Recent Posts

Top 10 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Carpet Cleaning Company

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

There are a lot of carpet cleaning companies out there.  How do you choose? Here are ten questions to ask to ensure you only use the best!

1. Are your cleaning technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC)? The IICRC is an independent body that certifies people in carpet cleaning. For a technician to be IICRC certified, he or she must go through extensive hands-on training and have passed a comprehensive test. If a carpet cleaning service doesn’t require their technicians to be IICRC certified, consider looking elsewhere.

2. How long have you been in business? How long a company has been in business can speak volumes about their quality.  There are many carpet cleaning companies that open and close their doors each year.  The best ones tend to stand the test of time!

3. Do you offer “Green” Cleaning? If you have young children in the home or have any household members with sensitive skin or allergies then this could be an important option for you.

4. How is your pricing structured? Many carpet cleaning companies utilize a “bait and switch” technique.  They will quote a very low price up front, but then once they secure the job they will add on extras for things like “trip charge”, “gas surcharge”, “stain removal”, “furniture blocking”, etc.  When all is said and done, the initial price can triple or quadruple!

5. Do you charge extra for stain removal? This is important to know upfront so you don’t get surprised by extras after the service is performed. A good carpet cleaner will include the price for stain removal in their base price.

6. Do you use a truck mounted cleaning system? A truck mounted cleaning system is critical to effectively clean your carpets.  It allows for better extraction of dirt and grime and the proper application of any cleaning agents.

7. Is your company insured against accidental damage?  This is important to ensure you are protected in case anything gets damaged during the cleaning.

8. Do you move Furniture?  Some carpet cleaning companies will charge high fees for moving furniture.  Typically, this should be included in the original price unless a room is literally filled wall to wall with furniture!

9. What do you charge extra for?  Again, avoid surprises and make sure the quoted price reflects what is actually charged.

10. Do you charge by room or by square foot? Some carpet cleaning companies will charge by room but in reality, square footage is a much more accurate method to determine pricing.  If you think about it, it shouldn’t cost more to clean three small bedrooms versus one large family room if the square footage is comparable!

At SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon, each of our technicians are certified in cleaning by the IICRC.  We have been in business for over 9 years and are proud of our upfront pricing model that includes ALL stain removal.

Please give us a call with any questions at 703-644-0620. We are happy to help even if you don’t end up using our services!

We are a team!

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Our crew here at SERVPRO can handle any job big or small and work together to come up with a plan of action to get the job done. 

Whether calling in at 830 am or 830 pm, we are available. We have trailers, trucks, and CREW ready to go for any emergency no matter the size of the loss. SERVPRO will show up and make sure the homeowner is helped out in any way they need. 

We will make sure the job is done to the fullest and offer reconstruction to ensure it is "Like it never even happened."  

Here at SERVPRO, we are here to make the homeowner satisfied while getting the work done efficiently. 

This is why SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is your go-to for any kind of loss. 

Help, My Photos and Documents are Wet

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

The water is everywhere and everything is wet, my wedding albums, my parent’s childhood photos, even the birth certificates are wet! HURRY!

Have no Fear SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is here to Help! The Faster to any size Disaster Team is on its way!

How can you help our wet photos and document, is often what we are asked? Getting items dry and restored back to the original condition is our goal when we do Document Restoration.

As the industry leader, we have access to the only HIPAA certified document response crew in the area. Response time is critical to stabilize the wet documents before they begin to degrade. All documents are treated using the HIPPA confidentiality safeguards and rules.

Document Restoration begins with a method called vacuum freeze-drying.  The documents are brought under extreme vacuum to low temperatures and sublimation will remove the moisture directly into a gas form.

Here is a list of items that can be saved using vacuum freeze drying:

  • Books and manuscripts: coated papers, maps, parchment, pulp paper, drafting linens, textbooks, reference books, manuals
  • Business/Personal records and documents: legal/bank/company files, patient and medical records, x-rays, engineering and architectural plans and drawings, catalogs, reference materials, certificates, contracts, passports, transcripts, tax records
  • Historical and collectible items: archival documents, rare documents, maps, stamp collections, money collections
  • Keepsakes: photographs, leather, and hide items, newspaper articles, recipe books, cards, scrapbooks, baby books, wedding albums, yearbooks, baskets, awards & achievements
  • Textiles: embroidery and needlework, silks, tapestries, flags
  • Artwork: acrylic paintings, linen drawings, watercolors

Toilet running all day

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

The experts at SERVPRO are here to help! You can call at any time of the day or year and we have crews ready to roll! We have trailers, trucks, and equipment always ready to go. No job is too big or small for our crew at SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon.

When our crew arrives they will get a plan on what we will need to do, we will start the drying process. Once drying equipment is in place it can take 3-5 days for it to be dry. But SERVPRO will not take any equipment from a job until the loss area is dry.

Choosing SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon to assist your needs will make your water loss is taken care of efficiently.  

Example for calling SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon:

You come home from work and go into your basement and you have water to your ankles, you look around and notice it is coming through the walls and ceiling you go and find where else it is leaking from, you notice it is from your top floor toilet and it will not stop running. Not sure what to do next? Call SERVPRO and have us come take a look at what we can do to help get the water out and the drying process started. Once SERVPRO has a look at what needs to be done we can get a plan on what will happen next.

Is water trapped in your walls?

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Many homeowners attempt to extract the water using shop vacs and setting fans.  The water may appear to be gone and dried up.  What about the walls?

If water gets deep enough, it will wick up drywall or can be forced in around windows and doors as wind-driven rain.

This trapped water is very difficult to dry using conventional fans.  A professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon has special equipment and the knowledge to check for moisture in the walls and to dry it.

If walls remain wet for more than 48 hours, the opportunity for mold growth increases.  Once mold has begun growing in wall cavities, it is difficult to identify and normally requires significant demolition to properly remove.

If you have a significant amount of water, don't try and dry it yourself.  Give SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon Counties a call.  If you had water damage this season and dried it yourself and now find that there is a musty odor that remains, let us know.

The technicians at SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon are not only certified for water damage restoration but also for mold remediation.  We can make your home "Like it never even happened."

What Kind of Smoke Detector Do I need?

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

There are 3 types of smoke detector alarms on the market today. They are Ionization, Photoelectric and Combination.

An ionization smoke alarm contains a small amount of radioactive material. The radiation passes through an ionization chamber which is an air-filled space between two electrodes and permits a small, constant current between the electrodes. 

When smoke that enters the chamber absorbs the alpha particles, it reduces the ionization and interrupts the current, setting off the alarm. 

This type of alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires.

The Photoelectric smoke alarms operate using a light source.

A light beam collimating system and a photoelectric sensor. When smoke enters the optical chamber and crosses the path of the light beam, some light is scattered by the smoke particles, directing it at the sensor and thus activating the alarm. 

This type of alarm is generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering.

Combination smoke alarms feature both ionization and photoelectric technologies. Ionization smoke alarms respond faster to high energy fires, whereas photoelectric detectors respond better to low energy smoldering fires. The best overall protection is provided by using combination smoke alarms.

Flood Damage could affect your Home

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Help Us Help You When Flood Damage Descends On Your Home

Our customers can make a substantial positive impact on the harm flooding can inflict on their home and its contents. Making some changes in how you store items or install systems or appliances can avoid a significant catastrophe if extreme seasonal weather strikes. If you travel or reside in another location for part of the year, establishing a relationship with our team can give you peace of mind even if you are elsewhere when flooding threatens. 

Hurricane season stretches over half the year, and even less intense weather systems can expose your home to flood damage. Having a personal safety plan for yourself and every member of your family is wise. Extending this concept to preparing for potential damage to your home makes sense. 

Be prepared with the SERVPRO ERP Plan 

SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon offers both business and residential customers the opportunity to collaborate with us to design an individualized Emergency Ready Plan and Profile (ERP). We send an experienced project manager or SMR sales and marketing rep to your home.  While there, we check the layout and evaluate the strengths and vulnerabilities of your storage, utility, and other systems, and more. 

How to “Weather the Storm”

Expect recommendations to make your home and contents less likely to sustain significant flood damage. Moving items to higher ground and clearing the way to shut off and control panels make it easier for us to respond safely to any emergency. As we work with you developing the ERP, we come to a consensus on the best ways to approach a flood in your home. We need to understand your priorities.  We show you how we intend to mitigate and remediate a possible flooding event. 

Contact information is crucial

SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon also suggests you nominate a local contact to act on your behalf if you are unavailable during a flooding event. Even if friends or family are vacationing in your home, it is a good idea to have a preselected point person both you and our team relies upon if a disaster occurs. 

SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon encourages proactivity to our busy customers. To ready yourself and your property or business for flood damage, call (703) 644-0620 to schedule an ERP assessment.

Quickly and Safely Fire suppression 101

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know there were 4 Different types of fires?

  • Class A
    • Solid Materials
      • wood
      • paper
      • plastic
      • clothing

These are the easiest to put out, and the best way to put them out is using water, ex. a water hose or a bucket full of water. A foam fire extinguisher would also be a great option on Class A fires. 

  • Class B
    • Flammable Liquids
      • oil
      • alcohol
      • gasoline
      • grease (cooking grease)

NEVER EVER use WATER on a Class B fire. This will cause the flaming material to scatter rather than extinguish it. The best course of action is using a powder like baking soda, or a carbon dioxide extinguisher. A foam fire extinguisher would also work.

  • Class C
    • Electrical
      • old wiring
      • fault equipment
      • bad/damaged wiring

First, shut off power to the electrical fire. That could be as easy as shutting off a breaker, or unplugging the appliance. Then use a carbon dioxide or dry powder to extinguish the flames if they remain or if any appeared. 

  • Class D (uncommon)
    • metal ignition
      • mainly in laboratories or industrial type buildings

The best course of action is to use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small enough, otherwise call 911 and evacuate the area. 

IICRC Sets A High Standard For Inspection, Cleaning And Restoration

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

IICRC Sets A High Standard For Inspection, Cleaning And Restoration

Nearly everyone respects certification. It gives businesses and trained professionals credibility in the marketplace. SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon requires all of their Crew Chiefs and Technicians to have up to date IICRC credits. It gives customers confidence in the qualifications of those holding the certification. IICRC is the gold standard for certification in the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry. The Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is more than just another credential. People and businesses earn and keep this certification through:

  • Education
  • Initial certification
  • Continuing education
  • Membership

Comprehensive Certification Offers Clients Peace of Mind

Comprehensive certification is not a single certificate. There are at least thirty different categories of inspection, cleaning and restoration certificates available. The institute provides training and testing for each one. It awards students a mitigation certificate upon successful completion of each category.

An IICRC certified provider employs professionals with one or more mitigation certificate. Each inspection, cleaning or restoration job requires a combination of certified skills. The business assembles a team with the appropriate skills and dispatches them to the job. The mix of professionals on the job changes as the list of required skills changes.

Happy Clients Are the Foundation of a Certified Provider

A provider may survive with an occasional unhappy customer. A provider cannot survive without its certification. A certified provider holds itself and its employees to a high standard. This high standard is what certification is all about. Failing to meet this standard jeopardizes the value of the certification for others. This failure can lead to discipline and, eventually, revocation of the certificate. Without that, the provider is out of business.

The same level of standards applies to individuals and their certifications. Revocation is a real possibility if there are problems. It makes attaining employment in the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry difficult.

Certification Is a Key to Provider Selection

Find an inspection, cleaning and restoration provider with an IICRC, and you are off to a good start. Next, you want one located nearby. Confidence in the provider will give you confidence in the quality of the job once it is complete. Call your local SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon 703-644-0620 to have a certified technician assess whatever remediation related problem you may be having.

5 Ways to Get Ready for the Spring Thaw

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Prepare Your Property To Face The Spring Thaw

Spring weather can be quite unpredictable. Seasonal rain storms, rapidly melting snow and countless other conditions can all drastically increase the chances of your commercial building in Springfield/Mt. Vernon, succumbing to flooding. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to help prepare your property to face the spring thaw.

  1. Remove Any Snow Around the Building.
    Rapidly thawing snow is one of the greatest contributors to the spring flood. Removing this snow can help the melted water drain away from your property, thus reducing your flood risk.
  2. Check the Drainage Systems.
    Outdoor flood drains should not be obstructed. You also need to make sure to clear any debris from the gutters on your building's roof. Lastly, double-check any flood drains your building might have to ensure that they're unobstructed.
  3. Test Your Sump Pump.
    Ideally, you have been managing and maintaining your sump pump all winter. If you haven't, then testing the device is especially important. Check for a frozen pipe, and make sure to clear any debris out from the machine that could obstruct drainage.
  4. Hire a Professional to Inspect Your Building's Roof.
    If your building's roof has been buried underneath a layer of snow all winter, then it could have potentially sustained damage that you haven't noticed yet. It's a good idea to have your roof professionally inspected to make sure that it's ready to withstand storm and flood damage.
  5. Elevate and Waterproof Important Items.
    Any important documents or other items that you store in the lower levels of your building need to be moved to higher floors and sealed in waterproof containers. Preventing water damage is significantly easier than attempting to salvage wet documents after flooding.
    The spring thaw can bring about drastic floods that can cause massive amounts of water damage to your commercial building. Taking the proper precautionary measures can certainly help reduce the amount of damage your building suffers, but complete protection is never a guarantee. Contact SERVPRO experts if your property has sustained damage from flooding.