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How Quickly Should Businesses Act When Water Damage Occurs?

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial Flood Image If your business experiences a water loss, Call SERVPRO right away!

An unexpected water disaster can be detrimental to any business, large or small. The key to keeping water damage to a minimum and restoring your business to a functional state again is based on how quickly you react to water damage. While some situations seem minor, even small amounts of water can cause significant damage if left unchecked. See how much damage can happen in a small amount of time without proper water damage remediation.

How much damage can happen over time when a water disaster occurs?

Water damage within minutes

  • Water quickly spreads into floors, drywall, fixtures, equipment, and documents.

Damage in the first 24 hours

  • Drywall swells and breaks from the saturation
  • Hardwoods and furnishings swell and crack
  • Microbial growth begins

Water damage within 5 days

  • Mold growth accelerates
  • Wood is saturated and warped
  • Ceilings collapse
  • Flooring is likely unsalvageable

Unchecked damage after 5 days

  • Structural safety is compromised
  • Contaminants are a serious threat
  • Restoration costs escalate

How your business can be prepared for water damage

To be prepared, you need to develop a contingency plan in case of water damage or any other kind of emergency. SERVPRO has an Emergency Ready Profile that is a free assessment of your facility when such disasters strike your business. The SERVPRO ERP identifies prioritized points of contact for authorizing the cleanup and restoration to begin. This saves time which will get your business up and running quicker saving time and money. It also provides detailed information such as water and gas shut-off valve locations and other priority information to accelerate reaction time and keep damage to a minimum. This will provide the crews reacting to your situation a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call…crucial when time is of the essence!

Contact us at 863-617-1976 to learn more about protecting your business. We’re here 24/7 to assist you with any emergency you may experience.

Hmmm... Is that mold?

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

Mold damage behind wallpaper If you feel you have mold damage, call us today.

Suspicion of hidden mold

Do you think your home or office smells moldy but you do not see anything that resembles mold?  Do you know if there has been water damage in the past?  It is possible that mold may be present, but it is hidden.  

Common hiding places for mold are

  • The back side of dry wall
  • Behind wallpaper
  • Behind paneling
  • Ceiling tiles
  • The underside of carpet and padding

Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas

  • Inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes)
  • The surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms)
  • Inside ductwork
  • Air Conditioning Closet 
  • In roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation)

Investigating hidden mold problems

Investigating hidden mold may be difficult and will require caution as the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper.

If you believe you may have a hidden mold problem, please reach out to SERVPRO Bartow/Lakeland Highlands at 863-617-1976.  We have the experience and knowledge to safely investigate.


Do's and Don'ts After a Flood

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Local church flooded Major flood at a local church was caused by ruptured pipe.

Things you can do before help arrives:

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

What To Do After a Flood

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

If you experience water damage in your home or business, call us at 863-510-5962 24/7!

Maintenance Tips for Your Florida Home

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Woman with drill making repairs Don't be caught off guard! Maintaining your home is much easier than paying for big repairs!!

Here are some tips that all Florida homeowners need to know!

On a Monthly Basis:

  • Clean or replace air conditioning filters. This helps to keep your air conditioning system operating at peak performance.
  • Flush toilets and run water through all sinks and bath tubs/showers that are not used on a regular basis.
  • Inspect and repair the following caulked areas as necessary.
    • Window & door seals
    • Kitchen & bath areas that are frequently exposed to being wet
    • Flushing areas

On a Quarterly Basis:

  • Check your GFCls (ground fault circuit interrupters) for proper operations by pressing the “Test” button. If the circuit does not trip, replace your GFCI outlet.
  • Clean your faucet aerators & inspect your plumbing for leaks.
  • Check the exterior drainage conditions to ensure that nothing is causing water to stand in puddles for more than 24 hours, and that water from any source is not draining toward your foundation.
  • Inspect and clean all of your exterior vents. Make sure that air flows freely and that each has an operable damper to prevent back flow of outside air and to keep small animals from entering your home.

On a Seasonal Basis:

  • Inspect sprinklers and make adjustments as needed. Timers will also need to be adjusted based on the time of year.
  • Clean and repair gutters. Make sure they are free of debris that could prevent free flow of water. Be sure water from the gutters is being properly deflected away from the home.
  • Inspect roof for loose or missing shingles and check flashing seals. Make necessary repairs. 

On an Annual Basis:

  • Have your Air Conditioner serviced by a professional. Be sure they clean the coils as this can help prevent mold growth.
  • Have your air ducts checked. If your ductwork is not cleaned when needed, it can pollute your home’s air and also increase your electricity bills.
  • Service your lawn mower and yard equipment (blowers, edgers and trimmers
  • Have your home fire extinguishers tested and replace smoke alarm batteries.
  • Have your hot water heater professionally serviced.
  • Have your carpet professionally cleaned by a reputable company like SERVPRO!! 

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Technicians cleaning soot from ceiling Call SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands if you have soot/smoke damage for either emergency services or an estimate/evaluation!

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and soot facts:
Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.  Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.  The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke:
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – 863-617-1976

How to Assess and Repair Roof Storm Damage

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Damage to roof from a storm Be sure to have your roof inspected after any major storm.


It can be an emotional time if disaster strikes. Storms can affect both your yard and your home. Your roof experiences the worst of the damage. Some roof storm damage is very obvious, while issues may not be noticeable until it’s too late. You may not immediately realize the damage, but there are major consequences if you do not have your roof repaired immediately.

SERVPRO Of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands can help you. We are 24/7 full service emergency restoration services, including water damage and storm damage restoration.


  1. Tornadoes
  2. Hailstorm
  3. Strong Wind
  4. Thunderstorm

Repairing your roof after a storm.

A new roof only need minor repairs. If shingles are not that old, you may not need to replace the entire roof. Professional contractors can patch shingles, have alternative roofing material, like steel sheeting. Most roof damage requires a complete replacement of your roof. Choose a professional roof restoration company that can clear the debris effectively.

Contacting Insurance Company

If your roof was damaged from a storm, your insurance may cover the damage. It is important to contact your provider if you experienced hail, rain or wind damage.

Regardless of circumstances –damage from storms or floods. Call SERVPRO Of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands. Our mitigation experts are standing to provide storm damage restoration to return the property to a preloss condition.

Call SERVPRO Of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands at (863) 617-1976

Causes of Commercial Water Damage

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded office space Flooded Office

Here are some common causes of commercial water damage:


In commercial buildings, water damage is often caused by windows that are not properly sealed. Damaged windows can cause moisture to seep in, which triggers a lot of problems including mold build-up and warped wood and drywall. Resealing windows is important as caulk can break down over time.


Broken pipes can stem from many reasons, such as changes in pressure, deteriorated water supply lines and sewer drains. Bulging walls, water stains on walls or floors, cracked or loose tiles, and musty smell – these are all signs of damaged pipes. Detecting leaky pipes is challenging and it usually requires specialized water leak detection equipment.


If gutters are not cleaned regularly, they can get clogged, causing water to leak into the property through the roof or the foundation. One of the most common signs of leaks in building foundations are puddles nearby or framing that has become wet. Having poor drainage systems can also lead to water damage in your foundation.


A leaky roof can cause ceiling damage, mold or mildew issues, fires from shortened wires, and compromised structural integrity. Exposure to heavy rains make roofs vulnerable to damage. 


HVAC systems work by heating or cooling the air through a series of ducts. Over time, these ducts wear out and get damaged, resulting in leaks. The HVAC system should be cleaned and the excess water from the condensation reservoirs has to be removed to prevent water damage.


Sewer water contains bacteria and other pathogens that cause illnesses and infections. If you see signs of sewage damage, such as gurgling sounds or water backing up out of the drain or toilet, you should call water damage and restoration professional immediately.


Other causes of water damage in commercial buildings are leaks in sprinkler systems. Signs of sprinkler leaks include wet surfaces like drywall and carpets, presence of mold, and standing water. Regularly inspect your sprinkler systems for leaks and moisture.

SERVPRO of Highlands County is "Here to Help" 24/7.  Please call 863-644-0258 or text 863-617-1976 if you need assistance with your commercial property. 

Is it Safe to Enter a Wet Property?

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded Home Contact SERVPRO if your home experiences water damage!

Polk County Residents Choose SERVPRO to Return their Homes to a Safe Condition after Water Intrusion. 

Why are wet properties dangerous?

Performing restoration work in Polk County can present many different hazards that both residents and technicians need to be aware of, including electrical hazards, structural deficiencies, and slip, trip, and fall hazards. A wet structure is likely to be full of small dangers requiring special precautions to avoid personal injury or further damage the resident. Restoring power to a property, for example, could lead to an electrical fault or fire without exercising the proper safety precautions. SERVPRO is adept at assessing a property with water intrusion and restoring a safe environment.

What kind of dangers are there in a damaged property?

  • Wet or weakened structural components like staircases, light fittings, and ceilings
  • Damages to the electrical wiring as well as potential electrical currents being conducted by water
  • Slippery flooring or hidden obstacles that could lead to falls and personal injury

When is it safe to return electricity to a wet property?

Water conducts electrical currents, so water restoration professionals in Polk County take extra -care before resetting power.  Creating a safe environment first involves a careful assessment of the power distribution channel. It is vital to shut off all circuit breakers via this box in an emergency to avoid causing electrical damage, especially when water migrates into wall cavities or crawl spaces. SERVPRO technicians may opt to use external power with an industrial generator to run equipment until the building is completely dry before resetting the power. 

What steps make a wet property electrically safe?

  • Shutting off all circuit breakers via the power distribution panel
  • Posting clear signage and lockout tags on the power distribution panel to prevent reactivation of circuitry
  • Use of ground fault circuit interrupters when using electrical equipment within the property

A wet property could be dangerous. For secure restoration, contact SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands at (863) 510-5962 or text (863) 617-1976

What Your Business Should Know About Lightning Strikes

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Storm Damage - image of lightning Lightning Storm

A lightning strike is a discharge of atmospheric electricity which is generated by an accumulation of differing charges within a cloud. It is one of the most common causes of weather-related deaths in the U.S.  

Each year lightning  strikes cause billions of dollars in property damage and complete devastation. Lightning can start a direct fire because the core temperature of a lightning strike is approximately 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The harm to structures, electronics, building systems and vehicles can be extensive, causing loss of product and major downtime. 

Major hazards caused by lightning:

Fire damage: The biggest threat lightning poses to a structure is fire . Wood and other flammable construction materials can easily explode when exposed to the high temperature of a lightning strike. Lightning current traveling through wires and pipelines instantly burns them up causing complete damage to property.

Power surge damage: If lightning chooses electrical wiring as its primary or secondary path, the explosive surge can damage all the appliances it is connected to.

Shock wave damage: Lightning produces shock waves that can be destructive. These shock waves can fracture concrete and brick and stone chimneys severely.

SERVPRO Of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands and Highlands County are "Here to Help" 24/7 @ 863-510-5962!

4 Tips To Prevent Water Damage During a Vacation

11/1/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of luggage Protect your home while on vacation

Four Tips To Protect Your Home When You Go Away

One of the more common issues that homeowners insurance covers is water pipe repair jobs. Leaking and burst pipes due to age or cold can cause a lot of damage. If a pipe bursts when you are on vacation, it can cause serious damage that needs to be fixed by water remediation professionals. Follow these four tips to protect your house when you go away.

1. Examine Your Sump Pump
Listen to your motor and make sure all the water is getting pumped. You may also want to look into battery backup to cover power outages. Also, check the hookups to the pump for any broken pipe. Performing maintenance before you leave will prevent you from having all the water pumped back into your house while you are gone.

2. Inspect Appliance Hoses
Along with the pump, check appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. Make sure attachments are tightly sealed and replace any hoses that look damaged or are getting old.

3. Insulate Exposed Pipes
Protect your plumbing from freezing to avoid the need for water pipe repair. Most hardware stores carry foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves that will fit over your pipes. Remove any hoses from your outdoor spigots. Turn the heat down but don't turn it off to protect indoor pipes when you leave your house in Highland Beach, FL.

4. Check for Leaks
Examine the plumbing under the sinks. If you notice any issues, have a professional come and fix them before you leave. You should also verify the condition of all window seals, and look for any missing shingles on the roof. It is simple enough to recaulk a window or replace a shingle.
A common issue that occurs while people are on vacation is a burst pipe leading to a flooded house. By taking a few precautions and investing in water pipe repair as soon as it's needed, you can avoid the need for expensive water damage repairs.

Faster to Any Size Water Emergency

SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands is “Here to Help” if you have any kind of flood or water damage.  We proudly respond immediately to all emergency calls 24/7, even on holidays! (863)510-5962 or text us at (863)617-1976.