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Hurricanes Laura, Sally Delta, TS Beta, Be Prepared in October

10/22/2020 (Permalink)

Image of Hurricane Laura Track September 2020 Radar Tracking path of Hurricane Laura 2020.

With Winter around the corner, we at SERVPRO of West Miami would like to remind you that we aren’t out of Hurricane season just yet. Hurricane season doesn’t end until November 30th and October is the month where a hurricane is most likely to make landfall in Florida. Since 1950, at least 8 out of 15 hurricanes have made landfall in the state of Florida during October.

So, with October only half-way over, we strongly encourage you to be prepared for any hurricanes that might come. Below we will have a list of what should be included in your preparedness kit:

  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Portable Power banks (Portable chargers)
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Baby wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

3 Steps for Cleaning Under Your House After a Flood

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing Protect yourself from future headaches by inspecting your crawlspace

How To Avoid Further Storm Damage

When you're cleaning up after a home flood in Homestead, FL, you may not give much thought to the spaces beneath your home — but you should. If you have a crawlspace, you should take as much time to clean it as you do other areas of your home. Mold can grow there and cause structural damage to your house. If you have discovered standing water in a crawlspace, there are a few things that you can do to avoid further storm damage.

1. Remove Standing Water
Whether there is a little or a lot, it is important to remove any standing water from a crawlspace as soon as possible. If you can safely do so, use a pump to clear water out of the area. Pumps are the most efficient option if you have had a home flood. For small amounts of water, it may be possible to use a shop vac, a broom, or even a few towels to soak it up.

2. Toss Ruined Objects
Anything that is stored in the crawlspace or that was a part of it, including insulation, should be removed and evaluated. If it can't be dried out, is damaged, or has mold growing on it, throw it away. Take photos of everything for your insurance company.

3. Dry Everything Well
Once all of the water and your belongings are out of the way, you can plug in a fan to help dry out the area. It will also be wise to use a dehumidifier to help with restoring any wood framing.

4. Consult the Pros
During the cleanup process, it's a good idea to call a water damage restoration company to assess your crawlspace and ensure that everything has been taken care of correctly. You should also check with your insurance company to see if they recommend adding any pumps or vents to prevent future flooding.
When it comes to a home flood, forget about "Out of sight, out of mind." Protect yourself from future headaches by inspecting your crawlspace and cleaning it promptly after flooding.

3 Ways To Keep Mold From Growing in Your Bathroom

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Shower drain box grate on a shower base. Keep your shower clean

Avoid Moisture Problems That Lead To Mold And Mildew

Most homeowners have experienced bathroom mildew. If you have not had a mold problem, you are one of the lucky few. Whether you are dealing with mold and mildew for the first time, have tackled it many times before, or are looking for ways to keep from ever seeing it, there are preventative measures you can take. By following the three tips below, you can be well on your way to avoiding moisture problems that lead to mold and mildew.

1. Maintain Your Swamp Cooler
Since mold can build up inside of a swamp cooler, clean the drip pans, ducts, and other areas on a regular basis. Swamp coolers can release extra moisture into your home, adding to the problems in your bathroom. Running a dehumidifier when the moisture level gets too high can help.

2. Switch To an A/C Unit
Swamp coolers use evaporative moisture to cool down your house. Mold and mildew can easily take hold anywhere there is a humidity problem. If you live in an area that has high humidity most of the summer, you may need to consider switching to an A/C unit.

3. Keep Your Showers Clean
Once bathroom mildew takes hold, the spores can spread out and attach to other moist places. When cleaning your shower, remember to clean the tiles and the grout between the tiles. If you already have mold in your grout, a cleansing agent, grout scrub brush, and some elbow grease will get rid of it. Once it is gone, regular weekly cleanings should be all that is needed to keep the mold away.
Bathroom mildew is unsightly but can be remedied with some work. If your mold problem in Long Key, FL, is more than you can handle by yourself or it has spread to other areas, call a professional mold remediation company to get your home back to its pre-mold condition as quickly as possible.

How to Repair a Broken Pipe

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Broken rusty pipe Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time

How to Repair a Broken Pipe

Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time, making them a scary issue for many homeowners. If your home in Miami, FL, is experiencing a pipe burst, chances are you will need to call a plumber to help resolve the issue. In the meantime, you can secure the leak using the following technique.

Fix Broken Pipe Using a Clamp and Sleeve
A clamp and sleeve kit can provide a temporary patch to stop the leak while you wait for remediation experts to arrive. Patch your bursting pipes using the following technique:

  • Shut off the main water line. Use a metallic file or steel wool to smoothen any rough areas around the damaged section of pipe.
  • Position the rubber sleeve so that it is centered over the burst. The clamp's seam should be facing the opposite direction of the break.
  • Position the metal clamps around the rubber sleeve. Use a screwdriver to tighten the clamps.
  • Reopen the water supply to the pipe. Watch carefully for any leaks.

The above technique should temporarily solve the issue while you wait for the plumber to arrive. If it doesn't fix the leak, simply repeat the process and reposition the clamp until it solves the issue.

Dry the Water
As soon as you stop the leak, you need to start drying the water. Standing water can quickly cause a lot of secondary damage, such as mold growth, so it's important that you act quickly. If the leak was small, you can resolve the issue by mopping up the water with a towel. Larger leaks that create a lot of water damage likely require professional assistance.
It's important that you take immediate action to fix bursting pipes as soon as you discover it. The subsequent water damage can wreck havoc on your home and cause several subsequent issues. Contact water remediation experts for help assisting with damage cleanup.

3 Tips for Removing Microwave Smells

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Young repairman repairing microwave in service centre. Bad odor in microwave, man covering his nose You must clean that horrible smell from your appliance

How To Clean Bad Odors

Whether you use your microwave for popcorn, leftovers, or cooking vegetables, one day, something will get burned, leaving that horrible smoke smell. You must clean that smell out of your appliance before it makes your entire kitchen stink. Here are some tips you can use to clean the bad odors.

1. Use Vinegar
Vinegar is a powerful cleaner that a strong smell goes away quickly. Therefore, it can be useful when trying to combat the smoke smell. To clean your appliance, put a tablespoon of white vinegar in a bowl with half a cup of water. Heat this for two minutes and leave the door shut for 15 minutes after it finishes. The steam will loosen any smell causing particles while the vinegar absorbs any odors. When finished, remove the bowl and wipe the inside with a damp paper towel.

2. Create a Sponge Cleaner
For the toughest smoke smell, you'll need to create your own sponge cleaner. To do this, soak a kitchen sponge in white vinegar and put baking soda on the top. Heat the sponge for 30 seconds. Use it to wipe the inside, particularly the tray and door.

3. Try Citrus
Citrus is a popular way to banish bad smells in homes in Key Colony Beach, FL. You can use a simple mixture of fruit to get rid of the most stubborn smells. To do this, slice a lemon and two oranges, placing the fruit in a bowl with two cups of water. Heat the bowl for about four minutes, watching to make sure that the water doesn't evaporate and the fruit doesn't burn. Then, leave the bowl inside overnight with the door unopened. This should remove tough smells and leave it smelly pleasant.
Whether your vent grill, tray, or door is responsible for the bad odors, one of these techniques will be able to remove tough smells. Removing the smell quickly will prevent the odor from spreading and forcing you to hire restoration professionals.

How a Roof Leak Can Lead to Mold in Your Business

9/13/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged ceiling Mold growth on ceiling due to water damage

How A Roof Leak Can Lead To Mold Problems

When you have a roof leak in your Tavernier, FL, business then you may be worried about the possibility that there may be black mold. Fortunately, a local mold remediation service can help answer any questions you may have, as well as help clean and repair damages. Here’s what they recommend you know about how a roof leak can lead to mold problems.

1. It Allows Water To Get Inside

One of the important things to remember about a roof or ceiling leak is that it exposes the interior of your business to the outside elements. This means like weather such as rain, hail or snow has the chance to seep inside and cause problems.

2. Water Keeps the Space Damp and Humid

This water can keep the area exposed to the leak damp enough that mold can begin to grow. If left unchecked it can then turn into black mold, The longer mold is left to grow the more damage it may cause. This is why it's important to contact a local remediation team as quickly as possible if you believe you may have a mold problem.

3. Mold Thrives in Wet Environments

Because mold is a fungus it grows best in dark and damp environments. This is often the type of habitat that's created by water leaks. The water seeps into the surrounding area and can soften organic material such as wood or drywall allowing the mold to gain a hold. The remaining water from the leak also fuels its growth.

If you have a leak in the roof of your company building it's important to remedy the problem before black mold can occur. Understanding how the water leads to mold damage can also help you mitigate potential issues. Remember that a leak allows the water to get inside which can make the space humid. This then creates a habitat in which mold likes to grow. If you do have mold on your company property a mold remediation service can help.

3 Main Plumbing Issues and How To Avoid Them

9/13/2020 (Permalink)

Plumber with a clipboard writing down Having a trusted plumber you can rely on helps make facing those problems easier

How To Prevent Plumbing Issues

Whether new or old, your Big Pine Key, FL, commercial property will eventually experience plumbing problems. While sometimes it may be unavoidable, such as a water main backup, such issues are often caused by improper maintenance or usage. To help avoid the need for a water damage and restoration expert, regular maintenance of the entire system is important. Below are the three main culprits behind plumbing issues and how to prevent them.

1. Leaks
Faucets, fixtures, and toilets have various seals, washers, and rings that can eventually go bad. Although preventing their eventual demise may not be possible, regularly inspecting those elements as part of general maintenance can help you find and fix a potential problem before it causes trouble.
There are also many areas that a hidden leak could be lurking, from a broken pipe to a toilet malfunctioning. Lowered water pressure, sewer odors, and increased water bills are good indicators of a hidden issue. Having a trusted plumber you can rely on helps make facing those problems easier.

2. Clogs
When it comes to plumbing problems, drain and toilet clogs likely top the list, but fortunately are also the easiest to avoid. If your commercial property has a kitchen, communicated with employees and visitors about keeping improper items from going down the drain. Substances that can easily build up and cause clogs to include grease, fats, expandable starches, and coffee grounds. A similar principle applies to toilets. Waste and toilet paper should be the only things flushed.

3. Water Supply
Just like at home, hot water heaters need regular maintenance. If there is a noticeable loss in temperature, a number of repairs may be needed. While a fix could be as simple as a new thermostat or adding insulation, not repairing an appliance with issues is asking for water trouble sooner or later.
Although not all plumbing problems can be avoided, remembering the plumbing system is important to minimize them. Ensure the regular maintenance of all fixtures and appliances, as well as scheduling annual plumber inspections.

Three Types of Damage To Expect After Storm Flooding

9/13/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water on carpet floor, extracting vaccum Commercial water damage in Islamorada, FL

Three Types Of Damage That Can Affect Your Business

After a heavy storm in Islamorada, FL you may find that your business has some problems with flooding which can result in water damage, mold growth, and wind damage. Fortunately, a local storm damage restoration service can help. Here’s what you may want to know about these three types of damage and how they can affect your business.

1. Water Damage

One of the first damage types associated with storms comes from water. Standing water can lead to the growth of bacteria and mold which have their own types of problems. It can also seep into the structure and lead to crumbling drywall, cracked tile, soften stone, and warp wood such as that in flooring or support beams. Fortunately, removing the water quickly may help mitigate large scale damage. A pump may be helpful in this process.

2. Mold Damage

Another type of damage comes from mold growth. Mold can grow when an environment is left damp for an extended period of time, often in areas of water damage. It roots into organic materials such as drywall and spreads by sending out spores. Mold colonies can weaken the structure around their growth.

3. Wind Damage

Another type of damage that can be seen after a storm comes from the winds. Most often people think of the damage the wind can do to a roof if there are any loose shingles. However, the wind can also pick up loose debris such as small stones, branches, or items left on the law, and blow them into the structure. Additionally, the wind can tear loose any overhanging branched from nearby trees.

After a storm, you can expect to see water damage, damage from mold growth, and damage caused by high winds. Your local restoration team should be able to assess and repair each of these damage types, and soon have the company property looking “Like it never even happened.”

How To Cover the Cost of Flood Damage Repair

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

flooding houses with rising water. 3d rendering Flooded home in Summerland Key, FL

How To Pay For Flood Damage Before It Happens

There are many reasons your home in Summerland Key, FL, can flood. Broken pipes, overflowing toilets and leaking appliances are common culprits. A bad storm can also cause significant flooding. If you don't have flood insurance when this happens, though, you may have a lot of out-of-pocket costs. Knowing how you're going to pay for flood damage before it happens is important.

Flood Policy
Many homeowners have a separate flood policy in addition to their homeowner's insurance, particularly if they live in a flood plain. You can get coverage for the house, personal property, or both. The building property policy mainly covers elements of the structure:

  • House and foundation
  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Installed carpeting or flooring
  • Built-in bookshelves or cabinets
  • Major appliances
  • HVAC units

A personal property policy may be necessary to cover items such as clothing, rugs, small appliances and food that are ruined by a flood. You not only have to think about drying out your home but also disinfecting any surfaces touched by the contaminated water. Flood restoration specialists can assess your property and give you an estimate of the cost of repairs to use in your insurance claim.

Federal Assistance
If you do not have flood insurance, you may be eligible for federal assistance. When you apply for a FEMA grant, an inspector shows up to look at the damage within a few days. From there, your application can be considered. If approved, you may be compensated for the cost of restoration, temporary lodging, or other expenses associated with the disaster. Even if you wait to apply for the grant until after the repairs have been completed, you may still qualify. In this case, pictures and videos of the original damage as well as an itemized list of the work that was done to fix it may speed up the approval process.
Flood damage from a storm is costly. If you don't have flood insurance, there may be other options that help you cover your expenses.

Saving Your Plants From Mildew

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew You may have plant with mildew in your Brickell Key, FL

Tips For Saving Your Plants From a Fungus Infestation

Houseplants can make your home in Brickell Key, FL, more inviting. If you notice white or powdery spots on your ivy when you are watering it, however, you may have plant mildew. Mildew can weaken and kill your plants. Here are some tips for saving your plants from a fungus infestation.

Mildew growth is unlikely to spread from plant to plant, so you don't necessarily have to isolate the plant with the problem. However, there are likely several conditions that led to the growth in the first place:

  • Poor air circulation
  • Overwatering
  • High humidity

Like all fungus, mildew needs moisture to thrive. Once you take these problems out of the equation, your plants are much less likely to develop a mildew problem.

A fast way to stop plant mildew in its tracks is to move it to a sunny, dry location. If you have a spot outside, it's best to move your infected houseplant there so that the problem doesn't worsen while you are trying to save it.

If mildew is only on part of the plant, you may be able to fix the problem by cutting away the leaves where it appears. Prune the plant and keep an eye on it for a few days. If the mildew doesn't reappear, your plant will probably survive.

Many fungicides on the market are harsh and may kill the plant you are trying to save. Mold remediation experts recommend that you find a formula that is specifically made for plants to take care of the mildew. Use sparingly to clean leaves before you move the plant back inside.
Plant mildew is not necessarily a death sentence for your plant, particularly if you catch it early. While prevention is best, there are still several things you can do to save a plant with mildew on its leaves. With a little tender loving care, you can ensure that your plants stay healthy and free of fungus.