Employee Spotlight: The Incredible Sheldon Borris
You'll never catch Sheldon without his beanie on!
This month, for the Hardest Decision We Have To Make Every 30 Days, we spotlight our talented carpenter, Sheldon Borris.
Sheldon joined our team in early 2016, but he was no stranger to the SERVPRO system. He came to SERVPRO of West Pasco after nearly a decade working with another franchise in New Jersey, where he escaped cold winters in favor of the Florida sub-tropics.
Sheldon is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, and brings his island attitude with him. He is always smiling and laughing as he goes about his day, and his supervisors and teammates say he’s a joy to work with. “Anytime you ask him to do something, he says ‘No problem, got it!’,” said Jeremy George, executive director at SERVPRO of West Pasco. Clients often remark about Sheldon and their appreciation for his skilled work and awesome demeanor.
Although there are countless reasons to spotlight Sheldon, he was selected this month specifically for an outstanding containment structure he built to properly demarcate during a mold remediation. He built the containment with a painstaking attention to detail and extremely accurate carpentry skills, allowing our team to efficiently and properly complete the project easily and quickly.
Thank you, Sheldon, for being a leader in our production department and for all you contribute to our company culture.
Celebrate Summer Safety!
Be safe and enjoy your summer!
It’s quintessential Florida summertime: roasting marshmallows over an open campfire with a cold beverage in your hand, grilling burgers and dogs by the pool, relaxing with friends and family. Summer is a time to enjoy New Port Richey’s great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
- Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
The team at SERVPRO of West Pasco wishes you and safe and happy summer!
Employee Spotlight: Leah, Direct Project Coordinator
It begins with Leah and ends "Like it never even happened."
This month we shine the spotlight on Leah, our newly appointed Direct Project Coordinator.
In her new role, Leah handles water damage claims from soup to nuts – beginning with client’s first call, she sees the projects through to completion, working closely with the SERVPRO team, clients, and third parties.
Leah joined the SERVPRO of West Pasco team last fall, initially as a Project Coordinator partnered with a Project Manager working on reconstruction projects. Succeeding in that position, she seized the opportunity to move over to the company’s direct work side of the business. Leah’s experience, confidence, and calming nature made her a perfect fit for her new role.
We asked Leah a few questions about her job.
Every day you field calls from clients facing disasters in their homes and businesses. What is the first thing you want them to know?
They need to know that “We are here to help!” Customers aren’t calling because their house is full of cupcakes and rainbows. One of the most stressful times you’ll face as a home/business owner is when disaster strikes and it’s imperative to know that I will assist in any way that I can.
What advice do you have for a homeowner or business owner who needs to call SERVPRO?
Stay calm. Like I said, we're here to help, and our team has seen thousands of unique water damages over our 25 years in operation.
When you call SERVPRO, we will ask the following specific details about your home:
- Name/address/phone number
- What caused your water loss?
- Has the leak been fixed?
- How many rooms were affected?
- What type of flooring do you have?
- Is there standing water? Water or electric available?
- Were walls or ceilings affected?
- Do you see visible mold?
- All pertinent insurance information
What is the best part of your new job?
The best part of my job is being able to use my calm nature to assist customers during their loss and to make it “Like it never even happened.” I enjoy working a job from start to finish and being a consistent point of contact for the customer, the adjusters, and our team making the process run smoothly and more effectively.
It's not a fan, it's an air mover!
Multiple air movers being brought back to the warehouse after expediting the drying process at a water loss.
If water has made its way into your home, whether in Trinity, Hudson, or Port Richey, SERVPRO of West Pasco is here to help.
Our team of Restoration Technicians are trained using IICRC standards to make it “like it never even happened,” using specialized techniques and industrial equipment designed to mitigate damage and prepare the property for reconstruction. Our warehouses and trucks are stocked with equipment that will extract standing water and then, based on environmental conditions, dry the property to prepare it for reconstruction. The most common equipment you’ll see installed are industrial dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, and air movers.
Air movers? When I told my dad about the equipment we use at my new job, he said, "isn't that just a fancy fan?" Funny guy.
An air mover is much more than a fan, it’s an essential tool for mitigating water damage. This devise creates high-velocity airflow, allowing an environment to dry as quickly and efficiently as
possible. Combined with dehumidifiers, it’s a powerful combination that restores the environment to original conditions and is a necessary tool for water restoration.
Advantages of air movers include:
- Energy Efficient: Air movers use minimal power for maximum air flow.
- High velocity: Air movers work great for ventilation and cooling.
- Speeds drying time: Air movers help floors, carpets and wall cavities dry faster.
When the drying process time is reduced so are the chances of a second loss or additional damage, which can include microbial growth.
No fancy fan here, but an essential tool that can save you thousands.
Hurricane season is here - are you ready?
What's in your emergency supply kit?
Swaying palm trees, sandy beaches, hot sun… and hurricane season! It’s a simple fact, living near the Florida coast – and other people’s vacation hotspots like Hudson Beach and Trinity –means there is always a chance that a summer storm will come barreling through. And when it comes to hurricanes, preparation is everything!
SERVPRO of West Pasco makes safety our top priority. We hope you do, too. So, we want to know, what is in your hurricane safety kit?
Check out the list below for recommended items by Ready.gov to include in your basic emergency supply kit:
- One gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days for drinking and sanitation
- At least a 3 supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food
- Local maps
Beyond the basics, consider the following: cash in case credit cards or ATMs cannot be accessed, games and puzzles for kids to pass time, solar-powered cell phone chargers, extra infant formula and pet food, and family documents stored in a portable, waterproof container.
As always, be safe, prepared and have SERVPRO of West Pasco's phone number on speed dial during this year's hurricane season.
Professional Carpet Cleaning: Our Specialty
Carpet cleaning specialist, Kevin, removing red Sharpie from a blue microfiber couch.
Nothing makes a house look pristine, or a business more professional like freshly cleaned carpet! Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. So our clients call on us to clean their carpets, including those hard-to-tackle high-traffic areas. SERVPRO of West Pasco's professional cleaning can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets.
We offer a range of specialized cleaning methods:
- Bonnet Cleaning: A less-aggressive method for short-piled carpets.
- Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
- Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
- Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
- Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.
No job is too big or too small; from Hudson to Holiday and New Port Richey to Trinity, we will get the job done right. For a cleaning backed by state-of-the-art equipment, over 40 years of experience and professionals trained to the highest standards, call SERVPRO today at (727) 847-3000.
Who’s name will make the cut? The 2017 storm name list is here!
Stay safe during the 2017 Hurricane season.
Living in New Port Richey, when I speak of Hurricane Sean I’m usually talking about the devastation throughout the house caused by my almost two-year old son. As he runs amuck, his high-spiraling winds cause books to fly off their shelves, toys to flood each room, and illegible messages in magic marker all over our microfiber couch – which is why I keep SERVPRO of West Pasco on speed dial. This year, it may mean something a little more.
According to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, storms are given short, distinctive names to avoid confusion and streamline communications when two or more tropical storms occur at the same time.
This is news to me. I always assumed they were named after unruly children.
It’s always fun to see if our name or the name of someone we know is on the list and this year is no different. The wait is officially over and the list of names for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season have been posted.
Here are the names that will be associated with the upcoming tropical season: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose’, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Phillipe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.
Tropical Storm Emily has a ring to it, but I’m warning you, you’re going to have to hunker down for a Hurricane Sean.
As always, be safe, prepared and have SERVPRO of West Pasco's phone number on speed dial during this year's hurricane season.
Bring the Thunder (and be prepared!)
A thunderstorm rolling through, threatening to ruin a fun summer's day.
During the warm Florida summers, rainstorms are sometimes a daily event and virtually always accompanied by thunder and lightning. According to the Office of the State Climatologist, based at Florida State University, our state has more thunderstorm activity than any other part of the nation: In a typical year on the western half on the peninsula, more than 80 days show thunder and lightning. Also, “Central Florida's frequency of summer thunderstorms equals that of the world's maximum thunderstorm areas: Lake Victoria region of equatorial Africa and the middle of the Amazon basin. The Amazon and east African areas maintain their frequency of thunderstorm activity throughout most of the year, whereas the number of thunderstorms in Florida drops off sharply in the fall and does not pick back up until spring.”
Storms can develop rapidly and the skies have a tendency to open up during your planned outing. If you find yourself caught outside during a severe thunderstorm, here are a few tips to help keep you safe.
- If you are in an open area, find a low place such as a ravine or valley.
- If you are in water, get to land immediately and seek shelter.
- If you are in a forested area, find shelter in a low area under a thick grow of small trees.
- If you are in a car, keep the windows closed.
But here at SERVPRO of West Pasco, we recommend staying inside during inclement weather!
April 2017 Employee of the Month
Kayla (on the left) and Stacey posing for a picture after competing with theSERVPRO team in a lip sync battle sponsored by United Way of Pasco County.
Big thanks and congratulations to Kayla Canup, our Employee of the Month at SERVPRO of West Pasco.
We're recognizing Kayla specifically for her can-do attitude and for stepping up to help with a special project that, to be fair, was totally outside of her training and skill set. As our A/R and Social Media Specialist, she typically works inside the office and is known among the 3-year-olds who frequent the office as "the lady who wears the pretty dresses.
But when we asked her to help run a project assisting clients dealing with contents damaged by fire, smoke, soot and water, she said "yes" without hesitation. Trading in her "pretty dresses" for a hard hat, Kayla joined the production team for a few long, hot days outside and helped knock the project out of the park. (Read her own account of the adventure here.) http://www.SERVPROwestpasco.com/blog/post/40207/fire-smoke-damage-restoration/on-the-job-training-5-things-from-my-first-fire-damage
And when she's behind the desk doing her usual work, Kayla is professional and skilled, focusing on client service while bringing her positive attitude and team-player commitment to the office culture.
Thank you, Kayla, for being a valued team player at SERVPRO of West Pasco - whether you are wearing your high heels or your hard hat!
On-The-Job Training: 5 Things from my First Fire Damage
PPE is everything. Mastering the ability to rock a hard hat and N-95 face mask.
It all started with what seemed like an innocent text: "interested in working on Saturday?"
Without a second thought, I typed back: “Absolutely!” with a smiley face emoji. Next thing I know, I'm shopping for a hard hat. (Side note: Did you know how impossible it is to find a pink hard hat in stock in New Port Richey? I figured they were a hot ticket item.)
And just like that, I was thrown into the fire. Literally.
SERVPRO of West Pasco had been onsite for a week at a Port Richey storage facility where a fire had damaged the building as well as the contents of dozens of storage units. Our team was onsite to safely remove all contents from the building and assist facility customers as they moved out and sorted through their belongings. Some customers lost everything in the fire, while some others just had a light dusting of soot. The team carefully removed all salvageable contents from each unit and carried it out to customers, then cleaned the building to prep it for reconstruction.
And then there was me. I'm more of a behind-the-scenes type of girl, logging in my 40 hours a week in Accounts Receivable behind a computer and on the phone. Although I’d never before been to an active job site, I knew my customer service and organizational skills would translate to managing a team and working closely with people who were facing devastating losses. But, wow – I learned a lot! Here are five take-aways from my two days managing a contents-cleanout project.
1. Fire damage really smells! Each fire has its own personality, based on the contents that were burned. In this fire, Here, like plastic bins, TVs and even afghan blankets melted, leading to an odor so pungent we wore N-95 masks anytime we were inside the building or in close contact with affected contents. And after a few days, my nail polish started peeling back.
2. Even construction companies need forget to weigh down their tents. Since the customers would be going through materials for long periods of time in the hot Florida sun, we set up two tents to work beneath. With one strong gust of wind, my favorite lime green tent ended up on the storage facility roof. You can bet I won't be letting the guys live this down for years to come.
3. PPE is everything! Mastering the ability to wear hard hat, a N-95 face mask and safety goggles without causing a thick shield of fog that only allows you to see about an inch in front of your face is much harder than it seems. I'm pretty sure the atrocious bruise on my knee was from walking into a wall during one of my many run-ins with the fog of doom.
4. Black business flats are practical when working in the office, but not so much when out in the field. Never did I think that work boots would be on my shoe-shopping list.
5. Helping one customer through such a devastating loss is feat in itself; helping 44 storage unit renters who face fire damage is more than just one fire x 44. At SERVPRO of West Pasco, we learn that safety is our first priority and premiere customer service a close second. Giving your everything to 44 different customers simultaneously as they each work through the emotions and logistics of fire damage is heart wrenching and, at the same time, life giving.
The fire is cleaned up now, but I'm still shopping for my pink hard hat. Getting out of the office to work side-by-side with our production team and our clients gave me insight and knowledge to help me do my office job better, and understand the nuances of our daily business. I'm glad I was able to get my hands dirty (literally) and experience the magic that comes with the production side of SERVPRO.