Emergency Water Damage Tips and Techniques
When Pipe Fails on Second Floor
Many of our customers have learned the hard way that water damage is a big problem. It can destroy not only your home and your finances, but also destroy the sentimental items that you can’t put a price tag on. For that reason it’s a good idea to learn what causes water damage so that you can better avoid it. But if you cannot avoid it then here are some tips on what to do if you have been victimized by it. Depending on the severity of your damage you may need to contact the local authorities, and insurance provider, but eventually they will most likely get a SERVPRO® crew out to your location to fix it up.
Safety First with Water Damage
The first concern is the safety of friends, family and you in your home or area. Common causes of injury after water damage to a structure are slip hazards, and electrical shock due to careless mistakes that might have been avoided. Essential Water Damage Info Here
On this note, don’t just go about business as usual, avoid kitchen appliances, and avoid tampering with major electrical devices that are connected to the building until authorities have deemed that it is safe to do so. This includes ceiling fans, lights, and televisions. Water Damage Emergency Tips
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Water Damage Restoration - The SERVPRO Advantage
We're Moving Closer to Serve you Better
SERVPRO of Alexandria (VA) & SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside (MD) is moving closer to better provide our nationally recognized restoration services. Dorel Watley will lead the new company as President. Dorel brings over 20 years of leadership experience and over-sight to the commercial janitorial and facilities management market.
“After servicing Alexandria, VA for almost 25+ years we are extremely excited about finally having an office presence here that will support our customers in both territories. Our new team and leadership are looking forward to providing the highest level of service to our customers.” said Mr. Watley. “We encourage not only residents but business owners and commercial property professionals to contact us about any restoration needs they may have – especially following a water loss or fire when emergency response is vital to protecting their assets from further damage.”
What to Expect From a Water Main Break in Alexandria, VA
Water Main Break
Water is a necessity of life. It can also be a devastating force. Water main break can flood your home or office, and the worst part is that you don’t always know when it happens, until it’s already a very big problem. This is because the pipes that are susceptible to bursting are not usually in plain sight, which hides the problem until it becomes a bigger problem. If that’s the case you could be looking at a disaster by the time you finally see what you’re up against.
Damage caused by water can be costly, both in terms of monetary value, and inconvenience. That’s because such occurrences typically cause not only an interruption in service with the water supply, but also force affected people to leave the area until the structure has been repaired. That could take days or even weeks. For this reason it is a good idea to allocate some resources to ensuring that your home or office is receiving routine maintenance on the plumbing system. This practice could save you thousands later on.
If you have experienced this, or any other type of water damage you should contact us, along with your trusted plumbing contractor immediately. This will ensure that the problem will get fixed, both in terms of repairing the cause of the problem and cleaning up the mess. At SERVPRO® of Alexandria we are always here to help!
Bioremediation in Alexandria, VA
Bioremediation in Alexandria
No one ever hopes to have to call for services such as the removal of human remains, animal feces, blood spills, or hoarding scenes, but the reality is that from time to time events occur in our community that force us to take action. When you need to remove bio-hazardous materials from your home SERVPRO® of Alexandria your best resource.
There are competing companies who do the same work, and provide the same service, but at a much greater cost. The fact is we are equipped to handle any type of bio-hazardous cleanup job at a much lower price, without sacrificing the quality of the job.
In the case of hoarding scenes, our technicians will work compassionately with the home owner and his or her loved ones to clean the place up.
No one wants to get informed about accidents, death, murder, hoarding, or suicide but if you are in the difficult position of calling for the cleanup of any of these events, SERVPRO of Alexandria has the most experienced crews, at the best prices in town.
Our slogan is "We're always here to help", so if you are searching for bioremediation, or for a murder or suicide cleanup, contact us, day or night, and we’ll be there. Just contact us and our professional staff will be happy to help.
Commercial Water Damage Best Practices
commercial water damage
Water damage can damage threaten both the safety of the occupants, and the finances of the owners. But that’s not just true of residential homes, but also of commercial buildings. In Alexandria, VA that means plenty of law office buildings, professional buildings, and the like. In times of severe flooding or plumbing failure this damage could even stop your business from daily tasks, which means you are losing money!
Here, we go over some basic preventative and responsive best practices so that your office can avoid being in this situation, or if you do find yourself in this situation, at least you can get your office back to normal quickly.
In an office environment, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of damage due to water leaks. For example, it is beneficial to educate your office managers on water damage preparedness. This means that your managers should know how to turn off the water, electric, and gas supply. If they don’t have access, then they should know who to call in order to have these items completed. It’s also a good idea to have some basic tools in the office in the event of an emergency. Lastly, it’s always good to have a list of emergency contact phone numbers for all employees so that in the worst-case scenario the loved ones of those injured can be notified. Of course you should already have the contact information for your local fire and police numbers, so that anyone who is injured can get medical attention if needed.
Just as with residential structures, rapid response is critical to water damage in an office. The longer you wait before the area is restored the more of a chance you there is that you will have mold, which is another problem altogether.
The best course of action is:
- Call a plumber to fix the source of the loss;
- Call SERVPRO of Alexandria to remediate the damage.
Of course, you can call your insurance first, but remember, we are also experts at the insurance side of damages as well, and can help you get the best coverage, so you may call us to work with your insurance as well.
At SERVPRO of Alexandria we are the leaders of commercial water damage restoration. Contact us today to learn more!
What is Black Mold?
What is Black Mold
A common question that we get is “how do I know if I have black mold? Well, it’s not easy to answer because there are thousands of types of mold that grow. However, it is important to know that visible colonies of mold, regardless of the type, is unacceptable in the home or office, where people reside, or spend a significant amount of time.
Black mold is just one type of mold, and like any other kind of mold, it can cause serious health problems to the occupants of a home or business when it is thriving in large colonies. In this article, we’re going to take a high-level look at common symptoms that result, how black mold thrives, and what can be done in order to prevent it from growing in your home or office.
What are the Symptoms of Black Mold?
Some of the most common symptoms of black mold include irritations to the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, sneezing, headaches, fatigue and nausea. If the exposure is prolonged these symptoms can worsen to include vomiting, internal bleeding, and bleeding from the nose.
How Does Black Mold Grow?
Black mold, like other types of mold, grows in an environment that is high composed of high water content and low nitrogen content. That means a damp place that does not get a lot of air. You can imagine, for example, that if you spill a gallon of water onto a floor with long fiber carpet that area can be a breeding ground for mold if it is not properly dried.
How Can We Prevent Mold Growth?
Mold is actually a common entity that grows almost everywhere, so we cannot get rid of it entirely. However, it doesn’t cause any problems until it starts to grow excessively, or when colonies start to form. When this happens visible spots of mold appear in the affected area. If you have had some type of water damage such as a leaky ceiling or a burst pipe there are preventative measures that should be observed. First you should make sure that the affected area has been dried thoroughly. Remember, many types of carpet will need to be removed to be dried because if the water has been trapped underneath your floor or carpet you will likely have mold growth.
After drying the water-damaged area a quick cleaning with soap and water, or a bleach solution is in order. This will help kill any potential mold growth in the area. Also, the use of a dehumidifier once you have finished cleaning the area will assure that there is no moisture left.
SERVPRO® of Alexandria is a leader in mold remediation. If you have mold and need help contact us today, we’re always here to help!
Aftermath® vs SERVPRO® of Alexandria
Hazardous Waste Disposal
Aftermath® vs SERVPRO® of Alexandria for Crime Scene, Trauma, and Biohazard Removal and Cleaning Services.
Contact SERVPRO® of Alexandria for Biohazard Cleaning Services Today!
In Alexandria, VA there are two main choices for crime scene and trauma cleanup services: SERVPRO® of Alexandria and Aftermath®. But who is better? Let’s find out so that you can make the best possible decision when it comes time to do so.
Both are reputable companies that do quality work. Both companies have knowledgeable workers who have the proper training and certifications to perform hazardous materials and crime scene cleanup services. However, one of these companies charges much more than the other for the same exact service. SERVPRO® of Alexandria will do the exact same work as Aftermath®, only for a much lower price.
SERVPRO® of Alexandria specializes in remediating, sanitizing, and cleaning zones that have been affected with hazardous waste materials. Such cleanup situations include:
This cleanup includes body fluids, tissue, and other substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. As most people are aware, dealing with blood is potentially dangerous work. You should get professional help to properly dispose of and clean up the affected area immediately.
Such problems are not just nasty, they are harmful to the health of inhabitants. If you have a sewage backup it is a hazard that only gets with each hour if it is left unattended.
People who hoard personal belongings are often in need of more than just cleaning assistance. In many cases a counselor comes into play to help these individuals. However, just like in the above-mentioned cases, when it comes to cleaning the hoarding scene SERVPRO® of Alexandria is the company that gets the job done right, and at the best price.
SERVPRO® of Alexandria ensures that your home or business is clean, sanitary, and safe for all habitants after it has been affected with a hazardous waste material. Unlike our competitor, however, we offer our services at an affordable price. Contact SERVPRO® of Alexandria for your hazardous waste cleanup services today!
Flooded Basement Service and Causes
A flooded basement is not funny...
A flooded basement is an emergency situation that cannot be ignored for very long because it can cause major damage to the walls, floors, carpet, even furniture. Not to mention, it can lead to mold if left untreated, that this is all fairly quickly.
SERVPRO of Alexandria understands this. That’s why we are on-call 24/7 because you can’t wait for tomorrow when you have standing water in your house tonight.
Call our Flooded Basement team right away!
Our team can deploy technicians at any hour to remove the water from your basement, dry the carpet, repair the damage, and do whatever needs to be done in your situation, so that you can get back on with your life.
Here are some of the common sources that cause a basement to experience flooding.
There are generally only a few sources for a basement to receive water:
- Either it is coming through the foundation in the form of rain penetrating the walls;
- Water from over-saturated soil being pushed through the floor;
- Storm water from the sewer system; or
- Sanitary sewer water from a clog in your homes’ sewer line.
In the case of water seeping in from a crack in the foundation, you can know if this the cause of your water damage if the water is coming in at only one particular location, or at the exterior foundation wall.
As for the subsurface groundwater, this is when your basement acts as a boat in a pond, water will enter through any hairline crack whenever the groundwater levels ride above the level of your floor. A perimeter drain system can be used to solve this problem.
In the case of storm water from the sewer system the rainwater in the sewer system can rise to such levels that the water flows backwards toward the house. If you already have a sump pump for this reason then you either need a new one, or the alternative is to dig up and cap the pipe that is running from the house to the street.
Lastly, if the event of sanitary sewer water backing up, you will know this is your problem if the water is coming through the drains of the floor and the sinks in the basement. In this case the installation of backflow preventers will do the trick. Also, pouring tree root killer down your toilets once a year can help with prevention of such disasters.
If you have a flooded basement contact SERVPRO of Alexandria and have our team of experts help you out today!
Insurance Claims for Water Damage
Insurance Claims for Water Damage
Water damage is the second most common claims for home insurance. If you are preparing to make a claim on water damage it would help you to know what to expect.
If you need help making an insurance claim on your water damage repairs contact us to help now!
You might run into some trouble making your claim if you are claiming a loss that was the result of gradual damage. Gradual damage is anything that happened over the course of a prolonged period of time, as opposed to an accident, or a sudden damage. Loss such as leaky ceilings due to plumbing defects, water damage caused by cracks in the foundation, and in some cases, mold fall under the category of gradual damage. These things are generally not covered by home insurance.
However, there may be some exceptions to these cases. For example, the insurance company would likely cover mold if it was resulting from another claim that was covered under insurance, but was not properly fixed, and the mold was the result.
On the other hand, if water damage is sudden and accidental you’ll probably have a much easier time getting covered for the damages. This is the true nature of insurance – to cover accidents. Of course everything is dependent upon the language of the policy that you purchased, but this is the very nature of insurance: coverage for sudden and accidental loss. A good practice for homeowners is to keep a record of all repairs and transactions for services that are made to your home.
At SERVPRO of Alexandria we are not only experts at restoring your home “Like it never even happened.” We are also experts at dealing with insurance companies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you through the entire recovery process today!
Leaky Ceilings in Alexandria, VA
Leaky ceiling in Alexandria, VA
Leaky Ceilings can be costly. They can significantly damage your home or business, but they can also be costly in the time that they take in fixing them. That’s because it is sometimes hard to determine the cause of the leak, since all you can usually see is the result of the leak. For that reason finding the cause of the leak can delay the repair process, but it can also add to the expense of the repairs because while you're searching for the cause of the leak the leak is causing more damage.
For these reasons, the first thing you should do when you have a leaky ceiling is inspect it so that you can at least eliminate all the obvious non-causes.
When trying to determine the cause of a leaky ceiling one thing that could help you is to consider whether the leak occurs only in inclement weather. If the leak only occurs when it is raining or snowing outside it’s a safe bet that the roof could be source of the leak. On the other hand, if the leak occurs regardless of the weather conditions outside then the leak is most likely caused by a plumbing line inside the house or structure.
Another thing to consider is the water itself. Does it appear to be clear and fresh? If so, that could indicate to you that the water is coming from the water supply line. On the other hand if water was coming from the roof you could see that dirt and other substances from the roof along are being dragged along with it, and it would stain the ceiling.
If you have determined that the leak is possibly from the roof, and you want to fix it yourself you should start at the top and work your way down. Be sure to take all the necessary precautions, and have all required safety gear needed for a roof inspection.
Of course, not all people are prepared for home improvements and repairs, especially when it comes to major repairs. If you have a leaky ceiling, or any kind of water damage to your home or business, contact the pros at SERVPRO. For more information visit our water damage services page. We’re faster to any size disaster.