Generator Safety Tips During Storm
When you live in Wesley Chapel, Florida, prepping for hurricane season comes with the territory. If you have a generator on hand for power outages during severe weather, follow the safety tips below from the American Red Cross to keep your family safe:
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.
- To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
- Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO is odorless and cannot be seen, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
- Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
Following these simple recommendations is an easy way to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. If your home or business suffers from storm damage, SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel is here for you. Give us a call 727-847-3000.
Mold Prevention in Wesley Chapel
Mold: It’s a sight no business owner wants to see. The discovery of mold in your Wesley Chapel office can cause alarm with everyone. Not only this, but mold growth can result in heavy costs on your part. Luckily, there are things you can do to help prevent microbial growth.
Pay Attention to Humidity
Mold thrives in humid environments, so be aware of areas at work where the humidity levels may be on the high side. If you spot concerns, get a dehumidifier. Basements, attics and the areas under sinks are common culprits.
Watch for Flooding
Water damage is perhaps the most common source for mold trouble. After a heavy storm or pipe break, hire a competent water cleanup team to thoroughly dry the building and sanitize the area.
Repair Leaks Promptly
Inspect your kitchens, break rooms and restrooms regularly. As soon as you spot trouble with pipes and faucets, especially persistent dripping and leaks, get the right people on the job to fix the issues.
Ventilation Is Critical
Mold prevention will be successful if your building has effective ventilation throughout all areas. This is especially important in kitchens or laundry areas. If you have these rooms in your building, ensure that you have functioning fans in them.
Like any disaster or unforeseen incident, preventing mold may not be 100 percent possible, but you can significantly increase the likelihood that this unwanted invader will stay away from the premises. Don’t wait for water damage or other issues to spring you into action. Pay attention to all of these factors so you can keep mold away.
Mold vs Mildew
The thought of finding mold in your home or business can be scary, especially when you’re unsure how to remediate it. Mildew and molds are fungi - simple microscopic organisms that thrive anywhere there is a moist environment. That makes it difficult to get rid of on your own.
Molds are a necessary part of the environment; without them, leaves would not decay and aspects of soil enrichment could not take place. It is their ability to destroy organic materials, however, that makes mold a problem for people - in our homes and in our bodies.
Mildew (mold in early stage) and molds grow on wood products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, insulation, decaying leaves and other organic materials. Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours. They reproduce by spores - tiny, lightweight “seeds”- that travel through the air.
Molds digest organic material, eventually destroying the material they grow on, and then spread to destroy adjacent organic material. In addition to the damage molds can cause in your home, they can also cause mild to severe health problems if left untreated. If you or someone you know has discovered growth in their home or business, give us a call at 727-847-3000 and let SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel help make your home “Like it never even happened.”
Wind Damage Effects On Your Home
High winds can occur virtually anywhere, and thousands of tornadoes and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year. Severe winds are defined as exceeding 50-60 mph and are categorized as follows:
Straight-line winds: This broad category includes all winds not associated with rotation
Downdrafts: These winds are small columns of air that sink quickly toward the ground
Downbursts: These winds, which can be as bad as tornadoes, are a result of strong downbursts and are usually associated with thunderstorms
Microbursts: These small, highly concentrated downbursts can exceed 168 mph and can be wet or dry.
Gust fronts: These occur when cold air clashes with warm air from a thunderstorm
showers or thunderstorms
Tornadoes: These destructive vortexes can exceed 300 mph and travel over dry land
Cyclones and Hurricanes: In the U.S., these tropical storms rotate inward toward areas of low atmospheric pressure and are most common near the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard.
Damage from wind can be widespread and can affect not only your structure but also surrounding landscaping and asphalt. Be aware of the potential for falling trees and poles and damaged power lines and take care of these problems right away. After the storm, examine your property for structural damage to the home, including windows, siding, and roofs. If you find that your home has suffered damage, SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel is your company to call. With over 25 years of experience, we can make your home “Like it never even happened.”
What Is A Partial Fire Loss?
A partial loss indicates that a structure was not irreparably damaged. In general, this level of damage may require restoration and repairs, but not a complete rebuild. Find out how to determine the extent of fire loss at a commercial building in the Tampa Bay Area.
The Damage Is Limited
If a particular area of a structure has sustained fire damage while other areas are only affected by heat or smoke, the loss is likely to be partial. The following are some of the most common forms of partial loss:
- Burnt or charred building materials or contents
- Heat-damaged building materials or contents
- Smoke-damaged building materials or contents
Buildings that remain structurally sound can still suffer an extensive partial loss. An actual total loss involves a situation in which a property has burned down or sustained such extensive structural damage that a complete rebuild is necessary.
A fire loss is likely partial if a building can be cleaned and restored. This even applies to situations in which a certain portion of a structure sustains significant damage and may have to be rebuilt, but the building remains structurally sound on the whole and safe for occupation after cleaning and restoration.
Fire damage at a commercial building is likely to involve damaged contents. Getting a professional verdict on the condition of equipment can facilitate claim settlement. Any assessment should account for fire, heat and smoke damage. It is helpful to have an insurance policy that covers replacement costs rather than actual cash value with depreciation.
In the event of a partial fire loss, cleanup and restoration experts should check for hidden damage. Fire damage that appears minor may actually be more extensive. Experienced fire restoration professionals can inspect and accurately identify the extent of loss for the purpose of making a commercial property insurance claim. If your home or business suffers from fire damage, give us a call 727-847-3000.
Here at SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel, we believe understanding how fires may start and what you can do to quickly extinguish them is important to keeping not only you and but your family safe. Take a look at these quick statistics to get a better understanding of how to avoid having fire damage in your home.
- About 44% of home fires are started by cooking accidents. Be sure you keep a fire extinguisher close at hand whenever you are working in the kitchen.
- Just above 21% of residential fires are caused by electrical malfunctions or issues with the heating system in the home. This is why it is extremely important to have your appliances checked often and keep up with their maintenance year-round.
- There are more than 209 fires in Florida homes every day.
- One of the most shocking statistics is that smoke detectors are not present or are inoperative in over 52 percent of these homes.
Being prepared plays a huge part of avoiding injury and death during a fire. Make a plan and be sure that everyone in the building is familiar with it so that if a fire breaks out, everyone knows exactly what to do.
If you have fire damage in your home, give us a call at 727-847-3000, and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Day 16:The Day We All Became Epidemiologists
The number of expert epidemiologists has risen 3,000,000% in the last 45 days. Traditionally, this is an academic career path that takes nearly a decade of studying, a keen sense for numbers and statistics, requires tremendous discipline and patience and extreme focus. Esteemed within the public health community, these professionals investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in human populations. Prior to the outbreak, I knew what an epidemiologist did in general terms but I had never talked to one, didn’t know one and had probably never used the word ‘epidemiology’ in a sentence. In the last month and half, I have met and talked to dozens of them. They have honed their craft over the last month by skipping the traditional 7 -10 years of education for 60-second sound bites and regurgitating headlines. Why read the article when you can get the gist from these great memes? I jumped on the bandwagon too and registered for a six-week online course, “Learn the Complexities of Virus Origins, Mutations and Vaccines to Cure Them." They guarantee you pass or your money back. Three easy payments of $49.99, couldn’t turn it down. I cannot even begin to count the number of mistakes I have made in my business. Once I bought an F350 for $4,000 and sold it two weeks later for $700. (Turns out you should check for oil leaks.) I paid a monthly software subscription for three years that we never used – not once. (Turns out watching money literally burn would have been a better use.) I have sent crews to Ohio for flooding in residential basements. Turns out if you live in Florida, there is no reason to go to Ohio for anything. All of this to say, the recovery and the people leading the efforts are going to be challenged, make mistakes and it will not be perfect -- but it will all be okay. The path to any outcome is generally not linear. On the bright side, Ohio is off my bucket list, and in five weeks I can give you an accredited opinion on the virus and pending vaccine.
Day 15: The Day My Zoom Reflection Made Me Reflective
The idea of the Zoom or Microsoft Teams conference video is to provide live stream with colleagues to make it feel like a real live meeting, where people are having conversations and collaborating. However, everyone appears to be staring at their own self. After a month of these calls, I am still trying to figure out why everyone else’s head looks so big on the screen but my head looks small in the picture. Does my head look big on their screen or is there something wrong with my head? Those thoughts quickly shift to thinking about the bags under my eyes accentuated by these office fluorescent lights- can we do something about this? And then I move on to, ‘Why am I wearing pants right now anyway?’ A friend warned from personal experience, if you don’t wear pants, make sure a mirror is not behind you – good tip. My early studies conclude it is not just me. The deadpan straight-ahead look is on almost everyone’s face. These studies are finding people are just trying to mask over the fact that they binged on “Ozark” Season 3 last night until 1 a.m. and they are just hoping to get through the call without having to participate. These early studies also suggest as the Pandemic Groundhog Days keep churning, blow-up dolls will soon take the place of people, just to see if anyone notices or, better yet, if anyone cares. A friend told me if you angle the camera just right, you can slide your phone under the camera, hit the mute button and complete your grocery list on Shipt all while appearing completely engaged. My studies have not confirmed this as fact. This seems like an advanced technique, more of a pro’s pro kind of move. So, if you see me driving down the road and I appear to be in a complete trance, just know it is not you nor it is personal, I am probably just on a Zoom hangover. Feel free to snap me out of it just don’t say anything about the bags under my eyes – I have already seen them in glaring light. On the bright side, the Bucs are rumored to sign Gronk. All is good in the world.
Day 13: The Day I Licked Cheetos Dust Off My Fingers
I am not sure how the idea started; it felt innocent enough when I was first approached and quickly signed off on the deal. A few days passed, I didn’t think much about it and then one day I walked in and there it was plugged in and ready for my money. The first time I walked by it, I swear I heard a whisper that said, 'Put your apple down and get a bag of Cheetos.' Our office has a vending machine. Hopes of not gaining the COVID 19 diminishes with each quarter dropped into its reservoir. A bag of Cheetos is only 50 cents and its RIGHT there. With no one in the office to observe and judge my intake, I have had more than my far share as of late. I can even be disgusting and lick the powder cheese without anyone seeing – the definition of freedom. Turns out one vending machine is not enough, you cannot have snacks without drinks. So we have a drink machine too. All the soda and energy drinks you can imagine and it even offers Yoo-hoo. Nothing reduces stress like chocolate water sweetened with corn syrup. During this time of quarantining we are thinking about the things we could accomplish. You know, "I am going to start doing (insert here)." It is a like New Years Goal in April. With Tom Brady coming to town, I ordered the TB12 book. I figure now is a good time to start. There is not a single food item within the vending machine that meets the TB12 standards. I was doomed before I started. I did read an article that said it is okay not to do much during the crisis other than survive – I am nailing that, my kind of goal. I read this in The New York Times – so there has to be some credibility, right? On the bright side, my boys think the vending machine is the coolest thing they have ever seen. I now have three bucks in quarters at all times in my truck, so feel free to stop by to commiserate with a guilt-free Coke and a bag of Cheetos on me. Just stay your distance and don’t lick the powdered cheese off your fingers -- because no one wants to see that. -JG
Day 14: The Day I Considered Corona's Impact on N-95 Couture
In the restoration and remediation industry, we have been wearing N-95 particulate respirators for years and systematically include them in our regular supplies. The masks have always been slightly uncomfortable, hot and not flattering. Over the years, I have seen people wear them upside down, with one strap around their head instead of two, and on their forehead because it was too hot and what’s a few mold spores going do to me anyway. Hard to argue with that logic, I mean how much harm could a few microscopic particulates do to a person. This is where I insert the hand hitting the forehead emoji. I see people in their cars with windows rolled up, air conditioning cranking, radio jamming and a mask around their face. I wonder if they know something I don’t. I am excited though, maybe COVID-19 will do to the respirator industry what Uber did to the taxi-cab industry. The bland hospital white look that screams, ‘there must something wrong with that guy,’ could be replaced with something much cooler. I am not creative enough to know what that is, but I know the bar is so low it would be hard to be disappointed with any attempt. Get Nike or Yeti or someone like that involved and we have a chance for something better, I think. Anyway, in the meantime, I will keep doing my part and wearing my N-95 in public like it is Halloween. In case you see me driving around with it on, roll down the window and wave. Just know that I want to talk to you, it is not personal but it hurts my jaw too much with it on. I wonder if they make children’s sizes for the house.