Musty Smell After A Storm? | Manassas
For a general understanding of what is considered "mold" and what to be concerned about, read this article taken from the National Institute of Health Sciences. For More information, go to https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/mold/index.cfm
Molds are microscopic organisms that play an important role in the breakdown of plant and animal matter. Outdoors, molds can be found in shady, damp areas, or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoor molds can grow on virtually any surface, as long as moisture, oxygen, and organic material are present. When molds are disturbed, they release tiny cells called spores into the surrounding air.
How do people get exposed to mold?
People are exposed to molds every day and everywhere, at home, at work, at school, both indoors and out. Molds are generally not harmful to healthy humans.
Inhalation is considered the primary way that people are exposed to mold. Mold spores and fragments can become airborne and get into the air we breathe. People may also be exposed to mold through the skin. Workers should be properly protected with safety equipment when remediating, or cleaning up mold after a disaster. In some cases, people may be exposed to mold through their diet.
What are the most common forms of mold?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common indoor molds are:
- Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as black mold)
What can I do to get rid of mold in my home?
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), residents can do any of the following to prevent, and or get rid of, mold in their homes:
- Keep your house clean and dry.
- Fix water problems, such as roof leaks, wet basements, and leaking pipes or faucets.
- Make sure your home is well ventilated, and always use ventilation fans in bathrooms and kitchens.
- If possible, keep humidity in your house below 50 percent, by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
- Avoid using carpeting in areas of the home that may become wet, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
- Dry floor mats regularly.
Be Prepared: Winter Storms Impact Your Business & Residential Home | Manassas
If you have storm damage, call us at 703-646-9028.
You see a big winter storm in the forecast. What can you do to make sure you and your home are ready for it? Well, we’ve got a few tips for you. First of all, make a list of anything you need from the store and get there well before the storm is set to hit. Chances are, everyone in town will be doing the same thing, so give yourself plenty of time to make it through the store and get back home. Make sure you have some backup sources of heat such as space heaters. Also, having some flashlights or candles on hand is a great idea in case you lose power. You’ll need to make sure that you have a snow shovel to dig your way out and some rock salt so that you and your family don’t slip once you do. If you have pipes in any part of your house that is unheated or not insulated well, run cold water through them. Even a small trickle of water can help them not to freeze up. If they do freeze, you not only run the risk of not having water, but them bursting and causing water damage in your home that can be devastating. Make sure your windows and doors are sealed well to keep the warm air in and the cold air out! Sometimes, even with all this preparation, things are beyond our control.
Does winter storm damage have you worried about your business? We know how stressful that can be, especially in Northern Virginia! You could have a day that’s fifty degrees and sunny, and the next be stuck in your house because there is so much snow. With so much unpredictability in our weather, one thing you can depend on is that we are always here to help! With our 24 hour emergency services, we are faster to any size disaster. We know how important your business is. We also know you can’t run it effectively if you’re worried about how you’re going to get the water cleaned up from that pipe that froze and burst. So let us worry about that for you! We’ll do whatever you need to work with your schedule, insurance carrier and any other needs you may have. We know getting you back to preloss conditions as quickly as possible is the priority, so all of our managers and technicians are trained to be efficient and effective in their work. Let us take it from here.
Christmas Safety Tips | Manassas
Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.
- Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn. The recommendation is at least 3 feet away.
- Make sure to water your live trees on a regular basis.
- Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
- Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
- Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
- Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.
Before heading out, or to bed:
- Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
Not So Fun Facts
- More than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles.
- More than two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
And Remember, SERVPRO of Manassas is here if the unfortunate happens 703-656-9028.
What To Do If My Home Gets Severe Water Damage? | Manassas Homes
There are many possible causes for water in home, including flooding from outside and water damage from a broken pipe or other damage along your pipes. Whatever the original cause, as water spreads through your home, some of your most precious belongings can suffer damage. The steps you take right after the water recedes could mean either successful recovery or lasting damage:
4 Steps to Follow After Water Damage
- Contact Professionals
The sooner cleaning and restoration professionals get to your home, the better your reconstruction efforts. It does not take long for water damage to spread; within just a day or two, mold may begin to set in. Additionally, floodwater is not clean, and without the right cleaning techniques, your home may suffer from insect infestations, other pests, and lasting odors. In addition to cleaning pros, you should reach out to your insurance provider.
- Remove Water and Dry Your Home
Once you have pumped or mopped out as much water as possible, begin drying off your furniture and other belongings. You may need to move some furnishings to a dry spot outside. Delicate fabrics and clothing may require dry cleaning or other professional efforts. Be aware that hardwoods, subflooring, and other parts of your home do not dry quickly. It may take days of effort before all water in home has been removed.
- Separate Items for Cleaning and Disposal
Before you throw out cherished memorabilia, ask professionals about cleaning and repair steps. There are many techniques that can be used to save rugs, documents, artwork, and other valuable belongings.
- Disinfect Your Home
After your home has been dried and your possessions fully cleaned, everything must be disinfected to prevent bacteria from infecting your belongings and the structure of the home. Trust professionals to appropriately apply disinfectants, so you can avoid damaging wood, fabric, and other textiles.
You cannot always prevent water in home from spreading to your belongings, but you can take quick action to correct the situation. Remember that even a minor delay could lead to further, lasting damage. So, call us here at SERVPRO of Manassas we are ready to help 24/7/365!! 703-656-9028!!!
Avoid a Winter Water Emergency in Your Manassas Home
Winter weather can be a stunning sight to behold. The beauty of snowflakes falling and blankets of white snow covering our town can be breathtaking. But while this weather might be lovely, it also brings an increased danger of water damage to your property.
The accumulation of snow and ice surrounding your home is a water emergency waiting to happen.
Winter’s effects don't have to put your property at risk for water damage. You can take in its beauty while keeping in mind some of the ways that winter weather might cause a water crisis.
Check Your Gutters
- When it comes to protecting your property from the effects of winter weather, your gutters are a crucial tool. When your gutters are clogged with debris or ice, water can leak down and ruin your roof, basement and foundation. Due to restricted water flow, clogged gutters also increase the risk of an ice dam forming around your home.
- Make sure your gutters are free of any leftover fall debris like leaves and twigs to allow water to flow smoothly away from your home. If you find your gutters are frozen solid, hot water can help melt any ice stuck inside.
Look Out for Melting Snow
- It only takes a few inches of snow to create a water damage threat all around your property. And given that the Manassas area has been hit by some severe snowstorms in the past, we should take the time to prepare for the unexpected.
- Snow melt is a common cause of leaks in the winter. As soon as the weather begins to warm up and snow begins to melt, water can flood your foundation, leak through your roof and damage your drain pipes.
- The potential for snow melt is another reason you should keep your gutters clear of debris. As long as your gutters and downspouts are clear, melting snow will have somewhere to go!
Protect Your Pipes
- You aren't the only one who’s freezing cold in the winter, your pipes can get really chilly, too. When the water in your pipes expands when temperatures drop, excess pressure can lead to a rupture. An unfavorable winter water emergency can result from this sudden surge of water flooding into your home.
- Keep your pipes warm and cozy by adjusting your thermostat and opening up your cabinet doors. If you are wanting to go the extra mile, insulate any exposed pipes and wrap your pipes in heat tape for added protection.
The Dangers of Leaving a Leak Untreated
When you first notice the signs of a leak in your home, it’s easy to dismiss them. You might be concerned about this seemingly tiny leak, but you might not think to repair it right away.
That decision could have disastrous consequences and result in a variety of disasters in your home.
Knowing what a little leak can cause will help you better understand why you should fix it before it gets out of hand.
Where Do Leaks Emerge?
Before we go over some of the dangers that a leak might cause, let’s take a look at where you might find water dripping in your Manassas home:
Clogged pipes are a common source of leaks within the home. Backed-up pipes can occur in rooms such as your bathroom or kitchen. Debris, hair, soap scum and grease are all possible causes of a clogged pipe.
Supply line leaks are another cause of leaks in the home. Supply line leaks occur when corroded pipes give way, resulting in water leaks in places where you may not notice until the leak has progressed.
Appliance malfunctions can cause leaks, as well. Your washer or dishwasher can leak when equipment fails, a hose loosens or water drips from the appliance’s water supply. Toilets can lead to devastating leakage too when water drips from the base due to a broken seal.
The Dangers of Waiting to Repair a Leak
Now that we’ve talked about where you might find a leak, let’s talk about why you need to have it repaired immediately. Standing water isn’t the only danger—you might also see…
Mold growth. Mold is one of the most dangerous consequences of a leak, and if left unchecked, it can lead to structural problems! When a leak forms, mold can begin to grow quickly when conditions are right, and it could pop up in areas you may not notice at first.
Electrical hazards. We all know water and electricity don’t get along too well! Water can drip down into electrical sockets, light fixtures or your fuse box. A leak can cause short circuits and electrical failure, leading to another dangerous disaster: an electrical fire.
Ruined infrastructure. Leaks can have a disastrous impact on the structural integrity of your home. Discoloration can occur on your ceilings and walls. Any type of wood flooring has the potential to warp and deteriorate over time. If you detect odors, peeling paint, cracks or damp spots on your ceilings, walls or flooring, it’s probably time to get that leak fixed!
Clogged Toilet Can Cause Water Damage
When you think of overflowing toilets, you may picture a small flood confined to your commercial bathroom. However, if this type of overflow goes unnoticed, your commercial building could have much more extensive sewer damage. The unattended water may travel down walls and through ceilings to affect two floors or more. When this major destruction takes place, you need to call SERVPRO of Manassas Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe homes and offices..
- Stop the flood. A flooded toilet may continue adding water to your building unless you cut off the water supply. Turning off the water may help minimize the damage or at least stop it from getting worse.
- Tear out materials. Because you're dealing with sewer damage, any materials or furnishings that got wet may need to be removed and thrown away. This can include flooring, drywall, insulation and ceiling materials. These items often have to be tossed because sewage usually contains fecal matter, viruses, bacteria, chemicals and other potentially harmful contaminants.
- Disinfect the space. Once the items that can be torn out have been, you need to make sure your commercial space is thoroughly cleaned. The cleaners used will depend on the type of surface getting cleaned, but any sewage company that often deals with this type of cleanup will have the cleaners and equipment needed to get the job done right.
- Dry out the space. Putting dehumidifiers to work ensures your building is rid of excess moisture. If extra water remains, even in the form of humidity, you may have to deal with mold growth in the future.
- Repair the damage. The final step in this cleanup process is repairing any of the damage that was done. If building materials were torn out, they need to be replaced to return your building to normal.
Sewer damage requires an extensive cleanup to ensure your building is safe for inhabitants. If you skip any important steps, you may have to deal with secondary damage sometime down the road.
Getting Ahead of Laundry Room Leaks
You rely heavily on your washer and dryer to help maintain the cleanliness of you and your family. Unfortunately, a large number of homeowners are affected by water damage that started in the laundry room. Luckily, water damage that springs from this source is preventable in many such cases. Here are some SERVPRO of Manassas tips for minimizing water damage that could result from your washer:
- Set up your laundry room thoughtfully and intentionally. Make sure that there are at least three or four inches between the wall and your washer to allow adequate room for the water supply lines without placing any unnecessary tension or strain on them.
- Do not start a load before leaving. Ideally, you (or someone else) should be present in the house while the washer is running just in case something does happen. That way, you can catch any mishap right away, and minimize potential damage and further complications.
- Check your washing machine water supply lines regularly. These supply lines are the number one cause of water damage in the laundry room. Examine these lines, noting if are any blisters, cracks, bubbles, or breakage in the line. If any type of damage is present, you should replace the line immediately (preferably with a braided stainless-steel flex line). However, the general rule of thumb is that if the line is badly worn, the washer probably is too.
- Perform routine maintenance on your washer. Regularly check your washer’s drain and drain filter to make sure that they can are free from debris. A clogged drain can swiftly cause large amounts of flooding. Additionally, you should consult your washer’s owner manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding how often a plumber should inspect your appliance. This will allow you to replace and repair your washer’s parts before they break and cause a leak.
Hopefully, you found these tips helpful and are able to utilize some or all of them to protect your home. In the unfortunate event that this or any type of water damage does impact your home, SERVPRO of Manassas is fully equipped to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Cupping Vs. Warping
When our Project Managers go to a job site and the scope of the property, they are looking for multiple factors to present themselves. One of the most common indicators of this damage is cupping or warping.
Cupping is when the floor boards create a concave shape with higher sides than the center. Cupping is associated with a change in moisture content levels. Warping is more severe than cupping because it involves the floor buckling/popping off of the subfloor. Water vapors can cause this to happen.
If this doesn’t get taken care of by professionals, it can cause microbial growth from the layer of paper that goes in during the installation process to prevent squeaking. If you let this continue without restoration, it can permanently damage your floor.
How to Prevent Further Damage After a Disaster
Disasters can happen at any time, and they can cause a lot of damage to your home or business. If you're unfortunate enough to experience a disaster, it's important to act quickly to prevent further damage.
Here are some tips on how to prevent further damage after a disaster:
- Turn off the utilities. This will help to prevent further damage from water, gas, or electricity.
- Secure your property. This includes boarding up windows and doors, and removing any loose debris.
- Remove any standing water. This will help to prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Ventilate the area. This will help to remove moisture and prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Clean and disinfect any affected areas. This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria and other contaminants.
- Contact a professional restoration company. If the damage is extensive, you may need to hire a professional restoration company to help you get your home or business back to normal.
SERVPRO of Manassas is a trusted leader in damage restoration. We have over 20 years of experience and a proven track record of success. We're committed to providing our customers with the best possible service, and we'll do everything we can to get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.
If you've experienced a disaster, don't wait. Call SERVPRO of Manassas 703-656-9028 to get started with the prevention process. We'll be there quickly to help you keep your property safe and prevent further damage.
Here are some additional tips for preventing further damage after a disaster:
- Take pictures of the damage before you start cleaning up. This will help you document the damage and file an insurance claim.
- Keep receipts for all of your expenses related to the disaster. This will help you get reimbursed by your insurance company.
- Be patient. It may take some time to get your property back to normal.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent further damage after a disaster and get your home or business back to normal as quickly as possible.