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Hurricane Preparedness Week: Build Your Emergency Supplies Kit

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Build an Emergency Supply Kit for Hurricane Preparedness - for your home, car and work Get your emergency supply kit ready for hurricane season, and have on hand in your home, car, and workplace.

Hurricane season begins here in Florida in just a few weeks, so now is the time to make sure your home and business are prepared for potential storms and power loss. Anyone who has experienced a typical Florida hurricane season knows that once a storm is imminent, the stores have a mad rush to buy supplies and gas. It’s much less stressful and easier on your budget to gradually build up a stockpile in advance over time.

As your local storm and water damage restoration experts, we know that hurricane season can be stressful. Our Storm Preparedness Week blog series this week can help you prepare for hurricane season and have peace of mind knowing that you are ready.

Day 2 of Storm Preparedness Week focuses on building an emergency kit.  As a hurricane approaches landfall, stores will be closed  and you will need to shelter in place, so you want to have these essentials on hand in an easy to find spot in your home.

  • Enough water for each person in your household. Bottled water may sell out quickly, so buy in advance and you can also fill up your reusable bottles/containers with water before the storm.
  • Several days worth of non-perishable food that you can cook/consume without power. Don’t forget a can opener!
  • Medications and first aid kit
  • Pet food and supplies if applicable
  • If you have an infant, adequate supply of formula, wipes, baby food and diapers
  • Flashlights and batteries. Avoid using candles which can pose a fire risk.
  • Copies of important documents

While the Gainesville area doesn’t face the same storm damage risk as coastal cities, it is not unusual to see damage from fallen trees and heavy winds, resulting in roof damage and several days of power outage in some neighborhoods. Having your emergency kit ready at the start of hurricane season will give you peace of mind and help protect your family.

You can visit Florida Health for a more detailed emergency supply list, and take a short Red Cross emergency kit readiness quiz  to find out if you're properly prepared.

After a storm, you can count on us at SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West to repair any storm damage to your home or business: 352-374-6589.

Hurricane Preparedness Week: Create a Family/Business Emergency Plan

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Hurricane Prep Week weather satellite graphic: Know Your Risks Create an emergency plan for your home & business to prepare for hurricane season.

At SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West, we have years of experience in storm and water damage restoration and have seen our share of hurricanes. Even though our area is not near the coast, Alachua County and surrounding areas still sometimes experience heavy rain, winds, and damage from falling trees during our summer hurricane and rainy season. With many newcomers moving into Florida all the time and hurricane season starting soon, this week we are focusing on Hurricane Prep Week so you can get your home and business ready.

Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with storm season typically being most active in Gainesville during late summer. Preparation is key to keeping your residential home and commercial property safe, as well as protecting your family members. 

For day 1 of Hurricane Prep Week, we recommend creating your family emergency plan. Now is the time to gather hard copies of important phone numbers all in one place and share this with your family members. If you’re an employer, make sure employee phone numbers on file are up to date and have a system in place to notify them of important changes if a storm is anticipated. Remember that in a severe storm, cell phone service may not work and if power is lost, you will need to conserve mobile phone battery life.

You can go to the FEMA website to print out a family emergency communication plan. Along with phone numbers of relatives, in case of an emergency, it will be helpful to have important numbers and policy numbers for contacts such as your utility companies, homeowners insurance, schools, and medical providers. Provide each family member with a copy. You should also identify a safe place to gather during a major storm. A small interior room without windows is often best, such as a closet or bathroom. 

We will be posting helpful tips to prepare for Florida’s hurricane season all week, so check back on our blog and social media accounts Facebook, twitter and Instagram for more tips. Preparation is key, but sometimes disaster still strikes. Our crews at SERVPRO are trained and ready to help with any flooding or storm damage! 

Hurricane Names Ready for 2021 Season

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

storms new year Here is the list of the 2021 Hurricane names.

Every year when hurricane season is in full swing, we have the chance to get to know the names and remember the destruction of a new set of super storms.  With names like Andrew, Irma, Katrina, and Michael we come to know them and remember them for years to come, but did you ever wonder just how they got their names?

Years ago, it was realized it was much easier to quickly identify storms in warning messages by names which is far easier to remember than technical terms or latitude and longitude.  It also heightened interest in warnings and contributed to community preparedness.  In the beginning storms were named arbitrarily.  An Atlantic storm that ripped off the mast of a boat named Antje became known as Antje’s hurricane, but then in the mid 1900’s the practice began of using female names for storms.  By the late 1900’s a more efficient naming system began with an organized list arranged alphabetically from A to Z.

Since 1953 Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center which are now maintained by the international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.  In 1979 men’s names were introduced to alternate with the women’s names. Each year, a list of 21 names is used, but does not include less-popular letters, including Q, U, X, Y and Z. And the Atlantic hurricane list is compiled of derived from English, Spanish and French cultures, due to the countries that surround the Atlantic basin.

The only change to these lists is when a storm is so deadly or costly that for sensitivity reasons it is retired from the list and replaced.  If that occurs, at the annual meeting by the WMO Tropical Cyclone committees, the name is stricken from the list and another name is added based upon the region the list is derived from.  Infamous storm names such as Laura, Eta, and Iota (USA, 2020), Dorian (USA, 2019), Michael and Florence (USA, 2018) Mangkhut (Philippines, 2018), Irma and Maria (Caribbean, 2017), Haiyan (Philippines, 2013), Sandy (USA, 2012), Katrina (USA, 2005), Mitch (Honduras, 1998) and Tracy (Darwin, 1974) are examples for this.

As memorable as some of these names may become, there is one name you need to remember when it comes to storm response and clean-up.  SERVPRO is the only name that can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage Tips for Gainesville

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

cleanup Our technicians will promptly get your place in order.

What you can do until help arrives

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be extremely heavy.

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

And remember, when you have a water emergency, call SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West as soon as possible so your water job doesn’t turn into a mold job within 24 to 72 hours. You can reach us 24/7 at 352-374-6589.

How to Prepare Your Gainesville Area Business for Disaster - Sign Up for SERVPRO's Free Emergency Ready Profile!

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

Hand holding up cell phone displaying SERVPRO's commercial Emergency Ready Profile app Setting up your business with SERVPRO's free Emergency Ready Profile can save you time & money in an emergency!

Business owners have to juggle many responsibilities, but we can make preparing your business for unexpected disasters easier with our free Emergency Ready Profile service. 

It could be a kitchen fire, flooding from an appliance malfunction, or even natural disasters like heavy rains and wind from a hurricane causing roof damage, but whatever the cause - when disaster strikes, you need to get your commercial space safe and ready to open for business again as quickly as possible. 

Having fast access to key information about your business during an emergency can help  minimize damage and speed up the restoration process, saving you time and money! That’s why having SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua West create a complimentary Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a smart choice. SERVPRO will perform a site visit and create a custom document with your building specifications like square footage, access points, and emergency contacts. We will also locate and document important shut-offs such as gas, water, and electricity and take photos for instructional purposes. If your business suddenly has a leak or flooding, quick access to the shutoffs can minimize damage, but your employees need to know where to look and what to do!

Not only will you get a hard copy report to keep on site, you and your employees can also download the free ERP app, where your emergency information can be stored so you will have quick access at your fingertips. If you experience a fire, water, or mold problem, you and your staff can open the app and click on the icon for your emergency and fast track to getting help from SERVPRO. 

It won't cost you anything and can save you money, so call us today at (352)374-6589 to schedule an appointment to set up your Emergency Ready Profile! We are here to help.

Exterior Home Maintenance Tips to Prevent Water Damage from Rainfall

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Removing leaves/debris from roof gutter Routine maintenance like clearing leaves from gutters can help prevent water damage to your home.

April showers bring May flowers...and for us Floridians, then come the heavy rains in summer and hurricane season! While you’re probably enjoying the sunny warmer weather and working on your yards, now is also the time to think about how you can prevent water damage to your home or business. 

We’ve provided water damage and storm damage emergency restoration services to the Gainesville/Alachua area for over 13 years, so we’ve seen many causes of water damage. Today’s tips focus on exterior home maintenance to prevent water damage from rainfall, because heavy rain is a part of living in our area of Florida during the summer. Your home is one of your largest investments and water damage can be very destructive, so following these tips for routine inspection and maintenance can help prevent costly water damage.

Clean Your Gutters and Check For Proper Drainage

Clean gutters will drain water off your roof and away from your home’s foundation. Make sure your gutters are clear and remove any leaves and other debris that may have accumulated over the winter. Check that water drains properly through your gutter and out the downspout.

The downspout should direct water away from your home. You can purchase an extension that attaches to the downspout so that rainwater will be directed farther away from your home. These are inexpensive and available at any hardware store.

Check Window Seals

This is another inexpensive project. Walk around the outside of your home and inspect the seals around your windows, because improperly sealed windows are another potential source of entry for moisture and rainwater to get into your home. Look for missing/cracked caulk on the outside. From inside the house, visible mold spots or crumbling/peeling walls next to the window can signal leakage in that area. 

Increase the Grade of Soil Closest to Your House

Fill in any holes or gaps in landscaping around the exterior where water can pool back towards the home. Replace the dirt with the highest level at the home and gently sloping down to the rest of the yard to promote drainage. 

Inspect Your Roof

Your roof is potentially a major point of entry for rain. Check for any loose or damaged shingles and replace them if necessary. Unlike the other projects mentioned, due to the risk involved, you may want to hire a professional roofer to handle this job every few years. 

What to Do If You Experience Leaking or Water Damage to your Home?

Even with proper maintenance, sometimes Florida’s heavy rains during thunderstorms or even hurricanes create leaks or flooding. If you suspect water damage or experience flooding, give us a call at SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West right away. Not only do we want to help with water damage mitigation quickly, the sooner you address the water damage, the less likely you are to develop mold problems. We are available 24/7 at 352-374-6589!

Be sure to follow us on social media (Facebook, twitter and Instagram) to see when we post more home safety tips, news and before/after photos of our biggest disaster restoration jobs.

Home Maintenance Tips to Prevent Storm Flooding

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

leaks Check that roof and gutters to prevent storm tragedies.

With storm season approaching, microbursts and prolonged bouts of rain can lead to flooding and damage. To prevent this, it’s wise to check the following items around your home to keep you safe when the clouds unleash their precipitation.

Clean Your Gutters

Gutters need to be cleaned at least twice a year – in the spring and in the fall when you’re most likely to experience leaves or needs dropping and clogging up drains. If you have pine trees near your home, needles will need to be removed every three months to reduce the potential for clogging the gutters and downspouts. There are actually a few simple steps to prevent this from happening, so you don’t experience a flood in your home. Simply getting up on the roof near your gutters and manually cleaning out the blockage is a good start. Many homeowners will you a power spray or hose with a narrow nozzle to get the blockage you’re unable to get by hand. There are also businesses that will clean your gutters for you.

Check Your Roofing

Florida weather really do a number on your roof. It’s important to keep an eye on it and address any areas of weakness where water may come through. Whether you go up on the roof yourself to inspect or hire a professional to do it, it’s a smart idea to give your roof the once-over at least once a year to prevent water damage from a leaky roof. Depending on what your roof is made of a simple repair could do the trick, or you may need more substantial work.

Keeping good drainage around your home

Some hurricane seasons are more damaging than others. Before you experience a heavy rainstorm, walk around your home to make sure you have good drainage all around your house. If you find water puddling next to your foundation, or see water moving toward your home instead of away, it’s important to fix this so that water doesn’t seep inside and cause damage.

If You Do Experience Water Damage

When you find water making its way into your house, it is time to call in professionals who can handle this situation as efficiently as possible. From the moment that our SERVPRO of West Gainesville/Alachua County West team arrives at your home, we work to assess what needs to happen to prevent water from continuing to enter your home and allow for extraction and drying to occur successfully.

How to Remove Crayon Markings From Walls: Pro Tip From the SERVPRO Cleaning Professionals

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

Child drawing on the walls with crayon. Text says: How to Remove Crayon Markings From Wall. Pro Tip by SERVPRO Gainesville" SERVPRO cleaning tip: how to remove crayon drawings from walls

Did you know that SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua is West is not just a restoration company, but a professional cleaning company too? If your Gainesville area home or business needs a deep clean, let us do the hard work! 

In honor of Crayon Day today, we are sharing a quick cleaning tip on how to remove crayon drawings from your walls. Who doesn’t love coloring with crayons as a kid? Unfortunately, some little artists turn to coloring on the walls instead of paper. If you don’t want a permanent art display on your wall, you can try one of these ways to remove crayons from your walls using cleaning supplies you probably already have on hand.

How to Remove Crayon From Wall Using Baking Soda:

  • Wet a clean sponge or rag. Put some baking soda on the rag and rub it on the crayon markings. When the mark is no longer visible, use a new wet cloth to remove the rest of the baking soda.

How to Remove Crayon From Wall Using Magic Eraser:

  • This sponge is pretty versatile. Get the magic eraser slightly damp and remove any excess water. Rub the eraser on the markings to remove them.

How to Remove Crayon From Wall Using a Blow Dryer:

  • Add a few drops of dishwashing detergent to a bowl of boiling water. Turn your blow dryer on low and aim it toward the crayon markings. The heat from the blow dryer and the hot water help soften the wax, making it easier to remove. Dip a cloth into the soapy water and use it to wipe away the markings.

How to Remove Crayon From Wall Using Distilled White Vinegar:

  • Vinegar is another great item to have on hand for multipurpose cleaning. Using a toothbrush or small scrub brush dipped in the vinegar, rub off the markings and then wipe away with a wet cloth. 

With any of these methods, make sure you test a small area first and observe that it doesn’t damage the paint finish on the wall. 

We hope you find this cleaning tip helpful! And remember, SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West can help you with your home and commercial cleanings if you need more than a little bit of crayon removal! Check out our full list of professional cleaning services we provide, including carpet and upholstery cleaning, air duct cleaning, and biohazard cleaning:

Call us today at (352)374-6589 for a residential/commercial cleaning quote or to book an appointment. You can also visit us on Facebook.

Before/After Fire Damage to Kitchen: The SERVPRO Fire Damage Remediation Process

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Before photo of fire damaged kitchen and after photo of restored kitchen by SERVPRO Before & after photo of Alachua area kitchen fire shows how SERVPRO helped with fire damage restoration.

Check out this before and after photo of our fire damage restoration work! We don't just want to tell you that we're the fire damage restoration experts, we proudly stand behind our work and want to show you what we've done for local customers.

At SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West, we help homeowners during times of crisis all the time and we understand that having a fire in your home is extremely stressful. That’s why you want to choose a restoration company like SERVPRO that has the technical experience and friendly customer service to walk you through the restoration process.

So when you experience fire damage to your home or business, how does SERVPRO take it from the devastating before photo to the after photo? 

It starts when you call us (we are available to serve the Gainesville/Alachua area 24/7/365) and set up the initial visit. Our technicians will assess the damage and begin working with your insurance company. Our crew will clean and repair the affected structure, as well as try to restore and clean your personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, keepsakes and furniture as much as possible. Water damage may occur after the measures necessary to put out a major fire, so we act quickly to extract water and place dehumidifiers if needed.

Along with cleaning the soot and smoke residue, we use industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment to remove odors. If a significant area was affected, we can even pack-up your damaged belongings and clean them in our warehouse. Cleaning and salvaging your possessions instead of replacing them can save you money and restore cherished keepsakes.

Finally, in the restoration process we make needed repairs such as painting, replacing carpet or more extensive reconstruction. Throughout this process, you will be in contact with our on-site technicians, the Production Manager overseeing the job, and our office staff to keep you updated on the job's progress.

If you experience fire damage to your home or business, do not hesitate to call your local fire and water damage remediation experts at SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West. We are standing by at (352)374-6589 and ready to help make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Named the #1 Cleaning & Restoration Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Gainesville/Alachua West owners Mark & Becky Raymond pose with Entrepreneur Magazine ranking SERVPRO #1 SERVPRO has been the No. 1 restoration company for 21 straight years.

We love when we get to share great news with you! SERVPRO kicked off the new year with the honor of being named one of Entrepreneur Magazine's top 10 franchises overall and earned the #1 spot in our category, the cleaning and restoration industry, for the 21st year in a row. What an exciting way to start 2021!

What does this mean for you as a customer? When you choose SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West for fire/water/mold damage restoration, or hire us for your carpet, air duct, or commercial/residential cleaning, you are getting the best of both worlds. We combine the passion and pride in our work that comes from being a local owner with the resources of a national franchise. 

We have been locally owned and operated by Mark and Becky Raymond for the past 14 years, so we are committed to serving the greater Gainesville/Alachua area both professionally and as community members. Becky currently serves as the President of the Newberry Jonesville Chamber of Commerce and we're active with the Greater Gainesville Chamber.

At the same time, we have the resources and training that come from being part of the SERVPRO brand, the #1 cleaning and restoration franchise nationally according to Entrepreneur. When a natural disaster such as hurricanes or flooding hits our region, we can rely on the SERVPRO network to provide extra equipment and crews to help us get the restoration job done as quickly as possible for our customers. We also adhere to quality standards and training such as IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) industry certification and ongoing education for our technicians. 

It's a great distinction to be recognized as the top cleaning & restoration franchise and we strive to deliver customer satisfaction and quality work every day. If you have an emergency, give us a call at (352)374-6589 and we will do our best to make it "Like it never even happened."