Recent Water Damage Posts

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.

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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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

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

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)

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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!

Water Damaged Equipment And Inventory

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

We store supplies, and your paperwork either in a dry area of your building or offsite if water damage is pervasive

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.

Understanding the Three Categories of Water

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Can you tell what kind of water this is? Answer: Black

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.

Commercial Water Damage Prevention

10/11/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding in Department Store

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 flood waters 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.