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Did You Know

8/18/2019 (Permalink)

Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!

Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

10 Things You Should Know About Mold

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Ten Things You Should Know about Mold

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

Overcoming Soot Damage

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Team SERVPRO Has the Experience to Eliminate Many Different Types of Soot Residues Remaining in Your Home After a Fire

Your Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park home was not intended to stop fires before they spread to other areas of the house. In fact, most of the materials used for the construction of your home have the ability to catch fire and help it to spread throughout the structure. Unfortunately, this can spread the effects of this blaze all throughout your property and cause a lot of work for the professional restoration team that you choose to help clean up this mess. 
 
Working to clean up the mess after the incident is over is no easy task, either. Most often the substantial effects that stand out are smoke and soot damages. These are common versions of fire damage in Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park homes, and they can often prove to be challenging to remove without the right equipment. 
 
Fortunately, our SERVPRO professionals have the tools and expertise to help you through often widespread soot damages throughout your household. While the most concentrated of this effect can get found around the fires originating point where it burned the longest, this is not always the case. This matted debris and film from the combustion leaves a dark, often black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials. 
 
Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the present film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high powered vacuums to get used instead. 
 
Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor typically requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leave no discernable scent behind. 
 
There is very little that most homeowners can do alone to bring their homes back from the harmful effects of a fire. When you face these kinds of damages, seek out the professionals we employ at SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park. We can respond quickly and get your home back to preloss conditions as soon as possible. Give us a call 24/7 at (727) 521-2562

How To Locate A Shower Or Bathtub Leak

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Though some water leaks throughout your Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park home can be easy to spot, there are a vast amount of others that require more than a casual glance. A shower or bathtub leak, for example, can fall into the latter category, as there are a variety of places for leaks to emerge from in these areas. If you’re in need of help identifying a water leak in your shower, read on to learn how to effectively locate one without much hassle. Once the source has been identified, contacting a trained water restoration team can ensure your home is cleared of any water damage, as well. 

Check the Common Sources First

Before tearing into the tile work or uprooting your tub, it pays to investigate the more obvious areas first. After a shower, inspect common sources such as the:

  • Shower head face,
  • The O-ring between the shower head and arm,
  • Faucet handles, and the areas surrounding them, or
  •  Caulking at the base or surrounding of a shower/tub combination.

Leak issues are generally noticeable in these spaces and can be more easily detected by sight after running water through your shower.

Have a Professional Inspect Your Shower Pan, Whether New or Old

A shower pan leak is another usual spot for an issue, especially in tiled shower designs. These leaks can start due to the pan being too old and faulty, or simply due to a new one being installed incorrectly. Therefore, it pays to have someone inspect this space as a potential cause for any shower or bathtub leak.

Determine the Severity of the Issue By Searching the Levels Below

There’s no clearer indication of a bad water leak within your shower floor than through the ceiling or flooring directly below the shower itself. Look for signs of water damage or condensation on the ceiling beneath a second-story shower, or throughout your crawl space below a first-floor shower.

When you’re hoping to eliminate a shower or bathtub leak in your Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park home, follow any of these efficient methods for a quick solo inspection before contacting a professional for further assistance.

9 Ways To Manage Mold

8/10/2019 (Permalink)

  1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them.Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters.
  2. Dry wet areas immediately.Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. 
  3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. 
  4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products.Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. 
  5. Monitor humidity indoors.The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. 
  6. Direct water away from your home.If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
  7. Clean or repair roof gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
  8. Improve air flow in your home.Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.
  9. Keep mold off household plants.They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house.

Protection From Wind Damage

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms this season and the strong powerful winds can cause significant damage to your home.  Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property from broken windows and fallen tree branches to more severe damage to the roof, garage, or car.  It can happen to your home directly from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house. 

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage.  It can produce many types of damaging weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and more. Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S. but the storm damage repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage.  Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year; understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs. 

It is important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is so you know the potential and level of damage to expect.   These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it.  Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage to your home when severe weather strikes.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Most wind damage is caused by flying debris either from plants or other structures and objects that are not secured.  If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris around your home such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects are either secured or brought inside.  Your doors and windows should also be secured to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

Roof damage can be reduced during the construction phase when the roof deck and the shingles or membrane is applied over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will firmly anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind. Roofing material must be properly fastened to the deck. Weakly connected shingles will lift easily from the deck.

Siding damage can be reduced at the construction phase as well. Properly fastened siding is less likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger and more storm resistant structure.

 Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of the structure being damaged.

Mitigating Damage after a Storm

Close any openings made in the structure by the wind. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that can be quickly cut to size and nailed over the opening.

Keep your personal safety in mind and attempt such a closure yourself only if it can be done with little or no risk. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of emergency close up. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

Falling trees and tree limbs can open a structure with sudden violence. A tree on a structure is a very serious personal and structural safety issue. A tree may look as if it will not shift position. But it can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. A fallen tree may also mask other very serious safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. The wires may still be live and the tree itself energized. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

If your home or business sustains wind damage during a storm, it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage.  SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today (727) 521-2562

5 Ways To Avoid Kitchen Hazards

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Five Ways to Avoid Kitchen Hazards

Many people in Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park love to cook. But even seasoned chefs sometimes make costly mistakes. Here are five helpful ways to avoid kitchen hazards such as a drain clog or grease fire.

1. Keep Your Vents Clean

It’s important to keep the vent screens above your stove clean. Otherwise grease can build up on the screen and inhibit the ventilation becoming a contributing factor in a kitchen fire. The grease build-up could even make a fire worse. 

2. Don’t Leave Pans Unattended

Most cooks know never to lean a pan unattended on the stove. The pan could be knocked over, grease can splatter, or the food can be allowed to cook too long. Each of these things can be a fire hazard.

3. Don’t Put Grease Down the Drain

When you're done cooking it may be tempting to pour the hot grease down the drain. Built up grease in drain can lead to a drain clog and sink overflow. Instead the grease can be poured into a container, allowed to cool and then placed in the trash.

4. Wipe Out Greasy Pans Before Washing

Wipe out any remaining grease and food particles before washing your pans. This can help prevent buildup that may lead to a sink clog.

5. Call a Professional to Service Appliances

If you’re having problems with your stove or drain it may be time to call a professional. They will know how to fix the problem without causing a potential electrical fire. These can come from attempting to fix a broken stove or clogged dish disposal without the correct tools. If fire or flooding does occur, then a fire and water damage restoration service may be able to help.

Following these tips can help you prevent problems like a drain clog or grease fire. Never leave your stove unattended when it’s on, don’t put grease down the drain, and call a professional if your kitchen appliances need maintenance. In the event a fire or flooding does happen in your kitchen, then a restoration professional may be able to help.

Eliminating Mold Growth Causes

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Remediates Mold Damage and Takes Steps to Prevent Future Mold Growth

A continuous state of elevated humidity is a primary cause of excessive microbial growth in Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park residences and can quickly increase the amount of damage that follows. Other factors, such as the presence of absorbent materials in the home can also play a role in how rapidly microbial growth occurs.

Whenever a residence in Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park sustains mold damage, one of the aspects examined inside the home includes the presence of water sources. Leaky water lines, past flooding events, and saturated ground near the home can all increase the amount of humidity the interior of the home experiences. SERVPRO technicians use moisture meters and other devices to locate the sources as well as areas where moisture accumulated. Once we locate these areas and sources, we can then resolve the situation that caused microbial growth to affect the home.

Mold remediation experts know that the existence of future invasive water can cause the microbial problem to return, rendering mold remediation efforts useless. Once we eliminate these sources, we can then begin removing mold-damaged materials, laundering and cleaning household items and furniture, and caring for the carpeting throughout the home. Walls that harbor mold, even if dormant, need cleaning and dried.

During our work, maintaining a set of controls to keep all mold contained safely, affects the overall outcome of our labor. This includes the use of plastic sheeting surrounding areas within the home, along with the use of our air scrubbers. Sending microbes outdoors helps keep them from entering other areas of your property.

However, ensuring that moisture sources no longer exist where they should not helps keep old sources from returning in full force. Effectively starving microbes, their population growth stays under control. Once we complete our remediation work, diligent homeowners know to keep an eye out for leaking water lines, loose connections, and other sources of moisture. Microbes do not need a great deal of moisture to begin growing again and causing future problems.

SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park is always ready to serve those in our community. Contact us by calling our 24-hour service line at (727) 521-2562. Your family does not need to live with the effects of mold damage in your home.

When This Doctor Needed Help He Called SERVPRO

8/4/2019 (Permalink)

A doctor's office. A fire. Two things that don't mix. Fortunately no one was injured. But we needed to help this practice set up a temporary office so that the doctors could continue to see patients. We know that in a situation like this time is of the essence. We got the call and responded with plenty of crew to get the damaged contents out and assess what could be cleaned and salvaged and what needed to be discarded. Contents that sustained only light soot damage were quickly and thoroughly cleaned and moved to their temporary office space so that their business could resume somewhat normal activities. Closely working with the client and the insurance company, we packed contents and began the cleaning process both at our warehouse and on site in order to get their business back up and running as soon as possible. As boxes of contents were cleaned and ready to put back into use, we transported finished items to their temporary office space. Contents ranged from waiting room furniture and files to high end instruments and tools needed needing fine intricate cleaning. Meanwhile, our crew was busy doing necessary demo in areas of the building that had to be removed due to the fire damage. Debris hauling and cleaning of the entire structure to remove soot that had travelled through the entire building we ongoing until that portion of the job was complete. Ducts of the HVAC system also needed cleaning as the smoke and soot traveled through these systems as a means of escape. We readied the building after demo and cleaning for a contractor to come in and build-back the structure to make the offices operational again.

In a fire of this magnitude, the project manager needs to oversee all of these activities in order to fully complete the job. And as you can imagine this process takes months to complete. We know that situations like these require constant communication with our client throughout the process. It is always satisfying to see a job of this magnitude come to completion. Our goal throughout this process is to minimize the stress for our customers and get them back to normal business as smoothly and quickly as possible.

When unfortunate circumstances require our services, we do our best to exceed customer expectations. We are always here to help.

Tips Professional Water Damage Restoration

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

Plumbing defaults, floods and sewerage systems defaults can cause a lot of water damage to any commercial building or even residential premises. Water damage does not only affect the structure of a house, but it also affects the contents of that building. Whether the damage is caused by pipe break, supply line break or flooding, it is highly recommendable to work with water restoration professionals who shall help in restoring the building to its normal condition. In the course of flood damage mitigation, several things must be taken into account to because the process can be complicated and tricky.

Water damage Mitigation approach

  • Initial inspection 

In this kind of a project, the primary consideration is assessing the entire pipe break or supply line break systems and understanding the requirements for the work. The water cleanup experts must, therefore, be able to conduct a comprehensive inspection process regarding the water in home or water in business premises. This helps the restoration company to understand the cost caused by the flood damages, the time frame of the mitigation process as well as materials and machines required in the process.

During such an inspection, the professionals also evaluate the cause of the pipe break or supply line break caused by the water in home and try to stop excessive water from entering the building. Some of the components inspected by a restoration company include the pipes supplying water in business premises, the source of the water as well as the supply lines. If the flood damages contain some sewerage components in the supply line break the professionals will precede with the necessary precautions.

  • Water removal 

After the restoration company has inspected the entire project in the restoration process, they then proceed to the water cleanup process to evacuate water in business areas or residential premises. This is whereby the water is evacuated from the inside and surrounding of the premises. This as well includes moisture removal from the building. By the use of a good technology and efficient water extraction machines, thousands of gallons of water in home can be removed from the affected premises easily and within the shortest time possible.

  • The Drying process 

After the extraction of water in home or water in business building, the restoration company uses dehumidifiers as well as air movers top ensure that space is completely dried up in the restoration process. During the drying process, the windows are all open to allow air circulation on the premises. During drying, the restoration companies are required to monitor the affected areas and make adjustments on their water cleanup equipment if necessary.

The primary objective using the most efficient drying machines in this procedure is to provide the most effective services, save the client money and time and restore the building to its normal conditions within the agreed period.

  • Actual Remodeling 

This is considered the final step in any water damage removal process. The process entails re-tilling of the house, painting, reconstruction of the walls and the floor or even renovating the roof. Every remodeling process in each premise is done differently. This mostly depends on the extensiveness of the damage and the desires of the homeowner.

The remodeling process reflects the kind of design a homeowner shall have after the entire damage renovation process. The homeowner should define and declare the kind of designs they want to be restored to their flooded homes before the actual work is done. This helps in ensuring that the remodeling fits the desires and anticipations of the homeowner. It also helps the expert in knowing the materials in restoring the flooded home, pipe breaks and necessary supply line break.

Some things to consider

In case you experience floods in your home or a business premises, it is important to start the water cleanup process as early as possible. Removing some things from the flooded home such as the furniture, fittings, electrical fixtures and other belongings is necessary even before you call the experts. These are things that can absorb water and cause more flood damages and thus more losses. You can as well, ask reputable water removal companies to do such work for you to avoid more losses during the mitigation on the flooded home.