Recent Posts

Testing Your Business for Invisible Mold

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold testing

Mold grows anywhere moisture and oxygen both reside. This is often visible in areas such as near water pipes, on carpet or near walls. If there is a strange musty smell or water damage but no mold to be seen, you may have mold lurking somewhere out of sight. Leaving it unattended allows it to spread everywhere it can and become more of a nuisance. Luckily, an indoor environmental specialist can assist in locating any mold at your business.

Where Water Runs, Mold Can Hide

Mold growth can be in unknowingly wet areas of your commercial property. There are several locations where mold often hides:

  • Behind wallpaper
  • Behind removable panels
  • Above ceiling tiles with leaky pipes or roofing
  • Under carpet or padding
  • Under porous liners of ducts
  • Around drain pains inside the building’s HVAC
  • Behind mostly stationary furniture

While it is hard to identify these by sight, a professional mold test is adequate for figuring out which hiding place your mold problem has chosen.

Specialists Who Know Mold Can Find It

With scientific protocols, mold can be found by an indoor environmental specialist no matter where it is. Using technology such as a digital hygrometer, the specialist evaluates the moisture in the air around porous building materials such as drywall and wood.

If the hygrometer is not enough to locate the problem, he or she will use an infrared camera to look for hidden moisture with thermal imaging. The specialist’s methodology and expert use of the tools will locate the mold to allow you to act upon the problem.

Experts Who Know Mold Can Eradicate It

Once the indoor environmental specialist has identified the problem, the burden of cleanup falls back to you. Fortunately, there are professional mold cleanup companies that can ensure the area is free of mold and remains inhabitable to further mold growth. Mold should only be invisible at your Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, business, not because you don’t know it’s there. It should be invisible because it’s nonexistent.

How To Tackle Fire and Water Damage

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Burnt content in a bathroom and walls covered with soot. Fire cleanup is a job for an experienced and professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Sanibel/Ft Myers Beach.

How Deal With Fire and Water Damage

The fire at your house in Estero Island,FL is blazing out of control. You watch from the street as the fire hose saturates your home with 1200 gallons of water per minute. You breathe a sigh of relief as the fire is extinguished. Now you face a new challenge, a combination of fire damage and water damage. To combat this disastrous duo, take the following steps to return your home to pre-fire condition.

Initial Steps

It is overwhelming when you first see the destruction in your house. You recognize that you cannot clean up the mess yourself. Who do you call?

• Contact the insurance agency that holds your homeowner’s policy. Inform the agent of the damage and discuss coverage and next steps.
• Call an emergency fire and water restoration company. The specialists typically arrive at your home within hours to inspect and assess the damage, day or night.
• Before restoration efforts begin, the specialists may board up windows and/or place a tarp on the roof to secure your property and prevent further damage.

Water Damage

Firefighters use a significant amount of water to snuff the inferno, leaving your home drenched. What steps do water restoration specialists take to properly dry your home?

• Wet/dry vacuums and pumps extricate flooding and excess water from the house.
• Industrial strength dehumidifiers and air movers remove moisture from walls and floors.

Fire Damage

The fire is gone, but the soot and smoke remains. How do fire restoration specialists clean and deodorize your house?

• Specialized equipment is used to remove smoke and soot from walls, ceilings and floors.
• Fogging equipment and air scrubbers remove smoke odors from the source.

It is heartbreaking to see your home in Estero Island, FL engulfed in flames. The aftermath of water and fire damage is equally hard to face. Work with your insurance agent and a fire and water restoration specialist to return your home to preloss condition and resume your life.

Locating Bathtub and Shower Pan Leaks

7/10/2021 (Permalink)

Shower drain box grate on a shower base. A dry home is a happy one.

Locating Bathtub and Shower Pan Leaks

Water damage in your Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, home can be a major inconvenience and expense, but keeping an eye out for a shower or bathtub leak can nip this potential problem in the bud. Training yourself to think like a professional home inspector can be a smart strategy in maintaining your home’s integrity.

Inspecting the Bathtub

Some leaks are easy to spot. However, there are others that can take a bit of detective work to pinpoint.

  • Faucets that drip can be readily seen and sometimes heard.
  • Grout can crack and shrink, which can allow water to infiltrate construction materials.
  • Overflow drains have gaskets that can crack with age and hide a leak.
  • The tub itself can develop a leak. A bathtub leak of this kind is uncommon but can be detected by wrapping dry newspaper around the exterior before filling it.

Inspecting the Shower

Whether your home has a tiled shower or a prefabricated stall, a shower pan leak is a potential source of water damage. Routine examination of a few vital spots will likely keep water where it is supposed to be.

  • Check connections between the grout, tile and base of the shower. Resealing grout and caulking connections can prevent water intrusion.
  • Inspect the threshold, also known as the dam, thoroughly. Traffic can create wear, and expansion and contraction can create openings.
  • Check the drain connection in the shower floor to ensure proper alignment. Keep it clear of hair and other debris.

Benjamin Franklin’s adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is overall great advice when applied to maintaining your home or investment properties, especially when the “cure” involves your hard-earned money. The intrusion of water into construction materials through a shower or bathtub leak is not only unsightly and destabilizing but also can create health and safety hazards.

Inspecting your dwelling routinely can offer significant peace of mind. A dry home is a happy one.

5 Tips To Keep Kids (or Irresponsible Adults) from Setting Your Kitchen on Fire

7/10/2021 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a kitchen oil fire. A firefighter investigating the cause. The aftermath of a kitchen fire in Estero Island, FL.

Tips To Prevent a Kitchen Fire In Your Home

In Estero Island, FL, you would prefer to avoid any sort of fire damage to your home, which is why you have that ban on anyone stepping foot into your kitchen who isn’t you. As time goes on, however, and you make friends or maybe even a family, it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep troublemakers out. Luckily, there are five easy tips to prevent you from having to meet a firefighter the embarrassing way:

1. Your kitchen should have a working fire extinguisher and smoke detector. Make sure smoke detectors are tested monthly and batteries replaced as needed. The fire extinguisher should be kept in a secure, but easily accessible place. Get 100 percent comfortable with how to use your extinguisher so that you can do so in the heat of the moment.

2. Avoid baggy clothing and draping sleeves. Aside from clothing catching fire, baggy clothing can result in tripping or getting caught on things, which is a fire risk as well.

3. Ensure flammable items and fabrics never sit too close to the stove. One of the best tips is to choose oven mitts over towels to move pots and pans from stovetops or the oven.

4. To prevent a grease fire, clean your stove often to avoid the buildup of grease in or around the stove. Always use proper-sized pots and pans for whatever you’re cooking, especially if you’re using cooking oil.

5. Never leave the house while cooking and avoid even leaving the room if possible. If children (or irresponsible adults) are in the kitchen, they should always be well-supervised. It is better to keep them away from the stove or oven, but at least ensure they are given one-on-one attention from an adult who is directing and standing close.

Fires in the kitchen may be difficult to entirely prevent, but armed with the right knowledge, you can keep them rare and more easily maintained. There are many resources out there to use so you can keep your home intact and don’t have commit to solitary cooking for the rest of your life. Utilizing the tips above, you should be ready to start allowing people into your kitchen again.

Tips for Returning to Work After a Flood

7/10/2021 (Permalink)

Dental office Storm after affects in a dental office.

Tips for Returning to Work After a Flood

If you are listening to the weather channel, you can sometimes hear that 50 mph winds and record-breaking rainfall are happening in Sanibel, FL. Consequently, your business is located there. As the floodwaters recede, you check in at your property. Contaminated, black water is everywhere. You are worried about shutting down during the restoration process but do not want to endanger the safety of your employees. At what point during the flood cleanup process can they return to work?

Employees Leave Premises

Stay away during the early stages of the flood cleanup process. Reasons include:

• Flood water and mud are considered contaminated. This black water carries viruses and bacteria that can make you and your employees sick.
• Professional restoration specialists use specialized equipment and are trained in handling this type of water. Excess flood water and related debris are safely removed using professional grade pumps.
• Not all parts of the building can be properly cleaned; some must be discarded. The restoration experts remove soiled insulation, wet drywall, carpet padding and other contaminated contents.
• Remaining structures and objects that came into contact with flood water are sanitized and disinfected.

Employees Return To Work

It is safe for workers to return during the final phases of restoration. Reasons include:

• Once the contents of the commercial property are sanitized, your employees’ health and safety are no longer a concern.
• During the rebuilding and restoration process, it is safe for employees to be present. Air filtration devices may help retain the quality of the air during this time.

When a storm floods your business in Sanibel, FL, the resulting black water is a health concern for you and your employees. It is not safe to be on site for the initial stages of flood cleanup, including removing excess water, discarding contaminated structures and disinfecting remaining contents. Once the rebuilding and restoration phase begins, it is safe to return to work.

What Happens To a Mold Damaged Painting?

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Restoration: close up of a painting final retouch Once your painting has been restored, you can hang it up and enjoy it once again.

What Happens To a Mold Damaged Painting?

If you have residential mold in Sanibel, FL, your first instinct might be to throw everything that has mold damage away. Thanks to mold cleaning, this isn't necessary, and you can restore many items that are important to you. Understanding your options can help you figure out what is worth saving and give you peace of mind when it comes to items that are irreplaceable.

Identifying Mold On Paintings
If you have old paintings that were stored somewhere, survived a flood, or were otherwise damaged, it is possible that mold might be growing on them. The first thing to do is have the painting examined by a qualified professional who can tell you the extent of the mold damage. Then, they can help you take the first steps toward restoration.

Understanding Mold Cleaning
A professional will usually begin the process by using something to stop the further development of mold. It is possible for mold spores to become airborne and move along to other parts of the painting. Arresting development of the current state of the mold can stop this. Much of the cleanup process will depend on the type of painting, how old it is, and what areas are in need of mold remediation. The same applies to the frame; in some cases, it is possible to have the original frame cleaned.

Enjoying Your Artwork Again
Once your painting has been restored, you can hang it up and enjoy it once again, without fear of mold spreading any further. A mold remediation and removal service can help you figure out the best way to address this. Depending on how your painting was damaged, such as in a flood, your insurance company might even help cover the cost.
Mold cleaning for Sanibel, FL, can save your painting and allow you to enjoy it once again. Once you know if your items are affected, the sooner you can act to save them.

What Is Black Water, and How Should Owners Deal With It?

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded room with floating furniture. With sanitization finished, restoration begins, and rebuilding the establishment.

A sudden influx of flood water proves troublesome for commercial owners in Sanibel, FL on many levels. This moisture, labeled category three, isn't harmless. It can harm the structure and belongings. The fluid seeps easily into porous materials, and you cannot extract it with towels and air-dry methods. Rot, fungus and mildew may set into the impacted section. Proprietors should understand the danger of this condition and how to seek appropriate restoration efforts. The following are three critical things to know.

1. What Exactly Is Category Three Water?

Flooding falls under the highest form of water contamination. Named black water, this fluid houses a plethora of hazards and can come from various sources. Potential risks arise when overflows occur in external bodies of water such as rivers, oceans and ponds. Flash floods and sewer backups are also a common cause.

Unbelievably unsanitary, this water houses one or more of the following pollutants:


2. What Are the Consequences of not Seeking Action?

If flood water isn't cleaned up quickly and appropriately, microorganisms set up residence within the flooring, drywall and ceiling. Long-lasting penetration weakens structures, produces stale odors and permits organism reproduction. Mold spores, for instance, develop within 24 to 48 hours.

3. How Is This Treated?

Space must be cleaned professionally by a flood restoration company. Certified professionals enter the premises, testing the walls and air to determine what type of irritants have entered the facility. They then put together an action plan to combat the storm damage.

This phrase includes remediation in which the team tears out affected structure, scrubs the air and vents and thoroughly dries out the entire section. Industrial dehumidifiers work to extract excess humidity from the building, restoring appropriate moisture levels.

With sanitization finished, restoration begins, and rebuilding the establishment.

Take flood water seriously. Be aware of the blackish water and how it devastates buildings. Remember, responding quickly and with specialist assistance aids in avoiding significant damages and expensive costs.

3 Things You Can Do To Help Your Business Survive Hurricane Floods

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo and here to help hashtag. Commercial owners in Fort Myers Beach, FL can defend their properties, hopefully minimizing the devastation and expediting the cleanup.

Whether a Category 1 or 5, a hurricane is a powerful gale, capable of wreaking havoc on a building. Intense winds, flood water and tornadoes are all possible, leading to various structural damage that costs upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. Commercial owners in Fort Myers Beach, FL can defend their properties, hopefully minimizing the devastation and expediting the cleanup. The following are three things to do before any sign of a storm.

1. Create an Action Plan

Prepare for both the best- and worst-case scenarios. Put together an action plan for various storm systems detailing how to handle different events. For instance, if you experience a flooded building, employees should understand not to enter until permitted by restoration professionals.
Share the following information with staff:

-How to safely exit during severe weather
-Where to seek shelter in the building
-How to fortify the property from flooding
-How to contact a water restoration company
-Where to locate supplies and how to use them

2. Collect Documentation

Regularly upload your company's significant paperwork onto a server or the cloud. Flood water poses a risk, destroying financial statements, contracts and insurance policies. These papers are essential to operations and insurance claims. Pick a day once a month to safely store them online.
Also, keep crucial documents in one location so that the hard copies are easy to grab. If you have time before the evacuation, take what you can. If not, relocate them to higher ground.

3. Invest in Supplies

Stock up on materials that make the early days efficient. Have a generator on hand so crews can immediately evaluate and tend to water damage. Be aware that this device gives off carbon monoxide. Read the directions, and understand where to use it for appropriate airflow.

In addition, have flashlights, batteries, clean towels, soap and tools. For personal use, have plenty of clean bottled water and snacks. Hand sanitizer and hygiene items should be stocked as well.

If flood water breaches your establishment's walls, know how to act to mitigate the harm. Call in the professionals, and have supplies on hand to get started with the cleanup.

How Does Smoke Damage Spread?

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building destroyed by fire, empty building, Smoke cleaning should take place after fire damage cleanup.

Factors That Cause Smoke Odor

Smoke damage can spread throughout a structure after a fire in or near a commercial building in Estero Island, FL. From airborne transmission to the increased damage that may be caused by direct contact with or foot traffic through soot, here are a few factors that cause smoke odor to become detectable in every part of a building.

Smoke Is Carried Through the Air
Smoke consists of fine particles and gases that are small and lightweight enough to become airborne. A wide variety of chemicals that includes the following substances may be present in smoke:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Metals
  • Methane
  • Volatile organic compounds

Immediately during and after a fire, particles and gases that contain these substances may circulate in a structure. Gusts of air that occur as a fire spreads can spread smoke throughout a building.

Smoke Gets Into a Building HVAC System
In addition to lowering the quality of interior air, smoke damage can also spread through an HVAC system. Particles that enter vents and linger in ductwork cause smoke smell to persist. It is important to shut off the HVAC system in a smoke- or fire-damaged structure and arrange for cleaning during restoration.

Smoke and Soot Can Affect Nearby Locations
Smoke and soot can travel through the air and affect nearby businesses. Fortunately, smoke and soot damage are covered perils for the primary location affected by a fire, surrounding areas in a commercial building and nearby structures. Smoke cleaning is necessary to keep the telltale odor of fire from lingering and affecting building occupants.
Smoke damage cleanup may involve using air filtration and odor neutralizing treatments to lower the concentration of particulate in interior air. If a fire has occurred at a commercial property in Estero Island, FL, cleaning up ruined materials and soot is the first step toward restoration. Smoke cleaning should take place after fire damage cleanup.

Can I Claim Commercial Property Losses on My Taxes?

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling tiles removed, insulation hanging, roof damage Ceiling damaged due to storm in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL.

Unexpected commercial property losses have the potential to be devastating financially, mentally and time-wise. They can massively derail operations and cause a great deal of hassle. Even if you have coverage, it can be a big headache to deal with the insurance adjusters, filling out paperwork, contacting a professional cleanup and restoration service in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, and/or handling anything else that needs to be done in the wake of an incident resulting in one. One thing you may be glad to know is that storm damage, fire damage and other business-related losses are tax-deductible regardless of whether they are in a federally declared disaster area or not.

Casualty Losses

These include damage, loss or destruction arising from any kind of unexpected or sudden incident like a natural disaster (storm damage, smoke damage and etcetera). Normal wear and tear or time-related deterioration are not casualty losses. The three kinds (labeled as federally declared disasters) are:

  • Qualified disaster losses
  • Federal casualty losses
  • Disaster losses

Since it involves income-producing property, your loss amount is the adjusted basis of said structure/possession (your cost, with deductions and additions for things like depreciation or renovations).

Theft Losses
If someone steals from your business, the theft loss is also the adjusted basis. If it is due to a Ponzi scheme, the rules may be slightly different.

Tax Claims Facts
Any expected or received payout from insurance companies or salvage value lowers your loss amount. You must prove any loss you claim, so detailed documentation is important. You also run the risk of acquiring capital gain if you end up with insurance reimbursement that is higher than your adjusted basis.
Storm damage and other forms of harm to your enterprise's property from events like hurricanes are tax-deductible. Theft is as well. It pays to be careful when claiming them on tax forms, especially if you do not know how much your indemnity policy will pay out as it can lead to you owing taxes again instead of gaining a deduction for a loss.