Archived Blog Posts
What Is Black Mold
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 what these symptoms are, how black mold works, and what you can do to prevent it from growing in your home.
What are the Symptoms of Black Mold?
Common symptoms in humans include coughing, sneezing, irritations to the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, and fatigue. Sometimes symptoms can include nausea. In cases of prolonged exposure these symptoms can worsen to include vomiting, and internal bleeding and nose bleeds.
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.
After drying the water damaged area a quick cleaning of the area with soap and water, or a bleach solution will help kill any potential mold growth in the area. Also, use a dehumidifier once you have finished cleaning the area.
SERVPRO® of North Prince William County is a leader in mold remediation. If you have mold and need help contact us today, we’re always here to help!
Flooded Basement Service and Causes
A 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:
- Either it is coming through the foundation in the form of rain penetrating the walls;
- Water from over-saturated soil being pushed through the floor;
- Storm water from the sewer system; or
- 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
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.
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
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.
Water Damage Tips
Water Damage in Manassas
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!
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
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
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.
50 % of Businesses will NEVER Reopen...
Commercial Water Damage
The New Year brings opportunity for new beginnings! Start 2016 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.
Make your resolution one that helps protect you and your business. Call us today at 1 (703) 368-4399 to learn about how we can help you be "Ready for whatever happens" in the New Year!