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Do You Suspect Mold in the Air Ducts?

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Do You Suspect Mold in the Air Ducts? Mold in your air ducts in Buckingham,FL

Mold in your air ducts in Buckingham,FL, is a bigger problem than you may realize. You building occupants are breathing in air that has passed through the HVAC system and that air is often full of moisture and dust, which are exactly what mold needs to thrive.

Confirm Suspicions

You are probably reading this because you suspect that you have mold in your air ducts and need an HVAC cleaning. Why is it you think you have mold there? Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you see some discoloration or small dark specks near the vents?
  • Do you feel excessive moisture in the air?
  • Do you see condensation?
  • Do you smell a musty smell?
  • If you notice a smell, is it more obvious when the HVAC system is running?

Chances are, your brain has already put all this information together and you know you have a mold problem. If you do smell mold, but don’t see it, have a professional come out for an HVAC inspection. When hiring a contractor for cleaning vents, be sure that you they have experience working with mold.

Stop the Source

During the HVAC cleaning, make sure your contractor finds the source of the moisture problem. Having mold means there is a definite moisture problem. Mold problems don’t go away until the moisture problem is resolved. Sometimes it is just a matter of the environmental humidity. A professional mold remediator will have tools to monitor the humidity levels in your building and to find hidden mold in your air ducts. With sources identified, solutions can be planned and executed.

Protect and Contain

A mold specialist will take the critical steps to ensure safety during the HVAC cleaning. Mold and dust removal from the ducts is a two-step process: the first being agitation and loosening of the mold and the second is the removal of that loosened mold. You definitely don’t want that material blowing around your building. Choosing the right professional will ensure that the loosened particles are contained and removed.

Fact or Fiction: Commercial Fire Sprinklers

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Fact or Fiction: Commercial Fire Sprinklers A fire sprinkler system at your commercial property in Lehigh Acres,FL is an important investment

Commercial Fire Sprinkler

On television, a fire erupts and the sprinklers go off. Immediately, the water drenches everyone and everything in sight. Is this how it happens in real life? Read on to understand the realities and myths of the commercial fire sprinkler.

1. Fiction: Smoke Initiates the Sprinkler System

Cigarette smoking or burnt microwave popcorn does not trigger the sprinklers. A sprinkler activates based on the air temperature, which is different from a smoke alarm system.

2. Fiction: Sprinklers Immediately Soak the Entire Premises

Each individual sprinkler is triggered by the air temperature in that specific room. Therefore, it is possible for sprinklers to go off in some areas and not others.

3. Fiction: Accidental Activation is Common

Although possible, accidental activation rarely occurs. Take the following steps to prevent an unintentional sprinkler shower in your building:

  • Maintain the fire sprinkler system by checking for leaky pipes.
  • Inspect pipes for appropriate pressure on a regular basis. Sprinklers use pressurized water to suppress the flames.

4. Fact: Sprinklers Cause Water Damage

After the flames are out, most business owners consider repairs due to fire damage, but few realize that water from fire suppression efforts causes problems too. Mitigate fire sprinkler cleanup by performing the following steps:

  • In the case of unintentional activation, or once the fire is out, turn off the main water supply. If electricity is live at the property, consider your safety and wait for professionals to arrive.
  • Protect your valuables. If possible, move inventory to a dry location. Open windows to increase ventilation.
  • Contact a water restoration company to dry and restore the water-damaged areas. Mold growth occurs in as little as 24-48 hours, so act fast to prevent secondary damage.
  • Inquire whether water damage is covered under your commercial property insurance.

A fire sprinkler system at your commercial property in Lehigh Acres,FL, is an important investment. While it may initially cause water damage, this fire suppression device ultimately saves property and lives.

Homeowners Guide To Ice Dams

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Homeowners Guide To Ice Dams If you discover an ice dam at your Buckingham,FL home contact a storm restoration professional

Whether you have lived in a cold climate all of your life or recently moved to Buckingham,FL, a winter storm is a force to be reckoned with. One aspect many homeowners do not know a lot about is the ice dam. What is it? Can it be prevented?

Tips To Identify an Ice Dam

Just as dams are constructed to hold water back, the same concept occurs on the exterior of your home. Snow melts into water which then freezes. The block of ice prevents further water from draining, creating a dam effect. This may be happening to your home if you notice the following:

  • The most common place that dams occur is on the roof. Inspect the roof throughout the season, especially after a winter storm cycle where the weather fluctuates.
  • Pay close attention to the icicles. If there is water backed up behind them with no place to go, you may have a problem.
  • When dams are present, the water likely finds a way into your house. Examine the attic, ceiling and walls for evidence of dampness.

Steps for Ice Dam Prevention

The good news is that there are steps you can take to help prevent ice dams both before and during the winter storm season:

  • Before there is a chill in the air, take actions to keep your attic cool. Heat rising from the house to the roof melts snow faster causing problems later on. Consider increasing insulation, sealing openings and improving ventilation.
  • During the freezing weather remove rooftop snow after storms, keep gutters clear and remove identified dams as needed.

Sometimes ice dam prevention methods are not sufficient. If you discover an ice dam at your house in Buckingham,FL, it is best to act quickly to prevent further damage. Contact a storm restoration professional and check with your homeowners’ insurance agent to see if the damage is covered under your individual policy.

Learn Common Fire Causes to Reduce Your Risk

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Learn Common Fire Causes to Reduce Your Risk Toddlers are a leading cause of fire damage in your Buckingham,FL home

Learning about leading causes of home fires may help you make changes that can reduce your family’s risk of experiencing such devastation in Buckingham,FL. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) gathers and reports information on fire causes. Based on their findings,

Here is some useful information on the top sources of home fires:

  1. Cooking Fires
    According to NFPA, 47% of home structure fires were caused by cooking. The majority of these incidents happen while using the stovetop. To prevent kitchen fires, don’t cook when you are sleepy or under the influence, and always stay in the kitchen while cooking with high heat, especially frying. If you are slow-cooking, such as for braising or roasting, don’t leave home.
  2. Heating Equipment
    To prevent a home fire from a heater or fireplace, make sure everyone in your home knows the 3-foot-zone rule: keep all materials and people at least three feet from any heat source. Use a screen in front of your fireplace to protect from sparks and have your chimney cleaned every year. Make sure ashes are completely cool before storing them away from the house in a sturdy, lidded, metal container. Before going to bed, make sure fires are out and space heaters are off.
  3. Electrical or Lighting
    When using appliances, prevent a home fire by plugging in only one heat-producing appliance per outlet. This includes small appliances like toasters, waffle makers, and hot plates. Never use extension cords or power strips for major appliances. Always use the right lightbulb wattage for each fixture.
  4. Juvenile Fires
    Male children are more likely to start a home fire. Surprisingly, most children that start fires are under the age of six. 52% of these fires were started with lighters. Just keeping lighters and matches out of reach of children can help reduce your family’s risk.


Fires can be devastating, but you can educate your family about the risks and safe practices to counter those risks. If you have a fire in your home, you can count on disaster specialists to help with all parts of your recovery: from mitigation and fire cleaning to rebuilding.

3 Ways To Prepare for High Winds

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Ways To Prepare for High Winds Prepare for high winds in Lehigh Acres,FL

High winds can cause extensive damage to a commercial property. If a hurricane, tornado, or strong winds tear off roofing materials or flying debris breaks a window, this can compromise the integrity of the building envelope and lead to significant storm or water damage. Here are three ways to prepare for intense wind or hurricane damage.

1. Inspect the Building

Schedule regular inspections of a commercial property to ensure that the exterior is in good shape and ask about ways to fortify a building against winds. Openings such as doors and windows and the roof are some of the most important and vulnerable parts of any structure. Strong winds can rip off shingles or other roofing materials and a hurricane or tornado can even tear the roof off of a building.

2. Install Shutters or Board Up Windows

Heavy winds tend to pick up debris that can break windows. If your property is located in a region with a high risk of hurricane damage, you should consider investing in the installation of storm shutters. You can also protect the interior of a building by boarding windows up with plywood.

3. Reduce Potential Debris

Heavy tree branches can fall and damage the roof or structure of a building. Have dead or overhanging branches trimmed on a regular basis. You should also strap down or store outdoor objects such as trash containers or moveable seating when the forecast calls for high winds. Planning ahead can help to limit the amount of wind damage a building sustains.

If flying debris compromises any part of the building envelope, it may result in flooding if rain is present. In addition to storm damage, this exposure can raise the risk of mold. Quickly resolve wind or hurricane damage by relying on the expertise of a commercial storm damage cleanup and restoration company located in Lehigh Acres,FL.

3 Steps for Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Steps for Preventing Water Damage in Your Home Water pipe break in Fort Myers,FL

It's hard to fully appreciate the impact of the damage caused by water in home until you've actually experienced it. One of the most expensive losses suffered by homeowners happens when they have a broken pipe or other cause of water damage. Fortunately, regular maintenance and annual inspections can go a long way toward preventing those losses. Even without understanding the potential devastation, you can still take steps to prevent damage from happening.

1. Check Out the HVAC System

You may discover drips or leaks if the appliances in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system aren't functioning properly. You should never see water coming from your indoor units (other than minor "sweat" on the indoor evaporator coil.) If there's ever enough water to cause a drip, you may have trouble. You should also be on the lookout for ice build-up on the indoor coil. Regular maintenance is a great way to spot trouble early on, so you can make minor repairs before you have expensive damages on your hands.

2. Put Appliances on Your Calendar

Appliances such as dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers, and refrigerators are common causes of leaking water in home. You can avoid a lot of damage by routinely inspecting hoses and connections. Keep appliance vents clean and clear. Watch out for corrosion and leaks. These quick and easy steps don't take long and are very effective at preventing water damage.

3. Make Friends With a Plumber

You may not notice a broken pipe until you have significant damage and lots of expenses due to pipe cleanup without regular visits from a plumber. Leaks from the toilet, bathtub, shower, or sink could happen behind the walls or under the floor. As soon as you notice unpleasant or musty smells, condensation on pipes, or puddles of water, contact a plumber. You should also act quickly if you notice an unusual spike in your monthly water bill.

Don't wait until you have to call a Fort Myers, FL restoration specialist to take action. Prevent water in home damages with consistent maintenance and routine inspections.

Minimizing Water Damage in Buildings After Flooding

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Minimizing Water Damage in Buildings After Flooding Kitchen damaged from storm and water.

Owning real estate is a wonderful investment and offers people many great advantages. This is certainly true whether it is residential property or commercial property. However, there are times when owning property can come with some heavy burdens. This is certainly true when mother-nature proves to be less than friendly. While Floridians have a reasonable climate year round the semi tropical zone is subject to its fair share of inclement weather conditions that can prove to be difficult to deal with at times.

While properties along both the east and west coast of the state are often subjected to the more problematic extremes, all regions in the state can be exposed to weather related property damage. Since the state is well known to have frequent storms it is not unusual for different regions of the state to be battling property damage in the course of a year due to inclement weather conditions.

Flooding in Ft. Myers

While there are a variety of different types of property and structural damage situations that can arise one of the more prevalent damages that often occurs for people who are Floridians is damage from flood waters. This is also known as water created damage. When a storm hits the regions, water damage can be a significant problem in areas that are prone to heavy rains, intense storm systems, floods and hurricanes.

All of these inclement weather situations are ones that are very familiar to people in Ft. Myers, FL. While there are other reasons water damage can occur such as burst pipes and broken water heaters, some of the most prevalent problems creating water in home or water in business structures is due to weather related situation that are not uncommon to Florida. When dealing with any flood damage, the best way to begin the repair process of water in home or water in business structures is through a process known as mitigation.

The process of mitigation involves removing excess water and drying out the structure so that damage is mitigated and or reduced.

The first step in that process involves pumping out excess water as flooding water recedes. This is an important step in reducing further structural and electrical damage that can be caused when water sits inside a structure for any length of time. The next step involves a process that will take any remaining water out of the buildings walls and floors. This drying process is created when a heated air movement system that eradicates excess water is put into the building and used to evaporate any excess water that cannot be vacuumed up or pumped out. The heated air movement process is more thorough in getting inside walls and floors as compared to other types of drying systems.

Today through advanced technology the good news is that Floridians from the Ft. Myers, FL, area that are faced with a water damage or flood damage situation can get relief and restore their property to structural integrity with the right dry air mitigation process

Weathering the Storm: What To Do Until Help Arrives

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Weathering the Storm: What To Do Until Help Arrives Severe storms can cause devastating damage to your Ft. Myers home or business

Ft. Myers, FL, experiences severe weather several times a year, and getting caught in any one of these weather events can be intimidating; however, it is in the aftermath that most people feel lost and confused. When a storm is over, and you’ve survived, it is common to experience some degree of shock; therefore, it is a good idea to get comfortable with the following storm tips, so that in moments of shock you will have something to fall back on.

1. Evaluate Your Safety

The main thing to do after a storm is to evaluate your safety. You should check your surroundings for any potential dangers, like downed power lines, broken glass, or weakened structures, and get clear of these areas if at all possible. If you find that you are trapped and are near a cell phone, try and call 911. If you are not near a phone, make noises consistently to help people find you.

2. Avoid Hazardous Areas

If you can safely get out of your home, it is essential that you remain safe by avoiding any other potentially hazardous areas. While your home may not have been safe, that doesn’t mean that the outside is any more reliable. You still need to be on the lookout for potential risks. Most storm tips suggest finding a safe structure or a clearing that is free of debris or damage.

3. Perform Basic Clean Up

When the chaos of the storm has settled and you have found a safe place; you may be able to assist your neighbors and friends in some necessary cleanup efforts. The idea is that anyone who has been injured in the storm or those who have lost all of their belongings will need a clean area to rest until help arrives; therefore, those who are able should help in preparing this space.

Severe storm damage can be a devastating thing to witness and survive, and, while these storm tips may help you in the event of such an experience, the main thing to keep in mind is just to stay safe.

Is a Small Business Claim Hiding in Your Pipes?

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Is a Small Business Claim Hiding in Your Pipes? Water related damage can cause a burden on your business

Plumbing problems in your building can hit your pockets hard. Insurance provider The Hartford released a study showing that the eighth most expensive business claim is freezing pipes and water damage. The average claim is $17,000. Any business in Ft. Myers, FL, is at risk of unforeseen plumbing hazards. Keep reading to learn more about preventing these costly mishaps.

Plumbing Disaster Prevention

A pipe break in your building isn't fun — and neither is filing a business insurance claim. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the possibility of ending up in this situation. Consider following these simple maintenance tips:

• Place non-waterproof items above floor level
• Seal gaps and cracks in your property's foundation and exterior
• Know how to turn off the building's main water supply after a pipe breaks
• Remove snow and ice from the roof
• Clear drains, downspouts and gutters
• Keep the building's heating at or above 55 degrees
• Cover and insulate exposed pipes

Business Insurance Coverage

Commercial property insurance may omit coverage for water damage, depending on its source. For instance, the policy may cover costs associated with pipe breaks but not rainfall, flooding or sewage backups. In most cases, mold-related hazards are excluded. However, you can have your insurer add this coverage to your policy, which is known as an endorsement or "rider." So, if you need to file a business claim, you can have confidence knowing your merchandise, paperwork, furnishings and building are well-protected.

Water-related damage can take a huge bite out of your profits. You need insurance so if you have to file a business claim you'll be covered. Also, take preventive measures to avoid the hassle of pipes freezing and bursting. If you do encounter a major emergency, it's ideal to bring in a reputable commercial cleanup company in Ft. Myers, FL, to handle the job. By doing this, you can return to the daily operations of your business much faster.

For more on Ft. Myers click here

Renter’s Insurance Covers Mold in Common-Sense Situations

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Renter’s Insurance Covers Mold in Common-Sense Situations Moldy wall damage

Defense against mold in a multiple dwelling is a team effort. It’s you, your fellow tenants and your landlord vs. the mold. Your role is to make mold unwelcome in your living space. Rental insurance is your partner but there are some simple but important rules to remember.


1. If You See Mold and Plan to File a Claim, Contact Your Agent Immediately


Relatively speaking, mold damage starts small and gets worse in slow motion. If you deal with a mold problem right away, it’s probably an easy cleanup. If you are slow to file a claim, the mold will continue to grow, and the delay will increase the risk of having the insurance company deny it. Their position will be that any increase in damage from the time that you first observed it to the time you filed the claim is your responsibility. (Hint: When you file the claim, take pictures of the mold so that the adjuster can see the extent of the damage at the time you reported it.)


2. Mold Cleanup Is Covered If the Original Water Damage Was Covered


If your space has experienced water damage, and if the repair of water damage was covered by your rental insurance, then any mold that grows because of the residual moisture is also covered. This, of course, assumes that you report it to the insurance company right away.


3. Some Mold Cleanup Is Not Covered


Not all rental policies are alike. Your agent can help you understand under what circumstances mold removal is and is not covered. One example of mold damage probably not covered is mold that results from flooding. Another is mold that appears in bathrooms and other areas that are inherently moist.


Mold Cleanup Needs to Happen Quickly


It should be removed quickly and completely, and your rental insurance is there to help. Local mold removal specialists are available in Ft. Myers, FL, to do the work and get it right the first time.

For more on Ft. Myers click here.