Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

How Experts Use Pretests To Improve the Claims Process

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How Experts Use Pretests To Improve the Claims Process The source of the water can give technicians an idea about what kind of water they're dealing with.

When your clients in Bristol, PA, need remediation for damage on their commercial property, the company you choose to clean up the damage can have a big effect on how efficiently your claims process goes. Pretesting is one of the ways that water remediation experts use to take care of problems swiftly and completely. Knowing exactly what the issue is before cleanup begins helps to narrow technicians' efforts and get you the information you need to start processing the claim.

Identifying the Source

Discovering where the water causing the damage is coming from is one of the first steps of assessment. The source of the water can give technicians an idea about what kind of water they're dealing with:

  • Category 1 – clean water
  • Category 2 – gray water
  • Category 3 – black water

If the water comes from a contaminated source, you can expect that the insurance claim will include charges for decontamination.

Determining the Extent

It's not enough to know how contaminated the water is. Specialists also use pretesting to determine how far the damage goes. Class 1 damage affects a small area of one room, but Class 3 or 4 damage will likely require replacing more materials or an extended drying time. This not only can change the cost of the restoration but also the amount of time it is expected to take.

If water has been in the building for more than 24 hours, testing for mold damage may be prudent. If a mold problem is discovered, the insurance agent or adjuster may find it helpful to include fungus remediation on the same claim as the initial problem that led to it. A professional mold test can determine if this is necessary.

Pretesting is an efficient way to gather the information you need to process commercial property clients' claims. It gives you an overview of the work that needs to be done before the cleanup process starts.

How To Distinguish Mildew From Mold

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Distinguish Mildew From Mold Mold in Levittown, PA crawlspace

Mildew and mold are fungi that can grow wherever moisture and organic material are present. Learn about the appearance of these two types of fungi to distinguish mildew growth from mold damage.

How To Identify Mildew

Mildew is a fungus that grows on the surface of organic materials. There are two major varieties of mildew:

  • Downy mildew consists of yellow or brown spots on plants or produce
  • Powdery mildew takes the form of white or gray spots on plants that become yellow or black

This type of fungus usually has a fluffy or powdery texture. Mildew tends to affect plants, but may also develop in bathrooms. Homeowners can apply plant treatments and prevent mildew growth on surfaces by using antifungal cleaner and increasing air circulation to promote drying.

How To Identify Mold

Mold is usually a more serious problem than mildew. This type of fungus tends to grow after water damage and has several distinctive traits:

  • Fuzzy or slimy texture
  • Irregularly shaped spots
  • Wide range of colors

It is important to take immediate measures to mitigate mold damage. Trained professionals can identify species and safely determine the extent of an infestation.

Mildew and Mold Distinctions

Mildew is almost always gray, white, yellow, brown or black. Mold also appears in these colors, but can also be many other colors depending on the species and stage of its life cycle. Blue or green growth is almost always mold. Mildew forms on surfaces, while mold penetrates materials.

Mold and mildew both release microbial volatile organic compounds during the growth cycle. MVOCs are responsible for the musty odor of fungus. Homeowners can look for signs of visible mold growth, but should not disturb colonies or seek out hidden mold. The best way to identify the species and amount of fungus in a residence is to contact a mold damage remediation company in Levittown, PA.

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 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.

What Happens to Electronics After a Commercial Fire?

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What Happens to Electronics After a Commercial Fire? Smoke damage cleaning in Fairless Hills,PA

The modern business world depends on electronic equipment. Whether you have a law firm, factory, clothing store or another type of business in Fairless Hills,PA, there is a good chance you have invested in electronic devices. As you may suspect, an electrical fire can damage your company’s digital equipment. Fortunately, if the fire does not ruin your IT equipment, you may be able to salvage it.

Fires Often Cause Extreme Damage

Fires can be unbelievably destructive. Whether your company’s fire was large or small, you may have damage to the following areas:

  • Structures
  • Inventory
  • Equipment
  • Electronic devices
  • HVAC systems

Recovering from any fire can be stressful. While it is tempting to focus on rebuilding structures and mitigating smoke damage, you must also think about continuing business. If your company uses electronic devices to meet the needs of customers, you need a strategy for computer cleanup.

Computers Are Often Salvageable

When cleaning a computer after an electrical fire, you must be careful to disconnect the unit from its power supply. You must also try not to damage the inner workings of the machine. Still, you should not assume your company’s digital equipment is a complete loss after a fire. Before beginning cleanup or restoration, document damage for insurance purposes.

Cleanup Professionals Understand Electronic Devices

Most electronic devices are complex. Not only does digital equipment have circuit boards and wiring, it often has plastic casings. As such, you can’t merely paint over fire damage. Instead, you must work with a reputable fire-restoration service to salvage electronic equipment. Professional technicians have the experience, skill and equipment to clean electronic devices and recommend repairs. Restorers also have the expertise to recognize when a fire has destroyed digital devices.

No business owner wants to have to deal with a commercial fire. If your company has sustained damage during an electrical fire, you may not have to order new electronic equipment, however. With the right team, you may be able to save your company’s computer systems.

4 Ways To Keep Your Home’s Pedestal or Submersible Pump in Tiptop Shape

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 4 Ways To Keep Your Home’s Pedestal or Submersible Pump in Tiptop Shape Mold remediation under crawl space in a Pinewood,PA home

How To Keep Your Sump Pump In Excellent Condition

Your Pinewood,PA, home has a basement or crawl space, which is convenient both for access and roominess. However, many basements and crawl spaces are below water tables. When water rises outside, the pedestal or submersible pump in your basement removes it before it can cause damage. Here are four ways to keep your home’s sump pump in excellent condition.

1. Inspect the Pump

The only way to know whether you need pump maintenance is to routinely inspect the equipment. Remember, sump pumps often operate only a few months out of each year. The rest of the time, they are dormant. Before the rainy season, pull the pump out of its hole and take a look at it. If you see cracks, corrosion or other signs of damage, you may need to replace the pump.

2. Consult the Owner’s Manual

Some pedestal and submersible pumps require re-greasing. With others, you must occasionally replace worn or brittle gaskets. Your pump’s owner’s manual should tell you what type of routine maintenance you must perform to keep the pump operating optimally.

3. Test the Electrical System

Your sump pump runs on electricity. Therefore, it has a cord and a motor. It may also have an internal fuse. To avoid flooding, test electrical functionality every few months. Specifically, inspect the cord and outlet for wear and tear. Also, pour a bucket of water into the hole to see if the pump engages.

4. Look at the Sump

The hole that your pump sits inside is called the sump. As you may suspect, this space can accumulate debris. At least once per year, remove the pump and inspect the sump. If you notice dirt, rocks or other debris, remove it to avoid clogging your pump.

If your sump pump fails, an emergency restoration service can clean up flood damage and mitigate mold or mildew. Before you get to that point, though, follow these tips to keep your pump in tiptop shape.