Recent Posts

How Professional Inventory Systems Help Settle Claims

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

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.”

The Facts About Black Mold

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

green mold growth Understanding what this type of mold looks like and how it develops can help you take the right steps to remove it.

It's never a good thing to spot mold in your home. Even small amounts of this fungus can make you feel uneasy. Of all the types, black mold may be the most concerning. It may be more difficult than you think to spot this type, which is why many homeowners in Lakeland, FL order a professional mold inspection. Before you take this step, it is helpful to understand what this fungus looks like, how it forms and what you can do to keep it away.


Prevention Methods


You can never completely eliminate the presence of house mold. The fungus is microscopic, and spores are constantly floating in the air. You can, however, reduce the risk of it growing and spreading in different parts of your home. Follow these tips:

Clean up and dry spills, floods or any water damage promptly.
Make sure your pipes are in good working order.
Properly ventilate humid areas of the home.

What Is Black Mold


This form of the fungus is one of many different types, though it may cause more anxiety than the others. It thrives in moist areas and can grow rapidly. It gives off a musty, mildew-like smell. Though its name suggests otherwise, this type of mold comes in various colors. Black may be the most common, but it can also be gray, brown or green. It has a slimy appearance.


Prompt Attention is Necessary


You should never try to clean up this mold by yourself. Instead, call a certified mold remediation company to do a mold inspection. Professionals have the experience and expertise to properly get rid of the fungi. The team will come equipped with safety equipment and the right tactics to make your home as good as new. Technicians will clean, dry and sanitize the area.


If a mold inspection reveals this invader, call a mold removal specialist today.

The 3 Pillars of Home Fire Safety

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

a firefighter showing kids a fire extinguisher It is important to teach kids home fire safety.

Did you know fire services respond to more than 300 thousand home fires each year? If you include fires extinguished by the homeowner, the number doubles. Understanding the three areas of proper fire preparation may help you minimize your risk of having a fire in your Lakeland, FL home.


Fire Prevention


Prevention means getting ahead of the fire risk level in your home. Consider these fire safety measures to reduce the number of potential fire sources:

Maintenance – A bird’s nest or lint blockage in your dryer or heat vent can cause a fire. Having these vents professionally cleaned annually is a smart safeguard.
Inspections – Natural gas lines can leak small amounts of gas that can build up in a confined area and cause fire risk. It’s recommended to have your gas lines inspected and tested for leaks each year.
Caution – When interacting with combustible materials, such as space heaters, lit candles and smoking implements, it is essential to be cautious. These items are common causes of home fires and should not be left unattended.

As important as reducing your risk is early fire detection. This is where smoke alarms come in.


Early Detection


Working smoke alarms are essential for home fire preparation. Residential building codes require them because they effectively detect smoke and warn you about a fire. It’s important to change the batteries and test your alarms at least every six months to ensure they will function properly.


Fire Readiness


Scheduling regular fire drills will ensure your family is ready to respond appropriately to a fire. Your local fire restoration service will gladly provide information and training ideas for drills. Keeping a fire extinguisher on each level of your home is strongly recommended. Having a group of emergency contacts on your phone will give you easy access to your insurance agent, fire remediation services, neighbors or family during an emergency.


Prioritizing fire preparation doesn’t take tremendous effort, but it can significantly reduce the likelihood of serious fire damage. A plan that includes prevention, early detection and readiness can mean the difference between a close call and a life-changing fire disaster.

Disaster Response and Water Restoration Lakeland, Fl

11/23/2019 (Permalink)

Clothes that are wet and dirty from water damage SERVPRO of Lakeland are experts at water damage remediation.

By Larry Riddle

At 4 am you are awoken by the bark of a dog or a crying baby. You wipe the haze from your eyes, pull the sheets away, and place your feet on the floor. Every other night, this seems routine, but tonight you feel the squishy, coolness of a wet carpet and realize that something isn’t right. Panic ensues as you shake your wife, turn on the lights, and realize that the inside of your house has now become a swimming pool. It is quite unfortunate, but this situation arises almost every evening. How you react from here can become the benchmark for the coming weeks and potentially the fate of your home.

Before anything else can occur, it is vitally important to find the source of the problem and shut it off. Already humidity levels are rising at the same rate as your blood pressure, so make sure to turn on the AC unit to begin evaporation. Move contents to dry areas and unplug electrical devices that are in high impact areas.  Now is the time to take a deep breath and try to think beyond the anxiety. You will have to start making some phone calls that will be giving a complete stranger access to your home and this is no time to make a rash decision.

The best advice that I can offer in this situation is to go with people that you know on a personal level or that have been highly recommended in the past. Trust is the most important facet of this process. Keep in mind that this is your home and your money. We always recommend to not sign any paperwork without a written estimate or word from your insurance company for approval of coverage. However, as your insurance company will most likely tell you, it is crucial to begin remediation work as soon as possible so that no secondary damage will occur.

If you do take your plumbers recommendation for remediation company, keep in mind that many times these companies are offering kick backs for referrals and you may end up with a company in your home that is not qualified to do the work. Do your research on any referral that you receive. Make sure they are insured, licensed, and use quality, up-to date equipment.

At this point, it is important to get your insurance agent on the phone and have them begin looking over any potential coverage issues. You would rather know upfront whether or not you will be fronting the bill. As you wait for your emergency response team to arrive, begin taking pictures and noting any damage that you find on furniture.

As we tell all of our customers, the most exhausting portion of any loss is the first 24 hours. As the dust settles the details and extent of damage and reconstruction will reveal themselves. It is important to think slowly but move quickly during these chaotic periods. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Lakeland at 863-646-4213 and we would be happy to help you create an emergency readiness profile that could help prevent further damage to your home or business. 

SERVPRO of Lakeland specializes in:  water remediation, flood mitigation, carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, mold removal, fire damage, and smoke clean up, disaster restoration, storm response, and air duct cleaning. SERVPRO of Lakeland has been serving Lakeland and Polk County residents for over 40 years. We are licensed and insured and have an A+ rating with the better business bureau in restoration and cleaning. SERVPRO of Lakeland (863)646-4213 , www.SERVPROlakeland.com 

DRYBOOK™ Documentation

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Documents ruined by water SERVPRO specializes in commercial restoration including document drying

SERVPRO® uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

DRYBOOK™ DOCUMENTATION

SERVPRO of Lakeland professionals use the latest technology to help ensure your property is dried quickly and efficiently.

DryBook™ is a proprietary tool that:

-Manages industry drying requirements.

-Provides real-time documentation on the drying process.

-Validates that services are executed to standard.

-Reports to all stakeholders involved.

-Allows real-time updates through DryBook™ Mobile integration.

This improves results and restores your property at a faster rate, getting you back in your home or business sooner. The bottom line? SERVPRO of Lakeland have the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Call us Today 863-646-4213