Recent Posts

Psychro-WHAT? The Science Behind Structural Drying

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Laptop computer open to a SERVPRO Psychrometrics chart SERVPRO shares the science behind drying

Psychrometry is the study of the air and its properties. The properties of temperature, humidity, vapor pressure and dew point are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure, enabling a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to create the proper atmosphere for more efficient drying.  

Water can damage materials in two ways:  first, by absorption through direct contact with water; and second, absorption of moisture from the air. Measuring the moisture content of the air is critical to the drying process.  

At SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall we employ several tools and techniques to aid the drying process and accelerate it as well.  Our most important asset is our people and the knowledge they bring to the damaged property.  We are highly trained teams of IICRC Certified Water damage restoration professionals.  This means when you call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall you are getting the highest quality of professionals to address any size disaster.  We are very proud to be a leader in the emergency services and disaster restoration industry. 

If you ever find yourself in need of Water Damage Restoration services, call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall at 800-455-9453

Drying Commercial Spaces - Desiccant Dehumidification

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Large desiccant dehumidifier being ducted into a commercial structure Commercial Dehumidification

Commercial spaces often mean larger scale projects with many different factors. Is the space conditioned or unconditioned? Is there adequate power available or will portable power need to be brought in? Does the business own the building or are they a tenant? Finding answers to these questions are critical but what are some questions that pop up after a job has begun?

Due to commercial buildings complexity a proper drying plan needs to be put in place. This means identifying the answers to all the previous questions but also asking questions like, “what materials am I drying, how fast to they need to get dry, what is the best equipment to utilize.” On large scale projects with a variety of materials Desiccant dehumidification is king. Desiccant dehumidification utilizes hot dry air that is ducted from outside to help dry dense materials such as hardwoods, plaster, or lathe more efficiently than traditional dehumidification. They also can handle larger spaces more easily. When you look for a restoration company for your restoration needs, make sure they have the right tools for the job.

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall

800-455-9453

What to Do When Making an Insurance Claim

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

What To Do When Making a Flood Insurance Claim

Most homeowners’ insurances do not offer flood coverage. However, if you have a separate flood policy for your home, then you will want to file an insurance claim if your home has been damaged. The process can sometimes be frustrating or confusing, so use the following tips to get through it more smoothly.

Call Your Insurance Agent

The first step in filing a flood claim is calling your insurance agent. In some cases, the company can deny your claim if you have waited too long to contact them. Getting the process started right away will prevent this.

Take Pictures

After you have contacted your agent to begin the process, you should take photos of any areas of the house that have been flooded. Be sure to photograph any affected items as well. This will help the insurance company determine the extent of the damage. Keeping a list can be helpful as well.

Set Aside Affected Belongings

Once you have taken pictures and documented the damage, you don’t need to wait for the insurance adjuster to arrive to begin moving your items. If you allow them to sit in the water, the damage will only worsen, so you should relocate them to a dry area quickly.

Prevent Additional Damage

If the insurance company does not believe that you have taken the necessary steps to prevent further damage, this can affect your flood claim. It is a good idea to call an emergency cleanup company like SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall to do repairs, but you can start on remediation before they arrive. Along with moving affected items, you can board up areas and place tarps to prevent the water from spreading.

Making a flood claim may not always be the simplest process, but there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself. Following this advice will help move it along more quickly and ensure you get the most that you can from your policy. You can call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall anytime at (800) 455-9453.

If you ever find yourself in need of Water Damage Restoration services,

call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall at 800-455-9453

Avoid Storm Damage to Your Roof

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Storm Damage? Tarped roof after storm damage Storm Damage?

Fast winds can be detrimental to the structural integrity of your property. When the winds get fierce, they can tear a roof right off your house. Roofs on houses are made to fight normal wind conditions in your area. But if a wind storm is fierce, your roof will only be able to take so much to stay intact.

Why Are Roofs Ripped Off During Storms?

Having a secure and stable roof during a storm is the best way to have peace of mind. Although it cannot be made certain, having a strategy in place for damage prevention is vital for beneficial results. Understanding storms and how they impact your house is the first step in knowing how to stop your roof from becoming damaged.

The atmospheric pressure beneath the roof is an important role in this. If the wind gets inside your home from a doorway, or if outside debris breaks a window, this will form a high-pressure scenario inside and it will push upwards towards your roof. Then you’ll have a push from inside the house and a pull from on top of the roof. This tug-of-war is how tiles get torn off, or in the worst case, your roof tears off from the rest of the house.

That is why it’s critical to, not at any time, open your windows or doors during a heavy storm. It was believed that letting the wind flow directly through your house was a good thing to do, but this assumption has been disproved. Bracing your windows and doors helps maintain normal atmospheric pressure, prevents flying debris from smashing windows and holds off high-pressure winds. In addition, the complications from wind pressure on your roof rest on your roof’s height, style, and location.

How to Fight Storm Damage to Your Roof

Having your roof analyzed for damaged spots and areas of concern that can be fixed ahead of time will help eliminate wind damage when a storm strikes. Eradicating the primary point of access for the wind means you can prevent damage to your roof while the storm continues. Precautionary steps may take up some time but the rewards of an unscathed roof are worth it. A roof that has been analyzed and repaired correctly holds a better chance to withstand high wind conditions.

Nevertheless, we know that you can only do so much and the forces of nature always give us a surprise. If you, or someone you know, experiences roof damage after a storm and find debris and water in your home, call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall for damage restoration services. We will help you put the pieces together again and get your house back to a preloss condition as quickly as possible. Contact us at 800-455-9453 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

The 5 Most Common Causes of Water Damage in your Lehigh Valley Home

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged carpet in a hallway leading to three doors/rooms Water Damage happens quickly. Call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall when disaster strikes.

As a homeowner, you should be aware of all the possible things that could happen to your home. Storm damage, wind damage- and, most frequent of all, water damage. As homeowners, you think things like this would never happen to you, but if they, everyone should be prepared. Below are the 5 most common causes of water damage in a home and advice to help you be more prepared.

  1. Air Conditioner- your air conditioner might seem to be working just fine, but it’s important to get regular service checks (at least once a year) to make sure nothing is malfunctioning behind the scenes. Your A/C removes moisture from the air and sometimes that moisture builds up. If not properly drained, that water could be slowly leaking into your home- potentially ruining the flooring and drywall and, in many cases, introducing mold.
  2. Dishwasher- dishwashers are another possible culprit of water damage in your home. Your dishwasher can cause water damage if not properly sealed, meaning the latch is broken, or if it was loaded with the wrong soap. Make sure that any leaks are immediately addressed and that your dishwasher is repaired or replaced ASAP, so you can avoid costly damage to you kitchen
  3. Washing Machine- perform regular checks on your washing machine, inspecting beneath the unit as well as behind it. Make sure all fittings are securely connected, and that the underbelly of the washing machine isn’t leaking any water beneath the unit.
  4. Leaking Pipes- it might be obvious, but water damage in a home is often caused by leaky pipes. A leak in one place in your home could signify leaks in other areas, too. If you notice spikes in your water bill, a leak is likely present and needs to be addressed before additional damage is caused to you foundation, flooring, and other areas in a home.
  5. Clogged Drains- clogged drains aren’t just annoying, they also cause water damage (and mold growth) if left unchecked. If your toilet is clogged, it means that not only can you NOT use the toilet, but you will likely also experience water backing up into the shower, sinks, or bathroom floor. Sewer water is extremely dangerous because it contains raw sewage and bacteria, and must be cleaned by a professional. If the kitchen sink is backing up, you may experience sink overflow and subsequent damages to you kitchen floor and cabinetry.

If you notice any signs of water damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall to make it “Like it never even happened.” 800-455-9453

The Causes of House Fires

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Soot Damage on Walls Fire Damage in Bethlehem, PA

House fires happen way more than we think. An estimated 358,500 homefires occurevery year. 50% of thesefiresstart in the kitchen, 7% begin in the bedroom, and 6% are chimneyfires, 4% of all residential homefiresstart in the living room, while 3% start from the laundry room.

Here are some common causes of house fires:

  • Cooking equipment- Pots and pans can overheat and cause a fire very easily if the person cooking gets distracted and leaves cooking unattended. Always stay in the room, or ask someone to watch your food, when cooking on hotplates.
  • Heating- Keep portable heaters at least one meter away from anything that could easily catch fire such as furniture, curtains, laundry, clothes and even you. If you have a furnace, get it inspected once a year to make sure it is working to safety standards.
  • Smoking in rooms- A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame, as the butt may stay alit for a few hours. It could burst into flames if it came into contact with flammable materials, such as furniture. Did you know that fires started in the bedroom or lounge make up 73% of all house fire fatalities?
  • Electrical equipment- An electrical appliance, such as a toaster can start a fire if it is faulty or has a frayed cord. A power point that is overloaded with double adapter plugs can cause a fire from an overuse of electricity. A power point extension cord can also be a fire hazard if not used appropriately. Double check the appliances and power points in your home.
  • Candles- Candles look and smell pretty, but if left unattended they can cause a room to easily burst into flames. Keep candles away from any obviously flammable items such as books and tissue boxes. Always blow a candle out before leaving a room. Did you know that in Perth last year 34 house fires started as a result of candles?
  • Lighting- Lamp shades and light fittings can build up heat if they are very close to light globes. Check around the house to make sure. Lamp bases can become a hazard if they are able to be knocked over easily, and so should be removed if they are. Check that down lights are insulated from wood paneling or ceiling timbers.

If you experience a fire in your home; call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall to help make your home look "Like it never even happened.”

Tips to Prevent House Fires

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Soot damage on walls, boarded up windows, and smoke damaged clothing Fire damage in Bethlehem, PA

At SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, we focus on the safety of our customers and find ways to make sure they don’t have water or fire damage in their homes again.

Here are some tips to prevent house fires:

· Test Your Smoke Alarms Regularly - The easiest way to avoid a house fire is by checking your smoke alarms regularly. There is a little button on it that you can press to test it. If it beeps weakly, then you need to change the batteries ASAP. 

· Keep Your Stove and Oven Clean - Don’t worry, the stove didn’t randomly combust because of your cooking. It most likely happened because forgotten food particles on the burner got too hot. Food particles aren’t the only thing that could cause this to happen. 

· Always Check Your Dryer - Depending on what type of dryer you have, they need to be inspected on a yearly basis. We all get in a hurry when we’re doing our chores but, don’t forget to clean out your lint trap every time you put in a new load of laundry.  You also want to check behind the machine to make sure lint or little clothing items like socks didn’t manage to get back there. 

· Maintain All Cords - Before you plug something in, make sure that the cord hasn’t been frayed or chewed. If you do notice damaged wires, replace them as soon as possible because this is a huge fire hazard. Also, check your cord placement. They tend to get hot so you want to avoid running them under a rug or between your wall and furniture. 

· Properly Store Flammable Products - Household cleaners and common cosmetic items like hairspray and shaving cream can be hazardous. If they are exposed to a large heat source, they can combust. You want to keep them away from space heaters, and store them safely in a cool area.

· Be Careful with Your Fireplace - You don’t want any stray sparks to escape so you need to make sure you have a door between the flames and your flooring. It goes without saying, but never leave the room when the fireplace is going. When you throw the ashes away, make sure you’ve given them more than enough time to cool down. Dispose of them in a metal container that is designated just for the ashes. 

· Keep Fire Extinguishers Around - Fire extinguishers are your best defense weapon when a fire breaks out. You want to make sure you have one in every room that is a potential threat, such as the kitchen. Every family member should know how to use an extinguisher so if a fire does happen, it can be put out as fast as possible. 

If you experience a fire in your home; call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall to help make your home look "Like it never even happened.” 800-455-9453

Fire Damage Restoration

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damaged staircase and entryway - soot damage on walls and stairs Fire Damaged Staircase and Entryway in Easton, PA

Fire Damage Restoration

Damage: Fire

Fire and the resulting smoke and water damage to your home or business property is both devastating and overwhelming. You can count on our restoration professionals to inspect and evaluate your circumstances and guide you through every step of the process.

Solution:

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall has the experience, expertise, equipment and the manpower to effectively respond and repair your resulting damage. No matter what time or the size of the work to be done, we offer 24-hour emergency and full restoration services, and have over 28 years of experience dealing with fire damage restoration in the Lehigh Valley.

We Evaluate:

Every fire is different but can potentially be equally as damaging. We pride ourselves on our knowledge, hardwork, and customer first attitudes. We will assess the damage and offer recommendations for the next steps to getting your home or property secured and back “Like it never even happened.”

We Coordinate:

Our customers’ properties are in the hands of well-trained restoration professionals who will use equipment and techniques to contain and remove smoke odor, remove soot residue, and efficiently remove the water from the fire extinguishing efforts. SERVPRO also offers pack-out services, contents cleaning, and secure storage.

We Provide Results:

SERVPRO’s Purpose Statement is to “Build happy customers, one job at a time.” This means that we believe that our customers’ satisfaction is above all. We will communicate each step of our process, as well as answer any questions you might have. Our goal is to return your property to a preloss condition.

*If you ever find yourself in need of Fire Damage Restoration services,

call us at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall 800-455-9453*

Evacuation Planning in the Event of a Fire

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency Evacuation Plan in Red lettering Emergency Evacuation Planning and Its Importance

Home Fire Evacuation Plan: What to do before, during and after a fire

Can you imagine experiencing a house fire and NOT having an evacuation plan? An evacuation means you have to move quickly and effectively, while making sure that nothing is forgotten. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall recommends having a plan in place so you are prepared to go at a moment’s notice.

Here are some tips to do before, during, and after a fire.

Before A Fire Evacuation

Preparation is the most important part of a good evacuation plan. There are several things you do before a fire to make sure you are prepared.

Disaster Relief Kit

A disaster relief kit, sometimes called a go bag, contains any essentials that you might need if you have to evacuate in a hurry. Make sure to have extra cash in there, along with extra clothing items, like sweatshirts and footwear. You should also pack emergency health information, but make sure that it is placed in a waterproof bag to keep it safe. Extras of medication should be in there, along with an extra phone charger.

Family Preparation

There are also certain things that everyone in your household should know if there is a fire. For instance, you should pick out a place for everyone to meet up at if you have to leave in a hurry. This can be in front of a neighbor’s house, for example. Make sure that everyone’s phone numbers are saved in all family members phones so that you can easily communicate if you get separated.

During An Evacuation

You will have to think fast while you are evacuating. It is best to already know what you want to do, so you can make the best decisions and keep everyone safe.

Communications

Do your best to keep in touch with everyone from your home at all times. Depending on the cause of your evacuation, there may be power lines down and your phones may not work. Or, you may have family members that cannot get to where you are. Always listen to the instructions from officials, such as the firefighters and police. They have more information and will know what the safest course of action is.

Pets

Do not forget about your pets. Part of your preparation can be to have them well-trained enough to come when you call. Be sure that your pets are in a place where you can easily retrieve them.

Health and Safety

Once you are out of the building, check everyone for injuries and other issues. Emergency responders will be able to give everyone a check over as well. When it comes to being exposed to smoke, there may be unseen issues affecting you, so it is never a bad idea to head to the hospital to get checked out.

After An Evacuation

Once the fire is extinguished, you may be tempted to head back into your home to survey the damage. Do not do so until an authority has stated that it is safe, as damage to the structure may have occurred. In some cases, a home may need to be closed off until it is repaired for family members to enter safely.

The best plan of action at this point is hiring a fire damage restoration professional, such as SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, to help you restore and rebuild your property.

Experiencing a fire in your home can be overwhelming. But, by being proactive and creating a fire evacuation plan, you are taking the first step towards preparing your family for the unexpected.

*If you ever find yourself in need of Fire Damage Restoration services,

call us at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall 800-455-9453*

National Preparedness Month Offers Home and Business Owners an Opportunity to Resolve to be Ready for an Emergency

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month words on green background National Preparedness Month logo

Local SERVPRO disaster restoration specialist highlights no-cost tools to help property owners prepare and maintain a comprehensive emergency readiness plan.

Easton/Bethlehem/Whitehall, PA - No matter where you live or work, emergencies caused by weather, fire, wind, water, and other natural or manmade disasters can strike at any time and are largely unpredictable. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall reminds Lehigh Valley area home and business owners that preparing in advance is the best thing you can do to help minimize a disaster's impact on your loved ones and your property. Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month - a time to create, or update, your plan for when disaster strikes.

"In the same way that people make 'resolution' at the New Year, National Preparedness Month is a great time to resolve to create a plan, or review your existing plan, each and every year," said Steve Davis of SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall. "Everyone needs a comprehensive emergency plan. Business owners also need to plan for business interruption and continuation. But equally importantly, families and businesses alike need immediate access to data like emergency and insurance contacts, shut-off valves, electrical panel locations, and the line of command to authorize work so emergency responders can react quickly and appropriately during the emergency. This month's focus on preparedness is a great incentive for both families and businesses to put a plan in place and review it regularly."

Creating an emergency plan is straightforward, according to Davis. No matter what type of threats exist where you live or work - wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other natural or manmade disasters - tools are available from FEMA (https://www.ready.gov) with guidelines for preparing emergency food, water, and medical supplies; planning for special needs; and creating communication and evacuation plans. These tools and others, like the SERVPRO READY app, also help you store essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the free app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp.

Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.

"The key to getting your life or business back on track is timely response after a disaster strikes. That's why it's important to take the time to record and store your information electronically, and then commit to a time - like National Preparedness Month - to review and update your records at least once each year," said Davis. "Remember, filing cabinets and their contents may be inaccessible or even destroyed in an emergency situation, so don't depend on them to keep track of critical insurance, property, or contact information in the event of a disaster. Store your data electronically. If disaster strikes, you'll have the information you need literally at your fingertips."

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it "Like it never even happened," for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of Eaton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, please contact our office at (610) 559-9380 or SERVPRO5770@SERVPROebw.com. For more information on SERVPRO and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit www.ready.SERVPRO.com.

About SERVPRO

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.