/7 to all calls. 407 678-5391
How To Prepare A HIgh Rise Building For Water Damage in Orlando Florida
Your contingency plan should include the phone numbers of significant people and businesses, including your insurance agent and SERVPRO.
How To Prepare Your Orlando Business For Water Damage
One of the most challenging experiences an Orlando business owner can undergo is water damage. In addition to interrupting your daily operations, water damage can compromise the structural integrity of your property. However, learning how to prepare for this type of damage can prevent you from losing your emotional and economic equilibrium. Learn more about how to handle water damage by reviewing the steps and strategies outlined below:
Create an Emergency Plan
One of the fundamental things you should do to prepare your Orlando business is to create an emergency plan. This system will function as a guide for action if you are not present. Your contingency plan should include information regarding where all of the location of emergency exits and fire extinguishers. It should also include the phone numbers of important people and businesses, including your insurance agent, the fire department, and your local SERVPRO.
Never Complete A DIY Project
In many cases, business owners want to start the cleanup process immediately after they experience water damage. However, this course of action is not prudent. In fact, there is a vast range of hidden dangers that water damage can cause on your property. Because most company owners are aware of these hazards, they can make themselves susceptible to both injury and illness by attempting to complete the remediation process on their own. Additionally, commercial property owners typically do not have the specialized equipment necessary to complete the restoration process with speed and skill. For this reason, it's important that you leave the remediation project to the professionals.
Selecting a Water Damage Restoration Company
Once you recognize that attaining professional water damage restoration services is important, you may be wondering how to find the ideal service provider. To ensure that you can get the best commercial water damage remediation services on the block, be sure to look for the following qualities in a company, like SERVPRO:
• 24/7 emergency services
• Excellent Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating
• Great online reviews
• Stellar customer service
• Satisfaction guarantee
• Established reputation
Call SERVPRO For Excellent Commercial Water Damage Services
When you find that your business property has been subjected to water damage, there's only one company to call for fast, friendly service: SERVPRO of Winter Park. All of our IICRC-certified technicians will offer you the detailed care necessary to restore your property quickly and correctly. We're ready to get your commercial property back in a pristine condition immediately, so call us today.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Winter Park is strategically located to respond quickly to your Orlando water damage and any emergency water event. Call us today! (407) 678-5391
Smoke Damage Restoration Services in Winter Park: A Brief Overview
After a fire strikes your residential property, there are a plethora of tasks that you must complete to expedite the remediation process.
Smoke Damage Restoration Services in Winter Park: A Brief Overview
After a fire strikes your residential property, there are a plethora of tasks that you must complete to expedite the remediation process. One of the most crucial tasks that you will need to attend to is Winter Park smoke damage restoration. Often, homeowners believe that completing a do-it-yourself project is advisable because it will save them time and money. However, this is almost never the case. In fact, hiring a professional smoke damage restoration company is the best route to take because these individuals possess the experience and equipment necessary to optimize the remediation process. Learn more about smoke damage restoration and the importance of hiring a professional company by reviewing the following data:
Performing The Fire Damage Assessment
One of the most significant components of Winter Park smoke damage remediation process is completing a fire damage assessment on your property. This work will help determine the extent of the damage done by smoke and fire. The best way to get the process started is to contact your insurance company and a smoke damage restoration company. These individuals will be able to inspect your property and provide you with a cost estimate for the cleanup and repair processes. If you can obtain a referral to a restoration company by your insurance company, the two companies will likely be able to work together to create a fair settlement. If this happens, you will probably pay less money out of pocket for remediation services.
Cleaning Your Home
After completing a detailed assessment, professional restoration companies will start cleaning up the fire damage in your residential property. Dehumidifiers will help absorb excess water. Smoke damage restoration experts will also utilize cleaners and deodorizers to remove soot and smoke from your property.
Contact SERVPRO Today
Winter Park smoke damage restoration is a complex, complicated process that should be left to the professionals. When you start looking for a team of trained experts to assist you, trust the talented technicians of SERVPRO. We offer round the clock emergency services and work with speed and skill to resolve all smoke issues as quickly as possible. Call us immediately at (407) 678-5391 to attain the excellent, expedient smoke damage restoration services you deserve.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Winter Park is strategically located to respond quickly to your smoke or fire damage event. When a major fire or disaster 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.
We are here in Winter Park and are ready to help you. Just call us. (407) 678-5391
Who to Call After Your Orlando Home Has Sustained Water Damage?
Act Quickly to Prevent Major Water Damage
The Importance of Having Your Orlando Home Quickly Cleaned, Repaired, and Restored After a Water Damage Event
As many homeowners know in the Orlando area, residential property subjected to water damage is susceptible to a large number of problems. In addition to possibly destroying your electrical system and the physical structure of your property, water damage can pose a plethora of health risks. And then the water flows along and leaves your personal possessions in ruins, more water damage! Despite these potential outcomes, help is a phone call away. A water repair and restoration company like SERVPRO can mitigate many of these events from ever getting out of hand by offering customized cleaning and restoration services. The key is to contact your insurance company and SERVPRO. Learn more about some of the steps that will be taken by this water removal company to restore your home to its previous condition.
Repairing Structural Damage
Another service that a water restoration company provides is the repair of structural damage your Orlando home may have sustained during the flood or fire. Unfortunately, water can cause substantial damage to the structure of your home. This repair and restore process can only start after the cleanup has been completed. The repair then can commence on damaged ceilings, wet drywall and substructure work to any electrical and plumbing issues. Water can also adversely affect the sturdiness of the foundation and weaken the structure's framing. Water can make your home unsafe to enter
If your home has been adversely affected by a flood or has incurred water damage due to the effects of a fire, it's important to know that a professional water removal company can assist you. These experts can help prevent secondary water damage and ensure that your home is safe and sanitary. Your search for immediate help should stop with SERVPRO. Our company's professionals are precise and passionate in offering the services necessary to get your home back to its original condition.
Locally Owned and Operated
SERVPRO of Winter Park 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 Orlando community and want to do our part in making our community the best it can be.
We are water removal experts and are ready to service your Orlando home. We're Faster to Any Disaster. (407) 678-5391
Understanding Water public adjuster in Thorton Park
It is important for property owners to be prepared for all types of potential property damage.
Understanding water public adjuster
One of the most common types of damage to property is caused by flooding or other water problems. Homes and businesses can fall victim to such things as leaking pipes, natural disasters, sewage backups and other problems that in turn can leave significant water damage behind. As a result, many insurance companies try to mitigate the costs of such damage in a manner that is not always helpful to the property owner.
Normal insurance policies often provide different coverages for flood insurance and water damage insurance, treating the two differently. It is important for policy holders to understand the terminology contained in their policies and then use the correct terms when reporting a claim.
Many times, damage from water does not show up for several days until the property dries out. At that time, previously unnoticed damage may show through cracking walls. Although an insurance company will send out an adjuster, people often find that hiring an independent water public adjuster is in their best interests. An independent adjuster is more likely to do a thorough job of inspecting the property than is a preferred provider, as the insurance company's adjuster is most likely operating under instructions to minimize costs.
In the event of water damage, people should immediately file a claim with their water damage insurance company. Then, extracting as much water as possible is important, as is drying all salvageable items. Hiring professionals to conduct a careful and thorough inspection can reveal damage hidden by baseboards and trim.
It is important for property owners to be prepared for all types of potential property damage. Water can cause some of the most expensive types of damage. Scheduling an appointment with an insurance agent to go over the insurance policy is vital. Gaps in coverage can thus be discovered and any additional needed policy riders can be added. There may be nothing worse than learning only after an event has occurred that the insurance company will not cover the repairs. By planning ahead and making certain water damage insurance is included, people can protect themselves and their property more effectively.
Whether you home has suffered flood damage or you just want your upholstery cleaned, SERVPRO has 1,650 Franchises in the U.S. and Canada ready to help. SERVPRO of Winter Park technicians are highly trained to properly clean and restore your house so that it feels like home again. You can depend on SERVPRO of Winter Park for these residential services:
Orlando Water damage is a big disaster for your home
If a pipe bursts in your Orlando home and floods the house, insurance should cover it.
It's devastating when you find out that your insurance doesn't cover your Winter Park damage.
Orlando Water damage from a flood or a burst pipe in your home can be devastating, and the damage can linger for months or years in different forms. What can make the disaster even more devastating is finding out that your insurance doesn't cover it.
A good rule of thumb, when thinking about sudden water damage to your home is that if it comes from inside or above, you generally are covered. If it comes from the ground or below ground, you generally aren't.
For example, homeowner's insurance policies, as a general rule, do not cover damage from flooding. This includes a flash flood, where tremendous rain causes large amounts of water to flood into your home. It also includes smaller event where water might seep up through your basement floor or cracks in your foundation to flood your home. Another type of event your homeowner's policy generally won't cover a backup of the sewer system, because that water comes from below ground. To cover damage from flooding, you need a separate flood insurance policy.
When the water comes from inside your home or above, your homeowner's policy is likely to cover it. For example, if a pipe bursts in your home and floods the house, insurance should cover it. If your washing machine or a toilet overflows and floods a room, insurance should cover it. Homeowners insurance also will cover rain damage from a storm if rain water got into your home because of damage caused by the storm. For example, if a tornado tore a hole in your roof, allowing rain to come pouring in, any water damage should be covered. On the other hand, if rain leaked through your roof because it was old and needed to be replaced, insurance may not cover it.
The best thing you can do is to examine your insurance policy and talk to your agent to make sure you understand what types of damage from water are and aren't covered. If you need to, there are riders you can add to cover other incidents that may not be covered under your original policy.
Keep in mind, too, that while your policy will cover some damage caused by sudden water infiltration, it will hardly ever cover damage caused over time, such as a leaky toilet that destroys a floor.
SERVPRO of Winter Park Professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services. We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure caused by:
Orlando Water Damage
Winter Park Fire Damage
Flood damage Downtown Orlando