Recent Posts

Are your ducts in order?

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know, your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality?  Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority.  In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention.  Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC).  Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.

In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process.

If you have a fuel burning furnace, stove or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning, and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost efficient.  Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of duct and grime.

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream.  HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.

For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment contact our office at 703-583-8484.

Bio-Hazard & Vandalism Clean-Up

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup* and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. Your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals can help with the following issues: Blood borne Pathogens, Methamphetamine Labs, Crime Scene Residues, Arson n Vandalism, Sewage Backups, Black Water Intrusions, Mold Mitigation and Remediation State and local regulations vary.

BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS: SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO® Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.

METHAMPHETAMINE LABS: Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

CRIME SCENE RESIDUES: From fingerprint powder and evidence gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge can clean and restore your property and contents.

ARSON AND VANDALISM: SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage.

We also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.

Contact SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional at 703-583-8484 today for 24-hour emergency service.

Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season Be safe during this Holiday Season!

Pretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season— however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
  • Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.

Your local SERVPRO® of Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Are you winter ready?

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Are you winter ready? When your business is closed make sure the heat is turned up to at least 55 degrees to avoid frozen pipes over the cold winter months!

Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard.
  • 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.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.

Ask your local SERVPRO® of Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals about completing an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business faster following a disaster. When winter weather strikes, call your local SERVPRO® at 703-583-8484 to strike back.

Holiday Cooking

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries, with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking-related fires.

Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended–stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything flammable–pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. n Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

All of us here at SERVPRO® of Dale City/Lake Ridge wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

Fire Extinguisher Safety

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher?

Remember the phrase P.A.S.S.

  1. .. Pull the pin. This will also break the tamper seal.
  2. .. Aim low, pointing the extinguishernozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  3. .. Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishingagent.
  4. .. Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out.

Do you know what Class fire extinguisher you should have?

Class A: This is the most common extinguisher and can be used to put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper and many plastics.

Class B: Used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.

Class C: Designed for fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment electrically energized or plugged in.

Class D: For use on flammable metals; often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.

Class K: Intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. These extinguishers are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are becoming more popular in the residential market for use in kitchens.

Workplace Fire Damage

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Your workplace just had a fire, now what?!?!  Having a solid understanding of the process, will help ensure you protect your own interests in the commercial fire damage claim.

Below are 8 important points to consider:

  1. Normally for water damage you send the insurance company documentation of the damages. But how do you do this for items or property that has been destroyed by fire damage? Are there good “before” pictures of the same space, on your phone or website that you can compare with the “after” photos of the damage? Does your bank have record of the blueprint from when they helped you finance the property?

Does your business account have record of furniture, equipment, etc. that you purchased for the space? These would be good places to start, but you’ll want to ask your adjuster/agent for more specific protocol and requirements.

  1. Is it a good idea to make repairs and restorations yourself? Your insurance company will pay less, but your premium may not increase as much. Weigh the costs and benefits of each option.
  2. How did smoke or water from fighting the fire affect your electronics, equipment, and structural integrity? How do you claim those damages to trigger better coverage?
  3. When making repairs, make sure your insurance company does not cut corners by using companies or contractors that repair with materials containing lead and asbestos. That could lead to greater costs and health risks down the line
  4. Find out how your policy addresses code coverage and Green building upgrades.
  5. If your coverage is limited, what can you do about it? How can your agent or a public adjuster help?
  6. During the claims process, your insurance provider may engage a forensic accountant. Find out their role, which financial statements you are required to produce, and why. You should also ask if you can, and should, recast your financial statements. Don’t hesitate to get input from an accounting professional you trust, as well as your agent.
  7. Find out what can be included as extra and expediting expenses, and what the difference is.

Having commercial fire damage is stressful enough, you don’t want the claim and repair process to add to the frustration (and we don’t either)! Let us know what questions you have about your policy, the restoration process, and how to get the most trusted repairs the most efficiently. Our team of caring professionals is ready, willing, and able to help.

Fire Prevention Month!

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

October is Fire Prevention Month—a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2018 theme is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.™” This theme hopes to create awareness in the steps necessary to reduce the chance of a fire and how to react in the event a fire does happen. The NFPA states the following:

“LOOK” for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

“LISTEN” for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

“LEARN” two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Stay safe and prepare now to help ensure you are ready for any disaster. Find additional safety tips in this issue of the Restoration Newsline. If you don’t already receive the Restoration Newsline contact one of our awesome marketing reps to start receiving one by emailing office@SERVPROdalecity.com.

Fire Damage: What to do until help arrives

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage: What to do until help arrives Wait for the professionals to help you!

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO THE FOLLOWING UNTIL HELP ARRIVES:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer/ refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/ bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T TRY ATTEMPTING:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
  • If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Should your home or business suffer a fire/smoke/soot damage contact us at 703-583-8484 to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Safety Tips from the American Red Cross

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising 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.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.