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Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Your home or commercial facility contains many of your most valuable possessions. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals understand the trauma that follows a loss. When fire damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back.

Contents Services

  1. Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time consuming process.
  2. Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.
  3. Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry cleaning. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized as close to preloss condition as possible. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac and much more.

Structural Cleaning

  1. Ceilings and Walls – Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will pretest to analyze the extent of the damage to your ceilings, walls and woodwork. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can reduce the cost of recovery by expertly cleaning lighter soot without incurring the expense associated with repainting. When higher concentrations of soot exist, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will clean the area to prepare the surface for smooth painting.
  2. Carpet & Floor Restoration – After a smoke or fire damage, carpeting and floors will often need a deep and thorough cleaning. Residue from smoke or soot settles and is ground into flooring every time someone walks on it. Whether it is wall-to-wall carpeting or the most expensive tile floor, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have the experience, equipment and cleaning products to clean and protect all types of flooring surfaces.
  3. Ductwork – The ductwork and HVAC system will be inspected to determine if they were affected by the smoke damage. Depending on the amount of damage, the proper restoration process will be determined to clean and deodorize your HVAC and duct system.

Deodorization

  • SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. Ask your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

Questions? 
Call Us Today – 301-779-3662

Fire Safety

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Build Your Emergency Kit

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Whether if it is at home, in a business setting, or in your very own vehicle, it is important to be properly equipped with an emergency kit.

Now, the true question is what are the essentials needed to complete this kit? Ready.gov suggests having enough supplies to last you at least three days. In the state of an emergency, this is critical.

Below, you can find a list of items that we believe are necessary to include in your emergency kit:

  • 3 day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Water
  • First aid kit
  • Medication
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products 
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Chargers
  • Clothes
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities 
  • Whistle - to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container

Establishing an Emergency Ready Plan for Your Business

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

You can’t plan when an emergency will arise, but you can prepare for it before it does. This is especially important if you are a business owner. When a disaster occurs in your business, everything screeches to a halt. You are no longer able to help your customers and clients. You are no longer able to offer your services. You are no longer bringing in an income. Business has been interrupted and depending on the extent of the damage, you may be looking at a long road to recovery – not just for remediation, but also to get your business back to where it was before the disaster happened. So, what can you do to prevent an emergency situation from shutting down your business? While you can’t necessarily prevent disaster from occurring (it happens to the best of us), you can prepare for what to do when it does. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can minimize how fire and water affect your business.

That is where SERVPRO comes in. We can establish a plan for your business using our ERP, or Emergency READY Profile.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A Profile Document containing only the crucial information you will need in case of an emergency. It doesn’t take very long to complete, but it will save you a lot of time (and from one more headache) if you ever need it.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. By having an immediate plan of action, you can help minimize downtime.
  • Establishes SERVPRO as your emergency mitigation and restoration provider. You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is located right here in San Antonio.
  • Identifies the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so that we can begin the work of mitigating the damage immediately, which can save you both time and money.
  • Provides important facility details such as priority contact information, priority areas, and shut-off valves. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

There is never a good time for it to be raining inside a building. An in-depth job scope and work plan are developed quickly to get the water out and dry the interior. Industrial water extractors, a desiccant dehumidifier the size of a tractor trailer, plenty of staff, and SERVPRO know-how to get the job started quickly and correctly. Working around the clock for days, our employees and hundreds of pieces of equipment work away to get the elementary school cleaned up and ready for the first day of school. 

What a sense of satisfaction it is to see this school opening right on time due to the hard work of our SERVPRO employees along with the faculty and staff of the school and the community!! It just goes to show that no job is too big or too small for our SERVPRO team.

With over 50 years in the industry, we know just what to do in the case of a water event that causes damage to a school, business or home! We make it "Like it never even happened." 

Be Prepared for When Storms Hit

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow, all of these can cause property damage. You can't control mother nature, but you can be prepared.

Here are some tips to help you:

-Check for tree limbs and branches that might have fallen.

-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.

-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.

-Test your gas lines for leaks.

-Inspect your property for proper drainage.

-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.

-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.

-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.

Unexpected Water Damage

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it is the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call us, we will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring. This includes how many trained SERVPRO professionals we may need.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville is here for you 24/7 all 365 days of the year. Call us at 301-779-3662.

Faster to Any Size Water Damage

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO provides 24/7/365 fire and water damage restoration service.

We do not wait for regular business hours. SERVPRO provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, plus more.  SERVPRO arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

If you need further assistance with your water damage, please call SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville at 301-779-3662.

3 Things to Avoid After a Flood

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

If you have standing water from a recent flood, your business is susceptible to various types of infestation. The three most common and most damaging factors that affect flooded facilities are the following: 

• Insects 
• Bacteria 
• Mold growth

Bugs

Insects are important to the ecosystem, but you do not want a whole ecosystem growing throughout your business. Most of the peskiest bugs out there love it when your building has a flood. That's because some of them lay eggs in stagnant water and others enjoy dining on the building materials that have been softened up by moisture. Getting rid of the water as soon as possible is a priority if you want to avoid turning your facility into a swarm of insects.

Bacteria

Warm weather flooding provides a breeding ground for disease. Even if the water source is clean, it is unlikely that every object the floodwater comes into contact with is disinfected. Furthermore, organic materials start to dissolve in water very quickly, providing a solution that becomes a food source for disease-causing bacteria. A good flood recovery company will come armed with antiseptics for this reason.

Black Mold

Mold growth starts rapidly when water is present in a building. It can take as little as 24 hours for the first spores to start multiplying. This is because even in the most pristine buildings, the mold is already present. All it needs is a high level of moisture to get started multiplying and taking over the walls, ceilings and furnishings of your business. This is what makes mold one of the most common secondary sources of loss in businesses that experience flooding. 

Insects, diseases and mold growth form a triad of secondary problems that can end up costing you a fortune to clean. Make sure that your water damage is taken care of correctly, and your facility is thoroughly dried, and you will minimize the risk of having issues in the future.

Commercial Building Storm Damage

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

When preparing for an upcoming spring storm, protecting your home is the priority and something you should take seriously. As a business owner, you have to do double duty because it is crucial to ensure that your business is as secure as your home.

Here are a few ways to help you avoid storm damage to your commercial property:

1. Watch, Listen, or Read

By watching the local news channel, listening to the radio throughout your commute, or reading a weather app on your phone, you will know exactly what is coming your way as well as how to prepare for it. 

2. Protect the Property

Be knowledgeable about where your pipes are located. With a quick visit to the hardware store, you can gather insulation supplies for the pipes that are easy to reach. Hate the drip, drip, drip from a leaky faucet? In the event of a cold front that brings freezing weather, turning the faucet on to a drip can help you avoid a potential serious and costly pipe break. This is because the drip keeps the water moving in the pipe and does not allow it to sit and freeze. When left alone, the water can freeze and expand, and this pressure is what will break a pipe.

3. Ask for Help

Utilize others’ knowledge on how to keep your business safe. Know who you can call to help prevent damage or to fix an already broken pipe. Save the phone number of a cleanup and restoration company in your phone contacts for quick reference in case of an emergency.

No one wants to deal with the headache of storm damage or a pipe break. By being prepared and creating a plan for your business, you can ease the burden of an upcoming winter storm. Your business storm strategy can also be easily applied to your home so that you won’t have to worry if a storm hits while you’re at work.