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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Most Common Types of House Fires

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

In this blog, we are going to talk about the most common fires and how you can help reduce the risk of a fire starting in your home. The 4 most common types of fires include kitchen, electrical, heater, and smoking fires. With that being said fires can start with cooking, heating equipment, anything electrical, smoking, and candles. It is extremely important to keep an eye on these things that can start potential fires as you can help prevent having a house fire. Below listed are the 4 most common types of house fires.

Kitchen Fires

Cooking fires are the #1 cause of house fires and usually start in the kitchen. This accounts for 42% of all reported incidents. Grease fires are one of the most common causes of kitchen fires and can get out of hand quickly if unattended. Be sure to never leave your cooking unsupervised because it doesn’t take long for a fire to start.

Electrical Fires

Every year there are about 50,000 electrical fires due to faulty wiring. A majority of the fires start because of short circuits, which causes sparking that light building materials on fire. These are one of the deadliest fires as well. Most residential fires that start this way are in hidden areas, so it takes a while for the homeowner to realize there is a fire. Electrical systems that are installed correctly are very safe, however old faulty wiring systems can be susceptible to short circuits.

Heating equipment

Heating equipment is responsible for 15% of all residential fires. Usually, heater fires start by having fabrics and other combustibles close to them allowing them to catch fire. Never leave your home with a heater running and be sure not to leave anything close to them.

Smoking Fires

While smoking only accounts for 5% of house fires it is extremely dangerous. Most homeowners usually fall asleep before the fire starts. Since these are deadly fires it is important to be extremely cautious when you smoke inside.

Fires can always be prevented by using caution. SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon offers fire restorations and reconstruction. Feel free to contact us for any fire related questions you might have, we will be happy to assist you. 703-644-0620

Restoring Water Damage in Virginian Homes

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technicians Report to the Flooded Scene with Equipment to Properly Dry Out the Property

Virginian homes are vulnerable to flooding from weather and more common accidents. It is especially true for carpets and wood floors. No matter where the water comes from, a professional restoration service can deal with removing, cleaning, and remediating the ill effects a flood causes.
 
Treating water damage first requires stopping the flow and removal of any standing water as soon as possible. SERVPRO certifies each member of our 24-hour response team on every piece of equipment needed for this and every action we take to return a home to its original state.
 
Since most house flooding comes from failed plumbing, stopping it is relatively simple. Upon arrival to a job site, one of our technicians first turns off the water main to the house. With that accomplished, the response team performs a complete inspection. If the weather permits, we open every window and door to the residence to enable crossflow of air.
 
Now, SERVPRO technicians bring in the equipment needed to remove water; commercial grade pumps and water extraction wands.  The pumps remove water down to the surface of carpets and floors and then we use the wands to draw out water trapped either in or under both.
 
Once the carpets are free of water, they are now light enough to lift. It allows technicians to examine the floor for any remaining moisture. If there is, we use a combination of air movers and exhaust fans to force warm, dry air under and over the carpet to dry it. If there is a pad underneath, they remove and dispose of it.
 
The same fans and air movers work well for wood floors as well to dry them. If a moisture meter test still indicates the presence of water, it may be necessary to drill holes into the floor in corners or under the baseboards to allow additional ventilation for drying. In cases where there is water pooled under the floorboards, SERVPRO technicians may have to remove one or two boards to use the extraction wands.
 
Most of the effects from water damage can be eliminated or significantly reduced by quickly removing the moisture and drying out the affected property. For more information about what SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon can do for your home, call us today at 703-644-0620.
 

COVID-19 Cleaning for Commercial Buildings

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Covid-19 and social distancing have currently put the world on hold. People are working from home and staying home a majority of the time to prevent the spread of this disease. Another important part of keeping the disease contained is disinfecting on a regular basis to prevent further spread as well. SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is being called by numerous business owners and community leaders to perform necessary bioremediation services to clean, disinfect, and sanitize their facilities. Our cleanup procedures are in accordance with the CDC recommendations. The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line meet this standard and carry the EPA-registered emerging pathogens claims. We are here and ready to aid you in your time of need, providing these services so your facility can be cleaned and ready for business to resume.

3 Reasons To Connect With a Mitigation and Restoration Service for Your Business

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

3 Reasons To Connect With a Mitigation and Restoration Service for Your Business

Your Springfield/Mt. Vernon business is likely a large investment for you in terms of both time and money. Commitment to growth, finding qualified employees and maintaining inventory are likely all important to you; however, when fire damages your building and its contents, this can pull focus away from these important tasks and leave you with the question of how to rebuild. Connecting with a fire restoration service before tragedy strikes can give you peace of mind, no matter the nature of your business.

1. Improved Risk Assessment

You may have some idea about what constitutes fire risk, but your building may contain hidden dangers that could increase the chance of a blaze. Reaching out to a mitigation service that responds to a variety of disasters, including fire, can help you uncover these issues with a professional inspection of your commercial property. Outdated electrical wiring, basement debris and the improper storage of flammable chemicals are only a few risks these inspections might uncover.

2. A Variety of Services Under One Roof

Facing a fire rebuild at your business can seem overwhelming, especially when paired with insurance matters and how to handle the financial losses you are likely to encounter during the repair process. Having a fire mitigation and restoration team on call can be of utmost assistance during this difficult time, as its professionals can advise you about which services you will need, from tear-outs to soot and smoke cleaning, so you can handle other aspects of the rebuild process without feeling overwhelmed.

3. Any Service, Large or Small

Having a fire restoration service number in your commercial contact list can help you resolve any fire emergency, no matter its size. Whether you had a small fire in your breakroom and need deodorizing solutions or rebuilding services after a major fire damaged the first floor of your building, you can turn to your contracted company day or night for assistance.

Owning a Springfield/Mt. Vernon business comes with many responsibilities. However, contracting a fire restoration service for on-call protection can provide you with peace of mind against the unknown.

Is it Time to Contact a Storm Restoration Expert?

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Is it Time to Contact a Storm Restoration Expert?

As a homeowner, you probably don't want to have to think about your roof leak or getting a roof repair. You probably don't want to deal with flooding, river flooding, hail damage, or hurricane damage. You don't want think consider how frozen pipes and ice damage can cause roof damage or a roof leak. Unfortunately, it might be time to contact a home restoration expert to deal with storm remediation. If you've been thinking about home restoration or water restoration, the time to get started is now. If you aren't sure whether it's time to reach out to a storm restoration or home restoration expert, there are a few things you need to consider.

Have you recently experienced a severe storm?

If you have recently experienced river flooding, flooding, storm damage, hail damage, or hurricane damage, your house may have been physically damaged and you may need storm remediation. Many homeowners don't realize just how severe roof damage, hail damage, hurricane damage, and ground water can be after a severe storm. Pay attention to when there are storms in your area, as any place that is prone to hail damage, hurricane damage, or storm damage may be susceptible to problems.

Does your home have standing ground water?

Does your area frequently have river flooding? Flooding due to high rains? Ground water after flooding?  Standing flood water in your yard? Many homes experience flooding after river flooding in the area, but flooding can also be caused by frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can burst and cause flood water to accumulate inside your home. Does your house have flood water? It could be time to seek storm remediation. A water restoration expert can help to remove ground water with a flood pump. A flood pump can effectively remove water from your house minimizing secondary water damage effects such as mold. Make sure you contact a water restoration and storm restoration professional.

Is there visible damage to your home?

If you experience ice damage, storm damage, hurricane damage, or hail damage in your area, make sure you visually inspect your home. Do you notice holes in the side of your house from hail damage? Do you have a roof leak from roof damage? Do you need a roof repair? Do you have visible storm damage? If you notice any of these damages call SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon 703-644-0620

If you're ever in doubt about getting help from a storm restoration professional, go ahead and reach out. We are here to help repair problems with your home and fix any damage. Visit https://www.SERVPROspringfieldmtvernon.com/ for more information on storm damage.

Why Choose Us?

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know we are part of 1,700 franchises altogether? We are responsible for creating, maintaining and implementing a disaster recovery plan. For example we have helped business, homes and schools in several catastrophic events. Having a disaster recovery team helps create an actionable disaster recovery program. SERVPRO having many franchises nationwide helps us get to you faster. We are proud to be one of the few top disaster recovery teams across the United States because we are experts at our job so when you chose SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon you get;

  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • 24- Hour Emergency Service
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

Residential Services

With over 1,700 Franchises in the U.S. and Canada, SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry and is dedicated to providing quality service. Our highly trained technicians respond quickly, whether you need water damage restoration or simply need your upholstery cleaned. You can depend on SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon for these residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation

Commercial Services

Your property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. When it’s impacted by fire or water damage, you need professional help. Every hour spent restoring your business is lost revenue and productivity. When you need professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and resources to get your property back to business quickly. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Fire Restoration
  • Commercial Cleaning Restoration
  • Commercial Water Restoration
  • Commercial Storm and Major Events

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, we live and work in this community too. We are close by and ready to respond immediately when you need cleaning or restoration services. For questions of services please call us at 703-644-0620 and we will be glad to assist you.

Preparing for Winter Storms

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Winter storms are not uncommon in the Northern Virginia area and to be stuck unprepared in blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days is not ideal. Many winter storms are accompanied by extremely low temps and potentially strong winds, icing, sleet, or freezing rain.

No matter the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared to ensure your safety in these events and know that SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is here to help.

Know the Difference

Meteorologists may not always be accurate in their predictions, but more often than not they are able to give out a notification for what kind of weather is to come. It is important to note the difference between a Winter Storm Outlook, Winter Weather Advisory, Winter Storm Watch, and a Winter Storm Warning.

  • Winter Storm Outlook - storm conditions possible between 2-5 days
  • Winter Weather Advisory - conditions are expected to cause inconveniences and be hazardous
  • Winter Storm Watch - storm conditions possible within 36-48 hours. Be alert of changing conditions
  • Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening & severe conditions have begun or will begin < 24 hours. Take precautions immediately

Preparation

Now that you know what each warning means - it's time to prepare before scary weather happens!

Winterize your vehicle. Keep the fuel line full to prevent freeing.

Insulate your home. There's nothing worse than a cold home and frozen pipes. Cover windows with plastic and insulate any exposed pipes outside your home. If you speculate that there is a frozen pipe, call your local SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon.

Put together a Supply Kit. Ensure you have your basic necessities of food and water for several days. Batteries, flashlights, medication, a multi-purpose tool and various personal hygiene items.

Now that you know how to prepare for the different types of winter weather, maintain your awareness of the ongoing situations. Listen to the local Weather radio, keep your loved ones close, and avoid traveling if it isn't necessary.

If we can be of any assistance, call us day or night. There will always be a live person on the other end of the line available for whatever you need, even if it is just to answer questions. We are eager to help 703-644-0620.

Top causes of commercial fires

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage to your commercial business can be catastrophic. It does not matter what your business does, it can mean downtime, loss of goods, costly equipment loss, loss of property, or worse. A fire can quickly move through a building and even put your team at risk. If you are not prepared it can be a situation that escalates faster than you are ready to handle. Good planning can help ensure that a fire does not happen or if it does, how it can be handled quickly and effectively. Below the United States Fire Administration has listed the top five leading causes of a commercial fire. 

Top causes of fires in commercial buildings

According to data from the United States Fire Administration, between 2006 and 2015, the top causes of fires in commercial buildings were: 

Cooking

Cooking is a huge danger, and it was a culprit behind 30,900 fires within the past decade. This is why it is so important to install fire alarms and a sprinkler system in your kitchen to prevent against the worst! 

Unintentional and Careless Behavior

This is a broad category. Unintentional and careless behavior, better known as accidents, caused more than 10,900 fires. While it’s hard to stop people from being careless, business owners and property managers can’t afford to be. 

Arson

Intentionally set fires represented 9,800 of the total fires in these properties. 

Electrical malfunction

Problems with the electricity or wiring in a building caused around 7,000 fires in the past decade. 

Heating problems

Problematic HVAC systems are the culprit behind about 6,000 commercial fires nationwide. 

Trust that SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon keeps in mind that time down for your business, is money lost. So our team will work around the clock to make sure it is “Like it never even happened,” and your business is back up and running

How to Prevent Pipe Bursting

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

As the winter time approaches us it’s time to prepare and take precautions, when cold temperatures happen that can cause pipes to freeze and burst. Frozen Pipes can result in costly repairs to you as a home or business owner. The good news is there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing. Here are some tips for this winter

Keeping your house warm – keeping your thermostat set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.

Opening faucets - When temps hit the freezing level it is a good idea to allow faucets to drip. Allowing With the faucet open you avoid blockage in the pipes.

Leave cabinet doors open- leaving cabinet doors open will help warm air flow to the pipes keeping them warm.

Seal leaks in your home- it’s important that there are no leaks in your home. If a leak is present it can allow cold air in causing your home to get cold and potentially bursting some pipes.

Insulation is important - Foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves can help reduce the chances of your pipes bursting so make sure you’re up to date with them.

SERVPRO® of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at 703-644-0620

What is Asbestos?

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Asbestos is known to be a very durable mineral and is recognized for its ability to stay airborne well after being disturbed, moved or damaged. The fact that asbestos is almost microscopic makes it hard to detect. Asbestos looks like sharpened needles, they tend to come in different colors. The most common one used in the United States is the chrysotile asbestoses. This one is mostly found in construction material such as roofing material, asphalt, vinyl tile, mastic and cement. Another type of asbestoses is Amosite; this one is mainly used for fire proofing. If asbestos is swallowed or inhaled it can cause several health problem including lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. If you suspect asbestoses have been released into the air or if you have been exposed to it you should take immediate action and have a specialist inspect the area for signs of asbestoses. SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon can help with asbestos testing and abatement so please give us a call. If you suspect asbestoses is present, our team will collect a sample and have it immediately tested to prevent further dangerous exposure. To learn more about asbestos visit this link https://www.asbestos.com/asbestos/

6 Things You Didn't Known About Mold

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

We all have heard about mold and how there are over 100,000 different types but here are some interesting things you might have missed.

  1. Mold has been proven to help gardens grow.
  2. Mold spreads quickly on walls and other surfaces because it requires growth to survive.
  3. Bleach does not kill mold it just changes the color of it.
  4. Mold tends to grow more in dark areas
  5. Because mold looks a lot like mildew it’s often confused with it.
  6. Mold can grow in dirty air ducts too, causing mold to circulate around.

To stay safe and healthy from mold check your home regularly. Make sure to check in your basement, ceilings, tiles, under carpets and showers. If mold is found have a professional check it out. Give SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon a call.

How to be prepared for a fire incident in your office

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Nobody ever thinks or likes to prepare for a dangerous terrifying fire situation but in order to work with a peace of mind in the office, you should know these simple strategies to safely confront a fire situation in your office.  Have your peers know these strategies by hand because it can make a huge difference when a fire hazard arises.

  • Have an evacuation plan and make sure to share it with the staff. Make sure this evacuation plan meets legal requirements. This plan should be customized to the unique size of your office work place.
  • Make sure all employees know how to properly use a fire extinguisher. If not, be sure to have proper training sessions on how to do so.
  • Fire drills are very important. Have at least 2 a year with all the staff participating in it. This will help in plan out where all of you will meet in case of an actual fire situation. It’s important that everyone has an easy route to an escape exit, this drill will help establish this route
  • Keep smoke detectors up to date and make sure they are functional. Have a few around the office so the staff can hear them clearly in case of a fire. Make sure everyone knows what the fire alarm sounds like.
  • In order to reduce potential hazards frequently check the conditions of electrical cables and replace them if they seem old or wear out. Take a look to see if they are overloaded.

Know that you know a few strategies practice them in your work place to keep every one safe. It is also highly important that the evacuation plan is somewhere visible where all the employees can see it because not everyone will be able to remember the evacuation plan. Have the plan somewhere visible such as the office break room or the office kitchen. Keep the plan and employees update in order to work in a safely planed office and in the case of a fire incident SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is a phone call away.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon today at  (703) 644-0620 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help during this difficult time.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – [SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt.Vernon, 703-644-0620]

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

How to prevent house fires

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen damaged by a fire.

House fires are one of the most common types of disasters in the country. The good news is they are pretty easy to prevent. Keep reading to find some easy steps to prevent fires in your home or business.

  1. Be sure to constantly check that your smoke detectors are in working order. Set a monthly alarm on your smartphone so you are reminded to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. Monthly smoke alarm checks are one very easy way to prevent fires.
  2. Check furnace filters, space heaters, and water heaters. Dust can build up in furnace filters and cause fires. Water heaters, especially those that run on gas, can also pose a threat if anything is placed near the heating element. Also, be mindful of the placement of space heaters so that they are not placed near any flammable items. 
  3. The kitchen is the most commonplace for house fires to start. Make sure to keep any flammable items away from the stove. Also never leave the kitchen unattended when something is cooking, even if it is a tea kettle or an electric griddle. 
  4. Make sure you properly manage your wires. Whether it’s your home office, living room, or entertainment room everyone usually has a room in their home with a bunch of tangled wires that you can never seem to unwind. Not only does this look bad, but it causes a fire hazard. Be sure to take some time and separate tangled wires. Also, don’t forget to replace damaged wires you may come across. 
  5. Do not leave an open flame unattended. This includes candles, a gas stove, and the fireplace. It is important that when you are done using an open flame that it is properly put out to prevent fires.
  6. Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher handy. Double-check expiration dates on fire extinguishers and replace them when they go bad. 
  7. Always have a plan. Make a fire escape plan with multiple exits in case of an emergency. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared and knows the best way to get out of your home if there is a fire.

Sources:

https://www.esurance.com/info/homeowners/how-to-prevent-house-fires

https://www.safewise.com/home-security-faq/prevent-house-fire/

January Newsletter

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

Happy New Year from SERVPRO Springfield/Mt. Vernon!

SERVPRO Springfield/Mt. Vernon January Newsletter

Important Information

Hello everyone! Happy New Year and welcome to the new monthly branch newsletter. The point of this newsletter is to update and inform everyone of new things happening throughout all of SERVPRO and this particular branch.

SERVPRO news and updates

Welcome to January new hires!

Trevor Builta, Marketing Coordinator: Trevor joined the team on January 6, as the new marketing coordinator. Before joining the SERVPRO team he worked as a Marketing Assistant at Good Karma Consulting. He graduated from West Virginia University in May with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, watching sports, playing video games, and exercising.

January Birthdays: Wish these people a happy birthday if you see them around the office this month!!

Art Matthews- January 6th

Anthony Ross- January 17th

Jaime Oteyza- January 29th

Cindy Smith- January 30th

 New Social Media accounts:

This month we created five new social media accounts. These include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. You can find links to our social media on the top banner on the homepage. We also updated the blog on our website.

Let us know what you think!

If you ever have any questions or information you want to be put in the newsletter feel free to email me at trevorbuilta@SERVPRO9856.com or see me in the office Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm.

Thanks,
The SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon Marketing team

How to prevent burst pipes

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

A frozen pipe that has burst. (Source: https://metropha.com/blog/winterize-plumbing-pipes-prevent-frozen-pipes-plumber-chattanooga-tn/)

Did you know that more than 250,000 homes experience frozen and/or burst pipes each year? It’s true and we are here to help. Here are a few tips and tricks to prevent burst pipes.

Prevention: 

  1. Keep garage doors and windows closed and locked at all possible times, especially if there are water lines present. This prevents any cold outside air from getting into your home. 
  2. Keep interior doors open when not in use. This includes bathroom doors, hallway doors, bedroom doors, and cabinet doors. Keeping doors open allows for the warmer air to circulate the plumbing and water lines in the wall. 
  3. Let cold water drip from the faucets. Even a tiny amount of water running through the pipes will help to prevent freezing and pipe bursts. 
  4. Set your thermostat at no lower than 55? if you take a trip. We can’t blame you if you want to take a trip and get away from the cold. Just remember to leave your heat on while you are away. 
  5. Add Insulation. Just like you, your pipes get cold during the winter. To keep them warm for extended periods wrap pipes in the attic, basement, and crawl space in protective insulation. It is also good practice to fill cracks and replace insulation that may let in a draft.
  6. Use space heaters to warm rooms where pipes may be at risk for freezing. This includes the garage, basement, and attic.
  7. Don’t forget to winterize pipes that have outdoor access. This includes outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool water lines, and sprinkler lines. All lines must be completely drained and hoses should be stored away for best results. 

Thawing frozen pipes:

  1. Turn water on and leave it on for the whole process. As you heat the pipe and the ice begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow freely. 
  2. Apply heat to the pipe (if accessible). Wrap a heating pad around the frozen pipe and turn it on to melt ice. If you don’t have a heating pad, use a hairdryer or a space heater held close to the pipe. Keep the heat on the pipe until the full water pressure is reached. (Remember: If the pipe is not easily accessible to you make sure to call a licensed plumber immediately to prevent bursting.)

If you follow these rules you and your pipes will be warm and cozy throughout the cold winter months. Just remember, if you do have a pipe burst call us at 703-644-0620 and we will send one of our excellent technicians out to help. 





Sources:

American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes.html

Titan Plumbing: https://www.tritan-plumbing.com/uncategorized/frozen-pipes-naperville-il/

Consumer Report: https://www.consumerreports.org/home-maintenance-repairs/how-to-keep-pipes-from-freezing/

Dangers of Hoarding

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Many fire departments are experiencing serious fires, injuries, and deaths as the result of compulsive hoarding behavior

NFPA - Hoarding and fire safety

The excessive accumulation of materials in homes poses a significant threat to firefighters fighting fires and responding to other emergencies in these homes and to residents and neighbors. Often, the local fire department will be contacted to help deal with this serious issue. Since studies suggest that between three and five percent of the population are compulsive hoarders, fire departments must become familiar with this issue and how to effectively handle it.

NFPA - Hoarding and fire safety

  • Hoarding can be a fire hazard. Many occupants die in fires in these homes. Often, blocked exits prevent escape from the home. In addition, many people who are hoarding are injured when they trip over things or when materials fall on them.
  • Responding firefighters can be put at risk due to obstructed exits, falling objects, and excessive fire loading that can lead to collapse. Hoarding makes fighting fires and searching for occupants far more difficult.
  • Those living adjacent to an occupied structure can be quickly affected when a fire occurs, due to excessive smoke and fire conditions.

Water Damage Prevention

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Avoid the cost and hassle of severe water leaks! Follow SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon’s simple tips to prevent water damage in your home.

  • Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid costly gutter damage. Defective, clogged downspouts can cause severe water damage to your home- including rot, mold, and basement flooding. Be especially cautious after heavy rain and snow storms to ensure that your spouts are properly secured and that no residual water remains to seep into your house.
  • Disconnect idle water hoses. This protects your home against busted pipes, damaged walls, and flooded floors.
  • Maintain appliance pipes and hoses. In our professional restoration experience, defective pipes and leaky hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss. Be sure to replace yours regularly to prevent significant water damage.
  • Install a water detector. A water detector will immediately alert you at the sign of water damage. Our professionally trained restoration crew suggests that homeowners install this device close to areas most prone to water damage i.e. water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, etc. This prevention method will protect both your home and your pockets from the physical and financial costs of water remediation.
  • Monitor your water bill and water pressure. Too high water pressure can cause erected pipes and hoses. Likewise, irregular water bills can point to problems with the water flow in your home. Act immediately on any signs of water damage or leaks to prevent mold, mildew, and other water disasters.

If you have any questions, or if you need our help in protecting your home against water damage, contact us today at (703) 644-0620. Our heroes are ready to help 24/7!

Storm Damage Prevention

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know: Fall is the second most severe weather season?

Are you prepared to protect your home from storm damage?

No clue? No worries! Check out our heroes' tips for preventing storm damage to your Virginia home.

Take these precautions to prevent structural damage outside of your home and water damage inside of your home:

  • Pay close attention to any trees that could fall on your house during a storm. Keep your trees trimmed regularly, and immediately remove all dead, diseased, and hanging branches.
  • Lock, seal, and board your windows.
  • Store your outside belongings- plants, furniture, bikes, etc. in your garage or another storage space inside your home. Remove or secure anything that can become a projectile during heavy wind storms.
  • Secure your gutters and downspouts and fix any defects. Neglected leaks can cause significant and costly flooding and water damage to your home.
  • Prepare for potential evacuation. Pack your essentials and store them in an easily accessible location in your home.

Unfortunately, no matter how much you prepare, severe storms may yield consequences beyond your control. On the bright side, however, our heroes are here to help with your fire and water cleanup and restoration needs 365 days a year, 24 hours a day! If you fall victim to storm damage, contact SERVPRO of Reston / Herndon for your storm cleanup needs.

Repair vs. Replace With Mold

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Removing moldy drywall is almost always recommended for highly infected areas. If the core of the drywall is starting to disintegrate or the paper is peeling off then definitely get it replaced.

If you see black mold, you may want to get it tested, just know that not all black mold is toxic.  Place your safety first if you do try to remediate it yourself and if you need help with the rebuild we have a division that will come out and patch/replace the affected area.

If you do decide to have the mold tested then get a quote before you commit to remediating.  Sometimes it is equally as cost effective to remove and replace the affected drywall, then there is no need for testing at all.  We recommend getting quotes for both.

4 Reasons why Your Company Should Get an Emergency Ready Plan

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Of the 50% of businesses that survive disasters, nearly 100% had an emergency preparedness plan in place. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), you can achieve security and peace of mind by knowing what to do before the disaster. In addition to timely mitigation and reduced property damage, allowing SERVPRO of Springfield / Mt. Vernon to create a plan for your company offers the following benefits:

  1. 100% free- The ERP comes at no cost to your company.
  2. Quick and convenient reference of critical information in case of emergency.
  3. Personal introduction to SERVPRO of Springfield / Mt. Vernon as your fire and water cleanup and restoration provider.
  4. Save time- minimize the time your company spends inactive after a disaster; also expedite the mitigation process with an immediate plan of action.

Ready to get started? Contact us to schedule your free facility assessment today!

A Vacation Ruiner

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a phone call alerting you to catastrophic damage to your house, or returning to a home that has been sitting in water due to a broken/frozen pipe or a hot water heater that defaulted into a flood. Turn off your main water valve before going on vacation! 

If you are traveling during the winter it is also a good idea to drain the lines too.  It is easy to drain the lines by simply turning on a faucet on the main floor or in the basement.  If you do not know where your main valve is, ask your plumber.  It is also a great idea to make sure that the valve works.

If for any reason you are not able to turn it off yourself sometimes the water company will shut it off for you.  This simple act can prevent thousands of dollars of damages.

Fire Damage Prevention DOs and DON'Ts

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Are you a homeowner or property manager in Springfield / Mt. Vernon Virginia? In the case of a fire, do you know what to do before help arrives? Regardless of your fire cleanup and restoration knowledge, allow us to help you minimize the damage to your home as you await the arrival of emergency service professionals.

The first 48 hours after a fire disaster can make all the difference between fire cleanup and restoration versus complete replacement of your property and belongings.

Check out these tips for fire damage prevention to your Virginia home:

DO:

  • Limit movement of persons and furniture to prevent soot particles from settling into your home.
  • Prevent soiled furniture by covering upholstered belongings with clean towels or old linens.
  • Remove soot from chrome faucets, trim, and appliances.

DO NOT:

  • Attempt to clean walls or painted surfaces without contacting SERVPRO.
  • Shampoo carpet or upholstery without consulting fire cleanup professionals.
  • Clean or repair electrical equipment.
  • Clean clothes- improper cleaning may permanently stain clothes with soot and smoke odor.

In the case of a house fire, remove yourself from the property as quickly as possible, call 911, then call SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon-- your trusted Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration experts. Our professional staff can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems in your home. We provide fast response to any size disaster, with services ranging from fire cleanup to contents claim inventory and document restoration.

Call us with your fire restoration needs - (703) 644-0620. We offer our 24-hour emergency cleanup services 365 days a year.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

When flood and other water intrusions are not handled appropriately, the resulting water damage can cause harmful mold growth. Do not allow mold to grow in your home or place of business. Be alert and take the following precautions:

  • Maintain low humidity levels- install an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep humidity below 50%, and check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Maintain ventilation in your home and be sure to use fans that vent outside of your home. This will prevent the areas in your home from becoming excessively moist.
  • Immediately repair leaks in your home’s roof and walls. The only thing mold needs to grow is water. Keeping your pipes sealed and floors dry will starve mold of its primary food source.
  • Renovating your home? Decluttering? Use mold-inhibiting paint and cleaners.
  • Recent flood? Call SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon to provide top of the line water removal services to prevent water damage.

Call us at (703) 644-0620 to schedule an appointment for our Mold Remediation Services. We are happy to provide 24/7 water cleanup and restoration services in Springfield/ Mt. Vernon, VA.

Hurricane Season Preparation

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Atlantic hurricane season goes from June 1 - November 30. Hurricanes can be devastating to people’s lives and property. With rising threat of the approaching Hurricane Barry it is important to take all precautions when it comes to protecting your home and keeping your loved ones safe. Some ways to help protect your homes and lives is to start by analyzing your home. Find your homes weak spots (inside and outside) such as holes, overgrown trees, and clogged gutters and fortify areas of need. As you are scanning also look at your outdoor furniture and think which ones could become extremely dangerous if it were to be picked up by high winds. Then prepare an emergency kit along with an evacuation game plan. It is always best to cautious when it comes to protecting your family and property.

Storm Emergency Ready Kit

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Hopefully you have followed our steps to protecting your home from potential storm damage, but in the case of emergency evacuation, are you prepared?

Regardless of the severity of a storm, it is imperative that you have an emergency ready kit and plan in place in case a storm requires you to leave your home.

The following is a list of essentials to include in your emergency ready kit:

  • Important documents-- identification, insurance policies, etc.
  • 1 gallon of water, per person, per day
  • 3-day supply of non perishable food
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First-aid kit-- antiseptic wipes, antibacterial ointment, adhesive bandages, tweezers, etc.
  • Extra clothing
  • Dust mask and/or scarf
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Heavy-duty tape
  • Matches (sealed in waterproof container)

Although these essentials may sustain an individual or household, it is important to prepare your business as well. We understand the significant demands of this task, and our heroes are here to help.

Is your business ready for whatever could happen?

Contact SERVPRO of Springfield / Mt. Vernon to set up your company’s FREE Emergency Ready Profile today!

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.  
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business. If you suspect mold, call us today at 703-644-0620.

Water Damage Nightmares: The Washing Machine

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This issue may arise due to bursting or leaking pipes, faulty or malfunctioning household appliances, or a natural disaster or weather related issue. One appliance that frequently causes water damage in homes is the washing machine. Homeowners leave washing machines unattended to complete other chores throughout the house or even fall asleep until the next morning. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE! In some instances, washing machines may fail to transition from the “filling stage” and continue to fill with water until the water is shut off. This causes water to overflow from the machine and begin to fill the house.

It only takes minutes for water to quickly spread throughout the property, saturating everything in its path. Water may be absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings, furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets, and photographs, books, and other paper goods may swell and warp.  If you are unfortunate enough to have to face water damage in your home, don’t do it alone. Contact SERVPRO of Reston, your regional flood specialist, at 703-471-6040.

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Fire Pit Safety Reminders

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

One of the newest “items to have” for both summer and winter months is a Fire Pit.  Fire pits come in various shapes and materials, brick, metal, concrete and more.  Many individuals are even constructing their own fire pits based on pictures that they see, or out of sheer desire and creativity.  Fire pits can be propane or wood burning or natural gas.  Please note Propane and Natural Gas are NOT  the same.

 While a fire pit may be the new “must-have” item in home and garden, users must remember to implement detailed safety practices for users to maintain. This may include using a poker, log grabber, or shovel when adjusting burning logs or assuring that enough space exists between seats and the pit so that pedestrians may easily walk by.

Please remember: do not leave a lit or burning fire pit unattended. Wind may blow fumes and embers into surrounding areas which may create a significant fire hazard.  Please also note that embers can remain a fire hazard for days if not adequately dealt with, so double check before leaving the fire pit that there is no residual heat present.

Dry Wall Dust is ALWAYS frustrating

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

There is not a single builder, contractor or home owner that does not hit a frustration level with the dust that dissipates from dry wall work. IT GETS EVERYWHERE!  Well I am happy to say that SERVPRO can help the largest of jobs with this issue and will make sure it is a "non-issue" at the smaller jobs where we have our own Rebuild Division do the drywall work.

So contractors take note that if your time is getting short and your deadline creeping up on you then call SERVPRO to come out and get that dust out of your way you you can complete your work!  We can install additional barriers if you want us to work while you work... no time lost at all.  In tight situations we can even double up the work crews so you close your contract on time.

Let us do the work and free your time for jobs we can't do!

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire debris clean up

Many many times at commercial properties the Maintenance Crew(s) stay busy doing the many jobs necessary to take cake of the Units and Property.  

Depending on the size of your property and the number of your Units, this can be overwhelming.  Particularly if there has been a storm or natural disaster.  Don't let your Maintenance Crews burn themselves out trying to keep up with a task SERVPRO can come take off of their shoulders and free their hands for tasks that we don't do.  If multiple units are affected, we have a warehouse full of equipment to get the job done.  Better to let us help and get it done right than to try and do as much as you can risking a shortage of equipment to complete the drying process of wet and damaged debris sitting in a unit longer than it needs to.

When mold sets in your drywall

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can cause health problems and should removed as soon as it is noticed. The method used to remove mold from drywall varies on a number of issues including whether or not the drywall is coated. If it is, then cleaning it with water and a cleansing agent should work. If it is not, then that section of drywall must be removed since it is too porous to clean.

SERVPRO Technicians take specialization courses and a Certified to idenify and remove mold.  They know when it is necessary to remove the materials and drywall and when cleaning and sanitizing with chemicals is the best method to not only rid your home of mold, but keep it out!   

SERVPRO gives a warranty with every one of their services and that does include mold remediation.  Sometime the Insurance Company not only covers the process but has a warranty tailored to that company in an agreement for using SERVPRO as a Preferred Vendor. 

Prevent Basement Mold and Odors

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold around the pipes in the basement

Basements and crawl spaces are the most problematic areas for mold and mildew.  This usually results in odor and stains.  There are measure that you can take to prevent this from happening.  By doing so you can actually improve your air quality.

Excessive moisture builds up from every day infiltration and every day activities. WATCH for the moisture and do not let it sit...wipe the area dry.

POOR ventilation can lead to excess moisture.  Put a fan in the area to circulate the air and dry the area out. If that does not help you may want to have a professional  give an estimate on adding proper ventilation to the area.

* Tighter homes trap moisture, so if your home is close to the adjacent house check to make sure the area between the homes is getting air, light and drying out.

* Natural air flow pulls the pollutants up into the living areas affecting the whole house.  Take the measures to watch and monitor your air quality. 

PREVENT FIRES - Inspect your Smoke detectors regularily

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke detector

Checking the batteries and the status of your smoke detectors regularly is so much more important than the average home owner thinks it is.

We know they are checked before you rent or buy a house.  We know they are checked when you sell a home.  These legal steps have been added for your protection, so get in the habit of taking the extra steps necessary of checking them periodically and log it somewhere.

One of the first items mentioned when a residential fire happens if there is an injury or fatality; is that the smoke detectors were or were not operable. Something so simple can save hundreds of dollars in damage and maybe even a life.  

Some states have now required detectors that have sealed batteries guaranteed active for 10 years, Maryland recently enacted the law.  Take the time to check the status of your detector and test it on a regular basis. 

Electrical Safety Counterfeit Products Portable Heaters

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Recent data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that, on average, there are more than 400 electrocutions

  • More than 3,000 electrical fires are caused by extension cords each year, resulting in 50 deaths and 270 injuries.
  • Large appliances cause nearly 20 percent of consumer-product electrocutions annually.
  • U.S. Customs confiscates more than $3 million in consumer electrical products each year, and explains that products with counterfeit certification marks, including CSA, UL and ETL, have not been tested for shock and fire hazards.

Sales of electrical products increase during the winter months.  Sales of Counterfeit Electrical products is on the rise, these items have not met the testing and safety standards and can result in injury, death and property damage.  Purchase your products from reputable dealers and check for certification marks.

PORTABLE HEATER SAFETY:

  • Keep all furniture, draperies, and other household objects at least three feet from the in-wall fan heaters and 12 inches from baseboard heaters.
  • Keep portable space heaters at least three feet away from all flammable materials, such as furniture and draperies. ? Plug portable space heaters directly into the outlet; do not use an extension cord.
  • If an in-wall or baseboard heater is shut off at the circuit breaker, be sure to lock or tag the circuit breaker to prevent someone from inadvertently turning it back on.
  • Some portable space heaters, electric in-wall fan heaters and baseboard heaters have been subject to product recalls. Check your brand and model number and visit www.cpsc.gov for possible information about your heater.

Pruning trees and Storm damage prevention

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damage - Maintenance - Landscape plants - Edward F. Gilman - UF/IFAS

There is no doubt trees can cause damage and be damaged in storms. However, appropriately placed and maintained trees can help reduce damage to structures in storms by deflecting wind, and reduce damage to trees. Appropriate actions includes proper placement and planting, and structural pruning prior to the storm. Species selection can also be somewhat helpful in avoiding some damage. Actions in the weeks and years following a strong storm can help bring damaged trees back to health.

Pruning - Landscape plants - Edward F. Gilman - UF/IFAS

New research on effects of pruning trees on wind damage was recently conducted.  Five trees were pruned by either 1. doing nothing (controls), 2. reducing crown size, 3. raising the crown, or 4. thinning the crown for a total of 20 trees. The same amount of greenery was removed from each tree. All of the trees were blown with winds reaching 120 mph. These results support usage of structural pruning as a preventive method to reduce tree damage.

Winter Storm Damage and Personal Safety

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

There are a number of different ways that winter storms can impact a region and the residents. Winter storms are considered deceptive killers because most deaths are not directly related to the storm itself. People could get in an automobile accident on icy roads, have a heart attack while shoveling snow, or suffer frostbite or hypothermia from prolonged exposure to the cold.

Wind - Some winter storms have extremely strong winds that can create blizzard conditions with blinding, wind driven snow, drifting, and dangerous wind chills. These intense winds can bring down trees and poles, and can also cause damage to homes and other buildings. Heavy snow accumulations can immobilize a region and  strand motorists, and disrupt emergency services. 

Ice - Heavy ice accumulations can bring down objects like trees, utility poles and lines, and communication towers. Even a small amount of ice can cause hazardous conditions for motorists. 

Cold - Extremely cold temperatures risk exposure to infants and the elderly.  The severe cold can be potentially life-threatening and cause hypothermia and frostbite. 


Wind Chill is how the wind and cold actually feel on exposed skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body driving down the body temperature. 

Frostbite is damage to body tissue caused by extreme cold.  If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. Slowly re-warm affected areas. 

Hypothermia is a condition when the body temperature drops to less than 95°F, and it can be fatal.  Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. 


Water Damage and Category type

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration sets three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows:
Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "Clean Water". Category 1 water may become contaminated if it mixes with soils or floor coverings, building assemblies, etc... Time and temperature can promote growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade.


Examples of category 1 water are: a broken water supply line (including the toilet), and tub or sink overflows. 

Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants.  These contaminants can cause discomfort or sickness when exposed or consumed. This water type carries micro organisms and is nicknamed "Gray water."

Examples of catagory 2 water are:  toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, dishwasher water discharge, and washing machine water discharge.

Category 3 Water - Nicknamed "Black Water" and are grossly unsanitary. These indoor water sources  contain unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness.

Examples of type 3 water are:  water sources from sewage, seawater, stream or river water, ground surface water or standing water.

Category 2 Water that is not promptly removed and remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back-ups that originate from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.

Knowing the classification of your water may help you understand personal safety concerns and the necessary material and debris removal anticipated.

Hose Bib Winterization - Avoid Water Damage

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

To prevent damage to your home drain your outside hose bibs during the winter months!  If you don't you run the risk of water freezing in the pipes; then when the exterior hose bibs are turned on, they will attempt to push water through, breaking the pipes and flooding inside your walls. Last spring several Fort Belvoir families were inconvenienced by these burst pipes and the ensuing repairs. Your hose bibs have been equipped with anti-siphon devices to prevent your pipes from storing – and subsequently freezing – excess water. 

***** Always disconnect hoses from the exterior hose bib faucets. *****

If you use your faucets during the winter months make certain to drain the hose bib of any excess water. 

If you do not expect to use the outdoor faucets during the winter months, we advise that you drain the hose bibs and shut off the water line from inside your home.

This simple process can save you a lot of aggravation and money.

Reaching out to Businesses; make RELIABILITY and Service Quality a "Given" in delivery

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

We at SERVPRO recognize that when your business needs assistance that the clock is ticking.  It might be a general cleaning or inspection that can be scheduled...or it might be a major water issue with a broken pipe or sewage back up where response time is critical.  We guarantee our service time after we confirm the service needs when you contact us!  

If you are in Property Management or if you are a Warehouse or any other business... we make sure to understand your concerns before and after we arrive on site. Water, Mold, Fire, Cleaning, Asbestos, Storm related or Independent we do prioritize your situation to get your business back to normal and functional to the best of our ability.  If needed we even do the rebuild.  Top quality work, fast response and completely reliable; that is our commitment to you.

Schedule your Building Hallway and Common Area Carpet Cleanings with your Budget Submissions

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

New carpet or flooring for your office, common areas and those highly trafficked hallways can take a huge bite out of your annual budget.  Granted that the atmosphere needs to stay updated so replacement will need to happen at some point, but weather like rain and snow is predictable and brings wear and tear that will challenge the highest quality fibers in any carpet.

Schedule the care and maintenance of your carpets with the submission of your annual budget.  This will reduce the likeliness of your need to replace carpets and revitalizes the look of your areas.  Our products sanitize the cleaned areas and leave a pleasant and refreshing smell.  We are  happy to customize estimates at your request and recommend what we think will be the best maintenance for your areas.  One size does NOT fit all when it comes to taking care of your carpet needs. Studies also support the health benefits of maintaining a cleaner environment.  

SERVPRO is there to help Contractors from Concrete Dust Removal to Water Mitigation

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Attention General Contractors: We understand your business and many times the customer wanted their job completed "Yesterday."  SERVPRO can help!  We can help with many of the unique challenges from concrete dust removal, mold remediation, odor control, fire cleanup, structural drying and of course water mitigation.  We have our crews on standby 24/7 to help your crews!

If that broken water valve flooded your work zone and you need it dried ASAP we will put the crews and equipment you need "On the job" to get it done!  If you don't have power in the building yet, we have the capability of providing our own to ensure the job is completed.  

We have the personnel to mitigate from some of the toughest situations.  Safety always comes first, all the necessary precautions are taken in every situation but rest assured... we will get the job done and done right!

Choose SERVPRO for your Commercial Fire needs.

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fires bring a number of circumstances and needs from the smallest, to some of the most significant.  Smoke damage with the absence of fire can be a monumental loss... well SERVPRO can handle it all from the removal of goods to the rebuild of the Facility and Residential areas. 

We have trained crews to remove the debris, other crews specialize in the pack out of contents and personal property of those affected, a warehouse to store the items removed, and highly trained cleaning crews for all of the soot and water issues resulting from the fire and chemicals needed to extinguish the flames. 

Then when the building has been properly dried and the debris removed, SERVPRO does the complete rebuild.  You don't have to shop around or wait for someone to fit you into their schedule, we have your back.  Check our testimonials, even the Fire Departments call us to help after a fire.

Holiday Fires are twice as likely

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Holidays are the peak times for fires

The  U.S. Fire Administration reports more than double the  number of open flame fires on Christmas Day than the average day.  Property loss in a Holiday Fire is about 34% greater than in a regular fire, and loss of life is and fatalities is about 70% higher if the cause is a Christmas Tree. 

*One if every four Christmas Tree fires is due to Electrical problems. 

*A heat source too close to the tree causes 1 in every four Christmas Tree fires.

*The top 3 days for Candle Fires are Christmas, New Year's Day and Christmas Eve.

*Candles start 2 out of 5 Home Decoration fires.

Mak and effort nto get Holiday, candle and "Christmas tree fire" Safety outreach materials.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

Storms can cause major roof damage

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Your roof can take a severe beating during a storm.  It is important to get out and inspect your roof after a storm to inspect for any potential damage.

Wind may be the number one culprit.  High winds can tear shingles off as well as the metal fascia pieces that protect your chimney and other components.

Tree limbs and other debris can tear shingles and fall through the roof potentially exposing the inside your home exposed for further damage.

Hail damage to the roof can be severe.  Shingles can be loosened appearing in tact, when in fact the winds can lift them up and water can seep under the cracks into your home with potential mold and moisture issues.

Remove potential hazards to your roof, try to do regular inspections, its even worth having a contractor come out if you have serious concerns. 

Ice Dams can lead to roof and mold issues

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Ice dams are a silent enemy of your roof

Ice dams for when snow melts.  The water runs down your roof and refreezes forming icicles. This only occurs when part of your roof warms to above 32 degrees F, warm enough to melt the snow, while the roof edge remains below freezing. When snow builds up on the roof the heat from inside the house will warm and melt the snow which runs down the roof side and refreezes. 

The water pools up and freezes back up under the shingles.  In some cases it can go as high as 6 to 10 feet up the roof. Later as it melts, it drips through the roof and into your walls or worst yet your ceiling. 

Damage can be serious; Can cause peeling paint, rot, mold and more. The problem is most common after a heavy snow.

How do I know if I have mold in my air ducts?

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Condensation on the exterior of the vents does not necessarily mean it is on the inside.

There is a lot of concern with Air Quality in today's homes and the possibility of it being compromised through mold.  Mold in your air ducts is not common.  If you can see or smell the mold, then it is a safe bet it is there and call SERVPRO to come and do the remediation.

If you can't see or smell it, then hire a qualified person to come and test for mold.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that there are no standards for what is an acceptable amount of mold; and that every home has a certain amount.

The company that inspects for mold can't be the same company that does the remediation.  This poses a potential conflict of interest.  Remediation can be as easy as a few hundred dollars to thousands.

Ice storms bring numerous hazards to your pipes

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

The damage caused by frozen water pipes and the subsequent leaks can be catastrophic. The water damages themselves can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair.  As any homeowner knows filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance carrier can lead to higher deductibles and premiums that follow you for years, or possibly cancellation of the insurance itself. Untreated, the water damage can cause water rot and/or mold which can be hazardous to your family’s health.

The fact is that the frozen pipe generally blocks the flow of water through the pipe. The growth of the ice blocks and splits the pipe itself. Once thawed the leak occurs. 

I have listed suggestions to minimize the chance of a frozen pipe and water leak in the first place.

-Identify areas where pipes may be located on outside walls, ceilings, crawl spaces, etc. Seal gaps around the home where cold air penetration may come in contact with piping.

-Locate the main shutoff valve as well as individual shutoffs for outside hose bibs. Allow hose bibs to remain on slightly and drain after the inside has been shut off.

-Open kitchen and bath vanity doors to allow ambient warm air to circulate especially to cabinets on outside walls that may have pipes running through them.

- DO NOT attempt to thaw pipes with electric heaters, hair dryers, or open flames. Warm air circulation, time and patience will allow the pipe to thaw gradually. You can contact a plumber, although most reputable companies will tell you it is time consuming and expensive for the technician to thaw your pipes. 

Faster to Your Springfield/ Mt. Vernon Water Clean up

3/17/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.


Faster To Any Size Disaster


Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.


Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 703-644-0620


Water Damage Timeline


 


Within Minutes



  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.


Hours 1 - 24:



  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.

  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.

  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

  • A musty odor appears.


48 Hours to 1 Week:



  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.

  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

  • Paint begins to blister.

  • Wood flooring swells and warps.

  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.


More Than 1 Week:



  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.


About SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon


SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Springfield/ Mt. Vernon Fire, Smoke and Soot Clean up

3/17/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  


Smoke and soot facts:



  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.

  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.

  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.


Different Types of Smoke


There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:


Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber



  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.


Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood



  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.


Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire



  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 


Our Fire Damage Restoration Services


Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.


Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 703-644-0620

Does Your Springfield/ Mt. Vernon Home Have a Mold Problem?

3/17/2017 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

 

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 703-644-0620

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon specializes in mold cleanup and restoration; in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

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