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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Fire Safety Tips

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Alarm Safety A working fire alarm could be the difference between life and death. Keep your family safe by following the tips listed here.

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

Top Tips for Fire Safety

 

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. 

If a multi-level home, store safety ladders under each bed upstairs.

Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

Proactively change the batteries every daylight savings change.

Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

 

If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

Is Your Kitchen a Fire Hazard?

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

Is Your Microwave Safe? Make sure stand alone microwaves are free from clutter and vents are not obstructed.
Beware of Common Fire Risks in the Kitchen

Most home fires start in the kitchen during cooking — usually on stovetops —not in the oven. Be sure to stay in the kitchen when cooking, frying, or grilling on your stove top.

  • Check for curtains, towel racks or even paper towel dispensers sitting too close to the burners.
  • Keep Pam, Oil away from burners.
  • If your microwave isn’t built in, make sure it’s clear of surrounding clutter and its vents aren’t obstructed.
  • If you don’t already have one, buy a fire extinguisher to keep within easy reach should something ignite while you’re cooking.
  • Remember, don’t toss water on a grease fire if you’re caught without an extinguisher. If a fire starts in a pan — and many do — put a lid on it to suffocate the flames.

SOURCE: American Red Cross

Is Your Workplace Safe From Fire Hazards?

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

Power Cord Safety Keep power cords free from debris and paper and do not over exert the power strip.

Prevent workplace fires! 

Follow These Tips

  1.  Check for damaged electrical cords and cables. Don't overload outlets and power strips.
  2. WorkplaceFireSafety: Never use the elevator if there is a fire. Walk, don't run, down the stairs. Use your phone flashlight to see.
  3. WorkplaceFireSafety: Keep your workspace and equipment clean, dry and well ventilated.
  4. Don't use candles at work ever
  5. Know where the closest exit is at all times.

Are Roof Leaks Covered By Home Owners Insurance?

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Leaky Roofs May or May Not Be Covered!  It depends! Sometimes a leak in the roof is covered and sometimes it is not! Read below to learn about the ins and outs of roof leaks.

Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?

If you notice water damage on the ceiling or walls in your home, it’s possible that you’re dealing with a leaky roof. Fixing a roof leak isn’t always cheap, but the repair is probably covered by your homeowners insurance policy. In this article, we’ll explain what type of roof leaks are covered by insurance, what kinds of leaks are not covered, and what you should do if you suspect your roof is leaking.

When are roof leaks covered by home insurance?

Roof leaks are covered by home insurance if the leak is caused by a covered — or named — peril. A peril is a situation or weather-related event that can damage your home and personal belongings, such as a fire or hailstorm. Insurance companies agree to compensate you for any losses if your home is damaged by a covered peril. 

For example, say a major windstorm blew a big section of shingles off your roof, and a subsequent rainstorm brought water into your attic through the leaky roof. The roof damage would be covered in this situation because the leak was caused by a windstorm, which is covered peril under most insurance policies.

Any roof damage that is sudden and accidental is typically covered by homeowners insurance, but it depends on the type of policy you have.

When are roof leaks not covered by home insurance?

Roof leaks are not covered by home insurance when the cause of the leak is not a covered peril. This includes general wear and tear. It’s common for roofs to develop leaks as they age, but this type of damage is excluded from coverage. Most home insurance companies will also deny a leaky roof claim if it’s caused by mold, pests, birds, wet rot, improper code materials, contractor/construction errors or neglect.

Keep in mind that some home insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for roof leaks. If you have an HO-8 insurance policy, it’s possible that roof damage is not covered. HO-8 insurance is used to cover old and high-risk homes, and because of that, these policies often exclude coverage for things like winter weather damage or falling objects damage that could cause a roof leak.

SOURCE:  coverage.com/roofleaks

Flood Insurance

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Flooding can happen at any time. Heavy rainfall can cause flooding whether you are ready for it or not! Do yourself a favor and get flood insurance to cover that just in case!

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is managed by the FEMA and is delivered to the public by a network of more than 50 insurance companies and the NFIP Direct.

Floods can happen anywhere — just one inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy that can cover buildings, the contents in a building, or both, so it is important to protect your most important financial assets — your home, your business, your possessions.

The NFIP provides flood insurance to property owners, renters and businesses, and having this coverage helps them recover faster when floodwaters recede. The NFIP works with communities required to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations that help mitigate flooding effects.

Flood insurance is available to anyone living in one of the 23,000 participating NFIP communities. Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from government-backed lenders are required to have flood insurance.

How to Purchase Flood Insurance

To purchase flood insurance, call your insurance company or insurance agent, the same person who sells your home or auto insurance. If you need help finding a provider go to FloodSmart.gov/flood-insurance-provider or call the NFIP at 877-336-2627.

Plan ahead as there is typically a 30-day waiting period for an NFIP policy to go into effect, unless the coverage is mandated it is purchased as required by a federally backed lender or is related to a community flood map change.

SOURCE: fema.gov/flood-insurance

Sewage Overflows At Home

8/9/2022 (Permalink)

A Sewer Backup Needs a professional restoration company. The microorganisms in a sewer backup can make the people in the household sick due to the bacteria. TRUST SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge to restore!

Sewage overflows can occur at home as a result of damaged or blocked plumbing, backflow from the sewerage system, a damaged septic tank or as a result of flood water containing sewage. 

  • Sewage contains harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Direct contact with sewage or surfaces contaminated by sewage can result in illnesses such as gastroenteritis.
  • Wear protective clothing (such as rubber gloves, boots and eye protection) when cleaning.
  • Do not use your water supply until you know it is safe.
  • A registered plumber may be able to advise if your sewage system is working correctly.

<h2health-advice">Public health advice 

  • Practice good hygiene and wash your hands frequently, especially after touching contaminated surfaces and before preparing food.
  • Clean and disinfect all contaminated areas.
  • Keep children and pets away from contaminated objects and areas until they have been disinfected.
  • Contact a plumber if you suspect your plumbing or septic tank system is damaged.
  • Clean out silt and debris from septic tanks. This should be pumped out by a professional as soon as possible once it is safe for the vehicle to access your tank. Refer to your local business directory to arrange a septic tank pumping service by a licensed contractor.
  • Contacting your local water business (SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge) or local council if sewage is leaking outside your property boundary. Your local water business can access the problem. Depending on the leak’s location, this could either be the water business’ or the householder’s responsibility.
  • If your private water has been contaminated, use bottled or boiled water for non-drinking uses instead, such as washing dishes and brushing your teeth.
  • Seek medical advice if you become ill or injured.

Reference: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/

Does My Business Need Commercial Flood Insurance?

8/2/2022 (Permalink)

Just because you are not near the coast does not mean that commercial flooding can not occur near your business.  A flood in your commercial property can cripple a business if they are not properly insured and aware of their options.

Most business insurance policies don't cover losses resulting from floods, and if you're located in a low-risk flood area, you might be tempted to bypass this important coverage. However, flooding can occur anywhere – it's not limited to just coastal areas or river basins. The cost of damages from a flood could submerge your business permanently.

If you've invested money in equipment or a building, flood insurance is vital to protecting your business.

National flood insurance protection

In 1968, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was established by Congress to help property owners protect themselves from the financial devastation of floods. Communities all over the United States participate in the program by practicing floodplain management to reduce potential flood risks. In return, the NFIP provides flood insurance to business owners, homeowners and renters in those communities.

Coverages and rates are set by the NFIP, and do not vary from company to company. Flood insurance rates are determined by factors such as the type of construction and age of your business property, number of floors and building occupancy, as well as your area's level of risk as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

National flood insurance is backed by the federal government and can be purchased through your insurance agent. Once purchased, there is a 30-day waiting period (established by FEMA regulations) before your flood insurance takes effect. So, it pays to buy coverage well before water threatens to flow under your door.

How To Put Out a Grill Fire?

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

Hot Dogs & Hamburgers on the grill A simple family cookout can go from fun to terror should your grill catch fire! Be prepared with the tips above to help extinguish the grill flames!!

A grill fire can quickly spread to your home or deck. It is IMPORTANT to know how to properly put out a grill fire to prevent the spread to your home!

When the weather warms up, it is the perfect time to start the grill and enjoy cooking delicious food with friends and family. However, before grilling season begins, make sure you are prepared to help keep your home and family safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), every year there are over 10,000 home fires started by grills. Accidents happen, so it is important to know common ways gas grill fires start and how to make sure you are prepared to put out a fire in case one does start while you are grilling food.

Common Causes of Grill Fires

While barbecues are prone to flame up when grease starts to collect, it is not just your grease tray that you should be keeping an eye on. Outdoor grills are often placed in hazardous locations too close to the house, deck railings, outdoor sheds and under patio awnings. To help ensure a safe grilling and BBQ experience, place your grill at least 10 feet from the home or other structures. Also make sure there are no obstructions like a patio awning or tree branches above the grill that could catch on fire while you are grilling.

HOW TO EXTINGUISH THE GRILL FLAMES SAFELY?

Flare ups from cooking food on the grill are natural. However, when the flames on your BBQ become too large or spread to adjacent areas, it is important to have a fire extinguisher within reach and know how to use it.

1. If your gas grill catches fire, the first thing you should do is attempt to turn the burners off. If you can reach the knobs safely (on a gas grill), this will help stop additional fuel from feeding the fire and creating a larger problem.

2. You can also close the grill lid, as a lack of oxygen will help to ease the fire and slow it down.

3. Use a fire extinguisher to extinguish the flames using the P.A.S.S. technique - pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep. Once the fire has been put out, make sure to switch off any burners on the grill that were still on.

Be Prepared

To help protect your home and family, be prepared and practice grill safety. Check your gas lines to make sure there are no gas leaks before lighting the grill and keep grease trays and grill plates clean by using a grill brush after each use. For protection in case a grill fire, have a fire extinguisher  within reach in the event a small gas fire breaks out.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge & SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are always here to help with any fire damage clean-up.

703-583-8484

SOURCE: firstalert.com/how-to-put-out-a-grill-fire

How To Handle Water Damage in Your Home

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Tips on How to Handle Water Damage

The old adage goes “April showers bring May flowers,” but nothing ruins a sunny, spring day faster than realizing that those April showers caused water damage in your home. If left untreated, water damage can cause even more problems, such as mold or loss of structural integrity, and could haunt you long into the summer months. So, if you find yourself a victim of minor water damage, take the following steps to address the problem:

Eliminate Other Hazards

Eliminate the possibility of further problems that could be caused by water leaks, such as electrical fires or additional property loss, by removing cords and furniture from the affected area. Turn-off power to any areas that were exposed to the water damage before handling electronics.

Call your Insurance Company

Before you begin fixing anything, be sure to file a claim with your insurance company. Keep track of any repairs you make and receipts for all materials purchased. Keep in mind that flood insurance is not included in many homeowner’s policies, so be sure to speak with your independent agent about the perimeters of your coverage before you need it.  Also, back up of sewer and drains is a rider you may add we do recommend this rider for your own protection.

Dry the Damaged Area

While it may seem obvious to remove any collected water, drying the affected area completely is one of the most important yet overlooked parts of the process. Use mops, rags, and a dry/wet vacuum to remove any water that may have collected, and then use fans and dehumidifiers to remove any remaining moisture. Remember, water leaks in a warm house create the perfect, humid environment needed for mold to reproduce, and leaving the damage unaddressed may increase the likelihood that your future claims could be denied. Whenever necessary we recommend you  CALL A PROFESSIONAL to dry-out the water damages. 

SERVPRO OF DALE CITY/LAKE RIDGE would be happy to help!

Clean and Treat Affected Areas

Even after you’ve ensured that all materials affected by the water damage are dry, it’s best to clean and treat those items to prevent any sort of mold or bacterial growth. 

When addressing water damage, the most important thing to remember is to DO SO QUICKLY and efficiently to reduce the risk of mold growth and structural issues. However, if your home suffered a large amount of water damage due to flooding or a major leak, IT'S BEST TO CONTACT A PROFESSIONAL TO ENSURE A THOROUGH CLEAN-UP.  

 SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge would be happy to help you through all of your water damage needs.

703-583-8484

Reference: preferredmutual.com/info

2022 Storm Season Prediction Above Normal

7/17/2022 (Permalink)

2022 Storm Season Names NOAA predicts above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Ongoing La Niña, above-average Atlantic temperatures set the stage for busy season ahead.

Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, are predicting above-average hurricane activity this year — which would make it the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season. NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 65% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

For the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.

“Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane resilient and climate-ready,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Throughout the hurricane season, NOAA experts will work around-the-clock to provide early and accurate forecasts and warnings that communities in the path of storms can depend on to stay informed.” 

The increased activity anticipated this hurricane season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon. An enhanced west African monsoon supports stronger African Easterly Waves, which seed many of the strongest and longest lived hurricanes during most seasons. The way in which climate change impacts the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones is a continuous area of study for NOAA scientists.

If any of these hurricanes hit our local area, SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge is here to help @ 703-583-8484.

Source: noaa.gov

Summer Is a Big Season for Water Damage!

7/6/2022 (Permalink)

Pipes Leak More in Summer Leaky pipes are more prevalent in the summer due to extra showering & watering of plants and grass.

We are right in the middle of summer. This naturally puts a strain on your home’s plumbing. Whether you are taking multiple showers to cool off from outdoor exercise, or to keep your garden hydrated, you’re likely using more water than normal these days.

Unfortunately, this overuse makes water damage more likely to happen from your own plumbing. You might be surprised to hear how common it is. Did you know that water damage makes up around 30% of all homeowner’s insurance claims every year in the United States? It’s a very common problem and the majority of these claims are non-weather related. This means you should keep an eye on your plumbing this summer so you don’t have to deal with an expensive repair.

We want to share with you what are the most common water damages we see in the summer!

Leaking Faucets or Pipe Breaks

As we mentioned earlier, your plumbing is under greater stress during the summer. Heavier use equals more wear and tear on your entire system. With pipes in constant use, you are more likely to see a burst pipe or a leaky pipe in your home. Whether this leak is obvious or hidden in a crawlspace or below your foundation, there is a risk of water damage.

Water damage can occur on all types of surfaces. Don’t just assume that your tiled bathroom hasn’t suffered any damage.

If you or your business suffer water damage, we want to be there for you. We have mitigated and restored hundreds and hundreds of water damages and we want to bring that knowledge to serve you in your time of need!

Summer Rainstorms

Virginia is already a fairly rainy state. However, our rainstorms become even more severe during the summer. We have had several severe rainstorms this summer, already. These storms can cause damage from hail as well as water. High rainfall and falling debris can end up soaking your home enough to where it needs professional restoration like SERVPRO OF DALE CITY/LAKE RIDGE.

It’s important to take stock of your home after a severe storm. Your roof is one of the most important things to inspect. If there is a leak there, this could cause real trouble to your property.

Mold

It’s so important to act quickly when it comes to water damage. Water doses not sit, it spreads. Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours. Mold is a huge problem in Virginia due to the high humidity levels in summer.  Mold needs a dark, damp place to grow. Mold impacts the health of everyone in your home. Poor indoor air quality is guaranteed in a home with mold. Mold Mitigation is our specialty.

There are thousands of species of mold, but we know how mitigate mold. We understand the environment that mold thrives in and how to remove mold in a safe manner in order to restore your home to a healthy air quality. 

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is just a call away for all of your summertime water damage needs.  

703-583-8484

Summer Storms? Lightning Safety Tips

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

BEWARE of Lightning Lightning kills around 20 people in the United States each year. These lightning safety tips can keep you and your family safe.

Lightning: What You Need to Know

  • NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!!
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoor Lightning Safety

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge & SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are always here to help with all of your storm needs 24/7!!

703-583-8484

SOURCE:  weather.gov/safety/lightning

More Lightning Safety Tips

Is Your Phone Set To Receive Emergency Flood Wireless Alerts?

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

Damage to a road from a flood in southwestern United States TURN AROUND DON'T DROWN!!! Flooding roads can wash both you and your car away and crumble a road like picture above! Emergency Alerts can save you!

This could save your life! 

Flooding can happen in a flash!  Don't be caught off guard.  If you have a smartphone, chances are it has a built-in feature to automatically receive and display WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERTS from the National Weather Service when flash flooding and other hazards are happening nearby.

You will not be charged to receive these lifesaving alerts so make sure they are enabled, or turned on, on your smartphone and everyone in your family!  They will let you know if imminent danger is near you!!

SOURCE: weather.gov/safety/flood-education

What's the Difference Between a Hurricane "Watch" and "Warning"?

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

"Watch" vs. "Warning" Knowing the difference between a Hurricane Watch & a Hurricane Warning is important!

Know the difference between a hurricane “watch” and “warning.”

Listen for National Weather Service alerts on TV or radio or check for them online. There are two kinds of alerts:

  • hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour [mph] or higher) are possible in a stated area. Experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) to start.
  • hurricane warning is more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected in the area to give people enough time to prepare for the storm.

For more information about hurricane watches and warnings, check out the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Centerexternal icon. If you hear that there is a hurricane watch or warning in your area, you need to take the proper steps to get ready.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and the SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are always here to help!

SOURCE:  cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/

Summer Storms Can Cause Rip Currents

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

Rip Current Rip Currents can be life threatening. Learn the tips in this article to keep you and your family safe!

What Are Rip Currents?

* Rip currents are channelized currents of water flowing away from shore at surf beaches.

* Rip currents typically form at breaks in sandbars, and also near structures such as jetties and piers.

* Rip currents are commonly found on all surf beaches.

Why Are Rip Currents Dangerous?

* Rip currents pull people away from shore.

* Rip current speeds can vary from moment to moment and can quickly increase to become dangerous to anyone entering the surf.

* Rip currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer away from shore.

* A scientific review of data provided to the United States Lifesaving Association found that there are over 100 deaths each year in the U.S. attributed to rip currents.

* Rip currents account for over 80% of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards.

What Are Clues That Rip Currents Are Present?

* A narrow gap of darker, seemingly calmer water between areas of breaking waves and whitewater.

* A channel of churning, choppy water.

* A difference in water color.

* A line of foam, seaweed or debris moving seaward.

How Can I Protect Myself From Rip Currents?

* Always swim in an area protected by lifeguards

* Consult lifeguards before entering the water.

* Assume that rip currents are always present at surf beaches. 

* Learn to swim in the surf and make sure your children can swim in the surf. Pool swimming is not the same as swimming at a surf beach.

 * Learn to identify rip currents and take the time to evaluate the water before you enter the water.

What If I'm Caught In a Rip Current?

* Relax, rip currents don't pull you under.

* Don’t swim against the current.

* You may be able to escape by swimming out of the current in a direction following the shoreline, or toward breaking waves, then at an angle toward the beach.

* You may be able to escape by floating or treading water if the current circulates back toward shore.

* If you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself. If you need help, yell and wave for assistance.

How Do I Help Someone Else?

***Don't become a victim while trying to help someone else!  Many people have died trying to help a friend in a rip current!

* Get help from a lifeguard.

* If a lifeguard is not present, call 9-1-1, then try to direct the victim to swim following the shoreline to escape.

* If possible, throw the rip current victim something that floats.

* Never enter the water without a flotation device.

Facts About Rip Currents

* Rip currents do not pull people under the water—they pull people away from shore.

* Rip current speeds vary. Average speeds are 1-2 feet per second, but they have been measured as fast as 8 feet per second—faster than an Olympic swimmer!

* Rip currents can be very narrow or more than 50 yards wide.

* Sometimes a rip current ends just beyond the line of breaking waves; however, others may continue to flow hundreds of yards offshore.

* Rip currents are sometimes mistakenly called undertow or riptides but these terms are not correct. Only the term rip currents is technically correct.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge & SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton hope these tips help keep you and your family safe at the beach this summer!

SOURCE: usla.org/ripcurrents

Commercial Water Damage? Call us QUICK!!

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Clean-Up: Act fast When water damage hits your commercial building, call the experts at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge to extract & dry your space quickly! 703-583-848

Finding commercial water damage in your business can be hard to swallow, and when it's significant damage to not only your building, or to your inventory, but to both, it can be particularly challenging to grapple with. Business operations can be difficult enough to manage under normal conditions without adding unforeseen problems and emergencies. 
 
Business owners should know that we are experts in finding solutions to cleaning up and preventing commercial water damage in Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton as well as restoring buildings from top to bottom. Your inventory is important to you, and your business, so we also understand that special care must be taken to prevent any extra losses from occurring. Our experience and training can help prevent this from happening, and we will also work with you and communicate all processes while we restore your business and your inventory. 
 
Water extraction, drying, monitoring, cleaning, and restorative work are our strengths. We work as a team, so that our work is completed as quickly, but also as thoroughly, as possible. We use science to ensure your property is dried to goal range. Communication with you during the entire process is highly important to us, and we will always keep you updated on any developments that may affect your business. We're here to answer your questions, so please don't ever hesitate to ask us when you need more information. 
 
When completing work that commercial water damage requires, we often encounter problems that have remained hidden. Problems can include electrical hazards, a discovery of pest problems, mold or bacterial growths, and many other situations that we commonly find. These are often unknown to business owners when water damage has been a slowly but steadily developing problem in a building. Your safety and that of your employees and customers are important and restoring things to an acceptable condition are paramount. Defects in building materials, such as gaps in insulation (sometimes discovered when a wall is opened so that damaged paneling or drywall can be replaced) can be filled before installing the new wall, preventing heat loss. 

We strive to make things like new, and better than before the damage happened. This is why communication is so important to the entire process. Start the process by calling us, the professionals at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge. Our number is (703) 583-8484, and it's answered 24/7.

Water Damage Clean-Up Tips

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Hot Water Tank Malfunction Hot water tanks, toilet overflows, dishwasher leaks, pipe leaks, roof leaks, refrigerator line leaks are just a few of water leaks we can help with.

IF WATER DAMAGE OCCURS, TIPS FOR CLEAN-UP

Shut off the main water valve, if practical, and call a plumber to fix the leak. Call an IICRC Certified professional (SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge & SERVPRO of Woodgridge/Lorton are certified) immediately for mitigation services, as required by your insurance policy. IICRC Certified professionals have the knowledge, experience and equipment to locate water wherever it goes, remove the excess, and dry your structure to industry standards. The first goal is to prevent slip/fall hazards. If the burst pipe is overhead, drain ceiling cavities by punching “weep” holes. Revised_013019

Prevent mold growth by acting immediately. Although it takes a few days to appear, mold thrives on wood, paper, particle board or even household soil, when stagnant air, moisture, and temperatures between 68°F and 86°F degrees are present. Wet clothing usually is salvageable. A 10-minute wash cycle in detergent and hot water should sanitize washable clothing and many household fabrics.

Make sure to dry out before you rebuild. IICRC Certified professionals have a variety of instruments to determine when a building is dry, to prevent on-going microbial growth. Drying should not stop until wood or drywall moisture content (MC) falls below 16% MC. Normal MC is around 10% in most areas of the country. Revised_013019 An IICRC Certified Firm like SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge & SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton can help you through this process.

SOURCE:  IICRC.org/flood-resources

PREPARE for Hurricanes

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

We are #HERETOHELP after any hurricane or storm. SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge & SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are always here to help with all of your storm clean-up needs. 703-583-8484

Prepare for Hurricanes

Know Your Hurricane Risk

Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Find out how rain, wind, water and even tornadoes could happen far inland from where a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall. Start preparing now.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plans. Include the office, kids’ day care, and anywhere else you frequent in your hurricane plans. Ensure your business has a continuity plan to continue operating when disaster strikes.

Know your Evacuation Zone

You may have to evacuate quickly due to a hurricane if you live in an evacuation zone. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with your household and pets, and identify where you will stay. 

  • Follow the instructions from local emergency managers, who work closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and partners. They will provide the latest recommendations based on the threat to your community and appropriate safety measures.

Recognize Warnings and Alerts

Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which require no sign up.

Those with Disabilities

Identify if you may need additional help during an emergency if you or anyone else in your household is an individual with a disability.

Review Important Documents

Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents, such as ID, are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure password-protected digital space.

Strengthen your Home

De-clutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, and consider hurricane shutters.

Get Tech Ready

Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.

Help your Neighborhood

Check with neighbors, senior adults, or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others

Gather Supplies

Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies and pet supplies in your go bag or car trunk. You may not have access to these supplies for days or even weeks after a hurricane.

SOURCE: ready.gov/hurricanes

Safety in Commercial Buildings

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Building Safety Month Organization ICC - International Code Council is an organization that monitors building codes & standards to provide the highest level of safety in the world.

Building Safety Month—is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 64,000 member’s across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design, and the safety community. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public, on “what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient homes and buildings,” according to the ICC website.  Some of the topics and tips shared throughout the month include Disaster Safety and Mitigation, as well as Fire Safety and Awareness. The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials “improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play,” and this month can certainly improve that awareness!

IMPORTANT TIPS FROM THE ICC Disaster Safety & Mitigation:

  • If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up.
  • Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/ NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
  • In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC’s International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® for detailed requirements.
  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.

Source: iccsafe.org

Floods

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Flood A flood can happen without warning from many different kinds of weather. SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge & Woodbridge/Lorton are #heretohelp .

PREPARE FOR A FLOOD

Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death.

Floods may:

  • Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges and overflows of dams and other water systems.
  • Develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning.
  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings and create landslides.

 If you are under a flood warning:

  
  • Find safe shelter right away.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Depending on the type of flooding:
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
    • Stay where you are.

SOURCE: ready.gov/floods

 

OUR TEAM is Why You Want to Choose SERVPRO

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

Our Team We are always HERE TO HELP!

Our team is the main reason you want to choose SERVPRO for your restoration needs!  Our office staff has ten plus years of experience and they are all water damage certified through the IICRC.  This means that they can answer a lot of your questions and submit your estimates with experience and knowledge.

Our production team are certified in water, fire, mold and bio-hazard and have five plus years of experience in the industry.  

Our production managers also have ten plus years of experience so when they are on-sight doing estimates or walk-throughs you are in solid, knowledgeable hands.  

Our whole team is uniformed and background checked to give you peace of mind with us in your home or building.  More than all of our certifications and screenings, we care.  Our team cares about our clients and their property.  We will treat your home or business as if it were our own.  You can TRUST SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and the SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton with all of your restoration needs!

FASTER to any size Disaster

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

Nothing Too Small . . . Here to Help Too much soap can cause an overflow. We are always here to help with big or small water losses.

There’s no such thing as a small disaster – especially when the water you don’t see contains bacteria or can cause mold, rot, and other unseen damage.  Water damage can affect the value of your property.  Before you get out the mop bucket and try to clean it yourself, consider how the damage can affect your property.

SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge knows how disruptive water damage can be for your business.  We are trained and equipped to manage the drying process.  Using proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your building will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which will help prevent secondary water damages.  With rapid response time and full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge can help you regain control quickly, ensuring your facility and its contents are property dried, deodorized and protected.

When fire or water take control of your life, we help you take it back.

Before you risk further damaging the value of your facility by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call our office at 703-583-8484.

Smoke Loss is Complex

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

Where Does All That Smoke Go? Smoke from a fire loss goes in every cavity of the property. Trust SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge to get you back to preloss condition.

A fire loss can result in complex damages because of the unique behavior of smoke.  A trained professional should survey the loss site to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat and moisture impacted building materials and contents.

SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor.  Our crew’s knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread.  Here are some facts you may not know about smoke:

· 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.

The different types of Smoke:

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 a material rather than from a fire)

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

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)

While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

 SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses.  If your home or business sustains fire or smoke damage, contact us at 703-583-8484 to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Our Commercial Services…Where No Job is Too Big or Too Small

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

Drying Equipment Whether the damage occurs in a small business building, a senior facility, an apartment complex, or a big box store, we have the training, experience,

Cleaning and restoring commercial properties require a unique blend of training, experience, and equipment. Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton has the resources and more than 17 years of expertise to give you excellent results while minimizing the disruption to your clients. We can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

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

Why SERVPRO?

  • FASTER: With more than 1,900 U.S. and Canadian franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned throughout the nation to be faster to any-sized disaster.
  • READY: SERVPRO is always ready to help when disaster strikes but also knows the importance of ensuring home and business owners are “Ready for whatever happens.”
  • PROOF: Science of Drying was developed out of the need to further validate the drying process and use more precise documentation on defining when a structure is dry.
  • HERE TO HELP: Communication is the most important part of the process to keep everyone informed during cleanup and restoration.  We accomplish this through the Here to Help Connection process.

Our team responds quickly to your northern Virginia fire, water, or mold damage emergency, 24 hours a day. Whether the damage occurs in a small business building, a senior facility, an apartment complex, or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation. Our network of 1,900 Franchises gives us access to trained restoration technicians and resources to respond to any size restoration emergency.

How Will I Know Which Water Restoration Firm Is Best for My Northern Virginia Business Needs?

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

As a northern Virginia business owner, when you suffer a water loss, the impact amplifies as your employees, customers, and the community absorb the consequences. At a stressful time, you may feel the pressure of many others who rely on you to make the right decision when selecting from a list of water restorers.

What Should I Focus On When Comparing Companies?


Focus on the restoration company’s training, equipment, experience, response time, and scalability when deciding which northern Virginia water restoration company you should select to help with your specific needs.

Things to consider include:

  • Is their workforce trained through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the international standards-setting organization?
  • Has the company invested in sufficient inventories of state-of-the-art water extraction and drying equipment, and the tools to locate trapped water that migrated from the initial loss site?
  • Do the company’s management team and crew members have significant experience in commercial losses, including creative and sustainable ways to permit at least partial operations during restoration efforts?
  • How quickly can the company arrive with experienced project managers, restoration technicians, and equipment to begin assessment, planning, and emergency services?
  • Can the company mobilize resources with affiliated restoration firms to increase the number of work crews and the quantities of specialized equipment in the event of a catastrophic and more extensive loss than typical?

Is Preplanning for Commercial Disasters Available and Recommended?

Our marketing team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton urges commercial customers to reach out to us long before water restoration is needed.  We can work with you to develop a collaborative plan that permits our team to hit the ground running in reaction to a water loss event at your facility. Our Emergency READY Profile and Plan (ERP) enables us to gain a critical understanding of your layout and operations, ensuring our response is individualized and swift.  We are prepared to help commercial customers of any size with water restoration concerns before a crisis and after the worst occurs. Call us at 703-583-8484 to explore how we can work together to get you back in business as quickly as possible.

Commercial Carpet Cleaning Services for the Northern Virginia Area

3/1/2022 (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.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton offers state-of-the-art equipment that our highly trained professionals handle to get the job done right. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.

3 Important Things To Remember About Mold

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

Black mold is a common problem that can affect many homeowners in the Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, and Lorton areas. However, there are a few things about this fungus that you may not know. Understanding more about mold and how it grows can allow you to handle the issue correctly if it shows up in your house, so keep the following information in mind.

  1. Mold Loves Moisture

One of the most important things to remember about black mold is that it thrives on moisture. In the right environment, mold can spread very quickly, and you may end up with a severe growth in just a few days. For this reason, it is important to keep humidity levels in your home low if you have a mold problem. Opening windows and using a dehumidifier are a couple of ways you can do this. You should also have leaks or water damages cleaned and repaired as quickly as possible.

  1. Mold Won’t Go Away On Its Own

If you see an excessive amount of microbial growth on your walls or your shower tiles, it can be tempting to just leave it alone and hope that it eventually goes away. However, this is highly unlikely to be the case, even if you allow the area to dry. When you are not proactive about removing mold, you are only allowing it to spread further. Mold remediation and mitigation should be done to prevent this.

  1. You Cannot Remove It Completely

One reason that mold is such a common problem is that spores are present nearly everywhere. Because of this, even if a mold remediation company removes the visible growth, it is likely to return if you continue to have a moisture problem in your home. To keep the fungus at bay, you should make sure to clean your home regularly and keep surfaces dry.  While there are probably some spores floating around your home, they will usually not cause you any trouble if they do not have the right conditions to spread. Remember to keep humidity low and call a professional to perform cleanup if you notice any visible black mold growth.

If you suspect you may have microbial growth in your home, please give our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton a call.  We’re always here to help and have been serving the northern Virginia area for more than 17 years.

COMMERCIAL CRIME SCENE, VANDALISM AND BIOHAZARD CLEANUP

2/14/2022 (Permalink)

While being recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton professionals also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to 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.

Our team is trained to remove biohazardous substances safely and effectively, and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, state, and local health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, we help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe places of business.

We can help with the following issues:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation  

Contact our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton today for 24-hour emergency service. 

HOW SMOKE DAMAGE IS HANDLED DURING FIRE RESTORATION

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

Whether you are an owner or the manager of a commercial building, you need to ensure restoration gets adequately handled after a fire. The last thing you want is for the consumers visiting your northern Virginia place of business to get a hint of lingering smoke odors. The good news for a commercial property owner is that soot and smoke odors are part of our fire damage restoration process. SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton features a team of restoration technicians specifically trained in odor control to locate and eradicate all sources of pungent odors post-fire.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a major factor in running a space where employees and outsiders frequent. We take smoke and odor control seriously, including measures such as:

  • Identifying the location and cause of the odor
  • Determining the exact conditions where soot and smoke settled on various surfaces
  • Formulating the best course of action for odor removal 
  • Ensuring that pack-out services commence, if necessary, to clean and deodorize items off-site

There is a science to first identifying smoke odors and then working on eliminating them. We use EPA-registered deodorants, thermal fogging techniques, and industrial-grade equipment to ensure the job gets done right the first time, allowing you to return to regular business operations as soon as possible.

Call our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton to learn more about our fire damage restoration techniques. We are available 24/7 at 703-583-8484 and are always here to help!

How Allowing Our Team to Pretest Your Property Reduces the Claims Expense

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Where do you begin when so much is lost at your place of business? How can you recover from a disaster that ruins the place you've built from the ground up? When fire, water, or mold harm your company in Woodbridge, VA, business owners desire direction and swift, competent assistance. Therefore, it's important to turn to those that understand the complexity of the situation. Our remediation team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton can investigate your property through pretesting measures, crafting a plan that can begin prompt, effectual cleaning and restoration.

  1. We Review the Damages Quickly
    Effective and prompt response to an insurance claim is vital as it can reduce those costs as well as the type of repairs. We are available as a 24-hour aid. Our team arrives on the premises, surveys the destruction, and begins to determine the type and level of repair. This immediate response means our experts can begin drying walls and carpets, fix the origin of the problem, and block off the area. Our swift actions often deter the growth of mold, dry rot, and structural contamination.
  2. We Emphasize Salvaging Valuables When Possible
    Often, people may begin tossing objects to the curb, thinking that everything waterlogged must go. Pretesting, though, allows for an understanding of the type of water that infiltrated the building. With this knowledge, our technicians can discuss content cleaning services, saving these belongings, and avoiding replacement costs. In addition, ultrasonic equipment may be able to restore items that otherwise would be deemed non-salvageable.
  3. We Focus on Minimizing Lasting Issues
    Get it right the first time. An insurance agent wants to avoid residual aftereffects that could escalate the recovery bill. By completing an initial assessment, our team of specialists specify what has been harmed and what should be mended to avoid it in the future.

While, we understand it is tempting to jump into reconstruction, yet, in doing so, people can miss significant elements or misunderstand possible recovery efforts. Pretesting, then, becomes a valuable guide in how to work efficiently and responsibly.

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.  

Even Small Businesses Need a Disaster Plan

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Many small business owners in Northern Virginia are caught off guard when disaster strikes. They fail to have a plan in place for their business, thinking that it would never happen to them or never even considering the possibility of a disaster. Unfortunately, once disaster strikes, it’s often too late. Afterwards, many businesses are forced to close permanently because they were not prepared.  With Hurricane season only a short time away once more, please take the time to protect your business with a few ideas from below.   

According to foxbusiness.com, there are 7 steps you can take if you are a small business owner to help protect your business from disaster.

Risk Assessment: Determine what types of emergencies are most likely to affect your company and then evaluate your level of preparedness. Check in with your insurance company, make sure employees are trained for emergencies, have data backed up and stored at a safe location.

Review Your Insurance Coverage: Talk with your insurance agent to make sure your business is covered if hit by disaster. After determining what types of emergencies your business is most prone to, make sure your policy covers those types of situations. Ask about business interruption insurance which helps business owners continue to pay on-going bills while operations are shut down during disaster recovery.

Create a Contingency Plan: Review your business operations and determine which are most important for the survival of your business. Form a process to manage these functions in the event of a disaster. Determine an alternate business location where business operations can continue during the recovery process.

Create a Communications Plan: Disasters create chaos and having a communications plan in place in advance will help minimize panic.

Back Up Your Data: Making sure all your data is backed up and stored in a safe place is critical. Cloud-based data solutions are best as they stay safe during disasters and can be accessed from any location.

Build an Emergency Kit: Have an emergency kit available onsite including items like water, flashlights, fire extinguishers, etc.

Review and Rehearse You Plan: Once your plan is in place, make certain your employees know the plan and have practiced implementing it.

While disasters can be devastating to a business, preparation can certainly help in the recovery process. By taking time to prepare before disaster strikes and getting a plan in place, business owners can help protect their business in times of emergencies. If you would like further information on how our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton may help you prepare your business, simply give us a call at 703-583-8484.  We’re always here to help!

Before You Begin Decorating for Fall, Make Certain To Do Some Maintenance On Your Home

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

Fall Decorations Before you begin putting up the Fall decorations, it’s important to prepare your home for the colder months.

Fall is here but before you begin putting up the Fall decorations, it’s important to prepare your home for the colder months ahead of us to prevent costly damage.  Here are some preventative fall home maintenance tips every homeowner should follow:

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • Most importantly, this is the time to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. As you know, twice a year the batteries should be replaced, and alarms tested. Alarms should also be replaced every ten years.

Plumbing

  • Ensure that the pipes are well insulated to prevent pipes freezing and bursting.
  • Know where the water shut-off valve is located and how to turn it off in case pipes do freeze.

Heating Systems

  • Replace the filter in your furnace.
  • Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs.
  • Clean your ducts to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems.

Chimney and Fireplace

  • This is one where you need to call a professional. Have them inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
  • Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters. Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent buildup of leaves and other debris.
  • Check to make certain water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
  • Ensure that water drains properly and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.

Windows and Doors

  • Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.
  • Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
  • Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.

Attic ventilation

  • Be sure attic insulation doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on the roof.
  • Be sure ridge vents and vents at eaves are free of plants and debris.
  • Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to prevent any unwanted guests.

Landscape and Yardwork

  • Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are growing deeper to prepare for winter. The beginning of fall is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.
  • Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth.
  • Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Heavy snow and ice can cause damage in the winter.

3 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Mold Remediation Company

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

When a home in one of our communities of Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Lorton, Dumfries, and Quantico, is devastated by water damage from floods, broken pipes, or leaks, a homeowner may end up having to pay for costly repairs. If you leave water damage untreated, your property becomes susceptible to mold. Mold colonies form when mold spores find optimal conditions to survive. When these colonies develop, they rot the natural construction materials of a building. You should hire a mold cleaning service if your property has untreated water damage and has become rotted due to mold. Typical signs of mold are:

  • Rotting wood
  • Falling bathroom tiles
  • Visible green sludge on walls and ceilings

Here are three reasons you should hire a mold remediation specialist:

  1. They Will Help You Find Hidden Mold
    Bathroom tiles will fall when mold colonies consume the grout holding them up. Sometimes, mold can hide behind these tiles. A mold remediation company will first inspect your property to find hidden mold and places in your home with higher humidity levels.
  2. They Will Dehumidify Your Property
    After a leak or a flood, materials that are affected can remain damp even after the water has been cleaned away. Dampened construction materials are ideal hosts for mold, especially if they are in a dark space. A mold remediation company will help dehumidify your property to keep mold from rotting wood, drywall, or grout.
  3. They Can Help Restore Your Property
    A company specializing in mold remediation, such as SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, will help to restore materials that have mold damage. Along with dehumidifying, they can assist with repairing drywall, carpets, and paint. Depending on the severity of the damage, they can also help reconstruct entire rooms affected by mold.

If you have water damage that has been left untreated and has become a hotspot for mold, give our team a call to assist you in your cleanup and repairs. You can prevent costs from accruing by restoring water-damaged materials immediately. If you suspect you have microbial growth in your property, give us a call at 703-583-8484.  We’re always here to help!

Why Do We Use Ultrasonics Equipment when Cleaning Fire-Damaged Contents?

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

Omegasonics Equipment SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton utilizes an ultrasonic cleaning machine to restore fire and soot damaged contents.

Having a fire in your home is a devastating event. Not only is the structure of your home affected, but your contents may be significantly damaged by fire, soot, or water as well.

Contents Restoration is an important business. It not only helps to restore damaged property, but it also helps restore people’s lives and livelihoods. While property damage can take many forms, what’s important to the owners is that their lives are returned to normal, and that they get their property back, as fast as possible. At SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, our fire restoration professionals are extensively trained in various cleaning techniques to save your belongings. We utilize our proprietary cleaning solutions made by SERVPRO chemists and specialized equipment such as the ultrasonic machine pictured here.

This ultrasonic machine employs microscopic bubbles created through cavitation (the formation of bubbles in water) to create vacuum energy in the form of heat and pressure. This process allows the water and cleaning chemicals to reach into the most elusive inner workings of even delicate items.  Soot, dirt, and other contaminants are quickly and gently removed. With this machine, we can safely restore a wide range of contents including collectible items, antiques, window blinds, stuffed animals, and toys.

Benefits of Ultrasonics for Contents Restoration 

The benefits of restoring property with Ultrasonics are two-fold:

  1. For Insurance Companies:The cost of restoring an item versus reimbursing the owner for the item’s full value is dramatically diminished. Example: a $1500 television can typically be cleaned and returned to the owner within days. The cost of cleaning that $1500 television for the Insurance could be only $300 (or whatever the restoration company decides to charge for their service). This represents a significant savings.
  2. For Property Owners: They get their original property back quickly. Whereas traditional cleaning methods can take weeks and cause additional property damage, with Ultrasonics most items can be cleaned within minutes. As a result, it’s no surprise that most people are happy simply getting their property back, especially if it means getting their lives back to normal as quickly as possible and even more so if the items have sentimental value.

Of course, when property can be returned depends on the type and severity of the damage. Certainly not every item, such as those that have been burned or melted in fires, can be restored, but a great number of items that would have traditionally been determined to be unrecoverable can now be quickly restored and returned to the owner with the use of ultrasonics cleaning equipment.

SMOKE ALARMS FOR PEOPLE WITH IMPAIRED HEARING

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

It is a well-known fact that working smoke alarms save lives and home fire sprinklers keep fires small, giving people more time to escape in a fire.  However, people who are deaf or hearing impaired may not be able to depend on the traditional smoke alarm to alert them to a fire.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom.  They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including a basement.  For added safety, you may interconnect all the smoke alarms, meaning that if one sounds, they all sound.  This gives more people more time to escape.

NFPA OFFERS THE FOLLOWING SAFETY TIPS:

  • Smoke alarms and alert devices are available for people who are deaf or hearing impaired.
  • Strobe lights flash when the smoke alarm sounds. The lights warn people of a possible fire.
  • When people who are deaf are asleep, a pillow or bed shaker can wake them so they can escape. The shaker is activated by the sound of a smoke alarm.
  • When people who are hard of hearing are asleep, an alert device that uses a loud, mixed, low-pitched sound can wake them. They may find a pillow or bed shaker helpful.  These devices are triggered by the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Research the products and select the ones that best meet your needs.

WHERE TO FIND EQUIPMENT

There are several companies that offer these types of smoke alarm.  Search home improvement store websites or use a general search engine to look for strobe light smoke alarms.  You may also find smoke alarm accessories such as pillow or bed shakers, transmitters, and receivers.  The NFPA recommends choosing devices that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

ALWAYS REMEMBER…

Test all smoke alarms in your home at least once a month using the test button.  Just a few minutes a month may save the life of someone you love.

For further information, please visit https://www.nfpa.org/disabilities 

What Are The Hidden Residential Fire Hazards?

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Laptop on a blanket When your laptop is overheating, be sure to keep it on a hard surface instead of on a blanket, sofa, or any type of fabric.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, residential fires account for 27% of all fires. Most of these fires and fire casualties result from five causes: cooking, heating equipment, electrical distribution, and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials. Over the five-year period of 2014–2018 in total, cooking was the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Smoking materials caused the most home fire deaths.

Of these five causes, the residential fire hazards that first come to mind are likely the stove and electrical wiring, objects that involve an open flame or electricity. However, there are several fire hazards in the home that often go unnoticed. Below are 3 hidden, residential fire hazards that are important to recognize to protect your home:

  • Glassware

Remember the classic science experiment of starting a fire using a magnifying glass? While it is a rare occurrence, other types of glassware in the home, including vases and drinking glasses, can start a fire. All that’s needed for a fire to ignite is a focused ray of light to pass through a piece of glassware and focus on a nearby flammable object. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep glassware away from windows.

  • Laptops

The whirring sound of the fan kicking in, the surface of your desk becoming warm. These are the signs that your laptop is working hard and overheating. When your laptop is overheating, be sure to keep it on a hard surface instead of on a blanket, sofa, or any type of fabric, as they are flammable and could increase the risk of a fire starting.

  • Loose Outlets

Faulty electrical wiring usually comes to mind as a hazard when we think of causes of fires in the home, but it is beneficial to consider electrical outlets to be equally dangerous. If you’ve ever tried to plug a cord into an outlet and watched it immediately fall out, you’ve experienced the effects of loose blades inside of an electrical outlet. An electrical outlet’s blades naturally loosen over time and when they become too loose, they can conduct enormous heat, risking a fire. 

Residential fires, igniting and spreading quickly, can pose a serious threat to the safety of those living in your home and risk devastating fire damage. To protect your home from a dangerous fire, practice caution and keep hidden fire hazards in the back of your mind.

If a fire ignites in your home, leaving fire damage in its path, don’t hesitate. Call our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton today. You can trust our fire damage experts and our fire, smoke, and soot restoration services to restore damaged areas of your home and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Locating Water Leaks in Your Home

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

In Northern Virginia, water leaks are more than just a nuisance. Undetected leaks — or those that are simply ignored — can eventually lead to costly repairs and further water damages due to rot, microbial growth from extra moisture, and other extensive damage. Finding and fixing a water leak early and before it gets out of hand can save you money and avert potential disaster.

The first sign of a hidden leak can be an unusually higher than normal water bill. Once you have ruled out that the cause is not due to extra water use by house guests or from watering your lawn and garden during the warm-weather months, an undetected leak is the likely culprit.

Did you know that fixing even minor household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills? 

There are a few different ways to check for hidden water leaks. The first tool is your water meter.

In addition to telling the utility company how much water you have consumed; your home’s water meter can also be used to your advantage to find hidden water leaks.

Follow these simple steps to uncover your water leak:

  1. Stop using all water inside and outside the house. This includes all the indoor faucets, outdoor faucets, water-using appliances, ice makers, and automatic backflow cleaning in whole-house water filters. Do not flush the toilet during the test.
  2. Locate your water meter. If your meter has a water flow indicator, watch the indicator for movement. This is a small rotating wheel on the meter that can detect even small amounts of water flow. If it moves when you know no one’s using any water, then there is a leak somewhere in your house.
  3. If you do not have a water flow indicator, record the numbers that appear on the meter. Wait a few hours (remember not to use any water during this time).
  4. Check the meter. If the meter reading goes up, it is an indication of a hidden water leak.

Preparing for Storms with Technology

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

In Northern Virginia, it is important to always be ready for a storm and disaster can strike at a moment’s notice!

Technology is working hard to let us be aware of danger with more time to prepare before it hits! Technology can also be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare. Below are a few things that will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Store Information Online

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.

Follow the News

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.

Get in Touch

Make sure your contact information is current in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well. 

A completed Emergency READY Profile, FREE from SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, will provide you a detailed assessment of your facility to help

Common Plumbing Issues In Older Apartment Complexes

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

4 Common Plumbing Repairs Needed in Older Apartment Complexes

Older apartment complexes are often notorious for the complexity and obsolescence of their plumbing systems. It's just a fact of life for property managers. Therefore, it takes a bit of ingenuity to manage some of these antiquated systems. For example, units constructed in Northern Virginia during the 1970 – 1990 era sometimes still contain polybutylene piping, a material that has grown so out of favor in the plumbing industry that it is no longer recognized in building codes. Here are four common plumbing issues property managers of older rental units may need to face.

  1. Clogged Drains.Since this can result in water backing up and flowing onto the floor, it should be addressed quickly. Options for clearing a clogged drain include using a drain snake, employing a plunger, cleaning out the drain trap, and using a chemical cleaner.
  2. Blocked Toilets.The methods for clearing a clogged toilet are similar for those used when fixing a clogged drain. However, since this could involve the overflow of contaminated water, the services of a reputable water remediation company should be considered if raw sewage spills out onto the floor.
  3. Poor Plumbing Designs.This often involves the use of improper materials for pipes, such as polybutylene. If not replaced, this type of piping can result in burst pipes and extensive water damage. Poor design can also refer to the actual physical configuration of the pipes and might include an excessive number of twists and turns and elbow joints that impede water flow.
  4. Damaged Discharge Lines.This refers to the lines that lead away from the property and join the municipal water lines. Over time, these lines not only age and weaken, but they also are vulnerable to damage from tree roots and other obstructions.

Some plumbing issues in older units are easier to fix, while others, such as the presence of polybutylene pipes, require major renovations. The services of a water restoration company can be a big help with water damage.  Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are always here to help and just a phone call away at 703-583-8484.

Different Levels of Fires at Commercial Properties

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

There are so many factors that can contribute to commercial damage occurring such as fires due to unforeseen circumstances, facility usage which puts wear and tear on your property, down to the most basic water damage. No matter the source of the damage, this downtime can be costly both to your business in Northern Virginia and your customers.  When damage at your commercial property happens, how do you know to what level and extent?  At SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton we have a grading system we use to determine the level of which your property is assessed and categorized to begin mitigation.  

Level 1

Level 1 is a small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.

Level 2

Level 2 is a midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are typically multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.

Level 3

Level 3 is a large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.” Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

If you have damage at your Northern Virginia Commercial property, call our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton at 703-583-8484.  Our team of highly trained professionals will be on the way and is available 24/7/365.

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in Northern Virginia

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Electrical Fire Mishap One of the most frustrating aspects of fire damage can be the smell it leaves behind.

The Northern Virginia area represents an excellent opportunity for your business. Whether you are a tax preparer, a hairdresser, or a clothing boutique, the numerous cities and communities in Northern Virginia are attractive for many entrepreneurs. As you put your business plan on paper, you need to account for unexpected events that might derail your projections. Most business owners are sure to include expenses associated with weather events, but many fail to consider mechanic or human missteps in their contingency plan.

Whether your business in Northern Virginia faces fire damage or an emergency brought on by mother nature, a professional restoration service should always have a spot in your emergency preparedness plans. Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is ready to help whenever you face adversity, and we come to you as soon as we can. By directly calling our round-the-clock emergency line, you access a wealth of knowledge and expertise willing to work for you and reduce your loss. We have been serving the areas of Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Lorton, Montclair, Dumfries, Occoquan, Triangle and Quantico since 2004.

Take, for example, a small electrical fire that escalates and burns a section of your office. Although the visible trace of the flames appears small, there may be a residue that is not obvious to the naked eye. Our SERVPRO team arrives with specialized equipment designed to identify those hidden threats. Very often, the sprinklers that ultimately save your workspace wreak havoc as well, leaving your work area a mix of smoke, soot, and extinguishing chemicals that help control the fire. It is our job to understand the behavior of each of these remnants and tackle them individually.

One of the most frustrating aspects of fire damage can be the smell it leaves behind. Well, beyond the cleanup and disinfecting process, business owners are constantly reminded of the event just by breathing in its foul smell. At SERVPRO, we seek to understand the nature of the smell and make an informed decision as to its removal. In some instances, odor counteracting pellets are sufficient to mask the odors; in others, air scrubbers are to neutralize the smell, and in more extreme cases, we may have to resort to an ozone generator to eradicate the odor. Whatever your situation, our team has the resources to identify your needs and develop a plan to meet them.

Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is at your side when your business needs it. Call us at 703-583-8484 whenever you face an emergency and allow us to help you get back to work. Together, we can leave your offices “Like it never even happened.”

Three Tips From the Pros for Preparing Your Northern Virginia Business For a Flood Event

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

When flooding affects your area, your business may be at risk. If flood waters are powerful enough, they can force their way into your building and cause damage to floors, walls, and your inventory. However, if you know that a flood is imminent, there are a few ways you can protect your business and minimize the destruction that a natural disaster like this might cause.

  1. Make Backup Copies of Important Data

If you know your building may suffer storm damage, it is important to make data backup a high priority. Shipping records, customer data and inventory records may not be retrievable if your computer system is damaged by water.  Having multiple files of this information can save you time and money in the aftermath of the flood. Consider cloud storage for real-time data retrieval. 

2. Rent or Purchase a Sump Pump 

If your building sits on low ground and your basement or crawl space is prone to flooding, then you may want to invest in a sump pump. This machine is often used by flood damage and restoration service technicians such as our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton.  The sump pump drains away excess water from the area where it located. Portable and underwater pumps can reduce the amount of standing water you may encounter after the flood. 

3. Do Not Hesitate To Act 

Flood damage can happen quickly, especially in the case of flash floods. If you suspect this might happen, evacuate your business quickly and ensure that customers and employees are safe. Heavy rains can cause this type of flooding, so it is wise to be vigilant and watch your local weather to be aware of any watches or warnings. If you realize a flood is imminent, shut down vital systems and try to seal off doors and windows after the building is empty. 

When flooding impacts your area, you may be concerned about the best way to protect your business. However, knowing how to be proactive and prepare yourself for a flood can reduce the damage and give you peace of mind both before and after the event. 

Why Do We Ask So Many Questions When Helping With Water Damages?

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

First Notice of Loss Our First Notice of Loss helps our team determine how much equipment and how many technicians will be needed to begin mitigation.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies in Northern Virginia, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. We understand and you need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this challenging time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it has been the cornerstone of our business since 2004.

What to Expect

When you call us, we will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring. This includes how many trained SERVPRO professionals we may need.

Our SERVPRO team member will ask several questions to complete our First Notice of Loss (FNOL) including:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • Your claim number (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • The year the structure was built
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • If needed, have you contacted a plumber for repairs?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?
  • How many floors and what rooms are affected?

Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is here for you 24/7 every day of the year. Call us at 703-583-8484.

WHEN LIFE’S STORMS ROLL IN, LEAVE THE CHURCH RESTORATION TO US SO YOU CAN CONTINUE RESTORING LIVES

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Your Northern Virginia church is your congregation’s shelter, helping shield them from the storms of life.  But if life’s literal storms damage your place of worship, or if your cleaning needs go beyond the reach of your staff, call our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton.  No stain is too small, and no storm damage is too big for our franchise professionals.  We have the training, experience, and equipment to restore and clean churches quickly, helping make it “Like it never even happened.”

Church building emergencies can happen to anyone at any time.  Creating a contingency plan for when that happens is critical to getting back in business and recovering from setbacks as quickly as possible.  SERVPRO has created a program that allows one of our trained professionals to come to your church and create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is here to help with that burden through our free service of developing an Emergency Ready Profile for your church. Having a profile of this caliber minimizes the disruption your congregation would face if an emergency should occur.

Our ERPs document specifics of your building including the most critical areas, electrical shutoffs, water mains, fire extinguishers, and much more.  We see the ERP as a living document because of the ease of access and ability to make changes at any time and from any of your devices. It’s shareable with your key staff and property committee, providing easy communication.

What an ERP includes:

  • A no cost assessment of your church, building by building.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.

If you are interested in the ERP program and would like to have one of our team members meet with you to discuss your needs, please contact us and we will be happy to help you!  Preparation is the first step to recovery.  Guard your church and give us a call at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton today 703-583-8484!  When life’s storms roll in, leave the building restoration to us so you can continue restoring lives.

Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim for Water Damage

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

Something to Know:

Every home insurance policy is different. Therefore, what will be covered may only be determined by reading your policy or calling your insurance agent/insurance company to have them determine coverage. 

Knowledge is Power:

Be certain you know who your insurance company is and how to contact them. You may want to list the phone number for your insurance company on your refrigerator for easy access. You could also add your insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number to your cell phone to have in case of an emergency. You never know when this information is going to be important. 

Stay Calm:

This experience can be unsettling. It's important to stay calm when you are talking with your insurance company so they can ask all the essential questions to set up your claim and get the ball rolling. 

Take Pictures:

Document the situation every step of the way to help your insurance company understand the full extent of the damage. Take pictures of every room that sustained damage, structural materials affected and personal items. These pictures will help your adjuster understand the full picture of what happened and what will be involved in restoring your house and the contents affected.

Ask Questions:

Resolving the water damage issue can be very confusing. Feel free to ask as many questions to your insurance company that you can think of so that you understand what will happen every step of the way. It's important to know what your roles are and what your insurance company will be doing for you.

Use a company with IICRC Certified Technicians:

While there are many companies that may be willing to help you clean up from your water damage, it is important to utilize a company that has technicians who have been trained to properly perform mitigation. Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton prides itself on the fact that our technicians are IICRC certified. Our technicians go through on-the-job training and complete IICRC training so that we can keep up with the latest techniques and technologies to dry your home quickly and thoroughly to eliminate further damage. Education and training is very important to satisfying our customers. We’re available 24/7 and are always here to help at 703-583-8484.

Types of National Weather Service Alerts

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

There are several types of severe weather that impact Northern Virginia and the surrounding areas that can cause the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue an alert. Alerts are issued to make the population of the impacted area aware of the potential dangers that they could be facing, and hopefully allow them time to adequately prepare for the impending acclimate conditions. There are several different types of alerts that can issued, varying in degree by the potential risk associated with that type of weather. The three most common classes of alerts issued by the NWS are watches, warnings, and advisories. Watches, warnings, and advisories can be triggered by several different types of weather phenomena, such as floods, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and even excessive heat. Below are the definitions of each alert to help you better understand the distinctions between them:

watch is issued when there is chance this condition will occur, and generally covers a larger geographic area over a longer period.

warning means that the weather is already occurring or has a high likelihood of occurring soon and advises the population of the impacted area to take proper protective measures.

Advisories are issued when a certain type of weather has a fair chance of occurring, but advisories are typically used for less severe types of weather conditions (i.e., the issuance of a wind advisory rather than a high wind warning).

Now that you understand the differences between watches, warnings, and advisories here are the criteria for some of the issues that are most issued for our region by the governing NWS office:

Freezing Rain/ Drizzle Advisory Issued when freezing rain is predicted to cause travel problems, but not exceed an accumulation of ¼”.

Ice Storm Warning Issued when freezing rain is expected to produce ice accumulations of 1/4” or greater, and significantly disrupt traffic and utilities.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning This type of alert occurs when there is a reliable report that a thunderstorm is producing or will soon produce gusts of wind of 58 mph or greater, structural wind damage, and/or hail with a diameter of 1” or greater.

Flash Flood Watch Issued when an area is facing the possibility of flash flooding within the next 36 hours.

Flash Flood Warning Issued when a flash flood is predicted to occur in the next future, generally within the next 1 to 3 hours.

Hopefully knowing the difference between these weather alerts can help you adjust your expectations and better prepare for the occurrence of acclimate weather. Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is here to help you restore your Northern Virginia home or business if disaster does strike. We’re available 24/7 at 703-583-8484.

Sources:

https://www.weather.gov/oun/spotter-wwa-definitions

Microbial Growth in Commercial Buildings

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Clean out refrigerators Old food storage containers are a perfect breeding ground for mold.

Why should you be worried about mold in your Northern Virginia building? According to OSHA, some mold, over time, may cause structural damage to wood along with damage to furnishings and finishes. Use the recommended tips below to help prevent microbial growth in your business.

Clean Out The Refrigerator

It can be difficult to keep track of shared refrigerators. Some people will always remember to clear out their leftovers, others will not. Old food storage containers are a perfect breeding ground for mold. Over time, mold can travel to the shelving and even outside the refrigerator. Consider instituting an office refrigerator policy. If something is left in the fridge by a certain time each week, it goes in the garbage.

Look For And Repair Leaks

Leaks from plumbing, windows, roofs, and more can lead to significant water damage in your business as well as an increased risk of mold growth. If you are not regularly inspecting your property, it’s easy for these leaks to go unchecked until they create a larger, more costly problem. Watch for telltale signs of a leak such as lower water pressure; wet spots on the floors, ceilings, or walls; and condensation around windowsills and in attic spaces.

Keep It Clean

It’s easy for anyone to get caught up in work and let clutter take over his or her workspace. However, clutter creates lots of hiding spots for crumbs and dust, which are both great food sources for mold. Make sure to clear the clutter and wipe down hard surfaces regularly. Make sure to promptly clean all spills as well. Clean and sanitize break rooms and bathrooms frequently. Both rooms provide ample opportunity for mold growth. These rooms should be cleaned at least weekly depending on how regularly people use each room.

Turn On The AC/Dehumidifier

Leaks are not the only way for moisture to accumulate in your business. High humidity levels can lead to moisture and mold as well. On hot days, fans can cool you off, but they don’t do much for humidity levels. Run your AC or a dehumidifier to cut down the humidity in the building.

Clean Out Trash Cans

While you might switch out the liners regularly, can you remember the last time you washed out the trash cans? It’s easy for bits of food and condensation to sneak beneath liners into the can, which is all mold needs to grow. Try washing office wastebaskets about once a month to prevent mold growth.

Take Care Of Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system can quickly distribute mold spores throughout your building if there is a problem. Make sure your HVAC system receives regular inspections. Sometimes moisture condenses inside air ducts or leaks drip onto ducts from ceiling tiles, which can lead to mold growth inside the ducts. Make sure to keep the HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Additionally, replace your filters as needed.

Slope The Ground Away From The Foundation

If the ground around your building slopes toward the foundation, water can accumulate and weaken your building’s structure. Additionally, it provides an ideal environment for mold to grow. The ground should slope away from the building. You should also make sure your building follows the local building codes for drainage. Mold is persistent. Even if you follow all the right steps, it’s still possible for mold to grow and spread in your building. Fortunately, at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, we have the right experience in mold remediation to make your place of business “Like it never even happened.” Unfortunately, mold doesn’t stay put, it grows quickly. You’ll want to give us a call as soon as you notice it, so we can start the remediation process. Our team has the training, equipment, and knowledge necessary to help locate and remediate mold efficiently. If you find mold in your place of business, call SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton at 703-583-8484.  We’re always here to help!

WATER DAMAGE COMMONLY AFFECTS BATHROOMS

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

Our team’s goal after any event that involves water damage is to make everything “Like it never even happened,” again, and to do it as quickly as possible. This cuts down on interruptions to our customers' daily routines and helps keep things running smoothly.

The places where you store things inside your Northern Virginia home's bathroom can also sustain water damage. This damage may be caused from a slow leak in plumbing fixtures or from a broken pipe that suddenly drenches everything in the area. Cabinets notoriously hold water behind their structures, between their backs and the wall, allowing any present microbes to multiply quickly. Our team of specialists at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton can help prevent secondary water damage by mitigating the situation rapidly.

Because we partner with our customers during the restoration of water damage, we include them in the decisions we need to make. One of these involves making small changes in the structures, including the backs of cabinetry. We use similar techniques too when we need to dry out the interior of walls and ceilings. Whenever we make such changes, we do so in as small and insignificant manner as possible.

To dry the materials inside enclosed areas, we often must drill holes to allow air to pass through. Before doing this, however, we inform our customers that our equipment requires such alterations. We also advise the homeowner of the steps we plan to take afterward to hide these places. Under cabinetry these holes do not create a significant blemish but patching them up after we complete the drying process prevents future problems.

While the holes remain open, we use flexible tubing to force air into the area. This rapidly dries the area and removes the water. Getting the interior of the cabinet dry also happens and keeps cabinet drawers and doors from losing their finishes. Prevention of warping of more fragile wood products saves our customers significant amounts of money, an additional benefit of working with IICRC-certified water damage restoration specialists.

Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is here to help when plumbing in your Northern Virginia home fails. Call us at 703-583-8484, so we can start with water damage mitigation and prevention services that protect your home from more extensive problems.

Power Outages: When Storms Affect Your Northern Virginia Residence

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Power Outage Safety Being without power for a short or extended period can be a costly factor for some homeowners

Experiencing severe storms in Northern Virginia can lead to one of the most significant factors preventing residents from the task of recovering and assessing their property damage, which is power outages. Being without power for a short or extended period can be a costly factor for some homeowners. 

Knowing how to prepare for a power outage can help your family salvage more of your resources.

  • Invest in flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and, of course, extra batteries. There are even lanterns used for camping that double as a phone charger. Remember to check your items occasionally to ensure they are all functioning properly and store them together for quick, easy access.
  • Always have several bottles of water and a variety of snacks that do not require refrigeration.
  • An easy-to-miss but crucial consideration: if you have medication that needs to be refrigerated, remember to ask your pharmacist for information on storing it during a power outage.

Tips for your family once the power is out:

  • DO NOT open the refrigerator or freezer door if you can help it. Refrigerated food may stay cold (and safe for consumption) for up to 4 hours, while frozen food may last up to 48 hours if the freezer is densely packed (or 24 hours if it's not as full). For more on food safety in an emergency, visit the USDA website for guidelines.
  • To avoid a power surge when the electricity returns, turn off computers, TVs, and other nonessential electronics. Be sure to leave a light on so you'll know when the power is restored.
  • If someone has medical equipment that requires electricity, call for help or get them to a place where the power is working.

In the aftermath of a power outage due to harsh weather, practice extreme caution if you go outside to survey the damages after a storm. Remember that fallen trees or other wreckage can hide downed or hanging electrical wires. Always assume that a downed line is a live line and highly dangerous.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton knows your family's welfare is your number one priority and wants everyone to be safe. Allow us to be there to help eliminate some of the burdens you're facing in the aftermath of any storm destruction inflicted upon your home.

Commercial Fire Causes in Northern Virginia Businesses

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage to your commercial business in Northern Virginia can be catastrophic. It does not matter the nature of your business, it can mean downtime, loss of goods, costly equipment loss, loss of property, or worse. A fire can quickly spread 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. Find below, the United States Fire Administration’s list of 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. Therefore, 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 cannot 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 our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton keeps in mind that time down for your business, is money lost. 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! 

Are Your Appliances Causing Water Damages?

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

Broken Hot Water Heater The lifetime of a hot water heater will typically span 10 to 15 years, but leaks can start much earlier than this.

When was the last time your appliances were moved or inspected?

Seldom do we think about the household appliances that we use every single day. For most, they simply become a passing thought and we do not think about how much wear and tear they are receiving. Most of the appliances we use to make our lives easier utilize water. This means they are prone to leaks at some point if they are not caught quickly.  Water damage can sit for ages before you as a homeowner realize that anything has happened, that is why regular inspections are important for prevention.

Inspect These Appliances for Leaks Often

  • Hot Water Heater
    • The lifetime of a hot water heater will typically span 10 to 15 years, but leaks can start much earlier than this. The seals and pipes connected to the hot water heater can often break down, so keeping an eye out for any accumulation both during and after use is a smart move.
  • Refrigerator
    • The rarity with which refrigerators are moved can lead to secret water damage that festers for ages before it is brought to light. A refrigerator’s water lines are typically made from a soft plastic that can easily fail, so checking for leaks behind and under the fridge as part of your annual home maintenance is wise.
  • Dishwasher
    • A dishwasher’s tubing is just as problematic as a refrigerator but is even more isolated and utilizes far more water. Additionally, homeowner’s insurance often does not cover water damage caused by older models of dishwashers, so regular checks are extremely important to keep up with.
  • Washing Machine
    • Washing machine hoses are some of the most common sources of leaks. Because they are notorious for this, it is recommended that they are inspected at least once a month by homeowners so you can be sure no issues have arisen. In addition to these regular checks, they should be fully replaced every five years to prevent hidden deterioration.
  • Air Conditioner
    • The drain in your HVAC unit is designed to keep condensation from pooling in and around the unit, but if this drain malfunctions, water damage can quickly be caused. Reference your manufacturer’s manual to determine how often your unit should be inspected and serviced—having a professional technician evaluate your machine is the best defense against HVAC-created water damage.

Removing Cigarette Smoke

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

Nicotine Odors Have you recently moved into a home or apartment in Northern Virginia and encountered a strong nicotine smell?

Have you recently moved into a home or apartment in Northern Virginia and encountered a strong nicotine smell? There are some home remedies to try, but these will only work under certain circumstances. There are many questions to consider, such as how long the cigarette smoke has been impacting the area, how strong is the smell, and where is it concentrated.

If the home remedies you have tried are unsuccessful, it is best to send a professional out to inspect it. Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is here to help.  Once we can establish the extent of the damage, we will begin to plan action steps for ridding the home of the stench. Often nicotine residue can cling to the HVAC system, so a full duct cleaning could be the answer to residual odor that seems to outlast other odor removal methods. If the ducts have been cleaned, then we will ozone the affected areas. We will bring in air scrubbers to remove the airborne contaminants and control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup process.

After the ozone process is complete, we will use a thermal fogger, which uses a special solvent-based deodorizer that is heated and applied as a dry fog/smoke. Thermal foggers rely on a deodorizing solution that is vaporized in the fogger then blown into the room permeating all the contents and structural elements. This process will ensure that the nicotine odor is gone for good.

If you have more questions or would like to schedule an odor assessment, give our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton a call at 703-583-8484. 

Causes of Fire Damage in Commercial Properties

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial Cooking Fire Commercial cooking is an enormous danger, and it was a culprit behind 30,900 fires within the past decade.

Fire damage to your commercial business in Northern Virginia can be catastrophic. It does not matter what your business entails, 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. It can be a situation that escalates faster than you are ready to handle if you are not prepared. Good planning can help ensure that a fire does not happen or if it does, how it can be handled quickly and effectively. Listed below are the top five leading causes of a commercial fire, between 2006 and 2015, according to the United States Fire Administration

Cooking

Cooking is an enormous danger, and it was a culprit behind 30,900 fires within the past decade. Therefore, it is crucial to install fire alarms and a sprinkler system in your kitchen to prevent against the worst! 

Unintentional and Careless Behavior

This is a very broad category. Unintentional and careless behavior, better known as accidents, caused more than 10,900 commercial fires. While it is a challenge to stop people from being careless, business owners and property managers cannot 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 our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton keeps in mind that down time for your business is money lost. Our team will work around the clock to make it “Like it never even happened,” and ensure your business is back up and running as quickly as possible! 

DO NOT WAIT FOR A DISASTER TO HAPPEN. PREPARE A PLAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS!

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Profile SERVPRO has created a program that allows one of our trained professionals to come to your business and create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP).

Does your business have an emergency plan in case a disaster takes place? Half of the companies that face a disaster end up having to close following the event. Planning is a big part of what allows companies to offer peace of mind to their customers, and employees.

Without a plan, will you be prepared in the event of an emergency at your business?  Do you know where each of your electrical sub-panels are located?  How do you shut off the water supply to your building?  These are the questions that our team asks every day at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton.

Building emergencies can happen to anyone at any time.  Creating a contingency plan for when that happens is critical to getting back in business and recovering from setbacks as quickly as possible.  SERVPRO has created a program that allows one of our trained professionals to come to your business and create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is here to help with that burden through our free service of developing an Emergency Ready Profile for your business. Having a profile of this caliber minimizes the disruption your business would face if an emergency should occur.

Our ERPs document specifics of your building including the most critical areas, electrical shutoffs, water mains, fire extinguishers, and much more.  We see the ERP as a living document because of the ease of access and ability to make changes at any time and from any of your devices. It’s shareable with your key employees, providing easy communication.

What an ERP includes:

  • A no cost assessment of your Facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.

If you are interested in the ERP program and would like to have one of our team members meet with you to discuss your needs, please contact us and we will be happy to help you!  Preparation is the first step to recovery.  Guard your business and give us a call at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton today 703-583-8484!

Fire Pit Tip Safety Tips

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Spring has fully arrived here in Northern Virginia and Summer is just around the corner. In our area it’s a tradition to enjoy the cooler nights outside around a homemade fire pit! Many of us are looking forward to spending time gathering around them to enjoy time with family and friends. Before you start dreaming of movies on the lawn, moonlit nights, and s’mores, take a moment to check out some of these tips from Allstate to remember.

Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips:

  • Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.
  • Make certain that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.
  • Check wind direction before lighting a fire.
  • Don’t use flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight fires.
  • To start the fire, use a lighter to ignite crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks. Then, add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning. 
  • Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke. 
  • Don’t wear flammable clothing (like nylon) or any loose-fitting clothing.
  • Never leave the fire unattended and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of water nearby.
  • As the fire dies down, use a shovel, and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in a specially designated ash storage metal can. 

Storm Flooding Isn’t Always Covered

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Homeowners take comfort in knowing that they are protected against potential property perils through their insurance. However, many owners overestimate their coverage for flooding. While a homeowner’s policy may cover typical damages incurred during a storm’s high winds and heavy rains, like roof damage, only flood insurance may cover the sewer backup and mold growth caused by the storm. Unfortunately, many people in Northern Virginia do not purchase these integral policies, leaving their flood claim forever denied. Therefore, it is necessary to understand a homeowner’s coverage and how special policies may help in an emergency.

Wind

Many standard home insurance policies cover wind damage to an extent, meaning that they will cover damages typical to certain severe weather conditions. However, some storms may not be included in these plans, such as hurricanes. For hurricanes or other tropical storms, you may require an addendum to your existing policy or coverage from an outside source.

Water

Water can cause many problems during storms, some of which are covered by typical homeowner's policies. For instance, roof damage is likely covered, and that would include damage caused by standing water or water that made it through the membrane because of wind and debris damage. However, a storm that causes extensive flooding along with mold growth or sewer backups will probably require flood insurance.

Restoration

Once you understand what an insurer is likely to cover, you can get an idea of restoration costs. A restoration service in the Northern Virginia area is likely more than capable of rebuilding your home. While these businesses focus on cleaning and restoring your structure, they will also make suggestions for preventative tools, like storm shutters.  Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is here to help and just a phone call away at 703-583-8484.

Why SERVPRO? SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton has a Team of Well-Trained Professionals

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO?  When you call our Team, you know you are getting well-trained, professional technicians to restore your property.  We are dedicated to ongoing training and keeping up with current technology and standards in the restoration industry.  About thirty years ago, back in 1992, SERVPRO Corporate developed a National Training Center to teach restoration and mitigation skills to SERVPRO Franchise Owners, Team Members, and insurance industry professionals.

The National Training Center offers employee training as a self-paced program designed specifically for the SERVPRO employees. At SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, all members of our Team, including our production managers, crew chiefs, restoration technicians, administrative and marketing staffs are required to complete the certification program.  Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:

  • Crew Training
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

SERVPRO is an approved IICRC (Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning) Training School that offers year-around classes in the following restoration categories:

  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Upholstery Cleaning
  • Applied Structural Drying
  • When you call on us for help be assured that our entire team is knowledgeable about the services we have to offer.

In addition, SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is mold certified as well.  We have been serving the residential and commercial communities in Northern Virginia, including Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Lorton, and Quantico Marine Corp Base for more than 16 years.  If you need our help, we are only a phone call away at 703-583-8484. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Why SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton? SERVPRO Uses Industrial Grade Equipment and Cleaning Products on your Northern V

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

If your Northern Virginia home or business has suffered a water damage event, simply cleaning up the water and opening the windows will not completely dry the space.  This may leave your home or business vulnerable to future mold growth (known as secondary damage).  Our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton uses industrial grade dehumidifiers and fans to completely dry your home or business.  We also use moisture testing devices to make certain your walls, closets, and floors are dry before we leave your home or business and close out the job.  In addition to drying, commercial grade anti-fungal treatments are applied to prevent mold from forming.

If your home or business has suffered a fire damage event, air scrubbers are brought into the area to "scrub" the air clean and remove the chemical and smoke odor. In addition to air scrubbers, special cleaning agents are used to save as many smoke-affected items as possible in your home or business. We also have Omegasonics equipment to clean your contents and a secure storage facility onsite to hold your personal items until your property is back to preloss condition.

If your home or business in the Northern Virginia area, including Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Lorton or Quanitco Marine Corp Base, has suffered a water damage, fire damage, or mold growth event, please do not hesitate to call us today at 703-583-8484.  Our team of professional, well-trained technicians are available 24/7 and ready to help.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is "Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certified"

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

If you or your business has suffered a water damage, fire, or smoke damage, mold damage, or biohazard damage, odds are it has affected some sort of fabric or textile in your home or office.  The IICRC is a certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. In partnership with regional and international trade associates, the IICRC serves more than 25 countries.

In addition to certification, the IICRC creates standards to help develop common, industry-accepted language and terminology regarding cleaning, inspection, and restoration. The IICRC’s standards include:

  • BSR-IICRC S100 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Cleaning of Textile Floor Coverings
  • BSR-IICRC S210 Standard and Reference Guide for Dimension Stone Maintenance and Restoration
  • IICRC S300 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Upholstery Cleaning
  • ANSI/IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration
  • BSR-IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation
  • BSR-IICRC S540 Standard and Reference Guide for Trauma and Crime Scene Biological and Infectious Hazard Clean Up
  • BSR-IICRC S600 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Carpet Installation
  • BSR-IICRC S800 Standard and Reference Guide for Inspecting Textile Floor Coverings

When you see an IICRC logo, you can be confident that an IICRC-certified, experienced, qualified professional is caring for your valuable property.

Do you need upholstery cleaning or carpet cleaning for your home or business performed by a company that is IICRC certified?  Our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton cleans upholstery for general cleaning, pet dander and smoke damage along with office carpet tile, and more. 

Our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton has been providing quality service to the communities in Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Lorton, and Quantico Marine Corp Base for more than 16 years.  For fire, water, or biohazardous emergencies we are available 24/7.  If you need us for emergency services, would like to schedule an appointment for our cleaning services, or would like further information, please give us a call at 703-583-8484.

Why Homeowners Need a Mold Remediation Company with Realistic Expectations

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Microbial Growth in a Woodbridge Home Some mold remediation companies advertise “mold removal”. However, complete mold removal is not possible.

Northern Virginia Residents Need Good, Honest Mold Remediation

We live in a world of big promises and over-hyped marketing messages in Northern Virginia and across the country. The wealth of information out there about any and every topic can be overwhelming.

When you require mold remediation in your Northern Virginia home, you need a company that makes and keeps its promises. You also want realistic expectations of what can happen and the likely outcome.

What is the difference between mold removal and mold remediation?

Some mold remediation companies advertise “mold removal”.  However, complete mold removal is not possible. The fungi occur naturally throughout nature and the spores are microscopic so you cannot see them. The tiny spores can bloom and develop into a mold colony as they have a food source, moisture, oxygen, and the correct temperature. Mold can grow in many places both indoors and outdoors, including:

  • On trees and plants
  • On spoiled food such as cheese or vegetables
  • On multiple materials throughout your home, including wood, wallpaper, drywall and carpet

Mold forms colonies known as mycelium. Mycelium is a cluster of hair-like cells called hyphae. Each mycelium can release new mold spores, which drift throughout your home, looking for other places to grow. If they find a new site that meets all the criteria, they can start a new colony.

Because the spores are naturally occurring and so small that they can travel on the air or clothes or pet fur, it is impossible to stop mold from coming back. However, we can take steps to make your home less hospitable to fungus and reduce the risk of a recurrence.

What can SERVPRO do to reduce the risk of reinfestations?

Although no one can prevent mold from coming back, there are actions our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton can do to reduce the risk of a return visit:

  • Thoroughly drying the area. Mold loves moisture, so we dry out the walls, baseboards, ceiling, upholstery, and furniture. This is a quick way to prevent it from regrowing.
  • Lowering the humidity. We can use dehumidifiers to reduce the air's humidity, so there is less moisture available for fungal growth.
  • Using antimicrobial treatments on hard surfaces to kill fungus and prevent regrowth for up to four weeks.
  • Setting up containment and using a negative air machine to prevent air flowing out of the affected area, thus making it harder for spores to move throughout your home.

What about black mold?

If you look up anything about mold online, you are sure to find lots of horrifying information about black mold. Here at SERVPRO, we do not believe in fear-mongering.  Stachybotrys chartarum is the fungus most often referred to as black mold, and although mold can cause health effects, please do not panic if you see it in your home. It is a common mold, and remediation works as well for Stachybotrys as it does for every other kind of mold species.

The important thing is to call our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton as soon as you see or smell mold in your home. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster, and the quicker we can begin remediation, the less risk of the spores spreading.

What makes SERVPRO the right choice?

If you need mold remediation you can rely on, choose SERVPRO because:

  • We invest in training our technicians and provide ongoing e-learning opportunities to keep them up to speed with the latest industry standards and processes
  • We do not make unrealistic promises about total mold removal
  • We carry out mold inspections using scientific instruments for accurate data readings
  • We are a locally owned Franchise that cares about our community, with access to national resources to give you the very best in mold remediation

How can you know what to expect during remediation?

We keep you in the loop at all times – we do not do anything without your permission. If we need to set up containment, switch off your HVAC, or remove items from a room, you are informed of the necessary actions. We ensure you agree with our cleaning plan before we begin, and we conduct a walkthrough with you at the end of remediation. We also check in with you a week later to tackle any further concerns, should they arise.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton takes care of indoor air quality by cleaning your HVAC & Air Ducts

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.  By having your Ducts & HVAC System cleaned on a regular basis you may:

-Reduce allergens and pet dander.

-Eliminate offensive odors.

-Improve operating conditions and efficiency.

-Extend the life of your equipment.

If your HVAC has been operating for quite a while without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:

-Dust

-Pollen

-Odors

-Dirt and debris

-Other contaminants

Our team of professionals at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are frequently called upon to inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC) in many residences and commercial properties in our community.  Keeping the units clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

-Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.

-May help to eliminate offensive odors.

-Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

To schedule a Duct Cleaning or an inspection of your system in your home or office building in the Northern Virginia area give us a call today at 703-583-8484.  We have been serving the communities of Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Lorton and Quantico for more than 16 years and are always here to help!

CELEBRATE SAFELY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Christmas Tree Fire 'Stay Safe' when decorating for the holidays.

As a local SERVPRO fire restoration specialist, our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, urges everyone in Northern Virginia to use common sense and caution to help control the risk of holiday season home fires.

In a year when large holiday gatherings may not be possible, we understand that a focus on family decorating traditions and more intimate celebrations may take on extra significance. It’s as important to keep safety top of mind with a small family gathering as it is with a large holiday party.  We all enjoy bringing the radiance of the holiday season to our homes with Christmas trees or menorahs and candlelight, however these statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration show how easy it is for home decorating to turn into a home disaster.

  • The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s, and New Year’s Eve.
  • More than half of the home decoration fires in December are started by candles.
  • A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes one in every four winter fires.
  • On average, one of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death.

In addition to exercising caution with candles and heat sources, it is important to follow manufacturers’ guidelines for holiday lighting.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires. Though Christmas tree fires may not be common, they can be devastating to more than the house itself. They can destroy irreplaceable photos, mementos, and family heirlooms and even cost lives.  To help keep your holidays bright and your home and family safe, use common sense with candles and tree placement, and follow these important home decorating guidelines.

  • Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
  • Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  • Do not link more than three strands of holiday lights.

In 2020, a year when so many of the things we take for granted have changed, we know people will still come together – in person or virtually – to celebrate family and holiday traditions.  ‘Stay safe’ has become a common expression in the context of public health, but this holiday season, we urge all Northern Virginia area home and business owners to think about ‘staying safe’ in their homes as they prepare for and enjoy the holiday season.”

SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit our website at www.SERVPROdalecitylakeridge.com. For more information on SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge, please contact us directly at 703-583-8484.

KITCHEN CAUTIONS FOR YOUR THANKSGIVING FEAST

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fire Smother grease fires by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and injuries.  The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.  It’s important to remain alert to prevent holiday cooking fires.

Around the holidays each year, families gather to celebrate by preparing a delicious feast.  Unfortunately, not everyone practices safe cooking habits.  Whether you are an experienced chef of the family or a beginning student to the culinary art of boxed stuffing, safety should always be your first focus when preparing a meal.

To ensure you and your kitchen survive meal preparation, keep in mind the following safety tips:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stovetop or oven.
  • At all time, remain in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, broiling, or using an air fryer to cook your food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while the food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the oven or stove is in use.
  • Keep oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, hand towels or anything that can catch fire, away from the stovetop.

Consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe if you do have a cooking fire:

  • Simply GET OUT! Please do not forget your pets as well.  Close the door behind you when you leave to help contain the flames.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you get out safely.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, make certain others are getting out and you also have a clear path to safety.
  • When you’re cooking with grease, make sure you have a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop.  Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton wish you and your families a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

TIPS AND DANGERS FOR DEEP FRYING TURKEYS

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Fried Turkey Only fry a turkey OUTSIDE. Turkey frying should only be done outdoors, on a flat and level surface

Deep-frying a turkey can bring amazing results: a glistening bird with golden-brown skin that’s cooked perfectly in minutes. But anyone who has watched an online video in which a deep-fried turkey goes up in flames should understand that the technique is no joke. Done right, you could be filling your plate in an hour. Done wrong, you could be eating out of the vending machine at the Emergency Room.

5 DANGERS OF DEEP FRYING A TURKEY

  1. Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area or surface
  2. An over-filled cooking pot can cause cooking oil to spill or splatter when the turkey is placed in the pot.
  3. Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  4. Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat cooking oil to the point of igniting a fire.
  5. The sides of the cooking pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot.

TIPS FOR AMAZING RESULTS

  1. Test to see how much oil you truly need.Do not fill the pot with oil yet. Using cold water, measure how much liquid should be put in the pot to cover the turkey without overflowing onto the burner.
  2. Only fry a turkey OUTSIDE.Turkey frying should only be done outdoors, on a flat and level surface—not in an enclosed area (like a kitchen or garage) or on a wooden structure (like a deck)! Also, remember that oil is hard to clean off concrete. Make sure to clear the area of children, pets, and especially intoxicated relatives.
  3. Use a fresh bird, or fully thaw a frozen one.The minute any moisture from the turkey hits hot oil, the oil will start to splatter and can cause a spillover effect, starting a fire.
  4. Forget about the stuffing.You’ll have to keep the stuffing on the side when frying a turkey. Also, remember to remove the giblets from the bird’s cavity before frying.
  5. Lower the bird slowly into the oil.Do not drop the turkey into the deep fryer.
  6. Do not move the pot.Adjusting a vat of hot oil is incredibly dangerous.
  7. Stay nearby.Never leave the turkey unattended. It can only take a moment for something to go wrong.
  8. Don’t start enjoying your adult beverages until after the oil has cooled.Better to be alert until the bird is cooked.
  9. Wait to carve.  To help retain the hot juices, let the cooked turkey rest for at least 30 minutes.
  10. Keep heavy blankets nearby for emergencies.Water will not extinguish an oil fire; it will only spread the ignited oil. A wool blanket will help put out flare-ups.

SUMP PUMP FAILURES AND WATER BACKUPS

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded Basement If your sump pump fails, you might be in for a water-logged basement and expensive repairs.

Your sump pump is designed to remove excess water that accumulates around your home’s foundation. If the system ever fails or the power goes out, water overflow may occur.

Things that may make your home a higher risk for water backup:

You live in a rainy area. The more it rains, the more work it creates for your sump pump. Consequently, when your sump pump is constantly running, it runs the risk of burning out faster than an average one.

Your home has an old sump pump. Check your sump pump regularly and look for any signs of wear and tear.  Replacing an aging sump pump that has not failed yet is a much better option than waiting for it to fail.

While your sump pump will usually protect you from a flooded basement, sometimes it is not enough or just fails altogether. Here are a few ways to keep water from backing up in your home:

  • Install a backup battery or generator in case you lose power.
  • Install a second sump pump if you live in an especially rainy area.
  • Install window well covers to keep rain from leaking in.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts to keep them from clogging and overflowing.
  • Make sure any landscaping around the foundation slopes away from the house.
  • Be prepared by having the proper insurance coverage in case your sump pump fails.

Whether your basement is a finished space for entertaining or simply where you store your treasures, the right protection gives you peace of mind. Your basic homeowner’s insurance typically does not cover this type of damage.  Water backup and sump pump failure insurance coverage is an optional add-on that can put your mind at ease.  Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton suggests talking with your insurance agent to determine your needs for this specific endorsement.

Water backup and sump pump failure protection typically covers the following damage:

Sewer systems. Virginia’s sewer systems are generally fairly dated, and as with any older infrastructure, these systems may be prone to failure. If a city’s sewer system has issues, regardless of who is at fault, your home could be in for some pain.

Sump pump failure and overflow. A sump pump can be the hero of your basement, pumping excess water out of your home and into areas where it can disperse. But if it fails, you might be in for a water-logged basement and expensive repairs.

If you have invested in finishing your lower level, you know how important this extra space can be. It deserves customized protection that is as unique as your home. This coverage completes the project and safeguards your investment from water damage in the event of sump pump overflow and water backup.

If you or someone you know experiences a water damage or sump pump failure and needs assistance, please give us a call at 703-583-8484.  Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are available 24/7 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

REMEMBER "PASS" WHEN USING A FIRE EXTINGUISHER

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Operating a fire extinguisher When using a fire extinguisher remember PASS, point, aim, squeeze, and sweep.

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner and before we know it, 2021 will be here!  With Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks we wanted to take a moment to help you keep your family and friends safe during this festive season.

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires?  As the holiday season begins and you find yourself in the kitchen more often while hosting friends and family, fire precautions should be top of mind.

When used correctly, a portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool.  In order to operate a fire extinguisher, the NFPA suggests remembering the work PASS.

  • PULL the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • AIM Point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • SQUEEZE the lever slowly and evenly.
  • SWEEP the nozzle from side-to-side.

 Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out.  Encourage your family members and co-workers to do the same.

 from our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, we wish all of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Commercial Carpet Cleaning for Your Northern Virginia Business

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Hotel Carpet Cleaning Professional cleaning on a regular basis of your Northern Virginia commercial flooring will extend its life.

When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial services it is time to call in the professional services of our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton.

Our certified technicians can work around your operational schedule to clean your company’s carpets.

Vacuuming the carpets in your commercial property is a good way to limit accumulation of debris from taking root in commercial flooring. However, for those deep cleans its’ best to set up a carpet cleaning schedule. Offices with heavy foot traffic may need a professional cleaning twice a year, whereas offices with lighter foot traffic may only need a professional cleaning once per year. Unfortunately, flooring in a commercial setting is often better at hiding soiled areas for longer periods of time than a residential carpet. There are benefits to having your commercial carpet professionally cleaned:

First Impressions

A business with daily vacuumed and regularly cleaned carpets looks and smells fresh. This leaves a positive impression on any visitors that many come to the office, and lets employees, clients, and stakeholders know you care about your property.

Extending the Life of the Flooring

Having your commercial flooring regularly cleaned will help extend the lifespan of the carpets. When debris is left to stay in the flooring it breaks down the fibers leading to permanent staining. Keeping the flooring clean will limit the amount of time contaminants are in the carpets.

Indoor Air Quality Improvement

Carpets collect a variety of compounds over time. Each time someone walks on the carpet their footsteps kick the soil in the carpet into the air, representing a breathing risk. This is one of the contributors to poor indoor air quality. Only one of the reasons regular maintenance is recommended.

If your commercial flooring needs a professional cleaning, call our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton to schedule an appointment with one of our certified carpet cleaning technicians today.

PREPAREDNESS FOR YOUR FOUR-LEGGED BABIES

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Puppy in Red Have you included your fur baby in your emergency planning?

Have you accounted for your Sammi, Charli, and Bleu when emergency planning?  According to the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (la-spca.org), after Hurricane Katrina, “It’s estimated that over 15,500 animals were ultimately rescued.  Of the 15,500 animals rescued, only 15%-20% were ever reunited with their owners.”

Pets are just as important as any family member to most people, so why would you not make them part of your preparedness planning?  There are many things you can do to make certain they stay safe as well during an emergency.

Prepare a Pet Emergency Kit to include the following items:

  • At least a 3-day supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • At least 3 days of water specifically for your pets.
  • Medicines and Medical Records
  • Important Documents such as registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents.
  • Talk with your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
  • A First Aid Kit containing cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, and saline solution.
  • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag, and a leash
  • Crate or pet carrier
  • Sanitation (pet litter and litter box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach)
  • A current picture of you and your pet together in case you become separated
  • Familiar items such as treats, toys and bedding to reduce stress

While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans, be certain to include your pets.  If an evacuation happens, please do not leave pet behind as they can be lost or injured.

When planning for your family’s emergencies, please be sure to take your four-legged babies into consideration.  Visit ready.gov/animals for further tips and safety precautions to consider for your family’s pets during a disaster.

Tips for a Fire-Free Fall and Halloween

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Decorated Patio Fall decorations, like dried flowers, cornstalks, and hay bales are highly flammable.

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities including Halloween and Fall Festivals.  Do some preliminary planning this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

  • Fall decorations, such as dried flowers, cornstalks, and hay bales are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including outdoor fire pits, light bulbs, and heaters.
  • Keep your home brightly lit indoors and outside. Check the lighting for your front entryway or porch and replace any damaged bulbs that may have burned out.
  • Be sure that the extension cords you use outside are rated for outdoor use. Also, don't overload extension cords. Your cord should be the correct amps for what you're plugging into it.
  • Remove or highlight potential tripping hazards, such as electrical cords. Clear debris and other obstacles from your lawn, sidewalks, and steps.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric along with making certain nothing impairs your vision.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle.

As always, if a fire, smoke, or soot invades your home or business, please give our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton a call.  We are available 24/7 including holidays.

OCTOBER 4-10 IS FIRE PREVENTION WEEK

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Escape Plan Have a fire escape plan!

October 4-10, 2020 is Fire Prevention Week.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a specific week each October to focus on fire prevention.  “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” is the theme for 2020.  This topic works to teach everyone about the simple but important actions they may take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.

According to NFPA, cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.  The Agency notes that once a fire alarm goes off “you could have less than two minutes to get out safely,” yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was the first thought they had after hearing a fire alarm go off.  Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy.  Don’t hesitate, make a plan today!

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration, SERVPRO stands on over 50 years of experience and expertise to help ensure you stay safe, informed, and ready for any disaster that comes your way.  The time to prepare is now by making a fire escape plan and checking your smoke alarm batteries.  Call our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton at 703-583-8484 to make sure your home and business are “Ready for whatever happens.” We’re always here to help!

Did you know that there are various types of soot associated with fires?

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Soot Removal Soot often continues to spread after the fire is extinguished and may affect all areas of your home or business.

Fire damage to your northern Virginia home or business can be devastating.  It is easy to see the aftermath of the flames as they have engulfed your belongings and building materials in its wake.  One thing that may be more encompassing than the flames is the soot released by the burning materials.  Soot is acidic by nature and may cause tremendous damage as it continues to degrade metals, finish coatings, and electronics until it is removed.  The problem of soot removal is that it is sometimes hard to see and there are different types that require specific cleaning methods.  Soot also continues to spread until it exhausts its energy, moving towards colder temperatures, often affecting all areas of your home or business, even areas not affected directly by the fire.  Fortunately, our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is familiar with all types of soot and have the expertise needed to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fuel oil soot – Oil Heating Systems are most common for “puffbacks”.  A puffback is typically caused by excess fuel in the burner chamber that, upon ignition, causes a small explosion, sending soot throughout your vent system.  This type of soot is generally grey to black and greasy in nature making it streaky and hard to clean when it is fresh and, over time, it can even bond to surfaces making it unable to be fully cleaned.

Protein residues – Protein residues are most often seen in kitchen fires.  Unlike what most people consider soot to look like, it is yellow or amber in color as it coats and may be hard to see as a slight discoloration on walls, cabinets, and appliances.  Because it is very hard to see this soot, the telltale sign may be a lingering odor issue if all surfaces are not thoroughly cleaned.

Wet soot – Wet smoke is typically left behind in a slow burning, low-heat fire.  It is usually black and leaves behind a sticky and this residue that can be easily smeared during clean up.  These are usually smoldering fires and can be commonly caused by plastic or rubber materials.

Dry soot – Opposite of wet smoke, dry smoke is most common during high heat, fast burning fires.  Fuels such as wood and paper cause dry soot.  Dry soot can be easier to clean, but due to the fact it has dry, fine particles, it can fall into cracks and crevices, making it not only hard to see, but harder to clean.

If you have a fire or soot emergency, give our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton.  We’re here to help 24/7/365.

Defining Types of Water Damage

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage from a broken sprinkler system Recent water damage to a theater room in northern Virginia

When your home or business in northern Virginia suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean.  The term gray water is used to categorize slightly contaminated water.  Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous.  Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more.  Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster.  Black water should always be handled by trained professionals such as the Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damages or prevent further damages while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • If access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock, turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the structure. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, are objects, computers, documents, and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage along with items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you have touched contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure, air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When water invades your property in northern Virginia, call on our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton.  We have been serving our local communities for more than 15 years and are always here to help!

When the Storm Rolls Out, Our Team Rolls In

9/6/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Storm We Roll In When the Storm Rolls Out

Extreme weather and unexpected emergencies such as damage caused by hurricanes, heavy rain, flooding, snow, ice, and hail call for immediate action. Quick response to the disaster and exceptional communication is key to helping you get your life back to normal as soon as possible.

Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are prepared and ready for your call.  Our standard of 1-4-8 means we will contact you within one hour of receiving your call, be on site at your property within 4 hours and provide you with a verbal briefing of the scope of work that needs to be performed within 8 hours. We have built our reputation in northern Virginia on rapid response times and pride ourselves on exceptional customer service.

After any water damage situation, safety should be your primary focus:

  • Ask yourself if it is safe to stay in the home
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform
  • Wet materials can be extremely heavy, use caution when moving these items

Storms occur with little warning and can be especially devastating, so you want the franchise professionals that you can trust to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the type of storm, our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton can handle any size disaster.  With 15 years of experience serving the communities of northern Virginia, we’re always here to help. 

CAUSES OF BASEMENT FLOODING

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded Basement A flooded basement in Woodbridge caused by a recent storm

Having a basement is often welcome space in your northern Virginia home. Whether unfinished or a go-to area for entertaining guests, the last thing you want to deal with is a basement flood. Many homeowners get lucky and don’t have to deal with that hassle. For several others, numerous reasons can lead to long-term water damage from flooding.

The Main Culprits

Going down the stairs, the last thing you want to see is a flooded basement. Along with the potential to ruin belongings, it may have long-term structural effects on your home. Regardless if your home is new or old, flooding can be an ongoing issue even in seemingly dry conditions. Below are three main reasons for a basement flood.

Blocked Gutters, Downspouts and Eaves
A gutter system is designed to keep the rest of the home dry and lead the water away from the home. If any part of it is clogged with debris, it can create an overflow that runs down your house right toward the foundation. Keeping your gutter system free and clear is a top way to reduce flooding. It’s also important to ensure downspouts extend at least 10 feet from the home.

Improper Sloping
Many homes are built on sloped terrain. While builders do their best to ensure levelness, being just a little off could result in water accumulation. Over time, as pavement settles, it may create an unevenness that leads to leaking in the basement that is a frequent problem. Along with getting any foundation issues checked, upping your landscaping and drainage system can help lead water away from the home.

Sealant Issues
Tiles and concrete are sealed to keep water out. Over time, or if not properly sealed, cracks can form that slowly allow water to seep into the basement. While it may be barely noticeable at first, it can eventually turn into a costly repair and hassle.


When a basement flood occurs, understanding why it is happening can start you on the path to recovery. Along with consulting foundation experts, rely on our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, experts in water mitigation, to get your home back to normal.

PREVENTION OF WATER DAMAGES DURING COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATIONS

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage During Commercial Construction New commercial construction or renovation carries with it risks of water damage.

Whether you are preparing for a renovation in your commercial building or the new development of a large facility, the prevention of water damage is necessary. An unexpected storm or a neglected water pipe repair can lead to significant inconveniences during the construction process:

  • Property damage
  • Rework
  • Debris removal
  • Delays

Therefore, before starting any new build or renovation, make certain there is a plan in place for any potential water issues. These preparations should focus on four vital aspects of the construction project: pre-planning, administrative responsibilities, organization of project materials and inspections and controls.

Pre-planning

While a possible broken pipe is one concern during construction, there are many others, including weather, property grading, exposed pipes, etc. Therefore, speaking with experienced contractors and remediation specialists in Northern Virginia such as our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, is likely beneficial during the planning phase to reduce water loss risks.

Administrative Responsibilities

A needed water pipe repair should not result in significant setbacks during the construction project. These issues should never reach the point of causing severe damage. The best way to avert these crises is to assign responsibility and oversight to a team lead.  Ideally, it is best to also have water mitigation experts in place before beginning construction.

Organization of Deliveries and Storage

Beyond pre-planning and assigning administrative responsibility, someone needs to oversee material delivery and storage. If materials are ordered all at once and stored in a low area, such as a basement, then there is a risk of severe loss. A flooded basement or storage space can cost a company thousands of dollars in material replacement and time. Therefore, do not order all materials at once and make certain they have a high and dry place to wait for use.

Inspections and Controls

No amount of preparation or intelligent storage will eliminate water damage risks. Therefore, mandatory inspections and water controls should take place from day one to identify and resolve potential problems quickly and without incident.


New commercial construction or renovation carries with it risks of water damage. However, with diligence and inspections for needed water pipe repair work, a project can significantly reduce those risks. Consult a remediation and construction expert to identify potential problems before work even begins.  Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are here for your commercial water mitigation needs 24/7/365.

WHAT NOW? THE GUIDE TO KNOWING THE NEXT STEP FOLLOWING A FIRE.

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

House Fire What is the next step to take following a fire?
  • *Safely* - Take pictures of the damage
  • Make certain your property is secured
  • If Rental Property, Contact Owner/Landlord Immediately
  • Call your insurance company
  • Contact family/friends to let them know you are okay
  • Locate Emergency Accommodations
  • Keep all receipts (Insurance dislocation reimbursement)

STEPS TO FOLLOW:  THE FIRST DAYS

  • Notify utility companies of the incident
  • Contact your child(ren)’s school of temporary address/unusual stress awareness
  • Contact the local police department to let them know your property is temporarily vacant
  • Allow SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

REPLACING DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS


Driver’s License

Passports

Titles/Deeds

Wills

Auto Registration

Birth/Marriage/Death Certificates

Social Security/Medicare Cards

Insurance Policies (Auto/Home)

Mortgage Papers

Military Papers (DD-214)

Debit/Credit Cards

Banking Information

Prepaid Burial Contract

Medical Records

Investment Documents

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND FAMILY

Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army.  They will help you find a place to stay and to find food, clothing, and medicine.  Make certain that you have a safe place to live temporarily.  Get plenty of rest and ask for help.  Do not try to do it all alone.

“Do not eat, drink or breather in anything that has been near the flame, smoke, soot, or water used to put out the fire.”

For further information or if you need assistance, please contact our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton (703-583-8484).  We’re always here to help.

Flood Safety in NOVA

7/22/2020 (Permalink)

Flood Waters A mere six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.

Flooding doesn’t always happen in Northern Virginia but did you know that 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk areas?  In fact, flooding is one of the most commonly widespread weather-related disasters.  According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in our country every year than any other weather-related disaster.

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips:

Avoid floodwaters

A mere six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.  If you approach a flowing stream of water that is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. 

Driving in flooded areas

If you encounter a flooded road, turn around and go another way.  Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.  If you are stranded on a flooded roadway and the water is rising rapidly, get out of the car immediately and seek higher ground.

Keep children out of the water

Children are naturally curious but often lack judgment about the dangers of running water caused by flooding or the contaminants it may contain. 

Our goal at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is to help you be prepared and ready.  We know that even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly.  Although the cleanup is often an overwhelming task, our team is prepared to handle any size disaster.  We’re always here to help.

Top Reasons Northern Virginia Homeowners Should Outsource Water Damage Cleanup

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damaged Ceiling Water Damaged Ceiling Caused By A Broken Toilet in the Upstairs Bathroom.

Even a minor water damage to a residence may leave an assortment of issues to clean up. For example, a pipe with a 1/8-inch crack has the potential to pour 250 gallons of water into a home in a single day.

When water damage affects your home, it may be tempting to clean it up yourself. In some cases, it will work out okay, and in others, if you miss any water or you have damaged building materials, you may leave yourself open for mold, foul odors and a host of other problems that could be costly.

Reasons you should outsource the water cleanup include:

    •    Water is heavy, and if you clean it up yourself, there is a risk of injury. A single gallon of clean water weighs in at 8.34-pounds. The average consumer-size wet/dry vac holds approximately three to five gallons of dirty water. Imagine repeatedly needing to empty 25 to 42 pounds of water over and over.

    •    Potential for contaminants. Depending on the type of water loss and how long before cleanup started makes a difference in the category of water ranging from category one to a category three biohazard.

    •    Water migrates. It is easy to overlook the hidden areas of water. Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton uses moisture detection equipment that allows us to see within walls and under flooring to ensure our technicians miss nothing during the water extraction.

You need professional equipment to dry a property effectively. SERVPRO does not use fans, we use air movers to dry the property, and we also set drying goals to ensure the humidity levels are too low for airborne mold spores to germinate and set up home.

Our technicians work hard to limit loss. We inspect each water-affected item and determine the restorability potential through our proprietary cleaning methods. Also, we maintain communications with both property owners and their adjusters to be certain that any actions are within the scope of coverage and agreed to before performing the activities.

When water damage threatens your home or possessions, contact SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton at 703-583-8484. Our trained, certified technicians arrive are always here to help and make your water loss “Like it never even happened.”

My Basement Has Flooded, Now What?

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded Basement Having water intrude into your basement can damage appliances, carpet, floors, and even heirlooms.

Going down the stairs to find that your basement now looks like an in-ground pool is something you don't want to see. Having water intrude into your basement can damage appliances, carpet, floors, and even heirlooms. You may not know where to even start... but that's where our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton gives you solutions! If you do encounter flooding, contact a certified restoration professional right away! 

What to do when your basement floods 

Protect yourself with rain boots / protective gear: Don't walk into the water in your sandals or slippers, the water could be contaminated depending on the source. You won't want to ruin your good shoes walking into that. If the water is high, you may want to break out those waders. 

Find the source of the water: If the water is from a burst pipe, hot water heater, sewage backup, or other appliance failure, immediately shut off the water! 

Check your sump pump or drain (if you have them): These can help drain any water from the basement after flooding, but they need to be in working condition. If they are clogged, try to get the clog out so they can begin doing their job! 

-  Remove any valuables: Remove any important documents, family heirlooms, electronics (if safe to do so) and bring them into a safer area. 

If the amount of water is minimal, you may use a wet/dry vacuum, mop, and a bucket. 

If you find more than an inch or two, call us at 703-583-8484.  Our team is highly trained in water damage restoration. We regularly monitor and document throughout the extraction and drying process! 

Causes of a basement flood 

- Heavy rains or big storm 

- Clogged floor drain

- Sump pump failure 

- Cracked foundation causing water to leak in 

- Burst pipes

- Failing appliances 

- Sewage backup 

At SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, we know how to handle every water damage situation, safely and efficiently.  Our advanced equipment helps to detect any hidden moisture, remove water quickly, and dry your home and belongings.  We have been serving the communities in Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Lorton, Dumfries, and Quantico for more than 15 years.

Call us at 703-583-8484, we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

BE PREPARED WITH A BASIC EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

FEMA Recommended Emergency Supply Kit One way to prepare your home and business for any emergency is to create an emergency supply kit.

In Northern Virginia we are now a full month into Hurricane season.  While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to help ensure you are ready when disaster strikes.  One way to prepare your home and business for any emergency is to create an emergency supply kit.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends the following items for a basic emergency supply kit:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important Documents; copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

As always, if you need our help, our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is just a phone call away at 703-583-8484. 

PLANNING FOR THE SAFETY OF YOUR HOME WHILE ON VACATION

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Packed Luggage Your bags are packed but is your home prepared for your vacation?

It's that season again in Northern Virginia! Summer is here and it's time for everyone to pack up their bags and families and head to their favorite vacation spot.  You’ve been planning this trip for several weeks but have you planned for the safety of your home while you’re away?  Water damages occur when least expected!

Find tips below that could save your home from a water damage or other potential threats while you relax on the beach.

Take Plumbing and Electric Precautions

  1. Shut off gas and water at the meter, supply tank or appliances
  2. Turn off the water valves to washing machines, sinks, and the dishwasher
  3. Unplug electronics to cut down on any possible shortages
  4. Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly
  5. Adjust your thermostat to 75-80 degrees, which should help control usage.

Make Arrangements With Emergency Contacts

  1. Choose a Close friend or neighbor to check on your home
  2. Provide them with emergency contacts
  3. Ask them to turn on your porch lights (or set on timers)
  4. Have them collect mail and newspapers - burglars look for homes with overflowing mail
  5. Leave them written information on alarm codes.

To further prepare your home for when you are away, download our free SERVPRO Ready Plan residential version and complete one on your home to share with your emergency contact.  The plan is shareable on any smart phone or computer and includes vital information about your utility shut off locations and emergency contacts. For further information, give our marketing team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton a call at 703-583-8484 or email us at janet@SERVPROdalecity.com.  We’re always here to help!

Be Ready, Be Prepared For Hurricanes in 2020

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Be Prepared for Hurricanes Even if no risk of a hurricane is evident just now, make sure you and your family are prepared.

Coastal residents in Northern Virginia are not the only people affected by hurricanes.  These storms may still cause damage even if you live hundreds of miles from the shore. If you live in an area where hurricanes are a risk, you need a plan.

CDC can help you make an emergency plan. Go to Make a Plan: Develop a Family Disaster Plan for help.

Be Ready

Even if no risk of a hurricane is evident just now, make sure you and your family are prepared.

  • Stock up on emergency supplies for your home and car.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them near every phone in your home or on the refrigerator. Program them into your cell phone as well.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher and make certain your family knows where to find it and how to operate it.
  • Find where the nearest shelter is located and the different routes you can take to get there if you need to leave your home.
  • Make sure that everyone in your family knows what the warning sirens in your area sound like — and what to do if they go off.

What’s next?

  • Make certain you have all the health and safety supplies you need before the storm. Check out Family, Health, and Safety Preparationfor a guide on what you’ll need to prepare for the storm.

When a Spring or Summer Storm Strikes

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Advance Preparation is Key Our Tips will help reduce the impact floods have on you and your property.

Spring and Summer showers may often lead to flooding conditions in the Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, and Lorton areas of Virginia. The following tips will help reduce the impact floods have on you and your property.

Advance Preparation

Prepare in advance with a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP). Our convenient mobile app contains all your utility and emergency response information in one place, at the tip of your fingers.  You can access this information from either your smartphone or computer.

Watch for Pooling Water 

Look for areas around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make certain gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.

Maintain Sump Pump 

If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider using a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case you have a sump pump failure. 

Consider Flood Insurance 

Homeowners insurance will not cover floods; you must purchase a separate policy for flood protection. When all else fails, flood insurance will provide you the means to respond to a catastrophic flooding event.

Cut Power if Necessary 

As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.

Raise Storage Goods 

Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line. 

Keep Storm Drains Clear

If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.

Be Aware on the Road 

Be careful when driving during storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into a fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface. 

Act Fast 

When a flood happens, you need to act as quickly as possible to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring. Call our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lortonto begin the water mitigation process. Our franchise professionals are always here to help and have the training and experience to make flood damage “Like it never even happened.” 

Sprinkler Maintenance...Where to Begin

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

Keep Your Fire Sprinklers Cleaned Having a well-maintained sprinkler system can help to ensure that the sprinklers work in the event of a fire.

The sprinklers in your business in the Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, and Lorton areas of Northern Virginia can help to slow or stop the spread of a fire.  Having a well-maintained sprinkler system can help to ensure that the sprinklers work in the event of a fire. However, many business owners and managers don't know where to begin when it comes to sprinkler maintenance.

1. Keep Your Sprinklers Clean

Dirt and dust can build up on your sprinklers over time, making it more likely for the sprinklers to malfunction. In some cases, your sprinklers may accidentally activate if there is an excessive amount of dirt and dust around the sprinklers and smoke detectors. As a result, you may need to contact water damage restoration experts if your building floods. In order to prevent your building's sprinklers from turning on unnecessarily, it can be helpful to frequently clean off any dirt and dust from both the sprinklers and the smoke detectors in your business.

2. Know the Signs of a Leak

If sprinkler maintenance is ignored, a leak can often occur. A leaky sprinkler may sometimes be difficult to notice in basements, attics, and other areas that you may not often frequent. Since you may not always see the results of a leaky sprinkler immediately, it can be helpful to take note of the average cost of your water bills. An unexplained spike in water usage could be an indicator that there is a leaky sprinkler somewhere in your building. 

3. Employ Professionals for Regular Maintenance

Even though there are various steps you can take to keep your sprinklers well-maintained, there are some problems that you may not notice until it's too late. Professionals can perform regular maintenance on your building's sprinkler system to ensure that your sprinklers will function if a fire occurs. Additionally, experts can help to make sure your system doesn’t turn on when it shouldn't.

Sprinkler maintenance is a useful way to ensure your building is prepared for a fire. Keeping your sprinklers clean, knowing the signs of a leak and having professionals perform routine maintenance can help to keep your fire sprinklers working their best.

TREADING THROUGH TYPES OF WATER DAMAGES

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage From a Broken Pipe A recent water damage in the Woodbridge area caused by a broken pipe.

Water Damage in the Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge and Lorton areas can have a major impact on properties of all types, occurring very swiftly and often suddenly. It can be caused by a variety of conditions that include flooding, melting snow, failed appliances or other natural disasters. Water damage can also range widely in severity. Allowing water to build up in basements and other areas of a home or business can swiftly lead to complete destruction of the property. When water damage is imminent, property owners must take immediate steps to remove the water and restore any materials that have been damaged.

Water Damage can be broken down into several categories of severity, typically coming from a specific source. The first category for water damage includes the presence of clean water that poses no immediate threat to humans. Malfunctioning appliances and overflowing sinks usually cause this type of damage. The next category of damage is frequently referred to as Grey Water. Category two indicates the presence of contaminated water that can cause illness to living creatures when ingested. The presence of microorganisms in water is typically the result of sewer leaks, damaged commodes and malfunctioning sump pumps. The third category is commonly referred to as Black Water. These unsanitary liquids contain bacteria and other forms of seriously dangerous microorganisms. This water can come from the contamination of standing water and leaks from municipal sewage systems.

All types of damage can lead to degrading property, including threats such as mold, rotting wood, and the destabilization of the foundation. Damage in classes two and three may allow furniture and walls to absorb a substantial amount of moisture, despite the fact that the evaporation rate is very rapid. The most serious type of water damage may result from standing water that has the potential to soak into hardwood floors, concrete, and plaster. The restoration process and the success in cleaning up after water damage has occurred depend on acting quickly. 

Most cleanups following substantial water damage require professional assistance. Ignoring damp furniture and missing hidden damage in walls and other structural components can result in serious health effects. The mold exposure alone may cause allergy and asthma symptoms in persons of all ages or directly impact those suffering with compromised immune systems. Professional restoration companies, such as our team at SERVPR of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, accurately assess the damage and use proven techniques to fully restore the property. Their techniques include thoroughly protective cleaning gear and cutting-edge, restoration equipment.

For further information or to schedule service with our team, please give us a call at 703-583-8484.  Our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton are always here to help.

Faster For Storm Disasters

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

We're Here to Help With Storm Damages We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

With our communities in the Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge and Lorton areas in mind, our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton provides emergency services for fire & water – cleanup and restoration and is dedicated to being faster to any-size disaster in your area. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

The extreme northern Virginia weather conditions can cause an unexpected amount of storm damage. If you have damage caused by a storm and are caught in an emergency, please give us a call. Our team of certified technicians is here to help, 24/7.

We always respond to your call within 1 hour, arrive onsite to begin the remediation process within 4 hours, and are able to provide an update and scope of the necessary work to be done no later than 8 hours from the time of your initial call. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem may become, and speed is of the utmost importance in preventing further or secondary damage.

More reasons to choose SERVPRO:

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

When you need us, we are just a phone call away at 703-583-8484.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

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 Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton today at  703-583-8484 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.

Bleach and Anti-Mold Efforts on Commercial Properties

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Bleaching fails to cleanup mold Bleaching not only fails to cleanup mold, it also increases the damage to your commercial location.

When you think about cleaning, does your mind immediately go towards bleach? You are not alone. Bleach is a product that can effectively remove most dirt and contaminants when used appropriately. However, the fungus cleanup operation in your Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge or Lorton business is not one of those times. Continue reading and learn why bleaching can prove to be senseless towards your anti-mold efforts.

Ineffective in Porous Surfaces

Bleaching products are meant for use in non-porous places. It would not be effective if the mold's roots grow and develop in various porous surfaces such as

  • Wood
  • Carpet
  • Drywall
  • Ceiling tiles

Unlike chlorine, the bleaching agent's water component can penetrate the pores. This specific reaction feeds the roots and encourages further growth. Bleaching not only fails to cleanup mold, but it also increases the damage to your commercial location.

Toxic to the Business's Environment

The use of bleach in your fungus cleanup can also leave behind a dangerous aftermath. This substance releases toxic fumes that can cause harm to your employees, your clients and the overall environment. Misuse of this agent can also discolor and damage certain parts of the building. In contrast, mold remediation technicians use safety equipment and tools to keep more effective cleaning measures away from other people and the greater area.

Weakens Over Time

One final drawback with bleaching solutions involves their temporary effects. Chlorine tends to evaporate quickly, even when the product has not left its plastic container. The decrease in chlorine from the cleaner can lead to the chemical's potential failure to eradicate mold incidents. In addition, the leftover water can create greater problems, feeding the fungus you are trying to eliminate.
While bleaching your business's affected location may seem like a good idea for a fungus cleanup, it does not apply to this specific situation. A mold removal specialist, such as our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, can provide you with alternative products to bleaching that are more efficient, cause less damage and endanger fewer lives.

Commercial fire and water damage, Dale City/Lake Ridge and Woodbridge/Lorton

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Back of a Van with air movers and other equipment Our vans are always loaded with equipment so that we can be there when you need us!

Keeping your business’ doors open is essential for any business.  Hundreds and possibly thousands of co-workers rely on the business being open and fully operational every day.

Response time is essential when a water or fire damage happens at a place of business.  Not only is it essential in mitigating the damage but it is key to limiting the impact of the business’ day to day operations. 

SERVPRO owners, managers and employees are trained to respond to a business’ needs in these situations.  During the initial contact, either by phone or face to face, we are trying to evaluate the severity of the loss and the most essential needs that a business may have.  Often, through our multiple years of experience, combined with the aspects of the loss, we are able to create intermediate action plans that will allow the business to continue operations during the mitigation and restoration process.

Call SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton when your commercial property or business suffers damage from fire or water. 

Commercial Water Loss, Providing the right amount of equipment

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

If you own a commercial building, or even if you run a business out of a commercial property, you understand and know that money is lost every wasted minute or hour your business is stopped during a disaster. SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton knows how you feel because we are constantly helping businesses get back up as soon as possible after a disaster. SERVPRO knows that most commercial water disasters require a lot more equipment, mainly because of the size, and we also know that most of the time other restoration companies cannot set the right amount of equipment because they do not have enough outlets and they also fear breakers will begin to pop. This photo shows a spider box.  Basically, spider boxes allow SERVPRO to set the correct amount of equipment and keep the breakers from popping. In this scenario the building owner was very impressed by this piece of equipment and had a peace of mind knowing that his property was properly being taken care of.

Evacuation Drills in the Workplace

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

EXIT Sign above door Does your business have an emergency plan? Do you practice your Evacuation routes?

Workplace emergencies can happen, and employees should know how to handle them. If they do not then chaos could happen, putting people at risk of injury. Holding a fire drill is not just for kids, adults need it as well, identifying the most efficient and safest pathways to take. After all, fire restoration companies can repair a building, however they cannot give back a life. Thus, managers and business owners in the Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge and Lorton areas should do three things to prepare workers for these occasions, giving them needed information.

1) Create a Plan

Employers should start thinking about possible trouble. Are you prepared for a fire? Do you know how to handle violence? What would you do in the case of flooding? These situations pose physical threats and should be taken seriously. After all, you cannot predict these occasions. They just happen. Sit down with a team, thinking about your facility and how you could leave it quickly and securely. Then organize your concepts in a portfolio, available for annual review. Make sure you include the following:

  • Safety protocols
  • Evacuation maps
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Medical notes
  • Relocation spots

2) Share Information

With a blueprint in hand, hold a meeting with your team. Review your expectations. How should people report an incident? Who has chain of command? Where are accessible exits? You do need multiple paths in case one becomes cut off. In addition, assign one or two people with medical responsibilities, capable of assisting those who may get hurt or need extra attention. Disseminate the fire drill information at least once a year, asking for feedback and questions.

3) Practice Procedures

During a major event, people sometimes panic. Have a run-through once a year, if not more. This could give people the security they need to avoid craziness. Initiate the event by sending out your warning. You will need to know if everyone receives the alert. Then, time how long it takes for everyone to leave. When all is done, reassess and make amendments as needed.
Brainstorm ways to best save lives; then, hold a fire drill. Be patient, and work through any complications. Just remember that safety is key.

What is the SERVPRO vision?

3/21/2020 (Permalink)

A first impression is important throughout your everyday life.  It is a more pleasant experience having a positive first impression as opposed to the challenge established by a negative first impression. For instance, a clean business “setting” is vital if your objective is developing a successful, long lasting relationship with your customers. 

SERVPRO can help you. In fact, we want to service your restoration needs and become your solution provider. Our vision is to be the premier cleaning and restoration company in the world while developing a team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect.  

We are a trusted leader in the restoration industry providing 24/7/365 residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we are dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We have an extensive background in training, equipment, as well as expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. 

Not only can SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton. clean up the aftermath of the larger disasters, but we can manage and clean the small valuable items impacted by the disaster.  This includes carpets, upholstery, drapes, and blinds. We can bring your older tile back to life and make your floors sparkle again. Furthermore, we can counteract lingering odors and perform deodorization of your property.

SERVPRO is always here to help for your restoration and cleaning needs. We can help maintain your place of residency or business and keep it shining while you continue to make countless first impressions.

What should be expected when you contact us?

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

What should be expected when you contact us?

First and foremost, expect our 24-hour availability! Whether you are calling day or night, weekday or weekends, and even during the holidays, you can always expect to speak with a real person about the emergency you are experiencing. SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is the top choice for many insurance agencies in the Prince William County and surrounding areas. 

Here is what you can expect during the first several hours after contacting SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton: 

Quick Response - When a building has been damaged, the response time is an important factor in how time-consuming and how costly restoration will be. SERVPRO is always open, so you can expect to hear back within an hour (most of the time just a few minutes) after you have contacted our amazing office staff about the emergency. Once you have provided the team member with the necessary information, we will begin preparing to address the needs of your building, home or client.

Arrive Time - Our technicians can be on-site to begin the restoration process within four hours. This fast response can make the difference if your home or commercial business has suffered a great deal of damage. Beginning the process more quickly will result in less damage overall which can end up costing the insurance agency less money.

Inspection/Verbal Briefing - Once the damage restoration specialists have arrived, they can inspect the home to determine the extent of the damage and decide on the best course of action moving forward. Our team has the ability to let you know if the emergency is claim worthy or not as well. They will provide a verbal briefing so that you are aware of what will happen next. Our team's quick 24-hour response will allow us to begin mitigation as soon as possible to prevent any further damage before we begin work on necessary repairs.

Who should I call?

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Since its founding in 1967 SERVPRO has expanded to over 1,700 locations across the United States and Canada. From 1967 to now SERVPRO has also greatly expanded the array of services we offer. Those services range from carpet cleaning and deodorization, duct cleaning, fire restoration, mold remediation, small water damages to large scale disaster recovery. With SERVPRO’s 1,700+ locations our collective knowledge and experience are one of the greatest assets SERVPRO has and we are not afraid to use it. SERVPRO locations provide all kinds of support to each other ranging from equipment to people-power and technical advice. Sometimes we might run into an issue that we have not encountered before or possibly elements to a job that prevents our normal methods for jobs. This is when we have been able to rely on the knowledge base which our corporate office and other SERVPRO’s have accumulated. It does not matter what emergency you are facing. From Water Mitigation, Fire Restoration, or Mold Remediation. SERVPRO has the team and backing to handle it all. We are known for taking care of big problems and disasters, but we also are adept at helping people with issues you normally may not know the solution too. If you have an emergency which makes you think “I don’t even know who does this,” try giving us a call.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

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 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 business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, 703-583-8484

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

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

Satisfied SERVPRO Customers!

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

Our Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is here to help YOU 24/7, 365 days a year!  We strive every day to ensure that our quality of service is up to the highest standards and we are always pleased to get positive feedback from our happy customers!

Here are some recent quotes from real customers who were satisfied with our services:

“I’ve worked in various service organizations and you were awesome!  All the gentlemen were fantastic and very informative through the process” – C. Wilcox

“Great job, on time and very friendly guys!” – L. Grant

“It was a very easy experience during a difficult time.” M. Martin

“The team was great, all members, please make supervisors aware.” H. Ubaissi

If you experience water damage, fire damage, or mold in your home or office call SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton. We are always here to help by caring not only for your home or office but for YOU as an individual. We are a family owned business and know that each loss is not simply a project but is someone allowing us to come into their lives during a very stressful event. Our most important goal is to help make it as stress free as possible for you.

If you experience water damage, fire damage, or mold in your home or office call the Team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton at 703-583-8484.  We’re always here to help.

Bio-hazard Clean-up

11/30/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are always available to help if hazmat or bio-hazard removal/clean-up is needed.

What is bio-hazard cleanup?

Bio-hazard clean-up can range from cleaning blood, urine, vomit, human fluids, and animal feces.

Here at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge, we have the proper equipment, personal protective equipment and training to make sure there is no harm to others or the environment caused by these types of incidents. General maid services don't have the expertise to do so. This is why you can rely on SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge to get the job done quickly, safely, and to sanitation standards.

Many homes and buildings that have been left unattended and/or improperly cared for will generally require this type of service.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge will remove all hazardous items and properly dispose of them. If your home or business is in need of bio-hazard removal, please do not hesitate to call today at 703-583-8484. We have 24/7 emergency response and are ready when you are!

Why call SERVPRO?

11/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks in front of Office Our Team is always ready to assist 24/7/365!

With over 1,700 locations across the U.S. and Canada, there’s a reason why SERVPRO is one of the top disaster recovery and restoration companies in North America. By providing 24 hour a day, 365 day a year service, a guaranteed response to service calls within one hour, and a verbal restoration evaluation within eight hours of damage assessment, SERVPRO has remained a preferred vendor for insurance agents and adjusters since it was founded in 1967. The unique business model of each SERVPRO franchise, including the one near you in Northwest Las Vegas, NV, is what makes them leaders in the industry.

  1. Every SERVPRO franchise is locally owned. SERVPRO isn’t a giant, faceless corporation run solely by a boardroom full of CEOs and executives. It’s based on a franchise concept that allows everyday people to work hard and follow their dream of owning their own business and serving members of their community.
  2. SERVPRO is a proven business concept. For over 50 years, SERVPRO has been helping franchisees achieve the American Dream of business ownership. It’s now the #1 ranked franchise restoration services company in the U.S., cementing an already stellar reputation that can only be earned through decades of helping investors achieve success and financial freedom.
  3. SERVPRO guides its franchisees every step of the way. Becoming a certified SERVPRO franchise owner is easy thanks to a tried and true business model, which includes substantial training and expansion options. Franchise owners also benefit from the extensive branding that SERVPRO has already achieved thanks to its many years as a leader in the restoration industry.

While insurance industry professionals have many disaster restoration vendors to choose from, only the SERVPRO franchise has earned a national reputation as the top company in its field. That’s why SERVPRO remains a leader in the industry over 50 years after its inception.

Winter Storm season and your business!

11/28/2019 (Permalink)

Winter is quickly approaching here in the Dale City/Lake Ridge and Woodbridge/Lorton areas. A winter storm can interrupt and even stop business operations completely. Preparing for winter storms is crucial to your business and your employees’ safety. 

 50% of businesses that suffer a loss may never recover. Could you imagine suffering a loss and then not being able to resume business? Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to disasters. Unlike large companies, small businesses have less capital and fewer personnel available to resume operations and recover losses. It is vital to the continuity of a small business to have a disaster plan in place and be prepared, as it can make the difference between staying open or shutting down.

The most important asset to any business is its people. Businesses cannot recover from a disaster without their people, and people cannot recover without a job to return to. In order for employees to be able to focus on their work after a disaster, they need to be personally prepared for emergencies.

Encourage your employees to:

  1. Sign up for local text alerts and warnings and download weather apps to their smartphone.
  2. Gather important documents and keep them in a safe place.
  3. Create an emergency supply kit.
  4. Develop a family emergency communication plan.
  5. Know the facts on how to prepare for a winter storm.

Working with SERVPRO® of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO® of Woodbridge/Lorton we can provide you a FREE Emergency Ready Profile for your business. Our ERP provides a plan that is accessible from anywhere you are and can be the difference between your business reopening or remaining closed.

Call Janét at our office today to schedule your FREE Emergency Ready Profile- 703.583.8484!

Fire Escape Plans are a MUST!

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs, your ability to get out is significantly greater with advanced warning from smoke alarms and with a fire escape plan in place. Seven people die every day from a home fire and the thought of that is scary in itself.

Fire is extremely unpredictable and can spread so fiercely that you are often left with a mere 2 minutes to exit safely. Having an escape plan and practicing with your family could be a lifesaver! Design an escape plan for each room in the home and discuss regularly. Have fire drills at home to make sure that everyone is aware and remembers how to respond and where they should be going.

Children in the home should have visual aids and have at least two exit plans. There should be a meeting point for the entire family in a safe place away from the home.

Placing a working flashlight in each room is a great way for anyone who would be trapped to signal to firefighter in an emergency. This will allow the firefighters to locate them in a timely manner even through the smoke.

SERVPRO® of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO® of Woodbridge/Lorton offer free emergency ready plans in case of a disaster, 703.583.8484.

What is the leading cause of home fires?

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Flame with Our Team will clean, restore and deodorize your property after fire damage with SERVPRO logo In 2017 51.6% of residential building fires were caused by Cooking

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires? As we get near the start of the holidays, fire precautions should start as well.

A property owner experiences a flood of emotions when a fire ravages their business or home. Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt about the future of the property can be overwhelming to the property owner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared.

After the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let your local SERVPRO® of Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional help you restore the property. Combining rapid response, the utmost professionalism and open communication, we strive to restore not only the home or business, but to restore the customer’s peace of mind, as well.

  • The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following eye-opening statistics on fires:
  • 475,500 structure fires were reported in the United States in 2016.
  • These fires caused $7.9 billion in property damages.
  • One structure fire was reported every 66 seconds.

If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes, give the experts at your local SERVPRO® of Dale City/Lake Ridge a call at 703-583-8484. We’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Safety First Before the Feast

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Pie broken down into graph showing how home cooking fires start Home fires can happen at any time, but they generally increase during the fall and winter.

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.
  • 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.

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

Fires are Preventable!

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Background of flames with SERVPRO Logo - Fires are Preventable Be sure to visit Ready.gov for more helpful information on how to prevent fires in your home!

When it comes to your or your insured’s properties, there are certain safety precautions that can be taken to help prevent fires. Ready.gov shares the following tips on home fire prevention.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.

If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.

Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Fireplaces and Wood-stoves

Inspect and clean wood-stove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.

Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.

Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

FLOODING CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Road with branches, leaves & debris all over it, says Storm Damage? Storm Flooding can be very scary, please always be prepared

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

• Flash Flooding

• River Flooding

• Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems

• Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)

• Ice/Debris Jams

• Snowmelt

• Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)

• Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP). When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible. Your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened

Why September is the Peak Month for Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Graph Chart showing hurricanes & tropical storms with date and number of storms per hundred years September 10th is historical the most active day for hurricanes!

The Atlantic Hurricane and Tropical Storm season runs from June 1 through November 30.  Nearly all tropical storm activity in the Atlantic basin occurs during those dates with it peaking between August and October.  Statistically, September 10 is the most likely day to find a tropical cyclone somewhere in the Atlantic.

You may ask why.  It’s because of both the wind and water.

WIND SHEAR

Wind shear may prevent storms from organizing into a tropical cyclone.  Wind shear is the variation of the wind's speed or direction over a short distance within the atmosphere. Stronger wind shear in the spring fades through June and July, and by late August, wind shear reaches a minimum. 

ENVIRONMENT

The changes in climate create wetter and bigger storms.

Also to note is the temperature of the ocean.  As summer passes, the water temperature in the deep tropics rises which is the result of sunny days, warmer air temperatures, and more moisture in the atmosphere. Warmer ocean temperatures drive greater storm activity.

With the lack of wind shear in the atmosphere combined with the warmth of tropical waters, it may cause the waves off of Africa to strengthen into a hurricane.

The number of tropical storm and hurricane days for the Atlantic Basin spikes in mid-September.

Difference of Various Regions

The patterns vary in different areas of Earth.  For example, in the Northwest Pacific basin tropical cyclones occur regularly, throughout the year. Therefore, there is no "typhoon season" there, though there is a lull in February and March and a peak in August and September. In the North Indian basin, typhoons peak in both May and November.

In late October and November, the number of hurricanes and tropical storms drops steeply in late October and November. As fall temperatures arrive, wind shear increases in the Atlantic basin. The air and the water both cool down, resulting in fewer areas where the storms can form.

SIGNS OF DAMAGE CAUSED BY HIDDEN WATER LEAKS

9/1/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling and wall with paint pealing and cracks Hidden water damage can cause major problems in your home

If undetected and left untreated, a hidden water leak in your property can become very costly, especially if it leads to extensive damage to your walls and flooring.   There are subtle signs you can look for in your home to determine if you need a plumber to fix those leaking fixtures and pipes before things get worse. When you have a substantial leak you need a certified remediation company, such as SERVPRO, to help you clean up the damage.

BLISTERING PAINT

One sign of a hidden leak, ensuring the need for professional water removal, is a wall which has blistering wallpaper or paint. Typically, mere steam from hot showers in your home should not cause this to happen. When water and moisture get between the paint and the wall, they stop the bond and begin to separate the two, making the paint peel away from the wall and fall off in small pieces. It is the same sign with wallpaper.

WARPED OR STAINED WALL

A wall which is warped or stained for no apparent reason is a clear sign of a plumbing leak. Drywall becomes soft and starts to bubble when it is exposed to moisture, eventually warping and breaking up into pieces. If the leak reaches your ceiling, it will sag and could leak some of the accumulated water, causing more damage to your home.

BUCKLED, CRACKED OR SQUISHY FLOORING

At times, your flooring may be damaged as well if the leak was severe enough, causing cracking, staining or buckling. Moisture can make your floor feel soft or squishy depending upon the material content. In these cases, you often find a damp subfloor as well. If the problem is found quickly, our SERVPRO technicians can dry and salvage it without causing a costly replacement.  However, if the water has caused damage to the subfloor as well, it may require new subfloor.

At SERVPRO, our technicians have specialized tools such as moisture meters to locate any hidden moisture and leaks in your property and to remove any accumulation of water from those leaks.  Once we determine what is causing the leak, then we’re able to address and fix the problem, and eliminate the water with the use of industrial pumps, fans, and dehumidifiers. Quickly drying your home is important to avoid the growth of mold. Once your home is dry again, then repairs can be made, including replacing any damaged drywall and flooring.

If you believe you may have a hidden leak, please give us a call.  We’re always here to help.

Is Your Business Prepared For Whatever Happens

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Ready App download for Apple or Goggle with picture of phone showing app You can download the ERP app through the Apple Stote or Google play to multiple electronic devices including phones & tablets.

At SERVPRO we care about our commercial clients and encourage all of them to be prepared for whatever happens.  If you were to open the doors to your business and discover water everywhere, would you know exactly what to do and who to call?  During an emergency is not the time make these decisions…we can help you be prepared with a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP).

Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation.  Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and your most crucial areas.  It’s also accessible online using your smartphone, tablet or computer.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile Advantages

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise profile document that contains the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing remediation work to begin
  • Provides important facility details such as shut-off valve locations, critical areas and priority contact information

If you would like further information or to schedule with us to have a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile completed on your facility, please give Janét a call at our office.  We’re always here to help.

PREPAREDNESS FOR PETS

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Brown dog with tongue hanging out sitting on grass Have you accounted for Fido or feline when emergency planning?

Pets are just as important as any family member to most people, so why would you not make them a part of your preparedness planning? There are several things you can do to make sure they stay safe as well during an emergency.

Pet Emergency Kit

Ready.gov/animals lists the below items as essential to building your Pet Emergency Kit.

Food - At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.

Water - At least three days of water specifically for your pets.

Medicines and medical records

Important documents Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.

First aid kit Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.

Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash

Crate or pet carrier Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.

Sanitation Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.

A picture of you and your pet together If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.

Familiar items Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.

Evacuations

While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans, be sure to include pets. If an evacuation happens, don’t leave pets behind as they can be lost or injured.

Identification

Microchipping pets is a great way to locate them. Most veterinary clinics and shelters have scanners that will read the microchip information to help find a pet’s owners.

Be sure to take four-legged friends into consideration when planning for emergencies. Visit ready.gov/ animals for further tips and safety precautions to think about for you or your insured’s families’ pets, or your tenant’s pets’ during a disaster.

Preparing for the storm

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Supplies Recommended for Storm Preparation

Because of the possible lack of clean water and power outages following a storm, you may need supplies to keep your family safe and happy following a disaster.  Storms may also cause limited access to your vehicles, roadways and stores.

Be prepared and stock up on everything you might need NOW before the storm arrives. Be certain to:

  • Prepare an emergency water supply
  • Prepare an emergency food and medicine supply
  • Gather safety items
  • Gather personal items

Prepare an emergency water supply

  • Have at least 5 gallons of water per person (which should be enough to last 3 to 5 days)
  • Gather clean containers for water.
  • Get supplies to make your drinking water safe (like iodine tablets or chlorine bleach).
  • Learn how to safely store your water supply.
  • Learn how to make your drinking water safe for use.

Prepare an emergency food and medicine supply

  • Gather a 3 to 5 day supply of food that won’t spoil such as canned foods.
  • If needed, stock up on baby food or formula.
  • Gather any prescription medicines.

Gather safety items, including:

  • First aid kit and instructions
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Battery-powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries
  • Sleeping bags, pillows and extra blankets

Gather personal care products, including:

  • Hand sanitizer and soap
  • Wet cleaning cloths (like baby wipes) in case you don’t have clean water
  • Toothpaste
  • Tampons and pads
  • Diapers

Tip: Store all of these items together in a place that’s easy to locate.

How to classify a fire

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Here to help through your fire damage.

Fire Damage Classifications


Removal of property from a home or business depends on the type of damage sustained to the structure and personal items. Our team is trained to determine whether the cause was the heat and flames, smoke residues, or as a result of the effects to extinguish the fire. Each type of damage will also fall into three levels or categories of damage: Minor, Medium, and Major. 

With Minor Damage

  • There is little need for removal.
  • The fire was restricted to a single room, quickly extinguished and small.
  • Only small items like dish towels and perhaps the pot or pan where the fire started must be disposed of and replaced.
  • Most of the restoration involves light cleaning of residue covered ceilings, walls, floors, counters and cabinets. 

With Medium Damage

  • More property is removed.
  • The fire was larger, spread into other parts of the home, and took longer to extinguish.
  • Larger items such as furniture and drywall panels are physically damaged and require disposal.
  • The cleaning method requires stronger chemicals and tools like scrub brushes.
  • Odors are very noticeable and require further cleaning to eliminate them. 


With Major Damage

  • Items near the origin of the fire are severely burnt and need immediate removal and disposal.
  • Structural components such as framing also suffer physical damage.
  • Smoke residues are so thick that some items may need to be cleaned using ultrasonic equipment or may not be able to be completely cleaned and require replacement.
  • Odors may be so strong that eliminating them can be more expensive than the option of replacement. 

    Removal of contents does not necessarily mean they must be disposed. We can move salvageable items or those that simply need cleaning to either an on-site storage container on their property or to storage at our facility while repairs are being completed.

We’re always here to help.  Our goal is to address your restoration needs as professionally and quickly as possible.  The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get your property and life back to “Like it never even happened".

Storm Damage?

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can develop quickly and cause major damage.

Flood Safety in NOVA

Flooding doesn’t always happen in Northern Virginia but did you know that 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk areas?  In fact, flooding is one of the most commonly widespread weather-related disasters.  According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in our country every year than any other weather-related disaster.

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips:

Avoid floodwaters

A mere six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.  If you approach a flowing stream of water that is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. 

Driving in flooded areas

If you encounter a flooded road, turn around and go another way.  Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.  If you are stranded on a flooded roadway and the water is rising rapidly, get out of the car immediately and seek higher ground.

Keep children out of the water

Children are naturally curious but often lack judgment about the dangers of running water caused by flooding or the contaminants it may contain. 

Our goal at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is to help you be prepared and ready.  We know that even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly.  Although the cleanup is often an overwhelming task, our team is prepared to handle any size disaster.  We’re always here to help.

What to do after the storm

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tips

Storms may cause a tremendous amount of loss to your home or business. These damages can range from collapsed roofs to standing water throughout the structure including precious valuables and important documents. Through extensive training and 15 years of experience in the restoration industry, our team understands the substantial amount of stress brought on by these disasters. Our goal is to always ensure the safety of our customers and provide immediate restoration services to our community.

Following storm damage, these are the tips we have to offer:

  • Assure your home or business is safe to inhabit. In addition to damages like collapsed roofs and standing water, it's vital to keep an eye out for sharp broken objects around the structure as well.
  • If your property is safe to stay in, photograph all damages. This will ensure your insurance will fully compensate you for all damages to your valuables and structure of your property.
  • Contact your insurance agent or carrier so that you may be assigned an adjuster to assess and scope the structure and its contents to determine the amount of damage to the property.

Contact SERVPRO immediately to begin the mitigation and restoration process. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.. Our trained and insurance approved teams will take the proper steps and care to properly dry your structure and its contents, restoring it back to preloss condition.

We’re always here to help.

Water Damage, What to do next

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

After The Water is Gone

The recent flooding in Northern Virginia stunned many of our citizens and has most people in the area fearful of it happening again.  We’re always here to help.  Our team at SERVPRO is here to serve our communities that we are proud to be a part of. We’re prepared and on call 24/7/365 and ready to assist in any of your water damage needs, no matter the size, large or small. Our highly trained technicians are available around the clock to quickly and properly restore your home or business. By using innovative inspection methods and extraction equipment, we’re able to detect all of the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our technicians will observe and document the drying process to ensure your property is back "Like it never even happened.”

WHAT TO DO AFTER FLOODING:

  • Clear all items off of furniture and wipe off excess water.
  • Remove excess water on the floor using mops or towels.
  • Prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs that are on top of wet carpeting to prevent staining.
  • Create air flow by opening doors and window to help prevent microbial growth.
  • Remove rugs from wet carpeting.

WHAT NOT TO DO AFTER A FLOOD:

  • If ceiling is wet, don't turn on ceiling fixtures
  • Keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
  • Don't use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other items printed in ink on wet carpet or floors.

Even though you may have mopped, wiped and removed all of the visible water, there may still be moisture lurking in hidden places.  That’s where we can offer our help.  Our teams are available 24/7/365.

Sewer Damages

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Sewer....It is a dirty job, let a professional from SERVPRO help you!

Sewage Leaks in Crawlspaces

When a sewage line leaks or bursts in a crawlspace, it can be very hard to detect until considerable damage has occurred. It’s an emergency situation that must be repaired and cleaned up as soon as it is discovered. In addition to the unpleasant odor, bacteria and mold can grow rapidly and cause serious health issues for all of the home's inhabitants.

Noticeable signs of a possible leak:

  • A foul odor in the home with no obvious source.
  • Signs of microbial growth near and around the flooring and crawlspace.
  • Flooring and Floorboards beginning to bend, deform, or bloat. 
  • Clogged toilets or sinks.

This is perhaps one of the most difficult cleaning services that we offer at SERVPRO.  In order to protect our team from the harmful contaminants, we wear fully sealed containment suits (PPE) and manually clear out all liquid and waste material from the crawlspace.  Once cleared, we are able to begin the cleaning, drying, and remediation process.

After you’ve had the line repaired, trust the professionals at SERVPRO to complete the remediation process.  We’re always here to help.

Drying Water Damaged Structures

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

We make your problem a top priority!

Often times, plumbing failures happen in NOVA and a small crack inside a water pipe can spill hundreds of gallons of water into your home or business in a short period. Once moisture begins to leak into the interior of the property, many of the contents and building materials can become the victim of water damage. In more extreme situations, saturated building materials must be removed and replaced. Whenever our technicians mitigate water damage in any building, we work towards drying out and saving materials as opposed to removing and replacing them.  

The applied structural drying process, commonly referred to ASD, can save you and your insurance carrier money during the restoration phase of the loss. When mitigating water damage in NOVA, our team knows that it’s less disturbing to the occupants of the building to have us dry the structure rather than demolishing it. Although, if building materials lose their structural integrity once they get saturated, then the replacement of items becomes necessary.  

During many plumbing failure situations, several items such as carpeting and drywall become water damaged.  Our water restoration technicians at SERVPRO can usually dry these items using air movers to circulate the air in the building and dehumidifiers to remove the moisture from the air. However, some building materials such as exterior walls can be tricky to dry out.  

A layer of insulation is included in most exterior walls. It’s installed to trap heat inside of a structure but it may also work as a barrier to prevent air from getting pushed into exterior walls. In some situations, when insulation gets wet, the R-value drops and the material must get removed.  

However, when dealing with fiberglass insulation air can get pushed through the material, and exterior walls can be dried and saved. In other situations, our technicians drill holes on the bottom and top of the drywall so that air can circulate inside the wall cavities and dry out the exterior walls.  

Do you have a Disaster Plan?

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency kit items

With Hurricane season upon us and some major Hurricanes hitting so close to our area last year, we wanted to take a moment to make certain our friends are prepared for a natural disaster.  The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency or disaster. While each situation is unique, your family can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.

The following are measures you and your family can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your family, home, and the community.

Review the following questions to learn if your family and home is prepared. Be Informed.

Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your home or daily life?

Do you know what you and your family will do in an emergency situation?

Prepare Your Emergency Plan

Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan?

Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during, and after an incident?

Do you have an emergency supply kit?

Practice the Emergency Plan

Have you practiced your plan recently?

Does your family know where to go in the event of a natural disaster?

Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage

Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster? Secure Your Home

Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to determine what safety measures can be taken?

Improve Cyber Security

Have you installed a firewall on your computer?

Do you regularly update your antivirus software?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your family and home for an emergency or natural disaster.

One Final Word of Advice…

Create an Emergency Supply Kit.  Why take the risk?

Your emergency supply kit may be different depending on what disasters you are likely to encounter, but according to ready.gov, a basic emergency kit should contain:

  • Water (one gallon of water per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Battery-operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask
  • Hygiene items
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Cash
  • Important documents
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches

We hope this information has been helpful to you and your families.  Your safety is our number one priority!

Would your Business Survive a Disaster?

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Choose to be a business that could recover from a fire! Let our amazing marketing team help you build a facility's emergency evacuation plan!

It’s time to check your facility’s emergency and evacuation plans to make sure they are accurate and up to date!  Don't have an emergency and evacuation plan?  Let us help you make one!

A BUSINESS PLAN…For Fire Emergencies

An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses; however, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency.  OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.

  • Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
  • Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, (wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel) and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
  • Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count.  Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens.” In the event of any emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas.  This is a no cost community outreach program we offer.  Give us a call at 703-583-8484 if you’d like us to establish an ERP for your facility or if you would like further information.

As always, we’re here to help make it “Like it never even happened."

Thunderstorm Safety

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Always be prepared!

It is that time of year and our area has already seen some severe thunderstorms.

Did you know Severe Thunderstorms are officially defined as storms that are capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger or wind gusts over 58 mph?

These storms can produce possible damages such as:

  • Hail this size can damage property such as plants, roofs, siding and vehicles.
  • Wind this strong is able to break off large branches, knock over trees or cause structural damage to trees.
  • Strong wind and rain can bring rain into your home through siding or hydro-static pressure.

Some severe thunderstorms can produce hail larger than softballs or winds over 100 mph, so please pay attention to the weather so you know when severe storms are possible and you have a safety plan in place for you and your family in case of an emergency.

Thunderstorms also produce tornadoes and dangerous lightning; heavy rain can cause flash flooding.

For more weather related information you can visit the National Weather Service to get more information on thunderstorm safety, tornado safety, lightning safety and flood safety

As always, should your home or business suffer damage from any of these weather events our Professional Team is always here to help.  Call us 24/7/365 at 703-583-8484

What to do when you have water/storm damage

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Our team is always ready when you need us.

What should I be done to help minimize storm damage?

Do:

  • Ensure local authorities have given the “all clear” for your area before you try to get back to your home or business.
  • Call your insurance company to advise of the loss.
  • Call SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge at (703)583-8484.
  • Start taking photos of the damage to the exterior and interior
  • Ensure your electricity is turned off before entering a flooded structure.
  • If able start to remove as much excess water as possible with wet-dry vacuums, mops, and towels.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying.
  • Secure important paperwork in a dry area.

Don’t:

  • Remove anything without first taking picture
  • Use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible.
  • Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Use television or other household appliances while standing on wet floors or carpets.
  • Dispose of anything without first taking photos & writing down a description.

We at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge are here to ensure that your home and personal belongings are restored to their original condition after storm damage strikes. Call us at 703-583-8484, and then take advantage of our professional restoration services performed by our exceptional staff. Let us restore your home “Like it never even happened.”

Are you ready for a disaster?

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today.  The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency.  While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.  The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready.  A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country.  It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.  Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.

Be informed.

Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company?  Do you know what you will do in an emergency situation? 

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

Do you know which staff, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating?  Do you have back-up plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible?  Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster?  Are you ready for utility disruptions?

Prepare your Emergency Plan. 

Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during and after an incident?   Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routs marked?  Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?

Practice the Emergency Plan.

Have you practiced your plan recently?  Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex?  Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage. 

Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?

Secure Your Facility and Equipment. 

Have you secured all the ways people, products and supplies get into your building?  Have you conducted a room-by-room walk through to determine what can be strapped down?

Improve Cyber Security. 

Do you regularly install patches to your software?  Have you installed a firewall on your computer?  Do you regularly update your antivirus software?

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness.

Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan? 

If you answered “NO” to any of the questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business and call SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484 so that one of our Marketing Professionals can help you and your company develop an Emergency Ready Program.

Do Not Let Business Stop Because of an Emergency

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Finding commercial water damage in your business can be hard to swallow, and when it's significant damage to not only your building, or to your inventory, but to both, it can be particularly challenging to grapple with. Business operations can be difficult enough to manage under normal conditions without adding unforeseen problems. 
 
Business owners should know that we are experts in finding solutions to cleaning up and preventing commercial water damage in Dale City/Lake Ridge, as well as restoring buildings from top to bottom. Your inventory is important to you, and your business, so we also understand that special care must be taken to prevent any extra losses from occurring. Our experience and training can help prevent this from happening, and we will also work with you while we restore your business and your inventory. 
 
Water extraction, drying, cleaning, and restorative work are our strengths. We work as a team, so that our work is completed as quickly, but also as thoroughly, as possible. Communication with you during the entire process is highly important to us, and we will always keep you updated on any developments that affect your business. We're here to answer your questions, so please don't ever hesitate to ask us when you need more information. 
 
When completing work that commercial water damage requires, we often encounter problems that have remained hidden. Problems can include electrical hazards, a discovery of pest problems, mold or bacterial growths, and many other situations that we commonly find. These are often unknown to business owners when water damage has been a slowly but steadily developing problem in a building. Your safety and that of your employees and customers are important and restoring things to an acceptable condition are paramount. Defects in building materials, such as gaps in insulation (sometimes discovered when a wall is opened so that damaged paneling or drywall can be replaced) can be filled before installing the new wall, preventing heat loss. 

We strive to make things like new, and better than before the damage happened. This is why communication is so important to the entire process. Start the process by calling us, the professionals at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge. Our number is (703) 583-8484, and it's answered 24/7.

Building Safety Month

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Building Safety Month— in its 37th year—is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 57,000 member’s across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design, and the safety community. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public, on “what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient homes and buildings,” according to the ICC website. The theme for 2017 is Code Officials— Partners in Community Safety and Economic Growth and highlights managing disasters, specifically natural disasters, in week three of this year’s campaign. Some of the topics and tips shared throughout the month include Disaster Safety and Mitigation, as well as Fire Safety and Awareness. The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials “improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play,” and this month can certainly improve that awareness!

IMPORTANT TIPS FROM THE ICC Disaster Safety & Mitigation:

  • If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up.
  • Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/ NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
  • In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC’s International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® for detailed requirements.
  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.

Source: https://www.iccsafe.org/advocacy/building-safety-month/safety-toolkit/

Equipment Spotlight: Using Air Scrubbers to Restore the Indoor Air Quality of Homes and Businesses

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Always striving to make it "Like it never even happened."

One of the ways that we here at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge strive to offer the best service to our customers is through our equipment. John and his team work to maintain, continually update, and replace equipment that is worn out or aging. I would like to take a minute and tell you about one of the pieces of equipment that we feel gets overlooked for its greatness -- air scrubbers. Unlike a dehumidifier or an air mover— whose names are also their function— the air scrubber is more industry specific and we would love to share a little bit about what we use it for.

How Does It Work?

In many loss situations, whether it be water, fire, or mold damages, there are contaminants left behind in the air. While our technicians are working to remove and restore the damage on material pieces of a home or business, we cannot forget about restoring the air as well. This is when we place an air scrubber. This piece of equipment works by passing the air inside a room through three filters to remove contaminants and small particles.

What Is It Used For?

During a water damage, especially one with a lot of demolition needed, we will install an air scrubber. As we are removing the structure items pieces of the drywall, flooring and insulation can float into the air. In this situation, an air scrubber can be installed to keep these particles to a minimum and return the affected area to its preloss condition more quickly.

Air scrubbers are essential in situations where damage has been caused by sewage or a sewer line back up, to help remove left over contaminants from the air.  We use air scrubbers to make sure that as we are decontaminating the surfaces, the air isn’t retaining any particulates that could leave behind germs or odors.

While restoring an area that has been affected by mold, we will also place air scrubbers. Mold spores are always present in the air, because we open our doors and windows.  Air scrubbers are important because while working on a loss with visible mold growth, a higher mold spore count is also present in the air. As such, while we work to remove the visible mold from the structure materials and prevent additional growth, we also remove these spores from the air by having the air scrubbers running.

Overall, an air scrubber assists in the restoration process and provides a cleaner, healthier environment in an area affected by a disaster.

What is an IICRC Certification? Is it Important?

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Always learning more so we are able to make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge is happy to say that we are a Certified Firm with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, also known as the IICRC.  The IICRC is a non-profit organization that has been setting the bar for restoration industry standards for years.

What does the IICRC do?

  1. Proven Knowledge

In order to obtain a restoration and mitigation certificate, technicians must prove knowledge of standard practices and procedures. They cannot receive certification without first attending and completing approved coursework through an approved school and instructor.

  1. Required Training

The IICRC also requires training in the latest restoration technologies and techniques through a certified firm. The field of mitigation and restoration is a highly specialized field, and you should make sure that everyone involved in your project is a trained and specialized technician working under a certified firm. Ensuring that everyone is qualified means that you can rest assured that your residence is in good hands under the supervision of a team that has met some of the highest standards in the industry.

  1. Continuous Renewals

Becoming a certified disaster restoration specialist in the Dale City area is not a one and done kind of process. Both firms and agents must maintain their certifications through continuing education and practice. Every certificate has an expiration, and just because someone was once certified and capable does not mean that they still are. Standards of care change frequently as advances in technology and techniques evolve, and it is essential that you hire a firm that is capable of performing at the standards of today, not yesterday.

We are proud to say that we have members on our time that are Master Water Restorer’s and several Journeymen on their way to getting that Master designation.  Our team has participated in numerous IICRC classes to include Health & Safety, Water Damage Restoration, Applied Structural Drying, Odor Control, Fire & Smoke Restoration, Applied Microbial Remediation, Carpet Repair and Carpet Cleaning.

The IICRC & SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge take great pride in their certified technicians. These individuals have proven their knowledge and ability, and because of that, they have earned the respect of an industry standard setter. Therefore, the next time you are faced with a disaster and the impending work of a restoration, seek out only those professionals and companies that proudly proclaim their certification. 

You can check to see if a firm is certified by going to the IICRC

Any Time, Any Problem, SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge is Ready to Help with Restoration Services

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

We are Always Here to Help!

With any disaster, cleanup can be a hassle in the Northern Virginia area. The mess left by flash floods, structure fires, or a leak you did not know about that caused mold is a lot to handle by yourself.

At SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge, we provide emergency cleaning services for any of these problems. Let us help you get your life back to normal after an emergency, as quickly as possible. Sometimes the most damaging thing from a fire is the soot left behind and the water that comes with putting out the fire. Our cleaning professionals will remove any traces of water and odor left by smoke and soot after a fire. The same is true when it comes to removing mold, mildew, and sewage. With our trusted professionals, you can be sure the damage from any disaster will be minimized as much as possible.

Water Damage

  • Immense water damage, like a flood from a burst pipe, always happens when you least expect it. Our emergency restoration services are available 24/7 because these emergencies cannot wait. Immediate action must be taken in order to save your home or business. Our trusted team will respond quickly to clean up the mess and lower the possibility of mold growth.

Fire Damage

  • Fires are destructive, as well as the smoke and soot that comes with them. If these problems aren’t taken care of very quickly, the damage will be severe and permanent. Take action instantly after a fire and call our restoration team. We can fix all of the problems that come after a fire, and we do our best work to return your home or business to normal.

Mold Damage

  • Mold grows when water damage has not been dried properly. If you have had previous water damage and are now seeing fuzzy or wet spots of mold somewhere in your home, call us today. The quicker a mold problem is taken care of by our professional restoration team, the less overall damage you will have to deal with.

Cleaning services from SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge will take care of these messes so you don’t have to! We are available 24/7 to help with any emergency, at any time. Contact us today, and our professional cleaning services will take care of any emergencies you have. Whether its mold, water, or fire damage, our team at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge has the most reliable emergency restoration services. We are available any time, day or night, to help with any problem, and you can trust us to do our best work every time.

No matter what emergency you’re facing, contact SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge today at (703) 583-8484 and let our emergency restoration services team take care of it!

Why SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

We always strive to be the best for our customers!

CONGRATULATIONS to our whole team!!! For the FIFTH year in a row, our franchises have won the BE THE BRAND AWARD out of all the Northern Virginia and Shenandoah Valley franchises.

This does not mean that we are the biggest SERVPRO; it means that out of all the Franchises in our region, SERVPRO Corporate feels that we best represent the SERVPRO BRAND!!!

Our Owners feel this award is due to the loyalty, dedication, hard work, sweat, long hours and heart of every employee on this team, many of whom have been with us from the very beginning. We are humbled and thankful for all of you! Thank you so much! We love you!

We asked our team, “How do we keep winning this?”  Their responses included:

  • We are always in uniform, with clean appearances and our customers know that we are an employee of SERVPRO
  • We take the time to listen to our customers’ needs and work with them and their insurance companies to ensure everything is done to OUR standard
  • We take pride in everything we do, from large commercial jobs to carpet cleanings, we want every customer to be happy
  • We are provided with everything we need in order to get the job done effectively and efficiently
  • We are well trained and confident in our abilities to handle each and every job that we go to for the services we offer

You can see what our past customers have to say about the crews that come to their home by visiting our testimonials on our website.

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)

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)

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)

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.

I have a water damage, what do I do while I wait for help?

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge arrives.

  • Shut off the source of the water.

  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting

  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items

  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying

  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting

  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.

  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors

  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors

Tips for Kitchen Fires

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know...

A majority of fires that take place in homes begin in the kitchen.

The holiday season is approaching, which means that many of us will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen. This also means that, with every pumpkin pie and each batch of Christmas cookies you make, there is a greater risk of a fire emergency. 

Aside from calling 9-1-1, which should be one of your first moves, here are some quick tips for dealing with a fire emergency in your kitchen.

  1. Always watch your cooking; don't leave anything unattended
  2. Set a timer so that you don't accidentally burn something or forget that an appliance is being used
  3. If something on the stove catches on fire and it is small, cover it with a lid and turn off the burner
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen near your cooking area where it is easily accessible
  5. Add baking soda to a grease fire, not water
  6. Clean your appliances regularly so that grease does not accumulate and start a fire
  7. Clean and dust around and behind appliances, as dust accumulation can cause fires if it is close to electrical wiring
  8. Keep flammable objects away from cooking appliances, especially those things like tea towels and potholders 
  9. Install a smoke alarm in your kitchen
  10. Test your smoke alarms and make sure they will work when you most need them!

Keep these quick tips in mind, and prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this season!

Proper Ventilation helps prevent Mold

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can spring up very quickly in humid environments and many homes have areas that are prone to mold growth for this reason. Bathrooms, kitchens, attics, and basements all have the highest chance of developing mold because humid air often circulates in these rooms.  Proper ventilation can help to significantly reduce the chance of mold growth in these areas of your home. It is important to take steps to ensure that each room is well-ventilated and that the air is circulating well.

Some of the most important areas to vent are the bathrooms and the attic. Bathrooms are usually quite small with a lot of warm, moist air circulating within them regularly.  This makes them very susceptible to rapid mold growth.  Investing in vents and fans that push the humid air outside of the home will help to keep mold growth to a minimum.  Attics often have poor ventilation and many homeowners are tempted to quickly ventilate bathrooms by placing vents in the bathrooms that push the humid air into the attic.  This will result in mold growth in the attic, which could then spread into the ducts as well as tight, difficult-to-reach spaces.

Avoid these potentially costly problems by investing in quality fans and vents that will draw humid air out of the rooms, sending it outside of the home, rather than into the attic.

If you see mold, call SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484.

Prevent Electrical Fires

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Electrical fires are the cause of many house fires, and can be some of the most difficult to put out due to the difficulty of identifying the source. Proper care of electrical outlets and appliances will help to prevent electrical fires.  It is very important to follow manufacturer guidelines when using electrical appliance and systems, such as the wattage guidelines given when changing lightbulbs.  Be sure that you do not plug in too many electrical units into one outlet, as this could burn out the outlet and cause a fire.  Be sure that you have your wiring checked regularly by an electrician. Faulty wiring is a leading cause of electrical fires and is a common problem in many homes.  If you hear a sparking sound near a particular electrical outlet or appliance, or see smoke or smell burning after plugging a unit in, immediately unplug the object and call an electrician to check your wiring.

Finally, if an electrical fire does occur, do NOT attempt to put the blaze out with water.  This will only make the fire worse and could shock or electrocute you.  If safe to do so, attempt to unplug the source.  Put the fire out using baking soda or a blanket to smother the flames.  If the fire is larger, a class C fire extinguisher can be used.  If the fire continues to grow, leave immediately! Do not be tempted to put out a growing fire by yourself.  Allow the firefighters to do so.

If your home has been damaged by fire, please call SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484.  

Mold and Your Business

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

In the business world, time is money, as the saying goes, and you should spend your time growing your business in Dale City/Lake Ridge, not repairing water damage or removing mold from your property. Protect your business with mold prevention.


What Causes Mold?


The short answer is simply water. Did you know mold exists nearly everywhere water exists? Mold is a natural occurrence, and any type of moisture can lead to mold growth in a short period of time. Water damage is worrisome because it can unbalance natural mold levels. Your commercial building could experience water damage from various sources:

• Natural disasters
• Heavy rainfall
• Broken pipes
• Leaky plumbing

Untreated leaks, humidity, and moisture may lead to mold, which will continue to spread until the source of the moisture is repaired. 

If you have concerns of mold please call us at 703-583-8484 to schedule an inspection.

Smoke Alarms: LIFE SAVERS

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Test your smoke alarms monthly!

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on emergency preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals.

Why the Emergency READY Profile®?

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Be Ready with an ERP!

National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customers, business and family.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are “Ready for whatever happens.”

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.

The ERP establishes your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 50 years’ experience and a System more than 1,700 Dale City/Lake Ridges strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.

The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional to establish your Emergency READY Profile®.

Contact our office at 703-583-8484 to arrange for one of our trained staff to come talk to you about setting up and ERP!

TRACKING HURRICANE FLORENCE

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Please be sure you are starting to make preparations to keep your family, home and vehicles safe! 

Tips:

If you have a sump pump, make sure you have a battery back up for it, or even a spare at the ready. Also, if you have a sump pump make sure you have coverage for it failing and what the limit of coverage is if you have a limit so that you know how to properly prepare.

Check your gutters and clean if needed!  With this much rain and already saturated ground you don't want water coming in through the foundation as that is NOT a covered claim.

If you have an in ground stairwell, make sure your drains are cleared.

Clear all window wells of debris.  And check the drains and window wells throughout the storm that they do not get clogged with debris.

Secure or bring everything inside that could become flying debris.

Trim any limbs that are overhanging.

In case you lose electricity be sure to have non-perishables on hand to last your family 3 days.  Fill your tubs with water for those on wells so that you can flush the commode.  Check your propane tanks on your grill to give you an option to make meals prior to the arrival of the storm.  Finally should you lose power and use a generator use it safely!!

IT’S THE WATER YOU DON’T SEE

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals have the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. Your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals.

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? Your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals have the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Hurricane Hazards

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane season has already begun and several named storms have developed in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. On average, there are 12 tropical storms that develop, with an average of six becoming hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service.

Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property damage. The National Weather Service lists the following as potential “hurricane hazards.”

  • Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers and estuaries.
  • Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from land falling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often because flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
  • Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
  • Tornadoes can accompany land falling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
  • Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone’s strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than a 1,000 miles offshore.

Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property and take steps to protect your home or business.

WHEN THEY CALL YOU, CALL US.

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage and Your Policyholder or Property Owner

When they have water damage, your policyholder or property owner looks to you to handle the situation. You collect information and provide reassurance everything will be returned to normal.

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals understand your priority is helping restore the property and the insured’s or owner’s peace of mind, while minimizing the loss on a claim. The first 24 hours following a water incident are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled properly by completing the following steps.

INSPECTION

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals will inspect affected areas of the property to determine the extent of damage. They will also review the inspection with you, your insured, or property manager and answer any questions before beginning work.

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Next, SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals will take immediate steps to protect the home or property and personal belongings from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing for drying. They will explain in detail the needed emergency services step-by-step.

MONITORING

To help ensure your insured’s or owners home and personal belongings, or property are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional will monitor the drying process. The results will be consistently communicated to you throughout the monitoring process.

RESTORATION SERVICES

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals will replace structural materials such as drywall and baseboards, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of the property and belongings. A final walk-through of the jobsite will be conducted with you, your insured, or owner to help ensure their property was returned to preloss condition when possible.

Your SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are Always Here to Help at 703-583-8484.

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes, buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from the coast to several hundred miles inland. To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at ready.gov/prepare.

  • Stayed informed
  • Plan for evacuation
  • Take action to protect your property from against wind and water damage

For more information check out www.fema.gov

Storm Safety Kit...Is yours ready?

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Make sure your to-go kit is ready!

This summer has already brought numerous amounts of severe weather and there'll likely be more to come as we are in the midst of Thunderstorm and Hurricane Season.  So it's time to get packing, or updating, your to-go kit.

Below is a basic kit that last three days, but you should tailor yours to your family's needs, especially if you have small children.

  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
  • Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
  • A battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Filter mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Important family documents in a waterproof container
  • Items for unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formula or diapers

We want everyone to stay safe during this Hurricane Season!!

Before you read can you tell us the 5 most common Fire Hazards?

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Below are the most common Fire Hazards in your home.

  • Alcohol and Fire

It's a fact that many house fires are caused by someone attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol. 

  • Candles

Candle fires happen in places like bedrooms and bathrooms where people use them as mood enhancers. Unfortunately, people can fall asleep with a candle still burning or leave the room without snuffing out the flame. Candles should NEVER be left burning unattended!

  • Cooking

Many items in the kitchen can catch fire easily including pot holders, dish towels, and product packaging. Keep curtains away from the stove and clean up all spills on the stove top or near by counters.

  • Electrical 

Unsafe use of electricity can be a  ticking time bomb! An electrical fire can happen at any time. Follow-up when a fuse or circuit breaker blows. Don't just reset the breaker or replace the fuse. Find out what caused the problem.

  • Cigarettes

Too many fires are caused from careless disposal of smoking materials

WHEN WATER DAMAGE STRIKES

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

What to do when water invades your home? Call SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals at 703-583-8484!

The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

INSPECTION

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.

EMERGENCY SERVICES

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.

MONITORING

To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.

RESTORATION SERVICES

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walkthrough of the jobsite will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.

EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
  • Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

For more information on recovering from water damage, contact your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional at 703-583-8484 today.

Is there MOLD hidden in your home?

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can occur anywhere in a home but mainly is concentrated to areas where moisture is present. These moisture areas are common to the bathroom and basements. Mold can cause respiratory problems and should be removed, if found, as soon as possible. Most restoration companies only do mold inspections if the mold is visible, an industrial hygienist would come in and search for traces of mold that are not visible.

One of the first places mold can collect and you may not think to check is under the refrigerator. Under the fridge tends to collect moisture and dirt which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Another place is the AC unit. AC units are known to collect debris, dust and moisture from the air, which can lead to mold spores.

Mold can even grow in or around a washing machine or its parts. Moisture and lint can cause a presence of mold spores.

Other area in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.

Severe Weather Safety

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Be Prepared for Thunderstorms, Flooding, Tornado's & Hurricanes

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms*:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,300 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.* Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

*Facts and figures provided by noaa.gov

Let us help with your cleaning needs!

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Let us help with your spring cleaning needs!

April showers bring May flowers, and also a good chance to get in some spring cleaning! Spring is a great time to sweep those winter blues away and freshen up your environment. Your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals can help.

In addition to air duct and HVAC cleaning, SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal. Other services to help with your spring cleaning include upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, and deodorization.

A clean environment is a healthy environment. Improve your living and work spaces this spring. If you need a little help, don’t worry! Your local SERVPRO® has all the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!  Call us at 703-583-8484 so one of our Professionals can provide an estimate.

Mold Professionals at your service

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business.  Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property.  SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.  Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same.  The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call 703-583-8484 Your local SERVPRO Professionals

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call.  A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources and personnel needed.

Inspection and Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources.  Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air.  SERVPRO technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears.  Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming.  Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents and Belongings

SERPVRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains and other restorable items affected by mold.  They are also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed.  Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.  If you have concerns of mold growth call 703-583-8484 to schedule a visual inspection.

CALL THE CLEANUP TEAM THAT IS FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER

6/24/2018 (Permalink)

We are always ready to help, call 703-583-8484

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert—there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.*

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers the following 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 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.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals will help you take it back.

*Facts and figures provided by fema.gov

Are you disaster ready?

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

Be ready in case this happens in your town!

In recent years many forms of disasters have affected the United States.  Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and blizzards are natural disasters that can threaten your home, business and community.

Please look over the below Emergency Supply Kit and make sure your home or business is prepared for a natural disaster.  For more information on disaster preparedness visit www.ready.gov or call one of our amazing marketing representative help you develop an Emergency Response Profile.  The Profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your business providing critical facility information needed for detailed emergency preparation.

Emergency Supply Kit Essentials:

·         Water, one gallon per person per day

·         Food, non-perishable 3-day supply

·         Manual can opener

·         Battery operated radio, preferably an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries

·         Flashlight and extra batteries

·         First aid kit

·         Whistle to signal for help

·         Clothing

·         Dust masks or bandanas

·         Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape

·         Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, if necessary

Please contact SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484 if you need any assistance in developing YOUR Emergency Ready Profile.

Finding Mold?

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:

Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.

Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.

A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

Stay out of affected areas.

Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

Contact SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge 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.

If you have any questions about Mold, do not hesitate to contact us directly at 703-583-8484

Mold Removal vs. Remediation

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. To learn more about our mold remediation process.

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact 703-583-8484
  • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts: Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

  • Mold spores are microscopic, 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 and have the potential to cause other health effects. 
  • 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 that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional 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.

The Science of Drying

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Timeline

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does “speed up Mother Nature” mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. For this reason, your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals have been trained to use top-of-the line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more.

SERVPRO® also uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

The bottom line? Your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals have the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Be Ready!

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Give your business the peace of mind that if you ever need cleanup or restoration services, you have access to provider that will be there for you!

National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customer, business and family.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are “Ready for whatever happens.”

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Area.  The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or table; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information anytime using your smartphone or table.

The ERP establishes SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 40 years’ experience and a System of nearly 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation.  Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such evens is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.  No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.

The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future.  Call SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484 to establish your Emergency READY Profile or get more information.

We help business get back up and running quickly!

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Local business had a broken water pipe, our Professionals had them up in running in no time.

Finding commercial water damage in your business can be hard to swallow, and when it's significant damage to not only your building, or to your inventory, but to both, it can be particularly challenging to grapple with. Business operations can be difficult enough to manage under normal conditions without adding unforeseen problems. 
 
Business owners should know that we are experts in finding solutions to cleaning up and preventing commercial water damage in Dale City/Lake Ridge, as well as restoring buildings from top to bottom. Your inventory is important to you, and your business, so we also understand that special care must be taken to prevent any extra losses from occurring. Our experience and training can help prevent this from happening, and we will also work with you while we restore your business and your inventory. 
 
Water extraction, drying, cleaning, and restorative work are our strengths. We work as a team, so that our work is completed as quickly, but also as thoroughly, as possible. Communication with you during the entire process is highly important to us, and we will always keep you updated on any developments that affect your business. We're here to answer your questions, so please don't ever hesitate to ask us when you need more information. 
 
When completing work that commercial water damage requires, we often encounter problems that have remained hidden. Problems can include electrical hazards, a discovery of pest problems, mold or bacterial growths, and many other situations that we commonly find. These are often unknown to business owners when water damage has been a slowly but steadily developing problem in a building. Your safety and that of your employees and customers are important and restoring things to an acceptable condition are paramount. Defects in building materials, such as gaps in insulation (sometimes discovered when a wall is opened so that damaged paneling or drywall can be replaced) can be filled before installing the new wall, preventing heat loss. 

We strive to make things like new, and better than before the damage happened. This is why communication is so important to the entire process. Start the process by calling us, the professionals at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge. Our number is (703) 583-8484, and it's answered 24/7.

YOU CAN BE RUINED, OR YOU CAN BE READY with the Help of Technology

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Be Ready with a SERVPRO ERP!

Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Store Information Online:

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.

Follow the News:

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe:

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.

Get in Touch:

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up:

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.

Get an Emergency READY Profile®

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles® (ERP) for free by calling one of our amazing Sales Reps at 703-583-8484 to help prepare your property, or your business for an emergency.

By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® for your property or 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 and fire damage can affect your property or business.

Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Get in touch with your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business, and SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge will be there to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Are you prepared?

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.

Be informed.

Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company? Do you know what you will do in an emergency situation?

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

Do you know which staff, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Do you have back-up plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible? Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster? Are you ready for utility disruptions?

Prepare your Emergency Plan.

Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during and after an incident? Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routs marked? Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?

Practice the Emergency Plan.

Have you practiced your plan recently? Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage.

Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?

Secure Your Facility and Equipment.

Have you secured all the ways people, products and supplies get into your building? Have you conducted a room-by-room walk through to determine what can be strapped down?

Improve Cyber Security.

Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your antivirus software?

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness.

Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?

If you and “NO” to any of the questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business or call SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484 so that one of our Marketing Professionals can help you and your company develop an Emergency Ready Program.

Five Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Damage caused to a home while deep frying a turkey! Be sure to follow the directions!

A deep-fried turkey: delicious, but worth it? If you’ve seen any of the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires online, you may have asked yourself this question before. Running the risk of bodily injury or property damage is something to consider when menu planning this holiday season.

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. n Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot.

Kitchen Cautions

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Please be cautious this Holiday season!

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop. If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.
  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Be Ready with SERVPRO ERP!

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customer, business and family.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are “Ready for whatever happens.”

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Area.  The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or table; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information anytime using your smartphone or table.

The ERP establishes SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 40 years’ experience and a System of nearly 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation.  Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such evens is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.  No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.

The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future.  Call SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484 to establish your Emergency READY Profile or get more information.

Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets.

The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Protecting Your Pets from Potential Danger

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to – and also the most preventable. According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires.

  • The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
  • When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.

In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.

Help Firefighters Help Your Pets
  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

More helpful information can be found at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/pet-fire-safety

Home Fire Tips

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

Top Tips for Fire Safety

 Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

   If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

Visit http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire to find out more helpful tips or follow our blog for more updates!

What happens now?

8/2/2017 (Permalink)

From the moment you realize you have experienced a water damage, the steps you as a Dale City/Lake Ridge homeowner take will determine whether or not there is secondary damage in your home. Timely mitigation is critical to ensure that secondary damage is minimal. Turn off the water source and call SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge!

          703-583-8484

A SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge Professional will be able to look at the damage and let you and your insurance agent know if the damage is worth a claim.  Allowing the team to extract the water and place drying equipment as quickly as possible will be the difference in restoring your home or having the affected area completely replaced. Protecting the surrounding furniture by raising it off of the saturated carpet will prevent any secondary damage caused by the water disaster. Moving quickly and getting a professional restoration company on site will be the difference between drying your home and uprooting your daily routine for extended periods!

SERVPRO Helps Businesses too!

8/2/2017 (Permalink)

After a water emergency strikes in a commercial building, you own your immediate concerns involve both personal losses along with the added stress and responsibility to get all of your tenants back in business or living comfortably in your units again. SERVPRO offers the resources locally and on a national level to rehabilitate even a complex commercial water damage scenario. We exceed your needs both to repair your property and also to restore the trust the companies and individuals have invested in your professional commercial management.

Although burst pipes or a roof leak may start in a confined area of your office building, apartment complex or warehouse space, the resultant flood and seepage of water can spread far from the original breach. Many if not all of the businesses or residents renting from you are in peril of losing personal and professional property as well as their means to make a living if you do not take immediate steps to solve your Orlando commercial water damage. Even if the water overflow can be traced to the negligence of a tenant, you as the owner are charged with the task of protecting your building and fixtures and ensuring that all those who live in or operate a business within your commercial property have the use and quiet enjoyment of their leased premises quickly restored.

SERVPRO understands how important it is to limit the downtime of your and your tenants’ business operations. We make every effort to clean and dry the structure quickly, staging the restoration process with an eye to reestablishing business operations even before the entire remediation is accomplished if appropriate and safe. Preventing secondary damage from contaminated water is a major goal, made more attainable if we are involved as soon as possible in the process. Our services for you and your tenants can also include a pack out and detailed inventory of documents soaked by the water. We follow up with our state of the art procedures for saving and drying paperwork, books, pictures and other crucial work products you and your lessees may have feared would be lost due to the water infiltration.

If your commercial property has suffered water damage, call SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge immediately. We can be reached at (703) 583-8484 twenty four hours a day every single day of the year, our technicians eager to return you and your renters to business as usual swiftly as possible.

The Do's & The Don'ts of Water Damage

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Do's & Don'ts

Do:

    • Shut off the source of water if possible, or contact a qualified plumbing technician to stop the water source.
    • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
    • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
    • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. 
    • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
    • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
    • Pin up upholstered furniture skirting to keep off damp floors.
    • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with carpeting or floors. 
    • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Don'ts:

    • Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
    • Do not enter effected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
    • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items that may cause staining on wet carpet or floors.
    • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damaging the vacuum cleaner.
    • Do not use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
    • Do not turn on ceiling fixture if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Mold - What to do

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. To learn more about our mold remediation process.

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact 703-583-8484
  • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts: Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

  • Mold spores are microscopic, 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 and have the potential to cause other health effects. 
  • 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 that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional 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.

Visual Inspection vs. Testing of Mold

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Most of our customers think a company that remediates mold would also do the testing of mold.  Well that is not the case, we only provide a visual inspection and will recommend an indoor hygienist when we feel it is necessary for all parties.  We will recommend an indoor hygienist in circumstances such as but not limited to things such as: selling the home, infants, children or elderly in the home or multiple areas impacted.

Given that we are a Cleaning and Remediation Company, we have determined that being certified to be an Industrial Hygienist (IH) is deviating too far from our profession.  Mold remediation and mold testing require different sets of skill sets of training, certifications, and professional equipment.  For remediation purposes, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) offers a course called, Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT).  In this course technicians learn how to properly remediate mold, but not test for it.  To become an IH, for testing purposes, you must have a 4 year bachelor’s degree in the particular field as well as specific IH courses.

In addition, a company that does both testing and remediation of mold could potentially appear to be skewing test results in order for their remediation to pass; it is like grading your own final exam.  To avoid this, we not only have another company do the testing but we also have the customer call in the IH rather than bringing them in ourselves as a subcontractor of our services.  We can recommend several in the area if you are in need of these services.  This ensures that the IH is working for the customer’s best interest.

So where do you start?

If you believe that you have a mold problem your first step is to find the source and stop it.  Next, we would recommend that you call in an Industrial Hygienist to come out and test the area.  A protocol will be written based off of the testing and if you do indeed have a substantial amount of mold present that needs to be remediated that is where SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge comes in.  With the protocol in hand we are able to properly assess the area and determine the extent as well as type of cleaning that will be needed to get your home or business back to preloss condition.

Are you a tenant with a water damage?

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Do you rent an apartment or a house?  These are the steps you should take if a water damage were to occur in your home or apartment.

  1. You need to contact the owner or property manager and make them aware of what happened. Homeowners and property managers know that water damages are likely to happen so it should not come as an immense shock to them.  Keep in mind that if you prolong telling them the extent of the damage will continue to increase so it is important to tell them immediately.  Also, in order for a restoration company to be able to come in and mitigate the water damage the owner of the property or someone that is authorized to make decisions for the property must approve for that company to do so, include sign the initial paperwork.  Tenants are not allowed to authorize a company to come in and work on a property that does not legally belong to them. 
  1. The next step would be determining if you would be filing a claim with your renter’s insurance for your contents if they were affected from the loss. Typically contents would not be covered by the homeowners insurance but on rare occasions it may be.  Also, depending on the contents that you have you may not have to worry about it at all.  For example, if the affected area is a living room with an average amount of furniture that you would expect in a living room the technicians would likely be able to work around, they can simply put your furniture on blocks and shift it off the wall about a foot to get air flow around the room and your furniture will dry using the same equipment needed for the structure.  However, if you have an extensive amount of affected contents that have to be moved in order for the structure to be properly dried out, the homeowner’s insurance might not cover moving out and drying your contents.  Ultimately it depends on the specific situation and the parties involved.  

Whatever the case may be, our technicians are trained to handle and properly document throughout the entire process ensuring that all parties involved are kept informed.

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions on how a water damage should be handled if you are a tenant at 703-583-8484.

When Storms of Flood Hit Dale City, SERVPRO is ready!

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Dale City/Lake Ridge.

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the Dale City/Lake Ridge area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 703-583-8484

Commercial Fire Damage

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge for Fast, Friendly Fire Remediation Services

The word “fire” strikes anxiety in the hearts of most people and for good reason. Whether it’s your home or business it can bring life, as you know it, to a screeching halt.

If your business or commercial property or your neighboring unit caught on fire, don't panic. Instead, call the professionals of SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and let us start cleaning up immediately. Acting right now is the key to limiting damages and expediting the restoration process, and choosing our team of industry specialists is the secret to attaining the services you deserve. All of our IICRC-certified technicians will work with diligence and determination to get your commercial property back in pristine condition, so call us now at 703-583-8484.

Knowing which steps to take in the face of a commercial fire can help prevent you from becoming anxious, losing money, and undergoing extensive property damages. To handle fire damage successfully and speedily, implement the following four tips:

Call the Insurance Company Immediately.

Be sure that you call your insurance company once the fire is out. This step is important because your insurance agent will work with you to file a claim and determine how much coverage you'll attain for the commercial damages.

Contact A Fire Remediation Expert.

In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, your business may also suffer from water damage as a result of the firefighting efforts.

Assemble Your Records.

In addition to contacting a fire remediation expert, make sure that you assemble your business's essential records. You'll want to have this information with you when you start working with your insurance company. To guarantee that you can have all of your files ready in a safe place, make a point to buy a fireproof safe where they can be stored.

Get Permission to Reenter the Building.

Always ask the fire department or another local authority whether you can reenter your building. In some cases, a fire can weaken the structural integrity of the commercial property and make it subject to collapse. This is why you need to assure that reentry is safe for you and your employees

SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your business to pre-fire condition. Don't ever attempt to handle any of the cleanups, drying, or restoration processes on your own. Doing so could put you at risk of injury and illness.

STORM Ready

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

When it comes to fire & water damage, or specialty cleanup needs, it’s the SERVPRO brand that comes to mind. Our TEAMS work endlessly to make sure our customers are happy, and have one objective in the aftermath of disaster, to make their loss Like it never even happened.

No matter the job or the size, our SERVPRO teams are ready to handle any size loss. With 1,700+ franchises nationwide, we have access to numerous highly trained personnel and thousands of pieces of equipment. Our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery teams are strategically placed throughout the country to respond when needed. Our Teams have a proven track record for success, assisting with cleanup of floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and damage caused from frigid temperatures.

Whether it’s a major storm event, or faulty appliance, we will be there with one call to 703-583-8484

Be ready for whatever happens this Summer!

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Be safe this grilling season!

Each year, families and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. To enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you have fun in the sun.

According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 11,900 Americans were injured by fireworks in 2015, with the majority happening in the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Another 8,700 are injured by charcoal/ wood-burning and propane grill fires. A grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill.

Grills also cause an average of 8,900 home structure or outdoor fires. “These fires caused an annual average of 50 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage,” according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off from the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in approved areas and supervise children at all times when near the water.

The summer season should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. Don’t become a statistic. Take precautions to prevent these events from putting a damper on your summer months!

Celebrate Summer Safety

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Enjoy your summer safely!

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
  • Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire

SERVPRO® Dale City Lake/Ridge Professionals wish you a safe and happy summer!

It is only a little bit of water...

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen anywhere at anytime!

The amount of damage water can cause in a short period of time is astounding, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems; such as ceiling, wall and flooring damage, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of deadly substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

That’s why SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals will dry the home quickly and apply an antibacterial to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one hiding a collection of deadly pathogens.

Should a water damage strike your home or business call SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484.

Call a Certified Professional to help with a water damage

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge is a certified IICRC Firm

A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay. Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Bring in a certified firm as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.

If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own. Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, they have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.

Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal. These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.

Storm Damage can happen anywhere!

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Call 703-583-8484, so we can help!

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.

Your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Is there mold hidden in your home?

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can occur anywhere in a home but mainly is concentrated to areas where moisture is present. These moisture areas are common to the bathroom and basements. Mold can cause respiratory problems and should be removed, if found, as soon as possible. Most restoration companies only do mold inspections if the mold is visible, an industrial hygienist would come in and search for traces of mold that are not visible.

One of the first places mold can collect and you may not think to check is under the refrigerator. Under the fridge tends to collect moisture and dirt which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Another place is the AC unit. AC units are known to collect debris, dust and moisture from the air, which can lead to mold spores.

Mold can even grow in or around a washing machine or its parts. Moisture and lint can cause a presence of mold spores.

Other area in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.

Extreme Heat Dangers!

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Be Cautious!

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.

According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.

If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet clothes or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).

If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.

Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.

Disaster can happen at anytime!

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Ready when you need us!

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised and “Ready for Whatever Happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster.  Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest floor waters.  Providing experience, manpower, equipment and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team assists your local SERVPRO Woodbridge/Lorton Professionals.  SERVPRO’s Disaster Recover Team has responded to hundreds of disaster, there is only one objective, to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

2016 Houston, TX Flooding:  In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston resulting in widespread rainfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour.  This was a historic flooding even for Harris County which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall.  The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs mitigating over $3 million in damages.

2015 Siberian Express:  Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the country stretching from Florida to Maine.  The Midwest also experienced record breaking low temperatures resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews for 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises completing nearly 2000 jobs.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine.  Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland were also impacted creating over 1,381 jobs for the Storm team to product.  A total of 82 SERVPRO Franchises and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.

2014 Polar Vortex:  Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, effecting all or part of 39 states and 70% of the SERVPRO Franchise System.

2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up to 17 inches in some areas, resulted in widespread flooding in Fort Collins, Boulder and surrounding Colorado mountain communities.  The Disaster Recovery Team responded with 109 crews from 48 Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO Franchises in the emergency response.

2012 Hurricane Sandy:  Affecting the more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine.  The Disaster Recovery Team placed nearly 1000 crews in affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO Franchises from across the country.  Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.

Hurricane Season

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Some stats:

The peak time of the year for hurricanes here in the Atlantic region is June-November. On the Pacific the peak time of year is May- November. 

  • Did you know the force of a hurricane is from 74-155+ miles per hour?

  • The difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane is wind speed – tropical storms usually bring winds of 36 to 47 mph, whereas hurricane wind speeds are at least 74 mph.
  • 40% of the hurricanes that occur in the United States hit Florida.
  • Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around the eye.
  • When the National Hurricane Center began giving official names to storms in 1953, they were all female.

The cost of hurricane damage is usually a couple million per storm. Hurricane Sandy though caused nearly $62 billion in damages once it hit the USA. $128 billion in damages was caused by Hurricane Katrina. 

Some tips:

  • Stay away from low-lying and flood prone areas.
  • Always stay indoors during a hurricane, because strong winds will blow things around.
  • Leave mobile homes and to go to a shelter.
  • If your home isn't on higher ground, go to a shelter.
  • If emergency managers say to evacuate, then do so immediately.

Hurricane Season is Here!

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Some stats:

The peak time of the year for hurricanes here in the Atlantic region is June-November. On the Pacific the peak time of year is May- November. 

  • Did you know the force of a hurricane is from 74-155+ miles per hour?

  • The difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane is wind speed – tropical storms usually bring winds of 36 to 47 mph, whereas hurricane wind speeds are at least 74 mph.
  • 40% of the hurricanes that occur in the United States hit Florida.
  • Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around the eye.
  • When the National Hurricane Center began giving official names to storms in 1953, they were all female.

The cost of hurricane damage is usually a couple million per storm. Hurricane Sandy though caused nearly $62 billion in damages once it hit the USA. $128 billion in damages was caused by Hurricane Katrina. 

Some tips:

  • Stay away from low-lying and flood prone areas.
  • Always stay indoors during a hurricane, because strong winds will blow things around.
  • Leave mobile homes and to go to a shelter.
  • If your home isn't on higher ground, go to a shelter.
  • If emergency managers say to evacuate, then do so immediately.

What to do if you find Mold in your home

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of South Tulsa County 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.

If you have any questions about Mold, do not hesitate to contact us directly at 703-583-8484

Each Surface Type Warrants a Different Approach When it comes to Mold

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Finding hidden mold is our specialty. Call SERVPRO so we can investigate the damage or smell on your property.

Mold can go undetected for days, weeks or even months, depending on where it is hiding. While small amounts of mold spores are everywhere and pose no threat, a large colony can destroy building materials and pose a health threat. 

Restoring property from the effects of mold damage in Dale City homes requires trained professionals. Every SERVPRO office maintains a crew that is trained to identify mold infestations and determines the best method available to remove or clean it off surfaces. 

We determine the method used to remove mold depending on the type of surface the mold is on. It is simpler to clean nonporous materials. These surfaces include glass, metal, certain kinds of plastics, marble, and smooth stone. We remove dry mold by vacuuming the surfaces with special HEPA filters that catch even a single mold spore. Wet mold is wiped off with a cloth dampened with water. If the mold is growing in a layer of soil, our team members use a detergent solution.

Porous materials with visible mold growth often should be removed from the home and disposed of according to state regulations. These materials include carpets, carpet pads, drywall, and insulation. Technicians can clean fabrics such as upholstery, drapes, and curtains using foam, spray, or immersion techniques depending on the thickness of the mold and the colors used. Before starting with those methods, crew members vacuum the items to remove loose mold fragments. If needed, they agitate the materials to loosen more mold and then vacuum them again. 

Semi-porous materials require methods not usable on porous or even nonporous surfaces. The surfaces (wood and concrete) may require sanding, wire brushing, and other abrasive methods. The cleaners we use on these surfaces have abrasive agents mixed in to be certain the agent gets into and agitates cracks and grooves that non-abrasive agent’s miss. If exposed to mold for too long, the structural integrity of the wood might be compromised by rot. 

Restoring your home after a mold infestation is a long process. SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge is here to help you through every step. If you need our services or simply want to schedule an inspection to check on any concerns, call us at 703-583-8484. 

Why Trusting a Restoration Professional After a Fire Is So Important

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Trust SERVPRO to help in your time in need

Because of the convection pattern that flames typically form during ignition, smoky residue saturates every opening. The soot constructs up in layers that may end up being solidified and tough to eliminate which is another reason to leave the cleaning to a specialist. When the cleaning teams do arrive, they promptly different salvageable items from charred debris, taking the things creating the strongest odors out for cleaning.

Following a fire, wall surface areas can be harmed by soot. Non-water based cleaners need to be used to remove soot from walls. These kinds of chemicals should be handled by a specialist due to the fumes and toxicity. Water-based cleaning items can cause spots to bleed into plaster walls which is why a trained specialist should be left to deal with these chemicals. 

Most importantly, a restoration effort reduces the after-effects a blaze can have on the health of those who return in. If a homeowner does not have the property restored by a professional, the results can be found later on down the line. To an untrained eye they might believe the issue has been fixed, they experience the remaining impacts of indoor air pollution for numerous months later on in the form of increased respiratory discomfort. 

Companies like SERVPRO are leading experts in fire restoration. They are trained to help remove your belongings as well as cleaning and storing them until your property has been restored to its original condition.

The Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Mitigation

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call 703-583-8484. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents & Belongings

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

Understanding Water Types

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Is the water clean, dirty or contaminated?

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call your local SERVPRO® Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals.

iCat - Contents Services

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

Content Processing is powered by iCat at SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge

If your contents were damaged in a water damage or fire, have no fear SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are here to help.  Our crews utilize iCat software during all pack-outs and non-salvageable contents inventorying.

This process allows our crews to manage contents more effectively and efficiently.  The iCat application also allows the customer and adjuster to view the content processing in real time via a secure web address, with personal log-in and password. 

How does the process work and why would it benefit all parties?

During each and every pack-out, the crew will photograph and apply a unique barcode to each item leaving the home.  Once the item arrives at the cleaning facility the crew applies a new label to the item, the new label allows the crew to place the cleaned item in the correct room upon return.  During this process, the customer is able to view the contents via the secure web address and request any items needed during the reconstruction time period.

The program also includes the ability to value non-salvageable contents.  This process allows for descriptions, values and the customer to input on value of the contents and much more. 

Please contact one of our representatives to learn more about our pack-out/non-salvageable inventorying processes at 703-583-8484.

Find out more about iCat here:  https://www.icatcontents.com/powered-by-icat/

BIOHAZARD, CRIME SCENE, AND VANDALISM CLEANUP

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

CALL THE CLEANUP TEAM THAT IS FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER

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.

MAY IS NATIONAL BUILDING SAFETY MONTH

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

Be Safe!

Building Safety Month— in its 37th year—is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 57,000 member’s across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design, and the safety community. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public, on “what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient homes and buildings,” according to the ICC website. The theme for 2017 is Code Officials— Partners in Community Safety and Economic Growth and highlights managing disasters, specifically natural disasters, in week three of this year’s campaign. Some of the topics and tips shared throughout the month include Disaster Safety and Mitigation, as well as Fire Safety and Awareness. The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials “improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play,” and this month can certainly improve that awareness!

IMPORTANT TIPS FROM THE ICC Disaster Safety & Mitigation:

  • If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up.
  • Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/ NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
  • In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC’s International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® for detailed requirements.
  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.

Source: iccsafe.org

Also in May:

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

National Small Business Week

National Hurricane Preparedness Week

National Police Week

National EMS Week

National Dam Safety Awareness Day

For more information, please visit ready.gov.

Safety First!

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

Building Safety Month— in its 37th year—is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 57,000 member’s across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design, and the safety community. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public, on “what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient homes and buildings,” according to the ICC website. The theme for 2017 is Code Officials— Partners in Community Safety and Economic Growth and highlights managing disasters, specifically natural disasters, in week three of this year’s campaign. Some of the topics and tips shared throughout the month include Disaster Safety and Mitigation, as well as Fire Safety and Awareness. The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials “improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play,” and this month can certainly improve that awareness!

IMPORTANT TIPS FROM THE ICC Disaster Safety & Mitigation:

  • If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up.
  • Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/ NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
  • In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC’s International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® for detailed requirements.
  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.

Source: iccsafe.org

Businesses Stay Afloat with SERVPRO' Water Damage Restoration

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

A Dale City business needing water extraction ~ Always here to help

Finding commercial water damage in your business can be hard to swallow, and when it's significant damage to not only your building, or to your inventory, but to both, it can be particularly challenging to grapple with. Business operations can be difficult enough to manage under normal conditions without adding unforeseen problems. 
 
Business owners should know that we are experts in finding solutions to cleaning up and preventing commercial water damage in Dale City/Lake Ridge, as well as restoring buildings from top to bottom. Your inventory is important to you, and your business, so we also understand that special care must be taken to prevent any extra losses from occurring. Our experience and training can help prevent this from happening, and we will also work with you while we restore your business and your inventory. 
 
Water extraction, drying, cleaning, and restorative work are our strengths. We work as a team, so that our work is completed as quickly, but also as thoroughly, as possible. Communication with you during the entire process is highly important to us, and we will always keep you updated on any developments that affect your business. We're here to answer your questions, so please don't ever hesitate to ask us when you need more information. 
 
When completing work that commercial water damage requires, we often encounter problems that have remained hidden. Problems can include electrical hazards, a discovery of pest problems, mold or bacterial growths, and many other situations that we commonly find. These are often unknown to business owners when water damage has been a slowly but steadily developing problem in a building. Your safety and that of your employees and customers are important and restoring things to an acceptable condition are paramount. Defects in building materials, such as gaps in insulation (sometimes discovered when a wall is opened so that damaged paneling or drywall can be replaced) can be filled before installing the new wall, preventing heat loss. 

We strive to make things like new, and better than before the damage happened. This is why communication is so important to the entire process. Start the process by calling us, the professionals at SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge. Our number is (703) 583-8484, and it's answered 24/7.

Celebrate Safely with a Recipe for Safety

11/21/2016 (Permalink)

Did you know?...... Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times the average number! Be SAFE!

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries.  The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.  It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire –oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop.  Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

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

Fire Safety Week

10/13/2016 (Permalink)

Check your smoke detectors!

Did you know that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths are due to non- working smoke alarms?

It is recommended that you try and change smoke alarms every 10 years. Look on the back of the smoke alarm for the date of manufacture.

For more information on fire safety week visit the website of Fema:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/

What To Expect If You Were to Have a Fire: 

When we visit your home after a fire loss, we will scope the affected areas to determine the extent of the loss. We will always pretest affected surfaces to determine the type of smoke and which products will help us recover the area most effectively. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. If a fire has damaged your home, call us right away at 703-583-8484. SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge will treat you and your family with empathy and respect, and your property with care.  

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 Dale City/Lake Ridge 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. 

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 –         703-583-8484

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH

9/28/2016 (Permalink)

Are you prepared?

Different types of disasters and emergencies happen in communities across the country, but there are key steps that every household can take to be better prepared for them. If you do nothing else this month, take time to create a disaster plan including an emergency escape plan.

Make a clear plan of what to do in an emergency and in case of an evacuation.

Identify clear roles for everyone in the house.

Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that can happen at home, work, and school.

Make a list of all the important things you may forget when in an emergency.

Have a disaster kit assembled for everyone in the house.

Have an out of the area emergency contact person saved on a smartphone.

Practice evacuating your home twice a year, especially if you have kids or pets. This makes it a routine and can make a real emergency situation less stressful.

According to the Red Cross there are many disaster apps now available for smartphones and tablets that can be downloaded to help with emergencies. Some of these apps include a full emergency app, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, wildfire and flood apps. If any of these disasters are common in your areas I would recommend downloading the corresponding app. With these apps you can know when to evacuate, where a shelter may be located, and exactly where the disaster occurred.

Go to: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps for more information

Be Ready with SERVPRO ERP!

9/28/2016 (Permalink)

Give your business the peace of mind that if you ever need cleanup or restoration services, you have access to provider that will be there for you!

National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customer, business and family.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are “Ready for whatever happens.”

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Area.  The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or table; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information anytime using your smartphone or table.

The ERP establishes SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 40 years’ experience and a System of nearly 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation.  Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such evens is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.  No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.

The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future.  Call SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484 to establish your Emergency READY Profile or get more information.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

8/18/2016 (Permalink)

Be sure to check your smoke detectors!

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fine injury in half.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.  Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan.  A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.  For more on emergency preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals at 703-583-8484.

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

JUST THE FACTS: Smoke Alarms

  • Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.
  • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected or dead batteries.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

8/18/2016 (Permalink)

Be sure to check your smoke detectors!

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fine injury in half.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.  Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan.  A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.  For more on emergency preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals at 703-583-8484.

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

JUST THE FACTS: Smoke Alarms

  • Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.
  • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected or dead batteries.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

The Science of Drying

8/3/2016 (Permalink)

The first steps taken in a disaster situation can man the difference between recovery and total loss.

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying?  Having the knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition.  While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of secondary damages.  If your home or business suffers a water damage, our Professionals will:

·         Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.

·         Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.

·         Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium.  When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only if the air is, indeed, drier.  The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls (pictured) and much more.  Your local SERVPRO Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

The bottom line?  SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Managing Mold

8/3/2016 (Permalink)

Call on a restoration system serving insurance companies and their insureds, as well as thousands of commercial property owners.

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business.  Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property.  SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.  Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same.  The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call 703-583-8484 Your local SERVPRO Professionals

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call.  A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources and personnel needed.

Inspection and Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources.  Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air.  SERVPRO technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears.  Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming.  Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents and Belongings

SERPVRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains and other restorable items affected by mold.  They are also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed.  Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.  If you have concerns of mold growth call 703-583-8484 to schedule a visual inspection.

The behavior of SMOKE

8/3/2016 (Permalink)

There are two different types of smoke -wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.

A fire loss can result in complex damages because of the unique behavior of smoke.  A trained professional should survey the loss site to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat and moisture impacted building materials and contents.

SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor.  Our crew’s knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread.  Here are some facts you may not know about smoke:

·         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.

The different types of Smoke:

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 a material rather than from a fire)

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

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnance Puff Backs)

While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

 Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue)

Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue)

Special loss situations require special care.

 SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses.  If your home or business sustains fire or smoke damage, contact us at 703-583-8484 to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation

8/3/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. To learn more about our mold remediation process.

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact 703-583-8484
  • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration
  • Understanding Mold

    When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts: Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

  • Mold spores are microscopic, 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 and have the potential to cause other health effects. 
  • 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 that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
  • What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional 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.
  • Are you prepared?

    8/2/2016 (Permalink)

    Be aware so that you can quickly take action.

     How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today.  The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency.  While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.  The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready.  A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country.  It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.  Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.

    Be informed.

    Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company?  Do you know what you will do in an emergency situation? 

    Develop a Business Continuity Plan

    Do you know which staff, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating?  Do you have back-up plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible?  Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster?  Are you ready for utility disruptions?

    Prepare your Emergency Plan. 

    Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during and after an incident?   Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routs marked?  Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?

    Practice the Emergency Plan.

    Have you practiced your plan recently?  Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex?  Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

    Review Insurance Coverage. 

    Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?

    Secure Your Facility and Equipment. 

    Have you secured all the ways people, products and supplies get into your building?  Have you conducted a room-by-room walk through to determine what can be strapped down?

    Improve Cyber Security. 

    Do you regularly install patches to your software?  Have you installed a firewall on your computer?  Do you regularly update your antivirus software?

    Promote Family and Individual Preparedness.

    Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan? 

    If you and “NO” to any of the questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business or call SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484 so that one of our Marketing Professionals can help you and your company develop an Emergency Ready Program.

    Like it never even happened.

    8/2/2016 (Permalink)

    Did you know? It only takes 1 to 2 inches of water to begin damaging your property.

    Imagine it is 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, and you walk into your home after a relaxing vacation expecting to switch on the lights, put the kids to bed then get some rest before work tomorrow.

    The only problem?  A water pipe burst over the weekend, dumping thousands of gallons of water over your hardwood kitchen floor, your carpeted living room and your cement utility room. You immediately realize this problem is far beyond the reach of your shop vac.  What do you do now?

    When it is your home or business that is underwater, mitigation cannot wait.  You need mitigation to begin immediately.  If water damage strikes you or your customers, give SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals a call any time, any day. 

    The cost of water damages can increase exponentially with time.  Wood floors warp, dry wall soaks in moisture and mold develops in hard-to-reach areas of your home or business.

    The benefits of rapid mitigation offered by our Franchise Professionals are two-fold: Your costs go down as potential hazards may be avoided, and your peace of mind goes through the roof.

    If the unthinkable happens to your home or business, allow our Franchise Professionals to help quickly turn your “before” into an “happily ever after.”

    It's the Water You Don't See

    8/2/2016 (Permalink)

    This is a moisture meter that will be used to detect moisture during your water damage.

    Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

    The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property.  SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur.  The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a water loss.  When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform.  We will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment.  Here are a few of the tools used by your Franchise Professional.

    • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and wall.

    • Moisture Meters (pictured) are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials.  The moisture tester provides accurate reading, allowing our Professional Crews to monitor the drying process.

    • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity.  When armed with this information our Professional Crews can calculate and create an environment most conductive to drying.  When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

    • Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate.  This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

    • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog.  The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles.

    The bottom line? SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge Professionals have the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

    Are you disaster ready?

    7/28/2016 (Permalink)

    Be Prepared in case this happens to you!

    In recent years many forms of disasters have affected the United States.  Flooding, tornados, hurricanes, wildfires and blizzards are natural disasters that can threaten your home, business and community.

    Please look over the below Emergency Supply Kit and make sure your home or business is prepared for a natural disaster.  For more information on disaster preparedness visit www.ready.gov or call one of our amazing marketing representative help you develop an Emergency Response Profile.  The Profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your business providing critical facility information needed for detailed emergency preparation.

    Emergency Supply Kit Essentials:

    ·         Water, one gallon per person per day

    ·         Food, non-perishable 3-day supply

    ·         Manual can opener

    ·         Battery operated radio, preferably an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries

    ·         Flashlight and extra batteries

    ·         First aid kit

    ·         Whistle to signal for help

    ·         Clothing

    ·         Dust masks or bandanas

    ·         Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape

    ·         Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, if necessary

    Please contact SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484 if you need any assistance in developing YOUR Emergency Ready Profile.

    Faster to Any Size Disaster!

    7/7/2016 (Permalink)

    Too much soap!? We can help!

    There’s no such thing as a small disaster – especially when the water you don’t see contains bacteria or can cause mold, rot, and other unseen damage.  Water damage can affect the value of your property.  Before you get out the mop bucket and try to clean it yourself, consider how the damage can affect your property.

    SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge knows how disruptive water damage can be for your business.  We are trained and equipped to manage the drying process.  By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your building will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which will help prevent secondary water damages.  With rapid response time and full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge can help you regain control quickly, ensuring your facility and its contents are property dried, deodorized and protected.

    Before you risk further damaging the value of your facility by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call our office at 703-583-8484.

    Are your Ducts in Order?

    6/30/2016 (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 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 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.

    Celebrate Summer Safely

    6/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Have fun celebrating Summer, but remember safety first!

    Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays!

    There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months!  Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires?  A backyard BBQ can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered.  We here at SERVPRO Dale City/Lake Ridge want you and your family to have an enjoyable summer.  Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

    • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
    • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railing and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
    • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
    • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
    • Never leave your grill unattended.
    • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
    • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
    • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.  Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extniguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.  Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.
    • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

    FIREWORK FACTS:

    • Fireworks cause an average of almost 20,000 reported fires per year.
    • In 2013, sparklers caused 41% of fireworks injuries.
    • On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, more than any other cause of fire.

    HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY SUMMER!

    2015 BE THE BRAND AWARD

    5/23/2016 (Permalink)

    For the second year in a ROW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
    SERVPRO of DALE CITY/LAKE RIDGE won the "SERVPRO Be The Brand" Corporate award for our region. 
    This award is given to the franchise in the region that best represents the SERVPRO brand. We could not be more proud of everyone on our team who work so hard every single day!! Thank you SERVPRO of DALE CITY/LAKE RIDGE Team for all that you do! We appreciate you and so does SERVPRO Corporate!

    Monthly Specials

    5/23/2016 (Permalink)

    Life happens. Kids spill drinks, pets have accidents & homes get dirty.

    $160 UPHOLSTERY CLEANING - Standard Sofa & Lova Seat, Plus a Free Chair - Reg $225

    $25 off any area rug cleaning with any carpet cleaning job

    15% off Whole House Carpet Cleaning (900 sq. ft. or more)

    Please call our office 703-583-8484.

    Offer experies 6/25/16.

    2014 BE THE BRAND AWARD

    3/26/2015 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and the SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton won the 2014 BE THE BRAND Award for being the franchise that best represents the SERVPRO BRAND in the Northern Virginia/Shenandoah Valley region.  Congratulations to our team for all of their hard work day in and day out!

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