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5 Reasons a SERVPRO Franchise is a Strong Business Model

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

A specialist ready for work. 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

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

Hand burned by fire. 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

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

A leaky Bathroom. 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

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a person holding 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

  1. Pull

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.

  1. Aim

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.

  1. Squeeze

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.

  1. Sweep

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?

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded House. 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.

Flood Category

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.

Cleanup Methods

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

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Image of cartoon of a flowing toilet 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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?

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Broken Pipe 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

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

Owner finds Mold on her Wall. 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.

How to Create a Fire Escape Plan in 5 Steps

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Green Arrow in a Room indicating a Safe Place Create a Good Family Fire Escape Plan in 5 Steps By Following These Tips.

Thinking about a fire in your Emporia, VA, home isn’t pleasant, but doing so can help you be prepared in the event that it actually happens. Making a fire escape plan is one way to keep your family safe. There are several steps that you should take when creating your plan.

Make a Good Family Fire Escape Plan in simple Steps

1. Locate All Exits

During a normal day, you may usually stick to your front and back doors, but these may not be the easiest way out of the building during a fire. Locate any doors in your home, even those that you don’t often use. Windows on lower floors can also be used to exit the house if necessary, so keep these in mind when you are creating your emergency escape plan. Determine multiple escape routes from each area of the home, in case you are unable to use certain paths.

2. Designate a Meeting Area

Your family members may be spread throughout the house when a fire occurs. Instead of trying to find everyone while you are inside the building, decide on a meeting spot where you will all gather once you’ve made it outside. This will make it easier to get out of the house quickly and will also allow you to determine if anyone is still inside. This area should be a safe distance from the house while remaining easy to find.

3. Account for Anyone Who May Need Help

It’s possible that not everyone in your household will be able to get themselves out of the house on their own. This can include pets, babies, small children, elderly adults and others with limited mobility. If there is anyone who may need assistance, it can be a good idea to assign another member of the family to make sure they get out safely.

4. Hang Up Visuals

Particularly if there are children in the household, putting up visual guides can help make your emergency escape plan more successful. Younger members of the family may have more trouble figuring out the best way to get out of the house. Consider putting up maps of the house with clearly drawn escape routes so it’s easier to find the nearest exit.

5. Practice Your Fire Escape Plan Often

During an emergency, it can be easy to panic. This is why it is important to practice your escape plan regularly. The more often you practice, the easier it will be for you to remember what to do if a real fire occurs. You should practice at least twice a year, though you may want to do so more often if there are children in the home. Everyone in the household should participate, and you should practice multiple escape routes. Make the drills as realistic as possible and have them at different times of the day.

A fire restoration service can repair your home if it has been damaged, but your family is irreplaceable. Creating a fire escape plan is an easy way to keep your loved ones prepared for a dangerous situation. Make sure that everyone is familiar with the plan and that you have practice drills regularly so everyone is ready.

6 Essential Steps To Cleaning Up a Roof Leak

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

A man Repairing a Roof Cleaning Up a Roof Leak will be Easier if you Follow These Essential Steps.

Business owners in South Boston, VA, may discover a roof leak well after it started. Unfortunately, openings within the structure often appear over time, gradually allowing moisture into the ceiling. Wood and insulation absorb the dampness, sometimes hiding it from plain view. Eventually, when enough harm happens, stains and leaks appear, finally signaling trouble.

Proprietors should take the situation seriously, grabbing more than a bucket and a mop—the roof and any attic structure demand close examination to determine the extent of the devastation. In addition, a thorough clean-up is required to avoid long-term harm and prevent extensive issues to the upper structure. Therefore, when employees or management observe a leak, be sure to follow the following six steps.

Six Essential Steps to Consider if you have to Clean Up a Roof Leak

1. Call Roof Leak Professionals

Business owners might think a quick patch to the ceiling solves the complication; however, that choice acts as a bandaid to what could be a much larger wound. Instead, it's imperative to locate the water intrusion's origin. Locate a local water remediation company, and request their assistance. These specialists begin by surveying the leak and determining the source. They then put together an action plan to resolve the primary problem and sanitize and restore the facility.

2. Tend to the Roof's Condition

Often the moisture gets into the building through damaged or missing shingles. Because they no longer cover the exterior adequately, they have allowed for a point of entry. Immediately seal it off, placing a tarp on top to minimize additional penetration.

3. Move Valuables to Another Room

Although water seems harmless, it poses quite a risk to your property and possessions. A leak that persists could drip consistently onto your products, furniture and equipment, causing them to break, rust or erode. Furthermore, trapped wetness leads to increased odor, mildew and mold, especially porous materials. Minimize your complications. Move possessions out of the way where they remain dry. This decision reduces loss and could save you time, hassle and money.

4. Eliminate Damp Materials

The restoration crew tests various surfaces to determine moisture levels. Expect the team to look at the damaged roof, ceiling and drywall. They will tear out anything meeting heavy saturation levels. The dampness encourages mold spore reproduction, and because these substances soak up quickly and easily, it's hard to know the depth of the concern. Removal lowers the chances of future contamination and difficulties.

5. Disinfect and Dry the Area

Unaffected portions may still have some dampness. Industrial dehumidifiers extract this fluid from the air and other surfaces. When testing indicates appropriate moisture levels, the experts may sanitize the space.

6. Restore for Regular Use

When the cleaning is done, repair the roof's integrity and rebuild the room to meet your company's needs. This step remains last because it's vital to know that any underlying issues are evaluated and tended to first.

A roof leak is a severe event, so don't allow it to linger. Something seemingly minor could significantly impact your building's structure and your valuable's integrity. Therefore, quickly secure the location from additional harm, and safeguard materials. Then, reach out to professionals to assist with the situation, allowing these experts to locate the problem's source, arrange for appropriate cleaning, and remediate the harm.