Recent Posts

Increase Your Odds of Re-Opening After a Disaster

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

The New Year brings opportunity for new beginnings! Start 2020 off right be being READY!

Did you know up to 50% of businesses that suffer a disaster may never reopen?

Of the businesses that do survive a disaster, the overwhelming majority had an emergency preparedness plan in place.

Ready.gov has a lot of useful information on all the possible disasters and emergencies that could possibly befall you or your business.  I would like to be able to narrow it all down to a simple quip or phrase and send you on your way but that wouldn't be the responsible thing to do.  You really need to take the time to educate yourself, and your employees, and then come up with a plan that best suits your business.  After all you and your employees are the help until the help arrives.  Make your plan and know what to do before the time comes.  Here is a direct link to the Business Emergency Preparedness Social Media Toolkit to help you get started.

Make your resolution one that helps protect you and your business. Call us today at (703) 368-4399 to learn about how we can help you be "Ready for whatever happens" in the New Year!

Water Damage Tips

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Hole in ceiling Ceiling cave in from water weight.

Water damage is a big problem that can destroy not only your home and finances, but also the sentimental items that you can’t put a price tag on. For that reason it’s a good idea to know the causes of water damage. But if you cannot avoid it then here are some tips on what to do if you have been victimized by it.

The first concern should be the safety of you and whoever else is in the affected home or area. Some of the most common causes of injury after water damage to a structure are slip hazards, and electrical shock due to careless mistakes that could have been avoided. On this note, don’t just go about business as usual, avoid kitchen appliances, and avoid tampering with major electrical devices that are connected to the building until authorities have deemed that it is safe to do so. This includes ceiling fans, lights, and televisions.

The next concern should be to begin the cleanup process. Depending on the severity of your damage you may need to contact the local authorities, and insurance provider, but eventually they will most likely get a SERVPRO® crew out to your location to fix it up.

Learn more about water damage, or any of the other services that we offer at SERVPRO®. If you find yourself dealing with a disaster, and need emergency repair, contact SERVPRO® of Prince William County today!  703-368-4399

Bio-remediation

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

man in bio-hazard suit Bio-hazard cleanup

We never hope that we need to call for services such as human remains, animal feces, blood spills, or hoarding scenes, but the reality is that there are times when unfortunate things happen in our community. When you need to remove bio-hazardous materials from your home SERVPRO® of North Prince William County is the trusted resource at your disposal.

The fact is we are "faster to any size disaster" and don’t sacrifice quality.  We are equipped to handle any type of bio-hazardous cleanup job. The longer cleanup is delayed the worse the environment will get, so reaction time is critical.

In the event of hoarding scenes, we work compassionately with the home owner and his or her loved ones to clean up the scene while other health and/or mental health professionals tend to the affected person.

No one wants to get informed about accidents, death, murder, hoarding, or suicide but if you are in the difficult position of calling for the cleanup of any of these events, and need to have dangerous materials removed you can be sure that we have the highly trained and experienced crews.

If you are searching for bio-remediation, or for a murder or suicide cleanup, contact us, day or night, and we’ll be there to help. Just call 703-368-4399 and our professional staff will be happy to help.

What is Black Mold

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on wall and ceiling Black mold on sheetrock

Black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, is a type of living organism that can cause health problems to you and your family. In this article we’re going to take a quick look at how black mold works and what you can do to prevent it from growing in your home.

How Does Black Mold Work?

Black mold grows in an environment that is high in moisture and low in nitrogen, which makes up 78% of the air we breathe. Therefore, we can deduce that if there is not much air movement, but enough water content in a particular environment, mold can grow there. There are plenty of materials in your home that black mold can feed off, drywall, and carpet being among the most common.

How Can We Prevent Mold Growth?

Mold actually grows in abundance in our world, so we cannot get rid of it entirely. However, that doesn’t mean we should accept black mold in our homes. If you have had water damage in your home or business, you should be on the lookout for mold. Preventative measures include making sure that you dry the area thoroughly. Remember to have your carpet properly dried because if the water has been trapped underneath your floor or carpet you will likely have mold growth.

SERVPRO® of North Prince William County is a leader in mold remediation. If you have mold and need help call us today, we’re always here to help!  703-368-4399

Fire Safety - Kitchen

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage Follow this link to see the after photo of this kitchen. https://www.SERVPROnorthprincewilliamcounty.com/before-after-photos/

Fire damage restoration is our specialty.  We are trusted experts in our field. We are here when you need us.  Before that time comes we like to provide you with information to keep you and your loved ones away from harm.  Some disasters can be prevented. SERVPRO of North Prince William County cares about the community we serve.

Grease fires - we’ve heard of them, maybe even experienced them, but what about them?

Well, first of all, they can happen to anyone.  The most common reason a grease fire occurs is leaving a pan on the stove unattended with oil in it.  The oil heats up, smokes and eventually catches fire. You don’t have to spill grease or have something else flammable nearby.  Oil in a pan unattended, heating up past the smoking point, will get to the point it sets itself on fire.

Guess what, it’s happened to me and this may be a shocker to you but it was SILENT!  No smoke alarm, nothing. Just flames shooting up out of my pan. I was fortunate because although I did also have something very flammable next to it (another no no) it didn’t ignite.  

Enough about me.  If this happens to you, you need to smother the fire and take the oxygen away.  A metal cover or cookie sheet are good options for smothering the fire (glass will shatter from heat).  You can also use salt or baking soda but only for a very small fire otherwise you will need large amounts to dump on and smother the fire.  Flour and other items that seem like salt or baking soda are NOT the same and should not be used. It is also wise to have a special extinguisher in the kitchen for this type of fire.  Be sure you know what you are using before spraying it, all extinguishers are not created equal. The best thing to do is pay attention and don’t leave the stove unattended and, of course, call the fire department if things are out of hand.

Ok, I’ve held out long enough.  I can’t talk grease without thinking of bacon.  If you are someone that likes bacon or cooks bacon for others that like bacon…I have a method for cooking bacon your bacon eaters will love!

At first I resisted this method because I thought it would soak up too much grease, yada, yada, yada.  I’m here to tell you this method of frying bacon beats ALL other methods. I’ve never seen this method anywhere else (except my mother-in-laws kitchen). There’s no splatter, the bacon cooks evenly and it doesn’t curl up needing to be pressed to the pan.  Perfect every time and easy. (I’ve never set this on fire.)

Here’s what you do.

  1. Open bacon package of your choosing just needs to be sliced first.
  2. Cover another plate with flour (amount depends on how much bacon you cook).
  3. I take scissors and cut the bacon in half so the strips are shorter (I like this a lot!!!).
  4. Dredge each piece in the flour (both sides of bacon should be covered with flour).
  5. Place bacon on frying pan (I prefer flat electric skillet, so grease can drain off).
  6. At about 325° the bacon will cook nice and even, flip after a few minutes when the bottom is browned.
  7. Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess grease.
  8. Store in fridge or enjoy immediately.  You can even freeze it for quick use in the future.  I just warm it up in the microwave when I need it.  

There you go!  Next time you cook something, remember to be attentive and not let the oil get too hot and if you use this recipe remember it was SERVPRO of North Prince William County that saved your bacon!

https://youtu.be/WcffMgKUmMc

Putting the Pieces Back Together

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

When I tell people I work for SERVPRO they often say “what’s that?”  Once I start explaining the light goes on and they tell me they’ve seen the green vans, trucks etc.  That tells me they haven’t needed our services in their home or business yet. What about the ones that have needed our services?  You can read for yourself what they have to say here: https://www.SERVPROnorthprincewilliamcounty.com/testimonials

   Among the people that haven’t needed our services yet there is often the misconception of what we can do for them.  Today I’d like to shed some light on the building and reconstruction side of our business. Yes, we take away the damaged and/or affected materials but we are capable of much more than that.

   Here at SERVPRO we have specialists trained in Fire Damage, Water Damage, Mold Remediation and more but we don’t have to leave you there.  Why find yourself someone else to come in and reconstruct your home or business? We are there, we are already familiar with your area of concern, and we know what happened.  No need to keep explaining and searching for someone properly licensed and insured to schedule and do the work. You already found us. We are licensed and insured and ready to begin your reconstruction.  

Chances are you’ve already experienced enough stress, let us take care of this for you.  Still uncertain of what I’m talking about and thinking we can’t possible help your unique situation?  Please check out our Building and Reconstruction Services at the link below. https://www.SERVPROnorthprincewilliamcounty.com/building-services


   I think you will be surprised at all we can do for you.  There is a reason we say we can make it “Like it never even happened.”  We have trained professionals using the right tools to get the job done, commercial or residential.  Please call if you have any questions about our services or want to make an appointment. SERVPRO of North Prince William County  (703) 368-4399.

Ready for Snow?

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

Snow!  Why talk snow in September?  

Here’s the thing.  Like it or not, Winter is coming.

We are glad you have added us to your contacts in case you have a disaster at your home or business (That’s (703) 368-4399 for SERVPRO of North Prince William County, for those just joining us); however, we like to talk prevention before a disaster occurs.

Now is the time to prevent winter disasters.  What can possibly happen in the winter? A few things.  We will start with your roof. One thing to consider is the pitch of your roof.  When you look at your roof is it steep or does it have a part that is almost level?  These are the areas to look out for. The steeper the pitch is the easier it is for the snow to slide off.  Snow is more likely to collect and dam up on a flat roof, a lot of commercial buildings have a flat roof.  

Buildings with a flat roof need to make sure their drains are clear especially after the falling leaves.  During the winter months, if we experience wet weather with cold temperatures and snow mixed in you need to make sure your drains are not blocked by ice.  Ice blockage can cause the melting snow to stay there and become heavier with each freeze and new snowfall.    

Buildings with a pitch need to keep an eye and make sure the snow is not building up too much.  Snow is water, water is heavy. It is a good idea to have a roof rake on hand to pull down the snow.  This is especially important for 3’ or 4’ around the eaves. If you have a snow build up (possibly evident by the appearance of icicles) this can cause the melting snow to be trapped creating what is called an ice dam.  An ice dam can be damaging to your roof. The snow melts, can’t run off the roof, and refreezes when the temperature drops. Water expands as it freezes and this particular water has to freeze in an upward motion pushing at your shingles in a way you do not want.  Usually this is happening under a layer of white snow so you are unaware and unable to see the ice underneath. 

My best advice to avoid winter damage to your roof is this:  Take your beautiful pictures to show your friends and family and then clean off the snow.  That includes icicles. Icicles are pretty to look at but are very dangerous when they fall.

Be prepared.  Be safe. Call SERVPRO of North Prince William County (703) 368-4399.  We are “faster to any size disaster.”

Clean air and HVAC efficiency

9/21/2019 (Permalink)

Happy Fall Y’all!

You always hear about Spring Cleaning but what about Fall?  Fall is a time of transition in preparation for Winter and all the holidays that come in between.  That makes it a perfect time to clean out and organize. Those items you haven’t used in years...maybe it’s time to donate them and tidy up your space a bit.

While that’s a great idea and a lot of us do that, there is something else on my mind today.  Air Duct Cleaning. Do you ever think of the air you breathe everyday in your home (or business)?  You may take it for granted but it truly is important to do more than just change the air filter regularly.  Cleaning out the air ducts can improve air quality and HVAC efficiency.  

Now, not everyone needs to do this today.  You should assess your unique situation. Have you had construction or remodeling going on that may have kicked up an inordinate amount of dust/debris?  Do you have mold or moisture concerns? Whatever your situation is Fall is a good time to have your ductwork cleaned out. Your system has been working hard for you all summer and now it may work a little less before gearing up for the winter months. 

Call your SERVPRO, SERVPRO of North Prince William County, if you need your ductwork cleaned.  Remember, we offer a variety of services, so go through your list and see what else you need...we can probably help you with that as well, it doesn’t hurt to ask.  One stop shop!

Enjoy the season!  We got this for you.

Water Damage is not a DIY Project

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

When you think of water damage what comes to mind?  Flooding? Basements? When I think of water damage I think of ceilings.  A Leaky roof or an upstairs bathroom flooding can cause water damage leading to wet ceilings and/or walls.  If you’ve bought a new home with past water damage you may not see the signs for a few months when the telltale marks start to bleed through the new paint.  

Paint is like a bandage covering a problem but not fixing it at all.  In fact your paint may not be covering a spot of old water damage but hiding a larger problem of a still leaking pipe or dampness or condensation in your walls.  I’m sure you know where this is heading...mold! Mold is preventable. There is no need to get paralyzed with fear when you hear the “M” word or cover it and hope it will go away (it won’t).  Mold is a natural occurrence, call the SERVPRO of North Prince William County Mold Remediation Professionals if you think you may have mold. Equally important though is calling SERVPRO of North Prince William County when you have water damage.  It is important to clean and dry the area correctly to help prevent mold issues. We are trusted, trained professionals and we are here 24/7/365 to help you. 

When I think of water damage I also think of Cousin Eddie.  This is one of my personal experiences with water damage. We had just moved into a brand new home.  Cousin Eddie dropped in to say “hi.” Cousin Eddie ended up spending the night! The next morning at breakfast Cousin Eddie says: “Man, you guys have a nice bathtub!”  I’m thinking, what??? Our tub is an average shower/tub combo. Hmmm. Then Cousin Eddie says this: “I took a bath this morning. I think I was 12 the last time I was able to fit in a tub.  Yours is so big I could be fully submerged in the water!!!” (NO, it is definitely NOT!!!) I may have let out a half whimper/sob as my eyes went to the ceiling (I couldn’t help it, I had to know).  Sure enough, the ceiling was already starting to bulge with water. In Cousin Eddie’s defense (there really is none), part of the problem was the overflow valve on the bath tub wasn’t hooked up or hooked up poorly so it had the same effect as if Cousin Eddie’s bath water overflowed the tub onto the floor.  In the bathtub overflow valve’s defense, it didn’t stand a chance of keeping up with the overflow of Cousin Eddie!  

If you have a Cousin Eddie incident call SERVPRO of North Prince William County.  We are “faster to any size disaster” leaving your house “Like it never even happened.”  Now that's a relief!

                  Add us to your contacts!

                       (703) 368-4399

SERVPRO Cares - School Bus Safety

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

When the panic of a disaster hits you will be glad you thought ahead...put SERVPRO of North Prince William County in your phone NOW.  If disaster strikes we are here for you 24/7/365! Call SERVPRO of North Prince William County (703) 368-4399

It’s that time of year again.  Yep, you guessed it, back to school!  Some kids are happy, some kids are sad.  Some Moms are sad, some moms are happy. Wherever you fall on the happy/sad spectrum one thing is the same ...school bus safety.

We all have a responsibility to help keep the kids of North Prince William County safe.  Here are the rules of the road when encountering a school bus with flashing lights:

  • When the school bus is flashing Yellow Lights motorists need to slow down and prepare to stop.  The bus is either about to pick up or drop off children.
  • Red Lights flashing (and extended stop arms) indicate to motorists the bus has stopped to pick up or drop off children.  Motorists must stop and remain stopped until the lights stop flashing, the extension arm is withdrawn and the bus begins moving.
  • Please be aware of your surroundings as well.  A child late for the bus may run out without looking for traffic and the same goes for a child that may have dropped something after getting off the bus.
  • If the school bus is stopped with flashing red lights and extended stop arm but is traveling in the opposite direction on a roadway divided by a median or barrier then the motorist does not need to stop per Virginia law.  

The next time you hear someone ask “Why SERVPRO?”  You can tell them: “Because SERVPRO cares!”  

Be safe and be prepared, add SERVPRO of North Prince William County to your contacts now:  (703) 368-4399