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How to Clean Up After a Fire

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

HEPA filters Make sure that your wet/dry vacuum has one or more HEPA filters.

How to Clean Up After a Fire

If you've ever been in a fire, then you know it's an experience you never want to repeat. I hope that this article helps with the aftermath and teaches you how to clean up after a fire.

Safety Precautions

After a fire, there are many things that you should do to protect yourself. First and foremost, you should wear a dust mask in order to avoid breathing in the smoke particles. Pets and children should also be kept away from the area until it's been cleaned up. Never use fans or air conditioners, as they will only spread the smell of smoke further throughout your Medulla, FL home. 

Containing the Smoke Damage

If you’re dealing with smoke damage, you may want to consider investing in a wet/dry vacuum. These vacuums are designed specifically for this kind of problem—they can be used both as a wet vacuum (to remove water and other liquid substances) and as a dry vacuum (to clean up dust). The important thing is to make sure that your wet/dry vacuum has one or more HEPA filters.

HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air,” and refers to the type of filter that can capture 99% of particulates within the air stream. Carbon filters are also useful because they help neutralize odors caused by smoke. So, when choosing between various options, look for products with both kinds of filters so you know your tools will be effective at removing all kinds of pollutants from your home!

Cleaning the Air

It may be tempting to open windows and doors, but that can actually spread smoke particles into your home. Instead, use one of the following methods to clean up after a fire:

  • Use an air purifier that removes smoke particles from the air (and other contaminants). You can find these at hardware stores or online.
  • Use an air scrubber, which will help neutralize any remaining odors and clean up any soot on surfaces in your home. They're also good for removing mold spores from walls and ceilings over time, too!
  • Try using a dehumidifier in conjunction with either type above—the dehumidifiers will draw out moisture from walls where it's been trapped by smoke particles. Even more importantly: make sure all appliances are turned off before you leave them unattended - including heating systems like furnaces/air conditioners.

Cleaning Up Surfaces

Cleaning up surfaces is important to minimize the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazards. Never use harsh chemicals or solvents when cleaning up after a fire.

Let a professional restoration company handle everything for you.

When you’re trying to piece your home back together after a fire, it can be tempting to do everything yourself. However, hiring a professional restoration company is often the best option. They have the experience and equipment needed to clean up your home completely and safely, which will help prevent further damage from occurring. Additionally, they work closely with insurance companies to make sure that you get as much money as possible for the repairs—so there’s no need for you to negotiate with them directly!

Finally, many restoration companies also offer services beyond cleaning up after fires: they can replace walls or floors damaged by smoke or water damage, or even restore entire rooms if necessary.

When you’re faced with the aftermath of a fire, it can be overwhelming. If you or someone you know has been affected by fire damage, contact us today at SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands for help with your cleanup. We’ve been in business for many years and have helped thousands of people get their lives back to normal after fires, floods, and other disasters. You can trust our professional staff to handle everything from start to finish.

Unexpected Hazards of a Leaky Roof

12/22/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking roof Water damage is only one of the hazards of a leaky roof.

Unexpected Hazards of a Leaky Roof

Water damage is a major concern for homeowners. It may seem like an ever-present problem, but the truth is that it can come from any number of sources in your home. Your roof is one of the most vulnerable areas for water damage, and it’s one of the easiest to overlook or neglect. When you have a leaky roof, it can cause problems throughout your home—especially if you don't catch it in time. But even if you do know about the leaky roof before any serious damage starts to happen, there are still some things we want you to be aware of when dealing with this type of situation so that you don’t find yourself worse off than before:

What Does Moisture Do to a Home’s Interior Surfaces?

A leaky roof can cause serious damage to your home. In fact, moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, wood rot, peeling paint, and carpeting/flooring deterioration. If the water is not fixed quickly enough, it could also cause serious drywall damage.

What effect does a leaky roof have on the rest of my home?

Even if you don't have a leaky roof, it's important to know how to detect and fix any damage that may have occurred. Leaks can cause water damage throughout your home—from the floors and carpets to the walls and ceilings. This can lead to serious problems such as mold growth and rot in wooden structures, or even electrical wiring fires if left unchecked.

A leaking roof can also have an effect on ceiling-mounted lights or fans installed in your home. Water that finds its way into these areas could cause them to fail suddenly without warning, leaving you without light or air conditioning when you need it most.

How Does Leaking Water Damage Your Home?

Leaking water is a major problem in the United States. When you think of a leaky roof, you probably picture rainwater coming through your ceiling.

If water sits for long periods of time, mold and mildew can grow on wood and drywall surfaces — and even behind walls! Wood will rot from moisture if left untreated; drywall will crack as it ages; electrical components can short out due to corrosion; structural supports may be weakened by too much weight on them. All these things make for costly repairs!

A leaking roof can cause a lot of problems in your home. Water damage is only one of them.

You may have heard that a leaking roof can cause a lot of damage to your home. The truth is, this is only part of the story. Water damage isn't the only problem you might face if you have a leaky roof—mold growth is also an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

Mold can ruin more than just your furniture and carpeting; it can damage electrical components, plumbing systems, and even structural elements of your house as it spreads throughout your home’s interior. And while some species of mold are harmless—and even beneficial when they're in small quantities—others can cause serious problems for infected houses or buildings.

Water damage is only one of the hazards of a leaky roof. It can lead to mold growth and other complications that are much more expensive to repair. If you have noticed water in your home, it’s important that you contact an expert immediately.

Fire Damage Goes Hand-In-Hand with Water Damage

10/22/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Damaged Kitchen If you have fire damage like this call for the help of SERVPRO of Bartow / Lakeland Highland.

Fire Damage Goes Hand-In-Hand With Water Damage

Fire damage and water damage are two different kinds of damage that often go hand in hand. If you have a fire on your property in Bartow, FL, the way the fire is extinguished can make a difference in the amount of damage. There are many ways to prevent fire damage after a fire has happened.

Fire damage is serious damage.

Fire damage can cause serious damage that can be difficult to mitigate on your own. Soot and smoke damage needs professional care in order to be cleaned up properly and most of all, safely. It can affect your property value and cause other problems, such as mold growth due to fire suppression systems or firefighting efforts.

There are different kinds of damage after a fire

The most obvious is the damage caused by heat and flames. This can include charring on walls, ceilings, and furniture.

Smoke damage can cause discoloration or staining to ceilings, walls, floors, and other surfaces both inside your home as well as outside on siding or roofs. When smoke enters your home, it also affects the air quality which leads to odors that may take months or years before they dissipate completely from an affected area of your home's structure. Luckily, our SERVPRO of Bartow/Lake Highlands team is highly trained in smoke odor removal!

Water damage is common

To fight a fire on your residential or commercial property, you might have sprinklers that extinguish the fire, or firefighters might have to extinguish the flames. Nevertheless, the water being used to extinguish the fire can cause a ton of damage to your property.

If there is water damage in your home, it can be evident will from discoloration or peeling paint on surfaces such as walls or ceilings.

Structural issues can arise 

After a fire, the amount of fire damage in a building is determined by the type of material and how much heat was involved. The most common types of materials used in construction are wood, brick or stone, and steel. The degree to which these materials are damaged depends on their exposure to heat during a fire.

When there is fire damage it can cause major structural problems, such as the roof being burned or warped, holes in the roof, melted pipes, and electrical issues. All of this can lead to further expensive damages to your property.

When there is a fire in your home, it can be very scary. You may not know where to start or what to do next. You should never try to tackle any type of restoration work yourself unless you have been trained specifically in this type of work. The good news is that there are professionals who can help you out with this process, so you don’t have to deal with the stress alone. If you need fire and water damage cleanup and restoration services, our SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands team is only one call away! Our team offers an immediate response to a loss in your home or business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

4 Things To Avoid When Using a Space Heater

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Space heater Reduce the chances of fires and other damage by using your space heater safely.

When Using a Space Heater, Avoid These 4 Mistakes

When the weather in Medulla, FL, starts getting colder, you might rely on a space heater to keep you warm. These devices can make you more comfortable, but they can also be unsafe if not used properly. There are some things you should avoid to reduce the likelihood of a burned space heater or a home fire.

1. Don’t Leave the Heater Unattended

Never leave your heater on when you leave the house. While the idea of coming home to a warm, toasty building may be nice, the heater could get too hot while you are out, resulting in a fire or other damage.

2. Don’t Keep Flammable Items Near the Heater

Keep the area around your heater clear of flammable items. These could get too hot and combust. Fabrics, paper, and other similar items should be kept at least a few feet away. Flammable liquids should be placed even further.

3. Don’t Overload the Outlet

When you are using your heater, don’t plug other electronics into the same outlet. This could cause the outlet to overheat, resulting in a burned space heater, outlet, or plug. You should also plug your heater directly into the outlet and avoid using an extension cord.

4. Don’t Use a Damaged or Burned Space Heater

If your heater has damage from a past incident, replace it. You might think it’s fine to keep using it a bit longer to avoid buying a new one, but continuing to warm your home with a damaged heater is a safety hazard. Some components may no longer function as intended and could result in further damage or a fire.

Not only can fires be devastating to your home, but fire and smoke cleanup and restoration can take a lot of time and energy. Reduce the chances of fires and other damage by using your space heater safely.

Safety tips when using candles in your Lakeland home

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Lit candles Call us immediately if you experience fire or smoke damage from a candle.

Unfortunately, fires from candles are a common occurrence in every city. Our team at SERVPRO of Bartow / Lakeland Highlands wants you to be safe from fire and smoke damage by providing you with some useful fire prevention tips.   

Fire Prevention is the best way to fight against fire damage or injuries.

SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands offers these Tips for Fire Prevention from Candles:

  • Do not let children near candles
  • Keep trees and other plants away from candles
  • Make sure candles are not near window curtains or blinds that could catch fire
  • Keep lit candles in safe candle holders
  • Do not leave children alone in a room with lit candles
  • Do not light candles in the bedroom. You might fall asleep. One-third of all candle fires start in the bedroom. 
  • If the power goes out, use flashlights instead of candles
  • If someone in the home uses oxygen, do not use candles
  • Fire damage from candles happens 35 times a day in the U.S.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can catch fire
  • Put out candles when leaving the room or going to bed

A little caution goes a long way to protect you and your loved ones. If you have to deal with damage caused by smoke or fire from a candle in your Lakeland, FL home, your friends at SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands are just a phone call away. You can reach us 24/7 at (863)510-5962

4 Tips To Keep Pets Safe in a Home Fire

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Dog laying on a bed In the event of a fire emergency, consider pet safety by including pets in your escape plan

4 Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe in a House Fire

If a fire emergency breaks out in your home, you want to be fully prepared to keep your family, including your four-legged friends, safe from harm. Here are four key things you can do to make sure your pets will be safe if a fire starts in your Mulberry, FL, home. 

1. Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

Having a fire escape plan is critical in the event you need to evacuate your home due to flames. Create one for your household, including marking multiple exits from each room, and practice this escape plan regularly. Assign someone to evacuate pets during these drills and train your animals to come when called to make for an easier escape. 

2. Stock up on Extra Pet Supplies for a Fire Emergency

Humans are advised to have essential supplies like water, blankets, or first aid items stowed safely in the event of an emergency. Be sure to take your pet's safety into account as well by getting the extra supplies your furry friends need such as food, extra water, or leashes. 

3. Prepare Safety of Pet Records

Your animal's documentation, including ownership papers and vaccination history, is just as important as your own personal documents. Keep all these essential items in a fire-safe box in the event of an emergency. 

4. Consider Shelter Options During Rebuild

A key pet preparation item to mark off is lining up alternative shelter in the event your family is displaced. Fire damage restoration professionals work quickly to make the home safe after a blaze but should you be separated from your pet during the rebuilding process, find a relative or friend willing to take care of them in the interim.  

In the event of a fire emergency, consider pet safety by including pets in your escape plan, keeping extra supplies, securing their documentation, and considering alternative shelter for them. 

Begin Fire Restoration by Following This List

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Damage – Bartow Kitchen A problematic disaster like this calls for the help of SERVPRO of Bartow / Lakeland Highland.

Follow This List to Begin Fire Restoration

No matter how safety-conscious you are, natural disasters or accidents can strike and cause a house fire. What do you do if your Winter Haven, FL, residence experiences a fire? Here are some ways to quickly initiate the fire restoration process.

1. Submit an Insurance Claim

Contact your property insurance company to file a claim immediately. Be prepared to provide photos or videos of all damaged structures and belongings for the fire insurance claim. You will also need to write a list of all damaged or destroyed items, accompanied by receipts or other records when possible.

Don't throw anything away before the insurance company sends an adjuster to your home to assess the damage. Make time to be present during the inspection to ask questions or voice concerns.

2. Request Fire Restoration Services

Call a fire damage restoration company to begin the cleanup process. A company agent will ask you questions over the phone to determine the resources they need to help you. Then, a company team member will arrive on-site to investigate how much smoke cleaning and other restoration work is needed.

3. Temporary Protection

Some windows or walls may require temporary protective tarps or boards to help prevent damage from weather, animals, or looters. A restoration company can provide this service immediately following a fire.

4. Water and Smoke Removal

The fire damage restoration team can then begin the drying and water removal process, as well as smoke and soot removal from surfaces such as ceilings and walls. Don't attempt to enter or clean in unstable, damaged areas. The expertise of the fire damage restoration team will safely return structures and belongings to their pre-fire state.

5. Repair Work

The final steps in the restoration process are cleaning, deodorizing and repair work. Repairs may be as minor as new carpet installation and painting or involve more significant work restoring entire rooms or sections of the house.

Returning a structure to its pre-fire state may seem daunting at first. These tips can help you begin the fire restoration process and get your life back to normal.

3 Ways To Maintain the Pipes in Your Rental Property

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Clogged pipes Clogs could be from built-up hair, food scraps, or grease.

3 Ways to Keep Your Rental Property's Pipes in Good Condition

As the owner of rental properties, you know that regular maintenance is vital to keep costs low and help things stay in good working order. One area of your Mulberry, FL, investment property that is especially important to maintain is the plumbing system. Here are three ways to maintain the pipes in your investment property. 

1. Check for Polybutylene Pipes

If your property was built between 1978 to 1995, there is a good chance you need to replace the pipes. PB-1 pipes were manufactured with a resin on the inside that has been shown to break down over time because of chlorine in the municipal water system and other chemicals in household cleaners. Contact a plumber to inspect the pipes and check for corrosion. If they notice an issue, replace the pipes as soon as possible to prevent a total system failure. 

2. Regularly Use Enzymes

Even if the property doesn't have polybutylene pipes, you could still have problems with clogged pipes in your investment home. The clogs could be from built-up hair, food scraps or grease. It's essential to keep clogs at a minimum because they can cause your plumbing system to back up into your home, which could cause you to spend thousands of dollars on water damage restoration services. Keep clogs under control by giving your tenants enzymes to put in your plumbing system each month. They simply flush the enzymes down the toilet and pour them down some pipes, and the enzymes do the rest. 

3. Clear Trees From the Property

As beautiful as they are, trees that are too close to the plumbing system can wreak havoc on your pipes. The tree roots spread out and can pierce the pipes, destroying them and causing blockages. When planting new trees, keep them at least 100 feet from your main sewer line. If you have existing trees too close to the pipes, contact an arborist to remove them. 

Whether you have polybutylene or clogged pipes or errant tree roots, keeping the pipes in your investment property healthy will be easy to manage with some maintenance and planning.

Fixing Commercial Fire Damage In Your Bartow Self Storage Facility

7/9/2022 (Permalink)

Storage facility on fire Call SERVPRO of Bartow / Lakeland Highlands to help mitigate all effects of the incident.

Repairing Fire Damage in Your Bartow Self-Storage Facility

Once fires start in your Bartow, FL home or commercial property, they spread quickly, and if your self-storage facility is hit, you are likely to incur substantial damages. Having a robust fire suppression system is probably one of your major selling points to customers so you might stop the blaze before it devastates your entire facility. However, you still have to grapple with damages to your Bartow facility.

An incident of commercial fire damage in your Bartow self-storage facility can ruin it in many ways. The smoke produced during combustion is likely to spread all over the facility even when flames are restricted to a small location. The smoke deposits soot and leaves lingering odors to building materials and contents. Our SERVPRO technicians can help clean all residues left on materials and deodorize all affected areas. It is an excellent experience for your clients if they don’t have to deal with smoky smells on items after a fire incident at your facility.

In most cases, water is the primary agent used to quell fires. Because of the high amounts used and indiscriminate spraying when fighting the flames, it can reach many unwanted areas where it can cause additional damages. Extracting any pools left and drying the materials helps stop further deterioration. Our SERVPRO technicians use advanced and straightforward water extraction equipment to ensure your facility dries fast. Water extractors are particularly useful because they have different components, including a pump and a vacuum system, ensuring maximum efficiency.
 
Even when a fire does not damage the items you have in your storage facility, it can create conditions that might cause other damages. If the fire damages the doors, roof, or outer walls of the structure, it leaves the contents stored in the facility exposed to weather elements, vandals, and even rodents that might cause further damages. Our SERVPRO technicians can help you avoid such additional problems by boarding up the affected areas or installing roof tarps. We do it professionally so that it is secure and it does not look like a temporary patch-up so that you can take time to get the best fix.

Even though your clients might understand the accidental nature of a fire incident, the way you respond can leave a negative impression. SERVPRO of Bartow / Lakeland Highlands. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

5 Advantages of a National Disaster Recovery Team

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Damage home due to storm if you have a mayor disaster in your Lakeland, FL area call SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands

Five Benefits of Having a National Disaster Recovery Team

Better restoration outcomes are possible when you can call a recovery team and have skilled experts quickly arrive on site. Mitigation is also most effective in a timely response to disaster. Here are five reasons to rely on a franchise in a nationwide network for disaster recovery services in Lakeland, FL.

1. Many Regions Are Home To Multiple Franchises

The leading restoration company has a network of over 2,000 franchises operating in North America. A centralized dispatch service connects property owners to the closest available professsionals.

2. A National Team Shares Expertise and Equipment

In the event of a major disaster, many property owners may require restoration services. Networked providers can deliver more machinery and skilled manpower for storm response than independent restoration firms.

3. Trained Techs Provide Timely Responses

Restoration technicians should arrive on location in a timely manner to inspect damage and initiate mitigation and restoration. A national service offering Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification can provide the right specialist for any job.

4. Fast Response With Centralized Disaster Recovery Deployment

Calling a nationwide number to be connected with the nearest local franchise is the fastest way to resolve damage. It is crucial to take action during the hours and days immediately after a structure suffers storm damage.

5. Industry-Leading Restoration Specialists
The IICRC programs run by the leading restoration service ensure a highly trained workforce. Insurance companies may consider certified franchises preferred providers of restoration services for the purpose of settling claims.

These reasons for choosing national disaster recovery apply after any incident in Lakeland, FL. A trustworthy company with franchises located across the United States and Canada can be the best recourse. Networked franchise locations have more resources to process and respond in a timely manner to service calls in the wake of disasters.