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When Your Home Needs Construction after a Disaster | SERVPRO of Englewood, Placida

3/22/2024 (Permalink)

Cutting and marking balsa wood templates for making engineered stone countertops Home renovation gone awry? SERVPRO of Englewood/Placida is here for all your construction and remodeling needs!

No matter where you live or how much you prepare, sometimes there is simply nothing you can do to prevent a disaster from striking. Natural disasters can come without warning and leave behind a trail of damage so quickly that we are all left with our heads spinning. 

Preparing your home ahead of storms, floods or fires can go a long way in either preventing losses or keeping them at a minimum, but sometimes the damage to your home will be extensive enough to require construction or remodeling. 

SERVPRO® is your complete restoration company because we can handle repairs both big and small, including construction and the remodeling of your home when necessary. 

Right After the Storm

Once a storm has blown through, you may be anxious to get the repairs to your home started right away. If you were evacuated ahead of the disaster, you may not be able to get home right away, and even when you do so it may not be safe to enter your home. 

Caution should be exercised throughout your entire restoration process. 

Whether you rode the storm out at home or somewhere else, make your first step a call to our professionals. Our phone lines are open 24/7, and we will work directly with your insurance company in order to start the claim process and begin creating a plan for your home. As soon as we can safely do so, we will send a crew to your property and start assessing your needs. 

If you are able to access your property, take as many photos as possible in order to document what has happened. These photos can also help you make better decisions when you do get to the construction and remodeling phase of your restoration. 

Throughout the Process

Once we have created your restoration plan, we will make sure to walk with you through every step of the process. Initially, our goals will be to prevent any further damage. This can include tarping off your roof if necessary as well as sealing around the section that needs to be rebuilt in order to close in your home from the elements as much as possible. 

During the construction process, we will work with you to ensure your home is being rebuilt exactly as you want it to be. Our goal is to make your home yours again. Following your insurance claim and your guidance, our crews will work with every necessary contractor to get everything put back together fast. 

Throughout the process, the best thing you can do is to stay as calm as possible. Seeing your home damaged takes an emotional toll. While we tackle rebuilding your home, you can focus on addressing the emotional damage that has been done so that at the end of the process your life is exactly as it should be. 

Does your home need rebuilding after a disaster? Contact us to get life back on track fast.

The Facts About Fire Safety | SERVPRO of Englewood, Placida

12/22/2023 (Permalink)

fire roof Has a fire affected your home or business? SERVPRO of Englewood/Placida is "Here to Help" 24/7, 365.

Is your home fire-safe? Fire safety tends to be something we take for granted. We put up smoke detectors around the house and check them every once in a while, or at least when they start making that annoying beeping sound. And then we just hope for the best. 

Did you know that the United States has the highest number of people killed by fire every year? Smoke detectors are a great first line of defense and can mean the difference between life and death. But there are many other ways to make fire safety a top priority in your home and avoid becoming part of that statistic.

With a better understanding of the facts about fire and some basic safety steps, your family will be safe through any emergency. 

Get to Know the Facts

If you do some research about fire, what you might find can be pretty astounding. While most of us think fire is something that will never happen in our homes or that we are prepared enough to keep everyone safe if it does, getting to know more of the facts might make you feel different. 

There are an average of 358,500 house fires every year. In only 30 seconds, a small flame can turn into a roaring blaze, and every day at least one child dies from a house fire. These are only a few of the facts that are out there—but they are pretty alarming reasons why fire safety should become one of our daily practices. 

You can take steps now and each and every day to break away from these statistics and rest a little easier knowing your family is safe. Since house fires cost nearly $12 billion in damage each and every year, by prioritizing fire safety, you are not only protecting your family, but you are also avoiding major financial losses. 

Fire Safety Basics

We already know that smoke detectors are a great first step toward safety, but you need to have enough working alarms in your house to actually be able to respond appropriately when a fire starts. You should have one on every level of your home and outside every bedroom. These should be tested monthly while everyone is around; it’s crucial to know what your detector sounds like so you can get moving immediately when you hear it. 

Put a fire extinguisher in your kitchen for another layer of safety. Cooking fires cause nearly 50% of all house fires, most of them occurring when a stove or other cooking appliance is left unattende

Always stay near a hot stove, griddle, oven or grill so that you can take quick action if something starts to burn. If you are cooking something in the oven and your meal catches fire, turn the oven off and leave the oven door closed until the flames are out. Smother grease fires with a pan lid or something else solid, and don’t place any soft materials near a hot stove. 

Make a fire safety plan with your family. Include exit routes and a meetup location as well as a communication plan for when disaster strikes. Practice your fire safety plan regularly, perhaps even creating some challenges to keep the fear factor low and really impress on your children what to do. 

Even if you experience a small flame you were able to quickly put out, call our experts at SERVPRO®. Smoke and soot damage can spread far from where the original flames were, and we have the tools and experience to clean all of it up quickly. 

Do you have fire, smoke or soot damage in your home? Contact us for fast restoration.

Finding Sneaky Leaks | SERVPRO of Englewood, Placida

9/22/2023 (Permalink)

Shocked woman with umbrella dealing with water damage in kitchen and talking on smartphone Have you found water damage in your Florida home? Call SERVPRO of Englewood/Placida for a fast response!

Water is a pretty destructive force. In its raw, natural form, it can create large floods that overwhelm streets and fill your basement faster than you ever thought possible. Water damage can be pretty devastating, too, especially when it hits hard and fast. 

Even when it isn’t rushing through your doors and leaving everything in its path sopping wet, water can still do a whole lot of damage. A hidden water leak can end up causing water to seep through walls, floors and into the very structure of your home, leaving you with costly repairs.

If you spend time checking for water in places it shouldn’t be, you can mitigate a lot of that damage. Get to know the most common places water might be hiding out in your home, and make keeping things dry a priority. 

Find the Drips

In order to prevent damage from water, you have to know where to look for it. You might already make checking under your sinks and around the bathtub a habit, but these aren’t the only culprits of sneaky leaks. 

If you are checking around your tub or shower during your weekly cleaning when your bathroom is dry, make sure to also look for water droplets or splash leaks right after your shower has been used. Even if you dry up any escaping water after every use, this could still be leading to hidden damage as it creeps into cracks and starts to cause your sealant to wear away. 

Make sure your curtain or door is long enough, and refresh or replace the caulking around your tub every few years or at any signs of deterioration. 

If your drains are running slow anywhere in your home, this could be another sign of an issue, even if you can’t find any dripping from the pipes. A slow- moving drain could be allowing water to seep around the pipe into the connecting floor joists. Take the tub drain apart and check for clogs or any cracks to help keep water flowing smoothly. 

Clean It Up & Protect Your Home

Even if you check every nook and cranny of your home, sneaky water damage might still leave parts of your home wet. If you ever find water damage, the faster you can start drying things up, the better. 

If the leak is still flowing, find your water shutoff valve and turn the water off at the source. If the water was under an appliance or somewhere you have items stored, remove everything and allow the area to dry completely before returning anything to the area. 

Take some steps to keep things dry long-term, especially around appliances, under sinks and in the bathroom. Have your air conditioning checked by a professional regularly, and watch for puddles around the unit. 

Check connection points on hoses that connect to your dishwasher and your refrigerator. Keep an eye out for corrosion on any metal parts on water hoses. That could be a sign of a slow drip that could be leading to damages. 

The more you can do to stop every small drip and keep all of your water lines running well the less chances you will have of ending up with costly damages. Get to know the signs of sneaky water leaks and keep your home safe. 

Have you found water damage in your home? Contact us to clean up even the sneakiest water leaks.

4 Steps for Recovering From a Business Fire

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building Fire damage in North Port, FL.

Four Steps to Get Back on Your Feet After a Business Fire

It doesn't take much time for fire to derail your successful business, and when the smoke clears, you still have a long process of cleanup to tackle. After all, smoke damage settles into furnishings, inventory, and even the walls and floors of buildings. Take the following steps to successfully deal with the damage.

1. Discuss Costs and Coverage With Your Insurance Provider

There are many cleaning and restoration professionals available who provide soot damage and smoke cleaning services. Some insurance plans cover this type of service. As you discuss the details of coverage with your insurance agent, consider asking about the following services:

  • Protecting property from more damage
  • Completing repairs for existing damages
  • Storing inventory
  • Remodeling buildings and structures on the property
  • Replacing property, belongings, and inventory that are beyond repair

The better you understand your coverage, the better prepared you'll be to oversee the recovery process.

2. Restore and Replace Valuable Documents

Just about every business has important documents on-site. These may include proof of licensing, business credit cards, employee records, billing documents, contracts with providers, and even cash. Moving paperwork to a clean, dry location, away from further smoke damage, should help protect documents and help you get your business back on track as quickly as possible.

3. Save Receipts for Everything

Keep receipts and make a record of any money you spend that is related to the fire. The insurance company will need those records, and you may use them later to prove losses while completing taxes. Consider talking to an accountant for more information about special tax benefits.

4. Maintain Communication With Local Officials

Protect the safety of your employees, buildings, and other officials by alerting the fire and police departments to your comings and goings. Don't enter buildings or use utilities until you've had official permission. Discuss problems with your landlord or insurance company.

These four steps can help you and your North Port, FL, business recover from fire and smoke damage. What have you already done to protect your business and property from fire dangers?

What To Do After a Pipe Breaks

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Man walking between air movers placed on a floor of a home, floor has been removed. Water damage in a Rotunda West, FL home.

When a Pipe Breaks, What Should You Do?

When temperatures drop in Rotunda West, FL, water inside your pipes can freeze. As water freezes, it begins to expand and that expansion can cause your pipes to burst. Bursting pipes can do an incredible amount of damage in a short amount of time. While it’s natural to panic when water is gushing into your home, staying calm and acting fast can minimize the water damage. Follow this guide to deal with a broken pipe.

1. Turn off Your Water

Turn your water off at the main valve. This stops water from flowing into your house. The quicker you accomplish this, the less damage you’ll have.

2. Turn off Your Electricity and Gas If Necessary

If the water comes into contact with any electrical outlets or exposed wires, it can cause an electrical current to flow through the water. This presents a lethal hazard to anyone who comes into contact with the water. In these cases, it’s important to shut off the electricity. Likewise, if water comes into contact with any gas appliances you should call your gas company and tell them to shut off your gas.

3. Contact a Plumber

Call your plumber and let them know the situation. They’ll need to come to your home and fix the broken pipe.

4. Call a Water Damage Mitigation Specialist

If a lot of water was released by your bursting pipes, contact a water damage mitigation specialist in Rotunda West, FL, to handle the cleanup. They can extract the water and dry out the affected area quickly and efficiently. If water is left standing or materials aren’t dried out completely it can result in secondary damage and mold growth. The water evaporates, causing high humidity inside your home. This moisture in the air then condenses on ceilings and walls, causing water damage far from the original source. These damp materials are then a perfect breeding ground for mold.

Once you’ve managed the immediate dangers of bursting pipes, let an expert handle the cleanup. They’ll make sure your house is clean and dry as quickly as possible so you don’t have to worry about secondary damage to your home.

Mold: An Overview for Business Owners and Investors

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on wall Mold damage in Boca Grande, FL.

What Is Mold and How To Handle It

When business owners hear the phrase mold growth, they most likely get a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach because they anticipate the costly repairs and remediation necessary for toxic black mold. However, the cost is mostly dependent on mold coverage, type and overall damage. Although, before you go get your calculator out, it is a good idea to understand what mold is and how to handle it.

1. Causes of Mold

Mold is essentially a moisture problem. The spores thrive on water and will congregate and establish colonies when near a water source. This is also why mold is often found near plumbing, in basements, attics, bathrooms and wall cavities because it thrives in damp, dark and humid areas.

2. Dangers of Toxic Mold

Black mold is often used as a blanket term referring to toxic mold. However, the only way to tell what type of mold is present in your building is to have it tested. No matter the kind of mold, you should safely remove it following city and state regulations as quickly as possible, ensuring the safety of everyone involved.

3. Mold Growth

Mold spreads quickly, usually taking less than 48 to 72 hours to develop. It is because of the accelerated rate of growth and the variety of species that mold should be dealt with quickly and precisely. To slow mold growth or development, you may want to install dehumidifiers and other means of ventilation in your building or property.

4. Mold Remediation

Mold is a naturally occurring substance, and as such, you should be leery of companies promising the removal of all mold. Qualified mold remediation specialists in the Boca Grande, FL, area understand that mold cleanup and remediation is not about eliminating every occurrence of mold, as that is impossible, but instead returning mold levels to natural levels.

The phrase black mold has become scarier than reality because of manipulative advertising strategies. However, despite the hype, mold is still a problem that demands immediate attention, and as mold types vary greatly, it is best to seek professional assistance in the removal process.

4 Ways To Tell If Your Shower Is Leaking

11/25/2021 (Permalink)

Water leakage from a shower cubicle with damaged glass wall Shower leak.

4 Signs That Your Shower Is Leaking

The cause of a shower leak is not always obvious. Whether you notice a wet floor after showering or signs of moisture and water damage underneath your shower, here are four ways to determine the origin of a shower stall or bathtub leak.

1. Shower Pans and Leaks

Check a basement or crawlspace for signs of a leak from a first-floor shower. A shower pan leak on a higher floor may cause staining on the ceiling below. You may also notice water damage near the shower or in areas that share a common wall.

Test the pan by stopping the drain and filling the shower or bathtub about 1.5 inches deep. Wait between eight and 72 hours. Have someone walk around in the shower to determine whether weight triggers the leak. Replace shower pans that are more than 30 years old.

2. Caulking and Tiles

Spray water along a shower door track for several minutes and check for leaks. Cracked grout between tiles can also permit water to collect behind walls. Allow the area to dry completely before caulking or grouting a bathtub leak. You may also want to have mold testing and any necessary remediation completed before sealing cracked grout.

3. Shower Heads and Escutcheons

Clear clogged spray holes and check the O-ring inside a shower-head. Replace worn out cartridges, stems, or washers inside the valve. Replace the gasket or use caulk or putty on an unsealed escutcheon. Check for leaks between the head and valve by capping the showerhead.

4. Drains and Lines

Pour water from buckets or a hose down the drain and have another person monitor the area beneath a shower. Drain leaks are typically caused by a cracked flange or damaged gasket.

Regardless of the source of a shower or bathtub leak, you may want to hire a plumber. If your home has sustained water damage, or you suspect that mold is growing, contact a water damage restoration service in Manasota Key, FL.

Protect Your Building Envelope

11/20/2021 (Permalink)

Construction details - framing installing the roof truss system A building’s envelope is, in a very basic sense, the actual building itself.

Protect Your Building Envelope

Rain damage can be a serious threat to your commercial building, easily causing thousands of dollars worth of damage after a bad storm. The most important thing you can do to protect your building is to ensure that the building envelope is in good shape and well maintained. It is much more cost-effective to maintain the property in such a way as to prevent damage than it is to repair after a weather event.

Rain Damage Can Present Big Problems

In many cases, damage done to commercial buildings is caused by water being where it’s not supposed to be. Black mold is just one example of the serious consequences that can arise when rain is allowed to intrude into the building. Get out ahead of potential problems by making sure that cracks are sealed and gaps are closed. There are other things that can help to divert water:

  • Gutters
  • Overhangs
  • Baffles

The use of these items can move water away from the foundation of your building and help to prevent water intrusion.

The Building Envelope and Why It’s Important

A building’s envelope is, in a very basic sense, the actual building itself. It is the physical barrier between the conditioned interior and the unconditioned environment outside. It is comprised of the roof and walls of the structure. Cracks, gaps, and other openings in the envelope, including doors and windows, can all present possible points of entry for water and air into the building.

Maintenance Can Make a Big Difference

Preventative maintenance can save you money in the long run. Once damage has been done, it usually becomes a much more costly situation to rectify. However, should damage to your building occur, bring in professionals to help with cleanup.

It is easier and cheaper to fortify a weak point than it is to replace a larger area that has become subject to rot or mold due to water damage. Keep in mind that Englewood, FL, can be subject to severe weather, including heavy rains. Protect your building from rain damage so it will continue to serve its purpose for years to come.

Can Family Heirlooms Be Restored After Fire Damage?

11/20/2021 (Permalink)

Burned fabric Clothing damaged by a house fire may retain a smoky smell

While the idea of your home being struck by lightning may seem extremely rare, lightning fire is actually responsible for millions of dollars in property damage annually. If your home and belongings have fallen victim to a house fire in North Port, FL, there may still be hope for restoring some of your precious belongings. With the help of a reputable fire restoration specialist, priceless family heirlooms may be returned to their previous state. Before your restoration team arrives, be sure to follow these helpful tips to prevent any further damage or loss:

Handle Heirlooms With Caution and Care

In the immediate devastation of a lightning fire, it may be difficult to take a step back from your belongings before jumping-in to inspect them. Moving forward with the following precautions may prevent further damage:

• Avoid movement of damaged goods to prevent shifting soot and ash
• Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling damaged property
• Do not wash painted surfaces without first consulting a fire restoration service for advice

Refrain From Operating Electronic Devices

In a similar nature to water damage, fire and smoke damage can have severe effects on electronic devices. Operating electronics that you suspect have had contact with either fire or smoke may cause:

1. Immediate corrosion caused by smoke residue
2. Further hazards to your device or residence

Delay Sending Clothing to a Traditional Dry Cleaner

Clothing damaged by a house fire may retain a smoky smell permanently if not handled with the correct equipment. Even a traditional dry-cleaning service can leave smoke-exposed fabrics with fixed lasting odors. Any fabric or upholstery laden with ash, soot or smoke should be treated by professionals who deal with home restoration after a fire.

You may be left wondering which of your family heirlooms can be salvaged after a lightning fire in North Port, FL. Follow these simple tips to prevent further damage until restoration specialists arrive.

Maintain Your Swamp Cooler To Prevent Mold

10/29/2021 (Permalink)

Rusty air conditioner leaking Avoid mold problems from a dirty or leaking swamp cooler.

To Prevent Mold, Keep Your Swamp Cooler Clean

In hot, dry climates, swamp coolers, or evaporative coolers, are a great way to cool your home. As the water in the cooler evaporates, it absorbs heat from the air and adds water vapor. However, in Placida, FL, where humidity sometimes rises, it’s important to pay attention to the barometer. If humidity is too high, the water won’t evaporate and mold growth can develop in your swamp cooler. If this happens, it’s critical you clean the mold out of your evaporative cooler before running it again.

To avoid mold problems from a dirty or leaking swamp cooler, it’s important to do regular maintenance on your unit. Follow these basic guidelines to keep your cooler working and prevent mold.

1. Check Water Levels Regularly

Check the water level in your evaporative cooler regularly. If the water level is too low, your cooler may not be able to cool the air effectively. If the water level is too high, a leaking swamp cooler can become a source of chronic moisture in your home, creating the perfect conditions for mold to grow.

2. Keep the Exterior Clean

You should wipe down the outside of your swamp cooler every couple of weeks. A surface build-up of dust or grime can interfere with its cooling abilities. Wiping it down can also clean off any pollen spores that may have settled there, waiting for the right conditions to grow.

3. Clean the Water Tank

It’s a good idea to clean out the water tank periodically. This removes any build up of sediment, lime or organic material that might serve as a breeding ground for mold.

4. Change the Cooling Pads

The cooling pads are one of the first places mold can grow. Inspect them regularly and replace them if they’re cracked or dirty. If you notice a musty smell coming from your swamp cooler, you may have mold. Changing the pads and cleaning the tank should help.

While swamp coolers can be an economical cooling option in Placida, FL, some care is needed. Don’t run your cooler on humid days and perform regular maintenance to prevent a dirty or leaking cooler from causing mold to grow.