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Winter Storm Forecast Terms

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Three people walking in the snow. Winter storms can be highly dangerous. Familiarize yourself with these winter forecast terms so you can be prepared.

With the cold weather quickly moving in it is likely that you may have already heard many of these winter weather terms. But, do you know what they mean for you, your family and your home or business. Here is a list of the 9 common terms you are likely to hear this winter.

Nor’easter - This is a term that we here on the east coast are widely familiar with. A Nor’easter gets it name from the northeasterly winds that batter the coast when these storms pass through. Nor’easters do not always produce snow, however when weather conditions permit, rain and wind can quickly become wind, snow and ice. Most nor’easters last only a few days, however their impacts can be significant leaving behind millions of dollars of damage.

Clipper - A clipper is a small, fast-moving storm system that forms in or around southern Canada or the upper Midwestern United States and moves towards the East Coast. Clippers generally only drop a few inches or so of snow, however there have been clipper storm systems in which adequate moisture is available and snowfall totals can far exceed what was originally forecast. 

Polar Vortex -  A polar vortex is a large and persistent circulation in the upper-levels of the atmosphere that wraps around the far northern latitudes of the earth. A polar vortex acts like an atmospheric barrier that can keep bitterly cold air confined to the Arctic Circle. When the polar vortex is disrupted and the circulation breaks down, parts of the polar vortex can dip south and allow that frigid arctic air to spill deep into the United States for a few days.

Bombogenesis - While this may sound like a made up term a bombogenesis, or bomb cyclone is a very real meteorological event that occurs in conjunction with a nor’easter in which a low pressure system undergoes a drastic drop in air pressure (24 millibars or more in 24 hours or less). The result is a large scale storm that affects large portions of the east coast for several days and bringing about blizzard like conditions for some areas. 

Squall Line - A squall line is a heavy line of precipitation that’s usually accompanied by gusty winds. Sudden and heavy snow can cause roads to quickly become dangerous for travel. Reduced visibility is likely and the roads will become slick with near white out conditions traffic accidents are inevitable. 

Freezing Rain  - Freezing rain forms when a snowflake falls through a layer of above-freezing air high above the ground. The snowflake completely melts into a raindrop and falls back into subfreezing air near the surface. Once the raindrop hits the ground (or another surface) it instantly freezes leaving behind a heavy layer of ice making travel almost impossible, and carries the potential to break tree limbs and cause power lines to fail. 

Sleet - Sleet is similar to freezing rain in that goes through a melting and then refreezing process. Sleet feels like hail and accumulates like snow, but it can freeze solid not longer after falling creating a stubborn slab of ice that can be hard to shovel or plow through, often these attempts to remove the ice can cause damage to sidewalks, roadways and driveways. 

Graupel - Graupel is a soft snowflake that is more comparable to sleet rather than snow. It does not accumulate and can also be compared to the frost that you see on the grass in the mornings. It is essentially a freezing fog and generally causes no issues.

Flash freeze -  A flash freeze occurs when the temperature drops very quickly not long after it rains, causing the water on roads and sidewalks to freeze in a short amount of time. Most common after a powerful storm in which the temperature quickly drops (40 °F or more) in just a few hours. Flash freezes are dangerous because they create black ice, which makes travel unsafe. 

We here at SERVPRO Chesapeake South want you and your family to be safe this winter season. Always check the forecast before leaving home and be sure to add a Winter Car Emergency Kit to all family vehicles. Review or create your business's Emergency Response Plan and be safe when traveling on busy roadways.

When Should My Drapes Be Cleaned?

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Tan and brown colored drapes hanging in front of window SERVPRO of Chesapeake South has an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies right in your home.

We recommend that household drapes should be cleaned once every 2 years. Did you know that roughly 80% of the particles you see floating in your home in a ray of sunshine are from dead human skin? These and other contaminants can cling to your drapes and linger around longer than you may like. While most people believe that drapes need only to be cleaned when they appear dirty or soiled, however that is not the case. Regular professional drapery cleaning can extend the life of your drapes significantly. 

SERVPRO of Chesapeake South has an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies right in your home. There’s no need to have your home or office exposed while your draperies are out being cleaned. We inject a specially formulated solvent into your drapery under pressure and extract the chemical, leaving your drapes clean. This special process results in no damage or shrinkage to the material. Most importantly, you will get quality cleaning at a reasonable price.

Using the Proper Fire Extinguisher.

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

5 different types of fire extinguishers and a brief description of each. Our franchise professionals are on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help with your fire clean up/restoration needs.

Did you know that there are five types of fire extinguishers? Each type is designed for a specific type of fire and knowing which type to use can make a drastic impact on your safety and using the proper extinguisher can significantly reduce the damage to your home. 

Type A Fire Extinguishers -  These are for use with ordinary materials such as paper, cloth, or wood. 

Type B Fire Extinguishers - These are for use with flammable/combustible liquids such as gasoline, oil based paint and grease. 

Type C Fire Extinguishers - These are for use with electrical equipment such as tools, appliance or any other equipment that is plugged in to an electrical source. 

Type D Fire Extinguishers - These are often found in factories and are to be used on flammable metals. 

Type K Fire Extinguishers - These types of extinguishers are often found in commercial kitchen as they are used to put out fires that involve oils from animals or vegetables, or animal fats in cooking appliances.

It is important to keep fire extinguishers in a place that they can be easily accessed in case of an emergency. Make sure that all parts of the extinguisher are in proper working order and be sure to review the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions on regular maintenance and inspection. At SERVPRO Chesapeake South we are here to respond Faster to any size disaster. A fire in your home can be stressful, but our franchise professionals are on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help with your fire clean up/restoration needs.

Our Water Damage Restoration Process

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

House with water in it. Floating furniture At SERVPRO Chesapeake South we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property.

We get it, water damage is STRESSFUL. Whether it is from a leaking pipe, a failed appliance, or natural disaster water in your home is not fun! At SERVPRO Chesapeake South we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. Our experience and scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable us to properly dry and restore your property. Our six step process makes it easy to get your property restored. 

Step 1 - Emergency Contact: The restoration process begins by giving us a call (757) 825-9700. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources. Our franchise professionals are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment: We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage in order to develop an appropriate plan of action. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.

Step 3 - Water Removal: The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification: Using specialized equipment, our franchise professionals remove the remaining water that may be harder to access. By using room measurements, temperature, and humidity levels our franchise professionals will be able to determine the number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to finish drying your home/business. 

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing: Our franchise professionals use a number of techniques to clean your property. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. Our franchise professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors from your property. 

Step 6 - Restoration: Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Water in your home can be a hassle, but the extraction and restoration process doesn’t have to be. Give us here at SERVPRO Chesapeake South a call, and let us make your water damage, “Like it never even happened.”

Fire and water damage are never scheduled - Are you Prepared?

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Servpro Truck & Equipment Here to Help 24 hours a day 365 days a year

The fact of the matter is that no one plans for or is prepared to deal with a fire or water damage. These emergencies happen without warning and can create chaos in your life. This is where SERVPRO comes in! With franchise professionals on standby 24 hours a day 365 days a year, we are always Here to Help!

Own a business? Our Emergency Ready Profile can help you minimize business interruptions and get back to serving your clients faster than ever!

With over 40 years of industry experience, our franchise professionals receive training from The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). 

As an Esporta Certified Operator we utilize a patented restoration technology that is capable of restoring over 90% of the soft contents of a home such as leather goods, clothing, stuffed toys, and bedding to food grade clean.

Property owner or manager? Keep your homes or apartment units occupied by inviting a team of our dedicated franchise professionals to get the space move in ready: we offer a variety of cleaning services including floor cleaning, ceiling and wall cleaning, deodorization, air duct & HVAC Cleaning as well as upholstery and drapery cleaning. 

Our franchise professionals are on standby 24 hours a day 365 days a year to respond quickly to your emergency!

Keeping Yourself Warm & Safe This Winter!

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

White 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 these colder months. We here at SERVPRO Chesapeake South want you to be prepared to safely heat your home or business. 

Never heat your home or business with a gas top stove or oven. Not only does this method of heating create an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, leaving an unattended stove can cause a fire.

Read, understand 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 regularly maintained through periodic cleaning and inspected prior to use. 

Keep heating equipment away from materials that are susceptible to catching fire such as furniture, clothing, bedding paper materials as well as other holiday decorations like Christmas trees. 

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

SERVPRO Chesapeake South wants you, and your business to stay safe during these winter months.  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.

Getting Your Business Ready for the Holidays

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Servpro Warehouse and Employee Check out these tips on keeping your commercial property free from damage this holiday season.

During the holiday season, many businesses choose to decorate their stores to create a warm and inviting environment for their customers but also as a way to advertise for holiday sales.  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 Christmas trees, paper or holiday wreaths are susceptible to quickly catching on fire. If you are choosing to decorate with to decorate your business space for the holidays, make sure that the decorations are at least 3 feet away from any heat or source of ignition.  

The location of your holiday displays are also important. Place your decorations or holiday displays so that they are not blocking exits including emergency exits and make sure that they are not intrusive to the isles/walkways.

SERVPRO Chesapeake South 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.

Common Causes of Flooding & How to Avoid Them!

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Wet 0floor Don't let indoor flooding happen to you! Our Franchise Professionals are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Flooding in your home is a serious issue that can occur in any geographical location and can cause major chaos in your life. Luckily there are ways that you can prevent some of the more common causes of flooding to your home or business. 

Faulty Appliances: Appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and hot water heaters all use large amounts of water, and if the connection fails, or the line leaks or bursts flooding can occur rapidly. Be sure that when installing new appliances that all water valves are temporarily shut off. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer's instructions or have the appliances installed by a trained professional. Regularly monitor these appliances to ensure they are functioning properly and there are no leaks coming from them.

Broken/Leaking Pipes: Broken pipes are by far one of the greatest fears for homeowners. A broken pipe has the ability to flood your home in a matter of minutes, causing thousands of dollars in damage to your property. There are many factors that can result in a pipe leaking or bursting including corrosion caused by poor water quality, old pipes, freezing pipes can burst, and home projects can cause accidental damage to pipes if done without care. 

Knowing where your pipes are located is essential if you are planning on tackling any home renovation projects. It is important to regularly check your pipes for damage and to monitor your utility bill, a sudden unexplained spike in your bill may be an indication of a leak!

Clogged Drainage Lines:  It is important that water is able to easily flow into your house but it is also important that this water is also able to flow out of your house. Blockage in drainage lines can cause a very unpleasant mess. Always use a mesh screen in the sinks, shows, and bath tubs to prevent large obstructions from making their way into your pipes. Monitor what your are flushing as well, and do not flush anything that could block your system. If you start to notice that your plumbing is not draining properly it is important to correct the issue before the problem becomes worse.

Natural Disasters: Depending on your geographic locations you may be more susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricanes that often bring flooding. If you are able to plan for a natural disaster there are several steps that you can take to try to prevent or minimize the damage before it occurs. Here in Coastal Virginia it is important to know your zone this will allow you to view your property and plan accordingly. 

In home flooding is a concern that everyone should be aware of. In addition to property damage, if not properly removed water damage can allow for harmful mold to develop in your home. If your home or business experiences a flood, don’t panic. SERVPRO Chesapeake South is here for all of your water cleanup needs. 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.

How to Keep Your Water Pipes from Freezing

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water is spewing from an under the sink water pipe Storm Damage Water Cleanup in Chesapeake at SERVPRO of Chesapeake South

How to Keep Your Water Pipes from Freezing

A home disaster is bad enough however, when several disasters happen all at once, well that’s a nightmare.  When your water pipes freeze, not only do you have to call a plumber to repair them but that crack in your pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flood damage, serious structure damage, and the immediate potential for mold damage.

Household water pipes can freeze quickly due to a sudden drop in temperature, or inadequate insulation surrounding the pipes or too low of a house setting with the thermostats.  Fall when the temps are cooling is the perfect time to get your pipes ready and protected from old man winter.

Insulate your water pipes in your crawlspace and in your attic.  Exposed pipes are vulnerable, and the more insulation, the better.

  • Use approved and tested insulation products as recommended for either indoors or outdoors and make sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Seal any leaks near or around the pipes. Caulk or insulate electrical wiring outlets, dryer vents, and cabinet pipes to prevent cold air from reaching inside your home.  The least little opening during severe cold weather can cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Disconnect garden hoses before winter and if you can drain water from indoor pipes that lead to outside faucets and shut off the valve. This can help prevent that little bit of inside pipe from freezing.

Learn more about insulating hot water pipes and saving energy at home from

Contact us If you have water or flood damage in Chesapeake at 757-523-9700.  SERVPRO of Chesapeake South is “Always here to help.”

Commercial Property Maintenance

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO representative is speaking with an office manager Commercial Building Maintenance Services in Chesapeake

Commercial Property Maintenance

As a commercial property owner, being proactive with the maintenance to the building can help prevent damage to your property, which in turn can help save you time and money.   Regular maintenance of your commercial property may also help with the inevitable property insurance claim.  Weather can affect the exterior and the interior of the building structure.  These are a few property maintenance suggestions.

Roof and Exterior

Wind, snow and rain can impact a building’s roof and exterior. Walking the property and being on the lookout for standing water or leaks from roofs and gutters is important. Look for chipped paint, siding dents, damaged, cracked or leaking windows, foundation cracks, roof leaks, and clogged gutters.  Any of these should be photographed, reported and repaired. If these issues are left unresolved for long term, can lead to more serious problems including foundation erosion and more.

Landscaping and Irrigation

Harsh winds, rain and snow can damage plants and limbs, especially on boxwoods, small shrubs and ornamental trees. Mulching, trimming broken limbs, pruning back plants, and cleaning debris is suggested to prepare for spring and new growth.  Inspect irrigation systems for damage and for proper drainage in order to be ready for the dry summer season.


Temperature changes suggest that the commercial facility’s mechanical systems should be regularly inspected and maintained. The replacement of air filters, flushing of water heaters, and checking carbon monoxide detectors and sprinkler and fire suppression systems should be done before summer or winter arrives.

Call to learn more about our Emergency Ready Profile for commercial businesses at SERVPRO of Chesapeake South 757-465-9700.