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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Top 4 Causes of House Fires

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Fire. It’s one of the scariest dangers for any homeowner, and while the number of house fires in the United States has steadily declined in recent years, these incidents still contribute to thousands of deaths and billions of dollars of damage each year.

While a fire alarm system can alert your family to danger and help you stop the problem before it gets out of hand, understanding what causes a house fire and knowing how to prevent these incidents is essential for protecting your home.

But what are the dangers you should be watching out for and what are the most common causes of house fires? Knowing these answers can help you protect your family and also save you from an insurance headache in the future. Below are the four most common causes of house fires and tips on ways you can help prevent them.

  1. Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are one of the most common threats homeowners face. Whether the result of an overloaded electrical outlet or a malfunctioning appliance, electrical fires can start suddenly and cause a lot of damage. The best tips for avoiding an electrical fire are first, be smart with your home’s electricity use! It's best not to overload a circuit and leave your lights on overnight (especially halogen lights and other high-risk materials). Use power strips in areas where you might need to keep several appliances or devices plugged in continually like at a home office desk.

Another great tip for doubling the safety in your home is to conduct an annual inspection of the electrical system to help avoid house fires. Professional electricians can identify faulty wiring, damaged outlets, and other hazards and then provide the repairs to keep your system safe. In older homes, the wiring can often be on a single circuit, which can cause breakers to short often and heighten the risk of an electrical fire. A professional can check your property for this and fix it if needed.

  1. Cooking Fires

Cooking fires rank as the number one cause of house fires in the United States, with the majority of incidents occurring when food is left unattended after cooking. Most commonly this happens when frying food, or any time when large quantities of grease are involved. Most of us are aware of proper kitchen and cooking safety, but sometimes we can be forgetful.

Your best bet to avoid a cooking fire is simply to keep an eye on your food at all times. Just like when you’re driving, don’t take your eyes off the road—well, the stove in this case. If a fire does occur, your key to fire safety is to cut off the fire’s oxygen and fuel supplies. There are three things that cause a fire to continue one is the heat, the second is fuel, and the third thing is the oxidizing agent (most often oxygen). Get rid of one of these sides of the triangle and you can kill the fire. The best tip to stopping a kitchen fire, or another fire on your property is to suffocate it by removing the oxidizing agent. Grease fires in kitchens should be covered with a lid over the pan, never use water to get rid of a grease fire-throwing water on a grease fire will actually make it worse. An oven fire can be handled simply by closing the oven door and turning the oven off.

Be smart and train others who live in your home or on your property to know how to respond the second a flame gets started. Taking the time to train and teach your family members is one of the best ways to avoid an insurance claim and protect your property, home and family.

  1. Dryers

You may not think of your clothes dryer as a fire hazard, but this kind of equipment accounts for tens of thousands of house fires each year. The problem most frequently occurs when lint and dust are allowed to build up over time. This can cause the dryer vent to become clogged with highly flammable materials, which easily combust when exposed to high temperatures.

Your best tip for dryer safety is to clean the lint trap each time before you use the dryer and to inspect and clean the dryer vent area to remove lint buildup and other potential blockages. Regular cleaning can ultimately make all the difference in avoiding a house fire. If other people in your house do the laundry, make sure they know to clean out the lint trap each time also. This simple practice can cut down on one of the main causes of so many different house fires.

  1. Candles

Candles may seem like the perfect fit for a romantic evening or a blessing in a moment of a blackout, but the minute you leave a lit candle in an unoccupied room you’re asking for trouble. We have two tips: always blow out a candle if you’re going to leave a room, and never place a lit candle in a spot near combustible items or where it could be tipped over.

Conclusion

It’s easy to assume you’re already practicing each of these safety tips in your home, but it’s easy to get lackadaisical and before long you might find yourself filing an insurance claim; something you never want to have to do. Take the time to sit down with your family and walk them through the risks and each of these tips. Teach them the proper steps to prevent a house fire and also the proper way to put out a fire in the home (remember, water isn’t always the answer). As you watch out for these common house fire hazards and take the necessary preventative steps, you can have peace of mind as you keep your family and property safe.

Top 3 Things to Remember When You Lose Power

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Natural disasters that cause the power to go out in the middle of winter pose many potential problems for home and business owners alike.

1) Power outages have the potential to cause pipes to freeze which is a leading cause of water damage in the winter.

Right now Texans are struggling with this all-too-common problem. When homes or businesses are left without power for extended periods of time, it allows temperatures to dip below freezing allowing the pipes to freeze. This can cause cracks or bursts which lead to water damage.

One measure that can be taken to try and avoid this is to insulate the pipes. This can be done by visiting any local hardware store. Most hardware stores carry special tape, polyester coverings, and a host of other products that are capable of protecting against extreme dips in temperature.

If you have community, town, or city water and have not lost your water supply it may be a good idea to run the water source furthest from the water main. This can allow a steady flow of water to avoid pressure building up from the water in the pipes becoming frozen.

2) Power outages have the potential to cause a septic backup.

When there is a power outage, effluent is not pumped into the drain field. The septic and pump tank collects the wastewater throughout the power outage and will release it all at once when the power is restored and the pump starts. Too much water pumped at one time can flood the drain field, causing surfacing or backups.

3) Power outages can cause a loss of drinking water if you have a well.

Power outages can cause well pumps to stop working which can lead to loss of water supply. This includes water for drinking, showering, and toilets. Not having access to clean, drinkable water can lead to many other issues. It is important to store additional bottled water in order to avoid dehydration.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Texans who will likely be recovering from this storm over the next several weeks. If there is anything to be learned from this terrible situation, it's that it is important to prepare for these types of disasters.

If disaster strikes and causes water damage, SERVPRO of Overbrook can help.

Commercial Warehouse Fire Sprinkler Systems

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 1,210 warehouse structure fires were reported each year during 2009-2013. These fires caused $155 million in direct property damage, 19 civilian injuries, and 3 civilian deaths on average per year.

If you have a warehouse, you probably want to protect it from a fire. If your warehouse is destroyed by a fire, it can cause costly damage to your business or even put you out of business entirely. Installing fire sprinkler systems in your warehouse can help prevent property loss due to fire. There are several sprinkler systems that can be used in warehouses.

In-Rack Sprinkler System

When a fire starts inside of a warehouse it can spread very quickly unless contained. In-rack sprinkler systems help to stop the spread of a fire within a specific rack storage area. This prevents the fire from spreading to other parts of the building. In-rack sprinklers have a network of pipes that surround the racked structure and target a specific area.

ESFR Sprinklers

ESFR (Early Suppression, Fast Response) sprinklers are ceiling-mounted systems that are used in warehouses. These systems are designed to suppress a fire by releasing a large volume of water directly on the fire. Early Suppression Fast Response systems react faster than traditional sprinkler systems and use larger water droplets.

ESFR systems often can be used in place of in-rack sprinkler systems. Typically, the ESFR system will provide better protection than an in-rack system. However, there are some limitations to the use of ESFR systems. ESFR systems cannot be used with certain storage configurations or building types.

Quell Sprinkler System

The Quell fire sprinkler system can be used in cold storage spaces or unheated warehouses. It can be used to protect high piled storage areas. This system surrounds the protected area and douses it with large volumes of water. The Quell system eliminates the need for in-rack sprinkler components which gives you more flexibility with storage configurations.

Recognizing The 3 Different Types of Fires

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Synthetic: A synthetic fire is caused by the burning of oil substances. These materials include plastics and fabrics. Some examples of these materials include furniture, draperies, electronics, and carpet fibers. When these products are burned a thick-black smoke often appears. If a synthetic fire takes place in your home the best cleaning method would be to first vacuum the surface. Finish up the cleaning process with a dry-chem sponge.

Protein: A protein fire can be caused by the burning of meat products. These fires will often leave behind a yellowish-brown residue. Cleaning these fires can be very difficult due to their greasy nature. It is best that you use the proper cleaning chemical when dealing with these smoke residues.

Natural: A natural fire is caused by the burning of a wood or paper substance. These fires produce greyish-black smoke and are one of the easiest fires to clean. When cleaning these fires use a vacuum that has a bristled brush followed up by the use of a dry-chem sponge.

Now that you are aware of the different types of fires you may encounter and how to distinguish them. You will be able to apply the proper cleaning procedures stated above.

Sleeping With Your Bedroom Door Closed Could Save Your Life

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Research has shown that a closed bedroom door can slow the spread of flames, decrease temperatures, reduce smoke inhalation, and improve oxygen levels in the room.

Just a few decades ago the average time it took to escape a home fire was about 17 minutes. Now it is three minutes or less. This is because of the synthetic furniture, more open floor plans in homes, and other flammable materials. Just closing your bedroom door at night can give you more time to get out the bedroom windows safely and call the fire department.

Research proves that a closed-door during a fire can mean the difference between 1,000 degrees temperatures and 100 degrees temperatures. Keep your bedroom door closed to keep the extra heat out!

During a fire, a closed-door can also keep carbon monoxide levels at 1,000 PPM versus 10,000 PPM when a door is left open.

Close Before You Doze.

Tips to Reduce Chance of water Damages

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage can be devastatingly stressful to a homeowner. You can feel helpless and overwhelmed. Although calling a professional is the first step we always recommend, there are some things you can do to help reduce the damage while you wait for professionals to arrive.

DO:

  • Shut off the water source if possible
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the home or building
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting with towels
  • Remove lamps and other tabletop items and wipe wood furniture with a towel
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
  • Place foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet flooring
  • Remove any paintings, electronics, or anything else that is sensitive to moisture and put them in a dry area of the house

Taking the above steps can really help decrease the amount of damage to your home after a water leak. There are also a few practices that you should avoid after water damage because they can cause more damage or harm to yourself or your family.

DON’T:

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist, such as when electric outlets, switches, or circuit breakers are exposed to water 
  • Leave books, newspapers, or other colored items on wet carpet or furniture
  • Leave wet oriental rugs or other colored rugs on carpeting
  • Use a household vacuum cleaner to remove the water because of the risk of electric shock
  • Use TV’s or other electrical appliances while standing on a wet floor
  • Turn on a ceiling fan in rooms where the ceiling is wet
  • Enter a room where the ceiling is wet and sagging
  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily throughout the house
  • Use personal fans if the water in the home is contaminated

The most important “do” is to call a professional, trained water mitigation specialist such as SERVPRO of King of Prussia at 610-330-3337

How to Protect Your Home From Water Damage

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the most common and costliest disasters your home can experience, costing billions of dollars annually. Safeguard your most important asset against water damage with the right insurance coverage and the following practical advice.

Water damage and insurance

Different types of water damage are insured by different types of policies.

Homeowner's and renter's insurance provides coverage for burst pipes, wind-driven rain, and damage resulting from ice dams on your roof. Generally speaking, water that comes from the top down—such as rainfall and burst sprinklers—is covered by a standard homeowner's policy.

Some policies cover sewer and drain backups, but many do not; however, you can purchase a sewer backup rider for your homeowner's or renter's coverage.

Typically, water that comes from the bottom up—such as an overflowing river—is covered by a separate flood insurance policy, which can be purchased from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and from some private insurers. If you live in a flood-prone area, learn more about appropriate coverage.

Properly maintaining a home is one of the best ways to prevent water damage from water disasters.

Prevent basement water seepage

  • Reseal your basement. Water in the basement is often caused by cracks in building foundations or floor slabs. If you notice water seepage after heavy rain when you've never had a problem, it may mean that your once-waterproof cement floors and basement walls have deteriorated. Painting vulnerable areas with water sealant can prevent seepage.
  • Make sure water drains away from the building. Seepage is exacerbated by soil that has settled in a way to make water flow toward the building. After a storm, and especially if the ground is already saturated, rainwater that flows towards the building goes down the outside of the foundation wall potentially through any cracks.
  • Install a backwater valve. Though less common than other causes of basement water, sewer backups are messy. Learn more about your sewer responsibilities and install and maintain a backwater valve, which allows sewage to go out, but not come back in.

Maintain and understand your indoor plumbing systems

  • Inspect appliance hoses and faucets. Make it a practice every year to check hoses leading to water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerator ice makers. You may also want to invest in a water leak monitoring and shut-off system that can alert you to any leakage issues. Immediately replace any hoses that have cracks or leaks, and replace them all every five to seven years.
  • Inspect showers and tubs. Check the seal and caulking around showers and tubs to make sure they are watertight and reseal if necessary.
  • When away on vacation, shut off the water supply to the washing machine and never leave the house while the washer or dishwasher is running.
  • Know the location of the main water shut-off valve in your home. A damaged hose or a burst pipe can send water racing into your home. Being able to locate and shut off the main water supply quickly will save stress, money, and time.
  • Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect against the increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting.
  • Check plumbing and heating pipes. Look closely for cracks and leaks and have any necessary repairs made immediately.

Repair and protect your home's exterior

  • Caulk and seal windows to guard against water seepage.
  • Inspect your roof for missing, damaged, and aging shingles and make necessary repairs.
  • Check your downspouts. Remove debris that may have accumulated in downspouts and rain gutters. Position downspouts so that they direct water away from the house.
  • Check sprinklers and irrigation systems to be sure they are not creating water damage to the walls and foundations of the house. Turn off and drain outside faucets to protect against frozen pipes.
  • Install gutter guards to prevent gutter clogs and keep water flowing away from the house instead of accumulating on the roof.

Protect your possessions

  • Store off-season and other bulk belongings in waterproof bins, especially in areas where there are plumbing pipes or that are prone to dampness, such as basements and attics.
  • Never store valuables or memorabilia where there is a risk of destruction from water. Water and dampness also bring with it the threat of mold damage.
  • Keep belongings stored on shelving off the floor in basements. In case of water seepage or sewer backup, they're less likely to get damaged.
  • Keep an up-to-date home inventory. Having a comprehensive list of your possessions will save time, trouble, and stress in case of loss from water damage.

Pipe Break Damage

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

When the weather gets too cold in the winter up here in the northeast pipes tend to freeze up. Which can be an irritable situation that no one likes to deal with. Temperatures getting into the low twenties and teens can cause pipes to freeze up and halt utilities from traveling through the pipeline to where they need to go, especially water pipes. Frozen pipes can be bad, but the thawing of the pipe can be the most horrific part of cold weather affecting pipes. Heat and cold will cause the expanding and contracting which will then lead to a rupture in a pipe. Depending on how big the pipe is and what type of utility passing through it, you may have a major mess on your hands (and feet). If you experience anything similar to this you should call SERVPRO. We have the know-how, manpower, and equipment to get the job done right. We want our customer's water damage to be "Like it never even happened."®

Water Damage Equipment and Inventory

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

Some Overbrook/Wynnefield businesses survive water damage with only minor issues. Other damages risk the ruining of specialized machinery and extensive stores of raw materials and finished products. Finding a restoration company that is willing to learn about the challenges your industry faces from water damage is the key to recovery.

Your family business boasts several generations of satisfied customers, and you now need help to keep water damage from destroying this history and disappointing clients. A water main burst and gallons of water threaten to ruin your machines and your extensive inventory. Our fast-acting team of water damage experts commits to walking you through every step of the process from waterlogged to dry and restored for both the structure and contents of your shop.

SERVPRO crews arrive to assess the situation and plan for the recovery of your property as soon as possible. We outfit our vehicles with truck-mounted pumps and water extractors, allowing our technicians to begin water removal immediately, even if the power is off. Your equipment poses a risk of electric shock until the area dries, so our ability to evacuate the water without using your power sources is crucial.

Advanced training in material management supports the ability of our crews to pack out your inventory quickly and with an accurate listing that identifies what we moved. We store supplies, and your paperwork either in a dry area of your building or offsite if water damage is pervasive. Throughout the process, we maintain an evidence chain so you can reconstruct customer orders and provide documentation for your insurance company. Our training in drying technologies helps us advise which materials respond to drying and what items may need to be discarded.

Electronic and other equipment needs expert evaluation before it can be cleared for future operation. SERVPRO works with professionals who are trained to determine whether and how water-damaged equipment specific to your industry can be dried successfully. We then take all steps necessary to reach that result.

While decisions are reached on your inventory and equipment, other members of the SERVPRO teamwork to dry out the structure of your business. Air movers and dehumidifiers achieve the drying goals after the standing water is removed, with constant moisture monitoring guiding the duration.

The technicians from SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield work persistently to restore your business after unexpected water damage. Call us at (215) 877-6653 to get our team in place and on task.

Understanding the Three Categories of Water

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage in your home or place of business, there are different types or classifications of water that we can use.  Using this classification system, we can determine what health risks are associated with the water, and properly prepare to bring with us all necessary safety equipment and uniforms.  In this blog article, we are going to focus on three types: Clean, Gray, and Blackwater. 

Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilets holding tanks, snowmelt, and rainwater. Over time, however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.

Gray Water: Gray water does contain a slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums, and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.

Black Water: This water is a health risk as it is highly contaminated. Blackwater is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Blackwater should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. There can be many dangers associated with attempting to clean water damage on your own.  If ever you spot any type of water in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield.  We are faster to any size disaster and will have our highly trained team over to your house or place of business within the hour!  Remember, it's best to not wade into any unknown water source without the proper protection.  Give us a call 24/7 at (215) 877-6653

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield is an IICRC certified firm.

Commercial Water Damage Prevention

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Before hurricane season rolls into the area, business owners everywhere should start thinking about how to prevent commercial water damage. Everything from maintenance checks to grading systems should be checked. So how do you plan on protecting your business from water damage? Read on to find out what you should be considering.

Building and Street Maintenance

When was the last time your storm drains were cleared? Annual inspections of your floor, storm and roof drains can help you avoid drainage problems. If your floor drains haven’t been cleaned lately, take a vacuum hose and clear it or call a professional.

Sump Pumps

There are at least two sump pumps in each sump under your building. Sump pumps are used to keep floodwaters from building up and causing water damage. But are yours both working? When was the last time they were tested? Do they have battery backups in case of a power outage? Power outages were the cause of 18 percent of water damage incidents involving a sump pump. Because sump pumps run on electricity, power outages shut down the pumps allowing water to flood your facility. If these pumps are your main source of protection, you should consider a generator to keep them going.

Generator Fuel Tanks

In areas subject to flooding, it is important to relocate your generator fuel tanks out of the basement. Generator fuel can be contaminated in the event of a basement flood, prohibiting generator functions, and prevent power from reaching the pumps.

Runoff

Does grading lead away from your building? Grading helps to move water away from your building instead of moving towards it. Checking your grading system can help keep water from flowing into your building.

Clear the Floor

One of the leading causes of water damage is the items on the floor. You can avoid this by removing porous materials, boxes, and paper from the floor of your basement. Keep all of your electronics off the floor and make sure to turn off your electronics when you are expecting heavy rains.

SERVPRO Tips for Hurricane Season

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is already among us and has taken a toll on places like North Carolina and Florida. Businesses and homeowners everywhere should consider many things during hurricane season to prevent damage to their property. Many of them seem obvious, but others, not so much. What are some of these preparation tasks you might ask? Let's try to answer this question.

Building and Street Maintenance

Consider the last time you cleaned your storm drains. If they have not been cleared out in recent years, this could cause a blockage of water from draining away from your property. When water gets clogged in drains, this can lead to a backup. This means water will be coming back into your home or business and can cause very serious damage. If you have a shop vac (dry/wet vacuum), try to get some of the dirt and build up out of the drain. If you can’t clean it properly, call a professional.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are basically pumps used to get rid of water that has entered a building. When turned on, these pumps run water through a hose and outside of the property. If you own these pumps when was the last time they were tested? Do they have a battery backup in case of a power outage? Power outages cause almost 20 percent of water damage due to sump pumps not being able to run during these outages. If you do not own a sump pump, consider buying one especially if you commonly see water damage on site.

Generator Fuel Tanks

Many people like to store backup generators in their basements. This can be dangerous because if water seeps into your basement and gets into the fuel tanks, this will contaminate the gas and lead to failure to start the generator. In turn, this means no power and could lead to more damage.

Runoff

Does grading lead away from your building? Grading helps to move water away from your building instead of moving towards it. Checking your grading system can help keep water from flowing into your building.

Clear the Floor

One of the leading causes of water damage is the items on the floor. You can avoid this by removing porous materials, boxes, and paper from the floor of your basement. Keep all of your electronics off the floor and make sure to turn off your electronics when you are expecting heavy rains.

Emergency Ready Plan App

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can prevent further damage after a fire or water damage.

The SERVPRO - Emergency Ready Plan is a mobile app that is perfect for homeowners, property managers, and business owners!

The Ready Plan app allows you to create individual emergency ready profiles for all of your properties. Which in turn saves you time after a disaster. By completing the Emergency Ready Plan app you can request restoration and remediation services by clicking one button within the app. One button and the fire damage and water restoration professionals are on their way to you- and you are back to breathing a sigh of relief knowing that your property is in trusted hands.


As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
    Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

The Emergency Ready Plan app is an immediate plan of action that allows you to put crucial property information in before a disaster strikes - allowing less downtime and business interruption.

No one plans on a disaster, but with the SERVPRO- Ready Plan app you can be ready for whatever happens!

SERVPRO offers the Emergency Ready Plan app completely free of charge- this is our way of making sure our community is safe and well taken care of. SERVPRO is always HERE TO HELP.


Need help putting together your Emergency Ready Profile? Contact our team today for assistance.

215-877-6653

Why SERVPRO?

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield, we care about our customers. We are an emergency restoration company so we know we need to get to our jobs fast. Minutes could turn minimal damage into very dangerous damages to structures. We are open 24/7 which gives the customer someone to call at any hour of the day for emergencies. This is a huge advantage because many other restoration companies are not open 24/7. We are a well-trusted franchise with a 4.6-star rating online and we strive to live up to this rating even at the smallest jobs. After we are finished a job we would love a rating on Google, Facebook or Yelp. This would be greatly appreciated! SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield is here to help. Give us a call at 215-877-6653 for more details. 

KEEP YOUR OFFICE SAFE BY KNOWING THE SOUNDS OF FIRE SAFETY

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Every year, Fire Prevention Week is given a theme it focuses on. This year’s theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” And it’s no surprise that the sounds of fire safety were chosen as this year’s theme. It is well documented that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors can profoundly affect fire safety if we know what to listen for.

For example, the NFPA reports that working smoke alarms reduce the risk of death during a fire by over 50 percent. They also found that 41 percent of household fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarm and that 16 percent happened in homes with alarms that failed to activate.

And though smoke alarms have been instrumental in saving countless lives, there are still steps we can take to make them even more effective and keep our workplaces even safer.  Though mainly our company works closely with other businesses to meet their fire and life safety needs; we all have our own personal dwellings and families to protect as well.

Below we’ll discuss what you need to know about smoke alarms and CO alarms and some tips for keeping yourself and your coworkers safe.

Smoke Alarms

  • If you hear a set of three loud beeps (BEEP BEEP BEEP), the alarm has detected smoke or fire in the building. Your next steps should be to get out of the building, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
  • If you hear just one chirp from your smoke alarm every 30 or 60 seconds, this means its battery is low and needs to be replaced.
  • If you replace the battery and your smoke alarm continues to chirp, this means the alarm itself is due for replacement. No matter what, all smoke alarms must be changed after 10 years.

CO Alarms

  • If you hear four loud beeps (BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP), your CO alarm has detected carbon monoxide in your building. After you hear these beeps, leave your building, call 9-1-1, and stay outside.
  • If your CO alarm chirps once every 30 or 60 seconds, the battery must be replaced.
  • If your CO alarm continues chirping with a fresh battery in place, this means the alarm must be replaced.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Because you don’t know who may be visiting your business or residence, it is best to make sure all of your smoke and CO alarms throughout the property work for those with physical and sensory disabilities.
  • Install a low-frequency alarm for those with mild to severe hearing loss.
  • Encourage everyone in your building to keep their glasses and phone on them at all times.
  • Make sure all stairways and hallways are adequately lit and have a clear walking path so everyone can evacuate safely.

Make sure your coworkers know all of the above sounds and tips for fire safety, so everyone remains safe at your place of business.

7 ESSENTIAL WORKPLACE FIRE SAFETY TIPS

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Workplace fire safety is an essential concept that all employers and business owners should know. Since you never know when a fire may occur, you should always be prepared and know what to do should this unfortunate incident occur. The good news is that you can prepare in the case of a fire. And with the right preparation, you’re more likely to act calmly if an emergency occurs. Read on to learn about the importance of workplace fire safety and seven essential workplace fire safety tips.

Importance of Workplace Fire Safety

If you operate a retail store, restaurant, industrial business, or any other type of workplace, it’s vital to have proper workplace fire safety measures in place. With the right fire safety measures, you can get employees and patrons out safely and preserve the building. Best of all, with fire safety tips you can prevent fires from occurring in the first place.

Seven Tips for Improving Fire Safety in the Workplace

Now’s the right time to improve fire safety in the workplace. You may not know what you need to do to protect your business and occupants from fires. And if you do have fire safeguards in place, make sure you have everything you need for proper fire protection. Here are seven tips to help you improve fire safety in the workplace:

  1. Plan an evacuation strategy
  2. Have the proper fire safety equipment in place
  3. Make sure your employees are trained in fire safety
  4. Ensure proper exits and fire escape routes are clearly posted
  5. Make routine fire drills an employment requirement
  6. Maintain equipment routinely and safely store or dispose of hazardous materials
  7. Be mindful of electrical hazards and eliminate them

If you want to operate your business safely and keep fire tips in mind, these seven items will help you do so. Always be sure to update new employees on the fire safety measures. Also, hold regular meetings with your staff and remind them of these tips as well.

Fire Damage Needs a Meticulous Clean

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

The dangers of fire damage can last much longer than the initial fire blaze. Two of the most toxic types of damage are the fire itself and the resulting smoke damage. Smoke and soot can damage a home by permeating through the walls, upholstery, ceiling, insulation, air conditioning vents, and other hard-to-clean places.
 
This is why it is important to understand that fire damage in Overbrook/Wynnefield homes can present itself in many ways. Depending on the type of fire that attacks your home, not only are the apparent soot, ash, and fire damage unsightly but possible structure damage and future contamination are possible.
 
Never Have Your Fire Damage Overlooked Again
For example, depending on where a fire burns in a structure, it can affect support beams, load-bearing walls, and it can wreak havoc on wiring and insulation. Even if your fire emergency seemed localized to a particular area in the house, remember, the attic must be checked for damage as well.
 
SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris.
 
Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration.
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers.

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield anytime at (215) 877-6653 for a quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

Large Loss Commercial Services

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.

Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.

When attending many conferences we found that many people only associate us with residential services but we handle many large loss jobs as well. Our crew is trained both on how to handle small apartment losses up to huge commercial business losses.

At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Get the professionals, call SERVPRO.

Clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include the following:

  • The Hospitality Industry
  • Property Managers
  • Universities
  • Municipalities
  • The Pentagon
  • Manufacturing
  • Multifamily housing 
  • Logistics 
  • Student housing

Restoring Your Overbrook/Wynnefield Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Overbrook/Wynnefield commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO Commercial Cleaning Services

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

When most people hear “SERVPRO” they think of water and fire restoration but we actually provide many other services like commercial cleaning and duct cleaning!

While most offices do a pretty good job at keeping their office clean, the everyday wear and tear will gradually build up. When it gets too much for your regular janitor to handle, call in SERVPRO! We do a fantastic job at removing odors, deep cleaning of carpets, flooring, and much more. Every member of our crew is trained specifically to be able to handle a commercial cleaning job of any size.

Our cleaning services include:

  • Air ducts and HVAC - Drapes and Blinds
  • Biohazard Cleanup - Odor Removal
  • Carpet and Upholstery -Sewage
  • Ceilings, Floors, and Walls - Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Vandalism

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

Steps to Take Immediately After a Storm Damage

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls, or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health effects. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact a reputable property restoration company to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living conditions.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

The Best Way To Minimize a Disaster at Your Home or Business is to Plan For it NOW!

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are You Ready? Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a startup approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference for important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens.

Vacant Buildings: More Than an Eyesore

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Last week’s “catastrophic” fire at a large Middletown building further illustrated the need for code enforcement concerning vacant buildings that become community eyesores, officials said.

 The large fire was reported at 6:40 a.m. on Wednesday at the former Middletown Paperboard complex at 300 S. Verity Parkway. More than 100 firefighters at a time battled the blaze, which led to the arrest of a man, Joshua Lamb, who said he was living in the building when a fire he started spread to his bedding.

As of Friday afternoon, Middletown firefighters remained on the scene putting out hotspots as crews from Vickers Demolition used heavy equipment to knock down walls and move debris.

Shelby Quinlivan, a city spokeswoman said South Verity Parkway/Ohio 4 between Girard Avenue and Yankee Road was closed to through traffic because of the damaged buildings and debris as well as two smokestacks at the south end of the facility that will need to come down to protect public safety.

Middletown firefighters have remained on the scene watching for floating embers going on to nearby residential and commercial properties since New Year’s Day. The smoldering embers were buried in pockets inside the double roof, burning into the old wooden beams. As demolition crews worked, moving the debris and removing the scrap metal left in the building, walls were being knocked down revealing more hotspots.

Previous media accounts and “The Pointe,” MidPointe Library’s official blog, said the Middletown Paperboard facility, which consists of 61 parcels, had between 400,000 and 600,000 square feet of space on the 11-acre site.

The original paper mill dated back to 1827 when it started on Vanderveer Street to make boxboard from recycled paper, according to “Middletown - The Steel City” by Middletown Historians Roger L. Miller and the late George C. Crout. In 1873, “C.H. Wardlow and J.K. Thomas built a new paper mill on the site, producing manila and bag paper,” they wrote.

Crout and Miller wrote the site also served as headquarters for Corson Packaging, which “started as the Interstate Folding Box Company at 300 South Verity Parkway in the early 1900s … In 1981 it was acquired by American Packaging, and in 1993, by Corson Packaging. (The company) was known for its folding paperboard cartons. Corson closed the plant during the summer of 2000.”

The facility was later acquired by the Newark Group, which continued operations until 2004. In 2012, Newark Group, which reportedly removed all of the equipment at the Middletown facility and the Franklin Boxboard facility, sold the properties to B.P. Logan LLC in 2012. Last summer, the former Franklin Boxboard facility along with Mindlin Recycling was demolished by its property owner, Cohen USAs who acquired it from BP Logan LLC in 2017.

Middletown Paperboard started as “a series of substantially constructed brick mills, warehouses, etc., the mechanical equipment embracing all the latest improved machinery and appliances known to the trade, and power being obtained from a water privilege and an auxiliary steam engine…”, wrote Harry Simms in “Middletown In Black and White.”

Over the years, it has been the target of vandalism, and its cavernous space allowed the homeless to shelter themselves from the elements. Public safety employees have checked on the building periodically, but there have been a few fires in past years as the property owner did not secure the building as requested by the city.

Then-city manager Doug Adkins testified this year before the Ohio House of Representatives and said that over the previous five years, Middletown had spent $100,000 on the abandoned property. He said a February 2018 fire resulted in $150,000 in property damage and cost the city about $17,000 to fight the fire that was ruled as arson. He said the estimated amount to clear the site was about $1.9 million.

In addition, the city spent thousands of dollars boarding up windows, securing doors, and putting up fencing to deter squatters and the homeless from entering the building.

The Middletown Paperboard property has been the subject of a tax forfeiture case against owner B.P. Logan LLC for not paying $259,565 in back taxes. It was ordered to go to the sheriff’s sale but was not purchased. Last month, the property was ordered to be forfeited to the state of Ohio by Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Greg Howard, according to court documents.

Acting City Manager Susan Cohen said the city plans to work with the Butler County Land Bank to acquire the property for redevelopment as part of the Oakland Historic District project, a plan to rehabilitate the Oakland neighborhood into an urban renaissance incentive district.

Last month, a Butler County Common Pleas Court judge ordered that the property be forfeited to the state of Ohio. She said the city has never had an ownership interest in the property.

Jennifer Ekey, Middletown economic development director, previously said the Paperboard site will be listed in the city’s new master plan as a special interest area due to its proximity to the Oakland Neighborhood and future development project.

Middletown City Council has been working to beef up ordinances to hold property owners accountable for the condition of their residential, commercial, and industrial structures over the past few years as well as developing and implementing an updated planning, zoning and development code; a new master plan; a chronic nuisance ordinance; and a civil penalties ordinance to encourage property owners to maintain their properties to a minimum standard.

Last year, the council also updated a vacant building registry ordinance requiring property owners to furnish ownership, insurance, and other information to city officials. However, that ordinance only applies to the urban core downtown district and is for 10 years. The Paperboard site is just outside that zoning district. Shelby Quinlivan, the city spokeswoman, said only 12 downtown area properties are on the property registry.

Cohen said it would be up to the council to determine if that ordinance should be expanded to other parts of the city.

Preparing For The Last of Winter Weather This Season

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. A winter storm can:

  • Last a few hours or several days;
  • Knock out heat, power, and communication services; and
  • Place older adults, young children, and sick individuals at greater risk.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WINTER STORM WARNING, FIND SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A WINTER STORM THREATENS:

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
  • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
  • Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.

Content by: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

Tips For Business Fires!

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

Tips for Dealing With the Aftermath of a Business Fire

A hot fire that gains momentum can leave a building in ruins with virtually nothing left to save. In many cases fire is stopped before it leaps out of control; this often results in many items that can be saved and restored. A partial fire loss leaves the business owner with a lot of decisions about what steps to take to save money, speed up recovery, and to clean up the mess. Contacting a professional fire remediation service in Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd is a good first step.

An Inspection Is Critical

A thorough inspection by experienced technicians is the quickest way to know where you stand and to gauge the level of fire loss. The inspection should cover the following areas of your business:

  • The structural integrity of your roof
  • The extent of smoke damage in the building
  • The condition of the walls and flooring
  • The state of electrical and computer systems
  • The functionality of the heating and plumbing systems

For insurance purposes, all of the damage should be documented. It's also important to file a timely claim and to understand your policy and your rights. Don't settle for work that is shoddy, that does not match the original and that does not address hidden damages such as soot, water, and smoke damage.

A Good Cleanup Is Essential

A stellar fire restoration process will proceed quickly and restore items that can be cleaned of odors and grime. A reputable remediation team will have advanced equipment and a variety of cleaning techniques to get your building back in shape. The company will take the guesswork out of what can be saved and what should be thrown away and bought new. In many cases, clothes and upholstery can be restored to excellent condition again. The fire loss might not be as extensive as originally thought.

CE Classes

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Overbrook / Wynnefield is looking to schedule a free Continuing Education class in the upcoming months. For example, below is a sample of some of the classes that could be taught. There are plenty of other classes that credits could be handed out for but here are a few.

Understanding The Restoration Industry: Property Fire

(4 Credit Hours)

This course has been designed to teach and explain the special procedures used by professionals in mitigating and restoring fire damage claims for the insured. The purpose of the course is to provide attendees with a better understanding of the work performed by the mitigation vendor at fire damage work sites.

Concepts of Legal Liability

(3 Credit Hours)

This concept is the basis of most liability insurance.  This program will present the basics of legal liability by building a foundation of various legal theories.  The theory and elements of negligence are presented.  Various types of law are discussed. Included is a discussion on damages resultant from legal liability. 

How Great is it to Know That You Can Call One Company to Get The Job Done?

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Overbrook / Wynnefield now offers reconstruction services for all mitigation damages! No need to find someone else to perform your restoration portion of the water, mold, or fire damage! After we come in and perform the cleanup services, we can smoothly transition into the reconstruction services to help restore your home or office back to good condition!

With our new Reconstruction division, we are excited to offer the following services during the reconstruction process: 

    • Structural repairs
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
    • HVAC
    • Windows/Doors
    • Interior Design
    • Flooring Replacement (all types)
    • Ceilings
    • Roofing
    • Drywall
    • Siding
    • Exterior Finishes
    • Carpentry
    • Framing
    • Tile Work

Storm Damage Unnoticed For Several Months

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

Rain can be unpredictable enough, but when storm damage is involved it can make matters even more complicated. In fact, a local office building experienced just that. Through the holiday season, they were closed for business and did not discover the damage from the rain until the office manager returned two days later.

When she and the rest of the staff saw that every inch of the carpet was soaked and files in cardboard boxes have been saturated, they began to panic. When we arrived on the scene, we let them know everything was going to be okay. Our production team began to extract water immediately from the wet carpet while the production manager measured what areas were wet and which were dry in the corners. After thoroughly checking for moisture, extracting all water, and drying for a few days, we were able to save the carpet, saving the office and property manager hundreds of dollars.

If you have water damage due to a recent storm, let our office help! Give us a call at 215-877-6653 to schedule an inspection today. Our team is standing by and would be happy to help. 

Top 6 Causes of Commercial Water Damage

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

Major Causes of Water Damage
Did you know that a leaking faucet can cost you more or less 250 gallons of water each month? There are 12 months in a year; do the math and you will get an idea of the amount of money you get to waste each year for a single unfixed leaking faucet. Below are the 6 most common causes of commercial water damage.

Damaged sprinkler system
The law requires all commercial entities to have a sprinkler system, along with a fire alarm, installed in the building for safety purposes in case of fire. The sprinkler system should only get activated when there is too much heat from the fire. However, over time, the sprinkler can get broken and malfunction. When this happens, the sprinkler can get activated even without fire leading to serious flooding within the building.

Roof leaks
The roof should protect the occupants and everything within the building from external elements such as the heat from the sun and rain. But a leaky roof does otherwise. As the roof gets older, it also becomes more vulnerable to heavy rains and snow, resulting in water damage to your building’s roof.

Broken HVAC system
Your business’ HVAC system is an essential part of maintaining the temperature of your building and making its occupants comfortable. Studies have also shown that your HVAC system can also impact the productivity level of your employees. However, like any other part of your commercial building, your HVAC system can also experience issues such as clogging and leaking. An HVAC system that is not cleaned and maintained regularly can cause water damage from the excess water in the compression tanks.

Broken equipment and appliances
Sometimes, your building may have appliances such as a water heater, AC, washing machine, and others. Apart from that, there are also pipes within the building that can get damage anytime and cause water damage in the commercial space. Major problems happen if these equipment and appliances get broken and no one notices it or during off-hours as it can leak a significant amount of water.

Damaged windows
Another common cause of water damage in commercial buildings is damaged windows. Rainwater and moisture can seep through especially if the windows are not properly maintained and need re-caulking. While it may not cause immediate flooding, it can do great damage to the drywall and can encourage mold growth.

Natural disaster
Apart from the damage to your building’s foundation and roof, water damage in commercial buildings can also be caused by natural disasters like hurricanes, thunderstorms, and heavy rain resulting in flash floods. Clogged gutters can lead rainwater to flow towards the foundation of your building, making it more vulnerable to water damage.
Commercial water damage is a devastating problem that any business owner can experience. While there is no way to totally get rid of the threats of water damage on your building, knowing its most common causes will help you minimize the risk.

SERVPRO Tips for Hurricane Season

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane season has taken a toll on places like North Carolina and Florida. Businesses and homeowners everywhere should consider many things during hurricane season to prevent damage to their property. Many of them seem obvious, but others, not so much. What are some of these preparation tasks you might ask? Let us try to answer this question.

Building and Street Maintenance

Consider the last time you cleaned your storm drains. If they have not been cleared out in recent years, this could cause a blockage of water from draining away from your property. When water gets clogged in drains, this can lead to a back-up. This means water will be coming back into your home or business and can cause very serious damage. If you have a shop vac (dry/wet vacuum), try to get some of the dirt and build up out of the drain. If you can’t clean it properly, call a professional.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are basically pumps used to get rid of water that has entered a building. When turned on, these pumps run water through a hose and outside of the property. If you own these pumps when was the last time they were tested? Do they have a battery backup in case of a power outage? Power outages cause almost 20 percent of water damage due to sump pumps not being able to run during these outages. If you do not own a sump pump, consider buying one especially if you commonly see water damage on site.

Generator Fuel Tanks

Many people like to store back up generators in their basements. This can be dangerous because if water seeps into your basement and gets into the fuel tanks, this will contaminate the gas and lead to failure to start the generator. In turn, this means no power and could lead to more damage.

Runoff

Does grading lead away from your building? Grading helps to move water away from your building instead of moving towards it. Checking your grading system can help keep water from flowing into your building.

Clear the Floor

One of the leading causes of water damage is the items on the floor. You can avoid this by removing porous materials, boxes, and paper from the floor of your basement. Keep all of your electronics off the floor and make sure to turn off your electronics when you are expecting heavy rains.

Tips for Dealing With the Aftermath of a Business Fire

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

A hot fire that gains momentum can leave a building in ruins with virtually nothing left to save. In many cases fire is stopped before it leaps out of control; this often results in many items that can be saved and restored. A partial fire loss leaves the business owner with a lot of decisions about what steps to take to save money, speed up recovery, and clean up the mess. Contacting a professional fire remediation service in Overbrook/Wynnefield is the first step.

An Inspection Is Critical

A thorough inspection by experienced technicians is the quickest way to know where you stand and to gauge the level of fire loss. The inspection should cover the following areas of your business:

  • The structural integrity of your roof
  • The extent of smoke damage in the building
  • The condition of the walls and flooring
  • The state of electrical and computer systems
  • The functionality of the heating and plumbing systems

For insurance purposes, all of the damage should be documented. It's also important to file a timely claim and to understand your policy and your rights. Don't settle for work that is shoddy, that does not match the original and that does not address hidden damages such as soot, water, and smoke damage.

A Good Cleanup Is Essential

A stellar fire restoration process will proceed quickly and restore items that can be cleaned of odors and grime. A reputable remediation team will have advanced equipment and a variety of cleaning techniques to get your building back in shape. The company will take the guesswork out of what can be saved and what should be thrown away and bought new. In many cases, clothes and upholstery can be restored to excellent condition again. The fire loss might not be as extensive as originally thought.

Leading cause of houses fires! Electrical Heaters!

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Electrical heating-related fires most often occur in December, January, and February. Purchasing a cozy electrical space heater is a cost-efficient solution when temperatures drop, however, can be a devastating disaster when used improperly. According to the NFPA (National Fire and Protection Agency), electrical space heaters are the leading cause of most house fires. Here are a few tips on how to properly use your electric space heater and avoid fire hazards:

  • Electrical Fires: Electrical fires occur when the heating unit is not properly plugged into the wall outlet, most often plugged into an extension cord or power strip. To avoid fires:
    • Give your space heater space; at least 3 feet away from combustible materials
    • Do not plug other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
    • Plug the heater directly into the outlet
    • Avoid leaving the unit running overnight
  • Fire Starters: Electrical units placed too close to other combustible materials contribute to 79% of fatal home heating fires. Combustible materials include:
    • Household furniture
    • Clothes
    • Bed Mattress
    • Bedding materials

Before running your electrical heater, it’s important to understand the risks of fire and smoke damage. Fire damage can leave a lasting impact on your house and may cause additional smoke damage

Call SERVPRO at 610-546-2484 to schedule a cleanup. Your SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield professionals have the training, certifications, and equipment to Make it

"Like it never even happened."

Winter Weather Tips

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Snowstorms & Extreme Cold

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. A winter storm can:

  • Last a few hours or several days;
  • Knock out heat, power, and communication services; and
  • Place older adults, young children, and sick individuals at greater risk.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WINTER STORM WARNING, FIND SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A WINTER STORM THREATENS:

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
  • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
  • Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.

Survive DURING

  • Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
  • Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
  • Reduce the risk of a heart attack. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia and begin treatment right away.
  • Check on neighbors. Older adults and young children are more at risk in extreme cold.

RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND

  • Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes.
    • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.
  • Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.
    • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, or drowsiness
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

Article from ready.com

What is Commercial Property Insurance

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Let’s start by defining commercial property insurance. Often included as part of a packaged business owner's policy, but also as a stand-alone policy, commercial property insurance covers damage to a company’s building and its contents due to covered perils, such as fire, theft, or natural disasters. If your company has a building with land, computers, equipment, or inventory, you probably need property insurance.

The amount of coverage your business needs and the cost of this coverage, however, will vary depending on the nature of your business and the value of its assets. Coverage can either cover all risks except those specifically included or only those risks which are specifically named in the policy. The cost of this coverage will depend on how you value your company’s assets and whether you opt to include coverage for things like a business interruption or risks specific to your business’s location and industry.

While there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right commercial property insurance plan or business owner's policy, it doesn’t need to be complicated!

Source: IRMI Glossary

Tortoise Sets House on Fire

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Despite its dour demeanor, an “angry-looking" tortoise in England actually had a “very lucky Christmas Day,” after firefighters rescued the reptile from a house it had set on fire, officials said.

The unnamed 45-year-old reptile was alone in its Essex home when it knocked a heat lamp onto its bedding, which caught on fire, Essex Fire and Rescue said Wednesday in a news release.

Neighbors heard the smoke alarm and called an emergency number around 5 p.m., officials said. Firefighters scrambled to the scene and found smoke filling the home and a fire in one of the rooms.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and cleared the house of smoke within 25 minutes, the BBC reported.

"This incident shows just how important it is to have smoke alarms on every level of your home - even if you're not home they will alert anyone close by to the first sign of fire,” said Watch Manager Gary Wain of the Great Dunmow Fire Station.

Protect your house from smoke

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Winter is here! With the change in seasons, people will be active both outside and indoors. According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), cooking inside is the #1 cause of house fires. Consider the following tips to ensure your family is safe!

  • Test Smoke Detector batteries every month
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Never use a stove range or oven to heat your home.

Smoke Damage Cleanup

Smoke damage can leave a lasting impact on your house and make rooms unbearable to breathe in.

Before you begin cooking inside, it is important to understand the risks of smoke damage.

SERVPRO can help you eliminate smoke and fire damage professionally.

Why You Should Hire a Professional to Find Your Leaks

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Whenever you have a problem with your home, the first impulse is usually to tackle the problem yourself. Sometimes this can be the right choice, and the problem’s easy enough to solve on your own. Other times it’s much safer and smarter to call in the pros from the beginning.

Tracking down tricky leaks is one of those times. Sure, some leaks are easy to track down, but water has a way of traveling odd paths. So once finding a leak gets tough, then it’s time to call in some help. And here’s why:

They Know Where to Look

Water can travel strange paths before it finally comes out into your home, and you might be surprised how far it can come. That discolored spot on your basement ceiling could actually be caused by a leak in your roof or your wall on the opposite side of the house.

Professionals have tracked down hundreds, even thousands of leaks over the years. That experience gives them a wide variety of usual suspects to check, and a good number of unusual ones, too.

They Know What to Look For

That slight, turquoise line along your copper pipe? That’s where water has run along the outside and caused the copper to oxidize. It’s a sure sign that a leak is sending water traveling on the wrong side of the pipes.

Pros know these and dozens of other signs. What looks like a bit of dirt to you might indicate a serious leak in your roof, foundation, or wall. Or it might just be some dirt. A professional will be able to know the difference for certain.

They’ve Got the Right Equipment

Most of us can only use our eyes or sense of touch to lead us to water, but not the professionals. They have a wide variety of specialized equipment that can sense moisture and humidity through walls or probe underground for water deposits using ground-penetrating radar.

This equipment can be expensive to buy and tricky to use. They have years of experience using the equipment, and know-how to put it to good use.

They Know How to Fix It

Once a professional has found the leak, they’ll know the best way to fix the leak, and will usually be able to take care of the work themselves. The truth is, any professional who comes to repair the leak will have to track it down anyway, even if you have a good idea where the leak is.

By using a professional in the first place, you remove that step from the process, saving you money and getting the leak repaired sooner.

Broken Pipe Season

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

It comes as no surprise that when the temperatures drop, your home or business can experience problems that come with the cold.  In this blog we want to outline 6 tips you can do to help lower your chances of coming home to a disaster!

Tip 1: Keep the Heat On!

This can be a make or break to coming home to a burst frozen pipe.  Many people look to escape the winter months and go on vacations to a warmer destination.  Be sure to keep your heat on when you're away!  It doesn't need to be as high as it usually is, as you don't want to waste a lot of electricity when you're not at your home, so around 50º-55º F should keep those pipes warm enough.

Tip 2: Allow Faucet('s) to Drip.

If you're worried a pipe might freeze, allow your faucets to slightly drip.  Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus, keep the pipe from bursting.

Tip 3: Keep Inside Doors and Cabinets Open

Pipes are often located in cabinets, like under your sink. When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.

Tip 4: Seal Cracks and Holes

You should caulk any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. This should be done on both interior and exterior walls. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.  If you don't consider yourself a caulking extraordinaire, give SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd a call as we also have a construction side of the business and will happily walk you through the process :)  

Tip 5: Apply Heating Tape

For pipes that are easily accessible, the electrical heating tape may be an option to keep them from freezing. This tape can be applied directly to the pipe.  There are two types of heating tape. One type of heating tape turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed. The other type of heating tape needs to be plugged in when heat is needed and unplugged when not in use.  Much like a space heater, these products can be dangerous, so you must follow the product’s direction and safety procedures exactly.

Tip 6: Add Extra Insulation

Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.

Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

There is no full proof way to prevent all pipes from getting damaged during these cold winter months, but anything you can do in advance to help prevent a disaster will always be a good bet.  If you do experience any disasters this winter give us a call at (610) 667-9080, we're available 24/7!

Winter Do's and Don'ts

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

From frigid temperatures and piles of snow to burst pipes and icy sidewalks, danger can lurk around every corner of a Chicago apartment property during winter. But, with some advance planning and a focus on prevention, property managers can get through the winter season without incident.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, based on claims data from 2014 through 2018, three of the top five causes of insurance claims for commercial properties were water and freezing damage, fire and slips and falls. Clearly, here in Chicago and in other metros with severe winter weather, lack of due care on the part of a property manager could lead to injury from any one of these causes. But preparation gives managers the greatest chances of succeeding when things go wrong.

Here’s what property managers need to avoid doing in order to keep both apartment residents and the asset itself safe during the winter.

1. Don’t get caught unprepared

Managers must be proactive and have a plan in place well before bad weather hits. That plan should cover, at a minimum, snow and ice removal, roof safety, what to do in case of a power outage, smoke detector maintenance and the use of space heaters by residents who want temperatures toastier than usual. Even Christmas trees could become a fire hazard if they are allowed to dry inside a unit, so policies should be in place to handle those as well.

But a plan is worthless unless team members receive training on implementation, so staff should be educated on all aspects of maintaining the property—even basics such as the location of utility shut-offs. And, of course, all preventive maintenance on the building—the boiler, plumbing systems, roofs, gutters, etc. —should be completed by August or September each year.

One last tip: Make sure you have enough ice melt on hand at the beginning of the season and that all snowplow contracts are in place by the end of September each year.

2. Don’t keep residents in the dark

Communication with residents is essential and a two-way street. Management must be able to reach residents, even if there is a power outage, and residents need to be able to contact management in case of emergency or even if they just have questions. Typically, several different communication channels are used, depending on the situation. We use Rent Café to blast out info to all residents and also display that same notice in the elevators, however alternate means of communication need to be in place, whether it’s by hand-delivering notices to apartments, texting residents, contacting them by cell phone or posting to social media.

Managers should provide residents with emergency numbers for police and fire departments, utility providers and on-call maintenance staff. It might also be wise to send reminders to residents with cold weather tips on the safe use of candles and space heaters, which could help prevent damage to the building.

Remember that while managers don’t go in apartments every day, residents do, so consider using them as your eyes and ears, to provide early warnings of systems that might need attention before they turn into a problem.

3. Don’t ignore common sense

Property managers should do their best to encourage residents to use common sense when taking care of themselves and their apartments.

For example, residents often travel during the winter holidays. They should be reminded to close windows and avoid turning the temperature down too low in their apartments—commonly done by residents eager to save on utility costs. A friendly reminder to leave thermostats on a specific temperature (which may vary by management company, but 62 to 68 degrees is common) and to leave a faucet dripping to help reduce the possibility of pipes freezing and subsequently bursting, will help reduce the likelihood of property damage.

Managers should also use common sense as well. Routine maintenance, such as covering exposed pipes with insulted foam covers, turning off water mains and sealing windows and doors, should be part of the ongoing maintenance program but definitely should be reviewed annually during the early part of fall.

4. Don’t forget to look up

Property managers need to ensure that ground-level hazards, such as snow and ice, are eliminated. But the roof needs attention too.

To avoid a roof collapse or injury to residents, managers need to ensure that snow doesn’t build up on the roof. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the weight of one foot of fresh snow ranges between three pounds per square foot for light, dry snow and 21 pounds per square foot for wet, heavy snow.

How much snow a roof can bear depends on a host of factors, such as the roof slope, shape, the thermal condition of the building and the roof’s wind exposure. It’s essential that managers know the roof’s weight limit so they can take action to prevent snow accumulation reaching an unsafe level.

Managers also need to inspect roofs for the presence of icicles. According to the Snow & Ice Management Association, at least 15 people in the United States die each year from falling icicles. This is particularly common in garden apartment-style properties. Property managers can consider installing heat-trace wires in areas prone to ice buildup and warning residents with signs saying “Caution: Falling Ice.”

5. Don’t overlook the proper paperwork

Proof of renter’s insurance should already be on file, but make sure the policy is current. A renter’s policy covers not only the personal possessions of the resident but also provides liability coverage in the event the resident is negligent and causes damage to the property or injury to another person.

Why is this important? What happens if a resident of a high-rise escapes the brutal winter weather by going on vacation and accidentally leaves a sliding glass door open? If the unit gets cold enough and a pipe bursts, the damage could affect not only that resident’s unit but scores of units on floors below him or her, leading to massive losses. Since the resident was negligent, the building owner could make a claim against his renter’s policy, thus avoiding the expense.

With timely and proactive planning, multifamily property managers can ensure that not only will apartment residents remain safe during the winter season but that the asset itself will also be preserved through winter weather and into the spring thaw.

TREATMENT OF MOLD INSIDE WALLS

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

HOW TO DETECT MOLD IN WALLS

Cleaning mold on visible surfaces may not be easy (especially if it’s a major infestation) but it is very much possible even without the help of mold remediation experts. Of course, it is more advisable to seek professional help when treating black mold on walls but if there’s a minor build-up on your walls, floors, or ceilings, you can get rid of it using common tools and cleaning supplies that you may already have at home.

But what if the infestation is inside your walls? How do you even know it’s happening?

Before you learn how to remove mold inside walls, you must learn how to detect it. Take note that mold spores are super tiny and not visible to the human eyes so they can spread throughout your house discreetly. And until you know the signs of mold build-up, the black mold could already be damaging your property and you are still clueless.

Alright. So how can you tell if the black mold is hiding inside your walls?

If you’re like most homeowners whose walls are made of gypsum walls, also called “drywall”, you might be curious to know whether there’s mold build-up inside. Experts recommend several ways:

Cut a large hole on your wall. This is perhaps the most definitive way of determining whether there’s mold inside your walls. If there is, you will be tearing them down anywhere. However, there are drawbacks to this approach. First is that using a drywall saw can damage any electrical or plumbing systems if you unknowingly drill them. Be sure to have some plastic sheathing ready to cover that hole afterward.

Perform a smell test. The second method is to sniff around electrical outlets. If the mold is actively growing, it produces microbial volatile compounds which are the musty, earthy odor released by the mold. Electrical outlets and other openings provide you with more direct access to the odors inside your walls. If you smell the musty odor through them, there’s likely a mold infestation. The drawback of this approach is that you may not find any electrical outlet or opening on the walls you suspect are damaged or infested by mold. You may also find it hard to determine the extent of the mold build-up as if it’s just around the outlet or far from the outlet.

Check for moisture problems. When there is a moisture problem, then there is most likely mold build-up. If you see water stains on your walls or if a part of your walls has sustained water damage and it has been there for quite some time, there’s a big possibility of mold.

Hire pros to test for mold. This might come with a price but it’s the safest and most effective way to tell whether there’s mold lurking inside your walls.

Now that you know how to spot mold, it’s time to learn about how to kill black mold on walls.

REMOVING MOLD FROM WALLS

Depending on the severity of the infestation, cleaning mold from walls may or may not require help from the professionals. Basically, removing mold behind walls is the same as how to treat mold on wood studs. If the mold build-up is on the outer surfaces of your walls, you can safely and conveniently get rid of it using a few solutions like detergents, vinegar-baking soda, or commercial cleaners (find more info here). But getting rid of mold inside walls is a different thing. It involves tearing down the wall and replacing it. It is best to leave it in the hands of professional mold remediation contractors as doing it by yourself could lead to the possibility of drilling or grinding through electrical or plumbing systems.

So how do you remove black mold from walls?

  • Prepare your cleaning solution.
  • Scrub the mold off using your cleaner and water.
  • Dry the area. Open doors and windows to allow air to circulate.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture problems and prevent mold from growing back.
  • If the mold infestation is inside the walls, you will need to hire professionals as there’s a need to knock down the walls and replace them.

HOW AND WHY MOLD GROWS ON WALLS

You’re here because you are eager to learn how to get rid of mold in walls. But you might be curious to know – how come mold grows on walls? There are a number of reasons why:

Humidity – this is the primary cause of mold problems inside homes. If you live in a humid area, it is advisable to purchase a dehumidifier and move it regularly to different parts of your home to decrease moisture content in your indoor air.

Condensation – this occurs naturally in the perimeter walls of your home, which is cooler than the air inside your house. When the water in the air experiences a temperature drop as it touches the walls, condensation takes place (moisture is turned into liquid).

Water Leaks – another common cause of black mold in walls are water leaks coming from different sources, such as holes in the roof or cracks on plumbing systems. It is important to check pipes regularly and takes steps to keep them from leaking.

How to protect your home from water damage

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the most common and costliest disasters your home can experience, costing billions of dollars annually. Safeguard your most important asset against water damage with the right insurance coverage and the following practical advice.

Water damage and insurance

Different types of water damage are insured by different types of policies.

Homeowners and renters insurance provides coverage for burst pipes, wind-driven rain, and damage resulting from ice dams on your roof. Generally speaking, water that comes from the top down—such as rainfall and burst sprinklers—is covered by a standard homeowner's policy.

Some policies cover sewer and drain backups, but many do not; however, you can purchase a sewer backup rider to your homeowners or renters coverage.

Typically, water that comes from the bottom up—such as an overflowing river—is covered by a separate flood insurance policy, which can be purchased from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and from some private insurers. If you live in a flood-prone area, learn more about appropriate coverage.

Properly maintaining a home is one of the best ways to prevent water damage from water disasters.

Prevent basement water seepage

  • Reseal your basement. Water in the basement is often caused by cracks in building foundations or floor slabs. If you notice water seepage after heavy rain when you've never had a problem, it may mean that your once-waterproof cement floors and basement walls have deteriorated. Painting vulnerable areas with water sealant can prevent seepage.
  • Make sure water drains away from the building. Seepage is exacerbated by soil that has settled in a way to make water flow toward the building. After a storm, and especially if the ground is already saturated, rainwater that flows towards the building goes down the outside of the foundation wall potentially through any cracks.
  • Install a backwater valve. Though less common than other causes of basement water, sewer backups are messy. Learn more about your sewer responsibilities and install and maintain a backwater valve, which allows sewage to go out, but not come back in.

Maintain and understand your indoor plumbing systems

  • Inspect appliance hoses and faucets. Make it a practice every year to check hoses leading to water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerator ice makers. You may also want to invest in a water leak monitoring and shut-off system that can alert you to any leakage issues. Immediately replace any hoses that have cracks or leaks, and replace them all every five to seven years.
  • Inspect showers and tubs. Check the seal and caulking around showers and tubs to make sure they are watertight and reseal if necessary.
  • When away on vacation, shut off the water supply to the washing machine and never leave the house while the washer or dishwasher is running.
  • Know the location of the main water shut-off valve in your home. A damaged hose or a burst pipe can send water racing into your home. Being able to locate and shut off the main water supply quickly will save stress, money, and time.
  • Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect against the increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting.
  • Check plumbing and heating pipes. Look closely for cracks and leaks and have any necessary repairs made immediately.

Repair and protect your home's exterior

  • Caulk and seal windows to guard against water seepage.
  • Inspect your roof for missing, damaged, and aging shingles and make necessary repairs.
  • Check your downspouts. Remove debris that may have accumulated in downspouts and rain gutters. Position downspouts so that they direct water away from the house.
  • Check sprinklers and irrigation systems to be sure they are not creating water damage to the walls and foundations of the house. Turn off and drain outside faucets to protect against frozen pipes.
  • Install gutter guards to prevent gutter clogs and keep water flowing away from the house instead of accumulating on the roof.

Protect your possessions

  • Store off-season and other bulk belongings in waterproof bins, especially in areas where there are plumbing pipes or that are prone to dampness, such as basements and attics.
  • Never store valuables or memorabilia where there is a risk of destruction from water. Water and damp also bring with it the threat of mold damage.
  • Keep belongings stored on shelving off the floor in basements. In case of water seepage or sewer backup, they're less likely to get damaged.
  • Keep an up-to-date home inventory. Having a comprehensive list of your possessions will save time, trouble, and stress in case of loss from water damage.

The Importance of Fire Extinguisher Inspections

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

While at work, school, or at home, you may not even notice the fire extinguishers that are placed throughout the building. Many people probably don’t think twice about fire extinguishers until there comes a time when they need to use one. Imagine how unfortunate it would be if a small fire breaks out in your home or at work, so you grab the fire extinguisher and attempt to use it, only to find out that it is broken. Having your fire extinguishers inspected regularly can help you avoid this scenario.

Inspections Keep your Extinguishers Working

Performing quick inspections of your extinguishers on a monthly and yearly basis can go a long way in keeping your extinguishers working. It may seem like a waste of your time, but fire extinguishers can help you prevent a small fire from growing into a large fire that causes a lot of expensive damage to your property. Over time, fire extinguishers can become damaged without you realizing it. Regular inspections are necessary to be sure that your extinguisher will work when a fire breaks out.

Inspections for Code Compliance

NFPA standards require that your fire extinguishers be inspected on a regular basis. To remain code compliant, you should hire a fire protection professional to perform brief visual inspections on a monthly basis and a more in-depth inspection on a yearly basis.

Monthly Extinguisher Inspections

A monthly inspection of your extinguisher is a visual inspection that makes sure your extinguisher is charged and ready to use. During a monthly inspection make sure that:

  • The fire extinguisher is in the right place, well-marked, and easily accessible
  • The pressure gauge is showing the fire extinguisher is fully charged
  • The pin and tamper seal is intact
  • The fire extinguisher is not visibly damaged or corroded
  • Make sure nameplate and operating instructions are facing outward
  • Check the service tag on the extinguisher and sign and date to record the inspection

Yearly Fire Extinguisher Inspections

Yearly fire extinguisher inspections are more in-depth inspections. On a yearly basis, fire extinguishers components must be checked to make sure they are working correctly. Yearly inspections include:

  • Check the extinguisher for damage to the exterior
  • Check the service date for six-year maintenance and hydro test.
  • Making sure the agent is loose and not settle.
  • Look at the pressure gauge to make sure it is charged and not leaking
  • Make sure the pull pin on the extinguisher works
  • Reseal the pull pin
  • Clean the fire extinguisher

Fire Protection in Retail Stores

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

In a retail business, providing excellent customer service is important to the success of your business. Excellent customer service includes helping them find the product they want, but it also means promoting their safety and wellbeing. One great way to improve the safety of your customers is to have a fire protection system installed in your retail facility.

Fire Protection Systems

Making sure your facility is equipped with the right fire protection system will improve safety and help protect your inventory during a fire.

  • Fire Alarms – Fire alarms are very important in retail stores. If you have a large store, you must have a fire alarm system that will alert customers who are in all parts of the store that there is a fire. You may also want to consider fire alarm monitoring for your store in case a fire breaks out at night when no one is around. Fire alarm monitoring systems will alert the fire department that there is a fire at your facility, even if no one is around to call 911.
  • Fire Sprinkler Systems – Fire sprinkler systems are important to protect the safety of the customers and prevent extensive damage to inventory. When heat from a fire activates a sprinkler system, it will release water onto the flames to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Fire Extinguishers – Fire extinguishers should be placed throughout the store, especially near flammable products. Depending on the materials present, you may need different types of fire extinguishers. In most cases, ABC fire extinguishers will be adequate because they put out fires from flammable liquids, electronic equipment, and burning paper or plastic. Make sure your staff is trained on how to use fire extinguishers, so they can use them if a small fire breaks out.

Inspections & Testing

Regular inspection and testing of your fire protection systems are necessary for a retail store. If your fire alarm or fire sprinkler systems are not working properly, it can have devastating consequences during a fire. Inspecting and testing your systems will also help your business comply with fire code so you can avoid costly fines. Many fire protection companies will provide regular inspection and testing of your systems with minimal disruption to your business.

Types of Fire Detection

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

One of the most important components of fighting a fire is ensuring that the fire is detected early on. Early detection of fire allows building occupants to safely exit the building sooner and allows for a faster response from fire suppression systems. When it comes to fire detection, there are several detection methods that are available to choose from. The main three forms of fire detection include heat detection, smoke detection, and flame detection.

  1. Heat Detection

Heat detectors are activated when a fire occurs and causes the temperature in the area to rise. Once the area reaches a certain temperature, the heat detectors are activated. Heat detectors usually have less false alarms, but they can take longer to identify a fire than other forms of detection. Heat detectors are best suited for areas that are not frequently occupied and in areas that are not well suited for smoke detection such as steamy, humid, or dusty environments.

  1. Smoke Detection

Smoke detectors are activated when smoke is created by a fire. There are several types of smoke detectors that use different methods to detect smoke.

    • Ionization

Ionization detectors use radioactive material to create an electric current between two electrodes. When a fire creates smoke, the smoke disrupts the ionization and causes the alarm to go off. This type of smoke detection may result in false alarms as it can be triggered by things like humidity. These types of smoke detectors do a good job of detecting fast-burning fires.

    • Photoelectric

These alarms use a light beam to detect smoke. When smoke particles from fire cross through the beam, the detectors are activated. This type of detector is reliable and has few false alarms. Photoelectric detectors work well on small smoldering fires.

    • Combination

Combination detectors use the technology from both ionization and photoelectric detectors to identify both fast-burning and smoldering fires.

    • Aspirating Smoke Detectors

Aspirating smoke detection is a method of detecting a fire very early on. This type of detector samples and tests the particle levels in the air and is activated when the level of smoke particles rises above normal levels. This type of smoke detection is resistant to false alarms and works well around sensitive equipment as the fire can be detected before it can cause damage.

  1. Flame Detection

Flame detectors are used to detect a fire when flames are present. This type of fire detection includes UV detectors and/or infrared detectors to identify a flame and trigger an alarm.

Commercial Warehouse Fire Sprinkler Systems

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 1,210 warehouse structure fires were reported each year during 2009-2013. These fires caused $155 million in direct property damage, 19 civilian injuries, and 3 civilian deaths on average per year.

If you have a warehouse, you probably want to protect it from a fire. If your warehouse is destroyed by a fire, it can cause costly damage to your business or even put you out of business entirely. Installing fire sprinkler systems in your warehouse can help prevent property loss due to fire. There are several sprinkler systems that can be used in warehouses.

In-Rack Sprinkler System

When a fire starts inside of a warehouse it can spread very quickly unless contained. In-rack sprinkler systems help to stop the spread of a fire within a specific rack storage area. This prevents the fire from spreading to other parts of the building. In-rack sprinklers have a network of pipes that surround the racked structure and target a specific area.

ESFR Sprinklers

ESFR (Early Suppression, Fast Response) sprinklers are ceiling-mounted systems that are used in warehouses. These systems are designed to suppress a fire by releasing a large volume of water directly on the fire. Early Suppression Fast Response systems react faster than traditional sprinkler systems and use larger water droplets.

ESFR systems often can be used in place of in-rack sprinkler systems. Typically, the ESFR system will provide better protection than an in-rack system. However, there are some limitations to the use of ESFR systems. ESFR systems cannot be used with certain storage configurations or building types.

Quell Sprinkler System

The Quell fire sprinkler system can be used in cold storage spaces or unheated warehouses. It can be used to protect high piled storage areas. This system surrounds the protected area and douses it with large volumes of water. The Quell system eliminates the need for in-rack sprinkler components which gives you more flexibility with storage configurations.

Fire Safety in the Office

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

When you are at work, you should remember to practice fire safety. It may be easy to forget about safety when you’re busy doing your daily tasks at work, but remembering safety is always important. When it comes to fire safety in the office there are a few things you should remember. 

 Tips for Office Fire Safety

Make fire safety a priority in the workplace by encouraging your colleagues and employees to take action. Here are some tips for fire safety:

  • Have an emergency evacuation plan in case of a fire
  • Hold office fire drills at least once a year
  • Be attentive when using coffee makers, toasters, and microwaves in the office
  • Try not to use a space heater, or keep heaters away from flammable items
  • Do not use damaged electrical equipment
  • Only use extension cords for temporary purposes
  • Only allow smoking in designated areas and make sure cigarettes are properly disposed of
  • Train employees on how to use fire extinguishers

Fire Protection for Office Buildings

One of the best ways to stay safe from a fire is to install fire protection systems in your building. Fire sprinklers, alarms, and extinguishers can keep you safe from a fire.

Fire Sprinkler Systems

Installing fire sprinkler systems saves lives and protects property. Fire sprinklers can extinguish or stop the spread of a fire. A fire sprinkler system can be designed to fit the needs of your facility and keep everyone safe.

Fire Alarms

Fire alarm systems alert building occupants of a fire so they can escape safely and quickly. When a fire breaks out, you may only have minutes to escape so every second count. This means you need a fire alarm system to alert people as soon as a fire is detected in the building.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers can prevent fires from growing too large and destroying property as well as injuring people. Install extinguishers and have them regularly inspected to keep your building protected. Train employees on the proper way to use a fire extinguisher.

Emergency Action Plan

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Developing an emergency action plan is vital to the safety of employees, residents, and customers for businesses.  This emergency action plan may be mandated by OSHA, your insurance company, or the Authority Having Jurisdiction(AHJ) for your area. The purpose of this plan to ensure that the employers and employees have a proper plan in place and know exactly what do to in an emergency situation.  Even if they are unsure of what to do at the moment due to an event unfolding, having the plan written down and everyone knows where to find it will help everyone keep to the plan that was written down with proper safety protocols.  Having the proper people involved in making the plan is also very important as a poorly developed plan can lead to unfortunate circumstances such as confusion, injury, or it becomes deadly.

Developing your Emergency Action Plan

The initial stage of any emergency action plan is finding out what types of scenarios you need to plan for.  Every emergency action plan should include a plan for fire emergencies, power outages, and severe weather emergencies.  Some will also include any or all of the following: bomb threats, tornado warnings, hurricanes, intruder alerts, gas leaks, water leaks, unresponsive person, concussed person, and many more of the like.  It is better to have over-planned the number of scenarios than under-planned so that your employees, customers, and or residents have a plan in place in case of an emergent situation.  Talk to experts in the field to find out what would be the best plan of action for different types of emergencies for your facility or place of business.

Training

Doing annual training is essential to creating a successful plan.  It is great to have a plan in place but if an emergency situation is happening, it is better to know what to do rather than have to look it up.  You can react in a positive manner instead of guessing what to do and creating a situation that is detrimental to the safety of others. The staff knows what their role is in helping everyone get to safety and keeping them out of harm's way is important in helping everyone keep from becoming panicked.  Everyone reacts differently to situations, but everyone is better prepared if they have practiced the scenario prior to an actual event happening.

Fight vs. Flight

If you have annual training with fire extinguishers with either your local fire department or fire protection company, you and your staff will be more comfortable knowing when it is safe to fight the fire versus just evacuating everyone as quickly as possible. There are times were fighting the fire can be beneficial to saving lives and property and others that can be detrimental to the safety of lives if the fire is too large or the hazard is not safe to extinguish.  Having trained as part of your emergency action plan can help everyone be more prepared to be able to tell the difference between staying to fight or fleeing and getting everyone to safety.

These are only a few of the many benefits of developing an emergency action plan.  This plan is only as good as it is designed to be.  Using experts in the field makes a big difference between a well-designed plan and a poorly designed plan.  Having trained in place also makes a big difference between successfully executing the plan and chaos ensuing an emergency unfolding.  Working with a fire protection company can help make sure you are prepared in the event of a fire.  They will help you determine the best course of action for the people inside the building and developing the roles for those involved.  Use your resources available today and contact a local fire protection company to find out how they can help you develop your best possible emergency action plan.

Why You Should Hire a Professional to Find Your Leaks

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Whenever you have a problem with your home, the first impulse is usually to tackle the problem yourself. Sometimes this can be the right choice, and the problem’s easy enough to solve on your own. Other times it’s much safer and smarter to call in the pros from the beginning.

Tracking down tricky leaks is one of those times. Sure, some leaks are easy to track down, but water has a way of traveling odd paths. So once finding a leak gets tough, then it’s time to call in some help. And here’s why:

They Know Where to Look

Water can travel strange paths before it finally comes out into your home, and you might be surprised how far it can come. That discolored spot on your basement ceiling could actually be caused by a leak in your roof or your wall on the opposite side of the house.

Professionals have tracked down hundreds, even thousands of leaks over the years. That experience gives them a wide variety of usual suspects to check, and a good number of unusual ones, too.

They Know What to Look For

That slight, turquoise line along your copper pipe? That’s where water has run along the outside and caused the copper to oxidize. It’s a sure sign that a leak is sending water traveling on the wrong side of the pipes.

Pros know these and dozens of other signs. What looks like a bit of dirt to you might indicate a serious leak in your roof, foundation, or wall. Or it might just be some dirt. A professional will be able to know the difference for certain.

They’ve Got the Right Equipment

Most of us can only use our eyes or sense of touch to lead us to water, but not the professionals. They have a wide variety of specialized equipment that can sense moisture and humidity through walls or probe underground for water deposits using ground-penetrating radar.

This equipment can be expensive to buy and tricky to use. They have years of experience using the equipment, and know-how to put it to good use.

They Know How to Fix It

Once a professional has found the leak, they’ll know the best way to fix the leak, and will usually be able to take care of the work themselves. The truth is, any professional who comes to repair the leak will have to track it down anyway, even if you have a good idea where the leak is.

By using a professional in the first place, you remove that step from the process, saving you money and getting the leak repaired sooner.

6 Places You Need Sealant to Prevent Leaks

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Your house is made up of a wide variety of different materials. A single type of material is usually very weather-resistant by itself, which is why most leaks are former were two different types of material meet. That’s where sealant comes in. It fills in the small gaps to create a waterproof barrier.

Windows

Windows should have the sealant applied around their entire perimeter, inside and out. This will keep water from coming through the outside, and stop any that does get through before it gets all the way inside. If your window has trim, then the bottom of the trim shouldn’t be caulked. This gives moisture a way to travel down and out of your home.

Door Frames

Door frames are a common weak spot for moisture. Sealant should be applied everywhere the frame and the threshold of the door is flush. You should also apply sealant where the frame and the trim or siding meet. There are several different layers to door frames, and you want to hit all of them.

Soffits and Fascia Boards

Soffits are the underside of a roof’s overhang, and fascia is the front boards where a gutter is usually fastened. These spend a lot of time around moisture and need to be protected. Applying sealant behind the boards will help the fascias and soffits last longer.

Where Decks Meet the House

Do you have a deck that’s attached to your house? Whether it’s a roof deck or self-supporting deck, all of the places where two materials meet can be prone to leaks. That includes where the railings are attached to the house.

Cracks and Gaps Along with Concrete or Masonry

Any cracks or gaps in masonry should be sealed with transparent caulk, while concrete can be filled with gray caulking that is specifically made for use on concrete. Pay special attention to places where the concrete or masonry hits other materials.

Wherever There’s Flashing

Flashing is there for a reason. It bridges any larger gaps where two materials meet, such as where the roof hits the chimney or the deck hits the house. That being said, the flashing has seams of its own where it hits different materials. Sealant should be applied to every single place where there’s flashing. It should also be check regularly to see if it needs to be replaced.

What to Do When Your Basement Is Flooded

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

A flooded basement is no small hazard. Even a single inch of a flooded basement in a 1,000 square foot home can cause $10,000 worth of damage. Six inches of water can easily double that cost.

If you come down the stairs to find water in your basement, here’s what you should do.

The Dangers of a Flooded Basement

Be careful before you charge into a wet basement. There are a few hazards you should check for:

  • Electrical Shock: Loose wires can conduct electricity through the water. Before going into the water, turn off your home’s breaker switches.
  • Gas Leaks: Issues with your basement can lead to gas leaks. If you smell gas at all, then leave the home and contact your gas utility company.
  • Pollutants: If your flood is a sewer leak, then be careful before entering the water. Sewer water can contain bacteria that transmit the disease. Wear protective items like suits, gloves, safety glasses, and face masks. And be ready to call in the professionals

If the Flooding is Caused by Plumbing

When the flood in your basement is caused by plumbing, it falls into two different types. Leaks will fill your basement with cleaner, mostly clear water. If you see this, then try to get to the water main to turn it off.

The other kind of plumbing flood is when the sewer backs up into your basement. One smell and you’ll know if it’s from a sewer. If this is the case, then you don’t want to use anything that uses the drain. Don’t flush the toilet, the washing machine, the dishwasher, or anything else. It will only add to the sewage backing up in your basement.

If you do have sewage backing up into your basement, then be sure to call your local utility company as soon as possible to report it.

If the Leak Is from Outside of Your House

Runoff, rain, snow, or heavy weather can easily lead to flooding in a basement if it's not waterproofed correctly. If this is the case, then try to find the source of the leak as soon as possible. This could be something simple, like a leaking vent window, or something complicated like a leak through the foundation.

If you can’t easily find the leak, then call in the professionals.

Call Your Insurance Company

Different insurance companies handle flooding claims differently. When you call to file a claim, your insurance company will go over any clean-up procedures, specific contractors to use, and other information.

If your home or business needs water restoration services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield at 215-877-6653

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM: PREPARING YOUR ROOF AGAINST HAILSTORMS

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

While the Spring season in Texas equals great temperature and fun outdoorsy activities, consider yourself warned. March begins the yearly hail season—ice as big as golf balls wreak havoc by causing leaky roofs, dented siding, and accidents if you’re caught outside during a storm.

NOAA’s Severe Storms database records over 5,396 major hail storms by last year, 2019. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Storm Prediction Center, National Weather Service, Texas ranks first at the Top Five States By Number Of Major Hail Events. For hail-prone areas, it’s best to be ready for any circumstances that could happen.

Once the storm starts, there is pretty much nothing you can do except to stay inside. It’s safer to double-check everything beforehand, including the things that you can minimize damage to. Safe-proof your home before hail season starts and take precautions that could help lessen the damages.

For everyone’s safety, stay indoors. Pay attention to weather reports to be prepared and shop for groceries, flashlights, and batteries. Close your doors and windows and stay away because of the risks of flying glass.

GUTTER CHECK!

Drains and gutters could easily be filled by fallen leaves, debris from trees, and hailstones. They stop water flow due to clogging and cause damage due to the lack of proper drainage. As a solution, drain these areas. Keep your gutters free from debris that could cause water to back up and potentially cause leaks in the future. This is to ensure that water could drain normally.

MAINTAIN YOUR LAWN.

Amid a really bad hail storm, branches and plants can pose a threat to your home. Tree branches could hit your windows and shutter glass. For safety reasons, trim tree and shrub branches that could potentially cause extensive damage to your property. Maintaining your lawn helps eliminate risks of the upcoming storm.

TAKE YOUR STUFF INDOORS.

Branches and shrubs aren’t the only things that pose a threat against your windows. If possible, take your outdoor furniture and decoration indoors to avoid them becoming hailstone targets and projectiles.

A HAND IN REPAIRS: YOUR INSURANCE POLICY.

After the storm and the damage has been done, check in with your insurance company before authorizing repair work needed. Document the damages and call the company as soon as possible.

INSPECT YOUR ROOF (DO IT PERSONALLY, OR GET A SECOND OPINION).

Before anything else, contacting a professional roofing company to inspect your roof and prepare you against the future dangers of the storm might be better.

Your roof protects you against heavy rain and the scorching sun. It also protects you against hailstones. As it is everyone’s first line of defense against the hail season, repairs are a must. Make sure to inspect your roof regularly. Check for loose or missing shingles and have them repaired as soon as possible to prevent future problems. Loose shingles could cause possible leaking due to the upcoming hail season. If there are small dents in the area, have them inspected. Or consider improving your current option to a material that’s much more resistant.

Does your Overbrook/Wynnefield Home Have Lead?

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Older homes, older child care facilities, schools, and other buildings are more likely to contain lead-based paint. Homes may be private, government-assisted, or public housing. Schools are preschools and kindergarten classrooms. They may be urban, suburban, or rural.

Percentage of homes likely to contain lead:

    • Built between 1960-1978 = 24%
    • Built between 1940-1960 = 69%
    • Built before 1940 = 87%

What can you do to protect your family from lead in pre-1978 homes?

  • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead.
  • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
  • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield follows the EPA's strict guidelines for lead paint

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities, and schools be certified by the EPA. These firms also must use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.

According to EPA requirements (40 CFR Part 745) contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:

  • Contain the work area.
  • Minimize dust.
  • Clean up thoroughly.

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield technicians always takes the necessary precautions according to current laws. Our technicians have been trained and certified to follow lead-safe work practices while performing renovation and repair projects in your area. 

Faster to Your Overbrook/Wynnefield Water Emergency

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs. Once the standing water is gone, the porous materials must be removed as drying equipment is being added. This makes the drying process go much faster because extra materials cause full room drying to slow down.

3 WAYS TO PREVENT MOLD IN COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

WHAT CAUSES MOLD IN COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS?

Mold is primarily caused by uncontrolled moisture. That may come from a leaking roof or a loose plumb fitting. Their spores may also be brought in from the outside through air vents, air systems (both heating and cooling units), and more. Again, as we have mentioned above, mold doesn’t discriminate, but it loves to stick to more organic objects like paper products, upholstery, and wood.

HOW TO PREVENT MOLD IN COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS?

So how does one prevent it? Here are some tips:

  • Deal with leaks. Whether that be coming from the roof or loose plumbing, it is important to deal with them immediately. It’s going to prevent water damage too.
  • Use a dehumidifier. Your establishment’s humidity must always be maintained and kept at no higher than 50%. We understand how it can be challenging to keep track, so your best bet is to install commercial dehumidifiers
  • Ensure proper ventilation. Keep your air vents and air filters clean, and that the enclosed areas of your establishment are free of moisture.
  • Deal with flooding immediately. Don’t let stagnant water sit too long and seep into your wooden walls, flooring, and furniture.

That’s it, by keeping the tips we have shared with you in mind, we are sure that your commercial establishment will be free of both mildew and mold. We understand, however, that even with the best mold control practices, these pesky fungi can still strike, as if out of nowhere. If this happens, then please read on to learn how to remove them.

HOW TO REMOVE MOLD IN COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS?

We will be sharing with you a quick step-by-step guide on how to get your mold problem in control, but we honestly suggest that you let it be done professionally unless you are adequately trained in commercial mold remediation.

  1. Let your area undergo a mold air test. A professional mold inspection will give you some insight into how much the contamination is in your establishment. Ask your mold remediation team to test other rooms as well, even those that you’re sure are not contaminated.
  2. Seal off the area. Once the area is determined, it will need to be sealed before decontamination can proceed. This will prevent the mold from spreading further as well as keep untrained personnel from accessing the said area and cause cross-contamination.
  3. Ready your equipment. You will need various commercial mold remediation equipment in order to begin such as air scrubbers, commercial air movers, industrial dehumidifiers, and more. There are also other products like mold cleaners and mold disinfectants that would be good to have.
  4. Commercial mold remediation. You can now start the process of cleaning infected surfaces and purifying your air.
  5. Test your area. Once you have finished the process, you may ask a certified mold inspector to do a mold toxicity test again in order to ensure that, indeed, it is free of mold spores.
  6. Clean your equipment. After you are absolutely sure that the area is clean, you must then move on to your equipment. Most filters can be replaced. If yours can’t, then you can sterilize them to make them ready for the next task and to avoid cross-contamination as well once you take them out of the sealed space.
  7. Maintain clean air. There are air filters and air moving machines that you can set to change your air at least every four hours. In this way, your commercial space will always be free of indoor air pollution.
  8. Maintain a clean space. Finally, you may now continue practicing the preventive tips we have shared with you above in order to make sure that your space won’t be invaded by mold again anytime soon. Regular mold inspection and testing are also key in order to catch the problem as early as possible next time.

Minimizing Downtime and Damage

3/21/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can be a significant problem for a business owner. Unfortunately, many business owners don't know how to handle this type of property damage. However, learning more about the issue can empower you to take the steps necessary to get your commercial property back in pristine condition.


Water Damage Basics


Some of the possible causes of water damage:


Poor Ventilation

Leaking Pipes

Excessive Condensation

High Humidity

Damp Utility Closets

Roof Leaks

Damp Carpets

Flooding

Fire Sprinklers


Once a water damage has transpired on your property, you'll need to determine the following three things:
Where the water came from?
What is the extent of the damage?
How long has the devastation has been in place?


Now it's time to get the right team.


When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO® of Overbrook/Wynnefield professionals respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. They closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.


Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO® professionals have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.” With over 1,700 Franchises nationwide, there’s a SERVPRO® expert nearby and ready to serve you.


Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO® of Overbrook/Wynnefield is strategically located to respond quickly to your water emergency event. We have been serving the Bradenton community for over 25 years! Call us SERVPRO® of Overbrook/Wynnefield at 215-877-6653.

Storm Damage Unnoticed For Several Months

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

Rain can be unpredictable enough, but when storm damage is involved it can make matters even more complicated. In fact, a local office building experienced just that. Through the holiday season, they were closed for business and did not discover the damage from the rain until the office manager returned two days later.

When she and the rest of the staff saw that every inch of the carpet was soaked and files in cardboard boxes have been saturated, they began to panic. When we arrived on the scene, we let them know everything was going to be okay. Our production team began to extract water immediately from the wet carpet while the production manager measured what areas were wet and which were dry in the corners. After thoroughly checking for moisture, extracting all water and drying for a few days, we were able to save the carpet, saving the office and property manager hundreds of dollars.

If you have water damage due to a recent storm, let our office help! Give us a call at 215-877-6653 to schedule an inspection today. Our team is standing by and would be happy to help. 

We Are Cleaning Experts

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield at 215-877-6653

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

IICRC And Fire Damage

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

The IICRC explains why Fire Restoration is important after experiencing a fire in your home or business. When a home or business owner prolong the restoration of their home or business after a fire, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke and soot exposure. Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning are delayed. The following is a timeline provided by the IICRC of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.

Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow and can cause small appliances located close to the source to discolor in addition highly porous materials like marble may discolor permanently.

Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms while fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow and uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow and finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow in addition furniture finishes may discolor.

Within Days: acid residues may cause painted walls to yellow permanently and metal can corrode, pit and rust; wood furniture may require refinishing while vinyl flooring may require replacement; clothing can become soot stained and upholstery stains may be stained permanently.

Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate quickly. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently while silver plate can be corroded permanently in addition glass, crystal and china may require replacement due to severe etching caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.

Cleaning up soot residue must be done as quickly as possible. The IICRC explains that during combustion, soot residue and volatile vapors are carried by rising and expanding air to surfaces throughout a structure, and are then deposited onto structural surfaces in the home or business. This process occurs repeatedly until combustion ends, during which soot residue continues building up on surfaces layer by layer. This can make the soot very difficult to remove once restoration technicians arrive on site.

Are You Ready?

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

When a fire or water damage emergency happens will you be ready?  None of us like to consider that we will become victims of a water or fire damage disaster.  Unfortunately, it could and inevitably will happen to each of us either at our home or at our place of business.  It’s extremely important to know what to do in the event of an emergency.  As leaders in the Fire and Water Damage Restoration Industry, SERVPRO is here to help you prepare for an emergency before it happens by offering to assist you with creating an ERP.

What is an ERP?

An ERP stands for an Emergency Ready Program.  It is a no-cost readiness plan designed to help home and business owners recover from a disaster faster, which leads to lower recovery costs.  Make sure you’re ready and not ruined with our Emergency Ready Program. 

Contact our office today for more details on how to get started creating your own ERP.  

California Hit by 7 Earthquakes!

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

California's coast was struck by seven underwater earthquakes on Sunday—the largest reaching a magnitude of 5.8 on the moment magnitude scale (MMS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported. Californians in the area reported weak to moderate shaking but no damage after the seismic activity.

The first took place at 11:24 a.m. PST, 46 miles (74 kilometers) west of Petrolia, and measured 2.6 on the MMS. It was followed some hours later by the second and largest quake at 7:59 p.m. PST, which struck 53 miles (86 kilometers) west of Petrolia.

A string of earthquakes then took place later that evening, from 9:10 p.m. PST on March 8, 2020 to 12:24 a.m. PST on March 9, 2020, measuring between 2.5 and 4.9 on the MMS.

The quakes occurred along the Mendocino Fracture Zone at the junction between the San Andreas Fault and Cascadia Subduction Zone.

The Mendocino Fracture Zone is part of the Mendocino Ridge, which extends more than 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) westwards from California into the Pacific, separating the Gorda Plate in the north from the much larger Pacific Plate in the south.

The Gorda Plate lies on a Great Subduction Zone (GSZ), called the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which underthrusts North America.

According to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN), GSZs produce the largest earthquakes in the world and the Cascadia Subduction Zone has produced earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or greater in the past. It will likely produce the same in the future.

The last megathrust earthquake that has been recorded in the region took place in January 1700. However, PNSN states that the geological record shows that similarly large earthquakes have taken place at least seven times in the previous 3,500 years and tend to take place once every 400 to 600 years.

The U.S. West Coast lies in a region of high seismic activity with more than 500 active and 15,000 known fault lines in the state of California alone. However, most earthquakes are too small to be noticed unless you are reading the results of a seismograph.

According to the USGS, there are approximately 10,000 earthquakes in southern California each year but just a few hundred are a magnitude 3.0 or higher. There only tends to be 15 to 20 greater than a magnitude 4.0, considered light and involving little damage.

According to the New Yorker, geologists predict there will be another "big one" in the Pacific northeast that could cause an area from the continental shelf to the Cascades running from Canada to California to drop by as much as six feet and rebound 30-100 feet to the west, also triggering a massive displacement of ocean water.

Source: Newsweek

Have An Emergency Plan Before An Emergency Happenes

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

Information from:

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/escape-planning/basic-fire-escape-planning

Tips For Business Fires!

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Tips for Dealing With the Aftermath of a Business Fire

A hot fire that gains momentum can leave a building in ruins with virtually nothing left to save. In many cases a fire is stopped before it leaps out of control; this often results in many items that can be saved and restored. A partial fire loss leaves the business owner with a lot of decisions about what steps to take to save money, to speed up recovery and to cleanup the mess. Contacting a professional fire remediation service is Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd is a good first step.

An Inspection Is Critical

A thorough inspection by experienced technicians is the quickest way to know where you stand and to gauge the level of fire loss. The inspection should cover the following areas of your business:

  • The structural integrity of your roof
  • The extent of smoke damage in the building
  • The condition of the walls and flooring
  • The state of electrical and computer systems
  • The functionality of the heating and plumbing systems

For insurance purposes all of the damage should be documented. It's also important to file a timely claim and to understand your policy and your rights. Don't settle for work that is shoddy, that does not match the original and that does not address hidden damages such as soot, water and smoke damage.

A Good Cleanup Is Essential

A stellar fire restoration process will proceed quickly and restore items that can be cleaned of odors and grime. A reputable remediation team will have advanced equipment and a variety of cleaning techniques to get your building back in shape. The company will take the guess work out of what can be saved and what should be thrown away and bought new. In many cases, clothes and upholstery can be restored to excellent condition again. The fire loss might not be as extensive as originally thought.

Fire Damage Often Leads to Water Damager Cleanup!

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Restoration Often Includes Water Damage Cleanup

Being prepared in case of a fire in your Overbrook, PA business is key for the safety of everyone onsite as well as keeping damage to a minimum. After following proper fire protocols, the next step is fire cleanup. Along with that, water cleanup will likely be part of the process.

Extinguishing the Flames Leaves Water Behind

Although smoke cleanup and rummaging through burnt items is to be expected after a fire, many may forget the massive amounts of water required to extinguish the flames. Depending on the extent of the fire, it could result in more water cleanup than expected. The main water damage concerns include:

Wood Damage – Floors, furniture and other items made from wood quickly soak up water. As it retains the water, buckling and other damage can take root. Items severely damaged will likely need to be replaced.

Ceilings – Along with inspecting for any fire damage to the structure of the building, ceilings with water damage will need to be repaired immediately.

Drywall – The walls of a building often take the brunt of both fire and water issues. If they made it unscathed from the flames, there could still be hidden water issues. Any areas affected will need to be replaced to avoid further deterioration and mold growth.

Electrical – Water can find its way into electrical equipment and outlets without being detected. A close inspection of all electrical components should be conducted.

Count On Professional Help

Lingering water left unattended can cause big problems long after the fire has taken place. A water damage specialist has the expertise to properly dry, clean and restore your business back to new. Along with repairing physical issues, they can also help with the restoration of items such as documents, furniture, paintings and more.
While you might not be expecting water cleanup after a fire, it’s important to make sure water damage doesn’t go unchecked. Getting the right help can help get your business back to normal.

Causes of Dryer Fires

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

According to the US Fire Administration, nearly 2,900 residential fires are caused by dryers, and 34% of those fires are likely caused by a lint fire, meaning a failure to maintain or clean the appliance. Therefore, dryer fires can be prevented, and the best way to ensure your safety from these appliance disasters is to follow the three keys of ownership.

Proper installation
Routine cleaning
Inspection and maintenance


A dryer fire can occur because of poor installation. A professional installer will ensure that all electrical components are correctly connected and that all plugs and outlets are compatible. Also, while using a third party installer is wise, you should also make sure you read all the manufacturer's warnings and instructions before use.


If you fail to clean your dryer regularly, then you are putting yourself and your family at risk of a lint fire. To prevent such an issue, you need to not only clear the lint filter but ensure that lint is removed from any other likely areas. For example, you can develop a lint buildup in the back of the dryer at the exhaust connection. Also, lint can buildup in the vent pipe. For any difficult cleaning call on a professional.


Inspection and Maintenance


Most remediation companies and other appliance repair professionals in St Michael, MN recommend performing routine checks on dryers, typically every three to six months. These inspections should cover the cleaning, testing and possibly replacing of integral components.


If you are in the market for a new dryer or are concerned about the possibility of a dryer or lint fire, then follow the advice above. Dryer fires are often preventable fires. Therefore, ensure that they are correctly installed, cleaned regularly and inspected every three to six months. Your home does not have to become a part of the statistics. Be an educated appliance owner.

Fire Damaged Materials Need Meticulous Clean

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

The dangers of fire damage can last much longer than the initial fire blaze. Two of the most toxic types of damage are the fire itself and the resulting smoke damage. Smoke and soot can damage a home by permeating through the walls, upholstery, ceiling, insulation, air conditioning vents, and other hard to clean places. 
 
This is why it is important to understand that fire damage in Overbrook/Wynnefield homes can present itself in many ways. Depending on the type of fire that attacks your home, not only are the apparent soot, ash, and fire damage unsightly, but possible structure damage and future contamination are possible. 
 
Never Have Your Fire Damage Overlooked Again 
For example, depending on where a fire burns in a structure, it can affect support beams, load-bearing walls, and it can wreak havoc on wiring and insulation. Even if your fire emergency seemed localized to a particular area in the house, remember, the attic must be checked for damage as well. 
 
SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris. 
 
Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration. 
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers. 

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

The Best Way To Minimize a Disaster at Your Home or Business is to Plan For it NOW!

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are You Ready? Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens.

Understanding The Three Categories of Water

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage in your home or place of business, there are different types, or classifications of water that we can use.  Using this classification system, we can determine what health risks are associated with the water, and properly prepare bringing with us all necessary safety equipment and uniforms.  In this blog article we are going to focus on three types: Clean, Gray, and Black water. 

Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilets holding tanks, snow melt and rainwater. Overtime however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.

Gray Water: Gray water does contain slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.

Black Water: This water is a health risk as it is highly contaminated. Black water is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. There can be many dangers associated with attempting to clean water damage on your own.  If ever you spot any type of water in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield.  We are faster to any size disaster and will have our highly trained team over to your house or place of business within the hour!  Remember, its best to not wade into any unknown water source without the proper protection.  Give us a call 24/7 at (215) 877-6653

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield is an IICRC certified firm.

Handling Water Losses In Your Commercial Apartment Complex

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Large commercial properties have unique needs when it comes to flood damage restoration. You need an insured and licensed restoration firm with the technical capacity to take work in a larger space. The firm should also respect your priorities as an investor by assisting you in minimizing downtime and disruption. 

When there is commercial flood damage in your Overbrook/Wynnefield apartment complex, you can seek help from SERVPRO to restore it. Typically, apartment complexes contain many household items that are at risk of water damage. The apartment buildings can also be susceptible to several problems that can have repercussions for all tenants. The impact of floodwater on tenants on every level of apartment buildings can include:

  •     Water damage to ground floor apartments.
  •     Inaccessible entry and exit points.
  •     Water damage to sheds and garages.
  •     Disruption of utility services like gas, water and electricity.
  •     Seeking temporary accommodation.
  •     Lift failures
  •     Backing up of drainage or sewerage systems.

As the property owner, flood damage can create unfavorable conditions that cause long-term consequences. You can lose revenue if tenants find another property to rent. You may also deal with lawsuits because of the loss of personal possessions. Loss of income can also lead to other issues, like being unable to pay your employees.

Apart from the financial repercussion, secondary water damage in an apartment building like mold growth can cause health effects to your tenants. Our SERVPRO crew can respond to your flooding emergency quickly to prevent these repercussions. We can assess the destruction to understand your unique needs and work to restore your apartment complex as soon as possible.

Our technicians can remove standing water from affected apartments using different pumps like self-priming trash pumps and high-pressure pumps. Our crew can also take out any salvageable contents that the water did not ruin. Floodwater typically contains microorganisms. Therefore, if porous materials like mattresses and upholstery are saturated with water, we can dispose of them appropriately.

Our technicians can also remove wet carpeting and padding, and any drywall or plaster that is saturated with the floodwater. We can also remove wall insulation like fiberglass, mineral wool, and wood fiberboard. Our technicians can also remove all debris and clean up the affected apartments thoroughly. We can use various water damage restoration products like antimicrobial agents, sanitizers, and disinfectants to stop or limit the growth of microbes. 

We can also promote drying by using air moving and dehumidifying equipment to remove excess moisture or humidity from the affected areas. Before you perform any refinishing task on building materials like wood framing and drywall, it is essential to check the moisture content. Our crew can use infrared cameras and moisture meters to confirm that the building materials are dry.

Tips To Keep Packages Safe

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

A man shared a video from west Wichita. It shows a woman driving by his mom's home, backing up into the driveway then stealing a crockpot and another item. He said it totaled about a couple hundred dollars.

Derby police say they have seen a spike in stolen packages over the span of a week. Officers there recently arrested a woman in connection to several stolen packages in town.

Derby's deputy police chief, Lt. Brandon Russell, says multiple stolen package reports have been made in the last week.

"The amount is not the concern to us, it's the fact that it's happening, that's the concern to us. You should be able to have a package delivered and not have a problem with that," said Russell.

While it seems to be happening more often, there are a few things you can do to keep your items safe.

1. Make sure someone is home
2. Deliver it to your office
3. Have it held at the store
4. Use lockbox

Story by: KWCH12 CBS

Tips For Hurricane Weather

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is already among us and has taken a toll on places like North Carolina and Florida. Business and homeowners everywhere should consider many things during hurricane season to prevent damage to their property. Many of them seem obvious, but others, not so much. What are some of these preparation tasks you might ask? Lets try to answer this question.

Building and Street Maintenance

Consider the last time you cleaned your storm drains. If they have not been cleared out in recent years, this could cause a blockage of water from draining away from your property. When water gets clogged in drains, this can lead to a back-up. This means water will be coming back into your home or business and can cause very serious damage. If you have a shop vac (dry/wet vacuum), try to get some of the dirt and build up out of the drain. If you can’t clean it properly, call a professional.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are basically pumps used to get rid of water that has entered a building. When turned on, these pumps run water through a hose and outside of the property. If you own these pumps, when was the last time they were tested? Do they have a battery back up in case of a power outage? Power outages cause almost 20 percent of water damage due to sump pumps not being able to run during these outages. If you do not own a sump pump, consider buying one especially if you commonly see water damage on site.

Generator Fuel Tanks

Many people like to store back up generators in their basements. This can be dangerous because if water seeps into your basement and gets in the fuel tanks, this will contaminate the gas and lead to failure to start the generator. In turn, this means no power and could lead to more damage.

Runoff

Does grading lead away from your building? Grading helps to move water away from your building instead of moving towards it. Checking your grading system can help keep water from flowing into your building.

Clear the Floor

One of the leading causes of water damage is the items on the floor. You can avoid this by removing porous materials, boxes, and paper from the floor of your basement. Keep all of your electronics off the floor and make sure to turn off your electronics when you are expecting heavy rains.

Hurricane Relief!

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Terre Haute, IN - The American Red Cross hosts blood drives throughout the years, but after disaster strikes drastic efforts are needed
    
"The need is so great right now, not because necessarily the people affected by the hurricane but the fact that the blood drives that were supposed to be held there. The processing centers and different things all getting shut down," said Ashley Hughes, American Red Cross Engagement Rep.

Every pint of blood that is donated has the opportunity to save three people's lives. With that in mind, the Wabash Valley Red Cross opened their doors for the community to contribute.

"We're just trying to get as much help as we can to the individuals there suffering, as well as maintain our blood supply across the entire country," says Hughes. 

Dan Smith, a Terre Haute native, has donated blood for years and he did let the chance to help others in need slip past him. 

"I've been donating blood since high school. It's something easy to do. It doesn't take a whole lot of time, yet it helps others in the community," says Smith.

No matter the cause, Smith says he is proud to continue to come out and donate. "I'm really happy to come out and do my part in making our society better and the community better. Whether it's those affected in Florida or here in the Terre Haute area."

Ashley Hughes says in times of serious need, like now, the Wabash Valley has always responded well.  "There's been wonderful feedback from the community, people coming out that haven't given in years but know that there's a need right now. "

In addition to donating blood, the Wabash Valley Red Cross is always accepting volunteers as they account for 90% of their help. 

For more information on how you can help: https://www.redcross.org/

Information provided by: https://www.mywabashvalley.com/news/hurricane-michael-relief/1557657969

Fire Damaged Materials Need Meticulous Cleaning

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

Soot settles on storage unit doors Pictured is soot sitting on top of a metal service at a large commercial fire loss.

The dangers of fire damage can last much longer than the initial fire blaze. Two of the most toxic types of damage are the fire itself and the resulting smoke damage. Smoke and soot can damage a home by permeating through the walls, upholstery, ceiling, insulation, air conditioning vents, and other hard to clean places. 
 
This is why it is important to understand that fire damage in Overbrook/Wynnefield homes can present itself in many ways. Depending on the type of fire that attacks your home, not only are the apparent soot, ash, and fire damage unsightly, but possible structure damage and future contamination are possible. 
 
Never Have Your Fire Damage Overlooked Again 
For example, depending on where a fire burns in a structure, it can affect support beams, load-bearing walls, and it can wreak havoc on wiring and insulation. Even if your fire emergency seemed localized to a particular area in the house, remember, the attic must be checked for damage as well. 
 
SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris. 
 
Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration. 
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers. 

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

When Storms Hit Overbrook/Wynnefield, SERVPRO is ready!

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Overbrook/Wynnefield, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have An Emergency Plan Before An Emergency Happenes

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

What's Commercial Property Insurance?

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Let’s start by defining commercial property insurance. Often included as part of a packaged business owner's policy, but also as a stand-alone policy, commercial property insurance covers damage to a company’s building and its contents due to covered perils, such as fire, theft, or natural disasters. If your company has a building with land, computers, equipment, or inventory, you probably need property insurance.

The amount of coverage your business needs and the cost of this coverage, however, will vary depending on the nature of your business and the value of its assets. Coverage can either cover all risks except those specifically included or only those risks which are specifically named in the policy. The cost of this coverage will depend on how you value your company’s assets and whether you opt to include coverage for things like a business interruption or risks specific to your business’s location and industry.

While there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right commercial property insurance plan or business owner's policy, it doesn’t need to be complicated!

Source: IRMI Glossary

Winter Weather Tips

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Snowstorms & Extreme Cold

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. A winter storm can:

  • Last a few hours or several days;
  • Knock out heat, power, and communication services; and
  • Place older adults, young children, and sick individuals at greater risk.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WINTER STORM WARNING, FIND SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A WINTER STORM THREATENS:

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
  • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
  • Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.

Survive DURING

  • Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
  • Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
  • Reduce the risk of a heart attack. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia and begin treatment right away.
  • Check on neighbors. Older adults and young children are more at risk in extreme cold.

RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND

  • Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes.
    • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.
  • Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.
    • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, or drowsiness
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

Article from ready.com

Fire Displaces Many Residents

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

COBB (CBS46)—Smyrna fire officials are working to determine what caused an apartment fire that left two people injured and several residents displaced early Friday morning.

The fire happened around 1:00 a.m. at The Alcove Apartments on Woodlands Drive in Smyrna.

 

Fire officials said they arrived to heavy flames in the breezeway on the second story.

According to officials, one person had superficial burns and another person was injured due to jumping from the second story. Both were transported to an area hospital and are expected to survive.

 

Ten units in the complex were damaged, leaving several people displaced.

The American Red Cross was called out to provide assistance to the displaced  victims.

Tortoise Sets House on Fire

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

Despite its dour demeanor, an “angry-looking" tortoise in England actually had a “very lucky Christmas Day” after firefighters rescued the reptile from a house it had set on fire, officials said.

The unnamed 45-year-old reptile was alone in its Essex home when it knocked a heat lamp onto its bedding, which caught on fire, Essex Fire and Rescue said Wednesday in a news release.

Neighbors heard the smoke alarm and called an emergency number around 5 p.m., officials said. Firefighters scrambled to the scene and found smoke filling the home and a fire in one of the rooms.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and cleared the house of smoke within 25 minutes, the BBC reported.

"This incident shows just how important it is to have smoke alarms on every level of your home - even if you're not home they will alert anyone close by to the first sign of fire,” said Watch Manager Gary Wain of the Great Dunmow Fire Station.

Tips for Upcoming Winter Temperatures

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Cold temperatures can cause water pipes to freeze. Freezing in a pipe creates a lot of pressure inside the pipe and can cause the pipe to burst and likely lead to serious flooding, especially when there's no one around to turn off the water. The best prevention against frozen pipes is to keep them warm enough to stay above the freezing point. You can do this with any one of six simple steps or, better still, a combination of measures.

 Not Just for Cold Climates

It is a common misconception that frozen pipes are an issue only for homes in typically cold climates. However, the homes that are actually more vulnerable to frozen pipes are those in typically warmer climates because the pipes may not be properly insulated against frigid temperatures, or they may be located in unprotected areas (or even outdoors). Abnormally cold weather puts these pipes at risk.

 

Wherever you live, you need to worry only about the water supply pipes, not the drain pipes. Water pipes are small, only about 1 inch in diameter or smaller. Drain pipes are 1 1/2 inches and larger and are usually made of plastic. Drain pipes carry waste water, but they do not hold water and are not pressurized like water pipes, so freezing inside drains is not a concern.

 Tip #1: Keep the Heat On

If you or your tenants are leaving for a long period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on in your property. It may be difficult to convince your tenants to leave their heat on when they are away, especially if they are responsible for paying their own utility bills. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions.

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Rewarding Life’s Achievements

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The heat does not have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were actually in the property, but keeping it set above 50 F is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.

 Tip #2: Allow the Faucet to Drip

If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can open the faucet fed by that pipe just a bit so the faucet drips slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this relieves pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus keep the pipe from bursting. If the faucet is served by both hot and cold water pipes, open both faucet taps slightly, or set a single-handle faucet (such as a kitchen faucet) to warm.

 Tip #3: Keep Interior Doors Open

Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperature drops, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.

 Tip #4: Seal up Cracks and Holes

Seal gaps around holes where pipes run through walls or floors, especially where the hole is letting in cold air. Use caulk or spray foam insulation (such as Great Stuff) to fill the gaps. If possible, seal holes on both the interior and exterior side of wall or floor. Cold outdoor air that gets in through holes and gaps can make a cabinet compartment, which is usually pretty cold, even colder.

 Tip #5: Apply Heating Tape

Heating tape works like an electric blanket for pipes, supplying heat directly to the pipe to keep it warm curing cold spells. This can be a good solution for short sections of pipe that are at high risk for freezing and are easily accessible so you can install the tape and can monitor it for problems.

 

There are two types of heating tape. One type turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed. The other type must be plugged in when heat is needed and unplugged when not in use; it does not have an automatic or manual on/off switch. Much like a space heater, these products can be dangerous, so you must follow the product’s direction and safety procedures exactly.

 Tip #6: Add Extra Insulation

Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.

 

Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors, or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

 

Insulation can help keep a pipe closer to the temperature of the water inside the pipe, but it does not add heat to the pipe and will not prevent freezing if the pipe is exposed to prolonged freezing temperatures.

From: thebalancesmb.com by: Erin Eberlin

Winter Weather and Roofing Tips

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Keep Your Gutters Clean

Your gutters and drainpipes help shed water from your roof as snow and ice melt. Water collects in clogged gutters. This is bad news when temperatures plunge. Frozen drain spouts and gutters cause leaks in your building and damage your drainage system. Contact a professional gutter cleaning service before the cold weather sets in to make sure your roof is ready for the winter.

Inspect Your Roof

Think back to the last time you had your roof inspected or repaired. If you can’t remember, chances are it is time to have it looked at. A structurally sound roof is capable of withstanding even major snowfalls. Compromised roofs are not. Two obvious signs of a structurally unstable roof are:

  • A roof that sags in the middle
  • Evidence of water damage in ceilings and attics.

How Much Snow Is Too Much?

Major blizzards sometimes deposit more snow than your roof can handle. To find out how much snow your roof can safely hold, contact your roofing company. While you are at it, set up a snow removal plan with your roofer to make sure your home is protected this winter.

Stay Off Of Your Roof

It is tempting to take matters into our own hands when it comes to snow removal. Climbing out on a roof covered with snow and ice is a bad idea. Conditions are slippery at best, and one slip is all it takes to incur serious injury or death.

Single story homeowners with snow removal tools like roof rakes need to be careful as well. Large amounts of snow falling off of a roof are dangerous. Make sure all pets and children are inside, and never attempt to remove snow alone. Better yet, wait for professional assistance.

Help your roof keep you and your family safe and warm.

From: Russelroofing.com

Myths Vs Facts of Mold in The Home

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield we currently get a lot of calls regarding mold in property’s. Most of the time it’s in an un-used part of the home like a basement or attic.

Some customers try to handle the project themselves and find that the mold comes back a few weeks later. Here are some myths & facts about mold and the dangers. Although if you think you have mold, you should contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield to discuss the plans of actions.

MYTH NO. 1 BLEACH KILLS MOLD?

Liquid bleach is a solution of chlorine in water, usually 6 percent sodium hypochlorite, thus 94 percent water. Smearing bleach on mold may appear to kill it, but the effect is superficial and very temporary. Once the chlorine is gone - and it evaporates rapidly - what's left is all that water, feeding the mold.

There are many chemicals that kill mold. They're called biocides. That means they kill life. (Bio = life + cide = kill.)


MYTH No. 2 'Toxic' Mold is the only dangerous type of mold.

"Toxic" mold or "black" mold is often touted by the hucksters in the mold industry as being the one that makes people sick, the one you must eliminate. This is pure scare tactic.

Yes, there are some strains of mold that seem to be more toxic than others. But there is no such thing as good mold, or even tolerable mold, unless you like stinky cheese. Mold in your home is a problem, because it signifies a moisture problem. Moisture inside your home enables mold growth, and it can also lead to rot, threatening the structure itself.

On top of that, any mold problem that's allowed to continue often will pave the way for the dreaded "black mold." The most infamous "black mold," stachybotrys chartarum, is what's known as a tertiary mold. It's very slow to develop and usually follows earlier mold growths, actually feeding off the previous mold colony.

MYTH No. 3, Homeowners can property remediate mold themselves?

Homeowners are not trained or knowledgeable about mold enough to properly remediate the damages, most times homeowners cause more damage when they don’t hire a professional. Most of the errors are in the contamination process. Not using vapor barriers or the proper equipment to clean the air during removal stages. When it’s not properly sectioned off, they can cross contaminate mold threw other area of the home that previously did not have mold spores.


Fact No. 1 : Mold is everywhere and mold problems exist indoors in every climate.

Mold is, literally, everywhere on the planet, in every climate. A house in the Mojave Desert can have a mold problem as easily as one in Florida or New Orleans.

Mold needs three things to thrive: moisture, food, and the right temperature. Moisture can collect in walls, attics and crawl spaces in the driest of climates with a little help, such as a roof or siding leak, plumbing flaw, and pressure differentials created by air conditioning, or even a poorly vented bathroom.

Food for mold is pretty much everything we build with and everything we own. Mold loves household dust... even in the kitchen sink. And the warmth mold needs is the same temperature range humans prefer.

Bottom line: Every home has mold but not every home has a mold problem. If you think you might have a mold problem, don't ignore it. Get help.

Fact No. 2 Home inspectors don't know mold.

Home inspectors - the ones who check out a house prior to sale - are generally ignorant about mold. Many inspectors will see mold and ignore it because there's no rot or obvious moisture. Others may not see it at all.

If you think you have mold in your property, call a professional remediation company like SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield

Dirty Air Ducts Could Lead to Sickness

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

WINTER is coming quick, which means spending more time indoors, and if you have poor air quality, that could mean spending the season breathing in allergens and toxins. In a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through everyday living!

In America, 22.9 million people are affected by asthma and 6.8 million of these are children. These symptoms are often triggered by poor indoor air quality like dust mites, pollen, and other issues like pet dander. Each year over 2 million people end up in the emergency room due to an asthma attack. Regular cleanings of carpets and HVAC systems can help prevent your family from becoming a statistic. 

In addition to the regular irritants found in the winter months, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular cleanings:

  • cigarette or cigar smoke
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • home renovation or remodeling projects

So what's the process you ask??

When a homeowner calls asking about our duct cleaning process it gives us the opportunity to talk about what we do and how we do it. Below we've listed some steps SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh uses during a routine Duct Cleaning Process:

  • Patented equipment includes using air powered agitation systems which automatically adapt to the duct shape, removing debris and filth.
  • A powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the duct to a 16-gallon container
  • Clean air is filtered through a HEPA filtration, removing 99.97% of particles before it returns to air-wash the duct
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove any odor and dirt

 There's more...It can save you money!

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use.

When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn't have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.

To schedule a duct cleaning estimate today, contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield

Fire Damage Awareness

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire can cause more damage than meets the eye. Of course, fire itself causes much of the damage to a home or business. Did you know that smoke can cause just as much damage too? Smoke and soot can permeate through walls, ceilings, upholstery, and air conditioning vents. Many of these spots are very hard to clean when not properly educated on the issues associated to fire damage.

Not only is there visible damage to the structure, but also damage that can be unnoticed. Structural damage can occur to support beams, weight bearing walls, and studs etc. and these are places that you would not check unless you know how to properly restore a structure after this type of loss.

SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris.

Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration.
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers.

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

SERVPRO is an IICRC Certified Firm

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Faster to Your Overbrook/Wynnefield Water Emergency

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs. Once the standing water is gone, the porous materials must be removed as drying equipment is being added. This makes the drying process go much faster because extra materials cause full room drying to slow down.

Restoring your Overbrook/Wynnefield Commercial Property

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Overbrook/Wynnefield commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield
SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Overbrook/Wynnefield Soot and Smoke Clean-up

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

When Storm or Flood Damage Occurs, Call SERVPRO

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Overbrook/Wynnefield, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 215-877-6653

Overbrook/Wynnefield Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Restoration!

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Overbrook/Wynnefield basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 215-877-6653

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 215-877-6653

For Immediate Service, Call SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield Today!

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield provides 24hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any sized disaster in Overbrook/Wynnefield. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 215-877-6653

Residential Services

Whether your Overbrook/Wynnefield home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Overbrook/Wynnefield commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business.

Does Your Overbrook/Wynnefield Home Have Lead?

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Older homes, older child care facilities, schools and other buildings are more likely to contain lead-based paint. Homes may be private, government-assisted or public housing. Schools are preschools and kindergarten classrooms. They may be urban, suburban or rural.

Percentage of homes likely to contain lead:

    • Built between 1960-1978 = 24%
    • Built between 1940-1960 = 69%
    • Built before 1940 = 87%

What can you do to protect your family from lead in pre-1978 homes?

  • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead.
  • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often.
  • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield follows the EPA's strict guidelines for lead paint

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by the EPA. These firms also must use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.

According to EPA requirements (40 CFR Part 745) contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:

  • Contain the work area.
  • Minimize dust.
  • Clean up thoroughly.

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield technicians always take the necessary precautions according to current laws. Our technicians have been trained and certified to follow lead-safe work practices while performing renovation and repair projects in your area. 

Do's and Do Not's for Fire Emergencies

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire coming back to the house or building were it happened can be a very emotional experience. Here are some tips of what to do and what not to do in in your house after a fire.

What To Do After a Fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as to not furth soil an upholstery, walls or woodwork.
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change the HVAC filter.

What NOT To Do After a Fire:

  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your local SERVPRO.
  • Do not use canned or packaged foods or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures is the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Do not send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

Preparing for Fall

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

As much fun as summer can be, it has to end at some point. As the trees begin to change and the weather shifts from hot and humid to cool and crisp, it’s time to prepare for the onset of cooler months. Whether you’re ready for hot cocoa and sweaters or are still holding on to ice cream and swim suits, there’s a lot to do to get ready for the changing seasons.

  1. Inspect your roof
    If you have a heavy rainstorm or a foot of snow, does your roof have what it takes to hold up? Before settling in for another chilly fall and a freezing winter take a look at your roof for weak spots or cracks in your shingles and granules. If you see anything that looks off or unstable, a roofer may be what your home needs to weather this winter’s storms.
  2. Clean out your gutters
    As the leaves begin to turn, you know you’re only weeks away from them falling off entirely and stopping up your gutters. Before you find yourself with a big mess on your hands, take the time now to clean out your gutters and drainpipes to prevent the possibility of water damage and clogs. A clean early in the season may not be sufficient through the winter, but it will make sure you’re prepared for the harsher weather to come. Water damages can be caused by clogged drains or overflowing water to collect on your roof.

Preparing your house for fall may not be what you planned to do during your weekend, but it’s something you’ll thank yourself for later. With the right measures taken now, you and your family will be prepared to settle in for the fall and winter, no matter what may be coming your way!

Vacation Checklist 2019

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

When planning for an extended trip out of town, most of us focus on getting ready for the time while we’ll be away. But it’s equally important to prepare your home before you leave. Here are 10 ways to ready your home before going away on vacation.

1. Turn Off the Water Supply 

Turning off the main water supply to your home is the best defense against flooding caused by a burst pipe or other plumbing failure. "If you're going to have a leaky supply line, it's going to happen while you're away," says Fred Spaulding, president of Quality Home Improvements, Inc., in Kingwood, Texas. And a major leak could be catastrophic if nobody’s around to deal with it. In the Houston area, where he lives, for example, hot-water tanks are placed in attics to avoid taking up floor space in living areas. "If that water tank leaks, you'd better catch it quickly," he says. "I've seen cabinets in kitchens destroyed. It only takes a little bit of a leak."

Closing the valve on the main supply line cuts off water to the house, but still allows outside sprinklers to work. If you do spring a leak inside, the line will be under some initial pressure, but it will not continue to spray water. "Instead of literally thousands of gallons of water, you might have a 50-gallon leak from the hot-water tank," Spaulding says. "There is no downside to turning off the water. It takes a little bit of time, and it can save thousands of dollars in potential water damage."

If you don’t want to turn off the water to the whole house, at least close the hot- and cold-water valves on the washing machine hoses. That’ll prevent flooding should the hoses burst while you’re away.

  2. Check the Sump Pump 

Another type of water—rainwater—can also cause trouble while you’re away. If the sump pump fails during a major storm, you could return to a flooded basement or crawlspace. So, make sure the sump pump is working before you leave town by dumping a bucket of water into the sump pit. If the pump doesn’t kick on, call a plumber.

And for an extra level of protection, install a sump pump that has a battery backup. This way, if the storm also knocks out the electricity, the sump pump will still operate.

3Turn Up the Thermostat—But Don't Turn Off the A/C Unit 

If you have a programmable thermostat, Spaulding says, you're golden. "You can set and hold the temperature at 85 degrees while you're gone in the summer, then the day before you get back, the thermostat will lower the temperature to 72," he explains. If you have a manual thermostat, it's still worth turning it up while you're gone to avoid wasting energy. You'll just have to deal with a hot house when you get back.

But don't completely turn off the air conditioner or furnace during your vacation. "You want to keep the air circulating so it doesn't have time to condensate," Spaulding says. And it keeps the house from turning into an oven, which can impact wood doors, cabinets and flooring. Tom O'Grady, president of O'Grady Builders in Drexel Hill, Pa., agrees, "You can have tremendous heat buildup, which can have an effect on surfaces like wood floors," he says. Since wood expands when it's warm, excessive heat could cause the flooring to expand and buckle, and doors to not close properly.

The same goes for winter travelers, but in reverse. Turn down the thermostat while you're away, but don't turn off the furnace completely, which could put your pipes in danger of freezing.

4. Keep Flowers Alive With a Soaker Hose 

If you'll be gone for more than a few days—especially in the middle of the summer—and don't have an in-ground sprinkler system, use a soaker hose

to keep your flowerbeds or vegetable gardens watered. You can set the hoses on a timer, so they’ll turn on and off at preset times, preferably twice a day: early morning and late afternoon.

5. Light Rooms With Timers 

To make your house appear occupied while you're gone, and a less appealing target for burglars, put timers

on lamps in different rooms of your home. The timers turn on and off the lights at different times of the night, as if someone in the house were flipping a switch. Timers are available at home centers for less than $10 a piece.

And for a few extra bucks you can purchase smart timers or WiFi bulb sockets, which allow you to control lights remotely with your smart phone.

Pro tip: Here’s another way to give your home a lived-in look: ask a neighbor to park their cars in your driveway while you’re away. 

6. Set Your Water Heater 

It’s not recommended to completely turn off a water heater, but you can a significant amount of energy—and money—while on vacation by switching the water heater to vacation mode. If your heater doesn’t have vacation mode, simple lower the temperature several degrees to prevent it from cycling on and off so often.

7. Add Antifreeze to Toilets 

If you’ll be gone during the winter, flush all the toilets in your home to drain the water out of the tanks. That way, if your furnace stops working, the water in the tanks won't freeze, expand, and crack the porcelain.

But even if you shut off the water supply to the toilet and then flush the toilet, there will still be some water in the bowl. The solution? Marine antifreeze. "Pour a little antifreeze into the toilet to keep it from freezing," Spaulding says. "Then when you come home, flush the toilet to clear it away." Just be sure to use marine antifreeze, which is nontoxic.

  8. Alert the Alarm Company 

If your home is equipped with a monitored alarm system, be sure to contact the company to let them know that you’ll be away. And confirm that they have not only your cell-phone number, but also the phone number of a trusted neighbor, just in case the company can’t get a hold of you.

9. Unplug Electronics 

If any of your televisions, computers, sound systems, and other electronics are plugged directly into the wall rather than into a surge protector, pull the plugs in case a power surge happens while you're away. If the devices are plugged into surge protects, simply flip the switch to power them off.

Unplugging electronics and turning off surge protectors can also save you some coin. "All of these electronics are drawing power," O'Grady says, “even when they're not in use.” And that vampire voltage adds up. The Department of Energy estimates that the average U.S. family spends $100 annually to power devices that are turned off or in standby mode.

 10. Stop the Mail

If you’ll be gone for more than a few days, it’s smart to halt mail delivery until you return. Stop by the post office and pick up an Authorization to Hold Mail form. The postal service will hold your mail for a minimum of three days, but not more than 30 days. And you can choose to either have all the accumulated mail delivered to your mailbox on the day you return, or they’ll hold it for you to pick up at the post office. This service is offered free of charge.

Also, be sure to stop newspaper delivery. Nothing says, “No one’s home, come take our stuff,” more than a stack of newspapers on your front lawn.

Article by: Joseph Truini (Popular Mechanic)

AAA Car Care

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

WTNH)– October is Car Care month and AAA Northeast has a few tips to keep your car running safe and smooth.

AAA Northeast spokeswoman, Fran Mayko says, “Learning how to handle common maintenance issues benefits anyone who gets behind the wheel since proper maintenance can also extend the life of your vehicle and prevent costly repairs.”

AAA recommends four easy car care practices that everyone can perform:

  1. Ensure your car battery is properly charged
  2. Check your tire wear and tire pressure regularly
  3. Inspect those windshield wipers and replace if they’re worn, cracked or rigid.
  4. Work with a local repair shop you trust for routine maintenance and repair.

Other easy tricks to prepare your car for the upcoming winter season include:

  1. Testing your battery and charging system if the car battery is more than three years old.
  2. Making sure your coolant contains a 50/50 solution of coolant and water that protects your engine at temperatures of -34 degrees or colder.
  3. Double checking the hoses in your car aren’t cracked or brittle and check that the clamps aren’t loose.
  4. Making sure your washer fluid has components of antifreeze, which protects against below freezing temperatures. And on especially icy mornings make sure the washer fluid reservoir is filled. (If you don’t wish to purchase winter tires for your car, remember that all season tires only work best in light-to-moderate snow conditions.)
  5. Checking tires for uneven wear or cupping on tires, which can lead to alignment, balance and suspensions problems further down the line.
  6. Replacing windshield wiper blades that leave streaks or miss spots on your windshield. (A winter alternative for your wipers are winter blades, which protect the blades against snow an ice buildup.)
  7. Making sure to change your oil according to your manufacturers recommendations. Remember to also double check your transmission fluid while you’re at it.

AAA wants all motorists to be safe during the winter season and practicing the above tips can help keep the cold out and your car cruising.

Coffee Makers: How to Make Sure They Are Properly Cleaned

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Chances are you don't clean your coffee maker as often as you should. In fact, 50 percent of these household machines contain yeast and mold, according to one survey. That makes it more germ-infested than your average bathroom faucet handle.

To make sure you don't drink up any of the germs or coliform bacteria this appliance has been known to grow, we asked Caolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute of Home Appliances & Cleaning Lab, how to keep your machine clean and your coffee tasting great. It's essential to follow these three rules: 

   

1. Wash removable parts with dish soap after every use.

 

"This is important because it helps remove coffee, grinds and oil that are left behind," said Forte. "You can hand-wash at the sink with warm and soapy water, but usually, the pieces are dishwasher-safe. And don't forget to wipe down the outside and the warming plate where spills can burn on." She also recommends leaving the reservoir's lid open so it can dry out completely after each use — germs love moisture!

  

2. De-calcify your machine every month with vinegar.

Over time, hard water minerals can build up in your machine's inner workings, and you may notice that your coffee takes longer to drip. To get things back in tip-top shape, you need to cleanse and de-calcify the machine. Forte's trick: good ole reliable white vinegar.

Fill the reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water and place a paper filter into the machine's empty basket. Position the pot in place and "brew" the solution halfway. Turn off the machine and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, turn the coffee maker back on, finish the brewing and dump the full pot of vinegar and water. Rinse everything out by putting in a new paper filter and brewing a full pot of clean water. Repeat once.

 

3. Make your carafe sparkle again with rice.

You should always wash your carafe after each use, but if it's looking dingy over time, fill it with warm, sudsy water and a little rice. Swirl the mixture to loosen any gunk. Use a scrub sponge to remove debris and rinse well.

Southern California Experiences Odd Lightning Storm

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

(CNN) - Residents in Southern California may have thought they were elsewhere in the United States as they witnessed a powerful display of lightning in the night sky Tuesday.

Approximately 2,200 lightning strikes hit the area stretching from Santa Barbara County to LA County, according to Curt Kaplan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.A strong batch of thunderstorms created "lightning storms," the NWS Los Angeles said -- prompting the agency to alert residents to take precautions as they peeked at the power of mother nature. Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara Fire's public information officer, captured dramatic bolts of lightning over Santa Barbara. The pictures resembled a scene one would see in Florida, which has been dubbed the lightning capital of the US.  

What's driving this strange weather pattern?

Meteorologists called this phenomenon the Atmospheric River, where the jet stream is coming further south and pushing an abundant amount of moisture into the area, Kaplan said. But this strange event, is just another weird weather occurrence this winter -- the area last month had a dusting of snow along the coastline in areas including Malibu. "For Southern California, it's unusual," Kaplan told CNN. Lightning typically hits the area in the deserts during the summer monsoonal season.

CNN's Paul Vercammen contributed to this report

Mold Enters South Carolina School District

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — The Horry County School District has been in the seat since mold was found at St. James Elementary School. It quickly started an outcry from parents.

 

ABC 15 News is digging deeper into the mold issues across the school district. Through a Freedom of Information Act Request, we found five other schools have had some form of mold spores found within the past six months.

That brings the number to six: St James Middle and High Schools, Conway Middle and High Schools, The Academy for the Arts Science and Technology and Aynor High School.

  

The HCSD is comprised of 52 schools, with about 7.8 million square footage of facilities.

ABC 15's Sydney Glenn sat down with the spokesperson for the district, Lisa Bourcier, to find out how air quality testing is mandated in the district.

“There is no mandates for the testing, and some school districts don’t do indoor air quality testing, but we kind of take it on a case-by-case basis," she said.

It begins with a work order, Bourcier said, and those usually come from staff members.

“Usually when a work order is put in, it’s information to the best of their ability of what they are witnessing or seeing or what the complaint is," she said.

The complaints can range from a bad smell, to a water leak or a stained ceiling tile.

Next, it is determined what needs to be done. In some cases, an air quality test is ordered.

The testing has been preformed since at least 2012, Bourcier said.

The complaints and issues at each school vary, but a common issue in the reports obtained by ABC 15 News were staining around HVAC units.

“Roofs can be an issue, as well as HVAC systems. A lot of times if you see a stained ceiling tile, sometimes the pipes are sweating. It’s not a leak but it’s sweating. We do live in South Carolina, and the humidity plays a big component when you have to deal with indoor air quality and you have to make sure your systems are set," Bourcier said.

Each challenge was met with recommendations from the air quality tester, Palmetto EHS. Cleaning was a solution offered in each report, among other things. Bourcier said all tasks recommended were done.

“Cleaning is an issue. So, we need to make sure everything is cleaned well and the filters are changed out appropriately, which we do have a company when we change out air filters. And again, just making sure those maintenance issues aren’t going out too far," she said.

In terms of follow up, air quality testing being done, and like has been done at St. James Elementary, Bourcier said it is on a case-by-case basis.

The school district is looking to hire a company to help determine best practices when it comes to preventing and dealing with air quality issues and possibly help set district wide standards. The company would also be able to do air quality testing and basically serve as a consultant, Bourcier said. This idea will be discussed and decided on in the upcoming months.

Article from: https://wpde.com/news/abc15-investigates/abc-15-investigates-5-other-horry-county-schools-tested-for-positive-for-mold

Scooters May Be Delayed In Philadelphia

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Advocates, including champions on the City Council, say they will reduce car traffic, but the mayor's transportation safety office is recommending a cautious approach to allowing dockless electric scooters on Philadelphia streets.

At a city hearing on Wednesday, Chris Puchalsky, director of policy and strategic initiatives at the Mayor’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS), said scooter crash deaths, while small in number, vastly outnumber those from bike-sharing programs, according to WHYY. Four have died in scooter crashes in the U.S. in the past year, compared to two in bike shares since nine years ago, when such programs began operating.

WHYY cited data from Consumer Reports, showing about 1,500 people injured in e-scooter crashes in the US since 2017.

Other officials believe there is a need for urgency. “This is a type of transportation that we should be moving forward with … especially based on the fact that it will reduce people’s use of cars as a mode of transportation,” Councilman Derek Green said at the council hearing, HYY reported.

Automobiles have their own dangers: the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities is on the increase nationally, the Governors Highway Safety Association states in its most recent report. The report has Philadelphia among the top states for increases in pedestrian traffic deaths.

E-scooter makers Lime, Bird and Spin, all privately held companies, were present at the hearing to make their case for e-scooters' safety and transportation benefits.

Article from:

https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2019/02/28/electric-scooter-safety-issues-philadelphia-delay.html

Prepare For Disaster Before it Happens

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are You Ready? Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Smoke Behavior is No Joke

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire losses and the damage they leave behind can be an incredibly complex job to deal with. This is caused largely by the behavior of smoke. When our SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield professionals respond to a call for a fire job, their initial goal is to determine the extent of damage from fire itself, smoke, heat, and moisture. Not only do we deal with damage to building structures, but we work to clean a building's contents and your belongings as well.

Our SERVPRO trained professionals are trained to understand how smoke penetrates various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our teams knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. We know it can be stressful when you don't understand the issues facing your home, so take a moment to read up on the different kinds of smoke and soot that could potentially effect your property.

While there are technically only two different types of smoke - wet and dry, there are varying types of soot residue after a fire. Here's a handy glossary of smoke and soot types that might come in handy if you're ever faced with the misfortune of dealing with a property fire:

Wet smoke (plastic & rubber): Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. These smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry smoke (paper & wood): Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises and thus so does the smoke

Protein fire residue (caused by evaporation of material instead of fire): Virtually invisible discolors paints and varnishes, extremely pungent odor

Fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs): While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO can, in most cases, restore your contents and your Baltimore structure quickly (thanks to their training)

Additionally, we do deal with tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher resides. These special situations require special care and evaluation.

Understanding and having the ability to differentiate between these different types of smoke and soot is part of SERVPRO's specific training which makes us a cut above any other Baltimore local restoration team. Trusting company to care about your home like you do can seem daunting and feel impossible, but when it comes to SERVPRO, trust that you're always in good hands. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

National Preparedness Month

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

During an emergency, the last thing you should worry about is what to do next. Every second matters during an unexpected, emergency situation which is why this year’s National Preparedness Month theme is, “Don’t Wait, Communicate!”

SERVPRO of Main Line/Bala Cynwood would like to encourage everyone in our community to develop a game plan! Residential or commercial? It doesn’t matter! Everyone should master a set of steps to perform during an emergency and answer important questions ahead of time such as; Who will be in charge of contacting 911? Who will gather everyone to a safe location? What is the best escape method in an emergency? Etc. These questions are imperative to the safety and well being of our co-workers or families.

Everyone’s focus this month should be towards developing a disaster plan or what we at SERVPRO like to call an ERP (Emergency Communication Plan). In line with the “Don’t Wait, Communicate!” theme of this year’s National Preparedness Month, SERVPRO of Main Line/Bala Cynwood would like to suggest developing an Emergency Communication Plan for your home or business. Several steps, listed below, can help get you started on this plan:

  1. Collect all of your important contact information such as; family doctor, medical facilities, local family members, schools and service providers. Compile all of this information into one, hard-copy, easily accessible sheet. *Waterproof the sheet if possible!*
  2. Share copies of this sheet with everyone within the household/business. 
  3. Develop a fire/emergency escape plan that includes the safest escape routes, layout of home or business, safe meeting place and what to do if contact is lost.
  4. On a monthly basis review/practice all of the important contact information and emergency escape plan.

As always, SERVPRO is #heretohelp in any emergency or disaster situation. Although September is coming to an end it is never too late to be prepared! We encourage everyone to call us today to learn more about National Preparedness Month or about our free Emergency Ready Profiles!

How to Keep Warehouse Workers Warm

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Tips for Staying Warm in a Warehouse During the Winter

Unfortunately, it’s the nature of a warehouse to be cold during the winter. With large loading doors opening and closing frequently during the day and night, it can seem nearly impossible to keep your warehouse warm during winter. Not only is this problematic from a facility management standpoint, but it can also create a less than comfortable workspace that is challenging for your workers. There are ways, however, to combat the cold in your warehouse during the winter, lower your utility bills, improve productivity, and provide a comfortable environment for your employees.

KEEPING THE WAREHOUSE WARM

During the winter, especially in colder climates, it isn’t going to be possible to keep your warehouse at a comfortable 72 degrees. Your loading bay doors will need to be open regularly, which allows cold air to come into the warehouse, keeping the temperatures low. However, there are ways that you can increase warmth in your warehouse, creating a more comfortable place to work.

  1. Check the Doors. If the loading doors don’t need to be open all the time, make sure that they are closed. This is the easiest way to keep your warehouse at a more comfortable winter temperature. Doors that need to be open on a more constant basis can be fitted with plastic sheeting that will allow easy movement through the door, but provide some barrier from the elements outside. Before it gets too cold, it’s also a good idea to make sure that your loading area doors are well sealed. This will reduce drafts, making a better barrier for your warehouse when the doors are closed. Finally, make sure that your doors are maintained and the motors to lift the doors are functioning properly. This will reduce the likelihood that a door will get stuck open when the weather is poor.
  2. Improve Warehouse Airflow. Airflow patterns in warehouses can be challenging. There are a lot of barriers that disrupt smooth airflow through your warehouse, and high ceilings tend to hold on to the warm air. Improving the way air moves through your warehouse can make a substantial difference in the overall climate in your facility. There are few ways that this can be accomplished.
    • Fans – this is a relatively inexpensive way to improve airflow in your warehouse. Using high volume low speed (HVLS) fans can help move warm air through your warehouse, and pull warm air away from the ceiling. Fans are low energy, so installing fans in your warehouse will not make a significant impact to your utility bills.
    • Warehouse Layout – Look at the configuration of your space. How are the shelves arranged? Do your aisles create wind tunnels? If your warehouse layout allows cold air to move easily from the doors to the rest of the building, it may be time to consider moving things around.
    • A Shelving Upgrade – This is probably the costliest way to improve airflow. If you have solid shelving, but could convert to low-profile wire shelving, you can greatly increase the airflow in your warehouse. These shelves aren’t practical for all warehouses, but they may be a good solution in the right facility.
  3. More Heaters. If you find that you have spots that are constantly cold, despite making other changes, the best solution may just be adding more heaters. New radiant heaters are highly efficient and create a good amount of heat for large spaces.
  4. Service Your HVAC System. Finally, make sure that your HVAC system is ready for the winter. Have a HVAC professional visit your facility and give your system a good tune-up and service to ensure that it is functioning as efficiently as possible.

Info from: https://www.forkliftcertification.com/tips-staying-warm-in-warehouse-during-winter/

Portable Generator Tips

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Although hurricanes cause more power outages in the U.S. than any other weather event, winter storms are a close second. That's according to a University of Vermont study that analyzed 22 years' worth of power outage data across the U.S. 

Worse, because winter storms often include a brutal trio of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, the outages can last longer—and leave you more vulnerable, with impassable roads and, potentially, without power to keep the heat on.

In the aftermath of a storm, a generator is an invaluable piece of equipment that can, at the very least, help your life begin to feel normal again.

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But because you probably rarely rely on a generator, it’s easy to overlook the basic safety measures that should be routine with such equipment. It’s also easy to get preoccupied by the cleanup work that lies ahead, so you may even be tempted to run a generator in a living space if most of your house is severely water damaged and cannot be saved.

That is never an option.

Generator misuse leads to carbon monoxide deaths, injuries from close calls, and burns—all of which happen too often during power outages and storms.

“Portable generators canproduce high levels of carbon monoxide, a deadly, odorless, and colorless gas,” says Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Running a generator improperly can kill you in as little as 5 minutes if the concentration of carbon monoxide is high enough. On average, 66 people a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning related to using a generator improperly, according to CPSC data.

Here are CR’s essential generator safety tips to get you through a storm and the days afterward.

Safety Tips For The Workplace

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

1. Remove clutter like papers, trash, unused equipment etc. from the office the reduce the chances of falling employees. 

2.  DO NOT use rolling office chairs as step ups or ladders. 

3.  Carpet may be a safer choice as it doesn't get slippery when wet like tile or hardwood floors. 

4.  Employees should understand how to operate all equipment that they are expected to use by completing a training beforehand. 

5.  Try to not repeatedly look up and down from a computer screen to paper as it could strain employees necks. 

6. OSHA recommends workers take a 10 minute break for each hour spent looking at a computer screen. 

7. Position your computer screen so that you can work comfortably. More work does not get done when an employee is uncomfortable. 

8.  Make sure you have the right prescription glasses for computer time and reading. This can be detrimental to your eyesight if you don't. 

9. Make sure cords and outlets are in good condition. Older cords are much more likely to break and create fire hazards. 

10. DO NOT block fire escapes, exits, or sprinkler systems. You never know when an emergency will happen and if these things aren't accessible that is not good. 

11. Establish employee reporting systems so that you can get feedback/concerns with things around the office. Obvious issues may be pointed out that management never noticed before. 

Tips to Keep Packages Safe

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

A man shared a video from west Wichita. It shows a woman driving by his mom's home, backing up into the driveway then stealing a crockpot and another item. He said it totaled about a couple hundred dollars.

Derby police say they have seen a spike in stolen packages over the span of a week. Officers there recently arrested a woman in connection to several stolen packages in town.

Derby's deputy police chief, Lt. Brandon Russell, says multiple stolen package reports have been made in the last week.

"The amount is not the concern to us, it's the fact that it's happening, that's the concern to us. You should be able to have a package delivered and not have a problem with that," said Russell.

While it seems to be happening more often, there are a few things you can do to keep your items safe.

1. Make sure someone is home
2. Deliver it to your office
3. Have it held at the store
4. Use lockbox

Story by: KWCH12 CBS

Tips For Your Car in Winter Months

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Driving in the colder months can bring its own set of challenges, depending on where you live.

The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder, making driving conditions a little trickier.

With all the holiday travel you’re sure to be doing, it’s important to make sure you have the right emergency supplies in your car.

The most important items to have are things that will keep you warm, like gloves, wool socks and hand warmers.

Blankets are great to have on hand. If it’s really cold, you can use them to insulate your car – putting them in the windows helps prevent the cold air from getting in.

And make sure you have a cellphone charger and a flashlight with extra batteries.

Cold weather maintenance is also important.

AAA has a list of tips to ensure your car is in good running order when temperatures drop, including:

  • Making sure the battery is in good condition and clear of corrosion
  • Checking tire treads and installing snow tires where needed
  • Confirming that all lights and signals work
  • Verifying that brakes are in great working order

Taking care of your car can mean the difference between life and death on the road

Story by: CNN

Safety Tips for Dryers

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

WASHINGTON — A rash of dryer fires in Prince George’s County, Maryland has sparked a warning from fire department officials in Maryland and Virginia. Fire departments are offering tips to residents for keeping their dryers working properly and safely.

In Prince George’s County in just the last 11 days, firefighters have responded to 20 residential and commercial dryer fires, fire officials say.

Keeping your dryer lint-free is a crucial step when it comes to preventing a fire. Lt. Mike Buffum, with the Prince George’s County Fire Department, said his department typically sees an increase in dryer fires in the winter.

 

“A lot of times that’s contributed to people not cleaning out the lint or the vents for the outside (are) blocked and that heat is building up,” he said. That’s when lint and build up can ignite.

Meanwhile, in Fairfax County, Virginia, Battalion Chief Will Bailey says so far this year, fire officials have responded to six dryer fires.

“Numerous times we’ve found the cause of a dryer fire to be there was no lint filter in the dryer,” Bailey said.

You can prevent lint from building up by limiting how many items you place in the dryer at once. If your clothes are taking longer than normal to dry, clean the lint out of the vent pipe behind the dryer.

“One of the biggest safety tips we like to let folks know is turn the dryer off if you leave home or go to bed,” Bailey.

Buffum also suggested pulling your washer and dryer away from the wall and giving the area a good clean. Checking the exhaust vent outside and making sure the pipe connected to your dryer is cleaned out are also crucial steps to preventing a fire.

Story by: WTOP

Home Maintenance in December

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

1. Make sure you have established someone to shovel your sidewalks and driveway before it snows! Not after!

2. Clear out your gutters and roof of leaves as this can cause melted snow or water to freeze and create a dam. If this occurs, water can build up and start leaks in your roof. 

3. Make sure you have enough insulation in your walls. If it seems like it could use a little more, it probably does. 

4. Put up your holiday decorations!

5. Prevent icy hazards by turning off outdoor water supplies like spigots and drain them. This helps avoid burst pipes. 

6. Make sure there are no access points for small animals to enter your home. 

7. Get your home ready for guests by cleaning up and washing sheets and towels if they are staying over. 

8. Clean out your chimney! Dirty chimneys are the number one reason for house fires. 

Tips from Realtor.com

How to Have a Safe Holiday Season

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

1. Wash hands thoroughly and often as this washes away problematic germs that could make you sick!

2. Wear warm clothes! Wearing light layers can actually heighten your chances of getting sick because it weakens your immune system.

3. Get up to date on your vaccinations!

4. Practice your fire emergency plan, as you never know when something bad could happen. 

5. Eat healthy and stay active! We know how much junk food there is to eat around this time of year.

6. Clean out your chimney! Better yet, hire a professional to do it for you. 

7. Drive safely, winter weather can make driving very dangerous. Never forget to put on your seatbelt. 

8. Make sure you have someone to clear snow off your property BEFORE it snows! If you are doing this on your own, use salt or calcium chloride to prevent icing afterwards.

Here Is How To Cook The Best Turkey

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Here are a few tips according to foodnetwork.com on how to cook the perfect turkey Thursday. 

1. Choose the type of turkey best for you. Make sure to choose a healthy looking bird with the right weight. 

2. Expect 1-1.5 lbs. per guest. This helps account for the weight of the bones as well. 

3. Use vegetables as the cooking wrack. This helps create better air circulation so that the turkey is cooked more evenly. 

4. Brining your turkey will help it stay moist. 

5. Keep stuffing on the outside. Cook stuffing in a different pan because stuffing inside the turkey can be perfect for creating bacteria inside the turkey. 

6. Try to tie your turkey up. Tie the wings underneath the breast and tie the legs to each other and tighten slightly. This helps the meat cook more evenly. 

7. Rub the turkey with butter or oil. You can even put some under the skin to keep the meat more moist. 

8. Skip the basting. This causes an unnecessary amount of temperature changes and can dry out the meat. 

9. Invest in a good instant temp thermometer. When it reaches 165 degree level you know it is finished. 

10. Give it a rest. Let the turkey sit for 15-20 mins after it is out of the oven to carve. This helps lock in the juices. 

Thanksgiving Cooking Tips

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Tips provided by NFPA.org

Snow Blower Safety Tips

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

During this time of season snow blowers are popular, but it's safety is a big deal if you are not careful. 

If you are using a snow blower, you should watch out for items on your property that can jam up the snow blower. Some common items are doormats and pet toys. 

When you are running a snow blower be sure you are not wearing any loose clothing. It's important to always wear tight clothing to prevent any accidents.

 

Most importantly never put your hand in the front end of the snow blower to remove items. That rule still applies when the machine is not moving, because there is tension on the belt. You can remove items by using a stick or a broom.

Owner of Kirkwood Ace Hardware, Jeff Hinz, says it's better to be safe than sorry.

"We see a lot of people with snow blower injuries and it's generally fingers and digits from the front. If you check any type of medical site you will see that snow blowers are a major cause of injury during the winter. Always stay behind the machine, wear shoes with a good grip so you don't slip and fall," Hinz said.

These are just a few tips to make your experience with a snow blower a good one. 

Tips provided by myndnow.com

Do's and Do Not's of Storm Emergencies

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Heavy thunderstorms are known to cause flooding both inside and outside of the house. Here are a few tips of what to do if your house has flooded during this storm season.



What To Do After Flooding

  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Turn on the air conditioning for maximum drying during the summer months.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place and remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Gather loose items from the floor.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Do not leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove the water.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet and avoid being in rooms where the ceilings are sagging.
  • Do not use the your television or other household appliances.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

Cooking With Caution

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

“Cooking with Caution”

  • Be on Alert. Do not cook if you are sleepy or have consumed any alcohol. This can potentially create dangerous situations. Do not use the stovetop or stove if you are under the influence.
  • Be sure to stay in the kitchen while frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food. Always turn off the stove if you have to leave the kitchen, no matter how quick you may be.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in your home while it is cooking, or use a timer so you do not forget about it.
  • Be sure your kitchen is free of clutter and no loose items are near the stove. This reduces the chance of anything catching on fire.

If you have a small grease/ cooking fire and decide to fight the fire…

  • On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan to covered until it is completely cool.
  • If the fire is inside the oven, shut the oven off and keep the door closed.

If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire…

  • Just leave the house! When leaving be sure to close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the house.

Content & photo by: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Prevention-Week/Safety-Tip-Sheets

Commercial Cleaning Checklist

11/10/2018 (Permalink)

Every business should be taking measures to keep their building clean even if they do not employ a professional cleaning service. It can become hard to keep track of exactly what you should be cleaning regularly. Here is a checklist to make it a little easier to insure your workplace stays neat and tidy.

  • Monthly Cleaning List:
    • Dust all surfaces in the office
    • Clean the fabric chairs
    • Vacuum all fabric chairs, vents
    • Deep clean all surface areas
  • Weekly Cleaning Lists
    • Sponge all glass windows, both on the outside and inside
    • Clean the refrigerator
    • Disinfect all trash bins
    • Buff and polish all hardwood surfaces, including conference tables, floors, etc.
  • Daily Cleaning Lists
    • Empty waste bins and add nes liners
    • Vacuum daily debris from all floors
    • Clean painted surfaces as well
    • Wipe baseboards, light switches and door handles
    • Clean all reflective surfaces, mirrors and brass
    • Put some room freshener down after cleaning

Content by: http://mcjanitorial.com/commercial-cleaning-checklist-make-sure-everything-gets-cleaned/

Water Damage Emergency Tips

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

When an emergency happens people tend to panic and sometimes do not have the proper tools to calmly deal with the situation. When water affects your house whether it be due to a heavy storm or a broken water heater it is always good to be informed on what to do next.

As in any emergency, safety should be you number one concern, and a water damage situation is no different!

  • “Is it safe to stay in the house?” This should always be the first question you ask yourself. If the water damage has any potential to put you or your family at risk, then leave the house.
  • Electrical and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most common concerns. Be sure to shut off an power source it is safe to do so safely.
  • Wet materials can be very heavy, so be careful when moving them.
  • Be sure to only do things to your house that are safe for you to do and leave the rest to the remediation crew.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

At Home Tips for Mold

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold growth can happen in as little as 48 hours and can quickly become a huge problem in your business or home. Whether it is caused by a leaky pipe, water intrusion, or a roof leak, mold will grow if things like this are not taken care of quickly. Mold not only can cause damage to your property but also can cause health effects. Luckily our SERVPRO crew has the tools, training, and equipment to handle any mold job.

What To Do If You Discover Mold:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system.
  • Contact us for mold remediation services.

What NOT To Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Do not blow air across any surface with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Do not spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate 

 

SERVPRO 2018 Franchise 500 Ranking

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Retains Top Ranking in Restoration Services Category in the 2018 Franchise 500 Rankings.

SERVPRO, maintains its hold on the top ranking in the Restoration Services industry for the 10th consecutive year in the 2018 Franchise 500 rankings from Entrepreneur magazine. 

"This recognition affirms that SERVPRO is a dynamic organization that continues to grow and strives to always provide superior support for its franchisees, and by extension, its customers," said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., chief executive officer. "The recognition that the company earns year after year in this prestigious list is confirmation of a commitment to excellence that starts at the top and is evident in the service that each franchisee provides to each and every customer."

According to Steen, a number of differentiators set SERVPRO apart from the competition and fuel the attractiveness of the company to both existing franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs looking for a strong business opportunity. Key among these are:

•SERVPRO's commitment to being a learning organization, which keeps training and support at the forefront of the company's culture and philosophy of success and helps franchisees plan, track, and deliver best-in-class services to consumers.

•SERVPRO's focus on continued development and support for proprietary software and systems to allow the company's operational capacity to keep pace with an aggressive growth strategy.

"Today, as a mature franchise organization with more than 1,700 locations under a single brand, recognition like this makes it clear we are reaping the rewards of having laid a solid foundation and a framework to handle quick growth. As our brand continues to grow, we will continue our winning strategy of supporting and improving upon our infrastructure and investing resources in training and support."

SERVPRO specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, helping both commercial and residential customers recover from property damage emergencies "Like it never even happened." For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, call SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield at 215-877-6653

Water Damaged Equipment and Inventory

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Some Overbrook/Wynnefield businesses survive water damage with only minor issues. Other damages risk the ruining of specialized machinery and extensive stores of raw materials and finished products. Finding a restoration company that is willing to learn about the challenges your industry faces from water damage is the key to recovery.

Your family business boasts several generations of satisfied customers, and you now need help to keep water damage from destroying this history and disappointing clients. A water main burst and gallons of water threaten to ruin your machines and your extensive inventory. Our fast-acting team of water damage experts commits to walking you through every step of the process from waterlogged to dry and restored for both the structure and contents of your shop.

SERVPRO crews arrive to assess the situation and plan for the recovery as soon as possible. We outfit our vehicles with truck-mounted pumps and water extractors, allowing our technicians to begin water removal immediately, even if the power is off. Your equipment poses a risk of electric shock until the area dries, so our ability to evacuate the water without using your power sources is crucial.

Advanced training in material management supports the ability of our crews to pack out your inventory quickly and with an accurate listing that identifies what we moved. We store supplies, and your paperwork either in a dry area of your building or offsite if water damage is pervasive. Throughout the process, we maintain an evidence chain so you can reconstruct customer orders and provide documentation for your insurance company. Our training in drying technologies helps us advise which materials respond to drying and what items may need to be discarded.

Electronic and other equipment needs expert evaluation before it can be cleared for future operation. SERVPRO works with professionals who are trained to determine whether and how water damaged equipment specific to your industry can be dried successfully. We then take all steps necessary to reach that result.

While decisions are reached on your inventory and equipment, other members of the SERVPRO team work to dry out the structure of your business. Air movers and dehumidifiers achieve the drying goals after the standing water is removed, with constant moisture monitoring guiding the duration.

The technicians from SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield work persistently to restore your business after unexpected water damage. Call us at (215) 877-6653 to get our team in place and on task.

Westover School Closing For a Week Due to Mold

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

STAMFORD — After outcry from parents and poor air quality test results, the district has resorted to closing Westover Magnet Elementary School for at least a week to remediate mold and other facility problems that are allowing its growth.

While the school is closed, parents have the option of sending their children to the Boys and Girls Club on Stillwater Avenue for the day if they need child care, deputy superintendent Tamu Lucero announced at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

The closing comes after news that Northeast and Newfield elementary schools are shutting their portable classrooms for the time being due to mold infestations.

 

The decision to close Westover was made following the end of the school day Tuesday, after the district received preliminary air quality test results from a Saturday inspection of the building. The early results showed 21 elevated mold counts out of 90 tests performed.

  

“If we’d gotten these results back at 10 o’clock this morning, we would’ve recommended you close school today based on the counts that we saw,” Mike Handler, the city’s Director of Administration, told school officials at the Tuesday night board meeting.

The school’s gym, not affected by the mold, will remain open for voting on Election Day, Nov. 6, said city Republican Registrar of Voters Lucy F. Corelli.

The mayor’s office on Tuesday announced the formation of a Stamford Public School Mold Task Force consisting of Handler, interim Director of Operations Cindy Grafstein, Lucero, Chief Financial and Operations Officer Clarence Zachery and City Engineer Lou Casolo. The task force will investigate, develop and implement ongoing remediation efforts and monitoring programs while planning short-term and long-term solutions to the problem.

 While the initial focus is on Westover due to conditions there, the goal is to ensure the safety of and create an ongoing maintenance plan for all 20-plus Stamford Public School buildings, Handler said. 

Mold problems have been found throughout the district. The most recent mold status report from Stamford Public Schools shows mold was also found in the OT/PT room at Northeast. Remediation dates are to be determined.

According to that report, dated Oct. 25, there is also mold in Cloonan Middle School, Hart Magnet Elementary School, KT Murphy Elementary School and Turn of River Middle School. Initial remediation has already cost the district more than $427,260, not counting custodial overtime.

 

“Right now at Westover, it’s not acceptable,” Handler said. “That’s why we closed the school.”

Handler said officials are prepared to keep Westover closed an additional week if needed, as well as work on it during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Maintenance projects, including drain clearing, gutter repair and window caulking, will be done during this time, to prevent further mold incidents.

He added that there will be an increased number of people on site during future inspections, including hygienists to identify mold and additional custodians to move ceiling tiles and speed along the process. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be present as well.

Data will also be collected from teachers and students about symptoms of any mold-related health problems to form a better understanding of what’s happening in the building.

“Our hope is that with the comprehensive peer review and visual inspection, coupled with the test results we get back tomorrow ... we can get a plan for remediation for each of the rooms,” Handler said. “The reason why school was closed was not just out of an abundance of caution, but because it’s the right thing to do. ... There is no physical place to put kids anymore that’s safe in the school.”

In the meantime, the district’s paraprofessional union will send staff to supervise children the Boys and Girls Club, Lucero said, and Chartwells food service will provide breakfast and lunch. Busing will remain the same, given the club’s close location to the school.

Sharon Beadle, spokesperson for Stamford Public Schools, said the displaced students would be housed at the Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday apart from the students in the district’s Alternative Routes to Success program, who are normally in the building during the day. After Wednesday, ARTS students will be temporarily moved to the Ferguson Library.

Beadle said less than 100 students showed up to the club on Wednesday and the district will continue to re-assess the situation.

“We’re really grateful to the Boys and Girls Club for their generosity,” she said. “This is sort of a whirlwind, trying to accommodate students on such short notice.”

While the mold is being remediated, facilities upgrades will also be made to Westover, Handler said, which will hopefully prevent future spread of mold. The ventilators in each classroom are being upgraded, drain valve systems are being replaced, gutters are being repaired, window caulking will be improved and the auditorium HVAC system will be fixed.

“We’re not going to get this all done at once,” Handler said. “We’re going for the low hanging fruit first. Our hope is we’ll get the building safe for kids to occupy, we’ll maintain it safe and we’ll fix its underlying issues. If we don’t fix underlying water intrusion issues, this is going to be a perpetual problem we’re dealing with for the rest of our lives.”

Lucero said families were notified of the closing Tuesday afternoon.

According to Superintendent Earl Kim, there is no plan in place yet to make up the missing days. Suggestions have included making them up at the end of the year (pending any inclement weather days) and sending students to school during spring break.

Last week, parents and staff from Westover and Newfield elementary schools spent two hours at a board meeting demanding action be taken to remedy a growing mold problem at both schools.

Following the outcry, a decision was made to close the portables at Newfield.

According to a letter sent to parents Monday by Northeast Principal Shawn Marinello, the portable classrooms are being closed temporarily out an “abundance of caution” per the recommendation of industrial hygienist company Hygenix.

The letter said Hygenix conducted a further investigation of the portables and advised the school to close the portable classrooms until further testing results come later this week. Music classes, previously conducted in the portables, will now be held in homerooms.

Content from: https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/Northeast-School-portables-closed-due-to-mold-13348534.php

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield has the capacity and capability to take on large tasks such as this mold problem. Call us at 215-877-6653 for more information. 

The Three Categories of Water

11/3/2018 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage in your home or place of business, there are different types, or classifications of water that we can use.  Using this classification system, we can determine what health risks are associated with the water, and properly prepare bringing with us all necessary safety equipment and uniforms.  In this blog article we are going to focus on three types: Clean, Gray, and Black water. 

Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilets holding tanks, snow melt and rainwater. Overtime however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.

Gray Water: Gray water does contain slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.

Black Water: This water is a health risk as it is highly contaminated. Black water is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. There can be many dangers associated with attempting to clean water damage on your own.  If ever you spot any type of water in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield.  We are faster to any size disaster and will have our highly trained team over to your house or place of business within the hour!  Remember, its best to not wade into any unknown water source without the proper protection.  Give us a call 24/7 at (215) 877-6653

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield is an IICRC certified firm.

Hurricane Michael Relief

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Terre Haute, IN - The American Red Cross hosts blood drives throughout the years, but after disaster strikes drastic efforts are needed
    
"The need is so great right now, not because necessarily the people affected by the hurricane but the fact that the blood drives that were supposed to be held there. The processing centers and different things all getting shut down," said Ashley Hughes, American Red Cross Engagement Rep.

Every pint of blood that is donated has the opportunity to save three people's lives. With that in mind, the Wabash Valley Red Cross opened their doors for the community to contribute.

"We're just trying to get as much help as we can to the individuals there suffering, as well as maintain our blood supply across the entire country," says Hughes. 

Dan Smith, a Terre Haute native, has donated blood for years and he did let the chance to help others in need slip past him. 

"I've been donating blood since high school. It's something easy to do. It doesn't take a whole lot of time, yet it helps others in the community," says Smith.

No matter the cause, Smith says he is proud to continue to come out and donate. "I'm really happy to come out and do my part in making our society better and the community better. Whether it's those affected in Florida or here in the Terre Haute area."

Ashley Hughes says in times of serious need, like now, the Wabash Valley has always responded well.  "There's been wonderful feedback from the community, people coming out that haven't given in years but know that there's a need right now. "

In addition to donating blood, the Wabash Valley Red Cross is always accepting volunteers as they account for 90% of their help. 

For more information on how you can help: https://www.redcross.org/

Information provided by: https://www.mywabashvalley.com/news/hurricane-michael-relief/1557657969

Philadelphia Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 215-877-6653

Overbrook/Wynnefield Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Overbrook/Wynnefield basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 215-877-6653

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 215-877-6653

Do's and Do Not's of Fire Emergencies

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

After a fire coming back to the house or building were it happened can be a very emotional experience. Here are some tips of what to do and what not to do in in your house after a fire.

What To Do After a Fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as to not furth soil an upholstery, walls or woodwork.
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change the HVAC filter.

What NOT To Do After a Fire:

  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your local SERVPRO.
  • Do not use canned or packaged foods or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures is the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Do not send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

Preparing For Winter Weather Storms

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. A winter storm can:

  • Last a few hours or several days;
  • Knock out heat, power, and communication services; and
  • Place older adults, young children, and sick individuals at greater risk.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WINTER STORM WARNING, FIND SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A WINTER STORM THREATENS:

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
  • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
  • Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.

Content by: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

Dirty Air Ducts Could Make You Sick

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

WINTER is coming quick, which means spending more time indoors, and if you have poor air quality, that could mean spending the season breathing in allergens and toxins. In a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through everyday living!

In America, 22.9 million people are affected by asthma and 6.8 million of these are children. These symptoms are often triggered by poor indoor air quality like dust mites, pollen, and other issues like pet dander. Each year over 2 million people end up in the emergency room due to an asthma attack. Regular cleanings of carpets and HVAC systems can help prevent your family from becoming a statistic. 

In addition to the regular irritants found in the winter months, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular cleanings:

  • cigarette or cigar smoke
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • home renovation or remodeling projects

So what's the process you ask??

When a homeowner calls asking about our duct cleaning process it gives us the opportunity to talk about what we do and how we do it. Below we've listed some steps SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh uses during a routine Duct Cleaning Process:

  • Patented equipment includes using air powered agitation systems which automatically adapt to the duct shape, removing debris and filth.
  • A powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the duct to a 16-gallon container
  • Clean air is filtered through a HEPA filtration, removing 99.97% of particles before it returns to air-wash the duct
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove any odor and dirt

 There's more...It can save you money!

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use.

When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn't have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.

To schedule a duct cleaning estimate today, contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield

Fire Damage Awareness

10/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire can cause more damage than meets the eye. Of course, fire itself causes much of the damage to a home or business. Did you know that smoke can cause just as much damage too? Smoke and soot can permeate through walls, ceilings, upholstery, and air conditioning vents. Many of these spots are very hard to clean when not properly educated on the issues associated to fire damage.

Not only is there visible damage to the structure, but also damage that can be unnoticed. Structural damage can occur to support beams, weight bearing walls, and studs etc. and these are places that you would not check unless you know how to properly restore a structure after this type of loss.

SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris.

Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration.
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers.

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

Overbrook/Wynnefield Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

When Storms or Floods Hit Overbrook/Wynnefield, SERVPRO is Ready!

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Overbrook/Wynnefield, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 215-877-6653

For Immediate Service in Overbrook/Wynnefield, Call SERVPRO

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield provides 24hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any sized disaster in Overbrook/Wynnefield. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 215-877-6653

Residential Services

Whether your Overbrook/Wynnefield home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Overbrook/Wynnefield commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business.

IICRC Certified Firm

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Faster to Your Overbrook/Wynnefield Water Damage Event

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 215-877-6653

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Myth vs Facts of Mold

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Recently, SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield has been getting a lot of calls related to mold within people’s homes. Many times, these occurrences happen in basements and attics of these homes. These jobs may seem easy enough for the typical home owner to do themselves,  but many times, if the job isn’t done correctly, that mold will spread again a few weeks later. Here are a few myths vs facts about the dangers of mold in the household. F.Y.I. If you think you have a mold infestation in your house, please contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield at 215-877-6653

Myth #1:

Bleach kills mold

Fact #1:

Liquid bleach is a solution of chlorine in water, usually 6 percent sodium hypochlorite, thus 94 percent water. Smearing bleach on mold may appear to kill it, but the effect is superficial and very temporary. Once the chlorine is gone - and it evaporates rapidly - what's left is all that water, feeding the mold.

There are many chemicals that kill mold. They're called biocides. That means they kill life. 

(Bio = life + cide = kill.)

Myth #2:

“Toxic” mold is the only dangerous type of mold

Fact #2:

"Toxic" mold or "black" mold is often touted by the hucksters in the mold industry as being the one that makes people sick, the one you must eliminate. This is pure scare tactic. 

Yes, there are some strains of mold that seem to be more toxic than others. But there is no such thing as good mold, or even tolerable mold, unless you like stinky cheese. Mold in your home is a problem, because it signifies a moisture problem. Moisture inside your home enables mold growth, and it can also lead to rot, threatening the structure itself.

On top of that, any mold problem that's allowed to continue often will pave the way for the dreaded "black mold." The most infamous "black mold," stachybotrys chartarum, is what's known as a tertiary mold. It's very slow to develop and usually follows earlier mold growths, actually feeding off the previous mold colony.

Myth #3:

Homeowners can properly remediate mold problems themselves 

Fact #3:

Homeowners are (usually) not trained or knowledgeable about mold enough to properly remediate damages. Many times homeowners cause more damage themselves when they don’t hire a professional. Most of the errors are in the contamination process. Not using vapor barriers or the proper equipment to clean the air during removal stages can cause further mold spread throughout other areas that were not effected before. 

What To Do If Theres Water In My Basement?

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

A finished basement that flooded during a rainstorm.

You’ve just returned home from a weekend trip to the beach, you go down to the basement to put the beach chairs away and upon your first step you hear and feel what no person wants to, the squishing of a wet carpet below your feet.  As the questions start racing in your mind, you’re not sure where you should start; “Where did this water come from? Do I need to move all my furniture upstairs right away?  What should I do?”  Have no fear, SERVPRO is here to help wish a list of steps you can take right away to start minimizing the damage. 

So what happened?  This is the first question you should ask yourself when you find yourself in this situation.  The first places you can check are your hot water heaters and septic tanks.  If a pipe has burst you will most likely hear water squirting through the crack or a consistent drip.  If you can identify the pipe that is leaking, follow that pipe to its source and on both your water heater, and septic tanks, there are usually valves you can turn on or off should you ever experience these problems.  If you’re unable to tell which valve does what, call your local plumber and they should be able to walk you through the process.  The most important factor in minimizing damage from a broken pipe is shutting off that pipes source of water.  The quicker this can be done, the smaller the mess. 

If the water in your basement did not come from a damaged pipe, there are a list of other factors that could be contributing to the flooding such as surface water running down foundation walls, or groundwater in water-saturated soils being pushed into the basement by hydrostatic pressure.  It could also be storm sewer water from the municipal storm sewer system backing up into the home's existing perimeter foundation drain and leaking into the basement, or sanitary sewer water from a clog in your home's sewer line, the municipal sewer line, or the combined municipal storm/sanitary sewer system backing up into the home's drain system, causing sewer water to come up through sink drains and floor drains on lower levels.  These are just four potential scenarios of what could be the cause of a basement flood.  Some of these scenarios are easy to tell by an average home owner, but others not so much.  Fortunately SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield is just a call away and we have highly trained technicians who can assist in determining the cause of these problems. 

Just as important as determining the problem, fixing the problem comes next.  If you start to clean your basement with shop vacs or other available at home tools and the problem hasn’t been fixed, you could be cleaning only for a disaster to happen again.  Along with being able to help identify the problem, we at SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield have a lengthy list of local service providers who can come and assist us with fixing the problem so that it doesn’t happen again. 

Once these two important steps have been completed, the clean-up process can begin.  To begin cleaning, we start by closing off whatever section of your basement has been damaged.  This usually requires the installation of temporary walls.  This allows us to contain the damage and speed up the drying process by trapping dry heat we produce inside these temporary walls.  If there is carpet or drywall that contains mold growth, we remove only what's necessary to salvage the existing materials and keep costs lower for the homeowner or insurance provider.  We use specialized equipment that can detect bacterial growth, that can sometimes create mold, and give us the precise location of this growth allowing us to remove what we need to prevent further growth.  Once the entire affected area has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, we can restore your basement like it never happened.  From replacing hardwood floors or carpet, to repairing dry wall and painting it to match the room, SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield has you covered. 

Should you ever experience a basement flood of any size, know that we here at SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield have handled hundreds of different water damage instances in our 6 years of business.  We find our customers are most satisfied with the professional manner in which our crew members carry themselves and the speediness of our remediation and restoration process.  No matter what time or day of the week you find yourself experiencing an emergency, we’re available 24/7 at (215) 877-6653.  Our technicians can walk you through some what-to-do’s detailed in this blog until help arrives.  If you’re outside of the Greater Philadelphia Area, we can help connect you with the local SERVPRO Franchise, or you can search “SERVPRO Near Me” on your website browser and find your local SERVPRO’s contact information.  With over 1,800 Franchises nationwide, theres more than likely a SERVPRO closer by than you may have thought. 

As always, we’re happy to help in any way we can when it comes to cleaning any size or type of disaster.  To get more familiar with some of our more common services, click here.  If you aren’t sure if we do a certain type of cleaning service, and it’s not an emergency, message us on facebook!

 If you found this article helpful, or have used our services before, we would love for you to leave us a review on google : ) Thanks in advance!

What's Going on This Summer: May

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Its finally starting to feel like summer is here!  Although we’ve had some 70 degree days followed by 4 inches of wintery mix the following day, I think we’re all ready for the warmer weather and more importantly, were ready for this warm weather to stay!  As things heat up in the summer and the kids are off school, we wanted to write a blog article detailing some of our favorite events taking place in the city of Philadelphia!  Whether you're looking for somewhere to meet up with friends, or a quick day trip  to get the kids out of the house, theres an event going on this summer fit for everyone!  So pack the strollers, fill your water bottles, lace up your running shoes and get ready for a summer packed with fun family events that will get you out of the house and give you a fresh taste of the City of Brotherly Love!

South Street Spring Festival May 5th

Join thousands of residents and visitors and take part in south philly family fun at the south street spring festival.  Located at Headhouse Square and along South Street, there is something for everyone including several concerts, eating contests, a giant Maypole, a kids zone and hundreds of vendors ranging from food trucks to clothing boutiques.  Complementing the South Street Spring Festival, Brahaus Schmitz will be hosting their 6th annual Maifest Festival on the 700 block of South Street.  Maifest brings a little taste of Germany to South Philly with authentic German food and drinks served all day, German dancers and live music. 

Broad street run may 6th

If you’re of age and didn’t enjoy too many German beers the night before, lace up your running shoes and head on over to the 39th annual Broad Street Run.  This iconic Philly charity race starts at the Central High School Athletic Field at Broad Street and Somerville Avenue taking participants past the varied neighborhoods along Broad Street and finishes inside the Philadelphia Navy Yard at the end of Broad Street in South Philadelphia.  The Broad Street run is neither a Marathon nor a 5k, but falls within the two distancing 10 miles in total.  The money collected by those who pay a small fee to participate, as well as other donations and pledges, is  donated to the American Cancer Society.  There is a lottery which has since closed for those who wish to participate, but some runner bibs are still available through charities found here.  Spectators are more than welcomed and for places to watch the race click here.

Blue cross riverrink Summerfest may 11th

The following weekend you can witness the Deleware River Waterfront become a seasonal wonderland.  The Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest offers guests boardwalk-style games and rides, an arcade, views of the waterfront with plenty of options for food and drinks as well as the city of Philadelphia’s first outdoor roller rink.  Unfortunately there is no disco ball in the center of the rink so do not feel pressured to break out your afro wig and dust off your platform high tops. You can however dust off your roller skates and BYO, or there are pairs available to rent at the park.  There is no entrance fee to get into the park as it is open to the public, but activities such as mini-golf, games, rides, roller skating and concessions are all pay-as-you-go.  If you cant make it the first weekend, the park will be open in its entirety on Friday May 18th to Sunday, May 20th, and will then open seven days a week starting Memorial Day Weekend running until the end of Labor Day weekend, on Monday, September 3rd.  For more information on the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, click here.

Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival may 19th

On Satuday, May 15th, the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival roles into town transforming the Rittenhouse neighborhood into a street fest with something for everyone.  Residents as well as visitors can be set to enjoy a day full of music, outdoor shopping, international entertainment and food from some of the city’s most notable restaurants.  The event will take place in Rittenhouse Square down Walnut Street to Broad Street.  There are a copious amount of parking garages in the area, and if you want to find street parking your best bet will be to show up early! 

The South 9th st Italian Market Festival may 19th – 20th

Need a dose of some South Philly Italian in your life?  Worry not, the South 9th St. Italian Market Festival is right around the corner.  On may 19th, South 9th Street (The Italian Market) becomes even more busy than the weekend before Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Residents and visitors arrive from all over to take part in this annual celebration.  On this weekend we all pretend to be Italian and can expect to enjoy live entertainment, such as music and some comedy skits, a plethora of international foods (including but not limited to homemade sausages, imported meats and cheeses, freshly made pastas and delectable cannoli’s and other sweet treats) and specialty cookware so you can bring that “newly found Italian” coursing through your veins home to the kitchen.  Among many events and activities going on during this weekend, two events you won’t want to miss are the Procession of Saints and the greased pole-climbing.  Don’t be surprised if you get there early and see patrons rubbing fatty meats all over a street pole, its part of the Italian Market Festival allure!

This wraps up our favorite events taking place in Philadelphia for the month of May.  For more information on other notable events taking place in May click here.  At the beginning of each month you can look to our blog for events and details taking place over the coming summer months.  We hope to see you out and about this summer, and if you see us (usually the only people wearing bright green) come say hello!  Stay cool, happy summer, and GO EAGLES! 

Tips for Avoiding Frozen Pipes

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

What's worse than a major home maintenance disaster? Try several major home maintenance disasters at once. When a house's water pipes freeze, the situation is not as simple as calling a plumber. A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.

Frozen water pipes are a problem in both cold and warmer climates, affecting a quarter-million families each winter, and it can happen in homes with both plastic and copper pipes. It's all too common, especially considering this damage is largely preventable.

In addition to taking the usual preventive precautions, here are a few steps you can take to keep your pipes from turning frigid nights into inconvenient, and expensive ordeals.

Tip 1: Keep the Heat On!

This can be a make or break to coming home to a burst frozen pipe.  Many people look to escape the winter months and go on vacations to a warmer destination.  Be sure to keep your heat on when you're away!  It doesn't need to be as high as it usually is, as you don't want to waste a lot of electricity when you're not at your home, so around 50º-55º F should keep those pipes warm enough.

Tip 2: Allow Faucet('s) to Drip.

If you're worried a pipe might freeze, allow your faucets to slightly drip.  Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus, keep the pipe from bursting.

Tip 3: Keep Inside Doors and Cabinets Open

Pipes are often located in cabinets, like under your sink. When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.

Tip 4: Seal Cracks and Holes

You should caulk any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. This should be done on both interior and exterior walls. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.  If you don't consider yourself a caulking extraordinaire, give SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield a call as we also have a construction side of the business and will happily walk you through the process :)  

Tip 5: Apply Heating Tape

For pipes that are easily accessible, the electrical heating tape may be an option to keep them from freezing. This tape can be applied directly to the pipe.  There are two types of heating tape. One type of heating tape turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed. The other type of heating tape needs to be plugged in when heat is needed and unplugged when not in use.  Much like a space heater, these products can be dangerous, so you must follow the product’s direction and safety procedures exactly.

Tip 6: Add Extra Insulation

Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.

Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

There is no full proof way to prevent all pipes from getting damaged during these cold winter months, but anything you can do in advance to help prevent a disaster will always be a good bet.  If you do experience any disasters this winter give us a call at (215) 877-6653, we're available 24/7!

Does Your Philadelphia Property Contain Lead?

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Here, a lead based paint is slowly but surely peeling away from this home in Overbrook.

Older homes, older child care facilities, schools and other buildings are more likely to contain lead-based paint. Homes may be private, government-assisted or public housing. Schools are preschools and kindergarten classrooms. They may be urban, suburban or rural.

Percentage of homes likely to contain lead:

    • Built between 1960-1978 = 24%
    • Built between 1940-1960 = 69%
    • Built before 1940 = 87%

What can you do to protect your family from lead in pre-1978 homes?

  • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead.
  • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often.
  • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield follows the EPA's strict guidelines for lead paint

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by the EPA. These firms also must use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.

According to EPA requirements (40 CFR Part 745) contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:

  • Contain the work area.
  • Minimize dust.
  • Clean up thoroughly.

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield technicians always take the necessary precautions according to current laws. Our technicians have been trained and certified to follow lead-safe work practices while performing renovation and repair projects in your area. 

Your Air Ducts Could be Making You Sick

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Contaminants removed from a Duct Cleaning

WINTER is coming quick, which means spending more time indoors, and if you have poor air quality, that could mean spending the season breathing in allergens and toxins. In a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through everyday living!

In America, 22.9 million people are affected by asthma and 6.8 million of these are children. These symptoms are often triggered by poor indoor air quality like dust mites, pollen, and other issues like pet dander. Each year over 2 million people end up in the emergency room due to an asthma attack. Regular cleanings of carpets and HVAC systems can help prevent your family from becoming a statistic. 

In addition to the regular irritants found in the winter months, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular cleanings:

  • cigarette or cigar smoke
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • home renovation or remodeling projects

So what's the process you ask??

When a homeowner calls asking about our duct cleaning process it gives us the opportunity to talk about what we do and how we do it. Below we've listed some steps SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh uses during a routine Duct Cleaning Process:

  • Patented equipment includes using air powered agitation systems which automatically adapt to the duct shape, removing debris and filth.
  • A powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the duct to a 16-gallon container
  • Clean air is filtered through a HEPA filtration, removing 99.97% of particles before it returns to air-wash the duct
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove any odor and dirt

 There's more...It can save you money!

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use.

When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn't have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.

To schedule a duct cleaning estimate today, contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield

The Best Way to Minimize a Disaster at Your Home or Business is to Plan for it NOW!

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are You Ready? Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

 

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens.

Preparing for Fall

9/21/2016 (Permalink)

As much fun as summer can be, it has to end at some point. As the trees begin to change and the weather shifts from hot and humid to cool and crisp, it’s time to prepare for the onset of cooler months. Whether you’re ready for hot cocoa and sweaters or are still holding on to ice cream and swim suits, there’s a lot to do to get ready for the changing seasons.

  1. Inspect your roof
    If you have a heavy rainstorm or a foot of snow, does your roof have what it takes to hold up? Before settling in for another chilly fall and a freezing winter take a look at your roof for weak spots or cracks in your shingles and granules. If you see anything that looks off or unstable, a roofer may be what your home needs to weather this winter’s storms.
  2. Clean out your gutters
    As the leaves begin to turn, you know you’re only weeks away from them falling off entirely and stopping up your gutters. Before you find yourself with a big mess on your hands, take the time now to clean out your gutters and drainpipes to prevent the possibility of water damage and clogs. A clean early in the season may not be sufficient through the winter, but it will make sure you’re prepared for the harsher weather to come. Water damages can be caused by clogged drains or overflowing water to collect on your roof.

Preparing your house for fall may not be what you planned to do during your weekend, but it’s something you’ll thank yourself for later. With the right measures taken now, you and your family will be prepared to settle in for the fall and winter, no matter what may be coming your way!

September is National Preparedness Month

9/8/2016 (Permalink)

During an emergency, the last thing you should worry about is having a plan of action. Every minute matters during an unexpected, emergency situation which is why this year’s National Preparedness Month theme is, “Don’t Wait, Communicate!”

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield would like to encourage our neighbors to develop a game plan! Each and every household should master a particular set of steps to perform during an emergency and answer important questions ahead of time such as; Who will be in charge of contacting 911? Who will gather everyone in the household? What is the best escape method in an emergency? Etc. These questions are imperative to the safety and well being of our neighbors and families.

We encourage everyone’s focus this month to be towards developing some type of disaster/emergency ready plan. In line with the “Don’t Wait, Communicate!” theme of this year’s National Preparedness Month, SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield would like to suggest developing an Emergency Communication Plan. Several steps, listed below, can help get you started on this plan;

  1. Collect all of your important contact information such as; family doctor, medical facilities, local family members, schools and service providers. Compile all of this information into one, hard-copy, easily accessible sheet.
  2. Share copies of this sheet with everyone within the household/business. Copies of this sheet can be kept in backpacks, purses, wallets, vehicles, etc.
  3. Develop a fire/emergency escape plan that includes the safest escape routes, layout of home or business, safe meeting place and what to do if contact is lost.
  4. Monthly review/practice of all important contact information, location of contact information and emergency escape plan.

As always, SERVPRO is here to help in any emergency or disaster situation. We encourage everyone to take preparedness seriously BEFORE an emergency occurs in your home or business.

Call us today to learn more about National Preparedness Month or about our free Emergency Ready Profiles!

Mold Myths & Facts by SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnfield

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Mold on Drywall in Basement in Overbrook PA

At SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield we currently get a lot of calls regarding mold in property’s. Most of the time it’s in an un-used part of the home like a basement or attic.

Some customers try to handle the project themselves and find that the mold comes back a few weeks later. Here are some myths & facts about mold and the dangers. Although if you think you have mold, you should contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield to discuss the plans of actions.

MYTH NO. 1 BLEACH KILLS MOLD?

Liquid bleach is a solution of chlorine in water, usually 6 percent sodium hypochlorite, thus 94 percent water. Smearing bleach on mold may appear to kill it, but the effect is superficial and very temporary. Once the chlorine is gone - and it evaporates rapidly - what's left is all that water, feeding the mold.

There are many chemicals that kill mold. They're called biocides. That means they kill life. (Bio = life + cide = kill.)


MYTH No. 2  
'Toxic' Mold is the only dangerous type of mold.

"Toxic" mold or "black" mold is often touted by the hucksters in the mold industry as being the one that makes people sick, the one you must eliminate. This is pure scare tactic. 

Yes, there are some strains of mold that seem to be more toxic than others. But there is no such thing as good mold, or even tolerable mold, unless you like stinky cheese. Mold in your home is a problem, because it signifies a moisture problem. Moisture inside your home enables mold growth, and it can also lead to rot, threatening the structure itself.

On top of that, any mold problem that's allowed to continue often will pave the way for the dreaded "black mold." The most infamous "black mold," stachybotrys chartarum, is what's known as a tertiary mold. It's very slow to develop and usually follows earlier mold growths, actually feeding off the previous mold colony.

MYTH No. 3, Homeowners can property remediate mold themselves?

Homeowners are not trained or knowledgeable about mold enough to properly remediate the damages, most times homeowners cause more damage when they don’t hire a professional. Most of the errors are in the contamination process. Not using vapor barriers or the proper equipment to clean the air during removal stages. When it’s not properly sectioned off, they can cross contaminate mold threw other area of the home that previously did not have mold spores.


Fact No. 1 : 
Mold is everywhere and mold problems exist indoors in every climate.

Mold is, literally, everywhere on the planet, in every climate. A house in the Mojave Desert can have a mold problem as easily as one in Florida or New Orleans. 

Mold needs three things to thrive: moisture, food, and the right temperature. Moisture can collect in walls, attics and crawl spaces in the driest of climates with a little help, such as a roof or siding leak, plumbing flaw, and pressure differentials created by air conditioning, or even a poorly vented bathroom.

Food for mold is pretty much everything we build with and everything we own. Mold loves household dust... even in the kitchen sink. And the warmth mold needs is the same temperature range humans prefer.

Bottom line: Every home has mold but not every home has a mold problem. If you think you might have a mold problem, don't ignore it. Get help.

Fact No. 2 Home inspectors don't know mold.
 
Home inspectors - the ones who check out a house prior to sale - are generally ignorant about mold. Many inspectors will see mold and ignore it because there's no rot or obvious moisture. Others may not see it at all.

If you think you have mold in your property, call a professional remediation company like SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield

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