Recent Posts

Natural Disasters and your Business

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Nobody want interruption to their Business ever ! Natural disasters can be terrifying. Especially if they affect your home or business, and those that depend on you. Although it’s scary to think about, there are a wide variety of different catastrophes that could strike your business, including floodshurricanestornadoes, fires, and more.  If one of these unfortunate events happens, you don’t want to find yourself unprepared! Discover the most important steps to take following a major disaster so you are able to recover quickly and safely.  

1.     Assess the Situation

As soon as the calamity has died down, check yourself and any family members to make sure no one is hurt. If you have any nearby neighbors, see if they are in need of any help. Turn off the gas and electricity in your home if it safe to do so, and avoid entering your home for a while, as there could be damage to your floors or ceilings that could cause them to collapse.

2.     Finding Food and Shelter

If your business no longer has running water, you can obtain it through emergency sources, such as rainwater, your hot water tank, your toilet reservoir, or ice cube trays. Shelters are usually assembled by the American Red Cross in emergency situations for those whose homes are too damaged to stay in; look for one of these if you feel your home or business is dangerous. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as local churches and community services, are also good resources for any needs you might have in these dire situations.

3.     Be Cautious

Disasters always leave a trail of destruction behind; be wary of contaminated floodwaters, fallen power lines, or any criminals taking advantage of all the chaos. Don’t turn the gas back on in your home, as there could be a leak, and make sure your house is ventilated if you’re cooking over your fireplace.

4.     Recovering Important Information

One of the last steps of disaster rehabilitation and recovery is to salvage as many of the important documents from the wreckage, such as your insurance policies, birth certificates, driver’s license, deeds, wills, financial statements, and any other precious information. Although these procedures might be difficult, it will help you and your family recover from this crisis as quickly as possible.

Call SERVPRO of St Augustine with all Your Disaster Rehabilitation Needs!

If a disaster has affected your home, call SERVPRO for all your cleanup needs! Our disaster restoration services are available 24/7, 365 days per year; they include water and flood damage cleanup, mold remediation, odor control, reconstruction services, trauma cleanup, and fire and smoke damage cleanup. Don’t wait another moment if your home has been devastated ! Call us today !

Water Damage at Work

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

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 today !

Water And You

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water conservation is something that we can all participate in, even in areas where water seems abundant.  In addition to saving money on your water bill, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds.

Saving water at home does not require any significant cost outlay. For example, 75% of water used indoors is in the bathroom, and 25% of this is for the toilet. The average toilet uses 4 gallons per flush. You can invest in a ULF (ultra-low flush) toilet which will use only 2 gallons per flush. But you can also install a simple tank bank, costing about $2, which will save .8 gallons per flush. This saves 40% of what you would save with the ULF toilet. Using simple methods like tank banks, low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators you can retrofit your home for under $100.

Using water-saving features you can reduce your in-home water use by 35%. The average household, which uses 130,000 gallons per year, could save 44,00 gallons of water per year. On a daily basis, the average household, using 350 gallons per day, could save 125 gallons of water per day. The average individual, currently using 70 gallons per day, could save 25 gallons of water per day.

Cleaning Tile and Grout Regularly Keeps Tile Crystal Clean

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Running any business can be a very demanding job. Sometimes owners get so caught up in the day-to-day running of the business that they forget about some other very important things, such as a spectacularly clean floor. There are huge benefits to having your tile and ground cleaned. If you have never experienced professional tile and grout cleaning, then you are in for a treat.

Benefit #1: The largest benefit to investing in this service, is that it will change the look of your whole business.

Benefit #2: The floor will look brand new, and your customers will take notice. 

Benefit #3: When your tile, and grout is clean, it changes the whole atmosphere of your business.

Benefit #4: When you properly clean your tile and grout you show your employees, and customers, how much you care about their safety and health because clean floors means that you properly removed the dirt and buildup from them and made your overall building much healthier. 

The floors will be cleaned, and then the grout would be sealed so that the dirt doesn't easily creep back into the grout. It is well worth the investment. Having your floors cleaned is an investment that will pay out over, and over again.

With proper maintenance, your floors will never get back to the dull, dirty look that they had before the cleaning. With the noticeable change of your tile and grout, the confidence in the way you do business may change forever. Your confidence is not the only thing that will increase, your customer’s confidence will increase also.

For more information on having your tile, and grout professionally cleaned, please contact us. We would be delighted to help you give your business a new look that you, and your customers will feel great about.

For more expert tips and information about our cleaning services, visit http://www.SERVPROstaugustine.com/ or like us on Facebook.  We provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Call us at 904-829-0665. 

Prepare Your Workplace

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it recommends your building have an emergency action plan to protect yourself, employees, and your business during an emergency situation. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.

Organize emergency preparedness procedures and share them with your employees.

Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure that all exits are marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. 

Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed evaluate how well the plan worked. You may need to make improvements.

Risks After The Flood

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

While damage to a building after a flood is a given, flood contamination risks often come as a surprise to occupants of a building affected by water inundation. There’s more to worry about than just wet carpets, so keep flood contamination risks in mind when contemplating the clean-up of a flooded building.

First, consult with a qualified water damage remediation expert before re-entering a flood-damaged building to make sure other, more lethal threats such as live electricity and potential structural collapse have been mitigated.

Sewage Contamination

Work under the assumption that any water you contact may be raw sewage or tainted by raw sewage.

  • Wear protective clothing including, boots, gloves, eye protection and some sort of approved face mask to protect against respiratory illness.
  • Wash your hands frequently while you’re in the home. Don’t eat or drink without thorough washing first.
  • Don’t eat any food contacted by water during the flood. If you need water, use bottled water until the safety of the local drinking water has been verified.
  • Clean and bandage any minor cuts or scrapes immediately before continuing any clean-up work.

Chemical Contamination

Industrial chemicals that overflow during a flood, pesticides picked up by flood waters and gasoline and oil are all common contaminants that pose a threat after flood waters recede. Local toxic waste disposal sites inundated by a flood may also release dangerous substances into the water.

  • Wear protective clothing, gloves, boots, eyewear and respiratory protection.
  • Be alert to any symptoms of exposure to toxic chemicals, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, and skin rashes. Discontinue clean-up work and seek medical help immediately.

For a professional assessment of flood contamination risks and advice on how to protect yourself, contact the water damage experts at SERVPRO of St. Augustine – 904-829-0665

Why You Need To Be Ready

6/22/2019 (Permalink)

How to Prepare for a Hurricane.

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes, buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from the coast to several hundred miles inland.

To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at ready.gov/prepare. Now/Prepare Sign up for local alerts and warnings. Monitor local news and weather reports. Prepare to evacuate by testing your emergency communication plan(s), learning evacuation routes, having a place to stay, and packing a “go bag.” Stock emergency supplies. Protect your property by installing sewer backflow valves, anchoring fuel tanks, reviewing insurance policies, and cataloging belongings. Collect and safeguard critical financial, medical, educational, and legal documents and records. During/Survive Follow guidance from local authorities. If advised to evacuate, grab your “go bag” and leave immediately. For protection from high winds, stay away from windows and seek shelter on the lowest level in an interior room. Move to higher ground if there is flooding or a flood warning. Turn Around Don’t Drown.® Never walk or drive on flooded roads or through water. Call 9-1-1 if you are in life threatening danger.

After/Be Safe Return to the area only after authorities say it is safe to do so. Do not enter damaged buildings until they are inspected by qualified professionals. Never walk or drive on flooded roads or through floodwaters. Look out for downed or unstable trees, poles, and power lines. Do not remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear gloves and sturdy, thick-soled shoes to protect your hands and feet. Do not drink tap water unless authorities say it is safe. 

Be Ready

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of St. Augustine can help you prepare just in case as well as take care of your existing fire damage. so if you need an estimate for fire damage? Call SERVPRO of St. Augustine at (904) 829-0665.

Inspection and Pretesting
The SERVPRO of St. Augustine Professional pretests from the type of cleaning that will be appropriate for your type of fire damage, while inspecting the property to determine the extent of fire damage and the scope of cleaning needed, restoration, and repairs.

  • The full extent of the smoke and fire damage. How many materials are affected by smoke or fire? What is the proper method for cleaning? Will your personal belongings need to be relocated while your house is restored? These are just a few of the decisions that must be made to get your property back "Like it never even happened."
  • Unaffected areas - It can be vital to protect areas that were not affected by soot and odor before the damage spreads to these areas. It will save you money, and will also protect your valuables from secondary damage.
  • What materials can be restored and what materials must be replaced. Are the smoke residues cleanable? Who is completing the inventory of items that are damaged beyond repair? Fire damage pretesting is vital. A complete inventory is invaluable! How long will the cleanup take? We'll let you know what to expect.
  • The most effective cleaning methods. What procedures will restore the damaged materials?

Pretesting also allows the SERVPRO of St. Augustine Professionals to focus on saving precious items or keepsakes on your behalf.

Once the fire damage mitigation begins, the Franchise Professional will keep you informed and answer your questions, all while working to help make the fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

Getting Prepared

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes can pose a serious threat to both your life and property. These natural disasters produce winds ranging from 74 to 200 miles per hour. A storm with that much power can cause catastrophic damage and severe flooding. Weather can be unpredictable, so it’s vital to have a hurricane safety plan in place for your business or facility. Here’s everything you need to know about hurricane preparedness:

Creating Your Hurricane Safety Plan

If you are on or near the east or gulf coasts of the U.S. it's important that you plan a safe evacuation route that will take you 20-50 miles inland. Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community’s emergency preparedness plan. In addition, take the time to discuss your plan with any family members, friends or coworkers so that everyone is on the same page if this natural disaster happens to strike.

Stock up on disaster supplies

Don’t wait until the storm hits to get all the products and supplies you need to stay safe. Start now. Here’s a list of basic emergency supplies to have on hand:

Prep the building

No matter if it’s a big or small facility, making sure the property is well-equipped before the storm hits is essential. You can do so by bringing any items that are susceptible to strong winds inside, such as hanging signs, loose equipment or furniture, etc. Reduce the danger of flying glass by boarding the windows with fitted plywood. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Store merchandise and inventoried supplies as high as possible off the floor, especially goods that could be in short supply after the storm. Prevent severe roof damage by installing straps or additional clips to securely fasten the roof to the frame. Be sure to stay away from anything with glass during the storm.

Know the protocol

The National Weather Service forecasts, updates and directs the public during a national disaster via TV, radio, cell phones and computers. Your local authorities will also issue statements if need be. Be sure to stay in the loop, and follow whatever instructions are made to avoid danger. If an evacuation order is given, leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Secure your all the rooms. Unplug appliances and turn off electricity and the main water valve. If time permits, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or move it to a higher floor. Take your pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm, protective clothing, cash and credit cards, rain boots, and copies of important papers, including bank accounts, insurance, and household and business inventory records.

Getting back to business post hurricane

After the storm is over, it’s time to assess the damage. Enter the building carefully and keep an eye out for anything that could be harmful and unsafe. Wear sturdy shoes when walking through debris, and use gloves when moving it out of the way. Be diligent with your search. Possible hazards in your facility may include:

  • Natural gas: If you smell gas or hear a hissing or blowing sound, ventilate the area and leave immediately. Turn off the main gas valve from the outside, if you can, and call the gas company. Do not smoke or use oil, gas lanterns, candles or torches for lighting inside a damaged facility until you are sure there is no leaking gas or other flammable materials present.
  • Sparks, broken or frayed wires: Check the electrical system unless you are wet, standing in water or unsure of your safety. If possible, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If the situation is unsafe, leave the building and call for help. Do not turn on the lights until you are sure they are safe to use. You may want to have an electrician inspect your wiring.
  • Appliances: If appliances are wet, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Then, unplug appliances and let them dry out. Have appliances checked by a service professional before using them again. Also, have the electrical system checked by a qualified electrician before turning the power back on.
  • Water and sewage systems: If pipes are damaged, turn off the main water valve. Check with local authorities before using any water as the water could be contaminated. Pump out wells and have the water tested by authorities before drinking. Do not flush toilets until you know that sewage lines are intact.

Be sure to check all the spaces damage could be hiding. Open cabinets, but be alert for objects inside that may fall out. Clean up chemical spills and disinfect items that may have been contaminated by raw sewage, bacteria, or chemicals. Clean salvageable items and store them away from the damage.

Safety still matters

Keep in mind that recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Above anything else, safety is still a primary issue, as is the mental and physical wellbeing of your employees. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful. Your first concern after a disaster is your co-worker’s health and safety. You need to consider possible safety issues and monitor employee health and well-being.

However, don’t forget to monitor your own health. Be aware of exhaustion. Don’t try to do too much at once. Set priorities and pace yourself. Get enough rest. Here are some general tips to keep in mind:

  • Drink plenty of clean water
  • Eat well
  • Wear sturdy work boots and gloves
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water often when working in and around debris

New safety issues

It’s important to be aware of new safety issues created by the disaster. Watch for washed out roads, contaminated buildings, contaminated water, gas leaks, broken glass, mold, damaged electrical wiring, and slippery floors. Inform local authorities about health and safety issues, including chemical spills, downed power lines, washed out roads, smoldering insulation and dead animals.

Creating a hurricane safety plan ahead of time can help you and your business make a comeback after a disaster.

Tile and Grout

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Running any business can be a very demanding job. Sometimes owners get so caught up in the day-to-day running of the business that they forget about some other very important things, such as a spectacularly clean floor. There are huge benefits to having your tile and ground cleaned.

Benefit #1: The largest benefit to investing in this service, is that it will change the look of your whole business.

Benefit #2: The floor will look brand new, and your customers will take notice. 

Benefit #3: When your tile, and grout is clean, it changes the whole atmosphere of your business.

Benefit #4: When you properly clean your tile and grout you show your employees, and customers, how much you care about their safety and health because clean floors means that you properly removed the dirt and buildup from them and made your overall building much healthier. 

The floors will be cleaned, and then the grout would be sealed so that the dirt doesn't easily creep back into the grout. It is well worth the investment. Having your floors cleaned is an investment that will pay out over, and over again.

With proper maintenance, your floors will never get back to the dull, dirty look that they had before the cleaning. With the noticeable change of your tile and grout, the confidence in the way you do business may change forever. Your confidence is not the only thing that will increase, your customer’s confidence will increase also.

For more information on having your tile, and grout professionally cleaned, please call SERVPRO of St. Augustine. We would be delighted to help you give your business a new look that you, and your customers will feel great about.

Call Now 

SERVPRO of St. Augustine

(904) 829-0665