Recent Storm Damage Posts

3 Types of Damage a Winter Storm May Cause

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

Workers installing concrete tiles on the roof while roofing house in construction site If you have storm damage, call SERVPRO, we respond immediately and begin clean-up procedures pertinently. Contact us for your storm loss emergency!

There Are Three Types Of Damage That A Winter Storm Can Cause.

When winter weather strikes South Pottstown, PA, the resulting icy blasts of below-zero temperatures, high winds and heavy snowfall can have a serious effect on your home. Inspecting your home after a winter storm can help you gauge any type of damage so you can take steps to have it repaired, keeping you and your family safe.

1. Roof Damage

Extreme winter weather can wreak havoc on your home, but few areas are as vulnerable as its roof. High winds can peel off shingles and damage flashing, leaving your attic vulnerable to animals and moisture. Heavy snow can also cause areas of the roof to buckle or droop. If you notice this or other problems after a powerful storm, you can cover the area with a tarp or secure your attic until you can get assistance.

2. Burst Pipes

When temperatures drop below freezing during a blizzard, your home's pipes could expand as water freezes inside them. After several days of frigid weather, outdoor and indoor wall pipes may burst, causing flooding in and around your home. Water damage can cause mold growth and warping of wood flooring and furniture, but insulating your pipes by wrapping them in fabric or insulated foam can prevent this from happening.

3. Ice Dams

Periods of freezing and thawing can cause your home's gutters to malfunction during a winter storm. Clogged or slow-draining gutters may form ice dams, causing water to back up into your home and leave behind considerable water damage to your ceilings and walls. A storm damage and restoration service can assist by clearing and repairing your gutters to ensure they drain properly.

When a winter storm howls through South Pottstown, PA, the resulting damage to your home could be considerable. Knowing what to look for and when to call for assistance for repairs can keep your home and family safe, no matter the weather.

Commercial Storm Preparation

5/8/2022 (Permalink)

Paper with words BCP Business Continuity Plan You can't prevent a rain storm, but you can keep it from disrupting day to day activities at your workplace.

Storm Preparation For Businesses

Many business owners in Spring City, PA, are inadequately prepared for a major rain storm event. Do you know how to protect your assets and employees in the event of a serious flood damage situation?

1. Site Assessment

One of the simplest things you can do to prepare your company for severe weather is to inspect the site. Ensure that the foundation has no major points of fluid entry and that the roof and gutters direct rainfall away from the base of all buildings. Trim any trees with dead branches, as these can become an airborne hazard during high winds. Most larger buildings will need a lightning rod, which must be maintained and properly grounded. If your site has windows that require storm shutters, draw them at the first sign of trouble.

2. Training and Readiness

Don't forget the human element. Since your employees are your most valuable asset, you must supply your workforce with sufficient information about how to respond to a severe rain storm. For tornadoes, designate an interior hallway on the ground floor as a temporary shelter. For hurricanes and other long-term hazards, ensure that your staff comply with local evacuation orders and other pertinent ordinances. If you keep normal working hours during a potential weather event, stay aware of outdoor conditions through a NOAA radio broadcast or website.

3. Other Considerations

Your insurer can assist you with a business continuance plan should a thunderstorm make normal operations impossible. Retain paper copies and digital backups of all policies, records, and tax information. If you anticipate filing a claim, contact your adjuster as soon as possible. You will also likely need a qualified professional service to help with flood cleanup.

You can't prevent a rain storm, but you can keep it from disrupting day to day activities at your workplace. Safeguard your employees and your inventory by preparing for every type of severe weather.

When Does Mold Growth Follow Flooding?

4/16/2022 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of fungus in the apartment and house. Maintaining low residual moisture levels afterward can prevent mold growth at a residence.

When Does Mold Start To Grow After Flooding?

If flooding has recently affected your home in South Pottstown, PA, you are likely to be concerned about the effects of water damage and mold growth. Fungus may develop within just 24 to 48 hours of primary damage. Restoration experts classify flood water as highly contaminated Category Three Water because it may contain solid waste in addition to bacteria, chemicals and other dangerous debris. Learn more about mitigation measures to limit primary storm or water damage and prevent mold.

The First Two Days

The most important mitigation measures should be taken within the first 24 to 48 hours after flooding occurs. If you have remained at home during a flood, contact a mitigation and restoration service as soon as possible. If you have evacuated, schedule a consultation immediately after returning to a damaged residence. It is ideal to have trained professionals take the following steps within the first two days:

  • Assess damage
  • Extract standing water
  • Tear out damaged materials
  • Clean and disinfect

These measures can limit primary damage and discourage mold growth. Porous materials such as carpet, drywall and insulation are difficult to disinfect and may pose an elevated mold risk. These materials should be torn out and the affected area cleaned, disinfected and permitted to dry prior to restoration.

The Week After Flooding

In the event of an evacuation, damage may be left standing for longer than 24 to 48 hours. It is important to take the measures listed above as soon as possible to limit damage. Over the next few days, the affected area should be dried. Storm damage mitigation professionals may recommend using air movers, fans or dehumidifiers.

Ideally, mitigation will commence within 24 to 48 hours of water damage. It is crucial to remove standing water as quickly as possible. Maintaining low residual moisture levels afterward can prevent mold growth at a residence in South Pottstown, PA.

3 Ways To Eliminate Odors After a Flood

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

The old wall in the bathroom is covered with mold due to humidity in the room. If this odor is detectable after a flooded residence has been cleaned, disinfected and dried, a homeowner should arrange for professional mold testing

After A Flood, Here Are 3 Ways To Get Rid Of Odors.

Flood water is highly contaminated and can cause undesirable odors to linger at a residence in Phoenixville, PA. Secondary damage, such as mold growth, can intensify a musty smell and cause odors to return even after remediation treatments. Here are three ways to get rid of flood-related odors.

1. Clean and Disinfect the Affected Area

After standing water has been extracted from a residence, it is important to clean and disinfect the area that was flooded. Porous building materials and contents should be considered sewage loss and disposed of, as these materials are difficult to disinfect and may support the growth of odor-causing bacteria or mold. Removing every trace of flood residue is the first step toward banishing undesirable odors.

2. Make Sure Mold Is Not Growing

Homeowners can discourage mold growth by running a dehumidifier to maintain indoor relative humidity levels between 30 percent and 50 percent. The telltale musty odor associated with mold is caused by microbial volatile organic compounds released as off-gases during the growth cycle. If this odor is detectable after a flooded residence has been cleaned, disinfected and dried, a homeowner should arrange for professional mold testing.

3. Use Odor Remediation Methods

If no indications of active fungus growth are detected, a homeowner can pursue odor remediation. Damage restoration experts may recommend the use of a HEPA air scrubber to filter out odor-causing particles followed by specialized neutralization treatments such as ozone or hydroxyl generation, thermal fogging or vapor modification.

It is necessary to mitigate primary storm or flood water damage and ensure that secondary damage is not present before attempting to eliminate odors. If mold growth is present, odor remediation will not have the desired effect and will only temporarily mask indications of a larger problem. For the best results, homeowners should rely on an all-in-one mitigation and restoration service located in Phoenixville, PA.

3 Power Backup Options for Businesses

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Lightning storm over city in purple light Make sure that you have enough fuel to meet your needs for at least several days in case of a severe storm or prolonged outage.

Businesses Have Three Power Backup Options

A power outage may slow down business, but it does not mean a commercial property must completely shut down. Power backup equipment can protect and sustain the core systems of a company. These three power backup options can provide electricity and prevent damage to computers and servers in offices in Spring City, PA.

1. Power Generator and Fuel Supply

Most business owners should consider a commercial standby generator. Three-phase designs have fortified components that provide more power than manual consumer-grade generators. Smaller businesses may be able to use a single-phase generator. Calculate your power needs over various periods of time to choose the right equipment.

Standby generators can be powered by diesel, natural gas, or propane. A smaller portable generator may run on gasoline. Operate a consumer-grade manual gas generator outside to prevent carbon monoxide from accumulating in a building.

2. Automatic Transfer Switch

An ATS monitors the supply of power and will automatically activate a standby generator in the event of a power outage. The ATS will also transfer the power source back to the utility and shut down the generator as soon as the power turns back on.

3. Uninterruptable Power Supply

A UPS is a useful solution for preserving data and functionality for computer systems and servers. This component sustains power to systems for a short period to cover the transfer between utility power to generator power and back again.

Regardless of which type of generator and backup equipment you choose, you can safely operate electrical equipment and core systems during a power outage. Make sure that you have enough fuel to meet your needs for at least several days in case of a severe storm or prolonged outage. Keep in mind that most fuel types have a limited shelf life. Contact a commercial damage restoration company if a property sustains damage during a storm in Spring City, PA.

3 Precautions That Can Protect Your Business in a Storm

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

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

3 Storm-Resistant Precautions for Your Business

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

1. Create a Plan

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

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

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

2. Protect Your Property

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

3. Secure Important Data

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

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

How Landscaping Can Help Protect a Home From Flooding

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

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

Three Tips That Can Help You Decrease Your Chances of Flooding

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

1. Make Sure Water Drains Away From the House

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

2. Check That Rain Water Has Somewhere To Go

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

3. Ensure That Your Mulch Can Withstand Heavy Rains

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

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

How To Maintain Your Commercial Roof

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Roof repair, worker with white gloves replacing gray tiles or shingles on house with blue sky as background Commercial roof maintenance.

Tips For Maintaining Your Commercial Roof

It is easy to ignore the roof of your commercial building. After all, you do not typically look at the roof during a given workday. You probably focus your maintenance and repairs on the walls and floors that you can easily examine. Yet your roof needs plenty of attention, as well. A roof leak during a storm could be disastrous for your North - East Coventry, PA, business.
With regular upkeep of your roof, you can reduce the risk of flooding during a severe weather event. This, in turn, should limit your need for emergency restoration services. 

1. Keep It Clean
A worn-down or dirty roof is more likely to fail during a storm. To make sure your roof is strong enough to withstand rain, snow and wind, you should remove any debris immediately. A buildup of leaves and other items could cause a growth of algae and mold that weakens the roof.
Keeping the drains and gutters clear is also important. A clog in either of these areas can cause a roof leak.

2. Trim Trees
Storms do not just bring rain and snow. Wind damage is also quite common. If trees are too close to your building, branches could blow off those trees and onto the roof. You should thus have the trees pruned regularly. This should also prevent nuts and leaves from falling into the gutters.

3. Get an Inspection
A professional contractor will notice potential trouble spots on your roof that the untrained eye could miss. Have the pro inspect your roof at least twice per year. The expert should specifically look for sagging areas or cracks. He or she should also check near the eaves, vents and skylights.
Even a minor roof leak can cause a lot of harm over time. If you clean the gutters, trim nearby trees and hire an inspector, your roof should sustain minimal storm damage.

Is It Safe for Employees To Work During Restoration?

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Outside of a commercial building surrounded from flooded waters Storm damage to a building in South Pottstown, PA.

When your commercial buildings have been affected by significant storm damage that requires professional repair and reconstruction work, you may wonder when it's safe for employees and tenants to return. For example, when black water from flooding brings dangerous contaminants into your buildings, how soon will it be safe for people to re-enter your property?

OSHA Regulations

One of your main concerns should be compliance with regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Act (or OSHA.) the point of these regulations is to make sure that the people in your place of business are assured of "safe and healthful" conditions. Some of the points to consider include

  • Protection from unreasonable danger, including imminent natural hazards
  • Employers must consider obvious safety concerns before asking employees to return to the workplace
  • Employees who feel that they have been placed in imminent danger may complain to OSHA
  • Fact sheets from OSHA are available for commercial property owners

As soon as your property is affected by flooding and during flood cleanup, it's important that your employees and tenants stay away.

Black Water Concerns

What's the big deal about black water? This contaminated water often comes from backed-up sewer systems, flooding toilets, water from storms and flooding, and similar situations. Its origins mean that this water may contain raw sewage, animal feces, harmful chemicals, and hazardous pathogens. When this water gets into your South Pottstown, PA, buildings, you must keep all employees and tenants away. Water damage cleanup and disinfection professionals have the supplies and personal protective equipment to safely resolve the problem.

Professional Cleaning Results

Once any demolition, reconstruction, and disinfection work have been completed, cleanup professionals may tell you that your buildings can be used again. During the cleanup and restoration process, a variety of cleaning, disinfection, and air filtration supplies are used to create a safe environment. At this point, your commercial property should be safe once again.
Black water and other hazards that result from storm damage pose serious risks. As an employer and property owner in South Pottstown, PA, you have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the people working and living in your commercial buildings.

Learning the Differences Between Mitigation and Restoration

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling damaged by water Commercial damage in Charlestown, PA.

Mitigation vs Restoration

As you seek a flood cleanup company to bring your Charlestown, PA, business back to normal, you might hear about mitigation and restoration services. If you are new to these procedures, they might sound interchangeable, but they contain significant differences. Improve the recovery of your business building by learning more about the varying ways these procedures contribute to that goal.

Overall Purpose
Both mitigation and restoration aim to bring back the establishment. However, they have different purposes. Mitigation is immediately performed once the specialists have inspected the damage and obtained all the information. It is meant to provide some stability and prevent further damage before it continues to escalate. Restoration is the second part of the process that actually repairs and replaces items and materials as needed, which can bring your business back into a functional shape. Since these steps are connected, you can expect a restoration company to also provide mitigation as a service.

Procedures and Tools
The professionals of the flood cleanup company will use different methods and tools for both procedures. For instance, mitigation requires smaller operations such as:

  • Covering roof damage with tarp
  • Boarding up broken windows, doors and holes with plywood
  • Drying wet items and suctioning water from property
  • Removing fallen trees and branches
  • Building support to maintain the building's structure

Mitigation uses simple materials like tarp and wood to prevent potential future damage. Meanwhile, restoration requires more procedures and tools depending on the extensiveness of the damage. They usually involve repairing broken objects, replacing deeply affected materials or combating mold.

Mitigation is meant to be a quick process where the technicians must act fast and prevent more damage. Therefore, you can expect it to be a relatively fast process that occurs near the beginning of the treatment. Meanwhile, restoration involves multiple, complex activities, so it might take longer. Successful damage control can help reduce this time.
While mitigation and restoration are helpful towards the return of your business, they have different timeframes, purposes and resources. A flood cleanup company offers these and several other services.

Removing Moisture From a Home

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cuts in a home and drying equipment placed in damaged area Chester Springs home gets a flood cut

Tasks the Professionals Will Take Before You Can Return To Your Home

After severe flooding, be prepared to have remediation professionals at your home in Chester Springs, PA, for quite some time. This is because your home must be completely dried out before the restoration work can begin. 

Pumping Standing Water Out
All of the water must be removed from your home after severe flooding. To start, the team will remove any furniture or other items that are soaked. Then, they will pump out the water and try to dry the house. If it is nice out, they will open the doors and windows. They may have to remove your doors and windows to complete this task. This is because doors and windows tend to swell after they have gotten wet. However, if it is very humid outside, they will not be able to do this and use dehumidifiers instead.

Drying the Walls
After moisture from the flooding has been removed, they will start working on the walls, which will need to be washed to remove any mud or other harmful contaminants. Then, they will dry out the walls using a specific process, including:

  • Using flood cuts to expose the studs
  • Using a disinfectant to prevent mold growth
  • Drying out the structure

Assessing the Damage
After they tear out the drywall, the contractors must determine if other materials must be repaired or replaced. They will often consider the time needed and your budget. For instance, if drywall on a wall that does not have insulation got wet, they will use a minimally invasive technique to dry the studs and save the drywall. On the other hand, they may have to replace all of your materials.
To save your home from contamination and moisture damage, a remediation team will use specific techniques to dry your home. This involves drying out a home, using flood cuts to ensure the structure is dry and determining whether your materials need to be repaired or replaced.

Flood Insurance: Do I Need It?

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Flood Insurance: Do I Need It?

Protect Yourself And Livelihood With Flood Insurance Coverage

Business owners in East-West Vincent, PA, face many risks in the commercial marketplace: capitalization, economic downturns, competition and even operational threats, like extreme weather, can all lead to financial failure. Some weather events — damaging winds and lightning, for example — generally are covered by commercial insurance. A standard business owner's policy will provide for heavy rain, cascading gutters and melting snow that leak (from above) into your commercial space. However, flooding (even storm-generated flooding) requires flood insurance.
Here's a rundown of need-to-know facts about this niche sector of business insurance:

Coverage: Insurance underwrites losses from flood damage to your building and property. As defined, a "flood" is water that affects at least two acres or two properties.
Exemptions: Insurance doesn't cover the exterior of your property. Septic systems, landscaping and business vehicles are exempt. Further, it doesn't apply to losses resulting from business interruption (closure) due to water damage.
Location: Geographical location is the key factor that determines your business' risk for flood damage. Check online flood maps or contact your local government to find out if you are in a flood zone.
Stipulation: You're required to purchase insurance if your business is located in a high-risk flood zone and you hold a mortgage from a federally-regulated or insured lender.
Vendor: You can obtain a policy through the federal government's National Flood Insurance Program. However, you must purchase it through a professional insurance agent; you can't buy a policy directly from the government.
Amount: An insurance policy guarantees up to $500,000 in coverage for your building and $500,000 for its contents. You can buy additional coverage to repair and restore your damaged property that includes business interruption provisions.
Post-flood property damage: Mold damage (resulting from a flood) is covered; however, each claim is evaluated individually.

Whether floodwaters come from raging rivers or overflowing levees, torrential rains, a ruptured dam or storm surge, they can be devastating for affected businesses. Savvy business owners know their flood risk and recognize the importance of protecting themselves and their livelihood with flood insurance coverage.

Tips To Recover From Storm Damage

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

worker removing carpet damaged by storm water Carpet damaged in Ludwigs Corner, PA

Tips That Can Help You Restore Your Home After Storm Damage

When dealing with damage after a storm, it is difficult to know what steps to take. Every circumstance is different, but there are some storm tips that can help you restore your home in Ludwigs Corner, PA, as quickly as possible.

1. Stay Safe
Once the storm has passed, you will want to inspect your home for damage. Before you begin, follow some safety tips and never inspect after dark.

If you spot extensive structural damage, don't stay in the house. Call a storm damage restoration service as soon as possible to safely assess the damage.
When a gas odor is detected, immediately go outside and call the gas company.
Look out for exposed nails and broken glass.
Don't walk in standing water.
Stay away from downed power lines.

2. Check for Damage
Once you have determined that it's safe to remain in the house, some storm tips will make the job easier. Take pictures of the storm damage as you spot it. This will help the insurance adjuster when they arrive.
Roof damage is common after strong winds. Look for holes in the roof, as well as missing or broken shingles. Check the gutters and downspouts and remove any debris.
Doors and windows are also susceptible to wind damage. Look for cracks and broken panes in the windows, and check the doors for damaged frames. Board up broken windows before help arrives to mitigate the damage. Check the siding and bricks on the exterior of your house. Also, inspect outdoor air conditioners for damage.

3. Call Your Insurance Agent
Check with your insurance agent to determine the coverage under your policy. Your provider will also help guide you in the steps needed to make a claim.
Recovering from a weather event is devastating. If you follow some sound storm tips, you'll be able to get your house back in order much quicker.

Supplies That Protect the Health and Well-Being of Your Employees When Disaster Strikes

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Safety goggles Keeping goggles in a first aid kit can protect the eyes

A Well-Stocked Emergency Kit For Your Business

A well-supplied first aid kit that is easily accessible to every employee after a disaster at your Charlestown, PA, business is as essential as an emergency disaster crew to assist with the following.

  • Clean-up
  • Repair
  • Restoration
  • Safe return

You can deal with injuries until medical attention arrives if your emergency kit includes these supplies.

Antibiotic Ointment
Wounds of any size can become infected and something as simple as an antibiotic ointment can prevent cuts and scrapes from leading to severe problems.

Variety of Bandages
Storing multiple sizes of bandages in an emergency kit can keep wounds clean and prevent infection when unexpected accidents break the skin.

If a catastrophic event causes an injury leading to large quantities of blood, having a tourniquet available in a first aid kit can save someone's life.

Accidents, including falls, slips, and falling debris, can cause broken bones or strained muscles. A splint can steady and immobilize injured parts of the body to ease pain and prevent further injury. part and prevent

Non-latex gloves
If you need to administer emergency medical care to a colleague, it is helpful to use non-latex gloves to avoid transmitting or receiving germs from unclean hands.

CPR Mask
If a fire occurs at your business, you may need to revive someone by using CPR. A CPR mask will make it easier to seal the victim's nose and also seal off body fluids.

Hurricanes or storms can cause broken glass windows and doors. If glass goes flying, it can cause injuries from cuts and debris that become lodged in the skin. Tweezers can help extract foreign particles from wounds.

Eye Goggles
Events like fires can cause flames, smoke, and soot to irritate the eyes, making it difficult to see. Keeping goggles in a first aid kit can protect the eyes.
A Charlestown, PA, business should not underestimate the value of a well-stocked emergency kit.

Protecting Windows From Strong Winds

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Metal accordion storm shutters closed to protect a home from the oncoming hurricane. Protect the windows of your home with storm shutters

Ways To Keep Your Home Safe From High Winds

When a storm with high winds comes to East - West Pikeland, PA, one of the most important things you can do to protect your home is to cover the windows. Fortunately, there are a variety of permanent and temporary solutions to keep your home safe.

Permanent Options
For homeowners in areas with frequent strong storms, investing in permanent window protection can be a wise choice. There are a variety of shutters on the market, including the following:

  • Accordion
  • Bahama
  • Colonial
  • Rolling

The accordion style shutter is the least expensive permanent option. They are generally made of aluminum and open horizontally. The Bahama style shutter opens like an awning and can be closed flat against the window when high winds are forecast. Colonia style shutters are two panels placed on either side of the window that closes inward and are bolted together for protection during a storm. The rolling style shutter is the most expensive, but also the most protective. When not in use, they are in a roll at the top of the window. When needed, the homeowner rolls them down using a crank or remote, depending on the model. The shutter is then bolted at the bottom of the window.

Temporary Options
In addition to permanent storm shutters, there are a few temporary solutions available. Storm panels are usually made of aluminum, steel or polycarbonate. They are bolted to the top and bottom of windows when a strong storm is expected. Plywood sheets are another temporary option. Although effective and economical, plywood can be difficult to install. If you choose to use plywood, make sure it is at least five-eighths of an inch thick and securely attached to your home.
While storm shutters, either permanent or temporary, can protect your windows from high winds, your home may still suffer serious damage during a hurricane or other strong storm. Fortunately, an experienced restoration team can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

How To Prepare Your House For Winter

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

man using a snow rake on garage roof in winter Cold weather strikes in Chester Springs, PA

Before cold weather strikes in Chester Springs, PA, you need to make sure your house is up to the challenge. You will probably remember to dust off the snow shovel and haul the snowblower out of storage, but your house also needs some attention so that a winter storm doesn’t take you by surprise.

How To Winterize The Outside of Your Home

Insulate any exposed pipes to prevent them from bursting.
Blow the water out of your underground sprinkling to eliminate the need for water damage repairs.
Detach all outside hoses and make sure the faucets are turned off securely.
Trim all trees near the house to reduce the risk of damage during a winter storm.
Inspect the gutters and remove all debris. Diminish the chance of roof damage by making sure the shingles are securely fastened. Strong winds during a blizzard can loosen the shingles and expose your roof to damage.

What You Should Do To Protect the Inside of Your House

Insulate windows with caulk to lower the likelihood of cold air drafts.
Make sure the fireplace flue can close securely and check for any combustible objects, such as birds’ nests, inside the flue. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure the gas logs are positioned properly.
Keep the temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even if you are leaving for an extended period of time.
Leave the cupboard doors under the sink open if you are leaving overnight to ensure the pipes don’t freeze.

What Emergency Supplies You Need on Hand
Keep extra batteries for your flashlights and transistor radio, in case the power goes out. Also, have candles and matches on hand. If you have a generator, make sure you have extra fuel. It’s always a good idea to keep food staples well-stocked in your pantry during the winter months as well.
You will get through the ordeal of a winter storm much easier if you are prepared in advance.

The Difference Between Storm and Flood Damage

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

limbs on street When storms pass through leaving damage, give us a call!

A storm in Phoenixville, PA can cause a lot of damage to your building and can sometimes affect your business’s ability to operate as usual. There are two types of water damage that commonly occur in this situation. Whether you experience storm or flood damage will affect the restoration process. What Causes Water Damage During a Storm
During severe weather, you might experience storm damage in the form of leaks or you may end up with a flooded building. The water involved in these two types of damage vary in the following ways:

The source of the water
The contamination levels of the water
The cleanup process required

Water that enters the building from above is generally considered basic water damage and is usually clean water. However, water that rises from the ground is flood water that carries high levels of contamination due to mixing with debris, waste and dirt on the ground. Because these types of water have significantly different levels of bacteria and other contaminants, the amount of cleanup required can vary greatly between storm and flood damage.
How Should You Deal With Damage
If the damage to your building was caused by clean water, then the restoration process will be a bit more simple. Many materials will simply need to be dried quickly to reduce the risk of mold growth. However, if there has been flooding in the building, then the cleanup process will be more involved. Materials like carpet, insulation and drywall are highly absorbent, so when contaminated water is involved, these items will often need to be torn out and replaced. It would take much more effort to get them thoroughly cleaned, and it would be easy for bacteria and mold to continue to spread.
While flood damage is often more severe, any kind of water damage is best handled by a professional. Hiring a cleanup and storm restoration service will allow you to return to work more quickly. They can perform needed repairs in a timely manner without reduced work quality.

Wind, flooding and damaged homes in Mississippi

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Home destroyed by the Storm in Mississippi Home destroyed in Mississippi, homeowners went back to the home to obtain any belongings that they can get from the outside.

A storm slammed through Mississippi on January 11th and destroyed homes, buildings and knocked out electricity of thousands of people. The storm swept through the Midwest and south taking the lives of at least 11 people and  left thousands of s homes damaged. there was a confirmed amount of 7 tornadoes that has happened that caused the intense weather that has affected a lot of people in the Mississippi area. Here at ,SERVPRO of North East Chester County we are committed to helping out our local franchises that are located in the area that were affected by the storm to ensure safety for all people and homes that were affected. We work together to do the clean up after the storm. We have a storm team that are emergency response that will be there when you need us.  Every franchise is highly trained and certified in fire restoration, water mitigation, board up of homes after storms, mold remediation and much more. SERVPRO of North East Chester County are very well rounded and have amazing customer service skills which helps with getting to know the major concerns of every customer and making sure their home is back , "Like it never even happened." 

SERVPRO Storm Team

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Storm Team Every SERVPRO franchise will come together as one to help any disaster.

Even though each franchise is individually owned and operated, when a major storm happens in the world we all come together to help during any major disaster. Every large loss we attend they are always overseen by a operations manager to ensure seamless timing and communication. No disaster is too big when we come together as a SERVPRO team. We respond to all disasters which include tornado's, hurricanes, blizzards, floods or rain storms. SERVPRO has helped over 10 different natural disaster situation which include, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, Wilma, and Rita, 2007 California wildfires, 2007 Ohio and Chicago flooding, 2008 Ike, 2010 Nashville Floods, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2014 Polar Vortex, 2015 North and South Carolina floods, 2016 Hurricane Matthew, 2017 Hurricane Harvey, 2017 Hurricane Irma, and as well as the 2017 California Wildfires. 


1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Water on basement Water got into a basement of a home from a rain storm.

When being a owner of any business during storm season you always make to make sure all emergency communication is relayed to everyone ahead of time. Developing a plan ahead of it will give the owner and all employees a peace of mind. Always make sure to assess what matters the most within your business. PROTECT YOUR EMPLOYEES! Always make sure to know if a storm is happening during business hours, make sure to account for each employee working at the time to assure their safety. Always make sure to refer to the FEMA Resource Toolkit. Back up any digital storage you have or may be working within. If any power outages happen you will want to make sure all your business information and important files are saved. Map out an evacuation for your business in case of an emergency. Always make sure to assign specific roles to each employee to help out each other during a disaster time. As for the structure of the business, make sure all windows are boarded to avoid any accidents that can potentially hurt an employee or even a customer. SERVPRO of North East County is trained in storm clean up. We want to insure the safety of every customer and client we come in contact with and make sure their biggest worries are ours. 

Snow Storm Season is coming QUICK!

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Mud affected this entire basement from the stream overflowing due to the huge rain storm we had in our area. Rain Storm + overflowed streams= SERVPRO of North East Chester County

Snow is coming quicker than we expected; make sure to prepare your home before any storm! Packing an emergency kit including a first aid kit, clothes, flash lights and batteries! Any children? Make sure to have game and coloring books available also! To make an attempt to avoid any damage to the structure of your home make sure to put away any lawn furniture you may have. Also trim the branches around your home to avoid any broken windows as well. The most difficult part of preparing for a storm is how to avoid having your home damaged. Taking all necessary precautions doesn't mean that there is not a chance of anything happening. That's why SERVPRO of North East Chester County is available 24/7 for all your storm needs. Our technicians are fully trained to handle any disaster and most importantly make sure YOU are comfortable while we restore your home back to the way you had it. 

The Hurricane Can Keep Its Remnants to Itself!

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

  Even when the storms don't hit us square on, the remnants may bring damages all their own - SERVPRO of North East Chester County is here to help!

We are still in hurricane season, although the major effects have luckily kept clear of our Chester County homes and businesses for the most part.  High winds can ravage building facades, requiring window and door board-ups; downpours of rain can require basement pump-outs and other professional drying techniques; and if these effects are not mitigated in a timely manner, you could be dealing with mold issues.  SERVPRO of North East Chester County is your answer to dealing with whatever remnant effects the weather patterns of hurricane season may bring your way; and we are ready to respond twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!  SERVPRO Franchises at large dedicate tremendous resources throughout the Country to rush into the areas most devastated by storm activity to help as many people as possible.  All the while, we have Teams of our best at home, in Chester County, ready to help you should a storm hit, or in case the remnants bring stormy weather!

In case of an Emergency, always make sure to keep yourself and family safe!

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

2019 Snow Storm

Storms can affect us in any season whether it be a wind, snow or rain storm; it is always good to be prepared for anything. Make sure you and your family create an emergency preparedness plan by routing the best possible escape routes out of a dangerous weather situation and make sure to practice them as well. Also make sure to keep a stocked supply of food and necessities to be able to feed your family for a lengthy period in case stores and/or electricity are unavailable. Always make sure to have a first aid kit for minor injuries.  SERVPRO of North East Chester County have deep-seeded family values and wants to make sure you take care of yourself and family in an emergency storm situation rather than worrying about your home. SERVPRO of North East Chester County will come and help you restore and mitigate any water, fire or wind damage that may have been caused by a major storm. We are here to help YOU and make you feel safe within your own home again.

Just as one exits, another forms...

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

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!

Winter Winds A'Blowing!!!

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

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!

Winter Storm Preparation

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

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 

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Brace for Florence!

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

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.

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Protecting Your Property This Hurricane Season!

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

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.

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Storm Waters Flood Phoenixville, PA Basement

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

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. 

When Your Phoenixville Home's Basement Stairs Look More Like the Pool Stairs...

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

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.

What to Do When You Experience Storm Damage

10/11/2017 (Permalink)

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

10/11/2017 (Permalink)

BEFORE the storm: be prepared... AFTER the storm: call SERVPRO!!!

Working Backwards...

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

...And Then, The Rains Came!!!

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

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!  

We Weather the Storm!

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

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.”