3 Actions to Take Immediately After a Home Fire
Replace important documents
After a fire in your home in Pompano Beach, FL, you may be overwhelmed by the incident and have no idea what to do afterwards. While you naturally need some time to process these events, it is important to act and forge the path to continuing your life. Consider the following actions to get the right resources, throw away damaged items and replace anything you will need soon.
Gather Essential Resources
Whether you lived in a small house alone or a larger building with a family, you will need as much help as possible. Prioritize the essentials, such as food, rest and shelter. Contact organizations such as the American Red Cross that can help you obtain these resources as you get back on your feet. Also contact your insurance company and provide them with details about the fire.
Get Rid of Vulnerable Items
As you work with the fire cleanup company to restore the residence to its former glory, you will need to make important decisions on what items to keep and which ones to throw away. There are certain items that are more vulnerable to contamination created by fire damage than others.
- Damaged, burned clothing
- All perishable and non-perishable foods
- Toiletries and cosmetics
These items can be chemically altered by high heat or contaminated by ash, soot or smoke. Even if they are not significantly changed, their taste or performance may become undesirable.
Replace Important Documents
In addition to food, medicine and other items weak to the effects of the fire, your documents are also likely victims. There are particular documents you will need to replace immediately, including the driver's license, social security cards and credit cards, as well as more. Make the necessary calls and ensure new copies are on the way.
The aftermath of a fire will have you make important decisions, from what items to throw away to calling for assistance. Take your time, recover and tackle these situations as they manifest.
The Pros and Cons of Using a Mold Testing Kit
Mold testing in a Palm Aire, FL home
The Pros and Cons of Using a Mold Testing Kit
Moisture causes mold growth. Mold reproduces by releasing spores into the air. Those spores then attach themselves to surfaces and cracks — the cycle repeats. Mold is everywhere in Palm Aire, FL. There’s no getting around it. Using a mold testing kit allows you to check your home for mold. But is taking the DIY route worth it? Check out these pros and cons before you make your decision.
Pro - DIY mold kits can cost between $8 and $50. The package contains a petri dish and a swab. That’s it. Hiring a mold remediation specialist to test your home for mold can cause upward of $300.
Con - The expense with the kit starts to grow with the type and amount of testing you want. Although you buy a test from a store for $8, sending it off to a lab for further testing may cost you $50. Don’t get too excited about how cheap the price is.
Pro – Directions for mold testing usually ask you to place a petri dish on a surface for an hour. Then you close it up and wait. Some tests take as little as 10 minutes to show results.
Con – If you want extra testing, you’ll have to send it off to a lab. Some kit results will come back in five days while others may take 10 days.
Pro – If there is mold growth in the petri dish after the incubation period, you have mold. Simple as that. The lab can give you information on what type of mold you have in your home. You will receive an explanation in the mail.
Con – There is mold everywhere. No mold in a petri dish does not mean there is no mold in the house. A mold removal specialist will speak with you in person. This person will go into detail with you his or her concerns.
It is up to you to choose between a DIY mold kit and a mold specialist. But only an environment hygienist can do accurate mold testing. Is it worth spending the extra money to give you peace of mind?
5 Steps To Take When Water Damages Your Business
Sandbags surrounding a property in Pompano Beach, FL
How To Protect Your Property From Further Damages
According to reports, extreme weather events have increased in number over the last few decades. If you have experienced storm-related water damage in your business, you are undoubtedly concerned about how to protect your property from further damage. Staying safe and asking for assistance are your first steps.
It is important you stay clear of the flooded area until it is safe and electrical power is disabled. If the electrical box is on the flooded level, it is strongly recommended you wait until professional assistance arrives.
Enlist Professional Assistance Floodwater contamination is dangerous and requires immediate assistance from professional water restoration experts. Here’s why:
Floodwater is the most hazardous level of water contamination, requiring specialized safety precautions to address potential sewage and chemical toxicity.
Experts are trained to work quickly to minimize water damage that can progress with time.
Contamination may not be visible to the layperson, and if overlooked, could lead to mold and irreversible damage.
While you wait for the experts, it will help to stay focused and accomplish a few more tasks.
Report the Damage to Your Insurance Agent
Your agent will inform you of your flood coverage. If you have flood insurance, it will be a separate policy from coverage for non-weather events, such as broken pipes.
If you can do so safely, taking photos of internal and external damage can assist your insurance claim.
Work as a Team
If your staff is cleared to stay in the facility for the water cleanup and restoration, it can be useful for your them to work with the teams to inform the process. The experts may be there for a long while, and having a good rapport with them can make it easier for all involved.
A stormwater emergency in your Pompano Beach, FL, facility often means an unwelcome upheaval in the operation of your business and in the lives of your coworkers. Prioritizing safety and trusting the experts may be the best strategy for navigating the challenges of significant water damage. Staying focused on solutions can help you and your staff emerge from the experience feeling “Like it never even happened”.
Getting Back to Normal After Water Damage
Mitigation - the act of lessening the force or intensity of something unpleasant, as wrath, pain, grief, or extreme circumstances.
The term mitigation means – the act of lessening the force or intensity of something unpleasant, as wrath, pain, grief, or extreme circumstances.[i] One of the greatest parts of being one of the team members for SERVPRO® of Pompano Beach is that we are able to do just that; reduce the severity of a major loss: the water damage in your home or office.
Are All Water Disasters The Same?
Absolutely not! Water damage is completely unique to each home, each source of intrusion, the magnitude of the damage and whether the water is clean water or contaminated. Because of this, SERVPRO® of Pompano Beach must assess the job thoroughly to determine the proper course of action needed to get you back on your feet.
How Do We Do It?
Water Extraction –
Water extraction uses vacuum-type machinery to effectively remove all the surface water damage that is visible. Once the source has been stopped, our skilled team of technicians and crew chiefs systematically begin removing the water from furniture as well as carpets and other forms of flooring. This process stops the furthering of any water intrusion and prevents any more damage to your property.
Air has water in it. When we watch the weather on our local news stations, they give us the relative humidity. Humidity is the amount of water in your air. Florida is notorious for having higher levels of humidity than some of the less tropical states in the U.S. While most humidity is taken out of your home via your air conditioning system, when water loss happens the levels of moisture are too much for your HVAC system to take out on its own. Our dehumidifiers raise the temperature level in the home or business and literally suck the moisture out of the surrounding area leaving your home dry and ready to move forward with repairs.
It is our passion to get your home clear of mold-causing moisture. When moisture remains in a home for even a small amount of time, mold spores can grow. Once mold occurs, it causes much more damage and can even affect the health of those who spend most of their time inside the home or office.
SERVPRO® of Pompano Beach is excited to begin the mitigation process in your place of business or your home. And please tell your friends. You never know you need us until you need us. SERVPRO® has been faithfully serving the community for over 50 years and we would love to be your restoration service provider.
How Storm Cleanup Differs From Other Mitigation
Flood damage in a Lighthouse Point, FL home
When a storm causes flooding in your home in Lighthouse Point, FL, you will need the assistance of water mitigation specialists. Floodwater from a storm differs from a pipe leak because not only do technicians have to remove the damaged materials from your home, they also have to make sure the affected area is disinfected.
There are three categories of floodwater:
Category 1 - Clean water from a source such as a pipe or supply line
Category 2 - Dirty water from a source such as a washing machine
Category 3 - Contaminated water from a source such as the sewer or storm
Water damage that results from a storm doesn't just put your homes structural integrity at risk. It also is likely to be contaminated with microbes and harmful bacteria. Therefore, the remediation process contains an extra step than basic water restoration does.
Any time there is flooding in your home, there are four things technicians have to do to return your home to its normal state. First, they remove the excess water. Then they tear out all the sodden materials and waterlogged items. They make sure the space is completely dry. Finally, they can rebuild any walls or flooring they had to remove and restore your home.
Because flood damage involves Category 3 water, your home must also be cleaned during mitigation. After most of the area is dry, the disinfection process begins. Using industrial cleaners or other methods, technicians clean the entire area. Then they test it for bacteria to make sure that it is clean. Only after the test confirms the contamination is gone can the rebuilding phase begin.
Flooding in your home after a storm isn't something you can just dry out and be done with. To fully mitigate the damage, a thorough cleaning must take place. Certified technicians have the skills and equipment needed to fully restore your home.
Filing a Claim From Leaky Pipes? Stop and Read This First
Water damage in Coconut Creek, FL
A sudden flood from broken or leaky pipes is no cakewalk. Water damage is the second most common type of home insurance claim, but it’s one of the most poorly understood in terms of covered losses. Your policy’s provisions and exclusions directly affect whether you’ll be reimbursed to fix a broken pipe and the resulting damage. Before you file your claim, it’s important to comprehend how insurers usually treat water damage and pipe problems.
What Type of Damage Is It?
Insurance policy language can vary widely. However, most insurers use a few different terms to discuss water damage:
- Initial damage
- Gradual damage
- Resulting damage
Initial damage is sudden and immediate, while gradual damage builds up over time. Resulting damage occurs to surrounding areas due to a broken pipe or appliance: soaked carpet and drywall if a pipe should flood, for instance. Just as insurers won’t pay normal wear and tear, they typically don’t pay for gradual damage.
Is My Water Damage a Covered Loss?
Insurance typically pays for damage from sudden or accidental causes. Should a pipe unexpectedly burst, insurance coverage would reimburse for damage to carpet, drywall, paint and other materials. Costs associated with drying out the home and preventing mold would also be included. These losses are handled by the dwelling coverage portion of your policy.
What About My Pipes?
Insurers consider pipes to fall under a homeowner’s maintenance responsibilities. You’re typically expected to repair or replace your pipes. The key is ensuring that you’re performing regular maintenance on your plumbing. If a slow or preventable leak causes a pipe to break, your claim may not be paid.
Broken or leaky pipes are a common homeowner problem, potentially leading to water damage. You need a trustworthy water damage restoration company in Coconut Creek, FL, to help you navigate the process. A quick response is critical when you’re dealing with a flood from pipes, so choose a provider that’s Faster to any size disaster.
3 Things You Should Know About Leaks and Mold
You should call a professional mold remediation company to come in and perform an inspection as well as any necessary cleanup and removal.
If you have a leak in the roof of your building in Pompano Beach, FL, then it won’t take long for water damage to start affecting the structure. In many cases, secondary damage such as black mold can cause even more trouble than the primary damage. The following are a few questions that you may want to know the answers to in order to keep your building in top shape.
1. How Does a Leak Contribute to Mold Growth?
This question has a simple and easy answer. Leaks create a wet area in the building which results in the optimal environment for mold to grow. This fungus thrives in moisture and can spread very quickly under the right circumstances. When you have a roof leak, it can result in a growth forming in the ceiling and may require quite a bit of work to remove it completely.
2. How Long Does It Take to Spread?
As mentioned, mold can spread quite quickly when provided with enough moisture. If you have a roof or ceiling leak, you could end up with a mold problem overnight. It takes as little as a day for this persistent fungus to start growing a colony and the longer it is left alone, the bigger the growth will become. Over time, it can spread to other areas of the building as well.
3. What Can You Do About It?
Luckily, you do not have to be at the mercy of this black mold. There are several steps you can take to prevent it from spreading, the first of which is to have repairs made as soon as you discover a leak or water damage. Keeping moisture levels low in the building by using a dehumidifier, vent or open windows can help as well.
If you find that you have black mold growing in your building, do not ignore the problem or expect it to go away on its own. You should call a professional mold remediation company to come in and perform an inspection as well as any necessary cleanup and removal.
Tips for Working Through Business Interruption
It only takes a few minutes for flooding to put you out of business.
Tips for Working Through Business Interruption
When flooding or other disasters affect your business properties to the point that you have to close up shop for a while, you're likely to face costs beyond the physical loss of and damage to your property. At this point, you may work with your insurance company to establish a period of business interruption. Along the way, you'll probably work with several different people:
Water damage cleanup and restoration technicians
While each of these professionals has a different role to play, they are all working with you toward the same end: getting your company back in business.
Cooperate With All Parties
Business interruption insurance is there to provide some compensation for the income you may lose during the time it takes to repair and restore your property following a broken pipe. While claims adjusters, inspectors, and other professionals are doing their work, there are a couple of things you can do to smooth the process and reduce the business interruption time.
One of your top priorities should be to communicate fully and cooperatively with each one of the people working on your case. A positive relationship with insurance representatives and cleanup crews can go a long way toward keeping your work on track. Talk to agents, adjusters, and other representatives often, so they know the actions you're taking, and you know where they are in the claims process.
The second tip is to keep paperwork organized. You may have an estimated timetable for repairs, detailed business records, copies of the insurance policies, and written and photographic proof of damages. You'll also have copies of written communications; it's best to have all requests and agreements in writing to avoid misunderstandings. You may need to refer to or share this information often during the reconstruction process following large water damage, so keep it handy.
It only takes a few minutes for flooding to put you out of business. With help from a variety of professionals in Wellington, FL, you can survive the reconstruction process and get back to work as quickly as possible.
Mitigating Wind and Other Weather Damage to Your Commercial Property
A roof leak is one of the most common results of a major storm
Powerful thunderstorms, blizzards, hurricanes, and other natural disasters can strike at any time, leaving your commercial property vulnerable to flooding, a damaged roof, broken windows, and other issues that could prevent your business from operating at its full capacity. When disaster strikes your Lauderdale By The Sea, FL, business, it is imperative to act quickly to protect your building from further damage from wind and other elements.
When to Work With Mitigation Professionals
Damage from an initial storm can be exacerbated unless you work with a storm mitigation company that can protect your building from secondary damage. Some of the most vital pieces of equipment they may use are tarps and plywood that, while seemingly simple, can save a fortune on additional costs. Most often, your business will need tarps and plywood for:
- The roof: Storms can cause a roof leak and missing shingles, so a tarp will need to be applied to the roof immediately to prevent further damage until it can be fully repaired.
- Windows and doors: High winds and flooding can damage or even break the doors and windows that protect your building from the elements and potential thieves, making plywood an essential barrier.
- Siding: If your building’s siding has received damage, high winds can continue to tear away at the area and make your building even more susceptible to damage.
Protecting Your Roof From High Winds
A roof leak is one of the most common results of a major storm, often due to high winds combined with saturating rain. Difficult to diagnose and expensive to repair, a damaged roof left exposed can be subject to further damage. High winds in particular will tear away at shingles, and water will seep into exposed cracks. Applying a tarp and securing it tightly will prevent wind from causing more harm. Once secured, the source of the roof leak can be identified and the proper course of action can be determined. Quick action is one way to protect your business from further damage due to high winds and other weather elements.
Steps for Filing a Water Claim
Bursting pipes in your home in Pompano Beach, FL, can cause a lot of damage. Fortunately, your homeowner's policy should help cover some if not all of the cost of mitigation in most circumstances. Here are the steps you can take to increase the chances that your claim will be accepted.
1. Determine Source of Damage
Before you make any calls, you need to know some answers to the questions your insurance company is likely to have. Find out where the water is coming from. Then turn off the water main and call a plumber to fix the broken pipe and water mitigation experts to start remediation so that you can avoid even more damage to your home.
2. Call Insurance Company
Quick notification of the issue to your insurance company accomplishes two things. First, it establishes a record of your vigilance in handling the situation. Second, it gives you the opportunity to ask important questions, such as:
Is the damage from the bursting pipes covered?
Does the claim exceed the deductible?
What is the deadline for submitting the claim?
3. Complete Forms on Time
Once you have your deadline for your claim, put it on your calendar. Even if your damage is covered under your policy, your claim can still be denied if you file too late.
4. Prepare for Adjuster's Visit
The insurance company will probably send out an adjuster to survey the damage to your home. Before he or she arrives, take pictures of the water damage and make an itemized list of everything that needs to be repaired or replaced. It may also be helpful to include the estimate from the remediation company.
If your home has damage as the result of burst pipes, your homeowner's policy will probably cover a lot of the cost of repairs. Make sure you don't forget any crucial steps so that your claim has a better chance of being accepted.