Recent Posts

Why SERVPRO…Our Team is Compassionate

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

2 Dogs We understand that your home is your refuge and we take great care to show compassion on every project.

To be compassionate is more than simply telling someone that you care. To be compassionate is to feel deeply for another person as they experience the ups and downs associated with life. ... That frame of mind makes it easy to treat others with compassion, empathy, and understanding. At SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton one of our foundations of business is showing compassion towards our customers during their time of need.

It’s a very traumatic experience when someone has a flood, fire, or crime in their home. Our homes are our refuge. They're the places we’re most comfortable and our daily routines are built around our homes, families, and pets.

When a disaster, not matter the size, happens to your home, your stress can be compounded by the restoration process. Nobody looks forward to strangers coming through their home and trifling with their things. Our team understands this.

When someone calls on us for our services, we know we have the opportunity to help them physically, emotionally, and spiritually in their time of need.

When we begin work on your project, we will spend time explaining what is happening and the scope of what we will be doing to restore your home to its preloss condition. We want you to know that it is still your home and you're in control. As the experts, we’ll be here to advise you in your choices, but we never want you to feel like we’ve taken over.  Again, we understand that your home is your refuge.

We can reassure you that this, too, shall pass. Let our team at SERVPRO make your home “Like it never even happened,” and it will be your refuge once again.

Heating Safety For You and Your Pets

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

Snuggling Dog With a few simple safety tips and precautions, you can prevent most heating fires from happening and keep you and your pets safe.

There is something about the winter months and curling up with your pet and a good book by the fireplace.  But did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.  With a few simple safety tips and precautions, you can prevent most heating fires from happening and keep you and your pets safe.

  • Keep anything flammable that can burn at lease three feet away from heating equipment.
  • Have a three foot “kid-free and pet-free zone” around open fires and space heaters
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
  • Always remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • It’s a good idea to put the space heater far enough above the ground that pets do not have access to the heater or the cord. This will minimize the likelihood of a curious cat or dog chewing on the cord or becoming tangled in the cord.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make certain the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Some other pet-friendly features to look for are front panels and vents that are small enough to prevent curious paws from getting through them.
  • If you have long-haired pets or pets who shed heavily, you may want a heater with a front panel that is like a mesh or grill. This will help prevent pet hair, fur, and other debris from getting into the heater and damaging it, or worse causing a fire9. 
  • Pets are playful and they like to check out new things, so a heater that heats the room while staying cool to the touch can prevent any accidental burns.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Maintaining a Safe, Live Christmas Tree

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that Christmas trees alone result in 13 million dollars, annually, in property damage due to fires? More importantly, these fires present real risk towards family, friends, and pets. Don’t let Christmas ever heat up too much (with fire that is). When enjoying a live tree in your home, the combination of tree dryness, electrical malfunction with lights, and poorly located heating sources can make for a deadly combination.

When you simply MUST have a Live Tree, keep these precautions in mind:

  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.
  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make certain all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety and throw out any damaged lights.
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
  • Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.

When your tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye to your evergreen foliage until next year. Follow the above noted guidelines to avoid being another statistic in the National Fire Protection Association or United States Fire Administration report during the upcoming holiday season.

An Excellent Customer Experience is What Makes the Difference

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

If you listed all the restoration companies in the northern Virginia area you would see many similarities. They all have a crew, vehicles, equipment, and technology, but what sets our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton apart from the others is our business philosophy.  We do not strive to be the biggest restoration company in the area, but we do want to be the best by offering excellent customer service and an excellent customer experience.

Our team understands that when a customer calls our office, their home or business is in trouble. Once we begin a project, we want all our customers to feel confident in our services and team. 

Here are a few of the comments we have received on our Certificate of Satisfaction:  Job Completion reviews:

  • Great Service Overall. I really appreciate the quick response (same day) and complete explanation of the process.  I will definitely recommend service to friends.  – Octavia
  • Great Job and the whole team was very professional. Thank you! – Christa
  • Ben & John were amazing! I would trust them to do work in my home anytime! – Hope
  • John and Sean work well as a team and provided services that exceeds my expectations. – Matthew
  • Mike and crew were wonderful – knowing his job and great at communicating what needed to be done. Felt comfortable having them in my house. – Leslie

No matter how big or small the job is, our team members will arrive on-time with confidence and explain the entire process to our customers and answer any questions they may have to ease the stress that was caused by fire, water, or mold. SERVPRO understands your time is valuable and every second matters when it comes to restoration. 

To see the SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton difference, call us at 703-583-8484.  We’re always here to help!

Wishing You a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Girl Rolling Dough Kids can get involved in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton want to wish you a happy holiday season.  This is the time of year where families gather around the table and celebrate their good blessings.  Your safety, and the safety of your children, is important to us so please keep the following in mind since Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment.

  • Make certain your smoke alarms are working before the big day. Test them by pushing the test button.
  • Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles, or books can keep them busy.  Kids can get involved in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.
  • If cooking your turkey in the oven, stay in the home when cooking it and check on it frequently.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Keep children away from the stove as it will be hot. They should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gray or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, purses, or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Be certain electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Finally, never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.

Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations so let them be a part of everything but always remember, and teach them, to practice safety.

Do You Have a Fire Escape Plan?

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is here to help with fire restoration after the event.  However, we pride ourselves in helping our communities by educating them on fire prevention and by helping to prepare their households in case a fire does occur.  Planning is the key to safety.  Your ability to get out of your home during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you pull together everyone in your household and make a plan.

How To Make A Home Fire Escape Plan

  • Draw a map of your home. Show all doors and windows.
  • Visit each room. Find two ways out.
  • All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside.
  • Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Push the test button to make sure each alarm is working.
  • Pick a meeting place outside. It should be in front of your home.  Everyone will meet at the meeting place.
  • Make sure your house or building number can be seen from the street.
  • Talk about your plan with everyone in your home.
  • Learn the emergency phone number for your fire department.
  • Practice your home fire drill!

Make your own home fire escape plan using the grid provided at https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education.

Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is always here to help!

Commercial Carpet Cleaning Services for the Northern Virginia Area

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Deciding when is the best time to have your commercial property carpets professionally cleaned is a debatable topic for most business owners and property managers. Basing this decision on the amount of foot traffic your company sees daily could help determine when it is time to have your property serviced.  However, there are several more factors to take into consideration.

Eliminate Allergens

Despite the potential to track in water and dirt, your carpets may stay cleaner for an extended amount of time in the fewer traffic periods since they will not accumulate as many allergens. During the warmer months, pollen, dust, and airborne pollutants enter your business through open doors and windows. If you did not have your carpets cleaned in the fall, that contamination makes an unhealthy indoor environment. When you seal everything up for winter months and keep doors and windows closed, everything stays trapped inside, and your carpet holds it all, adding to the polluted air. Professional cleaning of the carpets in your business reduces and eliminates those spring and summer pollutants and makes it easier for your employees to breathe when they are inside.

Faster Carpet Drying 

It is easy to believe that freshly cleaned carpets dry faster in the warmer weather, but that’s not always true. Carpets may dry slightly quicker in the winter due to lower humidity that helps moisture evaporate more quickly. Professional carpet cleaners, such as our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, also have high-powered fans to allow quicker drying so you can enjoy your clean carpets and revel in the warmth and insulation they bring to colder months.

Holds the Value Longer

Regular professional cleaning extends the life of your carpet. Even if you can’t see the stains, soil, and pollutants on your carpet, there’s a tremendous amount you do not see that is slowly but surely wearing away at your carpet.

Cleanliness Impresses Your Clients 

You have heard of the saying, “Dress to Impress.” Well, the same goes for how your company looks to your current or potential clients. With your lobby being where people enter and exit your business, chances are it is also one of the highest traffic areas in your facility. As a result, the floor and carpet in your lobby gather even more soil and grime than other business areas. To ensure you are generating the best impression possible, make certain you clean high traffic areas more often than other areas.

Are Your Loved Ones Safe in Nursing Homes?

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Making the decision to have a loved one moved to a nursing home is never an easy task.  We understand that having a loved one in a nursing home can be stressful and can often make people feel somewhat helpless.  Worries can intensify when you hear of the tragic nursing home fire that occurred in 2003 in Hartford, Connecticut.  The fire killed 16 people and injured 23 more including a staff member.

However, you can play an important role to increase the safety of your loved one.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) here are a few things to consider when choosing a nursing home or checking on someone already in a home.

  • Is the building well maintained? Make certain that paper and other storage items do not block doors or hallways needed for escape routes.
  • Check to make certain there is an evacuation plan in place that involves all staff and is practiced regularly.
  • Are there safety systems in place such as alternative exits, smoke detectors and sprinklers?
  • Check on the staff-to-patient ratio. How many staff per resident during the day and especially at night or on weekends and holidays?  Is supervisory staff available to carryout an escape plan if there is a fire?
  • Are there guidelines for people who smoke such as a separate room or staff supervision?
  • Does nursing home management take your questions regarding safety seriously and are they forthcoming with information?

You have a right to get answers regarding the safety conditions that effect your loved one.  Make certain you take the time to ask.  For further information and messages for families and staff, please visit NFPA.org.

Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant Flooring and What Happens in the Event of a Water Loss

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Waterproof vs Water Resistant: What’s the Difference?

First, you need to know what waterproof vs water resistant means. Both terms refer to a material that can prevent water from absorbing into the material or repel water, which is great for bathrooms or kitchens. However, they’re not interchangeable terms.

Waterproof refers to a permanent material, which means water won’t penetrate the flooring itself, no matter how much time goes by. A water-resistant floor (like laminate or vinyl tile) refers to how flooring material protects flooring substrate from water infiltration.  One point to keep in mind about water resistant flooring is the time you can allow water to sit on top of the floor. If you mop up water on the floor somewhat quickly, it won’t have time to absorb into the floor and impact the material underneath. Water doesn’t go through water resistant flooring as quickly as it does with something like wood flooring.

What Happens in the Event of a Water Loss?

Vinyl plank flooring is also advertised to be water-resistant. While vinyl plank flooring does resist water damages like warping, cracking, or peeling, this type of flooring presents other challenges when a water damage event occurs.

Broken water heaters, overflowing washing machines and burst water supply pipes are common causes of water damages.  However, despite the cause or size of the disaster, the water damage mitigation process is always the same. During a water damage, our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton inspects and assesses damages, extracts the loose water, utilizes air movers and dehumidifiers to dry affected materials, and cleans remaining materials. Vinyl plank flooring interrupts this process, adding more required demolition to the scope of work.

During the initial inspection, our team must inspect all potentially affected areas to determine where the water has traveled and where it may be hiding. If not addressed, the water you can’t see can lead to future secondary damages such as microbial growth. While water may not penetrate through the vinyl plank flooring, it will almost always migrate under the flooring by way of the edges of the room. Water trapped behind baseboards will flow under the flooring.

Vinyl plank flooring acts as a vapor barrier, trapping the water beneath. This presents two issues. One, our mitigation team cannot extract water hiding underneath the flooring. The hidden water will not vaporize through the flooring to be extracted via dehumidification either. And two, the subfloor will not be able to dry properly with this vapor barrier holding moisture. Both issues can lead to future microbial growth problems. Therefore, all affected vinyl plank flooring must be removed after a water damage event to ensure proper drying. Luckily, some vinyl plank flooring is easy to reinstall once mitigation is complete. This depends upon the initial installation method.

Our knowledgeable team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton has been serving our communities for 17 years and is always here to help.  If your home or business has incurred water damages, we are ready to respond 24/7/365.

How Common Are Fires in Apartment Complexes?

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

Fires at apartment complexes occur more often than most people think. In 2019, our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton was called out to an apartment complex fire in Dumfries, VA. Fortunately, no one was severely injured, but the entire building was impacted.  Each of the units had sustained damage from either the fire, smoke, or water.  Many tenants lost all or most of their personal contents. It took almost a year before the building was inhabitable again.

Most apartment complex fires can be attributed to the following five causes:  cooking, space heaters, electrical malfunction, arson, and appliances malfunctioning.

As in the case of the fire in Dumfries, most of these are easily preventable by adhering to the following fire safety tips:

  • Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended, especially around children 
  • Check twice to make certain the stove is turned off before leaving the kitchen
  • Store a fire extinguisher in or nearby the kitchen
  • Do not plug a space heater into a power strip. Only plug them directly into outlets
  • Never overload power strips by plugging in several different small appliances 
  • Only smoke in designated smoking areas and properly dispose of cigarettes
  • Do not use appliances with frayed wires
  • Contact the leasing office or maintenance team immediately if experiencing electrical issues

For more fire safety tips, please visit the National Fire Protection Association at nfpa.org.