Recent Posts

Where Can Business Owners Get Commercial Fire Damage Repair Services in Suffolk?

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

They Should Hire SERVPRO to Perform Commercial Fire Damage Repair

When a fire impacts a business like a clothing store, it can be overwhelming to deal with the aftermath. You risk losing customers and income every hour that your business remains closed. Furthermore, the destruction does not cease after firefighters put out the fire. Toxic chemicals, water damage, odors, soot, and smoke remain. External factors, including content damage, and vandalism can bring additional losses if you do not manage them promptly.

To prevent further destruction, you can hire SERVPRO to perform commercial fire damage repair in your business. The smoke that infiltrates a building after a fire combines with humidity to create corrosive residues that can collect on and damage clothes and other items. Our fire and smoke restoration technicians (FSRT) can help you clean up the affected structures and contents.

At SERVPRO, we know the techniques required to clean up and salvage your contents and property effectively. Our crew can remove soot from chrome and aluminum shelving, tile, and wooden surfaces. We use advanced products, equipment, and procedures throughout the fire and smoke damage repair process, which may include:

  • Removing ruined materials that are considered unsafe.
  • Evaluate structural framing, including support beams and subflooring, to ensure that the structure is sturdy.
  • Eliminating contamination and odor caused by soot and smoke.
  • Replacing affected building materials.

Our SERVPRO team tests and inspects the property for smoke residues to determine the extent of the destruction and the cleaning procedures required for restoration. By pretesting and inspecting, our technicians locate residues, identify the residues present and determine the types of surfaces requiring cleaning.

It is necessary to capture residues before removal. Our SERVPRO technicians use fluids and air to release and carry soils away. Fluids and air have suspended particles within them on contact. Dissolving and vacuuming are two methods we can use to contact residues and carry them off for disposal. We can also remove unpleasant smells using products like odor counteracting beads, water-based wet mist deodorizers, and solvent-based thermal fog deodorizers.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is ready to help you repair your business premises after a fire. Call us any time at 757-934-8404.

How Does Water Get Removed from Hidden Cavities in a Residence?

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Uses a Variety of Techniques to Detect Moisture and Dry Homes

When appliances malfunction or supply lines in the home burst, hundreds to thousands of gallons of water can pour into a home. This water can travel into wall cavities, down stairwells, and through ceilings into lower levels. 

Why are Water Location and Moisture Levels Important?

Seemingly small problems such as leaking pipes under the sink can quickly become large problems if the homeowner is away or sleeping when it happens. Where water removal in your home takes place can depend on the water movement direction. If it ends up behind walls or other hidden cavities, you can end up with more damage in those places than to the original location of the water intrusion. SERVPRO technicians use advanced equipment to locate water and identify moisture levels to ensure proper drying.  Water can become trapped in many places in residential properties, including:

  • Behind walls
  • Cabinets
  • Under floors
  • Ceilings
  • Crawl spaces

What Equipment is Used to Detect Moisture?

Our technicians use several methods when looking for water damage. They do not depend on just one technique. Our crews employ all available resources to make sure the job gets done thoroughly and professionally. One of the tools they use is moisture meters. There are different types, including penetrating and non-penetrating models. We have meters that are precisely calibrated to detect the moisture content of specific types of material. 

Moisture sensors are another type of device that gets used. These are often used to probe carpet and padding. The moisture sensors help technicians to discover where the saturation levels are and where the water has migrated in terms of depth. They can provide input into whether the subflooring is damaged. 

Thermal imaging cameras, or infrared cameras as they are often called, are convenient for finding hidden moisture. They are portable detection devices that help evaluate moisture levels in building materials. They can also be used to check levels as the drying process is taking place. 

What Role Does Controlled Demolition Play?

When water ends up in places like behind a cabinet, letting it dry on its own is not a wise idea. Moisture damages building materials progressively. Secondary damage such as mold can occur in as little as twenty-four hours. Water extraction is key to efficient structural drying, but the techs need to access the areas. Controlled demolition involves removing or modifications to the impacted material, such as drywall, permitting that access. Several methods used to release water and allow the warm, dry air to flow into the cavities are:

  •   Flood cuts – cutting and removing a portion of drywall. The cuts get made two to three feet above the water level. Drywall and insulation are removed and replaced in those spaces.
  •   Weep holes – punched into bulging walls and ceilings allow trapped water to be released before they collapse.
  •   Removing toe kicks – Built-in cabinets have toe kicks, which can be removed to allow access to the space behind the cabinet.
  •   Baseboard or beadboard drilling – This allows water pooled at the base of the wall to drain. 
  •   Injecti-dry equipment – uses positive or negative airflow into the void for better drying. Often we place tubes inside the baseboard weep holes to force in warm air for positive air pressure or suction out residual water using negative air pressure.

SERVPRO technicians are trained and experienced in making the proper cutaways and drilling holes in drywall, ceiling tiles, painted or wallpapered walls, and mortar joints. When done correctly, these tactics allow for minimal damage, complete water removal, and optimal drying of the structure. 

Professional Water Removal Prevents Damage

With water intrusions, it is best to let professionals assess the situation. Just because you cannot see a problem does not mean it does not exist when it comes to moisture and where it can migrate. When SERVPRO mitigates water damage by providing expert water removal and drying procedures, it saves the homeowner time and money. Restoration rather than replacement, when possible saves money. Fast mitigation means less damage to the home and contents, saving you both. 

We are water removal experts and can have your home restored to preloss condition before you know it. Do not risk costly repairs due to hidden water damage. Contact SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin at 757-934-8404 for quality water removal service. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

What are the Signs of Water Damage in My Home?

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO at the first sign of water damage to your structure or contents to lessen the loss.

If you do not already have a regular check-up plan for your home, it is a good idea to do monthly inspections and look for the early warning signs of water loss. Things to look for are: 

  • Water stains on sheetrock
  • Sagging ceilings
  • Warped floorboards
  • A musty odor that does not diminish
  • Loose tile

Can Carpets Get Saved From Water Damage?

Putting carpet in a home is often a significant investment, and it can be gone in a flash when water damage happens on your property if the water loss process does not begin within 24 hours or contains contaminants such as sewage. 

SERVPRO technicians test the water and the fiber to determine the best restoration actions for the optimum outcome. The equipment the techs use works even to pull out deeply embedded moisture within the carpet and the pad. After they reduce the water removal down to doing "dry" passes where little to no further moisture comes up, they move on to the drying phase. 

Special techniques such as "floating" the carpet assist with drying it from the bottom up and ensures that no residual moisture remains to cause issues such as foul odors or deterioration of the carpet. Another frequently used method involves putting plastic over the wet area, known as "tenting," and directing the airflow from the drying equipment into the damp carpet. The connected dehumidification equipment captures the moisture and ports it away, resulting in progressively drier conditions inside the tent. Afterward, the final touches include: 

  • Spot cleaning to remove water spots
  • Treatments for stains that may be present
  • Steam cleaning to remove any residual musty odors

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404, is ready 24/7 to handle any size of water damage in your home. The certified technicians have extensive training to turn around the loss and restore your home to its preloss condition.

Actions to Avoid After a Storm

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Three Activities to Avoid When Dealing With Flood Water Inside Your House

Do you know what to do with a flooded home after a storm? If not, you may accidentally participate in some dangerous activities that you think are completely safe.
Here are three activities that are some of the most important to avoid when dealing with flood water inside your house.

1. Walking Through Standing Water

If standing water is present in your home, avoid wading through it. This could be a very dangerous step to take due to possible contamination. Let water damage professionals help you because it is often better to delay the cleanup process than to risk your safety.

2. Cleaning Mold Yourself

If you find a lot of mold in your wet home, you may want to leave and wait for the remediation specialists to arrive. Don’t attempt to clean up a moldy area that you are not knowledgeable about, as you may do more harm than good to your home’s structure. A specialist can have a better idea of what to do in your particular situation.

3. Ditching Protective Gear

Wild animals and contaminated floodwater are just two hazards that you may want to consider before entering your home. If you are not wearing heavy-duty gloves and sturdy rubber boots, reconsider going inside. Once again, if you are not confident about the safety of the situation, it can be best to wait for the help of trained technicians.

It can be difficult to stand by and do nothing when your home may be at stake, but you owe it to yourself to use sound judgment and not make any hasty decisions that can be dangerous for you or your home. Flood water can be complicated, and the emotional aftermath of a storm often makes it even more so. Using calm logic by avoiding the actions above can help you stay safe during, and after, a flood. Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 24/7, 757-934-8404.

Your Business Fire Contingency Plan Should Include These Actions

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Many Plans Contain the Following

Many business owners have included a contingency plan in their safety operations and employee handbooks. These plans can not only help save lives in the event of an emergency but may also contain important information a company may need quick access to. 


1. Locations of Alarms and Extinguishers

One important thing to include in your plan is the location of all alarms and fire extinguishers. This can help ensure that your employees know where these important tools are if they ever need them.

2. Escape Route and Meeting Places

An essential part of any evacuation plan is the location of exits and a meeting place. There should be at least two possible escape routes from every point in the building, in case one is blocked, and all employees should know to gather at the designated location. The meeting place should be in a safe area outside the building.

3. Who Can Access Medical Information and Emergency Contacts

One thing many people don’t consider including in their contingency plan is who keeps track of the emergency contact or medical information needed for their employees. While the information itself should be kept private, you may want to state which staff members should be contacted if access is necessary. For example the head of HR or a department manager.

4. After Fire Procedures and Cleanup Information

In addition to emergency procedures, you may want to include some information on what to do afterward. This can include insurance information or the number for a fire damage restoration service that can help with cleanup.

Including this information in a company’s contingency plan can help ensure that everyone knows the safety procedures before an emergency takes place. These things can both save time and keep everyone safe.

Any questions or needs you may have, SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is here, 757-934-8404.

Wind & Storm Damage

4/12/2022 (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 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 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 to 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

4/12/2022 (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 of 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 the skies above me are clear, therefore I am safe from lightning.

Fact: Lightning can strike many miles away from a 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 floodwaters.

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 a dry creeks or river beds as well as urban areas where no streams are present.

We Can Help With Wet Contents Too

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

Water damages your contents and things too. SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin has seen its share of water damage. The damage can happen from a leaking pipe between the wall, a leaking toilet, a dishwasher relief valve that fails, a refrigeration line fails, a water heater leak, an HVAC system ceiling leak, and of course havoc from mother nature.

Most often our first thought is about damage to the floors or to the ceiling or even the walls.  Then the realization that your contents, your treasures, your projects, your books have been damaged too.

We are your Emergency call to action experts when disaster strikes your home or business 24/7.  

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, at 757-934-8404 to handle your contents with care and make the damage "Like it never even happened."

Water Damage Timeline

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage are very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 –757-934-8404

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • The paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

How to Prepare for an Emergency

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

Collect & Protect Essential Records Before An Emergency

Family Preparedness

When we advise people to collect and protect important paperwork, we are referring to any important documents and personal data that might serve as proof of your insurance or identity or instruct others on how to help you in an emergency.  This important paperwork includes an Emergency Action Plan, and medical, vital, and immunization records.

The Basics

Copies of medical documents and advance directives should include: Health insurance cards, vaccination records, living wills and power of attorney forms, birth & death certificates, and adoption records

Personal Id's to include: Passports, driver's licenses, social security cards, green cards

A current care plan for a child with special needs.

User manuals, models, serial numbers, and contact information for the manufacturer of medical devices, like glucose meters and nebulizers.

Quick Tips

Keep an up-to-date list of all your prescription medications with dosage amounts, your eye prescription, your medical supply needs, and any known allergies.

Save electronic copies of important papers in a password-protected format to a flash drive or an external hard drive or a cloud-based service. You should store these items in a fireproof container or with a trusted friend or relative, or even a safety deposit box at a bank.

Pet owners make copies of their pet’s vet records like rabies certificates, prescriptions, and a recent photo of their pet(s).

For all your home's water, storm, fire emergencies call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.