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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

5 Things You Should Do To Prepare for Potential Floods

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removal, floor removal, drying equipment 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.

Flood Fence Barriers — a Reasonable Alternative to the Traditional Sandbag

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Red and white plastic barriers blocking the road Flood fence barriers are one potential alternative.

Flood Fence Barriers

If you have ever been involved in a hurricane or other severe weather incident where there was the possibility of flooding, then you may have seen sandbags being put out. Usually composed of polypropylene plastic, these are bags stuffed with sand. When stacked properly to create flood dams, they act as an effective tool for preventing and reducing flood damage that might require the services of a professional restoration and cleanup service in Griffin, FL, to handle.
They divert the flow of water, keeping it from rushing through buildings and ruining their contents. The absorption of the incoming liquid does two things: It causes the sand particles to cling together more and causes the bags to become heavier, making them more difficult to shift. A sandbag is easy to use and works fairly well as a protective barrier. However, it has its downsides as well. Sandbags are vulnerable to degradation from exposure to the elements, labor-intensive to fill and arrange and easily contaminated by pollutants like chemicals, making them a pain to deal with afterward. Flood fence barriers are one potential alternative.

What Are They?
They are a type of moveable fence you set up around the perimeter of a structure. There are different brands available. Unlike a sandbag, these do not have to be filled with sand or other materials.

What Are the Pros of Using Them?
Flood fence barriers have some benefits, including:

  • They are not overly cumbersome to carry around
  • They can be placed at any location you need to
  • They can shield large properties

What Are the Cons of Using Them?
They are meant to be set up in advance and are not much good when it comes to halting ongoing flooding. As a result, they are considerably less effective if put up after a storm has begun.
A sandbag is an old and effective tool for flood damage mitigation. However, there are other options available like flood fence barriers.

3 Tips for Removing and Preventing Mold Growth in Your Shower

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold fungus growing in damp poorly ventilated bath areas. Black mold damage in a shower.

How To Get Rid of Mold In Your Shower

Dealing with shower mold in Grasslands, FL, can often be overwhelming. However, the good news is that there are plenty of quick and easy solutions available to you. Here are three tips on how to get rid of black mold in your shower.

1. Create a Mold Removal Solution
One of the most effective ways to remove shower mold is to create a mold cleanup solution. There are three main types of solutions:

  • white vinegar
  • borax
  • bleach

White vinegar is a great option to remove mold because it's safe and nontoxic. All you have to do is pour some vinegar into a spray bottle and apply it to the affected areas. Similar to white vinegar, a solution of borax and water can be used to spray over any moldy surfaces. While bleach is an effective method to kill black mold, it should only be used as a last resort due to its toxic and irritating fumes.

2. Use a Scrub Brush
If your mold removal solution isn't able to target the hard-to-reach areas of your bathroom, a scrub brush can do the trick. Simply scrub the affected areas of your shower until the mold is gone. You can even use a toothbrush to scrub grout or caulking, which are common sources of mold but hard to reach with a large scrub brush. Be sure to rinse the toothbrush afterward, as this prevents spores from spreading throughout your bathroom. Contacting mold remediation specialists can help you target any remaining mold and stave off future growth.

3. Ventilate Your Bathroom
Once you've removed any existing mold from your bathroom, you'll want to prevent further spores from forming. Because mold thrives in humid environments, turning on the bathroom fan while showering is an effective way to reduce steam and moisture. You can also open the window immediately after showering, as this can allow the excess evaporation to escape.
Although the mold removal process differs for each scenario, the general blueprint remains the same. Using these three tips can help you both remove shower mold and prevent its recurrence.

How To File a Commercial Fire Claim

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building damaged by fire 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 To Use a Home Fire Extinguisher

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Hallway of a home, walls burned By learning how to operate a fire extinguisher you can avoid a home fire in your home.

Tips On How To Operate A Fire Extinguisher

Many residents keep a fire extinguisher in their  North Lakeland, FL, homes, but it's essential to know how to use it correctly. You don't want to spend time figuring it out during an emergency. If you're not sure how to operate an extinguisher, here are some tips.

The PASS Method
Using an extinguisher is best explained with the PASS method. PASS is an acronym that stands for:

Pull
Aim
Squeeze
Sweep

Pull
In the handle of every extinguisher is a pin that prevents accidental discharge. Pull the ring on the side of the handle until the pin comes out. The extinguisher is now ready for use.

Aim
Point the nozzle, horn or hose away from you and aim it toward the base of the fire. While your first reaction might be to aim the extinguisher at the flames, you will not prevent fire damage because the material will simply go through them. Aim low where the fire gets its fuel.

Squeeze
Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing material. If you're using a CO2 fire extinguisher, take care to avoid touching the discharge horn as it gets very cold during operation.

Sweep
Using a side-to-side motion at the base of the fire, sweep the extinguisher until the fire appears to be out. Keep an eye on the area for recurring flames. If they start up again, repeat the steps of aiming, squeezing and sweeping. If you have any concerns about your ability to put out the fire, evacuate immediately.
After the fire, you can have a fire damage assessment done to see what repairs need to be made.

Extinguishers in Your Home
It's best to have an extinguisher on each floor of your home. The first place to have one is in your kitchen, as a kitchen fire can happen during cooking. The garage is another good location for an extinguisher.
Taking time to learn how to use your fire extinguisher can help you react quickly in the event of an emergency.

How Can I Protect My Building From Hail?

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Blue tarp on roof, man on roof Tarped roof in South Lakeland, FL

Ways To Prevent Hail Damage To Your Roof

While flooding and wind damage might be the first things you think of after a storm in South Lakeland, FL, hail damage can happen, and it can be severe. As you think of ways to protect your property from storm damage, consider taking steps to prevent roof damage from hail.

Inspect Your Roof
Maintaining and regularly inspecting your roof will keep it in good shape, helping prevent damage during a storm. Check the following areas:

  • Decking
  • Gutters
  • Drainage pipes
  • Flashing
  • Vents
  • Surface membranes

Roof damage can lead to water in your attic, wet insulation and other secondary damage that may require the help of a commercial restoration company.

Protect HVAC Systems
HVAC equipment is sometimes mounted on the roof of a commercial property. If yours is roof-mounted, check to see if it is designed to withstand hail impact. If not, you can install wire mesh, hail guards or other protection to shield your equipment. Hail guards are designed to protect from hail impact and may also be resistant to rot and UV rays as well as corrosion and abrasion. If you use hail guards, they should also be designed to withstand uplift pressures.

Use Impact-Resistant Skylights and Solar Panels
If you use solar panels, be sure they are designed to the standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission or IEC. The IEC code requires solar panels to meet a certain impact test rating to their standards.
Similarly, if you have skylights, they should also meet impact standards and building codes in your area. If you know ahead of time that there is a chance of hail, you can cover your skylights with plywood, a storm shutter or a metal cap to prevent hail damage. Regular inspections will help keep your skylight in good shape.
Maintenance and planning before a hail storm in South Lakeland, FL, can go a long way in preventing roof damage to your commercial property.

4 Steps for Handling a Flood Claim

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Street of a neighborhood wet and debris in the outside of houses Storms can cause tremendous damage to your home in Lakeland, FL.

Four Tips For Handling A Claim After A Storm Or Flood

Heavy storms and major floods can cause tremendous damage to your home in Lakeland, FL, and filing a claim and waiting for a home adjuster can be an intimidating process. Knowing what to do after a major disaster makes the process easier and increases the chances that your claim is processed quickly and without issue.

1. Contact Your Insurance
Call your insurance company and verify that your damage is covered under your policy. Find out how much time you have for filing the claim and figure out what information is needed from you.

2. Make Temporary Repairs
Waiting too long to make repairs can make the situation worse, especially when it comes to water damage. Calling a professional water damage and cleanup service ensures the repairs are done correctly and quickly. Waiting can be your worst enemy; if damage intensifies because you neglected to make a temporary repair, your insurance provider could deny your insurance claim.

3. Gather Documents
Collect all receipts related to temporary repairs and make a complete list of all items damaged or destroyed during the flood. Gather documents that show the cost of what you paid for each item. Do not discard any of your damaged items until after the home adjuster has visited, if possible. If you must remove the items from your home, take photographs and videos of the damage.

4. Keep Copies of Paperwork
Be sure to make copies of all the paperwork you submit to your insurance company and keep them for your records. Stay organized and keep these copies filed together with any additional paperwork so they can be referenced easily if there are any questions.
Dealing with water damage can be a major hassle, but staying organized and keeping good records helps the claims process. Making the process easy and uncomplicated for the home adjuster improves your chances of getting your claim approved quickly and without further question.

What Is the IICRC?

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech with a SERVPRO truck in the background in Lakeland, FL We employ IICRC-Certified technicians

Basic Information About This Organization

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification serves as the primary certifying organization for this industry. If you are searching for a damage restoration company to do work on your business, ensuring they have a mitigation certificate from this organization guarantees that you will receive high-quality work. Here is some basic information about this organization and the rigorous standards certified firms and technicians must meet.

Stats
There are certified companies in many countries around the world. Here are some basic stats about this organization:

  • Thousands of companies are endorsed
  • Thousands of certified employees are employed in the industry
  • Dozens of training courses are available for firms and technicians
  • These workers and firms must meet over a dozen rigorous requirements outlined in the organization's standards

Standards

The IICRC is the leader in technological advancements in the restoration industry and ensures that its companies follow a certain set of standards to provide high-quality concepts, terminology, and procedures. These standards are based on the most recent scientific developments and are strictly adhered to by companies who wish to maintain their certification.

Certified Firms

There are certified firms all over the world, even in Lakeland, FL. These are easily identified because only IICRC endorsed companies can access designated marketing material, webinars, and the firm locator on the organization's website. Only companies with a certification from this organization are guaranteed to provide high-quality work.

Certified Technicians

Additionally, the IICRC offers certifications for technicians who are looking to further their careers. Companies that have certified employees are available in many locations and can provide exceptional work on restoration projects.
When you need a company that will provide high-quality restoration work for your business, it is important to look for an endorsement from this organization. This ensures that you are getting trained employees who use the most recent scientific innovations in the industry to provide your business with the highest quality remediation work available.

When You Should Call Restoration Experts After a Water Disaster

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment set up in the bathroom of a Lakeland, FL home. Restoration experts can dry your property and help you prevent additional water losses.

After a water disaster in your commercial building, you may be tempted to perform the restoration on your own. After all, pipe burst cleanup services can be expensive. However, improper drying of your premises can be even more costly. If you do not completely remove all of the water, mold could grow and destroy your entire Lakeland, FL property.

That is why you need to hire commercial restoration professionals following a water disaster in your building. These experts will use their equipment and training to eliminate the mess and salvage your company's assets.

Knowing When To Call the Pros

Some emergency situations are obvious. It is easy to see if your property has a broken pipe, for instance.
However, some water leaks are hidden from plain sight. Keep an eye out for any of the following, as they could be signs of water damage that require professional restoration services.

Finding the Right Pros

Not every pipe burst cleanup business is the same. You need to find experts who will do the job properly the first time. You also should look for professionals who can respond to your property right away. Any delay in the restoration process could cause further damage.

Preventing Future Disasters

You don't have to wait until your next disaster to contact a sewer cleanup company. Professionals can also help reduce the chances of a severe water emergency. If you notice corrosion or condensation on your pipes, have experts address the damage immediately before it causes a major flood. You can also ask restoration pros to inspect your property annually and address any red flags they discover.
Pipe burst cleanup should only be performed by professionals. Restoration experts can both dry your property following a disaster and help you prevent additional water losses going forward.

How Quickly Can Mold Grow in My Facility?

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech using a moisture meter to check for mold growth in Lakeland, FL. 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:

  • Water
  • Oxygen
  • 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.

3 Tips for Getting Rid of Microwave Smells

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

guy covering his nose while opens microwave You can mitigate the overpowering smoke smell of microwaves thorough cleaning and maintenance

Microwaves provide an important service to the household as they heat all kinds of food in most types of dishes through a convenient, fast method. There are also drawbacks to this valuable service, such as the smoke smell produced after heating food. If you want to get rid of this odor, follow these tips to ensure it disappears from your device and your Lakeland, FL, home.

Maintain the Ventilation

The oven's ventilation system is important, as it allows you to vent steam and smoke. However, grease and food particles may get caught on the vent grill, creating an invasive foul stench. Maintain this component by removing it and cleaning it using mild soap, warm water and a small, soft cloth. This small step will reduce the possibility of odor. Also, consult the manufacturer's manual to see how often you will have to replace it.

Clean the Device

The most effective way to keep disruptive smoke smell away from the appliance is by cleaning after every use. Again, a soft cloth, water, and mild soap can remove most food particles. There is also a process that can guarantee effective cleaning.

  • Pour water and either some vinegar or lemon juice into a bowl
  • Place the bowl inside the microwave
  • Activate it and let it heat up the mix
  • Wipe off the loose food particles

Also, clean the turntable and the area beneath. Consult the manual to make sure you are following the right cleaning procedure.

Seek Necessary Assistance

If maintaining and cleaning the microwave and the vent is not enough to get rid of the smell, you may need assistance. A professional deodorization service can detect the source and use appropriate techniques to get rid of the stench effectively and safely.
You can mitigate the overpowering smoke smell of microwaves thorough cleaning and maintenance. Keep your household smelling well by taking the right measures and calling for help when you need it.

Restoring Your Polk and Hillsborough County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Shelves of SERVPRO water drying equipment in our Lakeland warehouse. 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.”

863-646-4213

Is Your Home Flooded From a Storm? Avoid These 5 Cleanup Errors

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech removing the water from the floor in a Lakeland, FL home If your home has been impacted by a storm contact a restoration company as soon as possible

Is Your Home Flooded From a Storm? Avoid These 5 Cleanup Errors

When flood water rises within a home, the dampness absorbs like a sponge into anything penetrable. This complicates cleanup matters because homeowners cannot see the full extent of bacterial contamination; rather, the complexity of the infestation hides beneath the surface, ready to multiply if not treated appropriately. Owners should use care and avoid making the following five mistakes when repairing their place.


1. Reliance on Household Cleaners

Traditional household cleaning products kill bacteria and fungus from the surface; they cannot, however, guarantee that they eradicate anything within; therefore, don't try to sanitize your flooded home only with general cleaners such as bleach; this solution won't get the job done.

2. Unprotected Entrance

Going into the house should be done with extreme caution as the flood water is fraught with unknown organisms. Have protective gear available when you inspect the property. Wear knee-high rubber boots, gloves and eye wear.


3. Keeping Drywall and Carpet

The water damage shouldn't just be dried, overly saturated materials must be torn out to prevent mold and mildew growth. Seek the advice of a water restoration company in Lakeland, FL. The experts inspect the premises, recommending the appropriate level of flood cuts within the walls. In addition, they complete moisture readings on the flooring, determining how much of it should be torn out.


4. Immediate Replacement of Objects

Remediation demands methodical attention and time. Focus on purifying the home rather than replacing valuables immediately. It's tempting to go out and purchase a new sofa and chair; however, putting it into a contaminated room could expose the new furniture to microbes and mold growth. Remain out of the area until it's completely restored. Then, fill it with new things.


5. Using Electronics

Before using fans and electrical switches, have an electrician look over the place. It's possible that something has been harmed in the walls. Furthermore, do not run vacuums or other devices in the wet zones, avoiding unnecessary fire and electrical threats.
If your residence has been impacted with flood water, seek the assistance of professionals as soon as possible. Avoid exposure and be cautious when entering.

Call the Experts for Black Water Damage Cleanup

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro van arrived to a house to perform water restoration services Water cleanup services in Polk County, FL

No one wants to deal with water damage in their Lakeland, FL home. When it happens, getting it cleaned immediately is vital to minimizing other issues from developing. Unfortunately, not all water losses are equal. The three categories are clean, grey and black water. While the first two have minimal contaminants, the latter one is likely chock full of them.

Levels of Category 3 Damage

This category of water damage comes from more than a broken pipe or washing machine malfunctioning. This water has the potential to be carrying bacteria, debris, microbes and other contaminants. Within the black water category, there are three levels of damage:

Level I – Typically considered a limited issue, this level begins in the home and only affects a small area. An example may be a toilet overflow that is contained in the bathroom and doesn’t get absorbed into porous materials.
Level II – This also originates inside the home but affects a greater area of the home and both porous and nonporous materials.
Level III – When the water comes from outside the home, such as stormwater from a flood or main sewer line backing up, there could potentially all sorts of contaminants that require extra precautions during cleanup.

Professional Help

Sewage cleanup is not only a gross, dirty job but also poses potential risks that need to be properly mitigated. Instead of going out and buying all the PPE needed — including a disposable suit, gloves, goggles, respirator and more — count on a certified water damage restoration company to handle the problem for you with help that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Along with the needed tools, professionals have the expertise to identify potential hazards, assess the damage and develop a plan to return your home to its preloss state.

Not all water problems can be dealt with in the same way. If you are dealing with black water in your home, you don’t have to go it alone.

3 Professional Smoke Removal Methods

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, smoke odor removal 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.


Air Scrubbers

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.


Thermal Foggers

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.


Ozone

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.”

Saving Money on Water Consumption Can Leave You Extra Cash for Remediation Services

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician removing water from the floor of a Lakeland, FL business 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.

5 Tips for Avoiding Mold Damage

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

Worker with moisture meter on a wall in Lakeland, FL If you see mold growing in your commercial property, give us a call right away

The Following Tips Can Help You Prevent Mold Growth

Moisture in your commercial building from storms, leaking pipes, or condensation can create the perfect conditions for black mold growth. These tips can help you avoid mold growth and the damage that it can cause.


1. Dry Wet Areas Promptly

One of the best things you can do to avoid mold growth is to address your moisture problem quickly. You should attempt to dry out wet areas within 48 hours to reduce your chances of mold growth.


2. Know the Warning Signs

When performing mold cleanup, keep your eye out for any brown, green or gray stains. Musty odors may mean you already have an issue. If you think you have mold in your building, consider contacting a mold remediation company in Lakeland, FL, to remove the existing growth before it can spread.


3. Inspect the Exterior

Building interiors aren't the only place black mold growth can be a problem. Periodically check the outside of your building for standing water, saturated ground, water accumulation around the foundation and other moisture problems. Find ways to drain off any water that is collecting around the outside of your building and remove any mold growth you find.


4. Remove and Replace Damaged Materials

After flooding, any items that can not be cleaned or dried quickly should be taken out of the building and discarded. Consider replacing mold or moisture damaged drywall with mold-resistant materials.


5. Eliminate Clutter

If your building is packed full of stuff your business doesn't need, consider getting rid of it. Clutter can block airflow and make it difficult for your HVAC system to circulate air. Blocked grilles may lead to condensation. Moist rooms with poor air circulation are good environments for mold.

The best way to avoid black mold damage is to avoid the conditions that lead to mold growth. These five tips can help you keep your building mold-free.

3 Safe Candle Alternatives

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

White Ceramic Wax Melt Wax warmers are another one of the best candle alternatives

Candle Alternatives Can Help You Prevent A Fire In Your Home

Candles can be a wonderful addition to your home whether to help you set a mood, relax or just get some natural light around the house. Unfortunately, they can also be dangerous for your home in Lakeland, FL. If you have a lot of flammable items in your home or young children, it may be easier to just keep them tucked away to prevent a candle fire. A fire in your home can cause damage that requires fire restoration and expensive repairs. Luckily, many candle alternatives can help you achieve the same effects as a candle without the worry.


1. Electric Candles

Electric or battery-operated flameless candles can help spruce up your home without worrying about open flames. Electric candles look like the real thing and many have flickering lights to mimic an open flame. Electric candles are more cost-effective because they last longer than traditional candles. Although they may not smell the same or be exactly like regular candles, they can help create the right ambiance for a dinner party or outdoor event.


2. Wax Warmers

Wax warmers are another one of the best candle alternatives, which have the same calming effects that traditional candles do. Wax warmers work by putting cubes of wax over the wax warmer, spreading the same scents as a candle. However, these are safer because they don't have an open flame that can cause an accidental fire. You can buy wax products in all different scents like a traditional candle and are usually battery-powered or electric.


3. Essential Oil Diffuser

An essential oil diffuser can help mimic the calming effect that candles have. Diffusers are easily accessible and relatively cheap and, as an added bonus, make a nice decoration for your home.
There are many other candle alternatives that can reduce your risk of fires. Find an alternative that suits your needs and matches your home.

4 Tips for Handling Mold Containment in Your Home

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on the walls of a Lakeland, FL home Mold cleaning services in Lakeland, FL

4 Tips for Handling Mold Containment in Your Home

When you have a mold contamination problem in your Lakeland, FL home, professionals will act aggressively to prevent spores from wandering to other parts of your home. However, it's very important that you don't inadvertently spread mold while waiting for professionals to arrive.

Prevent Traffic Through the Affected Area

Mold spores are microscopic and move easily from one place to another in the air. Spores may travel through your heating and cooling system, and they travel from one room to another when they are carried on the shoes or clothing of family members. With this in mind, your first step to preventing mold contamination from spreading is to keep family members, visitors, and pets out of the affected areas.

Limit Ventilation in Mold-Affected Areas

Although ventilation is a necessary part of preventing mold, it could also aid mold growth. Before mold cleanup and remediation professionals get to your home, it may be necessary to tape over the heating and cooling vents in the rooms where mold exists. It may be okay to open windows in the affected rooms, but seal off the doorways, so the wind doesn't carry spores into unaffected rooms.

Cut Off the Moisture Supply

Mold always needs water to grow. When you find mold in your home, there must be a source of moisture, such as a leaking pipe or condensation on the window. Carefully search for this location whether it's high levels of humidity or an actual leak. As you look for this source of trouble, be very careful not to disturb the existing mold.

Use Protective Gear

There may be several types of mold contaminating your home, so take precautions. Most experts recommend that you wear a face mask, long sleeves, and long pants when handling mold. You may also consider the use of gloves. Any clothing that comes into contact with mold should be thoroughly washed and dried to avoid further spread.
Once you discover mold contamination in your home, you must immediately contact professionals to correct the problem. While you wait, make sure you understand how to prevent spores from spreading into other parts of your home.

3 Steps for Draining a Flooded Basement

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Water and mold damage caused from a storm in Lakeland, FL. Call SERVPRO of Lakeland for flood restoration services.

These Three Steps Can Help You Drain Your Flooded Basement

Basements come in handy when you need extra storage space or a place to shelter from dangerous storms; however, a basement flood can damage your home. The longer standing water remains in your basement, the more likely damage is to occur. These three steps can help you drain your flooded basement.

1. Take Safety Precautions

Basements often have electrical equipment and other materials that can become a safety hazard during a flood. Before attempting to pump out your basement, you should wait until floodwaters have receded. Once there is no longer standing water around the foundation of your home, you can proceed with draining the basement. Before you begin, shut off the electricity to the home and keep pets and children away from the basement.

2. Obtain the Equipment You Will Need

To clear your basement flood, you will need a submersible pump and a hose. You will also need a generator to run the pump and a heavy-duty extension cord. If the water in your basement is more than a few feet deep, you will need a nylon rope to lower the pump. Your insurance coverage may cover the cost to rent this equipment. You may also want to consider hiring a flood remediation company in Lakeland, FL, that should already have the necessary equipment to perform the job.

3. Remove the Water

If you will be doing the job yourself, you will need to lower the pump into the water with the rope and then once it is in place, plug in the extension cord and start the generator. When the water levels reduce to a few inches, you can move the pump to the lowest level in the basement.

Water in your basement can damage your foundation and encourage mold growth. Acting promptly to dry out your basement after a basement flood can reduce the amount of damage done to your home.

4 Steps for Dealing with Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activation

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler 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 Possible Non-Flooding Storm Damage Causes

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Palm Tree Blowing In The Wind in Lakeland, FL High-speed winds can also turn into tornadoes, which can cause even worse harm.

Here Are Three Other Kinds Of Storm Damage

When you think of storm damage, one of the first things that comes to mind is probably flooding and water damage from rain. Flooding from rain can lead to weakened structures, mold and mildew development and irreparable harm to inventory and other contents. Standing water can get under floors and is dangerous as well as devastating. A severe storm often leads to the need for a cleanup and restoration service in Lakeland, FL, and some items may be beyond repair. However, there are other causes of storm damage besides rain. For example, a frozen pipe that ends up becoming a burst pipe in a winter storm is capable of causing just as much water damage as a rain flood. It is important to recognize that storm damage encompasses more than flooding. 

1. Freezing Damage

A sudden temperature drop in the midst of an icy snow storm can constitute a threat to a building's pipe system. As mentioned before, a pipe that freezes can and often does end up as a burst pipe, creating a huge mess to clean up. Any pipe or water containing component is vulnerable to the effects of freezing temperatures, including:

  • Hose supply lines
  • Outdoor water spigots
  • Water sprinkler lines
  • Outdoor pipes
  • Uninsulated pipes
  • Unheated indoor area pipes

2. Wind Damage

Wind can also cause substantial damage. It can blow shingles off of roofs or even tear off whole roofs. It can also cause nearby trees to fall on buildings or drop debris on them. High-speed winds can also turn into tornadoes, which can cause even worse harm.

3. Hail Damage

There is also hail damage. The impact of hail can shatter building and car windows and smash holes in roofs. It can also dent or crack other parts of buildings.

With storms, flooding from torrential downpours is often a main concern. However, other types of damage like wind damage, hail damage and water damage from a burst pipe in freezing conditions are also possibilities.

4 Steps To Take After a Commercial Fire

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

Burned building in Lakeland, FL Commercial fire in Lakeland, FL

Steps In Getting Your Building Back To Normal

If a fire happens in your Lakeland, FL business property, the loss can feel overwhelming. Along with potential job losses, there are also the costs of temporarily shutting down and fire restoration services. While your mind may be racing to figure out how to handle everything, taking quick action is key to minimizing the loss and costs. Below are four steps to help get your building back to “Like it never even happened.”

1. Make a Claim

Once the flames are extinguished, and it is safe to enter the structure, it is vital to call your fire insurance provider. The sooner the call is made, the faster you can get an adjuster on the site to access the damage and get the claim process rolling.

2. Get Professional Help

While waiting for the insurance process to start, consider contacting fire damage and restoration professionals. With 24/7 services, technicians can arrive quickly to inspect the damage. Along with providing a fire restoration plan, they have advanced tools and techniques to eradicate any signs of a fire. From smoke cleaning to replacing structural components, they are certified to handle the entire cleanup process.

3. Document Everything

In the midst of the mess, it’s important to document everything. That is especially important since there may be a wait time for insurance personnel to arrive. Taking photos and videos of the damage and collecting receipts for expenses incurred from the loss can help make the whole process go smoothly.

4. Secure the Building

As part of most insurance policies, the building owner is required to mitigate against secondary damage, such as theft, mold growth and water damage. After documenting the problem areas, board up any windows and put up tarps to keep moisture and prying eyes out.

No matter how prepared you may be, dealing with a fire is always a surprise. While the loss may seem devastating, have peace of mind that you don’t have to take on the fire restoration process alone.

3 Things You Should Inspect Before Turning Your Commercial Sprinkler System On

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

sprinkler head watering the bush and grass in the garden 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.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Storm

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Man cleaning and maintaining plastic guttering on a house Clear Gutters and Drainage Around Your Home

Follow These Steps Before Your A Storm Hits

If your Polk County, FL, home is in the path of a coming storm, you probably want to know whether you are appropriately prepared. Flood water from storms can cause serious damage to surfaces and create conditions for secondary damage to occur. You should make sure that a few things are done before a storm hits your home:

1. Move Electronics and Valuables Above Ground Level
Your most valuable possessions are often your most vulnerable ones. Electronics can be damaged by electric surges, so you should always unplug them. Pictures, appliances, files, and power cords should all be elevated above ground level. Moving your things to a safe place will not only protect them from flood water but will also reinforce good habits regarding your valuable belongings in the future.

2. Clear Gutters and Drainage Around Your Home
During a storm, it is vital that water be efficiently directed away from your property. As heavy precipitation accumulates in gutters or drainage ditches, any buildup of litter or other matter can allow water to infiltrate your home, resulting in water damage and flooding. Make sure that all of your drainage infrastructure is clear. If you are anticipating an especially severe weather incident, consider digging new drainage areas or expanding existing ones.

3. Check That Your Home's Sump Pump Is Working
A working sump pump should be a last line of defense in preventing a flooded building. Do not wait until the last minute to make sure that yours is working. You should regularly test your pump by adding water to it manually, then checking if the water has been successfully pumped away from your home.
Owning a property means that you are responsible for the long-term viability of your home. If your space has already suffered damage from flood water, you should restore it as soon as possible to avoid more costly repairs in the future. A water restoration expert will know how to quickly and efficiently bring your home back to working order.

What To Do When You Have Water-Filled Lights

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

water coming out a light fixture When pipes break, one serious issue that can develop is water in light fixtures

When pipes break, one serious issue that can develop is water in light fixtures. This is a dangerous scenario, so know what to do if you experience this perilous circumstance.

Lighting Leak Hazards

When faulty piping and illumination infrastructures mix, there emerges a high risk of:

  • Electric shock
  • Fire
  • Collapsing ceilings

Everyone should understand the peril closely associated with these possibilities. If your electrical system becomes compromised, undertake the following precautions.

Lighting Leak Safety Measures
Carefully approach your breaker box and switch it to the off position. Confirm that the current has been halted through the use of a non-contact voltage tester, easily found in any hardware store. This is critical, as actions like simply switching off lights that have been compromised can result in shock. When broken pipes cause water in light sources to become a reality, shut down plumbing immediately. Should your trouble originate from an upper floor, you may have roof or ceiling damage. Prevent the situation from worsening by hiring a building repair specialist. Inspect your homeowner’s insurance to find out if you own coverage that falls within this class of disaster.
Caution your family to avoid the affected area. Enforce this warning by blocking the door and hanging a relevant sign. Place buckets beneath drips and make use of towels and newspapers to soak up existing overflow. Wood floors are best dried quickly, as mold can surface if you fail to do so in a timely manner. Porous items, such as area rugs and certain types of furniture, are to be removed and dried. Wall-to-wall carpeting is a particular challenge that will likely require professional service. Dehumidifiers can be helpful in evaporating persistent dampness but remember you will require one that is able to run independently of your household’s electrical system or via a generator.
If you detect water in light equipment inside your home at South Lakeland, FL, secure the impact zone and then employ qualified experts to conduct necessary plumbing repair or roofing replacement.

Everything You Need to Know About Household Black Mold

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold behind drywall Mold can grow behind a drywall

Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as "black mold," is a common type of fungus that can grow in virtually any warm and moist environment. Because it requires a moist habitat, mold damage is often an issue after flooding, though the humidity of North Lakeland, FL, can do the trick too if you lack proper dehumidifying equipment and air circulation. But what is this mysterious mold, how can you prevent it, and how do you go about mold remediation if all else fails?

What Is Black Mold?

Mold can grow almost anywhere in your home. It is often found on:

  • Walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Drapes
  • Rugs and carpets
  • Drywall
  • Wooden furniture
  • Fabric

It is typically green or black in color, with a fuzzy or slimy texture. It grows extremely quick and can start to spread on a surface as soon as 24–48 hours after exposure to water, so it is important to move fast if mold is involved.

How Can You Prevent Mold Growth?
To prevent mold from taking hold in your home, simply make it an unappealing environment. Because mold loves moisture, this means controlling the humidity in your home. Consider purchasing a dehumidifier if you have a history of moisture problems, and go the extra mile by installing a humidity meter so you can know if you ever get to risky levels.

How Do You Stop Mold Damage?
In the event of flooding, leaky pipes, or other water damage, the first priority is stopping the water at its source: Clear out surface water with a mop or wet vacuum, and fix any faulty appliances. If you think you see mold growth, seek professional help right away.
Sometimes it can be difficult for an amateur to spot black mold growth at all, let alone identify the particular strain and go about mold cleanup. If in doubt, your best bet is to call your local mold remediation specialists so you can get back to normal life "Like it never even happened."

4 Candle Alternatives

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Aromatic reed freshener on table in room Reed diffusers are the best bet

How Candle Alternatives Can Be a Good Option for Your Home

If you have pets or kids, a candle fire can be a scary possibility. Fortunately, there are inexpensive alternatives out there. Read on to learn what candle alternatives can be a good option for your home in Lakeland, FL.

1. Essential Oil Diffuser
If you want something that can do more than one job, this may be a good idea because it both fills your home with your favorite scents and acts as a humidifier. These come in a variety of sizes and colors so you can find one that will fit perfectly in your home. Simply pick one out, fill it with your favorite oil, and enjoy it.

2. Reed Diffuser
This is another option that uses your favorite essential oils. The main reason people like this is because you only have to put the sticks in once every few weeks to get a constant scent in your home. This is the most low maintenance option with no wax, flames, or plug required. Plus, you can easily cover it if it doesn't match your decor.

3. Incense Sticks
These candle alternatives still let you light something, although this may not be for you if you are sensitive to smell. You may also have to play around with different types before you find one that smells good, isn't overpowering and doesn't make you think of dark churches. This option can be fun because you get to search for the incense holder that goes with your decor.

4. Room Sprays
If you can find one that lasts longer than five minutes, these are great candle alternatives. They are often available in the same scent as your favorite candles and good sprays will last all day without a flame.
Whether you are looking for a flameless alternative or just something new, essential oil diffusers, reed diffusers, incense, and room spray are your best bets. These can help you avoid fires, hiring restoration professionals, and other damage that candles can bring.

How to Keep Your Employees Safe Amid Snow Storms

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian Keep your employees protected during a snow storm

How to Keep Your Employees Safe Amid Snow Storms

During a snowstorm, office managers have the responsibility of making sure workers remain safe. Luckily, there are many precautions those in charge can take to assure their staff stays healthy and secure when bad weather hits.

Preparing for Snow
Before the winter season arrives in Dixieland, FL, do the following:

  • Check your building’s caulking and weather strips. After a few years, each of them should be redone.
  • Research ways to keep plumbing from freezing and cracking. The effects of a pipe burst can be highly distressing.
  • Acquire sand or dirt for covering icy sidewalks and parking lots. Slips can result in injuries and costly lawsuits.
  • Sign up for snowstorm alerts. This way, you will be able to take action at the earliest possible moment.
  • Establish a protocol for cancellation notifications. Having a phone tree or email list in place prevents jobholders from making treacherous and unneeded trips.

Taking a few simple measures before a blizzard hits significantly reduces the odds of endangerment, so do what you can before disruption arrives.

Dealing With Snow
When excessive snowfall comes your way, stay home unless absolutely necessary. In the event you must journey to your office, dress warm and be certain your vehicle comes equipped with jumper cables. Should you break down and become exposed to the elements, frostbite or hypothermia can take hold quickly. Know how to recognize and deal with these life-threatening conditions. Have an emergency kit with blanket, non-perishable food, and medical supplies handy for these and other perilous scenarios.
Besides being dangerous, violent weather causes all sorts of building damage. From roof collapses to fallen branches smashing through windows, the fallout often requires immediate attention. Should your workspace become compromised, select a qualified disaster recovery team that can get everything back to looking “Like it never even happened.”
Keep your employees protected during a snow storm, both before and during such a mammoth event. Once the worst has passed, check your facility for damage and commence repairs ahead of the next wintry downpour.

3 Things To Know About Mold Removal

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold specialists with protective gear removing debris Mold removal specialist in Griffin, FL

3 Things To Know About Mold Removal

If you need mold cleanup at your Griffin, FL, place of business, you may be wondering what sort of things you can expect from the restoration process. In many cases, mold remediation follows a set series of protocols. This is done to ensure that the mold is thoroughly removed and everything sanitized in order to prevent a recurrence of these issues. Here are three things you may see while the professionals work on your company space.

1. Mold May Be Unseen

Because mold is a fungus, what you see is actually a colony made up of tiny spores. Mold spores individually may be unseen by the naked eye. This is why the professionals working on your company space may make several tests to confirm the presence of mold and where it's located.

2. The Areas Should Be Contained

Once the presence of mold is confirmed, mold cleanup can begin. The first step is to thoroughly contain that area in which the mold grows. This is often done by installing plastic sheeting around the space and using a ventilation system to regulate airflow. This will help prevent spores from becoming airborne and traveling to other areas of the business.

3. Cleaning May Involve Several Stages

The cleaning process can involve several stages. Your local mold remediation service may begin this process by removing any items that may have suffered from mold contamination. The area will have the mold removed, and be thoroughly sanitized with specific cleaners. Once the professionals are satisfied that no mold remains, they can then be bringing back any restored items to the space.

There are a few things you may see while mold remediation professionals perform the mold cleanup at your place of business. Because mold may be unseen, they may take several tests of areas in which they believe it may be growing. Once the presence of mold is confirmed, the space will be contained to prevent further spreading. Cleanup can then begin with the removal of the spores and the sanitation of the area. If you have any questions your remediation professional should be able to help.

What You Need To Know About Commercial Water Damage Claims

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in a hallway of commercial building Commercial damage in Grasslands, FL

Storms can strike at any time, and virtually no business is immune to their potentially destructive power. If you’ve recently dealt with commercial water damage in Grasslands, FL, you may be able to make a small business claim. Before you file, there are a few things you should know about the process to help make your recovery more efficient.

“Damage” Can Encompass Several Types

It’s important to first determine whether your policy covers the damage you’ve experienced. “Damage” can encompass several things, including:

  • Mold
  • Corrosion
  • Structural damage
  • Destroyed inventory

Not all policies offer the same coverage, so check with your provider about the limits and exclusions of your policy.

Document Any Damage Thoroughly
In order to strengthen your claim, it’s essential to document any damage thoroughly to show the insurance company as proof. Before you call cleanup and restoration services, be sure to take photos of the space. Also hang on to any relevant receipts, such as those for equipment purchases or inspection completions. These records will be helpful in determining the total value of your company’s losses.

Plan To Proactively Prevent Future Damage
After dealing with damage and an insurance business claim, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent issues in the future. As a general rule, maintenance of your building is needed to keep it from having a pipe break. Check gutters and drainage areas regularly to keep them clear, and remove snow and ice from your roof when needed. It may also be a good idea to protect exposed pipes from freezing by insulating them and to keep the indoor temperature over 55 degrees at all times.
Suffering commercial damage from water is frustrating for any company, but filing a business claim can help mitigate the aftereffects. By understanding the ins and outs of the claims process, you can get your building restored quickly and get back on your feet.

How To Prevent Mold By Avoiding Water Damage

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Missing shingles should be replaced immediately

One of the most important ways for Polk County, FL, residents to tackle mold prevention is to limit the risk of water damage. There are several reasons to keep up with the home maintenance tasks that keep water where it belongs in your home, such as the fact that prevention is cheaper than repairs. Sadly, many homeowners find that damage from water is a major factor in damage to the foundation of their homes, weakening the structure and inviting pests, in addition to encouraging mold growth.

How To Prevent Water Damage

Mold prevention is usually pretty easy to handle, especially if you're consistent about tackling home care projects. There are several tasks homeowners should include in their maintenance schedule:

  • Clean the gutters along the roof to provide good drainage. When leaves, debris, and animal materials are left in the gutters, dams appear (and often freeze during the winter) causing water to collect and seep into the attic.
  • Direct gutter downspouts to at least five feet away from the foundation. There are many decorative and practical ways to make sure that rainwater and melting snow don't pool up around the exterior walls.
  • Consistently watch for water leaks. Pay attention to changes in water pressure, unpleasant smells from your drains, and any sign of moisture on exposed pipes. The sooner you can catch cracks, drips, and leaks, the better you can prevent mold growth.
  • Keep an eye on your roof. Most months you can just complete a visual inspection from the ground, but you may want to pay for a professional inspection if you've experienced heavy weather or suspect damage to the roof.
  • Missing shingles should be replaced immediately.

If you have appliances that use water, such as the washing machine, dishwasher, ice maker, sump pump, and swamp cooler, it's a good idea to include those in routine inspections. As soon as any of these appliances show signs of damage, leaks, or added moisture, find out what the problem is and complete necessary repairs.

Avoid Mold Growth and Other Damages
Whether you've noticed water damage or any signs of mold growth, contact water damage remediation professionals as soon as possible. Arranging for quick repairs and cleanup is one of the best ways to assure that your mold prevention efforts are successful.

Why You May See Mold After Flooding

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth found on drywall Mold growth after storm damage in Griffin, FL

Mold Growth After Storm Flooding

After a storm leads to flood water in your Griffin, FL, home, there’s a chance you may see mold growth as well. There are a few reasons for this. Here’s what you may want to know.

1. Mold Is a Fungus

One of the first things to understand is that mold is a fungus. This means that it grows by consuming organic material and water and then creating spores. This prime location for this fungi growth is in the area of high moisture and dim light.

2. Flood Water Can Create a Mold Habitat

The availability of standing water after a storm flood has occurred can create a prime habitat for mold growth. This is because flood water can get into small dim areas, such as under the baseboards, where the flood water creates plenty of moisture and the drywall and wood material provide an energy source. Fortunately, a restoration professional should know that such areas are at risk for this problem and include them in their damage assessment.

3. Flooding Can Get into Unseen Areas

It’s important to understand that water can seep into little used spaces of your home as well. This is why it’s a good idea to call a storm damage restoration professional to help any time this type of problem occurs. These professionals can handle water removal as well as any secondary damages that may occur such as mold, or sanitizing to prevent bacteria growth. They will also know what unseen areas in your home should be checked for these damages based on where the flooding occurred. This may include basement or crawlspace areas, under flooring, and between some walls.

Because mold is a fungus there’s a chance you could see mold growth after issues with standing water, like storm flooding, occur. This water can seep into unseen spaces and create a desirable habitat for the spores to grow. Fortunately, a professional can help.

Effective Ways To Keep Your Business Safe From Fire Damage

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency Escape Plan written on a notepad with marker. If you own a business, it is vital to have a fire safety plan in place

Ways You Can Protect Your Property And Keep It Safe From Damage

Experiencing a business fire can be a devastating blow to your company, but there are numerous ways you can protect your property and keep it safe from damage.

1. Fire Safety Plan
If you own a business, it is vital to have a fire safety plan in place. The first step to doing this is to have mechanical inspections on a regular basis. This will ensure that your fire alarm systems and sprinklers are functioning properly if a fire does occur.
It is also key to educate and train your employees on fire preparation. Having regular fire drills in the office is a good idea to guarantee all employees know what to do if the building ever catches fire. They should know how to properly use a fire extinguisher and be well aware of where all exit doors are located.

2. Check Fire Extinguishers
Not only are most buildings required to have fire extinguishers but having enough of them can also save you from complete destruction and damage if a business fire does occur. Keep in mind that travel distance should not go over 75 feet when placing extinguishers around your building. Also, be sure to have them properly placed in areas like kitchens that are extremely hazardous.

3. Keep Hallways Clear
One way to keep your employees safe if a fire occurs in South Lakeland, FL, is by keeping all hallways and storage spaces free from rubbish. If there is clutter in the building, this could not only cause more fire damage, but it could also slow down the evacuation process and lead to employee injuries. Be sure to follow the fire code regarding this.
Implementing these fire safety steps in your business is beneficial for you and your building, and is key to keeping your employees safe as well. If a business fire occurs, you will know you did everything you could. If damage does occur, call in a professional fire restoration company to help get your business back to normal again.

What SERVPRO Can Do For Your Clients

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Team members of SERVPRO carrying equipment Choose SERVPRO the next time your client needs help

A major storm that covers the bulk of a geographic area can leave a lot of devastation in its path. Your commercial clients in North Lakeland, FL, may need storm restoration, and they'll need it in a hurry. When you work with SERVPRO, you get fast service with corporate support.

Quick Assessment

As soon as you refer your clients to the call center, a local team is notified that they need help. Storm damage restoration experts arrive at the building to document the damage:

  • Broken windows
  • Flood damage
  • Torn up roof
  • Compromised structure

Once the information is gathered, it is reported in the Claims Information Center. The CIC serves as your go-to resource for how the restoration process is going every step of the way.

Team Assistance
When a particular area is hit, business owners in the area may need more help than the local franchises can provide by themselves. That's when SERVPRO's storm response team springs into action. Additional technicians arrive with extra supplies or equipment to address the issues facing your client's area. The strong central communication of the company enables it to mobilize nearby technicians to provide the extra assistance needed to provide fast service to your clients.

Accurate Records
As the storm restoration process in your client's building proceeds, further damage may be discovered that needs to be addressed. Technicians update the record in the CIC any time this happens to verify the claim that your client files. You can rest assured that any updates to the service that are needed will be reported in an accurate and timely manner.
There are several reasons SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance providers. Its speed and quality of service outshine the competition, and corporate support makes the storm restoration process as smooth as possible, even in an area with a lot of damage. Choose SERVPRO the next time your client needs help that's Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Supply Line Maintenance in Your Bathroom

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Water piping tube installed externally along the bathroom wall to supply water for a heater. A supply line refers to the pipes that carry water into your home

A supply line refers to the pipes that carry water into your home. There are main lines that normally measure 3/4 an inch in diameter and go to an appliance such as the water heater, and branch lines that measure 1/2 inch in diameter and go to individual sinks, bathtubs, and fixtures. It is important that the supply lines are in good shape and that they are made of the proper materials such as PVC, copper, stainless steel, or PEX piping. Supply line damage results for many different reasons: pipes are too old, they freeze and burst, they are damaged by an obstruction or they have bad connections.

Simple Maintenance

When a supply line leak happens in your bathroom in Dixieland, FL, you have two main options: fix it yourself or call a licensed plumbing contractor. With a simple bathroom leak, where the problem is accessible, you can fix the problem in an afternoon with the following steps:

  • Locate the problem
  • Shut off the water
  • Remove the piping with a wrench
  • Buy the correct amount of new pipe
  • Connect the new pipe to the fixture and turn the water back on

Supply line damage comes in many forms, though, and not every problem will be simple. Leaks are sometimes located behind walls or in other inaccessible places. Complicated issues should be left to the professionals.

Complex Water Damage
It's possible that you won't immediately discover supply line damage. The leak could be hidden or in an area that you don't frequent every day. A large or longstanding leak will likely require the services of a local water remediation team. Qualified mitigation specialists will assess the situation and take appropriate action. This often involves water removal with the help of wet vacuums and a program of drying and ventilation. Where damage to flooring and drywall has occurred, it may be necessary to restore and replace materials. The job is finished when your home is restored to its original condition.

5 Simple Steps to Removing the Smoke Smell From Your Microwave

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Young repairman repairing microwave in service centre Clean your microwave periodically

5 Simple Steps to Removing the Smoke Smell From Your Microwave

Microwaves tend to pick up a lot of residue over time. Not only is it unsightly and potentially a health hazard, the food particles create smoke when they are being heated, adding an unwelcome smoke smell to both food and the kitchen. For all these reasons and more, it’s important to clean them periodically.
It sounds like a messy chore, but it’s super simple if done right. With four items, you can clean a microwave in minutes:

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Sponge

If pressed, you can even skip the lemon juice and vinegar, but they do help. Once you have what you need, follow these five easy cleaning steps.

Mix Water and Vinegar

Get a cup or bowl and put about half a cup of water and a tablespoon or two of vinegar in it. The vinegar isn’t critical, but it will help disinfect the unit and absorb odors.

Steam Clean That Beast

Put the bowl in the microwave. Cook it for 5 minutes. This creates a bunch of steam that penetrates the debris, loosening it for easy wipe-down.

Wipe, Wipe Wipe

Sponge down the entire interior. Use plenty of water or mix water and vinegar for extra power against the nasty smoke smell. Also, wipe off the vent grill in the back of the oven if convenient. Repeat the steam blast and wipe-down if necessary.

Get the Interior Dry

Wipe everything down with dry paper towels. Let it sit with the door open a couple of minutes.

Leave a Fresh Citrus Scent

Once the inside is pretty dry, mix a tablespoon of lemon juice into half a cup of water, and quickly wipe the inside. Don’t worry about drying it out afterward; the lemon juice will absorb any additional smoke residue and improve the taste of food cooked within.
Failure to clean a microwave can lead to a smoke-filled kitchen – or even potentially a fire. Over an 8-year period, microwaves caused about 2,300 fires, so it can be serious. If you need help cleaning up smoke damage, call a certified fire damage restoration company in Lakeland, FL.

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

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