Preventing Water Damage While On Vacation
One of the highest insurance claims by homeowners is water damage, according to a study done by the Insurance Institute. In fact, leaky pipes and in often cases appliances cause millions of dollars of damage in freezing weather and storms annually. While you’re on vacation, it’s no surprise that a leaky pipe can burst and cause hundreds of dollars of repairs.
Here are 7 Steps to follow before you go on vacation.
Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation
Before embarking on your trip, check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should also check the seals around 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
It’s important that you inspect the hoses that connect to important appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washer/dryers, and refrigerator. If there is 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. You should also run a few tests, listening to the sounds it makes and making sure that the water in the pump is actually going outside. You should also install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you’re away.
Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes
If you are planning on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. This 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. You will also want to drain the pipes completely 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 do experience water damage while you are away from your home, contact SERVPRO of West Gulf Beaches / West St. Petersburg as soon as possible. 727.341.1001
Fire Extinguisher Ready
By now, fire extinguishers have become staples in most disaster-ready homes and provide billions worldwide with a quick, straightforward way to respond to sudden blazes. Generally, all fire extinguishers are alike, as they typically follow the same usage procedure known as PASS:
* Pull the pin to break the tamper seal.
* Aim the nozzle at the bottom of the fire.
* Squeeze the handle and release extinguisher chemicals.
* Sweep the nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire until it’s extinguished.
Knowing these steps can save you a ton of hassle with instances like the average kitchen fire in St. Pete but to really mitigate as much fire damage as possible, there are a few other things you need to take into account.
Choosing Your Extinguisher
The first thing you should always be aware of is that not every fire extinguisher is good for every job. For example, when dealing with a grease fire, you’ll need a class B extinguisher to really get the job done safely. It’s a good idea to research different extinguisher uses before deciding where to allocate these appliances around your home.
Just because you have an extinguisher on your side doesn’t mean you won’t need emergency services. Ideally, you should have someone call 911 as you attempt to extinguish the flames. This ensures you’re able to get the assistance you need in the event that your attempts are unsuccessful.
Furthermore, know when to leave the house. If the blaze becomes too large or your extinguisher runs out of fumes, it’s time to get out of the house. You can pass over the firefighting responsibilities to emergency responders and work with a fire cleanup crew, like SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South/West St. Petersburg.
Keeping proper fire extinguisher handling tips in mind may be able to save your home and your family in the coming years. Be sure to discuss the above tips with every member of your family.
Storms Roll Out and We Roll In
Unexpected emergencies like severe weather call for immediate action. SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South/West St. Petersburg knows immediate reaction to the disaster is important to helping you get your life back to normal.
Utilizing our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines we strive to:
- Contact you within 1 hour from notice of loss to arrange for your service.
- Be-on-site to begin mitigation services within 4 hours of notification.
- Provide verbal briefing of scope to you within 8 business hours of on-site arrival.
Exceptions to our 1-4-8 Service Response times may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation.
We also perform pack-out services, which is removing salvageable personal property from the affected area for off-site cleaning and storage.
If you have storm damage to your home or property, call us today. Timely mitigation is the key to minimize secondary damages caused by severe storms. We are also a one stop shop. We can handle everything from tarping and board ups to all of your post construction needs as well.
Danger Of Hurricane Flood Damage
Homeowners in Florida are no stranger to hurricanes and the type of damage that they can do to homes and communities. Some liken the water damage that comes from a hurricane to that of a flood from a typical rainstorm, but the former is so much worse.
Flood damage in West St. Petersburg that is the result of a hurricane brings not only water but salt from the ocean as well. Brackish water is more hazardous during and after a storm, and it also has the potential to wreak havoc on your home's structure and your possessions. Here's a look at why hurricane flood damage should be taken seriously and resolved as soon as possible.
When salt comes into contact with wire insulation, metals, concrete, zinc, and other materials commonly used in and around homes, it's quite corrosive. Also, saltwater conducts its own charge that increases the likelihood of power outages and electrical shock.
If left to sit, a home damaged by saltwater after a hurricane will decompose more quickly than one that's affected by flood damage following a typical rainstorm. The foundation, walls, flooring, and even decorative stone and brick of your home will start to break down and be much more costly to repair the longer the problem persists.
Contacting experienced professionals, such as our team at SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South/West St. Petersburg, is key to protecting your home after a hurricane. Saltwater can't simply be pumped out of a house; it first has to be washed away with freshwater before pumping can even be started. As time ticks away before repairs commence, your home is left vulnerable to water damage. Time is of the essence!
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South/West St. Petersburg is close by and ready to respond to your cleaning or restoration needs. We are proud to be an active member of the St. Petersburg community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.
Award Winning Team
We take pride in being the best of the best. Our award-winning crew is here to work for you. Our accomplishments include:
- 2018 SERVPRO Franchise of The Year
- 2018 Legend Silver Award
- 2017 SERVPRO Top 15
- 2016 SERVPRO Top 15
We are also proud members of the Better Business Bureau and St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.
Our highly-trained, professional, courteous crew and staff are here for you 24/7 for any emergency! You can trust your locally owned and operated SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches to take care of your home or business quickly and thoroughly "Like it never even happened."
IICRC Training and Certification
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.
Employee Certification Training
The Employee Certification Training is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:
- Crew Training
- Fire Restoration
- Water Restoration
- Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Commercial HVAC Tips
It’s always a good idea to hire a professional to come inspect your HVAC system; if any maintenance is needed, that same company can take care of it right away. You will want to have an inspection done every fall and again in spring, after the heavier use months during winter and summer. A professional will inspect and clean all of your unit’s wiring and mechanisms, which would be a bit challenging for anyone without the training or expertise. Using a professional ensures that the future of your business’ HVAC is bright!
As a business owner, there are several simple maintenance chores that you can do to prolong your system’s life and increase its efficiency between professional inspections and maintenance, such as:
- Get a high-efficiency, pleated air filter for your system
- Keep your heating units and AC free of pollen, leaves, and grass
- Keep two feet of space clear around your outdoor AC and heating units
- Inspect refrigerant lines every month
- Replace air filters at least every 90 days
- In the summer, turn off the water running to the furnace humidifier
- In the fall, replace the humidifier filter and turn the water back on
- Replace the carbon monoxide detector battery
- Make sure your outdoor AC unit is on firm and level ground
- Clean AC condensation with a bleach and water mixture
Caring for your HVAC properly throughout the year will keep your work environment air quality and atmosphere pleasant, which keeps your staff happy and content. It will also save you money by improving and maintaining your energy efficiency throughout your building.
The team at SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South/West St. Petersburg is always ready to inspect and maintain your HVAC system, and we are here to answer any questions you might have. We are also experienced in large cleanup jobs such as those needed because of fire damage or water damage, and we are pros at mold remediation. Call us today!
Fire Hazards Your Business Should Avoid
Fire damage in your business is a serious concern. Even moderate damage can result in your facility being closed for repairs for weeks on end, and this can be financially devastating. The unfortunate reality is that no business is immune to the risk of fire. Some facilities may be more likely to endure damage from a fire, such as a restaurant that uses open flames throughout the day. However, there are many fire hazards that are present in most workplaces on a daily basis regardless of the type of activities that take place in the building. When you know what these hazards are, you can take proper steps to address and mitigate those risks and prevent possible fire damage and smoke damage.
Below we have included the 3 main things to pay attention to.
1. Electrical Concerns
Damage to electrical wiring can result in sparks that quickly lead to damaging fires. Electrical wiring damage may include frayed cords, such as those connecting desktop computers to the wall power outlets. It may also include damage to internal wiring inside the walls, and these may be damaged by pests and other forces. Electrical fires may also start when power sockets are overloaded or when equipment gets too hot. Periodically review your company's wiring to identify areas of concern that need to be addressed.
2. Poor Equipment Maintenance
Other hazards in workplaces are related to poor equipment maintenance. For example, failing to service your furnace regularly may result in the accumulation of dust and other flammable debris. A gas leak in the furnace could result in a fire or an explosion. Fire hazards related to poor maintenance may also include dusty, dirty or greasy components, such as air ducts and vents, kitchen exhaust vents and many other features that are used throughout your facility. Scheduling necessary maintenance can decrease fire risk in these areas.
3. Flammable or Combustible Materials
Flammable and combustible materials are most commonly associated with industrial and warehouse environments, but even restaurants, hotels, dry cleaners and many other types of business may store combustible materials on-site. These materials should remain properly sealed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations at all times.
As you can see, there are numerous fire hazards that could result in serious damage in your business. If your business has already experienced fire damage, it is essential that repair work is completed as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South/West St. Petersburg is your trusted source for quality repair services. We can quickly restore your building to its previous condition so that operations can resume in your place of business. To request assistance with your damaged building, contact us today.
10 Reasons to Partner with SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South
People and businesses rely on SERVPRO to restore damaged property for many reasons. Here are just 10.
1. We Get It
SERVPRO understands your situation. You want to keep costs down, repair the damage, and get back to normal. Those are our goals, too.
2. SERVPRO Is Qualified
Our repair and restoration team members have the best training in the industry. Our results will create a measurable difference for you.
3. We Respond to You Immediately
You can reach us 24/7. When a disaster strikes, we respond as quickly as possible. SERVPRO can draw on more than 1,700 U.S. and Canada locations to get the right equipment and right professionals to you faster than other companies.
4. You’re Part of Our Team
We work with you and for you. You are in charge. You receive a complete explanation of the work we will do and why it needs to be done a certain way. Like you, we don’t appreciate surprises.
5. We Use the Latest Technology
The past few years have seen a rapid advancement in the technology and techniques used in the restoration industry. These advancements allow SERVPRO to restore your property to preloss condition quickly, reliably, and more effectively.
6. We Practice the Golden Rule of Restoration
Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. SERVPRO's professionals practice the golden rule, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." We make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability.
7. For Claim and Other Purposes, Your Loss Is Itemized
SERVPRO can give you an itemized loss inventory. You will receive an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items.
8. We’ll Help You Prevent Losses, Not Just Deal with Them
Our services start with prevention. We’ll come out to your business or home and do a review of how you can protect yourself, your family, your business, and your property from potential losses. That’s another old rule (from Ben Franklin) we like: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Check out our SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan.
9. We Handle Any Loss from A Natural Disaster—Big or Small
Have multiple locations? No problem. Suffer a small loss from water or fire or wind? We can handle it. Have a massive, complex disaster to recover from? That’s within our scope of services, too.
10. We’re Approved, Certified, And Experienced
We’re trained to IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards in fire and water cleanup and restoration. Our professionals attend SERVPRO continuing education classes. SERVPRO has been in business for more than 45 years. Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO a leader in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry.
SERVPRO Is More Than Just Water Cleanup
SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg does more than just water damage cleanup, fire cleanup, mold clean up, and carpet cleanings. With our addition of a construction division we are able provide building services most restoration companies can not. Like for example, the removal of graffiti.
Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.
Need Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today – 727.341.1001
SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and 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 highly trained technicians can offer the following services:
Ready for Whatever Happens
SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg is committed to providing fire and water cleanup and restoration services to reduce business interruptions and recovery costs.
SERVPRO can provide:
- Over 40 years of experience as leading fire and water cleanup and restoration providers.
- A SERVPRO franchise nearby - more than 1,500 franchises servicing 48 states.
- More locations for faster responses.
- Quick response time to help ensure the damage is contained and the restoration process begins promptly.
- Large loss capabilities - no fire or water damage is too big.
As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind and knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you help to minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Know what to do, who to call and what to expect in advance is helpful in receiving timely mitigation and can help minimize the effects water and fire damage can have on your business.