Preparing For Hurricane Irma

With Hurricane Irma projected to arrive in north central Florida in the next few days, we know that many residents are looking for ways to protect their properties and families. As disaster restoration specialists, we wanted to offer our expertise as you prepare. We’ve pulled together 11 key steps to prevent damage and handle emergency situations to help you stay safe and secure this weekend.

  1. Be aware of the hurricane’s progress. Stay tuned to local forecasts, storm warnings, and hurricane trackers. By following the hurricane’s progress, you can make an informed decision of whether to evacuate your property, if necessary. Be ready to make this decision if you live in an area that could be flooded. If you live in a prefabricated house that isn’t sturdy enough to stand up to the wind, you should evacuate early to avoid the rush.
  2. Clear weak or dead tree limbs around your property. Loose branches pose a significant danger during high winds, which can blow them down and cause damage to your property. Make sure to dispose of any branches in a closed container.
  3. Secure and clear out your gutters. Hurricanes and tropical storms typically bring heavy rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding. Securing loose gutters and downspouts will also prevent them from being whipped out of place by winds.
  4. Shut and reinforce windows and doors. This will help protect against strong winds and rain, keeping the storm outside. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option, though not a last-minute one, is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. If you haven’t done this already, be sure to put it on your list in preparation for future storms. Don’t forget to secure any outside shed or garage doors as well.
  5. Clear your yard, porches, and patio. Make sure to safely store any outdoor furniture, grills, trash cans, bird feeders, hanging plants, kid’s toys – anything that high winds can pick up and use as a projectile. Playhouses, storage sheds, or any other outdoor structures should be anchored securely. If they are not already secured to a permanent foundation, you can use straps and ground anchors to keep them in place.
  6. Locate gas pilots and water mains. You will need to be able to find these and know how to safely shut off your utilities.
  7. Take photos or videos of the interior and exterior of your home and of your personal belongings. For insurance claims, it’s important to create a record of your personal property. This will help assist adjusters in case you need to file a claim. You can also create an itemized list of your furniture, clothing, and other valuables.
  8. Find and secure your important documents and insurance policies. If you don’t have time to access a safe deposit box, try to use a watertight box or make sure your documents are backed up online. If you plan on riding out the storm in your home, make sure you have a “safe room” inside the house.
  9. Put together a disaster supply kit. This kit should include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
  10. Charge your cell phone now. The worst time to run down your battery is mid-storm, after your home has lost power.
  11. Know your local emergency service providers. In case of extensive damage to your home during a storm, it’s important to learn ahead of time who will be available to help. Look for licensed contractors in Gainesville, FL who specialize in restoration and provide all-hours service. Maven Construction Group provides these services to the north central Florida region, and can be reached 24/7.

 

For further information as you plan for Hurricane Irma, please see these emergency preparedness and response resources:

Plumber or Restoration Company? How to Know Who to Call

Is it a Job for a Plumber or Gainesville Restoration Company?

When it comes to water leaks and other emergencies in your home, both plumbers and restoration companies work to repair the issue and prevent water damage. However, there are instances when a restoration company might be more suitable than a plumber and vice versa. At Maven Construction Group, we provide restoration of water damage Gainesville, FL, residents can trust.

Common Water Issues for Homeowners

  • Leaking Pipes: Leaking or cracked pipes can happen quite often and if not taken care of can cost you a significant amount on your water bill and even cause water damage to floors and walls. However, water leak detection is fairly easy and quick to spot, as well as to resolve, so it is often a job more suitable for a plumber as long as there is no extensive damage.
  • Clogged Drains: Clogged drains can cause water to spill over onto other areas, however, because it is easily noticed it will often be repaired before there is extensive water damage to the surrounding areas. A plumber would be the ideal choice for clogged drains.
  • Leaking Shower Pan: Leaking shower pans are not easily detected and due to the constant flow of water it is easy for water to damage floors and walls. The excess moisture often causes mold growth in the bathroom as well. For water issues involving mold damage restoration, a restoration company should be contacted.
  • Water Heater Burst: A water heater burst can release large amounts of water instantly, possibly flooding the surrounding areas and causing water damage. In this instance, a Gainesville restoration company would be necessary for emergency water removal and to repair the burst.
  • Slab Leaks: Slab leaks can cause serious structural problems to your home if not addressed. They can cause cracks in walls and flooring, extensive water damage to the foundation, mildew and mold growth, and raise your water bills significantly. A restoration company can help repair the leak and address any water or mold damages caused by it.

Restoration Company in Gainesville, FL

What makes water restoration companies different from plumbers is the gravity of the situation. Plumbers stop and repair the source of water loss but do not address water damage caused by it. Restoration companies, on the other hand, use advanced equipment to dry, remove and repair water damage as well as mold damage caused by the water source. At Maven Construction Group, we can also bring in a plumber to repair a leak or other water issue if needed and, unlike normal plumber services, the repairs would be covered under your insurance. Contact us today for all your water and mold restoration services.

Water Damage Gainesville Florida

Water damage can lead to mold contamination if ignored or not dried within 24-48 hours. Some water damages in Gainesville Florida happen quickly and are obvious, causing significant amounts of water. Others may happen slowly for longer periods of time going unnoticed. The presence of such uncontrolled water damage can allow mold to grow. Often times homes have hidden, slow plumbing leaks and the homeowner or building occupants are unaware of this damage for months. Slab leaks are example of hidden plumbing leaks which can lead to serious structural problems and mold growth.

Moisture from Construction: Moisture contained in the materials used to construct a building needs to be removed, by using drying materials, once construction has been completed. During the construction process building materials are often water damaged by rain and then installed and covered up before dried properly. Contractors are generally behind schedule due to rain delays which often times results in the use of wet building materials as they try to complete their project on time. This increases the chances of mold contamination within the home or building. Most building contractors have little to no understanding of psychrometrics which is the science of understanding how moisture behaves when it is a vapor contained in the air. The following defined terms must be understood for one to have a better understanding of psychrometrics. 

Dry-bulb temperature:  The temperature of air read on a standard thermometer. 

Relative humidity: (RH) The ratio of moisture content in the air. 

Specific humidity: The weight of water in each pound of dry air. Generally discussed in GPP (Grains Per Pound) of Dry Air. 

Wet bulb temperature: The temperature of air read on a standard thermometer that is covered by wet wick and exposed to air moving across it at 1000 feet per minute. 

Mold Growth Inside Buildings: Mold will begin to grow in and on building materials when humidity levels within the building reach 70 % or higher. This can result from water damaged building materials not being dried properly or HVAC system failure. When a building’s HVAC system is failing it can result in surface mold growth which can be remediated easily early on. Serious mold problems are usually the result of some form of water damage such as plumbing leaks or roof leaks which go ignored or are mishandled. Property management companies and condo associations in Gainesville Florida are known to ignore and mishandle water damage and mold damage. Property management companies are paid by property owners to minimize damages and cost and maximize profits, leaving building occupants at risk. Property management companies definition of mold remediation is covering mold contaminated drywall with paint or primer. Maintenance staff often perform these tasks with little to no knowledge about mold contamination and proper structural drying. Water damage is a very serious issue  and many residents are living inside mold contaminated apartment buildings with little to no knowledge.

If you suspect you have mold in your residence, contact professionals who can help you identify and eliminate the problem. MAVEN Construction Group is a licensed General Contractor AND licensed Mold Remediator with over a decade of experience in handling water and mold related issues in residential and commercial buildings.

Water Leak Detection Gainesville Florida

North Central Florida has chronic issues with hidden plumbing leaks, known as slab leaks,which are a failure of copper plumbing lines located within the foundation in residential and commercial buildings. Often times slab leaks can take 15-20 years to develop. Slab leaks will start off with a hole in the copper line so small it can’t be seen by the naked eye. Although small, slab leaks can cause serious water and mold damage to your property. They can go undetected for weeks, causing mold damage inside wall cavities and behind cabinets or under wood flooring. Mold typically thrives in damp, dark places like water damaged wall cavities. Slab leaks will often lead to mold damage.

Slab leaks are usually detected by homeowners when water bills are increased with out explanation. Often times homeowners will notice a wet spot in the middle of a room or a warm spot under a tile floor. Plumbing companies often lack the proper leak detection equipment needed to locate slab leaks. Leak detection for slab leaks is performed using specialty equipment such as thermal imaging devices, moisture detection devices and sonar guided listening devices. Using this specialty equipment to locate the leak, reduces demolition and damage to the property. Once the slab leak is located, a plumbing company can be contracted to repair the leak. Slab leak repair is often times covered by homeowners insurance policies and resulting water and mold damage from slab leaks are usually covered as well. Gainesville Leak Detection is owned and operated by the licensed General Contractors at MAVEN Construction Group. They locate hundreds of slab leaks every year in North Central Florida. If you have a hidden water leak call Gainesville Leak Detection at 352-246-8667.