Dehumidifying Your Home
When you live in Northwest Florida, humidity is inevitable. The warm weather we enjoy so much is saturated by a significant amount of water, which generates the excessive moisture around you. While many fear what the humidity means for their hair or their skin, have you thought about what it means for your home?
In humid climates, homes run serious risk of damage from collecting all of the moisture the air carries. A common result of high humidity levels in your home is mold. Mold grows quickly in warm, damp conditions and can fester into an entire colony within 24 hours of their spores attaching themselves to surfaces and feeding. As mold grows and spreads throughout your home, allergens and irritants are released into the air which creates a dangerous situation for you and your family. The allergens and irritants can become toxic, causing respiratory problems and other health issues.
That’s why it’s critically important to take steps in preventing mold growth in the first place. We recommend starting with a dehumidifier for your home. Using a dehumidifier will help you maintain optimal humidity levels that are both healthy and comfortable. Running fans, and checking up on your HVAC system will also help keep the humidity down. Make sure everything is running smoothly and functioning properly to help circulate air flow, and if you need help with an inspection you can always call SERVPRO of Bay County. We’ll also help check your vents, filters, and make sure everything is in good working condition.
If you do discover mold growing in your home, it should be dealt with immediately - it can be harmful to your home and your health. Call SERVPRO of Bay County at 850-785-1077 and our quick response team will be there to begin the mold remediation process right away.
Is Your Bay County Home Storm-Ready?
As anyone who lives here knows, springtime in Bay County brings beautiful sunshine as well as strong rain and wind storms. With weather that can switch so quickly between the two, it’s important to make sure your home is storm-ready, prepared to handle and withstand unpredictable conditions.
It’s always a good idea to conduct a home and ground inspection before weather conditions take a turn for the worst. Things like leaky roofs or windows can be very problematic in the midst of heavy rainfall and strong winds, so checking them and making sure they are all fitted correctly is a critical step to take.
Checking for loose shutters and trimming back any trees or shrubbery that may be surrounding your home is another good way to get it storm-ready. Shutters, tree limbs, and other loose debris can get picked up by wind and thrown in any direction, including towards your house. Also inspect any drainage areas near or around your home, clearing them of any debris that may be creating blockage. This will help reduce chances of flooding your property during a storm.
Another thing to consider when preparing your home for a storm is what kind of system to have in place that will allow you to communicate with your loved ones and receive weather updates. In some cases, storms can become strong enough to put your cell phone’s service signal at risk, so it’s good to be prepared and have an alternative form of communication in place.
And as always, in the event of storm damage SERVPRO of Bay County is here to help. We’re available 24/7 and ready when you need us. Give us a call at (850) 785-1077.
Keeping Your Home Safe From Storm Damage
Storms are dangerous forces of nature that can be brutal, unpredictable, and strike without warning. Because they wreak such serious havoc, it’s important to take measures in keeping your home safe from potential storm damage.
So what can you do to be prepared? For starters, perform a full inspection of your home and its surrounding premises. You can do this personally or professionally. Check for leaks in your roof or windows, and make sure all exterior doors and windows are fitted correctly. Any cracks or gaps can lead to big problems during storms, so it’s important to fix up any you may find right away.
Next, check the condition of your shutters and rain gutters. Make sure they are sturdy and tight. If any are loose, get them fixed and tightened right away. Loose shutters and gutters can become dangerous in a storm because they are unstable and in some cases they can rip away from your house and blow around as debris. The same goes for any unstable large trees or loose tree limbs. Consider trimming back trees with any unhealthy looking branches that could be torn off in a storm.
If your home is older and has a drainage ditch in front of the property, inspect the area around it. Remove debris, dirt, and anything else that could obstruct that flow of water. This will prevent any blockage and clogging that could cause flooding.
Finally, have an emergency plan in place for your family to help ensure their safety in the event of a storm.
When a storm does hit, SERVPRO of Bay County has your back. We’ll take care of any emergency repairs or restorations your home may need. Give us a call at 850-785-1077
Away on Vacay: Preventing Water Damage
Lots of things can go wrong in your home while you’re on vacation, most commonly leaks and water damage. Read our steps below to learn how to help prevent and reduce the risk of water damage when you’re away:
Check for Leaks
Before you leave on vacation, be sure to check around your house for any leaks. Pipes under sinks, your water heater, anything resembling rust, cracks, or other damage. It’s important to check the seals around your windows and the exterior of your home as well. If you find any leakage, be sure to fix it right away so everything can be repaired and in good condition before you leave.
Important appliances such as your dishwasher, washer/dryer, and refrigerator are all connected to your home by hoses. If these hoses are damaged in any way, they can cause major water damage to your home. Inspect your appliances and, if needed, replace their hoses prior to leaving on vacation.
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning leaves and other debris out from your gutters before taking a vacation is an easy way to prevent potential blockage and build up. To learn more about the advantages of clean gutters, click here.
Turn Off the Water
Whenever you leave your home for an extended period of time, it’s important to turn off the water main and make sure the pipes are completely drained. This will stop any water from continually leaking in your home while you’re away. Simply run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water.
Have Someone Check on Your Home
Coordinate to have someone come over and check on your home while you’re away. Having a friend, neighbor, or family member keep an eye on your property can help keep it in good shape, and they can notify you immediately if something goes wrong.
With these tips, you can truly enjoy your vacation with the peace of mind that your home is safe from any potential water damage that could occur in your absence. If your home does suffer from water damage, call our team at SERVPRO of Bay County. We can help remove, repair, and restore any damage to your home.
Advantages of Hurricane Shutters
Living in Florida where hurricane season occurs annually, it’s important to be prepared. When these dangerous storms hit, they can cause major damage to everything in their path. One safety precaution we recommend taking is installing Hurricane Shutters for your home because they offer many advantages in times of crisis:
Prevent Glass Breakage - When hurricane shutters are properly placed and installed over your glass doors and windows, they shield the glass from being broken by harmful wind, rain, and debris.
Reduce Risk of Injury - Broken windows welcome flying debris (including broken glass) into your home where your family may be seeking shelter. Without hurricane shutters, the combination of negative pressure, high velocity wind and violently circulating materials can enter into your home can cause serious injuries and even death to those caught in the crossfire.
Easy Operation - After hurricane shutters are installed, they are designed to be simply maneuvered by one person. This makes them easy to operate, and one less thing to worry about when dangerous storms hit.
Resale Factor - Hurricane shutters on your home can actually help increase its value on the housing market. They’re a feature prospective buyers will appreciate and can take comfort in.
Peace of Mind - Ultimately, installing hurricane shutters will give you peace of mind when a hurricane is imminent. You can take comfort in knowing you’ve taken the proper steps to prepare for the storm, and that the shutters will help keep your home and family protected.
Preventing Mold In Your Bathroom
Fighting mold in your bathroom? That’s because showers, sinks, bathtubs and toilets are each high producers of lingering moisture, creating the perfect environment for mold to grow in.
The good news is, there are preventative measures you can take to help combat mold growth in these areas, and stop it from spreading to the rest of your home:
- Make sure your bathroom is properly ventilated. Ventilation is key in regulating the amount of moisture in the air and keeps it from settling on surfaces where mold can grow. If you have a fan, make sure it is on or a window is open while you are showering so the steam can be directed away from the rest of the room.
- Once you finish taking a bath or shower, allow your bathroom fan to run for at least 30 minutes longer. This will give the air time to circulate.
- Mildew-resistant materials to the rescue! If you have a shower curtain or window curtains in your bathroom, make sure they are mildew resistant so mold can’t grow on them.
- Wipe down your shower often. Wiping down your shower after using it removes any lingering moisture that otherwise would have no place to go.
- Wash your shower curtain. Many people forget this one, but you should always wash your shower curtain at least once a month! Not only will it keep your bathroom looking fresh and clean, it will help remove any mold spores that could potentially grow and wreak havoc on the material.
- NEVER leave damp laundry on the floor. Or any laundry for that matter. When damp laundry is left on the floor, it creates the perfect breeding ground for mold spores. It also can ruin your clothes!
- Repair any water leaks. If any drains, faucets, or pipes are leaking water, it creates a constant source of moisture for mold to live on and grow from. Fix leaks immediately to reduce the chances of mold.
If you find mold, or suspect you may have mold in your home, give SERVPRO of Bay County a call and we will come inspect it for you. 850-785-1077
Cleaning Your Gutters After A Storm
While Bay County, Florida experiences its fair share of sunny days throughout the year, 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 any damage being done to your home from these storms.
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 Bay County a call and our experts will be there to help you resolve and repair the issue. 850-785-1077
4th Quarter Business Excellence
"Our Fourth Quarter Business Excellence Award winner provides 24 hour emergency fire and water cleanup, mold, and biohazard remediation, as well as complete rebuild services on residential and commercial buildings.
It all started in 2003, when Sean and Kellie Grier turned their dream into a reality. It was their vision to grow a company that would not only provide jobs for citizens of Bay County, but most importantly, provide careers. Careers that not only provided a living, but that would grow families, and better our community.
As many dreams do, this one started small, with just a few vehicles and a handful of employees. It took a lot of hard work, dedication, and a little luck but eventually, it grew into a successful business that currently has a fleet of vehicles, 35 employees, and 3 buildings. This growth has enabled the company to travel to other communities in time of disaster, and help with, as well as achieve “Large Loss Team” status. They were named one of the companies Top 100 franchises out of 1,700 in 2016 and 2017.
Sean Grier will be the first to tell you that he couldn’t have done it on his own. He strongly believes in teamwork and is involved in all aspects of the business. It’s his hands on approach that he is most admired for among his staff.
This company has been a supportive member of the Beach Chamber for 8 years. Members of their team are very active in our Ambassador program, as well as our IdeaCamp and Women’s Symposium committees.
This organization is a valued member and we are proud to present them with this award this morning. The 2017 fourth quarter Business Excellence Award goes to SERVPRO of Bay County"
-PCB Chamber of Commerce
3 Early Signs of Mold Growth
It’s no secret that mold is one of the most hazardous forms of damage that can happen to your home. It infiltrates homes easily, grows rapidly, and can be harmful to your house and your health. If you’re worried about finding mold in your home, be on alert and look for these three signs that could indicate early stages of mold growth:
1. The first indicator of the presence of mold are water spots. Any surfaces dampened by water create the perfect environment for mold to flourish. Water spots that begin appearing on your walls, ceiling, or floors should be a major red flag. Wherever you see water spots, try finding the source of the moisture causing them and get it taken care of as soon as possible.
We recommend hiring remediation professionals like our team here at SERVPRO of Bay County to help fix the problem as well as take preventive measures to keep it from happening again.
2. The second sign to look for is discoloration. If you find spots of discoloration on surfaces of your home, it could mean fungus is growing. If there is a green or black tint to it, mold is even more likely
3. Third, mold can cause a bad smell. Depending on the type of mold and how fast it is growing, the aroma could be strong or faint, can smell pungent, musty, or earthy. If you experience any of those smells coming from your home, it needs to be inspected.
When mold is ignored, it becomes harmful and dangerous. It’s important to take action immediately in removing it in order stop the infestation and prevent future spreading. If you have mold in you home, call us today for our remediation services.
Tips For Keeping Your Water Bill Low
We’ve talked a lot about how to prevent and reduce the risk of water damage in your home, but what about reducing the cost of water in your home?
Here are a few tips from our team of experts here at SERVPRO of Bay County that will help you keep your water bill lower while helping your home and the environment in the process:
1. First and foremost, it’s important to identify and then fix any water leaks you may have. Not only can leaks potentially drain thousands of gallons worth of water, they can lead to major water damage problems for your home. Check faucets, drains, and plumbing around the house to look and listen for any signs that could indicate a leak. If you find one, get it fixed right away!
2. Use your dishwasher! That’s right – running a full load of dishes in the dishwasher is actually a much more efficient use of water than washing dishes individually by hand. The key here though is running a full load, that’s how you’ll get the most out of your water usage.
3. Take shorter showers, or switch to a low-flow shower head. Reducing your shower time by even a couple of minutes makes big cuts in the amount of water you use from month to month. As an alternative, low-flow shower heads use 2.5 gallons per minute, which according to the US Department of Energy could end up reducing you water bill by 25-60 %, saving you a significant amount of money in utility bills.
4. Insulate your water pipes. One trip to the hardware store for some foam insulation cut in the shape of a pipe and your half-way there! Taping insulation to your water pipes will help them heat up water faster, which in turn means less time running water from your sink or shower waiting for it to warm up.
5. Limit your use of the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink. Instead, scrape whatever excess food that’s on your dishes into the trash, then place them in the dishwasher – remember? We want a full load! Disposals use a lot of water to flush things down the drain, so reducing its use will reduce the amount of water you’re using in your kitchen.
With these tips to get you started, you should start seeing a drop in your water utility bill in no time. By being mindful of your water usage and aware of the condition your pipes, faucets, and appliances are in, you can help prevent any costly water leaks or damaging water spills.