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Avoiding Water Damage

11/14/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration in Oldsmar, FL If it's not safe for you to turn on the water yourself, call a water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Oldsmar/ West Chester right away.

Avoiding Water Damage

Water is a precious resource, and it's no laughing matter when you're dealing with water damage. That said, if you can prevent the problem before it happens and know what to look for when something does go wrong, you can save yourself a ton of money and headache in the long run. Here are some tips on how to keep your home safe from water damage:

Regular Inspections

To do this, you'll need to have a visual inspection performed on your plumbing system at least every three years. While there are many things that can go wrong with your plumbing system, the most common problems are related to leaks and clogs.

When inspecting for leaks, look for puddles or water stains around faucets and toilets. If you notice either of these signs of water damage, contact a professional plumber immediately. You may also be able to detect leaks by doing some sleuthing around your home's exterior and looking for wet spots that may indicate a leak has occurred somewhere nearby.

Inspecting for clogs will require more time than simply noting whether or not there is any liquid staining surfaces in your house; however, as long as you know what to look for (and how often it should be done), then detecting problems before they get worse should be easy peasy!

Watch for Warning Signs

The best way to avoid a water damage disaster is to pay attention to your surroundings and watch out for signs of leaks. These include:

  • Your water meter running faster than normal. If you notice an increase in the amount of water being used, it could be because your pipes are leaking or there's a problem with your plumbing system.
  • Puddles of standing water on the floor or wet spots on walls and ceilings that were previously dry. This could indicate that there are leaks in your roof or walls, which can cause mold growth if left unattended.

Know How to Shut Off Your Water Supply

First, locate the main water valve. You can do this by turning off all of the fixtures in your Oldsmar, FL home, including toilets and sinks; then turn on the faucet handles until you hear water running in a place you know there isn't any (such as down below where your pipes are). If you find where there is still water running, that's where the main shutoff valve will be located.

When working with this part of your plumbing system, always be sure to turn off both sides of it—both hot and cold—so that no unneeded pressure builds up while working on one side at a time. Also, if there are two valves within reach of each other but not connected together (which may happen in some cases), remember that they don't share anything but their location. They should both be turned off separately before starting work on either one individually!

Flood Preparation

Being prepared for a flood can save you time, money, and stress. If you know that you have a water leak problem, it's important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Even if the leak doesn't cause damage yet, it could very well lead to mold growth or even flooding in the future. A good way to avoid this is by hiring a plumber who can identify any problems with your plumbing system before they become worse.

If you do experience flooding in your home due to an accident like a burst pipe or broken appliance, try not to panic—it may seem overwhelming at first but there are steps you can take right away that will help minimize damage and prevent further flooding:

  • Shut off power at main switches or circuit breakers
  • Disconnect all appliances with hardwired cords such as refrigerators and washing machines
  • Turn off the gas supply if safe/possible (call the utility company first)

Call the Professionals

While you might be tempted to run out and buy a new washing machine or refrigerator, there are other options. A professional plumber can help determine if the issue is with your pipes or appliance, and then either repair it or recommend replacement. 

If it's not safe for you to turn on the water yourself, call a water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Oldsmar/ West Chester right away. They'll be able to deal with any leaks or flooding so that you can move back in as soon as possible.

Water damage is a serious issue, and it can happen to anyone. But if you are prepared for the worst, you can avoid it or at the very least, minimize it. By knowing where your main water valve is located and keeping an eye out for the warning signs of a leak, you'll be able to avoid some of these problems before they even happen. If not? Call SERVPRO of Oldsmar/ West Chester immediately so we can help with cleanup!

Basic first aid for burns.

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

Dressing with gauze a burn hand Burns are an injury that can be extremely painful, so it’s important to know how to treat them in case of an emergency.

Basic burns first aid.

A burn is a type of injury to the skin and the tissues underneath, caused by heat or cold. A burn can be mild or severe, and it can occur in any part of your body.

  • There are different types of burns. They range from first to fourth degree.
  • There are many different types of burns, and they range from first to fourth degree.

First-degree burns are the mildest form of burn and involve only the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis). The area turns red and may be painful, but there is no blistering or peeling. For example, if you touch a hot stove or iron for a few minutes, that's likely how your skin will react—and it's usually nothing to worry about. You can treat this type of burn with cool water and in some cases a gel like aloe vera.

Second-degree burns involve damage to both layers of the skin (the epidermis and dermis). They often cause blistering as well as blisters on top of them (superficial epidermal). This type is more painful than first-degree burns because it includes nerve endings in both layers of your skin being damaged by heat/fire/flame etc...

Third-degree burns destroy all three layers: epidermis+dermis+subcutis (fat layer under dermis). These wounds require medical attention immediately because they pose a significant risk for infection due to extensive tissue destruction, which can lead to sepsis (blood poisoning), gangrene, etc...

A burn occurs when cells in the skin are damaged.

A burn is a type of injury to the skin that can occur when your body comes in contact with heat, electricity, or chemicals. Burns are generally classified as minor or severe depending on how deep they penetrate your skin. Minor burns usually heal with little or no scarring, while severe burns may require surgery and extensive recovery time.

In general, it's best to treat all burns as if they were severe until an experienced healthcare provider determines otherwise based on their size, location, and depth of injury. It's important to know that even small burns can become infected if not cared for properly; this is why it's so important to seek medical attention immediately after sustaining any kind of burn injury—even one that appears minor at first glance!

Sunburns are an example of first-degree burns.

Sunburns are an example of first-degree burns. Sunburns occur when skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.

Sunburns can be painful and can cause blisters to form. While some may think that they’re doing themselves a favor by applying lotion or aloe vera, it’s important to remember that these products do not help heal the burn and should not be applied if you have a sunburn.

Second-degree burns develop blisters and the skin turns pink or red. The area may be painful, swollen, and sensitive to pressure.

Second-degree burns develop blisters, the skin turns pink or red, and the area is painful.

Second-degree burns are more severe than first-degree burns. They are caused by heat, electricity, chemicals or friction (such as a scalding liquid). A second degree burn can be minor or severe depending on how much of your skin is injured. Minor burns will heal within a week to 10 days with basic home care; however, more severe injuries may require medical treatment to prevent infection and additional problems from developing.

If you have any concerns about your burn injury you should seek immediate medical attention from a qualified health professional who can assess your condition and provide appropriate treatment for your healing process.


First aid for burns is a very important topic, and it’s one that everyone should be aware of. Burns are an injury that can be extremely painful, so it’s important to know how to treat them in case of an emergency. If you or someone else has been burned, seek medical attention immediately by calling 911 or going to the nearest hospital emergency room!

How To Reduce Your Home Flooding Risk

8/26/2022 (Permalink)

Sand bags in front of door due to flooding Home flooding in Foxs Corner, FL

Home flooding and the resulting damage account for a large share of homeowner’s insurance claims. Basements and crawl spaces bear more risk than most other areas of your home because water seeks the lowest points. This discussion on minimizing residential flood risk may help you prevent a basement flood and an expensive, disruptive cleanup process.

Sources of Home Flooding 

Part of preventing water-related property damage is understanding the potential sources of the problem. These are the primary scenarios that can cause residential water damage.

  • A broken water pipe or leaking appliance
  • A failed sump pump
  • An overflowing bathtub or toilet
  • Storm-related flooding
  • Municipal failures such as dam breaches or water main breaks

While homeowners tend to associate extreme weather with home flooding, both internal and external water sources can be the culprit. A malfunctioning sump pump can turn a minor rain storm into a basement flood in a matter of minutes. Empowering yourself with knowledge about flood risk reduces the likelihood that you will experience a home flood event.

Flood Risk Reduction
A risk assessment for home flooding will help you make some decisions about proper preventive measures. Your homeowner’s insurance agent or local flood remediation service can help point out vulnerable conditions in your location, elevation, structure and climate. This will help you determine what measures could reduce your risk.

Based on the outcome of your risk assessment, you can develop a custom flood prevention plan that includes preventive repairs and maintenance, emergency preparedness and household readiness. For instance, maintaining perimeter drainage routes can prevent a basement flood. Involving your family in emergency evacuation drills reduces risk by preparing residents to act quickly in an emergency.

It is smart to sign up for any local or national emergency notification services, so you will be aware of any major threatening events.

The best plan for preventing a flood in your Foxs Corner, FL, home is to survey your property for weak points and address them. A little bit of preventive maintenance and some household preparedness could mean the difference between a muddy back yard and a completely flooded first level.

Fulfilling Basic Cleaning Requirements After a Flood

8/21/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded and damage home due to storm Flood damage in a Westchase, FL home

Fulfilling Basic Cleaning Requirements After a Flood

Storm damage, flooding, and similar natural disasters can bring contaminants to your home in Westchase, FL. Therefore, you must meet several cleaning requirements to make your house safe from these agents. Even if you hire water damage professionals to repair and perform a storm or flood clean, you should still ensure they meet the right guidelines for the best results.

Disinfecting Surfaces

The surfaces throughout the house are the areas most affected by pollutants and the ones most people touch. Technicians should use EPA-approved flood disinfectant and tools to clean surfaces. Note that some procedures are different than others depending on the surface or material. A piece of cloth submerged in a chlorine and hot water solution works with most surfaces, while others require boiling water, slow drying or outright removal and replacement. Talk to your specialist about specific treatments for each.

Removing Contaminated Materials

There are certain items like mattresses, wallboard and wood veneered furniture that cleaning requirements consider complete losses. They may either absorb floodwater too easily or the costs of repairing them are too much to be worth it. Even though it is tempting to salvage them, the water may alter them too much to do so. These items lose their intended function and the contaminants can place others in peril. Experts will decide whether this measure is necessary.

Drying Out Property

Sometimes the best way to expedite the flood clean and repair process is to dry out surfaces, equipment and objects. This process makes the materials less vulnerable and easier to disinfect afterwards. It also prevents mold from growing on the surface. Drying methods vary depending on the items, from using air conditioner and fans on furniture and cloths to cutting off wet wallboard to air out the less affected sections.

While every affected surface and object in your Westchase, FL, house requires different cleaning methods, they all follow common cleaning requirements. Ensure the company working with you follows these basic rules.

How To Contain Mold and Begin the Cleanup Process

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Cleanup in a home Mold cleanup in Westchase, FL

There Are Three Major Steps To Containing Mold

Finding mold in your office building requires immediate attention in Westchase, FL. If you think you have a fungus problem, start the mold removal process as quickly as possible. One of the first and most important steps in mold cleanup is containment.

1. Isolating the Area
Physical barriers are set up to isolate the affected area to prevent mold from spreading into neighboring areas. Heavy plastic is often used to separate the contaminated and uncontaminated areas by sealing doors to individual rooms or covering air vents and windows. Any area that allows air flow to and from the contaminated space should be closed off.

2. Creating Negative Air Pressure
Air from the contaminated area must be removed. HEPA-filtered negative air machines pull air from the contaminated area and expel it outside using a tube or hose, removing airborne mold spores from the site. Once the air pressure inside the containment area is less than the pressure outside, a negative pressure environment is created, continuing to move air out. This is essential for controlling any spores that become airborne due to the mold cleanup process.

3. Stopping Air Flow
Mold contamination can spread quickly if air moves across the affected area. Turning off any cooling or heating fans prevents any spores from growing and multiplying.

After the mold is contained, the next step is removal and remediation. Calling a commercial mold remediation service is always recommended to ensure that mold is carefully removed and the impacted areas of your business are thoroughly cleaned, dried and disinfected. Once removal and cleaning are complete, you should begin restoring and damaged areas. Drywall, flooring and structural components should be repaired or replaced, depending on the severity of the damage.

There is no time to waste if you spot mold in your building. Act fast to contain the area and begin the mold cleanup process immediately. Swift action and containment can prevent additional spread and mitigate the damage and losses, ensuring your business recovers more quickly.

Types of Flood Contamination

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Water Category Water damage can result from any type of flooding

Not All Types Of Floods Are Handled The Same Way

It's important to prepare your business in Lake Fern, FL, to face any type of flooding or water damage. That being said, not all types of floods are handled the same way. There are three primary types of floods, each categorized by the types of contaminants present in the water itself.

Clean Water Floods
Category 1 floods are also called clean water floods. They are categorized by an absence of contaminants and are the least dangerous types of floods. Even though the water is clean, you still need to make sure that you take the situation seriously to avoid suffering unnecessary water damage. If left untreated, clean water floods can quickly turn into more serious disasters. Category 1 floods are typically a result of one or more of the following:

  • Supply line rupture
  • Water pipe burst
  • Flooded sink, shower or bathtub

Gray Water Floods
Also called Category 2 floods, these waters are categorized by a minor amount of contamination. They are often the result of a Category 1 situation that either wasn't resolved quickly enough or came into contact with some type of external contamination. Likewise, Category 2 situations will become Category 3 if left untreated for more than 48 hours. Gray water flooding is typically caused by:

  • Malfunctioning appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines
  • Rain or snowmelt flowing off of the roof
  • Broken aquariums

Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods, also known as black water floods, are the most dangerous types of floods. They are categorized by the presence of lethal contaminants, such as human/animal fecal matter, raw sewage, chemicals and other dangerous biohazards. You should never attempt to remediate a Category 3 flood by yourself; always consult professional assistance. Category 3 flooding is often caused by:

  • Sewer line bursts
  • Toilet overflow
  • Riverbank flooding

Water damage can result from any type of flooding. It's important to take immediate action as soon as the incident occurs. Contact flood remediation experts for assistance dealing with any type of black water flooding that your business suffers.

Things You Should Know About Fire Damage Cleanup

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Residential Fire damage in kitchen Call SERVPRO of Oldsmar/ West Chester for your residential Fire Damage Cleaning Services.

What You Should Know About Fire Damage Restoration

When it comes to getting things back to normal after a fire, you might assume that affected objects are permanently damaged. After all, there’s smoke and soot to deal with. You’ll probably also be facing serious water damage from extinguishment. It would seem that your belongings need to be replaced, but as per experts in fire damage remediation, special types of cleanup, including dry-cleaning can restore your home to preloss conditions. Here’s what you should know about fire damage cleanup for your home in Cheval, FL.

Understanding the Restoration Process

Restoring your property requires a comprehensive approach that should be left to an experienced and equipped professional:

  • Determine the extent of damage due to fire, smoke, soot, and water.
  • Isolate areas and objects that have been affected to prevent damage from spreading to other parts of your residence.
  • Remove water and begin drying items that have been affected.
  • Use special content cleaning techniques for items that have been damaged by smoke and soot.
  • Work on cleaning up documents, electronics, and other objects that require ultrasonic cleanup or dry-cleaning.
  • Make repairs to your home’s structure, including reconstruction as necessary.

Exploring Content Storage and Other Considerations

No two restoration projects will be the same. Look for a residential restoration company that can add value with off-site temporary storage. You’ll want to work with a provider that wants to minimize the time it takes to complete the project, but also wants to repair and to restore where possible, instead of replacing. This helps control the cost of your cleanup, which is also better if you’re filing an insurance claim.

A professional provider brings knowledge, experience, and the equipment needed to provide a complete, yet expedited restoration. From dry-cleaning to damage isolation and more, the experts understand the best ways to restore your home in as little time as possible.

5 Essential First Aid Supplies

7/8/2022 (Permalink)

Storm damage invades salon SERVPRO was quick to the scene after a rain storm flooded this local salon. When water finds a way inside, call the professionals at SERVPRO!

5 First Aid Supplies You Must Have

A first aid kit should include a variety of medical supplies. Here are five essential items for treating minor injuries on-site or protecting more severe injuries until an ambulance arrives at a commercial building in Oldsmar, FL.

1. Bandages

Several types of bandages can be helpful for protecting injuries. Adhesive bandages are suitable for minor cuts or scrapes. Include several sizes, butterfly closures, and waterproof versions. Roller bandages are useful for dressing larger wounds. Secure this type of bandage with medical tape or metal closures.

2. Elastic Wraps

Quickly stabilize a sprain or minor to moderate musculoskeletal injuries with an elastic wrap. Avoid wrapping this material too tightly, as it may restrict circulation. A first aid kit for a commercial building should contain several wraps.

3. Gauze Pads

Some injuries are too sensitive for bandages. Use gauze pads to lightly cover minor to moderate burns. This material can also be used to shield more severe burns or other types of injuries until help arrives. It is ideal to have several pad sizes on hand.

4. Scissors

A building owner or manager might not think of scissors when assembling an emergency kit, but this tool can be crucial when dressing wounds. Sharp scissors make it easy to precisely trim a bandage, gauze pad, or wrap.

5. Splint

A splint is an essential short-term solution for broken bones or fractures. Try to include various sizes of splints in a kit.

A complete first aid kit should also include other supplies such as antibacterial ointment, blankets, gloves, tweezers, and resuscitation equipment. The five items listed above will enable building occupants to provide basic first aid in an emergency situation. Contact medical help for more severe injuries.

Building owners should rely on a commercial mitigation and restoration company to clean and repair a damaged structure after a storm or disaster in Oldsmar, FL.

How To Clean a Building After Toilet Flooding

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Fixing toilet tank When a toilet spills out water. Locate the water shutoff valve below the toilet tank to stop the flow.

How to Clean a Building After a Toilet Overflow

Experiencing water damage in your business is never desirable, especially if the building has flooded due to an overflown toilet. Here are a few tips for how to clean out the building if this occurs at your Oldsmar, FL, business.

1. Shut off Water Flow From Flooded Toilet

When a toilet spills out water, it's paramount to stop the flow before the damage worsens. Locate the water shutoff valve below the toilet tank to stop the flow.

2. Assess Total Damage

Inspect the building to get a greater scope of how much damage occurred. Assess whether it is contained to bathroom floors, if water seeped into walls or if it has leaked onto a lower building level.

3. Contact Water Damage Pros

The next priority is to call a water damage cleanup and sewage company. These experts are best equipped to handle any sewer damage and have safe cleaning procedures after toilet overflow.

4. Remove Impacted Materials and Surfaces

Any materials that have become wet should be removed. In extreme cases of water leaking through multiple floors of the building, this includes removal of flooring and ceiling material, as well as any wet furniture.

5. Disinfect All Spaces Impacted

Sewer damage and wastewater pose serious health risks, so it's necessary to disinfect all traces of flooding.

6. Dry Out Building

After deep cleaning, the space must then dry out. Any moisture that remains could lead to mold or bacteria growth, so this is an essential step.

7. Issue Repairs

Once dried, the building can undergo repairs. This could entail necessary plumbing projects to repair sewer damage as well as fixing floors and ceilings that had to be removed for cleaning.

An overflown toilet will require extensive cleanup. This process involves stopping the flow of water, assessing damage and contacting professionals. From there, experts will handle removing items, disinfecting surfaces, drying the building and issuing repairs.

How the IICRC Benefits the Restoration Industry

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

IICRC Institute.of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration SERVPRO Industries, LLC is an approved IICRC Training School.

The IICRC's Contribution to the Restoration Industry

Companies in the professional restoration industry work with homeowners and businesses in Westchase, FL, and other areas to mitigate damage after a storm, fire, flood, or other disaster. The IICRC is a third-party certification source for this industry. Here is a closer look at the institute.

Background Information
Some key points about the institute include:

  • It was formed in 1972 as the International Institute of Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Inc. by Ed York.
    It has more than 49,000 certified technicians around the globe.
  • It provides 26 different types of certification.
  • A Board of Directors manages the institute and represents the applicants' interests.
  • The Board of Directors is also responsible for upholding the industry's standards and shaping future directions.


Technicians who work for a professional restoration company may need training in various capacities. The institute provides certification for relevant areas. If a technician needs a mitigation certificate, for example, the institute can train and certify the employee.

Programs include content processing, fire and smoke damage restoration, carpet repair, building moisture, commercial drying, and water damage, among many others.

SERVPRO Industries, LLC is an approved IICRC Training School. It offers year-round training for many related topics. It provides self-paced programs for Employee Certification training, including:

  • Employee training
  • Water and fire restoration
  • Carpet and upholstery cleaning

After employees complete course materials and an exam, they are awarded certification.

Trained Professionals Benefit the Consumer

It can give you great peace of mind knowing you are working with certified technicians. After a disaster, you don't have time to question whether the restoration company has employees that understand what to do. It's good to work with a business that has industry knowledge and experience.

SERVPRO works closely with the IICRC to provide certified employees that keep up with industry standards and know the latest restoration techniques.