Recent Storm Damage Posts

Storms Can Cause Flood Damage...Beware For Scammers

1/31/2024 (Permalink)

Storm scammers are everywhere and tend to target distressed homeowners who have suffered damage, especially seniors. Below are some tips on what to look out for and how to protect yourself from those individuals.

  1. Scammers will pretend that they represent your insurance company and ask for personal information over the phone. Your insurance company will always notify you if a representative or contractor will be sent to your home.
  2. Never sign up with the first contractor to your home. Always get more than one estimate to make sure you do not end up being the victim of price gouging.
  3. Officials with government disaster assistance agencies do not call or text asking for financial information. Anyone who calls asking is an imposter.
  4. Contractors may call claiming to be partners with your insurance company. If this were to happen, do not provide any personal information.
  5. A major red flag is when a contractor says they will only charge you half of what the others will charge. Most times they will take your money and run.

SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is always available to help you navigate through your storm damage. Call us at (703)471-6040 today!

How Long Does It Take for a Roof Leak to Cause a Mold Infestation?

8/23/2023 (Permalink)

A roof leak can be a frustrating and potentially costly issue for homeowners, and one of the concerns associated with a roof leak is the potential for mold growth. In this blog post, we'll explore how long it takes for a roof leak to cause a mold infestation and what steps you can take to prevent mold growth.

Timeline for Mold Growth

The timeline for mold growth can vary depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the leak, the temperature and humidity of the environment, and the type of materials affected. In general, mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours of a water intrusion event, such as a roof leak.

Signs of Mold Growth

At first, mold growth may not be visible, as it can occur in hidden areas such as behind walls, under carpeting, or in insulation. Over time, however, mold growth can become more visible, with signs such as a musty odor, discoloration, or even visible mold growth on surfaces.

Preventing Mold Growth

To prevent mold growth from a roof leak, it is important to address the leak promptly. This may involve repairing the roof, replacing damaged roofing materials, or addressing any underlying issues that may be contributing to the leak, such as clogged gutters or inadequate ventilation.

Drying Out Affected Areas

Once the leak has been addressed, it is important to dry out the affected areas as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth. This may involve using fans, dehumidifiers, or even professional drying equipment to ensure that all moisture has been eliminated.

Addressing Existing Mold Growth

If mold growth has already occurred, it is important to address it promptly to prevent further damage. This may involve removing affected materials, such as drywall or insulation, and cleaning and disinfecting the area with specialized equipment and cleaning solutions.

How a Professional Can Help Address Mold Growth from a Roof Leak

In some cases, a roof leak and resulting mold growth may be too extensive for homeowners to handle on their own. In these instances, it may be necessary to enlist the help of a professional disaster restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon. These professionals have specialized training and equipment to address mold growth safely and effectively, minimizing the risk of further damage or recontamination. With their expertise, they can also help identify and address underlying issues that may be contributing to the roof leak, ensuring that the problem is fully resolved and that your home is protected from future mold growth.

In conclusion, a roof leak can lead to mold growth within 24 to 48 hours if left unaddressed. To prevent mold growth, it is important to address a roof leak promptly and to dry out the affected areas as quickly as possible. If mold growth has already occurred, it is important to address it promptly to prevent further damage. By being proactive, you can protect your home and prevent costly damage from mold growth.

Surviving the Storm: Essential Tips

8/22/2023 (Permalink)

Storms are a force of nature that can cause substantial damage to homes and businesses. Understanding the risks, preparing effectively, and knowing how to respond in the aftermath are critical steps to safeguarding your property and ensuring a swift recovery. Here are some important guidelines on how to be storm-ready and recover efficiently.

Understanding the Risks

Every storm carries its unique set of risks. Torrential rains can lead to flash floods, high-speed winds can cause structural damage, and lightning can spark fires. Identifying the specific threats associated with different types of storms in your region can inform your preparedness strategies and response mechanisms.

Storm Preparedness

1. Safeguard Your Property:

Your property is your first line of defense against a storm. Regularly inspect your home or business premises for potential vulnerabilities. Ensure your roofing is in good condition and that gutters are clean and damage-free. Secure loose items outside your property that could become dangerous projectiles in high winds. Install storm shutters or use plywood to protect windows.

2. Create a Disaster Plan:

Develop an emergency plan that includes evacuation routes, meeting points in case family members or employees get separated, and a list of emergency contacts. Consider the needs of pets and any special requirements of family members or employees.

3. Assemble an Emergency Kit:

Keep a kit ready with essential items like bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights, extra batteries, first-aid kit, necessary medications, important documents, and a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio.

Weathering the Storm

1. Stay Informed:

Follow the latest weather forecasts and heed local authorities' advice. If ordered to evacuate, do so promptly. Your safety should always be the priority.

2. Secure Your Property:

Before the storm hits, ensure your property is as secure as possible. Bring outdoor furniture inside, shut off utilities if instructed to do so, and lock all doors and windows.

After the Storm

1. Assess the Damage:

Once it's safe to return, assess your property for damage. Document the damage for insurance purposes by taking pictures and making detailed notes.

2. Cleanup and Restoration:

Post-storm cleanup and restoration can be a complex process, often requiring professional assistance. SERVPRO's expert teams are trained to handle post-storm cleanup and restoration, helping you get your property back to its pre-storm condition as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Storms can be formidable, but with preparation and the right recovery partner, you can weather them and bounce back effectively. Remember, when the storm passes, SERVPRO is ready to assist with cleanup and restoration services. To learn more, reach out to us anytime at 703-471-6040. Your safety and quick recovery are our top priority.

Reston/Herndon - Board Up Services

5/3/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon provides 24 hour, 365 day a year emergency board-up services for any residential or commercial location in the Reston/Herndon area. Whether you experience vandalism, storm damage, a fire, or another unexpected disaster, you want to restore your property to its normal state as soon as it can be done. Boarding-up incorrectly can cause additional moisture damage, making the situation even worse. We have Contractors standing by and ready to assist in any emergency event. We can provide you with one-stop shopping. Leave the inconvenience of board-ups to the professionals at SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon to make it "Like it never even happened." Call us at 703-471-6040 to ensure no further damage occurs to the structure or its contents.

Storm Damage

4/19/2023 (Permalink)

Its storm season which increases the probability of high winds and rain that lead to the risk of storm damage to your property. SERVPRO of Reston & Herndon is faster to any size disaster and will help you step by step through the restoration process.

What if a tree falls on my house?

  • Instead of worrying about calling individual services like electricians, tree removal and plumbers, simply make one call to SERVPRO of Reston & Herndon and we will find the right service providers including a system that each Technician has been fully trained to follow.
  • Do not re-enter the property without being advised to do, so. Do not worry about your personal belongings. We will make sure that your home is secured until repairs are complete. If items need to be removed, we can facilitate that process and make sure the belongings are returned to their original place.
  • Evacuate the property

Storm Damage Restoration

Many homeowners like to be fully informed about the restoration process. We want you to have peace of mind and feel good about trusting SERVPRO of Reston & Herndon with your cleanup and restoration.

  • Ensure the tree and tree debris is removed from the property.
  • Secure the roof with a temporary tarp to prevent no further damage inside.
  • Make sure any tree debris indoors has been removed.
  • Assess damage and ensure demolition of damaged areas including ceilings and walls.
  • Spray exposed surfaces an antimicrobial agent

Our #1 priority is to make storm damage as stress free as possible.

Hurricane Tips & Tricks

4/19/2023 (Permalink)

Here’s a few tips and tricks to better prepare!

  • Before the Storm: Gather food, water, medicines and power supplies.  Organize supplies into a Go-Kit and a Stay-at-Home Kit. Keep personal, financial, and medical records safe. Anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside, such as gas grills and propane tanks. Trim or remove trees close enough to fall on your home. Stockpile protective materials such as plastic sheeting and sandbags. Consider elevating the heating system, water heater, and electric panel.
  • During the Storm: Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the storm. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can. Stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors. If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds coming from the opposite direction. So, make sure you stay secured and connected to what’s going on.
  • After the Storm: Stay out of floodwater!  Floodwater can contain many things that may harm health, including germs, dangerous chemicals, human and livestock waste, wild or stray animals, and downed power lines among other things. If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles. If you must use candles, keep them away from anything that can catch fire.  Watch out for fallen power lines that may be hanging overhead. Stay clear of fallen power lines. Call the electric company to report them. Always make sure it is safe to leave before you try to evacuate the area.

Ways To Prevent Damage and Prepare for a Winter Storm

1/19/2023 (Permalink)

A winter storm can be beautiful, but it can also be a nightmare for your business if you are unprepared for it in Reston/Herndon. The heavy snow, wind and ice that accompanies the storm can cause severe damage and costly repairs. When these disasters happen, call your insurance company and a storm damage restoration service immediately to file a claim and begin repairs. While you cannot prevent a storm from coming your way, there are several steps you can take to prevent some of the damage from happening and mitigate loss. Here are a few ways to prepare your business for winter weather.

1. Insulate Your Building

Make sure your building is properly insulated. If temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes could freeze and burst, causing flood and water damage. Routinely inspect your building’s heating system to ensure it is working properly and keep the temperature above 55°F to avoid a pipe break.

2. Perform Regular Maintenance

Keep a regular maintenance schedule to make sure windows, doorways and the outside of your building are in good condition. Over time, building materials can wear down, allowing cracks and gaps to form which can reduce the structural integrity and insulation of your building and make it more susceptible to storm damage and flooding. In addition, you should routinely inspect your roof. Replace any broken shingles and make sure shingles are intact and firmly nailed down to prevent roof leaks and wind damage.

3. Stock Emergency Supplies

Create an emergency weather kit that includes snow shovels, ice-melting salt and a first aid kit in case a winter storm comes through unexpectedly. Keep non-perishable food items available in case you are stuck in your building overnight and cannot go home.

4. Watch Local Weather

During the winter months, stay on top of the local weather forecast. Start preparing early if a snowstorm is heading your way, and make sure your staff is adequately prepared.
A winter storm can cause severe damage if you do not take it seriously. Performing routine maintenance on your building and keeping an eye on the weather can greatly reduce damage and keep your business safe.

Common Causes of Water Damage...

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon has the experience, expertise and proper training to restore your home or business quickly and properly. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our Technicians will monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is back to “Like it never even happened."

Water Damage can be a costly and devastating event. We have often found that careful routine maintenance can lower the risks and costs of water damage restoration. The restoration process can be stress, but by following some simple home maintenance tips, you can prevent flooding from structural issues.

If you or someone you know needs restoration services; Save our number for the future or call today for a rapid response (703))471-6040.

1) Assess your water heater

Water heater issues are common when it comes to our emergency calls in Reston/Herndon. With regular routine maintenance, you can prevent this from happening. Make sure the water heater’s thermostat is regulating the temperature properly to prevent any pressure buildup.

Tip: If you notice an odd taste or odor in the water from your water heater, it may have rust or sediment buildup inside. Also, if your water starts to make strange noises it may require you needing an inspection or replacement.

2) Appliance hoses and connectors

Always check for cracks, kinks, unraveling, wear, or corrosion on hoses & connectors. If you find any damage to these replace them immediately. DO NOT WAIT! Most manufacturers and plumbers also recommend replacing water hoses/connectors every 3-5 years.

3) Replace old caulking in your windows and doors

Caulking your windows can not only stop water leaks, but also help to keep out drafts. It is a simple process that you can do yourself. Most window caulks should last about five years, but you should always inspect your caulking at least every six months to a year; and replace it if you notice any cracks developing.

Tip: You should also check your exterior door flashings for holes or rust that can allow water entry.

Lightning Safety Tips…

8/12/2022 (Permalink)

Even though your home is a safe shelter during a lightning storm, you may still be at risk.

Here are some indoor safety tips per CDC:

  • Avoid Water –Do not bathe, shower or wash dishes. Lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.
  • Avoid Electronic Equipment –Do not use your computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
  • Avoid Corded Phones – Corded phones are not safe to use during a thunderstorm. However, it is safe to use cordless or cellular phones during a storm.
  • Avoid windows, doors, porches and concrete –Do not lie on concrete floors during a thunderstorm or lean on concrete walls. As mentioned lightening can travel through any metal wires or bars.

If you have experienced any damages interior or exterior give us a call we are always here to help 703-471-6040!

What to do before a thunderstorm?

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can be dangerous and not taken for granted. Every thunderstorm produces lightning and other hazardous weather conditions, which can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding.

In Reston, VA we tend to get a mix of heavy rain and dry thunderstorms. Below are great tips from the READY to help prepare you for what to do before, during, and after a thunderstorm.

What to do before a thunderstorm

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard-top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
  • Lightning Risk Reduction When Outdoors

SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon urges each and every one of you to PREPARE before a thunderstorm comes. And whenever they do come, SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon will be here to help.

What to do before a thunderstorm?

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can be dangerous and not taken for granted. Every thunderstorm produces lightning and other hazardous weather conditions, which can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding.

In Reston, VA we tend to get a mix of heavy rain and dry thunderstorms. Below are great tips from the READY to help prepare you for what to do before, during, and after a thunderstorm.

What to do before a thunderstorm

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard-top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
  • Lightning Risk Reduction When Outdoors

SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon urges each and every one of you to PREPARE before a thunderstorm comes. And whenever they do come, SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon will be here to help.

Flood facts!

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.

There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. 

If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon.  Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order. 

Is standing water dangerous?

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Surface water can affect your home and its tenants in multiple ways. While this standing water can absorb into materials and ultimately allow for the deterioration of exposed structural elements, pooling can also present potential health effects or hazards for those exposed and remaining in the area. 

SERVPRO offers fast extraction and drying solutions for your home after a flood. 

We can help reduce the standing water concerns by offering efficient flood removal. To accomplish this, we can call upon a wide array of extraction and moisture removal tools in our broad inventory. 

What Tools Are Best for Drying Up Flood Damage? 

Because every flooding situation is different from the last, there are different tools and devices that are best to remove water or dry the area. Identifying the most efficient solution is always the priority, as the sooner standing water gets addressed, the less damaging flooding typically becomes. Some of the standard water removal and drying tools include:

  • Air Movers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Positive Pressure Systems
  • Floor Mat Systems

After a flood, you want your home to look like it did before the disaster as soon as possible. Our SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon team can help anytime you need us.

Stand Strong Against Wind Damage

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Wind and water damage are the two most common results of a heavy storm. There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms that have caused significant damage to homes - it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional like SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage.

Important Facts to Know About Wind Damage

Wind Type Varies by Storm & Causes Different Degrees of Wind Damage

Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage, but wind stemming from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage. It is essential to know when and what type of storm is headed towards your area so you know the potential and level of damage to expect. Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S., but the repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage.

Characteristics of the Wind will Affect the Wind Damage

The wind has many characteristics that differ depending on the situation such as:

  • Speed
  • Direction
  • Duration of Gusts

By recognizing the pattern and type of wind, you will be able to determine another part of how much potential damage to expect. If the wind is expected to come in long gusts, it's important to be aware of branches from trees. Depending on the speed of the wind, you may have to board up windows.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Wind really isn't the thing that causes a majority of the damage - it is the items that get flung around by the wind. Whether it is your garbage can out on the edge of your driveway or debris from plants and trees, unsecured objects can become dangerous in windy situations. If a storm is approaching your area, ensure your patio furniture, toys, and garbage cans are secured or brought inside. It wouldn't hurt to double check your windows to make sure they're locked and secured, too.

The expertise SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon brings to storm damage cleanup and restoration in the Northwest suburbs leads the industry. Give us a call at 703-471-6040 today for any of for storm damage needs.

What Steps Must Begin Right After Flooding Occurs?

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Flood damage can be a devastating force, meaning that mitigation and recovery efforts should begin as soon as possible.

There are often times where homeowners look at their Herndon and Reston property and determine the best course of action after a flood emergency. The longer this process takes in choosing the right professionals to begin restoration and recovery, the more your home and its belongings could become irreparably damaged. Knowing what to do when flooding first occurs can help you to appreciate your need for professional restoration despite possible mitigative efforts you can begin on your own.

Regarding your home in Reston and Herndon, several steps must occur, beginning with emergency services when our team arrives. With flooding scenarios, often, the most pressing concern is standing water in the affected areas. Surface water damage can quickly penetrate porous materials, forcing water into structural cavities and causing more substantial concerns like deterioration, microbial threats, or spreading bacteria. The earliest actions that our professionals can take after a flood loss include:

  • Extraction
  • Content Management
  • Debris Removal

What Happens to Damaged Belongings?

Content management is one of the vital services that we offer during your flood-damaged home's mitigation period. The objective begins with assessing the damage to each item or personal belonging still in the house after flooding occurs. Some of these items can get moved to a safer location on the property to prevent damage, while others must get restored on-site or offsite at our SERVPRO facility. In our care at our warehouse, we can offer focused drying, cleaning, and safe storage.

Flooding can be a threatening situation for your home. However, with mitigation beginning as soon as our professionals arrive, there is little to stop you from reaching out to our SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon team as soon as possible. We can make flood losses "Like it never even happened." Call us at 703-471-6040

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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!