Water Damage at Work
The last thing you need is a flood in your work place ! Water intrusion may be more severe in commercial buildings than in a residential setting and the effects more extensive. Many commercial structures have a larger volume water entering the premises through plumbing supply lines and at a higher water pressure. The quantity of outgoing sewage is greater than a typical residence, as well. Also, commercial buildings tend to be of larger square footage than a home, so entry points for water intrusion through areas like the roof, exterior walls or windows are commensurately greater in number, as well.
Water intrusion in commercial buildings can damage high-value equipment like computers and also building services such as HVAC, lighting, elevators and security equipment. Common long-term consequences of water damage like the growth of toxic mold may be even more problematic than in a home due to the larger occupancy of a business or other commercial enterprise. When a greater number of people with a wider range of sensitivity are exposed to mold and bacteria spores, health impacts may be significantly magnified, perhaps leading to an enforced closure of the facility until the situation is fully remediated.
Typical issues from water intrusion in the commercial environment include:
- Water from roof leaks penetrating through ceilings. Chronic leakage through the roof may proceed unnoticed for long periods, hidden by suspended ceiling panels or in electrical or HVAC service areas above.
- Ruptures of water supply lines typically release clean (white) water. Sewage backups or leaks in drain pipes release toxic (black) water that may be a biohazard and require evacuation of the premises.
- Flooding from external sources can result from heavy rains, storms such as hurricanes, rapid snow melt or local overflowing lakes or rivers.
- Moisture intrusion through the building envelope is typically more subtle. Humid outdoor air may be drawn in through structural cracks and gaps. Over a period, chronic dampness forms in spaces like wall voids, unventilated attics and service areas, spawning hidden mold growth that persists unseen.
For professional remediation of water intrusion in commercial buildings and its secondary damages such as mold growth, contact SERVPRO of Ponte Vedra and the Beaches. (904) 246-6118
Black Mold Myths
There are many myths associated with " black mold" If you have ever been in a damp, musty basement, chances are you were exposed to elevated levels of mold. Many of us have seen that little line of greenish black coating near a bathroom tub or window. In case you haven’t guessed it yet, that’s more than likely mold.
Most everyone these days has heard that exposure to mold is dangerous. We here news reports every now and then that toxic black mold is deadly. But just what is toxic black mold?
The term “Toxic Black Mold” has absolutely no scientific validation. It is a term made up by the media. Unfortunately, much like a video that goes viral, the term has resonated with both private companies that use it to exemplify potential dangers, and public officials, who seek to regulate the industry.
The (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) CDC state that the term “Toxic Mold” is not accurate. While some molds can produce toxins, (specifically mycotoxins; mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by micro fungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals) the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous.
Mold can come in many colors. Black mold is most often associated with the mold species Stachybotrys chartarum (due to its greenish black coloring). Stachybotrys is often referred to as “toxic black mold” by the media.
Don't panic if you see mold. Call SERVPRO of The Beaches and Ponte Vedra (904)246-6118
Smoke Odor Removal
When there is a fire in your home or business it can be a devastating loss. Did you know that even after the fire is out, smoke can still damage other areas of the property? The smoky odor from a fire can make the entire home or business smell horrible and smoke damage, if left untreated, can often exceed fire damage in repair and replacement costs. Fire damage repairs must begin quickly to maximize effectiveness and minimize loss due to smoke damage.
SERVPRO of the Beaches and Ponte Vedra answers the call and immediately moves into action 24/7. Recognizing the trauma and emotional upset that occupants suffer, we work quickly and considerately to mitigate fire and smoke damage on salvageable property, such as household items, fixtures, metals and other contents. Our state-of-the science techniques and cleaning processes often prevent replacement costs, thereby reducing costs. Fire and smoke damage restoration requires knowledge and skill; our SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to do the job right.
Our trained professionals determine the full extent of fire damage, including the impact of smoke, heat and residues from fire and smoke. We keep home and business owners informed, helping to overcome their loss and restoring hope by explaining what can be saved and how, in a way property owners can understand what is happening, what to expect, and what they can SERVPRO treatment always includes respectful handling of property as if it was our own. We take extra care and the necessary steps to protect the floor and personal belongings. SERVPRO uses state-of-the-science techniques and cleaning solutions that can dramatically increase the likelihood of saving property without needing to replace it.
Lets clear up some simple steps to follow for Mold Remediation.
Understanding the basic concepts of mold remediation and mold removal is not difficult and is essential if you want to hire the right professional at the best price and highest quality. While learning and understanding the basic concepts of mold remediation and mold removal is easy, doing the actual work in the proper way as described below can however be a challenge.
Mold remediation and mold removal explained.
- If you already see mold, you usually do NOT need to spend money on pretesting as we discuss here. Plain and simple: You need to remove it. All mold must be removed and done so in the same way (as described in the next bullet point), regardless of the type of molds identified from testing. If a so-called mold professional insists that you need to spend hundreds of dollars on pre testing when mold is already visible, our advice is to be very wary because its simply a waste of money except in the rarest of circumstances.
- These are the five basic principles of all successful mold removal and mold remediation projects:
1. Safety – Protect all workers and occupants.Calling SERVPRO of The Beaches and Ponte Verda is the next step (904) 246-6118
2. Assessment – Make a preliminary assessment, an assessment during mold remediation and an assessment after mold remediation.
3. Contamination Control – Prevent cross-contamination and the spread of mold from contaminated areas to areas absent of or with less contamination.
4. Source Removal – Physically remove the mold at its source.
5. Moisture Removal – Eliminate the moisture problem that caused the mold outbreak.
Getting Back To Normal After a Disaster
Getting back to normal after your commercial building has flooded is always challenging. Commercial water damage restoration not only restores a building. It restores jobs and income to the people employed there, products or services to customers, and a healthy environment for everyone who utilizes the structure. If it’s not done right, or on time, the ultimate result can be the closing of a facility, relocation elsewhere, and severe impact to a private business or public organization’s bottom line. Because the scope of water damage in commercial settings is frequently wider and more extreme than in a residential scenario, water damage remediation specialists with experience specific to commercial buildings are positioned to provide effective emergency service when the need arises.
Here’s a typical protocol utilized in commercial water damage restoration:
- All areas contacted with water are inventoried, including affected building materials and furniture. Any wet carpet must be located and identified.
- Wet ceiling tiles may be removed and discarded after the event. Ceiling tiles usually are not salvageable.
- A moisture meter should be utilized to check for water-damaged drywall. Disinfection and mold control techniques may need to be initiated.
- Wet electrical components are assumed to be hazardous. A qualified maintenance technician or electrician should cut off power to affected areas. Inspection by a building inspector or electrician is required to determine the need to replace wet wiring, circuit breakers, outlets and light fixtures.
- Upholstered furniture wet by flood water, roof leaks, or sewage should be discarded. Furniture contacted by drinking water can be air-dried if done within 24 hours. Laminate or hardwood furniture can be cleaned with a disinfectant solution and reused; particle board furniture may be discarded.
- Carpet contaminated by sewage must be disposed. Carpet wet by drinking water or rain water through roof leaks may have water extracted and then be sterilized.
Dry Me Out
Getting dry is our number one goal. After a flood and water damage getting dried out is a number one priority to minimize dangerous after effects. Did you know that there is a science behind the drying process?
Having the knowledge of physics metrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to run for the towels and grab a few fans. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards. If your business suffers from water damage, our beaches SERVPRO Professionals will:
Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
Measure how much moisture is in the wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
Speed up mother nature by using professional drying equipment. A wet building will always seek equilibrium an try to dry naturally. When materials are wet moisture will naturally move to drier air. The problem is nature takes too long and secondary damage, like mold can occur while you are waiting for your professional building to dry. We use state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven drying process to speed up the drying time in your business.
After a Fire, What to Do...
Fire Damage to Structure
Any fire can be devastating. The most important thing after a fire is the safety of your family and pets. Once everyone is safe and secure, it’s time to work a plan for what to do after fire damages your home and property. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra has created this checklist of safety precautions and more to begin recovery after fire damage.
What to Do After a Fire
Call your insurance company immediately after a fire. Following ironing the details with your insurance company, contact SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra so the fire damage cleanup process can begin quickly. Make sure to notify your mortgage company of the fire as well. If you’re not sure that the home is structurally safe, have it inspected by a certified structural engineer or building inspector before going near.
- Take pictures of all exterior damage, noting broken windows or entrances that are no longer secure.
- Make arrangements to board-up broken windows and secure the property during the cleanup and restoration process.
- Shut off propane tank systems and make an appointment for it to be inspected for safety.
- Do not attempt to reconnect utilities on your own.
- Be aware that rodents, snakes, or other animals may have entered your home.
Inside the home:
- Don’t flip on electrical switches in any room with standing water from firefighting efforts.
- Don’t enter any room if you hear popping or see sparking.
- Turn off the power at the main electrical panel.
- Try not to touch anything covered with soot; it’s easy to transfer it to other areas of the home, making the cleaning process more difficult.
- Wear closed-toe shoes or boots, long sleeves, long pants and gloves to protect against soot and any other contaminants as you go through the home.
- Try to locate important papers and other documents that you’ll need.
- Handle burned money as little as possible. You can take its remains to a Regional Federal Reserve Bank for replacement.
- Begin taking inventory of the building damage and all damaged items.
- Begin saving receipts for any expenses incurred after the fire. These may be needed when filing insurance claims.
Fire Damage Cleanup and Remediation
Companies like SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra have the expertise as well as the right products and equipment to safely and effectively clean and restore a home after a fire. Fire damage includes more than just items burned. There will be soot, smoke and water damage as well.
A professional cleaning team will assess the damage to flooring, drywall, cabinets, furniture and more before developing a plan for thorough cleanup. Additionally, mold growth may be a concern after rooms and items have been saturated with water during the fire-fighting efforts.
Items that may need to be cleaned for soot and smoke removal include but are not limited to:
- Carpets and area rugs
- Flooring: hardwood, tile and vinyl
- Woodwork and other hard surfaces like counter tops and cabinetry
- Electronics and appliances
- Furniture and upholstery
- Draperies, linens and clothing
- Books, artwork, papers and documents
After a fire, let SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra tackle the tough jobs so you have peace of mind that your home will be cleaned and restored quickly, safely and correctly. Call us 24/7/365 at 904-246-6118 for any fire, smoke, or soot damage in your home or business.
September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month! SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra wants to incourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to take action! This is an ideal time of year for individuals and families to update their emergency supply kits and family emergency plans, and to become better informed about different threats and local emergency plans. Many things can change over the course of a year, and it is imperative that the entire family have the most up-to-date emergency contact information, and plan in place as they head back to school and work. It’s about talking to your family and figuring out what you should do if an emergency happens in your community. Where will you meet if you get separated, and cell phones are down? What emergency supplies will you need and where should you keep them?
One simple thing that individuals and families can do to be prepared, is to have a family emergency plan. To develop one you should ask yourself some important questions, such as: “In the event of an emergency, is there a safe place for my family to meet?” This is especially important if you aren’t allowed back into your home or neighborhood by local law enforcement or the National Guard. “What is the evacuation location and plan of my child’s school? Does everyone in the family have one another’s contact information, and the contact for an out-of-town relative to take roll-call?”
One of our missions at SERVPRO® of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra has always been to contribute to the communities where we live and work. This month we have an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference by joining forces with companies and communities throughout Northeast Florida to help prepare our families, friends, colleagues, neighbors and communities for emergencies. Whether they are naturally occurring or man-made.
SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra Biohazard Clean Up Services
Proper Ventilation is Important to Help Keep the Unaffected Area Safe and Sanitary
Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra is here to help you with all of your home or business property damage restoration needs. Our professional technicians are trained to handle all types of biohazard waste disposal. Services range from suicide, crime scene and vandalism, homicide and accidental death cleanup to sewage cleanup and a host of different sanitation clean up services. Our biohazard property restoration services also include filth cleanup and packrat cleanup services.
SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra technicians are highly trained in rapid response. We work with experience, skill and most importantly, compassion. We're on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, because your property and peace of mind depend on it! Call 904-246-6118 now!
Common Misconceptions about Mitigation and Restoration
We're on Call, 24/7/365
Over the years, there has been an abundance of misconceptions and non-truths involving property damage and restoration procedures. Professional restoration companies are trained to see beyond the misconceptions and misinformation that often complicate a claim. If someone doesn’t act quickly enough or doesn’t take the right actions due to these misconceptions, they can end up with even more damage to deal with, that could have easily been avoided.
A SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra professional restoration technician will prioritize mitigation over restoration ensuring damage costs do not escalate. Mitigation is extremely time-critical, as it stops further damage and reduces additional loss. It usually needs to be performed within 24 hours or less. Any delay will further complicate or devalue the mitigation effort.
Restoration, on the other hand, puts the damaged items back to a preloss condition. It is less time-critical, but still important and should be done as quickly as possible.
Misconception #1: Replacing is less expensive than salvaging.
Cleaning is a mitigation process that has excellent results and is cost-effective - especially when compared to the cost of replacement. For instance, when smoke is not properly cleaned from delicate fabrics and surfaces, secondary damage can occur. Replacement is usually the only option. Hundreds of dollars of cleaning can become thousands of dollars of replacement due to delayed action. Today’s restoration professionals are able to effectively clean and remove contaminates, saving expensive replacement costs.
Misconception #2: If you get your carpets cleaned, they get dirty faster.
Techniques, equipment, and materials used in the past to clean carpets were inferior to those used by today’s professionals. In the past, inefficient carpet shampooing left a soap residue that attracted soil more rapidly than prior to cleaning. Restoration professionals now use a cleaning process that both flushes and rinses carpets, and prevents that from happening.
Misconception #3: Once the carpet is dry, that noisy equipment needs to be removed.
The greatest failure in restoring water-damaged structures is to remove the drying equipment before the drying is complete. Using the carpet or padding to determine dryness is a poor misrepresentation of whether the structure is dry or not (and one that is not easily defended if litigation follows). Carpet and padding dry quicker than other structural materials and are not an accurate gauge. The danger with ineffective drying is that it can turn a small loss from water damage into a multi-thousand dollar mold claim. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra professionals use measuring equipment to determine if moisture content has been returned to normal standards. Meters and sensors are used to document and record the data that justifies the use of the equipment and the best time to remove it. That is extremely important to accomplish the end result - a totally dry structure.
Misconception #4: Once a structure has been damaged by fire, it will always smell like smoke. So why rush to clean it up?
Stories arise about smoke damage restoration efforts that have failed - usually because odor remains. Smoke odor and residue are the products of incomplete combustion. They are acidic and are far more damaging than ordinary dirt or dust. Prompt cleaning actions can reduce losses if this acid is removed or neutralized. Odor removal is more complicated than turning on one machine and hoping to achieve satisfactory results. Restoration for smoke odor has to be thorough. All contaminated areas need to be cleaned, deodorized, and sealed where applicable. It is important that all odor molecules are neutralized, either airborne or absorbed.
SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra professionals are the best assurance when it comes to mitigation and restoration. Due to their continuous technical training, they do not repeat the erroneous theories and mistakes of the past. Using the latest equipment and techniques, they make sure that the job is done correctly and completely - the first time. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra restoration services are available 24/7, 365 days per year; they include water and flood damage cleanup, mold remediation, odor control, reconstruction services, trauma cleanup, and fire and smoke damage cleanup. Don’t wait another moment if your home has been devastated; call us today at 904-246-6118.