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Florida starts to feel the spin-off of Hurricane Florence

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Florida starts to feel the spin-off of Hurricane Florence There is a coastal flood advisory in effect for the Jacksonville area until 8 p.m. Friday.

Source: SunSentinel

As Hurricane Florence’s path edges farther south, Florida’s Atlantic coastline is preparing for a beating.

The center of the storm is still projected to make landfall in the Carolinas, but its effects on Florida are likely to increase, especially if it stalls along the coast before moving ashore.

Florence is expected to stay north of Florida, which will keep heavy rains away from the state, and it should stay far enough away that lessens the effect of wind, too.

In Jacksonville, the National Weather Service predicts the area will see winds between 15 mph and 30 mph. There’s a 20 percent chance or less that portions of Northern and Central Florida will experience tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or more.

There is a coastal flood advisory in effect for the Jacksonville area until 8 p.m. Friday. That is due to a combination of the higher seas caused by Florence and the seasonal king tides now taking place.

Hurricane Florence Now Category 3 – Expected Jacksonville Area Impacts

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricane Florence Now Category 3 – Expected Jacksonville Area Impacts  The entire East Coast is on alert as Hurricane Florence moves steadily in our direction.

Source: Action News Jax

MONDAY 11 A.M. | Florence has regained strengthen and is now a category 3 hurricane. 

JACKSONVILLE & VICINITY - FLORENCE IMPACTS: An increasing easterly swell at our beaches from distant Florence which will include a heightened rip current risk through Tuesday. Thereafter - primary impacts look to be a breeze & very rough seas/surf & rip currents AS LONG AS FLORENCE STAYS NORTH & EAST OF JACKSONVILLE - stay up to date on the latest & potentially changeable forecasts. In other words, on the forecast track, Florence locally will primarily effect the beaches & ocean.  All boaters should stay in port beginning Wed.

As for the big picture, Hurricane Florence appears to be taking aim at the largest U.S. Marine Corps base on the East Coast.

Camp Lejeune has an extensive beachfront about 50 miles northeast of Wilmington and it's well within the National Hurricane Center's forecast "cone."

The hurricane's path is still far from certain Monday. The rapidly intensifying storm could strike a direct and dangerous blow anywhere from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic region later this week, possibly as a fearsome category 4.

Since a recurve looks very unlikely, major to severe impacts can be expected on the South Carolina and North Carolina coasts.

As for the forecast models, there was a notable shift north over the weekend, but seemingly a recent stabilization pointing to the Carolinas. This could be because of the aircraft analysis that was ingested into the computer models Sat./Sunday. 

Virtually all reliable global models are -- for now -- not far from Myrtle Beach. The UKMET model has shown the greatest shift north and is even north of the European and GFS models.

Water Damage Restoration Service in Nassau County/North Jax

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Restoration Service in Nassau County/North Jax Time is of the essence in the aftermath of a flood in order to prevent mold growth.

From estimation to completion, our experienced team at SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee is ready to handle your home’s water damage cleanup and restoration needs. With our help you can rest assured that your assets will be protected and damage kept minimal.

Our trained technicians will use specialized equipment to find out just how severe your water damage problem actually is. Once they’ve evaluated the damage, they’ll get rid of any standing water then begin the drying process.

Steps to take when Water Damage Strikes:

  • Act Quickly: The severity of damage escalates the longer water sits and building components and contents stay wet, so time is of the essence in the aftermath of a flood. In fact, mold will grow within 48-72 hours, so aim to start removing water and drying the environment within 48 hours.
  • Ventilate affected areas to prevent mold growth: Mold spores love moisture and organic materials such as paper or particleboard. In order to mitigate or slow damage, open windows if weather permits and place fans inside of them to keep air moving and maintain moderate temperatures. Work toward the fan as you clean to minimize cross contamination.
  • Assess damage to items and materials: Assess the type of water absorbed by items, such as rainwater, water from broken pipes, contaminated river water or bacteria-filled sewage. There are ways to salvage specialty items but the decision on whether to save or trash an item will vary depending on the dollar and sentimental value to the owner. It may not be worthwhile to salvage drywall, carpets and pads, mattresses, pillows, box springs and particleboard. On the other hand, it might be worthwhile to restore costly Persian rugs, leather couches and antiques or heirlooms. Wet clothing and many household fabrics may be salvageable through machine washing, and a 10-minute soak in detergent and hot water, to remove contamination and stains. The IICRC strongly recommends that in water damages where there are contaminants present (e.g., bacteria, sewage, mold) or where small children or immune-compromised individuals are present that an inspection be conducted by an appropriately trained restorer and remediator. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee is a Florida-licensed mold remediator (MRSR450).
  • Expose pockets of saturation: Hidden and concealed pockets of saturation need to be opened for cleaning and drying. Layers between building materials hold water that must be discovered and removed or dried. On walls, find the water line and inspect at least a foot beyond it to make sure all damage, wet materials and mold are discovered. Remove and discard the damaged drywall and wet wall insulation. Wet carpets can usually be dried by professionals with the right equipment, but carpet padding, which is like a big sponge, should be discarded. Wood base trim and hardwood can also be saved with the right equipment if they can be accessed and completely dried on both sides. Remember to investigate concealed cavities such as behind walls, in mechanical spaces, under cabinets and furniture, and in crawl spaces.
  • Confirm drying before reconstruction: In order to prevent dry rot and structural damage, it’s important not to reconstruct or cover wood and other wet materials until the moisture content has been adequately reduced. A water restoration professional can confirm proper drying before reconstruction. Call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904-729-2401 to ensure proper drying has taken place.

Safest Place in your Home to be During a Hurricane

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

Article Source: Act for Libraries…

Hurricane season begins on June 1st and lasts until November 30th. For those five months, people who live in any area where hurricanes pose any kind of threat, regardless of whether it is a direct threat or the threat from storm related feeder bands and other problems, finding a safe place to stay while at home is an important consideration. Most homes in hurricane prone areas don’t have basements, but a basement might not be the safest place, especially if there is any possibility of flooding in that basement. If you live in an area where you may be subject to a direct or indirect hit from a hurricane, part of your hurricane readiness preparations should involve finding a safe and secure place in your home to stay if you don’t have to evacuate.

In most places, a mandatory hurricane evacuation order won’t be issued unless there is a threat of a category three hurricane or worse. For that reason, many people will opt to stay at home rather than head to a shelter for minimal to moderate hurricanes. That being said, as long as precautions are taken to batten down the hatches and secure the home to the greatest possible extent, unless you live in a very low lying area where flooding from storm surges will flood your home, you can create a safe haven in which you and your family can gather to wait out the storm. 

Avoid staying in any room where there are windows or other things that become projectiles when the windows break because of the intensity of the wind. Avoid staying on an upper floor because you could be seriously hurt if the roof of your house was to collapse. A collapsed roof isn’t an uncommon occurrence during the hurricane season.

What to look for when considering a safe place in your home…

You should also go to a windowless place on the interior of your home. The strength of winds can cause windows to break and you don’t want to be in a place where you could be hit by flying glass or other debris. You should close blinds, curtains or drapes on all windows and don’t open them until you are sure that the storm has passed. Avoid places that may be prone to flooding. 


*A windowless interior bathroom –

A windowless bathroom that is away from exterior walls can be a good place because there will be plumbing pipes that can provide additional protection besides the heavy walls. Moreover, this is the place that weather authorities often recommend that people go to during tornado warnings – especially when there is no basement.

*An interior closet 

A closet can also be a good place to go for protection when you need to wait out a hurricane. If you have a large walk-in closet, gather blankets and pillows, plenty of non-perishable food, hand sanitizer, napkins, paper plates and plastic utensils, plenty of water and flashlights, batteries, a battery powered radio and your cell phone. A weather radio can be very handy at a time like this as well.

*A windowless hallway –

If you don’t have a bathroom or a bedroom or other closet that is not on an outside wall or that doesn’t have windows, look for a hallway on the interior of your home. You want to be in a place where there are no windows and where you can’t be hurt if a roof or outside wall was to collapse. 

*Under a stairwell –

If you have a two story home, you may find that the safest place, other than an interior room may be a stairwell, provided it isn’t too close to windows or a door. A closet or alcove under a staircase can be a great place to go for safety during a home. Bring in plenty of pillows, blankets and a mattress if one will fit, because you can always use a mattress to cover yourself and your family as a means of protection from flying objects. 

*Creating an in-home storm shelter  –

Some people may choose to spend the money to have a place in their home reinforced so that it is more secure and offers greater safety from both hurricanes and tornadoes. These reinforced places are designed to withstand strong winds and flying debris, allowing you to be safer than you would otherwise. These are basically an indoor equivalent to the old outdoor storm or bomb shelters. You might not want to be in an underground place if flooding is a likely possibility. 

Most of all, when staying in your home during a hurricane, you need to exercise many of the same precautions that are used for tornado warnings. Have mattresses on hand so that you can use them both to sleep on and to cover yourself with if the need for protective cover should arise. You may also want to have blankets and pillows. Be sure you have plenty of water and a hurricane readiness kit that is filled with non-perishable foods, medications that people may need, batteries, flashlights or battery powered lanterns, a NOAA weather or other radio and things to keep people entertained such as cards or board games.

With a hurricane, don’t be fooled by what may seem like a lull because that may merely be the eye of the storm and the worst is yet to come. Remain indoors until you hear something on the radio that advises you that it is safe to go outside. When you do venture out, be on the lookout for downed power lines, broken windows and other debris that can inflict injury, and never touch a power line because it is probably still live.

Above all, be sure to heed all warnings and evacuation notices.

If you have storm damage, call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904.729.2401.

8 Tips for Avoiding Plumbing Emergencies

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 8 Tips for Avoiding Plumbing Emergencies It pays to know where your water shut-offs valves are located, and if they are operational.

Source: Water Damage Defense…

Plumbing maintenance may not be the most exciting topic, but it is well worth your attention! By regularly examining your plumbing system, and performing preventative maintenance, you can save yourself from both costly repair bills and the slow, steady expense caused by drips and leaks. Here is a maintenance checklist to help you stay ahead of common plumbing problems.

  1. Water heater: Many plumbers recommend draining and cleaning your water heater annually. Most people hire a professional to handle these tasks, due to their technical nature, and often they are even included in your plumbing fixture’s service contract.
  2. Valves: Locate all your shut-off valves and turn them off, then back to their original position, to make sure they would not be stuck open in the event that you need to shut the water off. While you are at it, look them over for any sign of corrosion, which could lead to an undetected leak. Replace any valves that are not working properly. Finally, make sure that your entire family knows where your shutoff valves are located, especially the main one, since this is very valuable information in case a leak occurs.
  3. Leaks: Leaks can develop in many different places in your plumbing system and should be addressed immediately to curtail waste and water damage. Periodically check for any of the following signs of trouble: soft flooring near toilets, bathtubs, dishwashers, water heaters or washing machines; dampness inside sink cabinets; soft walls or loose tiles that could signal a leak inside a wall; pipes with rust or mineral deposits; constant dampness around faucets or toilets; and finally toilets that keep running after being flushed. Use water shut off valve or water leak detection systems to alert you when water leaks occur.
  4. Old or malfunctioning fixtures: Generally, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, and boilers that are more than 12 years old are good candidates for replacement. New appliances will be more energy and water efficient. Check the item’s serial number, since this often indicates the year it was manufactured. Companies use a variety of coding methods, so perform a quick internet search to find out what to look for. Additionally, replace old faucets with new, washer-less models to save on maintenance costs, and replace any hardened or cracked hoses on washers and dishwashers to reduce the risk of a rupture. The old adage “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” does not always make sense when it comes to plumbing! Keep in mind that by swapping the old plumbing fixtures for new, more efficient models you could save money every month on your energy and water bills in addition to avoiding costly water damage repair bills.
  5. Caulking: Check and re-do any aging caulking around bathtubs, showers, toilets, and sinks that might be allowing water to penetrate the surrounding structure.
  6. Septic: If you have a septic system, any persistently marshy areas in your drainage field may signal a leak in your septic line. Although pumping a septic tank is an essential element of plumbing maintenance, there is no hard and fast rule governing how frequently you should pump the tank. It depends on several factors, like the number of people in your household, whether there is a garbage disposal, the size of your tank, its system design, and even the temperature in your region. Consult a septic expert to find out how often you should pump your septic tank.
  7. Low water pressure: Test for low water pressure by running water from your tub faucet and then opening the kitchen faucet. If the pressure decreases when you open the second faucet, you should get a plumber to analyze the problem. Low water pressure is often caused by a leaks or sediment build-up in pipes.
  8. Drains: Clogged drainpipes can often be avoided by regularly cleaning your drains with an eco-friendly drain cleaner. One easy way to clean your kitchen garbage disposal is to send some ice through it to clean out any grease that may have accumulated inside. Also, look for bubbles escaping up from a drain while water is trying to go down, as this could indicate a drain vent problem.

 Whether you perform these maintenance checks yourself or hire a professional to handle them, it is a worthwhile investment of your time or money. By taking preventative measures, you greatly reduce the risk that you encounter costly surprises down the road.

 If you do have water damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904.729.2401.

Conditions in Nassau County/North Jacksonville Right For Mold

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Conditions in Nassau County/North Jacksonville Right For Mold If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904.729.2401.

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee to assess the situation. We are Florida-licensed mold remediators and have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business. If you suspect mold, call us today at 904.729.2401.

Hurricane Preparedness: Check Out the FEMA App  

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricane Preparedness: Check Out the FEMA App    The FEMA app is available to download for free for iOS and Android at the Apple Store and on Google.

We are well into Hurricane Season in North Florida and thought it would be a good time to introduce you to the FEMA App.

The FEMA App provides timely alerts and useful information to help you and your loved ones stay safe before, during and after disasters. You can receive fast and reliable notifications about severe weather for up to five locations nationwide. This simple and easy-to-use resource also provides safety information, emergency preparedness tips, and disaster assistance. In the midst of an emergency, the app can give you directions to open shelters nearby, help you locate someone to talk to at a Disaster Recovery Center, and let you share images of damage and recovery efforts to help first responders and emergency managers.

• Receive real-time alerts from the U.S. National Weather Service
• Monitor severe weather for up to five locations nationwide
• Know what to do before, during, and after disasters, including flooding, fires, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, volcanoes, and more
• Prepare for disasters with an emergency kit checklist, emergency family plan, and reminders
• Locate open emergency shelters in your area
• Locate Disaster Recovery Centers near you where you can talk to a FEMA representative in person
• Connect with FEMA to apply for disaster assistance online
• Upload and share disaster photos with our Disaster Reporter
• Toggle between English and Spanish
• Follow the FEMA blog to learn about the work FEMA does across the United States

Receive notifications about severe weather for the locations that matter to you – where your loved ones live, where you travel to, where your team plays, where you vacation. The FEMA App is perfect for emergency managers, weather junkies, property owners, businesses, non-profit organizations, outdoorsy types, travelers, commuters, vacationers, empty-nesters, coastal residents, islanders, and anyone interested in staying safe and informed.

The app is available to download for free for iOS and Android at the Apple Store and on Google.

If you suffer water damage as the result of a storm, please call SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904.729.2401.

Fire Prevention Tip: Why Cleaning Dryer Vents is So Important!

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Prevention Tip: Why Cleaning Dryer Vents is So Important! It is important to clean the lint filter before and after each load.

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home, SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee can help clean vents and ducts that may have lint build-up.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Association include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by obstacles. Do not use a dryer that does not have a lint filter.

Your first hint that you need to check your vents is when your clothing doesn’t dry after a normal drying cycle.

Other hints include a musty odor in the clothing following the drying cycle, clothes that seem unusually hot to the touch, or excessive heat in the laundry room.

If you would like your dryer vent cleaned to minimize risk of fires, call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904.729.2401.

Fourth of July Tip From NFPA: Attend Public Fireworks Displays

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fourth of July Tip From NFPA: Attend Public Fireworks Displays In recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment.

Legal or not fireworks are too risky for amateurs

That's the message from the National Fire Protection Association who urges families to attend public fireworks displays rather than using fireworks at home or parties. NFPA says that... Permanent scarring, loss of vision, dismemberment – these are too often the harsh realities of amateur fireworks use. To keep the public safe from fireworks-related injuries and deaths, NFPA urges everyone to treat fireworks, whether legal or illegal for consumers, as suitable only for use by trained professionals. 

According to NFPA, amateur fireworks use endangers not only the users, but also bystanders and surrounding property and structures. Pyrotechnic devices ranging from sparklers to aerial rockets cause thousands of fires and serious injuries each year.

"There are no such things as safe fireworks," says NFPA Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy Lorraine Carli. "The power and danger of fireworks should not be underestimated.”

In recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment. Fireworks can result in severe burns, fractures, scars or even disfigurement or death. The thousands of serious injuries each year typically harm the eyes, head or hands, and are mostly reported in states where fireworks are legal. Even sparklers, which are considered by many to be harmless, reach temperatures of more than 1,000°F.

"In the hands of amateurs, fireworks are especially dangerous," says Carli. "Fireworks are unpredictable. They can lead to catastrophe, causing injury, permanent scarring, or even death."

Wooded areas, homes, and even automobiles have become engulfed in flames because of fireworks. Fireworks-related fires have typically caused at least $20 million in property loss each year. A substantial portion of the structure fire property loss due to fireworks typically involves bottle rockets or other fireworks rockets. These can land on rooftops, wedge within certain structures and retain enough heat to cause a fire.

"For most people, family and home represent security and safety, a haven to share our hopes, dreams, and struggles,” says Carli. “Imagine risking all of that for a few seconds of entertainment. It’s not worth it. Avoid fireworks injuries and damage by playing it safe. There are safer alternatives to using fireworks on the Fourth of July or at any other time."

Public fireworks displays are one of those alternatives. Conducted by trained professionals, these displays are the smartest and safest fireworks alternative for anyone because they are established under controlled settings and regulations. After these displays, or any other time, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over. Fireworks that have been ignited and fail to immediately explode or discharge can cause injury because they may still be active. Children should always tell an adult if they find fireworks rather than picking up smoking or charred fireworks themselves, which is just too risky.

Lead Paint Removal  

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

General Lead Paint Removal    Contact SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904.729.2401 if you need lead paint testing or removal.

The Facts About Lead

  • Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978.
  • Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
  • Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
  • Lead is also harmful to adults and the elderly.
  • Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead. People can also get lead in their bodies from lead in soil or paint chips. Lead dust is often invisible.
  • Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger you and your family.
  • In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard.

SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee Certified for Lead Paint Removal

EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices.

SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee has RRP certification and will take the necessary precautions according to current laws. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee professionals have been trained and certified to follow lead-safe work practices while performing renovation and repair projects in our area.

According to EPA requirements (40 CFR Part 745) contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:

  • Contain the work area.  
  • Minimize dust.  
  • Clean up thoroughly.

Does Your Property Contain Lead?

Older homes, older child care facilities, schools and other buildings are more likely to contain lead-based paint. Homes may be private, government-assisted or public housing. Schools are preschools and kindergarten classrooms. They may be urban, suburban or rural.

Percentage of homes likely to contain lead:

  • Built between 1960-1978 = 24%  
  • Built between 1940-1960 = 69%  
  • Built before 1940 = 87%

What You Can Do To Protect Your Family From Lead in Pre-1978 Homes

  • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead.
  • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often.
  • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
  • Make sure children eat a healthy, nutritious diet consistent with the USDA’s dietary guidelines, which helps protect children from the effects of lead.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.

Contact us at 904-729-2401 if you need to lead paint testing or abatement at your home or place of business.