Recent Posts

Preparing for a Hurricane

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

The two keys to weather safety are to PREPARE for the risks and to ACT on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.

Before a Hurricane:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
  • Make plans to secure your property
  • Cover all of your home's windows
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows.
  • Consider building a safe room. 

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

What to do if a Flood Occurs

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

Intense tropical squalls & thunderstorms happen often in Florida and can produce flash floods. Here are some tips to get you through an emergency.

Advance Preparation

Prepare in advance with a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). Our convenient mobile app stores all your utility and emergency response information in one place, so you can access this information from your smartphone or computer.

Watch for Pooling Water 

Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.

Maintain Sump Pump 

If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a backup generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump fails. 

Raise Storage Goods 

Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the waterline. 

Cut Power if Necessary 

As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.

Consider Flood Insurance 

Homeowners' insurance will not cover floods; you must purchase a separate policy for flood protection. When all else fails, flood insurance will provide you the means to respond to a catastrophic flooding event.

Be Aware on the Road 

Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into a fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface. 

Act Fast 

When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring.

 SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

Overflowing Sink

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

There was water damage that happened in Kissimmee FL. It was caused by an overflowing sink that went unnoticed until it seeped into the next room where the homeowner had been sitting. This caused water to travel throughout the home. Anything can happen, so it is best to expect the unexpected and have a plan of action for moments like this.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help 24/7.

Fire, What to do and what not to do

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

The first 24 hours can make the difference between restoring versus replacing property and belongings.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven has a 1-4-8 Service Response Guideline. Meaning:

1: Within an hour from notice of loss a SERVPRO Professional contacts you to arrange for service.

4: Within 4 hours of notification of loss we are on-site to start mitigation services.

8: Within eight hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope is communicated to the appropriate person.

DO: Limit movement within the building to prevent soot from spreading and additional damage from happening.

DO: Place clean towels on rugs and high traffic areas

DO: Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum jelly

DO: Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and carpeting.

DON'T: Wash any walls or painted surfaces

DON'T: Shampoo carpet or upholstery

DON'T: Clean any electrical equipment

DON'T: Send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor

Understand Why Black Cobwebs Are On the Ceiling After A Fire

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Soot webs are also known as black cobwebs


You may have seen some black webs dangling in ceiling corners if you have ever been to a property that just had a fire disaster. They seem to be cobwebs coated with soot at first sight. The majority of our customers would comment on their lack of cleaning ability. Luckily, these "webs" aren't really webs from a spider.

Our fire restoration experts have seen quite a number of fire-damaged properties. When it comes to the ceilings and walls, the extent of the damage can be evident. However, sometimes, the most severe damage is hidden in attics or between walls; it is undetectable until we dive in with further inspection. The black spider webs that come out of nowhere just after a fire are among the most apparent fire damage indicators.

What are the black cobwebs after a fire?
Soot webs, also known as soot marks, are formed when ionized soot particles attach and stick together. Soot particles are most common in ceiling corners, where the surfaces and air are colder. If you come across soot webs in your house, don't touch them because they're very sticky.

Soot webs, also known as "Black Cobwebs," are often confused as spider webs. These spider webs are known as "Soot Tags" and have nothing to do with real spider webs. In the case of a fire, spider webs will burn up very quickly.

The science behind soot webs
When petroleum-based or synthetic materials catch fire, black cobwebs, also known as soot tags, are formed. Soot forms and binds together in long strands during a fire, resulting in black web creation on ceilings and corners.

The heat from a fire travels into cooler regions; as the air tries to maintain the equilibrium. Since soot is transported through the air with heat, soot particles accompany the air into cooler areas with weak circulation and then concentrate.

The ionization process of burning (especially) synthetic materials such as polymers and rubbers, produces charged smoke particles that can attract onto specific surfaces and to each other, developing chains and gradually web-like formations. They form in conditions known as wet smoke, which includes low heat or a smoldering environment.

In short, soot is a combustion product, and when the particles are charged, they quickly form soot tags or long chains of soot marks. So, while it seems like a bunch of soot got caught on old spider webs, it's a completely new structure.

Call the Service Professional

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning and restoring homes and businesses is not an easy thing to do. SERVPRO has over fifty years of experience in the restoration industry, and we have advanced techniques and equipment to restore your property correctly. You'll want to hire a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Winter Haven. We are always open, 24/7/365, to respond to your call. We understand the importance of an immediate response to a fire damage call.

If you should suffer fire and smoke damage to your Residential or Commercial property, contact the fire damage restoration pros at SERVPRO of Winter Haven. We have the knowledge and experience to clean up and restore fire and smoke damage. Day or night, 24/7, we are ready to answer your call. 863-551-5004

Central Florida Wildfires and Prevention

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Never throw a lit cigarette in a wooded area, never leave a fire unattended, and always practice fire safety. Things you should know about a fire. It needs key ingredients to be a fire: Heat, Fuel, and Oxygen. Without these, a fire won’t burn.

Safety Tip of the day: When burning Brush always keep a water hose close by. It also helps to wet the ground around the fire to keep it from spreading.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

To see the most current fire Incidents in Florida follow the link below to Florida Forest Service.

Wildfires Prevention

IICRC Certified

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Winter Haven has been an IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified firm for ten years. The IICRC sets the gold standards for the Cleaning and Remediation industry, of which SERVPRO is an industry leader. The following is from the IICRC official website (http://www.IICRC.org).

”IICRC Certified Firms have earned the right to display the clean trust logo as a symbol of quality. In order to achieve IICRC-certified status, firms must meet a rigorous list of standards in business ethics and expertise.

"IICRC Certified Firms must:

"• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

"• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

"• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

"• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

"• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

"The IICRC actively pursues relationships with fiber producers, carpet and fabric mills, furnishing manufacturers and retailers, and others affiliated with the industry. The use of IICRC-certified service professionals is specified in leading manufacturers’ maintenance brochures and warranties.”

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is honored to count it among the select organizations to receive this certification. We will continue to offer the same standard of excellence that you have come to expect, but now we have the IICRC stamp of approval to back that up.

Tips on Choosing a Restoration Company

When water damages your home or business time is critical, and shopping for a contractor is not a luxury you can afford. Chris Brill Owner of SERVPRO of Winter Haven

Commercial Water Damage

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen to anyone even the biggest and best facilities. Knowing who to turn to, to get your company up and running in the shortest amount of time possible could mean everything. This photo is of water damage caused by a toilet overflow. Not only did it affect the walls, but it also affected the carpet and contents that were in the office. The manager knew just who to call, SERVPRO. Our team showed up and was able to start the drying process. After all, was said and done, our customers gave us great feedback, ALL tens on the satisfaction form. They were very pleased with our services.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

Water and Mold Remediation for Your Business

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

When your Winter Haven business has water damage from flooding or leaks, you need a company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. SERVPRO of Winter Haven uses advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help them find the moisture and to dry it as quickly as possible. Our highly trained technicians will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal.

It only takes a small water leak, or even excess humidity, for mold to form in your Winter Haven business. Mold can spread quickly throughout the property in as little as 48 hours. Mold can produce allergens and irritants, and it has the potential to cause other health effects. If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.