Recent Posts

SERVPRO Fire Pet Safety Tips

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich we not only care about the safety of our customers, but as well for their loving pets!

Below are some helpful tips for your furry friends to help with their safety against fires:

  1. Don’t leave an open flame unattended.  Pets are naturally curious so when it comes to open flames like a stove or candles, it’s a sure way for potential disasters.
  1. Secure stove knobs. Be sure to use covers whenever you leave home.
  1. Avoid candles. If you have pets (especially cats), a lit candle can be a fiery temptation.
  1. Secure your fireplace. Sparks can fly out and either harm your beloved pet or if they have a pet bed nearby it, it can catch fire.

If you've recently had fire or smoke damage, call SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich today!

Impact of Water Damage On The Property Value

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever confused the term "water damage" with life-threatening water associated natural catastrophes like flooding or hurricanes etc.? Well, this is very likely to happen, but the term water damage is not used in this context rather it is a term that describes multiple damages caused by water leakage on your property thus making it decrepit in many ways.

It is a very slow and profound kind of deterioration as water travels along parallel surfaces thus eliciting its effect bit by bit. The destruction takes place in places that you've never noticed before, usually occurring deep within the walls, floors and ceilings. Destruction due to water mainly happens due to faulty plumbing possibly due to corroded and dripping pipes and toilets in addition to this, it is visible and prominent in places like bathrooms, kitchen and even refrigerators thus opening doors for multiple issues like fractured and swollen walls, growth of molds, nasty smell, bumping and inflated paint etc.

Water damage has for sure negative impacts on the resale of the property and realtors or even property owners often face difficulties in making a sale deal for an already run-down property. One might think that what relation does water have with the property's value? This query is reasoned by stating fact that sellers generally highlight the pros and cons of the property when it is being sold having no clue about the destabilized foundations of the property chiefly done by the excessive water leakage until the new owner conducts the inspection and finds out about the declining state of the building.

Following are some ways through which water damage succeeds in lowering your house value:

Deflation in the price:

Water damage lowers your property's capital value as the price estimated for the restoration of the house is more as compared to its actual value thus whether you purchase a dilapidated property which is completely void from inside or you buy it and then spend large amounts of money on its restoration, Whichever the way is, you surely will be losing quite an amount of money.

Nil Electrical System:

Apart from making the property tattered, water damage disrupts the electrical layout of the building and a damaged electrical system is not only a threat to an individual's life but it further lowers the market value of the site.

Higher Chances of Re-occurrence:

A place that has been under the spell of water damage, might fall in the same pit again. This also makes buyers cautious once they are familiar with the problematic situation and ultimately your expectations of asking price are usually not met.

Water damage is more destructive than one can imagine and is brought into notice when the situation has aggravated tremendously. The control of water damage is a very expensive process as numerous problems need to be fixed for instance mold remediation, repairing of foundational and structural damages hence a lot of money is required for restoring a water damaged tumbled down mess to uplift its value.  

Ways To Prevent Flood Damage In Your Home

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

No homeowner wants to watch their belongings washed away in one single day. This is why many of them take preventative measures to protect their home from flooding. As a homeowner, you should take these precautions as well.

In the long run, it will protect your property from being prone to water damage and flooding. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent flood damage in your home.

#1. Landscaping

Many people underestimate the power of a landscaping job well done. This is perhaps the best solution for keeping your home safe from flood damage. Keep your landscaping groomed by always keeping your gutters and splash pads clean.

This will ensure that no debris is blocking the flow of water going away from your home. Apart from that, you can utilize a rain barrel to collect the rainwater runoff.

It will protect the rainwater from pooling too much and you can use it for watering plants in your yard and garden.

#2. Monitor The Foundation Of Your Home

This is the most basic maintenance you need to do for your home. Foundations of homes can develop cracks over time. These cracks can let water seep in and this can widen the cracks further.

If the cracks get too wide then your house will be damaged by flooding. So, to protect your home from this you need to monitor your foundation and fill up any cracks with mortar or masonry caulk if they appear.

However, if your foundation continues to have cracks with time then you will need to call a professional to fix this issue as this is the biggest reason for flood damage.

#3. Seal Open Areas Of Your Home

Even if you monitor the foundation and fill the cracks, you still need to seal other areas in your home. These include walls, windows, and doorways.

Give them an extra coat of protection by applying a sealant. This will prevent rainwater from coming into your home. It is the biggest protector of homes from harsh weather conditions.

#4. Install Drain Plugs

This is the most overlooked measure but it is also just as important as any other. That is because your home can be prone to flood damage because of your sewage. If it backs up then it can get clogged which will eventually lead to flood damage.

This is why you should install drain plugs inside the floor drains in your basement. Doing so will ensure that your home doesn't get flooded through the toilet or sinks. Installing drain plugs is an integral component of keeping your home safe from flood damage.

These are the top four ways you can utilize to protect your home from extensive flood damage. Taking these preventative measures early on will keep you from having an extensive problem in the future.

If there is any damage in your home and you need restoration then call our experts at SERVPRO. We will be happy to assist you and make sure your home is safe from all sorts of damage. Get in touch with us now.

What To Do And What Not To Do When Dealing With Fire Damage

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can completely change our lives. A fire in your home or place of business is one of them. It can cause extensive damage that can take a while to recover from.

However, you need to start the fire restoration process as soon as possible so you can resume life. When it comes to fire damage and restoration here are some of the things you should do and some you should avoid.

What To Do When Dealing With Fire Damage

It is important to always have a plan when it comes to such damage. Your plan will allow you to take the necessary steps to deal with fire damage and restore everything as fast as possible. Here is everything you need to do:

  • Never enter the property until a professional has told you it’s safe
  • Take pictures so you can have evidence of the damage
  • Call your insurance agent
  • Call your local restoration company such as SERVPRO
  • Limit your movement inside the area of fire
  • If the weather is fine then open all the windows for proper ventilation
  • Throw away drinks and foods that have been left after the fire

All of this will protect you from further damage and help you restore your property as soon as possible. The best thing you can do is call a professional for restoration so they can take care of everything.

What Not To Do When Dealing With Fire Damage

It is important to know what not to do as well so that you don’t end up causing further damage. Here is a list of things you shouldn’t do when dealing with fire damage on your property:

  • Don’t start cleaning everything unless your insurer has assessed everything first
  • Don’t use carpets or other furniture until they have been professionally cleaned after a fire
  • Don’t eat or drink anything that has been exposed to the fire
  • Don’t turn on water, gas, or electricity till everything has been professionally assessed
  • Don’t turn on any electronics until it has been professionally assessed

You need to give time to the professionals to handle all these aspects. This is because the residue that stays after a fire can cause a variety of health problems if you start doing everything too soon.

So, till the professional sort everything out and restore the damage this is what you should and shouldn’t do. Just make sure that you are not using the property at all until it has been assessed by an insurer and a fire restoration professional.

If you want to minimize the risk of fire on your property then you should always take preventative measures. However, if you still end up having a fire on your property then this was your complete guide to what you should and shouldn't do.

Follow these steps and you will be good to go. If you want a professional fire damage restoration company then no one does it better than SERVPRO. Feel free to get in touch with us now.

Ways to Diagnose Water Damage in a Property

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage is a collective term that is coined to refer multiple impairments that have occurred due to persistent water attacks on a system thus destroying the material through various destructive processes, for instance, decaying of wood, corrosion of steel, mold or bacterial growth and so forth. Thus water damage can be problematic if not diagnosed immediately in its early destructive stages but property owners usually tend to neglect the issue as they reckon it as a consequence of either defective plumbing or may be due to structural defects.

Water damage that we notice is nothing as compared to the internal damage that it has caused the foundations of your property since most water damage begins deep in the walls leading to structural loss hence this can only be repaired by the aid of a trained professional who will not only analyze the issue but will also repair it.

So, here is how we can diagnose if the property has been damaged by water or not:

Dark or Wet Water Blotches:

The first and foremost sign that you should be looking while detecting the water damage is the wet stains of water that are usually found on the walls or ceilings. These yellowish water circlets are very easy to identify as they are quite obvious.

Inflated Drywalls:

At times the dry walls of the house, building or any other property tend to absorb moisture that is present within the walls, due to which they get swollen or simply puff out, therefore, it is imperative to check every wall to inspect for the inflated walls. These inflated walls are another sign indicating severe water damage.

Crumbling Wooden Items:

The most vulnerable material to water damage is wood as the wood fibers tend to swell and shrink. They shrink when discharge water and swell when absorb it. Swollen wood is more liable to crack and crumble down if not fixed instantly, so if you are suddenly observing your wooden furniture or any other wood-based item fractured and swollen thus you need to get it fixed promptly before this water leakage is successful in dilapidating it.

Tattered Walls:

Tattered or run-down walls are another clue for water damage. Excessive moisture within the walls makes the paint clammy and damp thus slowly and gradually, the paint starts peeling off or in some areas, it bubbles out. So if you notice patched walls or discolored and bumping paint do not hesitate in calling water damage control department.

Mold and Bacterial Growth:

One major signal that screams "water damage" is the growth of molds, bacteria and other minute viable organisms on your property. Apart from damaging your stuff, they are also a threat to your life since they may pose some fatal health issues. Mold and bacterial growth simply tell you that the water damage is severe and needs to be examined properly.

Some numerous signs and indications may signal for water damage, some can be easily identified like the dampness of the walls, fractured ceilings while some require a professional's expertise to resolve the matter for instance terrible exterior etc. whatever the cause is, water damage is an alarming issue that must not be left unnoticed. 

What To Do And What Not To Do When Dealing With Fire Damage

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can completely change our lives. A fire in your home or place of business is one of them. It can cause extensive damage that can take a while to recover from.

However, you need to start the fire restoration process as soon as possible so you can resume life. When it comes to fire damage and restoration here are some of the things you should do and some you should avoid.

What To Do When Dealing With Fire Damage

It is important to always have a plan when it comes to such damage. Your plan will allow you to take the necessary steps to deal with fire damage and restore everything as fast as possible. Here is everything you need to do:

  • Never enter the property until a professional has told you it’s safe
  • Take pictures so you can have evidence of the damage
  • Call your insurance agent
  • Call your local restoration company such as SERVPRO
  • Limit your movement inside the area of fire
  • If the weather is fine then open all the windows for proper ventilation
  • Throw away drinks and foods that have been left after the fire

All of this will protect you from further damage and help you restore your property as soon as possible. The best thing you can do is call a professional for restoration so they can take care of everything.

What Not To Do When Dealing With Fire Damage

It is important to know what not to do as well so that you don’t end up causing further damage. Here is a list of things you shouldn’t do when dealing with fire damage on your property:

  • Don’t start cleaning everything unless your insurer has assessed everything first
  • Don’t use carpets or other furniture until they have been professionally cleaned after a fire
  • Don’t eat or drink anything that has been exposed to the fire
  • Don’t turn on water, gas, or electricity till everything has been professionally assessed
  • Don’t turn on any electronics until it has been professionally assessed

You need to give time to the professionals to handle all these aspects. This is because the residue that stays after a fire can cause a variety of health problems if you start doing everything too soon.

So, till the professional sort everything out and restore the damage this is what you should and shouldn’t do. Just make sure that you are not using the property at all until it has been assessed by an insurer and a fire restoration professional.

If you want to minimize the risk of fire on your property then you should always take preventative measures. However, if you still end up having a fire on your property then this was your complete guide to what you should and shouldn't do.

Follow these steps and you will be good to go. If you want a professional fire damage restoration company then no one does it better than SERVPRO. Feel free to get in touch with us now.

5 Things To Do After A House Fire

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

A fire occurring in your house can be both surprising, overwhelming, and confusing. One can easily feel confused about what it is that they should do after going through such an experience. However, reading up and learning about what it is that you can do after a house fire can make you better equipped with dealing with such a situation. So, in order to help you protect yourself and your property, here are 5 things that you can do after a house fire.

Call An Emergency Helpline

Of course, the first step in any emergency situation is to call an emergency helpline. However, you must first ensure that everyone within your house is outside first. The first responders will arrive at your home and will focus their attention on the safety of you and others who live in your house. After all of the house occupants' are out of danger, they will then focus their energy on saving the structural integrity of your house. 

Take Some Time 

While the first respondents are working on dousing the flames, make sure to take time for yourself so that you are able to process the situation. Try to remind yourself and those who surround you that everything will be okay as spiraling will only make you feel more stressed and won't help the process go any faster. Be sure to take everything one step at a time so that you do not overwhelm yourself. 

Contact Your Insurance Agency 

After you have collected your thoughts, contact your insurance agency and ask for their timeline on securing your property, which includes the removal of any standing water as well as covering the doors and windows of your house. The entire process depends on the amount of damage your house has taken, both from the fire and the dousing. Your insurance will help in starting this process for you and will then authorize their company for restoration to secure your property.

Find A Safe Place

As your house, despite the ventilation holes, will now be filled with chemicals, which lowers the air quality drastically, to prevent any health issues, you must then find a safe place to stay for the time being. In fact, the restoration and recovery process can take several months to finish, which is why most people end up residing in a relative's house rather than a hotel. So, be sure to be monetarily prepared. 

Secure Your House 

If you are in a situation where the fire department tells you that your house is safe to live in, you will still have to take certain precautions, such as boarding up your house. This will prevent any outside impurities from entering your house. 

All in all, knowing the steps that you have to take after a house fire will not only help you but will also make you feel more at peace. So, if you ever do go through something like this, we hope that you do not, you will not feel confused rather you will, by default, go into autopilot and start taking the required steps.

Top 5 Causes Of Commercial Water Damage

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage in your business can cause extensive damage. It can cause you to close your business for a while to restore the damage and this can end up causing you a lot of revenue. This is why it is important to understand what causes commercial water damage in the first place.

Once you understand these causes you can take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen on your property because of these reasons.

#1. Damaged Pipes

This is the biggest cause of commercial water damage. Many factors contribute to the damage of pipes over time. This can include regular changes in pressure and freezing temperatures.

However, you can tell if there is pipe damage as there are signs. If you see water stains on your floor or ceilings or notice a musty smell in an area then this may be a sign that the pipes in your property are damaged.

It is important to call a professional if you see these signs so they can assess and give you an expert opinion.

#2. Roof Damage

Maintaining your roof is an essential part of maintaining your property. Damage on the roof can be caused by many factors such as harsh weather, rain, snow, and destructive winds.

This can cause structural damage and result in leaking water. If this is not detected early on then it can even lead to mold damage and other consequences that come with water damage.

You must regularly keep a check on your roof so that you can maintain it easily.

#3. Fault In Sprinkler Systems

These sprinkler systems have pipes as well that can be damaged which can result in a leak. Extensive leaks can cause water damage to commercial property. Some signs of such water damage include:

  • Musty smell
  • Wet walls
  • Wet carpets
  • Standing water
  • Mold

These signs indicate that you may have a damaged sprinkler system. Call a professional and address it right away.

#4. Damaged Windows

Regular window maintenance should also be part of your maintenance routine. If the windows don’t have a proper seal or are damaged then water can come inside the commercial property.

Long-term exposure to this can lead to problems such as mold in the building. You have to ensure that all the windows in the property are sealed properly.

#5. Damaged HVAC System

As a business, it is important to provide your employees with a safe and thriving work environment. Part of that responsibility is to maintain clean HVAC systems. If that is not done then they can become damaged which will lead to water damage on the premises.

These are the top 5 causes of commercial water damage. Make sure to conduct regular maintenance so these problems can be prevented on your premises.

If there is any such damage then call SERVPRO now. Our experts will ensure professional and skilled restoration of your premises. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us now.

Tips On Fire Damage Cleanup

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

We might view fires as something abstract, but they are very real. Fires happen every single day, to others due to a variety of reasons. So, one does not usually imagine the scenario in which they, themselves, would have to go through such an experience. This is why most of us, seldom read about what it is that we can do to help ourselves after. However, we are going to change that today. If a fire does happen to occur on your property, then fire damage cleanup tips are something that you should know as they will, undoubtedly, come in handy. 

1.0 What Exactly Is Involved In The Fire Damage Cleanup Process

First thing's first, to understand the tips that we provide for the fire damage cleanup process, you must first know exactly what it is that the process entails. The process involves the removal of any debris caused by the fire, resolution of any sort of water damage, and removal of standing water within your property. That is not all, to ensure that the air quality in your home is as good as it was before the fire, you must start by eradicating the smell caused by the smoke and removing any soot accumulation in your house and places, such as vents. 

2.0 Tips

Now that we know exactly what we have to do during the fire damage cleanup process, here are some tips that will make the entire process much more easy and efficient.

2.1 Safety

Before you start the cleanup process, it is vital for you to ensure that you are safe and using protective gear at all times. So, our first tip is for you to wear protective clothing, such as shoes with heavy soles and work gloves. Next, to make it easier for you to breathe through the dust particles, make sure that before you begin the cleanup process, you water the debris to minimize them. 

2.2 Efficiency

To make the cleanup process more efficient, there are certain ways in which you can make the products you are using work for you. Firstly, to reduce odors set in your clothes after the fire, you can use cleanup products that contain TSP, that is, tri-sodium phosphate. However, make sure to wear rubber gloves when using such products. On the other hand, when cleaning the walls of your property, make sure that you work on one small area of the wall at a time. You can easily use a mild detergent or soap to clean soot from your walls. In fact, you can even mix it with TSP for extra ease and efficiency. Work your way up as this will ensure that your walls don't have any streaking. Then, immediately rinse with clear water. Make sure that you wash your ceiling after you have cleaned all of the walls.  

When dealing with a situation such as fire damage cleanup, things can start to become quite overbearing and emotionally overwhelming. This is why you should take each task one step at a time and remember these tips and all will be well.

Water Damage Restoration Tips And Tricks

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Has your home or office experienced any water damage? Taking immediate action will only minimize the damage further. This is why you need to take action as soon as possible. Even though you need the services of experts in water damage remediation, there are many things that you can do yourself to minimize the loss. So, if your property has been damaged by water you need to follow some tricks and tips. Following these tips will ensure that the damage is minimized and will also ensure the safety of people present on the site. Want to know what these tips and tricks are? Keep reading then.

Dry Out The Affected Area

To minimize the damage, you must dry out the affected area as soon as possible. The presence of moisture in the affected area will only damage it further. This is why you need to be as thorough as possible. In smaller spaces, you can use fans to dry out the area affected by water. But, fans will not be effective in large spaces. So, if you need to dry out the larger space you can rent a large capacity dehumidifier.

Disinfect The Area

Once the area has been dried out and the damaged components have been removed, you need to disinfect the whole area before you start using it. Disinfecting the area is important so that the mold does not grow there. There are many ways through which you can disinfect the area but mostly bleach is used by the people. If you are not comfortable with using bleach, there are many other options that you can use instead.

Repair The Ceiling First

The ceilings that are damaged with water are riskier than other areas. This is why you need to repair them first or else they will collapse. If the damage is beyond control, you will need to remove the affected ceiling or boards. If it is repairable, then you can repair it as well. To repair the leaking ceiling, you must find the source of the leak first. Meanwhile, you need to make sure that the water does not cause any structural damage to your property.

Replace Damaged Wood

The wood that has been damaged by water will rot and develop mold on it. This is why it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. But, before replacing the damaged woods, you need to thoroughly clean the area beneath the wood. Also, you need to be careful about the placement as well and make sure that the structure has the right support.

Contact Professionals

The professionals can take of your damaged property in ways that you cannot do it yourself. So, if your property has been damaged by water, it is advisable that you avail the services of a professional company that can restore the place to its original form.

If your property has been damaged by water, you should take immediate action to restore the place back to its original form. It is an extremely important job that needs expert supervision. So, if you are looking for a team of professionals that would take care of your property, you must contact SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich and avail the professional services.