Recent Posts

Can Mold Really Grow in Dry Climates?

5/15/2023 (Permalink)

Mold infestation growing on a ceiling. While mold growth may be less common in dry climates, it is still possible.

When most people think of mold, they likely picture a damp and humid environment, such as a basement or bathroom. However, mold can grow in a variety of conditions, including dry climates. While it may be less common in arid regions, mold growth can still occur in areas where there is moisture present. In this blog post, we'll explore whether mold can grow in dry climates and what factors contribute to its growth.

Can Mold Grow in Dry Climates?

While mold growth is less common in dry climates, it is still possible. In fact, some types of mold, such as Aspergillus and Penicillium, can thrive in arid environments. Mold spores can also enter your home through open windows or doors or by hitching a ride on your clothing or pets. Once inside, the spores can settle on surfaces and begin to grow if there is moisture present.

What Factors Contribute to Mold Growth in Dry Climates?

While dry climates may seem inhospitable to mold growth, there are several factors that can contribute to its development. These include:

Humidity: Even in dry climates, there can be pockets of humidity, such as in bathrooms or near water sources. Mold can grow in these areas if the moisture is not properly controlled.

Water damage: Any water damage, such as a leaky roof or plumbing issue, can create the conditions necessary for mold to grow, regardless of the climate.

Poor ventilation: Poor ventilation can trap moisture in your home, providing an ideal environment for mold growth.

Indoor plants: Certain types of indoor plants can release moisture into the air, which can contribute to mold growth in dry climates.

How to Prevent Mold Growth in Dry Climates?

While it may be more challenging to prevent mold growth in dry climates, there are still steps you can take to minimize the risk. These include:

Use a dehumidifier: If you live in a humid area, using a dehumidifier can help to remove excess moisture from the air and prevent mold growth.

Proper ventilation: Ensure that your home is properly ventilated to prevent moisture from accumulating.

Monitor indoor humidity levels: Keep an eye on indoor humidity levels, and aim to keep them between 30-50%.

Address water damage immediately: If you experience any water damage, such as a leaky roof or plumbing issue, address it immediately to prevent mold growth.

Clean regularly: Regular cleaning can help to prevent mold growth by removing any spores that may have settled on surfaces.

In conclusion, while mold growth may be less common in dry climates, it is still possible. Factors such as humidity, water damage, poor ventilation, and indoor plants can all contribute to mold growth. By taking steps to prevent moisture accumulation and addressing any water damage immediately, you can minimize the risk of mold growth in your home, regardless of the climate.

Smoke, Soot, and Safety: Why You Should Consider Professional Electronics Cleaning After a Fire

4/21/2023 (Permalink)

water damaged electronics It is important to have your electronics assessed by a professional after a fire.

After experiencing a fire, it's common to wonder if your electronics are safe to use. Whether it was a small kitchen fire or a larger structural fire, the effects can be devastating, and your electronics may have been exposed to a range of contaminants. So, should you have your electronics cleaned after a fire? The answer is, it depends.

First and foremost, safety should always be the top priority. If you suspect that any of your electronics may have been damaged by the fire, do not attempt to turn them on or use them. In some cases, electronics can become dangerous if they have been damaged by a fire, and attempting to use them can pose a significant risk to you and your family. It's essential to have a professional assess the damage before attempting to use any of your electronics.

Even if your electronics appear to be undamaged, they may have been exposed to a range of contaminants during the fire. Smoke, soot, and other contaminants can cause damage to your electronics, and may even be hazardous to your health if they are not properly removed. The longer these contaminants are left untreated, the more damage they can cause to your electronics, and the more difficult it may be to remove them.

So, should you have your electronics cleaned after a fire? In general, it's a good idea to have a professional assess the damage and determine whether your electronics need to be cleaned or replaced. If your electronics have been exposed to smoke or soot, it's likely that they will need to be professionally cleaned to remove any contaminants that may have settled on them.

Professional electronics cleaning services can help remove contaminants from your electronics safely and effectively. These services typically use specialized equipment and techniques to remove contaminants without causing further damage to your electronics. They can also help identify any hidden damage that may have occurred as a result of the fire, such as damage to the wiring or internal components.

In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to replace your electronics rather than have them cleaned. This is especially true if the electronics were old or already in need of replacement. A professional can help you determine whether it's worth cleaning your electronics or if it's better to replace them.

In conclusion, it's important to have your electronics assessed by a professional after a fire. Even if your electronics appear undamaged, they may have been exposed to contaminants that can cause damage or pose a health risk. Professional electronics cleaning services can help remove these contaminants safely and effectively, ensuring that your electronics are safe to use. If you're unsure about whether your electronics need to be cleaned or replaced, a professional can help you make an informed decision.

Hiring a Certified Water Specialist

3/16/2023 (Permalink)

swelling wood Wood will swell after a water loss in your home. Give the professionals a call today!

Water damage restoration is a specialized field that requires extensive training and experience. This means you should only hire a certified water damage specialist to help with your restoration job. However, there are some things you need to know before hiring a professional. The most important thing to remember is not all companies are equal when it comes to their ability to handle water loss situations. Some companies may try to sell you more products or services than what's necessary for the job at hand because they're looking for ways of increasing their profit margins by charging extra fees on top of the initial cost of doing business with them in the first place.

Understanding the Loss.

A certified water damage restoration expert can help you understand the full extent of the damage. They will be able to give you an accurate estimate of how much water was lost, what caused it and what steps need to be taken next.

Certified water damage experts are trained to be impartial in their assessment of the damage. This means that they can help you better understand the full extent of your situation, as well as what it will take to restore your home or business.

If you're facing a large restoration project, it's important for you to understand all of your options so that you can make an informed decision about how best to proceed. Your certified expert will be able to provide this information and guide you through every step along the way.

Hazardous Materials.

Certified experts are trained to handle water damage situations, which means they know how to properly remove and dispose of hazardous materials. For example, if you have standing water in your home, the certified expert will know how to identify potential hazards like mold and mildew before beginning any cleanup process. If there is any visible mold or mildew growth on surfaces such as ceilings or walls, this must be removed with care so that it doesn't spread throughout your home or cause further damage,

Certified technicians also use special equipment like HEPA vacuums that filter out bacteria as they suck up moisture from carpeting and hardwood floors--keeping air quality inside yours safe for breathing!

Advanced Equipment

A certified professional will speed up the restoration process because they have access to advanced equipment and products that are specially designed for drying out homes and businesses. Certified water damage restoration technicians are trained in using this equipment, so they can use it effectively. They also know how to properly use products like dehumidifiers and air movers, which can help dry out your home faster than if you tried it yourself.

When you hire a certified specialist, you're also hiring someone who has been trained to handle liability issues related to dealing with water damage professionals. By signing your property over to a professional repair company or individual, you are taking on the risk of being held legally responsible for any damage that may occur during the cleanup process.

If you have experienced any type of water loss in your home or business, it's important that you hire a certified water damage restoration expert. Certified experts have the right training and equipment to handle water damage situations. They are also trained to handle hazardous materials such as mold and mildew, which are common when dealing with large amounts of moisture. Give SERVPRO a call at the first sign of water damage in your home or business.

Understanding Homeowners Insurance

2/14/2023 (Permalink)

are you ready button Are you properly ready with homeowner insurance in case of a disaster?

Homeowners insurance is a type of property insurance that covers your home and the things inside it. It can also provide protection against some risks that aren't related to the property itself, such as liability or medical payments if someone gets hurt on or near your property. Homeowners insurance policies vary depending on where you live, the size of your home and contents of the home.

Insurance Needs

Any changes in your life could affect your insurance needs. Your house and personal possessions can be protected by homeowners insurance, but it's important to choose the right plan for you and your family.

Here are a few common life changes that could trigger adjustments to your policy:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth of a child
  • Changing jobs (or starting one)
  • New job responsibilities

Finding the right Insurance for you

To find the right homeowners policy for you, start by discussing your options with an agent or broker who can explain what's available in your area and help you get the coverage that's right for you.

What does your Insurance Policy Cover?

Your homeowners policy protects more than just your home, it also covers damage to other buildings that are part of your property and the personal belongings inside them. It also offers liability protection should someone be injured on your property or if you cause damage to another person’s property.

Your renters insurance protects the personal belongings in your apartment or house against theft, fire, vandalism and other hazards. But it doesn’t cover loss due to floods or earthquakes—those types of losses must be covered under separate policies. Consider buying additional endorsements that expand coverage when traveling outside of town, or add coverage for valuables like jewelry and furs that are not typically covered under standard policies

Personal Property Coverage

While most policies cover personal property such as furniture, appliances and clothing anywhere in the world, certain possessions have limits, such as jewelry, fine art or silverware. Ask about how these items are covered under a standard homeowners policy.

Jewelry is typically covered up to $1,500 per item for theft or loss. However, if you want coverage for more expensive pieces of jewelry (costing more than $1,500), then you'll need to purchase additional coverage called "floater" insurance.

Fine art is another type of personal property that may require separate insurance coverage to protect against theft or damage from fire or other disaster scenarios. If you have an original painting worth thousands of dollars then this needs its own protection beyond what a basic home insurance policy offers.

Understanding all of the Details

Talking to an agent about how best to protect yourself is the first step in understanding all of the details about homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance is complicated, and it's important that you understand all of its details.

Homeowners insurance is a good investment, so it can help you sleep better at night knowing that if something happens to your home—like a fire or flood—you'll be protected financially.

If you're looking into purchasing new homeowners insurance, talk to an agent today!

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.