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What To Do When You Discover Mold Damage

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What To Do When You Discover Mold Damage Roof leak caused mold damage in New Hope,PA

A property owner should pursue mitigation as soon as he or she finds mold in a commercial building in New Hope,PA. Whether black mold is visible, or an owner suspects hidden mold may be growing, there are several ways to prevent damage from worsening prior to mold cleanup.

Eliminate Moisture

Mold cannot grow without a moisture source. The most likely culprits include:

  • A leaky roof
  • Burst or leaking pipes
  • Condensation
  • Excessive humidity

Solving the moisture problem can be the best way to prevent mold from flourishing. Eliminating moisture may not get rid of existing mold, but it can keep damage from intensifying.

Assess the Damage

A property owner can look for visible mold. Avoid disrupting surfaces to search for hidden mold, as this may result in exposure to:

  • Microbial volatile organic compounds
  • Spores
  • Mycotoxin

Regardless of whether black mold or another variety of fungus is growing, it is best to let experts seek out hidden mold. An owner should schedule a consultation as soon as he or she suspects that mold may be present.

Arrange for Testing or Remediation

It can also be helpful to determine the type and extent of mold in a structure. Owners should rely on the expertise of an:

  • Indoor environmental professional
  • Industrial hygienist
  • Mold cleanup specialist

These specialists may take air or surface samples to send off for testing. The same company may provide testing and remediation.

Develop a Plan

Employees or tenants may need to relocate during cleanup. Mold experts can help owners determine:

  • The duration and extent of remediation
  • Limited or complete containment strategies
  • Options for on-site relocation

It may be possible for a business to operate during cleanup, even if black mold is present. A property owner should take measures toward mitigation upon discovering mold damage, and seek out the experience and equipment of a commercial mold remediation service in New Hope,PA.

4 Steps for Preparing a Commercial Fire Plan

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 4 Steps for Preparing a Commercial Fire Plan Fire officials in Yardley,PA understand fire suppression in your area

Commercial Fire Plan

As a diligent small business owner, you invest in equipment and people. To protect this investment, you likely also have some fire suppression systems inside your facilities. Even with these systems, though, you need a contingency plan for a commercial fire to ensure everyone evacuates safely. Here are four steps you can take to create one.

1. Draw Your Building

The first step in creating a fire plan is to draw your building. When creating your rendering, try to be as detailed and accurate as possible.

2. Plan Escape Routes

When you board a plane, flight attendants ask you to locate the nearest exit. They also remind you that the best exit may be behind you. The same is true for buildings. After you create a scale drawing of your building, plan some escape routes. Post these routes throughout your facility so everyone can find the nearest exit.

3. Designate Fire Monitors

For your company’s contingency plan to succeed, you must be certain everyone evacuates. As such, you must designate some fire monitors who can take attendance. Remember, you can’t only focus on yourself and your employees. On the contrary, you must be sure customers, guests, vendors and others successfully leave your facility during an emergency.

4. Work With Fire Officials

While all firefighters use similar techniques to extinguish blazes, equipment and procedures vary from place to place. Fire officials in Yardley,PA, understand fire suppression in your area. Because you are not a fire expert, you may want to consider tapping into the expertise of fire professionals. Ask a representative of your fire department to review your evacuation plan or participate in fire drills.

Fires can be stressful and confusing events. After the smoke clears, you may choose to work with a professional fire-mitigation service to restore your building to its pre-fire condition. Before that, though, you must ensure that everyone is safe. With a comprehensive contingency plan, you remove some of the anxiety from a commercial fire.

Newton, PA flooded Homes

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Newton, PA flooded Homes Ceiling Water Damage

Flooding During Storm

Storms can cause a lot of problems for homeowners. Rain water tends to find its way into basements and crawlspaces of homes in the Newtown area.

When flood water enters a basement it is usually through a window or basement entrance. Both have drainage but during a storm the drains can be clogged or filled. The malfunction allows the water to get into the home causing damage to the carpet, drywall, and contents.

When water enters a crawlspace it does damage to the subfloors and electrical or HVAC system. Crawlspaces are notorious for growing mold after a water intrusion.

At SERVPRO of Newton/ Yardley, we make sure to clean your home after flooding. Call us 24/7 for emergency mitigation and restoration services at (215) 579-4423.

How To Limit Damage to Your Home’s Roof After a Storm

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Limit Damage to Your Home’s Roof After a Storm Tarp on roof on a Woodside,PA home to prevent water damage

Steps To Mitigate Roof Damage

When your home’s roof is functioning properly, you may not give it much thought. If it springs a leak or sustains other damage, though, your roof can be impossible to ignore. Few things can destroy a roof faster than severe weather. If your house has survived a hurricane, tornado, thunderstorm, blizzard or other weather event, consider taking the following steps to mitigate roof damage.

1. Use Tarps To Prevent Water Damage

The roof on your Woodside,PA, home must be watertight. During high winds, shingles and other important components may dislodge or break. If your home has sustained wind damage, weeks may pass before you can schedule a repair. During this time, water can damage walls, insulation, carpeting and personal belongings.

Fortunately, there is a cost-effective solution. Simply cover damaged roofing with a tarp. Be sure to secure the tarp in several places to avoid both leaks and pooling water.

2. Rely on Boards To Cover Large Holes

During severe weather, entire sections of your home’s roof can sustain damage. If you have large holes in your roof, tarps are probably not sufficient to protect your house from further roof damage. Instead, you may need to use boards. The best approach is to use 4x8 section of plywood or other lumber. You can nail these boards directly to your existing roof. You may then want to cover them with tarps for a watertight seal.

3. Find a Restoration Service Immediately

Mold and mildew can grow quickly. As you probably know, these fungi can destroy the comfort, appearance and value of your house. Unfortunately, the longer you wait to contact an emergency restoration service, the worse damage may become. As such, ask a reputable specialist to perform an assessment as soon as you can.

Roof damage can lead to significant problems inside and outside of your home. Instead of leaving your home’s condition to chance, work to mitigate damage after severe weather.

3 Tips for Protecting Pets During a Fire

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Tips for Protecting Pets During a Fire Place a window cling to alert firefighters about your pet

Sadly, residential fires are one of the most common disasters to happen in homes across the country and in Morrisville,PA. While it's best to take steps to ensure that your home isn't affected by fire, it's also important to prepare for that possibility. When you have pets in your home, use the following steps to keep them safe when a fire emergency takes place.

Pet safety should include preventing them from starting fires.

Use these tips from the American Red Cross:

  • Put out open flames before you walk away from them.
  • Remove knobs from your stove and cooktop when you leave home.
  • Swap out lit candles for flameless candles.
  • Put young bets in a confined space when you're away.

One: Include Pets in the Family Safety and Evacuation Plan

Every time you practice your fire emergency and evacuation plan, train your pets to participate with you. Teach them to come to you when you call their names. As you put together disaster supply kits for family members, don't forget to include food and supplies for your pets. These pet preparation steps are crucial, so you don't risk your own safety when an actual fire takes place. Talk to a residential fire restoration company for more tips.

Two: Alert Firefighters to Your Pets

Rescuers may save your pets if they know animals are in the house. Place a pet alert cling on your front window and list the number of pets in the home. This information lets firefighters know to look for the pets. Leave a leash near the front door as well, so rescuers can grab it quickly for safely removing animals from the home.

Three: Store Pet Documents in a Fire-Safe Box or Outside Location

Stash your pet ownership and vaccination records in a box that will protect them from the fire or store the box at a friend's home. This important step can help you through the fire emergency and recovery process after the flames have been put out.

What You Need To Know About Black Water

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 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:

  • Toilets
  • 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

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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.

Tank Condensation

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.

Tank Leak

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:

  1. Carefully remove the toilet tank lid.
  2. Add some organic-based food coloring to the water
  3. 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.

Toilet Base

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

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 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

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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.

Wall Outlets

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

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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.

The Process

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.