Recent Water Damage Posts

A Guide to Protecting Your Important Documents from Water Damage

2/13/2024 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO truck. Contact us for any water damage restoration needs, including document restoration services.

Here at SERVPRO®, we understand the stress water damage can cause, especially when it affects important documents and photos. Whether due to unforeseen floods, burst pipes, or leaks, water damage can wreak havoc on your important paperwork. In this blog, we'll share expert insights and tips on how to protect your important documents from water damage.

Identify and Prioritize Documents

Start by identifying and categorizing your crucial documents. This includes birth certificates, passports, property deeds, wills, insurance policies, financial records, and sentimental items like photographs. Prioritize these for protection.

Utilize Waterproof Containers or Storage

Invest in high-quality waterproof containers, safes, or storage solutions designed explicitly for document protection. Sealable plastic bags and fireproof safes can serve as a first line of defense against water damage.

Store Documents in Elevated Areas

Elevate document storage to areas less prone to water exposure. Consider installing shelves or cabinets in higher sections of your home or office, keeping your documents away from potential water sources like basements or ground-level floors.

Utilize Digital Backups

Embrace technology by creating digital backups of your important documents. Scan and store these in secure, cloud-based services or external hard drives. Regularly update and maintain these backups to ensure their accuracy.

Utilize Dehumidifiers 

Use dehumidifiers in areas susceptible to moisture to reduce moisture levels and prevent the buildup of condensation. Additionally, you can use moisture-absorbing products like silica gel packets within storage containers to maintain dryness.

Consider Professional Document Restoration Services:

In the unfortunate event of water damage to your documents, seek professional assistance immediately. SERVPRO of Jacksonville South specializes in document drying and restoration services.

By implementing these proactive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of water damage to your important documents, providing peace of mind and ensuring their safety for years to come. At SERVPRO, we're dedicated to not only restoring properties but also providing valuable advice to prevent and mitigate damage. Contact us for any water damage restoration needs, including document restoration services, and let us assist you in protecting what matters most. Stay informed, stay protected, and stay secure with SERVPRO.

How Water Can Damage Carpet, Hardwood, and Tile Flooring

10/9/2023 (Permalink)

Drying equipment on floor. Water damage can be a homeowner's nightmare, especially when it affects your flooring.

Water damage can be a homeowner's nightmare, especially when it affects your flooring. Whether it's from a burst pipe, flooding, or a leaking roof, water can wreak havoc on different types of flooring materials. In this blog, we'll explore the essential steps to assess water-damaged flooring in your Jacksonville home, covering carpet, hardwood, tile, and more, so you can make informed decisions for a swift and effective recovery.

Safety First

Before assessing any water damage, ensure your safety. Turn off the electricity in affected areas to avoid electrical hazards. If the water is deep or from a contaminated source, avoid contact and wait for professionals to assess the damage.

Start with Carpet

Carpet is particularly vulnerable to water damage as it can absorb moisture and become a breeding ground for mold. Begin by assessing the extent of saturation. If the damage is extensive or from contaminated water sources, it's usually best to remove and replace the carpet.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring can warp and buckle when exposed to water. Check for swelling, warping, and cupping of the wood. Depending on the severity, hardwood floors may require professional drying and refinishing or replacement.

Tile and Grout

Tile may seem impervious to water, but if moisture seeps beneath the tiles or damages the grout, it can lead to structural issues and mold growth. Inspect for loose tiles, cracks, or discolored grout. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

Laminate and Vinyl

Laminate and vinyl flooring can quickly become waterlogged and warp. Inspect for signs of swelling, separation, or bubbling. Depending on the extent of damage, you may need to replace affected sections or the entire floor.

Concrete Flooring

Concrete is more resistant to water damage, but it's not impervious. Look for signs of efflorescence (white, powdery deposits), cracks, or discoloration. Address any issues promptly to prevent structural problems.

Professional Assessment

In many cases, it's advisable to seek professional assistance, especially when water damage is extensive or if you're unsure of the full extent of the damage. Professionals, such as SERVPRO® of Jacksonville South, can provide a thorough assessment and recommend the best course of action.

Assessing water-damaged flooring in your Jacksonville home is a critical first step toward recovery. Whether it's carpet, hardwood, tile, or other materials, early assessment and appropriate action can make a significant difference in minimizing damage and costs. Remember that SERVPRO® of Jacksonville South is here to help with professional water damage assessment and restoration when needed. Don't hesitate to reach out for expert guidance in restoring your home's flooring to its former glory.

How to Save Important Documents and Photos After Water Damage: Effective Restoration Tips

7/13/2023 (Permalink)

Water damage can pose a significant threat to cherished books, important documents, and precious photos. Acting quickly and employing the right techniques can greatly increase the chances of salvaging these valuable items. In this blog post, we will provide practical tips on how to save water-damaged books, documents, and photos, ensuring that your treasured memories and essential records have the best chance of restoration.

Prioritize Safety and Stabilize the Environment

Before attempting any restoration, ensure your safety by wearing gloves and protective gear, especially if the water is contaminated. Assess the environment and address any ongoing water issues, such as leaks or flooding, to prevent further damage. Move the affected items to a dry and well-ventilated area, preferably with low humidity, to help halt the progression of damage.

Separate and Remove Excess Moisture

Carefully separate wet books, documents, and photos to prevent them from sticking together. Gently fan out individual pages to increase airflow and promote drying. If the items are not too delicate, you can blot excess moisture using clean, absorbent materials. Avoid using heat sources or direct sunlight, as they can cause further damage. It is crucial to act promptly to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Freeze Time-Sensitive Materials

If you have time-sensitive documents or irreplaceable photos, consider freezing them. Freezing can slow down the deterioration process and buy you time until you can properly address the restoration. Place the items in plastic bags and seal them to protect against moisture. Ensure that the items are completely dry before freezing. Remember to label and document the items for easier identification later.

Professional Restoration and Conservation

For valuable or severely damaged items, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from restoration and conservation experts, such as SERVPRO of Jacksonville South. They have specialized knowledge and equipment to handle delicate restoration processes. Professional restorers can utilize techniques such as freeze-drying, deacidification, and mold remediation to salvage water-damaged books, documents, and photos. Contacting a restoration company with experience in document and photo recovery is recommended for the best results.

Prevent Future Water Damage

Implement preventive measures to avoid future water damage. Store books, documents, and photos in areas with controlled temperature and humidity levels. Keep them away from potential sources of water, such as pipes, windows, or basements prone to flooding. Consider investing in waterproof and fireproof storage solutions. Digitizing important documents and photos can provide an additional layer of protection by creating digital backups.

Saving water-damaged books, documents, and photos requires immediate action and proper techniques. By prioritizing safety, removing excess moisture, considering freezing for time-sensitive items, seeking professional restoration when necessary, and implementing preventive measures, you can increase the chances of successful restoration and preserve your valuable memories and essential records for years to come.

5 Steps To Keeping Your Business Running After A Loss

3/9/2023 (Permalink)

office water damge Having a plan for your commercial water damage is important to keep from business interruptions.

A crisis can be devastating for a business. Even if you're prepared, dealing with a loss can be stressful and overwhelming. However, having a plan in place before a crisis occurs can help ease the process and ensure your company's continued growth and success. Here are five steps to keep your business running after a loss.

What is a business continuity plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that helps you react and recover from a disaster. It should include your company's key processes, data, technology and people. A BCP can help you get back to normal operations as quickly as possible after a disruption or disaster.

The goal of creating an effective BCP is to reduce the impact of disruptions on your organization by identifying potential risks and developing response strategies in advance so that when the time comes for action, everyone knows what needs to be done without having to think about it.

Step 1: Determine risks and potential impact

You can't plan for everything, but it's important to identify the risks and potential impact of each risk. For example:

  • Identify the risks, such as data breaches or natural disasters.
  • Determine the likelihood of each risk occurring (i.e., how likely is it that someone will hack into your system?).
  • Determine the impact if a particular risk does occur (what happens if someone hacks into your system?). 

Step 2: Create an effective response plan

The next step is to create an effective response plan for your business. The first thing you'll want to do is identify the different types of risks that could affect your business, and then create a plan for each type of risk. For example, if there's a fire in your building, what would happen? What if someone stole something from your office or hacked into your system? What about natural disasters like floods or hurricanes? These are just some examples--you should think about all possible emergencies and create plans for how each one might be handled.

Step 3: Determine roles and responsibilities

The next step is to define roles and responsibilities. Who will do what? Who will be in charge of communicating with whom? Who will make decisions, and who will be the contact person for all things related to this loss?

This is an important step because it creates a clear plan of who is in charge of what, making sure there is no stone left unturned. It is also important because it allows you to determine if there are any gaps in your team's knowledge or skill set that need addressing before the business can move forward again.

Step 4: Create a clear line of communication

The fourth step to keeping your business running after a loss is to have a clear line of communication. Communication is vital in any business, but it's especially important when trying to keep things going when something goes wrong.

Step 5: Regular training

The final step in keeping your business running after a loss is to ensure that employees are trained on how to follow the procedures outlined in the business continuity plan. This can be done through a variety of methods, including classroom instruction or online training modules. It's important to note that regular testing and training should also be implemented as part of this process; it's not enough for employees simply to learn about their roles during initial implementation--they need continued reinforcement so they know what they're doing when an emergency strikes.

The last thing you want is to be caught off-guard by a crisis. By taking the time to plan ahead of time and develop a business continuity plan, you can be sure that your company will remain operational after an emergency situation. The five steps outlined above will help guide you through this process and ensure that your business survives any disaster.

Water Damage Tips

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall due to humidity Mold is a common problem after water damage.

6 Water Damage Restoration Tips Everyone Should Know

Water damage is a serious issue that can significantly impact your property, safety, and finances. It is important to know how to deal with water damage in order to limit the damage it does and get your home back in shape quickly. Often times people underestimate the extent of water damage and then end up spending thousands more than they would have if they called a professional restoration company right away. Here are six water damage tips everyone should know:

Do not wait to call a professional

Do not wait to call a professional. If you don’t, you could be left with a host of problems that will cost you more money and time than if you had called a water damage restoration company right away. Water damage can cause serious problems, mold growth, structural damage, and electrical issues as well as fire hazards and other concerns for your family members.

Shut off the power

Shut off the power (only if it is safe to do so). If you don’t know how to turn off the water or gas, call a professional. Using your electrical equipment after a water loss can be dangerous.

If you see any smoke or fire, shut off all utilities and leave the house immediately.

Inspect for Mold

Mold is a common problem after water damage. It can grow in as little as 48 hours, and it can cause serious problems. If you allow mold to grow and spread, it can cause significant damage to your home that takes time and money to remediate. 

Mold spores are usually found on organic matter like wood or paper products that have gotten wet recently (like from a leak). These spores propagate when they come in contact with moisture and create more mold colonies.

Dry Water Out

The third step in water damage restoration is to dry the area. To do this, you'll need to remove excess water from your home or business.

  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the area as quickly as possible.
  • If a wet/dry vacuum is available, use it to remove standing water.

Remove Damaged Materials

The next step is to remove any damaged materials. If you have water damage, you will want to take care of this as soon as possible. Materials, such as insulation and carpets, that have been affected by the water loss need to be disposed of. Failing to remove damaged materials can cause even more damage to your home.

Some materials can be repaired, but it is important that you allow the professionals to conduct the repairs and disinfection to ensure that it is clean and safe to bring back into your home.

Disinfect Remaining Areas

Lastly, it is important to disinfect the remaining areas. Depending on the type of water damage that you have experienced, your property can be covered in bacteria and viruses. To keep yourself and others on your property safe, it is important to disinfect the remaining areas. Disinfection can also prevent mold growth.

Water damage recovery is best done by professional restoration companies

In the aftermath of a water damage event, you’re likely to be feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The last thing you want to worry about is how to effectively repair the damage and restore your home back to its normal state.

Even if the damage is not too severe and you think you can handle it yourself, remember that water damage restoration requires special equipment and expertise. You should always call a professional when dealing with such a serious matter. Our SERVPRO of Jacksonville South team is always here to help!

Why You Should Not File an Insurance Claim After Every Water Loss

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

Home insurance claim form Before you make an insurance claim, you should check your policy

You may be tempted to file an insurance claim following any water damage to your Deerwood, FL, home. However, if you make too many claims over a short period of time, your insurance company may refuse to renew your policy. Excessive claims could also raise your insurance rates.

When Insurance Rates Increase

There are several factors that determine the rates you pay on your insurance policy. Obviously, if the damage to your property was the result of your negligence, the insurer will charge you more money in the future. Other circumstances that could cause your rates to rise include:

  • A high number of previous claims
  • A low credit rating
  • Frequent natural disasters near your home

The rate hike could be as much as 40 percent. This increase could stay in effect for several years.

When To File a Claim
Before you make an insurance claim, you should check your policy to see if filing such a claim will increase your rates. Ideally, you should understand the consequences of making a claim well before your next water emergency.
Since a large number of claims can hike your rates, you should avoid filing claims unless absolutely necessary. If your home only sustains minor flood damage, you can afford cleanup and restoration services without involving your insurance provider.
Filing claims for large disasters only can save you money, as well. Decide how much you can afford to spend on any one loss. You can then put that amount into a savings account and increase your deductible to that same number. The savings account can collect additional interest, and your higher deductible should reduce your rates.
Making an insurance claim can cause your bill to increase. You should thus only file a claim following a large home flood or similar disaster. Minor repairs should not cost you that much money, so save your insurance for the major restorations.

4 Common Water Issues To Look For in Your Building

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

White plastic pipe leaking Faulty pipes can accumulate water throughout the building.

Four Common Water Issues in Your Building to Watch Out For

Water damage can present itself in a number of ways within a commercial building. Whether the impact is minor or catastrophic, a water damage restoration company can provide necessary cleaning and repair services. Here are four of the most common water issues to look for in the event your Tinseltown, FL, business is impacted.

1. Leaking Pipes
Faulty pipes can accumulate water throughout the building. This can either be due to a pipe break brought on by cold temperatures and insulation, high water pressure, or most commonly, worn-out pipes. Perform routine inspections to check the condition of pipes and replace them as needed.

2. Toilet Overflow
A toilet backup that causes water to spill out of the bowl is one of the most common plumbing issues. A blockage is likely somewhere in the drain, so try using a plunger or toilet snake as the first line of defense. To avoid major issues, replace all toilet hoses every three to five years for optimal plumbing.

3. Roof Leaks
When water starts to drip from the ceiling, your roof is compromised. Just like leaking pipes, your property's roof needs routine inspection for damage as this can lead to major water issues due to heavy rains or melting snow or ice. Make any necessary roofing repairs such as total replacement or clearing gutters to avoid water backup.

4. Fire Sprinklers
If you have fire sprinklers installed in the ceilings, they can account for business loss due to water damage. Sprinklers can cause water issues should they be activated in the event of a fire or due to faulty mechanics. Prepare for either scenario by having a fire prevention plan and also inspecting the sprinklers.
If you have water collecting in your commercial building, a common cause is likely responsible. Check for leaking pipes, toilet overflow, a leaking roof and fire sprinklers, as these are most prevalent to businesses with water damage.

Understanding the 3 Types of Contamination

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

Dirty toilet, dirty bathroom Water damage from a toilet overflow.

Three Water Categories

When dealing with an issue of flooding or contaminated water in Baymeadows, FL, it can be helpful to know commonly used terminology in cleanup and insurance settings. Knowing what kind of water has gotten into the home can determine the necessary sanitation processes that will need to be carried out by water removal specialists.

Category 1: Clean Water

Category 1 water usually comes from either your home’s supply line or your water heater. This type of water is not directly toxic in terms of human exposure. For this reason, cleanup procedures are usually limited to thorough drying, dehumidifying and ensuring that places such as floors and walls have not been affected by water. Even in the case of clean water flooding, you should still phone a water removal expert to make sure all the water gets out.

Category 2: Gray Water

Category 2 water, or gray water, usually comes from appliance leaks, such as from a washing machine. The water has been affected by clean and dirty chemicals, so extended exposure or drinking can be harmful, but minimal exposure should be harmless. Sanitation is often required in category 2 cases; this constitutes the primary difference between category 1 and category 2 flooding issues.

Category 3: Black Water

Category 3 contaminated water, is very toxic, often coming in from sources outside the home. This type of flooding requires extensive rehabilitation work, and professional sanitation is a must. With this type of cleanup, the utmost caution must be taken to prevent illness.

When phoning a local water removal expert to help with flooding, it will be important for them to know what category of water they will be dealing with. Knowing these three categories can help speed the process of home restoration after exposure to contaminated water.

Do You Know When To Flush Your Home’s Water Heating System?

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler To keep your water heating system functioning properly, you must occasionally flush it.

Keeping Your Home's Water Heater System In Shape

Like most residents of Lakewood, FL, you use hot water inside your home every day. After all, not only do you enjoy rinsing off in a soothing shower, but you also must keep dishes, clothing and other items clean. To keep your home’s water heating system in tip-top shape, you must occasionally flush your water heater.

Signs of Wear and Tear

When the water heating system in your home is functioning properly, you probably don’t think much about it. If there is a problem, though, the heater can be impossible to ignore. If you notice any of the following, your unit may need some work:

  • Strange noises
  • Leaks
  • Rust
  • Deposit buildup
  • Failure to heat water

A Timetable for Flushing

To keep your water heating system functioning properly, you must occasionally flush it. While every system is different, you must think about usage to know when a water heater flush is appropriate. Use the following timetable as a general guideline:

• For households with one or two members, flush the system approximately once per year.
• For households with three to five members, flush the system approximately every eight months.
• For households with six or more members, flush the system approximately every six months.

Special Considerations

The above guidelines are effective for most homes in Lakewood, FL. Occasionally, however, certain factors require homeowners to inspect and service water heating systems more frequently. If you use well water or have high levels of sedimentation in your water supply, you probably should inspect your home’s water heating system every two or three months to ensure you do not develop a water leak. If you do, you may need to contract with a reputable water restoration service to mitigate damage to your basement and other areas.

With a bit of work, you can decrease your chances of having a problem with your water heater. With regular inspections and flushing, you ensure your home’s water heating system remains in excellent shape.