Recent Posts

What happens now?

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

From the moment you realize you have experienced a water damage, the steps you as a Dale City/Lake Ridge homeowner take will determine whether or not there is secondary damage in your home. Timely mitigation is critical to ensure that secondary damage is minimal. Turn off the water source and call SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton!

          703-494-7100

A SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton Professional will be able to look at the damage and let you and your insurance agent know if the damage is worth a claim.  Allowing the team to extract the water and place drying equipment as quickly as possible will be the difference in restoring your home or having the affected area completely replaced. Protecting the surrounding furniture by raising it off of the saturated carpet will prevent any secondary damage caused by the water disaster. Moving quickly and getting a professional restoration company on site will be the difference between drying your home and uprooting your daily routine for extended periods!

Protecting Your Pets from Potential Danger

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to – and also the most preventable. According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires.

  • The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
  • When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.

In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.

Help Firefighters Help Your Pets
  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

More helpful information can be found at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/pet-fire-safety

Fire Safety Tips

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

Top Tips for Fire Safety

 Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

   If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

Visit http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire to find out more helpful tips or follow our blog for more updates!

SERVPRO Helps Businesses too!

8/2/2017 (Permalink)

After a water emergency strikes in a commercial building, you own your immediate concerns involve both personal losses along with the added stress and responsibility to get all of your tenants back in business or living comfortably in your units again. SERVPRO offers the resources locally and on a national level to rehabilitate even a complex commercial water damage scenario. We exceed your needs both to repair your property and also to restore the trust the companies and individuals have invested in your professional commercial management.

Although burst pipes or a roof leak may start in a confined area of your office building, apartment complex or warehouse space, the resultant flood and seepage of water can spread far from the original breach. Many if not all of the businesses or residents renting from you are in peril of losing personal and professional property as well as their means to make a living if you do not take immediate steps to solve your Orlando commercial water damage. Even if the water overflow can be traced to the negligence of a tenant, you as the owner are charged with the task of protecting your building and fixtures and ensuring that all those who live in or operate a business within your commercial property have the use and quiet enjoyment of their leased premises quickly restored.

SERVPRO understands how important it is to limit the downtime of your and your tenants’ business operations. We make every effort to clean and dry the structure quickly, staging the restoration process with an eye to reestablishing business operations even before the entire remediation is accomplished if appropriate and safe. Preventing secondary damage from contaminated water is a major goal, made more attainable if we are involved as soon as possible in the process. Our services for you and your tenants can also include a pack out and detailed inventory of documents soaked by the water. We follow up with our state of the art procedures for saving and drying paperwork, books, pictures and other crucial work products you and your lessees may have feared would be lost due to the water infiltration.

If your commercial property has suffered water damage, call SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton immediately. We can be reached at (703) 494-7100 twenty four hours a day every single day of the year, our technicians eager to return you and your renters to business as usual swiftly as possible.

The Do's & The Don'ts of Water Damage

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Do's & Don'ts

Do:

    • Shut off the source of water if possible, or contact a qualified plumbing technician to stop the water source.
    • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
    • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
    • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. 
    • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
    • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
    • Pin up upholstered furniture skirting to keep off damp floors.
    • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with carpeting or floors. 
    • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Don'ts:

    • Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
    • Do not enter effected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
    • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items that may cause staining on wet carpet or floors.
    • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damaging the vacuum cleaner.
    • Do not use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
    • Do not turn on ceiling fixture if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Mold - What to do

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. To learn more about our mold remediation process.

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact 703-494-7100
  • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts: Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

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

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services. 

What NOT to Do:

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

Visual Inspection vs. Testing of Mold

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Most of our customers think a company that remediates mold would also do the testing of mold.  Well that is not the case, we only provide a visual inspection and will recommend an indoor hygienist when we feel it is necessary for all parties.  We will recommend an indoor hygienist in circumstances such as but not limited to things such as: selling the home, infants, children or elderly in the home or multiple areas impacted.

Given that we are a Cleaning and Remediation Company, we have determined that being certified to be an Industrial Hygienist (IH) is deviating too far from our profession.  Mold remediation and mold testing require different sets of skill sets of training, certifications, and professional equipment.  For remediation purposes, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) offers a course called, Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT).  In this course technicians learn how to properly remediate mold, but not test for it.  To become an IH, for testing purposes, you must have a 4 year bachelor’s degree in the particular field as well as specific IH courses.

In addition, a company that does both testing and remediation of mold could potentially appear to be skewing test results in order for their remediation to pass; it is like grading your own final exam.  To avoid this, we not only have another company do the testing but we also have the customer call in the IH rather than bringing them in ourselves as a subcontractor of our services.  We can recommend several in the area if you are in need of these services.  This ensures that the IH is working for the customer’s best interest.

So where do you start?

If you believe that you have a mold problem your first step is to find the source and stop it.  Next, we would recommend that you call in an Industrial Hygienist to come out and test the area.  A protocol will be written based off of the testing and if you do indeed have a substantial amount of mold present that needs to be remediated that is where SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton comes in.  With the protocol in hand we are able to properly assess the area and determine the extent as well as type of cleaning that will be needed to get your home or business back to preloss condition.

Are you a tenant with a water damage?

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Do you rent an apartment or a house?  These are the steps you should take if a water damage were to occur in your home or apartment.

  1. You need to contact the owner or property manager and make them aware of what happened. Homeowners and property managers know that water damages are likely to happen so it should not come as an immense shock to them.  Keep in mind that if you prolong telling them the extent of the damage will continue to increase so it is important to tell them immediately.  Also, in order for a restoration company to be able to come in and mitigate the water damage the owner of the property or someone that is authorized to make decisions for the property must approve for that company to do so, include sign the initial paperwork.  Tenants are not allowed to authorize a company to come in and work on a property that does not legally belong to them. 
  1. The next step would be determining if you would be filing a claim with your renter’s insurance for your contents if they were affected from the loss. Typically contents would not be covered by the homeowners insurance but on rare occasions it may be.  Also, depending on the contents that you have you may not have to worry about it at all.  For example, if the affected area is a living room with an average amount of furniture that you would expect in a living room the technicians would likely be able to work around, they can simply put your furniture on blocks and shift it off the wall about a foot to get air flow around the room and your furniture will dry using the same equipment needed for the structure.  However, if you have an extensive amount of affected contents that have to be moved in order for the structure to be properly dried out, the homeowner’s insurance might not cover moving out and drying your contents.  Ultimately it depends on the specific situation and the parties involved.  

Whatever the case may be, our technicians are trained to handle and properly document throughout the entire process ensuring that all parties involved are kept informed.

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions on how a water damage should be handled if you are a tenant at 703-494-7100.

Summers Storms cause property damage

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Summer thunderstorms, straight line winds, hail and flash floods can quickly cause damage to your home.  Here are some tips to help out:

Prepare in Advance

Prepare in advance with a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP). Our convenient mobile app stores all your utility and emergency response information in one place, so you can access this information from your smartphone or computer. In the event of a flood, SERVPRO of Dale City/Lake Ridge can be here to extract water and begin drying your home or business quickly. When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring.

Watch for Pooling Water

Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.

Sump Pump Maintenance

If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump malfunctions.

Storing Goods

Use shelving and plastic storage tubs to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line.

Cut Power if Necessary

As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.

Consider Flood Insurance

When all else fails, flood insurance will provide you the means to respond to a catastrophic flooding event. Homeowners insurance will not cover floods; you must purchase a separate policy for flood protection.

Call SERVPRO® of Dale City/Lake Ridge at 703-583-8484.  Our franchise professionals have the training and experience to make flood damage “Like it never even happened.”

Celebrate Summer Safety

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Celebrate Summer Safety Be safe and enjoy your summer break!

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
  • Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire

SERVPRO® Woodbridge/Lorton Professionals wish you a safe and happy summer!