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4 Essential Steps When Faced with Water Damage

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Worker folding black carpet Water damage restoration services

Below Are Four Key Steps To Take

Heavy rainfall, broken pipes, a leaking toilet, and many more things can quickly lead to water damage in your Valrico, FL, home. Although seeing all that excess water may be overwhelming, taking action fast is essential to limiting the damage.

1. Find and Stop the Source
Before the water cleanup process can begin, the infiltration of water has to stop. If the issue involves a burst pipe or hot water heater leak, turn off the main shut-off valve to the home. If it is a weather-related problem, temporarily patch a leaking roof or ceiling and use sandbags to prevent more flooding.

2. File a Claim
After the water is stopped, call your insurance company. The sooner you make a claim, the faster the restoration process can happen. Along with making the call, document all of the damage. Taking videos and pictures, as well as gathering and saving any receipts associated with cleanup, will help make the process go more smoothly.

3. Start the Drying Process
Water damage quickly leads to secondary damage, such as mold growth. After extracting any standing water, start getting the affected area and everything in it dried out. If possible, remove any soaked items and store them in a secure location to dry. Run fans and humidifiers to assist in the drying process. You may also want to turn your air conditioner on to keep humidity levels as low as possible.

4. Begin Cleaning and Restoration
Along with calling your insurance, contact a certified water damage and restoration company. They will have the tools to help you dry out and repair your home, as well as the expertise and techniques to locate hidden issues and remediate them. Once they arrive, they will complete an inspection, assess the damage, and provide a restoration plan.
Dealing with water damage is a time-consuming and frustrating situation. By taking the above steps, you can speed up the process of getting your home back to “Like it never even happened.”

4 Reasons To Use a Fire and Water Damage Restoration Company

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

A worker with a broom cleaning water in area damaged by fire and water Fire and water damage restoration services

If a fire breaks out in your Plant City, FL, business, you are faced with much more than the fire damage. To extinguish the flames, hundreds of gallons of water were unleashed into your building. This makes the cleanup and restoration overwhelming. After filing a claim, your insurance adjuster will likely request that you use a fire and water damage restoration company to complete the repairs. By choosing a certified business that can handle all forms of damage, you can simplify the process.

Below Are Four Benefits They Provide

1. Expertise
Like with many industries, there are certain set standards that must be adhered to. A company with certified technicians will be up to date on all the latest methods and requirements, as well as being experts in finding hidden damage that could easily go undetected.

2. Industrial-Grade Equipment
A combo of damage means dealing with soot, smoke, water and potential mold. All of them require different methods to deal with. Before anything can happen, water extraction has to happen. The right professional will have high-powered fans, water pumps and other equipment to speed up that process.

3. Various Cleaning Methods
Not all fire damage is the same. That means different cleaning methods are needed. When it comes to soot, it can easily spread and begin to affect other areas. Professionals will have the know-how to deal with the different types of damage and use the appropriate methods both on- and off-site.

4. Secondary Damage Mitigation
Besides the overwhelming visible damage, there is an increased chance of secondary damage. Part of professional fire mitigation is ensuring that doesn’t happen. This may come in the form of preventing water from affecting other areas to minimizing soot being carried out on clothing.
Dealing with fire damage isn’t just about the charred structure and belongings. Knowing there will be soot, smoke and water issues to deal with, using a provider that is an expert in all of those helps make the cleanup process much easier.

3 Signs Your Commercial Building Has Sewage Issues

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Large crack in a reinforced concrete foundation and brick wall Cracked foundation in Valrico, FL

Three Warning Signs Of Sewage Trouble

A blocked sewer is a major concern for commercial owners in Valrico, FL. Not always simple to catch, this problem arises when something interferes with the appropriate water flow in the sewage lines, permitting wastewater to exit the premises in a timely and sanitary manner. Disruptions mean that the disgusting fluid is still sitting within the building. When not fixed, it could back up into the rooms, spreading bacteria and flooding the space. Catch obstructions early, remaining vigilant at all times. The following are three warning signs of sewage trouble.

1. Frequent Clogs
Companies are likely to experience clogged commodes. Sometimes customers or employees flush the wrong thing, leading to a toilet overflow. Occasionally, this is normal. However, if sinks or toilets seem to have this complication often, the plumbing system should be inspected for sewage development.

2. Strange Odors
A blocked sewer line means that contaminated fluid is building up. This dirty water, known as Category 3, is fraught with bacteria from food and waste product. It is going to smell. Your nose, then, is one way to detect an issue. A strong sulfur scent might arise when unsanitary water lingers in the pipes. Deodorizers are not the answer. Have a water remediation company look over the drains. The specialists should tend to the blockage as soon as possible.

3. Foundation Cracks
When a pipe breaks, they permit water to leak out into the walls or ground. Over time, this accumulates, deteriorating other materials. For instance, if this happens under the ground, the moisture erodes the dirt. The change in sediment shifts the foundation, causing large cracks. This may also occur in ceilings and drywall too. If noticed, it's best to have professionals assess the situation. A leak detection test may indicate the source of trouble.
The longer a blocked sewer is left idle, the more hazardous it becomes. It's best to find the cause right away, making repairs and restoring the water flow to normal.

3 Top Causes for Residential Fires in 2020

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

A hand holding a lid up candle, SERVPRO logo Burning candles

Three Common Reasons For Fire Houses

An unexpected home fire can happen to anyone and can be started for a number of various reasons. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), household fires most often occur when homeowners neglect basic safety measures. The following three fire causes are some of the most common reasons for house fires in 2020.

1. Indoor Cooking
For the average American, indoor cooking is a way of life. Microwave ovens, stovetops and ovens are standard appliances in a typical U.S. household. With careful attention and basic cooking skills, these appliances can be used safely. However, where many residents can misstep is walking away from an appliance while it is in operation. The NFPA recommends never leaving any indoor cooking appliance out of sight while in operation. This includes the following less-obvious kitchen appliances:

  • Toasters and toaster ovens
  • Fryers
  • Griddles and waffle makers

2. Burning Candles
Many homeowners enjoy the natural light and calming ambiance of burning candles indoors. While this common practice may seem harmless, indoor candles have the potential to wreak serious havoc on your home. The NFPA says that one of the most dangerous areas of the home to burn an open-flame candle is in the bedroom. Bedrooms are typically filled with highly flammable furnishings including drapes, bedding, home decor and more. To prevent the common mistake of starting a home fire using a candle, consider only burning candles in open areas of your home when careful supervision can take place.

3. Unsafe Grilling
Open grills are a highly popular food preparation tool in the United States, particularly during the summer season. The most common reason for grill fires is unsafe grilling techniques. You can prevent a grill fire by keeping the grill clean to prevent flare-ups and by only using it outdoors. Additionally, keep your grill off of decks, porches and away from awnings to prevent an unwanted fire.

Fire Cleanup
Residential fires can happen to even the most cautious homeowner. If you have experienced a home fire in Plant City, FL, talk to your insurance provider as soon as possible to start fire restoration services that suit your immediate and long-term fire cleaning needs.

How Do I Know If There Is Mold in My Office Building?

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold testing in Valrico, FL

Areas Where You Can Find Mold

You're busy at work, so you don't give much thought to the state of the building as long as your cleaning team comes through and empties the trashcans. You haven't had a flood in Valrico, FL, you haven't spotted a leak, and you have a strict policy about not leaving food out in the kitchen. But still, you have this sneaking suspicion that there's mold in your building. You don't have to have obvious water damage for mold to grow. A too-high moisture content in your space can allow for mold growth. Mold can even grow on a high dusty shelf and spread to other areas. The only way to know for certain that you have a mold problem is to hire an indoor environmental specialist, but here are a few hints that you may have mold in your building.

1. Smell
People typically describe the smell of mold as "musty." While there are other scents as well—earthy, wet socks, rotten wood—the smell of mold is pretty unpleasant and might be the first hint that you have a problem. Mold can grow anywhere, from you main place of business to the storage room to the bathroom. It's pretty indiscriminate as long as it has a food source.

2. See
Mold that you can see is more disconcerting. Each type of mold might look a little bit different but if you see spots on the wall in the corner that don't match the decor, it might be mold. Not all mold is black; it can be gray, green, yellow, blue, or any combination of those or other colors.

3. Test
When you think you've discovered mold, an indoor environmental specialist should come and do a mold test so that you know what kind you're dealing with. Then the best thing you can do is call a mold removal and remediation professional to clean and restore the area so that you don't have continued problems in the future.
Finding mold can be a little nerve-racking, but with the help of an indoor environmental specialist and a mitigation team, you should have your office cleaned up in no time.

3 Important Things To Know About Bursting Pipes

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Rusty burst pipe spraying water after freezing in winter. When you have to deal with the hassle of a burst pipe, focus on the source of the leak

Keep These Three Points In Mind

When a pipe breaks, the mess it causes is complicated. Stopping the leak, removing the water, and drying whatever was affected promptly is essential in preventing mold growth and other issues. If you do have to deal with bursting pipes in Plant City, FL, water remediation specialists are available to help with the cleanup process and stop mold. 

1. What To Do After Flooding
When you have to deal with the hassle of a burst pipe, focus on the source of the leak. Turn off the water source and do your best to remove excess water from the area. Call a professional plumber if you need to fix a broken pipe to ensure that it's done safely and correctly.
Dry everything thoroughly. It is natural to focus on belongings, but make sure attention is given to floors and walls as well. Anything water could have soaked into is susceptible to mold growth. If you spot or suspect mold, turn off any ventilation system that may spread mold spores around.

2. How Mold Takes Hold
Mold can develop in as little as 48 hours after bursting pipes. When walls, floors, and furniture aren't properly dried out after an unexpected flood or leak, mold can develop quickly and silently where you won't see it. Often a musty odor is the first clue that something isn't right.

3. How Professionals Can Handle the Mold
Leave mold cleanup to professionals. Don't touch any mold or attempt to get rid of it yourself. Close off the affected area until it can be cleaned. Don't try to dry out the mold. Blowing a fan over a mold-infested area will not remove the mold, but it may spread mold spores through the air and exacerbate your problem.
The best way to avoid mold from water damage caused by bursting pipes is to maintain your plumbing system. Check on pipes periodically to make sure they aren't leaking or swelling. Respond to small leaks quickly before they turn into something worse.

Understanding the Cost of Mold Removal and Remediation

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold with a spatula. Discovering mold growth in your home is never a fun experience

Understanding the Cost of Mold Removal and Remediation

Discovering mold growth in your Plant City, FL, home is never a fun experience. If the infestation is over 10 square feet, calling a mold damage and remediation specialist for mold removal is essential. Along with cleaning the visual damage, they have the tools and techniques to ensure microscopic spores don’t spread into other areas. Although the budget is always a concern, immediate action can eliminate higher costs down the road.

Cost Factors
A number of factors play into how much the remediation and restoration costs. On average, basic remediation services can be anywhere from $500-$6,000. If extensive restoration is required, the cost could be significantly more. Factors that play into pricing include:

  • Age – If the problem is from ongoing water damage issues, it may mean more areas of the home need to be repaired.
  • Size – Like many other things, the less damage, the less it costs
  • Location – Hard-to-access areas, such as an infested HVAC, are more difficult to clean, thus will cost more.
  • Material – If the mold is in carpets or insulation, mold removal will require replacement.

Other Considerations
Dealing with a mold issue often means hidden issues or other considerations that should be accounted for. For instance, testing generally isn’t necessary if mold is visible, and black mold removal requires additional safety requirements.
Mold left to its own devices can begin to eat through drywall, siding, lumber and subfloor. The cleanup process may require only a few days for small damage or weeks if rebuilding is necessary. An air test should be conducted after remediation to verify safe levels of mold spores. Homeowners should also understand that insurance may not cover the cost if the cause is flooding or neglect.
Life is hectic enough without having to deal with mold removal. Since the cost of remediation rises the longer the problem sits, immediately calling professionals who are Faster to Any Size Disaster can help keep costs down.

5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Flood Damage

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door Practice an emergency evacuation plan

Ways To Protect Your Business And Your Employees In The Event Of A Storm

Protecting your commercial building in Plant City, FL, is an important part of being a business owner. Disasters, such as severe weather, flooding and unwanted mold growth, can strike at any time and it's important that you take the necessary steps to protect your building. The following tactics can help you keep your property, your business and your employees safe in the event of a severe storm.

1. Pay Attention to Emergency Alerts.
Subscribing to a credible emergency alert system can help you stay up to date on severe weather activity. Pay attention to what the authorities have to tell you and make sure to follow their directions if they instruct you to evacuate.

2. Create and Practice an Emergency Evacuation Plan.

Meet with your employees to draft and discuss potential evacuation plans. Once you create an effective strategy, you need to make sure to regularly practice emergency protocol with all of your employees. This can help eliminate accidents and unnecessary panic, if flooding does occur.

3. Protect Important Documents.
Any physical documents need to be sealed away in waterproof containers, as well as elevated on high shelves that are at least one foot above the projected flood level. It's also important to create multiple backup copies of electronic documents. You can store these on the Cloud to protect them from flood damage.

4. Trim Back Overgrown Trees and Shrubbery.
Overgrown tree branches can quickly become dangerous projectiles in the event of a storm. Make sure to regularly trim back any plant growth that could potentially inflict storm damage on your building's roof or windows.

5. Install Backup Generators.
If the flood isn't severe enough to warrant an evacuation, you want to make sure that your employees can continue to conduct business. Install a backup generator to supply your building with power and reduce the amount of lost income.
The above precautionary measures can help you protect your property, business and employees from damage caused by severe storms. If your building has fallen victim to flooding or storm damage, make sure to contact storm remediation professionals as soon as you can.

Maintaining a Sump Pump

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. If your Valrico, FL, home has a sump pump, proper maintenance is crucial

If your Valrico, FL, home has a sump pump, proper maintenance is crucial. Fortunately, these machines are fairly simple to care for.

Yearly Maintenance

There are some tasks that need to be performed at least once a year to ensure the pump stays in good condition. These tasks include the following:

  • Testing
  • Cleaning
  • Inspecting

Pouring water into the sump pit should cause the pump to activate. Make sure the pump properly drains the water. Disconnect the power before performing other maintenance tasks.
Once you know the pump still works, you can begin cleaning it. Remove the sump pump from the pit and clean the grate at the bottom. Additionally, clean the venting in the discharge pipe.
Finally, inspect the pipes and power cord to make sure they are all in good condition. Make sure the pump is not tilting or leaning. It should be fully upright in the pit. Now is also the time to review the owner’s manual to see if your particular pump requires additional maintenance, such as lubricating bearings. Reconnect the pump to the power source and make sure there is some water in the basin so that the pump does not have to operate dry.

Seasonal Maintenance
Seasonal pump maintenance is generally a quicker process than annual maintenance. It is a good idea to test the equipment by filling the basin with water to make sure the pump activates and properly moves water. Clean the inlet screen, and take a look at the power cord to make sure it is in good shape. These tasks should be performed every three to four months. An experienced water restoration service can tell you more about maintaining your pump in Valrico, FL.
Even a well-maintained sump pump may not be able to protect your basement from all types of flooding. However, with proper care, you have a better chance of avoiding accidents.

How To Deal With Revenue Losses After a Fire

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores on the Atlantic City Board Walk Fires are unpredictable, but they can be planned for

A fire does not just spell the loss of property. It also means the loss of future income. Even a few days of lost revenue can cause serious financial complications. Fortunately, with interruption insurance and a good restoration plan, most businesses can limit losses and bounce back quickly.

Understand Business Interruption

From an insurance standpoint, loss of income from the suspension of operations constitutes business interruption. If a kitchen fire causes a restaurant to close down in Plant City, FL, an insurance policy will consider it business interruption, and will likely cover projected losses. However, insurance will only cover losses during the period of restoration, so it is important that your business is ready to go as soon as the repairs are complete.

Know What Interruption Insurance Covers
Business owners should familiarize themselves with what their policy covers for suspended operations. Business interruption clauses usually cover most of the following:

Profits: most insurance will pay out on lost profits, based on what a business estimates it would make if the fire did not occur
Fixed costs: this includes any costs of doing business, including operating expenses
Taxes: even when disaster strikes, taxes are owed, and an interruption clause in your policy will ensure that you can pay them
Temporary location: some policies will pay for a business to re-open at another venue during the period of restoration
Loan payments: as with taxes, loans have to be paid no matter what, and loans are usually due monthly, which makes them even more difficult to pay when business is halted. However, many policies insure your loan payments as well
Employee salaries: insurance can and usually does help to prevent the loss of workers by helping your business make payroll

Fires are unpredictable, but they can be planned for. Talk with your insurance provider, and have them detail all of the ways interruption insurance can help you mitigate the financial burden of fire restoration. This knowledge, along with the help of certified restoration professionals, can have you back on your feet in no time.