Recent Posts

3 Ways Storm Damage Will Close Your Business Indefinitely - How to Avoid It During (And After) COVID

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

The economic impacts from Coronavirus has put unprecedented strain on local businesses. With storms hitting the Parkersburg, WV area in June as well, a few local businesses have been possibly affected forever. We want all local businesses to survive through this, so please read this post carefully.

There are 3 major ways that the damage affected these businesses and this article will equip you with how to keep afloat.

Losing Your Data

Water and storm damage can wipe all your information clean. From electrical corrosion to all out computer failure those vital documents can be forever lost, closing down your business due to the unbearable costs.

    1. How to avoid this problem: Back it up! External hard-drives are extremely cheap these days. Set a weekly practice of backing up your computers and tablets. It’s frustrating, but think of it as very cheap insurance. Some companies like Apple even offer “Cloud” back ups which are automatically done on regular intervals.
    2. What if you didn’t do this? There are multiple methods of restoration that you can investigate. There are companies that help recover damaged hard-drives in computers and tablets. It’s very important that you do not turn on the device. This may create a shortage and burn the storage. This will make it impossible to recover.

Ruined Documentation:

If you keep paper documentation it is important that you do not move the paper once wet. This can rip the sheets apart or even further smudge or leak the ink.

    1. How to Avoid This Problem? Digitizing your paperwork is priority. Make it habitual and mandatory. Get one of your assistants or staff to do this daily, if not at least every 48 hours. This can be done easily by scanning to the computer.
    2. What if I didn’t do this? The best option is to use sublimation. To find out more on this click here.

Damaged Work Place.

This is the most obvious but there are a few very important things to take into account: the foundations (floors, walls doors etc) and furniture (chairs, tables etc).

    1. How to Avoid This Problem? If possible evaluate the drainage areas of the building and rooms. If your building has some ability to allow water to drain this will significantly minimize the magnitude of damage. Get insurance. This is a non-negotiable for businesses. Whatever you can afford, use it. You don’t need it until you need it. And when you do … you’re always glad you have it.
    2. What If I didn’t do this? Water and storm damage restoration is an expensive endeavor. There are many parts that go into it and a restoration bill can be anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000 or more. This is dependent on the size of the venue, damage and other factors. Please, get insurance. If it’s the one thing you do from all of this.

We hope that this has helped. West Virginia needs all local businesses to stay alive during this time and beyond.

From the team at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties.

3 Ways Home Fires Start in the Laundry Room (and how to Avoid them)

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

While rare, laundry room fires have effected numerous families in Parkersburg, WV over the past years. These fires may start small but within minutes laundry fires can grow and take over the entire house, taking away all your possessions. No family deserves this. Let’s look at what you can do to minimize (and hopefully neutralize) the chance of this ever happening in your home.

3 Ways Fires Start In The Laundry

  • Blocked Filters and Vents: Over time, the vents and filters of the dryer may get blocked. The heat inside the dryer does not get released as there is no way out. In this way, the temperature may cause the lint to catch fire.
  • Leaving Moist Clothes in the Hot Dryer: Clothes such as towels or bed sheets, etc. may take longer to get dry. After washing the clothes, leaving these damp items inside the dryer is very risky. The dryer is hot, so leaving the clothes inside for too long can start a fire in the laundry.
  • Washing Fabrics at Higher Temperatures: All fabrics cannot be washed at high temperatures. Normally people wash all of their fabrics at the same temperature and this can lead to problems. It is important to note that some fabrics, especially cotton fabrics, need to be washed at relevantly lower temperatures than others. We advise keeping an eye on the temperature while washing different types of clothes together.

How to Avoid Fire Damage:

Here is how you can avoid a laundry fire starting regarding the three points above:

  • Blocked Filters and Vents: Check the filters after every wash. Most dryers have a very easy method of cleaning out the filters. By making it common practice (it literally takes seconds!) you are dramatically minimizing the chances of fire damage occurring.
  • Leaving Moist Clothes in the Hot Dryer: After each wash empty it fully. This might sound silly but even leaving a sock in there may create a chance of issues arising.
  • Washing Fabrics at Higher Temperatures: Look at the guidelines on the tag of the clothing you are washing. If they are suggesting a cold wash, please do this!

Bonus note: Only use the dryer when you are at home. Never use the clothes dryer when you are out of home, even if you are quickly running to the store.

Preventions are always better than a cure. By following the instructions mentioned above, you can easily avoid the possibility of laundry fire.

In the horrible event any fires start please call 911 immediately.

We hope this has helped,

The Team at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties - Fire Damage Restoration Services.

5 Way Mold Grows in West Virginian Homes (and how to Prevent It)

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

West Virginian summers are mostly humid with an average temperature of 46 °F, and this can be prime for mold to grow.

Mold belongs to the fungus family. It is not the mold you see that is the issue, instead it is the mold spores that are in the air. When inhaled, the spores may cause health effects such as irritations and allergies.

What Causes Mold to Grow In My Home?

Mold colonies need certain environments to grow best. If you can avoid or minimize these you will be able to potentially avoid mold growths in your home. The 5 things that benefit mold growths are:

  • Humidity This is the first and foremost factor contributing to the growth of mold. Mold being a living organism that feeds on moisture. A little exposure to a leaking pipe, heat moving through the home or even a clothes dryer in an enclosed space can create moisture in the air and this can quickly give birth to mold colonies in this area of your home.
  • Darkness Mold thrives in the dark and quiet places where ultraviolet rays cannot prevent it from growing. Mold flourishes in the dark nooks and corners of the house where sunlight is unable to reach.
  • Warmth The outdoor temperature of West Virginia ranges from 25°F-82°F, whereas a mold requires 60°F to grow with full swing. So, it should come as no surprise that the warmth inside of the your home can become a breeding ground for mold due to humidity and moisture created by the differing temperatures from inside to outside.
  • Oxygen Like all other living beings, mold feeds on oxygen. The combination of warmth, moisture and oxygen in areas such as your home basement or bathrooms create a feeding ground for mold.
  • Food Mold needs food to thrive. The question is, what does mold eat? Well, it can be your drywall, meat, and wood to name a few. Black toxic mold is fond of cellulose, which is commonly found in wood and paper (your walls).

How Do You Prevent Mold From Growing?

Now that we know the common reasons behind mold growth, we can equip ourselves with mold remediation methods to minimize (or even remove) the ability for mold to grow.

Here is how to prevent mold from taking over your house in a few convenient steps;

  • To Avoid Humidity: a constant air flow decreases humidity. An exhaust fan is the simplest way to do this. Install an exhaust fan in your bathroom(s), kitchen and basement and use them whenever heat is present (for example, a hot shower or bath, cooking or hot water system is on in the basement).
  • Other methods to improve air flow are:
    • Keep Basement tidy. A build up of items can minimize or restrict airflow. If water or moisture becomes present in any area of the basement you are likely to be feeding the mold now with stagnant air.
  • Clean and dry every moist surface areas across your house.
  • Frequently check pipes for blockages. This is a similar rule to the exhaust fans.
  • Make use of mold killing products for cleaning the bathrooms, tubs, and sinks.
  • Immediately dispose of materials infected with mold.
  • In the extreme case of mold accumulation or possibly even black toxic mold, please seek professional advice because the high amount of mold may cause health problems. Your safety and heath is priority.

If you want any more questions answered or even would like us to have a look at your mold issues and see if we can help further, please call us right now on 304-428-7378 or contact us through our form by clicking here.

We hope this has helped.

From the team at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties.

RELATED BLOG POSTS:

Black Toxic Mold

Who is Best For Water Damage Restoration in Wood County?

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can cause severe problems within a few minutes by damaging your furniture, appliances, and other electronic equipment. If you face any water leakage in your house, you need to fix it as soon as possible. In this way, SERVPRO provides you with its fast water damage restoration services through highly trained professionals, having heaps of experience in the field.

Types of Water Damage:

There are three main types of water damage; silent water damage, flooded basements and water damage from storms.

Silent Water Damage occurs when Water present in the air due to constant humidity can slowly and silently damage your home foundations, walls, roof, and home appliances.

Flooded Basements are a very common call we receive from locals in Wood County area. These issues can arise from frozen spigots, flooded water heaters or a faulty sump pump.

Storm Damage is a common issue in West Virginia and varies when this occurs. Much like the large storms we encountered last April / May homes are damaged from excess winds and items being thrown around, breaking windows, walls or roof tiles, allowing water to get in to the home.

Services Offered Under Water Damage Restoration:

Our team of professionals is committed to working on both types of water damages. It is necessary to remove water from the damaged areas to restore silent water damage. We use various techniques, including air, heat, and sanitation, to remove get foundations, walls, and roofs dry. Apart from these necessary measures, we also use some advanced techniques to make your house or business free of silent water damage.

Storms can come in an instant, so they demand quick remediation. The following are a few features of the services we provide.

Trained Staff:

Our professionally trained staff has gone through many emergencies, so it knows how to deal with disasters, including storm and water damage.

Instant Services:

Time is a very important factor with water damage. As time goes by water creates further damage in the home due to is pervasive nature. Our staff are fast acting to remedy the situation so that you can avoid further damage within your home or business.

Advanced Techniques:

Our team is well equipped with modern-day tools, frequent knowledge and advanced techniques to prevent you from facing significant damage.

Conclusion

Water and storms can have a massive impact on your home or business. Precautionary steps can help minimise the damage of events such as storms which can dramatically reduce restoration costs. If you still need help, feel free to contact our water damage restoration services.

Related Articles:

3 Tips to Avoid $10,000 in damages from a Frozen Spigot - click here

How to Check (and fix) a Seized Sump Pump (and save you $1,000s) - click here

How to Avoid Your Water Heater Flooding Your Basement - Click here

3 Common Ways Kitchen Fires Start, and how to Avoid Them in West Virginia

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

A wok with noodles inside and flames all around it Kitchen Fires Happen Often, Please be Prepared

Fire damages everything that comes in its way, from tall buildings to small living rooms. The tendency of specific things to catch fire may increase or decrease, depending on the situation and the availability of fire-causing elements. These elements include heat, oxygen, and fuel, and they are mostly present in kitchens, making kitchens more vulnerable to catch fire in West Virginia.

How Kitchen Fire Starts in West Virginia:

Kitchen fires may start because of multiple reasons, but three of the most common are:

  • People leave kitchens unattended before they sleep. After use, the burner remains hot for a long time, so different combustibles such as food packaging, towel, rags, etc. can easily catch fire if near the recently used burner.
  • Leakage of gas, cooking oil, or other combustible elements can cause a fire. Even the wooden cabinets and doors can become risky at times, especially when the kitchen is small.
  • Kitchen fires may also start by accidentally turning on the equipment. If microwave ovens, burners, or other cooking equipment are not turned off by mistake, they can cause colossal fire damage in your kitchen.

Numerous other factors cause kitchen fire; however, people must avoid the factors mentioned above to stay safe as they are observed most commonly in West Virginia.

How to Avoid Fire Damage In The Kitchen:

Several measures need to be taken before you go for fire damage restoration. The following are a few of them.

  • Try to clean your kitchen and pots before you leave. A clean kitchen is always secured and has minimal chance of catching fire.
  • Always pay your full attention while cooking the food and handling the hot basins. A minor mistake, such as a hanging towel, can catch fire from the stove.
  • Don’t leave bowls, plates and food scattered in your kitchen.
  • Always use a clean pot to make your food hot in the microwave, and make sure the pan is balanced to avoid falling over.
  • Pay special attention to combustible materials, including cooking oil, towels, and rags, etc.
  • Keep your garbage can clean and don’t throw any hot items inside the can. Food packaging, plastics, and other materials can catch fire.
  • Never let your children come near to the stove.
  • Don't ask children to handle pots, especially when they are hot.
  • Switch off all unnecessary items and disconnect the gas connection before you leave the kitchen in the night.
  • If you can smell gas, never turn any electric switch on. The spark created inside the switch while turning it on can instantly cause a fire.

Conclusion:

Despite conducting all the safety measures, we still need to stay alert as fires can start at any time and due to any reason. If you experience a kitchen fire in West Virginia, you should try to overcome it only when you are confident to do so. If the fire is out of control call 911 immediately and once the fire has been smothered by the Pakersburg Fire Department please immediately call SERVPRO for fire damage restoration. The SERVPRO team of professionals will help clean up and removed damaged items.

Please take all precautions mentioned above so that the chance of needing us is as minimal as possible.

The Team at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties

For more Fire Damage Tips click here.

How to Stop People Vandalising Your Walls with Graffiti in Wood County

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

corrugated metal walls with graffiti all over them Graffiti attracts more graffiti artists

A wall with graffiti attracts more graffiti. It’s counter intuitive to what we think but it’s the reality. When someone who is likely to graffiti sees a wall with someone else’s graffiti, they know that they can do it there. They know that someone else has gotten away with it and just like a lighthouse on the shore it calls them in to the safe area to vandalise.

Graffiti not only attracts more vandals but it deters customers and can have a significantly negative effect on the neighbourhood as well. While we know that most business owners do not have the resources for professional graffiti removal there are methods that you can do yourself that will clean the walls and glass up, but please be careful of the warning we will give below.

PLEASE NOTE THAT GRAFFITI REMOVAL IS A VERY TIME HEAVY JOB. THERE IS NO FAST METHOD WITHOUT TEARING DOWN THE WALL.

How to Remove Graffiti on Glass

Because the glass is a very flat and non-porous surface it is possible to remove the paint with a razor blade. Scrape the razor blade behind the paint so that you can peel it off. The addition of a paint thinner can also make it easier to remove the paint.

Once completed, rinse off the window and it’s back to normal.

Things to be mindful of with Graffiti on Glass

Do not apply too much pressure to the window. You do not want it to break.

Be aware of the razor blade. If you scratch the window you cannot remove the scratch.

How to Remove Graffiti on Brick Walls

Brick walls are porous. This means that the paint can seep into the brick, making it much harder to remove thoroughly.

  1. First you want to get a hard bristled brush, paint stripper, safety goggles and a mask.
  2. Now you want to apply the paint stripper generously over the graffiti, starting at a top corner, working outward and down.
  3. Wait the recommended time given by the paint stripper.
  4. Now, starting at the same corner, use the stiff-bristled brush to scrap as much of the paint off as possible. Note: there is likely to be a lot of flakes and chunks coming off so wear your mask.
  5. Wash the wall with hot or warm water. Use rags to do a thorough job of removing any left over pieces.
  6. Reapply another layer of paint stripper to remove any stubborn areas of paint. Wait. Scrub and rinse again. (You may have to repeat this cycle a few times to thoroughly remove the graffiti).

What to Avoid

Do not use pressure washers to remove the paint from the brick walls. Pressure washers can quickly corrode the bricks, causing potential structural integrity issues in the wall. This can be very dangerous and / or very expensive.

How to Remove Graffiti from a Painted Wall

When your vandalised wall has been previously painted there is a danger of having the paint damaged in the removal process. Follow the tips above but be mindful of applying the paint stripper ONLY on the graffiti. This will be more time consuming but please know that there is a chance of effecting the paint underneath the graffiti if proper, professional attention is administered.

How to Remove Graffiti From Metal

Thankfully all you have to do is follow the steps in the brick wall above. And this will be much easier.

There you have it!


The major issue with graffiti removal is the time. It’s a very time consuming endeavour but an important, time sensitive thing to be done. Because they longer that it is put off, the more graffiti it will attract.

If you wish to ask any further questions please call us now on 304-428-7378 or CONTACT US through our page

From the team at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties

How You Can Avoid $1,000s in Damages with Crawlspace Waterproofing

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

a home being built, exposing the structural support with plastic sheets covering everything Encapsulation Helps Avoid Water Damage

Water and Mold Damage causes $100,000s in damages to homes and businesses in Parkersburg, WV and surrounding areas each year. This damage can come from an array of different scenarios such as Storm Damage, spigot flooding or water heater bursts. Now here’s another area for water damage that you can prepare for and avoid A LOT of heartache: Crawlspace Water Proofing.

What is Crawlspace Water Proofing?

The crawlspace is the area of limited height under the floor or above the roof. This area gives access to wiring and plumbing.

Why is this important for waterproofing?

Your crawlspace can collect water from many ways such as small leaks or moisture build up. When this build up occurs you start developing mold or water damage that weakens the structural integrity of your home or business.

Waterproofing through encapsulation stops the water from penetrating or absorbing into the structural components.

What is Encapsulation?

Encapsulation is a process that uses 12mm thick sheets of poly to cover the surfaces such as walls, flooring and ground. This poly (thick plastic) acts as a non-penetratable surface, stopping water from absorbing into the surfaces. If the water absorbed into the surface it can deteriorate the structural integrity of your home and/or create toxic black mold. If this was to happen damages can be well above $20,000 in damages depending on how early you capture it.

Why Prevention is always cheaper than Cure

As we mention in all of these blogs, your prevention will always be much cheaper than fixing the problem when it occurs. Think of it like this:

  • You notice you have a problem
  • You call someone to look at it
  • They notice there’s been a build up of water and mold, now you need to have this resolved.
  • You need to pay over $20,000 in structure rehabilitation, as well as mold remediation (could be anything from $1,000-$10,000) to make your home free from mold.
  • You are now concerned about it happening again, so you will get encapsulation to save yourself from future problems.

Now lets look at the prevention option:

  • You pay for the encapsulation.
  • You don’t have the issue of water damages or mold surprising you.

In the second option, you’re now saving a lot of money, heart aches and headaches.

Please, save yourself from the heartaches and headaches. Life is short and we at SERVPRO would love for you to not need to call us to solve water damages or mold.

Keep safe!

From the team at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties

Other articles to read:

Black Toxic Mold - What You Can Do To Avoid This

How A Spigot Can cost you $10,000 in damages (and how to avoid it)

5 Things In West Virginia Storms to Be Aware Of to Avoid $10,000s in Damages

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

A fallen tree that has torn up the road and landed on a family home $10,000 of Damage in under 12 Hours

If Coronavirus has taught us anything it’s that we should be prepared for what can (or may) go wrong in life. While Coronavirus is perhaps a one in a lifetime event, major storms are common to West Virginia, even in the Summertime.

Unfortunately it’s often not until too late that we are reminded of how expensive storms can be to family homes and commercial buildings. This late response often leads to well over $10,000 of damages and a heartbreaking outcome that can devastate a family or business (or both!).

So that you can be best prepared to avoid, or a least minimise, the damage that may be caused by a storm, we have put together 4 major things to look out for so that you can be prepared and avoid (or minimise) the heart break.

Beware of Trees Near Your Home

Are there any large trees near your home? If they fell would your home be in potential danger? If heat lightning struck would your home be in danger of the tree being on fire?

These are all very important questions to ask right now because it can be dealt with now. Remember: it’s easy to do it now. It will be harder to deal with it when it’s lying in your living room.

Call a local arborist (tree surgeon) to evaluate the likely danger and they can help you with the best line of attack. Here are a few in the local Parkersburg Area:

Nova Tree Solutions, LLC (Parkersburg & Vienna, WV)

Kiddler’s Tree Services (Marietta, OH)

Are There Any Areas That Could Create Major Leaks?

Water is a very invasive liquid that easily causes tens of thousands of dollars worth in damages within no time. Water damage can be very frustrating because it lingers. It seeps into furniture, walls and carpets, and unless eradicated professionally it can open up breeding grounds for mold.

What to do:

Conduct a proper check of your home. Are there any areas in the roof that may be a high risk of leaking and leading to attic flooding (which can lead to ceiling damage and other structural damage)? Are there any areas around the edges of your home that may result in a basement flooding?

You can either do this on your own, or ask a professional to come and look. A professional will know what to look for, because sometimes all that is needed is a small crack that can turn into a large hole after a storm.

Power Outages

This is a common one that most of us are prepared for and thankfully not a major one of concern.

What to do:

Basically; be prepared. Have some flashlights, food and warm blankets on the ready.

Move all Loose Items and Furniture Inside

If there is a storm warning please do this immediately. We cannot tell you how many times we are called out after a storm because something small has blown through a window or wall of a family home or business. Hundreds, if not thousands of damage from water damage and/or broken items that could have been easily avoided.

What to do:

Please, immediately move all these item indoors, away from wind.

Have the Proper Insurances

Prevention is always better than cure. We agree, at times a lot of people don’t like “the insurance companies” but they’re so important to stick on the side of caution: “it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”

Everything is a risk verses reward system in this world and there are risks to our homes that (statistically) are more unlikely to happen than to happen. But the question of “what if” is always there.

We at SERVPRO always urge our community to lean towards being safer. Lean towards risk reduction because we see what happens when families are not prepared for the worst. It can be devastating.

What to do:

Investigate all insurance companies and their various policies. You can reduce your premium by increasing your excess for example.

It’s very important that you know all the aspects of your insurance as well. Some contain exclusions that may effect you and if the time comes that you need to claim, you do not want to be under an exclusion clause. Please be careful. There’s risk in not having insurance, but also risk in having the wrong insurance.

We hope that this has helped shed some light into the importance of preparing. Because prior preventions prevents poor performance (outcomes). Reduce the risk and enjoy the rewards it brings.

Stay safe,

The Team at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties

Available areas include Parkersburg, Vienna, Harrisville, St. Mary’s, Williamstown, Pennsboro, Belmont and the wider Mid-Ohio Valley.

Meet Our Technician - Ken Rollins

5/17/2020 (Permalink)

Ken Rollins smiling in front of a blank wall wearing a SERVPRO shirt Ken Rollins is an inspiration

We want you to know the team that will be helping solve your water restoration and fire damage.

Our crew member, Ken Rollins, is a charismatic young fellow who doesn't let age get in the way. 

Ken's Experience

Ken has over 3 years restoration experience and primarily provides service in the water damage sector of SERVPRO. 

His service goes back to the navy, where he served our beautiful country.

His service extends beyond the country and down to the local community. Alongside his time at SERVPRO, Ken operates as security at The Rock Church, Parkersburg, and provides meals on wheels to the elderly (he's a young fella remember!). 

Age is only a number

Ken uses all his time outside of SERVPRO further providing to the community. Besides what we mentioned above you are also likely to see him chopping firewood and mowing lawns for the locals as well as volunteering for the Wounded Warriors Charity Group.

Somehow, within in all of this, Ken still also finds time to walk at least 5 miles per day.

If you ever see Ken out and about, or on the job, please say hello. This man is a true hero amongst our community.

Meet our Technician - Austin Alexander

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Austin Alexander standing in front of a servpro truck Austin Alexander - SERVPRO Technician

Our goal for you is to have the best staff for the job. Not only in their qualifications but also with the care and personal touch.

Our restoration technician at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties, Austin Alexander ticks all the boxes and we wanted to introduce him to you.

Austin Alexander’s Experience

Who Is Austin Outside of SERVPRO?

The list of Austin’s involvement in the local community could go for a long time, but we will keep it short for you:

  • Active with the Warehouse Church: Austin plays guitar and bass guitar with his band, Praise Lordship at the Warehouse church.
  • Mentors local Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings and drug habilitation programs: Helping others get back on their feet is very important to Austin. He believes that everyone deserves a second chance and it’s within everyone to turn around for the positive. His involvement with these programs has seen numerous men and women turn their lives around in the local Mid-Ohio Valley area.
  • When he’s looking for time for himself he enjoys outdoor activities like kayaking, camping and hiking “there’s a lot to do out there and it’s fun to explore the nature that we have.”

Austin’s heart is in everything he does. So if you see him around the area or he’s on your job site, please say hello and introduce yourself.

The team at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties.