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Signs of a Hidden Water Leak in Your Bathroom

11/5/2022 (Permalink)

ceiling damaged by water and black spots of mold growth Water spots on the ceilings are a sign of hidden water leaks

Signs of a Hidden Water Leak in Your Bathroom

If you've got a leak in your bathroom, it's not the end of the world. It happens to everyone, and there are ways to fix it. But if you're not sure what's going on with your plumbing, it can be hard to know where to start. This article can help you better understand the signs of a hidden water leak in your bathroom. If any of these signs apply to you or your home, then there's probably some unseen damage happening below the surface:

High Water Bill

If your water bill is higher than usual, don't ignore it. You may think that since you haven't changed the way you use water and your meter isn't broken, the problem must be in your head. But that's not always the case. It could be that there's been an unexplained leak in your home and you're paying for it without even realizing it! If your water bill is unusually high, you might have a hidden water leak!

Discolored Ceiling or Flooring

Water spots on the walls and ceilings are a sign of hidden water leaks because they form when a pool of water in the tub, toilet, or sink drips down, evaporates, then leaves behind minerals and bacteria that build up over time.

When water accumulates in your wall or ceiling, it can lead to dark stains. It is also common to see yellow stains as well. If you see any discoloration on your ceiling or floors, it could be a sign of a water leak. 

If your bathroom has an overhead light fixture with exposed wires (like most do), use caution when inspecting for moisture damage here—you could be electrocuted if you come into contact with wet electrical components!

Dripping Noise or Running Water

If you hear a dripping noise or running water in the bathroom, it may be a sign that a hidden leak is occurring. This can obviously be heard at home, but if you're hearing this sound outside of your house as well, it could mean that the leaks are expanding and spreading to other areas of your property. If this is happening on multiple floors or in different rooms throughout your home, then it's definitely time for some repairs!

Musty Odor

If you notice a musty odor in your bathroom, it's likely that there is mold present. Mold can cause serious problems for you and your family, as well as damage to your home. The smell of mold can be difficult to remove from a room and even more difficult to remove from furniture or other materials.

If you think you might have a hidden water leak in your bathroom, call SERVPRO!

If you think you might have a hidden water leak in your bathroom, contact your local SERVPRO team immediately. Hidden water leaks can cause serious damage to your home if left untreated. Hidden water leaks are can be hard to find, especially if they are located behind walls or under floors! Your local SERVPRO team will use advanced technology to locate any hidden leaks that might be present in your home and then take the necessary steps to mitigate the damage.

How Do I Prepare My Company for a Fire?

10/14/2022 (Permalink)

Three tanks of fire extinguishers Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on each floor.

How Should I Prepare My Business For a Fire?

A fire is one of the biggest hazards that can threaten a business. Not only does it cause damage to property, but it can also result in injuries and loss of life. While there's no way to prevent fires from happening, you can do plenty to prepare for them. Follow these steps for making your workplace in Cape Coral safer and more resilient against fire.

How to prepare your workplace for a fire

Check your fire alarm system. Is it in working order? Do you have a backup plan for when it malfunctions, like a manual pull station or an employee who can respond quickly if there's a fire?

Check your fire extinguishers. Are they all labeled correctly and in working order? You should check this once a month and replace them every five years or earlier if they're damaged. Replace any that are expired or missing labels as well.

Make sure the exits are always clear of clutter and hazards, including boxes, equipment, furniture, and other items that could block access to exits in case of emergency. Make sure all staff know where the nearest exit is located so they can get out safely in case of an emergency.

Train employees on how to use the fire alarm system, what they should do if they hear an alarm sounding or see smoke coming from somewhere near them (or both), how to respond when an evacuation needs to happen—and whom exactly will be responsible for doing so—and most importantly: why everyone needs these things! Don't forget about communicating this information across departments so no one is left out during training sessions either.

Evacuation plan

The first step in preparing your company for a fire is to create an evacuation plan. This plan should include:

  • Where everyone is supposed to go and what they are supposed to do once they arrive there
  • The location of all fire exits, including the best ones (i.e., nearest) for each room or area of your building(s).
  • How employees are expected to use fire extinguishers if necessary, and where those extinguishers are kept.

It's also important that employees know how they can call the fire department once they've evacuated; this should be covered as part of your evacuation training program as well.

Fire preparedness can save your business.

Fire can happen to anyone. It's important to be prepared. Fire preparedness will help you save your business, lives, and money. Fire can destroy property and assets that take time and money to replace, affecting productivity and cash flow in the process.

If a fire breaks out in your place of business, it may have devastating effects on employees, customers, and the public as well as damage or destroy property. If your staff has been trained on the proper fire evacuation procedure, you should take the time to ensure that you have the correct fire safety equipment. 

The fire safety equipment checklist includes:

  • Fire extinguishers. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on each floor. They should be kept out of the reach of children and away from heat sources, like stoves or furnaces.
  • Fire blankets and hoses. Keep at least one dry chemical fire extinguisher in the kitchen area, because it's the most likely place to catch on fire due to cooking grease, which burns quickly and intensely when it catches fire.
  • Smoke alarms: These should be installed at least 10 feet from any sleeping areas and near all sleeping areas (including basements). You also need an automatic sprinkler system for commercial buildings that are more than three stories high or have contents over 50 square feet (this applies even if your business is only partially built on one floor).

The most important thing is to be prepared. Whether you are a business owner or employee, having an evacuation plan and a fire safety equipment checklist will help to ensure everyone's safety in the event of an emergency such as a fire.

The Requirements of Cleaning Sewage From a Building

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow Toilet overflow in North Fort Myers, FL

Even in the best-run businesses, mishaps occur with the plumbing system. Pipes break and sinks get clogged, causing water and sewage to back up into the building. The protocols for sewage cleaning are very specific and require specialized knowledge and training.

Finding the right company in North Fort Myers, FL, is absolutely critical. This will protect your property, your company, and your employees from the dangerous effects of contaminated water. Workers from a water damage remediation team will come equipped with personal protective gear and advanced equipment to clean up the mess. They will have the experience and the training to handle any situation.

Handling a Toilet Overflow

Most commercial companies have several restrooms spread throughout a building. Some could be for customers and some could be designated for employees. When a toilet backs up, professional sewage cleaning is required. SERVPRO technicians will follow a proven process that has been developed over a 50-year period. The following steps are utilized in an emergency:

  • Inspection and assessment
  • Water removal and cleanup
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Restoration

The job is done to the highest industry standards. This ensures the facility is safe again and free from harmful germs. It also makes sure areas are dried and dehumidified with professional equipment. This prevents further damage such as the growth of mold. It also prevents the recurrence of odors.

Addressing Other Issues

Whether it is a clogged pipe, a broken sewer line, or some other issue, it is best to rely on trained and certified workers to remedy the problem. Sewage cleaning is just one of many disasters SERVPRO franchises are trained to deal with. They are a big help in the aftermath of fires and floods and can handle problems large and small. They use proven methods to assess the scope of a problem. From there, they come up with a plan of action to restore a company to its original condition.

How Sprinklers Work During a Fire

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler system A fire sprinkler system can be one of the best tools for fire suppression in a commercial building

How Sprinklers Work During a Fire

A fire sprinkler system can stop a small fire from becoming a large fire, increasing fire safety and mitigating fire damage on your property. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about how sprinkler systems work. Understanding how your sprinkler system functions can help you implement your fire prevention and suppression plans.

Sprinkler Myths

When many people think of fire suppression systems, they are envisioning Hollywood movie scenarios where an errant cigarette or a prankster with a lighter can deluge an entire building in water by setting off the system. This has lead to several popular misconceptions:

  • Sprinkler systems are easily set off by accident.
  • A small amount of smoke can set off a sprinkler system.
  • A little smoke in one area of the building will set off all the sprinklers at once.

Sprinkler Facts

Fire sprinkler systems rarely activate by accident. However, you should have your system inspected regularly to prevent malfunctions. You don't have to worry about burnt popcorn in the breakroom setting off your sprinkler system. Smoke doesn't actually activate sprinklers at all. Instead, sprinklers are activated by the heat generated by a fire. Finally, you don't have to worry about a small fire in one part of the building leading to massive water damage from your entire sprinkler system deploying at once. Most sprinklers are individually activated.

The fire suppression provided by the sprinklers can mitigate water damage by extinguishing small fires before they spread. This avoids the need for the fire department to use a large amount of water to put out the flames. However, if sprinklers do cause water damage to your property, a professional restoration service in Pine Island, FL, can help with fire sprinkler cleanup.

A fire sprinkler system can be one of the best tools for fire suppression in a commercial building. A properly implemented system can mitigate small fires, preventing extensive damage from fire, smoke, and water.

The Best Methods for a Water Cleanup in a Commercial Building

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded office Water damage in office

A flooded company needs a lot of help. That's because a water emergency demands special skills that ordinary cleaners and company custodial staffs do not often have. If the water that spills into a building is contaminated, cleanup workers will need to wear PPE such as gloves and face masks to thwart potential pathogens.

They will also clear affected areas of employees to safeguard them from illness. Additionally, the restoration workers will use approved disinfectants to clean walls, flooring, ceilings, and other areas of dirty water. A local water remediation company in Burnt Store, FL, will arrive on the scene fast to begin the cleanup process.

A Variety of Effective Cleaning Methods

When dealing with a flooded company, advanced cleaning techniques are needed. Technicians will be able to match the best option for getting materials completely clean. Where possible, they will employ a restore versus replace philosophy to save money. Trained workers have the following options at their disposal:

  • Dry cleaning
  • Spray and wipe
  • Wet cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning
  • Abrasive cleaning
  • Foam cleaning

A deep and thorough cleaning is needed to remove dirty and harmful substances from items. Powerful yet safe antimicrobial and antibacterial agents are also used. This approach eliminates odors and prevents the future occurrence of mold growth.

A Versatile Approach to Water Damage
No two situations are exactly alike. Certified workers use their training and experience to come up with a plan when helping a flooded company recover. In addition to water extraction and drying and dehumidifying, they also might use air scrubbers and fogging equipment if the situation calls for it. They will also dispose of any items or building materials that are ruined from the effects of a broken pipe or some other form of a water disaster. They will use the best methods for each situation as this will save time and money, as well as ensure the most effective restoration.

Does Your Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold? What Every Buyer Needs To Know

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a residential home Mold growth found in a St James City, FL home.

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or looking for your forever home in St James City, FL, finding insurance with mold coverage probably isn't your top priority. However, fungus growth can damage surfaces like drywall and carpet. Mold remediation can be difficult and expensive. That’s why all buyers need to know if their homeowner's policy includes mold insurance.

What Do Insurers Cover?

Most insurers only cover mold cleanup when some other covered incident caused the mold to grow. The issue might be covered in some of the following cases:

  • Water from a busted pipe soaks your floor, drywall and insulation, causing mold to grow.
  • An extreme snowstorm damages your newly installed roof and the melting snow seeps into your attic and soaks the insulation.
  • A new heat pump leaks suddenly and fungus growth happens before you can make a claim.

What Isn’t Covered?
Mold caused by poor maintenance of your home and appliances is not covered. What about floods? Homeowner's policies typically do not cover flood damage, including mold. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you should explore flood insurance in addition to your homeowner's policy.

Can You Find Insurance That Covers Mold?
Before you buy homeowner's insurance, ask if the policy offers mold coverage. Some policies may offer limited coverage and some insurers may add coverage for an additional fee. If your insurance agency does not offer mold insurance as part of a regular policy, you should be able to add extra coverage for a fee on top of your basic homeowner's policy.

Sometimes extra coverage for mold can be expensive, especially when your home has a history of mold damage. If your insurance company's quote is high, do your homework to see if the additional coverage is worth it. Paying for mold remediation out of pocket may be the cheaper alternative in some cases.

When black and green fungus growth threatens your home, you want to know you have options to pay for the cleanup. If your current homeowner's policy doesn't have mold coverage, you can look into additional insurance to bring you peace of mind in your new home.

5 Reasons Pipes May Make Noise

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Man covering his ears Take note of any noises your plumbing may be making and contact a professional for repairs

Here are Five Common Sounds

A local water damage restoration service can help with water clean-up if your Cape Coral, FL, home suffers a pipe break. However, there are a number of sounds you may hear before large-scale issues arise. It’s important to know what these sounds mean so that you can avoid a potential pipe burst Here are five common sounds.

1. Water Pressure

If the water pressure is too high it can cause a vibration in the pipes resulting in a humming sound. The recommended pressure level is usually around 55 psi. It’s best to contact a professional for help in order to avoid a pipe burst from incorrect water pressure.

2. Air Bubbles

If there’s a problem with your water line there is a chance that air bubbles can be trapped inside. This can result in a banging sound or sputtering right when a faucet is turned on.

3. Loose Fastenings

If a pipe is incorrectly fasted to the wall it can vibrate as water moves through it resulting in a rattling sound. If left unfixed this could result in a pipe break as well.

4. Worn Components

It’s also possible for washers and other plumbing components to wear down over time. This is usually seen in older plumbing systems or areas of high use. Most often the sound that results from this is a squeal or whistle.

5. Drainage

If there is an issue with water draining you may hear a gurgling sound coming from the pipes. This could indicate that there is debris or some other sort of obstruction. A professional can help remedy this problem before a blocked drain results in water overflow.

To help avoid a pipe break take note of any noises your plumbing may be making and contact a professional for repairs. If it becomes necessary to fix broken pipe flooding, a local water damage restoration service can help.

4 Essential Things To Put in Your Building's First Aid Kit

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

First Aid Kit Important items to put in your kit.

4 Essential Things To Put in Your Building's First Aid Kit

If your Bokeelia, FL, building ever experiences a hurricane or any other storm, you'll want to be ready. Other than preparing for the storm damage restoration process, this entails making a fully equipped kit for first aid. If you're unsure about how to do this, here are four essential things to put in your building's first aid kit.

1. Tools and Equipment
Some of the most important items to put in your kit are tools and equipment. These allow you, or, preferably, a nearby medical professional, to perform more intense forms of first aid. Here are some things to gather:

  • Tweezers
  • Resuscitation equipment
  • Scissors
  • A splint
  • Two elastic wraps
  • Medical tape

If no one in your building has training for using these tools, you may want to get it yourself. In case of cold or shock, you'll also want to get a blanket or two for the emergency kit.

2. Bandages and Pads
No matter what happened, it's likely that bandages and pads will be needed. When getting these items, remember that you'll need more than one kind. Get large gauze pads, regular gauze pads, a gauze roller bandage and band-aids.

3. Sanitary Supplies
Finally (in terms of supplies), you'll need to get sanitary items for your first aid kit. Start by getting an agent or two for cleaning wounds. Possible options are moistened towelettes and hydrogen peroxide. You should also procure some latex gloves.

4. Directions

Even if you had first aid training, you may not be available to help. Therefore, it's important to get detailed instructions to put in each kit. In order to ensure accuracy, try to find instructions from reputable sources. If you got any extra items for your kit, make sure to find instructions for those as well.

When making a first aid kit, it's vital to procure every necessary item. Do your research and make the best kits possible.

Understanding the Main Causes of Basement Flooding and Sewer Backups

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

the old dirty cellar flooded from a pipe break A flooded basement is no fun. However, understanding the common causes and preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of the experience.

Understanding The Primary Sources Of Basement Flooding And Sewer Backups

No homeowner wants to deal with a flooded basement. Unfortunately, sometimes floods are unavoidable. Still, according to water mitigation services in North Fort Myers, FL, there are some preventative measures you can take to prevent the top four causes of basement floods and backups.

1. Sewer Overflow

A severe storm can lead to an onslaught of water rushing to public plumbing systems. Unfortunately, when these systems are overloaded, it can result in sewers backing up. You can install sump pumps and backflow valves to prevent backups from occurring.

2. Clogged Pipes

One of the leading causes of a flooded basement is a clogged drainage pipe. Depending on where the blockage is located, there are several potential causes for the clog. For instance, when inside the home, the clog might stem from wadded-up paper products, grease, or other substances. When the block is outside the house, the cause could be an infiltration of roots or a collapse. The best way to prevent such issues is through routine and professional inspection and maintenance.

3. Blocked Gutters

While you might not think gutters could somehow cause a basement flood, you would be wrong. Blocked gutters do not allow for the free transportation of water from the roof to the ground. The blockage will typically result in flooded gutters. The water overflow then clings to the house and seeps into the soil at the foundation. If there are cracks in the foundation, the water can find its way inside. The best way to prevent gutter blockages is to clean them at the change of every season.

4. Landscape or Pavement Slope

Finally, if your landscape or driveway slopes back towards the house, you will likely experience basement flooding. Unfortunately, the only way to fix the problem is to re-slope the affected zones, which can be costly.

A flooded basement is no fun. However, knowing the common causes and preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of the experience.

How To Handle Puffback Soot

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

A truck from a restoration company At SERVPRO, we have the professionals and the necessary equipment to help you deal with the damage caused by puffback soot in your business, call us!

How To Deal With Puffback Soot

The furnace in your building in Cape Coral, FL, is an essential part of keeping warm air moving throughout the space. When the furnace malfunctions, that warm air can carry soot with it, coating everything in its path. Don't ignore this problem. There are a few steps you need to take when you discover your building has puffback damage. 

Inspect Your Whole Building for Puffback Damage

An oil furnace can produce a lot of sticky soot. It gets in every crevice it comes into contact with, and it can spread quickly. When you inspect your building, be sure you look in areas where puffback soot could be hiding:

  • Inside storage closets
  • Behind doors
  • Inside file cabinets and drawers
  • Under sinks

Call the Professionals

There are several people you need to call when you have puffback damage in your building. First, contact a certified HVAC professional who can fix the furnace and prevent further problems. Then, call fire damage restoration specialists to clean up the soot throughout your building, as this oily mess is too big a problem to leave to your regular custodial staff. Finally, make sure you alert your insurance provider, as your policy may cover the cost of cleanup.

Get an Estimate for Total Restoration

To file a proper claim for issues caused by furnace puffback, you need to get a complete estimate. Take into account all the costs associated with restoration, not just the soot cleaning. For example, if parts of a wall or closet are so damaged they need to be replaced, you should figure that into the overall expenses you report.

Any time you have puffback damage in your building, professional intervention is necessary. Technicians can clean thoroughly and get rid of soot and all the subsequent issues it may cause. Professional repair and restoration get your building back to normal as soon as possible.