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Fire Prevention Month: Importance of Smoke Alarms  

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Prevention Month: Importance of Smoke Alarms    Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly. Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.


  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology including multi-sensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers
  • Replace fire alarms when they are 10 years  old.

Expected Jacksonville Area Impacts from Hurricane Michael  

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Expected Jacksonville Area Impacts from Hurricane Michael    The Jacksonville area will experience heavy rain in multiple bands through Thursday, with the potential for 1-3" of rain, more in some spots.

Source: Action News Jax

Hurricane "Michael" continues to organize & strengthen.  Forecast to hit the Fl. Panhandle as a "major" Cat. 3 hurricane Wednesday afternoon.  This could be the most major hurricane to squarely hit the Panhandle since Ivan in 2004 which destroyed the I-10 bridge to Pensacola.

Given current forecast path - SUBJECT TO SOME CHANGES –Michael will hit between Mobile, Al. & the Big Bend of Fl. centered on the Central Panhandle, local impacts for Jacksonville, NE Fl. & SE Ga. are as follows:

* heavy rain in multiple bands through Thu. with the potential for 1-3" of rain, more in some spots.  Far more rain just offshore to the east & over NW Fl. & Panhandle into Ga. closer to what should be the center of Michael.  Looks like a relative lull in the rain Wed. due to dry slot pivoting north around the eastern side of Michael's circulation.

* breezy winds - combination of  "Michael" to the west & moderately strong high pressure to the north will result in brisk winds out of the SE increasing each day through Thu. averaging 15-25 mph with gusts 30+ mph.  Strongest winds will be at the beaches & from near Lake City to Waycross closer to Michael's center.

* isolated waterspouts &/or tornadoes, especially Tue. through Thu.

* high rip current risk at area beaches

* minor to possibly moderate flooding - especially at times of high tide - along the coast, intracoastal & St. Johns River & its tributaries due to a combination of strong/persistent onshore flow, occasional heavy rain & an astronomical boost due to the new moon phase. No significant storm surge is expected for NE Fl. & Jacksonville & SE Ga.

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

Key Themes for Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2018: “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.”  

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

The latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that if you have a reported fire in your home, you are more likely to die today than you were a few decades ago. This startling statistic is behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware - fire can happen anywhere.™” Fire Prevention Week takes place October7-13,2018.

Through three simple calls-to-action, this year’s theme identifies basic but essential ways people can reduce their risk to fire and be prepared in the event of one:

  • Look for places fire can start
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm
  • Learn two ways out of each room

“People take safety for granted and are not aware of the risk of fire,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Paying attention to your surroundings, looking for available exits in the event of a fire or other emergency, and taking the smoke alarm seriously if it sounds can make a potentially life-saving difference in a fire or other emergency situation.”

This year’s Fire Prevention Week messages apply to virtually all locations. However, NFPA continues to focus on home fire safety, as the majority of U.S. fire deaths (four out of five) occur at home each year. In fact, the fire death rate (per 1000home fires reported to the fire department) was 10percent higher in 2016than in1980.

“While we’ve made significant progress in preventing home fires from happening, these statistics show that there’s still much more work to do when it comes to teaching people how to protect themselves in the event of one, and why advance planning is so critically important,” said Carli.

“Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.” works to remind the public that fires can and do still happen – at home, as well as other locations - and that there are basic but vitally important steps people can take to remain safe.

As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90years, NFPA works with local fire departments throughout North America to promote the campaign in their communities and reaches out to the public directly to encourage everyone to take action to be safe.

For a wealth of information and resources about this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.” campaign, visit

Leaking Air Conditioner Can Lead to Mold

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

A leaking air conditioner can lead to mold problems. If you have leaking, look at these potential problem areas:

1. Cracked or Missing Drain Pan

The drain pan is located underneath your evaporator coil and collects any condensate from your indoor unit. If it is cracked, rusted, or misplaced, water won’t be able to properly drain outside.

2. Clogged Drain Line

Algae and fungi can clog your A/C condensate drain line. Pour about 6 ounces of vinegar into your drain line every few months to kill any algae and fungi build-up. You can also try clearing out your drain line with a wet/dry vacuum, call your HVAC professional.

 3. Clogged Air Filter

Your indoor air handler needs proper airflow in order to function. If your air filter is clogged, air will be restricted, leading to a variety of problems, including frozen evaporator coils that drip excess water. Change the air filter every 30-60 days to avoid this problem.

If you experience water leaking or spills - ACT QUICKLY.  If wet or damp materials or areas are not dried within 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, there’s a good chance mold will grow.

If mold results from an air conditioner leak, call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904-729-2401.

Mold Questions Answered

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Questions Answered It only takes a small water leak, or even excess humidity, for mold to form in your Nassau County/North Jacksonville home or business.

When it comes to mold in our homes, there are many old misconceptions circulating to this day. Once you bust the myths, you will have a better understanding of mold and its impact to your health and home. SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee have put together a list of 5 common mold myths and the truth behind them, so you can use this information to your benefit when you encounter a mold problem:

Myth 1: All mold is toxic

Truth: While many molds can affect your health due to long-term exposure, there are beneficial molds as well. The mold found in natural environments helps decompose organic material, allowing other organisms to grow. Certain molds, such as Aspergillus flavus, are used in the production of cheese. Some molds are used in medicine, as well. For instance, the Penicillium mold has been used to create Penicillin, the first antibiotic discovered.

Myth 2: Bleach kills mold

Truth: Many people use bleach as a mold removal solution in their home. However, they are unaware that bleach kills only live mold, but not mold spores. The worst part is that removing mold with bleach and water can allow mold to regrow even faster. Instead, use a mix of household detergent and water for small-scale mold remediation.

Myth 3: There should be no mold in my home

Truth: The truth is that mold spores are present everywhere, indoors and outdoors. The air you are breathing contains mold spores, and completely eliminating it is almost impossible. The problem lies in the concentration of mold in your home. Greater amounts of mold can pose health risks and damage your home if you don’t take care of the mold infestation.

Myth 4: You shouldn’t worry about a small spot of mold

Truth: In reality, a small area affected by mold can grow larger and larger if the moisture problem is not addressed. What’s more, mold can spread to any organic surface, as well as to the heating and ventilation system in your home. This can result in widespread damage and costly repairs.

Myth 5: You can clean up mold infestations yourself

Truth: Even though you may be able to clean areas smaller than 10 square feet yourself, bigger infestations require professional mold removal services. In fact, your efforts of removing mold using UV light or high-heat drying can accelerate mold growth. Well-trained mold remediation professionals have the specialized equipment and know the necessary techniques to get rid of mold infestations much more efficiently.

Visit our Mold Information Page. Essential mold removal do’s and don’ts are available here. Contact SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee

It only takes a small water leak, or even excess humidity, for mold to form in your Nassau County/North Jacksonville home or business. Then, mold can spread quickly through the property in as little as 48 hours. Mold can produce allergens and irritants, and it has the potential to cause other health effects. If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Have a mold issue? Call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904-729-2401.

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.