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Practicing Safety with Fireworks

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Close up of two hands holding lit sparklers with moon in background Sparklers seems safe enough, but they burn at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, so use caution!  

Source: National Safety Council

When you think of July 4th, most people think of fireworks. The National Safety Council advises everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and not to use any fireworks at home due to safety reasons. However, with many local municipalities discouraging large crowds and canceling fireworks due to COVID-19, more people may be using fireworks at home.

In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% of the injuries were to children and young adults under age 20. Over two-thirds (67%) of injuries took place from June 16 to July 16. And while the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, an estimated 1,200 injuries were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.

If You Choose to Use Legal Fireworks

If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks

Practice safety with fireworks, and remember we at SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast wish you a safe and happy holiday!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Water Damage Restoration Firm

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

graphic showing IICRC logo SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast is certified by IICRC. Call us at 904.729.2401 if you have water damage.

The following tips are from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) web site.

When a storm leaves a home flooded, or a burst pipe causes serious issues in a home, getting water damage restoration services from a respected company should be considered a top priority. Unfortunately, this industry is not regulated, and there are people out there who pose as professionals or overstate their qualifications. Therefore, homeowners should be mindful of who they hire, as an untrained technician may do more harm than good or delay repairs, resulting in a higher degree of destruction. Before selecting a company to handle the job, keep in mind these points:

  • Only choose certified professionals to perform water damage restoration services. Even though the industry is not regulated, technicians who have received certification have made the effort to get the best training possible, proving that they take their job seriously. Certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a sign that a professional has received the most up to date training and is knowledgeable in the latest techniques and technologies employed during repairs. The IICRC operates a Certified Firm registrant-only database on its site, making it easy to find a local, certified professional without trouble.
  • Do not select a technician based only on the price or an insurance company’s recommendation. When possible, speak to neighbors or friends who have had to hire a technician recently and try to get a recommendation from them. Insurance companies often select a restoration company based on price, and unusually low pricing suggests the company does not use modern drying or repair methods.
  • Choose a company that offers a range of water damage restoration services. The easiest way to determine the expertise of a firm is to see if they provide a full range of options for homeowners. Mold remediation, for example, is often needed given how quickly mold can set in. This is a standard field of knowledge that advanced technicians should possess. If a company doesn’t offer mold remediation, it may not be prepared for all job settings.
  • A company that is available 24/7 is a good sign. Stay away from any firms that are reluctant to start right away. In many cases modern equipment can enable near-complete drying in as little as 36 hours, although many situations require longer. Also, a homeowner should not have to wait before repairs begin. Every minute counts when there is standing water present, and reputable professionals understand this. If a technician insists on waiting to begin the remediation portion of the loss, they probably cannot be trusted to see the job through in a reasonable timeframe.

Using these guidelines, you should be able to find a technician that can be trusted and is equipped to do the job the right way. A storm or other disaster is hard enough to deal with, and a remediation firm should do everything in its power to make this difficult process easier.

SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast is IICRC-certified. Call us at 904-729-2401 if you have water damage!

What to Look for in a Mold Remediation Contractor

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

mold growth on ceiling of grocery store This grocery store had mold growth on their ceiling as a result of high humidity. After remediation, fans were installed to prevent future mold growth

You suspect you have mold at your business. Now, what? Here are some key questions to ask when looking for a mold remediation contractor who can identify, remove, clean up and remediate the issue.

  1. Is the company licensed? Every state has its own set of laws and regulations that must be followed. In the state of Florida, any person or company advertising or representing oneself to be a mold remediator—or taking samples for purposes of testing for the presence of mold—must have a license. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast is a Florida-licensed mold remediator. (Our license number is MRSR450.) A licensed contractor has the training, expertise and experience required to do the job well, safely and to code.
  2. Is the company properly certified for mold removal and remediation? The proper certification makes certain that the company has the necessary expertise and experience to deal with the mold inside the home; it also guarantees that the technicians are well trained in how to remove the mold safely to prevent any potential health risks. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast is certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
  3. Is the company insured? Before hiring a contractor, find out what type of liability insurance the mold specialist has, what that insurance covers and the amount of coverage. The insurance should cover mold or microbial work. Plus, confirm that the company has workers’ compensation insurance. Otherwise, the homeowner may be at risk of a lawsuit or expenses if a worker gets injured on the property. In the state of Florida, applicants for a Mold Assessor license are required to obtain general liability and errors and omissions insurance for both preliminary and post remediation mold assessment in the amount of $1 million dollars. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast meets these requirements. We carry the required $1,000,000 liability coverage and have workers’ comp insurance.
  4. Does the company conduct background checks on its employees? Make certain that the contractor’s employees have all had background checks. This practice ensures that reputable people are doing the job. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast requires employees to pass background checks and we do employ any sub-contractors.
  5. Do the company’s employees wear uniforms? Employees should all wear company uniforms. This allows the homeowner and their family to easily identify employees of the company and know who is on the property. Employees of SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast wear uniforms.
  6. How long has the company been in business? And, can the business provide references? Ask the contractor about their history doing this type of cleanup and restoration work and for references from similar projects. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast has a track record of successfully performing mold remediation jobs and can provide references.
  7. Does the company provide a written estimate? This will ensure that all contractors are bidding on the same work. The estimate should be detailed and include all services to be provided. Of course, the contractor should come to the job site prior to estimating the job. Estimates should not be given over the phone without the site being seen. These are standard operating procedures for SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast.
  8. Does the company work with insurance companies? Often mold remediation requires interfacing with the homeowner’s insurance company. It is beneficial to work with a company that can help facilitate the paperwork, expedite services and return the situation to it normal state. SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast provides this service.

SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast is a licensed mold remediation contractor in the state of Florida. Our company is IICRC certified, and our technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Learn more about our mold remediation services, and call us at 904-729-2401 if you have mold issues.

Commercial Water Damage Repair in Fernandina Beach/North Jacksonville  

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

photo of commercial water damage with SERVPRO logo and text "Your Problem, Our Solution" There is no good time for commercial water damage but our restoration team will take care of your problem quickly.

As a business owner, you know that any type of water damage can be detrimental to your business. It is crucial when faced with a water damage loss that you can resume normal operations as soon as possible to protect your business. If your business is forced to close until water damage repairs are complete your short-term losses will start to add up and your customers may find somewhere else to go which could cause you to lose their business long-term.

SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast specializes in commercial water damage repair and can help ensure that damages are kept to a minimum, reducing your total losses. Commercial businesses have unique needs when it comes to water damage repairs and the best way to protect your business and its assets is to leave water damage repairs to the pros.

What to Do If Your Property Floods

When your commercial property is affected by water or flooding, the source of water needs to be addressed before water damage repairs can begin. Water damage can affect expensive or specialized equipment and inventory, and losses can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. If your property floods, quick action is necessary to mitigate the damage. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yuleeis always ready to respond.

Whenever your business is affected by water damage, a fast response is necessary. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast provides emergency, 24/7 service and has the equipment and personnel it takes to get your business up and running quickly. SERVPRO is a trusted and experienced commercial water damage restoration company that delivers quality customer service and exceptional water damage repair service for commercial businesses.

In an event of a disaster call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast at 904-729-2401. Our water restoration team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

Preventing Water Damage

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

A cat looking at a dripping faucet Repair or replace leaking faucets right away to prevent further problems.

There are many small and seemingly harmless things that can lead to water damage if left unattended. Slow drips, undetected leaks, standing water around foundations, cracked and chipped grout and caulking can be small leaks that lead to long-term water damage.

Leaking faucets

Repair or replace leaking faucets right away. Not only can a long-term leak raise a water bill, water can build up along the edges of the sink, onto the countertop and drip under the sink. Small leaks over time can cause mold and mildew, which are both health problems and expensive to remove. Sometimes entire areas of the affected structure need to be removed, such as the flooring and cabinetry under a sink.

Leaking toilets

Leaking toilets can contribute to black water contamination, one of the most serious kinds of problems. An old seal or a plumbing problem that causes a toilet to overflow, even a crack in a toilet, needs immediate attention. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast has the training and equipment to address black water damage.

Dampness under sinks

Check under sinks regularly for damp spots. Cracked pipes, loose fittings, rusted fittings and leaks can cause moisture to build up and spread. When the leak is slow and small, standing water may never be present so what would otherwise be an obvious sign of a problem isn’t present.

Grout and caulking around sinks, tubs and showers

Water can seep through cracks in grout and caulking. Missing chunks of grout and caulking, no matter how small, create places for water to pool and seep through into the walls or floor. Repair damaged grout and caulking at once.

Crawl spaces

Water, dampness and mold that are detected in attics, basements and crawl spaces between the ceiling and roof and under a building need immediate attention. Check these areas regularly, especially after rain and storms.

Standing water

Water that puddles and remains unchanged for more than a day when it is not raining needs to be checked. Certain types of soil drain slower than other types, but even then, standing pools of water should change and get smaller within 24 hours. If the puddle is not changing or is getting bigger, check for a broken pipe. Damp ground that is in contact with any structure long enough causes mold and other water damage.

Landscape watering

Small changes to landscaping and how it is watered can help prevent water damage. Avoid planting anything requiring frequent watering close to the house. We all think flowers look wonderful planted right against the house, but if those flowers require a lot of water to keep them alive, consider moving them to another part of the yard or using containers. Use drought-tolerant plants closest to structures. Make sure that landscape water doesn’t hit the exterior walls or run under the house. Plant slopes with drought plants. Leaving a slope bare or planting it with something with heavy water needs causes water runoff that can contribute to damp ground around or under a structure. If you use automatic irrigation, plan it so that drip-watered plants are not too close to the house and consider using well-placed misting heads instead of drip heads.

Anyone experiencing or suspecting water damage can contact us for an evaluation of the damage. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast is the trusted leader in the restoration of water damage. The staff has the training, equipment, and expertise to handle all restoration and cleaning needs and provides 24-hour emergency service. Call us at 904.729.2401.

Introducing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned logo If a structure is sanitized and disinfected as part of the CSC program, a window decal shield will be left at the structure, along with dated decal.

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned (CSC) program is designed to provide our communities with a way to know that a structure has been cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected to minimize harmful pathogens. If a structure is sanitized and disinfected as part of the CSC program, a window decal shield will be left at the structure, as well as a separate window decal which should be dated by the franchise to let everyone know when it was last sanitized and disinfected. This can be schedule as one time or recurring service.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean. Being open for business is just the beginning of our new journey forward. Employees may be hesitant to return to work, and customers may wonder whether the businesses they patron are safe.

We are proud to launch Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned—a cleaning and disinfecting program that SERVPRO offers to commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is a level of clean that goes way beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning. When businesses choose SERVPRO, their employees, customers, and community can rest assured that they’ve selected a “higher standard of clean”—Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help businesses and public spaces become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination—always adhering to the highest cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.

SERVPRO franchise professionals take the utmost care while disinfecting using EPA-registered disinfectants like SERVPROXIDE and ensuring businesses are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy reopens.

For more about the program or to schedule service at your place of business, call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast at 904.729.2401.

Pipe Breaks Flooding Jacksonville Trucking Company

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Photo showing water on floor of a long hallway with SERVPRO tech performing extraction Water damage at this Jacksonville trucking company operation spanned more than 1500 square feet.

A recent incident at a Jacksonville trucking company caused major flooding throughout the offices and facility. A pipe break in the ceiling was the cause. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast was called in to extract the flood water and dry the resulting water damage from the affected areas that spanned more than 1500 square feet.

Pipe breaks are one of the common causes of water damage at commercial facilities. Broken pipes can stem from many reasons, such as changes in pressure or deteriorated water supply lines and sewer drains. Bulging walls, water stains on walls or floors, cracked or loose tiles, and musty smell – these are all signs of damaged pipes.

Following are some of the other common causes of commercial water damage:

DAMAGED WINDOWS

In commercial buildings, water damage is often caused by windows that are not properly sealed. Damaged windows can allow moisture to seep in, which can trigger problems such as mold build-up and warped wood and drywall. Resealing windows regularly is important as caulk can break down over time.

BUILDING FOUNDATION

When gutters are not cleaned regularly, they can get clogged, causing water to leak into the property through the roof or the foundation. One of the most common signs of leaks in building foundations are puddles nearby or framing that has become wet. Poor drainage systems can also lead to water damage in your foundation.

ROOF LEAKS

A leaky roof can cause ceiling damage, mold or mildew issues, fire hazards from shortened wires, and compromised structural integrity. Exposure to heavy rains and snow make roofs vulnerable to damage. Moreover, incorrect snow/ice removal can also trigger water damage in roofs.

HVAC PROBLEMS

HVAC systems work by heating or cooling the air through a series of ducts. Over time, these ducts wear out and get damaged, resulting in leaks. The HVAC system needs to be cleaned regularly, and the excess water from the condensation reservoirs has to be removed to prevent water damage.

SEWER CLOGS

Sewer water contains bacteria and other pathogens that cause illnesses and infections. If you observe signs of sewage damage, such as gurgling sounds or water backing up out of the drain or toilet, call us immediately.

SPRINKLER SYSTEM LEAKS

Other causes of water damage in commercial buildings are leaks or malfunctions in sprinkler systems. Signs of sprinkler leaks include wet surfaces like drywall and carpets, presence of mold and mildew and standing water. Regularly inspect your sprinkler systems for leaks and moisture.

Taking the necessary measures to prevent water damage can save you from costly repairs and business interruption in the future. Since water damage can come from a variety of sources, it’s essential to have the building inspected regularly to prevent leaks and related issues.

If you have water damage at your place of business, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast at 904.729.2401.

Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 3-9

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Aerial photograph of an Atlantic hurricane. Researchers are predicting an active hurricane season this year.

Be ready for hurricane season. Today you can determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and review/update insurance policies. You can also make a list of items to replenish hurricane emergency supplies and start thinking about how you will prepare your home for the coming hurricane season. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to complete these simple preparations before hurricane season begins on June 1.  Keep in mind, you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.

SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast can help you get your home back to normal if you suffer hurricane damage. Call us at 904.729.2401 if we can be of assistance.

Tips for Employers Reopening After COVID-19 Related Shut-Down

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

women with facial mask surrounded by graphic symbols of coronavirus As you make plans for keeping employees safe when you re-open, keep SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville NE in mind for commercial cleaning.

Florida businesses prepare as Florida governor Ron DeSantis lifts some of the COVID-19 related restrictions which have been in place in April. Here are some things to think about as you re-open. Also, keep SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast in mind for commercial cleaning.

Keeping the Workplace Safe:

Encourage your employees to...

-Practice Good Hygiene…Stop shaking hands – use other non-contact methods of greeting 

-Clean hands with sanitizer or wash their hands frequently

-Avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes

-Gloves and masks/facial coverings may be advisable

-Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly

-Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning

-Be Careful with Meetings and Travel

-Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible

-When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces

-Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings

-Assess the risks of business travel

-Handle Food Carefully

-Limit sharing food with others

-Strengthen health screenings for cafeteria staff and their close contacts

-Ensure cafeteria staff and their close contacts practice strict hygiene

-Stay Home if feeling sick or have a sick family member in their home

SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast: 

Commercial Cleaning Services

SERVPRO professionals are trained to perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste.

SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast:  Ready for whatever happens.®

Call us at 904.729.2401 if we can help you get your business back to normal.

Strong Storms Moving into Jacksonville Area

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

map screen showing location of tornadoes occurring in the area Please stay aware of weather conditions in your area.

What: Enhanced Risk of Severe Thunderstorms Today into Friday Morning

When: Thursday afternoon through Late Friday

Where: Southeast GA and Northeast Florida

What: Tornadoes, Damaging Wind Gusts, Hail, & Heavy Rain Possible Slight Risk of Severe Thunderstorms Friday

When: Friday Morning through Friday Afternoon/Evening

Where: Northeast Florida and parts of Southeast Georgia

 What: Tornadoes, Damaging Wind Gusts, Hail, & Heavy Rain Possible Severe Thunderstorm possible again Saturday

This system will bring rain and some strong storms into the area. The highest threat is damaging winds, locally heavy rainfall, and isolated tornadoes. Showers and storms will likely linger into early tomorrow morning in northeast Florida. A few strong storms are still possible south of I-10 through midday. Please stay informed of conditions in your area.