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How do I Save My Water-Damaged Wood Floor?

1/17/2023 (Permalink)

Damaged hardwood flooring. If there's one thing you should take away from this article, it's that the first 24 hours are critical.

Water damage is a serious problem. It can happen to anyone, at any time, and it's not limited to just homes and businesses. The truth is that water damage can occur in any setting where there's a high probability of moisture exposure: homes, businesses, cars, and elsewhere. If you've sustained water damage in your Sanibel, FL home or business, then this article will walk you through what steps you should take right away to save your wood flooring from further deterioration.

Can I save my water-damaged wood floor?

So, you're looking for ways to repair your water-damaged wood floor. You've come to the right place. Water damage is fixable in many cases, but you need to know that the extent of the damage will dictate how much time and effort will go into repairing it.

So, what do you do? Don't panic! The next step is figuring out whether your floor can be saved by taking steps during those crucial 24 hours following a spill or flood.

What's the first step to saving my wood floor?

The first step to saving your wood floor is to get the water out. If you don't, you could end up with permanent damage on your floor that will be costly to remove.

This can be done with either a wet/dry vacuum or by using a shop vac with a special nozzle attachment (like this one) that sucks water from carpets, upholstery, and other fabric surfaces without taking off any of the fibers in them.

Once you've drained as much of the water from your floor as possible, dry it thoroughly before moving on to cleaning and restoring the finish on top of it.

If the floor is not immediately dried, what can happen?

If the wood floor is not dried immediately, it will continue to warp and swell. This can cause permanent damage to the floor. If you do not act quickly enough, your wood floor may become more difficult to repair or even need to be replaced altogether.

How long will it take to save my hardwood floor?

The drying process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on how much water was on the floor and how long it sat there before drying off. If you're lucky, your hardwood floor will be warped only slightly after drying — but if it's been flooded for a long time, your floors might be unsavable.

To save your wet wood floors from warping, they'll need to be dried out as quickly as possible. The longer they stay wet and cool, the more likely they are to warp over time; once they're dry enough that they won't warp anymore, then you can start working on repairing any damage done by the moisture content of their environment over time.

The first 24 hours are critical.

If you have water damage, call your preferred water damage restoration team right away. Water damage can cause mold growth and the harmful effects of this may become irreversible in as little as 48 hours following a flood or leak.

If there's one thing you should take away from this article, it's that the first 24 hours are critical. If you have water damage, call SERVPRO of Sanibel/Ft Myers Beach right away. It may seem like an inconvenience at first, but if ignored long enough it can lead to more serious issues in your Sanibel, FL home or business.

Top 3 Areas Where Water Damage Most Likely Occurs

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

Faucet with mold growth Water can lead to mold growth

Common Areas For Water Damage

If your home has just been damaged by water, don't worry! You're not alone. In fact, it's likely that many other homes in your area have also had water damage. In this article, I'll explain why these are the most common areas for water damage and how to hire a reputable repair professional so you can get back to normal as soon as possible.

These 3 places in the house are most likely to have water damage

For most homeowners, water damage is a rare occurrence. But when it happens, it can wreak havoc on your home and make you feel like you need to start from scratch.

Wondering where water damage most often occurs? Here are three places in the house where you might spot signs of moisture problems:

  • The bathroom
  • The kitchen
  • The basement


Basements are prone to water damage since they're easily accessible and the lowest point in a house. Water damage can occur when a sump pump malfunctions, when a pipe bursts or leaks, or when it freezes. These types of accidents can happen at any time or place, but basements are particularly susceptible because they lack insulation and ventilation, making it easier for condensation on pipes and walls to form.


The kitchen can be at high risk for water damage because it's often a high-humidity, pressure, and moisture area. There are many parts of the kitchen where water can escape or enter—the sink, dishwasher and garbage disposal are all points of entry for excess water. In addition to the obvious sources of water (like leaks), there are other things that cause leaks in your home that might not be so obvious:

  • High pressure washing machines: These units create immense amounts of pressure when they're used, which is why it's important to keep them away from walls or cabinets nearby. The same goes for using steam cleaners near cabinets and counters as well! If you think about how powerful these appliances really are compared with regular household use, it makes sense why they might cause more damage than expected if not watched carefully.


Bathrooms are one of the most common places for water damage to occur. They’re susceptible to water damage for many of the same reasons as kitchens: high moisture content can instigate mold growth. Constantly running water can cause excessive humidity in a room that doesn't have proper ventilation.

There are several preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of experiencing water damage in your bathroom:

  • Use a dehumidifier in any area where there is high humidity
  • Clean out drains on a regular basis so that mineral buildup does not clog up pipes and cause them to burst
  • Check all areas around your sink and tubs to ensure that they aren't damaged or leaking

Call a water damage professional if your home has been damaged

If your home has experienced a significant amount of water damage, call a professional. Water damage can be a serious problem, and it's important to address it quickly. Because of the risk of mold growth and structural damage, you'll want to call someone who knows what they're doing—especially if you live in an older home.


When your Fort Myers, FL home sustains water damage, it’s important to get help right away. The longer you wait, the more damage will occur and become more difficult to repair. Call a professional if you have any doubt about whether your home has been damaged by water.

How Do I Flush a Water Heater?

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

Hand connects the hose to a domestic water heater to perform maintenance. Flushing a water heater is easy and takes just a few hours.

How To Flush a Water Heater?

Water heaters can often develop buildup over time that can lead to significant problems. In fact, you should flush your water heater at least every two years to keep it from getting clogged and prevent leaks. Flushing a water heater is easy and takes just a few hours. Here’s how.

Turn off the water heater

The first step to flushing your water heater is to turn off the power. Turn off both the gas supply and the water supply, as well as any pilots light if there are any.

Connect a garden hose to the drain valve

The second step is to connect a garden hose to the drain valve. The end of the hose will come out of it, and then you can direct it outside.

Then, turn on your water heater's electricity or gas supply and wait for any remaining water inside to be drained out through the hose and into your yard or driveway. Depending on how much water has been stored inside, this may take anywhere from 15 minutes up to several hours.

Run the other end of the garden hose outdoors or into a large bucket.

  • Make sure your garden hose is long enough to reach outside.
  • The hose must also be wide enough to withstand the pressure of the water; if it's too narrow, it could burst as you run hot water through it.
  • Finally, make sure that your garden hose is strong enough for the volume of water you're putting through it.

Open the drain valve and let the water heater flush out.

  • Turn off your heater and your faucets, disconnecting anything that may be connected to them. If you have a hose connected to the water heater, make sure that it is disconnected as well.
  • Use a wrench to loosen up any fittings on your old tank before removing it from its place in your home's basement or garage (or wherever you decided to put it). You may need an extra set of hands for this step.

When most of the water has drained, shut off the drain valve and disconnect the hose.

  • Locate your water heater's drain valve and turn it clockwise to close it. The valve is usually located near or on top of your hot-water tank.
  • Disconnect the other end of your flexible hose from its fitting in your home's plumbing system (near where you just turned off the supply valve). 
  • Check that there is no water left in your tank before turning on another faucet or allowing a sink to fill up—you don't want any residual water from inside your heater to go back into your home's plumbing system!

Turn on the water heater and check for leaks at any valves you opened or removed.

You should turn on the water heater and check for leaks at any valves you opened or removed. If you see a leak, shut off the water heater and fix the problem before turning it back on. 

Flushing a water heater is an easy job that can keep your system running well.

Flushing a water heater is an easy job that can keep your system running well. A water heater is not complicated, but it does involve some high-pressure water and hot temperatures. Flushing a water heater is something you can do yourself if you have the right tools and follow the steps carefully. 

It’s also important to remember that while flushing takes only a few minutes, letting your hot water sit overnight could take hours or even days depending on how much sediment has built up inside of it over time — so make sure you plan accordingly before trying this method out!

Flushing a water heater is an easy job that can keep your system running well. It's important to keep up with regular maintenance on all kinds of systems, but especially ones that provide hot water for your home. So, if you don't feel like dealing with this task yourself, don’t be afraid to call a professional like SERVPRO of Sanibel Ft. Myers Beach!

Smoke Damage In Your Building

10/28/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial building fire.

Smoke Damage In Your Building

Smoke damage can be a very serious issue. When it occurs in a building, it causes both structural and cosmetic damage, forcing you to pay for expensive repairs. The good news is that many insurance companies consider smoke damage to be covered under their policies. However, make sure you know the facts about coverage before filing a claim

In the event of a fire in a commercial building, smoke and water damage is typically covered. This means that even if you have an adjacent company that is not a part of your insurance policy, their property damage may still be covered if it was caused by the fire.

What to Expect in the Cleaning Process

The cleaning process will be different for each building and each fire. The type of damage and soot that your building has suffered will impact how long the cleanup takes, but in most cases, it will take at least several weeks to fully complete. Some types of soot are more difficult to remove than others; this is why it often takes so long to clean a burnt building.

If you have been affected by smoke damage in your business or home, you may not know what to expect during this time. Here's what you can expect from us:

  • We'll come out right away and perform an initial assessment of your property with our crew on site (if possible). We'll determine whether there is any real danger present.
  • Next step is determining whether or not there was significant damage done inside the structure itself from heat exposure as well as water used during fighting fires outside their walls.

Cleaning Techniques

While wet cleaning is the most effective way to clean smoke damage, you may be forced to dry clean in a pinch. If that's the case, be aware that dry cleaning only removes soot from walls and does not remove smoke odors. Often, further remediation is necessary, so call a professional if needed!

Smoke Damage Needs To Be Cleaned Quickly 

Fire and smoke damage is a covered loss under your insurance policy. Smoke damage can be caused by several things, such as cooking appliances, unattended candles, or incense and even fireplaces.

If you have a fire in your building and it causes substantial smoke damage to your property, you should clean the area quickly using specialized cleaning methods to prevent further damage or corrosion. However, if there was no fire involved then this is considered water damage from the sprinkler system and should be handled differently according to local regulations on how long after an incident that water must be removed from a building before people can enter again so that mold does not grow inside walls, etc.

Don’t worry about your smoke damage—we got this. We have a team of experts who are ready to help you quickly and efficiently get back up and running. Contact us today for more information!

How To Tackle Fire and Water Damage

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Burnt content in a bathroom and walls covered with soot. Fire cleanup is a job for an experienced and professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Sanibel/Ft Myers Beach.

How Deal With Fire and Water Damage

The fire at your house in Estero Island,FL is blazing out of control. You watch from the street as the fire hose saturates your home with 1200 gallons of water per minute. You breathe a sigh of relief as the fire is extinguished. Now you face a new challenge, a combination of fire damage and water damage. To combat this disastrous duo, take the following steps to return your home to pre-fire condition.

Initial Steps

It is overwhelming when you first see the destruction in your house. You recognize that you cannot clean up the mess yourself. Who do you call?

• Contact the insurance agency that holds your homeowner’s policy. Inform the agent of the damage and discuss coverage and next steps.
• Call an emergency fire and water restoration company. The specialists typically arrive at your home within hours to inspect and assess the damage, day or night.
• Before restoration efforts begin, the specialists may board up windows and/or place a tarp on the roof to secure your property and prevent further damage.

Water Damage

Firefighters use a significant amount of water to snuff the inferno, leaving your home drenched. What steps do water restoration specialists take to properly dry your home?

• Wet/dry vacuums and pumps extricate flooding and excess water from the house.
• Industrial strength dehumidifiers and air movers remove moisture from walls and floors.

Fire Damage

The fire is gone, but the soot and smoke remains. How do fire restoration specialists clean and deodorize your house?

• Specialized equipment is used to remove smoke and soot from walls, ceilings and floors.
• Fogging equipment and air scrubbers remove smoke odors from the source.

It is heartbreaking to see your home in Estero Island, FL engulfed in flames. The aftermath of water and fire damage is equally hard to face. Work with your insurance agent and a fire and water restoration specialist to return your home to pre loss condition and resume your life.

What to do When Sewer Backup Threatens Your Business Property

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

Two man removing wood flooring in a home Sewage cleanup in Sanibel, FL.

If your business is located in Sanibel, FL, it may be at risk for flooding and sewer backup during the next storm. Knowing what preventive measures to take, and what to do if your business does flood, can help you in the event flooding does occur.

Reasons Backup Occurs

There are a number of factors that can play into sewer backup. These may include:

  • Excessive storm and rain water which can cause overflow
  • Recent construction that changes the landscape and redirects water into the sewer
  • Fresh pavement with a new drainage grade can change the runoff flow
  • Failure to regularly clean a septic system can cause a backup

If you think there’s a chance your business might face sewer back up with the next storm, it’s best to take preventative measures.

Take Preventive Measures

Flood water is classified as black water because some of it can come from contaminated sources such as a sewer. This means clean-up can require extra sanitation steps. Taking preventive measures beforehand may help mitigate the damage. Ensure then trap plugs are clean, snug, and secure as these can filter debris that may back up in your pips. Some buildings may also qualify for a backwater check valve.

Conduct Cleanup as Quickly as Possible

In the event you do find flooding its best to take care of the cleanup process as quickly as possible. Remember to turn off the electricity to the flooded area before entering. Remove items from the flooded area and be sure to clean and dry them. Because flood water is classified as black water, everything should be sanitized as well. You will also need to clean, dry and sanitize the flooded area after the water has been removed. A professional service may also be able to help.

Flooding from sewer backup can cause a number of problems for your business. This is why it’s important to take preventive measures beforehand. If excessive rain water does lead to sewer flooding at your business, knowing what to do beforehand can help save valuable time.

What Happens To a Mold Damaged Painting?

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration: closing of a final painting touch-up Once your painting has been restored, you can hang it up and enjoy it once again.

What Happens to a Painting With Mold Damage?

If you have residential mold in Iona, FL, your first instinct might be to throw everything that has mold damage away. Thanks to mold cleaning, this isn't necessary, and you can restore many items that are important to you. Understanding your options can help you figure out what is worth saving and give you peace of mind when it comes to items that are irreplaceable.

Identifying Mold On Paintings
If you have old paintings that were stored somewhere, survived a flood, or were otherwise damaged, it is possible that mold might be growing on them. The first thing to do is have the painting examined by a qualified professional who can tell you the extent of the mold damage. Then, they can help you take the first steps toward restoration.

Understanding Mold Cleaning
A professional will usually begin the process by using something to stop the further development of mold. It is possible for mold spores to become airborne and move along to other parts of the painting. Arresting development of the current state of the mold can stop this. Much of the cleanup process will depend on the type of painting, how old it is, and what areas are in need of mold remediation. The same applies to the frame; in some cases, it is possible to have the original frame cleaned.

Enjoying Your Artwork Again
Once your painting has been restored, you can hang it up and enjoy it once again, without fear of mold spreading any further. A mold remediation and removal service can help you figure out the best way to address this. Depending on how your painting was damaged, such as in a flood, your insurance company might even help cover the cost.
Mold cleaning for Iona, FL, can save your painting and allow you to enjoy it once again. Once you know if your items are affected, the sooner you can act to save them.

4 Steps To Take After Water Damage in Your Home

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a laundry room Drying equipment in an Captiva Island, FL home.

Four Steps to Follow If Your Home Has Water Damage

It's hard to know what to do first when you've had a flood in your Captiva Island, FL, home. While no one wants to anticipate flooding or water damage ahead of time, it's good to have a plan in case you need it.

1. Protect Yourself and Your Home
One thing you might want to do right away is look over the damage to your home, but you need to do it carefully. When it is safe to return to your home:

  • Turn off the electricity.
  • Wear boots and rubber gloves.
  • Retrieve the most valuable belongings.
  • Elevate wood furniture if possible.

2. Stop the Water Source
If the flooding is from a source you can stop, such as broken pipes or a roof leak, mitigate the problem right away to prevent further damage. If your area has experienced heavy rain and more is expected, do what you can to protect your home, such as stacking sandbags or digging trenches.

3. Begin Cleanup
Water clean up should begin as soon as possible to prevent mold growth or secondary damage. A flood restoration company can help you through the process. Professionals can assess the extent of the water damage, identify the water contamination category, perform a safety inspection and move furniture. They can begin the water removal process almost immediately with high-powered vacuums and pumps. Using infrared cameras, technicians can test your home for water in hidden areas behind ceilings and walls.
Once standing water is removed, technicians can use dehumidifiers and professional-grade air movers to drywalls, carpets and furniture.

4. Restore Your Home
Once your home is thoroughly dry, you can begin restoring or replacing damaged items. Some areas may be restored after cleaning and disinfecting, while others may need replacing or remodeling. A restoration company can help with the process by disinfecting, sanitizing and removing any mold growth.
Water damage in your Captiva Island, FL, home can be overwhelming, but you don't have to go it alone. A professional restoration company can help you every step of the way.

Will Insurance Cover My Business After a Storm?

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Man holding a bucket toward a leaking a roof Roof damage due to a storm.

Business owners may find themselves wondering if their property in Iona, FL is covered if the building is damaged by a storm. If you have commercial insurance, the short answer is yes, in most cases. However, it's worth taking a look to see what exactly your storm insurance covers.

What Does a Standard Policy Cover?

Typically, commercial insurance will cover losses or damage caused by:

  • Fires
  • Wind storms other than hurricanes
  • Hail storms
  • Tornadoes

If your roof sustains damage from a storm and water gets in the building, most policies will include insurance coverage on this type of water damage if the roof was in good condition prior to the storm.

What Is Not Covered in a Standard Policy?
Most commercial policies will not cover damage from hurricanes, earthquakes or flooding. Water damage caused by rising water or heavy rain will require coverage from a supplementary insurance policy. Sewage backup may also fall into the category of flooding, as heavy rains can cause sewer mains to back up into buildings. If you do not have separate insurance for flooding, consider purchasing it for your property. Flooding can happen in any geographic location, and having coverage available for emergency restoration services is a good idea.

What Are Hurricane and Windstorm Deductibles?

Businesses in coastal areas covered by storm insurance may have a wind damage deductible. Hurricane deductibles apply to damage caused solely by hurricanes. Wind storm or wind/hail deductibles apply to any kind of wind damage. In most cases, the insurance company will determine which deductible will apply to a claim. Deductibles may be a dollar amount or a percentage of the property's value. Options vary by state and are subject to regulations, so be sure to review your policy with your agent if you need information about your insurance coverage.

It's best to know your storm insurance coverage before a disaster strikes. Review your policy with your agent to make sure you are prepared for a weather emergency.

Saving Wet Documents After a Flood

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents An experienced flood restoration company can extract water from the premises, clean, and dry wet documents.

Document Preservation Following a Flood

If your business experiences a flood in Estero Island, FL you may take urgent measures to save your furniture and equipment from water damage, but what happens to wet documents? The valuable information on original papers may not be lost forever, thanks to these document drying and preservation techniques.

Vacuum freeze-drying

This paper restoration method, also used by the Library of Congress, is the best way to restore your irreplaceable documents. It involves freezing the wet paper as quickly as possible after flooding to ensure that the ink does not have time to bleed or that delicate fibers are not compromised further. The documents then go into a sealed chamber that creates a vacuum. Controlling the chamber's temperature causes sublimation, which causes the frozen water to convert directly to gas and evaporate out of the document.

Gamma Irradiation

Flood water can carry bacteria and other pathogens that contaminate wet documents. A professional restoration company can use powerful sanitization methods to remove any traces of harmful particles without damaging your papers. The gamma irradiation process allows gamma rays to pass through the document. Along the way, they cause ionization or electron disruption at a molecular level that kills contaminants. The process does not harm the paper or ink.


If your business has a significant amount of paper files, you may want to consider the following benefits of digitization:

-Better security and compliance
-Lower risk for damage
-Easy retrieval
-Efficient storage

A professional service with the technology to efficiently and carefully scan and digitize bulk or fragile documents can help ensure that the most sensitive information upon which your business relies is never at high risk for future water damage.
Flooding of your business can lead to significant damage.

An experienced flood restoration company can extract water from the premises, clean and, dry wet documents and prevent further problems that keep you from operating in Fort Myers, FL.