Archived Blog Posts
2021 Storm Season Forecast and Planning for West Palm
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Can Belongings Be Restored After House Fires?
After a fire is extinguished and the occupants are safety, quickly assessing damage is important. There are two types of damage that restoration technicians document when arriving on site. One is structural loss, which is damage to the walls, flooring, roofing, or foundation of the home. The other is contents loss, which is damage to personal items inside of the home such as furniture, artwork, appliances, and electronics.
The SERVPRO of West Palm Beach approach is to restore rather than replace because we understand the original item holds a unique value. If you have recently experienced a fire, call our SERVPRO office at 567-795-5410.
When arriving at the scene of a home or business after a fire, the SERVPRO technicians begin by completing a Contents Claim Inventory. This service provides a detailed and accurate list of all belongings. This inventory includes photos and an accurate report that can make the insurance claims process quicker.
While some personal property insurance coverage can include replacement for the contents of a home, they typically include cost limitations. The payment for replacing contents can be capped and potentially may not cover the entirety of the home’s damages. These policies tend to also include a storage coverage limitation if belongings need to be moved and stored while home restoration is underway. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach offers pack out and storage services that protect items and allow for a quicker reconstruction process.
You can save money and sentimental belongings with the contents restoration services our team offers. Our methods protect belongings from being further damaged. Electronics can be restored through a careful process of qualified electronics technicians removing smoke residues. Document drying can be achieved through air drying, dehumidification, freezer drying, and vacuum freeze or thermal drying.
A few of the methods we use to clean contents include:
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that cannot withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet-cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
For more information on fire services and to find fire damage tips, visit the fire damage section of our website.
Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
When water damage affects your home, quick action is needed to mitigate the issues. Repairs can become tricky when determining whether to put in a claim with an insurance company. It is important to periodically review your insurance policies to understand what coverage you have and what maintenance is expected of the insurance company.
Typically, the determining factor in insurance paying for a water damage claim is whether the damage occurred accidentally. Damage that develops over time is seen by most insurance companies as negligence by the resident. Negligence is failure to act in a reasonable way in a circumstance that leads to damage. If the insurance company gathers evidence to show that the water damage did occur and worsen over a certain period, it can deny claim coverage.
Other factors that could deter insurance companies from covering water damage claims:
- If the water came from an external or outside source (such as ground water that travels through a building or foundation walls)
- If the water is from storm damage such as: flood water damage, runoff surface water, or spray from flooded areas. This specific water damage source would be covered under a flood insurance policy that is separate from a homeowners insurance policy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains a specific definition of flood water.
- If the water came from sewer or drain backups.
- Poor maintenance of property.
- If water damage is from a leaking roof. If the leak is new, then the insurance company may cover the cost of internal structural damage. Typically roof damage is not covered in homeowners policies so it is important to verify the specific verbiage in your policy.
Quick and sudden water damage usually indicates an accident has occurred. These types of accidents include plumbing problems, vandalism, accidental overflow from appliances (sometimes), and water damage from the extinguishing of a fire.
Mold damage is a common issue in South Florida due to the humidity and rainy seasons. Mold can sometimes be included in a homeowners policy but it is circumstantial. Homeowners will usually have to prove that accidental water damage led to mold growth in the home. Seek guidance from insurance agents on how to prevent mold in your home. Take precautions by monitoring and maintaining mold hotspots in your West Palm Beach home such as bathrooms. For more information on mold damage and mold remediation, visit the SERVPRO of West Palm Beach information webpage on mold.
Water damage can occur at any time. Asses the risks to your home and community in case you decide you would like to add on certain clauses or extra coverage to your insurance policies. In the event of a water emergency, call the SERVPRO of West Palm Beach experts at 561-795-5410 to respond with emergency services.
Fourth of July Fire Safety
Independence Day is approaching and while gatherings are becoming a part of normal activity again, safety should be a part of everyone’s holiday plans. One of the most pressing safety concerns for the holiday is fire safety.
Fireworks are not only a fire hazard to homes and buildings, but they also can cause serious injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission of America, fireworks were involved with approximately 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2019. Fire and smoke damage threatens your home and belonging as well as your general health.
A safe way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a show where professionals can control the environment. On Sunday evening the City of West Palm Beach will host their annual fireworks show, 4th on Flagler, which will also be broadcasted live. If you do choose to create your own fireworks experience at home, it is important to take safety precautions and have an emergency plan.
Setting off fireworks at home
- Set up the launch site on a driveway or paved area at least 25 feet away from homes and flammable materials (dry brush or dry grass).
- Always have water on hand.
- Wear safety glasses when lighting off fireworks.
- Be aware of wind conditions. Rearrange shooting site if wind shifts, to prevent material blowing toward spectators or homes.
- Make sure any fire extinguishers you have are up to date and review instructions on how to operate them.
- Keep people and pets away from the launch site.
- Do not light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
- Douse the used fireworks in a bucket of water before discarding them.
- Review list of emergency contact numbers:
- Never light sparklers inside.
- Hold lit sparklers at arm’s length.
- Drop spent sparklers in water as they can remain hot long after they burn out.
- Do not run with, throw or hand a lit sparkler to someone.
- Only grill outside. Position the grill in an open area away from the house and anything else that could catch fire.
- Don’t put starter fluid on charcoal coals that are already lit.
- Never leave a grill unattended.
Create a disaster response plan in case of fire, smoke, and odor damage
After a fire is extinguished emergency service is needed to address the fire damage left behind. The SERVPRO of West Palm Beach team of certified technicians respond to emergencies with care and quality service. Our 24 hour service provides a quick response at any time of day or night. We offer inspection and fire damage assessments, upholstery and fabric cleaning, fire and smoke restoration, odor and soot removal and repairs. We help restore the condition of your home and its contents, which will also restore your peace of mind.
Call 561-795-5410 to find out more about fire, smoke, or soot damage and to learn more about our 24 hour emergency service.
House Fire Prevention Tips
Fire events of any size can lead to long-lasting damage and loss. It is important to have a fire prevention plan that includes a fire response team and fire restoration service to help with the aftermath of a fire. A proper house fire emergency plan should include the following:
- Routine smoke detector tests
- Exit plans and rehearsal of an evacuation
- Determine a meeting place outside of the home
- Operational all-purpose extinguisher (labeled “ABC”)
- Make digital copies of important documents
- A plan to teach children in the household how to check doors for heat (using the back of their hand) and to travel low to the ground to avoid smoke while traveling to one of the exits
Fire damage threatens people, the structure of a home, and the belongings inside of the home, otherwise known as a home’s contents. Be sure to have clarity on any insurance policies you have and any fire protections they may have. Fire water damage from a water source that extinguished a fire (such as a sprinkler system or high-powered hose) could lead to extensive mold issues. Water cleanup services will be needed to protect walls and flooring.
There are different types of smoke that can linger after a fire such as wet smoke, fuel smoke, dry smoke, and protein smoke. It may be tempting to try to clean up the visible residue that these types of smoke leave behind, but it could lead to more damage if not done by a trained specialist. Smoke damage can have soot seep into porous areas. Our SERVPRO of West Palm Beach technicians provide thorough fire cleanup and fire restoration services that carefully remove odor, soot, and smoke.
When it is time to conduct fire damage repair and rebuilding, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can make your home comfortable. With the help of subcontractors such as locally-owned Service Resource, we transform a fire damaged West Palm Beach home into a comfortable space again.
For more information on fire safety visit FEMA’s fire prevention information and review our page on fire damage.
Preventing Water Disasters in Commercial Buildings
Commercial buildings serve many purposes from office buildings and retail spaces to residences and hotels. Regardless of the building use, these large spaces have interconnected systems that make water damage potentially dangerous and widespread. Prevention is crucial to maintain the integrity of the business and safety of the people inside. Here are some guidelines for preventing water disasters in a commercial building.
Reexamine the Roof Often
The roof is the barrier between the rain and storms. Protect the most vulnerable part of your building by keeping on top of roof repairs. While repairs can become expensive, the investment in the short-term helps prevent the high cost of water damage restoration for an entire building later. Commercial roofs often include HVAC equipment and other building equipment, which if damaged, could lead to cascading effect to floors below. Water intrusion is particularly threatening during heavy rains and storm season.
- Check rooftop penetrations and HVAC systems regularly.
- Look for any water stain marks, which could be a sign of roof issues.
- Inspect roof drains monthly.
- Be sure the drain outlets are free of debris.
Be Maintenance-Minded and Inspect the Property Regularly
It is important to diagnose and repair issues within a building efficiently and consistently. Water is pervasive and persistent. Building operations should include a complete routine checkup of all systems that are vulnerable to water damage and other emergencies. Catching issues early on will also minimize the cost needed to fix problems.
A maintenance plan should include inspection of:
- Plumbing, drains, mitigation
- Wall Systems
- Heating and cooling systems
- Sewer issues
Be Prepared to Respond Quickly to Water Damage Events
While proper planning can help prevent water damage, some water events such as storm damage, are unavoidable. Know the process for filing claims with your insurance agency in the case of unpreventable water emergencies.
Choose a certified, qualified cleanup and restoration company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. have 24/7 response team that is available to respond to water damage, mold remediation, storm damage and restoration needs.
Maintain a rehearsed emergency response plan, like those developed for free by SERVPRO of West Palm Beach specialists in the Emergency Response Profile (ERP). It includes: a profile document that contains only critical information needed in the event of emergency, facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
Water issues can lead to extensive damage and mold infestations later. Prepare with routine maintenance, repairs, listening to concerns of tenants, and developing a thorough disaster preparedness plan. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach today at 561-795-5410 for assistance and visit our blog for more tips.
Storm Season Preparation for Hotels and Resorts
Hotels are often viewed as a sanctuary during a storm crisis. To keep operations running efficient when a hurricane hits the West Palm Beach area, proper planning is required.
Seek Guidance from Insurance Providers.
Understand the specifics of your coverage and seek guidance via checklists or other information your provider can offer you. Insurance companies have a shared interest of minimizing any storm damage, fire damage, water damage, or need for restoration.
Develop a Plan. Communicate it to Employees and Visitors.
The best way to ensure customer trust and employee cooperation is to begin preparation before an immediate threat of a storm arises. It is helpful to review hotel policies for any modifications that may better serve the comfort of guests (pet or cancellation polices) or the safety of the staff (hours of operation, and evacuation plans). Inform guests of the policy changes and procedures upon booking their stay. Mutual aid agreements with other businesses or hotels outside of the evacuation zone could provide a stable backup plan.
Let the Professionals Build A Preparedness Plan.
SERVPRO West Palm Beach offers water damage restoration for commercial businesses. We develop an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to streamline the process of emergency response. Our Emergency Ready Profile is a resource to help guide you through disaster and prevent the situation from escalating and a path toward restoration. An ERP can include:
- A complete profile document that contains only critical information needed in the event of emergency.
- Establishes SERVPRO West Palm Beach as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
- The user-friendly SERVPRO Ready Plan app, which is a mobile application that provides quick, portable access to your plan that was prepared by the SERVPRO West Palm beach team.
- Through this app you can submit water damage claims at the touch of a button and the SERVPRO West Palm Beach team can quickly process and respond to the request.
The ERP is not only beneficial for hotel/ resort managers and SERVPRO West Palm Beach. If other vendors need to come to the property to assist with repairs, they will have access to this thorough guide including shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Refresh Your List of Community Resources.
Keep a close watch on all alerts issued by authorities. Plan as if a hurricane path near the hotel perimeter will hit and treat “watch” statuses to “warning.” This helps the hotel and resort teams to feel calm and prepared if a situation worsens.
For national storm updates, follow the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
For Local Evacuation Zone Tools Visit Palm Beach County’s web page for Hurricane Preparedness Information in Palm Beach County
To learn more about fire/water damage, and water damage restoration visit our blog
To learn what to do if you are experiencing a water damage emergency, read our tips for emergency water damage.
24/7 Emergency Water Damage Services
Are you experiencing a water emergency? We are here to help you, no matter the time of day or night!
Don’t wait for the damage to spread throughout the home. We are faster to any size disaster. If water is present in your home call our team immediately! The long-term effects water damage could be worse than the event itself.
Call SERVPRO West Palm Beach at 561-795-5410 for immediate, local 24/7 response for your water damage emergency.
Do not hesitate or wait until morning. With SERVPRO of West Palm Beach we are available any time of day, helping you get ahead of the water damage before it gets worse.
Call us immediately if you are experiencing:
- A burst pipe
- Overflowing toilet, sink, or tub
- A water heater or dishwasher malfunction
- Sewage backup
- Or any other commercial or residential water damage emergency!
Call Us Now At – 561-765-5410
And our experienced team will be on our way to you.
REMEMBER, You Need IMMEDIATE Attention - to Your Water Damage Emergency
- Our water damage response team is available to you around the clock and will respond quickly anywhere in Palm Beach County.
- Our highly trained employees are IICRC-certified and provide prompt, professional service.
- Our experienced team uses state-of-the-art equipment to handle ANY water damage situation.
- As soon as we arrive, our team will immediately begin the water damage restoration process.
- The long-term effects of water damage can be worse than the event itself.
Call Us Now – Operators Are Standing By
You can always expect our team to:
- Work quickly and efficiently, ensuring your home does not suffer from any prolonged or secondary water damage
- Walk you through every step of the process and what to expect
- Work and communicate with your insurance company
- Be highly professional, understanding, and trustworthy
If you have a water emergency, give us a call no matter the time or day! We are available 24/7 to help anyone in the Palm Beach County area.
Can Residents Expect a Hurricane in West Palm Beach During the 2021 Storm Season?
Don't rely on chances - be prepared!
Last year West Palm Beach and Florida in general were spared from any major hurricane making landfall, during a year that not only brought a pandemic but one of the most active hurricane seasons we have seen.
Florida’s hurricane season in 2021 may not bring such luck. Conditions in both the Atlantic and Pacific, warm subtropical waters and the absence of El Nino, along with the a shift in the Bermuda/Azores air patterns, are all calling in favor for a major storm to hit the East Coast hard.
Many scientists, hurricane forecasters and local officials are concerned that Floridian residents may not properly prepare for this season, leaving them especially vulnerable to hurricane damage to their homes and businesses.
2020 Hurricane Season Recap
Though there were no major hurricanes in West Palm Beach that made landfall, Florida did have a few brushes with storms in 2020. In September, Hurricane Sally made landfall in Alabama, rains and winds severely impacted the Florida Panhandle, causing hurricane damage from 121 mph wind gusts and storm surge flooding. It took until November 8th , the last month of the hurricane season, for Hurricane Eta to be the first major storm to make landfall in Florida, mostly affecting the Florida keys.
What to Expect in 2021
As of April this year, experts are calling for an above-average season.
- 17 named storms
- 8 Hurricanes
- 4 major hurricanes
This season is definitely a lot less active than compared to 2020, which had 30 storms, though that does not rule out the 45% chance of a major storm making landfall in Florida and causing major hurricane damage. For this reason, experts and local officials are warning residents and business owners not to give in to a false sense of security and prepare now.
What to Remember
Peak season is not until July and the accuracy of how many storms we will actually get is not known until then. However, extra caution for this year should be taken especially after West Palm Beach residents have not only had to endure a pandemic but also being deemed the 14th place for one of the wettest and warmest years on record.
With rainy season starting May 15th, it is vital to begin preparations now for both your family and property:
- Create a disaster kit with enough non-perishable food, water, hygienic other safety items that will last for at least 3 days for your entire household.
- Start securing your property for potential hurricane damage. This includes checking for leaks during heavy rains or potential flood areas and begin mitigation.
- Have an evacuation plan in the case it is ever needed. Know what shelters are in your area.
- Create a list of important contacts that will prove useful before, during and after a hurricane in West Palm Beach. These contacts may include your utility vendors, insurance agent, local emergency departments, contractors like plumbers or damage restoration providers, neighbors, family , and friends.
After so many changes in 2020 to for West Palm Beach residents and business owners, 2021 is not the year to go unprepared for hurricane season. Make a hurricane preparedness plan today!
Have You Cleaned Your HVAC Recently?
What Is HVAC Cleaning?
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC cleaning is important when it comes to ensuring your system is working efficiently and safely for you and your office. When it comes to cleaning your HVAC system, most people are referring to air duct cleaning. The air ducts are passageways that transport cooled and heated air throughout your office and require regular maintenance. According to the National Airduct Cleaners Association (NADCA) it is recommended that air duct cleaning happen every 3 to 5 years.
Why Air Duct Cleaning Is Necessary
Did you know that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) states that indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air? Impurities such as mold and other pollutants can build up over time in your air ducts and as a result will circulate throughout your office potentially putting your clients and employees in harms-way.
As we all know, mold loves to grow in dark damp environments, and your HVAC system provides the perfect setting for these spores to flourish. If you ever see physical mold, smell a must in the air, you might need a cleaning performed on your duct work.
With all the construction that is going on in downtown West Palm Beach and throughout Palm Beach County, even new construction air duct cleanings should be performed. This will rid your ducts of the drywall dust and other construction debris that can accumulate during the construction process.
Air Duct Cleaning Can Save You Money
Have you ever walked into an office and for some reason the air conditioning is blowing noticeably colder and more forcefully in one room in comparison to another room in the office? This is an additional sign that you might need a duct cleaning. Dust and debris build up over time can affect the efficiency of your HVAC system over time, not only resulting in the system overworking but also costing you more money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about 25 to 40% of the energy used for heating or cooling is wasted. A professional cleaning can not only allow your ducts to circulate cleaner and safer air but it will save you money on your energy bill.
Storm Season Insurance Guide
Hurricane Season is from June 1st to November 30th, and we can’t stress enough how important it is to be prepared; for preparation is the best defense against disasters. As a restoration company we tend to stress heavily on physical preparation, such as checking your home for leaks, cracks, mold, or any hazards that can allow additional damage to occur should a storm hit. However another major preparation factor that NEEDS to be addressed is property insurance.
There are thousands of insurance policies out there, each with varying degrees of coverage and you’d be surprised at how few homeowners truly know their coverage. If you haven’t already, contact your local insurance agent and schedule a time to sit down and go over all of your coverage details- don’t wait till after you have a loss to check your insurance. When speaking with your agent, here are a few topics you should be sure to discuss and understand prior to storm season.
Understanding Your Deductible:
With property insurance there tend to be two different deductibles when it comes to storms. One is Hurricane deductible and the other is windstorm deductible. Insurers in every costal state include separate deductibles for hurricanes and/or windstorms in their homeowner’s policies.
A hurricane deductible is applied only to hurricanes, whereas a windstorm deductible applies to any type of wind. When speaking with your agent, be sure to understand how these deductibles affect your pay out, for it might be advisable to set aside additional funds incase you need to rebuild your home.
What Disasters Insurance Covers:
Its important to be knowledgeable of what disasters your insurance policy covers. Most standard homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for hurricanes, wind, theft, fire, explosions, lightning strikes, and many other disasters. However, all policies also list exclusions, with one of the more common exclusions being flooding. While many people might not feel flooding insurance is necessary, what they don’t know is that 90% of natural disasters (especially hurricanes) include some form of flooding. Living in Florida, flood insurance is a must.
Are Your Possessions Covered:
When analyzing your coverage, its important to make sure that your possessions are well insured. Your policy not only protects your home but all of your belongings, so be sure that your policy provides protection against loss or damage due to a hurricane. In order to ensure you have efficient coverage, we recommend that you determine the value of your possessions with a home inventory, so you know how much coverage you actually need.
Additional Living Expenses:
If a storm is to leave your home uninhabitable, its important to make sure that your policy provides enough coverage for additional living expenses such as hotel and food expenses.
Damage Mitigation Responsibilities:
Lastly but most importantly, if disaster is to strike your property you are responsible for taking necessary steps to prevent further damages. For example. should a hurricane cause roof damage or window damage allowing water to get into your home, you are responsible to do all you can to mitigate your losses. By performing such steps not only are the homeowners experiencing less of a loss, but it also reduces the expense that would be payable under the claim for insurance. If this step is not taken and you abandon your property after the storm and the damage grows worse due to your neglect, then you may find your claim denied by insurance which can result in a hefty out of pocket fee.
Prepare Your Waterfront Home For Storm Season
When you think of South Florida, many people imagine beautiful beaches, waterfront properties and sun year-round. Sounds like paradise, right? The Covid-19 pandemic, as we have seen, has resulted in a mass migration of residents from all over the U.S. to relocate to South Florida, with many investing in beautiful waterfront properties. While there are many benefits to living in South Florida, there are still some drawbacks that may be overlooked, such as hurricane season and what preparation looks like for those who own land with waterfront or ocean access.
For long time Floridians, preparation for hurricane season has become second nature. For those who are new to the South Florida area, here are a few tips and tricks to getting your home prepared for the 2021 season, because here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach we believe that the best defense against severe storms is to be prepared for the worst.
Docks and Seawalls
- Inspect your docks for damage and handle any necessary repairs ahead of time. Doing this can save you from potential higher property repair costs should a large storm hit your location.
- Sea wall inspection is pertinent, as it may be the best line of defense against storm surge.
- Secure everything, such as ropes, chairs, flags or any other item that can easily come loose or get tossed around in hurricane winds. Not only will this save your property from further damage, but it can save you from the potential financial responsibility of repairing your neighbors property.
- Turn off the power and water to your dock. Although this may not be mandatory, it is highly advised and can save you from experiencing a high-water bill should a pipe burst or a fire as a result of an electrical short.
Boat Storage Options
- Land Storage: Storing your boat ashore on higher ground is the most recommended method during a hurricane. Be sure to tie your boat down by attaching straps with minimal to no stretch to eyes set in concrete or helical anchors.
- Water Storage: if you have to store your boat on the water during a hurricane, there are several things to keep in mind. Seek out tall pilings, as shorter pilings aren’t very forgiving during a storm surge. Also try to store your boat on a floating dock, which allows the boats to rise and fall with the water level without stretching or stressing lines.
- Boat Lifts: NEVER keep your boat on a boat lift during a hurricane. A storm surge could easily wipe out the entire dock and take your boat with it, resulting in costly damage to your boat as well as your property.
- Windows: Unless your home has been upgraded with Hurricane windows, hurricane shutters are the best option.
- Doors: Be sure to check that the weather stripping and thresholds of your doors are in good condition. If your home is in a low-lying area, sandbagging around the entrances can help prevent interior flooding and water damage to you home.
- Property: Be sure to place important documents, photos, and other irreplaceable property in a safe waterproof location.
In the event that you do experience any type of storm damage or flooding at your waterfront property, be sure to reach out to the experts here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. We have the knowledge, experience and trust of the community to handle all your mitigation and restoration needs. We promise we’ll make it look “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO- Faster to Any Sized Disaster
What should be expected when you contact us?
When contacting SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, you should expect our 24-hour availability! Any time of the day on any given day, even holidays, we are here and ready to take your call. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is one of the top choices for many insurance agencies, for they trust in our service standards, quality of work and reliability.
Here is what you can expect during the first several hours after contacting SERVPRO of West Palm Beach:
Faster to Any Size Disaster - In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.
Arrive Time - Our technicians can be on-site to begin the restoration process within four hours. This fast response can make the difference if your home or commercial business has suffered a great deal of damage. Beginning the process more quickly will result in less damage overall which can end up costing the insurance agency less money.
Inspection/Verbal Briefing - Once the damage restoration specialists have arrived, they can inspect the home to determine the extent of the damage and decide on the best course of action moving forward. Our team is here for you and your best interests. We will let you know on site if this job is worth putting in a claim in order to spare you from increased insurance premiums. They will provide a verbal briefing so that you are aware of what will happen next. Our team's quick 24-hour response will allow us to begin mitigation as soon as possible to prevent any further damage before we begin work on necessary repairs.
At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we are proud to serve our community with the people’s best interest in mind. Day or night- we are here for you when you need us.
Why You Should Choose SERVPRO
SERVPRO is ONE TEAM
Whenever and wherever a disaster may be, SERVPRO will be there. With over 1,700 SERVPRO’s nation-wide, we are quickly able to rally troops together creating an unstoppable force that is here to help.
Why Choose SERVPRO for Storm Damage Restoration?
All 1,700 SERVPRO’s are strategically placed throughout the U.S. so that when disaster strikes, we can most efficiently and effectively come to alleviate those affected.
Take Winter Storm Uri for example. When the south-central region of the United States experienced below-freezing temperatures, residential and commercial properties experienced burst pipes followed by severe levels of water damage. The moment there was a cry for help, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach began stocking up our trucks with air movers, dehumidifiers, moisture meters and driving cross-country with one goal in mind- to help those who need us most!
Within days thousands of hands were on deck working together as one cohesive unit to help mitigate the water damage that had occurred. The wonderful thing about choosing SERVPRO of West Palm Beach as your trusted restoration and reconstruction company, is that you not only work with a highly trusted name, but you gain access to all 1,700 franchises nation-wide who are willing to travel wherever they are needed when the time comes to take care of your mold, water, fire or storm damage.
Another beautiful thing about working with SERVPRO is that each franchise lives by the same service standards. We all are locally owned and operated, provide 24-hour emergency services, are highly trained and IICRC certified, have access to the most advanced technology in the restoration industry, and we are all familiar and experienced when it comes to insurance requirements.
Whether you experience hurricane storm damage in West Palm Beach, or a wildfire out in California, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is here to help and so are our neighboring SERVPRO franchises.
How SERVPRO can help you prepare with an ERP
If water or fire damage were to strike your business today, are you prepared for tomorrow? Do you have a plan? According to researchers, as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster. Pre-Planning can be vital to your business’s survival, and also serves to provide you and your employees peace of mind, knowing that you are ready for whatever is to happen. How do you prepare though?
SERVPRO offers commercial and small business owners an Emergency Ready Profile application which works to prevent situations from escalating. The SERVPRO ERP works on the premise that the more you know what to do and what to expect before disaster does strike, the more you will be prepared to minimize the damages that storm, water, and fire can cause.
The ERP includes the following:
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
Everything included in the ERP app is designed to help YOU and your business when faced with disaster. Through having all the pertinent information available at your fingertips and sharing it with your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, when damage occurs, we are able to immediately show up on site and begin mitigating the issue for you. As we all know, when dealing with water and fire damage- time is ALWAYS of the essence!
By having a plan, you will also minimize business interruption. Knowing key points of contacts allow us to help get your business or office back up and running safely and quickly! Contact your local SERVPRO today to get set up with your very on Emergency Ready Profile. Plan today for what may come tomorrow.
How to Begin Safely Returning to the Workplace
It has exactly a year since the United States and most of the world has endured the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, there has been a lot of things that have changed like the fact that experts have a better understanding of the virus or that many states have since reopened following months of quarantine. The most important change has obviously been the vaccine and its accessibility. Each day in 2021 brings increased numbers of vaccinated adults throughout Florida and the rest of the United States.
With the pool of newly vaccinated adults growing, restrictions, or lack thereof, is a topic now on many American’s minds. Returning to the workplace and whether that will be before the end of 2021 is amongst these questions as well. While the answer to this is not simple nor truly known at this time, it is important for employers and business owners to consider the timeline and safety measures they will put into place.
While the CDC has released guidelines on what are low-risk activities for fully vaccinated people, the list does not currently consider every possible pre-COVID scenario at this time; this includes working in office amongst other employees, who may or may not be vaccinated. For employers and business owners, noting this is important as it means great emphasis should still be placed on routine cleaning and sanitizing of office buildings and businesses.
If returning to office during the pandemic becomes a reality, additional measures should still be enforced, regardless of the vaccine.
- Practice and encourage proper personal hygiene
- Employees should be washing their hands often
- Make hand sanitizer accessible throughout the office
- Encourage the use of masks around coworkers and patrons
- Encourage social distancing as well
- Routinely clean and sanitize the workplace environment
- Disinfect hotspot or high-touch areas daily
- Encourage employees to disinfect their personal workstations
- Hire an experience company, like SERVPRO, to provide sanitizing and disinfecting services with EPA registered cleaning solutions
Globally, we have been considering the health and safety of ourselves and we one another for the last year. Now more than ever, it is important to continue to abide by the guidelines the CDC has placed for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people and do our best to stay safe and healthy!
Is Your Business Ready for 2021 Storm Season?
With storm season almost here, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is announcing our Emergency Ready Profile for all business owners, building owners, property managers and others to get prepared.
An Emergency Ready Profile is a tool, available via mobile app, that creates an immediate plan of action for quicker response time and minimal business interruption in the event of an emergency. Our team walks through your facility, detailing critical information that is needed in an emergency including: priority areas, priority contacts, access points, vendors and more. This information is then stored in your ERP, along with photos and other written details.
The ERP has helped many businesses in the past, who have suffered from damage during the hurricane season, to quickly reopen their doors. Not only does the ERP establish a relationship with your local SERVPRO, it helps us to quickly begin work and contact other needed vendors.
Emergency Ready Plan Advantages:
- No cost plan created for you entirely by the SERVPRO team.
- There is no need to allocate any additional funds for this tool nor appoint any employee to complete. Our team is here to make things as easy as possible, leaving one less stress for you during storm season.
- Identifies line of command for work authorization.
- Once someone from your business has notified your local SERVPRO of damage, we know exactly who to call for work authorization. This quick response ability can save both time and money during the restoration process.
- The ERP mobile app is easy to use and accessible.
- Water, mold, or storm damage can happen at any time. This may mean documents or files related to contingency plans that your business has may not be readily available to you after hours. Having the ERP mobile app on your phone makes it easy to get all the necessary information you need in an emergency.
Storm season is quickly approaching and preparing your business in any way possible is vital. During the 2020 storm season, Hurricane Isaias for example, left many business owners to reexamine how quickly storm paths can change and how deeply their businesses can be affected any moment by a hurricane. Have an emergency ready plan in place and stay prepared!
Stella Art Conservation: SERVPRO of West Palm Beach's Trusted Art Conservators
Meet the Stella Sisters of Stella Art Conservation
Barbara Stella, the artist, and founder of Stella Art Conservation, is a talented, highly trained, and passionate conservator who thoroughly enjoys bringing art back to life the way the original creator had intended.
Barbara Stella is not only immensely talented, but she is brilliantly trained and educated in the art of conservation. She attended the Institute of Fine Arts and Restoration, Palazzo Spinelli in Florence, Italy where she received her degree in fine arts conservation. When it comes to conserving art, understanding the history of the art is invaluable. Her knowledge of how to properly treat and restore a variety of materials and mediums, is one of the many reasons Barbara is so highly sought out.
Being in the industry for over 30 years now, Barbara has treated the works of prestigious artists such as Rembrandt, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro’, Salvador Dali, Kenneth Noland, Fernando Botero, Rene’ Magritte and many others. Despite Barbara’s years of success, she continues to maintain a student mentality through staying current with new and innovative techniques within the industry.
Sandra Stella is the Executive Manager of Stella Art Conservation and works to ensure that each and every client receives the highest level of care, and that their business remains active in the community.
Sandra brings to the company a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to business development and forming lasting relationships with the community. Graduating with a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, UK, Sandra moved to Burkina Faso in West Africa where she spent 10 years working for the Italian and British Government. Here she worked with ambassadors, government ministers, and policymakers, to improve the quality of life for may women and children.
Since Sandra moved to South Florida, she has been an active member of the community, serving on the board of directors for various organizations.
Together, Barbara and Sandra successfully bring Barbara’s passions to the forefront of the Art Conservation Industry.
Here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we are proud to partner up with Stella Art Conservation as being our go-to art conservation specialists. Here in South Florida, we experience an excessively humid climate. As a result, homeowners and companies commonly experience mold at their properties. Mold spores are all around us, but with the proper climate and organic materials mold can spread and get out of control relatively quickly. In many instances we have seen beautiful works of art experience damage due to water and mold. With Barbara’s knowledge and skill, we have been able to save our clients from incurring an unimaginable loss, as many of these pieces cannot be replaced. Whether modern, contemporary or anything in between, if your art is in need of conservation, Stella Art Conservation will ensure that your piece is well cared for and will continue to live on for generations to come.
Post Construction Cleaning Capabilities
New construction is ALWAYS an exciting time! Once the job is finally finished, there is nothing better than stepping into your brand-new office for the first time, but before anyone can step into their new space and bask in all its glory there are a lot of clean up steps that need to take place after the construction is finished.
In the city of West Palm Beach, we have seen increased commercial construction projects to compensate for the number of businesses migrating from the north east to sunny south Florida! Additionally, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County has also offered incentives for businesses to expand and relocate to Palm Beach County in order to create increased employment opportunities. Companies such as Elliott Management (a prominent New York investment firm), Citadel and Moelis & Co are the latest to say they will open offices in Florida. On the building side we have new workspace construction underway for the 360 Rosemary offices located at Rosemary Square in the heart of Downtown West Palm. Needless to say, many companies are eager to get up and running in their new spaces and SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is eager to get their new office looking move in ready!
Once the last nail has been hammered in and the dust has settled (and we mean ALL the dust) it is time to put on our gloves and masks and get to work! Our staff here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach will take care of everything!
Post construction cleanings can include:
- Cleaning off scuff marks from walls.
- Sweeping/mopping floors to remove settled dust.
- Wiping down all countertops, baseboards, and cabinets.
- HVAC dust cleaning.
- Cleaning and polishing restroom fixtures.
- Removing of left behind lumber, drywall, and garbage for both the interior and exterior.
- Cleaning up left behind screws and nails.
- Cleaning windows and light fixtures so that visibility is at its most optimal.
By hiring SERVPRO of West Palm Beach for your post construction cleaning, not only do you avoid the serious headache of having to meticulously clean every little nook and cranny of dirt and dust, but you can save yourself the risk of getting injured on the job. Left over debris can pose serious safety concerns if you decide to clean up on your own, especially if you are under equipped with the proper safety equipment. We highly recommend you leave the cleanup to the experts. We’ll get it done efficiently and safely, so that you can do what you do best!
Disaster Management Tips and Tricks for Your Business
According to a report from FEMA, 50% of businesses do not reopen following a disaster. Having a disaster preparedness guide is one of the easiest ways to help ensure your business survives and recovers. Follow these tips below in order to give you and your business the best chances of surviving a disaster.
- Prevention: The best way to avoid a disaster is to do everything you can to prevent one from happening. Accidents happen, but by routinely performing safety and system checks within your business you decrease your chances of experiencing a disaster. Ensure equipment such as fire sprinklers and fire alarms are working properly and ensure that office cords aren’t frayed or worn.
- Evacuation plan: As stated above, accidents happen. But when they do, how will you respond? Will you freeze up and panic not knowing what to do, or will you establish and follow a plan to ensure your safety and help minimize damages to your business? Know your evacuation routes and establish a meeting place to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in your office, as well as the procedures needed to take to minimize additional property damages and ensure help is on its way.
- Emergency contacts: In addition to having emergency personnel and disaster relief agencies contact information, you should include information for customers, suppliers, and distributors. Be sure to keep an extra copy off site in the event that the office copy is not accessible. Here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we offer the ERP (Emergency Ready Program) where we will organize and compile all of the necessary shut off valves to consider during a disaster as well as the proper contacts to speak with immediately following.
- Emergency kit: Depending on how much time you have to react to the disaster your experiencing, creating an emergency kit can come in handy. Be sure to include items such as first aid supplies, flashlights, and universal tool kits to help keep you safe no matter what the scenario.
- Protect important business records: These days, most of our important documents can be stored electronically up in the cloud. However, if your business carries hard copies of important business records, be sure to keep them in a secure safe that is tested and approved by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) as being resistant to fire, heat, burglary, tools and torches.
- Create backup copies of critical data and programs: Keep the back-up copies in a location separate from your primary facility. In the event of a flood or fire, you will be happy to have your irreplaceable data destroyed.
- Understand your insurance coverage: Be sure to review and understand your insurance policy with your local agent to make dure you know what your responsibilities are in a disaster and what your covered for. There are a variety of different insurance policies with different deductibles and amounts of coverage, so in order to save yourself additional stress, find a policy that will cover what is most important to you.
- Call the professionals: Immediately following a disaster, call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. The sooner we can evaluate and repair the damages the sooner you can get your business back up and running!
Fire Damage: How To Save Your Contents
The damage that is left after a property fire can be physically and mentally irreversible. Seeing your hard work and dedication burst up in flames within minutes is something you would not even wish upon your worst enemy. Unfortunately accidents happen, and we are forced to rebuild our life from the ground up. Depending on how quickly first responders can arrive on the scene, sometimes damages can be minimized, and valuables and personal belongings can be salvaged. Whether its a large or small loss, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has the knowledge and the innovative technology required to revive your smoke and soot covered items, hopefully leaving you feeling a little less devastated.
As you may or may not know, even the smallest of fires can quickly cause immense amounts of smoke which can cause a lot of damage to your belongings. Smoke has the ability to act like an acid, eating away at different materials if left untreated for too long, so it is recommended that you seek professional help as soon as possible to assess the damages and create a custom plan to ensure your come is returned to preloss condition.
At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we know how to determine what can be salvaged and what will need to be replaced. Smoke can affect various materials in various ways. One of the worst ways that smoke can cause damage is by sneaking into small cracks and crevices, not only affecting your items, but also leaving behind a lingering smoky scent. Electronic contents contain many tiny cracks and crevices that easily allow smoke to penetrate, ultimately resulting in the item malfunctioning if left untreated for too long. The process of cleaning out items such as a computer tower or television can get expensive as many restoration companies contract out such a job. At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we have the Morantz and Esporta systems right in our own backyard allowing us not only to save you the headache of replacing your valuable items but also saving you money.
- Returns hard contents to preloss condition in seconds.
- Uses sound waves to create cavitation or microscopic bubbles which collapse millions of times within seconds, creating a tremendous vacuum energy.
- Can clean electronics, appliances, equipment, hardware, and fine dishware or figurines.
- Cleans twice as much as traditional dry cleaning with a 90% restoration rate.
- Uses hydraulic cleaning action which is both a more efficient and safer clean.
- Can clean leather, shoes, purses, belts, decorative textiles, beaded or sequined items, sports equipment, and PPE gear.
With disasters such as fire, it is always a race against time when determining if your belongings can be salvaged. The sooner you act, the fewer the damages that will incur. If you ever experience a tragedy such as a property fire, be sure to call the experts right away. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we will have your property restored looking "Like it never even happened."
The History of Storm Tracking
After a long and hectic 2020 hurricane season, it is evident that technology and our advanced methods used for tracking and watching storms help to keep us informed, allowing us to make decisions ensuring our safety and preparedness prior to landfall. If we look back to the late 1800’s before such instrumentation and methods were established, thousands of people would be left injured or killed because storms would arrive with little to no warning. Fortunately, we no longer live in the 1800’s but in order to truly appreciate where we are today, we must understand where we started.
The History of Hurricane Forecasting
In 1873, the first hurricane warning service was established in Cuba by a man named Father Benito Vines. He created a network of observation sites, allowing him to develop the first method to forecast tropical cyclone movement based off cloud patterns that would progress prior to hurricanes. While there were still flaws in his methods, he established a foundation that would only grow stronger.
A few years later after the hurricane of 1875, the U.S. created a warning flag system which entailed a pair of red flags with black rectangles in the center to be hoisted up in areas where hurricane warnings were in effect.
Fast forward to 1905, we begin implementing the use of radio from ships. This initiative provided significantly more information about the storm to those tracking the hurricanes. In 1909 the first report from a hurricane was received over radio and by 1935 we had received around 21,000 reports a year and it did not stop there. As the amount of data received continued to grow, so did our methods of acquiring it. In 1935 we sent out our first manned aircraft to gather data on hurricanes. This initial aircraft reconnaissance never penetrated the storm, however in 1943 Colonel Joseph Duckworth flew a single-engine plane into a category 1 storm after a bet. Since then, military weather reconnaissance plane missions became routine in order to gather meteorological data. These missions, along with the technological advances brought about post WWII with radar, provided us with a modern forecasting system and allowed us to forecast and issue hurricane advisories one day into the future.
The nest big technological advancement was in 1960 when NASA launched its TRIOS satellite, transmitting both visible light and infrared photographs. These images revealed the presence of tropical cyclones throughout the ocean, greatly improving forecasters’ situational awareness. After satellite surveillance grew to be a regular method of storm discovery, hurricane hunter aircrafts only flew into storm areas which were spotted first by satellite imagery.
Over the next few decades, technological methods and innovations were in constant battle, propelling our methods to where we are today. In 2020, the National Hurricane Center tracks the intensity, size and structure of tropical cyclones, storm surges, rainfall and tornadoes associated with tropical cyclones, using Satellites, reconnaissance aircrafts, ships, buoys, radar, and other land-based platforms. Through these advancements we can detect and track from the moment the storm forms to the moment it makes landfall, supplying ample information far in advance to allow for proper preparations to be made, ensuring our safety and well-being.
Piping Problems That Can Lead to Water Damage
- Piping problems are a common cause of water damage.
- Knowing the material and age of piping in your home can aid in avoiding any damage.
- Based on material of piping, some insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage.
Did you know that water damage is the second most common type of insurance claim? There are many causes that can lead to water damage in your home or office, but the most common cause is due to piping problems.
With that being said, are you aware of how old your plumbing system is? In most situations the phrase “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” is true but it should never be applied to your pipes and plumbing. Knowing how old your pipes are and what material they are constructed of is vital information and can save you from needing to dealing with costly damage repairs down the line, because ignoring faulty or outdated plumbing pipe systems is an accident waiting to happen.
Living in South Florida the two primary materials used for plumbing systems are cast iron or PVC. While these two materials are not the ONLY plumbing options, they do tend to be the most used.
Cast Iron pipes are said to be able to last up to 100 years in some locations. Many of the Florida homes that were built before 1975 contained plumbing systems made of cast iron because it was a material known for its long-life span, durability and ability to withstand heavy loads and high pressures. However, in south Florida, many systems have been found to fail in as few as 25 years due to Florida’s humidity levels and salt-rich soil. Piping failure has become so common in cast iron systems, that many residents are finding that their insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage due to corroded plumbing.
PVC on the other hand, tends to be a common option due to its cost efficiency, but is just as prone to damages. PVC when constructed is held together by glued joints, when installed properly can be incredibly strong, however there is a small margin for error and when not installed properly can lead to major water damages in your home or office.
Other damages that piping can experience leading to or causing issues are tree roots and clogs. Tree roots naturally grow towards water, so if you have a pipe that is experiencing even the smallest of leaks, there is risk that the roots can find the line further damaging your pipes. Clogging in piping can also lead to water damage in your building if not dealt with properly. Unlike supply lines that can withstand continuous internal water pressure, drain pipes and joints are made to move water that is flowing under much less pressure. As clogs develop, water backs up inside the pipe and result in leaks or worst case, a burst pipe.
Home and building owners should make it a habit to inspect all of their pipes and plumbing fixtures at least annually. Doing so can prevent costly water damage and a headache down the road.
The Dangers of Floodwaters
When you think of storm damage, the first thing that may come to mind is flooding. Unfortunately, sunny South Florida is no stranger to the effects of such natural disasters. Between rising water levels and increased storm activity, flooding has become more and more common. Not only do floodwaters have the ability to cause property damage, but they also possess the potential to seriously harm us. Below are just a few of the dangers following floodwaters can present and how to be better prepared to protect yourself and the ones we love.
We have all seen or maybe even experienced flooded streets where cars suddenly transform into boats, attempting to navigate such weary waters. If you are experiencing flooding in the street, you should think before you drive. Driving through flooded roads may damage a vehicle’s engine, warp the brake rotors, cause loss of power steering and short circuit electrical components. Even if the floodwater does not rise above your bumper, it is possible for water to be sucked into a vehicles engine resulting in serious damage.
Another danger floodwaters present are the presence of contaminants that can affect your health. Often, floodwaters are a result of sewage systems backing up, giving water nowhere to drain. While most view floodwaters as merely an excessive amount of rain, that rainwater may be mixing with sewage water containing feces, old food and other decomposing matter that, if ingested, can result in serious health effects.
Injuries and Infection
As was just mentioned above, flood waters may contain contaminants from sewage systems. Exposure of open wounds or rashes to floodwaters can lead to infection. According to the CDC, you should always try to avoid exposure to floodwater if you have open wounds. Should you be experiencing flooding, you can decrease your chances of infection by keeping your wound clean and covered with a waterproof bandage. Also, be sure to disinfect any objects or toys that children might encounter if they have been exposed to floodwaters.
Not only can flood waters carry contaminants from sewage, but they can pick up chemical contaminants from areas that have experienced a leak or spill of dangerous chemicals. Exposure to these chemicals can cause serious bodily harm, so be sure to wear protective waterproof gear to decrease your chances of exposure to floodwaters contaminants.
Last but certainly not least, a serious concern floodwater can present is the risk of electrocution. After a hurricane or tropical storm, electrical hazards, such as broken power lines or flooded electrical outlets inside your home, can cause serious injuries or fatalities if exposed. If you are experiencing a flood in your home, be sure to shut off electrical power and natural gas or propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosion.
After a storm, we often see on the news people kayaking, swimming, or floating in floodwaters. While the temptation may certainly be there, it is important to always remember the dangers that flooding can present and avoid floodwater if possible.
Content Restoration & Our Full-Service Capabilities
All of our hard and soft content cleaning is done completely in-house, separating us from many other restoration companies.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is trained and experienced in providing full-service restoration services from pack out, inventorying, cleaning, and restoring. Content restoration can help salvage many of your belongings, preventing the need and cost of replacement. These services are equally important to restoration and reconstruction of the actual structure; the internal contents of a home or business are used every single day.
We customize each content restoration process to meet the needs of our clients. This may mean utilizing one of our highly specialized third-party pack out vendors or art conservators. We have the ability to use our own warehouse facilities to store extremely delicate or valuable items. We also have the cleaning equipment needed in our warehouses, allowing all content restoration to be completely in-house. The ability to complete both soft or hard content cleaning in-house can be extremely cost-effective for our customers and their insurance companies.
Hard Content Restoration
When it comes to contents, there are different categories and methods of cleaning. Hard contents can be considered equipment, electronics, dishes, figurines, light fixtures, and more. All of these items can be affected by mold, dirt, soot and other contaminants that can cause damage. To combat any damage, salvage, and restore these items we utilize the Morantz Ultrasonic Cleaning System. Ultrasonic cleaners allow hard contents to be safely restored to preloss condition in seconds. The secret behind this technology are the microscopic bubbles that penetrate all of the items crevices to lift away dirt, mold, or soot. This process leaves the item cleaned while maintaining its integrity and functions. This means that televisions, laptops, or equipment can be cleaned using this system and still fully function as they did prior to any damage.
Soft Content Restoration
Textiles and garments that have come in contact with soot or mold may need deeper cleaning than just traditional dry cleaning. Our ESPORTA machine is a powerful cleaning system that cleans soft contents twice as much as dry cleaning with a 90% restoration rate. Using hydraulic pressure and proprietary detergent, the ESPORTA safely and effectively provides a deep down clean to combat mold, soot, smoke, and other contaminants from items like leather, shoes, purses, decorative textiles, PPE gear and more.
Additional Content Restoration Services
While our crew typically provides pack out, inventory, and storage, we also partner with third-party vendors who offer specialty restoration services. Stella Art Conservation is specialized in museum quality art conservation and restoration of paintings, sculptures, artifacts and other artworks. They are located in Palm Beach but are known internationally for their expert and quality work.
Rather than dealing with multiple vendors, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can handle the entire content restoration process, providing a central point of contact, elevated customer satisfaction, and decreased claim costs.
2020 Storm Season Recap
We can all agree that 2020 was a year for the history books. Not only did we experience a global pandemic bringing much uncertainty into everyone’s lives, 2020 also brought us the most active storm season since 1850. Prior to the start, Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, believed we would see between 19 to 25 named storms this season. This daunting prediction more than doubled the 1981-2010 historical averages and would later be surpassed.
Between May 16th and November 30th there were a record-breaking 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall in the U.S. With the increased number of storms, the National Hurricane Center had to dive deeper into the Greek alphabet for names than ever before.
Of the 30 named storms we saw:
- 13 hurricanes (6 major)
- 15 tropical storms
- 2 were subtropical storms
Why Were Predictions and Numbers so High?
Two reasons for experiencing an extremely active hurricane season in 2020 was due to El Niño climate conditions and the record high ocean temperatures in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. When the two are combined, they create an environment suitable for storms to form, which led to the increased number of reported storms. Scientists also believe that the change in climate are aiding in our hurricanes increased strength and damage.
In the U.S., 6 of the 12 storms to hit were hurricanes which resulted in severe flooding and water damage, leaving many homes and businesses devastated. Overall storm damage, according to the CDP, are expected to exceed $41 billion.
While many storms remained in the Gulf this year, fortunately avoiding Florida, hurricane Eta (the 28th storm of the season) found a way to make landfall twice, resulting in more than $1 billion in storm damages.
When it comes to hurricane season and experiencing such devastating storm and water damages, the experts at SERVPRO recommend taking immediate action. Through acting fast you will not only minimize immediate damages to your home or business, but you will also help minimize chances of experiencing secondary storm damage long after the storm has passed.
The Dangers of DIY Water Damage Clean-up
Did you know that around 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work every day? Not only is this statistic shocking, but so are the potential dangers water can pose to your home, business and health. When dealing with water damage, for the health and safety of your property as well as yourself, you should always call a professional restoration company to diagnose the situation as water damage is treated very differently based on its classification.
As you may or may not know, water has three classifications: Clean, Grey and Black. When experiencing a leak or flood, knowing water damage classification is paramount before treating the situation as there are certain safety precautions you need to take when dealing with each classification. If not dealt with properly, you could actually cause more harm than help.
When a damage restoration company comes in to assess, they are required to follow guidelines that were created by the IICRC in order to provide the safest methods of restoring your home or business while ensuring the wellbeing of everyone involved.
Not only knowing and understanding how to treat the different classifications is important but being able to treat them in a fast and efficient manner is vital. Water damage that is not fully cleaned and dried in a timely manner can allow for an environment ideal for the growth of mold and potentially other contaminants.
Of the three classifications, clean water is the safest classification of water to clean up. However, depending on the severity of the situation, clean water can very quickly turn into grey or black water which can put your home and health at risk. Grey water (the second classification) and black water (the third and worst classification) both contain a significant amount of contaminants that can potentially cause discomfort or illness to those who come into contact with it.
Our professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can not only diagnose the category of water damage you are experiencing, but they have the knowledge and equipment to deal with each category safely and efficiently, mitigating additional risks that can come from improperly dealing with contaminants. For example, different flooring materials require different clean up procedures. Drying out and cleaning up a leak or flood on carpet require different steps than tile or hard wood flooring. When dealing with carpet and cushion padding water that makes its way underneath is quickly and easily absorbed. If the water classification is clean, then steps can be taken to dry and potentially salvage the carpet. But, due to carpets ability to hide dirt, food spills and other items, a clean water leak or flood can quickly turn into a grey or black classification due to its exposure to contaminants, leaving you with a job you aren’t prepared for.
So, no matter how large or small the water damages may appear, always call a professional to accurately assess the situation and safely restore your space. At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach we’ll make it look “Like it never even happened.”
3 Steps to Take After A House Fire in West Palm Beach
After a fire, big or small, taking the proper next steps is crucial to the fire damage restoration process.
Experiencing a disaster in your home, regardless of the nature of the event, can be a confusing and stressful time. Feeling like this is not uncommon and is a sentiment shared by many who have endured any damage to their West Palm Beach homes, especially after a house fire.
Once the initial shock has subsided and your family is safe, begin taking the necessary steps to get your home back to preloss condition and start the recovery process.
1. Call Your Homeowners Insurance
Calling your homeowners insurance company to initiate your claim, Is one of the first calls you should make once you are able to. Immediately contacting your insurance will begin the event documentation and will help guide your next steps as well. Your insurance agent should be well-versed in dealing with fire damage claims and can walk you through the process of what is to come.
2. Make Additional Necessary Calls
In the midst of many calls to family and friends to let them know of your safety, phoning other important contacts and persons may be forgotten. Be sure to also contact the following:
Call any companies that currently provide a service to your home (water, gas, electric, cable, etc.) and inform them of the recent house fire. This will be necessary to temporarily stop service and avoid being charged for utilities you are not using.
Call your employer to advise them of your situation and that you may be unavailable for a period of time while dealing with your home’s fire damage. This also applies to any schools your children are attending. If necessary, let the school know that they may be absent for some time until things are settled.
3. Call A Fire Damage Restoration Company
The fire restoration process cannot begin until a company, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, is contacted. Your insurance agent may recommend a restoration company, though if they have not, give us a call. We are trusted vendors for many national and local insurances, meaning you can expect quality and professional fire restoration services. Once on site, our crew will begin assessing all of the damage done by the fire, providing documentation and an estimate to both your insurance company and you.
Starting the recovery process after fire damage can be difficult but is not impossible. If you do not have a plan, be sure to turn to the experts SERVPRO of West Palm Beach.
Do's and Dont's of Water Damage
Water damage can be the cause of many issues throughout your home, whether affecting floors, walls, or damaging personal items. It would make sense that once a homeowner experiences a flood or leak, the initial thought may be to immediately begin taking care of the issue. While limiting the amount of damage and items affected in the home is the ultimate goal, it truly does take a professional damage restoration company to manage such a situation. Lack of understanding of the water damage restoration process, water categories, or needed equipment may simply exacerbate any damage that has already occurred. After any emergency damage, there are a number of tips of what to do or what not to do.
Upon the first sign of water damage, DO:
- Turn off water, if possible.
- Identify source, if possible.
- Remove and secure any dry sensitive, high-value items.
- Call a damage restoration company.
- Call your insurance company.
While waiting for assistance, DON’T:
- Try drying the water up yourself. Water comes in three different categories based on its source. Wiping up a category 2 or 3 with your personal towels may not be ideal.
- Try vacuuming up any water, even with a wet vacuum.
- Use any appliances or electrical outlets until it has been deemed safe to do so. Based on the size of the leak or flood, unless a professional assesses the entire house, there is no knowing where water has touched and where it has not.
- Open any windows or turn on a fan to dry things out. With tons of moisture present, the chances of mold growing are high; fans and open windows may kick up spores.
- Use or touch any items that have been contaminated by the water. Again, based on the category of water, touching wet items may not a good idea health-wise.
- Walk around in the wet areas. Aside from a potential safety hazard, this may spread more damage than intended.
- Turn the HVAC system on or off as adjusting air temperatures may extend damage.
Professional water damage restoration companies exist for a reason. They have the training, skills, equipment, and experience to handle any damage done by water, mold, or fire. They know what to look for, how to classify the damage and determine the extent of loss.
A restoration company’s job is to mitigate as much damage as possible, while protecting the home and the customer’s safety and health.
What to Expect From Water Damage Restoration With SERVPRO of West Palm Beach
When your home is suffering water damage, getting a restoration company out to your home quickly is imperative to preventing any additional loss to the structure or contents. However, knowing which company to call that is trusted, reliable and professional can be overwhelming. We know how important it is to have a reputable company in your home and want our customers to know what they can always expect from us.
Credible & Certified
Our production crew, production managers and even owners, are IICRC certified in Microbial Remediation, Odor Control, Water Damage, Fire and Smoke Damage and more. Being IICRC certified ensures that we have the knowledge to provide damage restoration services and adhere to the right guidelines. Our Operations Manager, is also a Certified Building Contractor; we have the guidance and experience from a licensed CBC during any reconstruction, whether residential or commercial.
SERVPRO has an extremely positive reputation nationwide and each location is expected to add to that reputability. As leaders in the restoration industry, we hold ourselves to high standards to be faster to any size disaster, well-trained, and trusted.
We have had the chance to provide damage restoration to many homes and businesses that have each required unique approaches and solutions. This means we have experienced multiple floors of a condo flooding, houses on Palm Beach Island suffering from mold, or even hotels that have caught fire affecting multiple rooms. Each job has not only built trust as a local restoration company amongst homeowners and businesses, but has also provided us with the experience needed to get the job done right, every time. We understand what each emergency disasters calls for, what is right for the customer, and what will mitigate any more loss.
National and Local Preferred Vendor
SERVPRO has the privilege of being a preferred vendor for many national and local insurances, allowing us to build strong relationships with agents, adjusters, and other contractors. We are the #1 choice for many commercial customers as well. These connections enable us to further provide personalized experiences each home or business requires.
When in need of a damage restoration company for your home’s emergency water damage, you can rely on SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. We have the reputation, training, and the experience.
How Much Damage Can a Small Leak Cause in Your Home?
Water leaks are a pretty common occurrence, stemming from pipes or appliances that are either old, broken, or improperly installed. Typically small water leaks are manageable upon first notice and not really cause for concern. Yet, on occasion, leaks do go unnoticed and can cause some heavy water damage to the area around it.
Know the Signs
Indicators that a leak is present aside from pooling or consistently wet surfaces can be:
- Damp, humid air – this is especially common when plumbing is under a cabinet or enclosed area.
- Water Stains- look for discoloration that grows or worsens over time.
- Mold or Mildew – seeing signs of fungi growth near water sources should be concerning.
- Foul Odors
- Increased Water Bill
- Strange Plumbing Noises
Understand the Potential Damage
Ignoring signs of a leak or failure to properly fix the leak can cause more costly damage than just a high water bill.
- Damaged Flooring – water damage to different types of flooring may cause weak warped or stained floors.
- Mold Damage – mold needs only as little as 24 hours, moisture, and a food source to grow. Typically many of the materials found around your home by water sources, especially drywall, are perfect for mold to colonize.
- Stained or Saggy Ceilings – if the leak is on a second floor, the ceiling of the first floor is likely to be damaged over time.
- Damaged Walls – whether walls are saturated with water or affected by mold, either type of damage can compromise the structural integrity of drywall and other materials.
Leaks can be a mere nuisance, quickly fixed, if they are detected with time. However, if allowed to go on unnoticed, even slow, small leaks can cause major problems. We often see customers who have warped floors from water damage coming from a dishwasher or refrigerator that was not addressed. We have also seen many customers dealing with serious mold issues under their kitchen or bathroom sinks because they did not realize they had a leak. Knowing the signs and being proactive can be a huge aid in mitigating damage caused by a leak in your home.
Design & Construction Changes That Help Protect Against Flooding
Hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding from each may not be likely to slow down in the coming years. Take the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season for example; the season was expected to have 16 storms and it far surpassed that. Like the most recent storm, Tropical Storm Eta, much of the 2020 season has brought about a significant amount of property damage. This is not surprising as just in 2018, 24% of all property loss insurance claims were attributed to water damage.
Flooding, the biggest water damage risk, is only becoming an even more prominent problem. In the past two decades, there has been more than sixty-five billion dollars worth of flood damage worldwide. The challenge many cities face, especially in South Florida, is the challenge of living near beaches, rivers, and lakes. These bodies of water can quickly flood neighboring homes and buildings during a particularly heavy bout of rain. There are also many areas that are flood zones due to the lack of proper infrastructure (think the ease in which Miami streets flood during storms). With potentially many more active storm seasons ahead of us and the risk of flooding only growing, is there a solution to avoiding water damage to homes and buildings?
1. Amphibious foundations, a brain child of Professor Elizabeth English, is one potential way of combatting the damage of flooding. English and her students created foundations that respond to floods, moving the home with the rising and lowering of water levels. While this concept has not been considered a widespread solution, many countries are beginning to implement the idea.
2. Flood-proofing, an adopted but not complete solution, are measures taken to prevent the damage floods cause. When building a home or other structure, they may be designed to be elevated, built as waterproof, or even built with additional features that will allow some water in but allows only minimal damage.
3. Changes in land use and development are also critical in combatting flooding. Many developers are either building new areas or retrofitting established neighborhoods in ways that can alleviate the amount of water that is allowed during a storm. This might be through creating wetlands that will collect additional water and slow flooding into neighborhoods. Some developers are even embracing flooding and rising sea levels by including elevated landscapes or retrofitting vulnerable areas.
While there is no single sure-fire solution, adapting the design and construction of new structures with anticipation of flooding, especially in South Florida, may prevent the increasing water damage claims and the amount of damage residents face.
Why SERVPRO is the #1 Choice for Commercial Restoration
When it comes to commercial restoration in West Palm Beach, we are experts and well known throughout Palm Beach County for the solutions we offer to our commercial clients. Our biggest advantage has been the range of commercial clients in which we have provided emergency damage restoration services. In fact our experience from over 750 projects along with the myriad of solutions we offer, has helped multiple businesses in varying industries in our area including:
- Property Managers
- Government and Education Facilities
- Warehouses and Distribution Centers
- Business Parks & Corporate Buildings
- Hotels, Convention Centers & Entertainment Venues
- Retail & Restaurant Space
The above list is a mere glimpse into who we have worked with but does not limit us to who we can work with in the future. Each project has provided us an insight into the needs of each industry, ensuring we properly respond no matter the service that is needed. These services have ranged from fires, water damage, mold remediation, storm response or biohazard cleanup.
Our commercial clients trust us to provide white-glove, quality experiences bringing efficiency to any job so that they may return back to business as soon as they can. As our past clients also know, we will work to create a business plan that minimizes business disruption in the case of an emergency disaster. Aside from our experience, what sets SERVPRO of West Palm Beach apart from other commercial restoration companies?
1. Restore Vs. Replace Mentality
Our priority is to always reduce the amount of damage a commercial space has endured. Rather than considering the entire job a loss, we enlist our expertise to properly determine what is salvageable and what will need restoration.
2. Large Loss & Disaster Response Team
Though we are a local franchise, our enterprise capabilities and resources positions our team to handle any size disaster efficiently.
3. Trusted National & Local Vendors
SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for multiple national commercial clients including insurance companies, retail spaces, management properties, hospitality groups and more.
4. Reconstruction Capabilities
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has the licensure, experience, and resources to provide reconstruction services for any commercial or residential site.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach consistently meets high performance guidelines for all of our commercial clients, providing seamless communication and timely mitigation.
What to Know About Water Damage and Buying a New Home
If you are in the process of buying a new house, congratulations! New home ownership can be extremely exciting. However, water damage is a prominent issue that many homes deal with. Before finalizing any payment or paperwork, alway be sure to have an inspection scheduled. An inspection for the following can you save your home and your wallet.
If the house had previous owners:
1. Ask if any damage has occurred to the home and where.
This includes whether there has been any water, mold, storm, sewer, or fire damage.
2. Ask the extent of the damage and what was done to restore and mitigate future damage.
This question will save you a lot of money down the road.
3. Ask/Inspect for any other problem areas or structural integrity.
This should include looking for leaks, doors or windows not properly sealed, plumbing issues etc. These issues can lead to future emergency disasters.
If the house is brand new:
1. Check for any defects in the construction.
This is especially important around doors and windows to ensure they are properly sealed and will not allow any moisture in
2. Look at your roof and gutters.
Make sure these areas are able to properly shed water away off the roof and away from the home.
3. Look for potential flooding areas around the home.
Be aware of areas around your home, either part of the home’s construction or your actual land, that may flood during heavy storms.
Buying a home with damage can be off-putting and a hinderance. With water damage so prominent and often leading to mold, hiring a professional inspector is the best route. With A professional home inspection will always provide an accurate report of any past water damage and its extent or potential areas that may cause future water damage.
Are Your Employees Prepared for an Emergency to Happen to Your Business?
As a business owner in West Palm Beach, having set plans in place in case of an emergency, a hurricane, and now COVID-19, is essential to keeping the doors open and continuity of business. As a business owner, you may also have the entirety of these plans memorized or in a convenient location in the case it is needed, but do all of your employees know exactly what to do in the case of an emergency?
While you can plan for an emergency, you can never plan when the emergency will occur. This means that you may not always be available during an emergency to put your plan into action. Ensuring your employees know what to do when an emergency disaster occurs is important to keeping your doors open.
- Establish a Chain of Command
If there is someone beside you, whom you trust or whose direct responsibility it is to take charge in your absence, make sure they are fully aware of what a plan of action looks like. Have a second employee as an option in the line of command in the case your first choice is also not available.
- Keep Your Plan Organized & Easily Accessible
Have a list of all of your vendors, access points, important contacts like an insurance agent or emergency services, and utility shut-off locations in one document. Include pictures, contact information, and important need-to-know details. Make sure this document is neatly stored in a file or on a shared computer network for quick access.
- Consider Alternative Ways of Sharing a Plan of Action
While having a file in office is not always ideal and a shared network is not always an option, consider using a program that all employees can access via their own computer or smart phones. SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Plan is available via an easy to navigate mobile app, making it extremely convenient for more than one employee to access. The ERP app can hold all of the necessary information a hard copy plan would including contacts, vendors, access points, instructions, photos and more. A SERVPRO team member will always help set up your app and profile making sure all pertinent details are recorded. Once set up is complete, you are free to share the app and access with any employee you choose!
Having a thorough, well-communicated plan will get you back to business quickly and provide a peace of mind. Many business owners may be apprehensive of taking a day off or vacation time in the case they are needed should an emergency disaster occur. With SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Plan, not only will your employees be extremely prepared but your local vendors, including SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, will have easy to follow instructions and plan as well!
Dealing with Mold in a South Florida Winter Home
When temperatures begin to cool up and down the east coast, many people, or “snowbirds”, begin to return to states like Florida for the winter. It’s no surprise that these homeowners are likened to a snowbird as the warmer weather is the main attraction to move south during the winter months. But with warm, humid weather practically year-round, the escape from frigid temperatures can also bring its own set of issues. It is not uncommon for snowbirds to discover their winter home has been infested with mold.
A home that has been vacant and unattended to for months in some cases, is the perfect environment for mold to thrive. Many factors contribute to mold found in a winter home including:
1. Hot and stormy summer months
Summers in South Florida are filled with lots of rain and humidity, especially when a Tropical Storm or Hurricane hits the area. This can lead to damage or leaks, allowing water to find its way into a vacant home with no attention to it until the owner’s return.
2. Additional moisture found in ocean and lake-front homes
Homes by any large body of water, especially those that tend to have a more swampy, humid environment like a lake, are much more susceptible to additional moisture and water damage.
3. Lack of air circulation
Many homeowners may choose not to run their HVAC systems as not to incur any electricity bill charges. No air flow combined with drawn shades, humidity, and raised interior temperatures, mold has the perfect playground to run rampant.
When returning to a winter home, any owner should be diligent in inspecting for mold or other damages and aware of what these signs may be:
1. Visible mold growth
Some mold may present itself on surfaces and is clearly seen. Though it is always best to have a mold specialist perform actual tests as mildew can often be mistaken for mold.
2. Unpleasant Odors
If the home has an earth-like or musty smell that does not clear, this may be an indication that mold is present.
3. Moist, humid feeling
If upon stepping inside the home, the interior feels humid or almost wet, there is unwanted moisture somewhere either from a leak or stagnant air. Since it can be hard to tell how long the air has been in this state, it is always safe to suspect mold and call for testing.
4. Leaks, flooding, or other water-related damages
If there are any leaks from any appliances or plumbing, broken seals on windows or doors, or any kind of flooding or wet material, water has found its way into the home and has likely sat for some time. Mold takes only 24-48 hours to begin colonizing so calling out a water damage expert as well as a mold specialist is highly recommended.
Discovering a mold infestation is not the ideal warm welcome back. If a home is experiencing the usual signs of mold, it is better to deal with mold testing and mold damage remediation right away. Enjoying the winter in sunny South Florida is more enjoyable without mold in your home.
What to Expect During Winter in South Florida
After months of rain and humidity, cooler temperatures and some breeze is very much welcomed in Florida. West Palm Beach and the rest of South Florida is not exactly known for sweater weather but the weather overall can be much more pleasant. Some days may call for a light jacket while others are still perfectly acceptable to spend at the beach. The winter months in South Florida can be confusing for those who are not used to dealing with it, so here’s what to expect in the coming months!
Though November is still technically part of storm season, large storm activities tend to slow significantly. Temperatures can range from the mid to high 70s which can be extremely pleasant weather to enjoy many outdoor activities. Low humidity, lower chance of rain and sunny days makes for an incredibly great start to the holiday season during November.
Unfortunately, December does not bring any colder weather than that of November. Some days may drop in temperature by a few degrees, though cold fronts are not long lasting and do not call for warmer clothing like the cold days that places in the Florida Panhandle might experience. Even the most southern tip of Florida, Key West, may likely only reach 65 degrees during a cold December day.
January’s weather pattern follows that of December as far as temperature is concerned in South Florida. January does tend to have less sunlight though and have days that are a bit cloudier, which can in turn make them slightly cooler, however sunshine filled days are still ever-present. January is part of Florida’s dry season so humidity levels tend to float around 80% in the morning and drop to the low 70s and high 60s as the day progresses.
Winter in Florida means a reprieve from cloudy, storm-filled skies. With cool days and plenty of sunshine, it is no wonder South Florida is the ultimate getaway during fall and winter!
Rebuilding Your Home After Fire Damage
After a fire has damaged your home, restoration and repairs will need to occur for a home to return to preloss conditions. Based on the size of the fire and what areas in the home were affected, homeowners will need to decide on whether they will rebuild parts of their home and understand what that entails.
What Does An Inspection Of My Fire Damaged Home Entail?
At this point in the process, the property’s insurance provider has been contacted and will likely require a full inspection of your home.
Based on the damage, an inspection may be conducted by your restoration company, an engineer, or general contractor who may evaluate all of the following and more:
- Flooring and Walls
- Electrical circuits/wires
- Windows, Doors, Door Frames
- Systems in the home like water heaters, pumps, HVACs
What Does Restoration Look Like?
After consulting with the restoration company or third party vendor, your insurance will likely provide an estimated coverage per your policy.
- Any areas of the home that need to be secured like broken windows, exposed roofing, or enter ways will be boarded and tarped. This will help to prevent any other elements from entering in your home and causing further damage.
- Water removal is typically always necessary as water is used to extinguish a fire. Smoke, soot, and odor removal will also occur in affected areas.
Some homeowners may choose to sell their home for what is valued at after a fire, should their insurance provide coverage for this. However, that is not always an option. Repairing more than just drywall and floors is necessary for maintaining your home’s structural integrity. As fire can weaken and warp certain building materials replacement may occur
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has the ability to provide repairs/reconstruction for your home where needed whether it is structural, drywall, or flooring damage. In fact, our team is highly experienced when it comes to many reconstruction projects, working with many insurances and homeowners throughout West Palm Beach. A fire can be devastating but does not always amount to complete loss of your home. Reconstruction is possible and can have your home back to comfortable living conditions.
Finding Black Mold in Your West Palm Beach Home and Common Questions
Hearing or thinking the words “black mold” can be daunting for many homeowners. All too often, companies and the internet sensationalize black mold and instilling fear into homeowners who then believe any black mold or mildew is in fact toxic black mold. Mold can come in a variety of colors and even mildew can appear black. Many of our customers call us because they have noticed mold that is black in color and are unsure what exactly they may be dealing with. Here are a few common questions we get:
1. What Is Black Mold?
Black Mold, or Stachybotrys Chartarum, is a certain type of mold that can grow in a home. This mold can be a dark black or even green in color. While this mold is thought to be more harmful than other molds, we always stress to our customers that whether they are truly dealing with black mold or not, all molds should be considered as unhealthy and do not belong in a healthy home.
2. How Did I Get Black Mold?
Regardless of black mold or not, if you are in fact dealing with mold damage, your home was likely exposed to some kind of water or moisture. Once exposed to water, the growth of mold spores is triggered (which are naturally present everywhere) and your home’s materials act as an additional food source.
3. Mold or Mildew?
Mildew typically occurs in areas that stay wet for long periods of time. Think of your bathtub or kitchen sink caulking. You may see grayish looking spots that are easily removed with a household cleaning agent.
4. Can I Clean the Mold Myself?
While there are ways to help combat mold, mold cleaning is not recommended. Mold can easily spread; improper cleaning without the use of protective equipment or proper containment can cause exacerbate the mold damage or cause it to grow in other areas of your home.
Keeping your home’s environment healthy is important to keeping yourself and family healthy. Calling a professional to deal with black mold damage will attain just that! Our mold damage experts understand how to inspect for mold, the mold remediation process, and what is right for your home.
Fall Weather Hazards to Prepare For in West Palm Beach
At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach having one of our Business Development Representative’s, Amy Alex, as an NOAA Ambassador helps our team stay on top of all things weather-related. This is especially important during the storm season months when our main concern is notifying our community and customers to prepare for upcoming tropical cyclones.
Our recent meeting with the NOAA was all about Fall Preparedness. September 1st is the start of the meteorological Autumn, though the first day of the season is not until September 22nd. Regardless of when Fall starts, being advised of potential hazards early will only further your safety.
Fall will call for a number of weather events including hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, fog and snow. While snow is not a problem for South Florida and wildfire season tends to be in May through June, the remainder of the hazards definitely can be.
- Hurricanes & Tornadoes: Though Florida tends to experience it’s most rainy season during the summer months, the official storm season does not until November 30th. Remaining prepared with your family’s emergency kit is vital during these next two months. As we have seen, hurricanes, tropical storms, and tornadoes can form and become a problem quickly.
- Fog: Late Fall into Winter and Spring, fog in the mornings can be especially dense. Fog can be dangerous during early morning drives, impairing a driver’s vision and ability to see further than the front of their car. Reworking your schedule if possible until the fog clears up can avoid any dangerous driving conditions. If driving is necessary be sure to drive the speed limit, use fog lights if you have them, and be cautious of the cars around you.
- Flooding & Wind: As many Floridians are aware, during severe storms wind and flooding can be extremely hazardous and should be prepared for. Fortifying your home and business before an expected strong storm can help keep your family and property.
Fall usually reminds many people of cooler weather and the holidays around the corner, not hazardous weather. Fall should still be associated with those wonderful things however it is always smart to be aware of your risks and prepare yourself in dealing with these hazards.
Staying Prepared During Peak Hurricane Season
The Atlantic hurricane season has already been extremely busy. The NOAA just recently updated the anticipated number of storms to 25 names. Just within this week, there are two systems forming in the Atlantic with an 80% chance of developing. This is no surprise as August and September are peak months in the season. Now is when we may see much more activity in the Atlantic heading our way. Why is this the case?
Wind shear and temperature of the ocean can create the perfect environment for a strong hurricane. Wind shear is the difference in wind speed or direction. Strong wind shear is what impedes a tropical cyclone, hurricane or tropical storm, from becoming a major threat. Summer months like August and September mean warmer, moist air and warmer ocean temperatures. During peak season low wind shear combined with warm tropic oceans will help fuel any tropical cyclone. Some experts also believe climate change creates bigger and slower storms. A large, slow hurricane may mean that the storm can sit over a particular area for days with unrelenting rainfall and winds.
If you’re tempted to pack away your hurricane kit, don’t do so just yet. Local officials and experts urge residents and businesses to remain prepared and vigilant into these months. In fact, September is National Preparedness Month. Family and community disaster planning are encouraged through this month to limit the impacts that an emergency event may have. Even if you believe you are ready, we have all learned in the face of the current pandemic to always expect the unexpected. Check your kit, review your plan, and talk to your friends and family. Do this every few weeks or so, to stay prepared for a hurricane or tropical storm in West Palm Beach. As experts in dealing with disasters and storm damage we can agree with the National Preparedness Month theme: “ Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”
How Hurricane Isaias Affected South Florida Businesses
Much anticipation was felt in West Palm Beach during Hurricane Isaias. The storm was expected to hit Florida’s eastern edge with heavy rainfall and powerful winds. As with all storms and their potential to change direction, Isaias spared West Palm Beach from storm surges, power outages, flash floods, and property damage. Why did the storm slow down and how did Isaias affect South Florida businesses?
The change in speed and course of a hurricane can be explained by its size. Smaller storms can quickly weaken from changes in the surrounding environment as they contain less mass. Wind shear, dry air, and land interaction are all affecting factors. During Isaias, Southern United States was still feeling remnants of the Saharan Dust Cloud. Mixed with the dry Saharan air and upper-level wind shear the storm dragged over the Bahamas and missed most of Florida. Had Isaias occurred in September, which is the second month of peak season, West Palm Beach and surrounding areas could have faced a much bleaker outcome.
The realization that Isaias could have been extremely damaging has forced the local economy to re-examine their business plans. Prior to Isaias changing course, many businesses were still forced to close, challenging an already fragile local economy. This need to close doors for a few days and amidst a pandemic, shed light on the number of business owners who feel and may be extremely unprepared. With a few more months left of hurricane season, being unprepared is a risk many cannot afford to take.
In an annual hurricane survey, lack of proper insurance to protect against business interruption is a big problem many face. The inability to operate after a hurricane can quickly lead to a bill that many businesses cannot foot. Property damage especially is one of the costlier disruptions in business flow. Business interruption insurance can range from actual hurricane coverage to having a plan in place in the case of a disaster. As many as 50% of businesses close after suffering storm damage; this number does not account for those that have suffered economic impacts due to the pandemic.
The fact remains that there is a large chance that another tropical storm or hurricane will soon form and possibly hit South Florida. However, there is still time for business owners in West Palm Beach to prepare for a hurricane. Understanding your insurance policy, ensuring you have the proper coverage and having an emergency plan in place for your business can all abate the stress of a tropical storm or hurricane.
What to Know About Tropical Storms in West Palm Beach
June to November are the most active months for storms in Florida. During this time many tropical depressions form in the Atlantic, some dying out before they are able to make any strides. There are some depressions that do become tropical storms once its winds have sustained 39 MPH.
The speed of wind even at 39 MPH can still cause significant damage, though some people associate a tropical storm with less urgency and less threat than they would a hurricane. This is a mistaken belief and can be a costly one. Tropical storms can be extremely destructive reaching winds of 73 MPH. Once over 73 MPH, they become a Category 1 hurricane. The ability to quickly become a Hurricane should be daunting and push many people to prepare.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are both types of tropical cyclones. The difference is the level of intensity in each. While tropical storms do not have as intense of winds and flooding, they do produce a lot of rain and their winds are strong enough to carry debris. Homes and buildings can still be subjected to damage during a tropical storm, so taking precaution can be necessary.
- Know your zone and whether your area is susceptible to storm surge or flooding.
- Strengthen your home for potential impact. This includes securing doors, windows, or loose items like patio furniture.
- Prepare your emergency kit now rather than wait until the last minute. As we have seen in recent months, many residents may panic buy, limiting availability of certain supplies.
- Track the storm and stay updated on local news. Some Floridians may feel a certain “been there, done that” attitude when it comes to storm season but as we have noticed nothing is typically in 2020. Keeping up to date is vital in ensuring yours and your family’s safety.
Tropical Storm Isaias is making its way to Florida in the coming days. As the path in which the storm will travel is still widely unknown, as is the damage it can cause, understanding the characteristics of a tropical storm and prepping for what may come is vital.
Fire Damage Cleanup in West Palm Beach
No one ever imagines that their home or business may one day suffer from a fire. For some reason, the idea of a fire seems distant for many people, almost unrealistic. The chances of a home or business suffering from fire damage is high as accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. Lack of acknowledging reality often leaves people feeling paralyzed once they find themselves in such situations. There are a few important things to know when faced with fire damage in West Palm Beach.
Fire damage cleanup is a lengthy, multi-step process that is determined by varying factors. The size, nature, and location of the fire are accounted for in the beginning of the cleanup process.
To fight a large fire, Fire Rescue teams may need to use gallons of water to extinguish the fire. It is also not uncommon with a larger fire for windows to be broken or structural holes placed for ventilation. Incidents like these in a large fire may result in structural or water damage. If this is the case, cleanup will need to include emergency water mitigation and board-up services. The longer the house is exposed to outside elements or if water is not extracted damage will only be exacerbated.
During an assessment the severity of damage to content will be determined. Other than obvious burnt items, damage also takes the form of smoke and soot. Both effects can cause discoloration to items and are highly corrosive. If contents are not inspected quickly and sent off for restoration, it is unlikely they will be salvageable in the future. While special care and restoration can be given to contents like electronics, clothing, or furniture, there are items that may be dangerous to keep after a fire and should be thrown away. These include both non-perishable and perishable food, medicines, hygiene or cosmetic products, and anything that is obviously burnt.
The entire cleanup process includes:
- Inspection of the structure and total damage assessment
- Board-up and roof-tarp services if needed
- Water extraction and drying if needed
- Smoke and soot removal from all surfaces
- Cleaning and sanitizing for the structure
- Restoration and rebuild based on the level of damage endured
Fire damage cleanup is usually best left to a professional restoration company that can safely and effectively mitigate the aftermath of a fire in West Palm Beach.
Insurance Coverage Tips for Storm Damage in West Palm Beach
During storm season the reality is your West Palm Beach home may endure some level of damage. Homeowners should take preventative measures to reduce damage should a major storm hit, regardless of the storm's category. Aside from physically securing the protection of your home’s interior and exterior, it is vital to secure protection via your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Understanding Insurance Coverage and Storm Damage
Your insurance policy is definitely one of the important documents that should be copied and stored in case of a major storm. It should also be thoroughly read through and understood. Examine your policy for details on what events are covered, the amount of coverage, and steps to take should you need to submit an insurance claim after storm damage. Your home’s insurance policy may exclude some types of storm and water damage.
- Most insurance policies may have specified provisions for protection against hurricanes. These provisions may only cover wind damage as additional flood damage policies may be needed. It is important to know your hurricane deductible as well. A hurricane deductible is typically a percentage of what a home insured for.
- Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Though it is not required, flooding can happen relatively anywhere even if your home is not in a high-risk flood zone; purchasing additional flood damage insurance coverage is encouraged.
- Wind & Rain
- Damage caused by wind itself is likely covered through your policy. Water damage from rain, including wind-driven rain, may not be covered in most cases.
Additional Insurance Tips
- Adequate Coverage
- If you are satisfied with the policies you currently have, check that coverage is adequate for your home’s structure, contents, and additional living expenses if needed.
- Mitigate & Document
- Take pictures of your home before & after a storm. These pictures will be vital when submitting an insurance claim based on storm damage.
- Beware of Scam Repair Companies
- The aftermath of a major storm is a great opportunity for many repair companies to offer their services. Not all companies are legitimate or truthful and have hurt homeowner’s who have not done their due diligence on these companies.
It is important to always report all claims and damage to your insurance company. Your agent can help you in determining coverage and next steps to mitigating storm damage, including contacting a storm damage restoration company in West Palm Beach.
Florida Summer Wildfire History and Tips on Prevention
According to charts from the Data Face, Palm Beach County and the rest of South Florida are responsible for the top 10% of acres burned in U.S. wildfires. Peak wildfire season is in the summer for Florida, with the risk of a fire subsiding after June. Even after the month of June there is still a very real chance that one can occur, potentially destroying thousands of acres and many homes. As a result it is the responsibility of everyone to understand Florida’s wildfire history and tips on prevention.
- In 1935, over 35,000 acres were burned in the Big Scrub Fire in the Ocala National Forest.
- In 1956, the Buckhead Fire in the Osceola National Forest burned 10,000 acres in a single day.
- The Palm Coast Fire in 1985 burned 250 homes. This was one of the first serious fires to affect wildlife and residential areas.
- In 1998, 2,200 fires affected the Palm Coast, requiring evacuation of 45,000 people.
- Severe drought was prevalent in Florida during 1999. High temperatures and high winds brought over 50 brush fires that consumer close to 5,816 acres.
- In 2001, brush fires in Mallory Swamp burned for over two weeks. Close to 61,000 acres were affected.
- 2017 saw Florida’s worst wildfire season in years with over 150,000 acres in Florida burned by 2,000 wildfires.
There are many lessons to be learned from past wildfire seasons. Aside from prescribed burnings conducted by Florida officials, remembering the following can help with prevention:
- Never leave a lit grill or outdoor fire unattended.
- Use the proper equipment and materials when lighting any source of heat.
- Keep any dry debris and vegetation away from sources of heat and your home.
- Have a preparedness plan for your family in the event of a fire or evacuation.
Florida is no stranger to natural disasters. Much of the year is spent preparing for or enduring hurricanes and tropical storms. Wildfires should be no exception. Understanding how wildfires start and properly preparing for them is a shared responsibility for residents and local officials.
Commonly Asked Mold Remediation Questions
Frequently Asked Mold Questions
1. What is Mold?
Mold is a kind of fungus that causes biodegradation of natural materials.
2. Where Does Mold Grow in a Home & Why?
Mold spores can be found naturally in the air of a home. For mold to become a problem and form large colonies, temperatures of 40F moisture, and organic matter are required. Any area of a home that has been exposed or is prone to moisture are likely to have some form of mold growth. This includes bathrooms, basements, attics, kitchens and appliance areas, like around an HVAC or boiler.
3. Can Mold Affect My Health?
Mold can spread very quickly, producing allergens, irritants, and other potential health effects if left unmitigated.
4. What is Mold Removal vs. Mold Remediation?
Due to mold’s ubiquity, mold removal is not possible. Mold remediation however, can treat and mitigate damage caused by mold.
5. When Should I Test for Mold?
Visible mold growth may not require a test, as mold testing determines the air quality of your home and the presence of mold in it. If mold is not visible but suspected, especially after any water damage, testing is recommended.
6. Can I Clean Mold Myself?
Cleaning or remediating mold can be difficult without the proper equipment or training. While we encourage acting quickly upon suspicion or confirmation of mold, remaining safe is always a top priority. Mold damage requires efficient and safe solutions that only a mold remediation company in West Palm Beach can provide. Call a qualified professional before attempting to DIY.
7. How Do I Prevent Mold?
Keeping indoor humidity controlled can help prevent mold growth. Fast response to any water damage will also reduce the chance of developing a serious mold issue.
If you are seeing signs of mold in your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach today and our trained Mold Remediation Specialists can assist you.
Types of Roof Damage Caused By Storms in West Palm Beach
The roofs of West Palm Beach homes go through a lot of wear and tear throughout the year. Between unrelenting sun, high winds during a hurricane, and heavy rainfall almost every day during the summer, it comes as no surprise that roof damage is so common.
Tropical storms and hurricanes can cause multiple types of damage to a roof, including wind, hail and water damage.
Strong winds from a tropical storm or hurricane have the ability to remove shingles from a roof completely. Shingles can easily be completely removed or lifted, minimizing the protection a roof provides to the rest of a home. Strong winds can also carry large debris that upon impact can damage a roof’s integrity.
Hail can be unpredictable, varying in severity and occurring without warning.The size of hail is inconsistent, meaning damage can be menial or it can have some serious implications for a roof. After a hail storm, the holes created by hail on a roof can automatically be a problem, leading to other secondary damage. However, it is possible for holes or dings to go undetected, worsening with each storm that follows creating extensive damage. Following any hail, a roof inspection should be conducted to mitigate any potential damage.
Rain is the most common perpetrator of roofing issues. A damaged roof riddled with holes or missing shingles, is bound to experience a leak and subsequent water damage. Rotting, mold or a compromised foundation are all results of water damage. Signs of water damage from a leaking roof include spots on a ceiling, wet walls, or if areas in a home feel damp and humid.
Roof damage can often be blatant, like missing or worn shingles. Often though, roof damage can go undetected for some time if the proper care is not taken to inspect and protect a roof. It is important to be mindful of more than the roof’s shingle condition; look for missing flashing or loose sealant. If serious damage is found it is best to a call repair company. It is highly suggested to also call a mitigation services provider like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach once a roof has been repaired. A company like SERVPRO can assess the interior of a home for water damage caused by the roof.
Roofs can take a serious beating throughout the year; being proactive can mean the difference of a simple repair versus a total roof replacement.
Florida Wildfires in the Summer
Wildfires in Florida are a major cause for concern during springtime and early summer. High chances of fire are in April through to June which are typically drier months for Florida. This year the first half of May experienced some drought increasing the risk of wildfire occurrences. Now that we are in June, well into hurricane season, Florida’s climate is much more humid and wet. According to the National Interagency Fire Center and their Wildfire Fire Outlook Report, months from June to August will have below average risk this year. September will see a near nonexistent threat for wildfires.
Even with the forecasted outlook and wet weather, can a summer fire still occur? Of course! As of June 23rd, though Fire Danger Indices are low, there were 11 active wildfires statewide. Storm season can be a catalyst for summer wildfires in a multitude of ways. Let’s take a look as to what fire-causing factors can stem from a storm.
Summer months bring about more frequent lightning and thunder storms. Fires started by lightning peak most commonly in May and June in Florida. Lightning caused fires occur when lightning strikes dry area, igniting a flame. These fires tend to be larger, affecting more acreage than that of man-made fires.
Loss of Power and Open Flames
While hurricanes are not a direct factor in starting a fire, human activity during a hurricane can be. Hurricanes can lead to temporary loss of power, requiring candles or other open flames to be used as a source of light. Without practicing proper fire safety measures, fires can unintentionally occur; this can be from a knocked over candle or a flame to close to quickly-igniting material. Cooking equipment and generators can also be a source of fire.
Hurricane and tropical storm winds are terribly strong, often kicking up and depositing debris. This debris left to sit in plies, drying out in a matter of days, can become a source of kindling for a wildfire.
Though the threat of a wildfire occurring randomly is low, there are still risk factors associated with summer storms.. Many of these risks are impossible to control, like lightning or debris, while others require an extra level of attention. House fires or wild fires can still happen, regardless of time of year.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned - A Defensive Cleaning Program in West Palm Beach
SERVPRO's defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers reassurance of ongoing safety.
Let us help you get back to business
As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Extensive training and specialized products
As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.
From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.
3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify
When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
- Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
- Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible.
- Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.
Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation
We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.
Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach today at 561-795-5410 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.
* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience. Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.
Is Your Business Ready For 2020 Storm Season?
Prepare your business for hurricane season and minimize disruption.
Preparing your business way before an anticipated storm is essential to survival.
Since the beginning of 2020, many businesses have endured the challenges and impacts of the current pandemic. With the pandemic still at large and hurricane season underway, little room is left for some business owners to overcome any potential damage caused by a hurricane. Without a plan, 50% of businesses have closed following a hurricane. While this number is daunting, that percentage can be lessened with a proper storm season preparedness plan.
This year’s storm season will be extremely active and will likely see above average number of storms. This does not mean that all storms will become major hurricanes or even hit Florida, however, based on numbers alone having an emergency plan for your employees and business is vital.
- Ensure all employees have emergency kits and evacuation plans. Talk to your employees about planning for a hurricane during COVID-19, ensuring their kits as well as evacuation plans have been adjusted. This means including personal safety items like masks, gloves, sanitizers or soaps in their kits. It also means considering social distancing when creating their evacuation plans.
- Create a plan for your business that includes:
- Documenting all important contents.
- Taking before and after photos of the interior and exterior of your business for insurance purposes.
- Knowing where all your main shut off and valves are. This will come in handy before a hurricane if any major utility will need to be shut off to prevent damages.
- Having a list of important company contacts, vendor contacts, and chain of commands. Include in your vendor contact a company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach in the case you will need mitigation or restoration services after the storm.
- Having the proper materials to secure important equipment or contents prior to a storm, like windows, computers, doors and more.
- Review your insurance policy to ensure you have the proper coverage. Talk to your insurance agent in the case that additional coverage is needed in the case of any damage or loss.
If you are unsure of where to start or how to properly plan, check out our complimentary Emergency Ready Profile. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach’s ERP provides a guideline for your business in preparation for and in case of emergency. The ERP has an easy use to interface, documenting all the vital information your business will need. The ERP's goal is to give business owners the power to quickly mitigate damage and minimize any business interruptions during an emergency event.
While the timeline for the next major storm is unknown, its occurrence is imminent. Are you ready?
Preparing for Hurricane Season in West Palm Beach During a Pandemic
As many in West Palm Beach are already aware of, this year’s hurricane season will be extremely active. Weather forecasters are calling the number of storms and activity above average, naming a total of 19. Five days into the 2020 storm season, this is highly evident as there has already been three tropical storms, Arthur, Bertha, and Cristobal.
Though the number of hurricanes still range from three to six, making preparations now is vital for West Palm Beach residents. Having an emergency plan this season will be different even for the most experienced of Floridians. As we are still facing a pandemic, hurricane preparations may be challenging, requiring additional planning and considerations.
Include Personal Safety Items in Your Supply Kit
Aside from typical supply and safety items that should be in your hurricane kit including batteries, non-perishables, flashlights, water and more , be sure to include items that can protect yourself and your family. This includes face coverings, hand sanitizers, and bar or liquid soap, for each person. The limited supplies and resources in some areas is the perfect example as to why preparing for a hurricane with ample time is imperative.
Have an Evacuation Plan that Fits Within Social Distancing Guidelines
Hurricanes force people to flee their homes, gathering closely in local shelters or hotels. Due to the current pandemic, doing so would not be abiding by CDC guidelines to maintain social distancing. Local officials are revising their response efforts to provide basic needs, including shelter, while keeping communities safe and healthy. In previous years residents can seek refuge in hotels, however, due to the economic effects of COVID-19, local hotels may not be available either. West Palm Beach residents should consider having an evacuation plan with multiple shelter options.
Planning to leave upon the first signs of a hurricane, regardless of category, may be a solution. If possible, check in with family members or friends not in the hurricane’s path, who are healthy, have been social distancing and are comfortable with your stay.
The pandemic and its future effects are still uncertain, unfortunately. The potential of a major hurricane this season is pretty clear however. There is no wrong or right time to prepare, though doing so way in advance of any storm may ease worry and ensures your family is set should a hurricane come our way.
Reopening Guidelines and Tips for West Palm Beach Businesses
This week certain establishments in Palm Beach County have been given the green light to begin reopening. As a part of what officials are calling Phase 1, there are multiple parameters in which businesses will need to abide by. Here are a few:
- Most restaurants and retail can only operate at 25% capacity.
- Employees and guests, based on the establishment, must wear masks.
- Social distancing guidelines must still be enacted including small groups of 8 or less, within 6 feet of one another.
- Sanitizing guest areas must occur before and after each guest.
With these rules as guidelines, develop and share a plan that promotes a healthy environment. Be sure that customers are aware of the precautions your business is taking as well. It is best to allow room for revisions in the plan as local authorities or day-to-day operations may call for some.
Consider these tips when developing a plan:
- Determine what needs to be cleaned vs. disinfected and how often. Sanitizing is one of the most important guidelines as it reassures employees, and customers, that an establishment is prioritizing cleanliness and safety.
- Equip your business with enough cleaning supplies and personal protection equipment as needed. Create an area specifically for supplies; this allows for easy access and visibility.
- When rearranging your business layout to maintain the 25% capacity and social distancing rule, consider accessibility. Be sure that any rearrangement of furniture or items does not impede the flow of business or put the safety of your staff and customers at risk.
- Post signs or reminders regarding social distancing and proper hygiene. This is for both employees and customers.
- Designate a specific day of the week or time in each day in which your business will close for thorough cleaning. Hiring a company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, will ensure that your business is thoroughly sanitized with medical grade disinfectant.
As a business owner, it is important to remember that many people may be grappling with the realities of current events and the idea of reintroducing themselves into public. By committing to proper guidelines, businesses are reassuring their employees and customers they are committed to the health and safety of all.
What to Expect in the 2020 Storm Season
Though West Palm Beach is still dealing with difficult and uncertain times amid COVID-19, hurricane season is around the corner, meaning Floridians will need to begin preparations. The Atlantic hurricane season beings on June 1st and will last until November 30th. Many forecasts are predicting this season will be an “above average” year, having already named 16 storms. There is close to a 70% chance that at least one storm, will be a major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S.
The number of predicted storms, 8 predicted as hurricanes, should be a reason for many Floridians to begin preparing. Here are a few recommended steps:
- Begin purchasing needed supplies including non-perishable foods, candles, flashlights, batteries and water. Have enough supplies that will last yourself and your family at least two weeks, if not more.
- Make any necessary home improvements to safeguard your home. If there are any leaks or holes in your home’s foundation or roof, make sure these are patched before heavy rains. If hurricane shutters are what you use to protect your windows, have those readily available for when the time comes.
- Organize and clean your home and any storage spaces in the case that any patio furniture or items outside your home will need to be put away.
- Make and seal copies of any important documents. Store them in either your supply bin or to-go bags that your family has prepared.
- Most importantly, have an evacuation plan for your family. Be sure to have at least on bag per family member packed in case your area is evacuated with a plan as to where you will stay until it is safe to return.
Ahead of any potential major storm, always be sure to pay attention to your local news and follow local authorities warning. Keep your family safe and prepared this 2020 storm season.
If you are in need of further preparation tips and want to learn about SERVPRO of West Palm Beach’s ERP for your home or business, call us today.
Spring Cleaning for Hurricane Season
Spring is the perfect time to get your home cleaned and organized. For residents in West Palm Beach this also includes preparation for hurricane season as well. Here are a few tips to help get your home ready:
Manicure Your Lawn
Broken or damaged branches make for the perfect debris during a storm that has heavy winds. Prune any shrubbery and trees around your home, trimming any branches that can easily break during the next storm.
Check Your Roof
Hurricanes can be especially damaging to a home’s roof. To avoid the use of a tarp, inspect your roof for any missing tiles, cracks, or holes. Even small damage can be exacerbated during a storm; you will thank yourself for being proactive and repairing your roof before the summer season.
Organize Storage Areas
If you have a garage or storage shed, organizing these areas will make storing any outside patio furniture much easier. While making a checklist of all items that will need to be stored, inspect, repair and clean each item as needed. This will decrease the hassle of storing dirty or broken items that will need to be attended to after the storm.
Check Your Vents and Rain Gutters
Leaves, sticks, and other matter can make its way into your rain gutters, creating blockages for heavy rains. Clogs can lead to an overflow of rain, flooding the perimeter around your home. Remove any debris that may be building up in your gutter, while looking for any breaks or potential leaks. Check your vents for damage, missing screens, or any other issues as well.
Preparing for hurricane season before it hits will help in mitigating damage and hopefully keep your home from sustaining damage from heavy storms.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach Gives Back to Our First Responders
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach disinfected over 50 First Responder vehicles during the first day of the three-day event.
Giving back is a core foundation that our company is built on; as is community. For as long as SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has been operating, we have always felt a strong sense of belonging in Palm Beach County. Like many small businesses, we depend on the positive experiences of our customers and support of the community.
In the past two months, community has never been more important in many parts of our country. We have all had to stand strong together to combat the turmoil and uncertainty felt amongst us. We have witnessed this strength through our friends, family, essential workers and Frontliners. Palm Beach County First Responders have served the community faithfully in an unwavering, determined fashion. We have seen their perseverance in keeping the community safe and healthy. We are so grateful for our many First Responders throughout the county and to show our gratitude, this week we will be providing free vehicle disinfections for First Responders.
Today marked the first day of a three-day event, with a greater turn out than we could have hoped for! Putting our biohazard cleaning experience to good use, our crew, is eager to give back this week. During the three-day event, we will be disinfecting First Responder cars as well as providing a bottle of hand sanitizer for each vehicle. We cannot wait to meet and personally thank all of our First Responders of Palm Beach County.
We appreciate all of the Frontliners who are working tirelessly to keep our communities healthy. From our SERVPRO family to yours, we thank you!
Ways to Give Back During Challenging Times in Palm Beach County
Donating does not always mean making a monetary donation to a major organization. Many local organizations and charities are working hard to provide for communities throughout Palm Beach. With the number of people who have been affected by the current pandemic growing each day, there are many different needs and ways to help.
- Donate to Food Pantries: Many food pantries are overwhelmed recently and may have supplies running low. If you are able to, donate canned goods and non-perishables. If you prefer to provide a monetary gift, there are organizations that provide those in need hot, daily meals.
- Donate Essential Items and Personal Protection: There is a great need for hard to find essentials, like household cleaning products, toilet paper, paper towels, soap and more. If you are able to supply these items, many disaster relief funds can benefit from a donation like this, providing support to healthcare organizations and areas with vulnerable communities.
- Virtually Volunteer: Volunteering in person may not be ideal for many during a time of social distancing. Virtual volunteer opportunities do exist that may include tutoring children who are going through a transitionary period of virtual learning. Choose an organization that connects you with quarantined elderly who would love to video chat and enjoy fun conversation during a difficult time.
- Help a Neighbor: The best way to give back might be for someone you know. If you have any neighbors, family, or friends who have compromised immune systems or are older, be sure to check in on them, helping with any tasks they have. A simple trip to the grocery store each week can be a great deal of help.
- Sew Protective Masks: Many healthcare organizations are in need of masks to protect their staff. There are dozens of articles and videos with tutorials on sewing a proper mask. If you have ample time on your hands and the appropriate materials, find a fun pattern and sew away!
Giving back is a wonderful way to show appreciation for all the Frontliners who give to us every day.
Germ Hotspots in Your West Palm Beach Home
We do so much in our home every day that is impossible to detect every single germ in your home and where it came from. Frankly, even attempting to do so sounds exhausting. Even so, keeping your home clean and healthy is important for yourself and your family. This can be done by recognizing hotspots in your home, follow proper hygiene and clean areas according to their specific needs.
Hotspots in your home are where germs tend to accumulate. These are usually high-traffic and high touch areas.
Places like counter tops or sinks are used quite often, coming in contact with different items like produce, meat, dirty hands, and more. Counter tops are used when unpacking groceries, cooking, even placing items like phones or keys that we might not realize have germs.
It’s no surprise that bathrooms can be a haven for germs. Many places in your bathroom can be harboring germs including the sink, toilet, tub, trashcan and handles.
Our hands touch many objects through the day, and if they’re not properly washed, can be transferring germs. Note these items should be included always during a routine cleaning: light switches, door knobs, remotes, phones, tablets, and computers.
Once you are aware of the hotspots in your home it is important to perform routine cleaning and disinfecting, especially on frequently touched surfaces.
When cleaning be sure to:
- Use proper protection like gloves when handling cleaning products
- Pay special attention to the surfaces you are cleaning and the products you are using as some products are better suited for different materials
- Launder soft items when possible like rugs or carpets
- Use warm to hot water when washing clothes and the appropriate detergent for a deep clean
Following proper hygiene guidelines is important in maintaining a clean home. While doing so, many not rid your home of all potential germs, it can mitigate the problem. Washing your hands is essential to prevent the spread of germs. Be sure to take off your shoes before entering your house as well. If any items have been in a public place that isn’t exactly the cleanest of places, try not to place them on any surfaces that you often come in contact with.
Practicing proper hygiene and routine cleaning are great ways to keep a home clean and healthy. Professional cleaning services are also always an option if preferred!
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is Here to Help
In recent weeks much of the country has experienced unprecedented, complicated days. During this time SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is monitoring the situation, implementing all recommendations provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and local law enforcement. These guidelines are followed during our bioremediation cleaning services as well as for other fire, water or mold jobs. Our employees are being extremely diligent in wearing the proper protective gear when on site and practicing social distancing when interacting with any customers. The health and safety of our employees, customers, and community remain our top priority.
We understand this may be stressful times for many and want to make sure we are reaching out to anyone who may have questions. Our team is making sure to update our website and social media pages with helpful information. We are also available via phone to answer questions you may have regarding any of our services, or if you are currently working with us.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is known for our quick, quality work and knowledge in restoration services. Along with our specialized cleaning services, we are committed to continue following the same high set of standards, safely serving Palm Beach county area homes and commercial buildings with any water, fire, or mold damage. Our team is ready to respond to any emergency disaster 24/7.
Considerations for Healthy Work Environments in West Palm Beach
Based on the industry your business is in, properly cleaning and disinfecting your work environment may have different requirements. Some businesses may be restricted to employees only inside facilities, while others have foot traffic from employees, customers, and other guests. Regardless of the number or type of people visiting a work environment, business owners should consider the following guidance for healthy employees and customers.
Practice Proper Hygiene
Promoting hand washing for all employees and visitors is a great way to prevent the spread of germs. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 20 seconds of hand washing with soap and water. If soap and water is not always readily available, having hand sanitizer gel or wipes can suffice as a quick go-to.
Encourage “respiratory etiquette”; this means a cough or a sneeze should be covered by the inside of an elbow or with a tissue if available. This is a fundamental practice in keeping germs at bay, even for those who may be suffering from seasonal allergies.
Clean Workstations and Shared Areas
If your business does not rely on janitorial services for routine cleaning and if it is safe to do so, encourage employees to disinfect their workstations. This especially goes for shared areas especially and “hotspots”, like computers, phones, door handles or other equipment. Always be sure to handle any cleaning solution with care and wear gloves as often as possible.
Some businesses or commercial space, like large office buildings, schools, or gyms may need deeper cleaning and disinfecting than what employees can handle. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach offers specialized cleaning services including bioremediation. We partner with many businesses in Palm Beach County to provide high quality cleaning. This cleaning can occur on a one-time basis if there are exceptional needs or as often as a business prefers.
Being a business owner means considering the health and safety of your employees and customers year-round. Our team can provide you with additional information on maintaining a healthy work environment and commercial cleaning services including bioremediation cleaning if needed. Call us today and speak to one of our highly-trained crew members.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach Offers Biohazard Cleaning Services
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Your Home Has Water Damage... Now What?
This homeowner's bathtub overflowed onto the tile floor, also affecting the carpet in the adjoining room.
You just woke up to pieces of wet ceiling hanging and insulation littering the floor of your home. Or maybe you started running the bathtub water, became distracted and walked away for what you thought was a split second. Either way, now you have a huge mess on your hands with more water surrounding you than any mop or towel is able to soak up. Now what?
Though it is not uncommon to experience a water disaster as a homeowner, many people often are unsure of what to do when they find themselves in these situations. The restoration process can seem daunting when searching for the right answer on next steps. Follow these steps to help ease the stress of water damage to your home.
1. Leave Your Home
If your home is unsafe due to water contamination, electrical hazards or compromised infrastructure, vacating your home is necessary until it is deemed safe to remain in by a professional.
2. Contact Your Homeowners Insurance Immediately
This is the most important step as you will need to determine whether your scenario is covered. You will get help filing a water damage claim and be directed to collect necessary details to complete your claim.
3. Contact a Repair or Restoration Company
Companies, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, should be the next call you make if your insurance has not already suggested you do so. Calling a professional for your water cleanup avoids you encountering any potentially hazardous situations. Water that is allowed to sit for too long, regardless of it’s source or area it has affected, can quickly gather bacteria and may eventually turn into mold in your home. SERVPRO’s crew can quickly be on the scene to assess the damage that has been done and provide an accurate estimation of what restoration needs to occur.
4. Let the Professionals Handle the Mess
Once the extent of damage has been determined and next steps have been explained, our technicians will prepare your home for water removal and restoration. After restoration is complete, we will make sure to leave your home clean, “like it never even happened”.
If you’re still unsure what your next move should be, call our team today. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can help walk you through filing a claim, scheduling an assessment and provide other water damage emergency tips.
Consider Water Damage Restoration For Your Home After a Fire
A fire can cause extensive damage to a building’s internal and external structure. After a fire, all possible damage to your home should be accounted for and swift action should be taken.
When certain materials are burned in a home they release chemicals that can be dangerous to homeowners. Along with these chemicals, the strength of walls are compromised, valuables are singed, appliances and electronics are damaged from smoke. Odors after a fire are not only a nuisance but are evidence of lingering particles, in the air or on materials, that are in need of eradication. Soot is also the presence of burned material in need of removal and deep cleaning. Aside from worrisome soot and smoke damage, water damage should be heavily considered as well.
Water damage after a fire may seem a bit odd to worry about at first. Consider the fact that fires are extinguished through copious amounts of water, whether that is from a sprinkler or a hose. Sprinklers release 15-25 gallons of a water per minute, while fire hoses pump roughly 150 gallons per minute. To put out a fire, walls, flooring, and possessions are thoroughly wet, posing just as much of an issue as those affected by fire.
When considering sources for help, it is important to choose a restoration company that provides both water and fire damage restoration. Smoke, soot, and odors need to be removed professionally and safely with proper equipment. Restoration companies also have the ability to asses and restore your valuables if possible. Alternatively, immediately caring for your home and valuables after a fire for water damage means mitigating any risk of further loss as well. Water has the ability to rot structural foundation’s, making them vulnerable and weak. Mold from sitting water is also a big concern as it takes as little as 48 hours for mold to begin affecting a home.
If fire strikes your home or business and does not have an Emergency Ready Plan, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Our team can walk you through the next steps and process of restoration after a disaster. With a quick response time, caring and knowledgeable team, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can take care of all of your post-fire needs.
What Are the Brown Stains On Your Ceiling?
You may have noticed a brown spot on your ceiling or maybe on your walls. The spot may not be large enough for major concern yet but sizable to raise your curiosity. Questions like what the spot is and where is it coming from, are the first thoughts that may have run through your head. Before you ponder on the spot for too long, you should consider calling out a restoration company to your home. The presence of a brown spot or water stain can have serious implications on your ceiling.
Water pooling is one big reason behind ceiling stains. This is evident by the brown or yellow discoloration of your ceilings paint. These colors are caused by the surfactants in the paint. Surfactant is usually brown in color and oily. When mixed with water, the surfactant becomes reactivated. If the water is pooling and concentrated in one area, that means the surfactant will as well. This effect can be seen in bathrooms too, where water and moisture is aplenty, and there may be brown streaks running down the walls.
Water in your ceiling can mean a leak in your roof or a burst pipe. Even if water is not pouring down from your ceilings or walls, does not mean there should not be a sense of urgency behind getting down to the root problem or source. If water is allowed to sit too long, serious and costly water damage can be inflicted on your home’s structure. Prolonged moisture and water can onset mold damage. It takes only 48 hours for mold to begin to affect your home meaning you need to act fast. As you may be aware of, mold is not exactly a welcomed guest for your home and will need professional mold remediation. Both mold and water can lead to rotting of structural building material. This can be a major, costly problem, especially if your ceiling holds a lot of support for your home.
If you notice stains on your ceiling, don’t ignore them. Allowing them to grow or worsen in condition can cause more damage than you think. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach today to schedule an assessment of your ceiling.
Why Commercial Mold Inspections are Important for Your Building
Commercial buildings are huge investments, which would make sense why finding the right building to invest in requires a lot of vetting. Along with checking square footage, the surrounding area, plumbing, wiring and the works, a mold inspection should be immediate also.
Professional mold inspections in commercial buildings are a fairly new concept. Health issues brought about by mold was not advocated for until the 90s, when a light was shed on the possible consequences of mold infestations. Now, homeowners and business owners alike are meticulous in inspecting for mold when purchasing a building, as they should be.
Mold can grow on virtually any surface, so long as it is presented with a damp enough climate to persist. Mold spores can be extremely apparent via smell or sight, or it can only be detected through specific testing. Mold survives on or “eats” away at materials, causing damage and change to the look, smell, or structure of whatever it is affecting. Structural changes can include the reliability or strength for a building. For an investor or building owner, this could raise working hazards and building safety.
Allowing employees to work within mold-ridden spaces is another costly situation. Due to mold’s potential health risk, employers and building owners should be weary of allowing employees, visitors, tenants or vendors to inhabit the building. Even if the mold is quarantined to one specific area, it still has the potential to travel through HVAC systems, affecting other areas.
If you are purchasing or currently own a commercial building, a mold inspection should be mandated. A commercial mold remediation company can perform visual assessments, sampling, and mold remediation strategies. Even if mold is not found, remediation companies can provide insight into future issues. Any situation that is a potential playground for moisture accumulation and mold growth will be addressed by a professional. This includes a leaking roof, structural characteristics that may allow water into the building, building maintenance issues or more.
Scheduling pre-move in or purchase mold inspections as well as implementing routine inspections, especially in Florida, are vital to your building and business.
3 Reasons Why Water Damage Cleanup Calls for a Professional
The flood that occurred in this garage may look like easy cleanup but it takes a pro to spot signs of future damage.
An overflowing bathtub or a leaking pipe may occur from time to time for some homeowners. Small mishaps like these are a daily occurrence and are usually handled without any second thoughts once the cleanup is done. Calls for water damage estimates usually are made when there are big leaks or major flooding and the need for restoration is undeniable. It is also rationale, however, to call during small floods and leaks for more than just reassurance.
Why You Should Call a Professional
1. Each Category of Water is Different
There are three categories of water: clean, gray, and black. Water falls into each category based on its source. Each source has different implications including safety precautions and cleanup needs. This means that just because a small flood at home may have water that is “clean”, the water can be potentially harmful, needing more than just a mop and some rags to clean.
2. More Than the Floors May Be Wet
If there is slight flooding in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, these areas most likely are surrounded by tile; they are also surrounded by building materials like cupboards or drywall. Drywall, unbeknownst to you, may become saturated with water and extremely heavy. The more water the drywall holds the more unstable it becomes, causing structural damage that you may not be aware of.
Electrical wires or appliances may have also taken on water, causing a high risk to homeowners as this may pose damage later on for these items.
3. You’re Too Slow
If a flood appears to be small and contained, there may not be a question as to the length of time the water has been apparent. Without properly vetting all surrounding areas and building materials, it is impossible to tell if a “small” flood was truly small and non-damaging. Homeowners lack the ability to make these assessments. Homeowners also lack the proper equipment to dry out areas that have experienced water damage. Even the smallest amount of moisture left, given the right environment, can pose the threat of mold damage.
When it comes to floods and accompanying water damage, leave the cleanup to the pros. Regardless of the size or area affected, water has the ability to permeate through many materials, locking moisture in where it should not exist. Call a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach to handle all of your water cleanup needs.
How a Mold Remediation Technician Can Help You
At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, many of our technicians are IICRC Certified in mold remediation. For people who are not in the restoration industry, this certification may not seem like much. When it comes to tackling mold, this certification is what qualifies our crew to provide remediation to any mold damage in your home.
Mold Remediation Technicians have experience analyzing air quality, sources of moisture, and areas that have been affected. Our technicians are also well-versed in the mold remediation process and make recommendations based on the extent of damage that has occurred. Proper training on identifying and utilizing needed equipment is also a big part of a technician’s job as these are the tools they will use not only to remediate current mold but to mitigate any further damage. With any restoration site, our mold remediation crew take precautions to properly seal off the affected area as to not expose anyone to the potentially harmful effects of mold.
Understanding the job of a mold remediation technician and the certifications that come along with it are important to your home, business, and potentially your health. Often, handymen and other contractors may lack the experience and advance training on how to carefully deal with mold. Relying on uncertified individuals may mean further damage to your home and wallet. It is also important when looking for a reputable company to be weary of any promises of “mold removal”. This is because mold is found almost everywhere, making it near impossible to completely remove it. Using professional, certified services, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, ensures that your mold infestation will be properly remediated in a safe and efficient manner.
If you are unsure of your next steps or what services SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can offer you, call us today! One of our team members can walk you through the mold remediation process and have someone on site to assess your mold damage.
Categories of Hurricanes and the Damage They Cause
No matter the category of a hurricane, taking the warnings seriously and preparing your home is important to mitigate future storm damage.
Floridians are no stranger to all manner of storms. This fact makes the threat of a storm less worrisome for seasoned Palm Beach residents. In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, many residents do not always stir any fear or doubts of their safety. This is because we have weathered many storms before and understand their unpredictability. While this hunker down mentality is understandable it is not entirely applauded.
Even at a category 1, the winds from a hurricane can cause indirect damage to a home. Let's break down the types of wind and their associated damage for major storms.
Category 1 & 2
Category 1 produces 74-95 MPH winds. Category 2 winds are up 110 MPH. While these storms are considered less threatening there is still a huge potential of damage to roofs, gutters, and porches. Well-constructed homes are able to sustain these winds without major damage to their foundation; however, it is indirect damage this is possible. Flying debris, fallen trees, or down power lines can cause a ripple effect of damage.
Winds of up to 129 MPH classifies storms in this category as major storms. In this storm even well-built homes still have damage occur to their roof and windows. Other storm effects include numerous fallen trees blocking roads, flying debris will be larger, and power lines or water may be unavailable for weeks.
Category 4 winds are up to 156 MPH. These winds are so strong that is unlikely older homes will survive without serious structural damage. Buildings and homes that are newly built and up to code have a better chance at undergoing these wind forces though there is still possibility of serious damage.
This is the worst winds can get. These storms are catastrophic, seeing winds of 157 MPH or more. This hurricane knows no bounds and storms at this category have known to completely destroy homes and buildings. Many areas after going through this strong of a storm are demolished with buildings almost flattened or bare bones left of their foundations.
Regardless the category or the winds accompanying it, it is important to take any storm seriously and be prepared. Damage can happen from more than just winds; flooding is imminent in some areas as hurricanes bring heavy rains. In the event of a hurricane be sure to keep you and your family safe, taking all warnings seriously until the storm has passed.
New Homeowner Checklist: Mold Inspection
Mold flourishes near plumbing in areas with a lot of moisture and poor ventilation.
The home buying process can be stressful for potential new homeowners. There is plenty of paperwork to complete and long to-do lists. On this to-do list, usually during the closing stages, there are home inspections that take place. These inspections are meant to take a detailed survey of your roof, plumbing, sewer lines and other major systems to look for any broken or damaged infrastructure. Among this checklist, should be inspecting for mold.
Mold has the tendency to quickly spread throughout a home. If left lingering, the damage can be costly. Home buying is already a huge financial endeavor for many people and adding to maintenance bills because of mold is not exactly a welcomed thought. Homeowners should make sure that mold assessment is conducted as one of their first steps. Due to it’s ambiguous physical state, mold damage is not always evident upon first glance; leaving this inspection to the professionals is best. A mold assessor is recommended as they have experiencing spotting tell-tale signs.
Mold can be found in homes and rooms especially, with poor ventilation that are constantly humid. Think of a bathroom constantly being exposed to moisture; mold growth is infamous in bathrooms. It is important to remember mold can also be found in brand new construction as well. A new tightly sealed building may have trapped moisture inside, that may not appear as an issue at first but can transform into a serious mold issue later.
Buying a home is a major investment. Just like with any financial endeavor, protecting your investment is important, making mold inspection a must-do before finalizing your purchase. In the case that mold is present you will need immediate mold remediation. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has years of experience in helping homeowners with their mold damage. Call us today to discuss how we can help make sure your home is move-in ready!
Removing Smoke After a House Fire
This home in Lake Worth experienced a serious fire causing soot and smoke damage to cover the entire living room.
Can damage happen to your apartment from a neighbor's house fire?
If you live in an apartment building, it’s likely you hear all of the commotion of your neighbors and their daily lives. Due to having to share the same floors and walls, you will get your fair share of noise, smells, and disasters. Apartments in close proximity of one another are more than likely in the direct path of every day disasters including flooding, mold, odors, and fire.
If the apartment upstairs were to have leaky pipes or an overflown tub, surely there would be damage to the ceiling of the apartment below. The extent of that damage may even go beyond just the ceiling, soaking the carpet and furniture below. Eventually, as is common with stagnant water and moisture, mold may develop affecting more than just one apartment. As with water damage, smoke and odors from fires are also able to permeate into the walls of multiple units.
Depending on the size of the fire and materials burned, smoke and odor can easily travel through HVAC systems, while seeping into the walls of units. It is possible for a nearby unit to develop odors. While odors are a nuisance, they are often a symptom of lingering smoke. Smoke from a house fire can be especially dangerous and potentially harmful to a person’s health. Homes today are filled with many different materials, organic and inorganic. Each material burns differently, releasing different chemicals and matter. Thinking the smoke and odors “will just go away on their own”, is not realistic.
In the event that a unit in your building catches fire, an professional restoration company should inspect your home for any damage relative to the neighboring fire. A thorough inspection will uncover what is not initially seen or smelled. If issues are suspected, a professional restoration company can address these areas, providing proper fire damage restoration.
Mold Testing: Mold Testing Kits vs. Professional Mold Inspection
Mold can grow in areas not visible to the eye, areas only a professional assessment and test can uncover. Don't wait to call if you suspect mold.
Are at Home Mold Testing Kits Worth It?
Homeowners may inspect their homes almost daily for any signs of issue. This can mean a dented wall, chipped paint, a leak in their bathroom, or a faulty appliance. While it is in the right of the homeowner to ensure their home is without any potential disasters, mold inspection is not to be taken lightly.
A patch of black spots or an earthy, musty smell might cause a homeowner to run to their nearest home improvement store to purchase a mold testing kit. The initiative is applauded but not without warning. There are many issues with testing kits, ranging from their validity to their prices. This is not to mention that these kits require a homeowner to make contact with potential mold. Without proper equipment, a novice exposing themselves to mold can be detrimental to their health.
A fallacy of a mold testing kit is their accuracy. Mold is organically ubiquitous. This means it is pretty much everywhere including the air, on surfaces, even in your home. And because of this testing with a department store kit will always present users with positive findings for mold. Just because mold is found does not mean there is a mold problem.
The ability of a kit to provide an understanding of the kind of mold found is an issue as well. Though there are kits that allow users to send off samples to testing labs, this still does not provide any further instruction on steps take after mold is found.
The answers found in a mold at-home testing kit are not meaningful. These kits are highly advised against in the mold restoration industry as they can be extremely expensive and moot. Only will a certified mold inspector provide real answers and real results. Professionals who have experience and knowledge of mold are able to consider multiple factors when inspecting your home. These factors can include areas mold is found, types of mold, implications to the rest of your home, and if there is a source that is contributing to the exacerbation of the mold like moisture.
Don’t trust the safety of your home and those in it to a store mold testing kit. Call your home insurance if there is a potential mold issue or a professional company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Take care of your mold infestation the right way the first time!
Power Outages in Palm Beach County
Power outages are more common than many residents and business owners like to believe. Though we live in the 21stcentury where technology and infrastructure are advanced, power loss is still very prevalent. In fact, there are a few different types of power outages that can occur.
Likely to be the most familiar term, this form of power outage usually covers a vast area of total power loss. The duration of this outage can vary from a few minutes to even weeks.
Brownouts are not as severe in power loss as a blackout can be. A drop in voltage is what characterizes a brownout, with power usually quickly returning.
- Permanent Fault
These outages are caused by a fault in power line, like a shorted circuit. Permanent faults are far more detrimental in power loss than blackouts are, as power is unable to return until the fault is cleared.
- Intentional Power Outage
These outages are scheduled by power companies and vendors alike when they are working on or near power lines. To ensure the safety of their employees and surrounding area, power is temporarily disabled for a short period of time.
The possibilities of any of these power outages increase during Florida’s storm season.
Falling tree limbs, flying debris, or lightning can all lead to power loss. Due to the frequency of storms in Palm Beach County and the unpredictability of their severity, it is important to know the course of action to take when faced with power loss.
1. Inventory the items that absolutely call for a power source
Medical devices, appliances or other necessities powered by electricity may require you to keep a generator on hand. If you must use a generator be sure to do so at a safe distance from your house and those surrounding you.
2. Unplug appliances that are not needed and keep them close
During long periods of power loss there may be electrical surges that can harm your appliance. Keeping appliances closed is as important to avoiding damage as it is unplugging them. Power loss in the Florida heat can tempt anyone to grab cold items from the fridge or even bask in the cold air the freezer can provide. Not giving in to this temptation means saving yourself from spoiled goods later on.
3. Conserve energy and gas
Aside from checking for local updates and alerts on power restoration, conserve your phone’s battery. This goes for gas as well. Saving on your car’s gas will help in the case there is an emergency that requires you to evacuate to a safer area.
If your home or business experiences more damage than just a power outage after a storm, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach.
Hurricane Dorian and Bahamas Relief
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach partners with West Palm Beach Police Department to donate 250 water filters and other Hurricane Dorian relief supplies.
At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we understand what it takes to be a part of a community. As no stranger to the aftermath of disasters, we also understand the hard times that can follow. Many of the customers we have served have dealt with damages from hurricanes. Thankfully we have been able to help many of these home and business owners.
After the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Dorian to the Greater Bahamas, our team along with the West Palm Beach Police Department has extended this understanding and help to our friends in the Caribbean. Many people have been left without homes or businesses. Access to basic resources is also extremely limited at this time. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has donated 250 water filters from Go Build Love, to provide clean drinking and bathing water. Along with the help from our owners and crew, we were able to donate generators and other relief supplies as well. We implore members of the West Palm Beach community to join us in donating. If you are able to give many of the items needed are:
- Bottled Water
- Nonperishable Food Items
- Baby items including wipes, diapers, and formula
- Cleaning and hygienic supplies
- Blankets, towels, and bedding
- Flashlights, butane, or generators
A few ways you can find out more information on how or where to donate:
Our thoughts are with The Bahamas and all of those affected by Hurricane Dorian.
The Most Hurricane Prone Cities in Palm Beach County
As it has been for the last few active hurricane seasons, there has been one hurricane that has been absolutely catastrophic to the areas it has hit. This year in 2019, Hurricane Dorian left many parts in the Bahamas, The Hurricane Capital of the World, devastated unfortunately. Dorian also had its course set to hit Florida as well. Due to the unpredictability of hurricanes, Dorian narrowly missed Florida, bringing only heavy rain and winds.
While Dorian long gone up the coast, hurricane season is still obviously here and Florida is not out of the clear. In fact, Florida has 8 of the 10 most vulnerable cities to hurricanes. The list includes many cities right here in Palm Beach County:
- Cape Hattaras, NC
- Delray Beach, FL
- Hollywood, FL
- Deerfield Beach, FL
- Boca Raton, FL
- Florida City, FL
- Grand Isle, LA
- Pierce, FL
- Miami, FL
- Lauderdale, FL
There are currently four systems in the Atlantic Ocean with Tropical Storm Humberto, the closest one aiming for Florida and the Bahamas. The other few systems are still in the premature stages of tropical depressions or storms.
Although it is too early to tell their impact or size, we are in the peak of season and within short distance of the most vulnerable, hurricane prone cities, it is important to remain prepared.
Having a solid plan in place for your family and home is necessary, whether you ride out the storm or evacuate. All too often many the residents that let their guard down, confident the storm will not hit them, experience more damage than they originally would have with a plan. Boarding up your home with shutters, stocking up on food and water, having sources of light or energy, are all precautions that must remain for the next two months.
During the storm season, here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we make sure to remain current on occurrences, hurricane or otherwise. It is important for our families, our community, and our business to remain alert and prepared.
Call our team today to discuss how SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can help you before and after the storms.
Will Florida See Any Hurricanes in 2019?
Will There Be Any Hurricanes in 2019?
The beginning of the 2019 hurricane season was quiet for the Atlantic Ocean. Many Palm Beach County residents question if we’re in the clear for the remainder of 2019, with no more to worry about than heavy afternoon rains? While this season has been tamer than most, August to September is actually the most active time for hurricanes. In fact, there are three storm systems in the Atlantic right now. While these systems are not posing an imminent threat to Florida, there is a chance that they can develop into tropical depressions or low-end hurricanes.
Even if the systems lingering off the east coast bring serious rains and winds, the question still remains as to where all the storms have been. Talk of climate change affecting hurricane season has been centered around the notion that we should expect quicker forming and more frequent hurricanes. 2019’s season has been quite the opposite of what was expected especially when looking back on the destructive season’s in 2018 and 2017.
2019’s low activity can be attributed to winds and dust stemming from the Sahara desert in Africa. Moisture and warm sea temperatures are what hurricanes thrive on. As dry air and dust begin to diminish over the next few weeks, systems formed in the Atlantic will no longer be inhibited.
Before breathing a sigh of relief just yet, Florida residents should remain prepared through to October at the very least. At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach we always suggest our customers keep their Emergency Ready Plan, or ERP, up-to-date and handy in the case that they will need it for their home or business. When the storms do hit, an ERP provides organization for customers amidst the chaos of a hurricane. Our crew is also available after a hurricane in the case that your home endures any storm damage. Our equipment and technology work to clean, mitigate future damage, and restore your home or business.
Call our team today to ask about SERVPRO’s ERP and how to stay prepared during the remainder of this hurricane season, 561-795-5410.
Uncommon Sources of Fires in West Palm Beach
A home in West Palm Beach in need of restoration services after a fire affected the entire garage.
When it comes to a fire, there are root causes that are common while others can be deemed as freak accidents. Then there are starters that are rare but still very prevalent in home or commercial fires. Staying vigilant and being aware is important, even when it comes to the most bizarre causes.
- Cleaning products
Even the most seemingly benign cleaning products can release vapors when used that can cause combustion. Spraying a cleaner on or near a flame source, whether a stove, candle, or even electrical outlet, should occur with extreme caution.
Often in cartoons and movies, we’ve seen fires start with a magnifying glass and some sun. While this appears to be an exaggerated situation, it is a very real possibility. When hit with enough direct sun, glass fixtures or décor can create a beam of light. If it so happens that these beams of light are directed at a flammable material, like a curtain or furniture, that material can be easily set ablaze.
- Outdated products
Similar to broken wires and cords, products with old or even recalled wires can be a fire hazard. As consumers we forget the length of time in which we’ve had a toaster oven, hair appliance, or television. Assuming an item is fine based on the outer appearance can lead to seriously dangerous situations. Depending on the amount of time the item has been owned, these outdated products can be a generator of a serious fire if their wires have not been replaced.
- Home Project Materials
If you’ve recently finished a DIY project, especially if it was building an item of wood or polishing any furniture, there is a possibility that there are highly combustible items within arm's reach. Sawdust and linseed oil when left on surfaces that can easily catch flame are definitely fire hazards. Disposing of these items properly after use is highly encouraged.
Often overlooked, pyrolysis is a chemical reaction that occurs when an item is exposed to heat over a long period of time. The chance of this happening is highly present when an item, like wood, is kept directly near a source of heat much like a piece of equipment or electronic appliance. Over time the heat of the equipment can cause the wood’s combustion temperature to lower and self-ignite.
Home and commercial owners have the duty to properly inspect all areas of their property for possible fire hazards. Removing or remedying common, and as shown above, uncommon sources of fire is important as fires are deeply unpredictable. Be sure to take action before finding yourself in a situation where damage remediation and restoration is needed for your property.
The Cost of Water Damage Restoration
How much will water damage restoration cost?
If you’re looking for the cost a restoration company will charge for water damage, chances are your need for services is immediate. We understand homeowners are naturally inclined to be curious and slightly stressed as to what an emergency disaster to their home will cost them. Many homeowners typically submit a claim via their insurance to deal with these types of occurrences. However, there are some homeowner’s who elect to self-pay. Since every homeowner’s needs are different, the costs will most definitely be as well. The cost of water damage restoration is dependent on a few factors including, the source, the size of the affected area, and any other issues stemming from the water damage.
The source of any flooding, leaks, or moisture affect a bill's bottom line. The class of water from these sources are also considered as they require very different precautions and clean-up. Water categorized as clean is much safer and quicker to take care of as there are less health risks. Grey or black water can contain dangerous contaminants from sewer backups or toilet overflows; companies heed these situations with much more caution.
Despite the classification, water should be drained from the home prior to a full 24-hour period and the drying process should begin. If water is left sitting for too long, the extent of the damage is furthered. Heavily wet wood can begin to rot, fabrics tend to develop odors and drywall starts to hold more moisture. As the moisture accumulates in the material and air, it creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew. This could increase the cost of water damage restoration as mold remediation may now be needed.
The size of the area in which your home has been affected, along with damage occurred to your home’s structural materials impact cost as well. For example, it is less time consuming to dry carpet than it would be with flooring underneath the carpet heavily saturated with water. Another factor in price, is the number of rooms or levels, as well as the need to repair or ultimately replace building material.
Regardless of the price tag associated with water damage repair and cleanup, it is important to remember that going through a professional restoration is the best route to take. A DIY water repair can be risky for a homeowner’s health and wallet. Professional companies have the ability to properly price a water damage job with a more accurate estimate. Experienced crews can execute the restoration process with ease and safety equipment that a DIY clean-up cannot. Upon notice of damage, help to save on costs by acting swiftly and calling your insurance or a professional like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Our team does our best to have someone quickly onsite to provide a thorough, trustworthy assessment and estimate.
Call today, 561-795-5410.
Removing Smoke, Odor, and Soot After a Fire
This garage was affected by soot and smoke damage. The odor also lingered in the home closely connected to the garage.
The Importance of Professional Smoke Removal After a Fire
It may come as a surprise to many that the biggest cause of death and illnesses resulting from a fire is not the fire itself but smoke. Homes and commercial spaces are filled with many different materials, both in the structure and home furnishings. Not all materials burn clean, often releasing hazardous toxins. Some of these chemicals can break into particulate matter: extremely small solid or liquid particles. These particles are easily inhaled or absorbed via skin contact, potentially causing serious health issues. While most every fire has particular matter and carbon monoxide, there are other chemicals to know and be weary of.
Burning barrels of trash is not encouraged with highly regarded warnings because of the dyes, pigments, coatings, and other components of everyday trash. Allowing these chemicals to be released into the air and environment around you is extremely harmful. This holds true to the burning of non-trash household items as well. For instance, treated wood that is burned can release arsenic, copper, or creosote. The chemicals found in treated wood are used to preserve the wood from everyday wear; they are not meant to be burned, therefore considered as possible carcinogens. Another commonly found material is plastic. Burned plastic can release hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and other heavy metals. Inhaling any of these compounds can potentially cause damage to the immune and respiratory system.
When stopping to take a look around a place of residence or commercial space, many different materials can be found; some materials are evident and others, like those making up a building’s structure, are not always known. The uncertainty of these materials and the chemicals they extricate should be taken as a warning. When dealing with the aftermath of a fire, the soot and smoke remaining should never be handled by anyone who is not a professional. Inexperienced and DIY cleaning of soot and smoke can lead to serious health effects. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has dealt with many residential and commercial fires, providing cleaning and restoration in a safe, professional manner. Our technicians have the proper equipment and safety gear to avoid the affects of lingering toxins.
If your home is in need of soot, smoke, or odor removal, call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, 561-795-5410.
The Importance of Mold Removal Before Newborn Baby
Mold is a hidden danger. It can be lurking areas of your home unseen. Have a mold inspection done to keep your home and your family healthy.
For a parent-to-be there are many hypothetical, scary ideas and scenarios in the world. Many new parents do their best to take as many precautions and prepare for all that they can. For South Floridian parents specifically, they may plan for mosquitoes, critters, pool gates, and having many options to keep the baby cool during the summer months. One dreadful item to check off the list and which is often overlooked, can be mold.
Mold is not only found pretty much everywhere in nature but is particularly prevalent in Florida’s humid climate. The presence of mold is not always easily detected and can linger around for months or even years before becoming a known nuisance. Depending on the length of exposure and distinction of mold, health problems like allergies or respiratory issues can arise. Thankfully, short-term mold exposure for a pregnant woman is not suspected to be harmful. Even so, it is best to be sure that your home is mold-free pre-arrival of baby.
Calling a professional mold inspector or tester alleviates the stress and direct contact of potential mold. While inspectors usually conduct visible assessments, a parent-to-be should walk the inspector through all of their concerns as they will already go through areas of the house that are naturally more prone to mold. Providing access to restrictive areas, like the HVAC ducts or the attic, is also advised.
Once the inspection is completed, with hopefully no signs of mold, parents should still take precautionary measures. Air quality is important, especially for developing lungs. Keeping an air purifier large enough to filter the main common areas and even testing your air quality on a reoccurring basis, is a step in prevention and early detection of mold. Maintaining your home’s structure and checking for damage after any storm is pertinent. Implementing additional methods of drying areas that get wet and tend to stay wet, like under sinks or in a bathroom, is also preventative for mold growth.
The thought of becoming a parent can be scary and parenthood can be hard, but keeping them safe from mold should not be either. Make sure to prepare your home during and after pregnancy to protect your family.
Classes of Fires
Not all fires are created equal. The classes of fire not unlike the classes of water, are determined by source of the ignition. Most homeowners are unlikely to experience more than one class of fire, while some businesses may be susceptible to various classes. Understanding the different classifications of fires allows for effective extinguishing and restoration.
Class A fires are the ordinary everyday house fires. Usually caused by wood, paper, plastic or fabric, these fires are easily extinguished by water or monoammonium phosphate. Monoammonium phosphate is found in common fire extinguishers that are kept in homes or offices.
Any flammable liquid or gas like gasoline, propane, or kerosene are at the center of Class B fires. Businesses or homes that have these highly volatile items are at a higher risk of fire. Any other objects that pose a threat of heat or pressure set off combustion.
Major appliances, transformers, or fuse boxes are all sources of Class C fires. Fires that are caused by any object with electricity as it’s fuel source are within this category. In homes electrical fires can be damaged cords or underserviced appliances. Businesses with heavy electrically operated equipment are susceptible to Class C fires. Unplugging or cutting off the electrical supply, when safe of course, is the first step to diminishing this fire. Extinguishers with carbon dioxide are ideal.
Class D fires consist of burning metals. Specific metals are flammable including uranium, potassium, magnesium and more common titanium or aluminum. These metals can take shape in a powder, flake, or chips that are placed under extreme heat. The attributes of these materials typically make for a quickly spread fire. These fires are also not easily smothered and take dry powders before they are put out.
Class K fires are usually cooking fires, started by a liquid like oil or grease. These fires are much more common and put out with wet chemical fire extinguishers.
As a business or home owner, knowing the potential classes of fire that can occur based on environment is important. Staying prepared with the correct fire extinguisher is imperative in the event that a fire arises.
Different Types of Storms and Damage
Much like this roof damaged by a hurricane, storms can cause an array of damage both major and minor.
At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we’re somewhat of self-proclaimed storm chasers. At the first news of any storm, our crew is closely watching the storm's formation or path and is prepared the second it causes any destruction. In Florida, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tropical storms are the most common types of storms to occur. For the rest of the United States, there are many more and many different kinds of storms.
Mid-day thunderstorms are ever-present during the summer months in Florida. Typical thunderstorms come with thundering clouds or lightening, high winds and adequate rain. The amount of rain that accompanies these storms is not usually enough to stir concern. However, lower lying areas that flood easily, can incur damage to properties or homes should there be an opportunity for water to seep in.
South Florida is also quite experienced in enduring hurricanes. Hurricanes stem from tropical cyclones with winds reaching over 74 MPH. Storm surges and flooding from heavy rainfall are attributes of a hurricane. These storms making landfall can be as destructive as tornadoes, though usually landfall helps to slow hurricanes down as they feed on low pressure systems over the open waters.
- Tropical Storms
Tropical Storms are the predecessor to hurricanes, seeing winds of 39 to 74 mph. These storms are slightly more dangerous and damaging than a common thunderstorm due to the faster winds and heavier precipitation.
- Ice Storms and Blizzards
In sunny Florida, ice or snow are not a part of the state’s seasonal changes. The exception to this is for the rare occasion Northern Florida sees small flurries or thin layers of ice on particularly cold mornings. For the rest of the East coast, especially in the Northeast, snow storms most certainly follow changing seasons. During the coldest points of winter, many states see inches to feet of snow, causing guttural and roofing damage to their homes.
- Hail Storms
From flying debris or potential flooding Floridians have a lot to deal with when protecting their property during a thunderstorm. Thankfully hail is not on that list. Hail storms form when updrafts during a thunderstorm are strong enough to carry water droplets high enough in which they’ll freeze. Once these droplets become frozen, the process then turns it into hail as numerous water droplets are added onto the one frozen droplet.
No matter the type of storm, when disaster hits South Florida, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is there to make sure your home or business is back to preloss condition.
How SERVPRO of West Palm Beach Prepares for Hurricane Season
The SERVPRO of West Palm Beach team meeting to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.
At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, each year it seems as though we blink, and hurricane season is upon us once more. As an emergency restoration services company, hurricane season is a big time of year for us. Preparing our staff and business takes additional time, cooperation, and a lot of organization. Lack of organization allows room for communication gaps that can hurt a business in the event of a hurricane.
We have shared advice on contingency plans and even on how to use SERVPRO’s ERP. An Emergency Ready Plan provides a defined guideline on preparing and staying organized for the unexpected. Our crew members always share the how-to and knowledge on our ERP because they understand how imperative it can be as well as it’s efficacy during storm season.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach remains open during hurricane season to help our community get back to normal after a storm. As a business we utilize our own ERP to make sure our documents, building, and equipment are secure. Our crew takes inventory of all of our assets including restoration equipment, our fleet, cleaning supplies, computers and important documents. We properly store all assets until we can carefully access them following the hurricane.
Our crew is our number one priority, so we also ensure there are provisions within our ERP that account for the safety of our team. Staying connected in time of a hurricane can be difficult but is possible. Our team stays in constant communication during a storm, checking on the safety and location of each other.
Preparing for a hurricane as a business is not difficult. In fact the two most important factors to your business, your assets and your people, are easiest to arrange and protect. Planning before the storm, helps to bring a peace of mind for business owners during the storm.
Multi-level Water Damage: What This Means for Commercial Building Owners
The larger the commercial building along with number of working or inhabited areas the building has, the higher chance of a water-related accident or damage transpiring. Commercial buildings tend to have more than one floor, hosting a number of pipes. Maintenance on a building can be costly and may occur less often than needed. Lack of maintenance tends to lead toward leaks, burst, or broken pipes and accompanying hardware. Even if a property owner had rigorous routine inspections, emergencies, accidents, and coincidences can still occur.
A single-level business' concerns mirror that of a multi-level building or business. Restoring damaged roofing, repairing burst pipes, airing out drywall and other nooks are all considerations when experiencing commercial water damage. The contrast between the two businesses is the existence of multiple floors or not.
Even with all things considered including the amount of water and source of the flood, the probability of multiple floors seeing damages is high. Finishing on the floor, subflooring and the material between each level are all permeable enough for water to require serious repair. Most floors only have 12 to 14 inches between the subfloor and the ceiling of the next level. The material in between known as a joist is typically made of lumber, which is in fact processed wood; mold and mildew can indeed grow on treated lumber.
A reputable restoration company should know to check for damage on all floors, subflooring, and ceilings. Should these layers be neglected for an extended period, damage tends to be irreparable as well as dangerous for multiple reasons. The threat to employees and other building visitor's physical safety increases. Mold growth, wiring damage, and collapsing floors are all hypothetical stemming from standing water and unresolved corrosion of floor material.
The stress of returning to business quickly after an emergency can be tempting for a commercial building owner or restoration company to forgo crucial steps in water damage restoration. However, when weighing the outcomes of overlooked damage and the potential of having to pause business again, it is best to be diligent and patient.
Commercial property owners need to ensure they are properly vetting restoration companies that will look at all potential damage, current and future. Rushing through a water damage job affects the safety of employees and visitors, continuity of business, and a commercial building’s bottom line.
What to Expect of the 2019 Hurricane Season
2018 saw a higher than average hurricane season with two devastating hurricanes, Florence and Michael. Both hurricanes caused havoc on the Southern coastal states, causing $25 billion in debt individually. Hurricane Michael’s wind force hit Florida with winds of 155 MPH. This Category 4 hurricane was expected to hit the coast with immense strength and vast destruction, while Florence was not predicted to cause the amount of havoc it did. Florence’s inches of rain caused widespread flooding, leaving hundreds of residents with damaged homes or businesses. The aftermath of Michael and Florence is still very prevalent in many communities across the Southeast.
Similar to last year, this year’s hurricane season is anticipated to bring at least twelve storms, three being major hurricanes. While this season is being claimed as a near normal season, there is no telling the potential categories of each storm. Since the patterns and predictions of the hurricane season are based on the conditions of El Nino, and we are still fairly early into the year, the temper of the season has the ability to drastically change.
With the effects of 2018 still lingering as well as the category and number of storms we will face, weather forecasters and residents alike are preparing themselves for the busy 2019 season. Hurricane season officially starts in June, ending in November. Use SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Plan link or create a plan for your home or business now. Scientists are claiming for many people to expect quicker forming hurricanes in the coming years due to climate change. A solidified plan, especially for those in the areas that are most heavily impacted, allows for the hypothetical situation that there is less time to prepare for onset storms. When creating a plan, keep in mind the events that accompany storms, like flooding, tornadoes, or power outages. Even if your plan is to evacuate in the instance of a hurricane, your home or business will still need protection. Knowing your area and anticipating any of these effects allows you to incorporate any additional contingency plans or resources you may need.
In West Palm Beach, hurricanes are not a new phenomenon and can have devastating affects for many businesses and homes. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach urges our customers to make arrangements and plan prior to the start of storm season. Contact us today or visit our site for more tips on staying prepared.
A Trusted Restoration Services Company in West Palm Beach
Our crew works together to provide our customers quality restoration services.
One of SERVPRO of West Palm Beach’s well known qualities amongst our customers is our diligence. Regardless of the cause of damage, our evaluations are extremely thorough. Our experienced crew ensures that they look beyond the evident damage. For instance, our team might be assessing water damage in a home, with the obvious signs of water in the carpet. Equipped with thermal imaging tools, we look beyond the carpet, in the walls, ceilings, and other belongings in the area. In another situation, we may find mold damage that was not our original reason for visiting a home or business. Proper inspection includes looking beyond what is evident, for other current damage or identifying future sources of damage. Our team is happy to take the additional time and steps to ensure our customers do not endure any more hardships whether to their home or business. We understand the stress that may come when you are in need of restoration services, so we do our best to leave you with repaired damage, peace of mind, and satisfaction.
Our team’s patience and attentiveness does not end with assessments. Restoration and remediation services tend to be confusing for many customers. There are many questions concerning the length of time, the cost, what will happen to belongings, etc. Our team does our best to educate our customers through each step, reassuring them of the care we will take with their belongings and home.
When working with a restoration services company, consider the company's reputation for being diligent. Being thorough when it comes to fire, mold, or water damage may help to save you time, money, and prevention from future disasters.
Does Your Business Have an Emergency Ready Plan?
Depending on the industry a business is in, and the size of the business, there may be contingency plans in place for different situations. A bank may have a plan in the case of a robbery; a big corporation may also have a plan in the sudden case that a C-suite executive resigns. As research has indicated, also having a plan in the case flood, fire, or water disaster strikes is essential for businesses to remain open. Loss of revenue, quality of customer service, and additional expenses all accompany business interruptions. As every owner knows ensuring a company remains functioning as normal is vital to the longevity and success of your business. SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) helps business owners develop a guide that they can spring into action upon a moment’s notice.
SERVPRO’s ERP is a cost-free tool that any company can easily utilize in the case it is warranted. Building a profile is simple with the ERP app, allowing all data to be easily stored and synced to as many devices of choosing. After registering for an account, users can create profiles for all of their properties. A walk-through of any property or facility is the first step. Our field form allows a user to easily log all critical information necessary in the event of an emergency situation. Having this information handy and stored also helps to streamline the restoration process while substituting the need for important documents, should they become damaged in a disastrous event. The distribution of the ERP to key decision makers is simplified with the app also. Sharing the plan with leaders in your company and your preferred local SERVPRO, mitigates the possibility of any miscommunication or confusion.
Should your business endure any damage, an option and process for help are already in place to execute. The choice to contact your preferred local SERVPRO via phone call or notice of loss form is available via the app. Since information on your property has been provided already to your local SERVPRO, most of the extensive questioning has been taken care of, allowing our crew to begin working much more quickly.
Every owner desires a peace of mind when it comes to their business. Employee and customer happiness is a top priority as is the bottom line. Ensuring contingency plans are in place helps to reinforce those priorities. With SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Plan, your business is back on it’s feet sooner after an emergency disaster.
Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach to ask about the ERP for your business and even your home. Our representatives can provide you the necessary information and direction toward making sure your business is ready for anything that comes your way!
Why Hire SERVPRO of West Palm Beach for Your Restoration Needs
Why Hire Us?
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is located in the heart of West Palm Beach, extending our services out to Royal Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, Loxahatchee and more.
Our franchise operates seamlessly, utilizing our skills and crew to provide our customers with the best possible restoration services.
Training & Education
Our team advocates for continuous education in the restoration industry. Many of our crew members strive to complete new certifications and refresh their knowledge on previously obtained certifications as well. We connect with other industry leaders, both local and national, to ensure we are offering our customers the most innovative and current techniques and equipment.
Flexibility & Scalability
We have the ability to take on larger commercial projects with ease while maintaining the level of work we provide for our residential customers. One project may require drying and cleaning a flooded hotel in downtown West Palm and another removing mold-ridden carpet in a Palm Beach home. Working differing situations comes easily for our crew as they are confident in their skills and ability to adapt.
We pride ourselves in taking the time to know our customers and not just their emergency disaster at hand. Familiarizing ourselves with each individual customer allows us to understand what is important and what expectations there may be, aside from providing excellent service.
As business owners and homeowners, we understand that the notion of flood, fire, water, or storm damage can be overwhelming. Our crew walks each of our customers, commercial or residential, helping to ease feelings of worry and unrest. Our customers trusting us is our top priority.
Your backyard is ours as well. We take pride in working and living in Palm Beach County. Our entire crew is involved in the Palm Beach community through volunteering, donating, or mentoring. We have felt the affects of a hurricane and damage caused. We understand the stress with a fire or mold disaster. We want our neighbors to live worry-free with their homes at preloss conditions. We support the community just as much as they support us.
If you are experiencing any damage to your home and are in need of restoration services, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. We are dependable, trustworthy, and provide nothing less than quality work.
DIY Dont's for Water Damage Restoration in Your Home
Unlike DIY water damage restoration, we have equipment like this thermal gun to detect any hidden water or flooding.
Why Not to DIY Water Damage Restoration in Your Home
You may experience a small water leak or flooding in your Palm Beach home and with a few Google searches or YouTube videos later, you’re convinced to DIY the situation. Often, some sites may provide water damage restoration tips, giving homeowners the confidence to attempt restoration and cleaning. While these tips mean well, DIYing water disasters can lead to other issues concerning your health, safety, and home. Before starting any restoration consider the following reasons.
There Are Multiple Safety Hazards
The source of water leaks or flooding can have a direct effect on someone’s health should they come into contact with sitting water. There are different classifications of water including clean, gray, and black water. These classifications are not labeled relative to the color of the water but rather the contaminants found, usually stemming from the source. Microorganisms from the water and any lingering bacteria after an improper cleaning can be detrimental to personal health.
Restoration Takes Years of Experience
Certified professionals in the restoration industry have had the experience and training to identify obvious, hidden, and potentially future damage. Surface level damage, such as wet walls or flooring is easily recognized. Affected areas can be deeper than what is seen by the untrained eye. Water can make its way under multiple layers of dry wall or flooring. Other issues like mold or mildew can spur from not properly diagnosing damage. A professional understands where to look and what to do to mitigate any present or future loss.
Lack of Proper Equipment
The average homeowner more than likely does not own the equipment necessary to dry, clean, and restore water damage. Industry-standard air movers, dryers, and dehumidifiers require proper knowledge on use and placement. Tools for restoration also include cleaning solutions that rid of any bacteria, odor, or residue. These solutions may require extensive training on using them including safety equipment that a homeowner may not otherwise think of obtaining.
If needed, building materials for replacing drywall or flooring are easily found in hardware stores. However, unless a homeowner is a professional contractor, these items are not simply laid down with a few nails or adhesives. Restoration companies that offer rebuild know how to effectively and quickly replace damaged drywall, flooring, or other structural components in a home.
Professional Crews Include More Than One Person
Many homeowners are under the impression that they will save money but they do not always factor in time. Water damage restoration jobs entail a number of issues that require more than one set of hands. A professional crew has the ability to keep projects within a shorter timeframe than one person may be able to do. With a crew, believe it or not, both time and money are saved. Restoration companies know exactly what needs to be done, the timeline in which it can be done, and what equipment to use. Professionals also know how to complete restoration without making any mistakes that a homeowner might, costing additional monies.
When it comes to water damage and restoration, DIY is not the best route for any Palm Beach homeowner. Call a professional restoration company to save your health, your time, and your money.
What is Content Restoration?
After a fire in a West Palm Beach home, items were wrapped to begin the content restoration process.
Your house is not a home without your valued belongings. Many items in our homes hold fond memories of our families and friends. Some items we have worked hard to obtain and are filled with a sense of pride when regarding them in conversation or using them day to day. Whatever the feeling may be when it comes to furniture, clothes, photos, trinkets, and more, there is an overwhelming feeling of sadness once these items become damaged or lost.
When a fire or flood strikes your home, the question “What will happen to my home?” crosses a homeowner’s mind first. The second question may be “What will become of all of my things?”. As restoration experts with many years in the industry, we have seen a number of situations where disaster occurs, and homes are inundated with damage. Even in the direst of conditions, our crew has extensive experience in content restoration, to help salvage your valuables.
What is Content Restoration?
Content restoration happens when belongings are affected by fire, water, or mold. During the cleaning phase, our crew may “pack out” the items in any areas where damage occurred. Allowing the SERVPRO crew to pack your items ensures a more streamlined process and protection from further harm. We also help to inventory your belongings and document anything moving in or out of your home. Keeping a list also aids in any insurance claims that potentially occur later in the process.
These items are brought to an area in which our team can diligently inspect them to determine if there is a chance of salvation. Our mentality is “restore” rather than “replace”. Restoring items saves many homeowners memories and money.
Once items are categorized, cleaning or drying begins. Depending on the source and extent of damage, there are different methods utilized to carry out cleaning. Documents, photographs, and electronics are handled in a different matter than fabric and clothes may be. Our crew is qualified to determine which technique and level of cleaning is needed. Being tentative and knowledgeable is imperative to keep each item intact.
Following your home’s restoration, our team will work with you on your move-in needs.
In the case that your home is disturbed by a disastrous event such as flood or fire, rest easily knowing that your valuables, along with your home, are not completely lost. Our team understands the memories our customers have made in their homes. We strive to help you keep your belongings and bring your life back on track, "Like it never even happened."
Cleaning and Restoring Damaged Items in Palm Beach
These sneakers were full of smoke and soot damage before being restored by our Esporta machine.
Fire and water emergencies can bring homeowners many checklists, worries, and questions. The question of whether they will have to replace all clothing and textile items may plague many homeowners. During the process of cleaning and restoring, personal items and valuables are sorted to determine what is salvageable and what is not. Cleaning salvageable items is a part of the restoration process. Clothes and textiles affected by water, mold, soot or fire smoke can be restored with our Esporta machine.
Traditional washing machines, home-owned or industrial, do not have the capability to properly clean water, mold, or fire damaged clothing. The Esporta Washing System cleans twice as much than a dry cleaner can. The Esporta cleans 90% of all damaged soft contents including clothing, bedding, stuffed animals, leather shoes or purses, and more.
The Esporta Washing System uses a hydraulic cleaning method. This method uses water as pressure to force contaminants out of any items. This system differs from a traditional washing machine, as a traditional machine uses blades or paddles to press against the items, proving to be ineffective against organic or inorganic contaminants.
The detergent used in the cleaning process is also what sets this washing system apart from other methods. The proprietary detergent is harsh on contaminants but gentle on the environment. The blend is free of any hazardous chemicals, proving to be kind to those using the washed items, anyone operating the machine, and to our planet.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is one of the Esporta Certified Operators within Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington. Accessibility to the Esporta gives us an edge on our competitors in providing quick, quality service and ensuring as much of our customer’s contents are restored. Restoring and cleaning your salvageable items usually helps to expedite the process of dealing with an insurance claim and returning back to your normal life. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach also eases the worries and many steps that comes with a fire or water damage emergency. We offer inspection, cleaning of both buildings and items, along with restoration.
For your next fire or water damage emergency, contact the pros at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach.
Commercial Cleaning Services in Downtown West Palm Beach
Commercial cleaning is not limited to restoration services after a disaster for the team at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Commercial buildings in downtown West Palm Beach undergo extensive use regardless of the related industry. Many businesses use janitorial staff for surface cleaning like vacuuming or wiping down a restroom, but there is more cleaning to be done. Deep cleaning of carpets, walls, air ducts and more, are not services business or building owners always have as top-of-mind.
Choosing a commercial cleaning service can be difficult as you are entrusting your business’s appearance to someone else. One determining factor to look for is the extent of services offered by the cleaning and restoration company.
1. Interior Cleaning
Heavy trafficked areas can leave carpets with built-up soil that can become unsightly. Carpets tend to trap dust, dirt, and other bacteria, creating a potentially unhealthy environment for those walking and exposing the area to the kicked-up soil. Our routine professional service relies on a few methods to maintain carpets and upholstery.
Bonnet Cleaning, preconditioning and rinsing, as well as dry cleaning, are all gentler ways of getting deep to the dirt. Hot water extraction along with our Showcase Premier cleaning allows for targeting tougher areas.
Similar to carpet, floors endure high traffic and grime buildup. Sweeping and mopping are sufficient for surface cleaning but are not always adequate in removing dirt that has amassed over time. We tackle tile and hardwood, safely sanitizing the surface and grout with equipment used for heavy duty jobs no matter the area.
Walls and ceilings are just as susceptible to dirt as carpets and floors. Walls collect dirt from touch, smoke, grease, and any other substance your HVAC system might distribute. Cleaning walls without ruining the paint or finishing can be tasking for a janitorial company. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach uses proprietary cleaning products to thoroughly and safely clean ceilings or walls.
2. HVAC & Air Ducts
Outdoor air quality is a concern for many people as we are exposed to pollen and air pollution. Indoor quality should be just as big of a concern. Employees in commercial buildings spend a majority of their day indoors and should have access to dust-free, pollen-free, mold-free, clean air. HVAC’s and air ducts often are ignored when routine maintenance is performed. Ventilation system cleaning is not only necessary to maintain the proper air quality but to ensure proper functioning of these systems, extending the life of the equipment. Our team has the experience and knowledge to inspect a commercial building or offices’ ducts to determine the extent of cleaning needed.
3. Odor Removal
Does your building or office space have a certain smell that lingers? Restaurants and hotels are often inundated with different smells left from cooked food or the various visitors. Other buildings could potentially have a chemical smell, mold smell, or just a stale, stuffy odor. Odor issues stem from a source, caused by a past event or a current problem. Our team carries out thorough inspections to ensure that the source of the smell is not an issue in need of resolving or causing detriment to the building structure. Our methods don’t just mask the smell temporarily; we locate the source and penetrate the surfaces to extract and stop any foul odors.
Along with these services our team also offers other commercial cleaning including: biohazard cleanup, sewage and toilet overflow, mold and water cleanup.
From restaurants and hotels, to warehouse and office space, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach understands the importance of providing a clean, safe space for your team and customers alike. Call today to begin commercial cleaning services for your downtown West Palm Beach building, 561-795-5410.
Choosing the Right Commercial Restoration Services in West Palm Beach
No matter the size of you business or the damage affecting it, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has the necessary equipment and crew to help.
How to Choose a Commercial Restoration Services Company
West Palm Beach’s downtown district offers a variety of businesses, in many different industries. Just as ample as the number of businesses are the number of commercial cleaning and restoration services. When a disaster hits, some business owners are keen on contacting the first company that they encounter, in a bout of urgency. However, entrusting your business to just any commercial restoration service can turn into a more expensive and damaging job. All restoration companies are not created equal. In fact, there are a number of factors to consider when conducting research.
1. Reputation and Experience
Company biographies and employee pages are not on a website just for cosmetic purposes. Reading into a company, its owner, and crew, provides insight that a simple ad may not have otherwise provided. Company pages in the restoration industry should list any certifications and years of experience. Even if is it not clear as to what a certain certification may mean, knowing that is listed shows that it is important and that the owner’s care enough for their customers to invest into their employees training. When years of experience are provided, whether for individual employees or for the company as a whole, this showcases the extensive knowledge and on-the-job practice gained.
Scanning reviews on the website or third-party pages including Google My Business and social media, gives a sense of customer sentiment. A company with positive reviews generally has a reputation for providing quality work and meeting expectations. Reading through reviews and a company’s response to these reviews can help to reinforce a decision. Be weary of negative comments however. Reading into the negative reviews that seem genuine is suggested as there is typically a reason for the low rating. However, use your own judgment when reading both the positive and negative reviews.
2. Services Offered
An emergency disaster requiring restoration services usually falls within fire, water, or mold. Of course, there are other situations that call for a restoration company also. Reviewing the website for services offered and details on each service is imperative during the research phase. Some companies are subject matter experts for one or two services, while others are multifaceted and have a wide range of capabilities. Companies that offer assessment, cleaning, restoration, and rebuild are ideal as they provide a more streamlined experience.
Stay sharp as to whether not a company over promises or seems as though they are providing a false sense of reality. Most companies are available 24/7 and should walk through expectations and timelines upon first contact.
3. Types of Businesses Served
Accidental or emergency disasters require a company who can adapt to a business including the time in which a business may need to be fully functioning and any intricacies that come along with a project. A hotel job site could require expedited timelines while a car dealership may afford to stay closed a bit longer as the level of work needed is more complex.
A company may not always have photos of all of their commercial clients for legal reasons, however, asking about the company’s experience is a simple way to gain an understanding of the extent of work they’ve done within a specific industry.
Making a decision on a restoration services company goes beyond listing offerings or past projects. Employees should display professionalism, courtesy, kindness, and understanding through this difficult, confusing time. Conversations should center on openness and candidacy. Companies that provide positive interactions from the beginning to the end of an emergency disaster are those that also offer quality service.
Entrust your business to a professional, reputable company, who has the experience and ability to get your business running as soon as possible after a flood, fire, or mold disaster.
Top 5 Causes of Fires in Wellington
In two minutes, a Wellington house fire can become life threatening. Fire can turn from a small flame to a major fire within less than 30 seconds. Smoke and toxic gasses travel and affect any inhabitants of the home just as quickly. The color of a fire can turn from a bright flame to thick, dark smoke obscuring any sense of vision.
These facts are not meant to frighten but are meant to raise awareness. Understanding how fast fire affects a space and the varying damage it creates, is crucial to staying vigilant. Being cognizant of the top 5 fire causes can minimize the risk of home fires.
Top 5 Causes of Home Fires in Wellington
In 2016, cooking made up for just a little over 50% of U.S. residential fires. It’s no surprise that this is the main driver, when the kitchen holds so many items and incidences that can spark a fire. From frying, boiling, grilling to small grease fires, even accidentally leaving the oven or stove on for too long, fires are imminent without proper precautions.
Staying alert while cooking, removing distractions and preparing a workspace free of anything particularly flammable can greatly lessen the changes of a cooking fire.
While South Florida is not known for its winter months often dropping to temperatures below freezing, there are a few days in the year where it does get uncomfortably cold for native Floridians. Most homes are equipped with central air and heat, there are instances where a space heater, portable or stationary, is utilized. Space heaters too close to items that easily catch fire, like furniture for example, are the leading contributor in starting fires. Improper cleaning of heating devices, whether it is a fireplace or heating system, has also led to 27% of heating related fires.
Wiring, appliances, even lightbulbs can be the root cause of electrical fires. Your Wellington home is full of wires for your major appliances, TVs, lighting, and more. Faulty, outdated or broken wires can set off a spark or two. Even laying rugs or other materials over or directly on top of wires can cause potential fires.
Lighting is not just limited to the wires producing the light. Lightbulbs installed with a wattage that is too high for the fixture can trigger a fire. As romantic as it seems, laying material over a lampshade or light fixture often results in fire as well.
4. Open Flames Link
Between 2012-2016, 23 candle related fires were reported per day. That number may seem a bit high for an item that typically has a contained flame and does not take up much space. Lighting a candle or two can be relaxing, however, fires triggered by candles have been due to a homeowner’s leaving the candle unattended. A burning candle through the night or a candle too close to a flammable object have been reported during such incidents.
Using candles does not have to induce fear, there are plenty of tips on how to safely use candles in your home, including staying aware.
Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths among all other events. Fires stemming from smoking are not limited to cigars or cigarettes. Fires associated with E-cigarettes have been from battery failure while the battery was being charged or transported. Whether it is a cigarette, pipe, or e-cigarette involved, users should take caution to properly store and use these items. Smoking outside, proper storage and discard of smoking materials help to reduce the number of fires and fire related deaths.
Distraction and carelessness are the root of many fires unfortunately. While some incidents are out of the control of any one person involved, many fires are preventable. Performing due diligence when it comes to everyday tasks or the upkeep of your home is vital to avoid a fire and the long-lasting damage it can cause to your Wellington home.
History of Worst Hurricanes and Storm Damage in Palm Beach County
Storm Damage in Palm Beach County
Florida residents have experienced tornadoes, flooding, tropical storms and hurricanes with more storms hitting the state than any other. As all of Florida, especially South Florida has been affected by a hurricane or major storm, no area is immune to storm damage.
Some Floridians have experienced a storm shutter or two missing, even storm water flooding their homes. With each hurricane season, comes an array of surprises, some worse than others. Let’s take a look at some of the worst hurricanes and the damage they have caused over the years.
1928: Okeechobee Hurricane
This hurricane was one of the most devastating hurricanes recorded for Palm Beach. This storm made landfall with winds of up to 145 mph, destroying over one thousand homes. Many people were affected greatly by this storm, sadly losing their lives, along with millions of dollars in structural damage.
This hurricane, subsequent to the Miami Hurricane of 1926, proved to officials that buildings that were properly built and secured remained intact while those not made of steel or concrete were severely damaged. While the aftermath of Okeechobee Hurricane or the San Felipe Segundo Hurricane was vast and costly, it did bring a positive effect on building codes.
1947: Fort Lauderdale Hurricane
1947 brought two major hurricanes and various tropical storms causing significant devastation. In September 1947, a Category 4 Hurricane caused storm surge of up to 22 feet near Lake Okeechobee and 11 feet by Palm Beach and Boynton Beach. Many houses and buildings on the east coast were hit hard by waves and flooding, forcing many residents to flee their homes or seek higher ground. Structures abiding by improved codes fared well, while other older buildings were impacted with no hope of rebuilding.
One of the final hurricanes for that season, dropped inches of rain on South Florida, causing major flooding in the Miami-Dade county. This hurricane was one of the first that experienced government involvement, with attempts to drop dry ice to weaken the storm. These attempts were unsuccessful. The flooding from this hurricane was the worst recorded in South Florida so far with over eight feet of water in some areas and many houses nearly submerged.
1979: Hurricane David
Hurricane David was one of the next major hurricanes after about 20 years of relatively quiet seasons. Following the losses in the 1940s, David hit Florida as a Category 1 hurricane, bringing only two to four feet of storm surge along with it. Damages from this hurricane were minimal, with crop damage accounting for the majority of millions Palm Beach County lost. Even so, some resident’s failed to prepare, allowing blown in windows and torn roofs.
1999: Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene was one of the first hurricanes to remind South Florida residents of the 1940s. Rain of over 17 inches generating over $600 million in flooding and agricultural damage. Four tornadoes tore their way through Broward and Palm Beach County producing more damage and casualties.
2005: Hurricane Wilma
Hurricane Wilma was one of the strongest hurricanes seen so far, resulting in over 6 million Floridians without power, even though it hit Palm Beach County as a Category 2 hurricane. Lights and power lines scattered the streets, roofs were torn off and a mandated curfew of 9 p.m was put into place as the amassed $20.6 billion destruction of Wilma plagued South Florida.
2017: Hurricane Irma
After years of quieter hurricane seasons, sprinkled with a few tropical storms in between, Florida experienced Hurricane Irma. Prior to Irma, a Category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Hermine had made landfall the year prior causing river swelling. Irma proved to be a much stronger storm in terms of windspeed and pressure. Irma left behind over $50 billion in damage, higher than that of Wilma. Over 6.5 million Floridians were ordered to evacuate and the state saw just that exact record-breaking number of evacuees. Many homes and business were damages with more than 24,00 homes experiencing some form of damage.
No matter the expected intensity of an upcoming hurricane season, it is imperative that Palm Beach County residents prepare themselves for worst-case scenarios. Always ensure your home or business has a contingency plan for before and after a storm.
If your home experiences storm damage inflicted by a major hurricane or tropical storm, be sure to call the professionals of SERVPRO of West Palm Beach to help with any flooding, leaks, water or mold damage.
Water Damage Restoration Process in Palm Beach, FL
During the restoration process air moves and dehumidifiers are placed in rooms to ensure proper water removal and dry outs.
Your upstairs bathroom has just flooded or maybe a particularly nasty storm has brought inches of rainwater into your home through a leak in your roof. Your ceiling is wet, you’re standing in a small pool of water while your favorite couch is being soaked. Sounds like the start of any homeowner’s nightmare, doesn’t it?
Countless Palm Beach homeowners have been in situations such as the aforementioned with no clue as to what their steps are or what is in store for them. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has handled numerous water leaks and flood damage, acting quickly and professionally. Our restoration crew are pros at keeping calm while mitigating the situation, however, not all homeowners are. Having a step-by-step guide to the water damage restoration process will help to quell any panic and ensure that any home or building owner is equipped to walk through any water emergency.
Step 1: Call for Help
For any non-threatening emergencies, the first calls to make depend greatly on the situation at hand. If the main source is appliance or plumbing, turn off the water source as long as it is safe for you to do so. If you cannot access the main valve, call a local plumber or your utility company. Aside from the water utility company, also calling out a gas and an electric company helps to ensure additional safety. Calling a restoration emergency company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach would be the best next call to make.
Step 2: Visit and Assessment
Our crew is available 24/7 to respond to any size water damage disaster. Once our crew arrives to your property, we will assess the damage. Our crew is equipped with necessary equipment, including technology that reads moisture. Access to multiple rooms is usually needed as inspecting more than just the suspected damaged area is done to properly assess. Once the assessment is done, an estimate will be given, and paperwork will begin.
Step 3: Item Removal
Our crew as well as possibly your insurance’s adjuster will itemize any belongings and valuables that may have been affected by water. Sorting will follow to determine whether items are salvageable or in need of cleaning.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying
Water removal process will begin as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Pumps are used to extract the water and dehumidifiers as well as air movers are placed in the needed areas. Equipment may remain for a few days as our crew needs to ensure that all areas are thoroughly dry before moving to the next stage. During this process, our crew will periodically check the moisture and progress of drying of any flooring or drywall.
Step 5: Restoration
Restoration begins after the affected areas have been dried and cleaned. Building materials including drywall or flooring may be repaired or rebuilt. Our production crew will work to reconstruct any areas that were damaged.
Step 6: Moving On
Once all areas are dried, cleaned, and rebuilt you are free to return to your life as normal.
Our crew has the knowledge and expertise to assist in any water damage restoration process from start to finish.
Water Damage in Palm Beach County
This home's foundation suffered major water damage that eventually lead to mold growth.
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
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
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?
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
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?
The amount of water damage that occurs on tile depends on whether the tile is vinyl, ceramic, or porcelain.
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:
- Vinyl Tile
- Luxury Vinyl
- Porcelain Tile
- Ceramic Tile
- 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
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
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
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
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.
Is There Mold Or Mildew in Your Palm Beach County Home?
Some homes have more evident mold damage than others. Having a mold damage specialist inspect your home ensures whether mold is indeed present.
Your Palm Beach home has recently experienced water damage from possibly a burst pipe, overflown tub or sink, or even a flooded carpet. You also might have already called an emergency services restoration company (hopefully it was SERVPRO) to perform water extraction and remediation. A week goes by and you begin to notice a musty, damp smell in your house. An immediate thought for most residents might be mold. But could it be mildew as well?
Both mold and mildew are members of the fungi family, which thrive in warm, moist areas or surfaces. They can both grow on a multitude of surfaces, especially in a home that has undergone water removal and cleanup. With one being significantly less pesky or harmful, there are ways to identify mold from mildew. As a Palm Beach County homeowner, knowing the difference is vital.
If the affected ares are noticeable, look at the color and patches in which the mold or possible mildew is growing. Mildew tends to be patchy in grey or white colors, while mold can appear black or green and in larger amounts.
Should either nuisance be hidden from sight, there are ways to test the problem.
1. Mold Testing Kits
These kits include air tests, surface or bulking tests. Each kit can help you test for mold in a home, to determine whether it is mildew or truly a more serious matter.
2. Professional Testing
While there are some at-home mold testing kits that are useful, nothing surpasses the expertise and experience of a mold professional. Calling in a mold specialist to perform a mold inspection to a home or business, ensures the guarantee they will detect mold or mildew correctly. A mold expert will also pinpoint the source and recommend a way to mitigate the affected area damage and remove it from your home.
Call a certified mold specialist at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach to schedule your home or business inspection today! (561)-795-5410
Is Mold Inside Your Palm Beach County Home's Air Vents?
Palm Beach County is home to all sorts of weather. Most of the year calls for beautiful, sunny weather. West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas are not always so sunny and can often bring relentless storms causing multiple issues for homeowners.
Flooding, backed up street drains, clogged gutters or leaky roofs are just a few of the problematic symptoms of a storm. Mold, however, might be one of the most prevalent and pesky issues Florida homeowners deal with.
While it is important to know the different types of mold, it is also imperative to know where it can form and fester. Mold can be found in many places throughout a home including, drywalls, insulation, and bathrooms, thriving off of humid conditions. Most Palm Beach homeowners with mold damage, are able to identify the growth and source. However, what if the area the mold growth in your home is located is not easily identifiable?
Harmful mold can be lurking in your air vents and can cause health effects. Mold in air vents and mold in your home's central air system is not always evident to someone who is not a professional. Immediate mold removal and restoration in your West Palm Beach home is crucial.
Consult with a mold removal professional like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Our Certified Mold Remediation crew will give you and your family peace of mind with a mold-free and worry-free home.
Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach today to schedule an appointment, (561)-795-5410.
Steps for Palm Beach County Homeowners To Restore Home After A Fire
Disasters can strike at any time and can differ from one accident to the next. A leaky pipe might burst causing water damage or a storm might cause flood damage. Fires are on the list of unexpected disasters. Does your Palm Beach home or business have a plan of action should a fire occur?
Fire damage can be very stressful for a home or business owner. Fires may bring loss of items, smoke damage, soot, and odor. After your initial call to an emergency service, like your local fire department and first responders, make sure you check a few other items off your list.
Calling your insurance agent should be immediate. Following that phone call, calling an emergency restoration service, like SERVPRO, is just as important. A restoration company has certified technicians who are familiar with fire and property damage to your Palm Beach home or business.
When surveying damage to your property and belongings, if you do not already keep one, create an inventory. Listing your belongings will aid both your insurance and the restoration company in salvaging and cleaning any items that might have experienced harm.
Calling in the professionals ensures an experienced crew will mitigate any further harm caused by improper cleaning or time of resolution. Companies like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, use multiple methods and equipment to begin restoring any damage caused by a fire to your home or business. Technicians aid in salvaging, cleaning, and removing odors caused by a fire.
Your home is not a home without you in it. Let the experts at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach get you back into your home sooner with excellent customer service and fire damage restoration services. It will be "Like it never even happened".
Call your local professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach when disaster hits, (561)795-5410.
When Hurricane Season Ends and How to Continue to Stay Prepared for Hurricanes
The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1st until November 30th. While, the East Coast has had a particularly quiet season so far, West Palm Beach residents should not let their guard down just yet.
Hurricanes can be the most violent and damaging storms. For Palm Beach residents, hurricanes can cause water damage, including flooding and mold, and hurricane wind damage to homes.
With two months left of the 2018 Hurricane Season, Palm Beach county homeowners should remain hurricane ready as the effects of hurricanes can cause serious damage. At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we always provide our customers with tips we follow ourselves to prepare their home and families.
Tips for Hurricane Safety and Emergency Plans
- Have an evacuation plan for you and your family. Depending on where your home is located in Palm Beach, you may be in an evacuation zone and staying home may not be an option. Knowing where the appropriate hurricane evacuation routes in Palm Beach County and hurricane shelters in Palm Beach County are, is vital to your safety.
- Prepare your home to prevent as much storm damage as possible. Trimming trees on your property, clearing any rain gutters and placing hurricane shutters can help in safeguarding your home from hurricane damage.
- Prepare hurricane emergency kits for each family member. These kits can include:
- A gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
- A three-day supply of non-perishable food
- A battery-powered radio
- A flashlight and extra batteries
- A first aid kit and needed medicine
- Sanitary items
- Cellphone chargers
- Any important documents
- Keep a list of important numbers to call after the storm. These numbers can include your local power company to report any outages or fallen wires, emergency services, or local goods stores.
Assessing your home after a hurricane is just as important as preparing it for one. Any hurricane damage may affect the safety of your home and your loved ones. Rely on a professional company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, to help assess any water damage or flooding, mold, or fire after a natural disaster.
Call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561) 795-5410 if you experience hurricane damages this hurricane season.
4 Ways To Combat Mold
Mildew is a white or black substance that you can find growing in the bathrooms. It thrives in warm and humid places.
Eliminate The Moisture
Mildew is a white or black substance that you can find growing on in the bathroom, usually on grout. It thrives in warm and humid places, so an important step to take is to make sure you keep all areas dry and clean in your bathroom. By stretching out and opening shower curtains and keeping on top of the cleaning in your bathroom you can prevent the growth of mildew drastically.
Use Cleaning Products
There are many cleaning easy and affordable products to use when it comes to cleaning your bathroom. One of those products is bleach, and this product can be extremely effective towards combating mold. Mixing 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water, then using it in either a spray bottle or a bucket and sponge to clean the affected area will greatly help you clean any mildew. To avoid mildew growth don't wipe the clean area once you're done cleaning it. Of course bleach is not the perfect go to product, it cannot be used on porous materials and furniture like wood. Bleach is an intense cleaning product with harsh fumes and mixing it with ammonia or other cleaners can be extremely dangerous and toxic.
Remove Large Infestations
Mold is known to grow behind walls and unseen places in a house, leaving homeowners clueless until they smell odors or notice stains and discoloring on their walls. If that becomes the case, the mold will have to literally be cut out of drywall carpets.
If you have a persistent infestation, you may need to hire a mold remediation specialist like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. We will thoroughly inspect your home to determine the extent of the infestation, and afterward we will let you know the next steps needed to take care of the mold in your home.
Severe West Palm Beach Rains Can Cause Mold Damage To Your Home Or Business
Did You Know? The most severe damages caused by bad weather on your home or office will not show right away: as time slowly passes by, these damages begin to show up. We're talking about mildew and mold, a costly culprit to host in your home. Florida's unpredictability when it comes to weather and humidity can make these issues very common to deal with.
The early stage of mold is called Mildew, and it can be the result of a tiny leak followed after a bad storm or even a light rainfall. We broke down what mildew is below: Mold and mildew are fungi, which are microscopic organisms and simple in nature. They survive and do well in wet and moist environments. Unfortunately mold is necessary for our environment to thrive because they help leaves decay which in turns helps soil enrichment. Although it's good for outdoor nature, no one likes having mold destroying the inside of their home.
Mildew and mold is known to grow on carpets, fabric, insulation, wood furniture and other organic materials.
How To Keep Your Home Safe When Using Candles
Candles can add a touch of warmth and lovely scents to your home, but with these following safety tips you can be sure to use your candles with ease of mind each time. Take a look at a few tips we've gathered for you below, and avoid a fire disaster.
- Make sure to keep a burning candle within your sight. Turn off candles when you leave your home/room and before going to sleep. To make sure it's fully turned off check that the wick is completely black and not glowing.
- Avoid placing candles near flammable items. Items like paper, books, wood, furniture and other flammable decorations should be avoided.
- Make sure candles are out of reach from pets and children. Curious hands and paws may strike disaster at any given time if a candle is left within reach.
- Cut candlewicks down to 1/4 inches long before each candle use. Long candle wicks can burn unevenly and become a danger.
- Your candle holder should be specifically for candle use only. A heat resistant, large and strong candle holder will catch wax drops and melted wax from the candle.
How Fast Does Water Damage Effect A Home?
Water damage can happen quickly and create other issues like mold damage and loss of valuables.
When dealing with water damage, time is not on your side unfortunately. The firs part of the destruction is not as bad as the second part which eventually takes place as time goes by and it causes severe damage to your beloved home. Below are the side effects of water damage when left untreated in a home.
Water damage in minutes time
• Contaminated water spreads quickly and increases the costs of claims.
• Furniture not intended to withstand moisture because of the finish, starts to turn a white color.
• Furniture that is on carpet will begin to stain the carpet and saturate it by leaking through the fabrics in carpet.
Water damage in hours time
• Furniture that is in direct contact with the water will start to swell and delaminate (peeling of laminate finish, and more)
• Regular household smells will be heightened by the humidity in the air and become overwhelming.
• Fabrics that have non-colorfast dyes will start to bleed.
Water damage in days time
• Musty odors and fungi will begin to appear.
• Wood floorings can become unsalvageable and warping of wood becomes extremely noticeable.
• Wallpaper begins to peel away and "paint blisters" appear.
• Structural wood pieces begin to split apart and warp.
Water damage in weeks time
• Mold starts to root into organic matters and ruins it's complete integrity.
• Occupants in the home have to be evacuated because of health hazards.
• Allergies may become.
• A complete gutting of the structure may be necessary, which will costs to go up in numbers.
Don't let your home or office become a victim of costly water damage repairs, call SERPVRO of West Palm Beach to help remove the water and mold before it becomes worst and make it "Like it never even happened." Call us at (561)795-5410
How To Prevent Your Furry Friends From Starting Fires
"The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets. The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:
1. Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
2. Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a
3. Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
4. Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
Help Firefighters Help Your Pets:
- Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.
If you're located in West Palm Beach and are in need of disaster restoration services, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561)795-5410
What Can Cause Mold In Your West Palm Beach Home
Moisture is really the key cause of mold growth and how quickly it spreads.
What Mold Needs to Grow
Mold needs these conditions before it can begin to grow in a home:
- Mold spores
- A food source (eg wood, drywall, cotton)
- Darkness (mold can't grow under ultraviolet light)
- Warmth (mold can't grow in freezing temperatures)
- Moisture (eg water leaks, humidity)
- Enough time (most molds can begin to grow in 24-48 hours if the conditions are right)
Moisture is really the key cause of mold growth since the other conditions on the list are always going to be present in homes.
So, essentially, the difference between whether mold grows in your home or not comes down to whether you have a moisture problem. The pros of SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can help with any mold problem you may encounter, call us at (561)795-5410 for a list of our mold remediation and removal services.
What Are the Health Risks of Living With Smoke Damage?
What Are the Health Risks of Living With Smoke Damage?
Not only is living with smoke damage uncomfortable, but it also carries risks associated to your overall health. Being aware of the risks may persuade you to professionally clean up your home or office after fire or smoke damage.
One of the main health risks involves breathing. Even the smoke is not visible anymore, the smokes harmful effects linger on walls, furniture, carpet and other places in your home. Every time you enter the smoke damaged area of your home you could be inhaling soot and other particles left behind after a fire. This could cause sinus issues, lung problems and worst which could effect your health down the road.
Smoke and soot residue is also known to be a skin irritant and could possibly damage skin. They can cause severe irritation and drying not treatable with lotion. Washed fabric and clothes after a fire can still hold remnants of some that can continue to irritate your skin and cause discomfort.
Smoke and soot can also cause itchy, red, watery eyes that are never comfortable. Smoke damage, even when you cannot see it, can cause irritation and even damage to your eyes after a prolonged amount of time. If you are noticing any signs of eye irritation, consult with a doctor and have your property mitigated immediately.
Smoke damage can cause a wide range of issues and as such it is best to have this damage cleaned up as soon as it happens. Cleaning up smoke damage by professionals is the quickest way to avoid any health issues down the road.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is full-service fire, mold, and water restoration company. We offer immediate response to residential, commercial, industrial, and commercial property owners and offer immediate assistance to properties that have experienced unexpected natural disasters such as smoke, mold or water damage. Give us a call at (561)795-5410 if you have fire damage in your home or office.
Smoke And Fire Repair In West Palm Beach
A small fire is capable of causing big damage from the smoke and water that's used to extinguish it. Repair and restoration that's done in a quick manner is key to preventing more damage from growing, like mold.
Average Cost of Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and Repair
On average smoke damage restoration could cost around 3 thousand dollars. Factors like location and severity of the damage affect the price. One costly location for a fire disaster to happen is the kitchen compared to a closet fire. However having homeowner's or renter's insurance is a smart thing to acquire in order to lower out of pocket expenses.
Types of Repairs for Fire and Smoke Damage
Water that's been used to extinguish a fire can easily soak walls and floors inside a house. This water can then turn into mold and even make wood rot if the water isn't completely dried and removed. Smoke soot also saturates and marks fabrics in it's path. The pros at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can come in and salvage belongings such as bed linens, curtains and other belongings if called promptly after a fire disaster. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is also able to professionally remove smoke odors from your home. Without using a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, restoring belongings will be extremely hard to do. Your home's HVAC system and ducts need to be cleaned as well before they can be safely used again
If you're experiencing smoke or soot damage call us at (561)795-5410 and our experienced technicians will be glad to walk you through the process of bringing your home back to normal.
Tips on Getting Rid of Mildew Smell in Carpet In Your West Palm Beach Home
Not only are musty carpets stinky but they could be a sign of mold as well.
After a carpet experiences water damage, it's more than likely to have a musty odor left behind. Not only are musty carpets stinky but they could be a sign of mold as well. Use the tips below to help you get rid of these smells if they haven't gotten out of hand. Although it may seem difficult to accomplish, finding the smell of mildew is a simple task. The first thing to do is to find out where the water damage is coming from and to make sure it's taken care of. Calling the pros at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach to inspect and find any leaks or mold issues will make the dangerous part of dealing with mold easy for you.
Once you have addressed the original water damage and mold issues to prevent regrowth after cleaning, follow these steps to get rid of or prevent a mildew smell in your carpet:
Completely dry the affected area. If the room has windows, keep them open for several hours to distribute fresh air and speed drying. Dehumidifiers help remove moisture from both the air and your carpet fibers. Floor fans also increase air circulation, and pointing the airflow directly on your carpet will accelerate drying time.
Treat the carpet with a cleaning solution. Mix one cup of vinegar and 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Gently spray the solution onto areas of the carpet that smell. Be sure not to oversaturate the area, since this can trigger more mold to grow.
Pour baking soda over the treated areas. Baking soda quickly absorbs odors and is safe to use around children and pets. Allow ample time for the baking soda to absorb any leftover moisture or odors, preferably overnight, and then vacuum it – and the smell – right up.
For a thorough cleaning of your carpets and to get your home inspected for mold call the pros of SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561)795-5410
How To Prevent & Get Rid of Bathroom Mold That Hasn't Gotten Out of Hand In Your West Palm Beach Home
Chances are you've experienced some type of mold in your bathroom, sneaky and invasive, mold can show up at anytime in a bathroom. Although mold is a common house problem in West Palm Beach, if it hasn't gotten out of hand and is not severe then it's easy to prevent and get rid of. It's not surprising that mold thrives in dark and damp spaces, especially one like a bathroom after showering.
Common Causes of Bathroom Mold:
-Moisture that stays around because of poor ventilation.
-A leaky sink, toilet or plumbing issue.
-Damp rugs, wood, wallpaper, etc.
-Chances are if you smell a musty odor or see mold, then there is a mold problem in your bathroom.
Finding the Mold in Your Bathroom
Mold found in the bathroom isn't so easy to find. Hidden places such as beneath sinks, shower doors and fans can harbor mold. Although the mold may be forming in your bathroom the problem could be starting in another room in your home. Poor ventilation is one of the major reasons why mold is forming.
To greatly reduce your chances of mold forming, early prevention is the key. The tips below can help you:
-Turn on your bathroom fan after every shower/bath and let it run for half an hour. Don't have one? Install one.
-Make sure your home's humidity level is below 50%, investing in a dehumidifier could greatly help.
-Buy a mildew-resistant bathroom curtain and replace or wash it regularly.
-Don't store shower essentials such as shampoo or sponges in the shower, they are perfect homes for mold to hide in and grow in.
-Frequently wash bathroom rugs.
Getting Rid of Mold
As long as the mold hasn't gotten out of hand there a few measures you can take to get rid of small amounts of mold:
-Strip away and replace any caulking or sealant that has mold growth.
-Clean your bathroom with mold-killing products, such as bleach, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. DON'T mix those products; mixing can cause TOXIC reactions.
-Open windows and doors while cleaning to provide fresh air and help dry out the mold.
If you are experiencing a mold problem too big for you to handle on your own, give the pros at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach a call at (561)795-5410. We will be glad to remove the mold "Like it never even happened."
Is There Mold In Your West Palm Beach Roof?
It's true that mold spores are airborne and thrive in a humid environment, affecting your roof and ceiling structure.
Living in West Palm Beach, one of the most humid places in the USA, there is a chance your roof or another roof you've passed by is showing signs of mold. A humidity level of 60% or higher can put your roof at risk of mold growth. (The average relative humidity in June for WPB ranges from 69%-84%.) Have you seen black streaks, brown and green mold growth, or discoloration in these roofs? If yes, then it's a good idea to get the roof checked for mold before it becomes costly if it isn't already. Check out some tips we've gathered below to see how you can stop mold from being your worst nightmare.
GET FAMILIAR WITH MOLD
It's true that mold spores are airborne and thrive in a humid and hot environment. This means a roof that's not in direct sunlight, is collecting debris, and has drained water seeping into the foundation is a perfect roof for mold.
CHECK YOUR ROOF
By regularly having inspections done, you'll be able to tell right away if mold is present in your roof. If your roof is in shade and not in direct sunlight, inspections are especially important to get to make sure there is no mold. Experts suggest getting your roof checked annually.
CLEAN YOUR ROOF
Properly maintaining your roof by getting it annually inspected, regularly removing any debris, and cleaning your roof can prevent costly damages to your roof in the long run.
Call the pros at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach for more information on where to find trusted roofers, or if you're experiencing a mold problem. (561)795-5410
Avoiding A Fire Disaster In West Palm Beach
It's summertime and that means there is more outdoor activities like BBQ grilling! While you're whipping up a new recipe, don't forget to keep our safety tips for grilling in mind as well! Make sure your summer stays safe, while delicious!
Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!
Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.
Don't turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face. Click here to see our demonstration.
Don't leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
Don't overload your grill with food. This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
Don't use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family and pets.
7 Important Tips To Help You Avoid A Water Emergency From Heavy South Florida Rains
Preparing your home's roof for heavy rain season is a must in West Palm Beach.
A big problem you can face living in Florida is heavy rain during the summer. Many people in West Palm Beach deal with it every summer. Many floods happen because poor or blocked drainage give the water no place to go and it builds up. Take a look at these following tips to help you be prepared for the next heavy down pour!
Walk around your house and check the foundation. It should be sloped at least 10ft. Builders do this so that water runs away from the home.
Elongate downspouts at least 10 feet from your home to keep it a good and safe distance away. Send the water away from your house, but also make sure it's not just going over to a neighbors house and flooding their home.
Using creative landscaping is a great idea to keep water from getting into your home and from building up.
Clean downspouts and gutters at least twice a year. Gunk builds up in your gutters and downspouts, blocking water. Water needs somewhere to go, so you need to make sure that your gutters and downspouts give it a clear path. Cleaning gutters also helps avoid flooding.
Annually inspect your roof. Catching a roof problem beforehand can save you money and frustration.
Turning off utilities is sometimes necessary during a water emergency. Knowing how turn off utilities is good to reduce stress or panic as well.
Repair any cracks in the foundation so that heavy rain won't sneak in water into your home. A water emergency can start slowly with water seeping through cracks and turn into a huge headache as time goes by.
If you have any questions or are experiencing a water or flood emergency, please give us a call 24/7 at (561)795-5410
Employee Spotlight: Operations Manager
Customer satisfaction is an Operation Manager's number one priority and they work hard to make sure that happens every time for every customer.
What is an Operations Manager and how is one important for you? An Operations Manager makes sure that production managers and crews are following the SERVPRO processes when it comes to doing a job in your home. An Operations Manager also relates to you the customer, and helps with any and all needs you may have during the job.
The reason why an Operations Manager takes care of customers and the crew is so that they can stay in touch with what the customer needs which helps you feel appreciated and helps focus on what you need. An Operations Manager understands that a disaster emergency is a stressful time and they take their job serious so you can ease away from the stress while your home is being brought back to normal.
Customer satisfaction is an Operations Manager's number one priority and they work hard to make sure that happens every time. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach hires only the best and qualified Operation Managers in South Florida.
National Safety Month Week One: Emergency Preparedness (Keeping Your Palm Beach County Home Or Workplace Safe In The Case Of A Tornado)
Spring is a highly active season for tornadoes in the USA. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tornadoes were responsible for 70 annual deaths from 1987-2016. 1,200 tornadoes make landfall in the USA each year. That's a whole lot of rain and hail. So how can you be prepared for a tornado in Palm Beach County?
Make A Plan
For any type of emergency, it's a smart idea to have a plan ready to help with any injuries, fatalities or any damage to properties if a tornado where to make landfall near you. OSHA makes it a requirement for most employers with 11 employees or more to be ready with a written and easy to understand emergency plan. If an employer has 10 or less employees, they are allowed to go over their plans orally with employees.
A director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's individual and Community Preparedness Division, Charlotte Hyams says employers should:
"Pay attention to local weather via media reports, notifications from weather apps or emergency apps such as the FEMA app, and/or a NOAA weather radio." Keep employees informed about weather conditions. Methods include text messages, emails or announcements over an intercom or loudspeaker. “A community’s outdoor warning sirens should never be your primary warning method,” said Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Norman (OK) Forecast Office. “Don’t rely on just one source for warnings.”
Develop a backup communication system in case the primary one fails, and test both systems regularly.
Make sure employees know where to seek shelter and assemble after a tornado passes. “That way, there can be people to take a head count and make sure everyone is accounted for,” Hyams Porter said.
Conduct regularly scheduled tornado drills. “It’s something that should be done on a routine basis. It’s not just a one-time-of-year type of drill,” Hyams Porter said.
Listen & Look
The most obvious sign there is a tornado nearby is the sudden appearance of a funnel. Other signs are:
Green/dark clouds or sky
Wall clouds appearing
Sudden and intense rotation around clouds
Persistent and strong rotation in the cloud base
Strong rain and hail followed by quick moving and strong wind shifts or a "dead calm"
A "train like" sound that doesn't go away
Floating debris by nearby grounds and just underneath clouds
Postpone travel if necessary, move to a sturdy building nearby if possible (bridges and overpasses are not good shelters: traffic can get congested making it hard for emergency vehicles to get through and debris can fly right through.), closets or restrooms are good hiding areas (a windowless room in the center of a buiilding). Covering your head with your arms and crouching face down is also a good idea.
Once the tornado passes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises the following:
Check workers for injuries. Don’t move anyone who is seriously injured unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Instead, seek medical assistance right away. Begin CPR (if trained) on anyone who has stopped breathing.
Check apps and other sources for additional emergency weather information.
Proceed with caution through damaged areas, and watch out for hazards. Wear proper personal protective equipment when handling debris.
Cooperate with emergency personnel.
Part of an organization’s emergency plan should include how an employer plans to communicate with its employees after a tornado, Hyams Porter said.
“The better prepared the businesses are, the better prepared the employees are, and the higher their chances of surviving,” she said.
How Do Hurricanes Form?
How do hurricanes form?
Hurricanes are the most violent storms on Earth. People call these storms by other names, such as typhoons or cyclones, depending on where they occur. The scientific term for all these storms is tropical cyclone. Only tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or eastern Pacific Ocean are called "hurricanes."
Whatever they are called, tropical cyclones all form the same way. Tropical cyclones are like giant engines that use warm, moist air as fuel. That is why they form only over warm ocean waters near the equator. The warm, moist air over the ocean rises upward from near the surface. Because this air moves up and away from the surface, there is less air left near the surface. Another way to say the same thing is that the warm air rises, causing an area of lower air pressure below.
Storms that form north of the equator spin counterclockwise. Storms south of the equator spin clockwise. This difference is because of Earth's rotation on its axis. As the storm system rotates faster and faster, an eye forms in the center. It is very calm and clear in the eye, with very low air pressure. Higher pressure air from above flows down into the eye.
When the winds in the rotating storm reach 39 mph, the storm is called a "tropical storm." And when the wind speeds reach 74 mph, the storm is officially a "tropical cyclone," or hurricane. Tropical cyclones usually weaken when they hit land, because they are no longer being "fed" by the energy from the warm ocean waters. However, they often move far inland, dumping many inches of rain and causing lots of wind damage before they die out completely.
Tropical cyclone categories:
Category Wind Speed (mph) Damage at Landfall Storm Surge (feet)
1 74-95 Minimal 4-5
2 96-110 Moderate 6-8
3 111-129 Extensive 9-12
4 130-156 Extreme 13-18
5 157 or higher Catastrophic 19+
Satellites, built by NASA and operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), save lives by helping weather forecasters predict and warn people where and when these severe storms will hit land.
Call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561) 795-5410 if you experience hurricane damages this hurricane season. We're always here to help you make any disaster "Like it never even happened."
Removing The Smell of Cigarettes
How Do You Remove Cigarette Smoke Smell from a Home or Office?
Cigarette smoke residue is a yellowish-brown, gluey substance that sticks to every surface in a home or office, making it difficult and time-consuming to remove. In order to completely eliminate cigarette smoke odor, you must thoroughly clean the tobacco smoke residue from every surface and every nook and cranny in the home. First, allow fresh air to enter your home and then start systematically cleaning everything in the home/office. As a temporary solution, try using baking soda to absorb smells from the carpets and upholstery and place bowls of white vinegar, coffee or activated charcoal around the house/office.
However, the best way to get rid of tobacco odor is to clean your home or office:
Open all windows and doors to let as much fresh air in as possible.
Clean or replace the air filters, furnace filters and AC filters.
Clean walls and ceilings using products with ammonia and glycol - two ingredients that neutralize bad odors. Let the walls dry and check if the odor persists.
If you can still sense cigarette odor after cleaning, repaint the walls and ceilings with latex paint. Use a sealant designed to lock in odors before painting.
Clean everything in the home or office: floors, windows, carpets, furniture, upholstery, draperies, blinds and other household surfaces, fixtures and items. Hire a professional cleaning company if the tobacco smoke is too difficult to remove.
If you want inexpensive short-term solutions, try these tips:
Use an air purifier in your home/office.
Sprinkle baking soda on the carpets, leave it overnight to absorb bad smells, and vacuum it the next day.
Place saucers of white vinegar around the home and leave them overnight to neutralize the smell.
Get indoor plants which can absorb up to 87% of indoor pollutants.
Place small bowls of coffee throughout the home.
Use scented or non-scented candles.
Leave orange peels around.
Place pineapple slices around the room with all doors and windows closed for 24 hours.
Place bowls of activated charcoal around.
Completely removing cigarette smoke odor is a very time consuming process. If the situation is severe, call the highly trained professionals with SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, to remove the odor, 561-795-5410
Common Fire Hazards in Homes
A majority of home fires come from common hazards listed below. Learning what these hazards are and how to prevent them is sure to help keep you and your family safe.
1. Cooking. Cooking is one of the main causes of house fires than anything else. This includes using microwaves, cooking oil, fryers, etc. in your West Palm Beach home — the biggest concern with cooking is unattended cooking, that is what leads to most home fires.
- Never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking, especially when using oil or high temperatures.
- Be sure that all heating elements are turned off immediately after cooking is done.
- Keep combustible items like dish towels and loose clothing away from cooking surfaces.
- Bear in mind that Thanksgiving and other holidays lead the way in terms of most dangerous single days for cooking, so be extra astute.
2. Heating equipment. This includes your furnace, fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, etc.
- Have chimneys/fireplaces cleaned and inspected once per year — this is the leading cause of home fires related to heating.
- Have furnace inspected every year, change filters regularly, and consider having air ducts professionally cleaned to prevent the accumulation of dust.
- Never set clothes/shoes on a radiator or space heater to dry.
- Space heaters account for one-third of heating fires. Keep any flammable material at least three feet away, and make sure the heater is on an even and stable surface. Never leave space heaters on overnight or when you leave the home (there are timed space heaters that turn off after 1-4 hours that are a better option). Only use space heaters that shut off automatically when tipped over.
3. Electrical equipment. This includes electric appliances, lighting, outlets, and wiring.
- Check all appliances/lighting for frayed or damaged cords. Unplug and replace immediately if any are found.
- Use tamper resistant (TR) outlets. The average home has 75 outlets, and we all remember as kids how tempting it was to stick things in there. TR outlets utilize small shutters so that only a plug with two/three prongs can be inserted.
- Don’t overload outlets with high-wattage devices. Be especially wary of this in bathrooms and kitchens, and spread out your appliances as best as you can. It’s recommended to only have one high-wattage device per outlet.
- If you have regular problems with an outlet or wiring (sparking, frequent blown fuse, constant flickering in lights), contact an electrician to handle the problem instead of letting it fester.
- In lighting, use light bulbs that match the fixture’s recommended wattage.
- Only utilize extension cords as temporary use devices. If you are using one full-time in your home or garage, install another outlet.
- Don’t run extension cords under rugs, carpet, furniture, etc. Cords can get warm, and if it frays/wears out, it will pose a hazard.
4. Candles. Are often seen as the number one fire hazard (they aren’t), but with a few small measures, you can nearly eliminate the chance of a home fire happening from a candle.
- As you can imagine, winter is the most dangerous time for candles, with Christmas and New Year’s being the single worst days. Be extra aware, especially on holidays when there’s wrapping paper all over.
- One-third of candle fires start in the bedroom. If you want to have a romantic evening, make sure that candles are on a stable surface and won’t be knocked over. Keep it sexy but safe, folks.
- Keep candles at least a foot away from anything that will easily burn; more than half of candle fires start because they came in contact with a combustible material.
- Blow all candles out when leaving the room.
- Always keep candles out of reach of children.
5. Accidents involving children. We’ve all been there: kids love fire. Combine that with their insatiable curiosity, and you have a potential disaster on your hands. Heed the following tips to make sure your kids stay safe:
- Keep anything with a possible open flame out of reach of kids. This includes lighters, matches, candles, etc.
- Most of the fires in this category are caused by kids under 10 who play with matches and lighters. Even if you take the above advice, it seems like kids can still find ways to get their hands on fire. Most often, they know it’s bad, so will play in their rooms or closets. Be sure to: regularly check on your kids (especially if doors are closed and they are being extra quiet), know how many lighters/match boxes are in the home and where they are, bring up any melted toys you may find or burned spots on clothing.
- The best thing you can do is to simply teach your children about fire and fire safety. Teach them the escape plan, the sound of the smoke alarm, and even how to use fire as a tool. When they get old enough, let them help with the fire pit in your backyard, or with burning the brush in the fall (if legal in your area, of course). Taking the mystery out of fire is a good way to decrease their curiosity about it.
6. Grilling. ESPN anchor Hannah Storm’s accident last year brought grilling safety to the forefront of people’s minds. If done properly, grilling is perfectly safe, but without thought or care it can turn dangerous very quickly.
- Always, always grill outside. Garages don’t count as outside. It should be placed well away from the home, as well as from decks and low-hanging tree branches.
- Clean the removable parts of your grill regularly, and don’t let grease build up on the trays underneath propane grills.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Check for propane leaks at least once per year. To do this, apply a light soap and water solution to the gas tank hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If there is a leak, immediately turn off the gas.
- Do not smoke while grilling.
- When done cooking, ensure that the burner controls are turned off and that the propane cylinder valve in closed.
- If you have a cover, make sure the grill is off and cooled before covering.
7. Clothes dryers. Seeing as how lint is a fantastic firestarter, it makes sense that an ill-maintained dryer could pose a serious threat.
- While it’s not common these days, don’t use a dryer that doesn’t have a lint filter.
- Clean the lint filter after every load. Also clean any lint from around the drum, and around the housing for the lint filter.
- At least once per year check the air exhaust pipe to the exterior of the home. Ensure that there is no blockage. While the dryer is running, you should feel (and smell) the fresh laundry air coming out.
- Preferably, don’t leave the dyer on overnight or while you’re not home.
- Don’t overload the dryer, as it can lead to an excess of lint.
Many of these tips are common sense, and yet when we have other things on our mind (especially at dinnertime, around the holidays, etc.), we can lose track of those basic precautions we’re normally on top of. You can never play it too safe with fire prevention. The most valuable things in the world — our home and families — depend on it.
Call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (954)970-4942 to help you with any fire related damage, we can make it "Like it never even happened." To read a list of fire damage restoration visit our homepage at http://www.SERVPROpompanobeach.com
How SERVPRO of West Palm Beach Helps To Control Mold In Commercial Spaces
Mold control and remediation calls for safe solutions, like wearing hazmat suits and using EPA registered chemicals.
After mold damage, you want to make sure the mold stays out and doesn't come back. This is especially true for commercial offices, restaurants and other commercial spaces. Keeping appliances well maintained, hiring professionals to remediate commercial spaces, and quickly fixing leaks are some of the top ways to do so. However, what about after the cleanup from mold damage?
The professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach use Concrobium Mold Control® when cleaning up a commercial space. This cleaning solution is an EPA-registered solution that remediates and prevents mold without any harmful chemicals. The colorless, odorless solution is used by professionals for: 1) Mold clean-up and prevention, 2) Disaster restoration, 3) Pre-treatment of building materials 4) Musty odor control Concrobium® Mold Control dries to form an invisible antimicrobial shield that encapsulates and physically crushes mold spores. The antimicrobial barrier remains on surfaces to provide continuous protection against mold growth. This solution is key to helping keep mold away.
A little tip to keeping mold away from your commercial space is to use se mold-resistant products and materials in your commercial business. When working in a humid climate like West Palm Beach, it’s advisable to equip your commercial space with mold-resistant materials – plastic, metal or glass household items and surfaces (instead of wooden ones), tile or laminate floors (instead of carpeted ones), moisture-resistant drywall in which the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass so that the surface becomes impervious to water (instead of traditional drywall in which the core is pressed between plies of paper), paint that contains mildewcides (chemicals that effectively inhibit mold growth), etc.
If your business or commercial space needs mold remediation and cleaning, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561)795-5410
Hidden Commercial Water Damage: How To Spot It and What To Do
Learning how to spot hidden water damage in commercial spaces and businesses in West Palm Beach can help you get your business up and running again!
Commercial water damage in West Palm Beach can strike at any time, day or night. With most commercial water damage being invasive in nature, having it restored and cleaned in a quick time frame means your business can be up and running in no time. To do so, you'll have to start by checking to see if your commercial business or space has hidden damage. Sometimes the damage is as obvious as a visible pipe that is leaking water on to your commercial floor. More often than so however, is that the source of water damage is hidden and so are the devastating effects.
Here are some helpful tips to spot water damage:
- Stains on the wall or ceiling
- Discoloration in drywall is a sign that there is previous or ongoing water damage. The stains may be yellow, brown, or faint outlines.
- A musky smell
- A musky smell may indicate the presence of mold due to water damage. Mold-especially in the humidity of South Florida- does not take long to grow in the right conditions
- Warping in the floor or baseboard
- When certain materials like wood soak up water, they buckle and warp. If there is visible warping or buckling of floors, there may be water underneath.
- Excessive utility bills
- If there are no other visible signs of water damage but you are still suspicious... check your water bill! Excessive charges on your water bill may indicate a damaged pipe that could be releasing water into your home.
If you believe your commercial space or business is being affected by water damage, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561)795-5410 for a professional consultation. We'll have your business up and running again in no time!
Find the Cause of a Leaky Roof and Your Next Steps
Heavy rainfall can cause your roof to leak and lead to ceilings weakening, eventually falling apart.
It’s annoying, frustrating, and can be quite costly to find a rain leak when heavy rainfall hits West Palm Beach, Florida. Being one of the leading causes for water damage, rain leaks are a headache for any homeowner to deal with. But no need to worry, the professionals at SERVPRO have gathered a few helpful tips to get you through this pesky water situation.
There could be a number of different reasons as to why your home is experiencing a rain leak and this could be due to what your home is made of. If it’s brick, concrete, or wood framed, there is a main rooted source to the rain leak. Did you know that water damage is the second highest filed insurance claim in North America? Yeah, water can lead to some unexpected costs if not handled properly especially since rain related water intrusions are not covered by insurance. Getting the leak fixed soon is extremely important to saving money in repairs.
One main reason why rain leaks occur is due to brick cracking. If your home is made primarily of brick, or has brick in it’s composition, rain leaks are still possible. Weather conditions, time and erosion all cause brick and all stonework to eventually develop cracks. These cracks need to be repaired by a skilled tradesperson. As soon as you find a leak in your home, calling the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is the first step to cleaning up the damage already done.
Another reason for rain leaks is a problem with your roof. This one may seem obvious, but if you can’t clearly see it you may easily dismiss it. A hole or imperfection or even a piece of debris on your roof can cause rain leaks. We recommend calling a professional roofer to climb up on your roof and check it out, but there could be a hole in your roof that is being covered by a piece of debris. On the other hand, there may be a piece of debris, which could make a hole or vulnerable spot on your roof as it rubs against the surface.
Now that you have a better understanding of how a rain leak can occur in your home and what to do, you can rest assured that SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can be there as soon as the same day for any water damage disaster.
If you’re experiencing a rain leak in your home give us a call at (561) 795-5410
Or visit us at http://www.SERVPROwestpalmbeachfl.com
How To Make Sure Your Home's Roof Is Safe After A Storm in West Palm Beach
Checking your roof and ceiling can save you time and money. SERVPRO uses certain equipment to properly asses your home.
Hurricane seasons can been record breakers in their amount of intensity and property damage. However, homes in a storm tracks may not be the only ones who need a professional's attention. Catastrophic winds and flying debris have been known to take a toll on roofs all over the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast. Home and property owners should always be arranging for post-storm inspections whenever a storm passes by. This ensures that contractors like SERVPRO can provide any necessary repairs before the difficulties of seasonal changes begin.
Inside: If you have an attic and can get to it, start there during daylight.
- If you see any sunlight peeking through holes in the plywood, that's a good indicator of roof damage, which in turn could already have water accumulated.
- If you can't find any visible holes use a flashlight to find any dark stains or sagging, this could also mean moisture is present and in turn need attention.
Outside: By walking around the perimeter of your house you should be able to see most of your roof and inspect for the following problems that can cause water damage:
- Shingles that are missing
- Any deformed shingles that are cracked, bent, etc.
- Dark patches of shingles. These shingles could dry out over time and lead to water leaks.
- Debris. Something as simple as a tree branch can cause damage over time if not removed right away. It could also be hiding a hole in your roof.
If you find damage: Call a local, reputable roofing contractor right away and then contact SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561) 795-5410 to help with water damage.
The sooner you address any hurricane-season damage, the more secure your roof and home will be for the upcoming months.
Making A Mold Remediation Easy With A "Production Crew Chief"
A Production Crew Chief helps maintain a good workflow for every Mold Remediation job performed.
One of SERVPRO®'s most vital aspects to it's superior job performance in Mold Remediation is having a great Production Crew Chief. Not only is it important to have technicians who are highly trained to complete the job, but the leadership that is set through the Production Crew Chief is what helps the job be completed quickly and efficiently. Below are just a few of the responsibilities held by the Production Crew Chief that show SERVPRO® cares about customer satisfaction when it comes to helping you with any size disaster.
- Quick response to service calls
- 24 hours a day.
- Fulfillment of SERVPRO® response commitment.
- Monitor, communicate, and respond to customer needs.
- Maintain communication, address customer needs, and resolve concerns.
Call us at (561) 795-5410 for more information or visit our website at http://www.SERVPROwestpalmbeachfl.com/ to see our complete list of services that we provide to help make any disaster "Like it never even happened".®
Flood Damage Restoration Services Available For Residents In Palm Beach
SERVPRO has the equipment your home needs after a flood to help dry out any remaining water and get to work on restoration.
SERVPRO Can Help with Swift Water Removal Post Flooding to Mitigate Damages
Believe it or not, flooding can occur anywhere, anytime, not just in Palm Beach. Sure, we have more of a chance during hurricane season, where natural disasters can play a considerable role. However, it is far more likely to have a flood caused by a faulty appliance or broken pipe year round.
Whether you are facing fresh, or salt-water flood damage in your Palm Beach area home, there is help nearby to get you back on your feet quickly. With 24-hr emergency response teams available at a moments notice, we can have your situation handled far sooner than you might think possible.
SERVPRO provides you with fully certified IICRC technicians who understand how water affects various contents found in your home. We use services specifically designed to adjust to your unique situation, providing you with flood damage mitigation, some repairs, and full restoration solutions to any problem you may be facing.
If you have relevant documents, electronics, or a valuable art collection, SERVPRO's expert services can help. Our document restoration services stop damage in its tracks, helping you secure insurance paperwork, books, photos, artwork and more. We handle each item with care, providing only those restoration services that you approve. If valuable artwork or document restoration is beyond our scope of service, we can typically offer suggests from known, reliable companies.
As with most modern homes, you may have a variety of electronic devices such as DVD players, stereos, televisions, computers, laptops, tablets and a variety of countertop kitchen appliances. SERVPRO can help prevent additional damage and reduce many losses that often occur as a result of flood damage in your home.
We are a team of local flood damage and restoration professionals who carefully provide local members of our community with services they can count on to restore their homes the right way. Calling our office gives you access to restoration experts who do everything possible to provide you with quality, professional services; we want to help you find a solution.
Contact SERVPRO of West Palm Beach for professional cleanup and restoration services anytime, day or night. We are here to help you when you need help the most. (561) 795-5410
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Professional Water Removal Services in Palm Beach
Our SERVPRO crew is ready with trucks loaded and equipment ready to help with all of your water damage restoration needs.
For Palm Beach, SERVPRO Offers Industry-Leading Water Extraction and Restoration Services
We all have ideas as far as water removal is concerned and usually attempt to do something when we face related disasters. However, to what levels should we dry our contents and how do you know what to discard and what to repair? Never take chances if you are a resident of Palm Beach when professionals can efficiently guide you through the restoration process.
For any water removal process in your Palm Beach property to be a success, the equipment that technicians use makes the difference. As a company, SERVPRO understands precisely that, and our team takes the shortest time possible to arrive at the site since an immediate response is crucial to an efficient restoration process. We work hard to mitigate water damages.
There are two ways through which water can damage your content. The first one takes place when materials absorb the water via direct contact. The second way is when they absorb the excess moisture from the air. Either way, our SERVPRO technicians must create appropriate conditions that promote drying. While we can use pumps to extract a substantial amount of water, there are situations where we use detection equipment to measure the moisture level in carpets, walls, and other areas. Moisture meters, moisture sensors, and thermo-hygrometers are some of the equipment that our IICRC certified water damage restoration crew members can use.
The application of dehumidifiers and air movers is part of the procedures that our SERVPRO technicians employ to enhance evaporation. While air movers promote evaporation of moisture from surfaces to the air, dehumidifiers remove the additional moisture from the air thereby lowering the humidity.
Direct contact with water might cause some contents to rot and lead to the release of odors. It is the job of our technicians to identify and remove the sources of the odors. Usually, the odors might have penetrated into tiny spaces and removing the source might not be enough for complete elimination. That is where we introduce deodorization – we use thermal foggers or ULV foggers to spray the deodorants. Our OCT, odor control technicians can make the right call.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has a proven record in fire, storm, water and mold restoration. Contact us at (561) 795-5410 and be served by an industry leader.
Removing Mold Damage In West Palm Beach
Our crew tapes off the infected area of a home to keep mold spores contained during the mold remediation process.
Removing Mold Damage
Mold is a threat that likes to hide in West Palm Beach homes. The spores are normally inert and are no more a threat than common dirt that gets tracked in from the backyard. It is only when they have a source of moisture, do mold spores become active and grow unnoticed for weeks and even months.
By the time mold damage to a West Palm Beach home is noticed, the restoration costs can add up to several thousand dollars. Even adding in an insurance policy, the deductible amount still means a homeowner needs a professional company like SERVPRO to make certain he or she gets a good value for their money. We have created a set of four procedures to remove and clean mold as efficiently as possible.
It starts with containment. Technicians seal off every point of entry to the affected area. This includes not just doors and windows, but the air and heating vents as well. It is necessary to prevent loose spores from getting transferred to unaffected parts of the house as we clean the surfaces and prepare infested material we cannot clean for disposal.
That brings us to cleaning and removal. Our actions here depend on the kind of surfaces in the affected area. Inside a home, most are usually only two types. The two types are porous like fabrics, drywall, and carpets or non-porous like plastics, metal, and glass. In the case of porous material, we generally remove fabrics for cleaning like drapes and upholstered furniture and then dispose of drywall and carpets which are very difficult to completely clean and make mold free again.
For non-porous surfaces, technicians wipe them down with a dry cloth or sponge. If the layer is thick, we use an anti-fungal cleaner to break up the mold in order to remove it. After this action, we bring in vacuums with HEPA filters. These filters are designed to capture even a single mold spores off the surface of a table, wall, or countertop.
Now, we wait for loose spores and contaminated dust to settle. Our cleaning actions stir up the air, and it takes time for spores to settle out onto the surfaces again. After enough time, we wipe everything down again and repeat this procedure until our air content meters show mold levels at normal for a home.
Our last step is to check the humidity levels and moisture content of building materials like drywall. If the content is too high, we use dehumidifiers and air movers to lower them in order to reduce the chance of mold starting to grow again after our team departs the home.
The weather looks good now, but more rain is on the way. If you have or suspect, mold in your home, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561) 795-5410 today. We are here to help.
Dealing with Smoke Damage After a Fire
How To Deal With Fire Damage?
Smoke is one of the worst things about fire damage to your Palm Beach home. Smoke can quickly ruin the walls and ceilings of your property, and it is not easy to clean the damage due to smoke. The particles in smoke are small, unburnt material that is dark in color and can deposit on almost any surface. These particles can not only cause cosmetic damage but also can cause structural damage.
Cleaning smoke after fire damage to your Palm Beach property is a job for the professionals here at SERVPRO. Particles in smoke that are less than 10 micrometers in diameter can get lodged in porous surfaces. If these particles are not cleaned correctly, they can cause an irreversible structural damage to your property.
Call In The Professionals
Smoke residues can be very difficult to clean. If you try to clean them on your own, chances are, you will worsen the situation. Trying to clean smoke covered ceiling or walls can drive the particles deeper into the pores making the damage permanent. Professionals at SERVPRO are trained and have years of experience to do this job. Make sure that you call in the experts rather than trying to clean the smoke damage by yourself. We use various extraction methods to drive these particles out and minimize the damage. Paint on the walls and ceiling can also blister bubble during the fire as well. If it is not restored correctly, it can cause cosmetic and structural problems as well.
The odor is yet another huge problem that accompanies smoke damage. Here at SERVPRO, we use some of the best equipment to combat even the most terrible smoke odors. We use both Wet and Dry Fogging to reach the most difficult to reach places to eliminate odor-causing particles. Our technicians also use air scrubbers to eradicate any lingering smoke particles and get your home smelling like home again.
Limiting the damage and a successful restoration depends on how quickly we can start working. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561) 795-5410 to schedule an appointment with one of our experts today.
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Hot Water Tank Malfunctions Can Mean Water Removal Efforts To Your Palm Beach Home
Visually inspect your water heater on a regular basis for changes in how it looks or for apparent leaks.
Did you know that the average water heater is not meant to last more than ten years? You would not be alone in being unaware, it seems. Month to month, Palm Beach homes are seeing the life run out of their heating tanks in their home, which can cause a considerable mess. The excessive water that results from this malfunction can be overwhelming, not to mention damaging to the structure and contents of your residence.
Understanding that each of these appliances has a shelf life is just the tip of the iceberg, however. There are plenty of calls to our SERVPRO team for Palm Beach water removal following heater malfunctions in units that were not at all close to their proposed expiration dates. There are ways to help prevent substantial water damages, but there is always a risk with having a high-pressure appliance routed through your indoor plumbing system.
Common malfunctions to these water heating units are in response to normal wear on gaskets and seals. With years of daily use, any machine is going to need to be serviced or replaced. Failure to do so can see these weakening points eventually expose themselves completely, spilling the contents of the tank or rupturing the appliance’s connectors to the supply side of your plumbing network. Either scenario undoubtedly causes a great deal of water to pour onto the floor and requires removal to prevent considerable damage to your home.
Our SERVPRO water restoration and removal techniques use the most efficient equipment to eliminate the water and to dry the area as quickly as possible. Removal begins with portable pumping units and truck mounted equipment, which can quickly evacuate the water from the affected area, so drying efforts can begin immediately afterward. The faster these processes can happen, the less lasting or irreparable damage that occurs to the structure of your home (not to mention the contents of the room).
Visually inspect your water heater on a regular basis for changes in how it looks or for apparent leaks. This kind of diligence can prevent significant water removal efforts later on. If your water heater does decide to malfunction, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. You can reach us anytime at (561) 795-5410.
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Water Removal Crucial to Retaining Palm Beach Culture
SERVPRO Technicians Focus on Restoration Rather Than Replacement of Damaged Property
No space in Florida is impervious to the effects of water. Our humid climate and seasonal storms enhance the risk of moisture damage in all places, including those devoted to memorializing our unique culture, the arts, and famous personages who made Palm Beach their home. Aging plumbing and operator error or mechanical malfunction may affect these properties, too. When damaging water jeopardizes these special destinations and needs removal, we have all the resources to make it happen.
A continually running toilet flooded gallery and administrative areas of a landmark, requiring commercial water removal in Palm Beach. The housekeeping staff could try to mop up the mostly “clean” water, but the quantity involved needs the attention of a firm specializing in water removal and extraction methods. Our professional focus is firmly on providing the most thorough commercial water removal services possible, and we train our workers and purchase state of the art equipment accordingly.
The surfaces affected also include carpeted areas, tiled and terrazzo floors, and woodwork. SERVPRO crews have experience in managing water removal from all these areas, and each member of the crew sent to your water emergency has IICRC certification in the theory, planning, and delivery of water removal services. One crucial skill we offer that ensures a successful outcome is structural and content moisture measurement. Our technicians train till adept in determining how much moisture remains in building materials and components after removal of standing water using precision instruments and advanced scanning equipment. They calculate drying targets and monitor the moisture levels until their efforts meet the target.
Standing water responds well to pumps and vacuum extractors. The residual moisture needs weighted extractor wands, air movers, desiccant humidifiers, and sometimes the addition of heat to move moisture out of carpeting, woodwork, and subflooring and into the air where it can be condensed and discarded. The HVAC system also needs checking, and if unaffected by the flood, be brought back online to help balance the ambient humidity in the building. SERVPRO workers inspect for any indication of microbial activity as the priceless books, artwork, and documents housed in the center’s rooms are sensitive to any rise in the humidity which could cause mold damage even in non-saturated materials.
Let the experts manage water removal for your cultural venue. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has staffed phones at (561) 795-5410 round the clock.
For more information about the City of Palm Beach, Florida visit: http://www.townofpalmbeach.com/
Wet Environments Can Still Suffer Fire Damage in West Palm Beach
SERVPRO Can Restore Your West Palm Beach Home From Fire & Water Damage
In post-hurricane season, many people think only about the damage caused by the storms. However, places like West Palm Beach can suffer other disasters. Haphazard set-ups of cooking areas, waterlogged cords and appliances, and other problems can cause even more disasters.
West Palm Beach homes are more likely to suffer fire damage after significant storm events than other homes who never suffer such catastrophes. SERVPRO helps homeowners and many others recover from complicated situations involving fire and other damaging situations. This combination of services helps reduce restoration time and overall costs, one of our goals in helping families recover from disasters of any kind.
Another part of our goal in making it “Like it never even happened” is restoring your property through repair work and cleaning. Both must occur to combat the effects of fire damage. A fire itself causes many chemical changes to occur, including melting of plastics and rubber items. Smoke creates a problem because it infiltrates everything, adhering thickly and creating a messy situation.
Cleaning the interior from soot deposits where it remains undamaged by fire, as well as removing melted materials, takes time. However, we work as quickly as possible in teams. Removing and disposing of unrecognizable materials and items also happens. Our training prepares us for this, and we always use the best tools for each aspect of cleaning and restoring.
We know many homeowners want to view all items before their disposal and we always work with you on the best way to do this. You may or may not want your children present, depending on their ages. Other items may be from a neighbor who would like to see their belonging before we add it to the rest.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
Everyone at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach knows how lousy weather can continue to impose harsh conditions in our area. Fire damage as a result of weather-related situations happens quite often. We are ready and highly skilled to take care of any disasters your home or property might face. Contacting us to start the work your home needs is as easy as calling our local number, (561) 795-5410, any hour of the day or night, 365 days a year.
For more information regarding the city of West Palm Beach, click here.
Odor Removal After Mold Damage in West Palm Beach Homes
Odors from mold and mildew are a real issue. SERVPRO uses professional equipment to completely eradicate any smells associated with mold damage.
Our Certified Technicians Mitigate ALL Aspects of a Mold Infestation in Your Home Including Leftover Odors
If you live in West Palm Beach, you are probably familiar with the musty smell sometimes found in crawlspaces, attics, basements, and other areas where mold growth occurs. It is an unpleasant odor that can be difficult to clean up. A musty smell is most likely the result of possible moisture problems, high humidity, poor air circulation, and inadequate cleaning.
If you detect the presence of mold in your home, SERVPRO is there to help. We have a team of highly skilled mold damage control experts in West Palm Beach who are qualified to provide 24/7 emergency services. Our products are up to scratch with IICRC guidelines to ensure a thorough restoration process.
Mold odor is caused by molds and fungi growing where water is leaking. As they multiply in numbers, molds release a sulfur-containing gas that is easily noticeable. Over time, the fungi spread to other areas of your home, so it is important to treat any water damage as soon as it is discovered.
Wet wood is particularly prone to mold damage. SERVPRO has unique odor removal products that are very effective on wood. If the wood remains damp for some time, it starts to rot and produce a nasty smell. If you notice dark stains on wooden items, they are probably getting wet from a leak somewhere, ultimately promoting mold growth. This can happen to the baseboard that might have a pipe leakage behind it, or it can happen to an item in the storage shed.
Leaking roofs allow rainwater to penetrate inside, often leading up to a beam or other supporting house structure. Wet wood continues to rot and support mold growth until you stop the source of the moisture. If your walls start to look overly rundown, SERVPRO technicians can come in and check for any damage behind them. Mold and mildew grow on the paper backing and can darken in color, blister, start to flake, or peel off. Fungi that covers more than a small part of the wall usually indicate a significant problem and that particular area of the wall may have to be removed and replaced professionally.
Mold growth can leave a sour smell in your home, making it unpleasant to stay in the house. If it happens to you, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can control any mold damage present. Call us today at (561) 795-5410.
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What To Do Before Water Removal in a Palm Beach Library
Team SERVPRO Arrives Quickly to Dry Out Your Property After Water Damage
A public library is a beautiful thing – and it is not just the public library that stores books in Palm Beach. Many businesses such as law firms or educational establishments have a library that is a vital part of their company. Naturally, you do not want your business’ or institutions’ books to get wet, and in the event of water damage, it is natural to panic.
However, professional water removal in Palm Beach can help preserve and save books. Even books that are entirely soaked might be salvageable using a robust process known as freeze drying. First, documents are freeze dried to preserve their current state. Then, we place them in a specialist freeze-drying chamber, and all air is suctioned out. A combination of pressure and temperature are used to evaporate water and collect it outside the chamber.
SERVPRO understands that the sight of wet books and papers is upsetting and it is natural to want to take action as soon as possible. However, we recommend caution and offer the following guidelines.
Stop water flow if it is safe to do so, to prevent further harm to delicate books.
We suggest taking unaffected papers to another, drier, location if you can, to prevent them from being affected.
It is essential that the affected area is kept dry and cold. We recommend using a dehumidifier if possible to reduce humidity. You can use a fan for moving the air and aiding the drying process. Do not panic if you do not have access to the correct equipment - our IICRC-certified technicians arrive equipped with dehumidifiers and fans ready to do the job.
Be very careful with water-logged books. Do not open the volumes, remove their bindings, or fan the pages. Handle each item as little as possible until our staff arrives.
If water is still dripping from a leak or broken pipe or roof, spread plastic sheeting over collections to protect them from drips.
Swift action is vitally important. The sooner books are frozen, the higher the chance of salvaging them successfully. That is why we recommend putting in a call to SERVPRO as soon as you can. Our IICRC-certified technicians are ready to remove water from the floor, reduce humidity, encourage evaporation and, most importantly, carefully take your books for freeze-drying.
For help with wet books in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Lake Clark Shores, Loxahatchee Groves and surrounding areas, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561) 795-5410 today.
For more information regarding Palm Beach, click here http://www.townofpalmbeach.com/
Consider A Pre-Move Back Inspection Before Returning to Your Hurricane Irma Damaged Seasonal Home in West Palm Beach
Call on SERVPRO for Hurricane Help for Storm Damage Cleanup
While you were enjoying the final weeks of summer with family and friends north of your dream home in Southwest Florida, your beloved ocean view condo or lakeside estate was right in the path of Hurricane Irma. The high winds, rain, and storm surge may have taken a significant toll on your winter getaway. Without knowing if or how badly your vacation home was affected by Irma it is impossible for you and your family to look forward to another season in the sun.
The extreme weather pattern that defines a hurricane threatens West Palm Beach area houses, townhomes, and condos purchased by residents of cold weather states as winter retreats. You and your family richly anticipate the time you spend in the warmth and the sun now that you added a Florida retreat to your lifestyle. That joy is now tarnished by your fear that your hard-earned vacation home has been harmed by the force that was Hurricane Irma.
Winds exceeding 100 miles per hour can devastate roofs, exteriors, doors, and windows. SERVPRO tip: even less noticeable damage can allow rainwater and storm surge to invade your retirement refuge. Perhaps you have been in contact with neighbors or building managers and have been assured everything looks good on your property. You still need to take the possibility that rainwater may have made it into your Florida winter home seriously.
Relatively small quantities of water can cause significant damage, especially as you were not at your SW Florida home when the storm hit to ensure the water was removed and the structure dried. Your lifestyle allows you the freedom to enjoy more than one area of the country over the course of the year, but you do have to plan for some surprises when you move from one home to the other. If Irma’s winds and rains forced their way into your home primary and secondary water damage may challenge a happy homecoming.
Before you pack up for the seasonal move to Florida, SERVPRO advises you to consider making a quick pre-trip to preview how well your dwelling kept the winds and waters at bay. Another idea may be to reserve a room at a local hotel, so you have a fall-back position if you discover when you arrive that Irma and her rain-laden winds caused some damage to your house.
If Hurricane Irma caused water damage to your Florida winter property, contact SERVPRO of West Palm Beach for help. The quicker our company begins its recovery efforts, the sooner you return to your home enjoying the warmth and beautiful weather winter in Florida brings. (561) 795-5410
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Five Things to Know About Mold Damage in West Palm Beach
Mold growth can lurk in the background for a long time before it spreads though your home, like in this homeowner's entertainment unit.
SERVPRO Technicians Look for Causes and Contributors to Mold Damage in Your Home
West Palm Beach is balmy and beautiful in warm weather. It is also humid and wet at times. Unfortunately, the tropical feeling conditions that visitors and residents alike love also give rise to humidity and where there is humidity there is the risk of fungal growth. Homeowners in West Palm Beach are aware of the problem of mold damage, and the difficulties of keeping mold away.
SERVPRO has much experience with mold damage in West Palm Beach. Our customers ask us many questions about mold, what it is, how it grows, and how best to prevent it from coming back. Here are five facts about mold damage that we would like to share with you.
1. Mold can grow almost anywhere if it has enough moisture and food. Moisture is key to fungal growth, so anywhere that is humid is a prime location for the spores to settle and grow. Mold also needs a food source – most organic materials work.
2. Mold is around us all the time. It is not a very pleasant thought, but in fact, invisible mold spores are present in almost all of nature. The spores settle anywhere that has good growing conditions and set to work growing a new colony.
3. There is no such thing as mold eradication. Customers often ask us if it is possible to eradicate mold. The answer is no; it is not feasible to remove fungus altogether because it is omnipresent. However, it is possible to discourage regrowth by removing water sources.
4. The visible part of the mold that you see with your naked eye is called the mycelium and is made up of many tiny thread-like cells called hyphae. The hyphae release spores which travel to other locations within your home and set up new colonies.
5. You can do a lot to discourage mold growth by keeping your home dry and well ventilated and fixing any leaks or damp patches as soon as you find them.
SERVPRO’s IICRC-certified technicians are on hand for mold remediation in your home. We use a combination of scrubbing, wiping, and HEPA vacuuming to remove visible fungus. We also have negative air machines and dehumidifiers on hand to remove contaminated air and lower humidity.
For mold remediation in Runyon, South Bay, Watson and surrounding areas, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561) 795-5410 for assistance.
What to Do In Your West Palm Beach Home After Flood Damage From a Hurricane
After the storm passes in West Palm Beach, SERVPRO will be there to help with any storm damage needs. Just look for the green van!
Be Prepared and Proactive--Then Call SERVPRO After the Tropical Storm Passes
In the aftermath of a hurricane, transportation infrastructure can be unusable, or restoration companies like SERVPRO may be otherwise incapacitated by the storm. Although we work quickly to get our services back online to help those in need, you should still be prepared to deal with the initial effects of flood damage to your West Palm Beach home on your own for the time being. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help mitigate damage and make our work more effective overall.
Air Out the Home
If the storm has passed and further rain seems unlikely, you may be able to help reduce flood damage in your West Palm Beach home by opening windows and doors. So long as no additional moisture can get in, opening your home to the outdoors allows for increased aeration, higher temperatures, and balanced humidity to start drying your home faster. If more rain approaches, however, you should close these portals back up to prevent excess moisture from reaching the interior.
Inventory Your Belongings
Take a few hours to catalog your belongings to find out what is missing, what has been destroyed, and what has been damaged. While SERVPRO offers a professional inventory service, understanding the scope of your loss in the immediate aftermath of disaster carries practical benefits both for your insurance provider and us. Hopefully, you photographed on your smartphone your structure and property, both inside and out.
Place Barriers Underneath Furniture
If there is no standing water in the home, you can help your furniture by placing each piece atop a set of blocks or other barriers between it and the floor. Your floor is probably soaked, and this water can work its way up into vulnerable furniture pieces. Elevate your furniture to increase aeration around it and prevent more water from soaking in.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is ready after every major hurricane to provide help to local homeowners in need. If your home flooded in the storm, call us at (561) 795-5410.
Removing Water and Damages in West Palm Beach After Hurricane Irma
Professional Services Available to Restore Your Home
Hurricane Irma is on track to be one of the costliest hurricanes in United States history, rivaling Hurricane Katrina in potential economic damage. Millions of Floridians have been affected, with some having lost everything in the storm. In the aftermath of such disasters, SERVPRO is always ready at West Palm Beach to provide water removal services to a sizable and desperate population in need. While our systems would normally strain under such a heavy workload, our national resources allow us to acquire extra equipment and even personnel in the aftermath of such disasters. Here are a few ways we can help after Hurricane Irma.
Many homes remain flooded in West Palm Beach and require water removal. Even if standing water has gone away, water remains soaked into materials and foundations across most of the community, creating grave and immediate structural and mold problems for those left without care. Our wide array of water extraction and removal devices allow us to handle a broad spectrum of moisture problems and fully clear your home of water in a timely fashion.
Even if your home has fully dried out, it likely still bears the marks of flood damage. Stains, debris, and warped materials now plague many local homes, presenting simple but significant obstacles for homeowners looking to return to normalcy. SERVPRO specializes in water damage restoration, and we can help to eliminate any lasting damage, no matter how severe it may seem.
Mold Checks and Remediation
Hurricanes invariably lead to the explosive growth of one particularly troublesome household organism: mold. Mold can begin to grow with any amount of water added to the home but is especially likely after flooding. Our technicians and inspectors are always careful to monitor for and deal with mold colonies should they begin to grow.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is here to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Call us 24/7 at (561) 795-5410 for emergency services or questions about our work.
Visit http://wpb.org/ for more information about West Palm Beach.
Distraction: Top Cause of Home Fires
Smoke Odors and Fire Cleanup Performed by SERVPRO Professionally
Household fires frequently elicit an “if only” remark from the homeowner after the flames die down. “If only” I had turned off the stove before watering the flowers. “If only” I checked to make sure curtains were tied back when I turned on the space heater. “If only” I blew out the candles on the dining room table when my guests and I retired to the living room after dinner.
We hear these stories regularly when assessing homes for needed fire damage restoration in West Palm Beach. Letting a pot boil dry because you get caught up chatting with a neighbor is a not uncommon tale, but yours ignited a blaze. Smoke and soot quickly covered every inch of your kitchen and the space on your laminate countertop where you placed the red-hot pan suffered a deep and unsightly burn. Regardless of the cause of disaster, our fire damage restoration and repair team assesses the situation and lists the tasks needed to transform a sooty, smelly mess to preloss condition.
You put out the fire in the pot with a chemical extinguisher and were glad that kitchen structure did not sustain damage from open flames. Even though charring, other than the melted counter, is minimal, you are astonished at how far the soot drifted through your home. The smell of burning plastic is pervasive as well. The SERVPRO project manager we send to evaluate takes note of the widespread nature of soot and smoke damage and devises a plan to clean up the various residues and eliminate that horrible odor.
Technicians on our SERVPRO team hold certifications in Fire and Smoke Restoration, Odor Control, Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning, and Carpet Cleaning received from completing IICRC courses. All of these specialties are crucial as we move from room to room in your Florida home cleaning up the ash and soot from all surfaces. Making professional decisions on the tools to use and the products that enhance the equipment's cleaning action is essential to a successful outcome. Fire damage cleaning is not a “one size fits all” process. Light dustings of soot vacuum or dry-sponge up well, while sticky airborne residues from the melted countertop may need a solvent and abrasive scrubbers to eliminate.
Repair of the counter top and the deodorization procedure are likely to be our last jobs. Depending on the depth of the melted area, the burn mark may buff out or the damaged piece might have to be removed and a new portion installed. SERVPRO approaches deodorization step by step, beginning with the removal of the offending substance and then moving to high-tech solutions like thermal fogging, ozone machines or hydroxyl generators. You can rely on our expertise on all counts.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is more than ready to rescue you and your family from a momentary lapse that resulted in fire damage to your home. Call for a consultation at (561) 795-5410.
Commercial Water Damage in Your West Palm Beach Pet Supply Store
Mitigating Damages and Losses in a West Palm Beach Establishment is a Top Priority of SERVPRO
Water damage such as plumbing leaks, floods, sewage backup, storms, and appliance malfunctions all cause sudden loss to your pet supplies store. Getting it cleaned up and back to its normal state is your priority, as should be the same for any water damage remediation company you hire. At SERVPRO, we lower interruptions to your business operations and do all that is possible so you can stay open during the process of restoration so you can keep providing for your family and employees, and of course our furry friends.
Water mitigation is the process of preventing or reducing the amount of commercial water damage which happens after any water disaster in your West Palm Beach business. By acting quickly and calling us right away, you can prevent even more damage and costs.
Document and Content Recovery
SERVPRO staff offers full services, and we understand how vital it is to recover the contents of your pet store. Anything that is salvageable is taken off site, in the case of catastrophic flooding and restored in a secure facility. Inventory and stock are professional packed and stored with barcodes before returning it to your fully restored building. Once completed, our dedicated staff ensures that everything is put back into your store as it should be. Every care is taken to make sure any hard disks, electronic media, optical disks, and drives are recovered as fully as possible, helping you to keep things running, and thanks to modern technology, it is very possible.
Getting Done in a Timely Fashion
The emergency phase is not when you should be moving slowly. Insurance companies are likely to pay sooner if the job is done promptly. If you look at your policy, you will see that it is the responsibility of the property owner to act during an emergency. If your pet shop is in a strip center, as many are, make sure to contact the property manager immediately after the incident.
Fast response is crucial to lowering the loss in water damage jobs. Water begins evaporating if the process of cleanup is not started right away. The air soaks up the evaporated water and then redistributes this moisture to other areas like drywall and ceiling tiles, result in secondary damage which can dramatically increase your claims cost. Some of this damage includes hardwood floors buckling, mold spores starting to colonize, sheetrock and plaster sagging and cracking, and vinyl loosening from the floor. No mention of the safety and security of any pets within the premises has been made by SERVPRO. Our responsibilities are restricted to the structure and contents only.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach understands that the job needs to be done fast when it comes to water damage, and during the case of business, it is even more important, so you incur less loss. That is why we encourage you to call us right away if you have a water emergency at (561) 795-5410 so we can take care of your building and restore it "Like it never even happened."
Surviving Storm Damage In West Palm Beach
This home's floors and baseboards suffered water damage after a severe storm flooded the home. Complete removal of the flooring materials was needed.
How to Survive West Palm Beach Storm Damage
When heavy weather rolls through the Atlantic shores of south central Florida, homeowners scramble to find the best storm damage restoration options “near me.” Severe seasonal storms overwhelm with water and wind damage that seems irreparable. Before you give in to despair, contact SERVPRO and find a partner to bring your home back to preloss condition.
The high-velocity winds tear apart housing structures, permitting damaging water to pour inside when storm damage devastates West Palm Beach homes. Extensive damage is a problem affecting whole neighborhoods in the path of the storm, adding to your post-storm anxiety. Will your home’s issues be resolved quickly? How long will it take to have your damage assessed? The commitment we have to our local customers is possible only because we are part of a larger, nationwide network of experienced and well-equipped restoration specialists.
Our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Teams handle any size devastation, including the storm damage to your seaside home. We prepare for the unexpected, knowing that our area often faces catastrophic natural forces. Within hours after you contact our local dispatchers, a project manager arrives to assess your particular damage issues. We move swiftly to secure your home from further damage from the elements.
Water damage has the potential to destroy the integrity of your home, so we move fast to plan for water removal and repair. Saturated walls, ceilings, floors, and contents move quickly from a water removal problem to a more severe contamination crisis if we delay the response. Expect help to arrive within the crucial first 48 hours as we react to avoid secondary damage such as mold growth. We leverage teams of technicians and fleets of equipment from other SERVPROs to meet your and your community’s needs in the hours and days after the storm.
The initial priority is to remove the water, pumping and vacuuming first, followed by positioning air movers and dehumidifiers to complete the drying. Ridding the structure of water happens before structural repairs as the water has the potential to be so damaging. Restoration is the goal, with as few items removed and replaced as is safe and to applicable codes. Throughout the process, we work with your insurance company to minimize your out of pocket costs. You are in the communication loop at all times.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
Count on SERVPRO of West Palm Beach to exceed your expectations after a tropical storm. Compassionate dispatch staff awaits your call at (561) 795-5410.
What Remediation Technicians Can Do For Mold Damage In West Palm Beach
Mold Remediation Technician
The job of a mold damage remediation specialist is subject to more than a few mysteries. What is the purpose of these experts? Do they work alone? How effective are their services? Is it worth calling one out to help you with the mold problem in your home? Fortunately, the answers to all of these inquiries are very simple.
At SERVPRO, our remediation technicians are highly experienced. They have access to state of the art drying tools and powerful cleaning agents, but they are also armed with knowledge. They know that neutralizing mold damage in West Palm Beach depends on all kinds of external factors. So, they are always honest with customers about the true chance of success. As mold remediation can seem very complex to homeowners, SERVPRO believes that educating customers should be a key objective.
What Our Mold Technicians Do
The critical thing to remember is that mold remediation services are not the most senior experts. In fact, we work closely with Indoor Environmental Specialists and Indoor Air Quality Professionals. They can give us accurate, scientific information on the type of mold present in a property.
Then, it is our job to work out how best to neutralize the spread and stop it causing damage to the structural components of the house. So, we shape our approaches according to the advice of certified microbiologists, industrial hygienists, and scientists. Before cleaning damaged materials, the technicians must deal with the moisture which is causing the mold.
What Mold Technicians Don’t Do
We cannot independently carry out mold tests. If you suspect that there is a problem developing in your home, the technicians will inspect it and take samples. For instance, if there is a moisture problem in a carpet or section of wall, they might remove a small piece. These samples are then sent to external experts for testing.
It can take a couple of days for samples to come back, but in the meantime, the SERVPRO team can work on a suitable drying formula for your home. They will determine how many dehumidifiers, fans, and air movers are required, based on how much water must be extracted every hour. Removing the water makes the environment more hostile for the mold spores.
As we always try to explain to our customers, mold is a complex thing. It can be effectively neutralized, but a return to wet conditions may bring it back. This is why it is crucial that you take good care of your home after the remediation process is complete. Fix leaks, seal holes in window frames, and maintain the health of roof tiles and pipework.
If you speculate that there is a mold issue developing in your home, it is best to get in touch with a remediation team as soon as possible. Mold eats away at organic materials, so delaying could put your property at risk. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is a local company, and we can respond quickly. Call us 24/7 at (561) 795-5410.
Fire Damage and it's Effects on West Palm Beach Homes
Smoke & Soot Can Have Long Ranging Damage to Possessions and Structures
The neighbors notice smoke coming from your two-story, single family home and call for help. As the Firefighters arrive, there is significant fire showing from both of the front side windows, with smoke billowing out of the cracks around your front door.
Time is crucial during a fire damage incident that strikes your West Palm Beach home. You will want access to a company that responds to your call immediately, with the proper amount of personnel, equipment, and the experience required to provide you with the services you deserve.
SERVPRO technicians learn early on that time plays a huge factor when dealing with repairs or attempting to prevent secondary damages from developing. While our primary goal is providing a safe environment for everyone involved, we also try to perform our services as quickly and efficiently as possible for our customers.
SERVPRO technicians understand the components of smoke and how fire, smoke, and heat affect your structure and its contents. Our fire damage restoration service involves removing soot residues caused by smoke and combustion effects on various surfaces and different kinds of materials.
Combustion takes place as a material burns, turning a solid into a gas by way of heat. As this process occurs, the burning material is breaking down, combining with oxygen, and giving off heat. With a perfect combination of fuel, oxygen, and heat, there wouldn't be any residues after a fire. However, when these three components are out of balance, the combustion process produces several different types of smoke and soot residues.
SERVPRO technicians are taught that when burning materials decompose, they release small solid particles, gasses, and aerosols that are lighter than air. These materials are what we describe as smoke.
Gas - The invisible component of smoke, is created by oxides of nitrogen produced by burning organic compounds, or sulfur dioxides while burning inorganic compounds.
Particles - Small unburnt particles of matter and carbon, light enough to suspend in the air. These particles are what gives smoke it is visible appearance.
Soot - Once smoke settles onto a surface, it is called soot and contains several different types of acids, created when chlorides and sulfides clash with the humidity in the air, causing discoloration, staining, and corrosion on materials over time.
When in need of fire damage restoration, please contact SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. (561) 795-5410
Water Damage Comes in Many Classes in Palm Beach
After enough water damage occurs, some areas will need complete restoration, like this kitchen cabinet.
Rely on SERVPRO to Restore Your Home After a Water Intrusion or Leak
Damage from water can occur from different sources throughout your home. Your kitchen can develop a leak in a water hose leading from a dishwasher or a kitchen pipe under the sink. Your washing machine can overflow, etc. Many people believe that the water caused by these instances is clean, but the EPA reports that “clean water” can carry unhealthy bacteria. Other causes of damage can also be caused by a leaking room, bad weather, or cracks within the foundation.
Water damage is classified into four different classes for proper treatment. If you experience water damage in your Palm Beach home, restoration experts can determine what is needed in the clean-up efforts. The classification of water damage is based on the effects of the water, the rate of evaporation, and how much moisture is absorbed by the materials in the area. All four classifications involve the following information:
• Class One is the least harmful. This damage affects only part of a room, with materials that include particle board, plywood, structural wood, vinyl composition tile, and concrete.
• Class Two has a fast rate of evaporation. This faster rate means that carpets and cushions are damaged. The seepage of water up a wall is less than 24 inches, and moisture is held within structural materials.
• Class Three has the fastest rate of evaporation. Damage may come from faulty sprinklers or other ceiling sources that can soak the walls, furniture, carpets, ceilings and the subfloor. A wide-spread water event.
• Class Four requires special water restoration and removal treatment. This classification affects flooring, plaster, stone, brick, crawlspaces, and concrete.
SERVPRO is a leading industry, water remediation service. For the safety of everyone in the home, it is important to distinguish which category of water damage you have. Restoration experts from SERVPRO offer removal services such as sewage clean-up, structure drying, water mitigation, contents inventory and cleaning. Our ASD, applied structural drying technicians, can deal with any type of water problem requiring extraction and restoration. "Like it never even happened."
For a quick, professional, water removal service, contact SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. We are locally owned and operated. We have the expertise and equipment to restore your property properly. Call us today at (561) 795-5410. You can expect an immediate response time 24 hours a day, day or night.