Preventing Water Damage in Your Kitchen
From the sink to the dishwasher and from the refrigerator to the freezer, there are many potential water leaking hazards inside of the kitchen.
Water damage in the kitchen is something that homeowners often forget to consider as they tend to associate water damage with bathrooms and laundry rooms. Unfortunately, water damage in your kitchen is typically hard to recognize due to the various smells already in that area. From the kitchen sink to the dishwasher and from the refrigerator to the freezer, there are many potential water leaking hazards inside of the kitchen. Since detecting moisture in the kitchen is difficult, but it is important to understand the most effective ways to prevent water damage in the kitchen.
Water damage can arise at any moment in your home. In the kitchen, water damage is most often found due to the following:
- Countertops and Sinks
Dishwashers will sometimes malfunction, causing blockage of the main filter and thus causing a leak and eventual water damage. To prevent this, make sure that you are regularly checking the base of the dishwasher and looking for any collection of excess water. Also, look out for any leaks in the dishwasher which might be caused by an improperly sealed hose. Refrigerators often cause water damage because they are rarely moved. To prevent a potential water problem, be sure to occasionally check behind your refrigerator for any water. Finally, countertops and sinks are obviously exposed to water each and every day. To prevent water damage in these areas, check under your sink for any pooling water and make sure that the grout on your countertops is intact, as this is a sign of water damage.
Kitchen repairs for water damage can be costly and annoying. Not only will you have to pay to fix the problem, but it will disrupt your day-to-day routine since the kitchen is the focal point of most homes. In addition, mold growth is a threat when kitchen water damage goes undetected. As such, be sure to keep the above tips in mind to prevent water damage in your kitchen.
Dryer Fire Prevention Tips
If you have experienced dryer fire in your home, SERVPRO is here to deal with the fire damage.
Each year in the United States homeowners suffer from the aftermath of clothes dryer fires. In fact, nearly 15,000 home clothes dryers catch fire each year which in turn cause about 100 injuries. While it may surprise some, neglecting to clean your dryer is the most common cause of a fire. As such, preventing dryer fires is actually easy if the homeowner is aware of the potential of fire damage and takes steps to avoid an accident from occurring in their home.
Keep in mind the following tips for dryer fire prevention:
- Hire a professional to install your dryer, do not attempt to do this yourself
- Make sure that your laundry room has no flammable items inside or near the dryer
- Clean your linen filter both before and after every single load of laundry
- Get your dryer serviced regularly
- Be sure that your dryer’s vent pipe is free, blockage is one the top causes of dryer fires
- Hire a professional to look at your gas lines
- Never run your dryer when you are asleep or not home
- Avoid overloading your dryer
- Clean your dryer in any place where lint can build up
- Use metal dryer ducts
- Check the electrical outlet and plug to ensure it is connected correctly
- Do not dry any items containing rubber, foam, or plastic
- Do not dry clothes that have anything flammable on them such as gas, alcohol, or cooking oils
- Leave ample room between your dryer and the wall behind it
- Read your manufacturers’ instructions to go over particular safety tips for your dryer
From lack of maintenance to dirty dryers, almost every single dryer fire each year is caused by something that could have been avoided. If you have experienced dryer fire in your home, SERVPRO is here to deal with the fire damage. Call us today to learn more!
Protect Your Commercial Property from Water Damage
Efficient and effective planning now can be done with organization, dedication, and a little professional assistance.
Owning and operating a commercial property is stressful. South Florida business owners understand how quickly a commercial property can go from up and running smoothly to suffering badly from any disruption of business as usual. The middle of hurricane season is upon us and this often leads to heavy rains and unforeseen hiccups in typical day-to-day activities. As such, protecting your commercial property from water damage is essential to maintaining your business goals, keeping profits up, and making sure that your employees and customers are happy and satisfied with your business operations.
There are a million different things on your mind as a business owner and keeping up with water damage prevention may be on the bottom of your to do list. However, failing to plan can result in lost business, dissatisfied customers and work force, and a damaging reputation that may be impossible to come back from. Whether you delegate the commercial water damage planning process to someone else on your team or you take it upon yourself to get it done, thinking through a myriad of “what if” scenarios is critical to keeping your business afloat during trying times and unexpected natural disasters.
First and foremost, your business must establish emergency procedures during a storm. Who is responsible for what tasks? What if a storm is coming and the business is closed that day? Which staff members are on call for last minute preparations? Are all of your data and important documents backed up somewhere? Who has access to this information? Have you had a full inspection of the interior and exterior of your business in the event that damages are suffered? Are there any leaks or cracks in the windows, doors, or walls that need to be addressed? Is your plumbing up-to-date and effective? If these questions are overwhelming you, it’s time to create a plan before it’s too late.
Don’t panic! Efficient and effective planning now can be done with organization, dedication, and a little professional assistance. The team at SERVPRO specializes in commercial property water damage cleanup and restoration. We understand how important your business is to you and your family and our staff of highly-trained commercial restoration specialists are here to help!
How To Stop Mold Growth in Your Shower
At SERVPRO, our highly-trained mold remediation specialists are here restore your bathroom quickly, efficiently, and with the utmost professionalism.
Most homeowners can attest to the fact that mold and showers seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Despite your best efforts, that pesky mold starts to grow in the shower and it seems like there is nothing you can do to stop it. Mold thrives in moisture and confined areas and is therefore likely to flourish inside of a shower. While many do not realize it, mold is actually present everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, all of the time. When a mold spore is exposed to water, a colony can quickly grow and create a problem. In addition, mold often produces irritants and allergens and that can create health issues for you and your family.
Showers are damp and dark, facilitating mold growth and causing major headaches for homeowners. From the shower ceiling to the shower floor, a quick look around your bathroom area is likely to reveal some mildew issues. Things like pipe leaks and poor ventilation can cause bathroom mold to grow. Preventing mold from growing in the first place is of course the most efficient method. Therefore, try to keep your bathroom fan on when you shower for better ventilation, replace your shower curtain frequently, possibly use a dehumidifier in the bathroom, and wash your rugs in the bathroom often.
While preventing mold growth in your shower is ideal, it is not always possible. For that reason, getting rid of mold in the bathroom is a concern of many homeowners. As long as the bathroom has not suffered from a serious mold growth infestations, getting rid of it is entirely possible. First, remove any sealant that has visible mold. Then, start by cleaning your shower top to bottom with any type of mold-killing cleaning product such as hydrogen peroxide or bleach, but be careful not to mix these toxic cleaning products. Finally, keep any and all doors and windows open in the bathroom to get air circulating and drying the area as much as possible.
Unfortunately, there are many scenarios when the homeowner waits too long to address mold growth in the shower or bathroom. If the mold problem in your bathroom seems outside of the scope of the above suggestions, you will likely need professional help. At SERVPRO, our highly-trained mold remediation specialists are here restore your bathroom quickly, efficiently, and with the utmost professionalism. Don’t let mold ruin your beautiful bathroom, contact us today to learn more!
After a Florida Storm Safety Tips
SERVPRO is here to get your home back to pre-storm condition as quickly and efficiently as possible!
From serious thunderstorms to hurricanes and everything in between, South Florida homeowners must be prepared for the worst during the summer months. When it comes to rainy season and hurricane season in Florida, most people focus on preparations before a storm strikes. While this is critically important for home protection, attention must also be paid to what to do after a Florida storm. It goes without saying that keeping you and your family safe is the number one priority before, during, and after a storm. After a serious storm hits and you’ve make sure that your family is safe, thinking about what steps to take from there on out is important.
Assessing the damage to your home must be done extremely carefully, as things may have shifted during the storm and are potential hazards. Keep the following tips in mind for what to do after a Florida storm:
- Listen to your local news via radio or television as well as the NOAA Weather Radio for important instructions and/or announcements
- If you had evacuated, do not re-enter your home until your area has been declared safe
- Do not drive into any flooded areas
- Do not drive through barricaded or closed roads
- Only stand on firm ground, avoid any areas with moving water
- Carefully check your appliances, water, gas, and electrical lines for any damages
- Do not consume any food or beverage unless you are sure that it is not contaminated
- Use flashlights for light while inspecting your damage, never use open flames of any kind
- Avoid using the telephone unless you are reporting a life-threatening emergency, keeping the phone lines open is important
- Do not use your generators indoors
- Make sure any electrical items are completely dry before turning them on
- Keep your pets under close watch
- Report any downed power lines
- Help people in your community who need is (especially the elderly or those with special needs)
Once you and your family feel safe and secure, it is a good idea to take photographs or videos of your home and the surrounding areas. Documenting the damage and recording losses is a good idea for both inside and outside of your home. In addition, be hyper-aware of waterborne bacterial contaminations, these are common after major storms and can be a major health threat. The final step in what to do after a storm is to contact your local storm damage cleanup and restoration professionals. SERVPRO is here to get your home back to pre-storm condition as quickly and efficiently as possible!
What To Do After a Flood in Your Home
Our water damage experts are a team of professionals who will work diligently to mitigate damage and restore your home back to normal.
Water damage is not fun for any homeowner and unfortunately, South Florida is prone to flooding. As such, knowing what to do in the event of a flooded home is critical to mitigating the damages and getting your home back to normal as quickly as possible. From rainstorms to overflowing toilets and from leaky faucets to poorly insulated showers, water damage can occur in a myriad of different scenarios. In South Florida, the summer season brings a ton of rain and thus increases the likelihood of flooding in your home. Water damage is actually an issue nationwide, accounting for nearly 1,400 home or work indoor flooding each and every day.
The first 24 hours following any type of flooding or water damage in your home is often the most important. No matter how bad the damage may be, quick response times almost always play a vital role in reducing the amount of destruction that is suffered by the property. Keep in mind the following tips on what to do after a flood in your home:
- Use mops to remove any excess water
- Remove tabletop items and then wipe off excess water on wood furniture
- Take all cushions and upholstery and prop them up to remove water
- Pick up furniture legs where possible and place aluminum foil down between the legs and the wet carpet
- Turn on the A/C to max in order to speed up the drying process
- Take colored rugs off of wet carpet immediately
- Transfer any art objects to a dry area in the home
- Collect all loose items from the floor
- Use dehumidifiers for small spaces
- Remove any books, photographs, or important papers from wet areas
- Shut off electrical systems
- Turn on all fans in the home to circulate airflow
- Disinfect any contaminated areas with non-toxic, strong disinfectants
- Throw away any damages items
- Call water damage professionals as soon as possible to assess and repair the damage
If a pipe bursts or a heavy rainstorm strikes unexpectedly in your home, it’s difficult to avoid panicking. Homeowners must take a deep breath and contact SERVPRO as soon as they can to get professionals on the job immediately. Our water damage experts are a team of professionals who will work diligently to mitigate damage and restore your home back to normal. With our highly trained technicians, our goal is always to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today!
Most Common Causes of House Fires
If you or a loved one has suffered from a house fire, contact our fire damage specialists immediately for 24/7 disaster help!
Fires are one of the most terrifying and devastating accidents that can occur in a home. Most victims of house fires will agree that they never saw it coming and never thought a tragedy like that would happen to them. Unfortunately, fires are unpredictable and alarming no matter how they happen and preparing is something that homeowners seldom think about. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 1.3 million fires required U.S. fire departments responses in 2015. On average in our nation, a home fire occurs every 86 seconds. This means that there is no such thing as being too prepared for a house fire.
More than three-quarters of civilian fire deaths are caused by home structure fires. As such, homeowners must be aware of the threat of a fire in order to hopefully prevent one from occurring. In fact, research shows that the majority of home fires are completely avoidable. Having a complete understanding of typical house fires causes can play a critical role in prevention. The most common causes of house fires are:
- Cooking/cooking equipment
- Careless smoking
- Heating equipment
- Electrical equipment
- Lighting equipment
- Intentional fires (arson)
- Curious kids
- Poor wiring
- Flammable liquids
- Christmas decorations and trees
- Dryers and washing machines
Smoke alarms and sprinkler systems are critical for any homeowner. Most homes in the U.S. have smoke alarms, however, about 60 percent of fire deaths come from homes without smoke alarms or with non-working smoke alarms. From more obvious dangers like cooking and smoking to less obvious dangers like flammable liquids and poor wiring, being aware of the most common causes of house fires is essential to preventing them from occurring. If you or a loved one has suffered from a house fire, contact our fire damage specialists immediately for 24/7 disaster help!
A Clean Workspace Checklist
Be sure to keep this checklist in mind while you perform regular cleanings throughout your workspace.
Business owners know how overwhelming running an office can be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When it is your responsibility to oversee the day-to-day operations within a company, cleaning is understandably the last thing on your mind. From dusty cabinets to stained carpet floors to smelly kitchens and everything in between, keeping your workspace clean and neat is a constant challenge. However, keeping a workspace tidy is actually more important than many business owners imagine. Studies have shown that work productivity and employee morale is much higher when an office space is kept well-ordered and organized. As such, hiring commercial cleaning services to regularly visit your office and clean is vital to your business’s bottom line.
In addition to encouraging and motivating your employees, a clean office is also critical for clients and guests who visit your workspace. How can a potential client trust that your company will provide great services if your office is a mess? Spend some time today walking around your office and give yourself a grade against this clean workspace checklist:
- Clean floors: check for carpet stains and dirt on hard floors
- Trash cans: empty your trash cans each night and wash as needed
- Dusting: spot check all surfaces and furniture for unwanted dust
- Fingerprints: remove any marks from glass doors, windows, surfaces, and walls as well as any door frames and light switches
- Disinfect: make sure all floors are mopped and door handles are cleaned
- Cabinets: spot clean and polish all office furniture to remove any unwanted stains
- Break Room: keep kitchen and fridge/freezer clean and tidy, throw away expired or old food/beverages
- Vents: vacuum vents once a month
- Organize: make sure all files, folders, and papers are neatly stored
- Restrooms: refill soap dispenser, disinfect surfaces, clean toilets, and make sure that all bathroom appliances are operating correctly
No matter what type of office you run, cleanliness is essential to the well-being of your business and its employees. Be sure to keep this checklist in mind while you perform regular cleanings throughout your workspace.
The Dangers of Mold in Your Home
Unwanted mold growth can lead to adverse health effects and can make living in your own home uncomfortable.
South Florida homes are particularly susceptible to mold growth in their homes because mold and moisture thrive together. A type of fungus, mold is also called mildew and can grow both indoors and outdoors, flourishing in humid, damp, and warm conditions. Unfortunately for Florida homeowners, the weather in the Sunshine State typically creates a humid, damp, and warm environment. As such, mold threatens homes all across South Florida, especially during very hot and humid days. Places like shower stalls, wet carpets, and other areas that suffer from water exposure are most vulnerable to mold growth. This occurs because active mold growth needs moisture. Understanding the dangers of mold in your home is important to preventing serious health risks for you and your family.
Some people are more sensitive to mold than others and will immediately feel an allergic reaction when they are exposed to it. Things like sneezing, coughing, skin rashes, red and itchy eyes, and runny noses are all common allergic reactions to mold presence. Those who have a serious allergy to mold may even experience shortness of breath, even causing asthma attacks for people with asthma. The groups of people who are most often connected to sensitivity to mold exposure are:
- Elderly people
- People with compromised immune systems
- Sufferers of chronic lung disease
Mold can enter a home through vents, windows, doorways, and even air conditioning systems. In addition, outside mold can even attach itself to pets, clothing, and shoes and be tracked inside of a home. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there have been more than different 1,000 types of mildew and mold identified inside of houses throughout the country. Therefore, contacting a qualified, professional mold remediation expert is imperative to keeping you and your family protected. Unwanted mold growth can lead to adverse health effects and can make living in your own home uncomfortable. If you see any signs of mold it is critical that you contact SERVPRO immediately and speak with one of our mold specialists.
Storm Safety Tips for Florida Residents
It is important to take every precaution necessary to ensure the utmost safety during a tropical storm, hurricane, or even heavy downfall.
Summer months in the “Sunshine State” are filled with on and off rain almost every single day. Those who have lived here for years can relate to the unpredictable, wet, and frustrating weather that strikes Florida. From tracking hurricanes to simply preparing your home for a bad rainstorm, being proactive and diligent is the key to protecting you, your loved ones, and your residential property. Planning ahead is often the difference between total destruction and minor damage, so be sure to prepare yourself during this stormy summer season!
June 1st marked the first day of hurricane season in Florida, so it’s time to educate yourself on the best safety practices before it’s too late. Things like torrential rain downpours, high winds, and storm surges can wreak havoc on your homes. Keep the following storm safety tips in mind this summer:
- Trim your trees properly and be aware of any power lines near your home
- Unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment
- Create a contact list of important numbers such as emergency services, county law enforcement, local hospitals and utilities, and the local American Red Cross
- Be aware of the location of the closet storm shelter
- Make an emergency kit with enough food for 3-7 days, plenty of water, clothing, batteries, first aid kit, flashlights, emergency radio, cash, and a cell phone
- Keep your gas tank filled during the summer
- Right before a storm, turn the refrigerator and freezer temperature to as cold as possible
- Put up your hurricane shutters and remove any loose items from around the house
- Think about purchasing a generator
- Discuss an evacuation plan with your family
The above storm safety tips for Florida residents really only scratches the surface of what needs to be done to adequately prepare for a storm. It is important to take every precaution necessary to ensure the utmost safety during a tropical storm, hurricane, or even heavy downfall. Be sure to check back on our blog to learn more safety tips as we move along into the summer months. Be safe out there!