Recent Water Damage Posts

Precautions In Returning Home After A Flood

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

flood A quick response after a flood is important in the restoration process.

If you have experienced a flood that has impacted your home, it is common to feel anxious returning when the water recedes and the restoration process begins.

While recovering from a flood as quickly is advised, it is important to keep safety in mind. Working safely to restore your home will help the recovery process smoother and prevent any injuries or further damage from occurring.

Tips for Returning to Your Household After a Flood

Avoid further safety hazards. While you may be ready to get home, you should never do so without first getting the go-ahead from local officials. Between contaminated floodwaters, electrical issues and other various dangers, you should always listen to authorities regarding what is and is not safe to do.

Air out the home. If there is no upcoming inclement weather, opening doors and windows up will help rid the home of stale and hazardous air. Mold growth will have likely already started if surfaces are wet, but increasing air circulation can prevent it from getting out of hand. If it has been a few days since you have been able to enter the house, entering to begin the airing out process and then leaving to let the toxic air escape is advised.

Document the damages. Taking action right away is a natural reaction to discovering the flood damage to your home, but documenting the damages with photographic evidence first is advised. Though not all instances of flooding are covered by insurance, if you have a flood policy in place or the incident is covered, having these photographs can help you maximize your claim.

Contact your restoration and insurance companies immediately. Keeping your insurance company in the loop regarding flood damages is a top priority so you can make any claims you are eligible for. After contacting them, get in touch with SERVPRO so you can get a quick response and begin the recovery. The longer water damage is allowed to sit, the more detrimental it can be, so starting restoration is always advised.

Benefits of Our Water Damage Restoration Process

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

liquid SERVPRO's 6-step process is key to restoring your property.

When a pipe breaks or storms flood your home or business, acting promptly is critical. That is why we are on hand 24/7 for you to call and we can start or proven restoration process and have our residence or commercial building back to its pre-damaged state fast. 

1. Initial Emergency Contact
Our 24-hour emergency line means that you can get in touch with us regardless of what hour you discover the damage. We will ask for key information to learn more about the damage and make the call on what resources and staffing numbers your job will require.

2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
After your call, we will rush to you in order to assess the full extent of the damage and review a detailed restoration plan before we begin the work. This is also where we will check for any safety hazards like contaminated water and halt the source of the water, if necessary.

3. Moisture Extraction
Extracting the water quickly is the best chance you have at reducing the overall damage, which is why we bring in industrial-grade vacuums and pumps to do just that. 

4. Dehumidifying and Drying
After the bulk of the water is removed, we bring in our advanced dryers to use on all the porous substances on your home (basically anything that is not metal or plastic). This will dry everything  thoroughly and reduce the likelihood that mold and mildew will develop.

5. Cleaning and Repair
Once they are fully dry, structures and objects that have been water-damaged will generally need a thorough cleaning as well. This ensures that they are not contaminated and also prevents them from developing a harsh odor that is common for water-damaged things.

6. Restoration
When you work with us, we guarantee a complete restoration—which also includes making structural repairs to drywall, floors and other elements of your home, as well as painting and refinishing to ensure it is fully restored to its pre-damaged condition.

Don't hesitate to contact us when water bursts into your life. Call SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West at 352-374-6589 so we can make your disaster, "Like it never even happened."

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. 

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.

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 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 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!

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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."

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.

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.

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."

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.

Dos and Don’ts for Water Damage

2/6/2020 (Permalink)


  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified plumbing technician to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. 
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Pin up upholstered furniture skirting to keep off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with carpeting or floors. 
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.


  • Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Do not enter effected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items that may cause staining on wet carpet or floors.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damaging the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixture if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 

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.


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.

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.

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!

Water Restoration

2/5/2019 (Permalink)


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.

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.” 

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.

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.

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.

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 and program (352)374-6589 into your mobile phone so SERVPRO of Alachua County West can be faster to your disaster!

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."

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!

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.