Recent Posts

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

Immediate Steps To Take After a Fire

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Roof of a house burned Fire damage in a Unionville, VA home.

Fire Restoration Process

A fire in your home in Unionville, VA, can leave behind a lot of devastation, and this experience can be overwhelming. Knowing the first few steps that you need to take can help to focus your attention and get the fire restoration process started as soon as possible so that everything can go back to normal again.

Call Cleanup Experts
Even a moderate fire is going to cause a lot of damage, and you will need to know what was destroyed not only by the fire but also by the water used to put it out. This information, along with the estimated cost of fixing your home, will be useful when you file your fire insurance claim. Contact fire damage mitigation experts to handle the problem. They will walk you through every step of the process:

  • Assessment
  • Water removal
  • Material tear-out
  • Drying
  • Smoke cleaning
  • Rebuilding

Having a team that handles everything from the initial consultation to the final touches of fire restoration can help the cleanup go more smoothly.

Avoid the Damage
When your home is damaged, it's tempting to take matters into your own hands and start cleaning immediately. This is not a good idea when it comes to the cleanup after a fire, though. You don't know which parts of the structure are secure enough to be safe, or you may end up doing more damage to your home. It's best to wait for the experts to arrive.

Secure Your Home
The restoration process may take a while, particularly if there is a lot of damage. In the meantime, you will need to secure your home by making sure broken windows and any gaping holes left by the flames are boarded up. Your restoration team can advise and assist with this process as well.
Your home will likely need a lot of work after a fire, but the good news is that you don't have to do everything yourself. By enlisting the help of trusted fire restoration experts, you can rest assured that everything will be taken care of properly.

Important Insurance Facts for Landlords and Renters

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

New Multi-Family Housing in Suburban Setting Rental property in Bur Hill, VA.

Important Insurance Facts for Landlords and Renters

If you own a large rental property, you know that a large storm in Burr Hill, VA, has the potential to cause a lot of damage to your property. It could even require your tenants to have to relocate for a period of time. With the right insurance policy, you will be covered for structural damage to your property from such things as high winds, heavy rains and lightning. A storm remediation company in your area can help you recover from a large storm and in some cases help you more efficiently handle insurance claims. For your tenants, renters insurance protects them for losses to their belongings and has provisions for other important situations. Some landlords strongly encourage or require their tenants to purchase this coverage.

Renters Insurance Facts

Many people who rent think they do not own enough stuff to make insurance worthwhile. However, when everything is added up, the value of a person's clothes, furniture and personal items can be significant. In general, renters insurance is fairly inexpensive, plus this insurance coverage includes the following protections:

  • Provides for relocation expenses if necessary
  • Includes liability coverage for damages causes by a tenant
  • Includes different levels of replacement for personal items

The right policy provides peace of mind for the renter and has benefits for the landlord, too. It is an affordable way for renters to avoid a financial loss.

Commercial Property Information
As a landlord, there are many things you can do to protect your property, including getting the right insurance, and seeing that your tenant has renters insurance. Also, make sure to follow all applicable rules and regulations concerning your tenants, such as including the necessary safety devices and alarm systems on your building. Regulation inspections of your property by knowledgeable contractors also help you withstand the effects of a storm. It's important to keep an eye out for items that could cause injury on your property, such as broken railings on stairways.

The Specifics of Commercial Fire Cleanup

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Empty building damaged by fire Commercial fire damage in Rhoadsville, VA.

The Specifics of Commercial Fire Cleanup

If you experience a commercial fire in Rhoadsville, VA, you will need help in the cleanup and restoration process. A professional fire mitigation team is your best choice to guide you through the recovery steps. The process has been honed through years of experience. Technicians have been trained to take care of smoke damage and to operate advanced equipment that helps return the building to the way it was before the fire. The process begins with an inspection and assessment of the property and the damage. This step provides the framework for the rest of the cleanup.

The Early Stages
It is important to secure the building against further damage. The mitigation team will look at safety hazards and the extent of structural damage. Workers could recommend the building be boarded up or have a tarp placed over the roof to keep out the rain. The next steps are as follows:

  • Water removal
  • Drying of surfaces
  • Treatment of smoke damage
  • Treatment of soot damage

Specialized equipment such as dehumidifiers and air dryers are used to eliminate moisture that is often the result of fire fighting efforts. Advanced cleaning techniques are used in this stage of the smoke cleaning process. The final step is the complete restoration of the building. The goal is to restore the property "Like it never even happened."

The Final Stages
A commercial fire causes smoke damage to a variety of materials, including clothes and furniture. These items will be restored if possible or replaced if necessary. Surfaces in the building will need to be cleaned and sanitized according to best industry practices. This includes removing odors with air scrubbers and fogging equipment. Drywall and carpeting may need to be replaced, while walls might need a fresh coat of paint. In major fires, some structural elements may need to be rebuilt. Each fire is different, but a proven process guides the technicians in charge of recovery.

I Just Discovered Standing Water in My Building. Now What?

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! Turn off the electricity at the fuse box.

Prevention Is Key When It Comes To Black Mold

In only a couple of days, water left to stand in your commercial building can result in major damage. Black mold and structural damage are real possibilities. Once the water is finally discovered, you’ll need to act quickly by:

1. Turning Off Electricity
First and foremost, when safely accessible, turn off the electricity at the fuse box. Appliances, electronics or exposed wires in the affected area will mean there’s probably an electric current traveling through the standing water. If the box isn’t safe to approach, you can call the power company to have them turn it off.

2. Stopping the Water
When it’s safe to enter the flooded area, stop the inflow of water, if possible. This might involve turning off the building’s main water supply or shutting it off at the source.

3. Turning Off HVAC System
No matter how long the water has been in the area, there will be some degree of water damage. If it’s been over 24 hours, it’s possible that black mold has started growing. You’ll want to turn off the HVAC system until the mold clean-up is completed. Mold spores could be in the vents, which means possible cross-contamination to other areas.

4. Removing Water
A wet/dry vacuum is a great way to quickly and safely extract standing water. It’ll also pull small debris from the water.

5. Containing Affected Area
The water-damaged area should be contained from the rest of the building until the mold remediation process is complete. Simply closing all doors to the area and sealing them with painter's tape will work until the professionals arrive. It’s also best to cover all vents to prevent mold spores from getting into the ventilation system.
Prevention is key when it comes to black mold. However, it’s sometimes unavoidable in the wake of a disaster, especially if the water has gone unnoticed for 24 hours or more. Locust Hill, VA, mold cleanup experts can handle these jobs along with any resulting moisture problem.

How To Know When It Is Time for a Plumbing Overhaul

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

collapsed ceiling in a home due to water damage Collapsed ceiling due to water damage in Louisa, VA.

How To Know When It Is Time for a Plumbing Overhaul

Many people ignore the home's plumbing system until it is too late. This often leads to repeated repairs for leaks, pipe breaks and similar issues. The problem with this approach is that some plumbing issues can lead to significant water damage in a home. Supply line damage is one example of a problem that could release hundreds of gallons into a home in Louisa, VA. Though this water is likely to be clean water, it still has the power to inflict damage on flooring, walls, insulation and furniture. In some situations, a complete plumbing system overhaul might be the best solution.

Signs of Big Trouble
An occasional bathroom leak is fairly common and nothing to cause undue alarm. However, if the plumbing system experiences frequent breaks, especially in difficult-to-access locations, a replacement system might be in order. Still, it is important to carefully assess the situation by considering the following factors:

  • The age of the plumbing system
  • The lifespan of piping materials
  • The condition of the joints and fittings
  • The presence of corrosion

Each type of piping material has an expected lifespan. Supply line damage is rarer in PVC, copper and cast iron piping that is less than 50 years old. Brass and galvanized steel piping wear out more quickly.

A Reasonable Solution
While avoiding a supply line leak is important, a major replacement of plumbing is a big job. It can make sense to look for reasonable opportunities to replace plumbing components. For example, remodeling projects are great times to include a plumbing upgrade, especially if walls are being removed.
If major supply line damage does occur, calling in a water damage restoration company is the best way to avoid significant harm to a home. Trained technicians will remove standing water quickly and dry out the home to prevent future damage such as mold growth. Avoiding water damage is a worthy goal as is minimizing the consequences of a water disaster.

Storm Damage and Your Business: How SERVPRO Can Help

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Damage to the roof and ceiling of an office following a violent storm Commercial storm damage in Unionville, VA.

Storm Damage and Your Business

A severe storm can wreak havoc on your Unionville, VA, business and cause many different types of damage. From flooding to wrecked building materials to mold growth due to standing water, you may be looking at a substantial insurance claim. Working with a storm restoration service like SERVPRO may help ease the path to rebuilding your business.

A Fast Response
Having a storm response team on your side that you can reach out to 24/7 may offer you peace of mind when a major storm damages your business. Not only do you have someplace to turn to for assistance but a swift response may also prevent secondary damage, including:

  • Mold growth
  • A weakening of exterior building materials
  • Broken and cracked windows or skylights

A fast response may lower the cost of your insurance claim and the price of some repairs, which may help you increase your overall restoration budget.

Insurance Claim Assistance
Flood damage can cause widespread problems throughout your commercial building and the items it contains, which means filing an insurance claim that can help cover the cost of repairs. Because SERVPRO is a well-known and preferred storm restoration and emergency disaster response service, both you and your agent will take comfort in knowing you are both working with experienced repair technicians.

Local and Corporate Support
Working with an emergency disaster response service that provides both local and corporate support can provide you with all the assistance you need after a storm damages your business. Your local team acts swiftly when you need immediate mitigation and later, when the time comes to file an insurance claim, the company’s corporate contacts may assist you with itemizing the damage so the filing process is simpler.
When a severe storm causes damage to your Unionville, VA, property, it can cause serious upheaval in your life. Having somewhere to turn to for storm restoration can make a significant difference in how quickly repairs and insurance claims take place.

Preventing Water Damage During Construction

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Group of construction engineer team in standard safety uniform work planing in construction site Prevent water damage during construction in Locust Hill, VA.

If you are a contractor, you probably want to avoid water issues, like a broken pipe that requires costly and time-consuming fixes, such as hiring a water pipe repair person. To protect your projects from requiring a water cleanup company, you should take the proper preventative steps. This means being proactive.

Identify Water Sources

Water leaks can sometimes happen when you are testing a building's systems and will require that you fix them with appropriate water pipe repair measures. The most common sources you should watch include:

  • Water distribution fixtures
  • Roof drains
  • Sewer hookups
  • HVAC fluid systems
  • Fire sprinklers

Create a Plan
To avoid performing a water pipe repair, contractors should take the potential water sources and create a plan to mitigate threats. These methods of mitigation should also be included in your project budget since they are necessary precautions.

Use Water Damage Prevention Tools
When building, there are water damage prevention tools that can limit the amount of damage a site sees. It is recommended that contractors use at least two of the readily available tools to reduce water damage.

Conduct a Shutdown Inspection
To ensure that the building is safe, a shutdown inspection should be conducted every time your crew leaves the site in Locust Hill, VA. This inspection should be conducted according to a checklist that incorporates potential threats and your mitigation plan. It should also be conducted if a storm is approaching.
All project staff should conduct their part of the checklist before leaving the site. The responsibility can be handed to one staff member to ensure completion if necessary. However, this may not be feasible on larger projects. It is also a great idea to train new employees on the preventative measures used to reduce water damage and why they are necessary.
By incorporating these strategies, contractors can reduce the amount of damage they experience from flooded worksites. This is because they know where the potential threats are and plan to deal with them using the proper tools. Additionally, contractors should perform a shutdown inspection to ensure a site is waterproofed before leaving it.