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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How To Identify and Treat Mold Problems

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

mold on wall Black mold

Is a musky smell causing you to worry? Are those dark-colored spots evidence of black mold? Identifying mold is the first step in diagnosing a problem, but sometimes it can be tricky to know exactly what you are dealing with. It is important for every property owner to understand what mold looks like and what to do if they discover the fungi.

Looking for Mold

Mold needs moisture to thrive, meaning it tends to appear in areas where there is excess water. Common locations for fungus growth may include:

  • Bathroom showers and sinks
  • Kitchen sinks
  • Air conditioning or HVAC components
  • Damp basements
  • Pipes that experience condensation

All of these places are often relatively accessible and should be fairly simple to check for mold. Look for spots that appear black, gray, green, yellow, brown or white, as these are colors found on various types of indoor fungus.

The worst kind of structural mold is black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum. It has a fuzzy, slimy texture and produces a distinctive musty odor. The fungus prefers to grow in heavily moist areas, so you may find it in places that are prone to flooding or constant water leaks.

Trust the Professionals

While visible mold is an easy way to identify a problem, oftentimes hidden mold can grow behind walls, under floorboards or within ceilings and ductwork. A moisture-laden air conditioning duct or a pipe leak behind the wall is an ideal breeding ground for many types of fungi, including black mold. Thus, you should call an experienced IEP to determine exactly where the problem is located in the building. An IEP will use specialized equipment to detect any sources of mold, even those that are not readily apparent. Once all the fungus within your property has been identified, you can take steps toward remediation.

When it comes to mold cleanup services in Plumsteadville, PA, qualified mold remediation specialists are always available to help. Whether you are dealing with signs of water damage, visible fungus, or a suspicious smell, contact a reputable professional to help you identify and treat the problem at its root.

The Top 5 Summertime Fire Prevention Tips

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Battery-powered, flameless LED candles are safer than open flames

Warmer weather brings unique fire risks, including outdoor cooking fires or fire pits. House fire are more common during the winter when furnaces and heaters are frequently in use. Being more aware of the risks of a grill fire and other common summertime fires may help you avoid fire and smoke damage.

Watch the Flames

Never leave an indoor or outdoor fire unattended. A responsible person capable of safely handling and maintaining a barbeque fire should be present at all times. Make sure children and pets stay away from the flames and keep a fire extinguisher and grease fire suppressants such as baking soda and salt on hand.

Look Out for Flammable Items

It’s easy to place items on a hot stove or grill without thinking. Double check to make sure no combustible or flammable items get close to open flames or intense heat. Never put a portable grill away hot.

Clean and Maintain Your Grill

A dirty grill covered in fat or oil is more likely to start a grill fire. Brush down the cooking surface or grates as the fire starts to get hot prior to cooking. Burn off any excess fat or food residue afterward. Wait until all surfaces are cool before deep cleaning.

Use Caution When Celebrating

Whether a celebration calls for barbecue, lighting candles or even setting off fireworks, you should make sure that your family and friends are trained in basic fire safety. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.

Try Candle Alternatives

Battery-powered, flameless LED candles are safer than open flames. Use these decorative pieces to achieve candlelit looks without the risk of fire and smoke damage.
No matter how you spend the summer in Lumberville,PA, you should follow these fire safety tips. Try to suppress a grill fire and contact the fire department if necessary. Certified residential restoration professionals can fix damage to the interior or exterior of your home.

Winterize Your Home To Prevent Damage

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Winter is tough on everybody in Point Pleasant,PA, including your home.

How to Protect Your Home from Winter

Winter is tough on everybody in Point Pleasant,PA, including your home. If it's not fortified for the ice and snow coming your way, you could take on some damage- especially in the case of a winter storm. Do what you can to protect that which gives you shelter.

Get It Inspected

Certain aspects of your home are more vulnerable than others to the effects of a blizzard. Get an inspector to take a look to make sure they are as prepared as possible. If you do experience damage, make sure to research a storm remediation company that you trust to make repairs afterward. Some common areas to keep an eye on are your:

  • roof
  • insulated pipes
  • insulation
  • window seals

Store Emergency Supplies

You are bound to get stuck indoors during a winter storm at some point during the bleak months of cold. You will be a lot more comfortable if you have everything you need with you already. The following items can be especially important if you lose power or your pipes freeze: snow shovels, crank radio, jugs of water, non-perishable food and blankets. A backup generator and extra fuel can be helpful for keeping your refrigerator or heater running.

Don't Forget Your Yard

In order to avoid roof damage you can trim back tree branches that are near any structures or windows. You should clear your gutters as best you can before the first freeze. If you know a storm is coming, bring in any extraneous objects that you can, like lawn furniture, garbage cans and decorations- this will also make it easier when it comes time to shovel.
Getting your house through a winter storm may require some additional work on your part, but it will be well worth it. You'll have a much happier winter if you can manage keep your home warm and damage-free. All that's left is to dream about the approaching spring!

How Do You Remove the Smoke Odors After a Fire?

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke is a vapor or gas given off by burning material

The fire and water damage, and destruction that occurs during a fire, can be devastating, but with help from a professional fire restoration service in Solebury,PA, you can find some peace of mind in the aftermath. You may realize that flames and water can both do harm, but smoke damage and residual odors can also be a problem, so careful smoke cleaning needs to be undertaken.

Are Smoke and Soot the Same Thing?

A fire can cause a good deal of soot damage and smoke. Soot is primarily composed of carbon and other chemicals that have not been completely consumed by flames. It leaves a sticky and greasy residue that can be loaded with chemicals and usually carries a sharp and particularly foul odor. Smoke and soot can be compared in the following ways:

  • Smoke is a vapor or gas given off by burning material
  • Soot is a greasy or sticky substance caused by incomplete combustion
  • Smoke is carried in the air and can be breathed while soot is more localized
  • Both can adhere to any surface
  • Both carry foul-smelling odors

How are Soot and Smoke Cleaned Up?

Soot damage, like smoke damage, requires careful handling and complete removal. Scraping and diluting the thick, toxic substance with industrial chemicals may be necessary. If soot cannot be removed thoroughly, then disposal of the affected surface is needed.

Smoke, on the other hand, can float and travel to any surface the air comes in contact with. It adheres and can stain paint and other elements, and can penetrate porous materials, so smoke is something that needs to be dealt with. Physically cleaning with detergent, followed by treating the area with an ozone generator may rid the area of any lingering odors.

Smoke damage does not need to be the end of the road. With help from a restoration service in Solebury,PA, smoke cleaning can make the nasty odors a thing of the past and give your building a fresh take on life.

How To Troubleshoot Your Irrigation System

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

An irrigation system can help to keep the exterior of your business in Solebury,PA, looking its best.

Ways in Which You Can Resolve Common Irrigation Problems

An irrigation system can help to keep the exterior of your business in Solebury,PA, looking its best. However, when an issue arises with your irrigation, it's often important to know how to respond. There are several ways in which you can resolve common irrigation problems.

1. Check the Sprinkler Heads

Damaged sprinkler heads are a common cause of a malfunctioning sprinkler system. Often, the sprinkler heads become damaged when a car parks on top of the head or when a lawn mower clips sprinkler. Regardless of the cause of the damage, a damaged sprinkler head won't distribute water evenly, which can affect the overall appearance of your landscape. Fortunately, replacing the sprinkler head is generally a simple and inexpensive fix.

2. Examine the Timer

The sprinkler timer is an important component to your irrigation system, and a malfunctioning timer can cause your sprinklers to malfunction as well. If multiple sprinklers are not coming on when they are supposed to, this may be an indicator that there's an issue with your timer. There are various reasons your timer may not be working, and it can be useful to employ a technician who can find the root cause of the problem.

3. Change the Throw of the Water

If water from your sprinklers is hitting a street or your building rather than your grass, you could be wasting water and money, as well as missing out on the results you want from your sprinklers. If water consistently hits your building, water damage to your business may occur, and you may require assistance from water damage specialists in order to restore the affected area. In order to prevent this kind of damage from occurring, it can be helpful to change the throw of the water, which you can often do by adjusting a screw that is situated on the sprinkler's nozzle.

There are a variety of common issues that can occur with your business's irrigation system. Knowing how to respond to common irrigation problems can help you maintain the appearance of your business's exterior.

How To Maintain a Private Sewer During and After Flooding

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

The maintenance of private sewer systems presents unique challenges

Severe storms and natural disasters can cause excessive damages to your home and property. If your home utilizes a private sewage system in New Hope,PA, it will likely be damaged as well. Sewer cleanup is never a fun subject to discuss, but the following may be necessary to protect your home and plumbing.

What To Do Before and During a Flood

Since private sewers are essentially a giant septic tank, they rely on the soil below to absorb excess water. In flooding scenarios, the soil underneath a private sewer will be too saturated with water to effectively absorb what it needs to. Therefore, it is recommended that these steps be enacted.

  • Do not use the water from a well or sewage system in any capacity. This includes water for drinking or use of the restroom
  • Stock up on water bottles and other liquid necessities beforehand
  • Use portable toilets or find another sanitary way to dispose of waste. A flooded toilet can rapidly lead to all drains in the house getting clogged
  • Plug floor drains to prevent sewage from backing up into the house
  • Shut off power to the sewage system, if possible

How To Recover From a Flood

If you suspect damage or encounter sewer backup after the floodwaters recede, contact a professional water damage repair company to inspect the tank for any damages. Sewer cleanup is a dangerous and dirty job, so professional help is recommended for best results. Common signs of a busted sewer can include: backed up drains, noxious smells persisting from the tank and soggy soil over the drain field days after the flood.

The maintenance of private sewer systems presents unique challenges. If your home is affected by flooding, you must act quickly to protect your sewage system from damage. Should your tank get damaged, promptly scheduling sewer cleanup will protect the long-term health of your plumbing.

Security After a Fire

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage to this building in Newtown, PA that needs our board up services.

Fire damage can affect your commercial building in various ways. Most notably it ruins personal belongings and the structure of the building. However, it can also make your building more exposed. The holes in the walls and ceiling can expose your property to weather elements and trespassers. How can you increase the security of your building in Newtown, PA after a fire?

4 Tips to Increase Security After a Fire

  1. Board Openings: Doors, windows and holes in your walls should be boarded up. Covering up these openings can help encourage those who don't belong to stay out. It may also help you find out when someone is entering your property without permission because you may notice a misplaced board. Covering these holes not only prevents looting, but it can also help keep wind and rain out of the building.
  2. Tarp the Roof: If there are holes in your roof, you need to cover them as soon as possible. Using a tarp can help you keep rain, leaves and other debris from falling into your commercial space.
  3. Put Up a Fence: Because the fire damage can make your building dangerous for occupants, you may need to do more than board up openings to keep people out. A security fence can encourage people to stay away from an unsafe structure. You can put warning signs on the fence to let people know about the safety hazard. The fence can also work as an extra precaution against looters.
  4. Hire Professionals: When you have a fire cleanup team working on your property during the day, you are discouraging unwanted visitors from entering the space. These restoration professionals may not be enough to add security. You could also consider hiring a temporary security guard to make sure no one enters the property without permission.

When flames envelop your commercial building, the fire damage may result in a less secure building. While you're waiting for the repairs to be made, you should beef up security around your commercial space.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold damage in Morrisville, PA

When Mold Damage is Covered and When it Isn't

If you’ve found fungus growth in your home in Morrisville,PA, you are likely worried about the cost of removing the mold from your home and repairing any damage that has occurred. You may wonder whether your homeowners insurance policy will help cover mold damage and pick up some of the costs of hiring a mold remediation specialist to restore your home to its original condition. Here is some useful information on when mold damage is covered and when it isn’t.

Covered Perils

Most homeowners insurance plans do not include mold coverage. However, your insurance will pay for damage caused by a covered peril. While you will want to check your policy to be sure, most plans include the following covered perils:

  • Falling objects
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Frozen pipes
  • Theft or vandalism
  • Weight of ice, snow, sleet
  • Water overflow from plumbing, HVAC systems, sprinklers, or household appliances
  • Damage caused by vehicle

If fungus growth occurs because of any of these situations, your insurance will likely cover you. For example, if you experience a house fire, water used to extinguish the fire can result in water damage and mold growth. Your insurance would cover the costs of removing and repairing damage caused by the mold.

Preventable Circumstances

If mold growth occurs because of preventable circumstances like an undetected water leak, humidity or ventilation issues, or flooding, your insurance will likely not provide any coverage. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so you should always check your policy to make sure. Some insurance have a mold insurance cap and will help pay for specific services such as cleanup. You can also choose to pay extra to add mold coverage to your policy.

Dealing with the costs of fungus growth can be extremely stressful. Depending on your situation, your homeowners insurance policy might help pay for some the expenses. Review your policy to find out for sure.

Top 6 Grilling Safety Tips

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Barbecuing may be a favorite summer activity for many families in Yardley, PA

Top 6 Grilling Safety Tips

Barbecuing may be a favorite summer activity for many families in Yardley,PA. Although it can be an enjoyable way to prepare meals, cooking over an open flame can also be dangerous. Abiding by several key safety precautions can help every homeowner advert a grill fire, smoke damage and potentially serious injuries.

1. Inspect for Leaks

Before engaging a gas unit, ensure all hoses are secure. If you suspect a possible gas leak, refrain from using the device until it’s repaired.

2. Clean Regularly

Frequent grilling may result in grease buildup, which can fuel a barbecue fire. Routinely cleaning your outdoor cooking unit can minimize this threat.

3. Keep Obstructions Away

Nearby combustibles may pose a fire hazard. For this reason, it’s important to place your grill several feet away from your house. You should also keep the device away from canopies, flags and other outdoor decorations and instruct children to keep away from the structure while you’re cooking.

4. Carefully Ignite Gas

Employing proper lighting techniques can also help prevent a grill fire. When you ignite the flame on your gas grill, for example, make sure the lid is open. Turning the device on with the lid down may result in a dangerous fireball.

5. Don’t Leave Grill Unattended

Under the right conditions, a small barbecue fire can quickly spread. As a precaution, you should never leave your outdoor cooking apparatus unattended.

6. Keep Fire Extinguisher Accessible

In the event of a blaze, being prepared and taking prompt action can spare you from significant destruction and extensive fire damage restoration needs. For safety reasons, you should always keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher accessible.

Although many people enjoy the aroma and taste of barbecue, enduring a grill fire and subsequent smoke damage is an unpleasant experience. Taking proactive precautions and employing efficient grilling practices can help every resident of Yardley,PA, safely enjoy this favorite summer pastime.

A 5-Point Storm Preparedness Checklist

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

The grounds can also be modified with grading and rain gardens.

Prepare for Common Risks

Storms cannot be prevented, but building owners and managers can prepare for common risks. These five exterior maintenance measures will reduce the potential for storm damage to a structure in Newtown, PA.

1. Building Exterior and Envelope

A property owner or manager can only consider a building maintained if the envelope is in good condition. This layer of a structure is designed to prevent water from permeating walls. A building inspection should account for the envelope in addition to roofing materials, exterior doors and windows.

2. Windows

Depending on when the next storm is anticipated, a building owner or manager can take several measures to avoid window damage. Storm shutters may be the right choice for structures in areas prone to high winds. If a storm is rapidly approaching, an owner or manager can board up or tape an "X" shape in the middle of each window to try to stop glass from shattering.

3. Drainage

Roof drains, gutters and downspouts direct rain off of the roof and away from the foundation of a building. Exterior maintenance is necessary for this system to function.

4. Landscaping

Tree care should take place throughout the year. Pruning dead or loose branches and cutting back overhanging limbs can prevent major storm damage. The grounds can also be modified with grading and rain gardens.

5. Outdoor Items

Items kept outdoors should be stowed or secured when hail or high winds are on the forecast. Be sure to account for antennas and other equipment on the roof as well as seating, trash cans and other features on the ground.

These exterior maintenance measures can make any building more impervious to moisture and wind damage. It is important to plan ahead, as preventative options become limited before a major storm in Newtown, PA. A property owner or manager should arrange for commercial mitigation and restoration if adverse weather results in damage.

3 Types of Odors That May Exist After a Home Flood

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can cause a musty foul odor due to the mycotoxins it can release.

After a flood at your Woodside, PA, home, you may be facing a variety of problems. However, one that you may not expect is the odors flooding can create. Mold growth, sewer water, and debris can all leave foul smells behind, even after the water is drained away. If you have recently experienced a flood in your home, there are a few ways to sniff out the source of these smells so you can have them eliminated.

1. Musty Smells

After floodwater enters your home, it may be absorbed by drywall and other porous building materials. This can cause mold to grow in the interior walls, especially if they contain insulation. Mold can cause a musty, foul odor due to the mycotoxins it can release. In most cases, the stronger the musty smell, the more serious the mold growth invasion.

2. Dirt or Earthy Odors

When outdoor flooding invades your home, it can also bring mud, clay and other types of dirt along with it. Earthy or wormy odors can be left behind in your walls or under carpeting, where they can linger for weeks afterward. Having porous building materials replaced can alleviate this issue. Consider having drywall and molding torn out and the rooms professionally cleaned before any reconstruction takes place.

3. Sewer Smells

Few odors are as unpleasant as those that come from a sewer. If your home experienced a flood due to a sewage loss, the bitter, foul smell could remain long after the water is drained away. Calling in a storm damage and flood restoration service may give you a number of options for removing this smell, from the use of ozone machines to special cleaning techniques that typically cannot be found elsewhere.

Mold growth, dirt and foul sewer smells can make your Woodside,PA, residence smell unbearable after a flood. Learning where these smells come from and how to eliminate them can restore your happy home.

3 Commercial Water Mitigation Procedures You Can Expect From a Flood Cleanup Service

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

This assisted living room was flooded due to toilet malfunction. SERVPRO of Newtown/Yardley made it "Like it never even happened"

Water Mitigation Procedures

Flooding can have a seriously negative affect on your Solebury, PA, business, no matter its source. When floods occur, and standing water is allowed to remain inside your building, it can lead to secondary damage, such as mold growth. Calling in a flood cleanup service to handle mitigation procedures can prevent further problems, and there are a few actions you can expect once technicians arrive for pipe burst cleanup and other services.

1. Targeting the Source of the Flood

When flood cleanup technicians first arrive, their main concern will likely be to find the source of the water and shut off the main line if possible. If you can direct them to the problem, do so, but then it is wise to otherwise evacuate employees and customers until the danger of continued flooding has passed.

2. Assessing Drainage of Flood Water

Removing standing water can be an important element of water cleanup, especially in areas where the humidity is already high. Mold may grow as quickly as 24 hours after a flood if standing water is not eliminated, so your technicians will likely bring in sump and trash pumps to remove the liquids. In the case of a pipe burst cleanup, your techs may remove the water as soon as possible despite the sanitary source, as water quality can quickly degrade when it sits and stagnates.

3. Drying of Flooded Areas

If you discovered a supply line leaking into your building’s basement and it has caused a minor flood, your water damage and restoration company will probably implement drying procedures as soon as possible to prevent future problems with the floors and walls. They may bring in specialized machinery to expedite the drying process so they can further inspect damaged building materials and advise you about what restoration actions may be needed.

Having a water cleanup team on call to handle floods as they happen can help you protect your Solebury, PA, business. From a pipe burst cleanup to drying services, water mitigation may prevent future damage to your commercial building.

A Little Water Damage Can Invite a Serious Mold Problem

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spores thrive on moisture

Sometimes it seems like unknown forces are out to destroy your business. You wonder how you manage to meet the weekly payroll. There is always an unhappy customer. Problems with the inventory supply and product distribution are frequent. Compared to that, a little moisture and water damage may seem insignificant.

The problem with moisture is that it invites mold. It can be toxic and pose a severe health hazard for you and your employees. Mold can also be a costly problem to eliminate. These are both serious issues and call for a quick response.

Mold Spores Are in the Air

Why aren’t huge mold colonies everywhere? It turns out that mold is surprisingly fussy. It needs three elements to establish a colony. They are:

  • Room-temperature air
  • Food sources like wood, wallboard, wallpaper and paint
  • Moisture

If wandering mold spores find these conditions, mold growth can begin. The air temperature that you find comfortable is perfect for mold. The painted, papered and exposed wood surfaces of your business are excellent food sources. Finally, all living things need moisture. Water damage is an excellent source of moisture.

The Key to Mold Prevention Is Moisture Control

You can lower the temperature in your business. You can treat all exposed surfaces to make them mold-resistant. These ideas might work but aren’t practical.

Moisture control is your best option. Start by keeping the humidity in the 30 percent to 50 percent range. If you have a water leak or flood, fix it and dry the affected areas quickly. Contact your insurance agent. Your commercial policy probably most likely covers these situations. There is no reason for you to deal with this alone.

Don’t Hesitate To Bring in Expert Help

There are places on earth where mold wouldn’t be much of a problem. The New Hope,PA , area is probably not among them. When you have a water or mold problem, call your local water damage and mold remediation experts. They have the tools and expertise to eliminate your water and mold problem quickly and efficiently.

3 Ways Claims Inventory Services Can Help

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Claims Inventory Services Can Help

In order for a client to file an insurance claim, he or she used to have to gather a lot of paperwork and complete the painstaking work of making sure everything the damage mitigation specialists did was included. With the Claims Information Center, however, you can view the information about the work being done on your client's commercial property as soon as it is uploaded. Here are three ways that an electronic records system can help streamline the entire claims process for you and your client.

1. Cost Profile

When the technicians assess your client's commercial property in Morrisville, PA, they can produce an itemized list of losses and how much it will cost to repair or replace damaged materials. As they begin the cleanup, new problems may arise. If that happens, SERVPRO can update the client's file in the CIC to reflect the changes. When you log in to view the file, you can expect to see an updated profile with an accurate cost estimate.

2. Detailed Report

When you use the CIC, you receive a detailed account of the information you need to process the client's insurance claim. You get a spreadsheet that documents the notification of the loss and the team's response time. Any pictures that were taken at the site are also included in this report.

3. Timeline Update

As an insurance agent, when you log in to view the electronic file of the job on the client's property, you can get a clear picture of the timeline for its completion. You can see when the job starts and when it is projected to finish. When the work is done, you will be able to see a finalized statement of the cost.

Claims inventory services can help you keep up with the work on your client's property. You can find all the information you need to process an insurance claim at one convenient location.

Insurance and Broken Pipes – What Does Your Policy Cover?

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

When pipes rupture and a flood of standing water results, the insurance coverage will probably not pay for the repair the pipe

Are You Covered?

There are many different types of insurance policies written every day in Newtown, PA, from the all-perils coverage to the comprehensive package. No matter what type of insurance you purchase, if you make sure you have a complete bundle, the flood damage from a broken pipe will generally be covered. Here are three circumstances in more detail.

1. Resulting Damage

Depending on the type of policy purchased, the actual pipe repair may not be covered. However, the insurer almost always covers the resulting water damage from the gushing liquid that overflows in your home. This is also true for water damage that occurs outside due to a broken or ruptured line. Damage resulting from the incident is not considered primary, but rather the resulting damage.

2. Ruptured Pipes

When pipes rupture and a flood of standing water results, the insurance coverage will probably not pay for the repair of the pipe or the necessary tear-out to get to the problem. This is because most insurance companies consider the plumbing pipes to be a part of the normal maintenance required by the homeowner. Consider calling in a water restoration company to fix the broken pipe and document the problem to help you fight for your claim.

3. Negligent Inattention

When a pipe bursts, you may feel as if you are barraged by a million questions from the insurance adjustor. That is because if the insurance company can find you were negligent or inattentive to your home’s problems, the claim will become null and void. However, if the accident was not avoidable, but was sudden and unexpected, the claim may be considered valid.

You have a right to make an insurance claim for any watery flood that results from a ruptured pipe inside or outside your home. The way you report and document the claim may make a difference in how the paperwork is processed. For that reason, use these three circumstances to help you define your water damage when you make a claim.

6 Common Places To Spot Mold

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growing on this door due to too much humidity

Where To Find Mold?

Mold can proliferate in any location with adequate moisture and food sources. Here are six of the most common places to find mold damage.

1. Air Conditioning Units

Mold may be present in the coils, drain pan or ductwork of an HVAC system. These systems can also spread spores throughout a structure. Arrange for a unit that has not been used for a long time to be professionally inspected and cleaned.

2. Attics or Basements

The areas that the inhabitants of a home frequent the least are some of the most common places to find mold. Fix leaks and mitigate water damage in a timely manner. Basements tend to be moist and often contain washing machines or water heaters. If this is the case, consider running a dehumidifier.

3. Behind Walls

Burst or leaky pipes can introduce water into wall cavities. Mold flourishes on building materials containing cellulose, such as drywall and wood, and in undisturbed areas. Hire an expert to check for hidden mold damage.

4. Beneath Laminate Floors

Concrete subflooring or a cracked foundation may support mold. Laminate flooring can increase the risk, as this material may not breathe enough to discourage mold growth.

5. Refrigerator Drip Pans

Moisture and spilled food create an ideal environment for mold. Clean out the condensation drip pan underneath a refrigerator at least once a year.

6. Under Sinks

Homeowners may forget to clean under sinks, making these areas some of the most likely locations for mold or mildew growth. Regularly cleaning the area under a sink can prevent fungi from starting to grow in a bathroom or kitchen.

If you suspect that mold is growing in a residence in Newtown, PA, check for any visible signs or musty odors. Do not attempt to find hidden mold. Rely on the expertise of mold damage remediation professionals to identify mold species and recommend cleanup methods.

3 Criteria for Becoming a Preferred Vendor

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage. 

3 Criteria For Becoming A Preferred Vendor

When your home in Newtown, PA is damaged, your insurance agent is going to be one of the first people you call, and a qualified repair company will likely be the next. To ensure that your claim is processed as quickly as possible, it is a good idea to work with one of your insurance company’s preferred vendors. There are several criteria that claims adjusters use to evaluate mitigation companies.

1. Impeccable Record-Keeping

Your adjuster may assess the damage in your home, but when you file the claim, it is important to have an assessment from certified remediation experts. The Claims Information Center at SERVPRO documents everything your insurance company needs to know, including:

  • Cause of damage
  • Extent of damage
  • Estimated repair cost
  • Response time

These details are documented electronically and made available for fast release to those who need them. This helps your insurance agent expedite the processing of your claim.

2. IICRC Certification

Your insurance company has a vested interest in ensuring that the restoration to your home is done correctly the first time. Shoddy work can result in more claims filed in the future to repair secondary damage. A vendor that is IICRC certified has the training and experience necessary to provide quality service. Certification indicates to the insurance company that the vendor’s work can be trusted.

3. Referral Guidelines

A mitigation company’s reputation depends on the work of its franchises. In order to receive referrals from the company, a SERVPRO franchise must meet more than 20 guidelines. A company that holds each branch that bears its name to the same high standard is more likely to be an attractive candidate for a vendor program with your insurance company.

Your insurance agent can recommend a mitigation company in your area that is likely to provide you the best service at a reasonable cost. Hiring a preferred vendor can save you time and money in the long run.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Roof

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Gutter cleaning in Yardley, PA, home.

How To Maintain Your Roof?

If you own a business in Yardley,PA, you may be worried about roof damage to your commercial property. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help keep the roof of your business in working order.

1. Keeping Gutters Clean

One important step for roof maintenance is to keep your gutters clean. This can help prevent blockages that can lead to flooding and pooling water on your roof. It's best to check your gutters after storms to ensure that no debris has been washed into them.

2. Monitor the Roof’s Condition

It's also important to monitor the roof's condition on a regular basis. Look for any wind damage, loose shingles or cracked tiles. These are all things that should be taken care of as quickly as possible.

3. Regular Inspections

A regular inspection by a professional can help prevent roof damage in the long-term. These professionals can look over your roof for any signs of damage you may have missed. If found, repairs can be conducted to get the roof back into working order.

4. Trim Back Trees


Another step you can take for roof maintenance is to trim back any tree branches that could fall onto the roof. This can help prevent damage in the event a storm causes brakes in the tree limbs.

5. Conducting Repairs Quickly

In the event you do find damages or areas needing repair on your businesses roof, then a professional restoration team may be able to help. In the event of extreme damage, they may even be able to perform a full roof rebuild.

Following these steps can help reduce the possibility of roof damage to your business. Remember to keep your gutters clean to prevent flooding, inspect for cracks in shingles or roof tiles, trim back any tree branches that could fall into your business, and conduct any repairs needed as quickly as possible. If you do find the roof has storm damage, then a professional may be able to help.

How Do I Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke in My Home?

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke can penetrate furniture, walls and carpets

No matter how they got there, smoke smells in your home are rarely welcome. Whether you’re the victim of a visitor who smoked in your Yardley,PA , home or whether you’ve only recently quit, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of ways to get the smell out. Here are three simple tips for post-smoke home deodorization.

Cause of the Smell

Smoke in your environment isn’t comprised of just one material. In fact, environmental smoke is a mixture of more than 4,000 compounds. Either via direct contact or through a building’s HVAC system, smoke can penetrate things like:

  • Furniture
  • Walls
  • Carpets

No matter how you got smoke in your home, wherever it is, here are some of the easiest home deodorization tips.

Remove and Rinse

Getting rid of smoky materials can make a huge difference in getting rid of cigarette smoke odors. Remove as many fabrics and porous materials possible from the smoky room. Next, toss any pillows, curtains, blankets, etc. into a cold washing machine cycle with two cups of vinegar added.

Try Baking Soda

When it comes to carpets and furniture, baking soda is your best option. This simple home ingredient is known for absorbing smells, including smoke aromas. Sprinkle lots on soft surfaces like mattresses and upholstery. Let it sit at least 15 minutes then vacuum.

Use Ozone

Sometimes the simplest solutions are just not enough for the smoke aroma you face. That’s when it’s time to bust out the big guns and get an ozone machine. Ozone is responsible for the smell we notice after a spring rain. Ozone machines work by releasing modules of ozone that burst to release that spring-like aroma.


A smoky home can be a pain to those with allergies, and a big problem when it’s time to sell. Try these tips or talk with our experts in ozone gas treatment, to learn what your home deodorization options are.

3 Techniques for Mastering Mold Prevention in Your Bathroom

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Always make sure to check your bathroom for buildup of moisture.

3 Techniques for Mastering Mold Prevention in Your Bathroom

Noticing a buildup of moisture in one or more of your household bathrooms should be a no-brainer, given that these are high-traffic areas in your Newtown, PA home. Unfortunately, this humidity problem means an accumulation that can lead to bathroom mildew or mold growth over time. If you want to create an environment that’s sustainably mildew and mold-free, follow these three techniques for mastering prevention and keeping any growth at bay.

1. Ensure that a fan or vent is located in the room. One of the easiest ways to prevent bathroom mildew is installing a ventilation system or simply storing a handheld fan in the bathroom. Keeping it running during your shower or bath, and not turning it off for 15-20 minutes after you bathe, can eliminate the chances of moisture from lingering or seeping into the walls.

2. Utilize a squeegee on your shower walls after bathing. It might seem odd for some to leave a squeegee in or nearby the shower, but its effectiveness in removing moisture from the shower tiles or glass panels makes it a very handy preventative tool. Simply taking an extra minute or two to wipe the walls dry after showering should give you a noticeable upgrade in moisture maintenance.

3. Wash your rugs and towels on a regular basis. While many bathroom accessories are designed to wick away moisture, towels and rugs are still not immune to soaking up all of the water around them, as it is their job to do so. Therefore, washing them on a consistent basis is necessary to prevent mildew or mold from settling into their fibers and creating the perfect breeding grounds for growth.

When you’re looking to sustain a clean, mold-free Newtown, PA home, following these easy and effective techniques for preventing bathroom mildew is a great place to start. Should you come across any mildew or mold that’s not a simple wipe-away cleaning job, it’s important to hire experienced mold remediation specialists who can handle the problem in a suitable manner.

How To Respond to Sewer Backups

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Wastewater from a toilet in Yardley, PA

When the sewer backs up, the resulting messes are some of the worst to clean up. In addition to unpleasant substances in the water, the situation is unsanitary and can lead to serious health hazards for you and your family. There are several crucial parts of a sewer cleanup job in Yardley,PA.

  • Inspections
  • Damage control
  • Ventilation
  • Contact Professionals

Establish Safety

Wastewater from a sewer backup or flooded toilet can carry many bacterial contaminants and pathogen hazards. In addition to the health risks posed by those contaminants, electrical wires and fixtures could lead to risk of electrocution. Keep children and animals away from the affected area and stay out of the area yourself as much as possible.

Prevent Further Damage

As quickly as possible, turn off any appliances causing water to flow into drains, including dishwashers, clothes washers, sinks, and hoses. Don't let anyone flush the toilets. If it's safe to do so, you may remove furnishings and possessions from the area before they are affected by the contaminated water. Belongings that have already been exposed should not be moved to clean areas of the home. Do what you can to prevent sewage from reaching into other rooms of your house.

Ventilation

Open and close doors and windows to ventilate the affected area outside. For example, open windows to allow fresh air in and sewage gasses out. Keep doors to other rooms closed to prevent gasses and smells from spreading throughout your home.

Contact Professionals

Flooding and sewer cleanup efforts generally require the input of many professionals. You'll need to call your insurance company and contact the sewer department in Yardley,PA. You may need to talk to officials from your municipal authority or health department. The help of water damage restoration professionals could be very valuable as well.

No one wants to handle sewer cleanup tasks but breaking the work into manageable tasks and involving the help of a professionals are great ways to reduce your stress. Remember prompt action is key to avoiding additional trouble.

Property Security After a Fire

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Secure data in your Newtown, PA company

The list of things to handle after a fire can be long and overwhelming. But one of the things that should be near the top is security. As devastating as a business fire can be, suffering additional damage can make things much worse. Read on to learn steps you can take - from boarding windows to getting a security fence - to keep your Newtown,PA, property safe after a fire.

Secure Data

Data is easily one of the most valuable resources any business has. Examples include:

  • Credit card information
  • Medical records
  • Tax documents

If your business has this or other information stored in computers or files, and there’s no longer a way to lock up your property, it’s critical that you remove these materials. Identify a safe place, such as a secure storage unit, and move sensitive data there promptly.

Protect Against the Elements

Fire can destroy many things in your business, but the wrath of the weather can be just as damaging. Just one heavy rain penetrating a compromised roof or door can multiply damage costs. Invest in a heavy duty tarp for damaged roofs. Boarding up broken windows and doors will also help keep water out as well as animals.

Secure Against Thieves

Vandals know that a burned out property can be a gold mine. Don’t rely on a security system to protect your business - those can be damaged by the fire! Instead, in addition to securing windows and doors, invest in a security fence. Security fencing creates a barrier that makes it harder and longer to break into your building. Such fencing also helps in the insurance process by preventing further damage that your provider may not cover.

Dealing with a fire is challenging enough. Don’t multiply your problems by becoming a victim of weather or looters. Connect with a fire clean up firm to discuss a security fence or other methods to keep your business safe.

How To Set Up an Emergency Repair Profile

12/29/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damage in this Newtown business.

One of the largest risks to businesses, especially smaller and locally-owned companies, is an emergency event. A disaster such as a flood can result in costly downtime, so consider creating an emergency profile with a reputable water damage restoration service.

1. Risks and Advantages

Around half of all businesses are forced to close down after a disaster, and some portion of these will never reopen. It is always in the best interest of owners and employees to have a continuity plan in case of a flood or other scenario that will automatically begin the assessment and restoration process. Having a profile with a specialist such as SERVPRO grants an immediate assessment of the affected place of business at no extra cost.

2. Setup and Convenience

While conventional paper methods are available, the fastest and easiest way to create an emergency profile is with a program such as an ERP app. These are available for home computers and mobile devices and allow you to input the relevant information for all your properties and assets. If any damage occurs, the same application will allow the business owner to immediately establish a line of communication with the providing company and begin the restoration process.

3. Other Benefits

Your emergency plan and related software can also allow you to handle other specific needs in a flood situation in Newtown, PA, such as noting the location of shut-off valves or electrical infrastructure. The plan can also provide an index of important contact information in case other forms of maintenance or repair are necessary. By connecting you to a nearby franchise using an emergency plan, restoration work can begin immediately, reducing expenses and minimizing potential damage.

Don’t allow a weather event or infrastructure mishap paralyze your place of business and put your company at financial risk. Develop an emergency profile and continuity plan with a qualified service provider.

How To React If You Smell Gas Inside Your Home

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Avoid smoking if you have gas odor in your Yardley,PA home

Many residents of Yardley,PA, may utilize natural gas to heat their homes or power appliances. While this fuel may be an efficient energy source, a leaking line or pipe can be extremely hazardous. Because of this, it’s important for every homeowner to take prompt action if they smell gas and suspect a leak. Otherwise, a potentially devastating gas fire may erupt.

Take Necessary Precautions

A gas explosion can occur suddenly. If you notice an unpleasant rotten egg smell inside or near your house, you should take extreme caution. To help prevent an inferno, it’s imperative that you avoid the following potentially dangerous activities:

  • Smoking or igniting matches
  • Turning lights on or off
  • Utilizing electronic equipment or appliances
  • Adjusting the thermostat

Check Appliances

If you detect an unusual or offensive odor near your furnace, stove or water heater, check the unit’s pilot light and restart it if necessary. If the light is on, there may be a faulty component requiring maintenance. To avoid accidently igniting a gas fire, you should be cautious and refrain from using the device until it’s properly inspected and repaired.

Call for Assistance

If you suspect there is a leak inside your home, you should evacuate the premises and immediately call either 911 or your utility provider. To help reduce the risk of a gas explosion, it’s best to avoid using any phone near the suspected seepage. For safety reasons, you should also extinguish any nearby open fires and keep everyone away until authorities arrive.

Never Ignore the Situation

A gas fire can spread quickly and cause significant damage, requiring extensive cleanup and restoration. Because of this, a lingering natural gas odor should never be ignored. To help safeguard your property and personal safety, it’s imperative that you promptly report any suspected leaks and refrain from commencing specified activities that may inadvertently cause an explosion.

Chemical Caution: How To Clean Your Drains Safely

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Avoid using drain cleaners in a clogged pipe

It is reasonable to expect that the water in your sink, toilet or bathtub will flow down the drains in your home in Newtown, PA, unencumbered by gunk. Occasionally, however, a clogged drain may happen. When it does, think twice before you react for the chemical drain cleaner. Most of the liquids designed to unclog pipes can have just as many drawbacks as benefits.

How They Work

Drain cleaners clear clogs by producing heat. Through an electron-transfer process, they use the warmth created to obliterate the clog. This is not a problem as long as it works quickly. Often, however, the heat will not be enough to get rid of what’s causing the blockage, so it stays in the pipe where it can cause several problems:

  • Softening plastic pipes
  • Cracking old metal pipes
  • Compromising the integrity of the system joints

If the cleaner simply moves the blockage further down the clogged drain, this can actually make the problem worse over time. The clog can get so bad you end up needing sewage cleaning professionals to mitigate the mess it makes.

What Works Better

A chemical drain cleaner should always be your last resort, and as such, you may never have to use it. You have a couple of options that not only work better but also are less likely to damage your plumbing. An auger can be used to break up a clog mechanically. No chemicals are needed in conjunction with this tool. If the clog seems too deep for the auger to reach, an enzymatic cleaner may be helpful. Rather than producing heat, these cleaners contain enzymes that eat through the material causing the clog and leave your pipes alone. Finally, you can always call your local plumber to take care of your drains in a safe, efficient manner.

If you have a clogged drain, it is best to stay away from chemical drain cleaners. There are safer solutions that are still effective.

What To Do When You Discover Mold Damage

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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.


What are the signs of mold?

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

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

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

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?

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

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

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Important Mitigation Steps To Avoid Mold After a Flood

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Home flood in Yardley, PA

Storm waters may put your commercial building in Yardley, PA, at a higher risk of developing mold growth. This type of flooding usually comes from overrunning rivers, sewage backups and other unclean sources. This means the water could contain bacteria, spores and other contaminants that increase the chances of fungus growth. Your commercial storm remediation team can help you mitigate the damage done to your building to stop mold from setting up a colony on your property.

1. Remove Standing Water

Quickly draining any standing water from your space can help reduce the chances of mold spores finding a home. Water left for 24 to 48 hours will likely introduce mold spores to your property even if the flood started from a clean source. The sooner you start to drain the flood the better.

2. Start Drying Out the Space

Once the flood has been drained, you need to start sucking out excess moisture too. Getting a handle on high humidity levels can make the restoration process easier. You won't want to start making repairs until the building is completely dry. If you aren't able to properly dry out your rooms, you may end up with mold growth sometime in the future. Mold doesn't need floods to grow. It simply requires excess moisture in the air.

3. Add Protection

If your standing water was caused by a hole in the roof or a flooded basement, you need to try to stop this flood from happening again. Cover up any holes in your building to stop the weather elements from negatively affecting your building. You can use tarps and boards on the roof and walls to help you achieve this goal. Install a sump pump to keep water from building up in the lower levels of your property.

Starting the cleanup process soon after a flood can help you avoid the hassle of mold growth. Mitigation is a quick form of cleaning that addresses major problems, though restoration may be needed to help get your building back to its pre-flood status.

Three Ways a Pipe Break Can Occur

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Air mover on a water damage in a Newtown, PA home

There are many parts of your house in Newtown, PA, that are essential for living. One of these is the grid of pipes within your walls and floors. However, there are a few ways a pipe break might occur. Here are a few of the most common ways a pipe can burst and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

  1. Frozen Pipes

In the winter, homeowners need to be careful when using their pipes. Extremely cold weather can cause your pipes to freeze. However, ice takes up more volume than water. When the water within the pipe freezes, it expands and increases pressure. This pressure can literally make the pipe burst. 

To prevent this from happening, try to keep the water in your pipes running. This will stop the water from freezing. Try to keep your house warm and never let it go below freezing while you are on vacation or out of the house. You can also insulate exposed water pipes with foam sleeves.

2. Rusty Pipes


Although pipes were made to last a long time, they aren’t invincible. Over time, pipes wear out and rust. When this happens, a pipe break is more likely to happen due to the vulnerability of the material.
If you live in an older home and are worried about the condition of your pipes, inspect them or call a professional to help you out. If you need to a fix broken pipe, do it quickly to avoid water damage.


3. Unsecured Pipes

If your pipes move around and clang against the walls, this means that they aren’t tightly secured. Joints can weaken, which makes it easier for pressure to find a way out of the pipes and therefore create a leak or burst. If you hear any pipes hammering, be sure to secure them tightly.
A pipe break can be prevented if you take careful precautions. If you are concerned about any pipes, inspect them quickly before any damage occurs.

Preventing and Remediating Water Damage

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Give SERVPRO a call if you experience water damage.

No question about it, water damage is a headache every homeowner in Newtown, PA would prefer to avoid. There are many things you can do to avoid the unwelcome experience of water in a home and ways to remediate it before calling in the professionals.

Routine Inspection, Regular Maintenance

Water infiltration is a far from uncommon problem, and though there can be a few surprises, such as a suddenly broken pipe, there is a short list of the most common culprits.

• Home appliances with hoses and connections that can fail require frequent checkups. Dishwashers, refrigerators that make ice or dispense water, water heaters and washing machines all have a connection to a water supply. Inspect the hoses for kinks or breaks and plan to replace them every three to five years to head off problems.
• Plumbing fixtures in sinks, tubs, toilets and showers should be inspected for corrosion, condensation or signs of leakage such as rust stains or warping of adjacent walls, ceilings and floors. Listen to the toilet; if it fills continually or when it hasn’t been flushed, there is likely a problem with the fill valve or flapper.
• Component failures in a home’s HVAC system can produce unwanted water in a home. Since some furnaces and central humidifiers can develop leaks, cracks or trickles, it is important to look them over on a regular basis. Dripping from an air conditioning unit is a sign of improper drainage or a leak.

Repair What You Can, Replace What You Must

Tackling repairs caused by water in a home is a job that is best not to postpone. Mold and mildew, warping and other collateral problems can develop quickly. Ascertain what can be remedied with a simple repair such as a loose connection and rejoice that the problem was not a more serious pipe cleanup. Replace obviously compromised or aging parts and any construction materials they have damaged.

Anticipating problems and heading them off is a victory for homeowners. Scheduling a few minutes of regular investigation is a welcome trade-off for hours of time-consuming restoration. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on water damage.

Eliminate Smoke Odor After Fire Damage

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Calling a Professional for Mold Remediation

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mildew is not a sure sign of mold, but it’s a sign that it might be able to grow. There is a common misconception that mold cannot occur anywhere but bathrooms and basements, and it’s wise to realize this is not true. Mold can grow anywhere, and it’s professional mold removal and remediation that helps. Mitigation cannot wait when mold becomes a problem.

Black Mold Mitigation

When mold is a problem in your home, mitigation is the answer. This is the only way to ensure mold is removed completely from the home or office. Professionals come in using specialized equipment to locate mold, problem areas, and to stop growth. Mold doesn’t just happen overnight without water damage and high humidity, which is why anytime there is a leak or flood there is a higher level of danger for mold formation.

Calling a professional allows you to rest in assurance there is an end in sight. Professional removal means you have the option to prevent mold in the future, which is what many homeowners and business owners consider a good deal. Paying a professional now means keeping mold removal costs down in the future, because mold that comes back when you attempt to do it yourself is a much larger problem than you might imagine. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on mold removal and remediation.

What Is a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile?

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Give SERVPRO a call if you experience commercial water damage.

An emergency profile is a plan of action that helps minimize interruption of business operations after a disaster. Developing the emergency strategy can be as simple as contacting someone familiar with crises scenarios that is willing to help your company identify potential ways disasters can impact your business. The plan can help your employees know what to expect after the emergency and establish a program to mitigate potential problems. The ERP can also strategize ways to diminish business disruptions by having you complete a comprehensive set of documents and plans that can help prepare your business for the unknown. These documents can include the following:

1. Establish a profile of critical information your company may need after an emergency. Necessary data may include emergency profile and contact information, utility shut-off numbers, and a list of emergency management agencies. Using the ERP app can save you time in organizing the data.

2. Generate a detailed list of emergency solutions. Quick references about who, what, where, and how may provide solutions to potential disasters in advance of the emergency. The plan can include employee escape routes and a map of the building.

3. Organize an incident response plan that can address problems when an emergency occurs. Time-sensitive information and crucial resources can be identified to help prevent a long business disruption period.

4. Create a business continuity plan to provide an emergency response that can limit business disruption. This guide can often aid in getting the building open after a disaster by identifying critical customers and vendors.

5. Establish SERVPRO as an emergency disaster provider. By having a previously determined mitigation and restoration team in case of potential disasters, a plan of action can already be determined, and work can quickly begin in diminishing damages.

SERVPRO has trained representatives in Newtown, PA willing to help you create an emergency profile that fits your company needs. By being prepared for possible emergencies, you can speed your company’s disaster recovery and give yourself peace of mind. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on commercial water damage

Key Facets of Business Interruption Insurance

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

As a business leader, you have tremendous responsibility to lead your organization. This not only includes building strong relationships with customers and ensuring they’re satisfied with your service, but it also requires a talented staff to produce the results you need. You strive for profitability and growth, but what happens if a natural disaster or other major incident causes a rebuild of your facilities? Fortunately, business interruption insurance can come to your rescue.

How Does It Work?

Unlike property insurance, which can cover your expenses to make repairs to your facility due to an accident or mishap, this type of coverage can help ensure you don’t lose money when you have a closed business because of unsafe conditions at work or it’s impossible to carry on your business affairs for a time for any reason. There are a few ways that this insurance works for you:

• Compensates you for income you lose because you must leave your facility
• Covers you for revenue you would have earned had the disaster not occurred at your Newtown, PA office
• Pays for other expenses such as utilities while you are out of the office

Flexible To Meet Your Needs

Business interruption insurance can be essential for your company while you rebuild your office space. It’s important to make sure you work closely with your insurance company and select the coverage you need. You don’t want to choose too little and miss out on the necessary compensation. Luckily, the best agencies should be able to fit your organization with an ideal plan.

Coverage Costs

Some businesses have greater risk of problems than others due to fires or other disasters. If you work in a field that is more prone to incidents such as these, you may expect higher premiums. Also, if you cannot reasonably conduct business outside of your facility, you may have higher costs.

You should discuss this type of insurance coverage with a seasoned professional. You can have greater peace of mind during a rebuild with this plan in place at your business. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on storm damage

Easy Tips for Handling a Flood at Home

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Flood damage affects millions of families and homes every single year.

Even if you don't live in a flood zone, there are still ways for your house to be overcome by water damage. This could be from a leaking or burst pipe or an appliance that has gone haywire. Whatever is causing the flood, it's essential to know how to handle the damage before it becomes out of hand. When water damage is allowed to fester, it can lead to mold growth and wood rot that costs more money to repair than the flood issue itself.

What to Do If a Flood Enters the Home

If you begin to notice a flood entering the home, your first instinct should be to prevent more water from becoming an issue. This involves drying out the area by using sump pumps and drainage systems. If your home has a drainage system outside that is supposed to wick water away from the property, make sure that it is clear and free of any debris. Water in home and water in business properties can be easily dealt with when you're using the proper drainage system, so make sure to set this up before a flood hits the area.

If you need help because you're trapped in a home with flood water, it's important to call emergency personnel who can come and rescue you from the area. It can be incredibly dangerous to be stuck in a home that has rising flood waters, so be sure to have an available line to call for help.Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on water damage.

Contacting Your Insurance Company

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

After the flood subsides or you fix the plumbing, your next step is to contact your insurance company. You might not even realize that your provider has flood damage restoration coverage on your policy. This can eliminate the cost of mitigation and allow you to get the flood damage water cleanup done without going into debt. The beauty about water damage insurance is that it prevents you from shelling out tens of thousands of dollars in a short period of time just to restore your home to its former glory.

The average cost of flood damage restoration is $10,000, and paying this upfront without insurance's help can be next to impossible. However, it's a necessary evil and has to be done, so it's best to pay a little each month for better coverage so that you know you're fully protected. You can contact your insurance provider to find out about what they will and will not cover in terms of professional mitigation, restoration and water cleanup repair.

Working with a Remediation Company

Working with an expert restoration mitigation company is the best way to handle water in home and water in business problems. Water damage can cause a lot more issues than you might think, and leaving the work to the professionals will save you a ton of time and ensure that water cleanup is being done properly. The experts will use all of their own drying and mitigation tools to thoroughly remediate the area of excess water.

Water cleanup and the overall drying of the home should take several days, and the company may need to come back several times to ensure that the work has been properly and no mold growth is present. You can also incorporate your own drying methods into the home by using a series of fans and dehumidifiers.

Preventing Another Flood

To prevent water in home and water in business offices, you need to make sure that you have a good blockage and drainage system. This might include a drain in front of and in back of the home to get water away from the residence as quick as possible, or it might include a barrier placed around the property to prevent water from entering. The more time and effort you put into preventing water in home and water in business properties, the better off you'll be.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on water damage.

Are Environmental Hygienists Really Necessary?

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

When you can see (and smell) mold growing up the walls and on the surfaces of your Newtown, PA home, do you really need a certified environmental hygienist to tell you that you have a problem and you need a proper mold cleaning? In short, the answer is yes. While you can find the mold that’s visible with the naked eye, an environmental hygienist can do so much more. The resources available to most homeowners only allow you to scratch the surface of mold identification and remediation.

So What Can an Environmental Hygienist Do That I Can’t Do?

Environmental hygienists are trained and certified in mold identification, mold cleaning, mold remediation, and more. Understanding mold infestations in the home is a complex science. Environmental hygienists can:

• Use complex instrumentation to detect mold in hidden places
• Identify the types of mold and the dangers they may pose to your home
• Ensure proper use of protective safety equipment when dealing with mold on surfaces and throughout your home
• Counsel on appropriate mold remediation methods
• Effectively address the source of the mold to prevent future outbreaks, including identifying leaks or humidity issues

What an environmental hygienist’s certification promises is safety. Environmental hygienists are certified to ensure they handle any mold contamination or infestation as safely as possible without further spreading the outbreak or causing additional issues that might damage your home.

Can’t I Just Use a Home Test?

Home tests aren’t as reliable as you think, and can often either lead you down the wrong path or cause greater frustration. You’re constantly surrounded by mold spores in your natural environment, so a mold test will always return false positives without pointing you to the source of a real infestation. An environmental hygienist’s equipment and knowledge can provide laser-sharp accuracy in pinpointing the actual source of a mold outbreak, and recommending mold cleaning and remediation solutions.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on mold. 

Protecting Your Pets From Residential Fires

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

While the idea of a fire erupting in your Newtown, PA home is never easy to consider, the potential of your beloved pets getting hurt during any fire emergency is that much worse. Therefore, it’s important to not only create a pet preparation plan in the event of a house fire but to take precautions with pet safety before a situation ever occurs. Here are some important ways to protect your pets before and after a dangerous situation occurs.

? Prevent a mishap by always extinguishing open flames and keeping them at high levels out of your animal’s reach. Any moving flames seen from candles, BBQs, fireplaces and more can easily draw your pet’s attention. Therefore, it’s vital that you always put out any flames before leaving a room and keep them away from reach, either placed up high or properly covered and untouchable.
? Address any problem areas by doing a regular inspection around the home. Check for any loose wiring, reachable appliances or unstable devices that can be knocked over, as they can all turn into possible fire hazards.
? If a fire emergency does break out, be sure your pets have their identification in a safe place. Keep any ownership and vaccination records in a fireproof box, and leave your pet’s tagged collars on them at all times to ensure firefighters or other rescuers can identify who your pets belong to and where to secure them.
? Plan an escape route with your pet. Practicing fire drills and showing your pets where their escape routes are can give them a helpful headstart should a fire erupt. Leave leashes and carriers easy to reach and keep your animals near an entrance while you’re away so they can be quickly located by professionals.

Protecting your pets by taking preventative measures in your Newtown, PA home is crucial for pet safety and your peace of mind. After all, if a fire emergency occurs, knowing you’re prepared ahead of time is crucial to staying calm and getting everyone out in a timely manner. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on fire damage

The Need for Cleanup Speed After a Pipe Burst Flood

4/28/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has technicians available 24/7 to assist with flooding!

Wading through standing water because of a pipe burst may cause a property manager or business owner in Newtown, PA to wring his or her hands in frustration. In most flood scenarios, the first inclination may be to call an insurance adjuster, schedule an appointment, and wait for that person’s arrival. But by acting quickly and taking a few precautionary actions, the extent of water damage to the property may be controlled, and mold growth can often be prevented.

Safety Issues

The first thing to do is turn off water to the source of the leak. Then turn the power off to any electrical circuits that might come in contact with the flood water. This includes connections that are as much as six inches above the water line. Also look for signs of contaminated floodwater from toilet bowls, sewer blowouts, or septic tanks. Polluted water is considered a category three flood problem and is typically considered a very serious issue.

Time Limitation

After the pipe burst water hits the floor and begins to soak into surrounding property, it can be a race against time. Depending on weather conditions and local humidity, there are usually only 24 hours before mildew attacks and mold cleanup becomes necessary.

Game Plan

To help speed cleanup efforts, immediately after noticing the flood water, take the following steps to protect the building and tenants.

• Contact a water damage restoration team for immediate help.
• Contact the insurance company.
• Take pictures for insurance purposes.
• Prevent water damage to items not yet wet. Move boxes, bins, and personal items to higher floors or onto shelves to keep them dry.
• Check lower floors for water seepage and ceiling damage. Notify the restoration team of any additional water damage.

Professional Help

Once the professional restoration team arrives, heed their advice and help the team restore the building. Water damage from a pipe burst can cause considerable damage to the building’s structure, and a tear out of building materials may often be necessary before the structure can fully dry. The sooner the building dries, the sooner it can be restored. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on water damage. 

3 Reasons Not To Use Bleach for Mold Cleanup

4/28/2018 (Permalink)

Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold growing in your home or business.

If your commercial property in Newtown, PA has an infestation of mold, resist the urge to clean it with bleach. While the instructions on the bottle may promise proper disinfection, it is not effective for fungus cleanup and may actually make the problem worse. There are several reasons why it is not appropriate for mold remediation.

1. It does not kill mold. Bleach gives the appearance of eradicating mold without any real results. The change in color you see when applying this solution to help you clean up mold is merely the leaching of the color from the fungus. The mold is still there; it’s just in a lighter shade. It also is not meant to be used on porous surfaces. Mold, however, establishes its roots in porous surfaces, making it an ineffective solution.

2. It can make your mold problem worse. Rather than destroying mold growth and aiding in fungus cleanup, bleaching can actually encourage growth. Mold thrives in moist environments, and the solution in the bottle is mostly water. When you apply it to the area where the growth occurs, you are probably feeding the fungus more than you’re hurting it.

3. It is corrosive and can cause damage to the surfaces you are trying to save. In addition to being ineffective and counterproductive, bleaching can cause corrosion to the surface where the mold is growing. It can break down drywall and destroy the fibers in wood surfaces. When this corrosive element is combined with the toxic fumes it releases, it is not much better for your building than the mold that is growing there.

There are many solutions better suited to fungus cleanup than bleach. Mold remediation specialists in Newtown, PA can assess the damage and get rid of the problem with tried-and-true methods. It is best to avoid trying to resolve the issue yourself. Not only does bleaching not get rid of the mold problem, but it can also make the mold growth harder for the professionals to tackle. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on mold. 

How To Mitigate Roof Damage Before Help Can Arrive

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Give SERVPRO a call if you experience storm damage in your home or business.

Heavy winds, torrential rains, excessive snowfall or large hail can all result in significant roof damage. Unfortunately, even if you call a Newtown, PA storm damage repair team the day after the damage occurs, it may be weeks or even months before a complete repair can be done. This may be because other homeowners in the area have been affected as well or because your insurance company is slow to process your claim. Whatever the reason, you need to take steps to mitigate damage in the meantime. There are several things you can do to prevent further damage:

• Tarp your roof
• Cover broken or cracked skylights and windows with plastic
• Tarp your siding (if necessary)
• Remove tree limbs and other debris

Tarp a Leak

If your roof sprouts a leak in the latest storm, tarp it until the professionals can fully patch and repair it. If it is still raining, you can minimize damage to the interior of your home by placing buckets beneath the leak. Though you cannot do anything to minimize roof and ceiling damage, you can protect your floors and furnishings.

Cover Broken Windows

Just like you did with roof damage, protect your home and your family from the elements by covering any cracked or broken windows and skylights with plastic. Doing so can also protect your home from loose shards of glass that fall in.

Tarp the Siding

Wind damage is often not limited to just the roof. If your siding is loose or missing, call in a Newtown, PA contractor to tarp off the side to prevent further damage to the interior until a full repair can be done.

Remove Debris

Finally, any debris that is allowed to sit on your roof poses a greater threat each passing day. If a tree or heavy branch fell on your home, contact your local contractor to remove it and tarp your roof until quality repairs can be made.

If your home sustained roof damage in the last storm, it is imperative to take remedial action right away. Use the advice above to protect your home until a quality contractor can make permanent repairs. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on storm damage. 

What Do Hygienists Do?

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

The mold growing on this door has a random pattern.

Industrial hygienists work to protect individuals and communities by providing precise analysis and informed insight into the environmental effects of known health and safety hazards, such as mold. If you are deciding whether to contact a hygienist to assess mold damage in your home in advance of mold cleaning or mold remediation, you should look for a certified hygienist in Newtown, PA who specializes in mold.

A hygienist may identify mold based on either or both of these methods:

• Microscopy: This visual method of mold analysis allows specialists to identify the type or genus of the fungus. Depending on the lab, this method may result in an accurate identification in as little as two days.

• Culturing: This method involves growing mold in a petri dish and provides more detailed results, including the subspecies of the mold sample. This method is slower and more costly.

An experienced hygienist can rely on one or both of these methods to help you determine which type of mold is growing in your home. They can also offer professional insight regarding remediation strategies that you should hire specialists to pursue. Some companies that provide mold cleaning services also have certified hygienists on staff. You may want to seek the opinion of an independent hygienist to ensure that a remediation service is making the best choices for your situation. The expertise of a hygienist may be beneficial before and after the remediation process. A hygienist can make sure that all traces of mold have been removed prior to restoration.

Industrial hygienists may be certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene or hold other certifications that indicate their awareness of and compliance with industry-wide health and safety standards for mold cleaning. A hygienist may be able to help you make the most informed remediation and restoration decisions as you deal with mold damage in Newtown, PA. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on mold. 

How SERVPRO Conducts Mold Remediation in Your Makefield Home

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold and Fungi are extremely common in our environment, unfortunately, we don't always need them in our homes and businesses. Call us today!

While there are numerous challenges that homeowners can experience in Fairless Hills, dealing with the presence of mold in their residential property can be particularly difficult. Luckily, retaining a professional mold remediation service like SERVPRO can help you limit and eliminate mold growth in your home. Learn more about this important matter by reviewing the following short outline:

The Benefits of Professional Mold Remediation Services

There are many benefits that result from hiring a professional mold remediation service. The professionals from SERVPRO conduct a detailed inspection to determine the source or sources of the mold growth. In addition to locating the source of mold growth, our professional remediation specialists are effective in fixing the cause of water leakage to prevent future growth of mold by eliminating moisture. Extensive training gives us the option, when needed, to utilize specific containment techniques to isolate and destroy the mold. We can utilize negative pressure chambers to prevent mold spore from cross-contamination. And to prevent the mold from returning to the treated areas, SERVPRO mold remediation experts will disinfect and use deodorizing absorbing foggers to purify, not mask the air.  More specialized filtering gear such as "air scrubbers" and HEPA vacuum help to prevent the migration of mold spores.

The mold remediation includes a clean up process dependent upon your personal home situation in Makefield. After the antifungal and antibacterial chemicals have been applied, the focus is put upon cleaning furniture, clothing, drapes, and your important possessions. Any porous materials like drywall or carpeting that are infested with mold will be removed from the premises. Mold remediation is the process of returning your home to a healthy environment and stopping structural damage to your building and its contents. Since mold spores are endemic to the air, it would be a mistatement to say that we can eliminate all mold from your home.

In recognizing all of the benefits and the difficulties involved in achieving positive results, it makes sense to make the call to SERVPRO. Our expert technicians have extensive IICRC training, the most current industrial grade equipment, and the will to successfully return your home in Makefield to a safe haven for your and your family.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

We live and work in Fairless Hills too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Newtown Yardley is close by to New Hope, Wrightstown, and Washington's Crossing and ready to help with your mold-damaged property. Please call us for help. (215) 785-1777

Water Damage Around Your Electrical: Here’s What You Need To Know

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is never easy to deal with, but when that damage is surrounding your home’s electrical, it becomes dangerous. If you notice water in a light fixture or ceiling damage close to an electrical source, there are a few steps you can take to prevent further damage and to ensure the ongoing safety of you and your loved ones. Those steps include:

• Shut of your home’s electricity
• If the leak stems from a pipe, shut off the water valves
• Contact a plumber
• Contact an electrician
• Contact a Newtown, PA water restoration team

Safety First

The very first step you should take if you notice water damage surrounding a light fixture is to shut off your home’s electricity. You can do this via your home’s service panel or breaker box. Confirm that the power is off by testing other dry electrical sources in the home with a non-contact voltage tester.

Shut Off the Water

Once you’ve confirmed that the power is off, look for the source of the water in the light. This may be a leaky roof or a leaky pipe. If it’s your roof, contact a roofer to patch the area and possibly consult them about a full roof replacement. If the source of the problem is a pipe, shut off your water valves and contact a plumber.

Hire the Right Professionals

Depending on the source of the problem and the extent of the damage, there are a few different professionals you may want to call. The first is a plumber. Without repairing the source of the problem first, you risk damaging any new wiring or drywall. Once a plumber has fixed the problem, reach out to an electrician. Have them repair or replace the bad electrical and confirm that the wiring no longer poses a safety hazard.

Once you’ve repaired the ceiling damage and eliminated the water in the light, contact a water restoration team. Your local Newtown, PA remediation team can make sure there is no residual damage or mold growth you have to worry about. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on mold. 

Get Rid of That Musty Mold Smell Post Flood With These Tips

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

This school had been flooded from the resent storms in Yardley.

If your building was recently in a flood, you may have taken all the necessary steps to restore your building to like-new condition but still notice that there is a musty, moldy smell pervading the air. While that is completely normal, it is a matter that needs to be dealt with swiftly and effectively. That musty smell is due to mold growth, which occurs when flood water is not completely cleaned out of a building. This can be disheartening to hear, especially if you took drastic measures to clean your building. Fortunately, there is a solution. Whether you recently experienced sewage loss or a flood, these tips can help you get rid of that moldy smell for good:

• Re-inspect the damaged areas
• If the affected area is small, clean it yourself
• If the affected area is larger, reach out to your Newtown, PA water restoration team
• Know which tools to use and which to avoid

Look for Water Damage

If you want to get rid of that moldy smell, you need to locate the source of it. Mold growth is usually visible, but if it’s not immediately obvious, look for sitting water, leaks, drooping ceilings and wall discoloration.

Clean Up

Depending on the size of the area and whether or not there is mold, you may or may not be able to clean up the damage yourself. If the area is small and mold is not present, getting rid of that musty smell may just require you to sprinkle some baking soda over wet patches of carpet or to rub white vinegar over furniture. If there is mold, and if the affected area is fairly large, it would be best to contact a Newtown, PA flood damage restoration team.

If you attempt to clean up yourself, avoid bleach, as bleach only kills live mold but not spores. Employ dehumidifiers, fans and other air moving machines to get air circulating and mold spores out.

Typically, the musty smell post-flood comes from mold growth. If your building still smells musty after thoroughly cleaning your building, contact your water restoration team today. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on commercial water damage. 

Control the Moisture, Control the Mold

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that mold spores exist almost everywhere?

It’s true – but most buildings will have a low enough presence that it has little to no impact on a healthy individual. Problems do occur, however, when mold is given the perfect environment in which to grow and thrive. It is important to be aware of what these conditions are so you can take the appropriate measures to prevent them.

Conditions

Mold needs the following conditions to grow:

• Presence of spores
• A food source (i.e. paper, wood, dirt, drywall)
• Low light
• Warm temperatures
• Oxygen
• High levels of humidity or moisture for 24 to 48 hours

Overall, moisture has been shown to be the biggest contributing factor to mold growth. The key to preventing this growth is controlling this element within your building. Areas such as kitchens, basements, bathrooms, and cleaning closets may be especially susceptible to humidity or moisture that may lead to mold growth.

Moisture Problems

What are some causes of moisture that you should be aware of? General humidity levels, leaking pipes, condensation, poor ventilation, flooding, damp basements and leaking roofs are all causes of moisture that could lead to mold.

The most obvious cause of a mold-friendly environment in your commercial building would be a water leak of some sort. The culprit might be a broken pipe, a damaged roof or the aftermath of a flood, among other things. If your business has experienced any of these problems, it is important to fix the issue and dry the area as quickly as possible. Mold growth can occur within 24 to 48 hours of a water issue, so the longer water damage persists, the costlier the remediation will be.

If you suspect you have a mold problem due to its visual presence or a persistent musty smell, you may want to call in a mold specialist in Newtown, PA, to assess the damage. Leaving mold to its own devices can cause extensive damage and lead to issues no business owner wants to deal with.

3 Common Fire Hazards in the Break Room

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

Malfunctioning appliances in the break room can lead to a lot more than simply burned popcorn.

There are several fire hazards present in most office break rooms, and employers in Newtown, PA, should take mind to remedy them before they escalate out of control. Building deodorization and smoke cleanup will be necessary in the event a fire does break out, but prevention is always the best course of action.

1. Malfunctioning Refrigerator

Refrigerators are typically plugged in every hour of the day, so they are particularly prone to fires. The fact they also contain insulation makes the likelihood of a fire breaking out all the more likely. It is recommended for commercial property owners to have professionals come out at least once annually to inspect fridges and other appliances. In the event your fridge is getting old, then you may be better off investing in a new one.

2. Improper Microwave Use

Burned popcorn is the least of your worries when it comes to a microwave. Microwaves are not perfect, and employees need to be mindful of what they put inside. For example, people should never place metal inside of a microwave. Additionally, this appliance should never be left unattended. Always keep an eye on it when you cook something in case it boils over or something explodes.

3. Oven Dangers

People also need to be careful of how they use ovens, which are not as common in some office break rooms but can still be found in some buildings. People should never leave the room when cooking something in an oven. Additionally, they should turn the oven off after removing food. Leaving it on wastes energy and also increases the likelihood of a fire.

After you hire someone, you should review all of these safety tips so that the new hire knows how to behave responsibly in the break room. Preventing even just burned popcorn will prevent you from requiring professional deodorization.

3 Reasons You Should Have a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

By taking the simple step of purchasing a fire extinguisher, you can help defend your home in New Hope, PA against fires. Extinguishers can put out fires that water cannot, making them extremely useful in the event of a kitchen fire or other emergency.

1. Protect Your Home

While they should not be used as a replacement for smoke detectors, fire extinguishers can be a great way to add another layer of safety to your home. Stopping fires before they get out of control can help prevent property damage and keep you and your family safe. What could have been a devastating fire could turn out to be just a little mess.

2. Stop All Types of Fires

Fire extinguishers can be separated into different categories. Some of these may be more useful for your home than others.

The different classes include:

* Class A: puts out fires on ordinary materials
* Class B: puts out grease fires and other flammable liquids
* Class C: puts out electrical fires
* Class D: Puts out flammable metals

For use in your home, you can purchase an A-B-C extinguisher that will put out ordinary fires as well as grease fires and electrical fires. It can be an especially good idea to keep one in your kitchen, as this can be a high-risk area for fires.

3. Be Cost Efficient

Fire extinguishers can be available for a low cost, sometimes as little as $10 a unit. This can make them a great investment, as they could potentially save you a lot of money in property damage as well as keeping you safe.

Having a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it can help you stop emergencies, such as kitchen fires, from getting out of control. While it is a good idea to focus on your personal safety before worrying about property, an extinguisher can still be a useful way to save your home from extensive fire damage. Relatively inexpensive, an extinguisher can be a great addition to your home’s fire defenses.

For more information about fire damage visit www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com

Questions to Ask After a Fire

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

Questions to Ask After a Fire

If you are in a fire, it can be a very traumatic experience. You've gotten your family out safely, the firefighters have gone, now what do you do? Fire damage to your home can range from mild to severe. In either case, you will need a fire damage restoration team to assess the damage and get your home back to its original condition.

Fire cleanup can be a bit hectic, but a restoration company can make things much more bearable. Once the fire is out, the smoke damage, soot damage and smoke smell can leave a lot to be desired. A professional team will have the manpower and the know how to get things done in a timely manner. While there are some things you will likely have to throw out once its been damaged by fire, a restoration company may be able to help you save some item. Also, no one wants a lingering smoke smell after a fire in their home.

Time is of the essence. Fire damage restoration teams must get started as quickly as possible. Specialized tools and cleaning techniques will be used to remove soot damage and the smoke smell from walls, carpeting, upholstery and furniture. If there is anything that is salvageable, they will do their best the team can help.


Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on fire damage.

Proven Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Techniques

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

Proven Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Techniques

The good thing about restoration teams is they can work on your house with little disruption to your life. They know you will be busy with insurance people and other issues. They will board up the windows, roof and other areas as needed. The proven techniques used to repair and restore after you've had a fire in your home will make your house feel like a home again.

When a homeowner looks at the aftermath of a the fire damage that has ravaged their home or business, it may seem impossible that it can be restored back to its pre-fire condition. Professionals will use every effort to mitigate smoke damage in a timely manner.

Even with commercial fire damage or fire in your business, we use the same proven techniques. A fire in your business can cause an entirely different set of problems. First of all, you're losing money. You may also have equipment or other products that are damaged. The fire damage restoration team will apply the same methods with commercial fire damage but on a larger scale.

If you haven't completed the board up process before the restoration company arrives, they will be all to glad to help. Like fire damage in a home, commercial fire damage can also seem like an impossible task. Your business will have smoke damage, soot damage and maybe even water damage from fire hoses. Smoke damage can linger a long time after a fire in your business. This is why you need the help of a restoration company for fire cleanup.

Fire damage restoration specialists are available 24/7 because fires can help anytime. Once the industrial fans and scrubbers are used to remove soot damage and the smoke smell, professionals will then start the restoration process. This may include light painting, fixing drywall, remove board up and other minor repairs. The goal is fix all fire damage and have your home back to normal as quickly as possible.

So if you ever have a fire in your home or a fire in your business, call the trusted fire cleanup professionals. They will walk you through the entire process that all fire cleanup is done quickly and correctly. They will board up, clean, deodorize and fully sanitize the home. The aftermath of fire in the home or commercial fire damage can prove costly. This is a very detailed process that only highly-skilled people can take care of. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on fire damage.

Storm Restoration Process: How to Handle Storm Damages in a Business or Home

10/31/2017 (Permalink)


Storm Restoration Process: How to Handle Storm Damages in a Business or Home

Nature can be quite unforgiving. When disasters such as storms, flooding, river flooding, hurricanes, hails storms and ice dams strike, the effects are not only felt at individual levels but by the community at large. While insurance help cover the financial aspect of storm damage, roof damage, hurricane damage, hail damage, wind damage or ice damage up to some extent, the huge part of the savings are dependent upon the choices of the property owner. As an expert home restoration company, the following are some of the tips on how to handle storm damages and make huge savings.

Hire a professional water restoration company immediately

The first and important step when it comes to the storm remediation process is to hire an expert water restoration company as soon as possible. Given a chance storm damages such as flooding, river flooding, flood water and run off ground water can escalate very fast causing insurmountable damages to properties. By calling professional storm restoration to a storm damaged property, storms victims are able to save their properties. However, with high number of storm restoration firms in the market today, caution and due diligence is called upon when choosing the best the most qualified home restoration services.

Assess the extent of damages caused

After hiring a professional water restoration firm like us, the second step is to assess and evaluate the damages of the wind damage, hurricane damage, roof leak, ice damage, ice damming, hail damage or frozen pipes depending on the type of storm peril. This process is particularly of value to any storm victim as it not only helps them accurately assess the costs of insurance compensations, but also helps them plan on the financial aspect of the storm remediation process.

Clean up

The cleaning up process is of great importance to the home restoration process. To reduce the extent of damages, this process needs to be carried out as soon as possible, however with the help of experts. Different storm damages need to be approached differently. For instance with flooding, river flooding, flood water, excessive ground water and hurricane damages, the excessive water needs to be drained using flood pumps. This said however, there is no one-size-fit-all flood pump and hence the importance of working with an expert storm restoration company. In addition to these expert helping choose the right flood pump for the job, they are also help with commercial drying agents and roof repairs that ensures no more flood water and ground water are on a property.

The second area that needs to be cleaned up is ice damages. Ice damages is a problem mistakenly confused to occur in cold areas, nothing could be further from the truth. Properties in most parts of the world are susceptible to freezing if no proper insulation measures are put in place. Frozen pipes are normally caused by ice damming from regular ice dams that lead to roof repair. This can also extend to cause roof damages when ice dams block the passage of melted ice water. Hiring expert water restoration companies to help with cleaning up these ice dams is ideal since these professionals have the tools and expertise in this area.

Repairs and reconstructions

This is the final stage in any home restoration process. Depending on the extent of the damages caused on a property, this process can take up to several weeks or months to complete. In most cases, this process involves door, windows and roof repairs or replacement in properties adversely affected by wind damage. When it comes to hail damage and hurricane damaged properties, home restoration experts may come in handy to help fix the roof leaks. In addition to this, these experts may also help fix the frozen pipes caused by ice damming by heating up the ice dams and properly insulating the pipes to prevent further freezing. In advanced cases of frozen pipes, storm remediation. experts may be required to redo the plumbing works. With this in mind, it is important when hiring storm restoration experts that storm victims consider a company that can offer comprehensive services from fixing roof damages, repairing roof leaks to reconstructing certain areas of a house and protect them from flooding.

Regardless of the fact that we have weather forecast, it is quite difficult to predict when a storm can occur. In a matter of minutes hail damage, flood water, river flooding, wind damage and ice damming can leave severe damages that no insurance compensation can match up to. While we cannot prevent this occurrence, we can help protect you from further damages by fixing the roof leaks, roof damage and draining the excess ground water using our flood pumps to help with the roof repair and hurricane damage. Thanks to our storm remediation. services, we guarantee normalcy in no due time.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on storm damage.

How to Recover Your Home After a Flood

9/26/2017 (Permalink)


How to Recover Your Home After a Flood

A flooded home is one of the most stressful situations that a homeowner can encounter. Water in the home or water in a business due to natural disasters, a pipe break, or a supply line break can prove to be costly when it comes to water cleanup and drying all the furnishings in the vicinity. It can even become emotionally trying if family possessions are ruined by water damage. While these situations prove to test one's patience and pocket, it is important to begin restoration of a flooded home or business immediately and with professional assistance from a restoration company. Here is a list of the pivotal actions that must take place to avoid the prolonging of the effects flood damage brings.

Check for Damage

When one returns to a flooded home, the first thing that must occur is checking for flood damage. One cannot begin flood mitigation responsibly without understanding the severity of the situation. Look for damage that is hidden as well as visible water damage. This includes cracks and holes in the building's foundation, pipe breaks, and supply line breaks that could cause damage to worsen down the road. Before these steps take place, however, it is highly recommended to turn off any electrical sources. Even if it appears that everything is shut off, it is not worth the fatal risk of walking into a wet electrical source.

Alert Insurance Company

Restoration is not a cheap operation, especially when it comes to hiring a restoration company to fix any supply line breaks or pipe breaks. This is where a reliable insurance company comes in. Take pictures for evidence of water damage. From there, the company can assess whether the water in the home or water in the business's restoration can be covered.

Water Cleanup

To begin the mitigation of large problems such as mold damage and erosion, it is essential to begin getting the water in the home or water in the business out as soon as possible and beginning the drying process promptly after assessing the damage and discussing it with the insurance company. When it comes to serious flood damage, it is best to not make water cleanup a do-it-yourself project and enlist the help of a reliable restoration company. A good local restoration company holds expertise in water damage, mold mitigation, and the repairing of supply line breaks and pipe breaks. Their services may be costly, but will save money and stress in comparison to the consequences that an incomplete restoration and drying job has the potential to cause if intricate flood damage is not addressed.

Be Educated

As previously stated, it is always best to allow a professional company to intervene when a flooded home or water in the business place is involved. However, it is important to understand what the process that they go through, creating a situation where the customer feels at ease and aware of what they're paying for. Most reliable flood mitigation companies will take care of everything when it comes to water in the home. After careful evaluation of the water damage, they'll provide thorough documentation for the homeowner and insurance companies. From there, they will begin water cleanup by extracting the flood water. Once the flooding has been eliminated from the area, dehumidifying and drying in the area is taken care of. Other exterior irritants such as odor and the presence of mold are also eradicated. Lastly, complete restoration and repairing of the vicinity is completed. The process of restoring a flooded home is tedious, emotional, and time- consuming. It can take weeks, months, even years to recuperate from. It is important not to stretch the period needed any further by following the necessary steps on the road to recovery, allowing for a safe and prompt restoration experience.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on water damage.

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Damage

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Damage

It is a traumatic experience when your business is threatened by a utility room fire or electrical fire. While no one is exempted from this experience some time, it can be prevented through proper mitigation measures. Utility room fire or electrical fire incidence causes a lot of damage to the property. In addition to fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, and soot damage.

When there is a utility room fire or electrical fire outbreak, the fire sprinkler system is equipped with sensors that detect the slightest amount of increase in room temperature. The fire sprinkler system sensor triggers the opening of valves and gallons of water are sprinkled in the room for fire suppression. The firefighter and fire truck also arrives just on time and to begin fire suppression using a fire hose to inject even more water and fire redundant chemicals to the areas affected by the fire.

The firefighter may also be forced to break into some of the locked doors and glass to gain access. The fire truck is also brought closer to the building causing more damages. The building is left in a mess after successful fire suppression, and no item is left where it was, no business can continue in such a condition. You need to call a commercial fire damage restoration services immediately.

Professional fire restoration services
After fire suppression, the area is cordoned off to prevent trespassers. The fire damage restoration process usually begins with a comprehensive inspection of the property to ascertain the extent of the damage. The owner is also involved in the process to help understand the scope of work. The professionals sort out and make a list of the items that should be restored.

Most of the items including the upholstery are wet, and the air has a strong smoke damage odor, there is and soot damage everywhere. The professionals will pack out the items that need repair or were not completely damaged. The majority of the fire restoration companies have a cleaning facility where the items are taken for specialized repair and cleaning.

Professional soot damage and smoke damage restoration
The pre cleaning process of the fire damage is usually done by dry brushing of the soot damage of ash on the walls. The walls and floors are cleaned up to remove the water spilled by the fire hose from the fire truck. Soot damage is also seen in the vents and other openings that smoke passed.
Smoke damage contains a strong odor that is absorbed in the upholstery and other porous materials in the rooms. The strong unbearable smell spreads across the rooms in your business premises. It has to be cleaned and removed immediately through a deodorization method by experts.

Often the fire damage and smoke damage are usually accompanied by water damage because of the fire sprinkler system and the fire hose. Firefighter use fire hose to inject water into the building for fire suppression could create a hazardous environment; it should be removed. The experts will also conduct dehumidification procedures to that there is no secondary damage.

Choose a professional commercial fire damage restoration service

You may not have experience of utility room fire or electrical fire outbreak before hence cannot tell what to look for in a fire restoration company. Because of the increase in commercial fire damage incidents, many companies have popped out to assist clients facing this kind of difficulty. Through a quick background check, you will be able to find a fire restoration specialist with hands on fire damage restoration experience.

Find out whether the company has specialized equipment and tools for commercial fire damage restoration. They must have a full knowledge and understanding plus the application of psychrometry. Besides, having a good reputation in creating a detailed plan for fire restoration.

After long hours of fire suppression, the fire sprinkler system, firefighter using fire truck and fire hose to combat the fire leaves a trail of mess and destruction. The only relief you can have as a business owner it to hire a professional team that could complete the fire restoration service quickly and is back on your feet again.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on fire damage.

Which of These Professional Storm Damage Restoration Services Do You Need?

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Which of These Professional Storm Damage Restoration Services Do You Need?

When a storm come through, it can leave devastation in its wake. If you find that your home or business has sustained storm damage during a storm, you need to bring in the professionals to help. They can start the process of getting your home or business back into shape.

Flooding

Whether you have river flooding or water from a hurricane, flood water does a lot of damage. You need to get the ground water out as soon as possible. A flood pump will start removing the flood water. One of the main problems with flooding is the moisture it leaves behind. That can lead to mold and mildew problems.

River flooding and ground water flooding can damage the structure and destroy personal items. Getting a flood pump in place quickly will make all the difference. It will reverse the flooding and start the process of drying out the structure. That is when water restoration can begin.

After the flood pump has removed the river flooding, it is time to get the flood water out of the personal items. The restoration team will salvage what it can. They often find items which the ground water has not destroyed, but they also find items completely destroyed.

Don't let the flood water stay. Get professionals in to set up a flood pump quickly so that you can start recovering from the river flooding and ground water damage. The faster you start the water restoration process, the sooner you can return to normal life.

Wind Damage

A lot of storm damage comes from wind. The wind blows and it can strip off shingles and bring down trees. In fact, wind damage is a common reason for storm restoration services.

With wind damage, the storm restoration process starts with securing any openings in the structure. Then, it is a matter of determining what the extent of the storm damage is. Often times, store restoration involves water restoration as well because the wind damage let rain into the structure.

The storm restoration team will start drying out the structure as part of the water restoration process. Part of storm restoration is salvaging as much of the damaged property as possible. It is integral for business and home restoration.

Roof Damage

During a storm, the roof can sustain quite a bit of damage. You can easily get a roof leak or two, especially when dealing with hail damage. A quick roof repair will help keep water and wind from getting into the attic.

How do you know you have roof damage? A roof leak is obvious. But hail damage is not as obvious. Dents and divots in the roof is a sign you need a roof repair as soon as possible. Some roof damage is easily spotted, like missing shingles and flashing. Some roof leak drip while others gush. All roof and hail damage need quick roof repair to ensure no further damage.

Don't let hail damage or roof damage cause further problems. Stop a roof leak with a good roof repair. That is essential for business and home restoration.

Hurricane Damage

Hurricanes can wipe a region completely off the map. If your home or business has sustained hurricane damage, you need to get a storm remediation team in as soon as possible. They can assess the hurricane damage and start the storm remediation.

They will cover holes in the structure to secure the premises. They will start drying out the structure and removing damaged items as part of the storm remediation. Hurricane damage can involve the entire structure, or only that part opened to flood waters. That is why it is critical to go with professionals for storm remediation.

If your home is damaged in a hurricane, call in the professionals in storm remediation.

Ice Damage

Ice damage comes in many forms. Frozen pipes can burst and leave a space flooded. An ice dam on the roof can cause water backup under shingles. In fact, ice damming can cause damage to overhangs, soffits, and fascia. Don't let ice damage from an ice dam lead to roof problems.

Frozen pipes usually occur in uninsulated spaces like the basement. With frozen pipes, they can burst due to pressure. And that can cause flooding. So ice damage can be more than ice damming, though an ice dam is quite common in winter. If you have ice damming or frozen pipes, call in the business and home restoration specialists. They can remove an ice dam and clean up the problems caused by the ice damming.

Call in the business and home restoration specialists for any of these problems. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on storm damage.

Deodorization Commercial Buildings

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

Does your building have a lingering smell from the 70s. Maybe it's burnt burnt popcorn from a coworker. It could also be from the Holiday party where Bob drank too much, told Sarah of his undying love, and proceeded to toss his cookies all over the flow.

Whatever the reason for a bad smell we at SERVPRO of Newtown/Yardley can have that smell removed. There are many ways to rid a building of a bad odor. Here are some of the services we offer.

  • Carpet Cleaning - Carpets can hold smells and hot water extraction will get rid of the odor.
  • Duct Cleaning - Filters and ducts hold onto smells. The cleaning will help freshen old buildings from their old building smells.
  • Thermal Fogging- This method spreads a deodorizer in a fog form being able to penetrate materials and find its way into hard to reach nooks and crannies.

Woodside Flood Damage

9/10/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding in Woodside, PA

Flooding affects homes and businesses in disastrous ways. Using the right Flood Mitigation specialist will help save money on insurance. Mitigation companies such as SERVPRO of Newtown/Yardley have IICRC certifications that are required by the insurance industry. In this article we'll look at different types of flooring.

  • Wood Floors - Wood is a porous building material which will hold water. Because flood water is considered Black Water any porous flooring will need to be removed.
  • Tile Floors - Tile is not porous and will not need to be removed. The grout may need to be changed if the seal is old. If the water did not penetrate the subfloor the tile can stay.
  • Linoleum - Is not porous but doesn't keep as well as tile. If water has intruded under the linoleum then it will need to be removed. Otherwise it is fine after being disinfected.
  • Concrete Floor is porous but can be disinfected. Most concrete floors are sealed or painted too which can withstand the water.

Why do sewers back up during a storm?

9/10/2017 (Permalink)

Why do sewers back up during a storm?

There are several reasons why a sewer may back up during heavy rains in Yardley, PA. Homes in the area have been around for many years and their sewage systems are just as old. When it rains heavily some storm damage can occur in the form of sewer backing up into your home.

  • Blockage is one problem associated with sewer backups. Blockages can be because of a broken pipe due to tree roots, construction debris, and objects being flushed down the drain.
  • Broken backwater valves can cause a problem too. Most homes have an installed valve but they get old and need to be maintained. Without the valve sewer water will enter the home through the toilet and drains.

Have your home cleaned by SERVPRO of Newtown/Yardley if it suffers from black water intrusion during heavy rains.

Ice Dams in Morrisville, PA

9/9/2017 (Permalink)

Icicles Form When Ice Dams Are Present

The icicles look beautiful during the winter and many people love seeing them. The most iconic moments in some Christmas films have icicles present, either in the background of a frosted window or being blamed for putting out an eye.

Although beautiful they can be the cause of much damage. Not in the icicle itself but from the ice dam above it. Icicles are usually connected to a dam that has formed in the gutter of a home. These dams form when there have been many snow storms leaving behind too much snow for the gutter to handle.

The ice dam causes a pooling effect under the snow melt. The melted snow does not have anywhere to go and will eventually back under shingles leaving water in your home.

The Benefits of Hiring Experts in Water Damage Restoration

8/30/2017 (Permalink)


The Benefits of Hiring Experts in Water Damage Restoration

Water damage is one of the most dreaded accidents in the home and business premises. The most common sources of water in home are leaking taps, pipe breaks, and flood damage. Certain safety recommendations are usually given to be followed when these mishaps happen. The mistakes that some owners and managers of buildings or homes make the mistake of thinking that they can manage to do restoration for the damage without the involvement of experts. Below is what you need to know about water damage and why a restoration company is recommended to carry out mitigation steps after a supply line break, pipe break and water or flood damage has occurred.

Quick response in times of emergency

Leaking water or a flooded home is a situation whose damage gets worse by the hour. It is therefore recommended that you start mitigation processes as soon as you realize water in home or water in business damage has happened. The good thing about most companies is their thorough understanding of the seriousness of water in business or water in home. They will arrive at your premises within minutes of the emergency contact and start water cleanup. The fast response will minimize the extent of the flood damage caused by the flooded home, pipe break or supply line break.

Availability of the proper equipment for restoration

Mitigation of flood damage is a process that needs a lot of expertise and machinery. Trying to do a DIY water cleanup in a flooded home will put you at risk and compromise the structural strength of your building. The cleanup process needs powerful suction pumps to remove the water. After the water has been eliminated, there will need to use chemicals for further drying and dehumidification of the structure. The water damage restoration company might also need to use deodorizers to remove the bad smell that follows is left behind by water damage. It is recommended that you hire experts to get the full assistance of all this equipment and chemicals.

Faster drying times and reduction of losses

When the companies use the suction pumps, extraction mechanisms, and drying agents, the homeowner benefits a lot. Trying to handle water cleanup and restoration on your own will mean longer contact hours between the water and your flooring and walls. The stagnation leads to moisture building up inside the wall, rotting, mold formation and eventual weakening of the structures. The cost of mitigation on a house which has such damage is high. When professionals are involved, the problem will be resolved within a short period, reducing the damage and losses.

Safety

There are a lot of security risks that accompany excessive water in home or presence of excessive water in business premises. First, in case there are exposed electrical wires, the flooded water could cause electrocution to anyone who steps on it. Then, there is the fact that high water levels stagnated in places such as basements can drown pets and small children. It is recommended to hire a professional restoration company to find the pipe break or supply line break and avert such a disaster.

Those are some of the many benefits you get when a professional water damage restoration company handles issues to do with water cleanup in a flooded home or flooded water in business. The process that they follow involves an evaluation of the damage, removal of pieces of furniture, the extraction of the water, drying and deodorization. After this first series of stages, they take the household items and clean them up. Cleaning can be done together with deodorization to remove any smells that could have been caused by the presence of water within. The restoration itself is the final stage of the process. It can be as little as touching up the paint in some of the rooms or as extensive as reconstructing the walls altogether. All this depends on the amount of damage that was done by the pipe break or supply line break.

The key thing to note is that for successful water restoration, you need experts who understand the process well. Take time and compare different service providers. The comparison will help you choose the one who will deal with your damage mitigation in the business or the home comprehensively.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on water damage.

Addressing Commercial Fire Damage

8/30/2017 (Permalink)


Addressing Commercial Fire Damage

Very few things in life are more challenging than addressing the aftermath of a fire in home or fire in business. Indeed, when it comes to fire in home or fire in business, commercial fire damage presents particular challenges. If you face commercial fire damage, there are a number of key strategies that you need to bear in mind to effectively address the matter of fire damage restoration.

Emergency Commercial Fire Damage Services

One key strategy that you need to employ after a fire in business is accessing a restoration company that provides emergency fire cleanup services. With commercial fire damage, you definitely need the assistance of a restoration company that can be immediately at the scene.

Although fire in home board up is important, fire in business board up can be even more crucial. In the aftermath of a fire in business, there likely remains property within the premises that need to be fully secured. The only way this can be accomplished after fire in business is via immediate board up. In addition, board up also ensures that the premises do not face further degradation following a fire.

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Specialists

When it comes to fire damage at a business, you really need to turn to a commercial fire damage restoration specialist. This type of restoration company understands the unique needs of a business following a fire. Keep in mind that there are commercial remediation services that focus or specialize in specific types of commercial of business properties. For example, there are restoration company options that specialize in remediation damage from a fire in retail spaces.

For example, it is vital that your business be out of commission for the shortest period of time possible. A restoration company with experience in commercial fire damage understands the need for remediation work to be undertaken efficiently and as quickly as possible.

Cost Factors and Commercial Fire Damage

After a fire in home, attention must be paid to the costs associated with fire cleanup. The same is true when it comes to business fire damage. A business must engage a fire damage restoration firm that charges a reasonable fee for services. The reality is that a business will likely not be bringing in money until fire damage fully is remediated. This underscores the necessity for a business to obtain the professional assistance of a fire damage remediation service for a fair and reasonable cost.

Comprehensive Fire Damage Remediation Services

A business enterprise is best served when it obtains comprehensive fire damage remediation services from a professional. This includes all aspects of remediation, including addressing smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell. When a business is able to address all aspects of damage remediation through one professional company, including dealing with smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell, the task of getting the restoration process complete is accelerated. Through the efficient dealing with smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell, a business will be back in operation sooner rather than later.

Qualified Specialists

Not only must a restoration company be experienced in dealing with fire cleanup, as well as addressing smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell, the individual specialists associated with a firm must be appropriately qualified as well. Specialist must have a background in addressing business fire cases.

In addition to being able to tend to tasks like fire cleanup and addressing things like smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell, a specialist must also be properly licensed or certified. A fire remediation specialist must also be appropriately bonded and insured.

Reliable Estimate

In selecting a commercial fire remediation service, the manner in which estimates are provided is a fundamental consideration. You need to connect with a service that will provide a thorough inspection of the business premises. The estimate must be detailed. In addition, there are remediation services that will guarantee an estimate for damage caused by fire at a commercial property.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on fire damage.

The Proper Steps When Handling Mold Damage

8/30/2017 (Permalink)


The Proper Steps When Handling Mold Damage

Black mold is problematic, but many people think they know more than they do about black mold. What people don’t realize is that all mold is a problem, and it’s not just black mold they must worry about. Many business owners who find commercial mold damage make the mistake of assuming it’s only a concern if it is black mold, but this is not true. All mold growth is a problem primarily because it grows so quickly and spreads so fast. It does require humidity and moisture, which is why mold damage occurs most often following flood damage and leaks.

Commercial mold damage both require the assistance of a professional restoration company to deal with remediation, mitigation, and the mold removal process. Along with assuming black mold is the only mold damage worth worrying about, many people also believe they can handle commercial mold damage on their own. If it’s not a big problem right away, they might think mold growth can be handled without a restoration company, remediation, or mitigation. This is not true.

Call The Professionals

A restoration company is specially trained to deal with remediation, mitigation, and mold removal. They have the proper equipment designed to handle deodorization, drying, and other processes. One of the main issues with mold damage is the smelly odor it emits. When it happens at work, it’s difficult to find deodorization techniques that work more than a few hours. It’s professional mold removal and their deodorization that gets rid of that smelly odor for good.

Mold growth behind walls is another common problem when it comes to commercial mold damage. People don’t dry their businesses well enough, they don’t know their pipes are leaking, and they don’t have the proper tools to remove water damage. When mold growth behind walls occurs, it might spread for months causing major damage before anyone realizes it is happening. Mold growth behind walls is a big problem, and remediation and mitigation are required when it’s found.

Signs of Mold Damage

Mold growth can occur anywhere, but there is always a chance that there are signs long before you notice the mold damage. Dry rot is a major sign of mold damage. Dry rot happens inside walls when there is too much moisture and humidity. When dry rot occurs, it might mean there is water damage somewhere. If a business owner finds dry rot, they might consider doing a search for mold.

The smelly odor that doesn’t seem to respond to deodorization is another sign of commercial mold damage. Mold growth behind walls is often most noticeable due to this smell, which is why people should take note.

The presence of any mildew and fungus might indicate mold is a problem. Mildew and fungus are both common in bathrooms and in other rooms where water and moisture are more common, but both might indicate there is a mold problem. If mildew or fungus is present anywhere, it’s time to call a restoration company. Never attempt to clean up fungus or mildew without help.

What to Do Next

While business owners wait for mold removal pros to arrive, they can do a few things to help. They can begin removing water damage from any building. They can also turn off the hair and heat system in the building. It’s a good way to ensure that mold spores aren’t able to travel faster through an office prompting a smelly odor or mold growth elsewhere. it’s also important people do not try to clean up any mold they find without the professional equipment and help they called for. This helps disturb spores and send them flying. This spreads mold spores faster and widespread.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on mold.

Restoring Residential and Commercial Water Damage

7/25/2017 (Permalink)


Restoring Residential and Commercial Water Damage

A home or business that has suffered water damage is in imminent peril. Water damage that is allowed to sit and fester can begin causing irreversible structural and superficial damage to the property within 24 hours. Left for more than a week, most properties that have sustained serious water damage will become uninhabitable.

Luckily, there is a sure-fire solution. Calling water damage restoration professionals can almost always ensure that a flooded home can be completely restored to its prior state. Restoration professionals have specialized equipment, years of training and the expertise of a hundred-year-old industry that can be put to work for you, bringing quick restoration or your property.

The mitigation of flood damage should begin as soon as the flooding even has occurred. Even if a pipe break or supply line break seems small or containable, if there has been water spilled onto the floor of the property, a professional restoration company should be immediately called in.

The restoration process follows a well-establish, five-step procedure. This procedure is a proven means of mitigation of flood damage. Here, we'll take a look at the flood damage mitigation process, in detail.

The most important element of a successful water cleanup process is the one that the restoration company has no control over. The person with the water in their business or water in their home must immediately place a call to the restoration company, in order to begin the water cleanup process as quickly as possible, avoiding the rapidly increasing chances that permanent damage will be done to the flooded home, which begins as early as two to five hours after the flooding event.

The next step in the water cleanup process is the arrival of the damage control team to assess the extent of the water in the business or water in the home. Using high-tech equipment, like hygrometers and infrared hydro-detectors, the team will be able to spot water in the home or water in the business that has seeped into hard-to-spot places. Once the extent of damage to the flooded home has been accurately assessed, the team will move onto the next phase of the water cleanup.

At this point, the team will bring in the real heavy machinery, truck-based, industrial-strength pumps and sophisticated vacuum systems that will begin extracting water in the home or water in the business at rates as high as a couple thousand gallons per hour. This is a job that must be undertaken by professionals. A homeowner attempting water extraction will cause incomplete removal of the water. It will also lead to crucial delays, which may increased the risk of permanent damage many times.


The next step is the commencement of drying the home, its contents and its structure.
The flooded home will be outfitted by application-specific drying systems, which are capable of removing thousands of pounds of moisture from material and the air each hour. The drying process may take as little as a half hour or as much as a full day. But at the end, the home will be water-free, and the risk of any further or permanent damage from the flooding event will drop to zero.

The last step is sanitization and cleansing. This removes any nascent mildew or mold formations as well as eliminating any lasting smell.

When there is a pipe break or supply line break, the single best thing a homeowner can do is rapidly get in touch with the restoration professionals. While a pipe break or supply line break is always a serious occurrence, it can be contained and handled by professionals. A supply line break or pipe break should never cause a catastrophic property loss.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on water damage.

Four Factors to Consider When Seeking Professional Fire Damage Restoration

7/25/2017 (Permalink)


Four Factors to Consider When Seeking Professional Fire Damage Restoration

In the aftermath of a fire in home or a fire in business, you need access to a reputable, reliable fire damage restoration service. When it comes to a fire in home or a fire in business, there are four key factors that you must bear in mind when it comes to finding and engaging a fire damage restoration service.

Scope of Fire Restoration Company Services

A primary factor that must be vetted when seeking assistance from a fire restoration company is scope of services. The reality is that from one fire restoration company to another, the scope of services can vary dramatically. For example, a fire restoration company may provide fire in home or fire in business fire damage assistance. Another firm may provide both fire in home and fire in business fire damage assistance.

In addition, there are companies that provide a more narrow set of services. There are firms that do everything from board up services to a full spectrum of other fire clean up assistance. On the other hand, there are firms that do not undertake assistance like property board up. In that situation, you would be left with arranging for someone else to address an issue like property board up in the aftermath of a fire. As an aside, things like property board up cannot be delayed if you discover a particular restoration company will not assist you in this manner.

Reputation of Fire Damage Specialists

The reputation of fire damage restoration specialists is crucial. When considering fire damage restoration specialists, you need to consider the training of these individuals. In addition, you need to look at whether fire damage restoration specialists appropriately are licensed, bonded, and insured. You must make certain that these professionals appropriately are covered in all of these vital areas. The failure to double check these issues can expose you to an unnecessary risk when it comes to addressing fire damage in your home or business.

Technology Utilized in the Fire Clean Up Process

There can be some fairly substantial differences when it comes to the technology used in fire damage restoration. These includes the technology utilized to address issues like smoke smell, soot damage, smoke damage, and fire cleanup more generally. Indeed, you also need to understand what chemicals and processes will be used to address issues like smoke smell, soot damage, smoke damage, and fire cleanup in your specific situation.

In effectively dealing with issues like smoke smell, soot damage, smoke damage, and fire cleanup, in most situations, the latest incarnation of appropriate technology oftentimes is the best and most effective. You need not obtain a thesis on equipment to deal with issues like smoke smell, soot damage, smoke damage, and fire cleanup, however you do need a general understanding of how it will work.

As an aside, you will also want to obtain information about the chemicals and processes that will be utilized to address these primary issues associated with a fire. You might prefer a more "green" approach to addressing the ramifications of a fire. There are companies in business today that do take a "green" approach to fire recovery efforts.

Cost of Residential and Commercial Fire Damage Services

The fourth factor you need to bear in mind when seeking residential or commercial fire damage services is cost. The reality is that there can be a fairly significant disparity in residential and commercial fire damage services. Although it is imperative to obtain professional assistance in a prompt manner, you do need to allocate a least some time to comparison and price shop between different residential and commercial fire damage services to ensure that you obtain the best price for effective professional assistance.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on fire damage.

Five Critical Steps to Home or Office Mold Remediation

7/25/2017 (Permalink)


Five Critical Steps to Home or Office Mold Remediation

If you are concerned about possible mold damage in your home or office, here are five important steps to follow. Doing so will help to limit or contain fungus and mildew, which may also reduce mitigation costs. Mold growth can occur very rapidly, especially mold growth behind wall areas where you cannot see it. Often, mold in home or office locations will occur due to weather-related damage, flooding due to home appliances such as a broken sump pump, or poor air circulation throughout the building. For help in deciding whether you need to address mold removal or consult remediation specialists, check the following.

Check for a mold smell.

Sniff around the suspected areas of mold damage to see if you notice a fungus odor. It smells like mildew, rancid and stale. If you do notice a smelly odor, you might have mold damage. Fortunately, clean-up initiatives include deodorization, so the smelly odor will not linger afterward. However, detecting the scent of fungus suggests you may want to contact a mold mitigation specialist for advice for help in searching for mold in home areas that are hard to see and likely request deodorization service.

Look for discolored fungus growth.

Finding mold in home environments often requires the help of a commercial mold damage specialist with experience in residential and commercial structures. A skilled restoration company knows where to look and how to evaluate fungal growth or mildew that may be signs of serious mold damage. Mold can be almost any color, and is sometimes multi-colored, so it may take commercial mold damage experts to determine whether mildew patches in your basement, attic, or walls are evidence of dry rot or mold growth. Black mold is especially hazardous, but any kind of mold growth, no matter the color, should be analyzed by a professional restoration company for accurate assessment.

Test home or office structures for mold.

In addition to noticing a smelly odor or discolored patches of fungus growing in a building, remediation experts can advise how to check for any signs of mold growth behind walls. Using special instruments, skilled mold removal technicians can look for mold in home areas that are not readily accessible, such as behind walls or under flooring. An experienced restoration company knows where to look and how to evaluate the findings as to whether the building has residential or commercial mold damage or a case of dry rot. Since mold can cause dry rot or develop from it, professional evaluation is needed. If no smelly odor is detected, deodorization may help to prevent residual moldy smell following remediation treatment. Mitigation experts can also distinguish between dry rot, mildew, and mold and recommend appropriate treatment. Hidden black mold is important to find before it circulates through a building's HVAC system.

Follow recommended procedures.

Working with a qualified restoration company, follow their recommendations to support the mitigation process for containment and mold removal. If a building is water damaged, try to remove the water to prevent mold growth. Avoid disturbing moldy patches, as movement may spread the spores. Don't use the air conditioner or heater during remediation until all mold is removed, mold growth behind walls. Those allergic to mold may want to leave the structure until mold removal treatment is complete, as well as deodorization. Commercial mold damage mitigation may require the building to be closed temporarily if the problem is substantial.

Recheck treated areas.

Most professional remediation treatments are effective and lasting. However, some forms of mold are hard to find, or they may grow back after removal. Black mold and any mold growth behind walls should especially be double-checked.

Building mold is not uncommon and can usually be readily treated by professionals. Consult mold removal experts if you suspect mold growth.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on mold.

Water Damage Restoration – Causes, Categories, and Tips

6/21/2017 (Permalink)


Water Damage Restoration – Causes, Categories, and Tips

Water is life, but can cost you millions when it damages property. In the US alone, the second most filed insurance claim is that of water damage. The risk is elevated when there is a torrential downpour or if the snow melts fast. Wood furniture, electronics, plumbing equipment and the household equipment, are the most affected. A quick water cleanup before much damage is caused is recommended. If one can focus on the affected area and how long this water has been around, they can restore this successfully.

Causes of water damage

A myriad of things can cause water to get damaged, namely the foundation cracks, plumbing leaks, overflowing washing machine, leaking roofs, broken or leaking dishwashers, and much more. Flood damage, heavy downpours, heavy snows are also culprits. As this happens, the basement is prone to have water, thus destroyed basement areas; water in the home, and even water in business. Once there is too much water in home or water in business, restoration process should commence with priority, as soaked furniture, clothing and more would be salvaged thus damage mitigation.

Categories of water damage

It is important to assess the degree of harm that the flood damage has on the property to know the measures one will take towards restoration. The damage by water is divided in various categories 1, 2 and 3. Clean water is categorized as no.1. Category 2 causes sickness when one drinks it as it contains microorganisms. Water cleanup is inevitable here. It’s referred to as gray water. The damage is caused when broken pumps, toilets, and seepage gets into contact with it. The third category is commonly referred as black water; it contains bacteria and disease causing organisms. Sewage water problems and stagnant, contaminated water are the possible sources of dark water.

Apart from categories, there are classes, such as class1, 2, 3 and 4, where one is the least damaged and the restoration and mitigation processes are easiest. Class 2 evaporates faster leaving its effects on carpets and cushions. The evaporation rate for class 3 is most rapid, and sources include broken sprinklers and overhead sources that damage your property’s walls and furniture. There is level 4, which is the most stubborn as it requires proper water restoration and specific removal practices. Concrete, Hardwood, and plaster are affected thus fast water cleanup is advised.

Tips to mitigate or restore water damage

Never overlook the effects that flood water can do to your property as problems crop out, therefore, water cleanup is necessary. Use the following tips to either mitigate or restore the damage.

1. Have the home inspected

For those with insurance, it is paramount to have the water in business or water in home inspected then files a claim with your insurance company. However, this will be helpful if such restoration is in your insurance.

2.Disconnect Power

To avoid electrocution, first, unplug the power before checking whether all your electronics are safe. One may need a professional electrician to tie up the wire so they are not in contact with water. Take the electronics if any, out of the water to dry, since the easier the mitigation.

3.Get the furniture out

For water in the home or the water in the business area, there is possibility of furniture inside the room. Therefore take them out to a dry area and leave them to dry. Also if there are any carpets, pull them out. Then, mop up the area and dry all the affected areas to avoid or mitigate further damage.

Conclusion

No one knows when the danger will strike and many people are at risk of flood damage. If the worse happens, it is important to engage professionals in assessing the damage caused by the water in the business area and water in the home. They can handle the flood damage problem better than you could. With their experience and empathy, they will give you an easy time during this heartbreaking moment, as they carry out water mitigation or restoration.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on water damage.

How to Recover Your Home or Business After Fire Damage

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

How to Recover Your Home or Business After Fire Damage

There is no knowing when a fire disaster can strike. A fire accident can occur in any neighborhood, and fire damage has the same effects whether it happens in a new house or an old one. Since there is no guessing where or how a fire can occur, it is imperative that you know the steps required in the case of fire damage. Having this information will help you recover faster and in a less stressful way.

When a fire accident happens in your home, there is bound to be some amount of damages. Fire damages your upholstery, paintwork and if left to burn for long, it can bring a whole house down. In this piece, we outline the process of recovering your home after fire damage.
The process of fire damage restoration is one that requires patience, skill and tact. The level of damage should be best evaluated by skilled personnel who will then recommend the best approaches to restoration. Some of the simpler ways to classify fire damage include:

Smoke Damage

In the aftermath of a fire in home or a fire in business, there is a sizable number of items that are not directly affected by the flames. However, some of these items are affected by smoke. The most easily noticeable evidence of smoke damage is the smoke smell.


As a fire razes its way through a building, it produces a thick smoke that is dark with soot. Soot damages your upholstery, ceilings and much more.
Apart from smoke damage and soot damage, a fire in home premises may damage pipes and cables.
The process of restoration in your home or business after commercial fire damage will involve the following steps:


Fires are unpredictable, and you should get permission from your local fire department before attempting to enter the damaged premises. There have been known instances of fires restarting or weakened buildings crumbling, and you do not want to be a statistic of such misfortune.


For the process of fire damage restoration to be successful, expert advice is necessary at all levels. You will require a professional to assess the soot damage and smoke damage for you. The professional will also advise you on how to go about the fire cleanup process.


It is imperative to secure the premises after a fire. As you ponder your next step in fire damage restoration, you will realize that the unsecured premises are prone to looters. Looting and vandalism will only cost you more hence the need for securing the property.

Fire damage restoration involves a lot of cleanups. Fire cleanup can be done by professionals, or you can do it yourself in some instances. You need to consider the extent of smoke damage and soot damage for example, before deciding on how to undertake the fire cleanup. In the event of commercial fire damage, it is advisable to engage the services of a professional cleanup company.

After fire cleanup, there remains a lot of freshening up and airing to be done. You might find it necessary to leave the windows open for some time. Where you have young children, it is highly recommended that you keep them away from the property until the restoration process is done. The smoke smell can be eliminated by using air fresheners and keeping the house well ventilated.A layer of new paint or varnish may help do away with the smoke smell too. In dealing with commercial fire damage, the elimination of smoke smell will involve professionals since most cases of fires in business are hardly handled by individuals.


When you are dealing with a fire in home or a fire in business premises, you will need to inform your insurance company before you can embark on any restoration activity. A commercial fire damage case will normally take more professional and legal advice before you can do restoration as compared to a fire in home case scenario. However, it is recommended that you always have the contacts of a fire restoration company handy. Since it is almost impossible to know when a fire in business or home premises will occur, it is always wise to know who you can call for such emergencies.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on fire damage.

The Need for Professional Fire Damage Restoration

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

The Need for Professional Fire Damage Restoration

A fire is an extraordinarily stressful event for a family or business. The structure of your home or business may have been compromised, possessions have been damaged by smoke, water or soot, and anything that can possibly be salvaged will need to be carefully cleaned.

It can be difficult to return to normal after an event like this, but there are many professionals that can assist with the fire damage restoration process. Many of these professional companies will properly clean your home or business of the unpleasant smoke smell, smoke damage and soot damage.

After The Trucks Leave

It’s important to limit your movement inside your home or business after fire damage. This prevents soot particles from becoming embedded in the carpets and furniture, causing further soot damage. Keep your hands clean as well to avoid further contamination with walls and other belongings. If you can, you should try to cover furniture and carpets, especially high-traffic areas, with clean towels or old sheets so that workers can walk around in the space without further contaminating it.

The fire department or the city where your business operates or where you live will likely contact the utility companies to have the power and any gas lines turned off for safety reasons. In a home or business with ductwork, air vents and a furnace, change the HVAC filter and cover the air registers with cheesecloth to prevent further soot and dust from entering your home or business’s heating system.

Why Use a Professional?

Professional fire damage restoration technicians and service providers can help restore your home or business to its previous state before it sustained water and fire damage. Professional restoration technicians have industrial equipment and training to properly clean, dry out and eradicate smoke damage and soot damage.

Insurance Companies

Professional fire damage and fire cleanup services also work directly with your insurance company to handle all the paperwork involved and to accurately assess all of the damage and apply an appropriate value to your belongings, and ensure that a complete fire damage and restoration service is carried out. They assist with repairs and remove water from firefighting efforts.

Unseen Damage

Professional fire restoration companies can also help restore areas with unseen damage, such as mold and mildew in the walls. Water that’s used for firefighting efforts accumulates in living areas and can cause mold and mildew damage over time, but professional cleaners will help mitigate these events and destroy these substances before they affect your family and structure.

Wall Smoke Damage

The interior and exterior walls of your home will have soot damage and smoke damage after fire damage. These professional fire restoration and fire cleanup companies can help you clean your walls properly. Soot is really greasy stuff and can be very difficult to remove from wallpapered or painted walls. Professional services have the tools and equipment necessary to properly clean your interior.

Repair Floor and Carpet

Professional fire cleanup services can help you repair and replace damaged floor and carpet that will likely take the brunt of most of the damage, including being soaked with water and smoke smell. Carpets typically need to be torn up and replaced, while vinyl, linoleum or hardwood flooring also needs to be pulled up and dried out. A professional fire cleanup and damage restoration company can assist you with this and provide expert service.

Cleaning Clothing

This is best left to professional laundry or dry cleaning services to get the smoke smell out of the fabrics. It’s very difficult to get soot stains or smoke smells out of clothing yourself. Many dry cleaning businesses or fire damage restoration companies have experience with cleaning fire-damaged clothing. Visit http://www.SERVPROnewtownyardleypa.com for more information on fire damage.

Are All Water Damages in Newtown the Same?

3/28/2017 (Permalink)

Water from an outside source poses serious health concerns, take caution in any instance.

Water Damage: Your Quick Reference Guide

After a natural disaster or pipe leak, water damage in Newtown Yardley can compromise the sanitation, safety, and structural integrity of your office or home. The longer the water damage goes unaddressed, the more problems it can present in your commercial space. Thus what began as a category 1 loss can quickly evolve into Category 2 and even 3. Once this happens, your goods will be unsalvageable. For these reasons, attaining effective, immediate assistance is critically important in the 24 hours that follows the onset of water damage. Learn more about water damage and why attaining professional restoration services is important by reviewing this quick reference guide:

 Categories Of Water Damage

 One of the most important factors to consider when your property is impacted by water damage in Newtown or Yardley is the water's category. The three categories include:

 Category 1

 Category 1 includes water or rain water that results from a broken sink supply line. Category 1 water is clean and poses no serious health hazards.

 Category 2

 Category 2 is grey water. This type of water contains a substantive degree of biological, physical, and/or chemical contamination. The water can result from factors such as a broken dishwasher drain or faulty aquarium. This type of water can pose health hazards for humans exposed to it.

 Category 3

 Category 3 is black water. This type of water is dangerous because it contains pathogenic agents. Unsanitary, hazardous black water results from contaminated water sources such as sewage that enter the structure of the property.

 The Importance Of Getting Professional Help

 If your structural contents and materials have been contaminated by black or gray water, you will be in need of professional restoration assistance. Newtown Yardley water damage remediation specialists possess the equipment, experience, and expertise necessary to properly clean, dry, and repair your property so that it is safe and sanitary to reenter and use. Attaining professional services will also help prevent expensive repair fees and secondary water damage.

  When you start your search for the ideal water damage recovery specialists, the search stops with SERVPRO. Our professionals are IICRC-certified and possess advanced knowledge regarding the drying process. Additionally, we offer 24-hour emergency services for your convenience. We've helped thousands of people in your situation, and we'd be delighted to assist you as well.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Levittown Newtown Yardley is strategically located to respond quickly to your flood and water emergency event. Call us today! (215) 785-1777

Plan Ahead in Newtown, Yardley, and New Hope for Possible Water Damage to Your Home

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage to anyone's home can be a messy situation, but with SERVPRO's great service and rapid 24/7 response, it'll be like it never even happened

Although many homeowners are aware of what water damage effects can be, they don't know what they would do in the event that their property is affected by it. Whether your Newtown or Yardley propert becomes damaged because of a faulty appliance, burst pipe, sewage backup, or natural weather event, knowing what steps to take afterwards is important. To help you handle successfully water damage issues, refer to the following guide: 

Shut Down the Water Source

As soon as you discover water damage on your property, your first course of action should be to shut down the water supply as quickly as possible. But consider safety as your first priorty to any action. Always be aware of the potential dangers of electricity. In some cases, this will simply involve shutting off your valve at the plumbing fixture or appliance. However, you may find yourself dealing with significant water damage or in a situation that precludes you from shutting off the water locally. When this is the case, you should shut down the main water line to your property. Be sure that you are aware of the location of the main water valve. This shutdown of unwanted water in your Newtown home reduces water damage to items within the home and possibly to the structure. This action will also diminish the efforts and costs of water extraction, repair, and restoration.

Contact a Water Damage Specialist

Once your home has been negatively impacted by water damage, it's important for you to call a water damage restoration specialist. When the water damage issues go unaddressed for extended periods of time, you leave your home susceptible to structural damage and mold growth. By calling SERVPRO, you can obtain round the clock emergency services. Upon coordination with your insurance carrier, SERVPRO can immediately attack the pressing tasks to begin the restoration of your home to like the water damaging event never even happened. 

Conclusion 

If you find your property subjected to water damage, it's imperative that you know what to do. By reviewing the information and instructions outlined above, you can be ready when a disaster or even a nuisance leak strikes. Also, remember that it is important to contact a team of qualified water damage professionals like SERVPRO when your house in Newtown has been comprised by water damage.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

We live and work in your Newtown too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Newtown Yardley is close by and ready to respond to your water damage and flood emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Newtown community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

Our water removal and cleanup process provides validation and doucmentation that your property is dry. (215) 785-1777

Containment: The Weapon of Choice in Mold Remediation

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

The rooms are completely sealed before any mold work can be done. SERVPRO can help you out with any of your mold needs.

As a “mold warrior” or more commonly known in the correct circles, a mold remediator, you are constantly fighting a war.

Whether daily, weekly or monthly, you battle against a very small, incredibly durable, micro-sized enemy, invisible to the naked eye.

This enemy has the ability to survive a wide range of temperatures, can withstand harsh chemical attack, cannot be drowned and has an uncanny ability to camouflage itself among the most ordinary dust.  Give it a bit of food and moisture, and it will reproduce itself at such phenomenal rates that even the most sophisticated video processor available would have difficulty showing the process on your X-Box console.

We're talking about fungal particulate- whole intact spores capable of germinating, broken spore fragments, and pieces of the bodies of living and desiccated molds which, when inhaled by unsuspecting human hosts, can have drastic health effects.

The great mold warriors we meet and work with on a daily basis all have a common advantage- like the greatest generals in history, they know their enemy. More specifically they know and understand that the greatest strength of their enemy is its invisibility.

Before your own battle begins, you have to understand that you must strategically approach the enemy by devising systems to discover, collect, and contain it which will work despite your inability to visualise its presence. 

Begin your battle by heeding the current Nobel Laureate for literature:  "The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind." [Of course that was an anti-war song…but let's not get too hung up in details…]

Since we know our enemy, we know it's greatest weakness - it cannot move on its own accord.  It is entirely dependent on air currents to power its invasion. Manage the skies, and you will win the war.

Erecting containment and generating and directing the air flow within that containment will enable us to win the air war, by controlling the enemy's movement. 

Where is the most strategic location of this containment?  It should be placed as close to the source of invasion as possible while still permitting us to gain access and accomplish our work.

Taken to its extreme, if it allows you to do what you need, it can be as small as a glove bag over a pipe, such as is used by our asbestos warrior brethren.

One of the most common flaws in mold remediation projects is a containment structure that is larger than it needs to be:  Larger containments require more equipment for managing airflow, have more possible leak points, and require more time and effort to decontaminate prior to de-mobilisation. While erecting a containment, one must carefully balance the trade-offs between size and work access. 

To do so, one can rely on the knowledge of experienced mold warriors and follow the established principles. 

Principle #1:

Choose the smallest possible surface area with the fewest "seams" that will get the job done cost-effectively.

A curtain is the structure for our containment but a curtain does not cause air to flow.  Fans cause air to flow.  If we are to control the air war, we need to control the airflow. For true functionality, we need fans capable of creating a pressure differential of sufficient magnitude that it can overcome any other air currents, but not too strong that it creates eddy currents in the opposite direction (watch the area upstream of a large rock in a swift-flowing river and see the direction of flow of fallen leaves.  Air is just thin water, both are fluids, and both behave identically). To control the air war, control the airflow by sealing the edges of the containment.

Principle #2

Effectively seal the edges of your containment.

The amount of suck we apply to our containment is determined by the amount of leakage, regardless of the size of the internal area of the containment (really!).  Build a containment with minimal leakage, and a specified pressure differential can be maintained with a small fan. Build one with lots of leakage and it will require a lot more suck to be effective.

Sealing the edges will ensure that the leakage into the containment comes mostly through the intended pathways - the traffic area for personnel and equipment, and the waste removal area (these can be the same).  We will need inward airflow in these transit areas to prevent dust containing our enemy to escape by hitching a free ride alongside people and equipment.  (Stealthy, huh?)

Build a containment where most of the volume of air exhausted by the fans is used to overcome diffuse leakage from poorly sealed edges and the directional airflow will not be easily achieved and maintained where it is most needed.  

It should go without saying that leaving gaping holes (or multiple small holes) at the edges of the containment will dramatically increase the amount of fan power necessary to ensure inward flow of air.  Leave a large enough effective leakage area, and your chosen fan will not be big enough to create inward flow.  How to be sure we've not made this mistake?

Principle #3

Always measure and monitor the pressure differential of containment using appropriate instrumentation to ensure adequate airflow management.

Fortunately, we have a way of measuring whether the fan size is properly matched to the effective open area of the containment by measuring pressure differential. An electronic or mechanical dial-type instrument known as a manometer or micromanometer, with one tube attached to the interior of the containment and one tube attached to the exterior of the containment will show precisely how good a job you've done in sealing those edges.

Whether you express this differential in pascals (metric) or inches of water column (an obsolete system surprisingly still used by otherwise intelligent people) it should match your company's SOPs or the job specification’s recommended pressure differentials for containments. The correct differential will provide sufficient flow for controlling our enemy's movements without creating eddy currents allowing them to sneak through our defenses.

Build a good containment with sealed edges and monitor the pressure differential and you effectively have both structure AND functionality. 

Principle #4

Ensure that the make-up air entering the containment is free of both fungal particulate and general particulate by minimizing the volume of air and HEPA filtering it prior to entry.

There is another reason to properly seal the edges.  Since our enemy is camouflaged within ordinary dust, all leakage points are sources for the entry of external dust.  There are two ways this can lead to problems. 

One is if that dust is hiding our enemy - the classic Trojan horse invasion.  If there is a source of fungal particulate outside the containment, it can be brought in with the containment make-up air.  Our efforts to remove the fungal particulate within the containment will then be compromised by an ongoing source of new fungal particulate from outside the containment, and no matter how much cleaning we do it will be replaced with new fungal particulate. Not a situation leading to victory in the war.

Secondly, if the areas outside the containment are dusty, or contaminated with construction or demolition debris absent fungal particulate, we will have a very difficult time achieving clean interior surfaces within the containment and will likely fail a visual inspection, despite the absence of fungal particulate.

 Therefore you cannot get away with a sloppy leaky containment and more fans, even if they are maintaining adequate pressure differential. Install the HEPA filter in a location that creates the airflow through the entry/exit points that is most beneficial. 

Follow these four principles, and shortly you will find your rising up the ranks to command your elite warriors.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Media Blasting: Restoring to Former Condition

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

When stubborn fire or mold stains get you down, let SERVPRO pick you back up with our access to professional media blasting techniques.

Wayne Lawrence

A recent anniversary – 21 years in the business – was announced by my business-related social network computer program. Of course, I realized that the milestone – completing my second full decade in the restoration industry - was approaching, but I didn’t realize that the programmers at LinkedIn would announce it to my entire business and social network. It wasn’t until I started receiving messages of congratulations that I took a minute myself to reflect on the last 20 years – over two decades in the restoration business.

It made me think about what it means to restore. According to Webster’s dictionary, restoration is the act of “…bringing (something) back to a former condition.” During this reflection it occurred to me that one of my passions – a love of history – was a big part of my daily grind. Don’t get me wrong, not every project involving restoration has historical significance, but many do. Enough do that it makes me feel a real connection with the past; a sense of accomplishment when a restoration project restores a structure to a “former condition” - a time and place in our collective memory.

Copper Country Gem

In a recent trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I was thrilled to learn the project we were working on would be part of a much larger restoration program taking place in the historically significant city of Hancock. This gem is located in the U.P.’s “copper country” - an area known for its rugged, forested terrain, its massive annual snowfall, and the remoteness of the region – a peninsula itself extending out into Lake Superior. From Detroit it takes longer to drive to Copper Harbor than it takes to drive to Washington, DC. Most importantly, the area is best known for its natural resources, in particular rich, accessible deposits of copper ore - so pure and abundant that it would supply the demand of the growing nation, and its need for copper, in particular copper wire, for decades.

Our project was located on the main drag through this historical town, whose heyday was during the region’s copper mining boom. But this wasn’t the only ongoing restoration project; it was just one of many, timed to coincide with the restoration of the entire historical business district. (See picture #1) The entire district, street and all, was undergoing a sort of renewal. The activity was all around us, the ongoing restoration set the city street abuzz with the hum of construction equipment, and busy workmen – very much like the days when copper ore fueled this area. Today it’s education, construction, high-tech, and tourism that make restoring the former condition important.

Restoring to Former Condition

I was invited by a local contractor – through his purchase of our media blasting equipment with included, on-site training – to help with the restoration of an interesting old building (See picture #2) right in the middle of this district. A retail establishment from the 1800’s with an actual soda fountain and ice cream counter, the interior was completely clad in stamped tin panels that had been painted numerous times. (See picture #3)

The project itself was fairly simple. Once the determination was made that the paint did not contain lead, a protocol was established for stripping the paint by blasting with walnut shells. Crushed black walnut shell propelled by compressed air – clean, green, and simple. The process was fast and effective – removing multiple layers of paint quickly (about 5 square feet per minute) with no damage to the surface of the stamped panels. (See pictures #4 and #5) Clean-up was limited to sweeping and vacuuming and the end result was truly a restoration of the former condition.

Different Types of Blast Media

Restoration is not, of course, just a term we use for historical structures. When we consider media blasting as part of restoration, we look at a number of contemporary applications. Closely related to walnut shell blasting, is another agricultural blast media corn cob meal. The blast medium is not the entire corn cob, rather it’s the dried, crushed, and screened-to-size center of the cob – just the inner white portion. This blast method is most commonly associated with the blasting of log structures – new and old. Almost all log cabins, lodges and homes are blasted during construction to clean the logs, and present a more uniform appearance across the structure. The effects of blasting can easily be seen when you look at a partially blasted log structure. (See picture #6) Many log buildings also require refinishing from time to time, with media blasting as the preferred method for stripping back to a “like-new” former condition.

Historical restoration and blasting of log structures are certainly interesting, and may also be profitable. Most restoration contractors, however, must rely on more run-of-the-mill applications. One of the more profitable media blasting applications is fire restoration. Blasting of fire losses can be done with many media, but baking soda blasting as a medium has proven its efficiency time and again. When stripping soot and light charring from wood, crystalline baking soda cuts through the offensive material quickly exposing a virgin wood surface, while minimizing excess damage. (See picture #7)

Baking soda also brings the additional benefit of odor reduction through neutralization – chemically changing the pH of soot and char. Media blasting with baking soda is not just for wood restoration. Masonry, including concrete foundations, can be cleaned with the same method. (See pictures #8 and #9) Concrete foundations are very common in fire damaged structures. At $2 per square foot paid for most fire restoration blasting, it’s easy to see why this is both effective and profitable. Restoring structures to a former condition is one of the main advantages to using media blasting.

Common Blasting Problems

In the process of looking back at the past couple of decades, I couldn’t help but remember some of the other “restorations” I’ve seen. In particular, I’ve been called in by many of my contractors to actually help them restore their blasting operations – restoring their results to former condition. Media blasting is a fairly simple operation. Blast machine filled with media connected to an air compressor – what could possibly go wrong? That’s actually a very funny question to someone who knows all the things that can go wrong. Some of the most common problems we encounter are operator inflicted – examples include; overfilling the blast machine, allowing compressed air to flow backwards in the system, not repairing damages to the machine properly, etc.

 I recently ran across a pneumatic control line that had three different areas of improperly repaired damage:

  • A duct tape repair at the trigger connection (just not adequate for a high pressure line).
  • A splice in the middle of the lines where they were completely cut at one time (reduces air flow, not recommended).
  • Another duct tape repair at the inlet fitting. (See picture #10)

The operators using this control set-up would be fighting an uphill battle in most cases.

Caring for Blasting Equipment

Another area that often requires restoration in a contractor’s blasting operations is the proper care and maintenance of the equipment - again related to the operators of the system. A recent trip to a two different contractors helps to illustrate the problem.

In the first example, the machine, and all of the hoses were in disarray. It was very obvious from the mold growth on the un-cleaned pile of hoses that the operators did little, if any, cleaning, or maintenance of the system after its last use. (See picture #11) Their media blaster was in similar condition, full of unused media that had absorbed moisture and turned into clumps. I’m sure that over time, their blasting results in the field were probably lack-luster, as well.

In the second example, the machine and its parts were clean and organized. (See picture #12) A clean machine doesn’t necessarily mean a working machine, but it is some proof of the fact that at least some care and maintenance are given to this system. It can also be easily assumed that this team will have a better shot at profitability when blasting.

Training + Maintenance = Win

Please be aware that operator neglect of a system is often not entirely the fault of the operator. At first glance, that statement may seem illogical, but hear me out. Many of the contractors I deal with see technician turn-over as high as 100% each year, or two. When new technicians come on, are they trained in proper blasting procedures? Are they instructed how to maintain a blast system? Is it even okay to wash the blast hoses? Is it okay to leave media in the machine?

Most technicians don’t instinctively know the answers, and they are unlikely to take it upon themselves to guess. Most find it easier to do nothing, rather than make a mistake and ruin something. I also find most technicians will do what they are instructed to do, but don’t do what they’re not told to do. Is this lazy? Or, is it just a lack of instruction or understanding?

The bottom line is operator training and continuing education is the responsibility of the contractor. If turnover is high, your reliance on recurrent training should be as well. Demand training with the purchase of new equipment. Rely on your media or equipment supplier to provide annual service calls. This is where attention is paid not just to the equipment, but also the training needs of the operators.

Restoration, the act of restoring to former condition, is not just something we do make money, it’s something we need to constantly do to stay competitive, and productive. A clean, well-maintained system will be just one of the results. (See picture #13) A team of knowledgeable, effective media blasting technicians will be the other. (See picture #14)  

What to Do and Where to Stay After a Significant Home Fire

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

After any serious fire, SERVPRO professionals can assist you immediately in board-up and fire restoration services. Call us today for any fire needs!

Nobody expects to have residential fire yet alone deal with the uncertainties of the restoration and the aftermath. A residential fire can be catastrophic, and the family is forced to deal with a significant disruption to their daily lives.

Families are often relocated to stay with relatives or temporarily live in a hotel until the fire damage restoration is complete. Children and adults are removed from their familiar surroundings and forced to modify their lifestyle until they can safely return to their home. Of course, most Oxford Valley fire damage is not so severe that displace is needed. This is a major inconvenience that nobody is prepared to deal with regardless of how good the emergency preparedness plan proves to be. Aside from the initial shock factor, people may take a few days off of work to deal with the fire damage and work with their insurance company. This leads to unplanned time off of work, and they may end up losing a portion of their income. SERVPRO works with your insurance adjuster to arrive at a plan of restoration that is fair to you. We even help with the paperwork.
 
Not only is a residential fire unexpected, but it is also associated with a tremendous deal of stress and unanticipated financial expenses. Personal property and the structural inspections by our company can offer what we think are salvageable, non-salvageable, and questionable items. This includes heirlooms, art, and electronics. You and your insurance company make the final determination. Trying to settle a family into temporary living quarters is not easy and requires everyone to get adjusted to a new routine. Check with your local American Red Cross for assistance and shelter. Basic needs have to be addressed such as clothing, hygiene, bathing, eating, and sleeping in a safe place.
 
During this difficult time, families are making the necessary adjustments to resume life as planned while waiting patiently to hear the outcome of their home. In a time of uncertainties, you can place your trust in the experts at SERVPRO of Levittown. Contact us at (215) 785-1777 to help you deal with the residential fire and walk you through the steps of the process. We can restore your home, reduce your stress, and provide a final walk through to guarantee your satisfaction with your restored property.

5 Things You Need to Know About Water Damage

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

Water you can't see can cause secondary damages that are much more costly in the end.

When a pipe bursts, a drain backs up, or a flood occurs in your home, it can be hard to see past the mess. A million questions will run through your mind.

What do I do now?

What’s going to happen?

Is my stuff ruined?

And the most important question of all: Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the damage?

There’s no doubt about it. Water damage is extremely stressful, and the more you know about it, the better you’ll be able to decide how to address it. Here are five things that every homeowner needs to know about water damage.

1. There are different insurance policies for flood damage and water damage.

You might think that water is water, whether it’s from flooding or a burst pipe, but flood damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance. If you live in an area likely to experience flooding, you will probably already have a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP). When you report the claim to the insurance company, make sure to specify whether the claim is for water damage or for flood damage, so they can begin adjusting your claim correctly.

2. Not all water damage is covered by your insurance.

It is a good idea to look over your insurance policy and familiarize yourself with any exclusion to your water damage coverage. For instance, most policies cover sudden damage, like water damage from a really bad storm or from an overflowing washing machine. On the other hand, any water damage that happens because you didn’t maintain the property may be excluded, as well as gradual leaks that caused water damage over time.

3. Once water damage has happened, the clock is ticking before it gets worse.

When your property has been water damaged, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a convenient time to start the cleanup. Secondary damage from mold growth can present serious health risks associated with mold in the living environment.

Mold spores are everywhere, but they need moisture and a nutrient source to grow. And that is exactly what your wet carpet or drywall offers.

There is a 24 to 48 hour window from the time something gets wet until mold can begin to grow. After that time, mold will multiply rapidly. When mold growth is widespread, you may need the services of a professional mold remediation service to safely treat and remove the mold.

To prevent mold growth, you will need to get your property completely dry again within that 48-hour window. To do this, you’ll need to contact a company that specializes in water damage restoration and emergency water extraction. They will have the professional water removal equipment and drying equipment to get the job done as quickly as possible. Many have 24-hour a day emergency hotlines, so you can start recovering your property almost immediately.

4. Your insurance company needs to know right away.

It’s a good idea to call your insurance company right away when you discover water damage. Your insurance agent can start the claims process immediately, as well as guide you through the first steps you will need to take to protect your property from more damage, like stopping the source of the water at the main water turnoff.

Your insurance company may also direct you to a water damage restoration company that they have worked with in the past. Keep in mind that you do not have to call the company that they recommend. You may choose any reputable restoration specialist to restore your property for the insurance claim.

5. The pollution level of the water is important.

Water damage is categorized as one of three levels by how polluted the water source was that caused the damage.

Category 1: Water from a clean water source, like a fresh water line for a dishwasher. This water will not cause illness or any ill effects.

Category 2: Water that may cause illness through contact. It may have bacteria in it,

Category 3: Water that is highly contaminated. Contact can cause severe illness or death. Think sewage backup, an overflowing toilet, or storm waters.

Even though water may start out as Category 1, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Any contamination that the water touches, such as dirty carpeting or soil from the ground, can change water damage Category to 2 or even Category 3. And since standing breeds bacteria, the longer the water is around, the worse the contamination of your property.

More contamination can mean that the restoration team will have to use more aggressive measures to clean your structure and property, and it might mean that soft furnishings, like your carpet and the carpet pad, may have to be discarded for your safety.

Water damage can be dangerous and expensive, so preventing water damage is an important part of home maintenance. But if you know the basics of what to do once it happens, you can prevent it from doing its worst.

When water damage strikes call the company that has the best reputation in the industry, SERVPRO.

Spring Cleaning: Tidying Up Your Restoration Business

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is the professional cleaning company your family can trust!

March 9, 2017
Tom Cline

We’re almost a quarter of the way through 2017. Some of you have experienced weather events that have boosted revenue and contributed to a strong start for the year. Others may be behind your revenue and profit forecast (business plan) for any number of reasons. Whatever your situation, now is the time to take specific actions to improve your likelihood of success in 2017 and beyond.

We’ve all read articles that outline how to be better leaders and improve business results. I’m going to take a closer look and provide guidance on a focused “spring cleaning” list of management activities that will have an immediate and lasting impact on your organization.

Know Where to Focus

The first box to check on your list is confirming your key people understand where they need to focus. Identify the three most important people in your organization, other than yourself. Then sit down with each of them, one-on-one, and go through the following:

The main business objectives you are focused on achieving in 2017. There should be no more than four or five. This will confirm for them what is most important.

Which objectives each of your people are expected to achieve. Having measurable targets takes your expectations from subjective to objective. One of your business objectives, for example, may be to improve gross profits from 45% to 48% of revenue. Translate that larger objective into more specific targets that your operations or production manager can control, track, and manage. You may agree to targets for reducing the time it takes to complete jobs or making sure that change orders are completed and signed by the customer 100% of the time when there is a scope change.

Translate the monthly revenue targets identified in your business plan into the number of jobs that need to be completed and invoiced each month, based on your average job size. Discuss with your sales or business development people how many referral sources will be needed to produce the target number of jobs and how much call activity is required. Translate your business objectives into clear expectations for each person’s activities and results.

Provide Meaningful Feedback in Real Time

Effective communication is fundamental to sound management and leadership. Providing consistent feedback, both positive and negative, to your people is a core skill. As you have one-on-one discussions with your key people, include the following:

Establish a firm time when you will meet with them each week. This ensures that you will devote time specifically to them and the expectations you have of them (and vice versa). It also assures them that they will have the opportunity to discuss any issues they want to cover with you or need help with.

Tell them about three situations where they have been successful, or that they have handled particularly well, since the start of 2017. These must be specific, objective observations of their strong performance. Most managers do a great job of pointing out to their people when they do something wrong, hoping to eliminate mistakes and improve productivity. People don’t thrive in an environment of constant criticism. Great managers and great motivators understand what Tom Hopkins said: “Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.”

Talk about three areas that are not going well or not being handled as you expect. Again, give details; specifics of situations they should have handled differently or results that need to be improved.

Discuss how you will work together to improve in the areas that need improvement and how to continue or expand on the positive results. Create a specific action plan that includes follow-ups that will take place during your weekly meetings. Remember to let each person lead the discussion on what steps should be taken. The actions should include commitments for both of you, not just your employee.

Lead Instead of Dictate

Just because you are the boss doesn’t mean that your people will do what you say. If they don’t respect your authority they will perform at what they believe is the minimal level needed to protect their job. Help your managers connect with the objectives and use their own experiences and resources to achieve them. This is especially true with younger employees, i.e. millennials, who want to be given the authority to make decisions and to be included in solving the problems of the organization.

Identify the one or two most pressing issues in each person’s range of responsibility. These could be driven by the problem areas that you outlined in the feedback you provided. Give them the responsibility and freedom to solve the problems or issues in their own way, while letting them know you are there to support and assist them as needed.

Make sure your direction doesn’t shut down their thinking process. Listen more than you talk in these situations. Let them explore the problems and find their own solutions. Otherwise, you run the risk of your team thinking less for themselves and becoming dependent on your knowledge and answers. Listen to make sure they don’t get too far off track, and use your regular one-on-one sessions to get updates on their progress.

Deal with Conflict Directly and Fairly

The workplace is a fertile breeding ground for conflict, as there is no shortage of emotionally charged issues among team members. Employees are keen observers of who takes action when needed and who doesn’t. They respect managers who confront difficult situations, just as they lose respect for those who typically avoid them.

Identify one or two areas of conflict among your people that you have been avoiding. Be honest with yourself and think about the interpersonal issues that are most damaging to your team and your business.

Get input individually from those who are involved in the conflict. As a mediator, you need to understand everyone’s perspectives and the situation from all viewpoints. Your goal is to understand the source of the conflict. It is important to get beyond a single incident that may have led to the visible evidence of a conflict. Probing questions like “When do you think the problem between you first arose?” will help to uncover the real issues.

Request solutions from all parties. Question them to solicit their ideas by asking “How can you make things better between you?” Then just listen. At this point you want to move the discussion away from finger pointing and toward ways of resolving the conflict.

Bring the parties together. Express the importance of working together as a team and having trust in one another. Communicate what you have learned from each of them regarding their perspective on the situation. Present ideas and possible solutions that come out of your discussions with the parties involved. Get the people to shake hands and agree to one or more of the solutions you discuss.

Reduce the potential for future conflicts. Ask each of the parties what actions they will take to prevent conflicts from arising in the future.

Management and leadership are multifaceted endeavors requiring a complex set of skills. Mastery of the fundamentals provides a foundation on which to build a more effective and successful organization. Those you are developing as managers will learn from your examples and become more effective. Use the opportunity of “spring cleaning” to sharpen your leadership skills, help to develop the key managers in your organization, and get your business moving in the right direction to successfully achieve your 2017 objectives.

Residential Water Removal

2/7/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage in a customer's basement.

 

There are many reasons why you may encounter a lot of Levittown water damage in your home. It may have been because of a flooding of a local river or stream. It could have been due to a storm that left the entire area drenched. This rapidly forming swimming pool in your basement may only be attributed to a leaking pipe or broken faucet. It does not matter what the cause, you need to get attention to your situation fast for water removal in Levittown.

The reason that it is critical to get a professional restoration team in and to work as soon as possible is that all of the building materials, such as wood, drywall and, if the water source is on an upper level, all of the ceiling panels, are going to be absorbing this water. They are going to get waterlogged and begin the process of breaking down and creating an unsafe environment. 

The presence of mold spores, all around outside, coming in with that water, also presents a particularly dangerous situation for your health and well-being. It is critical that steps are taken immediately. 

For your part, you can get the water source turned off if it is simply a burst pipe or broken faucet or appliance. Then a call to your insurance company is appropriate. They send a representative, and a call to a restoration company can also get them there fast. The professionals know that the water removal in your Levittown home is important to you, and it is the reason for being there.

The first thing that needs to be done is a quick but thorough inspection of the entire structure, whether home or commercial building. The trained, insured and bonded technicians have the testing equipment and experience to find out where the water is, even if it is not visible, as some can be inside of walls and below floors and in everything else. 

The goal of this inspection is to determine, first, where the water came from, if not obvious, and plan the program for getting you back in order. The testing equipment will find even the smallest amount of moisture that can harbor that mold and be the source of continuing odors for quite some time. At the same time, powerful air movers, or fans are installed to begin the process of removing the odors that are present which help create the bad air. 

Vacuums are brought in for the Levittown water removal, occasionally consisting of submersible pumps and always the wet vacs that are attached to the truck outside. Restoration technicians have a lot of experience in getting everywhere, thus removing all standing water quickly. The dehumidifiers are set up to assist them in this work. 

Part of the inspection and water removal job is locating and eliminating those elements that can not be cleaned properly. This may include portions of the wall, ceiling and any furniture that has been water damaged beyond cleaning or repair. This disposal work contains the items removed so as not to infect any other spaces in the home. The special licenses required to dispose of this material, in authorized locations around the city, so to protect the environment. 

The cleaning and sanitizing work is carried out so that every surface is as it was before the water damage came in. Every surface is done to ensure a clean, safe and healthy home for you as quickly as possible. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

When you have a water damage event in Levittown, Oxford Valley or Fairless Hills please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Levittown at (215) 785-1777. 

Know When to Say No in Mold Remediation Projects

2/6/2017 (Permalink)

Home covered throughout in mold.

January 6, 2017

Michael A. Pinto 

I really do feel sorry for somebody trying to learn the English language. One of the things that makes it so difficult is the large number of “homophones” - words that sound the same when spoken but are spelled differently and have different meanings.  The most common English homophones are to, too, and two.  Since they sound the same, the listener has to figure out which one applies based on the context of the conversation.

Another homophone which is more important to restoration contractors are the words “know” and “no”.  Understanding the importance and power of these words is critical for all cleaning and restoration professionals, especially for those offering mold remediation services. 

Knowing About the Standard of Care is Critical

As an example, think of the importance of the word “know” for someone who decides to offer services related to the investigation or control of fungal contamination.  Although there are many regulations that apply to mold remediation work (employment rules, safety standards, fire codes, and the like) the core practices for professional mold removal and cleanup are determined by a standard of care. If somebody working in that field does not know of the existence of this standard of care, they may come to the mistaken impression that they can perform a mold inspection or remediation however they like because “there are no regulations”.  In many such cases, the client who knows better has resorted to the legal system to get the mistakes corrected that such a naïve assumption by the contractor caused.

Mold professionals ‘in the know” also realize no single document fully describes the current standard of care. As good as the IICRC S520 or New York City mold remediation guidelines are, neither one completely captures all the details and nuances of the current standard of care.  Therefore, if a building owner, insurance adjuster, or consultant insists that the contractor follow some detail in one of those documents that does not make sense in contrast to the bigger picture of the standard of care, the best response is to say no.

Saying No to Bad Work Plans Means Saying Yes To Good Work Plans

The simple truth of mold remediation projects and legal responsibility is that the contractor is ultimately accountable for the success of the project. Mold control professionals should not follow bad advice, even from someone with credentials. Doing something you know is outside the standard of care just because it is in the work scope or written remediation plan runs the risk of endangering the crew members, negatively impacting the occupants, and even damaging the building or contents. 

Two real-life examples illustrate the importance of saying no to someone who does not know what they are talking about. 

Example #1

A contractor responding to storm damage in Florida sought us out to provide some support to his “no” to an insurance adjuster.  In this particular case the roof of a law office had been severely damaged in a storm.  The second floor offices were flooded and power outages in the entire area kept water extraction and drying from starting for nearly a week. The initial response by a contractor who did not have the equipment and manpower to handle that size job added another week before the professional contractor took over.  By that point, the gypsum board backing behind the hardwood mahogany paneling had developed extensive fungal colonies.

The contractor talked to the insurance adjuster about readjusting their reserves for the project.  All of the mahogany paneling had to come down so that they could access the gypsum, with no guarantee that they could reinstall the original material in a fashion that would return the building to a preloss condition.  In response, the adjuster instructed the contractor to leave the paneling in place and utilize an ozone flooding technique to kill all the mold behind the mahogany woodwork. 

Knowing that following such a plan would put the occupants at risk for continuing health problems in the future from the “dead” mold as well as putting his organization at risk of a lawsuit from the occupants who were attorneys, the contractor solicited assistance in explaining the standard of care to the adjuster.  Pointing out that multiple documents clearly state the use of gaseous ozone in place of physical removal is unacceptable helped to push the adjuster toward approving proper remediation.  The deciding factor was some background information on the building occupants — a legal firm that had been successful in a number of high profile mold cases for the plaintiffs.  Explaining that the policyholder was definitely in the know regarding mold helped the contractor’s “no” stand up under pressure.

Example #2

Another case where knowing better helped to support a “no” answer involved an apartment used for a marijuana grow operation. By the time apartment managers entered the unit, the crop had been harvested and all that was left behind was the interior that looked like a jungle. Grass and moss several inches high covered nearly the entire carpet. Multicolored fungal contamination, including large black patches that tested out as Stachybotrys, blanketed the walls and ceiling in a quilt-like pattern.

Because of the expected extent of the remediation, the property’s insurance representative was brought in.  They provided a certified industrial hygienist to conduct the investigation and write the remediation work plan.  The contractor who had a pre-existing service agreement to provide fire and water restoration services to the entire complex was presented with a mold remediation plan and immediately said no. 

Although the work scope did require removal of all carpeting and interior finish gypsum board, it specifically stated that no negative pressure enclosure or bagging of the waste was necessary.  The work plan instructed the contractor to open the sliding glass door to the balcony, allow outside air to dilute the indoor contamination, and toss the removed materials into a dumpster that was to be set up in the courtyard below. The hygienist even opined that the open door would minimize the airborne concentration levels to the point where workers did not have to use personal protective equipment.  To support their viewpoint the consultant noted there were no current permissible exposure levels for mold or regulatory mandates regarding remediation practices in that particular state.

The contractor involved explained how the standard of care is designed to protect nearby occupants.  The hygienist’s belief that the firewalls separating the various apartments would keep any contamination from entering adjacent spaces was countered by both contractor and the apartment maintenance staff who knew from experience that even block firewalls under the finish material are rarely airtight. In that case, knowing from experience was more important than knowing from a textbook.

Not knowing all the salient details was also important to saying no to the idea of throwing un-containerized waste from the second floor balcony into a dumpster.  Just asking the consultant if they knew all of the underlying health issues of all of the apartment dwellers that surrounded the courtyard where the dumpster would be was enough to get them to rethink the cost-saving measure of handling mold-contaminated debris in that fashion.

Know and No Often Go Hand-in-Hand

There are many more examples I could share about mold remediation contractors who have used their “know-power” to support their “no-power”.  Many mold remediation professionals are even extending their know how in order to say no to a potential client who they know from experience will not be a good match for their type and quality of services. This proactive use of the word no may seem like it is giving up business, but in many cases knowing when to say no will save your business. 

9 Smoke Odor Removal Musts

2/3/2017 (Permalink)

A technician inspects the extent of the damage and formulates a plan of action.

February 2, 2017

Mark Gibson 

I live in a crack house. Well, it used to be a crack house until the new owner threw out the old tenants and restored the home, to the relief of the neighborhood. But I’m afraid that it wasn’t completely restored. I’m a non-smoker, and on humid days the smell of cigarette smoke can be pretty pervasive in some rooms. I’m guessing a lot of it may come from the popcorn ceiling that was only painted over when it probably should have been removed. But on fire restoration jobs, this is a much bigger issue.

One of the most critical concerns for fire restoration contractors is failing to control or eradicate odors. This problem can lead to frustrated customers as well as potential legal and financial dangers. Eliminating this problem is made more difficult when remodeling work was undertaken by either inexperienced homeowners or unprofessional contractors, as their alterations may have contributed to hidden places for fire and smoke damage to linger.

Remediating a fire loss may also take longer, meaning you might have to wait a while before you’re paid. In fact, some contractors have avoided getting involved in fire restoration because it seems too complicated. But it’s not, as long as you appreciate the principles and correct techniques of fire restoration and odor control. Here are some things to remember:

  • Make sure there’s a straightforward exchange of information between you, the customer, the insurance adjuster and any possible subcontractors. Communicating clearly and setting expectations is a critical component of the job.
  • Get a written agreement from the homeowner on exactly what areas have been damaged by the fire and what items should be salvaged or discarded. You don’t want them coming back to you later claiming you’ve trashed an heirloom or didn’t finish the job.
  • The way that fire and water damage jobs are handled do have some similarities, but they can’t be interchanged. Confirm that only techs with at least a Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT) certification are allowed to work on the site. Being Odor Control Technician (OCT) certified is also helpful.
  • Smoke and fire residues can be poisonous, as fires can include the demolition of plastic, foam, fabric, carpet, wood products, synthetic textiles, and asbestos-containing materials. Ash and smoke can also cause widespread corrosion, etching and staining, as well as persistent powerful odors. So removing these and their sources should be your first priority.
  • If the damage is localized, contain those areas to assist in removing odors.
  • Carefully inspect all areas that may have numerous layers of wall board. These may hide unexpected gaps and voids that turn into superhighways for circulating smoke and odor.
  • Examine all wall cavities, duct work, and plumbing chases to establish whether they suffered any smoke residue or fire damage.
  • Use a borescope to discover any damage that may otherwise have been impossible to see without having to completely remove a part of the structure. If the fire is recent, use of a thermal imaging camera may reveal hidden warmer areas, indicating possible fire damage.
  • Aside from losing their valuables, the majority of homeowners are underinsured. They may even have to take up temporary lodging. So you’re going to be dealing with some very distraught people. Train yourself and your employees on how to be empathetic and ways to successfully communicate with them.

Fire restoration jobs can be profitable but also tricky unless handled properly. Prepare well, otherwise you’re the one who may get burned.  

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