Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

How To Test for Mold

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up Of Person Hand Wearing Gloves Measuring Wetness Of A Moldy Wall 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.

Assessing

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.

Mitigating

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.

Testing

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

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

A hand reaching for a door handle small particles on both hand and door handle 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.

Specialized Training

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
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

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

The Value of Good Organization in an Emergency

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Two green vehicles parked in front of a SERVPRO office 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.

4 Tips for Filing a Fire Claim

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores The aftermath of a fire in your commercial building in Weston, FL, can be overwhelming

4 Tips for Filing a Fire Claim

The aftermath of a fire in your commercial building in Weston, FL, can be overwhelming. There are so many things to remember to do. You must find a way to keep your business running while you find a fire restoration company that can make repairs quickly. Then you have to figure out a way to pay for all of it. These four tips can help you file your fire claim so that you don't have to worry about where the money to cover the cleanup process is going to come from.

1. Call Your Insurance Company

One of the first calls you should make after a fire is your insurance company. Adjusters can get a better idea of how much your claim is worth if they can see the fire damage as soon as possible. It also shows your provider that you are being proactive.

2. Call Restoration Specialists

The sooner you can start repairs, the less likely your building is to sustain secondary damage such as mold or extensive water damage. The team that assesses your property can also provide an itemized list of needed repairs. This information can be a crucial support to your fire claim.

3. List Damages

Don't depend solely on the restoration company and your insurance adjuster to notice everything that needs to be repaired or replaced. Be prepared to provide a list of damaged items and the cost of replacing them.

4. Take Pictures

There is probably a place on your claim form to include pictures or videos of the fire damage. Visual documentation of the issues with your building can help substantiate your claim. Pictures are particularly helpful if the adjuster doesn't arrive within hours of the fire. You can show the original damage with a photograph or video.
The key to getting your fire claim accepted is gathering as much information as possible. If you can list and show damages and have your list supported by the professionals hired to clean up the mess, your claim is more likely to be accepted.

What To Do if You Find Mold in Your Home

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Close up of hand shut off main valve Turn off the water source

Use the Following Tips If You Find Signs of Mold 

There are a variety of reasons why you may find black mold in your Weston, FL, home. Mold growth is a common problem experienced by many homeowners. This fungus can spread easily throughout the house, so it is important to take the proper steps to prevent this. Use the following tips if you find signs of mold in the building.

1. Turn Off the Water Source

If you are finding black mold as a result of a damaged pipe, overflowing plumbing or broken appliance, then one of the first things you should do is turn off the water source. This will keep the water from building up and help prevent the problem from getting worse.

2. Remove Moisture From the Area

Because mold grows very easily in moist environments, you should remove as much moisture as possible from the affected area. If there is excessive water, remove it quickly. Allow it to dry thoroughly, as this can keep the mold from spreading further. If you have a reoccurring moisture problem, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier.

3. Limit Air Circulation

This fungus spreads via mold spores, which are too small to be seen with the naked eye. If mold is growing in your house, these spores can travel through the air to other areas, creating a larger infestation. To keep this from happening, turn off your HVAC system, air conditioners or fans.

4. Do Not Attempt DIY Removal

While it may seem like a good idea to do your own mold cleanup, you will likely not have the best results. It is easy to accidentally spread mold throughout the house, so this process should be left to professionals with the necessary training and equipment.
Black mold can be a frustrating problem, but you do not have to deal with it on your own. Contact a mold remediation specialist to take care of it for you. They will be able to locate and remove any mold growth and identify the cause to prevent it from returning.

3 Mold Cleanup Tips for Homeowners

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

There is a big hole starting from the ceiling going down to the wall of a home Water leaks causes mold growth in a Weston, FL home

How to Clean Small Amounts of Mold in Your Home

House mold is a common problem that affects many homes in Weston, FL. Finding mold spores in your home can be overwhelming, and many homeowners don't know how to begin the cleanup process. However, there are several tips you can follow to begin cleaning after mold growth affects your home.

1. Stop Any Sources of Water Leaks

Often, mold spores are the result of water damage. Whether a pipe burst, broken appliance or a leaky faucet has resulted in the growth of mold in your home, it can be wise to quickly stop any water that is flowing into your home as quickly as possible in order to mitigate the damage. If there isn't a leak and mold has instead grown in humid areas in your home, then it's generally helpful to reduce the levels of humidity inside your house.

2. Treat Each Surface Appropriately

When it comes to house mold, not every surface should be treated the same. It's often wise to know how to appropriately treat individual items that have sustained mold damage, as improper treatment could cause further damage. To clean surfaces that won't easily absorb water, such as tile or laminate, using detergents and scrubbing away mold can be useful. However, you should avoid scrubbing mold from any porous surfaces, as this could cause items to break down.

3. Consider Employing Professionals for Help Cleaning Delicate or Sentimental Belongings

Although it's often not too difficult to clean small amounts of mold from items that are made up of durable materials, there are some items that you may not want to clean on your own. Documents, photographs or electronics can also be particularly difficult to clean without access to specialized, and often costly treatments. Instead of attempting to clean your valuable or delicate belongings, it can be useful to employ mold remediation experts who can help to sanitize items that are difficult to clean.

Knowing how to clean small amounts of house mold can be helpful to homeowners. Stopping water from causing additional damage, properly cleaning and treating different surfaces and requesting assistance from professionals to clean certain items can help you to start the cleanup process.

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Commercial Building

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

vacuum cleaning a home with hardwood flooring Carpet cleaning with a HEPA vacuum

Prevent Mold Growth In Your Commercial Building

Mold problems are common in commercial buildings, so if you haven’t yet experienced one in your Weston, FL, facility, then chances are you will at some point in the future. There are, however, steps that you can take to make this problem less likely to occur. It is usually easier to prevent the growth of mold than it is to remove it once it has spread, so keep these tips in mind.

1. Clean Regularly

One of the best things that you can do to prevent mold from spreading is to regularly clean the building. Scrub down hard surfaces, particularly those that often come in contact with water such as sinks and showers. Regularly change air duct filters. Carpet cleaning with a HEPA vacuum will help as well since spores can easily gather in porous materials.

2. Limit Moisture Levels

Along with keeping everything clean, you will want to make sure the moisture levels in the building are not too high. This fungus needs water to grow and even just a small amount can contribute to the growth of mold spores. There are several ways that you can do this, such as opening windows to allow ventilation and using a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. You should also be sure to have any leaks repaired as soon as you notice them.

3. Use an Air Filter

Because you cannot see its spores, mold can travel through the air without your knowledge. If it has begun to grow in one area, it can move through the structure in this way until it becomes a large problem. The HEPA filters that you want for carpet cleaning work brilliantly in air purifiers as well to remove these spores from the air and keep them from contaminating your building.
While preventative measures such as carpet cleaning and limiting moisture can work well, you may sometimes find that they haven’t worked well enough. If you find or suspect mold growth in your building, contact a mold remediation specialist to have an inspection and any necessary cleanup done.

3 Things Homeowners Should Know About Mold Kits

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Three vials with blue lids, one containing cream colored liquid and the other two with red liquid A mold testing kit can be incredibly misleading

Mold Kits

When homeowners in Weston, FL, suspect mold growth, they often think that purchasing a mold testing kit will help them determine whether or not mold is present. However, many of these kits are far from perfect.

1. How Do Kits Work?

Though instructions can vary, in order to use a mold kit, a sample of mold must be gathered. However, homeowners may be unsure how to precisely gather a sample from the appropriate area. Many kits give you the option to send the mold sample to a lab but waiting for the results can take an extended period of time. Though DIY mold kits may claim to identify the presence of but often do not tell homeowners what type of mold is present.

2. How Accurate Are Kits?

A mold testing kit can be incredibly misleading. A kit will almost always identify mold in the home, and this positive result can cause unnecessary stress to homeowners. However, mold spores are present throughout homes, and mold is not inherently harmful. Though certain levels of mold spores may indicate that there is a problem with mold growth in the home, a mold test kit generally can’t discern between safe and unsafe levels of spores.

3. What Are Accurate Alternatives to Kits?

Receiving an accurate assessment of what types of mold are present in your home and if the level of spores is harmful is often important. In order to receive an accurate assessment, it can be helpful to employ mold remediation specialists. Unlike kits, professionals can thoroughly inspect all areas in your home and can help to discover and fix the likely cause of the mold growth.

It can be useful to know if harmful mold is present in your home, but a mold testing kit is unlikely to be helpful in many circumstances. Not using these kits can make it easier to avoid confusion if you suspect your home has harmful mold present.

The Competitive Advantages of Using SERVPRO

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

Walls damaged due to water loss in Weston, FL

Insurance Companies Keep SERVPRO On Their Preferred Vendors List

As an insurance adjuster, you must answer to the home office, so you like to keep costs down when one of your customers calls with a disaster claim. At the same time, you know it is important to recommend a restoration and remediation company in Weston, FL, that provides the best possible service. That is why most insurance companies keep SERVPRO on their preferred vendors list. Here are just a few of the many ways working with the highly trained teams can give you a competitive advantage.

1. Electronic Files

When information about the disaster damage has been evaluated, the data can be loaded into a national database of claims called the Claims Inventory Service. Once the information is successfully stored, your clients, the contractor, and the service technicians can have instant access to all the facts and figures of the cleanup and restoration.

2. Evaluating Sites

When a property has been severely damaged by water or fire, it can be very difficult to see what can be repaired and what must be replaced. The highly trained technicians know restoring the site is less expensive than a tear out and replacement, and they have been taught how to evaluate and pretest the area in order to save everything they possibly can. As an insurance adjuster, you can appreciate the money they can save your company.

3. Faster Response

You know the longer water sits at the scene of a disaster, no matter how small the job is, the more liquid generally soaks into everything it touches. As the water sits, there is a greater chance for secondary damage such as split wood and mold. Once secondary damage occurs, the cost of the insurance claim often goes up accordingly. That is why it is important to rely on a fast response team.

Working with a highly trained restoration and remediation team can make your job as an insurance adjuster much easier. Also, keeping SERVPRO on your preferred vendors list can help you stay competitive.

Is Black Mold Growing In Your Home?

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

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
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Bathrooms

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.

3 Steps in the Mold Remediation Process

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

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.

1. Containment

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.

2. Cleaning

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.

3. Restoration

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.

How Do Sprinklers Function During a Fire?

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire sprinklers can keep a fire from spreading in your Weston,FL building

A fire sprinkler system can limit fire damage in a commercial property. This form of fire suppression equipment sprays water to minimize water damage. From detection to activation, learn how sprinklers function during a fire.

Heat Detection and Activation

Sprinklers are triggered by heat, as smoke can lead to more false alarms. In the event of a fire:

  • Heat rises and spreads
  • A glass bulb filled with glycerin shatters
  • The nearest sprinkler head activates
  • A valve opens and pressurized water sprays out

Sprinkler heads are connected to reliable water sources. The pressurized flow of water sustains an effective spray pattern for the purpose of dousing a fire.

Fire Damage Reduction

Sprinklers may reduce the risk to occupants and property by more than 65%. A fire sprinkler system can:

  • Keep a fire from spreading
  • Prevent a fire from reigniting
  • Limit water damage

Just one or two sprinklers can put out a fire. A standard commercial sprinkler system dispenses six times less water than a fire hose.

Maintain Sprinkler Function

It is a good idea to have the sprinkler system in a commercial property regularly inspected and tested, whether or not a fire has occurred. At least once a year, trained inspectors should:

  • Visually inspect sprinklers
  • Check pressure and water volume
  • Lubricate valves
  • Test the alarm system
  • Test flow and tamper switches

Property owners should also have a sprinkler system inspected whenever the occupancy, use patterns, or layout of a building undergoes a change. Any fluctuations of the water supply, such as a shortage or installation of a backflow prevention system, will necessitate a sprinkler system test.

Repair any fire sprinkler issues that an inspector discovers as soon as possible to prevent fires. If a fire results in damage to a commercial property or fire sprinkler cleanup is needed, the building owner should contact a mitigation and restoration company in Weston, FL.

Why Mold Smells Musty and Other Tidbits

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold removal in Weston,FL

Understanding Mold Smells

If you’ve noticed a musty, mycotoxin caused odor in your Weston, FL, business, odds are that mold may be the cause. Fortunately, there are ways to take care of this problem and prevent it from occurring in the future. When seeking out possible mold there are a few things to understand.

1. What Mold Looks Like

Mold may not always look like the blotchy green growth many people automatically think of. It can also appear fuzzy or in a strand like texture. Similarly, mold can have various colors depending on its location and type. These colors may range from orange or brown, to white, green, grey, and even black.

2. Where the Musty Odor Comes From

As mold grows it releases a secondary metabolite known as a mycotoxin. This is what gives mold the musty scent many people associate with it. Many mold remediation professionals use filtration devices during the cleanup process to help clear the air and remove spores. These not only help get rid of the odor, but can prevent further contamination.

3. How to Prevent Mold Growth

One of the most important steps to remedy mold is prevention of future growth. Understanding the cause of the growth and controlling the moisture in the environment are two ways this can be done. Any leaks should be taken care of as soon as possible, as well as the steps necessary to reduce condensation or humidity in areas like restrooms, or around AC units and ventilation ducts. A mold professional may have additional recommendations for protecting your business.

Understanding that the musty smell can be mycotoxin caused may help you to locate the source and remedy the problem more quickly. It’s also important to know that mold may look different than what many expect. A mold remediation professional may also be able to help with cleanup, sanitation, and prevention of future mold issues.

Potential Damage to Solar Panels After a Storm

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Hail can cause damage to your solar panel in Weston, FL

Elements That Can Cause A Panel Damage

If you have a solar panel on your roof in Weston, FL, you may be worried about the products getting damaged by a storm. There are a variety of elements that can cause panel damage, including the following:

  • High winds
  • Heavy rains
  • Flying debris

Many panels are designed to withstand bad weather. However, some strong storms may still cause damage to the most durable panels on the market.

Wind

High winds can rip solar panels off of your roof. Most panels are designed to withstand winds of up to 140 mph, but this can vary by state. In areas where tornadoes or hurricanes are common, panels may be made with a stronger material to ensure they do not get damaged except in the worst storms. In some cases, the winds may only affect small sections of the panels on your roof.

Water

Heavy rains can cause serious panel and roof damage. If the structure of your roof is weakened, the panels may fall through the deck. If this happens, you may need to hire a storm damage service to fix up the damage done to your roof. Most panels are designed to be watertight, but rain may still make its way into the panels themselves. The insurance policy on your panels may cover water damage.

Impact

Storms can also cause impact damage. This type of solar panel damage can be caused by flying debris or hail. Most panels have a glass surface that can be cracked by stones, branches or hail. However, it usually takes a strong impact to cause any damage because the panels are designed to withstand heavy blows.

Solar panels are a great resource for your house. Because they can be a big investment, they are designed to withstand the negative elements of a storm. If you notice any panel damage after a storm, you may need to assess what caused the damage to figure out how to fix the issue.