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SERVPRO’s Tips for Handling a Flood Damaged Home

4/13/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for Handling a Flood Damaged Home

Floods due to natural disasters such as storms, hurricanes or tornadoes are any property owner’s worst nightmare.  The flood waters can wreak havoc on your Altamonte Springs property and leave it in a miserable state.  Apart from the structural damage, flood waters can cause secondary damage if the restoration is not started promptly.

Thankfully, here at SERVPRO, we have a team of experts who can help you restore your Altamonte Springs home after a flood.  Although you cannot be fully prepared for any natural disaster, you can have a plan in place. Here are a few things that you should do, if a natural disaster causes flooding in your home. 

Ensure your safety

Your and your family’s safety is the single most important thing during and after a natural disaster.

Always try to stay out of standing water.  You never know what bacteria or obstacles are under the water. So stay out of the water as much as possible.

Make sure that you are safe and dry and do not try to do anything that puts you at risk of injury or bodily harm.  Safety comes first; everything else can wait. 

Contact professionals as soon as possible

Seeking professional help is the next most important thing to do after a flood. Make sure that you have the contact number of SERVPRO handy, and contact our expert disaster management team as soon as you can.  The best way to limit the extent of damage and ensure restoration is swift action.

As soon as you call us, we will dispatch a team of experts to access the situation and develop a restoration plan.  The priority is to get the water out of the property once the water has receded.

Call your insurance company

Take many pictures of your flooded home, if you can, and contact your insurance company.  You can ask your insurance adjuster about the things that are covered under your policy. SERVPRO technicians can help you with documentation and protocol.

Call SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood at (407) 830-9899 to talk to one of our technicians to discuss your situation. We are here to help you get back in your home as soon as possible.

Fire Damage Specialists

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Specialists Accidents happen, and many people find themselves in a situation where a minor fire starts in their home.

No one ever expects horrible things to happen inside their Altamonte Springs or Longwood home.  House fires are something that most people think will never happen to them.  However, mishaps do take place, and one day it is possible that you have a fire inside your home.

Accidents happen, and many people find themselves in a situation where a minor fire starts in their home. If this ever happens to you, it's a good idea to call SERVPRO's fire damage experts in Altamonte Springs or Longwood.  Some people have small fires start inside their home, and they can quickly put it out.

However, even though you may not see an excessive amount of burn damage where the fire started it is still wise to call in SERVPRO to inspect the damage.  Many times a fire causes damage that is not in the exact area of the source of the blaze.  When a fire burns, it creates an excessive amount of smoke that spreads to all areas of your home.

The smoke a fire produces can cause a surprising amount of damage.  It can cause soot residue to build up on surfaces not close to where the fire started.  A fire started in one room could possibly create odors that are present in other areas of your home.  A fire sometimes embeds an unpleasant burn smell into contents inside your home.

Any of these issues, if not treated correctly, might result in permanent damage to your home.  When you call in the professionals, it is now up to them to figure out every area fire or smoke damage may have affected.  Our staff is highly skilled at diagnosing every unique situation.  Our experienced team knows how to find things that get ruined in the most unexpected places.  Our team also knows the best procedures and practices we can use to mitigate the problem.

We are IICRC certified and skilled in all areas of fire damage restoration.  Our team uses the best equipment available in the industry to remove damage caused by the fire.

It is always a devastating experience when a fire starts inside your home.  Let our team take some stress out of the situation for you and call SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood at (407) 830-9899 24 hours a day.

Mold is a Four-letter Word

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is a four-letter word… the very mention of mold stirs negative feelings.  Yet mold is a necessary part of life.  Bread makers, and people who make wine, beer and cheese also rely of mold and yeasts, all part of the fungi kingdom.  Molds are part of our eco system.  Saying mold is bad is not a realistic statement.  Tens of thousands of different molds have been identified and studied.  Only a few produce negative effects on people.  Tell a baker, wine maker, brewer or cheese maker that molds and yeasts are bad and your will get a funny look.


What gives mold a bad reputation?


There are molds that are able to produce tiny spores that become airborne and these spores can pass through our respiratory system and into the Alveoli sacks in our lungs and cause toxins to enter our blood stream.  Infants, seniors and anyone with a compromised immune system are susceptible.  These molds are called, “toxic black mold.”


The problem is that a majority of molds are black in color. Mold could come in just about every color including white, yellow, green and pink; however black is the most common color.  People hear about “black toxic mold” and then equate the black mold that they see on a window frame as being this potentially harmful variety of “toxic mold”.  There are contractors who make a living playing off of the public’s fear and lack of knowledge about mold.  They charge big fees to remove mold of any variety, harmful or not.


For realistic information about mold, one of the best sources to learn about mold is to visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website using mold as a search phrase.  You will get easy to understand information about mold.  Another thing to do is to give us a call. SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood (407) 830-9899.

Restoring Your Seminole County Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Seminole County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood

SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Faster to Any Size Disaster!

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Seminole County. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 407-830-9899

Residential Services

Whether your Seminole County home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Seminole County commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Mold Remediation
  • Commercial HVAC cleaning
  • And more!

Fire Safety is Key in Fire Prevention!

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) there are on average of between 350,000 and 400,000 fires every year in the U.S. that is an average of 39.9 – 45.6 fires every hour!  That is a lot of house fires every year! Unfortunately a majority of these fires could have been prevented.

The key to fire prevention is fire safety awareness! 

According to the NFPA the top 9 leading causes of house fires are as follows.

Cooking- 42% of all house fires are caused by cooking related incidents.  For instance, an oven or stove left unattended. Something most of us are guilty of, but should never do, is leaving something on the stove unattended.  Even if it’s only for a moment, disaster can strike in an instant.

Children playing with fire- It is really important to teach children about fire safety.  All too frequently a lighter and/or matches are left where children can reach them.  It is important to teach your children about fire safety and the reasons why they should never play with fire. Be sure to have this conversation not just one time but once a week just to be sure they don’t forget.

Smoking- People falling asleep while smoking may not seem like a big deal however smoking is the source of many house fires leading to almost 1,000 deaths a year.  Lit cigarettes accidentally dropped on a number of household items can quickly become large fires!  Please, if you smoke in your home (which we strongly recommend not doing), make sure you are awake enough to finish it or extinguish it!

Heating- Every winter we hear about a home catching fire due to a heating source. If you have a furnace, remember to have it serviced regularly.  A more common cause of heating related fires is small space heaters.  If you are using space heaters try to purchase ones that turn off automatically when bumped or flipped over.  Always keep space heaters on a flat surface with nothing around them i.e. curtains, chairs, clothes, ext. 

Electrical- One of the leading culprits is the over-use of extension cords.  Surprisingly, just because there is an open plug doesn’t mean you can plug just ANYTHING into it.  Extension cords can safely pull a certain amount of amps, so be sure to have the right equipment for the job! You can figure out what extension cord is right for you simply by reading the label.  If there is ever any doubt, you are probably much better off to hire an electrician to provide you with permanent wiring.  It is also very advisable to have an electrician perform an annual checkup on your home’s wiring.

Candles- Candles are a completely preventable fire.  They should never be left unattended when all too often they are.  If you leave the room the candle should leave with you or be blown out. Forgotten candles are very dangerous. It is important that you always remember to blow them out when leaving the house, always double check!  Getting into this ritual could save you and your loved ones lives and a lot of grief.

Dryers- Dryers are all too often forgotten!  It is imperative for us to remember to empty out our dryer vents and be certain that they are properly vented.  Remember to maintain your dryer by cleaning the vents to the outside once a year.

Flammables in the House – There are a lot of products left around the home that are highly flammable (especially if the garage is attached to the home).  Be careful of where you place any flammable materials (fuels, oils, etc.).  Don’t place them next to a possible source of a fire as they can rapidly turn a bad situation into a disaster.  The simplest rule is to keep them contained and away from the home to the greatest extent possible.

Christmas Trees- It seems like nothing really sets the holiday mood like a live Christmas tree (great smell and just exceptionally authentic).  However, if you don’t keep it well watered and still proceed to wrap it with electrical cords (I mean… Christmas lights of course).  If you let it get too dry it can quickly result in a fire so just check it frequently and leave the lights off if you are going to be away from home for a while. 

The fact of the matter is that most household fires are completely preventable.  Please be sure to exercise caution when it comes to your home.  Taking a few extra precautions can keep you and your loved ones safe!

If you have any questions please give us a call at (407)830-9899.

Why is Flood Water Dangerous?

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Why is Flood Water Dangerous? It might look like fun to play in water but it is really dangerous! Be sure to stay out whenever possible!

Once flood waters set in you may be tempted to splash around and have a little fun in a seemingly hopeless situation. The water is here to stay a while so... why not? 

Whatever you do, stay out of the water! 

Flood water can be hazardous to your health even when properly vaccinated. 

Flood waters can contain runoff from fields, bacteria from almost everywhere, and contaminants such as toxic chemicals (like gasoline or oil) or wastes (from animals and humans).

That is why in areas of the world where there is flooding from tsunamis, etc., those villages generally have a large outbreak of cholera, dysentery, and other water borne diseases.

And I haven’t even mentioned snakes yet! No one should ever treat flood waters like a stroll through your swimming pool. They are a health hazard, and can cause acute illnesses, particularly in children. You should never let your children play in flood water.

Here are some of the top reasons to stay out of flood water:

  • Raw Sewage- Raw sewage is germ infested and could contain disease causing micro-organisms including but not limited to E Coli, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Hepatitis A Cholera and more! Open cuts and wounds can become severely infected by contaminated water.
  • Sharp and Dangerous Objects- Flood water picks up everything in its path and is generally murky and muddy. Sharp and dangerous objects pose potential risks as they are hidden from site and can puncture the skin.
  • Hidden Rocks, Ditches and Potholes-  Hidden rocks, ditches and potholes may cause you to lose your footing and fall.
  • Storm Drains, Storm Pipes and Manholes- During a flood, as water recedes, storm drains storm pipes and manholes become powerful suction devices that can sweep away a child even an adult in an instant!

Keep your family safe. When water is on the rise remind them that though it looks tempting to play in, that it is important to stay out of the water as much as possible.

If for any reason you have no choice but to come in contact with flood water be sure to wash everything as thoroughly as possible. 

Seminole County Mold Damage- What is Mold?

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Seminole County Mold Damage- What is Mold? Mold can come in many different colors from black to red, yellow green and even orange!

What is Mold?

Molds are a type of fungus that are different from plants, animals and bacteria; they are micro-organisms that are decomposers of dead organic materials.  Mold spores are invisible to the naked eye. Once you can see mold growth it is considered a colony of mold, as it takes hundreds of thousands of spores that have colonized to become visible without a microscope.

It is still unknown how many species of mold or fungi exist, however it is estimated to range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more.  Mold can come in many different colors ranging from the dreaded black to red, yellow, green or even orange!  Mold spores are generally everywhere you go, and typically only present a health concern when you are exposed to high spore counts.  Nevertheless everyone reacts differently to mold.

I think I have mold! What do I do?

It is not uncommon to have mold spores in your home that have been brought in from outside.  It is when the spore counts from inside reaches a higher level than outside that you know you that is an issue.  

If you believe that you are experiencing any health effects from possible mold it is suggested that you consult your physician then contact SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood to help you address your concerns.  We will be able to help answer any of your questions, as well as help you in getting air quality testing done in your home to determine if you do have heightened mold spore counts that need to be addressed

Electronics in a Water Damage

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Taking Certain Steps Quickly Can Help Save Electronics in your Home

After any flood, the damage to your home's contents may be severe.  Not only are furniture, flooring, and documents at risk, but electronics can also be ruined by water.  Televisions, computers, power tools, appliances, and other devices require immediate attention to have the best chance of being saved. 
 
Homeowners with flood damage in Seminole County typically have electronics that they're worried about, whether the flooding was caused by a storm or burst pipe.  Not only is replacing these items an extra expense but going without certain electronics for even a short amount of time can be a huge inconvenience.  Whether any specific piece of electronic equipment can be restored or saved depends on a number of factors. 
 
Humidity 
 
It's not just the standing water in a flood-damaged house that poses a threat to electronics, but humidity as well.  This becomes a bigger issue the longer it takes to get the flood damage restoration process started. Our team will dehumidify your home to get things stable and decrease the chance that your electronic devices will incur damage.
 
Exposure to Water 
 
The less water that has been in or around an electronic device, the more likely it can be saved. For instance, a microwave sitting on a wet counter can have the excess water wiped from its base, while a laptop that's been submerged in water is a much greater challenge and may not be salvageable. SERVPRO takes special measures when handling electronics in a home with flood damage, which can often save the equipment. 
 
Preventing Further Damage 
 
When you call SERVPRO after your home has encountered flood damage, it's important to avoid turning on your electronics.  It's tempting to see if each item still works, but doing so can increase the chances of irreversible damage.  Once we're on the scene, we'll quickly work to save your electronic equipment if at all possible. 
 
If you need to restore your home after a flood, count on the experts at SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood.  We'll do our utmost to help you keep your possessions and avoid the cost of replacement.  For more information about our flood damage services or to get a quote, call us at (407) 830-9899.

Did You Know There Are Different Categories of Water?

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

There are 3 different categories of water. 


Category 1 Water – That which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans. Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or building assemblies (walls, decking, subflooring). Time and temperature, which promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade.


Examples of category 1 water are:


  • burst water pipes
  • failed supply lines on appliances
  • vertically falling rainwater (water that does not hit the ground before entering the structure)


Category 2 Water – That which begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. As with Category 1 water, time and temperature can cause Category 2 water to become progressively more contaminated.


Examples of category 2 water:


  • Washing Machine Over flow
  • Water from dishwasher
  • Used bath water


Category 3 Water – That which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans.


Examples of category 3 water:


  • sewage
  • rising flood water from rivers and streams
  • ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes 


There are many different factors that could contribute to the category of water, it may not always be clear. If you have any questions be sure to always ask a qualified professional. SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood would be happy to assist you with any questions you may have.