Archived Blog Posts
Restoring Your Lutz Commercial Property After a Water Damage
Flooding and water damage events at Lutz commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of West Pasco
SERVPRO of West Pasco specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Bring The Thunder (Be Prepared)
During the warm Florida summers, rainstorms are sometimes a daily event and virtually always accompanied by thunder and lightning. According to the Office of the State Climatologist, based at Florida State University, our state has more thunderstorm activity than any other part of the nation: In a typical year on the western half on the peninsula, more than 80 days show thunder and lightning. Also, “Central Florida's frequency of summer thunderstorms equals that of the world's maximum thunderstorm areas: Lake Victoria region of equatorial Africa and the middle of the Amazon basin. The Amazon and east African areas maintain their frequency of thunderstorm activity throughout most of the year, whereas the number of thunderstorms in Florida drops off sharply in the fall and does not pick back up until spring.”
Storms can develop rapidly and the skies have a tendency to open up during your planned outing. If you find yourself caught outside during a severe thunderstorm, here are a few tips to help keep you safe.
- If you are in an open area, find a low place such as a ravine or valley.
- If you are in water, get to land immediately and seek shelter.
- If you are in a forested area, find shelter in a low area under a thick grow of small trees.
- If you are in a car, keep the windows closed.
But here at SERVPRO of West Pasco, we recommend staying inside during inclement weather!
Do's and Don'ts of Water Damages
When it comes to water, it can cause more damage than you think. Water can easily fit in crevices and cracks, finding its way just about any where in your home or business. Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to water damages.
Most important- Shut off the source of water if possible and if you cannot do so, contact a qualified party to get the water shut off. This will save your home or business from getting more damage.
Turn off the circuit breakers for the wet areas. For your safety, its important to disconnect any electrical activity near a source of water.
Remove or prop up wet furniture or upholsteries for even drying and to prevent further damage.
Leave books, newspapers or other colored items near wet carpets or walls, this will help avoid staining.
Use TV’s or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, this could cause possible electrical shock or do serious damage to the vacuum cleaner.
The Three Categories of Water Damage
Water damages come in all shapes and sizes and also come in different categories. These categories are Category 1 Water Damage: Clean Water Damages, Category 2 Water Damage: Grey Water Damage, and Category 3 Water Damage: Black Water Damage.
It is important for our SERVPRO technicians to understand the different sources these categories fall under. Each category is to be treated differently to ensure that our clients are not living in a contaminated area. Category 1 water is the least severe on the IICRC scale and this includes broken pipes and water supply lines. Also, it can include things like overflowing sinks and bathtubs and really any toxin-free water.
The next level up from that is a Category 2, “grey water”. This is water that comes from overflowing toilets or washing machines. Even though this water may not be harmful to humans, we still have to remove any affected items and completely disinfect the area.
The most severe is the Category 3 Water aka Black Water. This is the most extreme kind of water and requires immediate action because it might result to serious health risk. Black Water includes things such as sewage, flood water, and seawater. Anything that has been touched by Category 3 water will need to be removed from the property and the dwelling will need to undergo some serious disinfecting.
If you or someone you know has a water damage in their home or business, give us a call at SERVPRO of West Pasco, 727-847-3000.
The Science of Drying
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its pre loss condition.
While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, the team at SERVPRO of West Pasco is trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business or home suffers water damage, SERVPRO of West Pasco will:
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.
SERVPRO of West Pasco has the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. We also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.
The bottom line? In New Port Richey, Trinity, Hudson and beyond, our team has the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.”
Smoke and Soot Cleanup In West Pasco
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. At SERVPRO of West Pasco, our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Pasco will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 727-847-3000
Tips for After a Fire
Fire! Let’s face it, it can be extremely stressful and overwhelming in the moment and most people have no idea what to do when that time comes. Here at SERVPRO we would like to offer some do’s and don’ts of fire and smoke to help guide you.
Limit the movement in the home to prevent the soot particles from being embedded into carpets and upholsteries.
Keep your hands very clean. This is because the Soot mixed with the oil on hands can seep into walls, woodwork and upholstery’s further soiling them.
You can change the HVAC filter, but leave the system off until a trained professional can check the system out to make sure there are no further damages to it.
Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without contacting your SERVPRO of West Pasco professional.
Consume any food or beverages that may have been store close to the fire, heat, or water. These items could be contaminated.
Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning of garments and other items in the home could lead to the smoke odor to set in.
My Fire Experience
About a year ago I had one of the worst experiences in my life. I lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex with 3 other roommates and my dog. One night it was pouring, thunder, lightning the whole nine yards. One lightning bolt struck and the lights began to flicker but we thought nothing of it. We thought it was just another storm. 10 minutes went by and we heard banging on our door accompanied with yelling. That’s when we knew something was wrong. The Fire Department was at our door telling us the apartment was on fire and we had to evacuate the building now. I grabbed my dog and my purse and ran down the stairs as fast as I could. We sat in our cars and watched the building next to ours burn from a lightning strike catching the roof on fire. Thankfully, everyone was okay, but it was one of the scariest moments of my life. I had no idea what was going on, but we knew that a building was on fire and there was nothing that we could do. We waited for the Fire Department to put it out and thankfully my building was not affected so we were able to go back inside once we got an all clear. We all just went to bed and were grateful it was not our building, and everyone was okay. Unfortunately, this is something that is not so uncommon. If you or someone you know experiences a fire, please call us at 727-847-3000!
Day in the Life of a Marketing Rep
Here is a day in the life of a Marketing Representative here at SERVPRO! I arrive at the office to begin my workday at 8 AM. I begin with logging into our work center and checking out whatever new jobs have come in overnight. Once I filter through those jobs, we begin our Work In Progress meeting and go over all the details of each of the clients losses. We discuss the damage, our plan, and how we can best serve each customer with their unique situation. Next, we discuss employee schedules for the day. I use this information for my schedule so I can meet other staff members to introduce myself to each customer. If I am not going out to see clients, I spend my time promoting our company to potential commercial clients. By creating a route for myself, I can visit multiple customers and potential clients in a day. I grab some marketing materials, sometimes some donuts for some of the commercial jobs that I know are closing that week as a “thank you”, and I am on my way. I spread awareness of SERVPRO, and I get the word out in the community that SERVPRO is a great company to choose when you are looking for cleanup or restoration needs. I love the company that I work for and I want every customer to love them as much as I do!
When You See Green, Think SERVPRO!
Neon green is not my car color preference, but it serves a very specific purpose when it comes to customer and company recognition. It is said that the first person who started SERVPRO did a test to see what color people liked better on cars, which ones stood out and caught the eye more. He had a variety of colors and more times than not people chose the neon green. To this day, all the SERVPRO franchises you see around have the neon green color and when you see green, you think SERVPRO. It is sort of funny the way that it sticks in people’s minds. One of the questions we ask our clients when they call in for us to come out to help them is, “where did you hear about us?’, and a lot of the times the response will be “I saw your truck, or I saw your cubes driving around town”. We love to hear this because that just goes to show that when our customers see green, they too think of SERVPRO!
Here at SERVPRO we have a 1-4-8 timely assignment. This is to help reduce claims loss expenses. If there is water pouring into a business or a home, time is of the essence. This is the reason we created this guideline. When it comes to any emergency situation, a SERVPRO employee will contact you to arrange a time for service within an hour. Within four hours of the loss coming in one of our SERVPRO trained professionals will be on-site and start the mitigation process. This would be extracting water or anything else that needs to be done to control the situation. Lastly, within eight business hours of the on-site arrival the client will receive a verbal briefing of the scope and the communication with the adjuster will begin. If the client is self-pay, we will have a verbal briefing with the client to see what they want to do to proceed. This really sets us apart from our competition because we strive to exceed our clients expectations by removing fears that the client might have after experiencing a loss, and they will see results in a timely manner.
Entrepreneur Magazine 42nd Annual Franchise 500 Ranking
Entrepreneur Magazine 42nd Annual Franchise 500 Ranking:
SERVPRO ranked #1 in its category in 2021, rounding out the TOP TEN for the year. SERVPRO of West Pasco is proud to join the #1 brand in cleanup and restoration. This is SERVPRO's eighth time in the top 10. Last year, our growing company was 27th! This year's accomplishment rounds out a couple of big years of growth, and it helped catapult the company back into Entrepreneur's top 10.
SERVPRO of West Pasco is an emergency service, first respond company. We can handle any job, not matter the size.
As your local fire, water, cleanup, and restoration company, SERVPRO of West Pasco’s IICRC certified professionals will make it "Like it never even happened."
Thank you to all our past customers who have helped grow this fantastic company into what it is now, and we look forward to helping our future clients with whatever needs come forward!
Our Reviews Speak for Themselves!
Committed to Excellence
At SERVPRO of West Pasco, we work hard to ensure our customers are happy with the services we provide. Here are some customer testimonials from our website:
“We had black mold in our cabinets and the wall behind the cabinets. Steven came quickly and took complete care of everything. He made sure all the contractors were here on time and he had everything done so quickly. Shana took care of all the insurance forms and was always there when I had any questions Thank you very much I will always recommend SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel, West Pasco, and Hernando County.”
“We called SERVPRO on a Thursday late in the afternoon after the plumber we hired had had given us the bad news that we most likely would be ripping up all the tile in the bathroom and would need to dry the floors. I decided to call SERVPRO first to get an assessment of what damage was in the home and whether or not I should be calling my insurance company. Michelle was at my door Friday morning at 8:15 she was very helpful, very thorough in her investigation of the problem and has given me great advice on how to proceed from here. Michelle took the time to answer all my questions and left me with the knowledge to make the appropriate calls to move forward. . on top of that when she said call me questions, I believed her. In this world today finding a company that returns your phone calls, shows up on time, and has employees who care it's a rare find. So happy I called SERVPRO and you will be too.”
Call Us Today!
SERVPRO® of West Pasco cares about our customers. Our highly trained restoration technicians are on-call 24-hours a day to restore your property damage in New Port Richey, no matter how big the job is. Call us today at 727-847-3000.
A Blog From Our Water Damage Queen
COMRADERY IS NOT GONE!
The definition of Comradery is - a spirit of friendly good-fellowship. I have had the opportunity to work with several other SERVPROs where comradery has been deeply expressed and appreciated on both sides. From SERVPRO corporate to the local county and states, the assistance and overall advice has been enlightening. As we all know, the world of emergency services can be stressful. However, when you can call another SERVPRO and hear a friendly voice, that is when you know how far-reaching the SERVPRO “family” really is. For individuals that have never had the opportunity to speak with a comrade at another SERVPRO, I highly suggest you reach out for a quick introduction. It’s not scary at all! I still get excited when travelling back home to Maryland when I see a SERVPRO vehicle. I find myself prideful in the fact that I belong to an organization that gives a helping hand to each other.
Tips to Prevent Fires in Your Home or Business
A fire in your home or business can be devastating. At SERVPRO of West Pasco, we get it. We specialize in disaster recovery which includes residential and commercial fires. With that said we see the causes of these fires and the destruction they can cause. Luckily, we have some tips to help prevent them from happening.
- Overloaded Extension Cords – Bad Connections and other careless use of electrical devices can melt wire insulation and cause a fire to start. This can be avoided by not piggy-backing extension cords off each other.
- Clean your stove and oven – Grease and other flammable build up can easily cause a kitchen fire. Keep your stove and oven clean before turning on the appliance.
- Fireplace safety – If your home or business has a fireplace it is extremely important to have the chimney cleaned at least once a year according to the Nation Fire Protection Association! Built up soot and debris could easily become a fire hazard!
- Saw Dust – Saw dust is highly combustible and should be cleaned up during and after every project. A small spark could ignite the sawdust causing a fire that can quickly spread.
These are just a few tips that we can offer to help prevent fires in your home or business. As always, if you need us, give us a call at 727-847-3000.
Pleasing ALL of our clients' needs.
In this line of work there are always different requests that our clients might have. We accommodate those needs to the best of our ability. Those needs could be requesting unmarked vehicles for privacy purposes, having our technicians not wear SERVPRO uniforms, or even not discussing work performed at the property. A lot of commercial clients request that we do things in a certain manner so that their potential customers do not know that SERVPRO is working for them. When this is the case, our goal is to be as discrete as possible. This past week we actually experienced this while doing work for a large commercial client who were very concerned with their clients believing something was wrong with the building. No SERVPRO vehicles, no SERVPRO uniforms, nothing that could distinguish us from any other client. We had to meet at a parking lot down the street from the location, we did not speak about the project to anyone, we just got in, did what we had to do and got out. With a tight deadline of just five days, we managed to complete 12 rooms all while being super discrete. The customer was extremely happy that we were able to meet all their needs. This is a small example of how SERVPRO of West Pasco goes above and beyond for customer satisfaction!
It's Storm Season
It is STORM season, but not the storm that us Floridians are use to involving hurricanes and tornadoes and their paths of destruction. This time it was the cold weather that caused us to go into storm mode. This year’s winter cold fronts affected Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and other southern locations with major freezes. With these major freezes came a lot of damage to large commercial buildings as well as residential homes due to pipes freezing over and bursting. This cause not only wet material but flooded basements as well. We sent a team to Kansas City to help out with the storm and for most of them being Florida Natives, being in the negatives and seeing snow was a new experience in and of itself. With almost 25 jobs in KS and most of them being large commercial buildings we considered making the trip out there well worth it and for some of our technicians, the experience was life changing.
Stop The Growth!
Stop the growth, “mold” Turkey!!
Want to know how to avoid mold growth and stop it cold turkey? Here are some helpful hints:
Mold growth can happen anywhere in your home or business. Most of the time it is due to high humidity and condensation build up over time. In Florida it is more common than people think and has become a well known issue in the state. The condensation that forms when a house is colder than the outside air is the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Here are some ways to prevent mold growth in your home:
First is to keep an eye on the humidity levels in your home. Make sure that they are no more than around 50% as the day goes on. If levels reach above 50% that could cause growth to happen.
Also, make sure that the air in your home flows freely and there are no restrictions on air flow.
Any leaks that may be present, no matter how small, should be addressed immediately. Always dry up wet items quickly and fully. If you are unsure if a wall or affected item is completely dry, allow SERVPRO of West Pasco to come out and check for you!
Protect Yourself and Your Home
Protect Yourself and Your Home
Water damages happen all the time. In fact, about 40% of all homeowners have experienced a water damage of some sort.
On the other hand, about 93% of all water damages could have been prevented if the homeowner were educated on the steps you can take to prevent any damage from happening.
Here are some things that homeowners can do to prevent water damages in their home:
Always inspect your home for leaks, that included the roof and pipes that constantly have running water running through them.
It is always smart to know where the main water shut off value is. It could save homeowners a lot of money and reduce panic.
If you are planning on going away for a long trip, turn your water off to save your home from any incidentals.
Clean your gutters regularly. Gutters should be cleaned monthly to unsure that there is no debris blocking the flow of water.
As always, if you end up suffering from damage in your home, give SERVPRO of West Pasco a call at 727-847-3000! We'd be happy to assist.
Oh No! You Have Mold!
Microbial Growth on the wall of this Port Richey office.
Do’s and Don’ts of Mold
Discovering Mold in your home or business can be intimidating. Luckily SERVPRO of West Pasco technicians are trained and certified to help. Microbial growth can be tricky. What most people don’t realize is that it IS a living, breathing organism. This means that not only can it grow and expand throughout the entire property, it also has defense mechanisms to protect it. Below we will go over some Do’s and Don’ts when you find growth in your home or business.
- Spray anything directly on the growth
Like we discussed, mold is living and it will attack. When a solution is sprayed onto any growth, it immediately shoots its spoors out in defense. This is something you obviously can’t see with your naked eye but if it is sending spoors in other directions and you’re only focused on cleaning what you visually see, it will begin to grow in the new areas.
- Use a solution and clean rag or sponge
If you would like to attempt to clean up a small amount of visual growth before you give us a call, we can offer some advice. Hot water and dawn dish soap or bleach can work wonders, but the way you use it is what is most important. Soak and rag or sponge in the hot water solution and simply wipe the mold away. This catches growth off guard and allows you to safely remediate the issue.
If you happen to discover what looks like possible mold, its important that you do not disturb it. This goes with our last tip that we discussed. The second that mold is disturbed, it starts to spread at a higher rate of speed. If you’re in the middle of a remodel, or maybe you have a second home you’ve returned to and discovered possible mold growth it’s extremely important that you do not touch it. Obviously a small amount of mold in the shower is normal, but anything over 10 sq feet needs a licensed Hygienist to write a proper protocol on the steps that need to be taken to remediate it properly.
Obviously, we suggest you call us here at SERVPRO of West Pasco immediately if growth is discovered in your home or business but in the mean time covering the affected area is the safest thing to do. If its in a small room, we suggest closing any air vents and shutting that room off to the rest of the building. If its in a small area of a larger room, taping it off with plastic sheeting can do the trick! This will help contain -the area until remediation can begin!
-Of course, we always recommend you give us a call at 727-847-3000 for any remediation project or with questions! We are happy to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Kitchen Fire Safety Tips for Your West Pasco Home
This fire caused extensive damage to half of this New Port Richey home.
Kitchen Fire Safety Tips
In the kitchen grease fires are extremely common while cooking your favorite meal. This type of fire is known to go out of control rather quickly. Kitchen fires also known for getting completely out of hand very rapidly. Even a little bit of spilled grease could get out of hand.
Here are some tips on how to prevent a grease fire: Do not leave the grease unattended; always stay in the kitchen when you are using grease. Move all items that are flammable away from the heat source. Keep the grease at a reasonable temperature when cooking. Add the food slowly to prevent splatter. Always keep children or animals away from the stove while cooking with grease.
Now if the grease fire does ignite, here are some helpful tips to deal. Cover the flames with a metal lid or a cookie sheet so the fire is contained. Always keep baking soda nearby to toss on the grease fire, keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of any emergencies, turn off all of the heat source if it is safe to do so, never try to extinguish the fire with water and never attempt to move the item that is on fire.
Lastly, for a grease fire, DON’T PANIC. People tend to get in a panic and that’s where the fire can take control and cause some serious damage.
Does Your Apartment Have Mold/Mildew?
One of the most common calls we get here at SERVPRO of West Pasco is from clients who have discovered mold in their property. Mold is not a minor issue, it is a top environmental hazard. Mold begins to grow in warm, damp areas, hence why it is such a common occurrence here. The perfect place for growth is in basements, attics, and other dimly-lit areas of a property with poor ventilation and high humidity.
No rental property is immune from a mold outbreak. Common causes include an unattended spill, faulty plumbing, open window during a rain storm, or an appliance that has a leak. Whatever the reason is, it's important to be prepared!
Remember, whether you own or manage a rental property in New Port Richey, mold is an issue that can add up to an expensive bill and a lengthy cleanup so its important to take it seriously.
Gather evidence and report it
Mold is found by scent or sight, you should be able to see the off color dots that will line up on surfaces. If you do have mold in your home, you are usually able to locate it on sight so make sure you take a photo of the mold. You'll want the evidence to show to your landlord or property manager.
First, call them to explain the issue immediately. You will need to refer to your lease but most states require owners to remove mold at their own expense as soon as they are notified. After you have a conversation about the problem, send the photos their way so you can start working on a plan to get the mold out of your apartment.
After you get in touch with your property manager/landlord, call a Mold Remediation Expert. By contacting an expert, it allows you to have the growth properly tested and reported to get a better idea of the severity. This will also give you the documentation you may need to prove that the growth you are seeing is, in fact, mold. A local expert in remediation, SERVPRO of West Pasco works closely with several buildings and property managers to ensure quick and easy removal of mold. If you need our assistance at one of your properties, please give us a call today at 727-847-3000.
Avoid a Fire During This Holiday Season
It’s that time of a year again! As mesmerizing as lights and other holiday decorations are, they account for millions of dollars in property damage every year. Please follow these basic safety tips to ensure your family's wellbeing this holiday season.
- When purchasing a live tree, make sure it isn’t dried out to much. Sometimes, if trees are cut too early the needles begin to dry and fall. these are more likely to catch fire. The Frazier Fir is a great choice and has a softer needle that does not dry out as quickly.
- Remember to water your tree immediately after getting it home and in the stand. Continue to water the tree until it stops taking water.
- Keep your tree away from heat sources, candles and other electronics.
- All your Christmas lights should be UL or ETL/ITSNA tested for safety, and you should throw away damaged lights.
- Be sure to plug outdoor lights into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
- Keep all your candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
- Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
- When your tree's needles begin to fall, it is time to take it down.
Follow these guidelines and avoid being another statistic in the National Fire Protection Association or United States Fire Administration report this holiday season. Of course, if you do have an emergency contact us immediately along with the local emergency response departments needed. We will be there to help you get things back, "Like it never even happened."
2020 Hurricane Season
Of course, with it being 2020, it only suits that we had the most active Hurricane Season in the U.S. since 1916. Of the 30 named storms, 13 developed into hurricanes, and six further intensified into major hurricanes, with one, Hurricane Iota, attaining Category 5 strength on the Saffir–Simpson scale. Of the 30 named storms, 12 made landfall in the contiguous United States. In late August, Laura made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, becoming the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in Louisiana. Laura caused at least $14.1 billion in damage and 77 deaths. Hurricane Isaias, which made landfall in The Bahamas and North Carolina, both times as a Category 1 hurricane, caused an overall $4.725 billion in damage. While we are always equipped and ready to help when a disaster strikes, our hearts break to see the damage these storms can cause to unexpecting homes and businesses. If you ever find that you’ve acquired damage to your home or business during storm season, please don’t hesitate to call us at 727-847-3000. SERVPRO of West Pasco is here to help.
Our Sense Of Normal
Our team finally gets together for our monthly all employee meeting after COVID 19
On Friday, October 2nd, we had our first all employee meeting since the start of COVID. While it was not how we usually get together to celebrate the previous month's achievements, it was great feeling that small sense of normal we’ve all been missing. While we spread our chairs out 6 feet apart in the parking lot and ate prewrapped breakfast sandwiches, we reminisced on life before COVID. We also announced our 6 employee of the month awards that we were not able to give out. We are so proud of the way our team has stepped up through these trying and unpredictable times. Between COVID 19 and the influx of hurricanes this season there has been many sleepless nights while our team scrambles to help those in need. We’re grateful for the compassionate, hard working men and women that dedicate their time and energy to helping our community every day!
SERVPRO vs Hurricane Sally
Hurricane Sally was a very destructive Category 2 Atlantic hurricane which became the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. state of Alabama since Ivan in 2004. Numerous watches and warnings were issued in anticipation of the imminent approach of Sally and several coastline counties and parishes on the Gulf Coast were evacuated. The area between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, took the brunt of the storm with widespread wind damage, storm surge flooding, and over 20 inches (510 mm) of rainfall. Several tornadoes also occurred as well. That’s when our team decided it was time to act. We relocated our current storm team that was finishing up work from hurricane Laura and pushed them towards the Florida/ Alabama coast. When we arrived the devastation was apparent. We quickly began assessing the damage in the area and started helping local residents get their homes back. When a natural disaster occurs SERVPRO of West Pasco is here to help. If you suffered any damage from the recent hurricanes, or you do in the future, give us a call.
Lightning Damage in New Port Richey?
Let’s talk about lightning. Lightning strikes can cause significant damage to your New Port Richey home or business and unfortunately are extremely unpredictable. Often you will not see signs of the damage at first due to the damage hiding in attics or inside walls. We suggest that after lightning strikes your home or business that you call the fire department immediately even if you do not see obvious signs of damage. It is also good to remember to call your electrician after a lightning strike to run an electrical diagnostic test.
According to the NFPA from 2007-2011 the U.S. Local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning.
Lightning bolts are estimated to reach up to 50,000 degrees.
SERVPRO of West Pasco has experienced the aftermath of a fire caused by a lightning strike. The odor, the charred insulation within the attic or walls. SERVPRO of West Pasco has an experienced team to handle any size fire or water loss.
If your home has been hit by lighting count on SERVPRO of West Pasco to make the fire damage “Like it never even happened.”
Florida Heat Can Be Brutal
Let’s talk about something all Florida residents are familiar with. HEAT! As we all know, summers are brutal in Trinity, FL. With heat index’s reaching up to 115 degrees at times, it can be extremely dangerous if the right precautions are not taken. Below we’ve listed the type of heat warnings and what they mean.
In order to receive a heat advisory in Florida you must have a heat index value of 108 degrees or higher for at least two hours. For an excessive heat warning, the heat index needs to reach 113 degrees or higher for at least two hours.
A heat advisory means that people can be affected by heat if precautions are not taken. The issuance of a heat advisory is important to raise public awareness that these precautions need to be taken. Heat advisories are also used to trigger other actions and regulations such as no evictions, no turning off of power, changing outdoor work requirements, etc.
Excessive Heat Warning
A heat warning means that some people can be seriously affected by heat if precautions are not taken. Studies in Canada, Europe, and the U.S. have indicated that mortality begins to increase exponentially as the heat increases or stays above a heat index of 104°F.
In addition to raising public awareness, the issuance of a heat warning will alert hospitals and officials to take certain actions to prepare and respond to an increase in emergency calls, and activate programs to check on elderly and the home-bound. In some cases cooling centers can be open or designated and donation programs activated for fans and air conditioners. As in the case of an advisory, certain regulations may change such as turning off people's electricity, evictions, and outside work requirements.
While all of us Floridians are used to our hot summers, we must practice safety whenever there is any kind of warning or advisory
SERVPRO of West Pasco Introduces Matterport
SERVPRO of West Pasco Introduces Matterport
With technology constantly improving, SERVPRO of West Pasco likes to stay up to date with the times, which is why we’ve included Matterport Pro 2 to our emergency service procedures!
What is Matterport?
To simplify, this innovative, cloud based, powerful 3D platform lets you turn any space into an accurate and immersive digital twin. This is a standard tool that we use with many positive attributes. Not only does this device reduce time for our technicians, it reduces the amount of site visits from adjusters as well. By using this technology, our trained and certified technicians can upload the damage directly to your insurance company and yourself. This greatly reduces any insurance disputes on what may or may not have been affected by the initial damage. We can also attach virtual tags to show moisture in certain areas of your home or business. With the amount of time and resources saved, we are able to improve our CAT event response by nearly quadruple.
We’re constantly striving to provide the best customer experience we can in our clients time of need! If you or someone you know have suffered any damage in their New Port Richey home or business please give us a call at 727-847-3000!
SERVPRO of West Pasco Offers Duct Cleaning Services
Did you know SERVPRO of West Pasco offers duct cleaning services?
Most people don’t even think about their ducts system when deep cleaning their home but inside your HVAC system, fine dust collects on air duct surfaces, vents, motors and coils. Flakes of dead skin, hair and pet dander catch onto the dust, and before too long this process creates a dense, mat-like environment where bacteria, mold, dust mites and allergens can flourish. It’s hard to determine when its time for a cleaning but we’ve listed a few things below to watch for.
- Air Filters Get Dirty Too Fast.
- Unexplained Spikes in Your Energy Bill.
- Signs of Rodent or Insect Infestation.
- Dirt or Dust Around the Vents and Registers.
- Visible Mold Growth.
- Airflow isn't Consistent from Room to Room.
- Noises in the Ductwork.
If you notice any of these in your home or business, give us a call at SERVPRO of West Pasco 727-847-3000.
Mold In Your New Port Richey Home or Business?
Ten Things You Should Know about Mold
- Mold May cause potential health effects.
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control the humidity levels.
- If mold is a problem in your home or business, you must remediate the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. Leaving it untreated will only allow it to spread.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth. If you’re unsure where the leak is coming from, contact a plumber who also offers leak detection!
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
- Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
- Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
- Increasing ventilation
- Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with warm water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
- Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods and all need to be remediated as soon as you are aware of the issue. Waiting will only cause more damage and in return cost you more money in repairs.
Generator Safety Tips During Storm
When you live in New Port Richey, Florida, prepping for hurricane season comes with the territory. If you have a generator on hand for power outages during severe weather, follow the safety tips below from the American Red Cross to keep your family safe:
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.
- To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
- Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO is odorless and cannot be seen, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
- Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
Following these simple recommendations is an easy way to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. If your home or business suffers from storm damage, SERVPRO of West Pasco is here for you. Give us a call 727-847-3000.
Mold: It’s a sight no business owner wants to see. The discovery of mold in your New Port Richey, office can cause alarm with everyone. Not only this, but mold growth can result in heavy costs on your part. Luckily, there are things you can do to help prevent microbial growth.
Pay Attention to Humidity
Mold thrives in humid environments, so be aware of areas at work where the humidity levels may be on the high side. If you spot concerns, get a dehumidifier. Basements, attics and the areas under sinks are common culprits.
Watch for Flooding
Water damage is perhaps the most common source for mold trouble. After a heavy storm or pipe break, hire a competent water cleanup team to thoroughly dry the building and sanitize the area.
Repair Leaks Promptly
Inspect your kitchens, break rooms and restrooms regularly. As soon as you spot trouble with pipes and faucets, especially persistent dripping and leaks, get the right people on the job to fix the issues.
Ventilation Is Critical
Mold prevention will be successful if your building has effective ventilation throughout all areas. This is especially important in kitchens or laundry areas. If you have these rooms in your building, ensure that you have functioning fans in them.
Like any disaster or unforeseen incident, preventing mold may not be 100 percent possible, but you can significantly increase the likelihood that this unwanted invader will stay away from the premises. Don’t wait for water damage or other issues to spring you into action. Pay attention to all of these factors so you can keep mold away.
Mold vs Mildew
The thought of finding mold in your home or business can be scary, especially when you’re unsure how to remediate it. Mildew and molds are fungi - simple microscopic organisms that thrive anywhere there is a moist environment. That makes it difficult to get rid of on your own.
Molds are a necessary part of the environment; without them, leaves would not decay and aspects of soil enrichment could not take place. It is their ability to destroy organic materials, however, that makes mold a problem for people - in our homes and in our bodies.
Mildew (mold in early stage) and molds grow on wood products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, insulation, decaying leaves and other organic materials. Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours. They reproduce by spores - tiny, lightweight “seeds”- that travel through the air.
Molds digest organic material, eventually destroying the material they grow on, and then spread to destroy adjacent organic material. In addition to the damage molds can cause in your home, they can also cause mild to severe health problems if left untreated. If you or someone you know has discovered growth in their home or business, give us a call at 727-847-3000 and let SERVPRO of West Pasco help make your home “Like it never even happened.”
Wind Damage Affects On Your Home
High winds can occur virtually anywhere, and thousands of tornadoes and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year. Severe winds are defined as exceeding 50-60 mph and are categorized as follows:
Straight-line winds: This broad category includes all winds not associated with rotation
Downdrafts: These winds are small columns of air that sink quickly toward the ground
Downbursts: These winds, which can be as bad as tornadoes, are a result of strong downbursts and are usually associated with thunderstorms
Microbursts: These small, highly concentrated downbursts can exceed 168 mph and can be wet or dry.
Gust fronts: These occur when cold air clashes with warm air from a thunderstorm
showers or thunderstorms
Tornadoes: These destructive vortexes can exceed 300 mph and travel over dry land
Cyclones and Hurricanes: In the U.S., these tropical storms rotate inward toward areas of low atmospheric pressure and are most common near the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard.
Damage from wind can be widespread and can affect not only your structure but also surrounding landscaping and asphalt. Be aware of the potential for falling trees and poles and damaged power lines and take care of these problems right away. After the storm, examine your property for structural damage to the home, including windows, siding, and roofs. If you find that your home has suffered damage, SERVPRO of West Pasco is your company to call. With over 25 years of experience, we can make your home “Like it never even happened.”
What Is A Partial Fire Loss?
This customer unfortunately had a house fire that affected not only their home but the side of their neighbors house as well.
HOW IS A PARTIAL LOSS DIFFERENT FROM A TOTAL LOSS
A partial loss indicates that a structure was not irreparably damaged. In general, this level of damage may require restoration and repairs, but not a complete rebuild. Find out how to determine the extent of fire loss at a commercial building in Wesley Chapel.
The Damage Is Limited
If a particular area of a structure has sustained fire damage while other areas are only affected by heat or smoke, the loss is likely to be partial. The following are some of the most common forms of partial loss:
- Burnt or charred building materials or contents
- Heat-damaged building materials or contents
- Smoke-damaged building materials or contents
Buildings that remain structurally sound can still suffer an extensive partial loss. An actual total loss involves a situation in which a property has burned down or sustained such extensive structural damage that a complete rebuild is necessary.
A fire loss is likely partial if a building can be cleaned and restored. This even applies to situations in which a certain portion of a structure sustains significant damage and may have to be rebuilt, but the building remains structurally sound on the whole and safe for occupation after cleaning and restoration.
Fire damage at a commercial building is likely to involve damaged contents. Getting a professional verdict on the condition of equipment can facilitate claim settlement. Any assessment should account for fire, heat and smoke damage. It is helpful to have an insurance policy that covers replacement costs rather than actual cash value with depreciation.
In the event of a partial fire loss, cleanup and restoration experts should check for hidden damage. Fire damage that appears minor may actually be more extensive. Experienced fire restoration professionals can inspect and accurately identify the extent of loss for the purpose of making a commercial property insurance claim. If your home or business suffers from fire damage, give us a call 727-847-3000.
Here at SERVPRO of West Pasco, we believe understanding how fires may start and what you can do to quickly extinguish them is important to keeping not only you and but your family safe. Take a look at these quick statistics to get a better understanding of how to avoid having fire damage in your home.
- About 44% of home fires are started by cooking accidents. Be sure you keep a fire extinguisher close at hand whenever you are working in the kitchen.
- Just above 21% of residential fires are caused by electrical malfunctions or issues with the heating system in the home. This is why it is extremely important to have your appliances checked often and keep up with their maintenance year-round.
- There are more than 209 fires in Florida homes every day.
- One of the most shocking statistics is that smoke detectors are not present or are inoperative in over 52 percent of these homes.
Being prepared plays a huge part of avoiding injury and death during a fire. Make a plan and be sure that everyone in the building is familiar with it so that if a fire breaks out, everyone knows exactly what to do.
If you have fire damage in your home, give us a call at 727-847-3000, and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Day 16: The Day We All Became Epidemiologists
The number of expert epidemiologists has risen 3,000,000% in the last 45 days. Traditionally, this is an academic career path that takes nearly a decade of studying, a keen sense for numbers and statistics, requires tremendous discipline and patience and extreme focus. Esteemed within the public health community, these professionals investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in human populations. Prior to the outbreak, I knew what an epidemiologist did in general terms but I had never talked to one, didn’t know one and had probably never used the word ‘epidemiology’ in a sentence. In the last month and half, I have met and talked to dozens of them. They have honed their craft over the last month by skipping the traditional 7 -10 years of education for 60-second sound bites and regurgitating headlines. Why read the article when you can get the gist from these great memes? I jumped on the bandwagon too and registered for a six-week online course, “Learn the Complexities of Virus Origins, Mutations and Vaccines to Cure Them." They guarantee you pass or your money back. Three easy payments of $49.99, couldn’t turn it down. I cannot even begin to count the number of mistakes I have made in my business. Once I bought an F350 for $4,000 and sold it two weeks later for $700. (Turns out you should check for oil leaks.) I paid a monthly software subscription for three years that we never used – not once. (Turns out watching money literally burn would have been a better use.) I have sent crews to Ohio for flooding in residential basements. Turns out if you live in Florida, there is no reason to go to Ohio for anything. All of this to say, the recovery and the people leading the efforts are going to be challenged, make mistakes and it will not be perfect -- but it will all be okay. The path to any outcome is generally not linear. On the bright side, Ohio is off my bucket list, and in five weeks I can give you an accredited opinion on the virus and pending vaccine.
Day 15: The Day My Zoom Reflection Made Me Reflective
The idea of the Zoom or Microsoft Teams conference video is to provide live stream with colleagues to make it feel like a real live meeting, where people are having conversations and collaborating. However, everyone appears to be staring at their own self. After a month of these calls, I am still trying to figure out why everyone else’s head looks so big on the screen but my head looks small in the picture. Does my head look big on their screen or is there something wrong with my head? Those thoughts quickly shift to thinking about the bags under my eyes accentuated by these office fluorescent lights- can we do something about this? And then I move on to, ‘Why am I wearing pants right now anyway?’ A friend warned from personal experience, if you don’t wear pants, make sure a mirror is not behind you – good tip. My early studies conclude it is not just me. The deadpan straight-ahead look is on almost everyone’s face. These studies are finding people are just trying to mask over the fact that they binged on “Ozark” Season 3 last night until 1 a.m. and they are just hoping to get through the call without having to participate. These early studies also suggest as the Pandemic Groundhog Days keep churning, blow-up dolls will soon take the place of people, just to see if anyone notices or, better yet, if anyone cares. A friend told me if you angle the camera just right, you can slide your phone under the camera, hit the mute button and complete your grocery list on Shipt all while appearing completely engaged. My studies have not confirmed this as fact. This seems like an advanced technique, more of a pro’s pro kind of move. So, if you see me driving down the road and I appear to be in a complete trance, just know it is not you nor it is personal, I am probably just on a Zoom hangover. Feel free to snap me out of it just don’t say anything about the bags under my eyes – I have already seen them in glaring light. On the bright side, the Bucs are rumored to sign Gronk. All is good in the world.
Day 13: The Day I Licked Cheetos Dust Off My Fingers
I am not sure how the idea started; it felt innocent enough when I was first approached and quickly signed off on the deal. A few days passed, I didn’t think much about it and then one day I walked in and there it was plugged in and ready for my money. The first time I walked by it, I swear I heard a whisper that said, 'Put your apple down and get a bag of Cheetos.' Our office has a vending machine. Hopes of not gaining the COVID 19 diminishes with each quarter dropped into its reservoir. A bag of Cheetos is only 50 cents and it's RIGHT there. With no one in the office to observe and judge my intake, I have had more than my far share as of late. I can even be disgusting and lick the powder cheese without anyone seeing – the definition of freedom. Turns out one vending machine is not enough, you cannot have snacks without drinks. So we have a drink machine too. All the soda and energy drinks you can imagine and it even offers Yoo-hoo. Nothing reduces stress like chocolate water sweetened with corn syrup. During this time of quarantining we are thinking about the things we could accomplish. You know, "I am going to start doing (insert here)." It is a like New Years Goal in April. With Tom Brady coming to town, I ordered the TB12 book. I figure now is a good time to start. There is not a single food item within the vending machine that meets the TB12 standards. I was doomed before I started. I did read an article that said it is okay not to do much during the crisis other than survive – I am nailing that, my kind of goal. I read this in The New York Times – so there has to be some credibility, right? On the bright side, my boys think the vending machine is the coolest thing they have ever seen. I now have three bucks in quarters at all times in my truck, so feel free to stop by to commiserate with a guilt-free Coke and a bag of Cheetos on me. Just stay your distance and don’t lick the powdered cheese off your fingers -- because no one wants to see that. -JG
Day 14: The Day I Considered Corona's Impact on N-95 Couture
In the restoration and remediation industry, we have been wearing N-95 particulate respirators for years and systematically include them in our regular supplies. The masks have always been slightly uncomfortable, hot and not flattering. Over the years, I have seen people wear them upside down, with one strap around their head instead of two, and on their forehead because it was too hot and what’s a few mold spores going do to me anyway. Hard to argue with that logic, I mean how much harm could a few microscopic particulates do to a person. This is where I insert the hand hitting the forehead emoji. I see people in their cars with windows rolled up, air conditioning cranking, radio jamming and a mask around their face. I wonder if they know something I don’t. I am excited though, maybe COVID-19 will do to the respirator industry what Uber did to the taxi-cab industry. The bland hospital white look that screams, ‘there must something wrong with that guy,’ could be replaced with something much cooler. I am not creative enough to know what that is, but I know the bar is so low it would be hard to be disappointed with any attempt. Get Nike or Yeti or someone like that involved and we have a chance for something better, I think. Anyway, in the meantime, I will keep doing my part and wearing my N-95 in public like it is Halloween. In case you see me driving around with it on, roll down the window and wave. Just know that I want to talk to you, it is not personal but it hurts my jaw too much with it on. I wonder if they make children’s sizes for the house.
Day 9: The Day I Taught My Son to Bump Elbows
Day 9 In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he can see a future where we do not shake hands anymore. I know people who, prior to the pandemic, would only fist or elbow bump to say hi. I thought it was weird but I guess they were ahead of their time. Heck, before all of this, I had no issues with a Golden Corral buffet – but now I am thinking twice. In our business, we are inside many properties; most are fairly clean and organized, but some not as much. We all have a lot of stuff, but some have more than others – I try not to judge. All of this makes me think the service industry may never be the same after COVID-19. Perhaps in the future our team will begin a project by setting containment areas around all work areas to protect everyone while we work. Meaning, by design we do not have much interaction with our client and we seal off the area we are working in regardless of the service being provided. Will air scrubbers, with the HEPA filters that can remove particulates as tiny as 0.3 microns from the air, be required in work spaces? If an employee calls out sick, for any reason, does this mean they stay home for two weeks? I guess we all have to wait and see what happens. On the bright side, if I see you at the Golden Corral, life is back to normal. This is my new barometer on normal – will I eat at the Corral? So when we dip our strawberry into the same chocolate trough, just as the previous 139 (hygienic) people before us did, just know that I want to shake your hand – but an elbow bump will have to do, you know, because our hands will be full with plates of chocolate strawberries.
Day 10: The Day
Day 10 I can verify that, despite COVID-19, every company’s A/R (accounts receivable) department is up running smoothly right now. The invoices are printed almost ahead of schedule, then mailed, emailed, faxed and texted to you. On the other hand, the A/P (accounts payable) departments appear to be having major technical difficulties – does COVID-19 affect the ability to print checks to pay bills? (Really guys, I saw it on the Internet – the virus can smear ink! JUST JOKING) Trying to get ahold of anyone in an accounts payable department at a mortgage company, for example, is like changing a diaper. You are kind of used to the process and do not think it will be that bad, only to realize this next experience is worse than you could imagine, makes you wonder how it was even possible to reach this level and you think about your life choices for a second. Once you do get through to someone, chances are they are just taking messages. This person always makes me feel confident the message is taken accurately and sent with urgency to the exact person I was seeking. So, for now, we will keep sending emails and leaving messages. On the bright side, the Bucs signed Tom Brady. Life is good. -Jeremy George
Day 11: The Day Someone Sneezed Four Times
Day 11 They had to come inside. Outside the front door they stood, clutching a check and looking earnest, kind even. Under normal circumstances, they could turn the door handle and walk right inside. But in the Covid-19 world, I had to unlock the deadbolt myself. Through the glass door I made eye contact – they appeared ok so I turned the key. The check was surrendered without issue, and then they did something unconscionable. It was beyond belief. They sneezed. Not just once, but four times. (In case you can’t picture it: “Achoo! Achoo! Achoo! Achoo!”) Two months ago, I probably would have said, ‘Bless you’ (I actually do not know why I say this), offered a tissue and forgotten about the incident. Today however... I wanted to channel my inner Hulk and heave them through the glass window that I had just looked through and decided they were ok. I thought horrible thoughts about their character, I made judgments about their values and sense and I contemplated giving them their check back. (I quickly got over the last part and made the deposit with ease.) As a sneezer myself, I realize my life will probably never be back to normal. I have tried to hold a sneeze in, but the inner forces always win and somehow create what is now considered a disgusting hand. I suppose I could sneeze in my mask but that seems potentially messy too. I get it, I do not want to be around us sneezers either – sneeze at home, weirdo! Anyway, on the bright side, you can still bring your sneeze-riddled checks to the office but you just have to put it under the front mat while we stare at you from the glass window, in a non-judgmental way of course. If you need a tissue, just ask: We will crack the door enough to offer you one, just try not to touch the box. Or sneeze. --Jeremy George
Day 12: The Day My Wife Asked What I'm Doing Online All The Time
Day 12 I’m a little worried. My searches on Craigslist, AutoTrader, Ebay – you know, the hours I pore over the website at night after my early-bird wife falls asleep, am I the only one? – are becoming more and more random the longer this situation drags on. I believe I am looking for things, I am not sure what things but things that could potentially help our business. So far, I have looked at a pizzeria for sale in St. Pete, someone who had 9 paint sprayers with 17 ladders and another guy with a bucket truck. None of these are helpful to me but I did text two sellers to see if the items were still available. For anyone interested in a pizza shop or a bucket truck, I know a couple guys. In this era of social distancing, the bucket truck might make for a nice delivery vehicle. Over the years I have found some success with these searches. We now own dump trailers, portable storage units, a flatbed trailer, a couple of box trucks, an F150 and two forklifts -- thanks to past late night searches. I mean, why would you only have one forklift when you can have two? Not every online purchase is a winner. I did buy what I thought was a tow-behind smoker off the side of a guy’s house for $200. I had to put in another $800 to make it safe to pull around, and turns out it is a grill and not a smoker. I use it once a year. When our first son was born, I wanted to get Nora the best breast pump available. So obviously, you would search CL – right? I found what I thought was a steal of a deal. I drove to arguably the worst part of Tampa to the house, where three looking dudes were hanging out outside and immediately realized the deal was not the “steal” so to speak. I was happy to pay and get back into my truck as fast as possible. Anyway, I hope the COVID-19 pandemic passes sooner than later so I do not find myself looking into that plasma cutting equipment I saw. On the bright side, with all this time, we are going to look into retro-fitting the grill into a smoker this week for about $600 and we should have some ribs going on Friday. Feel free to stop just stay your distance. — JG
Day 7: The Day No One Else Was Around
Day 7, 5:59 p.m Struggled a little bit today… I like people. I like being around people, I like talking to people and I like interacting with people. I consider myself a people person. I know a lot of different kinds of people and not all of them are ‘people people.’ The longer this drags on, I am starting to understand their thought process more. People I have found, in general, can have a lot of needs. One of my favorite George Carlin rants is when he talks about people’s needs in a way only he could: “We hear this all the time now, ‘My needs aren’t being met.’ You know what I tell them? Drop some of your needs.” If only it were that simple. For now though, the roads are empty, the office is empty, the phone calls are slower than normal and I am wondering when do I get to see all the people again? In the short term, I will handle the silence but look forward to people’s needs, interactions and laughter. I am not sure when this over but until the national TP shortage has ended, the office will remain empty because that is one need that cannot be dropped.
Day 8: The Day No One Laughed
They have all been exposed.
Every one of them.
The smiles, the chuckles, even the belly laughs...
Each morning, we hold the Work-In-Progress meeting, and until last week they happened around a white table in our conference room. I cannot help myself from making a joke or two. Admittedly, some of the attempts at humor are not good, but complete bombs are rare – at least that is what I thought.
The in-person meeting brings at least a few laughs, but attempting jokes on Zoom meetings is a different beast. They generate nothing. I think everyone might have been pretending to laugh the whole time. Maybe it was just a pity laugh - ugh, the worst kind.
In their defense, they have a variety of excuses to choose from to explain the crickets. “I did laugh but I was on mute and by the time I could unmute the subject had moved on.” Or, “I was laughing but the internet connection was unstable and I had to reboot my internet browser,” “I accidentally hit ‘leave meeting’ because I was laughing so hard,” “You cannot see me laughing because my hand is in front of my face and I am muted.”
Lastly, “No, you are right I am not laughing because it was not funny anyway and it is annoying being on this Zoom call wishing three other people on this call would understand what the mute button actually accomplishes so forgive me, nothing is actually funny right now.”
All this time I misread the crowd, I guess they really are the more serious type. Maybe I should look into introducing complex spreadsheets into our Zoom meeting and ask everyone to take part in explaining a different section. That actually sounds worse.
On the bright side, without all the fake laughs, now our WIP meetings should really zoom.
Terrible, I know. I do see their point, I have to get better.
Day 6: The Day Amanda Was Asked To Maintain Her Professionalism
Day 6, 4:47 p.m. (Today we turn the blog over to Amanda, who has anchored the office team at SERVPRO of West Pasco for 24 years) Thursday 3/26 was my first day working from home. I was so excited! I was all set up at my dining room table. The day was very busy and I worked longer than my normal shift. I was on a roll. I was unstoppable! I thought to myself: “Wow. This is great. No interruptions / very quiet / when this is all said and done I might ask my superiors if I can work from home 2-3 days a week.” Friday morning – I get up excited! Ready to rock and roll – again. Ughy. Some technical issues. Going from 2 large computer screens down to 1 very small notebook screen is challenging. I’m scrolling all over the place. Where the heck is my QBO page? OMG – did I really just close out of Work Centers for the 4th time in the last half hour? How the heck do I get back to the server?? Oh geeze – calls and texts are coming in. People need my assistance. I have to focus.1:00 pm on Friday – I am now doing laps around my living room – waving my arms and getting loud. Frustration of all the changes and unknown are setting in. Okay. I’m getting louder. I may have let a profanity or 2 slip out. During my semi-moderate “freak-out” – my 17-year-old daughter enters the room and states: “Mother, please, try to remember that you are at work and try to maintain your professionalism!”
Day 5: The Day the April Fool's Joke Wasn't Funny
The dispatcher is isolated in her office at SERVPRO of West Pasco.
It might be hyperbole but in this moment, it feels like I will not communicate with co-workers like usual, ever again. Ever. In my industry, like many others, communication is critical. Today, I felt like I was screaming at Lisa (the SERVPRO dispatcher and, during COVID-19, the only other human physically in our office) as I tried to communicate through her office door. I needed to hand her critical paperwork, but had to ask if she felt comfortable if I could open the door to hand it over -- a weird position for both of us. I felt like the “close talker” from Seinfeld even though I was 6 feet away. I probably should have just texted her first.
My preference is verbal communication. I find emails and text messages easily misunderstood, especially if you do not know the other person well and cannot hear their voice or understand their tone and manner. I always think it's humorous when clients will not answer the phone and do not want to meet in person but when you text them, they text right back. This goes on for 10-15 minutes and when the point is finally made, I always think, "Why didn’t you just answer the phone we could have done this in two minutes?"
Anyway, for now, I will be texting, Zooming, Microsoft Teaming, Google Doc-ing and FaceTiming with the person in the room next to me. I guess I better get used to it because it appears this is how it's going to be for awhile. As a bright spot, for about $50 on Amazon I can get a decent bullhorn.
Day 2: The Day the Fleet Parking Lot Was Full
Yesterday the employee lot had only one car in it; today the fleet parking lot is full.
The COVID-19 outbreak has created unprecedented circumstances for our businesses, families, and communities. Jeremy George, owner-operator of SERVPRO of West Pasco, Wesley Chapel and Hernando County, is documenting his experience as a small business owner in this daily blog.
Day 2, 6:35 p.m.
Everyone is up and running from home, but I cannot help myself, I am at the office. Allegedly I can do everything from home, but I cannot feel the pulse of the business from afar. Perhaps it’s just me. I’m a routine guy; my wife pointed out this morning that I was dressed in my business attire but I could have worn flip flops for Zoom. (Maybe another bright side.) My comfort level has been pushed past limits and I’ve realized that the more sunsets I see, the more I prefer my routine.
As we try to maintain limited business operation while honoring social distancing, every expense is being monitored; six box trucks are sitting idle at 11am. On the bright side, our vehicles and warehouse have never been so clean.
I am also confused; I can only order my food in the drive-through at Panera Bread but I can walk into Home Goods and buy a rug for the living room. I know, the rug really ties the room together – dude. Might even save a marriage during quarantining so I guess I can see how it is an essential service.
Me, however - I’m also doing my essentials and I’ll be the only guy to show up in uniform at the office on Monday.
Day 1: The Day Everyone Worked From Home
Normally crowded, the parking lot at SERVPRO of West Pasco had only one car on the first day of our social distancing plan.
The COVID-19 outbreak has created unprecedented circumstances for our businesses, families, and communities. Jeremy George, owner-operator of SERVPRO of West Pasco, Wesley Chapel and Hernando County, is documenting his experience as a small business owner in this daily blog.
Day 1, 7:12 p.m.
For the first time in the 29-year history of SERVPRO of West Pasco, our entire office staff is working remotely, with the exception of the dispatcher and a couple others whose office situation allows them to practice extreme social distancing. This morning, as I pulled in I felt a pang to see the normally crowded parking lot almost empty. As a small business owner, this is uncomfortable and foreign. I trust our team and know that these extreme measures are in the best interest of our team, our families, and our community.
Yesterday afternoon, after watching a group of people inside our office talking and laughing in a tight circle, I realized we had to do it. As humans, we are social animals, it's our nature. I knew we had to shut down the office ASAP.
As we chart the days and weeks ahead, I am sure there will be challenges we don't anticipate and also some bright spots. This morning we held our first Zoom meeting by video, with everyone working from home and hopefully wearing pants. Tomorrow we will make sure everyone knows where the "mute" button is. - Jeremy George
You know the old saying “What you can’t see, can’t hurt you,” well I don’t think they were talking about possible leaks in your home. Residential water damages are not always obvious. Sometimes, leaks can go on for months without the slightest indication.
Luckily SERVPRO of West Pasco has the right water detection equipment to help you determine what areas in your home may be affected.
Moisture Sensor-Used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
Moisture Meter-Used to determine the actual moisture contact of various materials. This also is the equipment that allows us to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometer-Used to measure temperature and relative humidity to calculate and create an environment most conductive to drying. When handling a contaminated loss (CAT 2 or 3), it is not only important to dry the structure, but to disinfect and often deodorize as well.
Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV ) Fogger-Used to atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. It can also inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard- to-reach areas that typical residential products and methods cannot reach.
Thermal Fogger-Used to dispense solvent- based products by creating a dense fog that consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing bacteria.
Early detection and treatment of water damage is the key to promoting a healthy living space and getting your domain back.
If you think you may have water damage in your home and would like SERVPRO to come out and check, call us 24/7!
Soot Damage After a Fire?
After a house fire, the danger unfortunately doesn’t stop once the flames have been put out. Soot may have spread to your entire Trinity home, posing a threat to your health and the building. Learn more about soot, how dangerous it is, and how to restore the damage below.
What is soot?
Soot is made of tiny carbon particles created by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (wood, oil, coal, and more). Soot contains lots of acids, as well as chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. These particles leave an ugly sight and foul smell.
During a fire, soot spreads to the whole house, attaching to surfaces. Thus, the acidic properties of soot can further damage your home and indoor air quality if the soot is not removed immediately.
Soot can inhabit your home even if there wasn’t a fire. Excessive use of candles can lead to soot buildup, so make sure to use them sparingly (they are also a fire risk). Fireplaces can release soot as well if they’re not ventilated enough. Furnaces are also a source of soot contamination when they produce a puff back.
What are the dangers of soot exposure?
Statistics show that particle exposure leads to around 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Soot-related diseases are the culprit of many of them. Moreover, soot exposure causes 300,000 asthma attacks and two million lost workdays annually due to respiratory problems.
Soot can enter your body through inhalation, ingestion or via the skin and eyes. These toxic particles can cause breathing issues, including asthma, bronchitis, coronary heart disease, and even cancer. Infants, the elderly, and those who already have breathing problems are the most affected.
To avoid the health risks of soot exposure after a home fire, make sure that all soot-affected areas are properly cleaned and sanitized.
If you’ve experienced a fire in your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Pasco!
Commercial Water Loss In Local Hospital
When water damage occurs in our local New Port Richey hospital, it can cause significant damage to a variety of equipment and sensitive instruments in the building. Whether the cause is a sprinkler malfunction, water overflow, a pipe leak or something else, it can lead to thousands of dollars in damage and equipment loss. At SERVPRO of West Pasco, our team responds as quickly and responsibly to ensure as little damage as possible and begin treating the affected areas immediately.
One of the costliest effects of a New Port Richey hospital water damage is the effect it may have on the some of the equipment. Medical equipment can be extremely sensitive to the effects of excessive moisture and most of the time will require specialized technicians to repair them correctly. SERVPRO of West Pasco maintains an extensive list of licensed local and national partners that can help recover as much of your damaged equipment as possible and can help conduct inventory services to find out what all was unsalvageable in the loss.
Getting facilities operational again
We understand the need to get a hospital up and running as quickly as possible after a water damage occurs. With copious amounts of equipment and all hands-on deck, that, along with safety for the patients is our top priority!
SERVPRO of West Pasco is a local provider of professional-grade water damage mitigation and restoration services.
Signs of Commercial Water Damage in your Business
Commercial water damage is not always a sudden burst pipe gushing water into your business, sometimes its as simple as an unseen slow leak for an extended period of time. The good news is, there are signs that appear with that type of loss as well. If you see the following signs affecting your Port Richey business, try to investigate a little and see if there is an issue that requires immediate assistance. If so give SERVPRO of West Pasco a call 24/7 to help mitigate!
Do you have a musty odor throughout your building that you can’t quite locate? That could be a sign of water damage. Musty odors begin forming when there is standing water present. This could be in an attic, crawl space or other area unseen.
Signs of mold
It only takes 24-hours for airborne mold spores to set up their home in your building if conditions are right. Where excessive moisture exists, often so do mold colonies. Professional remediation is a must to eliminate the conditions conducive to growth as well as stop the potential for cross-contamination to different areas of your business.
Water stains are the most obvious sign of water damage in your commercial business. If you’re noticing discoloration on the ceiling or wall, chances are you have a leak. SERVPRO technicians have moisture detection equipment that allows them to “see” behind walls and under flooring to determine where the most extensive moisture is found.
If you are noticing any of these signs in your Trinity commercial property, call SERVPRO of West Pasco and let us come out and check it for you!
As we face the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, now a pandemic, SERVPRO of West Pasco is receiving calls from clients in New Port Richey asking how to address this from a cleaning perspective.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has spread to more than 132 countries. The virus, abbreviated COVID-19, is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
From a cleaning perspective, the CDC encourages the cleaning of high-touch surfaces. This can include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. This applies to commercial spaces as well.
SERVPRO is able to provide support by offering proactive cleaning services including removal of biohazard contaminants with an EPA-registered disinfectant and specialized cleaning methodology. We can help minimize the spread of germs with proactive cleaning! At SERVPRO, we’re trained to adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards, making us the #1 choice for cleanup and restoration. Call SERVPRO of West Pasco to see how we can help clean your New Port Richey home or business.
At SERVPRO of West Pasco we know how great our team is but getting confirmation like this makes our hearts happy! For the month of February we have two MVPs, Jeremiah and Dan L! Check out this review we received from someone in our local community that came across our “SERVPRO Angels.”
"On February 18th .. 2 SERVPRO angels appeared. My car stopped ....totally ...on highway 19 and Floramar. A very fast and high traffic area. No flashers, couldn’t get it into neutral ..nothing. Not a spark. It just stopped. Pretty scary! 2 SERVPRO angels saw me .... nervous and shaking as the cars either sped past me or yelled at me. They crossed the highway and came to my rescue. Dan managed to get it in neutral by some magic trick, while Jeremiah comforted me and tried to keep me calm in the middle of a very dangerous highway. They managed to push me across the street (3 lanes of traffic) into a parking lot of Advanced Auto Parts. Jeremiah opened up the hood ....went in and got a spray and brush and cleaned off a very corroded battery. They got it started ....wouldn’t accept any money gave me hugs and a phone number to call when I made it home and even offered to take time on their lunch hour to follow me. What kindness! If this company hires these kind of men you should use them. They went way beyond to help, at great personal danger to themselves. Have you traveled 19? Ugh! A HUGE Thank you to Dan and Jeremiah and a message to their boss...... you are lucky to have these guys as employees. In fact you should give them both a raise. Big points in heaven for both of them. 5 stars!"
Spring into action this season!
Tornadoes, hail, lightening, thunderstorms, fluctuating temperatures, the risk of flooding – Spring, oh what a season! Many Trinity homeowners are excited about the spring awakening, but they won’t get to see our May Flowers if the home is not prepared for these April showers! There are certain steps homeowners can take at the beginning of April to ensure the home can withstand heavy showers and potential rain storms.
Time to Prepare
When you expect rain showers, there are some things you can do to help prepare. Weather changes by the minute, so you need to be prepared for whatever type of rain mother nature throws at us. When rain is intense, water can permeate materials that are not durable. Take a walk around the perimeter of your home and be sure your materials are up to date, and not rotten or compromised. That inspection should also include your roof. Do you have missing/ loose tiles or shingles? If tiles or shingles are not secure, rain, especially wind driven, can enter your home and cause some serious damage. Don’t worry tho, if you do encounter any issues during this springs storm season, call SERVPRO of West Pasco!
Why You Shouldn't Clean Your Own Fire Damage
DIY fire damage cleanup? Let the professionals handle it.
We understand that after a fire damage occurs in your New Port Richey home, the number one priority to the homeowner is to get their life back to normal as quickly as possible. One mistake they make is to attempt to cleanup the smoke damage and remove charred debris themselves. While it sounds like a great idea to save money and speed the process up, it can actually cause more harm than good. Certain cleaning agents can increase the amount of loss you have and even render other items unsalvageable.
It’s important that Bay Area homeowners allow a professional remediation company to take the proper precautions to protect areas of the home that may not have been affected. Did you know that soot particles are sometimes smaller than the eyes can see? That’s why the first thing our team does is set up containment to keep soot away from areas it shouldn’t be.
The cleaning process is also different depending on the material that’s been involved in the fire. While sheetrock and wood structural elements tend to leave behind a powdery, light residue called dry smoke, rubber and plastic contents produce wet smoke which is think and difficult to clean from surfaces without the proper procedures.
Luckily for you, SERVPRO of West Pasco has certified technicians who have the knowledge and the equipment to make your fire loss “Like it never even happened.”
Prepare for Flooding
Using Sandbags to Prevent Flood Damage
Sandbags are a fantastic resource when expecting a flood near your home or business.
What is a sandbag and how are they helpful?
A sandbag is a sack made or burlap or woven plastic that is filled with sand or soil and used for multiple purposes, but mainly for flood control. They are an excellent choice for the construction on levees, barricades for erosion control, flood walls, and traffic control. Sandbags may be used in cases of emergencies when rivers threaten to over-flow or levee or dam is damaged. Quick action and bags on-hand could save countless dollars in personal and property damage.
What size sandbags are best for homes and business’s?
You should use sandbags that are about 14-18” wide and 30-36” deep. They should be filled half full for easy stacking and will weigh approximately 30 lbs.
SANDBAG DON’Ts . . .
- Sandbags should never be used to build a fortress around the perimeter of one's property. Doing so can actually trap flood-waters between sandbag walls and structures, leading to further damage.
- Do not use garbage bags, as they are too slick to stack. Do not use feed sacks, as they are too large to handle.
Trees Can Wreak Havoc During A Storm
Heavy rain mixed with high winds can wreak havoc on weak and stressed trees, causing branches to snap or trees to uproot. Take a walk around the perimeter of your home. Are your trees ready for the next storm?
Hurricane season is approaching faster than we know — and with hurricanes sometimes comes property damage. High winds are not the only culprit to the damage your house can occur during a storm. Property damage can also be a result of falling trees and flying landscape debris. The key to minimizing your risk against property damage is storm preparedness.
There is no such thing as a hurricane-resistant landscape but with proper care and timely maintenance overseen by a certified and licensed arborist, trees can survive the storm!
Pruning is Vital Component to Hurricane Damage Prevention
A strong, deep-rooted tree may not fall during a storm, but weak limbs buried in the canopy may cause an issue. Broken, dead and damaged limbs can be torn from trees during a storm and turned into dangerous projectiles.
Regular pruning done by an arborist over the course of the tree’s life can create a sturdy, well-spaced framework of healthy branches with an open canopy that allows wind to flow freely through.
Trees to Watch Out For
Trees with dense canopies
Dead or dying trees
Trees with codominant trunks
New plantings and young trees
Consult a certified arborist to see if these, or any other tree hazards, exist around your home.
Laundry Room Fire Prevention Tips
This local Bay Area home was affected by a large loss fire that began in their laundry room!
While cooking remains the leading cause of house fires, laundry room fires account for an average of 15,000 fires each year in the United States according to the National Fire Protection Association. That’s the unfortunate event that happened at this local Tampa Bay Area home. With it being our largest residential fire to date, our team dived in head first and utilized all of our tools and resources to get these clients home back to them and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Between structural damage for this 5,000 square foot home and the affected contents inside during the fire, we have been busy! Calling in engineers, electricians, plumbers, and even moving companies to help!
We know what you're thinking.... "How can I prevent this from happening SERVPRO of Hernando County?" Well, you're in luck because we've listed some tips to help ensure you don't have the same devastation our client has had.
- Clean the lint filter after every use. Lint is highly flammable, so allowing it to build up in your dryer’s filter is dangerous. Before you start a load of laundry, always make it a habit to pull out the lint filter and clean it. You also need to check around the vent pipes and ducts to make sure that they stay clear of lint.
- Replace your foil accordion vent pipe with a rigid metal pipe.Many dryers have a foil vent pipe that can collect lint that easily gets stuck in the folds of the vent, becoming a fire hazard. You can prevent lint build-up by replacing the vent pipe with a sturdy metal vent, which will reduce the amount of lint being left behind.
- Clean inside, underneath, and behind the dryer.Lint and other debris can build up in the spaces surrounding your dryer. Heat or a spark from the dryer can ignite the flammable materials, causing a fire. You can reduce the risk of fire by dusting and sweeping around your dryer once a week to keep it lint free.
- Avoid drying items that have been exposed to combustible materials.If you have items soiled with oil, grease, or gasoline, don’t put it in the dryer because the heat could cause the item to catch on fire. Instead, hang those items up to dry!
- Check to make sure that there is space between the dryer and the wall.Your dryer needs clearance from the wall so that air can circulate around it to cool it down. If the back of the dryer is blocked, it can easily overheat. Additionally, your vent pipe needs space so that it doesn’t get bent or compressed to prevent lint build up!
The team at SERVPRO of West Pasco is bar none. For years, we’ve honored one team member each month, presenting them with a small token of appreciation and a large amount of gushing and gratitude. Until now, the executive team selected the Employee of the Month; but we’re turning it back on the team now and looking to colleagues to nominate each other for a specific action that demonstrates our company’s Mission, Vision, and Purpose.
For our inaugural MVP award, we received dozens of inspiring notes about the good work of our team, but one stood out. While driving home after a long day in the office, Shanna R., our Project Coordinator for our West Pasco division, saw one of our technicians on the side of the road in distress. He had just gotten into a car accident and was waiting for police to arrive. Being that he is only 19 and his family is states away, Shanna went out of her way to sit with him and help him through the process for over two hours, not arriving home to her own family until late that night. This completely selfless and caring act is exactly what we look for in an MVP. We’re more than just a team at SERVPRO of West Pasco; we’re a family and Shanna’s act was a prime example!
Offseason: Ready for Whatever Happens
Here in Florida, especially on the Gulf Coast, storm season is something we take very seriously. But at SERVPRO of West Pasco, we are even thinking about hurricanes and tornadoes in the off season.
Officially, 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 operation’s busiest time of year. In fact, our company handbook outlines hurricane season and encourages the team not to plan non-refundable vacations, weddings or the births of children during that time frame. (Just kidding!)
During the off season, our team balances the daily workload of emergency services response along with preparation for storm response. We focus on training and updating industry certifications in the spring, allowing the team to ready themselves for the weeks and months ahead, and also take time to step away and reflect on how we can be better prepared for the next time. Over the years, we’ve added to our standard operating plan 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 New Port Richey!
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.
Leaking Toilet? Water Damage Source #2
The cause of loss in this picture is the detached supply line leading to the toilet. This unfortunate event caused a whole home to become flooded.
Toilets can develop leaks both internally and externally. An external leak can cause water damage in your home rather quickly, not to mention some wet feet! 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 yourself!
- 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 condensation. Bathrooms can get very humid, especially during and after a shower. 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 worry about.
- Crack on the tank or bowl. Toilets are built to last, but cracks do sometimes develop on them over time. Often times this will start as a hairline crack that develops 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 pooling up 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 bound 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 cause for an internal leak is a worn out flapper. The flapper stops 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 damage any parts of your home. If you are uncertain of the cause of the leak, call a local, licensed plumber so that they can come to your house to inspect and fix the problem. Although some homeowners might choose to fix simple problems like a worn out flapper on their own, most of the causes of a leaky toilet are best left in the hands of a professional plumber. If you do happen to encounter a leak that has caused damage to your home, give SERVPRO of West Pasco a call!
#1 Source of Water Damages
Water Heaters are the number one cause of water damages in the home.
1/13 – Top Sources: Hot Water Heater
In a previous blog we discussed the top three reasons our clients experienced water damages in 2019. The number-one source of water damages was a leaking or malfunctioning hot water heater, a trend our colleagues across the country also report. With this knowledge, and a few useful tips, you can take steps to prevent the possibility of any damage in your own home. In this blog, we will discuss 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 an unfortunate situation:
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 this happens. Good news - this is an easy fix. All you need to do is a grab a wrench and tighten the valve. It is extremely important that you do not over tighten it; 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 exterior water supply to a house 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 cause an issue. 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 West Pasco and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
You Have Mold, Now What?
Water damage in this condo has caused mold to develop behind the vanity
Picture this. You wake up, walk into your bathroom and find a puddle on the floor. Immediately you contact SERVPRO of West Pasco to come out to your home to start drying it out. While inspecting the area they notice some microbial growth behind the vanity. WHAT NOW?
This is the same scenario faced by one of our clients in her gorgeous waterfront condo in Dunedin, Florida. Luckily SERVPRO of West Pasco arrived quickly 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 ominous, but with a team of trained professionals behind you, it doesn’t have to be scary. Our technicians and project managers are trained to handle such threats so its “Like it never even happened.”
Here’s a play-by-play of the process we use when dealing with any kind of microbial growth. Our No. 1 priority is safety. This is not only for our technicians but for our clients as well. We protect onsite workers with proper PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) first. One of the most important next steps we take is placing containment to separate the uncontaminated area from our work zone and minimize the opportunities for spores to spread. Next we detached 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 worthy to note 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 removed, all studs and framing treated and wiped, 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 West Pasco.
November Employee of the Month
In-House Construction Manager Sheldon Borris
Congratulations to Sheldon Borris, recognized at our December meeting for his outstanding work during the previous month. Always smiling and exuding the island vibe, Sheldon is a core member of the SERVPRO of West Pasco team and a leader in many ways. Sheldon joined our team three years ago, transferring from a New Jersey operation for a total of seven years within the SERVPRO system. He is a skilled carpenter with more than 27 years spent in the field and now manages the In-House Construction team. While his construction skills are exceptional, his professionalism is bolstered by his patience, attention to detail and kindness and he is a favorite among clients as well as his colleagues. He is not only a member of our management team, but also a trusted mentor who newer employees turn to for advice and guidance.
This honor is for his work in November, but really, Sheldon is consistently a top performer and a leader at our company. Thank you, Sheldon, for all you bring to the team at SERVPRO of West Pasco.
Top 3 Water Damage Sources
Leak caused by a toilet in the bathroom.
With the end of year rapidly approaching, we are taking a look at some of the most frequent causes of water damages we have seen in 2019! Water damages happen every day and there are more causes than we can count, but here are the top 3 sources we have come across this past year, and prevention tips you can use in 2020.
- Hot water heater
Most people know that when their water heater is leaking, it means bad news. This minor nuisance can turn into a significant problem before you know it, so it is something that should be handled quickly and professionally.
A small trickle of water can be easily cleaned up with minimal damage to your floors if caught early. However, this small trickle will soon turn into a flood that will cause damage to your sub-floors and even dry-wall if left unattended.
You may be able to determine if the leak is an easy enough repair, or if you require a brand new water heater. Regardless of your findings, we always recommend reaching out to a licensed plumber to look at the situation and either repair the leak or replace your water heater altogether.
Most of us have dealt with a leaky toilet at some point. It is one of those household problems that cannot be left unattended for long or it can cause serious damage to your home. Detecting the cause of leakage can be somewhat of a challenge because of the number of working parts that go into 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.
3. Ice Maker supply line
An occasional puddle under the fridge could be stray splashes 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 over and over, you’ve got a problem. Those ponds on the kitchen floor are sure signs that your refrigerator ice maker water line is leaking.
Visions of soaked baseboards and mold behind the walls flash before your eyes, but have no fear, SERVPRO of West Pasco is here.
No matter how, where or why your leak has occurred, we are here to help. SERVPRO of West Pasco is here 24/7 to mitigate any water loss that may be affecting your home with one simple phone call.
Meet our Owner/ Operator
Jeremy George - Owner/ Operator
NAME: Jeremy George
YEARS IN FIELD: 27
- How did you get started with SERVPRO?
I responded to my first water damage when I was 13. 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. After graduating from the University of Central Florida, I spent a few years in Dallas before coming home to work full-time in the business and help my parents transition toward retirement.
- What do you feel has been your greatest reward in this line of work?
I love what we do because we help people, plain and simple. But as I’ve grown into my role as owner, the greatest reward for me has been seeing our team come together and grow and develop as professionals, and people. We work hard to promote from within, and watching a team member hone in their interests, skills and goals to begin a meaningful career path that benefits them professionally as well as personally, is extremely rewarding. Working with great people, and watching how SERVPRO can help them reach their own goals, is the best 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 poignant nonprofit operations, providing healthcare on a sliding pay scale to underserved populations. We are also , once again, a proud 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 drive by this weekend you can see the SERVPRO of West Pasco animated light, where an elf is cheerily 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.
End of the Year Celebration
The SERVPRO of West Pasco team celebrated together at the Gulf Harbors Yacht Club of New Port Richey.
2019, what a year! There are so many accomplishments that we can celebrate, both individually and as a SERVPRO family. What better way to celebrate than together? We laughed, we cried, and we ate a mashed potato bar!
Each year we recognize teammates for exceptional 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 proud to honor the following three teammates:
Samantha A. was honored for exceptional client care and service in her position as Marketing Support Coordinator. Over a year and a half, Samantha has been promoted from dispatcher to a key role within the marketing department, and her focus is ensuring clients receive exceptional care.
Thomas K., was celebrated for outstanding professional development with the Quantum Leap Award. Thomas joined the team as a technician this year and has jumped full force into the industry, receiving IICRC certifications and always demonstrating a can-do attitude.
Leah P. was honored as our Employee of the Year for her steadfast and thoughtful commitment to our company and mission. Known around here at the Water Queen, she goes out of her way to be the calming voice when someone has a water damage in their home and walks them through every step of the way. Her calm nature and clever wit are a bonus!
These three, along with the rest of our amazing team have helped make a difference with not only our company but our community while helping our customers in need. We were lucky enough to expand our company this year promote from within and invest in new equipment – lots to celebrate. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for SERVPRO of West Pasco!
What Caused Your Commercial Water Damage?
In homes or residential properties water damages occur pretty frequently. You may be familiar with our company treating your home after water damages, but we also treat commercial size properties. Below are 4 most common cause of water damages to commercial facilities or businesses.
Here in Florida we are aware of our crazy storm seasons. Everything from a light rain to a full-blown hurricane comes our way. When a storm hits, there is a high possibility that it can bring damage to your commercial property. Whether its flooding from a mass amount of rain, a tree that fell and exposed your exterior, or a broken window that created access for water to enter your business facility.
- Plumbing Mishap or Backup
Blocked plumping happens more often than not, and this can lead to a sink or toilet rapidly overflowing. When a backup has been formed within a pipe it is easiest for water to escape the quickest way out, the wrong way. Spilling out into your bathroom area or all over break-room, it can happen. These backups are a result of all sorts of things being put down the drain- paper, large food pieces, grease, clothing materials, etc.- all leading to an overflowing appliance.
Foundation cracks happen to all buildings, new or old, and of any size. Often times it can be a small crack that goes unnoticed until the water starts to seep in. Water entering through your foundation can not only lead to water damage but can lead towards further problems such as mold. It is best to be assertive and investigate for potential cracks in your foundation. If found, contact a professional to assess your damage and create the best plan of action for you and your company.
A broken pipe can occur for a number of reasons---weather, loose fittings, aged material, clogged---and these can all result in water damage to your property. Doing regular maintenance to your facilities system can greatly lessen the chance of a pipe burst. Checking for leaks, not clogging pipes, having a plumber come inspect, etc. all to prevent a possible disaster.
How to Avoid a Soppy Mess
Certain accidents or disasters that result in water damages can be unpredictable, however there are some tips and tricks you can follow to help lessen the risk of flooding in your home or business.
- Observing Your Appliances
No matter what the appliance is, if it requires water it will typically have a supply line. One of the biggest ways we see here of homes with water damages comes from supply line leaks or breaks. These little hoses that are attached to your appliance can leak or break completely. When this occurs, water is displaced throughout the space uncontrollably.
Watching your appliances and checking their supply lines can potentially save you from water damage. If you regularly check your supply lines, there is the chance you will notice before things take a turn for the worst. A strange kink in the hose, or little crack can grow into a big break causing extensive water damage. To avoid this, check your hoses, look for potential problems, and get a replacement, before the damage is done.
- Regular Bathroom Maintenance
Similar to watching your appliances, conducting regular bathroom maintenance can potentially save you from a disaster. As you attending to your bathroom this may help you notice any pooling water under the sink, near the shower, or around the toilet. Finding this can result in getting the necessary help quicker, before the damages worsens or grow.
Whenever water is found, in any shape or size, it is important not to allow it to sit and get worse. Standing water allows for moisture to be absorbed and possibly grow mold.
Having an HVAC system is one way to have moisture problems in your home. Finding someone to come service your system is always in your best interest when attempting to prevent water or mold damages. Knowing your system is clean and in tip top shape allows you to check that off your list of how to prevent water damages in your home
For any unexpected disasters give SERVPRO of West Pasco a call to make it “Like it never even happened.” (727)-847-3000
Fire Safety Tips From The American Red Cross
With 1.32 million house fires igniting in the United Stated each year, more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in residential blazes each year.
But unlike many other relatively common disasters, house fires - and sometimes, tragedies - can be prevented.
The American Red Cross (www.redcross.org) puts forth tips easy for most to implement to help prevent house fires and to prepare for the unexpected. When a fire starts, occupants may have as little as two minutes to escape. Research has shown the Red Cross’s tips for fire safety (www.redcross.org-fire) practiced regularly, can save lives.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
What To Do Until Help Arrives
On the phone with SERVPRO
After you hang up, knowing SERVPRO is on the way to begin to mitigate your water damage, what should you do?
First, don’t panic. The trained professionals from SERVPRO of West Pasco have the training, experience, and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”
But you can use those precious minutes to minimize further damage.
If you are facing water damage from a clean source, such as water supply lines, appliance malfunction, or tub or sink overflow, take these steps as soon as you’ve called SERVPRO for help:
- Shut off the source of the water.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors
SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division
SERVPRO of West Pasco is a proud designee to the corporate Large Loss Response Team, joining a small group of the 1,700 franchises specially trained in the execution and leadership of more significant commercial restoration projects.
Over the years our local team has worked with local clients in the fields of property management, hospitality, education, healthcare, foodservice, and retail, cleaning up damage from fire, water, mold, and biohazard. We understand how to work in an operating environment and that a quick and strategic response can help get a building back in business faster.
The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned across the United States to handle any-sized disaster, anywhere. Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.
Why choose SERVPRO to respond to your large loss situation?
- We have the resources to help you immediately.
- We perform the work necessary to reduce further damage.
- We work with you and your carrier to develop and approve a recovery plan designed to reduce business interruption.
Commercial Properties: Emergency READY Profiles
Recently our management team met to discuss how to tackle a large project: creating the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for 11 branches of the local operation of a global organization that provides recreational and community facilities.
As we discussed each branch property and its unique features, we wondered why every operation wouldn’t have this tool!
Research shows that up to 50 percent of businesses close following a disaster. But of the ones that survive, most had a preparedness plan in place.
One way to put that plan in place is to employ the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile. Our team can help develop this personalized tool that will create an immediate plan of action for a property manager and the entire facility team. The key is the entire team knows what to do and what to expect in advance, allowing for timely mitigation to help minimize how fire and water damage can affect a business.
The SERVPRO ERP tool includes:
- A no-cost assessment of your facility
- A concise, personalized Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- Facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information
- Establishment SERVPRO of West Pasco as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- A guide to help get back into the building following a disaster.
Each of these items is specifically required to launch a recovery following unexpected damage, and our team listed situations they have encountered when this information was an issue. The appreciation for the ERP tool went on almost too long…
Before the meeting was scheduled to end, but after we finalized plans to complete this important ERP project, we got an all-hands call to respond to a large-loss commercial water damage.
Fingers crossed the operation had a plan in place!
'Tis The Season: Staying Safe From Summer Storms
As we head into late summer, Tampa Bay’s weather forecast is dotted with daily storms and nightly lightning shows. Many Gulf Coast residents are struck by nature’s beauty when storms rage, but its important to take steps now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes.
Officially, hurricane season for the Atlantic Basic – which includes the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea – is June 1 through November 30. But as anyone living in New Port Richey and Trinity knows, the peak of our season is from mid-August to late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime during the entire season.
Consider the following tips to prepare for an approaching storm and to recover afterwards:
BEFORE THE STORM
- Create your emergency supply kit and a communication plan
- Unplug all electronics and appliances
- Secure outdoor items that might blow away or cause damage
- Shutter windows and doors. If there are no shutters, close window shades, curtains, or blinds
DURING THE STORM
- Employ a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for official updates
- Avoid corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use
- Do not touch electrical equipment or cords
- Stay away from windows and doors
AFTER THE STORM
- Do not drive through a flooded roadway
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas, especially downed power lines
Preparing For A Storm
When Hurricane Irma bore down on the Gulf Coast in September 2017, those of us who hadn’t heeded recommendations to pre-stock our hurricane kit figured out why.
The stores were mobbed, and the shelves were bare. That was BEFORE the storm hit. After it cleared, we waited more than a week for grocery stores to be fully restocked again.
Needless to say, for this reason and many more, the next year and all years to come, the team at SERVPRO of West Pasco is committed to creating our individual hurricane kits before the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season so we can stay ready for whatever happens.
Once a storm clears, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours.
Is your hurricane kit ready? Make sure you have the basics stocked, using the checklist below. Most items are low cost and easy to find, and each of these could save your life. For more details or to take a deeper look at what unique needs you or your family might have, check out ready.gov.
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
Commercial Cleaning Services
Most local building and facility managers know SERVPRO is there 24/7 to respond to fire and water damage emergencies, but they are often surprised when they learn about our array of specialized cleaning and maintenance services.
We understand that while a regular janitorial staff is critical to a building’s operation, and sometimes grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond their scope of work. That’s when SERVPRO can step in to help keep space looking (and smelling!) its very best.
At SERVPRO of West Pasco, our team is specially trained to offer professional services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants, in the broader categories including:
- Air Ducts
- Carpet and Upholstery
- Ceilings, Floors, and Walls
- Drapes and Blinds
- Odor Removal
- Trauma and Crime Scene
Call us anytime at 727-847-3000 with questions about our commercial cleaning services and our commitment to make fire and water damage – and dirt, grime, and odor – “Like it never even happened.”
Fire Damage: What to Expect When You Call
Fire Damage: What to Expect When You Call
While we cleanup more water damages than fires, we spend more of our time cleaning up fires. Restoring a home or business after a fire to remove all smoke and soot is a long and detail-oriented process, but one that in the end has great results making a disaster “Like it never even happened.”
But while fire damages are a regular occurrence for us, when clients call, its almost always the first time they have experienced such a loss. We understand that experiencing a fire can be devastating, with cherished memories and treasures at stake, as well as emotional toil. It can be overwhelming and stressful, and seem like a huge project one can never dig out of, even with professional help.
We tackle every project systematically, breaking the cleanup process down into steps. As we work through the process with clients we do our best to empathize and to walk through the process, much of which will be unknown until we get into the project. Here are the basic steps to a fire damage cleanup, presented here to help clients understand what to expect when they face damage from fire, smoke, or soot:
Step1: Emergency Contact: As soon as we take your call, we begin a plan for 24/7 emergency response.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment: Once onsite, we assess damage and needs to stabilize the structure and mitigate further or secondary damage.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed):
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
Step 6: Cleaning and Repair
Step 7: Restoration
The team at SERVPRO of West Pasco is here 24/7 to help with your restoration needs.
The Morning I Smelled Fire
A New Port Richey, FL home with fire damages caused by an electrical malfunction.
It was a typical Tuesday. Freshly brewed coffee in hand, before I sat down to the computer in my home office to begin work I opened the window to let in the sunshine and fresh air.
In wafted a strong stench of smoke. Something very close – closer than I’d ever smelled – was on fire. I ran outside and through the yards of Radcliffe Estates in Port Richey and quickly it was obvious that a house one street away from my home was on fire. Struck with the thought of another family going through the devastation of a house fire, I joined forces with neighbors immediately and we did what we could to help.
When your family business is disaster cleanup, a house fire is a regular event. Luckily we have been spared that experience in our own home, but we have sat and shed tears with families as they faced disaster following fires, and cried together joyfully months later after we have worked as a team to rebuild a home.
Unfortunately that day, a family lost two dogs and many of their possessions. No human life was injured. Our neighborhood banded together to support the family in need with generosity of all kinds – shelter and meals, immediate needs that cropped up, long term housing, and friendship.
Before that day, I’d mostly thought of the physical loss a family experiences after a fire, and the emotional tolls of losing your home and possessions, and sometimes even an animal you love or other extremely difficult losses. But after watching first-hand the moments that lead up to a client calling a company like SERVPRO of West Pasco, I became more acutely aware of the emotional stressors that occur from the moment the fire ignites and that last for many years or even longer.
The neighbors whose home burned to nearly a total loss due to an electrical malfunction have since become good friends. We have attended their son’s hockey games, hired their teenage daughter to babysit, celebrated milestones together, and relaxed on the back porch. We’ve also learned from them to understand another dimension of being a disaster restoration client, and I’m grateful for that perspective. I’ve been able to be a more empathetic project manager by putting myself in a client’s shoes from the start of a project to the end, and trying to understand the depth of loss and renewal that accompanies a fire restoration project in a home.
Our neighbors’ fire was unpreventable. Many fires like this happen each year, and while we cannot plan, we can prepare. I wish I hadn't smelled fire in my neighborhood that morning, and of course my neighbors feel the same. But because I did, I have a wider understanding of the process and new friends.
Washing Machine Leaks in your Holiday Home
Although washing machines tend to make our everyday lives easier, they are one of the leading causes of water damages in homes. A leak in the line or even a simple overflow can cause extensive and expensive damages.
Recently we had a customer whose washing machine leaked and causing flooding in their laundry room, running down into their crawlspace and went through the wall affecting their garage. Many may not understand water’s ability to spread as quickly and as far as it can. We here at SERVPRO of West Pasco have been helping customers when water causes damages in their work or home for over 25 years.
We are ready 24/7, 365 to assist and help to make it “Like it never even happened.” As part of your team, we will work hand in hand with your insurance company, simplifying the claims process, making your water damage as stress free as possible. If water damage should occur call us at (727) 847-3000.
SERVPRO and the Holidays
With the holiday season looming around the corner, the amount of house fires begin to increase. This is often due to cooking, space heaters, fireplaces/wood stoves, and decorations such as candles. These different factors play a huge part in the spike in house fires around the holidays. It is very important to take many precautions in order to prevent house fires. A few are as follows:
- Do not cook when you have been drinking or are very tired
- Plug space heaters directly into outlets and not into extension cords or power strips
- Have your fireplace/wood stove inspected every year and cleaned when needed
- Do not sleep with lit candles or put candles on your Christmas tree
Even though homeowners take many precautions, accidents do still happen. When disaster strikes, have a company on speed dial that you can trust. SERVPRO of West Pasco has highly trained technicians with the skills and equipment needed to be there in your time of need. We deal with many house fires around the holidays and have experience in all different circumstances and parts of the restoration process.
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (727) 847-3000.
It's Halloween Time!
What do you get when Frankenstein, a sugar skull and a dragon walk into your office?
Our staff works diligently year-round, making fire and water damages “Like they never even happened” and there’s no better way to celebrate Halloween than with another year of fun and face painting at the SERVPRO of West Pasco office.
Owner/Operators, Jeremy and Nora, make it their mission to create a family friendly work environment and Halloween time is no exception. Hiring a professional face painter (him even meeting our staff at 7 a.m. to make sure client schedules were not disturbed) to make all our Halloween costume ideas come to life.
Customers of all ages enjoyed seeing technicians painted up as their favorite superhero, villain, and even a "mombie" came to visit. A fun time was had by all and there has even been discussions on how to top this year’s festivities.
Advantages for hiring SERVPRO of West Pasco for Mold Remediation
Get Rid of Mold with SERVPRO of West Pasco:
After water or flood damage, your house might experience some mold infestation. Mold can form spores in a very moist environment. The spores are microscopic and can float in the air and travel around from places to places without anyone noticing it. If mold damage is left unmanaged, it can lead to some health issues.
Mold damage in Trinity can be a real problem for homeowners. People often think that they can clean out the excess water or put soap and water on a towel and wipe the mold away from the floor or the walls. Unfortunately, these mold spores are microscopic, so they often go unnoticeable. This issue is why eradicating mold spores requires a specialist and advanced technology. It can be exhausting and expensive to learn all the information and to obtain the equipment on your own.
SERVPRO has highly trained technician who is experts in mold remediation. They can promptly get to your residential area and inspect it for any signs of mold. Because mold feeds on cellulose and can hide from plain sight, experts often use various technologies to detect mold spores and water sources. They may use negative air chamber to isolate contaminated sites with negative air and physical barriers. The negative pressure can prevent the mold from spreading during the cleaning process. During this process, all heating, cooling, and fans must be turned off to prevent the spread of spores.
SERVPRO techs can use sophisticated equipment such as air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to capture microscopic spores from the air. This process can prevent the mold spore from spreading throughout the remediation process. The technicians can also use antifungal and anti-microbial treatment to get rid of mold colonies and prevent new ones from forming. They can even get rid of carpeting and drywall that is severely infested by mold. The technicians can thoroughly clean your furniture, curtains, clothes, and other items that were contaminated. They can utilize special techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings.
If you want to save your property from mold damage, then call SERVPRO of West Pasco at (727) 847-3000. for a consultation with our skilled technicians.
Call SERVPRO of West Pasco for Restoration Services after Hurricane Michael
While waiting to see where Hurricane Michael would decide to make landfall, your main concern was more than likely for the safety of your family and loved ones. Since the beginning of hurricane record keeping in 1851, there has never been a Category 4 hurricane to make a direct landfall in the Florida Panhandle. Bringing along with his 150 mph sustained winds were storm surges in excess to 6 feet through the Bay Area causing flooding and corresponding damages to local home and businesses. Now that the storm has passed through and damages have been assessed, what is your next step?
There are ways for you to get the ball rolling on cleaning up and restoring your Pasco County property. First thing is to understand the risks involved with a situation like the one you are facing. Severe weather systems, like Hurricane Michael, can damage the structural integrity of your home, making it unsafe to enter without appropriate precautions and inspections.
One of the first things that you need to understand about hurricane damage is that the longer restoration takes to begin and complete, the worse the situation stands to get. From openings in the exterior of your home to allow for more water and flood damages to the threat of mold growth, our SERVPRO professionals can arrive quickly to help mitigate the effects of the storm until the official restoration process can begin. Consider that floodwaters from these storm systems are contaminated with chemicals, pesticides, vegetation and perhaps even animal feces.
Our SERVPRO professionals have the expertise and equipment to overcome the obstacles that stand between your currently damaged property and returning it to preloss condition. We have a rapid response team that is available 24/7 to dispatch our technicians to your home or business and begin the process of limiting the damage and assessing the full scope of the harm sustained to begin restoration as quickly as possible.
When a hurricane has affected your home, you need to think quickly about securing the right services to help you overcome the damages you have sustained. Our SERVPRO of West Pasco team is available anytime by calling (727)847-3000.
SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profiles
Did you know 50% of businesses close down following a disaster? Of the businesses that do survive, the majority had a preparedness plan in place. By Developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business, you can know that you are “Ready for whatever happens.” Whether the disaster strikes, SERVPRO of West Pasco has your back.
You can develop your business’s ERP one of two ways:
- Download the ERP app to your smartphone and fill out your Emergency READY Profile yourself.
- Call SERVPRO of West Pasco directly and ask to make an appointment for one of our team members to come down to your business and fill out an ERP for you! The number to call is (727)847-3000.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Program is a no cost assessment of your facility. If needed, having an ERP for your business will save you a LOT of time- and when it comes to mitigation, time is money. Having an Emergency READY Program in place can also minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation.
If you have any questions about the Emergency READY Profile, or if you would like to schedule a time for one of our employees to come to your business and fill one out, give SERVPRO of West Pasco a call at (727) 847-3000.
IF A DISASTER STRIKES, WILL YOU BE READY?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Centuries later, these wise words from one of our nation’s founder are still salient – especially today. This week we reach the climatological peak of hurricane season, with Hurricane Florence bearing down on the east coast and several more storms brewing in the Atlantic.
With that in mind, preparation is key. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation.
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts. (Try this one from the National Weather Service, or turn to your local news outlets.) https://www.weather.gov/subscribe/
- Develop and test emergency communication plans with family and work places.
- Assemble or update emergency supplies. See this list from the National Hurricane Survival Initiative. http://hurricanesafety.org/prepare/hurricane-safety-checklists/
- Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
- Participate in a preparedness discussion, training or class.
- Collect and safeguard critical documents.
- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
- Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.
Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Act now to protect yourself, your family and your property. Over here, preparation is our middle name - SERVPRO of West Pasco stands ready to assist you 24/7. Contact us today at (727) 847-3000.
Storms occur with little warning and can be especially devastating, so you’ll need the company that you can trust to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the type of storm, SERVPRO of West Pasco can handle any size disaster. Our team will work endlessly to ensure our customers are happy, having one objective in the aftermath of disaster, to make their loss “Like it never even happened.”
The SERVPRO of West Pasco team is ready to handle any size loss. With nearly 1,700 franchises nationwide, we have access to numerous highly trained personnel and thousands of pieces of equipment. During catastrophic storms and major events, our Disaster Recovery Team can respond quickly with additional resources.
Our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery teams are strategically placed throughout the country, SERVPRO of West Pasco being one of them, to respond when needed. Our teams have a proven track record for success, assisting with cleanup of floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and damage caused from hurricanes.
Whether it’s a major storm event, or faulty appliance to a busted pipe in your New Port Richey home, SERVPRO of West Pasco will be there with one call to (727)847-3000.
July 2018 Employee of the Month
Our most sincere thanks and congratulations go to Michelle Spencer, SERVPRO of West Pasco’s July 2018 Employee of the Month. Michelle is a perennial client favorite, with her special ability to see immediately identify solutions to big problems and a dedication to doing it right every time the first time. This month alone, our office received multiple calls from clients who picked up the phone just to praise Michelle for her hard work and commitment to customer satisfaction.
As a skilled member of our in-house construction team, Michelle first arrives onsite following stabilization of a water or fire damage, and is tasked with the carpentry and other skilled tasks required to put it back together. With nearly a decade of restoration experience under her belt, Michelle uses her expertise to calm the customers’ nerves, making for a smooth transition as we make it “like it never even happened.”
Off the jobsite, Michelle is a central figure in our company culture, taking the lead on fun projects like making clever and creative costumes for community events, such as our annual entry in the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce YPG Chasco Bowling Tournament or our float for local parades. When it comes to fun, she takes it as seriously as she takes her work in clients’ homes.
Thank you, Michelle, for your upbeat personality, can-do attitude and for being a leader in our production.
June 2018 Employee of the Month
Choosing an employee of the month every 30 days is a tough job when you’ve got such an outstanding team - but we’d like to thank Mike for making this month’s choice easy. Huge shout out to SERVPRO of West Pasco’s June 2018 Employee of the Month, Mike Esposito.
Customer service is always a top priority at SERVPRO of West Pasco; however, last month Mike went above the call of duty. After he was unable to contact a customer for a few days (this was unlike the customer as she was always quick to return phone calls) Mike began to worry. He took multiple trips to the home, even after hours to see if he could reach her and eventually calling authorities to conduct a welfare check. Finally, he was able to verify she was alright, but his diligence turned out to be worthwhile.
We appreciate all that Mike did to verify the safety of our customer. In our line of work, due to the complex nature of restoration projects, we tend to spend significant time with our clients, get to know them, and develop important professional relationships. Ultimately, we are committed to our company values that recognize and promote the value of humanity and the ties that bind all of us together.
Thank you, Mike, for living our values in your daily work.
The Four Primary Water Damage Classifications
The IICRC’s S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration separates water damage into four distinct classes. Each class is based on the severity of the water damage, and they determine what steps must be followed in the mitigation and restoration process.
Class 1 Water Damage - the least amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. These are water losses that impact only a small part of a room or area of a facility, or large areas that contain materials that have absorbed a small amount of moisture. Little to no carpeted or absorbent material present.
Class 2 Water Damage – significant amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. These are water losses that impact full rooms or carpeted areas. Walls are wicked less than 24 inches, and moisture remains in structural materials (Concrete, plywood, and particleboard).
Class 3 Water Damage – the largest amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. These are water losses that saturate an entire area. Walls are wicked over 24 inches or water may have entered from overhead, impacting ceilings, insulation, or sub-floor.
Class 4 Water Damage – Specific drying situations. Wet materials with low porosity or permeance such as plaster, brick, and stone. These materials can absorb water into deep pockets and can require extended drying times or specialized procedures and equipment.
SERVPRO of West Pasco is fully certified to handle any class of water damage from accidental or natural events.
SERVPRO Convention 2018
If you happened to visit Mouseland last month, you may have seen a sea of green and orange, in addition to the usual ubiquitous mouse ear hats. This year SERVPRO owners and team members from around the country gathered in Orlando for the annual franchise convention. It’s the “go to” event of the year and for the first time I was able to attend.
As SERVPRO of West Pasco’s Social Media Specialist, my goal is to represent our brand to the best of my ability and having the opportunity to meet with other franchise teams was a learning experience I’ll never forget. Although we operate as a franchise system and each service center is independently owned and operated, we all work as a family supporting our green and orange brothers and sisters, bouncing ideas off each other, what works and what doesn’t.
What made my experience even better was getting to make the two-hour drive from our New Port Richey office to Orlando with one of the best project coordinators known to man, Shanna. In speaking with her about her time at the convention, she was thrilled to learn about upcoming changes to our systems that will make day to day operations run more efficiently. Shanna added in that the presenters themselves were enthusiastic, making the “learning” experience more than just that, it was fun!
Now that the 2018 SERVPRO convention has ended and we’ve brought back the rich information and ideas to our local office, we’d like to thank the corporate team from Gallatin, Tennessee, for their hard work and dedication for continued growth of the green and orange brand.
Hoarding: A Serious Situation
According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.
Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as hold newspapers, junk mail or packaging. In New Port Richey, we often see hoarding lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats, and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
SERVPRO of West Pasco encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often, we are called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when we arrive on-site. A SERVPRO of West Pasco professional will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO of West Pasco, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.
Another was we encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situation, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.
Each case is very difficult, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of West Pasco professionals are her to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties in New Port Richey, Hudson, Trinity, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of West Pasco today.
Fire Drills: Not Just For School Days
We all remember fire drill days at school, the loud and piercing alarm vibrating through the halls, students lining up single file, determined to get to their meeting spot. We won’t even outgrow fire drills once we’ve made the step into the real world and start working – fire drills follow you wherever you go and that should include your home.
It’s the middle of the night. You’re sound asleep when suddenly the smoke alarms in your house go off. It’s dark. The house is filling with smoke. Fire experts say you have about two minutes to get out safely. Would you and your family know what you should do?
Coming up with and practicing family safety drills can help to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency. It is an important topic to discuss with your family, especially children.
The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful section on how to create a family fire escape plan. It includes how to draw a fire escape path for your home, how to reinforce fire safety to younger children, and tips how to stay as safe as possible during a fire.
Some tips include:
- Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Have a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from the home
- Assign “partners” for young, elderly, or family members with mobility issues
- Close Doors behind you as you leave each room to slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire
- All members of the household should know two ways to get out of every room.
- Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
- Pick a place outside for everyone to meet and make sure everyone knows where it is.
- Practice your home fire drill until everyone in the household can do it in less than two minutes.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Your family’s safety is the first priority. After emergency services have done their job SERVPRO of West Pasco will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings.
BIOHAZARD, CRIME SCENE, AND VANDALISM CLEANUP
Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO of West Pasco offers fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
Your local SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.
SERVPRO of West Pasco can help with the following issues:
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Crime Scene Residues
- Arson and Vandalism
- Sewage Backups
- Black Water Intrusions
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
State and local regulations vary, and our franchise is licensed by the State of Florida to complete this work. Contact your SERVPRO of West Pasco today for 24-hour emergency service at (727)847-3000.
BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS: SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Our trained Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
METHAMPHETAMINE LABS: Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
CRIME SCENE RESIDUES: From fingerprint powder and evidence gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, we can clean and restore your property and contents.
ARSON AND VANDALISM: SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. We also provide general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.
Flooding. Do You Know What To Do?
Floods can happen everywhere, making them one of the country's most common natural disasters. Flooding poses a greater threat in low-lying areas, near water, downstream from dams. Even the smallest streams, creek beds or drains can overflow and create flooding. During periods of heavy rain or extended periods of steady rains, be aware of the possibility of a flood. Flash floods develop quickly- anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Listen to local weather reports for flooding information.
- Check to see if you have flood insurance coverage.
- Raise your furnace, water heater, or electrical panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.
- Install "check valves" in sewer traps.
- Construct barriers, such as levees, berms, or flood walls, to stop floodwater from entering the building.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
- During a flood or flash flood watch, be prepared to evacuate, including fill your car's gas tank; bring in outside furniture; move valuables to high points in your home; and unplug electrical appliances and move them to high points
- During a flood warning, evacuate if you are so advised.
- During a flash flood warning, immediately seek higher ground.
- Keep your emergency supplies kit, including water, stored in an easily accessible, waterproof place.
- If time allows, call someone to let them know where you are going, and check with neighbors who may need a ride.
- Stay out of flood waters, if possible. Even water only several inches deep can be dangerous. If you have to walk through water, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground ahead of you. Avoid moving water.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If your car becomes surrounded by rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Do not return home until local authorities say it is safe to do so.
- Do not drink or cook with your tap water until local authorities say it is safe.
- Avoid floodwaters, which could be contaminated or electrically charged.
- Watch out for areas in which the floodwaters may have receded, leaving weakened roadways.
- Be extra careful when entering buildings that may have hidden structural damage.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewer systems are a serious health hazard.
Preparing For When A Hurricane Strikes
- Prepare your evacuation plan, including pets, transportation routes and destinations.
- Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed and clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider building a safe room.
- Stay informed! Listen to NOAA weather radio or check local forecasts and news reports regularly.
- Cover your home's windows with pre-cut plywood or hurricane shutters. Tape DOES NOT prevent windows from breaking.
- Bring in all outside furniture, decorations, garbage cans, etc.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Fill the bathtub or buckets with water to use for cleaning and flushing toilets.
- Keep your gas tank at least ¾ full at all times.
- Keep your emergency supplies kit, including water, and copies of important documents, in a waterproof, portable container, in an easily accessible location.
Evacuate under the following conditions:
- If local authorities tell you to evacuate, follow their directions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure, which are particularly hazardous no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
- If you live in an area below sea level.
- If you choose not to evacuate, stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors. Notify out-of-are contacts of your decision. Close all interior doors and secure and brace exterior doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
- Don't be fooled by a lull in the storm- it could be the eye of the storm and winds could resume.
- Be aware of flooding and tornadoes.
- Stay out of flood waters, if possible.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- If you evacuated, do not return to your home until the local authorities say it is safe.
The Three Categories of Water Loss
The IICRC’s S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration distinguishes water into three categories. Each category is defined by the levels of containment or possible containments in the source of the water.
Category 1 “Clean Water”: Water in this category originates from a clean, sanitary source and poses little to no risk to humans if contacted or ingested. Examples are broken water supply lines, sink or bathtub overflows, or water supplies to an appliance such as a water line to an ice maker.
Category 2 “Grey Water”: Water is this category comes from a source that contains significant contamination including chemical, biological, or physical materials. Grey Water has an elevated risk to cause illness and discomfort with any type of exposure. Examples are toilet bowls with urine, sump pump leaks, and discharged water from appliances like dishwasher and washing machines.
Category 3 “Black Water”: Water in this category is considered very harmful and contains unsanitary agents, dangerous bacteria and fungus, and toxic substances. This category of water has an extreme risk of causing illness and exposure should be avoided at all costs if the proper personal protective equipment is not available. Examples include sewage, seawater, and overflow from rivers or lakes.
If left unattended Clean and Grey Water can become stagnant and may be considered Black Water.
If you have concerns with water no matter the source, SERVPRO of West Pasco specializes in Water Damage Repair & Restoration and is a certified IICRC firm.
Lightning Safety Tips
Thunder and lightning storms happen all the time in Hudson. Know what to do to keep you and your family safe when the storms strike!
- If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Look for shelter inside a home, large building, or hard-topped vehicle right away.
- Do not go under trees for shelter. There is no place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm.
- Wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder before leaving your shelter.
- Stay away from windows and doors. Stay off porches.
- There is no safe place outside. Places with only a roof on sports fields, golf courses, and picnic areas are not safe during a lightning storm. Small sheds should not be used.
- If a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1. Get medical help right away.
- Turn off computers. Stay off corded phones, computers, and other things that put you in direct contact with electricity or plumbing. You can use a cell or cordless phone.
- Do no wash your hands, bathe, shower, do laundry, or wash dishes.
- Lightning may strike as far as 10 miles from any rain.
Document Drying and Restoration Services for Pasco Businesses
SERVPRO of West Pasco offers a variety of services from water and fire damage restoration, mold mitigation, and both commercial and residential cleaning services. But did you know that we also provide Document Drying and Restoration for our commercial clients?
Damage from a water or fire event is not limited to the building and furniture. Sometimes files such as patient records, invoices, and legal documents are impacted by water, smoke, and soot contact. SERVPRO’s document drying process is designed to stabilize damaged documents and prevent further damage quickly. The treatment facility is secured, the chain of custody follows HIPAA guidelines – or whichever specific legalities are required, and our Drying Chamber personnel is Master HIPAA certified allowing them to handle protected health information (PHI).
Our Document Restoration Facility:
- Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
- Secure: managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
- Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
- Flexible capacity - we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
- Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization
SERVPRO document services also include digitization services that reduce the need for large filing rooms and help make data access more accessible for businesses. Certified destruction services allow for sensitive information to be appropriately disposed of and provide peace of mind to businesses and their clients.
Types of content:
- paper documents
- books and magazines
- manuscripts and files
- photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
- blueprints and maps
For more information about document recovery provided by SERVPRO of West Pasco, based in our New Port Richey headquarters, north of Trinity, or other commercial services, visit our website or call (727) 847-3000.
In our little city on the river, our Chamber of Commerce is also like a river
Executive Director, Jeremy George, being sworn in as Second Vice Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
Earlier this month, SERVPRO of West Pasco had the distinct honor of sponsoring the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce 74th Annual Awards Banquet. Our Executive Director, Jeremy George, was sworn in as Second Vice Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and delivered the toast to end one successful year and begin the new one.
Saluting a room full of dedicated public servants and committed members of the business community, Jeremy raised his glass to the outgoing Chamber Board Chair, Derek Pontlitz, and the incoming Chair, Greg Armstrong, as well as retiring Chamber President Chip Wichmanowski and his successor, Liz Jeffin.
“In our little city on the river, our Chamber of Commerce is also like a river. It goes on and on forever, but it can do something a river cannot. It grows, changes, and becomes more purposeful through the years. As we transition to a new year tonight, I offer this toast to the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce: May we grow, thrive, and become more prosperous and more purposeful through the years.”
Cheers to the good work being carried out by the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce!
Big booms that light up the sky with an array of colors make every Fourth of July magical. Tracing out your name with sparklers will never age as time passes on. Wonderful memories are made whether you're grilling out, boating by the sandbar, or laying by the beach in New Port Richey with a cold beverage in your hand. However, fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers. Fireworks cause thousands of burns and eye injuries each year. People can enjoy fireworks safely if they follow a few simple safety tips:
- Be safe. If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts.
- Do not use consumer fireworks.
- Keep a close eye on children at events where fireworks are used.
- Fireworks cause an average of almost 18,500 reported fires per year.
- Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
- NFPA is opposed to consumer use of fireworks. This includes sparklers and firecrackers. Even sparklers burn hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
On Site After A Water Loss
Holes in the ceiling, walls and floors, OH MY! No need to fret, SERVPRO of West Pasco is in the process of making it "Like it never even happen."
Normally logging my 40 hours behind the desk creating content and managing our websites, I don't get much on location action. Last week was one for the books, getting to spend an entire day at multiple job locations.
I somehow managed to convince Project Manager, Tony to let me tag along for the day so that I can get another perspective of just how SERVPRO of West Pasco makes it "Like it never even happened."
We started the day with a customer who recently suffered a water loss due to a toilet supply line leak and wanted to get an estimate for repairs. Tony took his time, explaining the process and even let me help get measurements to create a sketch (I never realized how much work goes into creating a sketch).
The next stop was at one of Tony's ongoing repairs jobs. After a hot water heater exploded, water flooded every nook and cranny causing for extensive repairs needed throughout the home. Again, Tony took time to sit with the homeowners giving them the opportunity to be hands on with every aspect of the rebuild, from wall color to picking new bathroom fixtures. The clients appreciated the time Tony spent with them allowing for a smoother transition while repairs were being completed.
Until last week, I was never able to get a full picture of the entire repairs process nor how much work was truly involved. I tip my hat off to all project managers. Being quick witted and always on your toes, ready to face any challenge thrown at them, is not an easy feat. A huge thank you to Tony and all our project managers for doing what it takes to make it "Like it never even happened."
Managing Mold In Your Port Richey Home
A tiny amount of moisture can become a giant problem in your Port Richey home.
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of West Pasco has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.
Call the Team in Green
The mold cleanup and restoration process in your Port Richey home begins when you call your SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Inspection and Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents and Belongings
SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. We understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home.
Hurricane Season Is Here!
It's never too early to prepare for a Florida landfall!
It may seem early, but hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began in mid-May and ends November 30. Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business. Why take the risk? Call a SERVPRO® of West Pasco. Working to make it “Like it never even happened.”
For more information and preparation tips, visit the Ready campaign website at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
How Much Do You Know About Water Spouts?
Have you ever heard that saying “We live where you vacation”? Living in beautiful Trinity, Florida, we know that statement to be 100% true. As we enter mid-April beautiful weather is nothing new to the Pasco County area and neither are the late afternoon thunderstorms. One moment the sun is shining and the next you look out your window and you'll see a waterspout, one of the many joys of living in Florida.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are two types of water spouts, fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts. Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado and are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning.
Fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds. This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms. While tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, a fair-weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward. By the time the funnel is visible, a fair-weather waterspout is near maturity. Fair weather waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little.
Whether your Trinity home experiences storm damage from a tornadic water spout or your average everyday early spring thunderstorm, call SERVPRO of West Pasco, we are here to help.
The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents
From potentially dangerous to practically brand new, call SERVPRO of West Pasco for your duct cleaning needs.
According to FEMA, failure to clean home dyers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.
To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured's home or business in Odessa, SERVPRO of West Pasco can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint build up.
Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include to clear the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird's nest, or other potential obstacles.
For more information on cleaning dryer vents in Odessa - or anywhere else local from Trinity to Hudson to Dade City, contact SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals at (727) 847-3000.
New Port Richey Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold
Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of West Pasco for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of West Pasco specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (727) 847-3000
NAIFA - North Suncoast 27th Annual Golf Classic
Dallas making sure each "ambassador" gets plenty of attention.
On Friday 4/27/2018, SERVPRO of West Pasco took the opportunity to join NAIFA-North Suncoast for their 27th Annual Golf Classic to support the non-profit organization, Southeastern Guide Dogs. Southeastern Guide Dogs: Serving those who cannot see and those who have seen too much.
Hosting the hospitality tent on hole one, our team met great golfers as they completed the Crescent Oaks Golf Club course and we played with precious puppies, who were there as “ambassadors” to tell the story of Southeastern Guide Dogs. As we poured refreshing drinks and served delicious snacks, golfers generously filled our tip jar – with all the money going directly to the dogs.
As we wrapped up the day – with ice melted, drinks running dry, puppies exhausted from all the love and attention, and happy golfers admitting to missing more putts than they’d like - SERVPRO of West Pasco proudly presented to the organization more than $300 raised at our tent alone in one morning.
Thanks for all that came, played and supported the NAIFA and the Southeastern Guide Dogs.
10 Years Strong: Thanks to a Loyal and Loved Team Member
All hail the King, Doug!
Last week we stopped the trucks for a few hours to take time to recognize, thank, and honor the man we have called “The King” at SERVPRO of West Pasco for the past 10 years.
Each year with an outstanding employee like Doug G. on the team is an achievement on its own, but it’s not just about how long he’s been wearing green; it’s about what he’s done while he’s been here.
Doug joined the SERVPRO team in January 2008 and has served the company with loyalty and dedication for a decade. Rising up the ranks from Restoration Technician to Production Manager and now Warehouse Manager, Doug has learned the technical ins and outs of the operation, as well as the nuances of our business in New Port Richey. He has been a mentor to many, teaching new technicians the skills and ways of SERVPRO, and how we do it “in green.”
Above all, Doug is a reliable, trustworthy person who brings his humor and wit, as well as competence and confidence, every day. Thanks, Doug, for 10 good years.
All hail the King!
Does Your Hudson Home Have A Mold Problem?
In Hudson, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (727)847-3000.
Fire Damage Restoration
Fire damage in a New Port Richey kitchen.
New Port Richey Fire Damage Restoration
A fire can be devastating to any New Port Richey home, causing severe fire damage, affecting its look and value. The restoration process is complex and requires the services of fire remediation experts like SERVPRO of West Pasco.
The Fire Restoration Process
There are several techniques used to restore a home after a fire. The main goals are to remove anything that cannot be salvaged, extract all excess water, thoroughly dry everything and rebuild all damaged areas.
Water and Mold Issues
One of the effects of fire damage is the water left over after the fire is out. Furniture, drywall, floors, and carpets are soaked and provide a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew. SERVPRO utilizes large fans and powerful dehumidifiers to dry out your home in preparation for cleaning and rebuilding.
The Cooling and Heating System
The filter and coils of an HVAC system of a home are often blocked by soot and particulates from a fire. The parts must be replaced, and the cost depends on the amount of damage caused by smoke and heat. The ductwork must also be checked for soot buildup as it will cause problems if not removed.
Rebuilding the Home
A home that is left structurally unsound by fire damage will need to be reinforced and rebuilt. While this can done through independent contractors, the SERVPRO of West Pasco remediation service team can take care of the rebuilding process, reducing stress and worry for the homeowner.
Removal of Damaged Items
Part of the fire restoration process is the removal of anything that cannot be saved. If smoke-damaged items are allowed to remain, they may contaminate the home. SERVPRO may be able to help with salvageable items or can make recommendations for their repair.
A fire is a sudden, disruptive life event and working with a professional fire remediation service like SERVPRO is the fastest way to clean and restore a home. Our experts will get things back to normal with minimal stress to the homeowner and will often cost less than hiring additional contractors. Most home insurance policies will pay for at least part of the remediation costs.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, we work and live in New Port Richey too. We are close by and ready to respond immediately when you need cleaning or restoration services.
We're Fire and Water Damage Specialists. Call us to help you (727) 847-3000.
March 2018 Employee of the Month
Shanna Rostis, Employee of the Month for March 2018.
Huge thank yous and congratulations to Shanna Rostis, SERVPRO of West Pasco’s Employee of the Month for March 2018.
We’re recognizing Shanna for her continuous hard work juggling more files than anyone can count. Shanna makes it look like a cake walk, but to the professionally trained eye it’s more like popcorn on a hot skillet. In the midst of it all, Shanna’s top-notch customer service and easy-going attitude doesn’t go unnoticed, as she is a favorite among all clients.
If managing numerous client files wasn’t enough, Shanna has also taken on a special project to help make our reconstruction projects as efficient and organized as possible with a new software tool. Scheduling multiple subcontractors on the same project can be tedious, but no worries -- Shanna and Buildertrend are here to save the day.
Thank you, Shanna, for your continuous hard work, dedication, and for being a ray of sunshine during the most saturated of days. SERVPRO of West Pasco appreciates all you do!
Employee Spotlight: The Incredible Sheldon Borris
You'll never catch Sheldon without his beanie on!
This month, for the Hardest Decision We Have To Make Every 30 Days, we spotlight our talented carpenter, Sheldon Borris.
Sheldon joined our team in early 2016, but he was no stranger to the SERVPRO system. He came to SERVPRO of West Pasco after nearly a decade working with another franchise in New Jersey, where he escaped cold winters in favor of the Florida sub-tropics.
Sheldon is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, and brings his island attitude with him. He is always smiling and laughing as he goes about his day, and his supervisors and teammates say he’s a joy to work with. “Anytime you ask him to do something, he says ‘No problem, got it!’,” said Jeremy George, executive director at SERVPRO of West Pasco. Clients often remark about Sheldon and their appreciation for his skilled work and awesome demeanor.
Although there are countless reasons to spotlight Sheldon, he was selected this month specifically for an outstanding containment structure he built to properly demarcate during a mold remediation. He built the containment with a painstaking attention to detail and extremely accurate carpentry skills, allowing our team to efficiently and properly complete the project easily and quickly.
Thank you, Sheldon, for being a leader in our production department and for all you contribute to our company culture.
Celebrate Summer Safety!
It’s quintessential Florida summertime: roasting marshmallows over an open campfire with a cold beverage in your hand, grilling burgers and dogs by the pool, relaxing with friends and family. Summer is a time to enjoy New Port Richey’s great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
- Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
The team at SERVPRO of West Pasco wishes you and safe and happy summer!
Employee Spotlight: Leah, Direct Project Coordinator
It begins with Leah and ends "Like it never even happened."
This month we shine the spotlight on Leah, our newly appointed Direct Project Coordinator.
In her new role, Leah handles water damage claims from soup to nuts – beginning with client’s first call, she sees the projects through to completion, working closely with the SERVPRO team, clients, and third parties.
Leah joined the SERVPRO of West Pasco team last fall, initially as a Project Coordinator partnered with a Project Manager working on reconstruction projects. Succeeding in that position, she seized the opportunity to move over to the company’s direct work side of the business. Leah’s experience, confidence, and calming nature made her a perfect fit for her new role.
We asked Leah a few questions about her job.
Every day you field calls from clients facing disasters in their homes and businesses. What is the first thing you want them to know?
They need to know that “We are here to help!” Customers aren’t calling because their house is full of cupcakes and rainbows. One of the most stressful times you’ll face as a home/business owner is when disaster strikes and it’s imperative to know that I will assist in any way that I can.
What advice do you have for a homeowner or business owner who needs to call SERVPRO?
Stay calm. Like I said, we're here to help, and our team has seen thousands of unique water damages over our 25 years in operation.
When you call SERVPRO, we will ask the following specific details about your home:
- Name/address/phone number
- What caused your water loss?
- Has the leak been fixed?
- How many rooms were affected?
- What type of flooring do you have?
- Is there standing water? Water or electric available?
- Were walls or ceilings affected?
- Do you see visible mold?
- All pertinent insurance information
What is the best part of your new job?
The best part of my job is being able to use my calm nature to assist customers during their loss and to make it “Like it never even happened.” I enjoy working a job from start to finish and being a consistent point of contact for the customer, the adjusters, and our team making the process run smoothly and more effectively.
It's not a fan, it's an air mover!
Multiple air movers being brought back to the warehouse after expediting the drying process at a water loss.
If water has made its way into your home, whether in Trinity, Hudson, or Port Richey, SERVPRO of West Pasco is here to help.
Our team of Restoration Technicians are trained using IICRC standards to make it “like it never even happened,” using specialized techniques and industrial equipment designed to mitigate damage and prepare the property for reconstruction. Our warehouses and trucks are stocked with equipment that will extract standing water and then, based on environmental conditions, dry the property to prepare it for reconstruction. The most common equipment you’ll see installed are industrial dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, and air movers.
Air movers? When I told my dad about the equipment we use at my new job, he said, "isn't that just a fancy fan?" Funny guy.
An air mover is much more than a fan, it’s an essential tool for mitigating water damage. This devise creates high-velocity airflow, allowing an environment to dry as quickly and efficiently as
possible. Combined with dehumidifiers, it’s a powerful combination that restores the environment to original conditions and is a necessary tool for water restoration.
Advantages of air movers include:
- Energy Efficient: Air movers use minimal power for maximum air flow.
- High velocity: Air movers work great for ventilation and cooling.
- Speeds drying time: Air movers help floors, carpets and wall cavities dry faster.
When the drying process time is reduced so are the chances of a second loss or additional damage, which can include microbial growth.
No fancy fan here, but an essential tool that can save you thousands.
Professional Carpet Cleaning: Our Specialty
Carpet cleaning specialist, Kevin, removing red Sharpie from a blue microfiber couch.
Nothing makes a house look pristine, or a business more professional like freshly cleaned carpet! Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. So our clients call on us to clean their carpets, including those hard-to-tackle high-traffic areas. SERVPRO of West Pasco's professional cleaning can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets.
We offer a range of specialized cleaning methods:
- Bonnet Cleaning: A less-aggressive method for short-piled carpets.
- Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
- Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
- Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
- Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.
No job is too big or too small; from Hudson to Holiday and New Port Richey to Trinity, we will get the job done right. For a cleaning backed by state-of-the-art equipment, over 40 years of experience and professionals trained to the highest standards, call SERVPRO today at (727) 847-3000.
Who’s name will make the cut? The 2017 storm name list is here!
Living in New Port Richey, when I speak of Hurricane Sean I’m usually talking about the devastation throughout the house caused by my almost two-year old son. As he runs amuck, his high-spiraling winds cause books to fly off their shelves, toys to flood each room, and illegible messages in magic marker all over our microfiber couch – which is why I keep SERVPRO of West Pasco on speed dial. This year, it may mean something a little more.
According to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, storms are given short, distinctive names to avoid confusion and streamline communications when two or more tropical storms occur at the same time.
This is news to me. I always assumed they were named after unruly children.
It’s always fun to see if our name or the name of someone we know is on the list and this year is no different. The wait is officially over and the list of names for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season have been posted.
Here are the names that will be associated with the upcoming tropical season: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose’, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Phillipe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.
Tropical Storm Emily has a ring to it, but I’m warning you, you’re going to have to hunker down for a Hurricane Sean.
As always, be safe, prepared and have SERVPRO of West Pasco's phone number on speed dial during this year's hurricane season.
April 2017 Employee of the Month
Kayla (on the left) and Stacey posing for a picture after competing with theSERVPRO team in a lip sync battle sponsored by United Way of Pasco County.
Big thanks and congratulations to Kayla Canup, our Employee of the Month at SERVPRO of West Pasco.
We're recognizing Kayla specifically for her can-do attitude and for stepping up to help with a special project that, to be fair, was totally outside of her training and skill set. As our A/R and Social Media Specialist, she typically works inside the office and is known among the 3-year-olds who frequent the office as "the lady who wears the pretty dresses.
But when we asked her to help run a project assisting clients dealing with contents damaged by fire, smoke, soot and water, she said "yes" without hesitation. Trading in her "pretty dresses" for a hard hat, Kayla joined the production team for a few long, hot days outside and helped knock the project out of the park. (Read her own account of the adventure here.) http://www.SERVPROwestpasco.com/blog/post/40207/fire-smoke-damage-restoration/on-the-job-training-5-things-from-my-first-fire-damage
And when she's behind the desk doing her usual work, Kayla is professional and skilled, focusing on client service while bringing her positive attitude and team-player commitment to the office culture.
Thank you, Kayla, for being a valued team player at SERVPRO of West Pasco - whether you are wearing your high heels or your hard hat!
On-The-Job Training: 5 Things from my First Fire Damage
PPE is everything. Mastering the ability to rock a hard hat and N-95 face mask.
It all started with what seemed like an innocent text: "interested in working on Saturday?"
Without a second thought, I typed back: “Absolutely!” with a smiley face emoji. Next thing I know, I'm shopping for a hard hat. (Side note: Did you know how impossible it is to find a pink hard hat in stock in New Port Richey? I figured they were a hot ticket item.)
And just like that, I was thrown into the fire. Literally.
SERVPRO of West Pasco had been onsite for a week at a Port Richey storage facility where a fire had damaged the building as well as the contents of dozens of storage units. Our team was onsite to safely remove all contents from the building and assist facility customers as they moved out and sorted through their belongings. Some customers lost everything in the fire, while some others just had a light dusting of soot. The team carefully removed all salvageable contents from each unit and carried it out to customers, then cleaned the building to prep it for reconstruction.
And then there was me. I'm more of a behind-the-scenes type of girl, logging in my 40 hours a week in Accounts Receivable behind a computer and on the phone. Although I’d never before been to an active job site, I knew my customer service and organizational skills would translate to managing a team and working closely with people who were facing devastating losses. But, wow – I learned a lot! Here are five take-aways from my two days managing a contents-cleanout project.
1. Fire damage really smells! Each fire has its own personality, based on the contents that were burned. In this fire, Here, like plastic bins, TVs and even afghan blankets melted, leading to an odor so pungent we wore N-95 masks anytime we were inside the building or in close contact with affected contents. And after a few days, my nail polish started peeling back.
2. Even construction companies need forget to weigh down their tents. Since the customers would be going through materials for long periods of time in the hot Florida sun, we set up two tents to work beneath. With one strong gust of wind, my favorite lime green tent ended up on the storage facility roof. You can bet I won't be letting the guys live this down for years to come.
3. PPE is everything! Mastering the ability to wear hard hat, a N-95 face mask and safety goggles without causing a thick shield of fog that only allows you to see about an inch in front of your face is much harder than it seems. I'm pretty sure the atrocious bruise on my knee was from walking into a wall during one of my many run-ins with the fog of doom.
4. Black business flats are practical when working in the office, but not so much when out in the field. Never did I think that work boots would be on my shoe-shopping list.
5. Helping one customer through such a devastating loss is feat in itself; helping 44 storage unit renters who face fire damage is more than just one fire x 44. At SERVPRO of West Pasco, we learn that safety is our first priority and premiere customer service a close second. Giving your everything to 44 different customers simultaneously as they each work through the emotions and logistics of fire damage is heart wrenching and, at the same time, life giving.
The fire is cleaned up now, but I'm still shopping for my pink hard hat. Getting out of the office to work side-by-side with our production team and our clients gave me insight and knowledge to help me do my office job better, and understand the nuances of our daily business. I'm glad I was able to get my hands dirty (literally) and experience the magic that comes with the production side of SERVPRO.
No mater how busy Stacey gets, she always has a smile on her face!
Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes here at SERVPRO of West Pasco or what it takes to make it "Like it never happened.;" In this new monthly series, we’ll take you inside to get to know our team and unravel the great unknown.
This month we sat down with Stacey Carnivale, a project coordinator here at SERVPRO of West Pasco. We wanted to get to know a little about her and what she does. Keep reading for the inside scoop.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
This is my second time around as a project coordinator for SERVPRO – I first joined the team in 1999 and left to raise my daughters before returning again in September 2015. I am originally from Long Island and migrated south in 1979. I grew up on the west coast of Florida and absolutely love living near the water and enjoying all the perks of living in SNOW-free weather all year round. I enjoy going to comedy clubs, concerts, taking weekend getaways, and I love to be on the boat fishing or relaxing at the sandbar with friends and family on the weekends. I LOVE Pizza and all Italian cuisine as I grew up in the restaurant family business, so yes, I love to cook too!
What does your job entail?
Being a project coordinator is a multi-tasking, demanding position that works with a client from start to finish of a construction project. There are many aspects such as timing, scheduling, budgeting, communication and caring about what you do for others. Coordinating between trades in the remodeling of clients homes is challenging and rewarding. We all want the same result: “a happy customer”.
What is most enjoyable about your position?
What I enjoy most about being a project coordinator is the fast-paced environment and helping others in their time of need. When a person's home is destroyed and in need of professional help, it could be very stressful and devastating. Knowing that I can provide people with peace of mind, telling them that we can turn their disaster into something that they would love even more than before, is extremely rewarding to me. ”Like it never even happened."
There you have it! Not only is Stacey one of the fresh, smiling faces behind the SERVPRO of West Pasco team, she is a tremendous part of what goes into making any size project "Like it never even happened." Tune in next month for another Employee Spotlight.
January Employee of the Month
Steven doesn't take a break from work, even when we want to celebrate him!
Congratulations and big thanks to Steven Dobles, who was named Employee of the Month to start off 2017. This comes after he was named Employee of the Year in 2016, and he's keeping it going with his devotion to his trade and commitment to his team.
This month he is recognized for leading the remodel of the SERVPRO office with grace and ease - working after hours to put up fresh paint and molding, moving and assembling furniture and smiling through it all. In the midst of all that he continued to thrill clients with outstanding service and notable craftmanship, and even recruited a former colleague and good friend to join our team.
Thank you, Steven, for your leadership, hard work, fun-loving attitude and all you and Debbie do to support our mission and vision at SERVPRO of West Pasco. We love you, man!
Can you spell "timophilia"?
This is spelled wrong. The "Y" should be an 'I."
The SERVPRO team made a great run at the 14th Annual "Catch the Buzz" Spelling Bee, nailing words like zeppelin and sergeant, before losing on timophilia. But the event was still a win for us and the community, raising thousands of dollars for Youth And Family Alternatives and the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce. SERVPRO is proud to support these local efforts and the team is studying our Webster's dictionaries in preparation for next year's bee!
Ready to Double Down in West Pasco
Green and orange galore on the SERVPRO tradeshow floor
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas - except when what happens is a SERVPRO convention!
Returning home after five days in Sin City, Jeremy George, Executive Director of SERVPRO of West Pasco, brought back with him new ideas, a green and orange kid’s bounce house, and a renewed energy.
“It was a tremendous week. I was much luckier in the classroom than at the blackjack table – I came away with deeper insight into our plans to further improve our communication with clients, team members, and commercial partners, and inspiration to continue to grow and develop our commercial project abilities and expertise. I’m ready to double down and bring SERVPRO of West Pasco to the next level.”
Along with President Andrew T. Froelich, George joined a record-setting group of more than 2,800 franchise owners, key staff, and corporate representatives for the 47th Annual SERVPRO Convention at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas from June 26 to 30. The convention program was designed to unite franchise owners, team members, distributors, associates, and corporate employees in support of SERVPRO’s top three initiatives: Expansion into the commercial workplace, leadership training, and effective communication. It featured a keynote address by motivational speaker Connie Podesta and 28 workshop sessions focused on leadership training and providing resources designed to help each franchise grow and better serve their community.
On behalf of the SERVPRO of West Pasco team, Froelich and George accepted an award for outstanding revenue performance, presented by the corporate owners at the convention Awards Ceremony.
“SERVPRO understands running a small business is a challenge,” said Sue Steen, Chief Executive Officer of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. “Our annual convention gives us the opportunity to recognize individual franchisees that have excelled at building their business, as well as enhancing SERVPRO’s reputation as an industry leader in disaster cleanup, restoration and remediation services. We offer our sincere congratulations to this year’s award winners and to all of the dedicated professionals who work hard every day to provide world-class service to their customers.”
Said Froelich: “While building a successful small business takes work and dedication, our success is also a reflection of the support and exceptional disaster remediation solutions and training we receive as a member of the SERVPRO franchise network. We are proud to accept this award on behalf of our business and our employees, and are grateful to SERVPRO for giving us the tools, framework and training we need to be both successful and a resource to our community when disaster strikes.”
June Employee of the Month
Congratulations and big thanks to Jesus Torres, the June Employee of the Month at SERVPRO of West Pasco.
A Restoration Technician since 2015, Jesus is steadfast and dependable and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He brings to the team many assets, most notably a big smile and a sense of calm.
Thank you, Jesus!
NAIFA Honors Wendy Stevens for Community Service
Wendy Stevens, Sales and Marketing Representative at SERVPRO of West Pasco, was honored for her community service by NAIFA North Suncoast
Congratulations to SERVPRO's own Wendy Stevens, who last week was awarded the 2016 Andrew Marinello Community Service Award by NAIFA North Suncoast.
Wendy was selected for the honor for her work with NAIFA North Suncoast, as well as for her commitment to the West Pasco community at large. She is active in NAIFA, helping recruit new members and supporting the organzation's many activities and events, including the annual charity golf tournament that raises funds for the Southeastern Guide Dogs.
Beyond NAIFA, Wendy is very active in several organizations and charitable pursuits. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Trinity and regularly cooks and serves meals at the RAP House and a local soup kitchen, while keeping active with organizations that support senior citizens and many other community activities.
In 2000, NAIFA North Suncoast established the Marinello Award in honor of the group's co-founder and Charter President, who was well-known for his long and tireless service to NAIFA as well as his industry, church, and community. Mr. Marinello had a distinguished, 40-year career with Prudential and was president of the Rotary Club of Dunedin twice. Previous recipients include Suzanne Nading, Tiffany Drewes, and Carolyn Hersh.
Summer - endless here in New Port Richey - is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms—especially during July.
Each year, around 230 people are injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.
There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. At SERVPRO of West Pasco, we want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer.
Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire. Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.
In New Port Richey, enjoy the fireworks Saturday night at the KIAFest Main Street Blast.
Pasco County 24-Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of West Pasco is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (727) 847-3000
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of West Pasco has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
SERVPRO of West Pasco specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
May Employee of the Month
All hail the king!
Doug Gribbons - aka "The King" - is the Employee of the Month for May at SERVPRO of West Pasco.
Doug joined our team in January 2008, quickly rising to the top by demonstrating his strong work ethic and no-nonsense leadership skills. Today, as the Production Supervisor, he works in the field verifying client satisfaction and ensuring work meets IICRC standards. He also heads up training for the production department and serves as a mentor to new employees. Doug also is our reigning hot wing-eating champion.
A favorite of clients and colleagues alike, and at the ready with a clever turn of phrase, Doug was selected as Employee of the Month for his steady leadership in the Production Department this spring.
A royal congratulations and thank you, Doug!
April Employee of the Month
April's Employee of the Month Stacey Carnivale
Today we thank Stacey Carnivale for her outstanding work at SERVPRO of West Pasco and honor her as April's Employee of the Month.
In her role as Project Coordinator, Stacey works with three Project Managers, handling all aspects of rebuild projects including client communication, scheduling, subcontractor management, client satisfaction, and payments and paperwork processing. It's no small task - at this moment she is handling 29 ongoing projects. And it's always with a smile.
Congratulations and thank you, Stacey!