What Does Fire Damage Restoration Entail?
Whether it started in a nearby brush or right on your stovetop, a fire can wreak havoc on your home. That is why it’s crucial to contact a fire restoration crew as soon as the damage is done. If you’re wondering how they repair properties, the guide below lists the steps of the restoration process.
5 Steps to the Fire Restoration Process
The fire restoration crew will start by putting on safety gear so they can enter the site without inhaling smoke particles. Then, they’ll conduct a thorough inspection of the building, making a note of any fire, smoke, or water damage they encounter along the way.
To prevent the smoke particles from drifting throughout the property and causing further damage, such as discoloration, the fire restoration crew will block off the most damaged areas. This is also important because soot inhalation can cause respiratory issues. If the fire consumed the roof, they will cover the area with a tarp to protect the property from the elements.
3. Water Damage Restoration
If water was used by the property owners or firefighters to stop the fire from spreading, there may be water damage to address as well. The crew might have to rip out soggy carpets and remove wet wallpaper or insulation to prevent future mold growth. If mold has already begun to grow, they will execute remediation tactics to prevent it from spreading.
4. Fire Damage Restoration
This labor-intensive stage begins with soot removal on the walls and ceilings of the property. The crew has to be careful when removing the smoke damage so that the particles don’t become airborne and circulate throughout the indoor air supply. To remove particles already floating around, they may use an air scrubber. The crew will also work on restoring charred upholstery, window treatments, and mattresses.
5. Home Repair
Finally, the crew will wrap up the fire restoration process by addressing structural and aesthetic damage to the home. This might include reconstructing walls, frames, or support beams, replacing drywall or flooring, and repainting walls.
Homefires can be devastating both finically and emotionally, especially due to the fact that smoke and water damage from putting out the fire, often amplify the destruction to both the structure and the contents. At SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach, we are highly trained professionals that will help you recover from devastating fire & water damage if you do suffer a structure fire, but we believe that prevention is better than a cure. However, we know that accidents happen. That is why our team is ready to respond to your emergency 24/7/365!
SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach specializes in water and fire damage clean-up and restoration services for both residential and commercial customers. For more information or to schedule a free estimate, call our office at 904-429-4457!
How To Prevent Fires While Cooking
Cooking is the number one cause of house fires. Unsafe cooking can cause fire damage, which is what happened to this kitchen.
As Fire Prevention Week comes to an end, SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine wants to remind you to stay safe while cooking, which is the number one cause of house fires. Cooking fires can happen to anyone, but there are ways to avoid them that you can make part of your everyday cooking practices.
First off, you should never leave the cooktop unattended while cooking - no matter what. If you must leave, either turn the stove top off or find someone to watch over the cooktop in your absence.
As far as clothing goes, short, close-fitting, or rolled sleeves are best so that your clothes are out of the way and don’t catch anything that could potentially burn the fabric and start a fire.
It is also extremely important to have an extinguisher nearby in case of any emergencies so that you can try to put the fire out. Remember to call 911 first for help because you never know how fast a fire can grow and get out of hand. The faster the response the better.
Another tip that may not come to mind right away is to not store anything in your oven. It may seem like a convenient place to store things, like a meal you want out of the way, a desert, or maybe even cook books, but this is a terrible idea. These items are easily forgotten and when the oven is turned on again and preheating, these items can catch on fire. It is much better to be safe than sorry.
It is important that your cooking areas are kept clean of flammable materials like splattered grease, food wrappers, or oven mitts. When these items are in unpredictable and inconsistent places, they may end up too close to a burner and catch on fire. A cookbook may be placed on a burner that you thought was off or had cooled down but hadn’t and start a fire. Whether you believe the stovetop is on or off, it is good practice to not use it as a resting place for anything.
Treat fires appropriately. This means that it is important to know what content is burning. If it is food burning, water is sufficient to put it out. However, if it is grease that is burning, water may only turn to steam and become a hazard. For that reason, grease fires should be smothered with a lid, not treated with water. Microwave fires should be responded to by turning the microwave off and waiting for the flames to die out completely. Opening the microwave door will only allow more oxygen to fuel the flame.
Do You Need Continuing Education Credits?
SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach hosts a Free Continuing Education Class for Insurance Agents/ Adjusters
SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach and South Fleming Island/ North Bradford County is hosting a completely free Continuing Education Class for insurance agents and adjusters on November 18, 2021. We will also be serving complimentary lunch after the classes - so not only is the course free, but also the food!
There will be two classes that are each two hours long: Restorative Drying for Water Damage; and Cleaning & Restoring Smoke-Damaged Contents. Since class is four hours long, attendees will receive 4 credits total!
These classes are approved by the Florida Department of Financial Services for insurance continuing education credits.
Registration starts at 8:30am, and the first class starts at 9:00am and runs until 11:00am. We will have a fifteen minute break in between the two classes, and the second class will go from 11:15am-1:15pm. After class we will serve a free lunch.
The class will be held at Office Evolution located at 12574 Flagler Center Blvd, Suite 101. Jacksonville, FL. 32258.
So if you are an insurance agent or adjuster in need of Continuing Education Credits, these free classes are for you! We hope to see you and your office there!
How To Prevent Fires: Fire Prevention Week Tips
Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to put in practices that will help you avoid fire damage or the need for fire damage restoration.
It’s Fire Prevention Week! SERVPRO wants to help you prevent fires from happening in the first place with some quick tips.
- Test your smoke alarms regularly. Most of the time this can be done by simply pressing the test button on the alarm. The volume at which it beats will help you determine whether or not you need to change the batteries; if the beep is weak and quiet, you should change it immediately. Neglecting to change the batteries of smoke alarms can cause tragedies.
- Inspect all your heating sources & keep them clean. Heating sources that are unclean or not functioning correctly can trigger a fire as well. Air filters should be cleaned regularly and space heaters need to be positioned in danger-free zones. Food and crumbs must be kept away form burners, as well as dish towels, cookbooks, curtains, and oven mitts.
- Don't leave your kitchen while cooking. A fire can start in a matter of seconds, so leaving something cooking on the stove or baking in the oven is not a good idea. If you must leave, either turn the stove or oven off or find someone who can watch your masterpiece in the meantime. In addition to this, do not store items inside the oven. They may become forgotten and cause a fire when started again.
- Aside from cooking, it is important to maintain your dryer by cleaning out the lint trap every load and getting it checked yearly. Another place to check for lint and miscellaneous items is behind the dryer. Items can collect and heat up behind there and become a potential threat.
- Make sure all the cords in your home are not frayed or chewed so as to not start an electrical fire. Make sure they are placed in areas where they are less likely to overheat, and avoid putting the cord underneath rugs or where the cord is snug between items.
- Be safe with flammable items. Make sure you blow out your candles before leaving the house or going to bed, and only light them on hard, steady surfaces raised from the floor where they are less likely to be knocked over. Fireplaces are another key to keep a close watch on. The sparks that fly could start a fire, so never leave the room unattended in which the fireplace is lit.
- Always have fire extinguishers close by in case of emergencies.
How Do You Know If You Have Water Damage In Your St. Augustine Home?
A small issue can quickly turn into a large disaster. Don't wait, call SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine at the first sign of water damage 904-429-4457
One of the most common problems that property owners can sustain is water damage. Broken and leaky pipes are 2nd in both frequency and severity in regards to annual claims resulting in water damage, with hurricanes/severe storms being #1. Although water damage claims have been growing faster than other components of homeowners insurance, many of these losses could have been prevented.
Most water damage occurs because of leaks that were gradual, slow leaks eventually turned into a bigger problem. Unfortunately, many homeowners ignore small leaks or damage until it becomes a bigger issue, or they believe that they can take care of it themselves, which with minimal water damage may be true... but with water damage, there are often more damages than the human eye can see. If a pipe breaks within the walls or water travels through or into walls, you will be unable to see the extent of the loss and dry it out without specialty equipment.
So What Are the Signs of Water Damage in Your Home?
When trying to prevent water damage, it helps to know what to look for to ensure that all preventable issues can be addressed. Check for the following signs of water damage in your home:
1. Dark Spots or Water Stains
Keep your eye out for dark spots and discoloration on the ceiling, interior, and exterior walls of your home. Darker spots usually mean that the water damage is fresh and could be still active, while yellowish or chalky stains are an indication of older damage.
2. Peeling, Cracking, or Bubbling
If the paint or wallpaper in your home is peeling or bubbling this is typically an indication that the inside of the wall is wet. When larger areas get wet and the wat sits, these areas begin to expand and that is when you will see cracks appear.
3. Pooling or Puddles of Water
Continuous drips and leaks can leave puddles of water on your floor. If you notice pools of water and it comes back after you have cleaned it up, it is a good sign that you have an ongoing, active leak.
4. Hearing Water
You might not always be able to see the water when a water loss occurs, but you may be able to hear it. Listen for drips or sounds of rushing water that go beyond the sounds that your usual pipes and systems make.
5. Higher Water Bills
Your water bill might vary month to month, but have you had a drastic increase in your bill and can't account for the change? You may have an active leak.
6. Damp or Musty Odors
Have you noticed a damp smell or musty odor in your home? This is often another sign of water damage and is usually the strongest around the area where the water damage occurred.
Mold can grow on almost any surface in your home that remains wet or in an area with excess moisture within 48-72 hours.
If you think that your St. Augustine home has a leak or signs of water damage, your local SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach is here to help. Our highly trained technicians can mitigate and dry out the excess moisture quickly before the structural integrity of your home becomes at risk for secondary damages and mold growth. Acting quickly and avoiding any delays when dealing with water damage and excess moisture not only save your home's structural integrity but lessens the amount of time needed to get your home back to normal, but the timely response can also aid in keeping overall costs down. Call us at 904-429-4457 to schedule a FREE estimate, or for emergency services 24/7/365!
Peak Hurricane Day: September 10th
Hurricane Preparedness Month - Peak Hurricane Day
Hurricane season in Florida starts June 1st and lasts through November 30th, and this month is National Hurricane Preparedness Month which is a reminder to prepare you, your family, pets, home and vehicles for the dangers that hurricanes bring along. Around 90 percent of all hurricanes and 96 percent of major hurricanes (category 3, 4, and 5) occur within the months of August, September, or October. This week in particular is extra likely to have a storm event, containing the peak of hurricane season - September 10th. This means that this day is most likely to have a tropical storm or hurricane, otherwise considered “named storms.” September 10th has had a significant storm three out of four years on average in the past.
This year, top forecasters are predicting more storms than originally forecast for the year - 9 hurricanes and 11 tropical storms in total, which is 3 more storms than the year had anticipated. It is very important to have a plan in place for such events and to be prepared so that you can keep yourself, your loved ones, and your belongings safe.
For more information on how to stay prepared this hurricane season, scan the QR code provided. In the event you need assistance, our emergency crews are ready to respond to emergencies 24/7/365! Call our office today at 904-429-4457!
The Peak of Hurricane Season is Just Around the Corner!
Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th, as August comes to an end we are approaching the halfway point of hurricane season. But did you know that the peak of storm season is yet to come?
The next few months are considered the "season within the season" as 90% of hurricanes occur mid-August through late October and the season officially peaking the second week of September on September 10th. The peak of last year's 2020 hurricane season, produced record-breaking storms with a total of 30 names storms, which is more than any past season. With a total of 3 different tropical disturbances currently in the Atlantic, storm season is beginning to ramp up as we head into the peak of the season.
If you have not already, now is the time to ensure that you are prepared for extreme weather and have updated emergency plans in place. Or if you prepared a kit at the beginning of the season or have one from last year, check your kit again to make sure your supplies are all accounted for and not outside of expiration dates. You do not want to wait until the last minute when a hurricane is forecast to hit and fight through the chaos of late planning and added stress levels.
As you are creating your hurricane plans, there are several things you want to keep in mind:
1. Determine Your Risk
There are many different hazards that hurricanes and severe storms bring with them like storm serges, tornadoes and strong winds, inland flooding, and rip currents. Remember that impacts from hurricanes can be felt from hundreds of miles away. Determining the risks you could encounter before the storm hits, can help you better plan and prepare your home and family for them.
2. Develop an Evacuation Plan
Before a hurricane is predicted to hit, use local resources to find out if you live in an evacuation zone and which zone you are in. Once you determine your evacuation zone, follow all evacuation zones given and plan serval routes in case an issue arises with your original plan. And of course, when planning to evaluate, keep your furry friends and furbabies in mind. If you are leaving, they should be leaving as well. Make sure that your evacuation plans are pet-friendly or establish alternate safety plans for them.
3. Put Together an Emergency Kit & Disaster Supplies
At the beginning of storm season, begin to put together a list of supplies and assemble them before the first storm hits. You are going to need enough supplies to last not only through the storm but enough to sustain the aftermath as well. You should have enough food, water, necessary medications, and any other essential supplies to last each person in your family for a minimum of 3 days. For more information on developing an emergency supply kit and what you should put in it, Ready has put together a list of items to keep in mind when planning, check it out here.
The most important thing during the hurricane and severe storm season is to ensure the safety of you and your family. Having a proper safety and emergency plan in place is key to preparing your family for whatever and whenever bad weather strikes. After the storm hits, if you return from safety to find that your property has suffered damages due to the storm, SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach is here to help. As leaders in disaster clean-up, your local St. Augustine SERVPRO has been serving the First Coast and surrounding St. Johns County since 2015. We have the training, equipment, and staff to handle water damage, fire damage, and the reconstruction service needs that come about due to flooding, heavy rain, and storm damage. Our emergency crews are ready to respond to emergencies 24/7/365! Call our office today at 904-429-4457!
What Is In Your Hurricane Emergency Kit?
With hurricane season ramping up, SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach is here to help! Call us 24/7/365 at 904-429-4457!
Being prepared is essential, especially as we are in the midst of hurricane season. Although it has been a relatively calm season so far, it is very easy to get overwhelmed when disasters such as a hurricane, flooding, or fire strike. By having an emergency preparedness kit, you can have peace of mind knowing that you and your family have the supplies needed to last you a couple of days. With activity in the Atlantic picking up and two storms brewing, now is the time to begin putting together your emergency kit, or updating and checking expiration dates on your existing kit.
What is an Emergency Kit?
An emergency kit is a collection of household items that are essential to have on hand during an emergency. The supplies in your kit should be able to sustain your family for a few days if needed. When putting these kits together, make sure they are easily accessible and storable so they can be accessed at a moment's notice, like plastic bins or a duffel bag.
So What All Goes Into an Emergency Kit?
When putting your kit together, start with the items that you and your family cannot go without if you are stuck without access to any other supplies for a couple of days. As well as important documents and information that will be critical once the storm has passed Items such as:
- Water- one gallon per person, per day
- Non-perishable food- enough to last at least 3 days
- Flashlights/ candles
- First-aid kit
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Extra clothing and shoes
- Prescription and non-prescription medication
- Glasses/ contact lenses and solution
- Insurance policy information, identification, and banking information are saved electronically, as well as printed and stored in a waterproof and fireproof container
If you have any infants or pets in the home, be sure to have formula, bottles, diapers, and wipes as well as extra pet food and water.
After you assemble your emergency kit, it is important to do a yearly review of the supplies to ensure that nothing is outdated and that they are still safe to use. A yearly review will also account for the changes that your family sees, as kids are born or grow older, you'll need different items that you perhaps did not need in the past. The same goes with pets or any medical or health changes that could occur. Your kit needs to be ready to meet your family's needs at that time in your life, so updating your kits and supplies is critical when planning for emergencies.
At SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach, we understand the uncertainty that surrounds disasters and hurricane season. "Is this storm going to hit?" "Do we need to evacuate?" It can be a scary and stressful time, preparing in advance can help ease some of those worries. After the fact, if your home or business should suffer any damage from the storm, your local St. Augustine SERVPRO is here to help. As experts in restoration, we have been helping St. Augustine and surrounding St. Johns County with storm damage and water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold mitigation, and reconstruction services since 2015. You can count on us to make it "Like it never even happened." When the storm passes, and you need us, give us a call 24/7/365 at 904-429-4457!
Do You Know What Category of Water Damage You Are Experiencing?
SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach is ready to respond to any water damage loss situation 24/7/365!
Earlier this week we received a call from a local property manager regarding sewage backup in one of their St. Augustine condominium communities. The backup affected 2 bathrooms and spread to the connected bedrooms in both of the affected 2 neighboring units. We were able to send an emergency crew to begin the extraction so the demo and drying process could begin. Water damage is one of the most common damages that occur in residential and commercial properties, so there are many things to keep in mind when it comes to water damage, one being the category of water damage. Since this was a sewage loss, this job was categorized as a category 3 loss. Keep reading below to uncover what the different categories of water are, and what you need to know about them.
The IICRC defines the 3 categories of water as:
Category 1: Sanitary "clean water"
Category 2: Significantly contaminated "grey water"
Category 3: Grossly contaminated "black water"
The different categories of water are classified by the course of the water damage and what potential contaminates it may have come into contact with. Understanding the types of water damage and the unique water removal or water cleanup solutions that are needed to successfully clean up the job is critical in preventing secondary damages in the future.
Category 1: Sanitary "Clean Water"
The IICRC defines a category 1 water loss as water that originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose a substantial risk. Examples of category 1 water losses are rainwater, water supply lines, toilet tanks, and toilet bowls without contaminates. Since this water is considered "clean", we can typically restore and salvage affected materials like drywall, carpet and carpet pads, and hardwood flooring.
Category 2: Significantly Contaminated "Grey Water"
Category 2 water is defined as water that contains significant contamination that has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed. Examples of a category 2 loss could be, water from a broken fish tank/ aquarium, flooding from a dishwasher or washing machine. When a category 2 loss occurs we make sure to remove wet carpet padding and use anti-microbial to disinfect affected materials.
Category 3: Grossly Contaminated "Black Water"
A category 3 water loss comes from water that is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, and other harmful agents that could cause significant reactions from consumption or contact. Examples of a category 3 loss could be sewage backups, flooding from rivers/streams, wind-driven water from heavy storms like hurricanes and tropical storms. When a category 3 loss occurs, affected materials like drywall, carpet and carpet padding, insulation, and hardwood flooring should be removed as well as using an anti-microbial spray to disinfect.
At SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine Beach, we know that the quick response time lessens the chances for secondary damages. That is why our emergency crews are ready to act fast and start the restoration process. We have been serving St. Augustine and surrounding St. Johns County since 2015 for water and fire damage restoration, mold mitigation as well as reconstruction. As your one-stop-shop for restoration and reconstruction needs after a loss, SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine is ready to make it "Like it never even happened." Call us today to schedule a free estimate or 24/7 for emergency situations at 904-429-4457!
Here to Help with Back to School!
SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine/ St. Augustine wishes you a happy and healthy back-to-school season!
It's that time of year already, back-to-school season! With classes resuming in just a few weeks now is the time to start preparing your kids with the tools needed to return back to school, whether that's school supplies, a backpack, or even a new back-to-school wardrobe. But with COVID-19 spiking in the area, we know that keeping kids safe and healthy when returning back to school is top of mind.
That is why SERVPRO of Greater St Augustine / St Augustine Beach is here to help keep our communities safe and we are actively performing deep cleanings, disinfection services, and sanitization services for St Augustine and surrounding St. Johns County. With over 40 years of experience treating and working in hazardous environments, you can trust the PROs at SERVPRO to disinfect and sanitize schools, cafeterias, office spaces, classrooms, and dormitories.
We currently have 5 solutions the CDC recommends using to disinfect and sanitize. Our main solution is EPA-approved and environmentally friendly. You can feel confident that your local SERVPRO professionals are here to help make it "Like it never even happened," for back to school!
To schedule a free estimate / walk-thru, call us today at 904-429-4457!