Don't know what to do if you experience a water damage? We asked an Expert, Anna Chercles, Owner of SERVPRO of Virginia beach.
The thing about water damage and repair professionals is that no one seems to have interest in knowing one until they are in desperate need of their help! We interviewed SERVPRO of Virginia Beach Franchise Owner, Anna Cheracles, to find out just what it is that a restoration professional does and when and why someone would need to hire one. Here is what Anna had to say:
What exactly does a water damage and repair professional do?
We arrive onsite within 4 hours (usually 1 hour) to remediate a water damage. The sooner you can stop the water and begin to dry the structure, the less damage you will have, which will reduce repairs that will need to be done.
Why is it important to call a professional?
We believe in restore vs. replace. We have special drying techniques which will save time and money for the insured and insurance company. You do not want to end up with any type of secondary damage or mold that could be prevented by calling a professional right away.
A professional will know when it is necessary to remove materials such as vinyl or laminate floors in order to dry sub floors. We have tools, such as moisture meters, that can detect exactly what's been affected so that we can properly mitigate the loss.
What are the most common problems water damage professionals see?
We often find pre-existing damage. It is important to properly maintain your home so that dry rot or other slow leaks do not occur. If you have a pipe burst under your sink, but you have dry rot already showing on you sub floor, often the insurance companies will not cover this due to the home not being maintained.
Another problem we see is when a homeowner does not take immediate action. They will wait a few days for the insurance company to come out before they call a mitigation company to come out. Or they try to do the work themselves. This will only prolong the process and possibly cause more damage later. You need special equipment to properly dry a structure.
When should I call a water damage professional?
You should call a professional Anytime you experience a water damage. The sooner you call, the more you can minimize damage. Even if the cause of the problem is still not fixed, the faster we can begin extracting water, you can lessen the chance of further damage. Often an area can feel dry to the touch, but it is important to have a professional use a moisture meter to check for water behind cabinets, walls, etc. Dry wall may feel dry, but the insulation inside the wall could possibly be wet. Carpet could feel dry, but the sub floor and padding could have elevated moisture levels.
How much will it cost?
We use industry standard prices, which are set for each region in the country through a program called Xactimate. Most of the charges are done by square foot, by a labor hour or per piece of equipment. It is pricey to properly mitigate your home, but if you do it right the first time, you won't have mold grow and will save money in the long run. We deal directly with the insurance companies so there will not be any type of paperwork that you will need to file. We take care of it all!
What should be done while waiting?
If possible, turn the source of the water off. Begin mopping up water or blotting with towels. DO NOT use a shop vac to remove water. Shop vacs are not meant to extract a lot of water, only a little bit here and there. Put all furniture up on blocks, or even put foil under the legs of furniture to protect it and to also protect your carpet from getting any staining on it. You should also wipe up any water on wood furniture, so it does not ruin it. Do not use electrical devices where the moisture is present. Make sure to not stand under any sagging ceilings.
How do I decide who to hire?
You should always try to hire someone who has a national reputation and a brand that stands behind them.
Should you require a professional, call, SERVPRO of Virginia Beach
Did you know that SERVPRO of Virginia Beach can restore your documents after a fire?
Did you know that SERVPRO of Virginia Beach Can Restore Your Documents After a Fire?
We want our customers taken care of in their most vulnerable time of need, that is why we offer the services that we do: emergency mitigation, fire and water restoration, mold remediation, and so much more. However, one item that often is overlooked after are our customer’s paper documents and records.
If you are not familiar with it, here is an overview.
SERVPRO of Virginia Beach’s Commercial Large Loss Division (CLLD) offers four services: Vacuum Freeze Drying, Gamma Irradiation, Digitizing, and Certified Destruction. Vacuum Freeze Drying is the most effective way to salvage water damaged documents. The saturated documents are immediately frozen and shipped from the loss site to our Corporate office where they are dried via sublimation. Sublimation is the process of solid ice converting directly to the gas state bypassing the liquid state. This prevents further damage to the water-logged documents. This process takes between 7-10 days depending on the severity and the number of documents affected. Gamma Irradiation is a process that is used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents. In a CAT 3 situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also contaminated with all types of bacteria. Using high-energy photons, the bacteria is killed at the molecular level. There is no fear of residual radiation or contamination, so don’t worry, you won’t turn into the Incredible Hulk. If you want to go digital with your records, we can do that too.
To bullet point and sum up the above article:
- Drying- process in which an item containing moisture is frozen and dried using vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation (A process in which a substance is converted directly from a solid to a gas or from a gas to a solid without an intermediate liquid phase.) Note: Damaged documents should be frozen as quickly as possible to stabilize them and prevent further damage.
- Cleaning- we offer onsite cleaning. This is cleaning each document front and back to remove debris and any surface particulate.
- Sterilization- Gamma Irradiation is a process that is used for disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods.
- Deodorization- once paper has been wet, an odor can begin to form. Letting us deodorize your documents will reduce the odor and sometimes almost eliminate it.
- Destruction- we offer destruction onsite.
- Digitization- digitizing documents makes them easier to access as well as easier to store. We use state-of-the-art equipment to turn your paper copy into a digital file.
If you find yourself in need of saving damaged documents, SERVPRO of Virginia Beach and we will make it "Like it never even happened."
Virginia Beach Board-up Services
Board-up to protect from further damage or vandalism
SERVPRO of Virginia Beach provides 24 hour, 365 day a year emergency board-up services for any residential or commercial location in the Hampton Roads area. Whether you experience vandalism, storm damage, a fire, or another unexpected disaster, you want to restore your property to its normal state as soon as it can be done. Boarding-up incorrectly can cause additional moisture damage, making the situation even worse. We have Class A Subcontractors standing by and ready to assist in any emergency. We can provide you with one-stop shopping. Leave the inconvenience of board-ups to the professionals at SERVPRO of Virginia Beach to make it "Like it never even happened." Call us at 757-431-1400 to ensure no further damage occurs to the structure or its contents.
Winter Storm Help in Virginia Beach
Virginia winter weather can be unpredictable
Winter weather in Virginia can be very unpredictable. Though snow has not yet been in the forecast this year, it will still prove to be beneficial to prepare your home, car and surrounding area for any impending storm. A few helpful tips for homeowners:
Salt pavement around your house: The city is pretty good with clearing the roads around your home, however any sidewalks and pathways are left up to the homeowner to clear. To make things easier on homeowners, once you are aware of any storm headed your way, spread street salt on your driveway and walkway. Placing salt down prior to any snow storm can reduce the ice that forms underneath piles of snow.
Keep a steady drip: With snow comes freezing and sometimes below freezing temperatures leaving your pipes vulnerable and likely to freeze and in turn burst. Having a slow but steady drip of warm water flow through will help keep your pipes from freezing during these conditions.
Create a winter ready emergency kit: In the event of a snow storm, the strength of it is always unpredictable. To keep you and your family safe, create and keep a winter ready emergency kit available. A few things to keep in the kit; bottled water, batteries, a functioning radio, different layers of clothing, blankets and non perishable food items.
SERVPRO of Virginia Beach has a 24/7 emergency response team that is ready to handle all storm damage in Hampton Roads, 24 hour, 365 days a year, for any residential or commercial location in the Hampton Roads area.
Virginia Beach Commercial Property Cleaning
Commercial Property Cleaning
As a business owner or facility manager, you do not have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call in SERVPRO of Virginia Beach. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best. SERVPRO of Virginia Beach also offers disinfecting services designed to treat proactive, suspected, and positive COVID-19 contamination. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:
- Air Ducts and HVAC
- Carpet and Upholstery
- Ceilings, Floors, and Walls
- Drapes and Blinds
- Odor Removal
- Trauma and Crime Scene
SERVPRO of Virginia Beach has the resources to help you immediately. Give us a call at 757-431-1400 to schedule an estimate.
The Three Levels of Loss for Virginia Beach Businesses
Virginia Beach commercial buildings
SERVPRO of Virginia Beach specializes in both residential and commercial losses. Similar to residential losses, commercial losses have a three-tier damage level that we access.
Level 1 is a small commercial loss involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. Examples of a small commercial loss may include a stand-alone store front, a small church, or a daycare facility. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.
Level 2 is a mediumcommercial loss involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. They are typically multi-level or greatly divided spaces. Examples of a level 2 loss may include a small multi-family property, a midsize church, or a school. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure
Level 3 is a largecommercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. Examples of a level 3 loss can include a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”
Make SERVPRO of Virginia Beach your first call to help you or your business and your local insurance agent assess the damage. We will work for you to restore the property to make it "Like it never even happened."
When Water Strikes in Virginia Beach
When Water Strikes in Virginia Beach
If you are looking to prevent damage to your home, staying ahead of water damage is crucial. Water damage leads to rotted wood, insect infestation, peeling paint and weakened roofs and siding, Mold or Mildew
Check for leaks and cracks where water can enter, such as windows and doors, especially around corners. Clean and caulk these leaks immediately. Look for broken shingles and cracks in exterior walls. Repair or replace any broken shingles that are allowing water in, seal all cracks and holes in your home’s foundation, joints, and exterior walls. Ceiling leaks can be dealt with by measuring the location of the leak from the nearest outside wall, then locating this point in the attic with a measuring tape.
Check your home for leaking faucets, sweating pipes, bad drainage systems, and clogged drains—all of these can lead to water leaking, pooling, and causing damage. Keep an eye on your water heater for signs of leaking water or rust. If you have a wood home, look out for termite damage. To prevent future leaks, install flashing around doors, windows, thresholds, chimneys, and roofs—it prevents water from penetrating places where two different building surfaces meet.
Maybe you are just dealing with a burst pipe, or worse yet you have a flooded basement. Regardless of how bad the initial damage is, you cannot afford to wait to start the water cleanup process. Within just a single hour up to a day after your home has been exposed to water, it will begin to cause damage. This is when drywall begins to bulge and break, furniture begins to swell and crack, and metal surfaces begin to tarnish
Water spreads very quickly and will get absorbed into the floors, the walls, your furniture, and other areas in your home. Once you have stopped the actual leak, you need to immediately start the process of water mitigation, which is the process of preventing or reducing the amount of water damage, to prevent additional damage so time is of the essence. If water damage persists for more than a week, mildew and mold growth, structural damage and biohazard contaminants may pose serious risks to you and your family. The delay in restoration time may also significantly increase the cost to repair water damage.
Do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Virginia Beach at 757-431-1400 we strive to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Home Fires are Preventable in Virginia Beach
Home Fires are Preventable in Virginia Beach
When it comes to your home or business there are certain safety precautions that can be taken to help to prevent fires. Ready.gov has provided the following tips on Home fire prevention.
- Frayed wires can cause fires. You should replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords as soon as possible. Do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- Immediately shut off then replace light switches that are hot to the touch and all lights that flicker.
- This one seems more obvious, if you have a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it into a two-slot outlet or an extension cord
- Never leave candles unattended.
If you have a fireplace a woodstove they should be inspected annually. They should also be checked monthly for damage and or obstructions. You should use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
Emergency Ready Profile for Virginia Beach Commercial Buildings
No one ever plans a disaster; however, you can prepare for it with our Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). The ERP will help ensure you are “ready for whatever happens”. In the event of an emergency the ERP is a FREE comprehensive document containing critical information about your business. Some examples are listed below:
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
- A concise profile that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information, emergency exits.
- Profile is viewable online or on your SERVPRO READY APP and is secured with a login and password.
Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having an Emergency READY Profile in place may help minimize the amount of time that your business is inactive and get you back into your building. Do not wait until a disaster strikes, Contact SERVPRO of Virginia Beach to establish your Emergency READY Profile.
Knowing the Class of Your Fire Extinguisher in Virginia Beach
Understanding fire extinguisher classes
There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.
- Class A will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper
- Class B are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, and oil
- Class C are suitable for use only on electrically energized fires
- Class D are designed for use on flammable metals
Multipurpose extinguishers can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one class, like A-B, B-C or A-B-C.
Purchasing your fire extinguisher
Now that you know how many extinguishers you need and what types to get, you can head to the hardware store. Look for fire extinguishers that you can easily lift. Larger extinguishers may pack more power, but you must be able to use it properly.
Learning how to use your fire extinguisher
Once you have made your purchases, familiarize yourself with the fire extinguisher directions so you will be prepared in case you need to put out a fire. Typically, fire extinguishers are easy to use in the case of a fire. Most of the types operate using the P.A.S.S. technique:
- P. Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher to break the tamper seal.
- A. Aim the fire extinguisher low, with the nozzle pointed at the base of the fire.
- S. Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher to release the extinguishing agent.
- S. Sweep the nozzle from side to side while pointed at the base of the fire until it is extinguished.
- If the fire re-ignites, repeat the last 3 steps.
SERVPRO of Virginia Beach professionals have the training and the equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”