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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Commercial Mold Damage Tips

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

If your commercial building recently experienced water damages, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage, and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold.

  1. Get Rid of Moisture - This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.
  2. Protect Yourself  - You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, protect yourself by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask.
  3. Hire a Professional - The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds are properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future. 

SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is ready to help you ensure your commercial property is cleaned and ready to support your business. Give our team a call at 703-471-6040

Whose Water Damage Is It?

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is a pain; no matter what the source of cause.

Just think about the damage, the time, the money, the inconvenience, having to miss work; the list goes on.

Maybe the water damage has just begun. Or maybe the water damage is reoccurring, but you are just now noticing. Which means you may have to worry about mold too!

Now, imagine a scenario where you and your home are affected by water damage; but the source is coming from your neighbor!

This happened to a recent customer of ours.

The apartment above had a slow continuous leak coming from their cold supply line for the washer. This caused the apartment above to have water and mold damage to their floor. It also caused the apartment below to have the same damage but to their ceiling.

Which one is worse...?

Your home has damage and damaged someone else's home? (You have to deal with an upset neighbor and paying double).

Or...

Your home is damaged by your neighbor? (You have to go to your neighbor just to find out what is going on and make sure they pay for the damages) SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is trained to help with such situations.

Why SERVPRO? Document Restoration Leader

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO? We are an Industry Leader - in Document Restoration!

We use the same state of the art process that is used by the Library of Congress!

SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is one of the industry leaders in restoring and salvaging water damaged documents, books, photos, microfilm, microfiche, X-rays, audio/video tapes and other materials by using state-of-the-art vacuum freeze drying technology.

Document Response Team - We have an experienced and trained HIPAA certified team ready to mobilize for on-site pack out, pickup and transportation of your wet or damaged documents.

Water damaged items that can be salvaged using vacuum freeze-drying:

  • Books and manuscripts: coated papers, maps, parchment, pulp paper, drafting linens, text books, reference books, manuals
  • Business/Personal records and documents: legal/bank/company files, patient and medical records, x-rays, engineering and architectural plans and drawings, catalogs, reference materials, certificates, contracts, passports, transcripts, tax records
  • Historical and collectible items: archival documents, rare documents, maps, stamp collections, money collections
  • Keepsakes: photographs, leather and hide items, newspaper articles, recipe books, cards, scrapbooks, baby books, wedding albums, yearbooks, baskets, awards & achievements
  • Textiles: embroidery and needlework, silks, tapestries, flags
  • Artwork: acrylic paintings, linen drawings, water colors

Mobile Document Restoration

We have access to one of the only portable document restoration vacuum freeze drying machines, in the industry.  In the event that you have a project where the documents are legally required to remain onsite, we can accommodate.

 Additional Document Services Available

  • Secure Document Destruction
  • Gamma Irradiation
  • Document Cleaning
  • Scanning/Digitizing
  • Ozone Treatment (Deodorization)

What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage

Many tenants buy renter’s insurance to cover the cost of replacing their personal belongings if they are damaged or destroyed by an accident in the building where they live. Your coverage, however, may pay for much more than just item replacement. It’s important to talk to your agent, so you know just how much you can expect your insurance company to pay if the place you are renting in Reston or Herndon catches fire.

Belongings

Part of the fire restoration process is determining which items can be cleaned and saved and which must be thrown away. Your insurance coverage should pay for:

  •  Assessment
  •  Cleaning costs
  •  Replacement costs

Make sure your policy states that it pays replacement cost rather than the actual cash value of your items. The purpose of insurance is to make you whole again, and replacing lost belongings is a good start.

Liability

If the fire was caused by your negligence, you might be liable for any damages you cause to other people or to the structure itself. Your renter’s insurance probably has a clause that protects you from legal costs. Your policy may cover damage to your neighbor’s belongings or the property itself, as well as cover medical bills of anyone injured in the fire if you bear some responsibility for its starting.

Shelter

Fire restoration experts may work quickly, but there are probably going to be some nights that you are unable to stay in your rented space. Finding a temporary place to live can be expensive. Your insurance policy is likely to cover this as well. You can include your shelter needs as part of the fallout of the fire damage to your home when you file your claim.

Your renter’s insurance does cover the loss of your belongings, but it can also cover other losses. Your insurance agent can help you build a solid policy that takes all potential expenses of the fire into consideration.

How To Identify Odors in Your Home After a Flood

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Identify Odors After A Flood And Eliminate Their Cause

When storms cause serious flooding and affect your Reston/Herndon home, you may notice several different types of foul odors in the aftermath, even when the waters recede. From mold growth to sewage chemicals, the flooding may leave your home smelling less than pleasant. Learning to identify these odors can be the first step to finding and eliminating their cause.

Musty Smells

If you detect an odor like wet dirty laundry after a flood, then you may be dealing with mold. There are many different types of fungi that can take hold after a flood, and many can develop as soon as 24 hours after the event. Mold does not require sunlight to grow and may grow unchecked in a variety of locations:

  • Behind drywall
  • Around insulation
  • Under carpeting

Having your home inspected after a serious flood can help to uncover hidden mold.

Sewer Odor

The strong, bitter smell of a sewer is hard to mistake for anything else. The odor may also smell like rotten eggs, especially if a nearby sewer has malfunctioned and sewage loss caused a flood in your home’s basement. Because any standing water in your home may contain contaminants and bacteria, you may want to seal off the area until you can call a water damage and mitigation service to come to drain it away and deodorize your home so the offensive smell from the flood water does not linger.

Dirt or Mud Smells

Serious flooding can bring silt, dirt and debris into your home. The moisture it contains can also encourage increased mold growth. You may detect an earthy, fishy or wormy odor from dirt or mud left behind in the wake of a flood. Your flood technicians can remove this debris and offer you options for odor removal as well, such as using ozone machines to clear the air.

Serious flooding can affect your home and cause foul smells from mold growth and dirty standing water. Learning how to identify different odors can give you a head start on cleanup efforts, especially once help arrives.

There are Different Types of Soot

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Complete water removal in Reston and Herndon areas requires an investment in training and an extensive inventory of specialized equipment to rid homes of standing fluids and lingering moisture. Dedication to industry best practices is why SERVPRO acquires the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for all workers. Our fleet of service vehicles delivers the following crucial machinery to every water emergency project:

  • Submersible pumps
  • Truck-mounted and portable extractors
  • Air movers
  • Heaters
  • Dehumidifiers 

Although it is unlikely today that antique plumbing fittings from the "Brass Capital of the World" cause water removal urgency, the ability to manage even that scenario is why SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon, should be your first call. Reach us at 703-471-6040

What Kind of Smoke Detector Do I need?

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

There are 3 types of smoke detector alarms on the market today. They are Ionization, Photoelectric and Combination.

An ionization smoke alarm contains a small amount of radioactive material. The radiation passes through an ionization chamber which is an air-filled space between two electrodes and permits a small, constant current between the electrodes. 

When smoke that enters the chamber absorbs the alpha particles, it reduces the ionization and interrupts the current, setting off the alarm. 

This type of alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires.

The Photoelectric smoke alarms operate using a light source.

A light beam collimating system and a photoelectric sensor. When smoke enters the optical chamber and crosses the path of the light beam, some light is scattered by the smoke particles, directing it at the sensor and thus activating the alarm. 

This type of alarm is generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering.

Combination smoke alarms feature both ionization and photoelectric technologies. Ionization smoke alarms respond faster to high energy fires, whereas photoelectric detectors respond better to low energy smoldering fires. The best overall protection is provided by using combination smoke alarms.

Common Commercial Plumbing Issues

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Plumbing issues can be devastating to a business. It can cause leaks that turn into a water loss that could affect productivity in your business. With plumbing issues, it can happen with little to no warning, sometimes it starts with a small leak and other times it can happen suddenly. It is important to fix these issues before they become big problems with big expenses. Some problems include leaking seals and drain clogs.

Leaking seals

Seals can go badly at any moment, so it is important to inspect for small leaks around these areas, if you wait it could turn into a major water loss. Leaks can occur wherever two plumbing components meet. This means sometimes they aren’t always noticeable. Not only can this turn into a bigger leak but if the seal completely breaks off when you aren’t present you could cause thousands of dollars in water damage to your property.

Drain clogs

Drain clogs aren’t usually an issue in homes however in commercial buildings they seem to be more common. The reason for this is people are more cautious of what they put down their own drain or toilet vs public restrooms. This causes debris to get stuck in the pipes clogging up the system and slowing down the release of water. It may not cause any immediate issues but could contribute to a major backup down the road. With commercial experience SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is ready to assist any commercial restoration job.

Why Does SERVPRO Top the List for Help When Old or Failing Plumbing Leaks?

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Why Does SERVPRO Top the List for Help When Old or Failing Plumbing Leaks?

Complete water removal in Reston/Herndon requires an investment in training and an extensive inventory of specialized equipment to rid homes of standing fluids and lingering moisture. Dedication to industry best practices is why SERVPRO acquires the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for all workers. Our fleet of service vehicles delivers the following crucial machinery to every water emergency project:

  • Submersible pumps
  • Truck-mounted and portable extractors
  • Air movers
  • Heaters
  • Dehumidifiers 

Although it is unlikely today that antique plumbing fittings from the "Brass Capital of the World" cause water removal urgency, the ability to manage even that scenario is why SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon should be your first call. Reach us at 703-471-6040

Preparing for Winter Storms

12/24/2020 (Permalink)

Winter storms are not uncommon in the Northern Virginia area and to be stuck unprepared in blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days is not ideal. Many winter storms are accompanied by extremely low temps and potentially strong winds, icing, sleet, or freezing rain.

No matter the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared to ensure your safety in these events and know that SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is here to help.

Know the Difference

Meteorologists may not always be accurate in their predictions, but more often than not they are able to give out a notification for what kind of weather is to come. It is important to note the difference between a Winter Storm Outlook, Winter Weather Advisory, Winter Storm Watch, and a Winter Storm Warning.

  • Winter Storm Outlook - storm conditions possible between 2-5 days
  • Winter Weather Advisory - conditions are expected to cause inconveniences and be hazardous
  • Winter Storm Watch - storm conditions possible within 36-48 hours. Be alert of changing conditions
  • Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening & severe conditions have begun or will begin < 24 hours. Take precautions immediately

Preparation

Now that you know what each warning means - it's time to prepare before scary weather happens!

Winterize your vehicle. Keep the fuel line full to prevent freeing.

Insulate your home. There's nothing worse than a cold home and frozen pipes. Cover windows with plastic and insulate any exposed pipes outside your home. If you speculate that there is a frozen pipe, call your local SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon.

Put together a Supply Kit. Ensure you have your basic necessities of food and water for several days. Batteries, flashlights, medication, a multi-purpose tool and various personal hygiene items.

Now that you know how to prepare for the different types of winter weather, maintain your awareness of the ongoing situations. Listen to the local Weather radio, keep your loved ones close, and avoid traveling if it isn't necessary.

If we can be of any assistance, call us day or night. There will always be a live person on the other end of the line available for whatever you need, even if it is just to answer questions. We are eager to help 703-644-0620.

Why Choose Us?

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know we are part of 1,700 franchises altogether? We are responsible for creating, maintaining and implementing a disaster recovery plan. For example we have helped business, homes and schools in several catastrophic events. Having a disaster recovery team helps create an actionable disaster recovery program. SERVPRO having many franchises nationwide helps us get to you faster. We are proud to be one of the few top disaster recovery teams across the United States because we are experts at our job so when you chose SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon you get;

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

Residential Services

With over 1,700 Franchises in the U.S. and Canada, SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry and is dedicated to providing quality service. Our highly trained technicians respond quickly, whether you need water damage restoration or simply need your upholstery cleaned. You can depend on SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon for these residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation

Commercial Services

Your property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. When it’s impacted by fire or water damage, you need professional help. Every hour spent restoring your business is lost revenue and productivity. When you need professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and resources to get your property back to business quickly. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Fire Restoration
  • Commercial Cleaning Restoration
  • Commercial Water Restoration
  • Commercial Storm and Major Events

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, we live and work in this community too. We are close by and ready to respond immediately when you need cleaning or restoration services. For questions of services please call us at 703-644-0620 and we will be glad to assist you.

How to Prevent Pipe Bursting

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

As the winter time approaches us it’s time to prepare and take precautions, when cold temperatures happen that can cause pipes to freeze and burst. Frozen Pipes can result in costly repairs to you as a home or business owner. The good news is there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing. Here are some tips for this winter

Keeping your house warm – keeping your thermostat set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.

Opening faucets - When temps hit the freezing level it is a good idea to allow faucets to drip. Allowing With the faucet open you avoid blockage in the pipes.

Leave cabinet doors open- leaving cabinet doors open will help warm air flow to the pipes keeping them warm.

Seal leaks in your home- it’s important that there are no leaks in your home. If a leak is present it can allow cold air in causing your home to get cold and potentially bursting some pipes.

Insulation is important - Foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves can help reduce the chances of your pipes bursting so make sure you’re up to date with them.

SERVPRO® of Reston/Herndon is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at 703-644-0620

What is Asbestos?

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Asbestos is known to be a very durable mineral and is recognized for its ability to stay airborne well after being disturbed, moved or damaged. The fact that asbestos is almost microscopic makes it hard to detect. Asbestos looks like sharpened needles, they tend to come in different colors. The most common one used in the United States is the chrysotile asbestoses. This one is mostly found in construction material such as roofing material, asphalt, vinyl tile, mastic and cement. Another type of asbestoses is Amosite; this one is mainly used for fire proofing. If asbestos is swallowed or inhaled it can cause several health problem including lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothioma. If you suspect asbestoses have been released in to the air or if you have been exposed to it you should take immediate action and have a specialist inspect the area for signs of asbestoses. SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon can help with asbestos testing and abatement so please give us a call. If you suspect asbestoses is present, our team will collect a sample and have it immediately tested to prevent further dangerous exposure. To learn more about asbestos visit this link https://www.asbestos.com/asbestos/

6 Things You Didn't Known About Mold

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

We all have heard about mold and how there are over 100,000 different types but here are some interesting things you might have missed.

  1. Mold has been proven to help gardens grow.
  2. Mold spreads quickly on walls and other surfaces because it requires growth to survive.
  3. Bleach does not kill mold it just changes the color of it.
  4. Mold tends to grow more in dark areas
  5. Because mold looks a lot like mildew it’s often confused with it.
  6. Mold can grow in dirty air ducts too, causing mold to circulate around.

To stay safe and healthy from mold check your home regularly. Make sure to check in your basement, ceilings, tiles, under carpets and showers. If mold is found have a professional check it out. Give SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon a call.

How to prepare for a fire incident in your workplace

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Nobody ever thinks or likes to prepare for a dangerous terrifying fire situation but in order to be safe in the office, you should know these simple strategies to safely confront a fire situation in your office.  Have your peers know these strategies since it can make a huge difference when a fire hazard arises.

  • Have an evacuation plan and make sure to share it with the staff. Make sure this evacuation plan meets legal requirements. This plan should be customized to the unique size of your office workplace.
  • Make sure all employees know how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Have proper training sessions on how to do so.
  • Fire drills are very important. Have at least 2 a year with all the staff participating. This will help in planning out where all of you will meet in case of an actual fire situation. It’s important that everyone has an easy route to an escape exit; this drill will help establish this route.
  • Keep smoke detectors up to date and make sure they are functional. Have a few around the office so the staff can hear them clearly in case of a fire. Make sure everyone knows what the fire alarm sounds like.
  • In order to reduce potential hazards frequently check the conditions of electrical cables and replace them if they seem old or wear out. Take a look to see if they are overloaded.

Remember these strategies and practice them in your work place to keep everyone safe.  Have the plan somewhere visible such as the office break room or the office kitchen. Keep the plan and employees update in order to work in a safely planed office and in the case of a fire incident SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is a phone call away.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon today at  (703) 471-6040 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help in these difficult times!

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – [SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon, 703-471-6040]

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

How to slow the spread of germs in your home

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

The kitchen sink is one of the dirtiest places in your home. Make sure to properly clean and sanitize it after use.

Did you know that with the right temperature and nutrients some certain types of bacteria can divide every 20 minutes? That is a lot of potential germs lurking in your home. There is no possible way to completely rid your home of germs and bacteria, but with the right knowledge, you can keep them from spreading. 

Before you can get rid of household germs you must know where to find them. You might automatically assume that the bathroom is the best place to start, but you would be wrong. In fact, the kitchen is usually the most contaminated room in the home. According to the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) “areas where food is stored or prepared had more bacteria and fecal contamination than other places in the home.” When cleaning your kitchen be sure to always clean the kitchen sink, countertops, the refrigerator, cutting boards, the coffee maker, and drawer handles. Use disinfectant wipes to clean these surfaces. Other good practices include heating damp sponges in the microwave for a minute to kill bacteria and washing your hands before and after handling food. 

Some other great places to clean throughout the entire house include:

  • Doorknobs
  • Wallets and phones
  • Keys
  • Purses
  • Laundry (put in the dryer right after it is finished washing to stop germs from spreading)
  • Remote controls
  • Keyboards

The best practices to keep things clean are to use disinfecting wipes and bleach and water to clean items. It is also very helpful to use hand sanitizer on your hands and wash your hands as much as possible. 



Sources:

www.healthline.com/health/germy-places#good-habits

www.webmd.com/parenting/speed-cleaning-germs#1

Five ways to prevent a dryer fire

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

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

Drywall Dust

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

There is not a single builder, contractor or home owner that does not hit a frustration level with the dust that dissipates from dry wall work. IT GETS EVERYWHERE!  Well I am happy to say that SERVPRO can help the largest of jobs with this issue and will make sure it is a "non-issue" at the smaller jobs where we have our own Rebuild Division do the drywall work.

So contractors take note that if your time is getting short and your deadline creeping up on you then call SERVPRO to come out and get that dust out of your way you you can complete your work!  We can install additional barriers if you want us to work while you work... no time lost at all.  In tight situations we can even double up the work crews so you close your contract on time.

Call SERVPRO to help and free your Maintenance Crews for other jobs

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial fire after debris removed

Many many times at commercial properties the Maintenance Crew(s) stay busy doing the many jobs necessary to take cake of the Units and Property.  

Depending on the size of your property and the number of your Units, this can be overwhelming.  Particularly if there has been a storm or natural disaster.  Don't let your Maintenance Crews burn themselves out trying to keep up with a task SERVPRO can come take off of their shoulders and free their hands for tasks that we don't do.  If multiple units are affected, we have a warehouse full of equipment to get the job done.  Better to let us help and get it done right than to try and do as much as you can risking a shortage of equipment to complete the drying process of wet and damaged debris sitting in a unit longer than it needs to.

When mold sets in your drywall

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can cause health problems and should removed as soon as it is noticed. The method used to remove mold from drywall varies on a number of issues including whether or not the drywall is coated. If it is, then cleaning it with water and a cleansing agent should work. If it is not, then that section of drywall must be removed since it is too porous to clean.

SERVPRO Technicians take specialization courses and a Certified to idenify and remove mold.  They know when it is necessary to remove the materials and drywall and when cleaning and sanitizing with chemicals is the best method to not only rid your home of mold, but keep it out!   

SERVPRO gives a warranty with every one of their services and that does include mold remediation.  Sometime the Insurance Company not only covers the process but has a warranty tailored to that company in an agreement for using SERVPRO as a Preferred Vendor.   

Prevent Basement Mold and Odors

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold sets around pipes in the basement

Basements and crawl spaces are the most problematic areas for mold and mildew.  This usually results in odor and stains.  There are measure that you can take to prevent this from happening.  By doing so you can actually improve your air quality.

Excessive moisture builds up from every day infiltration and every day activities. WATCH for the moisture and do not let it sit...wipe the area dry.

POOR ventilation can lead to excess moisture.  Put a fan in the area to circulate the air and dry the area out. If that does not help you may want to have a professional  give an estimate on adding proper ventilation to the area.

* Tighter homes trap moisture, so if your home is close to the adjacent house check to make sure the area between the homes is getting air, light and drying out.

* Natural air flow pulls the pollutants up into the living areas affecting the whole house.  Take the measures to watch and monitor your air quality. 

Electrical Safety Counterfeit Products Portable Heaters

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

  • More than 3,000 electrical fires are caused by extension cords each year, resulting in 50 deaths and 270 injuries.
  • Large appliances cause nearly 20 percent of consumer-product electrocutions annually.
  • U.S. Customs confiscates more than $3 million in consumer electrical products each year, and explains that products with counterfeit certification marks, including CSA, UL and ETL, have not been tested for shock and fire hazards.

Sales of electrical products increase during the winter months.  Sales of Counterfeit Electrical products is on the rise, these items have not met the testing and safety standards and can result in injury, death and property damage.  Purchase your products from reputable dealers and check for certification marks.

PORTABLE HEATER SAFETY:

  • Keep all furniture, draperies, and other household objects at least three feet from the in-wall fan heaters and 12 inches from baseboard heaters.
  • Keep portable space heaters at least three feet away from all flammable materials, such as furniture and draperies. ? Plug portable space heaters directly into the outlet; do not use an extension cord.
  • If an in-wall or baseboard heater is shut off at the circuit breaker, be sure to lock or tag the circuit breaker to prevent someone from inadvertently turning it back on.
  • Some portable space heaters, electric in-wall fan heaters and baseboard heaters have been subject to product recalls. Check your brand and model number and visit www.cpsc.gov for possible information about your heater.

Winter Storm Damage and Personal Safety

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

There are a number of different ways that winter storms can impact a region and the residents. Winter storms are considered deceptive killers because most deaths are not directly related to the storm itself. People could get in an automobile accident on icy roads, have a heart attack while shoveling snow, or suffer frostbite or hypothermia from prolonged exposure to the cold.

Wind - Some winter storms have extremely strong winds that can create blizzard conditions with blinding, wind driven snow, drifting, and dangerous wind chills. These intense winds can bring down trees and poles, and can also cause damage to homes and other buildings. Heavy snow accumulations can immobilize a region and  strand motorists, and disrupt emergency services. 

Ice - Heavy ice accumulations can bring down objects like trees, utility poles and lines, and communication towers. Even a small amount of ice can cause hazardous conditions for motorists. 

Cold - Extremely cold temperatures risk exposure to infants and the elderly.  The severe cold can be potentially life-threatening and cause hypothermia and frostbite. 


Wind Chill is how the wind and cold actually feel on exposed skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body driving down the body temperature. 

Frostbite is damage to body tissue caused by extreme cold.  If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. Slowly re-warm affected areas. 

Hypothermia is a condition when the body temperature drops to less than 95°F, and it can be fatal.  Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. 

Water Damage and Category type

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration sets three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows: 
Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "Clean Water". Category 1 water may become contaminated if it mixes with soils or floor coverings, building assemblies, etc... Time and temperature can promote growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade.


Examples of category 1 water are: a broken water supply line (including the toilet), and tub or sink overflows. 

Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants.  These contaminants can cause discomfort or sickness when exposed or consumed. This water type carries micro organisms and is nicknamed "Gray water."

Examples of catagory 2 water are:  toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, dishwasher water discharge, and washing machine water discharge. 

Category 3 Water - Nicknamed "Black Water" and are grossly unsanitary. These indoor water sources  contain unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness.

Examples of type 3 water are:  water sources from sewage, seawater, stream or river water, ground surface water or standing water. 

Category 2 Water that is not promptly removed and remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back-ups that originate from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.

Knowing the classification of your water may help you understand personal safety concerns and the necessary material and debris removal anticipated.

Reaching out to Businesses; make RELIABILITY and Service Quality a "Given" in delivery

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

We at SERVPRO recognize that when your business needs assistance that the clock is ticking.  It might be a general cleaning or inspection that can be scheduled...or it might be a major water issue with a broken pipe or sewage back up where response time is critical.  We guarantee our service time after we confirm the service needs when you contact us!  

If you are in Property Management or if you are a Warehouse or any other business... we make sure to understand your concerns before and after we arrive on site. Water, Mold, Fire, Cleaning, Asbestos, Storm related or Independent we do prioritize your situation to get your business back to normal and functional to the best of our ability.  If needed we even do the rebuild.  Top quality work, fast response and completely reliable; that is our commitment to you.

Schedule your Building Hallway and Common Area Carpet Cleanings with your Budget Submissions

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

New carpet or flooring for your office, common areas and those highly trafficked hallways can take a huge bite out of your annual budget.  Granted that the atmosphere needs to stay updated so replacement will need to happen at some point, but weather like rain and snow is predictable and brings wear and tear that will challenge the highest quality fibers in any carpet.

Schedule the care and maintenance of your carpets with the submission of your annual budget.  This will reduce the likeliness of your need to replace carpets and revitalizes the look of your areas.  Our products sanitize the cleaned areas and leave a pleasant and refreshing smell.  We are  happy to customize estimates at your request and recommend what we think will be the best maintenance for your areas.  One size does NOT fit all when it comes to taking care of your carpet needs. Studies also support the health benefits of maintaining a cleaner environment.  

SERVPRO is there to help Contractors from Concrete Dust Removal to Water Mitigation

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Attention General Contractors: We understand your business and many times the customer wanted their job completed "Yesterday."  SERVPRO can help!  We can help with many of the unique challenges from concrete dust removal, mold remediation, odor control, fire cleanup, structural drying and of course water mitigation.  We have our crews on standby 24/7 to help your crews!

If that broken water valve flooded your work zone and you need it dried ASAP we will put the crews and equipment you need "On the job" to get it done!  If you don't have power in the building yet, we have the capability of providing our own to ensure the job is completed.  

We have the personnel to mitigate from some of the toughest situations.  Safety always comes first, all the necessary precautions are taken in every situation but rest assured... we will get the job done and done right!

Choose SERVPRO for your Commercial Fire needs.

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fires bring a number of circumstances and needs from the smallest, to some of the most significant.  Smoke damage with the absence of fire can be a monumental loss... well SERVPRO can handle it all from the removal of goods to the rebuild of the Facility and Residential areas. 

We have trained crews to remove the debris, other crews specialize in the pack out of contents and personal property of those affected, a warehouse to store the items removed, and highly trained cleaning crews for all of the soot and water issues resulting from the fire and chemicals needed to extinguish the flames. 

Then when the building has been properly dried and the debris removed, SERVPRO does the complete rebuild.  You don't have to shop around or wait for someone to fit you into their schedule, we have your back.  Check our testimonials, even the Fire Departments call us to help after a fire.

Hoarding and Fire Safety

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Departments are finding that hoarding causes issues with evacuating the residence and higher risks for adjoining properties.

NFPA - Hoarding and fire safety

The excessive accumulation of materials in homes poses a significant threat to firefighters fighting fires and responding to other emergencies in these homes and to residents and neighbors. Often, the local fire department will be contacted to help deal with this serious issue. Since studies suggest that between three and five percent of the population are compulsive hoarders, fire departments must become familiar with this issue and how to effectively handle it.

NFPA - Hoarding and fire safety

  • Hoarding can be a fire hazard. Many occupants die in fires in these homes. Often, blocked exits prevent escape from the home. In addition, many people who are hoarding are injured when they trip over things or when materials fall on them.
  • Responding firefighters can be put at risk due to obstructed exits, falling objects, and excessive fire loading that can lead to collapse. Hoarding makes fighting fires and searching for occupants far more difficult.
  • Those living adjacent to an occupied structure can be quickly affected when a fire occurs, due to excessive smoke and fire conditions.

Storms can cause major roof damage

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Your roof can take a severe beating during a storm.  It is important to get out and inspect your roof after a storm to inspect for any potential damage.

Wind may be the number one culprit.  High winds can tear shingles off as well as the metal fascia pieces that protect your chimney and other components.

Tree limbs and other debris can tear shingles and fall through the roof potentially exposing the inside your home exposed for further damage.

Hail damage to the roof can be severe.  Shingles can be loosened appearing in tact, when in fact the winds can lift them up and water can seep under the cracks into your home with potential mold and moisture issues.

Remove potential hazards to your roof, try to do regular inspections, its even worth having a contractor come out if you have serious concerns. 

Turn off your main water valve before going on vacation!

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Even a broken or frozen water line to the toilet can cost thousands in damages!

Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a phone call alerting you to catastrophic damage to your house, or returning to a home that has been sitting in water due to a broken/frozen pipe or a hot water heater that defaulted into a flood. Turn off your main water valve before going on vacation! 

If you are traveling during the winter it is also a good idea to drain the lines too.  It is easy to drain the lines by simply turning on a faucet on the main floor or in the basement.  If you do not know where your main valve is, ask your plumber.  It is also a great idea to make sure that the valve works.

If for any reason you are not able to turn it off yourself sometimes the water company will shut it off for you.  This simple act can prevent thousands of dollars of damages.

Should you remove or repair drywall that has visible mold?

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Removing moldy drywall is almost always recommended for highly infected areas. If the core of the drywall is starting to disintegrate or the paper is peeling off then definitely get it replaced.

If you see black mold, you may want to get it tested, just know that not all black mold is toxic.  Place your safety first if you do try to remediate it yourself and if you need help with the rebuild we have a division that will come out and patch/replace the affected area.

If you do decide to have the mold tested then get a quote before you commit to remediating.  Sometimes it is equally as cost effective to remove and replace the affected drywall, then there is no need for testing at all.  We recommend getting quotes for both.

Holiday Fires are twice as likely

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

The Holiday Season is the most deadly and costly time of the year with regard to fires.

The  U.S. Fire Administration reports more than double the  number of open flame fires on Christmas Day than the average day.  Property loss in a Holiday Fire is about 34% greater than in a regular fire, and loss of life is and fatalities is about 70% higher if the cause is a Christmas Tree. 

*One if every four Christmas Tree fires is due to Electrical problems. 

*A heat source too close to the tree causes 1 in every four Christmas Tree fires.

*The top 3 days for Candle Fires are Christmas, New Year's Day and Christmas Eve.

*Candles start 2 out of 5 Home Decoration fires.

Mak and effort nto get Holiday, candle and "Christmas tree fire" Safety outreach materials.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

What to do About Frozen Water Pipes

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

Protecting your pipes in the bathroom can prevent a major water loss.

What to Do About Frozen Water Pipes

By T.D. Powell, Business Development Manager SERVPRO of RESTON/HERNDON

The damage caused by frozen water pipes and the subsequent leaks that may be caused can be catastrophic. The water damages themselves can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance carrier can lead to higher deductibles and premiums, or cancellation of the insurance itself. Untreated, the water damage can become water rot, or mold which can be hazardous to your family’s health.

The fact is that the frozen pipe generally blocks the flow of water through the pipe. The growth of the ice blocks and splits the pipe itself. Once thawed the leak occurs. Obviously, when this happens, call SERVPRO of Reston/ Herndon for fast response, water cleanup, drying, and treatment to inhibit possible mold development.

I have listed suggestions to minimize the chance of a frozen pipe and water leak in the first place.

-Identify areas where pipes may be located on outside walls, ceilings, crawl spaces, etc. Seal gaps around the home where cold air penetration may come in contact with piping.

-Locate the main shutoff valve as well as individual shutoffs for outside hose bibs. Allow hose bibs to remain on slightly and drain after the inside has been shut off.

-Open kitchen and bath vanity doors to allow ambient warm air to circulate especially to cabinets on outside walls that may have pipes running through them.

- DO NOT attempt to thaw pipes with electric heaters, hair dryers, or open flames. Warm air circulation, time and patience will allow the pipe to thaw gradually. You can contact a plumber, although most reputable companies will tell you it is time consuming and expensive for the technician to thaw your pipes. 

Tips for Homeowners: Protecting Your Reston / Herndon Home from Storm Damage

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know: Fall is the second most severe weather season?

Are you prepared to protect your home from storm damage?

No clue? No worries! Check out our heroes' tips for preventing storm damage to your Virginia home.

Take these precautions to prevent structural damage outside of your home and water damage inside of your home:

  • Pay close attention to any trees that could fall on your house during a storm. Keep your trees trimmed regularly, and immediately remove all dead, diseased, and hanging branches.
  • Lock, seal, and board your windows.
  • Store your outside belongings- plants, furniture, bikes, etc. in your garage or another storage space inside your home. Remove or secure anything that can become a projectile during heavy wind storms.
  • Secure your gutters and downspouts and fix any defects. Neglected leaks can cause significant and costly flooding and water damage to your home.
  • Prepare for potential evacuation. Pack your essentials and store them in an easily accessible location in your home.

Unfortunately, no matter how much you prepare, severe storms may yield consequences beyond your control. On the bright side, however, our heroes are here to help with your fire and water cleanup and restoration needs 365 days a year, 24 hours a day! If you fall victim to storm damage, contact SERVPRO of Springfield / Mt. Vernon for your storm cleanup needs.

Tips for Virginia Homeowners: Be Storm Ready

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Reston / Herndon provides emergency relief from any size disaster-- 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Hopefully you have followed our steps to protecting your home from potential storm damage, but in the case of emergency evacuation, are you prepared?

Regardless of the severity of a storm, it is imperative that you have an emergency ready kit and plan in place in case a storm requires you to leave your home.

The following is a list of essentials to include in your emergency ready kit:

  • Important documents-- identification, insurance policies, etc.
  • 1 gallon of water, per person, per day
  • 3-day supply of non perishable food
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First-aid kit-- antiseptic wipes, antibacterial ointment, adhesive bandages, tweezers, etc.
  • Extra clothing
  • Dust mask and/or scarf
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Heavy-duty tape
  • Matches (sealed in waterproof container)

Although these essentials may sustain an individual or household, it is important to prepare your business as well. We understand the significant demands of this task, and our heroes are here to help.

Is your business ready for whatever could happen?

Contact SERVPRO of Reston / Herndon to set up your company’s FREE Emergency Ready Profile today!

Tips for Virginia Property Managers: Why Your Company Needs an Emergency Ready Program

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Of the 50% of businesses that survive disasters, nearly 100% had an emergency preparedness plan in place. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), you can achieve security and peace of mind by knowing what to do before the disaster. In addition to timely mitigation and reduced property damage, allowing SERVPRO of Reston/ Herndon to create a plan for your company offers the following benefits:

  1. 100% free- The ERP comes at no cost to your company.
  2. Quick and convenient reference of critical information in case of emergency.
  3. Personal introduction to SERVPRO of Reston / Herndon as your fire and water cleanup and restoration provider.
  4. Save time- minimize the time your company spends inactive after a disaster; also expedite the mitigation process with an immediate plan of action.

Ready to get started? Contact us to schedule your free facility assessment today!

Tips for Homeowners: Preventing Water Damage to Your Home in Reston/ Herndon, VA

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Home flooded in Reston, VA

Avoid the cost and hassle of severe water leaks! Follow SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon's simple tips to prevent water damage in your home.

  • Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid costly gutter damage. Defective, clogged downspouts can cause severe water damage to your home- including rot, mold, and basement flooding. Be especially cautious after heavy rain and snow storms to ensure that your spouts are properly secured and that no residual water remains to seep into your house.
  • Disconnect idle water hoses. This protects your home against busted pipes, damaged walls, and flooded floors.
  • Maintain appliance pipes and hoses. In our professional restoration experience, defective pipes and leaky hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss. Be sure to replace yours regularly to prevent significant water damage.
  • Install a water detector. A water detector will immediately alert you at the sign of water damage. Our professionally trained restoration crew suggests that homeowners install this device close to areas most prone to water damage i.e. water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, etc. This prevention method will protect both your home and your pockets from the physical and financial costs of water remediation.
  • Monitor your water bill and water pressure. Too high water pressure can cause erected pipes and hoses. Likewise, irregular water bills can point to problems with the water flow in your home. Act immediately on any signs of water damage or leaks to prevent mold, mildew, and other water disasters.

If you have any questions, or if you need our help in protecting your home against water damage, contact us today at (703) 471-6040. Our heroes are ready to help 24/7!

Mold Prevention Tips for your Reston/Herndon Home

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

When flood and other water intrusions are not handled appropriately, the resulting water damage can cause harmful mold growth. Do not allow mold to grow in your home or place of business. Be alert and take the following precautions:

  • Maintain low humidity levels- install an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep humidity below 50%, and check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Maintain ventilation in your home and be sure to use fans that vent outside of your home. This will prevent the areas in your home from becoming excessively moist.
  • Immediately repair leaks in your home’s roof and walls. The only thing mold needs to grow is water. Keeping your pipes sealed and floors dry will starve mold of its primary food source.
  • Renovating your home? Decluttering? Use mold-inhibiting paint and cleaners.
  • Recent flood? Call SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon to provide top of the line water removal services to prevent water damage.

Call us at (703) 471-6040 to schedule an appointment for our Mold Remediation Services. We are happy to provide 24/7 water cleanup and restoration services in Reston/ Herndon, VA.

Stop, Drop, and Call SERVPRO: Fire Damage DOs and DON’Ts for Virginia Homeowners

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Are you a homeowner or property manager in Reston/ Herndon, VA? In the case of a fire, do you know what to do before help arrives? Regardless of your fire cleanup and restoration knowledge, allow us to help you minimize the damage to your home as you await the arrival of emergency service professionals.

The first 48 hours after a fire disaster can make all the difference between fire cleanup and restoration versus complete replacement of your property and belongings.

Check out these tips for fire damage prevention to your Virginia home:

DO:

  • Limit movement of persons and furniture to prevent soot particles from settling into your home.
  • Prevent soiled furniture by covering upholstered belongings with clean towels or old linens.
  • Remove soot from chrome faucets, trim, and appliances.

DO NOT:

  • Attempt to clean walls or painted surfaces without contacting SERVPRO.
  • Shampoo carpet or upholstery without consulting fire cleanup professionals.
  • Clean or repair electrical equipment.
  • Clean clothes- improper cleaning may permanently stain clothes with soot and smoke odor.

In the case of a house fire, remove yourself from the property as quickly as possible, call 911, then call SERVPRO of Reston/ Herndon-- your trusted Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration experts. Our professional staff can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems in your home. We provide fast response to any size disaster, with services ranging from fire cleanup to contents claim inventory and document restoration.

Call us with your fire restoration needs - (703) 471-6040. We offer our 24-hour emergency cleanup services 365 days a year.

Does Your Reston or Herndon Home Have A Mold Problem?

3/17/2017 (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 – 703-471-6040

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO ofReston/ Herndon for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Reston/ Herndon specializes in mold cleanup and restoration; in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

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