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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Storm Damage to Your Home or Business

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

We all know that Hurricane Season is approaching and that we have to be prepared. That is why SERVPRO of Winter Haven is prepared and ready to help. Central Florida will once again receive heavy rains, winds, and heavy storms to deal with during this time. These storms are notorious for causing heavy damage to homes and businesses throughout Central Florida and adjacent areas. 

In this blog, I will outline several ways SERVPRO can assist after a storm damages your property. Here are just a few of the services SERVPRO can offer to help reduce stress in your time of need. 

  •  Emergency Board-up 
  •  Water Restoration
  •  Caring for your Belongings
  •  Mold Remediation
  •  Stress-Free Claims Process

Contact the experts, SERVPRO of Winter Haven 863-551-5004 for more information.

Understand Why Black Cobwebs Are On the Ceiling After A Fire

5/4/2021 (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.

What is the best way to clean up soot?

If soot webs go untreated, the acidic particles in the soot will damage your property and appliances. Homeowners should keep in mind that they should never try removing it themselves without proper chemicals as it can cause further damage to the walls and ceilings. 

When it comes to smoke damage on surfaces, our technicians take the following measures to ensure that the best cleaning agents are chosen:

  • Testing whether they're dealing with wet or dry smoke residues.
  • Scoping of services to make sure that cleaning methods chosen do not harm surfaces
  • Using specialized tools, like chemical sponges designed to remove soot

To start the soot cleaning and stage smoke reduction of our fire damage restoration procedure, SERVPRO will use air scrubbers with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters to clear impurities and odors from the air.

Following that, our professionals will use HEPA vacuums to effectively trap ash, soot webs, and dust spores that have blanketed your walls and ceilings. SERVPRO will also use approved chemicals to disinfect and extract odors from both horizontal and vertical surfaces of the contaminated region as a precaution.

Why contact SERVPRO

No fire damage is the best sort of fire damage. SERVPRO is a renowned company in the industry, and it has been serving customers in Winter Haven since 2011. If you want your everyday life to be normal again after you have suffered fire and smoke damage, SERVPRO Winter Haven is the most reliable option for you. 

While we hope you never encounter soot damage in your home, and if you do, call our fire damage restoration team to make the fire "Like it never even happened."


Our team is fully equipped with state-of-the-art tools and has the knowledge and experience in restoring fire damage in no time. We offer 24/7 emergency services to our customers, so contact us today!

A Faulty Sewage System May Be to Blame For Toilet Bubbles

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Understand why a toilet is bubbling and making strange noises during a storm 

Are you confused about why your toilet water is bubbling when it rains outside? Are you wondering how to navigate such a situation? If yes, then this post is for you. The professional storm damage team at SERVPRO of Winter Haven has the answers for you!

Common causes for a toilet to bubble 

When a wet venting system (plumbing vents) is in operation, and several drains flow down into one pipeline, toilets will flush and head to a septic system. However, when there is a blockage in a pipe, sewage water can return to your shower, toilet, and sink. 

A gurgling toilet means that negative air pressure (suction) is built up, forming a kind of airlock in the drain line. Air flows freely via the lines in a well-functioning sewer system, avoiding negative air pressure, so waste can perfectly flow down and out. Gurgling in the line suggests unusual suction formation. Eventually, the negative air pressure will be released, pushing air back through the drainage pipe and into your toilet bowl. You will hear a gurgling noise when this occurs, and possibly the water in the bowl may bubble.

What to do when your toilet is bubbling during a storm 

The first thing you should do is check the area near the septic system for damp spots or standing water. Whether you notice any standing water or not, you should ask your neighbors if they face a similar issue. You will know if the problem is only occurring in your home or the entire neighborhood by asking your neighbors. If you are the only one with the issue, rainwater may be directly pouring into your sewer system. 

Another possibility is a sewage blockage in your sewer line, causing your toilet to bubble. Toilet bubbles and gurgling are usually caused by excessive water trying to go down a moderately restricted pipeline. Rainwater could have gotten into your sewer system through a cracked pipe or a sump pump in the basement.

Toilet bubbles may lead to water damage

A bubbling toilet can cause various problems to your home in the long run. Such unnoticed small issues can result in plumbing problems in the future and even toilet water gushing out of the toilet and spewing all over your house. If you find yourself with a bubbling toilet during a storm, you need to contact SERVPRO for professional help. 

As mentioned, water from a bubbling toilet can eventually cause excessive water damage. Your sewage system is not designed to handle rainwater, and if this occurs, it will ultimately cause a backup into your home. Water damage will cause damage to the walls, ceilings, electrical systems, and floors. Since the water damage will be caused by contaminated water, all contaminated items will have to be removed, and an antimicrobial agent will have to be applied.

Causes of House Fire

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

A house fire can be caused by many things but one of the leading causes is cooking equipment. Stoves, Microwaves, Burners, all have the potential to cause some serious damage. Knowing some safety tips when using these items can prevent fires. If you are cooking something, never leave it unattended, always keep a fire extinguisher in your home, be cautious when cooking with grease and never put metal in a microwave. If you have any damages call SERVPRO.

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.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire

Dining Room Fire Damage

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

After the fire trucks are gone, your Winter Haven home and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Winter Haven has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet.

Every fire damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When various materials burn, the soot they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration.

Fire damage can be devastating for you and your family. Feelings of confusion and stress are common, and you need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. We always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.

Our “restore first” mentality helps to lower costs and get you back in your home or business sooner. This focus relies upon our specialized training and equipment to restore your property back to pre-fire condition

Choose SERVPRO of Winter Haven as your fire restoration specialists.

Call (863)551-5004 so we can make your experience "Like it never even happened."

Preventing Wildfires

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Wildfires, in perfect weather conditions, can cause major devastation. Below are some safety tips that can help prevent the spread of a wildfire.

Clear leaves and debris from the gutters on the home
Remove dead leaves and vegetation from the yard and underneath porches.
Wildfire can spread to treetops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
For more ways to prevent the spread of a wildfire please visit https://www.nfpa.org.

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.

Memorial Day

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Memorial Day is a time at which we remember those who lost their lives while serving in the military. Traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May. This Memorial Days' local forecast has a high of 90 and a low of 70 with a 20% chance of rain. If you have any damages to your home during this Memorial Day weekend give us a call. We are a 24/7 emergency response company.

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.

2021 Hurricane Season is Just Right Around the Corner

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is right around the corner. Are you Prepared? With the catastrophic winds and rains from last year's hurricane season, many families and businesses suffered. With families trying to rebuild their homes and companies putting their businesses back together it’s easy to get sidetracked from the upcoming season. Be prepared! Know where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. Give us a call if your home or business has water, fire, or mold damage. We can help!

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.

SERVPRO Commercial Services

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

From the beginning of a construction project straight through to the end SERVPRO of Winter Haven will be there with you the entire time.

Not only do we provide services to our residential customers, we also provide services to our commercial customers.  From the smallest project to new construction our franchise provides all phases of commercial services.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven strives to make all of our customers more than satisfied with their service/services.

When disaster strikes we will be there when needed.  We provide emergency response restoration and cleanup services.  

Structural integrity, materials, labor, safety, customer satisfaction, and deadlines are a few of the things that SERVPRO will help you with when working on a commercial project.  The bottom line, however, is you are responsible for getting the doors open on time.

SERVPRO'S Commercial Services

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Dealing with mold, fire, or water damage at your facility? Call SERVPRO of Winter Haven! We are always here to help. If you own a commercial building and have had any of the listed damages, we can assist you. Below is a list of additional services we provide.

  • Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
  • Water Removal, De-humidification & Renovation
  • Mold Mitigation, Remediation & Renovation
  • Catastrophic Storm Response
  • Move-Outs and Contents Restoration
  • Contents Claim Inventory
  • Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning
  • Carpet and Tile Floor Cleaning and Care
  • Upholstery Cleaning and Care
  • Ceiling and Wall Cleaning
  • Odor Identification and Deodorization
  • Renovations

Our goal is to focus on excellent customer service and to provide expert remediation, restoration, and cleaning services in a timely manner and at a fair price. Our vision is to be the premier cleaning and restoration company in our industry and we take great pride in our reputation.

Why choose SERVPRO Winter Haven

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

When a storm is a major event, you need more comprehensive restoration support.  SERVPRO of Winter Haven is "Ready for whatever happens."  

SERVPRO has mobilization teams across the country to travel as needed to support large storm events.

SERVPRO is the nation's only Storm Monitor Technology.  Provide loss tracking and reporting for storms!

As the leader in water damage restoration, SERVPRO knows fast mitigation is the key to limiting business interruption.  With an unmatched national footprint of over 1,500 Franchises nationwide, SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster and can be on-site within a few hours to help reduce the future damage water can cause.  We have the right equipment, procedures, and training to help ensure the structure is dry the first time, saving you time and money.  

Call SERVPRO of Winter Haven for all of your storm-related needs.  Phone:  863-551-5004

Commercial Mold, Fire and Water Damage

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Cleaning Team Our Team is Ready to Help

Dealing with mold, fire, or water damage at your facility? Call SERVPRO at (863)551-5004. We are always here to help. If you own a commercial building and have had any of the listed damages, we can assist you. Below is a list of additional services we provide.

  • Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
  • Water Removal, De-humidification & Renovation
  • Mold Mitigation, Remediation & Renovation
  • Catastrophic Storm Response
  • Move-Outs and Contents Restoration
  • Contents Claim Inventory
  • Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning
  • Carpet and Tile Floor Cleaning and Care
  • Upholstery Cleaning and Care
  • Ceiling and Wall Cleaning
  • Odor Identification and Deodorization
  • Renovations

Our goal is to focus on excellent customer service and to provide expert remediation, restoration, and cleaning services in a timely manner and at a fair price. Our vision is to be the premier cleaning and restoration company in our industry and we take great pride in our reputation.

Commercial Mold

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Damage can be a big problem for anyone, even for a commercial facility. Notice in the photo the mold growth along the bottom of the drywall. This was caused by an ongoing leak behind the wall. Sometimes the smallest things can cause the biggest problems when not attended to. If you suspect mold in your facility gives SERVPRO a call at 863-551-5004 we will gladly assist you with any questions or concerns that you may have. We are a 24-hour emergency service company. 

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.

Dundee Chamber Meeting

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO wants to thank, The Dundee Chamber of Commerce, for having us joining their meetings with all the members of the chamber. If you’re a member of the chamber and you own a commercial building or residential property that has had water, fire, or mold damage please give us a call, we are always here to help. Don't hesitate to call our office at the number below. We are here to help our fellow chamber members and residents of Dundee.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Re-mediator, 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.

BOMA-Building Owners and Managers Association

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Chris Brill, President SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a member of the Building Owners & Management Association of Tampa Bay, FL. BOMA is the premier association linking owners, managers & vendors in the commercial/industrial property industry.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 90 BOMA U.S. associations and 18 international affiliates. Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types including nearly 10.5 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 1.7 million jobs and contributes $234.9 billion to the U.S. GDP. Its mission is to advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence, and knowledge.

BOMA International is a primary source of information on building management and operations, development, leasing, building operating costs, energy consumption patterns, local and national building codes, legislation, occupancy statistics, technological developments, and other industry trends.

Fire Safety Guide: Fire Prevention and How to Prepare for a Fire Emergency

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Waking up to smoke and flames is one of the worst things that can happen to your family and home. Over 365,000 fires and 2,650 civilian deaths occur every year, resulting in $7 billion in property damage. The worst part is that most home fires are preventable. Keep your family and your home safe with just a little fire safety preparation and prevention. From creating a fire escape plan to making sure your smoke detectors are working properly, these fire safety tips are easy to learn and practice in your home.

How to prevent home fires
U.S. fire departments respond to a home fire every 86 second. That’s over 1,000 fires a day. Home fires can occur for a variety of reasons, but many are preventable. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires, accounting for over half of home fires in 2015, followed by heating equipment, electrical malfunction, intentional fires, and smoking materials. Home fires are not 100 percent preventable. Though, you can take the necessary steps today to reduce your risk of home fires. Here’s how:

Install and maintain smoke alarms on every floor of your home and within every bedroom. Roughly 50% of home fire deaths occur during the night while people are sleeping.
Never leave food cooking unattended, especially deep fryers and other frying equipment.
Avoid using portable and fixed space heaters, as heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
Have a fire plan that gets you out of your home in less than two minutes and practice it.
Avoid smoking in the house.
Electrical safety & home fire prevention
Electrical malfunctions are one of the leading causes of home fires. Make sure that you hire a qualified electrician to make any changes in your home. In addition, be sure to check electrical cords regularly, and make sure cords do not run across doorways or under carpets where they could be damaged. Remember to limit the number of plugs you have in an electrical outlet or power strip. Overloading an electrical outlet can not only trip a breaker, but it could also start a fire. Additionally, only use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage for each lamp. Your lamps and light fixtures should have a sticker that indicates the maximum wattage light bulb you may use.

Testing your smoke detector could save your life
Every smoke alarm should be tested monthly by pushing the “test” button and batteries should be changed when needed. It is best to always have at least one spare battery. If your smoke alarm ever “chirps,” it is time to replace the battery immediately. Most smoke alarm failures occur because of a missing or disconnected battery or a dead battery.

Three of every five home fires resulted from non-working smoke detectors or no smoke detectors at all. Having the proper fire safety equipment in your home can truly save your life. There are many brands and types of smoke alarms you can choose from. When choosing the best smoke alarm, look for one that meets the Underwriters Laboratories Standard with the UL label on the packaging.

Where to install smoke detectors
It is recommended that every home has a smoke alarm on every floor, including the basement, and inside every sleeping room. Smoke alarms should be mounted high on a wall not more than a foot from the ceiling or on the ceiling. Remember, smoke rises.

Kitchen: It is critical to mount smoke alarms in the kitchen at least 10 feet from any cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking.
Basement: Smoke alarms in the basement should be installed on the ceiling near the bottom step of the stairs up to the first floor.
How to use a fire extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are helpful for putting out small fires. You can contact your local fire department for fire extinguisher training. To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word “PASS:”

Pull the pin. Hold the fire extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and remove the pin to unlock it.
Aim low. Point the nozzle at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Fire extinguishers should be checked regularly and tested by a professional every few years.

Different types of fire extinguishers
It’s also useful to know that there are five different types of fire extinguishers for putting out different kinds of fires.

Class A extinguishers: for use on materials like cloth, wood, and paper.
Class B extinguishers: for use on combustible and flammable liquids like oil, gasoline, and grease.
Class C extinguishers: best for electrical equipment and appliances like stoves, televisions, and computers.
Class D extinguishers: for use with flammable metals.
Class K extinguishers: best for cooking oils commonly found in commercial kitchens, including vegetable oil.
Most dwellings have a multipurpose extinguisher that covers Classes A, B, and C. You can purchase these types of fire extinguishers at any home improvement store.

Create a fire escape plan with your family
Home fires can rapidly spread, and every second count. Having a plan in place where you and your family can get out of the house in under two minutes once the alarm sounds is critical for your family’s safety.

Everyone in your family should know how to dial 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency. In addition, teach your children what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if they hear one. You should also establish and practice a fire escape plan, especially if you have small children. Here some tips for creating your fire escape plan:

Draw a floor plan of your entire house that shows all the doors and windows.
Show and discuss the plan with everyone in the house.
Identify at least two ways out of every room, if possible. This could be through doors or windows.
Once outside, everyone should meet at an agreed-upon meeting place a safe distance from the house. It could be the mailbox or the neighbor’s fence. Just make sure it is easy for young children to get there.
Basic fire safety tips for kids and families

Help your family stay safe in the event of a fire. Do not let children play with matches, lighters, or candles. Keep these items up and away from young children. In addition, teach your kids these basic fire safety tips to help ensure they know what to do during a fire emergency.

Teach children that if a doorknob is hot, you should NOT open the door.
Teach children how to “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”
Teach your kids to crawl on their hands and knees if they see smoke.
Take your child to the firehouse to meet a firefighter. This way, they learn what a firefighter looks like in their fire gear.
Teach your child to never hide under the bed or in the closet.
There’s no 100 percent guarantee that a fire will never happen in your home. That’s why it pays to be prepared and take steps to reduce the risk of a home fire. Follow the three “P’s” – prevent, plan, and practice. Make sure your home has working smoke alarms, your family has a fire escape plan, and you have practiced it.

Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

About 40-50% of all homeowners have experienced a loss from water damage. It can spread contamination, ruin your paint and damage your wood. The good news is that 93% of all water damage could have been prevented with the right knowledge. How can you protect your home from residential water damage? Here are seven ways to prepare.

1. Damaged Pipes

Plumbing systems, especially in older homes, are susceptible to stoppages and damage. To prevent plumbing problems before they start, be on the lookout for cracks, bulges, stains, and other signs of moisture on your ceiling or floors. If you spot a leak, it could be a sign that there is damage in other areas as well. Spikes in your water bill could mean you have additional damage to your landscaping, flooring, and foundation. Look out for pipes in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, cabinets, and attics. If you see any signs of water damage, call a plumber right away to avoid larger problems in the future. Be sure to check and insulate your pipes every year before winter begins. Pipes can rupture and freeze within a few hours, soaking your entire house. 

2. Appliances

As appliances get older, their pipes can rust and their hoses can weaken. Dishwasher leaks can leave an unwelcome puddle on your kitchen floor. Common causes include worn gaskets, broken doors, and clogged drains. It can cause damage to your tile, electrical wiring, and paint. A great way to prevent buildup in your dishwasher is to run a quart of vinegar through the machine each month. You can also scrape and rinse before you load it.

Flooding caused by washing machines is usually caused by leaky hoses. The leak can worsen over time and cause damage to your home. A washing machine valve shutoff kit can prevent the six gallons of water per minute from flooding into your home.

Refrigerators produce a lot of access water that can pool on the bottom of them. Drain lines can also become clogged. If there is a leak in the water supply line that feeds your ice machine, you could come home to a lot of standing water. To prevent your refrigerator from flooding, be sure that it is well insulated. Make sure that you do not move it in and out of its normal position too often, and inspect it regularly for leaks.

3. Clogged Drains

Bathroom and sink drains can become quickly clogged with dirt, grease, hair, and other substances. Pipes can break down, and structural damage is common. If drain clogs are not cleared, problems such as disease, sickness, and aggravated health conditions could occur. If left unchecked, clogged drains can cause damage to other places in the home. For example, a clogged toilet can back up into your sink. You may even warp the floorboards and wall support. Small screens can help keep unwanted materials from clogging drains. Pouring boiling water down your drain once a month can help dissolve grease, soap scum, and other debris before it clogs your pipes.

4. Natural Disasters

Hurricanes, breaking dams, and snowstorms can all bring excessive water into your home, causing it to flood. Large amounts of water can’t be absorbed by the land and may overflow into your home. A flood alarm and warning system can help you protect your home against a natural disaster. If you live in a coastal area, be sure to purchase additional flood insurance. Some folks living in flood-prone areas raise their homes on stilts to prepare for floods. Others install foundation vents or sump pumps. You can also grade your lawn away from the house. Make sure you know where the water main is and shut it off when you leave for an extended period of time. This way, you will not come home to any unwanted surprises.

5. HVAC Units

Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems within your home can cause floods. Be sure to have these systems inspected and cleaned regularly. If you know there is an impending storm, shut off your central air conditioning to prevent damage and the risk of electrocution.

6. Sump Pump Problems

If your sump pump stops working, you could have a major flood in your basement. You will then have to deal with mold growth, water removal, and bacteria. To keep your sump pump working optimally, always make sure that it is standing upright. Be sure that the vent hole in the discharge pipe is clear. Your outlet pipes should be joined tightly together and drained out at least six feet from your location. If you notice any leaks in your sump pump, call a professional immediately.

7. Structural Damage 

Moisture dripping through your concrete and crawl spaces can lead to mold and rotting. Check your home regularly for these signs. Cleaning your gutters regularly and maintaining your trees and vegetation will keep unwelcome water from damaging your walls and foundation. You can also install flood protection devices, such as an alarm that goes off when it detects moisture. Make sure your home’s water pressure is not too high. If it is, pipes and hoses can fail under the pressure. You can install a water pressure gauge to help you keep it even. A water pressure regulator can help you in homes where the water pressure cannot be controlled.

Preventing Residential Water Damage

Residential water damage can be caused by natural disasters, clogged drains, or damaged pipes. With the right precautions, you likely won’t have to worry about water damage for years to come.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold, 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.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven/Polk City Licensed Mold Remediater

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

There are many different types of mold

Knowing what type you are dealing with can answer any questions and help you decide if a professional re-mediator is right for you. SERVPRO of Haines City/Polk City is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Re-mediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. We do everything from testing, to re-mediating and to putting everything back to the way it was. Mold is nothing to play with, if disturbed the spores can spread. Do not hesitate to ask us some questions.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven/Polk City makes it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call to find out more about the services we offer.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven/Polk City is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold, 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.

Lakeland Home's Mold Remediation

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen Cabinet with mold growth Kitchen cabinet with mold growth due to an undetected water leak

You'll see from the photo the mold that was discovered under the kitchen sink of a Lakeland, FL home. Please notice the discoloration on the back wall and the bottom of the cabinet. This was caused by a leak in the kitchen sink that went undetected for a significant amount of time. The homeowner called SERVPRO of Winter Haven/Polk City out to take care of the problem. The customer was thrilled to know that all the mold was gone, and her house was back to the way it was before the mold. SERVPRO of Winter Haven/Polk City makes sure that it's "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Winter Haven/Polk City is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold, 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.

Preparing for an Emergency

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. If the power goes out keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.

Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:

Flashlights for each family member
Battery-operated radio and clock
Extra batteries
Containers of bottled water
Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
Non-electric can opener
List of important phone numbers
First-aid kit
Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
Choose foods your family will eat.
Remember any special dietary needs.
Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
Protein or fruit bars
Dry cereal or granola
Peanut butter
Dried fruit
Nuts
Crackers
Canned juices
Non-perishable pasteurized milk
High energy foods
Vitamins
Food for infants
Comfort/stress foods
These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov. 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.

Mold Remediation Florida

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Mold remediation licensing laws now are established in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Maryland, New York, and Washington, DC. In Florida mold remediation has two certifications dictated by state statute. The steps are as follows

Have an FL State Certified Mold Assessor evaluate & wrote a protocol for remediation
Contract with an FL State Certified Mold Remediator to perform work per protocol.
Have Mold Assessor that wrote protocol verify and provide clearance examination to ensure that mold has been remediated.
SERVPRO of Winter Haven is proud to have both FL State Certified Mold Assessor & Mold Remediator on staff.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is also a Florida State Licensed Contractor CBC-1259536, so we can truly make it "Like it never even happened."

Call us, we are always here to help. 863-551-5004

Preventing Fires

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Never throw a lit cigarette in a wooded area, never leave a fire unattended, always practice fire safety.  Always be aware of what's around you, even when you have a campfire. 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.

Smoke and Soot Facts

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow 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 Winter Haven 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 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.

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.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
863-551-5004

Fogging and Sanitation

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

I am your local SERVPRO Representative and wanted to reach out to you today as one of the preferred, local Remediation and Restoration Companies to serve our community during this unprecedented time. 

SERVPRO has been working with the Center for Disease Control & Prevention since the onset of the virus to ensure our protocols are in line with the most current and effective methods available. 

At this time, we are providing preventative disinfecting services at facilities that have no known cases of Coronavirus. 

The preventative disinfecting services would consist of an application of an EPA registered disinfectant to be applied using a ULV (Ultra Low Volume) fogger.  This application is both cost-effective for our clients as well as an efficient way to disinfect large areas.  With using this method of disinfecting services, all hard-nonporous surfaces should be cleaned and free of any heavy soiling prior to application.

Erica Miro,

Marketing Manager

SERVPRO of Winter Haven/Polk City

e_miro@SERVPRO10022.com

863-551-5004

Why Water Damage Can Be So Dangerous

4/1/2021 (Permalink)


One classic mistake homeowners make is underestimating the effect that water damage can have on their homes. More than just making everything wet and generally unpleasant for a time, the consequences of a flood can be far more severe. Our restoration experts at SERVPRO of Winter Haven know that there are a lot of reasons why water damage can develop into a very serious problem in your home.

Contaminated floodwater is a very serious and dangerous issue. If you have any reason to think that floodwater in your home is contaminated, you should avoid it at all costs. The bacteria and microorganisms that can fester in floodwater are often quite dangerous and should only be handled by experienced cleaning and restoration technicians.

Last of all, electrical problems are a common occurrence after a flood. One of your first steps after your home is flooded should be to shut off the electricity to your home. This will end the risk electrocution for anyone in the home after the flood. Once this has been done, you should hope that the flooding has not compromised any of the electrical systems within your home. This usually occurs when floodwater goes into your outlets or short circuits other electrical implements within your home.

With these potential hazards in mind, it is clear why even small amounts of water damage should be taken seriously. Thus, the best thing you should do upon noticing water damage is to contact a professional cleaning and restoration company without delay. We at SERVPRO of Winter Haven are one such company here to help you with any and all of your water damage cleanup needs.

Call SERVPRO of Winter Haven at 863-551-5004

Tips On How To Avoid Commercial Water Damage

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Any water damage anywhere is not fun to deal with. It’s especially not fun to deal with when it’s your business. Commercial water damage means damage to your business in Winter Haven and you are probably losing money whether you work at a hotel, restaurant, grocery store, etc. because of this damage. Any amount of water damage keeping you from working or customers entering indicates a loss in profit. This definitely means that time is of the essence since your company is at risk. However, you want to avoid water damage altogether. Professionals at SERVPRO of Winter Haven give a few tips and tricks that may avoid water damage, especially in your commercial residency, all together.

Check windows often. Water can seep in through unsealed windows which is one of the main causes of commercial water damage. Rainwater, snow, condensation can seep through small cracks of your window. Checking windows can help identify cracks and leaks; however, resealing windows can seal small leaks you can’t see. This simple step can avoid a hassle.
Broken or damaged pipes are another main reason for commercial water damage. Especially if you own a publicly accessible property such as a movie theater, hotel, etc. pipe damage is an even bigger risk. Just think of all the water being used from showers, toilets, and sinks. It’s inevitable they will be clogged at some point. It’s hard to know when a pipe is clogged or damaged since there’s no effective way to check; however, look for the signs. Check for musty smells, bulging walls, water stains, or cracked/loose flooring.
Roof leaks are another way for water to damage your property. There are many dangers that come from a leaky roof; therefore, take the necessary steps to avoid roof leakage. Ensure that gutters are free from twigs, leaves, ice, excess water, and snow. Cleaning gutters will ensure water doesn’t overflow and seep through your roof.
Similar to the cleaning gutters, do yard work! You’re probably thinking these two things have nothing in common; however, they are both ways to avoid water damage. Trees, shrubs, or other plants can cause roof, siding, and window damage; therefore, causing damage. Simply trimming or pruning shrubs can avoid this problem.
In addition, HVAC problems can be a culprit of water damage. HVAC systems are a series of ducts that cool or heat your facility. As the system ages, leaks or cracks can occur and will cause water damage. In addition, excess water from condensation builds up which will also lead to damage. To avoid this problem all you need to do is clean and inspect your HVAC system regularly.
Invest in certain systems such as a waterproofed basement or flood detectors. Though these can be expensive they are worth the investment, especially for commercial properties.

Fire Restoration Company Vs. Building Contractor

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Building contractors are typically very competent at new construction. Unfortunately, before the new materials go into a home being repaired from fire damage, there are many steps to be taken which the building contractor may not be willing or trained to handle. Fire, smoke, and water affect certain parts of a home differently, and therefore each area may require different methods of sanitizing, restoring, and rebuilding.

A fire restoration company has the training, knowledge, and specialized equipment to handle each unique situation. Many times, damage occurs in areas that are not visible, i.e., behind walls, in crawl spaces of attics or basements, or has affected the structural, electrical, heating, and/or plumbing systems. As is often the case, damage occurs far from the source of the fire, due to the fact that heat, smoke, and water travel. Many building materials in modern homes become toxic when exposed to fire, smoke, and water. Additionally, smoke or smoky water – trapped inside walls, under floors, inside electrical conduit, etc. – if not found and properly cleaned, will give off an odor for years. Finding and treating these threats requires experience and training, along with specialized equipment.

Some of the specialized equipment a fire restoration company has on hand is thermal imaging equipment, air scrubbers, negative air fans, ozone machines, commercial fans and dehumidifiers, HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaners, specialized cleaning equipment, and soot and moisture measuring equipment. These specialized pieces of equipment, knowledge, and training are not something a local contractor is likely to have or invest in.

In addition, before the cleaning and repairs begin, there is a total evaluation process that must take place. Most fire restoration projects are covered by insurance. Fire restoration companies are experts at knowing what can or cannot be salvaged, and how much it will cost to salvage and clean building contents. They will then pack out the salvageable contents, bring them to their place of business, clean, deodorize, repair/restore and store the contents until the repairs to the home are complete. Building contractors are not prepared or capable of handling this step. Most building contractors have no need to deal with insurance companies, and thus have little experience with navigating the system. This can cause huge delays in getting the project completed in a timely fashion.

Restoration companies typically have people on staff who have years of experience in working with insurance companies and adjusters and can expedite the process by weeks and even months. Additionally, building contractors are used to getting paid directly by the customer, with much of the cost of the project being paid upfront. Insurance restoration funds can have multiple stages and require inspections prior to being released. Most building contractors are unable or unwilling to carry the huge lines of credit and reserves necessary to do restoration work.

Restoration companies must also carry unique and higher limit insurance policies than builders. Fire restoration requires demolition and removal of hazardous materials. Products that may be perfectly safe under normal conditions become dangerous after exposure to fire and heat. Restoration contractors must deal with lead, asbestos, formaldehyde, plastics, glues, oils, household chemicals, propane, gasoline, ammunition, and sometimes dangerous drugs, to name a few. Restoration companies are also trained to clean up bio-hazards sometimes present in the aftermath of a fire, including blood, feces, urine, bacteria, viruses, toxins, and medical waste. These risks require specialized insurance policies that a building contractor would not carry.

We have noted in this piece several reasons why you should choose a qualified restoration specialist versus a building contractor to restore your home or business after a fire.

The staff at SERVPRO of Winter Haven has the training, knowledge, and experience to restore your home or business after any type of disaster. Our promise that from the first sign of disaster until the end of recovery, you’ll have a partner who gets the job done.

Poor Drainage Caused Water And Mold Damage

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

 Ceiling Falling In Due To Poor Drainage Ceiling Falling In Due To Poor Drainage

Backed-up drainage on a roof caused this Winter Haven patio to flood. This picture shows the mess left behind after the damage was discovered.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven was called in to clean up the aftermath! The homeowner was extremely happy to have our crew come into her home, extract the water, remediate the mold and remove all the damaged building materials.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is locally owned and operated by Chris and Jennifer Brill in Polk County, Florida. In addition to bio-hazard clean-up, we provide full restoration services for damages resulting from water, fire, and mold. From clean-up to full rebuild services.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a licensed contractor in the state of Florida.

At SERVPRO of Winter Haven, we make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Licensed Bio-Hazard Clean-Up Company

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

Bio-hazard Clean-up on Flooring Full PPE dressed worker cleaning up bio-hazard

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is qualified to perform bio-hazard clean-ups and has met training, documentation, and equipment requirements to both clean-up and transport bio-hazard materials. When choosing a partner for crime-scene or bio-hazard clean-up make sure they have these permits. It is a State of Florida requirement and assures you that you are dealing with a company that understands the special requirements and risks associated with blood-borne pathogens.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is locally owned and operated in Polk County, Florida in addition to bio-hazard clean-up, we provide full restoration services for damages resulting from water, fire, and mold from clean-up to full rebuild services. We are Florida State Licensed Building Contractor CBC-1259536. At SERVPRO of Winter Haven, we make it "Like it never even happened."

Leaking Roof Causing Water Damage

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

If you have a roof leak it is very important to get a professional company out to address the damage and either fix it or tarp it. If the leak continues it can turn into more than just a roof leak. The roof leaked and continued to leak and eventually caused the drywall ceiling to collapse. The customer was overwhelmed and needed help. SERVPRO was able to go out and take it off their hands. 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.

Unseen Water Damages

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

There's no such thing as a small disaster, especially when a small leak now can blossom into a big claim later.  Unseen water can soak through walls, seep through carpet and pool on subfloors, causing major problems over time.  Instead of trusting untrained eyes, help ensure the value of your client's property by calling SERVPRO of Winter Haven at 863-551-5004.

Our professionals can and will:

  • Identify the source and type of water
  • Measure temperature & humidity for drying analysis
  • Survey the extent of the damage & inspect the premises for hidden moisture
  • Perform emergency water extraction
  • Move & block furniture & contents
  • Inspect carpet pad/carpet & provide service
  • Apply necessary treatments, i.e. disinfectants/deodorization
  • Utilize advanced drying & monitoring equipment
  • Dispose of refuse

SERVPRO of Winter Haven will make your damages "Like it never even happened."

Residential Water

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

Often times the damage is caused when a problem goes without being noticed right away. Time is of the essence when you are dealing with water damage, and the key is to act fast! Not only can the water ruin your carpets, ceiling, and furniture, but it can also destroy precious family possessions, important documents, and irreplaceable, personal items.

You may need to vacate your home during the repairs, and the disruption of your normal routine could really have a huge impact on your way of life. Having to stay in a hotel or at a friend’s home isn’t the way you want to spend your week, or sometimes, weeks.

Even if the issue is handled swiftly, water damage has been known to wreak havoc even months down the road. Often times the leak isn’t noticeable and maybe behind (link to pipe section here) a wall or in the ceiling.

The longer a leak goes unnoticed, the more money it can cost you to get fixed. Moving quickly also increases the chance that your personal belongings can be saved or restored.

Not only is important to start the process as quickly as possible for your tangible items, but it is also for the things you can’t see right away. Damage inside your walls or ceiling can absolutely affect your health and is something that has serious repercussions. Withstanding water and wet items comes mold.

For all of your water-related issues call SERVPRO of Winter Haven at 863-551-5004. Let the pros handle it and make it "Like it never even happened."

Emergency READY

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

With each year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a plan to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens” this year and years to come. In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO® of Winter Haven Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 50 years of experience and a System of more than 1,700 Franchisees strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO® READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips. Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes—resolve to be READY. Call SERVPRO® of Winter Haven Franchise Professionals to establish your Emergency READY Profile®, and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2019.

Facts About Mold Growth

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Cleaning Mold Damage

You're probably familiar with mold and that it can cause concerns for property owners. Until you've seen it and dealt with yourself in the workplace, you may not realize the full extent of the problems it can cause. Understanding how mold grows, how it relates to water damage, and how you can prevent this fungus from invading your building can help you prepare for its appearance.

Where it Shows Up

Mold needs certain conditions to thrive and spread. Your building may be at risk for mold growth in places such as attics, bathrooms, and around appliances. The following environments and situations make mold a threat:

  • High humidity
  • Poor airflow
  • Leaky or broken pipes
  • Poor drainage

When it Can Appear
Flooding is one of the most common precursors to mold's arrival. Whether it's a major flood from a sudden wave of water into your building, or whether a slow leak causes water damage over months or years, mold will likely show up soon after you see water. It usually only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to form after a water loss.

What You Can Do to Avoid It
You must be diligent when it comes to mold prevention. You should first check your plumbing system and make sure you don't have any broken pipes. It's essential to repair any issues as soon as possible. Also, inspect your roof for leaks, and ensure that rain gutters and downspouts are diverting water away from the building.

If You Have a Problem
If you do discover mold in the building, call a professional mold removal company right away. Technicians have the training and equipment to remove mold from the premises. The company will also tear out damaged materials and restore your workplace.
Mold will quickly follow water damage. Be aware of these facts so you can make your facility free of mold.

Why to Choose SERVPRO of Winter Haven

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

When water damages your home or business time is critical, and shopping for a contractor is not a luxury you can afford. Owners Chris and Jennifer Brill of SERVPRO of Winter Haven were recently interviewed and asked about tips on how to select a water restoration contractor. Click the link to see what his suggestions are:

SERVPRO of Winter Haven

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is always here to help, and if you feel the video is helpful, please "like it".

If you have any questions regarding any issue regarding water, fire, mold, or bio-hazard clean-up don't hesitate to contact us at 863-551-5004

All SERVPRO franchises are independently owned and operated, let us show you we strive to be the Premier Restoration Company in Central Florida.

Seeking Water Damage Restoration in Winter Haven?

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

drying your home Need help drying your home after water damage? Contact SERVPRO of Winter Haven and one of our Certified Technicians will help you!

SERVPRO Makes Water Damage Repairs in Winter Haven and adjacent areas

When it comes to effectively repairing water damage, drying is critical. Without being able to dry the impacted area effectively, you cannot adequately repair damages, particularly in humid climates like in Winter Haven and the rest of Florida.

Water damage restoration for your home means effectively drying the areas while repairing the house. One way that technicians approach drying the impacted area is to break up your home into 'drying zones.' This helps isolate the areas requiring attention. Each drying zone may have different amounts or types of equipment due to varying conditions. For instance, some areas may not need as many air movers or dehumidifiers.

There are two types of drying systems found in drying zones:

  • Open drying system: doors and windows are open, allowing fresh air to act as a facilitator in the drying process. 
  • Closed drying system: IICRC certified technicians close off the area with doors, windows, and heavy plastic to create an optimal drying environment. 

Contact SERVPRO of Winter Haven at (863) 551-5004 for 24/7 assistance. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Battling Covid-19

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Our industrial hygienists are out on the front lines battling COVID-19. Our team, led by John Carter, is working with existing clients and public health officials to develop cleaning protocols to decontaminate buildings impacted by the virus. They are dedicated to working with other front-line workers and personnel fighting this pandemic. We want to thank everyone currently working hard to make our communities safe for all of us again. If you need services don't hesitate to contact us at 863-551-5004.

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.

Preparing for an Emergency Disaster

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

Don’t wait – take the following safety steps with your family today.

Make an emergency supply kit.
Gather supplies like water, medicines, and blankets. You won’t have time to search or shop for these supplies during an emergency, so put your kit together now. Make sure your kit includes:

  • Water for at least 3 days. You’ll need at least 1 gallon of water a day for each person. Don't forget water for your pets, too!
  • Food for at least 3 days. Choose foods that don’t need to be kept cold and that you don't need to cook – like energy bars, peanut butter, crackers, and canned fruit. Don’t forget a can opener!
  • Prescription medicine that you take every day, like heart or diabetes medicine.
  • A first aid kit to treat cuts, burns, and other basic injuries.  (You can also buy first aid kits at many stores.)
  • A battery-powered radio with extra batteries or a hand crank radio.
  • A flashlight and extra batteries.
  • A whistle to call for help.

Keep your emergency supplies together in a backpack, bag, or easy-to-carry container. Use a waterproof container if possible. Store your supplies in a place that’s easy to reach.

These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov. SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Re-mediator, 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.

Hurricane - What to know before they happen!

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

Are you ready Hurricane Awareness

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The Pacific hurricane season runs May 15 to November 30. Hurricanes:

  • Can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
  • Can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
  • Are most active in September.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A HURRICANE WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk of hurricane.
  • If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
  • Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
  • Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
  • Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
  • Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property. De-clutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.

When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • If you have flood insurance, your policy may cover up to $1000 in loss avoidance measures, like sandbags and water pumps, to protect your insured property. You should keep copies of all receipts and a record of the time spent performing the work. They should be submitted to your insurance adjuster when you file a claim to be reimbursed. 

When a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

When a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

Survive DURING

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

Fire Safety

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire safety is the set of practices intended to reduce the destruction caused by fire. Fire safety measures include those that are intended to prevent ignition of an uncontrolled fire, and those that are used to limit the development and effects of a fire after it starts. It is important to know what to do and who to call when you have fire damage to you home. SERVPRO is a 24/7 emergency response crew, we are always here to help. Don’t hesitate to call our office.

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.

Fire - What to do an what not to do

4/26/2019 (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 dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor

SERVPRO of Winter Haven's In Place Drying

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

In Place Drying Equipment used for in place drying

SERVPRO of Winter Haven received an urgent call from one of our valued customers stating that they had a water loss in one of their branches.  We advised her that we would be there as quickly as possible.

One of SERVPRO of Winter Haven's crew was on-site within 90 minutes of receiving the call.  Upon initial inspection it was found that the cause of loss was a small hot water heater under the kitchen sink.  Our technicians got right to work finding all of the affected areas, documenting everything with photos and written documentation.  The amount of equipment was determined and put in place for our in-place drying.

You'll see in this photo two of SERVPRO's drying fans and holes that were drilled behind where the baseboards were due to the walls being insulated.

Once again SERVPRO of Winter Haven has proven that we can truly make it "Like it never even happened."

Hurricane Preparedness/Be Ready

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

The two keys to weather safety is 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.

Mold in a Bathroom

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in a vanity

This is a photo of mold damage inside a bathroom vanity in Winter Haven, FL. Mold can be found in any part of your home that has been affected by water and has not been properly dried or any area that has a substantial amount of humidity. With the right conditions mold can potentially become a problem for a homeowner. If you or someone you know has a mold issue, give us a call. We are always here to help! 

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.

Mold Discovery

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Damage

This is a photo of mold that was discovered under the carpet of a home in Lakeland, FL. In the photo notice the discoloration of the flooring. This was caused by a leak in the roof that went undetected for a substantial amount of time. The homeowner called SERVPRO out to take care of the problem. The customer was thrilled to know that all the mold was gone, and his house was back to the way it was before the mold. 

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.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch vs Warning

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Severe Thunderstorm Damage http://www.spc.noaa.gov

With the upcoming hurricane season and tropical weather, it is always important to keep up on what’s happening in your area. One of the biggest questions asked is, what is the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a severe thunderstorm warning? A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) and means that there is potential for the development of thunderstorms that can produce large hail or damaging winds. When a severe thunderstorm is in progress or has developed and is shown on your local news radar it is called a severe thunderstorm warning.

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.

Suspect Mold?

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

If you suspect mold in your home give SERVPRO a call. We will be able to assist you in determining if you have mold even If you don’t see it. Our tests are accurate and to the point. It will tell you what kind of mold you have and how many spores, after that we will take it from there. We are always here to help. Don't hesitate to call and ask questions, we are certified mold remediators. 

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

Dealing with Mold?

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

If mold is a problem in your home give SERVPRO a call. We are always here to help. Whether it is a small spot that you noticed at the bottom of your drywall or a very large spot at the top of your drywall. No matter the place or the size, we will be able to set up an appointment for you with one of our certified managers, to come out and inspect the area. Don’t hesitate to call, we are always here to help.  

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.

Storm Story

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Charley | Phillip's Natural World 1.0.2

I remember when I was around 10-11 years old, Hurricane Charley went right over central Florida. My family went over to my aunt’s house in Winter Haven to hunker down. As the storm passed over the trees were bending, the wind was howling and then suddenly, the wooden privacy fence in the back yard flew up and it was gone. All at once the wind and the rain calmed and you can see blue skies and sunshine. For a minuet everything was peaceful, then about 3 minuets later the battering wind and rain started right back up. The eye of Hurricane Charley had gone right over us. It will be an experience that I will never forget. Remembering back to 2004 when Florida was hit by not only Charley but 3 other powerful hurricanes that year, makes you want to get a plan together and have can goods, water, flashlights, spare batteries and a safe place to bare the storm. It also makes you think of who you would call if you have damages to your home. I know who I would call SERVPRO, they are always here to help. – Liz

Community Fest- Follow Up

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

Community Fest

First of all, thank you everyone that came out to join us for the community fest in Winter Haven. We got a lot of great photos and met some pretty amazing people of our community. To give a number on how many great people, 5,000- 6,000 attended the event.

SERVPRO would like to remind you that we are a fire, water and mold restoration company. We also offer a lot of other great services like Deep cleanings, carpet cleaning and Bio-hazard Cleanups. If you have a question regarding any of our services please give us a call. We are always here to help. 

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.

Tips on Choosing a Restoration Company

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO

When water damages you 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 was recently interviewed and asked about tips on how to select a water restoration contractor. Click the link to see what his suggestions are:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPHCGCFVWrQ

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is always here to help, and if you feel the video is helpful, please "like it". 

If you have any questions regarding any issue regarding water, fire, mold or bio-hazard clean-up don't hesitate to contact us at 863-551-5004

All SERVPRO franchises are independently owned and operated, let us show you we strive to be the Premier Restoration Company in Central Florida.

EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Winter Haven proudly announces that we are an EPA Lead Safe Certified Firm. This means that we have fulfilled the requirements of the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Section 402, and have received certification to conduct lead-based paint renovations, repair, and painting activities pursuant to 40 CFR Part 745.89. When dealing with lead based paint homes we take the proper precautions to ensure you and your family are safe. Remember the older the home the greater potential it has for lead based paint. To learn more about lead based paint or to look up our certified firm please visit http://www.epa.gov. If you have any questions regarding our services please feel free to contact us. Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Community Fest

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Booth.

SERVPRO of Winter Haven, Haines City, Polk City would like to invite you to come on over to the 2018 Winter Haven Community Fest in downtown Winter Haven. It's a good Free Family Event for all ages. There will be entertainment, games, food and more. If anyone wants to check us out and stop by our booth, below is the location and time of the event.

Community Fest 2018 Saturday, March 03, 2018 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST Central Park in Downtown Winter Haven, Winter Haven, FL.

Come Join Us!

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. We are a BBB Accredited Business.

BOMA Tampa Bay

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Chris Brill is now participating in three committees within BOMA. They are:

Industrial Committee - New for 2017, this committee will provide education and information for commercial property management professionals specific to industrial properties and offer networking opportunities.

Sustainability Committee - This committee is the official “green” arm of BOMA Greater Tampa Bay. The committee works on several projects and offers education and training specifically tailored to the “green” environment.
 

Government Affairs Committee - Promoting BOMA agenda & interest to local, State & Federal government bodies.

BOMA Greater Tampa Bay is a non-profit premier business network that provides leading education, advances the advocacy interests of the commercial real estate industry, and recognizes the best practices of industry participants who have excelled.

Allowing Chris to give back to industry and Tampa Bay Community.

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