Recent Commercial Posts
What is Smoke and Soot Damage?
If you have any questions or are in need of emergency fire cleanup services, don’t hesitate and give our SERVPRO team a call today!
What is Smoke and Soot Damage?
In the aftermath of a fire on your commercial property in Lakeland, FL, you are going to want a fast and thorough restoration effort performed right away. A professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Lakeland can get your property back to normal quickly. Here's what you need to know about smoke damage, soot damage, and fire damage:
Smoke damage is caused by the smoke and soot that is produced by a fire. The smoke and soot are released into the atmosphere, where they settle on surfaces in your building. Smoke damage can be caused by a fire that is contained to one room or area, or a fire that spreads throughout the building.
Removing the smoke and smoke odor from your property can be very difficult and often requires professional experience and equipment to be done properly.
Soot is a byproduct of combustion. It can be caused by many things, including fires, wood stoves and furnaces, candles, and incense burners. Soot is made up of carbon particles that can get trapped in your carpet or on the walls of your business. Its dark color means it can cause damage to property that may not be visible right away but will become apparent over time.
Soot damage can also be cleaned up if you have a professional cleaning service, like SERVPRO of Lakeland, handle it for you.
Fire Restoration Services
If you have fire, soot, or smoke damage in your building, our SERVPRO team can help. Our team is highly trained and experienced in commercial fire damage cleanup and restoration services. Fire, soot, and smoke usually go hand in hand after a loss, and in many cases, it is also common to see water damage present as well. Though this sounds like a never-ending list of damage, it can be comforting to know that our SERVPRO team can take care of it all!
Call SERVPRO today.
At SERVPRO of Lakeland, our team is available 24/7 to help you get your home or commercial space back to normal. We’re a locally owned and operated team of professionals who specialize in all phases of fire and smoke damage repair, including:
- Removing debris
- Inspecting and assessing the extent of the damage
- Repairing structural damage
- Contents Restoration
Even the smallest fire can leave your business with extensive soot and smoke damage that calls for professional expertise to mitigate. We offer the best fire restoration services in the Lakeland area and our technicians are ready to help you get back on track after this unfortunate event occurs. If you have any questions or are in need of emergency fire cleanup services, don’t hesitate and give our SERVPRO team a call today!
3 Professional Smoke Removal Methods
When trying to deodorize the smoke odor in a room, a thermal fogger may be used
Below Are Five Methods Commonly Used
Along with the visible damage a fire may do to your Lakeland, FL business, there is also smoke damage to consider. If the smoke cleaning isn’t done right, it may mean years of a lingering odor. Unfortunately, traditional cleaning methods often aren’t enough to get rid of the smell. When you trust the restoration of your business to a fire damage and mitigation company, you can count on the most innovative equipment to be used.
Designed to remove tiny pollutants from the air, scrubbers have a filtration system that takes in air and passes it through a filter, which is typically a HEPA filter. Once it goes throw, clean air is released back into the environment. As the process continues, the clean hair mingles with the smoky air to make it less dense. The speed that it works depends on the initial density, size of the room and ventilation.
When trying to deodorize the smoke odor in a room, a thermal fogger may be used. During the process, a heated deodorizer is sprayed. Since it comes out in the form of fog, it is able to reach areas that traditional cleaning methods would mix. The cleaning mixture surrounds the smoke particles and absorbs them, making it an ideal neutralizing method. When this technique is used, the business will need to be evacuated.
Another piece of smoke cleaning equipment used is an ozone generator. Similar to oxygen except it has three atoms instead of two, this colorless gas oxidizes odors. The ozone’s atoms attach to odor molecules to neutralize them. The machine breaks them down, along with odor-causing bacteria, to eradicate the smell.
After a fire, charred items and layers of soot aren’t the only concern. Smoke cleaning is essential to ensure your business is back to “Like it never even happened.”
How Fast Mold Can Grow After a Leak or Flood
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:
- Ceiling tiles
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.
3 Tips for Troubleshooting Your Building's Irrigation System
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.
Flood Insurance May Not Be an Option for Your Business
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.
The Emergency Action Plan: Understanding the Basic Principles
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.
Precautions After Flood 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.
The Fire Is Out - Now What?
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.
5 Things You Should Do To Prepare for Potential Floods
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.
How To File a Commercial Fire Claim
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 Quickly Can Mold Grow in My Facility?
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:
- 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.
Restoring Your Polk and Hillsborough County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
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.”
Saving Money on Water Consumption Can Leave You Extra Cash for Remediation Services
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.
4 Steps for Dealing with Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activation
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 Things You Should Inspect Before Turning Your Commercial Sprinkler System On
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.