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Coronavirus Cleaning for Companies in Tampa

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees cleaning Coronavirus Tampa SERVPRO Coronavirus Cleaning

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to respond to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now spread internationally. While the virus is termed coronavirus, the sickness that results after infection has been termed COVID-19.

COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic, which is a global outbreak of a disease.  

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Symptoms

Illness from COVID-19 is wide ranging, from mild to severe symptoms and death. According to the CDC, symptom may appear two days to two weeks after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

It is important to consult your medical provider if you develop any severe or concerning symptoms.

Expert Level Cleaning Services

SERVPRO franchise professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. Our professionals are trained to perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

    • Kitchen/Food Areas
    • Bathrooms
    • Schools/Classrooms
    • Offices
    • Retail Spaces
    • Water Fountains
    • Shelving/Racks
    • Sales Counters
    • Carpets and Rugs
    • Stair Handrails
    • Elevator Cars
    • Playground Equipment
    • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Need Specialized Cleaning Services?
Call Us Today (813) 839-6633

Minimize Your Risk

Tips and Best Practices to Minimize Your Risk

Cities and states are taking increasingly drastic measures to curb the severity of the pandemic, including the closing of bars, restaurants, and public venues. In some areas, officials have issued “shelter in place” orders in order to compel residents to stay in their homes and limit movement. To further protect yourself, minimize your exposure with the following tips:

Practice Good Hygiene

    • Clean hands with sanitizer and wash your hands frequently
    • Avoid touching your face and cover coughs and sneezes
    • Disinfect “high touch” surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, tables, doorknobs, and handrails regularly
    • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning

At The Office

    • Stop shaking hands – use other noncontact methods of greeting
    • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible
    • When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces
    • Disinfect “high touch” surfaces like desks, keyboards, light switches, doorknobs, and telephones
    • Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings

Stay Home if...

    • You are feeling sick
    • You have a sick family member in their home

Sources:

How long does the Coronavirus live on surfaces?

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Coronavirus cleaning technician in Tampa Coronavirus cleaning technician in Tampa

How long can the new coronavirus live on a surface, like say, a door handle, after someone infected touches it with dirty fingers? A study out this week finds that the virus can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.

"This virus has the capability for remaining viable for days," says study author, James Lloyd-Smith, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who researches how pathogens emerge.

Although the World Health Organization had previously estimated the survival time on surfaces to be a "few hours to a few days" based on research on other coronaviruses, this is the first study by scientists at a federal laboratory to test the actual virus causing the current pandemic, SARS-CoV-2.

The study is out in preprint form and expected to be published.

Interestingly, some surfaces are less hospitable to SARS-CoV-2. For instance, the virus remained viable on copper for only about four hours.

It's useful to know how long it can stay alive of course, because the virus can contaminate surfaces when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Virus-laden respiratory droplets can land on doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails or countertops — and spread the virus to anyone who then touches these surfaces.

To test the survival time of the virus, scientists at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, part of the National Institutes of Health, conducted a series of experiments comparing the novel coronavirus with the SARS virus (a similar coronavirus that led to an outbreak back in 2003).

In the lab, "they'd pick up the virus from the surfaces that had been contaminated and then put [the virus] into cell cultures," he explains. Then the researchers documented whether the virus could infect those cells in the dish. They did this multiple times, for both the viruses, at various time points.

"Big picture, the [two viruses] look very similar to each other in terms of their stability in these environments," Lloyd-Smith says.

Lloyd-Smith says these findings establish a good ballpark estimate for the survivability of the virus on these surfaces. "In a laboratory experiment, the conditions are pretty carefully controlled and constant," he says. By comparison, "in the real world, conditions fluctuate" — conditions like temperature, humidity and light. So the survivability may vary, too.

For instance, if the virus contaminates a sunny windowsill or countertop, it may not last as long.

"Ultraviolet light can be a really powerful disinfectant and we get a lot of UVA light from the sun, Direct sunlight can help rapidly diminish infectivity of viruses on surfaces,"

Much is still unknown about the virus's variability on other types of surfaces like clothing, or carpeting. Kuritzkes says that based on prior research, it seems that "flat surfaces and hard surfaces are more friendly to viruses than cloth or rough surfaces", says Daniel Kuritzkes, an infectious disease expert at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

And how about food? "Food is probably not a major risk factor here," Kuritzkes says. That's because most infection from the new coronavirus starts with the respiratory system, not the digestive tract. So infection comes from getting the virus on your hands and then touching your own eyes, nose and mouth. "Of more concern would be utensils, and plates and cups that might be handled by a large number of people in a cafeteria setting, for example," he says.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Well, you've likely already heard this. Wash your hands. And wipe down shared surfaces.

Follow these tips for cleaning surfaces — your own and public ones.

Wipe right: Use ammonia or alcohol-based products. Skip the baby wipes

"The good thing about COVID-19 is that it does not require any unique cleaning chemicals to disinfect hands and surfaces," says Andrew Janowski, an infectious disease expert at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children's Hospital. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the current coronavirus.

Good old-fashioned soap and water does the trick.

You can also use a wipe, but make sure you use an alcohol-based wipe, not baby wipes, which may not be effective, Janowski says.

And given that wipes are hard to come by at many stores at the moment, you can instead buy an EPA-registered disinfecting spray, such as one on this list from the Center for Biocide Chemistries, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by Dr. David Warren, an infectious disease specialist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Or make a bleach-based spray yourself. You can make a DIY cleaning spray by mixing 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water, according to the CDC.

Wash. Your. Hands. (Seriously!)

Yes, you've heard it a hundred times. So do it, already! Especially after you've been out in public, touching a lot of surfaces. Lather up with soap and scrub for 20 seconds. (Two times the "Happy Birthday" song, or sing "Baby Shark" — you'll get midway through Daddy Shark).

And be thorough. Spend some time rubbing the backs of your hands as well as the front, interlace your fingers and pull them through, soap up each thumb with the opposite hand and, finally, to keep your fingernails virus-free, lightly scratch them against your palm.

Hand-washing is so important that if everyone followed good hand-washing hygiene, it could prevent an estimated 1 in 5 respiratory infections, according to the CDC — that's the equivalent of about 6 million cases of the flu this year.

Hand sanitizer: DIY in a pinch?

Hand sanitizer is effective at killing viruses, too, although hand-washing is preferred, according to the CDC. Given the shortage of hand sanitizers in some stores and reports of price-gouging online, there's lots of interest in DIY hand sanitizer.

"On paper, if a recipe can maintain the alcohol concentration above 60%, it should be effective against SARS-COV-2," says Janowski, but he says getting it just right might be trickier than you think. If in doubt when making these homemade sanitizers, soap and water are still effective against the virus.

Your smartphone is like a third hand. Wipe it down

So you've just washed your hands and you're feeling squeaky clean. Then you pick up your cellphone, and guess what? It's covered with potential pathogens.

"Studies have shown that smartphones surfaces are covered in bacteria, including bacteria that can cause serious infections like Staphylococcus species," says Judy Guzman-Cottrill, an infectious disease expert at Oregon Health & Science University.

And phones are often held close to the eyes, nose and mouth, where germs can enter the body. So wipe it down often.

And you don't have to rub down your phone for long if you're using an alcohol-based sanitizer. "Just a few seconds should be sufficient to disinfect," says Janowski.

Try this stinky trick to stop touching your face

Your face offers multiple entry points for the virus. So every time you touch your eyes, nose and mouth with grubby hands, you risk infection.

"If you have touched a table or a doorknob or some surface contaminated [with the virus] and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you have a chance of inoculating yourself with the virus," Kuritzkes says.

But, as a matter of habit, most of us touch our faces multiple times an hour without even realizing it.

So, here's an idea. "After you wash your hands really well, touch a piece of raw onion," says Catherine Belling of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. With this strong smell on your fingers, "you'll notice when you touch your face," she says. Sure, it may make you a tad antisocial, but it could be a good way to train yourself to touch less.

Certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Professional Certification Specialist SERVPRO of South Tampa NADCA ASCS Professionals

Have pets, allergies, asthma or smoke in your home?  Do you see or smell signs of water contamination or damage to your homes’ HVAC system?  Construction Dust? Perhaps a thorough Duct Cleaning is what you need! 

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality; Reduce Allergens & Irritants; Help Everyone Breath Better; Remove Unpleasant Smells & Odors; and Improve Air Flow Efficiency with HVAC Duct Cleaning. 

We are your local NADCA Air System Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) in South Tampa and the surrounding area.  Call SERVPRO ® of South Tampa for a Quote today! 

(813) 839-6633

Emergency Commercial Restoration Services in South Tampa

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded warehouse with water Commercial Water Damage Restoration in Tampa

Commercial water damage can strike your commercial property while you are sleeping! We understand the urgency for immediate repairs and can act fast to help minimize further damage. Disasters can strike unexpectedly, which is why our emergency response helpline is always open and standing by to take your phone call 24/7!
 
Regardless of the cause, we will fast respond and help you assess problems or issues the water damage produced and start the mitigation and recovery process. Before emergency repairs are started, we remove any salvageable items, assess the extent of the damage and contamination to put together a repair plan.
 
SERVPRO of South Tampa commercial restoration professionals have the training, experience, and equipment to manage water and flooding damage. Whether you have a large water emergency or a small water damage event, we will respond fast to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

SERVPRO of South Tampa provides a wide scope of services not always offered by other SERVPRO franchises, such as biohazard cleanup and removal, HVAC repair and service and general construction for rebuilding and remodeling structures. Those are in addition to the fire, water and mold cleanup and restoration services you may already be familiar with. Below is a list of some of our services offered.

  • Fire, Smoke, and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
  • Water Removal and Dehumidification
  • Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation
  • Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning
  • Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care
  • Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications
  • Odor Identification and Deodorization
    Upholstery and Drapes: Wet and Dry Cleaning Methods

If you are unsure if we can help with an issue you are having, give us a call at (813) 839-6633 today!

Should you purchase a generator for your Tampa business?

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Solar powered generator Generator recommendation for business in Tampa

SERVPRO of South Tampa knows that making money in a busy economy depends on a few factors. One thing is certain, though: if your business does not have a steady supply of electricity, it may not be able to meet the demands of your customers. Nonetheless, storms, faulty power grids and other culprits can cause your company to lose power. Before you purchase a commercial generator for your Tampa,FL, business, you should know a bit about this piece of heavy equipment.

Types of Generators to consider

When the power fails, a backup generator uses fuel to generate usable electricity to supply your business. Generators run on different types of fuel, including the following:

  • Electric
  • Solar Powered
  • Diesel
  • Gas / propane
  • Combination fuel

When your organization needs an emergency supply of electricity, you simply engage the machine’s engine. Some generators automatically start running when the power fails. As you may suspect, generators come in a variety of sizes and styles. Small ones use little fuel while delivering low amounts of electricity. Large generators can power entire factories. Which size is right for your organization likely depends on your company’s electricity requirements.
 
Generators Have a Lifespan
Like any machine, a generator has a useful lifespan. How long your machine is apt to last depends on its design, construction, maintenance and other factors. Most commercial generators, though, can operate for more than 20 years. You must watch for signs of generator problems to know when to replace yours. If your machine fails, you may need to rely on a professional cleanup crew to repair damage to your company. You may also run into a work stoppage.

If you're on a budget, we recommend something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Jackery-Portable-Solar-Ready-Generator-Emergency/dp/B07SM5HBK1/

Not only is this product affordable, but allows you to convert free clean energy to run the basics in your office if your office does suffer a power outage.

Why it's important to keep inventory at your Tampa business

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Man scanning inventory in warehouse Keeping inventory at your Tampa business

Why keep track of everything at your business?

Make sure you have a picture inventory of your belongings in the event of a loss. Without it you could lose a lot of money! While you probably have business insurance that covers the contents of your home or business if they are lost, you probably don't have pictures of the contents you own.
 
Make sure you keep an inventory of the contents of your warehouse or office. Hopefully you will never need it, but you will be glad to have it in the event of a problem! Be sure to take pictures of each area of your business and the contents in them at least once a year. That way, if you do need to file an insurance claim you will have a record of everything you lost, the condition it was in.
 
People are often surprised that if their property is lost, destroyed or stolen getting it replaced is not necessarily a straight-forward process with their insurance company if they don't have this picture inventory.
 
For example, if you were to lose a desk in a fire and don't have a picture inventory the amount you will be reimbursed could be a surprise.  Your $1,000 mint condition 'classic' desk could get valued based on age and 'market-value', leaving you with a lot less money than you expected, and needed, to replace it.

SERVPRO of South Tampa is here to help. If you need help on the steps you need to take, give us a call at (813) 839-6633 today!

5 Causes for a fire in your Tampa home

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Candles in a home Causes of House Fires in Tampa

SERVPRO of South Tampa knows that fire is one of the most hazardous types of damage that can damage your home. While safety measures can be put in place to combat fire (like having a fire extinguisher handy or a fire alarm system installed), knowing what the common causes are can
 
Cooking Equipment
 
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are ranked as the number one cause of home fires in the United States. It’s important to always be alert and aware when cooking in your kitchen, and to not leave items unattended. Pots and pans can easily overheat, food can burn, and any time large quantities of grease or oil are involved they can spray and splatter, taking only seconds to ignite into flame.
 
Electrical Equipment
 
Electrical fires are one of the most common threats homeowners face. From overloaded electrical outlets to malfunctioning appliances, fires can start fast and grow strong. Be careful not to overload your circuits or leave lights on overnight, and if you can, start conducting an annual inspection of your home’s electrical systems. This will help you identify and locate any faulty wiring, damaged outlets or other issues your system may have.
 
Indoor Smoking
 
Smoking is a major contributor to home fires that occur in the United States each year. Lit cigarettes accidentally dropped somewhere in the home can fast ignite its surroundings and build to dangerous levels of fire and smoke. The best way to significantly reduce the risk of this happening is to stop smoking altogether or by smoking outdoors. However, if you choose to smoke inside your home, take proper precautionary measures: don’t smoke in your bedroom or forget to extinguish your cigarette if you become drowsy. Use large, deep ashtrays, and keep them away from anything that will burn.

Appliances & Dryers
 
This one may surprise some people, but your dryer could pose as a major hazard for your home if not properly maintained. When lint and dust build up over time, the dryer vent becomes clogged with highly flammable materials. Regularly cleaning your dryer’s lint trap and routinely inspecting the vent for blockage is the best way to avoid this potential danger.
 
Candles
 
Candles provide wonderful aromas and stunning ambiance to any room, but can be hazardous the moment you neglect them. Always blow out a candle before you leave a room – an unattended open flame is asking for trouble, and can fast lead to a home fire. In addition to blowing it out, be sure to clear away any flammable materials from the vicinity of the candle prior to lighting it. Trimming the wick can also help reduce the size of the flame, better containing it.
 
If you are worried about any of these hazards that may exist in your home or have any questions, feel free to call our team of pros here at SERVPRO of South Tampa at (813) 839-6633

How to get rid of Fire Damage odors in Tampa

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Cigarette butts in an ashtray How to get rid of Fire Damage odors in Tampa

SERVPRO of South Tampa knows that in dealing with the after-effects of a fire, many Tampa homeowners find that smoke odors are the hardest problem to remove. The difficulty is that odors generate from multiple sources like material burned, level of heat, amount of oxygen present, and more. After extinguishing the fire, determining the exact type of odor residue is often not possible.
 
SERVPRO of South Tampa fire restoration teams combine multiple cleaning techniques and use multi-phase odor control procedures to deodorize a home and eliminate this last effect of Tampa fire damage. With them, technicians can block or destroy odor-causing, smoke residues regardless of the source or intensity.
 
The combination takes odor removal and control procedures to eliminate residues as fast as possible. Technicians first remove all property physically damaged by the fire. Burned structural and personal property exudes an incredible amount of odors, and removing them clears out what are often the strongest odors.
 
Next, they remove any visible residues. If the fire burned fast, it leaves dry, powdery residues that our SERVPRO technicians remove using cleaning sponges. If the residue is very thick, staff may use a spray bottle with water or a mild cleaning agent to make wiping down surfaces easier. A slow-burning fire usually leaves stickier residues which require stronger cleaners and perhaps even a scrub brush or other agitation device to break up them up for removal.
 
If odors remain after property removal and cleaning, then additional techniques such as vaporization are needed to deodorize the home. Multi-phase cleaning starts with chemical containment. The goal is to prevent the release of further odor-causing molecules with a chemical spray that stops it or slows down enough to move to the next phase.
 
The final step to eliminate odors is thermal fogging. Technicians disperse a solvent-based deodorant using a commercial fogger. The heating element breaks down the deodorant to the same size particles as the odor so they can penetrate walls and furniture just as deeply. 
 
Treating homes and personal property for odors can be an extensive process. If you are dealing with the effects of fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of South Tampa at (813) 839-6633 to schedule an inspection and begin restoration.

How to clean your gutters after a storm in Tampa

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Home gutter with leaves Cleaning home gutters in Tampa

SERVPRO of South Tampa knows that we get our fair share of sunny days throughout the year, however it also brings the occasional rainstorm. By dumping a high volume of water in a relatively short amount of time, it’s important to take precautionary measures to prevent building that can affect your drain pipes.
 
One measure you can take is cleaning out your home’s gutters after a storm hits, and you can do it in three easy steps:
 
First, start by scooping out debris.Find a ladder and securely place it against your home so you are able to reach the gutters comfortably. Start at the end closest to the drain outlet and gradually working your way to the other end, removing loose debris as you go.
 
Second, use a hose to spray a steady stream of water through the gutters towards the drain outlet. This will help remove and stubborn dirt and debris that may still be holding on from when you were scooping.
 
Third, be sure to check your drain pipes for any blockage. In some instances, rainstorms can force material into the pipes, causing potentially severe damage. A good way to detect if your drain pipes are blocked is if you see a trickle of water rather than a flow coming from them. If this is the case, try using a hose at the top of the gutter and spray directly into the outlet to help clear any congestion.
 
Following these steps will help prevent your gutters from taking on damage from blockage and build up. If you experience any major damage, give SERVPRO of South Tampa a call at (813) 839-6633 and our experts will be there to help you resolve and repair the issue!

How to prepare your home for Storm damage in Tampa

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Couple boarding home windows before a storm Preparing your home for Storm damage in Tampa

When news stations report the weather today, people tend to pay more attention to what’s being reported. Since Tampa weather can produce many different types of unsettling conditions, it is not uncommon for everyone to expect most anything. It does not matter which areas of the country are impacted by the weather, especially because the most recent storms are causing all kinds of problems and issues of concerns. From large balls of hail hitting windows in the home and causing them to break to flood waters rising because of large volumes of rain coming down for longer periods of time, stormy weather can be very unpredictable.

Preparing Your Home Before a Storm

Getting ready for the storm before it hits is one of the ways for a homeowner to protect the interest that they have in their property. However, sometimes the preparation made will not make any difference if the winds are so strong that they rip off of the roofing on the top of the home. In some cases, the winds will leave Tampa storm damage behind that may cost the owner or their insurance companies tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. So, the aftermath of a storm can be solemn for the owner and their family members.

Recovering After the Storm Passes Through

Typically, after a major storm passes through any area, owners are left with the aftermath to clean up and restore back to its original condition. Based on the severity of the damage that’s left, the owner may need to call a professional storm damage of Tampa recovery team to begin the process of cleaning up. These services are usually needed when the storm causes major damage to the roofing or the waters from the storm floods one or more rooms in the home. When this is the case, owners will need to protect their investment by contacting our team of technicians for emergency services. These services are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week so we can get started right away devising a plan of action. In fact, we will provide the homeowner and their family members with several key services including cleaning up the excess water, drying the areas impacted in the home, using antibacterial treatments for the family’s safety and restoring the home back to its original condition.
 
The impact of a storm can be very challenging for homeowners who have had storm damage near Tampa. Even though an owner can start the process of protecting the home before it passes through, they cannot always predict what is going to happen and the damage that it is going to cause. However, after the storm has passed through, the owners can hire our technicians to assist with the clean-up and recovery process.

For those of you who need a professional to visit your home for an assessment of the damage and a plan, you should call SERVPRO of South Tampa at (813) 839-6633 today!