DRIRITE Disaster Restoration Blog

Understanding Water, Fire & Mold Damage Restoration Processes

COVID-19 Safety Tips for Tampa Beaches and Pools This Summer

Summer has officially started, and we are ready to enjoy some of our favorite summertime activities. But, the damage in Tampa FL from COVID-19 means we have to do things a bit differently to enjoy our area beaches and pools safely this summer. In addition to the normal summer safety rules, such as wearing SPF, staying hydrated, and avoiding heat exhaustion, we have to take additional measures to protect ourselves and those around us from the spread of the coronavirus.

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How Tampa Residents Can Prepare for Storm Season

Since forecasters predict ‘above average’ 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and because the Tampa Bay area is already known as lightning alley, professional restoration services of Tampa Bay are already preparing. This is because more storms mean more Tampa FL water damage.

Whether you are new to the Tampa Bay area or have lived here all your life, you shouldn’t let storm season catch you off guard. While we can’t always predict when disaster will strike, we can prepare for spring storms and hurricane season. By taking the steps today to protect your family and your home, you can prevent even more damage than those who remain unprepared.

Build an Emergency Kit

Even if storms do not cause catastrophic damage, they can still make things difficult. For example, storms can cause you to lose electricity, and flooding can make it unsafe for you to use water from public water systems. That’s why it is critical to have an emergency kit with necessary supplies. Experts recommend having water and nonperishable food for at least three days stored. In addition, you should have items like a first aid kit, a flashlight, a weather radio, a manual can opener, and copies of your important documents.

Make an Emergency Plan

You should also prepare an emergency plan for your home or business. This plan should identify the safe places on the property where you can shelter during a dangerous storm, as well as the exits. Your plan should also include names and phone numbers for emergency contacts.

Sign Up for Alerts

Don’t put your head in the sand. Sign up for emergency alerts through the American Red Cross, FEMA, or local news stations. Emergency alerts will give you time to make plans and get to a safe location. It is just as important to stay informed after the storm has passed. This is where your weather radio will come in handy. Just because the storm seems to have ended, there may be other dangers in the area, such as flooding, which will make it unsafe to leave home.

Do Repairs Now

If you are aware of issues in your home, it is wise to do repairs now instead of waiting for them to worsen. For example, flood damage Tampa homes have experienced needs to be fully restored before they face another flood. Water damage can weaken the home’s structure, which will make it more vulnerable to this year’s storms.

Check Your Home’s Exterior for Potential Problems

You should also take time to evaluate your home’s exterior for potential problems, such as old tree branches that can break and fall on your home. Take note of anything that could be lifted or moved by strong winds, such as patio furniture, and consider anchoring it or moving it indoors. And don’t forget to clear your gutters! Water damage restoration in Tampa residents need can often be a result of clogged drains.

Make Sure You Have Insurance Coverage

Many homeowners mistakenly believe their insurance covers flood damage. Whereas home insurance typically covers water damage, it does not cover flood damage – especially if you live in a flood zone. If you live in a flood zone, it is wise to purchase additional flood insurance.

Be Aware of Tampa’s Emergency Response Plans

It is also important for those who call the Tampa Bay area home to be aware of Tampa’s emergency plans. The City of Tampa has a Natural Hazards Map that identifies flood zones and hurricane evacuation routes. You can also find area shelter locations on the website.

Know the Difference Between a Watch and a Warning

If you are confused when you hear your area is under a severe thunderstorm watch or warning, you are not the only one. Many people don’t know the difference between a watch and a warning. While you should pay attention to both, a warning means the threat is imminent. A weather watch means there is a potential for dangerous weather in your larger geographical area. A weather warning means a storm system will hit your specific area.

Invest in Lightning Protection

With the large amount of lightning in our area, homeowners should consider investing lightning protection. Ready recommends “buying surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances, and electronic devices.”

Pay Attention to Additional COVID-19 Concerns

The Tampa Bay Times reports, “The pandemic interruption could endure into hurricane season, which starts June 1, forcing unprecedented changes in the way Florida evacuates and shelters residents.” Shelters may look different this different this year, so it is important to find up-to-date information from local officials.

Know Who to Call When Disaster Strikes

Dririte is the restoration service provider for flood damage cleanup Tampa residents can trust. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our structural drying and water extraction services can help Tampa area residents get their properties back to livable conditions sooner rather than later.

What to Do After a Flood in Tampa, FL

Did you know the most weather-related fatalities in the United States and the most common weather-related cause of property damage in the nation are a result of flooding? Plus, Disaster Safety claims 8.3 billion dollars’ worth of damage is caused by flooding annually.

At Dririte, we know the threat of flood damage Tampa residents face is real. Just last year, ABC Action News Tampa Bay reported, “Hundreds of Tampa Bay area homeowners are finding out their homes could be at higher risk for flooding,” and FEMA released new maps indicating which new areas are at risk during heavy rain or hurricane conditions.

Since the risk is real, it is important for residents and business owners who may experience water damage in Tampa to know what to do before and after a potential flood.

Preventative Maintenance is Crucial

First, property owners should perform research to see if their property is located in a flood zone. You can search FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to see if your property is at risk. If you discover that your property is located in a flood zone, it is important that you purchase separate flood insurance. This is because traditional homeowner’s insurance typically does not cover flood damage.

Additionally, it is crucial to perform preventative maintenance on your property. For example, issues like clogged gutters, sump pump failures, and leaks can become huge issues after a flood. At Dririte, we offer leak detection services that can save you a lot of time and money.

Be Safe

The most important tip for dealing with a flood is to stay safe before, after, and during the flood event. Floods account for the most weather-related fatalities in the US, so you should take them seriously. For example, you should never attempt to drive through floodwaters. The rule is simple – turn around; don’t drown. Also, before venturing out, it is critical to listen to news reports to know when it is safe.

After the flood, you must make safe decisions, such as making sure your utilities have been turned off. Water and electricity are a dangerous and deadly mix. If you can’t get to the breaker box, contact your local company, and ask them to turn it off for you.

Document Everything

If you deal with Sarasota water damage after a flood, it is especially important that you document everything. Do this before you start removing anything from the flooded property. Write notes, take photos, and make a list of all the damages to your property. This will ensure you get as much as you are entitled to from your insurance company.

Call Your Insurance Company

As soon as possible after the flood, you should contact your insurance company. Keep in mind that because flood damage is not generally covered by homeowner’s insurance, you will need to contact your flood insurance provider.

Get Rid of Excess Water

After you have spoken with your insurance provider, you can begin removing the excess water from your home. You can try to remove the water on your own with a sump pump or wet vac, or you can contact the professionals at Dririte who have the tools for quick and effective water extraction.

Prevent Mold Damage

In favorable circumstances, mold can begin to grow within 48 hours of a flood, so it is important to get rid of as much water and moisture as soon as possible. This means that in addition to removing the water from the property, you will need to remove debris and saturated items. Different materials will need to be treated differently, such as furniture, rugs, and carpeting, which is why it is wise to seek assistance from a professional restoration company. If you are unable to remove the water in enough time to prevent mold, Dririte also offers mold remediation in Tampa.

Look for Potential Hazards

Don’t let your guard down after a flood. You will likely be under a great amount of stress, but there are still many potential hazards even after the water recedes. For example, the water you are dealing with may be contaminated by chemicals or sewage. You should also look out for snakes and rodents that may have entered the property by the floodwaters.

Sadly, floods can severely damage a home’s structure. Therefore, you must pay attention to any structural issues that make it unsafe for you to enter the property, such as sagging ceilings or buckling floors.

Contact Dririte for the Flood Damage Cleanup Tampa Residents Need

For more than 30 years, Dririte has been rushing to Tampa Bay homes and businesses following a flood to help residents restore their properties as quickly as possible. With expertise and state of the art equipment, we offer all the services property owners need when they experience water damage.

Covid-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting in Tampa

While the news of Covid-19 is winding down as people enjoy the reopening of businesses, shops and restaurants, the threat of the virus is still very present. DRIRITE is prepared to reduce the burden of cleaning and applying disinfectant many organizations and businesses in Tampa, FL are suddenly facing as an integral part of their daily routine. DRIRITE delivers the highest standards in cleaning services and is a trusted partner in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

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Why Air Quality Testing is Important in Tampa

Unfortunately, many homes and businesses have poor indoor air quality, which can cause serious health problems. In fact, poor air quality (also known as indoor air pollution) is named one of the top five environmental risks to public health by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As the provider of air quality testing in Tampa FL residents rely on, we feel it is important for homeowners and business owners to understand why air quality testing is so important.  

What Affects Indoor Air Quality

According to National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), “Some common indoor air pollutants that threaten indoor air quality include lead, dust mites, mold, radon, pests, carbon monoxide, pet dander, mold, and second hand smoke.” In addition, outdoor climate issues, such as humidity and precipitation, can lead to more bacteria and mold issues that will require mold removal in Tampa.

And that’s not all. Many cleaning products and building materials, such as asbestos insulation and new flooring, can cause indoor air pollution. Some property owners may even be dealing with poor air quality coming from their central heating and cooling systems.

Moreover, if your property has poor ventilation, then you are at an even greater risk for poor indoor air quality.

Who is Most at Risk

Like most health hazards, there are some people who are more at risk in environments with poor air quality. In the case of air quality, those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, are more at risk. Additionally, children, elderly, and those living in low-income situations are more at risk of prolonged exposure to poor air quality.

Ways to Protect Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

There are several things you can do today to protect your home’s indoor air quality. For example, Dririte provides air quality testing Bradenton residents can trust.

You should aim to reduce asthma triggers in your home. This includes keeping your home smoke-free and minimizing dust, mold, pet dander, pests, and chemical irritants. It is also important to have a working carbon monoxide alarm.

What to Do Before Air Quality Testing

If you request air quality testing because you already believe there is a problem, then you should try to find the source. For instance, inspect your space and take note of any causes for concern, such as leaks. Water damage, odors, and poor ventilation are common signs that you may be breathing air that is not the healthiest. Moreover, the restoration company in Tampa FL homeowners call should be able to address the issues that may be causing poor air quality.

Dririte Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay Inc Offers Specialized Air Quality Testing

At Dririte, we use specialized equipment to test the quality of the air in your home or business. Our equipment allows us to collect samples of the air, which we then test. Using the results of these tests, combined with decades of experience dealing with Indoor Air Quality, we are able to determine the next best steps to take. If mold is a problem, we are able to identify the type of mold and determine the proper mold remediation plan, including suggestions for preventing future mold growth.

When it comes to the air you breathe, don’t wait to call Dririte. You don’t want to risk the quality becoming even worse or risk your health. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Is Testing Always the Answer?

Many times when we receive a phone call from a potential client that would like testing done in their home, yet they decide not to test after they speak with us. Why is that? We qualify each call, and based on the needs of the client, they may be wasting money getting an air test that they do not need. If you can see mold, you have no need for a test! Testing for mold can be advantageous and give valuable insight, if the client has the correct expectations set for the test.

There are many factors to consider when looking at the results of the test. Just because the tests come back positive for mold doesn’t necessarily mean there is problem. There will be mold present 100% of the time we test. This is normal and to be expected even in our homes. We look for elevated levels of mold and the types of mold that are present. But even then, the results can be subjective. Did you know that if your child opened the window or a door for even a few extra minutes the day of the test that the results could be skewed? Or did you know that the time of day and the exterior weather conditions can influence the results of the test? There are many factors to consider when looking at the results. Testing is simply a tool, one of many, that can be used in determining IAQ issues. 

Places to Practice Social Distancing in Tampa

Here at Dririte, a damage restoration company that offers mold removal in Tampa FL, we couldn’t be happier that places are starting to reopen in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, we recognize that even though Florida has entered Phase 1 reopening, it doesn’t mean social distancing is over.

According to the Hillsborough County government page, “Phase 1 includes provisions that encourage Floridians to limit personal interactions outside the home and exercise responsible individual activity, but allows the conditional reopening of certain activities, stores, restaurants, fitness centers, and cultural facilities.’” However, they are still recommending vulnerable individuals stay at home.

What this means is that some of this mold removal in Riverview FL company’s favorite places are back open, but it also means everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing. This means keeping at least 6 feet between individuals when socializing and socializing in groups of no more than 10 people.

Fortunately, for those of us who live in the Tampa Bay area, there are many places that allow for adequate social distancing now open. Here are some of our recommendations.

State Parks

At press time, some of the Tampa Bay area state parks have reopened with precautions in place. The parks are asking guests to practice social distancing, wear face mask coverings, and stay at home if exhibiting any cold or flu-like symptoms. One thing to keep in mind when visiting state parks is that many of the amenities, such as restrooms and water stations, remain closed. Before you head to a park, check online to be sure it is open to the public. Also, if parks become too overcrowded, they will be closed.

Nature Preserves

Another fantastic way to get outdoors and get some exercise is to head to one of the area nature preserves. Hillsborough County has opened its nature preserves at the beginning of May. The different nature preserves offer opportunities for walking, bird watching, hiking, fishing, and more.

Beaches

Dririte is deemed an essential business because we deal with Tampa FL water damage. But the beach is essential to Tampa residents. That’s why everyone is thrilled that many of the beaches in the area have reopened, including Ben T. Davis Beach, Cypress Point Beach, Davis Islands Beach, and Picnic Island Beach. Plus, Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach have reopened. Keep in mind that social distancing and groups of 10 or less are required. Additionally, the county is using beach capacity cameras to keep everyone updated throughout the day on whether beaches are full, near capacity, or closed.

Safaris

If you have never gone on a safari to see your favorite animals up close and personal, now is a perfect time. Several nearby wildlife adventures are offering safari, or drive-thru experiences, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including Horsepower for Kids, Safari Wilderness, and Wild Florida.

Drive-In Theatres

Even though Florida is in Phase 1 of reopening, movie theaters are still closed. But that doesn’t mean you have to watch movies at home or binge on Netflix. Instead, head to a drive-in theatre, like the Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre, for the ultimate social distancing movie experience.

Zoos and Aquariums

If your family is missing visiting the zoo and aquarium, you will likely be able to visit soon. Both Florida Aquarium and Clearwater Marine Aquarium have re-opened, and Zoo Tampa will be opening towards the beginning of June. By limiting the number of guests allowed to enter, visitors will be able to practice social distancing and enjoy their favorite animals and marine life.

Farms

Enjoy the fruits of your labor by taking the family to a farm to pick some of your own fruits and veggies. This is a great outdoor activity that allows for social distancing. Check out popular spots like The Southern Peach Company and Upicktopia in Masaryktown. There are also area farms offering u-pick sunflowers.

Outdoor Artwork

Take in some artistic views on an area mural tour. In June, guided mural tours (walking or by bike) will resume in downtown St. Petersburg, where guests will get to see more than 30 murals decorating the area. If you can’t wait until the tours resume, you can always use the Ultimate List of Street Art in St. Pete to take your own tour.

We’re Here for You as Your Reopen

We’re just as excited as you are that things are slowly starting to reopen. Even during this period of transition, we remain open to help with everything from mold removal in Tampa FL to water damage to fire damage. Call us day or night, and our team of professionals will help you restore and reopen with confidence.

Prevent Water Damage During Quarantine in Tampa: What You Can and Cannot Flush

As Americans rushed to the stores and hoarding all the toilet paper in sight, a new problem arose during the COVID-19 pandemic. More people are home using their toilets – and those toilets are backing up. Why is this the case? Well, people are flushing more items down their pipes than usual. In particular, they are flushing things they should not be flushing causing their toilet to become clogged, or even worse, causing whole sewer pipe systems to become clogged.

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Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home Against COVID-19 in Tampa

As the world struggles with COVID-19, one thing that has become abundantly clear is the need to clean and disinfectant properly. In addition to washing our hands the correct way (for 20 seconds with warm water and soap), we also need to keep our homes clean and safe. Even while following shelter-in-place orders, there are many essential workers who must leave their homes, and then they worry about bringing home coronavirus germs.

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Visit Tampa Virtually While You are Staying at Home

During this strange and unusual time when you are being told to stay at home to stay lives, you likely miss visiting some of your favorite Tampa Bay area attractions. At Dririte, a restoration company in Tampa FL has trusted for more than 30 years, we are also missing our favorite places. That’s why we were happy to discover so many local Tampa area attractions are offering virtual tours and live streams so guests can visit virtually even though their doors may be temporarily closed.

Beach Webcams

If you are avoiding the beaches, you can always see what’s happening by viewing one of the local beach webcams. Fox 13 Tampa Bay has twelve live webcams, including Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, and Bradenton Beach. The images refresh every 60 seconds.

YMCA Online Workouts

It’s important to stay active while quarantined, but what does that look like with gyms and other public places closed? If you are missing your favorite coaches and instructors, you can check out the YMCA online workshops. On the other hand, some people are staying busy doing work around the house. If you are spending your time doing home repairs and discover mold, we offer mold removal in Tampa.

The University of Tampa

Whether you are a University of Tampa alumni or a prospective student, you can virtually tour the campus on the school’s website. The tour will take you around the beautiful campus, as well as into state-of-the-art facilities.

The Florida Aquarium

While the Florida Aquarium is closed to the public, the public can get its aquatic feel virtually through its new SEA-SPAN episodes. Audiences can tune in daily at 10 AM on their Facebook page or visit their webpage to watch all the episodes.

Zoo Tampa

You can check on your favorite zoo animals on Zoo Tampa’s Facebook page, where they are posting tons of videos of the animals enjoying their days. In addition, they are posted educational videos for parents looking for supplemental learning materials.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

One of the most popular attractions, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is doing what it can to help guests who are missing the animals and theme park fun by posting videos on Facebook. They have posted several up close and personal animal videos, including bottle feedings, as well as virtual ride experiences.

Tampa Theatre

While you can’t go see movies and art films at the landmark Tampa Theatre, you can enjoy many of their films through the Tampa Theatre Virtual Cinema series. Movie lovers can purchase a ticket to view the film they are interested in, and then they have a week to stream it to their device.

MOSI

MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) is currently closed to the public, but they are offering free virtual lessons on their Facebook page.

Henry B. Plant Museum

The Henry B. Plant Museum, formerly the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, is a great place to see historical artifacts from the Gilded Age. Since the museum is currently closed, visitors can enjoy the museum’s online-only exhibits.

USF Contemporary Art Museum

Enjoy the beautiful artistry of “Battin’ A Hundred,” the 2020 Graduating MFA exhibition on the USF Contemporary Art Museum’s social media platforms from the privacy of your own home.

The Florida Orchestra

While you can’t enjoy the Florida Orchestra in the concert hall, you can listen to the music from the comfort of your own home. Listeners can enjoy full recordings of concerts each Thursday evening at 7 pm on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9 FM radio and online at WSMR.org. The concerts will also be available on demand.

Tampa Bay History Center

If you are curious about the history of wrestling in Tampa, then watch this Facebook video of the latest exhibit from the Tampa Bay History Center.

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

Through April and May, guests are invited to join a Tuesday Hangout with the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts through the Twitch platform. Hangouts cover topics like photo journaling.

The Dali Museum

Those wanting to learn more about Salvador Dali have the opportunity to virtually tour the museum. Additionally, the museum is also offering virtual lesson plans on surrealism for educators and parents to use during this time.

The Florida Holocaust Museum

With the doors to the Florida Holocaust Museum closed, students can still find ample online resources, many of which have been implemented due to the COVID-19 crisis. For example, the museum is offering virtual classes Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, as well as sharing video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and artifacts online.

Glazer Children’s Museum

For parents needing to keep their kids busy, the Glazer Children’s Museum has launched GCM at Home. The online site offers fun guided learning videos, printable activity sheets, and even recipes for families to try.

Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Another online resource for Tampa Bay area parents is the Great Explorations Children’s Museum. They have put together several activities for families with printables.

Morean Arts Center

Even though the public can’t enter Morean Arts Center, they can still see what is behind the doors as the museum’s curators are giving virtual tours. Plus, fans of their weekly storytime can continue enjoying storytime via YouTube.

Museum of Fine Art St. Petersburg

Online visitors can learn more about the Museum of Fine Art St. Petersburg through its social media platforms where they are posting regularly. They are also providing printables for youth.

Tampa Museum of Art

If you are missing the Tampa Museum of Art, you can get your fill virtually. The museum is offering several different online resources for museum guests, including virtual tours, live streaming events, and follow-along art-making activities.

While we are glad to know we can visit some of our favorite spots from our homes, we are looking forward to going back in person. In the meantime, if you need water damage restoration, Tampa residents can call Dririte 24/7 – even during this trying time. Flood damage in Tampa needs to be addressed immediately before the problem worsens.

Sanitation Tips for Property Managers in Tampa Facing the Coronavirus

The coronavirus COVID-19 has changed everything about the way property managers run their properties, including how often they clean. This is because COVID-19 is highly contagious, and we must do all we can to stop the spread of the virus that has already resulted in over 1 million cases in the United States.

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