Recent Posts

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.

How To Make an Insurance Claim After Water Damages Your Home

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. Making an insurance claim does not have to be complicated

How To Make an Insurance Claim After Water Damages Your Home

When a broken pipe or appliance causes a flood in your Falls Township,PA, home, you may need to file an insurance claim to help pay for any repairs. This can seem overwhelming if you have never done it before. Follow the below steps to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

1. Call the Insurer Right Away
The longer the water sits in your home, the more damage it can cause. You thus need to get into action as soon as possible.
Contact an insurance representative to find out if you are covered for the damage. Most sudden emergencies, such as a pipe burst, are included in a homeowner's policy. You should ask the representative how long it will take for your insurance claim to be processed, as well.

2. Fill Out Necessary Forms
Your insurance provider is legally required to send you a claims form within a certain period of time. Fill this out and send it back to the insurer as soon as possible.

3. Schedule the Adjuster's Visit
Set up a time for the insurance adjuster to come to your home and inspect the property. Before he arrives, make a list of the structures and belongings that were affected by the flood. Give the adjuster a copy of this list along with receipts for the damaged items. You may want to take photos or videos of the property, as well. Avoid throwing out any destroyed belongings until the adjuster has left.

4. Begin Temporary Repairs
Major repairs to your property should be performed by a cleanup and restoration services company. However, before the experts arrive, you should take steps to prevent the damage from getting worse.
Making an insurance claim does not have to be complicated. By talking to your representative, completing the required paperwork and keeping track of any damaged items, you can help your home get back to normal more quickly.

Tips for Teaching Your Kids Fire Safety

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Mailbox Examples of appropriate meeting areas include - Mailbox

Teaching Your Kids Safety Rules In Case Of a Fire

There’s a lot of work that goes into running a home effectively. After you’ve assigned chores to your kids and helped them with their homework, it’s crucial to take some time to teach them basic fire safety guidelines. Ensuring that your children know what to do in the event of a home fire can help prepare them if a real incident occurs in your Vermilion Hill, PA, home. Here are some fundamental tips for teaching kids safety rules that will help them in case of a fire.

Plan Escape Routes
When talking to your children, the very first thing you should do is show them all the available escape routes in your home. It’s important to designate fire escape routes in rooms that have windows to ensure that there are two possible ways to get out. Once your kids escape the building, be sure to have them meet at a designated spot that’s far enough away from your home. Examples of appropriate meeting areas include the following:

  • Mailbox
  • Street sign
  • Streetlamp
  • Neighbor’s house

No matter which meeting area you include in your kids safety plan, make sure it’s at a safe distance from your house and that your kids know exactly where to go.

Show Them the Signs
Your children should be able to identify the signs of a fire just as readily as any adult. Teach them how to detect heat coming from closed doors and how to find a safe exit. Another key aspect of fire safety to communicate to your children is the “stop, drop and roll” technique. This simple tip that is commonly taught in elementary schools will give your kids an easy trick to remember in the event of a real home fire.
Properly teaching kids safety is vital. In case anything goes wrong, calling a professional for a fire damage assessment can allow your home to fully recover from harm.

4 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Air mover around lab counters drying affected area Water damage due to plumbing failure in a commercial facility in Croydon Heights, PA

Four Most Common Water Issues

Every property comes with its own quirks. Your building in Croydon Heights, PA, is no exception. There are a lot of problems commercial property owners need to be on the lookout for, such as a hidden broken pipe or roof damage. Here are the four most common water issues that affect commercial buildings.

1. Fire Sprinklers

If there is a fire in your building, you want the fire sprinklers to work and are likely unconcerned about the subsequent water damage they cause in the process. When they malfunction, though, the unnecessary flooding can be frustrating. If a sprinkler goes off, it can ruin anything in its path:

  • Electronic equipment
  • Furniture
  • Drywall
  • Carpets
  • Ceiling tiles

Regular maintenance and proper usage are vital for avoiding this problem.

2. Broken Pipes

Damage from a broken pipe occurs for many reasons. Pipes can freeze during the winter months, particularly if they are not properly insulated against the weather change. This problem occurs frequently in commercial buildings when the heater is turned off rather than simply turned down at the end of the day to save electricity. The minor savings on the utility bill doesn't compensate for the cost of repairing water damage, though.

3. Toilet Overflow

Public restrooms are frequently the site of water issues, particularly if a sink leaks or a toilet overflows. An overflowing toilet often results in the need for the services of water repair professionals.

4. Supply Line Breaks

Many appliances and fixtures in your building get water from a supply line. When the supply line breaks, leaks or comes loose from the place it attaches to the pipe, it can cause a lot of water damage in a short amount of time. Turn off the water with the knob on the wall and call for remediation help.
Problems such as a broken pipe or leaky toilet are frequent causes of water damage in commercial buildings. With regular inspections and maintenance, you can minimize the frequency with which these issues occur.

How SERVPRO Can Help With Insurance Claims

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance claim form waiting to be fill out, pen on top of form Submitting an insurance claim is never a fun procedure

Filing an insurance claim after a disaster in Falls Township, PA, can be a major hassle. Fortunately, a full-service restoration company can make the process simple and stress-free for all involved.

Electronic Claims Center

SERVPRO's online Claims Information Center acts as a hub of all the claims-related information that the property owner and insurance adjuster may need. This information includes the following:

  • Loss notification
  • Loss photographs
  • Job cost estimate
  • Final job cost data
  • Other important paperwork

Having this information available online helps both parties. The insurance agent has the necessary information when needed, and the property-owner does not have to worry about compiling all the information and submitting it to the insurance company.

Methods That Keep Claims Costs Low

In addition to open communication channels, insurance companies and their clients also appreciate low insurance claim costs. SERVPRO works hard to minimize costs. Two key components of cost reduction are quick response times and pretesting of damaged materials. The fast response time prevents further damage, such as mold growth after a flood, from occurring. Pretesting allows the technicians to separate materials that can be restored from those that must be replaced. Restoration is generally less expensive than replacement, so identifying all restorable items keeps total costs as low as possible.

Quality Service

Perhaps most important to the disaster restoration process, though, is the caliber of the service provided. SERVPRO’s training school has been approved by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This means that the trainees learn some of the most effective restoration and recovery methods practiced today. Additionally, all Franchises have access to ongoing training and continuing education to ensure they are up-to-date with current best practices.
Submitting an insurance claim is never a fun procedure. However, a full-service restoration company can help the process go as smoothly as possible for both the property owner and the insurance agent.

Common Areas for Mold in a Commercial Building

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Active shower head Bathrooms with a shower should be properly ventilated to prevent mold growth due to humidity

Common Areas for Mold in a Commercial Building

It's no secret where mold likes to hang out: in moist, damp spots without good ventilation. These likely spots are excellent places to uncover mold growth:

  • In bathrooms
  • Around drinking fountains
  • Near water heaters
  • Close to pipes and plumbing

Any location that has high humidity, upwards of 45%, is prime real estate for the various strains of mold that plague a business property. In addition to these obvious places, you can find mold hiding around the components of HVAC systems, in carpeting that has ever gotten wet, on ceiling tiles, in electrical closets and around piles of old paper.

What To Do When Mold Is Found?

Anytime you stumble upon mold growth in Croydon Heights, PA, it's time to spring into action. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. Employees may begin to sense the unhealthy air quality or smell a musty odor. You can try and address the problem yourself if it is small, but in nearly all cases it is best to call in a mold remediation team. They will have the training, the certifications and the equipment to deal with mold and get your workspace back to good condition again. It takes more than just a good cleaning to remove mold and to make sure it doesn't come back again.

How To Handle the Cleanup?

Attention will be placed on any areas that have experienced water damage. Once the moisture issue has been taken care of, the mold will be contained with barriers and then removed with special vacuums and air filtration systems. Strong cleaning agents are then used to clean the surfaces of the building, with advanced equipment and techniques used for clothing and carpeting.
The awareness of mold growth is a job for everyone in the company. Custodians, managers, and other employees should be on the lookout for water leaks which are a harbinger of a future mold problem. Catching the problem early makes it easier to treat it successfully and quickly.

Workplace Fire Extinguisher Safety

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set The P.A.S.S. technique is how most extinguishers operate: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep

Learn These Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher and Share Them With Others

As a businessperson in Falls Township, PA, workplace safety is a top priority. You want to keep yourself and your team safe in all circumstances. Knowledge of what to do in the event of an emergency is key to staying safe. Learn these tips for using a fire extinguisher and share them with others.

1. Sound the Alarm

At the first hint of a fire, activate the building's alarm system. This is a sign to all others to begin leaving the building per the emergency evacuation plans. If needed, call the fire department. This may not be necessary in all cases, but it's important for dangerous fires.

2. Plan Your Path

If you know the source of the fire, plan a safe evacuation path before approaching it. To ensure your safety, your path away from the fire should be clear of flames, smoke, and heat. Make sure you have the correct type of extinguisher. For example, a kitchen fire may require a Class K extinguisher, which is only intended for use after a built-in hood suppression system has been activated.

3. P.A.S.S.

Once you have secured your path, you're ready to discharge the extinguisher. The P.A.S.S. technique is how most extinguishers operate: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. Pull the pin to break the tamper seal. Aim the fire extinguisher low and toward the base of the fire. Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent. Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, still aiming at the bottom of the fire. Repeat these steps as necessary.

4. Evacuate

If the fire reignites or if you feel you can't put the fire out, evacuate immediately. Fire damage can be deadly and not all fires can be fought with an extinguisher alone. If the extinguisher runs empty and the fire is not out, or if the fire spreads, take safety seriously and evacuate quickly.
Knowing how to properly use a fire extinguisher is crucial for workplace safety. If your business has suffered a fire, be sure to contact experts in fire damage restoration to help you get back on your feet.

How To Prepare Your Staff for a Weather Disaster

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Objects useful in emergency situations such as natural disasters. Top view. Disaster Supply Kit

Weather-related events are the most common cause of disasters in the United States. Though most people believe it will never happen to them, every geographic region is susceptible to a weather emergency. When a hurricane or severe storm threatens your business, a disaster preparedness plan can be the difference between complete chaos and a rehearsed, collaborative process.

Staff Preparation

Whether it’s an approaching hurricane or a sudden event, such as a flash flood or tornado, emergency preparedness can reduce the incidence of injury and property damage. These precautions can prepare your staff to act quickly and with teamwork.

Communication Plan – It’s important to establish a leadership team that will serve as point communicators and disseminates information to your people under emergency conditions.
Disaster Supply Kit – Whether a box or entire closet, this kit should include food and water for 72 hours as well as emergency supplies, such as device chargers, flashlights, blankets, and first aid.
Evacuation Plan – Each business has very different disaster preparedness needs, depending on the size and function of the organization. Your local fire department or disaster remediation service can provide training for your employees on safe evacuation procedures.

It is generally helpful to distribute a copy of your emergency plan to your staff and any new hires. Keep in mind you may need to update your business preparedness plan if your company changes in size or function.

Practice

Once you establish your plan, it’s important to institute regular drills to practice the communication system and evacuation process. You can use the test button on your smoke alarm to begin surprise disaster preparedness drills. This is a practical way to discover your plan’s effectiveness.

Risk Assessment

Assessing your location’s risk can help you design an effective disaster plan. Consulting with your insurance agent, local city planning department and weather agencies can help you understand how severe weather might impact your business.
Preparing your staff for a weather emergency is a sensible modern business practice. If you don’t need it, nothing is lost. If you do have an emergency, you and your people will be prepared to act calmly and quickly.