How To Test for Mold
Post-remediation testing lets you know if you need to take further measures
How To Test for Mold
A musty smell in your home in Weston, FL, can be an indication that you have a mold problem. To get a proper mold assessment, you need to contact a professional. A certified mold specialist or environmental hygienist can help you determine if you need the services of mold remediation specialists.
You may be tempted to use a home test kit that you find at the hardware store. These tests are ineffective because they simply detect the presence of mold, which is everywhere. Just because there are spores in the air doesn't mean you need mitigation. Professionals will likely conduct three types of tests:
- Surface test
- Air test
- Material test
It's important to determine if what you're smelling is mildew or mold. Mold can be detected by a number of methods. In many cases, you can see the patches on walls or ceilings. Just because you can't see it, though, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Getting a professional mold assessment is key to verifying that you have a problem.
Once it is confirmed that you have black mold in your home, you need professional mitigation to get rid of it. Simply scrubbing it down with soap and water doesn't solve the problem. In fact, in many cases, attempting to clean in this manner makes the problem worse because it releases more spores in the air that will just settle and grow elsewhere, expanding the problem rather than containing it. Professionals have the necessary equipment, knowledge, and skills to get rid of mold growth for good.
After technicians have mitigated the mold damage, you need another test to ensure that the problem is gone. Post-remediation testing lets you know if you need to take further measures.
A professional mold assessment is designed to determine whether you need remediation in your home. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, you need to have your home tested.
We are Cleaning Experts
We are only one call away! We can help you be proactive!
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Weston/West Davie, 954-384-6653
What Issues Will Commercial Storm Insurance Cover?
Hailstones can break windows and damage the siding of your building
If you own a commercial building, you want to protect your assets. Like any responsible owner, you'll purchase insurance. It's important to understand the extent of your coverage, especially when it comes to storms and other environmental damage. Storm insurance can help you pay for the costs of extensive cleanup and rebuilding following large-scale damage to your property.
What Insurance Doesn't Cover
You may first want to know what your insurance coverage won't pay for or when you should purchase additional coverage. Your commercial plan won't cover any damage that you caused on purpose. Not only will your insurance agent deny this claim, but you will likely be criminally prosecuted. Other exclusions to your plan include:
- Water damage from appliances and plumbing systems when you failed to do proper maintenance or knew about the problems
- Flooding from sewer backups or overflowing rivers
- Earthquake damage
High winds can do significant damage to your Weston, FL, building. Replacing shingles, fixing windows or taking care of structural damage from a fallen tree could be expensive. Your storm insurance should cover any damage that winds cause.
If you know you live in a part of the country where hailstorms are common, you'll be happy to know that your plan should accept claims when this occurs. Hailstones can break windows and damage the siding of your building. Your commercial plan should cover cleanup expenses and anything it costs to pay professional storm damage restoration teams to rebuild the structure.
While strong winds can be a problem for your building, tornadoes can inflict catastrophic damage. A large enough tornado could require rebuilding your office from scratch. Your insurance plan should cover even the most severe tornado damages.
Make sure you understand your insurance policy and that it meets your needs. If you have questions or concerns about what it does and does not cover, speak with your storm insurance agent today.
Furnace Maintenance Tips
Keep your furnace and air conditioner maintained for best results and lower costs
You depend heavily on the various appliances in your Weston, FL, home. When cold weather hits, you can't do without a properly functioning furnace. This device can turn a miserable situation into comfort. Unfortunately, failing furnaces are also big culprits for house fires and the need to do fire cleaning. Don't become the victim of a terrible tragedy. With proper maintenance and upkeep, you'll not only enjoy the benefits of this appliance, but you'll reduce the risk of a fire in your home.
If you are purchasing a new furnace, make sure a reputable technician installs it. Spend the money on a quality brand and model. Your financial commitment will pay dividends down the road. Keep these things in mind as well:
- Keep children and pets away from the furnace.
- Keep flammable materials away from the furnace.
- For any repair issues, refer to the owner's manual or consult a professional.
Keep an Eye on the Filters
You may not ever have to worry about smoke cleaning if you'll keep your furnace running well. One of the best ways to do this is to replace the filters regularly. Most models and most types of filters require monthly replacements. Some allow you to go two or three months. Either way, don't forget to put in new filters regularly. Failing to do so will cut down on the unit's efficiency and may even start a fire.
Don't Forget the Inspections
If you have a fire in the home, it's comforting to know that professional fire remediation teams can handle even the most complex fire cleaning jobs. However, with yearly inspections of your furnace, you may never have to worry about fires. Even if your unit is newer, get an annual tuneup. Call a professional to look it over and make any necessary repairs or adjustments. It's best to do this just before winter arrives.
To avoid the stress of fire cleaning, keep your furnace working correctly. Consistent attention will help you reduce many risks of fires at home.
How Do I File an Insurance Claim After My House Floods?
After a home flood, many residents feel like they are treading water, trying to figure out where to begin in the restoration process.
Cleaning up the water damage, making the right calls, and restoring your life take time.
These simple steps can help you stay on track as you go through the necessary procedures of filing an insurance claim.
1. Look Over Your Policy
When you first moved into your house, you probably acquired a home insurance policy, but do you remember what kind of coverage it includes? The first step toward filing a claim is getting into your filing cabinet and scanning your policy paperwork. Glance over the basics of your coverage. Write down your questions. Look up your agent's phone number, and prep for a call with them.
2. Speak With Your Agent
Now that you have the essential information gathered, it's time to ask a few questions. Get in touch with your agent to ask about these important topics:
- What are my policy benefits?
- What are the procedures for filing a claim?
- How long are the timelines for approving claims?
3. Record Damage
After contacting your insurance provider, take some time to create a thorough record of the damage. Your report may be made up of photos, videos, and even written memory. Include dates and times alongside as much evidence as you can provide to prove the validity of your claims.
4. Get a Free Estimate
Most home flood restoration companies offer a free cost estimate of their services. A detailed estimate is helpful to add in your report to the insurance company. It may help them to predict costs and move more quickly in filing your insurance claim. Be sure to let your insurance adjuster know which Weston, Florida, restoration company you prefer.
As you work toward restoring order in your Weston home, follow these simple tips to stay organized. Whether you have a pipe burst or a leaky roof, address all water insurance claims right away to expedite the process.
Restoring Water Damaged Electronics
Water damaged electronic
Restoring Water Damaged Electronics
A flood in your building is devastating enough. What do you do, though, when this deluge affects technology? For many in business owners in Weston, FL, these flooded electronics are essential to track sales, contact clients and produce merchandise. Their loss, then, is not only a painful expense but also a frustrating waste of time and productivity. Restoring them becomes vital. During any efforts to do so take care to protect yourself as well as seek the professional assistance of a local water restoration company.
1. Shut Down Power
Be safe with electronic damage. First, cut off the main power supply. Then, relocate yourself away from any water. Complete the following: check that the device is no longer on, the plug is completely off and you feel comfortable removing it. Batteries are hazardous too, so remove them only if they do not show signs of distress. Should you have any doubts, a remediation team can come in and inspect the premises, handling this for you.
2. Evaluate Each Device
Many flooded electronics can be dried out, but you may want to find out the severity of damage first. Have the pH tested, determining whether it's salvageable. You want a number close to seven. Anything too high or too low has a great impact. Next, ask the experts about their available technology. They often have more sophisticated equipment that can retrieve files and save hard drives.
3. Dry and Clean
Take everything completely apart, ensuring it all airs out. Then, you'll need to clean the elements. Pay attention to the circuit board, soaking it in isopropyl alcohol or distilled water. Grab a toothbrush or something soft and scrub away any debris. Dry under a heat lamp or with a hair dryer. At this point, put it all back together, looking for any parts that need additional replacement or repair.
Your flooded electronics can be saved, but it takes patience and time. Take care to eliminate electrical currents and sanitize the pieces.
The Value of Good Organization in an Emergency
SERVPRO professionals ensure rapid response, damage assessment, advanced training and effective equipment
Often overlooked in the confusion of a flood or a fire, is the importance of maintaining a cool head and keeping tabs on what has been accomplished and what needs to be done. While it is crucial to keep the focus on cleanup and safety, it's also necessary to make smart decisions and pay attention to costs and expenses. This is one of the main reasons a SERVPRO franchise offers many advantages when it's time to file an insurance claim. By adhering to IICRC standards, and by working efficiently, professional technicians reduce the costs of claims. By remaining organized, a professional disaster remediation franchise speeds up and simplifies the paperwork for all parties.
Excellent and Organized Records
For an insurance claim to be approved good records must be kept. The following information should be clear and understandable:
- The number of man hours needed for recovery
- The type of mitigation equipment used
- The amount of damages and losses suffered
- The type of restoration materials used
A claims information center helps provide an itemized list of losses, both in worksheets and backed up when possible with photo evidence. To make things easier for the insurance agent, all of the pertinent information is compiled and available electronically or by hard copy.
Competent Working Relationships
A commercial emergency in Weston, FL, involves a number of entities. This includes the cleanup franchise, the insurance company, outside vendors and sometimes even government agencies. It's important they can all work together and follow a similar goal as well as adhere to basic standards. Working with SERVPRO professionals ensures rapid response, damage assessment, advanced training, effective equipment on hand and help on the insurance claim. A proven process helps the recovery process run smoothly, from start to finish. The result is a cleanup and recovery that limits a business interruption and a claims process that is straightforward and results in fair payment to clients.
What Color Is Your Water? 3 Types That Can Affect Your Health
Knowing what type of water is in your home will be extremely important to the team coming to mitigate it. Make sure you know!
You know you’ve got a leak, but do you know what type of water you are dealing with? If your Weston, Florida home needs wastewater cleanup, it is important to determine the category type so you can minimize exposure to contaminated water.
There are three water types:
- category one - white water
- category two - gray water
- category three - black water
All three can affect your health differently.
Category one is considered clean water because it is free of contaminants. White water poses no health risk because it has not come into contact with potentially harmful substances. Rainwater and water from a faucet, broken pipe, supply line or a refrigerator are all common examples. While category one may sound innocuous, it is important to know that in a short 48 hours, water can turn from white to gray.
Category two is called gray water, and it is considered contaminated water. It is harmful for humans to ingest because chemicals, soaps or similar contaminants are present. Examples are water from a dishwasher, washing machine, shower/sink drain or fish tank. If gray water is left stagnant, then it can transition to category three within two days or less.
Category three is the most dangerous water. It contains bacteria and pathogens that are extremely harmful to humans. Black water can come from sewage lines, RV holding tanks or toilets. Effectively managing category three water requires professional restoration services. All affected surfaces must be cleaned, sanitized and dried completely before humans can come in contact with those areas.
Understanding the difference between black, gray and white water will help keep your Weston, Florida home free from unsafe contaminants. If you aren’t certain what type of water you have, it is wise to consider it category three until a professional can confirm that you don’t have contaminated water. Be smart! Keep yourself healthy by treating the three water types accordingly.
Why Mold Grows in Air Ducts and What To Do About It
Excessive moisture in the air can encourage additional mold growth
Mold can appear on nearly any surface. If it grows in your office's air ducts, the spores could spread throughout the rest of the property. That is why you need to perform proper HVAC cleaning.
More About Mold
Mold is a natural fungus that plays an important role in nature. However, it can easily come inside commercial buildings through open doors or windows.
Excessive amounts of mold can cause severe damage to your Weston, FL, property. You then may have to spend company profits on black mold cleanup services.
Since mold thrives in moist areas, it can quickly grow within air conditioning and heating units. Common locations for mold within HVAC systems include:
Specifically, mold will grow on the dust that has collected inside the ducts. You should thus check these ducts for dust frequently and do any necessary HVAC cleaning.
In fact, you should regularly inspect the various parts of the heating and air conditioning system. This is particularly important if your property is humid. After all, the excessive moisture in the air can encourage additional mold growth.
You should similarly look for any condensation or pooling water within the system. A blocked drain or drip pan could lead to a buildup of mold, as well.
Of course, not every air duct is easily visible. However, mold also typically gives off an unmistakable smell.
If you or your employees smell mildew on the premises, try turning off your HVAC system for 10 to 20 minutes. An odor that disappears or weakens during that time is likely evidence of a mold problem within the ducts.
Once you do see or smell the fungus, do not attempt the mold cleanup yourself. Mold remediation specialists will have the proper tools and techniques for cleaning vents and other moldy locations.
By performing regular HVAC cleaning, you can avoid mold damage to your commercial building. This will keep your assets safe and prevent the fungus from destroying your property.
Is Your Business Ready for Heavy Storms?
Business interruption insurance helps protect you from the effects of revenue losses
When a major storm system causes power outages or leads to wind or flood damage, you don't want to wonder whether your storm insurance covers all your losses. Concerns about lost inventory, damaged property, and the loss of daily revenue are stressful enough without having to wonder what your insurance coverage does or does not include.
What Does Storm Insurance Cover?
Although policies vary from one provider to another, you can expect your storm insurance to cover
- Interior property damage
- Replacement or repairs to damaged inventory
- Business interruption losses
Your regular business insurance may provide a lot of peace-of-mind, but it isn't enough to keep you afloat when storm damage closes your doors.
Interior and Exterior Damages
Heavy winds, a lot of rain, icy snow days, and extreme temperatures can damage the structure of your building, requiring the attention of water and storm cleanup experts before you can safely reopen your doors. In addition to those costs, you may also have damages inside your building.
Replacement or Restoration Costs
Primary damages aren't the only things you'll need to worry about; water often leads to secondary damages, such as mold growth. Your storm insurance may cover the costs of repairs, restoration, or the replacement of inventory and damages. Professionals generally focus on restoration before replacement to keep your costs down.
Business Interruption Insurance
If you have to close your doors during the restoration and rebuilding process, business interruption insurance helps protect you from the effects of revenue losses. Don't wait for storms to hit before purchasing this additional coverage. The best time to consider the benefits of special insurance policies is before your business has been disrupted.
When you know what your storm insurance policy will cover before dark clouds roll in, you won't have to worry about what damage the winds will cause. You'll know that your Weston, FL, business is ready to survive the storm.