Recent Posts

Improve Indoor Air Quality

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Improve Indoor Air Quality Clean ducts make all the difference!

More often times than not poor air quality in homes and commercial buildings can be attributed to a dirty ventilation system.  Your HVAC system should be a high priority and demand your attention regularly.  Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine service that SERVPRO offers is inspections of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit.  Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the lifespan of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money!

SERVPRO Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient.  We use a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. 

Contact us today for more information or to schedule a duct cleaning appointment!

What's that smell?

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in periodically resurfacing odors.

From top to bottom... 
SERVPRO of Virginia Beach provides specialized services that rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Any restorable item in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts and more.

Search and Destroy 
SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin professionals do NOT cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Ask us to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you or a customer suffer a fire damage -- or some other accident -- and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin. Whether it's fire, water or mold damage -- or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away -- we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Too Hot in the Kitchen

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

The holidays and cooking go hand in hand. But more time in the kitchen means an increased chance of cooking-related fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking has long been the leading cause of residential fires and fire injuries, and while Thanksgiving is the peak day for residential cooking fires, folks tend to start heading into the kitchen more and more as temperatures drop and Halloween really marks the beginning of the season for baked and fried treats.

A kitchen fire, regardless of the size, can be overwhelming. And while these fires typically begin on the stove, the damage generally affects the entire kitchen including, the walls, ceiling, air ducts, and appliances.

A cooking fire is typically ignited by food or the grease and oils used to prepare the food, making cleanup more difficult.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin are trained in the cleanup and care of your home or business and contents following a fire. Proper remediation of fire, smoke, soot and water damage can help prevent further damage such as lingering odors, mold growth and permanent discoloration of items.

Before attempting to clean any smoke or
fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin.

757-934-8404

Post Storm Steps to Take

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to a safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cell phone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them of the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Call us 24 hours a day, 757-934-8404

Wind and Storm Damage

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms this season and the strong powerful winds can cause significant damage to a home.  Wind damage and water damage are the most common results of a heavy storm and it is important to contact SERVPRO as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage.  Wind damage can happen to your home directly from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house.  These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it.

Storm Damaged Roof

Wind Type Varies by Storm and Causes Different Degrees of Wind Damage

Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage.  It is important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is so you know the potential and level of damage to expect.  Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S. but the storm damage repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage.

Characteristics of the Wind Affect the Wind Damage

The wind has many characteristics that differ depending on the situation.  Some characteristics to take into account include speed, direction, and duration of the gusts and recognizing them can help you protect your home and property effectively from wind damage.  Recognizing the characteristics of the wind can also help you determine how much potential damage to expect.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Most wind damage is caused by flying debris either from plants or other structures and objects that are not secured.  If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris around your home such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects are either secured or brought inside.  Your doors and windows should also be secured to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

Wind and Storm Damage Repair Costs

Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property from broken windows and fallen tree branches to more severe damage to the roof, garage, or car.  Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year and understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your home and save on restoration and repair costs.  The cost of wind damage repair generally ranges from about $880 almost $11,000 with most homeowners spending on average between $4,600 and $7,000 for repairs.  Make sure to contact SERVPRO for an estimate on the wind damage repair for your home.

Wind damage from different types of storms is a major cause of destruction to homes and by understanding the characteristics of wind damage, you can help keep your home protected during a storm.  Different types of storms bring different types of winds and the storm damage caused by the wind can range from minor damage to more costly structural damage.  If your home sustains wind damage during a storm, make sure to call SERVPRO immediately.  These qualified technicians can provide effective wind damage and storm damage repair. 

Please give us a call at 757-934-8404.

Severe Weather Myths & Facts

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Myth: Highway and interstate overpasses are safe shelters against a tornado.

Fact: Overpasses can concentrate the tornado winds, causing them to be significantly stronger. This places the people under them in an even more dangerous situation. In recent years, several people seeking shelter beneath overpasses have been killed or severely injured. Being above ground level during a tornado is dangerous.

Myth: The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to explode. Opening the windows will equalize the pressure, saving the building.

Fact: Opening the windows in an attempt to equalize pressure will have no effect. It is the violent winds and debris that cause most structural damage. It is more important for you to move to a safe area away from windows and exterior walls. With a tornado, every second counts, so use your time wisely and take cover.

Myth: Thunderstorms and tornadoes always move from west to east.

Fact: More often than not, thunderstorms move from west to east. Conditions in the atmosphere dictate how and where storms will move, and it can be in any direction. Tornadoes have been known to act erratic and can change directions and speed very quickly. Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.

Myth: It’s not raining here, and skies above me are clear, therefore I am safe from lightning.

Fact: Lightning can strike many miles away from the thunderstorm. If storms are in your area, but skies happen to be clear above you, that certainly does not imply you are safe from lightning. Though these “Bolts from the Blue” are infrequent, lightning strikes 10 to 15 miles away from the storm are not out of the question.

Myth: Since I am inside my house and out of the storm, I am completely safe from lightning.

Fact: Just because you have taken shelter inside, you are not automatically safe. While inside waiting out a storm, avoid using the telephone or electrical appliances and do not take showers or baths. Also stay away from doors and windows. Telephone lines, cords, plumbing, even metal window and door frames are all lightning conductors and pose a threat

Myth: Large and heavy vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups, are safe to drive through flood waters.

Fact: It is a common belief that the larger the vehicle, the deeper the water it can drive through. Many people do not realize that two feet of water can float most vehicles, including SUVs and pickups. If the water is moving rapidly, vehicles can be swept away.

Myth: Flash floods only occur along flowing streams.

Fact: Flash floods can and do occur in dry creek or river beds as well as urban areas where no streams are present.

Be Ready with an ERP!

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile

A no-cost assessment of your facility.

A concise profile 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.

Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.

A profile is viewable online or on your SERVPRO READY APP and is secured with a login and password.

Don't wait until a disaster strikes. Contact SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin to establish your Emergency READY Profile.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin 757-934-8404

Four Signs of Water Damage in Commercial Buildings

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

When water infiltrates your masonry, time is of the essence. The longer a leak lasts, the more damage it does. If you see any of these signs of a leak, you should get your masonry evaluated by a professional.

1. Bulging, spalling, and cracking

These are all exterior signs of a leak that is degrading the masonry. Once water has leaked past the mortar joints, it can wear away at the masonry. After the water has begun corroding the steel beneath, this damage will become much worse as a result of rust jacking.

2. Rust staining

This is a late-stage sign of water infiltration. You’ll find this commonly in concrete structures, where the red rust stain is visible on a lighter surface. When you see rust staining, it’s a sign that water has penetrated not only the masonry but the steel structure beneath. Water is causing the corrosion of the steel, which leaves a stain on the masonry surface.

Steel will expand as it rusts, creating further damage to your building’s structure. We call that rust jacking.

3. Mold and musty odors

After the water has made it past the exterior, you may notice signs of water damage inside the building. One of these signs could be a sign of mildew or mold. Mold is not always easy to detect.

4. Interior damage

Other interior signs that can tip you off to a water leak are staining on interior walls and ceilings. You may also see cracked drywall or peeling wallpaper as water begins to saturate your interior walls.

Keep water from damaging your building

At SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, we help restore and rehabilitate the exterior of commercial buildings so you don’t have to worry about what happens when water leaks into your building. We can help you prevent it from happening and even if water damage does happen we can always make it "Like it never even happened."

How to Pick the Correct Fire Extenguisher

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Here's are some tips for choosing the appropriate Fire Extinguisher:

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.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is taking to the streets, every hour of every day, proving that whenever there is a house full of water or an office full of smoke, there is a van full of clean! It's always best to call our office directly!

757-934-8404

6 Ways to Prepare Now for Hurricanes

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

The worst thing that people who live along coastlines can do is not to prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the two key factors contributing to weather safety during hurricanes are preparing in advance for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.

The director of the National Hurricane Center, Rick Knabb, and AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski outlined certain precautionary steps that people in areas impacted by hurricanes and tropical storms should take.

1. Evacuation planning

The main reason people have to evacuate during hurricanes is from a storm surge, which is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds that can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastlines, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"Evacuation planning is number one on the list,” Knabb said.

Knabb urged that people find out today if they live in a hurricane evacuation area, which is an area in which residents must leave their homes in the event of a hurricane.

Local governments provide the public with information about evacuation areas and the evacuation plans, and Knabb recommended that people review this information in advance.

“Some people will actually test the evacuation route in good weather,” Kottlowski said. “Waiting until the day of the hurricane isn’t a smart idea since everyone will be in a heightened state of anxiety.”

While people who live in storm surge areas fall within areas that are urged to evacuate during a hurricane, people who live outside of these zones should still look into safety precautions during a hurricane. 
While evacuation shelters do provide supplies, Kottlowski said, “Shelters can get overrun and may not have enough supplies."

These kits should include water, food, blankets, and clothing. 

Dimitri Pinckney installs hurricane shutters in advance of Hurricane Matthew on the Isle of Palms, S.C., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)


Car owners should also contact auto insurance companies and move their cars to an off-site location or secured building.

“You won’t be able to take every vehicle you own to the shelter, but if you leave the vehicle outside, it could be seriously damaged,” Kottlowski said.

4. Make copies of important documents

Those living in or near hurricane areas should make copies of proof of ownership documents of any property not limited to their homes, cars, and boats.

These documents can be stored in the hurricane kit or in any safe location that does not risk being damaged during the hurricane.

“If a hurricane levels your house, you have to prove that it is your house,” Kottlowski said.

5. Protect your home

Residents and tenants should inspect their homes to confirm that there is no damage that a hurricane could increase.

Any issues with the overall structure should be repaired, including loose shingles or damaged roofs.

“Any possible compromises to the roof or house will become an open avenue for strong and gusty winds,” Kottlowski said.

Residences with yards should also make a list of anything laying on the ground outside that could get tossed into the air and become debris during high winds.

Kottlowski also said residents should purchase supplies, including plywood to cover windows and extra security to keep doors from blowing open, in advance, to secure their homes from damaging winds.

6. Back up your electronics

Aside from keeping extra batteries and chargers around during a hurricane, people are also encouraged to back up any electronic devices.

Knabb said data should be stored at an off-site location so that data can be recovered if something were to happen to the physical computer or device during a hurricane.

Make SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin your first call to help you and your local insurance agent assess the damage.  We will work with you to restore your property and your life to make it "Like it never even happened®." 757-934-8404