After a Fire, What to Do...
Fire Damage to Structure
Any fire can be devastating. The most important thing after a fire is the safety of your family and pets. Once everyone is safe and secure, it’s time to work a plan for what to do after fire damages your home and property. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra has created this checklist of safety precautions and more to begin recovery after fire damage.
What to Do After a Fire
Call your insurance company immediately after a fire. Following ironing the details with your insurance company, contact SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra so the fire damage cleanup process can begin quickly. Make sure to notify your mortgage company of the fire as well. If you’re not sure that the home is structurally safe, have it inspected by a certified structural engineer or building inspector before going near.
- Take pictures of all exterior damage, noting broken windows or entrances that are no longer secure.
- Make arrangements to board-up broken windows and secure the property during the cleanup and restoration process.
- Shut off propane tank systems and make an appointment for it to be inspected for safety.
- Do not attempt to reconnect utilities on your own.
- Be aware that rodents, snakes, or other animals may have entered your home.
Inside the home:
- Don’t flip on electrical switches in any room with standing water from firefighting efforts.
- Don’t enter any room if you hear popping or see sparking.
- Turn off the power at the main electrical panel.
- Try not to touch anything covered with soot; it’s easy to transfer it to other areas of the home, making the cleaning process more difficult.
- Wear closed-toe shoes or boots, long sleeves, long pants and gloves to protect against soot and any other contaminants as you go through the home.
- Try to locate important papers and other documents that you’ll need.
- Handle burned money as little as possible. You can take its remains to a Regional Federal Reserve Bank for replacement.
- Begin taking inventory of the building damage and all damaged items.
- Begin saving receipts for any expenses incurred after the fire. These may be needed when filing insurance claims.
Fire Damage Cleanup and Remediation
Companies like SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra have the expertise as well as the right products and equipment to safely and effectively clean and restore a home after a fire. Fire damage includes more than just items burned. There will be soot, smoke and water damage as well.
A professional cleaning team will assess the damage to flooring, drywall, cabinets, furniture and more before developing a plan for thorough cleanup. Additionally, mold growth may be a concern after rooms and items have been saturated with water during the fire-fighting efforts.
Items that may need to be cleaned for soot and smoke removal include but are not limited to:
- Carpets and area rugs
- Flooring: hardwood, tile and vinyl
- Woodwork and other hard surfaces like counter tops and cabinetry
- Electronics and appliances
- Furniture and upholstery
- Draperies, linens and clothing
- Books, artwork, papers and documents
After a fire, let SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra tackle the tough jobs so you have peace of mind that your home will be cleaned and restored quickly, safely and correctly. Call us 24/7/365 at 904-246-6118 for any fire, smoke, or soot damage in your home or business.
September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month! SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra wants to incourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to take action! This is an ideal time of year for individuals and families to update their emergency supply kits and family emergency plans, and to become better informed about different threats and local emergency plans. Many things can change over the course of a year, and it is imperative that the entire family have the most up-to-date emergency contact information, and plan in place as they head back to school and work. It’s about talking to your family and figuring out what you should do if an emergency happens in your community. Where will you meet if you get separated, and cell phones are down? What emergency supplies will you need and where should you keep them?
One simple thing that individuals and families can do to be prepared, is to have a family emergency plan. To develop one you should ask yourself some important questions, such as: “In the event of an emergency, is there a safe place for my family to meet?” This is especially important if you aren’t allowed back into your home or neighborhood by local law enforcement or the National Guard. “What is the evacuation location and plan of my child’s school? Does everyone in the family have one another’s contact information, and the contact for an out-of-town relative to take roll-call?”
One of our missions at SERVPRO® of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra has always been to contribute to the communities where we live and work. This month we have an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference by joining forces with companies and communities throughout Northeast Florida to help prepare our families, friends, colleagues, neighbors and communities for emergencies. Whether they are naturally occurring or man-made.
SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra Biohazard Clean Up Services
Proper Ventilation is Important to Help Keep the Unaffected Area Safe and Sanitary
Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra is here to help you with all of your home or business property damage restoration needs. Our professional technicians are trained to handle all types of biohazard waste disposal. Services range from suicide, crime scene and vandalism, homicide and accidental death cleanup to sewage cleanup and a host of different sanitation clean up services. Our biohazard property restoration services also include filth cleanup and packrat cleanup services.
SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra technicians are highly trained in rapid response. We work with experience, skill and most importantly, compassion. We're on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, because your property and peace of mind depend on it! Call 904-246-6118 now!
Common Misconceptions about Mitigation and Restoration
We're on Call, 24/7/365
Over the years, there has been an abundance of misconceptions and non-truths involving property damage and restoration procedures. Professional restoration companies are trained to see beyond the misconceptions and misinformation that often complicate a claim. If someone doesn’t act quickly enough or doesn’t take the right actions due to these misconceptions, they can end up with even more damage to deal with, that could have easily been avoided.
A SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra professional restoration technician will prioritize mitigation over restoration ensuring damage costs do not escalate. Mitigation is extremely time-critical, as it stops further damage and reduces additional loss. It usually needs to be performed within 24 hours or less. Any delay will further complicate or devalue the mitigation effort.
Restoration, on the other hand, puts the damaged items back to a preloss condition. It is less time-critical, but still important and should be done as quickly as possible.
Misconception #1: Replacing is less expensive than salvaging.
Cleaning is a mitigation process that has excellent results and is cost-effective - especially when compared to the cost of replacement. For instance, when smoke is not properly cleaned from delicate fabrics and surfaces, secondary damage can occur. Replacement is usually the only option. Hundreds of dollars of cleaning can become thousands of dollars of replacement due to delayed action. Today’s restoration professionals are able to effectively clean and remove contaminates, saving expensive replacement costs.
Misconception #2: If you get your carpets cleaned, they get dirty faster.
Techniques, equipment, and materials used in the past to clean carpets were inferior to those used by today’s professionals. In the past, inefficient carpet shampooing left a soap residue that attracted soil more rapidly than prior to cleaning. Restoration professionals now use a cleaning process that both flushes and rinses carpets, and prevents that from happening.
Misconception #3: Once the carpet is dry, that noisy equipment needs to be removed.
The greatest failure in restoring water-damaged structures is to remove the drying equipment before the drying is complete. Using the carpet or padding to determine dryness is a poor misrepresentation of whether the structure is dry or not (and one that is not easily defended if litigation follows). Carpet and padding dry quicker than other structural materials and are not an accurate gauge. The danger with ineffective drying is that it can turn a small loss from water damage into a multi-thousand dollar mold claim. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra professionals use measuring equipment to determine if moisture content has been returned to normal standards. Meters and sensors are used to document and record the data that justifies the use of the equipment and the best time to remove it. That is extremely important to accomplish the end result - a totally dry structure.
Misconception #4: Once a structure has been damaged by fire, it will always smell like smoke. So why rush to clean it up?
Stories arise about smoke damage restoration efforts that have failed - usually because odor remains. Smoke odor and residue are the products of incomplete combustion. They are acidic and are far more damaging than ordinary dirt or dust. Prompt cleaning actions can reduce losses if this acid is removed or neutralized. Odor removal is more complicated than turning on one machine and hoping to achieve satisfactory results. Restoration for smoke odor has to be thorough. All contaminated areas need to be cleaned, deodorized, and sealed where applicable. It is important that all odor molecules are neutralized, either airborne or absorbed.
SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra professionals are the best assurance when it comes to mitigation and restoration. Due to their continuous technical training, they do not repeat the erroneous theories and mistakes of the past. Using the latest equipment and techniques, they make sure that the job is done correctly and completely - the first time. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra restoration services are available 24/7, 365 days per year; they include water and flood damage cleanup, mold remediation, odor control, reconstruction services, trauma cleanup, and fire and smoke damage cleanup. Don’t wait another moment if your home has been devastated; call us today at 904-246-6118.
4 Essential Steps of Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery
Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
Natural disasters can be terrifying, especially if they affect your home and your loved ones. Although it’s scary to think about, there are a wide variety of different catastrophes that could strike your home, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and more. If one of these unfortunate events does happen, you don’t want to find yourself unprepared! Discover the most important steps to take following a major disaster so you and your family are able to recover quickly and safely.
1. Assess the Situation
As soon as the calamity has died down, check yourself and any family members to make sure no one is hurt. If you have any nearby neighbors, see if they are in need of any help. Turn off the gas and electricity in your home if it safe to do so, and avoid entering your home for a while, as there could be damage to your floors or ceilings that could cause them to collapse.
2. Finding Food and Shelter
Food and water are vital for keeping your strength up, so start your search for necessities as soon as you can. If your home no longer has running water, you can obtain it through emergency sources, such as rainwater, your hot water tank, your toilet reservoir, or ice cube trays. If you have food that needs to be cooked, you can cook it over a fire in your chimney or use a grill outside. Shelters are usually assembled by the American Red Cross in emergency situations for those whose homes are too damaged to stay in; look for one of these if you feel your home is dangerous. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as local churches and community services, are also good resources for any needs you might have in these dire situations.
3. Be Cautious
Disasters always leave a trail of destruction behind; be wary of contaminated floodwaters, fallen power lines, or any criminals taking advantage of all the chaos. Don’t turn the gas back on in your home, as there could be a leak, and make sure your house is ventilated if you’re cooking over your fireplace.
4. Recovering Important Information
One of the last steps of disaster rehabilitation and recovery is to salvage as many of the important documents from the wreckage, such as your insurance policies, birth certificates, driver’s license, deeds, wills, financial statements, and any other precious information. Although these procedures might be difficult, it will help you and your family recover from this crisis as quickly as possible.
Call SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra with all Your Disaster Rehabilitation Needs!
If a disaster has affected your home, call SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra for all your cleanup needs! Our disaster restoration services are available 24/7, 365 days per year; they include water and flood damage cleanup, mold remediation, odor control, reconstruction services, trauma cleanup, and fire and smoke damage cleanup. Don’t wait another moment if your home has been devastated; call us today at 904-246-6118.
Mold Myth Busters
Mold On Residential Ceiling After Water Intrusion
When it comes to mold, misinformation is all too common and it can be costly to homeowners' health and property. That's why the experts at, SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra, one of the largest disaster restoration companies in the United States, say it's essential that homeowners know the facts about mold.
As temperatures begin to rise across the country, SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra is alerting consumers about the most common myths that its network of trained professionals encounters when facing water or mold damage.
Home and business owners rarely think about mold and/or microbial growth until it affects their health, homes, or businesses. Mold spores are all around us, everywhere, and found in most every home across the world. In the right conditions and without the right treatment, mold can quickly grow into a major problem.
The three most commonly reported mold myths are:
1. False: Bleach or other retail products can kill mold on any surface.
Fact: Most retail products simply discolor mold and are not recommended for use on porous surfaces. In porous and semi- porous materials, such as wood, carpet, ceiling tile or drywall, mold's roots may not come into contact with the cleaning product, meaning it will likely return. This is one reason why experts say removing the mold-affected items is the only way to ensure it is removed from your home.
2. False: Dead mold can't cause health issues.
Fact: Mold goes dormant until the conditions are favorable for regrowth. Even dormant mold can release spores, allowing it to reproduce and reappear, particularly if the underlying moisture and ventilation issues have not been resolved. Trained professionals can help you identify potentially dangerous mold and ensure affected areas are properly treated.
3. False: Mold is the only problem associated with water damage.
Fact: When water is present where it should not be, it can quickly cause a host of problems, including structural and cosmetic damage, as well as promote bacterial and viral growth. In addition, mold can begin to appear within 24-48 hours, depending on the nature of the water intrusion. Calling a reputable disaster restoration professional who is skilled in dealing with water- related damages can help you avoid long-term problems and get life back in order again as quickly as possible.
SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra is trained, equipped and ready to restore homes and businesses before, during and after any mold-related issues. For more expert tips and information about mold prevention and remediation, visit http://www.SERVPROthebeachespontevedra.com/ or like us on Facebook. For immediate assistance and clean up, call SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra at 904-246-6118.
What to do When Your Home Suffers a Water Damage in Jacksonville Beach
A home often suffers water damage after a flood or a severe storm. In some cases, water damage occurs when a plumbing fixture such as a pipe or water heater breaks or a roof starts to suddenly leak.
Prompt treatment of any affected areas helps prevent more extensive problems from manifesting. Any part of a home that experiences water damage becomes an ideal breeding ground for mold and other pathogens. If a homeowner ignores the areas of water damage in the home, the microbial spores frequently spread throughout the structure and render it uninhabitable.
Any time a home suffers sudden water damage, reaction time is paramount. A quick response to the damage prevents moisture from seeping into the home's drywall, flooring, furniture, and other structural areas of the house. Professional technicians from a disaster restoration service will quickly identify all areas of moisture concern in the home. Once the damaged areas have been identified, the company will work to dry out any moisture pockets everywhere in the structure by exposing them to elevated air speeds with specialized equipment to immediately stop mold growth from occurring and to get the affected areas totally dry as quickly as possible. In some cases, the technicians may have to clean some areas with specialized chemicals to prevent and control mold growth.
If your home has suffered water exposure, please contact us at SERVPRO of Mandarin to evaluate the damage and start the restoration process needed to make your house a home again. For more expert tips and information about mold prevention and remediation, visit http://www.SERVPROthebeachespontevedra.com/ or like us on Facebook. We provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Call us at 904-246-6118.
Four Benefits of Tile and Grout Cleaning in Ponte Vedra
Running any business can be a very demanding job. Sometimes owners get so caught up in the day-to-day running of the business that they forget about some other very important things, such as a spectacularly clean floor. There are huge benefits to having your tile and ground cleaned. If you have never experienced professional tile and grout cleaning, then you are in for a treat.
Benefit #1: The largest benefit to investing in this service, is that it will change the look of your whole business.
Benefit #2: The floor will look brand new, and your customers will take notice.
Benefit #3: When your tile, and grout is clean, it changes the whole atmosphere of your business.
Benefit #4: When you properly clean your tile and grout you show your employees, and customers, how much you care about their safety and health because clean floors means that you properly removed the dirt and buildup from them and made your overall building much healthier.
The floors will be cleaned, and then the grout would be sealed so that the dirt doesn't easily creep back into the grout. It is well worth the investment. Having your floors cleaned is an investment that will pay out over, and over again.
With proper maintenance, your floors will never get back to the dull, dirty look that they had before the cleaning. With the noticeable change of your tile and grout, the confidence in the way you do business may change forever. Your confidence is not the only thing that will increase, your customer’s confidence will increase also.
For more information on having your tile, and grout professionally cleaned, please contact us. We would be delighted to help you give your business a new look that you, and your customers will feel great about.
For more expert tips and information about our cleaning services, visit http://www.SERVPROthebeachespontevedra.com/ or like us on Facebook. We provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Call us at 904-246-6118.
Smoke Odor Removal in Homes and Businesses in Jacksonville Beach
Kitchen Fire in Jacksonville Beach
When there is a fire in your home or business it can be a devastating loss. Did you know that even after the fire is out, smoke can still damage other areas of the property? The smoky odor from a fire can make the entire home or business smell horrible and smoke damage, if left untreated, can often exceed fire damage in repair and replacement costs. Fire damage repairs must begin quickly to maximize effectiveness and minimize loss due to smoke damage.
SERVPRO of The Beaches and Ponte Vedra answers the call and immediately moves into action 24/7. Recognizing the trauma and emotional upset that occupants suffer, we work quickly and considerately to mitigate fire and smoke damage on salvageable property, such as household items, fixtures, metals and other contents. Our state-of-the science techniques and cleaning processes often prevent replacement costs, thereby reducing costs. Fire and smoke damage restoration requires knowledge and skill; our SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to do the job right.
Our trained professionals determine the full extent of fire damage, including the impact of smoke, heat and residues from fire and smoke. We keep home and business owners informed, helping to overcome their loss and restoring hope by explaining what can be saved and how, in a way property owners can understand what is happening, what to expect, and what they can do.
SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra's treatment always includes respectful handling of property as if it was our own. We take extra care and the necessary steps to protect the floor and personal belongings. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra uses state-of-the-science techniques and cleaning solutions that can dramatically increase the likelihood of saving property without needing to replace it.
For more expert tips and information about our cleaning services, visit http://www.SERVPROthebeachespontevedra.com/ or like us on Facebook. We provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Call us at 904-246-6118.
Hurricane Season is Here! 5 Preparedness Tips to do today!
Hurricane season has arrived and SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra has preparedness steps that families and individuals can do today, before the next storm approaches.
While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a near-normal 2016 Atlantic hurricane season with 10 to 61 named storms, it is important to remember that it only takes one hurricane to devastate a community. In addition, caution cannot be limited to coastal states. Hurricanes can be just as destructive for inland communities.
5 Hurricane Preparedness Tips to Tackle Today
1. Download the Red Cross Emergency App.
This new app provides expert advice on what to do before, during, and after hurricanes and other disasters. It also gives instant access to 35 customizable weather alerts, safety tips and preparedness information for 14 different emergencies; all in one free and easy to use app
2. Learn the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning.
As hurricane season approaches, it is also important to know the difference between the threat levels.
- A Hurricane Watch is when conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s then time to review and update your hurricane plan. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed.
- A Hurricane Warning is when conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s then time to complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
3. Create an evacuation plan for your family.
Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event. Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for. Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
4. Build an emergency kit.
The Red Cross advises that you should include a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
5. Pay attention to the weather forecast and stay informed.
Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS)
6. Download the SERVPRO Ready Plan App.
This is an invaluable tool if you own a home or commercial building. The SERVPRO Ready Plan App is a part of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile which is a start up approach that provides critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services.
SERPVRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra provides emergency service 24/7/365. Our team of professionals are committed to providing fire, water and bio-hazard cleanup and restoration services for all Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra communities and business. SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra also offers top-quality professional cleaning services for all Jacksonville Beache and Ponte Vedra homes and businesses. Call us anytime and speak to a SERVPRO professional and NOT a recording, at 904-246-6118.