Recent Posts

Emergency Ready Profile

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) will help insure you and your business are "Ready for whatever happens."

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your commercial facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO's free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.

The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of St. Augustine as your preferred SERVPRO franchise in the event of a disaster. Having a plan in place helps minimize the amount of time your business is inactive following a disaster.

The ERP is a no-cost assessment that requires little time, and can same you a lot of time and money in the future.

Call SERVPRO of St. Augustine today and schedule yours!

Mold

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

What exactly is Mold ?

Mold is  a group of filamentous fungi that are common on food or wet materials. This includes the green Penicillium species that produces penicillin, and fungi that spoil our bread, fruit, cheese and crops. Most of these are Ascomycetes that produce a lot of spores.

The majority of the molds that grow on damp building materials are found in the soil and are adapted to grow on a wide variety of materials. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. There are thousands of species of mold and they can be any color. Different mold species are adapted to different moisture conditions ranging from very wet to just damp. Many times, mold can be detected by a musty odor. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) under the right conditions. All of us are exposed to a variety of fungal spores daily in the air we breathe, both outdoors and indoor. (American Industrial Hygiene Association definition) 

COMMON CAUSES:

  • flooding from storms or hurricanes that bring in outside elements in from outside.
  • roof leaks from water traveling through all the drywall and insulation.
  • leaking pipes, sewer back-ups
  • damp basements or crawl spaces due to a high water table or poorly managed rainwater drainage

Water Damage In The Work Place

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Nobody is ever ready for a flood especially at work ! Water intrusion may be more severe in commercial buildings than in a residential setting, and the effects more extensive. Many commercial structures have a larger volume water entering the premises through plumbing supply lines, and at a higher water pressure. The quantity of outgoing sewage is greater than a typical residence, as well. Also, commercial buildings tend to be of larger square footage than a home, so entry points for water intrusion through areas like the roof, exterior walls or windows are commensurately greater in number.

Water intrusion in commercial buildings can damage high-value equipment like computers and building services such as HVAC, lighting, elevators and security equipment. Common long-term consequences of water damage; like the growth of toxic mold, may be even more problematic than in a home due to the larger occupancy of a business or commercial enterprise. When a greater number of people with a wider range of sensitivity are exposed to mold and bacteria spores, health impacts may be significantly magnified, perhaps leading to an enforced closure of the facility until the situation is fully remediated.

Typical issues from water intrusion in the commercial environment include:

  • Water from roof leaks penetrating through ceilings. Chronic leakage through the roof may proceed unnoticed for long periods, hidden by suspended ceiling panels or in electrical or HVAC service areas above.
  • Ruptures of water supply lines typically release clean (white) water.  Sewage backups or leaks in drain pipes release toxic (black) water that may be a biohazard and require evacuation of the premises.
  • Flooding from external sources can result from heavy rains, storms such as hurricanes, rapid snow melt or local overflowing lakes or rivers.
  • Moisture intrusion through the building envelope is typically more subtle. Humid outdoor air may be drawn in through structural cracks and gaps. Over a period, chronic dampness forms in spaces like wall voids, unventilated attics and service areas, spawning hidden mold growth that persists unseen.

For professional remediation of water intrusion in commercial buildings and secondary damage such as mold growth, contact SERVPRO of St. Augustine at (904) 829-0665

First Steps After a Disaster

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Whether it be a hurricane, flood, fire or tornado SERVPRO of St. Augustine has you covered. When a disaster strikes, it is imperative to respond quickly in order to prevent further damages and complications. Fires, Mold infestations, and Floods from broken pipes, overflows or heavy storms – all such disasters must be dealt with in a timely manner. If not handled immediately you could experience on or more of these issues:

  • If water-damaged structures and contents are not dried out quickly and correctly, potential health risks can develop. Mold can begin to grow within the first 24 to 48 hours after the flood.
  • Excessive water can cause: rusting in metals, corrosion in electronic components, cracking, splitting or warping of furniture items, color bleeding or transfer in fabrics, furniture stains and secondary damage to upholstery, drapery, clothing, wallpaper, photos and papers.
  • Fire or smoke damaged properties can also experience irreversible damage, regardless of the size of the fire. Soot residue is highly acidic and can pit or corrode the metal in doorknobs, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, etc. It can also etch glass in windows, mirrors and cabinets, causing them to look soiled and cloudy. Moreover, plastics, appliances, fabrics and vinyl windows can become discolored.
  • The safety and security of your home can be compromised. Windows and doors may become weak and function improperly, wet materials may collapse and electrical installations and components can be a health hazard when they come in contact with water. Slips and falls are also potential dangers.

What To Do After A Flood

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

With knowledge and compassion, SERVPRO St. Augustine understands that a Flood Emergency needs urgency and sensitivity. Our SERVPRO in Jacksonville answers your call 24/7 with an accurate assessment and easy to understand explanations of the restoration process. We identify the damage and explain the process. Thorough treatment and respect, SERVPRO of Mandarin uses state-of-the-science equipment for drying, dehumidifying, deodorizing, disinfecting water and flood damage.

Our IICRC Certified Technicians use state of the art technology and equipment which offers superior drying based on the science of Psychometrics. This proven, scientific process measures the dryness of the walls, carpet, and other materials. These measurements are recorded in a log and help our technicians monitor the drying process of your property.

SERVPRO of ST. Augustine will monitor and mitigate Flood Damage to your property. Don’t be flooded with worry and water! Don't wait, call SERVPRO of St. Augustine immediately. When water is on the move, timing is most critical. We have served the communities of St. Augustine for 37 years.

Why SERVPRO

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed it is important not to delay. Homeowners know that moisture is the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into a building, the response should be the same. Bring in a certified firm immediately to extract, dry and clean the structure to ensure that there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.

If water has entered the structure through a contaminated source, do not try to handle it on your own. Floods and sewage backups contain multiple types of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can have serious effects on people causing serious illness.  A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, but they also have the necessary protective equipment to remain free from harm.

Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal. These include powerful truck mounted vacuums and pumping systems, high velocity air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture reading equipment, and a number of cleaning products formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. White the technicians work on the structure, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a structure to be safe to live and work in. Any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.

Call SERVPRO of St. Augustine today !

(904) 829-0665

Mold and Mildew in The Work Place

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Mold and Mildew...how to know the difference.

The term “mold” is a colloquial term for a group of filamentous fungi that are common on food or wet materials. This includes the green Penicillium species that produces penicillin, and fungi that spoil our bread, fruit, cheese and crops. Most of these are Ascomycetes that produce a lot of spores.

The majority of the molds that grow on damp building materials are found in the soil and are adapted to grow on a wide variety of materials. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. There are thousands of species of mold and they can be any color. Different mold species are adapted to different moisture conditions ranging from very wet to just damp. Many times, mold can be detected by a musty odor. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) under the right conditions. All of us are exposed to a variety of fungal spores daily in the air we breathe, both outdoors and indoors.

How mold gets into a house or building

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. Common sources of excessive indoor moisture that can lead to mold problems include:

  • flooding from surface waters (i.e., overflowing rivers) or from severe storms;
  • roof leaks from damaged or missing roofing materials, ice dams or blocked gutters;
  • storm-driven rain through window frames, exterior walls or door assemblies;
  • leaking pipes, sewer back-ups or overflows;
  • damp basements or crawl spaces due to a high water table or poorly managed rainwater drainage; and
  • condensation on cold surfaces.

How to prevent mold growth

The key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is critical. In general, mold will not grow indoors without water, dampness or excessive moisture.

Three main factors contribute to condensation of water on building surfaces:

  • Relative Humidity: Condensation occurs when the air is saturated with water and it cannot hold any more moisture. For example, steam generated from bathroom showers or from cooking can fill up the air with moisture, which will then condense into drops of water on cooler surfaces, such as mirrors and windows. Where possible, localized sources of humidity, such as clothes dryers, should be directly vented to the outdoors. To lower indoor humidity during warm, humid weather, air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers should be used. In chronically damp areas such as basements or crawlspaces, it is often recommended that dehumidifiers be used to maintain humidity levels below 60 percent.
  • Temperature: Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Condensation occurs when warm humid air comes into contact with a cold surface and the moisture condenses into water. This can often be seen on single-pane windows, where water condenses and then runs down, causing the wood frames and sills to rot and the wall under the windows to blister. Condensation can occur on exterior walls, particularly north-facing walls, if they are not properly insulated. Other chronically cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, should be covered with insulation to help prevent condensation.
  • Poor Ventilation: Indoor humidity can build up if there is not enough ventilation and exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Where there is little or no air movement, such as behind dressers and cabinets, surfaces can remain cooler than surrounding areas, which can lead to increased condensation and mold growth. It is recommended that the area be ventilated and the occupants use exhaust fans (vented to the outdoors) to remove moisture from high-humidity areas, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. Furniture should be moved slightly away from walls so that air can freely pass behind it. Air should be allowed to circulate between rooms and regularly ventilate to remove humid air. Fans should be used as needed.

Other things that can be done are to clean and repair gutters regularly, make sure the ground slopes down and away from the home’s foundation and keep air conditioner drip pans and drain lines clean. In addition, in air conditioned buildings in hot and humid climates, vinyl wall coverings on the interior sides of exterior walls should not be used, as these materials can trap moisture, resulting in mold growth underneath them.

In the case of floods or leaking pipes, any standing water should be promptly removed and water-damaged materials should either be dried out and cleaned, or removed and replaced. Porous materials that are wet for more than 48 hours are likely to produce mold growth and should be discarded. In instances where the water damage is extensive, it is recommended that professional help, such as a commercial restoration company, be consulted. That is where we can help. Call SERVPRO of St. Augustine with all of your mold concerns.

Mold and Your Health

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Home and business owners rarely think about mold and/or microbial growth until it affects their health, homes, or businesses.  Mold spores are all around us, everywhere, and found in most every home across the world.  In the right conditions and without the right treatment, mold can quickly grow into a major problem.

When it comes to mold, misinformation is all too common and it can be costly to homeowners' health and property. That's why the experts at SERVPRO of St. Augustine, one of the largest disaster restoration companies in the United States, say it's essential that homeowners know the facts about mold.

As temperatures begin to rise across the country, SERVPRO of St. Augustine is alerting consumers about the most common myths that its network of trained professionals encounters when facing water or mold damage.

The three most commonly reported mold myths are:

  1. False: Bleach or other retail products can kill mold on any surface.

Fact: Most retail products simply discolor mold and are not recommended for use on porous surfaces. In porous and semi- porous materials, such as wood, carpet, ceiling tile or drywall, mold's roots may not come into contact with the cleaning product, meaning it will likely return. This is one reason why experts say removing the mold-affected items is the only way to ensure it is removed from your home.

  1. False: Dead mold can't cause health issues.

 Fact: Mold goes dormant until the conditions are favorable for regrowth. Even dormant mold can release spores, allowing it to reproduce and reappear, particularly if the underlying moisture and ventilation issues have not been resolved. Trained professionals can help you identify potentially dangerous mold and ensure affected areas are properly treated.

  1. False: Mold is the only problem associated with water damage.

Fact: When water is present where it should not be, it can quickly cause a host of problems, including structural and cosmetic damage, as well as promote bacterial and viral growth. In addition, mold can begin to appear within 24-48 hours, depending on the nature of the water intrusion. Calling a reputable disaster restoration professional who is skilled in dealing with water- related damages can help you avoid long-term problems and get life back in order again as quickly as possible.

Myths about Mold

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

There are many myths associated with "black mold" If you have ever been in a damp, musty basement, chances are you were exposed to elevated levels of mold. Many of us have seen that little line of greenish black coating near a bathroom tub or window. In case you haven’t guessed it yet, that’s more than likely mold.

Most everyone these days has heard that exposure to mold is dangerous. We hear news reports every now and then, that toxic black mold is deadly. But just what is toxic black mold?

The term “Toxic Black Mold” has absolutely no scientific validation. It is a term made up by the media. Unfortunately, much like a video that goes viral, the term has resonated with both private companies that use it to exemplify potential dangers, and public officials, who seek to regulate the industry.

The (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) CDC state that the term “Toxic Mold” is not accurate. While some molds can produce toxins, (specifically mycotoxins; mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by micro fungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals) the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous.

Mold can come in many colors. Black mold is most often associated with the mold species Stachybotrys chartarum (due to its greenish black coloring). Stachybotrys is often referred to as “toxic black mold” by the media. 

If you see mold call SERVPRO of St. Augustine for all your mold and water restoration needs.

What Is Mold Exactly?

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is word that can scare you but at times can also cure you. SERVPRO takes care of the mold you don't want! Mold is  a group of filamentous fungi that are common on food or wet materials. This includes the green Penicillium species that produces penicillin, and fungi that spoil our bread, fruit, cheese and crops. Most of these are Ascomycetes that produce a lot of spores.

The majority of the molds that grow on damp building materials are found in the soil and are adapted to grow on a wide variety of materials. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. There are thousands of species of mold and they can be any color. Different mold species are adapted to different moisture conditions ranging from very wet to just damp. Many times, mold can be detected by a musty odor. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) under the right conditions. All of us are exposed to a variety of fungal spores daily in the air we breathe, both outdoors and indoor. (American Industrial Hygiene Association definition) 

COMMON CAUSES:

  • flooding from storms or hurricanes that bring in outside elements in from outside.
  • roof leaks from water traveling through all the drywall and insulation.
  • leaking pipes, sewer back-ups
  • damp basements or crawl spaces due to a high water table or poorly managed rainwater drainage