Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Why Choose Us?

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

Faster to any size disaster

We have more than 1,900 locations nationwide serving 90% of all US zip codes within two hours.

Available 24/7

An emergency can happen at any time, and our Customer Care Center is ready to take your call, day or night. Just call SERVPRO for immediate assistance.

Highly-trained professionals with more than 50 years of experience

We’ve earned the reputation as #1 in the cleanup and restoration industry and specialize in fire and water damage, specialty cleaning, mold, and so much more.

Why Choose SERVPRO?

5/9/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO provides many of the services you may need after a storm blows through your area. We provide emergency roof tarping and board-up services to help prevent additional damage from the elements and provide security to your property.

Our Team is Why You Want to Choose SERVPRO

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Our team is the main reason you want to choose SERVPRO of Annandale/Falls Church for your restoration needs!  Our office staff has over 7 years of experience and have certifications from the IICRC for Water, Fire, Odor, Mold and Biohazard.  We have an extremely capable and knowledgeable team to answer your questions. 

Each of our SERVPRO of Annandale/Falls Church Crew Leads are certified by the IICRC for Water and Applied Structural Drying with a few specializing in Fire, Mold and Biohazard as well. 

Each member of our team has completed a background check and screened to give you a peace of mind in choosing us. Let SERVPRO of Annandale/Falls Church assist you with your home or business. 

3 Reason Why You Should Hire a Remediation Company

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

When a home in one of our communities of Northern Virginia is devastated by water damage from floods, broken pipes, or leaks, a homeowner may end up having to pay for costly repairs. If you leave water damage untreated, your property becomes susceptible to mold. Mold colonies form when mold spores find optimal conditions to survive. When these colonies develop, they rot the natural construction materials of a building. You should hire a mold cleaning service if your property has untreated water damage and has become rotted due to mold. Typical signs of mold are:

  • Rotting wood
  • Falling bathroom tiles
  • Visible green sludge on walls and ceilings

Here are three reasons you should hire a mold remediation specialist:

  1. They Will Help You Find Hidden Mold
    Bathroom tiles will fall when mold colonies consume the grout holding them up. Sometimes, mold can hide behind these tiles. A mold remediation company will first inspect your property to find hidden mold and places in your home with higher humidity levels.
  2. They Will Dehumidify Your Property
    After a leak or a flood, materials that are affected can remain damp even after the water has been cleaned away. Dampened construction materials are ideal hosts for mold, especially if they are in a dark space. A mold remediation company will help dehumidify your property to keep mold from rotting wood, drywall, or grout.
  3. They Can Help Restore Your Property
    A company specializing in mold remediation, such as SERVPRO of Annandale/Falls Church, will help to restore materials that have mold damage. Along with dehumidifying, they can assist with repairing drywall, carpets, and paint. Depending on the severity of the damage, they can also help reconstruct entire rooms affected by mold.

If you have water damage that has been left untreated and has become a hotspot for mold, give our team a call to assist you in your cleanup and repairs. You can prevent costs from accruing by restoring water-damaged materials immediately. If you suspect you have microbial growth in your property, give us a call at 703-237-8800. We’re always here to help!

When a home in one of our communities of Northern Virginia is devastated by water damage from floods, broken pipes, or leaks, a homeowner may end up having to pay for costly repairs. If you leave water damage untreated, your property becomes susceptible to mold. Mold colonies form when mold spores find optimal conditions to survive. When these colonies develop, they rot the natural construction materials of a building. You should hire a mold cleaning service if your property has untreated water damage and has become rotted due to mold. Typical signs of mold are:

  • Rotting wood
  • Falling bathroom tiles
  • Visible green sludge on walls and ceilings

Here are three reasons you should hire a mold remediation specialist:

  1. They Will Help You Find Hidden Mold
    Bathroom tiles will fall when mold colonies consume the grout holding them up. Sometimes, mold can hide behind these tiles. A mold remediation company will first inspect your property to find hidden mold and places in your home with higher humidity levels.
  2. They Will Dehumidify Your Property
    After a leak or a flood, materials that are affected can remain damp even after the water has been cleaned away. Dampened construction materials are ideal hosts for mold, especially if they are in a dark space. A mold remediation company will help dehumidify your property to keep mold from rotting wood, drywall, or grout.
  3. They Can Help Restore Your Property
    A company specializing in mold remediation, such as SERVPRO of Annandale/Falls Church, will help to restore materials that have mold damage. Along with dehumidifying, they can assist with repairing drywall, carpets, and paint. Depending on the severity of the damage, they can also help reconstruct entire rooms affected by mold.

If you have water damage that has been left untreated and has become a hotspot for mold, give our team a call to assist you in your cleanup and repairs. You can prevent costs from accruing by restoring water-damaged materials immediately. If you suspect you have microbial growth in your property, give us a call at 703-237-8800. We’re always here to help!

 

Why SERVPRO?

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO?  When you call our Team, you know you are getting well-trained, professional technicians to restore your property.  We are dedicated to ongoing training and keeping up with current technology and standards in the restoration industry.  About thirty years ago, back in 1992, SERVPRO Corporate developed a National Training Center to teach restoration and mitigation skills to SERVPRO Franchise Owners, Team Members, and insurance industry professionals.

The National Training Center offers employee training as a self-paced program designed specifically for the SERVPRO employees. At SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton, all members of our Team, including our production managers, crew chiefs, restoration technicians, administrative and marketing staffs are required to complete the certification program.  Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:

  • Crew Training
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

SERVPRO is an approved IICRC (Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning) Training School that offers year-around classes in the following restoration categories:

  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Upholstery Cleaning
  • Applied Structural Drying
  • When you call on us for help be assured that our entire team is knowledgeable about the services we have to offer.

In addition, SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge and SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton is mold certified as well.  We have been serving the residential and commercial communities in Northern Virginia, including Dale City, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Lorton, and Quantico Marine Corp Base for more than 16 years.  If you need our help, we are only a phone call away at 703-672-3048. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Is my insurance going to cover this water damage to my home?

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Many homeowner insurance policies do provide some level of coverage in a water damage situation, but you will need to contact your agent for details about your policy. The source of the water damage is important when dealing with insurance. Some flooding related to weather events requires special insurance that is gained through the National Flood Insurance Program.

What should I do after a water damage event in my home?

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

When a water emergency occurs in your home or business, it’s only natural to want to take action immediately. Below are some preliminary steps you can take before we arrive, but only attempt what you can do safely.

  1. Shut off the water source, if possible. If you’re not sure where the water is coming from, we’ll inspect and handle the situation as soon as we arrive.
  2. Remove excess water by mopping, blotting, or wiping. This could include flooring and hard surface furniture which has standing water on it. Do not use your household vacuum to remove water, since it could cause damage to the vacuum or be unsafe.
  3. Protect carpet, rugs, drapes, and upholstered items from further damage. Place aluminum foil or parchment paper between furniture and wet carpet or rugs. Remove books, magazines, or other colored items from carpets and rugs. Hang draperies up with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet floors. Remove pillows or cushions from wet upholstered items.
  4. Avoid using electric or electronic items that have come into contact with water. This may include items such as light fixtures, ceiling fans, televisions, or appliances. If there is a possibility that someone else on the property may turn on an electric item that has come in contact with water, consider turning off the power to individual circuits within the power distribution panel of the property.

How long does it take to dry out water damage?

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Drying out a structure depends on the severity of the water damage that occurred, and they type of structure, with an average situation taking 3–5 days. This can vary greatly though, depending on the magnitude of damage, amount of contents affected, any demolition that may be required, and the presence of any hazardous materials.

Returning a home or business to its preloss moisture levels is a closely monitored process, with our professionals making adjustments to equipment to help ensure the area is recovering as quickly as safely possible.

Protecting Your Home This Winter Season

12/13/2020 (Permalink)

Protecting Your Home This Winter Season

A winter storm can produce beautiful scenery in its wake, and it can be easy to overlook the level of damage that is sustained when overwhelmed by the snow globe-like appeal. However, as a homeowner, it is essential to remedy any potential threats before they cause significant structural damage.

1. Avoid an Indoor Blizzard

A blizzard belongs outside of your home, but with the combination of strong winds and ice, it is possible that the storm may end up overwhelming your property inside and out. Blizzards have a reputation for blowing open doors or even sending ice chunks through windows, and when no one is around this can lead to interior water damage. Invest in durable storm doors and windows to help prevent this type of loss.

2. Prevent Potential Roof Collapse

Living in Northern Virginia it is not uncommon for a winter storm to unload significant amounts of snow, and while that may not be an issue for people with a steep roofline or metal shingles, others may experience significant roof damage and possibly even collapse. Thankfully there are tools and other solutions to prevent snow buildup on your roof.

  • Roof Rakes
  • Heating cables
  • Calcium chloride tablets
  • 3. Ensure You’re Using Snow Removal Equipment Properly

    While winter can cause several problems for your home, damaging your property in the process of removing snow is not unheard of. Snow blowers are powerful machines, and when chutes are not correctly controlled that machine can send ice hurling through the air and your beautiful bay window.

    4. Have Assistance on Speed Dial

    While there are many ways to prevent storm damage in the winter, no method is foolproof. It can be a good idea to have the contact information of emergency restoration services in your area. Additionally, it may be worthwhile to customize an emergency response plan as a precautionary measure.

    A winter storm is easy to overlook as a threat because inside you are removed from the immediate danger, but that snow and those winds can be detrimental to the structure of your home. Therefore, to avoid damage, invest in precautionary tools and solutions and always have a backup plan.

    Helpful Hints About Toilet Replacement

    12/12/2020 (Permalink)

    Toilet Repaired in Northern Virginia

    A toilet is expected to be reliable, and they can last for 30 years or more. But sometimes the porcelain material they are cast in can develop a crack or the tank may break. When that occurs and water begins to escape, it is time to replace the leaking toilet. Here are a few tips to help you master the plumbing repair.

    Preparation

    After discovering the leak, there are a few steps to take before you can replace the toilet.

    • Before beginning the project, purchase a wax ring gasket, water-supply tube, and toilet.

    • There are different types of water a broken toilet can leak. If the toilet bowl itself is leaking, consider calling a professional cleanup crew to make sure the water is not contaminated and hasn’t seeped into your walls and flooring.

    • Once the water is removed, allow the area to dry thoroughly.

    • Remove all standing water from the toilet tank and toilet bowl.

    Removal

    Once the area is dry and disinfected, you are ready to remove the old toilet.

    • Disconnect the water supply line from the toilet.

    • Remove the bolts securing the toilet to the floor.

    • Lift the cracked toilet away.

    • Scrape the wax ring and check flange for cracks.

    Replacement

    Time to replace that leaking toilet with a new one.

    • Center new wax gasket over the flange.

    • Connect the water supply to the toilet base.

    • Set the toilet in place over the wax gasket and press softly until the toilet meets the floor.

    • Tighten bolts or hex nuts at toilet base.

    • Connect water supply to wall shut-off valve.

    • Sit on the toilet to compress further and re-tighten bolts.

    Once the water is restored to the toilet, flush the unit several times. If water leaks between the toilet and floor, it probably means the wax ring was not properly seated or didn’t seal correctly. To correct the issue, consider installing a new ring to finish the toilet repair.

    3 Reasons To Rely On SERVPRO For Large Loss Response

    12/9/2020 (Permalink)

    Relying On SERVPRO 

    In the event of a major storm, fire or flood in Northern Virginia, commercial property owners may obtain a faster and more professional response from a local franchise location of a national restoration company. Here are three reasons to choose SERVPRO to handle catastrophic loss.

    1. Many Franchise Locations

    SERVPRO has more than 1,700 franchise locations. This means that the closest professionals can arrive on site in four hours or less, which may be faster than other regional mitigation and restoration services. In the event of widespread damage such as flooding or storm damage, additional experts and equipment may report from nearby locations.

    2. National Corporate Support

    The backing of one of the nation's leading mitigation and restoration companies enables local franchises to be better trained and equipped than most independent companies. Insurance jobs are only offered to locations that satisfy all of the requirements of a 21-point Participation Agreement. This oversight and company-wide services such as the Claims Information Center elevate the standard of service and make SERVPRO the right choice in the event of catastrophic loss.

    3. Industry-Leading Standards

    This national corporation is also a certified training school for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration. Each franchise must employ at least one technician who specializes in a particular area such as storm damage to maintain certification. The IICRC requires technicians to obtain continuing education credits to ensure that professionals keep up with current best practices in the mitigation and restoration field. This means that the work performed by these employees should be up to the highest standards in the industry.

    What are Signs of Mold Growth in a Bathroom?

    12/8/2020 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO has extensive training to handle any type or size of mold remediation in your home

    One thing to remember about mold growth is that it will not stop until the conditions allowing it to flourish in a home get eradicated. Only then will remediation efforts work to halt any further mold colony spread or growth. It is vital not to rely on DIY methods and engage a professional company. Signs that you may have a mold issue in your bathroom include:

    • A musty odor that is persistent
    • Visible signs of mold growth
    • Delamination of tiles or wallpaper
    • Damp conditions that do not diminish due to poor ventilation

    Can Tile With Mold Damage Get Reused After Cleaning?

    When SERVPRO techs handle mold damage remediation in your properties, their goal is to save as much of the structure as possible. Porous items such as sheetrock and fabrics may require disposal if there is no way to return them to a sanitary standard for reuse. However, if the fabrics and clothing can be washed and disinfected in an Esporta washing system, these can be restored.

    Not only do the technicians remove the items that got ruined by the mold infestation, but they also scope the property to discover the reason for it. Frequently seen reasons for this type of issue in a bathroom are unseen leaks behind a wall or poor exhaust ventilation trapping the moist air from showers or baths in the bathroom. In the case of common walls in apartments and condos, the water source should be inspected and fixed.

    SERVPRO is certified to handle mold damage remediation by IICRC and can determine the reason for the infestation and necessary repairs to help prevent recurrences.

    Does Business Have to Grind to a Halt When Your Building Needs Restoration ?

    12/3/2020 (Permalink)

    Give the Experts at SERVPRO a Call When You Need Restoration of Your Northern Virginia Business

    If anything is more frustrating than the disruption of a water loss on your business property, it surely is when you also have tenants whose operations are affected. Northern Virginia commercial buildings can be full of many shops, cafes, offices, and production sites, so water damage affects dozens to hundreds in our neighborhoods. Add in disappointed customers, and the effect spreads.

    Can a Restoration Company Help with Containment, So That “Business as Usual” Can Proceed?

    Customers can be fickle, so it is crucial to maintain a presence when your Northern Virginia business needs water damage restoration. You cannot afford to have the customer base you and your tenants built go elsewhere as your damaged building recovers. To ensure that you and your commercial tenants can still honor customer requests, partnering with a restoration company helps immensely. Erecting containment and barriers while building contained workspaces for water damage restoration can carve out safe, welcoming areas that permit your and your tenants’ businesses to continue operation.

    Once Was Enough -- Is There a Way to Avoid The Chaos of Water Damage Restoration in the Future?

    Think about partnering proactively with SERVPRO by collaborating on an Emergency READY Profile (ERP). We encourage our commercial clients to consider our ERP to prepare for water damage or another disaster much the same way you prepare for other business crises. To access the benefits of an ERP, do the following:

    • Schedule an in-person assessment with one of our experienced water damage restoration project managers
    • Review any recommendations resulting from the evaluation, and implement them:
    • Store critical documents off-site or digitally
    • Raise equipment above typical flood lines
    • Repair leaks and upgrade utility configurations
    • Designate employees or others to act on your business’s behalf if you are unavailable during a disaster
    • Discuss the final concise, digital ERP plan with our managers, so you anticipate accurately what a water damage restoration job means to your operations and create planned adaptations to keep you going during the restoration

    We are Cleaning Experts

    3/17/2020 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

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

    Specialized Training

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

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

    Kitchen/Food Areas

    Bathrooms

    Schools/Classrooms

    Offices

    Retail Spaces

    Water Fountains

    Shelving/Racks

    Sales Counters

    Carpets and Rugs

    Stair Handrails

    Elevator Cars

    Playground Equipment

    Fitness Equipment

    Specialized Products

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

    Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

    If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Annandale-Falls Church, 703-237-8800

    Sources:

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

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

    Prepare Your McLean Household for Spring

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    house in spring The Department of Energy (DOE) says weather stripping the windows on your home is an easy and effective way to help save money on your energy bill.

    Weather Stripping

    The Department of Energy (DOE) says weather stripping the windows on your home is an easy and effective way to help save money on your energy bill. In the spring and summer, weather stripping works by keeping the cool air inside and the warm air out. In the summer, if the cool air is contained inside, then the AC will not have to work as hard, and that may help you save money on your energy bill.

    Indoor Maintenance

    Test and clean ceiling fans. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an efficient ceiling fan in each room can help allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees Fahrenheit without reducing your comfort level. Ceiling fans can be a good way to air out the house and generate a cross-breeze.

    Replace your AC filter. The National Center for Healthy Housing recommends that you replace the filters in the air conditioner in the spring. A new filter will likely optimize the efficiency of the unit.

    Replace torn or damage window screens. If you don’t have an air conditioner, or if you simply like to keep the windows open in the spring and summer, it’s a good idea to make sure your screens are in good shape — you don’t want to let flies in with all that fresh air!

    Exterior Upkeep

    The National Center for Healthy Housing suggests that in the springtime, you may want to consider these outdoor maintenance projects:

    Check your roof shingles. This should be done by a professional, as working on the roof can be dangerous without the proper training. You should ask the professional to make sure the shingles are not curling or clawing.

    Replace rotten siding or trim. Make sure your home’s siding and trim aren’t damaged from windy, icy conditions. 

    Clean gutters and downspouts. Get rid of any leaves or other debris that accumulated during the winter to make sure your gutters and downspouts are ready to take on those April showers.

    Customer Experience and Expectation Management

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    What To Expect When We Arrive

    1) On-site personnel is not permitted to give estimates or opinions on pricing and total cost as emergency  services often include  unforeseen costs.

    2) Length of Process:                                

    1. The average water damage restoration takes 1-1½ weeks to complete start to finish.
    2. The average mold mitigation takes 1-1 ½ weeks to complete start to finish.
    3. The average fire damage remediation takes 2-3 weeks to complete start to finish.
    4. Please expect multiple visits throughout the project.

    3)  PLEASE BE SURE TO CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, if you haven’t already. 

    What To Expect During Remediation

    1) Regular business hours are between 9AM and 4PM, Monday - Friday.  All other times incur “After Hours” fees at a rate of up to 40%

    1. Some insurance will not cover “After Hours” fees.
    2. Any fees not covered by insurance will be the responsibility of the Authorized Customer.
    3. Request clarification from your insurance company.

    2) Appointment reminders are sent to you via text the day before work is to be performed. Customer MUST confirm via text message, failure to respond WILL result in the job being cancelled. 

    3) Customers who have missed an appointment or cancelled same-day WILL be charged $200.

    4) Equipment is required to run 24 hours every day of the project. Drying equipment is loud and heats the area it is placed in. Please DO NOT turn off equipment as this will result in unsuccessful drying and will cause the customer to accrue additional charges.

     Situations To Be Prepared For

    1) If removal of structural materials is required:

    1. Reconstruction can be performed by our construction department after mitigation.
    2. Insurance carriers may require you to use a construction company of their choosing.

    2) Contents may be deemed unsalvageable based on:

    1. If materials are porous (containing pores).
    2. What type of damage they incurred.

    3) Please take time to inventory and bring to the site manager’s attention any family heirlooms, jewelry, antiques, and items of emotional value.

    4) Containment may be required on site to assist with drying or to prevent secondary damage to unaffected areas. While containment is in place, please limit your use of these areas for the duration of the project. Containment is set up for your health and safety. 

    5) Please be aware that since this is an EMERGENCY SITUATION there may be unforeseen circumstances, time-frame extensions, structural conditions.

    6) We WILL mitigate and remediate to the best of our ability in a timely fashion, following industry Standards, and providing you with a quality result.

    What To Expect At Job Completion

    1) Invoices will be sent to the customer’s email that they provided. 

    2) Invoices will also be sent to the insurance adjuster (if applicable).

    3) Payment is required 15 days from date of received invoice.

    Mold and You

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    woman blowing her nose Mold has well-known associations with human disease.

    Mold is a family of organisms that are found throughout nature. Unlike plants, mold needs food and water sources in order to thrive. This food source is often in the form of a carbohydrate material, such as wood or cellulose.

    Mold grows in units called mycelium and reproduce through the formation of spores. Spores frequently become airborne, and like pollen can cause allergic disease.

    What Types of Diseases Can Mold Cause?

    Mold has well-known associations with human disease. People can develop fungal infections of various types, especially those with poorly functioning immune systems. Fungi are also known to produce toxins, which have been blamed for causing various diseases.

    Molds can also cause severe immune reactions as a result of colonizing (living in, but not causing an actual infection) the lungs (hypersensitivity pneumonitis) and the sinuses. Molds are also well known to cause various allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma.

    Which Molds are Known to Cause Allergies?

    There are thousands of types of mold, however, only a few of these are currently available for allergy testing. The following are the most likely causes of allergic disease based on the types of mold spores collected in the air:

    • Alternaria is a  common outdoor mold; allergy to this mold can be associated with severe asthma.
    • Cladosporium is the most common airborne outdoor mold.
    • Aspergillus is a common indoor and outdoor mold; also associated with allergic

    bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

    • Penicillium is a common indoor mold; allergy to which is not associated with antibiotic allergy.
    • Helminthosporum is more commonly found in warmer climates.
    • Epicoccum is found in grassland and agricultural areas.
    • Fusarium is a commonly found on rotting plants.
    • Aureobasidium is a common outdoor mold, commonly found on paper, lumber and painted surfaces.
    • Phoma is an outdoor mold, especially common during wet periods.
    • Smuts are abundantly found in areas of agriculture.
    • Rhizopus and Mucor are commonly found on decaying leaves and damp indoor areas. Airborne forms of these molds are less common.
    • Yeasts are commonly found in the air during wet periods in agricultural areas. Allergic disease to Candida albicans is controversial, despite some people having positive allergy testing to this type of mold.

    What Times of the Year Does Mold Allergy Occur?

    In colder climates, molds can be found in the outdoor air starting in the late winter and peaking in the late summer to early fall months (July to October). In warmer climates, mold spores may be found throughout the year, with the highest levels found in the late summer to early fall months.

    While indoor molds can occur year-round and are dependent on moisture levels in the home, indoor mold levels are higher when outdoor mold levels are higher. Therefore, a common source of indoor mold is from the outside environment, although can also be from indoor mold contamination.

    What Measures Can Be Used to Decrease Indoor Mold Levels?

    • Prevent outdoor molds from entering the home by keeping doors and windows closed and using air conditioning equipped with allergen-grade air filters
    • Control indoor moisture with the use of dehumidifiers
    • Fix water leaks in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements
    • Ensure adequate ventilation of moist areas
    • Clean (or replace) contaminated surfaces with diluted a chlorine bleach solution (one part household bleach in 9 parts water), while using proper protective gear (mask and goggles)
    • Utilize HEPA-filters on vacuums or as a stand-alone air filter
    • Limit indoor houseplants, and ensure those that are present are free of mold on leaves and in potting soil

    For more information: https://www.verywellhealth.com/mold-allergy-83231

    Professional Team with a Personal Touch.

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    van and workers Let SERVPRO Help Your Business Thrive

    Has your home or business fallen victim to water or fire damage? Our franchise is committed to offering quality restoration services to homes and businesses throughout Fairfax and Arlington County. We will work quickly to clean up your property, repair the damage, and get your building back in operational order. We offer 24/7 emergency services and outstanding personalized service to completely address all of your concerns.

    Let SERVPRO Help Your Business Thrive

    Floods and fires can take a toll on business owners, especially if you have to cut operations to clean up the mess. Instead of facing the problem alone, count on SERVPRO. Our team has extensive experience, advanced tools, and helpful resources available to quickly clean up damaged property and get your company operating in no time.

    Our commercial services include:

  • Storm damage restoration
  • Water damage restoration
  • Fire damage restoration
  • Mold remediation
  • We can also work directly with your insurance company to ensure that you receive the best services to assist you through the inconveniences that you are experiencing. You should never go through a disaster alone, and when you work with SERVPRO, you will not have to!

    Preventing Mold in the Winter

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    moldy wall As it grows, mold can breakdown and compromise the integrity and strength of the source in which it lives.

    The wet season in the winter months is one of the best times of year for molds to grow and expand. Often mold is contained near sources of water where it can easily grow and reproduce. As it grows, mold can breakdown and compromise the integrity and strength of the source in which it lives.

    Mold spores are microscopic and are naturally found in the air we breathe indoors and outdoors. When large amounts of spores grow, one’s health may be compromised. Mold can be killed, but if it is not removed properly, it can remain in the area just cleaned and the dry spores can be released into the air. Mold remediation services can help eliminate the mold in your home and personal items affected by water damage.

    Prevention, however, is what will help keep your lungs healthy and homes and buildings strong. We’ve put together a few tips on how you can help thwart mold from infesting your home that are efficient and realistic:

    General Home and Building Maintenance:

  • Keep all areas clean.
  • Make sure there is good air circulation. Use an exhaust fan or open a window when showering, cooking, and washing the dishes.
  • Prevent mold and water damage by turning off the water flow to broken appliances and pipes.
  • Replace cracked or defective mortar in basements. If you find your basement is wet or has water leaking into it, inspect the outside drainage systems.
  • Spread moisture-barrier materials in crawl spaces over the soil. Heavy roofing paper or plastic film made of polyethylene can be used for this. Make sure there is good ventilation in the crawl space and, if possible, do not enclose it. One may need to use a fan to blow out humid air from under the building.
  • One can get rid of humidity or dampness within a building by heating it for a short time. After heating, open up the doors and windows, or use an exhaust fan, to let out the air that is moist.
  • If there are freezing temperatures, take measures to insulate pipes inside and out to ensure they will not crack and/or burst.
  • Make sure all the seals on the windows and doors are not compromised and in good-working condition.
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Make sure the ground around your building slopes away from the foundation so water does not collect around or enter in to it.
  • Act quickly if you see condensation on windows, pipes, or walls inside a building. Dry out the area and determine if the source of the condensation is from a leak or the result of high humidity.
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    Our team here at SERVPRO has team members who have joined the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. This program has amazing classes that are free to the community. Please see the information below and see if this would be something you or a family member would be interested in.

    The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks. Through CERT, the capabilities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters is built and enhanced.

    Watch and share CERT in Action

    Watch and share CERT in Action (30 seconds)

    Since 1993, CERT has impacted communities across the country, building essentials skills and capabilities to prepare for and respond to any disaster. There are now CERT programs in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories; each unique to its community but all essential to building a Culture of Preparedness.

    The CERT program was designed as a grassroots initiative and specifically structured so that the local and state program managers have the flexibility to form their programs in the way that best suits their communities. CERT volunteers are trained to respond safely, responsibly, and effectively to emergency situations, but they can also support their communities during non-emergency events as well. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide, with more than 600,000 individuals trained since CERT became a national program.

    FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team Program trains volunteers to prepare for the types of disasters that their community may face. Through hands-on practice and realistic exercises, CERT members:

  • Learn how to safely respond to man made and natural hazards
  • Help organize basic disaster response
  • Promote preparedness by hosting and participating in community events
  • FEMA Citizen Responder

    Registering your CERT program, or joining a local CERT through the FEMA Citizen Responder website will better connect you to opportunities to participate in preparedness activities and initiatives that support disaster resilience. Through the FEMA Citizen Responder site you can register a CERT program, join a local CERT and learn about a upcoming events. 

  • Register, join or login to your CERT
  • Find your local CERT program
  • Background

    The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs.

    Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training. FEMA supports CERT by conducting or sponsoring Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager courses for members of the fire, medical and emergency management community.

    Training & Materials

    This section includes all of the curriculum developed for the CERT program, and features instructor guides, participant manuals, and slide decks for conducting the CERT training. In addition to the basic CERT training, materials are also available for the CERT Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager Courses, as well as the CERT supplemental modules, which are intended to provide additional training in specific areas to participants who have already completed the basic course.

    Course Overview

    The CERT Basic Course is delivered in the community by a team of first responders, and other qualified volunteers. The organization and timing of training and meeting varies from program to program. It is often broken up into two to four hour blocks over a series of evenings or weekends. 

  • Disaster Preparedness: Addresses hazards specific to the community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during and after a disaster as well as an overview of CERT and local laws governing volunteers.
  • Fire Suppression: Covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, controlling utilities and extinguishing a small fire.
  • Medical Operations Part I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.
  • Medical Operations Part II: Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area and performing basic first aid.
  • Light Search and Rescue Operations: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques and rescuer safety.
  • Psychology and Team Organization: Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and workers, and addresses CERT organization and management.
  • Course Review and Disaster Simulation: Participants review and practice the skills that they have learned during the previous six sessions in a disaster activity.
  • During each session participants are required to bring safety equipment (gloves, goggles, mask) and disaster supplies (bandages, flashlight, dressings) which will be used during the session. By doing this for each session, participants are building a disaster response kit of items that they will need during a disaster.

    From <https://www.ready.gov/cert>

    How to Clean Your Own Air Ducts

    12/18/2018 (Permalink)

    How to Clean Your Own Air Ducts

    One of the best ways to ensure that the air in your home stays tidy is to clean your air vents. The air ducts in your house contain millions of particles of dust, hair, dirt, pollen, spider webs and other allergens. Cleaning your air vents will also save you money on heating and air conditioning. So, read the tips listed below and learn about how you can clean the air vents in your house.

    Here's what you'll need:

  • Heavy duty vacuum
  • Face mask (N95)
  • Screwdriver
  • Broom
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Here's what to do:

  • Turn off the power connected to the heating and air conditioning system.
  • Unscrew the air duct covers or grilles from the walls. Use your brush to clean the grates thoroughly. If they're very dusty and grimy, you may want to use soap and water to make them gleam.
  • Vacuum the ducts as much as possible. Consider renting a heavy duty vacuum for this purpose. The standard household vacuum isn't powerful enough to clean deep into the crevices of the ducts. Make sure that the vacuum you rent has a long hose to reach deep into the ducts. If you want the ducts to be cleaned more thoroughly, consider hiring a professional to do the job.
  • Clean the grilles in your ceiling. If you can't reach them with the vacuum or screwdriver, use a broom to attack the dust. Remember that if you haven't cleaned them for a long time, you will want to protect yourself from all the dust and debris that will fall down by wearing a dust mask.
  • 5 Reasons to Request the Professionals

    12/18/2018 (Permalink)

    5 Reasons to Request the Professionals

    Water damage can be a minor irritant or a major problem, and even the minor irritants can become major issues if left untreated. Here are five basic reasons why you should dispense with the “do it yourself” approach and call in a professional.

  • We can spot the small stuff. Not all sources of water damage are immediately apparent, and a good water damage mitigation company will be able to look at your home and determine from where the next major problem might come. Taking care of it now will save a lot of money in the long run.
  • We explain the processes we use. A professional water restoration company will be able to explain in detail the procedure that they are going to utilize to remove the water, dry out the property, repair and restore everything that was damaged, and the steps to be taken to ensure that there are no long term issues.  Water damage repair and restoration can be an expensive project in virtually any scenario, so you want to be sure of exactly what you are paying for and the results that you should logically expect to see.
  • You get a comprehensive treatment. It is almost never just the area directly affected by water that is the problem. Proper restoration treatment means being able to identify all the problems associated with the water damage and taking the steps to correct them. Some of these problems may be easily overlooked unless the technician is properly trained on what to look for and how to deal with it.
  • A pro will take the measures necessary to prevent future damage. This would include informing you of necessary repairs, bringing in the subcontractors needed for the repairs, or perhaps treating the humidity level in a home to ward off mold growth. You want a company that can take these steps.
  • A professional restoration company will recognize small problems and take care of them before they become major issues. One sunken floorboard can be repaired but left unattended may soon become a whole series of sunken boards. A pro understands the signs around your home that point to future issues.
  • 3 Major Reasons to Hire Fire Restoration Pros

    12/18/2018 (Permalink)

    3 Major Reasons to Hire Fire Restoration Pros

    A fire in your home can be a very devastating and dangerous experience. After the fire, many people will first react by wanting to clean up their home. Before you decide to clean up the property yourself, it may be a good idea to first reach out to a fire damage cleanup company. There are three particular reasons why you should hire a professional for fire damage cleanup. 

  • The first reason why you should hire a professional for fire damage cleanup is that it can be a very dangerous process to clean up after a fire. After a fire, the area that is damaged could also have broken glass, sharp objects, and a variety of other hazards. If you are not experienced in this field, these hazards can be hard to identify. When you choose to work with a professional, they will be able to use the tools necessary to safely clear the area of all hazardous debris.
  • Another reason why it can be beneficial to hire a professional for fire damage cleanup is that they will be able to follow regulations. After fire damage your local community may have specific ways of how the cleanup needs to be handled. In many cases, this will prevent you from using your normal trash and dumpster service. Instead, a fire damage cleanup company will be able to follow the proper steps to ensure your home is in compliance with any laws governing how the cleanup needs to be handled. 
  • Another advantage of working with a professional for fire damage cleanup is that they can restore many items that you may consider destroyed. The cleanup crew will be able to carefully review all of your personal belongings that were damaged by the fire. In many cases, an item that appears to be completely damaged could actually be full restored. This can include flooring, furniture, appliances, and many other items that could be expensive to replace. 
  • 9 Reasons NOT to Use Bleach on Mold

    12/18/2018 (Permalink)

    9 Reasons NOT to Use Bleach on Mold

    1. Bleach encourages toxic mold growth on porous surfaces because it provides excess moisture. Bleach contains about 90% water. When you apply bleach to a surface, the chlorine quickly evaporates leaving behind a lot of water. Then, when the water soaks into porous surfaces like wood, it encourages mold growth. So, bleach can actually make your mold problem worse.

    2. Bleach only removes the color from mold. After you spray bleach, only the surface appears clean. But the problem is, the mold’s roots, or hyphae, continue to grow.

    3. The EPA and OSHA specifically advise against using bleach for mold remediation.

    4. Chlorine bleach is extremely harmful to surfaces. For example, when you use bleach on wood, it starts to weaken it by breaking the fibers. When you spray bleach on metal, it starts to corrode it almost immediately. Thus, using bleach to kill mold creates problems with the structural integrity of a home.

    5. Bleach is extremely corrosive. When you spray bleach and it evaporates, it releases chlorine gas. It irritates and eventually causes damage to the skin, lungs, and eyes.

    6. The corrosive nature of bleach is even worse when it’s mixed. Bleach should never be mixed with acids, because it causes dangerous fumes. Remember: Mixing cleaning compounds containing ammonia with bleach and ammonia produces deadly gasses that can kill with just a few breaths. 

    7. Bleach doesn’t work as a sanitizing agent when it’s mixed with organic material. To be a successful sanitizer, bleach has to be used on clean materials and surfaces. That’s why bleach products get used in the laundry after the wash cycle. Light and heat compromise the sanitizing properties of bleach. Despite the fact that the chlorine odor lingers for a while after you use it, bleach loses strength so quickly it doesn’t have a residual effect. That is, it doesn’t prevent future bacterial or fungal growth.

    8. Most bleach products are not registered with the EPA to be used as antimicrobial agents.

    9. And last, but not least, you don’t want to use bleach to kill mold because there are many antimicrobial alternatives readily available. These antimicrobial agents are registered with the EPA specifically for killing mold. Some are formulated to be friendly to the environment, your family and your pets. In addition, they are cost effective, easy to use, and, they have a true residual effect. That means they actually prevent bacteria and mold from re-growing.

    The SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) Advantage

    12/18/2018 (Permalink)

    The SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) Advantage

    The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW!

    As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according

    to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming

    majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an

    insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

    By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you

    minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing

    what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can

    help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

     Are You Ready?

    Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”

    The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a startup approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

    The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.

  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.

  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.

  • Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.

  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • This saves time, so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.

  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
  • Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

    Odor Removal Done Right

    12/18/2018 (Permalink)

    Odor Removal Done Right

    As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO professionals are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. Malodors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside of a structure.

    SERVPRO Franchises teach IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. SERVPRO has the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contacts any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace. Masking (using air freshener) and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent. We start by removing the cause of the odor, be it bio-hazardous, mold, smoke, etc. SERVPRO technicians are then able to use SERVPRO’s state-of-the-art equipment and professional techniques to clean and remove the odors that plague your home or business.

    The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be tricky, so give SERVPRO a call, and leave the restoration to us.