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Understanding Fungus: Mold and Mildew

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Scientist show molds in agar culture. Mold damage is no laughing matter, and it can lead to many problems if not handled properly. However, not every fungal growth is mold.

Mold And Mildew: A Guide To Understanding Fungus

Mold damage may be one of the greatest fears for any homeowner. An infestation can cause thousands in damage, and if a result of lingering issues, homeowners’ insurance may not cover the costs. While it is a fear, most don’t understand the difference between mold and mildew. One is hard to remedy, possibly requiring a specialist, and the other is a simple fix, likely resolved with a store-bought cleaner.

1. Size

Mildew growth can be subtle, often manifesting in small areas and only on the surface. Mold, on the other hand, is more predominant, and when it appears on the surface of a wall, you likely have a more significant issue in the wall cavity.

2. Color

When you encounter actual mold growth and mold damage, the color can be a dead giveaway as to whether it is mildew or mold. Mold is typically black and green. However, it may even be shades of blue and yellow, depending on the surfaces it has invaded. Mildew generally is only one of two colors, either gray or white.

3. Texture

The most apparent difference between mold and mildew is the texture. Mold is overall more textured and is likely fuzzy in appearance. Mildew is flat and appears as more of a stain than a growth.

4. Spread

While both mold and mildew spread quickly, mildew, as a surface fungus, tends to be a little more manageable. Mold, because of its nature, often develops in areas that are not easily visible, meaning that when it is discovered, it is more of an infestation. If you find mold, there is likely more lurking behind drywall and under floorboards. In most cases, you may need a mold remediation specialist in the West Boca Raton, FL, area to asses the damage.

Mold damage is no laughing matter, and it can lead to many problems if not handled properly. However, not every fungal growth is mold. Mildew is a manageable growth that can be resolved with basic household cleaners.

Make Your Homeowners Insurer Happy: Avoid Water Damage With These Simple Tips

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

property insurance. Water damage is the number one reason for homeowners insurance claims. The thing about water damage, however, is that it is usually preventable.

Make Your Homeowners Insurance Company Happy: Follow These Simple Steps To Avoid Water Damage.

Water damage is the number one reason for homeowners' insurance claims in the United States. The thing about water damage, however, is that, the majority of the time, it's preventable. Water in home is often the result of a broken pipe, burse pipe or leaking pipe. In the minority of instances, it is the result of flooding, which, to some extent, can also be prevented. If you want to get on. Your insurer's good side, there are measures you can take today to prevent costly water damage in your home.

  • Check your appliances.
  • Have your HVAC unit inspected.
  • Inspect pipes for condensation or erosion.

It doesn't take much to prevent water damage. Below is a brief guide of how and why you should implement the above tips.

Give Your Appliances a Once Over

Appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters and refrigerators are a common source of water in the home. Aging materials crack, connections become loose and cold weather causes pipe bursts. You can prevent all from happening by conducting routine maintenance on all appliances and wrapping pipes with insulation if you live in a colder climate.

Request an HVAC Inspection

There are countless reasons to have your HVAC unit inspected. For one, routine maintenance can prevent costly issues. Two, regular inspections can ensure that your units are clean and therefore, only push out clean air. Three, maintenance technicians can spot moisture issues and correct them before they become costly and damaging.

Inspect Your Pipes

Pipes run all throughout your home. There are pipes in your bathroom, in your kitchen and in your laundry room. They run down into your basement and possibly up to your attic. They run through your walls and beneath your floorboards. For this reason, a single leak can become a costly and damaging problem. You can prevent costly water damage in your home by inspecting your pipes on a routine basis or, at the very least, hiring someone else to do it for you.

Pipe cleanup can be costly. You can prevent it by working with a Boca Raton, FL, water damage restoration team to identify issues and correct them before they become expensive problems.

Do’s and Dont’s of Preparing Your Business For a Fire

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Along with fire insurance, every business should have a fire contingency plan.

Do's And Don'ts Of Fire Preparedness For Your Business

A business fire is nothing anyone wants to think about - but failing to prepare for the unthinkable can result in a longer recovery process. Along with fire insurance, every business should have a fire contingency plan. Here are a few do’s and dont’s of readying your Boca Del Mar, FL, business for a fire event.

Most business owners think of fire damage in basic terms of physical damage. But there are lots of other headaches a fire can create like:

  • Loss of income
  • Brand damage
  • Loss of records

And so on. When thinking about fire preparation, you’ll want to spend time truly considering all the implications a fire can have for your unique business, and preparing accordingly.

DO prepare for storage

Fires often leave properties unable to be properly locked and secured from would-be thieves. This can leave expensive equipment open to loss. Prepare yourself by identifying a safe off-site place where your most valuable assets can be stashed in an emergency.

DO backup important data

Proprietary information, sensitive client data - all of these things can be destroyed in a fire, or your access to them restricted during cleanup. Make sure to back up your most important data, either on a thumb drive, in a secure cloud or by making old fashioned paper copies.

DON’T forget to make sure your insurance covers business interruption

Some of the most devastating fallout from a business fire can involve loss of a profits. Your business may be closed for some time, creating a profit loss that can have a domino effect. Contact your fire insurance provider in advance to add on business interruption coverage. This can cover everything loss of profits to costs for temporary relocation.

Few business owners think about recovering from a business fire until they’re a victim. Don’t get caught with your pants down. Make these and other preparations against a fire catastrophe and ensure you’ll be ready when it matters.

Broken Pipes: What Will Your Insurer Cover?

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

Blue pen, two antique brass keys, and a home insurance application on a plywood clipboard. A water damage is a significant problem for homeowners, but homeowner’s policy agreements usually protect them in these instances.

What Will Your Insurance Cover If Your Pipes Burst?

While every insurance coverage policy varies and is conditional, a sudden flood caused by broken pipes will likely be covered. However, that is dependent on the underlying circumstances and conditions that resulted in the pipe failure. In signing the insurance contract, homeowners make a promise to maintain their property, which means that whether you are covered depends on your commitment to that promise.

Sudden and Unexpected Breaks.

Most insurers will cover sudden and unexpected breaks, meaning that there was no way to predict the mishap. However, many insurance companies have certain expectations for upkeep. Therefore, it is a good idea that you keep all receipts from inspections and repairs to prove that negligence was not a part of the pipe failure.

Secondary Damage.

For flood claims that pass muster, an insurer will likely cover secondary damage as well. Secondary damage refers to any items that were harmed because of the water buildup or broken pipe — for instance, carpets, furnishings, artwork, important documents and any other material or equipment that may have been harmed.

Possible Prevention and Restoration.

In addition to covering damage, many insurers will provide funds to fix a broken pipe, restore the damage, and even upgrade elements to prevent a potential disaster in the future. As these are significant expenses, your insurance provider may require you to get several quotes and estimates from emergency restoration companies in the Mission Bay,FL, area. These companies are typically one-stop shops for all of your restoration needs, either handling your case entirely in-house or helping to facilitate contracts for renovation efforts.

A flood caused by broken pipes and leading to water damage is a significant problem for homeowners, but homeowner’s policy agreements usually protect them in these instances. As long as the homeowner can disprove negligence, if not already apparent, then an insurer will likely have no issue approving coverage on your insurance claim.

3 Ways To Prevent Water Damage During Construction.

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Catering Hall. If your business suffers water damage, you can call SERVPRO. Here is another example of how we will help you with any damage.

During Construction, There Are Three Ways To Avoid Water Damage.

Constructing a new area or making renovations can benefit your business in Whisper Walk,FL in many ways. However, avoiding a water pipe repair or a leaking appliance can result in water damage during construction. There are several ways in which you can prevent water damage from occurring during construction.

1. Protect Important Areas and Items.

In order to ensure that water doesn’t cause major damage to your business, it can sometimes be helpful to make sure certain areas in your business and items in your business are protected. For example, it’s often wise to make sure any electrical systems are turned off or moved away from the construction to prevent them from coming in contact with water. Additionally, using waterproof containers to store important documents can give you peace of mind.

2. Monitor Water Use Before and During Construction.

If you know the average amount of water your business uses before construction, keeping track of the amount of water being used during construction will be easier. If you notice a sudden spike in your water usage, you can search for the potential causes of the jump in water usage. Additionally, if you do notice an increase in your water use prior to construction, it’s often best not to put off the water pipe repair or other issue, and instead fix the problem before construction begins.

3. Conduct Frequent Inspections.

Throughout construction, it can be helpful to inspect your building to ensure there are no hidden issues. It can be particularly useful to inspect your appliances and pipes if they are near the area that is under construction, as these items are more likely to become damaged. By doing these inspections, you are more likely to notice a leaky or broken pipe or appliance, and you may be able to prevent your building from becoming flooded.

Monitoring your water usage and making a water pipe repair or fixing other issues before construction, keeping your building and documents safe and conducting frequent inspections can help you prevent water damage. Consider contacting water damage restoration professionals if your business has already sustained damage.

Helpful Hints to Minimize Fire Risks While Cooking

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Severe Fire Damage in Boca Raton Fire damage cleanup and restoration is not an easy task. If your home or business in Boca Raton, FL is damaged by a fire, call SERVPRO.

Tips For Reducing The Risk Of A Fire When Cooking.

Of all the rooms in your home where you gather and spend time, the kitchen may be the most popular. Not only do you prepare and eat meals here, but it’s a common place to visit with one another and with visitors. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that fires occur here often. Many of these mishaps start due to poor cooking techniques or simply not paying attention while at the stove or oven. Here are some tips to help avoid fires from starting in your Boca Raton, FL, kitchen.

Make Sure Your Appliances Are in Tip-Top Shape.

You no doubt use your stove, oven and other kitchen appliances frequently. Over time, like anything else, they’ll begin to falter. Faulty appliances are a big cause for fire damage. Make sure they are working properly and efficiently:

  • Have a trained professional service your oven and stove if you detect any issues.
  • Service your appliances if they are more than 10 years old.
  • Clean your appliances, including the toaster, regularly.

Be Careful With Grease.

If you enjoy frying foods, you probably use some type of cooking oil. While this can help concoct some delicious meals, it can also lead to a grease fire. Don’t overfill your pans with oil when you cook on the stove. Also, make sure you promptly clean up any cooking oil spills.

Don’t Walk Away.

It’s easy to let ringing phones, television shows, knocks on the door or needy children distract you. However, don’t ever leave your food unattended on the stove. Heat can build up quickly and can ignite and catch fire nearby. Of all the tips to help prevent fires

Watch out for Towels.

People typically hang towels near the oven or stove. If you do this, make sure they are far enough away that they don’t pose a hazard.

If you have to call in an expert to clean up after a fire, there are trained professionals who can help. However, if you are aware of these tips, you can keep your kitchen and home free of fire concerns.

5 Candle Alternatives You Should Know About

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Battery powered candle One of the best ways to avoid a candle fire is by using candles that don’t have a flame at all.

5 Candle Substitutes You Should Be Aware Of

Across the country one of the many house fires start from an unattended open flame such as a candle. This includes many fires in Boca Raton, FL. Fortunately, for those who love the look and feel of a lit candle, or some of the many wonderful scents these come in, there are various candle alternatives available. Here are five you may want to consider.

1. Flameless Candles

One of the best ways to avoid a candle fire is by using candles that don’t have a flame at all. These are often battery operated, however, they’re programmed to mimic the flickering light effect many people enjoy.

2. Flameless Lantern

A lantern traditionally is a candle placed within a shade. Nowadays many are designed without the candle part of the equation. These can still provide the warm look of candle light, and some even flicker, however they use a battery or wall plug instead of open flame.

3. Warming Bases

If what you love is the scent of warm wax, a warming base may be your go-to option for candle alternatives. These bases use a lamp or warming plate to heat the wax and provide you with scent, without a flame.

4. Plug-in Air Fresheners

Many air fresheners come in the same scents as many candles. Plug-in fresheners can even mimic the look and feel of a candle but don’t carry the same risk of candle fire.

5. Heatless Fresheners

heatless options for keeping your room fresh could include a variety of air freshener styles. Many come in sprays that contain the same scents as candles. Others include forms of potpourri and oil diffusers.

These are all great candle alternatives you can include in your home, and while some do use batteries or a wall outlet, none carry the same fire risk as leaving an open flame unattended. Remember, in the unfortunate event your do end up with fire or smoke damage in your home, a Boca Raton, FL, fire damage professional may be able to help.

Top Tips for a Successful Water Supply Line Replacement

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

A man is repairing a pipe Before commencing your supply line replacement, you should turn off the main water valve. Then, open faucets to drain your home’s water pipes.

Top Water Supply Line Replacement Hints

The water supply lines connected to your bathroom sinks and toilets are an often overlooked but essential component of your plumbing system. Although it can occur in any home, older homes are susceptible to bathroom leaks resulting from supply line damage. Fortunately, replacing worn lines is typically a simple task that most homeowners in Boca Del Mar, FL, can readily accomplish. To complete the job successfully, keep the following tips in mind.

1. Drain Pipes

Before commencing your supply line replacement, you should turn off the main water valve. Then, open faucets to drain your home’s water pipes.

2. Choose a Durable Supply Line

Supply lines made of all metal or copper can kink and often wear out easily. A better alternative is a braided steel line fastened with brass nuts. Because of its durable design, braided steel typically does not kink and is more resistant to supply line damage.

3. Ensure a Watertight Connection

To help prevent a future supply line leak, it’s essential that you ensure a watertight connection. To accomplish this, use pipe dope or thread tape. If you use tape, wrap it five or six times in a clockwise direction to minimize the risk of it loosening when you tighten the nuts.

4. Avoid Overtightening

Be cautious when you attach your new supply lines. If you overtighten the connection, you may warp the threads or damage the rubber O-ring.

5. Assess For Leaks

Before finalizing your work, you should verify the absence of leaks. After reinstating water flow, thoroughly inspect the new supply lines and the connections to ensure a watertight fit.

6. Protect the Supply Lines

A braided steel supply line is durable. However, to help prevent damaging corrosion, avoid exposing the exterior sleeve to chlorine and other potentially corrosive chemicals.

Depending on the line’s composition, supply line damage is sometimes unavoidable. If not addressed quickly, a bathroom leak caused by a faulty supply line can cause significant water damage, resulting in time-consuming and potentially costly cleanup and restoration requirements. Preemptively replacing aging water supply lines in your home may save you from this hassle.

Effective Flood Prevention Measures for Urban Areas

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Driving on a flooded street Because every urban area is unique, ideal flood control strategies will vary from city to city.

Measures to Prevent Flooding In Urban Areas That Work

No business owner in Boca Raton, FL, wants to endure water damage from a flood, but no community is immune from this potential disaster. Significant rainfall can overwhelm drainage and sewage systems and result in high water levels in rivers, lakes and other waterways. Because flood cleanup and restoration endeavors can be costly, every city should employ effective flood prevention measures to protect the interests and wellbeing of the entire community.

Because every urban area is unique, ideal flood control strategies will vary from city to city. Fortunately, a variety of methods exist to help stop flooding.

1. Levees, Dikes and Dams

For towns and cities located near large bodies of water, constructing a levee, dike or dam may be an efficient way to minimize or control high water levels. You can, for example, build a dam across a lake to retain and release water as necessary.

To prevent water from overflowing a river’s banks and inundating the surrounding land, you can utilize levees and dikes, which are embankments built along the water source. Although typically efficient flood prevention measures, dikes and levees can fail under extreme conditions, such as a strong hurricane. For this reason, communities that utilize these measures should also employ additional safeguards to help stop flooding.

2. Drainage Channels and Detention Basins

Drainage channels and detention basins can also help reduce an urban area’s flood risk by providing designated areas for water to flow away from streets, homes and businesses. Detention basins also temporarily store water, helping to reduce the rate of runoff into the storm sewer. This may prevent the system from becoming inundated.

3. Separate Rainwater and Sewer Water Pipes

Recognizing that excessive rainfall can overwhelm the sewer system, some urban communities are updating their infrastructure and providing separate pipes for rainwater and sewer water. This technique may help prevent damage and enhance the city’s water management capacity.

High water levels can severely damage homes and businesses. To provide peace of mind to both residents and business owners, every urban area should have well-designed and efficient mechanisms in place to manage water levels and help prevent flooding.

3 Reasons To Throw Away Food and Cosmetics After a Fire

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

A fire damage in a home Fire damage cleanup and restoration isn't an easy task. If your home in Boca Raton, FL is damaged by a fire, give SERVPRO a call.

After A Fire, There Are Three Reasons To Throw Away Food And Cosmetics.

There are a number of household items that can be damaged beyond repair or even made unsafe by exposure to the high heat of a house fire. You may want to throw away all the food, medication and cosmetics that were in the house at the time of the fire for these reasons to keep yourself and your family safe.

1. Food May Be Burned or Covered With Soot or Extinguishing Chemicals

Regardless of the packaging, if food items have been subjected to heat, smoke, water or chemicals used to smother a fire, they should be discarded. This includes food that was stored outside the refrigerator or freezer. Food packaging may be permeable to these contaminants, and high heat can cause jars and cans to split or crack, allowing contaminants in.

2. The Refrigerator and Freezer Are Not Fireproof Safes

Refrigerator seals are not necessarily airtight, and smoke or soot may have penetrated the interior of the appliance. Also, fires can lead to loss of power. If frozen food has thawed or if refrigerated food has reached 40 degrees or above for more than 2 hours, it may be spoiled. Get rid of this potentially unsafe food without tasting it. Throw away the food if there is any doubt about whether it has been ruined or tainted.

3. Medication and Cosmetics May Be Rendered Unsafe by Fire Damage

Look closely in your medicine cabinet or wherever you have medicines and cosmetics stored. Dispose of items that have any soot or firefighting chemicals on them. If a container has been heat damaged, discard it. Fire creates toxic fumes, and because you cannot clean your makeup, you run the risk of putting hazardous chemicals on your skin if you keep it and use it.

Dealing with a home fire in Boca Raton, FL, can be emotionally draining. Despite the instinct to salvage items after so much has been destroyed, it may be safer to throw away food, medicine and cosmetics that have been exposed to fire damage.