Danger Can Be Lurking
Have you heard the expression, “What you can’t see can’t hurt you?" This might be a true statement when it comes to a children’s story or a fairytale, but not so with water damage to your home or business.
The smallest water intrusion into your space may result in serious water damage and more importantly, a health hazard to your family or employees. Indoor air quality can be affected over time and symptoms from headaches to irritated eyes to allergies may occur. If you see signs of water damage, call a professional to investigate it as soon as possible.
Be proactive in protecting your home, business and family. Do you notice the following?
- A damp spot on your ceiling or drywall?
- A new smell that cannot be explained?
- Excessive utility bill after a weather event?
- An unexplained damp or soft spot in your flooring?
- Complaints of allergy symptoms?
Any one or more of these may be a sign of a water event in your space. Avoid the high costs of a future large restoration by addressing the problem sooner rather than later. The SERVPRO difference in Lynchburg, Bedford County and Campbell County is the use of the right water detection tools:
Moisture Sensor-Used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
Moisture Meter-Used to determine the actual moisture contact of various materials. This also is the equipment that allows us to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometer-Used to measure temperature and relative humidity to calculate and create an environment most conductive to drying. When handling a contaminated loss (CAT 2 or 3), it is not only important to dry the structure, but to disinfect and often deodorize as well.
Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV ) Fogger-Used to atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. It can also inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard- to-reach areas that typical residential products and methods cannot reach.
Thermal Fogger-Used to dispense solvent- based products by creating a dense fog that consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing bacteria.
Early detection and treatment of water damage is the key to promoting a healthy living space and getting your domain back.
Contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our trained professionals here at SERVPRO of Lynchburg, Bedford and Campbell Counties by calling 434.525.9559.
Fire! What You See, and What You Don't!
The flames can be dramatic while watching a news story about a home or apartment fire on the television or the internet. Rightly so because they cause the most visible damage to your property during a fire. But, it is the smoke and soot that are the silent and sometimes invisible hazards that could cost lives. Water is also a reason for damage after a fire. Even firefighters themselves may cause some damage before they can completely put out a fire. Here are 10 important things to know about fires.
- In a fire, more people die from inhaling smoke than from the flames. Never think that if you avoid the flames you are safe. Always keep away from smoke.
- Soot is a coating of fine, black dust created when wood, coal, or oil-based substances are burned. These carbon particles float into the air and settle anywhere. Inhaling soot can caused severe lung deficiencies or even death.
- If soot contaminates items in your home or business, a fire restoration service provider like SERVPRO of Lynchburg, Bedford and Campbell Counties must assess the damage to see if restoration is possible.
- The worst possible effect of soot is its tendency to cause cancer and cause serious defects in newborns. Soot produces poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are responsible for gene mutation for particular groups of genes. They can cause birth defects and increase the chances of getting cancer.
- Water’s great at putting out most fires but the water itself can cause great damage. You must make sure, after the fire is out, that your home or business is completely dried.
- Mold colonies can begin to grow just 48 hours after water damage occurs. The combination of fire, water, and mold damage to your commercial property or home could result in a complete loss if not handled properly. See our posts about mold, mold myths, and how to clean up mold.
- Use caution if you decide to do some of the cleanup after a fire. Never start your cleaning process until you’re properly attired. Wear heavy-duty gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask. Carefully cover your nose and make sure your safety glasses have no place for dust or soot to get into your eyes. If in doubt, call on the services of a professional restoration company as you may do more harm than good. Some household cleaning products may actually set a stain on your home or personal belongings.
- Firefighters are true heroes. However, they often must break windows and cut holes in the roof of buildings on fire. As a fire burns, the fire moves up and down and across, growing very fast. Firefighters break windows and cut holes in roofs to provide ventilation that slows the fire’s growth. Ventilation also helps get rid of dark smoke that makes it hard for firefighters to see where they’re going. The holes and broken windows help firefighters fight the fire more quickly. The bottom line is that breaking windows and cutting holes in roofs help save lives and property. 9. Firefighters will also cut holes in walls at times. That’s not about ventilation. It’s done so the fire department is sure that the fire is completely out. Fire departments don’t want to risk leaving a fire that’s not visible but is still active inside the walls or in other hidden places.
- If you have a fire, get a copy of the fire report. In most areas, a fire report is a public document. Ask for it at the fire department or fire marshal’s office. The fire report will help you with information to begin the restoration process.
SERVPRO of Lynchburg, Bedford and Campbell Counties stands ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to your catastrophic event. Please call us with your questions or concerns at 434.525.9559 or visit us at www.SERVPROlynchburgbedfordcampbellcounties.com for more information.
Better yet, save our contact information in your phone for when an emergency strikes you. When you think fire, smoke, water damage, think SERVPRO. Locally owned and operated.
Preparing for Storms
Storms can bring powerful winds and dump inches of rain in a short period of time which can cause significant damage to your home. The damage can be extensive and expensive. It is important to be to take preventative steps in order to help protect your home against any potential damage. Below are a list of precautionary steps that should be taken in the event of a storm:
- Monitor local weather stations, and sign up for local alerts on your phone. These bring important warnings in case the storm changes course, or if your area becomes at risk of flash flooding.
- Ensure that you have stocked up on enough food, water, and other essentials to last for a few days in case of a power outage or severe local flooding.
- Create an emergency plan for your family. Have a list of emergency phone numbers prepared. Have an exit plan in case your home becomes unsafe, and make sure that there is an assigned meeting location in case family members are separated.
- Clear outside gutters and drains of any leaves, sticks, or other blockage. This will ensure that water is able to flow freely, and will help to prevent water from backing up into your home.
- Remove any large tree branches and brush around your home. Store or secure items such as garbage cans, lawn furniture, and other items that can be blown away or damage your home during a storm.
- Create an inventory list of the items in your home. This will be very important for insurance purposes in the event that your home floods.
- Finally, remember to stay safe and dry by remaining in a secure location for the duration of the storm.
Taking precautions is the first step toward protecting your family & your home in a storm situation. If your home has flood damage from the storm, please call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/ Bedford & Campbell Counties at (434)525-9559. It would be our privilege to serve you!
Commercial Roof Leaks in Lynchburg, VA?
Commercial buildings tend to be significantly larger than residential units, and therefore catching structural problems early enough to prevent problems can be difficult. Because of this, it is important to conduct regular inspections of the building in order to catch any potential hazards or structural defects before they develop into major (and often expensive) liabilities. One of the most important areas to inspect in a commercial building is the roof. Roofs are often the first line of defense against water and storm damage. Keeping a roof secure and in good condition can significantly reduce your chances of springing a costly leak during a storm. Make sure that your roof undergoes regular inspections to ensure it is in excellent condition. Be sure to check for the following issues:
- Check for water spots or bubbles in the ceiling, which could indicate a hidden leak.
- Be sure to remove any puddles of standing water on the roof. Allowing water to sit for long periods of time on the roof could rust metal roof decks, or rot wooden ones. Excessive water weight could strain the roof structure.
- Check for gaps in the roof cover perimeter, which could allow rain water to seep in.
- Ensure that the roof’s gutters and drains are regularly cleared of debris. This will allow water to flow freely during a rainy season, ensuring that water does not get backed up into the building.
While we hope that these tips help to keep your commercial business damage-free during rainy seasons, we understand that problems still arise, even after taking preventative steps.
If you experience a water loss at your commercial building, call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/ Bedford & Campbell Counties at (434)-525-9559. We have teams of highly qualified water technicians ready to help!
Proper Ventilation for Mold Prevention
Mold can spring up very quickly in humid environments and many homes have areas that are prone to mold growth for this reason. Bathrooms, kitchens, attics, and basements all have the highest chance of developing mold because humid air often circulates in these rooms. Proper ventilation can help to significantly reduce the chance of mold growth in these areas of your home. It is important to take steps to ensure that each room is well-ventilated and that the air is circulating well.
Some of the most important areas to vent are the bathrooms and the attic. Bathrooms are usually quite small with a lot of warm, moist air circulating within them regularly. This makes them very susceptible to rapid mold growth. Investing in vents and fans that push the humid air outside of the home will help to keep mold growth to a minimum. Attics often have poor ventilation and many homeowners are tempted to quickly ventilate bathrooms by placing vents in the bathrooms that push the humid air into the attic. This will result in mold growth in the attic, which could then spread into the ducts as well as tight, difficult-to-reach spaces.
Avoid these potentially costly problems by investing in quality fans and vents that will draw humid air out of the rooms, sending it outside of the home, rather than into the attic.
If you see mold, call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties 434-525-9559.
Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home
Electrical fires are the cause of many house fires, and can be some of the most difficult to put out due to the difficulty of identifying the source. Proper care of electrical outlets and appliances will help to prevent electrical fires. It is very important to follow manufacturer guidelines when using electrical appliance and systems, such as the wattage guidelines given when changing lightbulbs. Be sure that you do not plug in too many electrical units into one outlet, as this could burn out the outlet and cause a fire. Be sure that you have your wiring checked regularly by an electrician. Faulty wiring is a leading cause of electrical fires and is a common problem in many homes. If you hear a sparking sound near a particular electrical outlet or appliance, or see smoke or smell burning after plugging a unit in, immediately unplug the object and call an electrician to check your wiring.
Finally, if an electrical fire does occur, do NOT attempt to put the blaze out with water. This will only make the fire worse and could shock or electrocute you. If safe to do so, attempt to unplug the source. Put the fire out using baking soda or a blanket to smother the flames. If the fire is larger, a class C fire extinguisher can be used. If the fire continues to grow, leave immediately! Do not be tempted to put out a growing fire by yourself. Allow the firefighters to do so.
If your home has been damaged by fire, please call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties at (434)-525-9559.
Frozen Pipes Can Happen in Lynchburg, VA
Frozen pipes are a very common occurrence during the winter months, and they have a high chance of leaking or bursting. Water expands when it freezes. When water flowing through pipes freeze, extra pressure is placed on the pipes from the inside. If water is turned on to full flow, but no water or only a trickle of water comes out of the faucet, this could be an indication of a frozen pipe.
The best way to avoid a frozen pipe burst is to insulate the sections of the pipe that are most prone to being frozen. Pipes inside unheated areas of your home, such as attics and basements, are the most vulnerable. Keep water running through your pipes at a trickle during cold snaps, which will help to prevent freezing. Be sure turn off your water if you are going out of town.
If your pipe has frozen, there are several steps you can take to defrost it. First, turn the faucet on to allow trickling water to flow out. Next, using a blow dryer or a heating pad, begin to carefully warm the areas of the pipe that are frozen. Do this until full water pressure is restored. Do not use a blow torch, kerosene lamps or any kind of flammable object, as this could start a fire. If you cannot identify the frozen pipe section, call a professional plumber and allow them to identify and take care of the problem for you. If the pipe has burst, immediately shut off the main water valve.
If you have a water damage, call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties 434-525-9559.
Lynchburg, VA Flash Flooding
When Lynchburg, VA floods from rain storms, WSET reminds residents to "Be safe cleaning up after floods, water can be contaminated."
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- When dealing with flooded homes or roads remember that the water could have contained sewage.
You want to protect yourself and your family during the cleanup.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said to keep children and pets out of the affected areas until cleanup has completed.
INSIDE THE HOME:
- Wear personal protective equipment, including rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area.
- While cleaning up areas with mold damage, wear a NIOSH-approved N-95 respirator, or one that provides even more protection.
- Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and most paper products).
- Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters -- this should include material that are located a foot higher than the high water line.
- Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.
- Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers.
- After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap and clean water.
- Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
- Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. It is recommended that a laundromat be used for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until your onsite waste-water system has been professionally inspected and serviced.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.
OUTSIDE THE HOME:
- Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area.
- Have your onsite waste-water system professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage.
- Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
- After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap and clean water. Use water that has been boiled for 1 minute (allow the water to cool before washing your hands); or you may use water that has been disinfected for personal hygiene use:
- - When using 5-6% unscented liquid household chlorine bleach – add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops or about 0.5 milliliters) per 1 gallon of clear water. Stir well, and let it stand for 30 minutes before using. If the water is cloudy, add a little less than ¼ teaspoon (16 drops or about 1 milliliter) per 1 gallon of water.
- - When using 8.25% unscented liquid household chlorine bleach – add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon (6 drops or about 0.5 milliliters) per 1 gallon of clear water. Stir well, and let it stand for 30 minutes before using. If the water is cloudy, add 12 drops (or about 1 milliliter) per 1 gallon of water.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill. See wound care for more information.
Flood waters and standing waters pose various risks, including infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries.
Eating or drinking anything contaminated by flood water can cause diarrheal disease -- this could be caused accidentally after coming in contact with flood waters.
To protect yourself:
- Practice good hygiene (handwashing with soap and water) after contact with flood waters.
- Do not allow children to play in flood water areas.
- Wash children’s hands with soap and water frequently (always before meals).
- Do not allow children to play with toys that have been contaminated by flood water and have not been disinfected.
- For information on disinfecting certain nonporous toys, visit CDC Healthy Water’s Cleaning and Sanitizing with Bleach section.
- Do not bathe in water that may be contaminated with sewage or toxic chemicals. This includes rivers, streams, or lakes that are contaminated by flood water.
If you have open wounds, avoid exposure to flood waters and cover clean, open wounds with a waterproof bandage.
Flood waters can displace animals, insects, and reptiles.
With Fire Comes Water
Often, when a fire breaks out in a commercial building, there's more to worry about than soot and damages from the fire. Once a fire has grown great enough, if there is a sprinkler system set up, they will trigger and hopefully put out the fire. Additionally, the fire department is called out regardless, and either come in with fire suppressant or use of water to relieve the building of fire.
Typically, if the sprinkler system or water from the fire department are in use, there is going to be significant water damage. Whether it be high pressure water from hoses, or excessive water soaking in the floors, walls, ceilings, and items, water damage will more than likely occur.
Because of this situation, there are now 2 sources of damage, and they need to be restored accordingly. The soot from the fire creates soiled material and the water can create unimaginable damage. You don't want to let the water sit and or give it time to soak and seep into areas and deeper material that could severely worsen your damage.
SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial fire damage emergencies.
Remediating Mold Damage in Campbell County, VA
Whether mold is visible or you just smell the musty odor, contact SERVPRO to investigate the infestation and remediate the damage.
Air quality is an issue for every homeowner and resident. Airborne mold is not a dangerous threat to most people, but it can cause adverse health effects in many.
Remediating mold damage and improving air quality requires more than a spray bottle of bleach and a scraping tool. SERVPRO restoration teams use specialized equipment and materials to kill active mold, remove it from the home surfaces, and reduce the levels in the air.
Once a mold infestation spreads across walls and ceilings, the mold content in the air around them increases as well. Individual mold spores are microscopic, so there can be thousands of them in the air as a homeowner walks into the kitchen and he never sees them.
SERVPRO technicians use air scrubbers to remove the spores and clean the air inside a home. Each commercial grade device has multiple stages of filtration and uses specialized HEPA to catch even a single mold spore from the air, trap it in the scrubber or send it through a hose to a containment bag outside the home. The air scrubbers are also very useful in removing pollen, dust, and pet dander.
As technicians set up air scrubbers, other team members spray anti-fungal agents on mold covering structural and personal property surfaces. Once they dry, team members use commercial-grade vacuums with the same type of Hepa filters to remove spores. If the mold layer is very thick, team members wipe down surfaces using sponges or a scrub brush with a mild cleaner if needed and then vacuum again.
Although it is not possible to remove all mold, bringing down the level of spores in a home to a safe level can be done. Our goal is to return each home to its original, pre-infestation condition as quickly as possible.
If you see mold, call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties.