Recent Storm Damage Posts

Never Wait After a Storm Damage to Call The Pros.

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Get help sooner, rather than later. Every minute counts when it comes to storm damage.

If you come home to find standing ground water and flooding in your home, chances are you'll feel frustrated. You may think you can handle the ground water yourself. After all, as an experienced homeowner, you've likely weathered river flooding and storms before. It's important that you avoid trying to repair your house on your own, however. A home restoration expert has the experience and the tools to repair your home. The right water restoration expert can help you with a variety of issues, including:
Flooding
Roof damage
Roof leak
Hurricane damage
Wind damage
General storm damage

Never wait to pursue help for storm damage especially if the damage involves a roof repair. A roof leak is a serious issue that can arise after storm damage or wind damage. Roof damage can also occur as a result of wind damage. Roof damage that leads to a roof leak can cause a variety of issues, including interior damage to your home. The right storm restoration expert can help you with roof repair and other storm remediation. Remember that it's important to get home restoration assistance as soon as possible.

Call SERVPRO of Lakeland today if you experience Storm Damage 863-646-4213.

“Like it never even happened.”

No Job To Big For Us

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lakeland can always call on our Large Loss if we need extra equipment or man power.

As some of you may know, SERVPRO of Lakeland has traveled all over the United States to help out when disaster strikes. We have been over to Texas when hit with catastrophic flooding and we stayed as long as we could to help out and get everything back to normal. This past year, we we have been to Alabama helping out with the pipe freeze that they experienced in February of this year. We spent over two weeks there helping the local residents deal with the devastation. It is very important to us that we go where help is needed the most.

We recently got home from helping the folks on the North Carolina Coast that were affected by Hurricane Florence.

The recent flooding in Florida’s Pan handle is obviously a great tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected. With our extensive experience in dealing with these large scale disasters, there is no one better to be called in when catastrophe strikes. Whether it’s hundreds of miles away or right here in our own backyard, SERVPRO of Lakeland is ready for action. There is no disaster too big for us. We can and have handled large scale commercial losses to smaller residential losses. We are always Here to Help.

“Like it never even happened.”

Call us Today 863-646-4213

Response to Hurricane Florence

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

This was our 2nd Box truck full of equipment. Here to Help.

Hurricane Florence made landfall causing significant flodding and wind destruction in North and South Carolina. SERVPRO of Lakeland had joined the Storm Team in North Carolina and just returned from responding. We responded to just under 30 Residential properties. Home owners were happy to see us when we rolled into their neighborhoods. We were prepared and ready to start getting our customer back into their homes. Our team of storm damage specialists were on the scene, mitigating flood water, reducing severity of water damage. SERVPRO has a national network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country and designated Disaster Recovery Teams ready to mobilize if more resources are needed. We had received a 12' trailer with equipment as well as two more box trucks full of equipment.

"Like it never even happened."

Call us Today.

863-646-4213

Protect Your Property from Flood Damage

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding that happened to a mobile home community during Hurricane Irma.

Because of our location as a gulf state, Polk County, and Hillsborough county residents are especially prone to damage caused by floods. Flooding can be common during the hurricane season but unusual weather patterns can also bring unexpected flooding of the type we have witnessed in our state over the last few years.

If your home has flooded, it is important to conduct a list of safety checks before returning inside.

This includes:

-Checking the roof for dips across the surface

-Checking external walls to determine if they are no longer plum

-Checking the foundation from the outside to see if it has been damaged

-Making sure electricity and gas have been shut off

Once inside, there can be multiple safety hazards and threats. The presence of mold is a real possibility and a valid concern for your personal safety. If you have an older home, there is also the risk of lead or asbestos contamination. Flood water contains multiple health hazards and just because the visible water is gone, it doesn’t mean the contaminants are no longer a threat.

That burning desire to check your home after major water damage is natural but even a few minutes inside could be bad for your health. At SERVPRO of Lakeland, we provide emergency water disaster services for Lakeland, Plant City, Valrico, Brandon, and surrounding areas. We have given our mitigation specialists extensive training for safely entering this type of dangerous environment and for getting the remediation process started. It is our hope you never have to experience this type of natural disaster or other types of water damages but if you do, we are a phone call away at 863-646-4213 and are always ready to help.

“Like it never even happened.”

Helping Property Managers: Plan For The Storm

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

Debris left by the road of flooded homes caused by Storm damage.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is an ongoing event in the yearly formation of tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere. While hurricane season officially began in June, its peak period spans over the months of late July, August and September.

This is especially important for property managers, who work to coordinate storm preparation measures for the protection of their properties. For instance, property managers who oversee multi-story high-rise condominiums need to prepare for challenges involving water intrusion. These obstacles become more complex when those buildings are on the coast or in a flood zone.

Furthermore, property managers have to deal with the fact that some building owners do not live in their units year-round and may not have any measures in place for an approaching storm as it relates to that owner’s individual personal property, such as planters, balcony furniture, interior artwork, curtains, rugs, electronics, etc.

Given issues property managers may come against in a storm situation, a process should be in place well before a storm is ever on the radar to ensure everyone is prepared. If property managers already have procedures in place, it’s not a bad idea for SERVPRO of Lakeland to review those plans with them and consider if they should be updated or supplemented.

Here are some points of interest we like to discuss when assisting property manager plan for a storm:

1)Protection of Common Areas.

-What steps will be taken to prepare and protect the common areas of a property, such as boarding up windows, obtaining sandbags, trimming trees, moving furniture, storing items or equipment, and securing records or any other valuable property?

2)Instructions to Owners and Residents.

-Does the property management company have a notice letter ready to be sent to residents in advance of a storm with instructions for preparing their units, such as directions to close shutters, remove all items from balconies, and set or shut-off any appliances in case of a power outage?

3)Emergency Contact and Access.

-Does the property manager have contact information for all owners and residents, as well as keys to all units in case emergency access is needed (in particular, in the event of flooding and water intrusion)? -Would it be feasible for the property manager to attempt to create a list of those residents who will remain on the property versus those who plan to evacuate before the storm?

4)Insurance.

-Does the property have all the required insurance policies, and are they up-to-date and effective?

-Is there a procedure in place for management to document and back-up all records, photos, videos, etc. showing the state of items prior to a storm so that information can be later used in connection with potential claims?

5)On-site Staff.

-How many staff members (management, security, maintenance, etc.) will remain on-site if and when a storm hits? Where will they go on the premise during the storm, and will they have access to any emergency supplies? If no management personnel will be on-site during a storm, who will be designated to return first after the storm to access the damage?

6)Generator.

-Does the property have one? Has it been checked recently to ensure it has sufficient fuel?

7)Evacuation Plan.

-Is there an evacuation plan in place? If so, who is in charge of making sure every resident has left and the property has been secured?

A property’s preparedness plan should be as detailed and as easy to read as possible. SERVPRO of Lakeland can help you prepare today, rather than waiting until a severe storm is on the horizon!

"Like it never even happened." 

Call Us Today (863)646-4213

A Disaster Plan for your Pets

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Creating a disaster plan is essential to keeping your family members of all species safe!

Most people know they should have a disaster plan in place for their families, but if you are faced with a natural disaster, do you have a disaster plan for your pet? Storms, wildfires and floods happen around the world every day and affect thousands of people and their pets. That’s why everyone should have a plan, not only for yourself, but for your Fur Family. To help you plan for the unimaginable, here are our 9 essentials of disaster prepping for your pet:

  1. Proper ID. The most important thing you can do for your pet before a disaster occurs is to make sure they have proper ID. This means having a physical tag containing your current info on their collar which they wear at all times, and having them micro-chipped and registered in a national registry such as the free Found Animals Microchip Registry.
  2. Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date to reduce their risk of disease and sickness. There are so many unknowns in a disaster. If you are evacuated, your pet may not be able to come with you to shelter and may be held in boarding with other animals whose health status is unknown. If your home is destroyed, your pet may be lost and living outside for a time and subjected to the elements, dirty water supply or worse. Be safe, not sorry, and vaccinate.
  3. Display a Pet Rescue Sticker. Make sure you have a pet rescue window decal in a place visible to rescue workers.
  4. Identify Pet-Friendly Emergency Shelters. Not all emergency shelters or hotels allow pets. Before a disaster hits, call your local emergency management office or animal shelter to see if there are places planned for people and pets to stay together in the event of an emergency. Research pet-friendly hotels away from typical disaster zones, or arrange to stay with family or friends outside of your area. Prepare a few options in a range of distances from your home in case of either local or region-wide emergencies.
  5. Assemble a Pet Emergency Kit. You can buy a compact kit that fits under your seat, a larger bag you can carry on your shoulder, a grab and go bucket with everything your pet could need and add pet-related items to your family’s existing emergency supplies. Your kit should include the following items:
  • Food and Water

Plan to have at least five days of food, water and portable bowls. Dry food should be in resealable plastic bags. If your pet eats wet food, make sure to buy easy open cans so you don’t need a can opener. Prepare a written feeding schedule.

  • Medication and Medical Records

Keep an extra supply of your pet’s regular medication in a waterproof zip lock bag. Also include a copy of your pet’s vaccination record and microchip number.

  • Supplies

For cats, include kitty litter and disposable litter boxes. For dogs, pack plastic waste bags and an extra leash and harness. Beds, blankets, toys and clothing are also useful to keep your pet calm and cozy in an emergency situation.

  1. Store Supplies for a Speedy Exit. Place all of your emergency supplies in a safe, dry, convenient place near your escape route in case you need to leave in a hurry. The safest way to transport a pet in an emergency or disaster is in a carrier or crate, so keep one close to your emergency kit. Frightened pets can be difficult to manage with only a leash and collar.
  2. When a Disaster Strikes, Don’t Hesitate; Evacuate. Not all disasters come with warning, but if they do, follow emergency response recommendations and evacuate as quickly as possible. Disasters are very stressful on both pets and people, and no one can predict how bad things will get. Don’t wait until the last minute to leave. Use your emergency plan as a tool to supplement first responder instructions.
  3. Leave with Your Pets. If the area is not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets.  It may not be possible to return for your pets, so take them with you from the start.
  4. If Your Pet Gets Lost, Check for Found Pet Alerts. If your pets are separated from you, check your cell phone and email for Found Pet Alerts. When a rescue worker finds your lost pet and starts an alert in the Found Animals Registry, you will be contacted via phone calls, text messages, and emails based on your pet’s microchip registrations. These alerts will provide information on your pet’s location. If you cannot access your phone or email, or are unable to retrieve your pets, your emergency contacts and vet will also be notified.

For more information about Pet Disaster Preparedness, please visit the following websites:

  1. Preparing your Pets for Emergencies,Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ‎
  2. Make a Disaster Plan for Pets, Humane Society United States(HSUS)
  3. Disaster Preparedness, ASPCA
  4. Pets and Disaster Checklist, American Red Cross
  5. Saving the Whole Family Brochure, American Veterinary Medical Association

“Like it never even happened.” Call Us Today- (863)646-4213

What To Do During a Flood Event

3/29/2017 (Permalink)

Flood waters won't stop SERVPRO of Lakeland

Rains are coming...

Spring showers can often lead to flooding conditions in North Alabama. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods that my happen on your property. 

Watch for Pooling Water 

Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.

Maintain Sump Pump 

If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump fails. 

Raise Storage Goods 

Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line. 

Cut Power if Necessary 

As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.

Be Aware on the Road 

Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface. 

Act Fast 

When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring. Call SERVPRO® of Lakeland (863)646-4213 to extract water and mitigate any mold growth. Our franchise professionals have the training and experience to make flood damage “Like it never even happened.” 

Storm Season

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Hermine caused a storm surge that flooded this street and many local businesses and homes.

I Thought Hurricane Season Was Over


In the state of Florida, scientists have determined that there is a particular "season" in which storms are predicted to happen with the most frequency. It's called "Hurricane Season" and lasts from June 1 through November.


The reality is that the weather in Florida is unpredictable and a powerful storm can strike at any moment. In addition, the effects that this weather can have on your home can be disastrous regardless of what time of year it is.


Don't wait until the summer to start preparing for the upcoming weather. 


   -Make sure you know your evacuation routes and have an emergency plan for your home


   -Make an emergency kit with batteries, flashlights, tools, a first aid kit and canned goods


   -Install Storm Shutters, if appropriate.


   -Secure outdoor objects and leave low-lying areas


And, of course, if the storm should make it's way into your home or place of business, Call SERVPRO of Lakeland (863)646-4213 to make it "Like it never even happened."

Weathering the Storm

1/19/2017 (Permalink)

This living room was flooded due to the storm surge created by Hurricane Matthew.

By: Justin Dorman


 


    2016 was a year rife with storm systems and rising waters encroaching the Florida coastline. We saw homes destroyed and families uprooted by the ensuing devastation caused by Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew. From wind-driven rain entering homes through sheer force, to water rising as high as four feet and settling into living rooms and bedrooms, the devastation spread far and wide.


 


    I truly believe that these are the moments when SERVPRO shines. It's hard to put yourself in the shoes of a homeowner who is suffering through that kind of devastation if you've never experienced it. The look in their eyes suggests a feeling of panic and fear for the immediate future. They can only see the mess that lay in front of them and the arduous road to recovery ahead.


 


    Enter: SERVPRO. Our team pulled into the town of a neighboring franchise the day after the hardest part of the storm subsided and, with their help, began to work immediately. The labor was hard and often times unpleasant, but we attacked each situation with an aplomb and professionalism that gave each one of these customers comfort and allowed them to feel as if these catastrophic losses "never even happened."


 


    The look in the eyes of our customers evolved from one of uncertainty to one of trust, understanding and eventually relief. That transition makes what we do worth it every single day. The commitment we make to our customers gives them faith in us to make them whole. And it is one of the many reasons I am proud to work for SERVPRO of Lakeland.

HURRICANE HERMINE

9/22/2016 (Permalink)

River flooding due to Hurricane Hermine.

SERVPRO Of Lakeland was there for families in need due to the storm surge. We saw rivers go over their banks and the gulf enter into many homes. It was remarkable how many Lakeland residents had property on the  river or on the gulf. This was one of those times I'm so glad that our expectations in customer service is what we pride ourselves on, along with other things. Due to those expectations, our customers had no thought of using anyone else for their second property on the river or gulf and knew that no matter where it was, we would be there to help them in their time of need and if we couldn't, we would get another franchise to help. Our reputation is on the line every day and we always work hard to rise above the norm here at SERVPRO Of Lakeland and anywhere we might wind up to help with hurricane or storm damage. Our customers are#1 in our book!

House Flooding Due to Intense Rain in Lakeland

8/17/2015 (Permalink)

Overtime, moisture can cause longterm damage and even mold with your home or business. Quick action should be taken if you experience a flood.

Flooding occured throughout Lakeland this past weekend, affecteding several Lakeland homes and businesses. It was reported that between 3.1 and 3.5 inches of rain fell on Sunday causing damage to areas thorughout Lakeland, FL. If your house or business experienced any moisture intrustion, there are some things you should keep in mind while trying to mitigate the damage and keeping your families and employees safe:

1) Flood water is treated as Category 3 water by restoration specialists and insurance companies. This means that it is referred to as grossly contaminated. It could contain harmful bacteria and has the potential to cause health issues to patrons if not mitigated properly. 

2) Highly porous materials such as carpeting and drywall should be removed in most of these situations. Often times these materials cannot be treated with traditonal drying techniques. Once those materials are removed, all remaining areas such as concrete and wood framing should be treated with antimicrobials and then dried out properly. 

3) Not everyone has flood insurance. Flood insurance is often contained in a seperate policy. Not all insurance companies offer flood insurance and you should check your policy to see what is covered. 

4) Water damage causes more issues the longer you wait. Materials continue to soak up moisture and microbial growth occurs within a couple days. Without quick action, the indoor environment of your home could be at jeopordy. 

If you experience any water damage issues in Lakeland please contact your professional, local cleanup team for assistance and stay safe!

Disaster Restoration and Storm Clean Up

5/13/2014 (Permalink)

Storm damaged contents line a recently flooded street.

By: Josh Marazzito

I remember last Wednesday vividly. As we all poured into the office, our attention was quickly diverted to the television. Heavy rains and rising streams and rivers were escalating throughout southern Alabama and northwestern Florida. The first pictures flashed across the screen of highways being drowned by floodwater and we all began to think the same thing: storm response. 

It's not often that we pursue out of town work, but as part of one of the biggest disaster cleanup franchises on earth, we obviously don't shy away from it. Excitement starts taking place of the awe, as the phone calls start pouring in like the rain from this storm. "SERVPRO of Lakeland....are you guys in?" asked one of the storm team mobilizers. 

"Wouldn't miss it."

We left early the next morning. The drive was tireless and long, but neither of us needed caffeine. The excitement of heading straight into the heart of something that everyone was turning away from kept us both on the edge of our toes. Around Tallahassee the storm started slowing us down. Blinding rain separated our caravan into a shadow of it's once dominant, lime green prowess. Even our usually fearless production manager, Richard, slowed his lead foot to the pace of a snowbird. 

At last we arrived in Pensacola, a town that I have vacationed in often, and grown fond of. Even a couple miles after exiting I-10, we both were speechless by the extent of the damage. Entire roads were eroding away, trees were at the mercy of which way the water was moving, and houses were absorbing water like sponges. The damage seemed almost overwhelming.

We often times say that we are in the rare situation of meeting people on the worst day of their lives. This couldn't be truer as we began receiving jobs from our headquarters. Houses had become swimming pools and devastated homeowners were left with nothing more than a soggy pair of shoes and whatever they could move away from the rising water. 

In our first encounter with a homeowner, nearly everything was a loss: motorcycles, cribs, beds, photo albums. The heartbreak of this situation was almost unbearable as she sorted through soaked paperwork trying to find her insurance information. Being in this line of work I constantly remind myself that these situations always work themselves out, but it was hard to see past floating books and picture frames. Richard told a joke that somehow irked a smile from her face. At this point, we all swallowed hard and realized it was time to get to work.

Over the next week, we encountered several more of these situations. We did our best to get to every customer, but the numbers became impossible to keep up with. Houses were literally floating away. One such job exposed a river of murky water underneath the foundation. 

We still have crews on the ground in Pensacola and probably will through the middle of the month, but I keep coming back to the same thought: I will never be without flood insurance. I also will always remember to review it thoroughly to make sure the policy covers my contents and home. The worst part about the process was seeing homeowners that thought they had full coverage, when in fact they they only had partial coverage or none at all. I feel grateful that we were able to help a few of the numerous families affected by this freak storm; I just wish we could have helped more.  

 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

Preparing for Tropical Storms and Hurricanes Lakeland, FL

7/11/2013 (Permalink)

Larry Riddle, Owner, SERVPRO of Lakeland

Water Damage, Mold, and Fire Caused by Storms
Preparing for a natural disaster is not something that we often think about here in Florida. After catastrophic hurricane seasons year after year, a hockey team called the Tampa Bay Lightning that reflects one of the most lightning struck areas on earth, and tornado warnings that flash across Bay News 9 every time it rains, it is no wonder why Florida residents stock up on beer instead of water during these tough times.

Unfortunately, when these disasters do strike, not everyone makes it out unscathed. Trailers get dismantled, lightning doesn’t just strike trees, and hurricanes don’t always ruffle a few bushes. Besides the usual stock up of food, batteries, and water, how can you protect your home and other assets?

Primary damage from larger storms is often caused by wind knocking down branches. It is vitally important that if you have any trees on your property, trim them by the end of May, especially if you have an older roof.

Roofs in Florida, especially Lakeland is susceptible to hard rains and high humidity levels. This often causes them to crack and leak well before roofs in other places. Shingles last for approximately 20 years, however, leaks can still occur in the sub layers. In order to keep water out of your house, make sure you check your roof every year, and keep your eyes to the ceiling for any discoloration.

Often times we see floods occurring from improper drainage of water, and leaky seals on windows. Proper home maintenance is important. Windows should be caulked every couple years. Any pooling of water all the sides of your home also represent a huge problem. When large storms drop immense amounts of rain, these puddles become much larger, and your foundation may not be able to keep the water out.

Prevention is often the best way to keep your house from becoming victim to storm damage. Most remediation, restoration, and construction companies would be more than happy to assist customers with detection of potential problem areas, so contact a local professional if you have any concerns about Tropical Storm Chantal or the upcoming hurricane season.  

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