Recent Storm Damage Posts

Preparing Your HVAC System for Stormy Weather

1/9/2024 (Permalink)

Large green SERVPRO truck. Stormy weather need not mean disaster for your HVAC systems if you are armed with the right information.

Weather in our region is often unpredictable. A sudden shift can bring heavy rain, and stormy weather, and cause trouble for residential and commercial property owners. A significant component that can be impacted by storms is your HVAC system. 

Understanding the Risks

Before we dive into preparation, it's important to understand how stormy weather can affect your HVAC systems. High winds can cause debris to damage the outer components of the HVAC unit. Meanwhile, heavy rains and flooding can potentially lead to water damage, which can not only harm the mechanical and electrical parts of the system but also lead to mold growth if not addressed promptly.

Steps to Prepare Your HVAC System

  1. Secure your Outdoor Unit: If a storm is forecasted, make sure your outdoor unit is well-anchored and secure. This will prevent it from being damaged or moved by high winds or water.
  2. Install a Surge Protector: Power surges during storms can damage your HVAC system. Surge protectors work as gatekeepers, allowing only the necessary amount of electricity into the unit.
  3. Regular Inspection and Maintenance: Regular HVAC check-ups can help identify potential issues early. This prevents small issues from turning into major repairs after a storm.
  4. Turn Off Your HVAC during Severe Weather: In case of severe storms and flooding predictions, it may be safest to turn off the entire HVAC system. Once the storm passes, inspect for any visible damage before turning it back on.
  5. Use HVAC Covers: Protective covers for your HVAC unit can shield from storm-related debris. However, it's important to remove these promptly after the storm to ensure proper airflow and prevent moisture build-up.

All-Weather Partner: SERVPRO of Jacksonville South

And, if the unfortunate event of flood or water damage to your HVAC systems does occur, remember that our SERVPRO® team is a leader in storm damage cleanup and restoration. Our trained professionals possess the advanced skills and equipment necessary to restore your property to its pre-damage condition, ensuring a swift return to normalcy. With our team at the helm, you will feel "Like it never even happened."

Stormy weather need not mean disaster for your HVAC systems if you are armed with the right information and the backing of professionals like SERVPRO of Jacksonville South. Remember, we are here to help you every step of the way.

How SERVPRO® Helps Florida Homeowners After Storms

9/17/2023 (Permalink)

Severe flood in a room. When it comes to storm preparedness and response in Florida, SERVPRO stands as a reliable partner dedicated to restoring your property.

Living in the Sunshine State of Florida means embracing a diverse range of weather conditions, including tropical storms and hurricanes. As a responsible homeowner, being well-prepared for these natural challenges is paramount. One key player in storm preparedness and response is SERVPRO, a trusted name in disaster recovery and restoration. In this informative guide, we'll explore our SERVPRO team’s vital role in enhancing storm readiness, response, and repair for Florida homeowners, ensuring that your property and peace of mind remain safeguarded during even the most challenging times.

Rapid Emergency Response

When a storm strikes, time is of the essence. SERVPRO of Jacksonville South's rapid emergency response teams are strategically positioned to swiftly mobilize and reach affected areas. Their quick arrival ensures that critical damage mitigation and restoration processes can begin promptly, minimizing the extent of destruction and helping homeowners regain a sense of normalcy sooner.

Comprehensive Storm Damage Assessment

Upon arrival, our SERVPRO experts conduct a thorough assessment of storm damage, identifying compromised areas and assessing the severity of the situation. This detailed evaluation guides the development of a tailored restoration plan, ensuring that no aspect of your property's recovery is overlooked.

Advanced Equipment and Techniques

SERVPRO's commitment to innovation is evident in the advanced equipment and techniques they employ. From state-of-the-art water extraction tools to cutting-edge drying equipment, their arsenal is designed to efficiently restore your home after storm-related damage. Their expertise also extends to mold remediation, addressing potential secondary issues that often arise after water damage.

Water Removal and Drying

One of the most critical aspects of storm response is water removal and drying. SERVPRO's specialized equipment and drying techniques enable them to extract water quickly and thoroughly, preventing long-term structural damage and the development of mold and mildew.

Mold Prevention and Remediation

Florida's humid climate makes mold growth a concern after water-related disasters. SERVPRO's trained professionals are well-versed in mold prevention and remediation. Their proactive measures and effective treatments ensure that your home remains a safe environment for you and your family.

Structural Restoration

In the aftermath of a storm, structural integrity can be compromised. SERVPRO's expertise extends beyond water and mold mitigation to encompass comprehensive structural restoration. Whether it's repairing damaged roofing, restoring flooring, or rebuilding walls, their skilled teams are equipped to handle all aspects of your property's recovery.

Seamless Coordination with Insurance

Navigating the complexities of insurance claims can be overwhelming, especially in the wake of a storm. SERVPRO's experience includes seamless coordination with insurance providers, ensuring that the claims process is streamlined and efficient. Their documentation and communication practices help you receive the coverage you deserve.

When it comes to storm preparedness and response in Florida, SERVPRO stands as a reliable partner dedicated to restoring your property and peace of mind. Their rapid response, comprehensive assessment, advanced techniques, and collaboration with insurance providers make them an invaluable asset in times of crisis. By entrusting your property's restoration to SERVPRO of Jacksonville South, you can confidently navigate the challenges of storm-related damage, knowing that experts are working tirelessly to bring your home back to its pre-storm condition.

Understanding Flood Cuts: A Vital Step in Post-Flood Restoration

6/29/2023 (Permalink)

flood cut walls When faced with flood damage, flood cuts can help mitigate the space.

When a flood wreaks havoc on a home or building, the damage can be extensive and overwhelming. Among the various restoration techniques employed, one crucial step stands out, the flood cut. This process involves removing a portion of the damaged walls to mitigate the effects of water intrusion and initiate the recovery process. In this blog post, we will delve into what exactly a flood cut is, its purpose, and why it is an essential component of post-flood restoration efforts.

Defining a Flood Cut

A flood cut refers to the intentional removal of drywall or plaster from the lower portion of interior walls that have been affected by floodwater. Typically, a flood cut involves cutting the wall at a specific height, often 12 to 24 inches above the flood line or the highest point of water intrusion. This procedure creates a clear demarcation between the affected and unaffected areas, enabling a more targeted restoration process.

Purpose and Benefits

The primary purpose of a flood cut is to remove and discard the water-damaged materials in order to:

  • Enhance Drying Efforts: After a flood, thorough drying is crucial to prevent further damage and inhibit mold growth. By removing the lower portion of the walls, moisture trapped within the wall cavities can be exposed and effectively dried using professional equipment like dehumidifiers and air movers.
  • Assess Structural Integrity: A flood cut allows restoration professionals to assess the structural integrity of the affected walls, identifying any hidden damage or compromised structural elements that may require repairs or reinforcement.
  • Facilitate Restoration: By creating a clean, defined boundary through the flood cut, the restoration process becomes more manageable and efficient. It allows for a fresh start in rebuilding the affected areas, ensuring a safer and more aesthetically pleasing outcome.

Proper Execution and Professional Involvement

Performing a flood cut correctly is crucial to achieve the desired results and avoid unnecessary damage. It is recommended to involve professional restoration experts who possess the necessary skills, experience, and equipment for executing the task safely and efficiently. Professionals will carefully measure and mark the appropriate height for the flood cut, use appropriate tools to make precise cuts, and ensure proper disposal of the removed materials.

In the aftermath of a flood, taking swift and appropriate action is paramount to mitigate damage and initiate the restoration process. A flood cut plays a vital role in this process, allowing for the removal of water-damaged materials, ensuring proper drying, and setting the stage for efficient and effective restoration. By understanding the purpose and benefits of a flood cut, homeowners and property owners can make informed decisions, seek professional assistance, and expedite the recovery of their living or working spaces. Remember, when faced with flood damage, consult with restoration professionals to ensure a comprehensive approach to flood cut implementation and post-flood restoration.

Hurricane Safety Tips

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

White van driving through flooded street Never drive through a flooded street.

Hurricanes are dangerous for everyone, but older adults, in particular, need to take extra precautions to stay safe during a storm. If you live in an area that experiences hurricanes or tropical storms, it's important that you prepare before disaster strikes. This can help keep both your home and your health protected when bad weather hits!

Avoid Flooded Areas

To keep yourself safe, avoid areas where flood waters have risen significantly. Flood water may be contaminated with sewage and other hazardous materials like oil. It can also sweep you away if it’s moving quickly.

Follow Evacuation Instructions

Evacuation instructions will be given by local authorities. If you are told to evacuate, follow those instructions and go to a safe location. If you have pets, make sure they are with you in the car or escape vehicle of your choice. If you have elderly or disabled family members who cannot travel on their own, get them to a safe place as well.

If an evacuation order is given, do not delay! Everyone should leave as soon as possible because delays could put lives at risk.

Know Your Area’s Risk

You should know the risk of floods and landslides in your area. These natural disasters can be very dangerous and cause damage to homes, roads and property.

Floods are often caused by heavy rain or snow melt, which causes rivers or streams to overflow their banks. Flooding can also occur when dams break, after earthquakes or during hurricanes. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a "flood map" that shows areas at risk for flooding based on elevation above sea level and rainfall data from historical events. This map can help you determine if your home is at risk for flooding.

Plan and Practice

Know your area’s risk of floods and landslides. Know where you can go if you need to evacuate. Practice driving routes to your safe location. If possible, leave early enough that roads are less congested for other people who may be evacuating as well.

Prepare an Emergency Kit and Make a Family Communications Plan

To prepare for a hurricane or storm:

  • Make an emergency kit that includes a battery-powered radio, flashlight, first-aid kit, water (1 gallon per person per day,) non-perishable food, and extra batteries.
  • Get your car’s emergency kit out of the trunk and learn how to use it.
  • Make sure you have enough water, food and medication for your family.
  • Make plans for reuniting with your family after the storm if they are not at home.

Download the Emergency App

Download the emergency app to receive real-time alerts and information on severe weather in your area. You will need a data plan with your wireless carrier to use this app. Please check with your carrier for details on how much it will cost to add a new line or change your current plan. Make sure you have enough space on your phone for the app.

Do not Drive Around Barricades or Through Flooded Roads

As you are making your way through the storm and trying to stay safe, there are certain things you should not do. Do not drive around barricades or through flooded roads. If you encounter a barricade, do not try to drive around it. The police officers who placed these barricades there have done so to keep people out of danger.

Do not drive into water that is over your vehicle's fenders or deeper than 12 inches; if your car stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground before the water rises further. Do not attempt to cross bridges that have been flooded; instead take an alternate route until after heavy rains subside when these structures have had time to dry out and stabilize themselves against any possible collapse due to fractures in their foundations or structural integrity issues caused by flooding damage over time (which could happen during even small amounts of rainfall).

Preparation 

It is important that you become familiar with hurricanes to ensure your safety in the event of one hitting your location.

Preparing for a hurricane:

  • Install hurricane shutters on windows and doors. In some cases, these can be purchased from stores that sell storm-related products. If you are unable to find them in stores, they can also be found online or purchased from a local contractor who specializes in installing them for homes and businesses.
  • Fill any containers with water (buckets, trash cans) so that you have access to clean drinking water if needed during or after an emergency situation like a hurricane strike. Keep them stored away from windows where rain could enter into these containers and contaminate whatever water remains inside once it rains heavily during landfall season (June through November).

It's also smart not only because it makes sense but because locals know how dangerous it can get when there's no power available -- especially in places where temperatures rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit!

We hope that you have learned a lot from these tips. We want everyone to be safe in the event of a hurricane, but we also know that it is important for people to take action on their own behalf. The more prepared you are, the better off you are going to be when something like this happens.

The Dirty Dozen: Black Water Facts

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

wet carpet, flooded building Flood damage to a building in Jacksonville, FL.

What Is Black Water and How To Treat It

A severe flood occurs in Jacksonville, FL, causing water damage to your commercial property. You contact your insurance agent and a storm restoration specialist. At this point, the experts inform you that the flooding consists of black water. What does this mean? Review the twelve facts below to learn about this type of water and how it is treated.

1. Blackwater is considered Category 3 water damage. Category 1 is clean water and Category 2 is gray water.

2. The color categories refer to contamination levels. Black is considered the most contaminated as it contains viruses, bacteria and microorganisms.

3. The source is important to differentiate between the levels. The most contaminated water comes from floodwaters or sewage backups.

4. Contaminated water may be hazardous to your health. Do not touch or ingest this water. Viruses may also be airborne. Specialists wear protective gear during mitigation efforts.

5. Cleanup of this type takes the most time and effort. Due to the impact of bacteria, professionals take extra caution and measures during the recovery process.

6. Storm restoration technicians set a containment area. To prevent secondary contamination by floodwater or airborne germs, the impacted area is sealed off.

7. Contaminated water is pumped out. Industrial pumps and vacuums remove excess stormwater.

8. Impacted, porous materials are removed. Items such as drywall and carpet padding soak up the infected water and must be disposed of properly.

9. Remaining areas are professionally dried. Moisture is monitored and removed from structures, contents and air.

10. Once dry, exposed contents are cleaned and disinfected. This process kills remaining germs and mold.

11. Air filtration devices sanitize the air. This removes any lingering germs and odors.

12. Rebuilding and restoring take place. Your property can be properly restored.

When your commercial property falls victim to water damage in Jacksonville, FL, it is critical to act fast. This is especially true when flooding results from storm water. Although mitigating contaminated black water is time-consuming, the process can help restore your business to pre-storm condition.

3 Requirements For Flood Damage Restoration

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Water intrusion in a home Water intrusion after a storm in Baymeadws, FL.

Flood Damage Restoration

Flooding can introduce highly contaminated Category Three water into structures where it is likely to cause extensive primary and secondary damage. The cleaning requirements established by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, the certifying and standard-setting body of the restoration industry, are necessary to reduce the risk of fungal and microbial growth after a flood damages a residence in Baymeadows, FL.

1. Extraction

Restoration professionals must remove standing water prior to cleaning or attempting to restore materials or contents at a residence. These experts often use pumps. Depending on the portion of a home that is flooded, it may be possible to pump quickly. Otherwise, more gradual extraction will be necessary. It is crucial to allow the pressure on basement walls to gradually equalize to avoid structural damage.

2. Disinfection

Flood damage usually involves grossly contaminated Category Three water. Restoration specialists also refer to this type of water as black water. It may contain bacteria, chemicals, fungus spores, heavy metals, solid waste and other risky substances. One of the most important cleaning requirements involves using a flood disinfectant to prevent infection or mold growth.

3. Drying

It is essential to completely dry any part of a residence that has been exposed to water. Moisture and organic material combine to support many types of fungi. In addition to extracting water with a pump or wet vac, flood clean specialists may also recommend the use of a dehumidifier to lower relative indoor humidity levels to the range of 30 percent to 50 percent. Low humidity levels can inhibit mold growth.

Damage restoration professionals certified by the IICRC meet the cleaning requirements set forth in industry-leading standards. It can be challenging for non-professionals to properly clean up flood damage, but experts can use commercial-grade equipment and EPA-rated flood disinfectant to reduce the residual risks of storm or water damage at a residence in Baymeadows, FL.

Bathub Sewage 101

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Overflowing water coming out a bathtub A sewer backup can be quite unpleasant - especially when it occurs in your bathtub.

Bathtub Sewage 101

A sewer backup can be quite unpleasant - especially when it occurs in your bathtub. If you are suffering from this type of sewage, you probably want to take care of the issue as soon as possible. However, there are times when it makes sense to fix the backup yourself and times when expert help is needed. Here’s how to figure out which situation you are dealing with.

Do-It-Yourself Scenarios

If the bathtub backup is small and did not cause extensive damage - and you have the proper protective gear and equipment - you can attempt to begin cleanup yourself. Here are some tips to remember during the process:

  • If you are dealing with flooding, do not run your air conditioner or heating system.
  • Throw away any non-essential items ruined by the sewer backup and keep them away from clean areas.
  • Move clean items into a clean space as soon as possible.
  • Open your doors and windows if it is sunny and dry outside.
  • Try to learn techniques to prevent future backups, with or without professional assistance.

If you run into a bigger issue at any point during the cleanup, remember to call a plumber, cleanup service, or other professional for help.

Expert Help Scenarios

There are certain cases that call for professional assistance no matter what. If you are facing a huge flood, extensive damage, or a massive backup, a professional water damage restoration company in Jacksonville, FL, should be called to help with cleanup tasks. You may also need to talk to other experts to handle specific issues that arise.

Final Advice

When it comes to a sewer backup, you want to use all of the resources available to you to get your bathroom back in clean, usable shape as soon as possible. It can be hard to ask for help, but assistance and investment are both worth the end result of a safe and secure home.

5 Ways to Use Landscaping To Protect Your Home

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Hand holding dark mulch You can use mulch to protect your home during a rainstorm.

Five Ways to Protect Your Home Using Landscaping

During a big storm in Gate Parkway, FL, you take precautions to protect your home. You board up windows and place sandbags to divert water flow. Did you know that you can use your landscaping to protect your yard from outside flooding? Here are five ways to do it.

1. Extend Rain Spouts

The downspouts on your home are supposed to help move water away from your foundation, but only when they're correctly installed. Many rain spouts are too short, so rainwater pools next to the foundation. Extend rain spouts further into the yard to prevent flooding.

2. Choose Heavy Mulch

You can choose many types of mulch based on appearance or price. You can use mulch to protect your home during a rainstorm. Heavy mulch such as shredded bark won't float away but will help the soil absorb excess water and keep it away from your home.

3. Plant a Rain Garden

A rain garden can be planted on a slope and helps to absorb excess water. You can divert rainspouts into a rain garden which protects your house and keeps your home beautiful.

4. Research Native Plants

The most effective way to plant a rain garden is to use native plants. Native plants thrive in your yard, develop deep roots, and help prevent soil erosion. If outside flooding has become a problem at your home, a storm restoration company can make helpful suggestions to prevent future flooding.

5. Level Your Yard for Rain Drainage

A more intense intervention is to correct the slope of your yard. If the ground slopes even slightly toward your foundation, you are more likely to have inside flooding during a storm. You can work with a professional landscaper to correct the slope and help water flow away from your home.
Outside flooding during a storm can cause inside damage. Use landscaping strategies to protect your yard and home from water damage.

Should You Get Commercial Property Insurance?

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Outdoor of a building destroyed by a storm, roof damaged Storm damaged commercial building.

Is Commercial Property Insurance Necessary?

If you own a commercial property or business, you have a lot on your plate. If you haven't already, you should look into your commercial insurance options, so you aren't left high and dry should any sort of emergency occur. There are several important aspects to consider when tailoring your insurance to your specific needs.

What Does It Cover?

This type of insurance protects your commercial property against all sorts of disasters. Depending on where you are located and after an assessment of risk, you should determine what areas you would like your insurance to focus on. For instance, if your business is in a location that frequently experiences tornadoes, you should more heavily invest in that genre of coverage. Some common sources of risk include:

  • Fire damage
  • Flood damage
  • Other natural disasters, like earthquakes
  • Theft and vandalism

What Exactly Should You Insure?

The most obvious part of your property to consider insuring would be the buildings that contain your business operations. Commercial insurance can be applied whether you own or rent those buildings so that services such as fire remediation can be applied when appropriate. You are also able to ensure all supplies and equipment within those buildings, including furniture and electronics. Less tangible assets like records, documents and databases are also insurable.

What Will It Cost?

To determine how much you will pay, first, you will need to figure out the total value of your physical assets. Most likely you will meet with an agent to discuss the coverage you want and what it will cost per the amount of property you own. Luckily, as a business, you can usually deduct the cost of your insurance as an expense on your taxes, which should give you a substantial break.
One of the smartest things you can do for your commercial property is to protect it from any potential threats it may face with the proper commercial insurance. Make sure your business can thrive no matter the circumstances.