What You Need To Know About Black Water
Septic systems contain polluted water
After a flood, the water damage in Yardley,PA, can be concerning for many business owners. This is in part because water from flooding is considered tainted and falls into the black category. Understanding this label and how it can affect the cleanup process can be important for restoration efforts.
Why Categorize the Water as Black
The term “black water” is commonly used to describe water that carries contaminants and pathogens. Flooding containing polluted water can come from a number of places, including:
- Septic systems
- Sewer lines
- Storm water
While septic and sewer systems are often contained and easily understood as tainted water sources, storm flood water is often considered black because it can pull contaminants from a variety of places. These contaminants and potential pathogens are what distinguish black and grey water. Grey water comes from daily use, such as from dish washing or bathing.
How Black Water Can Damage Your Business
There are a number of ways water damage can harm your place of business. Depending on the location and nature of the flooding, you may find your building at risk for structural damage or mold growth. Flooring may need to be replaced as well. Don’t forget to inspect the roof of your business for any leaks that could lead to further problems.
What Prevention and Restoration Options Are Available
Because water from a flood is considered to be black water, it’s best to call water restoration professionals when planning cleanup and repairs. These experts have the knowledge needed to properly repair and sanitize any damaged areas, and they can advise you on the preventive measures your company may want to take before the next storm.
If you’re dealing with water damage due to flooding, it’s best to call professionals to help with cleanup. They can help ensure that your business is properly restored and sanitized, and that any mold remediation efforts necessary are put in place. Taking care of the repairs quickly can help prevent future problems and get your business up and running again.
How To Identify a Toilet Leak
Toilet base repaired from leaking in a Newtown, PA home
A bathroom leak in Newtown,PA, can be confusing and frustrating. If you’ve discovered a puddle of water around your toilet, you might be dealing with crack or leak from the fixture. This should be identified quickly and taken care of to avoid water damage. Here are a few ways to identify what’s happening in a leaking toilet.
Does your toilet have water beads that run down the sides of the tank or bowl? The water you are looking at may not be from a leak. When there is a distinct temperature difference in a bathroom, condensation can build on the toilet.
This usually occurs when the weather outside is cold and the inside of the toilet is warm. Condensation gathers on the toilet and runs down the exterior of the fixture. This process is sometimes called toilet “sweating” and can be wiped away.
Sometimes the problem is more serious. If you think that you are truly dealing with a leaking toilet, here is a simple method that can help you discover where the leak is coming from:
- Carefully remove the toilet tank lid.
- Add some organic-based food coloring to the water
- Let the toilet sit and see if any of the colored water leaks out of the tank
If colored water does escape the tank, you can be sure that the leak is coming from up there.
If the water you are concerned about is surrounding the bottom of the toilet, the problem will likely be right at the base. Although it could be condensation, it’s usually a malfunctioning wax ring that seals the base. This can be fixed, but keep in mind that the toilet might need to be removed for the repair.
It isn’t too complicated to discover what’s wrong with a leaking toilet, but it is important to act fast. By calling in professionals to fix the toilet or restore any water damage, you can prevent future water problems from occurring in your bathroom.
Soft Good Contents Restoration with Ultrasonics
Before and After image of a doll undergoing Ultrasonics cleaning.
As I travel the world, training customers and speaking with restoration companies, I find they are frequently surprised by the fact that many soft goods can be cleaned with ultrasonic technology. For years, the restoration industry has been discussing the successful use of ultrasonics for restoration of hard goods. Many don’t realize the ultrasonic equipment they have invested in, or plan to invest in for contents restoration, can clean items such as stuffed animals, window blinds, dolls, sports equipment, bags, area carpets and much more that might have been affected by storm damage.
This doll was pulled out of box of items that our customer, a restoration company, considered uncleanable, and therefore, a loss. Within two minutes, by using ultrasonics, this cherished possession was cleaned and restored. Having this capability was an eye opener to them and continues to be for many restorers. The quantity of items that are now cleanable, and that can and should be packed out, increases tremendously. Not to mention items like this doll, that may have been previously subcontracted to a dry cleaner, can now be accomplished by any restoration company using ultrasonics.
Restoration dry cleaners have caught on to this reality. With the threat of soft good contents being removed from their realm, they are looking for ways to clean more items…but not compete with their primary customers, the restoration companies. Many have started adopting ultrasonic technology to stay competitive. It is being used as an alternative method of cleaning some items, and an addition to traditional methods to make them faster and more effective.
Gadue’s Dry Cleaning in Vermont is one such company. Aline Gadue, third generation owner and president, and Melissa Gonyon, restoration sales and marketing manager, decided they needed to grow the business and continue to expand into the lucrative restoration division. Melissa attended Crawford’s Contractor Connection expo in Orlando, Fla. in 2015, saw Morantz Ultrasonics equipment in action, and was convinced ultrasonic equipment was the answer. They ordered equipment, set to work on their facility to make space for the type of work they intended to take on, and within a few months were ready for training.
During training, the Gadue’s staff was extremely enthusiastic. Items they had been turning away or had trouble cleaning were now restorable.
After a year of ultilizing ultrasonics, Melissa says it has “worked very well in this department. Our company is able to offer a service that was not available in our state, and has blown away insurance adjusters with the savings of cleaning items rather than having to replace them.”
Melissa also explained they have found using ultrasonics to clean items they typically use conventional dry cleaning methods for provided more successful results.
An example is wedding gown cleaning. Vermont brides end up in some not-so-clean spots seeking that perfect Vermont setting for their wedding photos. The result is a train and dress bottom that has literally been dragged through the mud. Gadue’s uses their ultrasonic equipment to concentrate on the bottoms, prior to the finish cleaning process, to ensure they remove all the dirt.
Melissa also said with ultrasonics, they have the ability to expand their scope, and accordingly, their current customer base.
By offering cleaning of items such as baby gear, sports equipment, window treatments, blinds, golf clubs and bags, and more we have reached beyond traditional dry cleaning customers,” she explained. “We recently signed a deal to clean all of the sports equipment and uniforms for Vermont’s first professional indoor football league, The Vermont Bucks. We are very excited for this opportunity and are looking forward to the doors that this may open for us with other organizations such as universities and athletic programs across the state.”
Melissa realized marketing their new technology was going to be critical to their success. She set out putting together information packages, banners and more boasting about their ultrasonic technology. Here are a few examples:
I’m always the first to say that we learn as much from our customers as they learn from us. By working with Gadue’s, as well as many other dry cleaners that have invested in ultrasonics, I have learned more about their particular needs and how our equipment can be modified to best suit these needs. We now offer ultrasonic equipment with special features just for dry cleaners.
As more restoration companies and dry cleaners offer soft goods cleaning with ultrasonic technology, they will be able to restore more items previously considered a loss, restore more cherished possessions faster and easier, and restore items that they would not have taken on before. In the process, they will generate new profit centers and increase revenue.
Being Safe Around Water Removal and Electronics
When electronics meet water damage, usually only bad things come to mind. That's until you learn SERVPRO is professionally equipped to deal with this.
When dealing with flood damage (or any heavy water damage, for that matter), extreme caution must be taken when dealing with the risk of electrocution and shock. Water is highly conductive to electricity, and high waters can claim lives if you're not prepared for the risks that may lie within. Never attempt to use an electrical outlet following water damage in that area, never wade or walk into floodwaters, and try to stay away from wet areas in general until we can assure you that there is no electrical hazard.
One of the primary reasons why fast water removal in Bristol is necessary in the event of a flood is to reduce the risk of electrocution via wall outlets and plugs. When submerged in water, these can deliver extremely high voltages of electricity, enough to seriously injure or kill in addition to causing serious burns. Wall outlets present a major hazard, particularly in businesses with employees, and in the event of flooding not even a plastic safety cap can ensure safety in deep waters. Always wait for our SERVPRO technicians to remove and dry off all water from a room before entering it in order to avoid electrocution.
Electronic Devices and Appliances
Some electronic devices, appliances, and furniture pieces may also present significant hazards even when an area is not flooded. If sufficiently soaked, everything from lounge chairs to televisions to kitchen appliances can present a life-threatening hazard. Items such as speakers or computer consoles which lie on the flood can also present serious dangers even after water has been pumped, as they may have a loose electrical cable or circuit which connects to wetness in carpet or on flooring.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
At SERVPRO of Levittown Newtown Yardley, we make sure to equip our technicians with the latest and best in safety gear in order to keep both them and your business safe from electronics when dealing with water damage. Call us 24/7 for emergency mitigation and restoration services at (215) 785-1777.
What Happens When You Find Mold at Home
Mold Damage in a Commercial Building
What happens when someone finds mold damage at home or in the office? Is it something they can clean up on their own? Does mold damage require a professional mold removal company come out and handle the issue? If a little mildew or fungus is present, does it mean mold damage is inevitable? Is that smelly odor deodorization isn’t helping possibly the smell of mold damage somewhere in the house? Is remediation necessary? Is mitigation required?
These are just a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding mold damage and any presence of mold in the home or commercial mold damage. Everyone knows that this fungus is present, but few people imagine they’ll ever deal with the presence of this fungus at home or work. All this means is they aren’t sure how to handle this inconvenient fungus when they do find it. Anyone who finds mold in the home or commercial mold damage must call a professional mold removal service immediately. The benefit of going through remediation and mitigation with a mold removal company from the start is worthwhile.
Professional Mold Removal
When mold in the home or commercial mold damage occurs, it’s easy to assume it can be handled without the help of a mitigation or remediation company, and this is where people make their first mistake. Mold and mildew are not something to take lightly. This fungus might begin as a small amount of mildew somewhere in the home, but it can grow rapidly and spread quickly to other areas in the house. The more time mold has to get around the house, the more likely it is to cause serious damage to the walls and floors.
Remediation and mitigation are necessary because they both allow home and business owners a chance to tackle the problem from the start rather than waiting on it to get worse. These companies use professional equipment that’s designed to make mold easier to remove.
Once a professional company comes to remove mold in the home or commercial mold damage, they begin with the identification process. This is the process in which they go in and figure out precisely which kind of mold they’re working with. Once they know for certain what they’re working with, they are able to get rid of it more effectively.
The area in which mold forms first is then identified. It’s almost always an area where there is a leak or other water damage caused by a slow leak, a burst pipe, or another way water is entering a home. Once it’s found, the problem is fixed. Next, the company teaches people how to further avoid mold in the home or at work. They want the humidity level raised, and they want people to be very aware of how they can keep mold from forming again.
What are the signs of mold?
Is there a smelly odor at home? Is deodorization not doing much to make it go away? Is this smelly odor one with a bit of a musty smell to it? If any of this is going on and deodorization is not working, it’s because the problem requires more than deodorization to fix it. Mold can be covered up so it smells better at home or work, but that’s not the way to kill mildew or fungus. It must be killed and removed from the source, and this requires professional help.
Don't let a smelly odor that disappears with a little fragrance go unchecked.
When mold is present in the home, it’s imperative people find a pro to help remove it. If even the smallest amount of mold is left in the home or at the office, it’s going to spread rapidly. It’s going to move from one place to another in as little as three days and cause damage that’s much more expensive. Mold removal is a job that must be done correctly the first time.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on mold damage.
6 Ways FEMA May Help After a Storm
Storm Damage can be aided by FEMA and other professional restoration companies
After flood damage in Newton, PA, you immediately call your insurance company and begin a claim. There are so many needs you have right now, so what can you do about those things your insurance won’t cover? What if you don’t have insurance? Here are 6 ways FEMA may be able to help you after a disaster:
1. Housing. This may include temporary funds for rent while your house is being repaired or while you get ready to move to other, permanent housing. Direct housing may also be provided temporarily, especially if there are no available rental options in the disaster area.
2. Transportation. Replacement of a vehicle damaged in a storm or flood may be included in the government assistance program.
3. Childcare Costs. Sometimes childcare is needed as the result of a disaster, and this may be financially provided to you.
4. Medical Costs. Medication, as well as dental and medical services, may also be covered if the need is due to a federally declared disaster.
5. Storage or Moving. The cost of moving and storing your belongings until repairs are finished on your home may be covered by FEMA.
6. Personal Items. Any personal belongings that are needed and not covered under insurance, including mobility aids, appliances, and furniture, may also be part of the federal aid.
Many people don’t have flood insurance, so there is a lot of need for additional financial help after a disaster. If you do have insurance, be sure to file with your insurance company first. When registering for disaster assistance, you are required to share the insurance information with the government because it cannot provide financial assistance for anything that is already covered by your insurance.
Storm damages aided by FEMA must be from a federally declared disaster area. So much cleanup is needed to restore your property from flooding, but there are professional restoration companies that can take care of your needs and even help facilitate the insurance process for you.
For more on Newton click here.
Wood Floors and Old Pipes: What Could Go Wrong?
Wood floors can become damaged after a pipe break in your commercial property
A natural wood floor is a beautiful thing, and it can elevate the style of your business or property. However, wood floors can also present a slight financial risk in the event of a pipe burst or a prolonged wet floor. In the event of either of these situations, there are steps you can take to salvage your floors.
1. Dry the Space
The first thing that you want to do when your floors are exposed to water is to dry them as quickly as possible. Depending on how long the floors were wet, it can take several days for them to dry. You can use dehumidifiers and fans to help speed up the process.
2. Remove Swollen and Stained Boards
You will want to remove any swollen or severely stained boards. To do this, use a circular saw to cut along the inside groove and a pry bar to pry up the damaged plank.
3. Replace Removed Boards
Replacing boards after a pipe burst can seem like a daunting task, especially if they’re tongue and groove. However, all you need to do is remove the tongue portion of the board, and it should fit into place.
4. Sand and Restain
Once all of the damaged boards have been removed and replaced with new boards, it is time to sand and restain. It is a good idea to sand and restain all of the floors on the same level, as it can be difficult to match stains.
5. Get Help
Depending on the size of your business or property, restoring your floors can be an exhausting and labor-intensive job. You may find it more beneficial to search the Newton, PA, area for local
restoration specialists who have experience in this type of damage.
Wood floors add tremendous aesthetic value to your business, but they can come with some risks, especially in the event of a pipe burst. However, by following the steps above or by seeking help, restoration is not only possible but also manageable.
For more on Newton click here.
Steps To Take After a Commercial Fire
Fire damage in a Solebury, PA home
If you own your own business in Solebury, PA, you've probably considered what would happen if you had a building fire. You may sustain a significant financial loss from damage and repair costs, and your employees might be temporarily out of work. While no one likes to think about it, it's important to have a fire restoration plan in case disaster strikes. By acting quickly to follow the steps below after a commercial fire, you'll save time and money, and get your business back to normal sooner.
1. Call Your Insurance Agent
As soon as you are able, get in touch with your fire insurance company. They will send a claims adjuster to assess the damage and authorize the money needed to begin the restoration process.
2. Contact a Restoration Company
Once you've talked to the insurance company, call a reputable fire restoration company. They can come out right away to provide any necessary emergency repairs and do an inspection of the damage to see what else is needed. Then they will begin the process of smoke cleaning, clearing water damage, and then repairs and restoration.
3. Property Damage Assessment
It's important to find out what kind of damage has been done to material assets in the building. The insurance company will need this information to make sure you are properly reimbursed for damaged equipment. This includes items like vital documents, phones, computers, and other essential equipment and materials. If you are allowed to re-enter the building, be sure to wear a breathing mask to protect yourself from the residual smoke. At this point, try to save any assets or personal items that you can find. Many items such as computers and other office machines may still be operable or may function after a professional cleaning.
While going through a commercial fire can be devastating, it's important to know what to do in the aftermath. With a quick response on your part, you'll save time and money, and get your company back to normal sooner.
Malodors From Smoke Damage
When eliminating malodors on fire jobs, remember that there are several factors that can impact the strength of the odor:
- Size - The bigger the fire, the more objects have burned, and thus there’s been more smoke.
- Length -The longer a structure has been exposed to smoke, the more deeply odor has seeped into porous materials.
- Space - When a fire occurs in a smaller room, the smoke odor becomes more intense and concentrated.
- Stuff - Not all odors are equal. For instance, burning wood, plastic and protein all have very different smells and consistency. This may influence the types of odor eliminators you use.
WHERE the damage occurred and WHAT burned will always be your two main concerns in fire restoration. Knowing the full answers to those questions will likely ensure that your restoration efforts will be complete and that you’ll be able to eliminate all of those irritating malodors, while at the same time eliminating any call backs.