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Inspection and Assessment After a Fire

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Intense yellow and black fire flames Suffering a fire in your home is one of the most traumatic occurrences for a homeowner.

Suffering a fire in your Melbourne Beach, FL home is one of the most traumatic occurrences for a homeowner. You can potentially lose not only your home, but also your treasured possessions. To ensure that as many of your possessions can be saved as possible, you need to immediately contact the professionals at SERVPRO to restore the home.

The first step in restoring any home that has suffered from fire damage will be an inspection and fire assessment. This assessment is done often by both the insurance company and restoration company. The inspection is done to determine how severe the damage is and whether or not it is safe to reenter the home. For the restoration company, it will determine what equipment and materials they will need to begin the restoration process. There are three steps that take place during the fire assessment process; an inspection of outdoor damage, an inspection of indoor damage, then the restoration of the home.

Inspecting Outside Damage

The first step taken during the fire assessment process is an inspection of the outside of the home. During this inspection, the professional inspectors will be looking for any missing roof shingles, melted objects, damaged chimneys, or any other damage that has occurred to the outside of the home. Depending on the severity of the fire, they may also take a look around any surrounding yards, take a closer look at the roof, and look at any other exterior surfaces that might have incurred damage during the fire. The purpose of this inspection is to see whether or not there is any damage from the outside that is in need of repair.

Inspecting Inside Damage

Once the inspector has surveyed outside for any exterior damage, they will move inside to see what damage has been incurred inside the home, likely where the fire occurred. During this part of the inspection, the inspector will walk through the building looking for any visible damage. The main areas that are inspected are the walls, roof, floors, ceilings, ducts, vents, bathtubs, windows, and sinks. Every room of the building must be inspected to make sure that all damage has been identified before the restoration process begins.

The main point of inspecting the inside of the house is to see what parts of the house are falling apart due to damage and what parts are still intact. During the inspection, the walls, foundation, and ceilings will be zeroed in on as these are the parts of the home that can require the most significant restoration. This is because these parts of the house are largely responsible for the structural stability of the building.

Restoring the Home

Once the fire assessment has finished, the SERVPRO team will know the extent of the damage and what materials and equipment they need to complete the restoration process. The quicker the restoration of the building starts, the more of your possessions and the more of the building will be able to be restored.

One of the issues regarding fire damage restoration is water damage. When water is used to put out the fire, this creates water damage around the house. If the water is not properly cleaned up by professionals, mold and mildew are just some of the problems that can arise. By immediately performing fire and water restoration, the professionals from SERVPRO will be able to salvage most of what could be lost if much more time is wasted. In the end, the goal of the process is to minimize the possibility of there being further damage.

When a fire occurs in your Palm Bay, FL home, it’s important to immediately call the professionals at SERVPRO to restore the building. With the damage caused by the fire and the water damage caused by the water that puts out the fire, time is of the essence to avoid even worse damage being caused. The first step in the fire restoration process is a fire assessment, where the team will examine the inside and outside of the home to see how much damage has been caused and what materials and equipment will be needed in order to fully restore the home. So if you suffer from a fire in your home, call the professionals at SERVPRO for a full restoration.

How To Minimize the Risk of Secondary Damage

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

ServPro employee standing in water at at a commercial business 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
  • Insulation
  • Carpets

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.

Effective Strategies

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.

Safe Use of Candles in the Home

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Row of four lit orange candles Place candles on a surface that's flat

Ways to Make Sure You're Using Candles Safely in Your Home

Every year in Palm Bay, FL, candle fire accidents damage homes and cause injuries. The necessary structural repairs often require professional fire restoration and smoke cleanup. These mishaps can be easily prevented by following a few common-sense tips. Here are some ways to make sure you’re using candles safely in your home.

  1. Don't Leave Candles Unattended

Always be aware of where a candle is burning. Don't ever light a candle and leave the room without checking on it periodically. Watch how the air behaves around the candle; if the flame is shifting around, move the candle to a place where it stays steady.

  1. Find a Safe Place

If you have pets or children, keep candles in a place that they can't reach. If placed on a low shelf or table, they can be knocked over easily and cause a candle fire. When not in use, candles, matches and lighters should be safely stored away in place that children can't get access to.

  1. Secure the Candles

Place candles on a surface that's flat, sturdy and free of clutter. The surface should be heat-resistant as well. Keep the candle at least one foot away from any materials that might be flammable. If using candle holders, make sure to have a variety of sizes on hand. They should all have a secure base that can't be overturned easily.

  1. Be Safe with Flames

Make sure your hair and any loose clothes are well out of the way when lighting candles. When it has burned down to about an inch, extinguish the candle and throw it away. It should never burn down so low that it's close to the candle holder.

Bedrooms are a no-go zone for candles. If you fall asleep and leave a candle burning unattended, there's a much higher risk of a fire. If there is an oxygen tank in use anywhere in the house, don't use candles at all.

It's easy to burn candles safely in your home. By following the tips outlined above, you can enjoy their light and warmth without having to worry about starting a candle fire.

4 Steps To Take After a Water Heater Leak

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage under flooring Water damage caused by a defective hot water heater leaking in Melbourne,FL

Cleanup Process: 4 Basic Steps

A leaking water heater can cause a lot of damage in a hurry. As soon as you notice that your failed water heater is leaking water into your home, you must call the plumber to fix it, but you also need to call water restoration specialists to clean up the mess it leaves behind. There are four basic steps to the cleanup process to ensure that no one is injured and that secondary damage does not occur.

  1. Safety Precautions

Water and electricity don’t mix, so the first thing you need to do is to make sure that you either unplug all appliances in the affected area or elevate the ones you cannot unplug. To do this, make sure you are wearing the appropriate protective gear, such as rubber boots. Never enter standing water without protection.

  1. Water Removal

A broken water heater in your home in Melbourne, FL, can expel a significant amount of water. Technicians will likely start by siphoning out the water before they can deal with the damage underneath.

  1. Item Removal

Everything the leaking water heater affects must be removed from the area. Rugs, furniture, toys, clothing and other belongings must be taken out. The experts then determine whether the items can be salvaged or not.

  1. Dehumidification

Even after the water is gone, the humidity levels in the room are likely higher than they should be. Technicians can use industrial dehumidifiers, fans and other methods to bring the moisture in the air down to an acceptable level so that mold doesn’t start to grow.

If a leaking water heater in your home causes more than a tiny spill, your best bet for getting the damaged repaired is a team of certified restoration experts. They can assess the problem and implement the appropriate solutions so that your home can return to normal as soon as possible.

Palm Bay Mold Damage

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Drywall damage on a wall. Let us use the right tools to get the job done quickly and safely.

Palm Bay Mold Damage - The 4 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Service 

Residential and commercial water damage can be one of the most costly and challenging problems faced by those who own a property. From leaky toilets to general plumbing problems, there are a number of causes for flooding that often occurs. Although it may seem easy to clean and repair yourself, there are a few benefits to hiring a professional service to handle the task.

  1. Prevent Mold Spores From Spreading

A water damage professional is skilled and trained to properly clean areas where water has leaked in between walls, under floorboards, and in places that are hard to reach. This can help salvage areas that would need to be replaced if proper cleaning didn't take place immediately. In locations where mold has developed, the professional can properly clean it with the right tools and prevent the spores from spreading.

  1. Avoid Further Damage

For those who are inexperienced with cleaning or restoring areas where water damage has occurred, it can be easy to make the problem worse and allow it to escalate if it's not remedied immediately. Professionals will be able to visit the property right after the Palm Bay mold damage has occurred to prevent further problems from developing.

  1. Identify Hidden Signs of Moisture

A water damage professional will be able to use sophisticated moisture tools to identify hidden signs of moisture that are often undetectable to homeowners. They can also take specific steps to prevent the water damage from occurring again in the future.

  1. Quality Restoration Services

Water damage professionals will be able to restore and replace insulation or flooring for a final product that looks incredible with the highest quality of materials used.

Essential Steps to Take After an Office Fire

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage on the ceiling in an office building Fire damage in a West Melbourne, FL business

In the course of your day-to-day operations at work, you may not think much about what you would do in case of a fire. Of course, if this terrible ordeal were to occur, would you know what processes to follow to ensure safety and recovery? Develop a fire restoration plan today so a fire won’t derail your West Melbourne, FL, business.

Initial Considerations

Your first response to a fire should be the safety and welfare of your employees. You then need to contact the appropriate people to aid in putting out the fire and taking care of the aftermath.

  • Contact 911 and report the fire.
  • Implement your emergency plan and get everyone out of the building.
  • Call your fire insurance company.
  • Contact a professional fire restoration company to help get your building back to working condition.

Stay Away

As tempting as it may be, you should never re-enter your office building during or after a fire. Nothing inside is more important than your own life. Crews can salvage many items, and you can replace other equipment. Touching damaged materials can make things worse or cause injury or harm.

Work With Your Insurance Company

Hopefully, your organization has reliable fire insurance to cover the damages from the fire. This coverage should take care of fire damage, even if the fire started in a neighboring building. Your insurance representative will walk through the area and will make note of the extent of the damage and what losses you have incurred.

The Experts on the Scene

An experienced, skilled restoration company will come to your rescue to ensure you can safely return to work. The team will use high-powered equipment to do smoke cleaning and to sanitize all affected areas of the building. Stay in communication with the company so you know what completion timelines look like.

Fire restoration is a thorough process when you work with a reputable group of professionals. If you follow these guidelines, you can have peace of mind during an otherwise traumatic ordeal.

3 Common Errors for Cleaning Up Mold in Your Business

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on the wall near the floor in a commercial space Black mold damage in a commercial space in Melbourne,FL

Finding mold at your Melbourne, FL, business is not only stressful, but can also be worrisome. Mold often takes hold in damp, humid places like basements and inside cupboards that hide plumbing, where it can grow and spread. However, before you attempt to clean up any fungus, it is important to understand which methods and actions may only remove it temporarily or encourage further growth.

  1. Using Bleach

Though bleach may be associated with cleanliness, it is not effective for attempting to cleanup mold. Most products that include this element also typically contain a large amount of water. Spraying fungi patches with pure hydrogen peroxide only add moisture to them, which can encourage regrowth once you scrub away their surfaces. The roots of the growth are likely to remain, even after you complete the mold cleanup process, and then continue to spread.

  1. Confusing Mold With Mildew

Telling the difference between mold and mildew can be important when it comes to fungus cleanup because of the differences between the two. While both are types of fungi, mildew does not grow roots into what it has invaded and is therefore usually simpler to clean up with a rag and a simple household cleanser. Mold is much more invasive. If you are unsure which you are facing, examine the color and texture. Mildew is grey and watery, while mold tends to be thicker with a fuzzy or furry surface.

  1. Cleaning Black Mold on Your Own

If you find black mold at your business, trying to clean it up on your own can be a serious error. This type of fungus can spread quickly and hide behind walls and under carpeting, especially after a flood. Calling in a mold cleanup and restoration service that can send experienced technicians is a wise choice, especially when it comes to long-term cleanup management.

Fungus cleanup at your Melbourne, FL, business can be challenging. However, when you know which mistakes to avoid, your chances of eradicating mold completely can improve vastly.

After a Flood, Don’t Forget About Your Home’s Crawl Space

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Flood water throughout a home. There's a green hose for clean up and a chair, cabinets, and storage on the right side. Rain damage in a Sebastian,FL home

No homeowner wants to have to deal with a messy and damaging flood. Still, high waters routinely damage or destroy Sebastian, FL, homes. If your house has been through a home flood, salvaging personal keepsakes, furniture and valuables may be high on your priority list. Still, you can’t forget about the areas beneath your home.

Drain Standing Water Quickly

If your home sustains flood damage, you may find yourself feeling a bit frazzled. While stress is common in emergency situations, you should not let it distract you from draining standing water as soon as possible. Simply put, the longer water remains inside your home, the more storm damage you can expect. Here are ways to effectively remove standing water:

  • Inspect the crawlspace for signs of water seepage
  • Check your sump pump to ensure it is working properly
  • Add additional pumps to rapidly remove water
  • Employ fans and ventilation techniques
  • Ask for professional assistance to seal wet areas

Apply the 48-Hour Rule

As you probably know, mold and mildew can grow quickly after a home flood. These can easily destroy the comfort, appearance and value of your residence. To mitigate mold growth, plan to remove excess moisture within 48 hours. Note, though, that moisture has a way of working its way into hidden places in your crawlspace. That is, even if the space seems dry, parts of it may remain wet. Rather than leaving the condition of your home to chance, work with a qualified restoration company. Mold removal specialists can assess your home’s risk and work to contain unwanted mold growth.

Following a home flood, your living area may be your primary concern. You cannot, however, afford to forget about the crawlspace beneath your house in Sebastian, FL. With a bit of effort and the right restoration team, you improve your odds of returning your home to its pre-flood condition.

How to Keep Your Business Safe During a Storm

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning rod on roof Lightning rods protect your building by safely redirecting the electricity

How to Keep Your Business Safe During a Storm

While a rain storm is generally harmless, it can sometimes turn into an emergency if it becomes more severe. If this happens, it is important to keep both your Melbourne Beach, FL, business and your employees safe. The following tips can help you do this.

1. Maintain Lightning Rods

It is important to regularly maintain and inspect any lightning rods that your building has. Because they help to protect your building from lightning by safely redirecting the electricity, they need to be in good condition and working properly.

2. Avoid Using Desktop Computers

During a thunderstorm, it is best not to use desktop computers or other electronics that need to be plugged in. They can be damaged if they are in use during a power surge, and this can also be a hazard to your safety. If you do need to use these items for work, use wireless alternatives such as laptops or tablets instead.

3. Stay Away From Windows

If there are high winds during a storm, these can pick up lighter items and debris near the building. It is possible that the wind will carry them toward the building and they may end up cracking or shattering a window. For this reason, you should have employees work away from these areas.

4. Trim Trees Close to the Building

Like debris, tree limbs that are close to the windows can damage your building during a rain storm with heavy winds. To prevent this from becoming a problem, you should keep them trimmed and remove any loose limbs.
Even if you think it will pass quietly, you should make sure that your business is prepared for an emergency during a rain storm. Make sure that you and your employees are all clear on what is expected during this situation and how you should respond during severe weather. If the building is damaged during the storm, a cleanup and restoration service will be able to perform repairs to return it to its previous condition.

3 Steps for Responding to a Broken Water Heater

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Two water heaters: Old-New,"Before-After" A broken water heater in Sebastian, FL

A leaking water heater may be one of the most inconvenient causes of water damage in your Sebastian, FL, home. After all, you use hot water from the moment you wake up until you wash the final dinner dish at night. A failed or broken water heater can disrupt your entire schedule, even without the resulting flooding.

Gallons of Water

Unfortunately, a broken water heater generally does lead to flooding. When those gallons of water rush into your home, whether it's in a basement or the main level of the home, there's going to be a bit of damage:

  • Waterlogged belongings
  • Weakened building materials
  • Mold growth
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Spotting and stains
  • Early deterioration of materials

The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize these damages.

One: Act Quickly

It doesn't take long for the water from the leaking water heater to spread and soak into the surrounding area. The sooner you can shut off the water, stop the flooding, and dry out the room, the better. When the water is gone, you can recognize potential hazards and obstacles to recovering.

Two: Contact Professionals

Some types of water damage are covered by home insurance policies and others aren't. It's best to talk to your insurance agent to know whether the damages to your home will be covered by your policy. You should also contact a professional water remediation agency to remove large amounts of water or contaminated water, determine the extent of the damage, provide thorough drying services, prevent mold growth, and sanitize the area.

Three: Repair and Reconstruct

A failed water heater sends many gallons of water into the surrounding area in a short space of time. Sadly, it takes much longer to remove the water, so it isn't unusual for homeowners to face reconstruction steps. Carpeting, drywall, window treatments, and even the surrounding plumbing and electrical work may need to be replaced.