Recent Posts

9 Ways for Your Small Business to Boost Sales This Summer

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

tropical beach with sunbathing accessories What tactics can be used to keep the business thriving by attracting new customers and encouraging returning customers to make purchases?

Summer is right around the corner and that can spell trouble for a lot of small business in South Florida. While we are hopefully reaching the end of the pandemic, those businesses who were able to survive are likely thinking about how they can maintain sales this summer. In South Florida, the snowbirds tend to exit this month and that means that there are a lot less people in the Sunshine State, meaning a lot less potential customers.

While the thought of less Florida residents seems scary for some business owners, it is important to remember that the summer months also bring in a lot of out of town travelers. So, how can business owners in South prepare now to ensure that their stores are able to survive the summer? What tactics can be used to keep the business thriving by attracting new customers and encouraging returning customers to make purchases?

The following are some important tips for small business owners to keep in mind this summer:

  1. Run a summer-only promotion and use social media to spread the word
  2. Sponsor a local event in the community
  3. Create a sales competition within the office to encourage employees to really push themselves
  4. Launch a loyalty program for past customers
  5. Create a content calendar to map out how you will push certain inventory during the summer months
  6. Host events in the store that focus on particular items
  7. Consider partnering with another local business to cross-promote product lines
  8. Communicate the store’s COVID-friendly safety policies
  9. Use email marketing to communicate with customers that inspire repeat purchases

The dreaded summer slow months are difficult for many small business owners in South Florida. However, with a plan in place the likelihood of surviving increases tremendously. At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, we are proud to support all of the small businesses in our community.

Protecting Your Backyard from Storm Damage

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

idyllic sunny backyard with lots of plants and tree with boho hippie hanging chair Before the damage is irreparable, it is important to be prepare your home and backyard from these storms.

No matter where you live, your house can be at risk of a major storm. All types of natural disasters, such as hurricanes or tornadoes, can wreak havoc on your home. While you may not be able to do anything about high-speed winds, there are certain steps you can take as a homeowner to minimize backyard destruction. Before the damage is irreparable, it is important to be prepare your home and backyard from these storms.

Here are a few tips to prepare your backyard from storm damage:

Be Smart About Planting Trees

In order to ensure you can be as prepared as possible for a storm, you should start by choosing the right trees to plant as a preventative step. “Florida Fancy” trees grow well in the Florida climate and are more hurricane resistant. According to research at the University of Florida, homeowners should avoid planting, trees that are shallow rooted in soft soil because they have a tendency to topple over in high winds. These trees could cause more backyard damage than others. Also, it is important to be cautious about where the trees are planted, making sure that the mature height will not interfere with fences, buildings, or powerlines.

Check All Trees and Shrubs

While it may be too late to consider the type of tree planted, you can inspect your plants for any rotting or damaged branches and roots. Dead branches and trees can easily fall in a storm and cause major damage. Also take time to remove any coconuts or large palm seeds, which can be potential hazards if they fall from a high up.

Check Drainage Areas

In case of heavy rain and flooding, you should make sure that all debris is removed from the storm drains and the path is clear. If there is something blocking water from being drained, there is an increased risk of flooding which can ruin your house and backyard.

Remove Any Storm Hazards

If there is any type of storm approaching, it is crucial to remove any objects outside that can get picked up by the wind or ruined by the elements. This often includes items such as toys, plants, lawn/patio furniture, pool items or anything else that is unable to be secured to the ground. It is also recommended by The South Florida Water Management District to do a running a check of the yard to determine whether any debris in your swales or drainage systems might prevent water from flowing away from your property.

Preventing Mold Growth in Your Shower

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

moldy bathtub To keep every room in your house safe, clean, and healthy and prevent structural damage, it is absolutely crucial to take action steps to prevent mold

No matter what, every bathroom will accumulate moisture, which can eventually lead to mold. By reducing this moisture, you can reduce the chance of mold growth in your bathroom and especially shower. To keep every room in your house safe, clean, and healthy and prevent structural damage, it is absolutely crucial to take action steps to prevent mold growth.

Here some very easy steps to prevent mold growth in your shower:

Get an Effective Fan and Makes Sure it Works Properly

A working fan is the first step in preventing mold growth in your bathroom and shower. These fans work by sucking in moisture from the bathroom and sending it outside.  Make sure your fan is large enough to sufficiently cover the space of your bathroom. A good rule of thumb in deciding this is to multiply the square footage of the room by 1.1 if your ceiling is 8ft or 1.5 for 9ft. Additionally, you should run the fan during your shower and for a half an hour after to prevent any leftover moisture from growing mold.

Get Rid of Any Excess Water

To prevent the spread of mold or mildew before it starts, you should mop up any extra water as soon as possible. A great way to do this is with a squeegee, a tool with a flat, smooth rubber blade that is used to remove liquid on a flat surface. By just taking one minute to use a squeegee after a bath or shower, you can reduce the amount of moisture in your bathroom by 75%. This is a great way to reduce moisture and thereby prevent mold growth.

Fix all Leaks

Different from large pools of water, small leaks can build up over time that leads to ton of extra moisture. As soon as you notice a leak in your bathroom or shower, you should try to remedy the problem as soon as possible. Putting off these repairs can let this moisture build over time. Waiting to fix a leak will only lead to more problems in the long run.

Keep It Clean

As intuitive as it sounds, keeping your bathroom and shower clean is another way to prevent mold growth. You should regularly clean your bathroom to keep the room sanitary and mold-free. This also including cleaning the items within your shower. Places like the bottom of shampoo bottles can be a sneaky place for mold to grow.

At the end of the day, the best way to deal with mold in your shower is trying to prevent it from growing in the first place. This is done by reducing the potential of moisture to diminish any potential of mold growth.

How To Make a Fire Escape Plan for Your Family

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

family plan While all buildings need to have a fire escape plan, the most important place to prepare for is your home.

Being prepared in case of a fire is one of the best things you can do to keep your family safe. Smoke detectors, fire alarms and escape plans are all crucial steps to prepare for an accidental fire in your home. While all buildings need to have a fire escape plan, the most important place to prepare for is your home, especially if you’re living with young children. Everyone should be on the same page in terms of your escape route.

Reacting to the Fire

In an intense situation like a fire, it is important to act quickly and follow certain protocol. The first step in any fire escape plan is deciding how to react when a smoke alarm goes off or a fire is spotted. Within only minutes, a small flame can become a widespread fire so it is important that everyone knows how to keep themselves safe.

When exiting the building, it is important to drop to the floor to avoid the smoke that is rising. When moving around, keep low and crawl to the primary fire exit and try to keep your face covered with any clothing or piece of cloth. If any handle is hot, it is not safe to enter the room. Even though the official safety recommendation is to exit the building on your own as soon as possible, every parent is going to save their child, so it is important to factor that into your escape plan. Once you are outside, do not reenter the building under any circumstance.

Mapping Your Escape

After setting the expectations during an emergency, it is important to map out the route you and your loved ones can take. Print out a full layout of your home and make a note where everyone sleeps and where all possible exits are. With this information, you can draw out the primary exits, which are the quickest options, everyone can take and the secondary exists if those are blocked. Make sure that everyone is aware of every the exists, including windows.

Meeting Up

It is very important to choose one spot that everyone will safely meet up with when outside. If everyone is in the same place. This will make it easy to see if everyone has made outside and prevent anyone from unnecessarily running back into the building. A good choice for this location is a tree sear the side of the road at the end of the driveway with an unobstructed view of the house. Make sure every child and adult is aware of where this meeting point is located. As soon as you reach this meeting point, call 911 for help.

Rehearsing Your Fire Escape Plan

In order to be best prepared in case of an emergency, it is important to rehearse your family’s fire escape plan. After first hearing the smoke detector, everyone’s should be focused on safely heading to the meeting place. You should check your smoke detector batteries every month, and this is a great time to go over your fire safety plan. Especially for children, reiteration is very important.  Making a fire plan is easy and in case of an emergency, can save lives.

Signs of Roof Water Damage

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

Roof leakage, water damaged ceiling roof and stain on ceiling Here are the top 5 signs to look for to see if your roof has experienced water damage.

Many homeowners believe that their roof is in great condition, until it starts to leak and the damage is already done. In order to prevent this major destruction before it occurs, it is crucial to be alert of early signs of water damage. Identifying early signs of water damage to your roof can save you time and money, while ensuring the health and safety of your family.

Here are the top 5 signs to look for to see if your roof has experienced water damage.

Water Spots on the Ceiling or Exterior Walls

Different types of water spots may appear that indicate roof water damage. This is usually the most common sign of roof water damage because it is the easiest to spot. Sometimes these marks may appear brown or “rusty” which can indicate a new or previous leak.

Some other interior signs to be aware of include swollen walls or ceilings, which may appear in a bubble-like form, and often occurs as a result of collected moisture from water. Additionally, s more subtle sign of interior water damage can include decorative features, such as wallpaper, baseboards, and trim, separating from the walls. This is usually a result of excess moisture that causes wallpaper to lose its stickiness and peel off the wall or if the walls/celling is slightly swelled from moisture and the trim and baseboards are slowly separating. Any wet stains or irregular formations on the ceiling or walls may be indicative of a slow leak that is currently spreading.

If you notice any type of spot or marking that does not belong on your roof, it is a telltale sign of water damage and you should investigate the problem immediately and/or contact a professional repair company to come inspect the problem.

Gutters Filled with Granule

Granules, small particles that are made up of crushed stone and other materials, are used to create shingles for roofs. While that roof shingles will lose granules occasionally due to aging or storms, if there if a significant amount of granule in the gutter after rain it is a clear sign of water damage and a sign that your shingles need to be replaced.

Damaged or Cracked Shingles

Like dealing with granule above, there is natural wear and tear that is to be expected for shingles over time. Extreme levels of rainwater and gusts of wind can lead to missing, cracked, bent, and curled shingles. Damaged shingles can lead your roof vulnerable for more harm and it is important to make sure they are intact.

Soft or Spongy Wood Decking

If any wood decking is left soft or spongey after rain, it is a clear sign of long-term water damage. Overtime, this can lead to serious rotting and susceptible to more leaks in the future. It is very important to have any soft wood decking addressed.

Roof Debris

Finally, if there is any level of debris on the roof, there is a high change there is damage that could worsen in the future. Many times, debris, like branches, may cover up the damage so it not possible to see the full effect.

Because your roof is constantly exposed to natural elements, deterioration over the years is to be expected. However, catching any of these signs early and having a professional come to expect your roof can prevent major destruction in the future.

Social Media Marketing Advice for Small Business Owners

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

close up on man hand using tab pad on laptop No matter the size of your business, with social media there is unlimited potential to connect to new and existing customers, establish your brand, an

While trying to grow your small business, it is absolutely crucial to harness the power of social media marketing. On any given day, there are 4.2 billion active social media users. Especially a for a small business, these billions of users present an opportunity to connect with potential consumers and foster these relationships, create an online presence to build brand awareness, and generate profit.

Here are 10 pieces of key advice to tackle social media marketing:

Plan Your Social Media Goals

To make the most out of your social media, create a game plan for different platforms. With clear goals, you will be able to measure your return on investment and objectively evaluate your progress. Make sure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-specific.) If your brand is already utilizing social media, conduct an audit of current metrics and evaluate areas that need improvement.

Another great tool to take advantage of in terms of planning is a social media calendar. Instead of random posting, curated and targeted content is key is building a brand and a strong online presence. Many online accounts follow the 80/20 rules, meaning that 80% of your content aims to inform, educate, or entertain and the other 20% consists of promoting or selling your products.

Know Your Audience

The world of social media can be overwhelming, so it is very important understand your target consumer and the best ways to reach them. The first step of this can be deciding which platforms are most useful for your brand. There are many demographics online where you can learn about the age range and other characteristics of social media users per platform.

Also, use analytics to investigate data on your consumers to see who is interacting with you online. With a defined target audience, your company will be able to decide if Instagram, Facebook, or Tiktok, or maybe a combination of the three, is the best way to reach your audience.

Build a Community

One of the most beneficial uses of social media for a small business is creating a loyal group of customers. You can use features on Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok to engage and interact with your followers, answering questions and building a sense of trust and community. This can be done by partnering with micro-influencers, responding to comments, reposting stories of your followers, and using polls.

In additional to building a loyal fan base, social media sites measure engagement on your posts which fuels the algorithm. By creating community and conversation online, you will gain increased exposure on the platform. Establishing these relationships can also produce brand loyalty and increased sales over time.

Keep Up with the Competition

Social media is constantly evolving, and it is important to keep up with what others are posting.  Additionally, learning from what others have done with their social media channels can be a great starting point by learning what does and does not work. Establishing relationships with other brands can also lead to mutually beneficial posts.

No matter the size of your business, with social media there is unlimited potential to connect to new and existing customers, establish your brand, and grow your profits.

Getting Your Home Ready for a South Florida Storm

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

hurricane season sign Because hurricane season can last up to half the year, it is crucial to be prepared year-round.

While hurricane season in South Florida can be scary and unpredictable, there are things you can do as a homeowner to ensure your house is as safe as possible in preparation for a storm. Hurricane season usually lasts from the beginning of June until the end of November, with September usually being the peak month for storms. Because hurricane season can last up to half the year, it is crucial to be prepared year-round. Here are 5 tips to make sure your home is ready for a hurricane season in South Florida.

1.      Know Your Insurance Policy

Knowing what protections are already intact for your home is a vital step of the process. Often time, insurance policies cover some hurricane damage, but flood insurance is not included. If you are in a high-risk area for flooding, look into purchasing flood insurance to ensure your home is protected no matter what the damage. Also, it is important to review your home insurance policies at least once a year to make sure you’re up to date.

2.      Keep Your Roof Well Maintained

The smallest gap or crack in your roof can make a world of difference when it comes to the high-speed wind and rains of a hurricane. If wind is able to get beneath your roof, there is a high probability your roof will lift up and even detach from the house. While the winds of a category 5 hurricane may lift the roof no matter how well it is maintained, a well taken care of roof will be able to hold up against lower category storms.

Also, if winds aren’t strong enough to remove the roof, any cracks or gaps can lead to severe water damage.  If water gets inside the walls of your home, it can lead mold and/or mildew that can cause health effects and ruin your home.

3.       Track and Take Care of Your Possessions

It is a smart idea to keep an inventory list of the items in your house. There are many free apps that can be used to track all the important items in your home. If anything is damaged, having an itemized list and pictures are valuable when filing an insurance claim and ensures for fair compensation.

Also, it is vital that any outdoor or patio furniture is stored in a safe place inside. While it is very likely these items get ruined outside, there is also a high probability that these items can go flying, leading to more potential damage. If the item is too heavy to move, make sure it is very securely anchored to the ground.

4.      Check All Drains and Gutters

In order to avoid excess flooding or water back up, it is important to clear all storm drains and remove any debris. Additionally, ensure that all of your gutters are securely in placed and clear of any debris to prevent any clogging or further water damage.

5.      Home Preparation is Important, But Prioritize You and Your Loved Ones

As scary as it is to think about, material objects can be replaced while lives cannot. Evacuation orders are in place for a reason, and if there is an evacuation in your area it is important to follow all protocol. Have an emergency kit prepared with food, water, and, batteries, and supplies to care of you and your loved ones in any situation.

As always, if your home or commercial property have suffered storm damage, SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County is here to help. Contact our storm damage team today to learn more.

Recognizing Mold Problems in Your House

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Mold and toxic fungus growth on a damaged interior wall The ability to identify these mildew issues early is imperative to avoiding costly repairs and potential health risks.

South Florida is a prime spot for mold to thrive. With humid climates and a lot of moisture, mildew loves to find its way into residential and commercial properties throughout the region. As we prepare to go into rainy season, South Florida homeowners must be aware of some of the most common signs of mold growth in their homes. The ability to identify these mildew issues early is imperative to avoiding costly repairs and potential health risks.

Generally speaking, kitchens and bathrooms are the most common culprits for mold growth. These areas of the home are known for dampness, moisture, and even humidity due to hot temperatures when cooking and taking a shower or bath. As such, these areas should be given extra attention when looking out for indications of mold.

The following are some of the most common signs of mold growth in your home:

  • Mold growing under the carpet or rug
  • Bubbling paint on the walls
  • Attic insulation begins to lump
  • Washing machine leaks or sink leaks
  • Broken exhaust fan in the bathroom
  • Funky odor in the home
  • Asthma becomes bothersome when inside of the house
  • Water damage is not treated right away
  • Mold becomes visible on the ceilings or walls
  • Eyes water or feel a sting when inside of the home

While the kitchen and bathroom is the most frequently seen area with mold growth, the garage and the laundry room are also common culprits. Being aware of the problems spots as well as the signs linked to mildew growth will go a long way in preventing problems in your home. As always, if you do recognize mold growth in your home we are here for you. Be sure to contact SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County right way if you see any signs of mold in your home.

What You Need to Know About Smoke Alarms

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

Repairman Installing Smoke Detector On Wall Many people have no idea when they last replaced their smoke alarms or even whether or not they were installed properly.

Home fires are something that every person tries to avoid. While many people think that it is something that would never happen to them, the truth is that home fires occur much more often than people realize. Prevention is of course the most ideal aspect of home fire safety. Smoke alarms are a home’s most loyal ally when it comes to fire safety prevention efforts. According to research, the people inside of a home have less than 2 minutes to evacuate the household safely once the smoke alarm sounds off. This means that a specific fire safety plan is absolutely critical for every single family.

There are a few major points that a homeowner must realize when it comes to fire safety and smoke alarms. Some tips may seem obvious, but it would surprise you to know that many homeowners are completely unaware of some of the most basic smoke alarm safety tips. Keep the following things in mind to ensure your family and home are prepared:

  • Replace the smoke alarms throughout the home every 10 years
  • Test your smoke alarms once a month
  • Replace your smoke alarm batteries once a year (with a 9-volt battery)
  • Create a fire safety plan with your family and go over it once a year
  • Once the smoke alarm sounds, everyone should know to exit immediately
  • Smoke alarms are interconnected, so when one goes off all of them should start to ring
  • Hesitation upon hearing the smoke alarm is often the key cause of injury and death in a home fire

Many people have no idea when they last replaced their smoke alarms or even whether or not they were installed properly. From replacing batteries to consistently checking functionality, it is imperative to be proactive when it comes to your home’s smoke alarms. At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, we are fire damage experts. Contact us today to learn more.

Kitchen Water Damage Prevention Tips

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

calling plumber quick service Preventing water damage in your kitchen is all about taking proactive measures to alleviate the likelihood of leaks, malfunctions, and poor luck.

Homeowners in South Florida are all too familiar with the threat of water damage. From relentless rainstorms to hurricanes, adverse weather and outside factors are often the culprit of water damage in your home. While it is easy to blame external factors, there is something to be said about potential threats that are currently inside of the home. The kitchen is one of the most susceptible area of the home when it comes to water damage, in addition to the laundry room and bathroom.

Detecting water damage in the kitchen can be a challenge. What often starts as a small leak can quickly become a costly problem if not identified early. From visible damage to funky smells, being alert is critical to recognizing water quickly and taking action to mitigate its damage. Since there is moisture all over the kitchen, spotting a water damage issue can be tough. The most common problems areas for kitchen water damage include:

  1. Refrigerators
  2. Sinks
  3. Dishwashers
  4. Countertops

Since refrigerators are hardly ever moved, spotting water damage is difficult. As such, it is important to occasionally check to see if there is any water behind the fridge. Sinks are especially susceptible to water damage, so be sure to check for pooling water underneath. Dishwashers can malfunction in a number of ways, thus causing water damage. Be sure to check the base of the dishwasher regularly and be on the lookout for an excess water. Finally, countertops, particularly near the sink, are vulnerable to water damage issues. So, make sure that you check the grouting occasionally to confirm that the countertop is intact properly.

Preventing water damage in your kitchen is all about taking proactive measures to alleviate the likelihood of leaks, malfunctions, and poor luck. Kitchen repairs are typically costly and a real headache to deal with, so making sure to prevent the damage from arising in the first place is key. At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, our kitchen water damage experts have years of experience in handling issues both large and small. Call us today to learn more!