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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Betty White Challenge – Accepted! 

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Humane Society reps and SERVPRO personnel with puppy Thunder in front of SERVPRO car 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.

Why SERVPRO? We Were Named #8 on Franchise 500 List!

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Franchise 500 badge We are proud to be chosen as a top 10 franchise organization by Entrepreneur magazine!

SERVPRO is proud to announce it has been recognized again as one of the best overall franchise opportunities by Entrepreneur magazine’s 2022 Franchise 500, the industry’s most comprehensive franchise ranking. Evaluated on categories such as growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power, SERVPRO was named the #8 overall franchise system, and #1 in the cleaning and restoration industry for the 19th consecutive year.

To best understand and evaluate the ever-changing franchise marketplace, Entrepreneur’s editorial team researches and assesses several factors that go into the evaluation, including costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. Each franchise is given a cumulative score based on an analysis of more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order.  

“The past year has been one of the most challenging for businesses in recent memory, which made putting together our 43rd annual Franchise 500 list more enlightening than ever,” said Entrepreneur Editor in Chief Jason Feifer. “The companies named to this year’s list showed us how being resilient, supportive and nimble can help navigate extraordinary challenges and also underscore the grit and innovation that define entrepreneurship.”

SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest is proud to share in this honor. Please call us at 904.256.4894 if you have water, fire or mold damage.

How to Prevent Mold Problems in North Florida and Jacksonville  

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall in a Jacksonville home If you have mold issues call, us at 904.256.4894. We’ll make it "Like it never even happened.”

When you live in a subtropical area, like Florida, the high humidity can cause mold damage, even without leaky pipes or a damaged roof. And even in the wintertime. Here are some tips to follow to control humidity to prevent mold problems:

The level suggested for the interior relative humidity of your home is 60 percent or less to discourage mold growth. Do not guess to maintain this level. Invest in a good quality hygrometer to be certain your humidity levels are within the parameters that will discourage mold growth. 

To reduce the moisture content of the air within your home, make sure all exhaust fans are working properly in high moisture generating rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry areas. Be sure all family members are using them regularly when cooking, showering, and washing clothes.

Dryers should vent to the outdoors. Remember to run air conditioners regularly as they remove moisture from the air. Do not use vaporizers or humidifiers in the house. If all of these measures do not reduce the humidity to proper levels, invest a dehumidifier to reach and then maintain that 60 percent standard. Be sure all equipment used to reduce humidity is checked for proper drainage of the water removed from the air. Empty the water condensed as needed or set up the machine to discharge into a sink or drain.

Following these steps will help to prevent mold issues.

If you do experience mold problems, SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest is a Florida-Licensed Mold Remediator. Our license number is MRSR450. A licensed contractor has the training, expertise and experience required to do the job well, safely and to code.

Practice Firework Safety in Jacksonville this New Year

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

Ring in the New Year safely this year. Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. Follow these safety tips when using fireworks: 

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

We at SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest wish you a safe and Happy New Year! 

Cooking Safety Over the Holidays

12/21/2021 (Permalink)

roasted turkey with vegetables We at SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest wish you safe and happy holidays!

Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

The holidays are a peak time for home cooking fires. Observing the following tips will help make sure you stay safe from fires over the holidays.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Nor’easters & Tornadoes in North Florida Post Hurricane Season

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

storm battering coastline with palm trees swaying in the high winds Though Hurricane Season is over, North Florida can still get some significant storms during the off months.

So now that Hurricane Season is over, we don’t have to worry about storms, right?

Not so fast. Nor’easters and tornadoes are prone to hit Florida over the fall, winter and spring months.

What About Nor’easters?

Like the one we had last weekend. A major storm system moved through Florida bringing strong winds, heavy rain, and high tides that created persistent flooding. While impacts from nor’easter can be very similar to that of a tropical storm or hurricane they are very different storms. These beasts get their energy from temperature differences in the atmosphere rather than the warm waters of the ocean. The East Coast of the U.S. in the fall and winter offer the perfect recipe for these storms to develop.

What You Need To Know About Florida Tornadoes:

  1. Tornadoes can happen anytime of the year.
  2. Most tornadoes are EF-0, waterspouts that move onshore.
  3. Stronger tornadoes are most likely between February – April, usually within a squall line and can strike at night.
  4. Most tornadoes occur in June but are generally weak.
  5. Florida has the greatest frequency of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles than any other state.

It’s always a good idea to sign up for weather alerts and have a plan in place should a tornado or nor’easter occur. Here are some tips from the Department of Homeland security for making your plan.

Remember, if your home of business suffers flooding or water damage as the result of a storm or tornado, call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.

SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest Offers Business a Free Preparedness Service

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Profile logo The ERP program offers a downloadable app that allows you to easily share the Profile Document with others on your team.

We at SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest offer local businesses a FREE service that can be invaluable in the event of a storm or other disaster.

Did you know that 50% of businesses close down following a disaster? Of the businesses that do survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

No one plans for a disaster but you can be ready if one strikes.

SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest offers a complimentary assessment of your facility that can minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster. This assessment provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services and serves as a quick reference for important building and contact information. We would like to offer you this FREE service at your place of business. It's called SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile™ (ERP), and here are some advantages of the program:

  • Includes a concise Profile Document that contains the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • Offers a guide to help you get back into your building safely following a disaster.
  • Provides facility details such a shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information
  • Offers a Profile Document with others on your team.
  • Identifies the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider

Please call us at 904-256-4894 to schedule your ERP.

Precautions for Fire Safety

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

pot on stove on fire Most home fires are caused by unattended cooking.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in the U.S., we have an average of 353,100 house fires a year. A house fire can be one of the most damaging, and difficult situations to recover from. It not only carries the physical implications of a damaged building structure but also the emotional strain of losing cherished belongings. For us at SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest, restoring hope is just as important as restoring your property. If we can help it, we would rather that you don’t experience these losses altogether. Here are some tips to prevent the top causes of a house fire.


Smoking is the number one cause of home fire deaths in the U.S. If you smoke, it is best to do so outside. A cigarette should be completely put out before going to bed, and never smoke in bed. And always keep smoking materials away from kids.

Electrical fire

The leading causes of electrical fires in a home are old appliances and faulty electrical outlets. Regularly inspect the electrical cords from your appliances, and never alter the prongs on a plug. Avoid having electrical cords ran underneath a carpet and when you are unplugging a cord, be sure to hold the plug securely and not the cord. Unplugging a cord from a wall by pulling the cord can cause it to fray and possibly lead to a fire.


Cooking fires are the leading types of home fires in the U.S.. Most often these fires are caused by unattended cooking. Be sure to never leave food while the source of heat is still active. Be aware of combustible material, and keep it away from anything cooking. Double-check ovens and stovetops once cooking is done to ensure they are turned off.

If you have experienced fire damage, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 904.256.4894. We have the experience and expertise to fully restore your property and belongings.

The SERVPRO 1-4-8 Rule & What It Means to You…

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

graphic with text "Faster to Any Disaster" Timely mitigation is the key to minimizing damages and our 1-4-8 guidelines ensure we get the job done fast!

The longer it sits, the worse it gets.

Timely mitigation is key to controlling damage, downtime, and recovery costs. You will appreciate the rapid response and training of SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest to help limit damage and get your home or facility back to normal quickly. You can count on SERVPRO’s 1-4-8 service guidelines to ensure that timely mitigation happens.

Service Response Guidelines

1 Hour – Within one hour of notice of loss, SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest will contact you to arrange for service

4 Hours – Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest will be on-site to start mitigation services (if necessary). 

8 Hours – Within eight business hours, we will initiate a verbal briefing of the scope of damage and needed mitigation efforts.

These guidelines are a corporate-wide standard that all SERVPRO franchisees are expected to meet. Call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904-256-4894 if you have water or fire damage at your home or place of business.

Three Types of Contaminated Water and Restoration Steps

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

brown water in home at base of stairs The category of water damage impacts what types of mitigation and restoration steps are needed.

When evaluating the types of water damage and how they affect an emergency water removal situation on a property, it helps to know that water losses fall into three categories:

Category 1: Clean Water

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

Category 2: Gray Water

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: Black Water

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

Sewage cleanup must not be taken lightly. Serious long term health issues to adults, children and pets may occur due to bacteria, viruses and even parasites.

Restoration Procedures


Water damage restoration is often prefaced by a loss assessment and evaluation of affected materials into the categories described above. The damaged area is inspected with water sensing equipment such as moisture meters and other infrared tools in order to determine the source of the damage and the possible extent of areas affected.

Mitigation, Restoration & Drying

Emergency mitigation services are the first order of business. Controlling the source of water, removal of non-salvageable materials, water extraction and pre-cleaning of impacted materials are all part of the mitigation process. Restoration services would then be rendered to the property in order to dry the structure, stabilize building materials, sanitize any affected or cross-contaminated areas, and deodorize all affected areas and materials. After the labor is completed, water damage equipment including air movers, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, wood floor drying systems, and sub-floor drying equipment is left in the residence. The goal of the drying process is to stabilize the moisture content of impacted materials below 15%. We at SERVPRO return at regular time intervals, preferably every twenty-four hours, to monitor the equipment, temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the affected walls and contents. 

Reconstruction Services

Once dried we can commence to perform any reconstruction or remodeling services desired by the property owner. These services may be limited to replacing drywall, baseboards, and trim boards, or may entail a complete renovation if desired--including floors, cabinetry, appliances, countertops, painting, and a host of related services,

If you have water damage, don't delay. Take immediate action. Call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.

Fire Facts for Jacksonville Residents

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

firefighters on a roof with flames billowing out of it Most home fire deaths are in homes with no working smoke alarms.

October is Fire Prevention month and it’s a perfect time talk with your whole family about fire safety – including testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarms, how to use a fire extinguisher, and escape route planning.

Did You Know?

  • 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death
  • 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly
  • Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
  • Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan
  • Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of home fires

Are You Ready at Home?

Take time this month to address these topics with your family and make the needed safety plans.

If you do suffer fire-related damage, please call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894. We’ll get there fast and restore your home back to normal.

Common Causes of Water Damage in Jacksonville Commercial Properties

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

air movers in flooded hallway of hotel Malfunctioning sprinkler systems are a common cause of water damage in commercial buildings.

A malfunction of the sprinkler system in a hotel resulted in water damage throughout a hallway and several resident rooms of the facility. SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest was called in to extract the water and mitigate the associated water damage.

This is one example of a common incident that can necessitate water repair and cleanup in commercial facilities.

Following are some tips for preventing or reducing the severity of water damage events in commercial facilities in the North Jacksonville area.

Maintain the Plumbing

Regular plumbing maintenance can alert building owners to corroded or damaged pipes and partial sewer line blockages. A building owner or manager should be aware of the age, condition, and materials used in the plumbing system. Regular inspections can help to minimize the occurrence of a broken or blocked pipe and inform you of measures you can take to prevent backups, bursts or leaks.

Repair Roof Damage

Roofing can sustain damage from high winds or storm conditions. Damaged materials can result in leaks. Building owners or managers are well advised to inspect the condition of the roof after weather events and arrange for professional repair and maintenance if there are signs of roof damage. SERVPRO can assist by installing a tarp on the roof to limit water damage until repairs are possible.

Inspect Sprinkler Systems

Fire suppression systems play an important role in maintaining the overall safety of commercial structures. However, as was the case at the hotel, these systems can malfunction and cause water damage when no fire risk is present. Building owners and managers should schedule regular inspections of fire sprinklers to reduce the risk of water or fire damage.

Property owners who take these measures may be able to lessen the severity or even prevent some incidence of water damage. Prevention is generally more cost effective than emergency water damage repair.

If a malfunctioning sprinkler system or other incident results in a leak or flooding of your commercial building, call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.

Why SERVPRO? We Offer Reconstruction Services

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

before and after photo of a kitchen remodel Our reconstruction services is how SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest makes it "Like it never even happened." Or perfect for remodels too.

Did you know that in addition to water mitigation, fire cleanup, and mold remediation, SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest also offers reconstruction services? After our pros are done with drying out a home or removing smoke-damaged materials, we can put homes back together just like they were before the damage occurred.

Here are just some of the reconstruction services SERVPRO offers:

  • Drywall repair and installation
  • Baseboards
  • Floor repair and replacement
  • Kitchen and bath installation and remodeling
  • Cabinet and trim replacement
  • Insulation installation
  • Ceiling repair
  • Fixture replacement
  • Painting

The convenience and savings of working with one company to assist with mitigation and repairs can be significant. In addition to reconstruction after damage, we also do general home remodeling. Have you been considering remodeling your kitchen? We can help. Does your bathroom need an update? We do that too. From drywall to painting to framing and much more, we can assist with your reconstruction/remodeling project!

If you would like more information on hiring a restoration/reconstruction team, call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest today at 904.256.4894.

September is National Preparedness Month. Are You Ready?

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

graphic with cloud background and the text "Be Smart. Prepare." September is the most active month in the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Follow these tips to prepare.

This week we are sharing some very helpful information on National Preparedness Month from FEMA. National Preparedness Month is an observance every September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is: “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”

Each week in September, the NPM campaign focuses on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families, and communities. Follow the links below for detailed information on each week’s topic. 

WEEK ONE (September 1-4): Make A Plan. Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations due to COVID and the Delta variant

WEEK TWO (September 5-11): Build An Emergency  Kit. Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the CDC.

WEEK THREE (September 12-18): Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness. Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is active and updated.

WEEK FOUR {September 19-25}: Teach Kids About Preparedness. Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

Stay safe this hurricane season, and remember that SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest is Here to Help if you have storm damage. Call us at 904.256.4894.

How to Shut Off Your Water in Case of Emergency

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

a tagged water shut-off valve in garage of Jacksonville area home At this home, the water shut-off valve is located inside the garage.

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 Jacksonville Northwest will limit your damages and potentially save you thousands of dollars! Here are some tips for locating water shut-off valves on your property.

Source: The Spruce…

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, Lee Wallender of The Spruce suggests that 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 (most likely in section 6.1)
  • 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 Jacksonville Northwest to come out and assist you. Call us at 904-256-4894 if you are interested. It would be money well spent to protect your home investment.