Recent Posts

5 Tips To Prevent Kitchen Fires

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

A man cooking and stove is setting on fire Be attentive to your cooking and do not leave it unattended, even for a few minutes.

5 Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips

In 2016, 50% of house fires in the United States were caused by cooking. As a homeowner in Unionville, VA follow these five helpful tips to reduce the chance of fire damage in your kitchen:

1. Pay Attention

Be attentive to your cooking and do not leave it unattended, even for a few minutes. If you must leave the house, turn off the oven first. Regularly check on the food, especially if you are frying, broiling or grilling. If you are not in the kitchen, set a timer so you know when the food is done. Double check that appliances are turned off before heading to bed.

2. Reduce Fire Hazards

Move anything that is flammable away from heat sources in the kitchen, especially those that generate open flames. This includes dish towels, pot holders, grocery bags and long sleeves or hair when cooking.

3. Clean Surfaces

Over time, grease and oil residue build up. Regular cleaning is one of the best tips to prevent a grease fire. If a grease fire occurs, never put water on it. Rather, cut off the oxygen to the flames by covering it with a pot or pan.

4. Take Precautions

The kitchen is no place for small children while you are cooking. Teach your kids to stay at least three feet away from the oven for safety.

5. Be Prepared

Protect your home by installing a working smoke detector in or near your kitchen, and on all levels of your home. Check the batteries and test the device on a regular basis. Keep a fire extinguisher within reach to combat small fires in early stages.

Follow the above tips to decrease the risk of fire in your home. Sometimes even taking precautions cannot prevent a fire in Unionville, VA. If this happens, immediately get your family to safety and call the fire department. After the blaze it out, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent to learn about your next steps to restore your fire damaged home.

The Four Usual Suspects of Tile Discoloration

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling damaged by water and mold growth Ceiling damaged by mold growth.

The Four Most Common Causes of Tile Discoloration

When it came to (literally) building your business in Rhoadsville, VA, you opted for the convenience, ease, and longevity of ceiling tiles. Now you've noticed some tile discoloration and you're unsure if it's due to natural aging, issues caused by surrounding lighting, proximity to exhaust fans, or tile mold. Let's take a closer look at these four common issues and how to identify them.

1. Aging

Nothing lasts forever, not even ceiling tiles. If the tiles were installed before your business began operation out of your building, it's difficult to ascertain their exact age. For older buildings from a pre-no-smoking era, cigarette smoke may have quickened the aging process as well.

2. Lighting

Lights are lights, right? Wrong. Ultraviolet lights actually cause discoloration. This type of lighting is typically used in healthcare facilities like hospitals and labs in order to sterilize equipment. UV lights affect and degrade the chemical bonds in ceiling tiles, which leads to bleaching and gradual fading.

3. Fans

Are the tiles near your exhaust fans showing more advanced signs of discoloration than other tiles? This may be caused by a lack of insulation in the duct, allowing the moisture the fan is redirecting to slowly seep into the surrounding tiles.

4. Tile Mold

One of the most prevalent suspects, mold, is caused by water damage through exposure to moisture due to plumbing-, HVAC system-, or roof-related issues. If the source of the problem is not found and rectified, your tiles will take on a telltale brownish hue that will make them appear darker than unaffected tiles.

Ceiling tiles may require less upkeep, but the discoloration is a common issue. While simple aging, light sources, and placement of fans can be relatively easy problems to address, tile mold should be confirmed and remediated by a professional mold restoration company. After all, keeping your business – and more importantly, your employees – thriving and safe is their business.

Can Water Damage Be Prevented?

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling hanging due to water damage Ceiling damage due to water in Unionville, VA.

Prevent Water Damage By Keeping The Following Tips In Mind

If you take pride in your Unionville, VA, home, you want to do what you can to keep your property looking its best. Maintaining your house can go a long way toward helping you avoid major catastrophes, including the following:

  • Water in home
  • Roof in disrepair
  • Electrical fire in the kitchen
  • Mold in home

Of course, you can't always foresee into the future. This means there may be times when you have to turn to a professional remediation team to help you clean up water damages. You may be able to prevent some water dilemmas by keeping the following tips in mind.

Be Vigilant

An excess amount of moisture from a broken pipe can leave you with a lot of damage if you don't catch it early. If you're vigilant around your house, you'll notice signs of leaks before the water introduces mold into your space. Watch for water stains on your walls and ceiling. Look for other signs of moisture, such as peeling paint and bubbling flooring.

Have Inspections

Your plumbing, HVAC unit and appliances could malfunction and lead to water in home. If you have these parts of your house inspected annually, you can reduce the chances of a flood happening. A plumber can look at your pipes to ensure there are no clogs or breaks you need to know about. An HVAC repairman can assess your heating and cooling units to check for signs of wear and tear. You should make sure your dishwasher, washing machine and refrigerator are inspected too because these appliances can have faulty hoses or broken water supply lines that lead to flooding.

Make a Plan

Sometimes knowing who you would call for a pipe cleanup can help you prevent major damage to your home. Figure out which water cleanup crew you want to turn to before flooding starts, so you can react as quickly as possible.

You may find water at home at any time. Doing what you can to prevent this problem can save you hassle in the future.

Restoring Your Home After a Fire

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

fire damaged home with melted siding and broken glassfire damaged home with melted siding and broken glass Fire damage in a Louisa, VA home.

Residential Fire Restoration

Thanks to your efforts and those of responding firefighters, your home survived a blaze that otherwise could have destroyed it. However, that doesn’t exactly mean the job is done. Even a small fire can lead to significant home damage in Louisa, VA, such as:

  • Soot damage to walls, floors and furniture
  • Embedded smoke smell
  • Damage to important structural pieces

Your home still has a long way to go toward getting back to normal, but by working with a professional fire and smoke cleaning crew, you can expedite the process and get things done right. Of course, there are a few things you can do on your own as well.

Air Out the Area

Once you’ve received the okay to go back into your house, consider airing out the affected space. This means opening up windows and doors, and maybe even installing some high-powered fans or box fans in the windows. This can help carry some of the soot and smoke outdoors, mitigating some smoke damage and making the cleanup job a little easier.

Work With Professionals

Soot damage might seem simple to clean up, but in reality, it requires special tools to get the job done right. Porous surfaces like those on some countertops and fabrics such as carpets, rugs and couches can thoroughly absorb soot, making them nearly impossible to clean with regular means. Fortunately, the pros have the tools and know-how to rescue a majority of your belongings.

The Smell

Finally, note that a simple cleaning or airing-out isn’t likely to completely get rid of the smoke smell right away. Smoke, like soot, is absorbed into fabrics and other porous materials, giving it a means to linger longer. Likely your clean-up crew will use a special machine over a series of weeks to get rid of the smell.

By working with your clean-up crew and lending a hand where you can, you can get rid of smoke damage. Work to get your home back to its old self as quickly as possible in the aftermath of a fire.

Reasons To Have Commercial Flood Coverage

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. To protect against flooding from storms, you need additional flood insurance.

Reasons To Have Proper Flood Coverage

You may feel pretty confident about the commercial insurance package your agent has put together for your business in Burr Hill, VA, but it may still be lacking something. If you don't have flood insurance, you could be setting yourself up for a devastating loss, particularly if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. Here are some reasons to have proper flood coverage in addition to all the other policies in your portfolio.

Commercial Property Limitations

Your commercial property insurance is essential. A solid policy will cover most of the damages that might occur:

  • Fire damage to the structure of the building
  • Stolen property
  • Vandalism
  • Damaged business personal property
  • Repairs to building

Natural disasters are generally not covered under a standard commercial property policy. To protect against flooding from storms, you need additional flood insurance.

Flood Policy Coverage

While a flood policy does not cover damage from the storm to landscaping or others' property, it protects your building and the items in it. Good flood coverage can pay for repairs after a storm. It also covers any damage done to insured items, such as office or production machines, that need to be restored by water remediation specialists.

Legal Requirements

Finally, if you live in an area prone to flooding, a commercial insurance policy that specifically protects against the damage it can cause may be required by law. This is particularly likely if you have a federally backed mortgage or if you rent your commercial property from someone else. In the latter scenario, if the law doesn't require insurance for flooding, your landlord probably does.

Your business in Burr Hill, VA, needs protection from many problems that may arise. Your insurance agent can recommend the policies that are necessary for your particular business in your location. If you live in an area that floods often, make sure you get flood insurance. You will probably be glad you included it someday.

How To Tackle Black Shower Mold

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on ceiling Ceiling moisture produces mold growth

Water that bombards your shower every day can lead to mold growth. Discovering shower mold at your home in Locust Hill, VA, can be concerning, and you may worry about how to manage it.

How Causes Mold to Grow In a Shower?

Several factors contribute to black mold in your shower. Mold spores thrive under conditions in your bathroom, including:

  • Excessive moisture
  • Warm temperature
  • Insufficient venitaltion
  • Low lighting

Mold can quickly overtake non-porous surfaces, including tile and grout, leaving behind stains that can be difficult to remove.

What Can You Do To Prevent a Moldy Shower?
Preventing mold is challenging, but you can clean it away using a solution of equal parts bleach and water and a scrub brush. Before you commit to routine, rigorous shower cleaning sessions, you can commit to a plan to minimize mold growth.
Controlling shower mold starts with keeping all areas of your shower as dry as possible. Use an absorbent towel to wipe up excess water that lands on the tiles, walls, grout and porcelain surfaces of your shower. A squeegee can help you access inner and upper walls.
After taking a shower, your bathroom will fill with steam quickly, and you should open a window or use an exhaust fan to help it escape. Remember to draw your bathroom curtains to let in sunlight and prevent darkness that encourages mold growth. Be sure to keep your shower curtain open also; this will allow it to dry thoroughly.
In between each use, spray the surfaces of your shower with white vinegar, which has anti-fungal properties that inhibit mold growth. Scenting the vinegar with a drop or two of your favorite essential oil will also infuse your entire bathroom with a pleasant aroma.

When Do You Need Help?
Shower mold can be unpleasant, but it is usually manageable. If you worry about black mold in any part of your home in Locust Hill, VA, a mold remediation service is your best resource for safely addressing it and restoring sanitary conditions.

How To Prepare Your Building For a Storm

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

storm shutters in a building Storm shutters can protect your buildings window against high winds.

Preparation Tips Before a Storm

Many are aptly prepared for storm damage, such as flood water, in their homes, but it's equally important to prepare your commercial building if you know a storm is approaching in Rhoadsville, VA. Whether you are an employee or own the building, you should help prepare your commercial building for a storm. There are many preparation tips you can keep in mind before a storm.

Assess Your Property Beforehand
To begin your storm preparation plan, it's important to assess your commercial building. You should take note of the strengths and weaknesses of where your building is located and how a storm would affect your property. Reinforce anything that would be damaged by a storm or flood water. A few ideas for your inspection include:

  • Ensuring shutters are on windows in case of high wind
  • Anchoring any large furniture to its place
  • Removing any large branches or trees that are close to your building and could fall on it during a storm
  • Making sure you've had a recent roof inspection to ensure it is strong enough to withstand a storm

Although an assessment may not seem necessary, it is important to do before a storm comes. It's always better to be safe than be sorry.

Put Documents in a Safe Place
No matter what type of business you have, there are almost certainly important documents that need to be kept safe and dry. If you have a flooded building, documents can quickly be ruined beyond repair. Documents to preserve include legal documents, financial documents such as account statements and tax information.
Move all documents to a safe and dry space, such as an upper-level floor in a filing cabinet or back up digital information on a hard drive. Any backed-up data should be kept off-site to ensure it is kept safe.
Preparing your building for storm or water damage can prevent costly repairs from wind or flood water. If your building does experience storm damage, be sure to call in a storm damage company to help you with the restoration process.

How Can Electronics Be Damaged by Fire?

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

danger, office in a fire , a burning computer An electrical fire can wreak havoc on your Burr Hill, VA, commercial building and its contents.

Post - Fire Causes Of Electronics Damage

An electrical fire can wreak havoc on your Burr Hill, VA, commercial building and its contents. This damage can include electronics that didn't ignite the fire. You may see this burnt equipment and think it's unsalvageable. However, there's a chance you or a professional can save some of it. The first step is knowing the various post-fire causes of electronics damage.

1. Heat
A fire can result in burnt or even melted electronics, media and memory. This damage can make it virtually impossible to restore any data. If it's essential data, you may want to consult with a data restoration expert to see if it's possible to retrieve it.

2. Smoke and Soot
Removable memory, such as computer hard drives and SD cards, is typically encased in semi-sealed assemblies. Although mostly safe, they're still somewhat vulnerable to soot and smoke damage after an electrical fire. After all, smoke can drift into the tiniest of crevices, causing various problems. Many people don't realize that smoke is magnetically charged, which can cause electronics to short-circuit. Smoke can also leave a black film on the interior of electronics, leaving them sensitive to overheating. Soot is acidic and can deteriorate electronics, shortening their lifespan. If a computer or other device is damaged, you can probably remove the memory. Then, move it to a safe location. You may be able to retrieve the data yourself.

3. Water
After a fire, at least some of your electronics will probably receive water damage resulting from sprinkler systems and firefighters extinguishing the flames.
After an electrical fire, restoration must begin as soon as possible. This process includes electronics and computer cleanup. Fire damage will progressively and quickly get worse the longer it lingers. The longer it's left, the less chance of saving what could be salvageable early on.

Creating an Effective Business Continuity Plan

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

warped flood, two air movers, drying equipment. Concept of water cleanup services Storm creates water damage in a Louisa, VA property.

Create An Effective Continuity Plan For Your Business

Flooding and other disasters can strike at a moment's notice. Even with advanced warning, things are going to go drastically wrong. However, having a plan for these kinds of disasters can help your business recover quickly. This is why you need to create an effective continuity plan for your business. You need to take the time to outline, test, and improve it.

Outline It
To start making your continuity plan, you will need to evaluate your business and note your processes, vulnerabilities, and potential losses. This step is crucial to creating a tailored plan for your business in Louisa, VA. From there, you can outline your plan. The things to include are:

  • Scope of the plan
  • Business areas
  • Critical functions
  • Dependencies
  • Acceptable downtime
  • Plan for hiring storm remediation professionals, maintaining operations, and reopening

Test It
The only way to know if your continuity plan works is to test it. A real incident will be the true test and the best way to see if your plan works. However, a controlled test is much more comfortable for business owners and can give you a realistic sense of gaps and areas that need improvement.

Improve It
You are going to put a lot of effort into creating and testing your plan. Once you complete the job, it is tempting to let your plan sit and hope for the best amid a disaster. However, if you do this, your plan could be useless when a disaster strikes, so you need to improve it after getting the test results.
This plan is crucial for businesses to recover from floods and storm damage. Therefore, you want to make sure you take the time to create an effective plan. Make sure you create a tailored plan and then test it out before a disaster hits. Keep improving it until it is thorough enough to withstand a disaster.

Proactive Cleaning with SERVPRO

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

illustration of covid-19 Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange & Madison Counties is "Here to Help" during all times of need. 
When we were faced with unprecedented times caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, we want to remind 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 us today!

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