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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.