Recent Storm Damage Posts

Storms Can Cause Flood Damage...Beware For Scammers

1/31/2024 (Permalink)

Storm scammers are everywhere and tend to target distressed homeowners who have suffered damage, especially seniors. Below are some tips on what to look out for and how to protect yourself from those individuals.

  1. Scammers will pretend that they represent your insurance company and ask for personal information over the phone. Your insurance company will always notify you if a representative or contractor will be sent to your home.
  2. Never sign up with the first contractor to your home. Always get more than one estimate to make sure you do not end up being the victim of price gouging.
  3. Officials with government disaster assistance agencies do not call or text asking for financial information. Anyone who calls asking is an imposter.
  4. Contractors may call claiming to be partners with your insurance company. If this were to happen, do not provide any personal information.
  5. A major red flag is when a contractor says they will only charge you half of what the others will charge. Most times they will take your money and run.

SERVPRO of North Prince William County is always available to help you navigate through your storm damage. Call us at (703)368-4399 today!

The Dangers of Having a Leaky Roof.

9/28/2023 (Permalink)

With all the different kinds of weather that we have had in the last month or so, a durable roof is one of the most important infrastructures of a house, right after a strong, sturdy foundation. Just like it’s necessary to fix cracks in a foundation to ensure the rest of a house isn’t affected from the ground up, it’s important to fix leaks in a roof to protect a home from the top down, too. If you suspect you have a leaky roof, a roofing contractor can determine the cause and perform roof repairs, if necessary. To avoid any leaks or other issues from happening in the future, make sure to schedule regular inspections, perform general maintenance and upkeep, and have repairs completed as quickly as possible, since acting quickly could help you save time and money. 

Causes and Sources of Leaks

There are a number of reasons why a roof may develop leaks, from both natural and man made causes. No matter the cause, it's imperative to seek the services of a reliable roofing contractor to get your roof back in its best shape so that your home is protected from the elements.

SHINGLES AND FLASHING

Something as small and simple as a broken shingle could be the culprit of a leak. Severe weather, hail and high winds can cause shingles to become loose, crack and break off, leaving your roof exposed. If the nails used to secure shingles aren't properly sealed with a durable coating like roofing cement, it can leave exposed holes which can allow water and moisture to get into the attic. Broken or cracked flashing—the pieces of material installed under shingles, on joints and around chimneys—can also cause leaks. Both damaged flashing and missing shingles can be easily identified, usually as different, discolored patches or exposed areas on a roof. You may even find pieces of them in your yard after a bad storm.

IMPROPER INSTALLATION/REPAIRS

If you've had previous roof repairs done but if a leak keeps coming back, you've either got a problem with the workmanship of the roofing contractor who did the work or the materials they used (or both). Improperly installing elements such as skylights and chimneys can also cause roof leaks - this can happen from incorrectly measuring and fitting fixtures and/or insulation that's started to decay or disintegrate. Leaks from this kind of problem are generally easy to spot. Just look for wet spots or small streams of water coming out of skylights or running down walls/chimneys when it rains.

PLUMBING AND PIPE PROBLEMS

Pipes run throughout the home including the roof, which means there are a number of areas that are common leak sources related to your home's plumbing and ventilation system. These include plumbing vent pipes, ventilation fan ducts, attic vents and exhaust pipes/flues (for appliances). Anytime there are worn or cracked rubber boots and/or broken flashing around the vent pipes that come out of the roof, it's likely you're in need of repairs.

CONDENSATION AND MOISTURE

Since the attic is usually the least insulated—and the highest elevated—place in your home, it is more prone to mold and mildew growth from excessive moisture that can accumulate when condensation becomes trapped. The cause of the moisture is from wet weather such as rain, sleet, and hail, but also ice dams melting and the fluctuation in temperatures when seasons change. You'll most likely notice a smell—before you see the mold—as a sign of a leak in your roof.

What Can Happen if You Don't Get Roof Repairs

Whether you’re dealing with issues associated with weather and moisture or improperly installed parts, it’s essential to perform any necessary roof leak repairs as soon as possible – not only to fix the problem, but also to prevent any future damage. For example, if you have a moisture issue causing a leak that goes untreated, it could result in mold and mildew growth, which could not only destroy the wood in the attic, but also negatively affect your health.

Every roof experiences some level of wear and tear from all types of weather (sun, rain, hail, extreme heat, wind, etc.). As a home's first line of defense from these elements, it's important to make sure you have a durable, weatherproof roof that's properly sealed and maintained in order to increase the life cycle of the roof and decrease the risk of damage to it.

 The Importance of Roof Repairs

If you have a roof leak, repair it as soon as possible to avoid further damage and to help protect your home from bigger problems such as flooding. Contact a roofing contractor to have a thorough assessment of the roof completed and get advice on what steps you need to take to repair the damage. It’s best to work with a roofing contractor because their expertise is in roofing and they will be able to pinpoint and address your specific needs. Depending on the cause of the damage, your home insurance company may cover the costs of the roof repair, so make sure to contact your insurance company, too.

Lastly, if you should have a roof that leaks into the structure and need to begin the mitigation process, call SERVPRO of North Prince William County. Our team of professionals specialize in removal and mitigation of storm damaged material and have the experience of quickly drying out affected areas from storm and weather damage before it is made worse. We at SERVPRO of North Prince William County partner with all major insurance companies and vendors to make the transition back to “Like it never even happened,” as quickly as possible.

Call us today and let us show you. SERVPRO of North Prince William County (703)368-4399.

Are Flood Restoration and Repair Services in North Prince William County Expensive?

9/20/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Works Hard to Mitigate Loss and Reduce Expense for North Prince William County Residents in Need of Flood Restoration

the damage caused by flooding in residential properties can snowball without correct and timely intervention. Often, the trauma of a flood scenario can make it difficult to make the right decisions and prioritize effectively. Our crew chiefs have years of experience working in these scenarios and can help you with:

  • Flood restoration
  • Basement flooding cleanup 
  • Cleaning up after sewer backup

An efficient flood restoration and repair operation in your home relies on excellent task management. We operate with an agile team that can quickly alleviate your concerns and put in place the necessary steps to reduce losses in your home significantly.

  • Setting up a staging area for equipment can greatly reduce time and foot traffic in a flooded property.
  • Organizing contents restoration and storage are possible with our climate-controlled warehouses. 
  • We can help record, inventory, and track every step of restoration to make your insurance claim easier. 
  • The CCIS Contents Claim Inventory System can catalog and document belongings.

In emergency, contact SERVPRO of North Prince William County for flood restoration and repair at (703)368-4399. 

Prepping For The Storm Ahead

7/21/2023 (Permalink)

With Winter gone and Spring/Summer weather here again, the storms can be as unexpected as the damage they cause. However, with the right preparation, most of the storm damage can be minimized or prevented entirely, saving you time and money. Below we have listed some tips to help prevent damages upcoming storms may cause.

Clean Out Your Gutters-

When it rains, and your gutters are clogged, it could cause the overflow to run down into your home. Often, this water can go undetected and sit. Over time, mold can grow in these areas that remain wet. Having clean and sturdy gutters before the rain comes can minimize the damage a storm may cause.

Maintain Landscaping and Unclog Drainage-

Depending on the land your home is built, water runoff can accumulate around your foundation, and flood your homes. Fortunately, there are solutions with the right landscaping. Better pathways can be created for water runoff, guiding the water away from your home. If you have noticed puddles or water accumulation near your home when it rains, contact a professional to help, before a storm comes. That can make the difference in whether your home is damaged or not.

Trim or Remove Damaged or Dead Trees-

Storm damage often occurs when a tree or limbs break off and fall onto a home. Snow and rain can weigh down trees, while wind can make them bend. If this happens to trees and limbs that are dead or damaged, there’s a high chance that they will break. Before the storm season comes, be sure to trim your trees, and remove all dead limbs. 

North Prince William County - Board Up Services

5/1/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Prince William County provides 24 hour, 365 day a year emergency board-up services for any residential or commercial location in the North Prince William County area. Whether you experience vandalism, storm damage, a fire, or another unexpected disaster, you want to restore your property to its normal state as soon as it can be done. Boarding-up incorrectly can cause additional moisture damage, making the situation even worse. We have Contractors standing by and ready to assist in any emergency event. We can provide you with one-stop shopping. Leave the inconvenience of board-ups to the professionals at SERVPRO of North Prince William County to make it "Like it never even happened." Call us at 703-368-4399 to ensure no further damage occurs to the structure or its contents.

Storm Damage

4/19/2023 (Permalink)

Its storm season which increases the probability of high winds and rain that lead to the risk of storm damage to your property. SERVPRO of North Prince William County is faster to any size disaster and will help you step by step through the restoration process.

What if a tree falls on my house?

  • Instead of worrying about calling individual services like electricians, tree removal and plumbers, simply make one call to SERVPRO of North Prince William County and we will find the right service providers including a system that each Technician has been fully trained to follow.
  • Do not re-enter the property without being advised to do, so. Do not worry about your personal belongings. We will make sure that your home is secured until repairs are complete. If items need to be removed, we can facilitate that process and make sure the belongings are returned to their original place.
  • Evacuate the property

Storm Damage Restoration

Many homeowners like to be fully informed about the restoration process. We want you to have peace of mind and feel good about trusting SERVPRO of North Prince William County with your cleanup and restoration.

  • Ensure the tree and tree debris is removed from the property.
  • Secure the roof with a temporary tarp to prevent no further damage inside.
  • Make sure any tree debris indoors has been removed.
  • Assess damage and ensure demolition of damaged areas including ceilings and walls.
  • Spray exposed surfaces an antimicrobial agent

Our #1 priority is to make storm damage as stress free as possible.

Hurricane Tips & Tricks

4/19/2023 (Permalink)

Here’s a few tips and tricks to better prepare!

  • Before the Storm: Gather food, water, medicines and power supplies.  Organize supplies into a Go-Kit and a Stay-at-Home Kit. Keep personal, financial, and medical records safe. Anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside, such as gas grills and propane tanks. Trim or remove trees close enough to fall on your home. Stockpile protective materials such as plastic sheeting and sandbags. Consider elevating the heating system, water heater, and electric panel.
  • During the Storm: Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the storm. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can. Stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors. If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds coming from the opposite direction. So, make sure you stay secured and connected to what’s going on.
  • After the Storm: Stay out of floodwater!  Floodwater can contain many things that may harm health, including germs, dangerous chemicals, human and livestock waste, wild or stray animals, and downed power lines among other things. If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles. If you must use candles, keep them away from anything that can catch fire.  Watch out for fallen power lines that may be hanging overhead. Stay clear of fallen power lines. Call the electric company to report them. Always make sure it is safe to leave before you try to evacuate the area.

Ways To Prevent Damage and Prepare for a Winter Storm

1/19/2023 (Permalink)

A winter storm can be beautiful, but it can also be a nightmare for your business if you are unprepared for it in North Prince William County. The heavy snow, wind and ice that accompanies the storm can cause severe damage and costly repairs. When these disasters happen, call your insurance company and a storm damage restoration service immediately to file a claim and begin repairs. While you cannot prevent a storm from coming your way, there are several steps you can take to prevent some of the damage from happening and mitigate loss. Here are a few ways to prepare your business for winter weather.

1. Insulate Your Building

Make sure your building is properly insulated. If temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes could freeze and burst, causing flood and water damage. Routinely inspect your building’s heating system to ensure it is working properly and keep the temperature above 55°F to avoid a pipe break.

2. Perform Regular Maintenance

Keep a regular maintenance schedule to make sure windows, doorways and the outside of your building are in good condition. Over time, building materials can wear down, allowing cracks and gaps to form which can reduce the structural integrity and insulation of your building and make it more susceptible to storm damage and flooding. In addition, you should routinely inspect your roof. Replace any broken shingles and make sure shingles are intact and firmly nailed down to prevent roof leaks and wind damage.

3. Stock Emergency Supplies

Create an emergency weather kit that includes snow shovels, ice-melting salt and a first aid kit in case a winter storm comes through unexpectedly. Keep non-perishable food items available in case you are stuck in your building overnight and cannot go home.

4. Watch Local Weather

During the winter months, stay on top of the local weather forecast. Start preparing early if a snowstorm is heading your way, and make sure your staff is adequately prepared.
A winter storm can cause severe damage if you do not take it seriously. Performing routine maintenance on your building and keeping an eye on the weather can greatly reduce damage and keep your business safe.

Heavy Rain Leads to Flooding...

9/22/2022 (Permalink)

Our team here in North Prince William County restores storm damage throughout the year.

Although, we don’t experience many Tornadoes in our county here are the National Weather Service alert definitions for tornadoes and high winds:

Tornado Watch: This means a tornado is possible.

Tornado Warning: This means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon.
Go to a safe place immediately.

High Wind Watch: Be Prepared! Sustained, strong winds are possible. Secure loose items and adjust plans as necessary, so you’re not caught outside.

Wind Advisory: Take Action! A thunderstorm is happening or is imminent in the warning area. Severe thunderstorms have wind gusts of 58 miles per hour and or hail one inch or larger. Seek shelter inside a sturdy building.

Preparing for High Winds

  • Remove any dead trees or overhanging branches near structures
  • Remove loose objects outdoors, on patios, roofs, or balconies that could blow away.
  • Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors
  • Bring in unsecured objects from outside and secure things that could blow away and cause damage or injury

Give us a call!

When your home or commercial business has storm damage, you can trust our local team here in North Prince William County to restore the damage, “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 703-368-4399.

Lightning Safety Tips…

9/22/2022 (Permalink)

Even though your home is a safe shelter during a lightning storm, you may still be at risk.

Here are some indoor safety tips per CDC:

  • Avoid Water –Do not bathe, shower or wash dishes. Lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.
  • Avoid Electronic Equipment –Do not use your computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
  • Avoid Corded Phones – Corded phones are not safe to use during a thunderstorm. However, it is safe to use cordless or cellular phones during a storm.
  • Avoid windows, doors, porches and concrete –Do not lie on concrete floors during a thunderstorm or lean on concrete walls. As mentioned lightening can travel through any metal wires or bars.

If you have experienced any damages interior or exterior give us a call we are always here to help 703-368-4399!

What to do before a thunderstorm?

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can be dangerous and not taken for granted. Every thunderstorm produces lightning and other hazardous weather conditions, which can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding.

In Gainesville, VA we tend to get a mix of heavy rain and dry thunderstorms. Below are great tips from the READY to help prepare you for what to do before, during, and after a thunderstorm.

What to do before a thunderstorm

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard-top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
  • Lightning Risk Reduction When Outdoors

SERVPRO of North Prince William county urges each and every one of you to PREPARE before a thunderstorm comes. And whenever they do come, SERVPRO of North Prince William county will be here to help.

What to do before a thunderstorm?

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can be dangerous and not taken for granted. Every thunderstorm produces lightning and other hazardous weather conditions, which can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding.

In North Prince William county, VA we tend to get a mix of heavy rain and dry thunderstorms. Below are great tips from the READY to help prepare you for what to do before, during, and after a thunderstorm.

What to do before a thunderstorm

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard-top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
  • Lightning Risk Reduction When Outdoors

SERVPRO of North Prince William county urges each and every one of you to PREPARE before a thunderstorm comes. And whenever they do come, SERVPRO of North Prince William county will be here to help.

Flood facts!

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.

There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. 

If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of North Prince William county.  Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order. 

Is standing water dangerous?

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Surface water can affect your home and its tenants in multiple ways. While this standing water can absorb into materials and ultimately allow for the deterioration of exposed structural elements, pooling can also present potential health effects or hazards for those exposed and remaining in the area. 

SERVPRO offers fast extraction and drying solutions for your home after a flood. 

We can help reduce the standing water concerns by offering efficient flood removal. To accomplish this, we can call upon a wide array of extraction and moisture removal tools in our broad inventory. 

What Tools Are Best for Drying Up Flood Damage? 

Because every flooding situation is different from the last, there are different tools and devices that are best to remove water or dry the area. Identifying the most efficient solution is always the priority, as the sooner standing water gets addressed, the less damaging flooding typically becomes. Some of the standard water removal and drying tools include:

  • Air Movers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Positive Pressure Systems
  • Floor Mat Systems

After a flood, you want your home to look like it did before the disaster as soon as possible. Our SERVPRO of North Prince William county counties team can help anytime you need us.

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."

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.

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.”