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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.

What To Know About Water Damage in Your Home

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in an apartment building Air movers and dehumidifiers placed in an apartment in Croyden, PA

What To Know About Water Damage in Your Home

Pipe burst and other sources of water damage can cause severe harm to houses. Here are four things to know about this type of destruction.

Immediate Action Is Necessary

The longer you let the water linger in your home, the more damage it can cause. If you delay calling, emergency restoration specialists, you risk your belongings getting irreparably harmed. The continued presence of water can also lead to mold growth that can quickly spread throughout your house.

It Has Several Different Causes

There are numerous different sources of water damage. Water from natural disasters such as tropical storms, hurricanes and thunderstorms can seep into your house. You could also have a leak in a water line or an appliance. Meanwhile, sewage backups or overflowing toilets can bring both stench and water into your home.

The Cleanup and Restoration Process Is Extensive

Whether your water emergency results from a pipe burst or a severe storm, the cleanup and restoration process is typically the same. It starts with an inspection and assessment of the damage. Experts will then remove the water and dry your belongings. They will then sanitize and clean the affected areas before restoring your home to the way it was before.

You Can Take Steps To Mitigate Damage Before Help Arrives

While you should leave the major cleanup to professionals, you can take certain actions while you wait for their arrival. Any loose objects, including colored rugs, magazines and books, should be removed from the floor. You can also wipe away any excess water and turn on the air conditioning to speed up the drying process. Avoid using your vacuum or any other devices that require electricity.
A pipe burst, severe storm or appliance leak can cause major flooding in your Croyden, PA, home. If you find water damage to your house, call for help as soon as possible.

What Types of House Fires Are Covered by Insurance?

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

scented wax warmer Candles can start a fire in your home or business

A home fire in Levittown, PA, can be a traumatic event for you and your family. Fortunately, homeowners insurance will cover most house fires, so you can get your life back to normal relatively quickly. However, there are certain categories of fire that standard insurance will not cover.


Fires Covered by Insurance


Many types of residential fires are covered by insurance. The following fires are covered by most insurance companies:

kitchen fires
candle fires
electrical fires
lightning fires
wildfires

As a general rule, as long as the fire was not set intentionally and the house is not vacant, a home fire will be covered by homeowners insurance. However, it is important to check the details of any insurance policy that you purchase to make sure you have the amount and type of coverage that you need.


Fires Not Covered by Insurance


In general, there are two types of house fires not covered by standard homeowners insurance: fires due to arson and vacant home fires. A home is considered vacant if it has been empty for at least 30 consecutive days. Although standard homeowners insurance policies will not cover a vacant home fire, there are vacant home insurance policies available. If no one will be living in the home for an extended period of time, you may want to invest in this type of insurance. Arson, the act of deliberately setting fire to property, is a little trickier. If the homeowner sets fire to the house, that is never covered by insurance and is punishable by law if the homeowner files an insurance claim. If the fire is set by another person, the insurance company may or may not cover it. It is important to verify with your insurance company when, and under what circumstances, such a fire would be covered.


If you suffer a home fire, your insurance company can help you financially. For help with the fire restoration process, you may wish to enlist an experienced restoration company.

What To Expect During a Professional Mold Inspection

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Professional Mold Inspection

When you encounter a mold problem in your home, the first thing you should do is call an expert for a mold assessment. Taking this necessary step helps to ensure that any house mold you encounter is taken care of quickly and professionally. However, you may be wondering what steps take place when a mold expert arrives at your home in Levittown, PA, to perform an inspection. This guide lets you know exactly what to expect when you call for a mold inspection.

Consultation

Before mold remediation experts tackle the problem you’re experiencing, they need to speak with you about the nature of your mold infestation. This conversation may cover a range of relevant topics, such as visible signs of mold, possible sources of mold and any other concerns you may have related to mold damage. It can also be helpful to discuss the severity of the problem so that the professionals who visit your home can fully understand how to address your needs in the most effective manner.

Assessment

Once you’ve shared some helpful details concerning the nature of the issue you’re facing, the mold inspection itself can begin. Experts with a trained eye can detect any signs of mold damage throughout your home, as well as possible sources of the infestation. If there is any buildup of moisture in your living space, a professional can locate it by examining the following areas:

Behind the walls
Above the ceiling
Beneath the floors

Taking these steps allows the expert to correctly diagnose your mold problem and resolve it properly.

Diagnosis

After the professional has examined your home for signs of mold, he or she can identify the source of the problem. Any structural or environmental concerns that are present can be detected during this stage. Once professionals understand the cause of the issue, they can remediate your house mold problem appropriately.


Whether you have a severe black mold infestation or one that is just beginning to develop, immediate action is crucial to handling it properly. Schedule a professional mold inspection right away to ensure that any traces of mold are removed from your home.

4 Types of Damage Caused By a Winter Storm

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Icicles hanging from a roof Snow that accumulates on your roof can create an ice dam

Prepare Your Home For Severe Weather

A winter storm in Tullytown, PA, can cause a lot of damage to your house, sometimes in ways that you may not expect. Because of this, it is important to prepare your home for severe weather. The following are some ways that your home could be affected.

1. Frozen Pipes

If the temperature drops during a winter storm, then you could end up with frozen pipes. This can make it difficult to use your plumbing and can result in cracked or broken pipes. If this happens, water could flood your house. To prevent this, keep your home heated and insulate any exposed pipes. Open any cabinets with pipes inside to allow the air to circulate.

2. Ice Dams

Snow that accumulates on your roof can create an ice dam that can cause water to back up and leak into your home. If it persists, mold can grow and materials may need to be replaced. An ice dam can happen when snow melts and then refreezes into ice, so one way to prevent it from forming is to keep your attic at a cool temperature.

3. Exterior Damage

Heavy winds during a blizzard can cause loose shingles to detach from your roof. They can also pick up debris or light objects from the ground and cause them to hit the exterior of your home. This can damage siding and shatter windows. Having existing damage repaired before a storm can prevent it from getting worse. You should also trim tree branches and clean up the yard.

4. Collapsed Roofing

Large amounts of snow and ice on your roof can become heavy. This can cause roof damage and may even cause it to collapse. Be sure to clear your roof regularly to keep this from happening.
If your home has been damaged during a winter storm, then an emergency cleanup and restoration service can help return it to its previous condition. Whether you are dealing with broken pipes, leaks or something else, they can make any necessary repairs and have your home looking great again in no time.

Beware of Mold After Flooding

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling tiles with water stain Porous materials, such as commercial ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy.

When flooding happens in Bristol, PA, the water itself isn’t the only thing that can cause damage to your business. After the standing water subsides, it’s common for bacteria to be left behind and the right conditions to form for mold growth. Calling in an expert for quick mitigation and cleanup is imperative to further damage from happening.

Mold Grows Fast

If the conditions are right, the spores already floating in the air will take root and begin to start growing within 48 hours. After a flood, these microorganisms have everything they need to flourish: moisture, warm temperatures and food. Their sustenance is bountiful in your business. Mold thrives on various materials including:

  • Natural fibers like cotton or wool
  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Leather
  • Surfaces with organic material such as grease, food or dirt
  • Organic porous materials, including carpet, drywall, padding, furniture and fabrics

After the Flood

Preventing mold growth is always the best route to take. When the unexpected happens, taking quick action can reduce the chances of an extensive breakout. After the flood, the following can help reduce mold damage.

If the humidity levels are lower outside, open windows and doors to air out the building.
Remove any wet items. This includes furniture, papers and other belongings.
Clean up any standing water using a wet vacuum, which includes saturated carpets.
Use fans and dehumidifiers to help dry things out, as well as eliminate evaporation.
Use a disinfectant to clean any exposed surfaces.

Additionally, porous materials with extensive saturation will need to be discarded. This may include sections of drywall, carpeting and ceiling tiles. Even if it doesn’t seem like the flood waters reached very high, water quickly wicks up and could be hiding the perfect environment for mold.
A flood itself requires significant attention. When it's finally over, the last thing you want is lingering mold growth as a reminder. When it comes to mold cleanup, count on professional to eradicate the problem and make it Like it never even happened.