Recent Posts

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.

3 Essential Things To Know About Category 3 Water Damage

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Bartow Verizon Store Water Damage A leak in the roof at this Verizon store flooded the showroom and other portions of the store.

Three Things You Should Know About Category 3 Water Damage

Water damage can inflict itself in many ways and to various degrees. The most alarming type of water damage is Category 3, or black water. This contaminant-filled water can not only cause destruction to properties but pose health risks as well. Here are the three major things your know in the event black water is found in your Highland City, FL, property. 

1. It Is Highly Contaminated

Water damage ranges from Category 1, or clean water, to grossly unsanitary black water. Category 3 water is filled with biohazards like fungi, viruses, and bacteria, as well as chemical toxins. It's important to note that while Category 2 damage, or gray water, also features a high level of contaminants, it does not pose as much of a health threat upon exposure. However, gray water that has gone untreated for too long can develop more bacteria and be re-categorized as black water.

2. Flood Water Is a Common Source

Buildings that face flood damage after a storm are actually dealing with black water. Rainwater itself is not contaminated, however, groundwater flooding or rising seawater contains a collection of harmful bio elements. A sewage backup is another common source of black water, so always consider your health and safety should a toilet overflow with fecal matter.

3. Water Damage Specialists Should Always Handle Cleanup

When it comes to treating Category 3 water, rely on water damage mitigation professionals to get the job done. These highly-trained experts can properly handle the extraction of flood water and dry out the affected space. Black water's dangerous properties require extensive sanitizing which a cleanup company will handle after the removal of water. Any structural damage that remains will then be taken care of as needed. 

Category 3 water comes highly contaminated so be wary of any buildup of flood water or wastewater and leave the cleanup to professionals. 

Why Board Up Services Are Important

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Board up home Boarding up your home after a fire also keeps out water, debris, and other natural elements that may otherwise blow in.

Why Are Boarding Up Services Important?

A fire in your home in Bartow, FL, causes damage that only certified fire restoration experts can fix. The first thing technicians are likely to do when they arrive on site is to board up any vulnerable spots in the structure. This important step has several benefits.

Crime Prevention

Most people don't look for ways to enter into a property that is not their own. But thieves and other criminals seek out vulnerable spots that make their crimes easier. Emergency board up services make it harder for them to get into your home to commit various offenses:

  • Information or identity theft
  • Vandalism
  • Property theft
  • Material scrapping

Liability Avoidance

Even if people enter your home uninvited, you may still be liable for any physical harm they sustain while they are there. A fire makes your structure unstable, so injury is more likely for anyone who ventures in. If you board up the holes in your walls, windows, and roof, however, they will be less tempted to enter.

Fire Damage Coverage

Your insurance policy covers the restoration process for your home, but there are still expectations that you will take the appropriate measure to prevent further damage. In fact, if you don't protect your home after a fire, your neglect may nullify the policy. This may leave you paying for repairs out of pocket.

Overall Protection

Boarding up your home after a fire also keeps out water, debris, and other natural elements that may otherwise blow in. Your home is already damaged by flames; leaving it vulnerable only causes additional problems. These issues can drive up the cost of restoration considerably.

Technicians board up your home after a fire to protect it from further damage. This crucial first step helps the mitigation process go smoothly and quickly, getting you back into your home as soon as possible. 

The Importance of Storm Shutters

5/31/2022 (Permalink)

Storm shutters shade windows on a beach house on a sunny day The cost of installing storm coverings varies depending on square footage, labor fees, location and shutter style.

Storm Shutters And Their Importance

Inclement weather can have devastating consequences. Preparing your property for tropical storms is necessary when living in a coastal area, and strengthening your home to withstand a hurricane is crucial for your residence's safekeeping. Impact coverings act as barriers against high winds, rain and falling debris. Consider the following when making decisions about protecting your property from dangerous weather.

Type of Exterior Safeguards Available

When considering preventative measures in Mulberry, FL, one essential form of protection is the installation of storm panels. These panels ensure that sensitive components of your home, such as windows and doors, are guarded against high winds. The four main categories of storm shutters are:

  • Accordion: Rolls on a track and snaps together in place
  • Colonial: Hinges and stacks on the side and swings in for closing
  • Bahama: Hinges at a 45-degree angle and closes from the top
  • Roll Down: Lowers from the top of the window using a manual crank or motor

Each of these options provides your property with adequate impact protection.

What You Can Expect To Spend on Shutters

The cost of installing storm coverings varies depending on square footage, labor fees, location and shutter style. You can expect to pay between $10 and $70 per square foot for materials and $40 and $100 per hour in labor fees.

Increase Your Home Value

Should you decide to sell your property, shuttered windows can make potential buyers feel better about acquiring a home in a hurricane zone. People looking to purchase in Mulberry, FL, also tend to pay more for the benefit of added security against storms.

Some of the most beautiful residential locations experience the most dangerous weather conditions. In addition to securing personal property against the elements, consider trusting a residential cleanup company to aid in the aftermath of a storm. Doing so can help alleviate the stress of property damage and get your home back in its original condition.