Recent Posts

Charlottesville Residence: Does Your Home Have Water Damage?

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Female technician using moisture meter showing female customer what area is affected Your home is very important to you and we do our best to walk you through our drying process to help put you more at ease.

Water is running. You can hear it from upstairs, your heart sinks… Life is crazy right now and the last thing you want to deal with is damage to your home caused by water.  When a loss occurs the experience can be completely overwhelming. Is the source fixed? Have I gotten all the water up? I only have beach towels, will they get all the water? Your home is most likely your largest investment and a sudden accidental discharge of water, possibly even contaminated water can seem overwhelming.

 That’s when you call SERVPRO of Charlottesville. We’re here to help. We have the knowledge, the equipment and the products to remove any type or water, even if its contaminated.  We spend many hours training our staff to understand how to safely dry your home and your contents to make them safe again for everyday use. Water damage can come from many sources... burst pipes, sewage drains, AC units, water heaters, water lines as well as storm damage even as large as a hurricane. SERVPRO employees have the knowledge and the training you can rely on to return your house to the home it was before the emergency. 

Just Spooky Spider Web Decor? Think Again...

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Soot web in the corner of a wall Soot webs can be spooky, call SERVPRO of Charlottesville to help clean up the visible soot and remove that lingering odor.

With Halloween right around the corner you may think this is part of the décor, but it’s not. This is an image of a phenomenon called soot webs, also referred to as soot tags. It looks like soot from a fire has settled on a spider’s web or a cob web, but its not. The webbing may look similar but these are actually charged particles carrying the soot and will cling to other charged particles to form these stringy structures. Rest assured there are no spiders lurking around these webs! We use specialty vacuums with hepa filters attached to remove them and the soot they carry. Please do not attempt to wipe these away as the soot will smear and cling to the closest solid structure available.

If you find yourself facing these call SERVPRO and remember we are here to help. 434-977-5850

Newly Certified Water Technicians, Congrats guys!

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

Three crew members each holding their certifications Our newest IICRC WRT certified crew members from left to right: Tucker, Chris, and Lemuel

Congrats to our crew members Lemuel, Chris and Tucker, for their recent passing of the IICRC water certification tests. These IICRC certifications are very important in our industry, not all companies take this extra measure to certify their technicians. Here at SERVPRO we feel like it’s a priority.  This particular class provides technicians the background to understand and use the procedures necessary to deal with water losses, sewer backflows and contaminations such as mold. Knowing how to remediate these types of losses effectively saves our customers time and money. We consistently train our crew members in the latest our industry has to offer, such as green products, new generations of equipment, as well as tried and true measures, used and relied on for years. Every job is different and our crew member are trained to adjust to any situation. Certifying our staff shows our commitment to finding and using the latest knowledge, technology and tools to return your home or your business to a healthy livable space.

Meet Our Latest Certified Fire Crew Members!

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

Two technicians making a silly pose while holding their certifications David and Chris have successfully completed Fire & Smoke Restoration and have already begun applying what they learned.

Congratulations to crew members Chris and David on passing their IICRC Fire and Smoke Restoration class. This important class focuses on the technical procedures for successfully completing the restoration of a fire and smoke damaged environment. Fires can be completely overwhelming. If you’ve ever been to or unfortunately had a fire you know how invasive soot can be. The damage left behind by a fire can be toxic so knowing how to remediate the scene properly is important. Often a fire scene is compromised, knowing what is safe and what is not safe is something for which SERVPRO technicians are trained. Our employees are very proud of the working knowledge they have of our industry, you can always feel free to ask our crew why we are doing something a particular way, they know their business and are happy to share their knowledge and experience. We know these situations are sometimes the worst thing that has ever happened to you, SERVPRO strives to be a source of comfort in the knowledge that when we are done, you will be coming home to a safe, clean, healthy livable space.  

Shout Out To Our Awesome Crew!

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

One way that we love to brag on our crew is by creating a poster of a customer review that our employees can hang anywhere in our office!

We already know that our crew is awesome and that they work hard but man it is so rewarding to hear rave reviews from our customers about how much they appreciated the hard work that our crew did.  It also means a lot to each of our crew members especially when they are specifically mentioned by name like in this 5 Star Google Review left by Mrs. Pitt. 

“Our carpeted basement was totally flooded when the hot water tank broke -- many, many boxes of books and family items were stored there and soaked up a lot of water. A bad situation! The emergency plumber said it looked like we really needed outside help -- so we called SERVPRO. They were a life saver. Nice people who did good work! They helped us dry out the basement, move and store or discard a huge number of boxes, remove and discard the glued down carpeting and tile flooring beneath it -- and bring everything back to normal at the end after other necessary work was done. The project took quite a while from start to finish and they never faltered in their service -- no concern important to us was dismissed. From our first contact on a Sunday afternoon, they always responded when we called and were really good about communicating with us. Ryan (the project manager) and Krystina and Amy in the office were great schedulers, organizers and PROBLEM SOLVERS. They also helped by communicating with our home owner's insurance throughout for a smooth process. Chris (the crew chief) was super at organizing the work on site and getting it done -- what felt impossible became possible, then got done. Technicians Sam, Joe, Larry and Evan were all part of the team along the way making sure we were dry and safe. We are very grateful for a job well done!”

Want to put a face to these awesome employees of ours?  Check out our employee page by clicking here!

Why Choose SERVPRO of Charlottesville? Because we have lived it.

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Charlottesville has been in your shoes. We know what it is like to experience a water & fire damage.

Not even working at a professional Fire & Water Clean Up & Restoration company can prepare you for a text message that wakes you up at 6:00 a.m. with the words, “Your building is on fire!”….

That is exactly what our on-call staff woke up to on April 29th, 2016. To make matters worse, the month prior, our office staff walked in the front door to find standing water throughout the office because of a water pipe that had busted in the middle of the night. So, believe me, when I say, SERVPRO of Charlottesville has been in your shoes. We truly know what it is like to experience both fire damage and water damage. We know what it is like to stand there feeling hopeless while the fire department works tirelessly to distinguish the flames that are engulfing what you have worked so hard to build. To watch your employees as they arrive ready to go to work standing there speechless and in shock, their mind filling with questions of “Will I still get my next paycheck?” “How can I continue to provide for my family?” “Will I lose my job?”. What about all of the customers that your crews are scheduled to see today or that have entrusted you to safely store their contents in your warehouse while their home is being remediated from damage?

I am proud to say that SERVPRO of Charlottesville is part of the 50% that actually made it!  With each year following the disasters that we faced, we have continued to grow stronger as a company and as members of this community. We are thankful to our local fire department, our loyal customers, our dedicated employees, and neighboring franchises that came together and helped us jump back on our feet so that we can continue to serve the Charlottesville community.

Want to see photos from the fire damage we experienced?  Click here.

When Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ruined or Ready?

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Charlottesville knows what it is like to experience a commercial damage. We know because we have lived through it.

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research.  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Are You Ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood.  The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.  No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can be prepared for it. 

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services.  It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information.  By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile, your business can receive the benefit of over 50 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order. 

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile Advantage:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    • This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    • It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    • This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    • You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is close by.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    • This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

Call SERVPRO of Charlottesville Today to Get Started! 434-977-5850

Charlottesville: Be Prepared for 2019 Hurricane Season

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

This photo was taken May 31st of 2018 at Riverview Park here in Charlottesville, VA following flash flooding. https://bit.ly/2V19IaZ

Did you know that June is the start of hurricane season here on the Atlantic Coast?  If you were in the Charlottesville area during this past summer, you know how devastating flood waters brought in by hurricanes can be.  Sinkholes, power outages, businesses being shut down, homes flooding, precious memorabilia being consumed by contaminated waters, people being stranded or worse swept away by raging water overflowing the banks of river beds, etc.  While it is undoubtedly impossible to prevent natural disasters from occurring, there are things that can be done before, during, and after a flood to help you and your loved ones be prepared.

Tips from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for Preparing Your Home or Business for a Flood.

Before the Flood:

  • Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
  • Install “check valves” in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home or business.
  • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.

During the Flood:

  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.

After the Flood:

  • Listen for news reports to learn if the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.  Water may also be electrically charged.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

Is Vandalism Affecting Your Charlottesville Business?

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Ignoring vandalism can encourage further acts and deter possible customers.

It’s dark. The gate is just slightly open. A dark figure slips through the gate and circles around a small office building. A lone car drives by. But as the sound of the engine fades, so do the headlights and darkness returns to cover the hiding spot of the dark figure. There is a quiet hiss of aerosol for a few moments and then the figure disappears into the night and there is no one to see what has happened until the next morning. In the light of a chilly spring morning, you pull up to begin your work day and see the evidence of what happened the night before: the side of your office has been brightly tagged in paint.

Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the story of your place of work. You and your team can take steps to deter and hopefully prevent vandalism.

Steps to Take before Vandalism Strikes

To begin, make sure to keep the area around your business well-kept and clean. Well-manicured landscaping and a regularly maintained building can help deter vandalism. You can even use your landscaping to help protect otherwise easy-to-reach marks. Large bushes or plants that are prickly can be placed under and in front of windows and walls that could be targeted.

You can also increase the security around your place of business. Secure gates and entrances to make it harder to enter the premises and keep the area well-lit. You can also add motion-sensor lights or security systems.

If you are the victim of vandalism, make sure to clean up the damage as soon as possible to discourage additional vandalism.

What to Do If You Find Vandalism on Your Property

Steps to clean up vandalism vary greatly depending on the kind. The simplest to clean are cases involving eggs and toilet paper. To clean egg, you will want to act as quickly as possible. Use a garden hose or a combination of soapy water to clean egg off the side of a building or a car. Avoid using a power washer as this can remove paint and damage siding. Toilet paper can persist if you try to pull it down. Instead, use a leaf blower or a long implement like a pool net to gently lift the toilet paper off tree branches and buildings.

Other cases, not as easily remedied, can involve paint or broken windows. If there is broken glass, be very careful to pick up all large pieces and vacuum up any smaller pieces left behind. If there is paint, be very careful with any home remedies as many paint removing products can also harm the materials under the paint, like siding and masonry. If you have any questions about graffiti removal or vandalism cleanup, give our office a call or like us on Facebook to be updated on more tips and tricks like this. 

Confidence in Your Sump Pump? It’s Possible.

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

This Charlottesville basement didn’t have a sump pump at all. Our team used portable pumps to begin extraction.

Basements can be creepy. They creak. Often furnaces or dryers are down there making weird noises, and no matter how many lamps and lights are down there, they are still dim with just a few too many shadows. A concrete hole with water in it and an oddly shaped machine that seems to turn on of its own accord doesn’t help a basement’s reputation. Never the less, sump pumps are extremely important if you want to avoid squishy feet and water stains up the walls.

Many calls that we receive about flooded basements begin with sump pump failure.  In the middle of the night, you shouldn’t be worried that your sump pump will fail. You had it installed so that you would have peace of mind during a storm, but the reality is that many sump pumps do fail. Here are a few tips to keep your sump pump running when you need it and for many years to come.

1. Consider a battery backup for your sump pump.

In the event of a storm, if the electricity to your home is disrupted, a battery back up will allow your sump pump to run uninterrupted and prevent water and storm damage.

2. Do your research when choosing a pump and the person who will install it.

Many sump pump failures come from an incorrectly sized pump. A pump that is too large will have to run too often and a pump that is too small might not be able to keep up with the amount of water in your basement. Similarly, pumps that are installed incorrectly can cause more problems than they prevent. Sump pumps have many precautions in place to help prevent water back up or a power shortage.

3. Maintenance

Regular maintenance including checks and cleaning help to prolong the life of your sump pump. This practice will also help uncover problems before those problems cover your basement in water.  

These tips provide a great base to a better sump pump that will help prevent a basement flood and give you more peace of mind when the thunder rumbles. If, however, something should happen, stay calm: SERVPRO of Charlottesville is Here to Help.