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Water Damage from Frozen Pipes?

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage from Frozen Pipes? Burst Water Pipe

Call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties to clean up water damage from burst pipes.
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Practice Fireplace Safety

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Practice Fireplace Safety Fireplace
  • Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
  • Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
  • Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
  • Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
  • Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
  • Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
  • Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
  • Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
  • Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
  • Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
  • Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
  • Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
  • Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
  • To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.


Every Second Counts

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

Everyone needs to have an escape plan!

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.


Have you contacted your local fire department? See how you can get involved with them and your community to prevent house fires. Sometimes they will have events or give out smoke detectors for your home. Don't think this could never happen to you because it easily could. We don't have control over everything in our homes! Be safe and have a plan!

Call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties for Mold Remediation!

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

If you look on the internet, there are scores of DIY mold test kits. Before you invest in one of these kits, here are things you ought to know about mold:

  • Mold is everywhere and every single house has some form of “mold.”
  • Most self-test mold kits only tell you if your home has mold, but often provides false negatives and positives. It also does not tell you what kind of mold or how to kill it.

A true mold test can only be conducted by a Professional Environmental testing company; they determine the type of mold, the source of the moisture, and how to kill the mold at the core. They create a protocol, which can be read by an IICRC professional like SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties.  It’s best to use a testing company that does not do cleaning themselves because their assessment will be unbiased.

  • Mold is more often hidden, sometimes under the floor or in the walls, or in your air ducts

Where the mold is located, often dictates where the moisture is affecting the building

  • Untreated water damage may result in mold growth within 24-48 hours of the event

Wood, insulation, fiberglass, carpet and other organic substances become a thriving environment for mold once there is moisture present for more than 24 hours. After a week, it is almost guaranteed.

Free estimates or removing mold yourself cost homeowners more in the long run!

Be wary of companies who advertise free mold testing. Free mold tests are often offered by people who are uncertified or inexperienced and if they do the mold testing themselves, they are using these kits mentioned above. Unless they are a certified Environmental Hygienist and have a PhD in microbiology, they do not have the knowledge or resources to truly diagnose the mold condition in your home.

  • The source of the mold is never addressed, so the problem is reoccurring.
  • They use the “self-test” kits mentioned above instead of environmental testing with diagnostics
  • Remove only topical mold instead of killing it at the source
  • They often remove more walls and floors than needed which increases the price to rebuild.
  • They do not remove enough, or don’t use the right materials which brings the mold back.

This means you have to pay to have it removed again, and have more sanitation and demolition performed, which increases the price to rebuild and replace tremendously.

What you should do instead

Having mold can be scary, especially if anyone in your home is prone to getting sick (people with asthma, low immune systems, allergies, babies and the elderly). We recommend the following course of action if you need to have mold removed from your home.

  1. Measure the area affected and check for moisture.
  2. Call your insurance company to check for coverage.

Now that you’re armed with knowledge, it’s time to start making some calls!

SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties' technicians are qualified to help you with your mold clean up, and have the following certifications:

  • IICRC, Water Restoration Technician
  • IICRC, Mold restoration
  • IICRC, Applied Structural Drying

Fire Extinguishers Valuable Tools

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

P - Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from your and release the locking mechanism.

A - Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

S - Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

S - Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at

*Courtesy of the SERVPRO Restoration Newsline Volume 28, Issue 2.

SERVPRO of Lynchburg's Mission, Vision, Values & Goal!

9/16/2017 (Permalink)

General SERVPRO of Lynchburg's Mission, Vision, Values & Goal! Mission, Vision, Values and Goal!


To develop a team of Quality People, who Focus on Excellent Service, Fairness and Mutual Respect.


To be the Premier Fire, Water, Mold Restoration Company in the Communities we Serve.


Integrity: To act with integrity and honesty in the work that we do, the people we interact with, and the decisions we make. We will not compromise what is right, for what is easiest. 

Customer Service: To provide premier services through continual reviewing of our goals, expectations, and training. 

Leadership:  To lead others by our example. 

Responsibility:  To maintain our team’s strong foundation, and to be a positive agent of change. 

Respect:  To show respect to others with our words, our actions and our attitudes.


SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties seeks to honor the Lord in all that we do, and to have a positive impact on the lives of our employees, customers, and community.

Call SERVPRO for Fast Service in Lynchburg, Bedford & Surrounding Counties!

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

General Call SERVPRO for Fast Service in Lynchburg, Bedford & Surrounding Counties! We provide immediate service day or night to Bedford, Lynchburg & Surrounding Cities!

SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties provides 24-hour emergency service.  We are dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Lynchburg, Bedford, & Campbell Counties. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions?

Call Us!


Residential Services

Whether your Lynchburg, Bedford or Campbell County home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Lynchburg, Bedford or Campbell County commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business.

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Faster to Lynchburg, Bedford & Campbell Counties Water Damages

9/7/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Faster to Lynchburg, Bedford & Campbell Counties Water Damages SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Lynchburg & surrounding cities!

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties 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 is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 434-525-9559

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.

SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties 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.

Fire, Smoke & Soot Cleanup

9/7/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire, Smoke & Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Lynchburg or Bedford Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?  Call Us Today – 434-525-9559

2017 Golf Outing - Susan Myers Memorial Trophy

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Community 2017 Golf Outing - Susan Myers Memorial Trophy In the photo from left to right: Gary Barkman, Bill Farmer, and Earl Clarke with the Susan Myers Memorial Trophy

Words from Gary Barkman (Executive General Adjuster with The Hanover Insurance Group):

As many of you are aware, one of our most loyal and dedicated members, Susan Myers, lost her life in a tragic car accident earlier this year. She was the hardest worker and truly a friend to us all. Susan was always the first to raise her hand to help at all functions, and put a lot of time into our golf tournament each year. She was one of the most well respected members of our community, and her smile and personality shined for everyone to see. She will truly be missed by all of us!

Susan would ask me every year, “Why don’t we give out trophies to the winners?” The reply was always the same-winners have always preferred cash prizes over trophies, which tend to disappear into a closet or drawer. While still giving out cash prizes, we will be honoring Susan’s question, starting this year!

We have created the Susan Myers Memorial Trophy, pictured while under construction below as the finishing touches are being added. This perpetual award will be engraved with the winners names each year and will be on display at the SERVPRO offices in Lynchburg.


Words from Earl Clarke (Owner of SERVPRO of Lynchburg and SERVPRO of Charlottesville):

Our Susan was always very involved in this tournament success every year.  As a result you can see the very nice tribute that they have done.  Well today was the tournament and we won first place and will be the very first name to be placed on the trophy!  I cannot put into words how proud I am to have our name shared with Susan’s.  She would be proud.  I personally have never wanted to win in one of these tournaments and have not even bothered to look at the scoring.

A very special thanks to Bill Farmer for all of his work to make all this a possibility.  I was asked the other day at our ribbon cutting about what separates us from our competitors.  The words, I could not get all of my thoughts out on this subject...what separates us IS our team of professionals!  I have been in this industry a long time and have seen people come and go.  I have also had the privilege to see other SERVPRO franchises from all over.  We have never been so blessed to have the team of professionals that we currently have.  Today is just one of the results.  Never have I seen a team care so much about their work of truly being there to help our customers at their time of need.  Never have a seen a team care so much about the other team members!  Through each of you individually I see the results of the greatest team.  I seen this today with Bill Farmers  complete dedication to our brand and represents ALL OF US with a passion unmatched by anyone.  Bill and I are both very proud to bringing this trophy home for OUR team, in Susan s honor.

Also on the course today, Jason Eagle (independent adjuster) spoke highly of our team that did a fire damage cleanup in front of a Nationwide agent from Charlottesville.  Agent commented on how it speaks volumes about a adjuster calling on us for his personal home...

Keep at the task of being the very best team ever and thank each of you for your part of truly Being there to Help!