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The Importance of Third Party Certification

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The Importance of Third Party Certification When you are looking for mitigation specialists in Levittown, PA look for those who are certified through the IICRC.

The Importance Of Third Party Certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets the standard for the restoration industry. To ensure the highest level of standardization, the IICRC voluntarily partners with the American National Standards Institute. This results in certifications that can be trusted to verify both extensive knowledge and experience in the mitigation field. Essentially, third party certification sets the standards for standard setters. There are several reasons why this is important.

Rules for Testing

Certification agencies must uphold high standards for evaluating the effectiveness of a training program. Every aspect of testing is under scrutiny, including:

  • Test development
  • Test administration
  • Test evaluation

The strict rules enforced by the overseeing agency ensure that candidates trained in a certification program have met or exceeded these standards.

Responsibility to Consumers

When the IICRC certifies professional mitigation specialists, customers can rest assured that these technicians have undergone the necessary training needed to do the job well. Through third party certification, the institute is held responsible for making certification requirements available to the public. It also can take feedback from consumers on ways to improve these requirements.

Requirements for Certification

Developing appropriate standards testing and making promises to consumers are only as useful as their practical application. Third party certification gives value to the certification itself. The partner agency enforces the eligibility requirements of obtaining a certification. Earning a mitigation certificate means that the candidate has undergone training, passed all subsequent tests and completed the necessary years of experience needed. Certified mitigation experts can be trusted to provide the excellent service they learn through this training and experience.

When you are looking for mitigation specialists in Levittown, PA look for those who are certified through the IICRC. Not only are these specialists Faster to Any Size Disaster, they also are often preferred by insurance companies because, with the certification, their reputation for quality work precedes them. Third party certification makes sure that the highest standards of service are offered and met.

5 Tips for Deducting Storm Damage on Your Taxes

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 5 Tips for Deducting Storm Damage on Your Taxes Deducting Storm Damage on Your Taxes

Deducting Casualty Losses

If you’ve experienced damage to your business in Fairless Hills,PA , due to a flood, hail, wind, hurricane, or other natural disaster and insurance wouldn’t cover you for whatever reason, your company is likely in a rough spot financially. Fortunately, storm  damage that isn’t covered by insurance can often be deducted on your next tax return as a casualty loss. Here are five tips to keep in mind when deducting casualty losses.

1. You Will Need To Prove You Experienced a Loss

In order to be qualified to claim casualty loss as a tax deductible, you will need to prove that you are the owner of the property and the one experiencing loss. You will also need to prove the value of the property before the disaster and show you are unable to cover the costs.

2. Special Rules Apply to Presidentially Declared Disasters

If the president declared a disaster in your area, you can deduct the losses due to storm damage for either the year the disaster occurred or the year after- whichever saves you the most money.

3. There are Different Rules for Deducting Casualty Losses for Personal Property and Businesses

While personal property damage only allows you to take a write off for itemizers and requires you to reduce the loss by $100 and 10 percent of your AGI, this does not apply to business casualty losses.

4. Wear and Tear Is Not Considered Casualty Loss

Since a casualty loss is defined as a loss that occurred due to an unexpected or sudden event, normal wear and tear that occurs to your business will not be tax deductible. However, work done by a storm damage restoration company as a result of an unexpected disaster would be covered.

Although a natural disaster of any sort can be extremely difficult for your business to recover from, it helps to know a lot of your losses are tax deductible. When filling out this year’s tax refund, remember these four tips!

You Fire Cleanup Should Include Electronics – Here’s Why

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage You Fire Cleanup Should Include Electronics – Here’s Why Fire damage in a Fairless Hills, PA kitchen

You and your family made it through the fire and most of your belongings look untouched. But unbeknownst to many homeowners in Fairless Hills,PA , even materials that look undamaged can be impacted. This is especially true of electronics, which can be penetrated and permanently ruined. Still not convinced your fire cleanup efforts should include cleaning electronics? Learn exactly how smoke can impact your electronics.

How Smoke Causes Damage

Electronics are remarkably delicate and lots of things can impact how well they work. There are two main elements of fire that can impact electronics.

  •  Smoke damage - smoke penetrates deep   crevices in electronics, making them prone to   overheating and failure
  • Soot - Pushed in by smoke, soot can form a layer in delicate electronics, interrupting circuits and causing malfunction

You know what about smoke causes the problems, but how do these things wreak havoc?

Corrosion

Soot is acidic, and acid and electronics never mix. When soot gets into wires and circuitry, it can corrode these delicate surfaces. The result is degraded components and a device that may soon fail.


Insulation Damage

Soot can also leave a film that coats the inside of electronics, forming a sort of insulation. This can result in overheating once you turn these devices back on after fire cleanup. Overheating leads to failure in the best case and can trigger a fire in the worst case.

Magnetization

Believe it or not, smoke has a magnetic charge. Magnets can short circuit electronics - something you might not realize until you’ve used your device a few times and find it stops working.
High heat and soot can be devastating to sensitive electronic devices, causing malfunction and even triggering new fires. The good news is that there are ways to salvage your electronics safely. Be sure to talk to your fire cleanup specialist about electronics cleanup to ensure you’ve covered all your bases after a fire.

3 Methods for Preventing Mildew on Plants

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

3 Methods for Preventing Mildew on Plants

At one point or another, you may have come across mold in your Levittown, PA home, whether it grew in your bathroom, your kitchen or your garage. However, it’s less likely that you’ve ever had to deal with mildew growth on your household plants — until now. If you encounter plant mildew on your indoor or outdoor plants, here are three methods for preventing its return in the future.

1. Don’t allow for overcrowding of leaves amongst your plants. Plants need sufficient space for leaves to expand and grow without running into problems. Therefore, if you’ve neglected to cut back the leaves and overgrowth is exceeding the limits of the space, mildew can begin to form. Regularly maintain your greenery to ensure they can branch out and naturally utilize the space around themselves to stretch out.

2. Place your greenery in areas with better air circulation and suitable sunlight. Powdery plant mildew tends to flourish in hot, humid spaces and in situations where a plant’s leaves can’t dry out enough after being watered. Giving your plants sufficient sunlight can help them dry faster and grow stronger, while placing them in areas where they’ll be given adequate air circulation can help ensure high heat or humidity doesn’t allow for mildew growth.

3. If you notice mildew creeping up on your plants, snip the edges to prevent its spread. Trimming your plants is crucial for sustaining healthy greenery that’s mildew-free. Simply trimming the edges of infected leaves can do the trick, or try removing the specific layers of leaves altogether to contain the spread of mildew throughout the entire plant.

Once you’ve followed these methods for preventing plant mildew, your greenery should return to its happy, healthy state. If you come across any forms of mildew or mold in your household that seems to be beyond the point of easy maintenance, it’s important to let professional mold remediation specialists handle its removal.

Cleaning After a Flood

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Cleaning After a Flood Air mover on a water damage in Fairless Hills, PA

When floodwater in the home is gone, and most of the heavy work is finished, many Fairless Hills,PA, families and individuals want to slip back into life as they knew it before the disaster. Unfortunately, all the wood, fabric, drywall, and other materials exposed to the water have probably absorbed the liquid. Moving belongings back into your house too soon could lead to ongoing problems, such as mold growth, pest infestations, and long-term deterioration. Remember, flood water isn't clean; it needs to be handled differently than other types of water disasters, such as a broken pipe.

Focus on Safety

Before taking your first recovery steps, make sure you know how to proceed safely.

  • Arrange structural, electrical, fire, and gas inspections, so you know the home is safe to enter.
  • Wear sturdy, protective clothing. It's best to have waterproof protection.
  • Don't mix chemicals, such as chorine and ammonia, when cleaning.
  • Watch out for pests hiding in flooding, including snakes and fire ants.

If you're not sure about safety and water in the home, get more information from water damage remediation professionals and local authorities.

Contact Appropriate Professionals

Your next steps should include contacting your insurance adjuster, scheduling repairs and cleaning from professionals in Fairless Hills,PA, and making sure your electricity and gas have been turned off. With these tasks completed, move on to cleaning and disinfecting your property.

Identify the Work

Working closely with the remediation professionals, you'll separate items into at least three categories: to clean yourself, to leave for the technicians, and to discard. There are many repairs you can handle yourself. Clothing may be wet or could have a mildew smell. It's generally safe for laundering or dry cleaning those items on your own. However, expensive and structural items should be turned over to professionals. Your carpets, flooring, furniture, and walls present cleaning challenges that require specialized techniques and training. Finally, some items, such as mattresses, must be thrown out for your family's health.

Water in your home requires a lot of work even after floods recede. When you know what to do and who to call for help, that work can progress smoothly and efficiently.

What Does Insurance Include As Fire Damage?

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial What Does Insurance Include As Fire Damage? Commercial fire restoration in Levittown, PA

If your commercial space in Levittown,PA, recently sustained damage from a fire, you probably have some insurance claim details to consider. One of the most important steps you can take is figuring out what your insurance company allows as part of your fire damage coverage. Here are the main things that can be included in your claim.

Items Included With Your Coverage

Some of the items your insurance company will likely cover include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Office equipment, such as pencils, staplers and phones
  • Furnishings, such as chairs, desks and breakroom tables
  • Electronic devices, such as printers, computers or fax machines

The overall integrity of your structure will also be considered by your provider’s insurance adjuster. For example, if there are weak spots as a result of the fire, you will likely be able to claim them with your insurance company. Smoke odors and destruction may also be covered in many cases - this is true even if the fire damage stemmed from smoke and flames at a next-door building.

Important Note on Fire Mitigation

You will need to take steps to renovate your commercial building after speaking to your insurance company. Be careful when choosing who you work with if your insurance policy allows you to make your own choice. A reliable fire restoration service will employ professionals who arrive promptly, survey the damage and provide you with an honest and thorough remediation plan, whether or not they can help you themselves.

Business fires are a nightmare that no business owner should have to deal with. When you add in the headache of working with your insurance company to approve a fire damage claim, you really have a troublesome situation on your hands. Knowing what property is likely to be approved when you make a claim and knowing what a good restoration service can do to help you puts you in the best preparatory position possible.

3 Tips for Outdoor Sprinkler Maintenance

12/29/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Tips for Outdoor Sprinkler Maintenance Flood line visible in this Levittown bathroom.

Many Levittown, PA, businesses employ irrigation systems to help take care of their lawn. Proper irrigation maintenance is important to help keep these systems from malfunctioning which could lead to costly damages. Here are three tips that may help keep your system in order.

1. Check Everything Regularly

Regularly looking your system over can help you know when something goes wrong, before it causes a disaster. You should be able to see if any sprinkler heads are out of position, and if they look damaged before your turn the water on. You should also be able to clear away any debris which could redirect water flow and cause flooding.

2. Adjust as Needed

Depending on the system, and the season, irrigation maintenance needs may change. Updates may be available for your system which could help you save water. These updates may also add efficiency to your system and help your company save money in the long run. Similarly, seasons could affect the irrigation needs. At times when your area gets regular snow or rain you may choose to use the sprinklers less than when the area is dry.

3. Take Care of Problems as They Occur

Whenever you experience problems, such as sprinkler flooding, it’s best to take care of the issue as quickly as possible. This can help prevent overflow getting into your building and causing water damage. If you think a irrigation system malfunction may have compromised your property, then a water damage and restoration service may be able to help. They can assess the situation and make any repairs that may be needed.

Following these irrigation maintenance steps can help you prevent some major problems with your system. Remember to look over your irrigation regularly, adjust your system accordingly for seasons and updates, and to take care of issues as they arise. If you do have any problems a professional may be able to help.

Tips for Removing a Toilet Clog

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Tips for Removing a Toilet Clog Hire certified technicians if you have a clogged toilet

Tips for Removing a Toilet Clog

After taking a nice, long shower, you step onto your bath mat, and the floor is soaked. A quick assessment of the situation indicates that the overflow is coming from the toilet. This probably means that there is a clog somewhere in the pipe between your toilet and your septic tank. The following tips can help you with drain clearing and sewage cleaning.

1. Snake the Toilet

To combat toilet overflow, you will likely need to snake it. A snake, otherwise known as an auger, can be found at most hardware stores in Levittown, PA, and is pretty simple to use. You can either insert the auger into the toilet bowl itself to try to dislodge the clog that way, or you can remove the toilet so that you can reach the drain beneath it. Then turn on the shower to see if you got rid of the clog. Make sure you put old towels or newspaper on the floor first, or you may add more sewage cleaning to your to-do list!

2. Snake the Drain Cleanout

If snaking the toilet didn’t take care of the clogged pipe, you can try snaking your drain cleanout. Using a wrench, remove the cap carefully. It’s a good idea to have a bucket nearby just in case any sewage leaks out when it’s open. Snake the drain from this angle to remove the clog.

3. Call the Professionals

If the problem is still not resolved or if you’re uncomfortable using the auger, it’s time to hire certified technicians to deal with it. They can take care of the clog and clean any sewer damage that the overflow left in your home. They can also determine whether you have a larger issue, such as a tree root encroaching on your sewer line, that needs to be addressed.

An overflowing toilet isn’t a pleasant surprise, but fixing it may be simple with the right tools. If not, you can always call a plumber or sewage cleaning experts to handle it.

Candles, Your Home and Fire Safety

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Candles, Your Home and Fire Safety Protect your Fairless Hills, PA home from candle fire

Candles are an often featured part of home decor. In fact many Fairless Hills, PA, homeowners find them relaxing. However, many candles started fires occur each year. If you’re looking to protect your home from a candle fire, here are a few things you may wish to know.

Common Candle Types

There are a variety of candle out there that many people enjoy using. They include

  • Decorative pillar candles
  • Scented candles
  • Table set candles
  • Tea lights
  • Candles set up for a romantic event
  • Candles used to deodorize the bathroom
  • Christmas candle decorations, such as an advent wreath

Candle Safety Tips

Avoiding a candle fire in the home is often a matter of following proper candle safety. Some recommended tips include

  • Never leave a lit candle unattended
  • Put all candles out before you go to bed
  • Use appropriate holders for your candles such as glass, metal, or stoneware
  • Only use candles in areas clear of other materials
  • Ensure that any matches or lighters used are properly extinguished
  • Keep pets and children away from lit candles
    • Do not light candles if you are tired, or inhibited in a way that may make you drowsy or forgetful.

What To Do if a Fire Occurs

In the event of a fire it’s important to put it out as quickly as possible. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, or if it is not enough, call the fire department immediately and evacuate the home. Afterward, a fire damage restoration service can be called to conduct repairs, take care of smoke cleanup, and restore any damage that may have been caused.

A candle fire can start from various types of candles which is why it’s important to observe proper candle safety. If you do find your candle has started a fire it’s important to get it out right away, either with a fire extinguisher or by calling the fire department. Afterward, a fire restoration service can help you get your home back in order.

5 Effective Mold Prevention Measures

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 5 Effective Mold Prevention Measures Mold in Tullytown,PA crawlspace

Mold Prevention Measures

Mold is relatively predictable. These microorganisms tend to form and multiply in the wake of water damage. It may be possible to prevent mold growth. Here are five of the most effective mold prevention measures.

1. Get Rid of Moisture

The best way to prevent mold is to keep moisture levels low. Avoid letting water accumulate or stand, use a dehumidifier, and shut off the water in the event of a leak or pipe burst.

2. Circulate and Filter Air

Good air circulation promotes drying. Whether you rely on fans or an HVAC system, try to prevent air from becoming stagnant. It may be a good idea to run a HEPA air filter rated for mold in a building that has recently suffered water damage. Spores range in size from 1 micron all the way up to 100 microns.

3. Keep the Premises Clean

Mold requires nutriment in order to grow. One of the best ways to prevent spores from multiplying is to keep a commercial structure clean. This is particularly important after a leak or flood.

4. Properly Dispose of Food Waste

In addition to cellulose found in paper, wood, insulation, or carpet, mold can also feed on a wide variety of organic materials. Encourage employees or occupants to dispose of food waste in garbage bins that are emptied daily.

5. Use Mold Resistant Products and Materials

If you are concerned about mold, consider using building materials designed to discourage fungus growth. It is possible to install drywall that is resistant to mold or use paints with mold inhibitors. Specialized cleaning products can also kill mold and prevent spores from multiplying.

These mold prevention measures can be helpful for discouraging mold growth in a building. If water damage occurs and you suspect that mold may be growing, contact a company that provides mold testing and remediation in Tullytown, PA.