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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

3 Tips to Help You Prevent Water Damage...

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon has the experience, expertise and proper training to restore your home or business quickly and properly. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our Technicians will monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is back to “Like it never even happened."

Water Damage can be a costly and devastating event. We have often found that careful routine maintenance can lower the risks and costs of water damage restoration. The restoration process can be stress, but by following some simple home maintenance tips, you can prevent flooding from structural issues.

If you or someone you know needs restoration services; Save our number for the future or call today for a rapid response (703)644-0620.

1) Assess your water heater

Water heater issues are common when it comes to our emergency calls in Springfield/Mt Vernon. With regular routine maintenance, you can prevent this from happening. Make sure the water heater’s thermostat is regulating the temperature properly to prevent any pressure buildup.

Tip: If you notice an odd taste or odor in the water from your water heater, it may have rust or sediment buildup inside. Also, if your water starts to make strange noises it may require you needing an inspection or replacement.

2) Appliance hoses and connectors

Always check for cracks, kinks, unraveling, wear, or corrosion on hoses & connectors. If you find any damage to these replace them immediately. DO NOT WAIT! Most manufacturers and plumbers also recommend replacing water hoses/connectors every 3-5 years.

3) Replace old caulking in your windows and doors

Caulking your windows can not only stop water leaks, but also help to keep out drafts. It is a simple process that you can do yourself. Most window caulks should last about five years, but you should always inspect your caulking at least every six months to a year; and replace it if you notice any cracks developing.

Tip: You should also check your exterior door flashings for holes or rust that can allow water entry.

We Are Always Here To Help!

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Biohazard Cleaning. SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon Call us today! (703)644-0620

Many different biohazard situations can occur in a home. Sewage backing up into a home is the most common biohazard problem. However, there are some less frequent problems that may require special attention.

Biohazard Examples

  • Human blood & blood products – Items that have been affected by blood & other bodily fluids.
  • Animal Waste – Animal carcasses and body parts, or any bedding material used by animals that are known to be affected with pathogenic organisms.
  • Crime scene cleanup, including decontamination.
  • Suicide, homicide and accidental death cleanup and decontamination.
  • Emergency vehicle, facility and equipment cleanup
  • Prison cell clean up
  • Infectious disease, viral and microbial site decontamination.

Why Hire SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon?

  • 24 – Hour Emergency
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Highly Trained Technicians
  • Keep your employees, or loved ones safe from any dangerous chemicals, infectious disease and blood borne pathogens.
  • Local and state regulations govern biohazard cleanup and disposal. In most cases, require certified professionals to complete the remediation.
  • Minimize the risk of mental stress and trauma to friends, family, employees.
  • Save time and energy.
  • Restore your property “Like it never even happened." 

The safest way to restore your business or home to its pre-existing state is to hire a team that specializes in the cleaning and restoration procedures you need.

Do You Know How To Put A Grease Fire Out...?

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Grease fires happen when oil, grease or fat get hot enough to ignite. Grease fires can be extremely dangerous because grease is a liquid that can easily spread.  If you suspect the fire is larger than you can handle contact 9-1-1.

NEVER THROW WATER ONTO A GREASE FIRE THIS CAN CAUSE THE FIRE TO WORSEN.

Steps to take if this happens to you:

  • Turn off the Stove – If you’re cooking and a pot catches fire, the first step is to remove the heat source. Turn off the burner or oven. (If your grease fire is in the oven, leave the door closed.) A fire can reignite if it’s not smothered.
  • Cover with a Lid – Using a metal pan lid or baking sheet can be another to way to cut off oxygen to a grease fire. Do not use any type of Kitchen fabric the material may catch fire. ALWAYS avoid using glass or ceramic pan lids these materials can shatter.
  • Products to use – Baking soda or salt can help to extinguish the fire; however this would require smothering the fire with salt or baking soda to fully extinguish the fire. Sometimes it’s easier and more effective to quickly find a lid & cover the fire. *DO NOT USE FLOUR OR BAKING POWDER as these products are highly combustible and can explode.*
  • It is always recommended to have a fire extinguisher close by.

Do You Know How To Respond To A House Fire?

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

It’s that time of year again.

A fire can start from any number of sources: a faulty wire, an overloaded outlet, a kitchen accident, or a bonfire left unattended. If your home catches fire it’s important to know how to respond quickly and effectively.

Stay Safe!

If a Fire Starts, Here Is What You Need To Know:

The first line of defense against a fire is to know how to safely use the right fire extinguisher for a house fire. This simple step can save lives and tens of thousands in property damages. If the fire loses control, immediately get out and stay out, then call 9-1-1. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.

If your clothing catches on fire, remember the old phrase: Stop, Drop, and Roll.

If you live in a building with elevators, it is important to use the stairs in case of a fire. A fire can short out the elevator electrical system, and the shaft can act like a chimney and rapidly fill up with dangerous smoke.

Understanding how to use doors to your advantage during a fire can mean the difference between life and death. If the door or handle is warm, do not open it. If you can't escape through the primary way, find another way out. Do not open any doors that are warm to the touch.

If some, heat, or flames block your exits, close any doors around you, place a wet towel under the doors and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Tell them exactly where you are so they know where to find you.

If you're near a window that you can't use as an escape, open it and wave a brightly colored cloth or use your phone flashlight to signal for help.

What To Do After a Fire:

After a fire, it is important to contact a professional fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon. We have the training, experience, and equipment to properly restore your home - "Like it never even happened."

If you try to clean up the fire damage yourself, you could end up making the situation worse both in your home and with your insurance company's process.

Call us today! (703)644-0620

What Category & Class Is Your Water Loss?

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

The category and class of your water loss refers to the level of contamination in the water, considering its originated source. ALL water damages require restoration, but some cases are a little less severe.

If this happens to you whether it’s your home or commercial building - Contact SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon 703-644-0620.

3 Basic Categories of Water:

Category 1 – Originates from a sanitary source. It may not always remain clean after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.

Example: Water supply lines, toilet tank, or faucet.

Category 2 – Significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.

Example: Washing machine overflow, toilet overflow, or a dishwasher overflow. These situations can quickly escalate into a Category 3 if not properly taken care of.

Category 3 – Grossly unsanitary contaminated water. This contains human and/or animal waste, along with other contaminants that could cause severe illness or even death if ingested.

Example: Sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.  

4 Basic Class of Water:

Class 1 – It affects only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.

Class 2 – The entire room or area is affected. Water has gone up less than 24 inches. There is moisture reading in structural materials like plywood, particle board, structural wood and concrete.

Class 3 – Water may have come from overhead. The ceilings, walls, carpet, insulation and subfloor are saturated in the entire area.

Class 4 – Wet materials with very low permeance like hardwood, plaster and concrete have deep pockets on saturation. They may need to be treated with low levels of humidity and often take longer drying times and more specialized methods.

SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon is Available Around the Clock!

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage is something that is never an enjoyable experience. It can be extra difficult to experience. Many people put off planning for water damage as it seems like something that may never occur, but it is more frequent than most anticipate. Approximately one in 50 homeowners file a water damage claim each year in the United States, but for those who plan ahead, the damages tend to be much less severe.

Do you know what to do in the event of a Burst Pipe?

  • Shut off your water main – When a pipe bursts and is left unattended, it will continue to pour into the area until it is taken care of. It is very important to be able to find and switch off your home’s water main as this can prevent water from fully affecting the area.
  • Shut off your electricity – Keeping water away from electricity is KEY, so it is safe to do so, turn off your home’s power from your breaker box to prevent the soaked area from becoming a shock or fire hazard.
  • Contact your local restoration company – One of the things you can do to plan for water damage in advance is decide which Company you will be working with. This way, you can contact them immediately when you discover water damage to have the restoration started right away.
  • Record of the damages – If you are filing an insurance claim, it is important to keep your own thorough records of all the damages via photos, videos and lists. Even if you can’t file a claim, these can come in handy as to work to recover.
  • Contact your Insurance Company – While all insurance policies are different, contacting yours is the best way to determine if you are eligible to file and confirm your policy coverage.

If you have water damage in your home or commercial building due to a burst pipe or another cause, you can count on us for your needs.

Contact SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon at anytime to learn more about our services!

(703)644-0620.

 

Heavy Rain Leads to Flooding...

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Heavy Rain Leads to Flooding…

Our team here in Springfield/Mt Vernon restores storm damage throughout the year.

Although, we don’t experience many Tornadoes in our county here are the National Weather Service alert definitions for tornadoes and high winds:

Tornado Watch: This means a tornado is possible.

Tornado Warning: This means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon.
Go to a safe place immediately.

High Wind Watch: Be Prepared! Sustained, strong winds are possible. Secure loose items and adjust plans as necessary, so you’re not caught outside.

Wind Advisory: Take Action! A thunderstorm is happening or is imminent in the warning area. Severe thunderstorms have wind gusts of 58 miles per hour and or hail one inch or larger. Seek shelter inside a sturdy building.

Preparing for High Winds

  • Remove any dead trees or overhanging branches near structures
  • Remove loose objects outdoors, on patios, roofs, or balconies that could blow away.
  • Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors
  • Bring in unsecured objects from outside and secure things that could blow away and cause damage or injury

Give us a call!

When your home or commercial business has storm damage, you can trust our local team here in Springfield/Mt Vernon to restore the damage, “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 703-644-0620.

Lightning Safety Tips…

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Even though your home is a safe shelter during a lightning storm, you may still be at risk.

Here are some indoor safety tips per CDC:

  • Avoid Water – Do not bathe, shower or wash dishes. Lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.
  • Avoid Electronic Equipment – Do not use your computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
  • Avoid Corded Phones – Corded phones are not safe to use during a thunderstorm. However, it is safe to use cordless or cellular phones during a storm.
  • Avoid windows, doors, porches and concrete – Do not lie on concrete floors during a thunderstorm or lean on concrete walls. As mentioned lightening can travel through any metal wires or bars.

If you have experienced any damages interior or exterior give us a call we are always here to help 703-644-0620!

How Can I Protect My Business?

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

What is the Emergency Ready Program?

  • As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest research.
  • The overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-Planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.
  • SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water & fire damage can affect your business.

As a business owner you ALWAYS want to make sure you have an action plan if ever an emergency occurs. If there was a flood, major leak, tornado you would want contacts and action plan close by.

- A no cost assessment of your facility.
(This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost)

- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an Emergency. (It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed)

A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
(
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action)

Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. (You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by)

- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. (This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money)

- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. (Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens.")

SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon wants to ease that stress and we realize that you might not think about the unexpected things that may happen, therefore we have implemented the ERP Program.

30 Seconds Is ALL It Takes!!!

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know the most common cause of a grease fire is cooking food unattended? Two of every five homes start in the kitchen while food is cooking. It takes less than 30 seconds for a fire to start, so never leave your pan unattended.

Oils and grease are highly flammable, which means they can catch fire easily. Studies have shown that different oils burn at different temperatures. Any oil you purchase from a grocery store is capable of catching on fire.

The most flammable cooking oil has to be coconut oil it has a smoke point of 385°F or 196°C and a flash point of 563°F or 295°C. It may catch fire easily than other oils in comparison. If you catch your cooking oil boiling and smoking this is a sign to turn down the heat.

Oils have a smoke point – What does “Smoke Point Mean?”

The “smoke point” is also referred to as the burning point of cooking oils & fats. When an oil or fat is heated past its “smoke point” it gives off bluish smoke.

The most recommended cooking oils to use that tend to have a higher smoke point making them suitable for frying – Peanut oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil & corn oil.

SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon keeps your safety a priority. IF there is a fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon (703)644-0620.

Common Causes of Water Damage...

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet Leak. Our highly trained and certified professionals are here to handle any disaster you find yourself in (703)644-0620.

Water damage is a common problem that many homeowners in Springfield/Mt Vernon face each year. These problems can cause thousands of dollars in damages, and even force the family out of the house temporarily. The worst thing about water damage is that it can happen at ANY time.

When water creeps into areas of your property where it shouldn’t be, your floor could warp. Water damage also discolors walls and ceilings. Moisture can cause microbial growth if the damages are not immediately addressed.

List of Common Causes:

  1. Severe Weather (Thunderstorms)
  2. Clogged gutters
  3. Leaking / Burst pipes
  4. Washing Machine / Water Supply Line
  5. Blocked drains
  6. Water Heater
  7. Toilet leaks

If you discover water damage inside your home, call SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon our highly trained and certified professionals are here to handle any disaster you find yourself in (703)644-0620.

Get your ducts in a row…

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

When was the last time you had your air ducts or HVAC system checked or cleaned? SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon is the right company for you. We will inspect your HVAC system & ductwork to make any recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.

Ventilation systems can often be the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality because many people allow HVAC systems to operate for sometime without much attention or upkeep. Keeping your HVAC system and duct work clean can extend the life of your equipment, which could save you money and provide better air quality. Studies have shown that we spend 60-90% of our lives indoors, so all of that dirt and debris is circulating in the air you breathe.

Cleaning your air ducts help eliminate these items from the air you breathe:

  • Dirt, dust & debris.
  • Mold or mildew
  • Pollen
  • Pet hair & dander

Call us today! 

(703)644-0620!

Can You Trust SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon?

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Trucks Don't hesitate give SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon a call at (703)644-0620!

At SERVPRO, we take pride in sending highly trained Technicians to service Springfield/Mt Vernon locations. Each Technician of ours is IICRC Certified and is required to maintain that certification. Here at SERVPRO our Technicians are trained to look for damages that may not be visible to the eye and utilize the latest method & equipment to locate damages.

IICRC Training & Certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, biohazard remediation, carpet & upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning courses.

SERVPRO’S Technicians Arrive Quickly to Help Prevent Additional Damages

Whether you have an overflow in an upstairs Bathroom or water damage caused by a recent storm, SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon can provide you with services to recover quickly and efficiently.

You only have to make one call! SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt Vernon offers full service solutions, making your restoration experience as stress free as possible.

If you are looking to receive quality results give us a call!

(703)644-0620

Cleaning tips for Outside your home

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

With Spring approaching, it’s time to check your home and see if the wintery cold caused any damage to your home or building. Signs of winter damage start to show themselves once the weather warms up and the surrounding environment starts to thaw. This article will help you get out of winter hibernation and back into barbeque season! Here is a quick maintenance checklist focusing on the exterior of your building.

1. Start at the Top (Inspect the Roof)

A healthy roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Ensuring it is sturdy and sealed is central to keeping your entire home efficient. Damage to your shingles, flashing, or any leaks can quickly trickle down and affect other areas of your home. When looking at your shingles look for curled edges, tears, or loose stones in your gutters, these are all signs of damage and could be a signal for replacement.

2. Check the Structure (Inspect the Foundation, Walls, Windows, and Doors)

Do a walk around of your home and check for cracks/holes in the foundation. as well as inspecting the exterior walls, siding, windows, and door. If you identify a foundation issue, contact a specialist to take a look. When inspecting the windows and doors, pay special attention to the caulking and weather stripping, issues in the seal are often harder to find than obvious holes or tears. 

3. Independent Structures (Garages, Sheds, Fences, etc)

Make sure the garage door is functioning properly and has a strong seal at the bottom. Sweep and vacuum dust, dirt, and debris around the doors. Also, make sure there is nothing that could fall off the ceiling and impede the doors from working properly. Look for signs of cracked or split fencing boards, especially near any gates, and ice can raise fence boards and make gates stick.

4. Spring Yard Cleanup

It is almost grass-cutting season! Before you get ready to use that lawnmower, make sure to change the oil, and get the blade sharpened. Now, head to your local hardware store to restock on supplies such as landscaping bags and grass seed. Don’t forget to pick up the tools you need to thatch, weed, and clean out your garden beds. Now that you are ready, fire up the BBQ, pull out the cooler and invite the family and friends.

Our team is ready to handle your storm damage

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

Storm season is approaching and our teams have stayed active in serving our communities following the aftermath of heavy winds, rain, and hail. 

While the meteorologists can predict what will be the cause of storms, it’s hard to determine what the effects will look like once the winds have settled, the sirens go silent, and all that’s left is the debris and damage.

At SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon, we’ve witnessed firsthand the magnitude of damage these storms have caused. They wreak havoc on homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and whatever structure stands in their way. 

Though we have absolutely no control over when, where, or what will be affected, we stand firm in the fact that we are “Ready for whatever happens” whenever it happens. 

Our Disaster Response Team is complete with experienced project managers that travel at a moment’s notice to site locations of large-scale storm events, making us “Faster to any size disaster.” Backed by one of the largest Emergency Response Teams in the country, we are uniquely equipped and positioned to take on even the largest restoration project; whether in Central Alabama or beyond. Our fleet of cars, trucks, vans, are fully stocked with the resources needed to respond to disasters of any scale, anywhere. 

Whatever this storm season looks like, it is no match for the force that is our Disaster Recovery Team. 

What to do before a thunderstorm?

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can be dangerous and not taken for granted. Every thunderstorm produces lightning and other hazardous weather conditions, which can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding.

In Springfield, VA we tend to get a mix of heavy rain and dry thunderstorms. Below are great tips from the READY to help prepare you for what to do before, during, and after a thunderstorm.

What to do before a thunderstorm

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard-top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
  • Lightning Risk Reduction When Outdoors

SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon urges each and every one of you to PREPARE before a thunderstorm comes. And whenever they do come, SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon will be here to help.

Flood facts!

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.

There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. 

If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon.  Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order. 

Commercial Cleaning for businesses

3/11/2022 (Permalink)

One Chance to Make a Great First Impression

We had clients coming into town who had never visited our offices before. Although our furniture, floors, and carpets were only a couple of years old, they looked kind of dull and no longer smelled fresh and clean.

Our building manager referred us to SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon. They sent out a team that cleaned our offices from top to bottom. They cleaned the light fixtures, millwork, blinds, drapes, upholstery, carpets, floor mats, floors, bathrooms, and breakroom. By the time they completed the work, our offices looked sparkling clean and smelled wonderful.

Commercial Cleaning Services

  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
  • Odor Removal and Deodorization
  • Air Ducts and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Vandalism
  • Biohazard and Sewage
  • Trauma and Crime Scene

We have extensive experience cleaning all kinds of business settings and buildings:

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing and Industrial
  • Government/Military

Local businesses can rely on SERVPRO Springfield/Mt. Vernon counties to clean and renew tired and dingy-looking offices and workspaces.

What to do after a fire

3/3/2022 (Permalink)

Have you had a fire in your home?  "Devastating" is an understatement when experiencing the chaos of a fire in your home. Not only is it difficult to deal with the loss, but the clean-up can be, too. If it is a small isolated fire, getting the area cleaned and repaired should be a priority!  The first thing to consider is the ash and smoke damage. These can lead to corrosion, unpleasant odor, and discoloration. Getting ash and smoke cleaned up immediately will prevent any of these from leading to an even larger problem.    Take immediate action by following these steps if you find yourself handling the aftermath of a house fire:  1. Contact your insurance company. 2. Contact your local fire restoration company. 3. Take photographs of the damage. 4. Keep a record of all conversations with your insurance company. 5. Make a list of everything you lost or that was destroyed. 6. Find a place to stay while your restoration company cleans up your property. While a house fire is a difficult experience, it helps to have a game plan in place. So remember these steps for the next time you or someone you know is handling the aftermath of a house fire, and call SERVPRO® of Springfield/Mt. Vernon

Common causes of fire

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

Do you and your family know the common causes of fires?

 Here are a few common causes to look out for: 

  • Cooking
    • 48% of all fires are caused by cooking.
    • Remember to turn off source of heat.
    • Have a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Heating
    • Do not put anything close to the heater.
    • Follow guidelines on how the heater can run.
  • Electrical Fires
    • Make sure fireplaces and lighting are up to code and are safe.
    • Ensure alarms are replaced
  • Smoking
    • Never lay cigarettes, cigars, etc., down and forget about them.
    • Smoke outside to avoid any potential fires related to dropping or forgetting about the item.
  • Candles
    • Never leave a candle unattended.
    • All materials should remain 12 inches away from all candles.

These are just some tips in order to prevent fires. SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon keeps your safety a priority and we hope you and family values that as well. Other things to have in place is a route for you and your family if there ever was a fire. Also, everyone in your family should know the route and plan in place. IF there is a fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon.

What is A Commercial UV Light Sanitizer System?

2/18/2022 (Permalink)

Many commercial properties have recently started using commercial UV light sanitizer systems.

During the coronavirus pandemic, ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection has received a lot of coverage. The essential advantage is its ability to destroy pathogens such as viruses and bacteria.

UV (ultraviolet) light is a form of electromagnetic radiation. It is more energetic than radio waves or electrical light but less vigorous than X-rays or gamma rays. UV light may be emitted by either natural sunlight or human-made sources such as tanning beds.

The most efficient UV light for destroying COVID-19 is to use germicidal UVC light, also known as Ultraviolet Germicidal Radiation (UVGI) technology. While ultraviolet light has newly gained momentum in the national discourse as a result of the pandemic, it's been used in hospitals and water systems for years to kill viruses, bacteria, fungus, spores, as well as other pathogenic microorganisms.

While it's the direct impact on Coronavirus is still being verified, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says UVC light disinfection has been shown to destroy other types of coronaviruses. 

Is a commercial UV light sanitizer worth the investment?

As with any new product, people have many questions about how UV light sanitizers work and whether they are safe before installing them on their property. So we conducted some research to assist you in determining if a commercial UV light sanitizer is worth investing in.

As mentioned, ultraviolet disinfection is the process of killing or destroying harmful microorganisms in a controlled setting. Bacteria and viruses, as well as algae and protozoa, are examples of microorganisms. UV disinfection is used in water and air purification, waste treatment, foodservice protection, and a variety of other disinfection, including sterilization requirements.

Property owners have recently installed commercial UV light sanitation equipment due to its environmentally sustainable operation, rapid action, simple installation, minimal maintenance, and cost-effectiveness.

There are understandable concerns about the efficacy of any new technology, but evidence shows that commercial UV light sanitizers successfully destroy 99 percent of germs in most situations.

When it comes to efficiency, it is critical to choose high-quality items. Any product you install should be checked and engineered to function for beneficial purposes in your commercial property.  

4 Key points on UV light sanitation 

1) UV light has been used to destroy germs such as bacteria and viruses. You also may have heard of its use in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the latest Coronavirus.

2) UV light comes in a variety of forms. UVC light is the most potent form of UV light for destroying germs. It can be used to clean surfaces, the air, and liquids.

3) UVC light destroys germs such as viruses and bacteria by causing damage to molecules such as nucleic acids and proteins. As a result, the germ is unable to carry out the processes required for survival.

4) UVC light is an appealing disinfection choice because it can efficiently inhibit the new Coronavirus without chemicals. 

What does the CDC say about UV light sanitation?

The latest research supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports and improves on previous research supporting the usefulness of an automated UV-C-emitting system to fight pathogens. 

The CDC's suggestion for ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is based on the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) stance on airborne contagious diseases. 

ASHRAE recommends two types of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation techniques: installation in air handlers or ventilating ducts and irradiation of occupied spaces' upper air zones with shielding of lower occupied areas. These methods sanitize the air in a room while protecting inhabitants from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation.

Where Can UV Light Sanitation Be Used?

UV light sanitation has multiple uses. It is most commonly used in:

  • Air Disinfection
  • Water Disinfection
  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Aquarium And Pond
  • Laboratory Hygiene
  • Food And Beverage Protection
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
  • Water Treatment Systems

SERVPRO Provides Commercial Pathogen Cleaning

We hope you enjoyed learning about commercial UV light sanitation. We have provided this information to you to help keep our community safe. Whether or not you choose to install a commercial UV light sanitizer, you should consider hiring a team of properly trained professionals that offers pathogen cleaning for regular maintenance on your property. 


As opposed to the traditional house or business cleaning, pathogen cleanup is a service that necessitates industry experience, specialized equipment, and the required certifications. 

The professionals at SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon have the experience and skills to sanitize your commercial property quickly so you can get back to functioning order. 

Is your business prepared for winter weather?

2/9/2022 (Permalink)

Prepare your business for winter weather!

-Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rai, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries. 

-Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. 

-Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

-Ask your SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon Professional about starting an Emergency Ready Profile for your business. 

What is an Emergency Ready Profile?

It is a "snapshot" of each building owned/managed by a business, that provides critical information for emergency preparation. 

Flood damage prevention

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.

Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:

  1. Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
  2. Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
  3.  Clear gutters and drains

If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment and estimate.

How to protect the pipes from freezing

2/7/2022 (Permalink)

1. Insulate pipes - Exposed pipes are most likely to freeze. The more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be. Make sure to drain the water from outside faucets and insulate them from outside elements.

2. Let water drip - Simply maintaining a light trickle or steady stream of water in your faucets can go a long way in preventing water from freezing up in your pipes.

3. Steady thermostat  - Keeping a consistent temperature in your home or office puts less strain on the furnace. 

All we need to follow these tips is to reminisce on the events following the freeze of 2021. Rolling blackouts, homes completely destroyed due to burst pipes, and citizens stranded with no place to go to keep warm and stay safe. Our team is here, and we are Ready for whatever happens®. 

Is your business ready for a disaster?

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Have you stopped to consider whether or not your business is truly ready for whatever happens?

Sure, you may have your shelves stocked and your labels printed with restock orders on the way. But do you have a plan in place for when the unexpected happens and you’re stuck with picking up the pieces?

You may know SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon as your go-to disaster restoration company, which we are. But do you also know that we specialize in helping your business get disaster ready as well? One of the ways we enjoy serving our community partners is by creating Emergency Ready Profiles, or ERPs, for their commercial properties. 

When our dedicated, local SERVPRO Representatives meet with local business owners and facility managers, we gather important materials such as building information, utility shut off locations, and key contacts. Not only is this information important as it pertains to the daily tasks of a facility manager, but it’s also pertinent in the event of an emergency or disaster when time is of the essence. 

One of the key benefits in setting up an ERP with our team is having all of your essential property information in one place. In addition to keeping such relevant information organized, your local SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon representative will contact you periodically to update any changes to your profile. 

Becoming disaster-ready is a process and our team is eager to help you get started! To set up your free Emergency Ready Profile, call our office today to speak to one of our representatives and ensure that your business is "Ready for whatever happens", just like SERVPRO. 

Cleaning Tips

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Spring  & Summer time has become a great time of year to undertake deeper cleaning projects.  Although spring cleaning is commonly associated with residential homes, it is just as much needed for commercial places as well.  The cold winter months keep everyone cooped up inside and bacteria & messes start to grow.  A good cleaning helps to give workers a more open and less hectic environment; additionally, a clean and welcoming place of business helps to attract customers. Here is a list of some important areas to inspect during your deep cleaning cleaning:   

OUTSIDE

  • Windows

Windows are one of the simplest yet crucial areas to keep clean.  Beyond making sure you have squeaky clean windows, check to make sure they have tight seals.  Small gaps in window seals can cause cool air to seep out (and warm air in the winter months), as well as allowing water to trickle in. Checking caulking and weather stripping remains intact and up to par can save you money in the long term. 

  • Landscaping

This is very important for the presentation of your business.  Now the grass, flowers, weeds and other plants are starting to grow, it’s important to start grooming your landscape.  Don’t wait till your plants get out of control, hire someone now or take some time yourself to pull the weeds, mow the grass, and trim any trees or bushes.  Additionally, this is a great time to plant some flowers if you want to spruce up your place of business. 

  • AC/HVAC

When converting your buildings air flow system from heating to air conditioning now is the best time to quality check your system.  Test your system by running it for a while to make sure it’s working properly, check any old or out of date parts that might need replacing.  Clean out the ventilation system by removing dust particles and any other debris lying inside.  Ventilation systems are rarely cleaned, which is why lots of building owners tend to find pest infestation or mold problems when cleaning their vents/ducts.  It’s best to take these precautions while the temperature is in a transitioning period.  

  • Pest Maintenance

Along with the re-birthed trees and plants, spring also brings back hordes of pests.  Ants, spiders, termites, mosquitoes, and even bed bugs can become a problem.  It’s best to take preventative measures to ward off pests instead of being forced to shut the business down for a couple weeks in order to fumigate for pests. Lastly, if you are continually having the same pest problems each year, try to identify exterior factors that might be attracting those pests and any defects in your building that might be letting them in. 

INSIDE

  • Dusting

Simple and effective.  Even if you already dust on a regular basis now’s a good time to dust those harder to reach, and often ignored, areas.  

  • Flooring/Carpets

As people come in from the rainy times and wipe their feet on your carpets, dirt begins to build up.  Don’t let this grime buildup in your building; buy some strong cleaning products for your floors and a top quality vacuum for carpets. In addition to constantly maintaining floors and carpets, now is a great time to hire a professional carpet and floor cleaner to give your floors a deep clean. 

  • Reorganization

Reorganizing comes in two parts.  The first is the organizing of all the previous years files into a consolidated area for ease of access.  Best practice is to do this at the beginning of every year so that your files are neatly organized and easy to find when needed.  The second is the reorganization of the office itself. Ideally, this is a continuing process year round.  If the office has gotten out of hand this can be a good time of year to tidy up and breathe some fresh air into the workplace.  Depending on your type of business will help determine what type of cleaning takes priority. If you need extra help or an even deeper clean call SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon to help!

Extending the life of your carpet

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Whether you have been living in an apartment complex for 6 months or a two-story house for 10 years, everyone needs to be mindful of when they last had their carpet professionally cleaned. We realize that there are things around the house that are tossed aside and forgotten about, however maintaining clean carpets should not be one of them. Here at SERVPRO® of Springfield/Mt Vernon we understand life happens, like when your child spills a drink all over the carpet or the dog mistakes the carpet, for the grass outside. We get it, but we only want what's best for you and your health. 

Why Does My Carpet Need to be Professionally Cleaned? 

Many people have been exactly where you are now, thinking "I wipe up all spills and vacuum often, I am good to go." That simply is just not the case. And frankly this alone isn't good enough. It may not be evident to the naked eye, but carpets can house all sorts of dirt, bacteria, and allergens that can be harmful to your health. Carpets that are not well maintained can hold dust mites, molds, pet hair, dead skin cells, insect feces, and other particles deep-seated in their fibers. Below are three possible problems that can be the result of carpets that are not well-maintained.

Danger #1: Weak Immune System

  • Everyday our bodies fight to keep us healthy and strong. However, living in an unclean environment, leads to being exposed to harmful bacteria, which can cause you to be more susceptible to diseases.
  • Getting out carpets professionally cleaned helps to remove dust mites, bacteria and other allergens, which ultimately helps your family breathe easier and reduces the risk of colds and other health problems. As strange as it may sound, dirty carpet can negatively impact the airflow in your home.

Danger #2: Reduces the Life Span of the Carpet

  • Not professionally cleaning your carpet allows for dirt to stay embedded inside the fibers of the carpet. Which ultimately will lead to the fibers breaking and wearing down.
  • Regular vacuuming will keep your carpet looking good and prevent debris and dirt from embedding into the fibers.
  • Keeping your vacuum in good shape will help keep your carpet in good shape. A vacuum that is half full will be much less effective than an empty one. Be sure to keep it cleaned out and keep up on the maintenance with it as well.

Danger #3: Odor in Carpet                                                         

  • Professional cleaning companies can use top notch chemicals, to get out odors that regular vacuums or cleaners just simply cannot get out. A couple of these odors are dog urine and cigarette smoke. These odors almost always take a professional crew to come in and get rid of.

Do Not Worry! SERVPRO Can Help!

If you are unsatisfied with your carpet SERVPRO® of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is here to help. We are open 24/7 and work to respond quickly to calls.  We care about your health and safety. 

Electric heater safety

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

As winter begins to hit and temperature begins to drop, you may choose to buy a space heater for warm up your home, apartment, or work space. Space heaters are a good alternative if you do not want to turn up your thermostat to heat up your home. However, space heaters, if not used correctly, can cause fire damage to your property. Here are some tips that you can use to prevent any disaster caused by a space heater:

  • Leave the heater on level floor, don’t place on carpet - it can overheat and start a fire.
  • Do not use in bathroom, unless it is designed for it - moisture can damage the heater.
  • Keep three feet away from flammable materials and out of the way of children and pets.
  • Should always be plugged directly into wall outlet, don’t use with extension cord because it can cause overheating.
  • Don’t leave heater unattended, make sure to unplug when not in use.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor.

If you run into any issues with fire damage, call SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon

SERVPRO is here to help

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is here to help the Springfield/Mt. Vernon area!

Like the rest of the nation and much of the world, the Springfield/Mt. Vernon, VA area is in high alert due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is strange to think that in just a couple of weeks, we went from our regular lives to maintaining social distance and working from home. We must take every step to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. Children, adults, and the elderly are all vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, so we must do our best to keep it away from our homes.

Residents can reach out to our SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon crew to help disinfect and clean your home or workplace. Contrary to other companies offering cleaning or disinfection services, it’s something we are trained and certified to do.  We have been we offer cleaning and sanitizing services for years. Our staff trains specifically to address cleanup situations with biohazard threats.

To date, there is no specific protocol proven to eradicate the virus from frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, kitchen counters, and bathrooms. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is encouraging the use of hospital-grade, EPA registered disinfectants typically used to remove certain pathogens. Our standards of service include the use of EPA registered cleaning solutions suitable for this kind of work. As the CDC releases new recommendations, we adapt and apply them as appropriate.

In your home, you get to decide what you do to protect your family in this crisis. However, some entities, such as schools and nursing homes, require a third party to verify the effectiveness of the cleanup process. SERVPRO is prepared to coordinate services with any relevant entities as required. Our technicians are professionals in our field and accustomed to high-stakes situations, so dealing with potentially hazardous microbes is nothing new for us.
Advice from the medical and scientific community regarding how to deal with the coronavirus is based on present knowledge, which is subject to change as the situation continues to develop. There can be no assurance that disinfectants alone will be adequate to fully eliminate the virus. We are not physicians or infectious disease professionals. Consult your medical professionals for individual medical advice.

Is standing water dangerous?

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Surface water can affect your home and its tenants in multiple ways. While this standing water can absorb into materials and ultimately allow for the deterioration of exposed structural elements, pooling can also present potential health effects or hazards for those exposed and remaining in the area. 

SERVPRO offers fast extraction and drying solutions for your home after a flood. 

We can help reduce the standing water concerns by offering efficient flood removal. To accomplish this, we can call upon a wide array of extraction and moisture removal tools in our broad inventory. 

What Tools Are Best for Drying Up Flood Damage? 

Because every flooding situation is different from the last, there are different tools and devices that are best to remove water or dry the area. Identifying the most efficient solution is always the priority, as the sooner standing water gets addressed, the less damaging flooding typically becomes. Some of the standard water removal and drying tools include:

  • Air Movers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Positive Pressure Systems
  • Floor Mat Systems

After a flood, you want your home to look like it did before the disaster as soon as possible. Our SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon team can help anytime you need us

What to do when your refrigerator leaks

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

What happened?

The common cause for these water leaks is the plastic water line behind the refrigerator will crack, a slow drip begins and water pools behind the fridge unnoticed. Another common cause is excess condensation buildup which has the same effect. Water damage from your fridge can cause numerous problems in your home especially since the problem can go unnoticed for so long, at this point the damage has already taken a toll on your floors and surrounding areas. Moisture and heat in the dark environment create perfect conditions for mold to form and your floorboards to rot. This should not be overlooked. Over at SERVPRO we are experts in mold remediation and will gladly remove and prevent further frustrations for you.

So now what?

It is important to first clean up any visible water to avoid further damage and possibilities of mold occurring. Once this is done you should inspect your fridge and see if there are any noticeable leaks or areas where condensation may be forming to excess. It is important to replace any faulty connections to stop the immediate leak if possible. If you are able to, assess the damage done to the area under and around the fridge. Most of the time floorboards will show visible damage, but the real problems can occur underneath where you cannot see. We recommend you give us a call at SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt/Vernon where we are available 24/7 to assist. We will send a team out to stop any further damage and spread of mold and help prevent this issue from occurring again. While you may be able to swap out the damaged areas of flooring, mold can continue to grow and cause more problems in the future. With many years of experience we will make the cleanup a quick and easy experience.

Pro tip: add a water alarm behind/under your fridge to catch any further problems from getting far

Why do sump pumps fail?

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pumps are drainage systems that are commonly found in the basements of commercial buildings. They work to pump water out of the basement and away from the building, preventing flooding and water damage. A sump pump failure can lead to a flooded basement and cause water damage to furniture, essential materials, and other important objects, which could prove costly. Understanding why sump pumps fail is the first step in preventing a sump pump failure in your commercial building.
Causes
Power outages are one of the most common causes of sump pump failures, especially during the stormy summer months and hurricane season. Storms can dump large amounts of rain water for the sump pump to drain, but a power failure that prevents the sump pump from doing its job can leave your building defenseless and at risk for flooding. To prevent disaster, consider having your sump pump hooked up to a backup generator.
Sump pumps require regular cleaning in order to function properly, so infrequent maintenance can have serious consequences. To keep your sump pump from failing, clean its vents and run a vinegar solution through the unit.
Lastly, your sump pump might fail simply because it’s old. Over time, sump pumps will start to feel the effects of usage and therefore, failure is inevitable after 7-10 years. It’s recommended that your sump pump be replaced after 10 years in order to protect your building from a sump pump failure.
Sump Pump Failure? Call SERVPRO
If your commercial building’s sump pump has failed, resulting in water damage, remember that SERVPRO has you covered. We’re trained in flood and water damage and will use our trusted, advanced drying techniques to prevent mold and mildew growth, rapidly restoring any water damaged areas. Don’t hesitate. Call SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon today and learn more about the commercial water damage services that we provide here.

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.

What Do I Need to Do to Reduce Damages After a Fire?

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Fire Restoration Technicians Provide Emergency Response Services in Springfield/Mt. Vernon

After a fire, one thing is sure. There is much work to do before you regain your sense of normality. Even the smallest of fires can have extremely damaging impacts on your home. SERVPRO emergency response technicians move quickly to mitigate further damages.

Can I Stay in My Home After a Fire?

SERVPRO Technicians May Prep Your Home So You Can Remain

Depending on the extent of fire in your Springfield home, SERVPRO technicians may decide to use additional precautions to ensure your home is livable. If you are remaining in your home, they deodorize first to eliminate some of the strong odors. They also clean the most used portions of your home, such as your kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. 

What Do SERVPRO Emergency Technicians Do to Secure My House?

  • Board up windows and doors.
  • Address electrical hazards.
  • Inspect the home for structural issues for safety purposes.
  • If power is out, set up emergency lighting and access to flashlights.

What Else Should I Do Right Away if I want to Stay in My Home?

  • Put towels or old sheets over furniture to limit further damage from smoke residue.
  • Seal off the parts of the home that were not impacted by the fire.
  • Do not eat any contaminated food or use contaminated products.
  • Pull clothing out that you need right away for cleaning. 

We understand the importance of wanting to stay in your home after a fire since displacement can add additional complications to getting your life back in order. Our technicians check for structural integrity and safety hazards and begin working to keep you in your home while they restore it to pre loss condition.

For 24/7 assistance after a fire, Contact SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon at 703-644-0620. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster. 

Why Does SERVPRO Top the List for Help When Old or Failing Plumbing Leaks?

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Why Does SERVPRO Top the List for Help When Old or Failing Plumbing Leaks?

Complete water removal in Springfield/Mt. Vernon requires an investment in training and an extensive inventory of specialized equipment to rid homes of standing fluids and lingering moisture. Dedication to industry best practices is why SERVPRO acquires the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for all workers. Our fleet of service vehicles delivers the following crucial machinery to every water emergency project:

  • Submersible pumps
  • Truck-mounted and portable extractors
  • Air movers
  • Heaters
  • Dehumidifiers 

Although it is unlikely today that antique plumbing fittings from the "Brass Capital of the World" cause water removal urgency, the ability to manage even that scenario is why SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon should be your first call. Reach us at 703-644-0620

Common Commercial Plumbing Issues

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Plumbing issues can be devastating to a business. It can cause leaks that turn into a water loss that could affect productivity in your business. With plumbing issues, it can happen with little to no warning, sometimes it starts with a small leak and other times it can happen suddenly. It is important to fix these issues before they become big problems with big expenses. Some problems include leaking seals and drain clogs.

Leaking seals

Seals can go badly at any moment, so it is important to inspect for small leaks around these areas, if you wait it could turn into a major water loss. Leaks can occur wherever two plumbing components meet. This means sometimes they aren’t always noticeable. Not only can this turn into a bigger leak but if the seal completely breaks off when you aren’t present you could cause thousands of dollars in water damage to your property.

Drain clogs

Drain clogs aren’t usually an issue in homes however in commercial buildings they seem to be more common. The reason for this is people are more cautious of what they put down their own drain or toilet vs public restrooms. This causes debris to get stuck in the pipes clogging up the system and slowing down the release of water. It may not cause any immediate issues but could contribute to a major backup down the road. With commercial experience SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is ready to assist any commercial restoration job.

Why SERVPRO for Mold Remediation Services

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

There are many different types of molds and they can occur both indoors and outdoors. Molds are a form of fungus and they thrive in environments that are moist and warm and can grow on almost any material. Some common indoor molds include Penicillium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Alternaria. Mold tends to have a rough or fuzzy appearance depending on what kind of mold and what surface it is growing on, and it can also be a variety of colors as well.

  • Penicillium mold tends to grow on materials with water damage and it usually has a blue or green appearance
  • Aspergillus mold grows on materials such as drywall
  • Cladosporium tends to grow on fabrics and it can grow in either cool or warm environments
  • Alternaria occurs in damp warm places such as bathroom shower or under a sink

Mold Remediation and Restoration

Permitting mold growth to continue ultimately results in structural damage, ruined personal belongings, and the risk of health effects. SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon takes note of the stress and anxiety of finding a mold infestation in your home. We train our technicians comprehensively concerning mold remediation techniques, employing the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) curriculum and or SERVPRO Employee Certification Training Program (ECTP), the industry’s standard.

The crews we dispatch to assess and respond to mold damage complaints hold Applied Microbial Remediation certification. Protocols used were developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and demonstrate success in abating current mold damage and limiting future problems. We want to set our customers’ minds at ease concerning our reputation as qualified mold remediation experts in the Springfield/Mt. Vernon area.

How to Shut Off Water in Case of an Emergency

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Knowing where your main water shut off is essential. It can help you prevent major damage in case of an emergency. Things like a sewage back up, broken pipe, or broken seal can cause thousands in water damage if you aren’t able to shut your water off. In the winter months it is common for pipes to burst, severe cold weather can cause pipes to expand and break but being able to locate and turn off the valve can prevent some damage. It is also good to know where the main shut off is if you leave your house for a long period of time.

Steps to take if this happens to you

  • Turn off your water main
  • Drain the faucets to release the pressure
  • Inspect and fix the broken pipe
  • Bring in a professional drying crew

Properly restoring your home after a water damage event requires specialized equipment and products. This advanced equipment helps us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. Finally, our technicians will clean the affected area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.

How to Prevent Moisture in Your Home

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Most people think of water damage they usually think of flooding after storms. That isn’t always the case though, somethings you wouldn’t expect what may be causing moisture to build up in certain spaces in your home. Follow some of the tips below to help prevent moisture build-up in your home.

Humidity and Indoor Moisture

When warm air comes in contact with a cool surface it creates moisture. Things like showering, dishwashing, and cooking add moisture to the air. Cold water pipes that are uninsulated can also cause water droplets to accumulate in the summer. When condensation and water droplets occur, they can run down walls and into corners of your home. Once this happens, things can start to rot, paint can peel, and provide a good environment for mold to grow. 

Ways to reduce moisture

  • Use a dehumidifier
  • Run fans in the house
  • Run the A/C
  • Clean A/C filters
  • Take colder/ shorter shower
  • Cover pots while cooling
  • Cover aquariums

5 Ways To Lower Your Company's Water Consumption

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

Of all the water issues worth discussing, one of the most relevant is conservation. In addition to being good for the environment, lowering your building’s consumption also reduces your water bill.

Here Are Five Measures You Can Take To Enhance Your Status As A Responsible Corporate Citizen

  1. Install Touch Free Faucets

Because executives carry their phones everywhere, they often become distracted before leaving the restroom. This sometimes results in running faucets. Touch-free sensors eliminate this trouble entirely. As an added bonus, the spread of germs is greatly limited. While they can be expensive, these water upgrades come highly recommended and are extremely popular.

  1. Submeter Irrigation

Faulty irrigation systems have the potential to create seriously destructive water issues. If your business floods, the resulting water damage may necessitate a commercial restoration service provider to repair. Submetering irrigation alerts building managers and landscapers when too much water is being used, possibly indicating a faulty system. The ability to address issues early on could prevent an inconvenient disaster.

  1. Add Flush Valves

Toilets installed before 1992 use between three and five gallons per flush. Introducing flush valves dwindles this by up to 40%. Unlike replacing old toilets with low-flush alternatives, you can keep your original commodes and the cost will be minimal.

  1. Trade Plants

Interior designers sometimes attempt to counteract the industrial feel of office buildings with trees and other leafy offerings. Some vegetation needs to be watered more than others. Try less thirsty options, such as sago palms, spider plants or orchids.

  1. Change Urinals

Although they require different cleaning methods than traditional urinals, consider ones that are water-free. With one training session, your cleaning crews will have no trouble understanding how to handle them.

Addressing these common water issues will work wonders in lessening the amount your office in Springfield/Mt. Vernon, uses. For the sake of the future, implement as many solutions as possible.

What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Protection: What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage

What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage

Many tenants buy renter’s insurance to cover the cost of replacing their personal belongings if they are damaged or destroyed by an accident in the building where they live. Your coverage, however, may pay for much more than just item replacement. It’s important to talk to your agent, so you know just how much you can expect your insurance company to pay if the place you are renting in Springfield/Mt. Vernon, catches fire.

Belongings

Part of the fire restoration process is determining which items can be cleaned and saved and which must be thrown away. Your insurance coverage should pay for:

  •  Assessment
  •  Cleaning costs
  •  Replacement costs

Make sure your policy states that it pays replacement cost rather than the actual cash value of your items. The purpose of insurance is to make you whole again, and replacing lost belongings is a good start.

Liability

If the fire was caused by your negligence, you might be liable for any damages you cause to other people or to the structure itself. Your renter’s insurance probably has a clause that protects you from legal costs. Your policy may cover damage to your neighbor’s belongings or the property itself, as well as cover medical bills of anyone injured in the fire if you bear some responsibility for its starting.

Shelter

Fire restoration experts may work quickly, but there are probably going to be some nights that you are unable to stay in your rented space. Finding a temporary place to live can be expensive. Your insurance policy is likely to cover this as well. You can include your shelter needs as part of the fallout of the fire damage to your home when you file your claim.

Your renter’s insurance does cover the loss of your belongings, but it can also cover other losses. Your insurance agent can help you build a solid policy that takes all potential expenses of the fire into consideration.

How To Identify Odors in Your Home After a Flood

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

Identify Odors After A Flood And Eliminate Their Cause

When storms cause serious flooding and affect your Springfield/Mt. Vernon, home, you may notice several different types of foul odors in the aftermath, even when the waters recede. From mold growth to sewage chemicals, the flooding may leave your home smelling less than pleasant. Learning to identify these odors can be the first step to finding and eliminating their cause.

Musty Smells

If you detect an odor like wet dirty laundry after a flood, then you may be dealing with mold. There are many different types of fungi that can take hold after a flood, and many can develop as soon as 24 hours after the event. Mold does not require sunlight to grow and may grow unchecked in a variety of locations:

  • Behind drywall
  • Around insulation
  • Under carpeting

Having your home inspected after a serious flood can help to uncover hidden mold.

Sewer Odor

The strong, bitter smell of a sewer is hard to mistake for anything else. The odor may also smell like rotten eggs, especially if a nearby sewer has malfunctioned and sewage loss caused a flood in your home’s basement. Because any standing water in your home may contain contaminants and bacteria, you may want to seal off the area until you can call a water damage and mitigation service to come to drain it away and deodorize your home so the offensive smell from the flood water does not linger.

Dirt or Mud Smells

Serious flooding can bring silt, dirt and debris into your home. The moisture it contains can also encourage increased mold growth. You may detect an earthy, fishy or wormy odor from dirt or mud left behind in the wake of a flood. Your flood technicians can remove this debris and offer you options for odor removal as well, such as using ozone machines to clear the air.

Serious flooding can affect your home and cause foul smells from mold growth and dirty standing water. Learning how to identify different odors can give you a head start on cleanup efforts, especially once help arrives.

Steps To File Your Commercial Fire Claim

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

A fire at your business may seriously impact your ability to conduct business or halt it altogether. To get your business running at full capacity, it is important to take these three steps to file your commercial fire claim.

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company
    One of the first things you should do after a fire is to contact your insurance company to report your fire damage. Most insurance companies provide customers with multiple ways to begin this process. You may be able to file your claim by calling your insurance agent in Springfield/Mt. Vernon, or the claims department of your insurance company. Your insurer may provide a website or mobile app that will allow you to begin the claims process online. Be prepared to provide your policy number, address and a description of what happened and what was damaged.
  2. Document Your Losses
    When you file a fire claim, your insurance company will probably send someone to inspect your damages. However, it is useful to provide your own documentation, such as photos of the damaged property, receipts or other documentation that proves the value of your damaged property, recent maintenance records and proof of income. If you need to make temporary repairs, photograph the damage before you repair it and retain your receipts for supplies and labor used to make the repairs. Hold off on permanent repairs and fire restoration services until your insurance company gives you the go-ahead to proceed.
  3. Keep Everything Organized
    Write down your claim number and the names of anyone you talk to at the insurance company. Keep your photographs, damage estimates, receipts and other documentation in an easily accessible place.
    Nobody wants to have a fire, but if a fire does occur, properly filing your fire claim can help you restore your business as quickly as possible. These three steps will help you with this process.

4 Problems That Can Cause a Toilet Leak

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

The toilet in your bathroom is a relatively simple apparatus, but multiple things can still go wrong that cause it to leak water onto your floor. There are four things that plumbers look for to determine the reason behind your leaking toilet.

  1. Loose Bolts

Pooling water at the base of the toilet can mean several things. The easiest thing to fix is a loose bolt. Before you call for a plumber in Springfield/Mt. Vernon, try tightening the bolts around the base. If this stops your bathroom leak, that is likely the only thing that was wrong.

  1. Faulty Gasket

The wax gasket is the seal that holds the toilet in place. It also keeps water from escaping and damaging your floor. To replace a dry or broken gasket, you have to remove the toilet and scrape the old gasket off the floor. Once you've determined the flange is intact, you can replace the gasket and return the toilet to its position. Most homeowners have the tools to do this themselves, but a plumber can help if you are not comfortable with the task.

  1. Broken Valve

If the shutoff valve is broken or malfunctioning, it will probably result in a leaking toilet. Water damage specialists often have to replace walls and flooring when a faulty valve releases a lot of water in a short amount of time. Plumbers can inspect and replace bad valves so that your toilet runs efficiently.

  1. Cracked Bowl

If the toilet bowl itself is cracked, water is likely to leak out of it. If you cannot see the crack, it can be difficult to determine the source of the problem. Inspect your tank thoroughly to look for this possibility.
A leaking toilet is often an easy fix, but you want to make sure to fix it quickly. Finding the source of the leak is the first step in doing so.

Prevent Basement Flooding from Snowmelt

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Extreme Temperatures

Living in the Springfield/Mt. Vernon are means the weather fluctuates all the time this year we have been experiencing more snow fall then last year. So what does that mean for local home owners?

These extreme temperature changes make flooding a potential hazard in the Virginia and surrounding areas. The sudden melting of packed ice and snow can cause rapid runoff. If the ground is still frozen, snowmelt has no place to go and can find its way through the foundation of your structure. Homes and businesses located near creeks and rivers are at higher risk for flooding.

Some tips to prevent a flooded basement include installing a sump pump and making sure downspouts drain 20-30 feet away from your home or business. Hiring a company to professionally waterproof the basement is another option. Using a snow-blower around your home’s foundation and removing snow from the roof when safe are additional ways to limit water intrusion from snowmelt.

Call Us Today for Your Winter Weather-Related Needs

Even when preventative measures are taken, your Springfield/Mt. Vernon business or home may experience leaks and flooding. The team at SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon is trained in water extraction and structural drying. Our employees are IICRC certified and use the most up-to-date water mitigation practices. Rest assured, the team at SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon will help make any water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us today 703-644-0620

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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