EXTREME caution needed when dealing with contaminated water damage
Any water damage in your facility is bad. Especially when the water contains potentially harmful bacteria that can affect the health of occupants and the value of your property. Toilet overflows, sewage backups and other black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these biohazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into your building, as well as the moisture necessary to ensure their continues growth.
Sewage damage poses serious health risks to anyone exposed to the contaminated water. The danger arises from various harmful substances, including parasites that can cause intestinal disease. Some common risks are Hepatitis A, E-coli and Salmonella. This grossly unsanitary water is often referred to as “black water.” Building occupants should practice precautionary and safety measures at all times when dealing with the threat of black water.
Safety Tips for Building Occupants
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas and by tracking the contamination elsewhere.
- Turn on the HVAC system if impacted by water, The HVAC system could spread contaminated air to other parts of the building.
- Use household fans to dry the structure which could possibly spread contaminants.
- Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if they have been exposed to the contaminated areas.
- Consume food or drink that has been exposed to the contaminated areas.
A mop and common cleaning products may not be enough for black water intrusions. SERVPRO of South Orange County professionals are trained to safely clean and restore your building, utilizing the following procedures:
- Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the Premises.
- Perform Emergency Water Extraction.
- Move and Block Furniture.
- Provide Floor Service.
- Inspect carpet and Padding.
- Apply Necessary Treatments Including Disinfectants and Deodorizers.
-Utilize and Monitor Drying Equipment.
-Dispose of Refuse.
SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals understand how disruptive and dangerous contaminated water can be and offer 24-hour emergency response. Under normal circumstances, a trained, uniformed restoration technician arrives on onsite within four hours of loss notification to begin emergency mitigation services. By responding quickly with a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, your SERVPRO of South Orange County Professional can help you regain control quickly through proper drying, deodorization and protection of your facility and contents. Abiding OSHA guidelines and all applicable health regulations, SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals remove moisture, sewage and contaminants, disinfecting and deodorizing as they safely clean and dry your building and restore contents. So, before you risk your health trying to clean up the damage, call SERVPRO of South Orange County (407)226-2621
Content Cleaning and Restoration Saves Money
Following a fire damage, one of the toughest recovery challenges facing a property owner or manager is dealing with fire, smoke and soot-and likely water-damaged contents. SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals can help alleviate some of the stress involved and, in the process, help lower recovery costs by cleaning and restoring contents quickly and correctly.
Traditionally, replacement costs for contents are more expensive than cleanup and restoration. Many contractors simply resort to the “tear out the throw out” approach, which ultimately increases recovery costs. By carefully pretesting contents for restorability, SERVPRO of South Orange County can quickly help a property owner determine what to restore and what needs to be replaced.
Another advantage to utilizing SERVPRO of South Orange County is Contents Claim Inventory Service. Utilizing CCIS, technicians can sort contents into three categories: salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable. An electronic inventory of every item allows a property owner to efficiently handle contents decisions. Should items need to be moved out while facility undergoes restoration, the CCIS inventory serves as a useful tracking tool for content management and movement.
In addition, should a fire damage exceed your commercial insurance deductible limit, the CCIS inventory can make filing and settling contents claims a less stressful and time consuming process.
Contact SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals at (407)226-2621 to discuss a detailed preloss inventory of your facility’s contents before a disaster strikes. Your detailed inventory will be delivered in a customizable electronic spreadsheet format that can be manipulated in Microsoft Excel.
Mold Prevention Tips for Commercial Facilities
A water damage -- one that has either been mishandled or gone undiscovered -- can help property owners stop moisture problems before they start. A primary focus should be on maintaining the following: roof, drainage system, windows, doors, plumbing, and HAC systems. In addition to preventive maintenance, building managers should also have a strong reactive maintenance plan in place for when unexpected events transpire, including having SERVPRO of South Orange County provides fast and thorough water cleanup.
-Keep the humidity level between 30 to 60 percent.
-Use cleaning products with proven mold killing properties.
-Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks.
-Keep gutters and drains clear of debris.
-Inspect the roof, windows and others areas where water might enter the building, and perform necessary maintenance.
-Respond to all water intrusions immediately.
-Contact SERVPRO of South Orange County at (407) 226-2621 for assistance after a water damage or if you discover mold in your building.
Insurance and Water Damage
According to the chart from Insurance Services Offices, water damage and freezing have increased and caused 60-80 percent of losses in 2003. An article appearing in the American Association of Insurance services magazine, Viewpoint, reports that the recent rise in water-related claims may claims may be due to modern building practices and increased homeowner luxuries. For example, it is not uncommon to find a full bath located on a n upper floor of a current-day home. In fact, second or third story lavatories are standard in many of today’s modern floor plans. This was not the case in floor plans of the past, however, where multiple baths were rarely found.
Some larger contemporary homes require multiple water heaters due to the size of the home and an increased amount of water fixtures. When a home requires multiple water heaters, one water heater, one water heater unit will often be placed in the attic to save space in storage or utility areas while still allowing rapid water distribution throughout the home. Water fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and water heaters located in an upper floor of the home. Water fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and water heaters located in an upper floor of the home can cause extensive damage if a simple leak develops.
The extent of damage is only amplified if the problem is more sever, such as a broken pipe or ruptured hot water heater. The increasing amount and location of water fixtures in recently constructed homes are two possible problems relating to rising water damage claims. The rapid growth and construction of apartment and condominium complexes, where several stories of living quarters, kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are connected to surrounding units, also contribute to increased water claims.
In addition to increased amenities posing possible water predicaments in contemporary homes, modern building supplies and practices may also be part of the problem. As awareness and importance of energy conversation increases, building practices are becoming more energy efficient, which may actually hinder the drying process by restriction airflow. The Association of Insurance Services article, “Getting Soaked” notes current building materials are not necessarily effective in keeping unwanted water out of housing structures or in permitting the structure to dry properly once water intrusion has occurred.
Precaution, routine inspection and preventative maintenance can help minimize water damage. Below are some general tips to help reduce extensive water damage. Log onto SERVPROofsouthorangecountyfl.com for more information on water damage and water removal, including a complete list of water “Do’s and Don’ts”.
Overcoming Fire Damages with Proper Planning
A fire can generate tremendous amounts of heat, smoke, and soot throughout a commercial facility, even when the flames are concentrated in a small area. As the heat and smoke move, damage to the structure and contents can make it impossible to immediately resume normal business activities. For unprepared property owners, such a closure makes recovery even more difficult.
For decades, SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals have been providing fire and water cleanup and restoration service. Experience has shown that a proper Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP), including an Emergency Response Profile (ERP), can not only mean the difference between survival and failure, but can also reduce time and recovery costs.
A thorough ERP identifies emergency response providers capable of addressing disaster situations quickly. In the case of a fire damage, SERVPRO of South Orange County would be an essential ERP service provider. Offering 24-hour emergency service, SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals can normally be onsite prepared to begin emergency mitigation services in as little as four hours.
Please call SERVPRO of South Orange County (407)226-2621 for your professional fire cleaning needs.
Mishandled Fire Damages Can Cause Lingering Problems- Orlando, Fl
Even when a fire is small, the smoke and soot damage that results can be more than a little disruptive. Depending on the type of structure and contents affected, smoke and soot can cause both immediate damage and, if not handles properly, lingering problems that can last for years.
As smoke travels throughout a structure, soot settles out of the air, depositing on surfaces as well as inside contents and tough to reach areas – virtually anywhere air can travel. Soot can be corrosive, quickly deteriorating metal fixtures and electronics, and needs to be handled quickly and properly to help limit secondary damages. Unnecessary movement inside a smoke-damaged area can ground soot particles deeper into carpet or upholstered furniture or even smear wet soot particles, normally found when plastics were among the items burnt by the fire, making the cleanup even more challenging. When property owners attempt to clean up soot, they may succeed in wiping away the surface soot. However, most lack the expertise, equipment, and products necessary to remove the soot trapped out of view, or in difficult to see, much less reach, areas including inside the HVAC system and ductwork.
There is little wonder that smoke odors continue to persist in such cases. Experience has shown that often, as weather conditions change, smoke odors seem to appear or disappear in accordance with the HVAC system. And this is just one source of smoke odor missed by the average property owner.
A trained, uniformed SERVPRO of South Orange County Professional will respond to a fire cleanup call ready to identify the source of fire-related odors, and is equipped to clean and deodorize a structure thoroughly. SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals work to make it "Like it never even happened."
Please call SERVPRO of South Orange County at (407)226-2621 for all your fire damage needs! We are always here to help.
Property Managers- CHOOSING THE RIGHT EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDER
When a disaster strikes and it is time to call in emergency service providers capable of helping you get back into your facility faster and easier, will they be available? This question is vitally important for property managers wishing to prepare an Emergency Response Profile (ERP) suitable for handling real life situations.
Fire and water damages, for instance, never occur at convenient times. Consider the impact a sewer backup occurring at 1:00 a.m. would have on you, your tenants and customers. Unless a service provider offers 24-hour emergency service, there is little chance the facility will be fully operational the next business day.
Instead of tackling the cleanup immediately, you are then resigned to waiting until “normal business hours” just to contact a service provider. Such delays can be quite costly in terms of business interruption and the likelihood of secondary water damages to the facility.
SERVPRO, with over 35 years of service experience handling fire and water cleanup and restoration for the insurance industry, as well as directly for commercial and residential consumers, understands the urgency in responding to disaster situations as soon as possible. All SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals are committed to providing 24-hour emergency fire and water cleanup and restoration services.
Under normal circumstances, a SERVPRO of South Orange County Professional is on-site at your facility within four hours of receiving your call. A uniformed, trained and well equipped technician can quickly assess the situation and begin emergency mitigation procedures to protect the facility and contents from secondary damages.
If you are considering developing an Emergency Response Profile for a facility, rely on service providers offering 24-hour emergency service. For assistance developing ERP, contact SERVPRO of South Orange County Professional (407)226-2621, who can provide you with advice and help you collect the information you will need should a disaster situation occur in your facility.
Fire Damages and the HVAC System
Following a fire, SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals pay careful attention to the HVAC system and ductwork to prevent the spread of soot and to eradicate a potential source of lingering smoke odor. If the system was operational at the time the fire occurred, chances are good that the system, including air registers and HVAC units, should be thorough cleaned to prevent continued circulation of soot and odor-causing particles that may have contaminated the system.
Depending on the size of the fire and the methods used to extinguish it, the duct system may also have been compromised by water. In as little as 24-48 hours, this moisture can provide the catalyst for mold and mildew growth inside the duct system, further degrading indoor air quality. If the duct system has been contaminated with water, your SERVPRO of South Orange County Professional can help locate the moisture and remove it before serious air quality problems can develop.
Contact SERVPRO of South Orange County at (407)226-2621 to learn more about air duct system cleaning following a fire damage and the value of maintaining clean air duct systems year-round.
ARE YOU PREPARED?
ARE YOU PREPARED?
A few suggestions to help prepare for a storm:
- Take Pictures of your roof, your contents, your cars, the inside of your rooms, your artwork etc.on a DATED camera. Just in case you need it for insurance purposes.
READ your Insurance papers NOW, and see what your coverage is. After the storm, you may want to revise it!
- Gather all your important papers and objects: Insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, a list of phone numbers in your phone incase your phone runs out of battery, irreplaceable photos, papers, Think of what you would need if you couldn't get back into your house for awhile.
- Get cash to have on hand.
- Keep you medications handy
- Fill your car with gas.
- If you aren't staying at home, let others know where you will be.
- Decide on a central contact person to reach out to, or a place to meet in case everyone gets separated.
- REMEMBER: Your safety and that of your loved ones comes FIRST. Don't try to be a HERO and go out during the storm, or move objects that are too heavy.
- Fill water bottles 3/4 the way full, or fill Ziploc bags to put into the freezer to help keep frozen foods frozen. DON'T open the freezer if the power goes out...Let it stay cold!
- Try and avoid using candles for light... it could turn into a FIRE disaster! Use flashlights and lanterns.
- Bring in anything outdoors that could become a PROJECTILE. Even the smallest objects can do damage blowing in hurricane type winds.
- Be sure your pets are taken care of...they might be frightened during the storm.
- Move you boats to dry storage, or anchor them to the docks according to the rules of the marina.
- ONE more thing....WRITE DOWN our number and PROGRAM it into your phone.
If you experience water damage:
call SERVPRO of South Orange County
Mold Prevention Knows No Season
Maintaining a healthy indoor environment in a commercial facility is a year-round endeavor. While it is true that every building has some mold spores present, unhealthy levels can quickly arise under the right circumstances – usually within 24-48 hours when excess moisture is present.
Periodic inspection and proper maintenance of building envelope, plumbing system and the HVAC system to detect potential problems in advance and to prevent moisture from entering the facility is very important. This is especially true during the fall and winter months when the weather puts extra pressure on these systems and most indoor environments are primed for mild growth (i.e., warmer temperature settings, less air flow to help keep humidity levels under control, etc.) Even in buildings where maintaining a warm indoor environment is a non-issue, indoor air quality can still be impacted by mold species that thrive in cooler conditions.
SERVPRO of South Orange County is equipped with the proper equipment to help identify indoor air quality issues, including improper humidity levels, contaminated ductwork systems and moisture that may have accumulated behind walls or under flooring due to an undetected roof or plumbing leak.
Call us for helpful information on how to prevent indoor air quality issues as part of your Emergency Response Profile development.