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Holiday Safety Tips

11/20/2023 (Permalink)

During the fall holidays, there are many things to be excited for: spending time with family and friends, honoring traditions (or starting new ones), and preparing food. Review the following safety tips to help make your holiday a safer one! 

Safe Cooking Practices 

  • Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, not on the counter, to prevent bacteria growth. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw turkey and it's juices away from other foods. 

Child and Pet Safety 

  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area to prevent accidents and burns. Secure cords from appliances to prevent tripping hazards.

Deep Fryer Safety

  • If using a turkey fryer, do so outdoors, away from buildings and flammable materials. Thoroughly dry the turkey before lowering it into the hot oil to prevent splattering.

Travel Safety 

  • If traveling, ensure your vehicle is properly maintained before hitting the road. Check weather and road conditions in advance and drive cautiously. 

Musty Smell After A Storm? | Culpeper & Fauquier Counties

11/15/2023 (Permalink)

For a general understanding of what is considered "mold" and what to be concerned about, read this article taken from the National Institute of Health Sciences. For More information, go to https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/mold/index.cfm

Molds are microscopic organisms that play an important role in the breakdown of plant and animal matter. Outdoors, molds can be found in shady, damp areas, or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoor molds can grow on virtually any surface, as long as moisture, oxygen, and organic material are present. When molds are disturbed, they release tiny cells called spores into the surrounding air.

How do people get exposed to mold?

People are exposed to molds every day and everywhere, at home, at work, at school, both indoors and out. Molds are generally not harmful to healthy humans.

Inhalation is considered the primary way that people are exposed to mold. Mold spores and fragments can become airborne and get into the air we breathe. People may also be exposed to mold through the skin. Workers should be properly protected with safety equipment when remediating, or cleaning up mold after a disaster. In some cases, people may be exposed to mold through their diet.

What are the most common forms of mold?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common indoor molds are:

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Aspergillus
  • Alternaria
  • Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as black mold)

What can I do to get rid of mold in my home?

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), residents can do any of the following to prevent, and or get rid of, mold in their homes:

  • Keep your house clean and dry.
  • Fix water problems, such as roof leaks, wet basements, and leaking pipes or faucets.
  • Make sure your home is well ventilated, and always use ventilation fans in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • If possible, keep humidity in your house below 50 percent, by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
  • Avoid using carpeting in areas of the home that may become wet, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
  • Dry floor mats regularly.

Be Prepared: Winter Storms Impact Your Business & Residential Home | Culpeper & Fauquier Counties

11/15/2023 (Permalink)

Snow on traffic sign. If you have storm damage, give us a call at 540-423-6688.

You see a big winter storm in the forecast. What can you do to make sure you and your home are ready for it? Well, we’ve got a few tips for you. First of all, make a list of anything you need from the store and get there well before the storm is set to hit. Chances are, everyone in town will be doing the same thing, so give yourself plenty of time to make it through the store and get back home. Make sure you have some backup sources of heat such as space heaters. Also, having some flashlights or candles on hand is a great idea in case you lose power. You’ll need to make sure that you have a snow shovel to dig your way out and some rock salt so that you and your family don’t slip once you do. If you have pipes in any part of your house that is unheated or not insulated well, run cold water through them. Even a small trickle of water can help them not to freeze up. If they do freeze, you not only run the risk of not having water, but them bursting and causing water damage in your home that can be devastating. Make sure your windows and doors are sealed well to keep the warm air in and the cold air out! Sometimes, even with all this preparation, things are beyond our control.

Does winter storm damage have you worried about your business? We know how stressful that can be, especially in Northern Virginia! You could have a day that’s fifty degrees and sunny, and the next be stuck in your house because there is so much snow. With so much unpredictability in our weather, one thing you can depend on is that we are always here to help! With our 24 hour emergency services, we are faster to any size disaster. We know how important your business is. We also know you can’t run it effectively if you’re worried about how you’re going to get the water cleaned up from that pipe that froze and burst. So let us worry about that for you! We’ll do whatever you need to work with your schedule, insurance carrier and any other needs you may have. We know getting you back to preloss conditions as quickly as possible is the priority, so all of our managers and technicians are trained to be efficient and effective in their work. Let us take it from here. 

How to Stay Safe During a Restoration Project

11/8/2023 (Permalink)

Restoration projects can be dangerous, so it's important to take steps to stay safe. Here are some tips on how to stay safe during a restoration project:

  • Wear protective gear. This includes gloves, goggles, a hard hat, and steel-toed boots.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for wet floors, exposed wires, and other hazards.
  • Don't work alone. Have someone with you in case of an emergency.
  • Follow the instructions of the restoration professionals. They know what they're doing, and they're there to help you stay safe.

Here are some additional tips for staying safe during a restoration project:

  • Turn off the power. This will help to prevent electrical hazards.
  • Secure the area. This includes boarding up windows and doors, and removing any loose debris.
  • Ventilate the area. This will help to remove moisture and prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Clean and disinfect any affected areas. This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria and other contaminants.

By following these tips, you can help to stay safe during a restoration project and get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.

SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier is a trusted leader in damage restoration. We have over 20 years of experience and a proven track record of success. We're committed to providing our customers with the best possible service, and we'll do everything we can to get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.

If you're having a restoration project done, contact SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties at 540-423-6688. We'll be there quickly to help you stay safe and get your property back to normal.

Don't Be Afraid of Vandalism!!

11/8/2023 (Permalink)

Vandalism is a fact that plagues home and car owners every year during Halloween season.

While timely action can minimize or prevent lasting damage, it is just as true that wrong or delayed action can increase it – sometimes beyond repair.

Following are a few facts about common vandalism occurrences and how they damage your insureds’ homes and property.

Eggs – Egg residue on paint, bricks or siding needs to be removed immediately. The protein in eggs digests and lightens paint. Brick is not only stains by eggs but, because brick is porous in nature, the egg can soak in and turn sour, thus causing odor problems.

Siding is affected in much the same way as painted wood and can be stained or discolored if the egg is not removed immediately.

Soap – Although soap itself is not damaging to paint, brick or fabric, damage often results from improper removal techniques. Scrapping or chipping at dried on soap will often cause damage to surface or pull in fabric.

Dry fire extinguisher residue – Some fire extinguisher residue can be corrosive, but many are just extremely difficult to remove because they are fine powdery residues that adhere to fabrics. Generally, standard vacuums cannot pick up all of the matter.

SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties Professionals are uniquely equipped to handle all of these vandalism situations. From pressure washing of egg and soap residue to thermal fogging to neutralize odors, SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier is ready with the most up-to-date equipment and products.

Your SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties technician is trained to understand the effects of each substance and how to minimize or eliminate the damage.

This Halloween do not be afraid of what vandals might do to your insureds’ property – the SERVPRO® Professional is on-call 24-hours a day.

Emergency Tips for Vandalism Damage- The following emergency tips can help minimize the effects of vandalism damage and make the repair more successful.

Do:

  • Hose or wash egg damage from building exterior as soon as possible.
  • Blot freshly spilled food from carpets and fabrics with a dampened cloth or sponge (don’t over wet).
  • Scrape and blot (don’t rub; it may cause damage to fibers).
  • Vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.
  • Save containers which reveal the ingredients of spilled inks, cosmetics and paint.

DON’T:

  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
  • Operate damaged lamps or appliances.
  • Discard wood chips, broken pieces from furniture, porcelain or other art objects.

As professional cleaning and restoration expert, SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier business is to save the insured’s property and possessions, while saving the insurance company time and money. Making your insureds aware of the steps to take when disasters occur can result in thousands of dollars saved, as well as creating satisfied customers for you.

What is Biohazard Cleanup and How We Can Help?

11/7/2023 (Permalink)

Biohazard Cleaning SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties (540)423-6688

Exposure to any biological material and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. If such substances are not removed, they can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

If you're not completely sure if your cleanup needs are considered a biohazard cleanup or not, continue reading for specific types, scenarios, and more information around this service.

Do You Need Biohazard Cleanup Services?

The decontamination of a home or business due to trauma, medical incidents, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding, or other biohazards can both be dangerous and emotional. Specialized training and experience is key when choosing a cleanup company to resolve these circumstances.

SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier provides cleanup solutions and recovery services for many biohazard situations including: 

  • Sewage backups
  • Crime scene cleanup
  • Suicide/death accidents
  • Homicide cleanups
  • Blood cleanup
  • Accident cleanup
  • Hoarding scenes
  • Animal waste/remains
  • Chemical spills
  • Tear gas cleanup
  • Meth lab cleanup

Common Biohazard Scenarios

There are three common biohazard scenarios. These are sewage backups, bloodborne pathogens, and illegal drug manufacturing labs/meth labs.

Sewage Backups- Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits - these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. We remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly clean, disinfected, and deodorized.

Bloodborne Pathogens- We remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from an accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO franchise professionals clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.

Illegal Drug Manufacturing Labs/Meth Labs- SERVPRO realizes many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as "meth" are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. We follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Do Not Try at Home

If you believe your home or business is in need of biohazard cleaning, don't try to clean it up on your own. Bleach is only going to go so far, especially if you're dealing with sewage backups, blood, animal waste, and other bodily fluids, especially chemical spills. DIY cleaning solutions should not even be thought of when it comes to scenarios like these. You'll be putting yourself as well as anyone else that uses or lives in the structure at risk for health problems.

When it comes to a crime scene cleanup, this is a specific scenario that is handled by law enforcement and a professional cleaning company like SERVPRO. There are many rules and state regulations that need to be followed when it comes to a cleanup like this, so don't try to just apply bleach and think it's ready to go.

When it comes to sewage backups, the flooding from this creates a contaminated area full of hazardous materials, human waste, and possible chemicals that can be life threatening if touched or if you get too close. Leave it to the professionals.

Biohazard & Sewage Emergency Tips

After any biohazard or sewage contamination in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences.
  • Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.

What to do AFTER a contamination:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is dangerous to your health.
  • Treat ALL bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
  • Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.

What NOT to do after a contamination:

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

SERVPRO Provides 24-Hour Emergency Service

We are available 24 hours a day with our highly trained technicians standing by. We have qualified trained professionals who are ready to respond to these incidents. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.

We don't only offer biohazard cleanup services, but also cleaning services such as air ducts & HVAC, carpet & upholstery, ceiling/floors/walls, drapes & blinds, odor removal, sewage & toilet overflow, vandalism & graffiti, building services, and all kinds of commercial cleaning services.

Fall Water Damage Prevention Tips

11/7/2023 (Permalink)

As the vibrant hues of fall begin to grace our landscapes, it's also the time to prepare our homes for the challenges that the fall season can bring. One of the most pressing concerns during this transitional period is the potential for water damage. The combination of falling leaves, heavy rains, and fluctuating temperatures can create the perfect conditions for water infiltration into your home.

To help navigate this season with confidence, we've compiled a comprehensive list of water damage prevention tips. From safeguarding your roof to fortifying your basement, these strategies will empower you to protect your home and enjoy the beauty of autumn without worrying about its potential pitfalls.

Leaves and Debris

Falling leaves can accumulate into your gutters and downspouts, causing blockages. When heavy rain comes, water can overflow and seep into your home's foundation or walls. So, before those leaves really start to fall, it's important to make sure that your gutters are cleaned out from any debris. Once the leaves do start to come down like a bad leafy storm, it's crucial to continue to check the gutters throughout the fall season.

Heavy Rainfall

Fall often brings an increase in rainfall, and it's of course known as hurricane season, which can lead to flooding - especially if your home is in a low-lying area or lacks proper drainage. If you've lived in an area where you see a lot of rainfall during this season for a while now, you probably know when it's time to prepare your home for hurricanes and bad rain storms.

These preparations include boarding windows if the storm coming is a bad one, checking all of your window and door seals so water cannot come through, and if there is a chance for flooding, prepare the outside of your home with sandbags to help deter the water away from the foundation of your home.

Freezing and Thawing

Living on the east coast, we all know too well about the fluctuating temperatures in the fall. Water can seep into cracks and crevices and freeze and expand, causing structural damage. It's important to pay attention to the weather changes so this doesn't affect your home or business.

Roof Damage

Strong winds and storms in the fall can damage shingles or other roofing materials, creating vulnerabilities for water to enter your home. If you suspect any kind of roof damage after a storm, contact a professional restoration company immediately so they can check for water damage and any mold growth that may have started.

Mold Growth

Speaking of mold, if water damage is not restored in a timely fashion, there's a huge risk of mold that can develop in your home. Not only is this unhealthy for the structure of your house, but for those living inside of it. If you suspect any mold or have water damage, please call SERVPRO or a restoration specialist to assist. They'll be able to detect moisture and mitigate any existing water as well as locate and remediate mold.

Properly Sealed Windows and Doors

As mentioned before, it's important that you properly seal the windows and doors of your house or business. This ensures that water cannot sneak into the building, helping prevent water damage. If they are not properly sealed, water can get in and damage floors, walls, ceilings, appliances, and more.

Types of Water Damage

We use a rating system to decipher whether the water that is in your house is clean or contaminated. How we do this is by breaking it down by clean water, gray water, or black water. Now, this rating system has nothing to do with the actual color of the water, this just gives us an idea of the steps we need to take during the restoration process.

So, clean water is basically just from a broken appliance, faulty sprinklers, burst pipe, or rain water. Although this type of water damage isn't dangerous, if it's not treated correctly, mold could develop from excess water - causing it to become a danger.

Gray water damage is considered unsanitary due to the source or the amount of time it has been stagnant. This standing water is usually caused by a broken toilet, washing machine, or anything that could leak hazardous material.

Black water damage is the most hazardous. It comes from natural disasters or sewage problems. This water is considered to be very contaminated, so do not touch or go near it. A professional will come out and mitigate this water for you.

Why Prepare Your Home?

Preparing your home for water damage is a of paramount importance, as the consequences of water infiltration can be both financially burdensome and emotionally taxing. Water damage has the potential to wreak havoc on your property, leading to structural deterioration, mold growth, and the loss of valuable possessions.

The disruption and upheaval caused by water-related emergencies can be emotionally distressing and highly inconvenient. By taking proactive steps to safeguard your home against water damage, you not only protect your investment but also provide peace of mind, ensuring that your home remains a safe and comfortable haven for you and your family. Prevention is not only cost-effective, but also a wise and responsible approach to maintaining the integrity and value of your property.

Our Water Damage Restoration Process

Every water damage event is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. Check out our process by reading the list below:

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact - The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources.
  • Step 2: Inspection and Water Damage Assessment - We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.
  • Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction - The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mildew.
  • Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification - We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. our professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.
  • Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing - We clean all the restorable items and structures damaged by the water. We are adept at cleaning contents using a number of techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.
  • Step 6: Restoration - Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Why Is Professional Water Removal Reliable?

8/21/2023 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, one of the worst nightmares is water damage. Whether it's a burst pipe, flooded basement, or natural disaster, water can quickly destroy your property and create costly repairs. Quick action can save your home from further damage, which is where professional water removal equipment comes in. With the right equipment and expertise, you can quickly dry up your home and prevent severe water damage. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier is a trusted and experienced water damage restoration company. In this article, they explain how professional water removal equipment can save your home and why it's important to work with a company like SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties. 

What is water removal?

Water removal is the process of removing standing water from a home or property. The process can involve using pumps, vacuums, and other specialized equipment to extract water from floors, carpets, walls, and other surfaces. Water removal aims to quickly and effectively remove as much water as possible to prevent further damage and prepare the space for drying and restoration.

Why is professional water removal equipment important?

Without the proper equipment and training, it's easy to miss hidden pockets of water or damaged delicate surfaces. A professional water removal company like SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier has the experience, training, and specialized equipment for quick and effective water removal in Culpeper & Fauquier counties which reduces the risk of further water damage.

Some of the equipment that SERVPRO Culpeper & Fauquier may use during water removal include:

  1. Pumps: High-powered pumps can quickly extract large amounts of water from floors and other surfaces, making them essential for effective water removal.
  2. Vacuums: Wet/dry vacuums can be used to remove water from carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces, making them an important tool for more detailed water removal.
  3. Air movers: These powerful fans can circulate air and dry out damp surfaces, helping prevent mold and mildew growth.
  4. Dehumidifiers: These machines can remove excess moisture from the air, helping to speed up the drying process and prevent further damage.
  5. Moisture meters: These devices measure the moisture levels in different areas of your home, helping to ensure that all areas have been properly dried and prepared for restoration.

With the right equipment and expertise, water damage can be effectively managed. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties is one of the #1 water damage restoration companies in Culpeper & Fauquier area. They have highly-trained water damage restoration technicians who are IICRC-certified. For speedy water removal in your area call 540-423-6688. 

Culpeper & Fauquier Counties Water Damage

7/21/2023 (Permalink)

Water damage can lead to devastating consequences, from structural issues in your home to potential health hazards. For residents in Culpeper & Fauquier, it's essential to understand the common causes of water damage in order to prevent these issues from arising. Here are some of the most common sources of water damage in Culpeper/Fauquier properties:

1. Plumbing Issues:

Often hidden behind the walls, plumbing problems are one of the most common causes of water damage. Whether it's a slow leak from a loose fitting or a burst pipe, water can accumulate over time and cause serious harm to your property. Regular inspections and maintenance of your plumbing system can prevent these issues.

2. Faulty Appliances:

Home appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters can cause significant water damage when they fail. These appliances have a finite lifespan, and as they age, their pipes can rust and hoses can weaken, leading to leaks or floods.

3. Roof and Window Leaks:

Virginia winters can take a toll on Culpeper & Fauquier roofs, leading to leaks and water damage. Windows, too, if not well-sealed, can let in rain and melting snow, causing damage over time. It's vital to regularly check these areas and address any necessary repairs promptly.

4. Basement Seepage:

Culpeper/Fauquier high water table and frequent rainstorms can cause water to seep into basements. This problem can be further exacerbated by cracks in the foundation. Waterproofing your basement and repairing any cracks can help prevent this form of water damage.

5. Natural Disasters:

Culpeper & Fauquier is susceptible to natural disasters like hurricanes, heavy rains, and snowstorms, all of which can lead to severe water damage. While these events are often unavoidable, having a plan in place and responding quickly can mitigate the damage.

6. HVAC System Issues:

HVAC units, especially when not regularly serviced, can cause moisture buildup and subsequent water damage. A malfunctioning AC unit can cause condensation to accumulate and overflow the drip pan, damaging surrounding areas.

Recognizing and mitigating these common causes of water damage can help keep your Culpeper/Fauquier property safe and in good repair. However, should you experience water damage, it's crucial to act quickly. A professional water damage restoration service like SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier can ensure the water damage is dealt with effectively and efficiently, preventing further damage and potential mold growth.

Remember, preventative maintenance is your best line of defense against water damage. Stay vigilant, perform regular inspections, and when in doubt, call the professionals. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier is available 24/7 call us today at 540-423-6688.

Culpeper & Fauquier Proudly Wear PPE

7/21/2023 (Permalink)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, helmets, googles, or any other garment or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from an injury or infection. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include and are not limited to physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazard and airborne particulate matter. 

Most common types of PPE:

  1. Latex, vinyl, or nitrile gloves
  2. Goggles
  3. CPR mouth barriers
  4. Aprons
  5. Full protective suits
  6. Respirators
  7. Waterproof boots

PPE Rules to Remember:

  1. ALWAYS check PPE for defects or tears before using.
  2. If PPE is torn or defective, replace it for a new one immediately.
  3. Remove PPE BEFORE leaving a contaminated area.
  4. Do not reuse disposable equipment!