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Basic Workplace First Aid

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

front view of green first aid box If you end up with injuries due to fire damage, the first step is identifying whether the burn requires professional attention.

Basic First Aid For The Workplace

When you splash hot coffee on your hands or get too close to industrial machinery, there's risk of serious burns. It's important to know how to respond if you or a coworker in Pine Island, FL, gets scalded, exposed to radiation, or zapped with electricity. If you end up with injuries due to fire damage, you'll want to know that someone has the skills and equipment ready to apply burn first aid.

Identify the Severity of the Burn

The first step is identifying whether the burn requires professional attention. Contact 911 or get to an emergency room if there's a major burn.

• The skin is dry and leathery.
• There are charred patches and discoloration.
• The burns cover more than three inches and/or run deep into the skin.

Care for Minor Burns

If the burns are minor, such as blistered hands from providing a quick response to fire damage, there are a few steps you or your coworkers can handle on your own.

• Remove jewelry and tight clothing from the burned skin. It doesn't take long for swelling to affect the area.
• Cool the burned area. This may involve holding the burn under cool running water or putting a cool, wet cloth on the area. This should continue until the pain of the burn decreases.
• Apply an ointment or lotion. After the skin is as cool as possible, apply aloe vera, an antibiotic ointment, or a moisturizing lotion for further relief.
• Consider wrapping the burned skin loosely with sterile gauze to keep air away and to protect the skin. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also be used to reduce pain and swelling.
• If there are blisters, do not pop or break them. The fluid and skin offer protection from infections. If blisters do break, keep the area clean and apply antibiotic ointment over the exposed skin.

Whether you or your coworker has been affected by flames and fire damage or electrical burns, a quick response and appropriate first aid treatment could prevent a lot of pain and damage in the future. Damage to the building should be handled by fire damage restoration professionals.

Keep Looters Away From Your Fire-Damaged Business

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

A woman is upset about her house which has burned down. SERVPRO is here to help in your time of need. We are fire damage restoration experts who are available 24 hours a day to respond when you need us.

Keep Looters Away From Your Burned-Out Shop

At any moment, your St James City, FL, business could be affected by fire damage. Once the flames are gone and the smoke has been cleared out, your work isn't over. The safety and security of your property and business belongings are now at risk. You need to take steps to prevent looting and keep the building and yard safe.

• Secure the roof.
• Board up entry ways.
• Add perimeter fencing.
• Contact local authorities.

Protect the Roof and Address Openings

It's fairly common to have damaged roof openings as part of fire damage, and looters and other vandals may take advantage of those openings to access your building. Use plywood to prevent entry to your business and tack tarp over the exposed areas to keep rain, melting snow, and pests out of the building.

Prevent Unauthorized Access to the Building

Any windows or doors could allow access to your business and equipment. This is especially true after areas have been weakened by disaster. If you have exterior grade solid core doors, just make sure the locks are in good working condition. Otherwise, use plywood sheets and sturdy hinges to construct usable entryways for fire damage and remediation professionals.

Any doors and windows that aren't needed as entry points should be boarded up during fire cleanup to keep looters and other unauthorized people from entering the building. Store the windows, glass, and other components inside the building.

Install Perimeter Fencing

Even a temporary fence around your property can discourage vandals and other individuals from getting into your business during cleanup and reconstruction. This step is especially crucial if you have a lot of equipment, business documents, and other possessions in storage on the property. For the best results, choose fencing with diagonal braces on end and gate posts, a strong galvanized mesh, and lock and chain security.

Even if you have a good security system in place, these added steps can prevent further damages and losses. Don't add more trouble on top of fire damage by neglecting to secure your commercial property.

Top Things to Do (and Not Do) To Prepare for a Storm

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the sky. A winter storm can cause serious damage and even loss of life. If you need assistance and guidance in this topic to your business, contact SERVPRO.

The Best Ways To Prepare For A Storm (And What Not to Do)

Readying for a winter storm involves more than watching the weather report and stocking up on groceries. There’s the odd pipe break, roof stresses and countless other things to prepare for. Whether you’re in the throes of winter or just thinking ahead, consider these do’s and do nots to ensure your Pineland, FL, building gets through the worst of it.

Winter Storm Threats

A storm can pose a surprisingly diverse variety of threats to your building. Some of the most common threats include:

  • Snow build up on roofs
  • Ice dams in gutters
  • Pipe freezes

Each of these can result in damage that can create major inconvenience as well as big expenses in the long run. Preparing for these and other threats is the best way to save yourself a headache.

Do Insulate Your Building

While buildings naturally come with insulation, there’s often room for reinforcement, especially in areas prone to severe winters. Improve efficiency by placing plastic over windows, caulking drafty windows and ensuring you don’t have any holes in your roof. Take note of areas where icicles form around your roof eaves to help you target areas for interior leak inspections.

Don’t Ignore Your Yard

Tree branches are easily weighted down by snow and ice and those can fall onto your building creating disaster. Trim back trees in the warmer season to reduce the chance of major damage to your roof or windows.

Do Service your Thermostat/Furnace

A storm is not the time to find out your thermostat is malfunctioning. Prepare in advance by checking your thermostat to ensure it’s working properly. Further, check your furnace filter and inspect heating ductwork to ensure you’ll be safe from frigid temperatures.

A winter storm can cause serious damage and even loss of life. Ensure your safety by preparing for the season with these basic pointers. And if you’re already facing storm damage, connect with seasoned storm cleanup experts to make things like new.

Some Simple Toilet Fixes

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Puzzled man with a wrench looking at a broken toilet If significant water damage occurs, consider contacting a service specializing in water damage restoration. SERVPRO is your best option!

Simple Toilet Repairs

If you find water pooling around the floor of your bathroom, there’s a good chance you have a leaking toilet. Fortunately, most issues of this type don’t require replacing the entire bowl, and can instead be solved at low cost with a few replacement components.

1. Inspection

The first step is to gain a proper understanding of where problems are likely to occur. While an old toilet will not usually fail in the basin itself, it is possible for the wax seal beneath the toilet to disintegrate over time. To check the status of the seal, simply remove the plastic-capped bolts holding the toilet to the floor. Be sure to cut off the water supply line beforehand and empty the tank of the leaking toilet.

2. Replacement

If you have ascertained that the seal has failed, the next step in the toilet repair process is to purchase a replacement seal that fits your specific drain. Scrape the remaining pieces of the seal away from the outlet with a putty knife or other flat-bladed tool and place the new one over the drain. When reinstalling the toilet, it may be necessary to exchange or cut the bolts affixing the unit before replacing the caps.

3. Future Maintenance

Afterwards, it may be advantageous to place a caulk seal at the point where the toilet contacts the floor. This can help keep incidental moisture, such as condensation from shower steam, from seeping under the toilet and causing unwanted mold or bacterial growth. Be sure to also inspect pipes, supply lines, and the inner tank mechanisms for wear and tear that can cause other kinds of leaks. If significant water damage occurs, consider contacting a service specializing in water damage restoration.

While a leaking toilet can be a hassle, don’t hesitate to perform some simple repairs to keep your bathroom in good shape. Manage your home’s plumbing in Burnt Store, FL, properly to prevent lasting damage.

Apartment Fires: Who Pays

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Apartment with fire damage. Twenty-four-seven, three hundred and sixty-five days, SERVPRO is ready to assist you in any fire, water, mold, or storm loss. Call us!

Who Covers The Costs Of Apartment Fires?

An apartment fire can cause panic and undoubtedly create extensive fire damage. However, some landlords and renters worry more about the financial burden of the recovery than the immediate loss. Thankfully, fiscal responsibility is pretty cut and dry, especially when the fire is deemed accidental.

1. Facility

The actual building is the responsibility of the owner. This means that the renter is not obligated to pay for structural damage, even if it occurs in their apartment. However, the landlord’s insurer may challenge the renter’s insurer if the fire is caused by tenant neglect or ill-will.

2. Function

Also, any utilities – water, gas, electric – that are damaged in the apartment fire are the responsibility of the property owner. A landlord is responsible for the functionality of a building, meaning that the tenant is not responsible for ensuring the utilities work properly.

3. Personal Property

While a landlord must take care of the structure and functionality of their property, they have no responsibility for the personal property of their tenants. Therefore, tenants must cover the costs of replacement themselves. However, most tenants will have renter’s insurance which should help cover this expense.

4. Construction

Lastly, the rebuilding of the property is the responsibility of the property owner. Likely, their insurance will cover any restoration efforts, but they may require that the owner call a disaster restoration specialist in the Cape Coral, FL, area, and receive an estimate for the work to be completed.

An apartment fire is scary and confusing, but despite the confusion, there are clear lines of responsibility when the fire is deemed an accident. However, the loss of property is still devastating, and it may evoke feelings of desperation. Fortunately, if you have adequate insurance coverage, the stress of the impending financial burden may be alleviated. Insurers account for fire loss in most policies and are ready and willing to help you through this crisis.

What To Do When a Water Heater Leaks

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler Homeowners may be able to clean up and dry a minor leak. Hire a mitigation service to handle more extensive water damage. Count on SERVPRO.

What Should You Do If Your Water Heater Leaks?

A leaking water heater can cause significant water damage. Homeowners should take measures to limit damage before an appliance repair professional arrives.

Drain the Tank

The best temporary solution for a water heater leak is to drain the tank. Follow these steps to do so safely:

  • Turn off the power to an electric water heater at the breaker box
  • Shut off the gas valve on a gas water heater
  • Turn off the water supply
  • Run hot water in a sink or tub
  • Allow remaining water in tank to cool
  • Open the pressure relief valve
  • Run a hose from the drainage spigot to a bucket
  • Turn on the spigot and finish draining the tank

These measures may limit the amount of water damage caused by a leaking water heater. Consult an appliance repair expert regarding the best options for a leaky or failed water heater.

Repair or Replace the Heater

Some causes of leaks can be repaired. The most common water heater repairs include:

  • Replacing faulty valves
  • Replacing gaskets
  • Repairing pipes and connections

If corrosion has eaten through a metal tank, it will be necessary to replace the water heater. An appliance repair professional can advise a homeowner about broken water heater repairs and whether replacement is necessary.

Clean Up and Restore

It is important to clean up water damage as soon as possible. Homeowners or restoration professionals should:

  • Pump out or mop up water
  • Dry the affected area with fans and a dehumidifier
  • Monitor the area for mold

Homeowners may be able to clean up and dry a minor leak. Hire a mitigation service to handle more extensive water damage.

As soon as a homeowner notices a leaking water heater, he or she should disconnect the water supply and drain the tank. For the best results, seek help from appliance repair specialists and cleanup and restoration professionals in Cape Coral, FL.

Soot, Structure, and Smell

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

A kitchen with fire damage When your home suffers fire damage SERVPRO Is here, we are always ready to help when you need us most.

The Smell, The Soot, And The Structure

After a home fire, you're left with a lot of mess and clean up. Fortunately, you don't have to tackle those chores on your own. After the fire department has left and you have the go-ahead to return to your home, make sure there's plenty of ventilation and then consider the following services provided by smoke damage restoration professionals.

• Emergency protection
• Home content removal
• Cleaning and sanitation
• Odor removal
• Restoration
• Education and consultation

Professionals in North Fort Myers, FL, may provide other services in addition to these.

Eliminating Soot Damage

Smoke and soot settle into just about every permeable item in your home. This includes paint, carpeting, curtains, clothing, and other furnishings. Some of those belongings you can take care of on your own. You might take your clothing to a dry cleaner, for example. However, other items require expert care. Professionals have specialized equipment and training to safely remove soot deposits from sensitive items, such as expensive rugs. Work closely with professionals to minimize soot damage.

Inspecting for Structural Concerns

One very important service provided by fire and smoke cleaning professionals in North Fort Myers, FL, is the inspection of structural elements. Fires often cause weaknesses around windows, doorways, walls, and ceilings. However, even if you only had smoke damage, the structure of the home could be affected. Smoke seeps into those surfaces and could linger for long periods of time without appropriate treatments, such as dehumidifiers and industrial air scrubbers.

Eliminating Smells

For homeowners, the lingering smells left behind after a fire are a constant reminder of the scary experience. Fortunately, as smoke cleaning professionals complete their work, the odors are washed away, until you don't smell anything but a clean, fresh home. If there is a lot of damage or heavy odors, professionals may use some type of blasting, power scrubs, or specialized chemicals to clean your home thoroughly.

After surveying the extent of fire and smoke damage, it's easy to become overwhelmed. Professional services can take you from desperation back to your normal life.

Can I Recover Wet Documents?

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

water damage in an office SERVPRO has the experience to handle any water damage in your commercial property and we're available 24/7 to answer your call.

Is It Possible To Recover Wet Documents?

A flood in St James City, FL, can be a serious problem for any business that has to deal with sensitive information. If your files become contaminated with flood water due to a weather event or damage to the structure, there are a few steps you can take to restore and preserve your wet documents.

1. Collect and Categorize

Preserve the original organization system as much as possible. For example, files in a file cabinet should be removed from any standing water, but kept in their original order and with any accompanying folders or dividers. This will aide professional restoration services in the document drying process. If possible, create a new inventory of all known documents as well as their current state of water damage.

2. Safety

Mold and mildew can begin to set in relatively quickly from the time of the initial flooding event. Note that any wet documents made of paper will be susceptible to retaining these disease agents, including blueprints, books and tax records. Any photographic materials or medical scans may also need attention. Separate the affected documents in a temporary storage area and ensure thorough air circulation. Prevent employees from adding or removing any documents until they have been completely restored.

3. Further Processing

To guarantee optimal safety, a professional service may decide to use a vacuum freeze-drying process. This will help remove water quickly with the fewest possible side effects, such as curling or bleeding. Full sanitation may also require treatment with gamma rays to kill harmful viruses and bacteria. Afterward, prudent business owners may opt to back up the affected documents through digital scans, guaranteeing that any future flood event doesn’t result in a loss of critical information.

No business should be disrupted by a flood for longer than is absolutely necessary. Prevent wet documents from disrupting your schedule by having a plan for recovery in the event of a storm or other catastrophe.

Board Up Benefits: Why Emergency Board Up is Essential

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Roofe and drainage maintance If holes in ceilings are left uncovered, then your home remains open to additional water and wind damage.

Benefits of Boarding Up: Why is Emergency Boarding Up Necessary?

Many disasters may require an emergency board up, which is when wood is used to cover any structural or property damage. While there are many reasons to board up your property, the most common are listed below.

1. Mitigate Further Damage

Boarding up your property is essentially about mitigating further loss and damage. If holes in ceilings are left uncovered, then your home remains open to additional water and wind damage. If broken windows are left untouched, then your house is open to looters. Covering the structural damage protects against the elements and intruders, and thereby protects you from further property loss.

2. Reduce Liability Risks

A board up also reduces liability risks. While it may seem unfair, you may be found liable for injuries someone sustains inside your home, even if that person enters your home illegally. Boarding up your house after structural damage occurs protects against personal injuries and, as a result, protects you from liability risks.

3. Protect Against Loss of Coverage

Many insurers require the boarding up or tarping of damaged properties following a disaster because it mitigates further damage and reduces liability. If you choose not to comply with this requirement, then you risk the loss of coverage, meaning that you will have to cover all restoration costs alone.

4. Complement with Professional Installation

While you may think that your home is safe, a professional inspector may uncover hidden water or fire damage that brings the integrity of your home into question. For that reason, boarding up your property should not be a solo endeavor, and many insurers may require that a restoration specialist from Cape Coral, FL, perform the task to ensure that your home is structurally sound.

Boarding up your property after a disaster is essential because it mitigates further damage, reduces liability risks, and protects against out-of-pocket expenses. While you may be hesitant to board up your property after storm or fire damage, be aware of the potential risks you invite by avoiding it.

How To Identify Secondary Damage

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a home. Your home can benefit from the expertise of water damage restoration professionals, SERVPRO is always here, ready to respond to your needs, call us!

What Is Secondary Damage And How Do I Recognize It?

Primary water damage is relatively easy to pinpoint. A specific incident such as a broken pipe or malfunctioning device leads directly to the presence of water in a home. Secondary issues such as black mold may result if a homeowner does not immediately take action to mitigate the initial problem. It may be difficult to distinguish primary damage from secondary in an environment where both types of damage are present.

Primary Versus Secondary

Primary damage is directly caused by the original source of the damage. In the case of a roof leak or flood, primary damage occurs when items come into contact with the excess water.

Any damage that takes place after the initial incident or due to the conditions caused by this incident is secondary. This damage may occur if the primary damage is not promptly discovered or is improperly addressed.

Common Types of Secondary Damage

Primary damage can become compounded without adequate mitigation measures. If water is left to stand or conditions such as high humidity persist, you may have to deal with additional damage, including:

  • The growth of black mold or other types of mold
  • Buckled hardwood floors
  • Metal corrosion
  • Cracked plaster
  • Released laminate or vinyl flooring
  • Rotted wood
  • Sagging sheetrock

Which of these conditions occurs depends on the types of building materials or contents that are exposed to primary damage. The severity of these conditions may vary depending on the duration of time and the severity of the primary damage.

Mitigation and Prevention

The best way to reduce the likelihood and extent of secondary damage is to promptly mitigate primary damage. Eliminate the presence of standing water and use a dehumidifier or ventilation to dry out air, building materials, contents, and surfaces. Keeping humidity levels low can help prevent the growth of black mold. In addition to this immediate action, your home can also benefit from the expertise of water damage restoration professionals in Pine Island, FL.