Fifth Annual Readers’ Choice Award Winners Announced
One of the more notable winners was SERVPRO of North Palm Beach / Lake Worth, winning the “Disaster, Recovery, and Restoration – 2018” category.
Florida Community Association Journal magazine announced its fifth annual Readers’ Choice Award winners in the March 2018 issue of the magazine with an expanded section profiling notable winners for the year.
One of the more notable winners was SERVPRO of North Palm Beach / Lake Worth, winning the “Disaster, Recovery, and Restoration – 2018” category.
The FLCAJ Readers’ Choice Awards is a unique recognition program that shines a spotlight on the positive and productive contributions by community association service providers across Florida. They are presented to service providers that demonstrate through their commitment to the community associations they serve an exemplary level of proficiency, reliability, fairness, and integrity.
Since being founded in 2013, the Awards have grown every year, with more than 390 service providers nominated for this year’s awards and more than 7,500 votes cast.
There is no fee to enter the Awards and the entire submission process is done online. Winners are chosen based solely on the total number of votes.
For more information, please visit fcapgroup.com.
Staying Safe in a House Fire
SERVPRO has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.
A house fire is one of the most frightening things that a family can experience. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there are more than 300,000 home structure fires each year in the United States, with an astonishing average of seven deaths per day linked to house fires. While the kitchen is the most common place that a fire starts inside of a home, areas like the living room, bedrooms, and family room are also sources of a sizable number of fires. As a homeowner in South Florida, it is absolutely essential for you and your family to be well-versed on an emergency plan in the event of a fire in your home.
A common misconception about house fires is that homeowners think “it will never happen to me”. Unfortunately, this mindset often leads to a lack of preparation that can make all of the difference in the event of an emergency. As such, keep these safety tips in mind for staying safe in a house fire:
- Do not rely on a fire alarm to inform all of the members of your family that a fire is present in the home, start yelling out loud
- Grab the fire extinguisher is the fire tame enough, but be sure to abort that plan and leave immediately if the fire extinguisher proves to be a futile effort
- Call 9-1-1 or the fire department
- Exit immediately and crawl low to avoid smoke inhalation
- Feel the doorknob before opening any door to ensure that it is not hot
- Leave your valuables in the home, get yourself and your family out as quickly as possible
- Use a damp towel or shirt to cover your nostrils so that smoke does not enter your lungs
- Never run into a room with flames present
- As you exit a room, close the door behind you to avoid the spreading of the fire
- Once you have evacuated the home, stay outside in a safe place and wait for first responders to arrive
House fires bring out a variety of instincts in people, and they are often dangerous responses to the emergency situation. Therefore, it is vital that you go over these safety tips with your family so that everyone is prepared in the event of a fire. After the fire trucks are gone, your and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. Call us today to learn more!
Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Home or Business
If you think your home or business could use some professional attention, contact our SERVPRO team at your earliest convenience.
With the spring season right around the corner, it is typically the time of year where homeowners and business owners take a few weekends to spruce up the interior and exterior of their home or business. Keeping your home or business tidy and clean is important for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, a clean home or business is less likely to face issues like mold damage and other problems that stem from a lack of attention and care. In addition, maintaining the cleanliness of a home will help tremendously in the resale value of the home should the homeowner consider selling one day down the road. From the kitchen to the garage and from the backyard area to the bedrooms, spring cleaning is extremely important for South Florida homes.
If you are looking to spruce up your home this spring season, keep in mind the following cleaning tips:
- Clean out your refrigerator – dispose of expired items and wash each tray
- Give all of your doormats a good wash
- Clean your upholstery and carpet – get professional help from SERVPRO to make sure the job is done right
- Pay special attention to washing your baseboards
- Dust all ceiling fans
- Scrub down your stove and oven
- Sanitize all sinks
- Disinfect your kitchen sink’s disposal
- Thoroughly clean all bathrooms – including shower doors, shower walls, and drain areas
- Disinfect and clean all toilets
- Reorganize your bedroom closets and drawers
- Pressure wash your driveway and roof
- Wash all windows
- Degrease and clean all kitchen cabinets
While there are certainly additional tasks to accomplish while doing your spring cleaning, the above list should serve as a great starting point for you and your family or you and your employees. While spring cleaning is important, keeping your home or business clean throughout the year is the key to ensuring major dirt buildup is avoided. Mold damage is one of the most common side effects of untreated water leaks and other home or business issues. If you think your home or business could use some professional attention, contact our SERVPRO team at your earliest convenience.
Battling Mold and Mildew in Your Kitchen
Understanding the most common causes of mold and mildew in your kitchen is the first and most efficient step in preventing fungal growth in your home.
The development of mold or mildew growth in your kitchen is highly likely to occur in your home if preventative measures are not taken. A hub for moisture and water, the kitchen is extremely susceptible to fungus growth of a wide variety. In South Florida, homeowners must be educated on the common causes of mold and mildew growth in their kitchens in order to avoid the damage from forming in the first place. From foul odors to health concerns and from costly damages to added homeowner stress, the ability to battle mold and mildew in your kitchen is extremely important.
Preventing mold from growing in your kitchen is as much about education as it is about action. In fact, so much of mold growth prevention lies in awareness and proactive measures to keep the kitchen safe for all of your friends and family. Keep in mind the following common causes of kitchen mold:
- Leaks in your kitchen sink
- Dirty or broken garbage disposal
- Rotten fruits and vegetables
- Water leaks from kitchen appliances
- Higher levels of humidity
- Fridge mold
- Old cutting board mold
Understanding the most common causes of mold and mildew in your kitchen is the first and most efficient step in preventing fungal growth in your home. The kitchen is often the most central location of a home, a place where family members and friends gather. As such, protecting your kitchen from mold is imperative. To learn more about mold prevention or mold remediation in your home, contact our team of SERVPRO mold professionals at your earliest convenience.
Fast Facts on Florida Storms
We have the storm damage restoration experience and specialized equipment to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.
With Hurricane Irma in our rearview mirror, it’s easy for many Florida residents to forget about how scary and dangerous hurricane season can be. February is a great time to remind yourself and your family members of how important storm preparation is for safeguarding your home and keeping your loved ones protected. While summer is often the season most associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, and all types of storms, it is important to keep in mind that the spring season also brings with it the threat of storms. The reality is that Florida sustains more hits from hurricanes than any other state in the country. Living in the Sunshine State has many, many perks, but sustaining regular hurricanes is certainly one of the negatives to residing here.
Understanding some basic facts about Florida storms is essential in being prepared both physically and mentally for an unexpected hurricane or tornado. Consider the following fast facts on Florida storms:
- Hurricane Irma made landfall at 115 knots in Cudjoe Key
- Anything above a Category 3 is considered to be a major hurricane
- When tornadoes take place in the spring season they are more likely to strike at night
- It is possible for a tornado to form inside of a hurricane
- In any given moment there are around 1,800 thunderstorms happening around the globe
- Thunderstorm clouds can reach more than 20,000 feet high
- Moisture, unstable air, and lift create the basic thunderstorm
- Cumulonimbus clouds produce thunderstorms
- Lightning due to thunderstorms kills more people each year than tornadoes do
- A “derecho” refers to a severe storm that encompasses a large area, has high winds, and lasts a very long time
Being prepared in the event of an unexpected storm is imperative. SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County responds immediately to your flood and storm damage emergencies. We have the storm damage restoration experience and specialized equipment to restore your Palm Beach Gardens home or business back to pre-storm condition.
Areas in Florida Most at Risk of Flooding
Our team of highly trained water damage specialists are ready to respond to your flood damage or water damage emergency.
According to reports from the journal of Environmental Research Letters, approximately 3.9 million homes in America will be at risk of flooding over the next 100 years if the current sea levels rise just one foot. Florida ranks amongst the most susceptible to flooding in the entire country due to its southern location and being surrounded by water. U.S. News reported that the states most at risk of flooding include Florida, Louisiana, California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Georgia. Predictions point to the fact that homeowners in South Florida may need to start migrating to higher ground over the next few decades.
Over 1.6 million people live off of Florida’s coast and are at risk of flooding whenever a major storm hits the region. The subtropical climate paired with more than 1,100 miles of coastline makes living in Florida both a treat and a threat. First and foremost, you should be aware of whether or not your home is located in a flood zone. You can use this FEMA Flood Map Tool to determine that information. The following are the most vulnerable Florida cities when it comes to storm surge flooding:
- Tampa, FL
- Miami, FL
- Fort Meyers, FL
- Sarasota, FL
In fact, the above Florida cities all ranked in the top eight most susceptible cities in regard to storm surge flooding, according to a study from Karen Clark & Company (KCC) in 2015. No matter where you live in Florida, it is important to be aware of the flooding and the potential dangers that it may cause your home. Water damage from flooding can cause a wide range of problems in your home’s interior and exterior. When a major storm hits, SERVPRO is here to help in the aftermath. Our team of highly trained water damage specialists are ready to respond to your flood damage or water damage emergency. Contact us today to learn more!
6 Surprising Causes of Home Fires
At SERVPRO, we always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.
Home fires are incredibly scary to think about. In the most unsuspecting of times, homeowners must act quickly to protect their loved ones, their pets, and their most cherished home items. Unfortunately, in the United States nearly 4,000 people are killed each year from fires, that number is more than all natural disasters combined. In fact, approximately every minute and a half a new home fire is reported throughout the country, as reported National Fire Protection Association. While most people think of home fires as something that would never happen to them, the reality is that these occurrences strike far too many families across the nation. Fire damage is a serious problem, even for the smallest of home fires. As such, the ability to prevent a home fire from happening in the first place is absolutely critical.
Most people think that common fire starters like candles and cooking make up the majority of home fires. Nevertheless, it is important to be educated on all kinds of causes in order to prevent fires from starting in the first place. Some of the more surprising causes of home fires are as follows:
- Dishwashers: many people believe that since dishwashers have water in them they are incapable of causing a fire. However, the motor and heating elements in a dishwasher make it a potentially dangerous appliance.
- Jars: ant kind of glass object has the potential to catch fire from the reflection of the sun, so flammable liquids should not be stored in glass jars or glass containers of any kind.
- Outdated Appliances: old appliances have a tendency of having faulty wires and thus cause unexpected fires.
- Circuit Breakers: if the wiring in a circuit breaker is old or faulty it make catch fire.
- Smoke Detectors: even though smoke detectors are there to help in the event of a fire, they can actually catch fire on their own if they are malfunctioning. Make sure that your smoke detectors is not missing any batteries or malfunctioning in any way.
- Children Playing: when kids begin to experiment with things like lighters and matches, accidents tend to occur. Children should be kept far away from matches, lighters, and candles.
Fire damage can be devastating for you and your family. Feelings of confusion and stress are common, and you need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. At SERVPRO, we always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.
Preparing Your Business for the New Year
On behalf of SERVPRO, we wish you a happy, healthy, and successful 2018 and beyond!
As a business owner, thinking forward to the coming year is critical to maintaining current goals and setting new objectives. People often look at New Year’s resolutions as personal goals like losing weight, being more attentive to loved ones, or giving back to the community. While all of those resolutions are important, people fail to look at New Year’s resolutions as it relates to their own business. From treating your employees well to creating a solid company culture, being introspective this time of year should extend personal life and move into your business world. The most savvy business owners take time each year around the holidays to reflect on successes, analyze failures, and set new goals for the year to come.
December is often chaotic for businesses of all kinds. As such, it is imperative to be diligent in your efforts to shift focus to the year ahead. We suggest spending some time as many of your employees as possible in order to get feedback. In doing so, you will have a well-rounded idea of where to start your business resolutions brainstorming session. Consider the following as your write down your company’s New Year’s resolutions:
- What is the industry as a whole doing differently that your company? Where do you see major trends going?
- How is your competition identifying opportunities in the marketplace? What can you adopt from competitors who are doing well?
- Who is an outstanding employee? How can you give them more responsibility moving forward?
- What are the overhead costs in your organization? Are there any ways to cut that number down?
- Does your office have a happy, positive mindset? Company culture is critical to productivity, is yours a constructive one?
These questions will lay the foundation for your company to succeed. Start by writing down overarching goals and then create specific bulleted lists as to how your organization will achieve them. On behalf of SERVPRO, we wish you a happy, healthy, and successful 2018 and beyond!
Battling Mold in Your Garage
If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County can inspect, assess and remediate your property.
Florida homeowners are used to dealing with weather elements like heavy rainstorms, extremely hot days, and hurricane disasters at any point in time during the year. The combination of hot, humid days paired with incredible hot months creates the perfect home for mold inside of your garage. And if you are like most Florida residents, you likely have a garage in your home and depend on that space for storage, a place for your vehicle(s), and even an outside refrigerator in some cases. Unfortunately for our garages, mold thrives in dark, moist, unventilated places. So, while it may not be top of mind for most people, it is extraordinarily important to be aware of potential mold growth in your garage.
Building a garage with materials that would prevent mold is ideal, however, most people do not have that option. So, keep the following tips in mind for preventing and battling mold in your garage:
- Minimize moisture with a dehumidifier
- Ventilate as much as possible with fresh air
- Open the garage for a portion of time each day to let sunlight inside
- Make sure the garage door is properly sealed to prevent water from seeping in
- Keep your stored items organized and on shelves
- Keep any shrubs or plants near the garage trimmed at all times
- Avoid storing anything wet inside of the garage
- After a heavy rainstorm, remove any standing water and dry the area as soon as possible
- Do not keep cardboard boxes in the garage
Preventing mold in your garage is important for any homeowner. We recommend doing regular inspections of your garage to ensure that no mold spores have grown, especially in moist, dark areas. If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County can inspect, assess and remediate your property.
Staying Safe This Holiday Season
Make sure that you are spreading these safety tips amongst your friends and family. On behalf of SERVPRO, happy holidays to all!
When the holiday season rolls around every year, people are often distracted with decorating, party planning, and gift giving. While November and December are certainly the months for giving holiday cheer more attention, keeping safety in the forefront of your mind is absolutely necessary. From distracted drivers to holiday decorations accidents, far too many injuries occur during this time of the year. In fact, thousands of emergency room visits occur every year during the holiday months, accounting for things like back strains, falls, and lacerations. While rare, around 200 tree-related fires occur each year, causing property damage and fatalities across the country.
Keeping your home a safe and happy place during the 2017 holiday season is imperative. Decorations like candles, trees, ornaments, and lights are all potential hazards to your home’s safety. Keep these tips in mind while making decorating your home this year:
- Multiple extension cords should never be strung together
- Check your smoke alarms for proper functioning
- If you have a live Christmas tree, be sure to water it each day
- Never run your extension cords under carpeting, furniture, or rugs
- Candles should be placed at a safe distance from anything flammable, we recommend at least 3 feet
- Check the labels on all outdoor decorations to ensure they were designed for outside use
- Make sure that no decorations are in heavily trafficked areas in your home to avoid any slip and fall accidents
- Throw away any light strings that have pinched or frayed cords
- Use ladders carefully and properly, ideally with a person there to spot
- Be extra careful while cooking, as kitchen fires are much more likely during the holiday season
Holiday cheer is contagious, so make sure that you are spreading these safety tips amongst your friends and family. In doing so, you will ensure that your loved ones are able to safely enjoy all that the holiday season has to offer. On behalf of SERVPRO, happy holidays to all!