Recent Water Damage Posts

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

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/

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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."

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!

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.

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

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.

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.  

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.”

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

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.”