Recent Posts

Should You Inspect Your Sprinkler System Before Turning It On?

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

As springtime hits Griffin, FL, it’s an exciting and welcome time. Of course, it also means lawn care is right around the corner – as is irrigation maintenance to keep the sprinkler system working right. It’s an almost irresistible temptation to test the sprinkler system by just turning it on, but that’s a really bad idea. A few simple steps before you do that can save your business a bunch of money in repairs as well as avoid water damage from sprinkler flooding.

How Can Just Turning on the Sprinklers Cause Damage?

There are three basic ways that turning on the water can damage your system:

  1. Burst pipes from frozen ground.
  2. Burst pipes from the water hammer.
  3. Sprinkler head pop-off from water surge.

During your spring irrigation maintenance, you should first make sure the ground is frost-free at the depth of the sprinkler line. Simply dig a small hole down to about 12 inches, and if it’s not frosty, you should be fine.
Before you turn the system on, first do a walkabout around the irrigation lines, looking for anything unusual. Then, when you turn on the water, do it very slowly. There should be a lot of air in the line, which will mix with high-pressure water to create a powerful aerated jet. Many, many sprinkler heads have been popped off from this, creating a beautiful but unwelcome geyser in the lawn.
It can also cause a water hammer, brutally shaking the irrigation lines and potentially causing cracks. Either of these conditions can cause sprinkler flooding, which, if it goes unnoticed, can cause serious water damage to your building.
After the water is on, look for unusually wet areas that may indicate hidden cracks. Irrigation maintenance should also include double-checking the timers and, if you have a weather sensor, clean off winter grime from the sensors.
If flooding from the sprinkler system does cause water damage, you should have it inspected by a licensed restoration company that specializes in finding hidden damage. They can repair the damaged sprinkler heads and restore inside damage before it can cause further problems.

4 Things That Mold Spores Hate

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

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.

4 Ways FEMA Helps Households After a Big Storm

5/2/2020 (Permalink)

FEMA app in play store. close-up on the laptop screen. If you experience a flood in Polk County, FL, FEMA may be there to help

Four Ways FEMA Helps Homeowners Recover From a Disaster

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was established in 1979 and has been under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. In most cases, the agency goes into action after a governor of a state declares a state of emergency due to a disaster such as a hurricane, flood, or particularly destructive storm. The agency brings a coordinated response and additional resources to the efforts of state and local governments and private companies. The agency has played a role in many national disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew, the Buffalo snowstorm, and the California wildfires. Here are four ways the agency helps homeowners recover from a disaster:
1. Financial Assistance. FEMA provides grants for people who incur extra expenses for temporary housing and property losses due to a flood. Grants or loans may also be available for medical and dental expenses and funeral expenses.
2. Emergency Response. The response of the agency to a disaster is organized around decentralized teams. A National Response Coordination Center is in charge of the federal response to a disaster. It includes medical care through the dispatch of doctors, paramedics, and nurses to affected areas.
3. Preparation Programs. To reduce the impact of flooding and other national disasters, the agency encourages actions before disasters in an effort to upgrade preparedness. The goal of these mitigation programs is to reduce losses and injuries and to improve the recovery time of a disaster.
4. Flood Insurance. The agency works to make sure affordable flood insurance is available to homeowners through the National Flood Insurance Program. This program also seeks to eliminate the building of properties in areas that are prone to floods.
If you experience a flood in Polk County, FL, FEMA may be there to help. A local storm remediation franchise is also a valuable resource to help you through a difficult time. Trained technicians can be at your home in hours to guide you through the recovery process.

Best Ways To Prepare Your Company for a Fire

5/2/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door Will you know how to safely exit in an orderly fashion?

The effects of a fire in your office could be devastating, especially if you're not prepared. There are effective ways to not only evacuate safely but to mitigate or even prevent the damage. Every company needs a contingency plan to be ready for a fire in the workplace. If you don't currently have one, now is the time to get started.

Preventive Measures

As a responsible business owner or property manager, in Griffin, FL, you should be consistently looking out for the safety of the occupants and the protection of the property. These steps can reduce the chances of a fire starting:

  • Inspect the electrical system in the building and make necessary repairs.
  • Properly store flammable chemicals and materials.
  • Ensure that all employees comply with regulations to smoke outside of the building.

Check Smoke Alarms
A big part of your contingency plan should include an assessment of the fire alarm system in the building. You should change the batteries every year and the alarms themselves every 10 years. If you have a digital system, have a professional test the alarms regularly. You should have several alarms on each floor of the office.

Outline an Escape Plan
If the smoke alarms go off and a fire begins to make its way through your building, will you know how to safely exit in an orderly fashion? If you have not come up with an evacuation plan, start today. Your plan should include identifying every exit on each floor. Also, assign roles to responsible people, including the task of ushering people out of the building and taking a headcount to make sure everyone safely evacuates. Determine a safe place to gather away from the building. You should practice this plan at least once a year.
A contingency plan can save your life during a fire. A professional fire cleanup and restoration team can get your building back in working order. In the meantime, you've got these important tasks to fulfill.

Preparing Your Business for Severe Wind

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Palm Tree Blowing In The Wind Tenerife Canary Islands Spain High winds in South Lakeland, FL

Ways To Prepare Before a Storm Hits

Though high winds and severe weather can arrive without announcement, there are many times when intense storms are predicted. When you're expecting the worst, it's important to keep your South Lakeland, FL, business prepared to weather the storm. A roof leak can lead to water damage, which in turn, can lead to mold or other issues. Take the time to safeguard your property and protect your assets. Here are some ways to prepare before a storm hits to lessen the likelihood of a damaged roof.

  • Brace your building's exterior
  • Minimize potential debris issues
  • Reinforce vulnerable areas for added security

Before a Storm Hits
It's important to stay up-to-date on weather patterns. Though these systems can change quickly, weather reports give you an idea of what you need to prepare for. If there is a storm with high winds coming your way, you can take steps before it arrives to minimize damage. Strong winds can tear off flashing or shingles and cause a roof leak and water damage. To prevent this, inspect your roof and address items in need of repair. Ensure all roof-mounted articles are secure. Add tarps, plywood, or storm shutters to cover windows and reinforce doors. Remove all items from your grounds that can become flying debris and stow them safely away.

After a Storm Passes
After a storm passes, you still have work to do. You need to make sure your property remains safe. Check for missing shingles or other signs of roof damage. If any part of your building was damaged during the storm, you may have a water issue. You should contact storm cleanup professionals to help locate and fix any problems to avoid larger complications.
Fixing a roof leak as soon as possible helps you avoid costly structural damage. Though storms with high winds can be tough to get through, a team of experts can help you bounce back quickly after severe weather.

How Mold and Mildew Differ

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Mold. Aspergillus. The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. Mold and mildew have a number of similarities and as such are often confused

Mold and mildew have a number of similarities and as such are often confused. Both belong to a class of organisms known as fungi. They both like moist conditions. They also bedevil homeowners, though in different ways. There are many differences, too. It is not uncommon for people to encounter plant mildew, which typically shows up as white or gray spots on houseplants. If left untreated the mildew could kill the plant, so it is best to go to a nursery and ask for a product that will kill the growth. Mildew on plants can be caused by moisture, poor circulation in the home or just the poor health of the plant.

More on Mildew

Many people suspect mildew growth on walls and ceilings when it is actually mold growth. When this happens, the services of a mold remediation franchise in North Lakeland, FL, is often a good choice for mold containment and removal. Here is some more information on plant mildew:

  • It does not grow on surfaces in a home
  • It is restricted to growing on plants
  • The two main sub-groups of mildew are downy and powdery
  • It is a parasite of living plants

Mildew can be devastating to certain plants grown for cultivation. It requires specific fungicides to eradicate the problem.

More on Mold

As is the case with plant mildew, mold has many different types. Black mold gets a lot of attention because it often has an unpleasant appearance in a home and is sometimes referred to as toxic mold. In the home, mold growth can often be traced to a moisture problem such as a plumbing leak. Mold is a naturally occurring organism, so its presence in a home is not always cause for alarm, especially if it has not grown into large and unsightly colonies. The microscopic mold spores can spread rapidly under humid conditions. The solution to unchecked mold is to eliminate any excess moisture and to obtain professional mold removal services.

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

A Plan To Survive High Winds

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Technician standing on tarped roof Tarped roof in Lakeland, FL

The force of high winds is at times almost incomprehensible. Recent storms across the nation have recorded wind speeds of well over a hundred miles an hour. Hurricanes and tornadoes are capable of even more powerful winds, while thunderstorms and straight line winds also pack a heavy wallop. As a business owner or property manager in Lakeland, FL, you know that the forces of nature can damage property, especially a roof. A roof leak can introduce water into your building and damage valuable property. So, what are some of the most effective ways to deal with wind damage

The Critical Nature of Your Roof

The time to pay attention to your roof is before a storm strikes. Getting regular inspections that look for such things as missing shingles should be scheduled every year. Other measures to take include the following:

  • Budget for roof repairs and roof replacements
  • Take steps to fix faulty flashing and degraded materials
  • Remove items such as trees and structures that could cause excessive wear on the roof
  • Fix a roof leak as soon as you are aware of one

After a storm is also a good time to check your roof. High winds have the ability to cause harm that puts your business at risk of water damage and other issues.

The High Value of a Fast Response

High winds can leave your property vulnerable, especially if you have a damaged roof or the windows have been shattered. Unless something is done right away, your company is exposed to additional storm damage. A local storm response company can be on site in a matter of just a few hours, performing a damage assessment and inspection. If necessary, tarps and boards will be installed to reinforce your structure, protecting it from further damage.
A roof leak is just one of numerous problems that can occur after a storm. With the right actions, you can protect your business from the affects of high winds.

What to Do After a Toilet Overflow

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Used paper clogging the toilet Clogged toilet in Dixieland, FL

What to Do After a Toilet Overflow

Toilets can outlast most things in the house, but that does not mean they are bulletproof. They sometimes fail, and a flooded toilet is the worst thing that could happen. Fortunately, fixing a lavatory overflow is a relatively easy task. All you need is two hand tools and a little motivation to get the job done.
Some of the common causes of bathroom floods in Dixieland, FL include:

  • Clogged drain line
  • Heavy downpour
  • Low-flow issues

    With that out of the way, here are three tips for dealing with sewer damage like a pro.

Cut Off the Water Supply

Turn off the water supply at the valve is the first thing to do when a toilet overflows in your house. It's one way to diagnose if the leak is coming from the combination of a broken tank and a clog, or you are dealing with a backflow.

Unclog the Drain

To unclog a drain, use a standard plunger to push the foreign material down the sewer. Remove a few inches of water from the toilet, apply a little petroleum jelly on the plunger's rim then push vigorously in 15-20 second intervals. If that doesn't work, consider using a drain snake to reach the twisty turn that delivers wastewater to the drain. Then flush to make sure the problem is solved.

Dealing with Drain line Issues

If you are looking at sewer damage, the best cause of action is to call the sewage company and inform them of the situation. Usually, the drain line is punctured by a tree root, causing partial blockage. Solid waste builds up in that spot until the drain blocks, causing a nasty backflow.
Whatever you do, make sure there's a standard plunger in the house. It is the first line of defense against sewer damage, and they are usually dirt cheap. Also, have a local plumber in your contact list in case things head south unexpectedly

How To Safely Deal With a Gas Leak

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

gas leak detector box on cement wall It's a good idea to know where your gas meter is

Make Sure You Can Recognize the Signs of a Gas Leak

Natural gas is a reliable and cost-efficient source of heat and has many important advantages over other types of heating. Unfortunately, a gas fire is a possibility if there's a leak and you don't know how to respond. As soon as you have any type of natural gas hooked up to your home, make sure you can recognize the signs of a leak:

  • Gas is odorless, but utility companies add a substance that emits the smell of rotten eggs.
  • If you hear hissing near a gas appliance, you may have a serious leak.
  • Houseplants may die from a gas buildup even before you notice the rotten eggs smell.
  • Pets may become lethargic or get sick as gas affects your indoor air quality.
  • On the outside of your home, you may notice a puddle of water with bubbles or a spot of dying plants surrounded by healthy plants.

When you notice any of these signs or have any other reason to believe you have a gas leak, you need to act immediately.

Stay Safe When There's a Leak

When you suspect a leak or gas fire, check the stove. Someone may have accidentally bumped the knobs and turned it on. Open the doors and windows to ventilate the house. If you hear hissing or are worried about safety, go outside right away. Don't flip any switches or unplug anything. A tiny spark may be all it takes to ignite a gas explosion. After you and your family are at an appropriate distance from the home, contact the gas company. These technicians have the training and tools to safely find and repair the leak.

Locate the Gas Meter

It's a good idea to know where your gas meter is, but don't adjust it unless you know how the valve works. If you don't know how to operate the meter, wait for the gas company to arrive and focus on keeping your family members safe.
A gas fire can be a frightening experience. The good news is that Lakeland, FL, gas and other utility professionals are prepared to respond to keep your home and family safe. If the fire caused any damages, residential cleanup and recovery professionals can help get your home back in top condition.