Recent Posts

Post Construction Cleaning Capabilities

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

New construction is ALWAYS an exciting time! Once the job is finally finished, there is nothing better than stepping into your brand-new office for the first time, but before anyone can step into their new space and bask in all its glory there are a lot of clean up steps that need to take place after the construction is finished.

In the city of West Palm Beach, we have seen increased commercial construction projects to compensate for the number of businesses migrating from the north east to sunny south Florida! Additionally, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County has also offered incentives for businesses to expand and relocate to Palm Beach County in order to create increased employment opportunities. Companies such as Elliott Management (a prominent New York investment firm), Citadel and Moelis & Co are the latest to say they will open offices in Florida. On the building side we have new workspace construction underway for the 360 Rosemary offices located at Rosemary Square in the heart of Downtown West Palm. Needless to say, many companies are eager to get up and running in their new spaces and SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is eager to get their new office looking move in ready!

Once the last nail has been hammered in and the dust has settled (and we mean ALL the dust) it is time to put on our gloves and masks and get to work! Our staff here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach will take care of everything!

Post construction cleanings can include:

  • Cleaning off scuff marks from walls.
  • Sweeping/mopping floors to remove settled dust.
  • Wiping down all countertops, baseboards, and cabinets.
  • HVAC dust cleaning.
  • Cleaning and polishing restroom fixtures.
  • Removing of left behind lumber, drywall, and garbage for both the interior and exterior.
  • Cleaning up left behind screws and nails.
  • Cleaning windows and light fixtures so that visibility is at its most optimal.

By hiring SERVPRO of West Palm Beach for your post construction cleaning, not only do you avoid the serious headache of having to meticulously clean every little nook and cranny of dirt and dust, but you can save yourself the risk of getting injured on the job. Left over debris can pose serious safety concerns if you decide to clean up on your own, especially if you are under equipped with the proper safety equipment. We highly recommend you leave the cleanup to the experts. We’ll get it done efficiently and safely, so that you can do what you do best!

Disaster Management Tips and Tricks for Your Business

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

According to a report from FEMA, 50% of businesses do not reopen following a disaster. Having a disaster preparedness guide is one of the easiest ways to help ensure your business survives and recovers. Follow these tips below in order to give you and your business the best chances of surviving a disaster.

  1. Prevention: The best way to avoid a disaster is to do everything you can to prevent one from happening. Accidents happen, but by routinely performing safety and system checks within your business you decrease your chances of experiencing a disaster. Ensure equipment such as fire sprinklers and fire alarms are working properly and ensure that office cords aren’t frayed or worn.
  2. Evacuation plan: As stated above, accidents happen. But when they do, how will you respond? Will you freeze up and panic not knowing what to do, or will you establish and follow a plan to ensure your safety and help minimize damages to your business? Know your evacuation routes and establish a meeting place to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in your office, as well as the procedures needed to take to minimize additional property damages and ensure help is on its way.
  3. Emergency contacts: In addition to having emergency personnel and disaster relief agencies contact information, you should include information for customers, suppliers, and distributors. Be sure to keep an extra copy off site in the event that the office copy is not accessible. Here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we offer the ERP (Emergency Ready Program) where we will organize and compile all of the necessary shut off valves to consider during a disaster as well as the proper contacts to speak with immediately following.
  4. Emergency kit: Depending on how much time you have to react to the disaster your experiencing, creating an emergency kit can come in handy. Be sure to include items such as first aid supplies, flashlights, and universal tool kits to help keep you safe no matter what the scenario.
  5. Protect important business records: These days, most of our important documents can be stored electronically up in the cloud. However, if your business carries hard copies of important business records, be sure to keep them in a secure safe that is tested and approved by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) as being resistant to fire, heat, burglary, tools and torches.
  6. Create backup copies of critical data and programs: Keep the back-up copies in a location separate from your primary facility. In the event of a flood or fire, you will be happy to have your irreplaceable data destroyed.
  7. Understand your insurance coverage: Be sure to review and understand your insurance policy with your local agent to make dure you know what your responsibilities are in a disaster and what your covered for. There are a variety of different insurance policies with different deductibles and amounts of coverage, so in order to save yourself additional stress, find a policy that will cover what is most important to you.
  8. Call the professionals: Immediately following a disaster, call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. The sooner we can evaluate and repair the damages the sooner you can get your business back up and running!

Fire Damage: How To Save Your Contents

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

The damage that is left after a property fire can be physically and mentally irreversible. Seeing your hard work and dedication burst up in flames within minutes is something you would not even wish upon your worst enemy. Unfortunately accidents happen, and we are forced to rebuild our life from the ground up. Depending on how quickly first responders can arrive on the scene, sometimes damages can be minimized, and valuables and personal belongings can be salvaged. Whether its a large or small loss, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has the knowledge and the innovative technology required to revive your smoke and soot covered items, hopefully leaving you feeling a little less devastated.

As you may or may not know, even the smallest of fires can quickly cause immense amounts of smoke which can cause a lot of damage to your belongings. Smoke has the ability to act like an acid, eating away at different materials if left untreated for too long, so it is recommended that you seek professional help as soon as possible to assess the damages and create a custom plan to ensure your come is returned to preloss condition.

At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we know how to determine what can be salvaged and what will need to be replaced. Smoke can affect various materials in various ways. One of the worst ways that smoke can cause damage is by sneaking into small cracks and crevices, not only affecting your items, but also leaving behind a lingering smoky scent. Electronic contents contain many tiny cracks and crevices that easily allow smoke to penetrate, ultimately resulting in the item malfunctioning if left untreated for too long. The process of cleaning out items such as a computer tower or television can get expensive as many restoration companies contract out such a job. At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we have the Morantz and Esporta systems right in our own backyard allowing us not only to save you the headache of replacing your valuable items but also saving you money. 

Morantz capabilities:

  • Returns hard contents to preloss condition in seconds.
  • Uses sound waves to create cavitation or microscopic bubbles which collapse millions of times within seconds, creating a tremendous vacuum energy.
  • Can clean electronics, appliances, equipment, hardware, and fine dishware or figurines.

Esporta capabilities:

  • Cleans twice as much as traditional dry cleaning with a 90% restoration rate.
  • Uses hydraulic cleaning action which is both a more efficient and safer clean.
  • Can clean leather, shoes, purses, belts, decorative textiles, beaded or sequined items, sports equipment, and PPE gear.

With disasters such as fire, it is always a race against time when determining if your belongings can be salvaged. The sooner you act, the fewer the damages that will incur. If you ever experience a tragedy such as a property fire, be sure to call the experts right away. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we will have your property restored looking "Like it never even happened."

The History of Storm Tracking

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

After a long and hectic 2020 hurricane season, it is evident that technology and our advanced methods used for tracking and watching storms help to keep us informed, allowing us to make decisions ensuring our safety and preparedness prior to landfall. If we look back to the late 1800’s before such instrumentation and methods were established, thousands of people would be left injured or killed because storms would arrive with little to no warning. Fortunately, we no longer live in the 1800’s but in order to truly appreciate where we are today, we must understand where we started.

The History of Hurricane Forecasting

In 1873, the first hurricane warning service was established in Cuba by a man named Father Benito Vines. He created a network of observation sites, allowing him to develop the first method to forecast tropical cyclone movement based off cloud patterns that would progress prior to hurricanes. While there were still flaws in his methods, he established a foundation that would only grow stronger.

A few years later after the hurricane of 1875, the U.S. created a warning flag system which entailed a pair of red flags with black rectangles in the center to be hoisted up in areas where hurricane warnings were in effect.   

Fast forward to 1905, we begin implementing the use of radio from ships. This initiative provided significantly more information about the storm to those tracking the hurricanes. In 1909 the first report from a hurricane was received over radio and by 1935 we had received around 21,000 reports a year and it did not stop there. As the amount of data received continued to grow, so did our methods of acquiring it. In 1935 we sent out our first manned aircraft to gather data on hurricanes. This initial aircraft reconnaissance never penetrated the storm, however in 1943 Colonel Joseph Duckworth flew a single-engine plane into a category 1 storm after a bet. Since then, military weather reconnaissance plane missions became routine in order to gather meteorological data. These missions, along with the technological advances brought about post WWII with radar, provided us with a modern forecasting system and allowed us to forecast and issue hurricane advisories one day into the future.

The nest big technological advancement was in 1960 when NASA launched its TRIOS satellite, transmitting both visible light and infrared photographs. These images revealed the presence of tropical cyclones throughout the ocean, greatly improving forecasters’ situational awareness. After satellite surveillance grew to be a regular method of storm discovery, hurricane hunter aircrafts only flew into storm areas which were spotted first by satellite imagery.

Over the next few decades, technological methods and innovations were in constant battle, propelling our methods to where we are today. In 2020, the National Hurricane Center tracks the intensity, size and structure of tropical cyclones, storm surges, rainfall and tornadoes associated with tropical cyclones, using Satellites, reconnaissance aircrafts, ships, buoys, radar, and other land-based platforms. Through these advancements we can detect and track from the moment the storm forms to the moment it makes landfall, supplying ample information far in advance to allow for proper preparations to be made, ensuring our safety and well-being.

Piping Problems That Can Lead to Water Damage

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Summary:

  • Piping problems are a common cause of water damage.
  • Knowing the material and age of piping in your home can aid in avoiding any damage.
  • Based on material of piping, some insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage.

Did you know that water damage is the second most common type of insurance claim? There are many causes that can lead to water damage in your home or office, but the most common cause is due to piping problems.

With that being said, are you aware of how old your plumbing system is? In most situations the phrase “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” is true but it should never be applied to your pipes and plumbing. Knowing how old your pipes are and what material they are constructed of is vital information and can save you from needing to dealing with costly damage repairs down the line, because ignoring faulty or outdated plumbing pipe systems is an accident waiting to happen.  

Living in South Florida the two primary materials used for plumbing systems are cast iron or PVC. While these two materials are not the ONLY plumbing options, they do tend to be the most used.

Cast Iron pipes are said to be able to last up to 100 years in some locations. Many of the Florida homes that were built before 1975 contained plumbing systems made of cast iron because it was a material known for its long-life span, durability and ability to withstand heavy loads and high pressures. However, in south Florida, many systems have been found to fail in as few as 25 years due to Florida’s humidity levels and salt-rich soil. Piping failure has become so common in cast iron systems, that many residents are finding that their insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage due to corroded plumbing.

PVC on the other hand, tends to be a common option due to its cost efficiency, but is just as prone to damages. PVC when constructed is held together by glued joints, when installed properly can be incredibly strong, however there is a small margin for error and when not installed properly can lead to major water damages in your home or office.

Other damages that piping can experience leading to or causing issues are tree roots and clogs. Tree roots naturally grow towards water, so if you have a pipe that is experiencing even the smallest of leaks, there is risk that the roots can find the line further damaging your pipes. Clogging in piping can also lead to water damage in your building if not dealt with properly. Unlike supply lines that can withstand continuous internal water pressure, drain pipes and joints are made to move water that is flowing under much less pressure. As clogs develop, water backs up inside the pipe and result in leaks or worst case, a burst pipe.

Home and building owners should make it a habit to inspect all of their pipes and plumbing fixtures at least annually. Doing so can prevent costly water damage and a headache down the road.

The Dangers of Floodwaters

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

When you think of storm damage, the first thing that may come to mind is flooding. Unfortunately, sunny South Florida is no stranger to the effects of such natural disasters. Between rising water levels and increased storm activity, flooding has become more and more common. Not only do floodwaters have the ability to cause property damage, but they also possess the potential to seriously harm us. Below are just a few of the dangers following floodwaters can present and how to be better prepared to protect yourself and the ones we love.

Driving

We have all seen or maybe even experienced flooded streets where cars suddenly transform into boats, attempting to navigate such weary waters. If you are experiencing flooding in the street, you should think before you drive. Driving through flooded roads may damage a vehicle’s engine, warp the brake rotors, cause loss of power steering and short circuit electrical components. Even if the floodwater does not rise above your bumper, it is possible for water to be sucked into a vehicles engine resulting in serious damage.

Contaminants

Another danger floodwaters present are the presence of contaminants that can affect your health. Often, floodwaters are a result of sewage systems backing up, giving water nowhere to drain. While most view floodwaters as merely an excessive amount of rain, that rainwater may be mixing with sewage water containing feces, old food and other decomposing matter that, if ingested, can result in serious health effects.

Injuries and Infection

As was just mentioned above, flood waters may contain contaminants from sewage systems. Exposure of open wounds or rashes to floodwaters can lead to infection. According to the CDC, you should always try to avoid exposure to floodwater if you have open wounds. Should you be experiencing flooding, you can decrease your chances of infection by keeping your wound clean and covered with a waterproof bandage. Also, be sure to disinfect any objects or toys that children might encounter if they have been exposed to floodwaters.  

Chemical Contaminants

Not only can flood waters carry contaminants from sewage, but they can pick up chemical contaminants from areas that have experienced a leak or spill of dangerous chemicals. Exposure to these chemicals can cause serious bodily harm, so be sure to wear protective waterproof gear to decrease your chances of exposure to floodwaters contaminants.

Electrical Hazards

Last but certainly not least, a serious concern floodwater can present is the risk of electrocution. After a hurricane or tropical storm, electrical hazards, such as broken power lines or flooded electrical outlets inside your home, can cause serious injuries or fatalities if exposed. If you are experiencing a flood in your home, be sure to shut off electrical power and natural gas or propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosion.

After a storm, we often see on the news people kayaking, swimming, or floating in floodwaters. While the temptation may certainly be there, it is important to always remember the dangers that flooding can present and avoid floodwater if possible.

Content Restoration & Our Full-Service Capabilities

12/20/2020 (Permalink)

laptop, television, computer, and dish covered in dirt. All of our hard and soft content cleaning is done completely in-house, separating us from many other restoration companies.

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is trained and experienced in providing full-service restoration services from pack out, inventorying, cleaning, and restoring. Content restoration can help salvage many of your belongings, preventing the need and cost of replacement. These services are equally important to restoration and reconstruction of the actual structure; the internal contents of a home or business are used every single day. 

We customize each content restoration process to meet the needs of our clients. This may mean utilizing one of our highly specialized third-party pack out vendors or art conservators. We have the ability to use our own warehouse facilities to store extremely delicate or valuable items. We also have the cleaning equipment needed in our warehouses, allowing all content restoration to be completely in-house. The ability to complete both soft or hard content cleaning in-house can be extremely cost-effective for our customers and their insurance companies.


Hard Content Restoration

When it comes to contents, there are different categories and methods of cleaning. Hard contents can be considered equipment, electronics, dishes, figurines, light fixtures, and more. All of these items can be affected by mold, dirt, soot and other contaminants that can cause damage. To combat any damage, salvage, and restore these items we utilize the Morantz Ultrasonic Cleaning System. Ultrasonic cleaners allow hard contents to be safely restored to preloss condition in seconds. The secret behind this technology are the microscopic bubbles that penetrate all of the items crevices to lift away dirt, mold, or soot. This process leaves the item cleaned while maintaining its integrity and functions. This means that televisions, laptops, or equipment can be cleaned using this system and still fully function as they did prior to any damage.

Soft Content Restoration

Textiles and garments that have come in contact with soot or mold may need deeper cleaning than just traditional dry cleaning. Our ESPORTA machine is a powerful cleaning system that cleans soft contents twice as much as dry cleaning with a 90% restoration rate. Using hydraulic pressure and proprietary detergent, the ESPORTA safely and effectively provides a deep down clean to combat mold, soot, smoke, and other contaminants from items like leather, shoes, purses, decorative textiles, PPE gear and more.  

Additional Content Restoration Services

While our crew typically provides pack out, inventory, and storage, we also partner with third-party vendors who offer specialty restoration services. Stella Art Conservation is specialized in museum quality art conservation and restoration of paintings, sculptures, artifacts and other artworks. They are located in Palm Beach but are known internationally for their expert and quality work.

Rather than dealing with multiple vendors, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can handle the entire content restoration process, providing a central point of contact, elevated customer satisfaction, and decreased claim costs.

2020 Storm Season Recap

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

We can all agree that 2020 was a year for the history books. Not only did we experience a global pandemic bringing much uncertainty into everyone’s lives, 2020 also brought us the most active storm season since 1850. Prior to the start, Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, believed we would see between 19 to 25 named storms this season. This daunting prediction more than doubled the 1981-2010 historical averages and would later be surpassed.

Between May 16th and November 30th there were a record-breaking 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall in the U.S. With the increased number of storms, the National Hurricane Center had to dive deeper into the Greek alphabet for names than ever before.

Of the 30 named storms we saw:

  • 13 hurricanes (6 major)
  • 15 tropical storms
  • 2 were subtropical storms

Why Were Predictions and Numbers so High?

Two reasons for experiencing an extremely active hurricane season in 2020 was due to El Niño climate conditions and the record high ocean temperatures in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. When the two are combined, they create an environment suitable for storms to form, which led to the increased number of reported storms. Scientists also believe that the change in climate are aiding in our hurricanes increased strength and damage.

In the U.S., 6 of the 12 storms to hit were hurricanes which resulted in severe flooding and water damage, leaving many homes and businesses devastated. Overall storm damage, according to the CDP, are expected to exceed $41 billion.

While many storms remained in the Gulf this year, fortunately avoiding Florida, hurricane Eta (the 28th storm of the season) found a way to make landfall twice, resulting in more than $1 billion in storm damages.   

When it comes to hurricane season and experiencing such devastating storm and water damages, the experts at SERVPRO recommend taking immediate action. Through acting fast you will not only minimize immediate damages to your home or business, but you will also help minimize chances of experiencing secondary storm damage long after the storm has passed. 

The Dangers of DIY Water Damage Clean-up

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that around 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work every day? Not only is this statistic shocking, but so are the potential dangers water can pose to your home, business and health. When dealing with water damage, for the health and safety of your property as well as yourself, you should always call a professional restoration company to diagnose the situation as water damage is treated very differently based on its classification.

As you may or may not know, water has three classifications: Clean, Grey and Black. When experiencing a leak or flood, knowing water damage classification is paramount before treating the situation as there are certain safety precautions you need to take when dealing with each classification. If not dealt with properly, you could actually cause more harm than help.

When a damage restoration company comes in to assess, they are required to follow guidelines that were created by the IICRC in order to provide the safest methods of restoring your home or business while ensuring the wellbeing of everyone involved. 

Not only knowing and understanding how to treat the different classifications is important but being able to treat them in a fast and efficient manner is vital. Water damage that is not fully cleaned and dried in a timely manner can allow for an environment ideal for the growth of mold and potentially other contaminants.  

Of the three classifications, clean water is the safest classification of water to clean up. However, depending on the severity of the situation, clean water can very quickly turn into grey or black water which can put your home and health at risk. Grey water (the second classification) and black water (the third and worst classification) both contain a significant amount of contaminants that can potentially cause discomfort or illness to those who come into contact with it.

 Our professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can not only diagnose the category of water damage you are experiencing, but they have the knowledge and equipment to deal with each category safely and efficiently, mitigating additional risks that can come from improperly dealing with contaminants. For example, different flooring materials require different clean up procedures. Drying out and cleaning up a leak or flood on carpet require different steps than tile or hard wood flooring. When dealing with carpet and cushion padding water that makes its way underneath is quickly and easily absorbed. If the water classification is clean, then steps can be taken to dry and potentially salvage the carpet. But, due to carpets ability to hide dirt, food spills and other items, a clean water leak or flood can quickly turn into a grey or black classification due to its exposure to contaminants, leaving you with a job you aren’t prepared for.

So, no matter how large or small the water damages may appear, always call a professional to accurately assess the situation and safely restore your space. At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach we’ll make it look “Like it never even happened.”

3 Steps to Take After A House Fire in West Palm Beach

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

burnt and damaged microwave After a fire, big or small, taking the proper next steps is crucial to the fire damage restoration process.

Experiencing a disaster in your home, regardless of the nature of the event, can be a confusing and stressful time. Feeling like this is not uncommon and is a sentiment shared by many who have endured any damage to their West Palm Beach homes, especially after a house fire.

Once the initial shock has subsided and your family is safe, begin taking the necessary steps to get your home back to preloss condition and start the recovery process.

 1. Call Your Homeowners Insurance

Calling your homeowners insurance company to initiate your claim, Is one of the first calls you should make once you are able to. Immediately contacting your insurance will begin the event documentation and will help guide your next steps as well. Your insurance agent should be well-versed in dealing with fire damage claims and can walk you through the process of what is to come.

2. Make Additional Necessary Calls

In the midst of many calls to family and friends to let them know of your safety, phoning other important contacts and persons may be forgotten. Be sure to also contact the following:

  • Utility Providers

Call any companies that currently provide a service to your home (water, gas, electric, cable, etc.) and inform them of the recent house fire. This will be necessary to temporarily stop service and avoid being charged for utilities you are not using.

  • Employers and Schools

Call your employer to advise them of your situation and that you may be unavailable for a period of time while dealing with your home’s fire damage. This also applies to any schools your children are attending. If necessary, let the school know that they may be absent for some time until things are settled.

3. Call A Fire Damage Restoration Company

The fire restoration process cannot begin until a company, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, is contacted. Your insurance agent may recommend a restoration company, though if they have not, give us a call. We are trusted vendors for many national and local insurances, meaning you can expect quality and professional fire restoration services. Once on site, our crew will begin assessing all of the damage done by the fire, providing documentation and an estimate to both your insurance company and you.

Starting the recovery process after fire damage can be difficult but is not impossible. If you do not have a plan, be sure to turn to the experts SERVPRO of West Palm Beach.