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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

What causes indoor flooding

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage usually has one major leading cause: indoor flooding. Some of the most common causes of indoor flooding are: 

  • Leaky or Broken Pipes: The most obvious cause of indoor flooding is leaky or broken water pipes. Pipes can burst from changes in water pressure or even a faulty setup, but regardless of the cause, pipe problems often cause a ton of damage. Leaky pipes are usually a warning sign of more problems to come. Hidden floods caused by broken pipes in your walls can even create the perfect environment for microbial growth.
  • Faulty Washing Machine Hose: The most common problem with watching machines are faulty hoses. A leak in your intake hose can worsen over time and can cause flooding in your home. 
  • Water Heaters: Even a small leak in your water heater can cause major flooding due to its endless flow of water. Make sure to inspect your water heater on a regular basis, keeping up with maintenance to ensure it doesn’t spring a leak.
  • Clogged Sewer or Drain Lines: The flow of water to and from your house can be disrupted when you have clogged sewer or drain lines. Some clogs might be benign, allowing for a slow drain that is merely an inconvenience. But those clogs can get worse over time. The clog can cause your sinks, toilets, and showers to overflow with water, resulting in major damage. This can even include backed-up sewage, causing a hazardous environment for anyone or anything that comes in contact with the affected water. 

If you find flooding inside your home, call us and we will be there to help.

Salvaged Items After a Mold Damage

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know Mold can grow on more than just your walls?

It can grow on a variety of items, from furniture to walls to wood and flooring. When it comes to mold cleaning, however, you may be surprised about the number of objects that can be salvaged when you know the steps for cleaning them properly.

1. Leather Goods

Leather bags, jackets, and other items may be salvageable if you remove them from the affected area quickly. Because mold tends to spread faster in areas with high humidity, you can perform mold remediation for these items by transferring them to a room that is cool and dry. Once the leather has dried, you can sponge the surface with diluted baby soap to wipe away visible mold. Suede goods may need to be treated by a mold cleanup and restoration company.

2. Clothing

While not all clothing can recover from mold damage, you may be able to salvage some items. An Esporta Machine, which is designed to clean cotton clothing affected by mold, smoke, and other substances, can be effective in removing mold. You may be able to soak some fabrics in diluted vinegar to remove the mold, but this depends on how fragile the fabric is. Your restoration experts may able to advise you about other mold cleaning processes.

3. Paintings

Paintings affected by mold require special treatment. You may want to remove any wooden framing, as mold is attracted by wood fibers. Store the painting flat, away from humidity and sunlight, before contacting a professional artwork restoration company. Avoid bagging or sealing it in any kind of tight container, as this may create humid conditions that could encourage further mold growth. 

What to do...

When you find mold growth on your belongings, you may not know where to begin with mold cleaning. Contacting SERVPRO of Birmingham for removing your items from areas where mold is present. Our team can help you salvage irreplaceable items and proceed with the rest of the cleanup with confidence.

What to do after a fire!

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Have you had a fire in your home?  "Devastating" is an understatement when experiencing the chaos of a fire in your home. Not only is it difficult to deal with the loss, but the clean-up can be, too. If it is a small isolated fire, getting the area cleaned and repaired should be a priority!  The first thing to consider is the ash and smoke damage. These can lead to corrosion, unpleasant odor, and discoloration. Getting ash and smoke cleaned up immediately will prevent any of these from leading to an even larger problem.    Take immediate action by following these steps if you find yourself handling the aftermath of a house fire:  1. Contact your insurance company. 2. Contact your local fire restoration company. 3. Take photographs of the damage. 4. Keep a record of all conversations with your insurance company. 5. Make a list of everything you lost or that was destroyed. 6. Find a place to stay while your restoration company cleans up your property. While a house fire is a difficult experience, it helps to have a game plan in place. So remember these steps for the next time you or someone you know is handling the aftermath of a house fire, and call SERVPRO® of North Prince William county.

Drywall Water Damage and Mold Growth

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Don't let black mold happen in your home.

Floods can cause some lasting damage to your walls as well as ruining your carpets, furniture, and personal belongings. Drywall, which can easily collect and trap moisture inside, if you act quickly enough, you can avoid having to deal with black mold. 

Conditions for Mold Growth

Though it may not look that way, mold is alive and it needs food, water, and oxygen to survive. Usually, homes can provide two of these things — oxygen and food. Mold typically feeds on organic matter, such as paper and wood, commonly used for the structural elements of a house. Drywall acts like a sponge so that even 1” of flooding could cause the drywall to become wet up to 4’ from the floor. Also, the paper backing of drywall is a perfect food source full of nutrients for mold.

But of course, when your home is dry, there’s no need to worry. No matter how much organic matter you have in the house, mold won’t start growing without water. But remember — even the smallest excess moisture could spell trouble. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your home dry at all times!

What to Do in Case of Drywall Water Damage

Try as you might to keep your home dry, sometimes things can go wrong. For example, you could experience a flood, or a pipe could suddenly burst in your bathroom, or you could experience a slow leak from your water heater.  Either way, you might find yourself having to deal with serious drywall water damage and potential mold growth.

To prevent black mold growth, the first thing you need to do is dry out the area as quickly as possible. If you have any paintings, furniture, or other décor hanging or leaning on the wall, remove them. The damaged area needs to be exposed to air in order to dry faster.

Unfortunately, you need to take down your wallpaper too. That can be time-consuming, but it’s necessary because moisture could accumulate behind it. For that same reason, you should remove all baseboards and molding — they provide perfect hiding places for mold.

Now that your drywall is completely bare, you may begin the drying process. Open the windows to allow air to circulate or get some fans and dehumidifiers to help. Don’t stop until you are 100% certain that the drywall is fully dry. If you’re not sure how to tell, call SERVPRO of North Prince William County today and we can check for you and give you advice.

Once your walls are dry, you can hang your paintings back and re-apply wallpaper. Of course, make sure that no items you put up are wet. 

In Conclusion

Black mold on drywall can cause serious damage to your home’s structure, but more importantly your health. If you’ve discovered mold growth despite your best efforts to avoid it, give us a call. Sometimes the problem can be too difficult for you to handle alone but easy enough for a professional mold cleaning company. So don’t hesitate — put your health and the health of your family first and call us today!

Biohazard Clean-up & Safety Precautions

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

One of the lesser known types of jobs we face at SERVPRO of North Prince William County are those that pertain to biohazard, Biohazard is defined as a biological substance that poses a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily humans and could include blood and bodily fluid.

Part of the precautions that we take to keep our techs safe, is proper training, and continuing education; we are never done learning how to be even better at our jobs. Another part to how we keep our techs safe is through proper PPE, also known as “Personal Protective Equipment”. One of the important requirements for our techs is to have or acknowledge the need for a Hepatitis B vaccination. For extreme biohazard risk, our techs will apply a suit, gloves, face mask, and then seal it with tape, to ensure full security from biohazard elements.

We at SERVPRO of North Prince William County always ensure the safety of not just out customers, but our employees too!

SERVPRO of North Prince William County is there to clean up after deaths, sickness, sewage, or accidents, so you don’t have to.  Call us today!

'Tis the Season - Fire Safety Tip #1

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Tip #1 - Preventing Christmas Tree Fire

'Tis the Season to be festive and merry with decorations around the house.  You will most likely find amidst those decorations the glorious Christmas Tree in all its glory!  

According to the NFPA, between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year.

Here are a few tips to help prevent a tragedy in your home this year.

  1. Pick a fresh-looking tree

Fresh trees are much less likely to catch fire, according to the American Christmas Tree Association. If purchasing a real Christmas tree, it’s essential to choose a tree with green needles, regardless of the type of tree.

You can also tell a fresh tree from a dry one by handling the foliage.  Signs of a fresh tree include soft and flexible needles that don’t easily fall off.

Fir needles from a fresh tree should crisply snap if you fold them. Experts recommend continuing to test your tree’s needles for freshness throughout its duration in your home.

  1. Keep the tree watered

Constant moisture is key, because a dried-out Christmas tree in a home is a recipe for disaster.

In fact, a parched tree can burn faster than newspaper, according to the NFPA.  

Experts recommend keeping a real tree watered at all times to ensure that it remains consistently moist.

A medium to large Christmas tree can drink up to a gallon of water a day.

  1. Keep tree away from heat

Ensure that the tree is at least 3 feet way from any heat source, including fireplaces, radiators or heat vents, the NFPA recommends.

Experts also recommend that lit candles should NEVER be used to decorate a tree.

  1. Shake the tree

Give your real tree a good shake, experts suggested. If you find that a lot of needles fall to the ground, it’s a sign that the tree isn’t getting enough water, which poses a fire risk.

  1. Check the tree’s lights

Faulty lights can cause a tree to ignite, which is why It’s essential to check the lights you use to decorate the tree.

The NFPA recommends using lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory and keeping in mind that some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

Examine the lights and keep an eye out for any frayed wires, broken bulbs and any loose connections, he recommended. If you spot signs of damage or wear, the lights should be replaced.

Experts also recommend preventing a short circuit by avoiding overloading extension cords and power sockets with Christmas tree light strands.

  1. Turn off your tree’s lights

Ensure that your lights are always turned off when you’re not around to keep an eye on them, experts suggested.

  1. Get rid of your tree soon after the holidays

We at SERVPRO of North Prince William County wish you a Safe and Happy Holiday!

Seasonal Storms - Are You Prepared?

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Here in North Prince William County, we are no strangers to the seasonal storms that affect our area.  Whether it be hurricanes, flooding, snowstorms, or freezes it is important to be prepared for whatever may come.  Part of being prepared is knowing what to do when the storm has passed.  If you find yourself being affected by a storm event in the area, call SERVPRO of North Prince William County immediately.  Time is of the essence in these types of situations, so it is important to act as quickly as possible so we can start making your storm damage, "Like it never even happened."

How You Can Start Preparing Now:

Know Our Area's Risk

Heavy rainfall, high winds, flooding, snowstorms and freezes are weather related things our area needs to be aware and cautious of.  

Stock Up on The Necessities

It is not uncommon for these larger storms to lead to power outages.  Make sure you are stocked up on water, food, batteries for flashlights, and anything else you may need to feel more comfortable during a power outage.  Keeping your cellphones fully charged as the storm nears is also smart; being able to contact family, friends, and first responders is always important!

Stay Informed

Keep an eye on our local news and weather alerts, for information regarding the storm.  Staying alert for flash flood warnings and strong wind advisories can help keep you and your family safe throughout the storm.

Have a Backup Plan

If your home is in an area prone to flash flooding, have a backup plan!  Call relatives and friends and make a plan to visit a home in a safer location during the storm!

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit ready.gov

You can also check SERVPROprep.com for more ways to keep your home safe

If you find your home has been affected by damage as a result of the storm, call SERVPRO of North Prince William County at 703-368-4399, and we will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Sewage Backup is Not Necessarily a “Do it Yourself” Job.

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

When you experience sewage backup, trust SERVPRO of North Prince William County to aid in your cleanup process properly.

Experiencing sewage backup is never a pleasant event. Did you know that harmful contaminants can pose serious health risks if not addressed quickly and properly?  Not only does this mess cause problems with your home, but it can cause problems with yours and your family’s health as well. It’s not an easy fix or an easy clean up when trying to handle the situation on your own.

If you’ve recently had sewage backup in your home or are looking for ways to prevent a sewage backup from happening and aren’t sure what to do, then continue reading. The following is a guide on everything you need to know about how to prevent, clean, and handle a sewage backup in your home. 

WHAT TO DO IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A SEWAGE BACKUP

There are important measures that should be taken in order to prevent the problem from spreading. The first couple of things that you should do immediately after realizing your home has had a sewage backup are as follows:

  1. Be sure to remove any children, pets, and seniors from the home. Do not allow them back into the area until the damage is completely fixed and safe.
  2. Keep yourself safe by putting on any protective clothing such as rubber boots, rubber gloves, eye protection, a face mask, and more. 
  3. If the distribution panel is above water, switch off the electricity by using a dry wooden stick and rubber gloves. 
  4. Turn off the water in your home, and do not use any water for bathing, drinking, washing hands or dishes, and others. This water may be contaminated.
  5. You may need to contact your utility companies and have them shut off the supply to your home if you cannot safely turn them off yourself.
  6. Open your home’s doors and windows to allow proper air ventilation. You won’t want to use your home’s AC as this will spread contaminated air throughout your home.
  7. Remove any items from the area that are dry and not contaminated.
  8. You can add small amounts of chlorine bleach into the standing water to slightly disinfect.
  9. Contact your insurance company and notify them of the backup. You’ll want to take pictures of any damage that the sewage backup caused. This will come in handy as proof when filing your claim.
  10. Never attempt to unclog the drains. You will need to clean up the sewage spill before taking any further action.  

THINGS TO REMEMBER

There are key things to remember when handling sewage spill in your home. Remembering these key tips will help keep your home and family safe, prevent further damage, and ensure that your insurance company has all the documents that they need.

  1. Along with providing your pictures, the insurance company will also want you to provide receipts of any work that had to be done due to the backup, of any materials bought to aid in the cleanup and fixing your home, and of any replaced items that were damaged. 
  2. Keep the infected area shut off from the rest of the home as best as you can. This includes shutting all doors that attach to the infected area. By keeping the doors shut, there is a less likely chance of contaminated air spreading into the other rooms.
  3. Do not use harsh chemicals in your pipes to try to fix the problem. This can cause great damage to your pipes and instead, you’ll want to hire a professional plumber. Professional plumbers know how to properly clean out the pipes. 

HOW TO START CLEANING AND SANITIZING 

Before beginning to clean up the area without a professional, be sure to wear the proper protective gear. You’ll also want to consider the risks of beginning the cleanup on your own. It’s always best to call in the professionals to ensure that the job is done correctly. 

Here are some ways you can begin cleaning up the mess:

  1. Use natural draining or a pump to remove any of the backed-up water and sewage. You’ll need to contact the authorities to ask where to properly drain the sewage into.
  2. Remove and clean any dirt, or debris from the surfaces that the sewage came into contact with.
  3. Properly wash any walls, floors, and other surfaces that the sewage water may have touched. Use a low-suds detergent and clean hot water. 
  4. Rinse these surfaces with warm water after cleaning.
  5. Sanitize all surfaces with a sanitizing solution. And be sure not to contaminate other rooms by walking into them with dirty shoes.
  6. Open any windows and doors leading outside to air out the room.

HOW TO PREVENT A SEWAGE BACKUP

If you’ve experienced a sewage backup in your home, then you understand the importance of taking all appropriate measures to prevent it from happening again. If you’ve never experienced a sewage backup in your home, trust us when we say that you’ll be happy you took the time to read through the steps on preventing it.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent a sewage backup:

  1. Have a regular inspection done on all pipes and valves in your home and on your property. Make sure they’re in good condition and receive any needed repairs.
  2. Don’t place large amounts of chemical products down into the sewage system.
  3. Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilets.
  4. Don’t allow grease to go down the kitchen drain as it may harden in the pipes.
  5. Avoid planting trees near the pipes as their roots may cause the pipes to break.

WHEN TO CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS 

When dealing with a sewage backup, it’s always best to call in the professionals. These are just some steps that you can take to ensure everyone’s safety and to begin the cleaning process, but we highly recommend that you leave it to the professionals to come in and get the job done correctly and safely.

SERVPRO of North Prince William County professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean these messes. Our highly trained team of technicians are ready to respond immediately to flooding from things like heavy rain or a broken pipe or when water damage is caused by an appliance failure or overflowed toilet at your property. Our teams have the experience, expertise, and training to restore your home or business quickly and properly. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our technicians will monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is restored back to normal providing you peace of mind. 

Your Home is Your Castle, So Why Not Trust in the Professionals?

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

Your home is your castle, so why not trust the professionals to do the professional's job? 

Here are just a few reasons to trust the professionals at SERVPRO of North Prince William County:

COMPANY CULTURE

At SERVPRO of North Prince William County we believe in treating every home or business we step foot into as if it were our own.  One of our company goals is to treat everyone and everything as you would if it was our family going through this loss.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a small stain on the carpet or three feet of raw sewage in a basement, we will treat your loss with the utmost respect and professionalism.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY

At SERVPRO of North Prince William County we know that communication is key. When you experience a loss in your home, you have many questions.   It is our goal to have someone available to answer your questions.  We want you to know that as our customer, we work for you, not the other way around. 

You and your insurance company will be informed every step of the way.  We always work on an approval only basis, which means that we will only do the work that you as the homeowner and/or your insurance company has approved.  We want to make sure this process is as smooth and painless as possible. 

HIGHLY TRAINED SPECIALISTS

Since first opening the doors, training has been the backbone of SERVPRO success nationwide.  We are an IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified firm.  The IICRC is a certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries and is what most insurance companies base their standards on.  Unlike most companies, ALL our employees are trained to these standards.  

FASTER TO ANY DISASTER

A fast response is crucial!  An immediate response helps to minimize the damage, the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. Our technicians arrive quickly and start the extraction right away.  The faster we can extract and stabilize, the fewer things become damaged.

Need Emergency Service? Call SERVPRO of North Prince William County 24/7 – 703-368-4399

Flooding and Water Emergencies - Not Just an 8 AM - 5 PM Service

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever noticed that the low battery indicator alarm in your smoke detectors always seem to alert you in the middle of the night??

Well, just like your smoke detector, flooding and water emergencies don’t always wait for regular business hours to occur.  Luckily, SERVPRO of North Prince William County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage can be very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of North Prince William County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of North Prince William County

SERVPRO of North Prince William County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 703-368-4399

Fire Safety Tips During Grilling Season

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Ahhhh summer...a time when friends and family get together to enjoy the beautiful weather to eat and especially during the hot summer months…cook outdoors! And, who doesn’t love a good BBQ?  70% of US households own a grill and odds are will fire it up at least once a week during the summer.  Be that as it may, it is also when fire can become an issue for your home and property.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, roughly 5,700 grill fires take place on residential property every year amounting to an annual average of $37 million in damages.

As you fire up your grill or smoker of choice, here are some basic tips:

  • When grilling, it is important to do so in a safe environment. Have a space outdoors where you can set up a grill safely and on level ground with a three-foot space between any structures nearby that could catch fire.
    • If you live in a condominium or an apartment, check with your landlord/property manager to find out if grilling on your balcony area is acceptable before you do it!
  • When lighting/igniting your grill, always open the lid prior to turning on the propane. Backdrafts can occur if you leave the lid closed while lighting.
  • Be sure to wear short sleeve clothing when grilling to stay safe from the grill flames.
  • NEVER leave the grill unattended!
  • Be sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby to put out any fires that may occur.
  • Clean your grill after each use to prevent grease fires.
  • Dispose of used coals in a metal can with lid after they have cooled.

We at SERVPRO of North Prince William County hope you stay safe and enjoy cooking outdoors safely!

Storm Damage - Recommended steps to take

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

Heavy/isolated storms may cause damage to your home and/or business causing some safety and health hazards to you or your loved ones.  Here are some strategies that can help you to deal with the damage immediately after the storm.

Heavy wind and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofs, window damage, rain soaked walls or standing water in the basement of your business or home.

Once the storm passes when it is safe to do so, conduct a physical walk through of your building, home and/or property. 

Things to check:

  • Do you smell any gas? If so, shut off the main gas line.
  • Are there any downed power lines near your property? If so, stay away from the line and shut off your main breaker switch.  Contact your local electrical company. 
  • Check for any signs of leaking from the roof or windows. Check your basement (if you have one) to see if you experienced any leaking/flooding.  Any type of moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials and can make the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. .
  • Check your property for any broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects that may have been scattered due to the storm.

In the unfortunate event your home or business suffers storm damage contact your insurance agent to notify them so they can start your claim.  Next, contact a reputable company like, SERVPRO® of North Prince William County who will work seamlessly with your insurance company to help alleviate any hassles, which means less worry for you. Our employees work with insurance adjusters every day and help to ensure things are going according to plan and the job is properly documented. Being in business for over 19 years, whatever property and casualty insurance you or your company uses, odds are we have worked with them in the past.  If you need the job done right with less hassle for you, please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO® of North Prince William County 703-368-4399.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but we hope these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, your business and/or your life back to normal.

Phase 3 Reopening - SERVPRO of North Prince William County is Here to Help.

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Prince William County is an essential business and always open 24/7.

As the state of Virginia begins entering into Phase 3 reopening, SERVPRO of North Prince William County has and continue to receive calls from businesses and community leaders to perform the necessary bio-remediation services to clean, disinfect, and sanitize their properties. We have helped many offices, homes and facilities, but that does not mean we are not here for our local area business owners and residential customers for our core services!

We are always here for you when your local business, residence or commercial space experiences a water or fire loss, mold, or damage from a storm event.

SERVPRO of North Prince William County, will continue to answer your phone calls so that we can provide estimates for remediation and/or help with any restoration services you might need. (Restoration is defined as "essential" so our services are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and operation for the people in Virginia and West Virginia areas). 

Per our mission, we will be “Here to Help” when you need us most and provide a service that keeps your business functioning.

We will continue to monitor this situation with the goal of keeping you, your families and your business, staff, and customers comfortable during these uncertain times.

Whether you need deep cleaning services, water, fire or mold remediation, we are here to service you 24/7.

If you or your family has any additional questions about our services or protocol, please do not hesitate to call our office: (703) 368-4399.

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

Fire Safety - Campfires

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of North Prince William County we pride ourselves on being a leader in fire and water damage restoration.  Our highly trained specialists are trustworthy and “faster to any size disaster.” Our “restore first” mentality helps keep the costs down and get you back into your home or business faster.

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

Having said that...let’s discuss outdoor fire safety.

It’s the end of Summer.  School is starting. The temps are high and the ground and brush are most likely dry.  You have a lot on your mind while trying to soak up the last days of summer camping and outdoor fun.

My name is Anne Marie and today I’d like to share the rules of building a campfire.

First things first, make sure ahead of time that you are allowed to have a campfire where you are located.  (That would certainly put a damper on things.)

Next, check that there are no burn bans in place.  If there aren’t then observe the area for windy conditions.  Very important so things don’t get out of hand.

You are now ready to dig your pit.  Select a spot without any overhanging branches.  

Now that you have your pit, circle it with rocks and rake a 10 foot area around the pit.  Once completed there should be just dirt in this area, nothing that could catch fire should be left on this ground.

If you have extra firewood/kindling stack it upwind and away from the fire.  Don’t leave anything around that could be a tripping hazard.

Never leave a campfire unattended by an adult.

Keep a hose or a bucket of water close by at all times.  You should always have a metal shovel as well.

When you are ready to call it a night or leave the fire be sure it is extinguished.  This means douse it with water, stir it up with a shovel and dump more water on it. The fire should be cold beyond a shadow of a doubt before you leave.

Please also remember:  Only burn wood.

The above rules are not just for camping they are for the fire pit in your backyard as well.  When things are easy and convenient we sometimes become more lax with adhering to these rules.

This is a personal experience of mine.  I was visiting a friend that had a fire pit in their yard.  It was around 10 AM when I knelt down to pick something up in the area of their fire pit.  The ground was quite warm. I alerted my friend to the situation. They had used the fire pit the night before.  Upon stirring the ashes we saw that down below there were still red coals. There was a plant/weed that had very long roots that connected from plant to plant that grew in the area.  These roots had “caught fire” so to speak, there wasn’t enough oxygen for them to ignite but they were red at the pit and carried the heat just below the surface of the ground. If this had reached the woods or an uncleared area this story could’ve ended very differently.  What did they do wrong? The fire had been left cold enough instead of completely cold. So, while no one in my story needed to call SERVPRO, make sure you are prepared in case someone in your story does.

Add SERVPRO of North Prince William County (703) 368-4399 to your contacts today!

What to Expect From a Water Main Break

7/20/2017 (Permalink)

water main break

A water main break can cause lots of damage. Perhaps the worst part is that you don’t always know when it happens, which means you can be gone from the house or building for a long period of time before you realize that you have a big problem. This is because the pipes are not usually in plain sight, therefore if they fail it often goes undetected until it becomes a bigger problem. If that’s the case you could be looking at a disaster by the time you finally come back.

Water main breaks can be caused by factors such as extreme temperature, corrosion, or impact to the pipes, among other potential factors. However, even if your house, condo, or building is relatively new you should still dedicate some funds and resources to routine maintenance, and inspection for cracks, or for other potentially unsafe environmental hazards. This practice could save you thousands later on.

Those who are have experienced a water main break often have to deal with an interruption in their water service, and potentially days or weeks of being relocated as crews repair not only the pipes, but the areas of the home or office that have been affected with water damage. This is another reason having a routine maintenance inspection of plumbing system is a good idea.

At SERVPRO® of North Prince William County we are always here to help. Contact us immediately if you have experienced this, or any other type of water damage, or if you have any questions regarding such things.

SERVPRO of North Prince William County – Most Trusted Restoration Company

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Near Me

At SERVPRO of North Prince William County we pride ourselves on being not just the biggest, and most well-known restoration company in the area, but the most trusted.

The North Prince William County office is owned by Rob Wise, is a forward-thinking entrepreneur with years of experience in the home construction industry. Under his leadership area residents have received the highest quality service for everything from water damage and mold removal, to fire damage and soot removal.

Contact SERVPRO of North Prince William County now!

Our office is consistently a top performing franchise location, so in addition to benefiting from the top notch services of the corporate hub residents and businesses also receive top notch service from the one of the top performing locations in the country. That’s because we are always ready to help clean up water damage emergencies, hoarding or death scenes, smoke damaged items, and more.

Perhaps one of the reasons our company is so well trusted, is that we have the benefit of relying on different arms within the company to respond to different situations. For example, we have a Fire division that deals with only restoring items that were damaged by soot, smoke, and flames. Our employees who work there do not have to spend time responding to flooded basements or buildings because other employees are ready to respond to those emergencies.

Another attribute that area residents admire about our office is that we are able to respond day or night, at any hour, on any day. This means that if one of our customers insists on service immediately, we provide it, regardless of when it is. That puts you in control of the situation, and let’s you get back to your life at the speed and rate that you need to.

For all your home and business restoration needs, call SERVPRO of North Prince William County, and find out why we are Manassas, Manassas Park, Bristow, Lake Jackson, Gainesville, Haymarket, Yorkshire, Nokesville area’s most trusted restoration company!

Water Damage Tips For Office Buildings

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

commercial water damage

Water damage is a very significant threat both to the safety of the occupants, and to the finances of the owners, not just of residential homes, but also of commercial buildings. In North Prince William County that means plenty of medical buildings, professional buildings, and the like. In times of severe flooding or plumbing failure this damage could even stop your business from daily tasks, which means you are losing money!

In this article we go over some basic preventative and responsive measures so that hopefully you can avoid being in this situation, or if you do find yourself in this situation, at least you can get your office back to normal quickly.

Preventative Measures

In the office there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of damage due to water leaks. For example, educate your office managers on water damage preparedness. This means that your managers should know how to turn off the water, electric, and gas supply. If they don’t have access, then they should know who to call in order to have these items completed. It’s also a good idea to have some basic tools in the office so that they are readily available in the event of an emergency. Lastly, it’s important to have a list of emergency contact phone numbers for all employees, as well as local fire and police numbers, so that in the worst case the loved ones of those injured can be notified, and they can get medical attention if needed.

Response

Just as with residential structures, rapid response is critical to water damage in an office. The longer you wait before the area is restored the more of a chance you there is that you will have mold, which is another problem altogether.

The best course of action is:

  1. Call a plumber to fix the source of the loss;
  2. Call SERVPRO of North Prince William County to remediate the damage.

Of course, you can call your insurance first, but remember, we are also experts at the insurance side of damages as well, and can help you get the best coverage, so you may call us to work with your insurance as well.

At SERVPRO of North Prince William County we are the leaders of commercial water damage restoration. Contact us today to learn more!

Flooded Basement Service and Causes

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Flooded basement

flooded basement is an emergency situation that cannot be ignored for very long because it can cause major damage to the walls, floors, carpet, or even furniture. Not to mention, it can lead to mold if left untreated, that this is all fairly quickly.

SERVPRO of North Prince William County understands this. That’s why we are on-call 24/7 because you can’t wait for tomorrow when you have standing water in your house tonight.

Call our Flooded Basement team right away!

Our team can deploy technicians at any hour to remove the water from your basement, dry the carpet, repair the damage, and do whatever needs to be done in your situation, so that you can get back on with your life.

Here are some of the common sources that cause a basement to experience flooding.

There are generally only a few sources for a basement to receive water:

  1. Either it is coming through the foundation in the form of rain penetrating the walls;
  2. Water from over-saturated soil being pushed through the floor;
  3. Storm water from the sewer system; or
  4. Sanitary sewer water from a clog in your homes’ sewer line.

In the case of water seeping in from a crack in the foundation, you can know if this the cause of your water damage if the water is coming in at only one particular location, or at the exterior foundation wall.

As for the subsurface groundwater, this is when your basement acts as a boat in a pond, water will enter through any hairline crack whenever the groundwater levels ride above the level of your floor. A perimeter drain system can be used to solve this problem.

In the case of storm water from the sewer system the rainwater in the sewer system can rise to such levels that the water flows backwards toward the house. If you already have a sump pump for this reason then you either need a new one, or the alternative is to dig up and cap the pipe that is running from the house to the street.

Lastly, if the event of sanitary sewer water backing up, you will know this is your problem if the water is coming through the drains of the floor and the sinks in the basement. In this case the installation of backflow preventers will do the trick. Also, pouring tree root killer down your toilets once a year can help with prevention of such disasters.

If you have a flooded basement contact SERVPRO of North Prince William County and have our team of experts help you out today!

Insurance Claims on Water Damage

5/19/2017 (Permalink)

Insurance Claims on Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most common claims for home insurance. At SERVPRO of North Prince William County we not only repair water damage in your home, but we also specialize in dealing with insurance companies to get you covered for our services.


If you need help dealing with your home insurance company for water, fire, or mold damage call us today.


Problem Areas:


You might run into some trouble with your insurance claims for water damage in some cases. For example, if you are claiming something that was the result of gradual damage they might give you some problems. Gradual damage is anything that happened over time as opposed to an accident or sudden damage. These can be things such as a leaky ceiling that was due to plumbing defects, water damage caused by cracks in the foundation, and a lot of times mold will also fall into this category. Basically, anything that has been happening for a long time is generally not covered by home insurance.


However, there may be some exceptions to this. For example, some insurance companies allow coverage for mold remediation. For example, in the case of mold resulting from another claim that was covered under insurance, but was not properly fixed, and the mold was the result.


On the other hand if water damage is sudden and accidental you’ll probably have a much easier time getting covered for the damages. Of course everything is dependent upon the language of the policy that you purchased, but this is the very nature of insurance: coverage for sudden and accidental loss.


A good practice for homeowners is to keep record of all repairs and transactions for services that are made to your home. This will prove valuable in the event you ever make a claim. It is also worth mentioning that there are different types of water damage as far as insurance is concerned. Some cover flood, some cover sewer backup, and many times the items that are covered reflects what is commonplace for the region that you live in.


At SERVPRO of North Prince William County we are not only experts at restoring your home as if it never even happened, we are also experts at dealing with insurance companies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you through the entire recovery process today!

What To Do About A Leaky Ceiling

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

A leaky ceiling can cause big problems

Leaky Ceilings can be costly. They can significantly damage your home or business, but also it is sometimes hard to determine the cause of them, which can delay, or even add to the expense of the repair process. That’s why the first thing you should do when you have a leaky ceiling is an inspection so that you can eliminate all the obvious non-causes.

One thing to consider is whether the leak occurs only in inclement weather. If the leak is constant, regardless of whether it is raining outside or not, then you can probably eliminate the roof as being the source of the leak. That’s because if that leak is caused by the rain, then the rain would have come from the roof through the ceiling. In this case the leak is most likely caused by a plumbing line inside the house or structure.

Another thing to consider is the water itself. Does it appear to be clear and fresh? If so, then that could be an indication of the water coming from the water supply line. That’s because if water was coming from the roof it would track a lot of dirt and substances from the roof along with it.

If you have determined that the leak is possibly from the roof, start at the top and work your way down. Be sure to take all the necessary precautions, and have all required safety gear needed for a roof inspection.

Of course, not all people are prepared for home improvements and repairs, especially when it comes to major repairs. If you have a leaky ceiling, or any kind of water damage to your home or business, give the pros a call. For more information visit our water damage services page. We’re faster to any size disaster.

Mold Remediation

4/26/2017 (Permalink)

Mold remediation in Manassas

Mold Removal in Manassas Area

 In the Manassas area, mold is a real problem for many families. That’s because it can cause irritation and allergic reactions to people in the household. Mold thrives in humid environment, and as we all know, the summer months are very humid in Northern Virginia.

What is mold?

Mold is a microscopic particle that exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to completely remove all mold from a home or business. However, it doesn’t necessarily need to be removed, nor does it become a problem until the humidity – or moisture level – increases. That’s when mold particles begin to grow in number, and form colonies. These colonies are the culprit when it comes to producing allergens and irritants for people, especially to children and people with compromised immune systems.

Another effect of excess mold is the strong odor it produces. It’s an odor that you won’t want to smell again, if you’ve ever smelled it before. If that smell is in your home, where you and your family expect to be comfortable, and to relax, you'll want to get rid of it immediately.

For this reason it is important to monitor the humidity level in your home, especially in Northern Virginia, where the humidity is present year-round, and the summer months can produce conditions in the environment that are favorable for mold growth. 

Generally, you want to keep the humidity level below 49%. This is the level at which these mold particles start to thrive and form colonies, producing the odor and causing allergic reactions in many people.

SERVPRO of North Prince William County properly inspects your home for mold, identifies the cause of the odor, and completely removes it without a trace. Give us a call for more information on our mold removal process today!

Water Damage: Causes in Manassas Park

4/19/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Manassas Park

Common Causes of Water Damage in Manassas Park

Water damage is something that every homeowner should be concerned about. It can cause thousands of dollars of damage, but more importantly, it can force the inhabitants out of the house temporarily, or even permanently.

So what are some of the most common causes of water damage in a residence? We’ve done the research, and list them out for you below, so read on to find out.

The cause of water damage we have found to be most common is broken, busted, or leaking pipes. Unfortunately, many times it is not easy to even tell that a pipe is leaking or malfunctioning in any way because the problem is out of site.

What can happen is in some cases the pipe can rust over time, or freeze over. In fact any drastic change in temperature can cause stress on the pipe, and lead to minor damage of the structure.

There are a number of ways to prevent this from happening, and a few dollars here is well worth saving thousands later. The most common way is to simply allow the water to trickle out of the tap, even if it’s at a drip, through the night on particularly cold nights. This allows the water to continue to move, and discourage freezing.

Another cause of water damage is accidents. Yes, plumbing accidents. Perhaps if you have children you know what we mean: action figures dropped in the toilet, kids overflowing the bathtub, anything like that. Simply being aware of what your child brings into the bathroom with them, and keeping an eye on their baths should help you avoid water damage in these cases.

Another very elusive cause of water damage is humidity in the basement, attic, or crawl space. These areas are dark, damp, and often times humid – especially in the Manassas area. This environment allows moisture to drip through the foundation or roof. If left unattended – over a period of time – can lead to damage to the walls ceilings, and floors of these spaces. It’s tricky to spot because this happens over such a long period of time, but simply using a dehumidifier once in a while in these areas should prevent any significant water damage to them.

There are many other causes of water damage, but these are just some of the most common. As always, if you have a case of water damage in the Northern Virginia area you can contact us at SERVPRO of North Prince William County for the fastest service in town!

Fire Extinguisher Tips

7/5/2016 (Permalink)

Fire tipes from SERVPRO

Fire extinguisher tips 

Only use a fire extinguisher if.....

*The fire is contained to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing.

*Everyone has exited the building

*The fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.

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