Recent Storm Damage Posts

3 Tips for First Responders During a Flood

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Wash your hands. Health- cleanliness concept. In order to protect against waterborne illnesses, first responders should thoroughly wash their hands

Three Important Actions First Responders Can Take

Emergency personnel is the lifeblood of the disaster relief system. During a flood, a first responder should take precautionary steps to protect him- or herself from waterborne diseases. Floodwaters are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and other hazardous substances that can cause severe infections. Here are three of the most important actions that first responders can take.

1. Keep Your Immunizations Up to Date
The CDC recommends that first responders receive a tetanus booster every 10 years to ensure maximum defense. There are two available tetanus boosters on the market: Td (tetanus/diphtheria) and Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis). Healthcare professionals should have a single dose of Tdap, regardless of the amount of time that has passed since their last Td vaccination or booster. This vaccine is important for healthcare workers since it protects against three tetanus-caused diseases. Additionally, the CDC recommends the vaccine series for Hepatitis B to protect healthcare workers who will be performing direct patient care and could have contact with bodily fluids.

2. Wear Protective Clothing
A first responder working during a flood should wear protective clothing that is chemical-resistant. Additionally, he or she should wear gloves, goggles, and boots to protect all parts of the body from exposure. It is imperative to avoid touching your face and to properly discard of all protective clothing after use. Don't try to clean up any water; leave that to a trained flood damage response company.
3. Wash Your Hands
In order to protect against waterborne illnesses, first responders should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based solution. For handwashing to be an effective defense against disease, it is important that first responders wash their hands in between shifts, at the end of work, and after handling materials that could be contaminated.
During a flood response in Weston, FL, each and every first responder should take precautionary measures to ensure his or her safety. Hand washing, immunizations, and protective clothing are great ways to safeguard against potential diseases.

Cleaning Your Florida Home After A Flood

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

water on the ground of a small room Florida flooding can lead to mold quickly if not taken care of.

Though you should never attempt to flood clean on your own, you should be aware of the cleaning requirements that your Weston, Florida flood cleanup restoration team uses. Requirements are in place for a reason—to keep professionals and homeowners safe and to prevent further damage.

Some CDC recommendations that professionals abide by are as follows:

  • Block off the contaminated area.
  • Don protective clothing.
  • Discard contaminated materials.
  • Use commercial flood disinfectant.
  • Keep the area well ventilated.
  • Dry out the area.

Safety Is Key

When you work with a professional flood restoration team, you'll notice that each member of the team takes extra precautions to keep both themselves and occupants of your home safe. Flood waters often contain harmful contaminants, including but not limited to human waste and harsh chemicals. For this reason, two cleaning requirements that all experts adhere to are to block off contaminated areas and don protective clothing.

Discard What Cannot Be Cleaned

This is probably one of the hardest requirements for homeowners to abide by, as it often involves getting rid of favorite items. Carpets, furniture, curtains and other porous materials that were in the flood zone likely need to be trashed and replaced.

Use Commercial Disinfectants

Standard house cleaners such as 409 and Tide aren't strong enough to kill the bacteria that float in on flood water. If you want to ensure that your home is safe to be in, let your water damage cleanup crew wipe down all surfaces with powerful, commercial-grade flood disinfectant.

Get Clean Air Flowing

The air in a room affected by flood water is bound to be moist, and moist air breeds mold spores. To minimize the risk of mold growth, your flood team is likely to open the windows and use industrial-grade fans to get clean air flowing through. This may also help to speed up the drying process.

When it comes to cleaning up after a flood, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Talk to your Weston, Florida flood damage restoration team regarding proper cleaning requirements for flood cleanup.

FEMA Grants Sometimes Help People Without Flood Insurance

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

FEMA US Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services Flyer Closeup If you are in a declared disaster zone, you can apply at the website or call the FEMA helpline

Floods have plagued humankind since long before records began. They also provide nature’s deadliest force, with as many as two million people killed by a single flood in 1887. Unfortunately, they are becoming more common as the weather changes, and most property owners don’t realize that their homeowner’s insurance policies do not include flood insurance in Weston, FL. While laws usually prohibit building new homes in a floodplain, many existing structures are in danger.

Fortunately, in cases of a wide-scale flood, the state or U.S. governments may declare an official disaster. When the federal government does this, it often comes with grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that can be a tremendous help to homeowners in their greatest time of need.

Who Qualifies for FEMA Aid?

If you live in an area that’s been declared a federal disaster zone, you may qualify for grants to help cover some of your losses. Areas that are covered are listed on the federal disaster assistance website. To be eligible, you must meet these criteria:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or reside in the U.S. legally.
  • You must be able to verify your identity and place of legal residence.
  • You either don’t have flood insurance, or it isn’t enough to cover your needs.
  • Other forms of available aid do not cover all your damage.
  • Your expenses and needs are the direct results of the declared disaster.

How Do You Apply?

If you are in a declared disaster zone, you can apply at the website or call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-3362. You should have all the relevant information at hand when you apply, including your address, the names of everyone residing there, a description of the damages, the type of any insurance you have and your contact information.
Once a house has experienced flood damage in Weston, FL, it needs immediate professional remediation to prevent further damage and begin the cleanup process. It’s essential to dry out everything as soon as possible and get the ball rolling on grants or flood insurance claims to restore your home to its former condition.

How a Strong Building Envelope Protects Your Business

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Construction details - framing installing the roof truss system A strong building envelope provides peace of mind

How a Strong Building Envelope Protects Your Business

Powerful storms are among the most damaging events to impact your business. No matter where your company is located, at some time a destructive weather pattern will visit your area. Strong winds, heavy rains, frequent lightning and hail are unavoidable. Solid preparation is key to surviving the effects of wind and rain damage in Weston, FL. One valuable step to take is knowing who to call in an emergency, such as highly-trained technicians experienced in storm damage mitigation. Erecting an impermeable membrane around your building's exterior is a great way to limit your exposure to severe weather. A strong building envelope consists of the following fortifications:

  • Quality Windows. Strong windows keep out moisture and hold up to high winds and hail. They should be firmly sealed to prevent rain damage.
  • A Strong Roof. A well-maintained roof protects your building and its contents by keeping prolonged rains at bay. Regular inspections and maintenance should be performed to ensure this vital structure is in good shape. By keeping moisture out, you eliminate the conditions that allow black mold to proliferate.
  • Solid Walls and Siding. Cracked walls and old siding provide access for water to infiltrate your building. High winds can also rip off inadequate siding, leaving your building exposed to bad weather.
  • An Effective Drainage System. Without gutters, downspouts and drains, all of that water from a storm has nowhere to go. A proper drainage system moves water away from the buildings and grounds and reduces stress on the building's integrity.

A water-tight building also includes mechanisms to control the conditions for air, vapor and temperature. Still, the primary threat to a building is water infiltration. This is the main cause of complaints from building owners and is often the subject of lawsuits and insurance claims. To protect your building from the negative effects of rain damage, a strong building envelope provides peace of mind.

Why You Shouldn't Wait for an Adjuster After a Storm

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Wooden floor warping from standing water Water also causes wood to warp and rot if left for an extended period of time

Why You Shouldn't Wait for an Adjuster After a Storm

After a storm in Weston, FL, you might think that you should wait for your flood insurance adjuster to begin doing anything to your damaged home. However, this is generally not the case. As long as it is safe to do so, it is a better idea to start on mitigation while you are waiting for help. The following are a few reasons why.

1. Damage Will Continue to Get Worse

You might think that if you let the water sit, everything will stay as it is, but this is not true. Particularly if you have flood damage in your home, it will only continue to worsen over time. Flood water is often highly contaminated and can contribute to the spread of bacteria throughout the house and your belongings. Water also causes wood to warp and rot if left for an extended period of time.

2. Mold Will Grow

Along with bacteria, mold damage will spread very quickly in water. Mold spores are present in most locations and often do not cause any trouble. However, when there is an excessive amount of moisture in the environment, this changes. This fungus thrives in moist environments and can begin to form colonies in as little as a day.

3. You Could Be Waiting For a While

When the water damage in your house comes from something like a burst pipe or broken appliance, waiting for help might not be as much of a problem. However, after a large storm, flood insurance adjusters will likely have several clients with similar damage. Because of this, it can take much longer for them to get around to your case. In this situation, waiting just doesn’t make sense.
Instead of waiting for your flood insurance adjuster after a storm, the best thing to do is document the damage before beginning mitigation. Taking pictures and listing affected areas will provide the evidence needed to file your claim. An emergency restoration company can help with this task before beginning work on the building.

5 Ways To Protect Your Commercial Building From Flood Damage

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Very neatly manicured backyard with wood fence surrounding Use your landscaping to your advantage

5 Ways To Protect Your Commercial Building From Flood Damage

Flood damage is a concern for virtually every commercial property owner in Weston, FL. Here are five ways to protect your building.

1. Position electrical elements and heating and cooling components above the level to which the water might rise during flooding. This includes parts such as the following:

  • Wiring
  • Sockets
  • Switches
  • Circuit breakers
  • Furnaces
  • Water heaters

Ideally, these portions of your building's nervous system should be at least 12 inches above the expected flood line.

2. Raise outdoor equipment out of harm's way, too. Elevate and anchor the following:

  • Air conditioners
  • Generators
  • Fuel tanks
  • Outdoor electrical parts

Just like the indoor elements, these outdoor components should be stationed at least 12 inches above the maximum water line to avoid flood damage.

3. Install backflow valves. These will prevent sewage from backing up into your building in the event that the sewer system floods.

4. Use your landscaping to your advantage. Survey the slope of the land around your property. If water runs downhill toward your building, that can lead to storm damage during times of heavy rain or excessive snow melt. Building retaining walls, adding ponds and plants, installing drainage tiles, and even reshaping the terrain itself so that water flows away from your building can prevent extensive — and expensive — repairs later on.

5. If water is unavoidable, act fast. Sometimes, no matter what you do, water may work its way in. When that happens, work quickly to move important items such as computers, furniture, and records out of harm's way, ideally to a higher floor in the building. If that's not feasible, raise them off the ground. Do the same for any important equipment or major appliances. It may be wise to cut electricity to the entire building, too, to prevent surges and accidents.

Taking these precautions now won't 100% guarantee that you'll never need the help of an experienced flood damage cleanup company. It can, however, significantly increase your building's chances of avoiding destruction the next time a storm rolls in.

What To Do With a Flooded Crawlspace

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flood damage in a crawlspace

What To Do With a Flooded Crawlspace

When you have a home flood in Weston, FL, you may be wondering to what to do with the flood damage in your crawl space. Fortunately, through a few easy to follow steps your home can be restored.

1. Call a Professional

If you have flooding or storm damage in your home one of the first steps you may wish to take is to contact a water damage restoration company. These professionals have experience with a variety of types of damage that could result from a storm. They will also be able to assess any necessary repairs and come up with a schedule to have them conducted safely and efficiently.

2. Remove the Water

As soon as possible the water from a home flood should be removed from your crawl space. This may involve the use of a sump pump, a water pump, or even a water rated shop vacuum. Remember to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and instructions for any equipment that may be used. After the water is removed, you may want to use a dehumidifier in the area to help the drying process

3. Disinfect the Area

After any storm damage water has been removed from your crawl space, it's important to disinfect the area. Doing so may help prevent the growth of bacteria, as well as mold spores. There are a few ways the restoration team working on your home may go about this process, so if you have any questions its best to talk to them about any recommendations.

If you experience a home flood in your Weston, FL, residence then there are a few things you may want to consider doing. First, call a professional to assess the damage and help with any repairs. Second begin the removal of the water as quickly as possible. Also remember to thoroughly disinfect the area after the area has been dried. After this your repairs can begin.

How To Guard Against Storm Damage

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Check with your insurance agent ahead of time so that you know you have all the coverage you need

As a business owner in Weston, FL, you juggle many different responsibilities. You have to know how to prevent certain calamities, but it’s also important to have a plan in place for when emergency situations do arise. When local meteorologists say a spring storm is on its way, there are vital tasks to complete both before and after the storm hits.

Before the Storm

Preventing or minimizing storm damage differs from protecting against the potential problems inside the building. When you are up against the elements of nature, it’s important to make sure you can check the following items off your list:

  • Trim trees to minimize debris
  • Inspect the roof and repair weak spots
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Seal windows
  • Repair cracks in walls and foundations
  • Elevate equipment off the floor, particularly on lower levels

You also want to make sure you have the right insurance coverage. Flood cleanup services after an intense or widespread spring storm may not be covered by your basic property policy. Check with your insurance agent ahead of time so that you know you have all the coverage you need.

After the Storm

Flood damage from a storm is different from the damage from a pipe break. Restoration professionals not only have to dry the building out during storm cleanup but also must disinfect everything the contaminated water touches. If the destruction is significant, you may have to relocate your business operations while the building undergoes repair.

It is in your best interest to make sure the restoration process starts right away. Secondary damage such as mold growth can occur within a day or two of the initial flooding. Call cleanup professionals immediately after the storm so you can get repairs started quickly.

While damage prevention is preferable, a spring storm that is strong enough can cause flood damage even if you do everything you can to prepare for it. By also having a restoration plan, you can get back to business as usual in a shorter amount of time.

Selecting Shutters

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Learn About Different Shutter Types

Many homeowners aren’t aware of the wide variety of styles and functions available in modern-day window protection mechanisms. Guard against high winds and other weather conditions in Weston, FL, by learning about different shutter types.

1. Storm Panel

The most inexpensive option for most areas and window types are called storm panel shutters. This model is not attached to the home by default and, under normal conditions, will be stored in a garage or outbuilding. Storm panels are typically made of a single piece of aluminum or steel, and are usually corrugated for extra strength. One panel piece is mounted to brackets on each window before a major storm. Although storm panels are cheap and don’t interfere with the default look of your home, they require more preparation time during emergency conditions.

2. Rolling and Accordion

The roll-down, roll-up, and accordion panel categories are somewhat more costly, but come with the natural advantage that your windows can be covered immediately in the event of high winds. This is because these models are made of strong and flexible steel or polycarbonate materials. This allows the entire panel to fold or roll away into a box or cavity near the window. During dangerous weather, the shutters can be drawn across the window manually, or in some cases, via an electrical motor. They then lock at the opposite side of the window for extra security.

3. Traditional

For the homeowner with additional aesthetic concerns, colonial and Bahama shutter designs provide even more options. These can be constructed from conventional materials like wood while still providing adequate storm protection. Colonial shutter panels are simply left open when not in use and provide a classic look. Bahama storm shutters can be propped open to create an awning during sunny weather.

Be prepared for high winds by understanding the best window safeguards for your home and environment. Sufficient foresight can prevent the need for storm damage cleanup later on.

Can a Flooded Basement Be Restored?

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded basement in Weston,FL

Can a Flooded Basement Be Restored?

A basement flood can be one of the most stressful home hazards to deal with. Water damage, ruined carpet and flooring, and the growth of mold and mildew are all issues you’ll need to manage after a flood event. That’s why it’s important to take fast action and begin the cleanup process as soon as it’s safe to do so. By keeping a few guidelines in mind as you begin to restore your basement in Weston, FL, you can quickly and efficiently get it back to usable condition.

1. Remove all excess water. The first step in repairing a flooded basement is to eliminate as much moisture as possible. For just a few inches of water, a wet/dry vacuum should be sufficient. More extensive flooding will require a sump pump to drain the water away from your home. Avoid pumping the water outside too rapidly, as it can sink into your home’s foundation and cause it to crack.

2. Take inventory of all damage. Unfortunately, after a basement flood you’ll probably need to dispose of affected items that are beyond repair. This includes waterlogged carpet and flooring that are susceptible to mold growth, as well as any soaked furniture and pillows. All fresh food and canned goods that have had contact with floodwater should also be discarded. Double check your flood insurance coverage when assessing the damage to determine which items you can file a claim for.

3. Dry the area thoroughly. To prevent mold from infiltrating your basement after a flood, open any windows and doors to encourage ventilation. A dehumidifier can expedite drying time by removing moisture from the air. For professional assistance with the drying process as well as all other areas of flood remediation, consider contacting a reputable water damage restoration vendor.

While a basement flood may be an overwhelming situation to tackle, it’s imperative to remain calm and begin the cleanup process as soon as possible. By quickly removing all excess water, discarding affected items, and completing drying the impacted area, your basement will be ready for you and your family to enjoy again.

Tips for Restoration After a Large Storm

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

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

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Situations That Warrant Protection Against Flood Damage

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

Be sure you know the best way to protect your property in the event of a flood.

You take good care of your commercial property in Weston, Florida so that weather and other problems don't damage your building. You properly insulate your pipes and you make sure that gutters are clean and your roof is in good condition. Certain events, however, can flood your building despite even the best preparations. When these situations occur, you may need to have flood insurance to cover the cost of recovery.

Prolonged Storms

If a hurricane hits your area, it doesn't really matter whether your gutters are clean. The storm and the continual rainfall that probably follows may cause certain problems for your property:

  • Standing, contaminated water, especially on lower levels
  • Damaged equipment and furniture
  • Weakened walls, floors or ceilings

Your building may flood and sustain water damage when storms arise. If you have flood insurance, you have a way to pay for remediation services, even if the damage turns out to be extensive. 

Melted Snow

Some storms don't cause damage at the time they occur but rather after their effects start to dissipate. When heavy snows start to melt, the runoff has to go somewhere. If there is too much of it or if it melts too quickly, it can flood your building. Your commercial insurance portfolio should contain policies that take this possibility into account.

Busted Dams

Some disasters have little to do with the weather and more to do with the weakening of structures made by humans. Levees and dams are built to control the flow of water and keep it from overtaking an area. When such a structure breaks, the water it releases goes everywhere, including your commercial building. Documenting the event as well as the damage it causes can help your insurance adjuster determine how much your policy should cover.

If you live in an area that floods regularly, regional law may require you to have flood insurance. Even if you don't, however, it's a good idea to have extra coverage just in case you need it.

Establishing Proper Containment During Mold Remediation After a Storm

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

It is important to contain the mold before trying to remediate it from your home.

There are many steps that mold remediation professionals take in your home in Weston,Florida to get rid of mold contamination.

One of the first things they do is to seal off the area.

Proper containment of the affected items and area is essential. It prevents the spread of mold into other sections of the home and thus keeps the problem from getting larger.

Item Isolation

All materials that are at risk of contamination must be separated from the home. For example, if the problem is in your children's bedroom, technicians will bag everything that is wet, moldy or musty:

  • Bedding
  • Stuffed animals
  • Toys
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Books

Everything must be contained in plastic, sealed bags. If the items can be salvaged, they are cleaned and returned to the home once the whole remediation process is done. If they cannot be salvaged, the bags keep the mold contamination from spreading so you can dispose of them as you would dispose of regular trash.

Air Flow

Mold spores are airborne, so cutting off air flow in your home is vital to keeping a mold problem contained. Turn off the HVAC system and all fans. Close all doors and windows that allow air to circulate throughout your home. Try not to give the multiplying mold spores a free ride to a new destination.

Location Seal

Finally, the contaminated area must be sealed off. Specialist use sheets of polyethylene to line the area, sealing the seams with duct tape or some other industrial adhesive material. The only openings in this covering are the slits technicians use to get in and out of the area.

Mold contamination may seem like a pervasive issue that cannot be resolved, particularly if it is the result of a larger problem such as extensive water damage. Proper containment, however, helps you isolate the problem so that remediation experts can clean quickly without worrying about whether they are causing more harm than good.