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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Fire Safety Tips & What to do

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Tips & What to do SERVPRO of Alachua County West will help you get your home back!

Fire Prevention

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

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

What to do during a fire

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

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

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

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

The fire is out.. Now what?

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

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

Don't let you Halloween decor start a Fire

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don't let you Halloween decor start a Fire Stay safe this Halloween!

How to set up your decor safely

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

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

Did you know?

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

So remember SAFETY FIRST!

Enjoy your Halloween and know your home will be protected!

Got Mold? We can fix that!

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Got Mold? We can fix that! Here you will see the air tight Containment a Before picture (you can even see mold spores flying around), and an After photo once it was all clean

Mold Investigation

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

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

How does mold get in?

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

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

How does Mold Remediation work?

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

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

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

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

Protect your Business NOW!

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Protect your Business NOW! The Emergency Ready Profile App

How SERVPRO CAN help protect your business

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

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

Hey, there's an APP for that

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

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

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

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

Is Water Flowing Faster than Money?

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Water Flowing Faster than Money? Fairfield Inn & Suites had a flood and we were able to dry it out and put it all back together again

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

SERVPRO to the rescue!

Water damage has 3 categories:

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

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

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

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

** DID YOU KNOW**

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

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

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

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

How to Restore Fire Damage

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Fire Won't Hold your Business Back

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

OH NO! Not Mold?!!?

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation OH NO! Not Mold?!!? This home had mold remediation throughout the entire house.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Your Business in Trouble? No problem, SERVPRO Can Handle It! Hotel Indigo at Celebration Pointe needed our help with a busted pipe on the 6th floor. SERVPRO was there to help

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

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

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

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

SERVPRO Alachua County West strives for excellence!

We make the impossible, possible!

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

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

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.

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

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are you prepared for the "Storm" if Phil sees his shadow? Phil is watching the radar... are you?

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

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

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

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

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

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial In honor of National Backwards day why not keep your business prepared before disaster with and ERP with SERVPRO. Be backwards! Prepare for disaster now, before it strikes.

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

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

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

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

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

1/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation As the seasons change, and the snowbirds prepare for flight, how do you protect your seasonal home from mold? Suspected mold on a vent cover in a previously thought to be unaffected room on a mold remediation job discovered during duct cleaning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Did you know that there are different kinds of soot associated with fires?  SERVPRO can handle them all! An example of Wet soot. This particular home had Wet, Dry, and Protein soot in different parts of the home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What is one thing that sets SERVPRO above the rest?  STORM Team! Winter storm Jaxson is just the newest winter storm of the season, and one of the many reasons our STORM team is ready at a moment's notice.

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

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

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

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

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation As a homeowner, know your enemy... mold! This homeowner did not realize the mold hiding behind his cabinets until he tried to do a kitchen model.

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

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

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

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

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

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage January is National Bath Safety Month, is your home safe from bath water damage? Bath time should be fun, don't let water damage ruin your day!

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

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

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

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

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Winter water damage in Florida caused by snow and ice... are you covered? Annual accumulative snow fall over a 30 year period in the snowiest places in the southeast.

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

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

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

January and February are peak months for winter fires.

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage January and February are peak months for winter fires. Put a freeze on winter fires.

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

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

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

Are you prepared for Winter Storm Grayson?

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are you prepared for Winter Storm Grayson? Satellite imagery of expected areas to be impacted by damaging ice from rain, snow, and freezing temperatures.

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

Florida Cold Weather Facts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't let Santa's cookies get wet.

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Don't let Santa's cookies get wet. SERVPRO of Alachua County West is here for all your disaster needs, even during the holidays! Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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

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

If you are away, fluctuations in weather, can cause pipes to burst, or having a running toilet unbeknownst to the homeowner is another common cause of water damage while you are away.  Make sure that you check all potential water sources before you leave your home during the holidays, such as toilets, water heaters and faucets.  Even turning off supplies lines can sometime divert expensive and time consuming disasters.  Many times when disaster strikes you have no idea who to call because the holidays are a time many choose to spend time with their friends and family, but just like your family, SERVPRO of Alachua County West is there in your time of need 24 hours a day 7 days a week even during the holidays!

Where to begin when you suspect you have mold.

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Where to begin when you suspect you have mold. Call us today with any questions of your suspect mold problems!

Now that the storms seem to have passed from our exciting storm season, most Floridians have picked up the pieces and begun the rebuilding process or have mostly completed it.  One of the lasting affects of storm damage can happen well after the storm... mold.  In many cases mold is visible, but many times mold hides where we can't see it, detected only by an odor or sometimes health issues.  When you suspect mold what is the first step you should take as a home or business owner?  The first step should be contacting a mold assessor.  Many people do not know that in the state of Florida the same company cannot test or assess your mold problem as well as remediate it.  This is meant to protect the consumer against sub-par testing and remediation by untrustworthy restoration companies.  Once testing has been completed by your mold assessor, they will construct a protocol for your mold remediator to follow.  Once work is completed your mold assessor will perform post remediation testing to show remediation was successful.  Many remediation companies do not inform potential customers of mold assessment and testing, opting for a general protocol in remediation with no standards or post testing to show mold spores at a normal levels when the work has been completed.  Here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West, we prefer to hold ourselves to the highest standards and inform our potential customers of the best way possible to handle their possible mold remediation and encourage mold assessment for the best experience and results possible.

Are you prepared for winter weather?

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are you prepared for winter weather? As your frozen pipes thaw, they crack and break leaving you with a disaster.

Many people who do not live in the Sunshine State have no idea that it can get cold, and even have freezing conditions here in Florida.  Due to our sub-tropic climate and mobile housing, proper precautions are often not taken when installing and weather proofing plumbing in and under our homes.  When we have freezing temperature and rains our plumbing is often exposed and can freeze overnight without a heat source or keeping water running through-out our pipes.  Although frozen pipes can be a hassle when you are tying to make that pot of coffee, or take that morning shower, but the real damage begins as the Florida sun comes out and the frozen water begins to thaw and expand within causing them to burst, and causing water damage to your home.  Be prepared for colder weather by weatherproofing your exposed pipes, placing a heat lamp at your well, or by leaving a faucet running as temperatures drop.  If these measures fail, make sure that you have SERVPRO of Alachua County West's number handy to quickly begin to mitigate any damage that occurs!

Is your Company prepared ahead of time for any maintenance issues.

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Is your Company prepared ahead of time for any maintenance issues. Water damage to an office from a clogged drain line that could have been prevented with maintenance.

Whether it’s too hot or it’s too cold for one employee, it’s never just right in the office for everyone. As a property or facilities manager keeping the temperature comfortable for everyone as well as your tangible property protected is of paramount importance.   With the outside air temperatures changing so erratically this time of year, staying on top of the thermostat inside the office can make a difference in your work space.  Without proper humidity or ventilation control, mold spores, which naturally occur in higher levels in the sub-tropical Florida climate, can form on virtually any surface.   SERVPRO of Alachua County West can help you maintain your workplace by offering carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, duct cleaning, post-construction clean up,and emergency water, fire, and bio-hazard clean ups as well as simple moisture checks. 

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

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

Take the puzzle out of Water Mitigation

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Take the puzzle out of Water Mitigation Solving your water mitigation puzzle

Next week we will be celebrating not only Thanks Giving, but also National Game and Puzzle week.  For the most part games puzzles are fun, but when it comes to emergency water services in your home, those puzzle pieces can become frustrating and emotional as you try to piece them together.  Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West to take the puzzle out of mitigating your water damage.  We can start off by setting up an Emergency Ready plan, so you can be prepared before disaster strikes.  Your ERP will give you all the information you need right at your fingertips on your mobile phone and also give access to anyone you choose, such as an employee or manager.  Meanwhile, if you have or have not yet had SERVPRO of Alachua Count West set-up your ERP here are some important steps to follow in solving the puzzle of water damage in your home or business:

What To Do After Flooding

  • Turn off source of water if known
  • Call your insurance provider (if applicable) to start the claims process
  • Contact your preferred restoration company (SERVPRO of Alachua County West) to get their emergency response team on the way.
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

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

Happy Veteran's Day

11/11/2017 (Permalink)

Community Happy Veteran's Day Thank You Veterans!

Here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West we pride ourselves in not only the job we do, but the fact that we provide a service which helps people in their time of need.  With all that we do, we can never repay the many veterans and current serving military members who make our lives as we know them possible.  It has been though their sacrifices of their time, families, and very lives that as Americans we have been able to have the very freedoms we daily take for granted.  They have served days, nights, holidays, and weekends on our own land as well as foreign soil regardless of their personal views and affiliations and regardless of the views and affiliations of the people they have been sworn to protect.  We would also like to personally thank our very own Lead Technician William Redd for his many years of service in the Army.  Remember not only on this day, but every day to Thank a Veteran!

Bikers on Parade 2017

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Community Bikers on Parade 2017 Just a few of the Bikes lined up and waiting for the parade.

It was once again time for the Annual Bikers on Parade, which began at Santa-Fe College and ended at the Gainesville Raceway on November 5th, 2017.  Many Gainesville area businesses sponsor and participate in this annual event, including State Representative Chuck Clemons (District 21).  The route winds through Gainesville with it's residents lining the street waving, and it's proceeds benefit the non-profit grassroots organization 10 CAN.  The mission of 10 CAN is to honor, revive, and grow Military and First Responder families through outdoor recreation, education, and rehabilitation. 10 CAN is a tribe of Veterans and Volunteers making an impact for those in need. Reconnecting families following combat deployments, developing youth through rite of passages, and building public awareness of moral wounds. This event is an important way to bring veterans and members of their community together and bring awareness to some of the struggles of veterans and First Responders into the light of day.  SERVPRO of Alachua County West is proud to be one of more than 500 a participants in this event.  This event was the perfect way to kick off the days coming into the observance of Veteran's Day on November 11th, 2017.

Thank You!

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Community Thank You! Happy Thanksgiving from SERVPRO of Alachua County West!

It’s never the right time of year not to be thankful. So, this November with Thanksgiving around the corner, we would like to express how grateful we are to you, our customers, who have let us into your homes to ease some of the burdens and subsequent damage that you incurred after hurricane Irma.  We are also extremely thankful for all of our customers large and small who let us help them recover from their personal disasters beyond the affects of Irma.  We here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West see our customers as more than just a customer, but as members of the SERVPRO family.  Maybe that is why more and more families recognize that SERVPRO is the best choice when you want the job done correctly, but more importantly done with honesty, integrity and their personal well being in mind. Whether it’s for water, fire, or mold remediation, SERVPRO has the best solution for you!

 Call us today so we can come out and help you create a free Emergency Ready Plan so you can be ready before disaster strikes! 

Remember Fire Safety during this Spooktacular Holiday.

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Remember Fire Safety during this Spooktacular Holiday. SERVPRO of Alachua County West Technicians cleaning up a cemetery fire caused by lightning and dry, windy conditions coupled with flammable decor.

Halloween is once again upon us as the air gets cooler and drier.  It is also one of the more fun holidays where children and adults can dress up and get lots of candy, but it can also be one of the more dangerous holidays for property and homeowners.  The main culprit is candles, which is on the list of the top 10 causes of home fires in the United States.  When you mix candles with highly flammable materials used for costumes, and decorations there is a lot of fuel for a disaster.  Mix in dryer air and windier weather conditions and you now have a perfect recipe for disaster.  The first step in preparing for any disaster is to have a plan developed in case one happens, such as an Emergency Response Plan offered by SERVPRO, and your second step arming yourself with the knowledge of fire prevention to keep your family safe during this holiday.

What You Need to Know Coming into House Fire Season

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What You Need to Know Coming into House Fire Season Before and After photos of a kitchen fire cause by grease.

The smell of Fall is in the air and the weather is cooling, but did you know that Fall is the beginning of House Fire Season?  Most people don't know what to do in the case of a house fire, because they have never been through the disaster.  That is where SERVPRO of Alachua County West comes in.  Our experts can walk you through the process of fire restoration as well as the build back process to make it "Like it never even happened."  From our office staff, to our managers and technicians we are here to help every step of the way, after all, it's what we do among many other things.  Here, at SERVPRO of Alachua County West, we feel like the community is our family, and as family we feel it's better to prepare for the case of an Emergency when it happens.  Do you know what are the 8 main causes of a house fire are?

1.)  Candles

2.)  Ashes and butts of Cigarettes

3.)  Electrical wiring and lighting

4.)  The lint and objects left in dryers

5.)  Lightning

6.)  Children playing with matches and fire

7.)  Christmas trees

8.)  Cooking

It's always best to educate yourself in the prevention of disaster, but when disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Alachua County West is here to take care of all your needs.  This is from helping you develop and Emergency Ready Plan, to answering your questions, and in the case of disaster being here to make it "Like it never even happened."

What happens after the storm?

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What happens after the storm? Mold found after dry wall removal in storm damaged home.

Unfortunately, for many, it's not the storm, but the aftermath of the storm that affects your home and its belongings.  As the winds die and the rains subside, what is left of your home can be devastating.  Finding help and awaiting answers from your insurance can be a daunting task that takes days, weeks, and sometimes months. Meanwhile, beyond your initial water and wind damage a new danger creeps into your home... Mold!  No need to fear!  Your "SERVPRO of Alachua County West Heroes" are here!  Not only can we remediate your mold issues, we can explain the procedure of mold assessment and offer you sound advice on how to begin handling your mold issue.  For example, did you know that in the State of Florida you cannot perform mold testing or assessment as well as remediate the same home?  This is meant to protect you, the customer from conflicts of interest.  Here at SERVPRO of Alachua County West, our customers best interests are ours as well, we pride ourselves on providing the best services possible.  

Preparing Before Disaster Strikes!

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Preparing Before Disaster Strikes! Start by getting the Emergency Ready Plan Mobile App.

Having a preferred vendor is like being able to call your friend when your in a jam.  When it comes to your business' well being, we pride ourselves in making your disaster, "Like it never even happened." Smoke, fire, water, demolition, and of course the build back.  If SERVPRO of Alachua County West isn’t on your preferred vendor list, we’d like to be! 

As a locally owned and operated franchise, our new friendship has the backing of a worldwide organization of more than 1700 individually owned and operated locations.   To give you a frame of reference, the second biggest restoration company has half as many franchises!  That’s a lot of friends!! And we want to be yours.  

Call us today so we can come out, for FREE and discuss the protocol with you to put the most effective plan in place BEFORE disaster strikes! 

There's an App for that!

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

General There's an App for that! Just another reason "SERVPRO" is "Faster to any size disaster".

Believe it or not, there’s an app for that!   "SERVPRO" has created an extensive app for your IPhone or Android device to address your water, fire, mold, or even odor issues.  The Ready Plan helps you create a custom "Emergency Ready Plan" complete with address, building size and structure, rooms within, and contact information such as your insurer, fire department, and utilities.  The app even includes directional information, such as where circuit breakers, waters shut offs, and fire extinguishers are located. There is even space for you to place photos for those hard to reach or find locations and it's all right there at your fingertips on your phone's home screen.   You choose the information you want accessible as well as who has access to that information at all times, such as employees, managers, or tenants.  These specifics can help you save both time and money when disaster happens by ensuring quick response available at your fingertips.

Call us today so we can come out, for FREE and discuss the protocol with you to put the most effective plan in place BEFORE disaster strikes! 

Are you ready for an emergency?

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

It’s never fun when accidents or unforeseen instances occur, but knowing "SERVPRO" is here to ensure things are back in place "Like it never even happened", gives you the peace of mind necessary to run your business without worry of a crisis you can’t solve. Having an emergency response plan (ERP) is your first step to ensure either you and your staff are fully prepared to get the fastest support possible.  

Knowing where water shut offs, circuit breakers, and fire extinguishers are, can be invaluable in a time sensitive situation.   Even more important can be knowing who to call' and the process to follow to mitigate your disaster as your first line of defense when accidents happen.  This quick action can save you time and more importantly, money!  Give "SERVPRO" of Alachua County West a call today to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind when disaster strikes. 

Did you know...

5/27/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard Did you know... Need someone for a biohazard clean up? We can help!

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is here for ALL your disaster needs.  But did you know that we also do biohazard clean up?

When most people think of SERVPRO, the first thing(s) that come to mind are our neon green vehicles that cannot be missed.  Next, people tend to recall the fact that we "clean up all that water and fire stuff."  As people get to know SERVPRO more and more, they begin to realize that we do water damage, mold and fire damage clean up and restoration, but also much more!

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is licensed and certified for biohazardous waste clean up.  Biohazardous waste can mean a few things, but in most cases it is referring to human excrements.  This refers to blood, feces or urine.  Whatever the cause may be and whatever is affected, we are always here to help. 

Majority of the biohazard clean up that is performed by SERVPRO includes but is not limited to:  bloodborne pathogen clean up, chemical clean up, crime scene residue clean up and sewage backup clean up.  However, one interesting side of biohazard clean up that SERVPRO of Alachua County West is also particularly experienced in is "Hoarder Home" clean up.

A "hoarder" is defined as a person that feels the need to obtain and store away massive amounts of particular items that they deem necessary in their life.  Many people are guilty of being a "pack rat" from time to time.  A hoarder home is the extreme version of that.  Their homes are generally disheveled, with overstocked fridges, rotting food, etc.  This is where SERVPRO comes in.  We rid the home of the unneeded items (old, unsalvageable or past their expiration date), we attempt to restore all belongings and structural pieces that we can and we perform a deep clean.  It is a process, but by the end, we take that "hoarder home" and turn it into a beautifully clean home that one would be proud of.  

Perhaps the disaster you are dealing with is biohazardous waste.  Perhaps you are dealing with a loved one's "hoarder home."  Either way, SERVPRO is always here to help.  We are experienced and will perform the services professionally and adequately.  In most of these cases, people do not know who to call for help.  Well, now you do... (352)374-6589.

One of the Ways We Are Better than the Rest!

4/18/2016 (Permalink)

General One of the Ways We Are Better than the Rest! Owners of SERVPRO of Alachua County West since 2007...Mark & Becky Raymond

Let's be honest...

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is not the only restoration company in the Greater Gainesville area.  You have many options when it comes to water and fire clean up &restoration and mold remediation.  There are many reasons as to why we are the best out of your choices, BUT one of the main reasons is... no one can compete with the amount of knowledge and experience we possess.  

One of the owners of SERVPRO of Alachua County West, Mark Raymond, has been with SERVPRO since 2003.  He started as the marketing manager for a franchise in Jacksonville, FL.  He then moved his way to General Manager and the further enveloped in the company he became, the more he loved SERVPRO.  His son, Jason Raymond, began working part-time as a technician for the Jacksonville franchise in 2004.  Later, he moved to Gainesville and began working for the Ocala SERVPRO franchise.  Mark and Becky then heard word of the Gainesville SERVPRO franchise being avaiable for purchase, and they jumped at the chance!  Jason then began working for his parents' franchise as Production Manager.  Their daughter, Julianne, has worked for them a combined 3 and a half years, as both the receptionist and currently, the marketing manager.  The Raymond family as a whole has a combined 35-40 years in the restoration industry.  But the best part is, the knowledge doesn't stop there!  

The management and technicians at SERVPRO of Alachua County West are not only all licensed and certified for all restoration and remediation services they provide, but they are also constantly learning more.  SERVPRO corporate holds training classes and seminars regularly so as to make sure every SERVPRO is up to date on training.  But SERVPRO of Alachua County West not only wants to keep all their employees educated on topics such as water damage, fire damage, mold, biohazard clean up and more.  They want to make sure that you are educated as well!!  Especially if you are a real estate agent, insurance agent or insurance adjuster.  

SERVPRO of Alachua County West hosts FREE Continuing Education classes throughout the year for either real estate agents or insurance agents and adjusters.  Owner, Mark Raymond, is the dynamic and knowledgeable teacher for the classes.  Not only do you get free education by attending their classes, but you also get free lunch and giveaways!  

If and when you find yourself in the midst of a disaster at your home or business, you want to call the best.  You want to call someone in who has dealt with disasters like yours NUMEROUS times and knows how to make it "like it never even happened."  Don't question who to call; trust in the fact that you are calling the most experienced and the most knowledgeable company when you call us.

Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West at (352)374-6589...  

Not just a BRAND you can trust, but a FAMILY you can trust.

Purple Pint Day 2016

3/17/2016 (Permalink)

Community Purple Pint Day 2016 Purple Pint Day 2016 at First Magnitude Brewing Company. Sponsored by Logokick.com and SERVPRO.

Wear your purple & come join us!

March 26th is Worldwide Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness.  Although epilepsy is a common neurological disorder, affecting 1 in every 26 people, it is rarely spoken about.  

Our marketer & daughter of the owners, Julianne Raymond, is epileptic and works deligently to increase Epilepsy Awareness.  For November, Epilepsy Awareness Month, Julianne created the Tailgators for Epilepsy Awareness event.  For Worldwide Purple Day, Julianne created Purple Pint Day.

Purple Pint Day is an event on Saturday, March 26th from 2pm-7pm to be held at First Magnitude Brewing Company.  Adults, families and dogs are all invited to attend.  By wearing purple and donating $15.00, you will receive a 1 free purple pint cup, 1 free beer and a wristband for $0.50 off each additional beer purchased.  Julianne was lucky enough to have First Magnitude offer for the event to be held at their brewery. If you have never been; you must!  They are a great brewery with a wonderful family and dog friendly atmosphere.  Julianne was also lucky enough to have local businesses, Logokick.com and SERVPRO of Alachua County West, sponsor the event.  Obviously, she didn't have to try too hard to get owners, Mark and Becky Raymond, otherwise known as her parents, to sponsor the event.

So, please come and join us on Saturday, March 26th for a GREAT event!  All proceeds go to the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida to fund helping epileptics and most importantly, finding a CURE!  But as Julianne said, raising money is not her goal.  Her goal is to raise AWARENESS.  Hope to see you there!

Every 90 seconds...

2/29/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Every 90 seconds... Fire in a Florida home that "SERVPRO" made "Like it never even happened"

A fire occurs in the U.S.

When a fire occurs, your main concern is safety.  Once everyone has evacuated and the fire has been put out, you are left with ash and soot.  Where do you go from here?  Call in the professionals.  Not just the brand you can trust, but the family you can trust, "SERVPRO" of Alachua County West.

The first thing "SERVPRO" does when arriving on site is assess the situation.  We will go through your home taking a look at all affected areas.  Then we will pretest the restorability of items within your home.  By pretesting, we determine what can be restored vs replaced.  We believe that every home contains valuable items that a customer does not view as "replaceable."  That is why we try our very best to restore versus replace.

One component that makes fire damage that much more difficult to clean up is smoke.  There are multiple types of smoke, therefore there are multiple cleaning methods used for fire damage.  Examples of smoke include but are not limited to:  wet smoke (plastics & rubbers-low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary), dry smoke(paper &wood- fast burning, high temperatures), protein fire residue (evaporation of material) and fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs).  Each type of smoke requires a different cleaning method and is therefor a cleaning job best left to the professionals.  

Just in case a fire occurs in your home or business, here's some tips to keep in mind...

DO:

  • Limit the movement indoors to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets
  • Keep hands clean.  Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls &woodwork
  • Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery &carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer &refrigerator completely and prop doors open
  • Clean soot from chrome on kitchen &bathroom faucets, trim &appliances and protect with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil
  • Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls &tubs if heat is off during freezing season
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants
  • Change HVAC filter
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system

DON'T:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without 1st contacting SERVPRO
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without 1st consulting with SERVPRO
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to the fire, heat or water
  • Consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet
  • Send garments to dry cleaner.  Improper cleaning may set smoke odor

If you have a fire in your home or business, call "SERVPRO" at (352)374-6589.  We will be more than happy to visit the site, assess the situation and provide you with an accurate estimate for fire damage restoration.  Then, we can make it "Like it never even happened" for you.

Are you ready for an Emergency?

1/15/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Are you ready for an Emergency? Preparedness at Your fingertips

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be "Ready for whatever happens."

SERVPRO is always thinking about the future.  They are constantly creating new and innovative ways to not only make a disaster "like it never even happened" but to also make sure that you, the customer, the one in need, is at least somewhat prepared for a disaster.  One of their newest innovations is the Emergency Ready Profile.  Never heard of it?  Well, that's just a shame!

The Emergency Ready Profile is necessary information that can be accessed either via website or mobile app in the midst of a disaster.  This profile contains where water shut offs are, all emergency contacts, and where electricity shut offs are.  Unfortunately, not everyone in your home or workplace knows this information.  Let's say that one of your coworkers decides to stay late in the office.  He or she is the only one there.  There is a plumbing malfunction and the toilet never ceases running.  The coworker does not notice this for hours until the water has seaped into his or her office.  Now, there is a problem.  The coworker panics.  They do not know who they should be calling, where the shutoffs are, etc.  Instead they frantically call their manager.  Meanwhile, the water is still seaping through the office because it has not been shut off.  More water damage is made and perhaps some items even become unsalvageable.  But, a plumbing malfunction did not have to lead to such a disastrous situation.  Some of the damage could have been eleviated by one valuable mobile app.  

The Emergency Ready Profile is great for anyone and everyone.  But it helps businesses more than anyone.  50% of businesses that go through disastrous situations never reopen their doors.  If some of the damage could be prevented by having informed employees and employers, perhaps that percentage would be lower.  

"Before anything else, the key to success is preparation."  So, why wouldn't you prepare yourself and your business for a possible disaster?  Unfortunately, disasters occur every day, both small and large.  By being prepared, when this day arrives, you will be preventing further damage.  

Call SERVPRO of Alachua County West today (352)374-6589 to set up an appointment with Melissa Doring.  She will come by and set up the Emergency Ready Profile for you, your household or your business, free of charge.  As they say, the best things in life are free! 

Epilepsy Awareness Month 2015

11/19/2015 (Permalink)

Community Epilepsy Awareness Month 2015 Julianne Raymond, our Marketing Representative and daughter of the owners, a advocate and supporter of Epilepsy Awareness.

It's November again...

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month and the Marketing Representative and daughter of the owners, Julianne Raymond, is back at it trying to raise Epilepsy awareness again.  This year has been a great year for Julianne's volunteering and advocacy work.  She was awarded the Champion for Epilepsy of  2015 and has worked intently to make Epilepsy Awareness Month the biggest it has been in Gainesville.  

Julianne decided that 2015 was the year that she would start her own event to raise Epilepsy Awareness and raise support for the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida.  Being that we are in Gainesville, the heart of Gator nation, she figured that the best event would be one combined with the Gators.  Julianne is hosting a Tailgators for Epilepsy Awareness tailgate on November 28th, leading up to the UF v FSU football game.  She has received plenty of support from local businesses in order to accomplish this event.  Backstreet Blues Catering and Winghouse are sponsoring the food and Swamphead is providing the beverages.  Local businesses such as Campus Scooters, Celebrate Primary Care, Craig Bost's Farm Bureau Insurance office, Front Street Realty, Gift Certificates & More and NorthWestern Mutual have all reached out to support Julianne's cause.  SERVPRO, of course, is also one of her featured sponsors and could not be more excited for the event.  We are looking forward to a wonderful day filled with epilepsy awareness, games and a Gator win! 

Were you gone for the summer?

8/21/2015 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Were you gone for the summer? Mold Remediation in a Gainesville, FL Home. Technician is in full Mold protective gear.

Gainesville is often called a "College Town" thanks to our wonderful university, University of Florida, and our college that was voted #1 in the nation, Santa Fe.  When summer approaches, we experience a massive decline in population; a decline of about 3.2%.  The Spring semester ends and students head home to visit with friends and families.  When they leave their apartment, home, townhome, or condo, they assume that upon their return everything will be just as they left it.  That, unfortunately, is not always the case.

With the return of college students and summer vacationers alike, we have had a massive influx in mold remediation jobs.  People return to their homes to either find their walls, floors and belongings covered in mold.  Most have no idea what caused it or what to do next!  That's where we come in.  

Primary causes of Mold growth include but are certainly not limited to:  water intrusion, the improper dryout of water damage, flooding, high humidity levels, and a broken or turned off air conditioning unit.  In the case of a home that is left empty for the summer, finding mold upon returning is very common.  In general, the cause is a turned off air conditioning unit.  NEVER turn off your air conditioner.  Florida has an extremely high humidity level.  A high humidity level is the perfect condition for mold growth.  An air conditioner set at 78 degrees Farenheit, at the very highest, will keep the cost of your electrical bill low all while circulating the air in your home and preventing mold growth.  The second most common cause behind mold growth is an unknown water intrusion.  If you plan to leave your home empty over the summer, have a friend or neighbor whom you trust periodically stop by to monitor the condition of your home.  For example, we experienced plenty of heavy rainfall this summer, as Florida normally does.  What if you have any unknown leak in your roof?  Water damage will occur.  Unfortunately if no one is in the home to catch this, the water damage will only get worse.  The wet walls, flooring, etc are breeding grounds for mold.  While you are away enjoying your summer, mold is infesting your home.  But sometimes, you don't even have to have an uninhabited home for this to occur!  If water damage occurs in your home, whether it be from indoor or outdoor sources, handle it properly.  Water damage that is not dryed properly will result in mold.  Water mitigation might not be the cheapest process, but mold remediation can certainly be more expensive.  The longer water damage lingers without being handled properly, the more damage that is created.

There are many common misconceptions when it comes to mold.    

What you need to know is that mold is everywhere.  There are many different classifications of mold.  Some are more hazardous to your health than others.  The worst of them, black mold, is not always black.  Some mold that is black in color is not actually black mold.  The mold that is in your home is not always visible to the naked eye. Lastly, mildew is mold.  Mildew is simply a nicer and less "scary" way of saying mold.  Fact of the matter is,  what you view as "just mildew" is just as hazardous and harmful to your health as mold.  

Do not down play the seriousness of mold growth.  If you believe that mold has infested your home, call a mold assessor and request a testing.  In the state of Florida, it is illegal for one to be both a mold assessor and a mold remediator on a job site.  SERVPRO only handles mold remediation.  Once you have received your mold assessment and it is confirmed that you have a hazardous amount of mold in your home, call SERVPRO.  Thanks to our knowledge, experience, training and national certifications, we will come in and properly perform mold remediation.      

We Value Our Customers

7/14/2015 (Permalink)

Community We Value Our Customers One of the Thank You cards we received after Julianne visited with a thank you gift.

Beginning last July, SERVPRO of Alachua County West implemented a "Thank You" program.  Once a job is completed with a customer, our marketing representative, Julianne Raymond, visits with a thank you gift.  Normally, she will stop by with fresh baked cookies and a hand written thank you card.  Those that use SERVPRO's services are going through a tough time.  When they call us, it is due to a recent disaster in their lives, whether it is caused by fire, water, or mold.  Dealing with such a disaster will prove to be one of the most stressful situations they have ever experienced.

      SERVPRO swoops in at the time of need as a "hero in green."  Hopefully, we relieve some of the stress that the customer experiences and return their home and their lives to pre-existing conditions.  Once we have a completed a job, our hope is that your home appears "like it (the disaster) never even happened."  While customers are grateful for us, the services that we provide, we don't think that is said enough how grateful we are for THEM.  Without our valued customers, we would not be the business we are today.  

Every single customer we have is a blessing and we want you to feel that way.  We are not your only choice when it comes to businesses in the restoration industry, but we are your BEST choice.  And by you picking us above the rest, we take that as a compliment to which we are grateful to receive.

The "Thank You" system was implemented to display just a little token of appreciation that we have for each and every customer.  Now a days, the personal touch is lost with businesses.  The customer, who is the most important person, is never shown the appreciation that they deserve.  We at SERVPRO of Alachua County West are working to change that.  We have received great feedback thus far and it is certainly something that we will continue to do.  If you don't choose SERVPRO because of the knowledge, reliability and experience, at least choose us for the homemade cookies you'll receive at the end of the job!  

SERVPRO and the United Way

4/13/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alachua County West firmly believes in giving back to the community.  Throughout the years, we have donated and volunteered at several foundations including but not limited to PACE, the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, Peaceful Paths, the Boys and Girls Club and Catholic Charities.  This year, SERVPRO of Alachua County West decided to become a Small Business Partner with the United Way of North Central Florida.  

The United Way does not focus on one charity, it expands to benefit several in the community.  The United Way of North Central Florida has 29 Community Impact Partners.  Therefore each dollar you give is shared among the ACORN Clinic, Alachua County 4-H, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, the Catholic Charities Bureau, CDS Family and Behaviorial Health Services, Child Advocacy Center, Childhood Developmental Services, Children's Home Society, Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County, ElderCare of Alachua County, Friends of the Micanopy Library, Gainesville HIPPY, Gilchrist County School Board, Girl's Place, Healthy Families Alachua, Institute for Workforce Innovation, Kids Count in Alachua County, North Florida YMCA, Partnership for Strong Families, Peaceful Paths, Riechert House, St. Francis House, Suwannee River AHEC, ARC of Alachua County, Guardian Foundation, the Salvation Army, Three Rivers Legal Services and VETSPACE.  

SERVPRO of Alachua County West is so proud to help in such an influential way in our community by partnering with United Way.   
Want to get to know Becky Raymond, one of our owners, just a tad better?  Below is a link about Becky and how she feels to be working with United Way:
http://www.unitedwayncfl.org/spotlightSERVPRO

SERVPRO of Alachua County West... A Family Business

2/19/2015 (Permalink)

General SERVPRO of Alachua County West... A Family Business A SERVPRO Family

Most people see SERVPRO and automatically think of a faceless and large corporation.  Many do not know that while SERVPRO is a nationally known corporation, its over 1600 franchises are all individually owned and operated.  This, in part, is what makes us better than the rest.

One of SERVPRO's biggest advantages over its competition is that no job is too large or too small for us.  Due to the fact that we are a corporation, we have access to unlimited supplies.  If a large loss occurs, we can call in as many "sister" franchises as we need.  SERVPRO even has both a Large Loss team and a Storm Team for such cases.  On the other hand, as before stated, SERVPRO franchises are all individually owned and operated.  So by using a SERVPRO, you are still keeping it local and supporting your community.

SERVPRO of Alachua County West has been servicing Gainesville and surrounding areas for the past 20+ years.  However, the current owners, Mark and Becky Raymond, did not purchase the business until 2007.  Mark Raymond graduated from the University of Florida and worked over 30 years in the retail industry before he stumbled upon SERVPRO.  He then worked as the marketing representative and progressed his way to general manager working for the SERVPRO of Arlington in Jacksonville, FL for nearly 8 years.  When word came out that the SERVPRO of Alachua County West franchise was for sale, Mark jumped at the opportunity.  Not only was this a franchise that he could believe in  but he had also always wanted to own his own business.  In 2007, this dream was made a reality.  He moved to Gainesville, FL with his supportive wife, Becky, and two of his four children, Julianne and Joshua Raymond.  Mark and Becky's eldest son, Jason, already had around four years of previous experience working for SERVPRO.  So once the franchise was purchased, he put his knowledge and experience to use as their Production Manager.  Their daughter, Julianne Raymond, is their current Marketing Representative.  

Altogether, the Raymonds work to make it "like it never even happened" for you.  SERVPRO of Alachua County West is therefore not only a brand you can trust, but a family you can trust.

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month

11/25/2014 (Permalink)

Community November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month Our Advocate, Fighter and Marketer, Julianne Raymond

Not very many people know this, but November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month.  Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that truly gets very little attention, even though every 1 in 26 people is diagnosed at some point in their lives.  Our very own Marketing Representative, Julianne Raymond, was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 16.  Below is a link of her story.   http://epilepsyu.com/stories/julianne-raymonds-story  

Since spreading Epilepsy Awareness obviously has a special place in Julianne's heart, she created a flyer with 26 facts about Epilepsy.  She has been handing it out to all of the local businesses and properties to which she markets.  The flyer can be found in our posted photos.  

We are so proud to have such a strong advocate.  Spread the knowledge and rock the purple!

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