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How To Fix a Flooded Basement

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water on a basemente Basement water damage in Tullytown, PA

How To Fix a Flooded Basement

A basement flood can cause damage to your home, decorative items, and personal belongings. If you have a substantial amount of unwanted water, you may wonder how you will ever return things to normal. Luckily, insurance coverage usually includes damage from flooding, and industry experts can safely and effectively remove water, replace damaged items, and may even be able to restore personal belongings such as artwork. Here are five steps that most water remediation companies use to fix water damage.

1. Extract the Water
If the floodwater goes above electrical outlets, it is important that you stay out of the water completely. Going in could cause electrocution. If the water is lower, you may be able to use a plastic step stool to turn off the power. If you do not need to go into the water, then don't. Once the experts get onsite, they will begin extracting the water using specialized pumping systems.

2. Dry the Area
The faster the area dries, the less likely it is that your flooded basement will develop mold. Professionals use industrial-grade fans to circulate air and dry the area more quickly.

3. Remove Damaged Items
Electrical appliances, drywall, or flooring that has been submerged in water will likely need to be removed and replaced. Some personal items may be able to be restored. Your restoration team can discuss restoring individual items after a basement flood.

4. Clean and Disinfect
Flood water can carry germs, so the area may need specialized disinfection. The cause of the flooded basement will help determine what types of cleaning agents need to be used.

5. Restore the Area
This last step is when your home begins to return to normal. During this final stage, drywall and flooring are replaced, paint is redone, and other finishing touches are completed.
Cleanup from a basement flood requires more than just cleaning up the water. When you work with a professional water remediation company, you can quickly return your home in Tullytown, PA, to its pre-flood condition.

6 Tips for Safe Grilling

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Assorted delicious grilled meat with vegetables over the coals on a barbecue Although a grill fire may not be on your mind, it can happen in an instant

6 Tips for Safe Grilling

For many homeowners in Croyden, PA, there is nothing quite like gathering friends and grilling up some fine, delectable food. When making those cherished barbecue memories, make sure a grill fire isn’t one of them by taking some grilling precautions. Below are six tips to help you avoid needing the help of a fire and smoke damage and restoration specialist at your next cookout.

1. Location
To avoid a barbeque fire turning into a house fire, ensure grills and smokers are a minimum of 10 feet away from the home, as well as structures attached to the home, such as a garage. Ensure that grilling equipment is not underneath an overhang or near any flammable decorations.

2. Keep It Clean
A dirty grill means a buildup of grease and fat that can easily turn into a flareup or grill fire. Ensure it is cool before cleaning.

3. Stay Close
If a fire happens, it can quickly grow. If the grillmaster isn’t paying attention, it can lead to much more than burned food.

4. Safety Measures
It is recommended to a fire extinguisher nearby, as well as a spray bottle with water next to the grill. If a flare-up happens, the water can tame the flame without harming the food. If the flames are too big, an extinguisher a few steps away may do the trick.

5. Moderation
While it may be tempting to see how much meat your grill can handle, overloading increases the chances of fat cause a flare-up.

6. Inspect Equipment
If you use a gas grill, check that there is not a gas leak before using it. Any type of grill that is beginning to show signs of rust or other damage creates the potential for a fire, so it’s best to consider replacing it.
Although a grill fire may not be on your mind, it can happen in an instant. Taking the above precautions are easy ways to let you focus on your grilling skills.

Do Fire Sprinklers Ever Discharge Accidentally?

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Active fire sprinkler

Many businesses in Fairless Hills, PA, are required by law to maintain a functioning fire sprinkler system. When installed correctly and properly maintained, they are proven to save lives and property damage. However, some business owners are very hesitant about installing them, as they worry about water damage from an accidental discharge.
This is statistically a myth – your odds of being struck by lightning are over 5,000 times greater during your lifetime than the odds of any single sprinkler head accidentally being activated.

What Causes Accidental Discharges?

While accidental activation is rare, it does happen. There are four causes that are recognized as being most likely:

  • Overheating
  • Damage to the sprinkler head
  • Sabotage
  • Poor maintenance and corrosion

Each sprinkler head is held closed by a usually metal tab that’s designed to melt at a very narrow range of temperatures. If it’s subject to heat, either from an unusual event or bad placement near a heat source, it can be activated and cause localized flooding.
Fire sprinklers can also be damaged by careless employees or items falling from overhead. Unfortunately, even more common (but still very rare statistically) than accidental damage is employee sabotage. There have also been cases of bored employees “investigating” how the sprinklers work, causing their activation.
Fire sprinklers are designed to last for decades, but they do require some simple annual maintenance. In most cases, this must be done by a licensed fire sprinkler system inspector. You’re also required to keep some extra sprinkler system heads on-premises, and you should visually inspect them yourself a few times each year.

What Should You Do if You Get Water Damage From an Accidental Discharge?
The good news is that, since each sprinkler head activates individually, the flooding will usually be limited to a small area. Shut off the water to the system immediately and call a licensed water damage restoration specialist to inspect the damage as soon as possible. They will determine if the water has gotten behind the walls and bring in professional drying equipment to remove excess humidity, so it’s important to contact them immediately after you’ve had flooding.

Mold Damage Could Lead to a Lawsuit: Here’s What You Need To Know

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on wall Commercial mold damage in Bristol, PA

As a commercial landlord, you are likely aware of the very real issues mold can cause, which can range from damage to personal property to structural damage. However, you may be unaware that if the damage becomes extensive, the tenant has the right to sue you — and he or she might win. As a landlord, it’s important that you understand your responsibilities and what you can do to prevent mold insurance claims.

Liability for Mold Damage in Commercial Properties

Unfortunately, the laws regarding mold and commercial properties are unclear. Whereas residential landlords have the duty to maintain “habitable premises,” few states have similar laws in place for commercial properties. Those states that do simply state that buildings must be “fit for intended use.” Though these laws — or lack of them — seem to favor commercial building owners, there are a few instances in which you may face a mold claim:

  • When your building is not fit for intended use
  • When the property damage caused by the mold is extensive
  • When you fail to repair and remediate, despite your lease saying you must do so

Of course, each of the circumstances listed above is subject to interpretation, which is why many commercial mold insurance claims are difficult to win. However, plaintiffs have prevailed in such claims, especially in those in which the lease puts mold remediation responsibilities on the landlord.

Preventing Mold Claims
The best way to avoid a mold claim is to prevent mold growth entirely. Even if your lease holds tenants accountable for problems such as mold, you should still make it a point to conduct routine inspections. During your inspections, check for things such as condensation, leaky pipes, faulty window seals, possible roof repairs, and poor drainage around the foundation. You should also check your HVAC and your ventilation systems.
Even with prevention efforts, you may still face mold insurance claims in the future. To protect your finances when one does arise, invest in rider insurance policies, such as environmental insurance. This type of insurance often covers the cost of mold remediation in Bristol, PA.

What To Do Before Moving Into a Flood Zone

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded homes and destroyed community small town in Columbus, Texas Buying a home in a flood zone can be risky

Follow These Tips to Keep the Property Protected

You have just found your dream home in Levittown, PA. Yet it happens to be in the middle of a flood zone. Don’t let that stop you from purchasing the house you always wanted. Instead, follow these tips to keep the property protected.
1. Do Your Research
Not all flood zones are created equal. FEMA often gives this designation to homes that are at a low risk of flood damage. The FEMA website will provide more information about your property's exact risk.
2. Get an Elevation Certificate
As its name implies, an elevation certificate states just how high your home is and how likely it is that floodwaters could reach that level. You can usually get one from the property seller or developer. It may also be included in the deed. This document will help you and your lender determine the inherent risks of the property.
3. Be Prepared
No matter the flood zone you are in, you should prepare for the possibility of excess water damaging your home. Put together an emergency survival kit for you and your loved ones. Each kit should include food, water, and first aid supplies for three or four days. You may also want to pack thermal blankets, ponchos, flashlights, batteries, dust masks, and sanitation bags.
Next to your emergency kits, you should store the contact information for a local storm damage restoration company. You will need to call this business if parts of your home are destroyed by a flood.
4. Stay Informed
Your home's flood risk is not set in stone. Your town could build a levee or dam to protect properties from flooding. Some other factors may also increase the likelihood of flood damage. Keep up with the news so you know the odds of floodwaters harming your house.
Buying a home in a flood zone can be risky. However, you can mitigate this risk by doing your research, obtaining an elevation certificate, and preparing for the worst-case scenario.

The Cleanup Process Following a Fire Disaster

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Soot buildup on wall Soot building after a fire in Pinewood, PA

The Cleanup Process Following a Fire Disaster

Looking at the fire and smoke damage to your commercial facility is devastating after a fire. You may wonder how the blaze will affect operations, and when you can expect relief. To get a better understanding of the restoration timeline, you can talk to a restoration company in Pinewood, PA about their six-step process.

  • Mitigation
  • Cleanout
  • Immediate repairs
  • Smoke and soot removal
  • Cleanup
  • Restoration

Before fire and smoke cleaning can begin, the company you hire may suggest mitigation strategies to protect your damage claim. These strategies may include securing tarps over large holes in your roof and boarding up doors and windows.

Once the company protects your facility against further damage, the cleanout process can begin. A crew will assess the contents within your building to determine what is salvageable and what is garbage.

Immediate Repairs
After they clear the debris from the property, the team you hire can start making any necessary repairs. For example, if there is damage to water lines or wiring, they may make repairing those items a priority.

Smoke and Soot Removal
Following necessary and immediate repairs, the restoration team may work on smoke and soot removal. Removing smoke damage and odors can take a significant amount of time, especially if there are a lot of porous items, like carpeting.

Following the smoke and soot damage removal, it is likely time to move on to the cleanup phase of the process. The team you contracted with may use a variety of commercial machines and cleaners to disinfect and scrub the remaining surfaces, ensuring they have a clean workspace for the rest of the restoration.

The final phase of the process is the restoration. The fire restoration company replaces and rebuilds the structure of your facility to pre-disaster condition.
Fire and smoke damage removal are time-consuming processes. However, a professional disaster repair company can get you back to business quickly.

5 Storm Preparation Tips To Help your Business

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

emergency contact paper sheet with phone number Keep important numbers handy

Here Are Five Tips To Consider

Having a business in Dunlap, PA may mean you want to have a disaster preparedness plan in case a storm should arrive. Knowing ahead of time how to mitigate potential damage to the business property can help save you time and money by preventing possibly costly repairs. Here are five tips to consider.

1. Keep Important Numbers Handy

When preparing for a storm you may want to collect numbers you may need to access quickly and keep them in an easy to access location. These numbers can include emergency numbers, your insurance agent, and the number of a local storm damage restoration service who can help with cleanup and repairs after the storm has passed.

2. Be Aware of the Weather

It’s also important to stay aware of the weather in your area. This will allow you the time you may need to check the property over and take necessary mitigation steps before a storm arrives.

3. Check All Drainage Systems

Checking drainage systems is also important for disaster preparedness. Clogged drainage cam overflow and flood nearby areas of the property. This is especially risky with gutters which could cause problems with the roof. Before a storm, it’s best to clear all drainage areas of debris which could cause these problems.

4. Back Up Data

Backing up computer data is another step you can take to protect your business. During a storm power outages, or flooding could occur which could affect any electronics and cause data loss.

5. Prepare Landscaping

Another step for business preparedness is to keep an eye on the landscaping. Keep it clear of any debris, such as loose branches, which can be tossed around by the storm and damage the building. It’s also a good idea to bring lawn furniture inside.

When preparing a disaster preparedness plan try to include any important numbers you may need to access quickly in case of damage. Also, stay away from any severe weather in your area, keep drainage systems clear of debris, back up computer data, and clean any potentially hazardous landscaping. These five things may help prevent damage to your property.

What Is Black Mold?

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Stachybotrys chartarum mold, a toxic mould, a common fungi found in indoor Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is commonly found in high moisture areas

As a homeowner in Vermilion Hill, PA, you may have heard about the dangers of black mold and worry that you may have it in your environment. Mold spores of all varieties are abundant outside and don't usually cause much of a problem unless they take up residence inside your home. Once mold invades your space, you need to identify it and clean it out quickly to keep it from multiplying. Knowing the characteristics of this mold will help you determine if you might have it.

Where Does it Grow?

Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is commonly found in high moisture areas such as basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. It grows especially well on porous material with a high cellulose content:

  • Fiberboard
  • Paper
  • Drywall
  • Gypsum board
  • Wood
  • Carpet fibers

After a flood, when humidity is high, or if moisture is left to sit, the spores can take hold and mold can begin forming in as little as 24-48 hours. If you suspect water damage, you can conduct a mold inspection to find and identify any problems you may be having. Mold remediation should begin as soon as possible so that it does not continue to spread.

What Does it Look Like?

Contrary to its common name, it is not always solid black. It can also be almost black with dark green or grey tints. The surface is often shiny, which differs from other common household molds. Its moisture content causes it to be dampened downward, so it does not travel as easily through the air as other varieties. Once it takes hold of a surface, the lateral growth can be quite rapid.
When you find mold in your home, you can try using bleach, Borax, or vinegar to remove it yourself. If you suspect black mold or spores lurking where you cannot see them, you should contact a professional mold remediation company to begin mold cleanup.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

green graphic Give SERVPRO of Levittown a call today for your commercial cleaning services!

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

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

Specialized Training 

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

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

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

Specialized Products 

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

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Levittown- (215) 785-1777.

Best Ways to Prevent Your Building From Flood Damage

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Garden flowers in rain. Summer flower background. Natural backgrounds Adding some landscaping elements can minimize storm damage

You can't stop the rain from coming, and you may not be able to anticipate pipes from breaking or bursting. This doesn't mean you can't take effective measures to reduce the risk of flood damage in your workplace. If you're proactive and develop a plan today, you can spare yourself and your company from a lot of stress and time in the future.

Routinely Check Your Building

On a typical day, you probably don't think much about the building where you work. Unfortunately, neglect can lead to serious issues such as flooding. As you understand where floods often start, you'll be more aware of the condition of your building's materials and systems. Regularly inspect the following:

  • The roof
  • The plumbing system
  • Your appliances, such as water heaters, dishwashers, and refrigerators
  • The foundation

Replace the Raingutters and Downspouts

In a large storm in Croydon Heights, PA, poor drainage can be the biggest cause of flood damage. Rain gutters can become clogged with leaves, dirt and other debris. Downspouts may not work well, causing water to pool near the foundation and windows. It may be time for new ones. Take a look at these items. Clean them if possible, but if you need to replace them, don't put it off. Make sure they divert water away from the building.

Think About Landscaping

Sometimes, something as simple as adding some landscaping elements can minimize storm damage. Adding thick mulch to flowerbeds can soak up a lot of water. Native plants can have the same effect, so try planting some around the property. If your grounds aren't sloped away from the building, you may need to do some grading work. You should also consider planting trees along the perimeter, as these can act as a barrier to incoming water.
Flood damage can be a big threat to your building. To cut back on the need to call a professional flood remediation team, implement these steps.