Recent Posts

Are Aquarium Floods Covered By My Insurance?

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Aquariums cause water damage to thousands of homes every year. While aquariums are beautiful, they require constant maintenance and pose risk for your furniture, flooring, and even aquatic animals.

How To Prevent Aquarium Tank Leaks

The most common cause of leaks within fish tanks is a weathering or failing seal on the seams that holds the walls together. Due to the nature of aquarium tanks using electrical systems, fire damage also poses threat to your home and aquarium. Proper maintenance of light fixtures are crucial in fire prevention and electrical safety.  

Understand What Specifically Is Covered In Your Home            

When you secure a homeowners policy the description of the contents coverage in that policy. It can be tough to determine what insurances classify aquatic animals as (for example fish or livestock). Though, despite the classification, most policies will not pay to replace if they pass away in an aquarium emergency.

Some insurance policies do not cover aquariums over a certain size. Some only cover the water damage to the dwelling in the case of an aquarium accident. 

Below are some tips that guide you if you choose to purchase any additional aquarium insurance.

 Aquarium Insurance Tips

  • Make sure there is not an aquarium size limit on your Insurance Policy or Rental Agreement.
  • Determine if equipment loss is covered in your policy or if the carrier requires loss to be recovered through manufactures separately.
  • Always get clarification of coverage in writing to refer to later.
  • Whenever you change residences understand that the coverage could change, especially if you are moving across states.
  • When taking inventory of your home contents to determine what investment value you have, also take stock of any risk or potential loss associated.
  • Size of the aquarium could determine whether the damage is covered.

Let A Restoration Company Carefully Handle The Damages

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach will manage your claim directly with insurance agents to streamline the process. Allow a trusted team with expertise and a restore rather than replace mentality handle the process. Call 561-795-5410 today for assistance with your water damage, mold remediation and reconstruction needs.

The Best Chandelier Cleaning For Any Light Fixture

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

We are highly trained and experienced in providing high-end chandelier cleaning.

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach offers chandelier and other specialty furniture cleaning as a part of our contents restoration services. For chandelier cleaning call, 561-795-5410. Chandeliers are often exposed to dirt, dust and other contaminants that are spread by air conditioning systems. These contaminants increase when indoor air quality is poor for any reason.

A chandelier is a unique art installation in a home or business. The craftsmanship of lighting design has transformed spaces for centuries. However, chandelier cleaning can be tricky to accomplish for maintenance. The height of the ceilings they hang from, and their size can make this a dangerous and time-consuming task that is best left to professionals. 

Our team of highly trained cleaning technicians can properly clean any chandelier’s surface. Some chemicals can harm chandeliers and even deteriorate certain coatings, making this a risky DIY project.

Our Steps:

  • Each chandelier we clean is examined and assessed by our experts.
  • We use effective, nontoxic cleaning products with every cleaning service we offer, including our chandelier cleaning.  
  • Each portion of the chandelier is carefully cleaned and polished by hand.

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach understands that these delicate structures need to be handled gently and cleaned in small sections.

We are trusted in many homes throughout Palm Beach Island, West Palm Beach, and Wellington to clean specialty chandeliers. Call 561-795-5410 for detailed cleaning services.

When you choose SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, you are choosing experienced cleaning technicians who are specially trained in cleaning glass. We use expert, industry standard techniques when cleaning and polishing chandeliers.  No streaking, stripping of materials, scratching, or residue is left on the chandelier pieces. Our team can clean both modern designer brand chandeliers and specialty antique pieces.

Whether the chandelier is entirely of crystal and glass, or is heavily covered in silver, brass and bronze, our team will carefully handle every surface they touch. For an immaculate chandelier cleaning from certified professionals, call 561-759-5410.

Our team will provide pricing upon individual assessment and review the exact handling and cleaning of your home’s chandelier. We are highly reviewed and trusted throughout the community to provide quality cleaning services for luxury residential homes.

Learn more about our contents restoration services by reading our “Full-Service Capabilities” blog.

How to Minimize Wellington Business Disruption After a Storm

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

September is peak hurricane season and National Hurricane Preparedness Month. South Florida businesses are no stranger to natural disasters as we are a coastal state. However, many factors can impact how effective disaster planning is for a business. Employee turnover, building renovations or construction, and any changes in the neighborhood could impact the emergency response.

Stop your business from being a statistic

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the majority had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how storm damage can affect your business.

An ERP is an efficient employee training tool

Statistics found in a survey suggest that 50% of employees think their team is unprepared for a crisis. Train all employees using the ERP as a guide in disaster situations. Practice scenarios and even drills when a new employee is onboarded so that they are familiar with the procedures prior to an emergency. The plan is functional, streamlined and the mobile app speeds up response with an in-app damage restoration request.

An ERP adds credibility to any building or property management team

For apartment and condo communities, the ERP is an added peace of mind. Management can reassure residents that a trustworthy emergency plan is in place. The more personal relationship property managers and maintenance engineers have with the community. The more likely the residents will recall and comply with safety measures of a building.

An ERP is easy to create and covers any size loss

As currently seen in the northeast region, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach works with the corporate’s Large Loss Division to manage operations of large commercial disaster projects. Whether your business needs mitigation services due to storm damage, water damage to fire damage, we can make it look "Like it never even happened." The process to create an ERP is quick and requires little effort from a business. Call 561-795-5410 to schedule an ERP visit.

How to Help Hurricane Ida Relief Efforts

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

When hurricane Ida hit several states within a span of a few days. Many communities need essentials and donations to aid those affected by the storm’s impact. South Florida is familiar with the devastation that hurricanes can cause. The SERVPRO of West Palm Beach team responded quickly to the crises by sending a crew to provide services in the New Jersey area.

While many of us want to send aid, it can be tough to narrow down the best way to ensure that Hurricane Ida donations reach the people who need them. We have developed a short list of vetted organizations that are providing relief in the affected areas. Some organizations are larger or have a national presence, while others are smaller, grassroots efforts. Most of these organizations focus on providing food, shelter, water, and medical assistance. They are currently accepting donations to support their missions.

Nationwide Organizations

American Red Cross

The Salvation Army

United Way

  • For a list of various local United Way Centers, click here.

Team Rubicon   

  • A veteran-led disaster response organization that takes donations and volunteers.

World Central Kitchen

  • Providing fresh meals to communities struck by Ida.

Water Resources

Imagine Water Works

Newark Water Coalition 

  • Providing potable water throughout the Newark area.

Brick City Mutual Aid is providing water to those in the Newark area.

Local or Grassroots Efforts

Community Food Bank of New Jersey

  • 31 Evans Terminal Hillside, N.J. 07205
  • 908-355-3663

The Greater New Orleans Foundation

  • The Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF)’s Disaster Response & Restoration Fund supports other community organizations actively providing relief.

Community-Specific

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies

  • Responds to disabled people who have been impacted by natural disasters and connects them to resources on the ground. The hotline has been running throughout Hurricane Ida.

Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana 

  • Non-profit of indigenous tribes in Louisiana has provided regular storm updates for Ida on their Facebook page and set up a Relief and Recovery Fund for local tribe members.

A Guide to Documenting & Reporting Storm Damage

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

damage inventory list A thorough inventory of damaged property can improve the insurance claims process.

While the 2021 storm season has been less active in South Florida than other areas, it has produced a couple of severe weather events such as Category 4 Hurricane Ida. It is important to always prepare for the possible threat of a damaging hurricane because storm intensity and trajectory can change rapidly. When water and storm damage impact your home, it is important to respond quickly with cleanup and restoration. A quick response prevents damage worsening, for example neglected water damage resulting in rampant mold growth.

Here is a short checklist to streamline storm damage assessment of your home and contents:

Photograph and label items one at a time

When taking photos, make sure that the area is well-lit, and the photo is high enough quality to properly show the damaged property. Record serial numbers of damaged property and if possible, track down the receipts for these properties. If it is possible to wait, don’t discard of damaged property until you have documented it and or filed a claim listing it. Take photos of damaged areas and items from multiple angles. Make sure to include both close-up and wide shots.

Assess one room or area at a time

It is a good rule of thumb to start with one area and only move on to another when you have completed documenting the first area. Take notes when sorting through damaged property. Include a description of the item, its age, and both the price at time of purchase and current market price. You may want to use tools such as chalk or wax pencils to mark specific areas of damage such as dented doors.  

Enlist the help of a professionals

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach assists with contents inventory, which comes with photographing, if appropriate, storage of items. We also work directly with insurance companies to provide a streamlined claims process. During the stressful time of storm aftermath, SERVPRO can help manage the questions, insurance paperwork and protect your property from further damage.

Secure your home to prevent further damage

Arrange to have doors, windows and other areas secured against unauthorized entry. This also helps prevent further damage. If you need tarping, board-up, or sandbag services you can call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach.

Storm recovery can be a stressful and painful time for people. South Florida community deserve a well-trained team responding quickly to their storm emergency. No disaster is too large for our franchise because we can access resources from our Disaster Recovery Teams strategically spread across the country. For more information on hurricane preparedness, check out our storm preparedness blog.

What Items Can be Saved After Mold Exposure?

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

It can be difficult to determine what items can be saved after exposure to water damage and mold. As a general guide, items that are porous, made of paper, and are food-based and items that have been fully soaked in water may need to be tossed. Hard contents such as items made of metal plastic or glass can typically be cleaned and restored. Soft content restoration is a process of cleaning belongings that are made up of softer materials e.g., textiles and fabrics. We use a variety of machinery and methods to carefully treat these materials.

We check all fixtures and pieces of furniture for signs of mold damage, The Contents Claims Inventory Service allows for a detailed recount of your belongings and the state they are in after being exposed to mold. Call 561-795-5410 for mold remediation and contents restoration.

Electronics

While some electronics may be suitable for restoration, it is possible that where there is mold damage there is also detrimental water damage. It is dangerous to attempt to operate these electronics to test them out. Have them assessed by a qualified electronics technician.

Clothing, Fabrics, and Textiles

Soft contents are handled carefully due to their porous nature. One machine we us to clean these materials is the Esporta, a powerful cleaning machine that cleans twice as much as traditional dry cleaning with a 90% restoration rate for smoke, soot, mold, or other contaminants. We may use this machine to clean belts, purses, shoes, bedding, stuffed animals, sports equipment and more.

Documents

It can be difficult to restore certain documents after mold damage. If the documents do not have extensive deterioration, they can be restored through five different methods: Air Drying, Dehumidification, Freezer Drying, Vacuum Freeze Drying, and Vacuum Thermal Drying.

Furniture

Some antique furniture may have wooden components. Whether wooden furniture has hard wood or soft wood can determine whether restoration is viable for that furniture piece. The porous nature of some wood types prevents some restoration from happening. If wood has been sealed, it is likely the mold is sitting on the surface. If wood is very porous it is possible the mold has traveled into the roots of the wood structure and needs to be cut or sanding out or discarded. The handling of mold-infested furniture should be left to professionals, as disturbing mold can release mold spores into the air and spread. A trained mold remediation specialist needs to carefully inspect furniture pieces to see if they can be altered and restored or if the integrity and safety of the piece is compromised.

Furniture pieces with upholstery can often have mold removed from their surfaces. Some upholstery can bleed or shrink when wet. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach uses a foam cleaning process to lift and remove mold from these pieces. There are also spray and wipe methods that are matched with proper and safe cleaning chemicals and agents. For more information about our cleaning supplies visit our cleaning services page.

To remove mold from glass objects, mold remediation specialists will typically use an antimicrobial cleanser. It is important to match the cleaning method and cleaning agent to the material (e.g., glass or metal) because certain surfaces could be damaged by improper handling.

To properly complete mold remediation and contents restoration, it may be necessary to use SERVPRO of West Palm Beach’s pack out and storage services. This process can protect items from further damage and allows for a quicker restoration process. To learn more about water damage, mold damage and contents restoration visit our mold-cleanup page.  

Creating a Fire Preparedness Plan For Your Pets

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

Fires are the one of the quickest disasters to strike and spread. Preparation for these emergencies is crucial. We often think about how we will protect the residence and people inside but typically don’t create thorough emergency plans for our pets. Here are some guidelines to consider when planning how to take care of animals during and after a fire emergency.  

Create a plan for someone to assist in the event you aren’t home for an emergency

Neighbors can be great resources especially during emergencies. It is a good idea to identify a neighbor you trust who may be able to help access your pets in case you aren’t home during an emergency. Make sure your home security and safety systems are all operational including smoke detectors and alarms. If you live in a neighborhood or apartment with an association or management team, discuss emergency policy regarding entering the residence during an emergency. Discuss any options for evacuating animals. Consider identification for your pets, including microchips or detailed tags, in case they run loose during an evacuation.

Locate safe places for pets to stay during the cleanup and restoration

Locate a safe place for your pets to stay if you are temporarily displaced and need to stay somewhere that doesn’t allow for or have room for your animals. It is important to consistently keep track of their vaccinations in the case you to suddenly board them.  Call ahead and screen locations to see if they have an emergency veterinarian on staff to help with monitoring their health and behavior. Add a few locations to your emergency contact list if one or two are at full capacity.  

Depending on the timeline of when professionals deem the house inhabitable, you may be able to leave small animals with a pet sitter service.  If family or friends are taking your pets temporarily, let them know feeding times, medication management for the pet, and habits. It is good to understand that pets are sensitive to changing environments and can show signs of stress through behavioral issues.  Soot and smoke damage can leave lasting health effects, so be sure to take advice from trained technicians like those at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Add 561-795-5410 to your emergency contact list so that you have trusted professionals assist with the aftermath of fire damage.

Include a plan for large animals or outdoor farm animals

Barn fires are one of the more common fires that take place on a farm. Be sure that exit plans and disaster kits are in created in case of a fire. Understand fire hazards on your property including any fire line (stretch of limited combustible items) creates a buffer between your barn and wildfires. This can include properly spaced trees and removal of dead vegetation to reduce the chance of wildfire spread. For consistently updated wildfire risk in Florida view the Interactive Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal.  In case of a fire emergency, gauge whether it is safe to enter the livestock or barn areas and begin evacuating with the most accessible animals first. Be sure they are checked by a veterinarian after the fire. Smoke inhalation could cause them damage.

For more information on fire prevention and cleanup visit our Fire Damage Repair and Restoration Page.

How to Monitor Mold in Your Home

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Mold prevention in your home begins with knowing areas prone to mold growth. Mold can be contained and mitigated but often requires expert intervention. Here are a few things to understand about maintaining your home:

Keep humid areas clean and dry in your home  

Curb the amount of mildew build up in your bathroom and under sinks by frequently checking to see if they are dry. Clean the surrounding areas with a powerful cleaning solution like bleach. Be careful not to scrub or wipe the areas clean if mildew is suspected because this can allow it to spread.

Address moisture problems early

While mold is common in a South Florida home, water damage or wet areas typically cause mold to grow into colonies. Fix any leaks (roofs, faucets, sinks) as soon as you find them so that they do not lead to mold damage in the home. Be sure to address ventilation and air quality, by using tools such as a purifier and even testing the air quality. Have air vents inspected by professionals to properly inspect the system. For a mold inspection, consult SERVPRO of West Palm Beach by calling 561-795-5410.

Know that you always can’t detect mold by sight or smell alone

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach partners with labs to make sure the samples are tested properly. I can maintain a quality level of documenting. We monitor atmospheric conditions before, during and after remediation. We complete a pre-test and post-test of mold which counts the level of mold spores and humidity in a space. This thorough reporting provides insurance companies with the information they need to process a claim quickly and accurately. Proper testing also informs the technicians on how and where to move forward with remediation. Our clients, the policyholders, can trust the SERVPRO team to with vetted and qualified vendors to accomplish what at home-testing kits cannot.

Maintaining the cleanliness and air quality may be something you do on your own but remember that dangerous mold can hide behind walls and surfaces. If you have any mold concerns, call our Certified Mold Remediation crew to help make sure your home is safe from mold. For more information on our advanced mold remediation techniques and equipment visit our Mold Remediation and Restoration webpage.

Can You Take Care of Mold and Water Damage on Your Own?

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

free mold and water dmaage assessment Meters detect what is going on behind visible water and mold damage. Schedule a free mold or water assessment by calling 561-795-5410.

When water damage is present in a home, it can quickly result in mold damage. If the moisture and mold are minimally visible, it could be tempting to try and treat the issue at home yourself. Before you decide on DIY methods of water and mold cleanup, it is important to weigh the risks.

While water leaks and damage may not seem extensive, there is typically more going on than what the eye can see. If you only treat the damage that is visible, you could be missing mold or water in walls, flooring, or foundation of the home. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach technicians detect the source of the water and can measure a home’s moisture levels using infrared cameras, hygrometers, and other meters. This close detection is difficult for the average homeowner to do on their own without the proper tools. Do you need an assessment of water and mold damage? Call 561-795-5410 for an assessment.

Water damage from heavy rains, leaks or other water emergencies can lead to mold or mildew, which is the early stage of mold. Traditional home cleaning will not remove all the moisture or mold spores present in the air. Mold remediation is a careful process that requires determining the type of mold prior to properly treating it. Trained technicians use Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards to safely remediate mold and prevent further damage. Special filtration equipment captures mold spores while air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums stops the spread of mold spores.

After water damage has led to mold, there is sometimes a need odor removal service. Musty and unpleasant odors are typical of moisture issue and poor cleaning. Our technicians are trained to use technology that will remove odors leftover from water damage and mold or mildew. SERVPRO equipment is effective on several types of surfaces, allowing for a thorough cleaning and salvaging of belongings.

You can breathe a lot easier knowing that trained technicians are testing your home’s air quality constantly and scanning the area thoroughly. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach will conclude a final inspection to maximize the safety of your home.  Check out the Advanced Technology and Techniques page for more information on the specialized technology used to tackle mold and water damage?  

2021 Storm Season Forecast and Planning for West Palm

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

free storm guide west palm beach storm forecast south florida Plan ahead with our free hurricane guide.

Storm season is in full swing as we move into August. While South Florida has not seen many storms or hurricanes yet in the 2021 season, it is safe to review your storm preparedness plan. According to the National Hurricane Center, no storm or tropical cyclone activity is expected in the Atlantic in the next five days. Track tropical cyclones and other weather information from the Miami center on their website.

The best time to refine your disaster response is when storm activity is minimal. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has developed an extensive and free 2021 Hurricane Preparedness Guide to help our community stay safe. If you would like a copy of our guide, you can submit a request here. Due to our national storm resources, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is faster to any size disaster. Add 561-468-5950 to your emergency contact list in case you experience storm damage.

It is important to stay informed about weather events across the Atlantic that could affect the surrounding area. The activity of La Nina and El Nino (ocean/atmospheric patterns) can strongly affect the development of storms. According to the Climate Prediction Center, when there is a La Nina “watch,” we can expect the Atlantic hurricanes to be more active.

Mid-season preparation to-do list

  1. If you haven’t done so yet, set up Wireless Emergency Alerts from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial public alerting authorities. This ensures that any urgent warnings and extreme weather information will be sent to your mobile device.
  2. Plan your evacuation by knowing your designated Palm Beach County evacuation zone. Find your zone and route by using the Palm Beach County Hurricane Evacuation Zone Look-up Tool and Hurricane Evacuation Zone Map.
  3. Review and replenish any hurricane supplies or build a new kit. Check the expiration date on any food and over the counter medicines and take inventory of water. Create an emergency plan for your pets and build a kit for them as well.
  4. Review your insurance policies to check for any hurricane coverage. Hurricane coverage could come from a combination of flood insurance, homeowners insurance and hurricane-specific policies. Understand how you will cover any potential storm damage repairs.

For more information on post-hurricane response services visit our storm damage cleanup and restoration page. For local emergency management information, visit Palm Beach County's Public Safety website.