Recent Posts

Five ways to prevent a dryer fire

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

A home dryer fire. Photo: https://www.avidrisk.com/prevent-dryer-fire/ A home dryer fire.

Did you know that dryer fires are the cause of over 15,000 home fires each year? They are also the cause of about 190 million dollars worth of damage and 29 deaths every year. Laundry is an essential household task, but every homeowner must be made aware of the potential dangers that using dryers can create if not used properly. In this article, you will find a few best practices for safe dryer use.

  1. Always remember to clean the lint trap. Do this every time you use the dryer! Not only will this help extend the efficiency of the dryer, but it's vital in preventing dryer fires.
  2. Make sure that your dryer and the surrounding areas are free of any combustible materials. Make sure to constantly sweep and dust around the outside of the dryer to prevent lint and dust build-up. 
  3. Make sure your outside dryer vent is clean. Make sure the flap is open and no snow or debris is blocking the opening of the vent.
  4. Check your clothes. If your clothes aren’t dry or they are extra hot after a normal dry cycle it may be a sign that something is wrong with your dryer. Before you put in your next load make sure that your vents aren’t clogged and that your lint trap is clean.
  5. Read the tags. Make sure you carefully look at the tags on your clothes and wash them accordingly. For example, if the tag says to wash on low don’t put the machine on high. 
  6. Use a metal dryer duct. Plastic and other kinds of ducts can sag and collect lint and cause a fire hazard. Metal ducts don’t sag and they are more likely to contain a fire if one should start. 

Mold in the Airducts?

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

There is a lot of concern with Air Quality in today's homes and the possibility of it being compromised through mold.  Mold in your air ducts is not common.  If you can see or smell the mold, then it is a safe bet it is there and call SERVPRO to come and do the remediation.

If you can't see or smell it, then hire a qualified person to come and test for mold.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that there are no standards for what is an acceptable amount of mold; and that every home has a certain amount.

The company that inspects for mold can't be the same company that does the remediation.  This poses a potential conflict of interest.  Remediation can be as easy as a few hundred dollars to thousands.

Ice Dams

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Ice dams when snow melts.  The water runs down your roof and refreezes forming icicles. This only occurs when part of your roof warms to above 32 degrees F, warm enough to melt the snow, while the roof edge remains below freezing. When snow builds up on the roof the heat from inside the house will warm and melt the snow which runs down the roof side and refreezes. 

The water pools up and freezes back up under the shingles.  In some cases it can go mas high as 6 to 10 feet up the roof. Later as it melts, it drips through the roof and into your walls or worst yet your ceiling. 

Damage can be serious; Can cause peeling paint, rot, mold and more. The problem is most common after a heavy snow.

Hose Bib Winterization

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

To prevent damage to your home drain your outside hose bibs during the winter months!  If you don't you run the risk of water freezing in the pipes; then when the exterior hose bibs are turned on, they will attempt to push water through, breaking the pipes and flooding inside your walls. Last spring several Fort Belvoir families were inconvenienced by these burst pipes and the ensuing repairs. Your hose bibs have been equipped with anti-siphon devices to prevent your pipes from storing – and subsequently freezing – excess water.

***** Always disconnect hoses from the exterior hose bib faucets. *****

If you use your faucets during the winter months make certain to drain the hose bib of any excess water. 

If you do not expect to use the outdoor faucets during the winter months, we advise that you drain the hose bibs and shut off the water line from inside your home.

This simple process can save you a lot of aggravation and money.

Storm Damage Prevention and Pruning

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage - Maintenance - Landscape plants - Edward F. Gilman - UF/IFAS

There is no doubt trees can cause damage and be damaged in storms. However, appropriately placed and maintained trees can help reduce damage to structures in storms by deflecting wind, and reduce damage to trees. Appropriate actions includes proper placement and planting, and structural pruning prior to the storm. Species selection can also be somewhat helpful in avoiding some damage. Actions in the weeks and years following a strong storm can help bring damaged trees back to health.

Pruning - Landscape plants - Edward F. Gilman - UF/IFAS

New research on effects of pruning trees on wind damage was recently conducted.  Five trees were pruned by either 1. doing nothing (controls), 2. reducing crown size, 3. raising the crown, or 4. thinning the crown for a total of 20 trees. The same amount of greenery was removed from each tree. All of the trees were blown with winds reaching 120 mph. These results support usage of structural pruning as a preventive method to reduce tree damage.

Smoke Detector Checks Are Key

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

Checking the batteries and the status of your smoke detectors regularly is so much more important than the average home owner thinks it is.

We know they are checked before you rent or buy a house.  We know they are checked when you sell a home.  These legal steps have been added for your protection, so get in the habit of taking the extra steps necessary of checking them periodically and log it somewhere.

One of the first items mentioned when a residential fire happens if there is an injury or fatality; is that the smoke detectors were or were not operable. Something so simple can save hundreds of dollars in damage and maybe even a life.  

Some states have now required detectors that have sealed batteries guaranteed active for 10 years, Maryland recently enacted the law.  Take the time to check the status of your detector and test it on a regular basis. 

Reston/Herndon Fire, Smoke, and Soot Cleanup

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

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 Reston/ Herndon 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.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 703-471-6040

Fire Pit Safety

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

One of the newest “items to have” for both summer and winter months is a Fire Pit.  Fire pits come in various shapes and materials, brick, metal, concrete and more.  Many individuals are even constructing their own fire pits based on pictures that they see, or out of sheer desire and creativity.  Fire pits can be propane or wood burning or natural gas.  Please note Propane and Natural Gas are NOT  the same.

 While a fire pit may be the new “must-have” item in home and garden, users must remember to implement detailed safety practices for users to maintain. This may include using a poker, log grabber, or shovel when adjusting burning logs or assuring that enough space exists between seats and the pit so that pedestrians may easily walk by.

Please remember: do not leave a lit or burning fire pit unattended. Wind may blow fumes and embers into surrounding areas which may create a significant fire hazard.  Please also note that embers can remain a fire hazard for days if not adequately dealt with, so double check before leaving the fire pit that there is no residual heat present.

Mold Problems?

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.  
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business. If you suspect mold, call us today at 703-644-0620.

Water Nightmares

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This issue may arise due to bursting or leaking pipes, faulty or malfunctioning household appliances, or a natural disaster or weather related issue. One appliance that frequently causes water damage in homes is the washing machine. Homeowners leave washing machines unattended to complete other chores throughout the house or even fall asleep until the next morning. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE! In some instances, washing machines may fail to transition from the “filling stage” and continue to fill with water until the water is shut off. This causes water to overflow from the machine and begin to fill the house.

It only takes minutes for water to quickly spread throughout the property, saturating everything in its path. Water may be absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings, furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets, and photographs, books, and other paper goods may swell and warp.  If you are unfortunate enough to have to face water damage in your home, don’t do it alone. Contact SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon, your regional flood specialist, at 703-471-6040.

  • 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