Recent Posts

Never See Montezuma’s Ominous Waters in Your Basement: How To Prevent Sewage Backup

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cuts and bare cement flooring after flood damage. While basement flooding and potential sewage backup may be concerns for homeowners, the use of any of the above tools can soothe the nerves.

The Spring City area is in a flood zone; therefore, some level of flooding is expected every year, but that does not mean that a sewer line backup resulting from storm damage must be detrimental to your home. While sewer cleaning helps ensure that lines are clear and free of obstruction, routine plumbing maintenance may not eliminate the concern of a sewage-filled basement. Fortunately, four tools can be used to help ease your mind.

1. An Overhead Sewer

While expensive and requiring professional installation, an overhead sewer is a comprehensive defense system against potential backflow. This system utilizes a sump pump arrangement that depends on an ejector pump to force excess water collecting below the floor level into a secondary pipe, preventing any interior damage.

2. A Backwater Valve

Another costly option requiring professional installation is a backwater valve. This type of valve is connected to the sewer lateral and prevents backup by closing its valve and forcing the sewage to flow up and away from the exterior of the house.

3. A Single Standpipe

A simple and cost-effective prevention method is known as a standpipe. True to its name, the standpipe is a single pipe placed upright in the basement floor drain and sealed with rubber caulk. This solution does not prevent sewers from backing up, but it does give sewage a place to go without contaminating your entire basement.

4. A One-Way Drain Plug

Another simple option is a one-way drain plug. These plugs install quickly and are relatively inexpensive. They are designed with a float that plugs the drain opening when water levels get too high; thus preventing any sewer backflow from entering the basement.

While basement flooding and potential sewage backup may be concerns for homeowners in flood zone areas, the use of any of the above tools can soothe the nerves. However, as this type of damage is not 100 percent preventable, it doesn’t hurt to consult with flood specialists.

Identifying Mold: How To Know When Black Mold Has Invaded Your Home

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. If you suspect that your home is infested with mold, reach out to your local mold remediation experts to schedule a mold inspection.

Black mold. It's one of those scary things that homeowners hear about but hope to never have to deal with. Unfortunately, this type of mold can develop anywhere, in just about any home, and as quickly as overnight. If you discover mold in your home and want to know whether it's the black variety or something far less sinister, contact Phoenixville, PA, mold remediation experts to schedule a thorough mold inspection.

Know How To Identify Mold

When trying to determine which type of mold you're dealing with, there are certain features you should look for. They include the following:

• Smell
• Symptoms
• Appearance

Here is more detail on what to be on the lookout for.

Smell

Mold has a very distinctive odor, one that is heavily musky and pungent. If you detect a heavy mildew smell in your home, chances are that you're dealing with a more toxic form of house mold.

Symptoms

Black fungi can be extremely harmful to a home and can eat away at its materials and structure until the very foundation becomes compromised. As the mold feeds on materials such as drywall and lumber, you may begin to notice the following symptoms:

• Dark rings or spots on the ceiling
• Visible growth on the walls
• Excessive moisture on or around building materials
• Crumbling drywall
• Sagging ceilings

If one or all of these symptoms are present, you may be dealing with black house mold.

Appearance

A quick mold inspection by a trained professional can help you determine whether or not you are dealing with black mold. It often thrives in environments that are constantly exposed to moisture (though this is not always the case). This type of fungi looks different from others and is characterized by a black or grayish hue, but it can be many colors. It often appears as slimy.

If you suspect that your home is infested with mold, reach out to your local mold remediation experts to schedule a mold inspection. Because of the fungi’s toxic nature, you should get an accurate diagnosis and begin remediation efforts as soon as possible.

A Quick Guide to Preventing Home Water Damage

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

A room flooded Water losses can happen at any time, but SERVPRO is your immediate solution.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

Water damage is one of the costliest disasters a homeowner can experience. When water floods home basements, bathrooms, or crawl spaces, there is also the potential for personal property damage, mold, and structural integrity issues. You can safeguard your residence against many types of damage caused by water in your home with a few preventative steps.

Plumbing

Although you probably use plumbing each day, you may forget to check your pipes and appliances regularly. Here is some practical advice on preventing plumbing problems in Phoenixville, PA.

• Inspect tubs and showers for cracks and caulking issues.
• Check appliances for loose hoses and damaged hose washers.
• Monitor faucet water pressure for a potential broken pipe.
• Know where the water shut-off valve is and make sure it works properly.
• Do a pipe cleanup by removing any buildup. Also, check heating, cooling, and plumbing pipes for cracks or leaks.

Basement

Water seepage often occurs in basement structures, and it is a major issue. Ground water can cause serious damage, but you can prevent most potential water damage by resealing your basement at the first sign of seepage after a heavy rain. Also, consider installing a backwater regulator valve to prevent sewer problems.

Outdoors

Inspecting your roof can prevent unwanted water from leaking into attics and damaging ceilings. If windows are missing caulk, reseal the panes to prevent rain damage. Also, take time to inspect gutters as you clean them of debris, because they can easily allow unwanted water to damage your property.

Assets

At the first sign of flood water in your home, consider calling a specialist in remediation in Phoenixville, PA. The cleanup specialists can help protect your possessions by removing the water, drying the area, and setting up a dehumidifier. They can also disinfect the property to prevent mold growth.

Prevention

You may not be able to avoid all damage by water in your home, but you can prevent many potential flooding issues. By taking the preventative steps listed above, you can help safeguard your property from water damage.

3 Precautions That Can Protect Your Business in a Storm

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Drive connected to a computer Back up your important files and programs.

3 Storm-Resistant Precautions for Your Business

A severe storm in Valley Forge, PA, can damage the structure of your building as well as the efficiency of your business. Flood water can destroy the equipment, data, and furniture within your commercial structure, which can be costly and can bring your company to a standstill. Here are 3 precautions you can take to minimize water damage, confusion, and data loss.

1. Create a Plan

Storms can be frightening and are often paired with chaos and disorder. It’s important to create an emergency weather plan for your employees to follow so that everyone can stay safe. Making a plan can also help the business get up and running faster after the storm. Your business plan can include information about these concerns:

  • Evacuation procedures
  • Relocation of equipment
  • Communication after the initial storm
  • Repair and restoration plans for the flooded building

Once the plan is created, be sure to review and test it. Practicing evacuation drills can keep your employees safe, and being aware of what will happen to vital parts of your business during the storm can help you get back on your feet more quickly.

2. Protect Your Property

There isn’t much you can do to prevent the storm from affecting your commercial building, but there are many proactive ways to minimize the water damage. Put sandbags in any areas that may be easily flooded, and try to move furniture and electronics to a higher level of the building. You can also cover windows and seal doors as an extra precaution.

3. Secure Important Data

Most businesses rely completely on technology. If flood water damages your electronics, you could lose vital data. By backing up your business’s important files and programs, you won’t have to worry about losing the time and money to regain that data. If all else fails, try to transfer your data to off-site storage quickly after being notified of a severe storm.

Being prepared for a storm can help your business minimize losses. Although flood water can cause a lot of water damage to your building, you can protect employees and preserve assets that are important to the company.

What To do When Mold Problems Become an Emergency

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall Mold in a Charlestown, PA home.

What to Do When Mold Is a Serious Problem

No matter what type of home you live in, regardless of its age or style, environmental issues can hit. One of the most feared and damaging conditions is mold. If you find mold in your home it can make your home completely unlivable. If you’re trying to sell or rent out your home, mold will prevent any transactions. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of mold, even black mold. Make sure you act quickly and effectively, and you should have a successful mold cleanup.

Find the Cause

It’s an unsettling feeling to have mold in your Charlestown, PA, home. One of the most troubling things about this unwanted guest is that it can come into your home from a number of sources. Often, it’s the result of a moisture problem, such as leaks, floods or humidity. Before you can properly clean up mold in your home and prevent it from returning, you need to figure out how it developed. Check walls and your roof. Also, the basement is a common home for mold.

Have an Expert Examine It

There are many forms of mold, and each type requires a different cleanup method. Black mold, for example, is perhaps the worst form. It can be a worry for many homeowners. When you spot mold, ask a trained expert to look at it. This person will them instruct you how to properly clean it.

Have a Professional Remove It

Getting rid of mold in your Charlestown, PA, home is more difficult than you may think. Mold can spread quickly and can be quite pesky. Also, you don't want to spend a lot of time around it if you don't have to.

You don’t want to take black mold and other forms of mold lightly. If you discover this in your home, enlist the help of a professional without delay.

How Landscaping Can Help Protect a Home From Flooding

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Two hands holding mulch Using heavier mulch that stays in place may help avoid these problems.

Three Tips That Can Help You Decrease Your Chances of Flooding

Many homeowners think of landscape design as a way to improve the aesthetics of their property and enhance their enjoyment of the surrounding nature, but landscaping can also help protect a home from flooding. Outside flooding can destroy the lawn and garden around a house and increases the risk of water damage inside the home. These three tips can help you decrease your chances of flooding.

1. Make Sure Water Drains Away From the House

It’s important to check your downspout before the rain storm comes. Not only do you want to look for and repair any damages, but you should also ensure that water drains away from the house. In addition to the standard downspouts used in home construction, there are also ornamental rain drainage systems that can help direct the water even further away from the house. Diverting this water to a garden bed, or other porous surfaces, can also help prevent flooding.

2. Check That Rain Water Has Somewhere To Go

Outside flooding occurs when rainwater does not have a clear path to a drainage source or when water cannot be absorbed into the ground around the house. As part of your landscaping, you can install other drainage sources such as sub-surface drains or catch basins. You could also install a dry streambed or a swale on a sloped surface to create a path for the water to flow away from the house.

3. Ensure That Your Mulch Can Withstand Heavy Rains

Lightweight mulch can easily float away in a rainstorm. This mulch is harder to clean up after a storm, and during a storm, it can clog drains and result in flooding. Using heavier mulch that stays in place may help avoid these problems.

While there may be no fool-proof way to avoid all outside flooding when the rains come to Kimberton, PA, these tips may help you minimize water damage and preserve your property.

Keep Sneaky HVAC Mold at Bay

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cuts, bottom of drywall has been removed, mold found behind drywall. Water damage can lead to mold growth.

Keep Mold in the HVAC System at Bay

Whether a new, old, small, or large business, the people running it have plenty of things on their minds. When it comes to the structure the business operates out of, it can be easy to overlook what can’t be seen. One area of maintenance easily forgotten is HVAC cleaning—a surprising key to mold prevention.

While mold can easily be spotted on walls, floors and areas prone to water, it can also hide in air ducts. Below are three steps to help spot and deal with sneaky mold issues.

1. Inspect the HVAC system. Unfortunately, mold is something that pops up quickly and never completely goes away. Fortunately, it’s easy to minimize its growth by regularly checking around the system for moisture—mold fuel. Any signs of moisture around ducts, vents and the system’s parts, such as blowers, could indicate it’s time for an HVAC cleaning. Also, check that the drain and condensation pans are draining and not retaining water.

2. Get the system cleaned. Mold doesn’t only need moisture to make its rounds. It can also grow on dust inside the ducts and vents. Cleaning vents help reduce the accumulation of mold and keeps airflow operating smoothly. Business owners in Chester Springs, PA, with the potential for mold in their vents, should call an expert to help resolve the issue quickly and professionally.

3. Preventive maintenance keeps the mold away. Once an HVAC system is cleaned, it's time to set up a regular maintenance plan. Change filters regularly to stunt future growth, and ensure that the filters are positioned correctly. Continue to regularly inspect the system and its components for any moisture buildup or improperly functioning parts. Additionally, regular general dusting and vacuuming can help air ducts stay relatively clean, keeping mold from serious growth. Lastly, be sure to set up an annual cleaning appointment with an HVAC expert.

Mold may be part of life, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming problem. While HVAC cleaning may not be on the priority list, its benefits can help put business owners’ minds at ease.

What To Do Following a House Fire

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Burnt cabinet SERVPRO of North East Chester is ready to help you start the restoration process as soon as the fire is out.

What To Do After A House Fire

Are you dealing with the aftermath of a house fire in Charlestown, PA and are unsure of what to do next? Looking to be prepared in the event that the unthinkable does happen? Fire restoration is an obviously critical step for repairing any damage, but what other things should you keep in mind? Here’s a list of steps you’ll want to remember

1) Secure temporary lodging. Many victims of residential fires will be unable to stay in the home until restoration occurs. Reach out to family, friends or a local disaster relief agency to identify your options. Let local authorities know that you’ll be staying away from the home and, if necessary, ensure that openings are boarded up to avoid unlawful entry.

2) Call your insurance provider ASAP. Depending on the extent of your fire insurance, coverage may help cover costs involved in restoration and replacement of belongings. During the recovery process, you should closely monitor and record expenses, especially if “loss of use” funds are received as an advance on your claim.

3) Secure your financials. Ensure that any lost credit or debits cards are reported and replaced. Contact your mortgage lender or landlord so they are aware of your situation. Make sure your insurance agent provides a complete picture of how much coverage you will receive for costs, bills, restoration, lost belongings, etc. as part of the recovery process.

4) Contact a fire restoration specialist. Identify a trusted contractor that can sanitize surfaces and repair damages. This step should include mitigating water left over from extinguishment, smoke cleaning, construction and any other steps necessary to return the home to pre-fire condition.

The period immediately following a house fire is bound to be a stressful time for anyone. By following these steps and relying on help from insurance agents and fire restoration specialists, you can rest easier knowing that you’re well on your way to recovery.

Best Ways To Handle Basement Floods

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Sump pump in a basement Sump pumps are great in basements!

How To Handle a Basement Flood

You’d be hard-pressed to find a homeowner in South Pottstown, PA, that hasn’t thought of the possibility of a house flood. Basements are perhaps the most commonplace for flooding, so it’s crucial that you understand some quick and effective ways to handle a basement flood.

Evaluate the Damage

Before you do anything, you should take a quick look around your home and determine the extent of the flooded area and what type of cleanup effort you’re looking at. Here’s how you should begin:

  • Take photos of the affected areas.
  • Take photos of damaged property and areas.
  • Write down specific items that have been damaged (this will be crucial when dealing with insurance coverage).
  • If safe, get items such as furniture, books, electronics and clothes away from water; however, don’t touch electronics that are currently in the water.

Call a Trusted Professional

Cleaning up after a basement flood isn’t something you should handle by yourself. There are experienced, skilled companies that take care of water removal and water damage. You should get in touch with a professional as some as you’ve assessed the damage in your home.

What the Pros Will Do

The restoration company will start by getting rid of the water in your home. The technicians will use pumps and wet vacuums to ensure there is no more water on your floors. In the next step, the professional will thoroughly dry the affected area with industrial-grade dryers. The restoration team will then remove damaged drywall and flooring so these areas can be replaced and rebuilt. Lastly, the team will clean and sanitize the area. This step will help prevent mold growth.

Prevent Future Flooding

Don’t run the risk of dealing with more flooding. Once you determine the cause of the issue, take the necessary steps to eliminate water damage in the future.

A professional is your best resource for handling a basement flood. There are also critical tasks you can handle on your own to mitigate damage and safety concerns.

4 Things You Should Know Before Buying Business Interruption Insurance

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Business interruption insurance form and red pen for signing. Business interruption insurance can be a great option for business owners.

What is Business Interruption Insurance?

No Spring City, PA, business owner wants to find their livelihood has been affected by a disaster. In the event of such an occurrence, however, there are ways to protect your profits while you rebuild, repair or otherwise get your business running again.

1. What is business interruption insurance?

This type of insurance pays you for any lost income caused by a disaster or peril that is covered by your property insurance policy. If a storm or fire leads to a closed business, you would lose the opportunity to sell your goods and services. This coverage helps mitigate those losses. It also helps pay for extra expenses you might incur in the event you need to temporarily relocate your operations.

2. How is it different than property insurance?

While property insurance will help you rebuild or repair your building in the event of covered perils such as theft, storms, wind, fire or falling objects, business interruption coverage specifically focuses on lost income (minus any normal expenses). Be sure to read your property insurance policy carefully in order to fully understand what is and isn’t covered.

3. How do you purchase it?

This coverage is not offered on its own, but instead as an add-on to an existing property or business insurance policy. Because interruption coverage is not sold on its own, it only pays on perils that are covered under the original policy.

4. What does it cover?

Most often, a policy will cover any lost profits, fixed costs that continue regardless of a closed business, temporary operating locations and any “reasonable expenses” beyond fixed costs.

Business interruption insurance can be a great option for business owners who want to guard themselves against a big financial hit in the event of a peril. If your building needs extensive repairs or a rebuild, the coverage can keep your finances in good shape until you get back to business.