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Preparing for Storms

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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."

https://wset.com/news/local/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

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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.

When Rainstorms Cause Flooding, Call SERVPRO

8/14/2018 (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 issues 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.

When Water Damages Your Central VA Home

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage When Water Damages Your Central VA Home Lynchburg, VA Water on Floors.

Once a flood has damaged your home, it's important for you to obtain water damage restoration services.  Restoration services are multi-faceted in so much as they involve both cleaning, removing excess water from your home and repairing regions of the house that have been subjected to substantive water damage. As the water damage specialists know from SERVPRO, it is important to start the cleanup and repair process right after the flood or fire to ensure that the water damage is minimized and that mold and mildew do not begin to accumulate on the property.

One of the benefits that results from employing a water damage restoration company is that they complete the cleanup, repair, and restoration processes quickly. A water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties employs a professionally trained staff who can work with expedience and excellence. This group effort ensures that they can tackle a large number of problems that have resulted in the accumulated water damage in your home. The end result is the rapid restoration of your home, a reality which can greatly reduce the onset of secondary water damage and offer you peace of mind.