Recent Posts

Smoke Alarms Save Lives in Virginia Beach

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Smoke alarms save lives

Smoke alarms save lives when property installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of first where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Virginia Beach at 757-431-1400.

SERVPRO of Virginia Beach owner explains when and why you should hire a professional after water damage

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

House floating on water Water damage have can long term effects on your home

The thing about water damage and repair professionals is that no one seems to have interest in knowing one until they're 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's 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 can restore vs. replace. We have special drying techniques which will save time and money for the insured and insurance company. You don't 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 on. You need special equipment to properly dry a structure. 

When should I call a water damage professional?

Anytime you experience a water damage, you should call a professional. 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 times 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 I do 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. Take advice from your insurance company, they work with these professionals everyday and should have a good recommendation. 

Smoke & Soot Facts for Virginia Beach

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage Smoke and soot damage caused by a kitchen fire

Smoke and soot from a fire is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. SERVPRO of Virginia Beach’s smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Virginia Beach will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  The professionals at SERVPRO of Virginia Beach have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO of Virginia Beach at 757-431-1400.

When Water Damage Strikes in Virginia Beach

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of receiving a loss notification, SERVPRO of Virginia Beach professionals will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

INSPECTION – SERVPRO of Virginia Beach will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning the work.

EMERGENCY SERVICES – SERVPRO of Virginia Beach will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal property and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.

MONITORING – To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO of Virginia Beach professional will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated with you.

RESTORATION SERVICES – SERVPRO of Virginia Beach will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets and clean affected areas of your property and contents. A final walk-through of the jobsite will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to its preloss condition.

EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS:

  • Shut off the water source, if possible, or contact a qualified professional to stop the water source
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other sensitive valuables to a dry place
  • Do not enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water to avoid electrical shock hazards
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water – this could cause electrical shock or damage to the device
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water

For more information on recovering from water damage, contact SERVPRO of Virginia Beach at 757-431-1400.

Improve Your Air Quality: Duct Cleaning Can Help

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

What's in my ducts? Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the ductwork in your home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Virginia Beach's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. 

The SERVPRO duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO professionals use a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

SERVPRO'S DUCT CLEANING SYSTEM:

- The process begins by suing patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.

- Next, a powerful push-pull delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16 gallon container.

- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.

- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information on duct cleaning or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Virginia Beach today at 757-431-1400.

We Are Cleaning Experts

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Virginia Beach, 757-431-1400

SERVPRO of Virginia Beach Spotlight: Anna Cheracles

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

As a second-generation owner, Anna has held almost every position within the company since she began working at SERVPRO of Virginia Beach.  Before SERVPRO, Anna attended Old Dominion University, had a few jobs between high school and college, including managing a couple local tanning salons, while working part time at SERVPRO until 2007, when she came on board full time to learn how to run the business.

Anna is currently running the franchise as the General Manager, alongside operations manager, Jason Cheracles, her husband. Together they have grown the business with a wonderful team consisting of their office team (lead by her sister, Katie Anderton and office manager, Lisa Corley); a phenomenal marketing division and amazing production team of extremely hard-working technicians and managers.

Anna says, “Each and every person serves a very important role in making sure that our SERVPRO franchise is successful. From the very first phone call into the office about a new loss, to the production technician performing the work and all the way to the accounts receivable team collecting the money at the end and leaving us with a happy and 100% satisfied customer. Our customers don’t ask for these water/fire/mold losses to occur, so we do our best to put their lives and homes back together as quickly and effectively as possible, while trying to make a bad experience a less stressful one. It’s a hard job, but by having the right, positive people on our team, we make it work.”

Anna learned everything show knows from her parents, Bob and Beth Simeone, who started the Virginia Beach franchise in 1991. She has grown up in the business and enjoys seeing how her team helps people each and every day. Anna’s interest is not only on the customers, but on the employees as well. It has been fun for her to see so many people grow into their career and personal lives while they are working with the SERVPRO family.

While not working at the office, Anna enjoys spending her time with her husband Jason, and their three children; Ray, Maddox and Charlee. She loves watching her son Maddox play keeper for his Tsunami soccer team, which have been together for the past 4 years, growing from recreational soccer, all the way up to division 1 travel. She also enjoys watching (and listening) to her daughter Charlee play the piano. Her step-son Ray, who just turned 16, keeps her on her toes.  She has loved seeing him grow into a young adult during his teenage years.

Anna and Jason also have two dogs: an 11-year-old Shih Tzu named Bella (who also serves as the SERVPRO office guard dog) and 3 year old Australian Shepherd, Molly.

At the end of the day, Anna loves that her family gets to work together every day. They get to share in each other’s successes and build a company together that truly believes in their mission statement, which is “to develop an accountable team of caring people who are committed to excellence and focus on quality service by being honest, fair and enthusiastic in their work.” By following this mission statement, SERVPRO of Virginia Beach has been able to build an incredible team of individuals that care about the work they do, and the customers that are affected by their actions.

Free ERP'S

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Virginia Beach has 30 years of experience in restoring property damaged by fire, water & smoke. During those years, we have discovered that businesses that do not have an emergency plan in place, prior to a disaster, sustain much greater losses due in large part to the additional time it takes them to react and take proper emergency steps to mitigate damage after a loss has occurred.

The degree of damage not only increases with the length of time it takes to react, but dollars lost due to business interruptions also increase very rapidly. As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that do survive, many of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at giving you peace of mind.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do, who to call and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize the affects water and fire damage can have on your business.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile offers:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise Profile Document 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
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Virginia Beach as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin
  • Facility details such as shut-ff valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information

Give us a call today to get started!

How SERVPRO of Virginia Beach saves Damaged Documents

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and water damage can not only affect the structure of your property but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Virginia Beach specializes in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help save you money while preserving precious keepsakes, furnishings and clothing that can’t be replaced.

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of Virginia Beach can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. Each item is carefully packed up and transported to our facility for cleaning. We use several methods of cleaning your contents: dry cleaning, used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning; wet cleaning, an effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues; spray and wipe, effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning; foam cleaning, used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned; abrasive cleaning, involves agitation of the surface being cleaned and emersion cleaning, where contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

After cleaning, we meticulously re-wrap the contents in fresh packing material and place them in new boxes, which are stored, until building restoration is completed.

Dont Turn Off the Drying Equipment

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

When you call SERVPRO of Virginia Beach to help restore your property after suffering a water damage, our professional technicians will place the appropriate equipment to dry out the area as quickly as possible. It is important to always following our instructions and keep the equipment running at all times. We realize that the equipment is noisy and can become bothersome if you remain in your home during the restoration process, however, turning off the air movers and/or dehumidifiers can delay the drying time and can cause further damage to your property such as mold growth. It is also important to note that oftentimes your insurance coverage will only pay for the drying equipment for a specific length of time, depending on the category of damage. Your SERVPRO of Virginia Beach project manager will monitor the moisture readings of the equipment daily to determine the appropriate time for removal. If you have any concerns or questions about the drying equipment, be sure to speak to any of our crew members.