Protect Your Home from Winter Fires
Follow these fire safety tips to keep your home and family safe:
- Keep area around heating equipment clear of flammables.
- If you use a fireplace, have the chimney swept yearly, use a sturdy screen to stop sparks and store ashes outside at least 10 feet away from the house.
- Use space heaters with automatic shut-offs and keep pets & children 3 feet away.
- Test smoke & carbon monoxide alarms and make sure batteries are fresh.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on each floor and teach family members how to use it.
- Keep baking soda by the stove to combat grease fires.
December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve.
Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires.
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn completely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties.
Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths.
Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shock, and fires.
Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the United States. Almost half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, and almost another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary space heaters.
The Dangers of Having a Leaky Roof.
With all the different kinds of weather that we have had in the last month or so, a durable roof is one of the most important infrastructures of a house, right after a strong, sturdy foundation. Just like it’s necessary to fix cracks in a foundation to ensure the rest of a house isn’t affected from the ground up, it’s important to fix leaks in a roof to protect a home from the top down, too. If you suspect you have a leaky roof, a roofing contractor can determine the cause and perform roof repairs, if necessary. To avoid any leaks or other issues from happening in the future, make sure to schedule regular inspections, perform general maintenance and upkeep, and have repairs completed as quickly as possible, since acting quickly could help you save time and money.
Causes and Sources of Leaks
There are a number of reasons why a roof may develop leaks, from both natural and man made causes. No matter the cause, it's imperative to seek the services of a reliable roofing contractor to get your roof back in its best shape so that your home is protected from the elements.
SHINGLES AND FLASHING
Something as small and simple as a broken shingle could be the culprit of a leak. Severe weather, hail and high winds can cause shingles to become loose, crack and break off, leaving your roof exposed. If the nails used to secure shingles aren't properly sealed with a durable coating like roofing cement, it can leave exposed holes which can allow water and moisture to get into the attic. Broken or cracked flashing—the pieces of material installed under shingles, on joints and around chimneys—can also cause leaks. Both damaged flashing and missing shingles can be easily identified, usually as different, discolored patches or exposed areas on a roof. You may even find pieces of them in your yard after a bad storm.
If you've had previous roof repairs done but if a leak keeps coming back, you've either got a problem with the workmanship of the roofing contractor who did the work or the materials they used (or both). Improperly installing elements such as skylights and chimneys can also cause roof leaks - this can happen from incorrectly measuring and fitting fixtures and/or insulation that's started to decay or disintegrate. Leaks from this kind of problem are generally easy to spot. Just look for wet spots or small streams of water coming out of skylights or running down walls/chimneys when it rains.
PLUMBING AND PIPE PROBLEMS
Pipes run throughout the home including the roof, which means there are a number of areas that are common leak sources related to your home's plumbing and ventilation system. These include plumbing vent pipes, ventilation fan ducts, attic vents and exhaust pipes/flues (for appliances). Anytime there are worn or cracked rubber boots and/or broken flashing around the vent pipes that come out of the roof, it's likely you're in need of repairs.
CONDENSATION AND MOISTURE
Since the attic is usually the least insulated—and the highest elevated—place in your home, it is more prone to mold and mildew growth from excessive moisture that can accumulate when condensation becomes trapped. The cause of the moisture is from wet weather such as rain, sleet, and hail, but also ice dams melting and the fluctuation in temperatures when seasons change. You'll most likely notice a smell—before you see the mold—as a sign of a leak in your roof.
What Can Happen if You Don't Get Roof Repairs
Whether you’re dealing with issues associated with weather and moisture or improperly installed parts, it’s essential to perform any necessary roof leak repairs as soon as possible – not only to fix the problem, but also to prevent any future damage. For example, if you have a moisture issue causing a leak that goes untreated, it could result in mold and mildew growth, which could not only destroy the wood in the attic, but also negatively affect your health.
Every roof experiences some level of wear and tear from all types of weather (sun, rain, hail, extreme heat, wind, etc.). As a home's first line of defense from these elements, it's important to make sure you have a durable, weatherproof roof that's properly sealed and maintained in order to increase the life cycle of the roof and decrease the risk of damage to it.
The Importance of Roof Repairs
If you have a roof leak, repair it as soon as possible to avoid further damage and to help protect your home from bigger problems such as flooding. Contact a roofing contractor to have a thorough assessment of the roof completed and get advice on what steps you need to take to repair the damage. It’s best to work with a roofing contractor because their expertise is in roofing and they will be able to pinpoint and address your specific needs. Depending on the cause of the damage, your home insurance company may cover the costs of the roof repair, so make sure to contact your insurance company, too.
Lastly, if you should have a roof that leaks into the structure and need to begin the mitigation process, call SERVPRO of North Prince William County. Our team of professionals specialize in removal and mitigation of storm damaged material and have the experience of quickly drying out affected areas from storm and weather damage before it is made worse. We at SERVPRO of North Prince William County partner with all major insurance companies and vendors to make the transition back to “Like it never even happened,” as quickly as possible.
Call us today and let us show you. SERVPRO of North Prince William County (703)368-4399.
What Makes Mold Damage Threatening for North Prince William County Homes?
Understanding the Impact of Mold Damage Shows How SERVPRO Helps North Prince William County Properties.
Mold is a common threat to homes especially during the warmer months, where rainfall and severe weather become a concern for the area. Under the appropriate conditions, microbial colonies can develop in as little as 48 to 72 hours, using organic matter and building materials as hosting materials and food sources for the growing organism. There are many catalysts responsible for moist environments in the house that lead to mold remediation needs, including:
- Water damage
- Elevated humidity
- Damp confined spaces
Types of Residential Mold
Homeowners may have an easier time choosing professional mold remediation and effective cleanup when they understand what they are dealing with on their property. There are hundreds or more types of internal mold threats a home might experience. Aspergillus, for example, is a type of mold often found in an air conditioning system. Cladosporium is the mold typically found in moist, dark spaces or on drywall behind toilets. Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is another possible development for North Prince William County residences that requires swift mold removal.
Is Mold Dangerous?
Certain molds can produce byproducts that infiltrate the environment, but not all of them. A driving force for professional mold remediation should be the impact of these active organisms on installed building materials, contents, and other surfaces.
How Can SERVPRO Remediate Active Colonies?
Choosing the appropriate mold remediation strategy is contingent on the type of organism in the house, the affected areas, and the severity of the infestation. A thorough mold inspection allows our mold remediation team to create a custom recovery plan for the property. We begin with efforts like surface cleaning, but often more aggressive and abrasive cleaning tactics will be needed.
Are There Lingering Concerns After Mold Removal?
Often there are some lingering effects and concerns with treatment. While much of the mold remediation process can be handled rapidly through direct action by our SERVPRO IICRC certified technicians, there are other needs your home might have that can draw out the recovery process until they are resolved. Some include:
- Mold Malodors – Volatile organic compounds generate harsh malodors throughout the property, where mold becomes a concern. We have effective deodorization equipment available to neutralize these smells and promote a comfortable living condition for the residents.
- Mold Damage Repairs – There are times when your home may require some degree of damage repair after the treatment and removal of active colonies. Our team can help you quickly identify these areas to overcome this final step.
- Post-Damage Surface Treatment – We can treat nearby surfaces otherwise unaffected by spreading mold using mold inhibitors and antimicrobial products. The objective is to make these surfaces uninhabitable if moisture becomes a concern again in the immediate future.
Understanding how microbes impact a home or business can help property management seek out experienced mold remediation help when these problems arise. Allowing mold to go unchallenged lets the colonies spread, worsening the situation. Our SERVPRO of North Prince William County team can help 24/7 when you call (703) 368-4399.
Are Flood Restoration and Repair Services in North Prince William County Expensive?
SERVPRO Works Hard to Mitigate Loss and Reduce Expense for North Prince William County Residents in Need of Flood Restoration
the damage caused by flooding in residential properties can snowball without correct and timely intervention. Often, the trauma of a flood scenario can make it difficult to make the right decisions and prioritize effectively. Our crew chiefs have years of experience working in these scenarios and can help you with:
- Flood restoration
- Basement flooding cleanup
- Cleaning up after sewer backup
An efficient flood restoration and repair operation in your home relies on excellent task management. We operate with an agile team that can quickly alleviate your concerns and put in place the necessary steps to reduce losses in your home significantly.
- Setting up a staging area for equipment can greatly reduce time and foot traffic in a flooded property.
- Organizing contents restoration and storage are possible with our climate-controlled warehouses.
- We can help record, inventory, and track every step of restoration to make your insurance claim easier.
- The CCIS Contents Claim Inventory System can catalog and document belongings.
In emergency, contact SERVPRO of North Prince William County for flood restoration and repair at (703)368-4399.
Understanding the Components of Water Removal
Mitigation Starts with Water Removal
Standing water can quickly threaten your household with flooding, broken pipes, appliance failures, and other major water damage events. More than this, several types of water removal services might be necessary to avoid costlier structural damage.
Getting Emergency Services Started Early
Water mitigation hinges on early efforts like water removal for homes. Because there are multiple ways to reach this goal, we first prioritize the pressing issues like standing water and saturated building materials. The prompt arrival of our SERVPRO professionals ensures no delay in getting these mitigative steps started fast.
What Tools Influence Water Removal Services?
With how important the water removal objective is to the restoration process, it is no surprise that many of the tools and equipment in our inventory are designed for this purpose. We utilize several strategies and approaches to minimize moisture migration through the structure, however possible. Some of the common implements and instruments include:
- Extractors: Water removal services begin with eliminating surface water by using pumps and vacuums.
- Air Movers: High-velocity blowers promote evaporation of wet materials, often preserving these elements in the process.
- Special Drying Tools: Some of our equipment is exclusively designed for specific materials that get wet, such as drying mats pulling moisture from plank flooring.
- Dehumidifiers: These tools help remove water in the air, which can increase with evaporative drying tools like air movers.
- Positive Pressure Systems: These units (injecti-dry) infuse dry air into the wall systems to promote evaporation of moist cavities.
Water removal services combine several efforts of our professionals to eliminate as much water and harmful moisture from the property as possible throughout the mitigation and restoration processes. Our SERVPRO of North Prince William County team arrives with the tools listed here to get emergency services started as soon as possible and protect your property from avoidable harm. Call now at (703)368-4399.
Water Removal Is the 1st Step in Drying Out Your Raleigh Business
With Our Equipment, Water Removal Is Fast & Easy.
SERVPRO works with area business owners after disasters happen. These situations can start with leaks, backed-up drains, or a broken sprinkler system. The complete restoration of a business requires water removal first.
To protect your North Prince William County business, water removal professionals must start the process as soon as possible. Otherwise, the damage caused by water spreading continues to worsen. We use the most efficient and powerful equipment possible to do our tasks.
Because we continue the water extraction process until we get the interior of your business dry again, our pump trucks’ large hoses are not the only things we use. Our customers also see different portable water extraction units, such as:
- Hand-held devices, portable wet vacs
- Weighted devices, riding (Rovers) machines
- A floor-mat system.
One type of device is so small it can fit into places that can hold large amounts of water that was forced into small spaces. Once in, this bonded water is no longer under the pressure that forced it into whichever area it now occupies. The small tubes on these injecti-dry system does the job.
Using weighted devices to pull clean water out of your carpeting and the underlying padding can reduce restoration costs by saving the carpet and reducing what needs replacing. These work by forcing the water out and into the device. We might use a small-sized device called the Claw or riding units for larger areas and hallways.
Wood floors are beautiful, but they also require a substantial investment. To rescue these from destruction, we use our Injecti-Dry system. It removes moisture from underneath the floorboards and can also force warm, dry air into enclosed spaces, including the interior cavities of walls or underneath cabinets and stairwells.
We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster. Call SERVPRO of North Prince William County at (703)368-4399 for the professional water removal services you need.
Why Standing Water Should Be Avoided
After flooding occurs, the surface water left behind can affect your North Prince William County home and or office. Standing water can absorb into the materials and ultimately allows for the deterioration of exposed structural elements. The pooling of the water can also present potential health effects or hazards for those exposed and remaining in the area. SERVPRO North Prince William County offers the quickest possible extraction, as well as drying solutions for your North Prince William County property after flooding. We also have ways to reduce the standing water concerns by offering extremely efficient flood removal for North Prince William homes. To accomplish this, we call upon a wide array of extraction and moisture removal tools in our well stocked inventory.
So, What Tools Are Best for Drying Up Flood Damage?
Every flooding situation is different from the last, there are different tools and machines that can remove water or dry the area better than others. Identifying the most efficient solution is always the priority, once the sooner standing water gets addressed, the less damaging the flood becomes. Some of the standard water removal and drying tools include:
- Air Movers
- Floor Mat Systems
- Positive Pressure Systems
- And much more!
After a flood, you want your home to look like it did before the disaster as soon as possible. Our SERVPRO of North Prince William County team can help anytime you need us. Let us take the hassle of dealing with a disaster off your shoulders, call us today at 703-368-4399
Prepping For The Storm Ahead
With Winter gone and Spring/Summer weather here again, the storms can be as unexpected as the damage they cause. However, with the right preparation, most of the storm damage can be minimized or prevented entirely, saving you time and money. Below we have listed some tips to help prevent damages upcoming storms may cause.
Clean Out Your Gutters-
When it rains, and your gutters are clogged, it could cause the overflow to run down into your home. Often, this water can go undetected and sit. Over time, mold can grow in these areas that remain wet. Having clean and sturdy gutters before the rain comes can minimize the damage a storm may cause.
Maintain Landscaping and Unclog Drainage-
Depending on the land your home is built, water runoff can accumulate around your foundation, and flood your homes. Fortunately, there are solutions with the right landscaping. Better pathways can be created for water runoff, guiding the water away from your home. If you have noticed puddles or water accumulation near your home when it rains, contact a professional to help, before a storm comes. That can make the difference in whether your home is damaged or not.
Trim or Remove Damaged or Dead Trees-
Storm damage often occurs when a tree or limbs break off and fall onto a home. Snow and rain can weigh down trees, while wind can make them bend. If this happens to trees and limbs that are dead or damaged, there’s a high chance that they will break. Before the storm season comes, be sure to trim your trees, and remove all dead limbs.
Common Sources of Foul Odors in a Home
- Mold is one of the most common causes of foul odors in the home. Signs of mold include black, green, or bronze stains on walls, ceilings and cabinets. The telltale sign of mold is the distinctive musty smell. If you do not see the mold visibly it may be required for you to have an IH (Industrial Hygienist) come out to take samples for mold testing.
Tip: The first step in addressing a mold issue is to identify and resolve any moisture issues. Leaky pipes must be repaired. Exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen must be functional and adequate to remove excessive moisture. A home dehumidifier may need to be installed to reduce overall air moisture, and the crawl space may need to be encapsulated with a moisture barrier. A sump pump and a dehumidifier can eliminate moisture in the basement and crawl space.
- Natural gas may be causing a foul odor in the home. The rotten-egg smell is added as a safety precaution since natural gas is odorless.
Tip: If the smell of gas is detected, inspect the stove and any pilot lights for leaks. Open doors and windows to allow fresh air into the home, and call the utility company or a professional for assistance. Take all necessary safety precautions, including evacuating the house.
- Sewer Odors if there is a sulfuric or rotten-egg smell in the home, the source may be one or more unused sinks in the guest bathroom. Drains have a u-shaped joint just below the drain hole. The curved pipe captures water which acts as a seal to prevent noxious odors from the sewer or septic tank from seeping into the home. If the water is not replenished by occasional usage, evaporation will eventually eliminate the barrier and allow the offensive odors to escape into the house.
Tip: Recharge the water in the u-shaped joint on a weekly basis. The water will also serve to flush any organic matter through the system, reducing odors in the bathroom.
- Pet odors can be a real nuisance. “Accidents” on the floor or furniture, wet fur, glandular emissions, pet bedding, and whatever is on their paws from the yard or pasture are sources of pet odors.
Tip: Regular baths and grooming will take care of pet odors at the source: the pet. Carpets, area rugs, flooring, furniture, and pet bedding need to be cleaned several times a year to reduce odors.
Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe is obvious upon entering a home. The smell is everywhere. Tobacco smoke coats flat surfaces and penetrates porous materials such as upholstery, curtains, clothing, and carpet. The lingering odor is challenging to remove. The nicotine and other chemicals are also known as third-hand smoke.
Tip: Removal of cigarette smoke requires a whole-house approach. All surfaces must be washed with a safe, effective cleaning product. Rubber gloves, protective eyewear, a mask, long sleeves, and long pants are necessary to protect against nicotine poisoning. Walls and ceilings may need to be sealed with a high-quality stain- and odor-blocking primer before applying paint.
Household garbage can produce strong, disgusting smells that contaminate the home.
Tip: Solutions include using a kitchen trash can with a lid. Use a plastic bag in the can to keep the inside of the trash can clean. Empty the trash regularly. Avoid putting scraps and grease in the garbage. Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the can to absorb odors. Wash the can with an all-purpose cleaner or a bleach solution to remove grime and kill bacteria.
Something as small as a decaying tiny mouse can create a strong, pungent odor that can make a home uninhabitable. A dead animal in the crawl space, in the attic, or between walls can be difficult to find and remove.
Tip: Professional services may be needed to locate the issue, clean it up, sanitize the area, and deodorize the home.
SERVPRO of North Prince William County specializes in odor control in the home. If the situation has gotten out of hand, our IICRC Certified Technicians have the equipment, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA - approved products that make a smelly home clean, fresh-smelling, and healthy.
Contact us by at 703-368-4399 or email Office@SERVPRO10476.com to learn more about our services for the North Prince William County area.
Water Mitigation vs. Water Damage Restoration
When asking yourself if you need water mitigation or water restoration services, you've likely had water damage and are looking for a water damage cleanup company for your business or residential home in North Prince William County, VA. SERVPRO of North Prince William County specialize in both mitigation and restoration. Our team is ready and willing to assist you through the water cleanup process.
What Is Water Mitigation?
When you have any kind of water damage, you almost immediately think of keeping it from getting worse. That is where mitigation comes into play. Take these steps to recovery:
- Cut off the main power supply to reduce the possibility of injury or fire.
- Block additional water from entering the area if safe and practical to do so.
- Prevent as much water as possible from spreading into other areas.
- Remove any easily portable items that can hamper mitigation efforts.
A water damage restoration company can help you take additional steps in the mitigation process. Water easily enters areas that aren’t open to your view. Experts will bring in water extraction equipment to further minimize damage any hidden water may cause. It's also important to keep air circulating to assist with drying. This is usually accomplished by using commercial fans and/or dehumidifiers.
What Is Water Restoration?
Restoration is the process of getting everything back to normal. This usually takes longer than mitigation. At a minimum, it typically involves utilizing more sophisticated methods or equipment to locate and remove hidden water. Technicians with expertise in structural drying and odor control can determine how best to accomplish both of those tasks. This will to assist in reducing the financial impact of the damage. Depending on the scope and severity of the loss, restoration may include major structural repair. The restoration company you choose can manage the project to completion, alleviating you of that responsibility, allowing you to concentrate on serving clients.
SERVPRO of North Prince William County, VA responds no matter when you call. Having a reputable water damage company on call anytime can help to minimize the impact repairing water damage can have on conducting your property.