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3 Ways Your Basement May Have Flooded

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. Visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A flooded basement is a difficult issue that many homeowners must deal with at some point

Three Of The Most Common Flood Causes

Homeowners have a lot of problems that they need to tackle regarding property care, but none are quite as daunting as a basement flood. The last thing you want to do is wait out the flood to see whether it drains on its own. In reality, the best way to protect your property in West Boca Raton, FL, is to tackle the problem as soon as you discover it. In order to do that, you need to understand where the flooding is coming from. Here are three of the most common flood causes.

1. Inadequate or Poorly Installed Drainage System
When working properly, your drainage system is intended to drain water and divert it away from your home, thus preventing incidents like floods. When these systems aren't functioning properly, or were installed incorrectly, they tend to cause the very issues they were intended to prevent. Double check the downspouts in your home to see whether they're positioned too close to the property, or whether they're diverting water towards your house.

2. Blocked or Clogged Gutter System
Your house's gutters are supposed to collect rainwater or snowmelt that runs off of your roof and divert it away from the house. When these gutter systems become clogged, they collect water, eventually causing a basement flood. In extreme cases, blocked gutters can cause ponding on your roof. Prevent unnecessary water damage by cleaning out your gutter systems regularly.

3. Poor Property Location
If your house has been constructed at the bottom of a hill or slope, then water is naturally going to run towards the property during storms. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to remedy this type of problem, aside from installing blockades or waiting for the elements to erode the slopes on their own.
A flooded basement is a difficult issue that many homeowners must deal with at some point. The key to preventing and remediating a basement flood is understanding the source of the issue. Contact flood remediation experts for more information, or for assistance dealing with home floods.

Your Mold Problem Will Not Take Care of Itself

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall Mold is no problem for SERVPRO

Take Preventative Measures

Black mold is a formidable foe. It loves warm and moist areas and can grow on almost any surface in your home, including, but not limited to:

  • Floors
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Carpets
  • Drapes

Once a surface becomes wet or is exposed to an ongoing moisture problem, the mold spores that are always present in the air can take hold and begin to grow within 24-48 hours. The longer you wait to call your local Boca Raton, FL, mold cleanup specialists, the more difficult and expensive the mold remediation process will be.

Will the Mold Go Away on Its Own?
A common misconception is that if you take care of your moisture problem, the black mold will go away all by itself. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous myth. Even if you do everything right — stop the moisture, thoroughly dry off the surface, install a dehumidifier, and a humidity meter — the mold will never just disappear. It might stop spreading, which is why it's so important to take these initial mold cleanup steps, but the mold that is already present is there to stay until you get professional help. 

How Can You Prevent Mold Growth?
The most efficient and effective way to take care of mold is, of course, to stop it from growing in the first place. Since mold is attracted to moist environments, this means making sure your water lines are in good shape and taking care of leaks immediately. For good measure, purchase a dehumidifier and keep your heat or AC cranked up. 
When given free reign, black mold can turn into an overwhelming disaster that spreads throughout your entire home. To protect your house (and your wallet!), it is crucial to take preventative measures, spot mold, and moisture problems right away, and waste no time in seeking professional help. As tempting as it may be to believe, don't fall for the myth that the mold will take care of itself.

Is the Exterior of Your Commercial Property Ready for a Storm?

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Are you Ready? Are you prepared for a Storm?

Storms can cause extensive damage to the exterior of a commercial property. Depending on the level of commercial insurance coverage held by the building owner, there may be limits on the external portions of the property that are protected. Review your coverage, schedule a building inspection, and perform exterior maintenance on a regular basis.

Five steps that will help owners prepare the exterior of a commercial property for a storm.

1. Choose exterior doors rated for high wind speeds.

Exterior damage quickly becomes interior damage if a door fails. Exterior doors should be tested to stand up to wind loads and the frames should be anchored. Check to make sure these doors have appropriate drainage, flashing, sealant, and tracks. Door failure rapidly raises internal pressure and can cause structural damage.

2. Clear drainage systems.

Functional drainage systems prevent water from pooling on the roof or around the foundation of a structure. Clear roof drains, downspouts, and gutters several times a year as part of an exterior maintenance routine.

3. Trim trees.

Removing dead or loose branches from nearby trees can limit the extent of storm damage.

4. Secure loose items that may blow away or cause damage.

Don't forget about antennas on the roof or potted plants and trash cans on the ground.

5. Anchor outside HVAC equipment.

These components should be securely installed on a concrete pad. Depending on the severity of a storm, you may want to use hurricane straps or shut off these systems and cover equipment with a secured tarp.

These five exterior maintenance and storm preparation steps can help owners limit the extent of damage to the exterior of a commercial structure. Keeping your building maintained can pay off during adverse weather events. If the exterior or interior of a commercial property becomes damaged during a storm, contact a restoration company located in Boca Raton, FL.

SERVPRO of South Palm Beach has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial storm damage and can respond quickly.  

4 Ways To Prepare Your Home for a Fire

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Man Installing Smoke Or Carbon Monoxide Detector Install the correct number of smoke alarms for your home

Start With These Four Simple Steps

In the event of a fire, seconds matter. It is crucial that each household takes preventative measures, including a fire escape plan. There are a number of ways to develop a fire preparation plan for your household, but you can start with these four simple steps.

1. Inspect Your Kitchen
This is where most fires start. Keep your stove and oven clean, as forgotten food particles can spark fire. Similarly, make sure linens such as kitchen towels and curtains are far enough away from burners. It is also wise to never leave cooking food unattended.

2. Check Sources of Heat and Electricity
Second to kitchens, overlooked sources of heat and electricity pose the greatest threats of fire. Examples of potential fire-starters include:

  • Damaged cords/wires
  • Uncleaned air and dryer filters
  • Unattended space heaters
  • Improperly stored flammable materials

Additionally, be mindful of open flames such as candles and fireplaces. It is never a good idea to leave fires unattended. Make sure that all fires have burned out completely before retiring for the evening.

3. Install Smoke Alarms
One of the smartest steps in fire preparation is to install the correct number of smoke alarms for your home. In Mizner Park, FL, it is considered best practice to have at least one smoke alarm per house level. For additional fire safety, be sure to include smoke alarms in problematic or removed locations, such as the kitchen and the garage.

4. Prepare for Escape
Review exit plans for each room of your home on a regular basis, and make sure all members of the house know what to expect. You may also want to remind household members to “stop, drop and roll” and to meet at a designated location outside of the home in the event of a fire.
You can take steps toward fire preparation by being mindful of the risks around your home, but it’s always smart to have an escape plan. Should you ever find yourself the victim of a home fire, proceed with caution and consider bringing in help from fire restoration professionals to clean up and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.

4 Hidden Damages Storms Cause to Roofs

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Strong winds and heavy rain can cause shingles to detach

4 Hidden Damages Storms Cause to Roofs

After a storm hits your commercial building in Whisper Walk, FL, it's important to contact a professional cleanup and restoration service. There are several issues professionals look for when assessing if a roof needs repairs — issues that an inexperienced eye can easily miss. For example, locating a roof leak requires a trained eye, and wind damage can appear minor on the surface. Here are four hidden damages that storms cause to shingled roofs.

1. Missing Shingles
Strong winds and heavy rain can cause shingles to detach. This leaves an opening in your roof. As shingles are the main protection from rainwater infiltrating your building and causing severe damage, it's important to have a professional survey your roof for missing shingles after a severe storm.

2. Damaged Protective Layers
The shingles of your roof are covered in a layer of a tar-like substance that assists in keeping water out of your building. When this layer is battered by storm debris such a loose branches or other objects, the covering can wear away and leave your building vulnerable to a roof leak.

3. A Building Alignment Shift
As repeated storms batter your building, the alignment of the structure can begin to shift. If you notice that windows are hard to open or doors are sticking, this may be the culprit. This is a serious issue that also affects the integrity of your roof.

4. Flashing Tears
Flashing is the sealant that covers gaps and cracks between joining sections of a roof. High winds can lift this protective sealant and cause it to tear. When the storm passes, these tears would not even be visible from the ground.
Storm damages such as a roof leak can quickly become a much bigger issue. It's essential that you call a professional storm cleanup team to inspect your roof so an insurance claim can be filed. Otherwise, as a commercial building owner, you risk losing more time and money the longer you wait. Don't wait; storm and wind damage are serious issues that can catch you unawares.

4 Tips for Storm Season Preparation

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Follow These Tips to Keep Your Building Safe and Dry Through Most Storms

If a natural disaster occurs in Mission Bay, FL, you may not be able to avoid significant damage to your commercial building. With the proper preparation, however, you can weather the average spring storm just fine. Follow these tips to keep your building safe and dry through most storms.

1. Direct Water Away From Building

You can minimize the risk of storm damage by redirecting the flow of floodwaters. If the storm brings a heavy rain, clear gutters and properly angled downspouts can ensure that it stays away from your building's foundation. If you notice water pooling near your building after a storm, have your landscapers rebuild the slope of the area to angle away rather than toward the base of the structure.

2. Install Sump Pumps

Having sump pumps in your basement can curtail a flooding problem before it gets out of hand. If a storm or a pipe break floods your basement, the sump pump activates and starts to pump the water out before it has a chance to cause extensive damage that only water restoration experts can fix. It's a good idea to hook it up to your backup generator, just in case the storm causes a power outage.

3. Block Flood Waters

It's a good idea to have sandbags on hand during spring storm season. Sandbags can be used around the perimeter of your building and in front of doors and windows to provide an extra line of defense against encroaching water.

4. Watch the Weather

Awareness can be a powerful prevention measure during storm season. Keep an eye on the local weather reports, particularly on days when conditions are likely to produce more than just a light shower. Knowing that the storm is coming in advance gives you more time to activate your plans.
Knowing how to protect your building can save you a lot of time and money. Damage from a spring storm can be avoided if you take the proper precautions.

Securing Commercial Property After a Fire

8/29/2020 (Permalink)

Protect Your Property From Further Damage

After a fire at your Boca, FL, commercial property, you may feel overwhelmed with getting the insurance straightened out, repairing the property and handling everything else you have to do. A security fence or other safety measures may be the last thing on your mind. However, it is important to protect your property from further damage, which can take many forms.

1. Prevention of a Second Fire

If the fire department was called to the scene, the firefighters will make sure the fire is completely out. If you put the fire out yourself, it is up to you to ensure the fire is fully extinguished. Make sure to check for any lingering flames or still-smoldering embers, as these could quickly turn into a full-blown blaze. If an appliance is to blame for the fire, make sure to turn it off. In the case of an electrical fire, be sure to turn off the electricity until an electrician does an inspection and repairs any faulty wiring.

2. Protection From Unwanted Visitors

Unfortunately, some people consider fire-damaged buildings to be ideal targets for burglary. Your security system may have been damaged in the fire, and vandals are likely able to cut through tarps and plywood. Luckily, a security fence can add an additional layer of protection. Not only can a fence help prevent burglaries, it also keeps out curious lookie-loos who may injure themselves on your property and hold you liable.

3. Protection Against Mother Nature

Make sure to board up or tarp over any holes in the structure, including windows that the fire department may have broken in order to release smoke. Doing so prevents rainwater, snow and wildlife from further harming your building and its contents.

The first step of the fire restoration process is preventing further damage. A certified restoration team can determine if you need tarps, plywood, a security fence or some combination of these and other protective measures to keep your building safe from after-fire dangers.

How To Spot Water Damage and Prevent Mold Growth

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall removed, mold found due to water leak Mold and water damage in a commercial building in Boca, FL

How To Treat Water-Related Damages

A commercial building exposed to excessive water is highly susceptible to mold growth. Severe storms, floods, and leaking appliances are just a few examples of how water can build up and lead to much larger issues if it is ignored. Mold can begin to spread within 48 hours if it is not properly detected and contained. It is important to know how to treat water-related damages and safely remove mold before it grows into a bigger problem.

How To Treat Water Damage
Areas exposed to excess water and warm temperatures can create the perfect environment for mold growth. Water-related damage often occurs during severe weather conditions or due to high humidity. Water can also cause problems when it pools due to a leaking faucet or air conditioning unit.

If you discover an area damaged by water, you should:

  • Shut off the water source causing the damage
  • Immediately dry the affected area
  • Monitor the space for signs of mold

Always inspect the vulnerable areas for excess water after a big storm, and maintain appliances by routinely checking for leaks. Seek professional help for drying any material or property that remains waterlogged.

How To Check for Signs of Mold
If moisture remains in an area long enough, signs of mold may appear. Although it is sometimes difficult to detect, there are a few clear indicators that mold may be present at your Boca, FL, property:

  • Musty odors
  • Discolored spots on walls and ceilings
  • Prolonged and unexpected humidity
  • Weak spots, such as in drywall or ceiling tiles
  • Bulging spots

If you discover mold growth, make sure to avoid the affected area until it has been properly restored. Mold left untreated can cause long-term damage to buildings as well as furniture and fabrics. For any mold or water damage, contact a professional water removal and mold remediation expert. Mold cleanup in particular requires a professional to ensure safety and the complete removal of any damage, danger or odor.

Lower Your Business Interruption Insurance Loss After Flooding

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper. Business interruption insurance will help you cover the costs of your business being closed
If the worst has happened and your business in Mission Bay, FL, has to temporarily close because of flooding, there are some steps you can take to minimize the damage. It was the responsible choice when you opened your business to purchase business interruption insurance, but it can take more time than you might expect for your policy to payout. Worse, if you don't spend that time fixing the large water damage, you may be closed for longer and incur even more losses.

Steps For a Quick Recovery

You want to get back on your feet as soon as possible after flooding has occurred. Business interruption insurance will help you cover the costs of your business being closed, but it is important to take care of large water damage as soon as possible.

1. Have an expert on hand. It is tough to know the full extent of water damage without consulting an expert. Consider outlining in your business plan a trusted expert you know you can call in case of emergency to make a full survey of damages.

2. Determine the costs of recovery. The goal is to lower your losses after your insurance pays out. Getting a clear picture of the costs involved will allow you to make a plan and greatly speed up the recovery process.

3. Get a professional to fix major issues. In the event of a major issue like a broken pipe, put your trust in a trained professional to fix it. Cutting corners will only hurt you in the long run when more issues arise.

4. Know what is necessary to fix before resuming business. You are the expert on your business, so you need to know what is necessary before business can resume. Make sure clear recovery goals are defined and met before opening again.
Water damage can be difficult to deal with, but if you tackle the problem head-on with a plan you can reopen your business quickly and minimize your losses.

Why You Should Secure Your Property During Fire Restoration

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Windows of a building boarded up Board up services after fire damage in Highland Beach, FL

If a fire occurs at your commercial property in Highland Beach, FL, you may wonder how soon it will be before it's back to normal. After you arrange for a fire damage assessment, the next step is to install a security fence. Even if the building’s walls are still secure, there may be holes in the roof or windows that leave the property vulnerable to theft, animal intruders or weather. Here are a few tips to help you navigate this process and save yourself further headaches.

Responsibilities of Each Party

Your emergency restoration specialist will board up windows or place a tarp on the roof (if needed). But that may not be enough to deter vandalism or break-ins. It’s your responsibility to call your insurance company. Here are some helpful things to talk about:

  • The specifics of the event
  • How to send over documentation
  • What else you should do before leaving the scene
  • Whether your coverage includes a security fence

It’s important to note that your insurance company may not reimburse expenses for services hired without prior approval. Many companies may also deny coverage of damage occurring on an unsecured site after the initial event. By taking your insurance agent’s advice, you will prevent any surprises on your bill.

Protection From Further Loss
Another reason to secure the building is to protect any items left inside. For instance, if the fire officer deems the property unsafe, you won’t be able to retrieve important things like your identification, cash from a till, or other valuable inventory. In this case, you must protect the building until it’s safe to enter. Installing a solid perimeter is necessary to avoid additional loss and destruction.
Restoring a commercial property after a fire takes a bit more than you may have realized. With the proper help, you'll have a smoother experience. Now that you know the benefits of installing a security fence, you can rest assured that your building will be safe until you’re back to business as usual.