What To Do After a House Fire
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington Has the Experience, Tools, and Techniques to Eliminate Soot Residues Remaining in Your Home After a House Fire
Your Orlando home was likely not built to stop house fires before they spread to other areas of the house. In general, most of the materials used for the construction of your home are fire kindling, able to catch fire quickly and spread throughout the property. On top of that, the popular open-concept floor plan lays out the perfect environment for fires to spread from room to room more easily than other floor plans.
While flames do much damage on their own, other substantial effects of a fire are smoke and soot damages.
Soot is most concentrated where it burned longest, but matted debris and film from the combustion leave a dark or black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials, too. Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high powered vacuums.
Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting, and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor typically requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leave no discernible scent behind.
The Right Solution
Unfortunately, this causes a bigger mess than most people are equipped to handle. Fire damage proves to be challenging to remove without the right equipment. We always suggest hiring a professional fire cleanup and restoration expert. We may be biased, but SERVPRO is just that. We have the experience, tools, and techniques to help you through widespread fire, smoke, and soot damages.
When you face the effects after a house fire, SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs / Longwood responds quickly to get your home back to preloss conditions, as soon as possible.
My Leaky Roof Caused Water Damage, Now What?
Watch out for roof water damage warning signs in your home!
Homeowners know how expensive roof repairs and replacements can be. When looking to buy a new home, one of the first questions often asked is “how old is the roof?”. Different roofs typically last different lengths of time. Generally, asphalt shingle/composition roofs last around 20 years, fiber cement shingles last around 25 years, and wood shake roofs last around 30 years. Since it can thousands of dollars to replace a roof, it is important for homeowners to keep their roofs in the best shape possible.
Things like heavy rains, storms, and any type of adverse weather can reduce the life of a roof or require repairs along the way to keep it functioning. Some of the most common signs of water damage on your roof include:
- Ceiling is discolored
- Mold begins to grow in rings
- Smelly odors coming from the walls
- The texture of the flooring begins to change
- Water begins to accumulate
Roof damage signs can be misleading since they often appear in places other than the roof. For instance, you may have roof damage but the issue appears on the ceilings, floors, attic, walls, around home appliances, or even along the home’s exterior or foundation. The most important thing to know about roof water damage is the need to act quickly. If left untreated, damage repair can become extremely costly as the fallout reaches different areas of the home.
If roof water damage is discovered in your home, it is extremely important to take specific safety measures.
- Catch any dripping water with buckets.
- Determine whether or not the leak is coming from the roof.
- Talk to a roofer to decide what the next step should be.
- Reach out to a water damage restoration specialist to address the issues caused by the roof problem.
At SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs / Longwood, our water damage repair and restoration team is highly trained and has many years of experience in restoring a home after roof damage. Contact us today at (407) 830-9899 and we will send our team out to get your home back to normal in no time.
4 Easy Tips to Prevent Water Damage
Follow these steps to help prevent water damage to your home.
Water damage is one of the most costly disasters your home or business can experience. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that billions are spent on water damage each year. View these suggestions from SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs / Longwood for preventing water damage.
1. Be careful where you plant.
Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.
2. Clean out roof gutters.
On a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some severe water damage So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. If your gutters are too high, be safe, and get a professional to check them.
3. Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals.
Most folks don’t realize these chemicals are eating away at their pipes (and they might not be too good for you either). If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is an excellent solution to clear away clogs. They’re pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes or making your eyes red and teary.
2. Never pour grease down your sink.
It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water; grease can still cling to your pipes and could even cause some severe damage and blockage. The safest thing to do is pour your grease into an empty can and either let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. Once it hardens, you can toss it in the trash and get rid of it. Done and done. However, we know that water and flooding emergencies can happen any time, so we’re ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – including holidays. Contact us at (407) 830-9899.
Goal Setting for the New Year
Stay focused on your business goals this year!
Owning a small business is no easy feat. From working long hours to wearing many different hats that ensure the business is running smoothly, small business owners often find themselves with a stressful, overwhelming to-do list. It is not easy to be in charge and know that the livelihood of so many depends upon the success of your business. As such, it is important to set realistic, yet lofty business goals for each and every year.
The last year was likely filled with more downs than ups, teaching many business owners how fickle industries can be and how important it is to be dynamic in staying afloat. In 2022, many business owners will look to gain back the business that they lost in 2021 and 2020. Setting new goals for a new year can be a daunting task and sometimes leads to generalization. Writing down general goals can be a helpful way to direct your thoughts, but business owners really looking to achieve great things in 2022 must be more specific.
The goals that you set for 2022 should be precise, feasible, and communicated throughout the company. Too many small business owners make the mistake of writing down goals and failing to share them with their staff. In order to be successful in 2022, you must share your vision with your entire team. We recommend pinpointing two or three objectives and then mapping out what it will take to get there.
Some of the most common small business goals for 2022 include:
- Improve the company’s productivity
- Implement a social media plan
- Reduce business costs
- Set aside time for networking
- Re-evaluate customer service protocols
- Revamp the company’s website
- Institute an incentive program for employees
While the above goals are just examples, they serve as a way to direct your thoughts. Small business owners should hone in on a couple of goals and then create a specific strategy for achieving them. Involve as many people on the team as necessary in creating the plan to achieve the goals. Share the goals amongst the entire team and hold yourself accountable.
At SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs / Longwood, we know the past two years were difficult for everyone. We are confident that our community is for the hardships that we have overcome and we take pride in serving your community for any and all damage restoration needs. On behalf of our team, here’s to a successful 2022!
Preparing your Business for Storm Season
It's never too early to prepare your business for Florida's hurricane season.
While it is still “winter” in Florida, it is never too early to prepare for hurricane season. The rain and winds blow in before we know it, and homeowners possible water and storm damage if either strikes their property. But what about your business? Doesn't it need preparation too? Well, SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood is here to help with some tips and tricks to get storm (and possibly hurricane) ready this coming spring.
Include shelter-in-place information in your EAP: Knowing when and where to take shelter during a hurricane is a crucial part of emergency preparedness. It is something that ALL of your employees should be familiar with. A basement is the best possible place to be during high winds. However, if your building does not have a basement, you should make sure all employees go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor with no windows.
Implement an emergency notification system: Despite most likely having sirens in your area, strong hurricane winds can often occur with little to no warning; because of this, many people find themselves ill-prepared for a storm with little time to take shelter. Using an emergency notification system like Disaster Alert (iPhone) or Natural Disaster Monitor (Android), employees can be made more aware of severe weather in their area. The app can alert them of the tornado so they can seek shelter immediately.
Have a work from the home policy: Within minutes, a hurricane can destroy everything in its path. This includes property, homes, and businesses, but it can also disrupt business operations for extended periods. To ensure not all operations come to a stand-still, it is in good practice to implement a work from the home policy if it makes sense for your business. This allows employees to continue working, even if they are unable to make it to the office.
Include training in your plans: If employees are not familiar with using emergency plans, they become essentially useless. Ensure that all employees have been adequately trained on how to respond to a tornado to avoid confusion and future injury while looking for shelter.
Being prepared for a storm will keep you and your employees safe and help ensure that your livelihood is still there afterwards. If your business experiences storm damage, SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood can get you up and running again with our trusted water removal, clean-up, and reconstruction services. Call us anytime at (407) 830-9899.
Does your Orlando, FL Business Need Board-Up Services?
SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood can assist with board-up services. Call today!
If your business was affected by storm or fire damage that results in an opening in your building, you might need emergency board-up services. Any opening in the structure needs to be boarded appropriately to protect the building from the weather and illegal entry. Your insurance policy also requires you to be proactive in protecting your home or business after any damage has occurred. Otherwise, the insurance company could account for any further/secondary damage to the structure as negligence.
Not every situation requires the most extensive board-up that the U.S Fire Administration has in their board-up procedure manual, such as after a fire where the entire home is destroyed and is considered a complete loss. While each emergency board up is different, SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood is here to help.
Let's take a look at how to properly board up a structure after the damage has caused an opening in the building.
Determining How Much Protection is Needed
- Openings in the basement, first floor doors, windows, and any entry point accessible from a porch, fire escape, or other potential climbing points require additional security measures. Openings should be barricaded with plywood, 2x4s, bolts, and nails.
- Openings at least 10′ from ground level, which is not accessible from a porch, fire escape, roof, or other climbing points, can be secured with nails in each brace and every 12″ around the perimeter. The plywood should be fitted for these openings so that it rests snugly against the exterior frame, butting up to the siding on wood frame buildings and up to the brickwork on brick buildings. It may be necessary to remove the staff bead so that this fit can be flush and tight.
- Cut plywood to fit over the window and door openings, flush with the outside of the molding.
Note: For buildings with a metal door and window frames, the alternative is to cut the plywood and 2x4s to fit the door frame inside buffed up against the band molding.
- Cut the 2x4s to fit the horizontal dimension of the plywood. You will need two 2×4 exterior and two interior braces for each window and three sets for each door.
Note: For buildings with metal doors and window frames, the 2x4s for the outside will be cut to the plywood dimensions, fitting inside the door frame, against the band molding. The 2x4s will be cut to the outside dimension of the door or window frame for the inside.
- Next, pre-drill 3/8th inch holes in the plywood and the braces.
- The holes will be placed approximately 1/3 of the brace's length from each outside edge of the door and window jam.
- The two window braces will be placed 1/3 of the distance from the top and the bottom of the window.
- The three-door braces will be placed; one in the center of the doorway and one half the center's distance to the top and the bottom of the doorway.
- Place the plywood over the exterior opening and nail it to the frame.
Note: For metal frames, place the plywood and braces inside the frame against the band molding.
- Place the 2×4 braces over the interior and exterior of the door or window.
- Place the large washer over the carriage bolt and place the bolt through the holes.
- Place the washer and nut inside and tighten securely. Torque the nut so that it slightly compresses the interior 2×4.
Did you know SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood provides emergency board-up services? Let us mark a big task off of your to-do list when preparing for a storm. We understand the anxiety when it comes to managing a business during storm watches and warnings. We are here to help. Call us anytime at (407) 830-9899.
Overview of our Cleaning Services
We're cleaning experts!
At SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood, we offer a large variety of cleaning services. We can handle the simple cleaning that comes from general day-to-day wear and tear and significant cleanups after sewage spills, biohazard contamination, and crime scene messes. This article showcases the range of cleaning services we provide.
Standard Cleaning Services
Life is busy, and you don't have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your property. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood for prompt service. Whether it's removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.
Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning
Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in low indoor air quality. If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating dust, pollen, odors, dirt, debris, or other contaminants. Keeping your HVAC system clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can, in turn, save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning
Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by cleaning and maintaining your carpet and upholstery. SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood offers a range of specialized cleaning methods and products to treat the various carpet and upholstery types.
Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floor Cleaning
Ceiling, wall, and floor cleaning should be part of your home or business's cleaning maintenance. These surfaces are exposed to dirt and dust, pet dander, cooking oils and grease, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants. We have specialized training in time-tested and industry-approved cleaning methods. Our proprietary cleaning system allows our professionals to clean and restore your ceilings, walls, and floors properly.
Odor Removal and Deodorization
As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood is trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from several sources, both inside and outside a structure. Masking and other shortcuts don't work when your odor problem is severe or persistent. We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors.
SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored to their preloss condition. We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, depending on the extent of the damage. We also specialize in restoring your damaged electronics. We have the training and equipment to restore many of your electronic devices.
Other Cleaning Services
When cleaning goes beyond the everyday cleaning needs, give SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood a call. We offer a wide array of services to help you get back to business after your property experiences a crime, death, or other disaster.
Biohazard Removal and Cleaning
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can cause health effects. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood is trained to safely remove biohazards and adequately dispose of them by OSHA and health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe homes and offices.
Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. We remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized, making it "Like it never even happened."
Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup
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 can cause health effects. SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often, simple vandalism acts, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed promptly. SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood will quickly remove vandalism and graffiti from your home or commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry.
Our large range of restoration and cleaning services allows us to restore your property, no matter what is needed. If your property has cleaning needs, give SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood a call at (407) 830-9899.
Career Opportunities at SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood
Interested in being a part of the SERVPRO family? Apply today!
With 19 franchises in 6 locations throughout TN, FL, and TX, SERVPRO Team Nicholson is an exciting, diverse, innovative place to work. We foster positive company culture, offer competitive compensation packages, and prioritize community involvement. Come find out what it takes to be a part of our team!
Our mission is to be a proud, laser-focused team holding each other accountable while creating positive opportunities for our people and becoming the most efficiently run organization in the markets we serve. We value honesty, reliability, relationships, trustworthiness, and authenticity! Our team develops and provides solutions; we are go-getters and carry a “bring it” attitude to our work environment. We listen and value each other’s thoughts and ideas and strive to bring them to life. We are built on hard work, transparency, good business, and integrity. We believe “You can’t go wrong doing the right thing.”
Bill Repsel, our Regional Administrator, shared his testimony on what it's like working for SERVPRO. He said "Every day is a new day. It is an opportunity to serve others in our community in a time of need. We have an incredible team of people with great talent that strives to make a difference every day."
SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood is proud of the work we do and is always looking for like-minded people interested in a rewarding career. Please submit your resume to recruiting@SERVPROclarksville.com or check out our current job openings.
Understanding the Types of Water that Lead to Water Damage
When water damage affects your home or business, call in the experts at SERVPRO of Altamonte/Longwood for cleanup and restoration.
Water damage comes in many forms. It can occur quickly or slowly; it can be a quick fix or a significant, time-consuming property issue. When your property has water damage, SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs / Longwood wants to help you!
Being educated about water damage types can help give you peace of mind and help you attack the issues quickly and efficiently. There are three general categories of water damage.
1. Clean Water
This water is clean and comes from an uncontaminated source. If this occurs, know that it is not dangerous if consumed by pets or people. This type of water damage may occur if an incoming water line bursts, you have a bathroom flood due to an overflowing sink or tub, or have a small leak from an internal water pipe. SERVPRO can help extract the water and dry surfaces out for you. It's essential to have this done by an expert, as any remaining wet areas can bring on further issues such as mold, fungus, or rotting materials.
2. Grey Water
Grey Water comes from a source with some contaminants in it. If a leak or puddle of "Clean Water" is left for too long, this can turn into Grey Water. Other sources include sump pump failures, overflowing washing machines, and even some sewage pipes. This water type may cause people and animals to become sick if their exposure is high or consumed.
3. Black Water
Black Water is the most hazardous type of water damage that can occur. This water is too contaminated and likely comes from a natural disaster or sewage plumbing. This water may sometimes look clean but can contain microbes that can cause health effects. When it comes to home flooding emergencies, Black Water floods can be the most destructive. This is due to the water's unsanitary conditions, causing bacteria, chemicals, and toxins to absorb into the porous items in your home. Carpets, upholstery, and drywall are often destroyed in this unsalvageable disaster.
Clean and Grey Water has the potential to even turn to Black Water if left standing or unattended. Call SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs / Longwood to help remove water and disinfect your home immediately if this affects your home, and avoid exposing you and your household as it can cause illness. Our team of professionals can help in any circumstances needed! We’re available 24/7 at (407) 830-9899.
How to Identify Tornadoes During a Hurricane
Be careful during a hurricane, a tornado can quickly form out of the existing weather conditions.
Hurricanes can Create Favorable Conditions for Tornadoes
The thought of a tornado touching down in a community during a hurricane is a frightening image. Most people have seen movies or television shows where tornadoes have caused mass destruction and significant property damage. Watching it in action on the big screen or television is disheartening enough, let alone experiencing the situation first-hand. Living through a tornado and seeing the devastating impact on a community is a humbling experience. If you haven't 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 obvious and 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 falling to the ground, 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 on the ground. If the rotating funnel cloud loses formation, it can develop again. Strong, structured funnel clouds may be a single cloud formation that may spur off into another one. This is important to remember if the clouds appear to diminish. As they disappear, they can re-emerge without warning.
Understanding the apparent signs of a tornado is essential for safety. Seek immediate shelter in the lowest-lying area of the home or business, such as a basement. Avoid being near windows and glass doors due to shattering. Cover your head with pillows if they are accessible to protect your head and face. You must be aware that everyday household objects fly with the wind if the windows or doors break. These objects can become airborne and cause interior property damage and bodily harm.
Seek immediate shelter when an emergency message occurs. Don't drive your vehicle towards a clear twister to photograph the tornado, as this could be a fatal mistake. Tornadoes cause mass destruction, harm people, destroy property, and wipe miles of communities, housing developments, businesses, farms, and roads. It's crucial to recognize that personal safety is the top priority. Since violent storms, such as hurricanes, can spawn tornadoes with little or no warning, everyone needs to know how to identify tornadoes.
As a storm and water damage restoration leader, SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs / Longwood has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home to its pre-storm condition. Call today at (407) 830-9899.