Recent Posts

Can Smoke-Damaged Items Be Cleaned and Restored?

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

walls covered with smoke there are handprints on the wall Smoke damage in Miami, FL.

One of the major things you have to deal with in the aftermath of a fire is restoration of your smoke-damaged items. Besides fire and water damage, smoke and soot affects not just the structure but the belongings of your home in Miami, FL. You may assume that impacted objects are irreparably damaged, but according to experts in fire damage assessment, there are a number of specialized types of content cleaning, including dry-cleaning that can bring impacted elements back to pre-damage conditions.
Consider a fire restoration process that not only accounts for water and fire cleanup but offers smoke and soot removal that can reduce costs associated with replacement.

Walking Through Fire Restoration

A complete fire restoration process is typically extensive and is best left in the hands of a professional restoration provider experienced in and equipped for remediation. The process generally involves multiple steps:

  • Evaluate the degree of destruction due to fire, water and smoke or soot.
  • Contain impacted areas and items to avoid further damage to other parts of your home.
  • Remove water and dry impacted items and parts of the residence with special equipment.
  • Clean items that are smoke-damaged with content cleaning methods.
  • Employ best practices and item-specific cleanup approaches, such as dry-cleaning.
  • Repair structural damage as necessary to restore your house and its contents.

Understanding the Professional Approach
Professional remediation and restoration services take a comprehensive look at repairing and removing all damage. The goal is to minimize the interruption to your living situation using every method available, including temporary content storage. Prioritizing repair over replacement is another objective to help save money.
Insurance companies generally prefer to work with a professional remediation provider when it comes to fire damage cleanup. They know that these providers are vetted and equipped to perform advanced techniques, including dry-cleaning, to bring your home back to a pre-fire condition as quickly as possible.

3 Pertinent Facts About Water Damage Every Homeowner Should Know

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

technician working under sink kitchen cabinet, water pipe damage Water damage in a West Miami, FL residence.

Water Damage Facts

Whether it is the result of a home malfunction like a pipe burst or leaky water line or a natural disaster like flooding, anything involving a sudden vast influx of fluid into your lodgings has the potential to cause a great deal of trouble. Consulting a professional restoration company in West Miami, FL, is generally a good idea, depending on the extent of the harm. As you ponder whether or not you wish to, there are some important facts that you should know about water damage.

1. Insurance Doesn't Always Cover It
Homeowners insurance may not pay for any services or repairs needed if the issue is due to your negligence or normal wear and tear. Usually, it will take care of a pipe burst, other accidental occurrence or problem you could not reasonably have anticipated and kept from happening. This includes:

  • Other plumbing issues
  • Leaking roofs
  • Toilet overflows
  • Vandalism

In some instances, your policy may cover the consequences of the water, but not the reason it is saturating your home. For example, your provider probably won't shell out to fix the holes in your roof. It may, however, do so for the cleanup of the liquid that has soaked into your floors. Flooding normally falls under a separate kind of indemnity.

2. Mold Growth Is a Possibility
It is vital to remove as much moisture as possible from impacted areas as soon as you can. It takes approximately 24 to 48 hours for mold colonies to begin growing on damp spots. Taking fast action to dry saturated items and rooms can help ward this off.

3. There Exist Preventative Measures
While there is no precaution that can guarantee a water-related incident will not happen, there are some steps you can take to minimize the chances of one transpiring. Cleaning out gutters and downspouts regularly can stave off clogs leading to overflow. Maintaining your pipes and any appliances connected to your water supply can head off a lot of potential complications as well.
A pipe burst or other water problem can be difficult to handle. In many cases, contacting a professional may be the best move.

The 4 Components of a Damage Assessment

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

workers removing carpet from floor after water damage in an office building Commercial water restoration services in Virginia Gardens, FL.

The 4 Components of a Damage Assessment

If your business in Virginia Gardens, FL, suffers water damage, seek a capable cleanup and restoration company to get your property back in shape. During the initial inspection, known as pretesting, the company associate assesses the damage done to the property to determine what can be restored. This reduces the cost of your insurance claim by preventing the unnecessary replacement of repairable damage. You should expect the assessment to consist of these four steps.

1. Inspection of Damage
The associate assesses how much damage the water has caused, inspecting the affected areas to determine whether restoration or replacement will be needed. Additionally, the professional will check for any dangers in the area, such as lead, asbestos and unsafe electrical outlets.

2. Addressing Ongoing Leaks
If there is still water leaking on the property, it is necessary to identify the source and stop its flow. The associate should check for any sources of contamination of the water as well.

3. Testing the Water
Pretesting involves classifying the water contamination into one of three categories:

  1. White Water – Water with no substantial contaminants
  2. Gray Water – Water containing microorganisms, as found in septic water
  3. Black Water – Water containing dangerous bacteria or fungi

If the water is coming from an overflowing sink or broken supply line, it is most likely to be white water. Gray and black water can be the result of contamination from standing water, sea and river water, or sewage.

4. Preparing the Area for Water Removal
Before moving forward in the restoration process, the area needs to be cleared of any furniture or carpets in the way and subject to water damage.
Once the pretesting has been done, your property is ready for the next steps of restoration. It’s a good idea to discuss the process with your insurance agent so that you can be prepared in the unfortunate event of water damage.

How To Contain Mold Spores During Cleanup

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold containment in a Miami, FL building

Ways That Mold Can Be Contained

Despite your efforts to keep it at bay, you've discovered mold growing at your business in Miami, FL. In the best interest of your staff, building, and clients, you've hired a professional mold remediation specialist to handle the mold cleanup. You're wondering: is it safe to continue running my business as usual while cleaning happens, or do I need to come up with a different plan? During cleanup, professionals will use containment strategies to prevent the spread of mold. However, the impact to your business practices will depend on the size of the containment area. 

Limited Containment

For smaller areas of mold contamination, a single layer of plastic sheeting will be hung to contain the mold spores that will be released into the air during cleanup. The sheeting is attached to the floor and ceiling with duct tape, or a metal frame may be used for larger spaces. The area is kept under negative pressure, which prevents the spread of spores to non-contaminated areas of the building. If the mold is not in your main work area, it is possible that you can continue to run your business. Always follow the direction of the remediation specialist when determining your business plan.

Full Containment

In a larger area, in situations where there is massive mold growth, or in spaces that are harder to contain, a double layer of plastic sheeting will be erected, and airlock chambers will be utilized for entrance to and exit from the mold cleanup area. In both limited and full containment projects, all air vents, fans, doors, and stairs will be sealed off to further protect the building's occupants.

General Prevention

Your mold remediation team will wear personal protective equipment that they will keep in a contained area in order further prevent the spread of mold spores to the rest of the building.
Proper mold cleanup can be an involved process, so deciding how to run your business while cleaning occurs is a decision that you should make under the advisement of a remediation professional.

What To Do When a Pipe Bursts

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

cement water pipe broke More water damages are caused by broken pipes.

Bursting pipes aren't always located out in the open; sometimes, they are situated behind the walls where they are out of sight and hard to recognize. Within minutes, your commercial property could experience a lot of damage because of a broken or leaking pipe behind the walls. Sadly, broken pipes are some of the most common causes of water damage in Doral, FL, and in many of these cases, a burst or leaking pipe could go unnoticed until serious damage has occurred.

Take Quick Action

As soon as you notice that your property has suffered water damage in Doral, FL, you should take some quick steps to prevent further damage:

  • Turn off the water at the water main.
  • Open one or more faucets to decrease the water pressure in the pipes.
  • Remove water as quickly and thoroughly as you can.
  • Contact professionals to fix the broken pipe and provide further cleanup and repair services.

Your quick actions could mean the difference between containing the damage and experiencing extensive, widespread trouble.

Recognize the Potential for Trouble
There are many pipes throughout your property that could cause a lot of damage. Bursting pipes often happen when plumbing and other systems are installed along the exterior of the home without enough insulation to protect them from freezing. Aging pipes can develop leaks or cracks if they are exposed to pests or unusual amounts of water pressure. If the original installation of the pipes wasn't handled correctly, slow leaks could cause damage for a long time before you notice them.

Get Help Quickly
Once any damage has happened, it's important to contact water damage cleanup and repair professionals to correct the situation. In addition to putting your business back into a safe working condition, the technicians may also help you recognize other areas of weakness and concern. It's definitely better to avoid damage altogether when it's possible to take preventative action.
You may not always recognize water damage when it first occurs, but when you do notice the damage, take quick action. It doesn't take long for bursting pipes and running water to cause a lot of harm.

The Effects of Lightning Strikes on Homes

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the sky. Lightning strike in Doral, FL area

There are many causes of home fires, both natural and man-made. A lightning fire is one of the most destructive and deadly you could encounter in Doral, FL. As a homeowner, it’s helpful to be aware of how these occur, what you can do to prevent them and what the effects can be on the structure and your own safety.

How and When They Occur

Unlike other types of fires that could start in your home, it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict when a lightning strike will hit a structure. However, there are certain conditions and situations where there is a greater likelihood for a house fire due to this weather phenomenon:

  • Strikes occur frequently during the summer months
  • Strikes occur mostly in the late afternoon or evening
  • Strikes vary depending on regions
  • Weather patterns affect where and when strikes occur

Damage

A lightning fire can often be more devastating than other types of fires. In many cases, these blazes result in fatalities and widespread damage. Fires from strikes can result in structural losses, electrical failure and loss of other property and belongings. The results can be sudden although some of these fires may start small and gradually increase in strength.

Safety Measures

During an electrical storm, you should turn off all electronics, including televisions, stereos and phones. Do not bathe or do dishes when there is lightning nearby. You should stay away from windows but remain inside during these situations. The only time you should leave your home during such a storm would be if your house caught on fire. Otherwise, remain indoors until 30 minutes have passed since the last flash.
If lightning does hit your dwelling and cause a fire, evacuate and get to a low place outside. Call 911 and do not try to reenter the house. After crews extinguish the lightning fire, get in touch with a professional fire restoration team to clean up and rebuild your home.

Why Protecting Your Roof Is So Important

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

servpro technicians tarping a roof of a house Roof mitigation services in West Miami, FL

Your roof system offers vital protection to your home in West Miami, FL, whenever a storm sweeps into your neighborhood. It can work perfectly for many years, even a decade or two, but eventually, the roofing materials will begin to wear out. This is the moment when a roof repair can save you time and money. If you miss this opportunity, the time may come when a powerful storm breaches the protective layers of your roof, allowing water to stream into your attic. Once this happens to you, you will likely spend more time appreciating the importance of having a quality roof over your head.

Watching for Roof Damage

If your roof is old, it is important to inspect its condition once or twice a year, or more often if your locality has experienced any recent storms. A few telltale signs can alert you to the imminent need for a roof repair:

  • Ripped or torn shingles
  • Discolored marks on the roof
  • Displaced flashing materials
  • Crumbled masonry around chimneys
  • Covered shingles from moss growth

While there are many obvious signs of roof wear, others are more subtle. A trusted roofing contractor can perform an annual inspection and spot signs of storm or wind damage that you might miss. This is your first line of defense against major water damage to your home.

Hiring Restoration Services
If water does come streaming into your home, you will definitely want to minimize your damage. One of your first steps is to call a storm mitigation company. A crew of experienced technicians will arrive at your home and take quick action to stop the influx of water. They will work on a roof repair to prevent any additional damage. The next step will be to work on removing the water. Then they will dry out materials such as attic insulation and anything else impacted by the storm.

What Should You Do if Your Basement Floods?

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A basement flood is a serious event

What Should You Do if Your Basement Floods?

A basement flood is a serious event for homeowners in Virginia Gardens, FL. Depending on the severity, it can cause damage to many parts of a house:

  • Walls
  • Flooring
  • Foundation undermining
  • Personal items


Reacting quickly to the flood is essential to save money and facilitate restoration. Here’s how to deal with this disaster.

What Should You Do First?
Is the basement flood a result of widespread flooding, or is it localized to your immediate area? A major flood disaster means water is likely to keep coming in until the areal flood dissipates.
If your home is flooded with water surrounding your home, you must consider it contaminated. It may have a fecal matter or other substances in it. Don’t try to remove this blackwater yourself! Call a local professional water damage restoration company to react as quickly as possible.
If the water is from a broken supply pipe, it can be considered clean. You need to immediately turn off the water in this case. Locate the shut-off valve nearest to the leak. If you don’t know where that is, shut off water to your entire house right away. That gives you time to either locate a closer shut-off point or call a professional.


What About Insurance Coverage?
What is covered is usually dependent on the cause of the damage. Virtually no homeowner’s insurance policies cover a flood. You need a special policy offered by the nonprofit National Flood Insurance Program to receive any help from insurance.
However, a broken pipe or sewer line usually is covered, as long as you react within a reasonable time. If you’re away on vacation and come home to a broken pipe, that should still normally be covered, as you had no way to know about the problem. That being said, if you ignore an ongoing leak, your insurance company can deny your coverage.
Act quickly in the case of water in your home. If the basement flood is found right away and the accumulated water immediately removed, the damage can be negligible.

How Does a Fire Damage Service Clean Smoke Odors at Your Business?

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, smoke odor removal A thermal fogger absorbs the odor-causing molecules and removes the smoke odor for good

How Does a Fire Damage Service Clean Smoke Odors at Your Business?

After a fire at your Virginia Gardens, FL business, you may not know where to turn for help. Fire damage comes in many forms, including smoke odors that can be difficult to erase. Calling in a professional smoke cleaning service can provide you with a variety of ways to clear the air in the aftermath of a business fire.

Air Purifiers
Fires often leave a smoky odor behind that can be quite powerful. Even smaller fires can cause these lingering odors, which are often bitter and unpleasant. Your fire mitigation service may use air purification systems to clean the air itself. This is usually more effective than other tactics, including:

  • Ceiling fans
  • Air fresheners
  • Plug-in scent systems

Professional-grade air purifiers remove odor-causing molecules from the air and leave it odor-free, something your employees and customers are likely to appreciate.

Thermal Foggers
Smoke damage is often difficult to remedy because of the way the smells tend to remain long after the fire is put out. This happens because these smells get into places that air fresheners and other scented products cannot reach. Thermal foggers can be useful in this instance because of the thickness of the cleansing fog. Once released into a room, the fog absorbs the odor-causing molecules and removes the smoke odor for good.

Ozone Machines
Your fire damage and restoration service may use ozone machines for smoke cleaning, as these devices add extra oxygen to the air and oxidize the smoke molecules that cause unpleasant odors left behind after a fire. Your technicians will likely explain the process and give you additional details about this process, such as how long it might and if you need to empty the building before they can start the process.
Recovering from a fire at your Virginia Gardens, FL business can be a difficult process, especially when it comes to smoke cleaning. Working with a company experienced in the use of air cleaning systems may help you get back on your feet faster.

4 Tips for Maintaining the Pipes in Your Rental Unit

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage Of Water From Stainless Steel Pipe On Gray Background Plumbing issues in a Miami, FL home

Save Your Units From Water Damage

Plumbing is something you should be familiar with if you own properties for rent. The key is to maintain them. Whether it is tenants who decide to flush diapers down the toilet or those polybutylene pipes you wish weren't in that one home, the best thing you can do for your rental home is to give your plumbing proper maintenance. Make sure you know what basic things you should be doing and how to tell when it is time to call a professional remediation company.

1. Have a Plumbing Lease Clause
The first key to ensuring your plumbing's safety is to have a plumbing lease clause. This limits your responsibility for plumbing maintenance in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms to only tasks beyond your tenant's control, such as replacing polybutylene pipes. The basic maintenance your tenants should perform includes limiting what they put in their garbage disposal, cleaning the laundry filters regularly, removing hair from sink and shower drains, and refraining from flushing anything extra down the toilet.

2. Provide a Plunger
To encourage your tenants to solve any plumbing issues themselves, you should give them plungers. There are two types you should supply them with. A dome plunger is for kitchen tasks; a bell plunger is for bathroom issues. It is important to give them two plungers for hygiene and ease of use.

3. Provide a Snake
When a plunger isn't working, a snake often can. Sink snakes are necessary for any unit. They are great for removing clogs of hair and can also be used for clogs in showers.

4. Call a Professional
No matter how good your tenants are about maintenance, fragile polybutylene pipes could still be in danger of bursting. When this happens, there is only so much you can do. Any major problems to the plumbing in your unit in Miami, FL, should be handled by a professional plumber.
There are several steps you can take to save your units from water damage due to plumbing issues. Encouraging your tenants to perform their own maintenance and providing support when needed helps everyone.