Acting Quickly After a Disaster
When a Disaster strikes, it is imperative to respond quickly in order to prevent further damages and complications. Fires, Mold infestations, and Floods from broken pipes, overflows or heavy storms – all such disasters must be dealt with in a timely manner. If not handled immediately you could experience on or more of these issues:
- If water-damaged structures and contents are not dried out quickly and correctly, potential health risks can develop. Mold can begin to grow within the first 24 to 48 hours after the flood.
- Excessive water can cause: rusting in metals, corrosion in electronic components, cracking, splitting or warping of furniture items, color bleeding or transfer in fabrics, furniture stains and secondary damage to upholstery, drapery, clothing, wallpaper, photos and papers.
- Fire or smoke damaged properties can also experience irreversible damage, regardless of the size of the fire. Soot residue is highly acidic and can pit or corrode the metal in doorknobs, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, etc. It can also etch glass in windows, mirrors and cabinets, causing them to look soiled and cloudy. Moreover, plastics, appliances, fabrics and vinyl windows can become discolored.
- The safety and security of your home can be compromised. Windows and doors may become weak and function improperly, wet materials may collapse and electrical installations and components can be a health hazard when they come in contact with water. Slips and falls are also potential dangers.
If you’re not sure how to act after experiencing water, fire or mold problems in your home or business, contact SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra at 904-246-6118. We have a team of restoration professionals ready 24/7/365 to help you.
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IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration) Certified Firm
Contact the IICRC Local Leader in Cleaning and Restoration, 904-246-6118.
The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) is a certification and standard-setting non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries.
Originally founded in 1972, the IICRC is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource. There are currently more than 54,000 active certified technicians many with multiple certifications, and nearly 6,000 Certified Firms around the world.
Not only is SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra an IICRC Certified Firm, but each one of our technicians, our marketing team, our owners, and our office staff are all individually certified. That way you know when you call us at 904-246-6118, or talk to one of our team members out in the field, that the person you are speaking with is knowledgeable in our industry. Education is important to our organization, and passing that knowledge on to you is the first step to making it "Like it never even happened."
After the Storm: How to Check Your Property for Damage
The Importance of Conducting a Storm Damage Inspection
As summer ushers in warmer temperatures, it can also bring with it heavy rains, strong winds and powerful storms. While your home protects you from the wrath of Mother Nature, it should also be thoroughly checked for problems after every storm.
You may not have reason to suspect that your home has been damaged by a passing storm. However, once the inclement weather has safely passed, it’s important to look over the dwelling for any issues. This is also a great time to make emergency repairs and assess if an insurance claim is needed.
The following is a handy storm checklist from the National Storm Damage Center:
The roof is typically one of the most vulnerable areas during a storm. Hail, wind, rain and debris can adversely impact it. The following indicators can help in your assessment:
• Holes or tears in the roof
• Split seams
• Lost or missing shingles
• Ceiling or roof leaks
The Exterior of the Dwelling
Materials such as brick, siding and stucco are usually heavy and durable. However, during a storm, they can withstand significant damage. In some cases, problems may not be noticed until it’s too late to file an insurance claim, so you need to be diligent in your determination:
• Chipping, cracking, dents and dings are obvious signs that there is a problem. Even if your siding appears to be fine at first, you want to check it at varying times of the day. Different stages of lighting can showcase problems that you may have missed.
• Small or large holes in the stucco. No matter if the hole is small or large, this is a serious issue for a homeowner. If you find a hole or blemish, a knowledgeable and trustworthy company such as SERVPRO can conduct a thorough inspection of the property.
• Damaged tuck pointing and brick. Brick is a solid material when it comes to homes. However, it should be thoroughly checked for problems following a storm.
• Detached or ruined gutters, trim, downspouts, etc. Gutters, trim, downspouts and other exterior materials on a home are instrumental in its protection. If anything is out of sorts, it should be immediately repaired.
Driveways, Walkways, and Porches
Concrete can split, chip and crack with continuous storms and rain. This can reduce the lifespan of your walkway driveway or porch. To alleviate a safety issue, you’ll want to assess it for any imperfections.
Trees and Fallen Limbs
According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and branches can cause billions of dollars in damages every year. Most property owners would handle the removal of debris, even if the limbs or trees came from your neighbor’s property. Your insurance company may help in the retrieval of the costs, but it’s dependent on the type of policy and circumstances surrounding the incident.
• Severe storms may knock down power and electrical lines. If this occurs on your property, you’ll want to cordon off the area approximately 30 feet in various directions from the fallen line. It’s also important to call the power company and 911 immediately.
• After a storm, you also want to assess the remainder of your property including fences, air-conditioning units, caps, vents etc. If your vehicle was left out of the garage, it would also need to be checked over for damage.
• Crawl spaces and basements should be looked over for water or flooding.
Document as much of the damage as possible by taking photos at various angles.
Finally, it’s important to comprehend your homeowner’s coverage, limits, and deductibles before a problem occurs. In case something happens, you’ll be thoroughly prepared for any storm or disaster. Should you need any help with water or storm damage or clean-up call the professionals from SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra, 904-246-6118.
Is Your Home Prepared for a Power Outage?
Are You Prepared for a Power Outage?
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:
1. Flashlights for each family member
2. Battery-operated radio and clock
3. Extra batteries
4. Containers of bottled water
5. Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
6. Non-electric can opener
7. List of important phone numbers
8. 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
•Non-perishable pasteurized milk
•High energy foods
•Food for infants
These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to winter tips for before during and after a severe weather event; www.ready.gov/severe-weather. When severe storms strike Florida’s First Coast, knowing what to do until SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra arrives will make a difference. Contact us at 904-246-6118.
Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Check Out the American Red Cross for Home Fire Safety Tips.
Smoke Alarms can save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial spaces, check your state requirements or contact the local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.
Test Smoke Alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms without batteries that are wired into the home, need to be replaced every ten years, regardless of if they seem to still be working. Other types of alarms need their batteries replaced once a year, and the unit itself replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps "low battery", take the proper steps to replace the unit or batteries immediately. Don't put it off, you may forget.
In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke detectors offer benefits like, not needing to be tested as often, and activating in the entire building, even if the smoke is in just one area.
If you need help installing a smoke detector or alarm contact your local fire department, a licensed electrician, or the American Red Cross.
2018 City of Jacksonville, Hurricane Preparedness Guide (Flooding)
Know your Flood Zone!
"Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. With many low-lying areas, the St. Johns River, and other waterways, Duval County is always at risk for flooding regardless of whether a tropical cyclone is affecting our area. The impact of a tropical cyclone can vary depending on the amount of rainfall, wind intensity, high or low tide, storm surge, and wave characteristics. The St. Johns River flows north towards the Atlantic Ocean. As a storm approaches, water begins to back up the river, slowing down its flow into the Atlantic. When paired with high tides and rainfall, widespread flooding is a major threat.
• Six inches of moving water can knock over an adult
• Two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles
• Floodwater can be electrically charged and very dangerous if there are downed power-lines
• Floodwater can contain debris, sharp objects, sewage, and microorganisms
• Floodwater can hide holes or other hazards under its surface"
For more information about flood zones and floodwater threats visit: http://www.coj.net/departments/fire-and-rescue/emergency-preparedness/get-prepared/evacuation-zones.aspx
SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program
Allow SERVPRO at Jacksonville's Beaches to Complete an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) on Your Business Today, 904-246-6118.
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) will help insure you and your business are "Ready for whatever happens."
In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your commercial facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO's free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.
The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra as your preferred SERVPRO franchise in the event of a disaster. Having a plan in place helps minimize the amount of time your business is inactive following a disaster.
The ERP is a no-cost assessment that requires little time, and can same you a lot of time and money in the future.
First Coast Blessings in a Backpack
Pictured is Walmart Manager Sedrick, located at Kernan and Atlantic Blvd., presenting a check for $2000 to First Coast Blessings in a Backpack.
Tom and Robin Braddock, owners of SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra, both serve on the board and volunteer for First Coast Blessings in a Backpack. First Coast Blessings in a Backpack helps local Title 1 elementary school children in Duval, St. Johns, and Clay counties, that are on free and reduced lunch, have healthy food over the weekend. Two entrees, snacks, and breakfasts are included in their Friday bags to take home. Many studies have been done showing that when young children stress about adult issues, such as struggling to provide food for themselves, or coming to school hungry, they have a hard time focusing on learning. Blessings in a Backpack takes this burden off of children and their hardworking, often single parents. All the money donated stays local, and goes to twelve schools in our area. Help us fight child hunger, so these kids can focus on learning and just being kids. To learn more about our local chapter of Blessings in a Backpack visit: http://www.firstcoastblessingsinabackpack.com/.
Mold Remediation Help in Jacksonville
Mold Remediation Should Be Handled by the Professionals. Call SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra for a quote, 904-246-6118.
Mold becomes a problem inside a home or business when there's excessive humidity or moisture present. It doesn't have to be present for an extended period of time. It can take just a few days for microbial growth to form. The problem can originate from a sudden water release, like a burst pipe or large spill that goes untreated, or from a chronic condition, such as a leaking roof or plumbing. Even high humidity or warm, moist air condensing on cool surfaces can trigger mold problems. It's always best to have the mold evaluated by a state licensed Industrial Hygienist and removed by a state certified professional.
Mold can grow almost anywhere in a home or business if conditions permit. If there is visible growth on painted wall surfaces, property owners should be concerned about what may be growing behind the wall as well. The environment inside the walls of a house often differs drastically from the environment on the outside, and could create a perfect haven for microbial growth. If the wall remain wet for a prolonged period, it's almost guaranteed that the mold growth on the back of the drywall could be worse than what you can see on the front. At that point, containing the work space and removing moldy materials, followed by cleaning of salvageable framing, are the best options.
Certified professionals have the training and experience to:
- Identify moisture sources
- Evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected)
- Contain damage to the smallest area possible
- Physically remove contamination
- Dry materials to ensure that mold will not return
- Perform or recommend procedures for returning property to preloss condition
SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra has professional technicians that are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified and trained in mold remediation procedures. We are also a State of Florida licensed mold remediation company. Call us for all your microbial related issues at 904-246-6118.
2018 City of Jacksonville, Hurricane Preparedness Guide (Tornadoes)
Be #JaxReady this Hurricane Season, and remember SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra is #HereToHelp.
"A Tornado is a column of violently rotating air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Lightning and hail are common in thunderstorms that produce tornadoes. The extent of destruction caused by a tornado depends on its intensity, size, path, and amount of time it is on the ground. If a tornado warning is issued and you are in a mobile home, vehicle, or outdoors, get to the closest substantial shelter. Move to an interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
TORNADO WATCH: Storm conditions indicate tornadoes are possible in your area. Monitor radio and television reports for further updates.
TORNADO WARNING: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Proceed to safe shelter immediately."
For more information about Tornado safety visit: http://www.coj.net/departments/fire-and-rescue/emergency-preparedness.aspx