Recent Posts

3 Ways To Avoid Fires When Grilling

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Barbecue grill with fire on nature, outdoor, close up These measures can help you grill more safely.

Prevent a Grill Fire at Your Home

Gas, hardwood, and other types of grills generate a lot of heat and often rely on open flame. It is possible to grill safely if you take a few simple fire safety precautions. Here are three ways to prevent a grill fire at your home in Locust Hill, VA.

1. Grill In a Safe Place

One of the best ways to avoid starting a barbeque fire is to move a safe distance away from structures and flammable items. Never operate a grill on a patio or porch that has a roof. You should also never start kindling a cooking fire inside. Always allow a grill to cool completely prior to storage.

2. Clean and Maintain Your Grill

A grill fire is more likely to break out on a grill covered with grease and flammable food residue. Maintain a fire for at least ten to fifteen minutes after cooking to burn off residue and scrape the grates with a wire brush. Give the entire grill a deep cleaning at least once or twice per season. When the grill is cool, remove the grates and drip pan and clean them with water and a suitable soap. Wipe down the interior and exterior.

3. Factor Fire Safety Into Food Preparation

Trim excess fat from meat prior to grilling. This can reduce the amount of grease that builds up on the grates or in the drip pan and lower the risk of a barbeque fire. You should also use igniting agents responsibly and store containers at a safe distance from an open flame. Keep other flammable items such as napkins and towels at a safe distance.

These measures can help you grill more safely. If a grill fire does start and cause damage to the exterior of your home, schedule an appointment with a fire and smoke damage mitigation and restoration company in Locust Hill, VA.

How To Flush a Water Heater

11/25/2021 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance A water heater is an essential element of any home.

What Is the Best Way to Flush a Water Heater?

A water heater, sitting in a dark closet or basement, is easy to forget. If you want to ensure the longevity of your hot water tank, then you may want to follow the steps below to flush the system, clearing out harmful sediment and debris.

1. Turn Off and Prep the Tank

To perform a water heater flush, you may want to have a garden hose and screwdriver handy. Additionally, you will need to prep the tank by first turning off the power and/or gas. Then, attach one end of the garden hose to the tank, and place the other end in a drainage area that can tolerate the hot water.

2. Flush the Tank

To empty the water heater, open the drain valve on the tank and make sure the water is escaping through the hose to the drainage area. After a few minutes, turn the hot water on from the nearest faucet. A couple of minutes after this, turn off the water supply. Once the water stops exiting the garden hose, turn on the water supply for only a couple of minutes to flush out the system again.

3. Refill the Tank

When all debris from the tank has drained, close the drain valve and turn on the water supply. Once the water pressure returns to the open faucet, you can be confident that the tank is filled. Be aware that the water from the tap will be inconsistent at first as air is flushed from the lines.

4. Turn On the Tank

Turn the power/gas back on only when the tank is full to protect the integrity of the system. Once the heat is on and the water is flowing strong, you can turn off the running faucet. If you are experiencing problems with the water pressure or the heating element of the tank, you may want to call a professional in Rhoadsville, VA, to examine any possible causes.

A water heater is an essential element of any home, and flushing the system ensures its continued use. Following the steps above, you can perform this task yourself and maintain your tank for years to come.

Maintaining Building Exteriors To Reduce Storm Damage

11/20/2021 (Permalink)

Building Inspector completing an inspection form on clipboard Perform a building inspection on a regular basis.

Keeping Building Exteriors in Good Condition to Reduce Storm Damage

Rain, wind, hail – if you have a business in Burr Hill, VA, it can be severely damaged by strong storms. Performing exterior maintenance on your building can help reduce storm damage. It is important to keep your building maintained in order to minimize the time and money spent on repairs after a severe storm.

Early Indications of Wear

Many problems with building exteriors can be identified while in the early stages and can be repaired before becoming a costly burden, especially after a storm. For example, rust stains may indicate a leak in the gutters or windows. The easiest places to start a building inspection are the areas that are the most vulnerable:

  • Windows – Check the caulking around the exterior for cracks or gaps.
  • Doors – Check that the doors close tightly and there are no gaps.
  • Walls and siding – Check for hairline cracks in siding or even slight gaps in brick-and-mortar exteriors.
  • Gutters – Poorly-fitting or blocked gutters can cause water to pool and drain down the side of your building, causing damage to the exterior.

Without proper exterior maintenance, problems with any of the above can be exacerbated during a strong storm and damage to the interior of the building, as well as the exterior, may result.

Prevention Is Key

The easiest way to save time and money is to keep your building maintained and perform a building inspection on a regular basis. A few simple things to do include the following:

  • Re-caulk windows to keep them water- and wind-proof.
  • Install weather-stripping around windows and doors to help plug gaps.
  • Thoroughly clean all gutters and ensure that they are free from cracks or holes.

Making large repairs to a building exterior after a storm is often much more difficult than doing preventive maintenance and making small repairs as the need arises.

What To Do

If you need to repair your building after a severe storm, be sure to call a professional crew in Burr Hill, VA. While routine exterior maintenance can help reduce costs, if there is a need for a major repair, you will need an experienced team to get you back in business.

Proper Sprinkler Maintenance Can Help Quench a Fire

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

red head of a fire sprinkler Having a fire sprinkler system in a commercial building can help reduce the damage done by a fire.

Sprinkler Maintenance

If your commercial building has a fire sprinkler system in place, you expect this safety device to work if a fire breaks out in Louisa, VA. However, neglected sprinklers may not be able to work when they're needed. Consider these tips to ensure your building is as protected as can be.

• Have an inspection. Firefighters and commercial fire mitigation teams may do regular inspections on a fire sprinkler system to ensure everything is in working order. This inspection could look for damages to sprinkler heads, positions of valves and other important factors.

• Meet safety standards. The National Fire Protection Agency has set safety standards for this fire suppression tool. You should learn about the standards and make sure your system is up to code. If it isn't, you may not have the water power needed to put out a fire in a building of your size.

• Do regular maintenance. Doing a regular fire sprinkler cleanup can help ensure the system will work when you need it to. Dust and grime can build up on the sprinkler, which may block outgoing water. You can have the system cleaned and repaired to make sure it is at its best.

• Communicate with employees. Do you expect valves to remain open? Do you want sprinkler heads to be left untouched? No matter how you want the sprinkler system treated, you need to be sure to communicate this with your employees or tenants. Put up signs to make your wishes clear.

• Keep detailed records. You should keep records of everything done to your sprinklers. Whether there was an inspection, repair, or fire sprinkler cleanup, you should document it. This can help you prove you're keeping your system up to code, but it can also help you remember when you need another cleaning.

Having a fire sprinkler system in a commercial building can help reduce the damage done by a fire. If you want this system to work properly, you need to make sure it is maintained.

4 Tips to Help You Stop Mold From Growing in Your Bathroom

10/20/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bathroom tiles Bathrooms are an ideal environment for mold development to begin.

Tips To Stop Mold from Growing In Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are the perfect place for mold growth to start. The damp environment invites spores to make a home in your Unionville, VA, house. Because this room is notorious for having extra moisture, it can be hard to stop mold from appearing time after time. A residential mold cleanup crew may be able to help you stop this cycle. These experts can help you address water damage, cleanup mold and prevent new growth. Consider these tips as you try to put an end to bathroom mold.

1. Use Ventilation. Steam can create a great environment for fungus just as well as water damage can. If you want to make sure excess moisture doesn't build up in your bathroom, you need to find a way to help it escape. Fans and ventilation systems are a great tool to use in this space. Be sure to have the fan on when you use the tub or shower.

2. Dry the Shower. After you're done in the shower, water tends to cling to walls, floors and curtains. This clinging water can encourage mold growth. If you are able to, you should get the water out of your tub or shower to reduce the moisture buildup. You can use towels or a special shower squeegee to dry off your shower.

3. Reseal Fixtures. Faucets can become uncaulked after years of use. When this happens, you may notice leaking water. Water can also get trapped in these small crevices. You can reseal the fixtures in your bathroom every year to ensure they don't provide a place for mold to grow.

4. Repair Grout Lines. Cracked grout lines can also trap water and encourage mold growth. Most grout has a waterproof sealer, but this can wear out over the course of time. You should repair and reseal grout lines to keep your bathroom in top shape.

Your bathroom is susceptible to water damage and fungus growth. You can follow these tips to kick your mold prevention into top gear.

Protecting Your Pets From Residential Fires

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dressed as fire fighter Protecting your pets by taking preventative measures.

Keeping Your Pets Safe in the Event of a House Fire

While the idea of a fire erupting in your Locust Hill, VA, home is never easy to consider, the potential of your beloved pets getting hurt during any fire emergency is that much worse. Therefore, it’s important to not only create a pet preparation plan in the event of a house fire but to take precautions with pet safety before a situation ever occurs. Here are some important ways to protect your pets before and after a dangerous situation occurs.

Prevent a mishap by always extinguishing open flames and keeping them at high levels out of your animal’s reach. Any moving flames seen from candles, BBQs, fireplaces and more can easily draw your pet’s attention. Therefore, it’s vital that you always put out any flames before leaving a room and keep them away from reach, either placed up high or properly covered and untouchable.

Address any problem areas by doing a regular inspection around the home. Check for any loose wiring, reachable appliances or unstable devices that can be knocked over, as they can all turn into possible fire hazards.

If a fire emergency does break out, be sure your pets have their identification in a safe place. Keep any ownership and vaccination records in a fireproof box, and leave your pet’s tagged collars on them at all times to ensure firefighters or other rescuers can identify who your pets belong to and where to secure them.

Plan an escape route with your pet. Practicing fire drills and showing your pets where their escape routes are can give them a helpful head start should a fire erupt. Leave leashes and carriers easy to reach and keep your animals near an entrance while you’re away so they can be quickly located by professionals.

Protecting your pets by taking preventative measures in your Locust Hill, VA, home is crucial for pet safety and your peace of mind. After all, if a fire emergency occurs, knowing you’re prepared ahead of time is crucial to staying calm and getting everyone out in a timely manner.

Fire Sprinklers and Accidental Discharge: What to Do If the Fire Sprinklers Go off Accidentally?

9/26/2021 (Permalink)

Fire alarm and smoke. In case of accidental discharge, it is important to keep the above steps in mind to speed up the recovery process and get back to normal operations.

Fire sprinklers are an excellent safety measure that is most likely required by law in Rhoadsville, VA, but, while they are a lovely preventative and protective asset, in the case of accidental discharge, they can cause flooding and significant water damage. For most business owners who experience this unintentional disaster, they will typically want to know the process they should adhere to after.

1. Call Your Insurance Company

The first step is to call your insurance company. Most insurance companies will cover damage caused by a faulty or defective sprinkler system, but they will want to ensure that the responsibility lies with the manufacturer and not with the business owner. As the owner, insurers expect you to maintain your equipment, and if there is any sign of persistent issues resulting in the malfunction of the sprinkler system, most insurers will place the financial burden on the property owner.

2. Document the Incident and Any Damage

After you’ve called your insurance company, it is beneficial to document both the incident and the flooding or damage caused by the faulty fire sprinklers. You can document the incident by talking with any witnesses and finding out what occurred before the malfunction. Additionally, you may want to take photos of the area and any damaged merchandise to show as evidence and proof of loss.

3. Cleanup

Once you and your insurance company have determined responsibility, you can begin the cleanup process. Several companies specialize in water damage and can help you in your restoration efforts. The important thing, however, is to get your business back on track as fast as possible to minimize any significant interruption costs.

Fire sprinklers are essential and often required elements of a business, but, while they do require routine maintenance, they can malfunction, causing flooding and potential business interruption. In case of accidental discharge, it is important to keep the above steps in mind to speed up the recovery process and get back to day-to-day operation.

Make a Flood Damage Claim in 3 Steps

9/19/2021 (Permalink)

Standing water in room. These are the three major steps to file a flood claim.

A flood can cause serious damage to your home. You should file a claim for flood damage as soon as possible. Check your policy to determine how much coverage you have for flooding and then follow these three steps to file a flood claim.

1. Document Damage

The first step toward filing an insurance claim is to document the extent of the damage. Capture photographic or video proof of standing water as well as damaged building materials and contents. While you should take timely steps to mitigate primary damage and limit the extent of secondary damage, you must capture the condition of the affected areas of your home beforehand. Also gather and prepare to provide information such as dates of purchase, item values, and any receipts for major possessions that you can find. You may dispose of damaged items after thoroughly documenting the damage.

2. Notify Your Insurer and Talk to an Adjuster

Next, notify your insurer of the property damage and file a flood claim. It is a good idea to file this claim as soon as possible, as it may take some time for your insurer to get around to processing your claim if the flood that has affected your home is widespread. An adjuster will contact you to discuss your coverage and help you prepare a sworn statement regarding the number of damages supported by documentation.

3. File Proof of Loss Within 60 Days

Be sure to file proof of loss documentation with an insurance company within two months of a flood. Payouts can only be processed once Proof of Loss is on file.

These are the three major steps to file a flood claim. You should maintain a reliable method of contact such as a cell phone number. As soon as you document the damage, you can contact a residential damage restoration service in Burr Hill, VA.

The Advantages of Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall in bathroom. If it’s not quickly discovered, mold can significantly damage your home’s infrastructure.

If your home sustains water damage from a flood or burst pipe, it is also vulnerable to mold damage. Extensive mold growth can be a difficult problem for any homeowner in Louisa, VA, to battle, especially since mold is adept at finding hidden moisture spots. For peace of mind, you may wish to consult a professional mold inspector who can thoroughly examine your home and identify areas requiring mold cleaning.

Extensive Knowledge

A certified mold expert will have broad knowledge about mold growth and the ensuing damage it can cause. In addition, the certification process requires technicians to complete extensive training and hands-on experience. This proficiency will enable your inspector to complete numerous tasks:
• Recognize signs of moisture
• Identify subtle indications of mold damage
• Locate potential hiding spots

Access to Useful Tools

To complete a thorough mold cleaning, you will need to address every moldy spot. While some mold may be readily visible, it may be difficult to locate hidden sources, especially under flooring and behind drywall. To aid their work, professional inspectors have several useful tools at their disposal:
• Moisture meters to evaluate moisture levels in walls, carpets, and other materials
• Borescopes to visually examine the area behind walls and other surfaces
• Hygrometers to measure humidity levels inside your home

Each of these instruments enables the expert to search for hidden mold in a minimally invasive manner that most homeowners cannot easily accomplish themselves.

A Beneficial Service

If it’s not quickly discovered, mold can significantly damage your home’s infrastructure. Hiring a professional mold inspector can help you efficiently identify mold sources behind drywall, in crawl spaces, under flooring, and in other locations not readily visible. Quick identification is important because it enables you to jumpstart the mold cleaning process and hopefully address the situation before it becomes a serious problem. If the inspector does, however, discover extensive contamination, you may want to hire a professional mold remediation team to help you tackle the problem and reduce the risk of a future recurrence.

Leaky Roof Cleanup

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Rainstorm falling on a roof A roof leak can cause extensive damage, from mold growth to harm in the interior ceiling. Call SERVPRO for help!

Cleaning A Leaky Roof

Many people have dealt with leaky roofs at one point or another. While it may not always sound like a big deal, a roof leak can cause extensive damage, from mold growth to harm in the interior ceiling. You don’t want to leave a leaky roof unattended. The roof is an essential component to the building. When it comes to flood cleanup for the roof, here is what a company may do for your Louisa, VA, building.

1. Tear Out

After a roof leak, the first step is to call a flood restoration company. They can do an assessment on the damage done to your roof. For instance, if there is any mold growth, they will be able to identify it and help clear it out. In some cases, the damage to the shingles or roof may be too widespread, and some materials may have to be torn out before you can focus on the restoration.

2. Dry Out

The company will usually dry out the salvaged materials in the second step. Generally, the goal is to save as much as can be saved. A damaged roof often has some parts that can be saved and dried out whereas others may have to be torn up. Once everything is dried, it can go through the disinfecting process. This will make sure there are no mold spores left.

3. Restore

The restoration involves returning your roof to like-new condition. This can mean replacing any missing shingles, redoing the installation or fixing any number of damages that were done to the roof.

When you have a roof leak, it’s important that you deal with it right away. Water damage has a way of getting worse over time. The longer you leave it, the more you are likely to have mold growth and extensive damage that cannot be salvaged. When it comes to restoration, having as much of the original roof as possible helps.