Archived Blog Posts
Just as one exits, another forms...
Chester Springs PA, Storm water soaked carpet
This week another wintry storm will likely hit our area, including strong wind gusts in addition to cold temperatures. The culprit this time around is the low pressure working eastward, from the Rockies into Kansas, and across the county. Make sure to prepare your home from any storm damage! Limbs from trees weighed down by heavy snow can break windows in your home, but SERVPRO of North East Chester County can help secure your property and assist with the clean-up. Our family-owned and operated team is available 24/7 for storm clean-up. We will come in and assess the damage, clean up all debris as well as haul it away to leave behind nothing for you, the homeowner, to worry about. Our main focus is customer satisfaction and dedication to get the job done right! Also, with freezing pipes due to the dropping temperatures from a winter storm, SERVPRO of North East Chester County is always available to take control and mitigate damage from any and all water losses. We are always here to help!
Gotta Close This Home Sale!
There's no way a home inspector will let a basement like this pass without SERVPRO to properly clean and sanitize pre-sale...
Nowadays, most home sales are accompanied by a professional home inspection, and oftentimes the inspectors report brings back some recommeded mold remediation. Usually we see this in areas of the home that, well, we don't usually see! Namely, home inspectors often discover mold growth in areas such as crawlspaces, attics, and other areas that are not normally inspected by the homeowners, themselves. Nevertheless, any type of possible growth in these types of unfinished areas seems to be heavily scrutinized by home inspectors and usually requires professional remediation in order to move forward with the home sale.
Dependent on when the home inspection takes place in regards to the settlement date, you, the seller, may feel some real pressure to have the mold remediated and not hold up the sale - enter SERVPRO of North East Chester County! We deal with identical situations to this all the time, and are committed to seeing your project through as soon as possible and within the time constraints that you may be facing. We do so many of these types of remediations that our highly-skilled technicians are able to efficiently and thoroughly complete the job without cutting any corners or leaving cause for future concern. When you need to get a pre-sale inspection job done quickly and right the first time, SERVPRO of North East Chester County is your number one partner!
Why Can't I Clean This Myself?
Not addressing the entire problem when a water damage occurs can lead to secondary damage - like what was hiding behind these kitchen cabinets...
When initially responding to a water loss or receiving a call from a Chester County home or business owner that has just experienced a water damage, we always stress one main point: time is of the essence with water damage mitigation! Oftentimes, the homeowner downplays the extent of the damage, if for no other reason than they do not have the professional equipment that we have which allows us to get a clear picture of the damage; i.e. moisture meters, etc. There can be more than meets the eye with water damage!
Not all fans are created equal!
Another common misconception with water damage is that simply drying up any standing water and putting a box fan or other household fan will do the trick. This may very well be the case, but most often it is not. There are other variables that play into each unique drying scenario, and our highly-trained technicians at SERVPRO of North East Chester County will make sure they properly assess the damage from the onset. Our centrifugal and axial air movers (fans), and dehumidifiers selected based on the scenario, are not only superior to common household units, but our technicians also monitor the affected area every 24 hours, making adjustments to the drying plan as the situation changes and improves. Truth be told, without having the professional advantage that we possess, secondary damage including microbial growth may be the harsh reality of water damages not mitigated right the first time...
Do I Have to Throw EVERYTHING Away?!?
"How can you get the smoke odor out of THIS?!?"
Give us a call, we are up for the challenge!
After a fire occurs in your home or business, as you begin to process the extent of the damage, you may be surprised at how pervasively the smoke odor and soot can permeate...well...pretty much everything! The good news is that SERVPRO of North East Chester County can guide you through the mitigation process so you don't have to go it alone. Building materials and badly damaged contents and furniture may be blatantly obvious as to whether or not they can be salvaged, but those items that weren't "burned" but are still smoke/soot affected may be salvageable after all.
Granted, fires in a home or business in Chester County are a rare occurrence, and hopefully one that you never need to experience firsthand. But should you have the unfortunate experience yourself, you may just assume that nothing can be saved. Before you order a dump truck, give us a call and you may be surprised by the results of our professional cleaning knowledge and procedures. We are not miracle workers, but more often than not, the results we are able to produce are a welcome surprise once we return a Customer's belongings: clean, fresh-smelling, and sanitized!
Wildfires In Chester County, PA?
Fires can ignite from both internal sources of the home and external, like wildfires.
Many people don’t realize that they face serious wildfire danger. But if you live in a wooded, grassy, or rural area of Chester County you could be at risk!
Two factors have emerged as the primary determinants of a home’s ability to survive a wildfire – quality of the defensible space around the home and the home’s structural ignitability.
Together, these two factors create a concept called the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ), which includes the structure and the space immediately surrounding the structure. To protect a home from wildfire, the primary goal is to reduce or eliminate fuels and ignition sources within the HIZ.
The actual design and development of your defensible space depends on several factors.
- Size and shape of building(s)
- Construction materials
- Slope of the ground
- Surrounding topography
- Sizes and types of vegetation on your property
Three zones need to be addressed when creating defensible space:
- Zone 1 is the area nearest the home and other structures – This zone requires maximum hazard reduction.
- Zone 2 is a transitional area of fuels reduction between Zones 1 and 3.
- Zone 3 is the area farthest from the home. It extends from the edge of Zone 2 to your property boundaries.
The ideal time to address home ignition risk is when the structure is in the design phase. However, you can still take steps to reduce ignitability to an existing home.
For instance, it is important to choose a fire-resistant roofing material that is rated class C or higher when building a house in, or near, forests or grasslands. Avoid flammable materials such as wood or shake shingles.
If you believe that your home may be at risk, don't procrastinate on looking into it further: do some research and take proactive measures to keep your home safe!
Winter Winds A'Blowing!!!
When winds blew a tree limb through this Phoenixville home's window, we quickly responded with a temporary fix!
Even when winter storms are not dumping snow, sleet, or rain on Chester County homes and businesses, they can still wreak havoc on your property when the winds are whipping through the region. From a preventative standpoint, it is best to make sure that there is nothing that could become airborne on your property from a strong gust, and make sure that trees and bushes near your home are maintained and properly trimmed. Severe winds can cause weak tree limbs to come crashing into a home, causing damage to siding, windows, gutters, you name it! Should you have the unfortunate experience of having to deal with any of these wind-related damages, SERVPRO of North East Chester County can help! If wind has created an entry way to your home that has invited water damage, then we are your number one "go to." We also are ready to assist with board-ups, should your windows break or you experience a partial collapse due to a falling limb. 24/7/365, we will be there to help!
Shut-Off Valves...Get to Know Them!
Could YOU find the shut-off valve for this leaking water line?
Homeowners know the creature comforts that their homes possess when it comes to indoor plumbing: hot showers, refrigerator ice-makers, even conveniences as simple as toilets! These utilities are often taken for granted, and are only familiar to the average homeowner for their...well...utility! However, how many homeowners in Chester County know where to turn should one of these conveniences leak or break; i.e. the shut-off valve?
Stop the Damage!
Once a leak is identified, homeowners do not have to feel at the mercy of waiting for a plumber or restoration professional such as SERVPRO of North East Chester County to arrive on-site to stop water damage from continuing. By familiarizing oneself with whether or not you have shut-off valves for your plumbing fixtures and where they are located, you can mitigate further damage from occurring while waiting for us to arrive. If you do not have such valves, it may be a sound investment to have them installed, as an ounce of prevention can outweigh a pound of cure when it comes to the costs associated with water damage!
Phoenixville Basement Damaged by an Ice-Maker Water Supply Line Leak.
A common culprit that we, at SERVPRO of North East Chester County, encounter when responding to water damage calls is a potentially silent but damaging little source: the refrigerator water supply line to the ice-maker! Oftentimes even a pinhole leak in the water supply line can empty gallon upon gallon of water under the kitchen floor before the homeowner even knows its an issue. In fact, nine times out of ten, the homeowner sees the damage in their basement first, before they realize that the ice-maker was the culprit. Other times, it is not until the kitchen floor starts squishing that the problem is identified. At that point, there is likely significant water damage to the kitchen; but nothing that we can't handle!
Our well-trained technicians will quickly assess the extent of the damage and walk you through the recommended drying plan, from soup to nuts. There is often demolition that is required to adequately dry the salvageable, affected materials, but the quicker we get the non-salvageable materials out of the way, the better. Left unmitigated by SERVPRO of North East Chester County, water trapped between flooring layers or in wall cavities can cause even more of a headache and expenditure if not addressed as soon as possible. But that's why we are committed to responding to your call: 24/7/365!
Winter Storm Preparation
Frozen and burst pipes are a very common culprit of water losses during winter storm months.
It's that time of year again, the winter holidays are here and with them comes severe winter storms and inclement weather. Living in the North East, many of us are prepared for the annual tasks of shoveling our driveways and salting our sidewalks; in fact many of us actually embrace the winter weather as it brings about picturesque landscapes and who can complain about getting a snow day off from work or school? But winter storms can cause immense damage to homes and businesses, even after properly "winterizing," putting a halt to the fun and festivities. SERVPRO understands that interruptions due to storm damage this winter season add to the already high stress levels of trying to plan holiday festivities and that's why we would like to offer some Do's and Dont's in the event that you find yourself dealing with a loss related to severe winter weather.
What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
Content By: SERVPRO Corporate
Photo Content By: https://www.wwaytv3.com/2018/01/02/frozen-pipes-a-concern-as-temperatures-dip/
Luke Bryan Gives a SERVPRO Franchise a Shout Out
As a SERVPRO Franchise, we are always pleased to hear great reviews from our customers. However its not everyday that the SERVPRO Brand receives a huge shout out from celebrities like Luke Bryan! Luke's mothers home was damaged during Hurricane Michael down in Florida and during an interview talking about his mother and the efforts that everyone is making to help restore the coast, Luke specifically gave SERVPRO a shout out and thanked them for their efforts in the wake of Hurricane Michael. There is still a long way to go for the folks affected from Hurricane Michael, but it's great to hear that SERVPRO's Storm Teams are out in full force on the coast and helping to make it, "Like it never even happened."
Know Your Water
Here at SERVPRO we see all different types of water damages. In order for us to properly mitigate a water damage, we take into account many variables and one of the first things we look at is the Category of water that needs to be removed.
It is very important not to misidentify what type of water you're dealing with when it comes to water damage in your home or business, although it could potentially look clean, one can never know just what hazards it could contain. Thus resulting in the three stages of water categorization.
Category 1: This refers to water that does not pose any threat to humans or, "clean water." Some examples of clean water damage can come from water supply lines, appliance malfunctions and tub or sink overflows.
Category 2: "Gray Water." This refers to water that can pose a threat to humans through consumption or even being around it. It can contain microorganisms, chemicals, or biological or physical contaminants. Some examples of Category 2 water damages can include sump pump failures, or urine contaminated toilet leaks.
Category 3: Cat 3 water is referred to as "black water." Black water poses the largest threat to humans and can contain unsanitary agents, fungi, and harmful bacteria. Some examples are sewage leaks, river or flood waters, and category 2 water that has become stagnant over time resulting in continued contamination of the water. However just because the water is not actually black in color does not mean that it cannot be labeled as Category 3.
At SERVPRO, we take into consideration these factors and use all necessary precautions to properly mitigate water damages of all Categories to ensure a restored healthy living environment and help make it, "Like it never even happened!"
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Do It Right...the First Time.
The age old saying.
As a family owned and operated SERVPRO franchise we understand the importance of our customers satisfaction and always work to ensure feelings of security and comfort inside your home or business while we work to make it, "Like it never even happened." However, old sayings die hard in our little SERVPRO family and that's why we pride ourselves on SERVPRO of North East Chester County's owner Mike Andris' timeless phrase, "Do it right...the first time." There's more to this saying but I think those of you who have heard it before can agree just the first bit is enough...and here at SERVPRO of North East Chester County, "Do it right...the first time," always ensures that we make it, "Like it never even happened."
Are You Prepared?
According to the latest industry research, as many as 50% of businesses will not recover after experiencing some sort of disaster. Of those that will recover, a swift reaction to whatever life throws your way can greatly increase your odds of re-opening. This is where SERVPRO excels in their industry. While no one can plan for exactly when disaster strikes, you can plan how you will react; by calling SERVPRO and let us do the rest.
No matter the size of your business, SERVPRO has the training and resources to handle any disaster. Whether it's a fire in a small restaurant to a pipe break in a fortune 500 sky-rise, SERVPRO is equipped to handle any commercial loss. Throughout the restoration process, there is daily communication with the business owner or decision maker to ensure complete transparency and customer satisfaction.
SERVPRO takes the greatest care in making sure that your business can get back up and running in the shortest amount of time. No matter the size, no matter the damage; you can trust SERVPRO to handle your commercial loss and help make it, "Like it never even happened."
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The Emergency Ready Profile
The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW.
As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
Are You Ready?
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage
A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
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What SERVPRO Professionals Can Do For You
SERVPRO may have begun as a cleaning company, but we have since evolved into so much more. Since 1967, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have been helping homes and businesses recover from fire and water damage across the United States. Today, SERVPRO covers a number of services including:
- Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
-Water Removal and Dehumidification
-Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup
-Mold Mitigation and Remediation
-Contents Claim Inventory Service
-Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning
-Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care
-Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications
-Odor Identification and Deodorization
-Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods
When you need the job done right and done fast, call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. We are committed to providing fire and water cleanup and restoration services to reduce business interruptions and recovery costs.
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FASTER TO ANY DISASTER
SERVPRO's 1-4-8 Service Response Guideline.
Fire and water damages are never scheduled. Will you be prepared? Whether it's a burst pipe in an apartment complex or an electrical fire in an office building; SERVPRO is always ready. There's no such thing as a small emergency when it threatens the welfare of the tenants and the revenue of the property owner.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can manage the damage. With more than 1500 franchises in 48 states and over 40 years of business in the cleanup and restoration industry you can rest easy knowing help is on the way. SERVPRO Professionals always keep thorough and detailed communication throughout the restoration process to help keep you informed and in control. SERVPRO's reputation has been built through experience and training in mitigation damages ranging from single family homes to skyscrapers, and even the Pentagon!
Because emergency situations are never scheduled, SERVPRO implicates the 1-4-8 method of Service Response Guidelines to ensure efficient and timely services. The 1-4-8 Service Response Guideline method means that:
1- Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service.
4- Within 4 hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services (if necessary).
8- Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.
This response method helps to ensure that SERVPRO Professionals may help to avoid revenue loss for property owners and minimize inconvenience to tenants. Timely restoration services along with SERVPRO's Professional equipment and industry-approved techniques can help you resume normal business functions and may save you time and money. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, SERVPRO Professionals will work hard to restore your property and your peace of mind.
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No Matter the Size, We're ALWAYS Ready
Whether the damage is big or small, residential or commercial, SERVPRO is ALWAYS there to help! Many individuals associate SERVPRO as their friendly restoration professionals readily available in their time of need for a home disaster. BUT, did you know that SERVPRO has an entire Large Loss Division that specializes in commercial catastrophes?
It's true! SERVPRO's Commercial Large Loss Division is comprised of the best restoration experts ready for any size disaster. Our professional technicians, state of the art restoration equipment and can do attitudes help define SERVPRO's Large Loss Division as one of the best of it's kind. Every Commercial Large Loss is handled by a commercial operations manager to ensure maximum efficiency and seamless communication to ensure nothing but the utmost customer satisfaction and transparency.
Whether your loss is a small water pipe break in an apartment complex, a large fire in a 5 star hotel, or a sprinkler system malfunction in a sky scraper, SERVPRO is always ready to make it, "Like it never even happened."
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Through the Fire and the Flames, We Carry On
As with any catastrophe, a quick response makes all the difference. The first 48 hours after experiencing a fire in your home or business are vital to distinguishing what can be restored versus what must be replaced. With over 40 years of experience, SERVPRO genuinely lives up to its title as the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals. Undoubtedly, emotions can run wild for a home or business owner after a fire. Our SERVPRO professionals are highly trained to rapidly respond and restore hope and peace of mind once the smoke clears. Apart from fire, smoke and soot removal, SERVPRO professionals take the utmost care to attempt to restore contents and documents that have been damaged in a fire to preloss conditions whenever possible in order to salvage your belongings and memories. Before risking further damage by attempting to cleanup yourself, call SERVPRO the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals to help make fire damage, "Like it never even happened."
Photo Content By: https://www.deviantart.com/eris-stock/art/Flames-86-Cathedral-34813999
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."
More Soot Than Santa's Suit in Spring City, PA!
The soot really stands out on this yellow towel at a Spring City fire loss - it blends in more on Santa's suit!
Santa Claus isn't the only one with a soot issue! If you have experienced a fire damage in your Spring City, PA home or business, then soot and smoke damage can accumulate in regions of the building where you never thought fire-related damage could have occurred! Each building has a natural way that it "breathes" and in the event of a fire, smoke and soot-laden air can spread throughout the entire structure based on how air pressure forces them around. Soot is not only an aesthetic blemish, but it can also be dangerous: carrying hazardous substances that may be detrimental to your health! That is why we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County track the soot and smoke damage throughout the entire structure and professionally clean it, wherever it may end up. We exercise full due diligence to make sure that nothing escapes our inspection and is left lingering...
Vent Collects Soot in Spring City, PA Home
This Spring City, PA home's vents not only collected common dust, but also debris from the fire damage.
If you own a home or business in Spring City, PA, you know that vents require an occasional dusting or cleaning, as dust bunnies and debris can collect on the registers. However, if you experience a fire loss, as this homeowner did, these "collection areas" can recruit a new tenant: soot! SERVPRO of North East Chester County takes soot very seriously, as it can contain materials that are hazardous to your health. We have specialty, proprietary products that are extremely effective in cleaning up after a fire damage - to restore salvageable contents and structures to an acceptable level of cleanliness that meets health and general standards. Not all soot and evidence of smoke can always be removed entirely from even salvageable materials, however. Even after being adequately cleaned, some materials, such as drywall, may require painting to completely dispel evidence that there was a fire - but we can do that too! SERVPRO of North East Chester County makes fire damaged spaces "Like it never even happened."
Storm Waters Flood Phoenixville, PA Basement
Phoenixville, PA basement flooded with storm water? No problem! Call the pros at SERVPRO of North East Chester County!
When the rains came, so did the flood waters in this Phoenixville, PA home! With power lost, the sump pump was unable to do its job of pumping the flood water from the basement, which made the water damage even worse. SERVPRO of North East Chester County was able to quickly respond and started by pumping out the standing water with our truck-mounted extractor. Once the excess water was out of the picture, it was time to demo some building materials that were deemed non-salvageable; which can often be the case with storm water damage. Now the basement was just about ready for drying equipment, consisting of air movers and dehumidifiers - most people are surprised by how effective these professional drying units are! With storm water damage, there are also concerns about contaminants that may be suspended in the flood waters, so we also used an anti-microbial solution to sanitize the remaining structure and contents to prevent the spread of any harmful contagions.
Don't Let Mold Interfere with Your Phoenixville Business
Peeling back a layer in this Phoenixville business revealed some mold growth - but SERVPRO safely remediated!
If you own a Phoenixville, PA business, your office or shop space is likely beautifully finished with different colors and textures to establish an aesthetic that complements your business theme or motif. You may have different types of materials that help establish this: like baseboards, wall paneling, etc. While these complementary textures can sure make the most of your space when working in tandem, they may also act as vapor barriers that can trap moisture and provide ideal conditions for mold growth. If your employees or customers have been complaining of musty, mildew smells, or there are other sensory observations that have you concerned about mold growth, the best thing that you can do for your business is to call SERVPRO of North East Chester County. We can locate the source of the issue, and will put together a holistic plan to address the problem. We follow a rigorous procedure that is recommended by the IICRC, to safely and thoroughly remediate microbial growth. Give us a call to provide a free estimate, and we will explain the safest, most efficient way to keep your Phoenixville business happy, healthy, and profitable!
Phoenixville Commercial Remodel Uncovers Mold Growth
If you find mold in building materials while remodeling your Phoenixville business - call us right away!
Let's face it: some of the commercial spaces in Phoenixville, PA are in need of a face-lift. There are a lot of older buildings with commercial rental spaces that may be in need of a little TLC. As a business-owner, you may or may not own the space where you conduct your business, but no matter your specific situation, you want your space to be beautiful and your employees and customers happy and healthy. Some of the older buildings in Phoenixville and the surrounding Chester County areas have older construction, and ideal spaces for mold to grow - like in between building materials. If not properly installed, with vapor barriers, or even if there is excessive moisture or humidity, mold can grow in tight, unseen spaces, like between layers of wall covering. When a business owner decides to freshen things up and begins a remodel, they may unknowingly expose mold laying in wait. This should be an automatic RED LIGHT for all further disturbances of the area until you can get SERVPRO of North East Chester County on the scene to inspect and remediate the growth.
When Your Phoenixville Home's Basement Stairs Look More Like the Pool Stairs...
Your home's basement stairs - or the Phoenixville YMCA swimming pool?!? Time to call SERVPRO!
When storms hit Chester County, PA, the storm waters pretty much go wherever they want to! There are many variables that play into the actions of storms waters, and may influence their intrusion areas. Oftentimes, homeowners that have never experienced water in their basement for decades face that shocking reality as a by-product of storm waters. Even homes with sump pumps may lose power or have sump pump failures, allowing storm waters to accumulate and slowly rise.
We at SERVPRO of North East Chester County have seen a lot when it comes to storms and the damage they can cause, and we are always prepared to be called into action to defend your home and belongings. There are specialty drying techniques that we can employ to dry even belongings that you thought were lost forever. The key is to call as soon as you experience the damage, as time is of the essence.
The Sky Is Falling...Wait, That's Just a Leak!
It sure LOOKS like the sky - or ceiling, at least - was falling in this water damaged Phoenixville home...
Have you ever wondered what your second story floor joists looked like, up close and personal? Probably not! You probably like your beautiful Phoenixville, PA home with the floor joists and framing nicely finished with drywall, paint, and some nice decor. And it will probably stay that way... unless you experience an unfortunate water loss! Many of the water damages that SERVPRO of North East Chester County helps to remediate in Phoenixville stem from leaks; whether from pipes in the ceiling or appliances on the floor, but often they require the surrounding drywall and other building materials to need to be removed to allow proper drying techniques to do their work. By removing affected materials that are not salvageable, we actually save you time and money by providing unimpeded access to the wet materials that ARE salvageable, like joists, framing, etc. Once the drywall and the like are out of the picture, the other materials have more space to release water and allow proper air circulation and dehumidification to accelerate the process. SERVPRO of North East Chester County knows what has to go, and what can be saved, to make your residential water loss dry as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Phoenixville Epidemic: Moldy Crawlspaces
Does your Phoenixville crawlspace look like this one? If so, call SERVPRO of North East Chester County: the mold busters!
When was the last time you poked around in your crawlspace? Likely it was directly related to something going wrong; unless you cross-utilize this space for storage. So who is maintaining your crawlspace? Keeping an eye on things? Making sure it stays clean and dry? Who is on "Mold Patrol?"
If you are like most of the Phoenixville, PA home and business owners that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County come in contact with, you likely answered "no one" for most if not all of these hypothetical questions. That is why we often get the call once some sort of catalyst causes you to explore your crawlspace - such as a leak - only to find that it is now full of mold!
If you find mold, mildew, or any kind of microbial growth in your crawlspace, call us, the Mold Busters! SERVPRO of North East Chester County has the know-how and resources to provide a comprehensive job scope to take care of the symptoms AND the cause. We will remediate the existing mold and take preventative measures to keep it from coming back; all the while explaining to you the process, the products, and everything in between, so you know what is going on and are comfortable with the process.
Phoenixville, PA Small Business Water Damage Leads to Mold Growth
Phoenixville, PA small business had some water damage and caused mold growth behind the scenes - SERVPRO of North East Chester County helped big time!
Our region has a healthy small business community throughout the Phoenixville, PA surrounding area. There are lots of moving parts to a bustling business and much to keep an eye on as it pertains to the business' ability to thrive. However, there are often areas of the business that are not as well monitored and maintained: like utility rooms, storage closets, and crawlspaces. Oftentimes these areas have pipes, utilities, and appliances that may not immediately be noticed if they leak water or cease proper function. Water damage can start slow, behind the scenes, and then by the time that it is noticed, there may be significant cause for concern. SERVPRO of North East Chester County tracks the cause of an apparent water damage from the evidence to the cause; making sure that all stops in between have been identified and incorporated into the scope of the job. By the time the water damage becomes evident to the bustling business owner, the water may have had time to cause secondary damage in hidden spaces; causing mold or other major concerns. We at SERVPRO of North East Chester County address each commercial water loss holistically, not only drying the space, but remediating any mold that is found or structural damage. If your Phoenixville, PA business experiences a water damage or mold growth because a water loss was not properly tended to, call in the pros!
Phoenixville, PA Toilet Causes Water Damage
Toilets should not disrupt your schedule, like this one in Phoenixville, PA...
Toilets shouldn't be a conversation piece, or the cause for significant activities outside of your normal routine, but this one did just that for a Phoenixville homeowner recently. When the toilet water ends up somewhere it isn't supposed to, you've got to pick up the phone and call some one, and quickly! At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we have a network of local, Phoenixville plumbing professionals that we can refer to you if the leaky toilet plumbing issue has not yet been addressed. If the leak has already been remedied, even better! Once the plumbing issue has been fixed, we can go to work on the remediation and the quicker the better when it comes to water damage. There are many secondary issues that can result from standing water that are exacerbated by the length of time, and can also be magnified by the "category" of water; which means the level of contamination that the water is carrying with it. Toilet leaks can present clean or dirty water, depending on where the leak is coming from, and our SERVPRO of North East Chester County water restoration technicians are prepared to handle either type. As with the case depicted here, toilet leaks often work their way down through walls, and can affect many different materials on several floors of your dwelling, and definitely require the proper drying and mitigation procedures to keep your home sanitary, clean, dry, and safe. For the quickest response and the most professional, experienced approach to Phoenixville area water damages, SERVPRO of North East Chester County is the best call to make!
Product Spotlight: Deodorization Equipment
A few of the tools from our deodorization arsenal that will make a BIG impact on even the largest commercial spaces.
Let's face it: there are sometimes applications within commercial properties that require deodorization treatments. Fires, product mishaps, and biohazard scenarios are some examples of situations that may require intense deodorization to restore your commercial property to a healthy, comfortable environment for your staff and customers. SERVPRO of North East Chester County has the experienced technicians and specialized equipment to knock out nasty odors and get your business smelling fresh and clean again!
Our Ozone Generator technology is the most modern, technically advanced available today. Although it requires a period of vacancy during operation, a relatively short period of free air flow after the treatment with fresh air circulating will regulate the breathing air and you will be able to witness the hard work the machine has put in to eradicate bad odors by filtering the air in an incomparable way. Truly the best way to impact a large area and get it smelling fresh and clean.
Our Titan Photocatalytic Hydroxyl Generator is another heavy-hitter for eliminating odors, filtering germs out of the air, and leaving purified, fresh air behind. UVA rays emitted from a photocatalytic lamp pass through the anatose-coated reactor sleeve, forming electron hole pairs that react with the water and oxygen in the air. These form hydroxyl radicals that, when dispersed by a fan, decompose organic and inorganic gases and air pollutants into carbon dioxide and water. Plainly put: it filters and purifies the air in your business safely and effectively!
Our Electro-Gen Thermal Fogger has a high-capacity for deodorizing structures, garments, automobiles, etc. after fires or from other malodors. It produces a true "dry fog" that can employ a range of scents from neutral to cherry to leamon berry - whichever you prefer - to not only eliminate bad odors, but replace them with the fresh scent of your choice!
And for a fast, high-intensity treatment of up to 50,000 cubic feet of commercial space, the Vaportek Vapor Shark is our ideal tool for the job. This application is ideal for manufacturing facilities, disaster restoration, animal shelters, large grow rooms, restaurant grill exhaust/party rooms, sewer/septic backup & sewage treatment plants, or casinos/large meeting halls.
Whatever your commercial deodorization needs are, the solution is clear: call SERVPRO of North East Chester County and we will get your business smelling fresh, clean, healthy, and comfortable for your employees and customers!
What HAS To Go???
Here, Mike, our owner/operator, is working hard at installing a new subfloor in Phoenixville, PA, while remodeling an entire bathroom.
Commonly Affected Materials
Whether your residential water damage has been caused by a leak, flood, appliance, or whatever, there may be structural materials that have been affected. At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, our initial goal is to salvage as much as is possible and safe - including materials and contents. Sometimes, however, structural materials may need to be removed because the damage they have suffered from the water loss have rendered them non-salvageable. Some commonly affected materials that may be non-salvageable based on the extent of the damage and the category of the water (for example, Category 3 water, such as sewage, that is considered grossly contaminated) may include:
- carpet pad
- hardwood flooring
- subfloor (in extreme cases)
So What Now???
The good news is that after non-salvageable materials as a result of water damage have been removed, SERVPRO of North East Chester County can rebuild...we have the technology! Our technicians not only have experience and the tools to mitigate water losses and remove damaged materials, but we also are registered as a Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor (PA 133470). Whether your rebuild entails work that we can expertly complete "in-house" or even if we need to call in a specialized contractor to assist, we will manage the process from start to finish and make sure that your space ends up looking and feeling "Like it never even happened."
Horse of a Different Color...
SERVPRO of North East Chester County has the resources to tackle ANY size Commercial Emergency Restoration Scenario!
Let's Face It...
For as much pride as you may take in your home when it comes to cleanliness, comfort, and functionality, your business NEEDS to be as clean, comfortable, and functional as possible to keep things smooth, profitable, and your customers and employees happy. Whether you need emergency restoration services, general cleaning, or help with a special project, you NEED to bring in professionals to guarantee a professional outcome.
The Good News Is...
SERVPRO of North East Chester County is ALWAYS just a phone call away - we have around-the-clock crews on-call that are highly-trained, professional, and personable, to help you through whatever your business is facing. We pride ourselves on taking some of the pressure off of your plate, so you can focus on the pressing decisions you face everyday in your business, while resting assured that someone is on the job that cares as much as you do!
When Appliances Go Rogue...
This water damaged floor was the result of a leaking dishwasher water line at a Phoenixville, PA home; luckily we were called in to action!
Well, That's Not Supposed To Happen...
We all love the convenience and time-saving measures of having household appliances in our Chester County homes and businesses. "Set it and forget it," never rang so true! Except when it doesn't!
Many of the residential water losses that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County respond to unfortunately involve faulty appliances in one way or another. It may be a failed valve on a hot water heater, a sneakily leaking water hose to a dishwasher, or a busted water line to a refrigerator ice-maker - whatever the mechanical culprit, the similarity is always the shock of the homeowner that so much damage could be perpetrated by their (former) best friends!
What to Do...
The first and most important thing to do after experiencing water damage due to a home appliance is to call SERVPRO of North East Chester County to guide you through the experience and begin restoration as soon as possible.
Second, DO NOT make attempts to fix or disturb the faulty appliance. Insurance companies will always want to examine the equipment and may even seek compensation on your behalf from the manufacturer.
Third, always double-check your home appliances both before AND after any extended time away from home, to make sure that nothing fishy went on in your absence. But if it did, we have your back!
What to Do When You Experience Storm Damage
Don't know what to do when STORM DAMAGE strikes?? Call us! We will guide you through it!!
Time is (Not!) On My Side...
The reality with timeliness as pertains to storm damage at your Chester County home or business is actually the exact opposite of what the classic Rolling Stones song sings: time is NOT on your side! As with other types of damage, time is really of the essence when contacting your insurance carrier and informing them of your situation. Likewise, contacting SERVPRO of North East Chester County should be top priority! A commonly held misnomer is that you must receive a claim #, etc. from your insurance carrier prior to calling us and having us arrive on-site - NOT TRUE! Oftentimes, one of the first things that your insurance company will do is ask if you have contacted SERVPRO, then instruct you to do so - the reason is that they know as well as we do, that the more timely the mitigation can begin, the lesser the damage and cost of the claim!
Tips for Storm-Related Insurance Claims
- Don't Delay! Most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim
- You can't be singled out for a rate increase due to storm damage
- Insurance restoration contractors advocate for you
- Always hire the best contractor, not the cheapest
- Beware of insurance company "approved" contractors
- Always do your homework and understand your rights
One Thing is For Sure...
The number one thing to do after experiencing storm damage is call our experienced technicians at SERVPRO of North East Chester County - we will really take the pressure off of you, while walking you through the process of mitigating your damages and getting things back, "like they never even happened!"
Storm Prep 101
BEFORE the storm: be prepared...
AFTER the storm: call SERVPRO!!!
As our previous blog posts have highlighted: the number one thing to do AFTER you experience storm damage at your Chester County home or business is call SERVPRO of North East Chester County! We are prepared with the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process; from keeping your insurance carrier informed, to the steps that we will take, to everything and anything we can do to get things back "Like it never even happened." But...
How Can You Safeguard Against Storm Damage & Be Prepared?
When anticipating a storm, it is a great idea to check that you have everything you may need once it hits. But a BETTER idea is to plan well ahead, before there is any storm on the horizon, so you have the presence of mind to make a checklist and have everything ready to go before panic sets in!
Obviously you want to secure windows, doors, outdoor belonging, and clear anything from your property that could be swept up and become a projectile. Here is a list of items that you may want to have on-hand in your "storm kit..."
Storm Kit Essentials:
- Battery powered flashlight
- Portable battery powered radio
- Extra batteries
- List of emergency phone numbers
- Prescriptions and essential medicines
- First aid kit
- Nonperishable emergency food
- Bottled water (1 gallon per person, per day)
- Non-electric can opener
- Disposable camera
- Credit cards and cash
- Change of clothing
- Sturdy shoes or boots
- Important papers, identification and bank information
Fire Precautions 101
Don't wait until you experience a fire loss to think about precautions and safeguards...be prepared!
As with any emergency situation that affects your home or business, the first thing you want to do AFTER experiencing damage is call SERVPRO of North East Chester County! We have the skill, experience, tools, and know-how to help you navigate through the process and make things "Like it never even happened." But...
The Best Plan is a PRE-Plan!
Fires and the damage they can wreak are an unfortunate reality that many face at one time or another at their home or business. As with any disaster, however, the best way to mitigate loss is by being prepared and having a plan!
General fire precautions include such things as:
- Escape routes and fire exits
- Fire fighting equipment
- Raising the alarm
- Making emergency plans
- Limiting the spread of the fire
To get the best information for general fire precautions to safeguard your home or business, you should reach out to your local Fire Department - ask the real pros! Just like you would contact SERVPRO - the real pros - AFTER the damage!
Product Spotlight: SX-15 Tile Cleaning Tool
Does anyone enjoy scrubbing floors on their hands and knees? Does the floor ever really get THAT clean? Even when scrubbing kitchen and other commercial floors with a deck brush, does the floor get clean before your arms feel like they are going to fall off?!?
SERVPRO of North East Chester County has the solution as part of our commercial cleaning arsenal! The ideal tool for the job is our SX-15 Tile Cleaning Tool, which we run off our HydraMaster Boxxer truck-mount, which provides up to 1,500 psi of solution and water heated up to 210 degrees F! The SX-15 itself is unparalleled for cleaning of hard surfaces like tile, concrete, and stone - perfect for commercial applications. Even the greasiest kitchens and dingiest workshops can't resist the cleaning power of the SX-15 with its all-in-one cleaning head. However, there are also milder settings possible with this dynamic duo, allowing fine, polished cleans on surfaces such as marble or VCT tiles.
If your commercial kitchen or workspace needs a facelift, give us a call and see what the SX-15 along with our HydraMaster Boxxer can accomplish in the hands of our professional, skilled technicians!
...And Then, The Rains Came!!!
The rains falling steadily on this dreary Monday in Spring City, PA.
When the Storm Hits...
Close your windows! Check for leaks! Grab a flashlight! Maybe even grab a bucket for that pesky roof leak that you keep meaning to fix...
There are many ways that we prepare for a storm across Chester County, but the unfortunate truth is that sometimes storm water finds a way to intrude into our homes and businesses. The most important thing to remember if you experience storm loss of ANY degree is to call the local experts at SERVPRO of North East Chester County.
Time IS Money...
The more you delay after experiencing an initial water damage, the more costly the damage may become, and the more opportunity there is for additional consequences, such as mold growth. The key to mitigating damage is truly time: i.e. the sooner you call us, the sooner we can stop the damage and the bill dead in its tracks!
Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire...
DO NOT disturb contents in your home or business after a fire - improper methods may actually make things worse!
The First 48 Hours...
At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, our skilled technicians know well that the first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings in your Chester County home or business. Soot and smoke can be very dangerous, even toxic, and permeating things. The longer they have to seep into your home or business and all of its contents, the harder it may be to salvage them - it may not even be possible!
What Can You Do?
The first, and most important thing you can do after experiencing a fire is to call us at SERVPRO of North East Chester County - our professional crews are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, to beat the clock in attempting to salvage your home and property. But while you wait for us to arrive, you can take these precautions to help mitigate the damage:
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
- Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
- Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
- Do not clean any electrical equipment.
- Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
What is Water Loss Mitigation?
When your home looks and feels more like a swamp, it's time to call in SERVPRO!!!
Chances are, IF you ever experience a water loss and find yourself in need of the services of SERVPRO of North East Chester County, it will probably be the ONLY time that you need us for such a mitigation. We have ONE chance to make a positive impact in your life and provide the personal, professional service that we strive for everyday.
So How Do We Do It...?
Once we arrive on-site, one of the first steps in evaluating the damage at your Chester County home or business is to understand the situation based on your first-hand account, and walk the affected areas with you to do a visual inspection and note any safety concerns, etc. Once we gauge the types of materials that are affected, we use the appropriate type of moisture meter to map out the extent of the damage. We also take some atmospheric measurements that are essential to properly dry the space, including relative humidity and temperature. All of these data contribute to a strategy that may involve:
- extraction of standing water, or water soaked into carpets or other materials
- demolition of non-salvageable materials, such as carpet, drywall, or baseboard
- setting up specialized drying equipment such as dehumidifiers and air movers in a specific and strategic way to optimize air flow and to promote drying
When the Dust Settles...
The average dry time for most residential and small commercial water damages is three to five days - but we don't just set our equipment and forget it! Our skilled technicians return once every 24 hours (working around your busy schedule) to monitor the equipment and to make sure that our drying plan is going accordingly. Once the area is adequately dried, often we engage in further cleaning or sanitizing, and even schedule the rebuild of any areas that required demolition.
Long Story, Made Short...
We at SERVPRO of North East Chester County are committed to see your loss through, from the moment we set foot on-site, until the last efforts are made to restore your home or business to a safe, clean, healthy state - "Like it never even happened."
The Truth About Mold
What lies below your feet, in crawlspaces and under floors may be out of sight, but shouldn't be out of mind...
The "Welcome" Varieties
You may recall from high school biology classes that mold is part of the fungi kingdom, and despite the connotation, it isn't always bad. There are over 100,000 kinds of fungi that have been identified, and some are very useful, such as yeast for baking and brewing, and blue cheese and mushrooms to eat! These useful types, however, have some rather unwelcome family members...
Mold is in the Air...
The truth of the matter is that there is, and will always be mold in your home - but that's ok! When we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County test prior to mold remediation, the key is what are the variances between the naturally occurring and safe varieties and concentrations inside your home versus other, unaffected areas of your home and immediately outside. The fungi/mold particles and spores that are constantly present in our air and that settle on surfaces inside should be at a reasonable, equitable level throughout your home in relation to the outside environment. If they are not...
The "Dangerous" Varieties
When unnatural amounts of some fungi/molds are detected in your home, or visibly present growing on walls or contents, it is time to call in SERVPRO of North East Chester County to provide a professional remediation. Some varieties of mold can present serious health threats to people and animals, in addition to the unwanted odors and visual evidence that they provide.
But don't panic!
The best way to identify if you have an issue that requires professional remediation is to call SERVPRO and let our highly-trained technicians evaluate the situations and walk you through the safest course of action. Don't attempt remediation on your own! You may unintentionally make matters worse by spreading spores and potentially making your home worse for the wear. We always follow the most stringent guidelines to keep you safe and complete the job the one and only right way...
Smoke is Amorphous and Permeates into Hard to Reach Places
When most home or business owners think of fires and fire damage, they imagine burned belongings and building structures, but one of the most hazardous and permeating aspects of a fire is often the smoke!
Smoke Goes Where It Wants...
Every house and commercial building has a way in which it "breathes," as air currents move throughout the structure in a pattern - the path of least resistance. It is not uncommon for significant soot and smoke to be present in the opposite end of where the source actually occurred. This makes fire mitigation a thorough and comprehensive process, often requiring cleaning of contents throughout the building. Smoke can travel into closed drawers, closets, rooms - essentially wherever it wants!
Test, Test, Test!
At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, our skilled technicians approach fire losses in a comprehensive way, testing every surface, nook, and cranny to evaluate the extent of the path where smoke has traveled and deposited soot. Because of the elusive and permeating nature of smoke, we leave no area untouched so that nothing is missed. Our goal is always to do the job the right the first time and leave your Chester County home or business "Like it never even happened."
Who Is Most At Risk???
Mold Growth Comes in Many Shapes, Sizes, and Colors...
"I Have Black Mold..."
Often the calls that we field at SERVPRO of North East Chester County include some variation of this start to a sentence. "Black mold" has certainly received the most coverage and thus has impressed itself most strongly in most home and business owners' minds; however, there are many different types of mold that have a black coloration. In fact, mold comes in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. The common theme amongst all, however, is that they do not have a place in your home or business and require professional remediation.
For Your Health...
Once mold is identified in a home or business, the first, most important call should be to SERVPRO of North East Chester County, where highly-trained professional technicians are ready to follow a stringent procedure to not only remediate the visually-present mold, but to do so in a way that will prevent its recurrence and cross-contamination.
Those who are most at risk - the ones that you love and want to keep safe - are individuals with suppressed immune systems, compromised health situations, chronic inflammatory lung diseases, and severe allergies. However, there may be adverse effects to even healthy persons and pets. Those most at risk include:
- Infants & children
- Pregnant women
- The elderly
- People with compromised respiratory systems or asthma and allergies
- People with weakened immune systems
Long Story, Short...
If you believe that there may be mold growth in your home or business, based on visual evidence or even just an odor - don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of North East Chester County. There are many "wrong" ways to deal with mold, but we are trained to handle it the right way - to keep your home or business safe, healthy, and clean for all!
We Weather the Storm!
Let SERVPRO of North East Chester County hold the umbrella for you!
Recent storm activity had SERVPRO of North East Chester County responding to water damage as far west as the Harrisburg/Carlisle areas of Pennsylvania and we were happy to meet the challenge! Our friendly technicians worked tirelessly to provide outstanding professional service to many thankful homeowners with flooded basements and water damaged living spaces. Working as many as 14+ hour days for much of the week, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to serve so many happy customers in a unique location!
When heavy weather hits, SERVPRO of North East Chester County comes to you!
We realize the severe impact that storms can have on homes and businesses, and are willing and ready to assist wherever, whenever called upon. Our friendly technicians arrive on-site - YOUR site - prepared to help you navigate the stormy waters (pun intended!) of a likely new experience. We will walk you through the restoration process and are ready to go above and beyond to make your home or business “Like it never even happened.”
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
This Chesterbrook homeowner did not realize that there was a leak under the flooring until it began buckling.
When was the last time you looked behind the refrigerator? Poked around in the utility closet? Checked for leaks around the hot water heater? Most homeowners don't discover leaks or areas of concern with common home appliances and fixtures until water damage has already occurred and made itself known. A few minutes of diligence can help detect larger problems before they occur.
Many of the issues that we encounter during this time of year at SERVPRO of North East Chester County relate to water damages due to clogs/leaks with HVAC units, hot water heaters, and even refrigerators. Cranking down the AC during the dog days of summer sure feels nice, but blockages in the condenser lines can cause slow leaks that may seep under floors undetected until they begin to bubble up. Likewise with water lines to ice makers behind refrigerators and the like. So while making your home a safe haven from the sweltering summer heat, be sure to take a moment to check your appliances and utilities every now and then to avoid bigger headaches!
Thank You to Our First Responders
We will continue to distribute cases of water to our First Responders, as a small token of our appreciation and thanks.
At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we have a deep respect and appreciation for all of our first responders that serve our communities. We share a genuine concern for those who need assistance, whether due to a water or fire damage, or any type of hardship. To show our appreciation, we have committed to distributing cases of water to our local Fire Houses and Police Departments. In the heat of summer, it seemed like a commonsense way to help, and we will continue to do so to keep our first responders hydrated! It is an admittedly small token of thanks, but we encourage the community to show the same gratitude and cooperation to those dedicated to service. SERVPRO of North East Chester County would like to say "Thank you!" to all that serve our communities!
Water Damage Can Give Mold a Home...
This mold bloom was found during a water damage call in Chesterbrook. The homeowner had no idea that this was hiding in the utility closet!
The heavy rains and storms that often affect us in the summertime can access your home in a number of ways and cause significant damage and saturation. Once the sun comes back out and the temperature rises, if the affected materials have not been properly dried, the perfect scenario often exists for mold to set-up shop and grow. At first imperceptible, it isn't long before the musty odors begin and announce that microbial growth is moving in with you!
Proper mold remediation procedures follow a specific and detailed process but can be avoided by calling SERVPRO of North East Chester County when water damage first occurs. Our technicians will make sure that we dot all the i's and cross all the t's to restore your affected home or business and stop mold growth before it has a chance to start.
It's a Dirty Job But...
These signs were placed on all of the entry doors to make sure that no one entered the home during the ozone treatment process for their safety.
SERVPRO of North East Chester County recently had the opportunity to assist with the clean-up of a Phoenixville, PA home that had been deemed unfit for human habitation by the Borough of Phoenixville. We were dedicated from the first moment we were contacted by the homeowner, not flinching at the bodily fluids and feces that were present throughout the home. To protect our technicians, full Tyvek suits with hoods, nitrile gloves, and full-face respirators were utilized to prevent any contamination - not the most comfortable situation in the 90+ degree heat, but our professional technicians did not complain and were genuinely pleased to help the homeowner regain entry to the home. Once the hazardous materials were disposed of and the affected areas cleaned and sanitized, an ozone machine and a hydroxyl generator were set for three days to purify the air and deodorize the entire home. The homeowner was very grateful to get back to a clean, safe, and happy environment and we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County were thrilled to be of service!
The Fire is Just the "Starter"...
After a fire is extinguished, the process of restoration has just begun...
Fire damage is an unfortunate and significant event that comes in varying degrees. If you happen to experience a fire loss at your home or business, the extinguishing of the fire is the just the start of a complicated process that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County pride ourselves on being able to help you facilitate.
Beyond the accumulation of soot and smoke damage, fire losses also usually accumulate significant amounts of debris and fire extinguisher discharge (if water is not used). These materials may be hazardous and are certainly unwanted and need to be appropriately removed and cleaned up after. Our technicians at SERVPRO of North East Chester County are ready to spring into action and handle the aftermath.
Oftentimes after a fire loss, some contents of a home or business must be inventoried, packed, cleaned off-site, and sometimes stored while the affected areas are cleaned and restored. At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we are organized and thorough in our approach to making sure that your belongings are accounted for and restored, so once your home or business is ready to be loved in again, your belongings are returned "Like it never even happened."
You Cook...We Clean!!!
RESIDENTIAL or COMMERCIAL, WE CUT THE GREASE!
Everyone loves a home-cooked meal or dining out with friends at a favorite restaurant, but who wants to clean up the kitchen???
SERVPRO of North East Chester County is ready and willing to provide professional, deep cleaning of your commercial or residential kitchen! Our skilled technicians have the equipment and the know-how to restore your kitchen - the heart of your home or business - to a pristine state that looks, smells, and feels clean.
Our technicians will hit all of those hard to reach spots that probably haven't been cleaned since the appliances first came off the truck. Your kitchen will feel and smell so fresh you will want to host the next family dinner or friends' dinner party to show off your newly restored space.
Re-inspire your culinary staff with a professionally cleaned work space, and re-ignite their sense of pride and responsibility to maintain your restaurant kitchen. We take on the tough chores that you can never quite get to and can restore tired-looking, greasy equipment to a like-new luster!
Take control to mitigate damages during an emergency.
"Be Prepared!" is not just the slogan of the Boys Scouts of America, it should also apply to your homes and businesses!
Emergency Ready Program
One of the services that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County offer is complimentary Emergency Ready Programs that prepare you or whomever might be around during an emergency with an easy to follow plan to quickly react and mitigate further loss.
Whether experiencing a water damage emergency, fire damage emergency, or whatever emergency is thrown at you, our complimentary ERPs (Emergency Ready Programs) give you a plan for how to react and keep costly damages minimal. We map out key information for you in a convenient and easy to use format, including emergency shut offs and emergency contact information.
Take control of your home and business by contacting SERVPRO of North East Chester County today to schedule a complimentary ERP visit and know that no matter what adversity you face, it is always best to "Be Prepared!"
Leave Cleaning to the Pros!
Our SERVPRO team takes great care of your "stuff" while sprucing up your space!
Did you put off that early spring cleaning? Getting ready for a graduation party or summer family fiesta? Want to freshen up your home before the kids get out of school and your hands are even more full?
Well, let the SERVPRO professionals do the dirty work!
We've Got the Tools for the Job!
Whether you are just looking for a deep carpet or upholstery cleaning or a total home/office detailing, we at SERVPRO have the optimal, professional products and equipment to achieve a fresh spring clean that is sure to exceed your expectations. There is no amount of kitchen grease and grime or dingy dust of carpets and furniture that we can't handle - including pet hair and dander! Our friendly technicians can spruce up your space like none other, so give us a call and...
Leave Cleaning to the Pros!
Mold is all around us...
Different types of mold are found virtually everywhere in nature and even in your home or business - including on that blue cheese in the fridge! In fact, air-born mold spores use many different methods to gain entry to your home, including open doors and windows on beautiful spring days.
The good news is that not all molds are harmful to us, and most can be kept at bay with moisture control indoors. But a leak or flood that is not properly dried, or even a sudden spring shower that wets a carpet through an open window can support mold growth. Likewise, undetected moisture in an attic, basement, or ceiling can provide the right conditions for this unwanted guest - including potentially harmful molds that require immediate attention from your friendly, neighborhood SERVPRO technicians. We at SERVPRO take rigorous precautions and follow stringent processes to effectively remove mold from an affected area and restore your happy, healthy home or business!
1. Mold Containment - the affected area is sealed off to prevent the release of spores
2. Air Filtration - the air is cleaned of any air-born spores
3. Removal of Mold & Mold-Affected Materials
4. Cleaning Contents & Belongings
5. HEPA Cleaning Processes - to ensure that mold & spores are safely removed and your home or business is left clean and sealed