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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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.

Can Carpets Be Saved After Water Damage?

3/8/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a carpet being cleaned. Learn More about how Carpets can be Saved after Water Damage. If you have more doubts, just contact us.

Carpeting can be one of the most difficult materials to salvage when you have water damage in your home. Rugs that have been damaged by clean water, such as water from a pipe break, may be salvageable, but other types of water damage may result in the need for replacement.

3 Factors to Consider When Saving a Carpet After Water Damage

  1. The Source of the Water Is Important

Wet carpeting can be problematic because it is difficult to dry and can promote mold growth in your home if not removed or dried promptly. For this reason, a professional restoration company in Emporia, VA, may be necessary for homeowners who want to try to save their carpet. The main determinant of whether your rug can be salvaged is what the source of the water damage was. Restoring water damage is sometimes possible when the source of the water is clean:

  • Pipe break
  • Overflow from a clean sink or toilet
  • Leak from a water supply line

However, sources that may contain contaminants, such as raw sewage, an overflow from a toilet with urine or feces, or dirty water from a washing machine may cause damage that contains bacteria and other harmful agents that can not be removed. Carpets damaged by contaminated water usually need to be replaced.

  1. How Long the Carpets Have Been Wet Also Matters

Carpets damaged by clean water that are dried within 24 to 48 hours can often be salvaged. However, if they stay wet longer than that, they usually need to be replaced.

  1. How Difficult the Carpets Are To Clean and Disinfect Is a Factor

Area rugs without foam backing are the most likely to be salvageable, as long as they were damaged by clean water and dried promptly. However, wall-to-wall carpeting is difficult to completely dry and the padding almost always needs to be replaced.

If you have a small rug that was damaged by a pipe break, you will probably be able to salvage it. However, most other types of carpeting will need to be replaced.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

2/24/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Being Used Learn More about How To Use a Fire Extinguisher and prevent Fire Damage in your Home.

Every home should have at least one very accessible fire extinguisher. This piece of equipment is an integral part of your South Boston, VA, family's fire safety plan. However, knowing how to correctly use it for the optimal effect is just as important as having one on hand. After all, once a blaze starts, it's too late to begin reading the instructions for the first time.

Preparation is key. Whether you have a kitchen fire or discover flames in another part of the house, there are several essential facts you should know well before a potential disaster occurs.

Safety Tips for Mitigating Fire Damage With an Extinguisher

1. Determine Your Evacuation Route

First, it's essential to know the path to exit the building safely if the fire won't go out. This should also be a consideration when you're deciding where to keep your fire extinguisher. Ideally, you can find an area where you'll have clear routes to multiple exit alternatives.

2. Keep a Safe Distance

When trying to extinguish a fire, it's vital to keep your distance from the flames and have a clear route to an exit directly behind you. You should face the fire as you're operating the extinguisher, but make sure you keep a safe distance from the flames. Typically six to eight feet will be adequate for putting out the fire while remaining safe.

3. Remember the PASS Discharge Technique

Fire safety experts have created an acronym for remembering how to operate an extinguisher. Although all extinguishers are not exactly alike, they all work similarly. It can be beneficial when you're in the midst of an emergency situation to know the basics of using one of these devices. Remember to PASS when you grab the fire extinguisher to put out a blaze, big or small:

  • Pull the pin on the extinguisher
  • Aim the hose nozzle low. Aiming it toward the base of the flames will be most efficient at putting it out.
  • Squeeze the lever to discharge the extinguishing chemicals.
  • Sweep the hose from side to side at the base of the fire. Do this until the flames are out.

4. Observe the Area

Keep an eye on the area you just extinguished until you're confident that it won't reignite. If you see a flare-up, perform the PASS technique again.

5. Call the Professionals

If you haven't had an opportunity to call the professionals, now is the time. Call 911 or your local fire department to put out the remaining flames and ensure there isn't a risk of it reigniting. Also, contact fire damage remediation specialists to restore your home to its previous condition.

6. Remove Yourself From the Area

Fire, smoke and soot, along with extinguishing chemicals, are hazardous, so it's best to leave the affected area as soon as possible after you have everything under control. The professionals can handle the job from this point on.

One way to keep your family and home safe from harm is to prepare for a potential fire. By having a safety plan and teaching everyone in the household how to use the fire extinguisher, you are much more likely to significantly mitigate the damage.

How To Prepare for a Nor'easter

2/22/2022 (Permalink)

Winter Storm Hitting the City Follow these Tips to be Prepared for a Nor'easter and Winter Storms and avoid Damage in your Emporia, VA property.

A nor'easter is a specific type of storm that develops when air from the Atlantic Ocean collides with the warmer air coming from the Gulf of Mexico. The clashing temperatures create an unstable atmosphere that can produce snow, heavy rain and strong winds. These storms typically move up the coast toward the New England area and the Canadian border region.

Even if you are used to winter storms, a prolonged pattern of precipitation can pose a threat. If the weather report indicates that a storm is headed toward your home in Emporia, VA knowing what to expect can help you make smart choices.

What To Expect During a Nor'easter

Good preparation starts with understanding some basic nor'easter facts. Any storm in which temperatures drop below freezing and rain or snow falls has the potential to cause certain hazards:

  • Broken power lines
  • Fallen trees
  • Frozen pipes
  • Icy roads

Of course, you want to stay out of this weather as much as possible. Seeking shelter at home is ideal, but if a tree causes damage to your house or the power goes out, you may face more challenges than you bargain for.

How To Prepare for the Storm

The good news is that the weather forecast is likely to give you a few days' notice that there is the potential for a nor'easter to come your way. This gives you time to stock up on necessities such as water, shelf-stable food and toiletries. It's also a good idea to make sure you know where your flashlights are and have backup batteries for them. Make sure your first aid kit is up to date as well.

Due to the possibility of heavy rains, it's a good idea to check your home for issues that could make it more vulnerable to flooding. Make sure windows and doors are well-sealed and check downspouts and gutters to ensure that they are clear of debris. If you have a basement, consider installing a sump pump just in case groundwater seeps in through the foundation.

What To Do in the Aftermath

After the storm passes, it's time to inspect your home for damage, particularly if you lost power. Start by testing the faucets. If water comes out in a slow drip when you turn it on, it is likely that you have a frozen pipe. Locate the problem and fix it before attempting to use that faucet again.

If your home is flooded, your first call should be to storm damage restoration specialists. The team can arrive at your home within a few hours and survey the damage. After providing you with an estimate, they can get started on the repairs right away. The sooner they are able to clean and dry the area and replace all the ruined materials, the less secondary damage you are likely to have.

If a nor'easter is a common winter event in your area, it's important to know what you could be up against when the next one hits. Understanding the risks involved can help you prepare better in the days prior to the storm.

How To Clean a Toilet Overflow

2/19/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded Restroom. A Toilet Overflow in your South Boston, VA property can be a real Problem. If you have more questions, just contact us.

Flood water from a backed-up toilet is an unpleasant problem that can create a variety of issues for business owners. Cleaning up the mess and getting the toilet working again is critical for avoiding these problems.

What To Do When You Have a Toilet Overflow

Both the water and the bacteria from a toilet flood can cause more damage the longer it takes to clean it up. As soon as possible after the overflow occurs, take steps to fix the problem:

1. Shut off the Water

Most toilets have a shut-off valve located under the toilet tank. Turn this valve to the off position. If there is no shut-off on the supply line, turn the water off at the mainline. If you continue to have an overflow problem with the water shut off, you may have a problem with your main sewer line or drain pipe.

2. Clear the Blockage

You may be tempted to reach for a plunger, but it may just create more flood water. Instead, use a toilet auger or drain snake. Toilet augers work similarly to drain snakes but are designed to work better with your toilet's s-shaped trap. Insert the auger into the toilet drain and crank it to feed the auger into the drain pipes.

Hopefully, the auger will snag the clog so you can pull the drain out. It may also break the clog into smaller pieces that will pass through the drain.

3. Remove Standing Water and Waste

The longer water remains on the floor of your bathroom, the more damage it is likely to do to your flooring. It may also soak into cabinets and walls which may spread bacteria or cause mold to grow. If the water from the toilet was clean, you may be able to remove it yourself. However, if there is any fecal material in the water, it is better to contact a remediation company in South Boston, VA. Removing contaminated water requires safety gear and training that your staff may not have.

4. Dry Out Your Property

If you are working with a remediation company, it can help you dry out your property. If not, you can use industrial fans to speed the drying process.

5. Clean and Disinfect the Bathroom

Wash all surfaces in the bathroom with warm water and soap. Mix one cup of bleach with one gallon of water. Soak a cloth or sponge in the mixture and wipe down all surfaces.

Avoid Future Problems

Most overflows are caused by clogs and most clogs are caused by flushing materials down the toilet that shouldn't be flushed. Post signs in your restrooms advising employees, customers and guests not to flush diapers, paper towels, sanitary products or solid objects. Flushable wipes can also cause clogs, so you may want to add them to your list. Make sure you provide an appropriate receptacle for people to dispose of these objects.

If you have flood water from a toilet, cleaning it safely and quickly is the key to avoiding other problems. Taking steps to avoid clogs will help you avoid another bathroom emergency.

How To Prepare Your Home for a Storm

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded House. Prepare your Emporia, VA home for a storm following these important tips.

Your home in Emporia, VA, is probably one of your favorite places in the world. Flood water from a storm can quickly destroy the serene environment you have created there. Luckily, there are many things you can do to ensure that your home is ready for the next storm that comes its way.

Protect It From the Outside

The best way to avoid a flooded building is to keep the water from getting to it in the first place. There are several things you can do to stop or at least slow the flow of water toward your home:

  • Direct downspouts away from the foundation
  • Keep gutters clear of debris
  • Collect sandbags or other barriers for emergency use
  • Make sure the grade of your lawn slopes away from your home to control runoff
  • Maintain a healthy lawn to prevent mass erosion

If the city hasn't already built ditches or trenches around your neighborhood, you can do it yourself on your property. Creating a place for water to safely pool during a storm can protect not only your home but others around it.

Install a Sump Pump

Even if your basement starts to flood, you don't have to panic, especially if you have a method in place to get rid of the water. A sump pump is designed to activate as soon as flood water reaches its sensor. It then starts to pump water out of your home through a discharge pipe.

Store Valuables Safely

Water damage remediation experts may be able to restore many items in your home after a flood. To ensure your most valuable or irreplaceable belongings are safe, though, you need to store them on the highest level possible. Keep mementos from your children's early years and your mother's wedding dress in the attic rather than in the basement. It may still be affected by high humidity, but there will probably be less damage. Make digital backups of your most important documents and use cloud storage to keep the information safe.

Locate Key Shutoffs

If water does get inside your home, you may need to shut off the water and electricity to prevent extra problems. During natural disasters such as hurricanes, your area's water supply may become contaminated. If you are past the precaution of a boil notice, it's best to just shut off the water main until the issue is resolved. Before the water in your home reaches the level of electrical outlets, cut off the power as a safety precaution.

Collect Emergency Supplies

If your whole area is flooded, you may be asked to evacuate. It's smart to take a supply of food and water with you, as you may not have access to the usual conveniences. You should also carry a first aid kit in your emergency pack just in case anyone in your family gets hurt during the trek to safety.

Your home may be your sanctuary, but a heavy storm or natural disaster can seriously disrupt your peace of mind. Take the necessary precautions to protect your house from damage due to flood water.

How To Troubleshoot a Commercial Irrigation System

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Sprinkler watering the area. Follow these Steps if you are dealing with Irrigation Problems. If any doubt arises, please contact us.

An irrigation system can be a valuable tool for maintaining your landscaping or commercial farming operations during dry weather. However, irrigation systems sometimes develop problems that require troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting Steps for Irrigation Problems

Some issues may require you to contact a professional repair company in South Boston, VA; however, before you call a pro it can be useful to troubleshoot the problem. You may be able to fix simple problems yourself or identify the issue so that you do not have to pay for someone else to find it.

1. Check for Damaged Sprinkler Heads

Inspect sprinkler heads for damage to the plastic casing, sprinkler heads that do not pop up, heads that are broken off and water that does not spray or sprays erratically. Repair or replace damaged sprinkler heads or make note of their location so a professional can do it.

2. Clean Sprinkler Heads

Sometimes cleaning a sprinkler head will get it working again. Remove any debris from your malfunctioning sprinkler heads, reset the spray pattern and check if the head works correctly the next time the system activates. If the head is still not functioning, it will probably need to be replaced.

3. Inspect the Backflow Device

If you are experiencing low water pressure in your irrigation system, inspect your backflow device. The backflow device is usually positioned near where the water pipe extends down to the valves that direct the water to separate sources. Make sure the water valves are turned on.

4. Check for Leaking Pipes

Leaking pipes can be a serious problem that not only prevents your system from working but could lead to property damage that requires remediation. Pipe leaks are most likely to occur between the valves and the first sprinkler head. Pools of water on your lawn can indicate a pipe leak.

5. Look for Problems With the Irrigation Line

If you can't find an obvious leak, your irrigation line could be compressed or crushed which can restrict water flow. This type of damage may be caused by tree roots or driving vehicles over-irrigation lines. Unfortunately, to locate the problem, you may need to dig up your property until you locate the damaged line.

6. Check Your Voltage

Sprinkler zones that fail to activate are often the result of electrical problems. Use a multimeter to test the voltage between the zone terminal and the common terminal. If it reads lower than 24 to 28 volts, you may need to replace the controller.

7. Inspect the Low-Voltage Wires

Low-voltage wires leading from the controller to the zone valve's solenoid can cause zones to fail to activate if the wires are disconnected or damaged. Inspect the wires for damage and make sure they are properly connected to the zone valve solenoid and the controller.

8. Check the Valve Solenoid

Sometimes the solenoid on the valve can go bad. You can check this by turning the controller off, removing the existing solenoid and connecting a new one to see if that fixes the problem. Problems with your irrigation system can be tedious and difficult to identify. However, learning to troubleshoot your system can save you money on repairs.

Designing a Fire Escape Plan

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

House on Fire. Make a Family Fire Escape Plan in your Emporia, VA house, and be ready if any Fire emerges.

What comes to mind when you consider the biggest threats to family safety? For many parents, they think beyond the immediate or likely threats to assess the potential of rarer occurrences, like floods and fires, making a disaster or fire escape plan critical to family safety.

Despite the recognition for an escape plan, many parents and homeowners are uncertain of the particulars of such a plan or how to implement it. While you can contact the local fire department or a restoration service in Emporia, VA for help, there are several characteristics a plan should incorporate, including.

  • Multiple exits
  • Clear pathways
  • Meeting points outside of the home

The Importance of a Fire Escape Plan

Fires are among the most dangerous home disasters, and they typically occur without warning. A frayed wire, unmanaged stove, clogged dryer vent, etc., can lead to rapid-moving fires, and most people would argue the fires happen when everything seems fine.

A practices emergency escape plan is the key to survival in these unprecedented moments. A fire might not allow time for a parent to get to each child, which means every family member is responsible for their safety unless incapable.

While a lot of thought goes into designing an effective escape plan, there are two critical components: practical exits and practice.

Planning Practical Exits

As you walk through your home in an attempt to design the perfect exit strategy for your family, take note of the pre-established exits in every room. Bedrooms have at least two exits: the door and a window.

You want to acknowledge and record a minimum of two exits per space and how those exits fit into other exits throughout the house. You never know where you will be when a disaster occurs, so knowing the available exits and routes through your home is crucial in a disaster.

Each exit should connect to a path that leads safely outside and to a meeting place. The meeting place is crucial because it is how you will keep tabs on your family.

Practicing To Perfect It

Creating a plan is not enough. If you want a plan to be actionable and effective, your family must practice it.

It is best to aim for a minimum of one practice day per six months, but you can opt for more. If you have young children, it is probably better to practice several times throughout the year. A monthly practice might even be suitable depending on the ages of your family members.

The frequent practice ensures that all family members know what to do in an emergency. Building familiarity around escape routes is crucial, so no one freezes during a disaster. Indecision is one of the worst things that can happen in a fire.

A fire escape plan is vital to family safety. While no one dreams of their home catching fire, it is better to be prepared than surprised. Your local fire department or fire mitigation service can help you design a plan for your house. While there are general principles every homeowner should follow, escape routes are highly individual.

Should I Worry About the Water in My Crawlspace?

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Basement flooded. A wet crawl space can lead to mold damage, causing structural issues in your Emporia, VA home.

If your home has a wet crawl space, you could be breeding mold without knowing it. Mold in a crawl space can spread to piers and joists, causing structural issues, and into the home through the ventilation system.

Reasons You Have a Wet Crawl Space

Mold thrives in areas with high moisture. There are several reasons why your crawl space may be wet.

1. Issues With Landscaping

A properly graded landscape will cause water to drain away from your home. A poorly graded landscape may cause water to pool around the crawl space, leading to flooding. You can fix this problem by building up a six to eight-inch slope that extends for the first six to eight feet away from your foundation walls. Check it in the spring to make sure it hasn't shifted or washed away.

2. Broken Water Lines

A water pipe that has broken or has a slow leak can cause water to accumulate in your crawl space. Because water trickles down, even a leak on the upper floor of your home can cause water to pool under your house. If you have noticed wet spots or water stains or your water bill has been going up, call a plumber in Emporia, VA, to inspect your pipes.

3. Problems With Gutters and Downspouts

If your gutters are full of debris or your downspouts don't point in the right direction, water can collect in your crawl space. Clean your gutters regularly or install a guard to keep debris such as leaves, sticks, and birds' nests out of it. Make sure your downspouts are pointed away from your home and have a two-foot splash block at the base to direct water away. If your downspout is pointed towards your house, it can wash away the soil and lead to a flood in your crawl space.

4. Over-Watering Flower Beds

If you forget to turn off your garden hose or over-water your plants, water may pool next to your foundation and seep into the crawl space. If you forget to turn the hose off and the water creates a hole, fill it in. Avoid watering plants more often than you need to. In addition to causing problems for your crawl space, it can damage the health of your plants.

5. Underground Water Issues

If you have sewer or water lines under your house and one break, you may need to contact the city or utility company that owns it to make repairs. Underground water issues can also be caused by foundation walls that form a dam that causes water to seep underground. Sometimes underground drains can become plugged or damaged or may not be sloped correctly. Heavy rain may lead to saturated soil that causes water to pool in your crawl space. Waterproofing your crawl space by gluing a thick sheet of plastic to the ground and walls may help you avoid the need for mold remediation.

Controlling moisture is the key to mold prevention. Avoiding a wet crawl space will help you avoid mold issues that could spread to the rest of your home.

Dealing With a Basement Flood

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Basement. A basement flood is a common issue in Emporia, VA. Call SERVPRO to get help!

Flooding in the basement is a common issue that homeowners have to deal with. The excess water can come from a storm, a broken pipe, a leaking washer, or any other sources. The good news is that you don't have to handle it alone. SERVPRO of Emporia, VA, is Here to Help.

Steps To Deal With a Basement Flood.

Put Safety First

The first thing you need to consider when you discover a basement flood is the safety of you and your family. There are a few tips to keep in mind with standing water:

Shut off the power. The first thing you need to do is shut off all electricity or other power sources in the basement. This keeps the water from accidentally coming into contact with live wires or outlets.

Wear protective gear. You may need to enter the water to save a valuable item or investigate the problem, but you should never do so without the proper protective equipment. Wear rubber boots, gloves, and a face mask if you must wade into the water.

Find the source. The contamination level of the water depends mainly on where it comes from. Try to determine whether the problem is the result of a busted pipe, storm flooding, or sewer backup.


After a quick assessment of the issue, it's time to call in the professionals. Many insurance providers list SERVPRO as a preferred vendor for residential mitigation and restoration services due to its 24-hour emergency response. When you have several inches of water in your basement, you don't have time to wait for technicians who drag their feet getting to you.

The SERVPRO team arrives within hours of your call to remove the excess water and assess the damage it leaves behind. Soon afterward, the assessment is uploaded to the Claims Information Center where you can have full access to the itemized details, estimate, and progress of the cleanup process.

Increase Airflow

Excess water and the humidity it generates can lead to secondary damage to your basement. To minimize your risk, increase airflow to the area. Industrial fans help dry out materials, thus helping to prevent mold. If your basement has windows, leave them cracked to create a cross breeze through the room.

Prevent Future Flooding

Once the water damage is repaired and your basement is restored to its former state, there are some precautions you can take to prevent the problem from happening again. Make sure your basement is properly sealed from the outside so that any water that happens to pool around the foundation can't get in. Clear gutters and downspouts so that rain is directed away from your home. Confirm that any necessary pipe repair is complete before you turn the water back on. Finally, consider installing a sump pump in your basement.

Flooding in your basement may occur from time to time, particularly if you live in a flood plain. You don't have to tackle such a huge problem all by yourself, though. Call SERVPRO when you need help removing water, mitigating the damage it causes, and rebuilding the structure of the basement.

What To Expect From Black Mold Remediation

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Black Mold When Black Mold shows up in your South Boston, VA, building, don't hesitate to call us.

When you spot black mold in your South Boston, VA, building, your next actions will either positively or negatively impact your property. Although mold is a natural part of the environment and can quickly take up residence in just about any environmental conditions, it can cause a lot of trouble for you as a property owner. You need professional mold remediation as quickly as possible.

6 Steps in the Treatment of Black Mold

If it isn't treated quickly, mold will spread through your building and may travel to other buildings on your property. Some of the following steps will be taken by professionals, and some are your responsibility:

1. Assessments and Reports

A mold inspector will complete a thorough assessment, test moisture levels, and check air quality. This professional will carefully document the type of molds in the area and determine how far mold colonies have spread. The completed report may be shared with you, your insurance agency, and the remediation company.

2. Prevention and Preparation

Before the mold cleanup crew arrives, there are a couple of things you should do. The first is to identify any problematic sources of water. Figure out whether a cracked pipe or a leaky air conditioner caused the black mold. A mold issue won't be fully resolved until the source of moisture has been corrected.

You also need to prepare a path to the affected area. Remediation crews often have a lot of equipment and will need to have plenty of room to maneuver.

3. Containment and Personal Protection Equipment

The cleanup and remediation process often releases mold spores from behind drywall or underneath carpeting. To prevent those spores from spreading throughout your building, technicians may put up plastic sheeting and close off the area where they are working. It's important that you keep the HVAC system turned off and limit any traffic through the affected space. Technicians may also wear boots, gloves, and other protective clothing to prevent the spread of spores.

4. Removal of Affected Materials

Any affected building materials that can't be cleaned will be removed from the building. This generally includes most porous items. Technicians may double bag drywall, carpeting, and other materials before disposing of them.

5. Cleanup and Disinfection

Mold cleanup crews may begin by applying a biocide to kill mold and prevent any further spread. Bleach is not a biocide. The chemicals used by professionals are approved by the EPA and may not be commonly available. After a waiting period for the biocide to kill the mold, crews will wipe up the mold or use specialized vacuums. The area may be repainted or whitewashed to seal the remaining materials and prevent new growth.

6. Time for Drying and Final Assessment

Once all of the treated surfaces have dried, the mold inspector will return to test for spores and to check air quality again. With the final assessment and reports complete and the original cause of mold growth has been corrected, it should be safe for people to return to the area. Black mold can cause a lot of damage in your building, but if you catch and treat it quickly, you can limit that danger and minimize any inconvenience.

Protecting Your Home Against Flood Water and Storm Damage

10/29/2021 (Permalink)

Hands protecting a tree from lightning. Storms can produce water damage and flooding in your South Boston, VA home.

It doesn't take much for flood water to damage your home. A couple of inches can ruin flooring and lead to foundational concerns and damage. Keeping your home safe against rising waters might seem impossible. Still, there are several steps you can take to limit or avoid extensive damage, according to water mitigation experts in South Boston, VA.

4 Ways To Protect Your Home and Belongings From Flood Water

A flooded building has many vulnerabilities, from structure to electrical systems. As homeowners, your insight is to salvage as much as possible before the water level gets too high. Unfortunately, not every flood will provide enough time to adjust your living space and save vulnerable items. Therefore, it is best to consider the four ways to protect your home and belongings from flooding.

1. Waterproof Your Basement

If your goal is to avoid water damage, consider waterproofing your basement. There are a couple of ways to waterproof: internally and externally. Using a coating system inside your home can significantly reduce your risks of damage, but these systems are not as effective as external waterproofing methods; however, they are much cheaper and more practical.

External waterproofing involves digging down around your home's foundation and adhering a waterproofing membrane to the house. External methods are more effective than internal sealing methods, but because of the labor involved, they are more expensive and time-consuming.

2. Purchase Flood Insurance

While purchasing flood insurance will not protect your physical belongings from water, it does provide monetary protection against flooding. However, when you buy flood insurance for your home, make sure you read the policy carefully. Most insurance policies will come with a list of exclusions — circumstances that are not covered.

A policy might cover internal floods, like sewage backups or supply line breaks, but it will not cover external flooding from storms or public sewer overflow. Reading your policy and asking questions is the best way to ensure you get the coverage you want and need.

3. Elevate Electrical Components and Valuables

If you are aware of an impending flood or storm surge, take action to protect vulnerable items in your home. You will want to unplug all appliances and electronics and elevate them. It would be best if you tried to move all items to the highest level in your home, a second floor or attic space. If there is time, transport your valuables to an external storage unit well outside of the flood zone.

Additionally, refrain from using any electrical outlets after the flood recedes. It is always best to have electrical systems inspected, even if they appear to be working.

4. Pack an Emergency Kit

When a flood occurs, you have no way of knowing how fast the waters will rise or when they will stop. FEMA recommends having an emergency kit packed and ready to go at all times. The emergency pack should include food, water, first aid, and any medications you need. Each family member should have their own kit.

Protecting your home against flood water is about more than physical preparations; insurance and emergency planning are just as important to the process. Check out the FEMA website for more information.

Furnace Maintenance Tips To Avoid Fire Cleaning

10/24/2021 (Permalink)

Furnace Maintenance. Make a maintenance schedule for the furnace in your home in Emporia, VA, to avoid fire and smoke damage.

The furnace in your home in Emporia, VA, helps to regulate the indoor temperature. When it breaks down, it can affect not only your family's comfort level but also the overall safety of your home. To avoid the need for fire cleaning due to a smoking furnace, it's in your best interest to establish and stick to a regular maintenance schedule.

Prevent Need for Smoke Cleaning With Basic Checks

The first sign that there is a problem with the furnace is often the temperature inside the house. You set the thermostat to your preferred comfort level, and the system does not respond. Unless your furnace is actually smoking, it is best, to begin with, a few basic checks:

  • Check to see if the breaker powering the furnace or system has been tripped.
  • Raise the thermostat a few more degrees to see if that triggers the automatic start.
  • Push the reset button on the furnace.
  • Check the pilot light on a gas furnace or the oil level on an oil-fueled model.

Despite the simplicity of these small checks, sometimes one of them is just the jumpstart the system needs. There are other situations in which turning it off and on again is not the answer, though.

Replace Filter To Keep Intake Clean

Dirt and furnaces aren't a good mix. According to fire cleaning experts, dust that gets inside the furnace can make it less efficient and waste energy. It also can become a fire hazard if the problem gets too out of hand. If you have ever experienced the unpleasant smell of dust burning off the coils of a unit during its first use of the season, you can probably imagine how easily a fire could erupt.

There are two things you can do to keep dirt out of your unit. First, replace or clean the filter on a regular basis. In a home where the system gets a lot of use, it's smart to check the filter to see if it needs changing every other month. Second, have your furnace cleaned at least once a year to remove the dust that does get past the filter.

Schedule a Professional Tune-Up Appointment

Other than dirt in the system, there are several reasons why a furnace may not work as well as it should. Fuel may not be getting to the unit or may not be igniting properly when it does. The blower that distributes air to the house may malfunction. A faulty thermostat can also cause problems.

Regular professional maintenance can identify these problems early and fix them before they turn catastrophic. A tune-up right before the first cold snap can keep you from needing smoke cleaning as the furnace begins to work harder to warm your home. Another inspection after the worst of winter is over catches any issues that need repair before summer begins.

A trusted fire cleaning team can mitigate the mess caused by a smoking furnace, but it's better to prevent the problem in the first place. With a few basic tricks and regular maintenance, your furnace can work more reliably.

Best Water Upgrade To Reduce Commercial Water Consumption

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

Hands holding the world. Pipe bursts cause water loss and damage in your South Boston, VA commercial.

Many commercial operations use a large amount of water. With extreme weather events becoming more common and straining the water supply in many areas, water conservation is one of the most critically important water issues faced by environmentalists.

6 Water Upgrade Tips

Conserving water is good for both the environment and your business. Using less water can lower your water bills, allow you to take advantage of tax incentive programs, and improve your reputation with customers. These tips can help you conserve water in your commercial buildings.

1. Install Low-Flow Fixtures

Low-flow fixtures, such as high-efficiency toilets, faucet aerators, and low-flow showerheads can reduce water consumption in your commercial buildings. This is particularly important for operations, such as hotels, that utilize many of these fixtures. Upgrading your fixtures can also help you qualify for LEED certification and may make you eligible for initiatives offered by the EPA or your local government in South Boston, VA. Additionally, updating your fixtures can help you avoid water damage caused by aging plumbing.

2. Insulate Pipes

When hot water pipes are not insulated, users must wait for hot water to start coming out of the tap, which wastes water. Insulting the pipes eliminates the need to wait for the water to get hot and controls heat loss from the pipes, which saves the energy required to heat the water.

3. Optimize Cooling Towers

Cooling towers use a large amount of water through drift, evaporation, and blowdown. By carefully monitoring and controlling the blowdown quantity of your cooling towers, you can significantly reduce the amount of water used. You can achieve this by maximizing cycles of concentration. Increase your cycles from three to six to reduce make-up water by 20% and blowdown by 50%. If you don't already have monitoring technology installed, consider installing it to make this process easier.

4. Regulate Water Pressure

Pipe bursts are one of the most common water issues that lead to water waste. A broken pipe can waste thousands of gallons of water, which is not only bad for water conservation but can cause significant damage to your property, requiring water remediation services. Keep your building water pressure between 65-80psi to avoid damaging fixtures and increasing your chance of a burst pipe.

5. Add Rain Sensors To Your Irrigation System

Most people have probably driven past a commercial sprinkler system running in the middle of a rainstorm. You can avoid wasting water this way by adding rain sensors to your irrigation system. The sensors shut down your irrigation system when rain is detected and return the system to its regular schedule when the rain stops.

6. Utilize Water Monitoring Technology

A smart water monitoring system can provide you with data about your daily, hourly, and monthly water usage. The data from monitoring systems can help you judge how well your conservation efforts are working and spot any unexpected increases in water use.

Conserving water is one of the most important water issues that commercial operations have direct control over. These tips can help you do your part to ensure everyone has access to water now and in the future.

What You Need To Know About Insurance Claims And Raised Rates

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Insurance claim form. Learn more about Insurance Claims to protect your Emporia, VA home.

People purchase home insurance to protect themselves against risks like water damage, but is it wise to use your insurance or file a claim after every disaster? While it seems like you should be able to, using your insurance too often or at all can lead to rate hikes. Therefore, it is necessary to know when filing an insurance claim is worth the risk of increased premiums.

What to Know About Insurance Claims

The Cost of Using Your Insurance

Using your insurance policy will typically not cover the entire remediation or restoration expense for your property. In most cases, people have a deductible, the amount of money they must pay before they can tap into their policy. Therefore, while you might want assistance covering the costs of damages and repairs, consider the full expense, including your deductible.

If you have a $1,000 deductible, it is not worth filing a claim for anything less than that. Filing a claim for damage you will end up paying for only increases the risks of rate hikes. Instead of filing for every issue, use your insurance only when you need to, when the damage is extensive and far exceeds your deductible.

Why Insurance Rates Go Up

Your insurance premiums or rates have to do with risks. If you file claims willy-nilly, the insurance company begins to look at you as increased liability, meaning it will probably increase your premiums.

Essentially, an insurance company is a for-profit entity, and it wants to make money off every client. Therefore, the company assesses the likelihood of clients making claims. Clients who are less likely to make an insurance claim receive better rates, while those who routinely use their policies will have higher premiums. In other words, the more you use your coverage, the more of a risk you are to the insurer.

Risks of Filing a Claim

Even clients who rarely use their insurance policies can be at risk of higher rates when they make a claim, depending on the claim and its preventability. Typically, insurance companies will not approve claims when the client is blatantly responsible. However, sometimes a client is responsible for the damage because of a lack of knowledge. An insurer might still cover damages, but it might reassess the liability the client presents.

Additionally, if you file multiple claims within a short period, your insurer might reassess your rates. The insurer is always evaluating clients and claims. Even if you rarely file a claim, the insurance company might reassess your profile, resulting in higher premiums.

When Should You File a Claim

You can file a claim when dealing with a significant disaster, such as a home flood from a burst pipe. When a claim is beyond your deductible, it is wise to file. However, you will also want to consider how many claims you have filed in the past because frequency can matter.

By all means, if you suffer a disaster, file an insurance claim and seek remediation and restoration through a licensed specialist, like SERVPRO, in Emporia, VA. However, just know that filing a claim can lead to higher premiums, depending on the circumstances.

Can Business Owners Be Sued for Mold Growth?

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a kitchen. Mold grows in moisture environments in your company in Emporia, VA.

Because mold can damage buildings and personal property, mold insurance claims and lawsuits are sometimes filed against building owners, contractors, and other types of businesses because of mold damage. This guide provides an overview of what you need to know about mold growth lawsuits.

What Is Mold?

Molds are a type of naturally occurring fungi found in most indoor and outdoor environments. The thousands of different species reproduce by creating spores that travel to different locations through the air. Mold needs oxygen and moisture to grow and is often found in damp environments:

  • Wet foundations
  • Areas with leaking pipes
  • Surfaces with condensation
  • Buildings with poor ventilation
  • Spaces with poor air circulation

When Can Businesses Be Liable for Damages?

Businesses are sometimes liable for mold-related damages suffered by customers, tenants, employees, or others. Some types of businesses are more likely to experience a mold claim than others. Examples include property managers, landlords, architects, contractors, and structural engineers.

When Can Landlords or Property Managers Be Sued for Mold Damages?

Most states require residential landlords to maintain the rental property in habitable condition. If a landlord or property manager fails to take proper mold remediation steps, such as contacting a mold remediation company in Emporia, VA, to remove mold growth, and a tenant's property is damaged because of a mold infestation, the landlord may be liable for damages. The landlord may also be liable for expenses incurred by a tenant who must move out of a rental that is not safe to live in because of mold. Commercial landlords are generally not held to as high a standard but may be subject to mold insurance claims if their negligence causes the building to become unfit for its intended use.

When Can Contractors Be Sued for Mold Damages?

Because water damage can lead to mold growth, contractors may be sued if defects in their work cause water leaks or other problems that contribute to mold infestations. Claims against contractors usually result from allegations that the contractor used the wrong types of materials, installed materials incorrectly, or caused damage during the construction process that led to the mold problem.

When Can Architects and Structural Engineers Be Sued for Mold Damages?

Structural engineers and architects may be liable for damages when the design of a building or its systems results in excessive moisture that contributes to mold growth. Claims may arise if the mold growth causes damage to the claimant's property.

How Can Business Owners Avoid Mold Lawsuits?

Taking steps to prevent mold from growing is the most important strategy for avoiding lawsuits. Building owners should regularly check buildings for sources of moisture, such as condensation, leaks, poor drainage, and faulty window seals. Ventilation and HVAC systems should also be regularly inspected. When problems are found, take immediate action to dry out wet properties and fix the source of the excess moisture.

Mold insurance claims and lawsuits can result when business owners fail to take appropriate steps to prevent mold infestations. Some commercial insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for mold damage, so it may be a good idea to speak with your insurance professional to ensure you are protected.

How To Prevent Pipes From Freezing

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen pipe. Prevent frozen pipes to avoid further damage in the pipes of your Surry, VA home.

Winter can take a toll on your home in Surry, VA. One of the most common problems homeowners face when a big freeze hits the area is frozen pipes. Not only does this issue keep water from getting where it needs to go, but it can also cause a great deal of damage to the space around the fissure. Here are several ways you can keep your pipes from freezing and tips on how to handle the mess if they do.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Winterize Your Home

Before the first freeze, your maintenance plan should include getting your house ready for cold extremes. There are several tasks you must check off your list to prepare for winter:

  • Tune-up furnace
  • Replace old insulation
  • Check for air leaks in windows and doors
  • Make sure the attic is properly ventilated

Winterization makes good economic and ecological sense by saving energy, but that's not the only benefit. By taking measures to keep cold air out of your home and warm air inside, you are more likely to avoid a pipe freeze.

Keep Pipes Warm

Even if your plumbing is located within an exterior wall, you can still avoid frozen pipes by keeping them warm. In addition to the insulation in the wall, you can insulate the pipes themselves, giving them extra protection. Heat cables can also be wrapped around pipes to keep them from freezing. For extra warmth, consider keeping cabinets open and a small drip going overnight.

Keep Thermostat Consistent

When you see your utility bill start to skyrocket during the winter, it can be tempting to turn the heater off during the day while everyone is at work or school. This can end up costing you more trouble and money in the long run, though. Pipes can freeze even when the sun's out if the temperature is cold enough. Keep your thermostat set to at least 55 degrees throughout the season to protect them.

Safeguard Outdoor Faucets

Some of the most vulnerable pipes in your home are the ones attached to outdoor faucets. Since you probably don't use your garden hoses often when it's cold outside, detach them from their water sources and store them for the winter. Then drain the line that leads to the pipe so that no water can get trapped and bust the pipe. Cover the faucet to protect it from the elements.

Clean Up Quickly

Despite your best preparation, pipes can still freeze, especially if your area experiences blackouts that cause you to lose power to your home for many hours. If this happens, you may still be able to avoid extensive damage by turning off the water main and warming exposed pipes with a hairdryer. If this doesn't help, the pipe burst may be inside the wall. Call a plumber as soon as possible to fix the pipe, and contact water damage mitigation specialists to remove ruined materials and restore the structure surrounding the pipe.

There are many things you can do to prevent frozen pipes in your home. Take the necessary precautions and keep trusted professionals on speed dial to protect your home during winter.

Tips for Keeping Pets Safe During a Fire

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

A dog. Train your pets so they would know how to act if a fire emergency happens in your South Boston, VA, home.

If you have children, you have probably taught them what to do if a fire breaks out in your home in South Boston, VA. What about your family pets? Here are some fire emergency tips as well as extra precautions you can take to keep your beloved animals safe.

Evacuation Plans

You want your pets to be able to get out of your burning house and make it to safety. There are several considerations to add to the family evacuation plan if you have pets in your home:

Practice - Pets should be part of your family fire drills. It teaches them to come to you when they hear the sound of the smoke alarm and follow your lead out of the house rather than finding a place inside to hide.

Survival kits - Just as each family member should have an emergency kit packed and ready to go in case of a fire, so should your pet. Include food, treats, and copies of important documents such as shot records.

Carriers - If your pets are small enough to fit in a carrier, it's a good idea to have one handy enough to grab quickly during fire evacuation. It's much easier to carry a scared animal out in a carrier than in your arms.

Home Alone Strategies

Pet safety can be trickier when you are not at home with them, but it's still possible. Animals are just as curious about their environments as young children, so put yourself in that mindset before you leave them to freely roam the house in your absence. Go through each room in your house and imagine what you would want to change if you knew a toddler was going to be alone in the room for a few minutes.

To avoid a fire emergency in the kitchen in your absence, fire damage remediation experts recommend that you remove the knobs on the stove or cover them so that they cannot turn easily even with persistent nudging. Keep cords hidden or out of reach of animals that tend to learn by chewing. Consider keeping young animals or pets in training crated or confined to a small area, preferably near the front door where firefighters can easily find them, while you are gone.

Fire Safety Measures

Part of pet preparation for the house is getting rid of things that enhance the opportunity for fire to break out. Even when you are at home, excited or curious pets can make extra fire precautions necessary. You may love the look of candles but unfortunately, so does your cat. Consider switching to flameless candles or other types of subtle lighting that don't have an open flame. The main thing to remember is that you should never leave anything that could cause a fire if bumped or tipped over unattended, especially if you have pets.

It's important to follow fire safety tips that take every member of the family into account. Including pets, in your fire, emergency plan, and taking extra precautions to guard against safety hazards helps protect every family member, even the furry ones.

Expectations of Severe Storm Damage

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

Severe storm. To prevent some severe storm damage in your Emporia, VA, home, you must know the different risks your house can suffer.

Severe weather presents significant risks to manmade structures, including houses. As a homeowner, little can be done to prevent extreme weather and the tear-out it can lead to, but you can prepare for the potential damage to your house’s structure. If you reach out to a storm restoration company in Emporia, VA, the representatives can help you understand the four types of storm damage you might encounter. They can also help you develop a plan in case you experience such damage in the future.

1. Roof Damage

The most vulnerable surface of your home’s exterior is the roof. While it is solid, it is susceptible to wind damage. Depending on the style of roof and roofing materials, some houses will be more vulnerable than others.

Wind can lead to significant damage during a storm, but debris, hail, lightning, and more can result in damage to the roof as well. While there is little you can do to help prevent damage other than staying current with maintenance schedules and repairs, remediation companies can help you mitigate loss after a storm.

2. Water Damage

Severe weather can lead to storm surges, floods, and other types of water damage. The key to limiting the damage caused by rain and flooding is to remove the excess water as soon as possible. You will also need to tear out any damaged surfaces, like drywall, to limit the possibility of mold growth.

A storm restoration service is capable of handling all mitigation efforts. By dealing with water problems quickly, you can protect your insurance claim, giving yourself the best opportunity for claim approval.

3. Wind Damage

Severe weather often brings with it high winds. High winds alone are capable of breaking glass, damaging roofs, and causing structural loss. However, winds can also pick up debris, creating projectiles that can further bombard a structure.

You can purchase storm shutters to protect against high winds. Shutters are an excellent idea if you live in an area prone to hurricanes or other wind storms. You can also opt for a less permanent installation, such as a plywood sheet.

The primary goal of wind protection is to cover those areas that are most vulnerable to damage. For most properties, the vulnerable spaces are windows and glass doors.

4. Fire Damage

Many people underestimate the potential of a fire in the middle of a storm, but it is possible. Lightning accounts for many residential fires every year.

The best protection against a lightning fire is a lightning rod. Contrary to common assumptions, lightning rods do not attract lightning. Instead, they create a high point on your roof, making it a more likely target than your roof. If lightning strikes, its charge is carried through the rod and connecting cable down to the ground where it is safely dispersed.

Even if you have a lightning rod on your house, it is wise to install a few smoke detectors in the attic, garage, and upper floors of the house. Not all lightning fires start right after a strike; some take hours to present.

While storm damage often leads to tearing out to prevent secondary damage, there are some things you can do to reduce your risks of loss. Talking to professional mitigation companies or disaster response leaders can help.

7 Reason Why You Should Change Polybutylene Pipes

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Changing polybutylene pipes. Consider changing polybutylene pipes to avoid water damage.

Older buildings often carry higher insurance premiums because these buildings are more likely to experience problems caused by aging or outdated systems. One such example is polybutylene pipes. If your building has this type of plumbing, there are several reasons you should consider changing it.

1. Chlorine Can Break Them Down

Public water supplies contain chlorine and other antibacterial agents that can break down these pipes causing water damage. The pipes become brittle and flake as they age and are particularly vulnerable at the fittings due to micro-fractures. These micro-fractures can lead to a leaking or burst pipe.

2. Pipes Can Not Be Repaired or Exchanged

Because of the numerous problems created by their use, manufacturers stopped making polybutylene pipes more than a decade ago. This means that when problems develop with your pipes you can not simply repair or replace a section of the pipes. Because you don't want to have to schedule a plumber in South Boston, VA, to put new plumbing in when your existing pipes start to break down, it is better to replace them before problems develop.

3. Damaged Pipes Can Degrade Water Quality

Flaking pipes may leach chemicals into the water lowering its quality. This could create a liability issue for your business. For this reason, most commercial building owners choose to replace these pipes before they become a problem.

4. May Be a Code Violation

The use of this type of plumbing is a code violation in many parts of the United States. You may need to replace your plumbing to get your building up to code.

5. May Lower Resale Value

Buyers may be reluctant to purchase a building that has this type of plumbing because of the cost of replacing the pipes and the difficulty they have in finding insurance. This may make your building more difficult to sell or drive the sales price down.

6. Higher Insurance Prices

Because of the high number of water restoration claims due to pipe failure, many insurance companies will not insure a building that has this type of plumbing. If you don't replace the pipes, you may have to seek insurance in a high-risk market, which typically costs more.

7. Ruptured Pipes Can Cause Substantial Damage

Whether your pipes have a slow leak or burst suddenly, they can cause substantial damage to your building. Slow leaks may rot flooring and stain walls. They can also lead to higher water bills and mold growth. A sudden burst can dump a large amount of water into your building before you can get the water source shut off. This can cause substantial damage to walls, floors, inventory, carpets, equipment, and anything else it comes in contact with. Additionally, the sudden loss of water service may force you to shut down your business until the water service is restored.

Because of the high rate of failure, it can be a wise decision to replace polybutylene pipes before they begin causing problems. This allows you to schedule your downtime, rather than having to pay high prices for emergency plumbing services.

Benefits of Pretesting

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Image of an insurance claim form and a hand filling in the form. Pretesting helps reduce the expense of claims.

When your commercial clients in Emporia, VA, need to fill out an insurance claim, it is in everyone's best interest to keep the total cost low. One of the reasons SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many providers is its commitment to start each cleanup job with a thorough assessment. Here are several ways that pretesting helps reduce the expense of claims.

3 Advantages of Pretesting 

1. Identifying Source

The first thing that certified mitigation experts do when they arrive on site is look for the source of the problem. For example, if they are there to repair water damage, they inspect the building for common causes:

  • Pipe break
  • Faucet leak
  • Toilet overflow
  • Unresolved storm damage

Identifying the source of the water loss helps to stop damage in its tracks. The cleanup team can restrict the flow of water to the area until the problem is resolved, thus minimizing claims expense.

2. Reveal Extent of Problem

Pretesting also shows how much damage your client's building has sustained. Just as an insurance agent or adjuster completes a walkthrough to verify the claim, SERVPRO technicians inspect the whole building to identify exactly which procedures are needed to mitigate the damage. Both you and your client can view this information as well as any updates to the process or the overall estimate through the Claims Information Center.

3. Prevent Secondary Damage

One of the most important results of a pretest is the prevention of mold growth or other secondary damage to the building. Knowing the full scope of the problem from the beginning reduces the likelihood that water damage will be left to fester and cause more issues in the future. The rigorous standards SERVPRO sets for its technicians ensure a job well done.

The first step to solving any problem is defining it properly. Pretesting allows cleanup experts to get a full picture of how much damage your client's building has so that they can formulate an appropriate mitigation process.

3 Essential Tips for First Responders During a Flood

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded neighborhood of Emporia, VA. Flood can affect entire cities.

As an Emporia, VA, first responder, you're always ready and willing to help your community when a disaster occurs; your work could be your passion. Most importantly, though, you need to know all the ways to keep yourself safe while working in potentially dangerous situations, such as a flood. Otherwise, it's difficult, if not impossible, to help others during this difficult time. Stay safe during a flood response by considering these suggestions.

1. Standing Water Can Be More Powerful Than You May Realize

Many people don't realize how deceptive even a seemingly small amount of standing water can appear. Only a few inches of water can sweep you off your feet and even carry a vehicle away. These waters may not even appear to be rushing. Therefore, it's essential to approach floodwaters with caution until you're sure you can navigate them safely.

2. Vaccinations Will Help Keep You Safer

It's vital for a first responder to get the proper immunizations before starting on the job. You can be exposed to contaminants in floodwaters that can put you at risk for multiple diseases and other issues such as hepatitis B and tetanus.

3. Floodwaters Can Contain Toxic Substances

It's impossible to know for sure all of the pathogens, such as bacteria and toxic chemicals, floating in floodwaters. If possible, it can be very beneficial to initially have storm damage remediation professionals mitigate some of the standing water. This means you should always wear protective gear, such as disposable gloves and a face mask, before coming into contact with the water. Taking these additional steps will make the situation safer for everyone involved.

Being proactive as a first responder can ensure you remain as safe as possible while navigating disaster areas. Planning ahead will give you the peace of mind you need to assist the people of your community in making it through the unthinkable.

Places Where Mold Can Hide in Your Home

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a hidden place of a home. Mold growth in Emporia, VA.

Mold is one thing that you never want to see. Unfortunately, it is not necessarily the mold that you can see that is the problem. Mold growth can extend far into places where light does not shine. It is important to know where mold might be so you can eliminate it before it becomes a problem.

Places Where Mold Might Grow in Your Home

Look For Moisture

One of the quickest ways to find hidden mold is to look for moisture. Places that have:

  • Poor ventilation
  • High humidity
  • Leaking pipes
  • Flood damage

Each of these is a place where mold is likely to grow. This is not to say that it will not grow elsewhere.

Check Drip Pans

Refrigerator and air conditioner drip pans are other sources of mold. This mold can overgrow the pan, and then you have mold on wood. Once this happens, you might want to consider a professional mold remediation company in Emporia, VA. Both the refrigerator and the air conditioner are two places you don't normally see.

Check Under and Around Windows

Windows are notorious for allowing water in. Mold growth is extremely common in the tracks and around the sills themselves. It is a classic place to look for leaks as well. Where there are leaks, there is often mold.

Behind Drywall

Another place where mold is often lurking is behind drywall. When you have a leak inside one of your walls, it can result in moldy drywall. Although you cannot immediately see it, you might be able to smell it. Moldy growths can result in a musty or earthy smell.

Mold Under Carpets

Another hidden place where mold can grow is underneath your carpet or on the carpet pad. This usually happens when a carpet is wet and not properly dried. When you have mold underneath a carpet, you have to clean the carpet, carpet pad, and wood underneath both.

Mold growth can happen anywhere there is a damp or humid area. Remember, just because you can't see it doesn't mean that it isn't there.

Storm Services and Your Insurance Agent

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person restoring a home. The cost of restoration after a flood may be included in your insurance coverage.

Storm restoration services are an essential part of recovering from flooding due to storms. A quick response is crucial to preventing long-term, deep-seated damage. As a homeowner in Emporia, VA, your insurance coverage may include the cost of restoration services:

  • Water removal
  • Flood damage cleanup
  • Repair and restoration
  • Damage mitigation
  • Mold cleanup and prevention

Schedule a quick response from cleanup and restoration professionals to catch small problems before they get larger and keep costs down.

Cleanup and Restoration

Arrange for Insurance Coverage

If you don't already have flood insurance, contact your insurance agent or provider. You may qualify to benefit from the National Flood Insurance Program that is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Ask your insurance provider about this part of your storm response.

Speed Up Your Claim

Once your policy is in place, there are steps you can take to speed up your storm restoration claim:

  • File your claim as soon as possible after the damage has occurred.
  • Provide your agent and insurance adjusters with necessary information as thoroughly and quickly as possible.
  • Take pictures, write out an inventory, and keep all receipts. The more organized and clear your records, the faster and more accurately your claim can be handled.
  • Consider hiring your own adjuster. This second perspective comes from a professional working for you rather than for the insurance provider.

In addition to taking these steps, you should keep family members, friends, and pets out of the damaged area. It's easy to cause secondary damage to an area that has been weakened by water.

Choose Reliable Professionals

Storms often occur with very little warning, and the resulting flood damage could be devastating to your home and community. This means your chosen storm restoration professionals should have solid backing from their corporate office.

This central resource can lead to a faster response to your home, speedier claim resolution, and a smaller timeframe from the beginning of the damage to the completion of restoration and repairs.

5 Tips for Preventing Mold Damage After Flooding

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of sandbags placed on door to block water from entering a building. After a flood it's important that you follow these steps to avoid mold damage.

Without mitigation, mold growth can begin 24 to 48 hours after a flood. These five tips can help you avoid this problem.

Tips to Help You Avoid Mold Damage

1. Remove Water Promptly

One of the most important steps to take is to remove standing water promptly. You can use a mop and bucket or rent vacuums created for the purpose. However, floodwaters can contain hazardous materials and should not be touched without wearing protective gear. In most cases, it is better to contact a flood remediation company in Emporia, VA, than to attempt to remove the water yourself.

2. Dry Wet Surfaces

Removing standing water will help prevent mold growth, but you also need to completely dry wet surfaces. Dry rags or mops can be used to soak up water on surfaces. Renting industrialized fans can also help dry out rooms quickly. However, using fans runs the risk of spreading any mold that may have already developed throughout your building.

3. Remove Wet Carpets and Rugs

Wet carpets and rugs take a long time to dry. Remove them from the building and place them outside to dry in the sunlight if possible. Have the rugs steam cleaned to remove contaminants.

4. Sanitize Surfaces

Once you have everything dried out, clean and sanitize surfaces to kill bacteria and other contaminants. Diluted bleach or over-the-counter cleaning and sanitizing solutions can be used.

5. Keep the Humidity Level Below 50 Percent

Mold grows best in an environment with humidity over 50%, so try to keep humidity levels in your building below this. If your business is located in a humid environment, try using a dehumidifier. You can also open windows and doors on days when the weather is sunny and dry to help lower humidity levels.

Preventing mold growth after a flood can be challenging. However, if you implement these tips quickly, you can increase your chance of success.

Do you have an Emergency Ready Plan?

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial-Insurance-Claims Commercial Claims are a lot of work.

It serves as a reference guide of important building and contact information. Remember, preparation is a key factor in making it through any type of disaster, big or small. Whether your business experiences a small water leak, big fire, or flooding due to a storm having a plan in place will help ease stress during that time. The best time to plan for such possible events isn’t when they happen, but well before they do! 

50% of Business Fail after Disaster

Did you know that approximately 50% of business that close because of a disaster, like a flood or fire, never reopen? But, of the businesses that do survive, the great majority of them have a preparedness plan in place. 

Having an ERP is the perfect companion to any well thought out emergency preparedness plan. The ERP outlines who the proper contacts are for the specific types of loss. It also includes photos and detailed descriptions as to where the different turn offs are within your building. This can prove to be very important during a flooding situation! 

Having a plan like this in place helps so that you are not simply reacting to an emergency or disaster situation. Be proactive and take the measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company BEFORE you need them! 

By working with us to develop a personalized Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business, you will receive the benefit of having professionals on your side who are thoroughly experienced in reducing the impact of both natural and man-made disasters. 

SERVPRO is a leader in fire and water damage response and mitigation. We will be here to help you get your property and business cleaned up and back in working order quickly and efficiently. 

Preventing Fire Sprinkler Flooding

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial-Fire-Sprinkler Fires Sprinklers in a Commercial Building

Many commercial business owners probably don’t think about the flooding effects of their fire sprinklers being activated. However, if this does occur, it is an issue that should be dealt with immediately, before it gets out of control and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Of course, the obvious solution is preventing your businesses fire sprinklers from going off accidentally. Here are a few things you need to know about accidental fire sprinkler activation. 

Preventing Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activation

Did you know that the modern fire sprinkler system is NOT activated by fire alarms or even smoke caused by burnt food in the employee break room? They actually have to be subjected to extreme heat that melts the metal sensors or bursts the red liquid bulb on the device. Here are a few common reasons that can cause this to happen and sprinklers to accidentally activate: 

  • Improper fire sprinkler system installation
  • Vandalization of the system
  • A factory accident
  • Inappropriate use of the sprinkler heads

Preventing Loss by Taking Immediate Action

If the fire sprinklers do activate in your business, your first step should be to turn off the water. This is the first and most important step in any emergency flooding situation. Make sure that you have multiple people in your organization that know how to perform this task. Once the water is turned off, the next step is to begin the clean up process. With fire sprinklers, it is possible that hundreds of gallons of water have been released in a short period of time.

Therefore, water damage to machinery, equipment, electronics, walls and floors can happen very quickly. You should call a reputable and experienced water restoration company right away! The professionals at SERVPRO can quickly and properly dry every surface and reduce the risk of mold. 

Preventing It from Happening Again

Once you have your initial cleanup underway, you should contact your insurance provider and work on preventing this from happening again. Your employees should be trained to never hang anything from the sprinkler head, or even touch it! You should also consider the placement of sprinkler heads. They should be in a location in which it is difficult for person, or even a machine, to accidentally come in contact with it. 

While a flood in your business may seem inconceivable, you should take these steps to minimize damage in the event this does happen. If you do experience water damage in your commercial property, give us a call.

4 Ways To Lower Business Interruption Flood Loss

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded building and surroundings Flooding can lead to severe damage to your building.

Wherever you locate your business, there's always some risk of flooding, however small it is. It could be a result of a broken pipe or heavy rainfall. Your employees, clients and overall business need a plan in place for the unexpected so you can minimize the impact on your company if the worst occurs.

Minimize the Impact of Business Interruption Due to Water Damage

1. Identify Risks

To identify risks that could potentially cause business interruptions, you must assess preventable risks versus ones that aren't. Then, you can identify each element involved, including your property's vulnerability to the threat, all of your assets that are at risk and the total impact if it happens. How likely is the chance of a flood? How severe would the result of a flood be on your business?

2. Analyze the Impact of the Risks

To fully prepare, you must analyze the impact of potential flooding risks to estimate the costs of the various interruptions. These can include lost income for the business and employees, expenses to fix the problems, business delay, and multiple fines and penalties the company might incur.

3. Identify Ways of Preventing and Mitigating Risks

You'll need to identify any preventable hazards that could occur. Then, determine how to avoid these hazards from occurring. Some risks like large water damage from natural disasters are unavoidable. You must be proactive, taking measures to control and contain the hazards as much as possible before they occur. Part of this preparation is knowing which water damage restoration professionals to call.

4. Review Your Insurance Coverage

Business interruption insurance is helpful for property damage that suspends business operations. Make sure you understand the details of your insurance policy to know what's covered and what's not, including limits and exclusions.

A business can be susceptible to many negative factors. Knowing how to protect your Surry, VA, property and minimize the risk of significant damage from flooding can lessen the worry.

Tips on Responding to Water Damage

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

South Boston Home with Roof Leak A roof leak can be a big problem unless you are able to clean up the damage quickly.

Water damage to residential and commercial properties can be very challenging and costly for property owners. From general plumbing issues, like overflowing toilets and bathtubs, to forces of nature, like hurricanes and storms, there are many things that can cause flooding. Although some flooding may appear to be easy to clean up and restore on your own, there are many unconsidered benefits of hiring a professional to do the repairs for you. 

Prevent Mold from Spreading

While you may think you’ve dried all the water caused by flooding to your property, you may have missed some. Any water or moisture left behind can cause mold to grow and spread throughout your property. A water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO Emporia/South Boston, is trained to properly clean areas when water moves that a homeowner may not be able to get to; like between walls, under floorboards, and those other hard-to-reach places. These professionals can save areas that would have had to be replaced without proper cleaning. And, in areas where mold has already developed, a professional can clean it properly to prevent the mold spores from spreading.

 Avoid More Damage in the Future

If someone who is inexperienced cleans an area and/or property that has been affected by water, it is possible that mistakes can be made, and the damage can become worse and escalate if it is not handled correctly immediately. Trained professionals in this line of business are able to use the proper techniques to ensure that the cleanup and restoration process is done the right way, the first time. They can also help to prevent further damage or problems from developing.

Identify Hidden Signs of Moisture

An experienced restoration professional will be able to use state-of-the-art tools to identify hidden signs of moisture that could have become future problems for home and business owners.

Get the Best Restoration Results Possible

At SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston our goal is to make it, "Like it never even happened."® Our technicians will be able to replace and restore flooring, insulation and dry wall using the highest quality materials available to them, for a wonderful finished product! 

Prevent Flood Damage With Advance Preparations

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Image of sandbags placed on door to block water from entering a building. Use proper materials to prevent flood damage

Flooding is one of the most common types of damage after a natural disaster. It can happen anywhere, during any time of the year, and as the result of many causes.

Prevent Flood Damage

One of the best ways to prevent flood damage is to prepare before any signs of trouble:

  • Consistently inspect and repair check valves and vulnerable spots where sewer and utility lines enter your facility.
  • Protect vulnerable equipment, such as appliances, computers, and heaters, by moving them above the water level.
  • Reach out to Surry, VA, water damage cleanup and prevention crews for tips on improving the watertight qualities of your building.
  • Contact your insurance provider to be sure your policy includes water damage and for specific damage prevention advice.

Once you've done what you can to minimize any damage if water does get into your building, the next step is to keep as much flood water out when storm damage is imminent.

Water Control Supplies

There are several items you can purchase and keep on hand that are helpful when flooding occurs:

  • Keep sandbags on hand to place around doors and windows.
  • Store flood boards for your doors, so water doesn't get in when doors are opened.
  • Keep a pump on hand to remove floodwater.
  • Plastic sheeting, plywood, nails, and hammers are necessary for protecting vulnerable areas of the facility.
  • Include a few shovels in your storage.
  • Make sure you have first aid emergency kits installed around your facility, so they are easy to access.

With the right supplies on hand, you and your employees may feel more confident when rain or rising rivers threaten your business.

Routine Training and Education

Finally, you and everyone in your building should know how to behave when your facility is threatened. Create a flood plan that includes contact information for emergency response teams, anyone involved in caring for the building, and other critical team members. This plan should also include posted maps that show evacuation routes, shut-off points, and first aid kits.

When flooding does happen, you don't have much time to respond. When you've prepared, however, your employees know how to respond quickly for safety and damage control.

When water takes over your life, we are here to take it back!

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

Large water loss green desiccant trailer mount. Brick building in the background With the power of 272 dehumidifiers, drying time is greatly reduced saving loss of use cost, RESTORE vs. REPLACE.

The comfort of knowing that no matter how much water has entered a structure or the damage that has been done, that your local restoration experts at SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston have your back! Our trailer mount desiccant is heavily equip with a 130 Kilowatt Generator and a 5,000 CFM Desiccant. This machine has the power of 272 dehumidifiers which speeds up the drying time significantly. This will help minimize down time and loss of revenue cost. 

Drying Capabilities:

  • Water Damage and Remediation
  • Document Drying
  • Mold and Fungus Prevention
  • Industrial Surface Preparation 

Our goal is to provide our local community partners with the best outcome when the unexpected happens to us.

Examples for areas of use:

  • Shopping Malls
  • Office Buildings
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Hospitals 
  • Manufacturing Facilities
  • Churches

Strategic Placement of Air Movers Help Alleviate Water Damage

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Let SERVPRO help limit your home’s losses after a storm or flood.

Homes can suffer large amounts of damage from storm and flooding situations. As weather alerts reach their peak during the spring and summer months, the threat of flash flooding from storms increases. Flash floods can move up to nine feet per second, picking up rocks, sand, and mud along the way. The pure force of rushing water can break through door and windows, quickly bringing flood waters into the lower levels of homes which leaves homeowners powerless. You may not be able to stop floodwaters, but you can definitely limit your losses caused by storm water by bringing in the professional at SERVPRO Emporia/South Boston.

Emergency services for storm damage are available in Emporia, South Boston and the surrounding areas year-round. The emergency aspect of water mitigation and restoration depends on the removal of water quickly so as to diminish losses. The role of a restoration company does not stop with the removal of standing water. Wet furniture, rugs and clothing are just as likely to suffer damage as flooded property themselves. SERVPRO’s trained technicians ensure the drying procedure is as effective as diminishing losses, as the removal procedure is to stopping the most immediate concerns.

Wet floors raise the humidity levels as the moisture evaporates in your home. As water evaporates, it can create a layer of air that restrains further evaporation. To fight this, our technicians use air movers to keep air circulating and replace humid boundary layers with dryer sheets. This plays a major role in the amount of time it takes to restore property to their preloss condition.

The technicians at SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston could use as many as twenty air-movers to promote constant airflow. Air movers use centrifugal motion to move large amounts of air and they also use a daisy chain fitting to ensure multiple units can be set up in a room with just one power supply.  This type of placement ensures that it’ is possible to move air from one or two open points of outdoor air. And, if security is a concern, we can position air movers in a closed-circuit system which uses dehumidifiers to provide dry air.

Quick drying of flooded property can reduce claims and any secondary losses. Contact SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston today if you have suffered storm or flood damage. We are available to help 24/7, give us a call at 434-262-6792.

How to Protect Your Home or Business from Breached Pipes

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston would like to offer homeowners some helpful household tips.

Did you know, that per the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the average cost associated with a breach in your pipes could be up $5,000 – or more if there are water damage expenses associated with the breach? Did you also know that pipe insulation, which is something a homeowner can easily install around exposed piping, costs as little as fifty cents per linear foot?

Take a look at the following places in your home for possible standing or leaking water:

  • The pipes along your home’s exterior walls,
  • Under your kitchen and bathroom and bathroom sinks,
  • In your attic and in the crawl spaces under your home

Some simple signs to help you spot a breached pipe you are the following:

  • Wet spots under your sinks, cabinets and counters,
  • Clogs throughout your home.
  • Slow moving drains,
  • Wet spots or puddles and/or sewer odors within your yard.

Every homeowner should know where the main water stuff off is for their home in case of an emergency. This shut off is normally located just outside the house. If you cannot locate your shut off, you need to ask someone such as a plumber or the builder so they can show you where it is located.

If you should happen to experience water damage due to a burst pipe in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston. We are available 24/7 at 434-262-6792 – the safest way for you to prevent damage is let the professional handle the clean-up!

Top Reasons To Call an IICRC Company in Emporia/South Boston

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

The main reason someone should call an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) company when dealing with mitigation and restoration is because the unknown and unseen, such as water, mold, smoke and soot, can cause damage to your property. Even the littlest bit of hidden water or smoke and soot residue from a fire has the ability to cause indoor air quality issues and structural damage to your home or business over time.

The solution to preventing costly expenses later is to reach out to a team of professionals immediately. An IICRC company is trained to use the right equipment and technologies from the beginning, which can make a significant difference in reducing your damage and the costs associated with fire and water damage loss.

SERVPRO of South Boston/Emporia is an IICRC company. Our team of technicians is trained using the latest technology and equipment needed to help diminish your losses from a fire or water or storm damage.

SERVPRO will use moisture sensors to detect water in your carpets, walls, and baseboards. Moisture meters are used to help determine the amount of moisture in your property and to accurately monitor the removal and drying process. Our thermo hygrometers will measure the temperature and relative humidity which helps calculate and create an environment that will aid the drying process.

After the moisture is removed, an ultra-low-volume (ULV) foggers can be used to dispense liquid deodorizing agents which produces a fine mist which can easily penetrate where odor-causing residues have accumulated. These can also be used to inject disinfectants and fungicides into drywall and other areas which are hard to reach. Thermal foggers, which dispense solvent-based products, can also be used to create a dense fog of particles that can attach to property and neutralize any odor causing particles.

When handling a contaminated loss, remember that drying and deodorizing and disinfecting a structure are all equally important in the restoration and mitigation process - something an IICRC Company is trained to so. If you have damage, don’t be afraid to call SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston, we will help restore your property quickly and professionally so you can move past the damages and on with your life.

Water Damage in Your Home – Types and Categories

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO Emporia/South Boston we know that water damage is the leading cause to require water restoration needs. Here we will explain a few basic types of water damage and how they can affect your property and your health. 

Many times, when people hear “water damage”, they imagine it to be caused by flooding of a nearby river, storm surge from the ocean or another natural disaster. But, while these events can cause water damage, often times water damage in homes is more commonly caused by: 

  • Overflowing toilets
  • Leaking appliances, including the refrigerator, washing machine, ice machine, etc.
  • Overflowing showers, bathtubs or sinks left running without attendance
  • Leaking or broken pipes behind the walls and ceilings
  • Property draining issues
  • Leaking roof or compromised exterior
  • Damage from rain, wind and/or storms 

Now that you know the ways water can enter your home, from both internal and external origins, it is important to now know what kind of water you are dealing with. At SERVPRO, we recognize water in three different categories. 

  • Category 1 – We refer to this type of water as “Clean Water”, because it has originated from a sanitary source. Generally, this type of water will not pose a health risk to you or your family.
  • Category 2 – This category is also referred to as “Grey Water”, meaning that the water may contain some contamination. It is not safe enough for human consumption and can pose a health risk if ingested.
  • Category 3 – The final category, as called “Black Water”, is a type of water that is entirely contaminated and may contain harmful materials and other disease-causing organisms. 

Each of these categories of water comes with its own guidelines of do’s and don’ts on how to handle them to ensure minimal property damage and risk to you and your family’s health. Water damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO Emporia/South Boston have advanced training, knowledge, and hands-on experience to handle these types of emergencies.

If you are in need of water damage restoration, call us today at 434-262-6792.

How to Clean and Restore Fire Damaged Fabrics?

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration in Emporia/South Boston Often Requires Restorers to Clean Fabrics 

When a fire burns a home, business or any other type of property, the smoke produced can spread throughout the entire space. Due to the fact that smoke rises with heat and attaches to cooler surfaces, extensive damage can be caused to your property. Soot and soil residue are left behind by the gases from the burn onto every surface they touch within your home. 

Remember, smoke can travel through every room, not just the room where the fire initially starts. This means that you can have fire damages throughout the entire space. Many fire damage projects in and around the Emporia/South Boston area require extensive cleaning and soot removal during the restoration process. 

SERVPRO technicians use a variety of different techniques to clean the different rooms and surfaces in fire damaged properties. This is important because different blazes emit different types of smoke based on what burns. 

When SERVPRO first arrives to the property, our first step is to test clean the materials and contents that were affected by the fire. By doing this before beginning the restoration process, the Emporia/South Boston team will be able to determine what can be salvaged with cleaning and what soot removal methods will work best for each item. 

For example, because heat rises, carpets can often times be restored through the cleaning process. But, in some cases, carpets can collect the fallout of burnt smoke particles. When cleaning carpets, our technicians start by vacuuming the entire affected area. SERVPRO vacuums are high-efficiency filters that are designed to remove even light soot residue from fabrics. 

If soot residues are soaked deeper into the carpet, detergents and deodorizers are often used to complete the cleaning process. 

On upholstered items, like furniture and curtains, fire damage residue is often removed using dry cleaning methods. Vacuuming and dry sponges are able to remove soils and soot on the surface of upholstered furniture. However, if the soot has caused a stain, SERVPRO technicians will clean them with a one percent chlorine bleach solution to remove any stains. 

Have you noticed soot or soil residue after a fire? Call SERVPRO Emporia/South Boston today at 434-262-6792.

Storm Damage vs. Flood Damage – How to Know the Difference

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

For some, it may be hard to differentiate between storm damage and flood damage. The most general distinction between the two is that storm waters come from above, while flood waters typical spill over from a natural body of water and covers at least two acres of land that would typically be dry land. 

Storm damage typically originates from things such as:

  • Heavy rain
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • High winds
  • Blizzards and/or heavy snow fall 

Storm damage is covered by most insurance policies. However, home and property owners will need additional and/or different insurance coverage to have protection and cover expenses caused by flood damage. This is why it is important to know the difference between the storm damage and water damage. Damage to property will be considered flood damage if it covers two acres and affects at least two properties. 

If your property is located in a flood plain, you should make sure you carry the necessary insurance policies to ensure that your property/investment is well protected. 

Flooding occurs when a body of water overflows, like:

  • Creeks and/or rivers
  • Lakes
  • Dams
  • Storm-water channels 

No matter if the damage is caused by a storm or a flood, severe problems can arise for property and homeowners. These damages should be planned for, prevented as much as possible, and handled as soon as they occur. 

Regardless of the source of the water, moisture in your property increases the risk of mold and secondary damage, especially if action is not taken quickly. 

SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston is here to help you! Give us a call anytime at 434-262-6792.


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