Indoor and Outdoor Mold
Since mold spreads extremely fast, it is important to tackle the issue as soon as possible (preferably within days).
When thinking about mold growth and development most people associate fungi with things like bathrooms, sinks, other water-related household areas, and old food. The general population seldom links mold growth to the outdoors, but the truth is that mold grows both indoors and outdoors. In fact, mold lives on all kinds of outdoor materials like on plants, in the soil, and even on decaying matter. With thousands of different types of mold species, mold varies greatly in terms of type, threat, and identifying characteristics. It is important to note that every person is exposed to mold spores on a daily basis, coming from both inside and outside in the air they breathe.
There are a lot of different ways that mold begins to grow, as one of three main requirements are needed:
- A water source
- An organic food source
- Humidity levels about 60%
Some of the most common sources of mold growth include:
- Roof leaks
- Sewer backups
- Blocked gutters
- Leaking pipes
- Damp crawl spaces
- Rain from storms seeping into exterior walls, doors, or window frames
Outside of visible evidence of mold, mold odor is often the most predominant sign that mold growth has occurred. Since mold spreads extremely fast, it is important to tackle the issue as soon as possible (preferably within days). As such, if your home is suffering from a mold problem, contact our mold remediation team immediately and we will send a professional to your property to assess the problem. Call SERVPRO today!
LAAIA Expo 2018
SERVPRO of Hollywood/ Hallandale/ Aventura & North Miami is always proud to represent and participate in the Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies’ annual expo. This year was no different. This year was particularly special because of the topic presented by this year’s speaker. His focus was on getting ourselves to become aware of our surroundings and the actions we take. Most of the time we are running on auto-pilot and sometimes those automatic reactions may affect our business in a negative manner. As individuals we must be aware that the world is changing, and we need to adjust to it, even though there may be “old-school” beliefs lingering, there may be an opportunity roaming nearby that will be missed if we are not “awake”. This was a point well made which allows us to rethink our daily approach to the business we represent and how we can improve ourselves through it.
Signs of Water Intrusion
Hurricane Irma took place August 30th, 2017 – September 13th, 2017, leaving destruction in its path. Many homes and businesses in South Florida were affected by the winds and rain that were brought along with it. Yet, months later there are still reports of damages being found. resulting in mold. At some case there were no signs of water intrusion, but there are things to look for, such as:
- Cracked, bubbled, or chipped paint
- Warped laminate flooring
- Detached baseboards
- Lifted wallpaper
- Water stains
As soon as these signs of water intrusion are noticed, it is important to call SERVPRO and allow us to perform an inspection of the home or business to address any issues as soon as possible to return your home or business as to “Like it never even happened.”
Protect Your Home From The Next Storm
Florida is known for its beaches, sunshine, and hurricane season. For most Floridians hurricane preparedness is already second nature, but at times it can still be overwhelming. But from each storm a new lesson is learned as to how to prepare our homes better for the next season. Each storm is always unpredictable, which is why you should be prepared for before, and after.
Before the storm hits: It is important to stock up on emergency supplies during the beginning of the year to not be rushing to gather what is needed in June when there are many other people scattering to do the same.
The “off season” is also the best time to look into installing impact-resistant windows to have one less worry when getting ready for the hurricane. Rather than setting up shutters, your home will already be prepared.
Just as it's important to prepare before a storm, being prepared after is equally important. If you evacuate only go home after the storm has hit and when your local governor has declared it safe. Coming too early can turn deadly if you run into flooded roadways and falling trees.
Report any downed power lines and avoid walking through any flooded walkways or roadways.
If your roof has suffered damages, use tarps to cover it from further water coming in. If your home has broken windows, use plywood to prevent further water damage.
One last step to better prepare for after the storm is to take a picture of all damages to better assist when making insurance claims.
Electrical Safety for Your Children
Electrical safety and fire safety are important subject matters that must be addressed by parents on a regular basis.
Homeowners often think of fire and electrical safety in regards to protecting their family and their property, but considering these practices from a child’s perspective is imperative to truly keeping your loved ones and home safe from harm. When discussing these issues with kids, it is best to break things into two categories in order for them to be easily understood and readily followed. Far too many parents sit their children down and offer guidelines given to them, which are difficult for kids to understand and put into practice. As such, today we offer some easy tips for explaining electrical safety to your children.
Below, we will break down how to help your children with identifying safe practices versus unsafe practices. Be sure to talk through these items with your kids slowly and carefully.
The following practices and ideas are positioned in the “safe” category:
- Help your parents by reminding them to test your smoke alarm monthly and change the smoke alarm batteries yearly
- Be sure to turn off the lights when leaving a room and before going to sleep
- If you see smoke or a fire, leave your home right away and call 911 from a safe location
- Make sure space heaters have a space, do not place anything that can burn anywhere near them
The following practice and ideas are positioned in the “unsafe” category:
- Never use or touch electrical cords that are broken or frayed
- Always keep electronics far away from any liquids
- Do not overcrowd electrical outlets with cords, if there are too many in one location ask an adult to remove some
- Do not put anything that can burn near lightbulbs or lampshades
Electrical safety and fire safety are important subject matters that must be addressed by parents on a regular basis. Make it a habit to ask your children questions to ensure that they are well-versed on the above safety tips at all times.
Household Mold Tips and Tricks
If you believe you are dealing with a mold growth issue in your home, contact our mold remediation specialists today to learn more about SERVPRO!
Mold spores, while often difficult to see with the human eye, are likely living in your home and workplace right now. Located both inside and outside, mold is fungi that thrives when moisture is present. As such, dark, warm, and humid regions are goldmines for mold spores to grow. A countless number of different mold types exist. In fact, there is actually an unknown number of fungi species, although experts estimate up to three hundred thousand or more mold species. Mold, also called mildew, is often found in the kitchen and bathroom areas of a home because these are moist regions.
While most people think about mold in regard to appearances and how its presence may alter the look of their bathroom or kitchen, mold can actually cause health effects. As such, it is important to be acutely aware of mold growth in and around your home in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. The following are some household mold tips and tricks:
- Check for mold often, as catching it early can save a lot of money in mold removal
- Mold test kits are often unreliable, so we recommend hiring a mold inspection company to do a thorough check
- Look for things like mold growth on walls and even foul smells
- Be aware of any leaks in areas like your kitchen near appliances and your bathroom near the shower or the toilet
- Check your air conditioning system for mold growth
- If your home has sustained any flooding, the likelihood of mold presence increases
- Leaky windows or roofs should be fixed immediately to prevent mold growth
Unfortunately, visible mold in your home can be an immediate turnoff for guests, as its appearance often looks disgusting. In addition, mold growth, if left untreated, can be a problem for the health of you and your family. In order to minimize or limit the development of mildew in your home or workplace, try to keep humidity low with a dehumidifier and ensure that ventilation is adequate. If you believe you are dealing with a mold growth issue in your home, contact our mold remediation specialists today to learn more about SERVPRO!
9 Hurricane Prep Tips for Your Home’s Exterior
No matter how many hurricanes you have gone through as a South Florida resident, it is important to remain vigilant every single hurricane season.
As Florida homeowners, business owners, and residents find themselves right in the middle of hurricane season, it is absolutely critical to establish a plan of action for protecting their properties. South Florida is no stranger to nasty hurricane seasons, but with false alarms and constantly-changing hurricane paths, it can get easy to fall into the trap of failing to prepare properly. A lot of people think that buying extra water and canned goods is enough to get themselves and their families ready, but doing just that puts your home in a very risky position. Focusing on preparing your home’s exterior during hurricane season is extremely important for all Floridians.
This hurricane season, keep the following tips in minds as you prepare to safeguard and protect your home’s exterior:
- Install shutters on all windows and doors throughout your home
- Consider replacing your windows with impact-resistant glass
- Be mindful of your garage door and potentially brace your door to withstand hurricane-force winds
- Purchase a standby generator to power your home (or a few important areas of your home) in the event that your power grid goes down
- Spruce up your landscaping in order to remove any and all possible debris
- Inspect your home’s downspouts and gutters to make sure there are no blockages which would prevent water from flowing freely
- Remove any and all lawn furniture, any type of planters, and grills that may blow in the wind
- Secure any outdoor items that cannot be moved inside
- Move your vehicles into the garage or close to the home to prevent damage via fallen trees
No matter how many hurricanes you have gone through as a South Florida resident, it is important to remain vigilant every single hurricane season. Far too many Floridians take for granted being lucky and thus feel immune to hurricane damage. When it comes to Florida hurricanes, it is always better to be prepared than to be sorry. Contact SERVPRO today if your home has suffered any storm damage and our team of restoration professionals will be right there to help!
How To Spot Water Damage
At SERVPRO, we are dedicated to unmatched customer service, high-quality work, and making it “Like it never even happened.”
Water damage may seem like something that would be obvious to detect. Things like buckled wood and discolored ceilings are dead giveaways, however, some of the most common signs of water damage are far more difficult to spot. Most of the time, water damage is actually located underneath your home’s floor boards, behind your home’s walls, or even somewhere on the outside of your house. Residential water damage and commercial water damage alike can be extremely costly for the property owner, especially when not identified early on. As such, it is extremely important to be aware of some of the most common water damage warnings.
A homeowner has a lot of things to think about and scanning the house for water damage is probably low on the to-do list. Nevertheless, being aware of some of the more typical indicators can save you and your family a ton of money in the long-run. Keep the following list in mind for how to spot water damage:
- Foul odors are often an indication of residual water and mold growth
- Stains present on ceilings and walls
- Mold growth
- Painting peeling
- Discoloration of the ceiling
- Bubbling or cracking wallpaper or paint
- Changes in floor texture such as buckling, warping, expanding, or sinking
- Leaking or pooling water behind appliances
- Issues in the attic and/or roof like mold or staining
- Exterior home damage near gutters
Being knowledgeable about the potential signs of water damage is the first step in mitigating the financial cost and overall damage caused. If you have spotted any of the above indicators throughout your home, it is imperative to contact a professional water damage team right away. At SERVPRO, we are dedicated to unmatched customer service, high-quality work, and making it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today to learn more!
Tips for Business Owners to Reduce Liability Claims
Being aware of the possibility of a liability claim is the first step in being proactive to prevent this from happening.
General liability insurance claims are those that typically come from either your customers or your vendors. As a small business owner, the ability to reduce the risk of these potential lawsuits is imperative for keeping your business running smoothly. One of the most common claims comes from slip and fall accidents. In these situations, a customer is walking through your store when they fall on the wet floor, causing injury or damages. In this scenario, the business is often held responsible for the accident and will therefore be liable for any type of injury or any damage that the fall caused. Being aware of the possibility of a liability claim is the first step in being proactive to prevent this from happening.
While there are certainly things out of the hands of a business owner, preemptive measures can absolutely be taken to reduce the likelihood of something like that occurring. Keep the following tips in mind to reduce liability claims in your business:
- Be sure to keep the store well-lit so that customers can see where they are walking. We also advise that you conduct emergency lighting system checks each month.
- Keep floors and carpeting as clean as possible. Place signage in areas that could be deemed a potential walking hazard.
- Install handrails on any stairways in the building.
- When a spill occurs, place an employee near the spill to warn customers until the spill is properly cleaned.
- Keep the bathrooms extremely tidy.
- Check the outside walkways near your store and look for any potential hazards.
- Keep trash and any other clutter away from the areas where customers walk.
- Be aware of condensation drips from things like air conditioners and refrigerators.
- Avoid the use of extension cords and other dangerous items in areas where foot traffic is heavy.
General liability insurance is crucial for business owners. However, it is important to continually make improvements to keep your store as safe as possible for all of your patrons. If you are in search of a reliable, professional commercial restoration and cleaning service, contact SERVPRO at your earliest convenience!
Smoke Alarm Safety for Your Home
Having a smoke alarm in the house in one of the most effective ways to save you and your family’s lives. Keep in mind these smoke alarm safety tips.
Properly functioning smoke alarms are a key aspect to general home safety when it comes to potential home fires. Unfortunately, statistics point to the fact that approximately 60 percent of home fire deaths are a direct result of fires in properties without working smoke alarms. While it may seem like an afterthought or a bonus for a home, the reality is that smoke alarms save lives and missing or broken smoke alarms can be the cause of fire deaths or fire injuries. When a fire starts in a home, it spreads incredibly fast. As such, it is absolutely essential for all South Florida homeowners to have working smoke alarms installed throughout their homes to ensure they can get out as quickly as possible.
Some experts say that a family has one minute or less to get out of a home in the event of a fire. Having a smoke alarm in the house in one of the most effective ways to save you and your family’s lives. Keep in mind the following smoke alarm safety tips:
- Make sure your alarm system is interconnected so that when one alarm goes off they all do
- Check your smoke alarms every month to make sure they are functioning correctly
- Get new smoke alarms installed every 10 years
- Smoke alarms should be installed both inside and outside of all bedrooms or other sleeping areas
- Smoke alarms should be installed on each level of the home
- Replace smoke alarm battery at least one time a year (9-volt battery)
- Practice a fire drill in the event that the alarm goes off
- Once the smoke alarm sounds, everyone must get out of the house fast
An estimated 3,000 people are killed each year in the United States due to fires. Ensure that you and your family are taking every measure to be protected from fire danger. The first step in safeguarding your home is to deploy the above smoke alarm tips right away. If your home has suffered any fire damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO today to learn more!