Recent Storm Damage Posts

Steps to take after the Hurricane

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

When returning to your home or business after the storm do you know what to do?

To help home and business owners take the right first step, the IICRC has pulled together a list of post-hurricane resources including property damage FAQ's, homeowner tips and advise on identifying the 'good guys' from the 'storm chasers.' Visit the link here

SERVPRO utilizes resources and training from the IICRC in many occasions.  They provide the training for our staff in areas such as water mitigation, carpet cleaning, fire damage cleaning, mold remediation and so on.....

Here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties we pride ourselves in keeping up to date in an industry that is continually changing.

Hurricane Dorian - what to do if you sustain damage

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

Large white circular photo from space of clouds over the Florida peninsula Live Radar of Hurricane Dorian

While hurricane force winds are not likely in our area, property owners in our area may experience downed limbs and trees.  Should your property sustain damage from the wind or flooding, we advise the following:

People First - take care of your family, friends and neighbors.  People are more important than property.  Check on your neighbors once the winds die down.

Make Temporary Repairs and Document - take pictures, save receipts and do what you can to prevent further damage.  Most home and dwelling insurance policies will reimburse you for reasonable temporary repairs, such as hiring a contractor to remove a tree from your roof, putting a tarp on your roof, etc.  

Avoid Scams - avoid repair scams from out of town contractors by calling us first.  Homeowners should resist the temptation to sign up with the first repair crew that shows up at the doorstep, and especially should not sign paperwork that includes an Assignment of Benefit clause.  We will help you understand your coverage and will report your claim for you.  A good source of information about reputable contractors is the Columbia County Builders Association.

SERVPRO is here to help!  Call our local office at 386-754-0261 and we will be happy to assist in any way possible.

Are you ready?

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Let's be Prepared if this Happens Again

Hurricanes generate a series of threats to lives and property. The most obvious is the threat posed to buildings, equipment, and people by the high winds which characterize such storms.

This checklist will help you prepare for a hurricane’s effect on your business, employees and community by highlighting activities you should undertake before, during, and following the event. When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center issues a watch or warning, use the time available to begin taking the following steps.

The National Weather Service rates hurricanes by their intensity, using a scale of one to five. The scale categorizes storms according to their sustained winds, the storm surges produced, and expected damage. Businesses located within areas of risk should have a hurricane preparedness plan. It is a good idea to develop a plan of action for your business and your staff to be ready for this type of interruption

Here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties we want to be prepared and understand what we are facing.  We hope the attached check list helps you be prepared.  If you need assistance after the fact know you can depend on SERVPRO to be there when you need us.  

Hurricane Preparedness - Be Ready

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

The two keys to weather safety is to PREPARE for the risks and to ACT on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.

Before a Hurricane:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
  • Make plans to secure your property
  • Cover all of your home's windows
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows.
  • Consider building a safe room. 

No matter what the situation life is more important so evacuate if necessary and when you return if you need assistance call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties at 386-754-0261

Storm or Flood?

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Storm or Flood?

The classification of damage type when calamity strikes your home makes a difference to your insurance company. Read on for the discrete definitions of flood damage and storm damage and their respective ramifications.

Flood Damage

  • The federal government’s emergency management agency (FEMA) defines, for legal purposes, what constitutes flooding. Though FEMA does not offer assistance to businesses, insurance companies use this definition in processing claims. Important distinctions include:
  • Flood damage is officially defined as a temporary condition in which there exists an inundation of water or mud that covers two or more acres or properties on land that is normally dry.
  • If the inundation is the result of rising floodwaters from the ground up, the claim would be to the flood insurance policy.
  • Business, homeowners and renters insurance generally cover damage from a storm deluge or hurricane that doesn’t meet FEMA’s criteria for flooding.

Storm Damage

  • Coverage for storm damage is generally more broadly applicable than other types of insurance. Even so, certain conditions apply for a storm claim versus a flood claim.
  • If inundation occurs because of damage to the building’s roof or windows and wind-driven rain infiltrates, the property insurance will typically cover the damage.
  • Ice, snow and hail damage that results in water inside the building is typically covered under the property insurance policy.
  • Damage from broken pipes, a leaking roof, accidental sprinkler discharge or water from extinguishing a fire are typically covered in a business property policy as opposed to a flood policy.

Aside from damage as the result of water or mud flow, destruction from other natural events such as lightning, wind, and wildfires can cover losses including interruptions to business or the supply chain that supports it.

Flood damage is more strictly defined than other types of losses. Understanding your exposure to loss and planning for it is an important business decision no matter the location of your enterprise. Give us a call today to learn more. (386) 754-0261.

Ceiling Inside after Hurricane Damage to Roof

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling inside the home a few weeks after Hurricane Micheal

The aftermath of Hurricane Michael was devastating to many!  Whether it be your home or business we are here to help.  Sometimes you don't see the resulting damage immediately, however after only a few days of the insulation being saturated can cause the visible effects shown here.  Drywall has to be removed to gain access to the insulation inside of exterior walls and in the ceiling.  Sometimes we can access the insulation through the attic but in many cases the ceiling has to be removed to dispose of the wet insulation.

The wall cavity and the ceiling cavity (the framing) is then treated with an antimicrobial to assist with any bacterial growth and then we drying equipment is used to dry out the other structural components.  

These steps are important.  If not done properly you take the chance of possibly mold issues in the future.  Be sure to test for moisture in the framing prior to replacing insulation and drywall.  

These are services SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties offer so call us if you find yourself in this situation.  

SERVPRO Partners With the Red Cross

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Please donate to help those in need. If you can't donate financially, you can donate time!

Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters — the majority of which are home fires. Whether a disaster impacts a single family or a hundred, the Red Cross is there when people need our help the most. The Red Cross doesn’t just help families recover from disaster; they also prepare communities before home fires strike. Believe it or not, home fires kill more Americans than all other disasters combined. The Red Cross is working to prevent these needless losses through the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.

Join SERVPRO Industries in support of the American Red Cross by making a gift to support Home Fire Relief. Your gift to Home Fire Relief will support communities like ours nationwide by providing families and communities with the lifesaving tools and information they need to prevent and prepare for home fires, as well as offer critical recovery services to those impacted by home fires. Together, we can better prepare our community for home fires and support families who experience them. Thank you in advance for your support.

SERVPRO Disaster Response

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

Whether a Hurricane, Tornado, Freeze Event, Flood, Fire/Smoke SERVPRO can respond quickly!

How Our Local Community Responds to Hurricanes

SERVPRO works as a team across the country to help those that have been affected by a disaster. In years past, our local franchise has sent crews to various hurricane sites to help reach customers faster so that they can begin putting their lives back together. Local crews from SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties has helped with hurricane relief as well as cold weather mass freezing.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

Being a part of SERVPRO, we know that our job is to help customers and victims of disasters put their lives back together. It's nice to know that if a tornado, flood, ice storm, or any other disaster were to strike the heartland, that there are over 1,700 franchises in our system that can come to our aid to help you put your life back together.

Just remember that SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster.

Make Storm Damage Cleanup Easy With SERVPRO

12/22/2018 (Permalink)

Winds and Rains Brought by the Storms Can Create Damaging Effects

Storms can happen in any season and can bring with them not only heavy rainfall but also hail and high winds. These elements of nature can be very damaging to a home or business. The damage can be so extensive that not only the exterior but the interior becomes damaged also. 
High winds, particularly those with even faster and stronger gusts, can rip off siding on exterior walls and tear off shingles from the roof. This stripping away of your home's protective layers can create openings for rainwater to enter. Debris from the storm can also be carried into these openings. Storm damage often involves trees downed from the high winds. This added weight which is often sudden is typically too heavy for a home's roof to bear causing it to collapse.

Breaking glass occurs to windows and sliding glass doors when they cannot withstand flying debris. Because of the high possibility of power lines being nearby cleaning up storm damage is not recommended except by trained and experienced professionals.  At SERVPRO, we have the training and the experience to quickly and professionally bring your home and business back into a safe state of being. 
We put our training, education, and experience to work for you as a team, using the latest in technology and techniques, ensuring that your home will return to its previous welcoming state quickly. 

Storms Happen Any Time of the Day!  We are Available 24/7 to Serve You

Contaminated Flood Waters

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris

When we respond to a case of flood damage, one of the most frequent questions our technicians is, "what is black water?" Black water is heavily contaminated water which is not only unsafe to drink but also is hazardous simply to be around. It can be difficult to judge conditions in black water due to its typical gray, brown, or black coloration, with small particles often hiding potentially far greater hazards lying within. Here are a few things that can be found in a typical sample of black flood water.   Dirt and Soil Typically, most of the coloration in black water comes from dirt and soil trapped within. Many cases of flood damage and surrounding areas result from heavy storms and rain, and these floodwaters more often than not pick up significant amounts of soil before they ever reach a home. Although this dirt may sound harmless, it, in reality, makes the water much heavier and more difficult to navigate if you get caught in it.   Microorganisms in Black Water although the amount and type of organisms in flood can vary depending on its causes and specifics, almost all samples of black water contain very high levels of microorganisms. These may be parasites, bacteria, viruses, mold, or many other types of organism, and they may be able to cause health effects if ingested or absorbed through the skin. This is why it is never advised to drink flood waters and to seek medical attention immediately if you have.   Sharp Metal and Glass It can be very difficult to see sharp objects in a mass of floodwater, but even if you feel you are confident that such materials are not in the water, it is best always to assume they are. Sharp materials, even if they are tiny, often constitute one of the water's greatest risks. If they open up a small cut or wound, this spot may go unnoticed by you but later on develop a bad infection. If you have been cut or had black water touch an open wound, immediately disinfect the wound and apply medical aid as needed.   SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties deals with black water flood damage so that you don't have to. If your home has been caught in a flood, call us at (386) 754-0261 for mitigation and restoration services.

Local or Long Distance - Storms are Handled

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. While we are physically located in Lake City, FL, we provide service to a large portion of North Central Florida including Live Oak (Suwannee County), Lake Butler (Union County), Jasper (Hamilton County), Macclenny (Baker County), Mayo (Lafayette County), and Madison (Madison County). 

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit our communities, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States. There is no loss too large for our teams. 

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - 386-754-0261

Facts for Hurricane Season

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Tropical Storm Debbie - 6 ft of water

While the summer season is known for the potential to experience severe weather, the threat exists throughout the fall months as well. In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific Hurricane season begins May 15th also ending November 30th.

While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. One way to prepare your business for any type of disaster, is to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Contact your local SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties to learn more about the ERP and how it can help you. Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm.

Before the Storm

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.               
  • If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home or hard top vehicle (not a convertible).
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.

 During the Storm

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  •  Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.

 After the Storm

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.

Below is a recommended items for basic emergency supply list

Emergency Supply Kit

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust Masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

Texas - Hurricane - Flooding - Storm Team

12/20/2017 (Permalink)

Several Layers of Flooring to be removed.

Several times SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties has traveled to help with hurricane cleanup over the past 11 years and continue to do so.   Our franchise staff members enjoy being able to assist other franchises when the STORM hits their area.  A few months ago we traveled to Sugarland, TX to help out for a little over two weeks.  As you know.... Irma hit Florida right afterwards so we came home to help our local customers immediately.   We were able to help some of the surrounding Florida franchises but mostly serviced Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton, Union, Lafayette as well as Starke, MacClenney, Madison, Perry, Chiefland, Steinhatchee and many others.   

We come across a wide variety of things while traveling that keep the jobs interesting.....

As you can see in the photo, sometimes we get surprised by how many layers of flooring there is or how difficult they come up.  We hope our customers understand unforeseen reasons for the completion schedule to change slightly in occasions such as this.  We have included a few things to assist you if you experience a flood in your home or business below.

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

As we hope you never have to experience a flood this is what to do if it happens. 

Storm Damage To Your Roof

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Home affected during Hurricane Irma located in the Country Club of Lake City, Florida

Even when there was no hail or rain produced during a storm, your roof can sustain damage. Strong winds make stress points on your roof which, over time, can weaken and be compromised. Roofs are made to resist typical winds; however, they can be damaged incrementally over years of high winds and debris blown around by the wind. It is important to fix the initial damage and replace missing shingles quickly to stop any high fuel costs and water damage that inevitably result from a roof which is damaged.

The effect that the wind has over your Lake City home’s roof is not uniform. Areas such as the perimeter and corners of your roof are susceptible to high wind pressures and storm damage, while the center could have fewer stresses. Most wind damage begins at the edge of the roof. Anywhere the material of the roof is just a bit loose, the wind gets under it and pushes it up, therefore giving the wind more to grab onto during the next storm, which makes a peeling effect. This type of damage can begin quite small, but keep growing over time through repeated exposure to the wind.

SERVPRO can be counted on to help get your roof repaired when storm damage has ravished it. With our professional training and courteous, timely work, we can help to prevent further damage to your home from intruding water by covering damaged areas with tarps or plywood for temporary protection. We then focus on restoring water damage of the attic and other affected areas. Our technicians may be able to do the roof repairs, but we can always get help from one of our roofing contractor partners to rebuild your roof to code when needed.

Tree Damage And Flying Debris 
Wind events which are significant also cause debris to fly into your roof. Tree branches, shards of glass, and other debris can be more damaging than the wind at times. When looking at your roof after a windstorm, investigate what could have blown across or onto the roof. It's a good idea to check your downspouts and gutters since debris can clog them and make other problems in the future. Make sure to keep your trees trimmed and away from the roof. Tree branches that touch a roof gouge and scratch roofing materials when branches are being blown around. Overhanging trees which have falling branches cause damage or even puncture shingles and other materials on your roof.

If you suspect damage to your roof, call SERVPRO  right away. Remember, the longer you wait, the more damage occurs. The cost to replace or repair your roof is much less when you do not have added water damage and leak repair costs. We also help you speak with your insurance company to take some of the stress off you and to help you file your claim. All damage gets documented thoroughly, and we draw up a plan for remediation before we even begin any work.

SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties understands how important it is to repair a roof that has sustained storm damage. The protection of your family and home depend upon your roof, so we are available at all hours when you dial (386)754-0261.

When Storms or Floods hit Columbia and Suwannee Counties, SERVPRO is ready!

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lake City.

SERVPRO ofColumbia & Suwannee Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Lake City, Live Oak, and surrounding areas, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams seen *here* that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Here are a few tips should you find yourself in a storm damaged area. These tips will help minimize damage until professional help arrives. 

  • First and foremost, do not operate any equipment that requires electrical power in areas that have standing water or moisture.
  • If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream, or river, if it is seawater, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. For this type of damage, avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.
  • Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas.
  • Throw away all foods - even canned goods - that have come into contact with flood waters.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Only open windows to promote drying if the air outside is less humid than the air inside.
  • If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (386) 754-0261

Lake City Takes A Trip to Baltimore Area

5/4/2015 (Permalink)

Prior to us removing damaged materials and dryout

Recently we were contacted by the SERVPRO Storm Team to travel and help customers in the Baltimore & Washington DC Area.  Our crews have returned home and our experience was a positive one.  We were able to help 22 residential customers in a 2-week period.  Removing damaged items and drying out their homes!  We are appreciative of SERVPRO being a Nationwide company to allow us to travel and service other communities as well as our own. 

Panhandle Storm - Floods

5/21/2014 (Permalink)

When the Panhandle was hit with numerous storms last month, we sent out head technicians over to help the local SERVPRO of Navarre as their office had water damage to it.  It was a long two weeks and many customers in need were helped.  We want to thank our staff for traveling in someone else's time of need.  It was only two years ago that Lake City dealt with flooding from Tropical Storm Debby.