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What a Disaster Recovery Team Can Do

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage on the ceiling. One tile is missing, showing pink insulation. Storm damages building

What a Disaster Recovery Team Can Do

When a large storm hits, your clients may be in need of a local disaster recovery team in their Viera, FL, area. A professional restoration service, such as SERVPRO, may be able to help. A recovery team has the ability to do a few things that may be just what your clients need. They include the ability to

  1. Respond to Larger Than Normal Damages

Sometimes storm damage may be larger than predicted. When this happens, you may want a team of restoration professionals who can respond to your client's needs quickly. Fortunately, SERVPRO is a locally owned and operated franchise capable of working together with other SERVPRO teams get the job done. However, as they are a franchise, they can call on corporate for additional resources as needed.

  1. Provide a Quick Response Time

When it comes to disaster recovery, you may want to know that you can get a quick storm response team to your clients. The faster damage can be protected and then repaired, the less likely additional damage may occur. The ability to get a team to the site in a timely manner may save time and money in the long run. SERVPRO has local offices around the country allowing them have professionals available at most locations.

  1. Provide the Tools Necessary for Large Repair Jobs

In the event of a large disaster it may be determined at large equipment is required to perform the job efficiently. A restoration team such as SERVPRO has access to the tools of the trade. This means that even in the case of a severe storm or major flooding, they can still begin restoration quickly.

A professional restoration service may be able to with any disaster recovery needs your clients may have. They usually have the ability to mobilize several teams for larger than normal damages. This may also include a faster response time. A professional team they also have the resources, including tools and equipment, necessary to deal with large jobs.

Restoring Documents After Water Damage

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

When a client's property suffers storm damage, it may be on more than just building. A document restoration service like that offered by a local SERVPRO in Viera, FL, can help your client get back on track. Documentation can include everything from account statements to invoicing, and the ability to salvage these can help save valuable time and money.

Services Offered

A professional restoration service can offer a number of ways to recover your client's documentation. These may include

  • Freeze drying
  • Cleaning
  • Gamma irradiation sterilization
  • Digitizing
  • Deodorizing

Depending on damage type, these processes can be utilized to restore a variety of damage documents, including X-rays and photographs.

Technology Used

The process of document restoration involves the use of modern technology. Gamma irradiation is used to sterilize the documents without causing further harm. The documentation can then be freeze-dried which is a process approved by the National Archives. Your client can trust that their paperwork will not only be in safe hands but can be restored. Taking advantage of additional services, such as digitization, may offer further benefit.

Additional Services

In addition to document drying, SERVPRO offers several other services your clients may be interested in. They can also offer digitization services. This is the process of converting documentation into an electronic form so it can be stored on a server safely out of harm's way.

With a document restoration service your clients may be able to salvage documentation that was damaged along with their other property. A restoration team can use the latest technology to help get these important pieces of paperwork in order. They may also be able to digitize the documentation allowing for it to be backed up on to server, to help prevent any further loss. If you have any questions about what the service can do for your clients, a restoration professional may be able to help.

What Should I Do When My Property in Viera Is Affected By Water Damage?

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Person in a yellow raincoat standing by a river flooding nearby homes. Too much water in the river which would overflow and flood homes

SERVPRO Will Get You Back into Your Home After Water Damage

When water damage impacts your home in Viera, FL immediately addressing the issue is important. Once the initial damage has occurred, water can make its way into the structure of your property. If not acted upon quickly, the result can be extensive structural damage coupled with the onset of mold and mildew. However, immediately reacting to the water damage can help limit secondary water damage. This will save you not only time and money, but also precious possessions. To expedite the remediation process contact a  water damage restoration company like SERVPRO. Learn more about water damage and why attaining professional assistance is important by reviewing this short outline:

Water Damage: A Brief Overview

Water damage is the result when your property is impacted by a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, or tornado. Water damage can also occur due to household issues like leaky faucets or pipes that burst. Causing structural damage to your property because of unwanted water intrusion can generate a number of other challenges:

  • poor air quality
  • mold and mildew growth
  • humid atmosphere
  • unpleasant odors that permeate your ceilings, floors, and walls
  • damage or loss of furnishings, art, electronics and more.

Mitigate the loss of possessions and structural damage by getting SERVPRO to begin water removal and cleanup.

Why You Should Call A Water Damage Specialist

Calling a specialist as soon as your property is impacted by water damage is important for many reasons. First, SERVPRO will perform a thorough assessment of your property to determine the nature and extent of the damage. This work empowers the specialists to develop a detailed, customized clean-up plan that will help optimize and expedite the restoration process. Additionally, SERVPRO can send multiple contractors to your property quickly to start the restoration process.

The Importance Of The Drying Process

After water pumps have removed the standing water, then vacuums, powerful air-moving machines, and dehumidifiers will eliminate the balance of water and moisture. With fast action and the right equipment, you can often lessen the need to replace hardwood floor, carpet, and walls. You can also minimize stains and bad odors that result from mold and mildew.

Acting immediately upon the onslaught of water intrusion is the most important step to take. Calling a team of professional water damage restoration experts like SERVPRO should be done right after reaching out to your insurance company. Here at SERVPRO, we're trained in offering a fast response that helps ensure that your home in Viera, FL is restored with lightning speed. "Like it never even happened." We're also pleased to provide all of our customers with 24/7 emergency services.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of West Brevard is locally owned and operated. When you have a water or flooding emergency, we’re nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the West Brevard County community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.

We proudly serve Viera, FL, Satellite Beach, FL, and surrounding areas. 

Call us and we will see you within one hour of your water emergency. (321) 953-8600

What Happens During a Fire Assessment?

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage to a roof Suffering a fire in your home is one of the most traumatic occurrences for a homeowner.

Suffering a fire in your Palm Shores, 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. They do an inspection 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 materials and equipment 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 during the fire assessment process that will be taken is an inspection of the outside of the home. During this inspection, the professional inspectors will be looking for any melted objects, damaged chimneys, missing roof shingles, 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 still intact and which parts of the house are falling apart due to the damage. During the inspection, the foundation, walls, and ceilings will be paid close attention 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 Viera, 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.

Restoring a Home After Smoke Damage

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm with smoke rising to set it off Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to your personal property and the structure of your home.

If you’ve suffered a fire in your South Patrick Shores, FL home, regardless of the size, you’ll have smoke damage to restore. If the fire was a small one, smoke may cause more damage than the fire itself. Letting this smoke damage sit for weeks, days, or even hours can leave irreparable effects.

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to your personal property and the structure of your home. The only way you can minimize the damage to your home and property is to act quickly.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a globally recognized organization whose overall goal is to establish a higher standard within the industry. Firms such as SERVPRO that are certified by the IICRC provide faster and better service than those that are not certified.

If restoration is not done properly and efficiently, the cost of restoration will increase and the damages will escalate. Quickly hiring an IICRC certified company will give them the opportunity to stop and minimize the damage so that repairs can begin.

Based on how long you wait to bring in IICRC certified professionals and begin the clean up and restoration process, the permanent damage can be minimal or substantial. The following is what can happen based on how long you wait.

Within minutes of disaster

Once the fire has been put out, soot residue begins to settle into the property. Porous materials that have discolored due to the fire and smoke can become permanent. There are other discolored surfaces where the discoloration may be removed if the items are cleaned properly. But if not treated quickly, the acidic soot will begin to stain different surfaces throughout the house.

Within hours of disaster

If the damage done is not quickly attended to the damage will increase. Wood furniture may get to the point where it will require refinishing. Metal objects will begin to rust, pit, and corrode. Walls that have been painted will begin to yellow. Clothing that has been damaged can become permanently stained. And by this point, flooring may require either refinishing or possibly replacement.

Within weeks of disaster

If the damage goes untreated for weeks, the restoration will take longer and cost more than if it’s done the day of the fire. The prolonged soot exposure will permanently harm all surfaces of the home and become embedded in the fibers. At this point, replacing property may be your best or only option. And if the home is not properly restored, the structure may continue to deteriorate as time goes on.

If you would like to get a jump start on the cleaning process before the professionals arrive, the IICRC has suggestions.

Safety First

Cleaning up after fire or smoke damage can be dangerous if certain precautions are not taken. You shouldn’t enter the property without the proper work gloves and appropriate respiratory protection. Exposure to soot residue can cause respiratory distress in addition to other medical emergencies.

Use Box Fans

Once you’ve entered the property having taken the suggested safety precautions, open all the windows and put box fans in. This will force out the contaminated air or dust that may be inside that could cause medical problems. Opening the windows and putting box fans in them will allow for proper ventilation to prevent further smoke damage and will reduce the risk of injury to people in the home.

Clean Everything with Soap and Water

To get as much of the smoke and dust off objects around the house as possible, clean everything with soap and water. When doing this, start with the ceiling and work your way down to the floor. Make sure you get everything when scrubbing down the house including the inside of cabinets and cupboards.

Use High Efficiency Vacuum with HEPA

If you have a high efficiency vacuum cleaner with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA), use that on upholstery and carpeting. A good filtration system on a high efficiency vacuum will prevent soot from being blown back into the space you’ve already cleaned. If you have a high efficiency vacuum for this purpose, make sure to clean and charge the vacuum regularly.

Launder Washable Materials

To clean washable materials that have been damaged, use an alkaline cleaner which will neutralize the acid that is found in soot. Use this on materials such as bedding, clothes, curtains, and other washable materials. If you have fine materials that have been damaged, they should be professionally dry-cleaned by a dry-cleaner that has experience handling smoke damaged items.

Clean Exterior Walls

To clean the exterior walls and eaves of your home, use a water hose that is attached to a proper cleaner. This will agitate and loosen the soot that is stuck on it. If this isn’t done quickly after the damage has been done, the smoke damage will continue to worsen until it is removed.

Regardless of how large or small the damage is, you should have an IICRC certified technician that has the training and experience necessary to restore the property. If structural distortion or warping has occurred, you may need to call a general contractor. If you bring in an IICRC certified firm to handle the restoration in your Viera, FL home, most insurance companies will cover the cost of the restoration and you’ll pay less of a deductible. 

How to Avoid a House Fire

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

House on fire with a red firetruck driving to put it out A house fire can be a traumatizing event but there are ways to prevent them.

A house fire can be a devastating event for your home in Satellite Beach, FL. You could potentially lose many of your possessions in addition to your home. While it may seem that some of these fires are unavoidable, there are ways that you can prevent these events from occurring. These are six of the most common causes of house fires and how you can prevent them.

1. Candles

A NFPA study found that between 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 8,200 home structure fires that were started by candles per year. They stated that these fires caused an annual average of 80 deaths, 770 injuries and $264 million in direct property damage.

There are several causes of candle-related house fires. More than half of the fires that were started in the bedroom were because open flames were left too close to flammable items. Other causes of these fires include leaving the room unattended, someone playing with the candles, and the candle knocking over when someone or a pet bumps the table.

To avoid candle related house fires, keep any candles 12 inches away from any flammable items, never leave a candle lit in a child’s room or an unoccupied room, make sure the candle fits securely into the candle holder so it won’t tip over, and blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.

Smoking

According the NFPA, 17,600 house fires are a result of smoking. That’s resulted in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage. In 2013, the NFPA found that there had been a 73 percent drop in smoking-related house fires from 2008-2011 mostly due to a decrease in the number of smokers. Also helping the drop in smoking-related house fires were new regulations creating non-flammable mattresses, clothing, and furnishings.

The causes of these types of fires are usually ashes or cigarette butts not being completely put out, smoking near a medical oxygen tank, or lacking attention to the cigarette due to falling asleep, drinking, or taking medication while the cigarette is lit.

To avoid causing a smoking-related house fire, smoke outside, use wide and sturdy ashtrays to catch all butts and ashes, and be aware of any cigarettes that may have fallen under furniture or between seat cushions. Also make sure that there are no lit butts that have fallen where they can’t be seen.

Electrical and Lighting

The NFPA reports that in 2011, approximately 47,700 house fires were caused by an electrical failure or malfunction of some sort. These types of fires resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries, and caused $1.4 billion worth of property damage.

Causes of electrical and lighting fires include equipment malfunction, an overloaded circuit or extension cord, an overheated light bulb, a space heater, a washer, and a dryer. Of all the fires caused by electrical and lighting between 2007-2011, 63 percent were due to wiring problems.

Ways that you can avoid starting an electrical or lighting fire include not overloading outlets or electrical cords, ensuring you’re using the right cords (inside cord for inside and heavy duty or outside cord for outside), not leaving Christmas equipment (lights and trees) on overnight or when you’re not home, and having an electrician perform an annual checkup on the home’s wiring.

Dryer and Washing Machines

The NFPA found that 16,800 house fires in 2010 were caused by dryers and washing machines resulting in more than $236 million worth of property damage. Of the fires started by dryers, 29 percent were caused by lint or dust and 28 percent were caused by clothing. For washer-related fires, 26 percent were caused by wire or cable insulation, 21 percent caused by appliance housing, and 15 percent were caused by the drive belt.

Tips to avoiding these types of fires include cleaning the lint screen frequently, ensure there are no leaks in the lines in gas or propane dryers, ensuring the dryer is vented to the outside of the house so that nothing blocks the vent pipe, clean the vent pipe and area where the screen is housed, and keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Lightning

The NFPA says that from 2007-2011, an average of 22,600 house fires were started annually from lightning. These fires are different than the others on this list as they were primarily started during the summer months of June, July, and August rather than December and January.

To avoid lightning-related fires, stay away from doors or windows during an electrical storm, don’t use corded electrical equipment during storms, unplug major electronics when lightning is close by, and avoid plumbing fixtures like sinks or baths during a thunderstorm.

Cooking

Nearly 40 percent of all house fires are started from cooking. That 156,000 house fires per year and they have caused $853 million worth of property damage. Two-thirds of these fires start due to food or other materials catching fire with 57 percent of these fires starting on a range and 16 percent of these fires being caused by an oven. These fires are typically started either when grease is left unattended or when frying something.

To prevent the possibility of a house fire when cooking, don’t leave your food unattended, don’t attempt to put out a grease fire with water instead putting a lid on the pan to smother it, keep flammable items away from the heat source, and make sure your smoke detectors work and there is a fire extinguisher nearby. If a fire occurs in the oven, shut the door and wait for it to extinguish itself.

A house fire in your Suntree, FL home can be a traumatizing event but there are ways to prevent them. By knowing what causes these fires and understanding safety measures, you can ensure you won’t suffer this fate. If you do suffer a house fire, call SERVPRO to remediate the problem.

Homeowners' Insurance & Water Damage Coverage

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Homeowners insurance is useful in times of an emergency. Insurance allows you to avoid having to pay out-of-pocket for expenses that are related to damage to your home. Submitting a claim after your home is damaged by water helps you recover money spent on repairs. However, it is important to know that there are positive and negative points to filing a water damage insurance claim has its good points and bad points.

Water Damage Coverage

Your insurance company covers certain types of water damage. In most instances, the insurance company will cover any damage that is the result of a sudden event. For example, if the broken dishwasher leaks water and causes any water damage, you are covered by your policy. But, any damage that results from a dishwasher that malfunctions because of inadequate maintenance or neglect will not get covered. 

No Coverage

An issue that homeowners face that is not covered by a regular homeowner’s insurance policy is flood damage. If a local river overflows and floods your home, the flooding is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. You will need to purchase a separate insurance policy to cover flooding. This type of insurance is advised for anyone living in an area prone to flooding.

Water damage is covered by homeowner’s insurance.

Unfortunately, there are some limitations to this coverage. An accident that occurs suddenly will likely get covered. However, flood damage that arises from poor maintenance is not covered by your policy. It is important to know that you may find yourself disagreeing with your insurance company about the nature of your water damage. An incident that you believe is the result of a sudden accident may not get viewed as such by your insurer. Your insurance company may argue that the damage was caused by improper maintenance of your home.

If you need help with flood damage in Melbourne, Suntree, Viera, Rockledge, Indian Harbour Beach, West Brevard, West Melbourne, Satellite Beach. Please allow us to be of assistance, give us a call at (321) 953-8600.

Minimizing the Risk of Secondary Damage

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee standing in water in a commercial business Flooded commercial building after a pipe burst

A flood or burst pipe can cause significant water damage inside any Viera, 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 is essential that you hire a professional restoration crew. It is important that the 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 a master at hiding, it is 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 is 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 is important to take proactive measures to help shield tile from water damage.

Unless it is 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.

3 Different Types of Water Damage

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged in a bathroom and hall caused by a clogged toilet Water damage due to a clogged toilet.

Water damage is separated into three categories for the sake of insurance and restoration purposes. Learn about the difference between Category One, Category Two, and Category Three water below. More extensive sanitation procedures are necessary when dealing with contaminated water resulting from a leak or flood.

Category One Water Damage

Category One water is not actually contaminated, though it can still cause primary water damage and elevate the risk of secondary damage, such as mold growth. This type of water is:

  • Clean
  • Treated
  • From a supply line

Category One water can degrade into Category Two or Category Three water if left standing for more than a few days. It is important to remove all standing water and completely dry the affected area to prevent damage from worsening.

Category Two Water Damage

Category Two is used to describe contaminated water that does not contain solid waste. This type of water is called gray water and may:

  • Contain chemicals or microbes
  • Originate from a shower
  • Leak out of appliances

If a dishwasher or washing machine spills water that has been used, this leak would be considered Category Two. Cleaning and disinfection are necessary for this category of water damage.

Category 3 Water Damage

Category Three water is highly contaminated and likely to contain solid waste. This category of water is also called black water, and may originate from a sewer backup or flooding. Category Three water may also contain:

  • Chemicals
  • Heavy metals
  • Pathogens

It is necessary to thoroughly clean and disinfect areas exposed to Category Three water. Porous building materials or contents that absorb this water must be torn out and replaced.

These are the three categories used by insurers and cleanup professionals to describe water damage. If clean or contaminated water causes damage at a residence in Viera, FL, a homeowner should contact a mitigation and restoration service as soon as possible.

Kitchen Cautions During the Holidays

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen stove and microwave after a fire. Don't let the small task of staying attentive in the kitchen, take time away from spending joyful times with your friends and family this year.

Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Any idea what the leading cause of the fires could be? It’s leaving the cooking food unattended. (Source: National Fire Protection Association)

It’s important to be alert while cooking to prevent fires. Would you know what to do if a fire broke out in your kitchen?

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocol to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smoother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled

Your local SERVPRO of West Brevard wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.