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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

We are Cleaning Experts

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin - 757-934-8404

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

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

Commercial ERP (Emergency Ready Plan)

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan for it NOW.

By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.   All your contacts, your property manager, engineers’ info, etc. accessible at the touch of a button.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin offers complimentary ERP services to commercial business owners and facilitators.

Your ERP with SERVPRO® will include:           

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in an emergency
  • A guide to help get you back into your building following a disaster
  • Establishes SERVPRO® of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
  • 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.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin to get your business covered! 757-934-8404

Water and the Damage it does in just minutes!

3/4/2020 (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 is 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.
  • 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.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for all your water damage needs or concerns, 757-934-8404.

Water Damage after a Fire

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

If you have ever experienced a fire at your home or business, you understand the devastation involved. And to make matters worse, with a fire often comes water damage. The main causes being sprinkler heads busting and extensive use of fire extinguishers and hoses. It is very important to take care of the water damage immediately. If you ignore it, it will be more costly to remediate, and the damage will be significantly worse.

Here at SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, we specialize in fire and water remediation. We know how stressful this time is and we strive to make your life as easy as possible during this difficult time. We are always here, 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you have.

If you have experienced water damage due to a fire, or any other water damage needs, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin at 757-934-8404. 

Commercial Water Damage Facts

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to water damage to a residential or commercial property, there is more than meets the eye.

Here are some water facts and figures as they pertain to the restoration industry:

1. Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances. In fact, water is known as the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.

2. A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours.

3. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment.

4. A good indication of a failing hot water heater is a puddle of water underneath it, indicating a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings on the top of the heater. If you don’t investigate the leak ASAP, you may quickly flood your home because water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.

5. There are three categories of water contamination defined in the restoration industry:

  • Category One – Water from a clean water source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. Examples include water from a broken water supply pipe or an overflowing bathtub.
  • Category Two – Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. Examples include water from aquariums, dishwasher or clothes washer leaks, and water entering the structure from below grade. Discharged Category One water that sits untreated more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Two.
  • Category Three – Water emanating from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease-causing agents. Examples include discharges from sewer or septic systems/pipes and floodwaters. Discharged Category One water that sits more for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three. Discharged Category Two water that sits more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.

6. Controlling pathogenic microorganisms during a restoration project may require the use of chemical agents that act as biocides. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined three levels of biocidal activity:

  • Sanitizers – Designed to reduce the number of microorganisms.
  • Disinfectants – Designed to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms but not necessarily their spores.
  • Sterilizer – Designed to destroy all microorganisms (fungi/molds, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and their spores.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for all your water damage needs, 757-934-8404.

Fire Tips After the Damage is Done

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

These tips will assist you in taking proper actions until we arrive at a scene of a fire.  Follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration:

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into the carpet and avoid tracking
  • Keep hands clean.  Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system

DON'T:

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without contacting SERVPRO first
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.  The wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage

CAT 3 Water Damage

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

When the unfortunate instance of water damage takes place in your life, know SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin will do everything in our power to help. Here are some tips to keep yourself and your property safe, as well as aid in the process of the cleanup. 

DO:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated from sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

DON’T:

  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

Sewage back up can occur because items that aren't meant to be flushed get flushed and stuck. 

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for all your water damage needs, 757-934-8404.

Solar Panels Weathering a Storm

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Solar panels can be big cost-cutters - but they can also be a big investment. Many homeowners worry about protecting these costly devices from the risks of water, wind, and storms in general. If you’re worried about panel damage after a serious storm at your home, there’s good news. Keep reading to learn how your panels have been built to withstand everything from heavy storms and everything they can bring.

About Solar Energy

Typically mounted on houses in sunny regions, these panels work by harnessing photons - or particles of light - and transforming them into inexpensive electricity. The three main types of panels are:

  • Monocrystalline, which incorporate a single silicon crystal
  • Polycrystalline, which incorporate multiple fragments of silicon crystals
  • Thin-film amorphous, which are made from a variety of materials beyond silicon

Resilient Technology

Fortunately, panel damage is a rarity due to current manufacturing standards. Most panels are built to be waterproof and extremely durable, ensuring they can withstand a variety of conditions. For instance, most panels are made to endure hail falling as fast as 50 miles per hour. Panels are also usually made to withstand winds of up to 140 miles per hour, virtually guaranteeing your panels will make it through even the harshest storms.

Handling Unexpected Damage

Despite the testing and manufacturing standards your panels are exposed to there’s always the off chance of damage. When damage does occur, it’s usually due to debris striking a panel and damaging it. Should your panels be damaged, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Many times, the expense of repairing your panels can be covered.
Solar panels are durable and built to exacting standards. When storms are forecast, don’t lose sleep over potential panel damage. Instead, focus your attention on securing more vulnerable areas of your property before a storm, and handling things like general roof damage and flood cleanup afterward.

For all your storm damage needs, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.

Spring Storms

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Spring storms can be unpredictable. In the spring there are days in which we are closer to summer and other days where it snows! The changing weather during the spring can cause potential hazards that can be hard to predict/plan for since the weather can change rapidly, leading to the experience of many seasons in the same day! Mark Twain once said, “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” 

Thunderstorms pose the most serious weather-related threat during the spring. Thunderstorms develop when warm moist air collides with cool, dry air.  Some of the dangers associated with severe thunderstorms include lightningtornadoes, and flooding. Although the weather in the spring can change so quickly there is something you can do in order to prepare. Having a first aid kit and an emergency evacuation/shelter plan as well as keeping a 3-5 day supply of water and non-perishable food are all measures that can be taken to prepare for the potential of severe weather in the Spring.


If your home or business experiences storm damage this Spring, we are here to help! Our SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin team is ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to any disasters that may strike in any season. Call 757-934-8404.

Preparing for an Emergency

2/27/2020 (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 card, 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, and 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 your pet’s vet records like rabies certificate, prescriptions and a recent photo of your pet(s).

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

Always Be Prepared for Unpredictable Events

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

The fact of the matter is that no one plans for or is prepared to deal with a fire or water damage. These emergencies happen without warning and can create chaos in your life. This is where SERVPRO comes in! With franchise professionals on standby 24 hours a day 365 days a year, we are always Here to Help!

Own a business? Our Emergency Ready Profile can help you minimize business interruptions and get back to serving your clients faster than ever!

With over 40 years of industry experience, our franchise professionals receive training from The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). 

A property owner or manager? Keep your homes or apartment units occupied by inviting a team of our dedicated franchise professionals to get the space move-in ready: we offer a variety of cleaning services including floor cleaning, ceiling, and wall cleaning, deodorization, air duct & HVAC Cleaning as well as upholstery and drapery cleaning. 

Our franchise professionals are on standby 24 hours a day 365 days a year to respond quickly to your emergency!

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.

Is Your Family Being Exposed to Mold?

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

You may have written off your itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing as seasonal allergies, but the truth is you may be dealing with an even bigger problem: Mold.  

Mold is not a new problem.  Every house, every environment has mold spores, but mold becomes an issue when the mold spores in the home are greater than what is found outside.

Mold is one of the more threatening organisms and SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin takes it very seriously. The danger lies in the fact the mold is often not easy to find. It likes to hide and can be harbored in any cool, damp place inside your home or place of business. Most people only think of showers and bathrooms as harboring mold, but truthfully, it can hide in attics, crawl spaces, closets, even inside the walls or under the floor.

Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation:

  1. Emergency Contact - 757-934-8404
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  7. Restoration

Pick the Correct Fire Extinguisher!

2/4/2020 (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

Winter Heat Hazards

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Winter is the same anywhere you go...lower temperatures & shorter days.  Often times we use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood-burning stoves to make our homes cozy.  Did you know that heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths?

Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire:

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.  Have a three-foot "kid-free zone around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.  Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for all fire-related needs, 757-934-8404.

Tips to Recover After a Fire

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

It is all too easy to think that it can't happen to you, there is no way you could be the victim of a devastating fire.

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reports that there were 365,500 home fires in the United States in 2015.

That's an average of over 30,000 fires per month. These fires resulted in over 2,000 deaths, 11,000 injuries and over $7 billion in damage.

If you have suffered the unthinkable, here are some tips to help you put the pieces back together.

Get Medical Treatment - Getting everyone out of the house during a fire or other emergency can be a harrowing experience. During your evacuation, you may suffer injuries.

No matter how minor your injuries may seem, be sure to have them checked.  This will help reduce any chances of infection.

Get Emotional Help - This is something that is equally as important as the physical healing you may need. A disaster such as a fire can affect people differently.

Some of the emotions you and your family may experience include fear, shock, disbelief, grief, anger, guilt, anxiety and/or depression.

Remember, children also process traumatic events differently than adults, so be prepared to provide them with additional support if necessary. Your local Red Cross can help find you the help you need.

Rebuilding Your Home - It is extremely important to never enter your home after a disaster until inspectors have determined that it is safe to do so.

Get in touch with your insurance agent to help determine the extent of the damage and get a claim open immediately so you can begin to put the wheels in motion for rebuilding or replacing your home.

Finding Professional Contractors - No matter what repairs are needed for your home, always be sure to use reputable contractors to complete the work. Any contractors you choose should have extensive experience repairing homes after a fire or disaster.

Your local chamber of commerce is a good place to start locating the professionals best suited for your needs.

If you have suffered a fire in your home, the professionals at SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin are only a phone call away. We will jump into action immediately to help you and your family back on track. 757-934-8404

Commercial Water Damage Facts

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to water damage to a residential or commercial property, there is more than meets the eye.

Here are some water facts and figures as they pertain to the restoration industry:

1. Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances. In fact, water is known as the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.

2. A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours.

3. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment.

4. A good indication of a failing hot water heater is a puddle of water underneath it, indicating a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings on the top of the heater. If you don’t investigate the leak ASAP, you may quickly flood your home because water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.

5. There are three categories of water contamination defined in the restoration industry:

  • Category One – Water from a clean water source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. Examples include water from a broken water supply pipe or an overflowing bathtub.
  • Category Two – Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. Examples include water from aquariums, dishwasher or clothes washer leaks, and water entering the structure from below grade. Discharged Category One water that sits untreated more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Two.
  • Category Three – Water emanating from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease-causing agents. Examples include discharges from sewer or septic systems/pipes and floodwaters. Discharged Category One water that sits more for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three. Discharged Category Two water that sits more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.

6. Controlling pathogenic microorganisms during a restoration project may require the use of chemical agents that act as biocides. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined three levels of biocidal activity:

  • Sanitizers – Designed to reduce the number of microorganisms.
  • Disinfectants – Designed to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms but not necessarily their spores.
  • Sterilizer – Designed to destroy all microorganisms (fungi/molds, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and their spores.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for all your water damage needs, 757-934-8404.

Signs of Water Damage in Commercial Building

2/4/2020 (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." 

Call 757-934-8404 today!

Mold Growth

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moist Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If you see any signs of mold call SERVPRO® of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin today at 757-934-8404.

Safety Tips When You Suspect Mold

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores that become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin 757-934-8404

What is that smell?

2/3/2020 (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 Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin 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 fire damage -- or some other accident -- and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404. 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."

Winter Warnings vs. Advisories

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin wants to help you to be prepared for the upcoming winter weather.  The National Weather Service will issue advisories and warnings.  It is important that you understand these and know how to prepare for winter and to be Winter Safe.

  • Blizzard Warning- Winds or gusts to 35 mph or more for at least 3 hours and lots of falling or blowing snow reducing your visibility to less than ¼ mile.
  • Winter Storm Warning- 6” or more of snow, or a combination of winter weather types with major impacts.
  • Ice Storm Warning- ¼” or more of ice accumulation.
  • Winter Weather Advisory- Less than 6” of snow, Less than ¼” of ice accumulation from freezing rain, Visibilities reduced in blowing snow with winds less than 35 mph, Combinations of these.
  • Wind Chill Warning- Wind chills of -25°F or colder with winds of 10 mph or higher.
  • Wind Chill Advisory- Wind chills of -15°F to -24° with winds of 10 mph or higher.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is here 24/7, 757-934-8404.

Winter Weather- Be Prepared

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following actions before the harsh winter weather hits.

Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather such as wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow, can cause damage to the property as well as potential personal injuries.

Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.

Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can cause roof damage and interior water problems.

Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting the water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.

Ask your SERVPRO of Suffolk professional about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin

757-934-8404

Winter Car Safety Tips

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Snow is a lot like liver and onions. You either love it or hate it. But, if you find yourself stranded in your vehicle in the middle of a snow event, you can either hate the fact that you weren't prepared for it or love that you are.

S'now what...

Mother nature can be a real beast. In fact, she's a killer. And when it comes to a snow event, the best idea for safety is to stay off the roads and keep warm and safe at home. However, that isn't always possible. When you find that you must venture out on snowy and icy roads, you know to stay alert, drive a little slower, brake according to road conditions... But what if your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck and you must wait for help in a disabled vehicle in dangerously cold, wet weather?

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin wants you to be prepared in the face of any hazard that may cross your path, whether flood, fire or treacherous travel conditions.

Please take a moment to look at the list (below) of the suggested items to keep in your vehicle. Just a little bit of preparation can keep a little emergency from becoming a catastrophe.

Stay warm and carry on! And tune in to AM 1310 on the radio to stay alert to the latest weather conditions.

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

Keep These Things in Your Vehicle:

Cell phone

Car charger

LED flashlight

Bag of rock salt

Shovel

Wool blankets/one for each passenger

Ice scraper

Leatherman or Swiss Army knife

Jumper cables

Two quarts of oil

Extra fuses

Fix-a-Flat

Paper towels

First aid kit

Prescription and OTC medications

Winter boots, scarves, hats and heavy winter clothes for each passenger

Water

Snack bars

Toilet paper

Music/games for young passengers

Ice Dams - Winter Weather Hazard

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season.  Cold weather, snow and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or your office. 

Ice dams form when the heated air melts the roof snow downward and the melted water runs into ice that is still frozen causing the water to dam up.  When this water is trapped, it cannot flow or run into the gutter system and can back flow under the roof shingles and into the interior structure of your house or business.

Ice Dam damage:

  • Water can seep into your home or building’s walls, ceilings, insulation, and other interior areas.
  • Ice dams can lift roof shingles causing water to leak into your home.
  • Pressure and weight from the dams can pull off your gutters and lead to structural damage.

Our friends at Nationwide blog about Preventing Ice Dam Damage to Your Roof and Home.

If this disaster strikes, you need to take immediate action to prevent additional damage to your property.  SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin franchise professionals have the winter storm experience and expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather. Call 757-934-8404 today.

Be prepared!

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Prepare Your Home

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

  • Keep your cabinet doors open during cold spells as this will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water running through your faucets, especially those that run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off your outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn to “off.”
  • If you do shut off your outdoor faucet, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Ensure that your gutters are clean and in good shape, secured. Leaves and such can clog and cause a damming effect which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace, HVAC system can help reduce the risk of puff backs.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is available 24 hours a day, 757-934-8404.

What is Efflorescence, and is it harmful?

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

According to The Masonry Institute of America, Efflorescence is the white chalky powder that you might find on the surface of a concrete or brick wall. It can be a cosmetic issue, or it can be an indication of moisture intrusion that could lead to major structural and indoor air quality issues. Efflorescence (which means "to flower out" in French) is the dissolved salts deposited on the surface of a porous material that are visible after the evaporation of the water.  

Porous materials like brick, stone, concrete, and wood have the ability to wick up water.  If the water contains salt, once the water evaporates from the building materials it leaves behind efflorescence.  

Efflorescence can often be confused with mold. However, not to worry, this is not something that is toxic or harmful.  

The best way to remove efflorescence is by acid washing the area.  After the wash is complete, neutralize the area with baking soda.  You want to make sure to neutralize the area because acid residue can be harmful to plants and animals.  

If you have efflorescence that you would like to have looked at and cleaned up we are here to help.  Give us a call, SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.

Commercial Maintenance Needs- Be Sure to Keep Them Up

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

It’s very important to keep up with your commercial maintenance needs because this can prevent damages to your property. Things like checking your hot water heater to see when the last time it was replaced or checking the condensation lines coming from your air conditioning unit are quick and easy preventative measures. These are just some of the things you can check to prevent damages to your home.

Most water damages come from a preventable source such as your hot water heater or air conditioning condensation line. With hot water heaters, you should replace them every 8–12 years. A replacement will vary with the severity of your local weather, the design of the unit, quality of installation, and the maintenance your unit has received. With an air conditioner condensation line we would recommend cleaning it once a year to maintain a blockage free line.

There are plenty of websites that explain how to do these things yourself but we would recommend that if you are not a professional, you should hire a professional to perform maintenance on your home. Performing these two quick and easy checks can go a long way in preventing any potential issues. 

If you should encounter any problems, remember to Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.

Cool Fall Temps Can Bring an Increase Risk in Fires

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

There is a chill in the air, beautiful colors outside, football on the TV, and an abundance of decorations to be put up. With everything going on in the fall, it is easy to forget that autumn can be a dangerous time for fires. It is very important to be prepared and aware of your surroundings.

As you start to put up the decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving, remember that dried flowers, cornstalks, and bales of straw are all highly flammable. Pair this with the candle-lit Jack-O-Lanterns along with other open flames and there is a recipe for disaster. It is very important to be careful and think about the way you decorate. Be sure to keep any flames far away from anything even remotely flammable. It is also very important to keep all exits clear of all decorations.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin isn’t the only one stressing fire prevention in the Fall. Each October, the National Fire Protection Association observes Fire Prevention Week. It is a week designated to encourage people to evaluate their surroundings and make sure that they have a plan in place in the event of a fire. It’s a great time for schools and families to teach children about fire safety.

Even if you don’t have children, take some time this month to make sure you have a plan in place. Make sure you have up to date fire extinguishers at the ready and fresh batteries in your smoke detectors. Always remember, no one ever expects a fire to happen. A good plan and fast action can turn a total loss into a small claim.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin with any fire-related needs, we are here 24/7, 365 days a year, 757-934-8404. 

Residential Water Damage

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen at any time of the day and anywhere within your home. Examples of possible water damages are toilet clogs, dishwasher leaks, refrigerator line leak, hot water heater, and pipe bursts to name a few. When a disaster happens in your home, our team of trained and licensed technicians will walk through the disaster with you along with the entire drying process. 

At the end of the day, your home is the biggest purchase/investment ever. We are here to help you in a time of need when you need us the most and we understand the amount of stress that a loss can do to a person. Any type of disaster to your home can easily be the worst day of your life.

If a tragedy ever happens to your home, whether its a basement flood, water heater burst or sewage backing up into your toilet, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404. 

Primary vs. Secondary Water Damage

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

When waters flood your home or business, you may not worry about how the resulting damage was caused. However, understanding the difference between secondary and primary damage can help you make smart decisions about the cleanup process. Black mold, for example, may not grow in your flooded home if you act quickly.

Primary

Primary damage is anything that happened at the time of the flooding. This can include the following:

  • Broken pipe
  • Damaged building materials
  • Waterlogged furniture

Many residential water cleanup professionals consider primary damage to be anything done at the time of the flooding before the waters stopped flowing.

Secondary

Secondary damage, therefore, is anything that happened once the initial flood stopped. Often, this type of destruction takes place when flooding is not noticed for days. Black mold can start to grow if stagnant water is left unattended, for example. Slow reaction times aren't the only thing that could cause your home to continue being damaged after flooding has stopped. A poor cleanup technique can also attribute to this destruction.

For example, if your home is not completely dried out, there may still be a higher-than-normal humidity level. This high humidity can degrade fabrics, warp wood floors or encourage the growth of mold spores.

For any of your water damage concerns, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin at 757-934-8404.

Explained : The Fire Damage Restoration Process

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Recommended process for addressing the problem of fire damage in your home or business:

Contacting the Restoration Company

In case of a fire in home or fire in business, the first thing to do is to contact a restoration company like SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for emergency response. Massive smoke smell and smoke damage resulting from a fire in a business or in a home can only be controlled by a professional restoration company with experience in fire cleanup. In some instances, you may be required board up to stop future commercial fire damage. Therefore, fire damage needs emergency response services.

Assessment

Assessment of the level of commercial fire damage is a very important step in the restoration process. The process involves determining the distance of travel by the soot or smoke, the level of smoke damage, and the smoke smell. The restoration company can only estimate the cost of restoration and design an appropriate fire cleanup plan after damage assessment. Moreover, one can only estimate the time it will take to restore the fire in business or fire in home damage through the assessment process.

Sealing Services

Smoke damage and smoke smell can be prevented from spreading to other areas in a fire in a business or in a home incident by sealing all the openings and leaks. For example, wall and roof openings may lead to water damage during a rainy season. For successful fire damage restoration to occur, it is important to seal all openings. Therefore, fire damage restoration is highly dependent on water damage restoration. Massive damage can be caused by a burst water pipe or tank in a fire incident.

Fire damage Clean-Up

It is important to clean away smoke, dust and soot damage during a fire cleanup process. All the surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned as part of the restoration. It is important to look out for smoke damage, dark surfaces, stained surfaces as well as charred items. The only way to restore normalcy and clear the smoke smell is by cleaning up the affected property. After a fire in business or fire in a home, it is advisable to remove all standing pools of water by using a submersible pump. Soot damage and smoke odor are removed from the room by drying and sanitization the affected area. Moreover, bad odor and soot damage can be removed by carpet cleaning. Soot and smoke odor can spread to adjacent rooms, that is why the rooms should also be cleaned immediately. As a future precaution, you may be required to board up walls.

Repair and Renovation

The best way to ensure complete and successful restoration is by ensuring that all the damaged furniture and items are repaired. Replacement of damaged cabinets is a very important process in fire damage restoration. However, those that are not badly damaged can be repaired. Renovation services are offered by most restoration companies for clients that need to renovate their property. As mentioned earlier, you can decide to board up your walls to avoid future destruction. The renovation process may involve coming up with a completely new design of the business premises or home that may be more appealing to the owner as compared to the previous design. It is also important to know that you can always benefit from the renovations services that are offered by restoration companies. You can hire extra redesign and renovation services depending on the level of damage.

Consultation

Apart from offering restoration services, the companies can be a source of information for those affected by fire accidents. You can always ask the experts questions related to soot damage and other fire-related damages. Moreover, you can also learn how to board up and the recommended room designs.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for all of your restoration needs, 757-813-7775.

Mitigation and Remediation Services 24/7

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is ready to answer the call 24/7/365!

As an independently owned business ourselves, we understand that business continuity is extremely important and that every hour lost is a customer and revenue lost. And with our highly trained and certified technicians, we can prevent loses such as water damage and mold from being a long-term problem to your business. Being that we are a 24-hour franchise, we have a flexible schedule to work around time strains you may have.

We have the experience and the technology needed to solve any problem. If your business is damaged by water, fire or any other forces of mother nature, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404. 

The 3 Categories of Water

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can cause stress in the home or workplace. Whether your water loss is large or small, it is crucial to remediate the situation quickly to prevent any further issues. Water is classified into 3 categories, and it’s important to be able to distinguish the differences among them.

The first category is “Clean Water.” Clean water is the least contaminated, and comes from a clean source, like a leaky faucet or water line. It can turn into a category 2 or 3 if left untreated and exposed to factors such as temperature and other contaminants.

The second category is “Gray Water.” Gray water is contaminated and can come from a dishwasher or washing machine overflow. It is important to remediate gray water as quickly as possible, as it may contain bacteria. And if left untreated, it can turn into a category 3 “Black Water.”

Blackwater is severely contaminated. Having contact with black water can cause serious illness, and in some cases even death. Examples of black water include flooding from waterways and standing water. Blackwater may contain chemicals, microbes, and sewage. Avoid any contact with black water.

At SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, we want our customers to have peace of mind knowing they will be taken care of by our certified professionals. Our state of the art equipment will have your home or business dry, clean and back to normalcy in a timely and professional manner. If you have any concerns related to water damage, or to schedule an estimate, please call us today at 757-934-8404.

Water Damage Prevention

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Do you know what the number 1 culprit is that weakens the foundation of your home? WATER DAMAGE!

Similar to core strength of your body, water damage hits the core strength of your house causing harm to your property. Below are some strategies on how to prevent any future water damages. 

1. Make sure your home has good drainage

Gutters need to be cleaned on a routine basis. If not, a clogged gutter can damage the siding and foundation of your home. The maintenance cost of cleaning your gutters depends on the size and height of your home. On the contrary, it cost no money for you to clean your gutters yourself. 

2. Test your sump pump regularly

Your sump pump should be checked to see if it's running properly at least once a year. When it comes to storm seasons, several checks should be conducted. To test your sump pump, slowly fill the sump pump pit with water, watch the "float' to rise and then watch to make sure that the water level falls. It's free to get your sump pump professionally tested.

3. Check for water leaks and fix them

If you get the chance to fix a leak shortly after it started, there may be no long-term damage at all. However, if you have persistent leaks, it can lead to mold growth, termites, ants and more. To check for leaks, check dark spots under pipes, inside sink cabinets, and stains on ceilings. 

If you have any questions/concerns, please call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404. Our team is certified and well trained to make it look and feel "Like it never even happened." 

How to Handle Flood Water

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Your location no longer seems to be a factor-there is always potential for flood damage.

Fema.gov reports that in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. It’s not a matter of if, but when and FEMA reports that nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.

The American Red Cross claims that floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. Here are some tips they advise to follow:

Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, Stop, Turn around, and go another way.
If you approach a flooded road while driving, the same holds true. If you are in your car and waters are rising rapidly, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. 
Keep children out of the water. Children may not recognize contaminated water and lack judgment. 

If your home or business is affected by a flood, SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is your water damage restoration company. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure if not treated properly and quickly.

Cleanup can be overwhelming and that’s why SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is prepared to handle any size disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, let your local SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin help you take it back.

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 757-934-8404.

ERP - Emergency Ready Plan

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is a leading expert in providing Emergency Ready Profiles (ERP’s) for area businesses, apartment community's, churches, municipalities, and non-profit organizations. 

What is ERP?

An ERP is simply a plan of action of what to do, who to call, and emergency contacts!  It will also include where the water shut off valves are, and electrical panels, plus so much more.  

Why get an ERP?

One advantage of being prepared for a disaster includes reducing business interruption.  Most people do not know that as many as 50% of businesses never recover following a disaster because a plan was not in place ahead of time.  We can provide a no-cost assessment of your facility and not only provide you with a concise profile that contains critical information needed in the event of an emergency but give you access to our “SERVPRO ONLY” mobile app which puts this information at your fingertips at all times!  

Call us today to get started!  757-938-8404

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is here when you need us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

Water Damage can Destroy in Minutes

3/22/2019 (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 is 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.
  • 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.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, Call for all your emergency needs!

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

We are here to assist in your time of need 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can call at 10 pm on a Saturday night and your call will be answered by one of our trained managers. SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin understands that when your business or home has water coming through your ceiling, sewage backed up from your toilet or water coming through your light fixtures you can not wait until Monday for emergency services. 

If your home or office is affected by disasters like water damage or fire, SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is ready to help you start the mitigation process and dry out your structure. Our teams of trained production techs are ready to walk through the process with you, just call us at 757-934-8404, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Furnace/Fireplace Puffback Facts

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

What is a Furnace or Fireplace Puffback?

Laughing at someone in a movie whose face has just been engulfed with black soot after standing in front of a fireplace is one thing, but in the real world when you hear that distinctive loud wuff sound, it turns into something else altogether, not so funny.  When your fireplace or furnace creates a puff of soot inside of your home, often called a puffback, suddenly you have a real sooty problem that needs to be handled quickly.

When a puffback happens, soot and oil residue can literally cover every surface that it can reach.  Puffbacks normally happen around this time of year when furnaces and fireplaces are fired up, no pun intended, after being dormant all summer.

In a furnace, a puffback is usually caused by a buildup of excess fuel, oil, even dirt or dust in the ignition chamber.  The buildup prevents oxygen from reaching the combustion chamber.  When the ignition flame in the furnace pulls in the rush of oxygen it needs to ignite, the result is a powerful explosion of soot and oil that can even come out of the wall or floor vents.

In a fireplace or woodstove puffback, the cause can be like the furnace, however, the cause is most likely a problem in the chimney.  There is usually a buildup of ash and leftover residue clumped in the chimney that creates an uneven airflow of oxygen and carbon dioxide.  The kindling and wood have plenty of fuel, but the oxygen it needs to burn is stuck above the chimney blockage.  The fire will eventually correct the imbalance by sucking in a large amount of oxygen all at once, igniting the excess fuel in the fireplace and the buildup in the chimney all at once.  The force of the ignition pushes ash and soot out of the fireplace.

Puffbacks can usually be prevented by routine chimney and furnace maintenance.  If you experience soot or smoke call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.

Cooking Safety in Surprising Suffolk

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Cooking Fire Safety

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  Travelers Insurance offers these safe cooking behaviors to help keep you and your family safe.

Never leave your cooking equipment unattended while cooking, turn it off.

Don’t wear loose clothing, roll up your sleeves.

Keep your cooking area clean and remove any items that may explode or catch fire, like a paper or kitchen towel, oven mitt, non-dairy creamer, or flour.

Remove any grease buildup from your cooking area. 

Keep a fire extinguisher in the cooking area.  Be sure to have the correct type of extinguisher and know how to properly use it.  

Don’t throw hot grease into the garbage.  Let it cool and harden then dispose of it.

Don’t store food items in your oven.  People forget that there is food in there and it could catch fire when preheating. 

What do you do if you do have a cooking fire? 

Your safety comes first.  Leave the scene if you aren’t sure if the fire is safe enough to combat, call 911 for help.  The fire department will control the fire.

If the fire is small and you are going to attempt to extinguish it, call 911 for help first.  The fire can get out of control quickly and having help on the way is safer.

Never throw water on a grease fire, smother it.  Watch how the water will turn to burning steam and the oil will splash and spread the fire.  If you can, use a mitt to carefully slide a lid onto the pan and safely turn off the heat source.  Don’t attempt to remove the pan until the fire is out and the pan has had time to cool.

Keep the door closed for an oven or microwave fire and turn off the heat and electrical source.  Don’t open the door until the flames are gone.

If you suffer fire damage, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.

Weatherize Windows & Doors

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Weatherizing Around Windows and Doors:

Are you feeling a draft even though your windows and doors are closed?  Chances are that you need to add or replace the seal on the windows or replace the weather stripping around the doors. 

Conducting a maintenance check or inspection of your home can help minimize the risks for potential damage caused by extremely cold temperatures or winter storm conditions.

You want to caulk around cracked window seals, replace any broken windows and add weather stripping or caulk to loose window panes.  The DIY network offers tips on weatherproofing doors and windows.

Should water damage occur due to extreme weather or something else, give us a call, we’re your 24/7 Emergency Service, SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.

Know the Facts vs Myths about Severe Weather

2/11/2019 (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 the 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 the dry creek or riverbeds as well as urban areas where no streams are present.

Winter Storm Prep

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Winter storm preparation can help to eliminate costly repairs caused when your home or office is not protected from severe cold, snow, and ice.

Protect your roof and inspect gutters, flashing, and even your chimney. Snow on the rooftop sounds nice in a song but it’s not nice when the snow melts and causes an ice dam. Winter storm preparation can help prevent costly water damage. Pipes may burst because they’re in unheated, unprotected spaces without being insulated. Water damage can happen when your attic isn’t well ventilated or insulated.  Doing so helps expel the warm air from inside the house and refresh it with cooler outside air which helps prevent condensation from occurring that can lead to mold and mildew, structural damage and ice dams. 

If your Suffolk or Smithfield home or business is damaged from a winter storm, take immediate action to prevent additional damage to your property and call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404. We have the experience and expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather.

Commercial ERP (Emergency Ready Plan)

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan for it NOW.

By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.   All your contacts, your property manager, engineers’ info, etc. accessible at the touch of a button.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin offers complimentary ERP services to commercial business owners and facilitators.

Your ERP with SERVPRO® will include:           

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in an emergency
  • A guide to help get you back into your building following a disaster
  • Establishes SERVPRO® of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
  • 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.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin to get your business covered! 757-934-8404

Sewage Backups - The Dirty Facts

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

A sewage system backed up in this home and flooded the entire bathroom.  This is called a category 3 water contamination.  The cleanup requires professionally trained technicians and professional equipment.  

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe homes and offices.

Please refer to our Biohazard Emergency Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

After any biohazard or sewage contamination in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences.
  • Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.

What to Do After a Contamination

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
  • Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.

What Not to Do After a Contamination

  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don’t use television or other household appliances.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Need Biohazard Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today –757-934-8404

When Your Contents Get Wet

2/11/2019 (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, 757-934-8404 to handle your contents with care and make the damage "Like it never even happened."

Are You and Your Family Exposed to Mold?

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

You may have written off your itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing as seasonal allergies, but the truth is you may be dealing with an even bigger problem: Mold.  

Mold is not a new problem.  Every house, every environment has mold spores, but mold becomes an issue when the mold spores in the home are greater than what is found outside.

Mold is one of the more threatening of organisms and SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin takes it very seriously. The danger lies in the fact the mold is often not easy to find. It likes to hide and can be harbored in any cool, damp place inside your home or place of business. Most people only think of showers and bathrooms as harboring mold, but truthfully, it can hide in attics, crawl spaces, closets, even inside the walls or under the floor.

Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation:

  1. Emergency Contact - 757-934-8404
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  7. Restoration

Mold Hiding Behind Wallpaper

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Mold behind wallpaper is a big health concern. To get rid of the mold you must remove the wallpaper. First and foremost remove the wallpaper safely by wetting it with a wetting agent and water. But first, wear a good cartridge-type respirator.

When removing mold behind wallpaper safely wet it first. Even if the wallpaper removes dry still wet it

A simple dust or particulate mask won't offer adequate protection. Also, wear gloves and goggles, remember safety first. In a garden type sprayer add the wetting agent and water for easy application.

Using the sprayer to wet the wallpaper down will reduce the mold spores from becoming airborne. Even if the wallpaper removes dry still wet it first. Move slowly and deliberately so you don't stir up spores as you work.

Once the wallpaper is removed from the walls the next step is to wash the walls down with a water and bleach solution. This should remove the mold from the walls if it is just surface mold. If the walls are soft and spongy the mold may have penetrated deeper into the wall.

One way to tell if the walls are totally saturated with mold you can take a utility knife and cut a small square out of the wall and look at the back side of the square. If there is mold behind the wall then you should replace the walls. If you plan on wallpapering again use a Nonwoven wallpaper so you will never get mold behind wallpaper again. Nonwoven wallpapers can breathe, unlike vinyl wallpapers.

Mold Removal/Remeditaion

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout the property in as little as 48-72 hours and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.  

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals

  • Provide 24/7 Emergency Service
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Specialists
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry with over 1,700 Franchises

If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin 757-934-8404

Heating Hazards in the Winter

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Stay safe while staying warm

Winter is the same anywhere you go...lower temperatures & shorter days.  Often times we use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves to make our homes cozy.  Did you know that heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths?

Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire:

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.  Have a three foot "kid-free zone around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.  Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Fire Safety in an Emergency

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

These tips will assist you in taking proper actions until we arrive at a scene of a fire.  Follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration:

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into the carpet and avoid tracking
  • Keep hands clean.  Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system

DON'T:

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without contacting SERVPRO first
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.  Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage

Water Damage in Commercial Building

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

Water damage can strike your business at any time. At United Water Restoration, we understand the urgency and the delicacy of the situation. Mold growth can lead to serious health issues, as well as damaged property, lawsuits, and even potential structural issues. For a business, municipal building, or similar structure, floodwaters also mean one powerful truth: your building is closed for business until the damage is remediated. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give SERVPRO a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Water Damage Causes

Water damage can be caused by a toilet clogging or overflowing, general plumbing problems, a leaking roof or old pipes. Our experts will assess the issue by tracking down any pockets of excess moisture and remove them accordingly. The high-tech equipment used to locate these pockets include moisture meters and Thermal imaging permits the ability to measure the moisture in hidden pockets and behind the tile and other materials that may not feel wet on the outside. SERVPRO finds these moisture pockets and professionally dries the equipment and area to ensure proper recovery and remove any moisture from drywall or other materials. Through our process, we can speed up drying to prevent the growth of any mold or other harmful bacteria by building drying chambers.

It is essential that water damage restoration is given proper attention in a timely manner. If left unrepaired, it will worsen which will lead to more and more problems.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for all your commercial needs, 757-934-8404.

Commercial Water Damage Facts

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to water damage to a residential or commercial property, there is more than meets the eye.

Here are some water facts and figures as they pertain to the restoration industry:

1. Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances. In fact, water is known as the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.

2. A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours.

3. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment.

4. A good indication of a failing hot water heater is a puddle of water underneath it, indicating a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings on the top of the heater. If you don’t investigate the leak ASAP, you may quickly flood your home because water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.

5. There are three categories of water contamination defined in the restoration industry:

  • Category One – Water from a clean water source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. Examples include water from a broken water supply pipe or an overflowing bathtub.
  • Category Two – Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. Examples include water from aquariums, dishwasher or clothes washer leaks, and water entering the structure from below grade. Discharged Category One water that sits untreated more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Two.
  • Category Three – Water emanating from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease-causing agents. Examples include discharges from sewer or septic systems/pipes and flood waters. Discharged Category One water that sits more for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three. Discharged Category Two water that sits more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.

6. Controlling pathogenic microorganisms during a restoration project may require the use of chemical agents that act as biocides. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined three levels of biocidal activity:

  • Sanitizers – Designed to reduce the number of microorganisms.
  • Disinfectants – Designed to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms but not necessarily their spores.
  • Sterilizer – Designed to destroy all microorganisms (fungi/molds, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and their spores.

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for all of your commercial needs, 757-934-8404.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

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!

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

Something Smell?

2/1/2019 (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 Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin 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 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."

Call Today, 757-934-8404.

Always Be Prepared - Winter Weather

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following actions before the harsh winter weather hits.

Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause damage to the property as well as potential personal injuries.

Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.

Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can cause roof damage and interior water problems.

Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting the water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.

Ask your SERVPRO of Suffolk professional about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin

757-934-8404

It's always best to call us directly.

Car Safety During Snow Storms

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Snow is a lot like liver and onions. You either love it or hate it. But, if you find yourself stranded in your vehicle in the middle of a snow event, you can either hate the fact that you weren't prepared for it or love that you are.

S'now what...

Mother nature can be a real beast. In fact, she's a killer. And when it comes to a snow event, the best idea for safety is to stay off the roads and keep warm and safe at home. However, that isn't always possible. When you find that you must venture out on snowy and icy roads, you know to stay alert, drive a little slower, brake according to road conditions... But what if your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck and you must wait for help in a disabled vehicle in dangerously cold, wet weather?

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin wants you to be prepared in the face of any hazard that may cross your path, whether flood, fire or treacherous travel conditions.

Please take a moment to look at the list (below) of suggested items to keep in your vehicle. Just a little bit of preparation can keep a little emergency from becoming a catastrophe.

Stay warm and carry on! And tune in to AM 1310 on the radio to stay alert to the latest weather conditions.

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

Keep These Things in Your Vehicle:

Cell phone

Car charger

LED flashlight

Bag of rock salt

Shovel

Wool blankets/one for each passenger

Ice scraper

Leatherman or Swiss Army knife

Jumper cables

Two quarts of oil

Extra fuses

Fix-a-Flat

Paper towels

First aid kit

Prescription and OTC medications

Winter boots, scarves, hats and heavy winter clothes for each passenger

Water

Snack bars

Toilet paper

Music/games for young passengers

Winter Weather Hazards - Ice Dams

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season.  Cold weather, snow and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or your office. 

Ice dams form when the heated air melts the roof snow downward and the melted water runs into ice that is still frozen causing the water to dam up.  When this water is trapped, it can not flow or run into the gutter system and can backflow under the roof shingles and into the interior structure of your house or business.

Ice Dam damage:

  • Water can seep into your home or building’s walls, ceilings, insulation and other interior areas.
  • Ice dams can lift roof shingles causing water to leak into your home.
  • Pressure and weight from the dams can pull off your gutters and lead to structural damage.

Our friends at Nationwide blog about Preventing Ice Dam Damage to Your Roof and Home.

If this disaster strikes, you need to take immediate action to prevent additional damage to your property.  SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin franchise professionals have the winter storm experience and expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather. 757-934-8404

Preparing for Winter Weather

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare Your Home

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

  • Keep your cabinet doors open during cold spells as this will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water running through your faucets, especially those that run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off your outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn to “off.”
  • If you do shut off your outdoor faucet, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Ensure that your gutters are clean and in good shape, secured. Leaves and such can clog and cause a damming effect which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace, HVAC system can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is available 24 hours a day, 757-934-8404.

Be Prepared - Warning vs Advisories

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin wants to help you to be prepared for the upcoming winter weather.  The National Weather Service will issue advisories and warnings.  It is important that you understand these and know how to prepare for winter and to be Winter Safe.

  • Blizzard Warning- Winds or gusts to 35 mph or more for at least 3 hours and lots of falling or blowing snow reducing your visibility to less than ¼ mile.
  • Winter Storm Warning- 6” or more of snow, or a combination of winter weather types with major impacts.
  • Ice Storm Warning- ¼” or more of ice accumulation.
  • Winter Weather Advisory- Less than 6” of snow, Less than ¼” of ice accumulation from freezing rain, Visibilities reduced in blowing snow with winds less than 35 mph, Combinations of these.
  • Wind Chill Warning- Wind chills of -25°F or colder with winds of 10 mph or higher.
  • Wind Chill Advisory- Wind chills of -15°F to -24° with winds of 10 mph or higher.

What To Do After A Storm

5/29/2018 (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 of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin to help 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 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 about 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.

Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage, and smoke disaster.

Steps To Take Immediately After a Home Fire

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Experiencing a house fire is a scary situation. After the feeling of unbelief, people are wondering what they can do to start the cleanup process from the damage. It’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure you and your family are safe.

Get Permission Before Entering Your Property

Depending on how extensive the fire damage is, make sure the Fire Marshall tells you that the structure is safe to enter. There are possible dangers in your home such as hot spots and unsupported beams that could cause harm.  You also want to be careful no one in the household uses the electricity without permission from the authorities. Although you are anxious to find out if your favorite things survived the fire, waiting until it is safe prevents you from dealing with an injury that could delay cleaning up the fire damage.

Document the Damage

It is also a good idea to take pictures that can be used for insurance purposes and to give potential companies an idea of the damage when you are seeking quotes. It’s important to note that some damage may not be visible, such as getting that smoke smell out of clothes and furniture. Remember, it’s important to keep in mind that fire creates two types of smoke damage; visible soot and an invisible odor.

Call A Professional Fire Damage Restoration Company

Although there are some things you can do on your own, such as removing items like clothing and linens that can be washed or taken to the dry cleaners. But, you should not attempt to handle items that have severe damage from the fire, smoke or water. Contacting a restoration company is the best way to handle fire damages. These companies specialize in restoring and repairing what has been damaged.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is available 24/7 to help. 757-934-8404

Water Damage Facts & Tips

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with water damage is every homeowner's nightmare. Questions about what to do, what will be covered by insurance and what possessions to save first will start ‘flooding’ in.  When a pipe bursts or a basement floods, life is on hold until your home is dried and secured – and that’s not always an easy task.

Here are three facts about water damage that will help you secure your home and respond properly to a potential disaster:

1.    The Type of Water is Important

Generally speaking, there are three types of water that invade homes: rainwater, fresh water, and sewage. Depending on the type of water in your home, you may need to approach any contact or cleanup efforts differently. Sewage can contain harmful bacteria and make you violently ill. Fortunately, telling the difference is often easy, as it will typically smell just as terrible as you would expect. If you think that you are dealing with sewage, a professional water damage cleanup company will have the proper tools and equipment needed to handle the problem safely.

2.    The Trouble Doesn’t End When the Water is Gone

It may be tempting to let out a sigh of relief the moment the water is removed from your home, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t moisture still lurking in the shadows. When moisture is hidden in walls, crawlspaces and below floorboards, it can eventually lead to mold. Mold is toxic and causes damage to structural elements of a home, leading to serious consequences. Make sure you have a mold prevention expert inspect your property to ensure this dangerous substance isn’t invading your home.

3.    Attics Are a Cause for Concern

The most common source of water damage is a leaky roof or malfunctioning gutters, which means your attic is at the highest risk for water damage. Make sure to have your attic inspected regularly by a water damage professional to make sure that a small leak isn’t turning into a serious problem.

If your home is flooded, or you suspect you may be dealing with water damage or mold, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404! All forms of water damage require immediate attention to minimize further losses. We will help you stay safe and protect your assets.

Facts about Business Fires & Restoration

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Know the Facts about Business Fires

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as many as one in four businesses that suffer some kind of major disaster do not reopen afterward. It’s true, overcoming a major loss is extremely difficult, but with the right restoration company and team on your side, working hand-in-hand with your insurance company, the chance of your Indianapolis-area company surviving is pretty high!

Depending on the size of the fire, and the amount of damage, some businesses that have come to SERVPRO for help have reopened just days after the fire happened. Thanks to innovations in smoke odor removal, fire damage restoration, and cleaning in general, it is possible for crews to start work nearly immediately after the fire department clears the scene, and have things back up and running in no time. Although, again, that all depends on the severity of the fire. But no matter the severity, recovery is possible!

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year between 2007 and 2011. Those fires resulted in about $112 million in property damage each year, and most were in business offices – and happened during business hours. However, the good news is the number of business fires was down a whopping 71 percent from 1980 to 2011.

Here are some other stats from the NFPA:

Time of Day

  • Peak time of day for office fires: Noon – 2 p.m. (a.k.a. lunch time!)
  • 69% happened between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • The 31% that occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. caused 67% of recorded property damage because they went undetected longer. This also highlights the need for automatic detection equipment and working sprinkler systems.
  • 19% of fires happened on weekends.

Cause of the Business Fires

  • 29% were caused by cooking equipment. However, just 6% of these fires caused actual property damage.
  • Intentionally-set fires caused the most direct property damage – 21%.
  • Electrical equipment is the second leading cause of office fires.
  • Just 2% of office fires start in a concealed space like an attic, in the ceiling, or in another conceals space. However, these fires accounted for 13% of the direct property damage.

Containment & Putting it Out

  • 4 out of 5 fires were confined to the room of origin.
  • 90% of fires were large enough to activate sprinklers, which were effective 88% of the time.
  • Deaths per 1,000 stores were 62% lower in offices equipped with sprinklers compared to those without.

Industrial/Manufacturing Facility Fires

The NFPA also has statistics specific to manufacturing facilities. According to their research, there are about 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing facilities each year, resulting in 18 deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. Heating equipment and stop tools were the leading cause – sparking 28 percent of the fires. Mechanical failure or malfunction caused 24 percent of the fires.

Planning for the Worst

As part of your emergency preparation plan, be sure to have a local, reputable restoration company – like SERVPRO– on speed dial. The sooner you get the professionals in cleaning up after the disaster, the sooner you can get back to business 757-431-1400.

Summer Fire Safety

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

It may not feel like it yet, but summer is quickly approaching. Each summer, families, and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. In order to enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you have fun in the sun.

According to the United States Fire administration, just under 8,600 Americans are injured by fireworks and almost 5,000 are injured by charcoal/wood burning and propane grill fires, annually. A barbecue grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping off the grill.

If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off from the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in approved areas and supervise children at all times when near the water.

Summertime should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. The following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), will help keep you safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluid designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD (personal floatation device) when boating, jet-skiing, tubing or water-skiing. Air-filled swimming aids, like water wings or inner tubes, are not substitutes for approved PFD's. An adult should always supervise children using these devices.
  • Be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and shut down motors and heating devices before fueling a boat. In case of a spill, wipe up fuel and check for fuel leakage and odors.
  • When camping, always use a flame retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire. Only use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns inside the tent, not liquid-filled heaters or lanterns.
  • Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your campfire. Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish, cover with dirt or pour water over the fire.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
  • Consider leaving firework use to trained professionals. Stay back at least 500 feet from professional fireworks displays.

If you should need any help at all, call your local SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.

Mold Prevention Tips

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold. The very sound of the word is enough to make a person cringe. 
Yes, mold can be good-- it's essential in making brie and penicillin, for example, but it can also be very, very bad, especially when it grows undetected in your home.Some Facts About Mold
Mold spores spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated. Mold can grow anywhere: on carpet, clothing, food, paper and even in places you can't see, such as the back of drywall, areas inside walls around leaking or condensing pipes, or above ceiling tiles. Not only is a mold problem difficult and costly to fix, but mold can also produce allergens and irritants (and rarely, toxins) that may compromise your health. So what can you do if you're concerned about mold growing on a property? The best approach is preventing mold before it becomes a problem. And the key to mold prevention is simple: moisture control.  Mold Prevention Tips 
Click below for nine ways to curb moisture indoors, and the mold that thrives on it.  

9 Ways to Curb Indoor Moisture and Prevent Mold:

1. Identify problem areas and correct them. You can't mold-proof a property, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of the property: where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Or it may be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing. Whatever the case, address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely be more costly down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.

2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you've experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can't be completely dried. Even everyday occurrences need attention: don't leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.

3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in the property. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer. Your energy-efficient property may be holding moisture inside, so open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering, or run an exhaust fan.

4. Equip the property with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. Traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless — the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass, making the surface highly water-resistant. Moisture-resistant drywall is especially valuable in areas prone to wetness, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. Not only is traditional drywall more susceptible to mold than the paperless kind, but it is also difficult to rid of mold, and removal and replacement can be expensive. Mold-resistant gypsum board is also available; the core of the drywall is developed in such a way to prevent moisture absorption, and thus prevent mold growth.

5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture. You'll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas of the property. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture. (For example, turn off a humidifier if water appears on the inside of nearby windows.)

6. Direct water away from the property. If the ground around the property isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

7. Clean or repair roof gutters. A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

8. Improve airflow in your home. According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in a property, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

9. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rainforests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.

Finally, educate yourself on your region's climate — be it the cold and wet Northeast, the hot and wet South, the hot and dry Southwest, or the cold and dry West — and how it responds to moisture. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mold prevention. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step.

3 Categories of Water - Know Your Water

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Safety is Important!

3 Categories of Water

Water damage can cause stress in the home or workplace. Whether your water loss is large or small, it is crucial to remediate the situation quickly to prevent any further issues. Water is classified into 3 categories, and it’s important to be able to distinguish the differences among them.

The first category is “Clean Water.” Clean water is the least contaminated, and comes from a clean source, like a leaky faucet or water line. It can turn into a category 2 or 3 if left untreated and exposed to factors such as temperature and other contaminants.

The second category is “Gray Water.” Gray water is contaminated and can come from a dishwasher or washing machine overflow. It is important to remediate gray water as quickly as possible, as it may contain bacteria. And if left untreated, it can turn into a category 3- “Black Water.”

Blackwater is severely contaminated. Having contact with black water can cause serious illness, and in some cases even death. Examples of black water include flooding from waterways and standing water. Blackwater may contain chemicals, microbes, and sewage. Avoid any contact with black water.

At SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, we want our customers to have peace of mind knowing they will be taken care of by our certified professionals. Our state of the art equipment will have your home or business dry, clean and back to normalcy in a timely and professional manner. If you have any concerns related to a water damage, or to schedule an estimate, please call us today at 757-934-8404.

Flood Waters

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

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

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Your location no longer seems to be a factor-there is always potential for flood damage.

Fema.gov reports that in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. It’s not a matter of if, but when and FEMA reports that nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.

#TheAmericanRed Cross claims that floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. Here are some tips they advise to follow:

Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, Stop, Turn around, and go another way.
If you approach a flooded road while driving, the same holds true. If you are in your car and waters are rising rapidly, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
Keep children out of the water. Children may not recognize contaminated water and lack judgment.
If your home or business is affected by a flood, SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is your water damage restoration company. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure if not treated properly and quickly.

Cleanup can be overwhelming and that’s why the “SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any size disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, let your local SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin help you take it back.

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 757-934-8404.

Moisture Control is Key to Mold Control

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Humidity levels change throughout the day as changes occur in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.  Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
  • Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans, which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
  • Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
  • Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture. 

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin to remediate your mold growth. 757-934-8404

Moisture Control is Key to Mold Control

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Humidity levels change throughout the day as changes occur in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.  Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
  • Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans, which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
  • Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
  • Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture. 

Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin to remediate your mold growth. 757-934-8404

24 Hour Remediation Services

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is ready to answer the call 24/7/365!

On the call 24/7:

            As an independently owned business ourselves, we understand that business continuity is extremely important and that every hour lost is a customer and revenue lost. And with our highly trained and certified technicians, we can prevent loses such as water damage and mold from being a long-term problem to your business. Being that we are a 24-hour franchise, we have a flexible schedule to work around time strains you may have.

We have the experience and the technology needed to solve any problem. If your business is damaged by water, fire or any other forces of mother nature, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404. 

Commercial Water Damage

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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.

Call us today for all your commercial property restoration needs, 757-934-8404.

Commercial Desiccant for Large Losses

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Newest Equipment Addition

If you have a large commercial water loss and you need it remedied as quickly as possible, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin at 757-934-8404. We have recently acquired a state of the art, 5000 CFM Desiccant, accompanied by a 150kw generator. Our desiccant is designed to dry large commercial buildings in a fraction of the time of a conventional fan or air mover. This helps you and your business get back on track as soon as possible, making the damage feel “Like it never even happened.”

We understand how devastating disasters can be, and how important it is to help people get back to normalcy as quickly as possible. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Water You Don't See Hiding

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Be Prepared for a Water Backup

With any leak or spill, it’s the water you don't see that can cause the most damage. When you experience a water damage, make the right choice. A mop and common household cleaning products may not be enough for the unseen water intrusions. While the surface may seem dry, the water you don’t see can contain bacteria, cause mold or rot, and cause other unseen damage.

The insurance industry estimates that approximately 90 percent of household damages come from water-related occurrences. The most commonly reported cause is leaky or broken pipes and plumbing fixtures. Home appliances are considered a leading cause of preventable water damage. By implementing a simple inspection and maintenance program, homeowners can reduce their risk significantly:

  • Dishwasher - Periodically check around the base of the dishwasher, as well as the water supply line under the sink.
  • Refrigerator - For refrigerators with ice makers, periodically check the hose connection attached to the water supply.
  • Washing Machine - Hoses should be inspected regularly for wetness around hose ends, as well as for signs of bulging, cracking or fraying. Hoses should be replaced every three to five years.
  • Water Heater - While the service life of the standard water heater is 10 to 15 years, water heaters should be inspected routinely for signs of leaks or tank rust. Water heaters should be located next to a floor drain or placed inside a drain pan piped to the floor drain.

So before risking the value of your home or further damage by attempting to clean and dry it yourself, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin at 757-934-8404.

Secondary Water Damage

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

This customer thought they could handle their water mitigation themselves. They soon found out why you should always call us at SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin just to be sure. The customer started to notice a musty smell in the area where the water damage had occurred in about two weeks ago.

They called us out to take a look and we found high readings with our moisture meters on the baseboards and walls of the affected area. We removed the baseboard due to the high readings and discovered mold on the baseboards and the wall behind it. With the approval of the home owner we performed mold remediation to clean the mold and high level of spores in the air. We use specialized equipment and an antimicrobial agent along with certified technicians to perform this remediation.

Hopefully, you will never have a water damage, but if you do don’t think it’s too small to call in the professionals to take a look at it. You would not want to end up with a mold issue like this that is easily prevented just by having us come take a look at the water damage as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is here to help. Please call us today at 757-934-8404!

Mold Overview

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can grow anywhere that there is moisture and normally you can see or smell if you have a mold problem. It always needs three things to grow; water or moisture, a food source, and time. Mold usually appears to be fuzzy, with discolored patches that can be slimy, accompanied by a musty odor. If the mold is not visible, it is commonly found behind or underneath carpets, walls, wallpaper, and cabinets. Sources that can lead to mold are flooding, roof leaks, indoor plumbing leaks, humidifiers, damp basements and crawlspaces, steam from your bathroom or kitchen, and outdoor drainage problems.

Exposure to mold can cause health issues including headaches, coughing, itchy/watery eyes, wheezing and difficulty breathing, skin irritation, and sinus congestion. You are more susceptible to these health issues if you currently have a respiratory condition or a compromised immune system. Mold cleanup starts with controlling the moisture problem and identifying and correcting the source of the water/dampness. Call us here at SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin and we will be happy to answer any questions and assist you in remediating your mold issues. 757-934-8404

Typical Mold Causes in Hampton Roads area

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Mold hidden in a crawl space

Mold is often the unseen enemy within our homes or businesses. Slyly, it finds an ideal nook that it calls home, and from there it can gradually grow and expand its reach. And because it comes upon us unidentified, if left unchecked, Mold can lead to deadly consequences, not just for the structure but its inhabitants too. Chronically ill family members, young children, the elderly and even the family pets, are not spared from the effects of Mold.

The textbook Mold home  

Mold is very particular about where it resides. Homeowners won’t find it on a windowsill that’s bright with sunlight. Nor will you see it on floors and tiles that you walk on daily and vacuum and mop daily. However, even if most of the home is airy, filled with natural and artificial light, and cleaned often, there are sources inside your home that can allow Mold to flourish:

Indoor Humidity Levels

Climates that are extremely humid can lead to indoor humidity levels rising. On the other extreme, homeowners living with low indoor humidity levels tend to power up their humidifiers to seek relief. Other sources of indoor humidity include:

Mold needs indoor humidity levels to be slightly higher than 55% to take root. So whether you use a humidifier or a dehumidifier, make sure the humidity levels inside your home never surpass the 55% level.

Condensation Causes Mold

Cold surfaces can create condensation in your home. Condensation collects on cold metal pipes as well as on cold concrete floors, even if there is carpet over the top, and on walls. Places like these where condensation occurs are prime spots for mold growth.

Indoor leaks

Leaking roofs, pipes and appliances (washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters) are another source of house Mold. Hidden pipes (behind walls and floors) can sometimes host Mold for many years, allowing it to spread throughout the home, before the telltale signs (discoloration, damp patches, and odor) of Mold begin to appear.

The Mold Theme  

By now, readers may have grasped on to the fact that the common sources of Mold explored above have a common theme. Can you guess what that is? If you guessed Dampness, then you are right. Anywhere there’s unchecked dampness within the house, Mold finds a home. And the best way to protect yourself is to continually inspect and observe every part of the home, especially rarely used or lightly trafficked areas.

If you have questions or are concerned about potential mold in your home or office, please contact SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin at 757-934-8404.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

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

Water Damage Statistics

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Statistics

Water damage covers a broad range of potential loss. Homeowners understand that wear and tear will occur in any circumstance; however, there are a variety of unforeseen events that may trigger water damage. Natural disasters are often given the most blame for water damage, and they should, considering that the majority of damages due to water stem from some sort of outside environmental factor.

Nevertheless, water damage may come in a variety of forms. Understanding the sources of this type of damage is important to not only potentially preventing an incident, but more importantly, to understand where you stand in the eyes of your insurance provider. Water damage in homes most typically comes from the following causes:

  • Frozen pipes
  • Leaking pipes
  • Leaky roof
  • Broken washing machine hose
  • Plumbing problems
  • Insulations issues

The water damage statistics below will highlight the widespread nature of this issue. While many people do not view this as a common occurrence, water damage accounts for a significant number of homeowners insurance claims. The following are some of the most interesting water damage statistics:

  • Almost 40 percent of all homeowners have said that they have experienced loss from water damage
  • About 93 percent of all water damage can be prevented
  • Water damage is the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the United States
  • 250 gallons of water is released a day due to a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe
  • About 20 percent of all insurance claims related to water damage of some kind
  • Billions of dollars in property losses are spent each year as a direct result of water damages

Those homeowners with an understanding of the prospective damages associated with water are much more likely to stop problems before they become major issues. Hopefully, these water damage statistics were able to shed some light on the vast complications that may arise from water in the home. If you or your family has experienced water damage and are looking to file a claim, contact Arguello, Hope & Associates for more information.

To get started today, simply fill out a Free Case Review form on this page.

Water Damage Insurance Coverage

First and foremost, homeowners must maintain an understanding of exactly what is and is not covered under their current insurance policy. Without this knowledge, homeowners will be left in shock when disaster strikes and they must pay for these damages out of pocket. Besides purchasing a flood policy for protection, you may be able to add coverage to your existing policy. These additions may cover things such as the following:

  • Mold remediation (varies by state)
  • Backup of drains or sewers
  • Plumbing water damage
  • Air conditioning damages
  • Water heater damage

Homeowners must be astute in recognizing water damage as early as possible. When a sudden storm, a plumbing issue, or sewer backup occurs, knowing what will be covered will ease stress and make the entire repair process much more fluid. To find out more, contact SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin at 757-934-8404.

Water Damage Fact vs. Fiction

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is a common problem. Most homes will have water damage at some point. There are a lot of myths about water damage.

Myth: Insurance Will not pay for Water Damage

Fact: In most cases, home insurance and renters insurance will pay for water damage. However, every company is different. Make sure that you ask your insurance provider if they will pay for water damage.

Myth: You can Take Care of Water Damage Yourself

Fact: You should always call a professional if your home has water damage. If water damage is not handled properly, then mold can develop. You may also end up spending more money in the long run if you do not get water damage repaired by a professional.

Myth: Water Removal can Wait

Fact: You do not want to wait. The longer you wait, the more likely your home is to develop mold. The water may also damage your floor and possessions.

Myth: Water Damage is not There if you Cannot see It

Fact: You may not be able to see the water damage. The water may in the ceiling or walls. A professional will be able to find the hidden water.

Myth: Water Removal is the Only Thing That is Necessary

Fact: Water removal is the first step. However, there are several other things that need to be done after all of the water is removed. The professional will have to sanitize and disinfect the area. They will also have to apply an anti-fungicide to the area in order to prevent microbial growth.

Myth: Water Damage Does not Smell

Fact: Mildew has a musky smell. 

If you need a water damage specialist please call our water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.

Mold and Wallpaper

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin

Mold behind wallpaper is a big health concern. To get rid of the mold you must remove the wallpaper. First and foremost remove the wallpaper safely by wetting it with a wetting agent and water. But first, wear a good cartridge-type respirator.

When removing mold behind wallpaper safely wet it first. Even if the wallpaper removes dry still wet it

A simple dust or particulate mask won't offer adequate protection. Also, wear gloves and goggles, remember safety first. In a garden type sprayer add the wetting agent and water for easy application.

Using the sprayer to wet the wallpaper down will reduce the mold spores from becoming airborne. Even if the wallpaper removes dry still wet it first. Move slowly and deliberately so you don't stir up spores as you work.

Once the wallpaper is removed from the walls the next step is to wash the walls down with a water and bleach solution. This should remove the mold from the walls if it is just surface mold. If the walls are soft and spongy the mold may have penetrated deeper into the wall.

One way to tell if the walls are totally saturated with mold you can take a utility knife and cut a small square out of the wall and look at the back side of the square. If there is mold behind the wall then you should replace the walls. If you plan on wallpapering again use a Nonwoven wallpaper so you will never get mold behind wallpaper again. Nonwoven wallpapers can breathe unlike vinyl wallpapers.

Mold Removal and Remediation

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold signs

Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.  

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals

  • Provide 24/7 Emergency Service
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Specialists
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry with over 1,700 Franchises

If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin 757-934-8404

Winter Heating Hazards

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Stay safe and warm

Winter is the same anywhere you go...lower temperatures & shorter days.  Often times we use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves to make our homes cozy.  Did you know that heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths?

Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire:

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.  Have a three foot "kid-free zone around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.  Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Emergency Fire Tips

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Safety first

These tips will assist you in taking proper actions until we arrive at a scene of a fire.  Follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration:

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking
  • Keep hands clean.  Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system

DON'T:

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without contacting SERVPRO first
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.  Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage

Commercial Water Damage

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

Water damage can strike your business at any time. At United Water Restoration, we understand the urgency and the delicacy of the situation. Mold growth can lead to serious health issues, as well as damaged property, lawsuits, and even potential structural issues. For a business, municipal building, or similar structure, floodwaters also mean one powerful truth: your building is closed for business until the damage is remediated. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give SERVPRO a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Water Damage Causes

Water damage can be caused by a toilet clogging or overflowing, general plumbing problems, a leaking roof or old pipes. Our experts will assess the issue by tracking down any pockets of excess moisture and remove them accordingly. The high-tech equipment used to locate these pockets include moisture meters and Thermal imaging permits the ability to measure the moisture in hidden pockets and behind tile and other materials that may not feel wet on the outside. SERVPRO finds these moisture pockets and professionally dries the equipment and area to ensure proper recovery and remove any moisture from drywall or other materials. Through our process, we can speed up drying to prevent the growth of any mold or other harmful bacteria by building drying chambers.

Is it essential that water damage restoration is given proper attention in a timely manner. If left unrepaired, it will worsen which will lead to more and more problems.

Water Damage Restoration Process

We will provide care and consideration to your concerns and business needs. The steps we take are as follows:
• Secure the site and assess the water damage
• Begin water extraction procedures immediately
• Remove carpet pads if necessary
• Take steps to prevent the growth of mold and mildew
• Use our state of the art equipment, including industrial-strength blowers and dehumidifiers to completely dry carpet, floors, walls, and ceilings
• Water-damaged machinery, IT equipment, personal belongings, furniture, and other movable items are taken to our contents cleaning laboratory where they are thoroughly taken apart if necessary, dried, cleaned, and put together again in peak running order. Our goal is always to restore rather than replace
• Once cleanup, drying, and disinfection of the affected area is complete, our in-house contractors restore walls, paint, flooring (if necessary), ceilings, woodwork, and all other interior and exterior structural elements.

We get you back in business. Fast! If a disaster should strike, whether a tornado, hurricane, fire or a simple sprinkler head break, SERVPRO is here to help. We’ll guide you each step of the way! We’re at your side through each step of the restoration process. It pays to be prepared!

Facts about Commercial Water Damage

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoration

When it comes to water damage to a residential or commercial property, there is more than meets the eye.

Here are some water facts and figures as they pertain to the restoration industry:

1. Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances. In fact, water is known as the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.

2. A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours.

3. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment.

4. A good indication of a failing hot water heater is a puddle of water underneath it, indicating a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings on the top of the heater. If you don’t investigate the leak ASAP, you may quickly flood your home because water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.

5. There are three categories of water contamination defined in the restoration industry:

  • Category One – Water from a clean water source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. Examples include water from a broken water supply pipe or an overflowing bathtub.
  • Category Two – Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. Examples include water from aquariums, dishwasher or clothes washer leaks, and water entering the structure from below grade. Discharged Category One water that sits untreated more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Two.
  • Category Three – Water emanating from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease-causing agents. Examples include discharges from sewer or septic systems/pipes and flood waters. Discharged Category One water that sits more for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three. Discharged Category Two water that sits more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.

6. Controlling pathogenic microorganisms during a restoration project may require the use of chemical agents that act as biocides. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined three levels of biocidal activity:

  • Sanitizers – Designed to reduce the number of microorganisms.
  • Disinfectants – Designed to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms but not necessarily their spores.
  • Sterilizer – Designed to destroy all microorganisms (fungi/molds, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and their spores.

Winter Weather Hazards - Be Prepared

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following actions before the harsh winter weather hits.

Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause damage to the property as well as potential personal injuries.

Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.

Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can cause roof damage and interior water problems.

Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting the water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.

Ask your SERVPRO of Suffolk professional about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin

757-934-8404

It's always best to call us directly.

Snow the facts!! Car Safety Tips

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Snow is a lot like liver and onions. You either love it or hate it. But, if you find yourself stranded in your vehicle in the middle of a snow event, you can either hate the fact that you weren't prepared for it or love that you are.

S'now what...

Mother nature can be a real beast. In fact, she's a killer. And when it comes to a snow event, the best idea for safety is to stay off the roads and keep warm and safe at home. However, that isn't always possible. When you find that you must venture out on snowy and icy roads, you know to stay alert, drive a little slower, brake according to road conditions... But what if your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck and you must wait for help in a disabled vehicle in dangerously cold, wet weather?

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin wants you to be prepared in the face of any hazard that may cross your path, whether flood, fire or treacherous travel conditions.

Please take a moment to look at the list (below) of suggested items to keep in your vehicle. Just a little bit of preparation can keep a little emergency from becoming a catastrophe.

Stay warm and carry on! And tune in to AM 1310 on the radio to stay alert to the latest weather conditions.

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

Keep These Things in Your Vehicle:

Cell phone

Car charger

LED flashlight

Bag of rock salt

Shovel

Wool blankets/one for each passenger

Ice scraper

Leatherman or Swiss Army knife

Jumper cables

Two quarts of oil

Extra fuses

Fix-a-Flat

Paper towels

First aid kit

Prescription and OTC medications

Winter boots, scarves, hats and heavy winter clothes for each passenger

Water

Snack bars

Toilet paper

Music/games for young passengers

Winter Weather Hazards

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Suffolk 757-934-8404

Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season.  Cold weather, snow and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or your office. 

Ice dams form when the heated air melts the roof snow downward and the melted water runs into ice that is still frozen causing the water to dam up.  When this water is trapped, it can not flow or run into the gutter system and can backflow under the roof shingles and into the interior structure of your house or business.

Ice Dam damage:

  • Water can seep into your home or building’s walls, ceilings, insulation and other interior areas.
  • Ice dams can lift roof shingles causing water to leak into your home.
  • Pressure and weight from the dams can pull off your gutters and lead to structural damage.

Our friends at Nationwide blog about Preventing Ice Dam Damage to Your Roof and Home.

If this disaster strikes, you need to take immediate action to prevent additional damage to your property.  SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin franchise professionals have the winter storm experience and expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather.

Be Prepared for Winter Weather

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Prepare Your Home

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

  • Keep your cabinet doors open during cold spells as this will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water running through your faucets, especially those that run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off your outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn to “off.”
  • If you do shut off your outdoor faucet, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Ensure that your gutters are clean and in good shape, secured. Leaves and such can clog and cause a damming effect which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace, HVAC system can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is available 24 hours a day, 757-934-8404.

Winter Warning/Advisories

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin wants to help you to be prepared for the upcoming winter weather.  The National Weather Service will issue advisories and warnings.  It is important that you understand these and know how to prepare for winter and to be Winter Safe.

  • Blizzard Warning- Winds or gusts to 35 mph or more for at least 3 hours and lots of falling or blowing snow reducing your visibility to less than ¼ mile.
  • Winter Storm Warning- 6” or more of snow, or a combination of winter weather types with major impacts.
  • Ice Storm Warning- ¼” or more of ice accumulation.
  • Winter Weather Advisory- Less than 6” of snow, Less than ¼” of ice accumulation from freezing rain, Visibilities reduced in blowing snow with winds less than 35 mph, Combinations of these.
  • Wind Chill Warning- Wind chills of -25°F or colder with winds of 10 mph or higher.
  • Wind Chill Advisory- Wind chills of -15°F to -24° with winds of 10 mph or higher.

Water Damage - Services for Extraction

2/24/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damages can be the unwanted effect from many different causes. But this does not change the result--a mess needing restoration. However, the issue that matters most is finding a Water Removal team of professionals like SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin to extract the water and minimize the ruin. While you could try to get rid of all of the water to save money, the professionals that handle the service are capable of expediting the water extraction, thereby minimizing secondary water damage. Fast removal not only saves you money in the long run but lessens the negative impact on the structure of your home while also protecting personal possessions like clothing, photographs, and computers.
 
Finding a trustworthy service is easier than you think. Since you are already speaking with your insurance agent, ask for a recommendation for a water damage restoration company in your local area. Chances are he will list SERVPRO at the top, or as a preferred vendor. They will coordinate with your agent a quick agreement on the necessary services for restoration. This helps alleviate stress for you and aids in the claims process and paperwork.
 
A crucial initial step is the assessment. This inspection is where they use the necessary equipment to discover hidden areas of moisture that may lead to continuing degradation and the proliferation of mold growth. Afterward, they get the equipment needed to pump out the excess water, place air movers and dehumidifiers to dry out the remaining moisture, and then disinfect and sanitize affected areas. SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is available 24/7 for any fire, mold, or water damage

Call us -- 757-934-8404

Smoke Detector's Save Lives!

2/24/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke detectors save lives!

Smoke detectors/alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.* The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke detectors work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

SMOKE ALARM SAFETY TIPS:

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.

-Install smoke detectors on every level of the home, including the basement.

-Smoke detectors should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms.

Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.

-Test smoke detectors at least once a month using the test button.

-Replace batteries in all smoke detectors at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” the battery is low and should be replaced right away.

-Replace all smoke detectors when they are 10 years old.

*Tips and statistics provided by the National Fire Protection Association.

Business Owners: Be Emergency Ready

2/24/2017 (Permalink)

Does your business have an Emergency Plan in place?

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is a leading expert in providing Emergency Ready Profiles (ERP’s) for area businesses, apartment community's, churches, municipalities and non-profit organizations. 

What is an ERP?

An ERP is simply a plan of action of what to do, who to call, and emergency contacts!  It will also include where water shut off valves are, and electrical panels, plus so much more.  

Why get an ERP?

One advantage to being prepared for a disaster includes reducing business interruption.  Most people do not know that as many as 50% of businesses never recover following a disaster because a plan was not in place ahead of time.  We can provide a no cost assessment of your facility and not only provide you with a concise profile that contains critical information needed in the event of an emergency, but give you access to our “SERVPRO ONLY” mobile app which puts this information at your fingertips at all times!  

Call us today to get started!  757-938-8404

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is here when you need us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

Faster To Your Water Damage Event

2/24/2017 (Permalink)

We provide 24-hour fire and water restoration service!

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfiled/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 is 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.
  • 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.

Safety Tips To Follow If You Suspect Mold

2/23/2017 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home!

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin 757-934-8404

Smoke & Soot Damage

2/23/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke & soot damage can cause extensive damage to your home, let us help you make it "Like it never even happened!"

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore, smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

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

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call us today - SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin 757-934-8404

How to Prepare for Winter Weather and Avoid Water Damage

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

As seasons change, so do property owners preparation checklists.  With winter weather upon us, it is important for homeowners and property managers to do everything they can do to reduce risks of costly water damage caused by frozen pipes. 

                When water freezes, it expands.  That’s why a can of soda explodes if it’s put into a freezer to chill quickly and then forgotten.  When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way.  If it expands enough, the pipe bursts and water escapes leaving serious damage as a result. 

                Pipes in attics, crawlspaces, and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow the cold, outside air to flow across the pipes.  Holes in an outside wall where television, cable or telephone lines enter can provide access for cold air to reach pipes. 

                The Red Cross warns that pipe freezing is likely to occur after consecutive days and nights of freezing (32 degrees) or below conditions.  Taking the following precautions ahead of time can help you prevent potential pipe catastrophes:

  1. Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home. Allowing cold water to trickle from a faucet can alleviate pressure and prevent a rupture even if freezing occurs.
  2. If a vacant home, keep the temperature above 65 degrees.
  3. Cap outdoor water fixtures. By placing a cover on outdoor spigots and faucets, it reduces the possibility these fixtures build up with ice.
  4. Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.

If you have done nothing to prevent frozen pipes and you have water leaking or you have no water pressure, it likely means your pipes have burst.  According to State Farm Insurance, this happens to more than 50 million families each year in the United States.  If a pipe has even 1/8” crack, it can release 250 gallons of water a day.

You must act fast to prevent further, and more costly damage.

  1. This first step is to always shut down your property’s main water supply.  (Depending on the amount of water and location, you may want to first turn off electricity.)
  2. If it’s heated water that’s coming from the broken pipe, you should also close the valve attached to your hot water heater.
  3. After you’ve shut down the water, call a plumber for help with repairing or replacing the burst pipe.

Make SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin your first call to help you and your local insurance agent assess the damage.  We will work for you to restore your property and your life to make it Like It Never Happened®.

Be Prepared!!

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

If a disaster happens, are you READY! No one ever plans for a disaster, but you can prepare for it. SERVPRO® has an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) that will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens” in 2017. Here are a few advantages for having an ERP for your commercial building:
• No cost
• A concise profile documenting critical information in an event of an emergency
• A guide to help you get back into your work space following a disaster
• Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin
• It provides facility details such as water shut-off valves locations, breaker box locations, and other priority details
• It provides priority contact information for your business

Preparation is key to making it through a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes, be ready and call SERVPRO® of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin today to establish your Emergency Ready Profile!

Mold Can Spread Through A Home Or Business In As Little As 48 Hours

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moist Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If you see any signs of mold call SERVPRO® of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin today at 757-934-8404.

Fire Recovery Tips

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

It is all too easy to think that it can't happen to you, there is no way you could be the victim of a devastating fire.

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reports that there were 365,500 home fires in the United States in 2015.

That's an average of over 30,000 fires per month. These fires resulted in over 2,000 deaths, 11,000 injuries and over $7 billion in damage.

If you have suffered the unthinkable, here are some tips to help you put the pieces back together.

Get Medical Treatment - Getting everyone out of the house during a fire or other emergency can be a harrowing experience. During your evacuation, you may suffer injuries.

No matter how minor your injuries may seem, be sure to have them checked.  This will help reduce any chances of infection.

Get Emotional Help - This is something that is equally as important as the physical healing you may need. A disaster such as a fire can affect people differently.

Some of the emotions you and your family may experience include fear, shock, disbelief, grief, anger, guilt, anxiety and/or depression.

Remember, children also process traumatic events differently than adults, so be prepared to provide them with additional support if necessary. Your local Red Cross can help find you the help you need.

Rebuilding Your Home - It is extremely important to never enter your home after a disaster until inspectors have determined that it is safe to do so.

Get in touch with your insurance agent to help determine the extent of the damage and get a claim open immediately so you can begin to put the wheels in motion for rebuilding or replacing your home.

Finding Professional Contractors - No matter what repairs are needed for your home, always be sure to use reputable contractors to complete the work. Any contractors you choose should have extensive experience repairing homes after a fire or disaster.

Your local chamber of commerce is a good place to start locating the professionals best suited for your needs.

If you have suffered a fire in you home, the professionals at SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin are only a phone call aweay. We will jump into action immediately to help you and your family back on track. 757-934-8404

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