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Keeping Your Employees and Customers Safe

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

employees walking down stairs The safety of employees and customers is extremely important, during COVID-19 and beyond.

As a small business owner, it is very important to keep the safety of your employees and customers a top priority. Some of the most common workplace incidents include slip-and-fall accidents, premise liabilities, equipment accidents, or an employee or visitor injuring another person. While is it always possible that accidents can happen, mitigating potential risks beforehand can greatly reduce the chances of an incident occurring.

Here are some tips to make sure everyone on your property is safe and sound.

Constantly inspect your premises and be on the lookout for hazards

The best way to prevent any injuries or accidents from occurring is minimizing any hazards in the workspace. To do this, inspections should be conducted regularly, on either a weekly or monthly basis. It is also a good idea to preform random inspections to see how the workplace runs on the day to day.

Maintain all tools and equipment

Any faulty or poorly maintained equipment can be a potential risk in the workplace. If a piece of equipment breaks down, it can put many people in harm’s way. All tools and equipment should be cleaned and tested regularly to ensure they are functioning property and can be replaced if need be.

Keep record of inspections and repairs

It is very important to document all inspections, repairs, and incident investigations. If there is a repeated incident, you will be able to dig to the root of the problem and correct it. Also, if an accident does occur, it is important to have all of your records in order.

Post warning signs

If there happens to be any unsafe conditions in the workplace, there should be signage to indicate this to employees and customers. A simple example of this is placing a “wet floor sign” to an area that was recently mopped to prevent anyone tripping.

Safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way business function. Here are some of the most common ways to keep your employees and customers safe:

  • Keep a clean environment and perform routine sanitization. All frequently touches surfaces such as workstations, countertops, handrails, and doorknobs should be frequently cleaned and disinfected. If possible, reduce the need for shared equipment.
  • Promote practices sanitary practices like frequent handwashing and provide either soap and water or hand sanitizer for all employees and customers.
  • Require everyone to wear a mask or face covering over their mouth and nose.
  • Encourage workers to stay at home if they are sick and ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidelines.
  • Create a plan to minimize face-to-face contact between both employees and customers. Actively encourage flexible work arrangements such as teleworking or staggered shifts.
  • Develop policies and procedures for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

The safety of employees and customers is extremely important, during COVID-19 and beyond.

Protecting Your Home After a Flood

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

flooded house floor By knowing the best steps to protect your home after a flood, you and your loved ones can stay safe as you return to normal living conditions.

Even though cleaning up after a flood may seem like a formidable task, it is important to have a plan in place to tackle this undertaking. By knowing the best steps to protect your home after a flood, you and your loved ones can stay safe as you return to normal living conditions.

Prioritize Your Safety

Before you can start cleaning, it is important to first mitigate any safety hazards. There is a high chance that the water is contaminated, and the structure is unstable. To help prioritize your safety:

  • Shut off gas and electricity before to the flooded area before entering the house.
  • Examine the building’s structure by checking the foundation for any cracking and/or undermining in addition to the walls, floors, and windows.
  • Have an electrician look over the electrical system.
  • Wear appropriate clothing protection including rubber boots, waterproof gloves, and a safety mask, or googles.
  • Have on hand a first aid kit for any minor injuries that occur.

Dealing with Insurance Claims

Before the cleaning process begins, there are steps you should take to make sure the insurance process can go as smooth as possible.

  • Take pictures or videos of everything before you start cleaning! This is crucial for insurance claims and tax deductions.
  • Record all of your expenses.
  • Check in with your insurance company to see what their requirements are for a claim.
  • Freeze any flooded books and papers before you have time to work with them. For the best chance of preservation, place waxed paper between the layers and place them inside plastic bags before going into a freezer.

The Cleanup Process

During the cleanup process, it is important to both cleaning and disinfect household items.

Step by Step Clean Up:

  1. Remove any standing water. While obvious, no cleaning can get done with standing water in the way. You can use pails or pumps to remove, and then use a wet/dry shop vacuum cleaner.
  2. Remove soaking wet and/or contaminated materials. Try to place things in large garbage bags and bring them outside the home. Depending on local regulations, something may need to be thrown out if it is contaminated with sewer water. Some larger furniture items may also be damaged beyond repair and need to be thrown out.
  3. Shovel out mud before it dries. While it may be treacherous, it is important to remove all of the mud and silt inside the house. A house may be used for this removal process.
  4. Clean and dry the walls. It is important to be fast, thorough, and safe in this process. Walls dry from the inside out and the interior parts of the walls must be thoroughly dried.
  • Remove interior wall finishes to release water and mud from the cavities. Wall finishes that reach up to the high-water line should be thrown away.
  • Remove all wall insulation that has been wet as it is contaminated.
  • To remove mud, hose down the walls before they fully dry and disinfect them using some method of chlorine bleach.
  • A moisture meter can be used to check the condition of the walls and when they are ready to re-insulate.
  1. Clean the floors and woodwork. Floors and other woodwork should be cleaned within 48 hours of the flood. It is very important to avoid any products that contain ammonia.
  • For the cleaning process: Use plenty of hot water and scrub the floors with alkali solution (like washing soda). To disinfect, use a bleach solution such as a solution of 1/2 cup chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water.
  1. Dry all of the surfaces. Heat and air should be used to surface dry materials within 24 to 48 hours. The continuous circulation of heat should reduce trying time and prevent the growth of any bacteria.

Experts recommend waiting about 6 months before the re-modeling process can begin. If your home has suffered flood damage, we are here to help. Contact our flood damage repair team today!

Top Causes of Water Damage in Your Home

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Woman looking at damage after a water pipe leak With an understanding of what commonly causes water damage in the home, a homeowner is best equipped to be on the lookout.

No one wants to have to deal with water damage in South Florida homes. Unfortunately, Floridians know that water damage comes with the territory of humid climate and heavy rains. As a homeowner, it is understood that there are certain inevitable unforeseen costs. Things break and need repairs, time wears on various parts of the home, and so on and so forth. Water damage, however, is one of those typical house issues that no one wants to deal with. From costly repairs to the headache of restoration, avoiding water damage is of course preferable.

While some water damage is unavoidable, a lot of typical issues actually stem from situations that could have been avoided. Knowing the most common causes of water damage in a home is the best first step in prevention. If you are aware of what to look out for, you may be able to spot a potential issue before it becomes a big problem. The following are some of the most common causes of water damage in a home:

  1. Sewer lines are backed up
  2. Pipes are leaking
  3. Heavy rains
  4. Toilet leaks
  5. Issues with gutters
  6. Faulty or malfunctioning appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, sinks, and washing machines
  7. Problems with HVAC
  8. Built up pressure in supply lines of washing machines
  9. Water buildup in crawl space
  10. Roof leaks

With an understanding of what commonly causes water damage in the home, a homeowner is best equipped to be on the lookout. Plus, noticing water damage early does a lot more than simply save in repair costs, it is actually good for you and your family’s health. When left untreated, water damage can quickly lay the foundation of mold growth. Not only will this add to the repair and restoration needs, but it can be damaging to the health of those who live in the home.

With this in mind, it is important to regularly check the above water damage hotspots. Knowing what to look for means being proactive in prevention and maintaining your home. As always, if you do spot water damage in your home we are here for you. Call our water damage repair and restoration team today to learn more!

Preventing Mold Growth in Your Bathroom

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

mold in bath, a duck toy, bathroom Preventing mold growth in your bathroom means taking proactive measures to keep your home in the best shape possible.

There are certain areas of every home that are prone to mold growth. Elements like moisture and darkness create the perfect breeding area for mildew and mold to thrive. While many people think of mold in their kitchen, the bathroom is actually one of the biggest culprits for mold growth in your home. The combination of heat, darkness, moisture, and typically a lack of ventilation means that bathrooms are especially vulnerable to mildew.

Sometimes mold is easy to spot. It can discolor walls or grow on tiles, but in other scenarios it can be much more difficult to spot. A lingering odor or a slightly discolored ceiling can reveal a major mold problem. Since mold remediation can be quite a headache, the best practice is to avoid mold growth altogether. Preventing mold growth in your bathroom means taking proactive measures to keep your home in the best shape possible.

The following are some great tips for preventing mold growth in your bathroom:

  • Use the fan at all times when showering and let it run for at least 30 minutes following a shower. This will keep the bathroom properly ventilated.
  • Regularly wash the rugs and curtains in the bathroom.
  • Consider purchasing a dehumidifier for the bathroom.
  • Use an all-purpose cleaner to regularly clean your bathroom.
  • Consistently check the toilet and sink for any leaks.
  • Try to keep shower walls dry.
  • Keep bathing products outside of the bathroom.
  • Let as much light into the bathroom as possible.
  • If the bathroom floors gets wet, mop it up as soon as possible.
  • Seal all grout lines.

While some of these tips seem obvious, it can be easy to neglect to maintain these important measures. If you do notice any mold growth in your bathroom, it is important to call a professional right away. Our mold remediation team has years of experience in repairing mold damage large and small. Call us today to learn more.

Typical Smoke Damage Issues Following a Home Fire

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

fire damaged living room Addressing the aftermath of a home fire means thinking through all of the possible smoke damage that may have occurred.

When someone thinks about the potential of a home fire, their first thoughts are likely about the fire itself. From detecting the fire to calling on emergency response to evacuating loved ones and pets as quickly as possible, there is a lot to think about. The last year has proven that fires are a real threat. California has been inundated with fires throughout the state, causing irreparable damage and devastating thousands of individuals.

In Florida, wildfires are much less of a threat. However, house fires still occur much more frequently than many may imagine. From holiday celebrations to electrical issues, a fire can start at any time. While it is critical to think through a fire safety plan, many people fail to consider what to do once the fire has been contained. Smoke damage is another factor that must be taken into account when thinking about fire damage.

Smoke damage can leave a major mark after a fire is contained. The following are some of the most common issues related to smoke damage after a fire:

  • Warped wood or plastic
  • Discoloration
  • Walls stained a shade of yellow
  • Charring
  • Household textiles filled with soot
  • Ceiling stained a shade of yellow
  • Carpets, clothing, drapery, and upholstered furniture filled with smoke odor
  • Toxic air throughout the home
  • Markings of smoke odor throughout the home

Addressing the aftermath of a home fire means thinking through all of the possible smoke damage that may have occurred. While the look of the home may be top of mind, there are a number of toxins and odors that are much more important to tackle first. As such, it is critical to hire a fire restoration technician team to come take a look following a home fire.

With many years of experience in fire damage repair and smoke damage restoration, we are happy to help if you or a loved one have experienced an issue with a home fire. Call us today to learn more!

Workplace Safety Tips for Your Business

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Work Safety and Safety Procedures. Two binders on desk in the office. Business background. Employers have a great responsibility when it comes to keeping their workplace safe.

Owning a company is a huge responsibility. From serving your community to keeping your staff happy and productive, there is a lot of weight on the business owner’s shoulders. As an employee or an employer, workplace safety is something that should always be top of mind. Unfortunately, the daily stresses and pressures to achieve tasks often puts safety measures on the backburner. No matter what industry your company is in, there are a number of critical measures that must be taken to ensure a safe working environment for both patrons and staff.

On-the-job accidents and injuries occur far more often than many would think. What is worse is that many of them are entirely preventable, given the correct workplace safety protocols. Setting specific, tested safety standards and regulations is critical to keeping employees and customers happy and safe. But it is not only important that these measures be in place, they must be adequately communicated to everyone who works in the organization.

Identifying and understanding the most common safety hazards as well as unsafe practices is the first step to reducing risk. When employees understand the potential of what could happen, they are more likely to conduct themselves in a safe way to avoid risk. The following are some of the most common workplace safety tips to share throughout your company:

  • Everyone must be aware of their surroundings at all times
  • When necessary, safety equipment must be worn regularly and correctly
  • No shortcuts can be taken when it comes to safety procedures
  • Machines and tools must be operated only by trained employees
  • Breaks must be taken throughout the day by every employee
  • If there is an unsafe working condition, someone in management must be informed immediately
  • All emergency exits must be clear
  • The entire staff must be versed whenever there are updates to safety procedures

Employers have a great responsibility when it comes to keeping their workplace safe. Regular communication, proper safety protocols, and a shared understanding is essential to keeping everyone safe and comfortable in their working environment. Workplace hazards are inevitable, but working as a team to identify and avoid them safeguards the company, its people, and its reputation.

Hurricane Proof Your House During Off Season

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Beautiful Home with Palms Do yourself and your family a favor and get on top of hurricane proofing your home sooner rather than later.

The winter months are some of the most incredible times to be a South Floridian. As temperatures drop and it seems like every day is a picture perfect day, it can be easy to forget about the rainy seasons. While most homeowners in South Florida spend the winter and spring months enjoying the weather outdoors as much as possible, the savviest of them will make a preparation game plan for the summer.

Hurricane season is very far away, but it is never too early to start planning and getting your home ready. In fact, many find that now is the perfect time to start thinking about getting the home in hurricane shape. From lower prices on items to the calm nature of preparing now, this is an ideal time to start thinking about how you want your home to look come hurricane season.

The following are some simple hurricane proofing tips that you can follow in the coming months:

  • If you do not already have them, now is the time to get impact-resistant glass or shutters installed – pricing is usually lowest this time of year
  • Take inventory of your landscaping and assess what needs to be fixed to minimize debris
  • Check your garage door to ensure that it is installed properly and securely
  • Go through your safety supplies – from bottled water to canned goods, now is the time to stock up
  • Inspect your roof and check for any loose tiles
  • Consider investing in a generator
  • Check the surge protectors throughout your home and think about purchasing more

Taking the time to consider the above hurricane proofing tips now can save you time, money, and stress in the future. The calm of the winter and spring season means that prices for hurricane-related items are down. Do yourself and your family a favor and get on top of hurricane proofing your home sooner rather than later.

What Happens When You Call in a Water Loss?

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

Close up of water flooding on living room After our water damage expert is able to collect all of the information, we will send out our team immediately.

No one expects to have an emergency water damage situation in their home. In South Florida, when we think of water damage we often think of heavy rainstorms, flooding, or hurricanes. However, there are a number of day-to-day issues that can bring about a water emergency. From a pipe bursting to an appliance breaking, the unpredictability of homeownership can be scary, and expensive. While no one can forecast what may happen in their home, being aware of what to expect when the unexpected happens is key.

Emergency water damage often creates a hectic situation. The caller is flustered and eager to get someone to their home immediately. That is where SERVPRO really shines. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for immediate response to disasters of all sizes. When you call us about your water damage emergency situation, we will likely ask the following questions:

  1. Your name and contact information
  2. Your insurance information (if applicable)
  3. The address of the business or home where the water damage has occurred
  4. When did the water damage or flooding occur?
  5. What caused the water damage (if the cause is known)?
  6. Is there on-site electricity available?

After our water damage expert is able to collect all of this information, we will send out our team immediately. These questions are important to ensure that the SERVPRO team arrives to the scene quickly, with all of the correct equipment, and with the right number of technicians to handle the job effectively and efficiently. We take pride in being “faster to any size disaster!” Call us today to learn more!

Working Hard to Keep Fighting COVID-19

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Male worker with protective mask and suit disinfecting industrial factory with spray gun Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program that goes beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning, it is a higher standard of clean.

While South Florida is eager to get back to “normal”, the numbers of COVID-19 cases do not seem to be going down. From homeowners to business owners, keeping things clean and sanitized is imperative. It is easy to fall into the trap of complacency when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. People are tired of dealing with masks and sanitizers, making it easy for some to simply go back to the way they used to do things. It is important, however, to remember that with rising numbers precautions must still be taken.

The world has had to completely re-evaluate the way in which it operates. At home, families are sanitizing and washing hands with great frequency. In businesses, the staff is working diligently to keep the public spaces sanitized, regularly cleaned, and enforce mask policies. These changes are difficult to get used to, but they are extremely important for the greater good.

At SERVPRO, we understand the importance of sanitation. In fact, we have worked tirelessly for years in our cleaning services department. As such, when COVID-19 hit, we knew we had a responsibility to our community. We launched Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned recently to continue our mission of keeping our communities safe and clean. In doing so, we are able to help local families and businesses to protect themselves and others.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program that goes beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning, it is a higher standard of clean. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning that helps ensure the cleanliness of the restaurants, businesses, and public spaces in the communities we all call home. Our SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills - always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.

Are you interested in a free quote for our Commercial Services, or are you a Consumer who wants to learn more about the program? Call us today to learn more!

Top Causes of Home Fires Today

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

home after fire Be proactive and keep your home and your loved ones safe from a home fire.

Home fires are one of the scariest things that a family can experience. Being inherently something that people believe will never happen to them, home fires almost always catch the homeowner off-guard. Plus, families seldom have an emergency plan in place to deal with a home fire since they believe it is extremely rare. However, the National Fire Protection Association estimates that there is reportedly a new home fire every minute and a half in the United States.

While most people assume that home fires are something that rarely occurs, the statistics paint a different picture. As such, it is important to have a prevention plan to avoid putting yourself and your family in a risky situation. One of the most effective ways to prevent a home fire is to recognize the common causes. In doing so, you are able to be on the lookout and thus avoid unnecessary dangers. The following are some of the most common causes of home fires today:

  1. Electrical equipment, such as a toaster oven, can catch fire from overuse, frayed cords, or age
  2. Smoking
  3. Candles
  4. Cooking equipment can often lead to overheating and thus a fire if the cook is not paying attention or leaves the room
  5. Faulty wiring is an electrical hazard that can cause a fire
  6. Flammable liquids
  7. Dirty barbeques
  8. Lightning
  9. Curious children
  10. Circuit breakers

Making sure that the above hazards are mitigated is imperative to keeping your home safe and free from fire. In addition, it is important that you regularly check your smoke detectors and replace them when necessary. Homeowners in South Florida often neglect to check on these things until it is too late. Be proactive and keep your home and your loved ones safe from a home fire. If you have experienced fire damage, we are here to help. Contact our fire damage repair team today to learn more!