5 Things Not To Do During a Hurricane
Hurricanes are hard to completely be certain what path they will take. Even if the Florida weather meteorologists come close to predicting the path, the hurricane can quickly shift or turn at the drop of a dime. Because of the amount of uncertainty hurricanes bring, here are 5 things not do to when riding out a hurricane.
1. Don’t tape windows
It does almost no good, and it is an absolute mess to try and take off.
2. Don’t run generators indoors
The carbon monoxide the generator’s emits can become deadly within minutes. Also you shouldn’t connect a generator into your home’s electric system directly, because it can affect electric lines outside and endanger your neighbors, emergency responders, and /or utility workers.
3. Don’t use charcoal or gas grills indoors
The carbon monoxide and fire risks are too great. The grill’s carbon monoxide can easily build up and poison anyone inside the house, including your pets.
4. Don’t walk or drive in flood waters
The waters can contain snakes, alligators, downed power lines and sewage, which can all be dangerous and deadly. If you drive a vehicle in flood waters that are six inches or more, the waters can cause a car to float.
5. Don’t stay after an evacuation order is given
Rescuers might not come out in the height of the storm, but if they do you are putting your life and their lives in danger. Your life is not worth the same amount as your home or anything in it. A home can be replaced; your life can not.
Hacks for Surviving Hurricane Irma
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.
3 Reason Why You Should Never Use Bleach to Clean Mold
Chlorine Bleach is often regarded as the answer for stopping mold growth and removing the mold. However, this is a myth. Bleach does not exonerate mold. Here are three reasons why bleach is not the answer to mold, and should never be used to clean a mold contaminated area.
1. Bleach Loses Effectiveness Over Time
Chlorine bleach can dissipate rapidly, causing the bleach to be less effective. Over time this occurs because chlorine can evaporate and even faster in areas that are above room temperature. When the chlorine disappears, the bleach bottle turns into a bottle of salt water.
2. Bleach can actually contribute to mold growth
Chlorine bleach was made to clean surfaces, therefore can only kill surface bacteria and mold. This is due to bleach’s ion structure, which prevents the chlorine from penetrating porous material such as wood and drywall. When mold grows in porous areas, the enzyme’s roots grow deep within the material, rendering the bleach ineffective of exterminating the mold. The bleach can only remove the green stain from the mold, allowing surface to appear clean. But underneath the surface, the water component of the bleach penetrates and helps the internal roots to continue to grow, causing mold to reappear.
3. Bleach is Toxic
Bleach emits harmful fumes that pollute the air we breathe and can become harmful to humans and even pets. Over a period of time, inhaling the gases bleach emits can deteriorate the lungs and esophagus lining in addition to the scarring of the respiratory tract, which occurs in earlier stages. Also research shows that household bleach is one of the leading causes of accidental poisonings in the United States.
Here in Melbourne and Indian Harbor Beach, Florida, the risk of having mold in your home is a lot higher than other states. Why? Two words… heat and humidity. Mold thrives in dark, moist areas, and Florida’s humidity only helps that process. That’s why if you experience water damage and don’t take care of it the right way and in the first 48 hours; mold will begin to grow.
Happy Melbourne Customer Writes About Our Services
LETTER OF APPRECIATION
On Saturday, August 5th, 2017, we awoke at 5:00 A.M. to water running out of a broken pipe below the sink. We turned off the water and began running a wet-vac to remove what we could of the water. SERVPRO of South Brevard was contacted to take care of the job around 7:30 A.M.
Around 8:30 A.M. Alex Joseph and Shawn arrived, assessed the problem, and began applying necessary corrective measures. This included measurements of affected areas, checking moisture in locations that I would not have checked, placing fans and dehumidifiers, changing fan locations, removing fans and dehumidifiers from areas that were dry. This continued until Tuesday, August 8th, 2017.
Alex and Shawn showed dedication above and beyond "normal" employees, in that they were available and ready to tackle a long job on the weekend on short notice.
Alex showed superior management skills in ensuring the teams time was used to ensure the maximum amount of work done, in the minimum time necessary to accomplish the task at hand. At all points of the job, Alex kept me informed, not only of the progress, but also the projected time needed to complete each phase of the job.
Alex's knowledge and expertise showed in his professionalism and mannerism as the team worked on the job. His general timeline was accurate as well.
Job well done!
Satisfied Customer of Melbourne, FL
Financing to Fit your Needs
SERVPRO of South Brevard is excited to announce that we are now offering financial solutions for our customers through our new corporate partner, Greensky Financing.
Why use GreenSky Financing?
GreenSky loan program is focused on being simple and out-ranks its competitors in the financing business. They offer low monthly payments, no prepayment penalties, multiple ways to make payment, and quick approvals (same day in most cases), which allows us to let our customers rest assured that their property is being taken care of, as well as the payment. Financing terms are available for a variety of services- from deductibles, non-coverage on insurance claims, or even just a home remodel.
Why did SERVPRO partner with GreenSky?
We at SERVPRO realize that damages to your property, either residential or commercial, never come at a GOOD time. Sometimes we are prepared, but most of the time we aren’t…. so while SERVPRO of South Brevard helps make your property damage “Like It Never Even Happened,” we can take some of the pressure of financing the job off as well.
How Does GreenSky Program Works?
Step #1: Customer Applies
Customers can apply online through the program website, by phone, or on the mobile application.
Step #2: Customer Gets Approved
Credit decisions can be delivered in SECONDS!!! The approved customers receive a GreenSky account number and loan agreement from the lender.
Step #3: You Get Funded
Use the customer’s GreenSky account number to process the payment just like a credit card.
Common Household Molds & Your Health
Mold spores are everywhere in our environment and can enter our homes easier than you would think. Most types of mold grow quickly, if they have a water source, an organic food source and temperatures between 60 and 86 Fahrenheit. Since many Florida homes may have 1 or 2 of these characteristics, especially in the bathrooms, we need to know what to look for in regards to common household molds, and how they affect our health.
- Characteristics: green, brown, grey, or black; powdery appearance.
- Where it Grows: on food, dead plants, wood, insulation, and dark, damp environments.
- Health Effects: can cause severe allergic reactions, and harmful for people with asthma, allergies, or weakened immune systems.
- Characteristics: grey, brown, yellow, green, white, or black and grows quickly.
- Where it Grows: on walls, insulation, soil, clothing, and humid, moist areas.
- Health Effects: can cause infections in people with weak immune systems, or produces a carcinogen called aflatoxin.
- Characteristics: green, white, or blue; fuzzy appearance.
- Where it Grows: on food, walls, insulation, and moist, organic matter.
- Health Effects: irritates the stomach if ingested; airborne spores can cause congestion, coughing and/or eye irritation.
- Characteristics: dark green, grey, or black; long, velvety hairs; doesn’t need much water to grow.
- Where it Grows: on carpets, clothing, around windows, and damp areas such as flooded houses.
- Health Effects: can cause respiratory problems, asthma, or hay fever.
Stachybotrys, known as “Toxic Black Mold”
- Characteristics: dark green, or black; slimy
- Where it Grows: on walls, ceilings, floorboards, and any moist area.
- Health Effects: may cause cancer, headaches, asthma, dizziness, or joint pain.
- Characteristics: dark green, or black; smaller than stachybotrys
- Where it Grows: on cotton, canvas, wool, ceilings, walls, or damp areas.
- Health Effects: can cause respiratory problems, headaches, or coughing.
If your have questions about mold check out Mold Remediation FAQs
Summer Safety Tips
Summer is a time to enjoy Brevard’s beautiful beaches and the great outdoors, but it is important to stay safe.
While these summer months are full of barbecues, beach days, boating and fishing, keeping safety in mind isn’t always at the top of your to-do list. These summer safety tips should be applied to ensure you and your family is safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluid designed for barbecue grills. Do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hose for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- It only takes 10 minutes for a baby’s skin to burn, but sunscreen isn’t safe for infants under 6 months. Keep babies out of the sun!
- Only broad-spectrum sunscreens of SPF 15+ can protect skin from UVA &UVB rays. Don’t use any sunscreen less than SPF 15+.
- The sun’s rays are their strongest from 10AM-4PM. Be sure to limit your time in the sun during this time and wear sunscreen.
- Sunscreen is only 1 level of defense against the sun. Protect yourself by adding wide-brimmed hats, protective clothing and sunglasses for more coverage.
- Wear a life vest (PFD). Even if you’re a strong swimmer, at least bring one on the boat with you. Children, ages of 12 and under, must be wearing a life vest at all times. NOTE: 90% of drowning victims were not wearing a life vest.
- Never drink alcohol and pilot a boat; it is illegal and is the leading cause in deadly boating accidents.
- Maintain a safe speed; be aware of other boaters and swimmers. Know the right of way while on the water. Also be familiar with the waters you are navigating.
- Fishing hooks are very sharp and need to be handled with care to avoid injury. Before casting, it is important that you should look around you and stay unobstructed to avoid hurting other people with your hook.
- It is always advised that you avoid fishing alone. Always be with a friend, as when emergency strikes, there can be someone who can call for help.
Hurricane season has begun and it is important to take steps to prepare early this year. As Floridians, we think why? Hurricane season comes every year and it is as common to us as the changing of seasons. But this year may be different. Professionals are expecting a season unlike the last 10 seasons Florida has seen. This season is projected to be above-normal, meaning warmer waters, more activity, and higher level storms. Last year, Hurricane Matthew woke some of us, Floridians up, and reminded us how strong and dangerous hurricanes can be.
Knowledge and preparation is key, especially knowing that this season may be more active than those of the past.
Start a Hurricane Kit
Prevent your family from potential stress and chaotic, and start gathering supplies that will be useful when affected by a storm or forced to evacuate. First make a list of the supplies specific to your family’s needs. For example if you have children that needs diapers and bottles or elderly relatives that live with you that may have medications they cannot go without. Be detailed when creating this list. Keep this list in your hurricane kit, and when a hurricane approaches, you can focus on gathering these items and won’t worry about forgetting anything essential.
After the specific supply list, gather supplies you and your family will need if your home loose power for a few days. Some recommended items include:
- Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
- Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
- First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
- Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
- Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
- Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
- Waterproof container with cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Books, magazines, games for recreation
- Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
- Cooler and ice packs
- A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated
Once you collect all the supplies, put everything is a bag or box and label it your Hurricane Kit.
Florida Wildfire Evacuation: Steps to Take Before Leaving
If you are in a situation where authorities advise you to evacuate your residence due to an approaching wildfire, do so immediately. If authorities say you have some time before evacuating your premises, there are some tasks you can perform to help the firefighters and could help protect your home.
Remember the five P’s of evacuation
People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal needs, and Priceless items.
Protect Your Home
? Turn ON the lights outside and in every room to make the house more visible in heavy smoke.
? Close all windows, vents, doors, and fireplace screens. By doing this, it will help reduce drafts in your house and reduce heat.
? In case you lose power, disconnect automatic garage door openers so the door can be opened by hand.
?Remove all flammable curtains and window treatments in case windows brake. Also move flammable furniture towards the center of your home, away from all windows and sliding glass doors.
? Fill garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water. Also shut off natural gas from the source, and move propane or fuel oil supplies away from the house.
Dirtiest Items in your Home
How many people have touched your door knobs in your house?
Anyone who comes into your home and uses the bathroom may or may not wash their hands properly, therefore leaving behind germs all over your bathroom sink’s faucet handles. To wash mix 2 cups of warm water with 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid in a small bowl. Soak a washrag into the mixture and scrub the faucet. Use an old toothbrush dipped in baking soda to scrub areas with hard mineral deposits. Lastly, rinse the faucet and shine with a microfiber cloth.
How often do you clean your door knobs? Most people simply do not think of their door knob when cleaning the house. Take a moment and think about how many people have touched your door knobs in the last month or two. That’s a lot of dirty hands. To wash spray the surface with vinegar and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Our pets are part of our family and we love them but we don’t have to love your beds. Their beds should be cleaned as often as we change our mattress sheets, right? Especially since our pets are outsides using the restroom several times a day and then go lay down in the beds. To wash, first vacuum the bed of all the hair and debris. Then remove the cover from the base of the bed (most beds have one) and put both in the washing machine (wash on sanitize cycle). Once washed, switch to the dryer and use a dryer sheet to reduce static electricity and remove excess hair.
Our cutting boards need a little more attention than we think, since its purpose it to cut the food that we eat on them. If not washed properly, bacteria can grow and affects our food. To wash properly scrubbing the wooden or plastic cutting boards with a paste made from baking soda, salt, and water (1 tablespoon each). Then Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
Sponges are used to clean, but how often to you actually spend time cleaning the sponges, themselves. To wash, mix ¾ cup of bleach in one gallon of water, and soak the sponge for five minutes.
Remote controls are one of the most hand held items in your house and with all those hands touching them how often are they cleaned? To clean use a lint-free cloth to wipe down the remote with rubbing alcohol (or use an electronics cleaning wipe). Make sure to clean the top, bottom, and sides of the remotes. For the buttons on the remote and any hard to reach areas, use a cotton swab.