Recent Posts

Sump Pump Failures & What To Do

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

While stepping into your home, you hear a faint, flowing noise and note that specific smell of standing water lurking somewhere in your home.  You follow the faint noise, and it leads you to the basement door.  As you creak open the door, that smell of musty water fills your nostrils. You can practically taste it. As you reach for the light switch to the stairs, you notice the basement floor is moving!  The light clicks on in a flash and what you see throws you backwards into shock.  The basement is flooded!  Water is about to come up the stairs and your items are floating ever so effortlessly in the pool of water that is now the lower level your beautiful home.  You think to yourself, this cannot be happening! 

Oh, but it is.  What has happened, is that your sump pump failed you.  Sump pumps transfer water from the basement to the outside of the house. A sump, also knows as a basin, is a hole carved under the primary surface of your basement floor.  This pit holds the sump pump.  Sump pumps are equipped with valves that monitor rising water levels.  When the water level gets past a certain point, the sump pump pushes the water out of your basement and into an area away from your home outside using a discharge line. This line, called an effluent, connects the sump pump to a chosen, exterior, drainage area.

It is highly recommended that you get sump pump failure insurance ADDED to your policy.  Unless specifically asked for, insurance companies do not automatically cover sump pump failures.  This could result in thousands and thousands of dollars of damages.  Because a sump pump failure is a nightmare to deal with, call SERVPRO of Fredericksburg.  We will walk down into that eerie, pool of dark water.  Our machines are built extract large amounts of water and we can have your home restored in record time.  540-373-7000.

Common Causes of Commercial Fires and How you can Help Prevent them

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial fires can be devastating and deadly.  Because many commercial buildings are attached to one another, a small fire can end up doing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage.  From destroying structure to business equipment to family members lives, fires are not to be underestimated or forgotten about.  Fire safety in commercial buildings is a topic that should be of priority when training employees and maintaining the building and facilities.  Some common causes of commercial fires include heating sources and HVAC, cooking, smoking on the property, and electrical malfunctions/ wiring.  Over 90% of commercial fires are caused by one of these 4 factors. 

To avoid Heating/ HVAC fires, get your system cleaned and maintained properly and frequently.  Debris in ducts, or malfunctions in the units can cause fires to start quickly.  Have a routine inspection done of the complete heating system of the facility to prevent fires from starting this way.

To avoid cooking-appliance fires, practice safe cooking techniques.  Of course, for Restaurants, Chef training is required and employees should practice fire safety and be reminded of proper training when it comes to fire safety and cooking often.  For Offices, break rooms normally have a variety of cooking appliances.  These appliances should be replaced frequently and inspected regularly.  This will lower the risk of a fire caused from a cooking appliance, in a commercial building.

To avoid fires from smoking fires, no smoking on the premises would be preferred.  If employees and or customers want to smoke, having a smoking section outdoors and away from the building is the most reasonable way to prevent fires from smoking tobacco products.

Similarly, to Heating and HVAC fires, electrical fires can be prevented by frequent inspections of electrical wiring throughout the building.  This may be a tedious task, but a fried or burnt-out wire can cause a fire in just an instance. 

Fire safety in commercial buildings is nothing to joke about as it can cause some devastating results. If a fire does occur, call 540-373-7000.  SERVPRO of Fredericksburg specializes in Fire Restoration and can make it “Like it never even happened.” 

When Will Water Damage Turn Into Mold Damage?

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

When you walk into your home and are welcomed by flooding water down your walls and throughout the flooring of your home, you go into panic.  But no need to fret, SERVPRO of Fredericksburg is open 24 hours a day for your convenience.  What you do have to worry about however, is the time line.  The time in which you have to call and get help with a water damage vs a mold damage is actually fairly quick.  That is why the second you realize you have a water damage on your hands, call SERVPRO of Fredericksburg to start immediate restoration.

So here is the main timing you need to know: Water damage will turn to mold damage in as little as 24 to 48 hours.  If you wait more than 2 days after the initial water damage to call a professional or get the area dried %100 on your own, you will now be inquiring about a mold damage when you call.  If the water is not dried out within the first three days, a professional may apply antimicrobial products to prevent growth, if seen growth has not already started. This is why you should contact a professional, such as SERVPRO of Fredericksburg, no later than 48 hours after the initial water damage. 

As long as moisture is present, mold will grow.  Mold thrives in homes after water damages that are not completely taken care of.  Another note to consider, do not hesitate to call your homeowners insurance along with SERVPRO immediately.  Most homeowners’ insurances cover water damages.  Most homeowners’ insurances do not cover mold damage. When in doubt, call us.  We have teams available 24 hours a day.  We also offer FREE water damage estimates.  The sooner you call, the sooner you can avoid costly mold remediation processes.

How SERVPRO Handles Mold Remediation in Commercial Buildings

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO handles Mold Remediation 

SERVPRO of Fredericksburg takes on huge jobs, such as complete Apartment buildings flooded to fires in Executive Offices.  Another service we offer to commercial buildings is mold remediation.  One might ask, what does the mold remediation process look like in a commercial business. 

First, SERVPRO does not hesitate when starting a mold remediation job, our teams are quick to respond and start work. Our crew chief will scope out the extent of the mold damage, in very rare occasions, testing to “find” the microbial infestation may be needed, as the damage is typically evident. Our SERVPRO team will then set up containment zones using physical barriers and negative pressure air scrubbers to filter and exhaust the microbial debris to the exterior of the building and away from areas that are unaffected. Our team members practice EPA approved industry safety procedures, including them removing the mold affected areas while wearing personal protective equipment, also known as PPE.  So, if you see plastic containment and men walking around in full microbial suits, do not be alarmed.  A zombie outbreak has not happened, we are simply removing all and any microbial growth from the building.

Contingent upon how deep-rooted the microbial (mold) colonies are, SERVPRO of Fredericksburg teams will sponge, scrape, or blast the mold off and out of any infected surfaces. An applied yet principally non-damaging tactic is soda blasting, using the finely granular sodium bicarbonate to power off the microbial growth. SERVPRO teams remove and properly dispose of all mold and cleaning residues, occasionally removing a porous surface if the mold has heavily penetrated the surfaces. Our team will also vacuum using HEPA-equipped suctioning tools to remove any leftover bits of mold or cleaning agents. SERVPRO oxide is a common chemical used in mold remediation that contains agents to ensure microbial growth will not return.

Storm Gutters- How gutters work and why they are important.

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

Storm Gutters

Storm and Rain Gutters protect your home in many different ways.  Essentially, the purpose of a gutter is to collect the water from your roof and direct it to the ground, away from the house foundation, through a downspout.  During a storm, the rain water travels from the top of the roof from the slope to the gutters.  The water then travels through the downspout, the metal sheet tube that runs along side of the home vertically, then out to the splash block, the fixing on the ground that further diverts water from the foundation to protect the basement from flooding and water damage.

Gutters are vital on a home.  Hence, why you see them on every single home you’ve ever looked at.  Without a roof slope and gutter system, rainwater would collect in your roof and cause rot, mold and deterioration of the roof and shingles.  This would lead to interior ceiling, wall, and floor damage.  Eventually, the entire home would be infested with microbial growth which would lead to the complete collapse and death of your home.  Even with the slope on the roof, gravity will direct that water down the home and into your windows and exterior moldings.  The molding around the windows will start to rot and deteriorate, without a gutter system.  Water will leak into the home and into the walls which would, once again, cause mold and rot.  On top of all that, gutters prevent ‘pooling’, gathering of water, from happening around the foundation of your home.  If the foundation of your home suffers from pooling long enough, the ground will soften, the home can become unstable and this will weaken the foundation of the home and cause water damages in the lowest level of the home.  Cracks in the walls and ceilings may also form as the foundation may shift. As you can see now, a good gutter system is vitally important to keep your home structurally sound.  Please refer to the next Blog from SERVPRO of Fredericksburg titled ‘Storm / Rain Gutter Maintenance’. 

Storm / Rain Gutter Maintenance

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

In an earlier blog titled ‘Storm Gutters- the Importance of Gutters and How they Work.’, you learned that storm and rain gutters are a vital component to a home.  In this blog, we will go over the maintenance and cleaning of your gutter system.

  1. First, be sure you ladder is up to par. It should be extendable, sturdy and safe. Your ladder placement is also important as it should always be on a flat, sturdy surface. (rocks and landscaping items can cause your ladder to teeter.)  Ladder stabilizers are highly suggested as they help with safety measures. Similarly, it is ideal to have a helper on the ground who can pass you tools and also stabilize the ladder if it starts to shift.
  2. As they always say in interviews, dress like you already have the job. The same goes for gutter cleaning. We suggest wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, non-slip boots, cargo pants and rubber gloves.  This is a dirty job and your clothing will not come out the same way it went into this project.
  3. You will want to remove the gunk from the gutters. This can be done with a small scooper. If you are having a hard time finding a good scoop, you can buy them online (Amazon has literally everything) or even get it from your kids sandbox, that scoop will work fine too. Anything from a rubber kitchen spatula to a hardware store gutter scoop will do the job just fine.  Be sure to use something that is not metal as you do not want to scratch your gutters.
  4. For easy clean-up, grab a tarp of some sort and set it under your work space. That way you can simply throw the gunk out onto the area below you.  The tarp can then be washed off easily.
  5. After removing the gunk and debris from the gutters and downspout, grab your garden hose, turn it on, and run water along the inside of the gutter system. This does one of two things: cleans the gutters further and lets you know if you have any leaks that need repairing.
  6. After you finish cleaning the gutters, you can fix any hanging or sagging sections with gutter hangers. You can buy these online.  Many people use zip ties and other DIY materials. 

Gutter cleaning really is not that bad, once you get the hang of it.  Also, it makes it easier if you do this once a year.  Letting your gutters go years without any type of maintenance can result in damages to your home. If water or mold damage does happen as a result of gutters, give SERVPRO of Fredericksburg a call.  We will fix up your home and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Why Choose SERVPRO as Your Go To Restoration Company

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Fredericksburg is a Mitigation company that has been serving the Fredericksburg area for over 25 years now.  We offer a range of services that include:

  1. Water damage restoration
  2. Fire damage restoration
  3. Mold remediation
  4. HVAC cleaning
  5. Carpet cleaning
  6. Interior vehicle detailing and mold remediation
  7. Smoke deodorizing and damage restoration
  8. Content cleaning
  9. General cleaning and pack outs
  10. 24 hr emergency services
  11. Residential and Commercial damage restoration capabilities

SERVPRO of Fredericksburg has highly trained restoration technicians who carry the following IICRC certifications and others including:

  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • CMT - Commercial Carpet Maintenance Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
  • FCT - Floor Care (Hard Surfaces) Technician
  • FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • HST - Health and safety Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • LCT - Leather Cleaning Technician
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician
  • OSHA - Other Training
  • RCT - Rug Cleaning Technician
  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
  • RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician
  • Successful Subrogation for Restoration Contractors
  • UFT - Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician

SERVPRO of Fredericksburg is part of the SERVPRO franchise system and we are recognized nationally by all insurance companies. Our billing specialists work with all insurance types to make the restoration process as least costly as possible for each client. SERVPRO of Fredericksburg will bring specialized equipment that will get the job done quick and effectively.  We send IICRC certified technicians to your home to get your damages restored and your life back on track faster. We offer a 24 hour phone service for all emergencies and can have our team out to fix any emergencies within just a couple hours.  SERVPRO of Fredericksburg understands how worrisome and time consuming a home damage can be.  Our team is here to ease your mind and get the job done right and quick so your life and resume as it should in a timely manner. For any questions regarding our services and certification, call 540-373-7000 for more information. 

Why Choose SERVPRO as Your Go To HVAC Cleaning Company

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician in green protective cap with flashlight shining onto duct vents in building SERVPRO Technician examining duct work in building

SERVPRO : For all your HVAC needs!

SERVPRO offers an intense HVAC cleaning service that continues to bring repeat customers back yearly; and this is why:

A technician will come to your residence where they will set up all equipment for duct cleaning.  The vacuum used is a truck unit that gets hooked up to your vents and applies negative pressure to get everything cleaned from the duct work.  Along with the vacuum unit, a brush gets sent into your duct work and spins while the vacuum is running to get all of the debris from the inside of the ducts loosened and vacuumed out. 

After the ducts are brushed and vacuumed, the tech will apply a sanitizing solution that will be sent all throughout the ducts to eliminate any microbial and bacterial growth to ensure clean air quality throughout the house.  After that, a sealant is applied to the inside of the ducts.  The sanitizing solution and sealant are put into the duct system via sprays.  The vacuum is then set to the correct mode to evenly distribute both the solutions throughout the system, one at a time.  This leaves your ducts completely cleaned and sealed so that no debris is left in the system.

On top of that, the technician will remove, hand clean, sanitize and seal all registers and vent coverings, removing all microbial and bacterial residue. The technician also cleans the unit itself.  This includes opening the unit, cleaning, sanitizing and sealing the motor, coils and all other interior components. Then the outside of the unit also gets cleaned, and sanitized. Our duct cleaning service is a FULL clean of the system making your system like-new.  Every component gets thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 

You can expect the technician to be there for a good part of the day. Other duct cleaning companies do offer faster services, however, what sets SERVPRO apart from such companies is our certifications, cleaning techniques, sanitizing and sealing services along with interior and exterior unit cleanings.  Most other companies will simply hook up a vacuum and possibly a brush to your duct work and call it a day.  SERVPRO has trained and certified technicians, high quality commercial equipment, and specialized sanitizing and sealing solutions to get the job done right.  We are more concerned about the quality of cleaning services we provide rather than simply doing a quick bare-minimum job.

8 Types of Insurance Policies for Commercial & LLC Businesses to Consider

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Depending upon the type of business and industry you are in, your business may require different types of insurance.  

Listed here are 8 different types of insurance that many small businesses get to protect them from a variety of saturations and mishaps.

  1. General Liability Insurance (GLI)

General liability insurance helps protect your business from claims that it caused:

  • Bodily injury to someone else
  • Property damage to another person’s belongings
  • Personal injury, like defamation or insult
  1. Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance is used to protect the building your business runs out of along with the equipment you use to run your business.

Though, most of the time this insurance type does not cover certain natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods. Commercial flood insurance and other policies are used to protect against such items.

  1. Business Income Insurance

Business income insurance comes in handy when you cannot work due to certain circumstances but you need to still make money to stay afloat.  This insurance can cover lost wages. So, you can use this coverage to help recompense for ongoing expenses, such as rent, employee payroll and utilities. This type of insurance is likewise recognized as business interruption insurance.

  1. Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance comes in handy when someone is trying to make a claim against your company stating you made a mistake in your services provided. This type of insurance is also identified as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

  1. Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers' Compensation Insurance gives your employees benefits if they get hurt or sick from their job. These benefits can help with paying medical bills replacing lost wages, covering funeral expenses and paying for continuing care such as medical or mental therapy. In most cases, carrying this type of insurance is required and you will face serious fines and consequences if you fail to obtain a worker’s comp policy.  

  1. Data Breach Insurance

Date Breach Insurance, known as cyber insurance, protects your online confidential information and covers you if any information gets stolen or misused by an unauthorized user. Data breach insurance will notify impacted individuals that their information has been compromised along with offering identity theft services.

  1. Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Commercial Umbrella Insurance is important as like an umbrella, it helps cover you desperate times.  For instance, when your claim exceeds the coverage limits for some of your liability policies, your umbrella insurance can cover the difference.  

  1. Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance is used by companies who have their employees driving company owned vehicles. It can help cover property damage and bodily injury claims from an accident your business causes, regardless of who is at fault. This can be crucial as car insurance companies do not cover third party incidences where a company vehicle is involved.  This is where your commercial auto insurance kicks in.

Commercial Fire Damage 101

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Fires

Commercial fires happen just as often or even more often as residential fires do.  It is critical that a fire safety plan be put into action and visible by all employees that work there.  What to do if the building you are in catches on fire.

  • Stay calm, but act quickly. Time is of the essence.  Make those around you aware and escort yourself and them out of the building as quickly as possible.
  • Stay low when exiting the building due to smoke and flames. Have others follow your lead.
  • If you are trained to use a fire extinguisher, you may do so to either put the fire out, or help guide a path out of the building with. Do not use one if you are not sure how to operate one.
  • Call the fire department. When everyone is to safety, call 911 or the local fire department directly. Alert them of any injured people.

Now, everyone is safely out.  The fire is put out. And people have gone home.  But there is still work to do.

  • First, you are going to want to get in contact with your insurance company right away. They will be able to walk you through the process to restoring your building. 
  • Next, secure the remaining equipment and property in your building. You will want to board up broken doors and windows as property theft is an issue in both rural and urban areas.
  • Be aware that smoke damage can still cause problems even if there is no visible smoke. Be alert and self-aware when entering a fire damaged facility.
  • Get a SERVPRO professional out to start restoration. This is a crucial ending step.  SERVPRO of Fredericksburg will make this disaster "Like it never even happened." You can rest assure knowing your business is in good hands and will be up and running soon.  SERVPRO of Fredericksburg, here to stay, here to help.