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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

5 Tips To Keep Mold From Spreading

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Air purifier machine in a house Run an air purifier

Keep The Spreading To A Minimum

Do-it-yourself mold remediation can be tricky. One of the biggest concerns is spreading mold spores throughout your home during the cleaning process. This can lead to mold growth in other, previously non-affected locations. Fortunately, the following tips can help you keep the spreading to a minimum.

1. Turn off HVAC. While you are working, mold spores may float into the HVAC vents. Turn off the unit and seal the vents with tape and plastic sheeting to keep the spores from being carried into other areas of your home.

2. Run an air purifier. Turn on an air purifier with a HEPA filter to trap airborne spores while you are cleaning. Make sure the purifier is correctly sized for the area where you are working.

3. Direct air outside. If the room you are working in has a window, place a box fan on the sill facing outside. This way the mold spores that become airborne will go outdoors. When you have the box fan in place, use plywood or plastic sheeting to seal off the area around the fan to keep the spores from floating back inside.

4. Throw away mold-infested materials. All items that cannot be fully remediated should be thrown away. Place the items in doubled-up garbage bags and tie securely to prevent spreading mold to other areas. Moldy carpet should be wrapped in 6-mil plastic sheeting and taped securely before being thrown out.

5. Wash or throw away work clothes. When you have completed the mold remediation, make sure to properly launder your clothing and shoes using detergent and hot water. Items that cannot be properly cleaned should be thrown away.
Many homes experience mold infestation, and homeowners can often address the problem themselves without spreading mold. However, if the infestation is large or if you suspect toxic black mold, a certified restoration team can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

First Aid Kit 101 for Businesses

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Kit supplies Every business should have separate kits for first aid and emergencies

Disasters can come in many forms and are typically unexpected. Business and property owners in Islamorada, FL, need to be prepared for the worst at any time. Flooding or storm damage can result in needing to provide shelter, food and first aid for more than 24 hours. Even if a small incident happens, knowing what to do is vital. Instead of feeling the stress of the situation, keeping a well-supplied first aid kit and emergency kit can make taking control of it easier.

Supplies Needed

Every business should have separate kits for first aid and emergencies. A basic first aid kit should include:

  • Varied sizes of gauze pads and bandages
  • Adhesive and triangular bandages, as well as adhesive tape
  • Moist towelettes, cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning wounds
  • Medical tools including scissors, tweezers, splints, elastic wraps, and latex gloves
  • A resuscitation bag or pocket mask
  • Emergency service directions
  • A minimum of one blanket

Along with first aid preparedness, a business should also maintain an emergency kit. These often include the following items:

  • At least one gallon of water per person that can last up to three days
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food and can opener
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA
  • Weather Radio
  • Cellphone charger and backup battery
  • Tools to turn of utilities
  • An emergency plan that includes maps and contacts
  • Survival supplies including a flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, and extra batteries
  • Plastic bags with ties
  • Disposable cleaning towelettes

Proper Management
Once you have an emergency and first aid kit stocked, it’s not something that can just be forgotten. It’s a good idea to designate someone to maintain first aid supplies and do a monthly check. Kits should be accessible, and employees, vendors and other guests should know their location. Managers and other key personnel should also be trained in dealing with an emergency or injury to ensure the right steps are taken.
While a first aid kit is something easily overlooked, it’s important to keep it maintained to ensure peace of mind.

4 Steps to Steam Cleaning Your Microwave with Vinegar

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup of hand in protective glove wiping rag microwave. View from the interior of the oven Grab a microfiber cloth and begin wiping down the inside of your appliance

4 Steps to Steam Cleaning Your Microwave with Vinegar

Failure to clean an appliance can lead to a house fire. When grease builds up in the vent grill, and other oils have been allowed to solidify, it is not uncommon for the heat of a microwave to cause a spark and ignite into a full-blown grease fire. Therefore, to prevent the need for fire mitigation services in Big Pine Key, FL, consider cleaning your appliance routinely, especially when there is a noticeable smoke smell. There is a simple four-step method you can use with vinegar.

  1. Prep
  2. Heat
  3. Wipe
  4. Shine

Prep

To prepare for this cleaning method, you will need one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water. Combine the water and vinegar into one container or bowl that is safe to use in microwaves. Then, place a wooden spoon into the liquid and put everything in the unit.

Heat

Next, you will want to set the timer for five to ten minutes on high-power, depending on the wattage of your appliance. The higher the wattage, the less time required. Once the timer is up, use an oven mitt and remove the bowl carefully. The liquid will be extremely hot and can burn you quickly if spilled. With any luck, the smoke smell has been replaced with the smell of vinegar.

Wipe

Once the bowl or container is removed, you can grab a microfiber cloth and begin wiping down the inside of your appliance. The steam should have made the area wet so any splatters and spills wipe away quickly without the need for scrubbing.

Shine

Finally, once the inside is clean, use the microfiber cloth to wipe down the outside of the machine. If the remnants of the steam are not enough to clean the outside, you can pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol on the cloth.
Cleaning appliances is a necessary part of routine maintenance. If you have a microwave producing a smoke smell, then consider cleaning it. You can also reach out to a fire mitigation company for more tips and tricks for appliance maintenance.

How To Replace a Leaky Toilet

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe Leaking toilet in Tavernier, FL

Few items in your home will get as much use as a toilet. This essential piece of your house can be reliable and effective for decades, as long as you properly maintain and take care of it. This doesn't mean you won't encounter issues such as leaks. This common problem can lead to significant damage. Luckily, it doesn't take a professional to diagnose or fix a leaking toilet.

Typical Causes

It's probably difficult to imagine life in Tavernier, FL, without indoor plumbing. The convenience of having a working toilet brings peace of mind and comfort. If you detect a leaking toilet, it's helpful to know why this is happening. Common causes include:

  • A worn or failed seal under the toilet
  • A broken water tank
  • A worn-out flapper
  • Rusted pipes

Take out the Toilet

Toilet repair often requires you to remove it in order to reach the source of the leak. To do this, shut off the water by turn the valve behind the toilet. Take off the lid to the tank and then flush the toilet, allowing as much water to down from the tank as possible. Disconnect the water line tubes, remove the bolts and then grab the rim of the toilet bowl. After gently rocking the toilet back and forth, breaking the seal. Then, lift the toilet and move it out of the way.

Get a New Seal

In an old toilet, a cracked seal often causes leaks. Once you remove the toilet, look for water pooling around where the base was. You may see water dripping from the water lines too. Once you put on a new seal, you can put the toilet back on or purchase another one and replace it. You should also consider buying new supply tubes if you've got a leaking toilet.
If you don't quickly address water damage from a leaking toilet, you could have a big flood on your hands. If this happens, a certified flood removal team can help.

Avoiding Mold on Carpets

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Three mold spores. Text on image that says THEY THRIVE It doesn’t take much water for mold to become harmful and spread.

If you’ve recently had a flood or a leak, no matter the size, it is a cause for concern for mold in the carpet. For mold, it doesn’t take much water for it to become harmful and spread, all it needs is a bit of moisture for it to grow. Here are a few tips to prevent carpet mold after a flood or leak.

Act Fast

Act fast by drying it up as quickly as possible. Use fans to speed up the process as this will not only help the carpet dry but also circulate the air in the room. Be aware that it can take a few days for the fans to dry the water damaged area, be sure to keep them running for 24 hours until the carpet is dry.

Invest in a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are machines that will remove excess moisture in the room. They help make the air feel cooler and helps limit the growth of mold. The machine will help dry out the air and ground helping to speed up the dry time for your carpeted floors

Hire a Water Damage Cleanup Service

Companies that specialize in water damage cleanup can help get rid of the water fast. They have the tools and equipment needed to remove the water and help ensure mold and mildew don’t begin to spread. These services can help your carpets smell fresh again without any trace of the musky water damage odor.

Document Restoration

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents SERVPRO offer document restoration

If you have experienced a disaster in Summerland Key, FL, you may find yourself in need of a document restoration company. Even if your important paperwork, files, photos, or blueprints sustained damage during a disaster, it does not necessarily mean they are lost forever. SERVPRO regularly restores these types of documents, regardless of whether harm occurred by fire, water, mold, or other substances. They have access to state-of-the-art equipment and over 40 years of experience restoring damaged items.

Types of Documents

Many important or favorite items can be damaged during fires and floods. Often, a favorite painting or photograph receives water damage from a flood. Business-critical documents residing in a file cabinet can become damaged in a variety of situations. Depending on the level of damage, specialized techniques may be able to be used to restore your paper possessions. Document restoration is commonly performed on many types of media:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Photographs
  • Blueprints
  • X-rays
  • Parchment
  • Manuscripts
  • Business documents
  • Maps

The Restoration Process 

SERVPRO uses only HIPPA Master-certified technicians and specialized techniques to recover paper goods, including the same freeze-drying method that is currently used by the Library of Congress. Your professional consultant will devise a specific plan for your scenario, but document drying is often the first step. Since floodwater can contain bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances, sterilization may be performed using a gamma irradiation process. Your documents may also be rejacketed. Deodorization may be used to remove the smell of smoke or other odors. SERVPRO converts all your paper documents to digital files so that you will always have a digital backup copy, in case it is ever needed.
Document restoration helps get your business operational and running smoothly as quickly as possible after a disaster. With the help of a professional restoration company with a specialized paper restoration facility, you may be able to restore your important documents to their original condition.

Plumbing Issues in a Commercial Building

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow A toilet overflow in Tavernier, FL

Plumbing Issues in a Commercial Building

Plumbing issues come in all shapes and sizes, and you never know when they will appear. Toilets, in particular, cause their share of problems. A toilet overflow in Tavernier, FL, has the potential to result in several issues:

  • Water spilling out onto the flooring
  • Water seeping into wood or tile flooring
  • Water filtering through to the ceiling below
  • Contaminated or black water causing safety issues

A non-working toilet is also an inconvenience to employees and customers. A toilet flood is both an aesthetic issue and a health concern and could require the services of a professional water remediation team.

Health Concerns

A toilet overflow comes with several potential health concerns. Any time there is water damage, the extra moisture creates favorable conditions for mold growth. Some people are especially sensitive to mold, which is both an irritant and an allergen. Standing water should be removed as soon as possible and should be treated by workers trained in mold mitigation techniques. Also, any time time the source of a water leak is from the toilet there is a possible concern with contaminated water. Dirty water could contain harmful bacteria and other substances that should not be touched by untrained workers without access to personal protective equipment such as gloves.

Cleanup Matters

Another issue in a commercial building is when a toilet will not stop flushing. This happens when the flushometer keeps running, resulting in a constant flushing action. The steps to stop a toilet from flushing are complicated enough that you might want to call in a licensed plumber. If a water spills out into the floor, you might need a professional cleanup. Water damage technicians will bring in specialized equipment to remove and extract all water and will dry out the area to ensure the humidity level is back to normal. A fast response helps limit the amount of damage caused by a toilet overflow and prevents mold growth.

Making a Building First Aid Kit

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Kit supplies Preparing a first aid kit for your building is important

Here Are Some Things to Include in Your Emergency Kit

Preparing a first aid kit for your building is important for the typically minor but common injuries that can occur in a workplace due to a storm or other emergency. Storm damage experts can help restore damage to the workplace, so managing safety of employees is most important. Here are some things to include in your emergency kit.

Bandages

Bandages are the most common thing used in the majority of first aid kits. Having some of different sizes and fabrics should have you covered for most minor abrasions. These bandages can be easily found and are very inexpensive. Because you can go through them quickly, buying a good amount of them upfront may be a good idea.

Disinfectant

Disinfectant comes in several different forms, including:

  • Creams
  • Sprays
  • Wipes

These can all be useful in different situations. Before putting a bandage on any wound, you should make sure it is clean and disinfected. Bandages should be sterile, but anything the skin was in contact with before and during the incident can cause infection later.

Gauze and Medical Tape

For a burn or a larger wound, gauze with medical tape can be crucial. This can help contain the blood to a small area, and can also prevent it from coming into contact with something that can cause infection.

Gloves

The person applying first aid should wear gloves, to prevent the spread of germs and infection. Having several pairs of disposable gloves in your first aid kit is a good way to help prevent contamination.

CPR Mouthpiece

Having a mouthpiece for administering CPR is recommended, in case someone goes into cardiac arrest and needs emergency resuscitation. This will help keep both the victim and the person administering CPR safe from contamination.
These are just a few of the things you should have in your first aid kit in Design District, FL. Make sure you add items that you feel are necessary. Depending on your workplace, there are certain items you may need that wouldn't be seen in a typical first aid kit. Put in whatever you feel you might need in an emergency.

How to Remove Smoke Damage From Your Commercial Building

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Soot on walls Soot damage in Marathon, FL

How to Remove Smoke Damage From Your Commercial Building

If there has been a fire in your Marathon, FL, building, then you may have a significant amount of damage to take care of. While primary damage from the flames might be your biggest concern, you shouldn’t disregard the smoke damage. Smoke and soot can cause plenty of trouble on their own, even if the fire itself wasn’t too severe. The following are a few things that will need to be done to bring your building back to its previous condition.

1. Scrub Surfaces

Because smoke and soot can travel through the air, it is important to do smoke cleaning even in areas that the flames didn’t touch. With non-porous surfaces, this process is fairly simple. Any excessive amounts of soot will need to be removed first, and then the area should be treated with cleaners to remove any remaining residue.

2. Clean Belongings

Along with the structure of the building, soot damage can affect many objects as well. Smoke can penetrate porous materials, which can make them more difficult to clean than hard surfaces. However, the damage can sometimes be removed with dry cleaning. Smoke can also make its way into electronic devices and equipment, so you should have these inspected and cleaned before attempting to use them. Otherwise, they may be permanently damaged.

3. Remove Odors

Even after smoke damage has been cleaned from surfaces and items, you may still notice some lingering odors in the building. In order to remove these, you may need to clean smoke and soot particles from the air. You can use air scrubbers and filters to do this.
To get the best results and have your building looking as good as new, you should hire a professional service to remove smoke damage and make repairs. A fire damage remediation company will inspect the building, perform cleanup and restore your building and belongings. With their training, expertise and professional equipment, they can have the job done well in a timely manner.

Necessary Precautions to Prevent the Spread of Mold in Your Commercial Facility

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Busted pipe causes secondary damage on a wall (mold growth) Mold growth on a wall in Brickell Key, FL

Precautions To Take While Removing Mold on Your Own

While it is natural to want to protect your business and facility, it is also necessary to know your limits, especially when it comes to mold. Fungal growths, especially significant ones, may require the expertise of remediation specialists in Brickell Key, FL. However, if you do choose to remove the infestation on your own, there are a few precautions you should take.

  • Protective clothing and equipment
  • Plastic and garbage bags
  • Ventilation
  • Professionals

Protective Clothing and Equipment

The first thing you need to consider is your safety. While a mold problem may seem minor initially, as you continue to remove the contaminated surface, it is quite possible you will expose a significant infestation. Therefore, you should always wear a protective suit, gloves, goggles and a respirator when working with mold.

Plastic and Garbage Bags

Next, you will need plastic sheeting and garbage bags, the thicker, the better. If the mold is in a specific room, then close the doors, windows, and vents in the affected space. Next, hang plastic sheeting over the doors, windows, and vents in the space to protect them and prevent spores from spreading. As you remove pieces of the mold affected areas, place them into the garbage bags and seal them.

Ventilation

Before you begin removing pieces of the contamination, make sure that ventilation is controlled. You will want to open a window to the outside but restrict airflow and movement inside. Therefore, turn off the HVAC system and, again, close and seal vents.
Professionals
Last, if you have noticed significant mold growth in your facility, then call a professional. Mold removal is a specialized skill that requires training. Do not attempt mold removal unless you are licensed.
While you may want to protect your business, don't risk your safety. Mold can be toxic, which is why hiring a licensed and certified mold remediation professional is typically best.

Flood Damage to Your Business

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded street in a residential area - Text in picture that says FLOOD DAMAGE Floods can be the cause extensive headaches, even with preparation.

Floods can be the cause extensive headaches, even with preparation. They can happen with little to no warning and hit you with the responsibility of a lengthy, expensive restoration process. You could be facing a mountain of repair bills and extended interruption to your business. Another way to view floods, is that it can also be a rebirth. Large-scale damage to your business is an opportunity to rebuild and minimize potential future damage and disruption caused by future floods. If your business has sustained flood damage, do not panic. Think of it as a chance to fortify your business against future flood damage rather than nothing but a misfortune. If your business does get damaged by a flood, there is no need to worry. SERVPRO of Brickell is here and we will do everything in our power to get your business back up and running in no time.

Cleaning Your Building

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Dust out from air duct SERVPRO has the specialized training and products to get your property back to business.

You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Brickell for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best. SERVPRO of Brickell offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business.

Our cleaning services include the following:

Flood Damage Tips

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded streets of a neighborhood - Text in picture that says FLOOD DAMAGE SERVPRO has experience restoring homes affected by storms and flooding.

What to Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT to Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.
  • Keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Tips for Salvaging Water-Damaged Valuables

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Carpet covered with water, extracting vacuum is on top of the carpet Water damage in Key Largo, FL

Tips for Salvaging Water-Damaged Valuables

Water in the home does not just damage the floors and walls. Your belongings inside the house could also be harmed.
Some items, such as furniture and carpeting, can just be replaced. However, you likely have priceless valuables and heirlooms in your Key Largo, FL, home, as well.
Water damage repair specialists can help you restore these items. They can use both wet and dry cleaning techniques to make your keepsakes and photos look as they did before. You can also take some steps to salvage these keepsakes yourself.

Rinse

Any items that are still wet should be rinsed with a hose or clean water. You can use a damp cloth or soft brush to remove debris.
Metal objects exposed to the water in the home should be cleaned and dried right away. Mud that is caked onto sculptures or similar items can be removed later.

Air Dry

Many of your valuables should be air-dried following a flood. This includes paintings, photographs, documents and books. Be careful when handling these items, as they may be fragile. Organic materials, such as leather and textiles, can be air-dried, as well. Consider putting delicate items into the freezer to preserve them until a conservator arrives.
If possible, avoid air-drying your belongings outside. Heat and sunlight can dry materials too quickly, causing buckling or splitting.

Disinfect

If you are worried about mold growth, use a disinfectant to remove the spores from floors, walls and other surfaces. A large mold infestation or mold-damaged valuables should be handled by professionals.
Since mold grows quickly around moisture, you can limit mold growth by reducing the humidity in your home. If possible, open your windows and run your air conditioner or dehumidifier.
Whether it’s a broken pipe or a leaking appliance that causes water in the home, the damage to your belongings can be extensive. By following the above suggestions, you can preserve your prized possessions.

Eliminating Undesirable Odors From Your Washing Machine

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

A woman covering her nose because her washing machine smells bad Does your washing machine stink? There may be mold growth in the drain.

Eliminating Undesirable Odors From Your Washing Machine

Laundry can seem endless and frustrating, especially as the piles accrue. It is especially irritating when you pull out the clothes only to realize that rather than smelling fresh, they reek of a funky odor. When this happens, grab some supplies. Washing machine cleaning can help eradicate . Here are three ways to handle it.

1. Scrub It

Do you see little bits of frays when you open the door? If small pieces of cloth get caught in the tub, they are attracting water and, thus, developing a mold smell. The longer it sits, the worse it gets. Find a typical household sponge and some white vinegar. Pour out an even amount of each into a small plastic bowl. Scour away, removing as much as possible.

2. Cleanse It

Washing machine maintenance includes removing any soap and dirt buildup; therefore, taking some time to eliminate the contamination may help knock out the stench. Go to the cabinet and locate some baking soda and white vinegar. Both agents have the ability kill mold and mildew. Add a half cup of baking soda and an equal amount of water to the detergent container. Then, pour two cups of vinegar into the drum. Finally, run an empty load on hot. After the cycle, it will hopefully be stink-free. If, however, you can't remedy the situation, contact a mold remediation company in Downtown Miami, FL, to evaluate the room, inspecting pipes and walls.

3. Empty It

Life gets busy, and sometimes dirty laundry gets moved to the bottom of the list. You may have thrown clothes in at the beginning of the day, letting them sit and fester for most of the afternoon. In fact, you probably thought it couldn't cause any harm. You'll dry it when you can, right? The reality is, though, that when anything damp sits for a while, it can develop mildew or mold. The longer it stays put, the more likely it is to grow foul. Try and set a goal to remove loads as soon as possible, preventing this from developing.
Washing machine care is important. Make it a routine to sanitize the appliance regularly, preventing undesirable scents.

Clean Your Grill To Prevent a Grease Fire

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

The hand of someone cleaning a barbecue grill Each time you use your grill, make an effort to thoroughly clean and maintain all the parts

Three Tips for Grill Maintenance

Seasonal grilling is a popular hobby for foodies in Brickell, FL. Whether you use a charcoal, electric or propane version, grill cleaning is an important part of grilling safety. In order to prevent serious fire damage, follow these three tips for grill maintenance.

1. Clean the Inside

Each time you use your grill, make an effort to thoroughly clean and maintain all the parts. Grease and debris that is built up over time can increase the risk of starting a grease fire. After each use as the grill cools, take a wire brush and scrape away all the fragments and stuck-on food on the racks and hood interior. Use a soapy water bath to dissolve grease from these basic components:

  • Drip pan
  • Metal grates
  • Grill plates

2. Protect the Grill Elements

With electric grills, in particular, protecting the heating element is critical to safe grill cleaning and maintenance. Before you go into full-blown scrubbing mode with soap and water, be sure to properly cover the heating elements. Use aluminum foil to create a loose barrier around any exposed electrical or heating components. This helps prevent electrical damage, as well as the accumulation of debris that could lead to fire damage cleanup in the future.

3. Don't Forget the Outside

As you look to prevent serious fire cleanup, don't overlook cleaning the exterior of your grill. If it contains a cabinet below the grill rack, be sure to clear it of leaves and rubble that accumulate from being outdoors. Wipe grease splatters with stainless-steel wipes and dry with a clean cloth. Consider using a grill cover to protect your grill and it's heating elements from exposure to weather conditions.

Prevent Grill Fires

Regular grill cleaning is one of the best ways to prevent a dangerous flame-up and the need for home fire damage restoration. By giving your barbeque equipment a thorough cleaning inside and out, you can help prevent a grease fire or other dangerous residential fire incident.

Ways to Prevent Water Damage from Spreading

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded waters in the entrance of a home Flood damage in a Key West, FL home

When everything is saturated and seems ruined after your home floods in Key West, FL, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. While you want to get a flood cleanup professional there as soon as possible, you know the importance of contacting your flood insurance company first. While they usually arrive quickly, there a few things you can do to prevent further flood damage without affecting your claim.

Keep Insurance in Mind

Before you do anything, ensure the home is safe to enter. If it is, take photographs of the exterior and interior so that there is proof of all the damage for your flood insurance company. If possible, create a detailed list of all your belongings and gather any receipts you may have saved to make the process go as smoothly as possible. It’s also important to discuss what can and can’t be done with your insured before you begin any cleanup.

Mold Prevention

Depending on your insurer, there are usually a few things that can be done to prevent damage from spreading. One of the most common issues that comes with any type of water issue is mold damage. Below are a few ways to keep it from spreading during the wait.

Remove and sort anything saturated with water such as clothing, rugs and furniture.
Clean and disinfect walls, doors, shelves, baseboards and other elements of the home that have come in contact with water.
If possible, open windows and run a dehumidifier to dry out the home.
Check the furnace and water heater for damage or standing water. Schedule an inspection to ensure internal elements are still functioning properly.
Put small holes in the drywall or baseboards that have been damaged to increase air circulation.

Although no one likes to wait, doing too much can affect your flood insurance claim. Staying focused on the details and sorting through your belongings can help keep it protected while help is on the way.

Emergency Readiness Plan

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Hand holding a marker with notebook that says Disaster Plan. The Emergency Readiness Program is a contingency program in case of a disaster.

Disasters resulting in business interruption can devastate companies. It's estimated that 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster never reopen, but the few that due had some type of plan in place. Disasters and emergencies always strike without warning. Planning ahead can help save thousands of dollars in secondary damage but, also minimize business interruption.

The ERP:

The Emergency Readiness Program is a contingency program in case of a disaster. Provides a NO COST assessment of your facility. Also, critical information needed during an emergency will be at hand. Most contingency plans are made up of three main parts: incident response, disaster recovery, and business continuity. Establishes approved building access in advance for companies like SERVPRO of Brickell to accelerate the recovery process, so that we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Faster To Any Disaster

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Car driving on flooded streets at night. Text that says 24 hours 7 days a week. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Commercial water damage affecting your business can be very scary. As much as 50% of businesses never recover from an unexpected disaster. That's where we come in.

When you choose a water cleanup or fire cleanup provider, you want to make sure you select someone you can trust. When you choose SERVPRO of Brickell, you're choosing a company that's licensed, insured, and has a trusted reputation among the community.

Our team will arrive onsite within an hour to help mitigate damage and get right to work with water extraction if needed. 

We will be with you every step of the way, and we will work to always do the right thing. It's our guarantee! 

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We're the guys that hospitals, restaurants, HOAs, medical buildings and clinics, and others choose to do their emergency water cleanup.

We can be reached at 305-643-0710, 24/7/365.

Water Loss Types

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Vaccum laying on the floor of a flooded hallway Water damage in a residential building.

Water may seem very unlikely to cause damage. Do not be quick to dismiss it just yet. Water in the presence strong winds can be very destructive. It is for this reason that hurricanes and strong rains have claimed lives and destroyed millions worth of property. Water damage can also be as minimalist as broken water pipes that cause molding and rusting. These broken pipes are ranked second from hurricanes in causing water damage.

There are three types of water damage:

  • Category 1
    • This is does not cause any threat to human life. It is from is from broken house appliances and pipes which can flood a house or basement.
  • Category 2
    • This is also known "gray water". The water is contaminated and contains chemicals, micro-organisms, nutrients and biological contaminants. This water can cause serious health damage and discomfort when consumed.
  • Category 3
    • This is also known as "black water". This water is very unsanitary and contains harmful bacteria, fungi and harmful physical components like sharp tools. The source of this water is sewage, seawater, water rising from water bodies due to heavy rains and ground water.

Classes of water damage

The several classes of water damage help in evaluating water control options.

  • Class 1- Water damage is minimal, and the materials do not absorb a lot of water making repairs easy and less costly.
  • Class 2- This class has a fast evaporation rate but other materials like cushions and mattresses may be damaged.
  • Class 3- water has the fastest rate of evaporation here and the damage caused is greater and difficult to repair. The water may come from overhead sources and may soak the walls and furniture.
  • Class 4- This stage requires professional technique and procedures to control. It may damage concrete and hard floors and plaster.

Before the Professionals Arrive

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Black smoke cloud Always call a qualified fire restoration company like SERVPRO of Brickell.

While it's best to have a qualified fire restoration company like SERVPRO of Brickell handle the smoke damage restoration, there are some small tasks you can do to help minimize the initial damage before the professionals come in to do the major cleanup. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, then stay out until the SERVPRO arrives. If it is possible to enter your house, make sure you’re wearing gloves, long sleeves/pants, and proper respiratory protection, because exposure to soot can cause respiratory problems and other medical issues.

Ventilation - Open all the windows and air out the house as much (and as often) as possible. SERVPRO will use industrial-strength fans and other air-moving equipment to help reduce the smoke damage your home has been subjected to, but in the meantime, proper ventilation is key to helping remove the polluted air.

Cleaning - Scrub all surfaces inside and out with soap and water.

Laundry - Delicate fabrics will need to be professionally dry cleaned by someone who is familiar with articles that have smoke damage. Only use washers and dryers that haven’t been exposed to smoke or experienced significant fire damage.

Electrical Fires

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage is the last thing you’d expect to happen to your home. Most electrical fires start out in the bedroom. Now, before you can plan the clean up and restoration, you must first determine the extent of the loss. To be able to understand how the fire occurred the source of the fire must be found. One of the most commonly overlooked causes is Faulty Outlets.

Overcrowded electrical outlets can harm the electrical circuit and lead the way for an electrical fire. You’ll see this with outlets that have a power strip, or many cords plugged into it. These should be inspected frequently and unplug anything not being used at the time. Other warnings include: circuit breaker keeps tripping, constant burnt smell, flickering lights, any burnt outlets, or maybe you just have old wiring.

Some of the best ways to avoid an electrical fire is by:

Checking electrical cords and plugs.

Keeping electrical wiring up to date.

Keeping electrical cords away from heat sources and water.

Not running electrical cords under carpet.

Fire Safety: Kitchen

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Flame of gas burner Fire safety is extremely important.

Fire safety is extremely important. The kitchen is an area in the home that is most likely to catch fire. Before cooking, you want to avoid wearing loose-fit clothing, so it doesn’t get too close to a hot surface. Always check the area for anything too close to a burner such as paper towels, pot holders, food packaging, etc. You should always wipe down the area before cooking to remove any leftover residue from previous thing you cooked. While you are cooking, never leave the stove unattended. This could easily catch fire and spread quickly. In addition, you should have a fire extinguisher somewhere close to your kitchen in case of a fire; if you don’t have one, consider buying one. Most people assume the best place to keep it is close to the stove or oven. This would be wrong. If a fire breaks out in that area, the last thing you need to do is go toward the fire and harm yourself. Keep the fire extinguisher in a place such as the pantry or closed cabinet that is away from any area that is more prominent to a fire.

If you experience a fire in your home and need assistance: call SERVPRO of Brickell at (305)-643-0710.

ERP Ready App

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Let me ask you a question, if you’re at lunch and your office staff panicking about a broken pipe, would you be able to direct them how to shut-off the water from under the sink? Whether you’re away for lunch, on vacation, or if it’s afterhours, it would be nice to have access to your building data and emergency contacts directly on your phone 24/7. SERVPRO has developed an app that allows you to organize all that information and have it at your fingertips. Right now, you’re probably wondering why SERVPRO of Brickell is willing to help you organize all that information on your mobile device for free. Well, SERVPRO is a national sponsor of the American Red Cross’ Ready Rating program, and as apart of our community service, we help local businesses prepare for disasters. Our mobile app is part of our overall preparedness plan, but it’s our way of helping you get started.

SERVPRO Metro Mover - Moving our Downtown Community!

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Miami Metro Mover Car SERVPRO branded Miami Metro Mover Car number 59.

HAVE YOU SEEN IT!

SERVPRO of Brickell is proud to be serving our local downtown commercial Property Managers, Chief Engineers, HOA Boards and Rental Community Manager and our local City Housing Authority with all their water, fire and mold cleanup and restoration needs!

If you work downtown or use the Miami Metro Mover, keep a sharp eye out for the SERVPRO of Brickell Flaming Metro Mover Car!

 If you have the MDT APP on your phone check all the loops for CAR 59!

Remember their are three loops, the Onmi, Inner and the Brickell Loop and the Flaming SERVPRO Mover rides on all three loops!

HERE IS YOUR CHALLENGE!

Keep a sharp eye out for the SERVPRO METRO MOVER CAR, remember it is CAR 59 on the MDT Mover APP on your phone! Check all three loops for real time location information!

 If you spot the SERVPRO METRO MOVER CAR, take a picture of it and its location and comment and like the post on our Facebook page and you will be automatically entered into this months contest to win your very own Apple iPad Air loaded with the SERVPRO ERP APP.

 What is the ERP APP? 

Read more about the Emergency READY Profile ERP APP and how it can benefit your properties or facilities in the event of a large water or fire loss!

Effective Methods To Prevent Flood Damage

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Air movers placed on a room to dry out area that had been affected by a storm Air movers drying out affected area in Homestead, FL

Effective Methods To Prevent Flood Damage

Throughout history, humankind has battled the dangerous effects of high waters, floods and heavy rains. As society has progressed, those methods have become ever more sophisticated. Civil engineers, architects and town planners all play a role in flood prevention. In Homestead, FL, your business may be in the path of a devastating storm that could threaten your company and your livelihood. Solid preparation such as a new roof, strong windows and drainage systems is the key to successfully weathering a storm.

Devices for Holding Back Water

Water from rains and snow and ice have the ability to sneak through openings as small as 0.005 inches. Powerful storm surges and raging rivers can bust through the strongest fortifications. The following structures often work against the forces of water:

  • Sea walls are placed to prevent high tides and storm surges from swamping coastal properties
  • Sand bags are a low-tech solution to rising flood waters
  • Levees, dams and reservoirs seek to retain water during heavy rains
  • Vegetation can hold soil in place and prevent erosion
  • Drainage systems divert water from areas that are susceptible to flooding

Flood prevention efforts have varying levels of success. In some cases, they are meant to provide extra time for people to retreat to safer areas without loss of life.

Methods for Flood Cleaning

Once a flood has breached the defenses and entered a property, the emphasis should turn to safety and cleanup. Hazards such as contaminated water should be approached with caution and left to a professional cleanup team in Homestead, FL. Special equipment such as submersible pumps, wet vacs, dehumidifiers and ventilators is effective in removing water from a property. Ridding the building of moisture and humidity can prevent the growth of black mold.
Flood prevention efforts will continue to evolve and become even more effective. Your company can benefit by utilizing new technology to defeat flooding.

What is Black Mold?

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

black mold behind skirting board and a small saw on the floor This mold was found after a water damage.

You may have seen sensational news reports that warn about the dangers of “black mold” or “toxic mold”. These reports can be alarming and confusing so it’s beneficial to get the facts to better understand mold.

Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called black mold, and it does produce allergens and irritants. However, many other types of mold can also produce allergens and irritants. Treat any mold with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

If you spot any signs of mold, don't be afraid to call the professionals at SERVPRO for a free estimate. Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by visiting Mold Damage Tips

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (305) 643-0710

How to Determine if Your Broken Pipe is Covered by Insurance

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water leaking from pipeline broken in house A broken pipe in Downtown Miami,FL

How to Determine if Your Broken Pipe is Covered by Insurance

If a broken pipe has resulted in a flood in your home in Downtown Miami, FL, then you may be wondering if your homeowner’s insurance will cover the damage. Luckily, in many cases, the answer is yes. However, there are some exceptions to this. Answering the following questions can help you determine if your claim will be approved.

1. Were the Pipes Properly Maintained?

If you have been taking care of your home, then it is likely you will have insurance coverage for a broken pipe. However, if the insurance company finds that you have been negligent in maintaining your house and the plumbing, then your claim will likely be denied.

2. How Old Were the Pipes?

Over time, pipes can begin to deteriorate. They can become rusty and develop cracks or weak areas. Because it is expected that the homeowner will replace old pipes before they become a problem, your insurance policy will usually not include damage caused by normal wear and tear.

3. Did You Ignore Any Signs of Damage?

Perhaps you noticed that you had a small leak but decided that it wasn’t a big deal. Choosing not to fix broken pipes can make it difficult to have your claim approved if the problem becomes larger. Persistent leaks can cause damage on their own and can indicate a damaged pipe as well, so always have this repaired right away.

4. Was the Break Sudden?

One of the easiest ways to know if the flood in your home will be covered is to determine if the break was sudden and accidental. If there were no previous signs of damage and there is nothing you could have done to prevent it from happening, then your claim will usually be approved.
Because a flood from a broken pipe can cause a lot of damage to your home, you should have it taken care of as soon as possible. A water damage remediation company can remove the water from your home and repair the building and affected belongings. As long as you have properly maintained your home, your insurance should cover the costs.

Fall Furnace Inspection: 3 Vital Parts To Check

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Technician looking over a gas furnace with a flashlight before cleaning it Schedule a furnace inspection

Fall Furnace Inspection

As fall arrives in Brickell, FL , cooler temperatures and chilly evenings usually arrive with it. As summer fades, your thoughts might turn to household chores such as raking leaves, winterizing your pool and, of course, furnace maintenance. Having a professional fire cleaning service inspect your furnace can give you peace of mind that the unit is running properly. Three vital parts should be checked thoroughly before the furnace is run daily:

Filter

A clogged furnace filter can lead to unpleasant odors while the unit is running, poor circulation and increased risk of a house fire. Ask your cleaning technicians whether you should start the heating season with fresh filters even if the previous ones were not in place for a long period of time. Inquire about which kind of filter would best suit your family’s needs and which can provide you with the most efficient filtration.

Blower Assembly

A furnace blower assembly can become clogged with dirt and debris. If left unmaintained, your furnace might overheat or break down once you start using it every evening. Ask your smoke cleaning and furnace technicians about the condition of the blower and whether it needs any new parts. The cleaner the assembly, the more efficiently the unit may function.

Motor

Your furnace’s motor is the heart of the entire heating system. If it is not working properly due to age or improper maintenance, you may find yourself having to replace it. A fire cleaning and restoration company can test the furnace motor, inspect its parts and gauge whether it will have to be replaced by the end of the season. If your furnace seems noisier than usual or you notice uneven heating in your home, a failing motor may be to blame.
When fall arrives in Brickell, FL, it is a good idea to schedule a furnace inspection with a qualified fire cleaning and remediation service. New filters, a clean blower assembly and a robust motor can keep your unit functioning without worry all winter long.

Understanding Why Mold Grows in Your Home

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold found behind a drywall Mold damage in Homestead, FL

When it comes to most households, black mold is a forbidden word. It's one of the last things anyone wants to see. Worst of all, it seems like no matter how much you wipe, it just keeps coming back. But it doesn’t have to. If you’re wondering why mold keeps growing in your Homestead, FL, home, the answer may be as simple as understanding just what mold is, how it thrives and what you can get rid of to banish it for good.

What Are Molds?

The easiest way to think of molds are as insidious microorganisms that can take up residence just about anywhere. More specifically, molds are types of fungi that spread through little seed-like spores that are floating in the air all around us. Because black molds thrive in moist, warm environments, they replicate most easily in:

  • Attics
  • Bathrooms
  • Crawlspaces

Why Mold Gets Into Homes

Mold loves moist environments and those are perhaps nowhere more concentrated than in the average house. Things like taking a shower, using humidifiers or hanging clothes to dry all produce more of the moisture molds like. Outside your home, storing wet firewood or even excessively watering many plants can create the perfect breeding ground. Once spores land on a moist surface, they start growing.

Getting Rid of It

Whether you can get rid of your mold depends a lot on the depth of the problem. Small areas of mold on solid surfaces can often be removed with a sponge and specialized cleaner. But because black mold can be potentially dangerous to inhale, removing extensive mold should be left to specially trained mold cleanup companies.
Mold is the bane of the homeowner’s existence, but you can fight back. Start by contacting a mold removal specialist to get an idea of the depth of your moisture problem and you’ll soon be on your way to having a mold-free home.

Timely Claims Imperative to Getting Back Up an Running

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

There is a hallway and the floor is covered with water Water damage in a Key West, FL building

When a broken pipe, flooding or other natural disaster happens, it has the potential to have long-lasting effects on a business. Along with dealing with damaged property, including data vital for operations, the cleanup itself could require a short-term closure. Business interruption insurance offers a way to recoup some lost revenue while the doors are closed. Even with this added protection, time is of the essence.

Types of Coverage

If your business has had large water damage, there is a good chance that it may need extensive repairs. When that work requires closing, most business interruption policies are designed to compensate for lost earnings, based on financial history, and expenses that don’t stop just because of a disaster. Deciding what is the best insurance will depend on many factors, including potential risks for your business in Key West, FL. In general there are three types of coverage:

  1. Business Income Coverage – Basic coverage for lost income and recurring utility payments during restoration.
  2. Extra Expense Coverage – Like its name, this provides coverage for additional expenses beyond the basic level. This may cover payroll, temporary moving costs or other expenses incurred during repairs.
  3. Contingent Business Interruption Insurance – For businesses reliant on a supplier, this will cover lost profits if the supplier faces a disaster.

Recovery Steps

Once the flooding, fire or other disaster subsides, quick action is necessary to get your business back on track. Considering it typically takes 48 hours for insurance to kick in, it is important to contact your insurance agent and restoration professionals as soon as possible. When it is safe to start taking action, consider the following for a smooth claim:

  • Have insurance policies on hand to review.
  • Follow all policy guidelines.
  • Document and organize losses, which may include taking photos and gathering receipts, and ensure they are covered in the policy.
  • Track any business expenses during the claim.

Flooding doesn’t just end when the when the water goes away. Proactive steps can help protect your business when the unthinkable happens.

Landscaping Tricks To Protect Your Home From Flooding

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

orange flowers with rain coming down Rain gardens actually use the extra water to make sure all the plants are properly hydrated

Follow These Tips To Keep Rainwater Out Of Your Home

A heavy rainstorm in Miami, FL, can create lots of flooding in your yard and in the areas around your home. This can cause enough problems on its own, including clogging the sewer and washing away topsoil. Another issue with outside flooding is that it doesn't always stay outside. If you don't take the right precautions, your flooded yard could lead to a flooded basement and the need for water restoration services.

Redirection

The best way to protect your home during a rain storm is to direct water away from it. There are several ways to do this:

  • Swales
  • Downspouts
  • Rain gardens

All of these options are designed to control the flow of floodwater. Swales and downspouts cause water to flow away from your home into an area that can handle significant water. Rain gardens actually use the extra water to make sure all the plants are properly hydrated.

Erosion Control

When you plant new trees or flowers, you probably add mulch to the top of the soil to protect the nutrients for the plants. Outside flooding can wash away your hard work. To alleviate this problem, consider using a heavier mulch than wood chips, which float away at the first sign of a stream. A heavy mulch is more likely to stay in place and thus less likely to stop the flow of water away from your home.

Driveway Options

A cement driveway is relatively low maintenance, except when it comes to rain drainage. Then, it can be the source of a lot of problems. Water that runs off your driveway is likely to end up flooding the sewer, which can cause problems not just for you but for other residents as well. Materials such as gravel still give you a nice-looking driveway while still allowing rain to soak into the ground beneath it during a storm.
Outside flooding can quickly become an inside problem if you're not careful. Follow these tips to keep rainwater out of your home.

Flooding in Nebraska and Iowa

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

A historic flood in Nebraska and Iowa in which the water has risen to six to seven feet, has so far claimed the lives of three people and left two other people missing, who are now presumed dead. This major disaster that has broken the record of the last major flood along the Missouri River back in 2011, has caused the evacuation of over a thousand residents and left over 500 homes ruined. With two states being flooded in record numbers, and hundreds of homes and businesses closed, the local restoration companies will not be able to help. As a part of the Disaster Recovery Team, SERVPRO of Brickell is going to go ASAP to help the local communities as much as we possibly can.

Is Cleaning Your Air Ducts Necessary?

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

At some point in every homeowner’s life it’s essential to clean your air ducts, as they directly affect the air quality, circulation and even the energy usage in your home. Dirty air ducts can contribute to health issues like respiratory infections or allergies because they can circulate contaminants and air pollutants (such as dander, dust and chemicals) throughout the home throughout the day. While the air ducts being dirty doesn’t mean unhealthy air in your home, it can contribute to health issues to individuals who already have allergies or asthma. Also, the pollutants cause your HVAC system to work harder and shorten its lifespan. When the HVAC system is clean it will waste less energy while running causing the monthly rates cause to go down.

How to Spot Water Damage

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

A house will be one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. That’s why it is crucial to check the home for any kind of water damage before you move in. If left unattended, the water damage could spawn worse problems such as structural damage or maybe even mold. Here are some ways that to tell if your new home has water damage or not:

  1. Check Outside

Common signs of water damage are on the roof in pools of water, cracked or missing shingles.

  1. Look for Rust or Mold

Check your water heater and look for rust/damp spots anywhere on the floor. Mold is in any nook and crannies in your home. Use both sight and smell to find signs of mold.

  1. Check for Stains

Look for any unusual stains that could indicate that there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the wall or soft and swollen areas are signs of trouble.

  1. Look at the Floors

Fir wood and tile floors look for cracked or warped flooring. With carpet look for damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.

Spotting Water Damage

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

A house will be one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. That’s why it is crucial to check the home for any kind of water damage before you move in. If left unattended, the water damage could spawn worse problems such as structural damage or maybe even mold. Here are some ways that to tell if your new home has water damage or not:

  1. Check Outside

Common signs of water damage are on the roof in pools of water, cracked or missing shingles.

  1. Look for Rust or Mold

Check your water heater and look for rust/damp spots anywhere on the floor. Mold is in any nook and crannies in your home. Use both sight and smell to find signs of mold.

  1. Check for Stains

Look for any unusual stains that could indicate that there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the wall or soft and swollen areas are signs of trouble.

  1. Look at the Floors

For wood and tile floors look for cracked or warped flooring. With carpet look for damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

2/3/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is just around the corner, and while there is some time before spring arrives (March 20th) we are already trying to help your prep for your spring cleaning, because here at SERVPRO we would much rather be ready ahead of time. Spring cleaning will eliminate any unnecessary clutter and will leave your home feeling brand new. You could always give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help you with your spring cleaning, but we have composed a short checklist to make sure you are ready for your spring cleaning:

  • Clean Room-By-Room
  • Organize and Clear the Clutter
  • Get the Family Involved
  • Tackle the Seasonal Chores
  • Keep Cleaning Products to a Minimum
  • Establish New Cleaning Habits

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (305) 643-0710

Mildew Vs Mold

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

The difference in color of Mildew and mold is mildew is white, where mold can be one many color, red, green, blue, orange or black, depending on the species. Mildew usually stays on the surface of the material on which it grows, removing it can be simple if the surface can be scrubbed with a cleaning solution in a well-ventilated area. Mildew can be thought of as annoying and as an indication that there is too much moisture in the area. On the other hand, mold infiltrates surfaces that have been exposed to humidity or water. It is best to allow professionals at SERVPRO of Brickell to step in and make an assessment. The first step is to identify the source of moisture and address it. Materials like wallpaper and drywall are likely to require replacement. Once the mold growth has been removed, there are products on the market that inhibit regrowth. Keeping a home as dry as possible can prevent mold and mildew growth.

Firework Safety

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

With the Holidays just having finished, and July 4th coming up. We thought now would be the best time to drop some knowledge. Fireworks can bring several dangers if mishandled incorrectly. Some of those dangers include severe injuries or death and fires. The possibility of starting a fire is especially high when in a drought year.

There are several ways to prevent injury and fires when using fireworks.

  • Follow any and all local laws, rules, or regulations regarding fireworks.
  • Keep a hose and a metal bucket full of water near the site where you are shooting off fireworks.
  • When the fireworks are done going off, dispose of them in the metal bucket of water and leave them over night.
  • Keep the metal bucket of water away from any structures or vehicles in an area where it won’t be blown over by the wind.
  • Fireworks should only be shot off under direct adult supervision. Children should never be given fireworks.
  • Do not light fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Light one firework off at a time and quickly get out of the way before it goes off.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or in a garage or near buildings or vehicles.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

People are not the only ones that fireworks affect. Pets have very sensitive hearing so keep them indoors during any and all fireworks shows. This will keep them from getting hurt in their confusion and fear.

Hurricane Kit

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Here is a basic list of items you should have in your Hurricane Preparedness Kit for when you need a bit of help surviving.

  • An evacuation route plan.
  • A first aid kit
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Drinking water
  • Blankets
  • Canned foods & can opener
  • Cash
  • Propane stove & propane
  • Candles
  • A whistle
  • Cell phone chargers

To find out more about what exactly should be in your list as well as a more detailed plan to building the kit and designing your protocols visit https://www.ready.gov/kit

If you or someone you know does need help putting your home back together after a disaster call SERVPRO of Brickell. We have the knowledge and manpower to do the job right the first time. Reach us at 305-643-0710

How Often Should You Clean Your Carpet?

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

While every home is different, most homes should have the carpet cleaned a minimum of once a year. We usually recommend every 6 months though. This will help keep your carpets in great condition, especially if you have children, pets or heavy traffic. The amount of traffic your carpet receives will determine how often vacuuming is necessary. Vacuuming a few times per week reduces the dirt that is likely to end up in the roots of your carpet. Spot cleaning is also an essential part of keeping your floors clean. Having your carpets cleaned can help eliminate microorganisms that come from things like dust mites, food particles, soil, pollen and bacteria, improving the indoor air quality of your home and adding to the life of your carpets, helping you have a healthier home.

Different Types of Mold

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

There are three different classes of mold. Mold found in homes can be broken down into different classes based on their level of health risks.

Hazard Class A - Class A molds are classified as the most hazardous types. These molds can directly impact health. It is critical to remove this type of mold from the home immediately in order to eliminate the dangers it brings up.

Hazard Class B – Class B is less hazardous than Class A molds but, can still affect people's health. This group can cause allergic reactions, especially with prolonged exposure.

Hazard Class C - The types of mold in this group are not known for causing health risks but it can cause structural damage to your home if left untouched.

If mold is present in your home, then it is important to have it removed as soon as possible to eliminate any possible health risks and further damages. The professionals at SERVPRO of Brickell will be able to efficiently remove the mold infestation from the property.

What to Do After Sewage Backup?

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

A sewage backup is one of the most unpleasant incidents that can occur inside of a home; it can cause property damage and health problems. Also, it is extremely difficult to deal with. Cleaning up sewer backup requires a lot of time and effort, as well as specialized disinfecting products and purification techniques. Raw sewage cleanup is especially risky as it not only causes a lot of hassle and inconveniences, but also presents a variety of health hazards (sewage spills contain contaminants that can cause serious diseases) and sanitation issues. Professional help is your best option in these situations, but you can do a few things to limit the extent of the damage before the experts arrive.

There are important measures to take after a sewage backup in order to prevent the damage from spreading:

  • Keep children and pets away from the affected area
  • Wear protective equipment – i.e. rubber gloves, rubber boots, impervious coveralls, protective eye wear, and a face-mask
  • Switch off the electrical power to your home.
  • Turn off any running water
  • Open doors and windows to allow fresh air inside
  • Take any un-contaminated items away from the affected area
  • Add small amounts of chlorine bleach to standing water to ensure some disinfection
  • Notify your insurance company that there has been a sewage spill in your home
  • Call a professional water damage restoration company. The quick and efficient intervention of the experienced technicians will save you a lot of time and effort and will provide the most appropriate, safest, and cost-effective solution to the problem. Besides, most sewage cleanup companies offer not only water extraction, but also quality repair works, odor removal, and content cleanup, so you will have all the aspects of the restoration process taken care of when using professional sewage cleanup services.

When a mop isn't enough

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Brickell is trained to safely clean and restore your customer's home, utilizing the following procedures: 

  • Identify the Source/Type of Water
  • Measure Temperature and Humidity for Drying Analysis
  • Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the Premises
  • Perform Emergency Water Extraction
  • Move and Block Furniture
  • Provide Floor Service
  • Inspect Carpet Pad/Carpet and Provide Service
  • Apply Necessary Treatments
  • Utilize Drying Equipment and Monitor Drying
  • Dispose of Refuse

About SERVPRO of Brickell

SERVPRO of Brickell specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

For help restoring your home or business after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Brickell at (305) 643-0710. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

What not to do After a Storm

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

With hurricanes it is hard to be certain which path they will take. Even with Florida weather meteorologists coming close to predicting the path, the hurricane can quickly shift or turn at the drop of a dime. Because of the amount of uncertainty hurricanes bring, here are 5 things not do to when riding out a hurricane.

  1. Don’t tape windows - it does almost no good and it is a mess to try and take off.
  2. Don’t run generators indoors - the carbon monoxide the generators emit can become deadly within minutes. Also, you shouldn’t connect a generator into your home’s electric system directly, because it can affect electric lines outside and endanger your neighbors, emergency responders, and /or utility workers.
  3. Don’t use charcoal or gas grills indoors - the carbon monoxide and fire risks are high. The grill’s carbon monoxide can easily build up and poison anyone inside the house, including your pets.
  4. Don’t walk or drive in flood waters - the waters can contain snakes, alligators, downed power lines and sewage, which can all be dangerous and deadly. If you drive a vehicle in flood waters that are six inches or more, the waters can cause a car to float.
  5. Don’t stay after an evacuation order is given - rescuers might not come out in the height of the storm, but if they do you are putting your life and their lives in danger. Your life is not worth the same amount as your home or anything in it. A home can be replaced, your life can not.

Generator Safety

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

If you own a generator for power outages during severe weather storms, follow the safety tips below from the American Red Cross:

Never use a generator, grill, stove, or any other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.

To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.

Opening doors or windows and using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death.

Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.

Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.

Deodorization

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

Even small fires can cause odors that last for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke, and soot damage in your home or business can create an unpleasant and potentially permanent problems. As materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. If professional action is not taken, these residues and deposits can cause serious damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Brickell provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Brickell does not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out and remove the sources of the odor. If you suffer fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact your local SERVPRO of Brickell. Whether it’s fire, water, mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Why SERVPRO is the Best for Commercial Cleaning and Commercial Damage Remediation?

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know SERVPRO is not just for disasters such as floods, water damage, or fires in your home? We also help Commercial Businesses! SERVPRO employees are certified to clean and sanitize: Upholstery, Carpeting, Flooring, and other hard surfaces. SERVPRO is even certified to remove biohazard contaminants such as blood, urine, feces, and other things no one else wants to clean. Refresh your carpeting and office cubical- we also specialize in odor removal and deodorization! Additionally, SERVPRO is available after hours if services are needed when customers and/or clients are not present. SERVPRO means reliable, certified professionals will show up at your door. Please call SERVPRO of Brickell today for a free quote; we would be very happy to serve you on a reoccurring basis.

Places Mold Grows

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that when a home suffers any type of water damage, mold can arise within 48-72 hours throughout the home?  Removing all mold in a home is impossible as they are microscopic spores living both inside and outside. Unfortunately, mold spores produce a variety of irritants and allergens, making them potential health problems. As such, removing as much mold as possible is important for any homeowner, particularly for South Florida homeowners.

The following are some of the most common places for home mold growth:

  1. Bathrooms and showers
  2. HVAC system drain pans
  3. Underneath kitchen sinks
  4. Areas surrounding refrigerators
  5. Carpets
  6. Crawlspaces
  7. Ceiling tiles
  8. Surrounding air conditioning units
  9. Stacks of paper/newspapers/cardboard boxes/etc. that are dampened or wet
  10. Areas surrounding any kind of cooling or heating appliances

Identifying Mold Growth

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

There are over 100, 000 species of mold which exist in both the outside and indoor environments. For mold damage to occur, organic materials and moisture must be present - that is why they commonly grow on wet ceiling tiles, gypsum wallboard, carpeting, paint, wallpaper, and fabrics. Mold can also grow on dirty and moist surfaces such as ceramic tiles, fiberglass insulation, and concrete. We are going to look at some of the facts that we consider during the remediation of your Miami property.

When our SERVPRO technicians arrive at your Miami property to perform mold damage remediation, we perform an evaluation and determine whether the site is safe to enter. We can also set up barriers using plastic sheeting to separate clean areas from the contaminated areas. To avoid the trip, fall, and slip hazard while at the site, we might provide portable lighting.

To visually identify the mold, we watch out for discoloration on walls, staining, musty odor, and leathery growth on building materials. In most cases, mold grows on hidden areas, so, we check behind the insulation, wallboard, wallpaper, carpet backing, and padding. We can also use moisture meters to measure moisture levels of materials such as wallboard, brick, plaster, carpet, and concrete. It is because mold grows typically on surfaces with moisture accumulation.

SERVPRO of Brickell is an industry leader in mold remediation and cleanup. Call SERVPRO at (305) 643-0710 when you need professional help from our highly trained and experienced technicians.

Mold Remediation Process

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:

  1. Emergency Contact - (305) 643-0710

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.

  1. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

  1. Mold Containment

Our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.

  1. Air Filtration

Our specialized filtration equipment allows our Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

  1. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.

  1. Cleaning Contents and Belongings

We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

  1. Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal.

Hurricane Michael Damage

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

This structure was one of the only buildings left standing.

Quite possibly the biggest storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in over a hundred years. "The Big One" called by many people for all of the destruction left in its path. Hurricane Michael hit the coast traveling 14 mph and accelerated to 17 while only losing a little strength while crossing from Florida to southwest Georgia. Not only was it one of the strongest storms to ever hit Florida, it is also the strongest storm to hit Georgia since 1898. With over 70 miles of destruction along U.S. Highway 98 and 34 deaths (24 in Florida, three in North Carolina, one in Georgia, and six in Virginia), 1.3 million homes and businesses lost power. Us SERVPRO of Brickell went up two days after the hurricane hit and have been there helping the community as best as we can over the past month.

Fire Damage Specialists

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

No one ever expects anything bad to happen inside of their home. House fires are something that most people think will never happen. However, accidents do happen, and one day it is possible that you could have a fire inside your home. Many people find themselves in a situation where a minor fire starts in their home. If this ever happens to you, it's a good idea to call SERVPRO's fire damage experts. Some people have small fires start inside their home, and they can quickly put it out. However, even though you may not see any amount of burn damage where the fire first started, it is still wise to call in SERVPRO to inspect the damage. Many times, a fire causes damage that is not in the exact area of the source of the fire. When a fire burns, it creates smoke that spreads to all areas of your home. A fire sometimes embeds an unpleasant burn smell into contents inside your home. Any of issues, if not treated correctly, might result in permanent damage to your home.  When you call in the professionals, it is now up to them to figure out every area fire or smoke damage may have affected.  Our staff is highly skilled at diagnosing every unique situation.  Our experienced team knows how to find things that get ruined in the most unexpected places and use the best equipment available in the industry to remove any damage caused by a fire. It is always a devastating experience when a fire starts inside your home.  Let our team take some stress out of the situation for you and call SERVPRO of Brickell & Wynwood at (305) 643-0710 24/7.

Fall Allergy Guide

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO, we are a professionals when it comes to restoration and remediation. What we really care about is helping people. So, we have come up with a quick guide on how to get through this allergy season:

  • Check the pollen count when you wake up.
  • Try not to walk through leafs, they attract moisture that lets mold flourish.
  • Make sure to drive to work with your windows up and the AC on.
  • Wash your hands to clean out any remaining pollen from your hands.
  • Keep your work station uncluttered and clean of any dust.
  • Shower and change clothes as soon as you get home.
  • Don't let the temperature get above 72 degrees overnight; mold grows in warmth.
  • Wash your sheets to remove any lingering pollen.
  • Keep your windows closed overnight.

Water Damage Prevention

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Brickell we are Water Damage specialists, and we compiled a small list on how to prevent water damage from happening often in your home: 

  1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts - Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof. Don’t forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.
  2. Know your Water Main - Know the location of your water main and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time.
  3. Check Appliances Regularly - Check and maintain your appliances regularly for leaks according to manufacturer’s directions.
  4. Investigate Leaks Right Away and Fix Promptly - If you choose to ignore any water damage, or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home.
  5. Upgrade Washing Machine Hoses - Old, brittle or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours often throughout the year to avoid an expensive damage.
  6. Check Your Water Pressure - If the water pressure to your home is too high, then your pipes and hoses may fail under the high pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure. Typical homes water systems are designed for pressure of 40 – 70 psi. Anything above 70 psi will put your plumbing at risk.
  7. Monitor Your Water Bill - Sometimes, the only way you know that water is leaking is taking a closer look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next, then there is probably a leak somewhere in the home.

Water Damage Experts

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

If a pipe bursts inside your home, water can flood out ruining many things in the way. Once water gets into your living area, it can be a considerable inconvenience. The longer your home stays wet, the worse the problems can get. We at SERVPRO know that any time water damage occurs in Brickell, the typical lifestyle of residents gets severely disrupted. When things indoors get wet, it is possible that it can cause health concerns for some people. Water has a destructive effect on most building materials and contents. If the water problems are not treated quickly, more items can get ruined. If the proper equipment and techniques get used, it is possible in many instances, but not all, to prevent the costly replacement of building materials and contents. Our SERVPRO technicians have the training, expertise, and specialized equipment to properly dry and restore water-damaged structures. We know that if we do not resolve the issues correctly that water can cause much worse damage over time. We know how to listen to the concerns of all parties involved and come up with an overall work plan that satisfies everyone. When completing a job involving excessive water, we always follow the IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration. To prevent future problems after a water leak, call SERVPRO of Brickell at (305) 643-0710 24/7.

Hurricane Michael

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Michael made landfall causing major flooding and wind destruction in the Florida Panhandle with the storm track continuing into Georgia. In addition to the 160 local Franchises in the Hurricane Michael affected areas, SERVPRO also has a national network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country. Our designated Disaster Recovery Teams have been activated and will be deploying to the affected areas as needed. With about 20 franchises out in Panama City, there is only so much that we can do. However, you can help by donating.

You Can Help By Making a Donation Today!

The American Red Cross is working around the clock along the East Coast to help the thousands of people whose lives have been affected by Hurricane Michael.

Click HERE to make a donation

Ready 24/7

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

We are ready for disaster whenever it strikes.

SERVPRO OF BRICKELL AND WYNWOOD IS READY TO ANSWER THE CALL 24/7

On the call 24/7:

            As an independently owned business ourselves, we understand that business continuity is extremely important and that every hour lost is a customer and revenue lost. And with our highly trained and certified technicians, we can prevent loses such as water damage and mold from being a long-term problem to your business. Being that we are a 24-hour franchise, we have a flexible schedule to work around time strains you may have.

We have the experience and the technology needed to solve any problem. If your business is damaged by water, fire or any other forces of mother nature, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Brickell!

Hurricane Michael

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Michael is quickly approaching the Northern Florida Coast. Set to make land fall at either category 3 or 4 on Thursday October 11th. It would be a great idea to be prepared for this storm. Florida is the state where hurricanes make landfall the most during the month of October. In the link above you will find what you need to be prepared for the storm. Hurricane Michael seems to be coming with enough force to do some serious damage to any city. Make sure to be stocked up all the essentials you will need during a hurricane of this caliber. If your home is in the surge zone, leave the water removal to the professionals and call up your local SERVPRO they will not hesitate to help.

October is Pink

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations, to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research. Research holds the key to a future where all that changes. A future where women get to watch their children grow up, creating a lifetime of memories with the people they love. With about 266,120 new cases of breast cancer is diagnosed every year, and about 40,920 women will die from breast cancer in that same year. If you would like to learn more on the disease or donate/fund-raise head over to The Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation website. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer. They provide critical funding for cancer research worldwide to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis and survivor-ship.

Hurricane Preparedness During October

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

With Winter around the corner, we at SERVPRO of Brickell will 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 being a few days away, we strongly encourage 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

Is Mold Dangerous

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold on the interior of a wall in a clients home.

No matter what you do, you cannot outrun mold. Mold has been on our planet for millions of years. Usually growing in moist locations. You must be thinking: “How dangerous is this stuff and what steps do I take to remove it?”

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that has over 100,000 different strains in different colors (black, green, orange, and white. Mold reproduces spores which are tiny and float through the air on their way to your house. Searching for dark, moist, and warm places, once they find a spot they will grow and form a visible colony. Mold cannot grow without moisture, so try to keep your home warm and dry.

Is Mold Dangerous?

Mold doesn’t usually affect healthy adults, but scientist have uncovered that some people are more susceptible to illnesses caused by the mold. These illnesses involve the throat, eyes, and respiratory system. With this discovery, we still know very little about all the mold strains, so they must all be treated as toxic. Proper tools and equipment will have to be used to insure that the mold will be removed. Therefore, if you do find mold in your home call the professionals over at SERVPRO of Brickell.

Service Response for a Water Damage

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

water damage in basement from flood This is a water damage restoration service.

When there is a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. We are water damage specialists who get started promptly to get your property dry and back. Our staff is highly trained in property water damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property after a water damage. With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no water damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of Brickell. We are proud to serve our local surrounding communities upon request. If you would like to schedule service for your home or business, we are here to serve you 24/7, please call today 305-643-0710

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