Identifying Water Damage in Your South Florida Home
Do not allow water damage to go untreated. Early detection and resolution are the keys to water damage restoration.
A recent federal assessment by the US Army Corps of Engineers found Florida to be among the most vulnerable areas at risk for storm-driven flooding. South Florida averages 52 inches of rain fall per year. South Florida lies close to sea level and is surrounded by major bodies of water, often leaving rainwater with no place to drain. The result of poor drainage is occasional flooding. Flooding can lead to severe water damage in your South Florida Home.
In addition to severe weather, water damage can be caused by leaky pipes, blocked drains, malfunctioning sprinklers, and a host of other reasons. Water damage is costly, making early detection and restoration vital.
How to Detect Water Damage
Water damage affects homes in a variety of ways. It discolors walls, warps floors, grows mold, and even weakens the foundation of homes. With early detection being critical, it is important to know how to look for water damage in your home.
- Odor. Water damage emits a persistent musty smell. It can come from mold behind walls and in areas that are frequently exposed to moisture. If a musty smell is present in your home, seek out the source of the odor. Look for wet spots and areas of mold growth.
- Stains on ceilings and floors. Water stains are a visible indicator of water damage due to a leak in your home. Stains on the ceiling can form from a leaky pipe or roof issue. Floor stains may be due to dishwasher or washing machine issues. Find the source of the leak.
- Warping and discoloration. Warped or sagging ceilings or floors are a tell-tale signal that there is water damage in your home. Discolored walls reveal an issue, as well. This is often a concern with moisture-rich areas in your home.
- Excessive water bill. An unusually high water bill can be a sign of a slow leak. Leaks are not always visible. This could require a plumber to investigate further. Early detection is key.
- Peeling paint. Look for peeling paint or wallpaper as a signal of excess moisture in an area and potential water damage. A dehumidifier may help. If the moisture in the air is not improved, seek professional assistance.
How to Prevent Water Damage
There are many things you can do to minimize the risk of water damage to your home. Protect and prevent water damage by following these guidelines.
- Know the sources of indoor and outdoor water. Learn where the water main shut off is located and how to turn it off.
- Periodically check for leaks. Look around and under sinks and appliances that use water.
- Maintain roof and gutters. Clean out and inspect gutters and roof.
- Use a water detection device. These devices can detect slow leaks and low moisture levels that may otherwise go unnoticed.
- Check water pressure. Too much water pressure can cause problems with pipes and hoses. Use a water pressure gauge to get an accurate reading.
- Disconnect your hose from the faucet. Standing water can lead to water damage in your home.
Water Damage Restoration
Do not allow water damage to go untreated. Early detection and resolution are the keys to water damage restoration. Contact a professional water damage restoration specialist to help you detect issues and restore your home. Employ prevention strategies to avoid future water damage.
As always, contact SERVPRO of Deerfield Beach for any and all of your water damage needs.
Is Your Water Heater Making Noises?
If you hear clanking and rumbling in your water heater, then it may be time for a flush.
Is Your Water Heater Making Noises?
Water heaters can make all sorts of rattling and rumbling noises, but you may not actually have to replace it! The trick is figuring out if the sound is normal or not!
Sediment builds up over time and causes clanking and rumbling when the water heater is heating the water.
When sediment builds up over time, it can cause clanking and rumbling sounds when the water heater is heating. This is because the sediment gets in between the heating elements, causing them to rub against each other. A simple way to fix this problem is by doing a tank flush. A tank flush will clean out any excess sediment from your tank and should take care of this issue for you.
Another common reason for noise or vibrations coming from your hot water heater could be due to excessive rusting in one or more parts of the unit’s interior components like its outer shell or insulation blanket as well as its inner gas burner assembly components such as valves and pressure relief valve (PRV). Rusting causes corrosion on some areas inside these components which may lead them to expand more than others causing uneven wear that creates vibrations when hot water passes through those sections during usage.
There are two ways to flush the water tank, a complete manual flush, or an automatic flush that flushes the tank as it heats.
There are two ways to flush the water tank, a complete manual flush, or an automatic flush that flushes the tank as it heats. In either case, you may need to leave your home for about 30 minutes while the tank is flushed.
- Manual Flush: You'll perform this procedure by turning off power to your water heater and draining all water from it. Afterward, fill up another storage container with cool water and pour it into your hot-water heater until full so as not to cause any dry start issues when you turn things back on again (more on this later). This should take about 20 minutes per gallon removed from the system; if necessary, repeat until all gallons are replaced with fresh cool water. Then turn power back on, set thermostat where desired temperature lies between 120°F and 140°F (around 55°C) and allow unit three hours before using hot water again.
- Automatic Flush: When you heat up your system after emptying out tanks manually—or automatically via an electrical connection—you'll hear a pumping sound emanating from somewhere inside your unit as liquid travels through pipes at high speeds.
Flushing your water heater will save you money over time by saving energy and extending the life of your water heater.
Flushing your water heater is an easy way to save money on energy and extend the life of your water heater. The average homeowner spends a few thousand dollars on a new hot water tank, so if you flush regularly and prevent sediment buildup, you can save yourself thousands in replacement costs. Flushing your tank also prevents any clanking or rumbling noises that might occur when sediment builds up inside the tank.
If you hear clanking and rumbling in your water heater, then it may be time for a flush. A complete flush can help reduce the amount of sediment buildup causing the noises and save money on energy over time by extending the life of your water heater.
Electronics Cleaning After a Fire
If you have experienced fire damage in your home or business there is a chance that your electronics will suffer smoke damage.
Electronics Cleaning After a Fire
A fire breaks out in your facility, and it results in smoke damage to your electronics. You're left with a few options: repair, replace, or clean up the mess.
Cleaning Electronics After Smoke Damage
- If you have a fire in your home or office, there is a good chance that your electronics will suffer smoke damage. All the smoke particulates and soot that are sent airborne during a fire are harmful to your electronics.
- The best way to clean these devices is with distilled water and non-abrasive cleaning products. It's also important not to use any materials that may scratch or otherwise damage the surface of your device—such as paper towels, lint-free cloths, or Q-tips (they're too abrasive).
- Once all the visible dirt has been removed from the exterior surfaces of your electronic device(s), turn them off and allow them to cool down for at least an hour before turning them back on again.
Electronics Restoration Is Possible
You might be thinking, "I'm not sure what to do with my electronics. If a fire has damaged them, will they ever work again?" The answer is yes. Electronics restoration is possible and can be done by a professional if the damage was not too extensive.
A good way to get started is by bringing your items in for an inspection before attempting any cleaning yourself. An expert will be able to give you an idea of how much work it will take and whether it's even worth trying anything at home before taking them to someone who knows what they're doing.
Getting electronics cleaned up after a fire improves the safety of your facility, reduces downtime, and limits losses.
After a fire, getting your electronics cleaned up is critical. There are several reasons why:
- Safety is a big concern. A fire in an electronics manufacturing facility can get out of control very quickly, and if there's dust or soot all over those sensitive components, it could cause another fire to start.
- Electronics cleaning reduces downtime. The longer you wait to get your equipment cleaned up, the more time you lose from production—and the more money that gets lost in the process!
- Electronics cleaning limits losses by preventing fires from starting again due to soot buildup inside of protective casing or wiring insulation.
If you’ve experienced a fire, there’s no doubt that you have a lot on your mind. But don’t forget about the importance of cleaning electronics after smoke damage. By getting your equipment cleaned up right away and repaired as soon as possible, you can avoid costly losses, improve safety at your facility and limit downtime for employees. It might seem like an expensive proposition in the moment, but it will save you money in the long run!
We recommend contacting a professional company such as SERVPRO for help with restoring electronics after smoke damage. They have years of experience helping businesses recover from fires, so they know exactly what needs to be done to get everything up and running again ASAP!
Does My Commercial Insurance Policy Cover Floods and Hurricanes?
Damage from flooding is different from hurricane damage. In many cases, the damage caused by hurricanes results from storm surges and rising water.
Is Flooding And Hurricanes Covered By My Commercial Insurance Policy?
Business owners in Hillsboro Beach, FL, might think their commercial insurance covers damage from hurricanes and floods. In many cases, though, you need to purchase separate coverage. Here are a few types of damage for which you may need separate storm insurance.
This type of insurance coverage is currently a mandatory deductible in 19 states and the District of Columbia. It is a percentage deductible based on the value of your property. The cost of this coverage varies depending on your provider and where your property is located in relation to the coastline.
Hurricane insurance typically covers your building or structure and its contents for cleanup and storm damage restoration, including:
- Electronic equipment
Check your policy to see if passenger vehicles and machinery are included. Often, you need a separate policy to cover these items.
Wind and Hail Damage
Insurance coverage for hail and wind damage is included in standard property insurance for most of the country. In coastal areas, business owners may need to purchase separate storm insurance for these types of perils. Wind and hail damage may be covered under a hurricane policy.
Damage from flooding is different from hurricane damage. In many cases, the damage caused by hurricanes results from storm surge and rising water. When damage results from water on the ground, it is considered flood damage.
You can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP. The program is managed by FEMA and offers insurance in participating communities through a network of companies.
If your business is in a high-risk flood area and has a mortgage through a government-backed lender, you must have flood insurance coverage.
It's best to review your policy from time to time to ensure you have the right storm insurance for the types of perils that can happen to your Hillsboro Beach, FL, business.
The Importance of SERVPRO's Always Available Rapid Response Teams
Whether the problem stems from water, fire or mold, SERVPRO’s fast response makes them a preferred vendor for most insurance agencies.
SERVPRO's Always-On Rapid Response Teams Are Critical
When any business suffers a structural disaster, the speed with which a team of fix-it professionals can begin making repairs is critical. An ability to handle the problem with haste is important to reducing damage. Therefore, having a 24 hour, round-the-clock restoration team available is a huge advantage. Here are some things worth knowing about SERVPRO’s rapid response abilities.
Elements of SERVPRO’s Speediness
Because they are designed with timeliness in mind, you should expect:
- Emergency calls to receive a response within an hour
- Fast site arrivals, a benefit of their more than 1,700 North American locations
- Inspections completed within 4 hours
Briefings delivered within 8 hours
Whether the problem stems from water, fire or mold, SERVPRO’s fast response makes them a preferred vendor for most insurance agencies. Being always open means repairs can begin even in the middle of the night. That’s the power of SERVPRO’s 24 hour service.
Importance of SERVPRO’s Speediness
Imagine an office in Boca Raton, FL, experiences a broken pipe or natural flooding. The longer it takes to clean up, the greater the level of destruction. Within minutes, water can seep into drywall, carpeting and filing cabinets. Additionally, computers and other electronic equipment are likely to be ruined.
Within a day, additional issues may surface. Metal can begin to tarnish. Cubicle walls may become compromised and need to be thrown away. A distracting, unpleasant smell could start to develop.
Between two days and a week after the incident, mold may start growing. Wood floors might begin warping. Contaminated water will have probably spread, posing a health risk to employees. The cost of building rehabilitation will have grown exponentially.
Water damage is just one scenario where the passage of time compounds problems. The same level of increased trouble occurs when delaying action under other scenarios.
Having a 24 hour team available to react to the most common types of office disasters is a true advantage. When calamity strikes at any hour, contact SERVPRO for prompt service.
What Could A Water Leak Be Costing You?
If you notice signs of a water leak, it is important you call our SERVPRO team as quickly as possible, it can quickly grow into big mold damage.
How Much Could A Water Leak Cost You?
While some leaks are very obvious and easy to discover, smaller leaks are often left undetected. Even when you're aware that there might be a problem, leaks behind walls, or in the ceilings or floors can be difficult to find. There are many ways a water leak in your building in Pompano Beach, FL, could be costing you money.
1. On Your Water Bill
The most obvious and direct way a water leak can cost you money is on your water bill. A slow dripping leak can waste between seven to ten gallons of water per day. Severe leaks can waste closer to ninety gallons per day. This all adds up on your water bill. By not addressing small leaks, you are wasting money. Take the time to fix leaks as you discover them. The cost of the repair will likely be less than the amount of money wasted by allowing it to continue to leak.
2. In Equipment Repairs or Upgrades
Leaks left unaddressed could lead to the need for pipe repairs and plumbing upgrades sooner than you would have needed them. A small leak can lead to a pipe break if allowed to go on long enough.
3. In Damages
Broken or leaky pipes can lead to damage to the structure of your building. Pipes are generally hidden behind walls or under floors. When a leak goes undetected, this allows time for the water to seep into the building materials. Water-soaked floors and walls can be susceptible to mold, often requiring extensive cleanup and repairs or rebuilding. Water damage specialists can help you recover from large leaks that cause major damage.
In the age of bills being automatically paid or deducted from bank accounts, it is still a good idea to review monthly charges for utility bills. A sudden spike in your water bill could be a clue that you have a water leak hidden somewhere. Consult a plumber to help locate the source of the leak and fix it as soon as possible to avoid wasting more money.
3 Essential Tips on How To Manage Mold Damage Emergencies
Mold damage was found in Deerfield Beach, FL.
Three Emergency Tips for Mitigating Fungus Reproduction
What do you do when you find black mold? In those startling and confusing first few minutes, homeowners should gather composure and realize that it's not the first house to have this issue. What matters is seeking immediate help and reducing the amount of growth.
1. Cut Off the Water Flow
Before you can move into mold cleanup, residents must gain control of the situation. Spores thrive on moisture and organic matter. The easiest of these to grapple with is the first. Shut down the water source contributing to the reproduction. Start with the room's valve system. If that isn't effective, cut off the main water supply. Then, work with a water remediation company in Deerfield Beach, FL to locate the origin. Fix that trouble immediately.
2. Stop the Air Flow
While you may not want to shut the air conditioner down, it is vital in slowing the organisms down. Black mold spores hitch a ride through the air and on clothing. The air supply is extremely harmful in that microbes could easily move from one side of the house to the other, making remediation very complicated as it doubles the space requiring attention. Turn it off until the restoration company feels it's safe to put it back on.
3. Inspect and Dry
Have the restoration crew assess the moisture problem and lay out a plan for how to dry the space. This step further reduces the effort to clean and rebuild. Employees should tear out anything they feel is contaminated, especially ceiling tiles, flooring, and drywall. Then, run industrial dehumidifiers around the clock to pull out the excess humidity.
A prompt reaction is necessary to fight off the development of black mold. Work to eliminate the factors that assist reproduction. Then, get rid of anything polluted and damaged. With that accomplished, the team can turn to get your home back to normal.
Common Fire Hazards in Deerfield Beach Homes
Many materials found in homes burn quickly, fostering the fire to leave a great deal of damage behind it.
Common Fire Risks in Deerfield Beach Residences
If you have never experienced a house fire in your Deerfield Beach, FL home, you may feel as though the chances of a fire actually occurring are slim. According to the NFPA, every year over 358,000 house fires happen. Compared to the number of residential homes in Florida alone, that number can seem small. However, that number can easily increase, making it important to remain vigilant and take preventative measures. There are many fire hazards commonly found in a home, though here are the top five:
50% of fires in 2019 began in the kitchen. This is due to the number of heating appliances found as well as the number of accidents that occur. Leaving a flammable item by a hot stove or accidentally causing a grease fire are both accidental culprits. Overloading a cooking appliance or reaching unsafe temperatures are also sources of fires.
Cooking also happens outside of the kitchen, especially in the Florida summer. Taking safety measures while grilling is a must. Keeping the grill clean and well maintained as well as far away from your home, decorations, or any overhangs can keep fires at bay.
Lighting a candle to set the mood for a party, dinner date, or even a relaxing bath always seems like a great idea. Leaving the candle unattended once it is lit for long periods of time is absolutely not a great idea. Most candles are not made so that their flames are contained; any nearby fabric, paper, or other fuel source can attract the candle’s flame. Candles are also easily knocked over, especially when someone is not paying attention. If candles must be lit, keep them far from any flammable item and make everyone in the area aware of it as well.
3. Faulty Wiring
Equipment malfunction, blown circuits, broken or faulty wiring can all be fire hazards. Often, no other source of fuel is needed for an electrical fire, meaning they may happen quickly and without much effort. It is important to replace any broken wires or no longer use them, making sure they are unplugged. Refraining from overloading a circuit or outlet is recommended as well.
Dishwashers, stoves, HVACs, dryers or washing machines can all be at the center of a house fire. All of these appliances have systems that cause them to heat up, either purposely like when cooking or just from everyday use. They also all have mechanical and electrical systems that can need replacement over time.
Routine cleaning of dryers and washing machines is highly recommended as failure to clean them can lead to fires. Removing all lint from the dryer after each use and checking all vents should be a part of a preventative routine.
Smoking, whether a cigarette, cigar, or now e-cigs, is known to be a fire hazard for homes. There have been cases in which residents have fallen asleep while smoking or left a lit cigarette unattended. It is best to do all of your smoking outside when possible as well as completely turn out each cigarette or cigar before leaving the area.
While the cause of a house fire in Deerfield Beach can differ from case to case, these are a few commonly known hazards. In any situation, it is best to use common sense, be aware and properly use any items that can be potentially flammable.
Dealing With Soot and Smoke Damage After a Fire
If your home experiences fire damage, you need help immediately to mitigate the damage. SERVPRO of Deerfield Beach is available 24/7 for you.
After A Fire, How Do You Deal With Soot And Smoke Damage?
If your home in Coconut Creek, FL, has sustained, the restoration process isn’t always cut and dry. Even if it is a small fire, smoke damage that isn’t properly addressed may seem like it never goes away. Understanding the effects of smoke and ensuring proper cleanup are essential in restoring your home back to “Like it Never Even Happened.”
Common Types of Damage
It’s important to know that not all smoke and soot damage is the same. Some types are easier to clean, while others can smear or permeate the porous materials in a home. There are four common types of damage:
Dry Smoke: Fast-burning, high-temperature fires produce this kind of smoke. It is usually a powdery texture that is easier to clean than other residues left behind. This type can find its way into hidden areas, leaving a long-lasting odor behind.
Protein Residue: Most associated with kitchen fires, it tends to be easily missed. Although it may not leave visible streaks behind, it has a strong odor and discolors surfaces.
Fuel or Oil Residue: This type is not often associated with a home fire, but it can happen if a furnace experiences a puffback. This residue is dense and hard to clean.
Wet Smoke: If the fire was smoldering at low heat, the damage left behind is considered wet smoke. It is also associated with burning rubber or plastic. It is especially odorous and leaves behind sticky, black smoke damage that smears if not properly cleaned.
While the damage left behind can feel overwhelming, there are professionals available to help that are trained on all forms and techniques of smoke cleaning. A fire damage and restoration specialist can focus on cleaning and restoring as much of your belongings as possible via an array of industrial techniques. From ozone machines to eliminate hidden odors to numerous methods of soot removal, the damage can be eliminated the right way.
Smoke damage is one of the many negatives of experiencing a fire. Having a better understanding of what you are facing and finding the right help makes it easier to deal with the cleanup process.
Water Damage Categories and What They Mean
When your Deerfield Beach home experiences flooding or leak, there is no time to waste.
Water Damage Categories
Though water is translucent in color, it is very possible for it to be labeled either gray or black but not be either in color. When referring to water as gray or black, the reference is to the category of water damage.
There are three water damage categories: Clean, Gray, and Black. The source of the water is what dictates the classification. This classification aids in the restoration process as clean-up crews are aware of any physical or environmental risk of the water damage. Clean-up crews are also privy to the extent of restoration and cleaning that is necessary.
1. Clean Water
Clean water sources are seen as sanitary and include: water lines, faucets, and rainwater. Though this water is deemed clean, it is not safe for drinking nor is it recommended to deliberately stand it. Clean water or category 1 water, should be removed quickly as it can still lead to damage to items in the affected area or building materials. Category 1 water can also accumulate bacteria when left stagnant, turning it into a category.
2. Gray Water
Gray water, also called category 2, comes from sources that contain traces of contaminants but is not immediately dangerous. This includes water from dishwashers or toilets. Coming into contact with this water can pose health risks if proper equipment is not used when cleaning up this water and associated damage.
3. Black Water
Black water is the most dangerous water with serious implications for health and structural damage if not safely approached. Sources from black water, also known as category 3 contain highly toxic contaminants. These sources range from sewers, rivers, or stagnant water.
The different categories of water provide further insight into how to handle each water damage situation and the level of caution to take. All categories have very serious consequences to your Deerfield Beach, FL home and its contents if water damage restoration does not occur quickly.