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Fire Restoration Tips for Businesses

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building damaged by fire 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

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Dust in air duct 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

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet 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.

Contact Professionals
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.

Remove Water
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?

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Insurance claim form 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.

4 Steps To Take After a Fire

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Board up windows and door of a building Board up services in Biscayne Park, FL

Four Steps To Help You Get Back To "Like it never even happened."

A fire of any size in your Biscayne Park, FL, business can be devastating. While dealing with the loss may be overwhelming, taking quick action is essential to getting the fire restoration process going. 


1. File a Claim
It is vital to make a fire insurance claim as soon as possible. The faster you make that call, the sooner an adjuster will come out to inspect the damage and get the process in motion. During the call, it is important to ask the agent questions regarding what can and can’t be done while you wait.


2. Document the Damage
To help ensure a smoother insurance process, take photos and videos of all affected areas. That includes any equipment, documents, personal belongings and structural damage. If possible, locate any receipts for damaged items and retain those for expenses you incur associated with the cleanup. Along with maximizing your claim, it provides needed proof to cover fire restoration costs.


3. Prevent Further Damage
If the fire was large enough, the water needed to put it out means standing water and drenched belongings, as well as potentially broken windows and doors. Most insurance companies require protecting damage from further destruction. That may require tarping or boarding up windows and doors and move water-logged items to a dry, secure location.


4. Call a Restoration Professional
The next step is to contact a fire damage and restoration company. Available 24/7, a certified professional will quickly respond to do make complete an inspection and assessment of your restoration needs. They will also work closely with your insurer to ease the process. Along with tearing out and replacing damaged structural components, they also offer smoke cleaning and other services to salvage as much as possible.
While going through a fire restoration isn’t on anyone’s to-do list, taking immediate action can help your business get back to normal.

3 Flood Safety Tips for First Responders

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Civil protection men with high visibility clothing during an exercise to prevent flooding in the city When responding to an emergency, you may have a required uniform

Safety Tips 

You volunteered as a first responder in Sunny Isles, FL, because you believe in giving back to your community. If you are responding to a flood event in your community, there are a few safety tips that you should keep in mind so that you can help as many people as possible.


1. Clothing
When responding to an emergency, you may have a required uniform. Additionally, be sure to choose eye protection, face masks, gloves, and boots that will keep you safe from chemicals and other dangers that may be present in floodwaters. Always change your clothes before getting into a vehicle, as whatever contaminants that are on your clothes will leech into the fabric covers of that vehicle. If possible, shower and clean your clothing before you go home to minimize the spread of any potential dangers.


2. Immunizations
In the United States, the CDC requires a tetanus shot and a hepatitis B vaccine series if you work as a first responder. They also list other possible immunizations, but as long as you work domestically, they shouldn't be necessary. If you plan to be part of an international flood response team, find out what immunizations are required and recommended so that you can get them before you go.


3. Hazards
When you're responding to a flood at a residence, be aware of potential hazards such as mold and mildew, chemicals, and electricity that could make your job more difficult. Know the limits of your training. If all people are safe and you're helping to clean and restore a home, know the number of a local water damage mitigation company that can help with assessing the extent of the damage at the residence so that you know if you can safely proceed with cleanup.
As a first responder in your town, it is important to keep your own health and safety at the forefront of your mind so that you can continue to help with all of the flood mitigation efforts.

What To Do if Your Furnace Floods

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

A burst pipe at the furnace and water tank has caused a leak on the basement floor of a house. Furnace flood in North Miami Beach, FL

What To Do if Your Furnace Floods

A furnace flood presents a serious risk to your North Miami Beach, FL, business. Understanding what to do if this occurs can help you minimize the damage. The following steps outline what to do if your business has a flooded furnace.

1. Disconnect the power. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Whenever flooding occurs, the first step is to cut the power to the affected area. If you cannot do this safely yourself, call an electrician to do it for you.

2. Dry the area. After the power has been disconnected, dry out the area as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth and structural damage. A certified restoration company can help you do this, or you can use pumps or buckets to extract the standing water. Fans and dehumidifiers can dry out the moisture remaining in most porous items.

3. Have the furnace assessed. After all the water is dried, the furnace may look okay. However, most business owners do not have the necessary expertise to examine the unit after a furnace flood and determine if it is safe to use. Your HVAC technician can let you know if it needs to be repaired or replaced. Do not operate the furnace until you have been told that it is safe to do so.

4. Clean air ducts. Lastly, when HVAC systems are affected by flood waters, the air ducts should be professionally cleaned. Mold and bacteria may be growing within the system, and running the unit without proper air duct cleaning can spread the toxins into the air.
Although a furnace flood can be a major nuisance, acting quickly and cautiously can save your business from further damage. Do not be shy about talking to experts after a flood. Only a professional can tell you whether or not the furnace is safe to use and if it will need to be replaced.

4 Actions You Should Take If You Smell Natural Gas

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Red Firetruck Details of the Side and of the 911 telephone Sign Call the fire department

4 Actions You Should Take If You Smell Natural Gas

There are a few warning you should take seriously in your home. A tornado warning is something that should never be ignored. The presence of leaking water demands immediate attention. If you smell the signature odor of gas (which is actually the added substance mercaptan), you should take quick action. A gas leak puts you and your home in Bal Harbour, FL, at a greater risk of a gas fire. If the leak is significant, a small flame or spark could result in a catastrophic explosion. Not only should you take action, but the action should be with a purpose.

1. Try to locate the leak - A number of possible sources exist for a natural gas leak. Any appliances that operate through gas power should be looked at. This includes washers and dryers, water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces and ovens. A quick look at these items could solve the problem once and for all. Once the leak is stopped, the risk of a home gas fire goes way down.

2. Tell the people in your home - It is important to alert those in the home that you have identified a potential problem. Anyone who is not actively looking for a leak should vacate the premises. They should retreat far enough away that if a gas explosion does occur, they will be safe.

3. Call the fire department or gas company - If the leak cannot be found, it is time to call in the experts. Either the gas company or the fire department will dispatch someone to your home. These professionals will have added knowledge and equipment to find the source of the leak and stop it.

4. Contact fire restoration professionals - If a gas fire does ensue, you will need the services of a local fire mitigation franchise. Technicians will arrive to your home quickly and get to work on the fire restoration process. A SERVPRO franchise will be able to clean up soot and smoke damage "Like it never even happened."

How to Know What Sort of Mold Damage Is Covered by Your Insurance

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on yellow wall of store room Mold damage in North Miami Beach, FL

What Does It Take To Clean Up Mold And How Your Policy Covers

Mold damage can occur wherever there has been standing water or high humidity, whether caused by a burst pipe or a flood. If you've discovered mold in your place of business in North Miami Beach, FL, you've probably had two thoughts: (1) how do you clean up mold, and (2) what does your commercial insurance cover? While each policy is different, there are generally some standards for businesses as it relates to mold cleanup.


1. Exclusions
Commercial insurance generally excludes coverage of damage caused from fungus. It doesn't matter how the mold got there, for the most part. If there's fungus, it's probably not covered. Don't panic, though! Read on...


2. Limited Coverage
There are a few instances in which mold damage is covered in your policy. If you have a specific cause of loss that results from a fungus, you are covered. For example, if you realize that a section of drywall is moldy, you call a mold remediation specialist to come and assess the damage, and they discover a leaking pipe, the cost of removing and replacing the drywall will be covered. Similarly, if you uncover additional damage as the inspection occurs, that will be covered, as well as testing to ensure that the mold is, in fact, cleaned up.


3. Other Riders
The specific cause language around mold insurance is a little bit hazy, so if you're unsure, call your insurance agent to walk you through your policy. Mold damage is often more fully covered under a flood coverage addendum to your policy. It's also worth looking into additional liability insurance that can cover other problems related to mold exposure at your business.
It is unfortunately common practice that commercial insurance policies are so exclusionary when it comes to covering damage caused by mold. Avoid problems in the future by understanding what it takes to clean up mold and how your policy covers you in the event that you discover mold at your business.

Prevent Mold and Mildew in the Bathroom

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on bathroom tile Mold growth in bathroom

One of the most difficult household chores in homes throughout Golden Glades, FL, is scrubbing the grout between tiles in the shower. This is particularly true when there are signs of bathroom mildew because mildew is hard to prevent and is even more difficult to clean away.

How To Prevent Mold and Mildew

It's usually necessary to hire a professional to get rid of mold once it's established, but it is possible to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom with the following steps:

  • Reduce humidity
  • Increase ventilation
  • Clean up excess moisture
  • Watch for leaks and make repairs immediately

When you are consistent in practicing these habits, you can prevent most bathroom mold issues.

Reduce Humidity
In many situations, a humidity problem is the cause of a mold problem. Hot, steamy showers often leave bathrooms dripping with condensation. As the moisture seeps into the walls, hidden pockets of mold colonies are free to grow and spread. The first step in preventing bathroom mildew is decreasing the humidity in air.

Increase Ventilation
The second step is adding ventilation. Consider installing a bathroom fan that directs moisture out of the home when family members shower. A dehumidifier may also help reduce humidity. One of the simplest ways to reduce moisture is opening windows and doors. However, this may not be enough ventilation if there's a lot of humidity in the air.

Clean Up Excess Moisture
It's very important that any wet footprints, damp towels, or other soggy items are dried up as quickly as possible. Mold could establish itself within one or two days. Once mold spores find an inviting environment, it is difficult to thoroughly remove them. For example, if a mildewy towel is removed from the bathroom, spores may float into the air and re-establish themselves on another surface.

Repair Leaks Immediately
Finally, as soon as you notice water seeping from under the toilet or condensation on the window or a pipe, contact water damage cleanup and repair professionals. Remember, it doesn't take long for a small, damp surface to become a home to mold. Bathroom mildew should quickly prompt cleanup and remediation.