Recent Posts

Locating Your Home's Main Water Shut-Off Valve: A Crucial Skill for Every Homeowner

6/14/2024 (Permalink)

Flood cuts in a room. Knowing how to locate and operate your home's main water shut-off valve is a fundamental skill for every homeowner.

As a homeowner, knowing how to locate and operate your main water shut-off valve is essential. In the event of a plumbing emergency, such as a burst pipe or major leak, being able to quickly shut off the water supply can prevent extensive damage to your property and belongings. In this blog post, we'll discuss why it's important to know the location of your main water shut-off valve and provide step-by-step instructions for finding it.

Why Locate Your Main Water Shut Off Valve?

Your home's main water shut-off valve is the primary point of control for your water supply. In the event of a plumbing emergency, shutting off the water at the source can prevent further water damage and minimize the risk of costly repairs. Whether it's a burst pipe, a malfunctioning appliance, or a leaky fixture, being able to quickly access and operate the main water shut-off valve can make all the difference in mitigating the damage.

Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve

Check the Basement or Crawl Space

In most homes, the main water shut-off valve is located near the water meter, typically in the basement or crawl space. Look for a large brass or metal valve connected to the main water line coming into your home. It may be located on an exterior wall, near where the water line enters the building.

Inspect the Utility Room or Garage

If you don't have a basement or crawl space, the main water shut-off valve may be located in a utility room, garage, or other accessible area. Check around the perimeter of these spaces, near the water heater or other plumbing fixtures, for a valve that controls the flow of water into your home.

Search Near the Water Heater

In some homes, especially those with older plumbing systems, the main water shut-off valve may be located near the water heater. Look for a valve on the incoming water line leading to the water heater, which may also serve as the main shut-off for the entire house.

Consult Your Home Inspection Report

If you're unsure of the location of your main water shut-off valve, consult your home inspection report. This document should provide detailed information about the layout of your home's plumbing system, including the location of the main shut-off valve.

Mark the Location for Future Reference

Once you've located the main water shut-off valve, mark its location with a tag or label for easy identification in the future. Consider taking a photo or making a note of its location in case you need to reference it during an emergency.

Knowing how to locate and operate your home's main water shut-off valve is a fundamental skill for every homeowner. By familiarizing yourself with the location of the valve and following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can be better prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a plumbing emergency. Remember, in the event of a major water leak or burst pipe, shutting off the water supply at the main valve should be your first priority to minimize damage and protect your home.

Beware of Mold After a Hurricane: Tips to Protect Your Home

5/14/2024 (Permalink)

Mold infestation growing behind drywall. Don't underestimate the threat of mold!

In the aftermath of a hurricane, the focus often shifts to visible damage caused by wind and flooding. However, another silent threat lurks in the shadows: mold. Mold can quickly develop in homes and buildings after a hurricane due to excess moisture and water intrusion. In this blog, we'll explore the dangers of mold growth after a hurricane and provide valuable tips to help you protect your home and loved ones.

Understanding the Risk of Mold

Mold thrives in moist and humid environments, making post-hurricane conditions ideal for its growth. When water infiltrates your home during a hurricane, it can seep into walls, floors, and ceilings, creating the perfect breeding ground for mold spores. Left unchecked, mold can spread rapidly and cause significant damage to your property.

Identifying Signs of Mold

After a hurricane, it's essential to be vigilant for signs of mold growth in your home. Common indicators include musty odors, visible mold growth on walls or ceilings, and discoloration or staining of surfaces. If you suspect mold in your home, it's crucial to take immediate action to address the problem and prevent further spread

Steps to Prevent Mold After a Hurricane

  1. After the storm subsides, prioritize drying out your home as quickly as possible. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and open windows to promote air circulation and remove excess moisture.
  2. Conduct a thorough inspection of your home for water damage, paying close attention to areas prone to water intrusion, such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Address any leaks or water damage promptly to prevent mold growth.
  3.  Dispose of any water-damaged materials, such as carpeting, drywall, and insulation, that cannot be salvaged. Prompt removal of wet materials can help prevent mold growth and minimize damage to your home.
  4. Use a mixture of water and detergent to clean surfaces affected by water damage. Additionally, consider using a disinfectant approved for mold remediation to kill any remaining mold spores and prevent regrowth.
  5. Keep humidity levels in your home below 60% to discourage mold growth. Use a hygrometer to measure humidity levels and adjust as needed with the use of air conditioners, dehumidifiers, or ventilation fans.

Seek Professional Assistance

If you discover extensive mold growth or are unable to effectively remediate the problem on your own, it's essential to seek professional assistance. Mold remediation specialists, like SERVPRO of Oviedo/Winter Springs East, have the expertise, experience, and equipment necessary to safely and effectively remove mold from your home and restore indoor air quality.

Don't underestimate the threat of mold after a hurricane. By understanding the risks, identifying signs of mold growth, and taking proactive steps to prevent and address mold infestations, you can protect your home and property. Remember, swift action is key to mitigating mold damage and ensuring a safe and healthy living environment. If you need assistance with mold remediation or have any questions about mold prevention, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO® for help. We're here to support you every step of the way.

Understanding Fire Damage Restoration Coverage: What Will Your Insurance Cover?

4/15/2024 (Permalink)

When faced with the aftermath of a fire, homeowners often wonder whether their insurance will cover the cost of restoration. While every insurance policy is different, understanding the basics of fire damage restoration coverage can help you navigate this challenging situation with confidence. In this blog post, we'll explore the factors that determine whether your insurance will cover fire damage restoration and provide helpful insights to guide you through the process.

Policy Coverage and Limits

The first step in determining whether your insurance will cover fire damage restoration is to review your policy coverage and limits. Most homeowners insurance policies include coverage for fire damage, but the extent of coverage can vary depending on your policy's terms and conditions. It's essential to familiarize yourself with your policy details, including coverage limits, deductibles, and any exclusions that may apply to fire damage restoration.

Cause of the Fire

Insurance coverage for fire damage restoration may also depend on the cause of the fire. Most policies cover accidental fires, such as electrical fires or cooking mishaps, but may exclude coverage for intentional acts of arson or negligence. If the fire was caused by a covered peril, such as a lightning strike or a malfunctioning appliance, your insurance is more likely to cover the cost of restoration.

Additional Living Expenses

In addition to covering the cost of fire damage restoration, your insurance policy may also provide coverage for additional living expenses incurred while your home is uninhabitable. This coverage typically includes expenses such as temporary lodging, meals, and transportation. Be sure to check your policy for details on additional living expense coverage and any limits that may apply.

Thorough Documentation

When filing a fire damage insurance claim, thorough documentation is essential to ensure a smooth and successful claims process. Be sure to document the extent of the damage with photographs and videos, keep records of any expenses related to the fire, and maintain copies of all communication with your insurance company. Providing detailed documentation can help support your claim and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for fire damage restoration.

Consultation with Professionals

If you're unsure about your insurance coverage or need assistance navigating the claims process, consider consulting with a fire damage restoration professional like SERVPRO®. Our experienced team can work with your insurance company on your behalf, providing expert guidance and advocating for your best interests throughout the restoration process. From assessing the damage and developing a restoration plan to completing the cleanup and repairs, SERVPRO of Oviedo/Winter Springs is committed to helping you restore your home and your peace of mind after a fire.

In conclusion, whether your insurance will cover fire damage restoration depends on various factors, including your policy coverage, the cause of the fire, and the extent of the damage. By understanding your policy and documenting the damage thoroughly, you can increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for fire damage restoration. If you need assistance with the claims process or professional fire damage restoration services, don't hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO for help. We're here to support you every step of the way and help you get back on your feet after a fire.

Laborer to Production Operations Manager - Celebrating Success, Mentorship, and Team Spirit at SERVPRO® of Oviedo / Winter Springs East

12/6/2023 (Permalink)

man standing over green machine used for water restoration, hands out like he's teaching a lesson to an audience Heydrich Kattar Hernandez training his team

In his 2 short years with SERVPRO® Team Nicholson, representing our Orlando location, Heydrich Kattar Hernández has proved endless in zeal, integrity, and a desire for personal and professional development. As we celebrate having Heydrich on board, we not only commemorate his individual successes but also the mentorship and inspiration he offers to our entire team.

In November 2021, Heydrich started with us as a laborer, bringing enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn. His tenure has been marked by significant, quick growth, shaped by his willingness to serve in a variety of roles. He says the diverse experiences—from working on various residential and commercial jobs to the challenges of long hours and extensive travel—have enriched his professional journey.

Now serving as Production Operations Manager within our Training Division, Heydrich continues offering a high standard of service as he uses his passion for making a meaningful impact on our customers’ and employees’ lives. He says, "I've had the privilege of meeting people from all walks of life and contributing to helping others in their homes."

Heydrich embodies the SERVPRO Team Nicholson culture that values knowledge-sharing, encouragement, and opportunity. He says,

“I am sincerely thankful for the belief placed in me, the opportunities to share knowledge, and the continuous support from colleagues who have been mentors and guides. Special appreciation goes to those who have dedicated time to teach, coach, or offer support.“

Heydrich's journey with SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East and SERVPRO Team Nicholson not only marks a personal achievement, but serves as a testament to the power of teamwork and constancy.

Today, Heydrich is excited about the future as he focuses on scouting for talent that aligns with our core values, and continues to help our team grow and improve. Cheers to Heydrich!

Follow the story on our LinkedIn.

Secondary Damage After a Fire

10/6/2023 (Permalink)

Mitigating Fire Damage in Oviedo, FL

Facing a fire incident in your Oviedo, FL home or business can lead to devastating losses. While it's impossible to completely eliminate the risk of fire, there are measures you can take to reduce its impact. In the event of a fire, it's crucial to promptly seek assistance from firefighters to suppress the fire and minimize commercial fire damage.

Firefighters: Rapid Response and Intense Efforts

Firefighters are known for their quick response and efforts to suppress fires, preventing them from spreading and causing further damage. However, firefighting is an intense and vigorous process. Firefighters may forcibly enter doors and windows to access areas affected by the fire. While their actions are necessary for fire suppression, they can result in additional issues such as flood damage, soot damage, fire damage, smoke damage, and lingering smoke smell. Nevertheless, their primary goal remains the suppression of the fire.

Restoring Normalcy After Fire Damage

Once the firefighters have departed, you will need to assess the extent of the damage to your property. While the damage can be disheartening, there is hope for recovery through a fire cleanup service. Your home or business can be restored to its pre-fire condition, as fire damage, soot damage, smoke damage, smoke smell, and water damage are not permanent. It is essential to promptly contact a fire restoration company for assistance.

Fire Cleanup and Restoration Process

The fire cleanup process typically begins with addressing soot damage, which results from the combustion of various items. After soot damage has been addressed, professional repainting of walls is undertaken to restore the aesthetic appeal of the affected areas. Smoke damage can lead to a pervasive smoke smell that permeates all rooms and is absorbed by porous upholstery. Cleaning up smoke damage involves thorough deodorization, ensuring the elimination of the persistent smoke smell.

Broken Pipes: 4 Steps To Take Before Help Arrives

8/15/2023 (Permalink)

Four Steps To Take To Help Fix Broken Pipes

Bursting pipes can turn into a nightmare if not approached carefully. Aside from the smelly, discolored water, and leaks that often accompany a broken pipe, more significant issues such as mold and secondary water damage to the home can occur. If you need to cross "fix broken pipe" off your to-do list quickly, the first step is to contact your local plumber and water restoration specialists. In the meantime, here are four steps you can take to help fix broken pipes before help arrives at your Chuluota, FL, home.

1. Turn Off the Water
To help prevent more water from leaking into your home, make sure to turn off the main water source. The main water valve can typically be found in the basement. This should help prevent any further damage.

2. Drain the Faucets
Turn on the cold water to drain any remaining water from the system. Be sure to flush the toilets a couple of times as well. This may prevent any remaining cold water from refreezing the previously bursting pipes and relieve backed-up pressure in them. Once the cold water appears to be drained, turn off the water heater and drain the hot taps directly after.

3. Clean Up Any Standing Water
More likely than not, some water has leaked into your home from the broken pipes. Clean up any wet spots or standing water in the house; allowing it to sit may lead to mold or mildew in the home.

4. Document Everything
This step is purely for insurance purposes. It is important to document and take pictures of any damage to the home or your possessions to show the insurance company when making a claim.
Bursting pipes can be a considerable expense, but by taking immediate action with the clean-up process, a lot of the damage can be reduced. Remember, at the first sign of trouble, contact the professionals before the situation gets worse.

Electronics After Storm Damage

8/15/2023 (Permalink)

Taking Certain Steps Quickly Can Help Save Electronics in Your Home

After any flood, the damage to your home's contents can be severe. Not only are furniture, flooring, and documents at risk, but electronics can also be ruined by water. Televisions, computers, power tools, appliances, and other devices require immediate attention to have the best chance of being saved. 
 
Homeowners with flood damage typically have electronics that they're worried about, whether the flooding was caused by a storm or burst pipe. Not only is replacing these items an extra expense but going without certain electronics for even a short amount of time can be a huge inconvenience. Whether any specific piece of electronic equipment can be restored or saved depends on a number of factors. 

Humidity 
 
It's not just the standing water in a flood-damaged house that poses a threat to electronics, but humidity as well. This becomes a bigger issue the longer it takes to get the flood damage restoration process started. Our team will dehumidify your home to get things stable and decrease the chance that your electronic devices will incur damage.
 
Exposure to Water 
 
The less water that has been in or around an electronic device, the more likely it can be saved. For instance, a microwave sitting on a wet counter can have the excess water wiped from its base, while a laptop that's been submerged in water is a much greater challenge and may not be salvageable. SERVPRO® takes special measures when handling electronics in a home with flood damage, which can often save the equipment. 
 
Preventing Further Damage 
 
When you call SERVPRO after your home has encountered flood damage, it's important to avoid turning on your electronics. It's tempting to see if each item still works, but doing so can increase the chances of irreversible damage. Once we're on the scene, we'll quickly work to save your electronic equipment if at all possible. 
 
If you need to restore your home after a flood, count on the experts at SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East. We'll do our utmost to help you keep your possessions and avoid the cost of replacement. For more information about our flood damage services or to get a quote, call us today!

How to Prepare Before a Storm

What to do before the storm:

  • Check that loose items such as outdoor furniture, umbrellas, and trampolines are safely secured.
  • If it is safe to do so, check that gutters, downpipes, and drains are not blocked.
  • Park your car undercover and away from falling debris.

What to do during the storm:

  • Stay indoors and away from windows.
  • If outdoors, stay away from drains, gutters, creeks and waterways, where the water can move up to 10 miles per hour.
  • Be prepared for power outages, if possible carry flashlights or any portable light.
  • Floodwater is dangerous and toxic – never drive, walk, ride, or swim in floodwater.

What to do after the storm:

  • Check your home and property for damage.
  • Keep clear of damaged buildings, power lines, and trees.
  • Be aware of road hazards such as floodwater, debris, and damaged roads or bridges.
  • Do not drive through affected areas unless it is absolutely necessary.

If you suspect damage after a storm, count on the experts.

Fire Prevention, Protect your Home and Family

7/20/2023 (Permalink)

 

You protect your family by locking doors at night, monitoring who they spend time with and where they are going. It’s important to add fire preparation to your safety regimen. As a homeowner, the thought of a fire breaking out in your house is a nightmare scenario. Your family’s safety is at risk, and you could lose precious possessions and your home itself. The preparation steps below will reduce the risk of fire and potentially save a life. 

Maintain Smoke Alarms

All homes should have smoke alarms to alert you to fire danger. One or two devices are not enough. Your home should have one in every bedroom and an additional alarm per floor. Maintain your smoke alarms to ensure they are effective.

  • Test your smoke alarm once a month.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least once a year.
  • Never disconnect your smoke alarm.

Keep an Eye on the Dryer

Of all your appliances, your dryer is perhaps the most significant potential culprit for starting a fire. Check the filter and remove lint buildup after every load. We also recommend inspecting the outside vent and the hose leading from the dryer to the vent for proper ventilation.

Watch the Outlets

Being aware of electrical problems is an important fire precaution. Never overload your outlets with cords. Also, be mindful when you use power strips, especially with computers and TVs.

Be Careful When You Cook

Fire prevention starts in the kitchen, where there are many different heat sources. Make sure your oven is clean and functioning correctly. Also, never leave food on the stove unattended.

You can have peace of mind when you follow these fire prevention guidelines. If you need further direction, contact SERVPRO of Ovideo / Winter Springs East at (407) 542-0000.

How Do You Prepare for a Commercial Fire?

7/17/2023 (Permalink)

Commercial fire in Oviedo, FL, is every business owner’s worst nightmare. Business owners with common sense will protect their assets with a decent insurance policy to ensure they can rebuild in the event of a fire. But what about protecting your most important asset: your own life and the lives of your employees? To avoid the unspeakable tragedy of losing those you employ in a fire, it’s good to have a fire escape plan. Here are a few tips to ensure your emergency escape plan is sound:
  1. Ensure your business has the proper number of smoke alarms. In newer homes, the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms with battery backup on every building level, outside each work area, and inside each office. If your building is older and smoke alarms are not already in place, install them on every level and outside each work area at a minimum. Test your alarms once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.

  2. Teach employees what smoke alarms sound like and how to respond if they hear one. If your smoke alarm has a test feature, set aside a training in which you teach your employees the fire escape plan and include a smoke alarm test. If it does not have a test feature, there are videos online which provide demonstrations of what smoke alarms sound like.

  3. Ensure everyone in the building knows of two ways to escape from every room. It’s also essential to establish a meeting spot outside the building. Depending on the size of the building, this may require a customized escape diagram. 

  4. Establish an emergency communications plan. As part of your building’s fire escape plan, make sure everyone knows who to contact in the event of an emergency and how. 

  5. Practice escaping from your building at least twice a year. This may seem excessive, but fire drills can save lives in the event of a real fire. 

Call SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East for additional information regarding commercial fire damage.

Restoring Your Business from Fire Damage

5/23/2023 (Permalink)

two technicians going into a commercial business in SERVPRO orange vests next to large green machine With our expertise, tools, and workforce, we ensure a swift and efficient restoration process

The Devastating Impact of Fire Damage on Businesses

As a business owner, you understand the challenges of sustaining your business and overcoming losses. However, when fire strikes, it poses a unique threat that not only results in immediate loss but also destroys the very infrastructure needed for recovery. Whether it's a utility room fire or an electrical fire outbreak, the impact on commercial properties can be chilling.

The Role of Fire Sprinkler Systems in Fire Suppression

To combat the risk of fire, many buildings implement preventive measures, such as fire sprinkler systems. These systems play a vital role in fire suppression. Equipped with sensors, they detect changes in room temperature. When the temperature reaches a critical level, the system activates, sounding an alarm, opening valves, and releasing water jets to suppress the fire. Fire sprinkler systems serve as the first line of defense until firefighters arrive.

Fire Suppression and Professional Restoration

While fire sprinkler systems provide initial fire suppression, swift intervention from firefighters is crucial to prevent further damage. Firefighters, skilled in fire suppression techniques, arrive promptly with fire trucks and fire hoses to combat the inferno. Their priority is extinguishing the fire as quickly as possible, often resorting to breaking doors and windows if necessary.

Firefighters employ fire hoses capable of injecting high-pressure water onto the fire, aiming to contain its spread. Depending on the severity, firefighting efforts can last minutes or even hours. Swift action is crucial as fires, especially utility room fires or electrical fires, can rapidly engulf a building.

Professional Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Once the fire is extinguished, the aftermath reveals the extent of the damage, including fire damage, soot damage, water damage, and visible smoke damage. The chaotic scene is best handled by professionals skilled in commercial fire damage restoration.

Hiring experts in fire restoration is a crucial step towards restoring your business. These professionals assess the extent of the damage, salvage any recoverable items, and dispose of irreparable ones responsibly. They prioritize the cleaning of soot, water, and smoke damage to restore the interior of your business.

Overcoming Fire Damage with Professional Help

Experiencing fire damage in your business can be devastating, but you don't have to face it alone. SERVPRO is here to provide professional fire restoration services. Our dedicated team will turn the chaos into a familiar and welcoming space for your business. We take inventory of damaged and salvageable items, clean away soot, water, and smoke damage, and employ specialized techniques to restore your property.

With our expertise, tools, and workforce, we ensure a swift and efficient restoration process. By choosing professional fire restoration services, you can emerge triumphant over the fire damage, giving your business the chance to rebuild and thrive once again. When it comes to restoring your business from fire damage, SERVPRO is Here to Help® you every step of the way.