Recent Posts

Halloween Vandalism and Your Business

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Halloween Vandalism and Your Business Halloween doesn't have to be scary! Make sure your business is prepared.

Halloween- a time for dressing up in fun and scary costumes, and eating way too much candy than is good for us. Unfortunately, Halloween is also the time of year for pranks and vandalism. So that you won't have to call SERVPRO of Ft. Lauderdale North for Halloween vandalism cleanup on November 1st, here are a few tips to protect your business from falling victim to pranks gone wrong.

1) Lock it down

Make sure all doors, windows, and gates are locked up tightly when you leave for the night. Double check the day of that your alarm system is working, and remember to set it before you leave.

2) Light it up

If your business is open late, keep the parking area well lit so employee and customer cars are less of a target for egging or keying.

After hours, keep the outsides of the building well lit, including parking lots and dumpster areas. Also be sure your outdoor security cameras running.

3) Security

If you have a high-risk business, or have been targeted in the past, consider highering overnight security, or beefing up existing security.

4) Halloween vandalism cleanup

Don't wait! Clean up vandalism as soon as you find it, and call professionals for help with difficult cleanup. Cleaning up quickly will deter vandals targeting your business in the future- they'll know you're not messing around.

5) Double check

Go over this list night-of to be sure you are protecting your business as much as possible this prank season. Halloween doesn't have to be a nightmare for you or your business. And should vandals strike, SERVPRO of Ft. Lauderdale North will make it "Like it never even happened."

Your Yacht's Air Quality and What It Means To You

10/21/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Your Yacht's Air Quality and What It Means To You On a yacht, air quality is often overlooked.

Here at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North, we love boats and yachts.

But we don't just love watching them, we also love getting to work on them to make them as beautiful as can be. Many people don't realize that due to the extreme conditions under which boats and yachts operate, the air quality on board can become contaminated with hazardous mold or bacteria. In fact, the EPA estimates that indoor air pollution, such as that on board a boat or yacht, can reach up to 100 times as contaminated as the air pollution outside!

Symptoms of poor yacht air quality can include:

  • irritation of the eyes, skin, and nose while on board
  • agitation of pre-existing conditions such as allergies or asthma
  • sore throat
  • headaches and dizziness,
  • or nausea and fatigue associated with the presence of a musty odor

If you or any of your guests experience these symptoms while on board, give SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North a call so we can get to work remediating the problem. The long term exposure to poor yacht air quality can result in severe health effects if left untreated.

Fortunately, SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North has the qualified professionals to improve your yacht air quality.

If you own or insure a boat or yacht (or have a friend or family member who does) and you suspect that the air quality of the vessel may be in need of an inspection, give theyacht air quality and mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North a call.

Mold in Rented Properties: Who's at Fault?

10/13/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Mold in Rented Properties: Who's at Fault? This blog post is no substitute for actual legal advice. Call a lawyer if you need one.

So you found mold in a rented unit. Whether you're the landlord/landlady, or the tenant, this isn't good news. Thankfully, you know to call SERVPRO of Ft. Lauderdale North to handle the remediation process. But who is responsible for paying for the cost of services and damages for mold in rented properties?

Although there is no federal or Florida state law that dictates who is responsible for the cost of remediation of mold in rented properties, there are certain steps that can be taken by the renter, or the property manager (or landlord/landlady) if they believe the other party is at fault.

If the landlord/landlady or property manager negligently created a mold problem, or knowingly allowed one to form, a court may find them at fault and responsible for payment for remediation services and other subsequent damages. If the landlord/landlady or property manager are in direct violation of health and safety codes as a result of their actions or negligence, the tenant should gather as much evidence as they can such as photos of the issue, proof of doctor's visits from mold-associated illness, and so forth.

If the tenant is directly responsible for the growth of mold by creating the conditions, or being aware of an issue and not reporting it in a timely manner, the landlord/landlady may choose to take the cost of remediation out of the tenants security deposit. If the tenant feels they are not at fault, this may require a court case, so compile evidence of mold, and keep records of any communication on the topic.

Hopefully, the issue can be resolved without a court case by just talking it out. However, either party may wish to get in touch with a lawyer to help them through the process. Because there are no set laws one way of the other, a court will take this at a case-by-case basis and may be in favor of one party or the other with no guarantee of settlement in your favor. This blog post should not be used as a substitute for actual legal advice. Please rely on your own attorney for advice and guidance.

Remember, for mold remediation in commercial or residential properties, SERVPRO of Ft. Lauderdale North will arrive faster to your disaster and make it "Like it never even happened."

Yacht Water Damage: Can It Happen To You?

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Yacht Water Damage: Can It Happen To You? Your yacht is important to you- always be on the lookout for water damage.

Whether you enjoy cruising the ocean blue, relaxing on sunny weekends, or taking a boating trip every summer, your yacht is important to you, so you need to know how to take care of it and what to look out for that indicates yacht water damage in need of professional attention.

A few signs of potential yacht water damage include:

  • minor blistering or bubbling of surfaces in the structure of the yacht
  • excessive mildew odor inside or on deck
  • salty buildup on surfaces inside

If you suspect your yacht has been water damaged, don't turn anything on and don't try to fix or clean anything yourself as this can cause more harm than good. Call a professional like those at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North (or for your local SERVPRO team call 1-800-SERVPRO). Once you identify and possibly fix the cause of the water intrusion- which can include:

  • salt spray
  • slow leak
  • hurricane
  • etc.

-a SERVPRO team can get started on cleaning any upholstery, decks, walls, and anything else infiltrated by water.

Ocean water and even brackish water, like that in the intercoastal, are particularly difficult to remediate due to the salt content and should be left to your SERVPRO team. The sooner you get a team to your yacht, the less salt damage will occur. Salt will corrode important seals, joints, and mechanical components if left unfixed for too long.

Call SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North for all your yacht cleaning needs. Faster to any yacht water damage disaster SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North will make it "Like it never even happened."

Mold Remediation Process: How We Do It

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Remediation Process: How We Do It Our tools allow us to find mold you didn't even know was there!

If your are in need of mold remediation services from SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North, you may be wondering how we do it. How do we know where there's mold? How do we get rid of it? Who else do I need to hire? Well, we're going to share with you today the complete step-by-step mold remediation process.

Step 1: Determining Mold

A third party mold inspector will need to come in and determine that there is, in fact, a mold problem, and the extent of the mold problem. You can either find one yourself, or call us for someone we recommend. The reason we cannot do the mold inspection ourselves is because of a Florida state law that protects the homeowner from being swindled by seedier remediation companies. If another company tells you they can do it themselves, in the state of Florida, it is a crime.

Step 2: Containment

Once a mold inspection has been done, we start mold containment procedures to help prevent the spread of harmful mold and mold spores while cleanup is taking place. We set up what is known as "air scrubbers" to clean the air of possible contaminates in the quarantined area while the job is being done.

Step 3: Mold Cleanup and Total Mold Remediation Process

After containment is set up, the cleaning can begin. Depending on the amount of mold present, our team may need to do little more than antifungal/antimicrobial treatments; or, in some cases, gut out drywall and flooring in order to eliminate mold colonies altogether.

Although you will need to hire a general contractor to replace any of the structure that needed to be removed, "restorable" items, such as curtains and furniture, can be thoroughly cleaned, sanitized, and deodorize by our specialists.

We'll work closely with property managers and/or insurance companies to ensure the mold situation is handled as quickly as possible with as little hassle as possible. While we here at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North hope you won't be in need of our services, should the need arise, we'll be there to make it "Like it never even happened."

Post-Hurricane Mold: Aftermath of Harvey and Irma

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Post-Hurricane Mold: Aftermath of Harvey and Irma Post-hurricane mold is one of the biggest concerns AFTER a storm.

The 2017 hurricane season was one of the worst in years. Not only were there more than 5 storms, but over half of them were classified as a "major hurricane" ranking as a category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. This hurricane season is already being called one of the costliest in history as far as damages.

After a storm, your top concern, after you and your family's safety and well being, is damage done to your property. Flooding, leaky roofs, and busted pipes all account for water damage that can turn into a mold problem quickly. Mold issues after a big storm are not uncommon, even if you weren't aware of any moisture in your home.

Loss of power

Refrigerators and freezers:

If you lost power during the storm, there are a few things to look out for that indicate a moisture issue. Refrigerators and freezers often fail during hurricanes. Although keeping the doors closed sometimes helps keep the contents cool, when the power is out for several days, the food will start to get warm and condensate, causing moisture to form (like water on a cold glass). This moisture will leak and puddle, and can even seep into nearby walls.

Air conditioning units:

Air conditioning keeps our homes cool and less humid than the outside, but when the power fails, so does your AC's ability to remove moisture from the air. The busiest part of hurricane season is also the hottest and most humid. In a matter of hours your entire home can become even hotter than outside temperatures. This warm, muggy climate is the perfect breeding ground for microbes like mold.

What now?

If you were unable to catch the water before the formation of post-hurricane mold, or are worried post-hurricane mold may have formed anyway, call SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North (or for your local SERVPRO call 1-800-SERVPRO). We will be with you every step of the way to have a third party check for mold while we work with insurance, and get the mold remediated. Even well after the storm, SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North has your back with recovery.

Clean Condos Sell Faster

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Clean Condos Sell Faster From townhouses to high-rises, get your property in tip-top shape!

If you are looking to rent out or sell your condo, ensuring its total cleanliness before putting it on the market is pivotal to finding a buyer faster. Old tenants can leave behind stains on walls, ground in dirt on the carpeting, and all other kinds of wear-and-tear in and around your property. Clean condos don't only look better, they sell faster, so here are a few steps you can take to get your property in tip-top shape for selling:

1) Air ducts

The first step to making your property smell and feel clean is to get the air ducts cleaned out. Clean ducts (and a fresh filter in the AC unit) can help to eliminate allergens in the air. The buildup of dust and other particles in ducts can also lead to dank or musty odors in your condo, so clean before selling, and continue their upkeep regularly, can keep your building safer and more pleasant to be in.

2) Upholstery

If you are looking to rent or sell your condo fully-furnished, have all the upholstery cleaned next. Years of use means years of food stains and other messes on your furniture. Make your chairs and sofas like new again with professional cleaning.

3) Floors

Getting your floors cleaned comes with a host of health benefits as well as making your condo look good. Clean floors and carpets help people breathe easier, especially if they have known allergies or other conditions such as asthma.

4) Clean condos- general upkeep

Of course, the general upkeep and appearance of your building is to be kept in consideration. If you know you'll be showing someone a condo, make sure the common areas like hallways and stairwells have been cleaned recently. First impressions are important!

Remember, for all your commercial cleaning needs, call SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North today!

Fire Damage: Dos and Do Nots

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage: Dos and Do Nots For water and fire damage cleanup and restoration, call SERVPRO!

After a fire takes place, there's a million things on your mind. Hopefully you had a plan in place to protect your loved ones and important property. To help protect your home and belongings from further damage, here are a few tips for what you should and should not do after fire damage takes place.

Fire damage dos:

  1. Limit the amount of movement through the affected area to prevent the spread of soot and other particles which may cause additional damages. If the affected area is too large to avoid, evacuate while repairs are being done.
  2. Placing large clean rags, or old linens on rugs and upholstery in your home can also help prevent the spread of soot.
  3. Coating chrome fixtures like your faucets, or other parts of appliances with petroleum jelly.
  4.  If there is water in your home and on your floors, protect your furniture by putting a barrier like foil or wooden blocks where the furniture touches the floor.

Fire damage do nots:

  1. Do not wash any walls or other painted surfaces yourself- improper cleaning can stain the walls.
  2. Do not try to clean or shampoo any carpets, rugs, or upholstery. Trying to clean up fire damage yourself is extremely hazardous to your personal health. Always call a professional.
  3. Do not clean any electrical equipment as this is dangerous, have a professional look at it, or replace it.
  4. Do not send clothes to a dry cleaner as improper cleaning can set smoke odors and stains.

For more information on our fire damage restoration services, visit our page or give us a call. With 24-hour emergency service, SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North will arrive faster to your disaster, and make it "like it never even happened."

Bonfire Safety: Keeping Your Family Safe This Season

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Bonfire Safety: Keeping Your Family Safe This Season Set up seating at a safe distance from your pit.

Halloween candy is flooding into the stores, pumping spiced everything is approaching, and in South Florida, bonfire season is upon us! In the colder months when people have fun around outdoor fires with friends and loved ones, bonfire safety is the most important to ensure everyone has a good time and stays out of harm's way.

Basic bonfire safety-

Teach both your children and pets that fire is dangerous and not to be played around. Always keep an eye on little ones and four-legged friends to be sure they don't get careless and end up hurt. If you feel you need a little extra protection you can

  • put a mesh lid on the pit
  • set up a baby gate around the fire
  • tie up or anchor pets at a safe distance
 

If you plan on having a fire on your own property, consider investing in a good quality fire pit. Most pits come with a stand and a protective mesh top and are made out of non-toxic metal with no dyes or finishes. Having a self-contained pit (like the one pictured) will help assure the safety of everyone around, as well as protecting your property.

What to burn-

As satisfying as it might be to throw your greasy burger plate on the fire and watch it burst and sizzle, resist the urge to put anything in the fire besides firewood. Styrofoam and plastic can create toxic smoke, and paper products cause large amounts of hot ash and smoke to billow around the pit area.

Some plants that grow here, like mango trees and black olive can be toxic if burned. Try staying away from burning plants found on your property, as the smoke of toxic plants not only burn the eyes and throat, but poison any food prepared over the fire. 

More than anything, bonfires are meant to be a fun, warm gathering place for friends and family as the nights grow colder. SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North wishes everyone a safe, fun season. 

Ozone Generators and Fire Restoration

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Ozone Generators and Fire Restoration Here is a simplified graphic of how ozone generators work.

Ozone is triatomic oxygen or enriched oxygen. Rather than having two atoms like in the oxygen we breathe, ozone has three bonded oxygen atoms. It is a strong oxidizing agent as well as a sterilizing agent most commonly used in fire restoration to eliminate smoke odors. We at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North use machines known as ozone generators to produce the gas.

The machine uses a high voltage corona mechanism to emulate the same conditions that would allow ozone to form in nature (such as lightning).  Regular oxygen from the air goes in, ozone comes out and can then be directed wherever it is needed.

Some examples of what can be deodorized with ozone are odors associated with:

  • fire
  • tobacco
  • cooking
  • decay
  • biohazards

However, ozone is less effective on inorganic odors (meaning odors not derived from living matter) such as:

  • ammonia
  • phosphates
  • chlorides
  • sulfates
  • nitrates

The reason for this is because the third oxygen molecule bonds with the organic odor compound and oxidizes it. The ozone then turns into regular oxygen and eliminates the smell by breaking it down at a vastly accelerated rate compared to standard oxygen. Oxygen molecules have trouble bonding with and oxidizing inorganic compounds, making it less effective on them.

There are very little drawbacks to using ozone generators in fire restoration jobs, if used correctly and as mandated by OSHA. Ozone is converted back to oxygen in a matter of minutes, so rooms or buildings only need to be evacuated for a short period of time.

Remember to not use any ozone generators on your own and call in only qualified professionals like our team at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North to deal with smoke odors.