Recent Posts

What are Flood Cuts?

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

A huge storm just blew through your area and unfortunately your home wasn’t as prepared as you thought. Your basement is flooded and while you’ve already called SERVPRO of Norfolk West out to begin emergency services, now your restoration specialist is talking about making flood cuts in your walls. Well, what on earth is a flood cut? Odds are unless you’re in the industry or have experienced a home flood before, you’ve likely never heard of the term “flood cut” before so we’d like to explain what that is to help you better understand what happens when you call SERVPRO of Norfolk West out to your home for storm damage remediation.

First, what exactly is a flood cut? Flood cuts are when the drywall in your home is cut out and removed in the areas that have been affected by water damage. These cuts range in height but are typically between 12-18 inches above where the water damage stops affecting the drywall.

So why bother? When your house floods water doesn’t only affect what is visible in your home. Water can seep into your walls and into the insulation behind them or into the support beams of your home. These flood cuts allow our restoration professionals to see what’s inside your walls and help ensure that everything is dried out properly. In addition, without these cuts it would be impossible to know the state of the insulation and supports behind the wall, and they also need to be inspected for damage to ensure they don’t need replaced. Insulation can not be properly dried out and saved without making these cuts in the walls and providing them proper airflow.

Now that you know what the term means, you can see that flood cuts are an essential part of being able to properly restore your home after storm and flood damage. We hope that this helps make the process of dealing with these unfortunate events a little bit easier. Our team here at SERVPRO of Norfolk West is ready and waiting for your call should you ever find yourself in need of our water damage restoration services.

Tips To Minimize Secondary Damage After Water Damage

5/9/2022 (Permalink)

When your building experiences water damage some of the damage is caused immediately when the water soaks items like your carpets and furniture, but damage can continue to happen even days after the event if it’s not addressed quickly. This is called secondary damage and includes things like warped floors, mold, wood rot, etc. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help minimize the risks of your building experiencing secondary damage.

  • The most important thing you can do is to start cleanup and drying out your property as soon as possible. The longer water sits in your building the more damage it can cause. Removing the water quickly will help to prevent it from soaking into the structure more than it already has and will help to reduce the overall humidity in your building lowering your risk of mold growth and structural damage.
  • Take care to ensure that all of the affected areas are properly dried out. This is one of the main reasons why you should always consider calling a professional mitigation company to handle any water damage in your business. We’re able to use special equipment to help make sure that areas are properly dry and there’s no lingering hidden moisture. Everything must be dried out before repairs can begin.
  • Once everything is dry and repairs have started, it’s important to make sure that all affected surfaces are cleaned and sanitized. Mold can begin to grow in less than 24 hours after a water damage event and spreads quickly.

As you can see, the common theme here is the need to act quickly when you’re experiencing water damage in your home or business. That’s why at SERVPRO of Norfolk West we respond faster to any size disaster. Our team is ready for your call 24/7, 365 days a year!

Why Do I Have Mold In My Attic?

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

In homes, storage/utility spaces like attics can often get neglected in being cared for. When you aren’t constantly using a space it’s easy to forget that it exists in your day-to-day life, but it’s important to make sure that you are regularly inspecting all aspects of your house to make sure nothing is damaged or that anything that has caused damage is addressed before it can cause even more damage. In attics there is a lot of potential for moisture to build up and when that happens it creates the right setting for mold growth to occur. If mold goes unnoticed it can continue to spread and cause a lot of damage to your home’s structure. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help prevent moisture buildup and mold growth in your attic:

Proper Ventilation – Ensuring that you have proper airflow and ventilation in your attic is the first step in reducing moisture levels. While important year-round, it is especially important in the winter. Warm air from heating your home rises to your attic and can condense on the cooler surfaces. You should check and make sure that there is no insulation or anything else covering the vents so that this moisture can escape.

Insulation – While making sure that insulation is not covering any of the vents is important, it is also important to make sure that you have enough insulation for it to do its job. Insulation is what helps to control the temperature in the attic. Proper insulation on the floor of the attic helps to reduce heat transfer from inside your home to the attic. This is important because if your attic is too warm during winter months this can aide in the condensation of moisture.

Leaks – While your roof is meant to keep the elements out, leaks can still happen. Check areas where the roof is joined or other areas where there are protrusions from the roof like a chimney, as these areas are most prone to leaks. Insulation and wood that has been affected by water damage will be discolored, which is helpful in trying to spot areas where water may be leaking from.

Fans and Dryers – Make sure that all of your fans like your kitchen and bathroom fans vent directly outside. The same goes for your dryer vents as well. The moisture and heat that comes from these appliances can be too much for the attic’s ventilation and cause excess buildup that can’t be regulated by the vents.

Hopefully these tips will help keep your attic dry and mold free! If you how however find yourself in need of water damage or mold remediation, SERVPRO of Norfolk West offers IICRC certified restoration services. Our team is constantly training to help ensure that they are using the latest techniques and equipment to provide the best service that we can. From initial moisture removal and dry out, to mold mitigation, and even full reconstruction, we’re here to help every step of the way to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Why You should Repair Hail Damage

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

Hail is one of those storm events that people tend to not pay much attention to, but hail can cause millions of dollars in damages to your commercial building. Between roof repairs, siding and roof mounted equipment, there are a lot of potential ways hail can cause damage to your property. With so many other costs involved in running a business it can be easy to look past what appears to be only cosmetic damage in favor of other pressing business expenses but doing so can be a risky endeavor. As leaders in the restoration field us here at SERVPRO of Norfolk West wanted to help you to understand the importance of addressing hail damage promptly.

Worse Damage – When hail hits your roof it can cause some serious damage at the right size, however, even when the hail is smaller, these impacts can lead to cracks in the roof overtime. So, even if there are no leaks after the storm it is possible that if left untreated the damages can lead to leaks down the road and even more costly water damage cleanup.

Insurance – On top of the potential for extra costs if damage worsens, if hail damage isn’t addressed and causes another kind of damage to your business, your insurance may decide that you are in violation of your policy and not cover the damages. You should make a claim as soon as you notice hail damage and get it fixed before it has a chance to cause anymore issues.

Cosmetics – Roof damage from hail falls under the category of either cosmetic or functional. Functional damage should be addressed immediately as it poses an immediate threat to your business functions. Cosmetic damage may just not look great but could eventually turn into functional damage if left unchecked. A good example of this non roof related would be not fixing a cosmetic dent/paint chip in a car, that eventually leads to rusting of the area where the dent is. On top of this, unsightly damage to your business that’s visible to customers is never ideal and can potentially turn new clients away.

If your home or business suffers from hail damage or any other kind of storm damage, give SERVPRO of Norfolk West a call. We’re here to help, with years of industry experience and training our technicians work hard to make your storm damage “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage to Hard Wood Floors

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

When your home experiences water damage, besides the structural concerns, one of the biggest can definitely be your hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are expensive and add both cosmetic and monetary value to your home so, if possible, you obviously want to try and avoid ripping them out and replacing them.

With the correct equipment and training it is possible to save your floors from having to be removed, so it is imperative that you call a professional restoration company like us here at SERVPRO of Norfolk West.

There are multiple factors that can play a part in our ability to restore your floors to preloss conditions:

Moisture Levels – Hardwood floors have a very low moisture content. When water pools on them for long periods of time the moisture gets soaked into the wood and can take weeks to dry out on its own. This can cause the wood to buckle, have raised edges or have the panels separate from each other.

Time – The type of wood in question plays a role in how quickly water is absorbed and then dried out. Wood rot happens when microbial growth in water is left without treatment in wood and begins to break down the wood. The faster that the water damage to your hardwood floors is addressed the more likely we are able to restore your floors and not have to replace them.

Drying Methods – Both the kinds of woods used as well as the installation methods play a part in the decision of which drying method should be used to dry out your floors. Specialized equipment like drying mats can be used to dry large portions of your flooring at a time helping to speed up the process and ensure moisture readings are at the correct levels. Using the installation methods, wood density, and other factors, our trained technicians will determine just how long the mats should be left in place.

As you can see, there are quite a few factors that decide whether or not you will have to replace your expensive hardwood floors or not, and that it’s best left to the professionals to handle to help increase your odds of restoration. So, if you find yourself in need of water damage restoration, don’t delay and give us a call asap. Our team is waiting to see how we can help you today.

Common Household Fire Causes

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association home fires caused over $8.4 billion in damages in 2020. While some fires are unfortunate and unpreventable accidents, there are some that could have been prevented if proper precautions were put in place. We wanted to discuss some of the most common causes of residential fires and how to prevent them to help keep you and your family safe!

  1. Cooking – The leading cause of fires in homes with a staggering 49% of fires, is due to cooking accidents and unfortunately most of these fires were preventable. You should never leave your stove or oven unattended while in use and be sure to set a timer when cooking things for a long period of time, so you don’t forget about them. If using oil and a fire starts, never use water to put the fire out. Keep a lid that is capable of covering the pan in use nearby, to smother the flames in the pan if possible and don’t remove the lid until the pan is completely cool.
  2. Heating equipment – After cooking, heating equipment like space heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces are the next most common, causing 13% of residential fires. Be sure to always leave enough room between your space heaters and other objects in your home. If using a wood stove be sure to clean out the ashes regularly and store them outside in a metal container, AWAY from your home. Chimneys should be inspected regularly and cleaned to ensure there is no creosote buildup on the insides.
  3. Electrical – Following heating equipment, electrical fires accounted for 9% of residential fires. A majority of these fires were caused by faulty wiring and related equipment, but some were caused by plugs and extension cords. Never overload an outlet with too many things plugged in. Power strips should never be chained together and when using extension cords always double check there is no damage to the wiring before plugging it in.
  4. Smoking materials are another leading cause of fires in homes with 5% of the fires caused. When possible, avoid smoking in your home. If you do smoke inside, be sure to dispose of burning materials in the proper receptacles like a metal or glass ashtray and double check that they are 100% extinguished.

Not all fires are 100% preventable but we hope that this information can help to educate and prevent these traumatic events from happening to you and your family. Here at SERVPRO of Norfolk West we’re here to help, as leaders in the damage restoration industry we know firsthand the extent of damage that fires can cause to a home. If you are suffering from fire damage to your home, please reach out, we’re here to help.

Preventing Bathroom Water Damage

2/24/2022 (Permalink)

Bathrooms are arguably the place where the most water is used in your household. As such, the likelihood of water damage occurring or at least starting from this room is pretty high. We wanted to give you some tips on how to help prevent water damage from happening in your bathroom!

Repair cracked, broken, or missing tiles – If there are cracks or missing tiles in your bathroom, these are spots where water has much easier access to the rest of your house and can get behind walls and under floors faster than if that tile barrier was still functioning.

Exhaust Fan – Make sure that whenever you use the shower that you turn on your exhaust fan. This fan helps to pull out any extra moisture in the air from the steam in your shower and stops it from building up on your walls and ceilings. This is crucial to helping prevent mold growth in your home.

Bathmats – While used for safety as well, having bathmats on your floor can help prevent water from building up around your tub or shower. Just make sure if they get overly wet that you move them and dry them out, and don’t leave them soggy on the floor or it defeats the purpose entirely.

Shower Curtain Liners – Shower curtains usually come with a decorative piece as well as a liner that is meant to go inside the tub. Make sure that before you shower this liner is inside the tub and not hanging out of it, otherwise water can run off the curtain and straight onto your floors!

Regular inspections – You should inspect your valves in all of your water fixtures regularly for proper function as well as making sure there are no leaks. Additionally, a general inspection of the floors and walls to ensure there are no water spots or stains.

There’s always the possibility of unavoidable water damage, but with these tips hopefully you can help to mitigate the damage and lower the chances of anything severe happening. While no one likes water damage, we’d love to help you deal with yours. We’re here to help 24/7, 365 days a year.

How SERVPRO Performs Mold Containment

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

Mold in your home or business is a serious issue.  Besides the potential health implications, in a business it can just give a bad image to customers and employees. Here at SERVPRO of Norfolk West we understand the importance of these problems. Which is why we wanted to explain to you part of the process of handling mold in your home or business. That way you can better understand why you should always call a reliable mold remediation company like SERVPRO to handle any mold remediation needs you may have. Continue reading on to find out how mold containment works and why it is a crucial part of mold remediation.

  • Before work can begin in an area, remediation techs must set up mold remediation containment. This is typically in the form of plastic sheeting to make a sealable work area around the areas of concern. Isolating this problem area is crucial to preventing the cross-contamination of unaffected areas of your home or business.
  • In addition to the sheeting SERVPRO of Norfolk West professionals also use negative air pressure and HEPA air filters to make sure that the air quality in unaffected areas does not become unsafe. This works by ensuring that the air pressure on the outside of the containment unit is higher than inside so that mold contaminated air from within the containment unit does not escape and helps to limit any potential spread of the mold spores to unaffected areas of the building.
  • If improper containment is used during mold remediation, it’s possible to spread the contamination to other parts of the home or business when spores are released into the air while cleaning affected areas.

Hopefully now you better understand the importance of leaving mold remediation to those who are trained in the proper techniques and have the tools to handle these issues safely.

If your home or business is suffering from a mold issue don’t hesitate to give us a call and see how we can help!

Identifying Leaks in Your Home

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

Water leaks in your home can cause a lot of trouble if you can’t find them fast and address the issues. Other than the obvious things like appliances, sinks, and toilets, most pipes are hidden behind the walls of your house. Should you suspect a leak coming from a pipe that you can’t see you can use your water meter to help narrow down if your hypothesis is correct and whether it is from something inside your home or out.

First, you should discontinue any use of water in your home for around twenty minutes. Then, locate your water meter and check the leak indicator to see if water is flowing through the meter still. Typically, this is a little dial, separate from the numbers, that will spin if there is water flowing though the meter.

If it is moving, take note of the numbers on your meter. Continue to not use the water in your home for another hour and then check the numbers again. If the numbers have changed then it’s pretty likely that you have a leak.

You can shut your water off completely and then check your meter for a third time. If the indicator is still moving after you’ve shut off the water to your home completely then the leak is coming from outside your home. However, if the indicator stops moving when you shut the water off it is likely that the leak is somewhere in your house.

You’ll likely need to call a plumber to help figure out the exact cause of the leak and address it. Once you’ve dealt with your leak, if your home has sustained water damage give SERVPRO of Norfolk West a call, and we’ll come help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Advanced Ways to Save Water Damaged Documents at the Naval Station Norfolk Premises

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Water damaged files and papers at the Norfold Naval Station get restored when possible by our local SERVPRO franchise

SERVPRO Eases Access to Superior Water Restoration Methods in Naval Station Norfolk

Although digitization of records has taken root, many important paper documents exist, including case files in law offices, books, and contract documents. It is essential to find ways to save whatever documents you have in your Naval Station Norfolk premises from moisture.

Where paper materials are involved, water damage in Naval Station Norfolk properties can develop from direct or indirect exposure. For instance, overhead leaks from pipes or fire suppression systems can wet books or documents stored in shelves or cabinets. Damage can also arise from the evaporation of spilled water since papers are hygroscopic. SERVPRO uses advanced techniques to save paper documents.

Some useful methods that help save documents include:

  • Dehumidification
  • Freezer drying
  • Vacuum freeze-drying
  • Vacuum thermal drying

Dehumidification is the most used approach for dying wet documents. One reason is that dehumidifiers are widely available when restoring water-damaged structures. It works well for moist or damp documents. Our SERVPRO teams are equipped with different types of dehumidifiers to dry the items on-site.

Incorporating freezing in the drying processes helps save documents with significant water exposure. The main methods that facilitate this are freezer drying and vacuum freeze-drying. The wet items are frozen within 24 hours after exposure which stops deterioration. With vacuum freeze-drying, the items are placed in a chamber, creating a vacuum, then the temperature is raised to around 32°F, causing sublimation. Since the moisture does not turn to a liquid, the process minimizes text distortion.

Vacuum thermal drying is not that different from the above. The difference is the temperature used. With vacuum thermal drying, the temperature is higher than 32°F. Even with the advanced methods, some damages might persist. For instance, treated or papers bond together. Damage to leather and vellum-bound books might also persist.

SERVPRO of Norfolk West offers regular and advanced water damage restoration services to address any issue, “Like it never even happened.” You can reach us at (757) 625-1245.