Recent Posts

Do you know where your water shut off valve is?

2/1/2024 (Permalink)

Do you and your family know where the main water shutoff valve is located in your house?  It is always harder to find something when in a panic.  That is why we highly recommend that you be aware of its location before a disaster strikes.  

”Where It Is Not:  It is likely not under a sink.  The shut-off to the water heater may look promising, but that only affects the outflow of hot water from that point.  Do not confuse the gas shut-off to the furnace or water heater with water lines.”

“Check Your Inspection Report:  If you still have your property inspection report from when you purchased the house, it should indicate the location of the shut-off valve.  Inspection reports often follow a standardized format, so you may find this information located in Section 6.1.”

Follow the link for more helpful tips to help you locate the shutoff valve in your home.

Once you have located your main water shutoff, give us a call or stop by our office and we will give you one of these brightly colored shutoff tags at no cost to you to help you quickly find the valve should an unexpected water damage occur.

SERVPRO Available 24/7

2/1/2024 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 434-525-9559

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties

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.

Lynchburg Residents: We Specialize in flooded basements

2/1/2024 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Lynchburg basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 434-525-9559

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Lynchburg / Bedford & Campbell Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Follow this link for a basement cleanup done by SERVPRO of Lynchburg / Bedford & Campbell Counties following a heavy rain.  The article was taken by WSET news crew.

http://wset.com/archive/storm-leaves-cleanup-crews-to-deal-with-flooded-basements

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 434-525-9559

Does your Lynchburg home have a mold problem?

11/10/2023 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 434-525-9559

Common cause of Fires in homes and how to avoid them.

11/10/2023 (Permalink)

Fires can start very quickly and once started they can be very difficult to stop. The damage left by fire goes beyond the objects that were directly burned by the flames.  Smoke and soot left from the fire can spread throughout a home or business into areas that the fire itself did not reach.  The clean-up required from smoke damage is often more extensive than the clean-up required for areas that were burned.

While there are several steps you can take to address the damage after a fire has occurred, the best solution is always prevention, and prevention requires awareness of possible hazards that could cause fires.

Below is a list of the most common causes of fires in homes:

  1. Heaters
  2. Clothing dryers
  3. Unattended stoves
  4. Electrical failures/overburdened electrical outlets

Should you experience a fire loss, SERVPRO of Lynchburg / Bedford & Campbell Counties has teams of professional and highly trained technicians who specialize in fire-damage repair and recovery. Call us today 434-525-9559

Water Damage in Lynchburg? We are IICRC certified.

11/10/2023 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Lynchburg we understand how important it is to uphold the condition of your home and the memorabilia within it that help make your house your home.  We know that above all else, the number one important factor is the safety of your family (pets included of course).  That is why we have made certain that our franchise be certified by IICRC and uphold their standards as well as continually train our crew the IICRC standards and for each member to work towards being personally certified as well.  We take our work seriously knowing that if a FireWater, or Mold Damage happened in our home or business, we would want it to be restored as efficiently, and safely as possible.  That is why when disaster strikes your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO of Lynchburg!

What is IICRC?

IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource. It serves as an independent, nonprofit standard-setting and certification body, to set and promote high standards and ethics; and to advance communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration service industries.

The IICRC is the leading, independent, non-profit, certification and standard-setting body within the cleaning, inspection, and restoration industry. The IICRC sets and promotes high ethical standards, and advances communication, collaboration and technical expertise.

How to help prevent storm damage to your home.

10/6/2023 (Permalink)

Here is some great info provided by the Property and Liability Resource Bureau about preventing storm damage.  Check them out at plrb.org

Severe Thunderstorms

 

It is the severe thunderstorm that produces the tornado, large hail, and high wind damage to structures, as well as frequent lightning strikes that cause most property damage. All thunderstorms are dangerous. Though small in size, compared to a hurricane for example, they are extremely powerful. The National Weather Service rates approximately 10,000 thunderstorms as severe each season.

Hail

Background

            The majority of the structural damage caused in a severe thunderstorm occurs during a hailstorm. Hail damage to structures, foliage, vehicles, and agricultural crops is estimated to exceed $1-billion annually.

            Hail that causes damage to structures is usually at least 1” in diameter. The larger the diameter of the hailstone, and the harder the stone, the more severe the impact on a building. The so-called baseball-sized hail causes more severe damage that the so-called golf-ball sized hail.

            Vehicle damage can be caused by hail that is about .75” in diameter. Crop damage has been caused by hail as small as .25”.

Preventing Damage

            Roof damage is the most frequent structural loss caused by hail. Reducing roof damage that might result from a major hailstorm is possible. It depends on the type and quality, as well as the maintenance of the structure’s roofing system. It is a fact the cedar shake roofing is more likely to be damaged than 50-pound composite roofing material. The choice of roofing is a decision made by the building’s owner, although building code requirements sometimes restrict it.

Mitigating Damage after a Storm

            Close any openings made in the structure by the hail. Broken windows are the most common problem. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that can be quickly cut to size and nailed over the opening.

            Openings in the roof and in siding from hail are rare. If they occur it is best to close them as soon as possible. Keep your personal safety in mind and attempt such a closure yourself only if it can be done with little or no risk. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of emergency close up. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

Wind

Background

            The number two cause of structural damage in a severe thunderstorm is from the so-called straight-line wind. This is wind moving in one direction and not rotating, such as a tornado.

            Wind is considered severe when it reaches about 60 miles per hour. Some very severe windstorms can achieve a velocity of 100 miles per hour. Both are dangerous and will cause structural damage.

            A form of wind that causes damage approaching that of a strong tornado is the downburst. This is usually in a very concentrated area. It is created by air blasting out of a thunderstorm to the ground beneath the storm cell.

Preventing Damage

            Minimizing and preventing wind damage to a structure is possible. Roof and siding damage are the two leading types of loss following a windstorm.

Roof damage can be reduced during the construction phase when the roof deck and the shingles or membrane are applied over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will firmly anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind. Roofing material must be properly fastened to the deck. Weakly connected shingles will lift easily from the deck.

            Siding damage can be reduced at the construction phase as well. Properly fastened siding is less likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger and more storm resistant structure.

            Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of the structure being damaged.

Mitigating Damage after a Storm

            Close any openings made in the structure by the wind. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that can be quickly cut to size and nailed over the opening.

            Keep your personal safety in mind and attempt such a closure yourself only if it can be done with little or no risk. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of emergency close up. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

            Falling trees and tree limbs can open a structure with sudden violence. A tree on a structure is a very serious personal and structural safety issue. A tree may look as if it will not shift position. But it can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. A fallen tree may also mask other very serious safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. The wires may still be live and the tree itself energized. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

Tornadoes

Background

A tornado is a violent rotating column of air. It originates in a severe thunderstorm as a funnel and dips to the ground. Once on the ground it is a tornado and a highly dangerous storm. About 1200 tornadoes occur annually, according to the National Weather Service. Fortunately most of them are the so-called weak tornado with winds of less than 110 miles per hour. While these will damage structures they cause few deaths. The most violent tornadoes, such as the storm that destroyed a swath of property in Oklahoma City and Moore, Oklahoma, during the 2003 season, are very rare. However they kill the most people and cause landscape clearing, catastrophic structural damage.

Please see the wind section for preventing and mitigating damage from a tornado.

 

Flooding

 Background

            Flash flooding sometimes follows rain during a severe thunderstorm. This peril is the leading killer of people during the severe thunderstorms. The fatalities occur not in structures, but usually in vehicles and after dark. Drivers under estimate the depth of water, the energy of its velocity, and how easily a vehicle can begin floating in about 24” of water.

            Structural flooding typically occurs in areas that are known to be flood plains and have been mapped by the National Flood Insurance Program.

Call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell counties for mold remediation.

10/6/2023 (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

When rainstorms cause flooding call SERVPRO

10/6/2023 (Permalink)

It is tragic when a flood brings devastation and water damage to your home. But rapid water removal, clean up and repairs certainly must get under way for you home to get back to normal with minimal losses.
 
Safety is a top priority. After the flood damage, evaluation of the home's safety issues must be completed before you dare to enter your home again. 
 
You do need to call your insurance agent to be certain if you are covered under your standard home owners policy or if you do possess flood insurance coverage.  An insurance adjuster will be dispatched to your property to inspect the damage and eventually offer a settlement. Ask for help in retaining a competent water damage restoration company. SERVPRO does work with many agencies. We can assess and document all water damaged items, help you with your claims and paperwork, and expedite the water removal and restoration.  Our inspection will indicate to you the severity of the water damage that your home has suffered and any potential health effects you may have to address during the process of getting the flood damage repairs done on your home. 
 
When these concerns have been addressed, and if you have been given permission to enter your home, you should also document all the flood causing water damage for insurance purposes. Be sure that you do take pictures of the flooded areas of your home and any damaged belongings, including damaged furniture. This, along with the input from SERVPRO, will help you to be fairly compensated by the insurance company. 
 
Once you have done the documentation and the adjuster had done his inspection, then the clean up starts to get under way. The home needs to be made dry and needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent any other damage from occurring. This will also lessen the likelihood of mold and mildew growth.  Contamination is a given if the flooding is the result of groundwater intrusion, whether from rain, bodies of water, or a sewage blockage. Do not attempt to clean and sanitize on your own. The potential for future illness is too great.
 
It is wise to call the professionals from SERVPRO because they can immediately begin to pump out the water and mitigate on-going water damage. And they have the skill and knowledge, along with the professional equipment required to start and complete the entire restoration process for you. 
 
After the water removal and clean up are in operation, then repairs need to be done. They could be extensive, depending on how much structural damage has occurred and the condition of the contents of your property.

If you have water damage to your home, call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties at 434-525-9559.

Water damage from the eyes of the Technician:

8/17/2023 (Permalink)

Ever wonder what a water damage is like in the eyes of the technician?  Well know you can know!  Here is what Mike Dodson, one of our lead water technicians here as SERVPRO of Lynchburg / Bedford & Campbell Counties, has to say about it.

"There are a million things that run through my mind as a technician when I receive the call for a water damage. Where did the water come from? What kind of floorings are we working with? How many levels of the property are affected? Although these questions are typically answered by the customer on the initial call, we still wonder about the unknown things to prepare for.

These questions are turned to assumptions of the worst as we prepare the trucks to respond, and then we arrive only to ask more questions. What is wet, how wet, how far has the damage spread, and what are the best methods to dry it quickly to prevent further damage? While most technicians can diagnose with a simple tool, we have to diagnose using tools and by looking in places that property owners never even imagine water could have went.

During the course of drying a structure we still ask constant questions like; is it drying, how dry is it, when might it be completely dry. We answer these by frequently checking the amount of moisture content in the air and structure. Water is so good at hiding and most times a property owner is thinking; why are they looking there? Some will say it, while others will just look at you with the eyes of disbelief, but just as we gauge our equipment’s readings, we read the customer and give the response to their possibly unasked concern.

Above all else in the mitigation of a property, I have some other questions that I ask myself. These are the questions that, I feel, distinguish SERVPRO in our industry. How can I make this customer's nightmare turn into a mere uncomfortable dream, and what can my team do to keep our customer confident in us throughout this process? These answers are only available by communication and assurance that the home or business they've worked so hard for are being cared for as if it were ours."

- Mike Dodson-Lead Technician at SERVPRO of Lynchburg / Bedford & Campbell Counties