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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

8/30/2023 (Permalink)

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is essential for everyone's safety. In the event of a small fire eruption, being able to react quickly and effectively with a fire extinguisher can prevent the fire from spreading and potentially save lives. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to use a fire extinguisher properly.

Choose the right fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are categorized based on the type of fire they are designed to fight. The most common types are Class A, Class B, and Class C extinguishers. Class A extinguishers are suitable for fires involving ordinary combustible materials like wood and paper, while Class B extinguishers are for flammable liquids like gasoline or oil. Class C extinguishers are designed for electrical fires. Ensure you have the appropriate type of extinguisher for the fire you are dealing with.

Before attempting to use a fire extinguisher, evaluate the size and intensity of the fire. If the fire is spreading rapidly, it is best to evacuate the area and call the fire department immediately. Always prioritize your safety and evacuate if there is any doubt about your ability to control the fire.

P.A.S.S. stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. It is a simple and effective method for using a fire extinguisher.

Pull the pin: Start by pulling the pin located on the top of the extinguisher. This pin serves as a safety device and prevents accidental discharge.

Aim at the base: Next, aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Directing the extinguishing agent at the source of the fire is crucial for effective suppression.

Squeeze the handle: With a firm grip on the extinguisher, squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent. Maintain a steady and controlled flow of the extinguishing agent while aiming at the base of the fire.

Sweep back and forth: Move the extinguisher from side to side, sweeping the extinguishing agent across the base of the fire. Continue until the fire is completely extinguished and no longer emitting smoke or flames. Be sure to cover the entire area that was on fire to prevent re-ignition.

Evacuate and call for help

Once the fire is under control, even if you have successfully extinguished it, it is crucial to evacuate the building and call the fire department. This allows professionals to ensure the fire is completely extinguished and assess any potential hazards.

After using a fire extinguisher, it will need to be recharged or replaced, depending on the type and condition of the extinguisher. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions on maintenance and inspection to ensure your extinguisher is ready for future use.

While knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is essential, it is equally important to receive proper training. Consider taking a fire safety course or attending a training session to gain hands-on experience and knowledge. Remember, safety should always be the top priority, and if a fire is too large or spreading rapidly, evacuate the area immediately and let the professionals handle the situation.

Navigating the Waters: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Water Damage Claim

7/17/2023 (Permalink)

Water damage can be a distressing experience for homeowners and property owners. Whether it's a burst pipe, a leaking roof, or a natural disaster, the aftermath of water damage often requires significant repairs and restoration. In such situations, making a water damage claim with your insurance company can help alleviate some of the financial burdens. In this blog post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to make a water damage claim effectively.

Step 1: Assess the damage and document the evidence

The first step is to assess the extent of the water damage and gather evidence to support your claim. Take photographs or videos of the affected areas, including any damaged belongings or property. This visual evidence will be valuable when communicating with your insurance company.

Step 2: Review your insurance policy

Thoroughly review your insurance policy to understand the coverage for water damage. Pay attention to specific details, such as deductibles, limits, and exclusions. Familiarize yourself with the procedures and requirements for making a claim, as different insurance companies may have varying guidelines.

Step 3: Contact your insurance company

Notify your insurance company about the water damage as soon as possible. Most insurance policies have a specific time frame within which you must report the incident. Provide them with essential details, such as the cause of the damage, the date it occurred, and the affected areas. Follow their instructions regarding the claim process.

Step 4: Document the communication

Maintain a record of all communication with your insurance company. Keep a log of the dates, times, and names of the representatives you speak with. Take notes during conversations, including details discussed and any instructions provided. These records will serve as valuable references throughout the claims process.

Step 5: Mitigate further damage

Take immediate steps to mitigate further damage. This may include drying out the affected areas, removing standing water, or boarding up broken windows or doors. However, only undertake actions that are safe and within your capabilities. Keep records, receipts, and invoices for any expenses incurred during the mitigation process, as these may be eligible for reimbursement.

Step 6: Provide necessary documentation

Your insurance company will likely require specific documentation to process your claim. This may include the evidence you gathered in step 1, a completed claim form, a list of damaged items, and any supporting documents such as repair estimates or invoices. Ensure that you provide all requested information promptly and accurately to avoid delays in the claim settlement.

Step 7: Cooperate with the claims adjuster

An insurance adjuster may visit your property to assess the damage and validate your claim. Cooperate fully with the adjuster, providing them access to the affected areas and any requested documentation. Answer their questions truthfully and provide any additional information they may require. The adjuster's report will play a crucial role in determining the outcome of your claim.

Step 8: Follow up on your claim

Stay in regular contact with your insurance company to inquire about the progress of your claim. Keep track of any claim numbers or reference codes provided. If there are any delays or issues, politely follow up and seek clarification. Maintaining open communication will help ensure that your claim is processed efficiently.

Making a water damage claim requires careful preparation and adherence to the insurance company's procedures. By following this step-by-step guide, you can navigate the claim process more effectively. Remember to document the damage, review your policy, communicate promptly with your insurance company, and provide all necessary documentation. While the claims process may take time, staying organized and proactive will help you achieve a fair settlement and restore your property after water damage.

Understanding the Difference: Mitigation vs. Restoration in Disaster Recovery

6/17/2023 (Permalink)

In the aftermath of a disaster, whether it's a flood, fire, or severe storm, the terms "mitigation" and "restoration" are frequently used. While they are both crucial aspects of the disaster recovery process, it's important to understand their distinct roles and how they contribute to restoring your property. In this blog, we will delve into the difference between mitigation and restoration, shedding light on their significance in returning your home or business to its pre-disaster state.

Mitigation: Minimizing Damage and Preventing Further Losses

Mitigation is the initial response to a disaster, aimed at minimizing damage and preventing additional losses. It focuses on taking immediate action to secure your property and mitigate any ongoing risks. Mitigation activities may include:

  • Boarding up broken windows and doors to prevent further intrusion.
  • Extracting water and drying affected areas to prevent mold growth.
  • Installing tarps or temporary roofing to prevent further water damage.
  • Removing debris and performing necessary structural stabilization measures.

Restoration: Bringing Your Property Back to Pre-Disaster Condition

Restoration comes after the mitigation phase and focuses on the comprehensive process of returning your property to its pre-disaster condition. Restoration activities are aimed at repairing, rebuilding, and restoring your home or business. This typically involves:

  • Assessing the extent of the damage and developing a detailed restoration plan.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing affected areas to eliminate contaminants.
  • Repairing structural damage, including walls, floors, and roofs.
  • Restoring damaged systems, such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.
  • Repainting, replacing flooring, and reinstalling fixtures to restore aesthetics.

The Collaborative Effort: Mitigation and Restoration Working Hand-in-Hand

Mitigation and restoration go hand-in-hand, forming a collaborative effort in the overall disaster recovery process. While mitigation focuses on immediate actions to prevent further damage, restoration addresses the comprehensive repairs needed to fully restore your property. Both phases are crucial and often require the expertise of professional disaster restoration specialists who possess the knowledge, experience, and specialized equipment to handle the tasks efficiently.

Importance of Timely Response: Acting Quickly Saves Time and Money

Understanding the difference between mitigation and restoration emphasizes the importance of a timely response to disasters. Taking immediate action during the mitigation phase helps minimize damage and prevents secondary issues from arising. By addressing the situation promptly, you can save both time and money by avoiding more extensive restoration efforts down the line.

Mitigation and restoration are two essential components of the disaster recovery process. Mitigation focuses on immediate actions to minimize damage and prevent further loss, while restoration encompasses the comprehensive repair and restoration of your property. Working in tandem, these phases aim to bring your home or business back to its pre-disaster state. Remember, it is crucial to engage the services of professional disaster restoration experts who can efficiently handle both mitigation and restoration to ensure a thorough and successful recovery.

If your property has suffered from a disaster, don't hesitate to reach out to our team of experienced disaster restoration specialists. We are here to provide the expertise, support, and swift action needed to mitigate the damage and restore your property, minimizing the impact on your life and helping you regain normalcy as soon as possible.

The Mold vs Mildew Debate: Understanding the Differences and How to Clean Them

5/17/2023 (Permalink)

Mold and mildew are two common types of fungi that can grow in homes and other indoor environments. While they share some similarities, there are also some key differences between the two. In this blog, we'll explore the differences between mold and mildew.

Appearance

One of the main differences between mold and mildew is their appearance. Mold is usually fuzzy or slimy and can be black, green, white, or other colors. It can have a musty or earthy odor. Mildew, on the other hand, is typically white or gray and appears as a powdery substance. It has a more pungent odor than mold.

Habitat

Mold and mildew also differ in their preferred habitats. Mold tends to thrive in damp, dark environments and can grow on a variety of surfaces, including wood, drywall, and carpet. It can be found in areas with high humidity, leaks, or flooding. Mildew, on the other hand, prefers warm, moist environments and is commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

Cleaning 

When cleaning mold and mildew protective gear is required. Identifying the type of surface, preparing the cleaning solution, scrubbing the surface, rinsing and drying, and preventing future growth. If the mold and mildew are severe or cover a large area, it's recommended to seek professional cleaning and remediation services.

Removal

Mold and mildew require different removal methods. Mold is more difficult to remove than mildew and typically requires professional remediation services. Mildew can be removed with household cleaning products, such as bleach or vinegar, and regular cleaning can help prevent its growth.

Prevention

Preventing the growth of mold and mildew is key to maintaining a healthy indoor environment. To prevent mold, it's important to address any water damage or leaks promptly and maintain adequate ventilation in your home or business. Reducing humidity levels can also help prevent the growth of mold. To prevent mildew, it's important to keep areas with high moisture levels, such as bathrooms and kitchens, clean and dry.

In summary, mold and mildew are two types of fungi that differ in appearance, habitat, and removal methods. While mildew is less harmful than mold, both can be problematic and should be addressed promptly to prevent their growth and minimize their impact on your home.

How Do Fire Sprinklers Work During a Fire? A Guide to Understanding Fire Sprinkler Systems

4/10/2023 (Permalink)

Fire sprinklers are an essential part of fire safety systems in buildings. They are designed to protect people and property from the devastating effects of fires. Sprinklers work by detecting a fire, activating a valve, and releasing water onto the flames. This blog will explain how fire sprinklers work during a fire and how they help prevent fires from spreading.

Fire sprinklers are typically installed in the ceiling of a building. They consist of a network of pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads. The sprinkler heads are the most visible part of the system, and they are designed to detect heat and smoke from a fire. When the temperature in the room reaches a certain level, the sprinkler head will open and release water onto the fire.

The sprinkler system is activated when a fire breaks out in the building. The heat from the flames causes the air in the room to expand, and the pressure in the sprinkler pipe increases. This increase in pressure triggers a valve that opens and releases water from the pipes.

Each sprinkler head is designed to activate individually, depending on the heat level in the room. This means that only the sprinklers closest to the fire will activate, and not all the sprinklers in the building. This is an important feature of fire sprinklers because it means that the water is directed only to the areas where it is needed.

When the sprinkler head opens, it releases water at a predetermined flow rate. The water flows through the pipes and out of the activated sprinkler heads onto the fire. The water helps to extinguish the fire by cooling the flames and reducing the amount of heat that is being generated. As the fire is brought under control, the amount of smoke and heat being generated is reduced, and the sprinkler system will eventually shut off.

Fire sprinklers can be a lifesaver during a fire. They can help prevent fires from spreading by quickly extinguishing the flames. The water from the sprinklers can also help to contain the fire until the fire department arrives.

Fire sprinklers are also beneficial because they can reduce the amount of damage that is caused by a fire. The water from the sprinklers can help to keep the fire from spreading to other parts of the building, and it can also help to minimize the amount of smoke damage that occurs.

In conclusion, fire sprinklers are a crucial component of fire safety systems in buildings. They work by detecting a fire, activating a valve, and releasing water onto the flames. Sprinklers are designed to activate individually, depending on the heat level in the room, so only the sprinklers closest to the fire will activate. Fire sprinklers can help prevent fires from spreading, reduce the amount of damage caused by a fire, and ultimately save lives. It is essential to ensure that fire sprinkler systems are installed, maintained, and inspected regularly to ensure they are working correctly in the event of a fire.

What should I do with my water damaged electronics?

3/13/2023 (Permalink)

You are just about to leave for work, and you realize that there is a leak in your bathroom. You rush to the kitchen sink, grab an empty glass and fill it up with water. You take two steps out of the kitchen and drop the glass on the floor. The glass shatters into pieces, but what worries you is that you can still hear water dripping from the faucet behind you. Your first thought may be: "My electronics!" If your home has experienced water damage from a flood or leaky pipe, then it's important to act quickly to salvage any important items in your home. Here are some tips on what to do if this happens.

Water Damage is quick.

Water damage can happen in an instant, but its effects are long-lasting. If you have water damage to your electronics, the longer you wait to address it, the more it will cost you. Water is one of the most destructive forces, don't wait, call the professionals quick.

If you have experienced any kind of water damage or if your device has been submerged in liquid, give SERVPRO a call quickly. We are available 24/7.

Don't wait.

The longer you wait to address water damage, the more it will cost you. As soon as possible after a spill or other exposure to water, remove the device from its source of moisture and place it somewhere dry. Then begin drying out your device immediately with a towel or paper towel (do not use an electric fan as this may cause more damage).

If your device can still power on after being exposed to water, turn off its power and leave it alone until you can get help from someone who knows what they're doing. If there is any chance that liquid has entered the interior components of your electronic device, for example if there was visible condensation inside when turned back on, you should not attempt any further repairs yourself but instead seek professional assistance immediately.

Contact a professional.

If you're not sure whether or not something needs professional attention, it's best to call a professional as soon as possible. It could cost more money in the long run to try to fix the electronics on your own. Professionals have the experience and equipment to help restore your electronics back immediately. Getting immediate help can save you money and ensure the electronics are restored properly.

Give the professionals a call at SERVPRO of Cape Coral for your water damaged electronics.

Kitchen Fires Can Damage Your HVAC System

2/8/2023 (Permalink)

When a fire starts in your kitchen, it can spread throughout your house quickly. Smoke and soot damage can travel through the ductwork and settle in other areas of your home. This can cause some serious damage that requires cleanup and restoration services after the fact. In some cases, though, it is possible for these types of damages to cause problems with your HVAC system later on such as an unexpected shutdown of heating or cooling.

Kitchen Fires can cause Damage to your home

Kitchen fires can damage your HVAC system. Even if a kitchen fire does not spread beyond the kitchen, the fire and smoke can cause damage to other areas of your home as well. Make sure that all vents are clear before using them again. Remove any debris that might have accumulated in them over time.

Check for leaks or gas smells after use and call for professional help if there is any sign of damage or malfunctioning parts on your heating unit or air conditioner.

Heat Damage from Fire

After a fire, your HVAC could possibly become damaged from the heat of the fire. The heat from the fire could warp or melt some of the parts that make up your system. It is possible for these types of damages to cause problems with your HVAC system later on such as an unexpected shutdown of heating or cooling. Heat from a fire could damage the compressor, the fan motor, or the thermostat.

Homeowners Coverage

Your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover most of the damage done by fires but what it covers when it comes to your HVAC system depends on how old the system is and whether or not you already had coverage in place that specifically covered disasters or fires when they occurred. Make sure to check your homeowners policy for coverage detail.

If your HVAC system is damaged by a kitchen fire, you will need to call in professionals to assess the damage and get it fixed as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Cape Coral offers services for fire and water damage along with HVAC cleaning. We understand the stress and frustration of a loss, but with our professional knowledge and equipment we can restore your home back to pre water and fire loss.

Tips to Minimize Flood Damage in your Home

1/9/2023 (Permalink)

Flood damage is an unfortunate reality of living on the east coast. It's also one of the most expensive types of home damage, with average losses ranging from $50,000 to over $250,000 depending on the size of your home and its contents. A flood can happen for many reasons: sewer backup or pipe breaks; a natural disaster like rain or flooding; or being in the wrong place at the wrong time such as during a storm surge or a tsunami. Regardless of how it happens, flooding can quickly spread throughout your home destroying everything in its path—especially if you don't take steps now to prepare yourself for potential flooding.

Be Aware of Your Flood Risk

Much like any other disaster, you can't prepare for a flood unless you know the risks and signs of one. Floods vary in size and impact depending on many factors, including how quickly they rise, how much rain falls prior to the storm, if there is heavy snow melt in springtime, or if there are already high water levels due to heavy rains earlier in the season. The best way to protect yourself is by learning about these risks before damage occurs so that when it does happen, you're prepared for it.

If your home floods or is at risk for flooding then knowing what the signs are will help keep your family safe from harm during an emergency situation like this one. When looking at homes with potentially hazardous conditions; look out for cracks or openings where water could enter walls or floors below ground level where pipes connect together under concrete slabs which could pose problems if left unattended too long without being fixed soon enough!

Upgrade Plumbing Components

For the most part, your pipes should be in good shape. But if you suspect that they're not, check for leaks and replace any worn-out components immediately. Old faucets should also be replaced with modern ones that use less water. Look for corroded pipes—these can leak over time and cause more damage than a burst pipe will cause in one go.

If you have an older home with a wellhead, it's worth installing a pressure regulator which will reduce how much pressure is delivered to your home's plumbing system.

Talk to Your Insurance Agent

Contact your insurance agent to find out if your policy covers flood damage, and to determine whether or not you have enough coverage. Your agent can also help you file a claim and address any questions about temporary housing.

Find a Local Restoration Company

The first step in minimizing flood damage is finding a local restoration company that specializes in water damage repair. The best way to do this is by asking friends and family for recommendations, as well as contacting your insurance provider.

Once you’ve found a few companies, it’s time to start comparing their credentials and experience. Look for a company that has been in business for several years, has positive reviews on independent review sites like Yelp and Google Reviews, offers 24/7 emergency services (in case of flooding), provides references from past clients, is licensed and insured and most importantly—is willing to give you an estimate before they begin any work!

The best way to avoid flood damage is to take steps to prevent a flood from ever happening in your Pine Island, FL home.

If you live in a flood zone and have a sump pump, make sure it's working. It's not just the water that can cause damage but also the mud that comes with it. But if your home is in a low-lying area and has no basement to speak of, consider raising it up on stilts or pilings.

If you don't have a sump pump installed in your basement, get one. A good backup generator will allow you to run certain appliances—like refrigerators, freezers, and even lights—during an outage. You should also keep at least three days worth of food at home for use when power is out or supplies are limited due to flooding (e.g., bottled water).

Have an emergency plan: What should I do if my house floods? When will help arrive? How long will we stay here? Where will we go? These are all questions that must be answered before disaster strikes so there aren't any surprises during an actual crisis situation when emotions run high and time becomes short!

In the end, we should all be aware that floods can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if your home was built on a floodplain or not; it matters that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family from any damage that may occur during a flood event.

Why is Biohazard PPE Gear important?

12/16/2022 (Permalink)

Two people wearing protective gear PPE is used to protect workers from exposure to biological and chemical hazards.

Sometimes, it can seem like there are a million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) out there. That is actually a good thing! PPE is necessary for your health and safety when you work around dangerous materials or equipment. It's also important to choose the right type of PPE for your situation so that you don’t accidentally put yourself at risk again. In this blog post, we'll walk through the basics of biohazard PPE gear and why it's important for workers who are exposed to bloodborne pathogens at work.

Why is Biohazard PPE Gear important?

Here are the top five reasons why it's important to use Biohazard PPE:

  • To protect your health.
  • To protect others' health.
  • To protect the environment.
  • To protect the workplace and product from contamination.

What is the goal of PPE? 

PPE is essential to protect workers from exposure to hazardous materials. The goal of PPE is to prevent a worker from coming into contact with harmful substances, but it can also help protect the worker from other hazards as well. Depending on what kind of hazard you are protecting against, there are several categories of PPE that have been developed over time.

PPE can be used in many different situations, including when working around chemicals and toxic materials, handling pathogens (for example, viruses or bacteria) and even radioactive materials. It’s also useful for protection against physical hazards such as extreme temperatures or dangerous equipment that could cause injury if not equipped properly.

Which are the most common items for PPE?

If a worker is dealing with a hazardous material, it's important to select the right PPE. For example, if you're working with biowaste and your eyes are exposed to these hazards, you'll want to wear goggles. If PPE has been selected properly and worn as instructed by the manufacturer's instructions, it can help prevent injury or illness while doing this type of work.

The most common items used in personal protective equipment (PPE) include: 

  • Gloves
  • Goggles/face shields/eye protection
  • Respirators and face masks. 

You should choose which is best for your situation based on what you'll be doing at work—and how likely it is that there will be exposure to chemicals or harmful organisms.

The type of PPE depends on the hazards present.

PPE is an important part of the safety strategy at any workplace. It’s crucial that you understand the risks and how to protect yourself. It’s also essential that everyone knows how to use their gear properly, so they can keep themselves safe while they work.

PPE is used to protect workers from exposure to biological and chemical hazards. It is not a substitute for good work practices, nor is it a guarantee of protection. The type of PPE (and its limitations) depends on the hazards that workers may be exposed to.

Signs of a Hidden Water Leak in Your Bathroom

11/5/2022 (Permalink)

Signs of a Hidden Water Leak in Your Bathroom

If you've got a leak in your bathroom, it's not the end of the world. It happens to everyone, and there are ways to fix it. But if you're not sure what's going on with your plumbing, it can be hard to know where to start. This article can help you better understand the signs of a hidden water leak in your bathroom. If any of these signs apply to you or your home, then there's probably some unseen damage happening below the surface:

High Water Bill

If your water bill is higher than usual, don't ignore it. You may think that since you haven't changed the way you use water and your meter isn't broken, the problem must be in your head. But that's not always the case. It could be that there's been an unexplained leak in your home and you're paying for it without even realizing it! If your water bill is unusually high, you might have a hidden water leak!

Discolored Ceiling or Flooring

Water spots on the walls and ceilings are a sign of hidden water leaks because they form when a pool of water in the tub, toilet, or sink drips down, evaporates, then leaves behind minerals and bacteria that build up over time.

When water accumulates in your wall or ceiling, it can lead to dark stains. It is also common to see yellow stains as well. If you see any discoloration on your ceiling or floors, it could be a sign of a water leak. 

If your bathroom has an overhead light fixture with exposed wires (like most do), use caution when inspecting for moisture damage here—you could be electrocuted if you come into contact with wet electrical components!

Dripping Noise or Running Water

If you hear a dripping noise or running water in the bathroom, it may be a sign that a hidden leak is occurring. This can obviously be heard at home, but if you're hearing this sound outside of your house as well, it could mean that the leaks are expanding and spreading to other areas of your property. If this is happening on multiple floors or in different rooms throughout your home, then it's definitely time for some repairs!

Musty Odor

If you notice a musty odor in your bathroom, it's likely that there is mold present. Mold can cause serious problems for you and your family, as well as damage to your home. The smell of mold can be difficult to remove from a room and even more difficult to remove from furniture or other materials.

If you think you might have a hidden water leak in your bathroom, call SERVPRO!

If you think you might have a hidden water leak in your bathroom, contact your local SERVPRO team immediately. Hidden water leaks can cause serious damage to your home if left untreated. Hidden water leaks are can be hard to find, especially if they are located behind walls or under floors! Your local SERVPRO team will use advanced technology to locate any hidden leaks that might be present in your home and then take the necessary steps to mitigate the damage.

How Do I Prepare My Company for a Fire?

10/14/2022 (Permalink)

How Should I Prepare My Business For a Fire?

A fire is one of the biggest hazards that can threaten a business. Not only does it cause damage to property, but it can also result in injuries and loss of life. While there's no way to prevent fires from happening, you can do plenty to prepare for them. Follow these steps for making your workplace in Cape Coral safer and more resilient against fire.

How to prepare your workplace for a fire

Check your fire alarm system. Is it in working order? Do you have a backup plan for when it malfunctions, like a manual pull station or an employee who can respond quickly if there's a fire?

Check your fire extinguishers. Are they all labeled correctly and in working order? You should check this once a month and replace them every five years or earlier if they're damaged. Replace any that are expired or missing labels as well.

Make sure the exits are always clear of clutter and hazards, including boxes, equipment, furniture, and other items that could block access to exits in case of emergency. Make sure all staff know where the nearest exit is located so they can get out safely in case of an emergency.

Train employees on how to use the fire alarm system, what they should do if they hear an alarm sounding or see smoke coming from somewhere near them (or both), how to respond when an evacuation needs to happen—and whom exactly will be responsible for doing so—and most importantly: why everyone needs these things! Don't forget about communicating this information across departments so no one is left out during training sessions either.

Evacuation plan

The first step in preparing your company for a fire is to create an evacuation plan. This plan should include:

  • Where everyone is supposed to go and what they are supposed to do once they arrive there
  • The location of all fire exits, including the best ones (i.e., nearest) for each room or area of your building(s).
  • How employees are expected to use fire extinguishers if necessary, and where those extinguishers are kept.

It's also important that employees know how they can call the fire department once they've evacuated; this should be covered as part of your evacuation training program as well.

Fire preparedness can save your business.

Fire can happen to anyone. It's important to be prepared. Fire preparedness will help you save your business, lives, and money. Fire can destroy property and assets that take time and money to replace, affecting productivity and cash flow in the process.

If a fire breaks out in your place of business, it may have devastating effects on employees, customers, and the public as well as damage or destroy property. If your staff has been trained on the proper fire evacuation procedure, you should take the time to ensure that you have the correct fire safety equipment. 

The fire safety equipment checklist includes:

  • Fire extinguishers. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on each floor. They should be kept out of the reach of children and away from heat sources, like stoves or furnaces.
  • Fire blankets and hoses. Keep at least one dry chemical fire extinguisher in the kitchen area, because it's the most likely place to catch on fire due to cooking grease, which burns quickly and intensely when it catches fire.
  • Smoke alarms: These should be installed at least 10 feet from any sleeping areas and near all sleeping areas (including basements). You also need an automatic sprinkler system for commercial buildings that are more than three stories high or have contents over 50 square feet (this applies even if your business is only partially built on one floor).

The most important thing is to be prepared. Whether you are a business owner or employee, having an evacuation plan and a fire safety equipment checklist will help to ensure everyone's safety in the event of an emergency such as a fire.

The Requirements of Cleaning Sewage From a Building

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Even in the best-run businesses, mishaps occur with the plumbing system. Pipes break and sinks get clogged, causing water and sewage to back up into the building. The protocols for sewage cleaning are very specific and require specialized knowledge and training.

Finding the right company in North Fort Myers, FL, is absolutely critical. This will protect your property, your company, and your employees from the dangerous effects of contaminated water. Workers from a water damage remediation team will come equipped with personal protective gear and advanced equipment to clean up the mess. They will have the experience and the training to handle any situation.

Handling a Toilet Overflow

Most commercial companies have several restrooms spread throughout a building. Some could be for customers and some could be designated for employees. When a toilet backs up, professional sewage cleaning is required. SERVPRO technicians will follow a proven process that has been developed over a 50-year period. The following steps are utilized in an emergency:

  • Inspection and assessment
  • Water removal and cleanup
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Restoration

The job is done to the highest industry standards. This ensures the facility is safe again and free from harmful germs. It also makes sure areas are dried and dehumidified with professional equipment. This prevents further damage such as the growth of mold. It also prevents the recurrence of odors.

Addressing Other Issues

Whether it is a clogged pipe, a broken sewer line, or some other issue, it is best to rely on trained and certified workers to remedy the problem. Sewage cleaning is just one of many disasters SERVPRO franchises are trained to deal with. They are a big help in the aftermath of fires and floods and can handle problems large and small. They use proven methods to assess the scope of a problem. From there, they come up with a plan of action to restore a company to its original condition.

The Best Methods for a Water Cleanup in a Commercial Building

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded office Water damage in office

A flooded company needs a lot of help. That's because a water emergency demands special skills that ordinary cleaners and company custodial staffs do not often have. If the water that spills into a building is contaminated, cleanup workers will need to wear PPE such as gloves and face masks to thwart potential pathogens.

They will also clear affected areas of employees to safeguard them from illness. Additionally, the restoration workers will use approved disinfectants to clean walls, flooring, ceilings, and other areas of dirty water. A local water remediation company in Burnt Store, FL, will arrive on the scene fast to begin the cleanup process.

A Variety of Effective Cleaning Methods

When dealing with a flooded company, advanced cleaning techniques are needed. Technicians will be able to match the best option for getting materials completely clean. Where possible, they will employ a restore versus replace philosophy to save money. Trained workers have the following options at their disposal:

  • Dry cleaning
  • Spray and wipe
  • Wet cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning
  • Abrasive cleaning
  • Foam cleaning

A deep and thorough cleaning is needed to remove dirty and harmful substances from items. Powerful yet safe antimicrobial and antibacterial agents are also used. This approach eliminates odors and prevents the future occurrence of mold growth.

A Versatile Approach to Water Damage
No two situations are exactly alike. Certified workers use their training and experience to come up with a plan when helping a flooded company recover. In addition to water extraction and drying and dehumidifying, they also might use air scrubbers and fogging equipment if the situation calls for it. They will also dispose of any items or building materials that are ruined from the effects of a broken pipe or some other form of a water disaster. They will use the best methods for each situation as this will save time and money, as well as ensure the most effective restoration.

Does Your Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold? What Every Buyer Needs To Know

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a residential home Mold growth found in a St James City, FL home.

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or looking for your forever home in St James City, FL, finding insurance with mold coverage probably isn't your top priority. However, fungus growth can damage surfaces like drywall and carpet. Mold remediation can be difficult and expensive. That’s why all buyers need to know if their homeowner's policy includes mold insurance.

What Do Insurers Cover?

Most insurers only cover mold cleanup when some other covered incident caused the mold to grow. The issue might be covered in some of the following cases:

  • Water from a busted pipe soaks your floor, drywall and insulation, causing mold to grow.
  • An extreme snowstorm damages your newly installed roof and the melting snow seeps into your attic and soaks the insulation.
  • A new heat pump leaks suddenly and fungus growth happens before you can make a claim.

What Isn’t Covered?
Mold caused by poor maintenance of your home and appliances is not covered. What about floods? Homeowner's policies typically do not cover flood damage, including mold. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you should explore flood insurance in addition to your homeowner's policy.

Can You Find Insurance That Covers Mold?
Before you buy homeowner's insurance, ask if the policy offers mold coverage. Some policies may offer limited coverage and some insurers may add coverage for an additional fee. If your insurance agency does not offer mold insurance as part of a regular policy, you should be able to add extra coverage for a fee on top of your basic homeowner's policy.

Sometimes extra coverage for mold can be expensive, especially when your home has a history of mold damage. If your insurance company's quote is high, do your homework to see if the additional coverage is worth it. Paying for mold remediation out of pocket may be the cheaper alternative in some cases.

When black and green fungus growth threatens your home, you want to know you have options to pay for the cleanup. If your current homeowner's policy doesn't have mold coverage, you can look into additional insurance to bring you peace of mind in your new home.

5 Reasons Pipes May Make Noise

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Here are Five Common Sounds

A local water damage restoration service can help with water clean-up if your Cape Coral, FL, home suffers a pipe break. However, there are a number of sounds you may hear before large-scale issues arise. It’s important to know what these sounds mean so that you can avoid a potential pipe burst Here are five common sounds.

1. Water Pressure

If the water pressure is too high it can cause a vibration in the pipes resulting in a humming sound. The recommended pressure level is usually around 55 psi. It’s best to contact a professional for help in order to avoid a pipe burst from incorrect water pressure.

2. Air Bubbles

If there’s a problem with your water line there is a chance that air bubbles can be trapped inside. This can result in a banging sound or sputtering right when a faucet is turned on.

3. Loose Fastenings

If a pipe is incorrectly fasted to the wall it can vibrate as water moves through it resulting in a rattling sound. If left unfixed this could result in a pipe break as well.

4. Worn Components

It’s also possible for washers and other plumbing components to wear down over time. This is usually seen in older plumbing systems or areas of high use. Most often the sound that results from this is a squeal or whistle.

5. Drainage

If there is an issue with water draining you may hear a gurgling sound coming from the pipes. This could indicate that there is debris or some other sort of obstruction. A professional can help remedy this problem before a blocked drain results in water overflow.

To help avoid a pipe break take note of any noises your plumbing may be making and contact a professional for repairs. If it becomes necessary to fix broken pipe flooding, a local water damage restoration service can help.

4 Essential Things To Put in Your Building's First Aid Kit

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

4 Essential Things To Put in Your Building's First Aid Kit

If your Bokeelia, FL, building ever experiences a hurricane or any other storm, you'll want to be ready. Other than preparing for the storm damage restoration process, this entails making a fully equipped kit for first aid. If you're unsure about how to do this, here are four essential things to put in your building's first aid kit.

1. Tools and Equipment
Some of the most important items to put in your kit are tools and equipment. These allow you, or, preferably, a nearby medical professional, to perform more intense forms of first aid. Here are some things to gather:

  • Tweezers
  • Resuscitation equipment
  • Scissors
  • A splint
  • Two elastic wraps
  • Medical tape

If no one in your building has training for using these tools, you may want to get it yourself. In case of cold or shock, you'll also want to get a blanket or two for the emergency kit.

2. Bandages and Pads
No matter what happened, it's likely that bandages and pads will be needed. When getting these items, remember that you'll need more than one kind. Get large gauze pads, regular gauze pads, a gauze roller bandage and band-aids.

3. Sanitary Supplies
Finally (in terms of supplies), you'll need to get sanitary items for your first aid kit. Start by getting an agent or two for cleaning wounds. Possible options are moistened towelettes and hydrogen peroxide. You should also procure some latex gloves.

4. Directions

Even if you had first aid training, you may not be available to help. Therefore, it's important to get detailed instructions to put in each kit. In order to ensure accuracy, try to find instructions from reputable sources. If you got any extra items for your kit, make sure to find instructions for those as well.

When making a first aid kit, it's vital to procure every necessary item. Do your research and make the best kits possible.

Understanding the Main Causes of Basement Flooding and Sewer Backups

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

the old dirty cellar flooded from a pipe break A flooded basement is no fun. However, understanding the common causes and preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of the experience.

Understanding The Primary Sources Of Basement Flooding And Sewer Backups

No homeowner wants to deal with a flooded basement. Unfortunately, sometimes floods are unavoidable. Still, according to water mitigation services in North Fort Myers, FL, there are some preventative measures you can take to prevent the top four causes of basement floods and backups.

1. Sewer Overflow

A severe storm can lead to an onslaught of water rushing to public plumbing systems. Unfortunately, when these systems are overloaded, it can result in sewers backing up. You can install sump pumps and backflow valves to prevent backups from occurring.

2. Clogged Pipes

One of the leading causes of a flooded basement is a clogged drainage pipe. Depending on where the blockage is located, there are several potential causes for the clog. For instance, when inside the home, the clog might stem from wadded-up paper products, grease, or other substances. When the block is outside the house, the cause could be an infiltration of roots or a collapse. The best way to prevent such issues is through routine and professional inspection and maintenance.

3. Blocked Gutters

While you might not think gutters could somehow cause a basement flood, you would be wrong. Blocked gutters do not allow for the free transportation of water from the roof to the ground. The blockage will typically result in flooded gutters. The water overflow then clings to the house and seeps into the soil at the foundation. If there are cracks in the foundation, the water can find its way inside. The best way to prevent gutter blockages is to clean them at the change of every season.

4. Landscape or Pavement Slope

Finally, if your landscape or driveway slopes back towards the house, you will likely experience basement flooding. Unfortunately, the only way to fix the problem is to re-slope the affected zones, which can be costly.

A flooded basement is no fun. However, knowing the common causes and preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of the experience.

How To Handle Puffback Soot

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

A truck from a restoration company At SERVPRO, we have the professionals and the necessary equipment to help you deal with the damage caused by puffback soot in your business, call us!

How To Deal With Puffback Soot

The furnace in your building in Cape Coral, FL, is an essential part of keeping warm air moving throughout the space. When the furnace malfunctions, that warm air can carry soot with it, coating everything in its path. Don't ignore this problem. There are a few steps you need to take when you discover your building has puffback damage. 

Inspect Your Whole Building for Puffback Damage

An oil furnace can produce a lot of sticky soot. It gets in every crevice it comes into contact with, and it can spread quickly. When you inspect your building, be sure you look in areas where puffback soot could be hiding:

  • Inside storage closets
  • Behind doors
  • Inside file cabinets and drawers
  • Under sinks

Call the Professionals

There are several people you need to call when you have puffback damage in your building. First, contact a certified HVAC professional who can fix the furnace and prevent further problems. Then, call fire damage restoration specialists to clean up the soot throughout your building, as this oily mess is too big a problem to leave to your regular custodial staff. Finally, make sure you alert your insurance provider, as your policy may cover the cost of cleanup.

Get an Estimate for Total Restoration

To file a proper claim for issues caused by furnace puffback, you need to get a complete estimate. Take into account all the costs associated with restoration, not just the soot cleaning. For example, if parts of a wall or closet are so damaged they need to be replaced, you should figure that into the overall expenses you report.

Any time you have puffback damage in your building, professional intervention is necessary. Technicians can clean thoroughly and get rid of soot and all the subsequent issues it may cause. Professional repair and restoration get your building back to normal as soon as possible.

3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage and Mold Growth

5/1/2022 (Permalink)

Three Things To Know About Water Damage And Mold Growth

If you have experienced water damage in your commercial building in Cape Coral, FL, then you may have additional secondary damage as well. This can come in many forms, including the growth of mold. The following are some questions you may have if you find yourself in this situation.

1. How Soon Does Mold Begin to Grow After Damage Occurs?

Unfortunately, the time between when the water damage occurs and when the mold begins to grow is not very long. This fungus can grow quickly when given the right conditions. You could have the beginning of an infestation in as little as 24 hours. After two days, the mold will begin to spread even more.

2. Can You Prevent Mold From Growing?

Depending on how severe the damage is, mold prevention can be difficult. However, even if you are unable to stop the growth completely, there are steps you can take to slow it down and limit the spread. Excess water should be removed from the building and everything should be allowed to dry thoroughly. Insulation, carpeting and other absorbent materials may need to be removed. A dehumidifier can be used to reduce moisture in the environment.

3. What Should You Do if You Find Mold?

If you do find mold growth in the building, you should contact a mold remediation company to have it removed. Attempting to clean the mold on your own could make things worse. If the area is not properly contained, mold can spread throughout the building and affect a larger area. You could also end up with a recurring mold problem if the fungus is not removed completely.

Mold is a common problem that affects many commercial buildings that have suffered water damage. While it can be a frustrating and stressful experience, acting quickly can reduce the severity of the growth. A professional service can help remove the fungus and prevent it from coming back.

What To Know About Claims Management Software

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Claims Management Software: What You Should Know

Providers need an efficient way to handle an insurance claim they receive. When you notify your provider about a disaster in your business in Flamingo Bay, FL, it kicks the process off. During this process, agents need a way to track costs, work with a disaster remediation company, such as SERVPRO, avoid fraud, and streamline their communication. The way they do this is with claims management software. Here is some basic information about this software.

What Are Common Features?

Most insurance claim management software comes with a set of standard features that helps agents perform their jobs. This includes:

  • Claims tracking
  • Electronic claims
  • Data exchange
  • Fraud management
  • Inventory management
  • Customer portals
  • Customer relationship management
  • Reporting

What To Consider When Purchasing It?

As with any software purchase, companies need to think about certain aspects of the insurance claim management software they buy. For instance, the type of software they buy is a big factor. Both on-premises and cloud-based software are available. On-premises is traditional software installed at an office location, while cloud-based is run through the internet. On-premises software tends to be used because it is more customizable. On the other hand, cloud-based systems don't cost as much. Each vendor will evaluate these factors when choosing the right software.

Additionally, insurance companies need to think about what additional features they need. Some may want incorporated accounting or business intelligence systems. Items such as these can enhance the claims management system. Therefore, these are common add ons. Furthermore, an agency will need to think about the type of insurance they offer. Then, they can choose an appropriate system for their offering. For instance, those that offer property coverage are going to have different requirements than business interruption companies.

Your insurance company uses claims management software to streamline the filing process. This makes it easier for an insurance agent and business owner to file a claim and get it processed quickly.

5 Creative Flood Control Techniques for Urban Areas

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

5 Ingenious Flood Control Techniques For Cities

Flooding is a major event that happens almost everywhere in the world, affecting areas near waterways and wherever it rains. Cities, in particular, are vulnerable when heavy rains hit because their urban infrastructures have disrupted the natural drainage capacity of the land. This means that even in St James City, FL, communities can experience high water and flooding during heavy storms.

Experts around the world have come up with several creative and clever ways to stop flooding from shutting down businesses and daily activities:

Water Gates

These were seen in Japan first, and have been around for almost 100 years. Water gates are powered by hydraulic motors, powered by water pressure and not electricity, so they are very effective at minimizing flood water damage.

Modular Flood Containers

These portable crates are hollow until flood water fills them. They are simple to use and can be stacked and interlocked, so they can be placed where they are needed. When not in use, the crates stack inside each other, so they don't take up valuable storage space.

Water Inflated Property Barriers

These vinyl and polyester tubs are inflated with water to provide a barrier between the increasingly high water and businesses. The tubs are quick and convenient to inflate and don't require much room for storage.

Rock Pools

In San Diego, groups of concrete blocks have been installed to mimic rock pools. Although this type of flood defense has been used in California coastal areas, the new blocks provide habitats for the marine life in the area.

Sandless Sandbags

Water barrier "socks" are one of the most popular flood damage prevention tools in North America. The bags are simply unfolded and placed to form a protective barrier around properties. When floodwater reaches the line of bags, it is absorbed. The water-filled bags now act the same as traditional sandbags would.

Maybe you've seen some of these flood prevention tools at work. What other ways have you seen high water contained? Have you learned any other techniques from flood and water damage experts?

How To Progress From Mitigation to Restoration

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Reception Area Flooded If you need a flood cleanup after a storm, don't try to tackle the problem yourself. calling SERVPRO is the best solution.

How To Make the Transition from Mitigation To Restoration

Mitigation is the first step to take after a storm causes damage at a commercial building in Cape Coral, FL. In addition to limiting the severity of damage, mitigation may shorten the duration of restoration. Find out when to call a service that specializes in mitigation or a flood cleanup company.

Take Damage Management Measures

The primary goal of mitigation is to lessen the severity of damage in the hours after an incident. Depending on the cause of damage, any of the following measures may be helpful:

  • Boarding up structural breaches
  • Removing standing water
  • Tarping over roof damage

Storm damage may introduce contaminated water into a structure. Once water has been removed, a restoration company can tear out ruined materials, clean, disinfect and dry the affected area.

Tear Out Ruined Materials

Flooding or a severe leak can destroy drywall and insulation. These substances are difficult to disinfect and pose an elevated mold risk. If a building manager or owner is not sure whether to attempt to clean or dispose of any materials, it is a good idea to consult a flood cleanup company.

Clean and Dry the Affected Area

Damage restoration professionals will use EPA-rated cleaning solutions and disinfectants to reduce the risk of mold in a structure damaged by a storm. Air movers, dehumidifiers or fans may be used to accelerate drying times.

Rebuild a Damaged Structure

Once a structure is clean and dry, restoration professionals can start to rebuild damage. Whereas mitigation takes place within hours or days, this part of the recovery process may take days or weeks.

A property owner may be able to take some preliminary steps toward mitigation, but professionals can act quickly to lessen the severity of damage. A flood cleanup company can pump out standing water, which is one of the most important mitigation measures after flooding or severe weather in Cape Coral, FL.

3 Key Steps to Take After a Fire

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Employee sweeping up debris from a fire. This office space was ravaged by a fire. SERVPRO does the heavy lifting for you, removing debris and restoring the affected area!

Businesses in Cape Coral, FL suffer a wide range of consequences after a fire: lost assets and equipment, damaged buildings and environmental hazards, just to name a few. Dealing with details and the interruption to your operations can feel overwhelming, but there are a few key steps you can take. Your insurance company, along with skilled fire restoration technicians, will play key roles in the aftermath of a blaze.

1. Contact Your Insurance Provider

Once you and your employees are safely accounted for and the flames are put out, your next phone call should be to your insurance company. The commercial property portion of your business policy provides the fire insurance coverage to handle your recent loss. Try to get as many details as possible ready before you get on the phone, but keep in mind that you’ll probably be in contact with an adjuster who’ll assess the destruction.

2. Hands Off Everything

For both safety and practical reasons, you should not touch any damaged or destroyed areas of your premises after a fire. Although it might be tempting to “rescue” equipment, furniture or even filing cabinets, keep in mind that your insurance adjuster needs to document the post-blaze state of your property.

3. Contact Cleanup and Restoration Services

After the flames have been put out, your premises likely suffer from smoke and fire damage as well as flooding and water damage from fire suppression efforts. An expert fire restoration company will assess what work must be done and then perform clean up to bring it back to its former condition. Typical services include board-up services for missing walls and windows, tarp-up on impacted roofs, water removal, smoke cleaning, and final cleaning and sanitizing.

Fire’s natural properties make it a destructive force that not only consumes but leaves lasting effects behind in its wake. Thankfully, a fire restoration professional in Cape Coral, FL can help your business on the path to recovery.

Fire Protection: What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage When It Comes To Fire Protection

Many tenants buy renter’s insurance to cover the cost of replacing their personal belongings if they are damaged or destroyed by an accident in the building where they live. Your coverage, however, may pay for much more than just item replacement. It’s important to talk to your agent, so you know just how much you can expect your insurance company to pay if the place you are renting in Cape Coral, FL, catches fire.

Belongings

Part of the fire restoration process is determining which items can be cleaned and saved and which must be thrown away. Your insurance coverage should pay for:

  • Assessment
  • Cleaning costs
  • Replacement costs

Make sure your policy states that it pays replacement cost rather than the actual cash value of your items. The purpose of insurance is to make you whole again, and replacing lost belongings is a good start.

Liability

If the fire was caused by your negligence, you might be liable for any damages you cause to other people or to the structure itself. Your renter’s insurance probably has a clause that protects you from legal costs. Your policy may cover damage to your neighbor’s belongings or the property itself, as well as cover medical bills of anyone injured in the fire if you bear some responsibility for its starting.

Shelter

Fire restoration experts may work quickly, but there are probably going to be some nights that you are unable to stay in your rented space. Finding a temporary place to live can be expensive. Your insurance policy is likely to cover this as well. You can include your shelter needs as part of the fallout of the fire damage to your home when you file your claim.

Your renter’s insurance does cover the loss of your belongings, but it can also cover other losses. Your insurance agent can help you build a solid policy that takes all potential expenses of the fire into consideration.

6 Steps to Flush Your Water Heater

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

How to Flush Your Water Heater In 6 Easy Steps

A regular part of maintenance on your home in Bokeelia, FL, is periodic flushing of your water heater. It's a simple process, but taking safety precautions and making sure the water and sediment have a place to go are important. Water remediation experts recommend the following steps to avoid flooding your home.

1. Turn off Power

Before you begin the water heater flush, make sure all power is off. The pilot light on gas models should go out, and the circuit that supplies an electric model should be switched off.

2. Put on Gloves

As you may expect, water from the heater will be hot, so it's important to wear protective gear over your hands. Heavy duty work gloves protect you from getting burned.

3. Set up Drain Hose

Connect the hose you are using to the drain valve on your water heater. Place the other end of the hose in the area where you want the water and sediment to deposit.

4. Drain the Heater

Opening the drain valve allows water to flow through. You can turn on the hot water faucet in your kitchen to speed up the process. Flush it a couple of times to make sure all the sludge is gone and then close the valves to prepare to refill the heater.

5. Fill the Tank

Turn the water back on to fill the tank. You know it is filled when an open faucet goes from a weak to steady stream of water and no more air is coming out of the line.

6. Turn on Power

After confirming the tank is full, you can turn the power on without damaging the heater. Turning the power on lets the water inside it begin to heat up.

Your water heater needs regular care just like any other appliance in your home. Flushing the sediment out allows it to continue working efficiently.

3 Things You May Need To Throw Away After a Home Fire

2/28/2022 (Permalink)

After A House Fire, There Are Three Things You May Need To Throw Away.

When a fire occurs in your home in Cape Coral, FL, the process of cleaning up can be daunting. Often, people are unsure of what to throw away. There are several types of items that are often damaged in fires, and they commonly need to be thrown out.

1. Cosmetics

Cosmetics, even if they are packaged, generally need to be stored in clean, cool environments to remain in good condition. Unfortunately, high heat from a fire can cause the packaging of many items, and the items themselves, to melt. As a result, smoke and soot can easily damage the cosmetics, making them unsafe to use.

2. Food

After a fire, it’s often best to throw away the majority of food items in your home. Though some items may be visibly damaged, especially if the fire occurred in the kitchen, some pieces of food may appear to be unharmed. However, even if items are canned or wrapped up, smoke and soot can still affect the quality of food, and consuming food that has been harmed by soot or smoke damage can be hazardous. If you’re unsure whether or not food has been harmed, it’s generally best to discard the item.

3. Medication

Many medications need to be stored in relatively cool environments, and some medications may need to be stored in a refrigerator. During a fire, the temperature in a house can quickly rise. The high heat from a fire can damage the overall quality of the medication, which can ultimately make the medication ineffective and unsafe to consume. If you can document the medications that need to be replaced, you may be able to receive compensation from your insurance company.

Knowing that you may need to throw away cosmetics, food and medication after a fire can help make the process of sorting through your belongings easier. Often, homeowners whose homes have sustained damage from fires find it useful to work with fire damage restoration experts.

Why does water damage occur with a fire?

2/28/2022 (Permalink)

When A Fire Occurs, Why Does Water Damage Occur?

The effects of fire damage on your commercial property in Pine Island, FL, are fairly obvious, but what about all the water damage it incurs? Fire suppression efforts are the most common cause of blaze-related water destruction, which can lead to mold problems and leave your property unusable if not immediately treated. In tandem, you’ll also have to contend with smoke-related problems and other physical hazards on your premises.

The Science Behind a Fire

Science tells us that there are four elements required to start a fire and keep it going:

  • A reducing agent
  • Heat
  • Oxygen
  • A chemical reaction

The reducing agent, commonly called “fuel,” is what it must feed on to combust and burn. Typically, most reducing agents are carbon-based, which explains why organic materials like wood are so easily consumed. Meanwhile, heat is simply the energy component, which uses oxygen to burn. All three together keep the chemical reaction going to prolong the flames and instigate fire damage on your premises.

How to Stop a Fire

To inhibit a blaze at its source, you must remove one of its four elements. Often, the quickest way to do that is the introduction of large quantities of water through a fire hose. Water absorbs the fire’s heat, then converts to vapor and reduces available oxygen. It’s a two-pronged approach, taking away the blaze’s energy and smothering it by cutting off its supply of the oxidizing agent. Unfortunately, this technique requires vast amounts of water or foam fire suppressive substances, thus flooding the property to save it.

Once a blaze on your commercial property is quenched, the fire department’s job is done. Now it’s time for fire restoration experts in Pine Island, FL, to move in. Although fire damage and the aftereffects from smoke and water can be destructive and distressing, a professional cleanup company can assist you in getting back to business.

For Large Losses, SERVPRO Is on the Case

2/25/2022 (Permalink)

Truck from a restoration company With our SERVPRO of Cape Coral team, you can always count on a quick response, no matter the day or hour of your loss.

SERVPRO Is Ready To Respond To Large-Scale Disasters.

At some point, most Pine Island, FL, homeowners will experience some type of incident or mishap in their house. They can handle many of these minor issues on their own, but what happens when something severe such as a flood or fire produces catastrophic loss? This is precisely when you need an experienced professional to take over. SERVPRO fits the profile as the ideal disaster relief company. These experts have what it takes to tackle disasters of any size.

What Makes SERVPRO the Best?

In the aftermath of a fire or flooding, as an insurance agent you don’t want to trust cleanup, rebuilding and replacement to just anyone. SERVPRO is equipped with what you’re looking for in a high-quality disaster response team.

• They have resources.
• They have a proven track record of success.
• They use best practices and techniques to clean up after large losses.
• They have the skills and customer service you need.

Biggest Problems

Chances are, if a major storm or fire affects your client’s home, it may affect others in the areas as well. When it comes to catastrophic loss, SERVPRO has the ability to handle even the most challenging situations. This trusted disaster restoration company has a nationwide presence so that it can send technicians from several locations to your client’s home and neighborhood. This helps ensure a faster, more thorough response to the most significant problems.

True Professionals

SERVPRO is one of the most reputable names in the business because the entire staff prides itself in doing first-rate work. The team will start by inspecting the storm damage or damage from smoke and fire. Technicians will then decide what they need to replace altogether and what they can clean, repair and salvage. They use the most up-to-date techniques and equipment to ensure your client’s home is as close to the preloss state as possible.

SERVPRO is your top choice to help your insured recover from catastrophic loss. Call your local office during your time of need.

Factors Affecting Flood Coverage

2/7/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cut in a home after a water damage After water damage, sometime flood cuts like seen in this picture are necessary during the restoration process. Call SERVPRO when you need it.

Flood Insurance: Factors to Consider

Deciphering your homeowner's policy can be tricky. If you have a flood in your home in Pine Island, FL, due to a leaking or broken pipe, your insurance company may pay for the remediation of the damage. There are two main factors that determine whether or not your claim will be accepted.

Timing

The damage caused by a sudden pipe burst is a classic example of an issue that is covered by insurance. Pipe repair is generally considered part of regular home maintenance, not part of accident recovery. While your insurance may not pay to fix a broken pipe, it will likely cover the following water restoration services:

  • Carpet cleaning
  • Flooring replacement
  • Drywall and insulation replacement
  • Anti-mold precautions

Addressing the problem quickly is vital. If you let a problem go unresolved, causing the damage to get worse, the insurance company is likely to see this as neglect, and your flood claim could be denied.

Cause

Your commitment to regular maintenance is a factor in insurance coverage. If you can demonstrate that you keep your plumbing on a reliable maintenance schedule, the damage resulting from a broken pipe is usually covered. Your insurance will probably even cover secondary damage that occurs later if it is related to an issue that was initially paid for by your policy. If, however, you neglect to fix known problems or allow pipes to freeze and burst because you didn't take the necessary precautions to protect them, your claim may be denied. Most policies require that the problem causing the damage is accidental or sudden in order for the cost of remediation to be covered.

If the flood in your home was caused by a leak or broken pipe, your homeowner's policy likely covers the cost of fixing the damage. As long as you have done your due diligence regarding proper maintenance and prevention, your claim will probably be accepted by your insurance company.

Basic Workplace First Aid

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Basic First Aid For The Workplace

When you splash hot coffee on your hands or get too close to industrial machinery, there's risk of serious burns. It's important to know how to respond if you or a coworker in Pine Island, FL, gets scalded, exposed to radiation, or zapped with electricity. If you end up with injuries due to fire damage, you'll want to know that someone has the skills and equipment ready to apply burn first aid.

Identify the Severity of the Burn

The first step is identifying whether the burn requires professional attention. Contact 911 or get to an emergency room if there's a major burn.

• The skin is dry and leathery.
• There are charred patches and discoloration.
• The burns cover more than three inches and/or run deep into the skin.

Care for Minor Burns

If the burns are minor, such as blistered hands from providing a quick response to fire damage, there are a few steps you or your coworkers can handle on your own.

• Remove jewelry and tight clothing from the burned skin. It doesn't take long for swelling to affect the area.
• Cool the burned area. This may involve holding the burn under cool running water or putting a cool, wet cloth on the area. This should continue until the pain of the burn decreases.
• Apply an ointment or lotion. After the skin is as cool as possible, apply aloe vera, an antibiotic ointment, or a moisturizing lotion for further relief.
• Consider wrapping the burned skin loosely with sterile gauze to keep air away and to protect the skin. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also be used to reduce pain and swelling.
• If there are blisters, do not pop or break them. The fluid and skin offer protection from infections. If blisters do break, keep the area clean and apply antibiotic ointment over the exposed skin.

Whether you or your coworker has been affected by flames and fire damage or electrical burns, a quick response and appropriate first aid treatment could prevent a lot of pain and damage in the future. Damage to the building should be handled by fire damage restoration professionals.

Keep Looters Away From Your Fire-Damaged Business

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Keep Looters Away From Your Burned-Out Shop

At any moment, your St James City, FL, business could be affected by fire damage. Once the flames are gone and the smoke has been cleared out, your work isn't over. The safety and security of your property and business belongings are now at risk. You need to take steps to prevent looting and keep the building and yard safe.

• Secure the roof.
• Board up entry ways.
• Add perimeter fencing.
• Contact local authorities.

Protect the Roof and Address Openings

It's fairly common to have damaged roof openings as part of fire damage, and looters and other vandals may take advantage of those openings to access your building. Use plywood to prevent entry to your business and tack tarp over the exposed areas to keep rain, melting snow, and pests out of the building.

Prevent Unauthorized Access to the Building

Any windows or doors could allow access to your business and equipment. This is especially true after areas have been weakened by disaster. If you have exterior grade solid core doors, just make sure the locks are in good working condition. Otherwise, use plywood sheets and sturdy hinges to construct usable entryways for fire damage and remediation professionals.

Any doors and windows that aren't needed as entry points should be boarded up during fire cleanup to keep looters and other unauthorized people from entering the building. Store the windows, glass, and other components inside the building.

Install Perimeter Fencing

Even a temporary fence around your property can discourage vandals and other individuals from getting into your business during cleanup and reconstruction. This step is especially crucial if you have a lot of equipment, business documents, and other possessions in storage on the property. For the best results, choose fencing with diagonal braces on end and gate posts, a strong galvanized mesh, and lock and chain security.

Even if you have a good security system in place, these added steps can prevent further damages and losses. Don't add more trouble on top of fire damage by neglecting to secure your commercial property.

Top Things to Do (and Not Do) To Prepare for a Storm

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

The Best Ways To Prepare For A Storm (And What Not to Do)

Readying for a winter storm involves more than watching the weather report and stocking up on groceries. There’s the odd pipe break, roof stresses and countless other things to prepare for. Whether you’re in the throes of winter or just thinking ahead, consider these do’s and do nots to ensure your Pineland, FL, building gets through the worst of it.

Winter Storm Threats

A storm can pose a surprisingly diverse variety of threats to your building. Some of the most common threats include:

  • Snow build up on roofs
  • Ice dams in gutters
  • Pipe freezes

Each of these can result in damage that can create major inconvenience as well as big expenses in the long run. Preparing for these and other threats is the best way to save yourself a headache.

Do Insulate Your Building

While buildings naturally come with insulation, there’s often room for reinforcement, especially in areas prone to severe winters. Improve efficiency by placing plastic over windows, caulking drafty windows and ensuring you don’t have any holes in your roof. Take note of areas where icicles form around your roof eaves to help you target areas for interior leak inspections.

Don’t Ignore Your Yard

Tree branches are easily weighted down by snow and ice and those can fall onto your building creating disaster. Trim back trees in the warmer season to reduce the chance of major damage to your roof or windows.

Do Service your Thermostat/Furnace

A storm is not the time to find out your thermostat is malfunctioning. Prepare in advance by checking your thermostat to ensure it’s working properly. Further, check your furnace filter and inspect heating ductwork to ensure you’ll be safe from frigid temperatures.

A winter storm can cause serious damage and even loss of life. Ensure your safety by preparing for the season with these basic pointers. And if you’re already facing storm damage, connect with seasoned storm cleanup experts to make things like new.

Some Simple Toilet Fixes

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Simple Toilet Repairs

If you find water pooling around the floor of your bathroom, there’s a good chance you have a leaking toilet. Fortunately, most issues of this type don’t require replacing the entire bowl, and can instead be solved at low cost with a few replacement components.

1. Inspection

The first step is to gain a proper understanding of where problems are likely to occur. While an old toilet will not usually fail in the basin itself, it is possible for the wax seal beneath the toilet to disintegrate over time. To check the status of the seal, simply remove the plastic-capped bolts holding the toilet to the floor. Be sure to cut off the water supply line beforehand and empty the tank of the leaking toilet.

2. Replacement

If you have ascertained that the seal has failed, the next step in the toilet repair process is to purchase a replacement seal that fits your specific drain. Scrape the remaining pieces of the seal away from the outlet with a putty knife or other flat-bladed tool and place the new one over the drain. When reinstalling the toilet, it may be necessary to exchange or cut the bolts affixing the unit before replacing the caps.

3. Future Maintenance

Afterwards, it may be advantageous to place a caulk seal at the point where the toilet contacts the floor. This can help keep incidental moisture, such as condensation from shower steam, from seeping under the toilet and causing unwanted mold or bacterial growth. Be sure to also inspect pipes, supply lines, and the inner tank mechanisms for wear and tear that can cause other kinds of leaks. If significant water damage occurs, consider contacting a service specializing in water damage restoration.

While a leaking toilet can be a hassle, don’t hesitate to perform some simple repairs to keep your bathroom in good shape. Manage your home’s plumbing in Burnt Store, FL, properly to prevent lasting damage.

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