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Fire Restoration Tips for Businesses

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Severe fire at a commercial business 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.

Why a Sewer Backup Is a Job for Professionals

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Sewer backup A sewer backup in your home is time to call the professionals

It's great to be handy around the home when it comes to leaks and other problems. In many situations, you can save a bundle of money and take care of things like leaky faucets and worn-out seals on a toilet. It's also good to know your limits when it comes to extreme situations. A sewer backup in your home in Surfside, FL, is usually more than most people can take care of on their own. That's because whenever you are dealing with sewage, a number of precautions should be taken. For this reason, a professional storm mitigation team is often necessary.

The Complications of Raw Sewage

Dirty water or black water presents a challenge to you for a variety of reasons. It's hard to know exactly what is in the water and in many cases, there can be waste, pathogens, and other substances that put your family and the structure of your house at risk. A professional team of trained technicians can take the following actions:

  • Work to stop the source of flooding
  • Contain the sewer backup
  • Use PPE such as gloves and safety glasses
  • Disinfect all surfaces

An experienced franchise has the necessary training to remove the dirty water from your home using specialized equipment such as wet vacs and industrial dryers. Professional water restoration workers make sure safety is a top priority for everyone.

The Process of Cleanup

Professionals follow a proven process, whether the damage to your home is caused by a bathtub backup, a major storm, or some other incident. Experts from your local SERVPRO are Here to Help. They always place an emphasis on getting to your home quickly so they can work to limit the damage.

The faster the water is removed, the less time sewage has to contaminate surfaces and ruin everything from carpeting to walls to personal items. A sewer backup in your home is time to call the professionals.

When Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?

8/16/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning the dryer vent The dryer vent must also be cleaned out every six months

Most folks know that they must clean out the lint filter in their clothes dryer after each use. This will help to prevent a dryer fire. Use your clean hand or a soft cloth to remove all of the lint from the lint filter. To ensure that your dryer never causes a lint fire in your home in Miami Shores, FL, the dryer vent must also be cleaned out every six months.

How to Clean Out the Dryer Vent and Exhaust Hose

A little preventive maintenance will help to prevent a lint fire. The steps include:

Unplug the dryer - In the back of the dryer you will find the power cord. Make sure to unplug this from the outlet.

Detach the exhaust hose - First, the outer clamp will need to be loosened, either by squeezing the clamp or by using a screwdriver on the bolt. Once the clamp is loosened you can detach the hose from the dryer.

Clean out the exhaust hose - Remove all lint from the hose using a soft cleaning brush. You can also suck out the lint using the attachment on your vacuum.

Clean the wall vent - Using a vent cleaning kit that can be found at your local hardware store, clean out the wall vent. The kit will include a brush extension that can be carefully fed into the vent. Rotate the brush to remove the lint. It may take several tries before all of the lint has been removed.

Reattach the exhaust hose - Make sure the hose is securely attached to the dryer and tighten the clamp.

Plug the dryer back in - Make sure no hot air comes out of the vent. If it does, you need to check the clamp to ensure it is tightened properly.

Cleaning out your dryer’s exhaust hose and the vent will not only keep your dryer running longer and more efficiently, but it will also help to prevent a dangerous lint fire.

3 Details of Fire Escape Your Kids Need To Know

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Dad talking to his kids 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.

5 Steps for Flood Preparation

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Rain falling over flowers Rain gardens can help absorb excess moisture.

Five Of The Most Common Recommendations

When facing flooding at your Miami Shores, FL, business, you may be wondering if there are steps you can take ahead of time in order to mitigate possible damage. Fortunately, there are many things you can do. 

1. Know Who To Call

One recommended step is to have a list of important numbers you may need if the property does experience storm damage. For example, listing the number for a local flood damage restoration service can help you call a professional quickly should problems occur, saving valuable time.

2. Inspect the Property Regularly

Inspect the business property regularly in order to catch any potential issues before they cause large-scale damage. Look over the roof and drainage areas, but also keep an eye on any plumbing or sewer grates that could be overwhelmed by rainwater and lead to black water flooding. Take appropriate repair and mitigation steps when necessary.

3. Use Your Landscaping

You can also use any landscaping around the property to direct water flow and help prevent a flood. Lawns can be sloped away from the building, and rain gardens can help absorb excess moisture.

4. Keep Drainage Clear

Blockage in gutters and other drainage could lead to water overflow and flood damage. Removing debris when found is strongly recommended for preventing this problem.

5. Prepare for Storms

Another recommended step is to prepare your business any time you know a storm is coming. This may include closing storm shutters, tarping over at-risk spaces, and backing up electronic data.

When preparing your business for flooding, keep in mind who to call if you do find damage. Inspect the property regularly and consider using any landscaping to help direct the flow of water. It’s also important to keep drainage areas clear of debris and to take steps to prepare for storms ahead of time.

What Flooded Basement Causes Are Generally Covered by Home Insurance

7/9/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement A basement flood isn't a pleasant experience

Causes Of Floods That Many Policies Tend To Cover Or Not Cover

Undergoing a basement flood in North Miami Beach, FL, isn't a pleasant experience. A large amount of damage can potentially occur, especially if the water isn't properly disposed of. Because of this, turning to insurance for flood damage restoration coverage is natural. While most every home insurance policy is different, the following are the causes of floods that many policies tend to cover or not cover.

Covered Damage
If your flood was caused by an unexpected and sudden structural issue in your house, you're likely to receive help from your home insurance coverage. These are some examples of such issues:

  • Burst pipe
  • Ruptured water heater
  • Broken hose

In order to receive any type of compensation, the damage usually has to be quick and unanticipated. This generally occurs when a structural problem develops out of nowhere. It also needs to be accidental, meaning that you had no part in knowingly creating it.

Not Covered Damage
Unfortunately, basement flood damage is more often uncovered than covered. This is most prevalent when a weather issue occurs. If your basement takes on water after a storm, it's unlikely that your policy will cover it. There are usually separate storm policies for homeowners, which are wise to invest in if you live near a coast.

The flood damage may also not be covered if it occurred gradually. Even if you only discovered the damage now, an inspection will probably be held to determine when it started.

Lastly, a flooded basement likely won't be covered if it's a result of lacking proper maintenance. You may not be a mechanic, but your insurance won't assist you if faulty maintenance caused the issue. Letting a toilet leak, for instance, is almost certain to result in uncovered damage.

As a homeowner, understanding your insurance policy is essential. If you experience a basement flood, knowing how to use your insurance can minimize your financial losses. By staying informed, you're one step closer to maintaining a safe home.

Pump Maintenance and Usage

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pump Renting one of these from a local dealer may be necessary if your sump pump fails and water floods your crawlspace.

Pump Care and Operation

The risk of a basement or crawlspace flood in Miami Shores, FL, is high enough that many homeowners choose to equip their homes with pumping equipment to remove any excess water. Review the following maintenance and testing tips to keep your pump in working order.

1. Routine Testing

While the typical sump pump doesn’t need an excessive amount of care or attention, a checkup here and there can prevent the need for professional flooding cleanup later on. Every few months, ensure that the pump has adequate power and can turn on and off. Take a small amount of water and pour it in the basin near the pump to check that the floating bob and level can rise and fall properly to activate the pumping mechanism.

2. Kinds of Blockage

Even functional pumping equipment will fail to remove water from your basement if the water cannot reach the intake. Check the pump’s inlet screen and remove any accumulated dust, silt, or other debris. If the screen has holes or indentations, find a replacement. Foreign material in the pump mechanism can dramatically shorten its lifespan. Also check the outlet pipe to the yard for clogs and damage, as this can also prevent the pump from moving water. Any cracked or rusted pipes or connections should be replaced, preferably with a silicone-based sealant around the joints.

3. Other Considerations

Many pumps may need additional lubrication around the bearings. If you notice the pump working at reduced efficiency or hear an unfamiliar noise, it may be time to purchase the appropriate grease or oil for your machine. A trash pump is a specialty pump that can remove water mixed with solid debris. Renting one of these from a local dealer may be necessary if your sump pump fails and water floods your crawlspace.

Maintaining your equipment is the first line of defense against home flooding. By scheduling a few simple pump checks, you can prevent costly damage in the long run.

3 Ways Renters Insurance Helps After a Fire

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Stove Fire Stove fire in a Bal Harbour, FL home

After a fire, here are three ways renters insurance might help.

A fire can quickly come out of nowhere and devastate your life and home. You might think you don't need to get insurance when you're renting because the homeowner's policy will cover everything in your Bal Harbour, FL, home. However, their policy will cover the structure, not you and your things. Here are three ways renters insurance will help you after a fire. 

1. Fire Damage to Personal Belongings

Whether from the flame, smoke, or fire control methods, you'll find that your belongings suffer a lot of damage after a fire. Before you begin throwing anything away, it's essential to take pictures and keep a list of everything damaged in the fire. Your insurance company will work with you to reimburse you for everything up to your coverage limits. The insurance company will pay you the cost it would take to replace the item now, instead of how much you paid for it when you originally purchased it. 

2. Liability for Damage to Others

Fires can quickly spread, causing damage to the buildings and people around you. If someone is hurt or their property gets damaged by fire from the property you lived in, your renter's insurance policy can help cover their expenses. The liability insurance will cover their medical costs and the expense of replacing any of their belongings that the fire destroyed. 

3. Restoration Services

Even if the fire didn't burn something, that doesn't mean the item is still in usable condition. Smoke and soot can find their way into tiny crevices and cause irreparable damage if not quickly and adequately addressed. Your insurance policy will cover the cost of fire restoration services to clean and restore your items to like new, which can often be most cost-affordable than replacing them. 
Even a small fire can ravage your life and your savings account. However, you'll have comfort knowing that you have less to worry about when you have renters insurance. 

Benefits of Hiring a Restoration Company After a Flood

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Pipe leak in Miami condominium When it comes to pipe break cleanup and sewer treatment, it's best to leave it to the experts.

The Advantages of Hiring a Flood Restoration Company

No matter how vigilant you are about maintenance and repairs, a sudden water loss can harm your building in North Miami Beach, FL, and disrupt your business. Some property owners try to clean up the mess themselves, but there are several benefits of hiring professionals for pipe burst cleanup.

Salvage for Damaged Items
A broken pipe does more than just destroy insulation and saturate walls. It can also damage any items in the path of the water:

  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Carpet
  • Documents
  • Manufacturing equipment

Certified technicians who specialize in item recovery may be able to salvage things that are damaged in a flood. At the very least, they can help you discern between what needs to be replaced and what can be repaired.

Comprehensive Pipe Burst Cleanup
There are several perks of working with a company that handles both the mitigation and restoration of your building. It streamlines the process, allowing you to get back to business in a shorter period of time. Having one team that does everything improves communication and documentation, too. Finally, it makes the prevention of secondary damage easier, as the final test doesn't have to happen until the whole job is complete.

Disinfection After Sewer Backup
Not all water that floods your building may be clean. If a toilet overflows or the sewer backs up in the pipes after a heavy storm, you must make sure that the affected area is not just dry but sanitized. A sewer cleanup company takes the appropriate measures to disinfect the area and then runs tests to ensure that all bacteria are eradicated.

When you need pipe burst cleanup or sewer remediation, it's best to leave it to the professionals. Certified technicians have the training and experience necessary to take care of all your mitigation and restoration needs and can help you prevent further damage.

Avoid Secondary Damage With Roof Tarping

5/15/2022 (Permalink)

The higher portion of the roof was covered with blue tarp Covering the damage caused by the fire on the roof with tarps or boards is critical to minimizing the damage and maximizing the claim.

Roof Tarping Can Help You Avoid Secondary Damage

If your North Miami Beach, FL, business has experienced fire damage to the roof, it is vital to begin fire cleanup as soon as possible. While waiting for a professional fire damage company to begin the cleanup, you still need to ensure your business is protected. Tarping or boarding up damaged areas offers numerous benefits.

Benefits of Tarp Services

A roof with an exposed area creates opportunities for secondary damage to happen. The sooner you get those areas covered, the better the chances of reducing the potential for another situation to happen. Below are three key benefits of tarping: 

  • Any hole in the roof means that excess moisture or critters have an opening to your business. If that happens, on top of fire cleanup, there will be additional items to repair that may quickly add up.
  • Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be enough for a thief or vandal to gain entry into the business. The valuable equipment and other items necessary to keep your business running are then at risk of being stolen.
  • Fire damage creates the potential for added risk to people as well. Tarping the roof also means that the damaged area has been assessed. This helps minimize the chances of an incident happening that the business owner would be liable for.

Effects on Insurance Claims

While insurance will likely cover roof repair, it won’t cover any secondary damage. Often, an insurance provider will require that temporary repairs or tarping be completed. Instead of risking getting less on the claim, it’s best to act fast and minimize damage.

After an incident, it may be easy to focus on the fire cleanup itself, but it's also important to consider what exposed areas may mean. Tarping or boarding up roof damage is essential to minimizing damage and maximizing the claim.