Recent Posts

Does My Carpet Need to Be Replaced? Professional Water Extraction and Cleaning

5/22/2022 (Permalink)

water stains on a carpet, beige carpet in a 1970s built house, wood paneling walls, orange SERVPRO logo in corner a professional will know to rip out the carpet and replace it after water extraction

Professional Water Extraction and Cleaning

If a pipe breaks, a tub overflows, or dishwasher leaks water can spread quickly throughout your home. Moisture from one of these instances can soak into the carpet, damaging the porous fibers.

What does water do to a carpet?

If the water saturates the carpet, padding will disintegrate and glues will weaken, causing the backing to peel away from the fibers. The moisture also causes microbes to develop on the surface of the subfloor. Water will ruin the whole carpet if left too long, so how long is too long? How would a person know if a carpet is salvageable or not?

The answer depends on a few factors. A professional restoration company will examine the cause of water damage and determine if the water is Category 1, 2, or 3. These categories describe the levels of toxicity of the water. Flood water and sewage water are seen as unsafe and are categorized differently than tap water overflowing from a sink or bathtub.

A professional will also lift the different layers for cleaning and drying. The carpet padding will likely be thrown out, no matter how long it’s been sitting, because it is relatively inexpensive to replace. This saves a lot of time, effort, and money cleaning a potential breeding ground for microbial growth. 

In general, many carpets can be restored by technicians without needing replacement—even when water seeps deep into the fibers. If the water type and severity of damage poses a risk, though, a professional will know to rip out the carpet and replace it.

Water Extraction

After technicians inspect the danger and its source, lift layers, and remove pieces, they will extract water from the carpet fibers using specialized equipment. This equipment pulls the water up through a vacuum and sends it to a tank. Heavy-duty weighted extraction tools will be used for highly saturated carpets. Weighted extraction tools use the operator's weight to compress the carpet, allowing more moisture to be extracted.

Drying

After water extraction, a professional will set up drying equipment. Air moversSERVPRO’s name for industrial, high-powered, blower fans—push air in a circular motion speeding up the evaporation process. Dehumidifiers are simultaneously set up to pull moisture out of the environment and lower the property’s relative humidity.

Finally, a professional will disinfect the carpet. For additional information, call our office today at (727) 521-2562!

Prepare for Hurricane Season

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

hurricane damaged home on a beach with palm trees in St. Petersburg, FL SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg is ready to respond to your St. Petersburg home emergency 24/7.

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Atlantic hurricane season runs roughly from June 1 thru November 30 each year, with September holding the spot for the peak hurricane month. While, technically, hurricanes can wreak havoc any time of the year, this is the time to be on your guard the most. With that said, there are several ways to prepare for these storms during the off-season so you are not caught unawares.

Stock Up on Essentials

You'll want to prepare for the loss of electricity and the ability to cook by stocking up on water, bread, non-perishables, and items you can eat without heating. Also, make sure you have:

  • Extra batteries for flashlights or headlamps,
  • Portable chargers and cables for cell phones,
  • Candles with matches. 

Check Your Insurance

If you live in a hurricane-prone region, make sure your insurance covers flooding and other expenses you may incur because of a St. Petersburg hurricane.  

Make a Video of Your Home

If your home is damaged from hurricane winds and water, a home inventory video will help prove the pre-storm state of your home and make insurance claims processing easier. It would also be beneficial to make electronic versions of important documents related to your home and your personal information in case the originals are destroyed in the storm. Include digital files of documents such as your:

  • Birth certificate
  • Driver's license
  • Home's deed
  • Social security card

Protect Your Property

Install hurricane shutters or plywood of at least 3/4 inches in thickness. You may need to install hurricane clips to secure the roof of your home to the walls. This is important in areas that may receive a direct hit, and install foot and head bolts on all doors.

Make an Evacuation Plan

When it is time to evacuate, go. Make a plan for where you and your family will stay at least 50 miles from your St. Petersburg home. If you can, pre-pack a bag before the threat of an Atlantic hurricane is severe. Load it with clothes, blankets, food, water, electronics, and important papers or photos.

Use These Tips

Don't Take Risks. Ultimately, people are more important than things. People hurt in hurricane weather evacuate late or stay in their homes altogether. Be wise and get out early. Prepare in order to mitigate panic and this kind of risky behavior. 

We Help with Hurricane Recovery

We live and work in this community; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated cleaning, damage restoration, and construction business, SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg is a proud and active member of this community and is ready to respond to your St. Petersburg home emergency 24/7/365. Call us today at (727) 341-1001.

The 3 Types of Smart Smoke Detectors

4/17/2022 (Permalink)

graphic of smart smoke alarm, green background, square animated wifi fire alarm orange smoke, servpro logo in top left corner Although classic smoke detectors haven't changed much over the past few decades, they have seen a few minor upgrades.

The 3 Types of Smart Smoke Detectors

Wait…there’s more than one type of smoke detector? Yes! That old smoke detector you grew up with is outdated. Although classic smoke detectors haven't changed much over the past few decades, they have seen a few minor upgrades.

Today's homeowner often opts for smart devices for added convenience. Perhaps it's time to consider adding your smoke alarm to the list of smart devices for your home. Take a look at three primary smart smoke detector options before choosing to upgrade:

Smart Battery

This is the most basic type of fire safety smart device available. Smart batteries have a short list of responsibilities, only notifying you, via push notifications, when your alarm goes off or when the batteries are about to expire. Batteries typically last for about five years, so you likely won't be receiving that type of alert all too often.

Smart Smoke Detector

The classic smart smoke alarm is a natural step up from the smart batteries. The primary difference between these alarms and classic detectors is that smart detectors connect to your internet. This allows you to receive notifications when the batteries are low or when the alarm goes off. This device also gives you the capability to silence incoming alarms from your mobile device.

Listener

If you're reluctant to replace your entire alarm, you can always opt for a listening device. These gadgets are intended to listen for alarms and alert you when one goes off. They're ideal if you have several alarms in your house and only want to install one device per floor, as opposed to replacing the smoke detectors in every room.

Replacing your smoke alarm with a smart device can help you stay vigilant. You can have the added ease of being able to deactivate alarms using your smartphone, and you won't have to put up with annoying low battery chirps. Contact fire remediation experts, like the local fire department, before you attempt to tamper with the alarms in your home.

How to Reduce Pet Stress During a Storm: Evacuation Plans

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

group of animated animals under the words "emergency evac" Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress.

Plan For Your Pets

Inclement weather or fires can happen with or without notice. Creating an emergency plan can help prevent damage to your home and belongings and protect you and your loved ones - including pets! When putting a plan together, it’s important to plan for their needs as well. 

Make an Evacuation Plan

Remember, if you must evacuate due to an emergency, the area is likely not suitable for your pets either. Your evacuation plan should consider where your pets will be taken, if not kept with you, and how best to transport them. Make a list ahead of time of pet friendly hotels or friends’ houses along your evacuation route and near your final destination. Know that some hotels and shelters do not accept animals. 

You also might want to build an emergency travel kit for your animals. This will save time and worry when you must evacuate. 

Items to include in your pet's emergency kit:

  • A completed Emergency Pet Passport containing important information like your pets’ veterinarian contact info, medical needs, license/chip info, photos, etc.
  • Leash, harness, and carrier with blanket to transport animals
  • A few portions of a suitable non-perishable food, water bowl, bottled water, and can opener
  • Cat litter and pan or bags for excrement
  • Medications
  • Toys

Don’t Have to Evacuate? 

If evacuation is not necessary, there are still some things you can do to reduce your pet’s stress in an uncomfortable situation like a thunderstorm.

Pet Stress Symptoms

Pets may exhibit signs of stress and anxiety that can be alleviated by simple measures. Some of these symptoms include whimpering, hiding, pacing, or shivering. These symptoms may be caused by a variety of factors including pets’ greater sensitivity to sounds and air pressure.

As stress increases, symptoms may become more severe. Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress:

  • Remain calm as an owner
  • Create a comforting space for them in a smaller room like a closet or under a blanket
  • Close blinds and curtains
  • Keep them in their normal routine, if possible

Read more storm and pet related articles here.

How to Prepare a Business for Storms

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO crew members cleaning up after a water disaster in a commercial warehouse, wearing orange vests Give us a call at (727) 341-1001 for 24-hour emergency service. Our commercial loss team is standing by to return your business to preloss condition.

3 Ways to Prepare for Storms

While disaster preparedness is not everyone's favorite activity, it can be the difference between a company surviving a storm and one that does not. When a hurricane strikes a small company, as many as 40 percent of these businesses never reopen. So a good plan is critical. Read further for our four top tips to prepare your company.

  1. Buy Insurance. Have the right policy in effect when a storm strikes. Claims payments can replace lost inventory and damaged equipment that is vital to your success. Structuring a policy that makes sense for your company may take a time investment on the front end, but will save valuable time, money and energy given a claim-qualifying event. Business interruption insurance covers some expenses if the damage is severe enough to suspend normal workplace operations. 
  2. Fortify the Building's Exterior. As common sense tells us, a sturdy building will prevail against high winds—like a hurricane or tornado—longer than a weaker builder. A fortified roof system, durable siding, and storm windows will have a better chance of keeping water out and holding up in strong winds.
  3. Make a Disaster Preparedness Checklist. This document will include all the information needed in a storm: important contacts of emergency services in the area, the location of critical equipment, shutoff valves, and emergency supplies, and the phone number of a local storm remediation team for assistance in the recovery. SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg offers this information in the form of an Emergency Ready Plans or ERPs. These plans are drawn up by one of our team members to make sure you have access to our emergency services and other important information at a moment's notice.

It's a good idea to consult with experts and bring in professionals to coach employees on what actions to take and not to take in times of stress. Organizations such as FEMA have helpful resources to help with your efforts. 

About SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg

We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a storm, water, or fire event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Give us a call at (727) 341-1001 for 24-hour emergency service. Our commercial loss team is standing by to return your business to preloss condition.

Protect Your Home Against Wind Damage

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

a green truck graphic climbing up a scale graph with the words "we scale our resources" When storms hit anywhere in the United States, our SERVPRO team can scale our resources to handle even the largest storm or flooding disaster.

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

While thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage, winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are more severe and may be more costly. Still, thunderstorms are responsible for a lot of damage, such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding. Either way, billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year. While understanding the nature of wind damage can’t stop them from happening, it can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs.

What You Need to Know

Flying Debris is a Damage Risk

Flying debris can cause more damage than strong winds themselves. Damage can result from plants or other unsecured structures and objects. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris in your homes such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans are either secured or brought inside. Bonus tip: For severe weather, secure your doors and windows, too.

A Well-Designed Roofing System Does Wonders

Apply roof deck, shingles, or membrane over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the structure in a strong wind. Roofing material should latch to the deck.

The construction phase of building a structure is the most influential piece in reducing damage caused by storms. Loosely connected shingles will lift from the deck, so fasten that siding down. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger storm-resistant structure.

Monitor and Maintain Your Trees.

Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Maintain your trees by removing dead limbs. In addition, remove the entire tree if it is dead. Healthy trees should have strong enough roots to withstand fairly strong winds, but dead trees will not.

Mitigating Damage After a Storm

What happens after the storm? 

First, close any openings as soon as possible. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common source of water damage in these situations. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that cuts to size and nail it over the opening. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of an emergency close-up, if needed, so contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

If the damage is too much to handle on your own, contact a restoration professional as soon as you can to help limit and repair damage and respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Faster Response

SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Since we are locally owned and operated, we can respond quickly to your area with the right resources. This is extremely important because a fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Resources to Scale Up for Large Disasters

When storms hit anywhere in the United States, our SERVPRO team can scale our resources to handle even the largest storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1900 franchises across the country as well as our elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

What Is Cat 3 Water Loss? What About Cat 1 and Cat 2?

3/6/2022 (Permalink)

sink full of brown water, man's arm on left holding hose into sink, orange servpro logo, sink is white If you have Cat 3 water loss, don't hesitate to call your local professionals.

If you experienced a natural flood or sewage break at your home, you may have been told your property sustained Cat 3 (Category 3) water damage. So what is Cat 3 water damage? And what are the other 2?

Water Damage Categories

They are classified as follows:

  • Category 1 damage, also known as “white water” (clean water)
  • Category 2 damage, also known as “gray water” (clean water that sat for a while)
  • Category 3 damage, which is known as “black water” (usually from flood water)

Category 3 water is not only contaminated, but it can also cause damage to your home. Professionally trained technicians can, fortunately, help you clean and decontaminate the building and items after a Cat 3 water incident.

Cleaning Procedures

When facing water damage caused by a contaminated liquid, your safest plan usually involves contacting a local restoration company. Professionals are trained to arrive quickly, assess damage accurately, and work safely and efficiently to clean, restore and construct your property.

After the assessment, the following cleaning steps typically occur:

  1. Removal of water
  2. Humidity reduction and drying of wet surfaces
  3. Sanitation and cleaning of damaged areas
  4. Remediation of damaged property through deep cleaning and reconstruction

The professional you choose may also offer digitization services for wet financial documents or photographs that need to be preserved. Additionally, trained technicians on the scene may have suggestions for a preservation method or a long-term storage situation for items that are priceless and irreplaceable, yet not entirely salvageable.

Being Prepared

Help us help you persevere in the face of such a nightmare. SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg is a local professional in the cleaning, restoration, and construction industry. Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. For a free estimate, call us today at (727) 341-1001.

Claims Just Got Easier: SERVPRO Works with Insurance

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Hand writing out claims, cuffed sleeve, holding silver pen, Our technicians make claims easier by dealing with insurance when disaster strikes your home or business. Call (727) 341-1001.

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 Gulf Beaches Southwest St. Petersburg will help make it "Like it never even happened." That way, you and your family or business can get back to what is essential.

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 with your insurer.
  • Handle the paperwork to make sure the processing and payment of your claim is quick.

We are so proud that so many insurance companies recommend SERVPRO to their clients. 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 biohazard cleanup and restoration services. Call (727) 341-1001; we're available 24/7.

Prevent Water Damage While on Vacation

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

woman walking along beach at sunset with text box "Avoid a Vacation Disaster" Follow these steps to prevent water damage while you're away on vacation!

7 Steps to Preventing Water Damage While Away

According to a study done by the Insurance Institute, homeowners' highest insurance claims are water damage. Leaky or busted pipes and appliances cause millions of dollars in damage during freezing weather and storms. Leaky pipes don't take a vacation when you do and can burst, generating hundreds of dollars of repairs. Prevent water damage while your on vacation by using this checklist:

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. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see the condition of your roof shingles. 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.

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 overflows which can lead to foundation problems and water damages 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. 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. Ease Your Mind By Turning 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. 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 Gulf Beaches / Southwest St. Petersburg as soon as possible at (727) 341-1001.

How to Remove Odors from Your Florida Home

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

HEPA air filter, green, large, in gulf beaches school near me, removing odors SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches / Southwest St. Petersburg is here to help you remove odors from your building complex 24/7, 7 days a week at (727) 341-1001.

SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches / Southwest St. Pete Removes Odors from Your Home

Odors from smoke, pets, decomposition, and mold can cause lingering odors in your home and business. A simple surface clean doesn't necessarily get rid of offensive odors left by smoke, mold, and other sources. However, with technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg provides specialized services that can eliminate those foul smells. 

Our professionals don't cover up lingering odors with a fragrance. We seek out the odor's source.

Once the source is found, we use SERVPRO's proprietary line of cleaning products to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will be cleaned and deodorized professionally. These items include:

  • furniture
  • draperies and upholstery
  • electronics
  • art
  • flooring, walls, ceilings
  • HVAC air ducts & more

Along with our proprietary line of cleaning products, SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg uses various techniques and equipment that are capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly. 

Tools We Use:

  1. Ozone Generator: The Ozone Generator is one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or office. We use the Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine, smoke, and more without chemicals. While the room is being treated, a person should not occupy the space. However, the generator works quickly.
  2. Hydroxyl Generator: The Hydroxyl Generator has several benefits that the Ozone Generator does not. The main advantage is that the treated room can be occupied during the deodorization process, though it does work slower. It's used to treat fire, smoke, biohazard jobs, water damage, crime scene situations, and animal odors. 
  3. Air Filtration Device: This piece of equipment, also known as an air scrubber, is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold, and sewage restoration work. These work by pulling air through HEPA filtration to remove airborne particles from the air. Helping clean the air and remove odors.

SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches / Southwest St. Petersburg is here for you 24/7, 7 days a week at (727) 341-1001.