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What is PPE and Why Do Restoration Professionals Need it?

12/8/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician wearing a PPE PPE is vital when performing mold removal. It can help keep you safe from the harmful effects of mold.

What is PPE and Why Do Restoration Professionals Need it?

If you've ever been exposed to mold and wondered why it makes you feel sick, the answer is simple. Mold spores are microscopic organisms that float all around us. That's why it's so important for restoration professionals who work with moldy homes and buildings to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when working on projects where there's potential for exposure.

Why is PPE important?

When you’re working with mold, you need to protect yourself from the dangers of exposure. The more sensitive you are to mold, the more important it is to wear PPE. 

PPE is equipment that can help reduce or eliminate risks to acceptable levels. PPE cannot and should not be used as a substitute for safe work practices, but it can help restorers and conservators protect themselves during their work.

What are the safety requirements for personal protective equipment?

Personal Protective Equipment is a must, but it must be used correctly. PPE should not be worn for more than 8 hours per day because it can cause skin irritation in some people. The best way to prevent this is by replacing your PPE when it becomes damaged, which means that you need to check your PPE regularly for rips or tears and replace them immediately if you find any. You should also clean and disinfect any PPE that encounters blood or other bodily fluids after each use and store your equipment properly so that it doesn't become contaminated with dirt or dust during storage.

Respiratory protection

When you work with mold, respiratory protection is required. Respiratory protection means that you wear a face mask and/or respirator when inside the containment area. If you're just cleaning up mold, respiratory protection is not required. However, if you are removing mold from your home or workplace (e.g., because the building has been damaged), respiratory protection may be required by OSHA in some cases.

Eye and face protection

There are three main types of eye and face protection:

  • Goggles. This type of protective eyewear covers the entire eye area, including your eyelids. Goggles reduce exposure to small particles and liquids, but they can make you feel claustrophobic if you wear them for long periods of time.
  • Face shields/barriers. These are used in conjunction with goggles to help protect against large splashes or sprays from chemicals, water or other substances that may irritate your eyes or skin near the mouth and nose area (for example, when using a pressure washer).
  • Facial masks. Facial masks go over your mouth and nose area only; they provide limited protection from small particles because they don't cover any part of the forehead or chin area.

Protective clothing

The right PPE can be a lifesaver for restoration professionals, but it's also important to choose the right clothing for your job. You need clothes that are comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and durable enough to last through heavy-duty use.

The best protective clothing is flame-resistant and resistant to chemicals. It should also be made from an easily washable material, so you don't have to worry about stains or odors after long days of cleaning up after fires and floods.

Protecting your hands

You might not be able to see it, but there's a great deal of work going on behind the scenes. The restoration professionals who are called in to help after an emergency or disaster need to wear protective equipment that will keep them safe from harm and make sure they can do their job effectively.

Protec® gloves are designed with your safety in mind, so that you can focus on making your workplace safer for everyone. Here's what you should know about PPE:

  • There are three types of gloves commonly used in the restoration industry: vinyl, nitrile, and latex (or natural rubber). Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages; here's how they compare:
  • Vinyl gloves are inexpensive but don't last long before wearing through or tearing (and they're not biodegradable). If you're looking for cheap disposable protection while working with hazardous materials like lead paint or asbestos fibers—or if you want disposable touch screens while cleaning up after an emergency event—vinyl is your best bet!
  • Nitrile is more durable than vinyl, but it's also more expensive per pair because it lasts longer than other types of glove material out there today—and nitrile isn't biodegradable either! So if money isn't an issue for your business needs then go ahead buy some good quality nitrile gloves instead :)

Foot and leg protection

Foot and leg protection, including such items as steel-toed boots, is key to preventing injuries from falling objects. Not only can a heavy object cause serious injury, but it can also knock you out of commission for long periods of time while your employer has to find a replacement.

If you work in areas where there is likely to be debris or rubbish that has been left behind by others in the area, foot protection is essential during your shifts. There are many different types of footwear available that offer high levels of security and comfort while on duty. Leg protection may help prevent injuries from working in an environment with dangerous objects on the ground like nails or broken glass fragments.

PPE can help keep you safe when removing mold.

PPE is vital when performing mold removal. It can help keep you safe from the harmful effects of mold. When it comes to removing mold in residential properties, it's important that you wear the right PPE and use the proper equipment.

We hope you’ve learned a lot from this article, and we wish you the best of luck on your mold removal journey! Remember that if you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from mold, it shouldn’t be too difficult to complete the job. 

How Do You Fix a Leaky Faucet?

11/3/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking Faucet Fix your leaking faucet right away.

How Do You Fix a Leaky Faucet?

Are you tired of looking at the leaky faucet in your North Miami Beach, FL home? In this post, I'll show you how to fix a leaky faucet so that it stops wasting water and money in no time!

Find the shut-off valve and turn the water off.

If you want to do this yourself, locate the shut-off valve for your faucet. If you can't find it or just want to make sure that you're doing everything correctly, turn off the main water supply to your house. Turn it back on when you're done.

You may need a tool to help open your faucet. Here are some common tools you might use:

  • Pliers
  • Lever-wrench
  • Pipe wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Crescent wrench

Remove the faucet handle carefully so you don't damage it.

To remove the faucet handle, first, gently pry it from the spout with a screwdriver. Be careful not to damage the handle in any way; if you need to replace it, use a new one that matches the old style and size as closely as possible.

Remove the packing nut if it's not screwed in too tightly. If it is tight, use this tool.

First, make sure that the packing nut is not screwed in too tightly. If it is, use this tool to remove it. If you are having trouble removing it with a wrench or plier, try gripping the nut with a pair of pliers first.

Pull the valve stem out once you've removed the nut and gasket.

Now that you’ve removed the nut and gasket, it's time to remove the valve stem. You can do this by hand if your faucet has a screwdriver slot on its back. If not, you'll need to use an open-end wrench or pipe wrench to loosen it from the handle. If that doesn't work, use a pair of pliers: clamp onto either side of the valve stem where it meets with the handle, then pull outwards while turning counterclockwise (lefty-loosey). If that still doesn't work, pry off any pieces left with a flathead screwdriver before finally pulling out any remaining parts with needle-nose pliers.

Cleaning the inside of a valve.

Clean up the inside of the valve with some vinegar and a small brush before putting your replacement parts in. This will help remove any mineral deposits that may have built up over time and make it easier for you to get into all of those nooks and crannies.

Once you've done this, use a cloth or paper towel to dry off the valve. And don't forget to turn on your hot water source before starting!

Once you've reassembled everything, turn the water back on and test for leaks by turning on the faucet.

If you find a leak, turn off the water again and make sure all your connections are tight. It's possible that one of them has become loose during assembly or disassembly.

Fixing a leaky faucet isn't so hard after all!

It's not hard to find the leak and fix it. You can do it with a few tools and some patience. You may need to replace the packing nut and gasket, but if you have those on hand already, then it'll be even easier!

There you have it – a simple fix! I hope this guide will help you save some money and get your faucet fixed sooner than later!

Is Water Damage Common After a Fire?

10/6/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage If you've just experienced a fire in your business in Miami Lakes, FL call SERVPRO.

Is Water Damage Common After a Fire?

When we hear about a fire, we often think of flames and smoke, but there are other elements that arrive at the scene along with those who respond to put out the fire. These elements include water and other materials used to put out fires, as well as firefighters themselves who may be covered in soot or ash as they do their best to keep everyone safe. While most people think of fire only damaging one room at a time—their own home or business—the truth is that water damage from fighting fires can extend beyond just one room in your house or building. In fact, water damage after fires can affect entire structures if not handled properly!

Fire extinguishers are primarily made of water.

Fire extinguishers are primarily made of water, but they're pressurized to about 30 pounds per square inch (PSI), which is enough to expel their contents as a fine mist. This helps put out fires by cooling and suffocating them. Fire extinguishers are typically labeled A, B, C, or D depending on their contents: water, carbon dioxide (CO2), foam, and dry chemical powder respectively. They should be tested regularly so you know they're still in working order—this can be done at home with an aerosol can sprayer or by a fire station in your area.

Water is used to suppress the fire.

A fire truck carries a large amount of water, and firefighters will spray huge amounts of water on a home or business as part of the firefighting effort. This is done for two reasons: to douse flames and to cool materials taking the brunt of the heat and flames. The combination of heat and moisture can cause extensive water damage, even more so than fire damage. The first step in removing water from your home or business is to pump out standing water.

  • Water damage can be even more extensive than fire damage.
  • Water causes damage to the structure and building materials like drywall, insulation, floors, and ceilings. Water also causes mold and mildew growth which is very expensive to repair.
  • Water damage can cause electrical problems such as short circuits and corroded wiring, which pose a serious safety hazard if left unchecked. Firefighters are trained on how to deal with both types of damage but in some cases, water may be more prevalent than fire so it's important that you assess your situation carefully before calling in professionals for help with either type of disaster recovery service

The first step is to remove the water.

The first step in removing water from your home or business is to pump out standing water. The two most common ways you can do this are the following:

  • Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove standing water. A wet/dry vacuum uses a pump to extract surface-level water from carpets, floors, and other surfaces. If you don’t have one at home already (they're not as expensive as you might think), then consider renting one from a hardware store nearby for about $50 per day or less.
  • Use a submersible pump to remove standing water. If there's an underground source of the flooding—whether it's rainwater seeping through cracks in the foundation or sewage backup into pipes—you may need to hire an expert plumber who has access to specialized equipment like submersible pumps (which look like hoses with handles) that can be used underwater without causing damage inside walls or floors where they're placed.[1]

The next step is to dry out your structure.

The second step in water removal is to use air blowers and dehumidifiers to remove residual moisture from inside the structures in your home or business.

Air blowers are specialized tools that use forced air to dry out wet walls, floors, and other surfaces. They're particularly useful for drying out the walls of an office building after a fire because they can be used on all four sides of each room simultaneously instead of just one side at a time with traditional drying methods.

Dehumidifiers are also important tools for removing residual moisture from within a structure after it's been damaged by firefighting efforts. The goal with these devices is to lower the relative humidity level so that mold growth doesn't occur while you wait for professional restoration services like ours here at SERVPRO of Miami Lakes! We even offer financing options if you need them!

Preventing mold and mildew.

In the final step of water removal, you must treat any surfaces that may have been affected by mold or mildew growth as a result of sitting in water for an extended period of time. Mold and mildew can cause substantial damage to your property. The organisms thrive in wet environments, so it's important to remove them as soon as possible.

Mold and mildew removal is best done by professionals who understand the complexities of moisture damage. This can get expensive quickly if you don't properly protect your house from future leaks or other causes of water damage!

Fire damage and water damage are closely related.

If you’re dealing with water damage after a fire, it's important to know that the two are closely related. Water damage is caused by firefighting efforts, and can be more extensive than the fire itself. This can cause mold and mildew growth, and structural damage—and all of this recovery work has to be done before you can move back into your home.

If you've just experienced a fire in your home or business in Miami Lakes, FL, and need help getting back on your feet, reach out to us today!

Fire damage is a serious problem, and water damage can be even worse. If you’re in the process of dealing with fire or smoke damage, it’s important to take steps immediately to prevent further damage. The best way to do this is by hiring professional water removal services as soon as possible after your fire has been extinguished.

Fire Restoration Tips for Businesses

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Severe fire at a commercial business Commercial fire damage in Bal Harbour, FL.

When you experience an emergency at a business or commercial property, one of your main concerns is getting your business up and running again. Fire restoration takes time but is essential for creating a safe and welcoming environment for customers and employees.

Choose the Right Restoration Servicer

Know what your professional restoration options are in Bal Harbour, FL. When in doubt, read online reviews. Companies that have poor customer service or are hard to get ahold of are a definite no.
Emergencies can happen at any hour, so you want a fire damage restoration servicer like your local SERVPRO franchise that will be there for you no matter what time it is.

Some companies may not offer all the services you need, so make sure you do your research. It's a good idea to find a company that handles everything so you're working with the same provider throughout the entire fire restoration process. The property may need some or all of the following services, depending on the extent of the damage:

  • Water damage restoration
  • Smoke and soot removal
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration and rebuilding services
  • Odor control

Keep Track of the Details

Before an emergency ever occurs, get your ducks are in a row. One of the best things you can do for your business is to keep track of current merchandise and equipment and have all important documents located in a fire-safe or saved in online cloud storage. Accurate records of your inventory are essential when making an insurance claim.

Discuss your policy in detail with your insurance provider. That way, when a professional comes to inspect the area and assess the total damage, you know exactly what is covered by your insurance. You should also keep any relevant receipts to track your expenses during the fire rebuild process. Most insurers have SERVPRO as a preferred vendor, making it more convenient to file claims.

The aftermath of an emergency can seem discouraging. Choosing the right fire restoration service is just one way you can help yourself and your business while undergoing rebuilding services and restoration.

Why a Sewer Backup Is a Job for Professionals

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Sewer backup A sewer backup in your home is time to call the professionals

It's great to be handy around the home when it comes to leaks and other problems. In many situations, you can save a bundle of money and take care of things like leaky faucets and worn-out seals on a toilet. It's also good to know your limits when it comes to extreme situations. A sewer backup in your home in Surfside, FL, is usually more than most people can take care of on their own. That's because whenever you are dealing with sewage, a number of precautions should be taken. For this reason, a professional storm mitigation team is often necessary.

The Complications of Raw Sewage

Dirty water or black water presents a challenge to you for a variety of reasons. It's hard to know exactly what is in the water and in many cases, there can be waste, pathogens, and other substances that put your family and the structure of your house at risk. A professional team of trained technicians can take the following actions:

  • Work to stop the source of flooding
  • Contain the sewer backup
  • Use PPE such as gloves and safety glasses
  • Disinfect all surfaces

An experienced franchise has the necessary training to remove the dirty water from your home using specialized equipment such as wet vacs and industrial dryers. Professional water restoration workers make sure safety is a top priority for everyone.

The Process of Cleanup

Professionals follow a proven process, whether the damage to your home is caused by a bathtub backup, a major storm, or some other incident. Experts from your local SERVPRO are Here to Help. They always place an emphasis on getting to your home quickly so they can work to limit the damage.

The faster the water is removed, the less time sewage has to contaminate surfaces and ruin everything from carpeting to walls to personal items. A sewer backup in your home is time to call the professionals.

When Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?

8/16/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning the dryer vent The dryer vent must also be cleaned out every six months

Most folks know that they must clean out the lint filter in their clothes dryer after each use. This will help to prevent a dryer fire. Use your clean hand or a soft cloth to remove all of the lint from the lint filter. To ensure that your dryer never causes a lint fire in your home in Miami Shores, FL, the dryer vent must also be cleaned out every six months.

How to Clean Out the Dryer Vent and Exhaust Hose

A little preventive maintenance will help to prevent a lint fire. The steps include:

Unplug the dryer - In the back of the dryer you will find the power cord. Make sure to unplug this from the outlet.

Detach the exhaust hose - First, the outer clamp will need to be loosened, either by squeezing the clamp or by using a screwdriver on the bolt. Once the clamp is loosened you can detach the hose from the dryer.

Clean out the exhaust hose - Remove all lint from the hose using a soft cleaning brush. You can also suck out the lint using the attachment on your vacuum.

Clean the wall vent - Using a vent cleaning kit that can be found at your local hardware store, clean out the wall vent. The kit will include a brush extension that can be carefully fed into the vent. Rotate the brush to remove the lint. It may take several tries before all of the lint has been removed.

Reattach the exhaust hose - Make sure the hose is securely attached to the dryer and tighten the clamp.

Plug the dryer back in - Make sure no hot air comes out of the vent. If it does, you need to check the clamp to ensure it is tightened properly.

Cleaning out your dryer’s exhaust hose and the vent will not only keep your dryer running longer and more efficiently, but it will also help to prevent a dangerous lint fire.

3 Details of Fire Escape Your Kids Need To Know

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Dad talking to his kids Prepare your kids for the event of a home fire.

3 Details of Fire Escape Your Kids Need To Know

Talking with your kids about fire safety might seem a little nerve-racking, but having the right information is crucial to ensuring kids' safety. Clear communication about your fire escape plan helps the whole family to be prepared. Even if you've already covered the basics of escaping a home fire in Biscayne Park, FL, with your children, there are a few details that you may want to revisit and practice during your next fire safety review.

1. Stay Low
There are two important scenarios during which your kids will need to remember to stay low when escaping a house fire:

  • Getting out of bed: Have your kids practice safely rolling out of their beds onto the floor. Because heat rises, they should avoid sitting up to get out of bed during a fire.
  • Moving through the house: Practice crawling on hands and knees through your home to your fire exits. Also practice crawling with the belly to the ground, in the case of extreme heat.

2. Don't Hide
It is important to remind children to never hide during a fire. The impulse to hide in the midst of a crisis is understandable, but it compromises kids' safety by making it harder for firefighters to find them. If they are unable to safely exit the home, they should stay put where they can be found quickly, such as lying on the floor next to their bed.

3. Pick a Meeting Spot
Talk ahead of time about where you will meet after exiting your home. Choose a spot that is easy to get to but a safe distance from the house. Have your children practice meeting there so they will remember if the time comes.

Practicing these steps helps to secure your kids' safety. In the event of a fire, everybody reaching safety and gathering at your meeting place enables you to focus on the next steps. These include finding a safe place to stay while you have a fire damage assessment done on your home. Clear communication with your children is key to both preparing for the event of a home fire and navigating any changes afterward.

5 Steps for Flood Preparation

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Rain falling over flowers Rain gardens can help absorb excess moisture.

Five Of The Most Common Recommendations

When facing flooding at your Miami Shores, FL, business, you may be wondering if there are steps you can take ahead of time in order to mitigate possible damage. Fortunately, there are many things you can do. 

1. Know Who To Call

One recommended step is to have a list of important numbers you may need if the property does experience storm damage. For example, listing the number for a local flood damage restoration service can help you call a professional quickly should problems occur, saving valuable time.

2. Inspect the Property Regularly

Inspect the business property regularly in order to catch any potential issues before they cause large-scale damage. Look over the roof and drainage areas, but also keep an eye on any plumbing or sewer grates that could be overwhelmed by rainwater and lead to black water flooding. Take appropriate repair and mitigation steps when necessary.

3. Use Your Landscaping

You can also use any landscaping around the property to direct water flow and help prevent a flood. Lawns can be sloped away from the building, and rain gardens can help absorb excess moisture.

4. Keep Drainage Clear

Blockage in gutters and other drainage could lead to water overflow and flood damage. Removing debris when found is strongly recommended for preventing this problem.

5. Prepare for Storms

Another recommended step is to prepare your business any time you know a storm is coming. This may include closing storm shutters, tarping over at-risk spaces, and backing up electronic data.

When preparing your business for flooding, keep in mind who to call if you do find damage. Inspect the property regularly and consider using any landscaping to help direct the flow of water. It’s also important to keep drainage areas clear of debris and to take steps to prepare for storms ahead of time.

What Flooded Basement Causes Are Generally Covered by Home Insurance

7/9/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement A basement flood isn't a pleasant experience

Causes Of Floods That Many Policies Tend To Cover Or Not Cover

Undergoing a basement flood in North Miami Beach, FL, isn't a pleasant experience. A large amount of damage can potentially occur, especially if the water isn't properly disposed of. Because of this, turning to insurance for flood damage restoration coverage is natural. While most every home insurance policy is different, the following are the causes of floods that many policies tend to cover or not cover.

Covered Damage
If your flood was caused by an unexpected and sudden structural issue in your house, you're likely to receive help from your home insurance coverage. These are some examples of such issues:

  • Burst pipe
  • Ruptured water heater
  • Broken hose

In order to receive any type of compensation, the damage usually has to be quick and unanticipated. This generally occurs when a structural problem develops out of nowhere. It also needs to be accidental, meaning that you had no part in knowingly creating it.

Not Covered Damage
Unfortunately, basement flood damage is more often uncovered than covered. This is most prevalent when a weather issue occurs. If your basement takes on water after a storm, it's unlikely that your policy will cover it. There are usually separate storm policies for homeowners, which are wise to invest in if you live near a coast.

The flood damage may also not be covered if it occurred gradually. Even if you only discovered the damage now, an inspection will probably be held to determine when it started.

Lastly, a flooded basement likely won't be covered if it's a result of lacking proper maintenance. You may not be a mechanic, but your insurance won't assist you if faulty maintenance caused the issue. Letting a toilet leak, for instance, is almost certain to result in uncovered damage.

As a homeowner, understanding your insurance policy is essential. If you experience a basement flood, knowing how to use your insurance can minimize your financial losses. By staying informed, you're one step closer to maintaining a safe home.

Pump Maintenance and Usage

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pump Renting one of these from a local dealer may be necessary if your sump pump fails and water floods your crawlspace.

Pump Care and Operation

The risk of a basement or crawlspace flood in Miami Shores, FL, is high enough that many homeowners choose to equip their homes with pumping equipment to remove any excess water. Review the following maintenance and testing tips to keep your pump in working order.

1. Routine Testing

While the typical sump pump doesn’t need an excessive amount of care or attention, a checkup here and there can prevent the need for professional flooding cleanup later on. Every few months, ensure that the pump has adequate power and can turn on and off. Take a small amount of water and pour it in the basin near the pump to check that the floating bob and level can rise and fall properly to activate the pumping mechanism.

2. Kinds of Blockage

Even functional pumping equipment will fail to remove water from your basement if the water cannot reach the intake. Check the pump’s inlet screen and remove any accumulated dust, silt, or other debris. If the screen has holes or indentations, find a replacement. Foreign material in the pump mechanism can dramatically shorten its lifespan. Also check the outlet pipe to the yard for clogs and damage, as this can also prevent the pump from moving water. Any cracked or rusted pipes or connections should be replaced, preferably with a silicone-based sealant around the joints.

3. Other Considerations

Many pumps may need additional lubrication around the bearings. If you notice the pump working at reduced efficiency or hear an unfamiliar noise, it may be time to purchase the appropriate grease or oil for your machine. A trash pump is a specialty pump that can remove water mixed with solid debris. Renting one of these from a local dealer may be necessary if your sump pump fails and water floods your crawlspace.

Maintaining your equipment is the first line of defense against home flooding. By scheduling a few simple pump checks, you can prevent costly damage in the long run.