Locating Water Shut Off Valves in an Emergency
No one expects pipes to burst, water heaters to break, or toilets and washers to overflow. If this happens, your quick response along with the highly trained specialists of SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast will limit your damages and potentially save you thousands of dollars! Here are some tips for locating water shut-off valves on your property.
How to Find the Water Shut-Off Valves
If you have a water emergency, knowing the location of the shut-off valve could save you thousands in water damage repairs. Home water systems contain two types of shut-off valves: main or master shut- off valves for stopping the flow of water to the entire house. These can be tricky and might involve the help of a professional—like a plumber or SERVPRO. An alternative is finding individual or supply shut-off valves for specific appliances and fixtures. Try these first.
Try to Cut Off Water Close to Source
If you have a leak at your toilet, sink, clothes washer, or ice maker, shut off water close to the source:
- Toilet: Look under the toilet, against the wall for the flexible metal tubing. Turn the handle clockwise until it stops. Do not force.
- Sink: Look under the sink cabinet. There will be two sets of flexible metal or plastic tubing. Turn handles clockwise.
- Clothes Washer: Some houses have the valves clearly exposed above and behind the washer. Turn both valves clockwise. If you do not see these valves, slide the washer outward and you will likely see them.
- Dishwashers: The water supply tube running to the dishwasher often has a fixture shut-off valve controlling it. In many cases, this is also located under the kitchen sink base cabinet, and it may be close proximity to the sink faucet shut-off valves.
- Refrigerator ice makers/water dispensers: The small copper or mesh supply tube running to the refrigerator usually has a small saddle valve or other devices that can be shut off to close down the water supply.
Locate Water Main Shut-Off Valve Within the House
This is the best way to shut off water in your house, but locating water shut-off valves indoors can prove to be a tricky task. It will, however, cut off your home's entire water supply, allowing you to open up any pipe within the house.
Hopefully your water shut-off falls can be easily found--either the knob or lever on a border wall. However, if it’s not so easy to locate, your valve is likely in one of these following places:
- On a perimeter wall of your house
- At ground level, so you’ll be looking for it lower on the wall if you’re on the ground level floor
- In a straight line from your outdoor water meter
- Noted on your property inspection report from when you purchased the house
- Behind an access panel
- NOT under a sink or next to the water heater
If you don’t want to play plumbing detective, or if you need help locating your main water shut-off valves, you can schedule a service call for SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast.
Winter Storms in Florida? YES
This year has started us off turning on our heaters, and grabbing thr heavier clothing, but for some the storms that crippled the US have also frozen pipes even here in Florida. While we have a few recovery days, best to check your home.
Weatherproof your home.
- Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
- Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
- Insulate walls and attic.
- Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
- Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
Have your chimney or flue inspected each year.
If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year. Ask your local fire department to recommend an inspector or find one online.Featured Resource
Check out our infographic, Be Ready! Winter Weather for tips on getting your family, home, and car ready for a winter storm.
Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector.
- If you’ll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
- Keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby.
- All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside.
- Each winter season have your furnace system and vent checked by a qualified technician to ensure they are functioning properly.
For older adults, keep an easy-to-read thermometer inside your home.
If you or a loved one are over 65 years old, place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently. Our ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age. Older adults are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold. Check the temperature of your home often during the winter months.
If a problem such as a frozen pipe that has busted affects your home or office, call SERVPRO for all your restoration needs!
Did You Know: A Water Damaged Wall Can Be Dried & Restored, Rather Than Replaced?
Drilling small holes along the bottom of the wall and ventilating the wall cavity can greatly reduce drying time.
So a plumbing leak or other water intrusion leaves you with wet walls. Here’s the question we at SERVPRO often get: Do the walls have to be removed and replaced? Well, it depends.
In the past, restoration practices called for the replacement of wet drywall from walls. Today there is technology that allows SERVPRO to save walls by drying them, which significantly reduces restoration costs.
It’s part of SERVPRO’s restore vs. replace philosophy, and it can save homeowners (or businesses) a bundle.
Factors to Consider & Steps Involved
When floodwaters or sewage have entered the home—or when structural integrity has been compromised--industry standards require the removal of porous building materials. In most other cases, saving a wall is possible when a skilled restorer such as SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest uses the appropriate techniques.
A common impediment to effectively drying walls is a vapor barrier, which is a material that impedes the evaporation of moisture from walls or other materials. Removing the outer vapor barrier or perforating gloss paint expedites the drying process.
Another consideration is insulation. A wall may contain fiberglass, spray foam, or blown-in insulation. Blown-in fiberglass can compact and move down the wall cavity when it becomes wet. When this happens, the insulating properties of the materials cannot be restored. The insulation will need to be removed and replaced. Fiberglass insulation with paper backing can usually be successfully dried using air injection or similar methods. Sprayed-in insulation usually needs to be removed.
Drying can be accelerated by drilling small holes along the bottom of the wall and ventilating the wall cavity, greatly reducing drying time. When drying is complete, these holes are patched or, ideally, covered by baseboard. The process described above is faster and less expensive than removing and replacing walls.
SERVPRO’s IICRC-certified technicians employ a specific set of standards that incorporate the field of psychometry, which involves the manipulation of temperature and relative humidity, and special equipment to measure and remove moisture and to dry a property quickly and effectively.
Severe Weather Forecast for Jacksonville and Surrounding Areas
Be prepared for severe weather in our area over the next few days.
The National Weather Service is predicting severe weather for Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia over the next couple of days. Here’s a summary of their weather briefing.
Weather Impact Overview Southeast Georgia & Northeast Florida
- Severe Thunderstorm Potential by Afternoon
- Main Areas: SE Georgia & Suwannee River Valley
- Main hazards: Isolated tornado (SE GA), damaging winds, small hail
- Thunderstorms & Waves of Heavy Rain through Saturday
- Potential for a few strong to severe thunderstorms Thursday & Friday
- Severe storms possible with squall line passage Friday Night
- Periods of Heavy rainfall, especially Thursday Night through Friday night
- Small Craft Advisory Outer Waters Today
- Small Craft Conditions Friday Night through Sunday
- Frequent Gusts to Gale Force Friday Night
- Saturday Inland Freeze Saturday Night & Inland Frost Sunday Night
Be safe and be sure to listen out for weather alerts as conditions can change quickly. If you suffer storm damage, we can help! Call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.
Flooding at Jacksonville Commercial Warehouse Due to Broken Water Main
It is very common for broken or cracked pipes to occur in commercial buildings.
This large one-story commercial warehouse just outside of Jacksonville flooded 15,000-16,000 sq. ft. Some 6000 gallons of water were released from the broken water main to the air conditioner chiller unit. Cleanup required extraction of water and oil. Water was then pumped to 500 gallon waste containers to be hauled off by a hazardous waste company.
Notice in the accompanying photo the extent of the water damage. Flooding in commercial buildings can happen very quickly, especially if there is no one on site to identify the problem. What starts out as a small water leak can turn into something larger, and cause significantly more damage than expected. If your commercial property has old pipes, there is a higher chance of water damage occurring. Broken pipes are a common cause of water damage in commercial facilities. It is very common for broken or cracked pipes to occur in commercial buildings, especially when they age. When a pipe bursts, water rushes out of them, spraying throughout the whole building. A busted pipe can cause damage to the walls, ceilings, flooring, and any other contents you have filling that space.
Our customer was very pleased with our quick response and fast turnaround time. No job is too big or too small for this SERVPRO team!
If you have water damage or flooding at your commercial facility, call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.
Flood Tips: What you can do until help arrives
If you have storm damage or flooding, call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have A Water Damage Emergency? Call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.
What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest Can Help With Commercial Property Damages and Maintenance
SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest can help with water, fire or mold damages to commercial properties as well as maintenance and general cleaning.
Preventative maintenance is one of the most important steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of structural damage at your commercial property. Whether lessening the risk of water, fire, or mold damages, there are strategies that can be employed:
- Periodically check plumbing and fixtures for broken or cracked gaskets or seals and/or small leaks. The sooner you catch an issue and repair it, the less likely your small leak will become a catastrophe.
- Maintain landscaping around your property. Debris in drainage ditches, overgrown weeds, or clogged storm drains can result it rainwater backing up and flooding your property. Maintaining the exterior of the property reduces this risk, especially if heavy rains are in the forecast.
- Roof Maintenance! Damaged roofs provide not only the perfect entry point for storm water to flow into your building but can also allow moisture to become trapped in ceilings and attics, increasing the likelihood of mold growth.
- Have a licensed electrician check wiring in the building. Especially in older properties, faulty wiring is a common source of commercial fire damage.
- If your building is equipped with a fire suppression system, make sure it is in working order. If not, be sure to have plenty of in-date fire extinguishers located throughout the property, so that in case of fire, a small issue has less opportunity to become a large disaster.
- Properly store and label any combustible or hazardous materials, such as gasoline, diesel, or chemicals. Improperly stored hazardous materials can provide an ignition source and make putting out the fire more dangerous and difficult.
- Reduce moisture within the building by running a dehumidifier. Especially in the more humid climate of Northern Florida, eliminating as much moisture as possible within the business can reduce the potential for mold growth.
- If you see signs of water intrusion, such as staining or puddling, identify the source, fix it, and dry the area as soon as possible! With porous materials, such as drywall, it only takes a minimal amount of moisture to create the conditions for microbial growth, and growth can begin in as little as 24-48 hours.
- Have your HVAC/Duct Work cleaned regularly. This provides better air quality for the property and reduces the circulation of contaminants. If you have confirmed a mold issue at your business, do NOT run the HVAC system, as this could circulate the mold spores and widen the spread.
When it comes to maintaining your commercial property, know that SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest is Here to Help. Our team of professionals is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for emergency damages. Serving Jacksonville, Callahan, Yulee, and surrounding communities, we have the equipment, expertise, and experience to handle damages of all sizes!
It's the Water that You Can't See
When you have a leak, many areas of your home that you can't see can be affected.
When your home or business experiences a major flood, there’s no chance you won’t see it.
A few inches of water in your basement, an overflowing toilet or a broken sprinkler are tough to overlook and so is the damage they cause.
However, there is a culprit that might not make a big splash, but can cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues: the water you don’t see.
Sometimes you might have hidden leaks or humidity issues that can start small and grow large in their destruction over time. The little leaks might turn into large deluges or wear away at structures, the humidity could make conditions right for mold growth and bad odors.
As a home or business owner, you want to be on the lookout for these sneaky sources of water loss. You also want to make sure that, if you do experience a large flood, to get it cleaned up properly. Improper water cleanup can leave those hidden problems behind.
As the diagram shows, when you have a leak, many areas can be affected. Water can make its way into sheathing, studs, insulation, drywall, baseboards, carpet and padding, wall plate, sub-floor, sill plate, and your basement and foundation.
This is where SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest comes in. We have the knowledge and experience clean up water damage of any size and get it done right the first time. We also have the proper equipment to find any moisture lurking out of sight and do away with it.
For example, we have moisture sensors, which are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls. We have moisture meters that we use to test the actual moisture content of materials. The meters allow our technicians to accurately monitor the drying process.
And if hidden water leads to bad odors in your business, we have the tools necessary to take care of those as well. Some examples are ultra low-volume foggers and thermal foggers.
The lesson here is to be aware that water losses can be hiding in your home or business and if you find them, you can count on us to fix them.
Call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.
Flooding Strikes Three Units in Jacksonville Condo
If you have water damage or flooding, call us at 904.256.4894.
Flooding from a toilet supply line damaged three units in a Jacksonville condo. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest arrived on the scene quickly to extract water and began the drying process in order to minimize damages.
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Here are some steps you can take while waiting for the professionals of SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest to arrive.
Emergency Water Damage Tips
- Shut-off the water source, if possible or contact a professional such as SERVPRO, a plumber, or maintenance personnel to stop the water source.
- Turn-off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water! This could cause electrical shock or damage to the device.
For more information on recovering from water damage, contact SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.
Betty White Challenge – Accepted!
SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest supports the Humane Society and the Betty White Challenge.
SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest accepted the Betty White Challenge and were happy to be at the Jacksonville Humane Society where a big puppy at heart named Thunder, greeted us with a big smile and lots of love. JHS staff members, Hudson Melvin, Olivia Spiecker and Shaina Corday gladly tagged along to receive our food donation from Jonathan Harris and Shane Adams. SERVPRO knows that when we are called, your pets are a part of your family and we want every pet to find a loving home. Thunder is up for adoption and you may want to move quickly, before someone beats you to him. #bettywhitebirthdaychallenge, #SERVPRO, #JacksonvilleHumaneSociety, #PetFriendly, #heretohelp
SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Northeast and sister franchise SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest regularly contribute to local causes, not limited to humane shelters and food drives, but also to Barnabas in Fernandina Beach and Yulee, various boy’s and girl’s sporting organizations, as well as the Council for Aging and The Caden Project.