Protecting Your Home from Damage in Heavy Rain
Proactively protecting your home from water damage or storm damage in heavy rains is extremely important.
Hurricane season technically ends on November 20th, but experienced Florida residents know that heavy rains can (and do) come during any season. When a serious storm comes your way, heavy rains can wreak havoc on your property, both inside and outside of your home. If it seems like it’s been even wetter than usual in South Florida lately, that’s because it has been! Based on new reports from the South Florida Water Management District, South Florida hasn’t seen this much rain in 86 years. Storm surges of heavy rains often mean flooding in your neighborhood and it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers associated with this extra rainfall and water.
Rain damage can be very costly if not handled both immediately and correctly. Far too many homeowners become lazy about storm damage and then are left to deal with additional issues like mold growth. As such, keep the following tips in mind for protecting your home from damage in heavy rain:
- Clean your gutters regularly
- Pay attention to your home’s drainage efficiency
- Check your windows and doors for proper sealant
- Have your roof inspected
- Fix any leaks throughout your home, especially in the bathrooms and kitchen
- Watch out for water leakage through your air vents
- Look out for mold growth, which often indicates water damage
- Be aware of potential health hazards associated with rain damage
- Make sure that all electrical equipment and appliances are in a water-free location
Proactively protecting your home from water damage or storm damage in heavy rains is extremely important. From both a safety and cost-savings perspective, ensuring that your home is safeguarded during Florida’s rains is beneficial in a variety of ways. If your home has suffered storm damage in any recent heavy rains, contact our team of water damage professionals today!
Most Common Signs of Water Damage
From the walls to the floors, water damage usually shows itself in one way or another.
Water damage in a home can be a serious problem if not detected early. Unfortunately, loose water inside of a house can flow virtually anywhere it wants to and thus presents a potential issue for homeowners who are unaware of its existence. Contrary to popular belief, a leaky or busted pipe is not always easy to notice, especially when water is moving slowly. The ability to recognize the most common signs of water damage is critical to identifying the problem before it becomes a costly, major headache. While water damage repair and restoration can fix almost any losses, protecting your home or business from water damage by spotting the signs early is extremely important.
Things like flood damage or a toilet overflow show water damage in a property clearly. However, some of the most damaging issues come from the seemingly undetectable leaks. The following are the most common signs of water damage:
- Moisture in carpet or other flooring
- Painted walls with raised lines or wallpaper that begins to peel
- Dark grouting around floor tiles
- Separation between trim or baseboards from the wall
- Stains on ceilings that look like rust or watermarks
- Mold spore growth on walls or ceilings
- A musty odor in particular spots in the home
- Higher water bills
- Buckling of wood floors
- Changes in the “typical” sounds of the plumbing system
From the walls to the floors, water damage usually shows itself in one way or another. Being aware of the common signs of water damage can help homeowners to save money and the integrity of the home’s structure. If you think that your home is showing some of the above signs, contact us today to learn more about our water damage repair and restoration services!
Basic Home Fire Escape Plan
When it comes to fire safety, there is no better way to prepare than having a solid fire escape plan.
No one plans for a fire to break out inside of or near their home. Home electrical fires account for close to 500 deaths and over 1,400 injuries each year. In addition, home electrical fires cost billions of dollars in property damage annually. As such, preparing and planning an emergency escape strategy is critical to protecting you and your loved ones in the event of an unexpected home fire. First and foremost, your home should be inspected for working smoke alarms in every room. In addition, you must create a specific evacuation plan, practice fire drills, and make sure that your entire family is well-versed in what to do in the event of an emergency.
Keep in mind the following pieces of advice when developing and deploying your personal home fire escape plan:
- Keep all exits unblocked (both doors and windows throughout the house)
- Make an escape route for each individual room in the home
- Smoke alarms should be placed in every room, on every level of the home, and outside of any sleeping area
- Walk through your escape plan with entire family
- Choose a location a safe distance away from your home as your family’s meeting place
- Memorize the fire department’s emergency phone number, make sure your family does as well
- Assign a capable adult to be in charge of any infants, elderly people, or anyone that lacks mobility and would require assistance in an emergency
- Take every smoke alarm signal seriously and evacuate immediately
- Inform guests or visitors in your home of the fire escape plan
- Never go back into a burning building before being cleared from the firefighters on the scene
Creating a home fire escape plan is absolutely essential for everyone. Whether you live in a single-family home or a high-rise apartment building, be sure to prepare yourself for the steps that would be taken in the event of a fire. When it comes to fire safety, there is no better way to prepare than having a solid fire escape plan.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS KICKS-OFF SEASON WITH ANNUAL TEA GUEST SPEAKER LESLIE GRAY STREETER FROM PALM BEACH POST
This annual event is a fundraiser for the Women in Business Council whose mission is to promote networking and education for professional women.
The Women in Business Steering Council announced their annual tea will be Wednesday, August 30, 2017 from 3p.m.-5p.m. at the Abacoa Golf Club. This year’s guest speaker will feature local Palm Beach Post award-winning journalist and columnist, Leslie Gray Streeter.
Leslie Gray Streeter is an award-winning columnist and pop culture writer for the Palm Beach Post, where she has worked since October 2002. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she is a proud product of that city's public-school system, and graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 1989.
In 1993, she graduated from the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park, after which she began her professional journalism career. That has included stints at the Miami Times, a community weekly in Miami, Florida, the York Dispatch/Sunday News in York, Pa., and finally the Post.
Guests are invited to flaunt your best tea dress and hat. Prizes will be awarded for beauty and creativity. Ladies will come and enjoy an afternoon tea, light bites, and desserts.
"The Women in Business Annual Tea is one of my favorite Palm Beach North Chamber events. There is a feel of camaraderie as we enjoy our tea sporting elegant to wildly creative hats. Our speaker, Leslie Streeter, will certainly add to the fun with light hearted laughter! By the way, men are certainly welcome to join us! (Hats are optional)" said Donna Goldfarb, Chair of the Women in Business Council.
The event is made possible through the generous support of sponsors including Series sponsor: Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Tea Sponsor: Baron Sign, Orchid Sponsors: Gentile Glas Holloway O'Mahoney (2GHO), Cathy Peduto Allstate Insurance, Illustrated Properties, Financial Investment Network Inc., Leo A Daily, Palm Beach Kennel Club, PGA Commons, SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, and Glidden Spina.
This annual event is a fundraiser for the Women in Business Council whose mission is to promote networking and education for professional women and women entrepreuners while highlighting the women leaders in the community. Tickets are $35 for Chamber members and non-members and walk-ins will be welcome the day of.
“The Women in Business Council is an incredible resource for business women in the Palm Beach North community seeking a forum rich with experience, knowledge and great networking opportunities” said Beth Kigel, President and CEO of the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce.
Staying Safe and Smart in Hurricane Irma
Good luck to all and remember that SERVPRO is here for all of you during and after the storm!
Florida residents are no strangers to hurricanes and the massive damage that they can cause. With Hurricane Irma looming, it’s difficult avoid the memories of past hurricanes that left homes in shambles. Devastation is something that sticks with a family. Nevertheless, if the rebuilding efforts after monster storms like Hurricane Andrew taught us anything, it taught us to prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more. While its exact path is still unknown, there is no way around the fact that Hurricane Irma is going to be a seriously catastrophic storm. At this point, emergency plans should already be in place as you prepare your home and your family for the massive hurricane heading our way.
Weather experts have warned that wind, not flooding, is going to be the main concern this weekend. As such, the following steps should be taken today and tomorrow to ensure that you and your family stay safe and smart in Hurricane Irma:
- If you have an evacuation plan, now is the time to set it in motion. Map out your route and hit the road as soon as possible.
- Make sure your gas tank is full.
- Get water (1 gallon per day per person), non-perishable food items (enough for 3-7 days), and flashlights.
- Keep all important documents (insurance policies, passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, emergency contact phone numbers, health insurance cards, and any other important identification, financial, or property paperwork) in a waterproof safe box or some type of protective case.
- Photograph every room and valuable item inside of your household, as well as the entirety of the outside home. Photographs will be critical when filing insurance claims after the storm.
- Put up your shutters now, before the rain starts to come down.
- Run a load of laundry and dishes today before the power goes out.
- All patio furniture must be brought inside.
- Secure your garage door.
- Trim any branches or damaged trees that look like they may fall once the winds pick up.
Do not forget to prepare your pets for the storm. In addition, make sure that your first-aid kit is handy in addition to toilet paper, medications, cash, and fully charged electronics. Hurricane Irma is likely going to cause major destruction to South Florida homes. The focus right now must be safety for you and your family. If you have any questions, please reference local news stations or the NOAA Weather Radio for updates. Good luck to all and remember that SERVPRO is here for all of you during and after the storm!
The Fascinating Truth about Mold
While mold will always be present in your day-to-day life, there are a number of ways to avoid excessive exposure.
Most people do not realize that mold is everywhere. Mold lives inside, mold lives outside, and, in fact, mold is likely growing somewhere in close proximity to you as you read this article. Mold spores are microscopic and are therefore difficult to spot with the eyes. Thriving on moisture, mold spores often grow in places that are wet and colonies often grow quickly when exposed to water. Understanding some basic mold facts and figures can help you to be more aware of the potential dangers of mold growth and the risk of letting it thrive without professional removal or remediation.
We have spent some time collecting some of the most interesting facts and fascinating truths about mold. Take a moment to read through these figures and make mental notes of how important it is to be aware of any signs of mold:
- Approximately 93 percent of Chronic Sinus Infections are linked to mold
- Nearly 30 percent of new homes built have mold in them already
- Mold exposure has been linked to asthma, allergic reactions, and other respiratory health issues
- Fixing water leaks or problems is the best way to avoid mold growth
- Mold can grow on virtually any type of substance or surface as long as moisture is present
- Storm-driven rain is one of the most common sources of mold
- There have been over 1,000 mold-related insurance claims over the last decade
- Every single type of mold has a potential to cause some type of health issue
- Roof damage often leads to mold growth as a result of roof leaks
- Doors, windows, and exterior walls are all vulnerable to mold growth when moisture exists
- Poor ventilation inside of a home causes mold to grow
- Humidity must be controlled to prevent excessive mold growth
While mold will always be present in your day-to-day life, there are a number of ways to avoid excessive exposure. Keep the above facts and figures in mind in order to protect you and your family from mold-related health issues. If you believe that you may have a mold issue in your home or business, contact SERVPRO today to speak with our mold remediation experts!
Interesting Facts about Hurricanes in Florida
Take a look at some unique and interesting facts about hurricanes in Florida.
Floridians have grown so accustom to experiencing hurricane season that they rarely stop to think about hurricanes themselves. While any natural disaster can be scary and destructive, they also have the potential to be beautiful acts of nature. From flash floods to power outages, it’s easy to get lost in the negative elements of Florida hurricanes and the damage that they cause to our homes, businesses, and community as a whole. Have you ever taken a moment to reflect upon your hurricane knowledge? When is the last time you stopped to catch up on interesting hurricane facts?
If the answers to these questions leave you wanting more, keep reading. As storm damage experts, our team at SERVPRO has taken the time to get to know hurricane extremely well. Take a look at some unique and interesting facts about hurricanes in Florida:
- Warm water is used as a source of energy to create hurricanes
- The eye of a hurricane can range anywhere from 2 miles in diameter to more than 200 miles in diameter
- Other names for hurricanes include tropical storms, cyclones, and typhoons
- Around 33 percent of cat and dog owners do not have a hurricane disaster plan in place for their pets
- When the waves of the hurricane are extremely heavy they are referred to storm surges
- In 1953, the National Hurricane Center began naming storms officially
- Approximately 40 percent of hurricanes in the United States strike Florida
- The eye of a hurricane is typically calm
- More often than not, the right side of a hurricane is most dangerous
- Tornadoes have been caused by hurricanes
- When the wind speeds of a storm hit 74 mph, the storm is considered to be a hurricane
- Category 5 hurricanes, the most dangerous of all, are marked by winds that exceed 156 mph
- Hurricane Andrew, Florida’s most catastrophic hurricane, was a Category 5
- Naming hurricanes helps with communication amongst the general public as well as weather forecasters
Being educated on hurricanes is important for any Florida resident. Understanding the history of these storms can help to calm nerves, manage expectations, and lead to better decision-making in the event of a bad storm. Be sure to continue your hurricane education to keep you and your family safe this summer.
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!