Recent Posts

Holiday Fire Safety

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Right shows a dry tree on fire, left shows a hydrated tree not on fire. SERVPRO of Chesapeake North is always Here to help. Check out these tips on preventing fires this holiday season.

Did you know that Christmas trees are the culprit for hundreds of house fires every year? If you use a live tree in your home for the holidays, it is important to keep it well watered and hydrated. A dry tree can catch flames in just SECONDS if it comes into contact with an open flame or other ignition source such as a candle or an electrical short.

Be sure to review the manufacturer's safety information included with any electrical decorations to avoid an overload that can cause an electrical short. 

Keep burning candled at least 12 inches from anything that is flammable such a curtains, trees paper, or wooden objects. 

Make sure your Christmas tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source including fireplaces, candles, radiators or heat vents. 1 in every 4 winter fires is caused from a tree being too close to a heat source!

SERVPRO Chesapeake North wants you, your family, and your property to stay safe.  If you do experience a fire or water damage during the holidays, or any time of the year, our franchise professionals can make it “Like it never even happened.” Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we are Here to Help.

Preparing Your Business for the Holidays

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Servpro franchise professional speaking with business owner Check out these quick tips on keeping your commercial property free from damage this holiday season.

During the holiday season, many businesses like to decorate their stores to advertise for holiday sales and to create a warm and inviting environment for their customers. When decorating your business for the holidays it is important to keep these things in mind to prevent any damages or loss to your business during the holiday season.

Choose your decorations wisely; many holiday decorations such as paper, Christmas trees and holiday wreaths are flammable. If you are using these to decorate your business space for the holidays, make sure that they are at least 3 feet away from any heat or ignition source.

Choose where you place your decorations or holiday displays so that they do not block any exits including emergency exits and make sure that they are not intrusive to the isles/walkways.

SERVPRO Chesapeake North wants you, and your business to stay safe. If you do experience a fire or water damage during the holidays, or any time of the year, our franchise professionals can make it “Like it never even happened.” Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we are Here to Help.

Staying Warm & Safe This Winter!

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Space heater in home. Did you know that space heaters account for 86% of fire related heating deaths?

With winter weather approaching, it is important that we keep ourselves and our families warm during the winter months. We here at SERVPRO Chesapeake North want you, and your home or business to be prepared to safely heat your home or business. 

Never heat your home or business with a gas top stove or oven. In addition to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, leaving an unattended stove can cause a fire.

Observe and implement all manufacturer warnings and instructions when using space heaters. Most home heating fire deaths (86%) involved stationary or portable space heaters. 

Make sure that all heating equipment especially chimneys are cleaned regularly and inspected prior to use. 

Keep heating equipment away from flammable materials such as furniture, clothing, bedding paper materials and other holiday decorations such as Christmas trees. 

Almost half of all heating equipment related home fires occur in December, January, and February - So now is the time to clean, inspect and test all heating equipment to ensure that it is functioning properly. 

SERVPRO Chesapeake North wants you, and your business to stay safe.  If you do experience a fire or water damage during the holidays, or any time of the year, our franchise professionals can make it “Like it never even happened.” Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we are Here to Help.

Winter Storm Preparedness

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen water pipe SERVPRO Chesapeake North is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to clean any winter storm damage.

With winter weather approaching and the likelihood for severe winter storms increasing, we here at SERVPRO Chesapeake North want you, and your home or business to be prepared ahead of the storm.

Frozen pipes that burst can cause catastrophic damage to any home, business or apartment complex. To prevent pipes from bursting there are several preventive measures that can be followed:

Drip your faucets! Even a small trickle of water moving through the pipes can prevent them from freezing.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.

Keep garage doors and other doors that lead to the outside closed to prevent the influx of cold air. 

If you will be leaving your home during the cold weather make sure that you leave the heat on in your home (55 °F or higher)

If you experience bursting or leaking pipes this winter, we here at SERVPRO are Here to Help. Our franchise professionals are on standby 24 hours a day 365 days a year. We offer emergency water extraction, electronic drying, document drying and restoration, as well as mold prevention and mitigation.

Billion Dollar Disasters.

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Snow on residential home Don't let a winter storm cost you!

Since the year 1980 ten winter storms have caused over $2 billion of damage in the United States. Winter storms have the potential to produce strong winds, drop feet of snow on homes and businesses and the weight of ice from freezing rain can cause damage to power lines and trees. In addition the damage caused from the storm itself there is the aftermath of when all of the snow melts; a quick increase in temperate or heavy rain can set the stage for catastrophic flooding. For us here on the east coast we have face another winter storm hazard in the form of coastal flooding. Strong winds in combination with the high tide can overcome the coastline causing beach erosion and major damage to homes and businesses.

With winter weather approaching and the chance for severe winter storms increasing it is important to be prepared.

Keeping gutters clear of leaves and debris will allow water to move more freely and will help with drainage from your roof when snow begins to melt.

Keep your pipes warm to avoid them freezing and bursting. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. If you have a cold basement/crawlspace, or attic with pipes make sure to wrap those pipes in insulation to help keep them from freezing. Drip your faucets to keep the water flowing, even a small trickle of water can prevent the pipes from freezing.

Check your roof prior to the storm and repair any damages that are apparent. If a large amount of heavy snow accumulates on your roof it can cause it to collapse. Use a roof rake to remove the snow from your roof to prevent collapsing from the weight and also to prevent ice-dam damage.

When snow has accumulated on your roof, it is important to keep your attic space cold. This prevents the development of an ice dam; The snow from melting and then refreezing near the edges as icicles which can cause roof leaks that leads to water coming into your home and causing damage water damage on walls and ceilings. 

This winter if you suffer from any storm damage, SERVPRO Chesapeake South is Here to Help. With trained franchise professionals on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year we are ready to make your storm damage “Like it never even happened.”

Is That Water Damage Covered?

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

A Photo of a portion of a homeowner's insurance policy with a pencil pointing to the words Insurance Coverage Water Damage Cleanup at SERVPRO of Chesapeake North.

You’ve been cleaning up around the house, your dishwasher has been running and you walk in to the kitchen to find standing water at the base of the dishwasher.  Naturally, you clean up the water mess.  Next day, you notice that the flooring has buckled.  Will your homeowner's insurance cover the cost to fix the flooring?

Most likely because this water damage was sudden and accidental which standard homeowner's insurance policies usually provide this kind of protection.  Same holds true say the water heater ruptures or a water pipe bursts and damages the drywall or the ceiling.  

What May Not Be Covered

  • Damage from an unresolved maintenance issue-the flooring from this dishwasher leak should be repaired or replaced, but if you've had a continuous leak near a faucet or other plumbing fixtures, it may not be covered.
  • The Cause of the Water Damage Loss-Most insurance policies will cover the cost to repair the damage, but you shouldn't count on the insurance company replacing the culprit, like the dishwasher.
  • Sewer or Drain Water Backup- If water backs up into your home through an outside sewer or drain line, more than likely you have no coverage.  You may be able to purchase additional coverage to protect you from this kind of emergency disaster.
  • Flood-No type of flood damage is protected by your standard homeowners’ policy.  Whether the flooding occurred as a result of a storm, or a water surge, it does not matter.  You can purchase a separate flood insurance policy, however, depending on your location, and your mortgage company,  a flood insurance policy may be required when buying a home.

Contact us with any questions or concerns about water damage caused by a flood at SERVPRO of Chesapeake North, 757-465-9700.


Can Your Business File A Claim for Smoke Damage?

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Fire Technicians Cleaning a Wall and Talking to a Customer Fire Damage Cleaning & Restoration in Chesapeake-Call us at 757-465-9700

Did your commercial building or the suite next to yours recently have a fire and now you smell smoke or have smoke related damage?  Is smoke damage a covered loss on your commercial insurance policy?  Learn more about what you need to know about smoke claims.

Soot Damage and Insurance

Good news is that in most cases, damage from smoke will be covered under your commercial insurance policy.  Remember the sooner you act upon following these steps, could help improve the restoration of your property to its preloss condition.  Your preparedness could also help with your insurance company approving your claim.

  • Get in touch with your insurance company or agent and file a claim, report the smoke damage.
  • Call a professional smoke cleanup company to help assess your loss and provide details of the cleanup process.
  • Take photos of any damaged items, and documents, receipts for any repairs that need to be performed.
  • Know that your insurance company will send an adjuster to survey the damage.     
  • Know that your insurance company will require proof that the money they pay you will be going towards your restoration and repair.     

Smoke damage claims and the efforts to communicate with your adjuster may be challenging.  However, if you have done your due diligence in following these steps, your post-fire experience can be a positive one.

SERVPRO of Chesapeake North is here to help with the fire damage, the soot damage or the smoke damage.

A Fire Escape Plan For Your Home

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

A family standing outside of the house that is on fire. Fire & Smoke Damage Cleaning and Restoration in Chesapeake, 757-465-9700.

When a fire ignites, you may only have a few minutes to safely get everyone out of the house.  It's imperative that you have a rehearsed escape plan before the event of a house fire.  Here are some escape plan suggestions to help keep you and your loved ones safe from harm as quickly as possible.

Install Fire Alarms

Place fire alarms on every floor of your home and inside and outside of every bedroom.  This will help to ensure that the alarm will be heard by most.

Map It

Map out your home's floor plan showing at least two ways to get out of a room.  This is a great visual for children and a second exit option in case one is not accessible.

Discuss & Act on It

Discuss this escape floor plan with your family making special note to point out the exits to the children especially those in their bedroom.  Afterwards, have a fire drill so that everyone is familiar as this will help in getting everyone out quickly and safely. 

Choose a Meeting Place

It's important that everyone knows where to meet after getting out of the house safely.  Places safely away from the fire like a mailbox across the street, a street sign, or a neighbor’s house.

Don't Wait

When you hear the smoke alarm, yell, scream, knock on doors as you are immediately exiting the house.  No items or belongings are more valuable than yours and your loved one’s lives.

Call us with any questions about fire or smoke damage or about making a fire escape plan.  We are "Always here to help." 757-465-9700.

Sources:  National Fire Protection Association

How to Prevent a Dryer Fire

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Image of a dryer fire, lint build up and improper venting Dryer Vent Cleaning in Chesapeake, VA

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.  Thirty four percent of these fires are cause by people failing to clean their dryers and most dryer fires happen in the fall and winter months with a peak in January.  Learn how you can help reduce the risks of your dryer setting fire.

Clean the Lint Screen

A good habit to form is to remove all the lint before beginning every load of laundry.

Inspect the Dryer Vent Hose

Look for a bent, or crushed hose and if you have a white plastic vent hose, you should quickly replace it with an aluminum vent hose.  White vent hoses are no longer allowed to be sold as they are considered a safety hazard.

Clean the Dryer Vent System & Dryer

Clean the dryer vent system annually.  Depending on where your system exits will determine if you need a professional to clean from the dryer to the exit point.  It's important to be sure that there are no lint blockages in your vent system.  Regularly use a vacuum to remove any excess lint from the inside of your dryer.

Remove Flammable Materials

Look for paper, clothing or cardboard that may have fallen behind or beside your dryer.  Be sure to keep any flammable materials away from the dryer.

Contact us if you have any questions about dryer vent system cleaning at SERVPRO of Chesapeake North at 757-465-9700.

Sources:  U.S. Fire Administration                               

How to Clean Your Gutter System

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Man on a ladder cleaning his gutters Storm Damage Cleanup in Chesapeake

Gutters have an important job to keep water away from the perimeter of your house. However, they need our help to keep them unclogged from debris so as they can continue to function properly.  If you maintain the cleaning of your gutters, you can help prevent water damage and keep your house looking great.

Safety First 

Make sure that you have a sturdy and safe ladder with ample extension to access your gutters.

Clean the Downspout

Start the cleaning of your gutters at the downspout.  Remove the horizontal extension pipe and shoot water from a water hose down into the pipe to remove any blockage or debris. When clear, the water should run out the other side.  

Remove Debris

Using a trowel or your gloved hands remove any debris that is trapped letting it fall to the ground.

Flush with Water

Use a water hose to remove any remaining debris that could potentially cause a blockage in your gutter system.  If water does not flow out and down the system, you may find a plumber's snake to be useful to loosen and remove the blockage.

Contact us if you experience water damage from a storm or have questions at SERVPRO of Chesapeake North, 757-465-9700.  

Sources:  The Allstate Blog

Image:  GutterStuff