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Hurricane Facts and Figures

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricane Facts and Figures Illustration of how the Coriolis Force acts with the curvature and rotation of the Earth.

Hurricanes are a force of nature to be reckoned with. They are warm, wet cyclones- some with winds strong enough to snap branches off of trees and send debris flying. But there are some interesting facts about hurricanes even seasoned Floridians might not know. How many of these do you know?

Two hurricanes won't crash into each other to become a single storm, but will circle each other.

The Fujiwhara Effect, named after meteorologist Sakuhei Fujiwhara, describes a phenomenon where two cyclones will circle around each other as they continue on their path. If given enough time, the two storms will circle one another, gradually closing the gap, until they swirl into a single storm.

Hurricanes spin counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere, and clockwise in the southern.

The rotation of the Earth causes the spinning of ocean waters, winds, and yes, hurricanes. This force is known as the Coriolis Force or Coriolis Effect and has a huge influence over air and sea travel as well as storm formations.

Cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes are different names for the same weather phenomenon.

The globally used meteorological term for the phenomenon is "tropical cyclone." In the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans, we call them hurricanes. In the Western Pacific, they are called typhoons. And in the Indian Ocean and Southern Pacific they are referred to as cyclones.

Hurricanes can’t form on the Equator because they need the Coriolis Effect to spin.

The equator is the dividing line between the northern and southern hemispheres. Because of its location, there's no Coriolis Effect to spin low pressure systems into hurricanes. No Coriolis Effect means no hurricanes.

Nearly double the amount of hurricanes happen in the northern hemisphere than in the southern.

Oceans in the southern hemisphere tend to have stronger winds than their northern counterparts. Because of these winds, it's less likely to create the conditions needed for hurricanes to form. Hurricanes require warm waters, storm conditions (meaning rain clouds), and gentle wind to steer and shape the tropical cyclone. With harsh winds, storms get broken up and are less likely to form south of the equator.

We hope you learned some interesting hurricane facts from this blog! Check back often this hurricane season for more facts, hurricane prep tips, and other readiness info. 

Hurricane Prep Tips - Ft. Lauderdale

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricane Prep Tips - Ft. Lauderdale Image courtesy of Broward County.

Hurricane season is here in South Florida and for many Ft. Lauderdale residents, that means being prepared for mother nature's fury. Last year, most of South Florida including Ft. Lauderdale was affected by Hurricane Irma. Our crew was helping Houston recover from storm damage after Hurricane Harvey when Hurricane Irma rocked South Florida. Because it had been over ten years since the last major hurricane (Hurricane Wilma, 2005), many residents in Ft. Lauderdale were not prepared for the resulting storm damage.

SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North is here to help with these quick hurricane prep tips:

Know your area’s evacuation protocol; when to evacuate and where to go.

Plan to stay with family or friends outside of the hurricane evacuation zone, or make plans in a hotel. While hurricane shelters are an option, not all of them are equipped to shelter people with special care requirements, or pets.

Stock up on supplies ahead of time before stores are cleared out.

When a storm is named, stores are flooded with people trying to stock up last minute. Get a few supplies every time you go grocery shopping before a storm is on the way. This not only ensures you get everything you need, but also takes away the financial strain of having to pay for it all at once.

Review your policy coverage and make any changes as soon as possible.

Most insurance companies won't let you make changes to your policy thirty days before or thirty days after a storm hits. Review your coverage at the beginning of storm season and make any changes you may need this year.

Back up important files and documents digitally, and/or in a safe location.

Water damage from hurricanes and other kinds of storm damage, like electrical or fire damage, are a huge threat to your files and other critical documents. Invest in waterproof storage for paper documents, or digitize what you can. Uploading digital files to the cloud makes it so that even if your computer fails, you still have access to those important documents.

Fix any issues that could worsen during a storm, like a leaky roof.

Last hurricane season, most of our calls at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North were for water intrusion. Leaky roofs and windows were a huge contributor to this, and were worsened by the storm. It's also a good idea to give your property a check-up for problems you don't know are there. If you are unaware of water intrusion from a storm, it could lead to a potentially hazardous mold problem after the fact.

We here at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North want you to stay safe this hurricane season, so be prepared. And while we hope you'll never need to call us for an emergency, if you ever need us, we'll be ready.

Antimicrobial Duct Cleaning Treatment

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

The air you breathe-- is it important to you? Of course it is! Which is why SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North offer not just your ordinary duct cleaning service, but an Antimicrobial HVAC & Duct Treatment. So what exactly does that mean? Take a look:

Standard Duct Cleaning-

Our team of qualified professionals start the treatment process with a standard duct cleaning. This includes a thorough brushing and vacuuming of your vents to remove dust, cobwebs and other particulates.

In-Place Evaporation Coil Cleaning & Blower Wheel Cleaning-

Once your vents and ducts are cleaned out, SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North's team will clean both your property's evaporation coils and blower wheels. This is an important step in your HVAC system's regular maintenance.

Antimicrobial Deodorization-

The final and most important step is the antimicrobial deodorization. This step helps to not only limit microbial growth such as mold in your air vents, but also reduces and helps eliminate odors associated with:

  • smoke and fire damage
  • cigar or cigarette smoke
  • mold and mildew
  • biohazards and decomposition
  • crime scenes/trauma scenes or vandalism

SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North's commercial-grade antimicrobial fog is pushed through your vent system to reduce the presence of bacteria and other microbes. This fog is powerful enough to help eliminate any odor, while still being safe enough to be used around pets and people.

Remember for all your commercial or residential fire, water, cleanup, and restoration needs SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North are always here to help!

Document Drying with SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Document Drying with SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North Your personal documents are in good hands with our HIPAA certified document specialists.

Our team here at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North understands the importance of your personal records and other documents. Whether it's personal financial records or medical records from a doctor's office, whenever documents are damaged, you can trust SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North to handle your document drying for you.

When we come across water damaged documents at a fire or water loss, our SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North team's top priority is getting them shipped to our state-of-the-art HIPAA-certified protected document drying facility. This means your files and papers will be immediately frozen, documented, and express-shipped to a secure location. After it arrives, it goes into a low-pressure vaporization chamber that takes the water straight from a solid ice state to a vapor without a harmful liquid state. While your documents can never be the same after water damage, we will do our best to restore them to a usable state. Take a look at our document drying and restoration process:

Step 1) Document Inventory

We barcode every box using the iCat system, allowing us to know the location of any box in our state-of-the-art facility at any time. All Documents are inventoried at the location of the loss prior to packaging and video monitored 24/7 once they arrive- so you know your records are safe.

Step 2) Document Drying

This process involves drying materials frozen by SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North using various vacuums and pressurization to achieve sublimation (meaning the ice turns to vapor without getting your documents wet again).

Step 3) Document Decontamination

Gamma Irradiation is a process that is used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. We use this process to kill any bacteria or other microbes without further damaging important documents.

In a CAT 3 situation (Sewage or Flood water) documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. In most storm situations, we are dealing with CAT 3 water, therefore most of the affected documents will be contaminated; if this is the case than de-contamination is always a must.

Step 4) Document Cleaning

We will go through each box page by page to wipe down and remove dirt, soot, or other contaminants.
We have 3 levels of cleaning based on the type of soiling, and how heavy it is.

Step 5) Document Deodorizing

Many times documents that have been affected will hold residual smells of contaminants, or mildew, and will be deodorized before being returned.

Remember, when it comes to document drying Ft. Lauderdale North is the way to go! SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North's certified team is available 24/7/365 for your emergency water damage needs.

Is Vent Cleaning Necessary for YOUR Dryer?

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Vent Cleaning Necessary for YOUR Dryer? Commercial dryer vents should be cleaned at least once every three months.

It's a new year, and time to get your dryer vents cleaned out! SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North are ready to serve your New Year's cleaning needs, including commercial dryer vent cleaning. Dryer vent cleaning is a vital chore that is often overlooked by building and home owners, and property managers. Everyone knows to get carpets and HVAC systems cleaned regularly, but is vent cleaning necessary for your dryer?

Is vent cleaning necessary? Of course it is! Here's why:

  1. If left unchecked, dryer vents can pose a huge fire hazard in your home or building! Dryer fires are one of the top ten causes of house fires in the US resulting in 2,900 yearly reported fires on average. Failure to clean the dryer regularly is the leading cause of these fires.
  2. Lint trapped in dryers can also hinder the dryer's ability to do its job. Trapped lint blocks the airflow, and if left unchecked for too long, can cause the machine to not work at all anymore! Regular cleanings can save you money on repair bills.
  3. If your dryer vents are not properly maintained, it can cause a musty odor to form in your laundry room.

So how often SHOULD dryer vents be cleaned?

We recommend yearly dryer vent cleaning for residential dryers (such as those in homes). For commercial dryers (like those in salons or spas, or apartments and condo buildings) vent cleaning should be done at least four to six times a year. Start the new year off right! Contact SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North today to schedule your professional vent cleaning.

New Year's Safety 2018

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage New Year's Safety 2018 Happy New Year from all your friends at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North!

Countdown to the new year! And with that, drinking, partying, and celebrating. We all enjoy bonfires, sparklers, and fireworks to start off the new year with a bang! Fire and fireworks can be fun, but they can also be dangerous if used carelessly. in fact, fireworks alone were responsible for some 11,000 injuries in 2016 alone. So, let one of your resolutions this year be New Year's safety with these firework safety tips.

New Year's Safety: before lighting fireworks:

  • Make sure there are no overhead obstructions such as trees.
  • Stay away from dry grass or other flammable materials.
  • Know the law in your area for fireworks.
  • Never allow fire from a match, cigar/cigarette, or other fireworks to get anywhere near where you are storing the rest of the fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or hose withing reach.

New Year's Safety: while lighting fireworks:

  • Wear safety glasses, and make sure young children have ear protection when lighting larger fireworks.
  • Only give age-appropriate fireworks to children (such as sparklers) and only under direct supervision.
  • Keep pets safely indoors. Fireworks tend to spook animals and they can get hurt!
  • Never try to light damaged fireworks- wet them down and throw them out.
  • Never let someone under the influence light fireworks! 

New Year's Safety: after lighting fireworks:

  • After the fireworks burn out, wet them down as you go. Wet them down again before throwing out.
  • Any "duds" should be thoroughly wet when they don't go off.
  • Pick up debris from any sparklers, bottle rockets, etc.
  • Store any unused fireworks in a cool, dry place away from all potential fire starters or fire hazards.

For more information on firework safety, click here. And for all of your fire and water damage needs, call SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North for 24/7 emergency service every day of the year.

SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile For faster 24/7 emergency service, sign up today!

Is your business ready for disaster? We here at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North have always emphasized how important it is to have disaster plans in place for your home or business, but did you know that we have an app that can make disaster mitigation easier for you and your business? Meet the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile! With your ERP in place, you have the disaster advantage of:

  • A free assessment of your facility.
  • A Profile Document with information that would be critical to quick response in an emergency.
  • A guide to prepare you and help you get back in your building faster after a disaster.
  • Establishes SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command at your building/business to begin restoration work ASAP.
  • Provides facility details, identifies priority areas, and priority contacts for our team to use.

How to get a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile:

  • STEP 1: Visit Register for an account using your email address as your username and choose a password.
  • STEP 2: Choose SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North as your preferred SERVPRO Franchise Representative to contact in the event your home or business experiences water, fire, mold or other type of damage.
  • STEP 3: Begin creating ERPs for all of your properties.
  • STEP 4: Download the SERVPRO Ready Plan Application on your iPhone, tablet, Android or Blackberry device from the respective App Store.
  • STEP 5: Launch the Ready Plan App and sign in using the same username and password from STEP 1.

After that, go through and add information, play around a little and get to know the app before you really need it.

With your SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile in place, our teams can arrive faster to your disaster. SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North can make it "Like it never even happened."

5 Mold Myths Debunked with Mold Fact

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 5 Mold Myths Debunked with Mold Fact With mold, what you can't see can be very dangerous.

There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about mold in Fort Lauderdale. Today, SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North is going to debunk the old mold myth with some mold fact!

Mold Myth:

I can just get rid of mold with bleach.

Mold Fact:

Not true! Although some types of mold can be killed with bleach alone, not all of them can. And what's worse? When a structure has visible mold, there is often more mold where you can't see- and where you can't get to it with household cleaners.

Mold Myth:

Painting over visible mold will take care of the issue.

Mold Fact:

Wrong! Even if you use an antimicrobial paint, mold can still grow and cause the new paint to peel. Get rid of the mold before painting.

Mold Myth:

The only safe level of mold is no mold at all.

Mold Fact:

Nope, wrong again. While high levels of mold in the air can be hazardous to one's health, it's impossible for a space to be completely free of mold. Very low levels of mold are okay.

Mold Myth:

If I kill the mold with fungicides, it's completely safe.

Mold Fact:

Not quite. Killing mold is a good start to prevent it from spreading, but even dead mold can be potentially harmful. The only way to be sure mold isn't a threat to you is to call in a professional to have it properly removed.

Mold Myth:

I'm not immune-compromised, so I can live with mold.

Mold Fact:

No way! Even though people that are immune-compromised such as the elderly are more vulnerable to the hazards of mold, it can effect anyone. If there's mold in your home, contact SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North right away.

When it comes to mold, it's important to know the facts. SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North is here to help and are always ready to make any mold problem "Like it never even happened."

Killing VS Removing Mold: Proper Mold Remediation

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Killing VS Removing Mold: Proper Mold Remediation Mold spores are microscopic. Visible mold is actually a colony of hundreds of tiny spores.

So you may be thinking "I have mold, why don't I just spray it with chemicals like bleach or fungicides? That'll take care of it, right?" The answer: "No way!" There's a big difference in killing VS removing mold- and it could impact your health!

Working in South Florida, SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North has seen a lot of mold. In most places, and especially in the sunshine state, no building will ever have zero traces of mold in the air. But when mold occurs in high amounts, that's when it poses a hazard to you and your family or employees' health.

Killing VS Removing Mold- Why can't I kill it?

First of all, if you have visible mold in your home or business, it's likely already inside the walls of the structure and other hard to get to places. If you can manage to get something to where the mold is to kill it, that only stops it from growing. The health risks from airborne particles are still present and cannot be removed without our professional equipment.

So how do I get rid of it?

Call  your friendly neighborhood SERVPRO, of course!

When you call SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North for a mold problem, our trained professionals will not just kill the mold, remove the mold to the IICRC standards.

Once all the visible mold is removed, everything is wiped down with a powerful, but pet and child safe antimicrobial to stop the spread of mold we can't see. On top of all that, we also set up containment and air scrubbers to clean the air and stop the spread of mold to other areas of the structure.

When we're all done we even have a third party mold testing specialist come in to check and make sure the mold levels are safe and up to code.

SERVPRO Ft Lauderdale North is looking out for you. Faster to any size disaster, we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Water Class: What Does It Mean?

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Class: What Does It Mean? Call SERVPRO 24/7 for emergency service 365 days of the year.

When it comes to water damage restoration, part of SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North's assessment process includes categorizing the water loss into four standardized classes. Knowing the water class makes it easier to treat and mitigate a water loss.

Water Class 1

The IICRC defines class 1 water as:

"The lowest and easiest to deal with, this has a slow evaporation rate. Only part of a room or area was affected, there is little or no wet carpet, and the moisture has only affected materials with a low permeance rate, such as plywood or concrete."

What this means is that the water loss is minimal and has not been sitting for long enough to seep into dense or high permeance materials.

Water Class 2

Class 2 water is a little more difficult. IICRC defines it as the following:

"With a fast evaporation rate, this level affects an entire room, carpeting, or cushioning, the wetness has wicked up the walls at least 12, and there is moisture remaining in structural materials."

This means that the water damage had affected an entire area of a building such as a hallway.

Water Class 3

One of the more difficult water loss situations to mitigate is a class 3.

"This class has the fastest evaporation rate, and ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated. The liquid may have come from overhead."

This means an entire room has been affected by water damage.

Water Class 4

Class four water is the hardest to treat due to it usually being trapped water.

"This class is labeled as specialty drying situations, which means there has been enough liquid and time to saturate materials with very low permeance, such as hardwood, brick, or stone."

For more info on water damage, visit the IICRC here. And for faster service to any size disaster, call SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North for 24/7 emergency service and make it "Like it never even happened."