Recent Posts

3 Factors To Consider Before Buying a House in a Flood Zone

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Destroyed home after flood mirror reflection Flood zone in Dunlap, PA

Consider The Following Factors Before You Close The Deal

Location plays a strong role in the crucial decision of purchasing a house. If you choose to live in Dunlap, PA, you will need to figure out if the area is labeled a flood zone, also known as an area with a strong flooding risk. Consider the following factors before you close the deal.

1. Specific Location Designation
Not all flood-risk areas are the same. The Federal Emergency Management Agency classifies locations based on the possibility and frequency of floods. Areas with lower risk are usually designated the letters B, C, and X, while the places with a higher chance are A or V. However, FEMA designations shift constantly, so you should not panic whenever there is a storm. At the same time, you should prepare even if you live in a low-probability area.

2. Flood Insurance Costs and Benefits
Selecting a house inside a flood zone carries several consequences depending on the severity of the location. Some of the aftermaths involve a higher flood insurance price. This program is usually an addition to regular insurance, but it also covers specific areas like structural and equipment damage. Some insurance companies even require it. Determine the feasibility of the cost by asking your agent for a quote before you continue.

3. Additional Preventative Measures
An insurance plan and emergency restoration services are not the only resources you have to protect your property. There are several preventative measures you can enact to reduce flood damage. Ensure the plumbing and drain systems remain unclogged and have no leaks. Seal walls and other potential openings with waterproof materials. Elevate electrical devices and valuable items to prevent further damage. Use a sump pump to divert floodwater away from the building's basement.
Choosing a new community is a major decision that involves multiple factors, including the possibility of natural disasters. If you are considering living in a flood zone, think about these aspects to make a strong decision.

Keeping Mold Under Control

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Digital temperature and humidity control Keeping indoor humidity below 45% makes it harder for mold to grow

Water damage and mold infestations typically go hand in hand. Many homeowners who experience leaks or flooding think that their problems are solved once they clean up the water. In reality, these instances provide the perfect opportunity for mold to take up residence on your property. It's important to take action to control the problem if you suspect that your home in Vermilion Hill, PA, might be experiencing unwanted mold growth.

Tips for Keeping Mold Out

Mold could still grow in your home, even if you haven't experienced recent water damage. Incorporate mold inspections into your regular maintenance routine to best protect your property. The following actions are vital for mold prevention:

Fix leaks ASAP: Leaky roofs, pipes and windows provide the perfect breeding ground for mold. Patch and completely dry leaks as soon as you find them.
Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens properly: Bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms come into frequent contact with water. Ventilate these rooms properly to help prevent mold growth. Avoid putting down carpet in these rooms as well, as the material tends to trap moisture.
Control humidity levels in your home: Experts recommend maintaining about 30% to 50% humidity inside the house. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help manage these levels.
Perform regular mold inspections: Check potential problem areas frequently. Discovering the spores early helps reduce the amount of damage they can do to your home.

Addressing a Mold Problem
Following these tips can only reduce your risk of falling victim to a mold problem. If you do find mold growing in your home anyway, don't attempt to address the issue yourself. Instead, enlist the help of remediation experts to take care of the problem quickly and efficiently. Mold is a pesky invader that needs to be completely eradicated to stay gone. Performing the job correctly the first time can save you additional headaches and expenses down the road.
Water damage is difficult enough to deal with on its own. Take action to prevent mold growth so you don't have to add to your list of issues.

How Fire Mitigation Companies Protect Your Commercial Property

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Board up building Board up services to a commercial building in Croydon Heights, PA

Here Are A Few Services Fire Mitigation Companies Provide

As a commercial property owner, you likely do not want to think about a fire ravaging your facility, but it happens, and preparation for such a disaster is necessary. Do you know what you should do to protect your building after an accident? Have you considered who you may call to address the fire damage and restore your property? Fire mitigation and restoration specialists in Croydon Heights, PA, provide several services to secure your property until it is repaired.

Security and surveillance
Fencing
Board-up and tarp services

Security and Surveillance
The primary concern of most facility owners is the security of their property. Many mitigation companies will provide or have affiliations with security and surveillance companies. You can feel free to take advantage of these connections, or you can find a solution on your own.

Fencing
One of the easiest and most efficient ways a mitigation service can protect your property from looting is to put up a fence. Temporary fencing is practical, and it helps to keep vagrants and wildlife out of your property as it is being cleaned and restored. While most companies will use a standard orange barrier fencing, some companies may use wire, especially for a more prolonged fire cleanup where fire damage is extensive.

Board-up and Tarp Services
Immediately following a fire, one of the first things a restoration company will do is offer board-up and tarp services. The crew will use plywood to cover any damage to windows and doors, and they will use tarps to cover holes in your facility's roof. By covering these vulnerable spaces, the mitigation service protects your property and insurance claim.
While no property owner wants to think about fire damage, sometimes preparing for the worst-case is necessary. If your company has experienced a fire, then contact a local fire restoration company to help get your facility back to normal operations in the fastest possible time. A fire doesn't have to be the end of your company.

SERVPRO Can Restore Your Fire Damaged Home in Makefield

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with a Makefield fire damage problem in any home whether Newtown, Yardley, Washington's Crossing, or New Hope. can bring along many other challenges with it. Getting the family settled in a home away from home, feeding the family from other resources and the cost of outside meals skyrocketing can be very stressful for the entire family. Also, buying new clothing for the family if needed, keeping up with paying bills, driving extra miles to school or work from another location and a host of other things that can add to the stress. In addition to this, the owner of the home may also choose to coordinate the Makefield fire damage recovery process themselves.

To prevent some of these severe problems and cut down on the stress level that comes with dealing with fire devastation, many people who have had already had this trying experience normally highly recommend turning the duties of coordinating the recovery process over to the professionals.

With that said, for those of you who may be struggling with making the decision to pay fire restoration company to provide their services instead of coordinating these activities yourselves, you can review the top benefits of hiring them below.

Benefits of Hiring a Restoration Company

Offers Special Skills and Expertise

It is important to note that people who work in this industry possess many years of fire damage and restoration field experience. Therefore, they have already handled different types situations that have provided them with the knowledge and expertise to tackle unique problems. Unlike many homeowners involved in a fire, they do not have much to learn and can avoid major costly mistakes that are easy to make.

Proper Resources and Equipment

When contacting these professionals, they are already ready on a 24/7 basis to handle both small and large jobs. Therefore, they can send a team of professionals to clean up both fire damage and water damage immediately.

Assists with Insurance Company Requirements

Dealing with the insurance companies after a fire can also be a burden on the homeowner. However, when these professionals are involved, they can also help steer the owner through the process. So, for those of you who need a contact for your situation, you should call SERVPRO of Levittown at (215) 785-1777 today.

Trust Restoration Projects to Trained, Certified Professionals

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

White brick wall with the words WHAT IS THE IICRC SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage.

When disaster happens at a Falls Township, PA, business, assisting them in getting back on track is a priority for the owner and the insurer. Whether it is minimal or extensive damage, it's important to have confidence that the fire, smoke, or water damage restoration specialist is certified and will deliver optimal results. The choice is easy when you find an IICRC professional trained to meet and exceed industry standards.

What Is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification?

The institute is a third-party, nonprofit global organization aimed at developing best practices for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The organization strives to ensure common terminology, concepts, and procedures are established to create unification in these niche industries. It has certified more than 60,000 technicians and 6,000 firms. To be certified, businesses must provide proof of insurance and training requirements, as well as have an established complaint system.
When you call SERVPRO professionals, you can have confidence that they understand and adhere to the cleaning standards established by the IICRC. These standards apply to:

  • Textile floor coverings
  • Stone
  • Hard surface floor covering
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Water damage restoration
  • Mold remediation
  • HVAC cleaning and decontamination
  • Fire and smoke damage restoration

How Does SERVPRO Ensure Up-to-Date Training?
Along with requiring technicians to receive an IICRC mitigation certificate, local franchises must also continue their education. Courses are available onsite at a dedicated training facility as well as e-learning and local opportunities. This ensures technicians stay up to date on fire and water restoration, structural drying, mold mitigation, and various cleaning processes. Insurance adjusters and agents can also participate in courses to enhance emergency mitigation knowledge in areas including mitigation awareness, damage restoration, understanding mold, and loss control.
Business owners invest much more than just capital in their businesses. When the unexpected happens, choosing certified and highly trained professionals to restore a property can make it “Like it never even happened.”

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.