Fire Safety Tips for Children
Teach your children at a young age about fire prevention and safety.
Fires can happen so quickly and so can burns. Keep these tips in mind when you have children at home:
- Set water heater temperature to no higher than 120°F or just below the medium setting.
- Create a "no kid zone" in the kitchen around stoves, ovens and hot items.
- Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters.
- Place pots and pans on the back burner with handles turned away from the edge of the stove.
- Never hold an infant or child while cooking, drinking a hot liquid or carrying hot items.
- Keep matches and lighters high out of the reach and sight of children and in a locked cabinet.
- Closely supervise older children when using microwaves or have them prepare non-hot food. Many burn injuries occur from children pulling hot foods and soups out of microwaves.
- Teach children to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch fire.
- Test the water before placing a child in the tub. Fill the tub or sink by running cool water first and then adding hot water. Seat the child facing away from the faucets.
If you or someone else sustains a burn injury be sure to:
- Cool the burn with cool (not cold) water to stop the burning process.
- Remove all clothing and jewelry from the injured area.
- Cover the area with a clean dry sheet or bandage.
- Seek medical attention.
It’s the little preventive things that can save a home, serious injury and lives when it comes to fire and hot items. Educate your children now so you can save yourself possible heartache in the future.
And if accidental fire damage does occur, make sure to call us at SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West at 352-374-6589.
Flood Damage from Deteriorating Washing Machine Hoses
Storms are not the only thing that can flood your home.
Flood damage from a washing machine is one of the top five causes of home insurance claims
Most homeowners protect their homes against things such as storms, fire, and burglary, but water damage from malfunctioning or leaking home appliances often gets overlooked, especially when it comes to washing machines.
It seems unlikely, but flood damage from a washing machine is one of the top five causes of home insurance claims. More than half of these claims is from supply hoses which have burst or leaked, so make sure your Jacksonville home is prepared for such an event. Always have the number of a reputable restoration company handy, like SERVPRO, who is experienced in all kinds of flood damage.
Most washing machine hoses fail eventually over time, even when they have been installed properly. They can cause leaks or even catastrophic flooding when they burst. Failure can be due to several things such as installation error, age, poor design and poor-quality materials. Most of these hoses are made of reinforced polymer or rubber. The materials lose resiliency as they age, making them susceptible to leaks, cracks, and bursting.
Many times, fittings and hoses that connect your washing machine to the water source are visible and easy to inspect each time you use the machine. If they are not visible, figure out how to gain access to them so you can inspect them once per month. Look at both the cold and hot water lines. Failures happen near the connection where the hose usually bends. Keep an eye out for:
Signs Of Imminent Failure
Obvious evidence of imminent failure or deterioration should be looked for, such as bulges, blisters, unraveling, cracks, kinks, discoloration, or crimps, especially close to the connections and turns in the hose.
Look for drops, moisture, rust, leaks on, in, or around the connections or hoses or in a catch pan, or discoloration. Look at the connects to ensure they are properly tightened. Even a small leak can lead to imminent failure.
Ensure the washing machine is located four inches at least from the connections, so the hose is not kinked or bent. Make sure the machine is balanced properly, so it is not “walking” when in use, which puts added stress on connections and hoses.
Lastly, aging or damaged hoses should be replaced right away, and make sure that the hoses are properly installed. Knowing where the shut-off valve is as well is important if a hose does fail. Then get in touch in SERVPRO right away so they can help you clean up the flood damage and dry out your home.
Dos and Don’ts for Water Damage
- Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified plumbing technician to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Pin up upholstered furniture skirting to keep off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with carpeting or floors.
- Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Do not enter effected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items that may cause staining on wet carpet or floors.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damaging the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixture if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Three Steps to Address a Roof Leak
A severe storm or high winds can damage the roof of a building, leading to damaged roofing materials and the high probability of a leak. The following are three steps that building owners and managers can do to limit and prevent storm or water damage from leading to secondary problems, such as mold.
1. Tarp the Damaged Roof Until Repaired
As soon as it becomes apparent that a roof is leaking, a building owner or manager should determine the source of the leak. Hire roofing experts to tarp over the damaged area to prevent additional moisture from entering to the interior of the structure.
2. Mitigate Interior Damage
A roof leak can damage materials such as insulation and ceilings. Fiberglass insulation is not designed to withstand moisture and will need to be torn out and replaced. Ceilings may also need to be torn out. It is a good idea to hire an experienced mitigation and restoration company to take the necessary steps toward to prevent more serious problems down the line.
3. Repair the Roof and Restore Damage
Hire a roofer to repair roof damage. It may take some time for the portions of the interior exposed to water to dry out. Do not rush restoration prior to drying, as this may allow conditions conducive to mold growth to persist. Once the affected area is dry, restoration experts should install new insulation and replace all of the damaged building materials.
These three steps can limit the extent of damage resulting from a roof leak at a commercial building or residential home. Regularly inspect a roof after severe storms to look for missing shingles and other indications of damage and get any areas that need repaired addressed immediately.
And remember, SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West can do everything from start to finish in your project.
Rare cold front can lead to frozen pipes and water damage
Keep a close eye on your pipes during the freezing days of winter.
North Florida is experiencing one of its rare sub-freezing winter cold fronts and that can lead to big problems when it comes to your pipes if you’re not prepared. Since frozen water expands, it can place pressure on pipes. And if you have leaking pipes or an inefficient heater, when the weather warms up and your pipes thaw, you could be in for a huge mess.
Here are some tips for when that arctic blast hits your property.
Before the cold weather hits, you can protect and prevent frozen pipes by:
- Insulating any exposed pipes in your home, especially ones that are in your garage, basement, crawl space, or under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Make sure your thermostat is set for a constant temperature in the daytime and at night.
- Close indoor valves that supply water outdoors and open the outside valve to drain any excess water in your pipes.
- Proper HVAC equipment maintenance will provide with an efficient heater. Also make sure you have the correct amount of insulation in your attic and walls and make sure you have sealing around your windows and weather stripping around your doors.
- If the weather plummets well below freezing for an extended amount of time, let your faucet trickle. Running water is more likely to keep the pipes from freezing.
- If you are going on vacation, keep thermostat set for no lower than 55 degrees. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to turn the water off to your washing machine.
Thawing Out a Frozen Pipe:
- If you turn on a faucet and only a few drips come out, you may have a frozen pipe. Typically, frozen pipes are found along exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Leave the faucet on while treating any frozen pipes, as flowing water will help melt the ice.
- Apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe by using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or other open flame device.
- Check all other faucets in your home to see if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.
If a pipe bursts:
- Shut off water at the main valve.
- If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
- Call SERVPRO of Gainesville West- Alachua County West to clean up the mess as quickly as possible. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access.
Remember, pipes freeze when they’re exposed to temperatures below 32 degrees for a few days. The cold weather makes pipes brittle and will ice up in two main areas – water coming in and water going out. You know water coming in is frozen because nothing comes out the tap. Frozen outgoing pipes from showers, toilets and sinks are a bigger problem because these will back up into the house; that's the reason it's always recommended to keep a little water dripping into the sinks and opening the cabinet doors under the sink since running water doesn't freeze as easily as standing water.
You can contact SERVPRO any time of the day or night for emergency services. Our number is 352-374-6589.
Your HVAC system is circulating odor, soot during and after the fire
Cleaning your HVAC unit and ducts are a priority following a fire.
One thing many people who suffer a fire loss don’t realize is that, if you HVAC system happened to be on during the blaze, smoke has now sent soot and odor particulates into other areas of the house.
Once the fire department has left your fire-damaged home, you need to start to address the effects throughout the household such as fire debris removal, soot cleanup and fire odor deodorization. Our SERVPRO professional technicians are trained in mitigation and restoration and will access every area that has been touched by the flames, smoke, and ash.
And even if only one room may have been affected by the fire’s damage and that area is soaked from the fire department extinguishing the mini inferno, the rest of the house will also need to be examined and cleaned. On that extensive checklist, your duct system and HVAC unit also need to be addressed.
Many people don’t realize that if your HVAC system is on during or after the fire, it is distributing the particulates throughout your house. Therefore, our technicians take great care in making sure the unit and ductwork are sterilized. We utilize brushes to break the sediment loose throughout the system and then use high-powered vacuums to suck out the debris and improve the effectiveness of the appliance. We also have the coils and blower cleaned to ensure there will no longer be lingering affects once our restoration and reconstruction is complete.
Health is our primary concern as you re-enter your home. Let our skilled professionals, arriving immediately following your fire, restore everything "Like it never even happened."
Contact SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West if you need our services or if you have any questions at 352-374-6589.
When water damage floods your business
Water damage caused by weather or pipe breaks at commercial properties can present numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event caused by a hurricane, SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West technicians will work quickly to assess each situation and isolate the damaged area. We want to work to fix your problem while allowing you to continue operating your business, if possible.
Our production crews are trained to be mindful of your concerns as we strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budget. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When an emergency situation arises in your business, call us at (352) 374-6589 any time of the day or night and we will respond promptly to your disaster.
Why SERVPRO? It's because everyone who is part of the SERVPRO family.
The SERVPRO family
When it comes to choosing a restoration company out of so many companies out there, it can seem a daunting task. We here at SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West are no strangers to the familiar question: Why should I choose SERVPRO? In all reality, that is a super easy question, because there are lots of whys. I could probably spend hours in deep conversation with a potential customer telling them all the reasons why they should choose us, but if I had to choose just one thing, that one thing that is at the core of all the other reasons, it would be the building blocks of what we are, our employees.
It begins with the owners and trickles all the way down from management, office, marketing, and our production staff. We like to say around here that everyone is part of the SERVPRO family and that includes our customers and clients as well. Many of us here at SERVPRO have been in the shoes of our customers and even in situations that are not personally experienced by our employees we try to treat our customers with empathy at all times, imagining if it were ourselves in that very situation. We feel that you can be on the forefront of technology, have the best equipment and training as well as being backed over 1700 franchises, but at the end of the day it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if you don’t have the right people utilizing those assets. One of our core values sums up how operate day to day:
We strive to act as a whole with moral principles including honesty, humility, empathy, positivity, trustworthiness, respectfulness, and loyalty.
Without these values we cannot ever achieve real success as a company or individually because we are in an honorable profession helping people restore their lives. Luckily as a company we have had many successes and that all comes down to each individual here at SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West.
Don't throw out those water-logged documents!
Let SERVPRO dry and restore your important files.
You just had a fire or a flood and your house or business is a mess. Not only is there structural damage, but you now realize you have books and important paper documents that are soaked. How will you get these items dried and restored?
That is where SERVPRO comes into action! We are trained and certified in document drying and restoration and can help in stopping the damage from getting worse. Time is of the essence as the longer the documents are soaked or charred, the faster they will deteriorate.
Our technicians are able to box up your damaged items and have them sent to our Document Restoration Team. We have special vacuum freeze-drying technology to salvage your items books and/or paper records. We use the same technique the Library of Congress uses to dry water-damaged books.
The vacuum freeze drying is the most effective way to revive water-damaged documents and is called sublimation -- a technique that turns the moisture in the object directly into vapor, skipping the liquid stage to avoid causing more damage. The process can recover even the most delicate items – from documents to photographs and x-rays, to entire business archives. All of our Document Restoration Team employees are HIPAA master certified and, once your items arrive to our SERVPRO headquarter facility, they are under 24/7 video surveillance to ensure safety.
And if your items may have been exposed to a Category 3 situation (sewage or flood water), we also have the ability to put the items through gamma irradiation, which is a process that cleans and disinfects the documents. This decontamination eliminates all types of bacteria at the molecular level, causing the death of any organisms. And the gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity onto your items.
SERVPRO understands how important it is to preserve important documents and our line of services ensures that you don’t have to worry about what happens to your paper assets when disaster strikes.
If you need sensitive materials restored, contact SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West today at 352-374-6589.
To dos for a business owner facing water damage
Don't let a flood or broken pipe keep your business out of operation.
To dos for a business owner facing water damage
In any situation where water affects your business, an owner’s top priority is to re-open the doors, put employees back to work and to ensure the safety of the building and products.
In order to do this, here’s the basic procedures that need addressed:
- First, a detailed inventory of the items affected needs to be written down. That includes furniture, wet carpet, and a list of room-by-room contents.
- Depending on if it is a multi-floor flood or even a single-story building with roof and/or attic leakage, ceiling tiles will need to be removed and discarded.
- Drywall will be checked using a moisture meter with disinfection and mold-control techniques possibly initiated.
- Depending on the water classification – if it is clean water from a broken pipe or sink overflow; gray water from a washing machine, dishwasher or roof leak; or black water from floods or sewage – carpet will need to either be dried or replaced.
- If any electrical items were affected, they will need to be inspected by a qualified maintenance technician or electrician to determine if they need to replace wiring, circuit breakers, outlets or light fixtures.
- Furniture – depending on the type – will need to be discarded or sanitized. If it is upholstered, it should be tossed if it is from a flood, sewage or roof leak. If it is clean water, it can be dried if done within 24 hours. Any laminate or hardwood furniture can be disinfected, but any particle-board furniture may be thrown away.
- All areas that have been water damaged will possibly need to be treated for mold prevention or treatment.
- Non-carpeted flooring will need to be inspected for possible buckling, warping or bowing. If so, it may need to be replaced.
If you have own and/or manage a business that has been hit with water damage, please contact us at SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West at 352-374-6589 and we will get you back up and running as quickly and safely as possible.