Smoke Alarm Facts
Learn the top smoke alarm facts about installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting from SERVPRO®.
Explore essential smoke alarm facts to ensure their life-saving potential. Proper installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting are key for this vital fire safety device.
The Importance of Smoke Detectors
Having numerous smoke alarms throughout your home or business is essential for warning occupants of fire and smoke. By waking people up and making the urgent situation apparent, people can evacuate to safety before their lives are at risk. The benefits of smoke detectors are so substantial that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires them in every residential dwelling or sleeping unit.
Where to Install Smoke Alarms
NFPA 72 outlines where you should install smoke detectors, including:
- Inside every bedroom
- Outside each sleeping area
- On every level of the home, including the basement
- High on the wall or ceiling
- At least 10 feet from cooking appliances and humid bathrooms to minimize false alarms
- Away from windows, doors, or air vents that might generate interfering drafts
Existing homes that aren’t up-to-code should be modified to meet these requirements. Keep in mind that larger homes need additional smoke alarms.
How Smoke Alarms Work
Smoke detectors come in two forms:
- Photoelectric smoke alarms feature a beam of light within the unit. When smoke particles scatter this beam, the alarm goes off. These detectors tend to be most responsive to smoldering fires.
- Ionization smoke alarms have a chamber with a small electrical current. When smoke enters the chamber, the number of ions changes, dropping the electrical current and sounding the alarm. These detectors are generally more responsive to flaming fires.
For the best protection, you should install both types of alarms in your home. Combination units are also available.
Why Smoke Detectors Go Off for No Reason
Smoke alarms may save lives, but they’re not perfect. Here are some possible reasons why your smoke detector keeps going off:
- Dust buildup in the ionization chamber
- Insect intrusion
- High humidity
- Rapid temperature changes
- High sensitivity
- Malfunctioning sensors
- Aging components
How and When to Maintain Your Smoke Detector
Smoke alarms require minimal maintenance to remain in good working order. Here’s what to do:
- Test your smoke alarm once a month by pressing the test button. A loud tone should sound. If all is well, press the button again to turn off the alarm. If the device doesn’t work, replace it immediately.
- Dust each smoke detector with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner every six months to keep cobwebs at bay.
- Change the smoke detector batteries once a year or when you hear your smoke detector beeping.
- Install new smoke alarms every 10 years.
If your home has been damaged in a fire, turn to SERVPRO of Mandarin for help. Our team is available 24/7 to help make your home safe and habitable once more. Call us today at (904) 636-0044 to request fire damage restoration.
Removing Cigarette Smoke Smell
If you’re moving into a home with lingering cigarette smells or need to prepare your house before selling, call a professional for cigarette smoke rem
Cigarettes produce stubborn odors that can linger in a home for years. Removing the smell of cigarette smoke is a tricky process. While opening windows and doors to increase ventilation, sprinkling baking soda on affected furniture, and setting out bowls of odor-absorbing vinegar can help, many situations call for professional cigarette smoke removal to make the house smell fresh again.
Hazards of Cigarette Smoke
Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, which can cause adverse health effects for anyone who inhales it. The groups most vulnerable to secondhand smoke include pregnant women, the very young and very old, and those with asthma or other respiratory conditions. Cigarette smoke also leaves behind a residue that can damage walls, ceilings, floors, and furnishings. For these reasons, smokers should always step outside before lighting a cigarette.
Is it Harder to Remove Old Cigarette Smoke?
In general, new cigarette smoke is relatively easy to remove. In fact, if you keep on top of deodorization efforts, you may be able to remove recent cigarette smells with nothing but vinegar and baking soda. However, for odors that have deeply penetrated drywall, wood furniture, and fabrics for many years, professional cigarette smell removal is a must.
Steps for Removing Cigarette Smoke Smell
If you’re moving into a home with a lingering cigarette smell or need to prepare your house before selling, call a professional for cigarette smoke removal. Here’s how smoke remediation experts remove cigarette smell:
- Assess the contamination: The first step is to learn the age and extent of the cigarette smoke damage. This helps the restoration team determine what remediation methods to use.
- Purify the air: Air purification removes airborne particles that could be contributing to the odor. This step is performed using air scrubbers and filters.
- Clean affected surfaces: While air purifiers are running, the crew cleans smoke residue and disinfects all affected surfaces. This is important to ensure leftover particles don’t continue emitting odors.
- Deodorize the space: Eliminating offensive cigarette smell often involves ozone generators, hydroxyl machines, and other specialized deodorizing equipment. The goal is to reproduce the conditions that caused odor penetration in the first place, thus drawing out and removing odors from the surface.
- Seal exposed surfaces: This step prevents a buildup of disagreeable odors in the future.
- Restore the home: Restoration efforts may be necessary, depending on the level of cigarette smoke damage. This includes replacing excessively damaged walls, floors, and other materials that can’t be effectively cleaned and deodorized. The result is a seamless restoration that looks “Like it never even happened.”®
SERVPRO of Mandarin is available 24/7 to assist with cigarette smoke removal. Whether the smell is new or old, contained to a single room or spread throughout the house, our team will provide the most effective results possible. As an experienced disaster restoration company, we also offer fire and smoke remediation services. Call us at (904) 636-0044 today to request cigarette smoke removal in Mandarin.
Preparing for a Hurricane to Limit Home Damage and Keep Your Family Safe
SERVPRO of Jacksonville Beach/Ponte Vedra offers tips for hurricane preparedness to limit hurricane damage to your home.
As hurricane season approaches, it's crucial to assess your readiness. Safeguarding your home and ensuring your family's safety are paramount. In this discussion, we will explore the significance of hurricane preparedness and provide valuable tips to help you brace for the impact of a formidable storm.
- Make some plans. You’ll need an evacuation plan, listing different evacuation destinations and an emergency pack list, as well as phone numbers for emergency contacts. Make sure your family is familiar with the plan and perform evacuation drills if you feel it’s necessary. You’ll also need a hurricane preparedness list of the supplies you’ll need to have on hand during a storm. This list should include seven days’ worth of non-perishable food and bottled water, tools, flashlights, a radio, and extra batteries, clothes, bedding, plasticware, a waterproof container with important documents, games and comfort items, and first aid supplies, including prescription medication and personal hygiene items.
- Take stock of your possessions. Do a complete inventory of your home before a hurricane hits, so you’ll be ready if you need to file an insurance claim or apply for disaster aid. It’s important to review your insurance policy, also, so that you can make any necessary adjustments to ensure that you’re covered if a hurricane hits.
- Secure your home’s exterior before a storm. Hurricanes come with high winds that can send just about anything flying through your windows and doors. Secure your windows, sliding glass doors, and entry doors with plywood or hurricane shutters to prevent breakage and interior damage. Keep wind and water out of the house by sealing exterior vents with marine-grade plywood, installing covers on outdoor electrical outlets, putting bibs on garden spigots, and caulking around cables and pipes that penetrate the exterior wall of the house. Consider installing roof straps and reinforcing your garage door as well. Make a thorough inspection to determine if there’s anything that could become airborne, including furniture, planters, bikes, toys, and other outdoor items. Move these to a secure location and trim trees and branches so they won’t break off during a storm. If you have a pool, cover it and secure the cover, and if you have a shed, make sure the door is closed and secure. Check your foundation and repair cracks, cover your outside HVAC components, and if you have a sump pump, test it to make sure it’s working properly.
- Get the interior ready as well. Carefully check wall hangings to confirm that they’re secure and take any outdoor art inside. Turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting to prevent spoilage in case of a power outage and remove fuses from your air conditioner to protect it from damage. If you need to evacuate, unplug all of your major appliances, and move small electronics like televisions, vacuums, and stereos to a higher floor. Turn off the main water valve to the home, cut off the electricity at the circuit breaker, and turn off the gas at each appliance.
- Care for your cars. Fill the gas tanks and move your cars to higher ground or into your garage and away from trees and power lines.
For hurricane or tropical storm damage to your home in Northeast Florida, rely on the expertise of SERVPRO of Mandarin. Our skilled restoration technicians possess the necessary training and cutting-edge equipment to bring your Jacksonville home back to its pre-storm state. With over 40 years of trusted leadership in the water restoration industry, we are dedicated to serving our community. Reach out to us at (904) 636-0044 or visit our website to contact us for assistance.
What to Do With Your Belongings After Water Damage
Understand what to do with your belongings after your home has been affected by water damage with SERVPRO of Mandarin
What to Do With Your Belongings After Water Damage
Water damage not only harms the structure of your home but also poses a threat to your personal belongings, including furniture, valuables, and sentimental items. When faced with this unfortunate event, navigating the restoration process can be challenging.
SERVPRO is here to handle your home water damage restoration, guiding you through the process of restoring your belongings with a compilation of the necessary steps required.
Assess the Damage
Before diving into trying to restore your belongings, it’s important to assess the damage. Take a look around your home and document the extent of the damage. Make a list of any items that have been damaged and determine which items are salvageable and which are beyond repair.
Remove Wet Items
Remove any wet items from your home, including carpets, furniture, and any other personal belongings. Place these items in a dry, well-ventilated area to allow them to begin drying out on their own. Air-drying your items indoors is effective. However, you will want to make sure it is not hot or humid. Using low-power fans, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers will help this process.
Begin the Cleaning Process
Water damage is accompanied by dirt and debris, meaning you will need to clean your belongings once they are mostly dry. For the cleaning process, use soft cloths and gentle brushes, as water damage will compromise the resilience of your belongings, making them more prone to damage.
Documents, photographs, and books must be separated from other paper items and placed apart with a paper towel to help to dry them out. These items may bleed or rip if they are handled too roughly, so it’s imperative to treat them with their fragility in mind.
H3: Preserve Your Items
Restoring your belongings after your home has been affected by water damage is a time-consuming task. If you are in a time crunch, you can place smaller items such as photos, documents, books, and textiles in your freezer to clean them at a later date. This preservation method prevents the items from developing mold and further damage and enables you to focus on more demanding items before moving on to smaller restoration jobs.
Dispose of Items in Disrepair
Items in a state of disrepair are an unfortunate reality of water damage. While it may be challenging to accept that you must part ways with certain items you love throughout your home, there are just some things that can’t be salvaged and will need to be disposed of to make room for the restoration of your home.
Trust the Water Damage Clean-Up Professionals
As Florida's top provider of home restoration services, SERVPRO is your go-to solution for water damage. Calling in the professionals as soon as possible is crucial to minimizing damage and returning your home to its original condition before the loss. Contact the industry-leading water damage restoration professionals today to learn more about our expert services.
Importance of Cleaning and Sanitizing After Water Damage
The importance of proper cleaning and sanitizing after your home has been affected by water damage with SERVPRO in Mandarin.
The Importance of Cleaning and Sanitizing After Water Damage
Water damage is a significant problem that demands urgent attention when it affects a home. Standard cleaning methods are inadequate for addressing the damage caused by flooding. Instead, the expertise of a certified water damage restoration professional is essential to resolve the issue effectively.
Failing to properly clean and disinfect your home can result in a number of unwanted outcomes, from health risks to costly damage. SERVPRO has compiled a list of reasons why adequate cleaning and sanitation services are essential following a flood.
Water damage is associated with the growth of mold, which can lead to respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues. Mold can grow on any surface that has been wet for more than 48 hours, including walls, floors, furniture, and appliances.
Bacterial and Viral Infections
Water damage can lead to the proliferation of bacteria and viruses, which can cause illness if ingested or inhaled. This is a particular concern if the water is contaminated with sewage or other hazardous substances.
Water and electricity are never a good mix. Standing water in your home can pose a serious risk of electrocution if electrical outlets or appliances are submerged.
As a homeowner, you have invested a significant amount of time and money into making your home a desirable place to live. Water damage can detrimentally affect the structure of your home with damage that requires immediate repairs. Water damage weakens the structure of your home in several ways, including compromising the foundation and walls if left untreated.
Water damage can touch every aspect of your home, including your personal belongings. From furniture to decorations, items of sentimental value and beyond, you may be facing significant damage to your items if your home is not professionally cleaned and sanitized immediately following water damage.
Floods come paired with offensive odors that alter the comfortable environment of your home. These smells cannot be eliminated with traditional cleaners and air fresheners and will instead need the heavy-duty power of industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Contact the Water Damage Restoration and Clean-Up Experts
SERVPRO offers industry-leading restoration services to homeowners who have suffered water damage in their homes. With services ranging from water removal to expert cleaning and sanitation, SERVPRO's restoration solutions encompass all essential components needed to restore comfort and peace of mind in your home. Contact our team to discuss your water damage solution today.
Does Water Damage Decrease Home Value?
Explore the effects of water damage on the value of your home with SERVPRO in Mandarin.
Does Water Damage Decrease Your Home’s Value?
Water damage of certain types can cause severe depreciation of a home's value due to resulting structural damage, mold growth, and other undesirable consequences. Such damage makes a property less attractive to potential buyers, who may worry about future issues and the expenses involved in repairs.
SERVPRO is here to help you understand the effects of water damage on your home’s value and guide you through how you can improve the situation for a more favorable outcome when it comes time to sell your home.
Common Sources of Water Damage
There are several potential sources of water damage in a home. Some are more detectable than others, and some may cause significantly more damage. These sources include:
- Leaking pipes due to corrosion, damage, or poor installation
- Appliance failures such as washing machines, water heaters, or refrigerators
- Flooding from heavy rain, melting snow, or failure of a dam or levee
- Sewage backups
- Water heater leaks
- Roof leaks
Damage That Decreases Home Value
Any type of water damage can potentially decrease the value of a home, as it can lead to structural damage, mold growth, and more. However, some damage is easier to resolve than others, and may not play a major role in affecting the value of your home.
Water damage that affects a large area of the home or that causes profound damage to the structure or foundation of the home is likely to be more costly to repair and may have a greater impact on the home’s value. This may include warped ceilings or walls, foundation problems, and buckled flooring.
Mold growth can be exceptionally difficult and costly to remove, and it can cause several health conditions, such as respiratory issues and other harmful conditions. Mold growth can decrease the value of a home, as it is challenging to remove, making it a major concern to potential buyers.
Water damage that is caused by contaminated water, such as sewage or floodwater, can be particularly detrimental to a home’s value. This is because it can lead to the proliferation of bacteria and other pathogens that can cause serious illness, and it may also require more extensive cleaning and disinfection.
When water damage affects your electrical systems, you are faced with costly expenditures and serious concerns. A faulty electrical system due to water damage can pose a risk of electrocution. Therefore, this type of damage is not something potential buyers take lightly.
Trust SERVPRO to Preserve the Integrity of Your Home
To mitigate the negative impact of water damage on a home's value, it is crucial to promptly address the issue with the help of certified water damage restoration experts. SERVPRO's top-tier team is an industry leader in handling such restoration work. Contact our experts to discuss how we can improve your home’s value with comprehensive water damage restoration and clean-up services.
Repairing Walls After Water Damage
SERVPRO of Mandarin Provides Tips for Repairing Water Damaged Walls.
If your walls and ceilings show signs of water damage, such as discoloration or stains, it's possible that you had a broken pipe or a leaky roof. While you may be able to repair minor drywall damage on your own, more serious damage may require professional assistance to ensure proper and prompt repairs. It's important to address water damage promptly to prevent further damage, mold growth, or structural issues. Seeking professional help can ensure that repairs are done quickly and correctly, helping to protect your home and your family.
The first step in restoring your walls and ceilings is to stop the problem that caused the damage in the first place. If you don’t take care of the source, you’ll constantly be dealing with water damage. This is obvious for large leaks, but don’t let small leaks fool you.
Drywall is very porous and excess moisture can cause it to lose its structural integrity very quickly. While you can repair some drywall, you can’t salvage drywall that’s blistered or sagging. In these cases, you may need to replace large portions of the drywall. When you remove damaged drywall, it’s important to make sure that the insulation and studs behind the drywall are dry. You may need to let the inside of the wall dry out for a few days before replacing the drywall.
When you start to tackle water damaged drywall, you need to watch out for mold. If the drywall is structurally sound but mold is present, you’ll need to kill the mold by scrubbing it off. A diluted bleach solution will kill the mold, but it won’t damage the drywall.
If you plan to cover water stains in the drywall, again, you need to make sure the water leak has been identified and corrected. Then you can begin the process of covering the stains. Start by scraping off any loose paint, then sanding the area until it’s smooth and free of imperfections. You can then cover the stain with paint.
Making minor repairs to drywall can be a simple do it yourself project and will give you a feeling of pride in your handiwork. Major repairs are another matter altogether. When the water damage that you’ve suffered has affected large sections of walls or ceilings, you need to contact a professional.
At SERVPRO of Mandarin, our goal is to restore your property to its pre-damage condition, making it look "Like it never even happened." As a locally owned and operated company, we prioritize providing exceptional customer service. We offer 24-hour emergency services to the Jacksonville and St. Johns County beach areas, and our team has the necessary training and expertise to handle all your restoration and cleaning needs.
For additional information about our company, visit our website or call us at 904-636-0044.
Tropical Storm Clean-up and Restoration
SERVPRO of Mandarin offers tips for storm clean-up and restoration.
Water damage can occur in your home or business due to various reasons such as a broken pipe or a leaky roof. However, if you've experienced water damage from a tropical storm, the recovery and restoration process can be more complex than dealing with a simple leaking faucet. Numerous factors, such as flooding, high winds, and flying debris, can exacerbate the damage caused by a tropical storm, making restoration more complicated and time-consuming.
A tropical storm or hurricane can cause damage from wind, rising water, falling trees, and flying debris. Recovery from any or all of these can be difficult, but there are some tips for you to follow after the storm has passed.
- If you’ve left the home to seek safer shelter, you need to be careful when returning home. First, make sure the local authorities have announced that it’s safe to return.
- You may have lost power or other utilities, so bring necessities like food and water with you.
- Have a professional check for damage to your home, to make sure it’s safe. If necessary, you may have to board up damaged windows or doors until repairs can be made.
- Avoid roads that are covered with water while you’re coming home and stay away from any downed power lines you may encounter.
- If you’re going to use a generator, make sure it’s in an area with plenty of ventilation, and never inside a garage.
- In case of possible gas leaks, you should use flashlights instead of candles.
- Check the food in your fridge for spoilage, and discard anything you’re not absolutely sure about
- Keep children and pets inside until things are back to normal.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to start the claims process. You may find mobile emergency claims centers set up in mall or grocery store parking lots.
Hurricanes and tropical storms pack powerful wind and heavy rain that can cause significant damage to your property. After the storm has passed, you need help to clean up and repair your property so you can return back to normal as quickly as possible. At SERVPRO of Mandarin, we understand that dealing with a disaster can be overwhelming, and our goal is to help make the restoration process as smooth and stress free as possible by providing a prompt response. In addition, we will work directly with your insurance company.
As a locally owned and operated small business, we take pride in responding quickly to any size disaster. Our team of highly trained technicians is dedicated to providing 24-hour emergency service to the Mandarin area, and we have the necessary training and expertise to handle all your restoration and cleaning needs. We're proud to be an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certified) Firm, and we go above and beyond by ensuring that all our technicians, office staff, and business development teams are individually trained and IICRC certified as well. With our commitment to quality and expertise, you can trust us to restore your property to its pre-damage condition.
For additional information about our company, visit our website or call us at 904-636-0044.
Signs of Water Damage
SERVPRO of Mandarin advises how to look for signs of water damage.
Water damage is a significant hazard that can occur more frequently than you might expect. Whether your home is old or new, it can be susceptible to water damage at any time, leading to a variety of problems. By being vigilant and recognizing the earliest signs of water damage, you can protect your investment, as well as the health and wellbeing of your family. Here are some helpful tips to identify water damage:
Visible Wet Spots
One of the easiest signs to spot are wet spots in your walls or ceilings. These usually indicate fairly recent water damage, appearing in as little as 24 hours.
Streaks of Color on the Walls
Yellow, brown, or white streaks on the walls often indicate older water damage. These streaks can be a sign that you have a leak that will recur, perhaps after a thunderstorm.
If your walls or ceiling are made of sheetrock, cracking or peeling may be a sign of water damage, but not always. They could also be signs of the home settling, so it’s best to get an expert to check it out.
The bubbling occurs due to moisture that has seeped through the walls and damaged the layers of paint.
Soft drywall or plaster is another sign of water damage in your home. If wet, pressing on the wall may leave and indentation.
Running Water in Your Walls
If you hear water running when none of the faucets are in use, there’s a good chance that you have some kind of leak.
Musty or Damp Odors
You might notice a musty scent near the walls that have had water damage. Sometimes the smell will appear before water spots become visible.
Higher Water Bills
If your water bill has recently spiked, you may have a leaking pipe somewhere, and that can turn into water damage.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew growing on your walls or ceiling is a clear sign that there’s too much moisture in that area. Often, you need a professional to pin point the cause and remove the mold or mildew.
If water is dripping into your home when it rains, you most likely have a roof leak, and you need to get the roof repaired asap, then tend to the possible water damage inside.
If you've observed any of the aforementioned signs of water damage, it's crucial to have a professional inspection to determine the cause and effectively address the damage. As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Mandarin specializes in repairing water damage for residents in the local area. Our team of highly trained technicians is committed to responding quickly to any size disaster, providing 24-hour emergency service and the necessary expertise to handle all your restoration and cleaning needs. Trust us to restore your property and peace of mind.
For additional information about our company, visit our website or call us at 904-636-0044.
Why You Should Have Fire Extinguishers In Your Home?
We Provide Emergency Restoration Service in Mandarin, FL.
To prepare for a potential house fire, it is essential to have a fire extinguisher on hand. Familiarizing yourself with the various types of fire extinguishers and their proper usage is crucial in such an event.
Fire Extinguishers: Why You Need One and How to Use It
There are many reasons to have fire extinguishers in your home. A fire can start quickly and without warning, so it's important to be prepared. Having a fire extinguisher on hand can help you put out the fire before it becomes too large or spreads to other parts of the house. Additionally, having a fire extinguisher can help you stay safe if a fire does break out. Make sure to keep your family, your home, or your office safe by installing and using fire extinguishers properly.
It's Important To Be Prepared
Fires are one of the most destructive forces on the planet, which is why it's so important to be prepared. Fire extinguisher classes can teach you how to use the different types of extinguishers, and how to prevent fires from starting in the first place. ABC fire extinguishers are the most common type, and they can be used on all types of fires. But there are other types of extinguishers as well, and each one is designed for a specific type of fire. It's important to know which one to use in an emergency. Being prepared can help you save lives and property in the event of a fire.
Check The Expiration Date On Your Fire Extinguisher
One of the most important things you can do to ensure the safety of your home (or business) is to regularly check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher(s). A fire extinguisher is a crucial piece of safety equipment, and it needs to be in good working order to be effective. The expiration date is usually printed on the label, and it's important to note that this is the date after which the extinguisher may no longer be effective. If your extinguisher is expired, you should replace it as soon as possible. You should also have your extinguisher inspected and recharged by a certified professional every few years to make sure it's always ready for use. By regularly checking the expiration date and maintaining your fire extinguisher, you can ensure that you're always prepared in case of an emergency.
Make Sure Everyone Knows How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
It's important to make sure that everyone in your household knows how to use a fire extinguisher. The first step is to identify the type of fire extinguisher that you have. There are three main types of fires: oil, electrical, and general. Once you know the type of fire, you can identify the appropriate type of extinguisher. For example, water-based extinguishers are best for oil fires, while foam-based extinguishers are best for electrical fires. Finally, remember the acronym "PASS" - Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. This will help you to remember the steps for using a fire extinguisher. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that everyone in your household is prepared in the event of a fire.
Contact SERVPRO of Mandarin
At SERVPRO of Mandarin, we comprehend the importance of returning to normalcy after a fire disaster. With our expertise, training, and abundance of resources, we can swiftly and efficiently respond to your fire damage emergency. Our team is dedicated to restoring your property by cleaning up the damage with utmost diligence. To learn more about our services or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.