Recent Posts

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

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Do you know what to expect in the case of a fire?  SERVPRO of Alachua County West does. No one knows fire restoration like the Pros at SERVPRO of Alachua County West.

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

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

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

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

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Today is National “Don’t Go to Work Unless it’s Fun Day,” and guess where we are? Our lead technician and hero Travis, all suited up to battle the enemy... mold

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

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

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

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

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Who do the “Pros” call for commercial damage restoration?  They call the pros at SERVPRO of Alachua County West. Before and after photos of a large tree removed and tarped after recent storms from an impending cold front.

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

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

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

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage When you have water damage, doing it yourself is never a good idea.  Call the experts at SERVPRO of Alachua County West. Water damage from driving rain. The homeowner dried it up themselves with a vaccum and towels, and had to call us for proper drywall days later.

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

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

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

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

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Strong storms hit Gainesville in the early morning hours of 3/19/18… Were you ready? A large tree fell on warehouse in Southwest Gainesville on March 19th, 2018.

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

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

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

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

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO celebrates National Red Cross month after the busy storm season. SERVPRO of Alachua County West is proud to be a National partner with the Red Cross.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Make sure there's not too much heat in the bedroom this Valentines Day! Happy Valentine's Day, from SERVPRO of Alachua County West!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

Did you know?

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

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

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

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

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

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Celebrate Mold Remediation on National Create a Vacuum day by having SERVPRO clean your ducts. SERVPRO of Alachua County West Creating a Vacuum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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