Recent Posts

Why Choose SERVPRO of Charlottesville for Fire Damage Restoration? We’ve Been in Your Shoes (Part Two)

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Charlottesville technicians wearing protective gear, cleaning fire damage in our warehouse. We've been in your shoes, and know the trauma of coping with fire and soot damage.

As mentioned in a previous post, SERVPRO of Charlottesville suffered a water damage loss in March 2016. At the end of April 2016, we experienced a warehouse fire. Again, Amy Yates, our wonderful Accounting and HR savant lived through the whole ordeal.

She recounts, “The culprit was some faulty electrical wiring at the outlet between the bay doors. Our next-door neighbor at True Green (lawn fertilizer company) happened to get to work a half an hour earlier than usual, at 6:00 am. He saw smoke coming out of the bay door and called the Fire Department. The Fire Department called SERVPRO of Charlottesville and got me since I was on call. ‘Your building is on fire!’ are hardly the words you want to hear upon awakening. It didn’t take the firefighters long to put out the fire; about 15 to 30 minutes. But it caused so much damage! And soot was everywhere! You don’t realize how fast soot permeates into everything. I still have old files that smell sooty.”

It was ‘all-hands-on-deck’ to:

  • inventory everything
  • throw out what couldn’t be salvaged
  • clean up all affected areas
  • and keep the business open for the customers we were “here to help”

Amy continues her narrative, “The phones were down because the heat affected the wiring. Soot ruins electronic equipment. SERVPRO of Lynchburg lent us equipment since much of ours was ruined in the fire. In retrospect, the fire could have been much worse. The smoke was detected early, and that made all the difference.”

Lessons Learned:

  • We have greater Empathy for customers going through the same kind of trauma
  • We know that the panic is real
  • We know that it WILL get better

So, we know what we are talking about when we say ‘We’ve been in your shoes’.

For information on our Fire Damage Restoration Process, click here.

For information on the training involved for our Restoration Specialists, click here.

For information on IICRC standards and why hiring a Certified IICRC Firm is important, click here.

Before and After photos on our warehouse fire, click here.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, and Soot Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Charlottesville for 24 Hour Emergency service at 434-977-5850  

Viruses Spreading Like Wildfire? SERVPRO of Charlottesville Can Help

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Written Information about ServprOXIDE Worried about Coronavirus or other viruses? SERVPRO of Charlottesville offers Cleaning & Disinfecting Services 434-977-5850

Did you know that SERVPRO offers detailed cleaning and disinfecting services?  And that our corporate office has an in-house chemist that works hard to create products for these specialized services? 

Take SERVPROXIDE for example.  SERVPROXIDE was created by SERVPRO and is designed to kill harmful bacteria, viruses and mold on hard surfaces.  Plus, it is an effective sanitizer for soft surfaces.  Below is a list of Bacteria, Viruses, and Fungi that SERVPROXIDE is used for:


  • Enterobacter aerogenes
  • Escherichia Coli (E-Coli) 
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae 
  • Legionella pneumophila 
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus) 
  • Mycobacterium bovis- BCG (surrogate for tuberculosis) 
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
  • Salmonella enterica 
  • Staphylococcus aureus 


  • Acinetobacter baumannii 
  • Adenovirus 1 
  • Coronavirus
  • Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C 
  • Human Immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) 
  • Influenza A (H1N1) (Swine Flu) 
  • Influenza B Virus 
  • Norovirus (Feline Calicivirus as surrogate) 
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) 
  • Rotavirus 


  • Bordetella bronchiseptica 
  • Canine Distemper Virus 
  • Canine Parvovirus (PARVO) 
  • Feline Calicivirus 
  • Hantavirus (Prospect Hill Virus)


  • Aspergillus niger 
  • Trichophyton mentagrophytes
  • Trichophyton rubrum 


  • an EPA Hospital Grade disinfectant and sanitizer
  • Carries the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating
  • Requires no PPE
  • Safe for everyday use/ general purpose cleaning

Common areas of use:

  • Federally Inspected Meat and Poultry Processing Plants
  • Gyms, Locker Rooms, Sports Gear
  • Homes, Daycares, Schools, Laboratories
  • Hospitals, Nursing Homes
  • HVAC - Internal and External
  • Poultry Houses, Egg Processing Premises, Hatcheries
  • Restaurants, Refrigerated Storage Units
  • Swine Sanitation Premises
  • Vehicles, Ambulances, Buses, Airplanes, Trains, Boats, Cruise Ships
  • Veterinary Clinics, Animal Pens, Farms

While it is not possible to completely prevent the spread of viruses and germs, there are ways to keep them at bay and we are Here to Help!  Call us today at 434-977-5850

Water Loss in Your Charlottesville Business? We’ve been in Your Shoes

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Water damaged office baseboards pulled up while office worker in next room. Water damage remediation in progress simultaneously with remaining open to help our customers.

There’s a saying that goes, “You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” And we have been in your shoes when it comes to dealing with a water loss to our business.

In March 2016 we had a water loss at our current location on Quail Run. A faulty pipe valve, in the ceiling of the men’s bathroom, was the culprit.  Amy, our Accounting and HR savant, was here that morning. She recounts, “I entered the building around 7:30 am and immediately heard the rushing sound of water pouring out onto the carpet, pooling, and spreading quickly down the hall. The initial feeling was to panic, followed by taking action.” Our SERVPRO warehouse manager found the source of loss and worked to stop it, while Amy moved vital office equipment off the floor and out of the way of the encroaching flood. Then she called our franchise owner, Earl, and office manager, Krystina.

Another call was put out to the property manager of our office/warehouse, to inform them of the situation and to go through the proper channels to sign the necessary paperwork and forms to authorize us to do the cleanup. Yes! Even we at SERVPRO needed to make sure all the paperwork was done before getting a ‘green light’ to work!

Our crew members got to work identifying and sketching the affected areas, doing ‘Before’ photos, extracting water, and setting up drying equipment.  

Did it cost us in terms of lost business? No. Our highly trained crew members are professionals who know just what to do. We all took care of the office, in addition to helping our customers.

Lessons learned:

  • Empathy for our customers
  • We know that the panic is real
  • We know that it will get better

To learn about our highly trained crew members, click here.

To learn about the importance of being an IICRC Firm, click here.

Stay tuned to find out how we handled a fire in our warehouse!

Call SERVPRO of Charlottesville at 434-977-5850 for Emergency 24-Hour Service

We’re “Here to Help” 24/7/365

Cooking and Fire Safety Tips for Charlottesville Homes

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Fire-engulfed frying pan on an electric stove. If this happens to your Charlottesville kitchen, we have highly trained Fire Restoration Technicians "Here to Help."

I grew up cooking on a gas burning stove. We had to strike a match to light the stove and did not think about the fire danger involved. Our wooden home was in an older neighborhood built around 1910. No fire extinguisher. No smoke alarms.

It’s what you are accustomed to, right?

Luckily, we were very careful and sensible in the kitchen. Yet, cooking is a major cause of home fires.

Here are some safety tips that apply to everyone, including seniors:

  • Never leave your stove unattended while cooking. Period.
  • Keep the area around the stove clutter-free. Even a pot-holder can catch fire instantly from an electric stove. 
  • Never put Anything on the stovetop, such as grocery bags or cardboard boxes. It would be too easy to accidentally turn it on.
  • Do not store Anything in your oven.
  • Keep the stove surface clean, especially from grease. 
  • Pour hot grease into a coffee can or other heat-safe container. Then throw it away.
  • Roll up your sleeves
  • Keep a fire extinguisher easily accessible (and learn how to use it).

Hopefully, a fire disaster may be avoided. However, if you need us for your fire restoration, we are “Here to Help”.

For information about our Fire Damage Restoration Process click here.

For Fire Damage Emergency Tips click here.

For Questions about Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

Call 434-977-5850. We are “Here to Help” for 24-Hour Emergency Service

Equipment Spotlight: We Can Remediate Storm Damage If There Is No Power, Using Our Generator Trailer

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Our generator trailer being used on a Charlottesville area job site. Auxiliary power for large jobs is one of the many uses for our generator trailer.

Having a powerful generator in the Cleaning and Restoration Industry is a must. When a storm sweeps through the Charlottesville area and causes wind and flood damage to your home or business, you could end up with substantial water damage.

In some cases, it would be dangerous to use electricity.

In other cases, there could be a power outage.

Water damage needs to be remediated immediately; It can ruin everything, especially wood. Mold can quickly become an issue within 24-48 hours. So, how to extract all that water from your structure when time is of the essence?

SERVPRO of Charlottesville has a generator trailer at-the-ready, to power all of our equipment to remediate your storm loss.     

If the power is out because of a storm, SERVPRO of Charlottesville can still be “Here to help.” Call us at 434-977-5850 for 24/7 Emergency Services.

What is a “Puff back”?

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Four SERVPRO of Charlottesville technicians using the Ultrasonic machine to clean soot begrimed pack out items. Our dedicated and meticulous Charlottesville team cleaning soot-begrimed pack outs.

How can something that sounds so cute, like “Puff back”, wreak so much havoc, and cause such a greasy, sooty, smokey mess?

It should be called “Yukky, Smeary, Begrimed Backfire Blast” instead!

In a nutshell, a puff back is when greasy smoke and soot backfire into a home from an oil burning appliance such as an oil furnace, water heater, or boiler. This residue is distributed through the duct system and living space, covering everything: drapes, bedding, furniture, computers, books, art, rugs, electronics, cabinets, ceiling, walls…

 A similar phenomenon can occur from a fireplace or wood stove, where soot is released into the room, but it is not considered a “puff back.”

If this happens to you:

  • Don’t attempt to clean the smoke or soot residue yourself. These stains spread easily and set quickly.
  • Don’t use the furniture or walk on the carpet.
  • Don’t turn on computers and other electronic devices; They can be ruined from this corrosive soot.
  • This oily soot can cause health issues.

Puff backs can be prevented with furnace and chimney yearly maintenance and cleaning.

SERVPRO of Charlottesville is an IICRC Certified Firm with the proper techniques, training, products and equipment to clean everything affected by a “puff back”, or “yukky, smeary, begrimed backfire blast.”

For information on our fire/soot damage restoration process, click here.

For videos about our soot damage cleanup and restoration, click here.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today at 434-977-5850

Why Are We “Faster to Any Size Disaster”?

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

A sea of green SERVPRO vehicles and equipment neatly laid out in our warehouse. Our fleet of vehicles and equipment is ready for any size disaster.

Fast 24-Hour Emergency Service

Fun Fact: Did you know that there are over 46 SERVPRO Franchises in the state of Virginia?

Being locally owned and operated, as well as being a franchise of a nationally recognized brand, is the best of both worlds. We live and work locally, and know Central Virginia well. But we also have corporate support when we need it. And, sure enough, we needed the help two years ago, when the spring rains just…wouldn’t…stop.

Of course, we had an extraordinarily high call rate about water damage. Our owner, Earl Clarke, put in a call for help. The very next day, a 53-foot trailer of equipment arrived with teams of IICRC certified technicians/crewmembers “here to help.”  


SERVPRO of Charlottesville is an IICRC Certified Firm. On top of that, all of our technicians are IICRC certified in Water Damage Restoration.  Crewmember training is ongoing, as noted here. For a list of our certifications, click here.

Advanced Technology

For a faster response, our high-tech equipment is preloaded and neatly organized on our vehicles. Our high-tech equipment includes:

  • moisture detection and measurement equipment
  • water extraction and drying equipment
  • techniques for deodorization and anti-microbial treatments

For more information on our advanced technology, click here.  

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 434-977-5850

And remember, “We’re Here to Help”

After a Storm, the Clock Starts Ticking for Mold Issues

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Dark, gloomy basement with storm water completely covering the floor. Storm damage to a Charlottesville area home floods the basement and can encourage a mold issue.

The storm came and blew through the area, and now you are left with a horrible memento:

  • A flooded basement
  • A leaky roof
  • A flooded first floor
  • A downed tree on the house

Now what? 

You do what you can to clean up the storm damage, but the situation is overwhelming. And the clock is ticking…

Within 24 to 78 hours of a water encroachment, mold can quickly become a complication. Mold spores are all around us. In order to grow and flourish, mold needs:

  • source of moisture
  • food (organic material/cellulose, drywall, wood, paper, carpet, clothes, pretty much anything in your house)
  • wide temperature range, between 32 and 122 degrees.

Here’s what you can do till SERVPRO of Charlottesville arrives:

For Mold Damage Emergency Tips, click here.

For Water Damage Emergency Tips, click here.

For more Information on Storm Cleanup and Restoration, click here.

Call SERVPRO of Charlottesville for Storm Damage and Mold Remediation!

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 434-977-5850

We are locally owned and operated, with national storm resources, so we can be “Faster to any size disaster.”

Do You Have Mold in Your Charlottesville Commercial Property?

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

Man in white remediation suit with face mask and respirator, in a mold containment area. We have the training, expertise, and equipment to manage any mold remediation assignment.

Mold is all around us in our environment. You can’t escape it!

Just add water and give it a few days, to encourage the mold to grow.

We get a lot of calls at SERVPRO of Charlottesville concerning mold in commercial buildings. Don’t panic!

We can address these concerns, by finding out:

  • Where is the source of moisture?
  • What needs to be fixed to stop the moisture from entering the workplace?
  • Are any employees experiencing any health effects from this?

If the answer is “Yes” to the Health Issues question, we immediately refer the caller to an Industrial Hygenist for Indoor Air Quality and Mold testing.  

We are able to remediate the mold, not test the mold.

An Industrial Hygenist is able to give the business owner more information through 1.) a full site visual inspection, 2.) collection and testing cultured air and surface samples, and 3.) measuring the moisture levels in the building. Their findings and recommendations are included in a report, or protocol, which is given to the customer.

  • The next step is for the commercial customer to send us the protocol.
  • We can then do an assessment at the business site.
  • Only then, can we give a price range, and scope of work, keeping in mind that there may be unknowns.

For more information on our Mold Remediation Process, click here.

For more information on mold in your commercial building, click here.

SERVPRO of Charlottesville is locally owned and operated and available for Emergency Service 24/7. Call us for Mold Remediation at 434-977-5850.

IICRC Certification: Why This Should Be Important to You

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Production Manager, Ryan Mitchell, holding our IICRC Certified Firm plaque, next to the wall of employee certifications. Production Manager, Ryan Mitchell, holding our IICRC Certified Firm plaque, next to the wall of employee certifications.

IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

It is a non-profit organization for the cleaning and restoration industry, with emphasis on high standards in education and training for companies and technicians. Since it’s inception in 1972, the IICRC has evolved into a global organization with:

  • more than 60,000 active Certified Technicians
  • more than 6,000 Certified Firms around the world

The IICRC’s Mission is to “establish and advance globally recognized standards and certifications for the inspecting, cleaning, restoration and installation industries.”

Training is rigorous and ongoing. There is always a new skill to learn in a variety of subjects. There is always a new level to obtain. The quest for knowledge is satisfied with the Continuing Education Classes offered by the IICRC.

A Certified Firm ensures that high standards and best practices are continuously being met. Being a Certified Firm lets customers know that the company is reputable, safe, effective, and professional. It gives customers peace of mind at a time when everything else is stressful.

Currently all production employees at SERVPRO of Charlottesville are IICRC certified in Water Damage Restoration. Additionally, many of them are IICRC certified in Fire and Smoke Restoration.

For more information about our highly trained production team click here

Call SERVPRO of Charlottesville for 24 Hour Emergency service at 434-977-5850.  

We are a “Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry”.