Safety - After You've Had a Fire
If there's this much soot on the walls, it's likely in the air. Don't go in without proper respiratory protection!
It is traumatic to experience a fire in your home or business. And the dangers don't present themselves only during the fire. They can appear after. It is important to take specific actions to minimize hazards to your health after the flames are gone.
One of the biggest concerns after the fire is out is air quality. It is likely that materials caught fire and debris were sent airborne. These could be toxigenic. Without proper respiratory protection you will be consuming these items.
Another big concern has to do with "slip and fall" hazards. If you must go into the structure, make sure to wear proper shoes, and avoid areas that may be wet from the water that was sprayed to put out the blaze.
Use the buddy system. Only do activities that are safe for you to perform. Use your legs to lift things -- don't use your back! Be very careful.
There are some things you should do, following a fire. Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork. Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. f electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open. lean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil. Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves. Change HVAC filter. Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
Most of all, remember that the contents can be replaced. Take care of your health and the health of your loved ones. Getting injured after the fire is something that can be avoided!
Innovating Mold Control in Miami Beach
SERVPROXIDE is an EPA-registered disinfectant that carries the EPA's lowest toxicity rating.
SERVPRO is unique in the national restoration industry because of our experience, and our resources.
Many end-users don't know that SERVPRO employs its own chemist, who formulates and manages the company's own line of cleaning products. The products take in 40 years worth of experiences in the field to provide products that are truly state of the art. It is important to us that these products are safe and friendly to the customers we serve in Miami, Miami Beach and beyond.
One of the recent great additions to our stable is SERVPROXIDE, an EPA-registered, stabilized chlorine dioxide based disinfectant and sanitizer. The great thing about SERVPROXIDE is that it carries the EPA's lowest toxicity rating and is safe for everyday use. This product is designed to kill harmful bacteria, viruses and mold on hard surfaces and is an effective sanitizer for soft surfaces. On top of all the great things this product provides, it can be used just about any where!
Of course our principle mission is to remove mold from properties, where it is found to be at excess concentrations. However, as a backup it is important to have safe, effective tools that can provide efficient kill characteristics that can reduce the risk of future growth.
SERVPRO of Miami Beach is excited to put this new product to use on our next mold job!
Commercial Losses Bring Unique Challenges
Water, fire and mold losses present challenges that are unique versus residential losses.
Flooding and water damage events at Miami-area commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. Many business owners understand that the business downtime can be more devastating to the property damage -- we understand that many times the most important thing to Miami and Miami Beach businesses is to get back in business . . . fast.
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Miami Beach
SERVPRO of Miami Beach specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. We can be reached at (305) 532-5411.
Why So Much "SERVPRO Green" in Miami Beach After a Storm?
SERVPRO workers painted Miami and Miami Beach green with their trucks and equipment, following Hurricane Irma in September, 2017.
South Florida experienced its first hurricane in more than a decade, last September (2017). In the times since, many people have remarked to us, "we're seeing your trucks all over the place!"
SERVPRO does indeed have a big presence in Miami Beach, Miami and all throughout South Florida. However the SERVPRO presence was multiplied many times over thanks to our coordinated "Storm Team" efforts.
Simply put, when a storm like the hurricane that hit South Florida becomes a threat, crews and teams from around the country jump up to converge on our market to help people out. After Hurricane Irma, hundreds of SERVPRO workers from as far as Washington State, California and New York to help out our local neighbors.
These crews helped produce millions of dollars in work -- work that local providers were not able to produce due to the incredible demand for mitigation services.
Keep this in mind for future storms. Call our office early, and fast, to get on the SERVPRO Storm Team list. This will get you service -- either by us, your local provider, or by one of our sister franchises who have come from another area. There were many happy customers -- customers who tried to call other providers but could not receive service due to the excess demand.
SERVPRO Storm Commercial
What is a Mold Protocol?
Assessors in Florida write protocols for remediation, which we -- the remediators -- use as a beginning point to embark on a mold remediation.
Most South Florida property owners experiencing a mold problem haven't experienced such a thing before.
As a result, every job we do is preceded by many of the same questions.
One of the most common -- what is a mold protocol?
A mold protocol is a preliminary list of recommended steps, prescribed by a Florida-licensed Mold Assessor, to get the affected home or business back to health. If a Mold Assessor is involved, and if he or she writes a protocol -- our role in the process is to then "remediate," or remedy, the problem. We are the remediation company, charged with the task of restoring the property to its normal fungal ecology.
We always recommend that a residential or commercial property owner contract the services of an independent, objective Mold Assessor to write a preliminary protocol. It provides an objective set of recommendations that a property owner can trust. Additionally, after the remediation takes place, the assessor can return and provide "clearance reviews" to ensure that the remediator (e.g., us) has done a good job and restored the property to normal fungal ecology.
Generally we don't like to hire the Mold Assessor ourselves -- that introduces a conflict of interest, real or perceived, that can introduce questions into this costly and cumbersome process. We prefer that a customer select their own qualified assessor and let us know what the protocol says. However many people have no idea where to begin looking for a qualified Mold Assessor. If this is the case we are happy to provide a list of referrals of Assessors operating credibly in the South Florida marketplace.
Give us a call at SERVPRO of Miami Beach and we'll be happy to send a list if you are looking for a mold remediation protocol!
Turning a Mold Problem Into a Good Thing in Miami
The independent assessor on this project reported zero spores following SERVPRO of Miami Beach's remediation efforts.
The glass can be half full. And there can be silver linings on a cloud floating over your Miami-area home or business.
Of course it's not the greatest circumstance to encounter mold at your home or business. However, there is something very good that can come out of it. It CAN be cleaned. Moreover, at the end of the process, a homeowner or business owner can quantitatively know that their property is cleaner than ever.
How can we know this? We can know this via laboratory results. As one example, see this picture -- after completing a mold job we brought in a Florida-licensed mold assessor to test the quality of the post-remediation environment. It's hard to beat the results seen here -- the independent assessor conducted 3 air sample tests. The laboratory that processed the samples found not a single spore in the remediated spaces.
This Miami customer breathed a sigh of relief, mostly because she has children. She simply wanted to know that her property was safe, for the kids. Customers can face all types of fear when they have a contamination problem. This is one of the most valid, as children are among the most vulnerable of the population when it comes to mold. Other groups that are particularly vulnerable are the elderly, and the immuno-compromised.
SERVPRO of Miami Beach isn't always perfect. But at least we were able to deliver a silver lining to our customer in the form of a clean, remediated Miami home.
Miami Beach Mold Customers: Learn the benefits of "Negative Air"
The little room we created with support poles and heavy plastic seen here is under negative air pressure.
Hopefully you will hear your remediator in Miami discuss the topic of "negative air" when planning out your mold remediation job.
Negative air is a commonly misunderstood concept, yet critical to implement. It refers to negative air pressurization. For our purposes, it is an important practice to implement when conducting mold remediation jobs, to prevent cross contamination. In other words, negative air pressurization is used to make sure that contaminants don't go into surrounding areas, beyond the work zone where demolition is taking place.
Take a look at the attached photo. Most noticeably you'll see a temporary room cordoned off by heavy plastic. As you can imagine, our SERVPRO team was conducting demolition in this area. The plastic of course is designed to help keep contaminants that spring free when tearing out walls. However it isn't the only tool we use. Check out how the plastic is sucking in toward the insides of the little temporary room we created. This is because we established negative air, by sending out of the little room filtered air through a HEPA-filtered air scrubber. As a result, the air pressure (air flow) is rushing from outside the barrier (the clean areas) toward the dirty work zone areas. This prevents contaminants from spreading.
Many people even in our industry don't understand the term. If you have a project ongoing and are concerned that maybe your remediator isn't altogether sure of what he or she is doing, give us a call at (305) 532-5411 for a free consultation, we'll be happy to help out. Or, you could email us at jhrbek@SERVPROmiamibeach.com
Proud to Be a Certified Firm in Miami Beach!
The IICRC is the leading standards-setting body in the property restoration industry.
We are glad . . . and proud! . . . once again in 2018 to be an official certified firm for the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is a certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. In partnership with regional and international trade associates, the IICRC serves more than 25 countries with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The IICRC is the leading standards-setting body that has the customer in mind because it's about your health! Bottom line, commercial and residential property owners in South Florida should look for certifications when selecting restoration contractors. Certified firms display the commitment to treating their customers with quality and expertise.
Miami Property Owners: Know the Difference Between Flood and Homeowners Insurance
Water that rolls into a property from the outside ground may not constitute a covered event by homeowners insurance.
Pretty much everyone we meet in Miami, Miami Beach and Surfside gets confused about one topic in particular: the differences between flood insurance and homeowners insurance.
The differences are substantial, and most definitely worth reviewing. Our first piece of advice is to consult with your insurance agent to understand the differences in your policies, so you know what covers what ... and what might NOT be covered.
Typically, flood insurance pays for damages caused by the rising of a body of water that covers normally dry land. For example, if heavy rains cause a river to overflow and the waters from this river rise up and enter your property from the ground, this would be a "flood" and you would likely tap your flood insurance policy for coverage; homeowners insurance would not apply. On the other hand, if a toilet supply line burst in your property and spread water into your home, the opposite would be true.
These distinctions are critical for many reasons. Chief among them is the fact that many people think they are covered for both types of losses by having one type of policy, alone. This can be a costly mistake! Among the other important distinctions: In our experience at SERVPRO of Miami Beach, flood,insurance policies tend to be far less forgiving. The flood insurance programs tend to not cover many necessary elem to of a cleanup bill, and a property owner can end up being responsible for a larger portion of a cleanup bill compared to a standard homeowner loss.
These distinctions are increasingly important especially for property owners and property managers on coastal areas such as Miami Beach and Surfside, which are seeing higher incidences of flood losses.
Apologies for the cliche, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Being educated on these important distinctions is the first step toward securing that ounce of prevention.
Clean Your Dryer Vents to Prevent Fire in Miami Beach
Clothes dryer vents can build up lint over time, restricting air flow and posing a threat of fire. This type of fire is totally preventable.
One of the most common causes of fires is also perhaps the most preventable.
Dryer vents connect from your clothes dryer, and can build up lint. If not cleaned out properly, the air cannot flow properly, and a fire can result. This type of fire happens most frequently in homes, posing dangers to adults and children.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. These fires cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. The U.S. Fire Administration also reports that the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them (34 percent).
Apart from cleaning your dryer vent, the U.S. Fire Administration has suggestions to enhance safety when using your clothes dryer:
- Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
- Don’t overload the dryer.
- Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
- Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic. An example of an item not to place in a dryer is a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
- Don’t dry any item for which manufacturers' instructions state “dry away from heat.”
- Don’t dry glass fiber materials (unless manufacturers' instructions allow).
- Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
- Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.