Recent Posts

Understanding What Black Water Is

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Sewage in a commercial building If your commercial building has recently been affected by flooding, SERVPRO can help you to restore.

What Is Black Water And How Do I Know What It Is?

If your commercial building in Plant City, FL, has recently been affected by flooding, you may be dealing with a lot of water damage restoration. As the storm damage cleanup crew works on your building, you may hear a lot of technical terms. If someone mentions black water in your building, what exactly does that mean? Water is considered black when at least one of the following situations are met:

  • The water is highly contaminated.
  • Flood water comes in contact with fecal matter.
  • Wastewater from toilets enters your building.
  • Untreated standing water starts to support microbial growth.

Now that you have a better understanding of what this contaminated water is, you may want to learn more about how you can bounce back from such damage.

Fast Response

After flooding, you need to react as quickly as possible. Getting the water out of your building can help reduce the structural damages. Also, if you're able to dry out and clean your furniture and equipment shortly after the incident occurs, you may have a greater chance of being able to keep many of your company's possessions. You may not be able to hold on to porous materials, especially when dealing with dirty flood water.

Professional Response

Because contaminated water can be dangerous, it is often a good idea to call in the experts as soon as possible. Trying to deal with this water damage on your own may not be a good idea because of the sewage, chemicals and microbes that are potentially in the water. Professionals will have the safety equipment needed to properly take care of the issue. Their equipment will also help them fix the problem faster.

Whenever you're dealing with water damage due to flooding, you need to be aware of the type of water you have in your commercial building. Clean, gray and black water each have their own potential problems and need to be taken care of in different ways.

4 Steps To Prevent Water Damage During Your Vacation

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Warping Hardwood Floors After Water Damage If disaster strikes, don’t hesitate and give our SERVPRO team a call today!

4 Ways To Avoid Water Damage While On Vacation

Depending on the season, your home may be at a heightened risk of a leak during your vacation. There are a few simple steps you can take to prepare your home in Valrico, FL, for your vacation. You don't want to return to find your home flooded as a result of a broken pipe or leaky appliance and have to make water pipe repair your top priority. Here are four steps you should take before you depart to make sure your home will stay dry for the duration of your vacation.

1. Shut off the main water valve. Whether you are leaving overnight or on a longer excursion, turning off the flow of water to your home is the easiest way to make sure major water damage does not occur. This is an important step toward preventing the need for water pipe repair.

2. Turn off appliance supply valves. Prevent appliances from leaking by shutting off the flow of water. Many appliance leaks are caused by hose failures, and this reduces or eliminates the amount of water available to leak.

3. Check the sump pump. Test the sump pump system in your basement before you leave on vacation in case a heavy rain occurs while you are away.

4. Clean the gutters. You should also make sure your gutters are clear to prevent water from pooling near your foundation or working its way up under shingles and causing leaks.

These steps can prevent a broken pipe from causing problems when you are too far away to see that your home is getting flooded. Rather than risking leaks and the need for water pipe repair after your getaway, you should plan ahead to keep your home in Valrico, FL, dry while you are away. If a leak does occur, a residential restoration service should be able to provide water damage repair.

Certified Mold Remediation Specialists Know How to Tackle It

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

A man protected for mold removing SERVPRO is a certified mold remediation company, call us anytime, we are always ready to respond.

Certified Mold Remediation Specialists Can Handle It

Mold can be intimidating if you don’t know exactly what it is and how to go about cleaning it. After a water disaster, the chances of mold growth can begin within 24 hours. What you do and how you handle it can make the difference between a successful return to your home and some serious renovation. This is one of the reasons that insurance companies prefer that you deal with certified mold specialists. Consider contacting a certified mold remediation company in Plant City, FL, for quick response and guidance.

Training Makes the Difference

Certified mold technicians receive several hours of training for their initial certification. Different states require different degrees of training. Yearly, technicians have to complete recertification classes. This training teaches them important skills:

  • Donning and using protective gear, including their respirator
  • Using a commercial HEPA filter vacuum to clean and sand contaminated areas
  • Applying chemicals to kill and seal materials to prevent further contamination
  • Determining the number of negative air pressure machines that are needed for the square footage of a home in order to move the air properly

Personal Safety Leads to Faster Cleanup

When technicians receive their mold certification, they learn key skills that protect them during the remediation process. One of these is proper monitoring of their personal test pump. They wear this on their side and check it regularly to determine how many mold particles are in their respirator. They are only allowed to have so many particles per minute of air. Once they reach this limit, they have to stop working in the contaminated area. Certification training teaches them the proper use of protective gear and tools so they can safely work the project for longer periods of time.

Insurance companies like to make sure their money goes for a complete remediation and that the problem won’t return. Using a certified mold specialist to help ensure complete cleanup and proper use of tools and skills creates a safe environment for everyone involved.

Which Types of Water Are Contaminated?

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

A man removing water damage.  SERVPRO of NE Hillsborough County/Plant City is your local water damage restoration professional.

Which Water Types Are Contaminated?

There are three types of water involved in leaks. The first is clean water that originates directly from a supply line, such as a pipe. Clean water is not contaminated. The most common cause of clean water leaks is when a pipe bursts. Secondary damage is the only threat of leaks involving this type of water. It is important to thoroughly dry any areas into which clean water has leaked to prevent the possibility of mold growth over time. There are two types of contaminated water: gray water and black water. The risks involved with these types of water differ considerably from a clean water leak.

1. Gray water does not contain solid waste. Shower or bathwater, water from appliances such as washing machines, and toilet water that only contains urine are all examples of gray water. This water may contain some bacteria but does not necessarily pose a major health risk. It is a still a good idea to clean, disinfect and dry any area affected by a gray water leak.

2. Black water contains fecal matter and therefore bacteria and pathogens that can spread infections. This type of water poses the greatest risk when it comes to sewage damage. Any areas that are exposed to this highly contaminated water should be thoroughly cleaned, dried, and disinfected. Porous materials coming in contact with this water will likely need to be thrown out.

You may be able to handle a leak yourself depending on the extent of the water damage and whether it involves clean water from a supply line or contaminated water. If you are dealing with a large leak or a leak of either gray water or black water that requires you to not only clean and dry but disinfect the area, you may want to contact experts in Valrico, FL, who specialize in water or sewage damage. Damage restoration specialists have equipment designed for cleaning, drying, and disinfecting areas damaged by sewage or water.

Safety Tips for Grilling Season

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Grill on fire Summertime means cookouts, so use these helpful tips to keep everyone at your barbeque safe and happy.

Grilling Season Safety Tips

 As the weather heats up in Valrico, FL so does the desire to fire up your grill. While there is nothing quite like a backyard barbeque, it's important to take safety precautions when grilling out. You don't want to find yourself with a grill fire rather than a platter of delicious food. Keep these safety tips in mind this season to avoid fires. 
  • Pay attention
  • Respect distance
  • Keep up with maintenance

Know Your Grill

Propane and charcoal grills should always be used outdoors. All grill types should be regularly cleaned and inspected before and after each cooking session. It's important to remove grease and fat buildups to prevent your grill from becoming a barbeque fire rather than a barbeque party. If you have a charcoal grill, you can use a chimney starter or starter fluid to get going. If you use a starter fluid, do not add any other flammable liquids as this increases your chances of starting a grill fire.

Keep Your Distance

Whatever type of grill you use, be sure to keep it well away from your house, deck rails, and all eaves or low-hanging tree branches. It's also important to keep children and pets away from your grilling station. Leashes can get caught, and small kids can accidentally hurt themselves, so it's best to just keep them at least 3 feet away. While kids and pets should stay away, you or your chosen grill master should remain nearby at all times. Leaving a grill unattended is always a bad choice.

Summertime means cookouts, so use these helpful tips to keep everyone at your barbeque safe and happy. Since a grill fire can cause injuries as well as smoke damage in your home, it's important to grill safely and prevent fires. Should you face a fire at your Valrico, FL residence, be sure to contact professional fire damage restoration services as soon as the area is safe. 


Quick Guide to Residential Fire Extinguishers

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher To make sure you get a fire extinguisher that will operate in your home, read the label carefully.

Extinguishers For The Home

Having a fire extinguisher in your home in Valrico,FL can help you increase your chances of escaping from a fire. With so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Use this guide and talk with a residential fire cleanup expert to figure out which extinguisher you should stock.


This fire preparedness tool comes in a variety of sizes. The size you want to get depends on where in the house you want to keep it.

  • 2-pound: This small extinguisher is perfect for on the go. You can keep it in the trunk of your car to help prepare you for any situation. Some small models come with mounting hardware, so you can keep it in one place.
  • 5-pound: This rechargeable model works well in fire-hazard areas in the home. Consider keeping it near your kitchen or laundry room, so it's easily accessible.
  • 10-pound: This larger fire extinguisher is ideal for parts of the home that are left unattended for periods of time. The size means there's more fire suppressant chemicals, which can help dampen a fire that went unnoticed for a bit. Keep this size in a garage, shed or workshop.

As you consider the size of your extinguisher, you also need to think about your personal capabilities. If you would struggle to lift and use a 10-pound extinguisher, it might not be the right option for you.


You also have to think about the classification of the extinguisher. Residential products come in three classes: A, B and C. The A classification means the suppressant will work well on trash, wood and paper. B means the extinguisher can help put out a home fire caused by grease or liquids. C usually means it's suited for electrical fires.

Read the label of your fire extinguisher closely to make sure you have a unit that can work well in your home. Consider both size and classification before you buy your next fire dampening tool.

Ways You can Prevent Further Damage to Your Roof

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Check for missing shingles on your roof.

Ways to Keep Your Roof from Getting Worse

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. A well-built roof will keep out the elements and provide shelter and protection for you and your family. In most cases, your roof will stand up to the weather and to age. Fortunately, there are ways to can prevent damage and also ensure roof damage from getting worse after large storms.

Inspect Regularly

Just like any part of your Plant City, FL, home, you need to consistently check on your roof to make sure it’s sound. If it is weakening in any way, even mild storms could produce severe wind damage or other problems.

  • Inspect it once a year.
  • Check for curled, loose, or missing roof shingles or tiles.
  • Examine the rafters or trusses for nail tips that may be coming through.
  • If you’re not thrilled about getting on your roof, you can hire a professional.

Strengthen Your Roof

If you live in an area where high winds are common, it’s a good idea to reinforce your roof to protect it against roof damage. One way to do this is to put cement around the edges or under shingle tabs. You can also install metal structural supports to connect your roof to your walls.

After the Storm

In many places, strong storms are inevitable, and you may have to deal with wind damage and other problems. If your roof has suffered damage, you need to act quickly to ensure your safety and roof integrity. With the help of a professional, you should board up any weakened spots or severely damaged areas of your roof. You may also place tarps over holes to prevent water or debris from coming inside.

When you follow these damage prevention and mitigation tips, you can help keep your roof strong. You can also get it back to normal in a timely manner.

3 Standards for Mold Maintenance

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on wall Mold damage in Valrico, FL.

3 Standards for Mold Maintenance  

Mold spores are a natural occurrence present just about everywhere — including your Valrico, FL, business. When exposed to moisture these microscopic neighbors can quickly grow into a burgeoning threat, leaving your business at risk for a myriad of issues. Federal organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration do not set any mold standards, but that doesn’t mean mold cleanup isn’t an aggressive process. Here are three steps to keep in mind when dealing with your sporous neighbor:

1. Be Aware of Water Damage

Mold spores become an issue when exposed to moisture and allowed to grow into colonies. Regularly check for any threat of water damage in your business, including leaking pipes or drafty windows, which may allow moisture to sneak in. Furthermore, maintain appropriate levels of humidity within the building to limit moisture levels in the air. While there is variance dependent on personal preference and outdoor conditions, the EPA sets 60 percent as the benchmark for high indoor humidity. Generally, levels should be kept between 30 and 50 percent.

2. Check Building Materials

To alleviate the uncertainty of mold standards, ensure building standards are up to code. Proper insulation installed around windows, piping and exterior walls minimizes a buildup of condensation, keeping mold at bay. Verify that your business is well-ventilated and regularly check porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles and wood for any signs of mold damage.

3. Contact Your Local Cleanup Company

While there may be no federal mold standards, the nonprofit Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets forth standards of care for the remediation of mold. Time is of the essence when it comes to mold infestation; an IICRC certified company will have the training and professional equipment to safely and effectively mediate the mold damage in your business in a time-sensitive manner. Furthermore, if the insidious contaminant black mold has threatened your business, a professional company is the only option for safe cleanup.

A Home Fire Escape Plan Can Help Keep Your Family Safe

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Practice your fire escape plan.

You plan a party. You plan a vacation. You even plan your dinner. But do you have a plan for helping your family escape from your home in the event a fire breaks out in your home in Plant City, FL? Your family is the most precious thing in your life so give some serious thought to the importance of a fire escape plan.

What Should Your Plan Include?

A plan for escaping a home fire may vary from home to home, but some basics are universal. Sit your family down and have a serious discussion about the urgent and immediate need for action should a fire break out. Include the following items in your discussion.

Make sure each person knows two ways out of every room, if possible
Get some fire escape ladders and have family members practice using them to escape from upper floors
Teach them to check the doorknobs with the back of their hand before opening to avoid burning the more sensitive skin on the palm and to practice crawling out to reduce smoke inhalation
Designate a safe meeting place away from the house where family members can meet
Practice a full drill a few times a year including setting off the smoke alarms so they can get out even with a sense of panic

Additional Safety Measures
You should also make sure you have properly working smoke alarms installed throughout your home. Place fresh fire extinguishers in the kitchen, laundry room and other areas where they may be most needed, including any smokers bedrooms. Keep the phone number of a fire damage and restoration service in Plant City, FL, with your other emergency numbers so you can get help right away if you need it.
A family fire escape plan is an essential part of your family’s fire preparation and should frequently be rehearsed and revised as needed. With careful planning in place, you can rest easier knowing your family is well prepared be safe in a fire emergency.

Will a Broken Pipe Break the Bank?

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

warping hardwood floor due to water damage Hardwood floor damaged by water in Valrico, FL.

Would you rather have your home in Valrico, FL, flood from heavy rainfall or a leaky pipe? How about from a frozen pipe that suddenly burst while you are out of town? You are probably thinking that none of the options sound good, and you are right. However, depending on the cause of the water damage in your home, insurance coverage may differ. Although homeowner’s insurance policies generally follow the same guidelines, talk to your agent about the specific details.

What Is Usually Covered?

When it comes to homeownership, it is a great relief when you can rely on financial help from your insurance company. Water damage is typically covered when the following occur:

By no fault of the homeowner, a burst or leaking pipe causes significant water damage. Although the insurance company considers the cost to fix the broken pipe your responsibility, the resulting damage is covered. This includes drying, cleaning, removing and replacing materials, and restoring your home. The water restoration specialist works with your insurance adjuster and provides documentation of work done in relation to the claim.
If you have flood insurance as part of your policy, damage from heavy rainfall or storm is covered. If you do not have this insurance, it likely is not, so look into this if your home is susceptible.

What Is the Homeowner’s Responsibility?

Make sure you regularly maintain your home, as negligence on your part may equal more money out of your pocket:

If you leave for vacation from a cold-weather climate and do not leave on your heat, a frozen pipe that bursts means trouble. This situation could have been prevented, which may result in a denied insurance claim.
If you have a pipe that leaks for a significant amount of time, this may also result in a denied claim, as fixing the pipe would have prevented ongoing water damage.

Regardless of the cause, a flood at your home in Valrico, FL, is not enjoyable. However, when the restoration process is covered by your insurance, it will not break the bank.