Ten Steps to Take After Water Damage Strikes Your Home or Business
If you find water damage in your home or business, give us a call to make it "Like It Never Even Happened.®"
If you have recently had water damage in your home or business, follow these ten steps from SERVPRO® of Emporia/South Boston to help mitigate the damages:
1. Remain calm- it is important to be able to think clearly so you can navigate the situation.
2. Close the water main or shut off any water source to prevent further flooding.
3. If you are unable to shut off the water yourself, call a plumber.
4. Shut down the electrical breaker in the damaged area. Do this before unplugging any electrical devices from the wet carpet or submerged areas.
5. Call SERVPRO® of Emporia/South Boston at 434-262-6792. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year.
6. Place a product such as aluminum foil under furniture legs to avoid staining the carpet.
7. Lift any curtains or draperies away from the water.
8. Lift and pin up furniture skirts made from upholstery.
9. Remove paper products such as books, important documents, and photos if the damaged areas could affect them.
10. Call your insurance company. Most insurance companies require the homeowner to report the damage “as soon as reasonably possible”. Water damage can be incredibly damaging and the effects can cause secondary damage very quickly.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to give our office a call!
Steps You Can Take After a Flood
Flooding can be a devastating event for anyone. SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston can help get you back to normal as quickly as possible.
Whether or not your property is in a flood zone, it’s important to understand how you can protect your property in the case of a flood damage event. Here are some action steps you can take to protect your property before a restoration professional like those at SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston responds.
Please only perform these actions if the structure has been cleared as safe to enter.
- Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas. Always wear protective clothing.
- Take photos or video to record conditions of collections and structure. Make sure images clearly record damage.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove any paintings, art objects, documents, and other sensitive materials to a safe, dry place.
- Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Do not attempt to operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to prevent staining.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
- Do not move objects or collections without documenting their condition.
- Throw away all foods - even canned goods - that have come into contact with flood waters.
- If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth.
If you are unsure about your property’s flood risk and want to look it up by address, visit FEMA.gov to see their breakdown of your area. If your property sustains flood damage, be sure to call a professional, IICRC company like SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston at(434) 262-6792 as soon as possible.
5 Reasons a SERVPRO Franchise is a Strong Business Model
SERVPRO is a Strong Business Model. For more information, just Contact Us.
In this day and age with so many companies struggling to stay afloat, it is important to find a company that has a sustainable model. This is true for clients and individuals looking for a business opportunity. A SERVPRO franchise has many things going for it.
For one thing, there will always be trouble for businesses and residences that require a professional response. Unfortunately, fires, floods, mold growth, plumbing malfunctions and storms will always be around and have the potential to damage property. The SERVPRO brand has a multitude of areas in which it excels.
1. Local Ownership
The franchise works with people in the local community who are looking to start a business. This means that if you live in Emporia, VA, you likely will have an opportunity within just a few miles of where you live. With roots in the community, a business that is locally owned has a strong incentive to act in a reputable manner. As a part of a larger company, it can also rely on broader resources during large disasters. This reliance on local ownership is one key to success.
2. The Expertise of a SERVPRO Franchise
Dealing with complicated matters such as the cleanup of floods and fires requires a lot of knowledge. Technicians at a top restoration company need to know a lot and are constantly undergoing training and classes to learn more about the latest methods of restoring a home or a business after a disaster.
For SERVPRO, the line Here to Help depends upon a high level of expertise that is built upon certified workers in all areas of the cleaning and restoration field.
3. A History of Success and Satisfied Clients
For those looking for a solid business opportunity, you want to partner with a company that has a favorable image in the eyes of the general public. The categories of stability, financial strength, brand recognition and growth opportunities are important for any franchise model. The area of consistent customer service is also an important category for determining the success of an operation.
4. A Solid Track Record
Each SERVPRO location can take pride in the more than 50 years of leadership the company has engaged in. Though not all franchises have been around that long, they do have access to the institutional knowledge of corporate leadership. This means that when you start a franchise or take over an existing one, you will get valuable guidance to help you succeed.
5. A Proven Process
Each franchise can rely on a proven method for dealing with disasters. This formula includes fast response to trouble, a thorough inspection of a property, a priority given to safety protocols, the use of advanced equipment and the dependence upon well-trained technicians. A strong business model has the resources to support franchisees with the financial support they need to succeed. With each franchise doing its part to support the image of the company, it makes the overall company stronger.
There has never been a better time to consider working for a SERVPRO franchise. You can be part of a solution to help wherever disaster strikes.
Preventing and Responding To Workplace Fires
Follow These Tips and Be ready for Workplace Fires.
Every year, businesses in and around South Boston, VA, are affected by fire damage. This is a leading cause of property damage as well as workplace injuries. As an employer or manager, there are several steps you can take to prevent fires and the burns that may result from fires.
Identify Common Causes of Workplace Fire Damage
The first step in prevention is education. Learn to recognize the most common workplace fire hazards, so you can take steps to avoid them:
- Overloaded power outlets
- Faulty wiring
- Old or damaged equipment
- Damaged electronics
- Unsupervised sources of heat
- Buildup of combustible materials
- Flammable liquids and compounds
- Improperly disposed of cigarettes
- Smoking near flammable or combustible items
- Negligence and human error
Your fire safety plan should include measures that prevent the ignition of a fire as well as those that reduce harm to your commercial property and the people doing business there.
Take Simple Steps To Reduce the Risk of Fire
For example, taking out the garbage each day, especially highly combustible items such as shredded paper and oily rags, helps you avoid serious fire damage. Other preventative actions include hiring professionals to maintain and inspect wiring, appliances, and electronics.
Make sure there's plenty of ventilation around your equipment and make sure electrical control panels are easy to reach. Properly store chemicals and explosive materials.
Train Your Employees To Increase Fire Safety
These trainings must happen repeatedly and consistently. This must include regular drills, as well as training in how to evacuate in case of a fire and how to perform burn first aid. One tip from emergency professionals is to assign every employee a task to complete during an emergency. This purpose helps individuals remain calm during the crisis.
Comply With OSHA Standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets safety standards for businesses. You may be required to have a fire suppression system in place as well as fire extinguishers, alarms, and first aid supplies. OSHA compliant first aid kits are available, but it is your responsibility to make sure that you have all necessary supplies on hand. Check with your local licensing and regulations bureau, the neighborhood fire department, or your insurance provider for specifics.
In general, however, you should have a variety of bandages and tape, antiseptics and antibiotics, cold packs, eye and skin washes, hand sanitizers, and sterile pads. If a fire breaks out in your workplace, you'll need to have burn dressings and treatments in your kit.
Prepare for Injuries
Burns may be caused directly by flames, steam, chemicals, or electricity. They may also be the result of high temperatures, hot liquids, and exposure to a heat source. If burns are major, professional medical treatment is essential. Major burns penetrate through multiple layers of skin, cause skin to be charred or dry and leathery, cover more than three inches, or are located in sensitive areas of the body.
Minor burns may be treated on the spot by first cooling the affected area, removing tight clothing or jewelry, applying a gentle, moisturizing lotion, and loosely bandaging the burn. Don't break open any blisters.
When fire damage occurs at work, a professional cleanup and recovery team will care for your property. It's up to you to ensure that your people are safe and cared for.
What You Should Know About Detecting a Shower or Bathtub Leak
Be able to detect a Shower or Bathtub Leak by Following our Tips.
As a good homeowner, you want to do whatever you can to maintain your house and keep it in the best condition possible. After all, your house is one of the biggest investments you’ll make. You want it to maintain its value as a place that you love coming home to.
Taking care of your home in Emporia, VA, means regularly inspecting it for damage and other signs of wear and tear. A small problem like a leaky pipe can lead to bigger issues if left unaddressed. Water damage from an undected shower or bathtub leak could result in you needing to call a provider of residential restoration services.
Detecting a Bathtub or Shower Pan Leak
While a puddle on the floor or the telltale dripping sound are obvious signs of a problem, you should also look for the following signs:
- Cracks in the grout around the rim of a tub or edge of the shower
- Loose tiles or flooring in the vicinity
- The appearance of mold on the floor or wall nearby
- A white, chalky film on wood surfaces
- Water stains in the ceiling of the floor below or basement
If there’s evidence of a leak, you need to determine its source.
Finding the Source
Conduct these tests to determine the source of the leak in your bathroom:
Shower pan: A shower pan leak often occurs when there is a crack. To check, allow the shower to dry completely. Completely cover the drain or plug and use several buckets to fill the shower up to its threshold. Depending on the severity of the leak, you should see water marks on the ceiling below in as little as 15 minutes or up to several hours later.
Tiles: Water can seep through damaged grout into the floor or wall. Inspect the areas near your tub or shower for loose tiles or cracks in the grout. Soaking walls and checking for seepage may reveal your leak.
Fixtures: The faucet on your tub or a showerhead may be the source. A clogged showerhead or a lack of a tight seal between the showerhead or faucet and the place is attached may be the root of a problem. Take a close look at how your fixtures are attached.
Drains: An improperly sealed drain cannot stop water from seeping outside. If you can see the drain under your shower or tub via an access panel, observe what happens after you release water that’s been plugged.
Splash: Leaks around a shower door or curtain gaps may result from splashing. Check your door or the edges of your curtain for gaps, especially when the water is running. This could be the source of your shower or bathtub leak.
Determining the source of your leak is a major step in reaching a solution. If you see evidence of water damage, it’s best to consult professionals for cleanup, restoration, and repairs.
Checking for water damage from a shower or bathtub leak should be a regular part of your home maintenance approach. Finding the problem early can help avoid serious problems in the long run. Being a responsible homeowner means staying on top of your property and issues that arise.
How To Use a Fire Extinguisher
Use a fire extinguisher properly and Avoid Fire Damage in your property.
Every home needs at least one fire extinguisher. In fact, fire restoration experts recommend that you have several throughout your home that are easy to access. It doesn't do much good to have them if you don't know how to use them, though. Following these four basic steps, or the PASS technique, helps you remember the procedure more easily.
4 Steps to Use a Fire Extinguisher
The first thing you have to do to avoid extensive fire damage from a small fire is pull the pin at the neck of the device. This unlocks the extinguisher and makes it ready to use. Inspect every extinguisher in your house on a regular basis to ensure that the pin is still intact. If not, replace it.
Before you dispense the extinguishing agent, you must aim the nozzle correctly. Point it toward the base of the fire. This will allow you to cut off the fire at its source.
Standing a safe distance from the fire, squeeze the lever at the top of the fire extinguisher. This releases the extinguishing agent from the canister and, if the nozzle is aimed properly, directs it to the base of the fire.
If you have a kitchen fire, you want to make sure you put out all the flames. To do this, you must sweep the spray back and forth along the base of the fire. Doing this evenly distributes the agent. If you use all of it and the fire is still not out, do not get another extinguisher. Call emergency personnel in South Boston, VA, to come put out the fire.
Having a fire extinguisher in every area of your house where a fire can more easily start should be part of your overall safety plan. Knowing how to use it is just as vital. Following these simple steps can keep a small fire from becoming a large problem.
How Does Storm Damage Cleaning Differ From Ordinary Damage?
Be ready for Storm damage by Following our Tips.
There is storm damage and flooding due to a pipe break or sewer backup. These are two different things and need to be cleaned separately. They might seem the same, but they really are not.
The EPA classifies the different types of water damage with different categories. A simple pipe burst is a category one, and a storm flood is a category three. The different categories denote different types of cleanup and handling. For practical purposes, the different types of water are called different names. There are:
- Clean water is self-explanatory
- Grey water is water without any harsh contaminants such as a flood or pipe break
- Black water is sewage, seepage and chemicals
Both types of damage can contain grey and black water.
When cleaning up flooding from a pipe break, a flood remediation company in Emporia, VA is concerned with simply drying out your home. If the flood is from a storm or other widespread phenomena, then the cleanup is considerably more intensive. The solid waste needs to be dealt with more aggressively to prevent bacteria from growing.
Level of Cleanup
Ordinary damage from clean water just involves fans and sometimes chemical drying solutions. It is relatively easy and is usually done in a matter of hours. Flood damage is a lot different. Professionals in storm damage restoration have to wear specialized gear to prevent contamination.
The damage during a flood is also a lot more extensive than ordinary water. In cases where entire rooms are flooded, the drywall, flooring and carpet usually need to be torn out and replaced. The areas behind walls and under floors will also need to be cleared and thoroughly dried before you can re-enter your home.
Flooding cleanup is possible no matter what type of damage you have. Cleaning up after a flood caused by a storm is categorized differently and is a much more intensive process to get your home back to normal.
Handling a Toilet Overflow
Be ready for a toilet overflow and avoid Water Damage by Following our tips.
Toilet overflow does not happen every day but it is a common enough occurrence. Most often the cause is a clog that needs to be snaked out or forced through with a plunger.
In more rare instances, the overflow is the result of a backup and sewer damage, which will require the help of a water mitigation company in South Boston, VA. However, it is necessary to focus on the more common issue before worrying about backups. There are a few steps to dealing with the aftermath of an overflow.
3 Steps To Handle a Toilet Overflow
- Stop the Flow of Water
Before calling a sewage company, especially if the water has not flooded the bathroom yet, see if you can stop the flow of water. Remove the lid from the tank and press down on the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank — do not worry, the water is clean. With the valve pressed down, lift the float to stop the water (This is only useful if the water started to overflow immediately after a flush). If the water still does not stop, turn off the valve at the back of the tank.
- Deal With the Clog or Problem
If the water level stops rising in the toilet, it is safe to say you have a clog in the waste line, meaning you likely do not have significant sewer damage. You can use a plunger or a drain snake or auger to attempt to remove the clog. If neither tool is helping, you might need something with more power or greater reach, meaning you will need the help of a professional.
- Call a Professional for Help
If the flooded toilet is the result of a clog, professionals will have augers with significantly longer reaches than a typical house snake. However, depending on the depth of the problem and if the water stopped rising, you might have more problems than a simple clog.
While sewer damage is not the most common issue for a toilet overflow, it can happen. Always remember that a professional water mitigation service has the tools and skills necessary to help.
How Long Does Water Damage Clean Up Take?
Avoid Water Damage by having a Quick Service.
If you have damage from bursting pipes or another source of water, one of the primary questions on your mind may be how long it will take to clean up your home.
Water Damage Cleanup
What Should You Do?
The faster you act when a water emergency occurs, the more you can reduce your damage. If your damage was caused by bursting pipes there are several steps you should take:
- Shut off the water to your home at the main shut off valve
- Contact a plumbing professional to fix broken pipe
- Contact a SERVPRO franchise in Emporia, VA.
While you are waiting for assistance, contact your insurance company to file a claim. You can use a mop or wet-dry vac to remove some of the excess water. Wipe down any furniture or other items that have become wet. Remove saturated upholstery and cushions. Use wood blocks or aluminum foil to lift furniture legs off wet carpet. Collect up loose items from the floor and remove any colored rugs.
How Long Will It Take?
Your SERVPRO franchise in Emporia, VA, prides itself on being Faster to Any Size Disaster. The water damage cleanup process for most homes takes about three to five days; however, special circumstances, such as wood flooring, may extend this time to around seven to ten days.
What Is the Process?
When you contact SERVPRO, a specialist will ask you some questions about your situation. Next, an inspection of your property will be scheduled. After the inspection, technicians use powerful pumps to remove the water. Once most of the water is gone, drying and dehumidification begins, followed by cleaning and sanitizing. The final step is restoring your home so that it is "Like it never even happened."
If you have damage from bursting pipes or another water emergency, SERVPRO can have most homes restored in less than a week. Your local franchise is Here to Help.
Where Mold Grows Inside Your Home
Prevent Mold Growth Inside Your Home by Following Our Tips.
It's a frustrating reality that mold damage can happen to anyone. The expense and inconvenience of setting the situation right will worsen with every passing day. For this reason, you should be on the lookout for mold in areas where it is most likely to appear. By detecting mold growth quickly, you can stop the problem from mushrooming into a much bigger problem.
Why You Do Not Want Mold Damage
Repairs are costly and can take weeks or even months to complete. No room is safe. The longer you wait to eliminate the problem, the worse it will get. Immediately hire a professional to solve the matter.
Where To Find Mold in Kitchens
The presence of food combined with heat and moisture makes this area particularly susceptible to fungal invaders. You can reduce the odds of a problem taking shape by:
- Washing dishes immediately
- Taking out the trash
- Cleaning the stove, microwave, and counters
- Ventilating while cooking
Make sure others in your household know the importance of handling these tasks. Post reminders in relevant spots so they cannot use the excuse of forgetting.
Remember to look under sinks, where leaky pipes create pools of moisture that cultivate mold. The darkness in these spaces boosts the odds of a moldy patch emerging.
Inspect your refrigerator and pantry. Be vigilant about tossing items past their expiration dates so that nothing destructive has an opportunity to develop.
Where To Find Mold in Bathrooms
Fixing your commode might be difficult. The challenge of replacing tiles is often more than someone without remodeling experience can handle. A better alternative is to hire a mold renovation specialist. The optimal outcome is preventing the matter from advancing to that point through early detection.
Examine showers and tubs for signs of mold. If you detect any, scrub the zone with white vinegar. Turn over rugs and check for funky colors. Behind the toilet is another spot where it sometimes hides. Hire a plumber to correct any leakages as soon as possible.
Where To Find Mold in Bedrooms
The place where you rest your head might seem immune to gathering mold. However, there are several spaces where it sometimes gathers. Mattresses, for instance, are breeding grounds for fungal interlopers. Fight this concern by choosing one that's mold-resistant.
Air conditioners and heating units collect mold, too. Periodically peer inside the vents. If you see signs of discoloration, call a professional immediately.
Depending on the climate in South Boston, VA, your windows may be a source of trouble. Cracks mean raindrops can get inside when storms happen. Wooden sills are particularly susceptible to fungal rot.
Where To Find Mold in Living Rooms
Many variables increase the odds that fungi appear in these rooms. The presence of plants is one. Spores love to grab hold of them. Be vigilant about trimming leaves showing signs of mildew growth. Also, inspect curtains and upholstered furniture. Don't forget about fireplaces, where brick facilitates rapid mold growth.
Mold damage is limited when you take swift action. Look in areas where it's likely to appear, and hire an expert the moment it's detected.