Offseason Storm Prep!
Here in Florida, especially on the Gulf Coast, storm season is something we take very seriously. But at SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel, we are even thinking about hurricanes, flooding, and tornadoes in the off season.
Hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin - which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and our backyard, the Gulf of Mexico - begins June 1 and goes through November 30 each year. The season peaks in mid-August through late October, and those dates coincide with our company's busiest time. In fact, our company handbook outlines hurricane season and encourages our team not to plan non-refundable vacations, weddings or the births of children during that time frame. (Just kidding!)
While in the off season, our team balances the daily workload of emergency services response along with preparation for storm season. We buckle down on training and continuing industry certifications in the spring, allowing the team to ready themselves for the storm road ahead, and also take time to step back and think about how we can be better prepared for the next time. Over the years, we’ve added a fully-stocked consumables and equipment trailer, locked and ready to be hooked up to a truck and heading out to help. This tactic has allowed us to increase response time dramatically, eliminating lag time almost completely and making the mobilization as fast as possible and helping clients minimize secondary damage. Warehouse Manager Doug reliably monitors and restocks the inventory as needed so the trailer is always ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Each year in early June, before the threat of storms roll in, we take a moment as a company to gather with our families for a day of fun. This gives a chance for the company leaders to thank our families for their sacrifices throughout the year, and in advance for bearing through our busy season. Often our crew can be gone for days and even weeks on end, whether they are responding out of town to a storm event or working long hours locally when our own neighborhoods are facing weather damage.
We want our clients and community to know that we are ready for whatever happens, year round. And we won’t be on vacation when a storm threatens the Tampa Bay Area!
2019 December Employee of the Month
Our hearts are full as we honor our employee of the month for December 2019. As the year came to a close and we looked back on 2019’s highs and lows, this decision was easy. Time and time again, facing personal challenges many can only imagine, this person showed courage, strength and resolve, and a caliber of integrity that inspired the whole team. April P. has been with the company for the last two years as the Project Coordinator for Hernando County, and in that time she has become an important part of the SERVPRO family.
In August 2019, April was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she received the diagnosis, she was determined to make a full recovery will maintaining her full-time work schedule. She was a warrior throughout four chemotherapy sessions, leaning on colleagues and friends for support and keeping a positive attitude throughout it all. Although her journey is not complete, she continues to push forward, maintaining her regular schedule and being a resource to the SERVPRO team and client, and she plans to continue this as she begins additional treatments in the coming months. Just as April has supported our team, we are proud to continue to support her. Thank you, April, for your courage and dedication and for being an example to us all.
Toilet Troubles? Top Water Damage Source #2
This whole house water damage was caused by the supply line shown detaching itself from the toilet
Toilets can develop leaks both internally and externally. An external leak can cause water damage in your bathroom, not to mention some wet feet! And any type of leak can be a huge inconvenience, especially if they are left unattended. Today we’re going to talk about some of the most common causes of a leaky toilet in Bay Area homes and what you should do when you encounter a toilet leak!
- Condensation on the bowl. Before you assume that your toilet has a leak, you should check whether or not the water you’re noticing is just condensation. Your bathroom is the most humid room in your home, mainly caused by taking hot showers. This can cause condensation to drip on your toilet. The amount of water produced by condensation is typically small, and it’s not an issue you need to be concerned with.
- Crack on the tank or bowl. Toilets are built to last, but cracks do sometimes develop. Often times this will start as a hairline crack that can turn into something more severe.
- Rusted pipes. The pipes that lead to your toilet can begin to rust for any number of reasons over time. This can eventually create a crack in the pipe, which will allow water to leak around your toilet.
- Loose or worn out seal at the base. If water is starting to pool around the base of your toilet, there’s a good chance that the leak is caused by loose or worn out parts that bind your toilet to the floor.
- Loose or worn out tank-to-bowl connections. The tank and bowl in two-piece toilets are held together by a collection of gaskets, nuts and bolts. If any of these parts come loose, a leak can develop at that area in the toilet.
- Worn out flapper. Another common cause of an internal toilet leak is a worn out flapper. The flapper blocks water in the tank from entering the bowl, and if that part is worn out it will cause water to continuously leak into your bowl.
What should you do if you encounter a leak??
Toilet leaks should be taken care of as soon as possible before they waste too much water or cause water damage in your home. If you are unsure of the cause of the leak, call a local, licensed plumber so that they can come out to inspect and fix the problem. Although some homeowners might choose to fix simple problems like a worn out flapper on their own, most causes of a leaky toilet are best left in the hands of a professional plumber.
Water Damage Source : #1
Water heaters are a main cause of water damages in homes.
1/13 – Top Sources: Hot Water Heater
In a prior blog we described the top three reasons our customers experienced water damages in 2019. The number-one source of water damages was a leaking or malfunctioning hot water heater. With a few useful tips were about to provide you, you can take steps to prevent the possibility in your own home. Here, we will describe a few reasons why water heaters may leak, and what you can do if it happens in your home or business.
For homeowners with tank water heaters, the most common mechanism for heating water, knowing and paying attention to these common issues can help prevent a disaster:
One of the most common reasons for a water heater to leak is a loose drain valve. The drain valve will slowly leak water if it becomes loose. Good news its an easy fix. Just grab a wrench and tighten the valve. It is extremely important that you do not over tighten it tho; just turn it enough without forcing it.
When the tank begins to build up too much pressure it can also cause a leak to form. When this happens, the excess pressure will force the water to leak out of the tank to reduce the pressure. Typically this occurs if the temperature on your water heater is set too high.
Another thing that can lead to excess water pressure is if the water from outside of your home comes in at too high a pressure. A defective temperature pressure relief valve can also lead to an excess buildup of pressure in a hot water heater.
These are all simple fixes but may require a licensed plumber to ensure it is done properly.
Although hot water heaters are designed to last for a long time, as they approach the end of their life cycles, rusting and corrosion start to play a role in their demise. When the corrosion gets bad enough, it can start to allow the water from the tank to leak out. When this happens, it is a definite sign that the hot water heater needs to be replaced. If you do not replace it, it can cause complete failure of the tank which in turn could flood your home.
Sometimes the hot water heater will trick homeowners into thinking there is a leak when there is in fact nothing wrong. It is normal and natural for condensation to show on the outside of the tank. When cold water first enters the inside of the tank, it can lead to condensation when the outside air is hot. This is not an issue to be concerned with.
Regular maintenance and awareness can help mitigate the possibility of a hot water heater leak and a house flood. If you experience a flood in your home, be sure to call SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Mold In Your Home? Now What?
While responding to a water damage, our technicians located growth behind this clients saturated vanity.
Imagine this. After a great night's sleep, you wake up, walk into your bathroom and find a small pond on the floor. Immediately you contact SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel to come out to your home to start a water mitigation. While examining the area they locate some microbial growth behind the vanity. Now what do you do?
This is the same scenario faced by one of our clients in her spectacular waterfront condo in Dunedin, Florida. Luckily SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel arrived promptly and – as a firm licensed by the State of Florida as a Mold Remediator – we knew exactly what to do. Microbial growth and the dreaded threat of mold sounds overwhelming, but with a team of trained professionals behind you, it doesn’t have to be. Our technicians and project managers are trained to handle such issues so its “Like it never even happened.”
Here’s a play-by-play of the procedure we use when dealing with any kind of microbial growth. Our No. 1 priority is safety. This is both for our client and our technicians. We protect onsite workers with proper PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) first. Our next step, which is equally important, is placing containment to separate the uncontaminated area from our work zone and minimize the chance for spores to spread. Next we removed all affected material such as the vanity, bathtub, and even the mirror mounted to the wall. It’s crucial to remove anything that could be affected, and if being saved, we clean and treat it before placing it back. It’s worth noting that while working with mold in any situation we always have air scrubbers in place and negative pressure to ensure that we don’t contaminate anymore of the space. Drywall was then detached, all studs and framing treated and cleaned, and the air scrubber was left overnight to get anything that may have been left behind. The final step in treating this kind of disaster is an independent clearance test, in which an independent environmental hygienist collects air samples to confirm any issues have indeed been remediated. This step provides a confirmation that the property is safe for occupancy and that the procedure was successful.
So while mold might seem like a reason to panic, rest assured when you use a firm like SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel.
2019 November Employee of the Month
In-House Construction Manager Sheldon Borris
Honoring the Employee of the Month
WHO: Sheldon B.
WHAT: In-House Construction Team Manager; Skilled Carpenter; Trusted Colleague & Friend; November 2019 Employee of the Month
WHERE: You’ll usually find him at a jobsite, working alongside one of the carpenters he manages and mentors. Rarely will you find him at his desk!
WHEN: Sheldon joined the SERVPRO family seven years ago, working for four years with New Jersey franchise before he moved to Tampa Bay. He joined SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel three years ago and was promoted to management last year.
WHY: Sheldon was honored for his steady, consistent, and skilled work which is always appreciated but especially on a weekend in November when he went out of his way to pull a long day and keep a VIP client happy. Clients regularly applaud Sheldon’s attention to detail and skilled craftmanship, and younger members of the team jockey for opportunities to learn from him. He is patient and kind, and always willing to help – with a smile.
3 Main Causes of Water Damages of 2019
Toilet leak that caused a water damage throughout the bathroom.
With 2019 coming to an end, we are looking back at some of the most frequent sources of water damages we have witnessed this year! Water damages happen every single day and there are so many causes that we could discuss, but here are the top 3 sources we have ran into in 2019, and ways to prevent it from happening to you in 2020.
- Hot water heater
As a homeowner you worry about a lot when it comes to your home and a leaking water heater is one of those concerns. This minor nuisance can turn into a very serious problem before you realize what’s going on. With that said, an issue like this needs to handled in a timely and professional manner.
A small puddle of water can be easily cleaned up with very little damage to your floors if you catch it early. However, this small drip can quickly turn into a flood that will cause damage to your sub-floors and even dry-wall if not addressed.
You may be able to distinguish whether or not the leak is an easy enough repair, or if you will need to replace the whole water heater. Regardless of the verdict, we always suggest hiring a licensed plumber to assess the situation and decide the next course of action needing to be taken.
Toilets. While having a toilet in your home is extremely convenient, it can cause a lot of damage if it starts to leak. Most of us have dealt with a toilet leak at some point. It is one of those household issues that cannot be left unattended for a long period of time or it can cause serious damage to your home. Detecting the cause of leak can be challenging with the number of active parts on it.
Depending on the location of the leak from your toilet, it can also change the type of loss you have from a standard water damage to a sewage loss. This can cause more damage than a standard loss and require a larger, more detailed mitigation. I think we all can agree, sewage throughout our home doesn’t sound very appealing.
- Ice Maker supply line
An occasional wet patch under the fridge could be stray backsplash from the water dispenser or a few dropped ice cubes. We’ve all accidently kicked an ice cube or two under the fridge, but when it happens repeatedly, there could be an issue. Those pools of water on the kitchen floor are sure signs that your refrigerator ice maker water line is leaking.
Visions of saturated baseboards and mold behind the walls flash before your eyes, but have no fear, SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel is here.
No matter how, where or why your leak has occurred, we are here to help. SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel is here 24/7 to mitigate any water loss that may be affecting your home. We’re only a phone call away!
Owner/ Operator Jeremy George
Owner/Operator Jeremy George
NAME: Jeremy George
YEARS IN FIELD: 27
- How did you get started with SERVPRO?
My parents, Laurie and Andy, joined the SERVPRO franchise community in 1992, and for the first few years, ran the operation from our home and our family were the primary employees. I responded to my first water damage when I was 13. After graduating from the University of Central Florida, I spent some time in Dallas before returning home to work full-time in the business and assist my parents with their retirement goals.
- What do you feel has been your greatest reward in this line of work?
I love what we do because we help people when they need it, plain and simple. But as I’ve developed into my role as owner, the ultimate reward for me has been watching our team come together, grow and advance as professionals, and people. We work hard to promote from within, and watching a team member focus in on their interests, skills and goals to begin a meaningful career path that advances them professionally as well as personally, is extremely satisfying. Working with fantastic people, and watching how SERVPRO can assist them in reaching their own goals, is the greatest part of my job.
- Does your SERVPRO franchise give back to your community? How?
We do, and it’s easy because our community gives so much to us. This month we sponsored the Festival of Trees, a Christmas tree auction benefitting the Good Samaritan Clinic – one of West Pasco’s most moving nonprofit operations, providing healthcare on a sliding pay scale to underserved populations. We are also , once again, an honored sponsor of the Celebration of Lights, a seasonal effort launched by my dear friend the late Dave Parris to benefit various charities in West Pasco. If you happen to drive by this weekend you can see the SERVPRO of West Pasco animated light, where you’ll find an elf is happily operating an extractor to remove water from a melting snowman. We also give of our time, with me personally serving on the board of the Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce, and also as an active member of the New Port Richey Rotary Club.
Celebrating 2019 together!
Celebrating the end of the year with our SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel family.
As 2019 comes to a close, the team at SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel took an afternoon off to watch the sunset and celebrate a great year. There are so many accomplishments that we can celebrate, both as a company and individually. We laughed, we danced, and we ate a mashed potato bar!
Each year we recognize our team for outstanding service in three areas, presenting three awards: the Client Service and Care award, the Quantum Leap Award for outstanding professional development, and the Employee of the Year. We were excited to honor the following three teammates:
Samantha A. received the Client Care and Service year, honoring her focus on customers as the dispatcher and her then her recent promotion to Client Care Coordinator. In her new role, Samantha ensures our clients are pleased with the service – from the very beginning of the project through its completion. From what our clients say, we know she and the rest of the team are doing a great job!
Thomas K., received accolades for outstanding professional development with the Quantum Leap Award. Thomas joined the team as a technician this year and immediately dedicated himself to the industry, studying for IICRC certifications and always showing up with a stellar attitude.
Leah P. was honored as our Employee of the Year, following two years as the Client Care and Service recipient. Leah is an extremely dedicated member of our team, taking initiative in many arenas and using problem-solving skills on a daily basis. Known around here as the Water Queen, she handles water damages from the office perspective, turning into a valuable resource for clients who always tell us how her calm nature and steady skills are a big part of the project’s success.
This awesome trio, along with the balance of the SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel team, are the keystone of our company and also leaders in our community while helping our customers in need. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel!
How to prepare for storm season
Preparing for a storm might not be a normal part of your life, but research shows just of important it truly is.
Braving the storm is one thing, but the aftermath is when it might be all up to you.
Once the storm has gone and the sky os blue again, does not mean you are in the clear. Sometimes you need to survive on your own for at least 72 hours. Surviving is not just staying in your home with your family but it is being self sufficient. Having enough food, water and other necessary items to live off of for an extended period of time.
Having the basics to survive is important, that is why listed below is a general list of items to stock up on well in advance of a storm. Waiting til the last minute is just as bad as trying to go to the store after a storm. The shelves will be empty, supplies out of stock, and roads are crazy. Stocking up weeks or months in advance is always a safe option and should be taken seriously.
Recommended items for basic emergency supply kids include:
- Water (one gallon per person per day)
- Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust masks or bandanas
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Hygiene items
- Important documents
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container