Recent Posts

July 2018 Employee of the Month

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Our most sincere thanks and congratulations go to Michelle Spencer, SERVPRO of Hernando County'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

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

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 Hernando County's June 2018 Employee of the Month, Mike Esposito.

Customer service is always a top priority at SERVPRO of Hernando County; 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

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

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 Hernando County is fully certified to handle any class of water damage from accidental or natural events.

Preventing Mold Growth In Your Weeki Wachee Home

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist, but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Use the following tips to help prevent mold growth in your home.

  1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them.Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters.
  2. Dry wet areas immediately.Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. 
  3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. 
  4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products.Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. 
  5. Monitor humidity indoors.The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. 
  6. Direct water away from your home.If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
  7. Clean or repair roof gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
  8. Improve air flow in your home.Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.
  9. Keep mold off household plants.They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants.

SERVPRO of Hernando County has the training, experience, and equipment to handle any mold issues you may find in your home. Call Us Today (352) 683-3730.  

https://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/how-to-prevent-mold-9-tips

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

SERVPRO Convention 2018

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

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 Hernando County’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

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

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 Hernando County 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 Hernando County 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 Hernando County, 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 Hernando County professionals are her to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties in Spring Hill, Brooksville, Ridge Manor, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of Hernando County today.  

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hoarding-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20356056

BIOHAZARD, CRIME SCENE, AND VANDALISM CLEANUP

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO of Hernando County 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 Hernando County 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 Hernando County 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 Hernando County today for 24-hour emergency service at (352)683-3730. 

BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS:  SERVPRO of Hernando County 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 Hernando County 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 Hernando County 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.  

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardouswaste/

https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/biomedical-waste/index.html

Flooding. Do You Know What To Do?

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

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. 

Before flooding: 

  • 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. 

During flooding: 

  • 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.

After flooding: 

  • 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. 

Fire Drills: Not just for school days

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Drills: Not just for school days Has your family created an escape route if a fire should break out in your home?

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 Hernando County will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings. 

Preparing For When A Hurricane Strikes

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Preparing For When A Hurricane Strikes  As Hurricane Irma made her way through the Hernando County area, many roads were closed due to flooding.

Before: 

  • 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.

During: 

  • 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.

After: 

  • 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.