Recent Posts

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach Offers Biohazard Cleaning Services

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

During the past few months, much of the world has been preoccupied with staying safe and healthy. Proper hand washing, social distancing, and making accommodations for disruption in everyday life is prevalent for many people in Palm Beach County. Staying informed and taking the proper health precautions should be a top priority and because of this, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach wants to remind our customers we are specialists in biohazard cleaning services. 

For residential and commercial properties, our crew can provide specialized cleaning, following the highest sanitization standards set in place by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. While we are well-versed in dealing with biohazard situations, we have taken additional precautions as recommended by the CDC. These guidelines include which areas of a home or business to treat with hospital-grade disinfectants that can treat pathogens similar to the coronavirus; SERVPRO carries several EPA-certified products with similar claims to products endorsed by the CDC.

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has experience in cleaning buildings that are typically highly populated like schools, gyms, retail spaces, or offices. Our biohazard cleaning services take care to disinfect high-touch areas including table-tops and desks, doorknobs, light switches, bathrooms, equipment and more. We recommend for our customers to regularly clean their personal devices like computers, phones, and tablets.

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach urges our customers to stay informed and proactive. The well-being of our customers and employees is always our number one priority. We do our best to keep our community informed and safe. If your home or commercial space is in need of specialized cleaning call us today, 561-795-5410.

Large Commercial Loss in West Palm Beach

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

green SERVPRO air movers with SERVPRO trucks in background Many large commercial loss jobs require numerous air movers to properly dry out areas and prevent secondary damage.

During Super Bowl weekend, while most of West Palm Beach was watching the big game, our  crew was working on a big job. Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business experienced a broken pipe, with enough water to flood most of the first floor. The flooding extended throughout the entrance, faculty offices and lecture halls. 

Our crew needed to work quickly to get the building reopened with minimal disruption for faculty and classes held. Extracting the water was the first step taken, removing close to a foot of water from the floors. Following the extraction, the dry out began. Over 130 air movers were placed throughout the building, along with many dehumidifiers. Both types of equipment along with the number of pieces used are common in large commercial loss. Each air mover and dehumidifier was needed to make sure that any water not extracted was thoroughly dried, preventing any secondary water damage like mold. 

A job like this would be classified as large commercial loss. Situations are categorized as large loss when there is a significant amount of damage occurring in a sizable area. These are areas like offices, warehouses, or in this case, whole first floors of a building. Damage can range from water, mold or fire, calling for extensive cleaning and restoration as well as utilization of commercial grade equipment. Large commercial loss can be complex, taking into account many factors.

Large losses can also be disruptive to businesses, especially if there is no contingency plan ready to be implemented. We stress our Emergency Ready Plan to our commercial customers often as we understand, in an instance like FAU’s water damage, how useful they can be.  To mitigate the time businesses are unable to operate, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach works efficiently, readily available with the necessary equipment and number of crew needed. 

Large commercial loss can be overwhelming but does not always mean that your business will be put on halt or closed indefinitely. Restoration professionals like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, are here to respond promptly to your loss, minimize damage, and be your strategic partner from start to finish.

Safety Tips for Grilling in West Palm Beach

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

When we aren’t experiencing daily showers or a hurricane, summers in Florida are beautiful. The summer heat gets many people in the mood to hang out by the pool or beach, relax and maybe even grill. However, just like with cooking in your home, grilling too can have its fire hazards and it is best to practice safety measures. While here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we are big fans of throwing a few burgers on the grill on a whim, we also following these safety tips before grilling:

1. Keep Your Grill at a Safe Distance

Keeping your grill a safe distance from your home in a safe, open area is best. This means in an area where there are no overhangs nor any activity from people or pets. Every year many people injure themselves accidentally coming in contact with a grill. 

This rule also goes for any furniture or decorations. Many outside decorative items are made from plastics, meant to withstand any weather condition. This plastic and other artificial material can make for quick ignition for a fire. 

2. Keep Your Grill Clean

Like grease fires in a West Palm Beach home, leftover grease and food particles can also cause a fire. Cleaning your grill after cooking is done and once it’s cooled down will save you from any work the next time you decide to use it. 

3. Do Routine Maintenance and Safety Checks

Grills should be treated like any other major appliance. Checking your propane tanks for gas leaks, loose hoses or any other damage before use is highly recommended. Be sure to keep any charcoal, fuel, and lighters within safe distance once your grill is lit. 

4. Keep an Eye on Your Grill

Make sure you are always near your grill, actively watching it for any signs of misuse or potential accidents. Being vigilant and cautious will help keep your food from overcooking also!

5. Don’t Overload Your Grill

Putting too much food on your grill may make the cooking process slower, pushing you to turn up the heat. Turning the heat up can be unsafe especially when cooking food items that are fatty, like hamburgers. Dripping fat combined with high heat can also cause a fire to occur. 

Other preventative measures may mean keeping a fire extinguisher nearby, using the proper cooking tools, and storing the grill properly when done. 

Soaking up the sun, hopping in the pool, and grilling is all part of summer in West Palm Beach. Doing so safely means more fun days to come without experiencing any fire damage to your home. 

Types of Floods and Risks for West Palm Beach Homes

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

West Palm Beach’s proximity to the coast along with the inclement weather it often experiences makes it extremely susceptible to flooding. Florida’s naturally flat, swampy terrain does not produce any benefit during heavy storm seasons either. Due to the inevitability of some form of flooding it is important to know why it occurs and risks associated with it.

Types of Flooding in West Palm Beach

Storm surges can happen during a hurricane or a tropical storm. Surges form when storms push the ocean water to the shore and beyond, at times measuring from one to twenty feet and beyond. Residents in areas prone to storm surge usually have ample time and warning to evacuate these areas. This event is a huge threat to your property as it can cause large areas to flood. It is also extremely risky to remain in an area that is being affected as drowning and other injuries from the force and amount of water is possible.

Inland flooding occurs when heavy rains pour over one area for hours or days at a time; the amount of time that it takes to flood really depends on how heavy the storm be. Often, gutter and sewer systems become inundated with the amount of water they are processing adding to the flood. Debris from the storm may cause blockages in these same systems lessening the amount of water that is filtering through. This kind of flooding can create severe damage to your property, usually infiltrating homes and affecting building materials. Walking or driving through a flood is not advised as hazards like down electric wires, sewage, wildlife or loss of control of a vehicle can occur.

Be Prepared for Any Flood

Doing your best to protect your home is still encouraged; even if flooding is not expected, you can mitigate as much damage as possible in the case it does happen. Install flood protection materials like sandbags or tarps. Add waterproof veneer or building materials to your home’s exterior. Be sure to raise and waterproof, if possible, any electrical equipment, including your HVAC system. Taking these small steps will make a big difference following the storm as there is no telling how long the water will remain and once gone how quickly your home can be dried out.

Every year storms are becoming bigger and stronger, bringing higher amounts of precipitation and more damage for homeowners. Most weather systems can track the amount of rain and possibility of flooding before it happens, giving homeowners time to prepare. Aside from having adequate insurance coverage, West Palm Beach residents are encouraged to know the types of floods, the facts, and the risks to protect their home and families before any event.

Can Mold Grow On Your Furniture?

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

white mold found on red chairs Mold can look differently when it is on furniture and not always recognized at first. These chairs were given a deep cleaning to remove the mold.

Mold is not picky on where it grows and causes damage. In the right environment, mold can thrive on many types of furniture, including leather, wood, or fabric. Mold on furniture can be unsightly and ruin the integrity of furniture. Typically, mold is seen as white spots on wood or leather; on fabric furniture mold appears as dark brown or black spots.

It is possible to prevent mold from appearing on your valuables if the underlying cause is discovered. The first step is to inspect your furniture. What do the markings look like? Is there an odor or wetness to it? Safely answering these questions will help uncover whether you’re truly being affected by mold.

Next step is to survey the area the affected piece of furniture is in. Was the item recently in storage, like your attic? Did the storage space have any ventilation or light?

If the furniture was not pulled from a damp space, perhaps the air in the current room is too humid like moving furniture from an AC controlled room in your home to the patio or garage.

Consider the walls, ceilings and floors in the area as well. Is the room retaining moisture based on the ceiling or wall it shares with the next room? A living room ceiling may share a wall with your kitchen. This same wall may have pipes in it that run to your kitchen sink. If there is a leak or pooling present the walls are likely swelling with water, affecting the wood in it and possibly growing mold. Furniture in close proximity to a wall that has already been affected by mold can also start to see growth.

Once you’ve gone over a potential source, reflect on where you got the furniture from and its history. If you have purchased the piece second-hand, its likely it’s history is not well known and will need deep cleaning. If you do know the furniture’s history, question whether it has come into contact with a copious amount of water. Was there a recent flood or leak in your house? Did the water touch the furniture for a long period of time? Think of damp clothes you allow to sit without drying for too long. These clothes end up smelling and may become damaged. That is because they begin to grow mildew and much like mildew, mold will quickly cling to any material that is left wet. If your furniture was involved in a flood and improperly cared for, with no extensive drying process, this may be an answer to your mold growth.

The last step is to contact a professional. If you have the faintest hint that mold is indeed growing on your furniture, you will need some serious help. The items will need to be thoroughly dried and cleaned with equipment and solutions only a restoration company could possess. You will also benefit from a home inspection. This will ensure whether the issue is rooted deeper in your home.

Your furniture is what makes your home. It should be clean and mold free!

Why Your Bathroom May Be Humid

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

After a particularly hot shower your mirrors might fog, the air may feel warm and humid. With time, mirrors should defog and the bathroom should go back to feeling cool. If this is not the case for your bathroom, it may be a good idea to look into why this might be happening. 

Looking into proper ventilation is your first step. Check to make sure your exhaust fan is working and pulling moisture out of your bathroom. If so, turning the fan on every time you shower will greatly help decrease moisture and condensation.

Taking cooler showers also helps to reduce the humidity in your bathroom. If a hot shower is necessary, make sure your fan is turned on, or if possible, a window is left open. Wiping down your bathtub and floor, removing any excess water will help keep air dry.

Assess the shower pan as well as grout on your floor tiles and your shower tiles. Any signs of mold or mildew surrounding these areas may mean a leak in your shower pan or grout, possibly even both. This can cause pooling of water that may have a difficult time drying in an already humid environment.

Check any pipes by your toilet and sink for any leaks. Sink pipes are typically hidden by a cabinet, meaning leaks are not visible and less likely to catch. The cabinets make for the perfectly warm, enclosed area for mold and mildew growth.

If all efforts to mitigate the humidity of your bathroom have failed, it is best to call in the pros at this time. There may be underlying problems that only special equipment can identify. These issues can range from water damage in the walls or floors. It is important to note that if there are undetected issues, more rooms than just your bathroom can be affected. Depending on the area of your bathroom, adjacent rooms and ceilings underneath the bathroom can also experience increased humidity and water damage. Wet carpets or bubbled ceilings in relation to where your bathroom is located, are a tell-tale sign that something is amiss. Contact your local plumber as well as a professional emergency restoration company, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, to handle all of your water damage needs.

The Different Stages of Water Damage and What To Do During Each Stage

12/21/2019 (Permalink)

cutting and removing carpet with water damage When water is left to sit too long, it can affect and destroy materials like carpet. Often, carpet will need to be removed for proper drying.

When water enters your home, it can be a stressful experience. There are many things you can do yourself during each stage of a water disaster to reduce the damage and restoration your West Palm Beach home will need. Knowing the signs of each stage and their effects is the first step to restoring your home to a safe, healthy space.

Stage 1

Water enters your home, flowing freely into any openings it can find, especially through floors and walls. Depending on the source of the water and time that passes, your home can see inches of water in little time. At this stage, if possible, try to stop the source of the water and begin to dry up the areas you can.

Stage 2

Permeable materials like carpet, wood, drywall, and fabric furniture take on water. The longer the water sits, the more moisture that accumulates. Though damage is not visible, swift water extraction is crucial in salvaging any wet material, lessening the need of complete water removal.

Stage 3

At this point, water that is able to evaporate will begin to create humid air. Areas that were not previously affected are in contact with moisture present. Paint may begin to chip from walls or bubbles may form on ceilings or carpets from the trapped condensation. This leads to further destruction of building materials as there is little room for drying to begin. To combat this stage, dehumidifiers are needed to remove moisture from the area and prevent mold growth.

Stage 4

Mold spores, found naturally in the air, settle on wet material, quickly growing. When left untreated, mold can spread in as little as 1 day. Entire homes can be affected by mold if it is not contained. Recovering valuable items and building materials is less likely at this stage. Serious water damage restoration and potential mold remediation is needed.

Flooding or leaks can occur at any time and quickly move through each stage before there is a chance to take action. If caught in time, water damage can be mitigated, reducing the need for major restoration for your home and it’s contents.

Why Your Shower May Be Leaking

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

glass shower in white bathroom Without proper grouting on your tub or shower, your bathroom may experience water damage to your walls and floors.

By now most homeowners or renters have experienced the laborious task of cleaning home showers. Floor stains don’t seem to go away even with every pass of the cleaning brush. Clorox or other household cleaners are dumped to get rid of the grime and soap scum around the tub or shower. Most of the time we find the glass and acrylic base the easiest to clean; the grout, however, always seems to give us the biggest issues. It seems the more we scrub, the more grout lost and the grime remains the same. This can make this task much more aggravating than it should be. 

Why You Should Not Scrub So Hard

While the loss of grout may seem unimportant as long as the shower is clean, grout is actually what keeps water in the tub. Grout does a great job at protecting your walls and flooring, preventing water to escape behind tile. It is a difficult material to clean without the use of heavy chemicals. Over time, these chemicals eat away at the grout’s ability to stick. Without heavy chemicals, cleaning grout calls for extra elbow grease, usually resulting in a rough scrub and strips the grout away as well. Even with a decent amount gone, it is likely homeowners notice the missing grout well into the later stages of water damage.

Improperly installed grout will also have the same effects as grout that has fallen off. Aside from water moving into exposed areas, some grout brands can be made of material that is semi porous or not made for bathrooms. This also allows water to pass through and encourages mold growth, causing even more costly damage for a homeowner. Grout should always be installed by a professional with plenty of experience.

What If The Leak Is Not Grout-Related?

There may be plenty of signs and reasons as to why your shower is leaking or bathroom is flooding. If you cannot physically determine where the leak is coming from it may be best to forgo using that particular bathroom. Call out a local plumber to assess and address your shower’s problems. Once these issues have been resolved, call out a restoration company like SERVPRO. It is important to inspect your bathroom for presence of mold or water damage and determine the costs as well as next steps.

Tips to Prevent Storm Damage in West Palm Beach

12/15/2019 (Permalink)

Storms are inevitable, no matter the time of year or season. Storms are also unpredictable and there can be many types of storms. Minimizing risk of damage to your home requires work and preparation. Here are some tips on readying your home In West Palm Beach for storm season.

Clear Any Areas of Drainage

Gutters on your roof collect a lot of debris, including dirt, leaves, and branches. Over time these items can create serious blockages. While water from a small storm might pass through without any incident, major hurricanes can overload your gutter system with more water than it can hold or drain, if blockages are present.

Your home’s landscape may have areas that can block drain systems or flood easily. Consider the placement of grass, the material your driveway and sidewalks are made of, and if your home is on an incline or virtually flat. Landscaping or restoration professionals can both help assess problem areas that may affect your home in the future.

Secure Loose Items

Exterior design can be important to many homeowners, especially since many sunny Florida days are spent outside. Patio furniture is made to endure the harsh storm damage of West Palm Beach, though it is not always made to stay in one place during heavy winds. Finding a way to secure your patio furniture and other décor so they are not likely to move during a rough storm is important. Lugging furniture and décor inside your house before every storm is not ideal or realistic. Look for ways to anchor your furniture or choose quality, heavily weighted items.

Loose items also cover unstable branches, trees, or other shrubbery. Regularly trimming your trees and disposing of any branches or leaves, greatly decreases the possibility of drain blockages or even broken windows. 

Purchase Impact Windows

Hurricane proof, impact windows are becoming increasingly popular and attainable for homes. Purchasing these specialty windows are an investment for your home and safety. Some home insurers may be inclined to lower your insurance costs if your home is equipped with these windows. Impact windows negate the need to struggle with putting shutters up. These windows make it near impossible for any flying debris or items to break your window, providing extra security during a storm

Routinely Inspect Your Home

At least bi-annually your home should be inspected. This means surveying the infrastructure for any holes, leaks, or breaks. Inspections can mitigate any bigger, costly problems. Hire a company or make your own checklist and set a date. 

Keeping your home ready for anything that comes it’s way can take a lot of pressure and anxiety off of a homeowner. For more tips on preventing storm damage in West Palm Beach, call us today!

Tips to Prevent Your Christmas Tree From Catching Fire

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Christmas tree with palm trees in background Following fire safety trips for your Christmas tree is important during the holidays.

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, cooking, and decorating. Even in sunny Florida, residents purchase real Christmas trees every year to decorate their home with. Lights are strung, ornaments put on, and stars top the tree. While Christmas trees are definitely a sight to admire, they can be one of the uncommon sources of fire, posing a dangerous hazard to your home .

Every year, on average, 160 fires start with Christmas trees. Typical electrical items, lighting equipment or a heat source, like a candle, were the main causes of the fire. Fires can be very common and with chances increased during the holiday season, follow these tips on preventing a Christmas tree fire:

1. Get a New Tree

Like a brand-new car, a Christmas tree also needs that “fresh off the lot” smell. Your tree should be slightly fragrant, with needles that do not easily brush or fall off when you pass your hand through the tree. If needles fall quickly, pass on that particular tree to something fresher and newer.

2.Hydrate Your Tree

Once you have chosen the perfect tree to showcase in your living room, make sure you are watering your tree regularly. Christmas trees usually require daily watering. A drier tree, like many objects, are easily lit and spread fires much more quickly.

3. Don’t Overload Your Tree

A well-lit tree with plenty of bows and ornaments can really put someone in the holiday spirit. When decorating the tree however, be sure not to overload it. It is also suggested to check the wires on your strings to make sure there are no breaks that can cause a spark. When placing your tree and it’s decorations, be sure to stay clear of any electrical equipment, sockets, and even, for the few Floridians that have them, fire places.

4. Don’t Go Past Four Weeks of Use

Christmas trees last for a maximum of four weeks before they should be taken down. There are plenty of organizations that provide tree pickup and recycling.

If a real Christmas tree seems like too much work, artificial trees are also a great option. Plastic trees can catch fire easily just like a real tree. Choose instead a well-rated fire-retardant artificial tree. Remember to follow similar rules when decorating a plastic tree: always make sure not to over decorate and be cautious around sources of electricity and heat. Either type of Christmas tree is susceptible to house fires and should be handled with care.

Removing smoke from a home and going through the fire restoration process is not exactly the best way to spend the holidays.