Recent Posts

Be Prepared In Case You Ever Have A Fire

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of Fire Extinguisher A properly selected fire extinguisher can stop a fire become it becomes serious or deadly.

The hours, days and weeks following a fire or water damage in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. having that we live in the "sunshine state" doesn't make things any better especially for the Orlando, Altamonte, and Ocoee areas. Surrounded by possessions that are soot-covered, flame-damaged or wet, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out safely everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears or the water recedes, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better.

From the beginning make sure that you are organized, amidst the chaos of your scorched surroundings.

Take notes on every conversation and online correspondence with your insurance company and restoration professionals, because in any stressful situation, miscommunication can happen. Save all receipts and original documents; only give photocopies upon request.

Your first call should be to your insurance agent/carrier. Not only is it required that you file your claim as soon as possible, it is also in your best interest. The sooner you get the process started, the sooner an insurance adjustor will arrive at your door to begin assessing damage.

A reputable cleaning and restoration team should be next on your call list like SERVPRO of Apopka/Wekiva. If you can find one that also specializes in professional repair services, you’ll save yourself time, money and headaches. Depending upon the extent of damage, your property will may first need to be secured (boarded up, for example), and a high quality restoration team with carpentry skills can perform that service for you.

Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, climate controlled facility.

Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

·         Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces

·         Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris

·         Do not use food items, canned goods or medications exposed to heat

·         Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

With preparation, resources and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery.

Why Should You Hire a Professional for your Fire Clean Up?

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of Burned Home After the Fire Fighters leave you need professionals to clean up and rebuild. SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva is here to help.

It can be confusing trying to deal with the damages from a fire at your home or business. The IICRC has provided the following helpful information on handling this. Due to the intricate measures needed to properly clean up after a fire loss, having a trained team of professionals will help alleviate some of the stress. Give us a call and we will send someone out to help.

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative
.

How To Prepare Your Orlando Building for Storm Damage

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Do you have storm damage? Call SERVPRO of Apopka / Wekiva Today?

As a property manager in Orlando, FL, you know how important it is to maintain the building and grounds to create a safe, comfortable environment for your tenants. Not only do you want to keep the property looking nice, but you need to think about issues such as storm preparedness. If you are not ready to withstand the effects of Mother Nature, you should act quickly to put the appropriate safeguards in place.

Assess and Inspect

If you're behind in your storm preparedness, don't panic and start assembling a bunch of supplies without doing some planning first. You should start by looking over the property and identifying potential areas of concern. Here are a few ideas on how to do this:

  • Inspect the room and make sure there are no weak spots, gaps or issues that might increase the chances of leaks.
  • Make sure there are clearly marked exit signs and instructions on how to safely evacuate the building in case of an emergency.
  • Evaluate the windows and consider purchasing shatter-proof ones.

Bolster the Windows and Doors

In a storm with high winds, these two areas of entry could be significant safety hazards. Consider purchasing items such as roll-up shutters or storm panels to place over the doors and windows when storms hit. Every property management emergency plan should have a way to protect tenants from damage that could occur from breaking glass.

Have Sandbags Ready

If you live in an area where heavy rains are common, flooding can always be a risk. The same goes for property owners whose buildings are near waterways. Purchase a set of sandbags that you could fill and place around doors, windows and the foundation when necessary.


Practice Evacuating

Work with your tenants on developing an emergency exit plan. At least once a year, evaluate this plan. Practice evacuations are critical as well. This plan should also include knowing which emergency cleanup company to call when disasters strike.


Storm preparedness can give you peace of mind even during an emergency such as a flood or severe storm. Make sure you're ready at a moment's notice.

Partial Fire Loss Can Leave Lingering Damage

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire loss in a warehouse in Apopka, FL Fire loss in a warehouse in Apopka, FL

Partial Fire Loss Can Leave Lingering Damage

If a fire breaks out in your Apopka, FL, business, the aftermath can be overwhelming. Even if there is only a partial fire loss, the lingering effects of the fire and smoke damage can create long-term issues.

Seek Hidden Damage
Whether small or big, smoke, soot, and flames can quickly become absorbed into the materials of a building, even in areas not affected by the fire. If a fire breaks out in a neighboring establishment, its residual impact may also affect your building. Calling a fire restoration specialist is the best bet to ensure the building is properly cleaned and inspected. During the inspection, they will check areas of the structure that may be overlooked, including:

HVAC System – Soot can easily begin to circulate through the vents. If not properly cleaned, it creates a long-term odor and affects air quality.
Attics – As smoke rises, any levels above the fire will be affected. Not addressing soot buildup can reduce air quality.
Electric and Plumbing – The accumulation of soot can also involve plumbing and electrical systems. The heat from a fire can impact pipes, potentially resulting in a pipe burst. If the fire was due to an electrical issue, it might be best to contact an electrician to update the wiring.
Mold – If a sprinkler system was set off or water hoses were used to put out a fire, it has the potential to create the right environment for mold. As the water absorbs into porous materials, mold can quickly grow and spread.

Address the Issue
Fire loss can feel overwhelming. Once the smoke settles, filing a claim as quickly as possible is key to getting your business back up and running. For partial losses, the process may be a little different. It is important to document all damaged items. This will help the process go more smoothly and may help the restoration experts better salvage some of the losses.
While fire loss can seem devastating, help is only a phone call away. The right professional will work to reduce losses and make the proper repairs to get your business back to normal.

Examples of Fires That Your Insurance Will Not Cover

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage in Apopka, FL Kitchen fire damage in Apopka, FL

From a young age, you're told that fire can be dangerous. Parents and teachers urge you to not play with matches or do anything else that could start a fire in your Apopka home. Still, despite your best efforts, these incidents can occur. While your first thoughts will be about the safety of your loved ones, you'll also worry about the condition of your property and possessions. Fortunately, your homeowner's insurance should cover a home fire in most cases. You should be aware of the times when your claim would be denied.

When You Can Get Coverage

Your homeowner's insurance should give you the financial help you need following a home fire in Central Florida. Your policy can cover losses to your dwelling and possessions you lost in the fire. Your policy may even cover any expenses you had while staying somewhere else temporarily. Insurance will cover fires started by the following causes:

  • A vandal who intentionally started the fire in your home.
  • A fire that you started by accident.
  • A fire that started due to faulty equipment such as wiring or appliances.

Insurance Fraud
Some people make the catastrophic mistakes of resorting to arson to get the insurance company to pay a settlement. Anytime arson is suspected in a fire, the insurance company will investigate before professional fire restoration crews arrive to clean up. Homeowners guilty of this are subject to criminal punishment and will have their claim denied.

Empty House
If you own a vacant home, the insurance company will not pay for damages it suffered in a fire. A vacant home fire does not fall under a homeowner's insurance policy, so you will be left with the repair and restoration bills unless you buy supplemental coverage on the property.
Understanding how your homeowner's insurance policy works is critical. If you have a home fire, you need to know when your policy would go into effect and when it would not.

What You Should Or Should Not Do After Fire Damage Affects Your Wekiva Home

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Trust SERVPRO for Fire Damage Repair and Restoration Trust SERVPRO for Fire Damage Repair and Restoration in Wekiva, FL

Rely on Professional Fire Damage Restoration from SERVPRO

You had to watch as a fire broke out in your home; you were able to get everyone to safety and contact the authorities but felt helpless as you stood there, watching. Doing a little research on your own led you to give us a call. But now you do not want to wait.

Learning what you should or should not do after a fire damage incident on your Wekiva property is important. While you are waiting for an expertly trained professional to arrive, there are many ways you can help, just keep in mind that you should avoid doing too much. Some items on this list are for Do-It-Your-Selfers; we highly recommend that you call us first.

Make sure to focus your attention on safety, eliminate any possible electrical or gas hazards by shutting the services off to your house. ONLY if safe. No one knows your home better than you do; you should be able to locate slip and fall hazards before anyone else.

You can limit traffic to prevent soot particles from being embedded into your upholstery and carpeting, by placing clean towels or old linens on any rugs, upholstery or carpeting found in high traffic areas. Keep your hands clean to avoid transferring different soils to clean upholstery, walls, or woodwork.


Do not attempt any activities that are unsafe for you to perform on your own. Remember, some of these materials can weigh a lot due to water exposure, so be careful. There is no reason to move the big items out on your own; SERVPRO technicians are on the way.


If you were able to turn off your electricity properly, you can empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open for cleaning. If the fire damage is relatively minor, leave the fridge closed for us to come and inspect. You can also help SERVPRO technicians by removing any small loose items found throughout your home, such as house plants, desk lamps, and other small appliances to a safe, dry location carefully.

Placing double layers of cheesecloth over all of your air registers and changing your HVAC filter helps. But, avoid turning on your ventilation system, you'll just end up causing additional cleaning that wasn't otherwise necessary, so letting us do the work is preferable.

Avoid washing walls or painted surfaces, or shampooing your carpet and other upholstery items without contacting us. Do not clean any electrical appliances directly affected by fire, heat, or water; SERVPRO has specialty restoration services for those items, to avoid accidental secondary damage.

You should also avoid using any canned or packaged food or beverages stored near the source of the fire, heat, or exposed to water. Also, never send any clothing or other garments to an ordinary dry cleaner after a fire, as improper cleaning used on affected items may cause smoke odors to set permanently.

For more advice, and fire damage restoration service, on what you should or should not do after a fire, contact SERVPRO of Apopka / Wekiva today. (407) 788-3124

Why You Want a Flood Cut

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Flood cut performed in Apopka, FL Flood cut performed in Apopka, FL

Why You Want a Flood Cut

It's just a bit of water. It's harmless. Isn't that what business owners in Apopka, FL, want to think when flooding hits the property? It's hard to fathom that something so simple could be quite hazardous. In actuality, though, the premises have been invaded by very dirty water, and proprietors need the assistance of a water restoration company to sanitize and remove problematic parts. A flood cut is often part of the necessity, and it's meant to help you, not hurt your place. Hopefully, the following three points help ease your mind about the unwanted structural departure.

1. Why Is Flood Water Harmful?

When fluid rises from streams, rivers, and oceans, it contains microbes and bacteria, more than you want anywhere around you. It is their natural habitat; thus, they float on inside, making themselves comfortable in the new home. While some materials are not as easy for them, porous items such as carpet and drywall are welcome spots. There they can thrive and cultivate, creating a mold or bacterial growth. To get rid of it all, you want to tear out moist sections, decontaminating the space.

2. What Does the Flood Cut Do?

The experts should inspect the premises, evaluating the flooding zones. Then, they'll recommend removing anything problematic. It's not enough go with the initial zone, this special cut goes 12 inches about the flood line, trying to avoid leaving anything behind. This is simply an extra precaution to make your company safer.

3. How Is the Place Sanitized?

With those pieces gone, dehumidifiers can dry out the rooms, saving the other valuables and effects. Then, antimicrobial spray can be applied, to further reduce contamination. Once that is out of the way, the walls can be repaired and painted, getting everything back to normal.
If a specialist recommends cutting out flooding-impacted drywall, it's not meant to scare you or drive up the bill. It's a protective measure, decreasing pollutants and improving your structure's overall quality.

How Contamination Level Changes the Mitigation Process

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Category 1 water damage comes from a clean water source Category 1 water damage comes from a clean water source

How Contamination Level Changes the Mitigation Process

All flooding is not the same. When your home in Orlando,FL, floods, the first question water mitigation experts are likely to ask is the source of the water. Where the water comes from often indicates the level of contamination with which they must contend. It can tell them a lot about the process they need to use to completely restore your home to its original state.

Category 1

Category 1 water is considered clean. Your home may be flooded by a clean source:

  • Broken pipe
  • Leaking pipe
  • Busted supply line

The water damage caused by clean water must still be repaired, but the process is pretty straightforward. The area can often be dried without having to remove a lot of damaged material.

Category 2

If flooding occurs as the result of a leak from your refrigerator or an overflowing washing machine, this is considered a Category 2 incident. Some cleaning is required, because the water may contain a few contaminants. As long as the materials involved are not saturated and can be adequately disinfected, they may not have to be removed.

Category 3

Flood damage from a storm or sewer line falls within the third level of contamination. This can complicate the cleanup process extensively. Even if the walls, floors and ceilings affected by the flood are still structurally sound, any area the contaminated water touched may still have to be removed in order to ensure all the microbes in the water are gone. Just because it doesn't look or smell dirty, that doesn't mean that it isn't. Technicians know it is better to err on the side of caution when the water comes from a source that is likely contaminated.
Understanding the mitigation process for flooding in your home can help you plan ahead. When you hear that the damage was caused by Category 3 water, you can adjust your expectations accordingly.

Why Your Floors Need Commercial Cleaning In Your Apopka Business

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Carpet Being Cleaned SERVPRO Carpet Being Cleaned

Thorough commercial carpet cleaning is the single best way to preserve and extend the life of carpet, but proper treatment requires careful planning and extensive training. It is the kind of training that a professional would receive through an organization like the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), and it is essential for a professional to integrate quality practices into their own firm. But how much goes into proper commercial carpet cleaning? It starts with keeping soil and debris from entering the building to begin with. By placing entry mats in entrance and high traffic areas and maintaining the walking surfaces outside of the building, there will be less soil to deal with inside the building. Inside, frequent vacuuming is the first line of defense, and may be needed daily in areas that receive a lot of traffic. Vacuuming ensures deposited soil does not penetrate deeply into the fibers and cause damage.

Spot and stain control are essential, even if the flooring is colored in a way to make stain detection difficult. Stains will degrade the integrity of the flooring and alter its texture, so professionals will have to respond quickly to any problem areas. Formulated detergents and targeted agitation will normally do the trick. Finally, deep treatment, usually through hot water extraction or encapsulation methods, will need to be done several times a year to remove soils that have become embedded in the carpet fibers. Regular office carpet cleaning is necessary for maintaining a professional, healthy atmosphere. No one likes to work in filth, and over time, the flooring will pick up a great deal of soil and debris. If it is not regularly removed, the flooring will deteriorate at an accelerated rate, harbor odors, and look unattractive and dirty. Fortunately, certified professionals can keep the flooring nearly soil free if they are brought in for a thorough treatment on a regular basis.

Commercial buildings withstand a great deal of foot traffic every day, and with the foot traffic comes soil, moisture, and other debris. With entry mats near the entrances and daily vacuuming, most of this soil can be kept from penetrating into the fibers. However, it is not a perfect solution, and deep office carpet cleaning will be needed before long. There are several treatment methods available for commercial buildings, but most textile manufacturers agree that hot water extraction is the most effective method. During hot water extraction, a combination of superheated water and detergent is injected deep into the carpeting and then extracted once it has a chance to suspend any soil.

Make sure that before hiring a professional, you select a company that is an IICRC Certified Firm. This will ensure that the technician sent to your office is also certified. Advanced treatment methods require expertise and proper training, and certification through a respectable organization will convey this. We would love the opportunity to give you an estimate for the cleaning of your office. With over 30 years of experience in the cleaning and restoration industry, we can help in almost any situation.

Central Florida Fire Damage Restoration: What are the steps involved?

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

The hours, days and weeks following a fire in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out, thanks to proper disaster planning and preparation, everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better.

Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, climate controlled facility.

Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

  • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
  • Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
  • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
  • Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

With preparation, resources, and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery. We hope that you never have to deal with any of this, but if you do, know that our team here at SERVPRO of Apopka / Wekiva will be there to help you through it.

The hours, days and weeks following a fire in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out, thanks to proper disaster planning and preparation, everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better.

Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, climate controlled facility.

Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

  • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
  • Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
  • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
  • Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

With preparation, resources, and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery. We hope that you never have to deal with any of this, but if you do, know that our team here at SERVPRO of Apopka / Wekiva will be there to help you through it.