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How To Maintain a Building Envelope To Prevent Rain Damage

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Storm damage to a commercial business in Eagle Lake, FL.

How to Keep a Building Envelope Clean to Avoid Rain Damage

Rain damage to your Eagle Lake, FL, business can cause serious problems, including black mold and structural issues. Fortunately, maintaining your building's envelope helps protect it from inclement weather.

Components

The building envelope is the membrane between the indoors and outdoors. The envelope keeps out wind and rain and minimizes heat loss. The barrier consists of several elements, including the following:

  • Roof
  • Doors
  • Walls
  • Foundation
  • Seals

An envelope that keeps out most external elements is referred to as "tight," while a barrier that allows more airflow is called "loose." A tight envelope will prevent rain damage more effectively and provide better climate control than a loose envelope.

Maintenance

Although even tightly sealed buildings occasionally incur damage that requires the skills of a professional restoration team, routine maintenance is still the best way to protect your building from the elements. Perform regular inspections of all components of the envelope. Depending on your skill level and the size of your building, you may be able to examine the structure yourself. Inspections should be performed at least twice a year. If a particularly strong storm hits your area, go out afterward and do a visual check to make sure no damage was done.

If an inspection reveals any damage or weak spots, perform the necessary repairs as quickly as possible. If any building materials need to be replaced, a professional can guide you to the best solutions for the weather patterns in your area.
Even when no damage is present, you may decide to upgrade some components of your building envelope to increase their energy efficiency or weather resistance. Make sure all upgrades are installed correctly. Otherwise, your building may be at risk during the next storm.

Rain damage is a common issue among business owners, but it is preventable in many cases. A tight envelope that is properly maintained will decrease the chances of your building suffering storm damage and minimize any damage that does occur.

Wise Storm Preparedness Tips for Property Managers

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

Storm preparedness keeps residents safe.

As a property manager in Winter Haven, FL, one of your major duties is storm preparedness. Neglecting this responsibility means that bad weather may have a particularly negative impact, creating even more damage than there might otherwise be. Thankfully, there are commercial property restoration professionals that can fix almost any type of structural catastrophe. Here is some advice regarding how property managers should react to and prepare for bad weather.

Weather Disaster Responsibilities of Property Managers

Those in charge of residential properties shoulder many obligations after a storm, including:

  • Checking the grounds for downed power lines
  • Examining windows for cracks and gas lines for leaks
  • Erecting security barriers so that vandals and thieves cannot enter

The effects of weather damage can compound a property manager's post-storm responsibilities, making storm preparedness an essential strategy for keeping your premises running smoothly.

Weather Disaster Preparation for Property Managers
Your primary concern when it comes to storms is keeping tenants safe. Assess your complex for the best escape options. Share your analysis with everyone who could benefit. A more expensive yet potentially lifesaving option is to create a safe room built to FEMA specifications.
High winds can knock over grills and start fires. Mandate that barbecue equipment is immediately brought inside after use. Additionally, using fireproof materials, such as fiber cement siding, helps reduce the odds of an accidental blaze.
Property management requires fast action under pressure. Have emergency numbers handy so that you can quickly call the authorities even when you feel panicked. Write these contacts down so that they may be easily accessed even if a power loss means your computer won't turn on and your phone's battery is drained. Keep a flashlight nearby so you are able to read your list in complete darkness.
Storm preparedness keeps residents safe, reduces building damage, and makes your job easier. Employ these recommendations if you are responsible for any type of residential property.

4 Quick Tips To Prepare Your Business for a Storm

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Back up your files and data.

Storm Preparedness

Storms can hit Mulberry, FL, very quickly — some with very little warning. In worst cases, the only notice you’ll get is when floodwater starts coming in. Your business needs to be prepared before it happens and be ready to act immediately when necessary.

A major storm that gets in can be a business-closing disaster. In fact, studies show that a staggering 90% of companies fail within two years of a disaster that forces them to close for at least a couple of days. However, the same studies show that being prepared can substantially boost your ability to reopen and stay open. Here are four steps to help you reopen quickly, beat the competition and keep growing your business after even a major disaster.

1. Be Ready for a Flood

Floods kill more Americans each year than any other disaster, and water damage is a leading cause of insurance claims. Have employees ready to evacuate immediately if there’s a flood watch.
Damage from floodwater is usually not covered by regular commercial insurance. You need a special flood insurance policy, which can be found on FEMA’s website. If you’re in a high-risk flood zone, you should make sure you have this policy.

2. Back Up Your Files and Data

With so many cloud services available, you should put all data possible in your secured cloud account. Critical paperwork should be stored in a safe that can survive a fire or flooded building.

3. Know What Alerts Mean

The National Weather Service issues smartphone emergency alerts. Know what they mean and use them to stay prepared.

4. Get Restoration Help Quickly

Keep the number of a water restoration company on hand. The sooner professionals can arrive, the less the cleanup process will cost. They can get the water out quickly, saving tons of damage.
Being ready in advance is your key to storm resiliency. Storm and flood water damage doesn’t have to be the end of your enterprise.

Home Restoration After Flooding

3/29/2022 (Permalink)

Storm damage restoration in Lakeland, FL.

After a Flood, You May Need To Restore Your Home

Take care of your most valuable investment—your home—by having a content cleaning plan. If storm-related flooding or pipe burst occurs in Lakeland, FL, you’ll be equipped to deal with any eventuality.

1. Whom to Call

The most important step in the event of a residential flood is the accurate assessment of the damage. Never enter a totally inundated basement, especially before the electrical systems have been shut off. Murky water with floating debris may be indicative of a high degree of contamination, especially if the body of water has come in contact with sewage or sewer lines. In these cases, it is best to contact a qualified water cleanup professional.

2. What to Do

Most cleanup services will begin by pumping water out of the affected area and ensuring that no continual leak remains. However, content cleaning involves more than just removing the obvious standing water. Many materials retain moisture and can harbor mold and bacterial growth. Porous materials and materials embedded deep in your home structures with poor air exposure may need to be torn out and replaced. Other non-porous materials can usually be dried provided that the room has sufficient airflow to clear the trapped water for good.

3. Other Considerations

Any substances that have come into contact with black water will likely need to be both dried and disinfected. Most professional services accomplish this with a combination of chemical and ultraviolet exposures to ensure that your belongings are decontaminated without damaging them. If drywall and insulation needs complete replacement, you might consider improving the plastic vapor barrier against the interior wall as well.

All in all, the most professional services can provide a content cleaning process at a reasonable cost with minimal disruption. Have the contact information of a cleanup company ready in case you or someone you know suffers any type of flooding event.

SERVPRO Is the Business Partner You Didn’t Know You Needed | SERVPRO® of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands

3/26/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands is your local commercial restoration expert. Contact us today should you experience any damage.

Running a business means taking all the help you can get. When you manage a property or a company, you know that any available hand is needed to keep things running smoothly. A major disruption or a loss can be a catastrophe.

You have a built-in silent partner available right here in your Florida backyard with SERVPRO. We can carry the burden of any cleanup and recovery needs, as well as data backup and regular deep-cleaning. SERVPRO can carry so many aspects of your business that it’s like having an ally that is invested in you, your company’s business success plan, and your neighborhood.

Large loss recovery. Natural disasters are among the top causes of loss for businesses. Fires, storms and flooding cause massive amounts of damage across the United States, and when action isn’t taken quickly, the disruption time to your company can continue to add up. We are no strangers to extreme weather here in the Bartow and Lakeland areas, especially weather that brings extreme heat and severe thunderstorms. Our team is highly skilled and has the equipment to respond to your crisis 24 hours a day. SERVPRO’s proven emergency services can minimize your time away from your business and get you on the road to recovery faster.

Emergency Ready Plan. Recovery from a disaster should start long before the emergency strikes with the proper planning. We can tailor-make the perfect comprehensive plan for your business that includes everything from a chain of command, alternate work locations and temporary vendors. When a disruption happens and you say “go,” your Emergency Ready Plan will click into place and your business will start moving back toward normal right away.

Cleaning of all kinds. We have every aspect of cleaning you and your business could ever need covered. SERVPRO has been cleaning a long time, and we have the equipment and training to handle basic deep-cleaning of high traffic areas, carpets and upholstery, as well as specialty cleaning needs including trauma site cleanup and safe biohazard removal. There isn’t a situation we haven’t seen, and we can clean them all.

Restoration services. A heavy rain storm produces a flash flood, an intern burns lunch in the cafeteria or a pipe bursts during one of our unusual cold spells—anything can happen that leads to your business needing some kind of restoration. As Florida natives, we are highly trained in our communities’ unique cleaning and restoration needs. From water removal to reconstruction, SERVPRO of Bartow and Lakeland Highlands can get your business back in order better than anyone.

Industry specialization. There isn’t a corporate office we haven’t studied and trained to work on in our community over the decades. Whatever your business’ specific needs are, we are ready to handle them. In many cases, we can tackle your cleaning or restoration needs in an enclosed area while you continue to run your company.

Whatever your recovery need may be, and whatever your commercial property may require, trust SERVPRO to get the job done. Contact us today to get started on an Emergency Ready Plan or find out how we can serve your business.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Fire

3/15/2022 (Permalink)

Keep computer files backed up on an external hard drive.

Three Steps to Prepare Your Company for a Fire

Fires can devastate businesses in Highland City, FL, and though it's scary to think that your business could be affected by a fire, it's important to prepare for emergencies. Having a contingency plan in place can help to keep the people in your business safe and can help to protect your property.

1. Maintain Important Tools and Equipment
There are various tools and pieces of equipment that are often useful to have if a fire occurs, and it can be helpful to maintain these items. The fire alarms in your business should have the batteries replaced yearly, and the smoke detectors themselves should be replaced at least every 10 years. Keeping fire extinguishers in key locations, such as in kitchens or near electrical items, can also be helpful.

2. Back-Up Essential Documents
For many businesses, it's important to have access to various documents after a fire occurs. Important documents, such as building permits or documentation of inspections, can be backed up on a cloud as part of your business's contingency plan. Providing these documents to your business's insurance provider and a fire damage restoration company can help to make the claims process as well as the restoration process easier.

3. Prepare an Evacuation Plan
If a fire does occur in your business in Highland City, FL, it's often important to evacuate the building in a timely manner. Placing a visual guide that displays the escape plan around your building can be helpful to staff and visitors. It can also be useful to practice your escape plan routinely with your staff in order to answer any questions that your staff may have and to ensure that everyone knows what to do if a fire occurs.

Fires can occur with little warning, and it's important to prepare your business for disasters of all types. Though you may never need to use your contingency plan, having one in place can help you be more prepared if a fire affects your business.

Why Choosing Local Is Best for Your Restoration

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

Flood damage in a building in Bartow, FL.

Why Choosing a Local Company for Your Restoration Is the Best Option

If your business has been impacted by a natural disaster in Bartow, FL, you're not alone. Not only are there other business owners who are in your shoes, but you can contact your insurance company for help finding a restoration company and get help quickly. Whether you're dealing with fire damage, water damage, or you're concerned about mold growth, choose a local company that can show up faster to any size disaster.

1. Local Feel

No one appreciates a local story more than a local. When you need an emergency restoration team, you want to work with someone who understands the urgency that you're facing in a way that's personal. Communities should support each other, so when there's an opportunity for business owners to work together and they take it, everyone wins.

2. Corporate Reach

A franchise that is locally owned is ideal for restoration work. You get the benefit of local knowledge along with the reach of corporate resources. Additionally, franchise owners represent a larger company which means that they have certain standards to achieve and guidelines to follow. If the franchise owners need help or resources, they have access to it, giving you confidence that your project will be completed to the highest industry standard. They'll also have the resources to simplify the insurance claim process by using an electronic claims service to organize all of your files.

3. Professionally Trained

You can feel confident that the person working on your project will understand the importance of being faster to any size disaster because they have been trained to value their work. Larger corporations have resources for their franchise partners to provide continuing education so that they are always up to date on the latest products and safety standards.
A local restoration company with strong support will show up faster to any size disaster because they understand the importance of community.

Spring Weather Across the Nation | SERVPRO® of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

Extreme temperature changes can lead to the possibility of severe weather. SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands is a click away if you experience any

e live in one of the largest nations in the world. The United States is second in size only to Russia and Canada, although China is also larger if you don’t count all outlying U.S. territories.

So much space under one umbrella means seasonal weather and weather threats vary from extreme cold to storms to extreme heat.

As spring approaches and warm air begins to mix with cold throughout the atmosphere, let’s look at what those different weather threats may be, and specifically what we will experience here in our Florida communities around Bartow and Lakeland Highlands.

The Upper Midwest and Northeast regions will have quite different weather than we are accustomed to here in Florida. They have the longest continuation of winter’s chill, with temperatures often not warming until summer. Residents from Maine to the Dakotas can expect extreme cold and the possibility of snowstorms and blizzards.

The Pacific Northwest is prone to heavy rain over the spring months, which can result in flooding and water damage issues. Higher elevations are colder and could still be experiencing snow. Melting and runoff from the snow can cause even more problems for the residents of this area.

The middle of the country, while often feeling the warmth of spring like us, still has to watch out for windstorms, derechos and the risk of wildfires, which are easily spread when winds are high and seasons are dry. This area, which includes states from Iowa down to Texas, also comprises Tornado Alley, which is weather we can unfortunately relate to in our own neighborhoods.

The southern West Coast experiences perhaps the warmest weather pattern and will have to look out for excessive heat waves that can endanger lives and safety. Their South Pacific neighbors, including Hawaii, will be on alert for possible tsunamis caused by tectonic activity.

Here in our own geographic region of the South, our spring weather can often feel like a preview of summer. With this warmth, our coastal neighbors have to contend with riptides and even early season hurricanes, while we here in the Bartow and Lakeland areas will have to watch for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

For those that love warmth, our Florida weather is usually ideal, but even bright sunshine doesn’t stop extreme weather threats. This is true no matter where you live, and while the threats may all be different across the nation, it always pays to be prepared.

If extreme weather leaves you with damage from water, fire or other elements, help is a click away. Contact SERVPRO for fast, expert recovery.

Important Facts about Home Water Damage

3/6/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage can cause mold to develop if not treated quickly by a professional. Call SERVPRO of Bartow Lakeland Highlands at 863-510-5962.

Here are the top five key facts you need to know about water damage restoration:

1.    Get in Touch with Your Insurance Carrier

Contact your insurance carrier as soon as you discover water damage. They will offer you guidance on how to stop the spread of water damage. They may also be capable of covering part of the damages, lowering the cost of water damage restoration.

If you fail to notify your insurance company quickly, you may be held more liable for the cost. Even if you are unsure whether your insurance provider covers water damage, give them a call nonetheless to find out.

2.    Make Sure Your Carrier Covers the Damage

If you think your insurance provider will cover all kinds of water damage, you are wrong! Insurance companies are very specific about the coverage and will not cover all types of water damage. Most policies, for example, do not reimburse water damage due to floods. If you reside in a flood-prone region, you may consider purchasing insurance coverage for flood separately.

Do not be surprised if your insurance company tells you that your policy has not protected your water damage. Most house insurance policies do not cover all types of damage. For this reason, being cautious with your insurance might benefit you in the long run.

3.    Treat the Water Damage in Time

The importance of timing in a successful repair cannot be overstated. If you wait too long to restore the water damage, you might end up paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars more. Water damage might spread, resulting in mold growth or decay.

Mold develops quickly, which contributes to the importance of time. Mold may grow in just 24 hours if moisture is present. Because mold moves quickly, you must move quickly as well.

4.    Water Damage Is Not Only What It Looks Like

Many individuals believe that after the water has dried, their problems are over. But the fact is that another issue starts right after that. Unaware of the after-effects of water damage, people tend to solve the issue themselves, and it only gives rise to bigger and costly issues in the long run.

Drying the walls and floors is not enough because you need to remove the excess/increased moisture that has seeped through the walls and floors, which is a favorable environment for mold growth.

Moisture might collect further unless you are proactive in assisting the water in drying. This might cause rot or mold to grow on your property. Mold is hazardous to human health, and it is extremely difficult to treat due to its rapid spread.

Even if you believe the moisture will evaporate, it is advisable to hire an experienced drying service provider to safeguard your house because it will evaporate only from the surface and weaken the walls. Leaving it will make you regret it big time!

5.    Every Damage Has a Unique Solution

Many individuals attempt to repair water damage because they consider it a normal water spill – except it’s not! This move results in a bigger issue that causes more damage to their property. This is because not everything can be treated in the same way. Some materials are absorbent, whereas others are difficult to work with. As a result, they require specialized maintenance in the event of water damage.

Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Bartow Lakeland Highlands for immediate response 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 863-510-5962.

Home Water Damage: What to Do First

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

When water damage happens, call SERVPRO of Bartow Lakeland Highlands at 863-510-5962.

After any home emergency, the safety of your family is most important. In the case of water damage, the actions below are some things you can do while waiting for assistance. However, it’s best to do only those things you know you can do safely. Once we arrive, we’ll help you assess the situation further and take action to prevent additional damage to your property.

  • Shut off the water source if possible, or contact a qualified party to stop the source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the home when access to the panel is safe.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art, computers, documents, or other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
  • Don't use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, this could result in electric shock.

Call SERVPRO of Bartow Lakeland Highlands for immediate professional response to your water damage needs.