Just Because I Cannot See It, Doesn't Mean I Can't Believe It!
Just because you cannot see it, doesn't mean it isn't dirty.
Just as carpets, windows, contents and walls accumulate dirt, dust and mildew; so do HVAC and duct systems. HVAC systems are often overlooked when a cleaning routine is implemented in both residential and commercial properties. Besides common dirt and dust, many other factors can exacerbate the sanitary conditions of duct work including: pet dander, cigarette or cigar smoke, water contamination or damage to the properties' HVAC systems, renovation and remodeling projects, and other harmful contaminants. If the registers that circulate air into a building appear dirty then chances are that the duct systems are just as bad if not worse!
Dirty systems can worsen symptoms in individuals with chronic lung issues, health problems, asthma and allergies. The air quality inside of a home or place of work can have different effects on different individuals, especially the young and elderly. Similarly, the HVAC system that works as the lungs of your building; breathing in air and breathing it back out inside of a property cannot work as efficiently when neglected of the proper cleaning. Clean ducts are also more energy efficient without having to work as hard to cool and heat air filled with dust, mildew, and other contaminants.
Photo By: http://www.city-data.com/forum/house/1683598-air-quality-house-open-ducts-crawl.html
Brace for Florence!
Hurricane Florence expected to hit the Carolina's first.
As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the coast, some are wondering how their homes will hold up when the storm arrives.
Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130 mph winds in 1954. That Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and killed 19 people in North Carolina. In the six decades since then, many thousands of people have moved to the coast.
So what do hurricane-force winds do to a home? The IBHS Research Center in Richburg, South Carolina, tests just that.
The center was built in 2010 and it aims to advance building science. It evaluates the strength of specific building material by testing in realistic situations.
One part of the building has 105 fans that can simulate up to a Category 3 hurricane.
One thing the center has already found is that closing your interior doors during a hurricane can lower your risk of losing your roof during a tropical system.
Is your property prepared for high winds? If severe weather is in the forecast, follow these simple steps from AccuWeather to minimize damage:
When the wind comes into a house it wants to push up and push out on the building; by closing your interior doors you limit the upward push to a small area minimizing your risk of losing your roof.
The facility can even accurately portray the size of raindrops; they've tested what wind-driven rain can do to a house, and through these experiments, they recommend that people have a sealed roof deck.
That means you can seal the seams of your roof to prevent water from getting into your house.
SCHOOLS OUT FOR!...Mold Remediation?
Upper Perkiomen High School closed due to mold and moisture issues.
RED HILL, PA — Just days into the 2018-19 school year, one local high school is experiencing a serious setback.
Upper Perkiomen High School will be shut down next week to due excessive moisture and mold, district officials announced over the weekend.
A Montgomery County high school will be shut down next week to due excessive moisture and mold, district officials announced. Mold was first noticed in the school over the summer. District officials said that extreme heat and humidity in recent days has drastically worsened the problem.
The district hopes that changes to the HVAC system will help remedy the issue. Superintendent Alexis McGloin addressed the issue in a statement Saturday:"As you can imagine, making these changes to the HVAC system and conducting this level of cleaning is no small task, and therefore we have no choice but to close the building for the week of September 10-14. We want to ensure that this problem is addressed properly, and we are not looking to cut corners on this important issue, so a building closure is unavoidable."
Four makeup days have already been identified, and a fifth was already built into the calendar. They include Nov. 6 (Election Day), Nov. 19 and 20 (parent-teacher conference days which will be rescheduled), and January 21 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day).
Content By: https://patch.com/pennsylvania/limerick/moisture-mold-forces-montco-hs-shut-down-next-week
Protecting Your Property This Hurricane Season!
Mitigation practices to consider in the event of severe storm and hurricane situations.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season showed the hospitality industry just how much damage these massive storms can create. The cost of damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms has increased during the 10-year period between 2007 and 2017, according to Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business. In that one decade, nearly 8 million claims related to hurricanes and tropical storms were filed, with the total estimated insured loss exceeding $100 billion. In 2017 alone, the damage costs related to hurricanes in the United States and its territories exceeded $60 billion, not including National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy claims.
As the National Weather Service (NWS) recognizes National Hurricane Preparedness Week from May 6-12, Nationwide released several tips for protecting properties before a hurricane or tropical storm hits. According to the National Hurricane Center, the hurricane season in the eastern North Pacific runs from May 15 through November 30. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
“The damage that these powerful storms produce is a reminder of how we all must do everything we can to protect what’s most important to us,” Ken Enscoe, senior claims director for Nationwide’s catastrophe operations, says. “It’s crucial for policyholders to know about their insurance coverage before a storm hits. Advance planning is key to reducing the risk and mitigating the loss hurricanes can create.”
The insurance company urged owners of all types of properties to review their insurance policies, prepare an emergency kit, trim shrubs and trees, and identify a safe place to take shelter when a storm hits. Policyholders can take the following steps in preparation for hurricane season or when a storm is approaching.
Examine the property. Before an event, examine the property to ensure there are no physical and/or liability hazards present.
Protect vulnerable areas. Protect the four critical areas where wind and water can enter: roof, windows, doors, and garage doors.
Protect valuables. Protect documents and other valuables in waterproof containers and/or back them up on a cloud-based system.
Review insurance policies. Read and understand the hotel’s insurance policy. Take inventory with photos or video, and note the approximate value of the items and the date of purchase.
Content By: http://lodgingmagazine.com/hurricane-season-2018-protect-hotel-property/
Picture By: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/images/168107
The Heat is On!
This previously water-damaged drywall displays mold growth that may have been avoided with timely water mitigation.
In the Chester County area, we have experienced some heavy rainfalls over the past several weeks, and we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County know first-hand the flooding and water intrusion issues that this has caused for many of our neighbors. We have assisted with the mitigation and clean-up of many weather-related water losses, and have spent many an hour pumping water out of the flooded basements of our thankful customers. However, it is not uncommon for homeowners to not properly address these types of issues when they first occur, thinking that the damage "isn't that bad" or "I can handle this myself." Unfortunately, without the involvement of a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of North East Chester County, there are often aspects of the mitigation and clean-up that are missed and go unaddressed. The harsh reality of this is that once the weather heats up, any materials that were not properly dried and treated may provide ideal conditions for mold growth, wood rot, you name it! The cost of a professional water damage mitigation may performed in a timely fashion may be a mere fraction of an extensive mold remediation weeks or months after the fact. The good news is that SERVPRO of North East Chester County provides fair, reasonable, and stringent mold remediation services and we are just a phone call away!
Where Do I Even Start?!?
Let's face it: any type of damage to your home or business can be devastating, as you experience a range of emotions and hope may be dwindling. But fire damage can really exacerbate these emotions; smoke odor and soot damage can permeate the entire structure and the remains can seem hopeless. You may ask yourself: where do I even start?!? One of the first things you should do is call SERVPRO of North East Chester County - we can help explain exactly how your home or business can be restored "from the ashes" and will put together a cohesive plan that will get your life back on track.
What Can Be Saved??
There are many techniques that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County employ to specifically address each affected material and to take the best approach to make it like it never even happened. It is true that most fire damages involve some level of demolition to remove non-salvageable materials, but we will outline a plan to replace these as well. If it can be cleaned and saved, we make every effort to do so; i.e. we don't just assume everything is a total loss, because we are willing to put in the time and effort to salvage contents and materials that are able to be saved, no matter how difficult the procedure. We don't make promises we can't keep, and provide realistic timelines and estimates for the work to be performed, so you are 100% in the know - after all, this is YOUR space and YOUR life!
Fire damage sure can be daunting, but with SERVPRO of North East Chester County on your side, life can be restored to normal.
Sticky substance dripping from above...
Chances are if you own a Chester County business, you may share space with another business that may vary wildly from your own. You may consider your business to be well-protected from the pitfalls of water or fire damage, mold, you name it, but can you say the same for your neighbors? If you are in a shared space, you also share exposure to your neighbors losses, as we recently encountered in a Collegeville, PA retail space.
Dripping from the Ceiling
We recently encountered two non-food & beverage businesses below a restaurant that experienced a product spill. Even if the product is sweetened and carbonated, it still does what water does, and works its way down! The responsible party was fantastic, jumping into action to take control of the situation, and in doing so, made the best decision: calling SERVPRO of North East Chester County! We responded quickly on a Sunday afternoon, assessed the situation and began executing our plan. We were very cognizant of the affected businesses' needs, and so were able to accommodate work hours to minimize any conflict with their normal business operations, while adhering to our goals for making the situation "Like it never even happened."
In addition to the initial mitigation, we will also be conducting the repairs - not just of the business spaces, but perhaps of the neighborly relationships!
Don't Down-Play That Water Damage!
Look what was hiding in the crawlspace of a home with a water damage several months ago that went unaddressed!
Water damage from a leaky pipe, storm event, or any source can be a huge inconvenience - we get it! However, the worst thing that a home or business owner can possibly do is to ignore the damage that water events can cause, or to down-play them. Even seemingly minor water damages can cause devastating secondary damage if not properly mitigated; including mold growth! We occasionally encounter situations where a homeowner calls us out for a "mold" inspection and through the course of our conversation they casually mention that there was a water event "a few months back." In some of these instances, the materials in the home are still wet! Sometimes mitigation is not required at all, and we would never steer you in the direction of something that is not needed, but the safest when water damages occur, to prevent mold growth and secondary damage, is to call us to at least come check it out. Our methods of investigation and inspection can uncover issues that you may not even know are going on: like mold growing where you wouldn't see it everyday. Under and between structural materials that trap moisture (ex. linoleum or baseboards) and in rarely visited areas like crawlspaces, un-mitigated water damages can promote ugly situations like the growth in the attached photo. But never fear! Just give SERVPRO of North East Chester County a call and we would be happy to come out and take a look!
Insulation Soaks Up Like a Sponge in Malvern, PA
This Malvern, PA home had some seriously saturated insulation from a pipe leak water damage...
After experiencing a water loss, the affected materials absorb water based on how porous they are; among other things. This directly impacts whether an affected material is considered "salvageable," as in it can be dried in place, or "non-salvageable," as in it needs to be removed because it will impede the drying of the salvageable materials. Needless to say, wall and ceiling insulation doesn't stand a chance! It can be very difficult to dry insulation in place, and in most cases it will impede the drying process for the surrounding materials, keeping them in a dangerous place as far as moisture content. This will keep the humidity of the affected area elevated and can provide ideal circumstances for mold growth. Thus, SERVPRO of North East Chester County will remove non-salvageable materials, such as insulation, to lay out a feasible and responsible drying plan; i.e. to keep overall restoration costs down and keep your structure sanitary. The insulation in the picture from a water damaged home in Malvern, PA as a result of a pipe leak shows how saturated the material has become - it's gotta go! But once out of the picture, the surrounding structure can dry more easily and efficiently and we can get you back to normal sooner and safer!
Pottstown, PA Hardwood Water Damage
This hardwood floor is starting to buckle as a result of water damage - but may still be salvageable with timely service and expert techniques...
Hardwood finished floors are a beautiful way to add character and distinction to your Pottstown, PA home. If properly treated and maintained, hardwood can last more than a lifetime; far longer than carpet or other flooring options. Unfortunately, if your home suffers a water damage event, hardwood may not be as resilient as you may wish. The longer the hardwood is exposed to moisture, the more it has an opportunity to soak up, and as the wood dries it may buckle or "cup." In many cases, once hardwood floors get to this stage they are in need of removal and replacement; however at SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we have specialty drying equipment that allows us to use drying techniques that may be able to salvage your beautiful floors. The real key is response time, as the initial extraction prevents moisture dwell time in contact with the wood. There are also nuances to making sure that hardwood is not dried too drastically or too much, as this may cause even more damage. That is why we take careful measure to monitor the moisture levels and humidity during the drying process - to make sure that if your hardwood floor can be saved, it is saved, and the finished product is "Like it never even happened."