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Cleaning Water Damage

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Worker plumbing toilet Tampa Plumbing Water Damage Cleaning

At SERVPRO of South Tampa, we've seen almost every type of water damage issue. Older apartment complexes are sometimes notorious for the complexity and obsolescence of their plumbing systems. It's just a fact of life for landlords. Therefore, it takes a bit of ingenuity to manage some of these antiquated systems.

For example, units constructed in the time period of the 1970's to the 1990's sometimes still contain polybutylene piping, a material that has grown so out of favor in the plumbing industry that it is no longer recognized in building codes. Here are four common plumbing issues landlords of older rental units may need to face.

Clogged Drains

Since this can result in water backing up and flowing onto the floor, it should be addressed fairly quickly. Options for clearing a clogged drain include using a drain snake, employing a plunger, cleaning out the drain trap, and using a chemical cleaner.

Blocked Toilets

The methods for clearing a clogged toilet are similar for those fixing a clogged drain. However, since this could involve the overflow of contaminated water, the services of a reputable water remediation company should be considered if raw sewage spills out onto the floor.

Poor Plumbing Designs

This often involves the use of improper materials for pipes, such as polybutylene. If not replaced, this type of piping can result in burst pipes and extensive water damage. Poor design can also refer to the actual physical configuration of the pipes and might include an excessive number of twists and turns and elbow joints that impede water flow.

Damaged Discharge Lines

This refers to the lines that lead away from the property and join the municipal water lines. Over time, these lines not only age and weaken, but they also are vulnerable to damage from tree roots and other obstructions.

Some plumbing issues in older units are easier to fix, while others, such as the presence of polybutylene pipes, require major renovations. The services of a water restoration company can be a big help with water damage.

Fixing Water Damage in Tampa

If you need helping fixing your home or business water damage issues, we're here to help. Call us today at (813) 839-6633 for a free estimate today!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. 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 hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO Of South Tampa today at 813-839-6633 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

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.  

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

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.