Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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

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.

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.

Why Does Mold Have an Odor?

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall with the phrase Musty Odor? A mold smell is a red flag that mold has found a moisture source

The musty odor that most people associate with mold is actually the smell of mycotoxins. A mycotoxin is a type of microbial, volatile, organic compound (MVOC) that mold releases as part of its digestive function. Not all MVOCs are mycotoxins, and consequently, not all mold has a smell.

How MVOCs Are Released

The air in Louisa, VA, is filled with tiny, invisible mold spores. These spores grow into mold when they come into contact with a moisture source, such as a leak. For mold to grow and colonize, it also needs a food source. Most materials can serve as food for mold, including:

  • wood
  • paper
  • cloth
  • drywall
  • food scraps
  • soil

Mold grows on the surface of its food source. As it digests this surface material, mold releases MVOCs and mycotoxins. These compounds are, essentially, mold burps.

Why Mycotoxins Exist
Scientists are still in the early stages of mycotoxin research, and the purpose of mycotoxins isn’t completely clear. The most pervasive theory is that they act as a defense mechanism for mold that may be competing with other organisms. In a damp building, there may be several organisms present and competing for the same food and moisture source, including other fungi, bacteria, dust mites, and/or insects. Studies suggest that the higher the competition levels, the higher the production of mycotoxins.

What The Odor Means
A mold smell is a red flag that mold has found a moisture source and is actively eating away at some part of your building. DIY cleanup efforts are often inadequate and can lead to recurring mold outbreaks. To ensure the mold is completely eradicated, it’s best to call a professional mold remediation company. These specialists have the necessary equipment and training to completely remove surface mold and airborne mold spores to eliminate the smell and prevent future mold damage.
While that distinctive, musty mycotoxin odor isn’t pleasant, it does serve as an excellent signal that your building has a mold problem. Don’t ignore the smell: The sooner mold remediation begins, the less mold damage will occur.

How Does Professional Mold Testing Work?

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Mold remediation specialist inspects walls Mold inspection in Orange, VA

An indoor environmental specialist can help commercial property managers and owners determine whether mold is present in a building in in Orange, VA. A visual inspection may be sufficient, or a trained expert may take air, batch or surface samples to detect mold and identify the species.

Schedule a Mold Inspection

A mold inspection may start with a search for visible mold and lead to a mold test. Testing is only cost-effective at early stages for the following reasons:

  • detecting the presence of hidden mold
  • determining the toxicity of mold
  • measuring concentrations of spores or off-gasses


If an infestation is obvious, testing is more practical to confirm the completion of cleanup. Personal protective equipment is recommended for all mold cleanup, though full containment is necessary for toxic species.


Have Experts Take Samples
An indoor environmental specialist may take any of the following types of samples from a commercial building:

  • Airborne spore and gas samples
  • Batch spore samples
  • Surface spore samples


Spores can be gathered from the air inside a building or directly from contents or surfaces. These samples are used to grow the same mold in a controlled lab environment for identifying the species and toxicity status.


Wait for Lab Results
It may take several days for lab analysis to return results to a specialist. Once test results are in, an expert will contact property owners to report on the species or concentration of spores and microbial volatile organic compounds. This data can help an specialist recommend the best strategy for stopping mold growth and eradicating existing colonies.
Regardless of test results, an indoor environmental specialist can recommend the right approach to cleaning up mold or preventing an infestation at a building in Hamilton, OH. Cleanup can take up to a week and remediation may go on for longer based on whether contaminated building materials need to be replaced during restoration.

DIY Mold Testing: Is It Reliable?

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Armor DIY test kit. For testing mold at home. A home mold kit can only detect the presence of mold

Do They Work?

Molds are a normal part of our natural environment and are usually found at levels that have no effect on people. However, mold grows rapidly indoors if one element is present — moisture. This fungus flourishes in warmth, darkness and oxygen, making many spaces in your house likely candidates for mold growth, especially "mold magnets" like basements. Homeowners in Louisa, VA, sometimes buy mold testing kits, DIY mold screening devices and various mold-detecting tape lifts and swabs to determine if they have a mold problem. Are they reliable? Here's a rundown:
Basically, a home mold kit can only detect the presence of mold. Because mold is all around us, outdoors and indoors, it will always test positive. An over-the-counter kit doesn't have the capability to provide more important information:


Mold Type
Home testing can't distinguish between the two types of mold:

  • Harmful mold, or black mold, is often found in large patches across surfaces. It grows rapidly, causes property and structural damage and requires professional mold remediation.
  • Non-harmful mold is the kind found in spaces like the pantry, refrigerator or breadbox. Although a common nuisance, this type of mold can be easily cleaned and removed.

Mold Source
Mold testing kits can't identify the mold's place of origin. The first step in remediation is pinpointing the location of the moisture causing the mold. In residential properties, the source could be anything from a seeping chimney to a cracked water pipe. In most instances, a professional evaluation is needed to determine the cause of the moisture.


Mold Level
DIY testing can't determine the level of infestation. The DIY kit only collects mold spores and confirms its presence. To know the degree of mold infestation, a homeowner would need to submit the kit for lab analysis (at added expense) or contact a mold remediation company for an assessment.
So, do mold testing kits work? Yes. Are they reliable or useful? No. The effectiveness of a DIY kit is limited. Only environmental hygienists and trained remediation professionals can accurately test for mold in your home.