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Water Damage in Palm Beach County

2/10/2019 (Permalink)

What is Water Damage?

Aside from fire, water damage is quite possibly the fastest acting and ubiquitous damage to your Palm Beach County home. Flooding, rain, leaking pipes, or broken appliances are all possible sources. Just as some sources are blatant, often the cause is not as recognizable, increasing the chances of destruction. A whole in your home's foundation that allows humid, moisture-filled air can also cause water damage. Prevalent moisture in large amounts leads to condensation, causing water pooling and the onset of damage.

 Once water is present it is likely to quickly take action against any porous materials, depending on the kind of water and length it is sitting. Even material that are not quite as porous but still allow for sitting water, will feel the affects. Mold, rotting, or destroyed material are all potential consequences of water intruding into your home. 

Water damage is categorized by a class system. Classification is based on the effects of the water, the rate of evaporation, and how much moisture is absorbed by the materials in the area. There are also different types of water. This includes clean, gray, or black water and are differentiated depending on the source as well as the water's contamination levels.

Dealing with water damage in Palm Beach County is a very real, plausible situation and homeowners should take caution to prepare themselves for this situation. As we've come to learn water damage is not as simple as cleaning up an overflown tub with a mop. Water damage comes in many forms with many possible sources and varying outcomes. Homeowners should always look to a professional water damage cleanup like SERVPRO, with the knowledge and tools to identify the source, conduct proper assessment as well as proper cleanup. 

What Storm Season Means in Palm Beach, FL

1/27/2019 (Permalink)

Many Florida natives understand the preparation necessary when storm season begins. Certain areas within the state are accustomed to higher impact and destruction while some areas tend to be less vulnerable. South Florida, however, is usually right in the path of destruction receiving the brunt of the storm's strength. So, what does this mean for Palm Beach residents during storm season?

Palm Beach is located on the coast with some parts considered "barrier islands". This leaves Palm Beach extremely susceptible to natural disasters and damage. Coastal communities face larger threats than those inland. Due to Florida's already lowered elevation (345 feet above sea level), storm surge, accompanied by flooding, is an ever looming threat. Storm surge is a push of water inland from the sea. Mixed with the winds and rain of a hurricane, storm surge threatens loss of life and expensive loss to properties and homes. 

Even with insurance, homeowners in Palm Beach should still take heed to all warnings and anticipate for worst case scenario. This includes safeguarding the home and property against storm surge, flooding, flying objects, debris, power outages and more. Accepting the reality of natural disasters and the destruction they bring, will be the difference in preparation and the aftermath damage. 

On a more positive note the town of Palm Beach along with county associations, are taking bigger steps toward proactivity. The Civic Association of Palm Beach has decided to use past storm learnings as an opportunity toward improved emergency management planning.

During Hurricane Irma, much of Palm Beach County's traffic system was out of operation, causing delays, traffic accidents, and road rage. To increase readiness, traffic light inspections have increased and additional generators are purchased. Better review of staff assignment, re-entry to Palm Beach Island, and timelier damage assessments have also been enforced. 

Officials and residents alike are aware of the coastal town's vulnerability and the necessary preparations.  Pre-planning before the storm following adaptation during the aftermath are key to quicker, efficient storm recovery in Palm Beach. 

Types of Water Damage

1/20/2019 (Permalink)

When considering types of water damage the source of the damage or what is affected are usually top of mind. However, contrary to what many may assume, these are not the only components considered in an assessment. 

There are three different categories of water including clean, gray, and black. Each category is determined due to the source, length of time standing, and the potential hazards exposed. 

1. Clean Water

Flooding and damage caused by overflown tubs, burst pipes, or leaky roofs can be classified as "clean". While this water is not suitable to drink or bathe in, it is considered clean due to the lack of bacteria or microbes found. This category of water is easier and safest to mitigate.

2. Gray Water

Gray water occurs due to the slight exposure to some form of contaminant. This can be sourced from a toilet overflow or a washing machine. While one is a potential biohazard source, the other has come into contact with chemicals. Clean water can develop into gray water when left standing for long periods of time. Gray water is not necessarily highly toxic but should still be approached with caution. 

3. Black Water

Black water is the most hazardous water category  of the three. There is substantial evidence of contamination including chemicals, bacteria, or microbes. This water can come from a backed up sewer or even natural disasters. Just as with clean water, gray water left stagnant can be classified as black water. 

The categorization of water damage does not necessarily denote the color or visible contents. Black water can look clear or clean water can come from a destructive storm. Regardless of color or content speculation, relying on a professional is the safest option when dealing with water damage. Water restoration companies have the professionals, licensure, and equipment to properly assess and extract any water, despite it's categorization. 

If you are experiencing, water damage or flooding, call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, 561-795-5410.

Can Your Belongings Be Saved After Fire Damages To Your Home?

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can be scary and emotionally tough on a home or business owner. While a reputable emergency restoration company and your insurance handles a majority of the paper work and minute details, property owners in Palm Beach face a much tougher task. Adjusting to damage and the potential loss of belongings can be daunting and all may feel lost. There is always a break in every storm cloud however! Depending on the fire, the location, and the affected material, there is a chance of salvaging any items damaged by a fire emergency. 

Knowing the details of what caused the fire and how certain items burn can determine their ability to be restored. Every fire behaves and burns differently, potentially causing different damage. The behavior often depends on the fuel, the weather, oxygen and the environment it's burning in. 

Other than completely scorching or completely burning materials, fire creates soot and odor. Again, depending on the material, soot and odor can seep into fabric, cracks, crevices, even into any porous surfaces. The material and damage will determine the cleaning process and salvageability.

With so many variables surrounding a fire and damage, home and business owners may be worsening effects of a fire rather than mitigating.  

A professional fire restoration and cleaning company, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, have had years of servicing fire calls in the Palm Beach County area. A project manager, estimator or technician will arrive to the site of fire damage and assess the aftermath. Cleaning and restoration can be done by SERVPRO along with the many industry experts SERVPRO partners with for finer materials including upholstery, marble, or glass. 

Consider contacting a fire restoration expert prior to attempting to save any of your belongings. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach treats your home or business and valuables with care and compassion. 

Call today, 561-795-5410. 

AC Unit Common Breakdowns and the Water Damage They Cause

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

In the sweltering heat of South Florida and Palm Beach County, a homeowner's best friend is their Air Conditioning. AC units help to cool down the house after a long day of relentless heat and keep the air inside from becoming stale or too humid. 

Just like with any major appliance, AC units also require maintenance and repairs. Some reasons that an AC may be experiencing issues are:

  • Faulty Wiring
  • Low Refrigerant 
  • Broken Fan
  • Clogged Air Filter
  • Clogged AC Drain Line

The last two common occurrences are really one of the bigger sources of water damage to your ceiling, carpet, or walls. 

Homeowners often neglect to change the filter on their AC, leaving it to become clogged, preventing proper ventilation. AC units can frost over eventually, creating a mass of moisture and ice. If ever the unit is shut off, this ice will have nothing to keep it frozen. As is common knowledge, ice at anything below a frozen temperature begins to melt. Water pooling from the melting ice will eventually chip away at the ceiling structure or dry wall, contingent on where your AC unit is located. 

Clogged drain lines can be added to the list of arising issues. Air conditioning systems contain air handlers including coils that distributes freon. As these air handlers function, they sweat or rather produce condensation that travels into a drip pan. Mold and bacteria multiply in any sitting water. Along with any bacteria buildup, dust also finds itself into the drip pan, clogging the drain line eventually. 

The severity of the root cause and the damage accompanying it, will determine what tactics you are required to take. Air conditioning water damage may consist of a small leak, which would warrant a bit of drying out the area after repair. Other issues may go unnoticed for extended periods of time, calling for more work entailing water removal and cleanup, or drywall repair.

Upon first notice of your Air Condition system breaking down or needing repairs, calling a plumber or repairman is essential. Any homeowner's next steps should be to call a professional like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Our technicians will assess the surrounding areas of the AC unit to assure there are no lurking issues including water damage or potential mold growth. 

Does Water Damage Affect All Floor Types?

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Does Water Damage Affect All Floor Types? Water Damage to Tile in a West Palm Beach Home

The multitude of flooring options in any interior design or hardware store can be overwhelming for a homeowner. Questions of the safety, scratch, resistance, feel, and color all come to mind when choosing. But does water resistance or the effects of water damage on each floor type ever play a role in a decision?

Different Kinds of Flooring

Lets examine the different types of flooring first. Flooring can fall under two categories, organic and inorganic. Organic flooring are made of natural materials like wood or bamboo. Inorganic flooring is made with synthetic materials. While the two categories exist, it can be difficult to deem one type of flooring fully organic or inorganic.  Different types of flooring:

  • Hardwood
  • Laminate
  • Vinyl Tile
  • Luxury Vinyl
  • Porcelain Tile
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Carpet
  • Concrete and many others

Flooring and Water Resistance

Looking at the list above it is evident that the options are endless and choosing can be difficult. Now as a West Palm Beach homeowner, there are a few more things to consider aside from color or make. And while carpet is usually not the best for those hot summer days, the two biggest factors to consider should be: durability and water resistant.

Vinyl is without a doubt one of the most durable flooring types, aside from concrete, when it comes to stains, dents, wear, and clean up. But does vinyl pass the water resistance test? It does! Luxury Vinyl, Porcelain tile, Ceramic tile, Sheet Vinyl and Vinyl tile incur the least amount of water damage in comparison to other types. These materials are suitable in bathrooms, kitchens, or mudrooms, where most other types are not. 

Are All Floors Safe From Water Damage?

All floors, even tile, are subject to water damage. The problem with a leak or flood damage occurring over tiles or vinyl is not the material itself. In fact it is the grout or seams, that may be exposed to water, allowing it to penetrate into the subfloor. Even if your grout is intact, standing water from a flood to your home can damage the grout and loosen the adhesive, also allowing water damage to occur to your floors. Homeowners should take heed to cleaning up the water and get the drying process going quickly as most often the subfloor under tile is plywood. 

Plywood is thin wood that is also susceptible to water damage and rotting. Mold and mildew can incubate on wet wood causing more to be concerned about than a few loose tiles. Other issues to address would be a homeowners water damaged drywall. Drywall is much more permeable than tile or vinyl, and incurs damage at a much quicker rate. 

Before you choose the hardwood floor or carpet that matches the curtain, think about your Palm Beach Countyhome during storm season and potentially every day as emergency disasters can happen at any time. Leaking or flooding on material that is not equipped to withstand water damage can end up impacting your floors and wallet. 

If you experience flood or water damage to your home, call the professionals at SERVPRO, 561-795-5410.

Ceiling Water Damage Causes and How To Prevent Them

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Palm Beach County homeowners are familiar with the many areas of upkeep in their homes. A common issue that many homeowners run into, are ceiling stains. The brown, unattractive spots are a tell-tale sign of an occurrence with water pooling within your attic or ceiling. The location of your ceiling stain is typically indicative of the source causing the ceiling water damage to your home.

Identifying and Preventing the Source of Ceiling Water Damage

Improper installation of HVACs, appliance water lines, or plumbing fixtures on a second story floor, whether a home or condo building, are sources to ceiling water damage. Broken seals or valves can also be problematic, adding to water leaking from the exposed areas. Routine inspection is essential to the upkeep of these sources. Knowing the location of the main water source to your home, if possible, is beneficial in mitigating any further damage until repair is conducted.

Bathrooms aside from leaky roofs are a secondary common cause for wet ceilings and brown stains. Water damage can potentially stem from an overflown tub or sink, or a slow leak allowed by old caulking. Preventative measures in these cases are as simple as paying attention and replacing any old caulking. 

Leaky roofs in Florida are ubiquitous as constant storms and wear on roofs are inevitable. To avoid any unnecessary costs and potential damage, replacing shingles, new caulking as well as adequate insulation and ventilation should be included in maintenance for Palm Beach property owners. Routine inspection before and after major storm seasons is highly suggested.

Identifying and addressing the issue upon first notice of a wet ceiling or unsightly brown stain, prevents exacerbation of the damage. Most property owners are often not equipped or experienced to resolve any issues accompanying water leaks. Confidence to repair the wet ceiling is often lacking as well. Calling a professional with a background in water remediation can be time and cost-saving without multiple attempts at resolution. 

Water extraction and repair is best left to a restoration company. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach to alleviate the stress and hassle accompanying your property's water damage. Call today, 561-795-5410!

Call SERVPRO For Your Commercial Sewage Backup Disaster

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Flood damage can occur in many forms for a Palm Beach home or business. The worst occurrence might be a sewage backup and the safety hazards it brings.

Sewer backups in the Palm Beach area can happen due to a blockage in a main drain or sewer line. If a toilet is being treated as a waste basket or a grease is poured down the drain, clogging occurs, inciting possible home and commercial sewer backups. Tree roots are another common cause as they grow into pipes and holes with available space. As with any potential water disaster, irregular maintenance to broken or cracked pipes and lines are all conditions contributing to sewer backup damage. 

Regardless of the source, a sewer backup in your West Palm Beach home or business means sewage cleanup. City and town sewages are shared and can encompass a multitude of biohazard contaminants. Immediate cleanup and decontamination is necessary to mitigate any long-term damage caused by a sewage emergency. Health concerns are evident, both airborne and water-borne. Sitting water also leads to damaged infrastructures, allowing the opportunity for mold to grow. After safely evacuating anyone inhabiting the property at that time, calling a restoration services company in the Palm Beach area to survey the emergency flooding, is essential to keep your business running. Often property owners may make the costly error of attempting to fix the root issue themselves. This can be dangerous health wise and cause further destruction.

Disaster Restoration companies like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, are properly trained and equipped to remove, dispose, and clean any biohazard properties caused by a sewage backup. Areas serviced include Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington and Palm Beach Island. Clean up may include any removal, drying, dehumidifying or disinfecting of sheetrock, drywall, carpet, tile or furnishings. As harmful microorganisms are a major concern when dealing with biohazard material, safety suits and equipment are a mandated standard. 

Make sure any biohazard contamination is mitigated by the professionals, (561)795-5410.

Tips for Businesses in Palm Beach County in Need of Commercial Restoration

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Florida residents are not the only people who run into accidents and damages to their homes. Businesses and commercial buildings also experience disasters. Flood damage, storm and wind damage, mold remediation, water cleanup, and restoration after fires, are all emergency services commercial buildings are in need of. These incidents occur more often than assumed. 

Seek Immediate Restoration Services 

As with homeowners, seeking emergency restoration services as soon as possible is important in mitigating any further damage. This step is even more crucial for business and commercial buildings with water, mold, or fire damage. As these emergency disasters can not only harm your place of business' infrastructure, but there are other dangers lingering, potentially harmful to you and those in the affected area. Keeping business doors closed for any period of time that affects employees, customers, and the businesses bottom line, profit. 

When commercial damage strikes finding a reputable restoration company, like SERVPRO, means restoring and repairing your business as soon as possible. A 24-7 restoration company in West Palm Beach will make sure to have the needed crew on site right away and working, once the damage has been assessed. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach trained and IICRC certified technicians and staff, will survey the damage while taking necessary precautions for the safety of the building and personnel right away.

Prepare for the unexpected

Expecting the unexpected is a mantra every business owner should remember and always ensure they have a trusted, experienced commercial restoration professional they can call. A mishap does not have to be misfortune. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach services West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Riviera Beach and Palm Beach Island businesses. 

If your business or commercial space needs remediation or restoration, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561)795-5410 or visit our homepage for a list of our commercial restoration services at http://www.SERVPROwestpalmbeachfl.com 

Hurricane Michael's Impact on Residential Homes

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

The 2018 hurricane season predicted nine to thirteen storms and forecasted at least two major hurricanes. The southeast has seen just what was predicted. Two major hurricanes have torn their way through the South Eastern states, amassing thousands of dollars in damage and leaving many property owners as well as residents with a sense of despair. 

Hurricane Florence, the first of two major hurricanes, began in September as a Tropical Storm. This particular storm had homeowners and residents unsure of it's path and strength. Florence went from a tropical storm to a Category 4 then back down to a tropical storm within a few days. September 10th 2018 was when Florence upgraded to a major hurricane. Aside from power outages and blocked roads, Florence left behind in it's path flooded homes, water damage, overflowing sewers and gutters. 

Hurricane Michael began as a tropical storm as well, in early October. Michael's ascent from tropical storm to a major Category 4 hurricane, took much less time than Florence did. This hurricane has been dubbed as the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the United States in terms of pressure. Hurricane Micahel's wind and storm surge left all within it's wake virtually destroyed. Many homes incurred roof and structural damage. Many more homes were in areas that flood causing a multitude of water damage to their homes. The fear of flooding, stagnant water with the potential to cause airborne and waterborne diseases for residents was a cause for concern also. Many homes were left without electricity, and cut off contact. 

Hurricanes are an unfortunate natural disaster that affects the Southern East Coast year after year. The SERVPRO of West Palm Beach family has their thoughts and positivity with all of those affected by the storms. In times such as these, it takes more than just the professionals to help restore a home or building; it takes a community and every helping hand.