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What To Expect From FEMA Following a Natural Disaster

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

FEMA US Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services Flyer Closeup Flyer of Federal Emergency Management Agency

When a significant disaster occurs in Biscayne Park, FL, some of the first responders may be professionals from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA representatives may help arrange for shelter and assistance for recovery, and they also work with local companies and inspectors to determine the extent of the damage. As you wait for this official to show up at your home, there are a couple of steps you should take:

  • Gather documents to establish proof of residency. These could be the deed to the home, tax records, insurance paperwork, or a mortgage payment book.
  • Take pictures of damages throughout your home and keep an inventory of belongings before you get rid of or move anything.
  • Remove trash and damaged property from the home and yard.

After contacting a government official, you should receive a pamphlet in the mail with further information about your responsibilities and what to expect from government programs.

The Initial Walk-Through

One of the first things a FEMA inspector does at your home is to look at the damage, taking pictures and generally assessing the destruction. Next, the inspector meets with you (the homeowner) to complete paperwork. If you can't prove that you own the property, there may be very little the official can do to help you.

Collaboration Between Professionals

With ownership established, the inspector walks through the property and writes down all of the damage. At this point, the government inspector and the insurance adjuster may collaborate. If you plan to work with local storm and flood damage professionals, this is a good time to contact them for their input. Remember the government and insurance officials aren't necessarily looking out for your best interests. A company representative you've hired has more motivation to give you a full description of the work to be done.

If natural disasters have led to flooding in your Biscayne Park, FL, home, knowing what to expect from FEMA and other officials can reduce some of the stress. Above all, make sure you have the paperwork you need to prove ownership of the property.

How To Confirm a Shower Leak

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a shower cabin with glass wall that is damaged How to confirm a shower leak in your home?

If you let a bathtub leak go too long, it will probably end up being a rather expensive fix in Miami Shores, FL. It's important to be vigilant with your bathroom appliances to avoid water and mold damage spreading to the rest of your house.

Initial Signs

If you've found this article that probably means you've begun to suspect a shower leak. What are the signs you should be noticing if that were the case? They can be subtle, although they are causing a lot of hidden water damage. Some suspicious activity includes:

  • Stains on the ceiling below the shower
  • White, crusty stalactites hanging in your crawlspace
  • Loose floor tiles in the bathroom
  • No other fixture in your bathroom leaking

Testing the Shower Pan

Initially, you can start testing a shower pan leak by thumping the tile and picking the grout. This can start to expose the weak points that may exist. However, the real test comes when you fill it with water. Be sure to cover the drain so nothing escapes, and then fill it to about an inch below the threshold. It helps if two or more people are with you, so that someone can keep an eye on all areas it could be leaking to below. Bring a flashlight- even in a lit room it will help you to see the water.

Other Shower Components

The problem might not be your shower pan, it could be one of the other shower components causing your bath tub leak. First look at your tub faucet, be sure check for any loose escutcheons. If your shower arm is loose, it might mean that there is a fitting leak inside the wall. You could either cut the wall, or use a shower arm escutcheon and setscrew to fix it temporarily. You should also check the door, glass and hardware, if you have any.
You can do a lot of this bathtub leak testing yourself, but if you find a leak you'll need to bring in a plumber to do a full assessment and repair, anyway. Keep a wary eye to the ceiling and you'll go far!

Tips to Minimize Roof Damage

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Two roofers inspecting a damaged roof Schedule regular building inspections

Raging winds and severe thunderstorms can wreak havoc on the roof of your business in Miami Shores, FL. As a savvy business owner, you understand the importance of contacting a professional at the first signs of a roof leak. Depending on the storm damage, your damaged roof could take time to repair. Unfortunately, during the wait, the weather may continue to give your building a beating.

Preventive Measures

Roofs may be built to withstand a beating, but only if they are properly maintained. Before a storm even hits, a few preventive measures can ensure a few missing shingles won’t eventually turn into a roof replacement.

Schedule regular building inspections. Monitoring its condition will reveal weak spots that can be more easily fixed before a storm.
Keep nearby trees trimmed and away from the roof. Branches blowing in the wind could actually be scratching protective elements off your roof.
Ensure downspouts and gutters are cleaned and flowing properly.
Inspect foundation and around the structure after any rainfall. This is a great indicator if there is a problem between inspections.
At the first signs of trouble, take action. Waiting to do a repair could turn something that was inexpensive and simple into a massive, expensive project.

Interim Protection

Weather doesn’t abide by our schedules. If a storm creates a roof leak, a temporary repair can prevent further damage from happening. An easy and inexpensive solution is to cover the damaged area with a tarp. Ensure the tarp is big enough. Tightly smooth and secure it to keep additional rain from seeping in. If another storm is brewing and you notice missing shingles, you can reattach them or apply new ones until the storm subsides and a proper repair can be made. If no shingles are available, sheet metal or copper can be used as a temporary solution.
While there is never a good time to have a roof leak, during a period of seemingly never-ending storms can make that damage snowball. Being proactive can help keep your repair budget down and property protected.

4 Steps To Prevent a Home Fire

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

A burned kitchen Kitchen fire in Bal Harbour,FL

4 Steps To Prevent a Home Fire

As smoke and flames engulf your home, you have only one choice: evacuate for safety. At that time, your concern is personal welfare. You won't be able to turn back the clock and wish you'd been able to stop it. Rather, what you can do is try and avoid regrets by thinking ahead and using fire preparation tips to avoid disaster. Use the following four steps could help prevent devastation to your home.

1. Be Watchful

Understand common triggers of electrical, heating and cooking fires. As you use your appliances, pay close attention to how they run and what the cords look like. For instance, do you smell burning rubber when the dryer or dishwasher run? Do you see frays in an electrical wire? Are outlets loose or popping? Any of these could be a potential hazard. Call in a professional to inspect the issue and make any needed repairs.

2. Stay Out of the Heat

If using open flames or space heaters understand fire safety procedures. Locate heating units and candles in open areas, away from cloth, plastic or other combustible material. While cooking meals, remain focused on the stove. Multi-tasking is helpful, but it can pull you out of sight should an incident occur.

3. Teach Mindfulness

You can't always be around your kids, and children have a natural propensity for curiosity. This innate acquisitiveness could get them and you into trouble; therefore, educate about the dangers of home fire. Matches, candles, and lighters are not toys; in fact, keep them out of reach and discourage them from using them.

4. Be Prepared

Since fires can start and spread quickly don't wait for an incident to take action. Discuss fire preparation with your family, maintain smoke detectors in each room, and have a plan for escape.
Should the unexpected happen, call 911 immediately, evacuate the house, and locate a fire restoration team in Bal Harbour, FL, to help with fire damage cleanup.
Remain alert and teaching cautiousness. fire preparation is key to helping your loved ones and your home remain safe.

How To Spot Water Damage

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Cracking on exterior home wall and ceiling 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!

Beware of Storms

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Stormy sky with a lighting strike. Storm and flood damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment.

Storms, a natural phenomenon caused by violent atmospheric disturbances occurring over land and water, represent a major potential threat to the entire population of the earth because of their prevalence, the size of areas devastated and the scale of the resulting damage.

There are several different types of storms distinguished by the strength and characteristics of atmospheric disturbances. These are tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes), extra tropical cyclones (winter storms and blizzards), monsoon type storms, tornadoes and thunderstorms.

Certain violent winds, which affect limited areas and the names of which vary from country to country (for example, Bora, Chinook, Faehn, etc.) can be regarded as storms and calI for special preventive, protective and intervention measures.

The different types of storms, their frequency, the seasons during which they occur and the areas usually threatened can be established with some precision but their occurrence and trajectory cannot, until they are already developing. The preventive and protective measures are decisive in such cases and the establishment of meteorological institutes and observatories in each country is necessary to enable the risks to be predicted and the political authorities, firms and population to be warned and advised accordingly.

  1. Preventive and protective measures

The damaging effects of different types of storms are generalIy known to the authorities and inhabitants of the various regions and areas at risk. It is recommended that, if need be, new arrivals’ and tourists contact the public services to find out about the likely risk of a storm in the season when they usually occur and the preventive measures and instructions relevant to such situations.

At the community level the damage caused by storms can be avoided, or at least limited, by:

  1. Permanently monitoring weather conditions and appraising the atmospheric turbulences that could affect the national territory or particular areas.
  2. Co-operating with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of the United Nations (UN) to strengthen technical and technological assistance and to implement appropriate measures against destructive natural phenomena.
  3. Establishing construction regulations requiring more resistant structures and prohibiting building on areas particularly at risk because of exposure to violent winds, etc.
  4. Determining the probable outcome of a particular event and issuing information bulletins (alarms, protective measures) to the authorities and the general public.
  5. Establishing weIl-equipped management and rescue teams trained in the preventive, assistance and rescue measures needed to respond to the different types of storms likely to strike a built-up area or region.
  6. Training the population, and those in charge of security in companies, in the principles and application of preventive, protective and behavior measures, with a view to reducing the damage caused by a storm.

Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration

Related Storm Services

  • Overview ofStorm & Flood Services
  • Water & Storm Damage Tips
  • Disaster Recovery Team
  • Water Restoration Process
  • Caring For Your Belongings
  • Mold Remediation
  • Sewage Cleanup
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Odor Removal
  • Building Services
  • Commercial Storm Damage
  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated

When a storm hits your North Miami home, you need the company with storm damage experience and expertise. SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Do You Have Flood or Storm Damage?

Call Us Today (954) 921-8992

Why Choose SERVPRO of North Miami?

We're Faster to Any Size Disaster

We’re dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

Learn More

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

We specialize in flooding and storm damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage and storm restoration training that allows us to get your home back to normal quickly.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

We can scale our resources to handle any size storm or disaster. We can access resources from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of North Miami is close by and ready to respond to storm and disaster events. We are proud to be an active member of the Hollywood community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

How to Check Your Property for Damage After a Storm

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Man checking his roof damage after a storm. Your roof is the most susceptible part of your home to be damaged during a storm.

Conduct a Storm Damage Inspection

The beauty of spring is often tempered by powerful storms, with heavy rains, strong winds and destructive hail. Through it all, your home protects you from the elements, so be sure to check it for damage afterward.

Even if you have no reason to suspect that damage occurred, check your home and its surroundings (once it’s safe to do so, of course). It’s important to identify problems, make emergency repairs and determine if an insurance claim is necessary.

Here’s a handy list of things to check after a storm from the National Storm Damage Center:


Your roof might be the area of your home most vulnerable to damage in a storm, because so many things can impact it. Whether you’ve had high winds and downed tree branches or just a simple hailstorm, look for these indicators of damage:

  • Holes in the roof 
  • Split seams
  • Missing shingles
  • Leaks in your roof or ceiling

Building Exteriors

While siding, stucco and brick all are durable, they also are susceptible to storm damage. In some instances, homeowners don’t notice until it’s too late to file a claim, so check carefully for:

  • Cracking, chipping or dings and dents on siding. Even if there doesn’t appear to be damage at first, check again at a different time of day. You may see something you missed when the lighting is different. 
  • Holes in stucco. This is a serious problem, even when small, so look closely. If you find holes, have a professional conduct a full property inspection.
  • Damaged brick and tuck pointing. While brick typically holds up well, a check can identify any problem areas.
  • Detached or damaged trim, gutters, etc.

Driveways and Walkways

Concrete can chip, crack and split, not only reducing the lifespan of your driveway or walkway, but potentially creating a safety issue.


Fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage each year, according to the National Storm Damage Center. Keep in mind that property owners generally are responsible for removing trees and limbs that have fallen on their property, even if it is a tree from a neighbor’s yard. Your insurance policy may help to cover the cost of removal and repairs, depending on the coverage you have and the circumstances of the incident. (There are exceptions to this, depending on the maintenance of the tree, so check with your insurance agent.)

General Tips

  • Severe storms often will knock down power lines. If this happens on your property, rope off 30 feet in each direction around the line and do not touch it. Call 911 and the power company immediately.
  • Be sure to do a full check of your property, including things such as your air-conditioning unit, fences, vent caps, etc. And don’t forget to check your vehicles if they were not garaged at the time of the storm.
  • Don’t forget the crawl space. “Most people don’t ever look down there,” according to J. Szczesny, owner of 4 Seasons Home Inspections in Seattle and a Certified Master Inspector. “You need to be sure no water is getting in, and, if it is, make sure it is removed quickly via a sump pump or underground drainage system.”
  • Take pictures of all damage from different angles. You want to document as much as possible.

Finally, knowing the details of your homeowners coverage, your limits and your deductibles can help you during the insurance claims process. It’s a great idea to examine your policy and know what your homeowners insurance covers now, before the storm.

Commercial Services Provided by SERVPRO

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning and restoring commercial properties requires a blend of proper training, experience, and equipment. SERVPRO® of North Miami has the resources and expertise to give you excellent results, providing an immediate and efficient work process, while minimizing the disruption to your clients. We can help make it "Like it never even happened."

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-box Stores
  • High-rise Residential Buildings
  • Manufacturing & Industrial Facilities
  • Government/Military Buildings
  • Churches/Public Buildings

All commercial work performed by SERVPRO® of North Miami is acknowledged to have high status. Our franchise understands the importance of maintaining a business' name away from being besmirched. As we share the same belief; being one of many franchises that share the name of SERVPRO®.

4 Actions to Take When a Flood Affects Your Furnace

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

As a business operator in North Miami Beach, FL, you are likely aware of the importance of maintaining your systems, from electricity to water. However, when a plumbing issue occurs, such as a broken pipe, it can cause damage to your furnace, one of the most vital systems. A furnace flood can have a powerful effect on your establishment, so it is important to respond step-by-step.

1. Isolate and Power Down Unit

A flooded furnace is potentially dangerous to yourself and other employers, especially if the unit runs on electricity. The first step you should take is close access to the flooded area, keeping anyone else safe. Do not attempt to control the unit, as you could also harm yourself. If possible, shut down the electric power or the gas, which will significantly reduce the danger.

2. Repair and Restore

Once the area is secure, contact emergency restoration services to deal with the situation. These professionals will have the appropriate equipment to drain the furnace flood, completely dry the area and restore the equipment and the building as much as possible. They can ensure no secondary damage occurs afterwards.

3. Assess the Situation

Now that the area is accessible, you will likely need to inspect the affected furnace. As the business owner, you might have to decide on whether to replace or repair the system's components, including filters, valves and controls. Some parts could be repaired, while others might benefit the overall furnace with a complete replacement.

4. Clean the Air Ducts

The water and humidity introduced to the furnace might encourage mold and mildew growth within the air ducts. If you turn on the furnace without removing it, it can spread these organisms throughout the location. A proper air duct cleaning can prevent this.

A furnace flood can devastate your system and your business if you do not take prompt action. Secure the area, call for help and clear the air ducts to restore the system and protect your business.

Residential Fire Prevention

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Stove top and wall burned black from a fire. Don't let this be you.


The causes of these fires range from food left unattended on the stove to candles left burning. From the moment a fire starts to the point where the structure is fully engulfed is usually less than two minutes, which is why it is so important for occupants to get out of the home as quickly as possible and not try to put out a large fire themselves.


·         U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 162,400 cooking-related fires between 2009-2013 resulting in 430 civilian deaths, 5,400 civilian injuries and 1.1 billion in direct damage.

·         Two of every five home fires started in the kitchen.

·         Unattended cooking was a factor in one-third of reported home cooking fires.

·         Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials.

·         Ranges accounted for three of every five (61%) home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 13%.

·         Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking and hot food and drinks than of being hurt in a cooking fire.

·         Children under five accounted for 30% of the 4,300 microwave oven scald burns seen in hospital emergency rooms during 2014.

·         Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires, but these incidents accounted for 18% of the cooking fire deaths.

·         More than half of people injured in home fires involving cooking equipment were hurt while attempting to fight the fire themselves.

·         Frying is the leading activity associated with cooking fires.

To protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire. Fire spreads quickly; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Do not use electrical equipment that is in poor condition or that has a damaged cord.
  • Do not overload circuits or extension cords, read producers specifications.
  • Use approved power bars instead of circuit splitters.
  • Keep all heat-producing appliances away from the wall and away from anything that might burn.
  • Leave plenty of space for air to circulate around equipment that normally gives off heat.
  • Ensure small appliances such as heaters, fans etc. are shut off before exiting the building.
  • Make sure all appliances, such as coffee makers and hot plates, are turned off when not in use.
  • Toasters and microwave ovens should be located in kitchen areas only.
  • Avoid deep fat frying, or use a thermostat controlled appliance and never leave it unattended.
  • Keep all combustible materials, such as paper towels and cloths, at a safe distance from heat sources.
  • Keep storage areas, stairway landings and other out-of-way locations free of waste paper, empty cartons, dirty rags and other material that could fuel a fire.
  • Ensure office doors and ancillary office doors, for example, file room and hallway doors, are closed when exiting the building.
  • Ensure heat registers are clear of combustible items such as paper at all times. 


The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

·         A no cost assessment of your facility.
This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.

·         A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.

·         A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.

·         Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.

·         Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.

·         Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."