Recent Water Damage Posts

Do's and Don'ts of Water Damages

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

“I have a water damage in my home. Can you help me?” No homeowner wants to make that call, but it unfortunately happens to many. Once you’ve made the call to SERVPRO of Maitland-Casselberry, what can you do?

Thankfully our staff is trained to walk you through the job process and offer some tips you can use to help mitigate your loss while you wait on our crews to arrive. Here is a list of some of do’s and don’ts that might also help.

DO:

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the source of water.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

DON’T:

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shocks hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TV’s or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Rest assured these tips will help you begin to mitigate your loss while our team of IICRC certified technicians is on the way. Please feel free to call us anytime at 407-388-0404.

We Find the Water You Can't See

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

Unfortunately water damage affects many homes and businesses each day. It’s the water you don’t see that causes the most damage. Many people are quick to mitigate what they can see. Towels and shop vacs soak up the water on your floor but what about the water you can’t see? The water that your insulation and drywall have soaked up? Who cleans that up? Who can even find it?

SERVPRO of Maitland-Casselberry has a highly trained water remediation staff on hand to help you during your time of need. Our crews will be on site to locate trapped water-in your walls, ceilings, below flooring-no matter where it is and to dry out your home properly. Our crews use state-of-the-art equipment to monitor the drying progress and insure that your home is back to normal, “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call anytime at 407-388-0404.  

10 Questions People Ask About Water Damages

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

  1. “Can’t I just put in some fans?” Fans help, yes, but are not the only part of the drying equation. Fans help to push the moisture from your walls, ceilings, and floors into the air, and our commercial dehumidifiers help to pull all that water out of the air. Through a formula known as Psychrometry we can determine how many air exchanges it will take to dry your home or business with the equipment we place. Thats some fancy math!
  2. “I’ll just rip up my flooring. Insurance will replace it.” Hold up, wait a minute! Often flooring can be dried in place and then cleaned after it is dry. It is more cost effective to do this than to replace flooring that is still in good condition. Ultimately saving claim funds is better for you and your insurance company.
  3. “Open the doors and windows to help it dry out.” We are begging you, PLEASE do not do this unless you are instructed to by a water damage professional. If you live in a climate that is humid (hello Central Florida, looking at you) it is going to be more detrimental than helpful. The goal is to dry your structure, the natural humidity is going to make that worse. In fact, it would be better to turn your AC down so that it stays on until we get there with commercial equipment to begin drying.
  4. “UGH, this equipment is so HOT and so LOUD! I’m turning it off because I can’t sleep, work, or think!” You aren’t wrong. It is loud. It is hot. And it does make work, sleep, and even thinking hard to do. We PROMISE that if you stick with it and allow the equipment to do its job your home or business will dry much faster than if you turn it off and it only gets to work in small increments. Also, turning equipment off and allowing moisture to stay trapped will potentially lead to microbial growth (yep MOLD). I can promise you that 5 days of drying equipment is better than 10 days of mold remediation…not to mention that improperly handling your water damage can open issues with coverage for your claim with your insurance company. Trust me, it’s worth it to leave the loud, hot equipment on.
  5. “I thought you said you were getting paid by the insurance company. Why are you sending me a bill?” Our company works with all insurance companies. That being said, as the policy holder YOU are the one that the insurance company will send payment to (about half of the time). You will then need to forward payment to us. We do submit billing to the insurance company for you and we do work with your adjuster to close out payment for our services. We will also do our best to help you through the claim process. Ultimately, as the homeowner, or business owner, it is up to you to make sure payment is received for services rendered. If your insurance company determines that your loss is not covered by your policy you will be responsible for payment. We will always do our best to work with our customers if this is necessary.
  6. “I heard it only takes 3 days to dry out a house.” While it is true that many homes can be dried in a few days every structure is different. There are MANY unforeseen circumstances that can affect drying time. There are certain “best practices” that we adhere to for drying that help ensure timely progress. We also perform moisture inspections daily during a dry-out. This allows us to reposition equipment if we need to, remove equipment from areas that have dried, and to make sure that we are watching progress of anything that may require additional help.
  7. “I’m paying for this myself, so please don’t charge me what you charge an insurance company.” Our industry uses a couple of different software platforms for estimating/breaking down a job. Those platforms set the pricing. Insurance companies also use these systems, but the pricing is not “for” the insurance company. They’re getting the same pricing as you!
  8. “Who trains you?” The IICRC-Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification-is who we are certified and trained by primarily. (Here is the link to the about section of their web site https://www.IICRC.org/general/custom.asp?page=AbouttheIICRC). Any time you need a restoration professional you want to verify that they are a certified firm. You can do this by checking the IICRC site or asking for a copy of the firm’s certificate. Aside from the professional training by the IICRC, we offer in house training as well as additional training from other industry organizations.
  9. “Who is paying the power bill after you leave all that equipment plugged in?” We suggest that you reach out to your assigned insurance adjuster and ask if this is something that your policy will cover. In some cases, they need to see your bill for the month before and the month after, to show that there was an increase in usage. However, thanks to technology advancements, unless you’re dealing with a large amount of equipment for a long time, I doubt you’ll notice too much of a difference.
  10. “All of you water damage companies are the same”…. I beg to differ. This is personal for us. We are all here because we want to help. We know that having your home or business turned upside down is stressful. Unfortunately for most people, LIFE is stressful these days. Add a water damage to the mix and it’s almost more than anyone can take. We are here to help you through that. Not only do we care, but our company has been in business over 35 years! There just aren’t that many companies in our industry that can say that. Know why? The industry isn’t THAT old. It’s only been since people started having things like air conditioning, drywall, hot water heaters, appliances, and double paned windows that there was a need. Our industry is constantly growing and changing, and we are proud to have been at the forefront of that growth for so long.

Top Spring Flooding Tips

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded Home Flood insurance is a must here in Florida, have you checked your policy lately?

Although flooding can happen at any time in Florida, Spring flooding is common as frequent storms leave the ground soaked and streams are often at their highest levels of the year.  Here are some tips for both families and businesses.

  • Make a family emergency communication plan and include pets.
  • Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car.
  • Flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect, so purchase now to protect your family!
  • Listen to local officials by radio, TV or social media.
  • Evacuate when advised by authorities or if you are in a flood or flash flood prone area.
  • If you are on high ground above flooded areas, being prepared to stay where you are may be the best protection.
  • Don't let your business end up in a dumpster. Make a Flood Safety plan today.
  • Charge mobile devices. Locate flashlights & radio. Tell friends/family your location in case of power loss.
  • Heavy rain to areas that have been experiencing drought can cause flash flooding.

If you do need to venture out during or immediately after a flood, follow these rules:

  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters
  • Water moving at just 5 miles per hour can lift and displace manhole covers leaving unseen dangers
  • As little as 12 inches of moving floodwater can be enough to float and carry away a small vehicle.
  • 6 inches of moving water can knock an adult off their feet. STAY AWAY from moving water!
  • Driving thru 6 inches of standing water can cause vehicles to lose control & stall. Avoid flooded roads.
  • Be aware of areas where waters have receded. Roads may have weakened & could collapse under the weight of a vehicle.

Personal Property

  • 30: The number of days it takes for flood insurance to begin. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
  • Only flood insurance will cover the damage from floods. Speak with your insurance agent to learn more.
  • A few inches of water in a 1,000-square foot home could cost more than $10,000 in repairs & replacement of personal possessions
  • Prepare for a flood today by reviewing your property & flood insurance policies.
  • Snap some pictures of your property & do an inventory. This will be handy if flood waters damage your property. Again, consider using the SERVPRO Ready Plan App.
  • Flood waters can damage important papers. Store critical docs in a waterproof container or electronically.
  • Before a flood: reduce potential property damage by elevating utilities & installing sewer backflow valves.
  • Prepare before a flood by installing a water alarm in your basement.

After a Flood

  • Watch your step! Flood waters often hide sharp and dangerous debris like broken glass and metal!
  • Wear the appropriate protective clothing and gear like boots, gloves and safety glasses when it comes to moving debris!  
  • Hands off! Stay away from electrical utility equipment after a storm or if it is wet to prevent being electrocuted!
  • Flooded homes are hazards! Get a professional to check for loose wires, mold and hidden damage before re-entering!
  • Avoid walking in floodwater. It can be contaminated with oil, gasoline, or sewage.
  • Use generators or other gas powered machinery only outdoors and away from windows.

The team at SERVPRO of Maitland/Casselberry has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, and natural disaster cleanup. Our staff is highly trained in building services and property damage restoration. We study IICRC standards and best practices in cleaning and restoration. 

Call SERVPRO of Maitland/Casselberry (407) 388-0404 anytime.

Casselberry Hidden Water Damages

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of washing machines Washing Machine Malfunctions Can Cause Water Damage

Think about the last time your appliances were moved or inspected

Many of us do not think about the household appliances that we use every single day. For most, they probably become a passing thought about how much wear and tear they are receiving. Most of the appliances we use to make our everyday lives easier to utilize water. This means they are prone to leaks at some point if they are not caught early on.  Water damage can sit for ages before you as a homeowner realize. Therefore, regular inspections are important for prevention.

Inspect These Appliances for Leaks Often

  • Hot Water Heater
    • The lifetime of a hot water heater will typically span 10 to 15 years, but leaks can start much earlier than this. The seals and pipes connected to the hot water heater can often break down, so keeping an eye out for any accumulation both during and after use is a smart move.
  • Refrigerator
    • The rarity with which refrigerators are moved can lead to secret water damage that festers for ages before it is brought to light. A refrigerator’s water lines are typically made from a soft plastic that can easily fail, so checking for leaks behind and under the fridge as part of your annual home maintenance is wise.
  • Dishwasher
    • A dishwasher’s tubing is just as problematic as a refrigerator but is even more isolated and utilizes far more water. Additionally, homeowner’s insurance often does not cover water damage caused by older models of dishwashers, so regular checks are extremely important to keep up with.
  • Washing Machine
    • Washing machine hoses are some of the most common sources of leaks. Because they are notorious for this, it is recommended that they are inspected at least once a month by homeowners so you can be sure no issues have arisen. In addition to these regular checks, they should be fully replaced every five years in order to prevent hidden deterioration.
  • Air Conditioner
    • The drain in your HVAC unit is designed to keep condensation from pooling in and around the unit, but if this drain malfunctions, water damage can quickly be caused. Reference your manufacturer’s manual to determine how often your unit should be inspected and serviced—having a professional technician evaluate your machine is the best defense against HVAC-created water damage.

How Do I Choose a Company to Clean Up Water Damage?

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of man reading insurance documents SERVPRO Cleans Up and Restores Water Damaged Clearwater Properties--While Working within Insurance Guidelines

SERVPRO brings decades of experience and the latest in restoration techniques to local Orlando Area properties in need

It seems the most inconvenient times are when hot water tanks fail, toilets back up, pipes burst, or that leak in the roof happens. When you need water cleanup in your Maitland home, the key is to begin as soon as possible with the extraction and drying. Some of the key elements to look for when choosing a local restoration services company are: 

  • Ask about water-restoration related certifications
  • Find out about the equipment that gets used
  • Will the company work with your insurance carrier?
  • Is there a policy to inhibit out-of-pocket charges by working within the scope of coverage?
  • Does the company have access to professional-grade cleaning agents, antimicrobials, and antibacterial solutions?

Can Water Damage Restoration Companies Do Repairs As Well As Cleanup? 

When choosing among local water restoration companies in the Orlando Area, you already know the necessary information to ask about. Getting repairs done after the water removal and drying of the structure makes the whole process seamless. With their general contractor license #CBC1258985, SERVPRO technicians can handle any needed repairs or reconstruction to every part of your home. Commonly needed repairs the technicians provide include: 

  • Replacement of sheetrock on walls and ceilings
  • Installation of tile
  • Refinishing or replacement of hardwood floorboards
  • Painting and other cosmetic services

The technicians work to save homeowners the cost of repairs and replacement whenever possible. The use of equipment such as an infrared camera to identify water location assists in assuring that no moisture gets left behind. Other sensitive moisture detectors and hygrometers help the techs measure the amounts of moisture saturation throughout the home. Once they pinpoint all the locations, they can use their powerful extraction equipment to remove the majority of the water. Even if the water in the home is several inches deep, they have the equipment to handle it.

Special Water Damage Situations 

When the water contains sewage, chemicals, or other harmful elements, the techs have training and experience handling biohazard-level cleanup jobs. The job entails wearing protective gear, and most importantly, respiration equipment aspirating water vapor can prove harmful. There are different types of containment, such as simple barriers made from heavy gauge plastic sheeting or setting up negative air chambers, both methods work to inhibit the potential for cross-contamination.

Floodwater from heavy storms or hurricanes is part of living in this part of the state, and it is crucial to work with a restoration services company that has the experience of dealing with this type of damage. This type of water intrusion event frequently needs controlled demolition. Sheetrock deteriorates rapidly and sagging ceilings or buckling walls can present safety hazards and require removal. The techs remove only the damaged portion and leave the rest of the structure intact to limit the amount of rebuilding needed to restore the home.

Removing Mold from a Maitland, FL Property? 

In short, it is impossible to remove naturally occurring airborne mold spores that are floating harmlessly both indoors and outdoors. However, when the conditions in your home become right in terms of a damp area with temperatures that sustain growth, you can have a spreading mold infestation in your home. Once mold establishes itself, it will not go away on its own and should have professional remediation to halt the process. The techs will also investigate and find out the reason for the mold growth and suggest remedies to stop the situation from continuing.

SERVPRO technicians have comprehensive training and certification to handle mold remediation #MRSR868 in your home. They carefully contain the area to prevent any spread of the spores to other areas of the house and dry the existing colonies. Afterward, they remove the dry matter using manual methods or automated techniques such as soda or ice blasting to remove the dried mold without marring the surface it is on.

Once the structure gets dried and treated for any mold issues, the technicians focus their attention on any remaining residual water odors. The distinctive musty smell can get removed through the use of deodorizing cleaning agents, the use of gel pellets, or more robust methods such as thermal fogging or hydroxyl generators. The techs choose the appropriate method based on the level of scent control needed in the home.

SERVPRO of Maitland / Casselberry  at (407) 388-0404 is proud to serve the local area as one of the premier water restoration companies. Their trained, certified technicians are available 24/7 and arrive quickly on site. The techs work diligently to return your home to tiptop shape.

Most Common Causes of Water Damage in Your Maitland Home

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

Homeowner mopping up water on floor At SERVPRO, our water damage specialists have the experience, expertise, and equipment to restore your property quickly and efficiently.

Water damage in a residential property is often caused by things like water leaking or flooding that goes unnoticed for a long period of time. Damage of all kinds can wreak havoc on your property when excess water starts to pool in an area of the home. Unfortunately, most homeowners are unaware of the signs and warnings of water damage and therefore leave the issue unresolved, eventually causing further damage. Water damage restoration is the process of removing the water, drying and dehumidifying, clean and sanitizing, and then restoring the area to its original state. From minor repairs to carpet replacements, identifying water damage early is the key to minimizing potential damage to your home.

The ability to recognize signs of water damage is the first step in keeping your property in top condition. As such, it is important to understand the most common causes of water damage in your home. They are as follows:

  • Leaking pipes, bursting pipes, or broken hoses
  • Malfunctioning air conditioners or other HVAC issues
  • Broken dishwashers, washing machines, or other household appliances
  • Sewer backup, clogged drains, or general plumbing problems
  • Water buildup in areas like attics or crawl spaces
  • Natural disasters like hurricanes or rainstorms that cause flooding
  • Running toilets
  • Bathtub overflows
  • Malfunctioning fire sprinkler system

No matter what the water damage cause may be, addressing the problem immediately is imperative to reducing damage and restoring the area back to optimal condition. At SERVPRO, our water damage specialists have the experience, expertise, and equipment to restore your property quickly and efficiently. From floods to leaking pipes, our water removal and cleanup process will make your home look “Like it never even happened.” Contact our office as soon as possible to learn more about how our Disaster Recovery Team can help you and your home today!

How to spot water damage

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

In general, a house is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. In order to protect that investment, you should vigilantly look out for household problems and address them before they worsen.

One such dreaded homeowner issue is water damage. If left unattended, residential water damage can detrimentally impact the structure or spawn other complications, including mold that poses a health risk to inhabitants. Here are several methods for detecting water damage within your house.

1. Check the Floors
No matter what kind of flooring you have, it will manifest signs of water damage. For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. When it comes to carpet, be wary of damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.

2. Look for Stains
Water stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet or sink, as well as stains on ceilings and walls, are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Unusual stains could indicate there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the drywall or areas that appear swollen and are soft to touch also may signify trouble. Peeling paint is another sign of loose water within wall spaces. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion.

3. Inspect Outside
Observe the exterior of your house. What you want to look for are pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Additionally, common signs of water damage on the roof may include pools of water; cracked, curled or missing shingles; or broken flashing.

4. Watch for Rust and Mold
Inspect your water heater and check for rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank could indicate a slow leak. Additionally, corrosion around pipe connections could be caused by water seepage. Visual signs of active mold growth mean moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. Finally, don’t rely solely on sight. When water stagnates, mold and bacteria can grow, producing a musty, unpleasant smell.

Minimize the Chance for Insurance Claims at Your Casselberry Business

7/22/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of a flood lab Burst pipe in a chilled water system flooded this Lab.

It's a good idea to have a life preserver and lifeboat when you are on a cruise, but you probably don't want to use them. The same is true of commercial property insurance for your company in Casselberry, FL. If you need it, it is there to pay out a business claim for such things as water damage, but it is worthwhile to take action to prevent damage in the first place. One area that has the potential to cause problems is your plumbing system. Even a small business is likely to have hundreds of feet of pipes. Some of these pipes are accessible, while others are underground or behind walls.

Ways To Avoid a Business Claim

A few precautions with your plumbing system can reduce your likelihood of having to file a claim in this area. These basic steps can go a long way toward protecting the integrity of your plumbing system:

  • Educate employees on where, how and when to turn off the water supply
  • Maintain plumbing systems to prevent a pipe break

It is always easier and less expensive to avoid a problem in the first place. You won't have to deal with wet carpeting, contaminated water, mold issues, and other water damage concerns.

Ways To Minimize a Business Claim
If your company does experience water problems, immediate action by a storm remediation franchise is your best source to limit damage and shorten a business interruption. A local company that works 24/7 and 365 days a year can get to work before mold growth or other problems have time to increase. Fast water removal and extraction limit the corrosive power of water to break down materials and cause lasting damage. By using the highest standards of the cleaning and restoration industry, a professional company reduces your exposure to expensive claims.

SERVPRO of Maitland-Casselberry is proud to serve the Maitland, Casselberry, Union Park, Lockhart, Fern Park, and surrounding communities.

I Need Water Removal Services in Maitland/Casselberry? Can I Contact The Experts at SERVPRO?

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Van Ready to mobilize at a moments notice in Maitland/Casselberry.

We Have Expert Solutions to Help With Your Water Damage.

After the removal of pooling water, what is left behind can be unpleasant to look at or even release bad smells. Getting rid of staining and soiling can go beyond the scope of household cleaning products in which case you need professional help. We have built our reputation on the removal, remediation and cleanup of water all over the United States. We stick to a few simple principles that have served us well.

The immediate impact of water damage in Maitland/Casselberry properties is usually taken on by the infrastructure of the home. Subfloor mats that become saturated with moisture can quickly become hotbeds for bacteria and fungi. Equally, wall cavities or furniture fittings can take on moisture undetected to the naked eye causing long-term problems. SERVPRO are experts at spotting potential problem areas that may have slipped your notice.

As a local company, we can provide qualified water technicians reducing call out times. As a national franchise, we are able to mobilize state-of-the-art equipment to help rehabilitate your property and possessions. One of the most important methods in restoring water damages is allowing airflow into wall cavities. Properties that take on moisture in pockets with minimal airflow can quickly become stagnant and produce unwanted smells or appearance.

SERVPRO can bring injectidry systems to your property to remove moisture that may be stagnating in wall cavities. These advanced equipment use a series of injectors spaced four inches apart to blast hot air rapidly into cavities or underneath fittings and dry them. One of the benefits of injectidry systems is that they remove the need to replace large sections of drywall. In most cases, sheetrock can be thoroughly dried using this equipment rather than having to be removed or replaced.

Discoloration is a common side effect of paintwork that is exposed to excessive amounts of water for a prolonged period. SERVPRO can repaint the affected area using an antimicrobial base layer. Applying antimicrobial treatments to carpets, paintwork or possessions is an essential part of the water remediation. Doing so can significantly reduce the risk of secondary damages, and expenses, caused by mold or mildew growth.

A professional solution is best left to the water damage experts, contact SERVPRO of Maitland/Casselberry at (407) 388-0404 for assistance.