Is Black Mold Growing In Your Home?
Black mold damage in a Weston, FL home
Black mold has a reputation as one of the worst types of house mold, as some species of stachybotrys are toxigenic. It is almost impossible for a homeowner to accurately identify any species of mold based on visual identification or the results of a DIY mold test. Take the following measures and schedule a mold inspection to determine whether stachybotrys or any other mold is present at a residence in Weston, FL.
Look For Visible Mold
Homeowners can take the first step toward determining whether mold is growing in a residence. Search for any signs of visible mold in moist, warm and relatively undisturbed locations:
- Areas affected by leaks or pipe bursts
Do not attempt to find mold that is not readily visible. This can result in exposure to microbial volatile organic compounds and cause spores to spread.
Contact a Hygienist or Specialist
A trained professional should perform a mold inspection. Contact an environmental hygienist or mold specialist. Some mold remediation services have experts on staff or partner with professionals. Only a hygienist or specialist should check for signs of hidden mold or perform a mold test.
Schedule a Mold Test
Professional testing is more accurate and the results are more specific than any home mold test. A hygienist or specialist may take air, bulk or surface samples to determine whether mold is growing in a household and identify which species are present. These samples will be analyzed in a lab, and the results are the only way to determine whether black mold is present.
It is difficult to visually identify mold. Several mold species appear black, and even stachybotrys can change in color depending on the stage of its growth cycle. If you suspect that mold is growing at a residence in Weston, FL, rely on a reputable company for house mold inspection, testing and remediation.
Tips for Restoration After a Large Storm
In case of a large scale damage SERVPRO is trained to deal with it
Tips for Restoration After a Large Storm
After a large storm, many homes and businesses can experience a catastrophic loss, especially in Weston, FL. Fortunately, a professional restoration team, such as SERVPRO, can help if your clients experience damage. Here are a few things many experts recommend in this situation.
1. Follow Safety Protocols
When it comes to flooding, there's a potential for contaminated water which can present a safety hazard. This is why it's important to follow any safety guidelines, including turning off all electricity to the area and wearing protective gear.
2. Use a Restoration Service
In the case of a large catastrophic loss, it may be best to have your client contact a professional restoration service. A company like SERVPRO is trained to deal with large-scale damage and a variety of restoration techniques. They also have the means to work with insurance companies to help with claim information. Common services offered include drying the area of any flood damage, document restoration, item restoration, mold remediation, and building repairs. SERVPRO even offers an electronic inventory system to help insurance companies keep track of claim data.
3. Protect the Building
When it comes to storm damage, it's important to protect the property against any further problems that may come from leaving any damaged areas exposed. Your chosen restoration team can board up or tarp over any potential problem areas. This will protect against further weather damage, animal intrusion, and may even be required by the insurance policy.
When dealing with catastrophic loss in Weston, FL, there are a few recommendations to consider following. There are many safety protocols designed to keep you, your clients, and any restoration experts that are working on the property safe. If a professional team has been hired to perform the restoration, they may already be familiar with these guidelines. It's also important to protect the property from any further damage. In the event there are any questions, restoration experts may be able to help.
3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Storm
Winter storm brings water into a local business in Weston, FL
3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Storm
A winter storm can cause a devastating amount of damage to your business in Weston, FL. However, there are steps you can take to protect your business before a storm occurs.
1. Fix Small Issues Quickly
When you know a storm is coming toward your business, you may not think that it’s important to take the time to look at minor issues that are affecting your business. However, strong winds and heavy rain can turn a small issue into a major problem; a leaky pipe can result in a pipe break, for example, which could result in major water damage. If you notice minor issues before a storm, it’s often best to have these issues fixed as soon as possible to ensure these little problems don’t create disasters.
2. Assess the Landscape
Structural damage is often an unfortunate result of a winter storm. However, taking a look at the environment around your business can be an essential step in preventing structural damage. If you notice any large limbs or debris on the ground, it’s best to remove these items prior to a storm. Additionally, you may need to trim or cut any limbs that hang close to or over your business to ensure they don’t fall and damage your building during the storm.
3. Protect Important Belongings and Documents
Recovering valuable and important items after a storm can be difficult, especially if you need access to documents or other items that have been damaged. In general, it’s wise to keep important documents and items in waterproof, fire-resistant containers. Additionally, it can be helpful to make copies of these documents, both online and on paper, just in case you aren’t able to recover them after a storm.
By fixing minor issues, assessing your landscape and ensuring important items are protected, you can decrease the likelihood of a winter storm causing major damage to your business. However, if your business has already sustained damage, you may want to consider contacting storm damage restoration professionals.
A Comprehensive Guide on How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Learn the basics of how a fire extinguisher works
If you’ve gone your whole life thus far without knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, there’s no need to be too embarrassed! In fact, a majority of Americans claim they don’t know how to use one. Although an extinguisher is rather simple to use, you don’t want to waste time while a fire is quickly spreading in your home in Weston, FL. Here are the basics on how an extinguisher works, so you can act swiftly!
How to Use an Extinguisher
When grabbing an extinguisher, think “PASS.”
- Pull the pin out of the handle
- Aim the tip of the nozzle at the bottom of the fire
- Squeeze the extinguisher’s trigger
- Sweep the hose from one side to the other side until the fire is out
Once all these steps are completed, assess the fire damage and called fire restoration services if necessary.
When You Should Use a Fire Extinguisher
You will need to quickly assess the situation and make the decision to either attempt to put out the fire or run. Extinguishers can be used for small fires that just stared. For example, a kitchen fire that starts while you’re cooking can easily be put out before it spreads any further. However, a large fire requires you to evacuate the area and contact the fire department.
How To Know Your Extinguisher Is Fit for the Job
There are several different extinguishers designed for different types of fires. You will need to check the label of the fire extinguisher to see if it is a Class A, B, or C. This identifies whether it is designed to handle wood and paper product fires, liquid fires, or electrical fires. Some extinguishers are identified as A-B-C and can handle all three types of fires. Also, make sure it is pressurized and charged.
If a fire ever occurs, acting as fast as possible is key to minimizing fire damage to your home. Memorize the information in this guide for the best chance of putting a fire out before it’s too big for you to handle.
3 Steps in the Mold Remediation Process
Black mold in a Weston, FL home
Mold Cleanup Process
When you notice black mold in your home in Weston, FL, you may be concerned about the process of mold removal and remediation. There are several crucial steps to the mold cleanup process.
When mold is first noticed, mitigating the damage becomes a priority. To prevent mold from spreading and causing damage to other areas and items, mold is contained. An important part of the containment process involves assessing the environment and ensuring the environment is not conducive with mold growth. Moisture is eliminated as much as possible to prevent mold from continuing to grow, and locations that have been affected by mold in the home are dried as well.
Once black mold is contained, the process of cleaning will begin. However, since mold spores are difficult to clean and spores spread so easily, the process generally requires specialized equipment. Though there are treatments that help sanitize areas affected by mold, some items that are covered in mold may need to be removed rather than cleaned. In order to ensure the air quality is restored, the air within the affected location is also filtered through powerful air filtration devices.
After mold has been contained and the affected area has been cleaned, the structures and items in your home will be restored. While structures in the home are often replaced, whether or not a specific item can be restored often depends on the material and the amount of damage the mold has caused. Items such as paintings or clothing can generally be sanitized and restored, though the process of restoring these items can be time-consuming and costly.
When black mold occurs in a home, containing the mold, cleaning and sanitizing the area, and restoring and replacing structures and items within the home are important steps in the mold remediation process. Often, mold removal and remediation professionals can assist in restoring your home.
Water Damage and Your Business
Flooding and water damage are usually covered by two different policies
Water Damage and Your Business
Any prudent business owner in Weston, FL, will seek to minimize risks and mitigate damage wherever it occurs. If you find yourself with flooded business premises, take the following steps to begin the recovery proceedings.
1. Understand Your Coverage
Many commercial insurance plans will not cover environmental flood damage, such as the type from heavy rainfall or overflowing rivers, by default. By examining the particular climate risks for your area, you can better assess the potential for damage to your property and make an informed decision about which extensions and packages you may require to bolster your flood coverage.
2. Potential Applications
Once your business is covered, the safety net provided by a strong flood insurance policy is invaluable. Not only do these plans typically pay for the damage caused by high amounts of rainwater entry into the lower floors, they can also assist you in repairing various structural elements such as roofing and gutters that were dislocated or clogged by the rainfall. Depending on the policy and the circumstances of the damage to your flooded business, a pipe break may also be covered.
3. Other Considerations
Most insurers will also pay for a water damage restoration service after the sources of flooding are under control. These professionals can help restore drywall and flooring to its original condition, as well as dehumidify documents and electronics. Your insurer may require that you keep an up-to-date inventory of the affected items as the restoration process progresses in order to verify the costs involved. Note that most flood insurance policies will only begin to cover your business after a month has elapsed from the time of purchase, so it may be beneficial to select a policy quickly if you feel your place of business is at significant risk.
A flooded business can cause downtime and harm customer relationships. Prevent unnecessary damage and disruption by reviewing your flood insurance coverage options.
Do’s and Don’ts of Filing a Fire Claim
Fire damage in Weston, FL
Do’s and Don’ts of Filing a Fire Claim
Once the smoke has cleared and the flames are extinguished, one of the first things fire victims need to think about is a fire claim. But how do you go about ensuring that you get everything you’re owed? Some concerns may include the following:
- Collecting benefits in a timely manner
- Receiving reimbursement for all relevant damage
- Wrapping up the claim quickly so building restoration can begin
There are many details to consider, but these simple do’s and don’ts can help you navigate the process following your Weston, FL, fire damage.
Don’t Clean Up
One of your first instincts following a fire may be to start picking up debris, but this isn’t the best idea. Cleaning up can remove proof of some damages and prevent you from collecting on your benefits.
Do Take Pictures
There’s bound to be much on your mind in the wake of a fire, and it’s easy to forget the smaller details. This is where a camera can come in handy. Go around the property documenting everything that the fire harmed, big or small. This can be especially useful to prove damages weren’t pre-existing.
Do Make a List of Property Loss
As soon as you’re able, make a list of things lost in the fire. No item is too small. It’s important to begin this right away, because it’s easy to forget all of the details in the weeks following a fire. Starting early ensures you’ll have a thorough list and a better chance at getting what’s due.
Don’t Wait to File a Fire Claim
Insurers often require policy holders to file as soon as possible, so don’t delay calling. Alerting the insurance company allows it to expedite the investigation process and can get you reimbursed sooner rather than later. This is especially true if nearby properties were also damaged and will also be filing claims.
Nobody ever wants to face a business fire. But when the unthinkable happens, it helps to know what to do. Use these tips to help you file your fire claim so you can focus on fire restoration and a return to business as usual.
How To Snake a Clogged Pipe
If you have a clogged toilet in your Weston, FL home contact a water damage cleanup and restoration company
An auger or snake can be used to clear clogged or stopped pipes. There are different snake designs for these purposes. In general, consumer-grade snakes are not as lengthy or powerful as professional augers. A homeowner should decide where to snake to clear out a blockage.
Pick an Access Point
There are several options for snaking out a drain. A homeowner can attempt to access a clog through a:
- Floor drain
- Drain cleanout
It may be easier to access a clog near a toilet through the floor drain. Remove the toilet and run the snake directly into the drain. The drain cleanout is usually located in a basement or crawlspace. Remove the cap with a long pipe wrench, and look out for sewage overflow.
Insert the Snake
Push the snake into the drain until you encounter resistance. This should be the cause of the clogged drain. At this point, it is necessary to penetrate the clog by:
- Using a power drill attachment
- Breaking up or extracting the blockage
If you do not encounter resistance, the stoppage is located elsewhere. Contact a plumber to clear the line.
Test the Drainage
Try flushing a toilet and running a shower or sink to check for signs of overflow. If the pipe remains blocked, you may observe:
- Water backing up in the sink or shower
- The toilet overflowing while the shower is running
- The toilet gurgling or sputtering
- A sewer gas odor
A plumber can help to resolve the issue. In the meantime, try to limit sewer damage. Be aware that unequal pressure may result in a pipe break.
An auger or snake is more effective than a plunger. If a drain remains clogged after snaking, contact a plumber. If backups have caused sewer damage at a residence in Weston, FL, a homeowner should contact a water damage cleanup and restoration company.
Controlling Lint Buildup
Clean the lint filter of your dryer after every use
Incorporate the Following Safety Procedures Into Your Laundry Routine
Problems related to lint buildup represent the leading cause of dryer-related fires in the United States. Prevent a lint fire from affecting your home in Weston, FL, by incorporating the following safety procedures into your laundry routine.
1. The Lint Trap
Although it is easy to let it slip occasionally, the lint filter that sits between your dryer and the outlet hose should be cleaned after every use. Remove the cover by the handle and roll the layer of lint away from the screen, preferably over a garbage receptacle so as not to scatter dust particles into the air. Before replacing the screen, inspect the slot for any obvious masses of leftover lint that may have become dislodged. As hot air from the dryer passes through the trap, excess compacted lint can ignite, causing fire damage to the dryer and surrounding area.
2. The Hose
The aluminum hose connecting your appliance to the exit vent outside the home is another potential source of a dryer fire. Like the lint trap, dust and debris can build up in the hose and cause restrictions in the air flow, leading to increased heat retention. Remove the hose from the wall and the dryer by the screw-on clasps and clean it with a vacuum every few months. Inspect all connection points and ports for dust and residue that could lead to a lint fire.
3. Walls and Outlets
The duct leading from the laundry room wall to the outside may also need cleaning occasionally. Typically, this process requires a rotating brush attachment on a flexible coil, available at most hardware stores as an extension to a power drill. Clean the exit vent outside the home as well, including any attached grates.
A lint fire can be a source of costly property damage and require professional fire cleanup services. Keep your appliances in optimal working condition and prevent personal injury by clearing sources of flammable material accumulation.
4 Efficient Water-Saving Strategies Every Business Can Employ
Local office had a pipe leak in Weston, FL
Strategies to Help Conserve the Resource and Decrease their Utility Bill
Leaks and excessive consumption are two examples of potentially problematic water issues that can affect any business in Weston, FL. While it may be challenging to detect broken pipes and avert water damage, every business owner can employ several efficient strategies to help conserve the resource and decrease their utility bill.
1. Maintain Irrigation System
A commercial irrigation system can be an efficient means of maintaining a lush, appealing landscape. However, cracked components and misaligned heads can waste an abundance of water and increase your monthly bill. To help reduce this risk, you should inspect your irrigation system every spring, confirm it’s properly programmed and promptly address any defective or broken elements.
2. Upgrade Toilets and Urinals
Restrooms may be an optimal space to address water issues. Flushing toilets can utilize a significant amount of fluid. To help reduce usage, you can install water-free or 1-pint urinals and low-flow toilets. You can also reduce resource consumption by keeping existing commodes but upgrading to more efficient flush valves that utilize less liquid per flush.
3. Modify Sinks
A sink modification may be another beneficial water upgrade worth considering. You can implement a simple change by replacing aerators with enhanced versions that are designed to conserve more fluid.
Leaving a tap open longer than necessary also contributes to excessive consumption. To help eliminate this problem, you can install touch-free sinks that automatically shut off. Although they can be expensive, these innovative devices can be extremely efficient conservation tools.
4. Install Energy Efficient Appliances
Restaurants, hotels and many other businesses can also help resolve usage concerns by making selective appliance choices. Designed to use an efficient amount of fluid, Energy Star dishwashers and washing machines are an ideal option that can help save you money in the long run.
Water is a valuable resource, and excessive consumption can be both wasteful and expensive. Implementing simple upgrades and changes can help address your building’s water issues, facilitate enhanced conservation and ultimately save financial resources by reducing utility costs.