Recent Posts

Understanding Mold Growth: What Causes Mold to Grow and How to Prevent It

5/10/2023 (Permalink)

bathroom mold damage Mold can spread throughout your home, SERVPRO can help.

Mold is a common household problem that can cause damage to the property. One of the most important factors in preventing and controlling mold growth is understanding how mold spreads. In this blog, we will discuss how mold spreads and how to prevent its growth.

Mold can spread quickly

Mold can spread quickly and easily through your home if the conditions are right. Mold spores are everywhere, but they need moisture and a food source to grow. If there is a water source in your home, such as a leak or flooding, mold can quickly begin to grow and spread. Mold can also grow on organic materials such as wood, paper, and fabric, providing a food source for the mold to thrive.

How Mold spreads

Mold spreads through the release of microscopic spores into the air. These spores are invisible to the naked eye and can travel through the air and settle on surfaces. Once they settle on a surface, they can begin to grow and spread, creating a colony of mold.

Mold can also spread through the following ways:

Water damage

Mold needs moisture to grow, and water damage in your home can provide the perfect environment for mold to grow and spread. Leaking pipes, roof leaks, and flooding can all contribute to mold growth.

HVAC systems

Mold can spread through HVAC systems, which can circulate mold spores throughout your home or building. It is important to regularly clean and maintain your HVAC system to prevent mold growth.

Contaminated objects

Mold can spread through contaminated objects such as furniture, carpets, and clothing. If these items are not properly cleaned and dried, they can contribute to mold growth.


Pets can carry mold spores on their fur and spread them throughout your home. It is important to regularly groom and clean your pets to prevent the spread of mold.

Prevent Mold

To prevent mold growth and spread, it is important to control moisture in your home. This includes repairing any leaks or water damage, using dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels, and properly ventilating areas of high moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Once mold has taken hold in your home, it can be difficult to eradicate without professional help. It's important to address any water damage or moisture issues in your home promptly and to address any mold growth as soon as it's detected to prevent further spread.

In conclusion, mold spreads through the release of microscopic spores into the air and can spread through water damage, HVAC systems, contaminated objects, and pets. To prevent mold growth and spread, it is important to control moisture in your home and properly clean and maintain your living environment. By taking these steps, you can ensure a healthy and mold-free home.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Clean Puffback Soot Yourself

4/11/2023 (Permalink)

building smoke and fire damage Puffback soot is a hazardous substance that requires specialized equipment and cleaning techniques.

Puffback is an unexpected and unfortunate event that can happen to any household that uses oil-fired heating systems. It occurs when the furnace or boiler malfunctions, causing a build-up of soot and debris in the exhaust system. This buildup can then ignite, sending a puff of soot and smoke throughout the house.

If you've experienced puffback in your home, you know how devastating it can be. The soot and smoke can cover everything in your home, from walls to furniture, and even clothing. In an attempt to save money, some homeowners may try to clean up the soot themselves. However, it is essential to understand that puffback soot is not like regular household dust, and cleaning it up requires specialized equipment and techniques. Here are some reasons why you shouldn't attempt to clean puffback soot yourself.

Inadequate equipment

Cleaning up puffback soot requires specialized equipment, such as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuums, air scrubbers, and ozone machines. These machines are not readily available for homeowners to use, and even if you can rent them, you may not know how to use them properly. Professionals have access to this equipment and have the expertise to use them to effectively clean up the soot and smoke damage.

Lack of expertise

Cleaning up puffback soot is not like cleaning regular dust or debris. It requires specialized knowledge and techniques to ensure that all the soot and smoke residue is removed thoroughly. Professionals have the expertise to assess the damage and determine the best approach to clean up the soot and restore your home to its pre-puffback condition.

Potential for further damage

If you attempt to clean up puffback soot yourself, you may end up causing further damage to your home. For example, using the wrong cleaning products or techniques can cause discoloration or damage to your walls and furniture. Professionals know how to use the right cleaning products and techniques to ensure that no further damage occurs during the cleanup process.

In conclusion, puffback soot is a hazardous substance that requires specialized equipment and techniques to clean up properly. Attempting to clean it up yourself can put you at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals, cause further damage to your home, and may not yield the desired results. It is essential to hire a professional puffback cleanup service to ensure that your home is restored to its pre-puffback condition safely and effectively.

3 Categories of Water Damage

3/9/2023 (Permalink)

damaged supply line When your property suffers from a water damage it is important to know the category of damage,

Water damage is the most common loss in a home or business. Knowing what category of water loss you are dealing with can help prevent further damages. To help you better understand how to handle water-related issues, we've broken the three categories of water damage for you.

Three Categories of Water Damage

Water damage can be caused by a variety of reasons, sources, and events. You might have a pipe burst in your home or business that causes extensive water damage to the structure and its contents. Flooding due to heavy rain or snow melt can also cause a water loss for your property. Whatever the case may be, there are three main categories of water damage: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3.

It is important to understand the different categories of water damage in case of a loss in your own home or business. Knowing how the various sources of water damage are categorized into 3 categories can assist you in making the proper decisions to keep yourself, your family, or your employees safe after a water damage event.

Category 1 - Clean Water

Category 1 water damage is the least serious type of water-related damage. Category 1 water comes from a sanitary source and is referred to as "Clean Water." This type of water is considered clean and safe for use in your home. However, it may still cause damage and mold growth if left untreated.

Examples of Category 1 sources are toilet tanks, water supply lines, melting Ice/Snow, and rainwater.

Category 2 - Gray Water

Category 2, also known as "Gray Water" is the second highest level of water damage. This category includes significantly contaminated water that may cause discomfort if you come in contact with it. Category 2 sources include:

  • Dishwasher Leaks
  • Washing Machine Leaks
  • Overflowing Toilet Bowl
  • Aquarium Water

Category 3 - Black Water

Category 3 water damage is the most serious type of water damage. It's also known as "Black Water," and it's considered grossly contaminated. All materials that come in contact with Category 3 sources must be removed and replaced.

Examples of Category 3 water sources include:

  • Sewage
  • Floodwaters
  • Seawaters

If your home or business suffers from water damage that could potentially be categorized into one of these three categories: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3, give the professionals a call at SERVPRO.  Each category has a different risk and damage level, so it is important to call immediately for assistance. SERVPRO of Arlington/ Jacksonville East has the experience and expertise for your water damage emergency.

Things to consider before installing a Fire Sprinkler System

2/13/2023 (Permalink)

fire sprinkler in commercial space Consider installing a fire sprinkler system to help prevent fire damage to your business.

Fire sprinkler systems can save lives and your property. They are a critical part of any building's safety plan, but they may not always be necessary. Here are three things to consider before installing a fire sprinkler system in your home or business:

Fire Sprinkler Protection

Fire sprinkler systems are required by law. Fire sprinkler systems are a great way to protect your property from fire hazards. These automatic fire protection systems can help save lives and property in the event of a fire emergency. By installing a fire sprinkler system you can significantly reduce the risk of injury or loss associated with fires in buildings where people live or work.

Qualified Installer in your Area

When shopping for a fire sprinkler system, look for a company that is licensed and insured. Look for a company that has a good reputation. There are companies with experience with the type of building you have, which can help them understand how to best meet your needs. Also, look for a company that has experience with the type of fire sprinkler system you want installed in your business.

Inform yourself about Fire Sprinkler standards

It's also vital to know the standards set by your local government or building department. Most fire codes are based on NFPA 13, a standard that defines how a sprinkler system is installed and maintained. This includes things like how many sprinkler heads are required per square foot floor space and where they should be placed. The next step is to check the manufacturer's installation instructions since they may differ slightly from NFPA 13.

Fire Sprinkler System can save your Life

A well-designed and installed fire sprinkler system can save your life and even help improve property value. The insurance industry has a vested interest in promoting the installation of fire sprinkler systems because they reduce the risk of injury, property damage and loss due to fire. They also save lives.

A properly sized and efficiently operating automatic fire sprinkler system can act as an early warning device, allowing you precious minutes to escape safely during a fire emergency. Fire sprinklers are designed to control fires before they get out of control. The heat from a quickly spreading fire is absorbed by the water in the pipes, causing it to expand rapidly. This expansion creates pressure that activates valves releasing water into open areas where it snuffs out flames before they spread further through dry tinderbox conditions created by wood frame construction elements like wood ceilings or wooden staircases that make up much of modern day homes

A well designed and installed fire sprinkler system can save your life and even help improve property value. If you have any questions about our services, please contact us today! We are here to help!

What To Do When the Storm Clears and the Flooding Recedes

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

tree fallen over a car Hurricane damage in Glynlea, FL.

A hurricane, like any natural disaster, is a stressful event. But once the storm passes and the floodwaters recede, you'll have to assess the damage and start cleaning up. This can be overwhelming: not only are there large debris items that need removing from your home or business premises, but you also have to decide whether to hire a professional cleaner or do it yourself. Below is an overview of what to consider when deciding what actions to take after a hurricane has caused flooding in your area.


When the storm clears and flooding recedes, it is important to be safe. While it may be tempting to walk through flood waters or drive through standing water, this can put you at risk of injury or death. When in doubt, turn around and go the other way. If your car stalls in a flooded area, get out and move to higher ground before attempting to restart your vehicle. 

Emergency communication

When the storm has passed and the floods recede, you will have to deal with several obstacles before you can begin rebuilding. One key concern is communicating with loved ones who may have been separated from you during the storm.

For those without power or cell phone service, this can be a difficult problem to overcome. However, there are several things you can do to ensure that family members continue to stay in contact with each other:

  • First, make sure that everyone knows where their phones are supposed to be charged at home. If one person's phone is missing or broken due to water damage, then it might be possible for them or another family member to borrow one of theirs if they know where their charger is located.
  • It's also important for families and communities not only keep in touch but also share vital information about resources like food pantries or shelters so they know where they can turn if necessary. 

Food and water safety

Food safety guidelines:

  • Check the temperature of your refrigerator, freezer, and other appliances to make sure they're still cold. If any of them are warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius), discard any food that may have been exposed to unsafe temperatures and clean the appliance thoroughly.
  • The same goes for food in other places—like your pantry or garage refrigerator—as well as leftovers from meals you prepared earlier this month. Throw away anything that's been above 41°F (5°C) for more than 2 hours and get rid of any items with an unusual odor or appearance.

Medical needs

If you are injured because of the flooding, seek medical care. If you have any health conditions — such as diabetes or asthma — or take medications, check with your doctor about what to do during a flood. Make sure that you have enough medication to last until the storm passes!

Electrical safety

  • Don't touch downed power lines. If you see a downed power line, don't touch it!
  • Don't drive through flooded areas. The water may be deeper than it looks and can hide objects that could cause damage to your car or injure its occupants.
  • Generators must be used with caution. Do not use a generator in a garage or basement where carbon monoxide gas could build up and become deadly.

Some things are acceptable to clean up on your own, while others should be left to professionals.

The first step is determining whether your property is safe to enter. If there are warnings of potential structural damage or other dangers, it’s best not to enter until local authorities have given clearance. After that, proceed with caution: if you have any doubt about your ability to safely remove something from your home or business, call in an expert for help.

Cleaners and disinfectants should be used only when cleaning up mold-contaminated items like sheetrock or furniture — not on drywall or carpeting. Avoid contact with floodwater and standing water altogether; use rubber gloves whenever possible when handling wet items like clothing or bedding as these can contain harmful bacteria.

Following these tips will help you get back to normal after your Glynlea, FL home has been flooded. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t be discouraged if progress seems slow or stalled at times. Don’t forget that there are plenty of organizations and agencies out there willing to help if you need some assistance!

Fire Damage Restoration Tips

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

Stove severely damaged by fire Kitchen fire damage in Jacksonville, FL

Fire Damage Restoration

Fires can be incredibly devastating, and the fire damage restoration process can seem daunting. Determining how to preserve your Jacksonville, FL home and belongings takes a lot of work, but it can be done! Here are 6 tips for fire damage restoration that will help you make the best during this stressful time.

Knowing these tips for fire damage restoration can help save time and money when disaster strikes

You should hire the services of a professional fire damage restoration company as soon as possible after the disaster. If you have experienced a fire in your home, it is important that you stay out until the home has been inspected by an expert. The longer you are exposed to these conditions, the higher your chances will be for getting sick or injured.

Contact your fire restoration company as soon as possible.

If you have fire damage, the sooner you contact a restoration company, the better.

When there's an emergency in your home like this, it can feel overwhelming to figure out what to do next. But don't worry! The Fire Department can help you with that part as well. If they haven't already done so, they'll direct you to a Fire Damage Restoration Company in your area who can assist with making sure that any affected property is cleaned up and restored as quickly and safely as possible. 

Stay out of your home until a restoration specialist tells you it is safe for you to come inside.

It's tempting to want to go back into your home as soon as possible. You've been away from it for a while, and you naturally want to go back in and do what you were doing before the fire. But don't be tempted by this urge. 

First, check with your restoration specialist about whether it is safe for you to return home yet. If they say no, listen to them! They know exactly what's going on inside and outside of your house, so if they say there are still major problems like water damage or structural issues that need fixing first, listen up! 

Don't touch anything until everything has dried completely. This includes walls which may have been affected by moisture; floors which may have gotten wet; surfaces where steam came out of vents during drying process (such as kitchen counters). Anything wet or damp could potentially leave behind harmful mold spores that could quickly grow into full-blown mold colonies if left unchecked - especially when combined with high humidity levels found within our homes during summer months.

If hot spots are still present in your house, call the fire department and ask for an inspection before entering for re-entry.

If you have hot spots in your house and re-entry is not recommended, take these steps:

  • Call 911 or the fire department and ask for an inspection.
  • Wait for the fire department to inspect your property before re-entering it.

It's important to keep in mind that not all fire damage can be fully repaired; sometimes it's best to just start over from scratch. But we're able to do the job right — in most cases we'll be able to restore everything back as close as possible before it broke down during a fire incident.

Salvage what you can, but let the pros decide what is safe.

Never try to salvage anything from a fire unless you are positive that it's safe! Fire damage can cause hidden dangers like mold and asbestos contamination. Fortunately, professional fire damage restoration companies will know how to evaluate your property for safety before beginning any work on it.

Hopefully, we’ve given you some helpful advice to use if disaster strikes. Keep these tips in mind as you work through your fire damage restoration project and save yourself time, money, and stress.

How Do I Replace a Toilet?

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

New toilet Toilet replacement in an Arlington home.

How To Replace a Toilet

Replacing a toilet is a job you can do yourself, but it's important to take your time and follow the instructions carefully. The process will vary depending on the type of toilet you're replacing and where it's located, but here are some general steps that can help guide you:

1. Cut the old toilet off at the flange.

Remove the old toilet by cutting it off at the flange. Use a hacksaw to cut through any pipe that's in the way, and use a wrench to remove any bolts holding it in place. If you're not sure where these are located, feel free to ask for help from an experienced plumber or handyman.

Once you've removed all of your old fixtures and fittings, use a putty knife or similar tool (like an old credit card or butter knife) to scrape away old wax ring residue from under where your new flange will be installed. This step is important because it ensures that your new wax ring adheres properly when you install it later on in this process. If there was still some leftover residual wax around where you need something sturdy like a "toilet flange," then no amount of glue would keep up with those forces acting against them. Also, don't forget about clearing out any other debris clogging up your drains so nothing gets stuck there later.

Here are some steps to consider to make the job a little bit easier:

  • Turn off the water supply to your toilet. This will be either a faucet handle or a shutoff valve.
  • Remove the toilet seat and lid by unscrewing them from the bowl.
  • Unscrew or loosen any bolts holding the toilet to the floor, then lift it out of place so you can work on it easily. You can use a wrench for this task if necessary, but make sure not to force anything—the old stuff may crumble apart in your hands!
  • Be careful not to break any pipes underneath when scraping off the wax seal. Also, clean up any debris from behind where you removed everything else (you might have gotten some dust there).

2. Clean and prep the area.

The second step after removing the toilet is to clean the area. Once you have cleaned out all of that old gunk, it’s time to prep for the installation of your new toilet. This involves buying a new wax seal, as well as getting some bolts that will hold down your new fixture securely enough so it doesn’t fall over or leak after installation.

3. Install a new wax ring and wax seal.

Clean the wax ring. While you may be tempted to install your toilet with a dirty wax seal, this can damage the new toilet and cause leaks. Before installing, clean the seal with soapy water or rubbing alcohol and then allow it to dry completely before moving on to step two.

Make sure your wax ring is the right size for your toilet flange (the base of your old toilet). You can find out what size flange you need by looking at small numbers or letters stamped into the metal ring on top of your old toilet’s base—or simply by measuring it yourself using a ruler. If there aren’t any markings on yours, measure its width (from side-to-side) instead since all standard American toilets have an 8-inch flange in diameter (this includes both round and elongated bowls).

Once you know what size wax seal will work best for your home improvement project, make sure that it's properly seated inside its corresponding groove around each end of where that piece meets up against other parts underneath. This ensures airtightness which prevents any leakages from occurring.

4. Bolt down the new toilet.

There are many different types of bolts. Be sure to use the right ones for your toilet and your installation. If you're unsure about what type to use, consult with a professional or read the instruction booklet that came with your new toilet. Once you've done that, make sure the bolts are tight and level.

Once all of this is complete, check for leaks around any joints where water might be allowed in (such as between a wall and the floor). Leaks can occur during installation, so always double-check before sealing up anything!

If the toilet is too far gone, you may want to consider replacing the entire floor or wall. In cases like this, you will also want to make sure your Arlington home doesn’t show signs of mold damage. This is where SERVPRO of Arlington/Jacksonville East can help. Give us a call for water damage restoration and mold remediation!

What Does a Commercial Property Insurance Policy Cover?

10/8/2022 (Permalink)

a young man in a suit in his office showing an insurance policy and pointing to where the policyholder should sign with a pen Commercial property insurance can help protect your assets from disaster and keep them safe.

What Is Covered by Commercial Property Insurance?

As you are starting your business and looking for a commercial property policy, there are many things to consider. You have to choose the amount of coverage you will need, as well as its features and price. You can get a policy that fits your needs and even offers a competitive price; however, here are some important things to know before buying one:

The Basics

If you have a business, whether it's just a part-time venture or a full-time moneymaker, there are some things that could happen that could cause you to lose money. For example, if your storefront was hit by a car, it may be damaged beyond repair and you'd need to rebuild it. Or maybe your entire property is flooded during an unexpected flood and all of the contents inside get ruined. In these cases—and many others—commercial property insurance can help protect your assets from disaster and keep them safe so they're available when they're needed most.

The first step in finding out if commercial property insurance will be right for you is determining what kind of business structure you have: sole proprietor or partnership. If there are multiple owners involved (like with a limited liability company or corporation), then the next step would be figuring out who owns what portion of the building and its contents so you can get an accurate quote based on their specific needs.

What is Commercial Property Insurance?

Commercial property insurance is a policy that covers losses to your business. It can cover everything from fire damage to theft, and it can be written for a single property or for an entire portfolio of properties.

The coverage options will vary from company to company, but generally speaking, you'll see the following options:

  • Property damage and loss (property being damaged by natural disasters or other events)
  • Business income (loss of revenue caused by an event like fire)

Choose the Amount of Coverage

You will have to choose the amount of coverage you’re going to need. The amount of coverage you choose should be based on the value of your property. It is important that you get an insurance policy that fits your needs and even offers a competitive price.

Building & Personal Property Coverage

The standard commercial property insurance policy includes both building and personal property coverage. The following is a breakdown of each:

  • Building Coverage – This covers the cost to repair or replace your building, its contents, and any other structures located on your property (such as fences). However, it does not include land value or any improvements to your land.
  • Personal Property Coverage – Covers electronic equipment and fixtures as well as things like furniture, clothing, and machinery that are used in the day-to-day operations of your business. This may also extend to tools that are used by employees while they’re working onsite.

In conclusion, commercial property insurance is very important. If you own a business or you have a property in Arlington that needs to be protected, this type of coverage will help you do it at an affordable price. This type of insurance can also offer peace of mind in knowing that if something does happen on your property then there are funds available should any damages need repairing.

3 Flood Safety Tips To Follow

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

Documents in plastic containers Store important documents in water-resistant containers

Flood Safety Tips

Before, during and after a flood in Arlington, FL, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure how to best keep yourself safe. There are certain flood safety suggestions that can help you navigate your home after a flood.

1. Avoid Electrical Systems

Electrical systems in your home can be hazardous to handle after a flood. Though you might think you can remove small amounts of water that surround electrical systems on your own, it’s often wise to instead allow water damage restoration experts to safely remove the water from your home. Even if the area surrounding any outlets, wires or systems appears unaffected by water, it’s often best to avoid the area.

2. Obtain and Access Necessary Supplies

There are particular supplies that are often useful to have during and after a flood. Having adequate amounts of drinkable water for every person in your home can be helpful since floodwater often is unsafe to drink. It can also be wise to have nonperishable food items and important medications on hand. Part of flood safety also means making sure you can easily access the materials and items without putting yourself at risk.

3. Make Preparations Before Disaster Strikes

Though many people don’t like to think their homes will be affected by a flood, thinking about safety tips before a disaster occurs can be incredibly useful. Storing insurance information, social security cards and other important documents in water-resistant containers can be important, as you may need to access these items after a flood. Additionally, preparing and practicing an evacuation plan can also help you react to a flood in a manner that is safe and timely.

Being informed about flood safety can help you feel more prepared for a flood. Avoiding electrical systems, obtaining and keeping track of important supplies and preparing before a natural disaster occurs are helpful ways to bolster your safety.

The Non-Plumber's Guide to Replacing a Toilet

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

Debris on the floor of bathroom, toilet has been removed. Water damage in a St. Nicholas, FL bathroom home.

How To Replace a Toilet

Water leaks are no fun, and when you discover a leak is coming from a toilet, it can be downright revolting. The good news is that most leaking toilet issues involve clean water, so chances are you can make the toilet repair or swap yourself. That said, if you're not a certified plumber or a handyman, you probably have no clue as to how to replace a toilet. This step-by-step guide should help you.

1. Drain and Remove the Toilet

First things first: Shut off the supply line to the toilet and drain it completely. This is a necessary step if you don't want to cause more water damage or be inundated with a surge of toilet water. Once you've drained the toilet, remove the caps that conceal the closet bolts and detach the hex nuts. Exercising extreme care, lift the old toilet by the bowl and place it on an old towel.

2. Make the Repair

The problem behind a leaking toilet typically stems from the closet flange. If that's the case in your bathroom, scrape away the existing wax gasket. Loosen the bolts that secure the flange to the surface and slide a repair strap beneath it. Center the new wax gasket on the flange.

3. Connect the New Water-Supply Tube and Replace the Toilet

Finally, attach the new water-supply tube to the valve at the base of the toilet tank. Replace the toilet onto the gasket and press down on the bowl to tighten the seal. Secure the closet bolts and then press down on the bowl again. Make sure the nuts are as tight as they can go before covering them with caps. Reconnect the supply line to the shut-off valve, and then reopen the valve. Perform a test flush to check for leaks.

If the water from your leaking toilet has already caused significant damage in your St Nicholas, FL, home, you may want to contact a professional plumber. You should also reach out to your local water remediation team for cleanup assistance.