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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Water Damage Emergency Tips

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Image of technicians cleaning water Contact restoration professionals immediately when water damage occurs.

What you can do until help arrives

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

  • 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 very heavy. Be careful trying to move them.

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.

If you have a water damage emergency, contact SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West today at 352-374-6589. 

Summer Safety Fire Tips

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

BBQ Summer outdoor cooking is fun, but don't let an unattended grill lead to disaster.

Summer weather means cookouts on the BBQ grill and backyard fire pit, and all sorts of campfire fun, but it’s also important to ensure that everyone stays safe by observing a few simple fire protection guidelines.

SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West is happy to bring you our summer fire safety tips:

  1. Keep a bucket of water handy. If an ember floats out of your fire pit, or a log falls down from your bonfire stack and sets nearby foliage, paper, or other flammable materials aflame, you don’t want to be scrambling for a way to put the fire out. Having a bucket of water nearby is a great first response tool to keep a fire under control.

  2. Supervise all fireworks (if fireworks are legal in your state). Sparklers and pinwheels might seem “low risk,” but the reality is that there aren’t any fireworks out there that are safe enough for kids to use without adult supervision. It’s also important to ensure that no one tries to re-light fireworks that don’t work properly the first time. Dump these in a bucket of water and move on to the next package.

  3. Don’t let barbecue grease build up. Whether you’re using a charcoal or a gas grill, it’s important to keep it clean to prevent accidental grease fires caused by all of the gunk that can accumulate on a grill over time.

  4. Inspect the area around your BBQ and campfire. You don’t want to grill or light a campfire anywhere near other flammable materials. This includes deck railings, overhanging branches, dry grass or that pile of dry wood and recycling sitting in the back corner of your yard. If you’re camping, clear out the area immediately around your BBQ or campfire spot to be sure that there’s no scrub or brush nearby that could ignite if a spark lands on it.

  5. When you’re done with the fun, put out the flames. While it might seem romantic to fall asleep in front of a campfire or your backyard fire pit, you really should dump water and/or sand on those embers before catching some shut-eye. The same goes for BBQs – close your propane valve and the unit’s lid, as well as any vents on a charcoal grill once you’re done. Unsupervised BBQs can easily tip over in the wind. A breeze can pick up and carry coals and embers from that campfire, dropping them where they can ignite dry grass, branches, trees or deck planks.

And if you do accidentally catch your house or business ablaze, please contact SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West. Our skilled technicians can clean, restore and reconstruct your structure and make it "Like it never even happened." 

Working as a Team

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

help property managers We are always building relationships and assisting property managers, facility directors, and business owners protect their buildings.

Emergency property damage happens and, when it does, a prompt response can save you time and money.

The faster an expert can arrive on scene to mitigate the disaster the better, the scale of damage is reduced, and the inconvenience to the occupants can be minimized. People may be able to stay in their residences and business tenants may be able to continue operating when a skilled response team is in charge. That’s why we provide 24/7 emergency response services for fire and smoke, water damage, and biohazard cleanups.

Not everything is an emergency. Property owners, property managers, and facilities personnel face a variety of important maintenance and restorations issues that can be planned and scheduled. That’s why our local SERVPRO franchise performs non-emergency, specialty cleaning and restoration services such as Mold remediation, HVAC system cleaning, odor control, graffiti abatement, hoarder scene cleanup, death scene cleanup, and reconstruction services. You don’t have to have an immediate emergency to use our services.

SERVPRO is a nationwide cleaning and restoration franchise system that is well respected for its expertise in serving insurance companies and we are proud to be an important part of that team. We also understand the property management and commercial real estate industry in our community. That’s how our company began many years ago. Today, serving property managers, risk managers and facilities engineers remains our focus.

SERVPRO Takes Pride in Our Alachua County Community Involvement

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West is proud to be a locally owned/owner operated franchise location serving the North Central Florida region for emergency fire/water/mold damage restoration and cleaning services. We are owned by husband-wife team Mark and Becky Raymond and our production team is led by their son, Jason. As a family business, we strive to give back to our local community, not just as business owners, but with various charities, sponsorships and networking programs.

When you choose SERVPRO, you are supporting a business that is deeply rooted in the Gainesville area. Co-owner Mark Raymond is a Gator grad and he and his wife enjoy giving back to the community, especially over this past year when life was turned upside during the pandemic. We were able to turn a hardship into an opportunity to give back, one example being when we provided free drive through vehicle disinfection services to first responders in the surrounding counties

Two local organizations that we've been active with for years are the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce and the Newberry Jonesville Chamber of Commerce. Becky currently serves in a leadership position at the Newberry Jonesville chamber and we sponsor the Gainesville Chamber's annual DrinkGNV events - follow us on our Facebook page to see the upcoming events we are sponsoring!

These Chamber networking events are a great opportunity to showcase and collaborate with our fellow local businesses. We are also committed to continually improving our business, and both groups provide development and education opportunities that we have taken advantage of so we can better grow our business and serve our customers. 

When you face an unexpected disaster impacting your biggest asset, we hope you will think of us at SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West. Our slogan is "Not just a BRAND you can trust, but a FAMILY you can trust. Water damage, fire damage, mold... We make it "Like it never even happened."

We are invested in our community and want to do the best job possible when our fellow neighbors or local businesses face an emergency, so give us a call at 352-374-6589, 24/7/365!

What to Do If You See or Suspect Mold

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Visible mold found along wall If you see mold like this in your home, call the experts at SERVPRO right away!

Mold is a common part of life in Florida's wet and humid climate and can wreak havoc on your home or business site if left untreated.

Why worry about mold? If left undetected and untreated, it can grow rapidly and affect the structural integrity of your home. It has been linked to health effects and can ruin the contents of your home, as well as creating an unpleasant musty smell. An unexpected finding of mold during a home inspection can also impact ability to buy/resell a property.

Maybe you are starting to notice a musty odor or worse, you see some questionable spots appearing. 

You see or suspect mold...what next?

You should call a professional mold remediation company like SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West. We can perform a site visit and assess the area, as well as look for hidden mold. If you have visible mold, the damage often extends beyond what you can see. 

An independent mold testing company should also perform testing. We work with your insurance company throughout the mold remediation process

It may be tempting to attempt treating the mold growth yourself to save money, but this is a job really best left to the professional experts like SERVPRO.

Why let SERVPRO professionals handle mold remediation?

- As a licensed mold remediation company, we have years of experience providing this service

- Our crew uses proper personal protective equipment to avoid mold exposure and cross contamination during removal

- We are knowledgeable in setting up containment areas to avoid disturbing and spreading the mold spores around to even more areas in your home.

- As per Florida state law, we use a separate mold inspection company to independently test levels before and after to ensure our removal is successful

- Our technicians receive certification and ongoing education to follow best practices (learn more about our training & certifications)

If you are concerned about mold, give us a call right away at 352-374-6589!

You Can Trust SERVPRO for Your Commercial Emergency Restoration Needs

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Employee in PPE Setting Up Containment for Mold Remediation At SERVPRO, we are experts in emergency commercial services such as water damage & mold remediation.

When your business faces an unexpected disaster like fire damage, flooding, or mold, you need a restoration service that can get on the job fast so your business can resume normal operations as soon as possible. With over 40 years of local experience in the restoration business between SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West co-owner, Mark Raymond, and the Production Manager, Jason, we are a brand you can trust.

Here is an example of one type of work we do for commercial customers. We received a call from a store at the Oaks Mall where they had noticed some water staining on their ceiling. This is often a sign of mold growth and that was found to be the case here. Our on-call crew loaded up their equipment and immediately began working, staying late in the night to get the business back in order.

In the photo of our employee at the job site, you will notice that we take mold very seriously and not only get the job done quickly, but take pride in doing it right. On this job, we set up a containment chamber to avoid spreading mold particles and wore personal protective equipment to avoid cross-contamination. We also work with an independent specialist for mold testing after our mold remediation is complete. 

Our emergency restoration service is available 24/7/365 because we know emergencies can happen at any time! As local business owners ourselves, we know that time is of the essence and will get your commercial site back in business ASAP. Learn more about our commercial services here, and see more of our before/after photos of local residential and commercial restoration work here.

Is Your Home Ready for Rainy Weather & Hurricane Season?

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Today is June 1st which officially marks the beginning of hurricane season. In Alachua County, we'll soon begin to experience our typical summer weather pattern of afternoon rain and thunderstorms. Check out all of our disaster preparedness blog posts below to prepare your home and commercial properties:

Hurricane Preparedness Steps

Create a Family/Business Emergency Plan

Build Your Emergency Supplies Kit

Review Your Insurance & Important Documents

Strengthen Your Home & Yard Before a Storm

Sign Up for Local Weather/Emergency Alerts

Florida's Tax Free Disaster Supplies Week 

Even if a major storm doesn't hit our area this year, these tips can help you prevent water damage from heavy rains, roof damage and leaks from fallen trees, and readiness for power outages during thunderstorms. Addressing any water damage or flooding properly and right away is crucial, especially in Florida's hot and humid environment where mold can grow quickly.

For business owners, we also offer our complimentary Emergency Ready Profile - call us at 352-374-6589 to schedule an appointment.

SERVPRO is always ready to clean up any storm or water damage after an adverse weather event. With our professional water extraction and dehumidifier equipment and IIRCRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) trained staff, we are the local experts you can trust.

Storm Preparation: Alachua County Tax Free Disaster Supplies Week

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday Items graphic (image credit: Alachua County) Take advantage of Alachua County's tax exempt disaster supplies week to prepare for hurricane season!

Hurricane season starts next week and now is the time to gather your supplies. Stocking up now can help you deal with heavy rains and potential power outages that are so common during the summer - plus you can save money by taking advantage of the tax free disaster preparedness holiday!

From May 28th to June 6th, Gainesville area residents can purchase the following disaster preparedness items that will be tax exempt:

$20 or less:

  • Reusable ice packs

$40 or less:

  • Portable, self-powered light sources (candles, flashlights, lanterns). From a fire safety perspective, we suggest flashlights and lanterns over flammable candles.

$50 or less:

  • Any gas or diesel fuel container
  • Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, these sizes only:
    • AA-cell
    • AAA-cell
    • C-cell
    • D-cell
    • 6-volt
    • 9-volt
  • Two-way or weather band radios (powered by battery, solar, or hand-crank)

$60 or less:

  • Coolers & ice chests (non-electrical)
  • Portable power bank

$100 or less:

  • Bungee cords
  • Ground anchor systems
  • Ratchet straps
  • Tie-down kits
  • Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting

$1000 or less:

  • Portable generators used to provide light or communications or to preserve food in a power outage 

Always exempt, and you will want to have on hand in case of disaster:

  • Bottle water (unflavored, uncarbonated)
  • Canned food and nonperishable food items
  • First aid kits
  • Prescription and nonprescription medication
  • Baby food and formula
  • Feminine hygiene products

For detailed information, check out our blog post on building your emergency supplies kit. The rest of our hurricane preparedness week blog series will help you get your home and commercial property ready.

When it comes to natural disasters, sometimes damage and destruction still occurs no matter how prepared you are, and SERVPRO will be ready to help! 

Hurricane Preparedness Week: Sign Up for Emergency Alerts

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

Be informed graphic - cell phone alert image for hurricane preparedness week Have an evacuation plan & sign up for severe weather alerts to get ready for hurricane season!

With hurricane season quickly approaching, now is the time to prepare your homes and businesses. Day 4 of Hurricane Prep Week is about being informed - get an evacuation plan in place and know where to receive timely, reliable emergency alerts for the Alachua County area so you are never caught by surprise.

Even if you don’t live near the coast, evacuation may be recommended depending on your type of residence or special medical needs. If you don’t have friends or family to stay with or can’t travel away from the storm’s path, know where your nearest emergency shelter is located and what you’ll need to bring. You can find information about Alachua County emergency shelters at https://www.alachuacounty.us/depts/em/preparedness/pages/emergency-shelters.aspx. If you have pets, be sure to locate a shelter that accepts them. Alachua County doesn’t have designated evacuation zones, but the County may still issue evacuation orders, so sign up for alerts.

The good thing about hurricanes is we usually have an idea well in advance if a storm is potentially heading our way. Staying informed about approaching storms (typically hurricanes and tornadoes in our region) can help you prepare ahead of time and avoid crowds and lengthy lines to stock up at the stores and gas pumps. You can download the FEMA app to receive real time alerts from the National Weather Service at https://www.fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/mobile-app-text-messages. Alachua County Emergency Management also has a local emergency notification system you can sign up for at https://www.alachuacounty.us/depts/em/preparedness/pages/personal-preparedness.aspx

During a hurricane, extended power loss is common so you may be unable to rely on mobile alerts or internet access for updates. A simple weather radio can provide reliable information for your area during a bad storm. 

Having your hurricane preparation in place will give you peace of mind during hurricane season. If you’re a business owner, don’t forget to call us at 352-374-6589 to set up your free ERP (Emergency Ready Profile). If your home or commercial property suffers storm or water damage, we will be standing by ready to help with emergency restoration!

Hurricane Preparedness Week: Strengthen Your Home & Yard

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane Prep Week Graphic: Strengthen Your Home, Trim Trees, Have Tools On Hand, & Make Room Get the exterior of your home ready for hurricane season with these tips!

Hurricane season starts June 1st - is your home and business ready? Today’s hurricane season preparation tips are all about ways you can strengthen your property in advance of the heavy rain, falling trees, and strong winds that we typically experience during summer storms in our region.

1. Inspect the trees around your property or business for dead limbs and trim them. UF IFAS has tips for preparing trees for hurricane season and choosing landscaping specific to our North Central Florida region. Preventive maintenance of trees and landscaping can minimize flying debris or tree limbs falling onto roofs. Gainesville has been deemed a “Tree City of the World”, but all those trees also create potential for storm damage and roof leaks even though we aren’t near the beaches. 

2. Check the drainage in your yard. Heavy rainfall is not uncommon in our area, so make sure gutters and storm drains are clear.

3. Make room in your garage to store outdoor items that may become projectile during a storm. 

4. When a storm is close to approaching, you can also take these steps:

  • Cover your windows if necessary
  • Secure loose outdoor items such as patio furniture, trash cans and recycling bins, and children’s outdoor toys.
  • Move vehicles to a safe location
  • Bring potted plants and yard decor inside.

You can also check out our blog post on exterior home maintenance to prevent water damage, which will help your home during the rainy summer even if we don't have a busy hurricane season.

At SERVPRO, we have been helping homeowners and businesses with storm and water damage restoration in the Gainesville/Alachua County area for over a decade, so we are prepared to help you with whatever the 2021 hurricane season brings our way.

Restoring Commercial Properties

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

"Like it never even happened." - image of SERVPRO technicians Our techs are knowledgeable in handling any commercial water loss scenario.

Flooding and water damage events in Gainesville and the surrounding counties, commercial properties often have complex issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West

SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our technicians are highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, you can have peace of mind knowing that our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Hurricane Preparedness Week: Review Your Insurance & Important Documents

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane Prep Week graphic: Gather Your IDs & Insurance Information Review your insurance policies & gather copies of ID's and insurance info before hurricane season begins.

It’s Day 3 of Hurricane Preparedness Week and we are focusing on a step that’s extremely important for Florida residents - review and gather important documents, and examine your insurance policies to verify what’s covered for storm and water damage.

As Gainesville area storm and water damage restoration experts, we work hand in hand with your insurance company if you incur any damage to your home or business after a hurricane or other major storm event. It’s crucial to know exactly what your policy covers specifically regarding hurricanes, what your hurricane deductible is (the amount you’re responsible for upfront before your insurance kicks in), and whether or not you need a separate flood insurance policy.

You can learn about your flood risk and flood insurance options in your area at floodsmart.gov. We've done jobs after adverse weather events all over the tri county area from Cedar Key on the Gulf Coast, to flood damage on riverfront properties, all the way to helping out in the Saint Augustine area after they received significant hurricane damage in recent hurricane seasons. 

Once you have your insurance coverage in place, print hard copies and place them in a waterproof storage (such as a Rubbermaid tote) with your other storm supplies, and also securely upload them where you can access them online. You want to have easy access to your insurance company’s phone number and your policy number if you need to file a claim after the storm. Keep in mind phone service and Internet service may be disrupted, and make sure to take this information with you if you evacuate ahead of the storm. 

You can find more tips for reviewing your insurance policies and preparing your home for hurricane season at https://www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane-plan. Remember, the best time to prepare is ahead of hurricane season, which starts June 1st. Don’t wait until we get that first hurricane warning!

Hurricane Preparedness Week previous posts:

Day 1: Create Your Family or Business Emergency Plan

Day 2: Build Your Emergency Supplies Kit

We are sharing hurricane prep tips all week - check back here and follow us on Facebook, twitter and Instagram for more helpful info. If you do experience storm or water damage, we are always here to help at (352)374-6589!

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: https://www.SERVPROgainesvillewestalachuacountywest.com/cleaning-services

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."

Fire Safety: Set Your Clocks Ahead & Check Your Smoke Detectors!

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Daylight savings As you move your clock forward this weekend, check and/or change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

This is your friendly reminder that Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend - we will be springing ahead and setting our clocks forward on 3/14 at 2 AM. Are you looking forward to longer daylight hours, or upset about losing that hour of sleep on Saturday night?

It's a smart fire safety practice to get in the habit of inspecting your smoke detectors at least twice a year when you set your clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall. Smoke detectors are something we don't usually think about until we need them (unless they're going off when we're cooking!), but they can save lives! According to the National Fire Protection Association, the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. Half of home fire deaths happen between 11 pm and 7 am when people are asleep, so smoke detectors are the first line of defense to alert us to danger.

Smoke Detector Maintenance

- Check the manufacturer date on the unit. Smoke detectors should be changed out every 10 years.

- Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home.

- Test the smoke alarm by pushing the test button, and replace the unit if needed. Ideally, test your smoke detectors monthly.

- Replace the batteries if it's not a hard-wired unit. Dead batteries mean that a smoke detector won't work. Don't remove the batteries for a false alarm and then forget about it, leaving you unprotected.

- If you have children, test the smoke detector in front of them and explain what the sound means so they're familiar with what to do if they wake up to that sound. Establish a fire safety plan with the whole family.

As fire damage restoration experts, we see the aftermath of home and commercial fires all too often. Prevention is the best strategy, so on Sunday morning, grab your coffee, change out all your clocks, and then check the smoke detectors in your home.

A big thank you to our SERVPRO team on Employee Recognition Day!

3/5/2021 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West restoration technicians & marketer standing in front of truck The SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West restoration technicians & marketer standing in front of truck - ready to help!

On Employee Recognition Day, we want to recognize the hard work all our local SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West team members put in every day, especially since we're a 24/7 business. From the office staff to our technicians in the field, they all help make it "Like it never even happened," when our customers have a fire or water damage emergency or require mold remediation to keep their home or business safe. 

Our office staff, Nikki and Melissa, are often the first employees customers interact with when they call to inquire about a job. They strive to be cheerful and courteous during what is often a stressful time for customers, and we appreciate their great customer service and organization skills.  Our marketing team (CJ and Rachel) work both face to face and through our blog and social media channels to help keep our community connected with our services and informed about fire/water/mold issues that may affect our local Gainesville/Alachua county area.

Of course, we could not do the work we do without our technicians who are on call and ready to get to any size disaster, day or night, even on weekends and holidays. Led by our Production Manager, Jason, this hard-working team puts in physical work combined with technical expertise to get the restoration job done as quickly as possible with quality work. Thank you Billy, Travis, Lee and Spencer for your hard work!

As a locally owned and operated SERVPRO restoration franchise, our employees are like family and we appreciate them not just today, but every day for choosing to work with us and give it their best day in and day out. 

Timeline of Water Damage - Why It's Important to Act Fast and Call SERVPRO

3/5/2021 (Permalink)

Timeline of water damage graphic showing man in flooded home Flooded home? Graphic shows timeline of water damage to property & contents

Whether it’s from an unexpected appliance leak or flooding from heavy rain, when water damage occurs it’s necessary to act quickly! It may be tempting to try to repair it yourself, but preserving the property structure and contents often requires professional expertise and equipment. This is especially critical in Florida, where delaying water damage mitigation can quickly lead to mold.

Water damage timeline: why you must act fast!

Within Minutes: Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery and belongings

1-2 Hours: Drywall swells, metal surfaces tarnish, and furniture begins to warp/mold

48 Hours-1 week: Mold grows, a musty odor may appear, doors and furniture warp, metal begins to rust, wood flooring swells/warps

Over 1 Week: Structural/safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks

When you call SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West for Water Damage:

We have trained technicians on call 24/7/365 because we know emergencies happen at all times and time is of the essence. Our crew strives to arrive at the job site within about an hour to quickly provide an estimate and start working with your insurance company. 

Our crew can begin extracting water and placing equipment immediately, using industrial wet/dry pumps and truck-mounted units. We can also remove the carpet pad and place dehumidifiers if needed. We have equipment to measure the extent of moisture saturation and may use infrared cameras to look for hidden water behind walls and ceilings. 

If you experience water loss/flooding at your home or business, you can see why it’s important to act fast and minimize the damage. Choose professionals who have the equipment and training to get the job done right - give us a call at SERVPRO (352)374-6589.

SERVPRO Spring Giveaway: $50 Gift Card to Limerock Road Neighborhood Grill

3/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Gainesville West Spring Giveaway: $50 Gift Card to Limerock Road Neighborhood Grill Spring Giveaway: $50 Gift Card to Limerock Road Neighborhood Grill sponsored by SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West

Spring is almost here and we want to reward a lucky member of our community by giving away a $50 gift card to local Gainesville restaurant Limerock Road Neighborhood Grill in Haile Village! We think it's important to feature locally owned businesses unique to the Alachua County area, so we picked our prize with that in mind. Whether you'd like a night off from cooking or just want to check out a new place to eat, entering our giveaway is easy!

Giveaway Prize: $50 Gift Card to Limerock Road Bar & Grill

Official Rules:

1. To enter, please like our main Facebook page and then leave a comment answering the question on our Facebook giveaway post.

2. It's not required, but you can share or tag your friends/family on the post if you think they'd like to enter too.

3. This giveaway is sponsored by SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West and isn't affiliated with Limerock Road or Facebook.

4. Winner will be randomly drawn from the comments on our official Facebook giveaway post on 3/16 and announced on our Facebook page. Make sure you like our main Facebook page so you can claim the prize in case you win.

5. Winner can pick up the gift card from our office or we can mail to you. 

6. If we can't get in touch with the winner within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

We have lots of fun giveaways planned this year plus useful home safety & cleaning tips and before/after photos of our residential and commercial restoration work, so we hope you will follow us on our Facebook, twitter and Instagram accounts! 

Fire Safety Tips: How to Clean & Maintain Your Clothes Dryer to Minimize Fire Risk

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

As a fire damage restoration company, we know that prevention is the best strategy to keep your home or apartment safe from fires. We tend to think of doing laundry as just another household chore, but did you know that dryers can be a source of residential fires? You can follow these fire safety tips to keep your appliance functioning safely, and remember that regular maintenance and inspection will help minimize your risk of fire damage from clothes dryers.

Proper Use of Dryers to Prevent Fires

  • Avoid overloading the unit because this can cause excessive amounts of lint to build up, which restricts proper ventilation and may lead to overheating and fire.
  • Make sure it is installed properly by a professional.
  • Do not run your dryer unattended, when you are away from the home or asleep, in case a fire occurs.
  • Avoid washing items contaminated with flammable materials or items that should not be heated, such as oils, gasoline or alcohol. You should also avoid using essential oils in dryers -- some people use these on wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets, but this poses a fire hazard!
  • Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic, such as bath mats. You can let these air dry instead.

Routine Maintenance Of Dryers to Avoid Fires

  • Remove the lint from the lint screen after every load, and check that it’s clean before starting a new load. This also helps your dryer run more efficiently.
  • Several times a year, you should clean your lint screen with a brush and rinse it with water to avoid buildup, especially if you use dryer sheets.
  • Inspect and clean the dryer vent and ducts at least every year, or if you suspect there’s a blockage. Signs of a blockage include dryer taking longer to complete a cycle, no longer heating effectively, or excessive lint buildup.
  • Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
  • Inspect the vent hose for bends or kinks. It should be kept straight.

According to the US Fire Administration, failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires. By following these tips, you can avoid becoming a statistic. 

If you experience a dryer fire while the dryer is running, do not open the door because the rush of air will accelerate the fire. Call 911 for immediate help, and then call us at SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West for fire damage restoration at (352) 374-6589.

For more fire prevention tips, check out the rest of our blog posts on fire damage.

SERVPRO mobilizes to cleanup winter storm damage in southern states

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Disaster Team truck and crews SERVPRO Disaster Team mobilizes to help storm damage recovery efforts after southern winter snowstorm

Last week, many Texans faced unprecedented freezing temperatures and loss of water & electricity during an extreme winter storm that caused $18 billion in damages. Homeowners, businesses and even hospitals in the South were unprepared to deal with the freezing temperatures. As temperatures warm up again, some Texans are now facing burst pipes, flooding, and structure damage. In fact, the President has declared 77 Texas counties eligible for federal disaster relief through FEMA.

When a major natural disaster like this occurs, large numbers of customers are in need of storm damage services at the same time. It is also critical to start the restoration process immediately with qualified experts, especially when dealing with burst pipes and flooding. In hot climates like Texas and here in Florida, unmitigated water damage can quickly lead to other problems such as mold growth

In times of tragedy and disaster, you can always look for the helpers. While SERVPRO locations are independently owned and operated, they are part of the national SERVPRO franchise network and have the resources to mobilize quickly when disaster strikes. Unlike standalone restoration companies who may be overwhelmed with calls, SERVPRO has branches around the US that volunteer to send their trained crews and equipment to help customers as quickly as possible. 

The SERVPRO Storm Team has been activated and over 80 crews from outside the local area have already deployed to provide much needed help in Texas and other southern states. When disaster strikes, you can count on the professionals at SERVPRO to properly clean up storm damage whether it’s from hurricanes, flooding, or a historic winter snowstorm. We know recovering from storm damage is stressful, but we are ready to make it "Like it never even happened."

Why Choose SERVPRO Gainesville for Fire/Water/Mold Remediation? Ask Our Customers!

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned logo on window with text Why choose SERVPRO for emergency fire & water cleanup and mold remediation? Just ask our customers - check out our customer reviews!

As a locally owned and operated Gainesville cleaning/restoration business, quality work and customer satisfaction are top priorities for us here at SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West. Led by husband and wife team Mark & Becky Raymond, we’ve been helping our community with certified mold remediation, emergency fire and water damage cleanup, and commercial/residential cleanings for over 13 years.

We often meet customers in moments of crisis, when their homes or businesses have been damaged by fire, flooding, or mold, and we appreciate it when customers choose us and trust us to take care of their biggest assets. We take great pride in working efficiently without sacrificing quality work, to make it "Like it never even happened."

Why choose SERVPRO Gainesville/Alachua County West for emergency restoration?

We know hearing it straight from our actual customers is more meaningful, so check out some of our five star Facebook and Google reviews:

I highly recommend SERVPRO of Alachua County West.  This company is run by 2 people that know the meaning of integrity and know how to take care of their employees which translates to their employees having integrity and the employee always doing the right thing when it comes to taking care of their customers.  I encourage any business or home owner to reach out to SERVPRO of Alachua County West for any mitigation, restoration, or cleaning need they might have.” -- Michael M.

“The customer service and help has been exceptional. I've never dealt with a better company.” -- Noella C.

Excellent service and fast to respond. Our entire office building was flooded and they were there within 20 minutes of calling them. Very friendly and competent - I highly recommend them.” -- Laurel P.

It means so much to our family-run business when our customers take the time to leave positive reviews or recommend us to friends and family. Prioritizing customer service and quality work is what has helped keep us in business these past 13 years and counting.

Our team is always ready to help with your mold remediation/water loss/fire damage emergency, or give you a hand and lighten your load with our commercial and residential cleaning services.

We are here to help 24/7 at 352-374-6589!

Appliances Can Lead to Gainesville Water Disasters

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

fridge leak Checking your appliance supply and drain lines regularly is a good way to prevent leaks from occurring.

When people think of water damage, they assume it will be a storm, broken pipe or overflowing toilet that causes it. But sometimes it is the items in our house that we take for granite day-in and day-out that can lead to our biggest problems.

Many of us do not think about the household appliances that we use every single day. For most, they probably become a passing thought about how much wear and tear they are receiving, but we fail to realize how many utilize water. This means they are prone to leaks at some point if they are not caught early on.  

According to Water Damage Defense, the average cost of damage from appliances leaks is $12,308. Water damage can slowly start occurring drip by drip under the appliance or a cabinet, therefore regular inspections are important for prevention.

Inspect These Appliances for Leaks Often

  • Hot Water Heater
    • A hot water heater’s lifetime usually spans 10 to 15 years, but leaks can start much earlier than this. The seals and pipes connected to the hot water heater can often break down, so keeping an eye out for any accumulation both during and after use is a smart move.

  • Refrigerator
    • The rarity with which refrigerators are moved can lead to secret water damage that festers for ages before it is brought to light. A refrigerator’s water lines are typically made from a soft plastic that can easily fail, so checking for leaks behind and under the fridge as part of your annual home maintenance is wise.

  • Dishwasher
    • A dishwasher’s tubing is just as problematic as a refrigerator but is even more isolated and utilizes far more water. Additionally, homeowner’s insurance often does not cover water damage caused by older models of dishwashers, so regular checks are extremely important.

  • Washing Machine
    • Washing machine hoses are some of the most common sources of leaks. Because they are notorious for this, it is recommended that they are inspected at least once a month by homeowners so you can be sure no issues have arisen. In addition to these regular checks, they should be fully replaced every five years to prevent hidden deterioration.

  • Air Conditioner
    • The drain in your HVAC unit is designed to keep condensation from pooling in and around the unit, but if this drain malfunctions, water damage can quickly be caused. Reference your manufacturer’s manual to determine how often your unit should be inspected and serviced. Having a professional technician evaluate your machine annually is the best defense against HVAC-created water damage.

Call SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West today at 352-374-6589 if you notice your appliances are spewing unwanted water onto your floor. And we want to help you get through your disaster and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fireplace and Space Heater Safety Tips To Heat Your Home Safely

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

logs in fireplace with text: Fireplace and Space Heater Safety Tips, SERVPRO Gainesville/Alachua County West A fireplace such as this can be used for home heating, but follow these fire safety tips!

As we experience the coldest winter temperatures, many homeowners may use their fireplaces or space heaters for additional heating. At SERVPRO Gainesville/Alachua County West, we’ve seen firsthand the unfortunate effects of fire damage, and hope you will follow these fireplace and space heater safety tips to help keep your home and family safe from fire damage this winter.

According to NFPA’s U.S. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment report, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. More than half of these home fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such furniture or bedding. You can avoid becoming a fire statistic by taking these preventive measures.

Space Heater Safety Tips

  • Keep children and pets away from heaters
  • Always turn off heaters when you go to sleep or if you are not in the same room
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet
  • Keep the heating unit away from walls and any flammable objects like rugs, blankets or pillows
  • Always place the heater on a stable, flat surface
  • Buy a space heater with safety features such as automatic shut off if unit is tipped over or overheats, and 
  • If using a fuel burning space heater, only use the specified type of fuel for that unit

Fireplace Safety Tips

Many of these same tips apply to using a fireplace, but HealthyChildren.org's fire safety page offers some additional fireplace safety guidelines such as:

  • Have the chimney inspected and serviced by a professional annually.
  • Check for animal nests or other blockages that might block smoke from escaping (this is something we have personally seen as a cause for local fire damage to homes!)
  • Keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from escaping and igniting nearby items
  • Use aged, dry wood to minimize smoke
  • Clean the firebox (the area where the firewood sits) weekly during months that you are using your fireplace regularly, and leave about an inch of ash. 

We always recommend keeping a fire extinguisher on hand. Functioning smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (MO) detectors with current batteries are also important tools for fire detection and prevention, but especially if you use space heaters or fireplaces for additional home heating. 

We hope these fire safety tips help you stay both warm and safe! Should you ever have a fire emergency, call us right away at (352)374-6589. We can work with your insurance company to restore your home and contents. 

Scrub Off 2020 With A Commercial Carpet Cleaning

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

commercial clean Let us come clean your business' carpets today!

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, everyone is ready for a new look to a new year. As a business owner, what better way to refresh your office than with a carpet cleaning to brighten your building.

Commercial cleaning can be a lot of work, especially if it’s a large area. Let SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West help you with that. We would love to give you an estimate! Having your carpets and rugs cleaned makes for a nice appearance for your customers, for you, and your employees.

The dust, dirt, and other debris that finds its way into the carpet fibers can eventually get into the air where it can cause odors and even respiratory infections. So having your carpets and rugs professional cleaned improves the air quality of the office/building.

Rented carpet cleaning machines are not always effective as they are used over and over by many different people and clean with harsh chemicals that leave an unpleasant smell and a residue in the carpet that attracts even more dirt and debris.  It is always better to hire a professional for that reason alone.

Although most commercial carpets are made for durability, dirt and debris will still build up over time in them because of all the foot-traffic. Maintaining regular cleaning will be beneficial to your carpet because once a carpet gets too soiled, it may never be restored to its original appearance. 

Preventative maintenance actions include: 

  • Regular vacuuming
  • Spot removal
  • Piloting the carpet to prevent matting
  • Moving furniture to change traffic patterns
  • Using walk-off mats to limit the amount of soil tracked onto the carpet

Even when you follow preventive maintenance actions, carpets will still have dirt trapped below the surface that you cannot see with the eye, especially in dark carpets. Carpets act as a filter trapping gasses, hair, dirt, and dust. Did you know that 79 percent of soil in carpets is dry soil? To reduce that percentage, you should get your company's carpet professionally cleaned once a year.

Give us a call today to set and let us know the dimensions of the office areas you need cleaned and let our trained professionals take care of the job for you. Then you can be ready for whatever 2021 throws at you.

2020: SERVPRO Gainesville/Alachua County West's Year in Review

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

police car cleaning SERVPRO Gainesville/Alachua County West technicians disinfect a first responder vehicle during free drive-through event

Zoom calls. Masks. Social distancing. This year has certainly been an unexpected roller coaster, but we wanted to focus on some of the 2020 highlights for our SERVPRO Gainesville/Alachua County West team.  Despite its challenges, we had the honor of being deemed an essential service during the pandemic and continued to serve our community as a 24/7/365 emergency restoration and cleaning company.

Having already had years of experience in biohazard cleaning  and following CDC guidelines, we donned our PPE and adapted to the Covid-19 crisis, providing both preventative cleanings and deep clean disinfections, to get our local businesses back open as quickly and safely as possible.

We wanted to give back to the community and recognize our first responders on the front line, so we organized several free vehicle drive-through disinfection events where local police officers, firefighters, and ambulance crews could get their vehicles deep cleaned and hopefully leave feeling a little bit safer.

We also normally sponsor the annual Drink GNV networking event hosted by the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce. This year, it looked a little different and was spread out over several weeks to adhere to safety guidelines, but we still managed to creatively support our fellow local businesses during a challenging year. Our co-owner, Becky Raymond, still served as Vice President of the Newberry Jonesville Chamber of Commerce, even if meetings were a little more socially distanced.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how to be flexible! Our on-call technicians are available 24/7 to quickly head to fire, water, or mold disasters and we are grateful for all our employees who have worked so hard this year. We are always staying up to date on the current safety guidelines to keep our staff and customers safe.

We also appreciate all of our residential and commercial customers, who have trusted us this year to fix your disasters, or referred us to friends and families and left positive SERVPRO job reviews. We wish everyone a safe and happy New Year - here’s to 2021!

Preparing For Commercial Water Damage in Gainesville

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

business flood Don't let a water disaster bring your business to its knees.

As a business owner, there’s a lot of pressure to protect your assets, along with the assets and information of your customers. Your clients need to be able to trust you and know you are taking precautions to keep them safe.

Though you might not consider water damage a major threat to your company, SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West knows what devastation can occur when a storm, flood, or broken water pipe harm your business. Here are some ways to protect yourself and your company against the effects of commercial water damage in the Gainesville area. 

Computer Backups

Running backups regularly on your office computers is crucial. Many companies specialize in handling this for you if you are a large company. You can use an encrypted cloud account or an external hard drive, but you will likely want to use both. If technology is not your specialty, consider hiring a professional to help you figure out the best way to store information, especially if the information needs to be protected for your clients. 

Filing Cabinets

Not all information is stored on a computer. Many companies have several filing cabinets filled with scans and personal information that can be difficult to replicate. When you have hard copies in your office, the best way to protect them against flood or commercial water damage is to store them in plastic or metal filing cabinets. These can be difficult to move, so store them on a second floor if possible and keep them away from basements in case of flooding. If paperwork can be scanned into a computer, then that could be a good course of action to limit the amount of damage that could be done. 

Dehumidifier and Ventilation

Many new and large office buildings are equipped with state-of-the-art climate control, but if you are in an older or smaller commercial building, you might not have this in your business. If the air in your commercial office space is humid, then you should consider investing in a good dehumidifier. Mold can be just as big of a problem as a pipe leak, and sometimes more extensive. Lots of commercial water damage can be avoided if you have a dehumidifier and good ventilation in your building.

There are no guarantees that you can prevent commercial water damage completely, but if you are prepared when it comes, the traumatic experience won’t be as devastating. The best way to prevent serious damage is to protect both your company’s and your clients’ information with backups, protect physical copies with waterproof storage, and invest in a dehumidifier. Even with these precautions, you may suffer from some commercial water damage.

If you have questions or find water and/or mold damage, feel free to call us any time at 352-374-6589. The employees at SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West want to make your loss “Like if never even happened.”  

Protecting Your Business in Times of Disaster

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Profile Be prepared and schedule your business for an Emergency Ready Profile today!

No one plans for their business to catch on fire in the middle of the night or have a pipe break in the restroom that floods your sales floor. But these things happen, and you need to have a quick-action emergency plan to get up and running again as soon as possible.

According to FEMA, nearly 40 to 60 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster. The businesses that do survive usually had a preparedness plan in place. So

SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West has your back and, by utilizing our free Emergency Ready Profile tool, we can help get your business operational, so you don’t have to become the next negative statistic.

Preparation is the key to making it through any sized disaster, whether it is a large fire or area flood, or just a minor water leak. Having an Emergency Ready Profile at your fingertips may help minimize the time your business is inactive.

Advantages of SERVPRO READY PROFILE:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
  • Establish your local SERVPRO professionals as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
  • Identification of a chain of command for authorizing work to begin
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and contact information

Call SERVPRO today at 352-374-6589 to schedule your ERP today. We not only want to get you prepared for a potential disaster, but we also want to be there to help you get through your disaster and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Safety Tips For Your Gainesville Holiday Celebrations

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

tree ablaze Don't let your holiday season go up in smoke by neglecting basic safety tips.

Brightly lighted decorations, elaborate meals and large gatherings are all part of traditional holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these seasonal traditions also cause an average of 780 home fires annually that result in an average of three deaths, 34 injuries and $12 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers and taking some simple, commonsense precautions.

Holiday Cooking Fire Facts

  • Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment.
  • The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

  • Supervise items on the stovetop. Fifty-eight percent of kitchen fires involve ranges; homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cooktops.
  • Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stovetop.
  • Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.

Holiday Decorating Fire Facts

  • Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.
  • On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips:

  • Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters and fireplaces.
  • Use flameless candles.
  • If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candleholders, well away from drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length.

Christmas Tree Fire Facts:

  • 50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.
  • 31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
  • 14% involve decorative lights.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips:

  • Keep live trees well-watered to reduce the chance of a fire.
  • Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.
  • Don’t leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.

If you incur fire damage this holiday season, SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West can assist you. We want to restore your home or business quickly and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Problems with mold in your Gainesville home

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Clean spores SERVPRO's trained technicians can remediate your mold problem in a timely manner.

Mold occurs naturally almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors, and this makes it nearly impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level.

In Florida, with the high humidity and temperatures, it is the perfect environment for mold to emerge – especially if your air conditioning unit goes out or you have a leak you are unaware of inside a wall or under a sink or appliance, like your refrigerator, washing machine or dishwasher. 

Here are five areas to be aware of to avoid mold scenarios:

  1. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall wood, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
  2. Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants. Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
  3. Mold in your home can require cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, removal, or other treatment, of mold or mold-contaminated matter.
  4. Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  5. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 24 to 72 hours and quick action to deal with the problem is critical.

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West can assist you. Our technicians are trained in mold remediation and we can have your property restored in a timely manner and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Don't Become A Holiday Fire Stastic

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

holiday cooking Don't let this holiday season's cooking be emblazoned into your memory!

“The oven’s on fire and our guests are at the front door!”

Don’t let this be the what you hear at your house this holiday season. Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for fire departments that involve home fires and cooking equipment, followed closely by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

The National Fire Protection Association stated in a 2017 article that between 2011 and 2015, fire departments responded to an average of 170,200 home structure fires involving cooking equipment which resulted in 510 deaths and 5,470 injuries. Don’t let your home and family be included in these statistics this holiday season.

Here are some kitchen and cooking tips from the NFPA’s Thanksgiving page:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Considerations for cooking with oil

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water on the fire.
  • If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.

Warning on deep frying a turkey

Be especially aware when Deep Frying a turkey, people tend to put too much oil in which causes overflow and spreads to the open flame causing a mass fireball. Also putting in a frozen or very wet bird can cause major problems which they call B.L.E.V.E which stands for Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion.

  • Always use fryer outside away from any structure
  • Keep oil under 350 degrees, the hotter the oil the more combustible it is
  • Don’t overfill the pot with oil
  • Thoroughly defrost turkey (24 hours for every 10 pounds the turkey weighs)
  • Turn off flame before putting turkey in
  • Keep grease fire approved extinguisher on hand
  • Lower turkey into pot slowly

If you have a cooking fire

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

If you experience a fire in your home, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West to immediately respond and get your home back to pre-fire condition. We can restore and reconstruct your disaster and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Preparedness Week Highlights Cooking Safety

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

range blaze There are various ways fires can erupt in the kitchen.

One of the most frequent causes of household fire and smoke damage is cooking. With Oct. 4-10 being Fire Preparedness Week, we would like to address how to keep safe in your Gainesville-area kitchen.

According to Tufts Public and Environmental Safety, more than 118,000 fires involve cooking equipment. Because of this, it is important to practice safe cooking behaviors whenever you are in the kitchen no matter how large or for what purpose the meal you are preparing.

  • Protect Children from Scalds and Burns. Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of three feet around the stove.
  • Watch What You’re Cooking. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or cooking food on the stop top or broiling food.
  • Choose the Right Equipment and Use It Properly. Follow manufacturers' instructions when using cooking equipment. Remember to plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire. Cook only with equipment designed and intended for cooking and heat your home only with equipment designed and intended for heating.
  • Avoid Using Deep Fat Turkey Fryers. The use of a deep fat turkey fryer can be very dangerous. If you do decide to use one, use it at a safe distance from buildings and other items that can catch fire. Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a wooden deck. Watch the fryer carefully, as the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire. To avoid oil spillover, don’t overfill the fryer. Oil-less turkey fryers are available. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.
  • Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart. Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from your stovetop. Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean. Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Prevent Scalds and Burns. To prevent spills due to overturned appliances containing hot food or liquids, use the back burner when possible, and/or turn pot handles away from the stove's edge. Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops.                                                              

Make sure to follow to follow these helpful tips, Whenever there is a problem with smoke damage in your home please give us a call at SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West at 352-374-6589.

This Is The Reason For "Why SERVPRO"

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Comments Helping people is our what we do.

In one of our recent jobs that we finished in September, we were blessed to have our customer write the following email to our owners about the job we performed. It is responses like this that justify why we are in the business of helping restore people's lives during times of tragedy:

I am writing to express my sincerest appreciation for the following members of your team:

Nikki Schellpepper
CJ
Jason
Billy
Travis
Lee
Furnell

If possible, I would like this letter shared with them to express my gratefulness for their superior work.

My father suddenly passed away this month and immediately after his death I discovered his house was a horror scene.  From the moment I called your office and spoke with CJ, he handled my panic with the utmost respect and concern.  In fact, he sent a technician out to my father’s house the same day to walk through the home, assess the damage and provide an estimate.  I was horrified and embarrassed at the situation, and CJ and the technicians that came to the house never once made me feel uncomfortable.  In fact, they handled it so professionally that they made me feel like this was just a “normal” job.

When I went to the house to do a walk-through after the technicians finished cleaning, I was completely speechless.  The house was absolutely beautiful, all the horrendous smells were gone, and the team had done an incredible job.  On top of the thorough cleaning and spotless work, the technicians even took the time to fix the clogged kitchen sink, fix a broken kitchen cabinet and organize the cabinets!   They took great care of all of the personal items inside the home, including organizing a dirty china cabinet.  The time and detail the technicians put into the job showed in the quality of the work; they far exceeded my expectations.  After I walked through the home, I told my family that your technicians were angels sent from heaven.  I would like to thank Jason, Billy, Travis, Lee and Furnell for turning a complete nightmare back into a home.

I also wanted to highlight the work of Ms. Schellpepper.  I called your office nearly every single day for weeks with questions and status and she was so kind to me.  She answered every question I had and was always polite and professional, even when I was stressed and anxious.  She even provided contact information for a flooring company and pest control agency to assist me with the home.

I give my highest recommendation to your company and your team members.  The work you do is extremely difficult, and yet you found a way to bring joy to me in my time of grief and despair. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Michelle H.

And thank you, Michelle, for the appreciation, the kind words, and taking the time to send us this letter we could share with our franchise. 

Do You Have an Emergency Plan for Your Gainesville-area Business?

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

ERP Is your business going to close forever due to a disaster or will you be prepared and survive?

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW

As many as 40 to 60 percent of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to FEMA research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West has an application that consists of all your emergency contacts right in the palm of your hands. The Emergency Ready Profile, or ERP, is an application designed by SERVPRO to help business owners, individuals and property managers access their emergency contacts all in one spot.

We stress the ease of our ERP to our property managers because it helps especially when it comes to the local and non-local board members who would like to keep a watchful eye on the property even while they are away.

Our ERP shows locations for water shut off valves, fire shut off, and electrical shut off in case an emergency arises. This is a service we provide at NO COST to our clients in order to keep them safe when a disaster strikes.

Call SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West for you ERP at 352-374-6589. We will make it "Like it never even happened."

Explaining the Different Categories of Water Damage

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

categories There are three categories when it comes to determining how to proceed with a water scenario.

Have you ever wondered if there is a difference in the type of water when your house floods due to a storm, your toilet overflows or a supply-line pipe breaks inside your wall?  

You’ve probably overheard SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West’s technicians or an insurance adjuster talking about the category of water and have had it explained to you the three categories that we use to classify the damage. The kind of water in a water classification can affect the drying process, so we wanted to give a little info about each category of water:

Category 1 (Clean)

Category 1 is generally clean water that comes from supply lines, or tub/ sink overflows, or an appliance malfunction caused by an incoming water line.  Category 1 water doesn’t usually pose a risk from exposure.

Category 2 (Gray)

Category 2 is the next category and is significantly more contaminated that Category 1. Category 2 can cause sickness or discomfort if it contacts human skin and is usually from overflowing washing machines, dishwashers, or any kinds of water that chemicals or detergents could have gotten into it. 

Category 3 (Black)

Category 3 is extremely contaminated water that generally comes from sewage, flood waters, or any kind of biological contaminates getting into water. Extreme safety precautions are needed when working with Category 3 water damages.

It’s important to note that a unless water mitigation is started as quickly as possible it is possible for a Category 1 to go to a Category 3 very quickly, which is why it is important to call a mitigation specialist as quickly as possible. 

If you have water damage, contact SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West at 352-374-6589 and let us help you make your tragedy "Like it never even happened."

Smoke, Soot Hazards Following A Gainesville Fire

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

health hazard Smoke and soot present major health hazards if not cleaned and treated correctly following a fire.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. But not only that, it can also have hazardous health affects if not treated and cleaned properly.

Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and soot facts

Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure. Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor. The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of the affects of smoke as a health hazard and the National Cancer Institute discusses how soot can affect you.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

If you have questions about fire restoration or smoke and soot removal, call SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West today at 352-374-6589.

Is Your Kitchen Safe From Fires?

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

cooking fire The kitchen is one of the most hazardous rooms in your home if not properly maintained and handled safely.

Fires in the kitchen can quickly escalate. Stay safe and call SERVPRO after the fire is under control to begin the remediation process.

Your kitchen has the potential to be the most dangerous room in your home. It holds many hazards which can cause unintentional fires and burns. There are some basic safety rules you can follow to keep your kitchen free from hazards. If you have experienced a kitchen fire, you need the professional help of our technicians at SERVPRO. We are a trained and experienced fire damage remediation company who has the tools required to restore your home after a fire.
 
The first thing you should always have in your Gainesville kitchen to prevent fire damage is a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. A smoke detector also needs to be installed and maintained regularly. Any cleaning products should be stored away from children, and do not leave a heat source or fire unattended.
 
Stove and Oven
 
Clean your range and oven regularly and thoroughly. This prevents residual grease and food from catching fire. While cooking, keep pot handles turned inward away from the stove’s edge. Do not wear loose, long sleeves which can hang over the stove while cooking. Keep your eye on the oven at all times when it is on and turn it off when you are done cooking.
 
Flammable items such as dish rags, towels, and curtains should not be near the stove. Also, be cautious with flammable liquids, since a small spark can ignite vapors from these fluids.
 
Microwave Ovens
 
Ensure all vents are clear of obstructions and the microwave has enough space for air circulation. Do not put foil or other metals in the microwave oven, as they can create sparks and fires.


Appliances
 
Do not use appliances which have not been tested and approved by a recognized facility. Keep electrical outlets from being overloaded and check for broken or worn wiring regularly. Make any needed repairs in a timely fashion and keep cords on the counter so they do not get pulled down accidentally.
 
Deep Fryers and Frying Pans
 
The best thing to prevent fryer fires is to use a fryer with a controlled thermostat. Do not allow grease and fat buildup in pans or on the stove since they can easily catch fire. When SERVPRO arrives at your home, we assess the damage first, including any smoke, soot and/or water damage. Before we begin any remediation, we go over the plan with you so you can understand all that is happening.
 
Call on SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West at 352-374-6589. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to start working on your home or business kitchen fire and make it "Like it never even happened."

Storms increase awareness in Southeastern states

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Gainesville Florida storm preparedness With Hurricane Laura hitting Texas and Louisiana, now's the time to check over your emergency storm checklist.

Advanced planning in the Gainesville-Alachua County area is key

With Hurricane Laura making landfall in Texas and Louisiana, the summer/fall storm season is ramping up throughout the Southeastern states and we need to be diligent in preparation in the Gainesville and Alachua County area.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a warning earlier in August stating an “extremely active hurricane season possible for Atlantic Basin” and urging preparedness as we enter the peak months.

At SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West, we take storm season seriously as we either travel to affected regions or stay in our home area of  North-Central Florida to respond to damage resulting from high winds, rain and flooding.

Like any emergency, you want to plan in advance. The State of Florida website offers a comprehensive list for kits, how to secure your home, and dealing with power outages that includes the following:

Hurricane Kits

It is important to create a kit of supplies that you could take with you if you are forced to evacuate. This kit will also be useful if you are able to stay in your home, but are still affected by the storm, such as through the loss of power. One common trend seen when hurricanes are approaching is a wide-spread panic. When this happens, people rush in large numbers to get all the supplies they think they need. However, if you prepare your kit ahead of time, you can alleviate a lot of the potential stress of a very chaotic situation. You should create your kit in a bag that you can easily take with you. Some recommended items to include are:

  • Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
  • Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
  • First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
  • Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
  • Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
  • Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
  • Waterproof container with cash and important documents
  • Manual can opener
  • Lighter or matches
  • Books, magazines, games for recreation
  • Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
  • Cooler and ice packs
  • A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated

Securing Your Home

Know how to secure your home in the event of damaging winds, storm surge and flooding.

  • Cover all your windows, either with hurricane shutters or wood.
  • Although tape can prevent glass from shattering everywhere, be warned that tape does not prevent the window from breaking.
  • If possible, secure straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the structure of your home.
  • Make sure all trees and shrubs are trimmed and clear rain gutters.
  • Reinforce your garage doors.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, decorations, and anything else that is not tied down.
  • If winds become strong, stay away from windows and doors and close, secure and brace internal doors.

Power Outages

In the event a storm should leave you without power, there are a few things to consider and help you be ready and stay safe outside of your normal hurricane preparedness.

  • Gas: Make sure your tank is full far in advance of an approaching storm. Most people wait until the last minute, rush to get extra gas for cars and generators, and subsequently gas stations can run out early.
  • ATMS: Have extra cash on hand in the event no ATMS in your area are accessible or working.
  • Cell Phones: Charge your cell phone and limit use after power is out.
  • A/C: This can be the most uncomfortable side effect of losing power during a storm. Try to prevent as much light from entering and warming the house by covering up your windows on the inside. If you have back-up or battery-operated fans, don't run them unless you are in the room. Fans create a difference in perceived temperature but do not cool the room; instead, they create a cooling effect by dispersing the heat off your skin. It is said they can actually add heat to a room just by running.
  • Water: Fill bathtub and large containers with water for washing and flushing only.
  • Food: Turn your fridge temperature down and/or freeze any food or drinking water that can be frozen if you expect a power outage. Here is a guide on freezing food: Freezing and Food Safety. Have a cooler with ice packs prepared to cool your drinks and snacks after power has been out for more than 4 hours. 
  • Health/Safety: The CDC has a great guide on how to stay safe in the event of a power outage: Power Outages

And if tragedy strikes and your house floods, a tree crashes into your roof and exposes the attic and rooms below to water damage, or a power outage causes your HVAC to go out creating a possible mold situation, call on SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West at 352-374-6589. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to start working on your home or business disaster and make it "Like it never even happened."

What you need to know about slab leaks

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

pipe broke concrete In Florida, you need to keep a careful eye on water and moisture developing around your foundation.

In Florida, the majority of residents live in homes that were built on a concrete slab of foundation. This slab of concrete is the support and main structure for your entire home, so as you can imagine, it is important that it is kept in good shape.

The following is information about slab leaks so that you can keep your home in excellent condition.

What Are Slab Leaks?

A slab leak is the term professionals use when referring to leaking water pipes underneath a house. Typically, copper pipers are buried beneath slabs of concrete underneath your foundation. Unfortunately, this means that they can go unnoticed for a long time. And as the water damage builds up, soaking away at the under structure of your home, these leaks can do considerable damage to the exterior over time.

What Causes Slab Leaks?

Water pipes often use copper because it is resistant to water erosion. However, nothing lasts forever, and nothing is invulnerable. As time goes on the copper in the pipes becomes corroded and eventually cracks and holes develop. When these appear in above-ground pipes, they are called pinhole leaks, but underground where they can go undetected for months, they can cause a lot of damage.

Alternative Causes

Other causes include things like sinkholes or less severe forms of ground shifts, which are common in Florida with our high-water table and torrential downpours. When the surrounding soil shifts erratically, it can put pressure on the pipes from multiple different directions, leading to stress fractures and warping the metal.

Damage could also be caused by natural abrasion as the pipes shift and grind against exposed surfaces. This is a common issue if pipes were buried too close to the concrete above, or even too close to one another.

Another alternative is that the pipes were simply installed improperly or suffered damage during the installation process. Minor gaps or dents may seem like nothing but can become significant as time and pressure work on them.

Slab Leak Indicators

These leaks typically start small and, because the leaking pipes are buried under thick concrete, are not always easy to detect. However, there are a couple of signals homeowners should know so they can more easily spot a slab leak before it becomes a bigger problem. These signs include:

  • Mold or mildew growth or a general musty smell
  • Moisture under the carpets
  • Low water pressure
  • Puddles of water in your yard or near the base of your house
  • Pipes or water meters active when not in use
  • Sudden increase in your water bill

Understanding these indicators and knowing what to look out for can save you a massive headache and significant repair bills in the future, so keep this list as a reference.

If you notice any of the above factors or have noticed any weird occurrences with your plumbing, do not hesitate to reach out to a professional for help. If you do encounter a slab leak and encounter water damage, reach out to SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West to help get your home restored in quick order. Call us today at 352-374-6589.

Carpet Cleaning For Your Business Is A Must

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

carpet cleaning We offer different types of carpet cleaning depending on what you have.

How often do you get your carpets cleaned? Yearly, every few years, or never? One of the first things your customers see when they walk into your company is your carpeting. And if you have a big stain or it is just dingy looking, that is one of the ways they will rate their overall experience when they do business with you.

Sometimes your carpet looks cleaner than it is. It’s hard to see the dirt, dust, spills, and other debris that gets trapped in your carpet because it sinks toward the carpet bottom. Carpets act like filters that tend to “swallow” or entrap whatever falls on them. The good news is that simple actions can keep your carpet clean, fresh, and looking new.

How to Make Your Carpet Last Longer

Just about all carpet manufacturers agree on what you can do between carpet cleanings to increase your carpet’s life span and keep it clean, fresh, and good-looking. One tip is to clean your carpet before you can easily notice any dirt or soiling. People who wait until their carpet looks dirty frequently find they can never restore their carpet to its former appearance.

Vacuuming is a number one component to proper care and maintenance of your carpet. But carpet manufacturers also recommend:

  • Spot removal
  • Pilating the carpet to prevent matting
  • Moving furniture to change traffic patterns
  • Using walk-off mats to limit the amount of soil tracked onto the carpet

SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets. How often you will need our professional carpet cleaners service depends on soil build-up, traffic, and the type and color of your carpeting. Most people find it wise to professionally clean their carpet every 12 months.

Clean Before You See the Dirt

And did you know that dirt builds up in your carpet in layers? When your carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. Much more dirt is hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile. The deeper the dirt, the more the damage to the carpet. When a carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and has become firmly lodged.

What We Offer

We also offer a range of specialized cleaning methods:

  • Bonnet Cleaning: A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
  • Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
  • Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
  • Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
  • Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.

Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery. The SERVPRO system offers several cleaning options to match any type of upholstery or carpet. Call on our SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West professional cleaning services. At 352-374-6589. SERVPRO’s carpet cleaners service is among the best cleaning services.

New Testing Equipment Helps Ensure Cleanliness

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

swab door Our new testing ensures our customers that we are properly disinfecting.

When SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West arrives to do a disinfectant cleaning for your business or residence, we are now armed with a testing device that allows us to detect how effective we are in sanitizing your location.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation earlier this year, we researched equipment that would assist us in providing the best cleaning value for our customers who contacted us to say that their business or residence had a potential or confirmed coronavirus scenario that needed addressed.

One of the tools we purchased is the Hygiena SystemSure Plus luminometer testing device, where we swab non-soiled high touch points around rooms (doorknobs, light switches, heavily used flat surfaces in kitchens, dining areas, etc.) prior to cleaning and measure the initial ATP count. After we finish our in-depth disinfectant cleaning, we re-swab the exact touch-point areas and check the new ATP count to see how effective we were in decreasing the biological matter.

The key feature of ATP monitoring systems is the use of bioluminescence technology to identify and measure adenosine triphosphate, commonly known as ATP. ATP is an energy molecule found in all plant, animal, and microbial cells. All organic matter (living or non-living) contains ATP, including food, bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms. In industries where hygiene control or cleanliness is crucial, ATP testing is an excellent tool for detecting and measuring biological matter that will be significantly reduced after cleaning.

It takes only seconds to give us an accurate ATP count once the swab is pressed firmly onto the testing surface and brushed in a crisscross pattern around a 4-inch by 4-inch radius to gather a good sample size. Using this technology helps to ensure we are doing a good job cleaning and gives our customer the peace of mind that the area we have treated is safer than when we arrived.

To schedule a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation, call SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West today at 352-374-6589.

Hurricane Isaias prompts call for storm preparedness

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Storm preparedness Don't let the slow 2020 hurricane season to date keep you from being prepared at your business or residence.

With Hurricane Isaias moving toward Florida, it is a good time to check over your severe weather preparedness for the remainder of the hurricane season that begins June 1 and runs through November 30.

While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. One way to prepare your business for any type of disaster, is to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Contact SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West to learn more about the ERP and how it can help you.

Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm for both your business and even your home. 

Before the Storm

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.               
  • If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home, or hard top vehicle (not a convertible).
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.

During the Storm

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.

After the Storm

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.

Below is a recommended item for basic emergency supply list

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Clothing
  • Dust Masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, tarps, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

How Do You Handle A Sewage Backup?

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Manhole cover Sewage backups occur for various reasons. Let us help clean up the biohazard scene and get your home or business back to normal.

Water damage is challenging enough when you are dealing with a burst or broken pipe, but it gets even more challenging when you are grappling with a sewer backup. Black Water requires special methods for a safe and secure cleanup.

Cleaning up after a flooded toilet or septic system backup means not only drying the area and cleaning the home furnishings and belongings, but also disinfecting all the affected areas. That’s why it is essential to work with a professional sewer cleanup service like SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West that has the tools to handle the job.

Discovering the Problem

1. Turn off the water to the toilet or other appliance affected by the sewage backup.
2. Contact the cleanup service and your insurance carrier.
3. Keep pets and kids clear of the affected areas.
4. Contact repair services to fix the cause of the backup.

Any cleanup that requires thorough disinfection as part of its process presents a strong risk to well-being from unprotected exposure. We advise that you make sure to minimize any human exposure to the affected areas of your home until after you have gotten professional help with sewer cleanup following the accident. Our SERVPRO crew dons PPE personal protective equipment before we begin the treatment.

Using Sewer Backup Cleaning Specialists

Water damage and restoration companies carry certifications that tell you what kinds of emergencies they are certified to handle. When you are dealing with a flooded toilet or a sewer that has backed up, you need to find a company whose employees are qualified to deal with sewage and other biohazards. That way, you know they can apply the proper disinfectant cleaning protocols during your cleanup.

Repairing Your Plumbing

You may need to line up a plumbing service in addition to your cleaning service, but not always. If you do need a plumber, make sure you let the cleaning crew finish, so any contaminated areas are disinfected. When sewer cleanup goes first, the repair can be completed more quickly and efficiently.

Consider SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West as a local company that can make you feel "Like it never even happened." (352) 374-6589.

Deciding What Is Salvageable After a House Fire

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire photo When dealing with the emotional aftermath of a fire, let our professionals assist you with what can be kept and what needs to be discarded.

Dealing with the devastation of a residential fire is never easy. Once you have experienced the heat, flames, and destruction, you are likely to be an emotional wreck. You need a quick assessment of the damage done to your home’s structure, followed by an immediate implementation of a recovery plan by a qualified team of experts.  

Who Knows Which Items to Discard and Which to Save? 

Although it might seem as though our managers and technicians are focused primarily on the fire damage to your house’s structure, we also have the training and familiarity with the evaluation and appropriate restoration of compromised household goods and furnishings. Sometimes homeowners discard items they could have saved, wasting time and expense to replace. Rely on our professionals for expert evaluation and guidance when you wonder and worry about contents cleaning and recovery after fire damage. 

Are Some Household and Personal Items Hazardous to Keep After a Fire? 

There are categories of household contents that can pose concerns if kept for use after a fire. Items for consumption that are likely to be in close contact with your family must be evaluated and discarded if no restoration can stop their damaged condition from putting your or your family’s health at risk.  

Can You Keep Food After a Fire? 

Even if the food looks normal and seems unburned by the flames, there can be many crucial reasons why our crew members recommend that disposal of it should occur.  

Non-Perishable Food 

  • Food in opened packages or on counters or tables needs discarding. Smoke, soot, and firefighting chemicals or water contaminate the food, rendering it unfit or even dangerous, for consumption.  
  • Food still sealed in bags, bottles, jars, and cans might seem safe, but if they had exposure to heat during the fire, the temperature change could activate bacteria inside containers. Food spoilage and poisoning can occur, demanding that you err on the side of caution and throw out any questionable food.   
  • Toxic fumes and soot can pass through the cardboard and plastic of boxed foods like crackers, cereals, and baking supplies. Particles have been found in jars, climbing the ridges on a screw top. Throw out any foodstuff in this category. 

Perishable Food 

A refrigerator or freezer can provide adequate protection for the foods kept within during a fire under certain circumstances. If all the following is true, the contents are likely to be safe:

  • The appliance sustained no fire or heat damage and remained sealed the entire time. 
  • The power was not cut or four or fewer hours passed without electrical operation. 

Regardless of a “passing grade” received by meeting the above criteria, if any of the following is accurate, do not eat frozen or chilled food: 

  • A smoke smell pervades the interior of the appliance
  • Soot is visible inside the appliance
  • The temperature of the interior of a refrigerator exceeds 40 degrees
  • Items in a freezer are softening and have no visible ice crystals
  • Foods have any unusual odor or texture 

What Are the Rules About Using Medications, Cosmetics, and Other Personal Care Items After a Fire? 

If heat or flames were near over the counter or prescription drugs or treatments, chemical changes may occur, especially if bottles, jars, tubes, or packaging shows melting or warping, then you need to discard. 

Anything used on the body, face, or hair also can undergo chemical changes through heat or burning, and soot can pass through packaging. Shampoos, lotions, creams, soaps, body washes, and other items are all of concern. Soot particles are toxic and abrasive, so even tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, and similar products, like diapers, cotton balls or swabs, hair or face brushes, sponges, and more can be harmful to use on skin or hair. 

Is It Safe to Reuse Linens and Clothing? 

Restoration for textiles and fabrics is possible with proper cleaning, disinfection, and deodorization. SERVPRO technicians at our production facility can examine and review the fire damage to these items to make sure you and your family can enjoy them again safely. 

What Are the Recommendations for Furniture, Household Goods, and Personal Possessions?

We often suggest a partial pack-out of a wide range of the removal of fire damaged items in your home. We use a detailed Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) to track the articles, employing traditional lists, barcoding, and digital images. Our specially trained content technicians have a wide range of resources and interventions to assess and plan for the restoration of the items. The documentation provided by CCIS helps us keep your insurance carrier apprised and can support claims for our services or replacement when necessary. 

Years of highly skilled and well-equipped responses to residential fire damage poises SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West  to assist you and your family with taking care of all the aspects of fire loss devastation. Call us 24/7 at (352) 374-6589 for compassionate professional restoration and reconstruction services for your home and its contents. 

COVID-19 - Is Your Business Taking The Right Steps?

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Corona cleaning If you have a suspect or confirmed COVID-19 scenario, please contact us to help keep your employees safe.

Call our office to schedule your COVID-19 services today at 352-374-6589

Responsibilities of Businesses

As a business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety and health of your employees. To fight the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are urged to take steps to prevent the spread. Additionally, it is imperative to create a response plan, should your employees encounter an exposure in the workplace. 

How SERVPRO is helping businesses 

SERVPRO technicians everywhere are working seven days a week to clean, disinfect, and sanitize businesses all over the North Central Florida area. Our technicians can come in after hours to disinfect prior to the next shift or we can disinfect while you are part of the mandatory closure. There are many different types of services that we are currently providing to both businesses and residents.

Precaution 

As a precaution, cleaning and disinfecting can be done. This means that there had been no confirmed or suspected case in the building. Technicians are trained in pathogen safety and maintain all CDC recommendations. The use of fogging of EPA registered hospital grade disinfecting of touchable surfaces below eight feet.

Suspected Exposure

When there is a suspected case of exposure in your building, a higher standard of disinfecting is recommended. To mention, disinfecting and cleaning of the area 10 feet and below using a mixture of fogging and spray/wiping using hospital grade disinfectants.  

Confirmed Case

If the event that your business is exposed to a confirmed case, it is important to create a plan of action. Our team will create an appropriate plan for your business to protect all your employees. It is important to call our specialist immediately to begin the planning process if you experience a confirmation of COVID-19 in your business. 

Feel free to visit our SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West website for more information on the cleaning that we can provide for your business. And call us with any questions at 352-374-6589.

Cleaning Up After A Flood

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded downtown When storms and flooding hit, call SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened."

Whether a flood is caused by heavy rain, creek overflows or a sewer blockage, it can leave your business or residence in North Central Florida crippled. During time of high waters, you may have to abandon your property until the proper authorities have deemed it safe to return. And after the flood, grey or black water has receded, you’ll be left with lots of cleanup. You can either do this yourself or work in tandem with a professional restoration company to help you figure out which contents of yours can be saved and how to go about content cleaning.

Take Time to Assess
After the water has been removed, you will have to assess each piece of content on its own. Some items may be too waterlogged or mold ridden to save because of the porous material used to create it. If this is the case, your only option may be to throw away the content and possibly replace it at a later date.

Other contents may only need a little love and care to be brought back to former glory. Pieces made of non-porous material are more likely to be saved. However, even some of these items could be beyond repair, depending on how long they were sitting in the water.

Start Content Cleaning
Once you have figured out what is worth saving, you need to start your journey of cleaning your possessions. The following steps may help you through this process:

  • Use proper personal protective equipment, including gloves, goggles, and masks.
  • Rinse off black water by using a fresh water source
  • Give the items time to dry by hanging them in the sun or using a dryer
  • Hand or machine wash items based on their cleaning instructions


These four steps can help you start the process of cleaning. However, more complex items could require more preparation before the actual cleaning stage is able to take place.

Find Help
Removing water and mold from your premises can be a long and grueling process. When you turn to the help of a professional restoration service like SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West, you take advantage of expert knowledge and top-notch equipment that may speed up your recovery. Call us today at 352-374-6589 if you need our assistance or have any questions.

Every Business Needs a Disaster Plan

6/12/2020 (Permalink)

business flood It's better to be prepared than not have an emergency plan in place when disaster strikes.

Many business owners are caught off guard when disaster strikes. Thinking that it would never happen to them or never even considering the possibility of a disaster, they fail to have a plan in place for their business.

Unfortunately, many times, once disaster strikes, it’s too late. Many businesses are forced to close permanently after disaster because they were not prepared.  With hurricane season upon us once more, please take the time to protect your business with a few ideas from below.   

According to foxbusiness.com, there are 7 steps you can take if you are a small business owner to help protect your business from disaster.

1. Risk Assessment: Determine what types of emergencies are most likely to affect your company and then evaluate your level of preparedness. Check in with your insurance company, make sure employees are trained for emergencies, have data backed up and stored at a safe location.

2. Review Your Insurance Coverage: Talk with your insurance agent to make sure your business is covered if hit by disaster. After determining what types of emergencies your business is most prone to, make sure your policy covers those particular types of situations. Ask about business interruption insurance which helps business owners continue to pay on-going bills while operations are shut down during disaster recovery.

3. Create a Contingency Plan: Review your business operations and determine which are most important for the survival of your business. Form a process to manage these functions in the event of a disaster. Determine an alternate business location where business operations can continue during the recovery process.

4. Create a Communications Plan: Disasters create chaos and having a communications plan in place in advance will help minimize panic.

5. Back Up Your Data: Making sure all your data is backed up and stored in a safe place is critical. Cloud-based data solutions are best as they stay safe during disasters and can be accessed from any location.

6. Build an Emergency Kit: Have an emergency kit available on site including items like water, flashlights, fire extinguishers, etc.

7. Review and Rehearse You Plan: Once your plan is in place, make sure your employees know the plan and have practiced implementing it.

While disasters can be devastating to a business, preparation can definitely help in the recovery process. By taking action before disaster strikes and getting a plan in place, business owners can help protect their business in times of emergencies.

If you need help with either water, fire, or mold scenarios, or you just need advice on how to better prepare your business to limit or avoid disasters with our Emergency Ready Profile, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West today at 352-374-6589. 

What do you do after the smoke clears?

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

house fire with firefighters and trucks in front. Our GFR crews doing what they do best.

Having a fire in your home can be devastating.  Besides the whirlwind of the fire department, fire inspectors, and any other emergency responders, not knowing the initial extent of damage to your home and personal belongings in the days to come can be overwhelming.  Heck, just figuring out where you are going to sleep that night can be overwhelming!

First of all, firefighters are going to be the first people you come into contact with.  They will battle the fire, which depending on the cause and severity of the fire, can also cause lots of secondary damage to your home and belongings.  It is important that you do not try to go back into your home, and that you stay well out of the way of emergency responders for your safety and theirs. Once the fire department has finished putting out the fire, the fire inspector will show up to assess damages, cause, and structural and electrical issues.  Once they have completed your inspection, you may or may not be able to gain access to your home depending on their findings.  At this time, the fire department will help you contact and advocate or the red cross to help you with lodging and essentials for a few days.

With everything going on, what should you be doing?  The sooner you can contact your insurance the better.  Getting a claim started and finding out your coverage is essential in getting the ball rolling.  What is also important to know is if that you are the customer and in charge of your claim.  Many insurance companies may have preferred vendors for many aspects of your claim.  YOU are in charge and you should be very wary of any restoration company that is not recognizable as well as not even from your general area.  One call to SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West can not only take care of every part of your claim from the water mitigation, fire restoration, and re-construction, we also will communicate directly with your insurance company to get your claim handled in the most timely manner possible.  As a part of your community, our goal is to not only assist our customers with their restoration needs, but also to treat our customers with the respect and empathy they deserve as one of our neighbors.

The best way to prevent or prepare for water damage is to understand the statistics.

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

water in living room soaking furniture How does water damage happen?

According to insurance claim statics from 2017 water damage is the second highest reason people file a claim with their insurance, taking a whole 19% of all claims categories just under wind damage which was highest at 25%.  Florida itself is second of all states for water damage claims in the U.S.

A Leaking roof is the highest cause of water damage in your home.  Simply put, how many people inspect or have their roofs inspected on a regular basis?  Storms are pretty common here in Florida, and many times it isn’t until one of these storm events or even days of rainy weather that people realize they have an issue.

The second most common reason for water damage is appliance and equipment leaks or failure.  Some of the most common water damage calls we get are caused by Ice maker lines, water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers.   Anything that has tubes, gaskets, pipes, or filters that have water running through them are susceptible to failure causing water damage.

Pipe and fixture failures and weather-related events are the other most common reasons for water damage.  Ageing pipes are definitely a problem and a slow leak over time that is not seen can really cause much bigger issues like mold.  Weather related issues especially from flooding which is black water can also be very devastating and costly.

The best way to prevent water damage in your home is to be knowledgeable and aware of the causes of it which can help you in being proactive at preventing it.  Inspect your roof, appliances and fixtures on a regular basis as well as maintaining them per manufacturer specification.  Unfortunately, in many cases even with the know how not all water damage can or will be prevented.  In this case the best defense is knowing who to call when it happens.  SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County west should be the first person on your list of who to call in the case of an emergency.  Not only is our technology, equipment, and knowledge the best in the industry, but our technician’s customer service and industry know-how are well above our competition.

The devastation of storms is not always a huge event such as a hurricane. Which is why we always are SERVPRO ready.

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

map of Santa Fe river basin with tributaries The Santa Fe River basin is prone to flooding caused by above average rain fall.

Floridians are no stranger to the devastating flooding caused in coastal and low-lying areas caused my tropical storms and hurricanes.  With our forecasting systems in place, we had ample warning to get out of harm’s way before landfall in most cases.  Unfortunately, there is a silent creeping storm that many in North Central Florida have experienced in the past, flooding from above average rainfall and thunderstorms in South Georgia and North Florida.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac’s long-range forecast, Northern Florida and Southern Georgia can expect a much wetter April and May extending into the summer.  As many long-time residents along the local rivers such as the Santa Fe, Suwannee, and Ichetucknee have experienced in the past, this can be the precursor for long term flooding of low-lying inland areas especially along the rivers themselves.  This type of flooding can be devastating as it can take the rivers weeks to crest and fall again as your home sits soaking in the black water. 

Once the flooding subsides it is important to call SERVPRO who is always storm ready!  We will send our technicians in to remove flood affected material and stick around to put it all back “Like it never even happened.”  We know what it takes to not only clean up the mess left by receding flood waters, but to do it correctly so that your home is safe once again for your family.

Five critical things when your business needs an Emergency clean-up.

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

Coronavirus Microscopic A microscopic image of the Coronavirus

The times that we are living in are unprecedented, which can make it very hard to choose the correct restoration company to service your business when your employees can finally come back to work.  With the COVID-19 risk high on everyone’s minds, give yourself and your employees the piece of mind that if a problem arises in your essential business, or if you just want to make sure that your business is safe for returning employees, that your building is properly sanitized.  Here are 5 things to look for and 5 reasons that SERVPRO is the answer to your sanitization needs.

  1. Hire a reputable company with experience and certification in biohazard cleanup and remediation.

With the current pandemic at hand there are many companies who have switched gears so to speak and started ramping up for pathogen clean-up.  No only has SERVPRO of Alachua County West been performing bio-hazard and pathogen clean up way before COVID-19, we are also a licensed transporter and generator with the state of Florida to make sure all contaminated materials are properly disposed of after clean-up takes place.

  1. The company is trained and has access to proper protective equipment.

SERVPRO is not new to pathogen clean-up, and we always have a ready supply of the proper PPE to protect you and your employees.  Not only that, SERVPRO has the largest network in the industry for obtaining supplies and manpower for large emergency responses.

  1. Utilizes an EPA recognized hospital-grade disinfectant.

SERVPRO has their own chemists on staff who not only create many of our one of a kind cleaners, and disinfectants, but they have also spent years studying the guidelines of the CDC and EPA to make sure that our customers and employees are safe and well versed on what chemicals to use.

  1. Comfortable giving upfront work protocols and pricing.

SERVPRO prides themselves in their honesty, integrity, and up-front pricing or estimates for our customers.  Our pricing is not set by us, but rather it is the same estimating software used by most insurance companies and is considered the industry standard which is based upon the customer’s zip code.

  1. Successful track record of meeting client’s needs.

SERVPRO of Alachua County West takes pride in not only our work, and work ethic, but also strives to offer the best customer service in the industry to our customers.  We are not just a business located in your area, we are a part of your community and view our customers as part of our extended family. 

Water Damage at Commercial Properties

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded hallway Having to close down your business due to water damage is very costly.

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complicated with various issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup situation or a large-scale event, SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West’s technicians work quickly to assess each scenario and locate the affected areas. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our crews are trained to be aware of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and production. So, when an emergency arises in your business, call SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West at (352) 374-6589 and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe In Case Of Fire

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

Dog sleeping next to a fireplace Does your family fire plan include rescuing your pets?

Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by house fires each year and, unfortunately, 40,000 die due to fires. Many house fires are caused by pets, especially when left home alone. The following lists are tips to help prevent any accidental blaze started by your pets and for keeping your pets safe in the event there is a fire in your home.

Prevent Pets From Starting A Fire

  • Beware of candles and other open flames. Dogs and cats are curious creatures and may take interest in a flickering flame. If you do have any open flames in your home at any time, be sure to never leave them unattended and to keep an eye on your pets. If you're using a fireplace, consider getting a fireplace screen to protect pets when sleeping in front of the fire. Also make sure the fire is completely out before heading out or going to bed. Small sparks and coals can get through a screen.
  • Secure wires and cords. Pets are often tempted to chew on loose wires and cords. Exposed wires can be a fire hazard, so consider securing any electrical objects so that their cords are out of reach. 
  • Don't use glass bowls for your pets' water. When filtered and heated through glass, the sun's rays can ignite the wood beneath the bowl and set a deck in flames. Use a stainless steel or ceramic bowl instead.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe During And After A Fire

  • Place a pet fire sticker on the door or window. In the event of a fire when you're away, having a pet sticker will help rescuers know how many pets to look for, saving valuable time and hopefully your pets. 
  • Use monitored smoke detectors. Pets left home alone can't escape on their own when there's a fire. Monitored smoke detectors contact emergency responders when you're not home and add an extra layer of protection beyond that of battery-operated smoke alarms. 
  • Keep pets near entrances when you're away from home. Always keep collars (with ID tags) on your pets and leave leashes by the entrance or somewhere easy to find in an emergency. This will help firefighters to find and rescue your pets when they arrive.
  • Know where your pets' hiding spots are. It's important that you can find your pets quickly if there's a fire. Know where your pets like to sleep and especially where they like to go when they are scared or anxious (under the bed or hidden in a quiet corner of the house somewhere)
  • Have an emergency plan in place and make sure everyone in the house knows what to do in the event of a fire. Know who will oversee getting your pets outside safely. Have someone in charge of leashes and pet carriers so that they can be safely secured once you're outside. If you can't find your pet when exiting, leave doors and windows open on your way out and call to them so that they come out on their own.
  • Practice fire drills with your pets. It is important to include your pets in the family fire drills. Practice finding them and getting out of the house. Also practice the "open access" scenario where you leave an exit open (preferably the one they're most comfortable with) and call to them to come out of the home. The more you practice, the more likely they are to come out in the event of an actual fire.

If you have any questions or require restoration services due to fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West at (352) 374-6589. We are available 24/7 for services.

Flood Restoration Services: A Brief Overview

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

house flooded and furniture in water Find out how you can prevent further damage during and after a flood.

Flooding can result in extensive water damage and it is one of the most debilitating disasters that can happen in your home. Although water is deemed one of our primary needs, it can also function as a destructive force that presents serious threats to your property and life. Water damage can take on many forms, and you will always need a professional to determine accurately the extent of the water damage to your property. For this reason, it is important and advantageous for homeowners affected by flooding to obtain professional flood restoration services. To learn more about flood services and how SERVPRO’s specialists can assist you, refer to the following guide:

Preventing Mold and Mildew Growth
As SERVPRO technicians know, one of the most profound problems that can result from flood damage is the growth and proliferation of mold. Mold can take hold within 48 to 72 hours after your home is flooded and materials are soaked. Mold thrives in humid, damp conditions that the Florida climate provides, and therefore homes that have been subjected to flooding can quickly become a breeding ground for the fungus. Flood restoration specialists are effective in eradicating mold issues by offering detail-oriented, results-centered cleanup services.


Preventing Damage to Electrical Systems
In addition to preventing mold growth, flood restoration specialists can help prevent extensive damage to your home's electrical systems. Unfortunately, electrical systems exposed to water can begin to malfunction, which can lead to electrocution. Additionally, electrical systems that have been flooded can generate house fires.


Contact SERVPRO Today
When a flood has damaged your residential property, attaining professional flood restoration services is a must. When you begin searching for the ideal company to assist you, be sure to contact the experts of SERVPRO. Our technicians are fully trained and use cutting-edge equipment to get your home back in amazing shape.

Contact SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West at (352) 374-6589 to learn more about how we can help you restore your home. From mitigation to reconstruction, we can make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

Take advantage of our free ERPs

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

ERP It's best to always be prepared and know where your shutoffs are before an emergency.

It’s easy to be reactive during times of tragedy when a storm or broken water pipe floods your property or a fire torches your home. But being proactive is even better to minimize the loss.

SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West uses the latest technology in order to accelerate the mitigation process, further increasing our value to our customers. Our no-cost assessment Emergency READY Profile is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial as we create a profile for your building.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your home or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your home or business. We locate your shutoff valves for electric, gas and water, along with list your emergency contacts, to reduce the damage to your facility.

Preparation is the key to making it through any sized disaster, whether it is a large fire or area flood, or just a minor water leak.  Having an Emergency READY Profile may help minimize the time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

We have restoration experts available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running.  Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including mold removal and document drying.  

Call SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West at (352) 374-6589 to help with your Emergency READY Profile and be prepared for whatever happens.

With impending hurricane season coming, get familiar with our possible guests for 2020.

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

hurricane names A list for the 2020 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.  Six lists are used in the rotation, so the list that was used in 2014 will be the list used for 2020. 

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 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.

So, now that you know how hurricanes are named, here is the updated list for 2020:

  1. Arthur 2. Bertha 3. Cristobal       4. Dolly             5. Edouard
    6. Fay               7. Gonzalo        8. Hanna           9. Isaias            10. Josephine
    11. Kyle            12. Laura           13. Marco         14. Nana           15. Omar
    16.Paulette        17. Rene           18. Sally           19. Teddy         20. Vicky
    21. Wilfred

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.”

We are Cleaning Experts

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

COVID-19 SERVPRO SERVPRO is here to clean your business or home.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today at SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West at 352-374-6589.  

Why SERVPRO? Because we do not participate in National Blame Someone Else day.

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO, Friday It's Friday at SERVPRO

Not everyone is superstitious, yet most people feel impending doom when they see Friday of that week is the 13th day of the month, but did you know that the first Friday the 13th of a new year is also National Blame Someone Else Day?  Luckily, we are not superstitious here at SERVPRO, and although we like celebrating wacky national holidays (Friday, 3/13 is also national Smart & Sexy Day and we do celebrate that), we don’t believe in blaming someone else. 

SERVPRO takes pride in the fact that we are at the forefront of the mitigation, restoration, and remediation industry.  Many of our competitors try to imitate our work processes, but not only were we first with many of the technologies, that also means we have had more time to perfect our crafts and are constantly evolving within the industry as standards change, update, or new technology and information becomes available.  This is what makes SERVPRO the premier cleaning and restoration company compared to our competitors.  It also leaves very little margin for mistakes and makes one customer’s job consistent with the next. 

We are however human, and in the case that one of our customers is not satisfied or we do make a mistake, we would never blame someone else.  We pride ourselves not only on our industry knowledge, but also for our customer service, integrity, and honesty.  We believe that our core values are what sets the bar above our competition not only as a service provider, but also as a member of our community and surrounding communities.  Our number one priority is our customers and making it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO can be a Builder or Contractor’s best friend in their time of need.

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage on a construction site Standing water at a new construction site at a pediatric hospital. SERVPRO to the rescue to dry it out properly!

SERVPRO is known for being “Faster to any size disaster”.  No one knows this more than our local Contractors and Builders in the Gainesville and surrounding areas.  With a major university, several colleges, hospitals, endless apartments, restaurants, and fast booming retail there is always lots of building going on around us.  There is also a lot of instances of mishaps along the way.  Such as a contractor remodeling a building soon to become a new restaurant and as he opened a wall he found suspect mold lurking in the cavity.  You must be a licensed mold remediator in the state of Florida in order to do mold remediation, so who do the professionals call?  That would be SERVPRO!

As a contractor or builder, you never know when a disaster is lurking around the corner on a new site build.  There are many trades working together and around each other and there is always room not only for error, but also for new building supplies and materials simply not working properly after install.  Water damage is fairly common during construction.  Most contractors want to mitigate the damage and save as many of the new materials as possible.  They know that SERVPRO technicians are the best in the industry not only drying out and saving new materials, but our documentation and services are second to none.  They know they can go back to their customer with the sound knowledge the job was done right and lessen the burden of an unhappy customer.

Are you ready for the impending risk of severe thunderstorm spikes across central and eastern U.S. in the second half of March?

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

Extended Range Tornado Activity Forecast This photo shows the extended range forecast for tornadoes predicted to begin March 16th , 2020.

Here at SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West we are storm ready 24hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  That is because we are part of a global company that supplies backup to a network of storm teams all across the United States.  We constantly have our eye to the skies and have our own meteorologist to keep us up to date, but in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives most people don’t have time to constantly stay up on impending weather hazards that may or may not affect us.

Mid March 2020 has a high potential of having all of the ingredients of the start of the peak of our severe weather season which usually begins in April and extends into May and June.  This means that the potential exists for an extended severe storm season in some areas which increases the likelihood of damage from hail, tornadoes, strong winds and potentially flooding.  Florida is no stranger from such occurrences, but an extended season especially from run off from upper states can have the potential for flooding in low lying areas and around rivers and lakes coupled with the fact that 2019 broke records with 12 months of precipitation for the contiguous U.S.  This also means that if we have an active hurricane season in 2020 the potential for flooding becomes even greater. 

Being storm ready in Florida is important and the potential for damage seems to be great already coming into this new year.  Stock up on supplies and make sure that you have SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West on speed dial because we are “Faster to any size disaster”.

As the sirens stop and the flashing lights leave after a fire, what do you do next?

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Soot, smoke, from fire The soot left after a fire in the apartment below can be just as costly and damaging as the actual fire.

Fire is a devastating force that not only consumes most any material it comes into contact with, but also leaves behind its shadow on all of your unconsumed belongings.  As a homeowner or business owner the aftermath of a fire is overwhelming and can take weeks to months to clean up and rebuild.  Unless you have been through the devastation of a fire before, it can be difficult to traverse between your insurance company, restoration company, contractor and the numerous vendors who could become involved.  Don’t be overwhelmed!  Your first call should be to SERVPRO.  We pride ourselves on knowing the ins and outs not only of every aspect of fire restoration, but also will communicate directly with your insurance and adjusters to make sure that all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed when it comes to your claim.  Did you know most claims will have at least 2 adjusters?  First there are outside adjusters also called field adjusters.  This individual will be the one coming out to your home or business to assess and start building an estimate.  Your outside adjuster may work directly for your insurance company or may be a private party hired to do the leg work on your insurance company’s behalf.  They communicate with your “inside adjuster” who is the person who reviews and approves your claim.  We work closely with all of your adjusters as well as handling your claim from cradle to grave all the way through re-construction.  As stressful as fire is, do your yourself a favor to alleviate some of it and call SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West.  We cannot turn back time, but we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

What is Water Mitigation and why is it so important?

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage ceiling Weep holes are often added to mitigate damage and possibly safe a whole ceiling from being replaces vs repaired.

Water mitigation is a term most people haven’t heard of unless they are faced with disastrous water damage in their home or business.  First of all, let’s look into why water damage is so destructive.

Water not only dissolves many compounds, but also dissolves more substances than any other liquid.  It is considered the universal solvent.  Without going directly into the science of the what makes up water, it basically dissolves almost any organic compound that doesn’t contain lipids (fatty organic compounds).  This means that with enough time it can dissolve many of the materials in your home such as flooring, drywall, and personal effects.  This is why mitigation is so important!

The definition of mitigation is “the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something.”  Anyone who has ever experienced a water damage knows it can be severe and painful, so the purpose of water mitigation is not only to clean up the mess, but to reduce damage and save materials through fast response and the “science of drying.”  No one in the business knows the “science of drying” like SERVPRO and its many franchises.  We have built a name and reputation throughout our industry with many of our peers trying mimic our services. 

In order to mitigate the damage a water leak or flood can do to your home, the best course of action is to call the experts, we can walk you through the process and mitigate.  SERVPRO can make it “Like it never even happened.”

3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Wet wood floor Repairing leaky water sources from the start can help avoid messy water damage scenarios.

For many homeowners Florida, water damage is something you will have to deal with at some point. Whether it is from a pipe burst or a particularly severe storm, water can find its way into your home, creating problems and frustration. Whether you have experienced this yet or not, here are a few pieces of information that you may find helpful.

1. It Can Sometimes Be Prevented

Perhaps the most important thing you should know about water damage is that it is often preventable. In many cases, a pipe burst is the result of improper maintenance. Inspecting your home regularly will allow you to see when appliances, plumbing or the structure of the building may need work. If you find leaks or cracks, have them repaired right away to prevent larger issues down the road. Keep gutters cleaned to reduce water build-up that could result in a leaky roof.

2. Secondary Damage Can Occur

If you have flooding in your home, it is important to have it taken care of right away or it can result in secondary damage. This includes problems such as warping floors or walls, as well as the growth of mold. These can be troublesome later, so don't put off repairs. Mold can not only spread but can cause health concerns for everyone in the house.

3. Your Homeowners Insurance Will Usually Cover It

While taking care of a pipe burst is never a pleasant situation, the good news is that you may not have to pay for it. As long as you have been properly maintaining your home and the water damage is the result of an accident, your policy will likely cover it.

If your house is affected by a broken water line or other plumbing issues, you can have it repaired by a water damage restoration company. With their training and professional equipment, they will be able to return your home to its previous condition in no time.

Fire Safety Tips for Children

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

fire 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

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

washing machine flood 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.

Inspect Regularly
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.

Leaks
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.

Right Positioning
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

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Do:

  • 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.

Don'ts:

  • 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

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

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

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

frozen pipes 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.

Prevention

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

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

duct debris 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

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

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.

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Family, employees 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!

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Damaged 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

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded building 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.

Holiday tips if you are traveling or staying at home

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Holiday dinner setting Happy holidays from SERVPRO.

Why use SERVPRO? Because we care enough to help you think ahead during the busiest time of the year. With Thanksgiving approaching and Christmas and New Year’s Eve around the corner, families are either preparing to travel, just stay put, or both. Depending on which camp you fall under, there are a few things you need to be ready for. 


Traveling
If you are planning on going out of town for one of the upcoming holidays, it’s wise to check a few things to elevate the stress of returning home to a potential flooding disaster. Look at your pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks, leading to your freezer ice maker, and also your water heater. If you notice any cracks or leaks, make sure to get them fixed.

Outside, you need to make sure your gutters are cleaned and draining properly. And inspect your sump pump and clear out any debris, test it by filling the sump pit and turning on the pump. Last but not least, look over your window seals and check your roof for any leaks, especially if you are expecting any rain or snow storms while gone.

Doing these little things can hopefully prevent water damage. And another reminder, if you don’t have anyone checking on your home while you are gone, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just turn the water supply off the water main to your home and drain the pipes.

Staying home – time to clean!
Maybe you’re just staying home and you’re hosting family and friends for one of the many holidays, but your house could use a good cleaning. You can reach out to us and we can come over and remove those stains that have accumulated over the months in your carpet or on your furniture. Or maybe there’s a peculiar odor emanating from your vents that needs addressed?  

We are ready to come to your rescue and keep you from embarrassment as people enter your home to enjoy the festivities. And that would be one less thing you have to worry about that we can take off your lengthy to-do list at this time of year.


If you have any water damage to address, or if you just need some cleaning done, please contact us at SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West at 352-374-6589.

Why SERVPRO should be your restoration company

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking water pipes SERVPRO can clean up this mess!

Catastrophes never happen at an opportune time. Your cat knocks over a candle, setting your curtains ablaze leading to fire and smoke damage. An unseen pipe joint in your bathroom wall bursts, unleashing gallons of water throughout your house. A leaky hose under your kitchen sink gradually soaks your cabinet, leading to a major mold issue. 


In that moment of panic after the fire is extinguished, the water flow is stopped and the mold is discovered, the next decision is, “who is going to get this fixed and make my disaster "Like it never even happened." so I can get back to life as normal?”

Timeliness

The first thing you want is someone who can be contacted at any time of the day to make sure your problem is addressed immediately. SERVPRO follows the 1-4-8 guidelines of arranging service in less than an hour of receiving your call. And in less than four hours, a SERVPRO technician will be on-site to start the mitigation services (if emergency services are necessary). And in less than eight business hours, your insurance adjuster will be given a verbal briefing as to the scope of your project. The faster a disaster is addressed, the quicker it can be restored and less damage will occur.

Experience

With more than 1,700 franchises nation-wide, SERVPRO has been in the mitigation business for more than 50 years and has the knowledge, equipment and manpower to tackle any size project. SERVPRO of Gainesville West-Alachua County West always has a crew on standby and, if needed, we can attain more boots on the ground depending on the size of the disaster. Remember, this is the same restoration company that not only handles hurricanes and other inclement weather damage, but we are also the ones who were called when the Pentagon was attacked on 9-11. We have also worked on several military bases, for Universal Studios, Disneyworld, NASA and Coca Cola.

Professionalism

SERVPRO trains its technicians in how to best handle every situation, to use the most up-to-date equipment and restore your home or business quickly and efficiently. We will keep you informed every step of the way by providing electronic file documentation to both you and your insurance adjuster that includes the job estimate, cause of loss and proof of results.

Halloween is more than just candy and tricks, It’s the start of fire season.

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

pumpkin on fire Halloween fires are no trick.

For many, the spooky holiday of Halloween is their favorite time of year.  It’s the beginning of fall weather and pumpkin spice scents waft through the air of many homes and businesses.  It is also the start of fire season, but did you know that the Halloween holiday itself has increased fire incidences?

A data snapshot done by the U.S. Fire Administration between the years of 2014 through 2016 plainly shows the increase of these fires.  The average number of fatalities and injuries were slightly higher than the same loss measures for all other fires as well as the average dollar loss per Halloween fires were also slightly higher than non-Halloween fires.

Loss measure           Halloween fires       Non-Halloween fires

Fatalities/1,000 fires                2.7                           2.3

Injuries/1,000 fires  11.4                         9.9

Dollar loss/fire         $10,580                   $9,870

Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) 5.0.

Statistics also show that most Halloween fires occur late afternoon into early evening.  This can mean that while you are out with the rest of the Trick or Treaters and you do have a fire, you may not be the first to know.  This doesn’t mean that you still can’t be prepared.  Make sure that you have the number for SERVPRO of Alachua County West programmed in your phone along with your local fire department because we are “faster to any size disaster.”

Water loss can happen well before you even get your doors open for business.

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage on a job site Commercial Water Damage

New construction can be an exciting time for your business, but can also be stressful.  Are you prepared to protect your investment well before your doors open for business?  Insurance loss data over the past 10 years has shown that water damage has become the leading cause of Builder’s Risk claims.  Water intrusion, which usually results from weather or external sources of water entering through the building envelope and water escape are usually the two main sources of water damage.  Water escape usually comes from installing, testing, and installment failure of water sources in the building’s internal systems.  Some examples of water escape during construction are:

  • Domestic water distribution system and fixtures
  • Roof drains and storm drain leaders (piping)
  • Sanitary sewer system
  • HVAC fluid systems (chilled water or refrigerant piping)
  • Fire suppression risers and piping

In addition to the “system” sources of water above, the following trades may also create potential sources of water escape:

  • Spray fireproofing (water for mixing)
  • Interior masonry (water for mortar mixing and wet saw)
  • Flooring and tile (water for wet saw and mixing grout)
  • Painting and wallcovering (paint, water for mixing and application)
  • Swimming pool, spa, and stucco (water for mixing materials and filling the pool)
  • Hoses used to convey water
  • Improper installation of plumbing, appliances, and fixtures

While, some water losses cannot be prevented, such as Mother Nature not cooperating with your construction schedule, most can be.  Preparation is key to preventing water damage, and in cases where accidents happen, you should have a plan in place of how to respond to the emergency in order to mitigate and minimize possible damage quickly.  SERVPRO is leading the industry not only in response time, but also foremost in knowledge and tools in the science of drying.  Don’t trust your business to anyone else!  Contact SERVPRO as part of your construction plan and be ready in case disaster strikes.

As we observe National Hurricane Preparedness Week, we are reminded of “Why SERVPRO”.

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Just one forecast for the 2019 hurricane season.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 5th through May 11th in 2019.  This is just another national holiday to remind home and business owners why SERVPRO of Alachua County West should be in their Hurricane preparation plans.

Did you know?

  • The hurricane season of 2017 broke several records, as 17 tropical storms formed in the Atlantic Basin, with ten of these becoming hurricanes. Six hurricanes became major storms, Category 3 and above—Harvey, Irma, Jose, Lee, Maria and Ophelia.
  • Two of these hurricanes, Irma and Maria, reached Category 5 strength.
  • The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was the first time three Category 4 hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and Maria) made landfall in the United States and its territories in one year.
  • The year 2017 has 3 of the 10 costliest hurricanes in a 10 year cycle, Maria #2, Irma #3, and Harvey #4. These figures do not include Hurricanes Florence or Michael of 2018 because the numbers are still preliminary at best.
  • Florida has been affected by 6 out of 10 of the most costly hurricanes as of 2017, more than any other state.

So what does this have to do with “Why SERVPRO”?

  • SERVPRO is the largest restoration company in the world with over 1700 franchises to date. That’s more than any other restoration company.
  • SERVPRO has dedicated storm teams located in specific regions in the U.S. These teams, coordinate hundreds of franchises in affected areas and a fast response time to any disaster.
  • SERVPRO has their own state of the art software, as well as years of experience in the restoration industry which puts us a step above out completion.
  • SERVPRO franchises are locally owned and operated which means we are not just a business operating in your area, we are also your neighbor.

Now you know just a few of the reasons why you need to have SERVPRO of Alachua County West’s  number handy when preparing for the new hurricane season.  We’re not just a name you can trust, but a family you can trust.

April is Stress Awareness Month which is why you should call SERVPRO of Alachua County West when you have water damage.

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Don't stress during National Stress Awareness Month... Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West!

Stress, in our busy society, is something we all have experienced, sometimes on a day to day basis.  There are certain situations in life that are going to be stressful under any circumstances, such as walking into your home or business only to discover 2 inches of water covering the floor of several rooms.  In this case, there is nothing you can do to stop that feeling of stress starting to well up deep in your gut, but the decisions you make in the next few minutes can make a huge difference in the level of stress you will experience over the next several days or weeks to come.  The best decision you can make for yourself in any home or office water damage emergency is to call SERVPRO of Alachua County West first, and here are just some of the reasons why:

  • SERVPRO is the largest restoration company in the world! So, not only can we handle the smallest of detailed jobs and treat you like family, we can also handle any the largest of water losses you could imagine. 
  • Unlike many restoration companies, we have worked hard at understanding the ins and outs of the insurance industry and pride ourselves on having built relationships with many of the companies that service our customers.
  • We use industry standard estimation software that most insurance companies use, which is based upon the zip code that you live in. This means that not only is our pricing fair, but it also means that it is consistent and it makes the claims and billing process smooth and easy to navigate for all parties involved.
  • All SERVPRO of Alachua County West employees are level II background checked and drug tested, so your home, business, and property is safe in our hands.
  • We have industry superior time-tested training for all of our employees compliant with IICRC standards as well as many phases of additional SERVPRO training that has been developed over 50 years of service across the United States.
  • Our technicians use state of the art software developed by SERVPRO according to IICRC standards that keeps all job information for the course of the job at their fingertips.

There are many, many more reasons that SERVPRO of Alachua County West should be the first person you call in a water emergency, but the most important reason is we can make a very stressful situation a little less stressful by helping you navigate every aspect of your loss from initial damage, to mitigation, to insurance paperwork, communicating with your adjusters and restoring your home to normal.

Your Business & Water Damage

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Big or Small, we can handle it ALL

When Water Damage occurs in a business, the biggest concern is how quickly can I open back up or run normal?  SERVPRO of Alachua County West has trained technicians that are ready 24-7, 365 days a year to respond immediately to water damage at your business.  We have the experience, expertise and training to restore your business as quickly as possible.  Our technicians closely monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is back to normal. 

Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West at 352-374-6589 for Water Damage

Top 5 Causes of Water Damage in a Business

  1. SPRINKLER SYSTEM – Many commercial businesses have sprinkler systems.  Of course, these are great when you have a fire damage, but not so great when they malfunction.  Always inspect for damage have a set time each year for inspection.  Replace any questionable sprinklers.
  2. PLUMBING PROBLEMS – Pipes are susceptible to clogs, backups, leaks or damages. Look for signs of rust, staining, cracking or bulging.  Leak detection systems are valuable and inexpensive, and an alarm will sound if it senses anything.  If your building is in a low temperature area, it is best to insulate your pipes.
  3. BROKEN APPLICANCES OR EQUIPMENT – If your business has equipment that uses water and has tubes, pipes, gaskets or filters, these should be checked regularly. Replace water lines regularly, re-caulk and reseal.
  4. ROOF LEAKS – Check your roofing regularly. If water is puddling like a pond, then there may be a drainage problem.  Every inch of water weighs in around five pounds. 
  5. FLOODS/MOTHER NATURE – Natural disasters like hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and flash flooding can do major damage to your business. Of course, we cannot control Mother Nature, but we can be ready for it. Keeping gutters clean, having barriers if needed and storing important files or electronics at higher levels can help.   

There is no way to completely eliminate all risks of water damage to your business, but having common practices and a good maintenance checking system in place can help reduce your risks.   And if you do have a water damage call the professionals to help, SERVPRO of Alachua County West at 352-374-6589

Water damage incidents can add up. Consider some of the following facts:

  • Between 2014 and 2015, more than 205,000 claims were filed for water damage at businesses across the country.
  • The states with the highest incidence of water damage are California, Florida, Texas and New York, with Pennsylvania and Georgia close behind.
  • An average, water damage from a sink will run $7,000 for each instance.
  • For toilets, that number ranges between $2,000 and $10,000.
  • Leaking roofs are the most common cause of water damage, especially in areas that experience freezing weather, strong winds or hail.

(From Grainger)

Be Prepared for Flooding

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is prepared

Storm flooding is more prevalent now than ever. The year 2016 saw more floods in the U.S than any other year on record. With extreme rainfall comes the higher potential for flooding in your home or business. If you do have a flood situation, SERVPRO of Alachua County West will be there to help.

We are the drying experts and available 24 hours a day - 7 days a week - 365 days a year.

There are ways to protect your home/business from flooding. Here are some tips to get you started.

KNOW YOUR AREA

Be aware of your surroundings. There are certain places that are more of a flood risk than others.

  • Coastal Areas
  • Sewer Systems nearby
  • Next to a body of Water
  • Property at the Bottom of Hill

PREPARE

There are ways to help prepare your property for a flood. You can make modifications.

For example:

  • Installing check valves to help prevent sewer lines from flooding your drains
  • Installing sump pumps with a battery backup
  • Elevating valuable equipment (furnaces, electric panels, water heaters etc)

KNOW YOUR TERMS

Do you know the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning?

Flood Watch means flooding is possible in your area. Be prepared to evacuate.

Flood Warning means a flood is happening or about to happen. EVACUATE immediately if instructed.

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is here for all your restoration needs. We can’t stop the flood from happening, but when we are done cleaning it will be “Like it never even happened”

Call 352-374-6589 for more information or to schedule

Tips for Fire Damage Restoration

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

With SERVPRO, Fire Damage can be cleaned

Top 5 Tips for Fire Damage Restoration

Fire Damage Restoration work is a tough job. People call SERVPRO of Alachua County West asking for advice on how to clean up after a fire. Below are five tips that we recommend to people that call us.

     Until the home or business is restored, limit activity and movement in the affected areas. Soot particles can do more damage, by tracking or touching. Protect items that are not damaged by covering with towels, blankets, etc. Turn A/C off and replace filters.

  1. REMOVE SMOKE DAMAGE

With any fire, you may have damage to your walls, wallpaper or ceilings. If the smoke damage is not too serious, it can be cleaned with detergents. With a grease fire, that is a little more complicated. Always start less aggressive and increase that agitation slowly. After thorough cleaning, most likely you will need to paint.

  1. REMOVE MOLD & MILDEW

Another issue with fire damage is the water that is used to put the fire out. Mold and mildew can grow because of the water. Mold should be removed by a licensed Mold Remediator, to be sure your home or business is safe to reside in.

  1. REPAIR AND/OR DRY OUR FLOORING

If the flooring is not damaged, the water needs to be extracted and pad removed from carpeted areas. Water can travel underneath vinyl and wood flooring. This will also need to be checked for moisture and addressed.

  1. CLEAN CLOTHING

Make sure not to smear soot on clothing. It is recommended that your clothing be taken to a professional dry-cleaning company. Ask if they have experience in post fire laundry.

  1. CLEAN DISHES

Even with dishes inside a cabinet, they can be affected. An easy and quick way to clean dishes is to get a large Rubbermaid tote and fill with cleaning solution of bleach and water. Let the dishes soak. If you are unsure whether you will be satisfied with cleaning the dishes, just throw them out. Remember, you eat from these dishes. Rubber and wood absorbs smoke.

Fire Damage Clean-Up takes a lot of time and work. You may be better off hiring a Fire Damage Restoration Company, and that’s where SERVPRO of Alachua County West comes in.

Call us at 352-374-6589  

24 hours a day – 7 days a week – 365 days a year

Storm seasons for flooding are year round, know your flood risk no matter where you live.

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Historic flooding near the Omaha NE area as seen by NASA.

There are many causes of flooding, which means that any time of year, depending on the weather and where you live you are at risk for flooding.  In 2016, the US saw more floods than any other year on record, and the stats for 2019 so far show that we may be at risk to break that record again.  Coming out of very active Hurricane seasons over the past few years with massive storm surges along our coasts along with record breaking precipitation such as rain and snow fall in many parts of the US, especially the Midwest, we have already started the first few months with normal and record breaking flooding.  The first thing you can do to prepare is know when to expect flooding based on where you live.

  • Coastal areas are likely to flood between the months of June and November due to hurricane activity.
  • Midwestern areas are likely to flood in the spring and summer due to heavy rains.
  • Northeastern and Northwestern areas are likely to experience flooding in the spring due to ice jams on streams and rivers.
  • Southwestern areas are likely to experience flooding in late summer months due to monsoons.

Your flood risk also depends on manmade and natural bodies of water around your home or business such as rivers, lakes, dams, levees and sewer systems.  Get to know the area you live in and the risks for flooding before disaster strikes. 

Black Water Intrusion

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Black Water Damage

This is the worst classification of water intrusion and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness. Black water sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth

Toilet overflows, sewage backups and other black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these bio hazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into your home, as well as the moisture necessary to support their growth.

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are water damage restoration specialists with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.

Don’t risk your health by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, give us a call!

How to prevent mold

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Mold

The key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is critical. In general, mold will not grow indoors without water, dampness or excessive moisture.

Three main factors contribute to condensation of water on building surfaces:

  • Relative Humidity: Condensation occurs when the air is saturated with water and it cannot hold any more moisture. For example, steam generated from bathroom showers or from cooking can fill up the air with moisture, which will then condense into drops of water on cooler surfaces, such as mirrors and windows. Where possible, localized sources of humidity, such as clothes dryers, should be directly vented to the outdoors. To lower indoor humidity during warm, humid weather, air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers should be used. In chronically damp areas such as basements or crawlspaces, it is often recommended that dehumidifiers be used to maintain humidity levels below 60 percent.
  • Temperature: Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Condensation occurs when warm humid air comes into contact with a cold surface and the moisture condenses into water. This can often be seen on single-pane windows, where water condenses and then runs down, causing the wood frames and sills to rot and the wall under the windows to blister. Condensation can occur on exterior walls, particularly north-facing walls, if they are not properly insulated. Other chronically cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, should be covered with insulation to help prevent condensation.
  • Poor Ventilation: Indoor humidity can build up if there is not enough ventilation and exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Where there is little or no air movement, such as behind dressers and cabinets, surfaces can remain cooler than surrounding areas, which can lead to increased condensation and mold growth. It is recommended that the area be ventilated and the occupants use exhaust fans (vented to the outdoors) to remove moisture from high-humidity areas, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. Furniture should be moved slightly away from walls so that air can freely pass behind it. Air should be allowed to circulate between rooms and regularly ventilate to remove humid air. Fans should be used as needed.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact them. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost. We use advanced equipment to detect the source of water feeding the mold. Next, we isolate the affected area using a negative air pressure chamber.

Storm Damage Tips

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage

Storm cleanup is different from regular, and even heavy duty, cleaning. There are hazards, health concerns and other issues that go beyond normal cleaning that require specialty products, tools and cleaning techniques, as well as protective gear and safety measures not required in regular cleaning. After a large storm and flooding, many belongings will be a total loss, but often there are unexpected treasures that can be can be salvaged with the right restoration company and process.

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.

Water Restoration

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Water

Water damage restoration is one of the most rapidly growing and evolving industries in the country. What used to consist of a contractor setting up a few fans in a flooded basement has now become a bonafide science, largely in part to the greater understanding we now have of the serious negative health repercussions that can be caused by mold, mildew, and bacteria growth, and the better technologies available to tackle a water restoration job.

Without question, the most important step a homeowner needs to take when faced with flood or other water damage is to waste no time in drying the area out. As has already been mentioned, the old standby of setting up all of your house fans to dry out a flooded basement or structure really isn’t very effective in the long run. It may do a satisfactory job on the surface, but deeper water damage to walls, wood, carpet and furniture, along with insufficient drying, can lead to more serious consequences such as mold and mildew growth, the flourishing of harmful bacteria, and in extreme conditions, actual damage to the structural integrity of the home itself.

SERVPRO specialist will set up dehumidifiers, air purifiers, blowers, fans, and special floor driers and cleaners to quickly and efficiently dry out your water damaged home. Besides these standard steps, and depending on the extent of the damage, your technician might also employ the use of wall driers, sanitizers, and mold and mildew remediation techniques and equipment to ensure that what is already a bad situation doesn’t get worse over time.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage restoration training with an emphasis on monitoring and documenting the drying process until completion. Our advanced equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry your home and belongings. We finish the job with professional deodorization and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.

Commercial Restoration at Your Fingertips, SERVPRO, "Like it never even happened."

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Ready for Whatever Happens

Water damage can strike your commercial property while you are sleeping! We understand the urgency for immediate repairs and can act quickly to help minimize further damage. Disasters can strike unexpectedly, which is why our emergency response helpline is always open and standing by to take your phone call 24/7!

Regardless of the cause, we will quickly respond and help you assess problems or issues the water damage produced and start the mitigation and recovery process. Before emergency repairs are started, we remove any salvageable items, assess the extent of the damage and contamination to put together a repair plan.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training, experience, and equipment to manage water and flooding damage. Whether you have a large water emergency or a small water damage event, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

Take caution when selecting a restoration company

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Mold

There isn’t much time from the ordinary to the unhealthy. Intrusion of water into your home or business can result in mold growth. It creeps up and catches you by surprise! Water intrusions can result from storm damage plumbing or equipment failures, long standing leaks, and poor humidity control. When water damages are not remediated efficiently and in a timely manner the resulting damage is often increased risk of mold growth.

Any mold professional should be able to explain your mold removal project in plain English.  If a contractor is unable to explain the basic processes and steps of mold remediation and mold removal in layman’s terms, be very wary!  If someone tries to complicate and confuse you, walk away and say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

If you think you may have a mold problem, call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals to restore your property to preloss condition.

Necessary Tips on Fire Damage

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

When fire damage occurs, property owners are usually caught off guard by the challenges that arise while ensuring the future safety and restoration of their property. Fires are not only deadly, they can also create devastating property loss. Home and business owners must familiarize themselves with as much information as possible before a catastrophic fire occurs.

Also remembering, while flames can cause the most visible damage to a property during a fire, smoke and soot are silent and sometimes invisible hazards that could cost lives. Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death amongst victims of a fire. Smoke damage must never be overlooked when evaluating the damage caused by fire.

What to do after a fire?

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

SERVPRO Franchise professionals have worked for over 40 years to help make fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

The storm rolls out, we roll in

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm

Unexpected emergencies like severe weather call for immediate action. Immediate reaction to the disaster is important to helping you get your life back to normal.

We SERVPRO professionals are on stand by ready for your call! We will contact you within the hour, be on site within 4 hours and provide you with a verbal briefing of scope within 8 days! How is that for rapid service?

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

  • 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 VERY heavy. Be careful!

Storms occur with little warning and can be especially devastating, so you’ll need the company that you can trust to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the type of storm, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can handle any size disaster. 

SERVPRO, a national leader in Fire restoration.

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Call the experts when disaster strikes!

A premier company can make the difference in the first 24 hours of a Fire disaster, this will make the difference in replacing or restoring our customers valuables!  At SERVPRO we pride ourselves in a quick response and restoring your business to preloss condition. We understand there will be much uncertainty, stress and concerns about the future of the business.

We want to limit the amount of time your business operations and unexpected period of lost productivity and revenue is at risk. We understand that in addition to the fire damage there will be significant water damage from the firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems. Let us ensure your property and belongings are restored.

Here are some tips we would like to share:

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

What is water mitigation? And why is it so important?

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged drywall

It’s 3am and you awake to the sound of running water.  As you groggily come to your senses, you decide to check out the unusual noise, only to find that there is water everywhere.  What do you do?

The first thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Alachua County West to begin water mitigation.  Water is known as a “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid, and the moment it is released upon your home, it begins eating away at your walls, floors, and anything in its path.  This is why mitigation is so important and the sooner the better.  Mitigation means to lessen damage, and this is why your insurance company works so closely with restoration companies.  They want us to get out there as soon as possible day or night to begin the clean up so that it lessens that damage that the water is doing to your home.  Did you know that a sheet of drywall can absorb as much as 6 inches of water in less than 3 hours?  This is the reason your first call should be to SERVPRO of Alachua County West, because we are “faster to any size disaster.” 

Winter is Here, Start the Year Off Storm Ready!

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Winter preparedness in the Sunshine State

Welcome to Florida the Sunshine Sate with the most unpredictable storms! As we begin 2019, we would like to share some preparedness tips that will equip you and your family for unforeseen weather conditions.  General year-round preparedness is imperative to ensure safety. Below, you will find some useful tips and reminders.

General Preparedness:

  • Make a communication plan so your family knows how to reconnect and reunite when a disaster strikes.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kits for home, work and your vehicle, include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies, for adults and children.
  • Create an emergency savings fund and keep cash on hand for emergencies
  • Download the FEMA App and set up local alerts.
  • Monitor radio, TV, or social media and follow instructions of local officials.

Financial Preparedness and Insurance Coverage: 

  • Plan for unexpected out-of-pocket expenses for lodging, food, gas and more
  • Be prepared for the cost of deductibles for insurance and medical co-pays.
  • Having insurance for your home or business property ensures you will have the financial resources needed to help you repair, rebuild or replace whatever is damaged.
  • Keep your coverage for flood insurance, even if your mortgage is paid off.

Protect the life you’ve built. Homeowners, renters and businesses recover more quickly when insured and are prepared ahead of time for unpredictable weather conditions in Florida and all over the world! 

Get A Kit, Make A Plan, Be Informed!

Though you have hung your stockings with care, are you prepared to keep them dry?

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

Don't let your Holiday spirit drown when an emergency happens.

Holidays are a time for good food, friends and family, which takes a lot of planning to pull off the perfect holiday event.  You have planned your guest list, your meal, and activities and you have checked it twice, but what have you planned in the case of a water emergency?  Besides major events such as storms, floods, or even frozen pipes, there are many ways that your home can sustain water damage that most people don’t think of day to day until the emergency happens and unfortunately for some, it seems to happen right around the time of the holidays when your home is full of holiday cheer… and lots of holiday guests.   Whether it be an old pipe that has suddenly let go, an over worked ice maker line, a washing machine washing the elves Christmas clothes, an overworked dishwasher or the hot water heater that helps it scrub the holiday fare from your best china, SERVPRO is here to help at a moment’s notice.  We truly believe our customers are like out family, so we will make sure to be “faster to any size disaster” that you may have no matter the time or day.

As temperatures drop around Alachua and surrounding areas do we get a break from mold?

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

A sample of a mold score inside a customer's home.

Finally, Floridians are getting a break from all the heat and lower humidity as temperatures drop, but will we get a break from the presence of mold growing in our homes?  The answer is no, keeping our homes safe from mold is a year round job.  Mold exists all around us as spores float through the outside air at all times, so it would be almost impossible, unless you lived in a bubble to keep mold spores out of your home.  The first step in finding out if you have mold growing in your home or air quality issues from mold is to have a state licensed mold assessor come out and test your home.   They not only test your home, but also test the outside air, and this is how they determine if you have an air quality issue in your home by seeing if your home has more spores floating about than the air outside where we know mold exists.  After remediation is completed, the mold assessor will again perform testing to show that your spore counts in your home are within normal levels.  Did you know that in the state of Florida the same company cannot test for mold and perform your remediation?  This would be like you taking a test in school and being able to grade it yourself.  In fact, many remediation companies never tell the home or business owner about the process of testing.  Instead they base their remediation efforts on visual inspection and the customer has no idea whether there is still mold lurking somewhere you cannot see or if there is an air quality issue due to a high number spores floating throughout your home.  Unless you’ve had an issue with mold, the process can seem daunting if you suspect you have mold.  Get informed and give SERVPRO of Alachua County West with any and all questions you may have and we will steer you in the right direction.

Don't let Florida Winters fool you, always be storm ready.

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Sever storm weather hitting Florida early December 3rd, 2018

Florida is known for it's sunny weather, and mild winters.  Don't let all the snowbirds fool you as they flock south for the winter, Florida is no stranger to winter storm fronts.  Due to it's mild temperatures and relative humidity, Florida can experience violent storms as cold fronts move southward towards its sunny beaches.  This is evident as a cold front descended towards North Central Florida this morning creating severe thunderstorms and spawning tornado warnings across Suwannee, Columbia and Gilchrist counties that are expected to move south east towards Alachua County throughout the day.

Are you prepared for possible flooding and damaged caused by strong winds and fallen trees?  As a home or business owner you can prepare by keeping a watch on your local weather alerts such as the Alachua County alert page at http://www.alachuacounty.us/Depts/EM/Pages/AlertAlachua.aspx.  You will also want to keep the phone number of SERVPRO of Alachua County West handy for any storm damage needs that you may have, because we are "Faster to any size disaster."

Flooding Tips

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

We are always available when you need it most!

A flood can be so overwhelming! You are left standing there, looking at all your prized possessions soaking up water, and what can you do?

We can start off by setting up an Emergency Ready plan, so you can be prepared before disaster strikes. Your ERP will give you all the information you need right at your fingertips on your mobile phone and also give access to anyone you choose, such as an employee or manager.

Meanwhile, if you have or have not yet had SERVPRO of Alachua County West set-up your ERP here are some important steps to follow in solving the puzzle of water damage in your home or business:

What To Do After Flooding

  • Turn off source of water if known
  • Call your insurance provider (if applicable) to start the claims process
  • Contact your preferred restoration company (SERVPRO of Alachua County West) to get their emergency response team on the way.
  • 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.

Are You Keeping Your Office Safe?

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

We want to help protect your business

Living in Florida is hard enough with the erratic temperatures, and crazy humidity! With the outside air temperatures changing this time of year, staying on top of the thermostat inside the office can make a difference in your work space.

Without proper humidity or ventilation control, mold spores,which naturally occur in higher levels inthe sub-tropical Florida climate, can form on virtually any surface.

SERVPRO of Alachua County West can help you maintain your workplace by offering carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, dryer vent and air duct cleaning.

Contact SERVPRO of Alachua County West today to come out and assess what services are right for peace of mind for your business.

They say an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and keeping up on the maintenance issues of your office can save you thousands in the long run.

We're not just a brand you can trust, but a family you can trust!

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO of Alachua County West Team

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is a local, family owned franchise here in North Central Florida. Owners Mark & Becky have been in business for 11 years and have also had their children along for the ride. Their son, Jason, is the Production Manager. He also has his contractors license which allows our company to clean-up and restore damages.

"All of our employees are all like family" Becky says, and with that mentality we also treat our customers like family.

When you choose SERVPRO, you are choosing a brand that knows how to take care of any situation with the upmost care and integrity. We will always do our best to make your disaster or even just your carpet cleaning "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Understands

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO ACW

Why should you choose SERVPRO?

   SERVPRO Franchise Professionals blend customer service and accountability with proven methods of mitigating damage after a loss. We use the highest quality equipment including our online reporting system to help our staff work faster and more efficiently.

We do the work for you

   When you experience a loss, the last thing you want to do is spend countless hours cleaning up, or on the phone. SERVPRO of Alachua County West would be happy to take that stress from you and take care of everything. You can rely on us to take care of all the little details. 

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is highly trained and capable of handling any job. Whether your toilet overflowed, your building caught fire or you just need that sofa cleaned, SERVPRO will take care of it! 

We are Faster to Any Size Disaster

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

We will always be there

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is a 24/7 Emergency Service that provides the fastest service and better customer satisfaction. We understand the longer you wait, the worse the damage.

Our motto "Faster to Any Size Disaster" is what our company stands for. SERVPRO will get there, ready to work and willing to help in any way possible.

A recent customer review from Laurel P. says "Excellent service and fast to respond. Our entire office building was flooded and they were there within 20 minutes of calling them. Very friendly and competent - I highly recommend them."

We are trained to be detailed throughout the restoration process and to keep you informed. No reason to worry about what's going on. Our technicians will be talking to you and explaining everything as they go.

Whatever your situation might be, SERVPRO of Alachua County West is always the right choice!

We Love our Community

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Owners Mark & Becky Raymond at the Touch-A-Truck event at Santa Fe College

Yes! We are Local

   SERVPRO of Alachua County West is owned and operated by Mark & Becky Raymond. Their oldest son, Jason, is the Project Manager. They have lived in this community for many years and love being able to take care of everyone in it!

   We enjoy giving back to the community whenever possible! SERVPRO of Alachua County West is a proud donor to the United Way, who helps so many organizations here in North Central Florida.

   The whole SERVPRO team is like a family. We work hard and have enjoyed serving Alachua and surrounding counties for the last 11 years. Our office is located right in the heart of Gainesville, near Butler Plaza. You might have even seen our BIG green RV by I-75 near the Archer Rd exit.

   If you do ever see our big green trucks, wave hello to our hard working techs. 

Because We Care

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Emergency Services available 24/7/365

Why Should you choose SERVPRO? 

Because..

When you call and need help... we care

When you have questions... we care

When you don't know what to do... we care

SERVPRO of Alachua County West cares about you and your home or business. Our team is dedicated to making sure every job is done with the best products and services. All of our customers are important and will be treated with the upmost respect.

Taking care of disasters is hard work, but so rewarding. Every time we are finished and get to see someone smile, it makes all that hard work so worth it!

We care because we want to! When you need compassionate, honest, hard working people, just remember SERVPRO of Alachua County West.

We are the Experts

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

What do you get when you call SERVPRO?

   SERVPRO of Alachua County West has the expertise to answer all of your questions. We not only take the time to explain our process, but also make sure you understand it as well. 

   When you call, you will talk to a SERVPRO professional. We will listen, empathize and help you solve the problem.

Our equipment is the BEST!

   SERVPRO has the most effecient equipment available. Our equipment cannot be found in a store, only SERVPRO has it. That's why we are your trusted industry leader.

   For example: A Water Extraction job - Our Air Movers will move the air faster, the Dehumidifiers will dry it up quicker and our Technicians will use the top of the line Moisture Meters to check deep within any surface. 

Our staff is Experienced

   SERVPRO has been in business for 51 years, and here in Alachua County for 40 years. We know the right way to take care of your home or business and want to ensure that the job is done right.

   We are proud of the work we do and will continue to work hard so you don't have to!

Fire Safety Tips & What to do

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alachua County West will help you get your home back!

Fire Prevention

   October is Fire Prevention month and is a great time to check your house to make sure you are safe. Here are some tips to help get you started:

  1. Check your smoke alarms (replace batteries each month to ensure they are working)
  2. Make an escape plan & practice it
  3. Have a fire extinguisher & learn to use it
  4. Get rid of the clutter in your house
  5. Unplug hair dryers, straighteners, curling irons etc. when not in use
  6. Don't overload outlets
  7. Do not place cords or wires under rugs or curtains
  8. Do not leave a candle unattended 
  9. Remember to turn off the stove
  10. If using a space heater, turn it off when you leave room

What to do during a fire

   Imagine you wake up to an alarm going off.. you're still half asleep and wondering why it's still dark when you're alarm is sounding. Then, you realize it's the smoke alarms!! What do you do? Well, first, you should asses the situation. Is the fire in your room? Is there a lot of smoke? 

  If you are leaving the room, grab a damp cloth to hold over your nose & mouth. Remember to stay low, crawl on your hands and knees on the floor to avoid the smoke. If you need to open a door, use the back of your hand to check the door handle before you open it.

   Get outside as fast as possible!! You only have minutes before the fire & smoke takes over. Get to a safe distance away from the building and call 911.

   NEVER go back inside!! This is extremely dangerous and can lead to death.

The fire is out.. Now what?

   Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West! We will come clean up and make it "Like it never even happened"

   That's right, we will clean your house from top to bottom. Making sure you and your family come back to a clean and healthy home!

Don't let you Halloween decor start a Fire

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Stay safe this Halloween!

How to set up your decor safely

   Children dressed in costumes excitedly running door to door to trick-or-treat, festive decorations like glowing jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts and dried cornstalks adorning front porches – these are some of the classic hallmarks of Halloween that make the holiday special for kids and adults alike.

   Unfortunately, these Halloween symbols and activities can also present lurking fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. But by planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Taking simple fire safety precautions like keeping decorations far away from open flames and using battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun!

Did you know?

  • From 2009-2013, decorations were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 860 reported home structure fires per year.
  • Nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source.
  • These fires caused an estimated average of one civilian death, 41 civilian injuries and $13 million in direct property damage per year.
  • Forty-one percent of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den

So remember SAFETY FIRST!

Enjoy your Halloween and know your home will be protected!

Got Mold? We can fix that!

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Here you will see the air tight Containment a Before picture (you can even see mold spores flying around), and an After photo once it was all clean

Mold Investigation

   For about 10 years mold has been in the news. People have been talking about the effects of mold on their health and whether it can damage their building. But what are the risks?

   The available science on molds and their potential health effects remains under study, but considerable progress has been made. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization and Health Canada all agree that living or working in a building with mold damage results in increased risk of respiratory disease. For health outcomes, there are no available exposure assessment methods that can provide useful information for individuals. This is primarily due to the fact that each person’s response to mold exposure is unique.

How does mold get in?

   Mold and fungal spores occur naturally outdoors, where fungi are the earth’s most important recyclers. Indoors, mold needs moisture to grow; it becomes a problem only where there is water damage, elevated and prolonged humidity, or dampness.

   So when you're turning your A/C up trying to save some money, you might be creating too much humidity and end up spending even more money in mold remediation. 

How does Mold Remediation work?

   Florida mold laws and regulations are vague, but the recommendation is to hire a Certified Mold Assessor to test the air quality and take swabs to find out if or what kind of mold is present. 

   Once the results are finished and you find out that mold remediation is needed then you'll need SERVPRO. We are the experts on mold remediation and will suit up in our protective Tyvek suits, create a sealed containment of the affected areas to prevent spreading and get to work! 

   After the work is completed and the final cleaning has been done, your Certified Mold Assessor will come back to take a final testing. This ensures that your air quality is back within normal limits.   

   SERVPRO of Alachua County West is proud to say we have a 99.9% passing rate. We work hard to keep our community safe and guarantee you will be satisfied with the result! 

Protect your Business NOW!

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

The Emergency Ready Profile App

How SERVPRO CAN help protect your business

   SERVPRO has this amazing program available to help in the event of an emergency. It's called the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP).

  It is complimentary to set it up! Once scheduled, one of our staff will come and document information about your building including square footage, access points, contacts and all your shut offs (electric, gas, water etc). This will include instructions and pictures to help you and your employees handle emergencies more efficiently.

Hey, there's an APP for that

   Not only will you receive your ERP in paper form to keep in your office, there is also a FREE app that you can download as well. Say what?? That's right! It's all FREE!!! 

   We do all the work and you enjoy all the benefits! Your app will have everything included, your business name, address, contact phone numbers, pictures and instructions. 

   All of your employees can download the app and access the business. That way if/when an emergency arises they can open the app and shut off what is needed as soon as possible. There is also icons at the top for Fire, Water, Mold & Other to get SERVPRO the info they need so they can be dispatched faster.

   So what are you waiting for?? Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West to set up your Emergency Ready Profile today! 352-374-6589 

Is Water Flowing Faster than Money?

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fairfield Inn & Suites had a flood and we were able to dry it out and put it all back together again

Running a business is hard enough right? Then all the sudden disaster strikes and you have to close your doors. We all know that you can't make money if you're closed. So, who do you call?

SERVPRO to the rescue!

Water damage has 3 categories:

* Category 1 (Clean Water) uncontaminated and is non-threatening. [Ex: overflow from a sink]

* Category 2 (Grey Water) slightly contaminated and could cause discomfort or sickness [Ex: discharge from a dishwasher]

* Category 3 (Black Water) contaminated and can cause serious illness and even death (in some cases) [Ex: Sewage or Floodwater]

When it comes to water damage we know first hand how quickly it spreads and how much damage it can cause.

** DID YOU KNOW**

250 gallons of water can come from a 1/8 inch crack in a pipe??

WOW! That's a lot of water!!!

So consider this. If that much water is coming out of a crack in a pipe, how much water is flowing out of a major burst? That's where SERVPRO comes in.

Time is of the essence and you need to act quickly! That's why SERVPRO is always open. Call us and we will be there!!

How to Restore Fire Damage

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire causes devastation along it's path of destruction. If you’re searching for the best way to restore fire damage hopefully, everyone is okay, and your biggest problem is the cleanup.

SERVPRO is trained in the cleanup and care, so restoring your fire damage doesn't have to be a nightmare.

SERVPRO uses the latest equipment, products and processes to properly remove smoke, soot and fire damage.

Our team will not only cleanup the mess, but take care of that smokey odor as well. We use a machine called an air scrubber.

What is an air scrubber? Well, it's basically an air filtration device and it filters airborne particles out of the air, giving you fresher air to breathe.

No matter how the fire started, we will be there to make it "Like it never even happened."

A Fire Won't Hold your Business Back

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Your business means everything to you. You can't believe you even have to close your doors. A fire is the last thing you want to deal with right? Well, just pick up the phone and call SERVPRO. We will have you up and running in no time!

Our staff is dedicated to providing the upmost quality of service. With our state of the art equipment, you can rest easy knowing the job will be done right the first time.

The fire itself isn't the only thing that will cause damage, but the soot released as well.We not only clean out all the effected contents, but also improve the air quality.

SERVPRO will respond quickly to your situation and can save your company from loosing more money, reduce more damage and shorten the length of your business being closed.

Sounds like a no brainer, right? So after your call to the fire department, call SERVPRO.

Your service professionals available for you        24 hours a day - 365 days a year

OH NO! Not Mold?!!?

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

This home had mold remediation throughout the entire house.

The word mold is scary enough, but then... you see it. Does it immediately send chills up your spine? Are you worried about what you can't see? Worried about what type it is? Can it make you sick? There are so many questions and it can be scary.

SERVPRO is professionally trained in mold remediation. We suggest mold testing before and after the remediation process to ensure the air quality is within normal limits. We are proud to say we have over a 99% passing rate.

Now, have you ever thought about how you can prevent mold in the first place?? Well, below is some tips to help.

1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct themyou can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold resistant. Check your home regularly. Look for condensation or other wet areas. You may have to end up pulling wet carpet or even repair gutters. Better to pay a little now than a lot later.

2. Dry wet areas immediatelymold cannot grow without moisture. Anything that gets wet should be dried within 24-48 hours.

3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation check your ventilation systems. Are they working properly? Places like the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room are the high moisture areas.

4. Equip your home with mold-resistant productsif you're building a new home, or renovating, there are mold resistant products like drywall, Sheetrock, or even mold inhibitors for paint.

5. Monitor humidity indoorsthe EPA recommended indoor humidity is between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure the moisture by purchasing a moisture reader form the hardware store. Signs of high humidity is condensation. Be sure to pay attention to window seals, walls and pipes.

6. Direct water away from your home if the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

SERVPRO is available to answer your questions. Give us a call and ask away!

Is Your Business in Trouble? No problem, SERVPRO Can Handle It!

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Hotel Indigo at Celebration Pointe needed our help with a busted pipe on the 6th floor. SERVPRO was there to help

We are the Service Professionals. Ready to help YOUR business in even the BIGGEST jobs. Fire, water, mold, we can handle that!

When a fire happens it can definitely stop your business from making money. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day - 7 days a week - 365 days a year. So when the fire happens, give us a call so we can get you up and running as fast as possible!

Whether it's a leaky pipe or it's like the flood gates opened and there is water everywhere, SERVPRO has got it covered! We have the highest quality equipment available so you can get everything up and running in no time!

Noticing a foul odor? Starting to see dark spots? Well you might have a mold problem. Don't fret, SERVPRO can help! We are the experts at mold remediation. Your business is safe with us!

SERVPRO Alachua County West strives for excellence!

We make the impossible, possible!

Do you know what to expect in the case of a fire? SERVPRO of Alachua County West does.

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

No one knows fire restoration like the Pros at SERVPRO of Alachua County West.

We all know that fires happen.  We see them every day in the news or on our social media feeds, you may even know someone who has been affected by a house fire, but do you know what to expect when it happens to you?  Most of us learn from a young age to have a fire escape plan for our home, but what happens after you have escaped and your home is a smoldering wet mess? 

  • Your local fire services will have a citizen’s advocate or contact the Red Cross to help you find shelter and take care of your basic needs.
  • You will need to contact your insurance company about your claim. If it is after hours your claim number will not be available to you immediately.  You may even have to wait a few days for an adjuster to be assigned to your claim.
  • Your insurance company may send out a contents inventory specialist to go through you contents and assess what is salvageable and what your destroyed belongings are worth. If they do not do this, it will be up to your adjuster and fire restoration company to do this.
  • You may have to obtain permits in some cases for demo and restoration to begin on your home, as well as having inspections to have certain services such as electricity and gas turned back on during the restoration process. You will also have to have a final inspection once your home is done.
  • Every fire is different must most substantial house fires take several months to be complete. This means you and your family along with any pets will be in a hotel or with friends and family for over 3 months.  In many cases it is faster to build new construction than to restore existing construction.
  • Your mortgage company may hold onto your funds for restoration and allow draws to the restoration company as work progresses with inspections for each phase. This is a lot of extra leg work, and can hold restoration up for days at a time.
  • Your insurance company replaces your furnishings, appliances, and contents with like value replacements. This may mean that you are limited as to what you can choose for your build-back as well as the time it takes to order them, it’s not quite like going into a Home Depot and choosing out any new tile.

These are just a few things you probably never expected during a fire disaster to your home.  One of the best decisions you can make as a homeowner is to be informed before disaster happens.  The next best thing that you can do is have the phone number of SERVPRO of Alachua County West on hand just in case disaster happens.  Our family of technicians, and staff will keep you informed and work for you to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Today is National “Don’t Go to Work Unless it’s Fun Day,” and guess where we are?

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Our lead technician and hero Travis, all suited up to battle the enemy... mold

April 3rd is National Don’t Go to Work Unless it’s Fun Day, and we here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West are hard at work doing mold remediation.  You may be wondering to yourself, “What can be so fun about mold remediation?”  Well, as with anything in life, the fun spectrum depends upon the individual who is having it, and we are always having fun helping our friends and neighbors making it “Like it never even happened.”  To see how fun mold remediation can be, let’s go through some of the steps of mold remediation.

  • First of all it starts with a mold report and protocol that is produced by a mold assessor who has done investigative work and testing. The mold report is full of fun photos of damage and cool color graphs about the mold in your home and the protocol is full of interesting information about the job at hand and the type of mold you are working with as well as how you are going to attack and annihilate it. 
  • Second, you get to follow that protocol and set up containment and decontamination in the area that you are working which is going to keep the enemy from being spread throughout the home in unaffected areas. It’s kind of like a cool fort protecting the innocent from the evil enemy.
  • Next you are going to don fancy white suites and respirators kind of like a scientist working in an alien environment and set up equipment to scrub the air and keep humidity levels within check.
  • The most important part comes next, you will be going in and removing the enemy parasite from within and then encapsulating and trapping any possible remnant of them, making the home safe yet again for its inhabitants.
  • Lastly, we get to put on our tool belts and rebuild what we have conquered making it “Like it never even happened. Who doesn’t have fun with tools?

All in all I guess you could say we have a fun day doing mold remediation because we get to be heroes saving the day.  After all, what is more fun that being a hero?  So when you are choosing a mold remediation company choose not only the company that does it correctly, choose the heroes at SERVPRO of Alachua County West.

Who do the “Pros” call for commercial damage restoration? They call the pros at SERVPRO of Alachua County West.

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Before and after photos of a large tree removed and tarped after recent storms from an impending cold front.

As many local residents know, the 2017 – 2018 weather in Gainesville has been one for the record books.  Between hurricanes, storms, freezing weather, record winter highs, and record spring lows our community has been the brunt of some unusual weather.  Not has it only affected the residents living here, it has affected many businesses as well.  Besides our pride in our great University, Gainesville has a town feel with lots of available business’s that are the hub of not only the city, but also many rural surrounding counties.  Did you know that Gainesville has a population density that is 600% higher than the rest of the state?  This is why Gainesville can support the infrastructure of so many big, small and unusual businesses and thrive as a community.

As important as your business is to our community, why would you trust it to anyone else but the pros in time of disaster?  Not only can SERVPRO of Alachua County West provide you with exceptional cleaning services such as tile cleaning, carpet cleaning, and deep cleaning, but we can take care of any of your disaster needs at a moment’s notice.  SERVPRO is different in the fact that we are a small, family owned business, that has the backing of a vast network of professionals, products, and services that are 2nd to none in the industry.  The adjoining photo is of a ware house owned by one of the fastest growing community and business developments in Gainesville, which houses inventory from a very popular outdoors store.  SERVPRO was able to assess the damage and use our network to get them tarped up and ready for repair as an impending storm was approaching.  Why shouldn’t you use the restoration company the “Pros” trust?

When you have water damage, doing it yourself is never a good idea. Call the experts at SERVPRO of Alachua County West.

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage from driving rain. The homeowner dried it up themselves with a vaccum and towels, and had to call us for proper drywall days later.

At one time or another, as a homeowner or renter, we have all had a disaster.  Sometimes it’s an easy clean-up and sometimes we know that we are in over our heads.  Many times though, homeowners have a water damage and with a little elbow grease, a shop vac and some towels they try to mitigate the damage themselves.  Unfortunately, some time later they end up calling the experts for more costly repairs due to damaged materials from improperly drying their home and even mold.  Here are some facts about water damage.

  • It is 1,200 times easier to remove water than to evaporate it? That’s why proper extraction of standing water is key to the dry out of a structure.  Many times shop vacs are unable to do a sufficient job quick enough.
  • Drywall exposed to water can wick up the wall at a rate of one inch per hour for the first 24 hours. If left for a few days while you are out of town it can wick all of the way up the wall to the seam at 4 ft.
  • The insulation in your walls will wick water from the drywall as well. Without proper weep holes drilled to allow air flow you walls may seem dry, but you have insulation still festering with moisture and eventually mold.  Insulation also loses its R-Value (its ability to insulate properly) when it is wet.
  • Improperly dried drywall becomes brittle and weak causing it to break apart very easily. Interestingly it seem that drywall that is dried properly can actually become stronger which was discovered by water restoration companies that used what they call “flood rooms” for training.  Each week the rooms are flooded and used for training proper dry out techniques.  They found after about five “floods” the drywall had to be replaced because it would no longer allow water to wick up the walls.
  • Mold will start growing immediately after spores are attached to an item and it has food and moisture. It can easily grow within 24 to 48 hours and will colonize in 1-12 days. 
  • Mold releases its spores when it is disturbed, so without proper removal you can spread it throughout your home trying to get rid of it.

These are just a few reasons you should entrust your water damage to the experts at SERVPRO of Alachua County West and save yourself the time, money and sanity of having to restore your home more than once despite just one single water damage.

It’s National Create your own holiday day 3/26/18, and why yes, I think we will... It's National prepare your business for disaster day!

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Set up your business's Emergency Ready Plan today!

Your business is important, not only does it support you, but it also supports your community as well as the families you employ.  Even the smallest business has an impact on in the grand scheme of your life and community.  So why would we celebrate National Prepare your Business for disaster day?  Because disaster inevitably happens and usually when you least expect it, so why not remind ourselves how important it is to prepare for it.  Not sure where to begin?  The easiest and smartest way to begin is by contacting the experts at SERVPRO of Alachua County West. 

SERVPRO of Alachua County West can set your business up with an Emergency Ready Plan that is totally controlled by you, the business owner and accessible through your smart phone to whomever you give permissions 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  No business owner can be there every waking minute of the day, that’s why we have trusted employees, but can you trust them to know your business as well as you do?  With an Emergency Ready Plan in place and our mobile app, you don’t have to be, it has everything you need for any kind of disaster to get the ball rolling on a fast response to your disaster.

So today, let’s celebrate your business in our community, by being prepared for disaster with SERVPRO of Alachua West setting up an Emergency Ready Plan before disaster strikes.

Strong storms hit Gainesville in the early morning hours of 3/19/18… Were you ready?

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

A large tree fell on warehouse in Southwest Gainesville on March 19th, 2018.

Here in Florida, we are used to watching the weather stations in the days leading up to major storm events such as hurricanes, but we often get severe weather that sneaks up on us and does more damage than we expect in our area.  Violent thunderstorms can cause wind, hail, and water damage as well as cause tornadoes and microbursts.  Most of us know what thunderstorms and tornadoes are and what they bring, but a lot of serious storm damage occurs here in Florida due to microbursts.  Most people have heard of them causing plane crashes, but what exactly are they?

  • Micro bursts are mainly formed by single-cell storms (although airmass storms and squall lines can produce them).
  • Microbursts are caused by the rain falling from the cloud. As it falls, it pulls down air with it which starts evaporating the rain, cooling it.  Cooler air is denser than the warm air around it so it descends even faster causing a microburst.
  • There are two types of microbursts, dry and wet. Dry microbursts are more common and are caused when all of the rain evaporates before the air reaches the ground, which can be harder to see them coming and wet microbursts contain rain when they hit the ground.
  • Microbursts can hit the ground at up to 6,000 feet per minute and spread out causing a vortex ring around the outside of the microburst.
  • Winds from a microburst can reach speeds that are similar to an E1 tornado and can cause lots of property damage, such as:
    • Downed trees
    • Roof damage
    • Broken windows and punctured siding from flying debris
    • Destroyed buildings and structures
    • Damage to electrical poles and wires
    • Damage from accompanying hail and heavy rains

That’s why SERVPRO is the best choice in emergency/storm mitigation and restoration, we are always ready, and “Faster to any size disaster” than the competition.  We also have the backing of the largest restoration company in the world behind us, no matter how large or small the storm event is. 

SERVPRO celebrates National Red Cross month after the busy storm season.

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is proud to be a National partner with the Red Cross.

The 2017-2018 storm season has been one of the most active in recent memory, and as for any storm disaster SERVPRO is there to assist.  Another presence that is there to help others in need is the Red Cross, an organization that is made up of 90% volunteers and of which SERVPRO is a proud national sponsor.  In order to get an idea of what these volunteers which are comprised of our friends, family, neighbors and complete strangers have responded to this year lets recap our storm season.

The 2017 Atlantic storm season was especially deadly and destructive this past year.  The hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th because this is historically the period of the year that most tropical cyclones form.  Here are just a few facts about our 2017 hurricane season.

  • The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season featured 17 named storms.
  • It is the 5th most active season since records began in 1851.
  • All 10 of the active hurricanes this season occurred in a row. This has only happened once before since records began.
  • It was the costliest season on record with over $281 billion dollars in damages and most of the damage was due to 3 of the hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
  • This is season one of only 6 seasons that had multiple category 5 hurricanes.
  • The 2017 season is the only season on record to have 3 hurricanes that had an accumulated cyclone energy score over 40 – Irma, Jose, and Maria.

The 2017/2018 winter storm season has been equally devastating, creating storm scenarios all over the country.  Although, we are still not out of the official storm season, this is what we have seen so far.

  • The month of November began with the highest snow extent in over 15 years, covering over 1/4 of the United States.
  • An early December winter storm affected areas from the deep-south from the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to New England. This meant many areas such as Florida who rarely see snow were affected by extreme cold, ice, snowfall.
  • This December storm system left up to 400,000 people without power, closed schools and roads and left 3 people dead.
  • A post-Christmas early January cold wave left us with cities in Minnesota and Indiana having record breaking cold temperatures.
  • Times Square recorded the second coldest temperature on New Year’s Eve during festivities on record.
  • A severe blizzard swept across the country early January. This bomb cyclone dumped snow, freezing rain and caused coastal flooding which is attributed to at least 22 fatalities and cancelled 4,020 flights across the U.S.
  • Mid-January sent 2 more winter storms causing freezing temperatures, freezing pipes, and snow throughout the country. The city of Galveston had hundreds of pipes freeze and burst which depleted their water reserves to drought levels and bridges in Florida had to be closed due to ice after the 3 time of receiving snowfall this winter season.

These are just a few facts about our storm seasons this year, and they make us feel grateful for not only our self-less storm team members, but also our partners at the Red Cross who make up an amazing network of volunteers across the country. 

Make sure there's not too much heat in the bedroom this Valentines Day!

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Happy Valentine's Day, from SERVPRO of Alachua County West!

Valentine's Day is once again upon us, and it is important on this lover's holiday that we remember fire safety.  36% of all house fires start in the bedroom.  That's over a third of all house fires, and many of the fires that begin in the bedroom are not caused directly by romance, they are caused by candles.  

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are 15,260 candle fires per year, that is an average of 42 per day. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reports that candles caused a staggering $438 million in direct property damage from 2006-2010 alone, and you thought those chocolates and a dozen roses were expensive.

Let's face it, there are a lot of flammable items in your bedroom, such as window treatments, bedding, clothing, and carpeting.  Many times people aren't exactly paying attention to their surroundings or forget to extinguish candles.  After all, there's other stuff to do in the bedroom... like sleeping...

Since we here, at SERVPRO of Alachua County West are in love with our Customers and Community, our Valentine's Day card to you are these helpful tips for candle safety for your bedroom.

  • Never burn candles in unoccupied rooms. It doesn’t take long for a fire to start and get out of control, after all, it is the bedroom.
  • Keep flammable solvents away from candles. That sounds really technical, so let’s put it this way: A woman in the U.K. was killed by a fire in the bedroom.  At first foul play was suspected, until firefighters found a canister of automatic spray air fresheners near candles on the bedside of her boudoir.  The air freshener spit out a spray automatically into the lit candles and her bedroom went up in flames.
  • Pets and candles don’t mix. They can knock over lit candles while playing or jumping up on furniture or if they are startled.  Just keep Fido and Miss Kitty out of the bedroom when using candles, after all, who needs an audience.
  • Use proper candleholders. The holder should be flame-resistant and large enough to contain drips.  Although the melted wax from candles may have other uses in the bedroom, it is fuel for the flame of the candle.  Make sure that you keep your melted wax in check.
  • Keep away from drafts. Pay attention to drafts caused by open windows, ceiling or table fans, and even from other candles. I know that amazing view of the ocean and sounds of the crashing waves is super romantic, but drafts can cause candles to flare up or burn unevenly.
  • Use a candle snuffer. The only time you should blow candles out is on your birthday – and not in your birthday suit! A candle snuffer can protect your linens and you from unwanted wax splatters.

So remember, as much as SERVPRO of Alachua County West would love to be your Valentine this year, practice candle safety with your sweetheart... and if disaster does happen... call (352) 374-6589 because we are "Faster to any size disaster."

If you celebrating National Umbrella Day indoors... you had better call SERVPRO!

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Happy National Umbrella Day!

Saturday, February 10th is National Umbrella day.  and although an umbrella is a handy thing for protecting us from driving rain or the sun's harsh rays, no one wants to need one in their home to keep water from above and ceiling debris from raining down upon them.  If you need to celebrate National Umbrella Day indoors, you had better invite SERVPRO of Alachua County West to the party.  Not only are our technicians fast, and known for their exemplary customer service, they are also highly skilled and trained in the “science” of drying.  No water damage is the same and our technicians take their higher level of knowledge on mitigating water damage and put it to use making your damage “Like it never even happened.”

Did you know?

  • The average of homeowners who have experienced a water loss is 37%.
  • Approximately 14,000 people in the U.S. experience a water damage each day.
  • Water damage is the second most frequent loss home and business owners file with their insurance companies.
  • The total percentage of insurance claims that relate to water is 20%.
  • The average cost of a water damage insurance claim is $6965.00.
  • Approximately ¾ of all water heaters fail before they are 12 years of age.
  • The average amount of time it take a washing machine hose to fail is only 9 years.
  • A 1/8 inch long crack in a pipe can leak 250 gallons of water per day.

These are just a few facts about water damage that should persuade you to keep SERVPRO of Alachua County West’s number handy as well as cement you purchase of a spare umbrella, but if you’re not sure of what umbrella to purchase, here are a few more facts.

  • The world average for umbrellas owned by an individual is 2.4 umbrellas.
  • The color most used is blue at 34%, with black coming in second at 33%
  • Most people in the world use portable umbrellas (55%).
  • Men, on average loose more umbrellas than women. Men lose 5.6 umbrellas, and women lose 3.3 umbrellas respectively in their lifetimes.
  • No less than 11 patents have been filed for umbrellas that are incorporated into a backpack of some kind.
  • The annual market for umbrellas, in the United States alone, is around $350 million a year.
  • Though umbrellas (and their sunny cousins parasols) are believed to have thousands of years of history, the folding umbrella was only created in 1928.
  • Those little cocktail umbrellas that come in tiki drinks? They date to the first half of the 20th century, very roughly.
  • Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov was murdered by an assassin wielding a poison-tipped umbrella while standing on Waterloo Bridge in London in 1978.

Now that you know the “ins and outs” of not only water damage, but also a few facts about the amazing invention the umbrella, prepare your home or business by being emergency ready.  Bookmark www.SERVPROACW.com and program (352)374-6589 into your mobile phone so SERVPRO of Alachua County West can be faster to your disaster!

Celebrate Mold Remediation on National Create a Vacuum day by having SERVPRO clean your ducts.

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alachua County West Creating a Vacuum.

No home or business owner likes to hear they have a mold problem.  Mold spores naturally exist in the outside air and in Florida the concentration is higher than many other states due to our climate.  As you come in and out of your home or business, or if you open windows for fresh air, mold spores come in as well.  They can even make their way in on your clothing and skin.  Along with moisture and food (dust it its #1 source of food), this mold can grow and flourish.  This also gets sucked up into your HVAC system and ductwork.  Your ductwork is a place that not only mold, but dust and other contaminates can accumulate and thrive which is apparent in the following duct cleaning facts:

Fact: Legionnaire’s Disease was spawned in air conditioning ducts. It Killed 29 people in 1976. (American Lung Association)

Fact: In the summer of 1988 at least seven people died in Los Angeles area from Legionnaire’s disease. (Modesto Bee 9/22/88)

Fact: One out of six people who suffer from allergies do so because of the direct relationship of the fungi and bacteria in the air duct systems. (Total Health & Better Health Magazine)

Fact: Indoor air is found to be 70%more polluted than that of outdoor air. (EPA Environmental Protection Agency).

Fact: More people spend 60 to 90% of their time indoors. (American Lung Association)

Fact: Most commercial fiberglass filters are only 7% efficient in stopping dirt, dust, pollen, etc. passing through it. (ASHRAE- American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers, INC.)

Fact: Dirty ventilation systems and contaminated ductwork combined are a 50.9% contributor to sick building syndrome. (Healthy Buildings International)

Fact: IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) litigation increases every year: and recent IAQ lawsuits command hefty settlements. Businesses are faced with even more stringent responsibilities in providing employees with a safe work environment.

Fact: It is estimated that poor air quality directly results, on a annual basis, one billion in medical costs and 60$ billion in employee sick leave and lost production.

This ductwork also sends spores throughout your home in rooms that may not yet be affected.  If you have a mold problem, make sure that one step in your remediation is to have your ducts cleaned.  More importantly, have them cleaned correctly by a certified mold remediation company, such as SERVPRO of Alachua County West.  We are here for all of you needs… even on days other than National Create a Vacuum Day.

Are you prepared for the "Storm" if Phil sees his shadow?

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Phil is watching the radar... are you?

Everyone is watching and waiting to see the groundhog's prediction for 6 more weeks of winter.  The winter storm season has already wreaked havoc on many parts of the United States slowing businesses, schools, and lives in the process. 

"Did you know that winter storms are the third largest cause of catastrophic losses, behind only hurricanes and tornadoes?"

Can we handle another 6 weeks of winter storms?  The answer is yes, with SERVPRO's storm team in action 24 hours a day 7 days a week, you can.  SERVPRO is the largest restoration company in the world and we take pride in having the largest support network and the most expertise in combating any storm, winter, spring, summer and fall.

So remember while Phil is hiding in his den scared of his own shadow, our technicians are braving the elements to be "Faster to any size disaster."

In honor of National Backwards day why not keep your business prepared before disaster with and ERP with SERVPRO.

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Be backwards! Prepare for disaster now, before it strikes.

Today is National backwards day, and a great way to celebrate is by doing things backwards to benefit your business.  An Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) is preparing your business for disaster before it strikes.

Here are some facts you may not know about business disasters:

  • 75% of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in place,according to a 2015 survey of 500 small business owners conducted by Nationwide.
  • 52% of small businesses say it would take at least three months to recovery from a disaster, according to the same survey.
  • Only 18% of companies surveyed that have fewer than 50 employees have a disaster recovery plan, according to the same survey.
  • 51% of the hundreds of businesses surveyed for the 2014 Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark Survey received a failing gradewhen it came to disaster recovery preparedness.
  • 60% of respondents surveyed for the same report said that in spite of their best efforts, their disaster recovery plans were not useful during their during their worst events.

Don't let your business be a part of these statistics!  Work your disaster backwards, before it happens, by calling SERVPRO of Alachua County West for your ERP Today!

As the seasons change, and the snowbirds prepare for flight, how do you protect your seasonal home from mold?

1/29/2018 (Permalink)

Suspected mold on a vent cover in a previously thought to be unaffected room on a mold remediation job discovered during duct cleaning.

Here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West, we receive many calls annually from homeowners that leave their house for an extended period of time and come back to find mold covering areas and contents of their home.  With Florida’s sub-tropic climate it stays warm and humid most of the year.  This can cause a mold problem within homes that are closed up, and if you are leaving your home, it’s important to prepare in advance to thwart any mold growth.

Prepare your home interior by making sure everything is clean and dry!

  • Clean each appliance thoroughly. Clean enamel exteriors with sudsy water, rinse, and dry. Apply a coating of appliance or car wax to enamel exteriors to protect scratches from rust. Use an approved cleaner on stainless steel surfaces. Leave appliances unplugged while you are gone, to protect from electrical-current surges during storms.
  • Unopened cans and jars of food can be left on shelves. Flour, sugars, and salt should be stored in tightly sealed containers. Dispose of cereals, crackers, and pastas to avoid household pests. Do not store food in a garage or shed.
  • Clean cabinet interiors and exteriors.
  • Fresh and perishable foods should be eaten or discarded. Give away or discard opened bottles and jars of salad dressings, condiments, and other perishable items. Replacing these items will cost less than paying to keep your refrigerator operating during the 2–3 months you are gone.
  • Clean the refrigerator interior. Use a solution of one tablespoon of baking soda in one quart of water, in order to neutralize food soils and prevent odors. Dry thoroughly. Remove and clean the defrost pan at the bottom of your refrigerator. The refrigerator and freezer doors should be left ajar. Make sure the doors cannot accidentally close.
  • If you choose to leave the refrigerator plugged in, dispose of all perishable foods. Leave a plastic bag with ice cubes in the freezer. On your return, if the bag contains a solid block of ice, you will know that your power was off long enough for the ice to melt and refreeze. To avoid potential foodborne illness, discard contents of refrigerator and freezer.
  • For the dishwasher, remove any food particles from the filter (if present). Run the dishwasher through a short cycle. After a few minutes into the cycle, turn off the dishwasher and open its door. Clean around the door gasket and under the bottom of the door to remove any residual soil that might attract mold in these areas. Then, let the dishwasher complete the cycle. Leave the door closed, but unlatch it to release the pressure on the door seal.
  • Clean the garbage disposal by grinding a batch of ice cubes through the disposal. Then rinse a solution of baking soda and water through the disposal. Leave the drain stopper in place to prevent water in the P-trap beneath the disposal from evaporating during your absence from home.
  • Clean oven, broiler, and the drip trays under the burners.
  • To remove spatters in the microwave, heat a cup of water for two minutes on the high setting. (Do this while the microwave is cool.) Afterwards, the condensation on the walls will loosen the spatters. Wash the inside of the microwave with sudsy water, and then rinse and dry. If possible, leave the microwave unplugged.
  • Clean portable appliances thoroughly. Be sure to open the trap door under the toaster to clean it and remove the crumbs.
  • Turn off the water supply to the clothes washer to eliminate pressure damage to the hoses. If needed, clean the washer’s lint filter.
  • Clean the dryer’s lint filter, and use a leaf blower to blow out the dryer’s vent exhaust tubing.
  • Turn off the water heater if you plan to be gone for a month or more. For shorter absences, turn the water heater’s thermostat to its lowest setting.
  • Make sure all laundry is clean and dry.
  • Cover toilet and tank top with a plastic wrap.
  • Put stoppers in drains.

Outdoor Moisture can be an issue if you do not have proper seals on your doors and windows, and if you have a fireplace, close the damper.  Excess Moisture can also be caused by evaporation from drains and toilets.  If you have plants put them outside to be watered by a neighbor, because this can also cause excess moisture.

Not running air conditioning is also another way that people try to save money while they are gone.  This is a mistake most commonly made by people who leave their homes for extended periods of time.  Operate your air conditioner for two hours a day when your house is closed and sealed to reduce potential development of mildew. If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to operate the air conditioning for a two-hour period in the cool, early morning hours. If you do not have a timer, set the thermostat between 80ºF and 85ºF.  If using a humidistat, follow local recommendations and also consider having it professionally calibrated. If set too low or if improperly calibrated, the humidistat will cause the air conditioner to operate inefficiently and result in high electric bills.

There are many more ways you can ready your home for being vacant for extended periods of time, and maintenance is key.  It is also handy to have SERVPRO of Alachua County West’s number handy in case of emergency.

Did you know that there are different kinds of soot associated with fires? SERVPRO can handle them all!

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

An example of Wet soot. This particular home had Wet, Dry, and Protein soot in different parts of the home.

Fire damage to your home or business can be devastating.  It is easy to see the aftermath of the flames as they have gobbled up your belongings and building materials in its wake.  One thing that can be more encompassing than the flames is the soot released by the burning materials.  Soot is acidic by nature and can cause lots of damage as it continues to degrade metals, finish coatings, and electronics until it is removed.  The problem of soot removal is that it is sometime hard to see and there are different types that require specific cleaning measures.  Soot also continues to spread until it uses up all of its energy, moving towards colder temperatures, often times affecting all areas of your home and business, even ones not affected directly by the fire.  Luckily SERVPRO of Alachua County West is familiar with all types of soot and have the expertise needed to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fuel oil soot – Though this type of soot it not very common in Florida, due to less than 3% of its populous using fuel oil for heat, which systems are most common for “puffbacks”.  A puffback is usually caused by excess fuel in the burner chamber that upon ignition causes a small explosion, sending soot throughout your vent system.  This type of soot is usually grey to black and greasy in nature making it streaky and hard to clean when it’s fresh and over time, it can even bond to surfaces making it unable to be fully cleaned.

Protein residues – Protein residues are most often seen in kitchen fires.  Unlike what most people consider soot to look like, it is yellow or amber in color as it coats and can be hard to see as a slight discoloration on walls, cabinets, and appliances.  Because it is very hard to see this soot, the telltale sign may be a lingering odor issue if all surfaces are not thoroughly cleaned.

Wet soot – Wet smoke is typically left behind in a slow burning, low-heat fire.  It is usually black and leaves behind a sticky and this residue that can be easily smeared during clean up.  These are usually smoldering fires and can be caused commonly by plastic or rubber materials.

Dry soot – Opposite of wet smoke, dry smoke is most common during high heat, fast burning fires.  Fuels such as wood and paper cause dry soot.  Dry soot can be easier to clean, but due to the fact it has dry, fine particles it can fall into cracks and crevices, not only hard to see, but harder to clean.

For every type of soot there is SERVPRO of Alachua County West has a way to clean or restore you home or business.

What is one thing that sets SERVPRO above the rest? STORM Team!

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

Winter storm Jaxson is just the newest winter storm of the season, and one of the many reasons our STORM team is ready at a moment's notice.

There are many restoration companies out there that offer many of the same services as SERVPRO of Alachua County West.  It can make it hard for a homeowner going through the throes of a disaster to make an educated decision on who to choose and why.  There are many factors that make SERVPRO the best choice, such as our state of the art Drying program designed and operated specifically by only SERVPRO franchises, or our products which are formulated specifically by and for SERVPRO, but our storm team may be one of the biggest reasons to call SERVPRO.

SERVPRO storm teams travel all over the United States to areas with a large disaster such as floods, hurricanes, blizzards, fires, and ice storms.  This has enabled our customers to have a veritable network of disaster restoration technicians at their fingertips with the large amounts of equipment needed to begin the restoration process while smaller companies are overwhelmed by the volume of restoration needed.  It also means that our technicians and production employees have knowledge way beyond a company that services one area who may see disaster infrequently and only certain types of disasters.  This knowledge is also used and compiled in training mandatory to all SERVPRO franchises.  During winter storm Grayson when Floridians actually saw snow and ice in parts of Florida, our technicians were well versed in dealing with the aftermath of freezing temperatures due to having assisted other SERVPRO franchises in other states during winter storm disasters.

Our STORM team is just one of the many reasons that SERVPRO is “Faster to any size disaster.”

As a homeowner, know your enemy... mold!

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

This homeowner did not realize the mold hiding behind his cabinets until he tried to do a kitchen model.

What is mold?  Mold is a fungus which reproduces by releasing tiny, microscopic spores into the air.  Mold is a naturally occurring organism in the air outdoors which means that there will always be some amount of mold spores in the air indoors as well.  Mold must have ideal temperatures, and moisture in order to take hold of a material and grow.  These are two reasons that Floridian homes are more susceptible to mold due to its sub-tropic climate.  Mold must also have one more thing to grow, and that is food made up of organic materials.  The most common source of food for mold is dust.  Dust in itself is made up of 70% to 80% human skin – a great food source for mold.

Now that you know the general details of what mold is, what do you do if you suspect mold in your home?  Other than the obvious of seeing actual mold growth, the presence of mold is often detected by a musty odor.  The spores that it emits to grow are microscopic, but can be detected by odor.  If you see mold or what looks like mold, it is best to leave it alone.  Once mold has grown on a porous surface such as dry wall or grout those materials need to be removed because they are embedded in the material.  If you try to clean mold, it feels as if it is in danger and with sporulate and send thousands of spores you can’t see into the air to seek out moisture and food throughout your home. 

The best way to deal with a mold issue is get have a mold assessor come out and test your home, this will tell you is you have a mold problem, what’s affected, and what type of mold/molds you may have.  Once your assessor has tested and found you have a mold problem he will write a protocol for remediation that your chosen Certified Mold Remediation Company will follow during remediation, followed by post testing to make sure your home is at safe mold levels after remediation. 

This process can be overwhelming for many homeowners and this is what sets SERVPRO of Alachua County West above its competitors.  We are here every step of the way, educating and supporting our community whether or not they choose us for their remediation.  Not sure what to do when you suspect mold?  Call us and we’ll set you on the right path to a clean and healthy home.

January is National Bath Safety Month, is your home safe from bath water damage?

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Bath time should be fun, don't let water damage ruin your day!

January is National Bath Safety Month, and though safe bathing practices are of the utmost importance for you and your family, what about your homes safety against water damage caused by your bath?  The very nature of your shower or bathtub makes them at risk for leaks, causing damage over days, months, and sometimes years.  Less visible leaks which leak over longer periods of time are the number one cause of mold in a bathroom, with improper ventilation being the second.  The following are some tips to keep your home safe against bath and shower leaks:

  • Replace showers or tubs with cracks or other damage; even hairline cracks can allow water to seep in and cause damage.
  • Grout and caulk help prevent water from seeping into walls and floors, so repair them if they are chipped, cracked, or deteriorating.
  • Replace torn shower curtains or shower doors with seals that no longer work.
  • Dry the floor and drain water from the tub immediately after use to prevent damage from sitting water.
  • Be sure to turn on your exhaust fan every time you shower or use the tub, as the fan helps pull excess moisture out of the air (and out of your walls!). It will help keep your bathroom dry, preventing bubbly drywall and mold growth.

You can’t always keep disaster from occurring, but prevention and being pro-active are a step in the right direction of protecting your home.  In the case of emergency or if you suspect water damage from your tub, call SERVPRO of Alachua County West and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Winter water damage in Florida caused by snow and ice... are you covered?

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Annual accumulative snow fall over a 30 year period in the snowiest places in the southeast.

When you hear of snow and ice, you don't usually think that it would be in reference to the Sunshine State, but over the years there has been enough snow fall for two Florida cities to be considered the snowiest cities in the state.  The two North Florida cities have had enough snowfall to have an actual yearly average tallied in their honor.  This doesn't account for sleet (frozen rain) or ice.  While snow is mostly seen in the north to north central part of the state, cities such as Miami have seen snowfall.

We tend to think of winter water damage as being caused by broken pipes, but there are other factors that can cause a water damage such as accumulation of ice and snow on your roof melting or the small amount of snow and ice on the ground around your foundation melting.

If your water damage is caused by broken pipes or a roof leak from melting accumulated precipitation your homeowners insurance should cover you, but what if the damage is from melting snow or ice around your foundation?  In the latter instance you must carry flood insurance to be covered.  This is not something that we think about much in Florida, but as we have seen with the harsh southern winter this year, you can never be too prepared for disaster.  Start your preparation by being informed and having SERVPRO of Alachua County West's phone number handy in the case of emergency because we are "Faster to any size disaster."

January and February are peak months for winter fires.

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Put a freeze on winter fires.

Many Floridians think that after the Christmas tree and holiday decorations come down, so do your chances of having a fire.  Heating is the 2nd leading cause of fires and injuries in the U.S. and with this years cold snaps, we have been using plenty of heat.  Unfortunately, as Floridians, we are also not as good at heating safety, much due to the fact we don't get as much practice at it.

Like an intruder, having a fire in your home or office is probably the single scariest thing that can happen to you.   Securing your belongings, getting out safely, checking for injuries, trying to assess the damages, and working with your insurance company when it’s over are never what you expect.  

Having a professional that can help you navigate the pitfalls of rebuilding the life you knew inside your home or office, can be invaluable.   SERVPRO provides a complete solution to whatever your disaster leaves in its wake, "Like it never even happened."  Our experienced professionals assess the damages and begin the process of putting your life back quickly and seamlessly.   If you have had a fire and you need someone to help walk you through the demo and rebuild

Are you prepared for Winter Storm Grayson?

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Satellite imagery of expected areas to be impacted by damaging ice from rain, snow, and freezing temperatures.

As Floridians are deep within the grasps of winter storm Grayson, it is never too late to think of winter storm safety for your family and your home.  Most people think of sub-tropical climates and sunshine here in the sunshine state, but Florida does have a past of winter cold and precipitation.

Florida Cold Weather Facts:

*The coldest temperature recorded in Florida was –2°F in Tallahassee on February 13, 1899. At the same time, snow up to three Inches deep was reported by several cities in the Panhandle.

*Snow has been reported numerous times throughout the state. On January 19, 1977, snow fell on Miami, Florida and was seen in Homestead, Florida (which is 22 miles south of Miami).

*The deepest snowfall ever measured in Florida (four inches), occurred in Milton on March 6, 1954.

The State of Florida Emergency Management office as well as the National Weather Service urges all Floridians to practice The 5 P's of Cold Weather Safety:

1.)Protect People - Dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. It is important to try to stay out of the wind and to stay dry. Also, remember to check on young children and the elderly who are most sensitive to cold weather.

2.)Protect Pets - If cold weather is in the forecast, be sure to bring outdoor pets inside or give them a warm shelter to stay in.

3.)Protect Plants - Cover cold-sensitive plants to protect them from the dangerous temperatures.

4.)Protect Pipes - Cover exposed outdoor pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.

5.)Practice Fire Safety - Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames.

Lastly, don't forget to have SERVPRO of Alachua County West's phone number ready in case your preparedness still leaves your home in need of emergency services from broken pipes, water damage, or fire.

Don't let Santa's cookies get wet.

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is here for all your disaster needs, even during the holidays! Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

The holiday season has been upon us, and as we all know it is a time for friends and family to travel and get together.  This can mean that you have a house full of extra people, or in some cases, can leave your home empty for hours and sometimes days at a time.  Most people know that the instances of fire are much greater this time of year, but either scenarios can also be a recipe for disaster when it comes to water damage. 

Having guests can be taxing on your plumbing and septic system, this can cause a disaster at the worst time possible.  Prepare your home for this by having your septic pre-checked before having lots of company and also by having SERVPRO of Alachua County West's number handy in case of emergency. 

If you are away, fluctuations in weather, can cause pipes to burst, or having a running toilet unbeknownst to the homeowner is another common cause of water damage while you are away.  Make sure that you check all potential water sources before you leave your home during the holidays, such as toilets, water heaters and faucets.  Even turning off supplies lines can sometime divert expensive and time consuming disasters.  Many times when disaster strikes you have no idea who to call because the holidays are a time many choose to spend time with their friends and family, but just like your family, SERVPRO of Alachua County West is there in your time of need 24 hours a day 7 days a week even during the holidays!

Where to begin when you suspect you have mold.

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

Call us today with any questions of your suspect mold problems!

Now that the storms seem to have passed from our exciting storm season, most Floridians have picked up the pieces and begun the rebuilding process or have mostly completed it.  One of the lasting affects of storm damage can happen well after the storm... mold.  In many cases mold is visible, but many times mold hides where we can't see it, detected only by an odor or sometimes health issues.  When you suspect mold what is the first step you should take as a home or business owner?  The first step should be contacting a mold assessor.  Many people do not know that in the state of Florida the same company cannot test or assess your mold problem as well as remediate it.  This is meant to protect the consumer against sub-par testing and remediation by untrustworthy restoration companies.  Once testing has been completed by your mold assessor, they will construct a protocol for your mold remediator to follow.  Once work is completed your mold assessor will perform post remediation testing to show remediation was successful.  Many remediation companies do not inform potential customers of mold assessment and testing, opting for a general protocol in remediation with no standards or post testing to show mold spores at a normal levels when the work has been completed.  Here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West, we prefer to hold ourselves to the highest standards and inform our potential customers of the best way possible to handle their possible mold remediation and encourage mold assessment for the best experience and results possible.

Are you prepared for winter weather?

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

As your frozen pipes thaw, they crack and break leaving you with a disaster.

Many people who do not live in the Sunshine State have no idea that it can get cold, and even have freezing conditions here in Florida.  Due to our sub-tropic climate and mobile housing, proper precautions are often not taken when installing and weather proofing plumbing in and under our homes.  When we have freezing temperature and rains our plumbing is often exposed and can freeze overnight without a heat source or keeping water running through-out our pipes.  Although frozen pipes can be a hassle when you are tying to make that pot of coffee, or take that morning shower, but the real damage begins as the Florida sun comes out and the frozen water begins to thaw and expand within causing them to burst, and causing water damage to your home.  Be prepared for colder weather by weatherproofing your exposed pipes, placing a heat lamp at your well, or by leaving a faucet running as temperatures drop.  If these measures fail, make sure that you have SERVPRO of Alachua County West's number handy to quickly begin to mitigate any damage that occurs!

Is your Company prepared ahead of time for any maintenance issues.

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage to an office from a clogged drain line that could have been prevented with maintenance.

Whether it’s too hot or it’s too cold for one employee, it’s never just right in the office for everyone. As a property or facilities manager keeping the temperature comfortable for everyone as well as your tangible property protected is of paramount importance.   With the outside air temperatures changing so erratically this time of year, staying on top of the thermostat inside the office can make a difference in your work space.  Without proper humidity or ventilation control, mold spores, which naturally occur in higher levels in the sub-tropical Florida climate, can form on virtually any surface.   SERVPRO of Alachua County West can help you maintain your workplace by offering carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, duct cleaning, post-construction clean up,and emergency water, fire, and bio-hazard clean ups as well as simple moisture checks. 

Contact SERVPRO of Alachua County West today to come out and assess what services are right for peace of mind for your business. 

They say an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and keeping up on the maintenance issues of your office can save you thousands in the long run.  

Take the puzzle out of Water Mitigation

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Solving your water mitigation puzzle

Next week we will be celebrating not only Thanks Giving, but also National Game and Puzzle week.  For the most part games puzzles are fun, but when it comes to emergency water services in your home, those puzzle pieces can become frustrating and emotional as you try to piece them together.  Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West to take the puzzle out of mitigating your water damage.  We can start off by setting up an Emergency Ready plan, so you can be prepared before disaster strikes.  Your ERP will give you all the information you need right at your fingertips on your mobile phone and also give access to anyone you choose, such as an employee or manager.  Meanwhile, if you have or have not yet had SERVPRO of Alachua Count West set-up your ERP here are some important steps to follow in solving the puzzle of water damage in your home or business:

What To Do After Flooding

  • Turn off source of water if known
  • Call your insurance provider (if applicable) to start the claims process
  • Contact your preferred restoration company (SERVPRO of Alachua County West) to get their emergency response team on the way.
  • 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.

Happy Veteran's Day

11/11/2017 (Permalink)

Thank You Veterans!

Here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West we pride ourselves in not only the job we do, but the fact that we provide a service which helps people in their time of need.  With all that we do, we can never repay the many veterans and current serving military members who make our lives as we know them possible.  It has been though their sacrifices of their time, families, and very lives that as Americans we have been able to have the very freedoms we daily take for granted.  They have served days, nights, holidays, and weekends on our own land as well as foreign soil regardless of their personal views and affiliations and regardless of the views and affiliations of the people they have been sworn to protect.  We would also like to personally thank our very own Lead Technician William Redd for his many years of service in the Army.  Remember not only on this day, but every day to Thank a Veteran!

Bikers on Parade 2017

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Just a few of the Bikes lined up and waiting for the parade.

It was once again time for the Annual Bikers on Parade, which began at Santa-Fe College and ended at the Gainesville Raceway on November 5th, 2017.  Many Gainesville area businesses sponsor and participate in this annual event, including State Representative Chuck Clemons (District 21).  The route winds through Gainesville with it's residents lining the street waving, and it's proceeds benefit the non-profit grassroots organization 10 CAN.  The mission of 10 CAN is to honor, revive, and grow Military and First Responder families through outdoor recreation, education, and rehabilitation. 10 CAN is a tribe of Veterans and Volunteers making an impact for those in need. Reconnecting families following combat deployments, developing youth through rite of passages, and building public awareness of moral wounds. This event is an important way to bring veterans and members of their community together and bring awareness to some of the struggles of veterans and First Responders into the light of day.  SERVPRO of Alachua County West is proud to be one of more than 500 a participants in this event.  This event was the perfect way to kick off the days coming into the observance of Veteran's Day on November 11th, 2017.

Thank You!

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Happy Thanksgiving from SERVPRO of Alachua County West!

It’s never the right time of year not to be thankful. So, this November with Thanksgiving around the corner, we would like to express how grateful we are to you, our customers, who have let us into your homes to ease some of the burdens and subsequent damage that you incurred after hurricane Irma.  We are also extremely thankful for all of our customers large and small who let us help them recover from their personal disasters beyond the affects of Irma.  We here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West see our customers as more than just a customer, but as members of the SERVPRO family.  Maybe that is why more and more families recognize that SERVPRO is the best choice when you want the job done correctly, but more importantly done with honesty, integrity and their personal well being in mind. Whether it’s for water, fire, or mold remediation, SERVPRO has the best solution for you!

 Call us today so we can come out and help you create a free Emergency Ready Plan so you can be ready before disaster strikes! 

Remember Fire Safety during this Spooktacular Holiday.

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alachua County West Technicians cleaning up a cemetery fire caused by lightning and dry, windy conditions coupled with flammable decor.

Halloween is once again upon us as the air gets cooler and drier.  It is also one of the more fun holidays where children and adults can dress up and get lots of candy, but it can also be one of the more dangerous holidays for property and homeowners.  The main culprit is candles, which is on the list of the top 10 causes of home fires in the United States.  When you mix candles with highly flammable materials used for costumes, and decorations there is a lot of fuel for a disaster.  Mix in dryer air and windier weather conditions and you now have a perfect recipe for disaster.  The first step in preparing for any disaster is to have a plan developed in case one happens, such as an Emergency Response Plan offered by SERVPRO, and your second step arming yourself with the knowledge of fire prevention to keep your family safe during this holiday.

What You Need to Know Coming into House Fire Season

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Before and After photos of a kitchen fire cause by grease.

The smell of Fall is in the air and the weather is cooling, but did you know that Fall is the beginning of House Fire Season?  Most people don't know what to do in the case of a house fire, because they have never been through the disaster.  That is where SERVPRO of Alachua County West comes in.  Our experts can walk you through the process of fire restoration as well as the build back process to make it "Like it never even happened."  From our office staff, to our managers and technicians we are here to help every step of the way, after all, it's what we do among many other things.  Here, at SERVPRO of Alachua County West, we feel like the community is our family, and as family we feel it's better to prepare for the case of an Emergency when it happens.  Do you know what are the 8 main causes of a house fire are?

1.)  Candles

2.)  Ashes and butts of Cigarettes

3.)  Electrical wiring and lighting

4.)  The lint and objects left in dryers

5.)  Lightning

6.)  Children playing with matches and fire

7.)  Christmas trees

8.)  Cooking

It's always best to educate yourself in the prevention of disaster, but when disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Alachua County West is here to take care of all your needs.  This is from helping you develop and Emergency Ready Plan, to answering your questions, and in the case of disaster being here to make it "Like it never even happened."

What happens after the storm?

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Mold found after dry wall removal in storm damaged home.

Unfortunately, for many, it's not the storm, but the aftermath of the storm that affects your home and its belongings.  As the winds die and the rains subside, what is left of your home can be devastating.  Finding help and awaiting answers from your insurance can be a daunting task that takes days, weeks, and sometimes months. Meanwhile, beyond your initial water and wind damage a new danger creeps into your home... Mold!  No need to fear!  Your "SERVPRO of Alachua County West Heroes" are here!  Not only can we remediate your mold issues, we can explain the procedure of mold assessment and offer you sound advice on how to begin handling your mold issue.  For example, did you know that in the State of Florida you cannot perform mold testing or assessment as well as remediate the same home?  This is meant to protect you, the customer from conflicts of interest.  Here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West, our customers best interests are ours as well, we pride ourselves on providing the best services possible.  

Preparing Before Disaster Strikes!

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Start by getting the Emergency Ready Plan Mobile App.

Having a preferred vendor is like being able to call your friend when your in a jam.  When it comes to your business' well being, we pride ourselves in making your disaster, "Like it never even happened." Smoke, fire, water, demolition, and of course the build back.  If SERVPRO of Alachua County West isn’t on your preferred vendor list, we’d like to be! 

As a locally owned and operated franchise, our new friendship has the backing of a worldwide organization of more than 1700 individually owned and operated locations.   To give you a frame of reference, the second biggest restoration company has half as many franchises!  That’s a lot of friends!! And we want to be yours.  

Call us today so we can come out, for FREE and discuss the protocol with you to put the most effective plan in place BEFORE disaster strikes! 

There's an App for that!

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Just another reason "SERVPRO" is "Faster to any size disaster".

Believe it or not, there’s an app for that!   "SERVPRO" has created an extensive app for your IPhone or Android device to address your water, fire, mold, or even odor issues.  The Ready Plan helps you create a custom "Emergency Ready Plan" complete with address, building size and structure, rooms within, and contact information such as your insurer, fire department, and utilities.  The app even includes directional information, such as where circuit breakers, waters shut offs, and fire extinguishers are located. There is even space for you to place photos for those hard to reach or find locations and it's all right there at your fingertips on your phone's home screen.   You choose the information you want accessible as well as who has access to that information at all times, such as employees, managers, or tenants.  These specifics can help you save both time and money when disaster happens by ensuring quick response available at your fingertips.

Call us today so we can come out, for FREE and discuss the protocol with you to put the most effective plan in place BEFORE disaster strikes! 

Are you ready for an emergency?

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

It’s never fun when accidents or unforeseen instances occur, but knowing "SERVPRO" is here to ensure things are back in place "Like it never even happened", gives you the peace of mind necessary to run your business without worry of a crisis you can’t solve. Having an emergency response plan (ERP) is your first step to ensure either you and your staff are fully prepared to get the fastest support possible.  

Knowing where water shut offs, circuit breakers, and fire extinguishers are, can be invaluable in a time sensitive situation.   Even more important can be knowing who to call' and the process to follow to mitigate your disaster as your first line of defense when accidents happen.  This quick action can save you time and more importantly, money!  Give "SERVPRO" of Alachua County West a call today to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind when disaster strikes. 

Did you know...

5/27/2016 (Permalink)

Need someone for a biohazard clean up? We can help!

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is here for ALL your disaster needs.  But did you know that we also do biohazard clean up?

When most people think of SERVPRO, the first thing(s) that come to mind are our neon green vehicles that cannot be missed.  Next, people tend to recall the fact that we "clean up all that water and fire stuff."  As people get to know SERVPRO more and more, they begin to realize that we do water damage, mold and fire damage clean up and restoration, but also much more!

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is licensed and certified for biohazardous waste clean up.  Biohazardous waste can mean a few things, but in most cases it is referring to human excrements.  This refers to blood, feces or urine.  Whatever the cause may be and whatever is affected, we are always here to help. 

Majority of the biohazard clean up that is performed by SERVPRO includes but is not limited to:  bloodborne pathogen clean up, chemical clean up, crime scene residue clean up and sewage backup clean up.  However, one interesting side of biohazard clean up that SERVPRO of Alachua County West is also particularly experienced in is "Hoarder Home" clean up.

A "hoarder" is defined as a person that feels the need to obtain and store away massive amounts of particular items that they deem necessary in their life.  Many people are guilty of being a "pack rat" from time to time.  A hoarder home is the extreme version of that.  Their homes are generally disheveled, with overstocked fridges, rotting food, etc.  This is where SERVPRO comes in.  We rid the home of the unneeded items (old, unsalvageable or past their expiration date), we attempt to restore all belongings and structural pieces that we can and we perform a deep clean.  It is a process, but by the end, we take that "hoarder home" and turn it into a beautifully clean home that one would be proud of.  

Perhaps the disaster you are dealing with is biohazardous waste.  Perhaps you are dealing with a loved one's "hoarder home."  Either way, SERVPRO is always here to help.  We are experienced and will perform the services professionally and adequately.  In most of these cases, people do not know who to call for help.  Well, now you do... (352)374-6589.

One of the Ways We Are Better than the Rest!

4/18/2016 (Permalink)

Owners of SERVPRO of Alachua County West since 2007...Mark & Becky Raymond

Let's be honest...

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is not the only restoration company in the Greater Gainesville area.  You have many options when it comes to water and fire clean up &restoration and mold remediation.  There are many reasons as to why we are the best out of your choices, BUT one of the main reasons is... no one can compete with the amount of knowledge and experience we possess.  

One of the owners of SERVPRO of Alachua County West, Mark Raymond, has been with SERVPRO since 2003.  He started as the marketing manager for a franchise in Jacksonville, FL.  He then moved his way to General Manager and the further enveloped in the company he became, the more he loved SERVPRO.  His son, Jason Raymond, began working part-time as a technician for the Jacksonville franchise in 2004.  Later, he moved to Gainesville and began working for the Ocala SERVPRO franchise.  Mark and Becky then heard word of the Gainesville SERVPRO franchise being avaiable for purchase, and they jumped at the chance!  Jason then began working for his parents' franchise as Production Manager.  Their daughter, Julianne, has worked for them a combined 3 and a half years, as both the receptionist and currently, the marketing manager.  The Raymond family as a whole has a combined 35-40 years in the restoration industry.  But the best part is, the knowledge doesn't stop there!  

The management and technicians at SERVPRO of Alachua County West are not only all licensed and certified for all restoration and remediation services they provide, but they are also constantly learning more.  SERVPRO corporate holds training classes and seminars regularly so as to make sure every SERVPRO is up to date on training.  But SERVPRO of Alachua County West not only wants to keep all their employees educated on topics such as water damage, fire damage, mold, biohazard clean up and more.  They want to make sure that you are educated as well!!  Especially if you are a real estate agent, insurance agent or insurance adjuster.  

SERVPRO of Alachua County West hosts FREE Continuing Education classes throughout the year for either real estate agents or insurance agents and adjusters.  Owner, Mark Raymond, is the dynamic and knowledgeable teacher for the classes.  Not only do you get free education by attending their classes, but you also get free lunch and giveaways!  

If and when you find yourself in the midst of a disaster at your home or business, you want to call the best.  You want to call someone in who has dealt with disasters like yours NUMEROUS times and knows how to make it "like it never even happened."  Don't question who to call; trust in the fact that you are calling the most experienced and the most knowledgeable company when you call us.

Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West at (352)374-6589...  

Not just a BRAND you can trust, but a FAMILY you can trust.

Purple Pint Day 2016

3/17/2016 (Permalink)

Purple Pint Day 2016 at First Magnitude Brewing Company. Sponsored by Logokick.com and SERVPRO.

Wear your purple & come join us!

March 26th is Worldwide Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness.  Although epilepsy is a common neurological disorder, affecting 1 in every 26 people, it is rarely spoken about.  

Our marketer & daughter of the owners, Julianne Raymond, is epileptic and works deligently to increase Epilepsy Awareness.  For November, Epilepsy Awareness Month, Julianne created the Tailgators for Epilepsy Awareness event.  For Worldwide Purple Day, Julianne created Purple Pint Day.

Purple Pint Day is an event on Saturday, March 26th from 2pm-7pm to be held at First Magnitude Brewing Company.  Adults, families and dogs are all invited to attend.  By wearing purple and donating $15.00, you will receive a 1 free purple pint cup, 1 free beer and a wristband for $0.50 off each additional beer purchased.  Julianne was lucky enough to have First Magnitude offer for the event to be held at their brewery. If you have never been; you must!  They are a great brewery with a wonderful family and dog friendly atmosphere.  Julianne was also lucky enough to have local businesses, Logokick.com and SERVPRO of Alachua County West, sponsor the event.  Obviously, she didn't have to try too hard to get owners, Mark and Becky Raymond, otherwise known as her parents, to sponsor the event.

So, please come and join us on Saturday, March 26th for a GREAT event!  All proceeds go to the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida to fund helping epileptics and most importantly, finding a CURE!  But as Julianne said, raising money is not her goal.  Her goal is to raise AWARENESS.  Hope to see you there!

Every 90 seconds...

2/29/2016 (Permalink)

Fire in a Florida home that "SERVPRO" made "Like it never even happened"

A fire occurs in the U.S.

When a fire occurs, your main concern is safety.  Once everyone has evacuated and the fire has been put out, you are left with ash and soot.  Where do you go from here?  Call in the professionals.  Not just the brand you can trust, but the family you can trust, "SERVPRO" of Alachua County West.

The first thing "SERVPRO" does when arriving on site is assess the situation.  We will go through your home taking a look at all affected areas.  Then we will pretest the restorability of items within your home.  By pretesting, we determine what can be restored vs replaced.  We believe that every home contains valuable items that a customer does not view as "replaceable."  That is why we try our very best to restore versus replace.

One component that makes fire damage that much more difficult to clean up is smoke.  There are multiple types of smoke, therefore there are multiple cleaning methods used for fire damage.  Examples of smoke include but are not limited to:  wet smoke (plastics & rubbers-low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary), dry smoke(paper &wood- fast burning, high temperatures), protein fire residue (evaporation of material) and fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs).  Each type of smoke requires a different cleaning method and is therefor a cleaning job best left to the professionals.  

Just in case a fire occurs in your home or business, here's some tips to keep in mind...

DO:

  • Limit the movement indoors to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets
  • Keep hands clean.  Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls &woodwork
  • Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery &carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer &refrigerator completely and prop doors open
  • Clean soot from chrome on kitchen &bathroom faucets, trim &appliances and protect with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil
  • Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls &tubs if heat is off during freezing season
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants
  • Change HVAC filter
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system

DON'T:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without 1st contacting SERVPRO
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without 1st consulting with SERVPRO
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to the fire, heat or water
  • Consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet
  • Send garments to dry cleaner.  Improper cleaning may set smoke odor

If you have a fire in your home or business, call "SERVPRO" at (352)374-6589.  We will be more than happy to visit the site, assess the situation and provide you with an accurate estimate for fire damage restoration.  Then, we can make it "Like it never even happened" for you.

Are you ready for an Emergency?

1/15/2016 (Permalink)

Preparedness at Your fingertips

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be "Ready for whatever happens."

SERVPRO is always thinking about the future.  They are constantly creating new and innovative ways to not only make a disaster "like it never even happened" but to also make sure that you, the customer, the one in need, is at least somewhat prepared for a disaster.  One of their newest innovations is the Emergency Ready Profile.  Never heard of it?  Well, that's just a shame!

The Emergency Ready Profile is necessary information that can be accessed either via website or mobile app in the midst of a disaster.  This profile contains where water shut offs are, all emergency contacts, and where electricity shut offs are.  Unfortunately, not everyone in your home or workplace knows this information.  Let's say that one of your coworkers decides to stay late in the office.  He or she is the only one there.  There is a plumbing malfunction and the toilet never ceases running.  The coworker does not notice this for hours until the water has seaped into his or her office.  Now, there is a problem.  The coworker panics.  They do not know who they should be calling, where the shutoffs are, etc.  Instead they frantically call their manager.  Meanwhile, the water is still seaping through the office because it has not been shut off.  More water damage is made and perhaps some items even become unsalvageable.  But, a plumbing malfunction did not have to lead to such a disastrous situation.  Some of the damage could have been eleviated by one valuable mobile app.  

The Emergency Ready Profile is great for anyone and everyone.  But it helps businesses more than anyone.  50% of businesses that go through disastrous situations never reopen their doors.  If some of the damage could be prevented by having informed employees and employers, perhaps that percentage would be lower.  

"Before anything else, the key to success is preparation."  So, why wouldn't you prepare yourself and your business for a possible disaster?  Unfortunately, disasters occur every day, both small and large.  By being prepared, when this day arrives, you will be preventing further damage.  

Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West today (352)374-6589 to set up an appointment with Melissa Doring.  She will come by and set up the Emergency Ready Profile for you, your household or your business, free of charge.  As they say, the best things in life are free! 

Epilepsy Awareness Month 2015

11/19/2015 (Permalink)

Julianne Raymond, our Marketing Representative and daughter of the owners, a advocate and supporter of Epilepsy Awareness.

It's November again...

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month and the Marketing Representative and daughter of the owners, Julianne Raymond, is back at it trying to raise Epilepsy awareness again.  This year has been a great year for Julianne's volunteering and advocacy work.  She was awarded the Champion for Epilepsy of  2015 and has worked intently to make Epilepsy Awareness Month the biggest it has been in Gainesville.  

Julianne decided that 2015 was the year that she would start her own event to raise Epilepsy Awareness and raise support for the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida.  Being that we are in Gainesville, the heart of Gator nation, she figured that the best event would be one combined with the Gators.  Julianne is hosting a Tailgators for Epilepsy Awareness tailgate on November 28th, leading up to the UF v FSU football game.  She has received plenty of support from local businesses in order to accomplish this event.  Backstreet Blues Catering and Winghouse are sponsoring the food and Swamphead is providing the beverages.  Local businesses such as Campus Scooters, Celebrate Primary Care, Craig Bost's Farm Bureau Insurance office, Front Street Realty, Gift Certificates & More and NorthWestern Mutual have all reached out to support Julianne's cause.  SERVPRO, of course, is also one of her featured sponsors and could not be more excited for the event.  We are looking forward to a wonderful day filled with epilepsy awareness, games and a Gator win! 

Were you gone for the summer?

8/21/2015 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation in a Gainesville, FL Home. Technician is in full Mold protective gear.

Gainesville is often called a "College Town" thanks to our wonderful university, University of Florida, and our college that was voted #1 in the nation, Santa Fe.  When summer approaches, we experience a massive decline in population; a decline of about 3.2%.  The Spring semester ends and students head home to visit with friends and families.  When they leave their apartment, home, townhome, or condo, they assume that upon their return everything will be just as they left it.  That, unfortunately, is not always the case.

With the return of college students and summer vacationers alike, we have had a massive influx in mold remediation jobs.  People return to their homes to either find their walls, floors and belongings covered in mold.  Most have no idea what caused it or what to do next!  That's where we come in.  

Primary causes of Mold growth include but are certainly not limited to:  water intrusion, the improper dryout of water damage, flooding, high humidity levels, and a broken or turned off air conditioning unit.  In the case of a home that is left empty for the summer, finding mold upon returning is very common.  In general, the cause is a turned off air conditioning unit.  NEVER turn off your air conditioner.  Florida has an extremely high humidity level.  A high humidity level is the perfect condition for mold growth.  An air conditioner set at 78 degrees Farenheit, at the very highest, will keep the cost of your electrical bill low all while circulating the air in your home and preventing mold growth.  The second most common cause behind mold growth is an unknown water intrusion.  If you plan to leave your home empty over the summer, have a friend or neighbor whom you trust periodically stop by to monitor the condition of your home.  For example, we experienced plenty of heavy rainfall this summer, as Florida normally does.  What if you have any unknown leak in your roof?  Water damage will occur.  Unfortunately if no one is in the home to catch this, the water damage will only get worse.  The wet walls, flooring, etc are breeding grounds for mold.  While you are away enjoying your summer, mold is infesting your home.  But sometimes, you don't even have to have an uninhabited home for this to occur!  If water damage occurs in your home, whether it be from indoor or outdoor sources, handle it properly.  Water damage that is not dryed properly will result in mold.  Water mitigation might not be the cheapest process, but mold remediation can certainly be more expensive.  The longer water damage lingers without being handled properly, the more damage that is created.

There are many common misconceptions when it comes to mold.    

What you need to know is that mold is everywhere.  There are many different classifications of mold.  Some are more hazardous to your health than others.  The worst of them, black mold, is not always black.  Some mold that is black in color is not actually black mold.  The mold that is in your home is not always visible to the naked eye. Lastly, mildew is mold.  Mildew is simply a nicer and less "scary" way of saying mold.  Fact of the matter is,  what you view as "just mildew" is just as hazardous and harmful to your health as mold.  

Do not down play the seriousness of mold growth.  If you believe that mold has infested your home, call a mold assessor and request a testing.  In the state of Florida, it is illegal for one to be both a mold assessor and a mold remediator on a job site.  SERVPRO only handles mold remediation.  Once you have received your mold assessment and it is confirmed that you have a hazardous amount of mold in your home, call SERVPRO.  Thanks to our knowledge, experience, training and national certifications, we will come in and properly perform mold remediation.      

We Value Our Customers

7/14/2015 (Permalink)

One of the Thank You cards we received after Julianne visited with a thank you gift.

Beginning last July, SERVPRO of Alachua County West implemented a "Thank You" program.  Once a job is completed with a customer, our marketing representative, Julianne Raymond, visits with a thank you gift.  Normally, she will stop by with fresh baked cookies and a hand written thank you card.  Those that use SERVPRO's services are going through a tough time.  When they call us, it is due to a recent disaster in their lives, whether it is caused by fire, water, or mold.  Dealing with such a disaster will prove to be one of the most stressful situations they have ever experienced.

      SERVPRO swoops in at the time of need as a "hero in green."  Hopefully, we relieve some of the stress that the customer experiences and return their home and their lives to pre-existing conditions.  Once we have a completed a job, our hope is that your home appears "like it (the disaster) never even happened."  While customers are grateful for us, the services that we provide, we don't think that is said enough how grateful we are for THEM.  Without our valued customers, we would not be the business we are today.  

Every single customer we have is a blessing and we want you to feel that way.  We are not your only choice when it comes to businesses in the restoration industry, but we are your BEST choice.  And by you picking us above the rest, we take that as a compliment to which we are grateful to receive.

The "Thank You" system was implemented to display just a little token of appreciation that we have for each and every customer.  Now a days, the personal touch is lost with businesses.  The customer, who is the most important person, is never shown the appreciation that they deserve.  We at SERVPRO of Alachua County West are working to change that.  We have received great feedback thus far and it is certainly something that we will continue to do.  If you don't choose SERVPRO because of the knowledge, reliability and experience, at least choose us for the homemade cookies you'll receive at the end of the job!  

SERVPRO and the United Way

4/13/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alachua County West firmly believes in giving back to the community.  Throughout the years, we have donated and volunteered at several foundations including but not limited to PACE, the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, Peaceful Paths, the Boys and Girls Club and Catholic Charities.  This year, SERVPRO of Alachua County West decided to become a Small Business Partner with the United Way of North Central Florida.  

The United Way does not focus on one charity, it expands to benefit several in the community.  The United Way of North Central Florida has 29 Community Impact Partners.  Therefore each dollar you give is shared among the ACORN Clinic, Alachua County 4-H, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, the Catholic Charities Bureau, CDS Family and Behaviorial Health Services, Child Advocacy Center, Childhood Developmental Services, Children's Home Society, Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County, ElderCare of Alachua County, Friends of the Micanopy Library, Gainesville HIPPY, Gilchrist County School Board, Girl's Place, Healthy Families Alachua, Institute for Workforce Innovation, Kids Count in Alachua County, North Florida YMCA, Partnership for Strong Families, Peaceful Paths, Riechert House, St. Francis House, Suwannee River AHEC, ARC of Alachua County, Guardian Foundation, the Salvation Army, Three Rivers Legal Services and VETSPACE.  

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is so proud to help in such an influential way in our community by partnering with United Way.   
Want to get to know Becky Raymond, one of our owners, just a tad better?  Below is a link about Becky and how she feels to be working with United Way:
http://www.unitedwayncfl.org/spotlightSERVPRO

SERVPRO of Alachua County West... A Family Business

2/19/2015 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO Family

Most people see SERVPRO and automatically think of a faceless and large corporation.  Many do not know that while SERVPRO is a nationally known corporation, its over 1600 franchises are all individually owned and operated.  This, in part, is what makes us better than the rest.

One of SERVPRO's biggest advantages over its competition is that no job is too large or too small for us.  Due to the fact that we are a corporation, we have access to unlimited supplies.  If a large loss occurs, we can call in as many "sister" franchises as we need.  SERVPRO even has both a Large Loss team and a Storm Team for such cases.  On the other hand, as before stated, SERVPRO franchises are all individually owned and operated.  So by using a SERVPRO, you are still keeping it local and supporting your community.

SERVPRO of Alachua County West has been servicing Gainesville and surrounding areas for the past 20+ years.  However, the current owners, Mark and Becky Raymond, did not purchase the business until 2007.  Mark Raymond graduated from the University of Florida and worked over 30 years in the retail industry before he stumbled upon SERVPRO.  He then worked as the marketing representative and progressed his way to general manager working for the SERVPRO of Arlington in Jacksonville, FL for nearly 8 years.  When word came out that the SERVPRO of Alachua County West franchise was for sale, Mark jumped at the opportunity.  Not only was this a franchise that he could believe in  but he had also always wanted to own his own business.  In 2007, this dream was made a reality.  He moved to Gainesville, FL with his supportive wife, Becky, and two of his four children, Julianne and Joshua Raymond.  Mark and Becky's eldest son, Jason, already had around four years of previous experience working for SERVPRO.  So once the franchise was purchased, he put his knowledge and experience to use as their Production Manager.  Their daughter, Julianne Raymond, is their current Marketing Representative.  

Altogether, the Raymonds work to make it "like it never even happened" for you.  SERVPRO of Alachua County West is therefore not only a brand you can trust, but a family you can trust.

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month

11/25/2014 (Permalink)

Our Advocate, Fighter and Marketer, Julianne Raymond

Not very many people know this, but November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month.  Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that truly gets very little attention, even though every 1 in 26 people is diagnosed at some point in their lives.  Our very own Marketing Representative, Julianne Raymond, was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 16.  Below is a link of her story.   http://epilepsyu.com/stories/julianne-raymonds-story  

Since spreading Epilepsy Awareness obviously has a special place in Julianne's heart, she created a flyer with 26 facts about Epilepsy.  She has been handing it out to all of the local businesses and properties to which she markets.  The flyer can be found in our posted photos.  

We are so proud to have such a strong advocate.  Spread the knowledge and rock the purple!

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