Recent Posts

Handling Water Damage to Your Restaurant

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

With the high volume of traffic that your franchise eatery receives every day, you need fast and reliable water restoration. 

Natural disasters and accidents that impact your Northern Virginia restaurant's productivity and operation are rarely situations that employees and property managers can handle on their own. Broken sprinkler heads, damaged sink fixtures, or broken pipes in the walls can cause substantial water damage to the building. How these conditions get addressed can often be a difference in whether your facilities can stay up and running after a loss or if the doors to your restaurant must close temporarily for professional water restoration companies to complete their recovery. 

Because water damage repair for Northern Virginian restaurants can encompass so many individual tasks, each approach for compromised businesses varies based on the circumstances and structure's layout. Certain fundamental mitigation steps are the centerpiece of our initial activity, but even these approaches get tailored to specific situations. For example, controlled demolition might not be necessary for most metal frameworks in wall systems. However, older franchise restaurants might still feature wood framing in the walls that could become overly damaged with exposure. 

What Water Mitigation Services Must Occur? 

Even with a fixation on cleaning and restoring a damaged property after a water disaster, your restaurant depends on the initial mitigation and emergency services our SERVPRO team provides. Applying some of these actions immediately can keep your facility open in some capacity, allowing you to continue serving customers while restoration, cleaning, and drying continue. Mitigation involves several quick approaches, including:

  • Extraction – Removing standing water is a considerable initial concern, especially when floor drains in the building have become clogged or overwhelmed. This process involves several water removal tools, including pumps, extractor trucks, and wet vacuums. 
  • Containment – Establishing physical barriers between damaged areas and unaffected portions of the restaurant can allow the establishment to operate in a limited capacity. 
  • Controlled Demolition – Sagging and destroyed materials can be a hazard to employees and restorers working to recover the damage. 
  • Repairs - With a team of in-house contractors on our roster, we can locate plumbing or fixture damage and repair it to prevent further property losses and restore water service.
  • What Materials Are Affected by Standing Water? 

    No matter where the bulk of the damage exists in the restaurant, from the kitchen and food prep areas to the dining portion of the building, our contractors and restorers' response remains the same. Understanding what materials are the most likely to become damaged by the presence of water ensures that the appropriate drying and cleaning occurs promptly to reduce tear-out. 

  • Drywall - Drywall is often a quickly damaged material, even if the entire wall surface does not become impacted. Establishing a dryline allows for flood cuts to get made that remove compromised portions of sheetrock.
  • Subflooring – Carpets common to your restaurant's dining area either leads to concrete subflooring or OSB board. With the right length of exposure, both of these materials could become damaged. 
  • Wood Framing – While newer commercial construction utilizes aluminum framing, older buildings can still be susceptible to migrating moisture and its effect on wood frames. 
  • Furniture – Tables and chairs throughout the dining area can also be sensitive to water damage when exposure persists long enough to penetrate the finished wood. 
  • Is Mold Possible? 

    If mold exists because of the water damage situations in your restaurant, it could welcome several immediate health and safety concerns for your patrons and staff. When water damages exist, our SERVPRO professionals work quickly to limit the spread and treat surfaces with antimicrobial solutions when possible. 

    Removing Smoke Odors from a Local Library

    12/2/2020 (Permalink)

    book on fire Fire damage to your local library can make it close for a while. Contacting SERVPRO can provide remediation services for your library.

    Fire damage odors can be a considerable obstacle for restorers, and there are multiple deodorization strategies to help.

    When even a small fire ignites in a Northern Virginia library, there are many potential obstacles and hurdles that fire restoration companies like our SERVPRO team must overcome. While much of these initial steps involve the mitigation stages such as debris removal and surface cleaning, in many ways, lingering odors can pose the most significant challenge to making fire losses "Like it never even happened."

    While fire damage restoration for public structures involves a careful union of advanced cleaning techniques and containment strategies, libraries add further challenges with so many volumes of literature to preserve and protect. These contents are as crucial in many ways as the structure itself, as this represents the borough's investments into the education of its residents. While smoke residues and ash can present immediate threats to these books and works, odors can become a lingering concern that stays trapped in the paper pages and covers of these novels stocked on the shelves. Removing odors often falls to several capable pieces of equipment in our inventory, including:

    • Thermal Fogging
    • ULV Fogging
    • Hydroxyl Generators
    • Ozone Generators
    • Air Scrubbers

    Is Fogging the Best Odor Removal Approach?

    While each of these deodorization approaches can have its ideal use in fire restoration cleanup and recovery, few have the versatility of thermal and ULV fogging. By creating a mist or vapor of deodorizing compounds, they can penetrate porous surfaces and contents to neutralize smoke and burning odors already embedded there. With the lightweight portability of fogging units, they are among the most widely used in odor removal approaches. Fire losses can be a challenge for public buildings like the library when contents become exposed.

    Does Business Have to Grind to a Halt When Your Building Needs Restoration?

    12/2/2020 (Permalink)

    ipad and iphone with erp apps SERVPRO Provides Faster Cleanup and Restoration Services to Your Northern Virginia Building when we partner with the ERP Plan-Emergency READY PROFILE

    Give the Experts at SERVPRO a Call When You Need Restoration of Your Northern Virginia Business

    If anything is more frustrating than the disruption of a water loss on your business property, it surely is when you also have tenants whose operations are affected. Northern Virginia commercial buildings can be full of many shops, cafes, offices, and production sites, so water damage affects dozens to hundreds in our neighborhoods. Add in disappointed customers, and the effect spreads.

    Can a Restoration Company Help with Containment, So That “Business as Usual” Can Proceed?

    Customers can be fickle, so it is crucial to maintain a presence when your Northern Virginia business needs water damage restoration. You cannot afford to have the customer base you and your tenants built go elsewhere as your damaged building recovers. To ensure that you and your commercial tenants can still honor customer requests, partnering with a restoration company helps immensely. Erecting containment and barriers while building contained workspaces for water damage restoration can carve out safe, welcoming areas that permit your and your tenants’ businesses to continue operation.

    Once Was Enough -- Is There a Way to Avoid The Chaos of Water Damage Restoration in the Future?

    Think about partnering proactively with SERVPRO by collaborating on an Emergency READY Profile (ERP). We encourage our commercial clients to consider our ERP to prepare for water damage or another disaster much the same way you prepare for other business crises. To access the benefits of an ERP, do the following:

    • Schedule an in-person assessment with one of our experienced water damage restoration project managers
    • Review any recommendations resulting from the evaluation, and implement them
    • Store critical documents off-site or digitally
    • Raise equipment above typical flood lines
    • Repair leaks and upgrade utility configurations
    • Designate employees or others to act on your business’s behalf if you are unavailable during a disaster
    • Discuss the final concise, digital ERP plan with our managers, so you anticipate accurately what a water damage restoration job means to your operations and create planned adaptations to keep you going during the restoration

    We are Cleaning Experts

    3/17/2020 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

    During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

    Specialized Training

    We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

    The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

    Kitchen/Food Areas

    Bathrooms

    Schools/Classrooms

    Offices

    Retail Spaces

    Water Fountains

    Shelving/Racks

    Sales Counters

    Carpets and Rugs

    Stair Handrails

    Elevator Cars

    Playground Equipment

    Fitness Equipment

    Specialized Products

    The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO® product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

    Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

    If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of McLean, 703-448-8444

    Sources:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

    Dos & Don'ts of Commercial Water Damage

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    DC sky overview Water damage events are never scheduled.

    Unfortunately, water damage events are never scheduled. They typically occur at the most inconvenient time.

    Because it is your business, quick response is critical in AVOIDING:

  • Business interruptions
  • Revenue loss
  • Costly repairs
  • Undue stress
  •  That's where SERVPRO® of McLean professionals come in to help you get back to business quickly.

    DOs:

  • Remove as much excess water as possible with extraction equipment.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furnishings after removing any contents lying on the surface.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying.
  • Clearly designate wet areas with floor signs and safety tape.
  • Pad or block wood furniture to prevent permanent staining or carpet.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • DO NOTs:

  • Attempt to vacuum up water with standard retail vacuum equipment (e.g. ShopVac or upright vacuum).
  • Turn on ceiling fans or light fixtures if ceiling is wet.
  • Stand beneath sagging ceilings.
  • Attempt to use electrical devices exposed to moisture.
  • Turn on unexposed electrical devices while standing on wet floors - especially wet concrete.
  • Top 3 Fire Damage Safety Tips

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    Radiator next to window Make sure your heating equipment is in working order and has been inspected before you start to use it.

    As weather starts to change, so should your fire safety considerations in your McLean home. Preventing fires is important all year long, and focusing on the appropriate fire safety tips for the season can make your efforts more worthwhile.  Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as the temperature gets cooler and the leaves start to fall.

    1. Candle Safety- You might be tempted to start bringing out your favorite fall scented candles soon. There’s just something about a beautiful, fragrant candle that feels comforting on a fall day. Candles come with their own safety considerations, however. Keep candles 12 inches away from anything that can burn and blow out candles when you are leaving the room. Never use a candle if there is oxygen being used in your home for medical purposes; electric candles are a safer option.

    2. Heating equipment- Make sure your heating equipment is in working order and has been inspected before you start to use it. Since this equipment has been out of use for the last several months, it’s important that you follow the appropriate steps to make sure the unit is clean and functioning properly. If you use space heaters, make sure that they are surrounded by three feet of empty space and that they are turned off when you leave the house or go to bed.

    3. Chimney inspection- if you have a usable fireplace, it’s essential to make sure that it is cleaned and inspected before you start using it to prevent built up creosote from previous fires. Cozying up next to a beautiful fire might be a quintessential part of your fall, but make sure that you do so as safely as possible. Also, consider using a screen to prevent sparks from igniting a fire somewhere in your home.

    Energy Saving Tips for the Colder Months

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    Winter in town square Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings.

    The strategies below will help you save energy, save money, and stay comfortable during the cool fall and cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the McLean winter.

    Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

    Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

    Cover Drafty Windows

    Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration. Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.

    Adjust the Temperature

    When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.

    Find and Seal Leaks

    Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Add caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.

    Maintain Your Heating Systems

    Replace your filter once a month or as needed for furnaces and heat pumps. Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters need to have the flue vent cleaned regularly and the inside of the appliance cleared out with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your building is heated efficiently.

    Lower Your Water Heating Costs

    Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.

    5 Sewage Backup Tips

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    Sewage in bathtub Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter your McLean homes or buildings.

    Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter your McLean homes or buildings.

    Sewage can contain fungi, bacteria, and viruses; many of which are disease-causing. Unfortunately, many people fail to appreciate the hazards that sewage presents, particularly for the very young, the elderly, for those with compromised immune systems, or those with respiratory problems.

    The IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification) has compiled guidelines for professional sewage clean-up called the Standard for Water Damage Restoration (S500). Our SERVPRO® Technicians are certified in multiple specializations through the IICRC.

    Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups:

    • Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic – disease causing – fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
    • Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.
    • It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
    • Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly.  This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too.  There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.
    • Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.

    Prepare Your McLean Household for Spring

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    house on spring day The Department of Energy (DOE) says weather stripping the windows on your home is an easy and effective way to help save money on your energy bill.

    Weather Stripping

    The Department of Energy (DOE) says weather stripping the windows on your home is an easy and effective way to help save money on your energy bill. In the spring and summer, weather stripping works by keeping the cool air inside and the warm air out. In the summer, if the cool air is contained inside, then the AC will not have to work as hard, and that may help you save money on your energy bill.

    Indoor Maintenance

    Test and clean ceiling fans. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an efficient ceiling fan in each room can help allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees Fahrenheit without reducing your comfort level. Ceiling fans can be a good way to air out the house and generate a cross-breeze.

    Replace your AC filter. The National Center for Healthy Housing recommends that you replace the filters in the air conditioner in the spring. A new filter will likely optimize the efficiency of the unit.

    Replace torn or damage window screens. If you don’t have an air conditioner, or if you simply like to keep the windows open in the spring and summer, it’s a good idea to make sure your screens are in good shape — you don’t want to let flies in with all that fresh air!

    Exterior Upkeep

    The National Center for Healthy Housing suggests that in the springtime, you may want to consider these outdoor maintenance projects:

    Check your roof shingles. This should be done by a professional, as working on the roof can be dangerous without the proper training. You should ask the professional to make sure the shingles are not curling or clawing.

    Replace rotten siding or trim. Make sure your home’s siding and trim aren’t damaged from windy, icy conditions. 

    Clean gutters and downspouts. Get rid of any leaves or other debris that accumulated during the winter to make sure your gutters and downspouts are ready to take on those April showers.

    4 Safety Tips for Landlord and Property Managers

    12/13/2019 (Permalink)

    Rent keyboard button Here are four tips from various McLean landlord and property manager resources to get the conversation started

    Here are four tips from various McLean landlord and property manager resources to get the conversation started:

  • Don’t give out your home address. Instead have rent checks sent to a P.O. box, placed in an on-site drop box, or deposited electronically. Although it can be easy to get someone’s home address these days, if an irate tenant who has just received an eviction notice has to spend a couple of hours looking, it might give him or her a chance to cool off.
  • Consistently follow a screening process. When selecting tenants review applications for consistency and consider checking criminal records. Require references and call present and previous landlords. Use a reverse look-up service as an applicant may give you a phone number for someone who is pretending to be an ex-landlord. Also, check identification carefully, as some applicants may pretend to be someone they’re not.
  • Program emergency numbers on your phone. If you need emergency assistance, the ability to press a single button on your list of “favorites” will save you time and prevent you from making dialing errors, which can happen if you’re in a panic.
  • Know who you’re showing rental property to. Before you show your rental home have a formal meeting in a public place or your business office with the potential renter. Have him or her show at least two forms of ID and fill out a contact information form or rental agreement. Criminals tend to look for easy victims, and if you make the process more formal and require them to work a little, they may look elsewhere for trouble.