3 Things To Know About the IICRC
Look for a firm that holds a mitigation certificate from the IICRC.
Three Things To Know About This Certification
If a disaster were to strike your Oviedo, FL, business, would you know who to call for help? As a business owner, it’s wise to be prepared for emergencies such as floods, fires, and storms. Having the contact information for a professional disaster response team is the first step in minimizing damage. In addition to the right equipment and skills, a reputable company will possess certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Here are three things you need to know about this certification.
1. Company Certification
As a business owner or manager, it’s critical to surround yourself with companies and individuals who are experts in their field. Similar to hiring the best employees for your company, you want to hire the right professionals to restore your business in the event of a disaster. Look for a firm that holds a mitigation certificate from the IICRC. If the firm has earned this certificate, you can have peace of mind that your business will be restored the right way.
2. Individual Certification
In addition to granting company certification, individual certification can be earned as well. Courses and exams covered under individual certification include fire and water restoration, crew training and carpet and upholstery cleaning. It’s best to ensure that the restoration company you’re working with has certification; however, it’s even better if the individual employees have been trained as well.
3. High Standards
You want your business to be completely restored to safe working conditions after a disaster. The IICRC certification upholds high cleaning standards and can give you peace of mind that your business will be restored using the latest equipment, technology, and procedures.
Be prepared for any emergency disaster by partnering with a restoration company that has a mitigation certificate. This will ensure that your business is fully restored and make it feel “Like it never even happened.”
Bursting Pipes: 4 Steps To Take Before Help Arrives
Bursting pipes can turn into a nightmare if not approached carefully.
Four Steps To Take To Help Fix Broken Pipes
Bursting pipes can turn into a nightmare if not approached carefully. Aside from the smelly, discolored water, and leaks that often accompany a broken pipe, more significant issues such as mold and secondary water damage to the home can occur. If you need to cross "fix broken pipe" off your to-do list quickly, the first step is to contact your local plumber and water restoration specialists. In the meantime, here are four steps you can take to help fix broken pipes before help arrives at your Chuluota, FL, home.
1. Turn Off the Water
To help prevent more water from leaking into your home, make sure to turn off the main water source. The main water valve can typically be found in the basement. This should help prevent any further damage.
2. Drain the Faucets
Turn on the cold water to drain any remaining water from the system. Be sure to flush the toilets a couple of times as well. This may prevent any remaining cold water from refreezing the previously bursting pipes and relieve backed-up pressure in them. Once the cold water appears to be drained, turn off the water heater and drain the hot taps directly after.
3. Clean Up Any Standing Water
More likely than not, some water has leaked into your home from the broken pipes. Clean up any wet spots or standing water in the house; allowing it to sit may lead to mold or mildew in the home.
4. Document Everything
This step is purely for insurance purposes. It is important to document and take pictures of any damage to the home or your possessions to show the insurance company when making a claim.
Bursting pipes can be a considerable expense, but by taking immediate action with the clean-up process, a lot of the damage can be reduced. Remember, at the first sign of trouble, contact the professionals before the situation gets worse!
Understanding How Your Homeowner's Policy Protects You Against Fire Loss
Homeowners can call their insurance provider in Geneva, FL
Take Time To Consider Your Coverage Limits
No homeowner expects fire damage to happen. Most people rest easy, believing they are free of any imminent fire disasters. Unfortunately, residential fires happen every day, and aside from calling a fire damage restoration company in Geneva, FL, homeowners can call their insurance providers. Most essential policies cover at least four areas should a fire occur.
- Liability Protection
- Personal Property
- Living Expenses
A homeowner's insurance policy covers a specific value, typically the cost of the home. Dwelling coverage pays for either repair to your property or to recover the loss of a home. Policies are typically valued for either the replacement cost of the house or the actual cash value of the property.
Every property owner should evaluate their liability protection. Sometimes, a fire can spread from one home to another. Depending on how the fire began, a property owner needs to make sure they cannot be held liable for fire damage to a neighbor's property, which is the purpose of liability protection.
Nearly every homeowner's policy will also have personal property protection, which helps to replace or repair specific personal effects. The personal property portion of your policy can cover smoke damage to furniture and clothing, but it can also help cover the losses of more expensive items, like jewelry.
Your homeowner policy may even cover additional living expenses, beyond the recovery of damages. Sometimes, you will need to live off-site for the reconstruction of your home. Some policies will cover a portion of these living expenses, up to 30% of the dwelling limit.
While fire damage is not often expected, a homeowner should be prepared. Insurance coverage is the best way to protect against significant loss, and so is having a restoration company on standby. Take time to consider your coverage limits, and reach out to a local restoration specialist for a home assessment.
Crucial Steps To Take When You Find Mold in Your Home
Mold found on the ceiling of a home in Winter Springs, FL.
5 Ways to Decrease the Stress of Mold Cleanup
Finding mold in your home can be a real bummer. Mold forms moist environments, such as bathrooms, and is often the symptom of an underlying leakage problem. If you live in Winter Springs, FL, and are struggling with mold contamination, here are four things you can do to reverse course and decrease the stress of mold cleanup.
1. Understand What Mold is and How it Forms
Mold is a fungus that occurs naturally in the outdoors. In nature, mold breaks down organic matter and is a fundamental part of ecosystems; however, when these ecosystems occur inside, they should be removed.
2. Identify the Mold Correctly
The two most common fungi that form in apartments and houses are mold and mildew. If you suspect a fungal problem, it is important to identify which type of fungus is to blame. Mildew is a fuzzy, surface fungus, whereas mold embeds itself into surfaces and often has a fuzzy, black, or green appearance.
3. Contact Your Landlord
Mold can form for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, mold highlights an underlying water problem, such as a leaky pipe. Because landlords are responsible for the infrastructure of your apartment, they should respond quickly and help you with mold cleanup.
4. Identify the Underlying Problem
Once your landlord is involved, it is important to work with him or her to identify the underlying problem. If you ignore mold, it could cause a larger problem, such as harming the structural integrity of your apartment.
5. Bring in the Pros
Mold spores will continue to reproduce as long as water or moisture is present. Although it can be a pain to find mold in your home, a mold remediation company can help you eliminate the problem.
It is very common for people to encounter mold in their living spaces. If you find mold, it is important to take the necessary steps to identify its source and enlist the help of a professional mold cleanup company to eliminate the problem safely and efficiently.
What is Category 3 Water Damage?
Category 3 water contains bacteria.
If flood water has invaded your business in Oviedo, FL, it is important to clean it quickly. Category 3 water can contain high levels of contaminants, making it unsafe to enter. If it sits for an extended period, mold can begin to grow and bacteria can multiply. The sooner the problem is remedied, the less damage you may have, and the faster you can be back in business.
What Is Category 3 Water?
There are three categories of water contamination. Category 1 has little to no contaminants, and Category 2 contains some contaminants. Category 3 is the dirtiest and can contain a variety of contaminants:
- Decaying organic matter
- Heavy metals
A toilet overflow is a common cause of Category 3 water because it can contain high levels of bacteria and viruses. Flood water is considered Category 3 water since it picks up everything along its path, including environmental toxins and e.coli.
How Can Things Return To Normal?
Most insurance companies cover water damage from a variety of sources, so the first thing you should do is contact your agent. Since it can be hazardous, it is best not to try to clean Category 3 water yourself. There are teams of professionals who are used to working through the entire process and know what needs to be done and in what order. A water remediation team can work to extract the excess water using specialized equipment and industrialized blowers to dry the area quickly. Experts can use an appropriate disinfectant or biocide to sanitize the area. If you have carpets, walls, or other structural materials that need to be removed, they can remove these and replace them with new materials.
Flood water damage can feel overwhelming. By working with a professional remediation company, you can have your workplace restored and business back to normal "Like it never even happened."
Water Damage 101
Be aware of all water types!
Unexpected water in your Geneva, FL, home where it shouldn’t be isn’t something that should be overlooked. Whether the water damage appears to be minimal or a lot, understanding the type of water and damage is important to ensure proper cleanup and restoration.
Types of Water
Any kind of water needs to be immediately addressed to ensure further damage doesn’t occur. Before grabbing the mop and bucket or wet vacuum, it is vital to understand the type of water that is being dealt with. They are three categories of water:
Clean Water: As its name suggests, this type poses no threat. This damage occurs when a water supply line leaks, a sink or bathtub without contaminants overflows, melting snow, or rainwater infiltrates the home.
Gray Water: Once water mixes with chemicals or minimal biological contaminants, it moves to this category. Sources may include a leaking dishwasher, urine-only toilet overflow, or water condensation.
Black Water: This is unsanitary water full of bacteria and microorganisms harmful to humans and animals. If there was a recent flood, it could mean those rising water included sewage and other debris.
Types of Damage
When assessing water damage to determine repairs, understanding the types is important.
Class 1: The least harmful kind, it typically means that a minimal amount was absorbed in the affected areas. It is usually easy to clean.
Class 2: Known for quick evaporation rates, it can quickly absorb into carpeting and other porous materials. This damage typically requires more extensive repairs.
Class 3: If a sprinkler or pipe bursts, it can rapidly drench floors, walls, furniture, and other belongings. The rapid rate of evaporation requires quick action and water remediation measures to ensure the damage doesn’t spread or promote mold growth.
Class 4: Excessive flooding means massive saturation of integral home components. Consulting a water damage and remediation expert is the best bet containing the situation and ensuring further damage doesn’t happen.
While there are many levels of water damage, quick action in all situations is key to getting your home back to normal.
4 Things You Should Throw Out After a Fire
High heat and smoke can have an impact on medicine.
Smoke damage is pervasive, and it can ruin many items in your office, warehouse or store during a fire. If your business in Chuluota, FL, recently had a fire and you're in the midst of the smoke cleaning process, there are many things you can probably save but several you should throw out right away.
Perishable and Non-Perishable Food Items
Any food that came into contact with smoke, soot, flames, heat, or firefighting chemicals should get thrown out. This especially applies to food with open packaging, as smoke and soot can easily contaminate the food inside.
Uniforms and Textiles
It is possible to disinfect textiles and clothing after a fire but not necessarily recommended by most smoke damage cleaning professionals. Soot and smoke that get into fabrics contain chemicals that can hurt the skin upon contact. In addition, those who wear uniforms or other textiles that have been exposed to fire may inhale these chemicals even after the cloth has been subjected to extensive cleaning.
Upholstered Furniture Pieces
If your office or waiting room has upholstered furniture pieces exposed to the fire or soot damage, these items may be structurally unsafe and should get replaced following the fire. The only exception is hardwood furniture, which business owners can often salvage with an oil soap designed for furniture.
Toiletries, Cosmetics, and Medicines
High heat, smoke and the water used by firefighters can have an impact on toiletries, cosmetics, and medicines. Because of the high temperatures likely to be found in a commercial fire, medications may lose their effectiveness and the composition of cosmetics may be compromised. Even if there is no visible damage, it may be best to get rid of them.
It may be difficult financially and logistically for your business to throw away so much inventory and other office items after a fire. At the same time, getting rid of all items with smoke damage will contribute to a faster cleanup process and return to normal business operations.
4 Tips for Preparing Your Company for a Storm
Make a disaster preparedness checklist for your Florida company.
Getting Your Company Storm Ready
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. That's why a good plan is critical. What, though, is the best approach when you do not have infinite time and resources? Here are four top tips for getting your company ready.
1. Get Insurance. Having the right policy in effect when a storm strikes can be a lifesaver. It's a good idea to spend some time structuring a policy that makes sense for your company. Business interruption insurance can cover some of the expenses if the damage is so severe that normal operations are suspended. Claims payments can replace lost inventory and damaged equipment that is vital to your success.
2. Fortify the Building's Exterior. A strong and built building to withstand high winds can survive a hurricane or tornado where a weaker builder will not. A fortified roof system will have a better chance of keeping water out. Durable siding is a crucial aspect of business preparedness, as are windows built to hold 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 Chuluota, FL, 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.
4. Spend Time on Planning. The more time your company spends on planning, the better its disaster preparedness will be. 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.
Mold Damage and Homeowners Insurance
A homeowners policy will typically cover mold remediation.
When you discover fungus growth in your home, you will have several concerns right away. A series of questions will be about the costs associated with this problem:
- Will you have extensive damage to belongings and structures in your home?
- Will you have to pay for cleanup and replacement of belongings?
- What role will insurance play?
The issue of homeowners insurance for mold problems is a bit tricky. In general, a policy will not cover mold damage if the fungus' presence is caused by a preventable plumbing leak, high humidity, or flooding. If a homeowner in Winter Springs, FL, has been negligent in home maintenance, resulting in mold growth, the problem is not likely to be covered.
A homeowners policy will typically cover mold remediation if the cause of the fungus growth was from a covered peril. These instances include the following:
- Snow or ice problems that result in water damage and subsequent mold growth
- Frozen pipes that burst and bring standing water into the home
- Sudden or accidental plumbing problems such as a hose that springs a leak
The key here is that these incidents were not caused by negligence on the homeowner. In these cases, the mold coverage will pay for aspects of the problem. To learn more about your policy, contact your insurance agent or work with a mold mitigation franchise that coordinates with insurance companies.
A professional mold cleanup plays a significant role in keeping costs down. A company that offers a rapid response can limit the fungus growth and prevent additional damage. A restore versus replace philosophy could also limit expenses. Thorough cleaning and the elimination of any moisture issues can prevent mold from returning. Coordination with insurance providers allows for a systematic billing system that results in claims being paid out more quickly.
Handling a Fire Loss in Oviedo and Winter Springs, Florida
Fire damage home in an Oviedo, Florida.
Whether you live in Oviedo, FL, Winter Springs, Orlando, or anywhere else in Florida, a house fire can be devastating. However, once you and your loved ones are okay, you must take steps to secure your valuable and start the process of rebuilding. Once the fire is out, you should secure your home and call your homeowner's insurance company. You should also contact a company with the experience and equipment to handle fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage cleanup and remediation.
Assess the Damage
Once it's safe to go into your home, do a walk-through. This will allow you to assess, take pictures, document the fire and water damage, and gather any family heirlooms, important documents, and other valuables you can carry. Ideally, the cleanup and remediation company can be there within a few hours. The longer the smoke, soot, fire retardants, and water remain in your home, the more damage they will do to your property.
Do not stay in there very long as the indoor air quality may be poor.
Contact Your Insurance Company Immediately
Contacting and maintaining communication with your insurance company is your next important step. They will decide if your house is too damaged to be repaired or work with you to hire a remediation company in the Florida area to take care of the fire damage, soot damage, smoke damage, and water damage from fire.
They can also begin an accounting of the things that need to be cleaned, repaired, and replaced, what it will cost and how long it will take.
Contact Your Loved Ones
You should contact your loved ones. It's important to let your family members know what happened and that everyone is okay. You can also give them a basic assessment of the damage and make them aware of any other important information they may need.
You can let them know if you need to stay with them until your home is cleaned and repaired or if your insurance company will pay for a hotel and cover living expenses.
Be sure to complete a fire report with the fire department and keep a copy. Let emergency services show you how to secure the property. Discuss the extent of the damage and the plan for repairing it with your insurance company. Water damage from a fire can lead to mold and mildew if not quickly and properly cleaned and dried. The home's air quality may be poor until it's thoroughly cleaned, so stay in it as little as possible. Living through a fire can be traumatic.
Seek counseling and reassure your children if necessary. Keep an accurate inventory of the personal property that the cleanup company discards. If you think the insurance adjuster is minimizing the claim, contact a certified public adjuster. They can be your advocate in dealing with insurance companies.