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Common Types of Property Damage After a Hurricane

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

Green van parked in front of a house, two white bags full of trash on sidewalk If your house or place oof business has been damaged, call a professional disaster restoration company right away!

Wind damage, water damage, fire and smoke damage, and mold damage are some of the most common types of property damage that occur after a hurricane. Here is more information about each:

Wind Damage

Wind damage is the most common type of property damage after a hurricane. Wind damage can be caused by any storm that causes strong winds, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Wind damage can include broken windows and roof shingles being ripped off the top of your house. In addition to causing structural problems with your home’s exterior, wind storms often cause large amounts of debris in lawns and fields that need removing before they become a safety hazard.

Water Damage

Water damage may be caused by flooding, storm surge, or broken pipes. The water can cause mold to grow, which can lead to health problems for you and your family. The water can also cause structural damage and electrical problems that make it unsafe for you to live in your home. When you have this kind of property damage after a hurricane, it's important that you get help right away so that the problem doesn't get worse and cost more money than necessary.

Fire and Smoke Damage

Fire and smoke damage are two of the most common types of property damage after a hurricane. Both are caused by a lack of electricity and ventilation, respectively. Fire damage can be prevented by having fire extinguishers in your home, but it may not help much if you don't have power to activate them when they're needed. Smoke damage can be reduced by ventilating your home once the storm has passed and before resuming use.

Mold Damage

Mold damage is the result of water and moisture beginning to grow mold in your home. Mold can spread quickly, so it’s important to get rid of it as soon as possible. The most common way for mold to grow is through leaks or water damage. If you live in a hurricane-prone area or have lived through one before, then you may have experienced some form of mold since hurricanes leave behind lots of standing water that can lead to the growth of this dangerous fungus.

Mold will usually start growing on porous surfaces such as drywall and wood paneling where they are able to find food sources like dust particles or dead skin cells from humans living in those environments (and even pets). If there is any moisture present, then the spores can begin growing rapidly into colonies that spread throughout an entire room very quickly!

Flood Damage

Flood damage is a type of water damage that can occur when water enters a building. Flood damage can be caused by storm surge, heavy rain or snow melt, overflowing rivers and streams, or burst pipes. To avoid flood damage to your home after a hurricane:

  • Keep flood insurance in place if you have it on your property. If not, consider purchasing it now before another hurricane season arrives.
  • Make sure all appliances have backsplashes that direct water to the drain when they are used; this will prevent clogs in your drains and keep them from backing up into other parts of the house like walls and floors.
  • Keep gutters clean so that leaves don't clog them during heavy rainstorms or hurricanes that bring high winds along with them

The aftermath of a hurricane is devastating, but it’s important to know that there are ways to recover. If you have experienced damage to your Burnt Store, FL home or business, contact an experienced disaster restoration company right away!

Fire Prevention for Your Home

12/16/2022 (Permalink)

Man installing a smoke alarm You should have smoke alarms on every floor of your home.

Fires can be devastating to you and your loved ones. Fires start every day and they can spread quickly. A fire that starts in a kitchen is the most common type of home fire, followed by fires started by smoking materials. When you are at home, always think about what kinds of things could cause a fire in your house and make sure you take precautions to prevent them from happening.

Multi-Purpose Fire Extinguisher

You should be sure to have a fire extinguisher in your home that is rated for all types of fires. The most common type of fire extinguisher is a multi-purpose one (rated A,B,C and K), but there are other options available as well.

The most important thing is to make sure you know how to use it! You don't want to cause more damage and make the situation worse by using an extinguisher incorrectly. Make sure everyone in the house knows how to use their own individual fire extinguishers as well so that everyone can help out if there's ever an emergency at home.

It's also important to have a plan for what you will do if a fire breaks out while no one else is around. This includes knowing when it's okay or not okay to call 911 (and who goes first) and having any evacuation plans ready in case someone needs rescuing from their rooms upstairs or outside windows/doors are blocked off by flames/smoke etc.

Smoke Alarms

You should have smoke alarms on every floor of your home. In fact, you should have one in every single room. The idea is that it's better to have too many than not enough: this way, you're protected in case something goes wrong with one (or two) of them.

We also suggest installing photoelectric smoke alarms because they're able to detect smoldering fires—like those caused by cigarettes or candles—whereas ionization units only alert people to flaming fires. This type of alarm will go off when there's just smoke in the air before there are flames visible; therefore, you'll be alerted quicker and be able to take action more efficiently!

Where do we recommend installing these alarms? It's best practice for any homeowner to place them 10 feet from any area where someone sleeps (i.e., bedrooms), but some states require them within 5 feet instead. They should go up high enough so that children can't reach them; additionally, if possible try placing them away from doors inside closets so they aren't accidentally disabled when people walk through their vicinity frequently throughout daily activities like changing clothes or getting ready for bedtime!

Practice, Practice, Practice

Have an escape plan in place for your family, and make sure to practice it twice a year. Make sure everyone in the house knows the plan. Test all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once a month and change the batteries when necessary (each time you change clocks for daylight savings time).

Remove Fire Hazards

The best way to prevent a fire in your home is to remove or relocate any items that could catch fire. If you have items such as clothing, blankets, and furniture on display, store them in a closet or other out-of-the-way place until they're needed.

Flammable liquids should be stored in tightly sealed containers, ideally away from heat sources. Smoking materials should never be left unattended. When cooking on the stovetop, keep an eye on the food without looking away for too long; if something catches fire or begins smoking excessively it's time to turn off your burner immediately!

Never leave heating appliances unattended while they're operating—if you walk away from it for even a few seconds it could cause serious damage to your home!

Never leave lighters or matches out where children can find them. Teach your child about fire safety and what to do if they see a fire. If you have children under six years old, make sure that all portable electric heaters are unplugged when not in use.

Don’t Overload Outlets

It's important to not overload electrical outlets or extension cords because doing so can lead to fires. If you're going to plug something in, do so only where the outlet is designed for the item being plugged in (for example, a lamp should only be plugged into an outlet that's specifically designed for lighting).

Lit Candles

Never put lit candles near curtains, upholstery or other flammable materials.

If you are having a party or gathering, make sure everyone knows to never leave a burning candle unattended and that it is okay if they do not want candles at their table.

Candles are great for adding ambiance but, like anything else in your home, can pose fire risks if not handled properly. If you have children in the house and keep candles around, make sure they know not to play with them—and always keep an eye on them when they're nearby!

Space Heaters

Space heaters are a great way to warm up your home on chilly days and nights. But remember, they can pose a fire risk if not used properly.

  • Always keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including curtains and furniture.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended when it’s on or even off!
  • Never use a space heater if you’re drowsy or under the influence of drugs or alcohol (especially those containing alcohol).

The most important thing is to be able to recognize the signs of a fire in your home so that you can act quickly. Having a plan is also important, but having one and practicing it regularly will ensure everyone knows what to do when an emergency does occur. If your Punta Gorda home or business does catch on fire, give SERVPRO of Punta Gorda a call! 

Why Does My Toilet Leak Every Time I Flush?

11/5/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking toilet from base A leaky toilet can be fixed.

What To Do When Your Toilet Is Leaking?

If you have a leaky toilet every time you flush, your first thought may be that the toilet needs to be replaced. Sometimes this is true, but there are other factors that can cause leaks that don't involve replacing the entire system.

In this article we'll cover some common causes of leaking toilets and what you can do about them.

Issues with the tank and the toilet installation.

The tank is installed too low. The most common cause of this issue is a misaligned wax ring, which you can read about below.

The toilet is not level. This can be caused by a loose installation or an old wax ring that has become misshapen over time, and it's remedied by simply adjusting the toilet until it's level again.

The wax ring isn't properly installed or broken. A high-quality wax seal around the base of your toilet will prevent leaking from occurring, but this seal needs to be kept in good condition if you want to avoid leaks entirely—if there are cracks or tears in the old seal, then water can seep under them and leak out into your bathroom every time someone flushes their toilet!

Your toilet itself may be broken; check for any loose parts inside your tank before proceeding with any other repairs (and make sure everything looks like it should).

Your tank flange might also need replacing; if so, contact us today at (941) 575-5910 and we'll help get things flowing smoothly again!

Dry wax ring or improper installation

Sometimes a wax ring can dry out and need replacing. A wax ring is the seal between your toilet base and the floor. If your wax ring is cracked or broken, water will leak from under your toilet every time you flush it.

This can be corrected by simply replacing the wax ring with a new one. This should be done every 5-7 years, or if there has been any plumbing work done in that area of your bathroom (such as removing tiles).

Tank flange can be broken or tank not tightened

If your toilet flushes and leaks water, the problem could be that your tank flange is broken or not tightened correctly. To fix this issue, you'll need to tighten it and/or replace it if necessary.

SERVPRO of Punta Gorda

You can count on SERVPRO of Punta Gorda to be ready to respond 24/7, with emergency services available any time you need us. Whether you have a full-scale emergency or a simple plumbing leak, we’re dedicated to being fast and thorough when restoring your home. SERVPRO is the #1-rated water damage company in the U.S., and we provide professional, certified technicians using advanced equipment for the best possible outcome. We can help you with:

  • Professional water removal
  • Expert drying procedures
  • Mold remediation

The good news is that a leaky toilet can be fixed. Whether your leak is coming from the tank or the bowl, SERVPRO of Punta Gorda can help you. We have years of experience dealing with all types of leaks and can get your home back in order quickly by using advanced water damage restoration techniques. Our team will assess the damage and provide you with a plan so that your home doesn’t suffer even more damage while we work on fixing it up!

Electronics Cleaning After a Fire

10/14/2022 (Permalink)

electronic device damaged by smoke Electronics cleaning after a fire is possible.

Cleaning Electronics After a Fire

When a fire damages your electronic equipment, it can be difficult to know where to turn. You want to get the items cleaned and restored as soon as possible so that you can put the whole ordeal behind you. However, there are many different types of electronic equipment and each type requires different cleaning methods. If you do not clean these items properly, they could become damaged beyond repair or even cause injury if they are used without cleaning first.

There are many ways that your electronic devices and appliances can be damaged. A fire, flood, storm, or water leak can cause damage to the internal workings of your devices and leave them irreparable. An electrical storm can also cause damage to electronics.

If you have experienced any of these events, it is important that you understand how to properly clean electronics after a fire or other disaster has occurred.

How to Clean Electronics

You should remove all power cords, batteries, and other accessories before cleaning your device. Turn off the device, unplug it from the electrical outlet and then wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth to gently remove any visible dirt or dust. Dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth.

If you want to go deeper than that, you can use rubbing alcohol on cotton swabs to clean out any smaller crevices on your electronic equipment (don’t forget to let them air-dry). To get rid of stubborn stains or discoloration caused by smoke damage, try using toothpaste—just make sure not to rub too hard when scrubbing!

Finally, you will want to plug your electronics in and make sure they function properly. 

Follow These Steps Carefully

Electronics cleaning after a fire is possible, but it requires skilled labor to ensure the items will function properly again.

If you lost your electronics in a fire and are wondering whether they can be salvaged, take heart: there is hope! Your devices may not look quite as nice as before the fire, but if they’re still working then there’s no reason why you shouldn't be able to use them. However, before trying to clean up any damage from the smoke and soot that's sure to have accumulated on your damaged devices, make sure that they actually still work. This can be accomplished by plugging them into an outlet or powering them up with batteries (if applicable). If these steps fail to yield results—and if you're certain your devices don't have any water damage—then move on to step two: cleaning off any visible grime or ash left behind by smoke inhalation using cotton swabs dipped in glass cleaner or alcohol wipes; this should help remove most of what has been deposited onto surfaces such as screens and keyboards. Finally, once these initial steps have been taken care of successfully without damaging anything further inside those electronic items which might still need some attention like CPUs (central processing units) or motherboards

We understand that the damage caused by a fire can be overwhelming. But we’re here to help. Our experienced technicians will work with you to clean and restore your electronic equipment after it has been damaged by fire or smoke. We offer competitive rates on all of our services so that you get quality service at an affordable price point. Contact us today for more information about how we can help!

3 Ways to Avoid Fire Hazards When Preparing Meals

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Pot in flames Don't leave your stovetop unattended.

Prepare Your Meals as Safe as Possible

Cooking on the stove is something most people do when preparing meals in Cleveland, FL. Making the wrong decision when cooking could quickly lead to a small or large fire. If you’d like to prepare your meals as safely as possible, these three tips may come in handy for you.

1. Don’t leave your stovetop unattended. If you’re preparing a meal on the stove, don’t leave it unattended. Some people make the mistake of going into another room or getting distracted by certain appliances, such as the phone and television. If you’re not paying close attention to the stove and you’re cooking with oil, a grease fire could happen

2. Avoid using the highest flame setting. If you don’t have to cook with a high flame, make sure you don’t. It’s one of the simple tips that is often forgotten. You may be in a rush to prepare something, so you think it’s a good idea to set the flame on high. Unfortunately, that could lead to an unintentional fire.

3. Keep paper towels far away from the stovetop. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your roll of paper towels too close to the stovetop. You may have a roll of paper towels out because you’re wiping down surfaces in the kitchen while cooking, but leaving the roll too close to the stove could quickly become a problem that leads to fire damage in the home.

If you’re ever in a situation where fire erupts in your kitchen, there are experts who can help with the restoration process. However, it’s best to avoid such a dangerous situation by following this helpful set of tips in Cleveland, FL. If you’d like to avoid fire hazards, make sure you’re paying attention to the food you’re cooking on the stove, not using the highest flame setting, and keeping your paper towels and other paper products far away from the stovetop.

Avoiding Candle Fire Damage in Your Home

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Battery operated candles Battery-operated candles are a great option for ambiance.

Avoid a Candle Fire With The Following Safety Tips

People in Punta Gorda, FL, use candles in their homes for many reasons, such as religious rites, aromatherapy, ambiance, and light during power outages. As with any open flame indoors, candle burning is a fire hazard and should be done with proper care and vigilance. You can avoid candle fire and the resulting smoke cleanup by following these safety tips:

1. Candle Placement

Always place lit candles at least one foot from any flammable items like curtains, upholstery and carpets. Make sure candles are sitting on smooth, solid surfaces and kept away from hair and lose clothing. Burning candles should never be left unattended, especially in bedrooms and smaller spaces like bathrooms or home offices. Always extinguish candles completely before leaving the room, and never use candles in homes where medical oxygen is present.

2. Candle Containment

When using candles in the home, always place them in sturdy holders to prevent them from tipping over. Hurricane glass covers or heavy glass containers are safer than single candlestick holders, and floating candles are even safer. If a candle must burn continuously for religious purposes, place it in a filled sink or a deep basin of water when it’s unattended. It’s also a good idea to not let candles burn down completely. Put them out before the flame gets too close to the candle holder.

3. Candle Alternatives

Of course, the safest option is to not burn candles at all. Battery-operated candles are a great option for ambiance, while flameless candles give the look and smell of real candles without the danger of candle fire. For aromatherapy, try essential oil diffusers in place of candles, and prepare for power outages by having flashlights and other battery-powered lighting options on hand.

Candle fire in Punta Gorda, FL, can result in the need for smoke cleanup, which should only be done by experienced cleanup professionals. Avoid the problem by keeping these tips in mind.

Important Watertight Features of Your Building

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Severe roof leaking Roof leak in Solana, FL.

How To Keep Water Out Of Your Commercial Property

If you expect your Solana, FL, building to keep water out during a storm, you need to make sure it is watertight. A leaky roof, for example, can lead to rain damage even in the mildest of storms. As you try to figure out how to keep water out of your commercial property, you need to think about the watertight elements, including the following:

  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Windows

Checking out these features before the stormy season can help you reduce the need for a commercial restoration specialist.


Roofing

This system acts as the top layer of your building envelope. Not only do the shingles play a role in keeping moisture from seeping into your building, but so does the underlayment, edging and roof deck. You need to make sure every component of your roof is in top shape to ensure your property is at its best.

Siding

The siding and sheathing work together to create a watertight barrier around the sides of your building. Cracked or warped siding could allow rain damage to affect your property. Even a loose board could spell disaster if the wind gets strong enough to rip it off.

Windows

The doors and windows of your property act as a vulnerable point. Rain may be able to pool along with the frames of the fixtures if they are not properly installed. When water seeps through the frames, you may end up with black mold growth in places you don't want it. Before a storm hits, you need to check each window and door to make sure the weather stripping is in good condition. You could also check the panes and jambs for signs of defects.

The building envelope helps keep the rain damage to a minimum. If any part of this system is damaged or missing, you may end up with a lot of water in your space after any storm. It may be beneficial to hire a professional inspector.

3 Questions About Mold Growth in Homes

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage on wall Mold growth is understandably concerning, and it’s wise to take care of it as soon as possible.

Three Questions About Mold Growth

Most homeowners don’t worry about mold until the dreadful day when it’s found inside their Burnt Store, FL, home. Mold is understandably concerning, and it’s wise to take care of it as soon as possible. Fortunately, there is no need to panic because mold remediation specialists are available to help with emergency situations. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about mold growth.

1. Are There Various Types of Mold?

People are familiar with black mold due to its noticeable color; however, there are many types of mold that can be found in a home. The most common molds are Stachybotrys, Mucormycetes and Aspergillus, though there are literally thousands of different mold strains. Homeowners often spot mold because of color or odor. Stachybotrys is commonly known as black mold, Mucormycetes is a fuzzy mold seen on food and air conditioner drip pans and Aspergillus can be found on any damp area in a home.

2. How Can Mold Be Prevented?

Mold is found indoors and outdoors and is a natural part of the environment. Mold only becomes a problem when moisture is present. Knowing that there are thousands of mold strains may cause homeowners to worry; nevertheless, there are simple ways to prevent mold growth. First, reduce the humidity in your home to less than 45 percent.

Homes with high humidity are susceptible to moisture. Second, fix water leaks immediately and dry wet areas thoroughly within 24 hours of leaking. Prevent condensation around windows and pipes, and don’t install carpet in high-moisture areas.

3. Do All Molds Need To Be Remediated?

Regardless of the type of mold that is present in your home, it’s important to have the problem remediated. Water damage needs to be taken care of professionally to prevent mold problems.

There are many types of mold found in homes and all types need to be remediated. Fortunately, homeowners can be proactive in preventing mold growth from becoming a problem.

Understanding How Hail Can Damage Your Commercial Building

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Hails stones in hands Water that enters your building through cracks and holes resulting from hail damage can compromise your building's insulation.

How Hail Can Damage Your Commercial Building

Severe weather can cause substantial roof damage to your building in Mariner, FL, and hail can be especially devastating. A hailstorm can lead to costly problems, including the following.

Structural Damage
Your roof can sustain damage when dense ice pellets up to three inches in diameter, falling from the sky at high velocity and land on your rooftop. Damage can include:

  • Asphalt cracks and holes
  • Granule loss
  • Shingle detachment

Hail can also damage gutters that direct water to flow off your roof and away from your building's foundation. Hail not only dislodges gutters; it can clog them, preventing them from performing the necessary function of directing water.

Water Leaks
Hail that causes roof damage can lead to water penetrating and flooding your building's interior. Common indicators that your roof is compromised following a hailstorm include high humidity, the appearance of brown spots on walls and ceiling, leaking electrical fixtures on the ceiling below your roof, and visible mold. Mold spores in your building can quickly spread and cause costly damage requiring the intervention of a professional cleaning and mold remediation service.

Poor Insulation
Water that enters your building through cracks and holes resulting from hail damage can compromise your building's insulation. Water-soaked insulation cannot perform the functions of retaining hot or cool air to regulate internal temperature. It can cause your heating and cooling system to work harder and your energy bills to rise.

Broken Equipment
Hail that pummels the HVAC equipment on your building's roof can cause it to malfunction and require costly repair or replacement. Condenser coils on a building's exterior are particularly vulnerable to damage. Hail guards add to the cost of your commercial building's HVAC system, but they can help you avoid irreparable hail damage.

A powerful storm that leads to roof damage can interrupt your business's daily operation in Mariner, FL, but a storm restoration service can help you get back to business as usual.

Don't Give Up on Wet Documents After a Flood

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents Dealing with wet documents is a devastating flood result

Wet Documents After a Flood

A flood can wreak havoc on your personal belongings, especially delicate paper goods. Wet documents such as birth certificates, deeds, and sentimental photos are difficult to replace. Don’t let a flood in Punta Gorda, FL, destroy your important documents.

Take Action Immediately After Flooding

The aftermath of a flood event in your home or business can be overwhelming – prioritizing your actions can help. Your important documents should be at the top of your list. To prevent permanent damage, you can take steps yourself before professional help arrives: 

Gather all wet documents and remove them from moisture. Ensure they do not get wet again.
Do not lay the documents flat. Place them upright and separate so that they have a better chance of drying and do not stick together.
Take pictures and assess. Certain types of damage are irreversible, such as advanced mold or running ink.

Save Whatever Paperwork You Can

Standard paper documents, photos, X-rays and books can usually be safely restored if done correctly; your best bet would be to go through professional document restoration services.

Currently, there are advanced technological strategies for document drying available. Vacuum freezing uses temperature and pressure to sublimate moisture. Additionally, gamma irradiation can be used to sterilize chemicals and bacteria that were deposited by the floodwater.

Practice Prevention

The best way to maintain peace of mind during a flood or other disaster is to plan ahead. One way to protect your most precious documents is to digitize them. Scan and upload them to the cloud service of your choice. For added security, encrypt those files and save them to multiple flash drives.

Dealing with wet documents is a devastating flood result. Prevention is critical, but if a flood should occur, you should know that you can take steps to save your important paperwork.