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Collect, Protect Essential Documents Before An Emergency

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

External Hard Drive Connected to a Laptop Computer SERVPRO of Hampton is "Always here to help." 757-825-9700

Collect, Protect Essential Documents Before An Emergency

Family Preparedness

It's important to know that when we advise people to collect and protect important paperwork, we are referring to any important documents and personal data that might serve as proof of your identity, your insurance or instruct others on how to help you in an emergency.  This important paperwork includes an Emergency Action Plan, and medical, vital, and immunization records.

The Basics

Copies of medical records and advance directives should include: Health insurance cards, vaccination records, living wills and power of attorney forms, birth & death certificates and adoption records

Personal Id's: Passports, driver's licenses, social security cards, green cards

A current care plan for a child or person with special needs.

User manuals, model and serial numbers, and contact information for the manufacturer or provider of medical devices, like glucose meters and nebulizers.

Quick Tips

Keep an up to date list of all your prescription medications with dosage amounts, your eye prescription, your medical supply needs and any known allergies.

Save electronic copies of important papers in a password protected format to a flash drive or an external hard drive or a cloud-based service. You should store these items in a fire proof container or with a trusted friend or relative, or even a safety deposit box at a bank.

Pet owners make copies of your pet’s veterinarian records like rabies certificate, prescriptions and a recent photo of your pet(s).

Whatever happens, we’ll be there with you and your community, every step of the way, in your journey back, “Like it never even happened.”

Get Ahead of the Storm

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Weather Map showing the hurricane Dorian path up along the East coast SERVPRO of Hampton North will help clean up your home or business after the storm in Hampton.

Hurricane Prep Guide

Getting prepared for a hurricane in Hampton Roads is not only about buying lots of water or filling up the gas tank.  There are steps needed to help protect you and your family if your home is threatened by a hurricane.

Stock Emergency Supplies

  1. Water & Food at least a 3-day supply for you and your pet
  2. Tools like flashlights, extra batteries, a wrench, plastic sheeting & duct tape, trash bags
  3. Medical Hygiene and Cleaning Supplies like a first-aid kit, necessary medications, glasses, contact lenses, moist towelettes, toothpaste, and personal hygiene products
  4. Personal Items, like sleeping bag for each person and change of clothing
  5. Activities like books, games, playing cards, paper, pencils and pens
  6. Radio for NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  7. Other Items like a whistle to signal for help

Prepare and Protect Your Property

  1. Do a Home Inventory with contents of closets, drawers and cabinets? Store your home inventory lists, photographs and video tapes in a waterproof place off the premises.  Keep receipts of high valued items, which may separate insurance coverage.  Always update your home inventory after making large purchases.

Review Your Insurance Policies

  1. Is everything up to date? If you’ve done any major renovation or made a major purchase, make sure your insurance agent is aware to help determine if your current limits are enough to cover the value.
  2. Coverage for additional living expenses in case you can’t live in your home until it has been restored from damages.
  3. What about flood damage? Do you have coverage?
  4. Do you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy? What happens if a tree falls on it or water, wind or flying debris damages your car?

Plan Your Evacuation

  1. Become familiar with alternate routes in case travel becomes treacherous or traffic congested
  2. If you don’t have a car, plan on how you will leave if you need to evacuate; make plans with family or friends or your local government or aid agencies
  3. Plan what you will do with your pets, leave them with family, take them with you or to a kennel
  4. Keep a road map in your car in case you need another route on unfamiliar roads
  5. Prepare a bag or file with important papers, like your homeowner’s insurance policy, keep it with you.

If you have suffered water damage after a storm, SERVPRO of Hampton North is prepared to assist you after the storm to clean up the mess and help restore your home to its pre-storm condition.  We are “Always Here to Help.”  Call us at 757-825-9700.

Effects of Water Damage

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Cleanup in Hampton

Why it's important to act quickly

Water damage is something that all property owners dread. It is a valid concern here in the Hampton Roads area especially after a storm with a heavy downpour, or flooding from a storm surge. 

Water damage can cost thousands of dollars of damage to your furniture, electronics, upholstery, appliances, and even your plumbing.  Water damage can also increase the risk of mold growth and contamination which can involve a costly mold remediation. Hiring SERVPRO® of Hampton North, your local water damage restoration company will help make the cleanup easier and quicker.  Our experienced and trained technicians know the best ways to repair or replace the water damaged items and to clean up the water damage.

Water damage restoration is very important as well as the procedures.  The right procedures can help to save your cherished belongings as well as help to keep your home from being condemned.  SERVPRO® of Hampton North knows how to mitigate the effects of water damage and have experts to assess the water damage and determine a water restoration and removal plan.  We use high tech equipment and well documented procedures to control water damage.  Water in a basement may only require a short cleanup process, but water in other areas of the property will require more extensive remediation.

If you suffer a water damage loss in Hampton, call your local SERVPRO®, 757-825-9700 available 24/7 every day.  We are “Always here to help.”

SERVPRO® Emergency Preparedness Tips

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

A quote from Benjamin Franklin reads By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail Storm Damage Cleanup by SERVPRO® of Hampton North 757-825-9700.

A Few Steps to Prepare and Protect Your Family

We are at the beginning of hurricane season on the Atlantic coast, and SERVPRO® of Hampton North is wanting everyone to remember the importance of disaster preparedness.  The key to disaster preparedness is having an emergency plan in place before the disaster hits.  Preparing with a few simple steps can make the difference in protecting and keeping your family safe and protecting your property from weather related damage.

Build a basic emergency supply kit stocked with enough water and food for a minimum of three days for you and for each of your family members, pets included.  Be mindful to include any necessary medications.  Recommended emergency supply kit items include:

  • Water (one gallon/per person/per day)
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery or solar powered radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Local map
  • Important documents, such as insurance policies, bank account information, passwords, and identifications
  • Matches (in a waterproof container) and/or lighter

Make a Family Emergency Plan.  A Disaster may not strike when you and your family are together at home.  Plan now for a meeting place and how you will contact each other.  Visit ready.gov to access a Family Emergency Plan template to help with your planning.

Stay Informed.  Know your flood zone for your property and your neighborhood and know the evacuation route should evacuation become necessary.  Listen to your local news and authorities for direction.

Prepare your property.  You may need to prepare your home for the impact of a storm or hurricane.  Covering all your windows in your home will help to protect it.  Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows; however, the second-best option is to board up the windows with plywood.  Tape will not prevent your windows from breaking.  Trim your trees and bushes that are around your home and clear any debris from rain spouts and gutters.  Secure outdoor furniture, trash receptacles, decorations and anything else not secured that could become projectile. 

Establish a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for Your Business.  SERVPRO® developed the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for their facility, at no charge.  The business owner works with SERVPRO® of Hampton North to gather and document information that will become critical if a disaster strike.  Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their own information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.  Contact us at 757-825-9700 to get set up.

Commercial Air Duct Cleaning

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Air Duct Cleaning in Hampton

What's the big deal with Air Ducts?

When you are running a business, it’s easy to not think about air ducts or the quality of the air that you all are breathing.   What you should know is that regular maintenance to your air duct system can help improve the productivity of your HVAC systems and the quality of your air.

Usually a facility manager may not even think about air ducts until the building's system stops heating or cooling.  A ductwork system is designed to distribute airflow from your HVAC equipment to your entire commercial building.  This encompasses the air that is sucked from the whole building in the air conditioner/heater where it gets cooled or heated and then pushed back via the ducts into your working space.

The intake and output of the air are determined by how efficient a duct system is.  Only air is moved via ductwork.  What’s more is that there are many ductwork constructions and shapes.  They may be oval, round or rectangular in shape.  It might be fashioned from a wide range of materials like flexible plastics, fiberglass or different metals.

There are several types of commercial HVAC systems and most have an air duct system.   Roof top units are most common and found on the roof or ground and duct the conditioned air into the space. 

SERVPRO® of Hampton North has National Air Duct certified technicians who will inspect your HVAC air duct system at no charge.  After the inspection, you will receive a report and a quote to clean your commercial system.  We offer scheduled maintenance cleanings that will help to keep your system running more efficient and help to provide good air quality.

Think you have dirty ducks?  Call us at 757-825-9700.

by Kim Calantropo

Why You Should Keep Ductwork Clean

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Air Duct Cleaning in Hampton

Your indoor air is as important as the quality of the air you breathe outside.  There are indoor irritants in the air you breathe like pollen, dust, and pet dander that encompass more than simply changing your equipment's air filter.

These irritants and contaminants collect in your air duct system and can only be removed with scheduled cleanings.  You should consider it as a part of your HVAC maintenance and a vital part of ensuring your employees health and your business cleanliness.  Here are a few reasons why you should keep your ducts cleaned.

  • Clogging of the ducts- Irritants like dust can clog your air ducts causing your HVAC equipment to work less effectively.  The clogging can also cause health issues.
  • You may be losing efficiency- If your air ducts are clogged, your equipment will be forced to work harder to maintain your temperature settings.  This results in higher utility bills and an inefficient system.
  • Presence of mold- Mold is hazardous to your health.  Mold can aggravate or cause health problems like asthma and allergies. An odor like the smell of dirty socks coming from your air vents can indicate the presence of mold in your HVAC system.
  • Presence of trapped critters- Occasionally rodents, birds or insects can become entrapped in the air duct system.  Any odor coming from the air vent system requires attention.

SERVPRO® of Hampton North offers air duct system inspections at no cost.  You will get the inspection results and a recommended plan of action. Commercial cleaning and maintenance plans are available.  Call us today at 757-825-9700.

How to Protect Against Water Damage

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Hampton

Here are some steps to take to help minimize your risk.

Whether it's a flooded bathroom or a water heater leak in your attic, you know that the water damage could be costly to repair.  Here are some ways to protect against water damage.

  • Replace old pipes. Home piping usually has a life span of 50 to 80 years.  If yours are older, it’s a good idea to ask a plumber for an inspection.  PVC pipes may need to be replaced every 25-40 years.
  • Inspect your water heater. Water heaters usually need to be replaced every 10 years.  Learn more about signs that you might need a new water heater.
  • Update your windows and doors. Watertight options are available with new doors and windows.  Wood windows should be cleaned, repainted and stained every so often.  Cracks should be resealed, and old glazing compounds should be replaced as needed.
  • Replace washing machine supply hoses. As part of a proactive maintenance plan, replace every 3 to 5 years.
  • Regularly inspect your roof. Look for loose or missing shingles, or any sign of damage.  While up there, inspect your gutters to make sure leaves and debris have been removed and that the drain spout is properly attached.

Do You Have Water Damage in Hampton?  Call us at 757-825-9700.

Signs That You Might Need A New Water Heater

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Hampton?

When SERVPRO® of Hampton North gets an emergency water damage call because a water heater leaked, we know there is attic and ceiling damage or flooring damage.  Here are some signs that you might need a new water heater and ways to find out if you do. These may require a little periodic checking while others become obvious only after things have gone wrong.

  • The water is not getting hot enough.
  • The water is not getting hot at all. It could be that the pilot light is out, or the circuit breaker has been tripped, or worse the whole heating system is shot.
  • The water is a rusty color or not clear running.
  • The water has a strange metallic taste, which could mean that the inside of the tank is breaking down.
  • The water heater is making loud popping and cracking noises that could mean the heating element is failing.
  • There are signs of leakage around the water heater which indicates a major internal failure to the system. Make sure that the electricity or gas has been turned off to the system and that before replacing it, the unit has had a chance to cool completely.

We suggest that you hire a professional to replace and install your new water heater.  This is to be certain that the installation meets safety codes and is safe to use.

Water damage cleanup in Hampton?  Call 757-825-9700.

Cleaning and Restoring Fire Damaged Contents in Hampton

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleanup in Hampton?

What to Consider when Cleaning Fire Damaged Contents

The salvage efforts by the fire department can leave your home or office with a huge wet mess or you could have minimal damage with only grease, smoke, or soot damage.  Our SERVPRO® fire restoration team handles each loss and determines the best means to clean and restore your fire damaged items.

Restoration methods include dry-cleaning, cleaning with ultrasonic waves or with other specialized treatments to remove odors, to preserve photos and documents and clean your smoke and soot damaged electronics. We take certain steps in determining how to best clean your contents.

Assess the Damage

Our first step would be to determine whether the item (s) can be restored or are they non-salvageable.  Contents with smoke or soot damage usually can be restored, such as photos or documents, however, burned or charred items would be considered a loss.

Consider Durability

The durability of the fabric, or the material of the damaged item (s) is considered when determining the cleaning and restoration method.  Delicate items subjected to the fire incident may not withstand even our most gentle of treatments.

Consider Porosity

The porosity of an item is important in determining the best cleaning and restoration method.  Porous items such as clothing and textiles can benefit from our ozone treatment to dry cleaning.  Delicate, non-porous items made of glass or ceramic, can more than likely be immersed and cleaned with ultrasonic waves.  More delicate porous items are handled more carefully and limited to moisture exposure.

We recommend always having your fire damaged items cleaned by a professional restoration company.  SERVPRO® of Hampton North offers a full range of content cleaning options as well as content storage.  When we clean your contents, we box and label your items, to deliver back to you once your home has been restored or another location has been determined.  Fire Damage Cleanup in Chesapeake?  Call 757-825-9700.

Author Kim Calantropo

Photo credit Wavy.com

Smoke Damage: How It Hurts Your Home

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Every 24 seconds house fires are reported to fire departments.  These fires cost thousands of lives each year and thousands of dollars to homes and buildings.

Smoke and fire damage can be severe and if the home survives the fire, the home should be inspected quickly and cleaning and recovery actions should be in place to avoid permanent damage.  

When it's safe to return to your home, call your insurance company and ask for a cleanup and restoration company to help you with the fire and smoke damage to help restore your home.

If your home is still standing, you must get an inspection of the foundation and the structure for safety.

When a fire has consumed your furniture and belongings, you have a wet, scorched mess left behind. Leather, fabric, and wood can trap smoke smells and usually can be restored. In addition, smoke and soot particles can get trapped inside of your HVAC system.

SERVPRO® of Hampton North will remove the wet, burned, scorched mess and take your salvageable contents to clean in our warehouse.  We also have the capability to help restore your fire and water damaged documents and photos.  When this process is completed, then we can address the soot, water, and fire damage restoration to your home and to your air duct system.