Tips for Preventing Mold From the Swamp Cooler
Fix a leaking swamp cooler as soon as you know there is a problem.
Tips for Preventing Mold From the Swamp Cooler
Summer in the South gets really hot. Many homeowners in Golden Glades, FL, rely on swamp coolers to keep their homes cool without the exorbitant cost of running their air conditioners all day and night. A leaking swamp cooler, however, can lead to unpleasant mold issues throughout your home.
A swamp cooler uses a lot of water to cool your home. If it malfunctions, there are several surfaces that can start to grow mold:
- Cellulose pad
- Fan belt
- Cooler unit
- Duct system
Your swamp cooler doesn't have to be broken to develop mold growth, though. Even running it constantly without a break can cause a buildup of moisture on the pad that draws spores in. Once they start to multiply, they can get caught in the vents and blow throughout the house, spreading the problem beyond just the cooler itself.
A swamp cooler has a greater chance of creating a mold problem than an air conditioner. One of the best preventions for fungus in your leaking swamp cooler is a quick repair. Check all the components regularly so that you can avoid potential problems. If you don't know how long your cooler has been leaking, it's a good idea to get certified mold remediation experts to test the unit and the ducts attached to it for growth. Preventative maintenance can also reduce the risk of mold. Have professional technicians check often to ensure it's running efficiently, particularly during the hottest months. Finally, if you choose a swamp cooler over central air conditioning, increase the airflow and lower the humidity in your home by opening windows to create a cross breeze.
Although a swamp cooler may be the more economical choice for cooling your home, it also means you must be extra vigilant about mold prevention. Stick to a strict maintenance schedule, and fix a leaking swamp cooler as soon as you know there is a problem.
5 Tips for Preparing a Business for Severe Storms
Storm damage in North Miami, FL.
Steps To Prepare For A Severe Storm
Businesses in North Miami, FL, know that the next rain storm may easily turn into a severe thunderstorm. While Mother Nature is unexpected and unleashes a lot of fury, being prepared makes weathering the event easier. Although it may be impossible to completely avoid a water loss that requires the help of a water damage and restoration specialist, the following tips may provide added peace of mind that you can handle whatever comes your way.
1. Roof Maintenance
Regardless of which type of roof is on the structure, an annual inspection should be completed by a certified professional. Regular checks should also be completed to ensure no debris is on the roof, as well as that there are no missing shingles, flashing or other essential components.
High winds can easily make a branch snap. If trees aren’t properly trimmed, it may mean that branch hitting the roof or going through a window. It also leads to drains getting clogged, which may lead to flooding through the foundation.
3. Lightning Protection
During a severe rain storm, lightning is another concern. If these types of weather events are common, it may be worth installing a roof-mounted protection system. These are designed to direct bolts away and dissipate them better.
4. Secure Outdoor Items
From signage to equipment and décor, the things sprucing up your business also have the potential to damage it. Before the storm hits, ensure everything outside the building is secure, rust-free, and undamaged to mitigate against it from flying up.
5. Inspect Doors and Windows
Damaged windows and doors make it easy for water to infiltrate your business. Regularly check that all seals are up to par, there or no cracks or missing brackets and that they all function properly. As the storm rolls in, be sure that they are all closed.
If that gentle shower turns into a rain storm, the above tips may help you stay better protected.
3 Ways To Secure Your Commercial Building After a Fire
Board up services in Surfside, FL.
Keeping Your Business Safe After A Fire
The fire damage to your property may not end once the blaze is extinguished. You need to secure your Surfside, FL, building to prevent additional harm while you wait for the fire cleanup experts to arrive. Here are some ways to keep your premises safe after the fire.
1. Limit Flare-Ups
The firefighters likely took steps to eliminate flare-ups before they left the premises. However, if you or someone in your building put out the fire, you need to make sure the flames are truly gone. Start by spraying the affected area with a fire extinguisher. Continuing doing this until the ashes stop giving off heat and the coals stop glowing.
2. Keep Out Intruders
Criminals may see the fire damage to your building and use that as an excuse to vandalize or burglarize your property. Homeless people may also try to take shelter inside the premises.
To prevent looting and keep away troublemakers, you should board up any windows or doors that have been harmed in the fire. Ideally, you should utilize marine-grade quarter-inch plywood. Attach the wood to the interior of the property. If you put the screws or clamps outside the building, the intruders can just undo them. The wood should stop critters from entering the premises, as well.
3. Prevent Weather Damage
Mother Nature will not spare your property just because it was harmed in a fire. A snow or rain storm could cause even more destruction to a burned building. The water could easily enter an unsecured structure and soak valuable equipment. You should thus tarp over your roof as you board up the doors and windows.
Once it is safe to return to your building after a blaze, you need to prevent flare-ups that could cause further fire damage. You must also secure your property to protect it from vandals and harsh weather. This should mitigate further harm to the property and allow the restoration to occur more quickly.
3 Flood Prevention Tips for the Proactive Business Owner
A flood cleanup company can assess the water damage in your building.
Flood Prevention Tips
According to National Geographic, floods are the most common and destructive natural disaster. Whether it's from melting snow, a broken levee or a severe thunderstorm, floods cause billions of dollars in damage, leaving business owners left to deal with flood cleaning. Being proactive is key to protecting your property, but it can feel overwhelming. Here are three flood prevention tips to consider before the next big storm rolls in.
1. Inspect the Building Regularly
Regular assessments of your building and its surroundings are one of the best ways to avoid flood damage altogether. An inspection can reveal areas that are susceptible to water damage, and it can highlight opportunities for repairs and flood-proofing. Pay close attention to basements and other low-lying areas, and take care of any repairs in a timely fashion.
2. Clean the Roof and Gutters
Before a storm rolls through Sunny Isles, FL, take some time to clean gutters, downspouts and other drainage areas. These mechanisms are less effective for flood prevention when they're full of leaves and other matter. Keeping these areas clear will ensure that water doesn't back up into the building after heavy rain.
3. Manage the Landscape
Floodwaters move quickly, and many business owners don't realize the effect that landscaping has. Designs such as rain gardens or swales can help collect and redirect rainwater. Whatever you do, make sure the landscaping is designed so that water runs away from the property. If there's significant work to be done, hire a professional who can help design and implement a water damage prevention strategy for your building's exterior.
Being proactive about flood prevention can save you the headache of dealing with water damage on your commercial property. Maintaining your building's interior and exterior through regular inspections and cleanup are the easiest ways to keep your building dry all year round. If your building has already been impacted by water damage, a flood cleanup company can assess the water damage and identify a solution.
When and How To Check Your Water Supply Lines
Checking for supply line damage should be an important part of your routine.
One thing many homeowners don't think of is their plumbing supply lines. They are just always there and functioning right up until they are not. Checking for supply line damage should be an important part of your yearly home maintenance. If you live in a climate with rapidly changing weather, you might need to check them more frequently. Remember, supply lines usually have more pressure than drainage lines. This means that they are more subject to wear.
Types of Supply Lines
Like most things in life, there are a few types of supply lines that your home might contain. All of these might be the cause of a supply line leak. These are:
- PEX - flexible tubing
- PVC - hard pieces of piping
- Copper - an older metal type
- Galvanized metal - only found in older homes
How To Check Your Supply Lines
If you have a bathroom leak, you obviously will need to check the supply lines. The better thing to do is check them before they start leaking and you wind up needing a flood or mold remediation; company.
Start by checking the actual connections making sure they are tight and not corroded. There are over 21 types of corrosion that can easily cause supply line damage.
You can do this by starting at one end of your water system and working your way to the other. You can find supply lines behind your toilet, under your sinks, on your water heater and to your washer.
Then check for cracks or breaks in the outer housing of the pipes. You might think that this can only happen with old pipes, but any pipe under pressure can develop issues.
Pay attention to small leaks or water dripping. Sometimes, there are signs of water, such as rust stains, damp surroundings and buildup around the line.
Checking for supply line damage should be an important part of your routine. It is easy to do and can prevent major flooding and damage to your home.
3 Details of Fire Escape Your Kids Need To Know
Prepare your kids for the event of a home fire.
3 Details of Fire Escape Your Kids Need To Know
Talking with your kids about fire safety might seem a little nerve-racking, but having the right information is crucial to ensuring kids' safety. Clear communication about your fire escape plan helps the whole family to be prepared. Even if you've already covered the basics of escaping a home fire in Biscayne Park, FL, with your children, there are a few details that you may want to revisit and practice during your next fire safety review.
1. Stay Low
There are two important scenarios during which your kids will need to remember to stay low when escaping a house fire:
- Getting out of bed: Have your kids practice safely rolling out of their beds onto the floor. Because heat rises, they should avoid sitting up to get out of bed during a fire.
- Moving through the house: Practice crawling on hands and knees through your home to your fire exits. Also practice crawling with the belly to the ground, in the case of extreme heat.
2. Don't Hide
It is important to remind children to never hide during a fire. The impulse to hide in the midst of a crisis is understandable, but it compromises kids' safety by making it harder for firefighters to find them. If they are unable to safely exit the home, they should stay put where they can be found quickly, such as lying on the floor next to their bed.
3. Pick a Meeting Spot
Talk ahead of time about where you will meet after exiting your home. Choose a spot that is easy to get to but a safe distance from the house. Have your children practice meeting there so they will remember if the time comes.
Practicing these steps helps to secure your kids' safety. In the event of a fire, everybody reaching safety and gathering at your meeting place enables you to focus on the next steps. These include finding a safe place to stay while you have a fire damage assessment done on your home. Clear communication with your children is key to both preparing for the event of a home fire and navigating any changes afterward.
Fire Restoration Tips for Businesses
Commercial fire damage in Bal Harbour, FL.
When you experience an emergency at a business or commercial property, one of your main concerns is getting your business up and running again. Fire restoration takes time but is essential for creating a safe and welcoming environment for customers and employees.
Choose the Right Restoration Servicer
Know what your professional restoration options are in Bal Harbour, FL. When in doubt, read online reviews. Companies that have poor customer service or are hard to get ahold of are a definite no.
Emergencies can happen at any hour, so you want a fire damage restoration servicer like your local SERVPRO franchise that will be there for you no matter what time it is. Some companies may not offer all the services you need, so make sure you do your research. It's a good idea to find a company that handles everything so you're working with the same provider throughout the entire fire restoration process. The property may need some or all of the following services, depending on the extent of the damage:
- Water damage restoration
- Smoke and soot removal
- Cleaning and sanitizing
- Restoration and rebuilding services
- Odor control
Keep Track of the Details
Before an emergency ever occurs, get your ducks are in a row. One of the best things you can do for your business is to keep track of current merchandise and equipment and have all important documents located in a fire-safe or saved in online cloud storage. Accurate records of your inventory are essential when making an insurance claim.
Discuss your policy in detail with your insurance provider. That way, when a professional comes to inspect the area and assess the total damage, you know exactly what is covered by your insurance. You should also keep any relevant receipts to track your expenses during the fire rebuild process. Most insurers have SERVPRO as a preferred vendor, making it more convenient to file claims.
The aftermath of an emergency can seem discouraging. Choosing the right fire restoration service is just one way you can help yourself and your business while undergoing rebuilding services and restoration.
How To Handle Mold in Your Company's Air Ducts
Dust in air duct
There's a lot to do when you discover black mold in your commercial building. For starters, you want to contain the spread. This can be done by assessing what caused the mold outbreak in the first place. Usually, it involves a past water leak on your property. If you have had a pipe break or a roof leak, it is important to make sure these issues have been addressed. The next step is to contain any spread of the fungus. Both of these issues can be handled by a professional mold remediation franchise in your area. Highly-trained technicians will perform a quick inspection and assessment of your building in Golden Glades, FL.
THE HVAC System
Black mold and other types of harmful mold spread by way of microscopic spores. These tiny substances can be carried throughout a building by way of air currents and other movements, and they often are found in the HVAC system. Several signs point to mold in your air ducts:
- The appearance of black dust
- The presence of musty odors
- The sudden onset of health effects
An experienced remediation company has the equipment and knowledge to determine if there is mold in the HVAC system.
The Cleaning Process
It is not a simple process to clean ducts of mold. In many cases, the air conditioning unit or the heating system will have to be disassembled so technicians can gain access to the mold. They will then use vacuums and approved cleaning agents to remove the fungus. The job must be completed according to industry standards or the offending organisms might return.
Whenever you notice black mold in your building, it is important to take quick action. The longer you wait, the more serious the problem usually becomes. A professional company can handle complicated problems such as mold in your HVAC system.
Take These Steps When Your Toilet Floods
Overflowing toilet in North Miami Beach, FL.
What To Do When Your Commercial Toilet Floods
One of the main reasons for sewer damage in North Miami Beach, FL, commercial properties is the flooded toilet. Unfortunately, there are quite a few possible causes of an overflowing toilet:
- Inappropriate items or too much of something is flushed and clogs the pipes.
- The valve, float bobber, or other components in the tank are damaged or malfunctioning.
- The seal around the fill valve has become loose.
- There may be a clog (or clogs) along the sewer line.
The resulting damage can be pretty bad, no matter where the overflowing toilet is located, but when that toilet is on the second or third floor of a building, there may be damage on multiple levels.
The first step you should take is to contact a plumbing professional or the local sewage company because the damage will continue to occur until the main cause of the problem has been corrected. This is especially important if there's a clog deep within the sewer system or if your building has an older plumbing system that could suffer further damage during repairs.
Next, clean up as much water as you can. The longer that water is left to sit around the toilet, the further it will seep into building materials. After mopping up as much water as you can, open windows, add fans and take other steps to further dry the area. Remember that it doesn't take long for wet building materials to create an environment where mold spreads quickly.
Schedule Restoration Services
As soon as possible, get water damage cleanup and restoration professionals to assess the damage and determine the best method of restoring your property. Restoration technicians may locate areas between the floors of the building that need attention, so you can avoid more expensive repairs down the road. These technicians will also take care of immediate needs, such as disinfecting any areas that were exposed to bacteria and waste carried in by sewer water.
Your commercial property requires high-quality results following sewer damage. Contact professionals, such as plumbers, sewage company representatives, and restoration experts right away.
Does Filing an Insurance Claim Automatically Raise Rates?
Talk to your insurance agent to get a sense of what type of damage you should make claims for
Your first thought after a disaster happens to your home may be about filing an insurance claim in Miami Shores, FL. It’s a reasonable thought! However, before you do, you should consider several factors, including
- The cause of damage
- The amount of damage
- The size of your deductible
Why Does the Cause of the Damage Matter?
Many reasons! First off, the nature of the claim is extremely important to insurance actuaries. They combine quite a few factors to make a judgment about how many claims you’re likely to have, as well as how much damage is typical.
If you file an insurance claim for a dog bite on your property, that’s a perfect example of a claim that scares insurance companies. A dog that bites a human once is much more likely to bite again, according to statistics, so it’s highly likely to raise your rates. Other red flags can include
- Slip-and-fall claims
- Water damage
- Black mold
Another example is a home flood. Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover damage from a flood that enters your home from outside. Yet even though the damage isn’t covered, trying to make a claim could still potentially raise your rates if insurers believe you’re in a high-risk zone.
What About the Deductible and Amount of Damage?
Filing a claim for small amounts of damage is usually a bad idea. Often, your damage deductible will be higher than small claims anyway, so before you even consider doing it, read your policy to determine where the reimbursement kicks in.
The number of claims made on a policy is a major determiner of rate increases. It often doesn’t pay to have a low deductible, since the commensurate rate hike can eliminate any advantage you gain. Ideally, instead of a low deductible, put a couple of thousand dollars in an interest-bearing savings account and use it to pay an affordable, local restoration company to repair the damage.
Once covered damage types exceed around $2,000, an insurance claim may be worth it. Ideally, talk to your insurance agent before anything happens to get a sense of what types of damage you should make claims for.