Should You Wait for an Adjuster After Storm Damage?
Don't wait for a flood insurance adjuster following adverse weather or flooding in Fort Myers, FL.
After a severe storm or flooding in Fort Myers, FL, you may wonder whether to wait for a flood insurance adjuster before trying to mitigate flood damage. Here are three reasons not to wait before documenting the damage and taking steps to limit the extent of secondary damage to your home.
1. Documentation Is All You Need to File a Claim
An insurance adjuster does not need to witness damage firsthand to process a claim, but you do need to document the damage. Take extensive dated photographic or video evidence. Keep records of possessions, as well as their condition and value, and locate receipts for high-value items if possible. Footage and itemized records should be enough to prove your home and possessions sustained the damage you claim.
2. Adjusters Are Likely To Be Backlogged
Depending on the extent of a flood or storm and how many homes and businesses were affected, it may take adjusters a while to follow up on your flood insurance claims. It is better to document and immediately take steps to mitigate damage to keep conditions in your home from worsening. As a matter of fact, your insurance may not provide as much of a payout if you cannot prove you did everything in your power to limit damage in a timely manner.
3. Secondary Damage Can Start In Hours
The longer water damage sits, the more likely it is that building materials and contents will need to be replaced rather than restored. Mold damage can start to emerge within only 24 to 48 hours following a flood. You should take steps to eliminate the presence of water and moisture in your home as soon as possible.
Don't wait for a flood insurance adjuster following adverse weather or flooding in Fort Myers, FL. Contact water and storm damage specialists if you need assistance with flood damage mitigation or restoration.
Types of Household Mold
Even the most vigilant homeowner can experience an episode of mold growth.
Believe it or not, there are over 100,000 known types of mold on the planet. In the average home in Fort Myers, FL, mold growth likely to be found includes aspergillus and Cladosporium, or perhaps black mold, Stachybotrys Atra. Mold remediation services are usually not difficult to find and can be quite effective at taking care of the problem. Mold is not only unsightly; it can also compromise the integrity of building materials or home furnishings.
Types of Mold and Where They Grow
Mold growth can occur in conditions where there has been water damage due to leaks, floods or excessively high humidity. Common types of household mold include the following:
• Aspergillus is a genus of several hundred mold species. It can grow on food, air conditioning systems, compost, or porous surfaces damaged by water.
• Cladosporium is a genus that grows indoors and outdoors and can exacerbate health effects. Its spores are present in the air and it thrives on live or dead plant material, textiles, and food.
• Stachybotrys Atra is commonly called black mold and often grows in building materials containing cellulose that have been damaged by moisture.
Household Mold Remediation
Though microscopic spores proliferate in the natural world, mold can become a problem if allowed to colonize in a home damaged by excessive moisture, humidity, or flooding. It sometimes, but not always, produces a musty odor that is easily detected.
Addressing the problem in the home begins with remediating the source of moisture. Porous materials that cannot be cleaned, such as drywall, will require replacement. Thoroughly drying the environment is a must to prevent the return of mold after remediation. Keeping home humidity below 45% is recommended to keep mold at bay.
Even the most vigilant homeowner can experience an episode of mold growth. Once detected, a timely response can prevent the spread of damage to building materials and belongings.
What is Category 1 Water Damage?
If the leak is extensive, contact a commercial water damage restoration firm.
Category One water damage is caused by a leak involving clean water. While the affected area may not need to be disinfected, it is important to eliminate all standing water and thoroughly dry the area as soon as possible. Find out more about the origin and risks of a Category One leak.
Where Does Category 1 Water Come From?
There are two common sources of a Category One leak:
• Broken pipe
• Supply line
Exposure to clean leaking water can still cause primary water damage and set the stage for secondary damage such as mold in a commercial property. Handle these leaks just as quickly as you would a leak involving contaminated Category Two gray water or Category Three black water.
How Do You Clean Up Category 1 Water?
Depending on the size of the leak, you may use a mop, towels, a wet vac, or another method for pumping out water. Clean water should not contain pathogens, solid waste, or chemicals, and so the cleanup process is not involved as for Category Two or Three leaks. Leaks involving contaminated water call for cleaning and disinfection. It is still necessary to thoroughly dry the area exposed to excess water to prevent mold from forming.
What Are the Risks of a Category 1 Leak?
A Category One leak can still cause primary water damage and pose a risk of secondary. If water that starts out clean filters through a floor or ceiling, it will become Category Two water and disinfection will become necessary. It is important to address this type of leak as quickly as possible to prevent the situation from becoming more serious.
If you experience a leak of Category One clean water at commercial property in Tice, FL, you may be able to perform cleanup yourself. If the leak is extensive, contact a commercial water damage restoration firm.
An Introduction to Black Mold
SERVPRO of Central Ft. Myers responded to this mold job in a home.
An Overview of Black Mold
With so many news stories about black mold, you may be worried about whether you have mold growing in your home. Before you panic or spend a large sum of money for a mold test in Fort Myers, FL, here are the things you need to know about mold and the signs that you may have it in your house.
What Is It?
Mold is a type of fungus, distantly related to the mushrooms you put in your salad and the yeast used to brew beer and make bread. While much attention has been given to Stachybotrys Chartarum, a species of black mold that is particularly toxic, there are actually many species of mold that appear black. Other species may appear as green, brown, white or even pink.
Mold reproduces by releasing spores, which are carried on the breeze new locations. If the spores land in a moist, dark, warm environment, they will flourish and grow into a large colony. This is what you see on your bathroom tile.
What Makes It Grow in Your Home?
Moisture is the number-one factor that determines where mold grows. If you have any areas in your house that are always damp, then you have prime real estate for mold. The most common causes of excess moisture in houses are:
- Leaks in the roof or around windows and doors
- Broken water supply lines
- Broken water pipes
- Leaking bathtubs or showers
- High humidity
If you don’t have a problem with excess moisture in your home, you likely don’t need to worry about mold.
How Can You Prevent It?
The best way to prevent mold from growing is to prevent moisture build-up. Keep your home in good repair, do regular maintenance on your plumbing and keep rooms well ventilated. If you live in an area where humidity is an issue, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep indoor humidity below 50 percent - 60 percent. If you do notice black mold in your home, don’t attempt to do a mold cleanup on your own. A professional mold remediation service in Fort Myers, FL, can return your home to a healthy state.
Helpful Hints About Toilet Replacement
If you don't be alert to how your toilet works, probably you will have serious water damage.
Suggestions for Toilet Replacement
A toilet is expected to be reliable, and they can last for 30 years or more. But sometimes the porcelain material they are cast in can develop a crack or the tank may break. When that occurs and water begins to escape, it is time to replace the leaking toilet. Here are a few tips to help you master the plumbing repair.
After discovering the leak, there are a few steps to take before you can replace the toilet.
• Before beginning the project, purchase a wax ring gasket, water-supply tube, and toilet.
• There are different types of water a broken toilet can leak. If the toilet bowl itself is leaking, consider calling a professional cleanup crew to make sure the water is not contaminated and hasn’t seeped into your walls and flooring.
• Once the water is removed, allow the area to dry thoroughly.
• Remove all standing water from the toilet tank and toilet bowl.
Once the area is dry and disinfected, you are ready to remove the old toilet.
• Disconnect the water supply line from the toilet.
• Remove the bolts securing the toilet to the floor.
• Lift the cracked toilet away.
• Scrape the wax ring and check flange for cracks.
Time to replace that leaking toilet with a new one.
• Center new wax gasket over the flange.
• Connect the water supply to the toilet base.
• Set the toilet in place over the wax gasket and press softly until the toilet meets the floor.
• Tighten bolts or hex nuts at toilet base.
• Connect water supply to wall shut-off valve.
• Sit on the toilet to compress further and re-tighten bolts.
Once the water is restored to the toilet, flush the unit several times. If water leaks between the toilet and floor, it probably means the wax ring was not properly seated or didn’t seal correctly. To correct the issue, consider installing a new ring to finish the toilet repair.
Don’t be intimidated by an old, cracked toilet. Sure, a leaking toilet can be exasperating in Lehigh Acres, FL, but by following these easy steps, you can quickly replace your broken toilet with a new one.
3 Steps To Take After Sewer Backup Floods Your Commercial Building
Drying equipment in a Whiskey Creek, FL office.
3 Things to Do If Your Commercial Building Is Flooded Due to a Sewer Backup
Flooding in Whiskey Creek, FL, can cause a variety of problems for you and your commercial building. From ruined furniture to soaked inventory, there is much to clean up after a flood. However, one of the most worrisome issues that can result from a flood is a sewer backup. While only a professional restoration and cleanup service should remove contaminated water, there are several steps you can take to protect your business and your employees.
1. Evacuate the Building
When rain water causes flooding and local sewers back up into your building, it is important to get everyone clear of the contaminated water. Sewer water, which is also called black water, contains many pathogens that can transmit harmful viruses to people and animals. Do not let anyone go into the flooded area and seal the entrances as best you can to keep the flood waters contained.
2. Call for Professional Mitigation Services
Calling in a professional storm cleanup crew that specializes in removing sewer backup can reduce the risk of standing water contaminating the floors and walls of the flooded areas. Employees should clear the area during the removal to reduce the risk of coming into contact with black water. You may want to ask the cleanup representative about other services they offer, such as disinfecting and deodorizing affected areas, once the flood waters are removed.
3. Form a Preliminary Time Frame for Reopening
You can work with your cleanup and restoration service to get some idea of when you may be able to reopen your business. Discuss having a mold inspection performed and the soundness of the building checked to ensure the safety of your customers and employees. This can help you set goals for the future and calculate what it might cost you to reopen the doors.
Dealing with a sewer backup at your Whiskey Creek, FL, business can be challenging. However, when you take one step at a time and work with professional restoration services, you can get back to business with a minimum of difficulty.
Three Unexpected Ways FEMA Can Help Your Home Recover From a Storm
FEMA can prove a great asset to your recovery efforts.
FEMA Can Assist Your Home in Three Unexpected Ways After a Storm
After a damaging storm strikes your home in Tice, FL, you may experience flooding and find yourself overwhelmed with a seemingly impossible recovery project. Even smaller storms can create a number of problems for your home:
- Structural damage to your roof and home supports
- Water damage, especially on lower floors
- Broken windows and burst pipes
Though you may struggle to repair all of the damage yourself, FEMA can assist you in finding a firm starting point for your work. With the guidance of its on-site crew and external resources, you can begin repairs in confidence and rebuild your home stronger than ever.
Let Them Assess the Damage
FEMA’s contracted inspectors are experienced professionals who can provide you with a comprehensive overview of the damages your house has suffered and how you should prioritize your repairs. This is especially important after a flood, in which water damage can pose a time-sensitive threat.
Find a Team To Fit Your Needs
After an initial inspection, FEMA can help connect you with the appropriate repair contractor for your home’s damage. Its networks of connections in inspection and repair fields can be broad enough to ensure that whether you’ve suffered fire, flood, or rain damage, you can easily find a team of professionals to expedite and safeguard your repairs.
Get Direct Assistance
Depending on the level of damage your home suffered in the storm, you may also qualify for a governmental grant to help reimburse some of your losses. These supplements can apply to several aspects of recovery, like storage, moving, and essential household item purchases.
Though any storm damage is a significant burden, it becomes even more difficult to manage if you attempt to handle it alone. If you use its services wisely, FEMA can prove a great asset to your recovery efforts; with their help, you can worry less about the present and more about your future.
3 Common Places Mold Pops Up in a Commercial Building
Mold found in Buckingham, FL.
Three Common Places Mold Might Grow
From the musty smell to the discoloration it often causes and the water damage that often accompanies its presence, mold growth has no place in your business. Mold can pop up in some of the most unlikely places, but if you have a good understanding of where to begin your search, you stand a much better chance of getting it under control. Here are its three favorite hiding spots.
Wherever there is high humidity, you will likely find mold. This becomes even more likely if the bathroom has hot water, as warm temperatures are another key ingredient for mold growth. Even worse is when mold finds a nice shadowy corner of the dark cavity behind a wet wall to do its dirty work.
2. Water Heaters
Since warmth and water are likely to encourage mold, it comes as no surprise that water heaters are a favorite hangout spot for mold. As water heaters age, they often begin to rust. This can then lead to rupturing and leaks. If these leaks go ignored, not only does the mold problem worsen, but water damage also becomes a concern.
3. Air Conditioners
Yes, believe it or not, your beloved AC units invite mold in. Like water heaters, they often begin to leak, creating just enough moisture for mold to latch on and grow. This can lead to mold in the HVAC system's drain pans, terminal units, or ductwork, or even beneath the carpet of a floor often dampened by the dripping of a wall unit overhead. This constant dripping from AC units can also lead to water damage over time.
Mold growth in commercial buildings of Buckingham, FL, can prove extremely problematic, but knowing the most likely places mold pops up is an excellent proactive start to finding a solution. Still, for those times when you miss the mark, it’s good to know there are restoration companies to get things back to normal.
3 Causes of Smoky Odors in the Home
SERVPRO of Central Ft. Myers can respond to any fire loss in Lehigh Acres,FL.
Causes Of Smoky Odors In A Home
When smoky odors invade your Lehigh Acres,FL home, it can be difficult to erase them. Air fresheners and scented candles may mask the odor for a short time, but it usually returns. Calling in an odor detection and cleanup service can be effective when it comes to smoke cleaning, but knowing what is causing this smell in the first place and being able to describe it to the cleanup techs might make the resolution process simpler.
Tobacco smoke can cause discoloration in your home’s walls and ceilings over time, and drapes, carpeting and drywall all absorb the smoke odor. The trapped smoky smell then lingers and may even become more powerful if people in your home continue to smoke indoors. An odor removal company can use hot water extraction and other cleaning methods to remove tobacco smoke smell from your home permanently.
2. Small Fires
A small kitchen or utility room fire can leave behind a smoky smell that might linger for weeks. This can be especially true if the space is enclosed. The smell might be especially noticeable if the room’s doors and windows are closed. Smoke damage technicians can bring in ozone machines that clean the air instead of masking or temporarily reducing the intensity of the smell.
3. Fireplace Odors
A cozy fireplace can make time spent indoors over the winter quite pleasant, but when spring comes, you may notice a lingering smoke odor from the dozens of fires you lit over the season. Even efficient fireplaces can cause this type of smell, which can become trapped in your drapes, upholstered furniture and carpeting. A professional smoke cleaning service has access to thermal foggers and air filtration machines that remove these lingering smells for good.
Having smoke cleaning performed in your Lehigh Acres,FL home can eradicate offensive smoky smells, no matter their cause. Being able to target their source may be the first step toward fresher, cleaner air for you and your family to enjoy.
Residential Flooding: 3 Types of Secondary Damage
Damp conditions can make any affected area the perfect place for mold growth.
When flooding affects your Fort Myers, FL, home, your first priority will likely be to call in a professional flood damage and cleanup service to drain away the water and to help you salvage your possessions. However, the after-effects of a flood can continue to harm your home, even after the waters have receded. From black mold to damaged insulation, there are several ways flooding can cost you plenty once the water has disappeared.
1. Humidity Problems
Once flood waters are drained from your home, dampness may remain. Over time, this can cause humidity levels in your home to rise, which might force wood floors and furniture to swell and warp. Porous materials, such as drywall, can weaken. Running fans and air conditioning in affected rooms can help you prevent high humidity levels.
2. Mold Growth
Damp conditions can make any affected area of your home the perfect place for mold growth. Black mold, which can be difficult to eliminate once it starts to take hold on a home, is especially common after flooding. Ask your cleanup crew to check for mold and treat areas that may have been affected, especially dark spaces like basements and under cabinets.
3. Rotting Insulation
Black mold is not the only problem that may go unnoticed after a flood. Insulation can suffer as well, especially if it is installed behind an affected wall. Drywall can absorb water during a flood, causing damage to the interior wall. Once insulation becomes wet or starts to rot, it cannot be cleaned and must be replaced instead. You may want to ask your restoration experts to perform a flood cut and inspect your interior walls and any insulation that it contains.
Secondary damage from flooding can cause serious problems for you and your Fort Myers, FL, home. However, being aware of these potential problems can better prepare you to face them if a sudden water emergency should happen.