Recent Posts

Saving Belongings After West Palm Beach Fire

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

After a house fire, you'll have to deal with the aftermath and the logistics of living with limited space. What can you salvage after a house fire, and how do you get rid of what remains? Navigating the process of fire damage restoration starts with the understanding and identification of what items are salvageable, what is not and how to restore these contents.

Can Items Be Saved After A House Fire

A house fire leaves much behind in its wake. Some of it is easily salvaged and can be used again, while other items will have to be thrown away due to fire, water, or smoke damage. A house fire can damage or destroy a lot of different things in your home, including furniture, appliances, clothing, books, electronics, and other personal items. It can also damage your home's structure and its foundation, which can make it unsafe to live in. What determines the salvageability of items includes the severity of the fire and the material in which the fire is comprised of.

Determining What Items Are Salvageable

With so many things affected by a fire, it can be hard to know what is salvageable and what isn't. While SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is a fire damage restoration company that practices the restore vs replace method, we understand that not all items can be saved. The best way to determine what items are salvageable is to consider what they are made of and their function, along with the kind of damaged they have sustained.

Items that can be salvaged include:

  • Non-porous hard items like glass, metal, or ceramic are typically strong enough to avoid the secondary damages of soot and smoke. These items are easily cleaned and saved.
  • Washable items like clothing, bedding, towels and furniture with removable covers can also be saved, though the cleaning process for these fire damaged items are more extensive than a simple cleaning by hand.
  • Items like electronics that have the ability to be taken apart or art pieces, can be cleaned by specialty fire damage restoration companies with expert care and precision.
  • Hardwood and various types of flooring that are not heavily filled with soot can also be cleaned and restored if seen fit.

When considering the item’s material, noting the amount of damage is required as well. Just because an item can be cleaned and restored, does not mean it has maintained its value or is able to still provide its proper function as it did pre-damage.

Items that are unlikely to be salvaged include:

  • Any items that have been burnt, like plastic or metal.
  • Any perishable items like food, medicine or cosmetics.
  • Any large pieces of furniture that may not have

During the content restoration process, the damage restoration process in your home may also be taking place. This includes thoroughly cleaning the areas where there is water damage, removing debris from your property, and repairing areas that have been damaged done by an experienced fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach.

A house fire can damage or destroy a lot of different things in your home, including furniture, appliances, clothing, books, electronics, and other personal items. Turning to the experts like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach after a fire will help determine what items you can salvage and ensure that your most valuable and precious contents are restored.

Summer Fire Hazards For Wellington Residents

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

In South Florida's Summer, many of us want to enjoy outdoor activities. Whether golfing or grilling this summer, we want Wellington to prevent fire damage from occurring in their home. Below are a few tips to practice fire safety this summer.

Golf Cart Safety

Golf cart charging batteries pose a huge fire risk for golf clubs, homeowners, and golfing communities. This is due to the hydrogen that emits from the batteries, particularly in older golf cart batteries. Hydrogen is a light gas that can set off an explosion when it meets an open flame or static electricity. This is less common when golf carts are charged outside. However, more and more homeowners are charging their golf carts in an unventilated space such as a home’s garage. To prevent golf carts fires here are some tips:

  • Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is operational – it can also detect hydrogen leaks.
  • Open the garage door if you determine your detector has been triggered.
  • Periodically fill golf cart batteries with distilled water to prevent hydrogen leaks.

Grills

It wouldn’t be summer without at least one cookout. While backyard barbecues are a great way to gather loved ones, they require fire prevention. Never use a grill under an awning or up next to a building structure. Here are some fire preventions grilling tips:

*Only use a grill outdoors.

* Maintain at least ten feet away from your home.

* A safe zone around the grill is three feet. Keep pets and children outside of that zone.

* Open the gas grill before lighting.

*Don’t walk away from the grill zone when they are lit.

* Clean grill after each use. Be sure to place coals from grill in a metal can with a lid once they cool.

Bonfires and Fire Pits

A bonfire or fire pit is just the thing to enjoy outdoor activities like making smores. Have multiple people watching the fire. Unlike fire pits, bonfires do not have a small containment. This makes preparation for a bonfire setting the more important. Backyard bonfires can also lead to forest fires.

  • Clear fire hazards and brush from the area. Trim trees, avoid placing near wooden fences or decks.
  • Use a metal screen to prevent sparks from blowing into nearby areas.
  • Always determine if there is a burn ban in effect by checking the local guidance.
  • If camping, keeping the campfire 25 feet away from tents.

Tiki Torches and Citronella Candles

Within our tropical climate, we are no stranger to mosquitoes and bug bites. While citronella candles and tiki torches are appealing to repel bugs, they are also serious fire hazards. If you choose to use these products this summer follow this guidance.

  • Place candle on non-flammable area such as concrete
  • Double check that the flame is extinguished when finished.
  • Never refill torches if they are still hot.
  • Have an extinguisher near at all times.

Have a fire evacuation plan

It is important for even the safest of residents, to always have a fire evacuation plan. If your home suffers fire damage, smoke damage or soot damage be sure to call a certified specialist from SERVPRO of West Palm Beach.

2022 Hurricane Season Storm Count

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Colorado State University’s tropical weather and climate research team recently announced their forecast for this year’s Atlantic Hurricane season activity.

The hurricane season begins officially on June 1 and lasts until November 20. The CSU forecast announced by the Colorado researchers indicates a storm season with above-normal activity.

Some of the earliest predictions for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season include:

  • 9 Hurricanes
  • 35 Hurricane Days
  • 4 Major Hurricanes
  • 9 Major Hurricane Days
  • 19 Named Storms

A major hurricane ranks as Category 3, 4 or 5, and includes sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. When sharing the energy and impact of the season they noted the “measure of a named storm’s potential for wind and storm surge destruction defined as the sum of the square of a named storm’s maximum wind speed (in 104 knots2) for each 6-hour period of its existence.”

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s data suggests that the average Atlantic season has 14 named storms and seven hurricanes.  The CSU researchers will issue further forecast updates on June 2, July 7 and Aug. 4.

Researchers warn that all residents in coastal communities should prepare for each hurricane season with the same thoroughness. To help our community prepare throughout the Palm Beaches, we have developed a step-by-step hurricane guide. This hurricane guide includes shopping lists, shelter information, check lists and emergency resources. Receive a digital copy of the SERVPRO of West Palm Beach free hurricane preparedness guide, by submitting a request here.

For highly-trained teams to assist with storm damage, you can rely on SERVPRO of West Palm Beach.

Wellington Prepares for 2022 Hurricane Season

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricane season 2022 is almost here. Forecasters at Colorado State University expect this season to include four major hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour (178 km per hour). This raises questions in the Wellington community and surrounding areas about preparation. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach unpacks a list of insurance and other preparation details you’ll need to brush up on before the first storm hits.

Homeowners Insurance

It may be better to have a local agent guide you through customizing your policy. GreatFlorida Insurance in Wellington suggests this because, without local perspective you could buy too much coverage or too little. Allow an agent in the community to help answer your questions and review your policy with them prior to storm season so that you can understand exactly what damage and claims would be covered.

Flood Insurance

According to Brightway Insurance, in Wellington, 25 percent of all Flood insurance claims come from non-flood prone areas in the U.S. Flooding is particularly threatening in the region of Wellington and greater South Florida. Some coverage could be available through The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which is managed by FEMA. However, it is important to assess your risk and consider purchasing excess flood insurance protection from a private, commercial insurance company. Some flood insurance policies can include a 30-day waiting period so it is important to secure this prior to a storm event.

Wind Insurance

It is a market trend in states that experience frequent hurricanes, such as Florida, for homeowners insurance policies to exclude wind damage. Be sure to review your policies and acquire any additional windstorm policy you may need to recover from a high-speed wind’s impact during a hurricane.

Free Hurricane Guide

Hurricane recovery is made a lot easier by proper preparation. Having a plan for your family, home and business allows or more peace of mind. A digital copy of the SERVPRO of West Palm Beach free hurricane preparedness guide is available to you by submitting a request here.

Community Resources

  • Life safety issues: 9-1-1
  • Small Business Administration (SBA): 1-800-359-2227
  • FEMA Tele-registration hot-line: 1-800-462-9029
  • Insurance company and agent’s contact information
  • Village of Wellington Storm Updates
  • SERVPRO of West Palm Beach for your water damage, storm damage and reconstruction services. Call 561-795-5410 for 24/7 emergency services.

Preparing Your West Palm Business For Hurricanes

5/9/2022 (Permalink)

With a vigorous hurricane season ahead, it is important for business leaders to ensure their West Palm Beach business is prepared. Hurricane preparation goes beyond protecting the physical dwelling and belongings within a business. Detailed communications, reinforcements and adjustments are needed to recover from a natural disaster event. Below are some ways to assist your business operation to continue through storm intervention.

Protecting Property

Does your staff and business have the capability to operate remotely from another location? While it may be difficult to rely on a hybrid or remote workforce if there are power outages in the area, consider a plan for conducting tasks and teams remotely if the restoration of the office is delayed. Other tips surrounding the physical office include:

  • Backup any data offsite to protect information including tax, payroll and other valuable information stored for your business.
  • Store electronic equipment in a safe room on elevated areas that could keep the devices safe from flood waters.
  • If operating under more mild storm conditions, like a tropical storm, consider hiring a qualified licensed electrician to perform surge protector installation.
  • Make sure that inventory is accurate for any equipment and technology in the office. This will make insurance claims process simpler should damage occur.

Anticipate Needs of Employees & Customers

Navigating a storm and its aftermath is tough on the entire community. Consider procedures that would support your team through that time.

  • Consistently check in on the health and safety of employees.
  • Delegate tasks and assignments to team members who may be unaffected by storm impact
  • Consider leniency on customer policies surrounding returns, payments, or applications which could be impacted by electricity or internet access.

Create A Disaster Plan for Disasters During Hours of Operation

If employees are on the premises during an emergency, ensure that they have access to a plan to respond.

  • Keep checklists and kits available on site.
  • Review commercial insurance policies with insurance agents.
  • Predetermine a certified, qualified restoration company, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, to be the responder.
  • Share a disaster plan with the team. The Emergency Ready Profile from SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can be used to clearly guide any member of your team through disaster response.

Training Employees To Mitigate Disaster

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

In the case of a fire, flood, or severe structural damage to a property some inhabitants may need to be evacuated. Conduct dry runs of evacuations, testing communication systems, and controls, as practicing reporting emergencies through scenarios can be helpful in training teams in crisis response. A clearly defined emergency plan that is consistently reviewed and rehearsed limits business interruption during an emergency event. Below are a few key areas of emergency management that can benefit your West Palm Beach business.

Crisis Communications

Designate a flow of information within internal staff and contractors as well as externally to clients, customers, and the greater community. Establish a chain of command and clear procedure for reporting incidents within your office or business spaces. Communication platforms that allow for mobile application users can be incredibly convenient. Run drills where they practice leadership tasks and critical thinking skills. Encourage the team (both in management and other departments) to follow local and state weather advisories.

Empowering Employees With Proper Tools

Emergency management training goes beyond mandatory training from meeting OSHA requirements. Each business will naturally follow its own industry’s best practices when it comes to ensuring a safe and efficiently run operation. Simplify the process by having a central plan for the team to reference in case they need to address water damage, fire damage, or storm damage emergency. The Emergency Ready Profile is a customized guide to mitigating disaster in your specific space. The plan instructs your team on vital access and control points on the property, who to contact, and allows them to quickly report the damage.

Authorize them to Call in The Reinforcements

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is prepared for any size disaster at any time. Allow the certified restoration and reconstruction experts to assist your operation in recovering from disaster. For your free West Palm Beach business emergency plan call 561-795-5410.

Preparing for South Florida’s Above Average 2022 Hurricane Season

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is just over a month away and weather and climate researchers are beginning to make projections about the storms ahead. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will announce their official detailed storm tracking in May. While we wait to hear more about the named storm, we know it is important to reflect on what the community can do to properly prepare.

Evacuation Tips

It isn’t overstated just how important evacuation and hurricane prep kits can be. The days and a couple of weeks preceding a major hurricane can create short supply, traffic issues, and general delays. Do you have an evacuation plan in place? If your evacuation plan requires driving, do you have a serviced and reliable car? Do you have a plan for any pets and animals? Plan beyond only having a first aid kit and flashlights, medicine, water, and food. It is helpful to consider the potential aftermath and things you need in a prolonged storm recovery period. Find your evacuation route. For help building a plan, use a digital copy of the SERVPRO of West Palm Beach free hurricane preparedness guide, by submitting a request here.

Review Your Insurance and Acquiring More

While most people have certain protections from storm damage in their homeowners’ policies, protection for your personal and real property can come in many forms. Consider acquiring additional flood insurance to add to your National Flood Insurance Plan coverage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that just one inch of water throughout a home could result in an average of $25,000. While it is important to understand every claim and water damage event will vary in cost and severity. When preparing for a storm, review your policy documents, take inventory of your real and personal property, and discuss your current coverage with an insurance agent.

Reinforcements & Resources

Don’t wait until substantial storm damage occurs to scramble for disaster resources. Locate numbers to local resources such as the Palm Beach County Fire Department, electric and utility teams, and county and state alerts ahead of a storm. Predetermine who can assist with water, fire, or mold damage. Select an IICRC-certified restoration and reconstruction team, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach.

What to Know About SERVPRO

SERVPRO has a national Disaster Recovery Team to address major storm events. Teams are dispatched from all over the country during a large storm event to ensure that our community members are taken care of quickly and efficiently. We have the capacity and labor force to handle any size loss. We help ensure a more streamlined claims process. Remember SERVPRO of West Palm Beach’s 24/7 emergency services when planning this hurricane season.

Effects of Smoke and Soot Damage in Your Palm Beach Home

4/15/2022 (Permalink)

When fire damage occurs in a home, the effects on the property and contents often span further than the visibly damaged area. Unlike certain damage like water or storm damage that can typically be restricted to one recovery zone, fire damage has lingering effects on contents and air in a space. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach provides many fires damage restoration and reconstruction services for your Palm Beach home to recover after the flames are extinguished. Here are some of the ways that smoke, soot, and fire damage can damage your belongings.

On Furniture

Certain furniture is very tolerant of fire damage. Metal and glass furniture pieces can be inherently resistant to fire. These items may require less abrasive cleaning to remove soot and smoke odor from the area. Quick response helps prevent rust. More porous and synthetic materials may require more aggressive measures. The ability to restore different wooden furniture pieces typically depends on the porosity of the furniture and the extent of damage.   

On Upholstery

There is often an urge to vacuum curtains and other upholstery items with attachments. This action can result in soot particles traveling deeper into the items, making fully cleaning them more difficult. Cleaning the soot from the fibers requires special chemicals and processes.

On Air Quality

Smoke particles have the ability to travel farther and wider than the contaminants in other types of damage, such as standing water damage. We use the high-efficiency equipment needed, like HEPA air scrubbers, to eliminate airborne particulates left behind in the air. This addresses the remaining odors as well as improves the overall air quality of a home post-fire.

Relying on a Qualified Restoration Team

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has a team of highly certified and trained specialists who can tackle your contents restoration needs. If you need an inspection of post-fire damage or are seeking soot removal, smoke and odor restoration, or post-fire reconstruction in Palm Beach and the surrounding areas, then call 561-795-5410.

Wellington Insurance Claims Process Made Easy With SERVPRO

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Experiencing water damage, fire damage or storm damage is a stressful time. Coordinating insurance claims and processes typically creates more stress for homeowners and business owners. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach helps you navigate the claims process for a quick and easy experience. Below are some reasons that insurances and policyholders believe we are the #1 choice for restoration and reconstruction in Wellington.

Vetted and Preferred by Most Major Insurance Carriers

SERVPRO partners with several major insurance companies throughout the United States. These agreements establish our team as preferred vendors for these companies’ policyholders. The national agreements in place also ensure that we follow strict guidelines to comply with the quality standards set forth by many insurance companies. Choose the restoration team that is experienced, certified and well-known.

Precise Estimates & Accurate Documentation

We use state-of-the-art software and inspection equipment to properly document any damage to your property. A thorough collection of photos is sent to the insurances. We also provide inventory services for your contents. Allow our team to coordinate the paperwork for simpler process.

Local Connection

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is independently owned and operated. Our operation is managed and maintained by staff of locals who care about our community. We maintain relationships with independent insurance agents throughout the area to better understand how we can serve the Wellington community. Choose a trusted brand with a team of locals who are active in community spaces, such as the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

24/7 Response Team

Our professionals are on call in the event you need an emergency inspection for your home or business. We can dispatch someone to you to assess the damaged areas immediately. We understand that allowing water damage, mold, or fire damage can create secondary damage to your home and belongings. Prevent delayed insurance claims or further damage by calling us for a free inspection.

Our team has the quality, capability to assist you and your insurance claims. You don’t have to handle each step alone.

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is now ICRA Certified

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

Our community hospitals and healthcare facilities provide life-saving care to people each day and night. The SERVPRO of West Palm Beach team is uniquely prepared to handle disaster scenarios in these critical environments. Our professionals have recently acquired Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) training. This specialized certification ensures that our team members will understand and adhere to strict processes during restoration, maintenance, and reconstruction work in Palm Beach County. Our teams will work with healthcare facility operations to prevent and limit the transmission of contaminants. We begin with three important guidelines:

  1. Define the scope, any hazards and level of activity.
  2. Identify the patient risk categories and care areas.
  3. Define the class of precautions.

Limiting business interruption is always a key objective for our commercial restoration services. However, we understand that healthcare locations are more than just a business operation. They are an integral component to a functioning community. As the leading restoration brand in the industry, it is our responsibility to help reduce the risk for Healthcare Associated Infections while performing services. Safety goes beyond equipment and chemicals training. With infection control in mind we emphasize the following:

  • Prioritizing Indoor Air Quality.
  • Compliance with rules; regulations; guidelines and state-of-the-art practices.
  • Working within each facility’s personalized ICRA guidelines.
  • Identifying certain opportunistic fungi and bacteria and routes of exposure.
  • Meticulous standards for our dust-tight work area enclosures, equipment decontamination, and proper personal protective equipment.

SERVPRO of West Palm Beach prioritizes the health and safety of healthcare professionals and patients. Our capabilities and training position us as a preferred choice for restoration in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and assisted living facilities. For references and more information about our ICRA certification, reach out to us today.