7 Steps in Preventing Water Damage
According to a study done by the Insurance Institute, homeowners' highest insurance claims are water damage. Leaky pipes and, in often cases, appliances cause millions of dollars of damage in freezing weather and storms. While you're on vacation, it's no surprise that a leaky pipe can burst and cause hundreds of dollars of repairs.
Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation
Check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should check the seals by your windows to make sure there are no cracks that might cause water damage. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see what condition your roof shingles are in. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.
Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances
You must inspect the hoses connected to essential appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washers/dryers, and refrigerators. If there's any damage, you should get the hose replaced before you leave to prevent extensive water damage.
Step 3. Clear Out Your Gutters
Make sure to get any debris out of your rain gutters before leaving for vacation. This way, you won't have any blockages that can cause damage while you're away.
Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump
Make sure it is in good condition and clear any debris from clogging the pit. Run a few tests, listen to the sounds it makes, and ensure that the pump's water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you're away.
Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes
If you plan on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. Insulating will prevent them from freezing while you are away.
Step 6. Get Someone to Check on Your Home
Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you are gone. Instruct them to ensure that the heat is always on if your vacation is during the winter. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.
Step 7. Turn Off the Water
Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. Drain the pipes so that they do not freeze or burst during the colder months. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. You should also open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes.
If you experience water damage while you are away from your home, contact SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park at (813) 694-9085.
What Is The IIRC? What Does It Mean For Me?
What Is An IICRC Certification? Why Does It Matter?
The IICRC is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification, a non-profit organization for the Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Industries.
When considering who to call for water damage, do you go with the company your insurance company recommends? How about your neighbor’s recommendation? In the internet age of information-overload and bias, how can you know what’s right? Who really does the best job? Who does the most work for the money? Who handles a water loss job from start to finish? SERVPRO is proud to be your one-stop-shop for disaster relief after a fire, flood, or storm—but don’t take our word for it—let us show you.
Your local SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park is proudly an IICRC accredited firm.
What is an IICRC Certification?
IICRC Certified Firms have earned the right to display the IICRC logo as a symbol of quality. In order to achieve IICRC-certified status, firms must meet a rigorous list of standards in business ethics and expertise.
All IICRC Certified Firms must:
- Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
- Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
- Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
- Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
- Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
When it comes to cleaning, restoration and inspection, the IICRC writes the books. As an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Standards Developing Organization (SDO), the IICRC has paved the way in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, upholstery and fabric cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation.
Each IICRC standard takes years to develop and the coordination of several experts in the field, including:
- allied trades persons
- international, national and regional trade associations
- individual or franchise professionals
- cleaning, inspection and restoration industry organizations
- insurance industry
- training schools
- contractors and public health professionals
These standards are reviewed and updated at least every five years. Many of these fields, such as the water damage restoration field, change rapidly and those who are certified keep up with the advancement of the science and generally accepted practices of the industry.
We don’t take this stamp of approval lightly—we uphold it. If your home or business suffered water, storm, or fire damage, call us for 24 hours emergency service or for a free estimate.
Bounce Back After and Emergency with an ERP
Bounce Back After and Emergency with an ERP
Reduce Business Disruption After a Commercial Disaster
After a major disaster, businesses suffer a variety of interruptions like:
- financial and emotional stress
- production downtime
- sullied reputation
- a plethora of other strains.
In the time period following a fire, flood, pipe break, or other form of disaster, making the right decisions can be taxing and confusing. At SERVPRO® Team Nicholson, we regularly see local companies go through this, but want business owners to know we are here to help after a commercial disaster. Part of that help comes through an emergency readiness checklist and disaster plan.
How To Minimize Risks and Loss of Revenue?
Creating a disaster readiness plan for your business can save you thousands on your bottom line, and can save your business entirely. The planning process does not have to be overwhelming when placed on top of all other responsibilities. We are here to help take the weight off your shoulders by developing an Emergency Ready Profile for your company.
We Generate A Plan For You
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate action plan.
- what to do and
- what to expect
in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize the severity of water and fire damage on your business. Knowing you are, "Ready for whatever happens," will give you, your clients, and employees confidence if or when your business is affected by a disaster.
SERVPRO ERPs Provide You With:
- A no-cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects, but will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. This helps minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- Professionals, established as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider! You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is close by for an emergency response.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can start cleaning up the damage, so you can reopen your business as soon as possible.
- Specific Facility Details of your business such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. You will have a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call in case of an emergency.
Contact us to get started on your SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile today. We are here to be your total solutions provider during an emergency commercial disaster so you can do what’s important: taking care of your clients, employees, and other business needs.
Know the Warning Signs of Tornadoes During a Hurricane
Hurricanes Can Create Favorable Conditions for Tornadoes
The thought of a tornado touching down in a community during a hurricane is frightening. Most people have seen movies or tv shows where tornadoes have caused significant storm damage.
Watching it in action on the big screen is disheartening enough, let alone experiencing the situation first-hand. If you have not experienced a tornado, it is necessary to understand how to identify them and react appropriately. Your safety and others depend on your ability to identify tornadoes.
Perhaps the most well-known characteristic of a tornado is a funnel cloud. During violent hurricanes, meteorologists observe the development of favorable conditions for tornadoes. Classic signs of an impending tornado include dark skies, large hail pieces, and a dark sky that appears green. People who have witnessed actual tornadoes tend to report a similar claim of hearing a loud noise that resembles a train outside the window. The tornado itself is a rotational cloud that forms in the sky and may or may not touch down. If the rotating funnel cloud loses formation, it can develop again or create an additional funnel cloud without warning. This is important to remember if the clouds appear to diminish. As always, stay informed during a storm by turning on an emergency weather radio, listening for warning sirens, and activating severe weather alerts on your smartphone.
Understanding the apparent signs of a tornado is dire for safety. Seek immediate shelter in the lowest-lying area of the home or business, such as a basement. Avoid windows and glass doors as they could shatter. For added protection, cover your head with pillows or another soft material. Everyday household objects can become airborne and cause interior property damage and bodily harm.
Tornadoes can be eerily fascinating, we strongly discourage driving your vehicle towards a twister to photograph the tornado, as this could be a fatal mistake. Tornadoes cause destruction, injuries, and can wipe out miles of communities. It is crucial to recognize that personal safety is the top priority. Since violent storms, such as hurricanes, can spawn tornadoes with little or no warning, identifying the warning signs can save a life.
As a storm and water damage restoration leader, SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home or business to its pre-storm condition. Call today at (813) 694-9085. We are here for you 24/7, 7 days
Who Cleans Up After a Crime Scene?
Who Cleans up After a Crime Scene Trauma Incident?
Have you ever wondered what practically happens at the scene of a crime after a trauma incident takes place? It’s not a fun subject, but somebody has to be there to clean up. After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other hazardous contaminants that pose possible health effects. SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park will respond immediately and have the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
SERVPRO® technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. Their first focus is always safety, since crime or accident scenes may involve bloodborne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other dangers. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.
Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services: (813) 694-9085
- Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals
- Tear gas and pepper spray residues
- Fire extinguisher residue
- Blood, bodily fluids, and tissue remnants
- Illegal drug and chemical residue
When and Where Do Hurricanes Likely Occur?
Hurricane season in the Atlantic Runs from June 1st to November 30th
However, storms outside of these dates aren't unheard of. Activity ramps up in August, and peaks in September, and again in October.
Hurricanes form during this season because of two factors: warm ocean waters (80 degrees or higher) and weak vertical winds (little change in wind direction and/or speed with height) is most common. This is the season with the highest frequency of west-moving weather disturbances in the tropics that develop into hurricanes.
The difference between a hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon is the location your in. People refer to thunderstorms as hurricanes, while people near the equator in Africa and Australia refer to them as cyclones.
Call SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park today to restore your Florida property "Like it never even happened." We are available, 24/7!
What to Look for in a Restoration Company
1. The Ability to Deal with Multiple Damage Types
Many professional restoration services like SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park offers the ability to work with multiple damage types. This is because one kind of damage can lead to another. For example, fire eliminated by water can result in mold if the water stands long. Most restoration companies can help with fire, water, mold, and storm damage.
2. A Quick Response Time
Being faster to any size disaster means arriving with the materials and equipment required to do the job. Locally owned franchises such as SERVPRO® have locations across the country, allows them to respond faster when a disaster strikes.
3. They Offer a Variety of Services
A restoration company such as SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park offers various services designed to help your agent process the insurance claim. These include an electronics inventory service and an online database that provides access to information.
Whether you're choosing a restoration company because they're faster to any size disaster, or they can deal with multiple damage types, you want to look at the other services they provide. Many companies can help you clean your damaged items, the structure, and the services they can offer, making keeping track of the details needed by your insurance provider easier.
Having a company that can coordinate the whole process from start to finish makes your life easier and gets you back in your home or business faster. "Like it never even happened."
If you would like additional information on hiring a team experienced in multiple types of restoration, call SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park today (813) 694-9085.
How Can SERVPRO Help With Biohazard Concerns
SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park can make your disaster "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park offers other services besides fire and water restoration. Our professionals can help you with biohazard, vandalism, and crime scene cleanup. Bloodborne pathogens can be scary. Bodily fluids, tissues, and other risky substances are cleaned and disposed of by our trained technicians. Crime scene residue can be overwhelming. When law enforcement finishes with the area, let our professional technicians come in and deal with the fingerprint powder, evidence-gathering chemicals, and residues from tear gas or pepper spray. Arson and vandalism can leave home or business owners feeling vulnerable, violated, and unsafe.
We're always "Here to Help" in any situation you might encounter. We pride ourselves on being a bright spot in a bad situation. Should you ever need our services, call our office anytime at (813) 694-9085.
Flu Prevention Tips
Sniffling. Aching. Fever.
It might seem that the flu season should be wrapping up. This year's flu season is up there with some of the worst recorded today. All states in the US have reported widespread flu activity this season – except Hawaii. The flu spreads and strikes quickly, but you're not entirely defenseless.
When it comes to flu prevention, we've got 5 tips for you – and they all involve the place where you likely spend your time: your home.
Wash your hands!
One of the single most important things you can do to prevent the spread of the flu virus is washing your hands. A great habit of getting into is washing your hands first thing when you get home. This will help to minimize the influx of viruses and bacteria that you may be carrying.
Change your dishtowels regularly, or use a paper towel.
You and your family share more than you might realize. Stop sharing germs by making sure that you launder your towels regularly, or better yet, use disposable paper towels to minimize germ transfer from person to person.
Take out your humidifier.
The flu virus doesn't thrive in humid, warm environments, so up your defense by utilizing your humidifier.
Wipe down all hard surfaces.
Flu germs float in the air, but they have to land somewhere! Disinfect hard surfaces like countertops, handles, faucets, light switches, etc.
Look at your home from 'Kid-Level.'
Be sure to wipe down and disinfect areas your children have access to, including those cabinets you may have overlooked during your cleaning or the floors they may be crawling on.
Follow these tips and stay healthy this flu season, and as always, we're here "Ready for whatever happens" should you need a little help cleaning!
A Smoother Claim Process
If you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, the last thing you want is to worry. For this reason, our team ensures they make a claim process as stress-free as possible. SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park will help make it “Like it never even happened.” That way, you and your family or business can get back to what is important.
Our goal is to make the insurance process as smooth as possible. Therefore, we will:
- Create thorough visual and written documentation of the damage to your home or business;
- Document the condition of each item we remove for cleaning or storage;
- Work directly with your insurer, communicating with you at all times;
- Handle the paperwork to make sure the processing and payment of your claim is as fast as it can be.
We are so proud that so many insurance companies recommend SERVPRO to their client. They are aware of the benefits that come along with our partnership. We do everything we can to make the entire process as easy as possible.
Our team is here for you if you experience a disaster. Our technicians have specialized training and years of experience in water, fire, mold, and bio-hazard clean up and restoration services. Call us anytime at (813) 694-9085. We are available 24/7.