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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

3 Benefits of SERVPRO Storm Services for Insurance Agents

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician with drying equipment in a residential home SERVPRO of Lakeland is here to make things " Like it never even happened"

3 Reasons Why SERVPRO Storm Services Are Beneficial to Insurance Agents

When North Lakeland, FL, is faced with a natural disaster such as flooding, many clients need storm restoration support. As an insurance agent, you have access to a long list of local restoration companies, so how do you choose one for your clients? SERVPRO makes the preferred vendor list for many insurance companies. Here are three benefits of choosing a SERVPRO storm services team for your clients.

1. Dispatch Preferred Vendors for Storm Restoration
SERVPRO has a reputation for trustworthy service all over the country. Each franchise owner can participate in a corporate program that certifies them as a preferred vendor with an insurance company. This process involves meeting many strict quality standards, including regular audits. When your clients are faced with a disaster, you want to confidently dispatch a commercial restoration company that you trust to support your client from the first moment on scene until the claims process is finalized.

2. Rely on Corporate Resources for Efficient Service
Rapid storm response is necessary to get businesses back on their feet when a natural disaster strikes. Each SERVPRO franchise is locally owned and operated, so your clients will work with someone who understands their role in the community. The franchise owner also has the benefit of corporate support, which means resourcing for cleanup and repair can happen quickly since there is a large team of experts working together to help your clients.

3. Work with Trained Professionals to Support Clients
It's essential to have a professional assess flood damage in your client's space. There's a short window in which certain materials can be rescued and restored; otherwise, secondary damages can occur, which can cause more problems. SERVPRO trains its teams in the latest cleaning and restoration practices. They provide continuing education so that they are always ready to use the latest strategies to make it look "Like it never even happened.”

You can rely on a corporate-backed storm restoration company to support your clients after a disaster.

The 7 Steps of Building Restoration After a Fire

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke with Large fonts saying SERVPRO Experts are equipped with the proper supplies and techniques to effectively remove all traces of smoke from surfaces.

The 7 Steps to Restoring a Building After a Fire

Repairing a business or commercial space after a fire can seem like a daunting process, but there are seven critical steps that typically unfold. Here is what a fire rebuild consists of in the event your Lakeland, FL, business is impacted by flames.

1. Contact Fire Restoration Experts
If a fire has burned through your property, your first step should be to call a fire damage restoration company. These professionals can mitigate the damage and set a roadmap for repairs.

2. Evaluation of Property
An early step in the process is an inspection of the damage. This will dictate how much structural or smoke damage is present and how much repair is needed.

3. Board the Building
Rebuilding services will then board up the property's walls and windows and place a tarp on the roof to ensure safety, as fire damage can leave these structures compromised.

4. Address Any Water Damage
If there is excess water present after being used to put out the fire, it's critical to extract it and thoroughly dry the space.

5. Remove Smoke From Surfaces
The fire restoration process involves cleaning all smoke and soot that has affected the property. Experts are equipped with the proper supplies and techniques to effectively remove all traces of smoke from surfaces.

6. Deep Cleaning
After smoke removal, the rest of the space undergoes deep cleaning and disinfecting. Odor removal may be included in this step depending on the severity of the lingering smoke smell.

7. Restoration Begins
After completing all the previous steps, the building is now ready to be restored to normal. This final step will vary based on the extent of the damage but could include painting, replacing drywall, or even reconstruction of impacted areas.

The fire restoration process involves thoughtful inspection of damage, boarding for safety, removal of water or smoke, and thorough cleaning before any property repairs can take place.

Fire Extinguisher 101

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Young Man Using Red Fire Extinguisher To Stop Fire Coming From Oven In Kitchen Whether faced with a small kitchen fire, flames in a trash can or other minor incident, a fire extinguisher can be your best friend.

Extinguisher 101

If the smoke alarm in your Grasslands, FL, is triggered, it often feels like a scary and chaotic situation. In the case of a small fire, using a fire extinguisher may solve the problem and help avoid extensive repairs by a fire damage and restoration specialist. Before trying to put it out, it is important to consider the situation and know how to use the device.

When to Use

Your home is filled with memories, so trying to save them often immediately comes to mind. Luckily, fires tend to start small. If caught soon enough, having a fire extinguisher is vital to putting it out. Unfortunately, fire spreads fast. Consider the following when deciding if the flames can be extinguished:

  • Not all extinguishers are the same.
  • Verify that the one in your home is tested and the device is designed for different kinds of fire.
  • Ensure everyone in the home has been notified about the fire and emergency services have been called
  • Verify you have a safe escape route in case the fires spreads too fast.

Since extinguishers come in many sizes, verify that you are physically able to use them the right way. If in doubt, leave the fire to the professionals.

How to Use

While you may feel confident that you can handle the fire, you may not be as comfortable using the device. Most manufacturers use the same method for use, which is as easy as remembering the word “PASS.”

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim low
  • Squeeze the handle
  • Sweep side to side

Ensuring the last step is focused on the base of the fire. Continue doing it until the fire is out. If it happens to start up again, repeat the last three steps.

Whether faced with a small kitchen fire, flames in a trash can or other minor incident, a fire extinguisher can be your best friend. Before using it, the safety of everyone in the home needs to be considered first.

Steps to Take when Making a Flood Damage Claim

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. If you have flood insurance, there are steps that you should take as soon as possible to file a flood claim.

Procedures To Follow When Filing A Flood Damage Claim

Dealing with flood damage in Dixieland, FL, is stressful. Whether you had inches or feet of flooding, not only are you dealing with ruined items, but you may also have to find a place to live for a while. If you have flood insurance, there are steps that you should take as soon as possible to file a flood claim.

1. Report the Flooding to Your Insurance Company

The first part of filing an insurance claim is to report the loss to your insurance company in writing, although you should also call them right away to let them know you will be filing. The faster you do this, the quicker you will receive compensation to replace what is lost.

2. Get Ready for the Flood Claim Inspection

Document the damage with as much detail as possible. Take pictures and videos of everything that will need to be fixed or replaced. Some things, like perishable food, you will need to throw away, but make sure you document the damage with pictures first.

3. Discuss Details with the Adjuster

When the adjuster comes by to conduct the inspection, show them the evidence of the damage and losses. More than likely, you will need cleanup help from a professional restoration service. Before signing a contract, consult with the adjuster or insurance company. Give the adjuster your current contact information if you are staying someplace else while work is being done on your home. After inspection of the home, pictures and videos, the adjuster will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of your flood loss.

Experiencing flooding of your residence is never fun, and it can result in major damage, not only to the home's structure, flooring and furnishing, but also to the electrical and HVAC systems. When filing your flood claim, make sure the estimate includes the repair of everything as well as clean up.

3 Ways FEMA Can Help You After a Storm

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning storm over city in purple light While repairing and rebuilding your home after a storm is your number one priority, you'll find that you need help with other areas, too.

FEMA Can Assist You In 3 Ways After A Storm

Dealing with the aftermath of a devastating storm can be overwhelming. The wind likely broke your windows, and the flooding destroyed your home and belongings, and you might be unsure how to proceed. FEMA is a government-funded organization that helps people in your situation. Here are three ways they can help you after a storm.

1. Help Pay Repair Costs Not Covered by Flood Insurance

Experts advise that the first thing you do after your home in South Lakeland, FL, floods, is to file an insurance claim and then file for emergency assistance. Depending on your insurance policy, you might find that all of your storm damage restoration costs aren't covered, and the emergency agency helps cover your additional costs. The FEMA representative handling your case will need to see the declaration page from your insurance and proof of your claim, so you'll want to have those items ready when you contact them.

2. Help Pay for Personal Expenses

While repairing and rebuilding your home after a storm is your number one priority, you'll find that you need help with other areas, too. Whether you lost your wheelchair in the storm or need assistance with child care or moving expenses, ask for help paying those expenses when you file your emergency assistance claim. Your representative will go over a checklist of expenses with you to ensure that nothing is missed. The agency will also help you get reimbursed for equipment you purchased to clean up your property after the squall, such as chain saws and generators.

3. Help Pay for Living Expenses

If your house is unlivable after a storm, you'll need somewhere to go. FEMA will work with you to reimburse the costs of staying in a hotel or short-term rental and any associated taxes. Because they don't pay the expenses upfront, you will want to remember to keep track of all receipts and bills that you pay for your living situation.

Even though your life might be temporarily thrown into upheaval after a major storm, relying on government assistance can help you easily sail through the aftermath.

How Fast Mold Can Grow After a Leak or Flood

5/1/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Specialists Often mold problems occur when moisture accumulates from very high indoor air humidity. Call SERVPRO when you need it.

How Quickly Mold Can Grow Following A Leak Or Flood

Mold spores are microscopic organisms in the air. They can be found almost anywhere. Mold growth is very common after water damage as it is difficult to clean and dry things fast enough. Mold can occur in as little as 24 to 48 hours when mold spores find the right environment. If you suspect your building in Griffin, FL, has become infected with mold, you should conduct a mold inspection.

Where Mold Can Grow

All mold needs to thrive is warm, moist air and some sort of organic material for the spores to digest. Mold can grow on almost any damp porous or pulpy surface:

  • Carpet
  • Drywall
  • Wood
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Insulation
  • Plants
  • Cardboard
  • Furniture
  • Paper
  • Books

Mold is often discovered after leaks and floods. It is left behind by water damage that is not cleaned quickly and efficiently enough.

What You Can Do

Addressing any leaks and floods as soon as possible can help mitigate the damage from mold. Invest in a good filtration system to lessen the amount of mold spores in the air. A quality ventilation system could help to expel excess moisture. You could also take proactive steps in mold prevention by using mold-resistant building products. Both mold-resistant drywall and moisture-resistant drywall are excellent options to consider for areas that will frequently be exposed to high humidity such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.

There are different types of paints that contain mold inhibitors.

Either during initial construction or during any process of rebuilding, look into what building products currently exist on the market to help in the prevention of mold. After a water loss like a leak or flood, the focus is often on cleaning and drying what you can immediately see.

Water damage often leads to mold just below the surface of many organic materials. If you suspect mold growth but have not been able to locate it through a self-inspection, consider consulting mold remediation specialists who can use professional equipment to conduct a more intensive search.

What To Know About Water Damage and Homeowners' Insurance

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

worker from a restoration company Call SERVPRO, we are located close by and ready to respond to your water damage emergency, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Water Damage and Homeowners' Insurance: What You Should Know

You may expect that your homeowners' insurance will cover any water damage claim you make. However, that is not the case. Insurance does pay for professional restoration services following a sudden emergency such as bursting pipes. However, other types of losses may be excluded from coverage. Before you make a claim with your insurance provider, you should know which emergencies are included in a typical policy.

Gradual Damage

As its name implies, gradual damage occurs over time. Water losses typically fall into these categories. That is because much of your plumbing system is hidden behind walls and floors. It could take weeks or months for the problem to become visible. Some examples of gradual damage include:

  • Rot and corrosion
  • Consistently leaking pipes or faucets
  • Foundation cracks that allow water to enter your home

Homeowners' insurance usually excludes losses that result from gradual damage. However, you should check your policy or talk to your adjuster to find out the specifics of your coverage.

There are some exceptions to the gradual damage exclusion, as well. Insurance does not pay for the cost to fix broken pipe. Yet the coverage should include any harm caused by bursting pipes. This is called resulting damage. The same is true for malfunctioning washing machines or water heaters.

Sudden Damage

Sudden damage, meanwhile, occurs when there is an unexpected discharge of water into your Polk County, FL, home. This could result from cracks in your hot water heater or excessive snow and sleet crushing your roof. If this accident was not caused by your negligence, it should be covered under your insurance policy.

Insurance usually does not pay for costs related to gradual damage. It thus will not help you replace broken pipes that have been leaking for a long time. Your policy may cover the harm caused by bursting pipes, however. Any sudden and accidental discharges of water should also be included.

How To Keep Your Gas Grill Clean

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill at a summer barbecue party. A grill cleaning also reduces the chance that you will start a fire at your home.

How To Maintain The Cleanliness Of Your Gas Grill

Keeping your gas grill clean will extend its life and keep it working well. A grill cleaning also reduces the chance that you will start a fire at your home in North Lakeland, FL. Call a fire restoration service if you need help with repairs after a fire.

Steps To Keep Your Grill Clean After Each Use

There are a few steps you should follow every time you use your grill.

Burn the food off by keeping the grill on high for 15 minutes after you have cooked your food. This turns any food residue into ash, which is easier to clean. Turn off the grill and allow it to cool until it is moderately warm.

While still warm, scrub the grates with a steel brush. If you have difficulty removing the ash particles, remove the grates and soak them in warm, sudsy water for a few minutes. Make sure to rinse and dry them thoroughly before putting them back in place.

Lightly spray the grates with vegetable oil to prevent them from rusting.

Maintenance Procedures To Perform Periodically

Set up a grill maintenance schedule for a few additional steps. This grill cleaning frequency depends on how often you use your grill.
The burner protectors keep grease and dirt away from the burners. To avoid a grease fire, the protectors should be cleaned every few times you use the grill. Remove them and soak in warm, soapy water. Rinse and dry before putting them back in place.

The burners are located under the burner protectors. Take a soapy sponge and clean off the burners. Then rinse them with a wet rag. The plates, located under the burners, can be pulled out between the burners and cleaned with the grill brush. Below the burners and plates is the bottom tray. Clean this with the grill brush every month or so during grilling season.

A grill cleaning will keep your grill working well for many years.

The Secret To Speedy Disaster Response

4/3/2022 (Permalink)

The work team of a restoration company SERVPRO is dedicated to responding quickly to disasters of any size, we have the training, equipment and experience to meet your restoration needs.

The Key To Quick Disaster Response

The disaster response capabilities of a national company with a network of over 1,700 franchises surpass those of any independent restoration company. Independent firms lack the personnel and equipment necessary to respond to large losses in Lakeland, FL. Property owners and insurers can benefit from the resources of a restoration company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Contact Skilled Professionals Located Nearby

It is important to act quickly after a disaster, but hiring the wrong firm can set back restoration efforts from the start. A property owner who plans to make an insurance claim should hire a service that has the following credentials:

  • Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and
  • Restoration Certification
  • Preferred Vendor status
  • Response rates under 24 hours

A restoration company connected to many other franchises across North America offers the best experts and equipment. Insurers are also more likely to cover claims based on estimates from a trusted service.

Depend On Restoration Network Resources

In the event of a large-scale loss that affects many properties, it is imperative to rely on a service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Independent companies may not have sufficient trained employees or specialized equipment to deal with time-sensitive damage affecting many locations.

Rely On a Single Service From Start To Finish

Hiring separate independent services to mitigate, clean and restore damage is another mistake some property owners make. These services lack the clear lines of communication that are present in a franchise that provides all of these services and has the ability to rely on other franchises that are located in the same region.

When a property owner realizes all of the advantages a large company offers to a franchise located in Lakeland, FL, it makes sense to rely on a service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. This corporate structure empowers franchises to provide service that meets industry-leading standards.

What Is Business Interruption Insurance?

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper. Unlike property insurance, which covers undetermined costs like hiring a storm remediation company, interruption coverage is easier to calculate.

What Exactly Is Business Interruption Coverage?

Running a business is tough when you don't have the right insurance. A coverage option that business owners must have is interruption insurance. This is designed to help cover income loss while you rebuild your livelihood.

What Does It Cover?

Unlike property insurance, this will not cover costs associated with your rebuild in Griffin, FL. Instead, it will cover operating expenses, such as:

  • Revenue
  • Mortgage, rent, or lease payments
  • Loan payments
  • Taxes
  • Payroll
  • Relocation costs
  • Extra expenses
  • Training costs

What Is a Restoration Period?

Your restoration period is the time that you can receive benefits from your interruption policy. Generally, it takes two or three days for your period to start. Typically, it lasts long enough for you to rebuild your business.

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

Every policy has a specified coverage limit. The limit is the maximum amount of money you can receive from filing a claim. Unlike property insurance, which covers undetermined costs like hiring a storm remediation company, interruption coverage is easier to calculate. You can calculate appropriate coverage based on your regular gross earnings. Keep in mind that any costs going over your policy limit will need to be paid for by you, so it is better to estimate growth rather than be left without funds.

What Does It Cost?

Each policy has a unique cost. Typically, it depends on your industry, employee numbers, and the coverage you need.

What Are the Exclusions?

This type of insurance is designed to support the income of a closed business. It does not cover damaged items, flood damage, undocumented income, utilities, and communicable disease-related shutdowns.

If a disaster happens, business interruption insurance can protect you and your company. It is a good way for small businesses to protect themself financially. It does this by offering a source of income when a business is shut down. However, it does not cover any damage directly related to a disaster.

3 Tips for Troubleshooting Your Building's Irrigation System

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

Sprinkler Troubleshooting an irrigation system is simple if you have some knowledge and the assurance that a professional is nearby if any water damage occurs.

3 Troubleshooting Tips For Your Building's Irrigation System

Is your building in Dixieland, FL, having troubles with the irrigation system? Whether it's a leaking sprinkler head or one that won't turn on at all, a sprinkler system is a hassle at times. Luckily, there are a few steps to take to troubleshoot your system.

1. Monitor the Symptoms

The best way to begin to diagnose your issue is to observe what is happening in your system. Determine if only a few sprinkler heads aren't working or if it affects a large number of them. Monitor for low water pressure or sputtering heads. Also, keep an eye out for leaks and figure out if the leaks are close or far from the main valve. Having this information ready for when a technician comes helps to expedite the repair process and therefore save you money.

2. Inspect the Area

Some issues might be obvious enough that it's not worth hiring an irrigation system technician. Take time to inspect the heads of your sprinklers and look for any damages or issues. Often, the plastic on the heads is damaged by lawncare or foot traffic. Keep an eye out for any mud or other debris on the heads, too. Both of these issues cause an uneven flow of water.

3. Call a Professional

While irrigation problems are frustrating, a water leak or flood in your lawn or building is a much bigger issue. If you are experiencing any leaks or possible damages, it's best to call in a water damage cleanup and restoration specialist to assess and take care of any issues. A pro uses specialized equipment to detect any hidden moisture, mold, or other issues.

Most experts also have tools designed to dry your property while minimizing any further damages.Troubleshooting an irrigation system is easy with some knowledge under your belt and the reassurance that a professional is near if any water damages occur.

3 Reasons To Buy Flood Insurance

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Flooding is a common problem that can cause serious damage. Therefore, flood insurance is a good idea for any business owner.

Three Reasons To Purchase Flood Insurance

Even though it is not required, a flood policy is a good idea for business owners in Lakeland, FL. You can get good policies through both the government and private companies. If you're on the fence about this type of coverage, here are some reasons you should purchase it.

1. It Is Affordable

Floods can do serious damage to any business. When you tally up the damage done and the cost of hiring a storm restoration company to fix it, floods are very costly. Unfortunately, this is not covered by standard commercial insurance. Considering the amount you would have to pay to fix flood damage, the cost of having a special policy doesn't seem too expensive. Plus, most businesses can get a policy for less than they expect. This is especially true when you can add flood coverage to your standard property insurance.

2. Every Property Is at Risk

The property maps created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are an estimate of where flooding will occur based on past conditions. However, even low-risk zones still have a decent chance of flooding. Instead of marking you as safe from a flood, placing your business in a low-risk zone lets you add flood coverage to your commercial insurance for less.

3. Flood Damage Is Catastrophic

Flooding is a common side effect of many natural disasters and storms. In fact, it results in billions of dollars of damage each year. Your business alone could end up with thousands of dollars in repairs that are not covered under a standard commercial insurance policy.

Flooding is a common issue that can do serious damage. The results of this disaster are costly to repair. Even though the FEMA maps mark some areas as low-risk, this does not mean businesses in these regions are clear of flooding. Therefore, flood insurance is a good idea for any business owner.

The 4 Types of Water Damage and Why Pretesting Is Necessary

2/10/2022 (Permalink)

A home flooded Does your home have water damage? This is no problem for our team! Our technicians are well versed in their areas of expertise. Call us!

The 4 Types Of Water Damage And The Importance Of Pre-Testing

Water damage presents an interesting problem because there are different levels of severity not only to the damage inflicted but also the type of water that caused the problem. There are three basic water types and four levels of classifications to those types. The kind of water can drastically reduce or increase the costs of restoration and the claim filed. For that reason, pretesting is essential to the water mitigation process as it provides an appropriate category and classification.

1. Clean

Clean water, or category one, is the least concerning. This water comes from a clean source and poses no real threat to your health. This level of water damage is the least costly type of insurance claim. However, it is important to note that failure to act fast may result in the water becoming contaminated by other sources or items, thereby escalating classification and possibly category.

2. Gray

If pretesting concludes that the water is gray, or category two, that means there is significant contamination. There are elements of both chemical and biological matter found in this category, meaning that the water has the potential to make you ill if touched or consumed.

3. Category three

An insurance agent and company will likely instruct you to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Lakeland, FL, area to remove and repair category three, water. This water is considered dangerous. 

Water categorization and classification is an interesting and necessary process, especially in regards to insurance claims. Without having an accurate understanding of the level of contamination, it can be challenging to make an appropriate claim.

Pretesting helps identify the category and level of damage to your home. This early identification means that the claim you make to your insurer is accurate, accounting for the level of loss and restoration that is expected.

Floor to Ceiling Water Mitigation

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Specialist are cleaning water damage in a business Day or Night. Holiday or Business Day. We have your back if catastrophe strikes. Call SERVPRO when you need it!

Water Mitigation From Floor To Ceiling

Business owners or site managers in Polk County, FL who are unfortunate enough to experience a water damage event usually want to get the problem dealt with as quickly and quietly as possible. However, it makes much more sense to do a thorough and methodical cleanup and restore the affected elements of your building.

Secondary issues, such as black mold and pest problems, might arise from even clean water sources. Pipe burst cleanup is important, so check your building from top to bottom, especially if you have:

  • Water pipes
  • Damaged water supply lines
  • Unexplained clean water flooding

Floor Concerns

When a supply line or pipe breaks, it's important to start thinking from the ground up. The first task after stopping the water source is, of course, to remove any standing water. After that, proper removal, cleanup and drying procedures can start.

In the Walls

One of the reasons you should take special care with burst pipes is their location. Many pipes are near to or embedded in walls. It's important to go through a rigorous damage mitigation procedure if one of these breaks, especially if it's in an awkward position. Walls might need to be removed, or sections might need to be replaced. If pipe burst cleanup is done correctly, you might feel like your whole building is being ripped apart. However, you should be able to enjoy normal operations again as soon as everything is dried and refurbished.

Up in the Air

A supply line leaking might cause problems in multi-floor buildings that appear to be coming from the next floor up. In fact, the issue might be between the floors. Water cleanup procedures are relatively similar in these cases, but they take place on the ceiling.

Nobody in Polk County, FL, wants to see their building ripped up, but these pipes burst cleanup steps are often necessary to save you and your stakeholders from further complications down the road. Even if it seems hectic right after the flood event, everything should be back to new relatively quickly with the right cleanup crew.

Flood Insurance May Not Be an Option for Your Business

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. If your business is in a flood zone, the government requires you to have flood insurance. It’s the law.

Your Business May Not Be Eligible For Flood Insurance.

You read that correctly. Flood insurance may not be an option. In some situations, it is a requirement. Financial institutions, investors and others expect you to protect their investments and property.

They will not leave the insurance decision in your hands. Sometimes, it’s one of the costs of doing business.

Insurance companies distinguish between water damage and floods. Rising water causes flood damage. Typical examples are:

  • Overflowing rivers and streams
  • Storm surge on large bodies of water
  • Local flooding due to heavy rain or blocked storm drains
  • Runoff from melting ice and snow

Weather, plumbing and fire sprinklers are common sources of water damage. A standard commercial insurance policy covers the cost of these repairs. It offers no coverage for floods. The following are situations that may require a business to have insurance.

1. The Federal Government funded, backed, or insured a business mortgage. If your business is in a flood zone, the government requires you to have flood insurance. It’s the law. If a flood destroys the business, they want to get paid.

2. Other mortgage lenders may require the insurance. Lenders want to protect their investment as well. They may even want the insurance for businesses near flood zones.

3. Investors may demand insurance. If there is a flood, the investor’s investment is at risk. It is reasonable for them to expect the protection of their investment.

4. Certain customers and vendors may require insurance. A distribution business ships inventory belonging to their customer. Other businesses may hold inventory consigned by a vendor. Both parties may want insurance protection for their inventory.

The Flood Happened and the Damage Is Extensive

That flood insurance sure was a great idea. The water is gone. Now, it’s a race against mold. There are flood and water damage remediation specialists in the Lakeland, FL, area. They can get you back on your feet quickly. Give them a call.

3 Tips for Preventing Chimney Fires

1/30/2022 (Permalink)

Fragment of the interior of a country house. The iron furnace is heated. There is wood near the stove. It's dark outside . If you already have damage due to fire or smoke in your home, call SERVPRO, we are ready to help you.

3 Chimney Fire Prevention Tips

Your furnace has gotten you through some pretty tough winters in Lakeland, FL, and continues to help make your home a comfortable, great place to live for you and your family. Unfortunately, no furnace is a self-sustaining system, and you’ll need to maintain yours to avoid a number of serious issues, such as:

  • Smoke damage to your home and belongings
  • Blockage of the vent, which can lead to a buildup of unsafe air in your home
  • House fires

Luckily, maintaining your furnace correctly is a fairly simple task when approached properly, and costs much less in the long run than paying for professional fire cleaning or smoke cleaning services when things go wrong.


The easiest thing you can do to prevent the need for fire cleaning in your home is inspect and change your furnace filter regularly. Your filter prevents dirt and debris from entering the furnace. An extreme buildup on these filters can lead to furnace malfunction, which may, in turn, lead to a house fire.

Clean Your Vents

If your exit vents become clogged with dirt and dust, the hot air your furnace creates will have nowhere to go. The buildup of heat in your ducts can not only damage the furnace and its channels, but can very well lead to more serious issues down the road. Cleaning your vents is a quick, easy way to reduce strain on your furnace.

Inspect the Fan

Your furnace fan is, of course, the component that gets warm air moving throughout the vents to warm your home. If the fan is malfunctioning, hot air will simply stay in place and may cause overheating of various furnace components. Having a professional check out your fan or ensuring it’s working correctly yourself is always advisable when maintaining your furnace.

Following these steps helps to reduce the likelihood of furnace-related fire and smoke damages occurring. At the end of the day, spending a little more time on maintenance is much better than spending your hard-earned cash on fire cleaning services.

The Emergency Action Plan: Understanding the Basic Principles

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan A proper contingency plan in the event of a fire can be the difference between life and death.

Understanding The Fundamentals Of An Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

Every business should have a contingency plan, but that doesn’t only refer to whether or not a company succeeds or fails. Emergency planning is also a part of any good contingency. You need to know that your employees are safe and accounted for in the event of a disaster. Therefore, you should understand the basics of an emergency action plan.

1. Make a List of Contacts

Every well-crafted evacuation plan requires a list of contacts. By ensuring contacts are regularly updated, you can keep track of people in a more thorough way. For instance, if your business is evacuated because of a fire, you can double-check counts to your list of contacts, and you can reach out to anyone not accounted for.

2. Designate and Assign Clear Evacuation Routes

An emergency contingency plan should include several exit routes designed to lead outdoors from every point in the building. Additionally, employees should be assigned a route that corresponds to their section of the building. This allows evacuations to happen in an orderly and predictable manner.

3. Design a Way To Account for Employees

You may also want to assign specific floor managers to specific exit routes, making them responsible for counting and verifying everyone assigned to their route. This will make accounting for all personnel easier, and it will allow a small group of managers to interact and check numbers.

4. Know Who Is Responsible for Reporting Fires

You should assign the task of reporting fires to specific people yet encourage others to call as well. By assigning the responsibility, you ensure someone reports the problem, but by encouraging others, you make certain that no one drops the ball.

Beyond reporting fires to emergency services and your insurer, you should keep a disaster restoration specialist in the Lakeland, FL, area on file. These professionals may even set up an emergency plan with you, making the process that much easier.

A proper contingency plan in the event of an emergency can be the difference between life and death. Keep your employees and yourself safe by planning ahead, and seek assistance when and if you need it.

Use Chemical Drain Cleaners Cautiously

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Bottles with detergent and cleaning tools on blue background When you find water or sewage damage in your home, be sure to call the trained experts at SERVPRO for mitigation services.

Chemical Drain Cleaners Should Be Used With Caution

It’s easy to understand why people look to chemicals for a clogged drain. Use them, and there is no need to pay a plumber or purchase and use plumbers’ tools. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

Never Use a Chemical Cleaner on a Completely Blocked Drain

Television advertisements would have you believe that clearing a clogged drain is simple. Apply the chemicals, the sewer blockage disappears and the toxic chemicals go with it. This process may work in see-through glass pipes and cartoon simulations, but it overlooks the real-world problems.

Chemical cleaners are highly corrosive, generate large amounts of heat and are very toxic to humans and the environment. It is these characteristics that make them unsuitable for use in a blocked sewer. Consider the following:

  1. Corrosive chemicals can weaken or damage metal pipes. Corrosion occurs naturally over time. Drain cleaners speed up this process. If a pipe leaks while it contains toxic material, the leaked liquid poses extreme health and environmental hazards.
  2. Heat can damage plastic pipes. They don’t corrode like metal, but they can fail due to excessive heat. If they start leaking, the risks are the same as with metal.
  3. If your chemical drain cleaner doesn’t work, don’t try a different one. Adding more toxic chemicals would be a terrible idea. Doing this might create a poisonous gas which would require evacuation and a visit from the Dixieland, FL Hazardous Material Unit.
  4. Toxic chemicals make the plumber’s job more dangerous. If all else fails, call the plumber. Hopefully, the plumber can fix your blockage without disturbing the pipes. However, if new pipes become necessary, the plumber must take great care to avoid chemical exposure.

The Worst-Case Scenario Is That the Blocked Sewer Pipe Fails

The sewage and toxic chemicals in the clogged drain have flooded your beautiful home. Sewage cleaning calls for a team of sewage and contamination removal technicians to remediate the problem. They will make your home look “Like it never even happened”.

Taxes and Storm Damage: What Is Not Deductible Under Casualty Loss

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

A person with a label that says: Tax deductible Storm Damage can wreak havoc on a business both physically and fiscally. Unfortunately, not all of this damage is deductible.

What Isn't Deductible In A Casualty Loss: Taxes And Storm Damage

This is the season, and most businesses are adding up deductions and getting ready to file. Unfortunately, while casualty losses may cover some elements of storm damage, not everything is tax deductible. In fact, there are at least four elements of damage that are typically not deductible.

1. Insured Items

Most businesses are required to have some type of commercial property insurance, and while basic policies will not cover extreme natural disasters, they likely cover wind and rainstorms. Any items or damage that are covered under your insurance policy cannot be claimed as a deduction because such issues are considered reimbursable.

2. Wear and Tear

Additionally, while you can deduct storm damage that is not reimbursable, you cannot claim items that have been damaged due to normal wear and tear. Therefore, if you have an HVAC unit that is past its prime and hasn’t been cared for properly, you cannot claim that it was damaged in a storm to receive a deduction.

3. Future Profits

While natural disasters, like hurricanes, can create significant business interruptions, you likely can’t claim profit losses. The reason is that these losses are considered future profits, and while some insurance policies will account for historical earnings, the IRS will not allow for these projections to be claimed as actual losses.

4. Project Restoration

Also, most insurance policies will cover some aspect of restoration after a storm, especially if you have additional riders, which means that restoration costs are reimbursable and not deductible. You can call your insurer, local IRS branch or a disaster restoration specialist in the North Lakeland, FL, area to find out more information and specifics.

Storm Damage can wreak havoc on a business both physically and fiscally. Unfortunately, not all of this damage is deductible. However, through insurance policies, most losses are reimbursable, meaning that your financial difficulties are lessened in the long term if you have adequate coverage.

Precautions After Flood Damage

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning an office after water damage Prompt attention during a commercial flood event is crucial to getting your business back online in a reasonable time frame.

After A Flood, Take These Precautions

Prompt attention during a commercial flood event is crucial to getting your business back online in a reasonable time frame. Any source of standing water, such as a broken pipe or poor exterior drainage, can quickly get out of control and make the affected floor space unusable. Managers and business owners can use the following tips to minimize downtime in Lakeland, FL.

1. Avoid Safety Hazards

Do not allow employees to enter any area where electrical outlets or other pieces of equipment are inundated. Remove any appliances or larger machinery from affected areas if possible, and make sure that the electricity has been cut off at the circuit breaker or otherwise disconnected. Standing water, especially in softer materials such as upholstery or drywall, can incubate mold and other issues. These should be dried or removed quickly.

2. Begin the Recovery Process

After all water inflow has been eliminated, the next step is to address the existing water damage. Any broken pipe or other water fixture must be replaced. Maintain proper interior and exterior drainage through a sump pump and landscaping that directs water away from the building. Document any damage and necessary repairs in order to expedite filing an insurance claim.

3. Future Considerations

The best method to protect your commercial property against flooding is to stop the problem before it starts. Familiarize yourself with nearby sewer connections to guarantee that there are no blockages. Have the contact information of a local qualified cleanup professional to minimize the amount of time that flood water lingers at your place of business. Brief your employees on a few safety and remediation strategies in case another flood event occurs.

A simple broken pipe doesn’t have to mean a catastrophic loss of revenue. Turn your flood problems around and keep your business running optimally by following the above simple tips.

Crawl Space Water: How It Affects You

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

A crawl space of a home. When you find water in your crawl space, it is a good idea to contact a SERVPRO water damage restoration service.

How Does Crawl Space Water Affect You?

If you discover a wet crawl space in your North Lakeland, FL, home, then you may be wondering how big of a problem it really is. Water in your crawlspace can mean a few things for you as a homeowner.

It May Indicate Other Water Issues

Finding moisture in a crawl space means there may be other water issues in your home. Crawl space water can come from a few sources and it’s important to locate which it is. These may include:

  • Broken pipe or water line
  • A downspout or gutter that is functioning incorrectly
  • Landscaping with a grade that slopes toward the house
  • Overwatered foliage around the home
  • Underground water seeping into the building

It Can Lead to Mold Growth

A wet crawl space or other area that has recently experienced flooding can easily become a prime mold habitat. When you notice water in these areas, it’s also a good idea to check for mold as well. Mold can continue to grow even after the water is removed if the source of the moisture isn’t found and addressed.

It Should Be Fixed as Soon as Possible

Any flood water should be removed and repairs made as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home. When you find water in your crawl space, it’s a good idea to contact a water damage restoration service. These professionals can help you assess where the water is coming from, what sort of damage has been done, if there’s a mold risk, and what cleanup steps need to be taken. They can also conduct water removal and repairs.

A wet crawl space can indicate other issues in your home you should be aware of. When you find flooding in any area of your home, it’s important to conduct cleanup and repairs as quickly as you can. Fortunately, water damage restoration professionals can provide the services you need to get the job done.

Steps of Furnace Maintenance

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Fragment of the interior of a country house. The iron furnace heats up. There is firewood near the stove. Fire restoration experts recommend professional maintenance of your furnace, especially before the outside air cools.

Furnace Maintenance Steps

Every year, before cold weather sets in, your home needs to be prepared for the change in temperatures. This preparation includes furnace maintenance. Proper preventative maintenance helps you avoid the need for fire cleaning later. Fire restoration experts recommend professional maintenance on your furnace, particularly before the air outside gets colder. Here are the steps the technicians are likely to take to get you ready for winter.

1. Vacuum the Interior

Dust can get trapped in your furnace, and when that happens, it may smoke. If the furnace is turned on, you may need smoke cleaning in addition to maintenance. Technicians in Polk County, FL, may start your seasonal maintenance by vacuuming out the interior of your furnace.

2. Inspect the Fan Belt

The belt in your furnace keep it running smoothly, but it also endures a lot of friction. As a result, it can wear out over time, becoming loose or cracked. A good fan belt will be taut and intact. If it shows any sign of wear, the technicians can replace it so that it doesn’t slip.

3. Lubricate Bearings

Fire cleaning may be necessary later if your furnace is not properly lubricated. Some models don’t require this step, but if your furnace is an older model, it may not have permanently sealed bearings. For it to run well, the bearings need to be lubricated.

4. Change the Air Filter

The air filter to your furnace should be changed at the beginning of the season. If you are not familiar with the filter’s placement in your furnace, it is a good idea to have the technician show you how to change it, as it may need to be changed as often as once a month during periods of heavy use.

You can avoid smoke hazards and the fire cleaning expenses that come with it when you have your furnace maintained by a qualified professional before cold weather arrives. Start the season right by making sure these steps are covered.

Escaping a House Fire: Teach Your Kids How

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

A home with fire damage SERVPRO is here to help in your time of need. We are fire damage restoration experts who are available 24 hours a day to respond when you need us.

Teach Your Children How to Get Out of a House Fire

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 is the reason for National Fire Prevention Week each October. This time is used to educate the public about ways to prevent fires. Take this time yearly to teach kids safety in the event of a fire. Here are some important tips:

1. Make a fire escape plan. Draw a map, with your kids, that includes two exits for every room.

2. Check doors. Feel doors for heat and choose another path if the door is hot. When leaving a room, close a door behind you to slow the spread of smoke and fire.

3. Crawl. Teach your kids safety for exiting a house by crawling on their hands and knees. Teach them also how to military crawl if the air is too smoky or too hot above them.

4. Bed roll. The temperature of the air can be drastically hotter just a foot above you. Teach kids how to roll out of bed to avoid sitting up and getting burned.

5. Designate a meeting place. This is a clear location, at a safe distance from your home, where you can meet quickly.

6. Get out and stay out. Don’t go back inside for anything, not a toy, not a pet and not even a sibling.

7. Signal if trapped. If a fire is blocking your exit, try to get to a room with a window. Teach kids safety by telling them to close the door behind them and open the window so they can breathe and signal for help. Teach them to use bedding or clothing to signal while yelling for help.

8. Don’t hide. Firefighters look a little scary in all their protective gear. Tell kids not to hide from them or the fire.

Fire is scary, but you can teach kids plans and techniques for escape can help keep them safe. If you do have a fire in your home in Lakeland, FL, look for a professional restoration company to get you through the damage recovery. The right company will have experience and knowledge to help cleanup and rebuild from your home fire.

3 Tips for Keeping Your Business Safe During a Thunderstorm

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the sky. Storm damage is a headache. SERVPRO knows this, which is why we're available to respond to your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

3 Tips for Staying Safe at Work During a Thunderstorm

Whether a steady rain storm or a full-fledged thunderstorm, severe weather is common in many parts of the world. If you own a business in an area that is susceptible to high winds and other storm damage, you may wish to have a strategy for keeping your business safe. Here are three fool-proof ways to protect your North Lakeland, FL, business from storm damage.

1. Take Some Pre-Storm Steps

When rain falls, winds blow and lightning strikes, it may be too late to effectively safeguard your organization form the negative effects of a storm. Instead, take some pre-storm steps to properly protect your business. Consider doing the following before storm clouds roll in:

  • Trim tree limbs than hang over your building
  • Ensure lightning rods are in place and functional
  • Clear debris from sidewalks and emergency exits
  • Secure damaged windows, doors and other vulnerable parts of your building

2. Keep Employees and Customers Safe

While most of protecting your business from a storm involves pre-storm planning, ensure employees and customers are safe during severe weather. Remember, even a common rain storm can include intense winds, hail and lightning. As such, when severe weather occurs, ask anyone inside your business to do the following:

  • Move away from windows, doors and skylights
  • Remain inside until weather passes
  • Take care when walking or driving in flooded areas

3. Have a Safety Drill or Two

If you are a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of your employees. To be sure your workers are ready for inclement weather in North Lakeland, FL hold periodic safety drills. These drills can help your employees form excellent storm-safety habits. If you aren’t sure how to conduct an effective drill, you can use a restoration service to get some ideas.

Protecting your company’s physical and personal assets during a rain storm or other severe weather is often a top priority. With a bit of planning, though, you can be certain your organization is ready.

Burst Pipes and Paperwork: The Basics of the Water Damage Claim

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. After broken pipes cause a flood, call your insurance provider immediately and request any claim forms.

The Basics of a Water Damage Claim: Burst Pipes and Paperwork

An insurance claim, especially for burst pipes, is often a dreaded piece of paperwork, not only for the damage it represents but for the somewhat mysterious process involved. The basics have been broken down for you below to help demystify the process.

1. Request and Submit Claim Forms

After broken pipes cause a flood, call your insurance provider immediately and request any claim forms. During your initial conversation, it is appropriate to ask any coverage questions you may have. Understanding your policy now will mean fewer errors on the forms later and less likelihood of your form’s rejection after submission.

2. Mitigate Further Damage

While the insurance claim process can take several weeks to complete, you do not have to allow your home to sustain further damage. In fact, most insurers require homeowners take mitigative action to reduce the risk of continued loss. Therefore, you should remove excess water, board up any broken windows, shut off problematic water lines and clean out the affected areas.

3. Itemize Damages and Losses

After making a claim, your insurance company may send out an adjuster to assess the extent of the damage and any potential liabilities. You can make this process more efficient by itemizing any structural damages and property losses. Additionally, an adjuster may want a record of any acquired expenses because of the pipe burst damage, such as cleanup and mitigation costs. Keep Receipts for cleaning materials and pictures of losses as proof.

4. Ask Questions and Seek Assistance

While your insurance company can offer you the most significant insight into your coverage, you may want to search the Polk County, FL, area for a restoration specialist who can answer your mitigation concerns. Mitigation professionals have the expertise to either help you understand the process or to complete the cleanup process for you. As most insurance companies prefer you work with a professional, it may be beneficial to secure several cleanup bids to show the adjuster when they come.

The insurance claim process may seem a bit daunting, but it really comes down to paperwork, mitigation, itemization and cleanup. The process, while intimidating, is manageable when you understand the basics above.

Caring for Your Post-Fire Home

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

A room damaged by fire If your home suffers fire damage, call SERVPRO. We make disasters "Like it never even happened."

Taking Care Of Your Home After a Fire

Upon assessing your house in Griffin, FL, after a fire, the fire damage will probably be immediately apparent. In addition to the scorched bits and smoke damage, you will notice there is a lot of water in your house. This isn’t surprising since a fire hose can spray 500 gallons of water per minute while the fire is raging. By acting quickly, you can take steps to prevent further damage.

1. Begin Work on Major Damages

The first thing to do after assessing the water damage in your house is to contact a specialist who can help deal with water and fire damage. Damages may go deeper than is immediately apparent and could exist in spaces between floors and walls. It is essential that restoration begin as soon as possible, as excessive water can cause mold and mildew if left alone. Most household appliances are not equipped to deal with the amount of water that will be in your home after a torrent of water from a fire hose.

2. Stay Safe

If you enter your home, use caution when walking on wet or slippery surfaces. Items can become dangerously heavy if they are waterlogged, so use caution when standing under or attempting to pick up soggy items. Avoid electrical sparks by only using electronics that are completely dry and outlets that are far away from wet areas. Avoid rooms where the ceilings are sagging or where the structure may be unsteady.

3. Help the Pros

You can help with restoration by making areas more accessible to professionals. It will be helpful to clean up loose items near the wet areas. Wipe off furniture and move objects to a dry place away from the damage. Fabric items should be hung up or propped up so that air can flow on all sides. You may be able to use fans or dehumidifiers to help dry out areas that are less damaged.

With quick action, your home can be saved or restored after fire damage and a deluge of fire-fighting water.

Facts About Black Mold and Your Home

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

A specialist checking if a wall has mold If you see mold growing in your home, call SERVPRO, we have a professional team ready to respond to your needs.

Black Mold Facts for You and Your Home

A mold problem in your home in Lakeland, FL, only needs a few criteria to become a bigger issue. Black mold tends to grow in areas that are warm and damp. Any place that harbors excess moisture or humidity levels above 60 percent are prime breeding grounds for fungus growth. Even if you have paid for mold cleanup by remediation specialists, mold can return if you do not also resolve the moisture problems that allowed it to thrive in the first place.

Mold’s Favorite Environment

Mold loves moisture, even when it’s mainly in the air. Air that is excessively humid may carry more mold spores or dampen surfaces enough to give the spores a place to land and call their own. You can decrease the humidity of your home and thus decrease the likelihood of needing mold remediation by:

  • Using exhaust fans when you cook to release steamy air outside
  • Ventilating rooms where moisture is released into the air
  • Using fans and the HVAC system regularly
  • Purchasing a dehumidifier

When you deny black mold a humid environment, you are less likely to see growth.

Mold’s Playground

Water damage caused by leaks, such as a faulty pipe or dripping supply line, can become the perfect place for mold to grow. It only takes a day or two for a dampened wall or carpet pad to start showing signs of fungus growth. You may not be able to see it at first, but you are likely to smell it. The musty odor of mold tells you that you have a moisture issue somewhere.

The best thing you can do if you suspect your home in Lakeland, FL, has black mold is to call mold remediation professionals immediately. They can test your home, identify the problem and remedy both the mold issue and the circumstances that made it possible. They can also advise you on how to prevent future problems.

The Fire Is Out - Now What?

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire One of SERVPRO's customers suffered from devastating fire damage recently, Fortunately, our professionals were able to restore this tragedy.

What Do I Do Now That the Fire Is Out?

Having a fire in your building is something that you never would have imagined could happen to you, but it did. You will likely want to work closely with your fire insurance company to assess the damage. In addition to the problems caused by fire and water, there may be an abundance of smoke damage. Starting on cleanup right away can help reduce the consequences of a commercial fire.

What Can You Do?

It is important that you leave fire restoration to the experts. Restrict movement in the building to avoid increasing damage. Do not attempt to clean items yourself or remove things until they have been examined by a professional.

Who Can Help?

Who can you call before the sun rises in Polk County, FL, to start your clean-up operation? You should contact your local fire restoration experts. Look for a company that offers these services:

  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Highly trained professional team
  • State of the art processes and equipment
  • Established relationships with many local and national insurance companies

What Happens Next?

A highly trained and professional restoration team will create a tailored project plan for you after a complete site survey and assessment. Priority will be mitigation of further harm to your building. The team will quickly secure your property to ensure that more damage does not occur. Drying out the facility comes next, followed by disinfecting, smoke cleaning and removing odor caused by the fire. Trained technicians will work to identify the source of any lingering odors and use the proper tools to eliminate them. Work with a company that will also repair versus replace where possible.

Your business is important to you, so get the help you need. Do not try to start cleanup on your own. Working on your fire restoration with a trained team will help things go more smoothly and can greatly reduce your stress so you can get back to business sooner.

Have Your Building’s Gas Valves Run Away: 3 Things To Consider About Furnace Floods

9/26/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded kitchen. If you stay aware of the potential risks after a flood and inspect your furnace for common areas of concern, then you shouldn't need to worry.

A furnace flood may be worrisome when it happens, but the aftermath can be just as bothersome. If you want to curb some of that concern, then you may want to review the list below for the most common issues resulting from a flooded furnace.

1. Gas Valves

A flooded furnace can lead to many problems, but many common issues stem from damage done to the gas valves.

These are three problems that can occur with a flooded furnace:

Runaway Gas Valve: This refers to a valve that will not close, meaning that it is continually allowing gas into the system and potentially into the building.
Intermittent Gas Valve: The valve may function sporadically, meaning that a furnace may not be able to heat when signaled by the thermostat.
Bleeding Gas Valve: Similar to the runaway valve, this issue causes the valve to not entirely close after a cycle, allowing gas to continue to flow into the building and creating potential safety hazards.

2. Mold and Mildew in the Ductwork and Furnace Cabinet

A concern with any flood is the likely growth of mold and mildew, but a furnace flood creates a particular cause for concern. Most furnace cabinets require insulation. If this insulation is not checked after a flood, it can develop mold, which can spread through the ductwork and vents whenever the furnace cycles on.

3. Risk of System Failure

Beyond the concern of malfunctioning valves and exposure to mold, a flood can cause sustained damage that is not immediately noticeable. If this damage goes unchecked, then it can lead to full system failure.

Getting an Inspection

The easiest preventative is to check the Grasslands, FL, area for local restoration specialists and schedule an inspection and an air duct cleaning. Most furnace inspections should catch all of these major areas of concern before they impact your business operations.

A furnace flood can be trouble for business owners. If you stay aware of the potential risks after a flood and inspect your furnace for common areas of concern, then you should have little to worry about.

What Is a Flood Zone, and Are You in One?

9/19/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded street. It is important for all homeowners to understand what flood zone they're in to better understand the flooding risk.

Everyone has heard of Tornado Alley, and they know this alley is the region of the United States in which tornadoes are most likely to occur. However, many people are unfamiliar with a nearby flood zone and often wonder in which regions of the U.S. these zones are. It is important that you understand what these zones are and why the government has made special designations for them.

What Is a Flood Zone?

A flood zone is a region of the U.S. that FEMA has defined according to their levels of flood risk. Though there are several alphanumeric designations the organization uses, there are four main categories in which a region can fall:

• Moderate to low-risk areas
• High-risk areas
• High-risk coastal areas
• Undetermined areas

In high-risk areas, homeowners are required to hold a flood insurance policy. However, FEMA provides grants to homeowners who were hit by a bad storm to either supplement what money the insurance company provided or to make up for the lack of coverage.

How Can You Tell What Flood Zone You're In?

FEMA offers a flood map, which provides useful depictions of flood hazards per region. You can download the map for free or pick one up from a Lakeland, FL, flood insurance company. Be aware that flood zones are always changing, and that last year's map may be out of date. It is important for your safety that you retain a copy of the most recent flood map available.

Do You Need Flood Coverage?

If you are in a high-risk zone, then yes, you are likely required to carry flood insurance. However, even if you're in a moderate to low-risk area, your lender may require you to carry a rider policy. If you do need insurance, visit FloodSmart.gov for the most affordable rates and best policies.

It is important for all homeowners to understand what flood zone they're in to better understand the flooding risk. If you're unable to get the information you need from a flood map, contact your local flood restoration team for assistance.

Best Ways to Detect Whether You’ve Got Mold

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in between tile in bathroom. Whether you use an indoor environmental specialist, or whether you search for it yourself, there are effective ways to uncover mold.

Whether you’ve just moved into a home in Lakeland, FL, or if you’ve lived in your current place for years, you want the peace of mind that it will be a safe, comfortable haven for a long time to come. Many homeowners have concerns about mold growth—and for good reason. If you want to find out whether mold has found its way into your place, there are a few steps you should follow.

Get a Specialist Involved

As an unskilled, untrained novice, you’ll have a difficult time uncovering mold unless, of course, it’s out in the open on walls or floors. Mold can live in obscure places that require the expertise of an indoor environmental specialist. This professional is well trained and uses specialized techniques to detect mold in various places in your home.

• They have experience looking for mold in homes and environments like yours.
• They have the right equipment and use the best techniques to locate hard-to-find mold.
• The Specialist may use a mold test to detect non-visible mold.

Follow Your Nose

Your best tool may be with you all the time. Often, you can skip the indoor environmental specialist and smell the mold. Mold has a musty, damp, stale smell that you won’t easily forget.

Look in the Familiar Places

Sometimes, mold will be right out in the open in common mold-growth areas. Start in your basement and cellar. Look in dark, damp places for any mold growth. You should also look in your bathroom, particularly on the shower walls. Mold can also grow on your food in the pantry or refrigerator.

Hunt for Leaks

Check your plumbing regularly. Slow leaks or broken pipes are common causes for the appearance of mold at home.

Whether you use an indoor environmental specialist, or whether you search for it yourself, there are effective ways to uncover mold. If you find any, it’s imperative that you clean up quickly and call a professional to assist.

3 Actions You Can Take To Prepare for a Flood Claims Adjuster's Visit

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

A special car of a cleanup company SERVPRO of Lakeland is ready to respond to your flood or water damage, 24/7 in the week.

3 Things You Can Do to Get Ready for a Flood Claims Adjuster Visit

Once a flood affects your North Lakeland, FL, home, it can be difficult to know how to proceed with cleanup efforts and how to recover from the monetary loss you have suffered. One of the first steps you can take is to contact your insurance company and advise it of the damage. Once the claim is filed, a home adjuster might visit to inspect the property, and there are a few ways you can prepare for this to ensure the process goes smoothly.

1. Leave Damaged Items Where They Are

While you might be tempted to throw away damaged items, your claims adjuster might want to view them to assess the extent of the damage. While taking photographs can be helpful, allowing the adjuster to look over the actual items can give him or her a better idea of the severity of the flood. Some items you may want to leave in place include televisions, mattresses and clothing.

2. Make a List of Damaged or Missing Items

If the flood was powerful enough to wash away any items, you can assist your home adjuster with making a claim by creating a list of missing and/or damaged items. This can make the assessment simpler and allow him or her to itemize losses and file your insurance claim faster.

3. Collect Estimates From a Variety of Companies

Before the adjuster's visit, you may want to collect estimates from contractors, construction companies and professional flood cleanup and restoration specialists. Compiling this list can help your claims adjuster see what repairs need to be made, how much it might cost and how long it will take. Having these figures available can avoid delays in your claim and allow repairs to begin as soon as possible.

When flooding devastates your North Lakeland, FL, property, working closely with your insurance company's home adjuster may give you peace of mind that your claim can be processed efficiently. As a homeowner, this can be just as important as replacing lost or damaged items.

4 Things That Mold Spores Hate

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

Professionals cleaning and sanitizing Mold Removal Specialists in Grassland, FL

4 Things That Mold Spores Hate

If your building has seen some recent water damage, it's a good idea to be on the lookout for blotches of mold growing on walls and ceilings. If you do discover areas of this ugly fungi, there is no need to panic. Though mold can be a tricky adversary, it does have its weaknesses. Here are four actions that stop mold in its tracks and return your commercial building in Grasslands, FL, back to pristine condition.

1. Quick Action. A professional mold remediation franchise can dispatch certified technicians to your place of business in just a few hours. An experienced company will have all of the tools to deal with just about any situation. Mold growth moves fast, so technicians need to take quick action to contain the problem. A delayed response can lead to the formation of additional mold colonies.

2. Mold Containment. One key to mold prevention is reducing the possibility of the spores spreading throughout the building. If left untreated, the fungus will colonize new areas that are suitable, such as moist areas of the building. The mold spores can also spread through the HVAC system, so it is best to turn off or limit the use of heating and cooling for a time. Physical barriers and isolation techniques will be employed along with negative air pressure equipment to reduce the spread.

3. Water Removal. Effective mold prevention hinges on the reduction of moisture in a building. Any areas of water damage should be dried and ventilated. All rooms should be taken below 45% humidity. Above this level, mold growth is likely to return even after a thorough cleaning

4. Cleaning and Sanitizing. Effective cleaning agents can kill mold and prevent its return. All affected surfaces should be cleaned, as well as any contents that have been infested.

Mold is not all-powerful. With the treatment of water damage and science-based techniques for mold removal, your mold problem will soon be in the past.

Setting Those Stormy Expectations

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Extraction of water in a wet bedroom. If you need water restoration in Lakeland, call SERVPRO.

Basic Steps To Restore Your Home: extract, tear out, dry, restore.

If your home suffered damage as a result of a storm in Lakeland, FL, complete and accurate restoration is your overall end goal. Storm restoration can only be achieved after you assess water damage, tear out appropriate items and reconstruct as necessary. It is critical to manage your expectations of damages. Understanding the process involved can minimize your storm stresses.

1. Extraction of Water

Begin water extraction by making sure it is safe to be inside your property. Opening doors and windows allows pooled water to drain. Mop saturated areas and blot floors and walls with towels and other dry materials. Move wet furniture and articles into the driest spaces available and turn the air on in your house (blasting the air conditioning in summer or heat during winter).

2. Tear Out of Wet Materials

Removing wet materials from your home in a timely manner is crucial. Mold quickly begins to form on items that are not dried, removed or torn from their location. Extremely damaged carpets or drywall should be removed, though take care not to tear any loadbearing structures from your home without seeking a professional opinion.

3. Drying of Structures

Dry and dehumidify structures as soon as possible. Ceiling fans and box fans can be utilized to dry open areas of the home. Certain areas of your property are harder to access; however, restoration service professionals should have advanced methods, including industrial fans and treatments, to reach these areas and shorten the drying process.

4. Restoration

The last and final step of restoration varies in scope. Occasionally only some drywall and furniture will need to be replaced, while other instances may require expansive rebuilding and landscaping.

Dealing with a storm and its aftermath can be a tricky, cumbersome experience logistically and emotionally. It is important for homeowners in Lakeland, FL, to know what to expect as they deal with the cleanup process. Remember before, during and after the storm that you have four basic steps to complete in order to restore your home to its previous glory: extract, tear out, dry, restore.

Cleaning Mold From a Residence

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

two workers using protective gear while putting trash on black trash bag. Concept of mold remediation services Mold removal specialist in North Lakeland, FL.

Cleaning Mold From a House

Black mold is a fungus that’s ubiquitous in the environment. When a moist environment is provided, such as that created after a water leak in the home, this fungus proliferates and can cause damage to property and possessions. Mold remediation is often necessary and involves the following:

  • Stopping the source of water
  • Removing moisture-laden items
  • Thoroughly drying the area
  • Cleaning all affected areas
  • Cleaning foot paths to and from the affected area
  • Replacing damaged areas and items

Mold Removal vs. Remediation

The nature of black mold as a microscopic airborne entity often makes complete removal of the organism next to impossible to accomplish. Breezy locations with high humidity like North Lakeland, FL, compound the difficulty of this task. Remediation is usually the best option for mold cleanup because it focuses on restoration and prevention of future growth while acknowledging the innate ubiquity of mold spores and the potential for future colony formation. Trained professionals with the proper equipment are usually the ideal candidates to tackle this task.

Sources of Moisture That Promote Mold Growth

Moisture is the leading cause of mold growth. Mold thrives in wet environments. Adequate growing conditions can exist even in seemingly dry areas. The slightest bit of moisture caused, for example, by high humidity, air conditioning, or a steamy environment after a hot shower can trigger mold growth. It can be important to mitigate these sources of moisture as much as possible following mold remediation of a recent outbreak. The mold population of a previously infected area is much higher than that of an area that never supported growth. Secondary growth is possible, and likely if moisture is not kept to a minimum even if remediation efforts have been implemented.

No one likes to see black mold growing on their personal possessions and interior of their home. It can be important to contact professional remediation assistance for the safety of your belongings and the cleanliness of your domicile.

Reasons To Have Electronics Cleaned After a Fire

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

A person cleaning a camera Electronic devices must be properly inspected and cleaned during the fire cleanup process to guarantee that they can be used safely.

Why Should You Clean Your Electronics After a Fire?

Fire damages everything near it. If a fire breaks out in your home in Griffin, FL you don't just need to have the immediate charred area cleaned. Fire cleanup must occur throughout your home. Even items that look like they are fine may have taken on severe smoke damage. This is especially true of your electronic equipment. Even if there is no visible damage, there are many reasons your electronics need to be restored by certified experts.

Items Affected

The effects of smoke may not be apparent at first glance. Unless your electronics are inspected by a qualified technician, you have no way of knowing if they were damaged in the fire. All of your electronics must be inspected:

  • Computers
  • Televisions
  • Game consoles
  • E-readers or tablets
  • DVD players
  • Stereos

Thermal Damage

The heat caused by the fire damages electronics. It can melt delicate components, causing the system to short or simply not work at all. It also expands the porous openings of the device, allowing smoke to enter. It can also warp devices, causing them to overheat the next time they are used. Every fire cleanup process includes taking into account the amount of heat that was present at the time of the fire to assess the potential damage it caused.

Smoke Damage

Smoke and soot are highly corrosive. The acidity levels in soot cause anything it infiltrates to degrade. The oxidation involved in the corrosion process can cause etching or pitting in the metal components of your electronics. Smoke is also electrically charged, which can cause circuitry to short and the devices to overheat when in use.

In order to ensure that electronic devices can be used safely, they must be thoroughly inspected and cleaned during the fire cleanup process. While it's possible that the fire caused too much damage to restore the machine properly, an electronics expert is your best chance of getting it to work again.

Tips To Prevent Water Damage When on Holiday

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Turn off the water main or have a friend check in on your home.

What Should I Turn Off When I Go On A Vacation?

Sun, sand and water are all part of your dream vacation. Even though you spend every day in the pool while away, a flooded pool-like house is the last thing you want to find when you return to Dixieland, FL. How do you prevent a dreaded broken pipe and subsequent water pipe repair from welcoming you home? Follow the tips below to prepare your home before you go, and keep the water back at the beach where it belongs.

Check and Inspect

Before you leave your home unattended, take a walk around and visually inspect any areas that may cause problems:

• Closely look at the pipes and hoses for appliances that are connected to a water source. This includes the water heater, dishwasher, refrigerator and washing machine. Even when not planning a trip, it is a good idea to examine and maintain the connections on a regular basis.

• To avoid a water pipe repair, inspect the pipes under sinks in the bathrooms, kitchen and utility room. Repair or replace any leaky pipes.

Plan Ahead

In addition to ensuring all pipes and connections are in working order, take the following steps before you leave for vacation:

• Prepare your home in the event a storm occurs while you are away. Clear all rain gutters and make sure the sump pump is working properly.

• Prevent frozen pipes by leaving your heat on low, insulating pipes and disconnecting outdoor hoses. Turn off the water main or have a friend check in on your home.

Through close inspection and preparation, your home in Dixieland, FL, should remain free of flooding while you are away. If despite your efforts you experience a broken pipe upon your return, immediately arrange for a water pipe repair. Once the root of the problem is tackled, contact a water restoration specialist to remove the excess water, properly dry the space and restore your home and belongings.

3 Important Steps for Cleaning up Your Home After a Fire

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Burned bedroom, walls covered with soot, clothing on bed House fire damage in Lakeland, FL.

How Do You Clean Your House After A Fire?

Dealing with a house fire in Lakeland, FL can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to worry about taking care of your family and finding a place to stay, you also need to decide how to deal with smoke damage, cleaning, repairs, etc. Luckily, there are a few straightforward steps you can take to get your life back on track.

1. Make Sure the Area Is Safe

When it comes to fires, appearances can be deceiving. While you may not see any flames, fire may still exist deep within your house. It can be best not to go too close or enter the structure until the fire department tells you it’s safe. Your home may be contaminated by unclean water and ash, so it can be best to wait for professional help before attempting to move or touch items.

2. Decide What Needs to Be Done

After you’ve made sure you’re safe, one of the next steps you should take is to contact your insurance company. Your coverage provider can help you understand the costs related to cleaning up smoke and soot damage. You may need to make a list of everything that was damaged or destroyed. Important documents and credit cards may need to be replaced.

3. Get Professional Help

It can be nearly impossible to handle all the things that need to be done after a fire on your own. Hiring a professional damage restoration company to help take care of smoke cleaning and other repairs can save you a world of stress. A restoration company will generally know exactly what needs to be done to fix your home and possessions, hopefully returning them to their previous states.

After you make sure it is safe to enter your home, you can inventory your possessions and decide what repairs need to be done. A restoration company can help you fix smoke damage and complete other necessary tasks to get your home back to a livable state.

5 Things You Should Do To Prepare for Potential Floods

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removal, floor removal, drying equipment Storm cleanup in North Lakeland, FL.

Tips To Get You Ready For Storm-Related Water Damage

As a commercial building owner in North Lakeland, FL, you have to prepare for the worst-case scenario. This means knowing what to do in the event of a fire or flooding from a major storm. While you may not be able to prepare for every event, you can use these tips to help you get ready for storm-related water damage.

1. Learn about your risks. Every part of the country has different flood risk levels. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, for example, you may have a greater chance of having to deal with flood damage. Learn about the type of risks common in your area.

2. Get alerted. Knowing about the possibility of storms ahead of time can help you reduce the damage done to your building. Make sure you get weather alerts to keep you updated on what's coming your way.

3. Know who to call for help. Before flooding begins, you should know who you would call in the case of this type of emergency. Having a commercial storm cleanup professional picked out prior to a disaster can make the restoration process go faster.

4. Create evacuation plans. Fast flowing black water can pose a threat to you, your workers and your building. Teach employees and renters how to exit the building in the event of a flood to make sure everyone is prepared for rising waters.

5. Consider your coverage. Is your building covered by a flood insurance policy? If not, you may end up having to pay for any damages out of pocket. You can reduce the financial risk by setting up a new policy before a storm hits.

Flooding can affect your property when you least expect it. You may not have time to prepare for standing waters when you first learn about an incoming storm, so it's a good idea to implement preventative steps well before bad weather approaches.

Flood Fence Barriers — a Reasonable Alternative to the Traditional Sandbag

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Red and white plastic barriers blocking the road Flood fence barriers are one potential alternative.

Flood Fence Barriers

If you have ever been involved in a hurricane or other severe weather incident where there was the possibility of flooding, then you may have seen sandbags being put out. Usually composed of polypropylene plastic, these are bags stuffed with sand. When stacked properly to create flood dams, they act as an effective tool for preventing and reducing flood damage that might require the services of a professional restoration and cleanup service in Griffin, FL, to handle.
They divert the flow of water, keeping it from rushing through buildings and ruining their contents. The absorption of the incoming liquid does two things: It causes the sand particles to cling together more and causes the bags to become heavier, making them more difficult to shift. A sandbag is easy to use and works fairly well as a protective barrier. However, it has its downsides as well. Sandbags are vulnerable to degradation from exposure to the elements, labor-intensive to fill and arrange and easily contaminated by pollutants like chemicals, making them a pain to deal with afterward. Flood fence barriers are one potential alternative.

What Are They?
They are a type of moveable fence you set up around the perimeter of a structure. There are different brands available. Unlike a sandbag, these do not have to be filled with sand or other materials.

What Are the Pros of Using Them?
Flood fence barriers have some benefits, including:

  • They are not overly cumbersome to carry around
  • They can be placed at any location you need to
  • They can shield large properties

What Are the Cons of Using Them?
They are meant to be set up in advance and are not much good when it comes to halting ongoing flooding. As a result, they are considerably less effective if put up after a storm has begun.
A sandbag is an old and effective tool for flood damage mitigation. However, there are other options available like flood fence barriers.

3 Tips for Removing and Preventing Mold Growth in Your Shower

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold fungus growing in damp poorly ventilated bath areas. Black mold damage in a shower.

How To Get Rid of Mold In Your Shower

Dealing with shower mold in Grasslands, FL, can often be overwhelming. However, the good news is that there are plenty of quick and easy solutions available to you. Here are three tips on how to get rid of black mold in your shower.

1. Create a Mold Removal Solution
One of the most effective ways to remove shower mold is to create a mold cleanup solution. There are three main types of solutions:

  • white vinegar
  • borax
  • bleach

White vinegar is a great option to remove mold because it's safe and nontoxic. All you have to do is pour some vinegar into a spray bottle and apply it to the affected areas. Similar to white vinegar, a solution of borax and water can be used to spray over any moldy surfaces. While bleach is an effective method to kill black mold, it should only be used as a last resort due to its toxic and irritating fumes.

2. Use a Scrub Brush
If your mold removal solution isn't able to target the hard-to-reach areas of your bathroom, a scrub brush can do the trick. Simply scrub the affected areas of your shower until the mold is gone. You can even use a toothbrush to scrub grout or caulking, which are common sources of mold but hard to reach with a large scrub brush. Be sure to rinse the toothbrush afterward, as this prevents spores from spreading throughout your bathroom. Contacting mold remediation specialists can help you target any remaining mold and stave off future growth.

3. Ventilate Your Bathroom
Once you've removed any existing mold from your bathroom, you'll want to prevent further spores from forming. Because mold thrives in humid environments, turning on the bathroom fan while showering is an effective way to reduce steam and moisture. You can also open the window immediately after showering, as this can allow the excess evaporation to escape.
Although the mold removal process differs for each scenario, the general blueprint remains the same. Using these three tips can help you both remove shower mold and prevent its recurrence.

How To File a Commercial Fire Claim

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building damaged by fire Severe commercial fire.

How To File A Fire Claim

If a blaze tears through your commercial building, your insurance should help you pay for fire restoration services. First, however, you have to file a fire claim. To make that process as painless as possible, follow the below steps.

1. Call Your Insurer
First, you need to tell your insurer about the fire. You can typically notify the company via phone, the internet or a mobile application. Make sure the insurer has your contact information and the location of the loss.
While your insurance provider may send you a proof of loss form, you should still invite adjusters to visit your property and see the damage for themselves. Adjusters have the professional training necessary to assess the full extent of the harm.

2. Secure the Premises
You do not want any more damage to occur to your building as you wait for the adjuster to arrive. If it is safe to do so, secure any broken doors or window and put a tarp over the roof.

3. Make and Collect Records
The insurance company will need proof of your loss in order to approve your fire claim. That means you need to snap photos of the fire damage. Do not throw any items away without taking a picture or video of them.
You should also gather receipts or other documents that show the value of your harmed inventory and equipment. If you plan to make a business interruption claim, you will also need to demonstrate how much your company was making before the fire. You can do this by giving the adjuster financial statements and tax records.
If you have to spend extra money to keep your business running after the fire, document these expenses, as well. Do not forget to record any harm to your company vehicles, either.
A fire in your Polk County, FL, commercial property can be scary. However, working with your insurance company and filing a fire claim can help you rebuild.

How Can I Protect My Building From Hail?

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Blue tarp on roof, man on roof Tarped roof in South Lakeland, FL

Ways To Prevent Hail Damage To Your Roof

While flooding and wind damage might be the first things you think of after a storm in South Lakeland, FL, hail damage can happen, and it can be severe. As you think of ways to protect your property from storm damage, consider taking steps to prevent roof damage from hail.

Inspect Your Roof
Maintaining and regularly inspecting your roof will keep it in good shape, helping prevent damage during a storm. Check the following areas:

  • Decking
  • Gutters
  • Drainage pipes
  • Flashing
  • Vents
  • Surface membranes

Roof damage can lead to water in your attic, wet insulation and other secondary damage that may require the help of a commercial restoration company.

Protect HVAC Systems
HVAC equipment is sometimes mounted on the roof of a commercial property. If yours is roof-mounted, check to see if it is designed to withstand hail impact. If not, you can install wire mesh, hail guards or other protection to shield your equipment. Hail guards are designed to protect from hail impact and may also be resistant to rot and UV rays as well as corrosion and abrasion. If you use hail guards, they should also be designed to withstand uplift pressures.

Use Impact-Resistant Skylights and Solar Panels
If you use solar panels, be sure they are designed to the standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission or IEC. The IEC code requires solar panels to meet a certain impact test rating to their standards.
Similarly, if you have skylights, they should also meet impact standards and building codes in your area. If you know ahead of time that there is a chance of hail, you can cover your skylights with plywood, a storm shutter or a metal cap to prevent hail damage. Regular inspections will help keep your skylight in good shape.
Maintenance and planning before a hail storm in South Lakeland, FL, can go a long way in preventing roof damage to your commercial property.

4 Steps for Handling a Flood Claim

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Street of a neighborhood wet and debris in the outside of houses Storms can cause tremendous damage to your home in Lakeland, FL.

Four Tips For Handling A Claim After A Storm Or Flood

Heavy storms and major floods can cause tremendous damage to your home in Lakeland, FL, and filing a claim and waiting for a home adjuster can be an intimidating process. Knowing what to do after a major disaster makes the process easier and increases the chances that your claim is processed quickly and without issue.

1. Contact Your Insurance
Call your insurance company and verify that your damage is covered under your policy. Find out how much time you have for filing the claim and figure out what information is needed from you.

2. Make Temporary Repairs
Waiting too long to make repairs can make the situation worse, especially when it comes to water damage. Calling a professional water damage and cleanup service ensures the repairs are done correctly and quickly. Waiting can be your worst enemy; if damage intensifies because you neglected to make a temporary repair, your insurance provider could deny your insurance claim.

3. Gather Documents
Collect all receipts related to temporary repairs and make a complete list of all items damaged or destroyed during the flood. Gather documents that show the cost of what you paid for each item. Do not discard any of your damaged items until after the home adjuster has visited, if possible. If you must remove the items from your home, take photographs and videos of the damage.

4. Keep Copies of Paperwork
Be sure to make copies of all the paperwork you submit to your insurance company and keep them for your records. Stay organized and keep these copies filed together with any additional paperwork so they can be referenced easily if there are any questions.
Dealing with water damage can be a major hassle, but staying organized and keeping good records helps the claims process. Making the process easy and uncomplicated for the home adjuster improves your chances of getting your claim approved quickly and without further question.

When You Should Call Restoration Experts After a Water Disaster

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment set up in the bathroom of a Lakeland, FL home. Restoration experts can dry your property and help you prevent additional water losses.

After a water disaster in your commercial building, you may be tempted to perform the restoration on your own. After all, pipe burst cleanup services can be expensive. However, improper drying of your premises can be even more costly. If you do not completely remove all of the water, mold could grow and destroy your entire Lakeland, FL property.

That is why you need to hire commercial restoration professionals following a water disaster in your building. These experts will use their equipment and training to eliminate the mess and salvage your company's assets.

Knowing When To Call the Pros

Some emergency situations are obvious. It is easy to see if your property has a broken pipe, for instance.
However, some water leaks are hidden from plain sight. Keep an eye out for any of the following, as they could be signs of water damage that require professional restoration services.

Finding the Right Pros

Not every pipe burst cleanup business is the same. You need to find experts who will do the job properly the first time. You also should look for professionals who can respond to your property right away. Any delay in the restoration process could cause further damage.

Preventing Future Disasters

You don't have to wait until your next disaster to contact a sewer cleanup company. Professionals can also help reduce the chances of a severe water emergency. If you notice corrosion or condensation on your pipes, have experts address the damage immediately before it causes a major flood. You can also ask restoration pros to inspect your property annually and address any red flags they discover.
Pipe burst cleanup should only be performed by professionals. Restoration experts can both dry your property following a disaster and help you prevent additional water losses going forward.

How Quickly Can Mold Grow in My Facility?

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech using a moisture meter to check for mold growth in Lakeland, FL. Black mold and other mold types can start growing in 24 to 48 hours

If you have water damage to your roof in Lakeland, FL, you are probably wondering if you will soon have black mold in your facility. The answer is probably yes if you don't take action right away to mitigate the damage. Here is some information about mold growth.

What Causes Mold To Grow?

Mold needs only a few ingredients to thrive:

  • Water
  • Oxygen
  • Food (organic material like wood)
  • Suitable temperature

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, once moisture from a ceiling leak begins to accumulate, black mold and other mold types can start growing in 24 to 48 hours. Mold spores are present in most environments and travel by air currents and water. They can also hitch a ride on clothing and fur. They are able to survive in conditions that don't support mold growth. Once they find moisture, it doesn't take long for them to settle in and thrive, forming colonies known as mycelium.

How Can I Prevent Mold Growth?

Once you know you have a roof leak in your building, act right away to identify the source and stop water from entering. A professional mold remediation company can help you by inspecting the damage and finding hidden sources of water. If mold is detected, technicians will isolate the contaminated area with techniques like physical barriers or negative air chambers. They will use vacuums and other specialized equipment to prevent the spread of mold spores.
If surfaces have been contaminated by mold, technicians will use antimicrobial and antifungal treatments to remove colonies. Any porous materials that are too damaged, such as carpeting or drywall, can be removed and replaced. If your facility needs major repairs, areas can be remodeled and reconstructed.
If you suspect your facility's roof has been compromised, it's best to call for help right away to prevent potential black mold damage.

3 Tips for Getting Rid of Microwave Smells

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

guy covering his nose while opens microwave You can mitigate the overpowering smoke smell of microwaves thorough cleaning and maintenance

Microwaves provide an important service to the household as they heat all kinds of food in most types of dishes through a convenient, fast method. There are also drawbacks to this valuable service, such as the smoke smell produced after heating food. If you want to get rid of this odor, follow these tips to ensure it disappears from your device and your Lakeland, FL, home.

Maintain the Ventilation

The oven's ventilation system is important, as it allows you to vent steam and smoke. However, grease and food particles may get caught on the vent grill, creating an invasive foul stench. Maintain this component by removing it and cleaning it using mild soap, warm water and a small, soft cloth. This small step will reduce the possibility of odor. Also, consult the manufacturer's manual to see how often you will have to replace it.

Clean the Device

The most effective way to keep disruptive smoke smell away from the appliance is by cleaning after every use. Again, a soft cloth, water, and mild soap can remove most food particles. There is also a process that can guarantee effective cleaning.

  • Pour water and either some vinegar or lemon juice into a bowl
  • Place the bowl inside the microwave
  • Activate it and let it heat up the mix
  • Wipe off the loose food particles

Also, clean the turntable and the area beneath. Consult the manual to make sure you are following the right cleaning procedure.

Seek Necessary Assistance

If maintaining and cleaning the microwave and the vent is not enough to get rid of the smell, you may need assistance. A professional deodorization service can detect the source and use appropriate techniques to get rid of the stench effectively and safely.
You can mitigate the overpowering smoke smell of microwaves thorough cleaning and maintenance. Keep your household smelling well by taking the right measures and calling for help when you need it.

Restoring Your Polk and Hillsborough County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Shelves of SERVPRO water drying equipment in our Lakeland warehouse. We can handle any size commercial water loss in the Lakeland area.

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to evaluate each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many situations, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your Lakeland, FL facility.

Our professionals at SERVPRO of Lakeland IICRC certified and are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

“Like it never even happened.”


Is Your Home Flooded From a Storm? Avoid These 5 Cleanup Errors

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech removing the water from the floor in a Lakeland, FL home If your home has been impacted by a storm contact a restoration company as soon as possible

Is Your Home Flooded From a Storm? Avoid These 5 Cleanup Errors

When flood water rises within a home, the dampness absorbs like a sponge into anything penetrable. This complicates cleanup matters because homeowners cannot see the full extent of bacterial contamination; rather, the complexity of the infestation hides beneath the surface, ready to multiply if not treated appropriately. Owners should use care and avoid making the following five mistakes when repairing their place.

1. Reliance on Household Cleaners

Traditional household cleaning products kill bacteria and fungus from the surface; they cannot, however, guarantee that they eradicate anything within; therefore, don't try to sanitize your flooded home only with general cleaners such as bleach; this solution won't get the job done.

2. Unprotected Entrance

Going into the house should be done with extreme caution as the flood water is fraught with unknown organisms. Have protective gear available when you inspect the property. Wear knee-high rubber boots, gloves and eye wear.

3. Keeping Drywall and Carpet

The water damage shouldn't just be dried, overly saturated materials must be torn out to prevent mold and mildew growth. Seek the advice of a water restoration company in Lakeland, FL. The experts inspect the premises, recommending the appropriate level of flood cuts within the walls. In addition, they complete moisture readings on the flooring, determining how much of it should be torn out.

4. Immediate Replacement of Objects

Remediation demands methodical attention and time. Focus on purifying the home rather than replacing valuables immediately. It's tempting to go out and purchase a new sofa and chair; however, putting it into a contaminated room could expose the new furniture to microbes and mold growth. Remain out of the area until it's completely restored. Then, fill it with new things.

5. Using Electronics

Before using fans and electrical switches, have an electrician look over the place. It's possible that something has been harmed in the walls. Furthermore, do not run vacuums or other devices in the wet zones, avoiding unnecessary fire and electrical threats.
If your residence has been impacted with flood water, seek the assistance of professionals as soon as possible. Avoid exposure and be cautious when entering.

Call the Experts for Black Water Damage Cleanup

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro van arrived to a house to perform water restoration services Water cleanup services in Polk County, FL

No one wants to deal with water damage in their Lakeland, FL home. When it happens, getting it cleaned immediately is vital to minimizing other issues from developing. Unfortunately, not all water losses are equal. The three categories are clean, grey and black water. While the first two have minimal contaminants, the latter one is likely chock full of them.

Levels of Category 3 Damage

This category of water damage comes from more than a broken pipe or washing machine malfunctioning. This water has the potential to be carrying bacteria, debris, microbes and other contaminants. Within the black water category, there are three levels of damage:

Level I – Typically considered a limited issue, this level begins in the home and only affects a small area. An example may be a toilet overflow that is contained in the bathroom and doesn’t get absorbed into porous materials.
Level II – This also originates inside the home but affects a greater area of the home and both porous and nonporous materials.
Level III – When the water comes from outside the home, such as stormwater from a flood or main sewer line backing up, there could potentially all sorts of contaminants that require extra precautions during cleanup.

Professional Help

Sewage cleanup is not only a gross, dirty job but also poses potential risks that need to be properly mitigated. Instead of going out and buying all the PPE needed — including a disposable suit, gloves, goggles, respirator and more — count on a certified water damage restoration company to handle the problem for you with help that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Along with the needed tools, professionals have the expertise to identify potential hazards, assess the damage and develop a plan to return your home to its preloss state.

Not all water problems can be dealt with in the same way. If you are dealing with black water in your home, you don’t have to go it alone.

Saving Money on Water Consumption Can Leave You Extra Cash for Remediation Services

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician removing water from the floor of a Lakeland, FL business If you do run into a water damage issue, we can help!

Ways To Reduce Water Use In Your Commercial Property

Every commercial building relies on running water. The plumbing system keeps the bathroom and sinks functioning properly. You may also use pipes to maintain the landscaping outside your premises. Water issues could thus affect both your plants and the people who work or live in your building.
You should thus set some money aside in case you ever need to pay for water damage cleanup services. Lowering your water consumption can save you money on your utility bill, giving you more cash for your emergency fund. Here are some ways to reduce water use in your Lakeland, FL commercial property.

1. Add Separate Meters

Your commercial property should meter its cooling tower and irrigation separately from the rest of the plumbing system. This will help you track exactly how much water consumption comes from these two locations. You will also be better able to find the source of any water issues.
There are some added benefits, as well. Water used by the cooling tower and the irrigation system does not need to be filtered in a wastewater treatment plant. By metering the irrigation system and cooling tower separately, you can thus eliminate the sewer charge on the water they utilize.

2. Change Your Urinals

Water free urinals are a great invention, but they require specific maintenance. If you are not quite ready for this upgrade, you can opt for one-pint urinals that reduce consumption by more than 85 percent.

3. Buy Energy Star Dishwashers

Switching to Energy Star dishwashers is another easy water upgrade you can make. They cost the same as traditional dishwashers yet use 40 percent less water.
Water issues can be costly to fix. By making the above changes, you can save money on your water bill, leaving yourself more cash to set aside for any necessary repairs in the future. Best of all, the above suggestions are low cost and can conserve water for those who need it.

5 Tips for Avoiding Mold Damage

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

Worker with moisture meter on a wall in Lakeland, FL If you see mold growing in your commercial property, give us a call right away

The Following Tips Can Help You Prevent Mold Growth

Moisture in your commercial building from storms, leaking pipes, or condensation can create the perfect conditions for black mold growth. These tips can help you avoid mold growth and the damage that it can cause.

1. Dry Wet Areas Promptly

One of the best things you can do to avoid mold growth is to address your moisture problem quickly. You should attempt to dry out wet areas within 48 hours to reduce your chances of mold growth.

2. Know the Warning Signs

When performing mold cleanup, keep your eye out for any brown, green or gray stains. Musty odors may mean you already have an issue. If you think you have mold in your building, consider contacting a mold remediation company in Lakeland, FL, to remove the existing growth before it can spread.

3. Inspect the Exterior

Building interiors aren't the only place black mold growth can be a problem. Periodically check the outside of your building for standing water, saturated ground, water accumulation around the foundation and other moisture problems. Find ways to drain off any water that is collecting around the outside of your building and remove any mold growth you find.

4. Remove and Replace Damaged Materials

After flooding, any items that can not be cleaned or dried quickly should be taken out of the building and discarded. Consider replacing mold or moisture damaged drywall with mold-resistant materials.

5. Eliminate Clutter

If your building is packed full of stuff your business doesn't need, consider getting rid of it. Clutter can block airflow and make it difficult for your HVAC system to circulate air. Blocked grilles may lead to condensation. Moist rooms with poor air circulation are good environments for mold.

The best way to avoid black mold damage is to avoid the conditions that lead to mold growth. These five tips can help you keep your building mold-free.

3 Safe Candle Alternatives

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

White Ceramic Wax Melt Wax warmers are another one of the best candle alternatives

Candle Alternatives Can Help You Prevent A Fire In Your Home

Candles can be a wonderful addition to your home whether to help you set a mood, relax or just get some natural light around the house. Unfortunately, they can also be dangerous for your home in Lakeland, FL. If you have a lot of flammable items in your home or young children, it may be easier to just keep them tucked away to prevent a candle fire. A fire in your home can cause damage that requires fire restoration and expensive repairs. Luckily, many candle alternatives can help you achieve the same effects as a candle without the worry.

1. Electric Candles

Electric or battery-operated flameless candles can help spruce up your home without worrying about open flames. Electric candles look like the real thing and many have flickering lights to mimic an open flame. Electric candles are more cost-effective because they last longer than traditional candles. Although they may not smell the same or be exactly like regular candles, they can help create the right ambiance for a dinner party or outdoor event.

2. Wax Warmers

Wax warmers are another one of the best candle alternatives, which have the same calming effects that traditional candles do. Wax warmers work by putting cubes of wax over the wax warmer, spreading the same scents as a candle. However, these are safer because they don't have an open flame that can cause an accidental fire. You can buy wax products in all different scents like a traditional candle and are usually battery-powered or electric.

3. Essential Oil Diffuser

An essential oil diffuser can help mimic the calming effect that candles have. Diffusers are easily accessible and relatively cheap and, as an added bonus, make a nice decoration for your home.
There are many other candle alternatives that can reduce your risk of fires. Find an alternative that suits your needs and matches your home.

4 Tips for Handling Mold Containment in Your Home

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on the walls of a Lakeland, FL home Mold cleaning services in Lakeland, FL

4 Tips for Handling Mold Containment in Your Home

When you have a mold contamination problem in your Lakeland, FL home, professionals will act aggressively to prevent spores from wandering to other parts of your home. However, it's very important that you don't inadvertently spread mold while waiting for professionals to arrive.

Prevent Traffic Through the Affected Area

Mold spores are microscopic and move easily from one place to another in the air. Spores may travel through your heating and cooling system, and they travel from one room to another when they are carried on the shoes or clothing of family members. With this in mind, your first step to preventing mold contamination from spreading is to keep family members, visitors, and pets out of the affected areas.

Limit Ventilation in Mold-Affected Areas

Although ventilation is a necessary part of preventing mold, it could also aid mold growth. Before mold cleanup and remediation professionals get to your home, it may be necessary to tape over the heating and cooling vents in the rooms where mold exists. It may be okay to open windows in the affected rooms, but seal off the doorways, so the wind doesn't carry spores into unaffected rooms.

Cut Off the Moisture Supply

Mold always needs water to grow. When you find mold in your home, there must be a source of moisture, such as a leaking pipe or condensation on the window. Carefully search for this location whether it's high levels of humidity or an actual leak. As you look for this source of trouble, be very careful not to disturb the existing mold.

Use Protective Gear

There may be several types of mold contaminating your home, so take precautions. Most experts recommend that you wear a face mask, long sleeves, and long pants when handling mold. You may also consider the use of gloves. Any clothing that comes into contact with mold should be thoroughly washed and dried to avoid further spread.
Once you discover mold contamination in your home, you must immediately contact professionals to correct the problem. While you wait, make sure you understand how to prevent spores from spreading into other parts of your home.

3 Steps for Draining a Flooded Basement

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Water and mold damage caused from a storm in Lakeland, FL. Call SERVPRO of Lakeland for flood restoration services.

These Three Steps Can Help You Drain Your Flooded Basement

Basements come in handy when you need extra storage space or a place to shelter from dangerous storms; however, a basement flood can damage your home. The longer standing water remains in your basement, the more likely damage is to occur. These three steps can help you drain your flooded basement.

1. Take Safety Precautions

Basements often have electrical equipment and other materials that can become a safety hazard during a flood. Before attempting to pump out your basement, you should wait until floodwaters have receded. Once there is no longer standing water around the foundation of your home, you can proceed with draining the basement. Before you begin, shut off the electricity to the home and keep pets and children away from the basement.

2. Obtain the Equipment You Will Need

To clear your basement flood, you will need a submersible pump and a hose. You will also need a generator to run the pump and a heavy-duty extension cord. If the water in your basement is more than a few feet deep, you will need a nylon rope to lower the pump. Your insurance coverage may cover the cost to rent this equipment. You may also want to consider hiring a flood remediation company in Lakeland, FL, that should already have the necessary equipment to perform the job.

3. Remove the Water

If you will be doing the job yourself, you will need to lower the pump into the water with the rope and then once it is in place, plug in the extension cord and start the generator. When the water levels reduce to a few inches, you can move the pump to the lowest level in the basement.

Water in your basement can damage your foundation and encourage mold growth. Acting promptly to dry out your basement after a basement flood can reduce the amount of damage done to your home.

4 Steps for Dealing with Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activation

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler A sprinkler system malfunction can cause a lot of confusion

4 Steps for Dealing with Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activation

Fire sprinklers are a common and reliable safety feature in any commercial building. They rarely malfunction, but it does happen. Knowing what steps to take if you do have an accidental discharge and flooding will help you get your business in Lakeland, FL back up and running quickly.

1. Shut Off the Water.

Familiarize yourself with your fire protection system before there is an issue. Know where all of the shut-off valves are located and how to operate them. This way, you will be able to locate the main water line and smaller valves and turn them off.

2. Call Your Insurance Agent.

They will assess the damage and get you started in the claims process by first looking over the entire system to determine what happened and who is responsible. For example, if you have a recurring problem, your agency might look for potential installation issues and determine if those are the cause.

3. Document Everything.

Keeping track of all of the problems that the flooding caused is important, and you should start as soon as possible. Take photos and videos that show the extent of the damage clearly. Do not move damaged objects out of the area. Every piece of evidence that you can provide will help the cleanup process.

Track all of the costs of damage, repairs, estimates and other expenses, too. The more detailed you are in your documentation, the easier it will be for you in the long run.

4. Hire a Restoration Professional.

These types of accidents are not a do-it-yourself project. The amount of water damage from discharged fire sprinklers can be substantial. It is best to call a commercial restoration company to help you with the cleanup and getting back to business.

A sprinkler system malfunction can cause a lot of confusion, but by knowing how to stop the flooding and start the cleaning process, you are off to a good start.

3 Possible Non-Flooding Storm Damage Causes

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Palm Tree Blowing In The Wind in Lakeland, FL High-speed winds can also turn into tornadoes, which can cause even worse harm.

Here Are Three Other Kinds Of Storm Damage

When you think of storm damage, one of the first things that comes to mind is probably flooding and water damage from rain. Flooding from rain can lead to weakened structures, mold and mildew development and irreparable harm to inventory and other contents. Standing water can get under floors and is dangerous as well as devastating. A severe storm often leads to the need for a cleanup and restoration service in Lakeland, FL, and some items may be beyond repair. However, there are other causes of storm damage besides rain. For example, a frozen pipe that ends up becoming a burst pipe in a winter storm is capable of causing just as much water damage as a rain flood. It is important to recognize that storm damage encompasses more than flooding. 

1. Freezing Damage

A sudden temperature drop in the midst of an icy snow storm can constitute a threat to a building's pipe system. As mentioned before, a pipe that freezes can and often does end up as a burst pipe, creating a huge mess to clean up. Any pipe or water containing component is vulnerable to the effects of freezing temperatures, including:

  • Hose supply lines
  • Outdoor water spigots
  • Water sprinkler lines
  • Outdoor pipes
  • Uninsulated pipes
  • Unheated indoor area pipes

2. Wind Damage

Wind can also cause substantial damage. It can blow shingles off of roofs or even tear off whole roofs. It can also cause nearby trees to fall on buildings or drop debris on them. High-speed winds can also turn into tornadoes, which can cause even worse harm.

3. Hail Damage

There is also hail damage. The impact of hail can shatter building and car windows and smash holes in roofs. It can also dent or crack other parts of buildings.

With storms, flooding from torrential downpours is often a main concern. However, other types of damage like wind damage, hail damage and water damage from a burst pipe in freezing conditions are also possibilities.

4 Steps To Take After a Commercial Fire

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

Burned building in Lakeland, FL Commercial fire in Lakeland, FL

Steps In Getting Your Building Back To Normal

If a fire happens in your Lakeland, FL business property, the loss can feel overwhelming. Along with potential job losses, there are also the costs of temporarily shutting down and fire restoration services. While your mind may be racing to figure out how to handle everything, taking quick action is key to minimizing the loss and costs. Below are four steps to help get your building back to “Like it never even happened.”

1. Make a Claim

Once the flames are extinguished, and it is safe to enter the structure, it is vital to call your fire insurance provider. The sooner the call is made, the faster you can get an adjuster on the site to access the damage and get the claim process rolling.

2. Get Professional Help

While waiting for the insurance process to start, consider contacting fire damage and restoration professionals. With 24/7 services, technicians can arrive quickly to inspect the damage. Along with providing a fire restoration plan, they have advanced tools and techniques to eradicate any signs of a fire. From smoke cleaning to replacing structural components, they are certified to handle the entire cleanup process.

3. Document Everything

In the midst of the mess, it’s important to document everything. That is especially important since there may be a wait time for insurance personnel to arrive. Taking photos and videos of the damage and collecting receipts for expenses incurred from the loss can help make the whole process go smoothly.

4. Secure the Building

As part of most insurance policies, the building owner is required to mitigate against secondary damage, such as theft, mold growth and water damage. After documenting the problem areas, board up any windows and put up tarps to keep moisture and prying eyes out.

No matter how prepared you may be, dealing with a fire is always a surprise. While the loss may seem devastating, have peace of mind that you don’t have to take on the fire restoration process alone.

3 Things You Should Inspect Before Turning Your Commercial Sprinkler System On

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

sprinkler head watering the bush and grass in the garden Inspecting your sprinklers before you turn them on is an important part of irrigation maintenance

Three Of The Things You Should Check Before Starting Up Your Sprinkler System

Because winter weather, wear and tear and construction projects can damage sprinkler systems, inspecting your sprinklers before you turn them on is an important part of irrigation maintenance. 

1. Make Sure the Valves Are Open
Most people close the valves on their sprinkler systems when they shut them down for the winter. Before you start the system back up in the spring, you should make sure all of the valves have been opened. It is a good idea to open the valves slowly because a large, sudden increase in pressure can damage the system and cause sprinkler flooding.

2. Set the Timers
If you utilize a timer to regulate when your sprinkler system runs, you may need to program the times back in after shutting the system down. For the first part of the season, it is a good idea to set the timers so that the system only runs during times when irrigation maintenance personnel can observe it and make sure everything is working properly. When they are satisfied that there are no problems, you can return to your regular irrigation schedule.

3. Check All of the Sprinkler Stations
Individual sprinkler systems can become damaged or wear out, so you will need to inspect each one and make sure there are no leaks, clogs or water pressure issues. If you try to evaluate the entire system without looking at each station, it can be easy to miss slow leaks or other subtle problems.
Including a complete pre-operation inspection of your commercial sprinkler system as part of your irrigation maintenance plan can help you avoid flooding, system damage and inefficient operation of your sprinkler system. However, if a flood should occur, a water cleanup professional in Grasslands, FL, can help you dry out and clean up your property before additional damage occurs.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Storm

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Man cleaning and maintaining plastic guttering on a house Clear Gutters and Drainage Around Your Home

Follow These Steps Before Your A Storm Hits

If your Polk County, FL, home is in the path of a coming storm, you probably want to know whether you are appropriately prepared. Flood water from storms can cause serious damage to surfaces and create conditions for secondary damage to occur. You should make sure that a few things are done before a storm hits your home:

1. Move Electronics and Valuables Above Ground Level
Your most valuable possessions are often your most vulnerable ones. Electronics can be damaged by electric surges, so you should always unplug them. Pictures, appliances, files, and power cords should all be elevated above ground level. Moving your things to a safe place will not only protect them from flood water but will also reinforce good habits regarding your valuable belongings in the future.

2. Clear Gutters and Drainage Around Your Home
During a storm, it is vital that water be efficiently directed away from your property. As heavy precipitation accumulates in gutters or drainage ditches, any buildup of litter or other matter can allow water to infiltrate your home, resulting in water damage and flooding. Make sure that all of your drainage infrastructure is clear. If you are anticipating an especially severe weather incident, consider digging new drainage areas or expanding existing ones.

3. Check That Your Home's Sump Pump Is Working
A working sump pump should be a last line of defense in preventing a flooded building. Do not wait until the last minute to make sure that yours is working. You should regularly test your pump by adding water to it manually, then checking if the water has been successfully pumped away from your home.
Owning a property means that you are responsible for the long-term viability of your home. If your space has already suffered damage from flood water, you should restore it as soon as possible to avoid more costly repairs in the future. A water restoration expert will know how to quickly and efficiently bring your home back to working order.

What To Do When You Have Water-Filled Lights

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

water coming out a light fixture When pipes break, one serious issue that can develop is water in light fixtures

When pipes break, one serious issue that can develop is water in light fixtures. This is a dangerous scenario, so know what to do if you experience this perilous circumstance.

Lighting Leak Hazards

When faulty piping and illumination infrastructures mix, there emerges a high risk of:

  • Electric shock
  • Fire
  • Collapsing ceilings

Everyone should understand the peril closely associated with these possibilities. If your electrical system becomes compromised, undertake the following precautions.

Lighting Leak Safety Measures
Carefully approach your breaker box and switch it to the off position. Confirm that the current has been halted through the use of a non-contact voltage tester, easily found in any hardware store. This is critical, as actions like simply switching off lights that have been compromised can result in shock. When broken pipes cause water in light sources to become a reality, shut down plumbing immediately. Should your trouble originate from an upper floor, you may have roof or ceiling damage. Prevent the situation from worsening by hiring a building repair specialist. Inspect your homeowner’s insurance to find out if you own coverage that falls within this class of disaster.
Caution your family to avoid the affected area. Enforce this warning by blocking the door and hanging a relevant sign. Place buckets beneath drips and make use of towels and newspapers to soak up existing overflow. Wood floors are best dried quickly, as mold can surface if you fail to do so in a timely manner. Porous items, such as area rugs and certain types of furniture, are to be removed and dried. Wall-to-wall carpeting is a particular challenge that will likely require professional service. Dehumidifiers can be helpful in evaporating persistent dampness but remember you will require one that is able to run independently of your household’s electrical system or via a generator.
If you detect water in light equipment inside your home at South Lakeland, FL, secure the impact zone and then employ qualified experts to conduct necessary plumbing repair or roofing replacement.

Everything You Need to Know About Household Black Mold

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold behind drywall Mold can grow behind a drywall

Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as "black mold," is a common type of fungus that can grow in virtually any warm and moist environment. Because it requires a moist habitat, mold damage is often an issue after flooding, though the humidity of North Lakeland, FL, can do the trick too if you lack proper dehumidifying equipment and air circulation. But what is this mysterious mold, how can you prevent it, and how do you go about mold remediation if all else fails?

What Is Black Mold?

Mold can grow almost anywhere in your home. It is often found on:

  • Walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Drapes
  • Rugs and carpets
  • Drywall
  • Wooden furniture
  • Fabric

It is typically green or black in color, with a fuzzy or slimy texture. It grows extremely quick and can start to spread on a surface as soon as 24–48 hours after exposure to water, so it is important to move fast if mold is involved.

How Can You Prevent Mold Growth?
To prevent mold from taking hold in your home, simply make it an unappealing environment. Because mold loves moisture, this means controlling the humidity in your home. Consider purchasing a dehumidifier if you have a history of moisture problems, and go the extra mile by installing a humidity meter so you can know if you ever get to risky levels.

How Do You Stop Mold Damage?
In the event of flooding, leaky pipes, or other water damage, the first priority is stopping the water at its source: Clear out surface water with a mop or wet vacuum, and fix any faulty appliances. If you think you see mold growth, seek professional help right away.
Sometimes it can be difficult for an amateur to spot black mold growth at all, let alone identify the particular strain and go about mold cleanup. If in doubt, your best bet is to call your local mold remediation specialists so you can get back to normal life "Like it never even happened."

How to Keep Your Employees Safe Amid Snow Storms

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian Keep your employees protected during a snow storm

How to Keep Your Employees Safe Amid Snow Storms

During a snowstorm, office managers have the responsibility of making sure workers remain safe. Luckily, there are many precautions those in charge can take to assure their staff stays healthy and secure when bad weather hits.

Preparing for Snow
Before the winter season arrives in Dixieland, FL, do the following:

  • Check your building’s caulking and weather strips. After a few years, each of them should be redone.
  • Research ways to keep plumbing from freezing and cracking. The effects of a pipe burst can be highly distressing.
  • Acquire sand or dirt for covering icy sidewalks and parking lots. Slips can result in injuries and costly lawsuits.
  • Sign up for snowstorm alerts. This way, you will be able to take action at the earliest possible moment.
  • Establish a protocol for cancellation notifications. Having a phone tree or email list in place prevents jobholders from making treacherous and unneeded trips.

Taking a few simple measures before a blizzard hits significantly reduces the odds of endangerment, so do what you can before disruption arrives.

Dealing With Snow
When excessive snowfall comes your way, stay home unless absolutely necessary. In the event you must journey to your office, dress warm and be certain your vehicle comes equipped with jumper cables. Should you break down and become exposed to the elements, frostbite or hypothermia can take hold quickly. Know how to recognize and deal with these life-threatening conditions. Have an emergency kit with blanket, non-perishable food, and medical supplies handy for these and other perilous scenarios.
Besides being dangerous, violent weather causes all sorts of building damage. From roof collapses to fallen branches smashing through windows, the fallout often requires immediate attention. Should your workspace become compromised, select a qualified disaster recovery team that can get everything back to looking “Like it never even happened.”
Keep your employees protected during a snow storm, both before and during such a mammoth event. Once the worst has passed, check your facility for damage and commence repairs ahead of the next wintry downpour.

3 Things To Know About Mold Removal

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold specialists with protective gear removing debris Mold removal specialist in Griffin, FL

3 Things To Know About Mold Removal

If you need mold cleanup at your Griffin, FL, place of business, you may be wondering what sort of things you can expect from the restoration process. In many cases, mold remediation follows a set series of protocols. This is done to ensure that the mold is thoroughly removed and everything sanitized in order to prevent a recurrence of these issues. Here are three things you may see while the professionals work on your company space.

1. Mold May Be Unseen

Because mold is a fungus, what you see is actually a colony made up of tiny spores. Mold spores individually may be unseen by the naked eye. This is why the professionals working on your company space may make several tests to confirm the presence of mold and where it's located.

2. The Areas Should Be Contained

Once the presence of mold is confirmed, mold cleanup can begin. The first step is to thoroughly contain that area in which the mold grows. This is often done by installing plastic sheeting around the space and using a ventilation system to regulate airflow. This will help prevent spores from becoming airborne and traveling to other areas of the business.

3. Cleaning May Involve Several Stages

The cleaning process can involve several stages. Your local mold remediation service may begin this process by removing any items that may have suffered from mold contamination. The area will have the mold removed, and be thoroughly sanitized with specific cleaners. Once the professionals are satisfied that no mold remains, they can then be bringing back any restored items to the space.

There are a few things you may see while mold remediation professionals perform the mold cleanup at your place of business. Because mold may be unseen, they may take several tests of areas in which they believe it may be growing. Once the presence of mold is confirmed, the space will be contained to prevent further spreading. Cleanup can then begin with the removal of the spores and the sanitation of the area. If you have any questions your remediation professional should be able to help.

What You Need To Know About Commercial Water Damage Claims

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in a hallway of commercial building Commercial damage in Grasslands, FL

Storms can strike at any time, and virtually no business is immune to their potentially destructive power. If you’ve recently dealt with commercial water damage in Grasslands, FL, you may be able to make a small business claim. Before you file, there are a few things you should know about the process to help make your recovery more efficient.

“Damage” Can Encompass Several Types

It’s important to first determine whether your policy covers the damage you’ve experienced. “Damage” can encompass several things, including:

  • Mold
  • Corrosion
  • Structural damage
  • Destroyed inventory

Not all policies offer the same coverage, so check with your provider about the limits and exclusions of your policy.

Document Any Damage Thoroughly
In order to strengthen your claim, it’s essential to document any damage thoroughly to show the insurance company as proof. Before you call cleanup and restoration services, be sure to take photos of the space. Also hang on to any relevant receipts, such as those for equipment purchases or inspection completions. These records will be helpful in determining the total value of your company’s losses.

Plan To Proactively Prevent Future Damage
After dealing with damage and an insurance business claim, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent issues in the future. As a general rule, maintenance of your building is needed to keep it from having a pipe break. Check gutters and drainage areas regularly to keep them clear, and remove snow and ice from your roof when needed. It may also be a good idea to protect exposed pipes from freezing by insulating them and to keep the indoor temperature over 55 degrees at all times.
Suffering commercial damage from water is frustrating for any company, but filing a business claim can help mitigate the aftereffects. By understanding the ins and outs of the claims process, you can get your building restored quickly and get back on your feet.

How To Prevent Mold By Avoiding Water Damage

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Missing shingles should be replaced immediately

One of the most important ways for Polk County, FL, residents to tackle mold prevention is to limit the risk of water damage. There are several reasons to keep up with the home maintenance tasks that keep water where it belongs in your home, such as the fact that prevention is cheaper than repairs. Sadly, many homeowners find that damage from water is a major factor in damage to the foundation of their homes, weakening the structure and inviting pests, in addition to encouraging mold growth.

How To Prevent Water Damage

Mold prevention is usually pretty easy to handle, especially if you're consistent about tackling home care projects. There are several tasks homeowners should include in their maintenance schedule:

  • Clean the gutters along the roof to provide good drainage. When leaves, debris, and animal materials are left in the gutters, dams appear (and often freeze during the winter) causing water to collect and seep into the attic.
  • Direct gutter downspouts to at least five feet away from the foundation. There are many decorative and practical ways to make sure that rainwater and melting snow don't pool up around the exterior walls.
  • Consistently watch for water leaks. Pay attention to changes in water pressure, unpleasant smells from your drains, and any sign of moisture on exposed pipes. The sooner you can catch cracks, drips, and leaks, the better you can prevent mold growth.
  • Keep an eye on your roof. Most months you can just complete a visual inspection from the ground, but you may want to pay for a professional inspection if you've experienced heavy weather or suspect damage to the roof.
  • Missing shingles should be replaced immediately.

If you have appliances that use water, such as the washing machine, dishwasher, ice maker, sump pump, and swamp cooler, it's a good idea to include those in routine inspections. As soon as any of these appliances show signs of damage, leaks, or added moisture, find out what the problem is and complete necessary repairs.

Avoid Mold Growth and Other Damages
Whether you've noticed water damage or any signs of mold growth, contact water damage remediation professionals as soon as possible. Arranging for quick repairs and cleanup is one of the best ways to assure that your mold prevention efforts are successful.

Effective Ways To Keep Your Business Safe From Fire Damage

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency Escape Plan written on a notepad with marker. If you own a business, it is vital to have a fire safety plan in place

Ways You Can Protect Your Property And Keep It Safe From Damage

Experiencing a business fire can be a devastating blow to your company, but there are numerous ways you can protect your property and keep it safe from damage.

1. Fire Safety Plan
If you own a business, it is vital to have a fire safety plan in place. The first step to doing this is to have mechanical inspections on a regular basis. This will ensure that your fire alarm systems and sprinklers are functioning properly if a fire does occur.
It is also key to educate and train your employees on fire preparation. Having regular fire drills in the office is a good idea to guarantee all employees know what to do if the building ever catches fire. They should know how to properly use a fire extinguisher and be well aware of where all exit doors are located.

2. Check Fire Extinguishers
Not only are most buildings required to have fire extinguishers but having enough of them can also save you from complete destruction and damage if a business fire does occur. Keep in mind that travel distance should not go over 75 feet when placing extinguishers around your building. Also, be sure to have them properly placed in areas like kitchens that are extremely hazardous.

3. Keep Hallways Clear
One way to keep your employees safe if a fire occurs in South Lakeland, FL, is by keeping all hallways and storage spaces free from rubbish. If there is clutter in the building, this could not only cause more fire damage, but it could also slow down the evacuation process and lead to employee injuries. Be sure to follow the fire code regarding this.
Implementing these fire safety steps in your business is beneficial for you and your building, and is key to keeping your employees safe as well. If a business fire occurs, you will know you did everything you could. If damage does occur, call in a professional fire restoration company to help get your business back to normal again.

What SERVPRO Can Do For Your Clients

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Team members of SERVPRO carrying equipment Choose SERVPRO the next time your client needs help

A major storm that covers the bulk of a geographic area can leave a lot of devastation in its path. Your commercial clients in North Lakeland, FL, may need storm restoration, and they'll need it in a hurry. When you work with SERVPRO, you get fast service with corporate support.

Quick Assessment

As soon as you refer your clients to the call center, a local team is notified that they need help. Storm damage restoration experts arrive at the building to document the damage:

  • Broken windows
  • Flood damage
  • Torn up roof
  • Compromised structure

Once the information is gathered, it is reported in the Claims Information Center. The CIC serves as your go-to resource for how the restoration process is going every step of the way.

Team Assistance
When a particular area is hit, business owners in the area may need more help than the local franchises can provide by themselves. That's when SERVPRO's storm response team springs into action. Additional technicians arrive with extra supplies or equipment to address the issues facing your client's area. The strong central communication of the company enables it to mobilize nearby technicians to provide the extra assistance needed to provide fast service to your clients.

Accurate Records
As the storm restoration process in your client's building proceeds, further damage may be discovered that needs to be addressed. Technicians update the record in the CIC any time this happens to verify the claim that your client files. You can rest assured that any updates to the service that are needed will be reported in an accurate and timely manner.
There are several reasons SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance providers. Its speed and quality of service outshine the competition, and corporate support makes the storm restoration process as smooth as possible, even in an area with a lot of damage. Choose SERVPRO the next time your client needs help that's Faster to Any Size Disaster.

5 Simple Steps to Removing the Smoke Smell From Your Microwave

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Young repairman repairing microwave in service centre Clean your microwave periodically

5 Simple Steps to Removing the Smoke Smell From Your Microwave

Microwaves tend to pick up a lot of residue over time. Not only is it unsightly and potentially a health hazard, the food particles create smoke when they are being heated, adding an unwelcome smoke smell to both food and the kitchen. For all these reasons and more, it’s important to clean them periodically.
It sounds like a messy chore, but it’s super simple if done right. With four items, you can clean a microwave in minutes:

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Sponge

If pressed, you can even skip the lemon juice and vinegar, but they do help. Once you have what you need, follow these five easy cleaning steps.

Mix Water and Vinegar

Get a cup or bowl and put about half a cup of water and a tablespoon or two of vinegar in it. The vinegar isn’t critical, but it will help disinfect the unit and absorb odors.

Steam Clean That Beast

Put the bowl in the microwave. Cook it for 5 minutes. This creates a bunch of steam that penetrates the debris, loosening it for easy wipe-down.

Wipe, Wipe Wipe

Sponge down the entire interior. Use plenty of water or mix water and vinegar for extra power against the nasty smoke smell. Also, wipe off the vent grill in the back of the oven if convenient. Repeat the steam blast and wipe-down if necessary.

Get the Interior Dry

Wipe everything down with dry paper towels. Let it sit with the door open a couple of minutes.

Leave a Fresh Citrus Scent

Once the inside is pretty dry, mix a tablespoon of lemon juice into half a cup of water, and quickly wipe the inside. Don’t worry about drying it out afterward; the lemon juice will absorb any additional smoke residue and improve the taste of food cooked within.
Failure to clean a microwave can lead to a smoke-filled kitchen – or even potentially a fire. Over an 8-year period, microwaves caused about 2,300 fires, so it can be serious. If you need help cleaning up smoke damage, call a certified fire damage restoration company in Lakeland, FL.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with glove spraying cleaner We do commercial and residential cleaning jobs

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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. 

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. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Lakeland, (863) 646-4213


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