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What To Do Before Turning Sprinklers On

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Hand shutting off the main water valve Testing your sprinkler system is important

Once the last freeze of winter has thawed, the sprinkler system on your commercial property in Lakeland, FL, needs to be readied for spring. If you turn the sprinklers on without making sure they're ready, you risk breaking your water lines or flooding your lawn. Here are a few irrigation maintenance steps to check off your list before you run the sprinklers for the first time.
Inspect Sprinkler Heads
One busted sprinkler head can cause major water issues. Take the time to inspect them properly by completing the following tasks:

Clean each nozzle with a toothbrush.
Check each head for damage.
Make sure every valve except the on farthest from the source is closed.

Sprinkler flooding is easy to avoid; it just takes time. By checking each sprinkler head, you can be confident that they will work once the system is turned on.
Switch on Control Panel
You won't know if your irrigation maintenance plan is successful until you test it by turning on the control panel. After cleaning it off and making sure the backup battery is new, switch it on so that you can set the correct date and time.
Open the Main Valve
Once the control panel is activated, you can open the water valve. Start slowly so that if anything is wrong, you won't have a big mess on your hands that only water remediation specialists can fix. Allow the water to flow into each branch and slowly open the valve more until it is fully functional.
Check Zones
You should be able to control which zones get water at which time intervals through your control panel. Alternate zones so that you can see that the system is actually doing what you are telling it to do.
Once you have completed this checklist, you are ready to set your automatic watering times. Performing regular irrigation maintenance throughout the season helps you make sure that it is continuing to work as it should.

3 Ways Water Damage Can Occur During a Fire

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Fire truck in the bay of a fire station Most people are surprised to learn that you'll experience water damage after a fire loss.

After a fire in Lakeland, FL, you may find that part of restoring your business also includes water cleanup. But why are you cleaning up water damage if your company was on fire? The answer to this is a lot less complicated than you might think. Here are three ways flooding can occur during a fire.

1. Fire Suppression Systems

In many cases, having a sprinkler or fire suppression system installed in your business can help lessen potential smoke cleanup after a fire. However, depending on the volume of water the sprinkler system uses and how long it’s on, you may find some water left behind. Depending on your system type, water may be located only in the area where the fire was. If your sprinklers were designed to go off all together, there may be water throughout the building.

2. Fire Fighting Efforts

Another reason you may have some water cleanup to do after a fire is from the efforts of the firefighters saving your business. Depending on the amount of pressure provided, most fire hoses can spray at least 100 gallons per minute or more. That’s a lot of water going into your property. While this very water can save your business from burning down, it also may leave some flooding behind. In most cases, this type of water damage will be located in the same location as the fire it was aimed at.

3. Burst Pipes

Another way flooding can become part of your fire cleanup process is through burst pipes. In the same way extreme cold can cause damage to a pipe, extreme heat, such as a fire, can as well. A weakened pipe can potentially break and cause flooding.

Don’t be surprised if after a fire you’re also facing water cleanup. Between your fire suppression system, the efforts of the fire department, and the possibility of a weakened pipe bursting, water damage is not uncommon. Fortunately, many fire restoration professionals in Lakeland, FL, are also quite knowledgeable when it comes to flood damage. If needed, they may be able to give you a hand.

Disaster Preparedness Tips To Protect Your Business

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency disaster kit. Batteries, flashlight, blanket, water bottles Every business ought to have a basic emergency kit

Severe weather events have increased in number and intensity over the last few decades. Wherever you are located, unpredictable conditions, from broken water mains to flash floods, can cause water to infiltrate your building and damage your property. An emergency response plan can help reduce your property’s risk of costly water damage.

Business Continuity Plan

Compiling a BCP is part of a company’s risk management strategy. It involves identifying any risks to your company's operations and preemptively planning your response to them. The risks might include natural disasters and severe-weather events, fires and floods being the most common. Once you identify your risks, you can begin developing your plan using this basic outline:

  • Assess the potential impact on operations for each risk.
  • Implement preventive safeguards to reduce risk level.
  • Develop procedures to address possible obstacles.
  • Test the procedures to ensure they work as planned.
  • Regularly review the business continuity plan and update it as needed.

The more prepared you and your staff are, the better chance you have of working constructively together in an emergency. If you are in the process of developing your BCP, you may want to take some basic preparedness steps in the interim.

Disaster Preparedness Essentials

Every business ought to have a basic emergency kit available that contains flashlights, batteries, water, food, fire extinguishers, and first aid. Near the emergency kit, post contacts for disaster remediation services and a map that clearly denotes evacuation routes.
If you haven’t already done so, as part of your business continuity plan, check with your local weather agencies and emergency response entities and register with any emergency notification services they provide. This ensures you will be notified as early as possible of an impending disastrous event.
Disaster Readiness can mean the difference between complete chaos and a coordinated team response to an emergency. If you have an emergency response plan in your Grasslands, FL, business, your task is to evaluate it regularly and keep the information current. If you need to compile a BCP, this overview of the elements may help you get started with protecting your valuable commercial assets by bolstering your emergency preparedness.

How Might Changes for Mold Coverage Affect Your Business?

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold  growth behind drywall Mold damage in Griffin, FL

In general, mold insurance claims for property damage and for illnesses have become more restrictive in recent years. As a business owner, it's important that you understand what your policy covers when it comes to mold damage. Many general liability policies seek to specifically exclude a wide variety of damage claims caused by mold. This doesn't mean that coverage is not available, or that it has completely gone away, just that the conditions for a successful mold claim have been greatly reduced.

Steps To Take To Protect Your Business

There are still many things you can do to protect your business from mold exposure in Griffin, FL. Becoming informed and thinking outside the box are always good strategies. Consider these options for a comprehensive approach to defeat mold growth:

  • Talk regularly with your insurance agent
  • Shop for different types of coverage with new companies
  • Look over your policy each year for changes
  • Consider paying a higher premium to get better results for mold insurance claims
  • Understand the limits to a mold claim

You can also be proactive in preventing mold from being a problem in your place of work. Mold thrives in areas of high humidity or places where water leaks have occurred. By educating workers and custodians, you might be able to prevent an outbreak of mold.

Actions To Consider if Mold Is Found

A successful mold remediation process starts by calling in a local mold mitigation company. They will arrive on the scene quickly and begin the inspection process right away. With a mold claim, it's crucial to act with speed, as mold can spread throughout a building in two or three days. A fast response means less cleanup and fewer damaged materials, all of which can reduce the dollar level of mold insurance claims. Not only will a professional mold cleanup restore mold to normal, natural levels, but it may also reduce the likelihood of additional mold growth in your building.

How Professional Inventory Systems Help Settle Claims

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Claim Document . Electronic mail. A professional inventory system helps you and your agent work better together

How Professional Inventory Systems Help Settle Claims

After a disaster hits, your top priority is getting your Grasslands, FL, property back to normal as quickly as possible. When you are filing your insurance claim, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the steps in the process. One way to alleviate some of the stress is to coordinate with your insurance agent and a vendor to set up a professional claims inventory service. Companies such as SERVPRO use this system to better serve both you and your agent. Claims inventory systems have many benefits:

  • Improved customer service experience
  • Thorough and factual inventory creation
  • Expedited settlement times

Better Customer Service

Professional inventory services help improve the overall claim experience in several ways. Both you and your insurance agent have peace of mind as the team quickly and thoroughly documents lost and damaged items. The insurance claim should include a preloss list of items along with their values. The inventory specialist will likely take both photographic and written documentation. This helps make the claim settlement more efficient. The inventory team also provides very detailed and meticulous accounting for the claim.

Faster Claim Settlement

When a team of inventory specialists is brought in, your insurance agent is free to work on other aspects of your claim. This can help reduce the overall time it takes to settle - which is in everyone's best interest. Diligent inventory specialists lift the burden off of you to report every lost or damaged item, and they help bolster communication between policyholders and agents. Their accurate reporting and accounting systems make claims easier and faster to settle.
If you have experienced property damage in Grasslands, FL, take your insurance claim seriously. A professional inventory system helps you and your agent work better together. You both get peace of mind that all of your items are accounted for, so you can begin to get your life back in order.

The Best Way To Secure a Building After a Fire

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Doors and windows boarded up on a commercial building Boarded up services in Polk County, FL

The Best Way To Secure a Building After a Fire

After a business fire, a business owner or property manager has a lot on his or her mind. First, there is making sure everyone is safe, and then there is the initial assessment of the fire damage. Soon after, though, thoughts should turn to securing the building and the company from further damage. In the first few days after a fire, a lot of things can happen, and most of them are not good. Attention should be directed to securing the building from a number of threats. If windows are broken, doors damaged and the roof is caved in, then heavy rains could cause even more damage. Looting from thieves is also a possibility. Finally, liability issues should be a concern, as anyone wandering onto the premises could get hurt and file a lawsuit.

Securing the Property

Call in a nearby fire remediation team in Polk County, FL, as soon as possible. The company will arrive on the scene quickly and determine the best steps to take. Boarding up openings and putting a tarp over the roof is often among the first steps in the fire cleanup. While it might seem reasonable to have employees of the business do this, the following advantages exist for hiring an experienced company for the job:

  • They have done the work before
  • They can do it safely
  • They have the right equipment for the job
  • They are less likely to make mistakes that would compromise the building's security

Properly installed boards and tarps protect a business from further harm. A job done right is a valuable commodity.

Getting on With Business

Recovering from fire damage in Polk County, FL, can be a straight-forward affair when working with the right company. A secure building allows cleanup to proceed in a fast manner. Soon things will get back to normal and the building will look "Like it never even happened" and the focus can return to the core business.

4 Mitigation Steps to Protect Your Commercial Property After a Storm

12/21/2019 (Permalink)

Tarp covering a damaged roof Damaged roof in Lakeland, FL

4 Mitigation Steps to Protect Your Commercial Property After a Storm

While there are professional contractors who specialize in storm damage mitigation in South Lakeland, FL, not every roof leak or grouping of missing shingles will require calling in the calvary. However, regardless of the severity of the damage, most storm mitigation practices will follow the same four steps to get you through to the insurance adjuster's visit.

  • Use plywood
  • Tarp larger areas
  • Remove excess water
  • Document damage

Use Plywood
A damaged roof is always a possibility, especially during peak storm season. High winds can lead to damaged shingles and, depending on the speed and consistency of these winds, the interior of your building may become exposed. Therefore, it is useful to have plywood on hand to cover and board-up exposed areas as quickly as possible to minimize interior damage.

Tarp Larger Areas
If a storm has left your business with several small leaks or one massive roof leak, it may be more prudent to use tarps instead. While plywood is nice and sturdy, it cannot cover the same area as a tarp without creating several seams and weak points in the process. Therefore, it is best to use a single piece of material, spanning the entire area, to protect your business. You can also use sandbags or weights to help keep the tarp tied down in case of another wind storm.

Remove Excess Water
Once you have minimized the risk of interior exposure to the elements, you can then attend to any damage inside your facility. Most likely, the damage will be water-related. If there is little water inside, then you can probably use dry mops or towels to remove excess water. However, for more significant flooding, you may need to use shop vacs or even water pumps to dry out the building.

Document Damage
Last, if you are going to make a claim on your insurance, then document everything. Take several photos of the affected areas and be sure to gather any necessary paperwork.
High winds can lead to either a minor or major roof leak and other property damage. If your building has been damaged in a storm, then contact a mitigation crew to assess and mitigate further loss.

Prevention of Water Damage When Your On Vacation

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Insulation for pipes If you are taking a winter vacation, then be sure to insulate your pipes to avoid a water pipe repair

Water Damage Prevention Checklist

The last thing you want to worry about while on vacation is having to deal with a water pipe repair back home. Therefore, before you pack your bags, be sure to run through this water damage prevention checklist.

  • Thorough Home Inspection
  • Clean Gutters and Downspouts
  • Check Sump Pump
  • Insulate Pipes
  • Shut off the main
  • Ask Someone to check-in

Thorough Home Inspection
Many a broken pipe starts out as small manageable repairs. Therefore, before you take off, go through your home inspecting under sinks, faucets, visible plumbing and even appliances. Then, contact a plumbing specialist in North Lakeland, FL, and request an inspection. Any leaks or damage should be repaired before you leave.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Next, head outside and clean those clogged gutters and backed up downspouts. If water can run freely off of your roof, then it will seep beneath shingles and into your attic space eventually.

Check Sump Pump
Do you dread a flooded basement? Then, be sure to check and maintain your sump pump. While these small devices don't seem like much, they can ensure that your basement stays dry while you're away.

Insulate Pipes
If you are taking a winter vacation, then be sure to insulate your pipes to avoid a water pipe repair. Exterior and exposed pipes are especially vulnerable to freezing and bursting, so you should ensure that these lines are covered.

Shut Off the Main
Are you planning on leaving for several weeks or longer? If you are, then turn off the water main and drain the lines before you go.

Ask Someone to Check-in
Last, you can ask a friend to check on your property occasionally while you are away. Give them a key so they can do a walk-through every time they visit.
Preparation and taking preventative action is a sound way to reduce the risk of water pipe repair while on vacation. However, to make sure that all your bases are covered, consider having a professional inspection of your plumbing system before you leave.

What To Do if You Find Mold in Your Lakeland Home?

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on white background / orange SERVPRO logo on the left corner Finding mold in your home can be a stressful situation.

Finding mold in your home can be a stressful situation. We want to make sure you know what to do and how to handle it. First if you have any questions feel free to call us at anytime at 863-646-4213.

If you discover mold or any kind of microbial growth growing in your home, it is important to get a certified industrial hygienist to test the substance. Once the growth is determined the proper recommendations can be written for how to remove and treat the affected area. It is very important to make sure each step is taken into account. This way the job can be completed and not have to be redone for a second time.

Overall if you need more insight on mold remediation, visit our website at:

http://www.SERVPROlakeland.com/

“Like it never even happened.”

863-646-4213

Causes of Common Kitchen Fires

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Man using a red fire extinguisher to stop fire coming from oven in kitchen The kitchen is the source of many fire hazards because it's where heat, electricity, water and grease come together.

The kitchen is the source of many fire hazards because it's where heat, electricity, water and grease come together. The most common type of fire is the grease fire. A grease fire is extremely dangerous as it can get out of control quickly and spread from the stove throughout the kitchen and into other rooms of the house. Thanksgiving day alone counts for nearly 2,500 house fires across America.

Common Causes of Kitchen Fires

  • Too high temperature in the fryer
  • Vegetable, more flammable, oils
  • Old, more flammable oil, in the deep fryer
  • Fat deposits in the flue and ventilation ducts
  • Misalignment sprinklers due to equipment moved around
  • Clogged melting links of the sprinklers leading to impaired function

Other types of kitchen fires include oven fire or the microwave. When a fire starts, keep the door closed and turn off the oven. The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames. If continues to smoke like a fire use a fire extinguisher or call fire department.

At SERVPRO of Lakeland we are available 24 hours and 7 days a week. Give us a call at 863-646-4213. We can help make any fire damage you are facing and make it, "Like it never even happened.”