Recent Water Damage Posts

Three Types of Contaminated Water and Restoration Steps

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

brown water in home at base of stairs The category of water damage impacts what types of mitigation and restoration steps are needed.

When evaluating the types of water damage and how they affect an emergency water removal situation on a property, it helps to know that water losses fall into three categories:

Category 1: Clean Water

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

Category 2: Gray Water

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: Black Water

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

Sewage cleanup must not be taken lightly. Serious long term health issues to adults, children and pets may occur due to bacteria, viruses and even parasites.

Restoration Procedures


Water damage restoration is often prefaced by a loss assessment and evaluation of affected materials into the categories described above. The damaged area is inspected with water sensing equipment such as moisture meters and other infrared tools in order to determine the source of the damage and the possible extent of areas affected.

Mitigation, Restoration & Drying

Emergency mitigation services are the first order of business. Controlling the source of water, removal of non-salvageable materials, water extraction and pre-cleaning of impacted materials are all part of the mitigation process. Restoration services would then be rendered to the property in order to dry the structure, stabilize building materials, sanitize any affected or cross-contaminated areas, and deodorize all affected areas and materials. After the labor is completed, water damage equipment including air movers, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, wood floor drying systems, and sub-floor drying equipment is left in the residence. The goal of the drying process is to stabilize the moisture content of impacted materials below 15%. We at SERVPRO return at regular time intervals, preferably every twenty-four hours, to monitor the equipment, temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the affected walls and contents. 

Reconstruction Services

Once dried we can commence to perform any reconstruction or remodeling services desired by the property owner. These services may be limited to replacing drywall, baseboards, and trim boards, or may entail a complete renovation if desired--including floors, cabinetry, appliances, countertops, painting, and a host of related services,

If you have water damage, don't delay. Take immediate action. Call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest at 904.256.4894.

How to Shut Off Your Water in Case of Emergency

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

a tagged water shut-off valve in garage of Jacksonville area home At this home, the water shut-off valve is located inside the garage.

No one expects pipes to burst, water heaters to break, or toilets and washers to overflow.  If this happens, your quick response along with the highly trained specialists of SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest will limit your damages and potentially save you thousands of dollars! Here are some tips for locating water shut-off valves on your property.

Source: The Spruce…

How to Find the Water Shut-Off Valves

If you have a water emergency, knowing the location of the shut-off valve could save you thousands in water damage repairs. Home water systems contain two types of shut-off valves: main or master shut- off valves for stopping the flow of water to the entire house. These can be tricky and might involve the help of a professional—like a plumber or SERVPRO.  An alternative is finding individual or supply shut-off valves for specific appliances and fixtures. Try these first. 

Try to Cut Off Water Close to Source

If you have a leak at your toilet, sink, clothes washer, or ice maker, shut off water close to the source:

  • Toilet:  Look under the toilet, against the wall for the flexible metal tubing.  Turn the handle clockwise until it stops.  Do not force.
  • Sink:  Look under the sink cabinet.  There will be two sets of flexible metal or plastic tubing.  Turn handles clockwise.
  • Clothes Washer:  Some houses have the valves clearly exposed above and behind the washer.  Turn both valves clockwise.  If you do not see these valves, slide the washer outward and you will likely see them.
  • Dishwashers: The water supply tube running to the dishwasher often has a fixture shut-off valve controlling it. In many cases, this is also located under the kitchen sink base cabinet, and it may be close proximity to the sink faucet shut-off valves. 
  • Refrigerator ice makers/water dispensers: The small copper or mesh supply tube running to the refrigerator usually has a small saddle valve or other devices that can be shut off to close down the water supply. 

Locate Water Main Shut-Off Valve Within the House

This is the best way to shut off water in your house, but locating water shut-off valves indoors can prove to be a tricky task.  It will, however, cut off your home's entire water supply, allowing you to open up any pipe within the house. 

Hopefully your water shut-off falls can be easily found--either the knob or lever on a border wall. However, if it’s not so easy to locate, Lee Wallender of The Spruce suggests that your valve is likely in one of these following places:

  • On a perimeter wall of your house
  • At ground level, so you’ll be looking for it lower on the wall if you’re on the ground level floor
  • In a straight line from your outdoor water meter
  • Noted on your property inspection report from when you purchased the house (most likely in section 6.1)
  • Behind an access panel
  • NOT under a sink or next to the water heater

If you don’t want to play plumbing detective, or if you need help locating your main water shut-off valves, you can schedule a service call for SERVPRO of Jacksonville Northwest to come out and assist you. Call us at 904-256-4894 if you are interested. It would be money well spent to protect your home investment.