Recent Water Damage Posts

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.

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.

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

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.