Recent Posts

The Pros and Cons of Storm Shutters

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Storm shutters shade windows on a house on a sunny day Storm shutters in Estero, FL

Storms and high winds can do a number on your house, so any advantage you can find is worth considering. Storm glass, solid siding and a roof in good condition all protect your home from the awesome power of Mother Nature. But what about shutters? How effective are they as a deterrent to strong winds? Sure, they look nice, but do they really provide good value when a strong storm blows into Estero, FL? Complicating matters is the large variety of window protection products on the market, and each one comes with its own set of costs, strength, quality, appearance, ease of installation and longevity concerns.

The Advantages of Storm Shutters

Protection against storms isn't cheap, and fortification for outside windows is no exception. Aside from the cost, however, window coverings have a number of benefits:

  • They provide protection for expensive windows.
  • They may reduce home insurance premiums.
  • They offer an extra level of safety from flying glass.
  • They protect the interior of a home.

Various materials are used in the manufacture of products to protect the home during tornadoes, hurricanes and high winds. These may include wood, polycarbonate, steel and aluminum, to name a few. Storm shutters can be mounted onto a house permanently, or they can quickly be put up when a storm threatens.

The Benefits of Proactive Preparation

Whether you decide to invest in strong windows or some form of exterior window covering, preparing for a storm can save a lot of trouble and expense. When you partner with a storm recovery team in Estero, FL, you know someone will be there quickly to help out with water damage. The motto Faster to any size disaster assures rapid action that is valuable after a storm. Fast water removal results in less damage to a home and allows you to resume your life again more quickly, even after high winds have paid a visit.

Will Your Insurance Cover Water Damage From Burst Frozen Pipes?

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. If this happens to you, you should file an insurance claim as soon as possible.

Will Your Insurance Cover Water Damage From Burst Frozen Pipes?

A frozen pipe burst can cause lots of water damage to your Coconut, FL, home. If this happens to you, you should file an insurance claim as soon as possible. Your homeowner's policy should cover the cost of emergency restoration services, such as:

  • Repairing your property
  • Drying your belongings
  • Tearing down and fixing walls to get to the burst pipe

Insurance may also pay for the cost of moving or living expenses that you incur while your home is uninhabitable. However, your insurance likely will not pay for the cost of actually fixing the burst pipe.
When a Burst Pipe Is Covered by Insurance
A typical homeowner's insurance policy covers “sudden and accidental” water discharge from the house's plumbing system. A burst frozen pipe is usually considered “sudden and accidental.”However, your insurance claim may be rejected if you didn't take the necessary steps to prevent the emergency in the first place.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

The main way to limit pipe freezing is to keep the pipes warm during the winter. You can use heat tape or foam insulation to cover the pipes in colder spaces such as the attic and crawlspace.
Running water doesn’t freeze as easily as still water does. If you are worried about your pipes freezing at night, you can thus turn on your faucets and let small amounts of water flow through. You should also keep the thermostat at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer at all times.
Turning up the thermostat while you are on vacation or a long trip is another great way to prevent frozen pipes. You should also drain the pipes and turn off the water sources before you leave.
As long as you take these necessary steps to prevent a frozen pipe burst in your home, your insurer should help you pay for the cost of restoration. Just be sure to make your insurance claim immediately.

Commercial Roof Maintenance Tips

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

Two roofers inspecting a damaged roof Roof inspection in Bonita Springs, FL

Tips for Keeping Your Roof In Top Condition

If you have a business in Bonita Springs, FL, you probably have many maintenance skills under your belt already. One area that may be out of sight and thus out of mind, however, is your building's roof. Like any part of your business, keeping your roof system well-maintained makes everything work more smoothly. The last thing you want is to find one morning is a roof leak. Here are some helpful tips for keeping your roof in top condition.

1. Check for leaks. Leaks can originate from storm damage or simply from wear and tear. If you find puddles or water stains inside your building, it could be a sign of storm damage that needs to be addressed. Contain the leak if you find one, and contact experts in storm cleanup and water damage remediation.

2. Check the flashing. Roof flashing is found where the roof cover meets the wall and where roof features are installed. The material prevents water from entering the building at joints and seams. If it comes loose due to wind damage, however, water can seep inside, so check it regularly.

3. Check roof covers. If your flashing is loose, then your roof cover is at a higher risk of malfunction. Roof covers should be regularly inspected for rips and bubbles. Bubbles under your roof cover may mean there is moisture trapped underneath it, which can lead to a roof leak.

4. Check the gutters and drains. Gutters, downspouts, and drain systems all work together to keep your space dry. Regularly inspect them and clear them of clogs such as leaves, twigs, and other debris.

5. Check skylights and hatches. Roofs often feature items such as skylights, satellites, hatches, and air conditioners. All of these features should be inspected for security. If they come loose, the risk of water damage increases.

Some inspections and repairs are so simple you can do them with your eyes closed, but remember to check the areas you don't always see. Keep your business safe and dry with regular maintenance so you don't develop a risky roof leak.

How To Keep Pipes From Freezing

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Insulation for pipes Insulation can be a great way to keep exposed pipes from freezing

Your commercial property in Estero, FL, can become vulnerable to a lot of outside forces. This is particularly true during the storm season. Many property owners know how to prevent storm damage from external flooding, but it is equally important to know how to prevent damage from internal issues such as a burst pipe. Here are a few ways to keep such flooding at bay.

Identify Vulnerable Spots

Take the time to know the layout of the plumbing system in your building. There are several areas where a frozen pipe is more likely to occur:

  • Near an external wall
  • In a section with little insulation
  • Under sinks enclosed in cabinets

Mark the areas where pipes need a little more protection. Then you can decide what steps to take next.

Add Extra Warmth

Most of the time, you can avoid a burst pipe just by adding extra layers of protection to keep it warm. Start by placing more insulation in your walls. You can even add it directly to the pipes themselves. Another way to keep pipes from freezing is to keep the thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees even when no one is in the building. The minor increase this causes in your electric bill is small compared to the potential cost of flood cleanup.

Call Professionals Quickly

If you do find standing water in your building after a hard freeze, you can significantly minimize damage by calling specialists to handle the problem as soon as possible. You will need to call a plumber to repair the pipe and flood restoration experts to renovate the water damage. Once they arrive at your building, they can assess the problem quickly and propose the solutions needed to get your property back in order.
The best way to handle storm damage from a burst pipe is to keep the harm from happening in the first place. If you do need flood cleanup, however, it’s better to arrange it sooner rather than later.

Why You Should Repair a Leaking Toilet ASAP

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet Toilet leaking in a Bonita Springs, FL bathroom

A leaking toilet, depending on the size of the leak, can range from a minor annoyance to full-on panic. It can potentially leak up to 200 or 300 gallons per day, sending your utility bill skyrocketing with no warning. A toilet leak may even go unnoticed for a while; you may only realize there‘s a leak after seeing an increase in your water bill. This isn’t even the worst-case scenario.

What Kind of Problems Can Be Caused?

You may initially spot only a small amount of water at the base of your toilet. This type of bathroom leak that’s ignored for any length of time will eventually cause other more serious issues such as:

Damage to the floor and subfloor

Damage to the ceiling of a lower floor if the leak is on a higher floor

Hazards (e.g., slipping on the wet floor)

Mold can start growing within 24 hours of the introduction of water

Foul odor from dirty standing water

It’s important to avoid using the leaking toilet, if possible; flushing it and letting it continue to run will only exacerbate the leak and the damage to your house. Shut the water off to the toilet as soon as possible until the leak is repaired.

What Can Be Done?

A toilet is generally a very simple mechanism, so there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to handle the repair yourself, or even replace the toilet yourself if it should come to that. But first, you have to diagnose the problem. It could be anything from loose tee bolts to a leaking tank to rusted pipes. You may have to go through a series of diagnostic tests in order to figure out the problem. If you don’t have the time or experience to deal with it yourself, you may want to hire a plumber.
If your Bonita Springs, FL home sustains damage from a leaking toilet, you can feel confident hiring water damage restoration professionals who will get it back to its original state.

3 Tips to Avoid Cigarette Fires

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

The hand of someone putting out a cigarette Put out your cigarette completely

How To Avoid A Cigarette Fire In Your Home

It’s a sobering statistic that between 2012 and 2016 smoking materials, such as cigarettes, caused an estimated 18,000 reported home structure fires. The National Fire Protection Association or NFPA, also states that during this time these types of fires cost an estimated $476 million in property damage. Following these tips may help you to avoid a cigarette fire in your home.

1. Smoke outside. Take your cigarette outside. But even smoking on the exterior balcony or porch is not far enough away from the house to prevent a fire. These places are the leading areas of origin for cigarette fires. Make yourself a small area in the backyard with a couple of chairs and a table. Use an outdoor ashtray, such as a cigarette receptacle. It is fire retardant and restricts oxygen, so cigarettes extinguish quickly. It will also keep your yard free of butts.
2. Put out your cigarette completely. Don’t leave any part of the cigarette burning. Totally snuff it out. Use an ashtray or cigarette receptacle when you are ready to throw the cigarette away. Use an ashtray made of glass or stainless steel, as an ashtray fire is possible if you use a cheaper product. If an ashtray isn’t handy, run the butt under water or smother it in sand.
3. Do not smoke in bed. Mattresses and bedding can catch fire easily. Between 2008 and 2010, cigarettes caused 86% of all smoking-related fires. The fires which happened during the late evening or early morning hours tended to be the worst. It’s best to never smoke in the bedroom as you might unknowingly drop a lit cigarette on the bed after falling asleep.
Like any fire, one caused by a cigarette fire can leave a lifetime of damage. Medical costs, fire cleanup and the possibility of having to find a new home, take not only a physical but also an emotional toll on the family. Speaking with a fire damage restoration specialist in Coconut, FL, about the best way to prevent a cigarette fire may put your mind at ease.

What Happens To a Mold Damaged Painting?

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Professional restorer working at an ancient paintings representing religious scenes, inside a laboratory Professional restoring a painting

What Happens To a Mold Damaged Painting?

Modern technology has led to enhanced mold cleaning of precious items. Since mold can strike anywhere there is moisture, paintings are sometimes damaged by mold. A painting may get water damage due to a severe storm that causes flooding or water through broken windows. Other times, an interior pipe may burst. Regardless of the source, if you have experienced mold damage in Estero, FL, it may be possible to restore valuable artwork to its original condition. Experts in art restoration use specialized techniques to restore many types of artwork:

  • Paintings
  • Murals
  • Sculptures
  • Rare books
  • Photographs

Contacting a mold remediation specialist is the first step to beginning mold cleaning efforts and getting your artwork back to its previous state.

How Can This Happen?

Mold can grow anywhere there is an abundance of moisture if the humidity is high enough. It easily grows on fibrous material including canvas, paper and drywall. Once the spores take hold of the material, they begin to replicate and cause spots on your artwork. Over a short period of time, the mold can grow to cover more and more of the piece. It may appear as if it is ruined, but that is not necessarily the case.

What Actions Must Be Taken?

The most important thing you can do is to contact a mold remediation expert as quickly as possible. The sooner you address the problem, the sooner cleanup efforts can begin and the less time the mold has to do damage. Once the artwork is in the hands of the restoration specialist, they will assess the damage and provide a quote. Provided they have your approval, they will use a custom solution to clean the item without damaging the original markings. Amazingly, most paintings and other works of art can be restored.
If you discover that you have mold damage on your artwork, you need to hire remediation expert to perform mold cleaning. In most instances, your artwork can be restored to its original condition.

How to Stop a Toilet That Won't Stop Flushing

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

A flushometer of a toilet Most commercial toilets contain a flushometer

Four Steps To Easily Take To Check Your Toilet Yourself

Rather surprisingly, a constantly running toilet can be a sign of trouble. Not only can the excess water raise your water bill, but it can also be a warning of an impending toilet overflow. You can attempt to stop the toilet from flushing yourself. If you are unable to stop it and end up with water damage in Coconut, FL, you will need the help of a professional restoration company.
There are 3 areas that commonly get clogged and lead to a toilet flood. Here are 4 steps to easily to check your toilet yourself.

1. Inspect Flappers

With time, the flappers at the bottom of the tank get old and brittle and wear out. Luckily, this is one of the easiest things to check by peering into the toilet tank. You may need to drain the tank to fully inspect it.

2. Check Gaskets

If your flapper is creating a tight seal, the next thing to check to avoid a toilet overflow is the gasket inside of the flushometer. Most commercial toilets contain a flushometer, which is located near the flushing apparatus. To check this, you will need to turn off the water to avoid spilling. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the cap to the flushometer. Underneath the cap, you will find a gasket.

3. Clean Weep Hole and Gasket

Near the edge of the gasket is a weep hole. Both the gasket and weep hole can become clogged with gunk and sediment. Clean these under running water, paying special attention to the small weep hole.

4. Try It Out

After putting your flushometer back together and turning the water back on, your toilet should be functioning normally. If not, you may need the help of a professional service to stop a toilet from running.
If you have made your best effort and still end up with a toilet overflow, the help of an expert remediation company can get your business back to normal in minimal time.

3 Things You Should Know About Floods and Mold

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

White door closet covered by mold Mold damage after storm in Bonita Springs, FL

Why Does Mold Grow After a Storm?

After a storm in Bonita Springs, FL, many homeowners will likely experience mold growth in their houses. This is a common problem and can happen quite quickly. It can take as little as 24 hours for mold to begin to spread throughout your home. The following information can help you understand why this happens and what you can do about it.

1. Why Does Mold Form After a Flood?

The reason that mold is such a common problem is that it is nearly everywhere. This fungus can exist in your home for a long time without spreading or creating any problems. However, when there is flooding or water damage, it is easy for mold to grow. Warm, moist environments are where mold thrives, so this excessive water is just what it needs to start growing inside your walls and floors.

2. How Do You Remove It?

Once mold has begun to grow in your home, it is not always easy to get rid of it. Sometimes, when you try to clean mold on your own, you can accidentally spread it even more. Mold spores cannot be seen with the naked eye, so you won’t know if it is traveling through the air or on your clothing. Hiring a mold removal specialist that has the training and equipment to safely remove the fungus will give you the best results.

3. How Can You Prevent It From Returning?

It is often easier to prevent a mold growth than it is to remove one, so be sure to take precautions if you have previously experienced a mold problem. Clean your home regularly, paying careful attention to areas that are often in contact with water, such as sinks, showers and tiles. Open windows when showering or cooking to let steam out and keep humidity levels low. A dehumidifier can help with this as well.
Mold growth after a storm or flood is common, but you aren’t helpless to stop it. Removing water from your home quickly, cleaning contaminated items and allowing everything to dry thoroughly can reduce the spread of spores.

We Can Help Restore Your Property Following a Disaster | SERVPRO® of Bonita Springs/Estero

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage to walls and exterior windows leaving significant damage. Fire Damage in Bonita Springs Florida

We pride ourselves on the fact that when disaster strikes, we offer a swift response, but let’s take a look at another reason why we can help if the worst should occur.

As part of our restoration process, our technicians have been trained to have a “restore first” mentality, using specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. This helps reduce interruptions to your life—and helps us get you back in your home or business more quickly and efficiently.  Just call SERVPRO of Bonita Springs/Estero at 239-334-8700 for immediate assistance.

<h2following-fire-damage">Restoring Following Fire Damage

It can be stressful knowing what to do first once a fire has damaged your property, but that’s where we can help. When we receive your call for help, our team is quickly sent to your location.

Every single fire is different—and so we offer a unique solution that’s personalized to your individual needs and situation.

But there are some basic components of our strategy in every situation.

1. Initial outreach. When you first call our team, you’ll be asked questions about the fire event and the resulting damage. This information will help us make sure we’re prepared with the right equipment and resources needed for your situation.

2. Inspection and assessment of damage. Our team will inspect and test the fire-affected room as well as surrounding rooms on the property to determine how much damage there is. This helps us determine our next steps and plan of action.

3. Boarding up and roof tarping. Fire damage often impacts a home’s windows, walls and roofs. Because of this, one of our first steps will be to make sure that your property is secure and protected from further damage.

4. Removal of water and drying of property. Water damage is often a byproduct when firefighting is involved. The removal process will start right away. Dehumidifiers and air movers are brought in to remove any water that’s hanging around and finish up the drying process.

5. Removal of smoke and soot. We will use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from your home’s ceilings, walls and other surfaces.

6. Cleaning and sanitizing. We will clean restorable items and structures whenever possible. Not only will these items be cleaned, but we will also use industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment to remove lingering odors.

7. Restoration. This is the last step in resetting your home to pre-fire condition. Restoration may include minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet. But it’s also possible that severe fire damage will require extensive renovations and repair.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Bonita Springs/Estero is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 239-334-8700.