Recent Posts

Stopping Garage Mold Growth Before It Starts

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

garage door Environments that are dark, humid, and with little ventilation, provide the best conditions for mold to grow and thrive.

While there are many causes of mold growth in your garage, spotting mold is never a good sign. In your garage, mold can harm your tools and any other items you may have stored, in addition to ruining the integrity of the garage structure. The best way to prevent mold growth in your garage is to take measures to stop it before it starts.

Environments that are dark, humid, and with little ventilation, provide the best conditions for mold to grow and thrive. Because the garage falls into this category, mold growth is extremely common, especially on organic materials such as drywall. By acting in your home to reduce moisture, you can stop garage mold before it starts.

Here are some tips to waterproof your garage and prevent mold growth:

Check garage for leaks and remove standing water

Before taking steps to waterproof your garage, be sure to check for any leaks in areas like he roofs, floor, gutters, and pipes. If there are any leaks or abnormalities, be sure to take care of them immediately.  Additionally, do not let any standing water sit in your garage. If there is any water as a result of rain, snow, or even washing your car, be sure to remove it immediately.

Have proper drainage

It is crucial for your garage to have proper draining to prevent any buildup of water that will attract mold. Making sure water has a clear path on to the drive way is an essential step of preventing mold growth. 

Seal and insulate garage door

To ensure your garage stays dry, it is important to properly seal and insulate your garage door. This includes removing any old weather stripped that may be tattered or damaged and checking the bottom of the garage door insulation for any signs of shrinkage and wear.

Install waterproof walls

Another way to prevent mold growth before it starts is to install waterproof walls in your garage. These details, such as using a mold-resistant drywall, can juristically reduce your chances of mold growth. Additionally, you can use waterproof and mold resistant paint on walls and concrete, to prevent water from penetrating into the walls which will decreased the chance of mold growth.

Decrease humidity

Due to the fact that most garages attract a lot of moisture, most garages have very high humidity levels. To prevent mold from growing in your garage, it is important to control and decrease these humidity levels. A dehumidifier is a great tool to reduce moisture levels, in addition too proper ventilation using vents and fans and letting the sun in daily.

Minimize garage clutter

While the garage is a great place for home storage, but too many items can increase your chances of mold. You want to keep your garage as airy as possible. When using your garage for storage, it is important to choose plastic storage containers which are the best from controlling mold in the garage.

Keeping Children Safe in a Home Fire

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

home fire as family watches from outside While no one likes to think about the worst case scenario of a home fire, doing so it imperative to protecting your little ones.

One of the leading causes of death for kids under the age of 15 are burns and fires. Home fires are extremely scary and dangerous, so prevention is essential to keeping children safe. The mindset that it will “never happen to me” is the foundation of home fire danger, as it leads to minimal or no planning and preparation. While it is most important for parents to have a fire safety plan in place, it is also extremely important for children to be prepared as well. Fire safety efforts can truly be the difference between life and death in the event of a home fire.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recently reported a 4 percent increase in home fires over the last decade. A tiny flame can escalate into a life-threatening fire in only two minutes and with home fires on the rise, homeowners must be vigilant in prevention and preparation. The following recommendations are vital to keeping your children safe in a home fire:

  • Regularly speak with your children about fire hazards and home fire safety
  • Teach your children about firefighters by taking them to the local fire department – this will ensure that they are not afraid of a firefighter in the event of a fire
  • Make sure all lighters and matches are out of reach
  • Institute a fire escape plan and practice every 6 months
  • Make sure that all smoke alarms in the home are properly functioning
  • Practice the STOP-DROP-and-ROLL method
  • Keep children away from things like candles and stoves
  • Teach children how to dial 9-1-1 in case a parent is unavailable to do so
  • Reiterate the importance of evacuation and staying out of the home

While no one likes to think about the worst case scenario of a home fire, doing so it imperative to protecting your little ones. Far too many families who have suffered in a home fire could have prevented injuries with a little practice and preparation.

At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, we have over 34 years of experience in fire damage repair and restoration. If you or a loved one have suffered damage in a home fire, contact our fire damage experts today for immediate help.

Methods of Contents Restoration After Water Damage

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

water damage restoration The process of water restoration ensures that your home returns to a livable and pre-damaged condition.

After water damage, some of the items in your home may never be the same. Luckily, there are many types of contents restoration that can be completed after water damage to remove excess liquid and recover some of your items. The process of water restoration ensures that your home returns to a livable and pre-damaged condition.

What is Contents Restoration?

Contents restoration is used to restore your salvageable items after water damage. Some of these technologies are so advanced that they can save items like textiles, clothes, hard goods, photos, and electronics that was previously not possible. While not every item can be saved, in the hands of a professional you have a large chance of your items returning to the condition they were in before.

Types of Contents Restoration

Unfortunately, there is more to the content restoration process than just letting your items dry. There are several methods of cleaning to restore your household items. Depending on the type of material and the level of water damage, the content restoration methods differ. Some of the most common strategies include:

Dry Cleaning

After inspecting the area, dry cleaning is often used as a precursor to wet cleaning. Additionally, it is used to clean light residues. 

Wet Cleaning

Wet cleaning is using a liquid solution to remove moderate to heavy residues from the surfaces.

Spray and Wipe

For items that can’t handle wet cleaning, the spray and wipe method is used to disinfect surfaces.

Foam Cleaning

Commonly used for upholstery fabrics that be ruined from a wet method of cleaning, foam cleaning can prevent the shrinking or bleeding of these items. The foam can help extract the orders and contaminates out of any porous surfaces.

Abrasive Cleaning

Abrasive cleaning involves physically abrading the surface, which involving scraping or wearing away the exterior through the process of friction or erosion.  When needed, certain materials, such as sand, are used to agitate the surface being cleaned and remove dirt accumulation, stains, and other hard to treat problems.

Immersion Cleaning

For deep sanitation, the contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product until they are usable once again.

After extreme water damage in your home, it is best to let professionals clean and restore your property to ensure the highest quality of sanitation and care.

The team at SERVPRO always works by the motto “restore versus replace” to help save money and preserve as many of your items and personal keepsakes as possible!

How Should I Prepare My Business for Hurricane Season?

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

hurricane storm Just like with your home, hurricanes can significantly hurt the property of your building.

Preparation for hurricane season in South Florida can be very over whelming, especially with making sure your home and family are safe. While your personal life takes priority, it is important make sure your business is prepared to take on the hurricane as well. Preparing for hurricanes before they happen, especially when it comes to your business, can save you hours of stress and worry when the storm comes.

With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting an above average hurricane season for 2021, and many businesses still recovering and adapting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that businesses take hurricane preparation into account. Because hurricane are predictable events, businesses can take necessary steps to ensure they will make it out of the storm unscathed.

Create a Plan and Practice It

Conduct an Audit

The first step to creating a hurricane plan for your business is to conduct a preparedness assessment to see exactly what assets need to be protected, even ones that are not as obvious. For example, a storm may not directly impact your business, but it could hurt suppliers that your business may rely on. By having a strong understanding of your resources, you can adequately communicate with suppliers who may be affected by a storm.

Monitor Threats and Know Your Reponses

Compared to other natural disasters, hurricanes are extremely predictable which can serve as a huge advantage in terms of preparedness. Know how each part of your business will be affected by the storm and what your team will do to deal with each hurdle. Some of the most common responses include closing your office space, turning on backup generators, or providing employees with a suggested evacuation route.

Form an Emergency Team

It is very helpful to have a planning team of key individuals that can serve as the point people in an emergency. It is also important to ensure the wellbeing of all of your employees and make sure there are clear channels of communication.

Keep Your Resources Safe

Protect Your Facilities

Just like with your home, hurricanes can significantly hurt the property of your building.  Make sure your windows and doors are boarded up and ensuring you have a backup power plan to keep critical security assets working. It is also a good idea to move important documents, and technology away from windows.

Backup Data

In the technology age, it is crucial to make sure all your data is secure and backups are stored in a safe and dependable place. For example, external hard drives are a great place to store online data and you can ensure they are kept in a safe place.

Operate remotely

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses successfully adapted to remote work. With many of these strategies already in place, the same remote work space can be utilized during a storm. If power and Wi-Fi are still available, your team should be able to function. Make sure any work from home channels are still available in case of a storm.

Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Healthy and Safe During Hurricane Season

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

wet lawn It is crucial to prepare your lawn in order to keep it healthy during South Florida hurricane season.

With high power winds, intense rains, and an extreme potential for flooding, hurricanes can easily ruin your lawn and surrounding property. While you may not be able to prevent a hurricane from hitting your area, there are certain things you can do to ensure your property survives with the smallest amount of damage possible. It is crucial to prepare your lawn in order to keep it healthy during South Florida hurricane season.

1. Keep Trees Pruned

The process of pruning, getting rid of dead or unwanted branches from tress, is a key part of preparing your lawn for Florida’s hurricane season. With hurricane winds exceeding 74 mph, it is important to prune your branches before the storm in order to prevent them from flying through the air and potentially into your home. Dead or decaying branches can become hazards if the hurricane winds tear them off of the trees. However, it is important to keep the healthy branches intact to provide stability to the tree and keep it from toppling over.

2. Remove Any Items from the Yard

To prevent items flying around your yard and causing any damage, all yard décor and small potted plants should be brought inside the house in preparation for a hurricane. If items, such as large plants, are too big to move, lay them sideways and try to secure them to the ground. Any lawn decorations, toys, wind chimes, or anything else that could easily get picked up by the wind, should all be moved inside.

3. Turn Sprinklers Off

Due to the fact that it can be extremely detrimental to over water plants, you should make sure your sprinklers are turned off your lawn does not receive any extra water during or after the hurricane. The heavy rainfall that comes with hurricanes can potentially lead to diseases that weaken the roots of your plant. With this, the heavy winds from the hurricane could uproot the plants on your lawn. Even though most sprinkler system will automatically turn off during rainfall, it is important to manually turn them off before a storm until your lawn is no longer oversaturated.

4. Inspect Your Drainage System

It is crucial to make sure your drainage system is working properly in order to keep your lawn healthy. As mentioned above, over-watering your lawn can be very harmful, so its vital to make sure it is draining correctly. Any standing water after the storm can also damage your lawn. You should check for any debris that could block the drain and make sure water has a clear path to follow in order to prevent further erosion.

Hotspots for Mold Growth in Your Home

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Moist mold and fungus in window and frame Mold requires a dark, humid, and moist environment to grow, which can be found in many places around the house.

According to the documentary “Moldy”, the first ever documentary about toxic mold, 50% of all homes in the Unites States have mold related issues. Additionally, 28% of the population in the United States are genetically predisposed to mold-related health effects. Moldy demonstrated how mold is commonly found lurking in leaking roofs, incorrectly installed showers, and many other places within the home. 

Mold requires a dark, humid, and moist environment to grow, which can be found in many places around the house. The best way to prevent mold grow is to be aware of the hotspots in your home and know how to prevent and treat the substance.

Here are the most common hotspots for mold growth in the home.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are definitely present some of the biggest risk for mold growth in your house. Due to excess amounts of moisture, levels of humidity, and insufficient ventilation, the conditions become very susceptible for mold to grow. The most common places in the bathroom include shower stalls, around bathtubs, and underneath and behind toilet tanks but can also be found on tiles, shampoo bottles, loofahs, shower curtains, or any place where water can pool.

Because most bathroom fans do not ventilate the room properly, you should try to leave the fan on for 20 minutes after a shower to prevent mold growth.

Kitchens

Similar to the bathroom, there are many places within the kitchen that has optimal conditions for mold growth, such as underneath kitchen sinks or refrigerators. Especially under the kitchen sink, residue from food and sponges can act for a catalyst for mold growth, in addition for plenty of moisture. Additionally, the fridge provides a place with food, water, and darkness where mold can easily grow. This mold can often be removed with some cleaner, but if the issue is not going away it may be a part of a bigger problem.

Carpeting

Carpeting in your home can easily capture and retain dirt, and with the combination of potential flooding or leaks, this can easily become a hotspot for mold in your home.

To avoid mold growth under carpeting, try to make sure your carpet is free of any excess moisture, has access to proper airflow, and that any potential leaks or spills are taken care of immediately. Unfortunately, if your carpet becomes invested with mold, it will likely need to be removed and replaces.  

Air Conditioning Units

Mold growth is especially problematic in air conditioning and other ventilation systems because the air movement can easily spread the mold to other parts of your home. As the air conditioning works, moisture and dust are pulled into the machine, and with no access to light, it becomes a perfect place for mold to grow. If there is mold in your air conditioning unit, every time the unit is on it can blow tiny and invisible mold spores into the room, spreading it to other areas. This can be avoided by frequently cleaning and replacing the air filter in your unit.

Top Causes of Kitchen Fires at Home

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

Fire In Pan At Home Even though accidents do happen, by knowing the most common causes of kitchen fires, you can learn the best ways to prevent them.

The majority of fires that occur in the home start in the kitchen. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more than 350,000 home fires each year in the U.S., leading to more than 2,500 deaths and $7.2 billion in direct property damage. In addition to this, cooking presents the highest risk for a home fire, with around 50% of home fires starting in the kitchen. Tragically, major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Easter, and Christmas Eve are some of the peak days for home fires, when more cooking than usual takes place in the home. Even though accidents do happen, by knowing the most common causes of kitchen fires, you can learn the best ways to prevent them.

Here are the top causes of kitchen fires in the home:

Kitchen Appliances

While all kitchen appliances can all present themselves as fire hazards, the most common place for a fire to start in the home is on a stove top. When cooking on the stove top, always be sure to stay alert and do not leave any food unattended.

Additionally, it is important keep your kitchen appliances well-maintained. A faulty appliance can possibly result in overheating or create sparks, which could be the start of an electrical fire. As a general rule, after 10 years of use your appliances should be inspected to check for any potential hazards.

Extreme Cooking Temperatures

Attempting to cook your food at a temperate higher than recommended can lead to your food in flames. Even if you’re running short on time, do not attempt to set the oven temperate higher to cook food faster. If your food sets ablaze, this can have deadly consequences.

Flammable Objects in the Kitchen

Objects that can catch and spread present a major fire hazard in the kitchen. When cooking, you should ensure that there are no curtains, towel racks, hand towels, wooden utensils, fabric oven mitts and pot holders, or even paper towel dispensers too close to any burners that could ignite and spread any flames.

Frying Oil

If you are cooking with oil, be sure to take extra safety precautions as oil can spread fires at an extreme rate. When using oil in a pan, only use enough to cover the bottom of the pan and, if you are deep-frying, try to use a controlled deep-fryer rather than oil in a pot.

What Causes a Sewer Backup in Your Home?

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

water backed up Knowing the causes of sewer backup in your home can ensure you are treating the problem correctly.

Just like many other functions in your home, when your sewer lines are working properly you often never give them a second thought. However, as soon as one of the pipes become obstructed and blocked, major damage to your home can occur. The dark liquid that forms as sewage can contain toxic waste and chemicals that are a major health hazard to humans or animals.

Knowing the causes of sewer backup in your home can ensure you are treating the problem correctly.

What are the main causes of sewer backup?

Clogs

Clogs within the main sewer line or pipes are one of the most common causes of sewer backup. This can be a result of anything that goes down into the pipes, such as toilet paper, hair, soap scum and grease. If there is only one toilet that is presenting an issue, it is probably just a clogged drain. However, if there is sewage backup every time you flush, you are probably dealing with some blockage within the main sewer line.

The easiest way to prevent this is to be cautious of the items that are being flushed down the toilet or the garbage disposal. Avoid putting napkins, diapers, and feminine hygiene products that could all risk clogging the pipes in your toilet.

Tree Roots

Another very common cause of sewer backup are tree roots interfering with pipes. Especially within older homes, it is possible for tree roots to cause a hole in the pipe by crashing into it or even crush the pipe itself by growing around it. Even if you don’t see any trees immediately nearby, it is possible that the tree roots have crossed property lines underground and may be located far away from the trunk itself.

If you can hear gurgling noises from your toilet or your drain is slow to flush, these can both be clues that tree roots are the source of the issue. If this the problem, the tree roots will need to be killed and the pipes replaces

Damaged Sewer Lines

Before plastic sewer lines became the norm, pipes were often constructed from iron and clay piping which were susceptible to lots of wear and tear over time. Old and damaged sewer pipes are another common cause of sewer backup.

Heavy Rainfall

Additionally, if there are large amounts of rainfall and flooding near your home, the sewer lines in your city can become overburdened and the water can head into the connected sewer lines.

With any sign of sewer backup, it is important to seek help immediately, no matter the cause!

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.