Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Safety Tips for Grilling Season

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Grill on fire Summertime means cookouts, so use these helpful tips to keep everyone at your barbeque safe and happy.

Grilling Season Safety Tips

 As the weather heats up in Valrico, FL so does the desire to fire up your grill. While there is nothing quite like a backyard barbeque, it's important to take safety precautions when grilling out. You don't want to find yourself with a grill fire rather than a platter of delicious food. Keep these safety tips in mind this season to avoid fires. 
  • Pay attention
  • Respect distance
  • Keep up with maintenance

Know Your Grill


Propane and charcoal grills should always be used outdoors. All grill types should be regularly cleaned and inspected before and after each cooking session. It's important to remove grease and fat buildups to prevent your grill from becoming a barbeque fire rather than a barbeque party. If you have a charcoal grill, you can use a chimney starter or starter fluid to get going. If you use a starter fluid, do not add any other flammable liquids as this increases your chances of starting a grill fire.


Keep Your Distance


Whatever type of grill you use, be sure to keep it well away from your house, deck rails, and all eaves or low-hanging tree branches. It's also important to keep children and pets away from your grilling station. Leashes can get caught, and small kids can accidentally hurt themselves, so it's best to just keep them at least 3 feet away. While kids and pets should stay away, you or your chosen grill master should remain nearby at all times. Leaving a grill unattended is always a bad choice.


Summertime means cookouts, so use these helpful tips to keep everyone at your barbeque safe and happy. Since a grill fire can cause injuries as well as smoke damage in your home, it's important to grill safely and prevent fires. Should you face a fire at your Valrico, FL residence, be sure to contact professional fire damage restoration services as soon as the area is safe. 

 

3 Standards for Mold Maintenance

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on wall Mold damage in Valrico, FL.

3 Standards for Mold Maintenance  

Mold spores are a natural occurrence present just about everywhere — including your Valrico, FL, business. When exposed to moisture these microscopic neighbors can quickly grow into a burgeoning threat, leaving your business at risk for a myriad of issues. Federal organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration do not set any mold standards, but that doesn’t mean mold cleanup isn’t an aggressive process. Here are three steps to keep in mind when dealing with your sporous neighbor:

1. Be Aware of Water Damage

Mold spores become an issue when exposed to moisture and allowed to grow into colonies. Regularly check for any threat of water damage in your business, including leaking pipes or drafty windows, which may allow moisture to sneak in. Furthermore, maintain appropriate levels of humidity within the building to limit moisture levels in the air. While there is variance dependent on personal preference and outdoor conditions, the EPA sets 60 percent as the benchmark for high indoor humidity. Generally, levels should be kept between 30 and 50 percent.

2. Check Building Materials

To alleviate the uncertainty of mold standards, ensure building standards are up to code. Proper insulation installed around windows, piping and exterior walls minimizes a buildup of condensation, keeping mold at bay. Verify that your business is well-ventilated and regularly check porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles and wood for any signs of mold damage.

3. Contact Your Local Cleanup Company

While there may be no federal mold standards, the nonprofit Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets forth standards of care for the remediation of mold. Time is of the essence when it comes to mold infestation; an IICRC certified company will have the training and professional equipment to safely and effectively mediate the mold damage in your business in a time-sensitive manner. Furthermore, if the insidious contaminant black mold has threatened your business, a professional company is the only option for safe cleanup.

The Cost of Mold Damage

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

baseboards  removed covered with mold Mold found on baseboards.

If mold is present in your home, the damages could add up depending upon several factors. If you catch the problem quickly, the cost is not likely to be too severe. On the other hand, if the problem is extensive and has been allowed to spread, the final cost could be quite significant. Because of this, mold removal efforts by a professional mold mitigation company should begin as soon a possible. Over time, mold penetrates materials such as drywall, carpeting and furniture, sometimes requiring they be replaced.

The Cost of Mold Removal

Mold mitigation in your home could cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars or as much as several thousand dollars. The factors that determine the cost include the following:

  • The size of the impacted area
  • The length in time of the mold infestation
  • The areas of the home the mold has colonized
  • The presence of secondary damage such as water damage
  • The scope of structural damage


Some areas of mold growth are harder to access and more difficult to remove, necessitating the use of specialized equipment. For example, if mold spores have made it into the HVAC system, this requires the cleaning of air ducts and perhaps even the furnace. Widespread structural damage to a home is a worst-case scenario.

The Case of Black Mold Removal
Black mold is sometimes famous because it has toxic properties that could impact human health. The removal process for all types of molds is pretty similar and different types of mold are unlikely to affect the cost of cleanup. The restoration process will typically require removing water-damaged materials, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, vacuuming up spores and repairing damaged drywall and other structures. It could also entail painting and the replacement of clothes and other personal items.
No two jobs for mold removal are the same. In all cases, though, fast action can limit your expenses.

FAQs About Electronic Claims

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Insurance claim form in a tablet, electronic claim. Submitting a claim to your insurance agent electronically can speed up the process.

Getting paid promptly is a concern for many business owners who need to file an insurance claim. One way to speed up this process is to use electronic claims. This gives you a more streamlined process so you can focus on hiring a disaster remediation company and getting your business back to normal.

Why Should You Submit Claims Electronically?

Filing an insurance claim electronically has many benefits. These include:

  • Minimal disruptions to your cash flow
  • Track claim status
  • Increased accuracy and fewer claim rejections
  • Less paperwork
  • Decreased time spend filing

How Do You Submit Them Electronically?
There are several options for submitting an insurance claim electronically. The most common are full- and self-service claim systems. A full-service system has you submitting your documents through a third-party provider. You are only required to submit your policy and loss information, and the claim will be generated for you. A lot of business owners worry about the cost of using one of these services. However, submitting your claims through a full-service electronic provider is not terribly expensive. Instead, they take a small percentage of your claim money.
An alternative is to use the self-service claim system, which means submitting your claim to your insurance company through a customer portal. Most insurance companies today have their own software, so this is a free option. However, even though you submit your documents through this portal, you may still need to have an adjuster visit your site and inspect the damage. Whichever method you choose, you will still be able to receive your funds quickly, so you can hire a restoration company, such as SERVPRO, and start restoring your business in Valrico, FL.
Submitting a claim to your insurance agent electronically can speed up the process of getting paid after your business faces a disaster. It is a convenient method that has many benefits and can be completed in different ways.

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.

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.

What's the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Mold. Aspergillus. The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. If you need help with either mildew or mold damage in your home, SERVPRO can help

It Is Important To Know The Differences Between The Two 

Any sort of fungal growth will be an unpleasant sight in your Valrico, FL, home. It is important to know if you are dealing with mildew or mold damage so that you can properly address the issue and prevent further damage.

Differences
Although it can be difficult to tell the difference between mold and mildew, there are some clues that can help you determine the type of fungus in your home. Mildew commonly has the following characteristics:

  • Powdery or fluffy appearance
  • Gray or white color that darkens with time
  • Relatively easy to remove

Mold, on the other hand, is often described by the following adjectives:

  • Slimy or fuzzy
  • Black, green or other color depending on the type
  • Invasive

In some instances, a homeowner may be unable to determine the type of fungus present. In such cases, a professional can determine the best course of action to take.

Similarities
Although there are many differences between the two fungi, they do share a key similarity. Both mold and mildew growth need moisture to thrive. This means that both can be prevented by keeping your home dry. Try to keep indoor humidity below 50%. If necessary, run a dehumidifier. Air conditioning can also help dry out your home. Pay close attention to particularly wet areas, such as bathrooms and basements, to spot signs of fungal growth. Both mildew growth and mold damage are easier to mitigate if caught early.

Other Considerations
Generally speaking, mildew is easier to clean than mold growth. There are a variety of cleaners available that can kill mildew. As long as you work in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask and gloves, you should be able to safely clean mildew growth yourself. However, mold growth often needs to be professionally cleaned, especially if the infestation is large.
If you need help with either mildew or mold damage in your home, a certified restoration company can help. They have the equipment and experience to address the issue safely and get your home back to normal.

How Soda Blasting Is Used To Clean Crawlspaces

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Mold grows quickly in damp, musty areas. The crawlspace of your Valrico, FL, home thus may be a breeding ground for this fungus. This is especially the case if your home has been affected by flooding.
The mold can then spread from underneath your home to the floors and walls of your house. It can destroy your possessions and create a foul odor. You also may not be able to sell your home until you remove any mold from the premises.

Cleaning Crawlspaces

Because crawlspaces are hard to reach, it can be difficult to remove mold from them. That is why many mold restoration experts rely on soda blasting to clean crawlspaces. As its name implies, soda blasting involves spraying a combination of compressed air and baking soda onto the contaminated area. The process typically involves three steps.
Soda Blasting
1. Inspection
First, a mold inspector will come to your home to assess the damage to your crawlspace. What you may think is mold might be totally harmless. You should thus have an expert confirm mold is present before you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on cleanup services.

2. Blasting
Once the mold is located, the blasting can begin. The baking soda is particularly effective on wood, making it an ideal cleaning product for crawlspaces.
Soda blasting is also much more efficient than other mold removal methods. In fact, blasting is four times faster than scraping and hand scrubbing the mold. Unlike harsh cleaning chemicals, baking soda is also environmentally friendly and safe.

3. Wiping and Vacuuming
Any lingering spores could cause your mold problem to return. Therefore, once the blasting is complete, the affected areas are thoroughly wiped down and vacuumed.
Soda blasting is an effective way to reduce mold damage in your crawlspace. However, the process must be done properly. Otherwise, the mold may just come back. You should thus rely on mold remediation professionals who are experienced in this technique.

3 Stages of the Sewer Damage Process

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

water in dirty sink Part of sewer cleanup is spraying an EPA registered disinfectant to the contaminated area

Avoid Additional Complications From Sewage Damage

When a business owner in Plant City, FL, requires sewer cleanup the proprietors will need to do far more than invest in a can of bleach and some towels. The contamination of the water creates a severe hazard, necessitating specific sanitizing measures. In order to properly restore the premises, it's best for people to work with insurance to locate a place that can attend to the situation with care and promptness. Here are three things that should be done to avoid additional complications from sewage damage.

1. Identify the Source
Something triggered the sewer backup. Was there a clog? Did something penetrate and crack the pipes? If the original trouble isn't fixed, then this could become a perpetuating problem, racking up future bills. A water restoration team such as SERVPRO can come onto the premises, locate the catalyst and save owners and adjusters from potential headaches.

2. Extract and Dry
This fluid is fraught with microbes that love to absorb into porous materials. Left unattended, they become breeding grounds for fungus and infestations. Therefore, sewer cleanup entails removing anything polluted that cannot be scrubbed on a surface level. Household cleaners cannot be guaranteed to kill it all, and, while extraction seems expensive, it is often the best method for ensuring the elimination of bacteria. In addition, excess water could lead to dry rot and mold. The moisture can be pulled from air, carpets, and walls using dehumidifiers. Fixtures and valuables should be evaluated for content cleaning processes, relocated to places that allow for efficient and proper care.

3. Clean and Restore
Something such as a flooded toilet could have spread water throughout the building. As it spilled over, the liquid absorbed into the grout, carpet pads, and walls. These areas should be scrubbed, sprayed with antimicrobial spray, and then mended. This includes replacing materials that were trashed, painting spaces that were impacted, and putting objects back where they belong.


A recurrence can be stressful and frustrating, emotionally, and financially. For this reason, sewer cleanup stages focus not just on washing, but also on eliminating the origin of the issue.

Can You Keep Valuables Exposed to Mold?

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growing behind curtain Mold growth in a Valrico, FL home

Does Mold Cleaning Really Require You to Lose Everything?

In the past, that may have been the case; however, nowadays, homeowners in Valrico, FL, have several options beyond turning it all into rubbish. Before letting go of something, consider the following three questions.

1. Do You Really Need It?
When the mold remediation team arrives, staff will assess the situation, determining the level of growth and exposure. As they begin to evaluate rooms, discuss anything that has been contaminated. Most likely, the experts will advise you to remove anything with deep penetration. If something in the trash section concerns you, talk to the specialists. In addition, ask yourself how much personal value this item has. If you cannot see yourself without it, then ask about special cleaning. If, however, a replacement could take its place, then place it on the curb.

2. What Services Are Available?
Because water restoration companies understand that loss can be hard, they work with several high-tech mold cleaning devices to salvage things that previously had to go. For example, you should request additional information on services that sanitize the following objects:

  • Documents
  • Pictures
  • Clothes
  • Leather
  • Paintings
  • Electronics

The business usually has the ability to utilize options such as an Esporta machine, air drying, vacuum freezing, and thermal drying.

3. What Cannot Be Kept?
Sometimes mold damage cannot be corrected. Keep in mind that it is for your own safety: the more spores in your home, the more likely growth reoccurs. Removing them may seem harsh, but it is your long-term best interest. Therefore, porous items such as upholstery, carpeting, and rugs are most likely going to be tossed, especially if they lack sentimental value.
The mold cleaning industry can help you eradicate the fungus from your place, but it does require gutting some of what you had. How much do you really need it? If it's not sentimental, put it aside. If it is, don't hesitate to ask about methods to save it.

Responsibility for Mold Growth in Rental Properties

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

hand with water damaged ceiling Mold growth on ceiling due to water damage

Mold growth is a hazard that causes a lot of concern among the owners of rental properties. Although property owner responsibilities are often vague and confusing when it comes to mold, many tenants have successfully made claims against rental owners. This is often due to the property owner's responsibility to maintain a habitable housing environment, so prevention is key.

Understand and Explain Tenant Responsibilities

There are a few situations in which tenants can be held responsible for mold-related damages:

  • Creating high humidity levels in the rental area
  • Failing to maintain an appropriate level of cleanliness
  • Sealing the rental property without providing ventilation

If you can show that the tenant was negligent and that the negligence led to mold growth, you may not be held responsible for any damages. Rather than risking this situation, however, it's best to cover tenant responsibilities before they take possession of the property.

Prevent Mold From Growing and Spreading
Understanding your responsibilities regarding mold and other results of water damage is just one aspect of avoiding trouble. Another vital component of maintaining a reputable rental property is the prevention of mold. There are several steps you can take to keep mold at bay:

  • Make sure the rental property is well-ventilated.
  • Repair broken windows and roofs.
  • Quickly attend to leaks and moisture buildup.
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers as necessary.
  • Act quickly when mold smells are evident.
  • Teach tenants how to avoid mold.

Most of the time, consistent property maintenance will help you keep your property free of mold. If a tenant reports mold and you don't take action, you could get into trouble in a number of ways.

Contact Mold Cleanup Professionals
As soon as you become aware of mold on any of your properties, it's vital that you take corrective steps. Contact Plant City, FL, professional mold prevention and removal technicians to ensure that the rental is habitable and to avoid further damages.

What To Expect When You Call SERVPRO in Plant City or Valrico

3/7/2020 (Permalink)

a green SERVPRO truck SERVPRO of NE Hillsborough County/Plant City is here to help!

Coming home to a pipe burst or flood is devastating. However, while overwhelming, it is not impossible to recover from, especially with the help of a water remediation specialist in Plant City, FL. It can be reassuring to understand the professional process, and thankfully, all remediation companies typically rely on the same four-step process.

What's the process of water damage cleanup?


Mitigation
Extraction
Dehumidification
Restoration

Mitigation


The first step in the remediation effort is to cut the supply from the main water line. Once the flooding is under control, the company of your choosing will typically present several mitigation options, which may include board-up services and tarping.


Extraction


After you agree on any necessary mitigation and the restoration process, the company will begin cleaning up the pipe burst. This process includes the removal of excess water and any damaged property. Using a variety of pumps and shop vacs, the technicians handling the cleanup of your home will attempt to get the property dry.


Dehumidification


Once all excess water has been removed and any damaged materials, including drywall and insulation, have been removed, the company will go about removing excess moisture from the air, using dehumidifiers and air movers. The purpose is to get your house as dry as possible and reduce any risk of other problems, such as mold.


Restoration


After all the water has been removed, and the area is completely dry, the company will begin the restoration process. The first task is to repair the damage to your water system. Once that is repaired, they will replace any structural issues before completing the project with finish carpentry and painting.


Whether a pipe burst or other water system failure, finding a flood in your home can be overwhelming. However, with the help of remediation and restoration companies, your house can be restored to pre-disaster conditions. Therefore, try to breathe, knowing full-well that the remediation and restoration process is an industry-standard.