Flooding and Why Time is important.
Or Professionals are ready when you need us the most.
3 Ways a Disaster Remediation Team Can Improve the Mitigation Procedure
When your clients have a flood, fire or storm damage their commercial property they often turn to you as a knowledgeable source of information on a reliable restoration company. You know that the always open, 24-hour availability of a service team is important in managing the restoration process and saving many of your client’s business items. Here are three ways a disaster remediation team can improve the mitigation procedure with a quick response.
- Timing Is Essential
When the initial call is made, the disaster team must move quickly because decisions about the scene, water removal, and area restoration often require quick and comprehensive decisions. You want the restoration service to respond to your call as soon as possible so that your clients don’t try to handle the job on their own and make matters worse. When you call a restoration company that offers an immediate on-site response with certified technicians, you know you can receive up-to-date status reports soon after their arrival.
- Quick Mitigation is Important
A fast response is important, but so is quickly mitigating the standing water at the disaster scene. Experienced restoration and remediation service personnel understand that there is a 24-hour window before mold and mildew often begin growing in the wet environment. Quick mitigation at the scene can help prevent the growth of mold.
- Restoration is Vital
Once the water has been removed, restoration can begin. Repairing the area can be much less costly than removing and rebuilding, so it is vital to dry the area out quickly and begin the final site assessment to look for any further damage. You know your client depends on you, just as you depend on the quick response of the restoration team.
Employing a knowledgeable team with a 24-hour window of availability can allow you to expect a quick response to any disaster scene. Choose the team that is Faster to Any Size Disaster, like SERVPRO of South Brevard.
Why Professionals Should Exclusively Handle Smoke and Fire Damage
Fire Clean-Up can be a complicated process, let the Professionals handle this for you.
If you have suffered fire damage you may think you can read a few manuals and be able to clean the mess up yourself. But if you attempt that, you may be costing yourself valuable possessions and thousands of dollars in additional restoration fees. Fire clean up is a complicated process that should only be handled by professionals.
Just because the firefighters are gone doesn’t mean that everything is safe. The building is not back to normal until professionals have restored it. The process sounds simple but the job requires a lot of experience and manpower to adequately restore a burnt building. A homeowner should never attempt this.
While the fire may be the immediate danger, the remnants of the fire will continue to affect the house. If ash and smoke is left untreated, it can cause extended corrosion, etching and discoloration, and powerful lingering odors. Professionals that have the right training and experience can stop this from happening before it becomes a major problem if they’re called in a timely manner.
Many companies claim to have the ability to restore buildings that have suffered fire damage but only those that have the right training and certification, like SERVPRO of South Brevard, should be considered. The agency that oversees these qualified companies is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). To earn their certification, registrants must complete extensive coursework preparing them for on-site restoration.
If professionals are called in immediately, they can clean up and restore the building to its original state but if not, they may not be able to salvage all the damage. The first thing that ash does is to discolor most surfaces. Within minutes, anything that’s made of plastic or was located near the fire will begin discoloration. Fiberglass and finishes that are on appliances will begin to yellow within hours of the fire being extinguished. Also within the first few hours, metals may begin to tarnish. After the first few days, the ash will cause the permanent discoloration of walls, clothing, and upholstery. All wood or vinyl furnishings throughout the building will need to be either refinished or replaced and metal will start corroding within the first few days.
The state of the building’s appliances and furnishings will be significantly impacted during the first few days if professionals are not immediately called in to clean up and restore the building but that’s not the only trouble that can be avoided. The cost of restoration will be significantly less if you call them as soon as possible. This is because you may need to replace metals, the carpets will be permanently discolored, and glass will be severely etched and need to be replaced. It’s possible that odors that have been caused by the fire may still be present and may be intense enough that it may distract people in the building. And because ash is acidic, the longer it takes for the professionals to arrive on the scene the more permanent damage will be caused.
When the professionals first arrive on the scene, the first thing that they’ll do is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way that they can clean the smoke and fire damage so that the building is restored to its original state is to be extremely thorough in their investigation. Ash residue can very easily be disturbed and spread throughout the building forcing everything it comes in contact with to need restoration. The professionals that arrive on the scene will be able to identify what can and what can’t be salvaged.
Over time, ash builds up into layers and it can eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. So when the professionals arrive, they will remove the build-up of ash residue that’s coating the building.
The professional restorers will also locate the source of any odors caused by the fire and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated specifically to neutralize these kinds of odors. Once the professionals are done treating the odors, they may seal the building off to prevent any further odor from spreading through the air.
After a fire it may be tempting to attempt to clean the building, especially if there doesn’t appear to be that much damage. However, that decision can have negative lasting effects. If you have fire damage and need cleanup and restoration, call SERVPRO of South Brevard, to ensure a safe and quality restoration.
SERVPRO of South Brevard Fire Services
Fire damage requires action sooner than later!
Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO of South Brevard, professionals arrive on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results - including lower claim costs. SERVPRO of South Brevard professionals can be on-site quickly to help ensure a fire damage is handled properly by utilizing the following services:
After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. We will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found within the structure.
All of the restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. Additionally, all of the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO professionals can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items for agents and their policyholders.
SERVPRO professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left behind by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.
If your home or business is in need of fire or smoke related services, call SERVPRO of South Brevard, at (321) 777-5131.
Hacks for Surviving a Hurricane
Living on Florida’s Space Coast, hurricanes have become a familiar part of life, and over the years I have picked up some hurricane hacks that have saved me time and money. Here are several of the tricks I have picked up during my experience through hurricanes.
A dishwasher can act as a waterproof safe. Just take the dishes out to store important documents or non-waterproof valuables.
Freezer Fail Detector
It can be hard to know if your power went out while you were on vacation. If it did, your food might not be safe. Fill a jar halfway with water then freeze and then place it on its side. Put the jar upright before you leave and take note if the water has melted and refrozen at the bottom of the jar to find out.
Use your washing machine as a cooler. Fill it up halfway with ice, and then fill it up with items that need refrigeration.
Strap a headlamp onto a water jug to make a light. You can make several of these, and set them throughout your home.
Stock Up on Crayons
If you have kids, you probably have a ton of crayons lying around — which means you also have a bunch of mini-candles at your disposal if disaster strikes. File this under "good to know" and leave crayons and a paper plate in various drawers around the house.
Covert AAA Batteries to AA batteries in a Pinch
Many more devices take AA batteries than AAA batteries. So in the event of a prolonged power outage, you'll probably find yourself running out of the right size batteries. Fear not, because if you have some AAA batteries, you can easily turn them into AA batteries with just a little foil. I wouldn't recommend doing this out of pure laziness in a nonemergency situation due to the fire hazard potential, but in a pinch it can work.
DIY Air Conditioner
Keep cool without air conditioning. It’s a good idea in the summer to fill up empty two-liters with water and keep them in your freezer. If the power goes out, you can place one frozen two-liter in front of a battery operated fan and sit directly in front of it for a DIY air conditioner.
4 Steps To Clean Fire-Damaged Contents
The professionals at SERVPRO in Melbourne, FL can take care of soot and smoke damage
4 Steps to Determine Whether an Item is A Candidate for Cleaning
Fire and smoke can damage the contents of a commercial building. It may be possible to clean and restore items depending on the materials and degree of damage. Restoration experts can recommend dry-cleaning, foam, ultrasonic waves or other specialized treatments. Here are four steps to determine whether an item is a candidate for cleaning.
1. Assess Damage
The first step to cleaning contents is to determine whether items can benefit from restoration or should be disposed of and replaced. Contents that have sustained smoke damage or staining due to soot are better suited for cleaning than burnt or charred items.
2. Consider Durability
In addition to damage, the durability of materials is also an important consideration. If an item is inherently delicate, it may not stand up to even the most gentle restoration treatments. This is particularly the case when damage is extensive.
3. Factor In Porosity
Porosity plays an important part in determining the best content cleaning treatment for any item. Porous items such as clothing or textiles may benefit most from dry-cleaning or foam treatments. Delicate, non-porous items made of ceramic or glass can be good candidates for immersion in cleaning solution and the use of ultrasonic waves. Delicate, porous materials may be sprayed and wiped to limit exposure to moisture.
4. Consult Experts
It is best to have damaged items cleaned by restoration professionals. Look for a service that provides a full range of content cleaning options as well as content storage. Once items are clean, they should be kept off-site until restoration is complete.
These steps can lead to better outcomes for the contents of a commercial building. This process can also help building owners determine whether it will be more cost-effective to dispose of and replace certain items. Rely on a fire damage mitigation company that provides services such as restoration-grade dry-cleaning in Melbourne, FL.
How To Minimize the Risk of Secondary Damage
Flooded commercial building in Sebastian, FL after a pipe burst
A flood or burst pipe can cause significant water damage inside any Sebastian, FL, business. Excessive water exposure can be particularly problematic because moisture is an essential ingredient for black mold growth. To help prevent secondary damage and the need for mold remediation services, it’s essential that the professional restoration crew you hire performs a thorough cleanup that incorporates essential procedures. If your building features tile, you can also complete important maintenance to help reduce the risk of extensive mold contamination.
Removal of Saturated Materials
The cleanup team should promptly remove all wet items from the water-damaged area. Because mold is adept at hiding, it’s essential to discard saturated building materials, including the following items:
- Drywall and baseboards
Replacing these components helps eliminate potential undetected moisture zones behind walls and under flooring where mold can proliferate.
Drying the Affected Space
High humidity and condensation can also result in black mold growth. To help prevent this dilemma, it’s essential to maintain adequate air circulation during the cleanup process. Remediation professionals can utilize fans and dehumidifiers to help remove excessive moisture. They can also employ moisture meters to verify the site is dry before installing new insulation, drywall and carpet.
Proactive Tile Care
Tile floors and walls are also susceptible to secondary damage after flooding. Because cement-based grout is porous, it’s important to take proactive measures to help shield tile from water damage.
Unless it’s properly protected, water can penetrate through grout and flood under the tile structure. This can undermine its stability and create an ideal environment for mold proliferation. To help reduce this risk, you should routinely apply sealant to any tile work inside your building.
No business owner wants to endure mold remediation. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that both property owners and flood cleanup crews can employ to help reduce the risk of black mold growth and its subsequent damage.
Post-Fire Damage Tips and Services
Damage from a fire involving a microwave.
As a national leader in disaster renovation, your SERVPRO of South Brevard, professionals are ready to restore and clean your property so it feels like home again. Not only are our highly trained professionals faster to any sized disaster, SERVPRO is the preferred vendor among insurance companies locally and nationwide. In the event of a fire, our specially trained fire restoration team has the experience and training to clean and restore your Melbourne or Palm Bay home to its pre-fire glory.
A fire can be devastating to your home and once the fire trucks leave and the flames are gone, your home will most likely suffer from fire, smoke, and water damage. Following a fire, the primary focus is always safety. It’s important to ask yourself if it’s safe to go into your home. Oftentimes electrical and “slip and fall”, hazards are primary safety concerns.
Here’s what to do after a fire:
- Limit movement in your home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep your hands clean so you don’t add more damage to upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If the electricity is off, empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
To keep you, your home, and your family safe, here’s what NOT to do following a fire:
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your Melbourne SERVPRO Professional.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat, or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
As your source for fire damage repair and restoration, our team has the restore vs. replace mentality to save you time and money so that you can get back to normal as soon as possible. Our post-fire restoration services include:
Since smoke and fire can damage your ceilings, walls, carpeting, and floors, our team will have to do a thorough cleaning. Your Melbourne SERVPRO professional will assess the damages to your home to determine the extent of the damage and choose the best equipment and products for the different surfaces in your home.
Anything that can be restored in your home will be properly clean and deodorized to their pre fire condition. Rugs, draperies, furniture, and upholstery will be carefully inspected and tested to determine the best cleaning methods. All other restorable contents, including electronics, art, kitchen items, and more will also be assessed for cleaning.
Our professionals are also trained to remove the post-fire smoke odor from your home. Our team doesn’t simply cover up smoke odors, but rather finds the source of the odor and removes it. Your Melbourne SERVPRO professional will be able to explain the different deodorization methods for your home.
Your SERVPRO of South Brevard professionals are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week so that you’re not alone when faced with a tragedy to your home. Our team understands how devastating a fire can be to you and your family, which is why our emergency restoration process begins just one hour following the notification of loss. Here’s how it works:
Hour One: Within one hour of notice, your SERVPRO professional will contact you to arrange for service.
Hour Four: Within four hours, your SERVPRO team will be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to restoration is responding quickly to reduce damages and save you money.
Explanation: Your extensively trained SERVPRO professional will walk your through the job process step-by-step so that you know what to expect throughout your restoration.
Pretesting: Your team will begin pretesting for restoration, working from the source of the damage outward.
Hour Eight: A verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to you, your adjustor, or property manager.
Cleaning, Restoration, and Deodorization: Your SERVPRO team will work quickly and delicately to help you regain control of your home. With our state-of-the-art restoration techniques, we’ll make sure your property is properly cared for from the start.
Final Walk-Through: After all the work is completed, your SERVPRO professionals will walk you through your home to ensure your complete satisfaction.
In the event of a fire emergency to your home, our team is equipped to help restore your home as soon as possible. As your Melbourne disaster restoration professionals, we have the training and experience to help you through every step of your fire damage repair process. If you’ve experienced fire damage to your home or would like to learn more about our services, contact us today!
Insuring Your Home Against Fire Damage
A fire is probably the most devastating event that can occur in your home. A small fire can quickly become an inferno and spread until all of your belongings are destroyed.
The NFPA says that there are numerous causes of fires in the home ranging from kitchen appliances being left onto lightning strikes. Even if you do all you can to prevent a fire from occurring in your home, sometimes they are unpreventable. So it’s important that homeowners protect their property investments with the proper insurance.
Fire Insurance Coverage
Depending on what type of property insurance you have, you may already be covered for a fire. Providers offer different coverage options so it’s important that you review your details carefully and understand exactly what kind of protection you have.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average fire claim is in excess of $37,150. The two most common ways to insure your home against fires are standard home insurance and dwelling fire coverage.
Standard Home Insurance
If you are a homeowner, your mortgage likely required you to purchase a homeowners insurance policy. These standard home insurance policies typically cover fire damage. They might also protect your personal contents such as furniture, electronics, or other personal possessions.
Many policies will also include loss of use coverage. If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a claim that is covered by your policy, your loss of use coverage will kick in. Under this type of coverage, the insurance company may reimburse you for your extra living expenses while your home is in the process of being either repaired or rebuilt.
If you live in an apartment or if you rent your home, the landlord likely will have purchased coverage for the building. However, you’ll be responsible for protecting your own belongings. Standard renters policies are relatively cheap and can provide coverage for your personal property in the event of a fire.
Dwelling Fire Coverage
Dwelling fire coverage is generally less comprehensive than standard home insurance. Similar to standard home insurance it protects the building itself and other structures on the property. It also generally offers loss of use coverage if you have to relocate for a period of time. However, this type of insurance doesn’t cover your personal belongings or personal liability protection. Dwelling fire coverage is generally best used to protect a vacation home or a vacant home where you’ll have less of your personal belongings around.
How to File a Claim
Before filing your claim on a fire, you should take photos of the damage. Having the proper documentation available can make the process of filing the claim go much smoother.
After you have all the damage surveyed and documented, it’s time to contact the insurer and file the claim. The insurer will send a claims adjuster to your property to assess the damage and put together a cost estimate.
Once the claims adjuster has finished assessing the damage the repairs can begin on the property. Depending on the damage, repairs to your property could take anywhere from weeks to months to complete. Throughout the ordeal, it’s important to stay organized. Keep all emails, invoices, estimates, and any other documentation you may have received that relates to the damage.
Another way to make the process smoother is to have a full, up-to-date inventory detailing all of the items in your home. If you happen to lose everything in the fire, this inventory can help you to remember all of the items that you need replaced. In case your list happens to be destroyed in the fire as well, you should keep an electronic copy of the inventory that you can pull up if needed. If you prefer, there are some home inventory apps that you can download on your smartphone.
Prevent Fires Before They Start
No matter how prepared you are, a fire always has the potential to occur. But basic knowledge of fire safety can significantly reduce the chances that one will destroy your home. It’s important that you have basic fire safety knowledge and outfit your home with fire safety equipment.
Smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers can prevent a small fire from turning into flames that engulf your home. Having fire safety equipment can also help you to save money on your home insurance premium. Many home insurance providers will offer discounts if you have smoke alarms and sprinkler systems installed in your home.
It’s also important to make sure your entire family understand the basics of fire safety. Some basics to include are an evacuation plan, knowledge of potential fire causes, and a copy of the NFPA’s tips from the fire safety information section of their website.
Regardless of how prepared you are, a fire is always a possibility in your home. So it’s important to have insurance that will cover you should something happen. If you do suffer a fire, have the professionals at SERVPRO come and restore your home and possessions.
Commercial Water Damage Problems To Expect and How To Deal With Them
Water damage in Palm Bay, FL.
As a business owner, there may come a time or two when you are forced to contend with common water issues such as a broken pipe or flooding. For this reason, it is important that you understand what to expect and, more importantly, how to deal with water-related headaches. Below are just four of the most common causes of water troubles that building owners have to deal with:
- Broken pipes
- Fire sprinklers
- Toilet overflow
- Supply line breaks
If you are faced with any of the above issues, there are steps you should take to minimize damage and repair costs.
Broken pipes are par for the course of property ownership and usually stem from old age or freezing temperatures. When faced with a broken pipe, you should shut off the water supply, locate the source of damage and make the necessary repair. If the damage is too great, you may have to contact your local plumber.
If your building catches fire, the fire sprinkler system should activate. When this occurs, you should call in your Palm Bay, FL, fire and water remediation team to help clean up the damage and restore your building.
Toilet overflow is another peril with which many business owners are forced to deal. Because you never know what toilet water contains or what causes an overflow, you should not attempt to deal with the mess yourself. Block off the area and contact a plumber and water repair company right away.
Supply Line Breaks
Like broken pipes, supply line breaks can happen because of old age or because of adverse weather conditions. When a supply line bursts, shut off the main water valve right away to prevent further damage and contact both a plumber and a local water remediation team as soon as possible.
As a building owner, you are bound to run into water-related issues. Whether the issue stems from a broken pipe or a sewage backup, the best thing you can do to minimize damage and keep costs low is contact a Palm Bay, FL, water repair company as soon as you discover the issue.
6 Common Roof Leaks
When it comes to roof leaks, even the smallest of consistent drips can cause major water damage. This makes stopping any of these potential leaks of paramount importance. But in order to stop these leaks, you need to know where to look and what to look for. Here are the six most common spots where you may find leaks in your home.
Around the Chimney
While it may seem like your roof and chimney are one single entity, they’re actually not. They are connected using strips of flashing which covers the large gaps between the roof and chimney. This flashing often is a primary source of leaks in the home. Over time, this flashing might pull away from the brick or rust. It’s generally easy to spot this when it happens so if you have a leak and the flashing is pulled away from the brick, you’ll know where the leak is originating.
The shingles on your roof serve many functions for your home. One way they protect your home is by ensuring the heat or cold doesn’t get into your home. Another way it protects your roof is by keeping water out which helps you avoid potentially dangerous water damage. However, as much as these shingles protect you, they can be damaged by old age or a big storm. If the shingles are damaged or missing, water may be able to seep into the underlayment and sheathing which can then cause leaks inside the home. To make sure you’re not in danger of these leaks and subsequent water damage, look for the signs of damaged shingles which include lost granules, curling or buckling shingles, or obvious missing spots.
The gutters that stretch around your roof likely collect leaves, pine needles, and other debris as it falls from overhanging trees. This debris can clog or damage the gutters causing water to collect when it rains. The standing water can then back up in the gutters and cause leaks to occur. People failing to clean their gutters is one of the most common causes of water leaks. But there are other potential dangers. The water can freeze and that has the potential to cause many other problems. Even if you don’t expect that there are leaks, you should clean out your gutters regularly to ensure they don’t clog or become damaged.
Unless you have a flat roof, there will probably be spots on your roof where two different planes will intersect. The line where these planes meet is commonly referred to as a valley. These valleys may be covered with flashing, rolled roofing, or some other material depending on where you live. These valleys can be potential dangers because water tends to collect in these low areas and any potential problems with its covering can allow water to seep into the house causing significant water damage.
Ice dams are potential problems in cold climates in which snow that accumulates on a sloping roof melts and flows down the roof underneath the blanket of snow that insulates the roof. This causes a dam of ice to build up on the edge of the roof and catch melted snow rather than allowing it to run off as it should. This backup of water has the potential to cause major leaks in your roof and cause significant water damage in your home.
Any objects that extend above the roof such as vents, pipes, or other penetrations have the potential to cause leaks in the roof. Most of these objects will have flashing around them to connect them to the roof so it’s important to check the flashing to ensure that there’s no rust or loose spots on or around it. As flashing is a primary source of leaks in homes, this has the potential to cause serious water damage to your home.
Leaks, even minuscule ones, have the ability to cause major water damage to your home. Most of these leaks originate from the roof and allows water to drip down into the attic or walls which can be difficult to see until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to be vigilant of any potential problems. If you suffer water damage in your home, call on the professionals at SERVPRO to remediate the problem.