If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (386) 754-0261

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Accidents can happen at any time.

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with glove on using a brush to clean blood from carpet If you find yourself in an unthinkable situation, SERVPRO is here to help. Don’t hesitate to call.

Sometimes, in life, you will notice that we are trapped in various kinds of tragic circumstances. 

It can happen anytime anywhere. But you certainly cannot leave the bodily fluids for too long or further damage can occur. That is why we are available 24/7 for this type of emergency. We, here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, treat every service we perform with the utmost care, sensitivity, and attention to detail.

Our vehicles and personnel always operate with discretion in mind, in order to provide you with the privacy you need and deserve.  We provide a full range of cleanup services as well as biohazard clean up services, including unattended death, suicide, homicide, and other areas of trauma scene clean up.  As a locally owned and operated company, we pride ourselves on serving the communities we also call home.  Our professional team understands the sensitive nature of your needs, and the emotional distress that most people requiring our services have surely felt.  

Facts About Tornadoes

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

Wind in a cone like dark cloudy setting Don't let this catch you unprepared.

Tornadoes are one of the most powerful types of weather that can occur. What are tornadoes? Where do tornadoes hit? Why do tornadoes happen? Do you have as many questions about tornadoes as we do? Well, join us as we learn all about tornadoes.

Let’s get started with some fun facts and discover what tornadoes are, where tornadoes are most likely to happen and why tornadoes form!

  • Tornadoes are formed from thunderstorms.
  • Tornadoes are made of air.
  • Tornadoes are measured with the Fujita Scale.
  • Tornadoes have very high winds.
  • Most tornadoes occur in Tornado Alley.
  • Tornadoes can be created over water.
  • A tornado has other names.

Here at SERVPRO in Lake City we feel like the more knowledge you have you can do things to protect and prepare for such a situation you might be in the path of a tornado.  To stay safe during a tornado, prepare a plan and an emergency kit, stay aware of weather conditions during thunderstorms, know the best places to shelter both indoors and outdoors and always protect your head. Tornadoes continue to impact locations across the country every year, bringing massive winds and destruction in their paths.

Things to Know About Water Safety

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Family splashing feet in water sitting onside of a pool Learning Water Safety Is a Must

With summer arriving we here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties wanted to take a minute to give some helpful tips when it comes to protecting your family and friends.   It only takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line or apply sunscreen. Death and injury from drownings happen every day in home pools and hot tubs, at the beach or in oceanslakes, rivers and streams, bathtubs and even buckets. We have attached several links to The Red Cross for you to review.  

Work together to improve water competency – which includes swimming skills, water smarts and helping others – you can make water activities safer for your family… and just as much fun.  While Lake City offers several private instructors for swim lessons you can also use this link to find the closest swim classes offered by The Red Cross which for us, is located in Orange Park, Florida.  

These actions will help your family avoid emergencies – and help you respond if an emergency occurs: 

  • Paying close attention to children or weak swimmers you are supervising in or near water.
  • Knowing the signs that someone is drowning.
  • Knowing ways to safely assist a drowning person, such as “reach or throw, don’t go”.
  • Knowing CPR and first aid

Join SERVPRO in helping our family, friends and community stay safe!  Here in North Florida we want to enjoy the summer so let's get out there and safely have some fun!

Fire Damage Restoration Process

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

2 firefighters hosing down a fire on the stove and in cabinets - flames Fire & Water Damage all in one

Fire is not something that any family wants to deal with but it is helpful to know a little bit about the restoration process in case you ever do run into this type of issue. There are a few different steps that will facilitate the restoration process and each is critical to your family getting back up on their feet after a fire.

The first step is to talk to your insurance agency. The vast majority of homeowner’s insurance companies have clauses that will help put you in contact with a restoration company and that will help you pay for the process. This will ensure that you can get the best company for the best price.

Secondly, a restoration company will first and foremost work to remove the water from the home. Leaving water in a home for a long period of time can possible end up with mold growing, which can make the home even less livable. Removal of water can take a few hours to a few days depending on how much water was pumped into the home to stop the fire.

In cases where the home is a total loss, no steps will be taken and the insurance company will move to help have the home leveled. The second step is to clean up debris; cleaning debris allows the restoration company and insurance adjuster to get a better look at what damage was done so that they can begin to assess an action plan to determine what can be saved and what must be thrown away.

After debris is removed, restoration companies might use an ozone machine to remove the smoke smell and will clean the ceiling, walls and floors to make sure the smoke smell is gone. The next step is construction; we will work with the homeowner to create a reconstruction plan to get your home back on track.  

For professional property restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties located in Lake City, Florida.  We are specialized in water damage restoration and are also the leading odor cleaning company in the area. Contact us today at 386-754-0261!

The Dangers of Standing Flood Water From A Storm

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

Car with flood water up to the exterior of the doors So many times you don't think water is this deep until it is too late! Turn Around, Don't Drown!

Storms and hurricanes devastate different regions every year. Unfortunately, some of the biggest dangers caused by storms can occur after the storm has already passed. In addition to a lack of supplies and road closures, the standing flood water resulting from storms can cause serious risks. According to the CDC here are some of the most severe problems floods can bring.

Health Effects

Standing flood water is teeming with risks. The CDC has a section detailing all of the possible risks that can become more likely in the event of a storm disaster. They recommend not to drink or eat anything that has been contaminated by standing flood water and to always wash hands as often as possible - especially before meals. 

Physical Hazards

Murky water can conceal dangerous insects or even threatening animals beneath the surface. Much of this depends on the location of the storm, but it's not unheard of for alligators to make use of a new habitat resulting from a storm. In addition, much of the physical damage caused by a storm is still present in the water. This can include broken glass or sharp metal which might be impossible to see before it causes injury. On top of that, storms frequently cause damage to power lines. These can lead to a risk of electrocution in standing water. Flood water itself poses the possibility of causing drowning, whether people are in their cars or trying to swim across.

If you need storm damage repair or water damage cleanup, contact the team at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties today at 386-754-0261.

Preparing for a Tornado

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

List of things to do if a tornado threatens Preparing, Staying Safe & What Steps to Take After a Tornado if you have damage.

Knowing what to do when you see a tornado, or when you hear a tornado warning, can help protect you and your loved ones. During a tornado, people face hazards from extremely high winds and risk being struck by flying and falling objects. After a tornado, the damage left behind poses additional injury risks. Although nothing can be done to prevent tornadoes, there are actions you can take to protect your health and safety.

There are so many sources to assist in preparing you for what a tornado is, what to do if you hear or see one and how to deal with things afterwards.   One source we utilized for our information is Ready.gov and things to do during the tornado such as stay away from windows, doors and outside walls.  Don't go under a bridge or an overpass.  Watch for flying debris. Go to the smallest interior room of your home or business and so on...   

To get the updates and information about current weather conditions you can tune into a NOAA Weather Radio.  On countless occasions NOAA Weather Radio-All Hazards has saved many lives.  Currently, 98 percent of the population in the United States is covered by a NOAA Weather Radio-All Hazards transmitter.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties is here to help afterwards if you need assistance cleaning up or repairing damage done to your home or business.  You can reach us at 386-754-0261 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!  

WHY OUR CLIENTS APPRECIATE OUR PEOPLE-FIRST APPROACH!

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

Customer Service Words Relating to Let us show you Why we are the Company you should Choose!

At SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, we take pride in recognizing the people affected by the emergencies that we tend to work on. Whether it’s someone’s home or a place of business, we know that these tragic turns have a ripple of consequences that touch many lives.

That’s why we make our guarantee to be onsite quickly. The faster we begin our work, the faster these emergencies can be taken care of and the sooner those affected can get back to their lives. 

When you’re touched by an emergency, make us your first call! We are here to help. Get ahold of us at 386-754-0261!

What You’ll Learn

  • Why our clients appreciate our approach.
  • How our company cares about those we help.
  • What it means to our clients to have the “human factor” in this industry.

We want our customers to know that we live in this community and want to impress upon our customers that we love North Central Florida.  Shopping in the same stores and eating in the same restaurants truly makes a difference.  Choose SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties to assist you in Lake City, Live Oak, Perry, Mayo, Lake Butler, Fort White, White Springs and surrounding counties.  

How You Can Change Cleaning Habits in the Office

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

Notebook with Time to Change Habits on it Does your Office Staff Need to Make some Changes?

One of the most important contributors to office productivity is cleanliness. Indeed, a dirty, disorganized workplace can negatively affect one’s mental focus, emotions, and behavior. All of this is not to mention how clutter and grime can easily become hazards when left unchecked.

The problem is that different people have different cleaning and tidying habits. One person may be more conscientious about keeping their workspace neat, while another can be a little more haphazard. This makes keeping your office spick-and-span a little tricky.

Fortunately, there are simple solutions that can help change cleaning habits in the office. Here are some tips to follow so you and your colleagues can maintain an environment that’s conducive to efficiency and effectivity:

Clean More Often

One of the best things to do to inspire and cultivate a culture of cleanliness in the office is to simply clean more often. If you have a pre-opening and post-closing cleaning schedule, you may want to insert a midday or afternoon session.

It’s also a good idea to have your office deep-cleaned every so often. Get in touch with your hired professional cleaners to see what kind of arrangements can be made.

As everyone in the office gets used to a cleaner environment, they will become more averse to dirt and mess. Ultimately, this can trigger a change in their cleaning habits.

Present Facts

Sometimes, only cold, hard facts can convince people to make a move. Present scientific facts related to office cleanliness, such as that an office desk can harbor more germs than a toilet seat. This can definitely discourage some bad habits such as eating at one’s work desk!

Minimize the Paper Trail

When it comes to office clutter, one of the biggest culprits is paper. From envelopes and sticky notes to folders and printed emails, there’s no shortage of paper waste in the workplace.

Fortunately, paper waste can be recycled. Unfortunately, not all paper waste goes into the trash bin. Some of them get stuck on top of desks or inside of filing cabinets, completely forgotten and taking up valuable space.

To prevent the accumulation of paper waste, it’s best to minimize paper use in the first place. For example, there’s usually no need for a hard copy of an email. If you need to refer to its contents, then just bring it up on your computer or even your phone.

Certain documents such as employee handbooks should be made digital. This reduces the need for printing, which reduces your expenses in this regard. Having digital files also makes revisions and updates so much easier.

Keep Cords Out of Sight

There are times when things are actually quite organized in the office but things still look messy. The likely culprit? Visible and tangled wires and cords.

To keep things looking sleek, get used to using wireless keyboards, mice and other peripherals. For accessories and appliances that can’t be used without cables, invest in wire organizers or holders.  With wires and cords out of the way, things will look much neater. It’s also much safer, since there are fewer tripping hazards.

Lead by Example

Last but certainly not the least, to change everyone’s cleaning habits in the office, you need to lead by example. As the famous quote goes, be the change you want to see.

If people have been used to eating at their desks, make it a point to not eat at your desk. When meal times come, invite everyone to the assigned eating areas. If there are those who don’t follow the rules on recycling, be more demonstrative of your efforts. You can even assign a recycling day, where you gather and sort all recyclables to send to the correct facilities.

It can be difficult to change deeply ingrained cleaning habits, but it’s well worth the effort if you consider the kind and quality of change it can bring about. The key is to be patient. Studies have shown that it takes at least 66 days and at most 254 days to develop a new habit. Just keep at it and you’ll be able to instill a culture of cleanliness at work!

Let SERVPRO take care of your upholstery, carpet, ceramic tile and duct cleaning when it is time.   We are located in Lake City, Fl. and cover 8 counties to include Columbia, Suwannee, Lafayette, Hamilton, Union, Levy , Baker & Taylor.  Our 2nd franchise located in Orange Park, Florida covers Clay, Duval and Baker counties.  You can reach us at 386-754-0261 or 904-861-8870.

Understanding the Impact of Smoke

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

White Smoke on Dark Background Fire is the culprit, Smoke & Soot is what you're Cleaning

Fire is dangerous. We all know that. But, did you know that the flames themselves might not be the greatest risk as far as property damage?  Fire smoke is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio. And while direct exposure to smoke is said to be harmful to your respiratory system, it can also negatively affect your property’s structure, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Smoke from any type of fire is comprised of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and soot. Depending on what’s burning, many other harmful chemicals also enter the air and latch onto walls, furniture, clothing, ductwork and other areas.  

When it comes to your property, knowing how temperature, the surrounding environment, particle ionization and airflow patterns affect smoke distribution can help you better restore your property to normal. To better understand how smoke behaves during a fire, review this information from the experts at SERVPRO.

Temperature

Because hot air rises, smoke damage is most commonly found in the following places:

  • Directly above where the fire blazed: Assuming no strong air currents are flowing through the building, the highest concentration of smoke residue is usually found on the ceiling above the fire.
  • Outside walls and windows: Cold air sinks below warmer air, opening up a path for the smoke to travel to exterior windows and walls. Even if the fire is concentrated in the center of the room, it’s common to find lots of smoke residue on outside walls.

Surrounding Environment

Homes have furniture, decorations, enclosed spaces and other features that interact with smoke. Sometimes smoke damage is found in seemingly bizarre places, but once you break down what causes it to interact with the surrounding environment, it begins to make sense. For example, smoke damage is often found:

  • In seemingly enclosed spaces: Dresser drawers, closed closets and wall cavities that seem closed off often have more smoke damage than the area where the fire blazed. The reason is because molecules are more excited in warmer air. The rapid movement creates higher energy sufficient enough to carry smoke particles in the air. In cooler air where molecules move more slowly, there’s not enough energy to keep particles aloft, so they fall out of the airstream and onto surfaces in these cooler, relatively enclosed areas.
  • Behind drapes and on blinds: There’s often a big temperature difference between the room and the space behind the drapes. Because smoke naturally moves to cooler areas, it’s common to find much more smoke residue behind the drapes than on the surface facing the room. Likewise, venetian blinds and pull shades often attract smoke residue more than surrounding surfaces, making the smoke damage here a good indicator of the true overall damage.

Particle Ionization

Smoke particles are often ionized, meaning they possess an electrical charge that attracts them to certain surfaces. That’s why you often find smoke damage:

  • Surrounding nail heads in the ceiling: While hidden by drywall, metal nail heads still create a magnetic attraction, causing ionized smoke particles to land in a ring around them. The outline disappears after the smoke damage has been cleared away.
  • Clustered in cobweb-like shapes in corners of the room: When plastics burn, the smoke carries a stronger charge than when wood, cotton or paper burns. Sometimes, this causes smoke residue to form “smoke webs” where the walls and ceiling come together.
  • On synthetic materials: Manmade furnishings tend to end up with more residue on them after a fire than natural materials because they have greater ionization characteristics that attract smoke particles. Vinyl in particular can attract such high concentrations of smoke that it becomes permanently stained.

Airflow Pattern

Air currents carry smoke and soot away from the fire and deposit residue in interesting ways. For example, smoke damage is often seen:

  • In ductwork: Even when the forced-air system isn’t running, smoke still finds its way into the cooler ductwork. The passageway leads the smoke to rooms far away from the fire, resulting in damage to areas that would otherwise have seen little or no impact from the blaze.
  • On the far side of door openings: Smoke flows around things in its way like water passing around stones in a stream. These obstructions act like filters, causing more smoke residue to be deposited on the far side of door openings and the ceilings right above. This pattern diminishes the further away the smoke travels from the fire.

In the end, while smoke damage may seem erratic and random, it’s all in the physics. Understanding this may help take the mystery out of an already stressful situation. If you experience smoke damage, call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties located in North Central Florida and restore your property. 

Your Commercial Property Has Suffered Storm Damage — What Now?

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

Large drying fans and truck with SERVPRO logo We are ready for whatever size damage you have!

As a business owner, you’ll face many unique and back-breaking challenges over the years, not limited to storm damage. Whether you’re face-to-face with extensive water damage or wind damage, the storm recovery process for commercial properties can help you put the pieces back together. Despite hiring a local restoration company who knows their stuff, you’re likely still concerned. You’re concerned about re-opening your business and cutting your losses.

The longer your business is shut down because of storm damage, the worse the long-term effects are. You’ll ultimately lose customers and business. We cannot let that happen. The commercial restoration process is a sure thing when time is of the essence.

Commercial Property Restoration After Storm Damage

Whether you’re faced with flood damage or the aftermath of a particularly terrible thunderstorm, the fact is, you need help. You need a certified, local restoration company able to address your property damage concerns quickly — within an hour whenever possible and with SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, guaranteed onsite within 4 hours.

Confirming the Damage

The first step, and arguably one of the most important, is to fully assess the damage to your business. Without a firm understanding of the problem, the technicians will be unable to fully address your concerns.

If it’s water damage, the problem is likely soaking into building materials, such as your wallpaper, drywall and flooring. To combat the problem, the team will use a moisture meter to track the water damage, as well as visual signs, and begin reversing the problem.

Drying the Area

Using truck mounted extraction vacuums, air movers and water pumps, any standing water left behind by the storm will be removed and the area will be thoroughly dried.

When drying a commercial property affected by flood or storm damage, it’s important to seal off the space. Any exposure to outside air can promote mold growth and make the job ten times harder.

Unfortunately, some office equipment and furniture may need to be tossed out.

Document the Damages

In order to get your business back up and running, you’ll need money to cover the damages and purchase new supplies or goods. For that, you need insurance. Of course, we all know that insurance companies are picky. They want concrete proof of the damages and will send an adjuster to explore the scene for themselves.

It’s your responsibility to document everything for the insurance company or ensure that the mitigation company you call takes photographs and videos of the damages as proof for your storm damage claim. If any materials must be tossed out, consider renting a garbage container and keeping everything on-site for the time being. The damaged items will serve as further proof for your claim.

To ensure your business is back up and running sooner, call your local SERVPRO for 24-hour storm recovery and water damage restoration services. Please do not hesitate to call our offices!

The 4 Classes of Water Intrusion

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

Water dripping from a knock down ceiling in a room filled with fitness equipment aka a gym Determining the way to handle the water intrusion is important!

One of the first steps our technicians will do when assessing the commercial water damage is to determine not only the category of water damage but all the classes of water intrusion. What this means to the customer is that we will look at humidity and how it affects the drying process. To do this, we determine the amount of water intrusion.

Class 1

This is generally a small area of your business property in relation to the total square footage of the area and has a low evaporation property based on the type of material that was affected.  It is the least severe and easiest to deal with.

Class 2

This is a larger area of your property, up to 40%, and again has a low evaporation property based on the type of material that was affected.  This can wreak a little more havoc than class 1, usually the entire room or area is affected and there is carpet and pad, possibly water has wicked up the walls and there is structural moisture to contend with.  This leaves opportunity for lasting damage to the structure of the building if not taken care of properly

Class 3

In this category, we are looking at a great amount of water damage, well over 40%, of the area and it also has the fastest absorption rate with ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and subfloors all saturated and walls wet up to 2 ft.

Class 4

This, unfortunately, would be the worst-case situation for a business owner. We are talking about significant water damage covering an extensive area. An example of this would be a flood where your first floor is underwater by a foot of water and debris. You can expect longer cleanup and drying times with this type of water intrusion.

Understanding the level of water intrusion you have is important for us as professionals to understand how to remediate the best way.  Call us at 386-754-0261 and we can help assess your damage at no charge and move forward with what works best for you and your company.  Located in Lake City we cover eight counties surrounding us in North Florida and have a sister location in Orange Park at 904-861-8870.   

Is your Business Prepared for Hurricane Season?

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Palm Tree Blowing in Wind Is your business ready?

Hurricane season is upon us! Here are 8 hurricane preparedness tips that will help you prepare for a hurricane’s effect on your business, employees and community by highlighting activities you should undertake before, during and following the event.

1. Prepare A Plan And Practice It!

Although today’s technology allows advanced warning of approaching storms, there is little that can be done to continue business operations if no contingency plan is in place. I’m not just speaking of knowing the hurricane routes out of town, but planning an overall strategy that extends to all parts of your business. 

2. Backup Your Data!  

Businesses depend on information technology. The technology centers around software, hardware, and data. Without access to data, business quickly comes to a screeching halt. Work with your I/S team to ensure that backups are performed in a timely manner and that they are stored in a facility that is safe, secure, dependable. 

3. Protect Your Site!

Protecting your site facilities is instrumental in continuing or restoring operations in the event of a hurricane, Batteries, generators, backup water source, boarding windows.  Work with your team to establish a shutdown and recovery plan.  

4. Operate Remotely

Inability to access your facility is a highly probable occurrence when a hurricane approaches. Roads may be flooded or closed by authorities. Employees may be unable to leave their homes in a state of emergency or may be unwilling to leave their families. It is very important to plan for this scenario in which your business facility is operational but the employees are unable or unwilling to get there.

5. Establish An On-Site Support Plan

Another way to address the problem of access is to prepare a specially selected team of employees to “camp out” at the processing facility. This plan would necessarily include the provisioning of food and water supplies, the acquisition of sleeping facilities (folding cots or sleeping bags are a few choices that work), the availability of bathing facilities and amenities (such as razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, soap, blow dryers, etc.) and spare clothes for all employees. 

6. Declare Early

Some businesses declare emergency status well in advance, activating recovery plans, vendors, and action teams quickly. Don’t worry or wait. It is important that you do not hesitate to act. If you subscribe for services through a recovery services vendor, most providers operate on a firstcome, first-served basis.

7. Implement An Effective Communications Strategy

Communications are important to any business entity. In the event of a pending hurricane, it becomes even more crucial. Communications are needed to coordinate emergency activities, to implement the recovery/contingency plan, to warn employees of impending danger, to inform families and off-duty personnel about what’s happening, to maintain contact with customers and suppliers, as well as proactively maintain an information line with the media. 

8. Expect The Unexpected

Murphy’s law does apply to hurricanes. Remain flexible and adaptable. You should also remember that the nature of the hurricane will influence your recovery direction. The impact of senior management, customer, and employee decisions (or personal impacts) may also alter your plans. Try not to make assumptions and do not hesitate to act. The best defense against the unexpected is the “P” cubed principle...Prepare, Plan, and Practice (reference number one). Continuously update your plans after each practice or recovery activity and capture any lessons learned. This helps to keep Murphy in check... As you can see, business continuity before, during, and after a hurricane takes preparation. While a hurricane does provide some advance warning, this warning does not provide enough time to adequately prepare for continued business continuity. What is required is a serious, thoughtful and committed approach to the challenge of recovering your business, whether your company is in a hurricane risk area or not. Make hurricane preparedness your business before the wind blows.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan Advantage

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Team Employees of SERVPRO in a huddle discussing a plan of action Is your team ready? SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is!

When disaster strikes your business, having a plan in place ahead of time for what you will do can make all the difference in whether your business survives the event. The majority of businesses that come out stronger on the other side of an emergency are the ones that pre-planned for one.

That’s where SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) can help give you, your employees and customers peace of mind. You can trust that whatever might happen to disrupt daily business will only be temporary.

With our Emergency Ready Plan, your business will be able to minimize interruption because you’ll know what to do and what to expect if any-sized disaster strikes. This is important to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Why use the SERVPRO ERP?

1. A no cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. 

2. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.  You can save time and money as we begin the work of mitigating the damage. 

3. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.  It takes just a short time to complete the profile but could save long hours of time and effort if ever needed. 

4. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.  You’ll have a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call ahead of an emergency so you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

5. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. Having an immediate plan of action can help minimize the downtime to your business in an emergency.

6. Easier insurance claims process.  SERVPRO will help you navigate the insurance claims process and coordinate the necessary paperwork for a quicker, easier experience.

7. Establishes your local SERVPRO as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.  You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is close by.

Call us at 386-754-0261 to line up your ERP at no cost to you!  It also ensures you will be on our list as we are first come, first served basis during hurricane or storm situations.  Located in Lake City, Florida and serving Live Oak, White Springs, Jasper, Perry, McClenney, Lake Butler and many other surrounding counties in North Central Florida.

Why Choose Us?

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Round carpet cleaning machine cleaning an area rug with suds SERVPRO can provide services beyond just Carpet Cleaning!

When your home or business experiences damage, it is essential to seek timely, quality restoration services. This is true regardless of the cause. You want restoration professionals who can get your building functional again without delay. Fortunately, you can turn to the experts at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties in your time of need.

We are a locally owned and operated business supported by a national brand with decades of experience. Our team of trained experts is committed to providing our customers complete satisfaction. This means guiding you through the entire restoration process from beginning to end.

Some of our disaster restoration and recovery services include:

  • Fire Damage
  • Odor Removal Services
  • Data and Electronics Restoration
  • Mold Damage
  • Specialty Large Loss
  • Water Damage
  • Biohazard Cleanup
  • Weather Damage
  • Hoarding Cleaning
  • Smoke & Soot Damage
  • Vandalism Cleanup
  • Board Up & Tarping

Does your space have specific needs? Are you unsure if we are able to provide you with the appropriate services? Don't hesitate to reach out to learn more about how we can assist you. Our restoration experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We want to ensure that you're able to get the services you need right when you need them.

GET BACK TO NORMAL WITH EMERGENCY FIRE AND WATER RESTORATION

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

water spilled on floor and couple is cleaning it up and on phone If you need help, we are Here To Help!

Our Lake City restoration contractors are experts in our field. We know exactly how to assist while also lending a helping hand when you need it most. We understand that you need more than just another restoration company during these times of uncertainty. You want a team of professionals who truly care about your safety and wellbeing.

  • We provide emergency restoration services (24 hours a day)
  • We are highly rated for courtesy, honesty, and speed
  • We can simplify the insurance process
  • We are IICRC Certified for a variety of disaster scenarios
  • We serve both homes and businesses
  • We offer quick response times

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is proud to set the industry standard in disaster restoration services. With the 8 counties we services in North Central Florida area, our technicians are extensively trained and certified to handle your restoration needs. Because your happiness is vital to our business, we will follow up with you after our work is done. We want to make sure that you are completely satisfied with your space.

Why SERVPRO is the very Best at Water Restoration

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Man with tools with drywall torn out fixing a pipe Located AND Serving the Lake City, Florida Area and surrounding counties - Let us help to ensure you don't end up with a larger problem!

SERVPRO is a leading provider of water damage restoration solutions in Lake City, Florida. Our employees are certified and experienced in disaster restoration and can provide expert guidance including water extraction, dehumidification, moisture monitoring, thermal imaging, and more.

Often times water damage is more than you can see. Your drywall may also be wet up a few inches. The insulation in the wall cavity or ceiling cavity could be wet.  Baseboards or shoe molding may be damaged in the water area. Underneath cabinets or behind them could be wet.  Water can also travel unusual paths in your home to areas you do not see. We have specialized equipment such as moisture meters and expertise to quickly determine the amount of damage.

If your uncertain about any damage done in your home or business, have concerns or just have some questions you can call us and we will come and assess the damage and answer any questions you might have.   We try to be as helpful as possible when we can.  With over 50 years of experience at our location and so many resources we will be able to assist you.  

We service Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper, White Springs, Lake Butler, Macclenny, Perry, Mayo and surrounding counties!

OUR EXPERTS ARE BY YOUR SIDE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Building on fire with smoke coming out of it HOW TO DEAL WITH A SMOKE DAMAGE AT A COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Seeing your business threatened by a fire is a very traumatic experience. After such a devastating loss, reassurance comes from having clear guidance and support to minimize business interruptions. At SERVPRO, we're business owners, too. We'll work to get your doors back open as soon as possible while guiding you through every step of the process.

We are a commercial restoration company with over 50years of experience and we have been helping business owners like yourself repair and rebuild and get their lives back to normal. Our natural disaster cleanup company uses the best tools and techniques that allow us to work quickly without ever compromising quality. We understand how stressful this time can be for you and look forward to being by your side through it all.

Don’t Try to Do It Yourself

The residue left behind after a fire continues to create damage.  Soot residue can cause the metal in doorknobs, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, etc., to pit or corrode. You do not want to attempt to clean up your business on your own after a fire, as you may cause more damage. Only experts with the right training and tools can assure the job is done properly. The SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties team is more than ready to handle all your commercial restoration needs. We are available 24/7 to speak with you regarding your situation.

Our Process for Commercial Fire & Smoke Damage Clean-Up

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Steps and two levels of a business covered in soot from a fire damage Don't let this put you out of business - call in the professionals here at SERVPRO

It’s not just what is burned that needs to be restored. Fires can result in other extensive damage as a result of the smoke and the process of putting out the fire. Smoke damage can spread throughout your building to areas not affected by the actual fire and the sprinkler system in your building can cause damage to your walls, floors, and belongings.

Other fire damages that could affect your business include:

  • Ash and smoke can continue to cause damage and corrosion to materials left behind.
  • Smoke and soot residue remain on surfaces long after the fire and continue to cause problems until they are removed.
  • Within minutes, walls, equipment, surfaces, and other areas can be discolored.
  • Smoke causes etching in glass and will tarnish metal quickly.

Not all commercial fire damage is the same. Our thorough restoration process includes:

  • Identifying the source to determine the type of fire that occurred
  • Evaluating all areas that suffered water damage as a result of fire suppression efforts to identify those that may need treatment
  • Remediating water damage (if any)
  • Evaluating sensitive materials that may be damaged as a result of smoke and soot particles
  • Removing contents from the building if necessary
  • Collecting immediate items you may need to operate your business remotely
  • Securing removal, storage, and cleaning of sensitive files and data storage devices
  • Salvaging of product stock, raw materials, commodities, and machinery
  • Packing out the remaining contents for cleaning and storage

We perform structural restoration including:

  • Removing any charred contents that may seal in smoke, such as insulation and burned wood
  • Evaluating carpets and floor coverings that may need to be removed
  • Treating affected surfaces for smoke odors and sealing to keep any leftover odors from leaking back into the building
  • Cleaning, eliminating odors and deodorizing surfaces to preloss condition
  • Returning items to the original location and helping to restore your normal operation

Smoke continues to destroy your structure and its contents even after the fire is out. Smoke that has coated or penetrated surfaces continues to affect the chemical composition of fabrics, metals, walls, ceilings, and even tiles. Count on us to handle every aspect of the smoke and soot removal, as well as restore areas damaged by fire. We’ve got you covered with a comprehensive range of fire damage commercial restoration services, including soot, smoke, and odor removal.  

Here in North Central Florida we are the preferred experts to assist in this situation.   Located in Lake City, Florida we cover 8 counties in addition to our second location in Orange Park, Florida which covers North Clay County/Oakleaf/North Middleburg and Baker County.  We can be reached at 386-754-0261 or 904-861-8870.

Are you prepared for hurricane season?

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

List of items recommended to gather for a possible power outage or evacuation Hurricane Preparedness List

Are you prepared for hurricane season? Well, if not you need to get ready!   It has arrived!  Here's a checklist of items for severe weather and emergencies.

It is that time of the year where here in Florida we must all take a few minutes to be prepared for inclement weather, whether it be a hurricane, rivers overflowing, tornadoes or even just a potential really bad thunderstorm!  

Be ready for hurricane season. There are so many things you can do TODAY!  You can determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and review/update insurance policies.  The NOAA has very valuable information regarding many of these items.

You can make a list of items to replenish hurricane emergency supplies and start thinking about how you will prepare your home for the coming hurricane season.

If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to complete these simple preparations before hurricane season begins! 

SERVPRO is always available 24/7 if you have water damage and need assistance so please feel free to call us if you experience any type of water intrusion to your home as if you let it set, more damage can occur.

Safety First this Halloween!

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Pumpkins and Flowers on Porch SERVPRO has some tips to keep you and your children safe while having fun this Halloween

If you’re carving pumpkins, odds are you’re also adding candles to add that spooky flicker on Halloween night. But multiple pumpkins with multiple candles outside can also increase the risk of fire. Especially with children running around in costumes that may be hard to see out of. Glow sticks and battery powered candles are a great, safe alternative that can still be just as spooky.

Remember that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths happened in homes without working fire alarms, so if you do decide to use candles, check to make sure your fire detectors are working properly. That way in the event of an accident you’re prepared to be alerted and take action.

Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year.

If you’re really going all out for the season, you might find yourself with a large inflatable ghost or animatronic Frankenstein terrorizing your neighbors from your front lawn. Most similar decorations can even be purchased at any hardware store. But refrain from getting too many though as the more plugs in a socket only increase the risk of electrocution or an electrical fire.

By following some general safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association you can keep your children and family safe!

Keep your Kids Safe with these Fire Safety tips

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Man and Woman with two children at a table with a map of their home Do you have an Family Escape Plan?

When creating an escape plan in your home, you should go over it with your children so they know how to get out the house. Kids typically don’t think about how they would escape from their home in a fire, so this is an important discussion to have with them.

  • Have a plan in place for children that cannot get out on their own, such as infants and toddlers. Talk about which family member is going to wake up the children and help them get out.
  • Always identify two different ways out of every room. You should know multiple ways to exit in every room in case one exit is blocked, or it is too dangerous to use.
  • Choose a destination outside the house to meet, a safe distance away. This could be across the street, or at a neighbors’ home.

In addition to fire prevention with children, there is the concern of burn prevention. In many instances of fires started by children, serious burn injuries can occur. Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe from fire and burns.

  • Children should be at least 3 feet away from anything hot. Stoves, space heaters, and curling irons are all good examples where additional caution is necessary.
  • Keep any kind of smoking materials away and placed up high, such as lighters and matches.
  • Never play with matches or lighters when your children are around. If they see adults doing this, they will think that it is okay, and possibly even fun.

 Accidents can happen at any time. But with some mindful planning, many of these can be completely avoided. If something should still happen, just know that SERVPRO of North Clay County/Oakleaf/North Middleburg located in Orange Park as we are here to help anytime. Give us a call at 904-861-8870

Do you need your ducts (HVAC) cleaned?

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

HVAC before and after dirty and clean and two adults sleeping in bed Ductwork can be part of what is irritating your senses, you might want to have them checked out.

There are so many impurities that can run through your HVAC duct system which is why is it important to have them cleaned. Smoke, dust, dirt, pet dander and hair, pollen, smoke and mold can all be circulating through your ductwork.

When this occurs you, your family, employees, etc. could be exposed to allergens and triggers that keep circulating leading symptoms to occur more often. Mold growth in the ductwork or HVAC system can cause damage and as spores circulate through the air, it can pose health effects. Impurities that flow through your HVAC ductwork can also lead to odors in the home.

Duct cleaning services are usually on a as needed basis and while there is no need to clean them regularly, you may have certain circumstances where they need cleaning more often. For example, you may have mold or mildew growth which can cause a moldy smell or you may even be able to see mold growth within the ducts or HVAC system. Pests such as mice are also able to penetrate through ducts through the attic, crawlspace or even outdoors. If they nest or even die inside they leave behind droppings, bodies, and impurities.

If you ever find yourself needing a duct cleaning service then please feel free to call us here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties and we can give you a quote.  We cover Lake City as well as surrounding counties to assist you with your cleaning needs.

There are a couple of steps that you can take to help keep the HVAC ductwork such as changing air filters on a regular basis. You can also clean the vents thoroughly with warm soapy water removing the impurities from the vents.   We offer free quotes & can give you advise or our professional opinion to determine our specific needs.

Hoarding Concerns? Call us!

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

Room with piles of "contents" on floor, counters, shelf, etc. Have you someone in your life that this room could be in their home?

If you are a landlord, property manager, or another housing professional, you may be concerned about the possibility of a hoarder renting your property. After all, not only does this behavior create fire safety issues, indoor air quality problems, and potential health effects, it can also damage the property where the hoarder lives. Learn what degree of damage can occur and the potential legal ramifications for tenants who hoard.

Property Damage Caused by Hoarding

  • Vermin infestation: Cockroaches, rats, and flies are attracted to rotting food and animal waste, so they may be present in severe hoarding situations. The presence of vermin in a property not only spreads disease among the people and animals living there, but it can lead to holes in the cabinetry, stains on the carpet, and other property damage.
  • Mold growth: Hoarders often hold onto food, even after it has gone bad. Spoiled food in the refrigerator, on pantry shelves, and sitting out for days, weeks, or even months harbor mold growth. This may easily spread to the walls and floor of the rental unit, damaging the property in the process.
  • Plumbing damage: In extreme hoarding situations, clogged drains may be difficult to access for repair purposes, resulting in sewer backups that leak into the floors and cause sanitation issues.
  • Pet damage: Some hoarders attempt to care for dozens or even hundreds of animals. Unsanitary conditions often result, with urine and feces saturating every surface and making the space a serious health hazard.
  • Structural damage: It’s possible for hoarders to collect so many belongings that the sheer weight of it all causes structural damage. The problems listed above can also lead to concerns regarding a home’s structural integrity.

Laws Against Hoarding

There are no laws that prohibit hoarding, but there are rules against the problems that hoarding can cause. Hoarders have the right to manage the objects in their home as they see fit—as long as their behavior doesn’t violate housing codes or their obligations to maintain the dwelling. Examples of violations that could justify an eviction include:

  • Causing direct property damage to a rental unit
  • Blocking emergency exits
  • Interfering with fire sprinklers or ventilation systems
  • Keeping explosive materials onsite
  • Storing perishables in such a way that they attract mold or vermin
  • Housing animals in violation of the lease agreement
  • Landlords may seek monetary compensation for damages to the property caused by hoarding behavior.

How to Evict a Hoarder

If the person who hoards is cooperative, it’s best to avoid a court-ordered eviction unless absolutely necessary. Remember, hoarding disorder requires patience and encouragement on your end. It also can be someone elderly you are dealing with and you need to take a different approach.  Regardless of how you handle it remember they could have a much deeper issue than just hoarding.

Get Help Restoring a Property Damaged by Hoarding

If your previous tenant was a hoarder, and now you need help cleaning up the property before you find a new renter, reach out to SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties. Cleaning and deodorizing are two of our specialties, as is mold remediation, so we’re confident we can restore your rental unit to pristine condition. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule services.

Ready for Whatever Happens? We can help you!

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

Green square with 50% in the middle You don't want to lose your business when you can be prepared for anything. Call us now to be prepared!

Do you have an emergency readiness plan  (ERP) if disaster strikes?

One moment everything is going fine and the next you’re facing water damage, fire and smoke damage, flooding or even sewage back up. It’s too much to face alone and you have to many possessions to save.

We at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties have a disaster clean up plan ready for your home or business if you find yourself facing these difficult situations.

We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to assess the damage and provide you with a quote.

Depending on the type of loss you suffer it’s important to mitigate the damage by treating the source. Then depending on the damage the cleanup phase may very there may be cleanup where items will be brought to our facility and cleaned for safe keeping.

Finally the restoration of the structure itself can begin.

Does your ceramic tile or grout need a professional clean?

8/1/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen floor with tile and cabinets Ceramic tile and your cleaning needs

We offer some assistance on how to keep your ceramic tile and grout maintained.  When you get to the time you need a professional clean, just call our office.

Sweep or vacuum the ceramic tiles in a walkway to keep scratches from marking up the tiles. Protect the flooring with a rug or doormat. Encourage your family to wipe their feet on the mats both outside and inside to protect the ceramic tiles from dirt and grime.

Weekly washing of the ceramic tiles after sweeping is ideal. Use a simple combination of mild dish detergent and hot water to gently cleanse the ceramic tiles. Sponge mops are not advised, as they will push grime deep into the grout. Experts recommend using a strip mop head instead. When mopping, change any dirty water immediately, or the flooring will end up with a dull and grey appearance.

Completely air dry the freshly washed tiles or absorb any excess water with a clean towel. This important step prevents accidental slips on the wet floor.

Take care to wipe up messes on the ceramic tiles. Tracked mud or spilled juices should be immediately cleaned up with a damp cloth, mild dish detergent and warm water.

Warm water and a stiff brush can effectively clean grout.

Bathroom grime, like soap, mold and mildew, may make cleaning grout in this location troublesome. However, applying elbow grease and well-chosen cleaning solutions make cleaning grout less of a burden.

Warm water and a stiff brush can effectively clean grout. Spray warm water along the grout and scrub with a circular motion to dislodge dirt particles.

Tougher stains can be removed with an application of vinegar and warm water. Simply spritz the stains with a mixture of half part water and half part vinegar, let stand for five minutes and then scrub the grime away.

If the packed dirt remains along the grout lines, create a paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste along the grout, then spray with the vinegar mixture as noted above. The mixture will begin to foam. Once the foaming comes to a halt, scrub away the stains with a brush and clean water.

Hydrogen peroxide is an alternate household product that can be effectively used in place of the water when creating the baking soda paste. Or, simply apply only the hydrogen peroxide directly upon the stains to loosen them and ease cleaning.

Commercial cleaners, such as those containing bleach, can be sprayed upon the grout to rid them of stains. However, powerful chemicals like these tend to erode grout over the long term.

Experts recommend steam cleaners as another method to clear out the grime from grout. Homeowners will find steam cleaners to be environmentally friendly.

Weekly wipe downs with a spritz of vinegar and water will keep the grout in your home free from stains. Professionals even suggest regularly wiping the grout with alcohol to stop mold and mildew.

When your home’s ceramic tiles have accumulated massive amounts of dirt and grime, it’s time to call in a professional tile and grout cleaning service.  Our technicians begin the cleaning process of your home’s ceramic tiles with stain pre-treatments using eco-friendly cleaning products. Advanced cleaning technology is used to thoroughly rid the dirt and grime from within the grout lines and along the ceramic tiles. All corners and baseboards are efficiently cleaned. 

Clean ceramic tiles and completely restore them with the help of our experts at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties. Dull, stained or dirty ceramic tiling and grout can sparkle like new once our technicians expertly tackle the unsightly mess!  We can also seal the grout if you prefer.  

Understanding Water Damage & Contamination

8/1/2021 (Permalink)

3 photos - toilet overflowed, sink overflowing & rising water in a laundry room. Do you know the 3 types of water damage? We can help you understand!

Did you know that there are three different types of contaminated water that can cause water damage? The three different types of contaminated water are clean water, gray water, and black water. Companies like SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties specialize in mitigation for each type of water damages associated with the contaminated water.

  • Clean Water:

This type of water generally comes from a clean source like a broken water supply line or faucet. Depending on the time it has been left, the temperature, contact with bacteria, and surrounding contaminates, this water can quickly become gray or black water. This is the most common type of water damage.

  • Gray Water:

This type of water and water damage can cause discomfort or illness as it likely contains bacteria and illness. When left untreated, gray water will quickly become black water and the water damages associated with black water is much worse.

  • Black Water:

This water and its water damages generally spawn from sewage, biological hazards, or flooding from rivers and streams. If left untreated, it will cause microbial growth, severe illness, and even possibly death.

The best solution when there is any kind of flooding or water damage is to have it treated as soon as it is noticed. Hiring a professional company like SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties is recommended as they can give advice on why the flood occurred, the category of the flood, and how to prevent water damages. If you have any questions regarding SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, contact the office at (386) 754-0261, visit the website, or message us on Facebook!

What to Do After Storm Damage, Repairs, Tips

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Home with huge gray storm clouds over it What to Do After Storm Damage, Repairs, Tips

Knowing the right steps to take after storm damage can go a long way toward protecting you and your family, as well as your property and finances, from risks of further loss. As challenging as storms can be, learning the steps to take before a storm comes through and turns your life upside down will arm you with the knowledge you need to stay prepared. Here are some tips from the restoration and cleanup specialists at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties.

Five Things to Do After Storm Damage

You can mitigate some of the damage caused by a storm by following this checklist:

1. Check your home for damage. 

While not all storm damage will be apparent immediately after the storm has passed, checking your home's condition will give you a clearer picture of the extent of the damage left by the storm.

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee's experts provide a word of caution to take all the necessary safety precautions when checking your home since unexpected damage may cause injuries. Watch out for loose or exposed ceiling tiles or floorboards, broken electrical lines, and slippery floors. Fortunately, some safety tips can help:

  • Avoid standing water
  • Avoid checking for storm damage in the dark.
  • Watch out for exposed nails, window damage, collapsed walls and roofing materials, and broken glass
  • Switch off the electricity and shut off the main gas line before entering a damaged home

2. Assess the potential damage

During a storm, some areas in a home are more susceptible to damage than others. One site that is often vulnerable is the roof. Common signs of roof damage include:

  • Split seams
  • Dented, missing, or broken shingles
  • Holes in the roof
  • Leaks in the ceiling or roof

Other areas that are susceptible to storm damage include doors and windows. Inspect all windows for damaged frames, broken panes, cracks, and holes. Remember to board up any broken windows.

Also, assess your home's exterior, looking for damage such as dents, holes, cracks, and chipping to any brickwork, paint, or siding. The storm could have also damaged outdoor appliances such as air conditioning units.

Taking all the necessary precaution, be sure to remove debris from the gutters and roof, and then check that the downspouts are intact and unobstructed so they can continue diverting water away from your home. Remember to check for mold, which is common after flood damage.

3. Get in touch with your insurance carrier.

Document the damage and loss that has been caused by the storm, taking photos before removing or moving any objects or debris. Remember to document any additional costs incurred due to the loss, such as hotel receipts or other temporary living costs.

Once all this information is together, contact the insurance provider to determine whether your insurance plan covers the damage caused. Likewise, inquire about the steps to take to make a claim.

4. Attend only to the damage you are capable of handling.

In some cases, the storm might not have caused extensive damage, and you may be able to restore what little damage exists with a few repairs before seeking professional repair services. Prompt repairs can go a long way toward limiting the damage. 

If that's the case, you should begin with what you can fix yourself, taking care not to cause additional damage. For example, if wind and water are getting into your home through a broken window, board it up as soon as possible. However, if you're not confident in your repair skills, it's best to get in touch with a company that can offer emergency repair services.

5. Choose the right contractor.

The next step is to hire a professional and trustworthy cleaning and restoration service company to restore your home to its former glory. Choosing a contractor that will promptly attend to your home's restoration, take care of water damage, and immediately mitigate the presence of potential mold is critical. 

It's essential to ensure that your house is once again a habitable, healthy living environment. That will likely require water cleanup (flood cleanup) and mold removal by a specialized commercial cleaning service.

Getting Back to Normal

While storms can wreak catastrophic damages upon a home or commercial building, promptly addressing the storm damage—first, to make emergency patches and then to take care of longer-term restoration—will go a long way in getting your home or business back to normal. 

Why SERVPRO?

SERVPRO is a leading storm damage restoration company that has served Fort Worth for upwards of 50 years. They can handle all aspects of the restoration process, from water removal to debris cleanup.

For more information about storm damage cleanup and restoration, contact SERVPRO of Suwannee Counties.

Storm Damage Restoration: What to Do After the Storm

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

A table and chairs setting in water on a vinyl that looks like wood floor What to do after the Storm Comes through

Storm Damage Restoration: What to Do After the Storm

“April showers” are sometimes much more than just a bit of rain. Spring weather can include a wide range of weather activity, such as severe storms with powerful winds that can cause serious damage. Or — heavy rainfall that leads to over-the-ground flooding, or even flooding from streams and rivers.

Severe spring weather can thus result in costly storm damage repair. So, when the storm is over, it’s important to know what to do, as well as what NOT to do. If you’ve experienced storm damage of any size, follow these key storm damage restoration tips.

Insurance

  • Take photos of the damage and show them to your insurance agent as soon as possible.
  • Homeowners insurance generally covers sudden, accidental damage.
  • Let’s say there was a thunderstorm with high winds, and your roof suffered damage and is now leaking. Or, a tree falls onto your house and damages your roof. In these cases, your homeowners policy will typically cover the expenses.
  • However, some homeowners policies may have windstorm and hail exclusions. That means your policy will not cover damage caused by those perils. To learn about any exclusions in your coverage, read your policy or talk with your agent.
  • Also, flooding from natural disasters is generally not covered. For that, you will need separate flood insurance that you can get from The National Flood Insurance Program.

Automobiles 

  • Automobiles can easily be damaged by floodwaters, tree limbs, or falling debris.
  • If an automobile is damaged, always notify your insurance agent.
  • Cover broken windows if the car appears salvageable.
  • List valuables in your car that have been lost or damaged.

For professional flood repair services, contact SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties

Regardless of the circumstances — damage from storms or floods, fire, smoke, or mold, call SERVPRO.   Our mitigation experts are standing by to provide storm damage restoration to return the property to a preloss condition. They are well-trained and use the latest state-of-the-art science. We can help you determine the full extent of the damage and perform services following industry standards and best practices.

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

Circular clouds in a swirl going down to the ground Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Officially, hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30. However, in the Eastern Caribbean and along the US East Coast, the peak season runs mainly from mid-August through mid-September. Hurricanes are powerful and unpredictable storms that can cause immense damages in their path. For you to stay safe and protect your property during a hurricane, preparedness is critical. Check out how to prepare for hurricanes and what to do during and after one.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Before the Hurricane

  • Create an emergency kit. FEMA recommends packing the following items in your emergency kit:
    • Water for drinking and sanitation to last at least three days;
    • Non-perishable food for at least three days;
    • Hand crank or battery-powered radio (tuned in to NOAA Weather Radio), as well as spare batteries;
    • Flashlight with extra batteries;
    • First aid kit;
    • Whistle to call for help;
    • Dust mask, plastic sheeting, and duct-tape for shelter making;
    • Moist towelettes and garbage bags for sanitation;
    • Pliers or wrench to turn off utilities;
    • Can opener;
    • Local maps;
    • Cell phone with an extra charger.
  • Learn your area’s flooding risk and community hurricane evacuation routes. Know the geographical location you live in.
  • Create a family evacuation plan. Determine a meeting place for your family and routes to get there. Plan how to get in touch with your family if separated. Plan where you’ll go if you must evacuate, such as a shelter.
  • If you don’t have flood insurance, get one now. Regular homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damage.
  • Find out whether your property is flood-prone due to its elevation level.
  • If there are levees and dams in your area, find out if they pose a hazard to you when the storm hits.
  • Store copies of important documents, such as proof of ownership of any property in your emergency kit.
  • Back up the data on your electronic devices to ensure it’s secure if your computer or other devices are damaged during the hurricane.

Secure Your Property:

  • Secure your roof. Make your roofing and frames stronger by installing reinforcements, such as straps or clips. Also, secure loose shingles with heavy-duty adhesive and seal around your home’s chimney or vent pipes to keep water out.
  • Maintain gutters and downspouts. Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent clogs. These could cause water damage to your home when the rain starts to pour. Also, ensure your gutters are firm and not sagging.
  • Secure your windows. Strong winds can shatter your windows, leaving your home vulnerable. The best way to secure your windows is to install permanent storm shutters made of steel, aluminum, and other materials. Installing plywood is also a good defense for your windows. However, avoid taping as it doesn’t prevent the glass from breaking.
  • Caulk your home. Caulking is a fast way to waterproof your house and reinforce vulnerable areas. Caulk around your windows and doors, the edges of your house, and around chimneys and other roof penetrations.
  • Insulate the outside first floor walls with rigid foam or install plastic sheeting. It won’t stop all the water from getting in, but the insulation will keep out most of the silt.
  • Reinforce your garage. To make it withstand powerful winds, secure your garage door with a brace kit rated for storm and hurricane winds. Other ways to strengthen your garage door are installing a metal post system or covering the door with metal panels, fabric screen, or 5/8-inch plywood.
  • Trim trees and shrubs. Loose branches in your yard (and neighborhood) could be struck by powerful winds during a storm, damaging your house. So cut those dead or loose branches to safeguard your property.
  • Secure loose objects. Your yard may also host things that could become projectiles in high winds. Tie-down and secure anything that could be swept up by winds, such as potted plants, lawn furniture, and dog houses. When a storm is imminent, bring light objects inside.
  • Protect appliances from power outages. While you should unplug electrical devices during a powerful storm, it’s also ideal to purchase a surge protector. It prevents damage to your devices in case the power goes out.
  • Move valuables to a higher floor. As electronics and appliances are susceptible to water damage, move them to a higher floor. If you can’t, at least raise them off the floor on concrete blocks.
  • Use sandbags when a storm is hours from arriving. Pile up sandbags at least two feet high as an efficient barricade against floodwaters. If you don’t have sandbags, place heavy-duty garbage bags – filled one-third of the way with water – around your house doors.
  • When a storm is hours from arriving:
    • Ensure your car in good working condition and fill up the gas tank. If you’re going to evacuate, stock your vehicle with emergency supplies.
    • Charge your cell phone to have a full battery if the power goes out.
    • Turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting so that food lasts longer during a power outage.
    • Be alert for the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

During the Hurricane

  • If authorities advise or order you to evacuate your area, take your emergency kit and leave immediately. Strictly follow posted evacuation routes and do not try to take shortcuts.
  • If you are outside and the storm approaches, get indoors as soon as possible to avoid being hit by flying debris.
  • If your home is on the low-lying ground or if you’re in a mobile home, go to the nearest safe place, such as a shelter.
  • While indoors, stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors. Find a safer spot to stay in, such as an interior room or a bathroom on the lower level.
  • During the storm, winds and rain may damage electrical wiring; don’t use electrical appliances to avoid fire hazards and electrical shocks.
  • If your home is at the risk of flooding, turn off electricity at the main circuit breaker. Don’t turn on electricity until local authorities have advised you to do so.
  • Never use gasoline-powered or charcoal-burning devices inside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep those devices outside.
  • If trapped in a building that’s flooding, go to the highest level. However, don’t climb into a closed attic, as rising floodwater may trap you.
  • Lightning is also a safety risk. Stay safe from lightning in your home during a storm by NOT using the shower, phone, or electrical equipment.
  • Be aware that the eye of the storm may pass over your area, during which the storm will calm. However, the storm can start again without warning.
  • Stay indoors until the local authorities have announced that the storm is over. Listen to the radio or turn on the TV (if safe, do so) to get the latest updates.

After the Hurricane

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Never walk or drive on flooded roads or through the water. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Floodwater may also contain contaminants, dangerous debris, or downed power lines.
  • Enter a damaged building only after a professional has inspected the electrical system, gas lines, and plumbing for damage.
  • Take photos of any property damage and contact your insurance company for assistance. Wear protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, rubber boots, and masks when inspecting your home.
  • Don’t touch wet electrical equipment, more so if you’re standing in water.
  • Throw out food that has been exposed to floodwaters or has not been maintained at a proper temperature. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Don’t drink tap water if you’re not sure it’s safe.

For flood cleanup services, contact SERVPRO 

Water damage in your property can still occur even if you have followed proper tips on preparing for hurricanes. After a flooding incident, everything that got wet in your property must be dried, cleaned, and disinfected immediately. For water removal services and mold cleaning services, contact SERVPRO immediately. Our team will arrive at your location promptly to avert further water damage and mold growth.

Fire Safety tips for Boating

6/5/2021 (Permalink)

Moving Boat in the water with people in it Be Prepared if your Boat has a Fire!

Summer is almost here, which means it’s boating season. Whether you are trying to sneak in some lake time or preparing to head out for a bit of fishing, fire safety on the water should always be a priority. Boat fires are more common than you think. Common causes of boat fires include equipment failures, fuel leaks, or poor fueling practices. Be prepared.  Make sure you have the correct fire suppression equipment to prevent or extinguish boat fires. Here are some handy fire safety tips for boaters.  

Which Kind of Fire Extinguisher Should Be on Your Boat?

The United States Coast Guard has requirements for the number of portable fire extinguishers to be carried on engine-driven recreational boats. For any boats under 26 feet, the requirement is at least one two-pound fire extinguisher. For boats between 26 and 40 feet, there should be at least two (2) 2 lb. fire extinguishers or one 2.5 lb extinguisher. For boats that are between 40 and 65 feet, the requirement is three (3) 2 lb. fire extinguishers. For detailed information, you can visit Boat US at www.boatus.org

The type of fire extinguisher used for your boat fires is critical. Many boat fires are of electrical origin, but that is not always the case. Picking an ABC fire extinguisher will ensure that fires can be safely extinguished. You will be protected while boating this way.

Typical Causes of Boat Fires

The most likely origins of boat fires are electrical panels, galley cooking appliances and the engine compartment. Given this information, it is not shocking that a lot of boating fires are caused by fuel and electrical systems. Most boat fires are caused by issues with 12-volt DC electrical systems associated with batteries or engines located inside the engine compartment. Poorly maintained wiring within an enclosed area containing gasoline or diesel fuel is a common source of fires. Overloaded outlets and faulty plugs can create dangerous scenarios. Cooling system failures and the resulting overheated engines are also a source for fires.

Grilling Safety

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Grill with flames coming out of it When the warmer weather hits, there’s nothing better than the smell of food on the grill.

Busting out your grill during the sunny summer months should mean fun, family and some beautifully cooked food. However, it could also mean a house fire or trip to the emergency room if done wrong.

That statement might sound a little pessimistic, but there are stats to back it up!

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) an average of 19,000 patients per year end up in the hospital because of grill-based injuries and gas and charcoal grills combined cause around 4,200 house fires and 5,600 external fires per year.

Grilling Safety Tips

  1. Only use propane and charcoal grills outdoors
  2. Give your grill plenty of space
  3. Keep your grill stable
  4. Keep children and pets at a safe distance
  5. Keep your grill clean
  6. Don’t leave a grill unattended 
  7. Start a gas grill with the lid open
  8. Light charcoal in a charcoal chimney
  9. Never apply lighter fluid to hot coals
  10. Shut down your grill properly
  11. Have a plan to put out a fire
  12. Watch out for flare-ups
  13. Learn some basic food safety

Here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties we want you to have an amazing summer full of fun but if you find yourself with damage we will be here for you!   Just make the call to 386-754-0261!  Have a happy and safe summer!

Roof Damage, Rising Water or Wind Damage - SERVPRO handles it all!

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Home with two trees laying across the roof showing damaged roof From the roof to rising water to wind damage.... call SERVPRO if it happens to you.

During a storm if you are taking shelter while the storm takes place you will need to be careful when vacating the safe area. Your homes structure could be jeopardized because of the strong winds, and if the rain drags out water might have invaded the structure. First thing you will want to do is make sure everyone is ok call first responders if needed, and then assess the property for damage.

A home hit by a storm could have many dangers present afterward. Things like exposed glass, nails and wood can be laying around.  Possible gas leaks inside the home or outside.  If your house has suffered storm damage and has a lengthy repair process, be selective about who you trust with the restoration process. What is the point of rebuilding your home just to have terrible craftsmanship, malfunctions and other nightmares?

Let SERVPRO assist you to make it "Like it never even happened." We service the areas to include Lake City, Jasper, Live Oak, Lake Butler, Chiefland, Lee, Greenville, Wellborn, and Madison just to name a few.

Preparing for A Nor'easter

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Diagram showing map with air flow arrows above it A Nor'easter is a storm along the East Coast of North America

In some manners you will prepare for a Hurricane the same way.  Being prepared is the most important part of any storm.  Here are some steps and links to assist you in that preparation!

  • Listen to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio or to a local news station for the latest information.
  • Follow instructions given by public safety officials.  Many towns have email or phone distribution systems for emergency messages.  Make sure you are on the list.
  • Review your family emergency plan.
    • If you live or work in a flood zone, hurricane evacuation zone, or an area that is prone to flooding be ready to evacuate.  This requires an understanding of which roads experience flooding most often so you can have an alternate route in mind.
    • If you are not in an area prone to flooding and plan on riding out the storm at home, gather adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and are unable to leave.
  • Prepare for power outages by charging cell phones and electronics (and portable cell phone chargers if you have them) and setting your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. If you use electricity to get well water, fill your bathtub with water to use for flushing toilets. Gather adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and are unable to leave.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full. Pumps at gas stations may not work during a power outage.
  • Prepare your home.
    • Secure or bring in outdoor objects (patio furniture, children's toys, trash cans, etc.) that could be swept away or damaged during strong winds or flooding.  This includes grills!  Despite their size and weight, strong winds can knock over grills causing gas lines to be severed.  Fire departments across Florida responded to numerous calls for ruptured grill supply lines during storms.
    • Clear clogged rain gutters to allow water to flow away from your home.
    • If damaging winds are expected, cover all of your windows. If you don’t have storm shutters, board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood.
    • Go Tapeless! Taping windows wastes preparation time, it does not stop windows from breaking or make cleanup easier. In fact, taping windows may create larger shards of glass that can cause serious injuries.
    • Turn off propane tanks if you are not using them.
    • Prepare for flooding by elevating items in your home, unplugging sensitive electronic equipment, clearing nearby catch basins and parking vehicles in areas not prone to flooding.
    • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve.
  • If you have a boat, remove it from the water. If you cannot, prepare your boat for the storm to reduce damage.

Always have your insurance company & SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee phone numbers in your cell phone so you can reach us, if necessary, to assist you with damage that might occur.

Prepare for Flash Floods: Your Guide to Stay Safe and Clean Up Effectively

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Street with rising water and cars turned around due to the water Turn Around, Don't Drown!

Flash floods can be devastating and dangerous, and oftentimes there is no warning.

As a leader in cleanup and restoration services in the North Central Florida area, our team here at SERVPRO has seen how damaging a flash flood can be. We want to help make sure everyone in this community will be prepared.

Causes of Flash Floods

Flash floods typically happen when there’s a sudden storm, and the ground soil can’t absorb all the water that’s quickly streaming in.

The most common causes of flash flooding include:

  • Rain for an extended time (e.g. during a tropical storm or hurricane)
  • Sudden heavy rain in a short time span
  • Dam failures
  • Rapid thawing of snow build-up
  • Overflow in man-made sewers and storm drains

Flash Flood Safety

It’s important to understand the difference between a flood warning and a flood watch:

  • Flood Warning – a flood is expected within 30 minutes to an hour
  • Flood Watch – the conditions are right for a flood, and you should continually check to see if a Flood Warning develops

If a flood warning is issued, you probably won’t have much time to take action, so it’s important to be prepared and know what to do:

  1. Pay attention to instructions from local authorities – there may be a mandatory evacuation or a recommended evacuation to designated shelters or areas. 
  2. Protect your home – if there is no need to evacuate, be sure to secure your home by closing all windows and doors and staying up high away from possible flooding.
  3. Pay attention to water sources – if you find yourself near any bodies of water, from oceans to rivers to lakes to streams, keep a close eye on water levels and be prepared to leave if necessary. Storm drains or drainage ditches could also cause problems.
  4. Avoid driving and walking through flooded areas – many flood-related deaths are the result of people who are trapped in the cars or swept away by the flood waters. 

Flash Flood Cleanup

To cleanup after a flash flood, you want to make sure to remove all the water and dry the affected area as quickly as possible. Whether you hire professional cleanup and restoration services or can manage the cleanup work yourself, the process typically involves the following steps:

  • Removing all standing water
  • Properly disposing damaged materials
  • Quick-as-possible drying and dehumidifying
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Rebuilding and restoring

After a flash flood, it’s important to dry the affected area as soon as possible in order to minimize the extent of the water damage. This is why many people turn to experts like SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, as we guarantee fast, thorough cleanups with our expertly trained technicians and advanced professional-grade equipment. We’ll even help you work with your insurance.

Commercial water damage caused by a water line break

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

Colorful depiction of what is wet and what is dry by using a thermal imaging camera Restoration of specialty items is our specialty. Let us help!

When tragedy strikes, you can lose not only your most valuable assets, but also your most important documents. Sometimes this means irreplaceable assets such as artwork and letters from loved ones becoming ruined resulting in devastating loss. Luckily, the methods for restoring documents have become more and more advanced in recent times. While no piece of paper can ever be returned completely to the original condition, the drying and recovery methods we use can greatly improve the condition of documents formerly destined for the garbage can.

Tragedies can strike at any time, and when these disasters damage our documents who do we turn to? At times like these we need a professional who can come in and assure us that our documents can be restored. We offer our document recovery services for home owners, business, government organizations, schools and healthcare professionals. Even items considered to be a total loss can sometimes be fully recovered using our advanced techniques.

We are a full service restoration and document recovery firm. Our mission is to save your damaged documents from the destruction of fire, smoke, water, and moisture. Recovering your damaged documents is our specialty.

We currently are able to restore documents of nearly all types which includes but isn't limited to:

  • Artwork
  • Blueprints
  • Books and Manuscripts
  • Business Records and Documents
  • Coated Papers
  • Drafting Linens
  • Electronic Media - Of All Forms
  • Film
  • Legal Files
  • Manuals
  • Maps
  • Paintings
  • Paper Money
  • Parchment
  • Patient and Medical Papers
  • Pulp Paper
  • Reference Books
  • Text Books
  • Textiles
  • Vellum
  • X-Rays

Our team of document restoration professionals are both certified as well as capable of getting the job done with years of experience and the best, most advanced training available. We combine experience, training, and state-of-the-art technology to restore and preserve your documents as close to their original state as possible given the damage of the content and available technology.

For water damaged documents there are several methods available to remove the water and any moisture from your documents ensuring that they are fully restored to their maximum potential. The process involves freeze drying, vacuum thermal drying, air drying, desiccant air-drying and other advanced techniques. If your document is capable of being saved, we're capable of doing it, and we have some of the most competitive prices in the market when it comes to the document restoration business. We can offer you direct billing or work with your insurance agency at your discretion.

Our team of highly trained professionals can handle documents damaged by smoke, fire, and water. Each type of damage presents it's own unique set of challenges and problems based on the type of damage and the form of media that has been damaged. Water damage can be especially bad as it often packs an onset of problems by not only causing all of the problems associated with typical water damage but also setting up the perfect habitat for mold. Thankfully, we are well versed at stopping and preventing mold damage to documents as long as you act quickly and contact us to begin the restoration procedures ASAP.

Our document restoration service for fire and smoke damaged documents is the most thorough you will find in the industry, anywhere. We know that with this type of damage it's not only the damage you can see on the surface but also what is trapped on the inside that you can't see with the naked eye. Soot and smoke damage can wreak havoc on your media but our team of experts are able to remove even the most extensive damage.

We use the most state-of-the-art technology in the field and we keep upgrading our restoration methods as new and more improved ones become available. So you can easily rest assured any document restoration performed by us will be done while making use of the latest and the best technology available. If you have any document damage we invite you to contact us and join our family of customers. We hope to hear from you soon!

Are you Prepared for 2021's Hurricane Season?

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

List of names that NOAA chose for 2021 Hurricanes Before any of these names come see us let us help you get prepared!

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.

“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”

Last year’s record-breaking season serves as a reminder to all residents in coastal regions or areas prone to inland flooding from rainfall to be prepared for the 2021 hurricane season. 

You can use our ERP to help you plan and prepare.  If you need assistance you can reach us at 386-754-0261.   Keep SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties in mind if you need our services.  Specializing not only in flood, water, sewer, mold and fire cleanup we can help you PREPARE!

Tips for Creating a Successful Emergency Ready Plan

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

Phone with app located on it with emergency situations such as water in the background Are you Ready? Let SERVPRO Help!

With Hurricane Season upon us let's not forget things you can do to prepare.   An ERP is a specific set of guidelines to assist in this preparation.  SERVPRO has set up a specific plan to assist you using these guidelines.  

  1. Let the professionals help you. Work with an emergency restoration company for assistance in creating your emergency ready profile.
  2. Identify and label utility shut-off locations.
  3. Identify local utility contact information.
  4. Identify local emergency contact information such as fire, police, and hospital contacts.
  5. Establish main internal contacts for purposes of employee safety and emergency work authorization.

The SERVPRO Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile. Please contact one our Business Development Representative to setup your free Emergency Ready Profile.

Here to Help!

If you have any question, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties located in North Central Florida (Lake City)

Faster to YOUR disaster

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

Servpro Green Van, Car, Logo SERVPRO is here to help make sure your disaster seems "Like it never even happened."

Damage That Can Be Done..

No one likes to think about the possible ails of a disaster attacking your property. SERVPRO wants to help you become more knowledgeable. Understanding the extent of potential damage is key to taking the right steps in getting your property back to pre-damage condition!

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Commercial Services

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

File cabinet drawer open and man standing in 2ft of water From Office Cleaning to This, SERVPRO has you covered!

You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call in SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO to make your workspace look its very best.

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:

  • Award-winning training
  • Over 40 years’ experience in the industry
  • More than 100 exclusive cleaning products

Have Questions? Call Today 386-754-0261

Specialty Cleaning Services

SERVPRO offers cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant booths to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:

Be sure to call us locally at 386-754-0261 for a free estimate.  Covering Columbia, Union, Lafayette, Suwannee, Baker, Madison & Hamilton Counties we are here for you!

Protect your family with this simple step!

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Two sides of a door, one with alot of smoke damage and the other with very little Close that Door!

In multiple studies done, experts say closing the bedroom door before going to bed can save your life from a house fire. Most families have a fire safety plan in case of a fire. But there is one simple thing that a lot of people don’t do and that is close the door before bed.

In a study where firefighters did a controlled burn inside of a home they closed one door and left the other door opened before setting the home on fire. Once the fire was extinguished it was very clear where the fire did the most damage in the home. In the room with the door closed everything was still completely undamaged. While the room with the door left opened was destroyed.

The firefighters took photos showing the significant fire damage to the front side of the bedroom door, as well as an image of the door taken from inside the room.

On the outside, the white door is severely blackened, while the interior image makes it look relatively untouched, showing just a small out of damage around the frame.

In the event you find yourself facing a house fire and you live in North Central Florida in the counties listed, please feel free to reach out to SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties for assistance.  We cover Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper, High Springs, Madison, Fort White, Lake Butler and surrounding areas.   

Common Office Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Small basket of cleaning supplies sitting on a desk Avoid the mistakes made by many companies, hire SERVPRO to clean your offices

Keeping your office building clean and hygienic has always been key to a productive workplace, but with the COVID pandemic, the standards for hygiene and cleanliness have risen. Keep yourself and your employees safe by holding your own office to a higher standard and learning what common office cleaning mistakes to avoid.

Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning, which means to only clean the visible surfaces, is by far one of the more common office cleaning mistakes to avoid. Whether it be a lack of expertise or because you simply don’t have enough time to give your office a thorough cleaning, this is the definition of “out of sight, out of mind.” Your offices may look clean and tidy at first glance, but bacteria and germs will build up in hidden corners and furniture. This build-up may eventually evolve into larger issues like a spread of disease sweeping through the office.

Not Disinfecting

Too often is “cleaning” and “disinfecting” confused as the same thing. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just wipe down surfaces with towels and water. You’ll want to invest in professional office cleaning services equipped with the expertise and specialized equipment to eradicate bacteria and prevent the spread of disease.

Relying on Employees

Some employers instead think it’s better and more cost-effective to simply have their employees help handle the sanitation of the office. While they should certainly keep their workstation in order, relying on them to double as janitorial staff will either make them less productive or ineffective at cleaning – it’s simply too big a responsibility to juggle with their typical duties.

Neglecting the Hot Spots

You’d be surprised how many everyday items are hot spots for germs and bacteria. These are typically places you don’t think about much in your day-to-day such as door handles or phone receivers. It makes sense, however, as these are things many people touch every single day, bringing along any number of bacteria from the outside world. Additionally, keeping up with all these little spots would be incredibly difficult for your workplace to handle on its own – especially because they need to be cleaned quite often.

To get your offices back into tip-top shape, give us a call at 386-754-0261. We’ll ensure your building is ready to welcome back your employees.

Smart Smoke Detectors

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm with green light Would a smart detector benefit you?

In the world of technology and smart devices most people think of Alexa or Google, but what about devices to assist with fire and water damage prevention?

There are now Smart Smoke detectors which will give you a higher level of protection. They can pair with a mobile app to send an alert to your phone if it detects anything unusual. Some smart smoke detectors can incorporate into your homes security system and then sends an alert to you and the fire department.

Smart fire detectors works like the smart smoke detector as it will send an alert when indoor temperatures reach a pre-determined level. Lastly there is also a smart water detector, you can put them near plumbing fixtures that may leak such as bathtubs, sinks or washing machines. When it detects high water or moisture it will set off an alarm or send an alert to your phone.   

As all three of these are technology based purchases and could immensely benefit you with alerts keep in mind, SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is here to help if you have a need for any type of fire, smoke or water damage that has occurred to your property.   Covering several counties in North Central Florida we are always here to help!

Unthought of Causes for Water Loss Damage

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Water Heater with water on floor underneath it caused from a leak Have you Checked your water heater lately?

Water damage is a serious problem that many people don’t realize that if is left untreated it can cause mold, damage to floors, walls and insulation.

There are many causes of water damage such as plumbing system failures which lead to 48%, more water loss than system material failures which is the second leading cause. A cracked pipe, all it takes is a quarter inch crack to lose 250 gallons of water.  Now imagine a pencil eraser sized crack at a constant rate you can lose up to 500 gallons of water just from a small crack. Washing machine supply lines that fail can lead to water damage, a lot of people forget to check the supply line since they aren’t visible. But wear and tear can cause a water leak. The next cause is also forgotten due to it normally not being visible and that is the water heater. Over the years the tank corrodes and if not maintained it is not uncommon to have a slow leak or burst.

These are just a few things that might be helpful in keeping your home or business from having a water loss.   Keep in mind, that if you do.....  SERVPRO is Here to Help!  Call us at 386-754-0261 if your in the North Central Florida area and we will be right out to assess the damage and give you an estimate.

Helping a hoarder takes understanding and sympathy

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen with garbage and trash all over floor about knee high Is this a family member or neighbor? Let us help!

Hoarding often starts out as a collection of certain items or several piles of paper or garbage. Over time, especially after a traumatic event such as a death or divorce hoarding can escalate.

When dealing with a person with a hoarding disorder it is important to acknowledge that they may have an emotional attachment to the items in the home that you do not understand. Try to start with a simple clean up first such as clearing pathways and doorways. Once you complete that then try moving on to one room at a time starting with the most frequently used rooms such as kitchen, bathroom and bedroom first.

If the hoarding problem has been going on for a number of years you may need to hire a professional to ease any family tension and make the process easier.

If you find yourself in that position please reach out to SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties for assistance.  Our staff knows how to help without creating friction between you and your loved ones.

Small Business Week

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Sign with Support Local Business on it Support Small Business Week... Shop LOCAL!

Small Business Week is a celebration and appreciation of small businesses who make our community the incredible place it is. With an emphasis on local shopping and supporting local entrepreneurs, it highlights the role small businesses contribute in the nation’s economy.  Ways you can participate in Small Business Week 2021 

  • Visit and shop at a local small business you've never been to before!
  • Thank a small business for all they do in our community!
  • Support a local eatery! Dine in, take out or swing by the drive through.
  • Mention your favorite small business on social media.
 The chamber has great resources for you to locate these local businesses!   You can find business news, events, specials, promotions or etc. on their page.  Need help locating a local small business - you can locate them right now by clicking this link! Join in and make 2021 a better year for several of these small businesses.   Support your community!

What happens when fire restoration is delayed?

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Stove with pot on it and has had a fire so all burned Do you know what the next steps taken would be?

The longer you leave your home unrepaired after the fire occurs the more structural issues and decay of your home you could endure. You might face other situations like water damage, mold growth and possibly even theft.

Once the firefighters extinguish the blaze you will need to contact your insurance company so they can assess the damage and start the claim. In addition to securing your property from possible severe weather or thieves, SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties can also help try to salvage (save) as many of your belongings as possible.

Soot and smoke require special cleaning supplies and techniques to remove. We at SERVPRO will work quickly and efficiently to get your home or business cleaned and repaired as soon as possible and try to make it “Like it never even happened.”

We take special care to assist a homeowner or business owner in understanding what can be cleaned vs what cannot.   There are items that cannot be replaced such as sentimental or antique items that we can take special care to restore.  

Take a look at what to expect after the fire from FEMA then call us to inspect your items at no charge and let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Keep your business clean and inviting for employees and customers!

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Multiple desks and chairs in an office setting Do you have time to clean your office?

When you have a commercial business it can be a task to try and keep up with the cleaning. You might need to decide if this is a task you should undertake yourself or hire a professional cleaning service to do for you.

As professionals, a cleaning company might be able to complete the cleaning quicker than you. You also have to think about the fact that the time you spend cleaning means you are not able to concentrate on other aspects of the business.

The next thing to think about is that yes you can do it for free and a professional will cost money. But you need to think about the time taken away from your role to do the cleaning and the effect that will have on your business and profits.

You can consider whether you have staff to do the dusting and cleaning but need the floors or HVAC system cleaned.  All of these things are time consuming and sometimes worth the cost to have someone professionally do them.

Once you consider those factors, you may find that in the long term, commercial cleaning services are better.  If you do then give us a call at 386-754-0261 and allow us to give you an estimate.

#1 in the Restoration Services Category/2021

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Ranked #1 - image of SERVPRO logo Top 10 Franchise & Ranked #1 in the Restoration Business

If you have ever had a disaster in your home or business, RV, automobile, whether it was flooding and water damage, fire or smoke damage, discovering mold in a hidden corner, or you have a bat infestation in your attic you might wonder who among all the restoration and clean up companies to call.

SERVPRO has several years of experience, highly trained certified technicians, 24-hour emergency service, locally owned and operated and a trusted leader in the restoration industry.  

Recently we were named #1 in the Restoration Services category by Entrepreneur and #10 on the Top Franchise list.  We pride ourselves in the elevated training and resources we have and take time to make each and every customer satisfied that we come in contact with.  

If you find your home or business in need of a restoration and clean-up company, do yourself a favor and call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties today!  Located in Lake City, Florida we provide services in Live Oak, Jasper, White Springs, Lake Butler, Madison, Perry, Chiefland, McClenney and surrounding towns.

Spring Cleaning Checklist for your office

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Desk with computer and other items on it Does your office get the deep cleaning it needs?

April is the perfect time to designate it as spring cleaning month. During this time of year it’s a great opportunity to vacuum the hard-to-reach corners of the floors, remove the cobwebs off the ceilings, wipe off the blades of the ceiling fan and other areas that are missed throughout the winter. Every office has build-up over time of dust and clutter. Your employees may already be sneezing and coughing from the new blooms of the flowers and the pollen from the trees, so entering their place of business having clean air and free of debris and dust will help with allergies.

If your establishment doesn’t have a full-service commercial cleaning company then it’s important to give your employees a month each year to focus on cleaning up their office space. Employees can take a moment to get organized by filing old paperwork, cleaning up computer space, cleaning out drawers, taking inventory of office supplies and promotional items.  Getting rid of the unnecessary can help people better organize what is necessary and improve productivity.

Clean

  • Windows
  • Tops of cubicles
  • File cabinets, desktops
  • Behind furniture
  • Around equipment
  • Under desk

Disinfect

  • Phones
  • Keypad
  • Handsets
  • Buttons on Equipment
  • Desk-tops
  • Knobs and Handles
  • Light Switches
  • Computer mouse and keypad

If you have realized that your office is needing a thorough office clean to make sure it looks its best for your employees and clients, then call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties at 386-754-0261 for a free quote.

5 Uncommon Causes of Water Damage

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Cabinets and Fridge with water on a tile floor coming from underneath Water loss can come from many places.... you must investigate to locate the source.

Water damage inside the home or business can happen at any time of the year. For the most part, these tragedies happen without warning and can cause a serious amount of damage — no matter how small or large the issue is.

You need to continually monitor your home or business for things that can be done to eliminate the possibilities of water loss.  It’s essential to keeping your home, family, business, and employees safe. Without preparation, most people are just sitting ducks waiting for tragedy to strike their property.

Most people are aware of the most common causes of water damage. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the more uncommon and surprising causes of water damage.

Lake City, Lake Butler, Jasper, White Springs & Live Oak residents are generally aware of the most common causes. These include severe weather, broken pipes, floods, water spills, sewage backups and HVAC units. A majority of these occurrences require immediate assistance from a professional.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the more uncommon and unexpected causes of water damage:

  1. Plants – plants need water, whether they’re inside or outside. While overwatering can damage the plant, it can also lead to frequent spills. If not cleaned up immediately, that spill can cause water damage.
  2. Gutters – a clogged gutter can wreak havoc on your home in a variety of ways. Water can pool up on the outside and inside of your home, eventually causing water damage and mold growth.
  3. Wind – although rare, wind can lead to opening doors without your permission. If this happens during a rainstorm, water can leak into the home. If it happens when cold outside, it can freeze your pipes if temperatures drop low enough.
  4. Fire – a fire already causes insurmountable damage to your property, but that damage is multiplied if using water to stop the fire. If not dealt with in a timely manner, this water can cause damage and mold growth.
  5. Animals – animals can cause a variety of spills around the home if not supervised. Make sure there’s nothing your pet can spill before leaving them unsupervised.

No matter what the cause of water damage is, you shouldn’t waste any time in finding the source. Once found, time is of the essence. Stop the flow of water, remove it from the property, and contact your local SERVPRO to begin the recovery process. We take the restoration process seriously to ensure each homeowner and business owner can return to a safe property and normal daily routine.

Why is hiring a certified water damage restoration service imperative?

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Servpro Logo with several men and women holding tools to dry out a house SERVPRO has employees that care!

The procedure of getting rid of moisture and drying the structure of the area affected involves specialized tools and scientific processes. A floor may look dry, but there might be hard to find moisture which has made its way to the sub-floor. Waiting to commence repairs or using a contractor that is not experienced can lead to pricey repairs later on.

Weather happens rapidly here and the results can sometimes be very unpredictable. Whether your property has been devastated by the weather, rising water, water runoff or even the kids’ bath time, SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is able to help bring your home or business back to its prior condition (or perhaps better than before). Water damage can arise unexpectedly and make damage that seem irreparable. No one wants to go through the headache that water damage can create. Using the correct water damage services will save you time, effort and money. We work effectively to restore any damage present on your property.

We are proud of our attention to detail and efficiency. There isn’t a job that is too big or too small and we can provide advice for most situations. We also offer storm damage cleanup in other states.

Do you need assistance right now? Give us a call anytime at 386-754-0261 as we are a 24 hour service company. We will get back to you quickly and are able to be at homes in our service areas inside four hours.

Upholstery Cleaning and Why SERVPRO is the best

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Sofa with little girl laying on it and then cleaning with a tool Don't you want to keep your upholstery safe?

As Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technicians, we are first class when it comes to cleaning upholstery. SERVPRO provides the essential care that your upholstered sofas, love seats and chairs need. Not all fibers are alike. There is a difference between furniture that has been upholstered with silk and furniture that is covered with microfiber materials. Each fiber reacts differently under different conditions and it is imperative that the technicians examine each item prior to cleaning. The first step is in pinpointing what type of fiber was used to upholster the furniture and the seams, piping, zippers and cushions have been identified and checked for integrity. The technician will then need to make sure the upholstery has been properly cleared of loose soil. This includes removing debris from crevices and corners, then the cleaning can begin. The cleaning plan will be determined by fiber type and how your upholstery was manufactured or entwined. We utilize low or no moisture techniques as well as traditional methods to ensure proper chemistry. Proper tools are used to clean upholstery without any risk of damage to the fabric. We are the upholstery cleaning expert and we take our time with every item we service. We always follow industry standards and take steps to protect your investment. You will have the assurance that our technicians are accustomed to working with quality and will provide superior upholstery cleaning services that are sure to keep our customers happy.

Did you know there are six different types of fire extinguishers?

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Different fire extinguishers with labels Which one works for you?

As most people would think you would just buy a fire extinguisher and if a fire occurs you’re fine right? Well, what you may not know is there are actually six different types of fire extinguishers and they all don’t work on every fire.

  1. ABC POWDER FIRE EXTINGUISHER

An ABC powder fire extinguisher has many advantages as it is a multi-purpose extinguisher and is therefore one of the most common extinguishers to have. A powder extinguisher sprays chemical powder comprised mostly of monoammonium phosphate. This acts to cover the fire and suffocate it.  A Powder extinguisher works effectively since it is not an electrical conductor and since it can effectively break the chain reaction in a liquid or gas fire, something a water extinguisher cannot do.

  1. CARBON DIOXIDE FIRE EXTINGUISHER

A carbon dioxide fire extinguisher is one of the most sanitary types of extinguishers to use as it leaves no remnants and requires no cleanup. The CO2 extinguisher extinguishes CO2. Meaning it eliminates oxygen out of the fire, effectively suffocating it of oxygen. It is used on fires that involve flammable liquids and on electrical fires.

  1. WET CHEMICAL FIRE EXTINGUISHER

The wet chemical extinguisher is a specialized type of extinguisher that the primary use is on fires involving cooking animal and vegetable fats or oils. These extinguishers contain a solution composed of potassium. The liquid mist it sprays cools the fire. Second, due to the chemical reaction of the solution with the cooking fat or oil, a thick soap-like substance forms, sealing the surface of the liquid to prevent it from reigniting. The wet chemical extinguisher is for a kitchen setting. It can also be effective for fires where a material such as wood or paper has caught fire.

  1. WATER MIST FIRE EXTINGUISHER

This type of extinguisher releases minuscule water molecules that fight the fire on a variety of levels. First, because so much water is dispersed in such a minuscule fog-like form, the level of oxygen in the air is decreased, which in return suffocates the fire. Second, the water molecules are drawn to the fire and, as water always does, acts to cool it. The most unique thing about the water mist extinguishers, is that the water has been demineralized, meaning the minerals have been removed. As a result, it can be used on electrical fires, as the demineralized water does not conduct electricity, as well as on burning liquids/gases that a standard water extinguisher could not be applied to.

  1. FOAM FIRE EXTINGUISHER

Foam fire extinguishers are suitable for flammable liquids but not effective for gaseous fires. They spray a foam that expands when it hits the air and covers the fire. This prevents the vapors from rising off the liquid to feed the fire, therefore starving it of fuel. Also, because the foam is mixed with water, it has a cooling effect. Foam extinguishers are some of the best for liquid fires, such as gasoline fires, but can also be used on fires involving solid combustibles like wood.

  1. CLEAN AGENT FIRE EXTINGUISHER

This type of fire extinguisher is stored in its liquid form, when sprayed and hits the air, it converts to its gas form which is nonconducting, safe for use while people are present, leaves no remnants, and has a very short atmospheric lifetime, making it eco-friendly. The gas, is usually made of Halon, extinguishes fire by reducing the oxygen levels and delaying the chain reaction. Because it is nonconducting and so clean, it is ideal for rooms or businesses filled with electrical and computer equipment.

Helping in Texas! ONE TEAM

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Green Van with Trailer Attached at Gas Station Heading to Texas! SERVPRO = ONE TEAM

So many residential and commercial customers are in need right now over many states.  We received the call from our Storm Team headquartered from Alabama to disperse towards Texas so we did!  We always want to assist other SERPVRO franchises in helping as many customers as we are able too! 

Thankful for volunteers to drive additional equipment all the way from Florida to Texas, thankful for SERVPRO of Jacksonville Beach/Ponte Vedra letting us use their trailer loaded down with equipment and so very thankful to our staff that is already there and working since last Saturday around the clock!   

Thankful for our staff here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties for working hard to keep our customers here at home taken care!  

WE ARE ONE TEAM!!  

How many layers of floors do you have??

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Sheet vinyl flooring with VCT over it Got layers??

Sometimes when you purchase a home or business you believe the floor your looking at is the original floor or I should say the "only" floor.  Surprise!   It is amazing what we find when we go to a water loss sometimes....  layers and layers and layers of flooring!  

In this case it was vct on top of sheet vinyl on top of the subfloor.  Sometimes it is carpet over sheet vinyl and sometimes it is multiple layers of subflooring that we cannot dry through.   This is just an example of every loss being unique and different just like every customer is unique! 

We try and treat every customer as we would like to be taken care of and create a quality experience for you.   Customer service is lost art in today's world.   Remember, you are our 1st priority and your home or business is going to be treated as such!  

Cracking a water damage case

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Cracked toilet bowl Cracked toilet bowl that was the culprit in this water damage

When SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties receives a call about a water damage one of the first things we do is attempt to find the source of the damage if the home owner is unsure where it is coming from.

This particular case was a very easy find. Our office received a call about a water damage in Perry, Fla and we sent a team out to assess the damage and begin to work on fixing the issue.

When we arrived we noticed that the toilet bowl in the second bathroom had a huge crack and water had gone into most of the house.

Over the course of a few days, our crew was able to remove the flooring in the effected area along with some of the kitchen cabinets and began the drying process.

If you have a similar situation, feel free to give us a call at 386-754-0261.

Weather Updates

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

sign that says Hurricane with lightning bolts on black sky ARE YOU READY FOR THE STORM?

As Floridians we have learned to always be knowledgeable of ongoing weather.  From lightning to hurricanes it is always advisable to be informed at all times and know what precautions to take.   

We learn at an early age how dangerous weather can be and how to smartly respond to any ongoing or upcoming weather factors to keep ourselves safe and out of harms way. 

May of us use the local news, radio or social media to keep up.   We here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties recommend to use the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) website.  

This website/link will keep you up to date and informed of any upcoming storm possibilities that might require advanced planning to keep everyone safe.  

No one is every "ready" for a Hurricane to damage their home or business, however, you should be ready to evacuate if necessary and know how to prepare your home or business to the best of your ability.  

Community during Covid

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicle with local law enforcement SERVPRO vehicle with local law enforcement

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties has been busy with helping our local community attempt to navigate this pandemic as best we can. We have different plans available for disinfecting a location that may or may not have had a case of coronavirus present.

Along with offering the services SERVPRO has been known for since 1967, we have attempted to assist some local businesses as well as first responders through these trying times.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties has done numerous outreach activities to include taking lunch to some of the various fire stations in our area, fogging of First Responder vehicles for the County and City as well as giving out a teacher appreciation packet to our local High School's faculty and staff.

We would like to thank anyone who was able to take part in these events for helping us spread the word of the little bit of normal that we as SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties are attempting to bring during this period of "New Normal".

Area Rug cleaning

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

Area Rug cleaning Cleaning an Area Rug in our warehouse

An area rug can be used a few different ways. To designate a certain area of a room or to protect the flooring underneath.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties offers a few different options for cleaning area rugs.

Our fantastic team can clean your area rug where it is located in your home but we also have options for having it cleaned at our warehouse. We can either bring the rug to our warehouse or you can drop it off and then we can begin the process of steam cleaning your area rug.

Once your area rug is cleaned, SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties can either deliver the rug to your home or you can stop by our warehouse and pick up the area rug.

Whichever option you choose, feel free to call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties and we will be more then happy to assist.

Wood laminate floors--Friend or Foe

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Bubbled wood laminate flooring Water damaged wood laminate flooring

Let's play through a scenario, you purchase a home that has wood laminate flooring. On one hand the wood laminate looks great because it gives the appearance of hard wood floors. On the other hand, you could potentially run into an issue where if you have a water damage in your home and have wood laminate flooring down, a lot of that flooring may need to come up due to the fact that water cannot be extracted through the wood laminate. The wood laminate and the padding underneath would need to be removed and then you are left with a portion of your home that has the always fashionable concrete slab flooring. In no way am I saying that wood laminate flooring is something you shouldn't consider having in your home, I am just mentioning that if a water damage occurs in a home with wood laminate flooring the process is much more defined as to how our team would be able to assist with your water damage compared to carpet flooring. If you run into an issue where you see water coming up from between the pieces of wood laminate flooring in your home, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties and we will be more then happy to assist you in getting your home back to the point where it looks "Like it never even happened."

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned logo Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned logo

"We intend to be THE AUTHORITY on what it means to be clean in the new world. It’s important for us to be assertive, making our case that our cleaning is unlike any other such that all of America will demand that the places they visit and the places they work are not clean unless they are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned."

This is a quote from SERVPRO Chief Marketing Officer Mike Stahl. Certified SERVPRO Cleaned is a new program being implemented by SERVPRO to better assist businesses in establishing themselves as locations that are "Safe to Visit" during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Through this program, SERVPRO is allowing businesses and local SERVPRO franchises to create a custom cleaning plan that fits with the schedule and budget of the interested business. Whether you want SERVPRO to come in and disinfect your business as little as once a month or as frequently as a daily visit, your local SERVPRO franchise will be more then happy to assist with explaining which options will work best for you and your business.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties at 386-754-0261 for more information.

Saharan Dust

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Saharan Dust off the coast of Africa Saharan Dust off the coast of Africa

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties likes to keep you informed on the coming storm season and changes that could happen to it.  As we all know, storms are unpredictable especially when other factors come into play that may cause less storms during a season but more powerful storms.

This is where the Saharan Dust come into play. Personally, I had not heard of the Saharan Dust until just a few weeks ago, but natural phenomenon attract my attention so I began to do some research.  Saharan Dust travels across the Atlantic Ocean to different parts of the world. Every so often, particularly during the warmer months, blankets of the dust are carried by strong winds from the Sahara Desert in Western Africa to Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Barbados.

This years Saharan Dust is what's being called a "Godzilla" cloud.  I have linked an article below with more information on the Saharan Dust and how it is also affecting the view of the sunrise and sunset.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/22/saharan-dust-heads-u-s-bringing-sunsets-and-fewer-tropical-storms/3235299001/

4 Most Common Fires

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Fireman saving child Fireman saving child

While fires can start at anytime and anywhere, below are descriptions of the four most common types of fires. Acknowledging these types of fires may help you to reduce or even eliminate the risk of starting a fire.

1. KITCHEN FIRES

The most common type of fire in the U.S. is the kitchen fire. The reason that the kitchen is the source of many fire hazards is because the kitchen is where heat, electricity, water, and grease come together.
 
The most common type of kitchen fire is the grease fire. A grease fire is extremely dangerous as it can get out of control quickly and spread from the stove throughout the kitchen and into other rooms of the house.
 
Many grease fires occur because someone leaves a frying pan on the stove unattended. They also occur when someone overheats a pan during attended cooking if the grease catches fire. Grease fires can cause serious injury and extensive property damage.
 
Other types of kitchen fires include oven fires and appliance fires. Fires can also get started in the kitchen when electricity comes in contact with water.

2. ELECTRICAL FIRES 

Electrical fires are caused by a number of different factors, including faulty appliances, worn or faulty electrical wiring, improper use of electrical outlets and worn out breaker boxes.
 
Older homes often do not have the proper wiring to handle the amount of electrical appliances in use today. Often old wiring inside walls becomes frayed or worn, causing shorts and sparks that can ignite.
 
Old breaker boxes are made to shut off electrical current when the circuit becomes overloaded as a fire prevention measure, but often the connections are worn or broken and do not activate the breaker switch.
 
Lighting is another cause of electrical fires, which can be triggered by improper wiring or the use of bulbs that are higher in wattage than the amount recommended for the lighting appliance.

3. HEATER FIRES 

This type of fire is particularly common in the winter months. Portable heaters should always have automatic shutoffs that activate when they overheat as a fire precaution.
Coil space heaters are especially hazardous because the coils will ignite anything combustible nearby. Always keep any type of space heater a minimum of three feet from anything combustible. That includes curtains, bedding, clothing and furniture. Always shut space heaters off when you’re not in the room.
 
Extension cords should not be used with space heaters as they generate too much electricity and can start a fire.

4. SMOKING-RELATED FIRES 

Fires caused by cigarettes account for 1,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. Many times the smoker is not the person who dies.
 
Most smoking fires are started by embers igniting on furniture, bedding and trash cans. Smokers should always be sure cigarettes are completely extinguished before emptying ashtrays into the trash.
 
Never smoke in bed and never smoke when you are tired, inebriated, or drowsy from medication. Do not place ashtrays on flammable surfaces like couches, chairs, or beds where they can tip over and start a fire.
 
The best way to prevent smoking-related fires is to smoke outside the house and have a can filled with sand to extinguish cigarette butts.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties are always here to help when it comes to making it "Like it never even happened."  Feel free to give us a call at 386-754-0261 if you have any questions.

Always have a plan

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Home on fire Home on fire

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties hates to see anyone have any type of fire issue in their home.  Here are some tips we would recommend for making a plan to leave your home if a fire was to occur.  Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. Here are some tips for helping you with your home fire escape plan!

  • Know the plan
    Make sure that you’re familiar with your building’s evacuation plan, which should illustrate what residents are supposed to do in the event of an emergency. The evacuation plan should be posted in places where all residents can see and review it, and the building management should hold a fire drill with occupants at least once a year. Most states also require that buildings periodically test their fire safety systems as well.  Be sure to participate when your building drills take place. When looking for an apartment or high-rise home, look for one with an automatic sprinkler system. Sprinklers can extinguish a home fire in less time that it takes for the fire department to arrive.
  • Practice is key
    Whether your building has one floor or 50, it’s essential that you and your family are prepared to respond to a fire alarm. Identify all of the exits in your building and if you are using an escape planning grid, mark them on your escape plan. Make sure to mark the various stairways too, in case one is blocked by fire.
  • Never use the elevator
    In case of fire, always use the stairs to get out, never the elevator. Make sure to practice using the stairs as part of your escape plan. If someone in your family has difficulty climbing down steps, make sure to incorporate a contingency for this into your plan.
  • Stay low
    Smoke from a fire is toxic and deadly no matter what kind of structure you live in. When you hold your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to the exit. In the event of a fire, if both stairwells are filled with smoke, stay in your apartment and wait for the firefighters.
  • Seal yourself in for safety
    If you can’t exit an apartment building due to smoke or fire in the hallway, call the fire department to report your exact location and gather in a room with a window to await their arrival. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to create a seal around the door and over air vents in order to keep smoke from coming in.
  • Stay by the window
    If possible, you should open your windows at the top and the bottom so fresh air can get in. Don’t break the window – if smoke enters the room from outside the building, you won’t be able to protect yourself.
  • Signal to firefighters
    Wave a flashlight or light colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

Hurricane Seasons around the world

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Hurricane from space Hurricane from space

A hurricane season is a distinct time of year when tropical cyclones (tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) usually develop. Whenever we mention hurricane season here in the U.S. we're usually referring to the Atlantic Hurricane Season, whose storms most commonly affect us, but ours isn't the only season there is...

Hurricane Seasons Around the World

Besides the Atlantic hurricane season, 6 others exist:

  • the Eastern Pacific hurricane season
  • the Northwest Pacific typhoon season
  • the North Indian cyclone season
  • the Southwest Indian cyclone season
  • the Australian/Southeast Indian cyclone season
  • the Australian/Southwest Pacific cyclone season  

While each of the above basins has its own particular seasonal patterns of tropical cyclone activity, activity tends to peak worldwide in late summer. May is typically the least active month, and September, the most active.

Hurricane Season Predictions

Several months before the season starts, several well-known groups of meteorologists make predictions (complete with guesstimates of the number of named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes) about how active the upcoming season will be.

Hurricane forecasts are usually issued twice: initially in April or May in advance of the June season start, then an update in August, just before the historical September peak of hurricane season.

  • The NOAA releases its initial outlook the week prior to the June 1 season start.
  • Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Sciences has been making and publicizing their tropical forecasts since 1984.
  • Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) (a consortium of insurance, risk management, and climate forecasting experts based out of University College London in the UK), first introduced its tropical cyclone forecasts in the late 90s and early 00s.
  • The Weather Channel is considered a relative newbie to the hurricane forecast arena.

Think Ahead for This Hurricane Season

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Grey sky with lightening and a sign saying Hurricane Prep ARE YOU PREPARED THIS SEASON?

With Hurricane Season starting June 1st, now is the time to think ahead and get ready.

Did you know that many people believe that hurricanes are just a threat to coastal communities? The truth is that high winds, flooding, and potential tornadoes can reach residents many miles inland. For this reason, it is important everyone thinks as far ahead as possible to get ready for the upcoming hurricane season. When you are prepared and the time comes to spring into action, you will be more calm and confident because you already have a plan in place.

One thing that should be at the top of your list is learning your evacuation zones. Evacuations are more common that people think, and when you know your evacuation zone you will be ahead of the game. Also have a communication plan with any extended family members in case you need to meet somewhere.

Another thing that should also be added to your list is to check in with your insurance company. Make sure you know in advance what your deductibles are and what all (inside and outside) is covered. This includes the personal belongings in your home as well.

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. To really think ahead you need to make sure you have your emergency supplies on hand, as well as prepare your house.

It’s never too early to stock up on emergency supplies, and the sooner you get them, the better. These supplies should include:

  • Water, one gallon per person per day (three-day minimum)
  • Food, a three-day supply of no-cook foods
  • Any medications you or any family members will need (of course a three-day minimum as well)
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Hand-crank or battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Cellphone charger with a backup battery or portable charger

Last, but not least, let’s get your home ready. Here is what we recommend:

  1. Trim or remove any damaged trees or limbs to keep your property safe. Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall or be thrown. If you have any loose limbs, the higher the winds the higher the chance of them damaging your home or a neighbor’s home.
  2. Secure rain gutters and clean out any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your home.
  3. Secure and reinforce your windows and doors, including the garage doors. This can be done with the help of hurricane screens.
  4. Have a power backup plan! You can do this by purchasing a portable generator or installing a generator.
  5. If possible, consider building a safe room or storm shelter to protect you from high-winds, but this is best done in locations above flood levels.

Your #1 goal is to keep your family safe, second is your home or business.   Here at SERVPRO of North Clay County/Oakleaf/North Middleburg our goal is to be "Here to Help" if your home or business is affected and get you back to normal as quickly as possible.  

NOAA Predicts an Above-Normal 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

List of Names for the 2020 Hurricane Season 2020 Looks to be a busy season for Hurricanes

June 1st marks the official start of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season which will continue through November. On May 21st, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published their outlook for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA predicts that the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be above-normal.

Forecasters predict a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

The 2020 outlook reflects several climate factors that are conducive to increased hurricane activity, including the ongoing high-activity era that has been in place since 1995. Forecasters are predicting ENSO neutral or La Niña conditions, along with warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon.

The 2020 outlook reflects several climate factors driving the strong likelihood for above-normal activity in the Atlantic. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Nina, meaning there will not be an El Nino present to suppress hurricane activity. Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995.

For 2020, NOAA predicts a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

With all of this in mind, remember, SERVPRO is here alongside you.    We take the same precautions each of you do.  We pray for the safety of our communities and are "Here to Help" if help is needed.

Commercial Cleaning 101: Clean, Sanitize & Sterilize

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning products Cleaning products

What is the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting? You might be tempted to say that, there is, in fact, no difference between them. All of those terms basically mean clean something right? Hopefully you commercial cleaning company will disagree with you on this point. The language and science of cleaning has evolved, and will continue to evolve and grow more complex as the industry expands to meet the needs of an ever-changing marketplace. While it is the responsibility of your commercial cleaning company to keep up, as a Facility Manager, it is wise to have a handle on some of the basic terms. Should you be on the look out for a new commercial cleaning company, understanding some of the industry terms can help you keep prospective janitorial service companies on their toes and ask all the right questions. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting? Want to know what pathogens are & why your commercial cleaning company should too? We have the answers to your burning cleaning questions. We’ve put together a list of some key terms that will undoubtedly be useful to know:

Cleaning: Most of us would like to think we know this one! But surprisingly, cleaning only refers to removing visible gunk from a surface.

Mechanical Cleaning: Good, old fashioned elbow grease. Mechanical Cleaning is when you put away the fancy tools and give the surface a good scrubbing.

Sanitize: Sanitizing isn’t the same as cleaning. Think about hand sanitizer for a moment. Put it on dirty hands and they aren’t magically clean, just de-germed if you will. In your building, before a surface can be sanitized it should be cleaned. Then, an antimicrobial solution is applied for a specific dwell time to achieve the desired 99.9999% bacterial and viral kill rate.

Dwell Time: This is a word you would only know if you spend your time reading the back of cleaning products! You might not do that but we do. Dwell times refer to how long an antimicrobial or disinfectant solution must be left on a pre-cleaned surface before it can be considered sanitized or disinfected. The product needs a specific amount of time to do its intended job. This one is important because if your cleaning company is rushing through their work and not following manufacturer recommendations, you will not get as safe, healthy and effective as possible.

Sterilize: To sterilize something requires the almighty autoclave or something equally as powerful to insure a 100% kill rate on microorganisms, viruses, and any type of fungal spore. For those of you that have seen an autoclave before, you know that this isn’t a practical cleaning solution for a big, busy building and for that reason is only used on medical and dental tools as necessary.

Microorganism:The word you missed on your high school biology test has come back to haunt you. All a microorganism is is any bacteria, virus, or spore that can’t be seen without a microscope.

Pathogen: When microorganisms turn evil. Any microorganism that can cause illness or disease is a pathogen.

Hot Spots: Similar in nature to the touch point. Hot spots are areas within a building that are frequently traversed and touched, like handles, shared business machines, any surface, knob, handle, switch or the like. These areas need extra attention to make sure that they are truly clean because as they are touched often and by many, they become the perfect little hubs for the evil pathogens, those microorganisms intent on making you, your employees and building’s visitors sick.

Bactericide: When life gets to be a little too much for the bacteria. A bactericide is any solution that is specifically targeted to destroy bacteria.

Touch Points: The locations in your office or workplace that are touched the most often. Knowing the touch points in your workplace lets you know which areas need special attention because these areas see many hands and many hands see many mouths and noses which see many microorganisms, many of which are pathogens.

Team Cleaning: With team cleaning, a building is divided by duties, not zones so team members specialize. There may be one vacuum specialist, one restroom specialist, one duster and light duties specialist and similar. This specialization of members of a team creates more efficient, more consistent results and reduces training costs and equipment costs and well as increases accountability and professionalism.

Zone Cleaning: In zone cleaning a building is divided into zones, sometimes floors or areas and there is one cleaner to one zone. This is an outdated cleaning style that is inefficient because it results in duplicated equipment and inconsistent results.

Cleaning for Health: Unsurprisingly, exactly what it sounds like. Cleaning for health is not only to clean to make something visually appealing, but also to sanitize a surface to prevent the spread of those pesky pathogens and other microorganisms.

Smart Cleaning: Smart cleaning uses a detailed analysis of your building to provide customized solutions to reduced budgets and cuts by optimizing services and identifying livable service cuts and scheduling services in a way that balances your budget and building maintenance needs.

Cross Contamination: When you use the same rag on to wipe the break room lunch tables that you used on the restroom toilets, things don’t get too clean. In fact, they get even dirtier are germs, microorganisms and pathogens are spread around the various parts of your facility. This is called cross contamination and the best way to address it is with a color coded cloth system, team cleaning, proper product use like utilizing dwell times and manufacturer recommendations and other janitorial best practices.

If you have any other questions, feel free to call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties.

Phase 1 - Re-Open Florida

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Florida outline, person in yellow tyvek suit and mask Phase 1 - Reopening Florida

So here is what we know about Phase 1, Re-Opening... 

* May 4th Florida will enter Phase 1 (excluding some southeast FL counties) 

1. Schools will remain in distance learning 

2. No visitors entering long term care facilities 

3. Elective surgeries will resume 

4. Restaurants will resume operations with outdoor seating (6 feet separating tables) and indoor capacity of 25% (following CDC recommended guidelines for indoor social distancing) 

5. Retail reopens with 25% indoor capacity following CDC guidelines/protocols 

6. No larger venues reopen, not specifically listed above.

No movie theaters, no gyms, no personal services (hair salons, massage therapy, barbers) and no bars. 

** Vulnerable population should continue to avoid close contact and limit outdoor activities, and following social distancing. 

** All individuals when outside should maximize physical distancing protocols 

** Social groups/gatherings remain at 10 or fewer 

** Recommendation of face masks being worn in workplaces as well as any situation which is in close proximity in public. 

Governor estimates each phase will be consistently re-evaluated and last for several weeks. 

To go to Phase 2, monitoring of hospital capacity and testing positive rates. AND monitoring symptomatic hospitalizations. 

If your business was deemed essential within the previous executive order, this phase 1 should not be impacting your operations.

How to Stop Mold Growth

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on ceiling Mold on ceiling

Where there is moisture, there is mold. And where there is mold, health effects are bound to follow, especially for people who are sensitive to it.

HOW TO STOP MOLD GROWTH IN HOUSE

  1. Control moisture. Keep the humidity level under 60 percent.
  2. Dry up wet materials quickly. It only takes mold two days to grow.
  3. Clean, disinfect, and dry surfaces prone to mold growth. A vapor steam cleaner may help.
  4. Repair leaks. Replace dilapidated old pipes. Fix leaks on the roof, walls, and foundation of the house. Unclog HVAC units drain regularly.
  5. Dry items thoroughly before storing them.
  6. Improve airflow at home. Start with opening closet doors more frequently and moving furniture far from walls to providing better ventilation to confined spaces. The more windows you can open, the better.
  7. Monitor your basement’s ventilation. Set up a foundation drain, put in a dehumidifier, insulate walls, set up a thermal plane, and let the entire room dry.

HOW TO STOP MOLD GROWTH ON WALLS

  1. Prepare the affected walls with the usual white, black or bluish patches of mold on the walls. If it has spread to adjacent areas, such as the carpet or other items, remove these from the walls and salvage whatever you can.
  2. Scrub as hard as you can. Use a mixture of one part bleach and three parts water and combine it with some hard scrubbing using a heavy-duty sponge or scrub brush. Let the solution soak in for a few minutes. In even worse cases, you may need to use this bleach mixture with a formulated mold remover. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and a respirator mask for protection and turn on the ventilation fan.
  3. Dry the walls completely.

HOW TO STOP MOLD GROWTH IN BATHROOM

  1. Remove and replace sealant or caulking affected by mold.
  2. Use effective mold-killing chemicals to clean your bathroom, such as vinegar, bleach or hydrogen peroxide to help you, but make sure not to mix any of these products to avoid a toxic outcome.
  3. Keep your bathroom doors and windows open while cleaning. This should help dry up the bathroom and take away the mold’s favorite environment.

HOW TO PREVENT MOLD GROWTH IN BATHROOM

  1. Invest in an effective fan for every bathroom at home. Vents can suck out the moisture in your bathroom and send it outside. Depending on the size of your bathroom, find a fan with the right cubic feet per minute (cfm).
  2. Use the fan properly. Turn the vent on during a bath or shower and leave it on for 30 minutes more after leaving the bathroom. Find a fan with a timer for your convenience.
  3. Use your squeegee. Make it a habit to dry up the shower walls or tub with a squeegee.
  4. Repair leaks. Once you notice leaks, fix them right away. Delaying repairs will only encourage mold to grow and take hold.
  5. Dry out everything in the bathroom. After using your sponges, loofahs, and product bottles, remove them from the shower and let them dry.
  6. Wash towels, rugs, and mat regularly.

If you have any questions, feel free to call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties for all your mold related questions.

A Guide for Employers!

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Two ladies and a sign that says Covid-19 Disinfecting your Business and Protecting your Employees

As much as we are here for you if you need our services we also always attempt to advise our customers on things they can do themselves.  We are here to help!  SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is always interested in helping our community in anyway possible.  Here are some recommendations from the CDC.

How to clean and disinfect: 

Clean surfaces using soap and water. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. High touch surfaces include: Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. 

Disinfect

Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use disinfectant. Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.

Many products recommend:

Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product. 

Download CDC Employer Guidelines 

Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.  

Additional Considerations for Employers

• Educate workers performing cleaning, laundry, and trash pick-up to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19.
• Provide instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms within 14 days after their last possible exposure to the virus.
• Develop policies for worker protection and provide training to all cleaning staff on site prior to providing cleaning tasks.
? Training should include when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary, how to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off) PPE, and how to properly dispose of PPE.
• Ensure workers are trained on the hazards of the cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard.
• Comply with OSHA’s standards on Bloodborne Pathogens, including proper disposal of regulated waste, and PPE. 

For facilities that house people overnight:

• Follow CDC’s guidance for colleges and universities. Work with state and local health officials to determine the best way to isolate people who are sick and if temporary housing is needed.
• For guidance on cleaning and disinfecting the bedroom/bathroom for someone who is sick, review CDC’s guidance on disinfecting your home if someone is sick. The content of this email is republished from the Center for Disease Control website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.

Please refer to their website for more detailed information.  We provide services in Lake City and all of our surrounding counties to include Lake Butler, Fort White, MacClenny, Perry, Madison, Live Oak, LuLu, Orange Park, Oakleaf, Middleburg & White Springs.  

Preparing to "Reopen" your home or business to guests or customers?

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Man with respirator on fogging kitchen We can give you peace of mind in your home or business moving forward from the Social Distancing to normal life again.

The coronavirus has changed what it means to clean.

In the year 2019 B.C. (Before Coronavirus), homeowners or their housekeepers could basically scrub, wipe, dust and vacuum their way to a clean house.

But now many homeowners are hiring companies with specialized tools and chemicals to disinfect their homes as a way to protect themselves and their businesses to protect not only employees but their customers.

We understand the dire need of proper disinfectant services to combat the spread of COVID-19. We offer services to deep clean and disinfect your business, school, or other commercial property as well as your own home. No more guessing whether you have cleaned that doorknob or entire wall.

Our Protocols and Certification:
- We wear protective gear (masks, gloves, protective uniforms) when necessary.  i.e. a confirmed case of Covid - 19
- We use the highest quality, approved by the CDC, sanitization products
- We are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration, Restoration Industry Association

SERVPRO is outfitted with the necessary tools and skills to combat this situation and help protect your employees and clients.

Preventing the spread of the common cold and the flu at home and in the workplace

4/17/2020 (Permalink)

Sneezing Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties has been deeply entrenched with assisting local businesses with Covid-19 cleanup or pre-cleaning.

Here are some tips on how to keep from spreading a cold or flu if you have it.

-Cover coughs and Sneezes

Flu germs are believed to spread through droplets from the mouth and nose. Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Make sure to throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands straight away. If there’s no tissue handy, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.

-Avoid touching your eyes and face

According to the CDC, flu germs can live for two to eight hours on hard surfaces. That’s why it’s so easy to pick up flu germs without knowing it. You can get infected if you touch an infected doorknob or light switch and then rub your eyes or bite your nails. Learning to keep your hands away from your face can be tough, especially for children. Remind them often, as well as yourself.

-Wash your hands often

All hand washing is not equal. For it to be effective, make sure you and your family follow these steps:

  1. Run warm water over your hands.
  2. Add soap.
  3. Scrub for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse and dry.

You can stock up on alcohol-based hand sanitizers for areas where sinks aren’t available or when you’re out and about. Store them out of the reach of young children and ensure children have adult supervision when using them. Make sure your hand sanitizers are at least 60 percent alcohol, and remember that they’re not a replacement for washing your hands with soap and warm water — they don’t tackle all germs, and don’t work on visibly dirty hands.

You’ll need to remind kids to wash up:

  • each time they use the bathroom
  • before they eat
  • after they come home from school or a play date

-Limit contact with family members or co-workers who are ill

If someone in your family does get the flu, take these steps to prevent the flu from spreading:

  • Keep the sick person at home.
  • Limit close contact between the sick person and other family members as much as you can while they’re contagious. In general, this is up to a week after they show symptoms.
  • Change sleeping arrangements, if possible.

You should also avoid sharing the following items from the sick person:

  • washcloths
  • towels
  • dishes
  • toys
  • utensils

-Clean your home and office area

Flu germs and viruses love to lurk on items you touch every day. Here are some hot spots for germs:

  • kitchen sponges
  • dishcloths
  • cutting boards
  • home desks
  • floors
  • sinks
  • toilets

Clean and disinfect these hot spots regularly. You can microwave your kitchen sponge for one minute on a high setting to zap germs. Better yet, throw it out.

If someone in your household has the flu, take special care when washing their things. Wash dishes and silverware thoroughly by hand or in the dishwasher. You don’t have to do a sick person’s laundry separately, but try to avoid scooping up an armload of items and holding them close before washing them. Use laundry soap and dry on a hot setting. Always wash your hands immediately after handling dirty laundry.

Smoking in your home

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

House fire House fire

So where are we at when we catch our homes on fire? 40% of fires are starting in the bedroom and 35% are living rooms or family rooms. If we stopped smoking on our bedrooms and living rooms, and went outside, we could potentially cut 75% of smoking related structure fires out. With that being said, let’s discuss the unknown dangers of smoking in the home. I’m not going to say you are less likely to survive a home fire today as to 50 – 60 years ago, but the risk is a lot higher for what we have in our homes today. Take a look at what you have in your home. Your TV, couch, clothes, drapes, computers, dressers and so on. We have so many plastics, polycarbonates and synthetics in our homes today fires burn hotter and faster and give off high amounts of dangerous gases. The amount of time you have to get out of the home safely is a very short window compared to back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s where homes were filled with furniture built with real wood and cotton. There are studies today showing rooms filled with modern items being lit on fire and the room being completely engulfed in fire in three to four minutes, compared to a room being filled with older legacy furniture and home materials that when lit would flash or become fully involved about 25 to 30 minutes after ignition.

It is very simple; if you smoke just don’t do it in the house. Take the time and go outside to smoke. Here are some other helpful tips to go by:

• Put your cigarette butts out in water or sand.

• Use deep sturdy ashtrays and don’t put them on the couch or bed.

• Place ashtrays on a table away from other items that could catch fire.

• Don’t smoke if you are on oxygen, period!

• Make sure your ashtrays are cold before you discard them.

• Don’t empty your ashtray in your trash in your home. Its good practice to have a metal bucket outside to empty them into.

• Never smoke in bed.

• Finally have a working smoke detector in your home. It’s amazing of the number of homes without a working smoke detector. You should have a detector on each floor of your home and outside and inside of each bedroom.

If something like this were to happen to you or your family, call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties and we will make it "Like it never even happened."

Difference between regular and deep cleaning

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

Before and after kitchen cleaning Before and After photo of a kitchen cleaning

Regular cleaning is what most people do on a daily or weekly basis. Deep cleaning is normally carried out every 6 months to a year.

Regular cleaning maintains a good level of cleanliness around the house. Regular cleaning tasks often cover things like:

  • hoovering and mopping the floors
  • cleaning bathrooms – sink, mirror, bath and toilet
  • Tidying up
  • cleaning the kitchen – wiping down work surfaces, cupboard doors, hob etc

Deep cleaning is different from regular or spring cleaning because it reaches the deep grime and dirt in your home.

It covers areas which aren’t traditionally covered by a regular or spring clean for example:

  • behind kitchen appliances like the washing machine and oven, cutting through the grime that builds up
  • under the sink
  • inside the oven including the oven door glass
  • inside of window frames and patio doors
  • inside and outside of all windows
  • washing all blinds
  • full and deep dusting including all the corners of rooms for cobwebs
  • scale removal from all bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, taps, shower heads etc

If deep cleaning seems like a task that you may not want to tackle, give SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties a call and we can see how we can help.

Specific Situations That Require a Specialty Biohazard Cleanup Service or Biohazard Remediation

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro Biohazard SERVPRO Biohazard


There are certain situations that occur in a residence that require a specialty biohazard cleanup service, also known as biohazard remediation. These include:

-Suicide
-Homicide
-Accident
-Other types of unattended death

In addition to these specific incidents that occur on the home front, there are deaths that occur in other settings that necessitate a specialty biohazard cleaning service. These include:

-Industrial accidents
-Communicable disease disinfection
-Vehicle biohazard removal and remediation
-Blood cleanup, removal, and remediation

The Physical Dangers of Biohazard Cleanup or Remediation

A primary reason why a biohazard cleaning service is needed following certain types of deaths is because of the biohazardous substances associated with the remains of a person who died under circumstances like those discussed a moment ago.

You must keep in mind that even if a perfectly healthy person dies in a traumatic death, which is not immediately discovered, hazardous biological agents will be present at the location of the deceased’s remains. The stark reality is that the decomposition process commences at the time of death.

The process of decomposition results in the release of potentially dangerous gases and fluids, beginning as quickly as a couple of days following death. You run the risk of becoming seriously ill by exposure to these substances.

The cleanup after a traumatic or unattended death necessitates the use of universal precautions as well as personal protective equipment, or PPE. Most people like you do not maintain the personal protective equipment of the type needed to protect appropriately against the biohazards associated with a traumatic or unattended death.

On the other hand, a biohazard cleaning service maintains the protective gear necessary to safely remediate the aftermath of a traumatic or unattended death. Keep in mind that this gear is designed specifically to address biohazard remediation. It is not the same type of gear utilized in home improvement projects or less risky cleanup endeavors. This gear includes specialized equipment that includes:

-Masks or respirators
-Goggles
-Gloves
-Protective outer-clothing
-Shoe coverings

For any issue like this that may arise, feel free to call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties

Types of Smoke

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage Smoke Damage

Did you know that there are four different types of smoke? Wet, Dry, Oily, and Protein

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.

Oily Smoke - Grease, Fuel Burning, and Burnt Plastics

  • Easily smeared, resistant to wet cleaning

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.

Have questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today - SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties is ready to respond and answer your questions on how to tell which type your fire might have been and also clean.  If you don't know which type soot it is, you can DO MORE DAMAGE by trying to clean yourself.  You also have to know what kind of paint you have or you could do more damage as well.  You can reach us at 386-754-0261 and we will be glad to assist you.   We also cover Madison, Jasper, Perry, Fort White, Mayo and other surrounding areas.  

Commercial flooding

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water Standing water

If you have a large commercial flood in your building, SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is here to help! We have a lot of large loss experience and have been family owned for many years. 

It is important that every large loss is properly handled with documentation and proper steps taken. Doing the job correct the first time is important to prevent secondary damages from happening. 

We strive to be an education company in the disaster restoration industry. With that said if you have any questions on what to do or how to even be better prepared, feel free to reach out to us at any time. We have several team members that are trained and specialize in different areas of large loss restoration. We will make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at our Lake City Office (386) 754-0261

FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION PROCESS

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fire in a Microwave This could happen to you! Be prepared if it does!! Know the process!

Step One: Emergency Contact

The best fire damage restoration companies offer emergency services meaning that they are able to come out quickly when contacted and provide immediate relief for your property. This is a very important feature and you should always look for companies that offer this when trying to find fire damage restoration.

Why do you need immediate service before you start the fire damage restoration process? Of course, it’s actually the job of the emergency services and fire department to put out the fires. However, you may still need fire damage restoration services very quickly in order to prevent damage from spreading through your property.

Say a fire burns a hole in your roof for instance. This could then lead to a situation where you have rain coming in through your ceiling and ruining your property more – the longer you leave this the more the extent of the damage is going to increase and thus you need to get immediate emergency services whenever possible rather than waiting for the problem to get more severe.

Step Two: Assessment

The next thing that a fire damage restoration company will do in the fire damage restoration process is to assess the extent of the damage in your property. This will usually involve looking at how far the fire, the smoke, and the soot have traveled as well as seeing how badly affected your walls and furniture have been.

This is an important first step as it is only by understanding the extent of the damage that the company will be able to come up with a plan of action and to give you an accurate quote for how much it should cost and an accurate estimate of how long it will take.

Step Three: Tarp and Sealing Services

Once the fire damage restoration begins in earnest, the main priority will always be to prevent damage from getting worse. For instance then, if you have a leak thanks to a hole burned in your roof or due to a hole in your wall, then your fire damage restoration company will start by addressing that.

Likewise, fire damage restoration can also often go hand in hand with water damage restoration. This can be necessary for instance if the fire has led to a burst pipe or water tank. In these cases, fire damage restoration services will act quickly to stop the source of the water before it spreads through more of your building and causes more damage.

Step Four: Clean Up

Next, the fire damage restoration service will begin the clean-up part of the fire damage restoration process whereby they will clean away smoke, dust, and soot from your surfaces. After a fire often you will find that your property looks dark, stained and charred. The first job of your fire damage restoration company will be to clean up all this damage and get your property at least looking as normal as possible.

This is also when water damage restoration will begin properly. Here any standing pools of water will be removed using submersible pumps and the areas will then be dried and sanitized. Water damage can also cause health problems owing to contamination in the water, so sanitization is particularly important here.

During this fire damage restoration process, companies will also ensure to remove any odors that can linger after the smoke has been in the room. This might involve carpet cleaning as well and will often need to address adjacent rooms as well as those directly affected by fire damage.

Finally, the clean-up part of the fire damage restoration process will also involve the removal and disposal of items that are too badly damaged to be repairable. If you have furniture for instance that has absorbed a lot of contaminated water, or if you have carpet that has been badly burned… in these cases often the best case scenario is just to throw these things out and to replace them with new items. Fire damage restoration companies handle this for you so that you don’t have to.

Step Five: Repair and Renovation

The next stage is to begin actually restoring furniture and repairing the damage caused by fire. For instance, if cabinets have been destroyed by fire, then fire damage restoration will involve either repairing those cabinets or replacing them with new ones. Carpets can likewise be installed a new and walls can be repainted and wallpaper can be put back up.

The idea of this stage is to get your property looking as good as new so that you can go back to normal. However, the very best fire damage restoration companies will go one step further than this. That’s because they will not only offer restoration but also renovation. These companies can then repair your property and actually leave it looking better than it did at the start. This can be something of a silver lining – if you’re stressed and upset because your furniture has been ruined, then fire damage restoration can turn this into an opportunity to renovate your property and to enjoy having a completely new redesign.

Step Six: Consultation

Following the completion of your fire damage restoration services, you may find that the company that provided them offers you some ‘debriefing’ and consultation on how to prevent future fires. Sometimes, it may be the case that the fire damage was avoidable and in this case, they can offer some design advice for your rooms or help you to find the best smoke detectors and other means for being alerted to fires early.

When you are in need of a fire and smoke damage restoration company in Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper, White Springs, Lake Butler, Starke, Perry, Mayo, MacClenney, Chiefland, Cross City, LuLu and surrounding areas contact us at 386-754-0261.

We are SERVPRO, Here to Help if Needed!

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Chairs on Desks with a Here to Help sign on the front If you need help, we are always here!

Each one of us is learning to live a little differently these days with "social distancing."  We pray you and your family and businesses are being successful practicing a safe distance from everyone.  

During times like this we come to realize how strong we truly are.  We hope you are taking as many precautions as you can to keep your home and business safe.  

If you find yourself in need of some extra deep cleaning and are unable to do so, please feel free to call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties to help you out.

We can help minimize the spread of germs with proactive cleaning! At SERVPRO, we’re trained to adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitization standards, making us the #1 choice for cleanup and restoration. Call 386-754-0261 or email us at SERVPRO9322@comcast.net to see how we can help clean your home or business. 

Proactive Cleaning for Your North Central Florida Business

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Hand and Door Knob with Dirt on Both 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 Providence 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 commercial space in North Florida needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today @ 386-754-0261! 

Fire Safety Tips

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguishers Fire Extinguishers

Here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, we love to inform our customers as much as we can.

You’ve heard all of the preventative steps, you’ve prepped your employees, and your building is up to code. However, the easiest prevention methods are usually the most overlooked. Some of the biggest ways to avoid needing fire damage restoration services are usually some of the quickest to check. Inspect these things today and be sure to set reminders accordingly:

  • Smoke Detectors. Safety experts say that you should check these at least once a month and replace the batteries once a year, or as needed.
  • Fire Extinguishers. See the directions on your fire extinguisher to see when it expires and who you can call to replace your extinguishers. Extinguishers can last anywhere from five to fifteen years. Also, depending on your fire marshal’s standards, you may have to have your extinguisher certified.
  • Fire Exits and Exit Signs. Can guests clearly see exit signs? Can they easily get to them? Consider having a fire drill to ensure guests and employees can easily get out of the building in the event of an emergency. Practice regularly.
  • See any State or Local Guidelines. There are some local and state guidelines that businesses have to follow to stay up to code. Take a minute to read up on these laws or talk to your local fire marshal to learn about the guidelines.

Keeping your business, employees, and guests safe is important. Just by taking the time to make sure the basics of fire safety are taken care of, you can protect your investment.

What does Mold Consume in Columbia and Suwannee Counties?

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on wall Mold on wall

When mold damage gets severe enough, it may cause permanent and noticeable damage to materials in your home. Carpeting, wood, structural components, drywall, paint and more. Frequently they require significant restoration efforts after they have been affected by a mold colony. Mold does not just grow on top of these materials - it feeds off them, literally eating away at their surfaces and compositions. These are some of the most common materials SERVPRO must replace during or after a mold remediation project.

Carpets

Carpets sometimes attract mold damage like a magnet, soaking up water and providing a sheltered place for mold to start growing. Within your carpet's fibers, mold can grow quickly and easily if it has enough water. Mold can then wrap around fibers and attack them from all sides, eating away at the material much faster than flat surfaces like drywall. Due to the speed at which it is destroyed and its ability to harbor deep-rooted mold growth, carpeting is one of the most common replacements SERVPRO must make in a home.   

Drywall and Plaster 

Some types of mold may eat through drywall by consuming the cardboard backing and plaster, creating a challenging and delicate restoration task. Thankfully, we only need to need to remove and replace a limited portion of drywall in most cases, but this still may require some amount of construction work. Other insulating materials and hidden wall constructs may also need replacement or restoration by SERVPRO IICRC Certified technicians.  

Wooden Elements 

Wood takes some of the heaviest damage from long-term mold growth. Although special finishes sometimes protect the wood, it also has high potential to rot and deteriorate if mold grows around it. At risk are everything from support columns to floorboards to building materials, so this mold threat should not be taken lightly. 

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties is an experienced local resource for combating mold and its disastrous effects. If you have found signs of mold damage in your home, call us 24/7 at (386) 754-0261. 

Having a company that can coordinate the whole process from start to finish to make your life easier, and gets you back in your home or business faster. “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO is ready to deal with any size storm damage

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Stormy weather ahead Stormy weather ahead

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,650 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great. 
 
Storm damage in our surrounding areas such as Lake City, Live Oak, Perry, Starke, McClenney, Chiefland and Fort White can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “Like it never even happened.” 

Spring Clean while you Quarantine

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning supplies Cleaning supplies

While some of us have been asked to "self quarantine" by our places of employment, now would be the best time to spring clean and create a necessary distraction from the current state of affairs. SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties would like to share some tips for how to most efficiently use your time to get your home better cleaned and organized.

Form a plan of attack - Personally, I pick an area to work on rather then just stating "I need to sweep or mop". I choose the kitchen or bathroom and when that is completed I move on to the next area until I have completed the cleaning that I had planned.

One of the hardest tasks to undertake when spring cleaning is removing items that we may no longer need. Whether it be sentimental value or just a potential need for the item in the future, removing some items can be one of the toughest parts of spring cleaning.

Windows and walls are sometimes a forgotten area when cleaning.  Cleaning the window screens and also the blinds along with the windows can breathe new life into a room.

Replacing air filters for your central air system can be easily forgotten. If a filter stays in use for two long, it will become clogged and not properly filter the air in your home which can cause sickness. A recommendation for when to replace the air filters is about 3 months.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

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 – SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, 386-754-0261.  Also serving the surrounding counties of Baker, Madison, Hamilton, Lafayette, Union.  Cities including Fort White, Lake Butler, Starke, MacClenney, Jasper, Madison, Perry, Chiefland & many more.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

5 Water Damage Issues Your Business May Face

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

Baseboard being removed with SERVPRO logo on it To dry the interior of the wall cavity, baseboards might need to be removed.

There are a few potential water damage issues any business in North Central Florida may face. These can include everything from a broken pipe to the destruction caused by a large storm. Fortunately, a local water damage restoration service can help you get your business up and running again after a flood has occurred. Here are five of the most common water damage scenarios the pros may see:

1. Storms

Storm damage can be one of the most common culprits of water destruction for businesses. High winds and heavy rain can cause roof problems that may lead to leaks and potential flooding.

2. Winter Weather

Cold weather, especially in the winter, comes with its own set of problems. Frozen water can build up and then leak into the building once it thaws. Similarly, a frozen pipe can break and lead to flooding when it melts.  We are more likely to see the 2nd here in our area.

3. Pipe Breakage

A broken pipe can occur from general wear and tear or stress to the structure. If you believe there may be a pipe break in your building, it's important to contact a professional as soon as you can.

4. Sewage Problems

Sewage problems may also lead to a flood at your place of business. This could occur from either a block in the sewage system or sewage backup problems in the city's mainline. If you have sewage problems, it’s best to obtain qualified assistance as quickly as possible.

5. Appliance Failure

Another way you may find your businesses needing water repair is through appliance failure, such as the refrigerator in the break room. Such appliances are often attached to a water line. If this line breaks, it could lead to possible flooding.
Water damage can create a serious issue for any business. Whether dealing with storm damage, winter weather, a broken pipe, sewage backup, or appliance failure, it's always best to contact professional help to dry the area and sanitize it. Doing this can help you get your business back up and in working condition as quickly as possible.

You can reach your local SERVPRO here in Lake City at 386-754-0261.  We offer free assessments so you can call us anytime for advice.

Water Damage Can Leave An Unwanted Guest

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on Walls Be sure to mitigate properly so you don't have this much worse issue arise.

After you have suffered through the disaster water damage can leave behind, you may sigh a breath of relief and think the worst is over. Unfortunately, if not mitigated correctly, the worst may be yet to come.

When it comes to water damage, they key to avoiding future mold problems is time. The quicker you can get to the source, fix the problem, and begin the drying (or demolition) the better.

Ronnie Wilson, a Project Estimator here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, recommends waiting no longer than 3 days to address the mold risk. 

He also recommends the following steps

Dry out the affected area. Once the water has been extracted, use fans and a dehumidifier to help dry out the area. If possible, open windows to allow for air circulation and faster drying. You want to dry the area out as soon as possible. If you have a finished basement and the drywall was affected, you’ll probably have to cut away the areas that were touched by water as the drywall will crumble and the paper backing is a good source of food for mold. If you have baseboard trim, take it up first, and if it’s made from pressboard it will likely not be salvageable. If it was wood, you might be able to save it.

Disinfect. This is a crucial step that is often overlooked. After the area has dried out, including wood beams, insulation, drywall, etc., use a good disinfectant to get rid of any bacteria that might have come up through sewers, toilets, etc. Disinfect all areas affected by the flood waters including walls and wood and non-upholstered furniture that sat in flood water.

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties uses proprietary, OSHA-approved cleaning agents that may be needed to clean and remove odors and/or contaminants on your property.

  • Deodorization products control odors from excessive moisture.
  • Disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.

Dispose of damaged items responsibly: You’ll be tempted to throw everything into a dumpster and send it all away and out of site. But if you can organize damaged goods into piles and take what you can to recycling centers, you will help alleviate the pressure on your local landfill site. Go to your city or town’s waste management website to find out where to recycle old paints, stains, adhesives and other toxic liquids, any damaged electronics from cell phones to TVs and computers, furniture, and even drywall. 

Carpet Cleaning Tips

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

General carpet cleaning General carpet cleaning

Our team at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties love to keep our customers and community informed on best practices for carpet cleaning and other services we might be able to share our knowledge on.

Some tips we would like to share for carpet cleaning are how to remove small stains, recommended vacuuming tips and how often the high traffic areas should be deep cleaned separate from the entire carpeted area of your home.

A common tip for removing stains would be to use club soda but you could also add a tablespoon of dish soap and a quarter teaspoon of white vinegar to a quart of warm water.  Before using on a stain or large area of the affected carpet, test the solution on an area that is not as visible.

Carpets are recommended to be vacuumed once a week.  When vacuuming, a tip for being able to keep track of the area that has already been completed would be to divide the room or area into small sections.  

Depending on the amount of traffic, the amount of time between deep cleaning of the carpet could be every 6 to 12 months.

Standing water in your crawl space

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water in crawl space Standing water in crawl space

Standing water in your crawl space can cause a mold issue that can cause long term physical issues for you and your family. SERVPRO of Suwannee and Columbia counties would like to provide some tips on what to do if you believe you have a water issue underneath your home.

The first step to take would be to identify the source that is causing the water issue.  Look for areas where water may be puddling on the ground and signs of discoloration on the wood overhead.  The water may be affected by the seasons such as rainy months of the year which could cause water to rise up from the ground.  If you identify that the water is not rising up, the issue may be coming from a leaky pipe.

Depending on how severe the issue is, you may be able to correct the issue.  If the job seems to difficult to take care of on your own, feel free to give SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties a call and we will take care of the water issue "Like it never even happened."

Standing water surprise

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Partial wall removal Wall in a bathroom after being partially removed

Some of the water removal issues we have come across have been standing water.  Whether it be 2 to 3 inches or 2 to 3 feet, SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties are the people to call to have these issues resolved.  Recently we had a local business that had an issue with a leak and stumbled upon 2 to 3 inches of standing water.  SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties was contacted and we were able to extract the water and also remove part of the walls and insulation.  Our team at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties is happy to help whenever these types of issues arise.  The sooner we receive the call and can begin assisting with making the situation "Like it never even happened," the better it is for our customers peace of mind.

30-Day Cleaning Challenge - Begin Today

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Flower & Logo of Servpro with Blue Sky It is Florida and Spring is in our view..... Time to do some spring cleaning and prepare for those days at the beach!

It's that time of year when everyone starts getting the Spring Cleaning bug....  we have been stuck inside for more days than us Floridians like due to cold weather.  

Even though we have not had a harsh winter, it just keeps going up and down in temperature.  We hope we are on the down slope towards Spring!  

Now is the time to plan what you can clean, schedule with SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties what you might like us to clean and prepare for long days at the beach or on the river.

Here is a cleaning list to help you with what you might like to clean and then you can just schedule with us through this website or calling our office located in Lake City, Florida at 386-754-0261.  You might also want to get your HVAC ductwork cleaned and we have the best prices in town for the advanced equipment we use versus just using a small shop vac system as some of our competitors use. 

We would be glad to assist you in any of your needs.  

Water Damage? Clean, Gray or Black Water Damage?

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Toilet overflowing, Sink overflowing & washer and dryer 1/2 way under water with rising water It's important to mediate different types of water the proper way, that is why we investigate to see the cause of the damage.

Did you know that there are three different types of contaminated water that can cause water damage? The three different types of contaminated water are clean water, gray water, and black water. Companies like SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties specialize in mitigation for each type of water damages associated with the contaminated water.

  • Clean Water:

This type of water generally comes from a clean source like a broken water supply line or faucet. Depending on the time it has been left, the temperature, contact with bacteria, and surrounding contaminates, this water can quickly become gray or black water. This is the most common type of water damage.

  • Gray Water:

This type of water and water damage can cause discomfort or illness as it likely contains bacteria and illness. When left untreated, gray water will quickly become black water and the water damages associated with black water is much worse.

  • Black Water:

This water and its water damages generally spawn from sewage, biological hazards, or flooding from rivers and streams. If left untreated, it will cause microbial growth, severe illness, and even possibly death.

The best solution when there is any kind of flooding or water damage is to have it treated as soon as it is noticed. Hiring a professional company like SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties is recommended as they can give advice on why the flood occurred, the category of the flood, and how to prevent water damages. If you have any questions regarding SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, contact the office at (386) 754-0261, visit our website or message us on Facebook!

SERVPRO Storm Response

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Palm Tree over Water with Dark Sky approaching Any type of storm, we are here to help!

SERVPRO Storm Response

The team here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is ready for whatever happens, no matter the time - night or day. When it comes to fire & water damage, our professionals work endlessly to make sure our customers are happy and that we walk them through each step of the cleaning process.

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

As leaders in the storm and water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-storm condition.

We're Quick to Any Size Disaster

When a storm hits your home or business, you need help immediately. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

We can access the resources and personnel of 1,700 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters. We also have access to special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to catastrophic storms and events.

Locally Owned and Operated

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a storm event or flooding emergency, we are in the area and ready to help.

Have Storm or Flood Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties today (386)754-0261

Keep your Kids Safe with these Fire Safety tips

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

Child with fire escape plan drawn out on a piece of paper in front of their face Make sure your children understand the escape plan!

When creating an escape plan in your home, you should go over it with your children so they know how to get out the house. Kids typically don’t think about how they would escape from their home in a fire, so this is an important discussion to have with them.

  • Have a plan in place for children that cannot get out on their own, such as infants and toddlers. Talk about which family member is going to wake up the children and help them get out.
  • Always identify two different ways out of every room. You should know multiple ways to exit in every room in case one exit is blocked, or it is too dangerous to use.
  • Choose a destination outside the house to meet, a safe distance away. This could be across the street, or at a neighbors’ home.

In addition to fire prevention with children, there is the concern of burn prevention. In many instances of fires started by children, serious burn injuries can occur. Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe from fire and burns.

Drapery & Blind Cleaning

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

Room with white upholstered chairs with long tan drapery and cloth shades/blinds When Should My Drapes Be Cleaned?

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals excel at cleaning fine fabrics and intricate pieces. Fabrics are carefully inspected and tested to determine which of the System’s five cleaning methods is most appropriate.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment designed specifically for cleaning fine fabrics. Wet and dry cleaning methods are available as required. You can be confident in the SERVPRO System - we inspect and pretest to determine the safest and most effective cleaning method. When it comes to drapery and blinds, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional has the training, equipment and experience to make them clean again.

A good rule-of-thumb is to clean drapes approximately every two years. A recent survey by SERVPRO disclosed that the average customer believes drapes should be cleaned when they look dirty. Depending on your heating system, the amount of smokers in the home, and other factors, drapes may not show soil for two to six years. The oily atmospheric soil will gradually cause the fabric to deteriorate. Often, direct sunlight is unjustly blamed for this. You may triple the life of your draperies through professional cleaning, which is relatively inexpensive compared to replacement costs.

Professional Cleaning

When your draperies need cleaning, make certain they are dry cleaned ONLY. Only a small percentage of materials can be laundered. If in doubt, call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional for advice. Be discriminating in your choice of professional dry cleaners. Some cleaners have equipment designed for clothes cleaning, while others have equipment specifically designed for draperies.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies right in your home. There’s no need to have your home or office exposed while your draperies are out being cleaned.  SERVPRO Franchise Professionals inject a specially formulated solvent into your drapery under pressure and extract the chemical, leaving your drapes clean. This special process results in no damage or shrinkage to the material. Most importantly, you will get quality cleaning at a reasonable price. Call your local SERVPRO Professional at 386-754-0261 for a free survey of your drapery cleaning service.

How Long Can Germs Live on Surfaces

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

GERMS written out with green circles in bubble letters Germs & How to Remove them
Germs have been rough this year. Reports on the potential dangers of antibiotic-resistant superbugs mingle with discussions of the effectiveness of vaccinations and various other medical interventions. While germs may be too small to be seen with the naked eye, encountering them can have a major impact on your health, and these microscopic menaces can lie in wait on a wide array of common surfaces. How long can germs live on surfaces? And what can you do to protect yourself and your health? When germs are on the prowl, no place is safe. Buses, commuter trains, rental cars, and private vehicles transport both people and virulent germs. Retail establishments, health clubs, educational institutions, restaurants, hotel rooms, and even cruise ship cabins can shelter germs. In fact, practically anything that you touch can expose you to germs, putting your health at risk. According to the National Health Service, the lifespan of a germ varies depending on the type of germ and the surface that it is on. How long can germs live on surfaces? Below we explore a few common examples.

COLD GERMS

The common cold is a frequent source of misery. A variety of viruses can trigger it, and like other viruses, cold germs tend to survive for longer periods on hard, nonporous surfaces like desktops and handrails. On suitable indoor surfaces, cold germs can linger for days, but fortunately they rarely remain infectious for more than 24 hours. Cold viruses can also thrive on the skin, but their survival time there is generally measured in mere minutes or hours.

INFLUENZA GERMS

Viruses that cause influenza can survive in the air as droplets for hours and live on hard surfaces like phones and keyboards for up to 24 hours. Infectious flu viruses clinging to a tissue can last for about 15 minutes, but viruses on the hands tend to fade quickly. Most will be only a minimal threat after five minutes. It may be a small window of time, but influenza germs don’t warn you of their presence and can make you very sick if you’re unlucky enough to encounter them when they’re infectious.

NOROVIRUS GERMS

A highly contagious virus that triggers stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea in those unfortunate enough to catch it, a norovirus can spread through small droplets that travel through the air before settling on surfaces like elevator buttons, table tops, and clothing. While they don’t thrive as successfully on porous materials like tissues and fabrics, noroviruses can survive on hard surfaces for days or weeks if the conditions are favorable.

MRSA GERMS

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, the culprits behind dangerous MRSA infections, are unfazed by many of the antibiotics that are effective in combating other staph infections. Like viruses, these germs tend to survive for shorter periods on porous surfaces than they do on nonporous ones, but they’re capable of living for days or weeks on surfaces if the circumstances are right.

PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM GERMS

Everyone has seen it. If you’ve worked in restaurants or other public venues, you may even have wielded it: the dreaded wet, grey rag. Habitually passed over tabletops between customers with a few desultorily swipes, it is an obviously inadequate weapon when it comes to eradicating germs. But what is required to disinfect a surface?

DISINFECTING BASICS

If you want to kill the germs lurking on a surface, you need to choose an appropriate disinfectant. You also have to apply it properly. That means saturating the surface with enough of the germ-fighting chemical to get the job done and ensuring that there’s enough contact time (time when the chemical is on the surface) to allow it to eliminate any germs present. Choosing a low-grade disinfectant or skimping on either saturation or contact time can compromise your germ-fighting efforts, so it’s vital that you choose your products carefully and read and follow their directions.

As the professional, SERVPRO provides proper training and EPA registered disinfectants to ensure our customers we are doing a thorough job for them.  Whether it be commercial or residential we can handle any cleaning concern or job you might have.  Call us at 386-754-0261!

Prepare for Rain - The Right Way

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Raining Severely and Gutter of House Showing overflow Rain Heavily Falling and Gutters Overflowing with Rain Water

Living in Florida there is always that chance of heavy rain storms coming our way.  SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties has worked on multiple projects that were due to the surplus of rain.  The most memorable one being 2012 during Tropical Storm Debbie.  With almost 30 inches of rain in a short time we had several people call us at all hours of the day and night due to leaks caused by the rain. Sometimes these leaks are unavoidable, but we want to make sure you are prepared for the next storm.  

There are various forms of getting prepared for rainy weather but for the most part normal maintenance will keep your home or business safe from heavy rain.

Here are some tips to avoid rain damage. 

  • Plant shade trees or palm trees at least 20 feet away from your home. 
  • If you have gutters, make sure they are clean. 
  • Ensure there are no leaks on your roof. 
  • Check for damage on your home or business and repairs are needed. 
  • Weatherstrip windows and doors. 
  • Have your trees trimmed. 

Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons - What is the Difference!

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Palm Trees by Ocean and Dark sky looming overhead Typhoon Coming on Land

Through out our life time we may have heard these three names for storms. Hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons and tropical storms. So what is the difference between all these? 

Well, here is a quick guide:

Hurricanes are tropical storms that form over the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific.

Cyclones are formed over the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Typhoons are formed over the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

Tropical Storms a localized, very intense low-pressure wind system, forming over tropical oceans and with winds of hurricane force.

So which would you be most likely to come in contact with in your area?  Here in Florida Hurricanes & Tropical Storms due to the warm water in the Gulf of Mexico & Atlantic Ocean.  Remember, regardless of the storm, SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee County located here in Lake City is ready to handle any situation!  We also cover Lake Butler, Jasper, White Springs, Fort White, Madison, Perry, MacClenney and surrounding counties.  

Weather & Mold in our State

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling with small spots of grey and black mold Seen here is a shower/bathroom with mold on the ceiling.

Recognizing Mold Growth 

We have warmer weather here in Florida and that means it is a thriving environment for mold here in the south. Mold can be found both indoors and outdoors in places with high levels of moisture, such as leaks around pipes, windows, or roofs. If flooding has occurred and saturated your home, mold will also grow in drywall, dust, upholstery, and carpet, just to name a few. This is why it is of utmost importance to reach out to SERVPRO immediately if any water damage has occurred - our specially trained professionals will ensure your home and belongings are properly cleaned and dried to inhibit mold growth.

Acting on Mold Growth 

Mold can be many different colors, smell musty, and will often look like spots. Regardless of what type of mold it is, it needs to be removed. If you see visible mold, do not disturb it by attempting to clean the area yourself, touching the mold, or blowing air across affected areas. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home. If you suspect mold, keep loved ones out of the area, turn off fans and the HVAC system, and contact your friends at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties!  

We are located in Lake City and provide services in Lake Butler, Live Oak, White Springs, Perry, Madison, MacClenney, Fort White, Starke, Chiefland, Steinhatchee, Cedar Key, Suwannee and many more surrounding counties in North Central Florida.  

SERVPRO can handle any kind of water loss!

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

When you know you have a water problem in your home or business from a leak, a flood, or an overflowing appliance or sink, it doesn't matter how much water is present. Such a situation is an emergency and must be taken care of quickly. 
 
In Fort White, Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper, White Springs and other surrounding counties, water can cause serious damage to the interior of a home or business if removal efforts aren't started immediately. Water can quickly evaporate if temperatures are high enough, which is often the case in Florida. If the interior is cooler, due to the central air unit running, water that is not removed will soon seep into areas which might not show damage until months later. 
 
SERVPRO equipment includes moisture detectors that can locate concentrated areas of moisture, hidden water, and elevated humidity levels in a home. Technicians will take initial readings of areas within a home to use as a baseline for later readings. These other readings will be taken on a regular basis during the entire water removal process. The initial readings will also be used to calculate how much drier the interior needs to become for it to be considered fully dry. How many dehumidifiers, air movers, and other pieces of equipment will be required is also determined by how wet a home is at the initial reading. 
 
Training from IICRC provides SERVPRO  technicians with the skills required for successful water removal in any setting. Basics, such as removing certain items so they can air out in the outdoors and place furniture on blocks to prevent staining of carpeting followed by the use of portable water extraction units are a major part of water removal. 
 
As the home's interior becomes less damp, areas with high levels of humidity are targeted. Dehumidifiers will increase evaporation rates of areas where water has seeped into. Air Movers will help direct this humid air toward the outdoors through open doors and windows. Hygrometer readings taken will be recorded during this process, so homeowners will know that their home is once again safely dry. These readings may need to be shown to insurance companies, and the documentation should be placed with other paperwork regarding the home. 

Having a company that can coordinate the whole process from start to finish to make your life easier, and gets you back in your home or business faster. “Like it never even happened.” 

If you would like more information on hiring a Highly Trained Water Restoration Team Call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Conties today at (386) 754-0261

Keep Mold out of Christmas

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Christmas tree SERVPRO Christmas tree

Once a year, we celebrate Christmas by putting up decorations and spending time with our families.  After all of the festivities are over, we pack up those decorations and store them in sheds or attics.  The issue that some people may run into is mold settling on those precious decorations.  SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee counties would like to take some time to share some tips on how you can prevent mold on your Christmas decorations.

Since your decorations are stored in an area where humidity is increased, you want to dehumidify the air both inside the storage containers, and in the surrounding area. A small dehumidifier is perfect for the job. You want the humidity level in your attic or basement to ideally be below 30%-50%.

If you have any issue with mold on your decorations, reach out to SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties so we can assist with bringing those decorations back to their previous glory.

Preventing pipes from freezing and bursting

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen pipe Don't let frozen pipes dampen your Holiday Season

With the temperature dropping, one of the most common issues that will occur is pipes freezing and potentially bursting.  Here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, we would like to share some tips on how to prevent this type of issue.

The best way to prevent this issue would be to let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Allowing as little as a trickle to be flowing through the pipe can prevent it from freezing. Keeping the thermostat at the same temperature during the day and at night will assist with this also.

Generally the temperature has to get to about 20 degrees to cause pipes to freeze.  If your pipes do freeze, do not let them thaw on their own.  Once the pipes begin to thaw, the faucet will leak water to let you know that you have found the frozen pipe.

Christmas on The Square - Live Oak, Florida

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Two People standing in front of a display table with Ugly Sweaters on Steven & Susan wearing their "ugly sweaters"!

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties enjoys being able to go out into our local community and share who we are and the services we can provide.  On December 7th, we were able to be involved in one of our areas most popular events, Christmas on the Square in Live Oak, Florida.

Christmas on the Square is not the type of event you would expect from a small town like Live Oak.  The event has now expanded to three days which include the lighting of the town Christmas tree and a 5K fun run on Thursday night, SNOW DAY on Friday and then Saturday is a mixture of businesses and personal tents setup selling everything from home-made cakes to purses or woodworkings.  Saturday is capped off with the Live Oak city Christmas Parade which floods the downtown area with floats that are decorated for the parade theme.  This year’s theme was a Patriotic Christmas.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties loves to take part in events like this to further show that SERVPRO and its services do not just stop with Fire and Water damage or Cleanup and Restoration but also serving our community in any way possible.

Are Your Floors Buckling?

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Wood Floor raised up from subfloor like cupping up Are your Wood Floors Buckling?

"Some moisture-related problems are visible to the discerning eye. Primarily, wood flooring problems can occur when the wood expands and contracts. This “wood movement” occurs naturally according to seasonal shifts or when ambient RH levels change in the home. These changes can also present a less-than-desirable change in the appearance of your wood flooring."

If you begin to see signs of your floors shifting, there could be underlying moisture. Failure to act on this moisture could result in structural damage.

Water Damage Specialists

We are specialists in restoration of water damaged floors and are ready to restore your business or home back to pre-water damage condition. We quickly extract the water and then dry your property using state-of-the-art equipment. SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties uses moisture monitoring equipment to effectively measure and document the drying process to ensure your property is dry.

Our technicians are certified and trained and go to continuing education courses designed to keep us up to date on all new equipment and industry standard drying methods.

If you have any questions please feel free to call us at 386-754-0261 and we will be glad to provide a free assessment, moisture check, etc. or just answer your questions.  

Prepared for A Storm?

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Red square with words written in it. Be Ready! SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is faster to any size Disaster, Call us today 386-754-0261

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free notifications delivered to your mobile device as part of a public safety system provided by authorized government-alerting authorities. The alerts are designed to inform you of imminent threats to safety or missing persons alerts in your area (e.g., AMBER Alerts). Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. A WEA can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without downloading an app or subscribe to a service. WEAs may be used to share extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.

A WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters.

This can be a life saver and ensure your getting timely updates when necessary!

Mold in your Shower?

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Shower Handle with small gray spots on wall of shower Mold in the shower can be a sign of a mold infestation and poor ventilation. Contact SERVPRO when you see or smell mold so that we can investigate.

Mold in your shower surround in your Lake City home can be put in two general categories – mold behind the surround and surface mold. Surface mold is unsightly growth and can be more difficult to remove. It is the hidden moisture, however, inside the framing behind your shower which can lead to damage to your structure and expensive repairs. 
 
Mold growth and mold damage of any type in your Lake City bathroom is bad news. It continues to worsen, doing damage to the structure, plus can cause health effects for you and your family. As soon as you see mold, get a hold of our professionals at SERVPRO so we can help you clean/remove or remediate it. We are a trained and experienced mold remediation company who can handle this problem for you before it spreads anymore. 
 
Moisture is the key to mold, so our goal is to get the water causing your mold out of your home fast. Our job is to dry the wet structure and contents, so we can then clean the mold up. Even the best cleanup efforts fail if the moisture is not handled. Also, some of our safety work practices stop us from being exposed to the mold and from spreading it to clean areas of your home. If needed, we close off the area while we are working to prevent the mold getting into other rooms. 
 
SERVPRO staff records conditions such as the extent of the contamination and how much saturation of moisture is present. When the remediation is complete, we may have an independent environmental professional record that the mold has returned to normal conditions. 
 
Placing negative air machines near where any drywall demolition is done lowers the amount of airborne mold which we are exposed to plus makes removing the mold more efficient. If the mold has grown enough, we may have to remove damaged materials, and we also use damp wiping to clean soiled areas and vacuum excessive mold spores by utilizing HEPA vacuums and filters. 
 
SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties does not waste time getting to your home in Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper, Lake Butler, White Springs and surrounding areas after you reach out to us. Mold continues to grow until the moisture problem is stopped and you remediate.  Call us at (386) 754-0261 if you need or want a professional opinion. 

SERVPRO: The Brand You Know And Trust

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Man and Child playing with car and truck toys SERVPRO: The Brand You Know And Trust

SERVPRO - Restoration Vendor for Insurance Carriers Nationwide

The Brand You Know and Trust

You can recognize and trust the SERVPRO name... Like It Never Even Happened.

Serving America Since 1967

Since 1967, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have been assisting client's fire and water damages across the United States. Nearly four decades of experience have culminated in the proven processes, technology, equipment, and products to help ensure IICRC S500 industry standards are met and you are satisfied. 

More Than 1,700 Franchises Nationwide

Today, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals from more than 1,700 Franchises operate in 48 states & Canada. 

24-Hour Emergency Service

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are committed to providing 24-hour emergency service to help you when you need it most.

Detailed Estimates

You will be provided a detailed estimate that clearly lists all services to be performed. There are no unwelcome surprises with SERVPRO.

Trained, Uniformed Franchise Professionals.. Your "Heroes"

When you call, a trained, uniformed SERVPRO Franchise Professional will arrive at your property with the equipment necessary to help protect the structure and contents. Your concerns will be addressed quickly and professionally to help begin the process of regaining control of your life. 

Protect your commercial property with these safety tips

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

One story Building in a parking lot Protect your commercial property with these safety tips

Keeping your commercial property safe can help you protect your employees, patrons, and business equipment. From keeping up on building maintenance to installing a security system, there are plenty of dangers lurking around your property. Check out these ways you can keep your commercial property safe and secure.

Conduct Maintenance Audits.

The more attention you pay to your building maintenance, the less likely you are to face any issues. Keep your property current and routinely check for any slippery surfaces, damaged floors, sharp objects, frayed or damaged wires, or blocked hallways. Staying vigilant helps you avoid problems before they become an issue.

Increase Lighting In & Around the Building.

When it comes to your building, it’s important to keep it well lit. Not only does it help to avoid trips and falls, but it can also help to avoid burglaries. Install extra lighting and make sure your building is well-lit.

Prepare for an Emergency.

Disasters are unpredictable, which means it’s important to be prepared. Take precautions to minimize potential damage from a disaster, and make emergency exits readily available. Check that all your fire alarms are working properly and that all the emergency exits are well marked.  Call your local SERVPRO office @ 386-754-0261 and have an ERP on file.  

Install Security to Protect the Property.

Businesses require a significant amount of expensive materials to operate, making it a prime target for burglaries. Take measures to increase security on the property. Install security cameras and alarms, and hire a security guard. Additionally, consult with local law enforcement to see what precautions they recommend.

Here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties have been handling emergencies since 2006 here in Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper, White Springs, Lake Butler, Mayo and other surrounding areas.  Please call for your free estimate if you find yourself in need of any cleanup services.

Cleaning thoroughly with pride!

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Clean office including chairs and desks Keep your office clean for your employees and customers to enjoy!

Here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties we pride ourselves in being thorough and good at what we do!  We encourage our employees to treat every home, business or vehicle that we clean as if it were their very own and do the job they would expect.  It has benefited us to do training with new and senior employees to maintain the high level of cleaning our customers expect.

We are thrilled to have employees here that have been with us since 2007 and encourage them to do their best at all they do.  With high morals and values it is encouraging to work with this group of individuals who strive to do their very best.  

As we continue moving forward we encourage them each to train and study to become management and be the best person they can be as well as the best at their job, whatever that might be.  From cleaning to answering the phone to being on call 24/7/365 we consider ourselves the best at what we do and the best at the services we offer. 

Call us at 386-754-0261 if you have any questions or would like a free estimate for any of your cleaning needs.  

Standing water removal

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Some of the standing water in the dining area Some of the standing water that was in the dining area when we arrived.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties received a phone call early one morning that one of our local restaurants had standing water in the dining area.

Our fantastic team was able to go in and remove all of the standing water and help the restaurant staff place tables, chairs and booths back where they belonged.  When all was said and done, SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties was able to get their restaurant ready for business about 5 minutes before they opened for lunch service that day.

We love to be able to show our local community, whether it is residential or commercial property, that at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties we strive to provide the service that would allow you to say any issue is "Like it never even happened."

Steps to take after the Hurricane

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

When returning to your home or business after the storm do you know what to do?

To help home and business owners take the right first step, the IICRC has pulled together a list of post-hurricane resources including property damage FAQ's, homeowner tips and advise on identifying the 'good guys' from the 'storm chasers.' Visit the link here https://www.IICRC.org/page/IICRCResources?utm_source=170&utm_medium=217&utm_campaign=356&utm_term=405&utm_content=1814

SERVPRO utilizes resources and training from the IICRC in many occasions.  They provide the training for our staff in areas such as water mitigation, carpet cleaning, fire damage cleaning, mold remediation and so on.....

Here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties we pride ourselves in keeping up to date in an industry that is continually changing.

FACING THE HURRICANES OF LIFE

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

What do you do when you look at the television and see a category 4 hurricane headed your way? 

Unfortunately, we are utterly and completely powerless in the face of a 120 mph hurricane that is headed towards our house, our family, and our life.

As human beings who strive for control we come face to face with the ultimate reality - there is so much in life that is beyond our control. 

You see, hurricanes don't just come in the form of weather patterns, wind and rain. Every day we face hurricanes at work and in life. A sudden illness. A sick child. A car accident. Divorce. Job loss. Company reorganization. Financial crisis. The death of a loved one. Loss of business, etc. The winds of life blow. The conditions get worse. Hurricanes come at us from all directions. So what do we do? Do we give up? Do we live in fear? Do we hide under the covers or do we face the reality of the storm, adapt and deal with the damages it brings? 

The answer comes from a boy named Joshua. As a hurricane was approaching our town years ago Joshua’s mom was in his room telling him that that she and his dad were getting a divorce. With tears streaming down his face he said, "You know Mom, this is really hard but I’m going to try to be strong and positive and trust it will all work out." As she told me this story my heart just melted. This boy, whose pain was unbearable, was choosing to stay positive as his world was being torn apart. While his levies of strength were breaking and the pain was flooding in, he was mustering up the courage and faith to reinforce his walls and stay strong in the face of adversity. He didn't act in denial. He accepted the situation. And he knew he had to deal with it; with courage, positivity, hope and faith. I've come to realize that, like Joshua, every one of us will come face to face with hurricanes in our life.

We will come to the realization that our situation is beyond our control. During these moments we are meant to realize that we can’t do it alone. In our powerlessness we are meant to discover the ultimate power. In our fear we are meant to find our faith. And in our need for control we are meant to find a peace that comes when we surrender. We are meant to stay positive and overcome whatever challenges come our way.

I don't know why we have to face hurricanes but people like Joshua and my own heart show me the way to overcome them. 

Storms are going to happen.

But the sun always rises and shines again.

Hurricane Dorian - what to do if you sustain damage

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

Large white circular photo from space of clouds over the Florida peninsula Live Radar of Hurricane Dorian

While hurricane force winds are not likely in our area, property owners in our area may experience downed limbs and trees.  Should your property sustain damage from the wind or flooding, we advise the following:

People First - take care of your family, friends and neighbors.  People are more important than property.  Check on your neighbors once the winds die down.

Make Temporary Repairs and Document - take pictures, save receipts and do what you can to prevent further damage.  Most home and dwelling insurance policies will reimburse you for reasonable temporary repairs, such as hiring a contractor to remove a tree from your roof, putting a tarp on your roof, etc.  

Avoid Scams - avoid repair scams from out of town contractors by calling us first.  Homeowners should resist the temptation to sign up with the first repair crew that shows up at the doorstep, and especially should not sign paperwork that includes an Assignment of Benefit clause.  We will help you understand your coverage and will report your claim for you.  A good source of information about reputable contractors is the Columbia County Builders Association.

SERVPRO is here to help!  Call our local office at 386-754-0261 and we will be happy to assist in any way possible.

What the Smell?!

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Odors could be a sign of other issues with your home. Stop using those air fresheners and call SERVPRO today to fix your odor problems at the source.

Do you have unpleasant and embarrassing odors in your home? Maybe you aren’t even sure where the smell is coming from or what it is, but you are running out of air fresheners trying to mask it. At SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties we are odor experts.

We have the expertise and knowledge to identify what these mysterious odors are and where they are coming from. Our highly trained and licensed technicians are equipped with the latest top of the line chemicals and equipment to effectively treat and remove those odors in the toughest conditions right at the source.

Stop buying more sprays that are just a temporary fix to the problem. Give us a call so we can come and evaluate your home. We will have your home restored “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage May Be Hiding in Your Home or Business

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Things you might not think of could be causing unseen damage to your home.

Building materials and water don’t mix. Insulation, wood studs, plywood sheathing, and subflooring can all degrade, rot, or develop mold when they’re repeatedly saturated with water. Making the situation even worse, this water damage is often hidden from sight, tucked away between walls or under floors. As a result, significant structural damage can occur before it’s discovered. 

  • In a wall underneath a window
  • Behind or under siding
  • Exterior Door Threshold
  • Exterior Painted Windowsills
  • Beneath the Dishwasher
  • Next to tub or shower
  • Under a wobbly toilet
  • Underneath the sink
  • Behind a bathtub surround
  • Behind Drywall
  • Around a chimney
  • Inside or Under an HVAC unit
  • Behind and exterior faucet
  • Behind a washing machine
  • Below a window a/c unit

At SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, we are trained in water remediation and licensed in mold remediation.  We are able to assist in helping to determine if you have a problem.  Call us at 386-754-0261 to schedule an assessment.

Invested in our Community

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Home is where the heart is.....

We are so very thankful to say after 13 plus years of working in Columbia County we are able to finally have a place to call our own!

We are so very thankful to all of the people that helped make this happen.  Castagna Construction for helping us find the perfect place/land to build and ProBuild Construction for helping us make our dream building and Columbia Bank for making it all possible.  

We can't wait to have our open house and ribbon cutting and invite all of you to our new home/office.

Thank you to Columbia County for making us feel like we belong.  Living and working in this community has been a blessing for our family and we are hoping to be here for many more years to come.  

Are you ready?

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Let's be Prepared if this Happens Again

Hurricanes generate a series of threats to lives and property. The most obvious is the threat posed to buildings, equipment, and people by the high winds which characterize such storms.

This checklist will help you prepare for a hurricane’s effect on your business, employees and community by highlighting activities you should undertake before, during, and following the event. When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center issues a watch or warning, use the time available to begin taking the following steps.

https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/HurricanePreparednessSBA.pdf

The National Weather Service rates hurricanes by their intensity, using a scale of one to five. The scale categorizes storms according to their sustained winds, the storm surges produced, and expected damage. Businesses located within areas of risk should have a hurricane preparedness plan. It is a good idea to develop a plan of action for your business and your staff to be ready for this type of interruption

Here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties we want to be prepared and understand what we are facing.  We hope the attached check list helps you be prepared.  If you need assistance after the fact know you can depend on SERVPRO to be there when you need us.  

Do you have a emergency fire plan for your home?

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

Have a PLAN!

We are all busy with kids, school, work, after school activities, but we all need to take some time out of our busy schedule, and make a family fire plan. I know as a parent it hard to juggle family life, but safety for my family is always on my mind. Here is what you can do.

  • Make a map of your home, and make a fire exit plan. Post you fire plan in the kitchen area a daily reminder.
  • Teach safety techniques like step by step how to instructions to stay low to the ground, and cover your face with your shirt or a pillow case to protect from the smoke
  • Conduct drills like listening for the smoke detector, and practicing the fire exit plan for evacuation.
  • Talk about fire safety with your children. Play games to teach them stop drop and roll, and to be ready for if a fire if it happened in your home.

If a fire happens in your home SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties can help you fix your home. We are here for you and your home 24/7.

Hurricane Preparedness - Be Ready

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

The two keys to weather safety is to PREPARE for the risks and to ACT on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.

Before a Hurricane:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
  • Make plans to secure your property
  • Cover all of your home's windows
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows.
  • Consider building a safe room. 

No matter what the situation life is more important so evacuate if necessary and when you return if you need assistance call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties at 386-754-0261

Fire Extinguisher Safety

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

P.A.S.S. is something to remember in case of an emergency!

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home or business? Did you know that many insurance companies offer a discount for having a fire extinguisher in your home? For a mere $20-$50 you could save money on your homeowners insurance and have a life and property saving tool in your home.

If you have a fire extinguisher in your home, it is important to understand how to properly use it. After reading this article read the instructions on your extinguisher and become familiar with where everything is located on it. Make sure to share the information with everyone in your home so they too can be prepared. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends remembering the word PASS in order to properly operate your extinguisher.

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the level slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Make sure you store your fire extinguisher in a safe and easily assessable area. Check the date on your extinguisher and make certain it is not expired. Put in your calendar to check the expiration date yearly.

Before purchasing a fire extinguisher, visit NFPA.org to understand which type of extinguisher is right for your property.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties offers some tips about fire extinguishers!

 https://youtu.be/gFifToYGgto

The Importance to have an Emergency Ready Plan - The ERP

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Building with Damage

As a leader in restoration and disaster prevention, the professionals at SERVPRO have your business’s best interest at heart. One of the ways they are looking out for your business is through Emergency Ready Profiles. The creation of an emergency profile allows you to work with a qualified representative to develop a plan of action for when disaster strikes.

1. What Is It?

An Emergency Ready Profile is a file created for your business that contains an emergency plan of action. This profile allows you to minimize any prolonged business interruption by ensuring that SERVPRO is ready and prepared to help with a simple phone call.

2. How Can It Help?

The ERP helps provide you with a level of security that many do not have after experiencing a disaster. After assessing your facility, identifying a line of command, and establishing an emergency profile, you will know that when disaster strikes, a qualified professional has your back and knows just what to do and who to contact.

3. Does It Matter for Your Business?

The research doesn’t lie: After a disaster strikes, many businesses — about 50 percent — have to close down. Having an Emergency Ready Profile in place allows SERVPRO to take action immediately following a disaster. By taking fast action, you can limit business interruption, meaning that you can get back to doing what you do best as quickly as possible. 

4. How Can You Get Started?

You can get started creating your emergency profile by contacting a SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties (located in Lake City, FL) representative at 386-754-0261.   Once you have initiated contact, a representative will reach out to find out the best time to schedule your facility’s free assessment.

An ERP is an excellent way to protect your business and your interests.

Did we mention that it is......NO COST TO YOU!

Call us today at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties today to get started. 

Warm Weather on Its Way

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

We are creeping up on warmer weather. That means it is about to be a thriving environment for mold down here in the south. Mold can be found both indoors and outdoors in places with high levels of moisture, such as leaks around pipes, windows or roofs.  If flooding has occurred and saturated your home mold could also grow in drywall, insulation, upholstery and carpet - just to name a few.

This is why it is of utmost importance to reach out to SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties immediately if any water damage occurs - our specially trained professionals will ensure your home and belongings are properly cleaned and dried to inhibit mold growth.

Acting on Mold Growth Once Noticed - 

Mold can be various different colors, smells and shapes.  If you see visible mold, do not disturb it by attempting to clean the area yourself.  Touching the mold or blowing air across affected areas can potentially be the worst thing you do. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home, especially if the air condition is in operation.   When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home. If you suspect mold, keep loved ones out of the area, turn off fans and the HVAC system, and contact your friends at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties!

Deep Cleaning Your Home

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

In today's real estate market, you can have an edge with a reputation for having quality listings. You also want the ability to move a sale through quickly to get a commission. Presentation is everything and clean homes sale quicker.

A homeowner in Columbia County was extremely concerned about the cleanliness of her home because she was about to list it for sale. She hired SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties to thoroughly clean their home. Their family had been living there for more than 20 years; they also had 2 small, not so housebroken pets.

The home definitely had a strong pet odor in some rooms. SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties cleaned the house from top to bottom, including windows, window screens; pressure washed the patio, cleaned all the cabinets inside and out, and even completed the duct cleaning. To complete the process, we did a thermal fogging of the entire home with a neutralizing deodorizer.

The homeowner was more than ecstatic by the results of the cleaning and was happy to stage and put their home on the market.  SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties clean on the deepest level and will enhance your home's true value by making you shine and help you sell your home at the highest price possible.

Would you like a deep cleaning of your home? Give us a call today! (386) 754-0261

Restoring Your Commercial Property

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Restoring your Columbia and Suwannee Counties commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small 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 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 Columbia and Suwannee Counties:

We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after any damaging event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Visit our website to learn more.
https://www.SERVPROcolumbiaandsuwanneecounties.com/

Smoke and Soot Damage

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot damage after a Suwannee County home fire.

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows 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 type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

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. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. 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, and smears easily. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

  • Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is 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 and property with empathy and respect.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Give SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties a call today (386) 754-0261

Biohazard Cleanup

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning up a crime scene is a messy job, but someone has to do it.

After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk.

Police and homeowners rely on professional services that are equipped to handle crime scene cleanup.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back to a clean and safe home or office.  We will always treat your property and everyone involved with the utmost respect and empathy in these difficult circumstances. 

Some common trauma and crime scene scenarios are:

  • Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Professionals can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.

  • Blood borne Pathogens

SERVPRO Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Our trained SERVPRO Professionals clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.

If you find yourself wondering what to do in the event of a trauma or crime scene, call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties to take care of your cleanup needs. (386) 754-0261

Home Fire Escape Plan

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Home Fire Escape Plan

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree, people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late.

In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared with an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical that everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few steps to help you develop an emergency escape plan:

  • Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
  • Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the meeting location on your escape plan. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals. Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime. SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties want you to stay safe and prepare now to ensure you are ready for any disaster.

For more information on how you can prevent home fires, give us a call at (386) 754-0261. Or visit us at https://www.SERVPROcolumbiaandsuwanneecounties.com/

Got Mold?

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Got Mold?

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services:

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties specialize in mold cleanup and restoration. In fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly re-mediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If you think you have a mold problem, give us a call today! (386) 754-0261

Emergency Ready Plan (ERP)

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Plan (ERP)

Did you know as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research? Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. If your employees do not know where the water shut off valve is, how can they prevent excessive damage to your business?  If you ask your employees right now, would they know the location of the valve? Would they know where the nearest fire extinguisher is located?  These are some of the many questions that an ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) will cover.

  • By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your 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 business.
  • A no cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. You can approve work based on cost, whether it is fire, mold, water, biohazard, vandalism, etc. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."
  • Phone App OR a printed portfolio. For your convenience you can have your profile printed and/or you can install our ERP App on your phone!

Give SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties a call today to learn more about what we can do for not only your business, but for your peace of mind as well, (386) 754-0261

5 Tips to Prepare for Water Damage

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

5 Tips to Prepare for Water Damage

Water damage at home or in your place of business does not need to be a traumatic experience. Consider these 5 tips to better prepare.

  1. Look up your insurance coverage. Most renter’s or homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding, or even a sewer backup. Find out what coverage you have.
  2. Keep a record of all of your belongings. Take photos and keep copies of a receipt or other documents for the more valuable items. Store a copy of these records online or at another location. If you do experience water damage, it can be easy to forget about certain items.
  3. Take steps to limit the risk of water damage within your home by checking pipes frequently and paying attention to any indicators of water damage, such as dripping sounds in the walls, dark spots on the ceiling, or significant change in your water bill.
  4. Set up your home so that it is less at risk of damage from heavy rains or flooding by ensuring that your roof is sound. Make sure there are no cracks in the foundation. Check that the landscaping around your home is sloped to direct water away from your foundation, rather than toward it.
  5. Find an expert you can count on. Water damage can be overwhelming, and you don’t want to be desperately searching for a water restoration expert at 3 AM when the pipes break.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties will always have your back, anytime, anyplace.  Visit us at www.SERVPROcolumbiaandsuwanneecounties.com.

SERVPRO Tips

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

We at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties have a couple of tips for you

How to Get Water Cleanup and Mitigation Done

  • In order to get water cleanup done, you're going to need to hire a restoration company like SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties that can come in and handle the flood damage for you. They do all of the drying for you when it concerns water in your home. If you have water in your business, restoration can be done by the same type of company. You may want to hire the pros to handle a pipe break or supply line break if this has become an issue for you. A flooded home should be restored as soon as possible to prevent further issues from surfacing.

How to Hire a Restoration Company

  • The best way to hire a professional company to handle water in your home is by finding one that has a lot of experience. These companies should ideally have a lot of experience cleaning up water in a business or any type of water in a home. They can also find and fix a supply line break or pipe break that you might currently have. In many cases, the reason for water in a business is because of a pipe break. If you have a supply line break, you might want to contact a professional plumber to handle the issue for you.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties will be ready for any call at any time of the day. Please give us a call with any questions you may have,  (386) 754-0261

What you should know about your Sprinkler System

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

What you should know about your Sprinkler System

Many businesses in Columbia, Suwannee, and surrounding counties have installed a fire sprinkler system to protect the company property. However, there are a few misconceptions about what these systems actually do. If you are considering installing a fire suppression system in your own place of work, there are a few things you may want to know beforehand.

Facts to Know:

  • The sprinkler heads in most modern fire suppression systems operate independently
  • Sprinkler systems are heat triggered, making them very difficult to accidentally set off
  • In general, the cost of a system is about the same as new carpet
  • A sprinkler system uses only a fraction of the water pumped out by a fire hose

How They Work:

  • A fire sprinkler works by releasing either water or nitrogen gas to suppress the fire. This should suffocate the fire’s source of oxygen causing it to go out. When the fire is hot enough, a metal alloy in the sprinkler nozzle should melt and trigger the release of the fire suppressant.

What to Expect After Usage:

  • While your sprinklers may have saved your business from a lot of fire damage, you may still have some fire sprinkler cleanup to take care of afterward. A water and fire damage restoration specialist may be able to assist you with the process. These professionals are trained to deal with the various damage types that can occur with a fire, including sprinkler system cleanup.
  • A fire sprinkler system can help to save your company from extensive damage in the event of a fire. These systems are designed to suffocate the fire and help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Not only are they reliable, but because they are heat triggered you shouldn’t have to worry about setting them off accidentally.

For more information about what SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties can do for you, give us a call today, (386) 754-0261

Why you should call SERVPRO

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Why Call SERVPRO After A Fire?

You might not be thinking initially about restoration and returning your home to original condition when firefighters work to put out the flames. Once the fire has gotten extinguished, and you can get a look at the damage that even a smaller scale incident can cause, you can see the benefits of professional restoration and a fast response like our technicians can provide.

What you might not know about fire damages to your home is how varied they can be regarding the equipment necessary to overcome the effects and the time spent to restore the damage. With a franchise that can respond 24-hours a day, like our SERVPRO emergency response team, you can begin the necessary steps to protect your property from further harm while the steps get taken to secure insurance claims to afford the full restoration package that our company provides.

You can contact our SERVPRO team before you even call your insurance company because our highly trained professionals dispatched to your address can compile the needed information that your provider requires to approve a claim made for a fire in your home. We can catalog damages, assess loss, and estimate the costs of restoration approaches needed to return your home to preloss condition.

A good reason that you should choose our restoration team is the advanced equipment that we use to ensure that our projects get thoroughly completed and as efficient as possible. This advanced technology gets designed to help us overcome soot and smoke damages throughout your property with high-powered vacuums and thermal fogging, clean up the damage that these effects have caused, restore water damage with air movers and dehumidification equipment and more.

It might feel overwhelming to look at the damage even a smaller fire incident in your home can cause but recovering from this loss only takes a single phone call. Our SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties rapid response team is available 24/7 to help you through any emergency that you face. Give us a call today at (386) 754-0261

Moisture Meters

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Moisture Meters

Many times when a customer experiences water damage it can be hard to tell how bad the damage is just by looking around at the property. There can be underlying damage that is not visible to the eyes and this is where moisture meters come in to play. A restoration moisture meter or sensor, measures the amount of moisture in an environment and in certain materials. Drywall, flooring and other structural components can be measured to assess the damage they may have incurred as well. These meters are very useful to put a number on the level of damage a property may have incurred.

There are a few different types of meters that all have a different pros and cons. Some jobs will only require the use of one but others will require more.

  • Non-Penetrating Meters: These are one of the easiest meters to use and are a popular choice because they pose no risk of causing any damage to the flooring or structure. These have two flat sensors usually located at the bottom of the device and compare the amount of moisture located between them. They are best for quickly comparing levels between affected and unaffected areas.
  • Penetrating Meters: These meters have a series of prongs that will penetrate the surface of a structure to take the moisture reading. These readings are much more accurate and are great for finding any trapped moisture on a site.
  • Hydro sensors: These meters are a type of penetrating meters that are great for seeing how far moisture has traveled from the surface of the structure. These work best for carpet or carpet padding but do not work with drywall.
  • Thermo-Hygrometers: Thermo-hygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity, which both will affect how drying equipment will function. These essentially test whether or not an environment can be efficiently dried with the tools that are at the teams disposal. The measurements these put out are helpful in determining if your dehumidifier is working properly.

These tools are very essential in water damage restoration projects as they give you a good understanding of how big or small the job will be. Also, it gives you readings to bring back to the customer and discuss the work that will need to be done in more detail. Contact SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties today for more information (386) 754-0261.

Restoration Process

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Restoration Process

Every water damage situation is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” water damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The cleanup and restoration begins with a phone call. Our national call center is fully staffed 24 hours a day and ready to dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professionals to your home or business. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of damage

Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment

The water damage restoration process begins with a detailed inspection of your property, including a damage assessment. The SERVPRO Professionals of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, are determining the scope of the damage so we can develop an appropriate plan of action.

Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction

The water extraction step removes the majority of the water from your home or property. By performing a thorough water extraction, SERVPRO Professionals help reduce the drying time and help to prevent mold and secondary water damage. They use powerful pumps and truck-mounted vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons of water from your property.

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification

After the water removal step, your floors and walls may look dry at first glance, but they are still wet to the touch. Most building materials, like drywall and wood, are porous and will retain significant water. The retained water will cause these materials to warp, swell, or break down and can also cause mold damage.

Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Your property’s walls, floors, and other surfaces will likely need professional cleaning treatments. Besides cleaning your property’s structure, our professionals will also clean your belongings, like furniture, upholstery, clothing, and other restorable personal items, damaged by the water. Flooding and water damage often require odor removal and deodorization treatments, since wet materials have an unpleasant odor.

Step 6: Restoration

The final step is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

For a full list of our services, visit us online at https://www.SERVPROcolumbiaandsuwanneecounties.com/ or give us a call at (386) 754-0261.

Storm or Flood?

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Storm or Flood?

The classification of damage type when calamity strikes your home makes a difference to your insurance company. Read on for the discrete definitions of flood damage and storm damage and their respective ramifications.

Flood Damage

  • The federal government’s emergency management agency (FEMA) defines, for legal purposes, what constitutes flooding. Though FEMA does not offer assistance to businesses, insurance companies use this definition in processing claims. Important distinctions include:
  • Flood damage is officially defined as a temporary condition in which there exists an inundation of water or mud that covers two or more acres or properties on land that is normally dry.
  • If the inundation is the result of rising floodwaters from the ground up, the claim would be to the flood insurance policy.
  • Business, homeowners and renters insurance generally cover damage from a storm deluge or hurricane that doesn’t meet FEMA’s criteria for flooding.

Storm Damage

  • Coverage for storm damage is generally more broadly applicable than other types of insurance. Even so, certain conditions apply for a storm claim versus a flood claim.
  • If inundation occurs because of damage to the building’s roof or windows and wind-driven rain infiltrates, the property insurance will typically cover the damage.
  • Ice, snow and hail damage that results in water inside the building is typically covered under the property insurance policy.
  • Damage from broken pipes, a leaking roof, accidental sprinkler discharge or water from extinguishing a fire are typically covered in a business property policy as opposed to a flood policy.

Aside from damage as the result of water or mud flow, destruction from other natural events such as lightning, wind, and wildfires can cover losses including interruptions to business or the supply chain that supports it.

Flood damage is more strictly defined than other types of losses. Understanding your exposure to loss and planning for it is an important business decision no matter the location of your enterprise. Give us a call today to learn more. (386) 754-0261.

Dryer Vent Fires Can Happen

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Dryer Vent Fire

Dryer vent cleaning is a chore that most homeowners often forget. Dryers are a luxury that many homeowners have the delight of possessing. From a consumer report taken in 2009, about 80% of all households within the United States have a gas or electric clothes dryer. Specifically, 73% of households own an electric dryer, while approximately 20% own a gas-powered counterpart. Despite this amenity, there is a risk to consider when owning one of these machines. Fires can likely occur, in many cases due to both the improper care of dryer venting and the lint trap.

Longer Drying Times

  • If a dryer vent is clogged, a typical drying cycle could take twice as long as normal. In addition, clothing may appear to be damp or not properly dried. Dryers push the hot air out of the system through the vent. The vent could be blocked by lint particles, keeping the air inside the dryer moist and warm.

Dryer is Extremely Hot

  • Do you notice that your clothing is very hot at the end of a cycle or the dryer is hot to touch? This warning sign means the vent is not exhausting properly. If your system is clogged, it not only wastes energy but also can cause the heating element and blower in the dryer to wear out faster.

Burnt Odors

  • Your dryer may emit occasional burning odors due to the buildup of dryer lint. Lint can build up in the exhaust tube connect to the dryer unit. Lint is highly flammable and can combust due to the high temperatures and heat within the unit. To remedy this, make sure to empty the lint trap often.

If you clean your vent on a regular basis, you can extend the lifespan of your dryer AND your clothes!  Clogged vents indicate a less than perfect performing dryer. If you were to clean the vent, you can save money on your energy bills. In some instances, an unclean vent can increase your energy bills by as much as thirty dollars a month. If properly cleaned, you could save money on HVAC repairs and your monthly bills. For more information, visit https://www.SERVPROcolumbiaandsuwanneecounties.com/ or give us a call at (386) 754-0261.

Yikes! Is that Mold?

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

YIKES! I Think That’s Mold!

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it 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. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • 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.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If you think you may have a mold infestation, let SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties put your mind at ease. Visit us at https://www.SERVPROcolumbiaandsuwanneecounties.com/ or call us at (386) 754-0261.

Hotel Water Damage Tips

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Hotel Water Damage Tips

With so many shared walls and spaces, water damage in a hotel can get messy pretty quickly. Of course you can never know when an emergency situation will occur, but it’s in your best interest as an owner/ property manager, as well as in the best interest of your residents, to always be ahead of the game. Take these measures today to prevent water damage tomorrow.

  1. Check On Aging Appliances Regularly – If the property you own/manage includes a fridge, dishwasher, and/or washer/dryer in unit, you should closely monitor the age of the appliances as well as routinely checking them for cracked or damaged hoses or connections. Washer hoses should be replaced about every five years. It’s a good idea to replace washers and dryers before there’s a problem. It may cost more money now, but it could save you a lot of money and a headache or two in the future.
  2. Repair Old or Damaged Roofs When It’s Dry – Don’t wait for a big rain storm to find out that the roofing at your unit(s) needs replacing. Make routine checkups to monitor the condition of the roof(s) at your property. Make time and room in the budget to make any replacements or upgrades necessary during the dry season so that you can avoid water damage in the wet season.
  3. Apply Dry-Proofing Methods – One cost effective way to prevent large scale water damage in low-lying areas is to apply waterproofing coatings and sealants. You can also elevate electrical equipment at least three feet off of the floor and install waterproof structures around circuits and electrical breakers.
  4. Check For HVAC System Blockages – If the line that moves condensation from the HVAC system is backed up, it can create serious water damage. Backed up water can seep through ceilings and through light fixtures or in between walls. When water leaks between walls, it can go undetected and result in mold damage in addition to water damage.

Always think of SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties during your time of need. Visit our website to review a list of our services, blogs, before and after photos, and much more. www.SERVPROcolumbiaandsuwanneecounties.com

Should I Clean My Carpets?

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

I Don’t See Anything, Should I Still Clean My Carpets?

Absolutely!

What steps should I take to maintain carpet in a high-traffic area on a daily basis, and to deal with spills and stains?

  • Purchase a properly sized entry mat, the bigger the better.  There must be room for at least two steps to sufficiently wipe soil from feet before encountering the installed carpet. A carpet with a nylon face and vinyl back is best for moisture and oils absorption, combined with the resiliency necessary to collect a quantity of particle soil. The IICRC suggests a rental mat, since that guarantees frequent maintenance. Place entry mats on hard surfaces rather than on carpet where they can trap moisture or cause plasticize migration.
  • Use high-efficiency double-lined poly-fiber collection bags. This reduces periodic maintenance such as dusting of furniture, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) filter exchange.
  • Make sure the HVAC system is slightly positively pressurized as well, which means that air is going out when doors are opened, rather than being sucked in. Proper air exchange rates can be calibrated according to ASHRAE regulations for the building with a trained HVAC contractor.
  • Be sure to vacuum on a daily basis. Especially after major events. The sooner you collect soils from the surface, the easier it is to remove them. For most carpet, you should use an upright vacuum with brush agitation, unless your canister vacuum is particularly well designed. The wider the head, the more efficient.
  • Typically, deep cleaning should be accomplished on at least a semi-annual basis, with no more than two entry and high-traffic area "rinse" cleanings between the deep cleaning. This is dependent on traffic and daily maintenance as well. At a minimum, some attention should be given to primary entry areas on a quarterly basis.
  • Ensure proper air filtration through the HVAC System. High-efficiency pleated filters, rather than inexpensive fiberglass filters, are recommended.

If spots are treated immediately, most will respond with plain warm water and very little mild detergent added.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Give us a call today to find out more. (386) 754-0261

How Much Do You Really Know About Water?

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that there are three different types of contaminated water that can cause water damage? The three different types of contaminated water are clean water, gray water, and black water. Companies like SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties specialize in mitigation for each type of water damages associated with the contaminated water.

  • Clean Water:

This type of water generally comes from a clean source like a broken water supply line or faucet. Depending on the time it has been left, the temperature, contact with bacteria, and surrounding contaminates, this water can quickly become gray or black water. This is the most common type of water damage.

  • Gray Water:

This type of water and water damage can cause discomfort or illness as it likely contains bacteria and illness. When left untreated, gray water will quickly become black water and the water damages associated with black water is much worse.

  • Black Water:

This water and its water damages generally spawn from sewage, biological hazards, or flooding from rivers and streams. If left untreated, it will cause microbial growth, severe illness, and even possibly death.

The best solution when there is any kind of flooding or water damage is to have it treated as soon as it is noticed. Hiring a professional company like SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties is recommended as they can give advice on why the flood occurred, the category of the flood, and how to prevent water damages. If you have any questions regarding SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, contact the office at (386) 754-0261, visit the website, or message us on Facebook!

Do I Need Flood Insurance For My Business?

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

The flood to this local business was caused by a water main break.

Like any natural disaster, a flood can become very problematic as a disruption to business operations. It’s imperative that it is handled efficiently, so business can continue as soon as possible. While considering the best process, you likely think of commercial insurance for floods. To know if commercial flood insurance is worth the cost for your Columbia, Suwannee, and surrounding counties business, you must first understand its scope.

What Does a Typical Flood Policy Cover?
Flood insurance covers any water damage that was nonexistent before the flood event. There are several flood events where losses are covered:

• Overflowing bodies of water
• Excessive or extended rainfall
• Storm draining blockage
• Broken dam
• Broken levees
• Storm surge
• Melting snow

If the damage is due to a burst pipe or precipitation overfilling gutters, the flood policy is not necessary. Those events are covered by regular commercial insurance if negligence cannot be determined.

Is Flood Coverage Standard in Business Insurance?
Flood damage is not traditionally rolled into a baseline package. The federal government offers coverage through the Nation Flood Insurance Program, known by its abbreviation of NFIP. NFIP is offered by FEMA alongside private options in the market.

There is a caveat to the necessity of flood insurance. Any business mortgaged by a federal lender in an area with a major flood risk is mandated to buy flood insurance. Outside of flood prone areas, it is not required.

How Do I Remedy Flood Damage Once Insurance Takes Effect?
A local commercial storm recovery company will send out experts to evaluate and create a plan to repair the damage. If you have flood insurance, the policy provider will work with connected partners to fix up your business from the storm damage.

Even if you don’t have an appropriate commercial insurance policy, you can contact a restoration company for estimates of repair costs. Depending on the area, it may be more economical to keep a flood policy rather than wait for a costly disaster to hit your business. Checking the flood risk and prices in the area gives you a cost-benefit analysis to determine if it’s appropriate for your business. For more information, please give us a call at (386) 754-0261. 

Not All Smoke Is Created Equal

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that there are four different types of smoke? Wet, Dry, Oily, and Protein

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.

Oily Smoke - Grease, Fuel Burning, and Burnt Plastics

  • Easily smeared, resistant to wet cleaning

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.

Have questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today - SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties (386) 754-0261

Ceiling Inside after Hurricane Damage to Roof

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling inside the home a few weeks after Hurricane Micheal

The aftermath of Hurricane Michael was devastating to many!  Whether it be your home or business we are here to help.  Sometimes you don't see the resulting damage immediately, however after only a few days of the insulation being saturated can cause the visible effects shown here.  Drywall has to be removed to gain access to the insulation inside of exterior walls and in the ceiling.  Sometimes we can access the insulation through the attic but in many cases the ceiling has to be removed to dispose of the wet insulation.

The wall cavity and the ceiling cavity (the framing) is then treated with an antimicrobial to assist with any bacterial growth and then we drying equipment is used to dry out the other structural components.  

These steps are important.  If not done properly you take the chance of possibly mold issues in the future.  Be sure to test for moisture in the framing prior to replacing insulation and drywall.  

These are services SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties offer so call us if you find yourself in this situation.  

Make Sure You Are Keeping Your Commercial Air Ducts Clean!

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Before & After Duct Cleaning

If you are interested in getting your air ducts cleaned, give SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties a call at (386) 754-0261

Many businesses tend to overlook certain aspects of their commercial buildings when they are going through their maintenance checklist. One thing that is often forgotten about is air duct cleaning, because cleaning an air duct system that is not showing any obvious problems can seem like an unnecessary expenditure of time and money. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) the rule of thumb for consumers is that “if your air ducts look dirty, they probably are.” While you do not need to clean your air ducts every year, it is not something that you want to forget to maintain. Below are some benefits to cleaning your air ducts:

  1. Improved indoor air quality
  2. Greater HVAC system efficiency
  3. Longer HVAC component lifespan
  4. Conserves energy

If you are interested in getting your air ducts cleaned, give SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties a call (386) 754-0261

SERVPRO Partners With the Red Cross

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Please donate to help those in need. If you can't donate financially, you can donate time!

Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters — the majority of which are home fires. Whether a disaster impacts a single family or a hundred, the Red Cross is there when people need our help the most. The Red Cross doesn’t just help families recover from disaster; they also prepare communities before home fires strike. Believe it or not, home fires kill more Americans than all other disasters combined. The Red Cross is working to prevent these needless losses through the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.

Join SERVPRO Industries in support of the American Red Cross by making a gift to support Home Fire Relief. Your gift to Home Fire Relief will support communities like ours nationwide by providing families and communities with the lifesaving tools and information they need to prevent and prepare for home fires, as well as offer critical recovery services to those impacted by home fires. Together, we can better prepare our community for home fires and support families who experience them. Thank you in advance for your support.

Board Up Needed?

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Temporary Repairs Needed?

If your commercial property has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier.

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts in Lake City, Florida about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful.

Call us at our office (386) 754-0261 located in Lake City, Florida to answer any questions you might have regarding services available.

Vandalism, Bloodborne Pathogens, Drug Scene??? We can Help!

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

Board Ups, Meth Labs, Hoarders..... We offer many types of cleaning services.

For 13 years SERPVRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties has helped home owners and businesses with fire, smoke and water damage clean up.  But did you know that SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties has staff members that are trained and certified in Bio-Hazard clean up?  Here are some helpful tips on what to do until help arrives if you experience a crime scene, vandalism or bio-hazard damage in your home or business.

VANDLISM DAMAGE

DO:

  • Hose or wash egg damage from your building exterior as soon as possible
  • Vacuum glass particles from carpets
  • Save containers which reveal the ingredients of spilled inks, cosmetics and paints

DON’T

  • Don’t attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
  • Operate damage lamps or appliances
  • Discard furniture wood chips, broken pieces from porcelain, furniture or art objects.

Harmful Waste

(Sewage, blood borne pathogens, etc.)

DO:

  • Stay out of affected areas
  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening
  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.

DON’T

  • Attempt cleanup of any kind
  • Touch or handle items that might be contaminated with bodily fluids.

These Emergency Tips will assist you in taking the proper actions until SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties professionals arrive to your home or business.

Please follow these Dos and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.  Call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties at (386) 754-0261 for assistance with any Bio-Hazard cleanup.  We are available 24/7/365 to serve our residents and businesses.

SERVPRO Disaster Response

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

Whether a Hurricane, Tornado, Freeze Event, Flood, Fire/Smoke SERVPRO can respond quickly!

How Our Local Community Responds to Hurricanes

SERVPRO works as a team across the country to help those that have been affected by a disaster. In years past, our local franchise has sent crews to various hurricane sites to help reach customers faster so that they can begin putting their lives back together. Local crews from SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties has helped with hurricane relief as well as cold weather mass freezing.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

Being a part of SERVPRO, we know that our job is to help customers and victims of disasters put their lives back together. It's nice to know that if a tornado, flood, ice storm, or any other disaster were to strike the heartland, that there are over 1,700 franchises in our system that can come to our aid to help you put your life back together.

Just remember that SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster.

Mold Comes in Various Colors, Shapes & Sizes

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Some people hear the work "mold" and reference  "black mold"! 

Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”.  Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing.   Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

How Do I Tell If It's Black Mold?

Since many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, you should contact a qualified mold remediation company regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold can exist in the same house or structure. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, contact a SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today (1-386-754-0261)

None of us know what kind of mold it is until it has been tested by an industrial hygienist or someone qualified to test for mold.  Once that is determined you can qualify the type of mold you are dealing with.  Not all molds are bad for you!

We live in Florida and therefore deal with high humidity.   We therefore need to be aware of places that might be hidden and get moisture due to the weather.  

If you notice something that looks abnormal then just give us a call.  We can come out and assess it and help you determine if you need to remediate or just chalk up to this is Florida.  

You can call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties located in Lake City, Florida on Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm to schedule and assessor to come out and inspect your troubled area and then make an informed decision on your next steps.  

We do assessments in Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper, Lake Butler, White Springs, Fort White, Perry, Mayo and the surrounding areas.  Utilize our knowledge and help answer any questions you might have and if you need an Industrial Hygienist to come out we can assist you in that area as well.  We work with 3 - 4 different ones based on where you are located and if it is commercial or residential.  

Are Your Floors Buckling?

12/29/2018 (Permalink)

Buckled floors at a job site

According to Wagner Meter,

"Some moisture-related problems are visible to the discerning eye. Primarily, wood flooring problems can occur when the wood expands and contracts. This “wood movement” occurs naturally according to seasonal shifts or when ambient RH levels change in the home. These changes can also present a less-than-desirable change in the appearance of your wood flooring."

If you begin to see signs of your floors shifting, there could be underlying moisture. Failure to act on this moisture could result in structural damage.

Water Damage Specialists

We are water damage specialists and are ready to restore your home back to pre-water damage condition.  We quickly extract the water and then dry your property using state-of-the-art equipment.   SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties uses equipment such as moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras to effectively measure and document the drying process to ensure your property is dry.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties if you are located in Hamilton, Union, Lafayette, Suwannee or Columbia County and we will see what we can do to assist you.

Effects Water Can Have on Your Property

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Drywall with Mold on it

Living in Florida we deal with humidity, moisture, etc. that all is related to mold growth in some way or another.  Every concentration is different and some can be taken care of with minimal effort.  

When mold damage gets severe enough it may cause permanent and noticeable damage to materials in your home. Carpeting, wood, structural components, drywall and more. Frequently they require significant restoration efforts after they have been affected by a mold colony. Mold does not just grow on top of these materials - it feeds off them, literally eating away at their surfaces and compositions. These are some of the most common materials SERVPRO must replace during or after a mold remediation project.

Carpets

Carpets sometimes attract mold damage like a magnet, soaking up water and providing a sheltered place for mold to start growing. Within your carpet's fibers, mold can grow quickly and easily if it has enough water. Mold can then wrap around fibers and attack them from all sides, eating away at the material much faster than flat surfaces like drywall. Due to the speed at which it is destroyed and its ability to harbor deep-rooted mold growth, carpeting is one of the most common replacements made in a home.   

Drywall and Plaster 

Some types of mold may eat through drywall by consuming the cardboard backing and plaster, creating a challenging and delicate restoration task. Thankfully, we only need to remove and replace a limited portion of drywall in most cases, but this still may require some amount of construction work. Other insulating materials and hidden wall constructs may also need replacement or restoration.

Wooden Elements 

Wood takes some of the heaviest damage from long-term mold growth. Although special finishes sometimes protect the wood, it also has high potential to rot and deteriorate if mold grows around it. At risk are everything from support columns to floorboards to building materials, so this mold threat should not be taken lightly. 

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties is an experienced local resource for combating mold and its disastrous effects. If you have found signs of mold damage in your home, call us at (386) 754-0261. 

We can coordinate the whole process from start to finish to make your life easier and get you back in your home or business faster. “Like it never even happened.”

Keep your Kids Safe with these Fire Safety tips

12/22/2018 (Permalink)

Teaching children about emergency planning.

When creating an escape plan in your home, you should go over it with your children so they know how to get out the house. Kids typically don’t think about how they would escape from their home in a fire, so this is an important discussion to have with them.

  • Have a plan in place for children that cannot get out on their own, such as infants and toddlers. Talk about which family member is going to wake up the children and help them get out.
  • Always identify two different ways out of every room. You should know multiple ways to exit in every room in case one exit is blocked, or it is too dangerous to use.
  • Choose a destination outside the house to meet, a safe distance away. This could be across the street or at a neighbors’ home.

In addition to fire prevention with children, there is the concern of burn prevention. In many instances of fires started by children, serious burn injuries can occur. Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe from fire and burns.

  • Children should be at least 3 feet away from anything hot. Stoves, space heaters, and curling irons are all good examples where additional caution is necessary.
  • Keep any kind of smoking materials away and placed up high, such as lighters and matches.
  • Never play with matches or lighters when your children are around. If they see adults doing this, they will think that it is okay, and possibly even fun.

 Accidents can happen at any time. But with some mindful planning, many of these can be completely avoided. If something should still happen, just know that SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties here to help anytime. Give us a call at 386-754-0261

Tips to Clean Red Wine Spills

12/22/2018 (Permalink)

Accidents Happen! Call SERVPRO!

You're entertaining at your home and before you know it, you hear a yell and look just in time to see a friend spilling red wine on your carpet. Don't worry...try these tips. And if the spill is too deep, call us for our professional cleaning services.

How to remove a red wine stain

  • Blot up as much of the wine as possible and pour cool water on the stain.
  • Cover it with salt.
  • Boil water and pour over the stain.
  • Prepare a mixture of half a tablespoon of white vinegar and one cup of water. Pour over stain and let it soak for a few minutes. You can also add a few drops of liquid detergent to the mixture. 
  • It's always a good idea to test a small spot first to make sure it will not harm your carpet.

Or give SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, located in Lake City, a call and we will be happy to help (386) 754-0261.

Commercial Water Loss

12/22/2018 (Permalink)

We can take care of your documents as well as everything else!

If you have water loss in your building while at work or if you own the business, SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties is here to help! We have experience in providing services whether covered by insurance or self paying. 

It is important that every commercial loss is properly handled with documentation and proper steps taken. Doing the job correct the first time is important to prevent secondary damages from happening.  No one wants mold where they work or if you own it you don't want the liability of having mold.  

We strive to be an educational company in the disaster restoration industry. With that said if you have any questions on what to do or how to even be better prepared, feel free to reach out to us at any time. We have several team members that are trained and specialize in different areas of loss restoration.   We will make it “Like it never even happened."   Call us today at our Lake City Office (386) 754-0261.

Make Storm Damage Cleanup Easy With SERVPRO

12/22/2018 (Permalink)

Winds and Rains Brought by the Storms Can Create Damaging Effects

Storms can happen in any season and can bring with them not only heavy rainfall but also hail and high winds. These elements of nature can be very damaging to a home or business. The damage can be so extensive that not only the exterior but the interior becomes damaged also. 
 
High winds, particularly those with even faster and stronger gusts, can rip off siding on exterior walls and tear off shingles from the roof. This stripping away of your home's protective layers can create openings for rainwater to enter. Debris from the storm can also be carried into these openings. Storm damage often involves trees downed from the high winds. This added weight which is often sudden is typically too heavy for a home's roof to bear causing it to collapse.

Breaking glass occurs to windows and sliding glass doors when they cannot withstand flying debris. Because of the high possibility of power lines being nearby cleaning up storm damage is not recommended except by trained and experienced professionals.  At SERVPRO, we have the training and the experience to quickly and professionally bring your home and business back into a safe state of being. 
 
We put our training, education, and experience to work for you as a team, using the latest in technology and techniques, ensuring that your home will return to its previous welcoming state quickly. 

Storms Happen Any Time of the Day!  We are Available 24/7 to Serve You

Certified SERVPRO Technicians Assess the Situation Quickly When Dealing With a Mold Infestation in Your Home

12/22/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in the shower can be a sign of a mold infestation and poor ventilation.

Mold in your shower surround in your Lake City home can be put in two general categories – mold behind the surround and surface mold.

Surface mold is unsightly and can be difficult to remove.  Hidden moisture inside the framing, behind or above your shower, places not seen early on can lead to more extensive damage. 
 
Mold growth and mold damage of any type in your bathroom can result in damage.  It continues to grow doing damage to the structure in addition could cause adverse health effects for you or your family. As the earliest sign of mold make contact with SERVPRO so we can assist in either remediation of the area or assisting you to find a qualified company that provides testing.  We are a trained, experienced & certified in mold remediation. 
 
SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties does not waste time assessing your damage once you reach out to us.  We charge a minimal fee to come and assess and then allocate it back if we do any remediation services for you resulting from the assessment.  

SERVPRO Being Family Owned Makes A Difference!

12/22/2018 (Permalink)

Founders of SERVPRO

Ted and Doris Isaacson launched SERVPRO in 1967 as a painting business in Sacramento, California.  However, with a background in cleaning and restoration Ted and Doris soon transformed the company into a franchisor specializing in cleanup and restoration.

After selling its first Franchise in 1969,  SERVPRO continued to grow, acquiring the Bristol-Myers Domesticare Division and its 175 Franchises in 1979.

SERVPRO relocated the corporate headquarters from Sacramento to Gallatin, TN, in 1988 in a strategic move to place itself within 600 miles of 50% of the U.S. population.

As of 2018 SERVPRO has over 350 locations to include Hawaii and Canada locations.  It is still owned and managed by the Isaacsons' children Randy, Rick & Sue.   They all provide their expertise to the franchise community and have built a large array of support members to assist in handling their parents vision.  

As our founders vision was "To Develop A Team of Quality People, Who Focus on Excellent Service, Fairness and Mutual Respect", we all continue to strive for that each day.

Packing/Moving & Storage Services

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

When the need arises our staff is knowledgeable in packing contents and storing them until your home or business is back in action!

When this military family received new orders they had lots to do in very little time. They put their trust in SERVPRO to get their house and contents ready for the big move. Proud to assist our service members in their not so easy jobs, proud to be able to offer discounted pricing. Our Lake City office - SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties are always ready to help make the move much easier on you. SERVPRO technicians come prepared with trucks kitted out with pads, straps and furniture blankets to move your furniture and belongings safely. A full inventory is executed, so nothing is lost or misplaced. We co-ordinate your pack-out with the contractors, typically we can do all the rebuild, who are restoring your home so that the restoration and reconstruction remain on schedule. We train our experts to handle your possessions with the same care they show for their own belongings. Our aim is to make pack-outs stress-free and short as possible so you can resume normal life after a fire. "Like it never even happened." Give us a call (386) 754-0261.

Understanding Content Coverage

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

The best way to determine if you have enough content coverage is to conduct a home inventory.

Everyone has homeowners insurance right? It’s one of those things you have and hope you never have to use right? So, what happens if you do have to utilize coverage because of a damage?

Unfortunately, because homeowners insurance is necessary many homeowners rely solely on their agents to choose a policy that is right for them. This is totally fine, and works in many cases, but being educated on what your policy includes and doesn’t include is important.

Most policies are written and cover to repair or rebuild your home after damage. But what about ALL of the personal belongings inside of your home? Generally, your content coverage is 50 to 70 percent of the coverage that you carry on the structure of your home. In most cases this is a sufficient amount to cover personal items that are damaged, but in some cases it isn’t.

The best way to determine if you have enough content coverage is to conduct a home inventory. This is a much easier task thanks to modern technology. Walk through your home room by room and photograph all personal belongings. (TIP-If you picked your home up and turned it upside down, all items that would fall out are considered contents.) Open drawers and closets to photograph all items inside. You can catalog these items and keep them at an offsite location or you can download an app such as DreamVault and access it from any mobile device. This particular app is designed to house photos and information pertaining to each individual item, such as price, model and serial number. There is also a speech to text feature to help with documentation.

If you have jewelry, collector’s items, art or firearms, sometimes your coverage can fall short. Keep that in mind when documenting all items and reviewing your policy. If you find that your coverage is lacking you can generally purchase additional coverage or a rider for certain items.

When you have had damage to your home and personal belongings, you don’t want to worry with the added stress of insufficient coverage. Ensure that you are covered.

If you have damage to your home and/or personal items we are here to help.  Call our office and we will walk you through the process and make your damage “Like it never even happened”. SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties (386) 754-0261

Contaminated Flood Waters

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris

When we respond to a case of flood damage, one of the most frequent questions our technicians is, "what is black water?" Black water is heavily contaminated water which is not only unsafe to drink but also is hazardous simply to be around. It can be difficult to judge conditions in black water due to its typical gray, brown, or black coloration, with small particles often hiding potentially far greater hazards lying within. Here are a few things that can be found in a typical sample of black flood water.   Dirt and Soil Typically, most of the coloration in black water comes from dirt and soil trapped within. Many cases of flood damage and surrounding areas result from heavy storms and rain, and these floodwaters more often than not pick up significant amounts of soil before they ever reach a home. Although this dirt may sound harmless, it, in reality, makes the water much heavier and more difficult to navigate if you get caught in it.   Microorganisms in Black Water although the amount and type of organisms in flood can vary depending on its causes and specifics, almost all samples of black water contain very high levels of microorganisms. These may be parasites, bacteria, viruses, mold, or many other types of organism, and they may be able to cause health effects if ingested or absorbed through the skin. This is why it is never advised to drink flood waters and to seek medical attention immediately if you have.   Sharp Metal and Glass It can be very difficult to see sharp objects in a mass of floodwater, but even if you feel you are confident that such materials are not in the water, it is best always to assume they are. Sharp materials, even if they are tiny, often constitute one of the water's greatest risks. If they open up a small cut or wound, this spot may go unnoticed by you but later on develop a bad infection. If you have been cut or had black water touch an open wound, immediately disinfect the wound and apply medical aid as needed.   SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties deals with black water flood damage so that you don't have to. If your home has been caught in a flood, call us at (386) 754-0261 for mitigation and restoration services.

Summertime Fun - Boats & RV's

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

RV's & Boats can be affected by mildew and mold when put away for the winter. Be sure yours is summer ready!!!

Getting ready for summer fun out on the boat or camping in your camper or RV? Cleaning mildew & remediating mold isn’t the fun part. We can take care of it for you in no time and get you ready for your vacation or weekend get away without any hassle at all! Boat Mold meets Lake City’s SERVPRO experts!!! RV’s can accumulate moisture and mildew during the off months so when it comes time to clean it up, just call us. We remediate mold where we find it! We are located in Lake City and can come to you or you can bring it to us, just call us (386) 754-0261. We can give you a free estimate over the phone or come inspect and give you an estimate.  It's time to get you out on the water or camping with your family and friends.

Deodorization Destroys Odors

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

Using a Dry Clean Sponge to remove excess soot from structural surfaces.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties for deodorization of tough odors.   

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties can provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not cover up lingering odors with fragrance: we seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once found, SERVPRO's own proprietary line of professional cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in the affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.

Contact SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, located in Lake City, Fl if you have fire, water, mold or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Carpet Cleaning - Spring Cleaning

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

Before and after photo of carpet cleaning in an apartment complex located in Florida

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties can do so much more than water mitigation and fire restoration. We are here to help with any residential or commercial carpet cleaning, duct cleaning and/or furniture cleaning. Have questions on specialty items you need professionally cleaned, give SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties a call today for a quote over the phone. There is no job too big or small.

We can dry clean onsite, clean oriental area rugs.  Pressure wash carports, homes or businesses.  We clean campers and RV's if your getting ready to do some summer camping.  Drapery, Upholstery, Carpet, Ceramic Tile, Area Rugs and just about anything else you can think of...... We CLEAN! 

Located in Lake City, Florida for over 12 years we service Columbia County (Lake City, Fl), Suwannee County (Live Oak, Fl), Baker County (MacClenny, Fl), Hamilton County (Jasper, Fl), Union County (Lake Butler, FL) & Lafayette County (Mayo, Fl), in addition to surrounding North Central Florida areas.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties (386) 754-0261 today! 

Prevent Water Damage from Dishwasher Leaks

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

A leak is inconvenient and even costly if you have to close down during cleanup.

Many restaurants in North Florida rely on dishwashers to keep things running smoothly and ensure a regular supply of clean crockery for their customers. A dishwasher is a handy appliance for any eatery looking to save some time and make things run better. However, just like any appliance, a dishwasher might break down and cause water damage to your premises. A leak is inconvenient and even costly if you have to close down during cleanup. SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties recommends all restaurant owners take the following steps to take care of their automatic washers and reduce the risk of water damage from leaks.

Tell Staff Not To Overfill - It is tempting to put lots of crockery and cutlery in the tray to get more clean in each load. However, instruct your staff not to crowd the rack, as an over-filled dishwasher is much more likely to leak. It is better to do a couple of smaller loads than trying to fit everything into one big load.

Do Regular Maintenance On Doors - Loose hinges, misaligned door latches, or broken seals, can all cause leaks. Sometimes the problem can be fixed by simply adjusting and tightening a few screws. You could use an epoxy patch kit to remedy minor seal breaks. However, if it is not possible to right the door or seal, it is better to replace it.

Check The Tub And Hose - The tub and hose can both develop faults over time. Constant use might corrode the tub and make a hole, and aging hoses can become unstable or cease to fit properly. Check all the components of the unit regularly and replace it at the first sign of wear and tear.

Use The Correct Detergent - Make sure every staff member knows which detergent is best. Always use a dishwashing detergent, and always follow the manufacturer instructions. The incorrect dishwashing detergent or too much of the correct cleaning agent might cause suds or even a blockage.

In the event of a leak, SERVPRO’s IICRC-certified technicians are on hand to help with cleanup. We extract water from your premises and use dehumidifiers and air movers to dry the surrounding area so you can resume business as soon as possible. For help with water damage remediation in Lake City, White Springs, Live Oak, Starke, Perry, Madison, Macclenny and surrounding areas, call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties @ (386) 754-0261 today.

Trauma Scene Cleanup

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning up after a Trauma

Not to mention the emotional trauma of loss, but what do you do in the aftermath when something terrible occurs?  Although everyone’s experience is unique, there are similar but difficult decisions that have to be made every time a loss of this nature takes place.  Generally how one goes about cleaning the affected area is not the first thing that comes to mind.  However at some point this has to be done..….and where do you go?  Here at SERVPRO® of Columbia & Suwannee Counties (386) 754-0261, we are trained and ready to assist when something like this happens.  We have the equipment, cleaning solutions, deodorization techniques and chemicals to combat all of the relevant issues such as blood borne pathogens & odors associated with this type of cleanup.  Our staff has been immunized against Hepatitis and is ready to help you return your home and contents to their preloss condition.  Although one never is the same when confronted with this possibility, rest assured there is someone who understands and will help you through this ordeal.

Should I have my ducts cleaned?

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Knowledge about the potential benefits and possible problems of air duct cleaning is limited. Since conditions in every home are different, it is impossible to generalize about whether or not air duct cleaning in your home would be beneficial.

You should inspect your ducts if your furniture is excessively dusty or if you notice your registers (vents) are dust filled.  After a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold (no musty odor or visible mold growth), having your air ducts cleaned is probably unnecessary. On the other hand, if someone in your household suffers from allergies, unexplained symptoms or illnesses you may want to consider having your ducts cleaned.  It is normal for the return registers to get dusty as dust-laden air is pulled through the grate. This does not indicate that your air ducts are contaminated with heavy deposits of dust or debris; the registers can be easily vacuumed or removed and cleaned.

Contact SERVPRO located in Lake City, Florida (386) 754-0261 to have your ducts cleaned today!!

Category 3 Water

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Category 3 water, although referred to as Black Water or Dirty Water is not always visually black or dirty

In the restoration industry there are three categories of water and as industry professionals it is our job to determine which category of water each damage has. The most severe category is Category 3 which is also commonly called CAT 3, Black Water or Dirty Water. Category 3 water (Black Water) is highly contaminated water that is potentially toxic to anyone inside the dwelling.

The water is considered category 3 (Black Water) if it meets any of the following criteria. Sources could include sewage backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces or stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth. If Category 1 or Category 2 are left untreated for more than three days, it is likely that it will develop into Category 3 (Black Water). If your damage is deemed as Category 3 (Black Water), it is likely that many pieces of your property will need to be replaced. Anything porous, such as furniture, carpeting and drywall is grossly contaminated. Category 3 water, although referred to as Black Water or Dirty Water is not always visually black or dirty. In fact, most times it is completely translucent.

If you are ever faced with damage to your home act fast, find your source and call (386) 754-0261, and the professionals at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties. Our team is available 24/7. We will assess the damage and ensure that it is properly mitigated to ensure your safety.

Spring Cleaning Services Offered By your Local SERVPRO

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning ceiling with dry clean sponges

One thing we recognize is that in the world today we all have busy schedules.  NO ONE has proper time in their life where they easily manage time set aside to clean.  Whether at your office or at home there just isn't enough time.  

Whether is taking your children to dance or baseball practice, work, fixing dinner or everyday tasks at hand.... cleaning is not a priority sometimes.  We understand that here at SERVPRO. 

That's where we come in..... here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties we can do it for you!  Whether it is cleaning baseboards and your bathrooms to pressure washing your home or business!   We do it all.  Residential and Commercial we can assist you in your Spring Cleaning or whenever cleaning. 

As we said above, no matter if your in Lake City, Mayo, McClenney, Fort White, Lake Butler or anywhere surrounding this area (we cover several counties)... we can do it.    Our staff has background checks and have experience in cleaning like no others.  SERVPRO offers excellent and reliable cleaning services all-year round to your homes or businesses.

We use only the best products available to us through our professional lab at our corporate office.  They spend hours mixing and providing us with the most efficient cleaners to make our work easier on us.  We also have environmentally "green" products available upon request for carpet cleaning, windows and more.  That is how much we care about our customers.  We have Scotchguard as well as other products to help maintain the "fresh & clean" appearance also!

We provide all sorts of cleaning services - some listed above, but if you have a question you can call our office located in Lake City, Florida at 386-754-0261 and we will be glad to answer any additional you may have.  This is the perfect time to get upholstery, drapery, ceramic tile, carpet, ductwork (HVAC) and anything else you might need done taken care of.  

Commercial Air Duct Cleaning in North Central Florida

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

Call Today For A Free Estimate

It’s important to keep your heating, ventilation, and air condition (HVAC) units working correctly to prevent the spread of unwanted dust and contaminants at your business. When the ductwork of your HVAC unit becomes clogged or backed up, you might start to notice foul odors coming you can’t get rid of, or find the source of in your home. When it comes to commercial cleaning, our professional technicians can inspect, repair, restore, and replace your HVAC unit so that you can breathe clean, fresh air in your home or office all day long.

Why Should You Have Your HVAC Serviced?

Depending on the age of your HVAC unit, and the quality of the installation related to the ductwork, you might not have to have your air ducts cleaned when we inspect your ductwork. Sometimes, a filter change or tune-up of the unit is all that is necessary. Regardless of the required work, regular inspections should be carried out. In addition to reducing the risk of odors and increasing air quality, having your HVAC unit serviced means that it is likely to last longer, and function appropriately for many years to come. Also, some insurance policies require regular inspection of HVAC units to reduce the risk of fire, damage, or other emergency situations related to the HVAC system itself. We can save you time, money, and help you avoid disaster when it comes to the air quality in your home or office.

Benefits of HVAC

HVAC units are very beneficial for homes and office space. Because they are 3-in-1 systems consisting of heating elements, ventilation systems, and air conditioning units, there is no need to have more than one piece of equipment on your property. While some units are separate, the majority of them are combined. Combined units mean easy cleaning and maintenance as well. HVAC units improve air quality in your home or office and provide a high return on your investment because they provide you with cleaner air to breathe. They'll keep you warm during the colder months, and cool during the heat of summer. Ventilation systems will ensure moisture leaves your home, and that humidity is controlled as well. With equipment that does so much, it's important to make sure it's functioning correctly.

Contact SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties Today

If you are a business owner in Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper, Macclenny, Lake Butler, Starke, Fort White, Madison, Perry or other North Central Florida areas and you are having trouble with your HVAC unit, contact our offices today to schedule you no-cost consultation; 386-754-0261. We’ll send a qualified and knowledgeable air duct technician to inspect your HVAC unit, and to determine the source of any problems you might be having related to air quality, air exchange, ventilation, heating or cooling. Our commercial cleaning services can help restore function to your HVAC unit, help eliminate foul odors in the air and throughout your home or office, and help reduce the risk of contaminants, such as mold or bacteria in your home or office. Avoid unsightly mold and smells by calling us today to schedule a thorough inspection of your HVAC unit

Emergency Document Drying and Recovery

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

When tragedy strikes, you can lose not only your most valuable assets, but also your most important documents. Sometimes this means irreplaceable assets such as artwork and letters from loved ones becoming ruined resulting in devastating loss. Luckily, the methods for restoring documents have become more and more advanced in recent times. While no piece of paper can ever be returned completely to the original condition, the drying and recovery methods we use can greatly improve the condition of documents formerly destined for the garbage can.

Tragedies can strike at any time, and when these disasters damage our documents who do we turn to? At times like these we need a professional who can come in and assure us that our documents can be restored. We offer our document recovery services for home owners, business, government organizations, schools and healthcare professionals. Even items considered to be a total loss can sometimes be fully recovered using our advanced techniques.

We are a full service restoration and document recovery firm. Our mission is to save your damaged documents from the destruction of fire, smoke, water, and moisture. Recovering your damaged documents is our specialty.

We currently are able to restore documents of nearly all types which includes but isn't limited to:

  • Artwork
  • Blueprints
  • Books and Manuscripts
  • Business Records and Documents
  • Coated Papers
  • Drafting Linens
  • Electronic Media - Of All Forms
  • Film
  • Legal Files
  • Manuals
  • Maps
  • Paintings
  • Paper Money
  • Parchment
  • Patient and Medical Papers
  • Pulp Paper
  • Reference Books
  • Text Books
  • Textiles
  • Vellum
  • X-Rays

Our team of document restoration professionals are both certified as well as capable of getting the job done with years of experience and the best, most advanced training available. We combine experience, training, and state-of-the-art technology to restore and preserve your documents as close to their original state as possible given the damage of the content and available technology.

For water damaged documents there are several methods available to remove the water and any moisture from your documents ensuring that they are fully restored to their maximum potential. The process involves freeze drying, vacuum thermal drying, air drying, desiccant air-drying and other advanced techniques. If your document is capable of being saved, we're capable of doing it, and we have some of the most competitive prices in the market when it comes to the document restoration business. We can offer you direct billing or work with your insurance agency at your discretion.

Our team of highly trained professionals can handle documents damaged by smoke, fire, and water. Each type of damage presents it's own unique set of challenges and problems based on the type of damage and the form of media that has been damaged. Water damage can be especially bad as it often packs an onset of problems by not only causing all of the problems associated with typical water damage but also setting up the perfect habitat for mold. Thankfully, we are well versed at stopping and preventing mold damage to documents as long as you act quickly and contact us to begin the restoration procedures ASAP.

Our document restoration service for fire and smoke damaged documents is the most thorough you will find in the industry, anywhere. We know that with this type of damage it's not only the damage you can see on the surface but also what is trapped on the inside that you can't see with the naked eye. Soot and smoke damage can wreak havoc on your media but our team of experts are able to remove even the most extensive damage.

We use the most state-of-the-art technology in the field and we keep upgrading our restoration methods as new and more improved ones become available. So you can easily rest assured any document restoration performed by us will be done while making use of the latest and the best technology available. If you have any document damage we invite you to contact us and join our family of customers. If the need arises we hope to hear from you!

Liquids That Can Cause Fire Damage

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

If you are using lighter fluid on your grill, it is important to soak the coals before lighting them and not after.

You Can Help Prevent Fire Damage by Staying Aware of Flammable Liquids in Your Home

Many homeowners in Florida are already familiar with the many safety hazards within their homes, including burst pipes, weak electrical systems, burning candles, and more. However, there are some that are often ignored but present a severe risk for fire damage when they come into contact with a flame. These include flammable liquids that may be lying around your house.

In the event of an accidental spill, leading to severe fire damage in North Central Florida, SERVPRO has got you covered. Our IICRC-certified technicians can come in quickly to mitigate the damage and restore your property to preloss condition, "Like it never even happened." We use industry-standard tools and techniques in every restoration job, ensuring that you retain the value of your home after the event.

Nail polish remover is one of the most ignored causes of fire damage with which SERVPRO has dealt. The liquid contains acetone, which is very flammable. When a nearby flame (e.g. from a burning candle or gas stove) comes in contact with the polish remover, it can cause a fire that may in turn spread to your upholstery and other materials.

The rubbing alcohol in your medicine cabinet is also flammable and tends to vaporize quickly. At SERVPRO, we receive numerous cases of fire damage resulting from people pouring the liquid over fabrics to eliminate bedbugs. Gasoline, turpentine, and paint thinner are also possible causes of house fires. One reason for this is improper storage in the garage. Filling glass jars with gasoline, for instance, risks them falling and breaking, creating a spark that may lead to a huge fire.

Many backyard grill masters use charcoal lighter fluid to light up the coals quickly. However, it is easy to create an uncontrollable flame on the grill, causing extensive fire damage in the process. It is advisable to douse the coals before lighting them (not after) - when the briquettes are cold. Additionally, avoid spraying anything on the grill that is not recognized charcoal lighter fluid.

Home fires are not something most homeowners would like to think about. When it happens, SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is there to help. We are a trusted leader in the restoration industry and provide 24/7 emergency services for local residents and neighboring towns. For any assistance, call us today at (386) 754-0261.

For more information on fire prevention in Lake City, Florida click here.  Live Oak, Fl click here

Its the Water You Don't See

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Carpet padding holds excess water even after extraction.

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. 

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO® of Columbia & Suwannee Counties has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO® of Columbia & Suwannee Counties will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools we use.

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® of Columbia & Suwannee Counties to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermo-hygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
  • Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate.
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles.

The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Columbia & Suwannee County located in North Central Florida has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Trauma/Crime Cleanup

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

When it's time to clean and restore a home, property, office or other structure after a crime or accident has taken place, our professional trauma and crime scene cleanup team is ready to serve. When police have completed their investigation and have processed the scene of an accident or crime, the area should be cleaned quickly and professionally. Removing hazardous materials and other contaminants that could create a health risk or safety issue need to be removed as soon as possible. For trauma and crime scene cleanup in North Central Florida call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties today; 386-754-0261.

How Can We Help You?

At SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties our highly trained technicians adhere to the OSHA and EPA protocols to ensure a crime scene or accident scene has returned to a safe environment. Ensuring their safety, and the safety of those around them, we work to remove bloodborne pathogens, chemicals, bodily fluids, tissue remnants, blood, gas and extinguisher residue, and much more. When restoring a private residence, our team will ensure the utmost compassion and concern for your belongings and property. In the event of illegal drug or substance presence, our cleanup crew will ensure chemicals have not transmitted throughout the structure and onto other surfaces. We'll also remove crime scene residue that has been left behind by the crime labs, including fingerprint dust.

Skilled and Professional Technicians

When you call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, your expert trauma and crime scene cleanup crew in Lake City, Florida you’ll be relying on the best in the business. We ensure all of our technicians are trained to federal level standards and are routinely upgrading their restoration and cleanup skills to meet the demands of the market. We maintain excellent working relationships with fire officials, police, and other city workers who strive to keep the city safe. Working to restore a residence or office after a crime or accident is no easy task, but our highly skilled cleanup technicians are up to the challenge.

Helping You Get on With Life

Whether you've been in an accident, or have been involved in a crime, restoring your home, office, or property to its original state is an essential part of the recovery process for many people. While we cannot replace the memories, the damage to your property will pass removal. We take great pride in restoring homes, offices, and property after a crime or accident has occurred. We know it's essential for everyone involved, and for the safety of those around the crime or accident, to rectify the scene as soon as possible.

Work With SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties

If you require the services of a professional and discreet trauma and crime scene cleanup team, contact our Lake City office today at 386-754-0261. We'll ensure that the scene returns to its natural order, and take great care in cleaning and repairing the damage done as a result of the crime or accident. Don't hesitate to contact us to talk about how we can help your family, organization, or public service organization clean and restore a building, street, or home after a trauma or accident.

Local or Long Distance - Storms are Handled

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. While we are physically located in Lake City, FL, we provide service to a large portion of North Central Florida including Live Oak (Suwannee County), Lake Butler (Union County), Jasper (Hamilton County), Macclenny (Baker County), Mayo (Lafayette County), and Madison (Madison County). 

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit our communities, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States. There is no loss too large for our teams. 

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - 386-754-0261

We can handle commercial losses!

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Local building had wood floor with bays underneath holding water so had to remove wood floor to extract water underneath.

SERVPRO provides a 24–hour emergency service with highly trained restoration technicians to renovate your structure back to, “Like it never even happened.” We are a locally owned and operated advanced restoration service. Our technological advanced products and cleaning equipment can tackle the most extreme damages. For commercial services we specialize in:

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Commercial Mold Remediation

Commercial Cleaning Services

Commercial Storm and Major Events

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties serves the local communities including Live Oak (Suwannee County), Lake Butler (Union County), Jasper (Hamilton County), Macclenny (Baker County), Mayo (Lafayette County), and Madison (Madison County). Although we provide commercial services, we also offer residential services.

We work with your insurance provider for a stress free claim process and help manage the insurance paperwork. Call (386)754-0261 for details.

Keep it Safe!

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Perry, Florida Fire Damage Prior to Cleaning and Rebuild

Winter is the same anywhere you go...lower temperatures & shorter days.  Often times we use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves to make our homes cozy.  Did you know that heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths?

Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire:

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.  Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.  Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Should your home ever face a tragedy, SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is here to assist in any way possible. If you would like to learn more information regarding fire damage restoration or some of our other services such as duct cleaning or mold remediation, visit our SERVPRO website.

Facts for Hurricane Season

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Tropical Storm Debbie - 6 ft of water

While the summer season is known for the potential to experience severe weather, the threat exists throughout the fall months as well. In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific Hurricane season begins May 15th also ending November 30th.

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 your local SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties to learn more about the ERP and how it can help you. Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm.

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 items for basic emergency supply list

Emergency Supply Kit

  • 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
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust Masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, 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

Hotel Water Damage

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Hallway on 1st floor of a hotel with 2nd floor boiler room water damage.

Having water damage in a hotel has to be one of the worst fears for any manager or property owner. Any incident involving water on an upper floor can easily affect rooms two floors below. Water moves in mysterious ways and makes it into small areas that do significant damage.

It is crucial for owners of a hotel facing water damage in the Lake City, Live Oak and surrounding areas to have connections with local restoration companies that help provide you with the services necessary to get water movement under control quickly. Without a prior relationship, you may find yourself facing far greater problems as they develop over time.

Knowing which company to turn to or what to do as an emergency unfolds on your property can make an immeasurable difference in some of the losses you suffer. As your regular employees evacuate guests and make preparations for the remainder of their stay, SERVPRO technicians move in to locate the origin of the problem, making necessary repairs, and getting water out of the way.

With someone like SERVPRO available 24-hours a day, you gain access to resources you simply cannot afford to keep on-hand. We provide you with industrial-grade water extractors, air movers, air scrubbers, and all the drying equipment you could need to get water under control on your property.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties has several years of experience providing customers just like you with the restoration services they need. We understand how to perform our services with as little disruption to your businesses operations as possible. Our technicians cordon off work areas with the proper signs to protect anyone who might come near while performing fast, efficient services to get things back to normal as promptly as possible.

Give your property its best shot at surviving emergency situations, cut down on confusion, and limit losses that develop over time. With the amount of time you put into providing customers with a quality experience, you deserve to experience it yourself.

Contact SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties for additional information about available services today at (386)754-0261. We provide an array of services in the surrounding counties including Live Oak (Suwannee County), Lake Butler (Union County), Jasper (Hamilton County), MacClenny (Baker County), Mayo (Lafayette County) and Madison (Madison County).

Hidden Mold

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold grows in the right condition and sometimes the closet can be a great place.

If you opened up your Lake City closet and saw mold growing rapidly, what would you do?

  • Quickly remove all of your clothes?
  • Clean and scrub the wall with bleach and water?
  • Immediately call a contractor to demo and repair the affected area?
  • Determine the source?
  • Call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties at (386)754-0261 for an inspection.

The answer you choose will make all the difference but the ultimate decision is up to the you.

Although you may chose multiple answers from the above list the order in which things occur is equally as important as what work is being performed. 

Can you remove your clothes? Yes you can, they are your clothes. However, we would advise you to put your clothes in plastic bag and use the appropriate cleaning methods to restore your clothes. The plastic bag provides an encapsulation to prevent mold spores from spreading into other areas of the room or home.

Clean and scrub the affected wall? This depends on the severity and amount of mold damage. You should seek advise prior to cleaning the mold as spores can spread fairly easily with a little bit of air movement and agitation.

Call a contractor only if needed. Sometimes the amount of mold damage is just surface level and other times the growth as penetrated through the drywall. Only call a contractor if needed as sometimes the mold can be cleaned with professional products and skilled technicians.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties at (386)754-0261. This one step alone could be the difference in overspending for services you may not need. Plus a highly skilled technician can walk you through the process from start to finish. And having knowledge on the Do's & Don'ts of mold clean-up makes all the difference.

The team at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, located in Lake City, Florida, has the tools and knowledge for all clean-up jobs. From water, fire, mold and bio-hazard cleanup. We can be reached anytime, day or night

Texas - Hurricane - Flooding - Storm Team

12/20/2017 (Permalink)

Several Layers of Flooring to be removed.

Several times SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties has traveled to help with hurricane cleanup over the past 11 years and continue to do so.   Our franchise staff members enjoy being able to assist other franchises when the STORM hits their area.  A few months ago we traveled to Sugarland, TX to help out for a little over two weeks.  As you know.... Irma hit Florida right afterwards so we came home to help our local customers immediately.   We were able to help some of the surrounding Florida franchises but mostly serviced Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton, Union, Lafayette as well as Starke, MacClenney, Madison, Perry, Chiefland, Steinhatchee and many others.   

We come across a wide variety of things while traveling that keep the jobs interesting.....

As you can see in the photo, sometimes we get surprised by how many layers of flooring there is or how difficult they come up.  We hope our customers understand unforeseen reasons for the completion schedule to change slightly in occasions such as this.  We have included a few things to assist you if you experience a flood in your home or business below.

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.

As we hope you never have to experience a flood this is what to do if it happens. 

What to Do after a Flood in your Home or Business

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Office Library Flooded from a small pipe break in bathroom in Lake City, Fl.

A supply line breaks to a washing machine or a pipe breaks to the water softener. There is standing water in the home or water in the business. What should be done?

Water damage is one of the most serious mishaps that can occur to a property. Water damage requires immediate, professional restoration efforts, in order to avoid permanent damage and potential loss of the property. Within the first 24 hours, water damage that is left to stand can seep into drywall, structural elements and carpeting, causing lasting damage.

Luckily, there are many professional restoration companies that make their living saving properties from water damage. In this article, we'll take a quick look at the restoration process and how property owners should handle a flood damage event, should one occur.

Because so much of the United States has always been built on rivers, near lakes and in areas that experience frequent, severe weather, the U.S. flood damage mitigation industry has developed to be one of the best in the world. Over 100 years of flood damage mitigation has yielded a set of procedures that have been established as the gold standard in flood damage mitigation. There is a five-step process that all but ensures that no lasting damage to the flooded home will occur.

It is imperative to understand that a flooded home is the real estate equivalent of a medical emergency. Time is the most crucial factor. The best possible move that a property owner could make is to call a professional restoration company immediately. The sooner a restoration company can arrive at the flooded home, the more likely mitigation efforts are to prevent any lasting damage.

Once the restoration company's team arrives, they will immediately begin surveying the extent of the water in the home or water in the business. This phase of the water cleanup process generally uses high-tech gadgets, such as hygrometers and infrared water detectors, to establish all of the places that may have been affected by water in the home or water in the business. If there is an active supply line break or a pipe break, the team will locate the fault and remediate it.

Once the extent of the water in the home or water in the business has been established and the location pinned down, the next phase of the water cleanup process can begin.

The next water cleanup phase involves the extraction of all standing water from the premises. Through the use of powerful, specialized pumps, the restoration company's team will be able to remove thousands of gallons per hour from the site. The water cleanup team will use sophisticated vacuum equipment to fully remove all standing water from the premises. At this point, the property may appear dry to the untrained eye. But this leads to the next step.

Now it will be time to begin the final drying of the property. The team will use high-power dryers and dehumidifiers, capable of removing thousands of pounds of water from material and the atmosphere every hour. Drying time may take as little as 30 minutes or as long as an entire day. Completely drying the property is absolutely crucial, as it avoids the formation of serious mold and mildew, and removes water from drywall and structural elements. When the drying process is complete, the home will no longer be at risk of sustaining further damage.

The final step is to chemically sanitize and cleanse the home to prevent mildew formation and eliminate smells.

When a pipe breaks or a supply line breaks, the most important thing you can do is to call in the pros. There's no reason to let a pipe break or a supply line break diminish or destroy the value of your home.
Call us today at (386)754-0261 for more information.

Restaurants - Water Damage

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Offices, Restaurants, Schools - Water Damage? Call SERVPRO!

Restaurants typically have the highest water consumption of any class of business, leading not only to increased bills but also greater risk of water damage.

Lake City restaurants experience small-scale water damage on a much more frequent basis than other local companies, causing minor but still troublesome headaches for the unprepared. While SERVPRO can help with mitigation and restoration services to keep the real impact on your business to a minimum, you should be prepared for the most common issues you may find yourself facing. 
 
Clogged Drains 
Whether it is in the restroom or the kitchen, clogged pipes and drains have the potential to cause a lot of water damage to your Lake City restaurant very quickly. While establishments with timed faucets are typically resistant to these disasters, troubles can still arise due to carelessness or malfunction. Overflowing sinks and drains spill high volumes of water on the floor, causing permanent damage to flooring materials if not properly drained or cleaned up. Should this issue arise, be sure to shut the water off quickly to prevent further harm. 
 
Burst or Torn Water Lines 
Whether the water line is in the structure or an appliance, rips, and holes in pipes and tubes commonly create uncontrollable disasters. While aging kitchen equipment tends to be at the greatest risk, accidents can happen to even the newest and most premium appliances. Be sure to have sealant on-hand to patch up leaks quickly, and contact SERVPRO or an equipment technician as needed for further fixes. 
 
Flooding 
Serious flooding can happen to restaurants either from natural disasters or major water leaks, such as a busted water main. When this happens, a fast call to SERVPRO is critical, as calling us without delay ensures that we can find and repair the issue in a timely fashion and mitigate as much damage as possible. These cases typically develop into lengtheir, more challenging restoration processes, especially if we experience additional delays in the mitigation process. Our ERP, Emergency READY Profile Plan can help prevent, or at least mitigate, fire or water damage from closing your restaurant.
 
SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties helps local businesses in or around Lake City (Columbia County), Live Oak (Suwannee County), Lake Butler (Union County), Jasper (Hamilton County), Macclenny (Baker County), Mayo (Lafayette County), and Madison (Madison County) to survive and overcome even the worst disasters and damages. To enlist our aid, call us around the clock at (386)754-0261.

Storm Damage To Your Roof

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Home affected during Hurricane Irma located in the Country Club of Lake City, Florida

Even when there was no hail or rain produced during a storm, your roof can sustain damage. Strong winds make stress points on your roof which, over time, can weaken and be compromised. Roofs are made to resist typical winds; however, they can be damaged incrementally over years of high winds and debris blown around by the wind. It is important to fix the initial damage and replace missing shingles quickly to stop any high fuel costs and water damage that inevitably result from a roof which is damaged.

The effect that the wind has over your Lake City home’s roof is not uniform. Areas such as the perimeter and corners of your roof are susceptible to high wind pressures and storm damage, while the center could have fewer stresses. Most wind damage begins at the edge of the roof. Anywhere the material of the roof is just a bit loose, the wind gets under it and pushes it up, therefore giving the wind more to grab onto during the next storm, which makes a peeling effect. This type of damage can begin quite small, but keep growing over time through repeated exposure to the wind.

SERVPRO can be counted on to help get your roof repaired when storm damage has ravished it. With our professional training and courteous, timely work, we can help to prevent further damage to your home from intruding water by covering damaged areas with tarps or plywood for temporary protection. We then focus on restoring water damage of the attic and other affected areas. Our technicians may be able to do the roof repairs, but we can always get help from one of our roofing contractor partners to rebuild your roof to code when needed.

Tree Damage And Flying Debris 
Wind events which are significant also cause debris to fly into your roof. Tree branches, shards of glass, and other debris can be more damaging than the wind at times. When looking at your roof after a windstorm, investigate what could have blown across or onto the roof. It's a good idea to check your downspouts and gutters since debris can clog them and make other problems in the future. Make sure to keep your trees trimmed and away from the roof. Tree branches that touch a roof gouge and scratch roofing materials when branches are being blown around. Overhanging trees which have falling branches cause damage or even puncture shingles and other materials on your roof.

If you suspect damage to your roof, call SERVPRO  right away. Remember, the longer you wait, the more damage occurs. The cost to replace or repair your roof is much less when you do not have added water damage and leak repair costs. We also help you speak with your insurance company to take some of the stress off you and to help you file your claim. All damage gets documented thoroughly, and we draw up a plan for remediation before we even begin any work.

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties understands how important it is to repair a roof that has sustained storm damage. The protection of your family and home depend upon your roof, so we are available at all hours when you dial (386)754-0261.

Unknown Roof Leak can Cause Mold inside

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Spot on Ceiling in Lake City, Florida home

If you find mold in your attic, you might have a leak in your roof that went unnoticed. A leak in the roof will allow moisture to enter your home, thus creating an ideal growing condition for mold. Before doing any mold remediation, it is ideal to have the roof repaired first or else you may have mold growth again if you wait on repairing the roof after having the mold removed.

The most common roof leaks are the following:

  • Ice dams
  • Missing or broken shingles
  • Damaged flashing

In the winter you could be experiencing an ice dam. Ice dams happen when the snow freezes at the edge of the roof causing water to back up and leak into your home. To prevent an ice dam, try removing 2-4 feet of snow from the edge to prevent an ice dam from forming.

A storm can cause damage to your roof, and it is a good idea to check your roof after a storm to see if it has any broken or missing shingles.

Damaged flashing will allow water to leak into your home. Check your flashing regularly to see if they have any damages.

We're faster to any disaster

At SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, we are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. If you suspect mold, we can come inspect it for you.

If your home or business suffers from mold growth, call us today at (386) 754-0261.

How To Get Rid of Smoke Odor After a House Fire

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Cabinets from a utility room fire.

House or Office fires can be particularly devastating, and even after a Lake City, FL fire remediation team has come into clean and restore your home, the after effects of fire damage can linger for months – especially smoke odor. Smoke has a way of seeping into the walls, fabrics and floors of a home, allowing the smell of it to live on long after the fire has been extinguished. If you don’t want to deal with the smell of smoke after the fire has been put out, implement these smoke cleaning techniques right away. 

Pinpoint the Cause

In most instances, the smell of smoke is not coming directly from burnt wood, but rather from leathers, plastics and other materials that contain harmful chemicals. It is important to identify where the smoke smell is coming from in your home, as this will dictate how you should clean it, or if you should seek professional assistance. If you smell residual smoke in your home, pinpoint the cause and contact your local smoke damage remediation team for guidance. Create some sort of ventilation in the time being. 

Remove the Source of the Odor  More often than not, smoke cleaning involves removing the source of the odor. There will be some things that you can salvage and clean, but there are others that may be a total loss. Some examples of items that are usually damaged beyond repair if not cleaned in time include:  Drywall
Tile grout
Framing 
Carpet
Laminate flooring 
Wood floors 
Insulation  Clean Everything With Odor Counteractant  Once you have gotten rid of all the items that are non-salvageable, you can begin to clean. Professional fire remediation teams in Lake City, FL, recommend using a thermal fogger combined with an ozone treatment, which attacks the source of the odor without using harmful chemicals. Ozone treatment is also helpful in killing mold and water damage, which can help counteract the damage caused by the fire hose.Smoke cleaning is an essential step after a house fire. If you want to ensure your home is free of smoke odor after a fire, contact SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, your local fire damage restoration professionals. 

Winter & Mold - It can happen!

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Bathroom in a residence that suffered mold damage.

The wet season in the winter months is one of the worst times of year for mold to grow and spread throughout your home. Often, mold is contained near sources of water where it can easily grow and reproduce. As it grows, mold can breakdown and compromise the integrity and strength of the source in which it lives, causing more damage that may be hidden from eyesight.

Mold spores are microscopic and are naturally found in the air we breathe, indoors and outdoors. When large amounts of spores grow, one’s health may be compromised. Mold can be killed, but if it is not removed properly, it can remain in the area and dry spores are released into the air.

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is certified to handle mold remediation and is IICRC certified in this field. SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties understands how important it is to get your home back to preloss condition, and we do so faster than the leading competitor. That's why you can rely on SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties as your expert in mold remediation. SERVPRO has professional knowledge and determination to tackle the toughest mold remediation in your home or business.  Lake City (Columbia County), Live Oak (Suwannee County), Lake Butler (Union County), Jasper (Hamilton County), Macclenny (Baker County), Mayo (Lafayette County), or Madison (Madison County) are all areas we provide services in and around.

  

Duct Cleaning Process

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Duct Cleaning Process:

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape an diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor to microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

What to Do until SERVPRO arrives!

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives.

  • Shut off the source of the water.

  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access 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 carpeting

  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.

  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors

  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors

Stay Safe During the Holidays - Be Smart

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

Nothing brightens the Christmas holidays more than a beautifully decked-out tree. But without proper precautions, Christmas trees, lights and candles can pose real fire hazards to homes, offices, and schools. Shorts in electrical lights or flames from candles, lighters, or matches start most tree fires. For every nine home fires that begin with a Christmas tree, says the NFPA, one person dies—compared to one death in every 75 home fires unrelated to Christmas trees.

Here are a few fire safety tips to ensure a merry, healthy, and safe Christmas for your family and friends.

-Get a fresh tree and make sure it’s not dry. Bounce the tree trunk on the ground; a fresh tree will keep its needles.

-Keep the tree hydrated with a water capacity of at least 1 gallon. Replenish the water every day.

-Place the tree in a safe location, approximately 3 feet away from heat vents, space heaters, radiators, baseboard heating, and fireplaces.

-Avoid electrical mishaps. Don't overload outlets. Connect no more than three strands of lights to a single extension cord. Don't run extension cords under rugs, across doorways, or near heaters.  If possible, use a surge protector.

From all of us here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, we wish you a worry-free and safe holiday!  We wish a Merry & Safe Christmas to all of our North Central Florida communities including Lake City (Columbia County), Live Oak (Suwannee County), Lake Butler (Union County), Jasper (Hamilton County), MacClenney (Baker County), Mayo (Lafayette County) and Madison (Madison County).

 

The truth is..... it's EVERYWHERE!

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

Mold.... a factor we deal with in everyday living in Florida!

Let’s face it, mold is everywhere. It can be found indoors and outdoors. It can enter your home or business through windows, vents and HVAC systems. Mold from outdoors can attach to clothing, shoes, pets and can be carried indoors. It grows anywhere, especially where there is moisture. And the worst part is, it can cause a variety of health effects. Children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems are more likely to suffer the effects mold can have.

Mold’s Best Friend:

Water. Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours

Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, 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.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation

Because mold is everywhere, removing all mold from your home or business is impossible. A qualified restoration company understand the science behind mold and mold growth and knows how to remediate the problem area. So what do you do when you find mold growth in your home or business?

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties 386.754.0261
  • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration

Duct Cleaning

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

Duct vs. Duck Cleaning...... There is a Difference!

When you hear someone mention duct cleaning you may think “do they rescue wildlife as well?” As much as we love animals of all kinds we mean your Air Duct System. The ventilation system in your home or business is crucial especially in the hot Florida weather. Most times the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning System (HVAC) is long forgotten about unless it stops working and you’re left in a pool of sweat. Dirty Ducts can not only circulate contaminants such as mold and dust, it can also circulate odors.

So what is SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties Duct Cleaning process?

Our highly skilled and trained technicians begin by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper. This equipment automatically adapts to the ducts shape and diameter while traveling through the duct work. During this process it is also removing any filth or debris before the vacuuming starts.

The Second step of our process is a powerful push-pull air delivery & collection system which transfers any and all debris to a 16-gallon container. The Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system which removes 99.97% of particles in the airstream.

The Filters in your air duct system will need to be cleaned or replaced to finish the process of removing odor and dirt.

As an optional process we offer to spray a sealant or coating product to address odor or microbial concerns.

If you would like us to come give you a quote to clean those Dirty Ducts and drastically improve your air quality, give us a call (386) 754-0261

SERVPRO Handles Large Scale Fire Damages - Cleanup and Rebuilds

5/15/2017 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fire

One of the most severe losses a homeowner can experience is seeing a fire consume their home and possessions. After such a devastating loss, support and clear direction in salvaging whatever you can from fire and smoke damage are what brings reassurance.

At SERVPRO, our staff is more than trained and experienced professionals – they care about people and are their goal is to get you back in your home as fast as possible, while ensuring you are informed each step of the way to ease any concerns you may have.   

It is good to understand the fire types that are most common which can affect your home in Florida knowing ahead of time can help you prevent such fires from occurring that negatively affect you and your family.  

Protein Fire  Food on the stove or in the oven has burned and has left a strong, burnt food odor and smoke residue on surfaces and contents. This is usually associated with meat.  

Complex Fire  Multiple synthetic and natural items in your home have burned, which creates a black smoke and sooty residue on surfaces and contents, with synthetic smoke odors. Emergency corrosion mitigation is needed in this case to protect hard surfaces that are at risk for additional damage from pitting and staining.  

Natural Fire  Shrubs, bushes, and trees have burned, and smoke has come through the structure from outdoors, leaving smoke residues and odors.   

Furnace Malfunction  Heating appliances like furnaces that run on oil have malfunctioned and created smoke that spreads throughout your home. A classic case of "puff-back" can be difficult to cleanup.  

Not Just Burnt Items - Smoke and ash can keep causing corrosion and damage to materials if they go unattended.

Smoke odors remain in a home long afterward and keep causing problems if they are not removed, which is why SERVPRO comes to your home quickly after being called. In only a few minutes after a fire, discoloring occurs on walls and other surfaces. After a few hours, finishes on appliances turn yellow, and smoke etches glass after a short time, while smoke tarnishes metals fast.   

Since not all fire damage is the same, we take the time to identify the source and figure out the kind of fire that happened. We evaluate the areas that are wet from firefighting efforts that could need treatment and remediate any water damage. We also evaluate any sensitive material which could be damaged by smoke and soot particles.

For the aftermath of severe fire incidents, we recommend that you remove belongings, medications, laptops, school books, toys, and other items when you temporarily relocate during the fire damage restoration and rebuild. Then we "pack-out" the remaining contents for cleaning and storage purposes. The use of ultrasonic cleaning & washing systems can salvage much thought to be lost possessions.   We also perform structural restoration which includes removing any charred contents that might seal in smoke like burned wood and insulation, plus evaluate floor coverings and carpets that could need removing. We inspect your home’s framing and subfloors for safety and treat surfaces affected for smoke odors, sealing them to keep any odors leftover from leaking back into your home. We thoroughly clean, eliminate the bulk of odors and deodorize surfaces to bring your home to its preloss condition, whenever possible. 

At SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties, we are ready to restore your home after a fire disaster. With you as our priority, we move quickly to perform expert and thorough remediation once you call us at (386) 754-0261. We also service Union (Lake Butler), Lafayette (Perry) & Hamilton (Jasper) Counties as well as surrounding counties to include Baker, Madison & Branford Counties.

Finally, Land we can call our OWN!

5/15/2017 (Permalink)

So excited to announce we have purchased property located on Highway 90 between Lake City & Live Oak.  SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties is beginning its phase to expand.  This means so much to us that we are able to begin this process. 

Next step is to build a warehouse & office space that will encompass about 5000 - 6000 square feet so it will enable us to expand our staff in the office as well as handle storage needs for our customers going through a fire or water loss that their needs include the packing of their personal property to enable their rebuild.

It also means our office will expand from 264 square feet to approximately 1200!  New job opportunities as well as breathing room for those of us here! 

Water Damage floods Dixie County home

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

What our technicians arrived on scene to. More than this homeowner's dirty laundry ended up getting washed.

Tax time is here and you were one that got a refund, but you’re one of those adults and bought a new washing machine. The appliance guys deliver and install it, you immediately get to work on the mound of laundry that never ends. What you didn’t know is that while you were off watching Netflix or cleaning the house, the delivery guy didn’t install something quite right and you return to water flooding from your laundry room.

 

So now you are standing there in your very own lake of water that SHOULD have been in your washing machine. What do you do?

You SHOULD call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties and let our technicians come out to not only extract the water immediately but to assess the damage done to your walls, baseboards, flooring, and sub-flooring (if applicable). Remember the faster you get the water removed and drying process started the more that can be saved. Not only money but repair wise as well.

 

Our technicians are trained on how to properly use the professional specialized drying equipment such as wet vacuums, air movers, and dehumidifiers to make sure any water is removed and dried as fast as possible. We use a variety of proven and reliable methods as well as equipment to help keep track of the entire process. We always work to restore as much of the area as possible before removing and replacing any damaged areas or items.

 

Don’t think your insurance will cover it? Don’t have insurance? We also work with self-pay. We can come extract the water for you. If you have all the water up already and have torn out any ruined materials, we can come set our drying equipment and monitor it for you.

 

No disaster is planned, Let us help make it “Like it never even happened.” Calls us 24/7 at 386-754-0261.

Spring into cutting cooling costs.

3/2/2017 (Permalink)

Spring in Florida means the days are getting warmer, nights are getting longer, more outside memories are being made. But Spring can also mean a rise starting in your energy bill. Here are some helpful tips to beat the Florida Heat and keep your costs down.

 

  • Buy an air conditioner with a high

energy efficiency rating (EER). It’s printed

on the Energy Guide label attached to the

unit. A unit with an EER of 10 will cost half as

much to operate as one with an EER of 5.

 

  • Install your air conditioner in the shade. When it’s in direct

sunlight, it uses more energy.

 

  • Clean the air filter regularly. Dusty filters make your air

conditioner work harder.

 

  • Don’t cool unused areas. Close doors to cut

energy costs.

 

  • Operate your stove, oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer in the

morning or evening when it’s cooler outside. They add extra

heat to your home and make your air conditioner work harder.

 

  • Set the air conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees during the

day when you’re home and higher when you’re away.

 

  • A ceiling fan cools fast and costs less than air conditioning.

 

 

While your having fun in the summer sun, Let SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties help with the cleaning. We offer upholstery, carpet, and HVAC cleaning services along with our Fire, Water, Mold, and Biohazard Remediation and Restoration Services. Call us to schedule a cleaning now! (386) 754-0261

Mold overtakes a Lake Butler Home

1/17/2017 (Permalink)

The situation our technicians found when they arrived on scene! Wow! Good thing the homeowner knew who to call, SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee.

A common phone call we get around here is “I think I have Mold”

Most Florida natives know that Florida wouldn’t be Florida without the infamous humidity. It’s not uncommon for people to think “high humidity - I must have mold”.

While mold spores are actually already present everywhere, it doesn’t actually start to grow unless conditions are right. Mold and fungal spores are a natural occurrence outdoors. Once it gets inside however it needs moisture in order to actually start growing. It only starts becoming a problem when there is elevated and prolonged humidity, dampness, or there has been a water damage.

 

Some of the most frequent ways that mold actually becomes a problem in a house or business is:

  • Flooding from severe storms or overflowing rivers and oceans.
  • Roof leaks caused by aged/missing roof materials or a storm.
  • Leaking pipes, sewer back-ups or overflowing appliances.
  • Condensation on cold surfaces.
  • Air Conditioner units blowing too much humidity.
  • Damp basements or crawl spaces due to poorly managed rainwater draining or high water tables.

 

Recently SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties received a call from a Union County homeowner who had just taken possession of a home that had a massive mold growth going on. Our Technicians were able to go in and find the source of moisture causing the problem. They quickly got the humidity issue fixed and were able to remove and treat the affected areas. In no time at all SERVPRO had this new homeowner in a safe environment that passed an air quality test. Should you think you have a mold problem or have a water damage of any sort, it needs to be checked out immediately by professionals. Our highly trained technicians are on call 24/7 and 365 days a year for all those mishaps that seem to happen after 5pm or on a holiday. Give us a call at (386) 754-0261 and we’ll be right out to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Biohazard Situation in Columbia County

10/28/2016 (Permalink)

Our Production Technicians Ronnie Wilson & Keith Gwin work together to remediate a Biohazard Situation in Suwannee County, Florida.

If you are faced with a biohazard cleanup, such as a sewage backup, trauma scene, or hoarding environment, there are plenty of important things you need to consider.

 

You should first avoid exposure to any contaminants present. Serious health risks can be associated with exposure to blood, bodily fluids, chemical spills, sewage, and other biohazardous materials. Always treat any potentially hazardous materials as if they are contaminated.

 


Before you attempt to clean up a trauma scene yourself, especially if it involves a loved one, consider any long-term mental and emotional consequences of doing so. The cleaning process can be an emotional and traumatic one. Our Service technicians are highly trained to not only remediate, but handle trauma situations with compassion and discretion.

 


Should you need assistance in cleaning up any kind of Biohazard situation, our trained professionals can clean any affected areas and dispose of the waste in accordance with federal and state regulations.

 

Need Biohazard Cleanup Services in Columbia or Suwannee County?
Call Us Today – (386) 754-0261

 

24 Hour Emergency Service
Our highly trained technicians are standing by. We have the qualified trained professionals who are ready to respond to these incidents. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect during a stressful time. 

Why should you call SERVPRO for Water Damages?

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

One of our technicians using the "Rover" to assist with top-down drying on a water damage in a Columbia County home.

Many homeowners are not prepared for emergency situations let alone when something breaks or leaks. Sure, you may have some money set aside for those situations. Let’s face it though, how many of us would cut those costs if we could? I Thought so!

Did you know that even something as small as a mop bucket being turned over can cause significant damage if the surfaces it reaches are not fully dried properly? Say for instance your washing machine leaks. You think “I’ll just grab some towels.” But what if it has been a very slow drip until it full on sprung a leak? So you think you have saved money by using towels to dry up the floor. However, the drywall, insulation, baseboards, bottom wall plate, sub floor, etc. are still wet. This could lead to bigger more expensive out of pocket costs or insurance claim.

Let me give you a few reasons why SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties can help you save money, and keep your home your safe haven. Our technicians are trained to safely clean and restore your home or business using the following procedures.

1.)    Identify the source and type of Water.

2.)    Measure the temperature and humidity to assist with Drying Analysis.

3.)    Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the areas for hidden moisture.

4.)    Perform any necessary Emergency Water Extraction.

5.)    Move and Block all furniture and contents.

6.)    Inspect carpet and carpet padding.

7.)    Apply any necessary treatments such as disinfectants or deodorization.

8.)    Utilize advanced drying and monitoring equipment.

9.)    Properly dispose of any hazardous or affected materials.

After all, your home or business is a huge part of your life. Don’t let the possibility of harmful mold, rot, and unseen damages add stress to your life. Give SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties a call at (386)754-0261 and let us make sure everything is “Like it never even happened.”

Do you believe you have a mold problem?

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

Mold growing in a room located in Suwannee County, Fl.

It should be noted that mold is actually everywhere. Each individual will react differently to the allergens associated to mold spores. Mold spores begin to thrive and colonize when moisture or humidity is added to the environment. Mold spores are actually for breaking down cellulose materials alongside mother nature. With that said, mold will actually not disappear on its own unless it has been properly removed and the environment surrounding it is no longer conductive to its growth.

Something we get asked a lot is how to prevent mold from growing in your home or business. The answer is actually quite simple. Keep it dry! IF it does not have water or moisture it cannot grow.

How can you keep your house dry?

Prevent excessive moisture levels in the air in the home by using the exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens where moisture is often generated. Make sure the air from your clothes dryer exhausts from the house. Also avoid using a humidifier. Look for areas of dampness or wet spots. This can include roofs, windows, basement walls and plumbing pipes. If a leak happens, dry the wet materials as quickly as possible. Mold spores begin to grow 24-48 hours after a water leak. Small recurring or continuous leaks that are hidden in walls, ceilings or floors present a different challenge since mold growth could be extensive before it is detected. Watch out for dampness under sinks, in bathrooms and below bathrooms or other areas where plumbing is located.

If you suspect you have a mold issue, the first step you should do is contact a mold or air quality inspector. Once it has been confirmed that you do have a mold issue, SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties can come in and completely clean and rid your home or business of the mold. “Like it never even happened” is only one call away at (386)754-0261.

Tips for Fire Damage in a Home or Business

9/22/2016 (Permalink)

This is what was left of a time clock and bookshelf in a business that experienced a fire. Thankfully nobody was hurt and SERVPRO was able to help!

At any time, no matter how new or old your home is, a fire can happen. A number of reasons could be the cause of it. Most homeowners are not prepared for a disaster caused by fire. Fire can take lives, precious memories and valuable possessions.  So if you are the victim of a fire, what should you do? Aside from calling SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, here are some things to consider. 

 
Do not enter your home until permission is given by the fire department.  It is dangerous to enter your house after a fire even if minimal damage was done.  Structures may be compromised. Sometime fires can re-ignite due to wind, movement, or missed embers.

If you are the homeowner, call your insurance company as soon as possible. You need to know what your insurance policy covers. If you are NOT the homeowner, contact them immediately so that they may contact their insurance company.


Replace all important documents you may have lost in the fire.  This may include your driver’s license, social security card, passport, birth certificates, or any other document that is vital to you. 


Depending on how bad the fire affected your home, you may need some cleaning or you may need reconstruction and restoration.  Our highly trained technicians will be able assist you through the entire process of helping you, alongside your insurance agent to get everything taken care of.  Fire damage is one of the most unpredictable disasters that require an experienced team of professional to restore structures affected by the fire, systems running during the fire, and the smell of the structure and contents after the fire. SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties can efficiently and effectively restore your home or business from fire, smoke and soot damages. (386)754-0261 “Like it never even happened”

What is Fire Restoration?

8/15/2016 (Permalink)

Along with Fire Damage is Water Damage from putting out the fire. We specialize in doing it all to fully restore your Columbia or Suwannee home.

Fire Restoration is a process that begins as soon as the officials deem the property safe. Smoke is an acidic byproduct of fire capable staining surfaces such as walls and counters. In some cases, the steps taken to put out the fire itself can actually cause more damage than the actual fire.

What You Should Leave to the Professionals

There are some things that you don’t want to attempt on your own due to the toxic gases or risk of smoldering ash. We as professionals have the proper safety equipment to get the work done without the risks.

  • Don’t wipe down the walls, furniture or any other absorbent surface.
  • Don’t sit on or move furniture inside affected area.
  • Don’t consume any food product, including canned items, that were exposed present at the time of the fire.
  • Don’t turn on home systems like an air conditioner.
  • Stay away from electrical devices like appliances or TVs, until a fire restoration professional deems them safe.
  • What You Can Do on Your Own

  • Make that call first – you will need professional help, so before you try to do stuff on your own, Call SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties
  • Open all the windows. This will get air moving to push the smoke out of the rooms.
  • Move pets and kids to a smoke-free environment. Smoke contains carcinogenic gases that can affect their health. Start with a neighbor you trust for immediate aid then move them to a temporary home with friends or family until the fire restoration is complete.
  • IF there is no power, empty your refrigerator and freezer. Once empty, prop the door open to prevent odors from building up inside.
  • Make not of any items you wish to have restored or replaced. This can be anything from
  • Should you become the victim of a Columbia or Suwannee County Fire Give us a call at (386) 754-0261. We can make any disaster "Like it never even happened”.

    When Storms or Floods hit Columbia and Suwannee Counties, SERVPRO is ready!

    7/11/2016 (Permalink)

    Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lake City.

    SERVPRO ofColumbia & Suwannee Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

    Faster Response

    Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

    Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

    When storms hit Lake City, Live Oak, and surrounding areas, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams seen *here* that are strategically located throughout the United States.

    Here are a few tips should you find yourself in a storm damaged area. These tips will help minimize damage until professional help arrives. 

    • First and foremost, do not operate any equipment that requires electrical power in areas that have standing water or moisture.
    • If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream, or river, if it is seawater, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. For this type of damage, avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.
    • Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas.
    • Throw away all foods - even canned goods - that have come into contact with flood waters.
    • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
    • Only open windows to promote drying if the air outside is less humid than the air inside.
    • If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth.

    Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (386) 754-0261

    How to keep Mold at Bay in your Columbia or Suwannee County home.

    6/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Mold in A Columbia County, Fl Home.

    Florida is known for its tourist attractions, and warm weather. Native Floridians know that “ideal” weather comes the oh, so lovely humidity. Florida’s humidity has the potential of ruining more than just your hair you’ve worked so hard on (right ladies?). In humid areas like ours, indoor mold can create a serious air quality concern. Mold aka Mildew is sometimes tricky to spot. It’s likely to be in your bathroom, kitchen and other dark, damp places. It has even been found to grow on paper, wood, toys, clothes, under carpet and inside walls; pretty much anywhere you can find dirt.

    So you may be wondering what you can do:

    Look around your home’s plumbing and pipes, make sure none drip or leak. Next look around any places that could have moisture, dampness, water damage, or high humidity as these places can cause enough mold fast enough that health problems could become a concern. While on this do it yourself house inspection make sure you get them fixed immediately.  Here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties we have a certified mold remediation specialist.

    Here are some things you can regularly do around your home to keep mold at bay.

    · Regularly clean your refrigerator drip pan.

    · Regularly remove garbage to prevent odors and spoilage.

    · Open windows or use exhaust fans when cooking.

    · Allow wet, damp rags, clothes, towels or shoes to dry before storing.

    · Quickly fix any water leaks.

    · Open windows or use exhaust fans when taking baths or showers.

    · Open draperies, shades or blinds to let the sun shine on carpet.

    · Open closet doors so air can circulate.

    · Open air vents and windows to increase air flow.

    · In summer, when relative humidity exceeds 60%, run a dehumidifier or air conditioner.

    · Keep shrubs at least 1 foot away from outside foundation and walls of the home.

    Should you actually come across mold, do not attempt to clean it or wipe it yourself as mold spores can easily spread throughout the air and contaminate other surfaces. Give us a call at (386) 754-0261 we will get it taken care of the right way.

    Nicotine affects on your Columbia County Home or Business.

    5/20/2016 (Permalink)

    This is a Vent from a Nicotine Cleaning we did on a Suwannee County Home.

    Nicotine is an alkaline chemical that acts as a stimulant by raising blood pressure, which in turn increases your heart rate. It has also been found to act an appetite suppressant. Nicotine is the primary chemical found in most tobacco products. It is absorbed into the body through the skin, lungs, digestive tract, mucous membranes in the nose, and tissues located in the mouth.

    While it has been proven that Nicotine exposure can cause some health issues, what most people do not realize is that there can be traces of Nicotine in the home long after the last puff. The residue left by the use of Nicotine products is commonly referred to as “Third-Hand Smoke.”

    Third-Hand Smoke is caused by smoke combining with indoor pollutants such as ozone and nitrous acid, in turn creating new compounds. Third-Hand smoke not only mixes but settles with dust and drifts down onto furniture and carpeting. It will also get deep down into paneling, drywall, and any other porous surface. These new compounds are also carried on the body of the smoker, so even if they did not smoke inside of a building they act as carriers. 

    Third-Hand Smoke was shown to decrease a home’s value by up to 29% in 2010. According to the U.S. Census, the median sale price of an American home in 2010 was $221,800. Meaning smokers or homes with Third-Hand Smoke could potentially lose about $64,000 on average.

    These new compounds are difficult to clean-up, and have a long life span of their own. Research has not figured out exactly how long it takes to completely remove every trace, but it has been proven over 20 years later, Nicotine was still found in homes.

    Here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties we are trained to handle Nicotine Cleanings in homes, businesses, and cars. We are also highly trained in Fire, Smoke and Soot Restoration and Cleanup, Water Removal and dehumidification, Biohazard, Vandalizm, Crime Scene, Mold, Air Duct Cleaning, Carpet and Stain Cleaning, Odor Deodorization, and Upholstery. 

    Give us a Call at (386)754-0261 and let us make it “like it never even happened.”

    Altrusa of Lake City Annual Conference held in Tampa

    5/4/2016 (Permalink)

    Theme of the Night: Tropical or Hawaiian Night Attire and Food!

    As a member of the Altrusa Club of Lake City, Kim Nicholson has been blessed to be a part of many happenings since 2010 when she became a member. This past weekend a group of us went to Tampa to our annual conference where we donated art supplies to the host clubs charity this year which is was the Gainesville club. We, as a club, were also awarded many awards, but to top off the event the Lake City Club won the esteemed First Place Outstanding Club Award!  In addition we won first place for the Mamie L Bass Service Award in recognition of our Get Fit project last year!   We are gearing up for our Finale of this years Get Fit project this coming Saturday morning with the Color Run!!!

    Major Cause of Summer House Fires....

    4/27/2016 (Permalink)

    Ceiling fire in a house, During the summer months as you try to cool down be mindful of the electric appliances you use.

    In 2012, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported there were 365,000 residential house fires in the United States. These fires alone caused the 12,875 injuries and 2,380 lives. Those number do not includes first responder injuries or deaths. It equaled up to $5.7 billion worth of property damage.

    Some of the Major causes were of course candles, and smoking. But specifically during the Summer Months they found extended usage of electrical appliances such as overhead lighting fixtures, portable and floor fans, and window air conditioning units. As with ANY electrical device there is always a potential of fire. Poor electrical work is often an unknown danger to the homeowner. This can include badly connected circuits, loose wires, and improper grounding.

    Here’s a link to the NFPA with some helpful information to about safety plans so prepare your home and family in case a fire should happen: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/fire-and-safety-equipment

    Should you find yourself in the situation of a fire damage SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties has over 10 years of happy customers. Let us make it like it never even happened. (386) 754-0261

    Spring Cleaning Promo!

    4/4/2016 (Permalink)

    Spring has arrived!

    Spring has finally arrived!  If you are in need of some freshening up and/or sprucing up please remember all the services SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties offers!  We can do everything from cleaning your carpet to pressure washing the exterior of your home!  

    We also provide services to clean ceramic tile, floors and walls of showers can be done.  Upholstery and drapery - we do dry cleaning and or wet cleaning (otherwise known as steam cleaning).  We also have specialized equipment to clean your HVAC system.  

    Comparing our prices to other companies?  We already offer the best services for the best prices!  Our staff is dedicated to serving your needs.  

    Have we got a deal for you!  If you mention this blog we will discount 25% off of any services over $100!  Now, lets get freshened up for 2016!!!  

    Expires June 1st, 2016.

    Insurance Professional? We've got you covered!

    2/29/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties will be hosting TWO *FREE*Continuing Education Seminars!!!

    This is our way of helping our local Inusrance Professionals get their Continued Education Credits as well as learn some helpful things that SERVPRO offers. It also gives us here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties a little extra one on one time with the awesome Insurance Professionals we have come to know and love!  

    Our Class sizes are limited so please RSVP as soon as you can! Lunch will also be provided at no cost.

    The Date of the Seminars will be Thursday April 14, 2016.         Registration will be 8:00AM-8:30AM

    The first class is from 8:30AM-12:30PM and will be on Property Fire Damage Restoration, The credit is 4 hours.

    The second class is from 1:00PM-3:00PM and will be on Deodorization of Malodors, The credit is 2 hours.

    *Please note all courses have been approved by the Florida Department of Financial Services for for insurance continuing education credit.*

    Christmas Gifts for Children in Need

    12/10/2015 (Permalink)

    We were so blessed this year at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties we decided as a group to choose a charity and give back.  We chose to purchase Christmas presents for Guardian Ad Litem program children in need.  We were presented a list of hundreds of children and their age and some of the things they might need or interests and we all went shopping together.  It was a wonderful time spent as a company bonding together and being able to donate items knowing when children wake up on Christmas they will have all sorts of goodies they might not otherwise have had!!  Thank you to these programs for making things like this possible!!  We are so lucky to have customers that enable us to come to work every day and then give back to our communities!  Merry Christmas everyone!

    I Am Lake City

    9/28/2015 (Permalink)

    Owners and Staff of Servpro of Columbia & Suwannee Counties

    We are proud to be part of Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton, Union and Lafayette Counties different chambers!  Our employees all are members of Columbia & Suwannee Counties and we are proud to say "We Are Lake City!"

    We perform carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, ceramic tile floor & wall, Scotchguard applications, duct cleaning to HVAC systems as well as handling any emergency needs that may arise in your household or business.

    Water, Fire, Mold, Biohazard Cleaning are all specialty things we handle - with or without insurance.  

    We also travel to other states among a few are; Detroit, Baltimore, Washington DC with our SERVPRO Storm Team when duty calls to help services other franchise customers.  These could include flooding, freezing & fire damages.  

    We feel very blessed to be able to help individuals and businesses in Columbia County, as well as the surrounding counties here in North Central Florida!  Thank you for allowing us to serve you!

    Storm Prepardness

    8/11/2015 (Permalink)

    Everyone should take into account that we live in Florida and there is always a chance of bad weather, could be a Hurricane, tropical storm or just heavy rain.  But we need to be prepared.  Make sure you have a plan in place.  Medicine on hand, Flashlight, Safety Kit, Batteries, Etc...  

    We also have a program offered at no charge called the ERP - Emergency Ready Program.  It is offered in an app for your phone as well as it offers you the opportunity to be put on our list here locally if we do have an emergency arise such as Tropical Storm Debby a few years ago.  We had waiting lists for many customers and if you have an ERP in place with us it allows you to get faster service if that need were to arise again.

    We have partnered with the American Red Cross to help assist with developing plans for residential and commercial customers so please feel free to call with any questions you may have!

    Get Fit Project - Altrusa

    5/4/2015 (Permalink)

    Our local Altrusa Club has had their Get Fit Initiative for two years running now.  The first year one of our employees - Sharon Pocock - took 2nd place in the Biggest Loser competition and motivated several of her co-workers to participate this year.  From Jan to last week - 15 weeks we had the two owners (Chuck & Kim), as well as Kim's mom (Colleen), and Sharon once again participate and came out in the top 10 finalists.  Our team lost almost 200 lbs amongst them and continue to work together to Get Fit!  Find us on Facebook for more pictures!  SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties

    Lake City Takes A Trip to Baltimore Area

    5/4/2015 (Permalink)

    Prior to us removing damaged materials and dryout

    Recently we were contacted by the SERVPRO Storm Team to travel and help customers in the Baltimore & Washington DC Area.  Our crews have returned home and our experience was a positive one.  We were able to help 22 residential customers in a 2-week period.  Removing damaged items and drying out their homes!  We are appreciative of SERVPRO being a Nationwide company to allow us to travel and service other communities as well as our own. 

    Relay for Life - A Top Fundraising Team

    8/4/2014 (Permalink)

    Kim Nicholson, owner of SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties with her mom and a team member of Team Servpro (2014)

    SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties participates in many non for profit organizations and most recently were one of the top team fundraisers in Columbia County.  For 4 years in a row now, they have set up and manned a tent all night long (18hours) and fundraised throughout the year to help the American Cancer Society find a cure! 

    Panhandle Storm - Floods

    5/21/2014 (Permalink)

    When the Panhandle was hit with numerous storms last month, we sent out head technicians over to help the local SERVPRO of Navarre as their office had water damage to it.  It was a long two weeks and many customers in need were helped.  We want to thank our staff for traveling in someone else's time of need.  It was only two years ago that Lake City dealt with flooding from Tropical Storm Debby.

    Categories

    Archived Posts