Recent Posts

Tented Tile

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

There are several myths in the industry that tile floor does not absorb water and can be dried out without any after effects. The truth is that both the slab and the tile may absorb water. If not properly dried out weeks or even months down the line a tenting affect may take place in the tile. This is where the tile dries out and expands or contracts and forms a tent. The slab will shrink back down to the original size, however the tile will not shrink but rather stay the same size which could be what causing the tenting effect. There are many other factors that can come into play such as what the tile is made of, what temperate the tile was fired at, the amount of time the tile was fired, and whether the tile was glazed or not. All of this comes into play and will be tale tell signs if the tile will tent or not.

Allergy-Proof Your Home

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

If you have hay fever or allergic asthma symptoms throughout the year, take a few steps to reduce allergens in your home.  Here are some suggestions: Bed and Bedding:  Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers. Flooring:  Remove carpeting and use hardwood or linoleum flooring and washable area rugs. Curtains/Blinds:  Use washable curtains and replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades. Windows:  Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Furnishings:  Avoid upholstered furniture. Clutter:  Remove items that collect dust.  Store children’s toys, games, etc. in plastic bins. Pets:  Keep animals out of the bedroom.  Bath pets at least once a week.  Keep pets outside. Air Filtration:  Choose an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Furniture:  Use furniture made of leather, wood, metal or plastic.Plants:  Spread aquarium gravel over the dirt to help contain mold. Fireplaces:  Avoid using wood-burning fireplaces or stoves.Stove:  Use a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and reduce moisture. Sink:  Wash dishes daily.Refrigerator:  Wipe up excessive moisture to avoid mold growth. Cabinets/Counters:  Clean cabinets and counter-tops with detergent and water. Food Waste:  Place garbage in a can with an insect-proof lid and empty trash daily. Ventilation:  Use an exhaust fan to reduce moisture while taking baths/showers. Walls:  Install tile or paint the walls with mold-resistant enamel paint. Shower/Tub:  Towel-dry the tub and enclosure after use to prevent mold. Toilet/Sink:  Scrub mold from plumbing fixtures.  Repair leaks. Foundation, Windows, and Stairwells:  Repair any sources of leaks or water damage. Air Quality:  Use a dehumidifier to reduce dampness and clean it once a week. Storage:  Store collectibles and clothes in plastic storage bins. Clothes Dryer:  Vent moisture outside. Temperature/Humidity:  Maintain the temperature between 68 F (20 C) and 72 F (22 C) and keep relative humidity no higher than 50 percent. Pests:  Control cockroaches and mice with inexpensive traps from the hardware store. Mold:  Close doors and windows during warm weather and use air conditioning and dehumidifiers. Weekly Cleaning Routine:  Damp-mop wood or linoleum flooring and vacuum carpeting. Smoking:  Don’t allow smoking anywhere inside your house. Source/Information:  Mayo Clinic

What to do before leaving for Vacation

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Everyone is always so excited to go on vacation that they often miss important items that need to be done around the house that can better prepare against issues while gone. It can be very helpful to have someone check-in on the house a few times while you are on vacation to check the mail and make sure your house does not flood but there may be more you can do. A house sitter may not always know where important valves are or who you would want to contact in case of an emergency if you do not already have that information set out for them.

The first big thing to do to protect your home before leaving is going to shutting off the main water supply to the home. This will protect against flooding or a sudden link in your home.

The next thing may not apply to everyones home but it is important to those it pertains to. The sump pump. You need to check it and make sure it is not close to full or there are not any other rainwater near it as it can wuickly become an issue.

In many places it will be one of the extremes, either very hot or very cold. In Florida it will normally be very hot. You will want to turn your thermostat up but do not turn the A/C off as that is what is going to protect your home against possible growth as best it can. If it is somewhere cold you will want to turn the heat down but not off as that will help protect against freezing pipe, not prevent though.

To keep flowers alive you will want to have your house sitter come bay and water them or use a mechanism that slowly released water throughout the time you are gone to continue to give them water.

Other things to include would be unplugging electronics to prevent against surges, fires, and lower your electric bill while away. You will also want to light rooms with timers to help prevent against burglars and they will think you are home.

These are just a few quick ways to protect your home while away.

Common Causes of House Fires You Might Not Expect

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

There are several items that are commonly know to cause house fires. House fires can quickly turn into large flames that overtake your home if precautions are not taken or a home owner does not know how to properly stop a fire and call local authorities. Here are some not so well known causes of house fires.
Cooking equipment such as pots and pans or even hotplates can quickly go from a safe cooking tempurature to a higher than normal temputure that can cause a fire.

Heating such as a furnace or a portable heater can cause house fires and should be checked by a local professional atleast once a year to prevent any mishaps.

Smoking in bedrooms is a big one because there are many flamables things suchs as bedding and drapery, even down to carpets in the bedroom.

Electrical equipment is a more common one however it can even relate to a fraying cord on your hairdryer, or your phone cord commonly used by bedsides.

Candles are next on the list and can often be forgotten about. If a wick goes untrimmed it can also cause smoke damage on the walls and ceilings.

There are many other causes for common house fires that a home owner may not often think about. Always try to be vigilant when using anything that could potentially cause a fire.

Why you should clean your air ducts

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

The air ducts in your home carry air throughout your home to circulate and bring in cool and warm air depending on the time of year and which system is on. With these ducts carrying air throughout everyday it will pick up a number of different items and sometimes they will get stuck or blocked. Dust will also get built up in there as time goes on. Here are some of the top reasons you need to get your air ducts cleaning once a year. The first reason and one of the most common is pets. Pets with dander and that shed often get that hair into the ducts and get stuck in the air handler making it work harder and possibly cause a hazard the your home if let go to long. This leads to the next item, allergies and asthma, pet hair can lead to this but can also lead to worsening allergies and athsma due to the build up. If your ducts and vents are full of pet hair and pollen and dusk it can make your allergies significantly worse. Next on th list is cigarette or cigar smoke. You should not smoke in your home due to the fire hazard but if someone in the past has smoked in the home, cleaning the ducts can lessen the smell but may not completely get rid of it. Up next on the list is water contamination or damage to the home. If there is a water loss affecting the ducts or the HVAC system it should be cleaned to ensure and affected water has been removed and sanitize the area it affected. Finally for the last item on the list is any home remodeling. When remodeling paint fumes, and tile dusk, all sorts of things can get into those ducts and be blown around the home affecting allergies and get blown onto carpet and couches making the home dirty and dusky. The best thing to do is have the ducts cleaned once a year to ensure top function. Call us today to schedule!

How to check a house for water damage

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

When should you check your home for water damage? The first time you should check a home for damage is when you are buying it. You never want to get into a home after spending unthinkable amounts of money and find out that you have to replace several things or see that you have a leak someone. Ideally the inspector should point these things out, however, they do not always catch everything.   The first step and place you want to check will be the walls. Make sure there is no staining, bubbles, or rust from possible water damage. These will be the signs. Moving down you want to check the floors for damage. You will be able to see discoloration, warping or bubbling, similar to the walls. The floors may have a been damaged previously or may still have water underneath them.  Check the pipes. The easiest way to look is under sinks, in the garage, and around the wash room. These are the most common places for leaks to occur.  Here in Florida it is rare that we have basements, however that would need to be checked as well.  We do however have the majority of our storage space in our attics. It is important to go up there once during the day and once at night to see if there are any exposed areas that may have a roof leak or leak of any other type.  Finally go outside and check to see if there are any holes, or cracks in the exterior. Cracks in the stucco are a common problem in Florida due to the humidity, wear and tear, and heat combination. 

Can You Better Prevent a House Fire?

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

We know there are a lot of unknowns that you cannot prepare for in life, but what if there are some precautions you could take to sleep more safely at night and protect your family? Below are some tips and tricks to help you sleep better at night. 

  1. Cooking  - When cooking make sure to never leave the kitchen unattended. If you have to leave for any reason make sure to turn off any burners or the oven. Do not let any grease or oil get too hot for fear of a spontaneous fire. Do not leave any flammable items near the oven or stove, such as towels or food packaging. 
  2. Smoking - Never smoke in the home. A stray ash could easily catch anything flammable on fire and rapidly spread. 
  3. Electrical - Never overload an outlet or use anything wires that are exposed. When you overload an outlet it could best case scenario, trip the breaker, or worst case scenario, start an electrical fire. Make sure all electrical outlets and units in the home are up to date. When looking at buying a home make sure to have an inspection on the home done. 
  4. Candles - Unattended candles are a large leader in house fires. Make sure to always keep the wick short  as to keep the flame under control. Never leave a candle unattended, one stray spark can easily jump and catch on anything near it on fire. 
Take precautions to never leave a heat source or an open flame unattended. Check your fire alarms batteries quarterly, and make be vigilant for any risks. 

Common Hazards in Commercial Properties

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

There are many things with a commercial property that can arise and cause issue. There are also a few things that you can do as an owner or a property manager to keep your risks low and prevent possible damages.  

  1. Automatic Sprinkler System - Having an automatic sprinkler system installed can quickly reduce any damages caused by a fire erupting during anytime of the day or night. 
  2. Upkeep of maintenance - Any broken window or crack in drywall can quickly lead to an issue and become a long term event if not taken care of.  
  3. Lose debris - Having any lose debris or garbage piled up can lead to fines, damage, and even attract critters. Keeping all areas neat and tidy will easily reduce these risks.
  4. Dust Build-up - Make sure to keep all ducts and laundry vents clean. Best practice for a commercial building is to have both cleaned annually to keep the maintenance up on them.
These are some of the most common hazards known to commercial properties but also some of the easiest to reduce the risk on. Some of these items SERVPRO can even help and take care of. For your annual duct and vent cleaning give us a call to schedule today!

Disaster Clean-up

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

A storm can stir up any number of things on your property and it is important to know tips, trick, and if there is a possibility of insurance coverage.  Debris Removal  Debris Removal can be anything from trees to needing a dump truck. These are small items that you need to look into your insurance policy to see if you are covered. Every policy is different and what it covers can vary drastically.  Costs  If there are any mitigation services needed those will need to be taken care of immediately. Having an emergency savings fund in the case that your insurance company does not cover your claim in its entirety or in full. These mitigation services and emergency clean-up measures can help prevent growth in the future.  Precautions  Before a disaster happens it is important to have things such as tarps, water, emergency food, and safe shelter. Being that tax season is upon us, some of these things may be deductible if your area was indeed hit by a disaster. Male sure to not only keep a list of all of your storm gear, but also the receipts in case you are able to claim them on your taxes at a later date. 

What to do After a House Fire

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

After a catastrophe like a house fire happens you are probably not thinking about what your next step needs to be. Here is a short list to help if something like this happens and better prepare you if this happens. House fires are scary and they are not normally safe to stay in after the presence of smoke and fire.  Your first step after a house fire will need to be finding a place for yourself, family, and any pets. This can sometimes be covered by your insurance company, which leads to the next step, calling your insurance company. As soon a catastrophe happens in your home you need to file a claim to get the ball rolling.  Most people will not think of this, but you need to call the police when a Fire happens. There will need to be a determination done by the local authorities that is was an accident and where it came from. The insurance company will want to wait for those forms and information before determining coverage.  Once you have had a few moments to gather your thoughts and get your family to a safe place you will need to get together a list as well as photos of the damaged items. Doing this yourself will ensure that you don't miss anything and the insurance company can get a jump start on what the claim will entail for replacing items.  Anything that was not damaged should be separated in the home to either an unaffected area or put in a storage unit the home has been restored.  These are the most important steps to take before any mitigation work and put back can begin.