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What To Know About Flood Zones

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Destroyed home after flood reflected in water Understanding your house's flood zone can help you prepare for the harm caused by heavy rainstorms

What To Know About Flood Zones

Some places are more prone to flooding than others are. To find out whether your Stockertown, PA, home is at risk, you need to determine its flood zone. Flood zones designate which properties are most likely to flood during a major storm.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has created a Flood Map Service Center that lets you research flood zones. Simply click on this link to get:

  • Your local flood map
  • The accompanying Flood Insurance Study Report
  • Other mapping products

The FEMA website also lets you create a customized flood map that you can save on your computer. Simply type in your city or even your specific address.

Changing Flood Zones
FEMA calculates a home's flood zone by looking at various details of the property and its elevation. If you believe your house was wrongly classified, you can send a Letter of Map Change to the agency. The later can be submitted online or via regular mail.
Protecting Your Home
Even those who live in low-risk areas need to prepare for possible floods. After all, water damage to your home can still occur no matter where you live.
Start by purchasing flood insurance. Your homeowners' policy likely does not include flood coverage, but you can get a separate flood policy from the federal government.
You should also have a flood preparation plan in place. Make sure that you and your family know where to go and what to do if the water level starts to rise. Gather supplies and store them in a safe place that you can quickly access in an emergency.
Finally, research the contact information for your local water damage repair company. You may need to call restoration experts if your home sustains severe flooding.
Understanding your house's flood zone can help you prepare for the harm caused by heavy rainstorms. Still, even if you live in a low-risk zone, you should take steps to secure your property.

Top 5 Hidden Places to Find Mold

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

mold in the corner of the window It's not uncommon to find mold on wood, such as your wooden window sills

Places Where Mold Can Be found

Mold is a pesky invader that can appear almost anywhere in your home in Palmer Township, PA. Checking each and every hidden corner in your home for mold growth is vital when it comes to performing a thorough inspection; you can't just gloss over the primary spots and assume you're safe. Consider adding the following hidden spots to your next mold inspection in order to protect your home.

1. Refrigerator and its Contents
If you don't clean your refrigerator out regularly, chances are it's full of food spills and not-so-fresh ingredients. This rotting organic matter is a buffet for mold, so it's important to make sure you clear old food out regularly.

2. Washing Machine
Many homeowners naturally assume that their washing machines are self-cleaning, and thus forget to check them for mold. Neglecting to properly air out and dry the excess moisture after each wash cycle only serves to attract unwanted mold growth.

3. Window Sills
It's not uncommon to find mold on wood, such as your wooden window sills. If you tend to see excess condensation regularly forming on your window panes, then chances are your home's indoor humidity levels are too high. Monitor the indoor humidity in order to prevent unwanted mold.

4. House Plants
Overwatering your house plants is a great way to invite mold into your home. Prevent unwanted mold by only watering your plants at the base (not from the top) and proportioning out an appropriate amount of water.

5. Walls and Wallpaper
Moldy drywall can be harder to spot, so you need to make sure you're keeping an eye out for other types of signs. Peeling, browning, or otherwise aging wallpaper is a good indication that mold is growing underneath the wallpaper. Also, check for a musty odor.
Mold can appear anywhere moisture is present, so it's vital that you take the time to search each hidden corner in your house during every mold inspection. Contact mold remediation experts as soon as you can if you do discover mold growth in your home.

Why and How To Flush Your Water Heater

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler Flushing a water heater in Churchville, PA

Maintaining your water heater is an essential part of responsible homeownership. Diminish the odds of suffering a costly repair bill or, even worse, needing to replace your system entirely by taking time out to care for yours.

Why Flush

Besides preventing an untimely demise, conducting periodic flushes:

  • Reduces noise
  • Improves speed
  • Lowers energy costs
  • Cleans out sediment
  • Prevents foul odors associated with stagnant water

Performing a water heater flush need not be complicated or take long. Periodically executing this chore assures your appliance can continue reliably providing your household with clean, hot water well into the future.

How To Flush

First, switch off your machine. If your heater runs on gas, double-check that the pilot has been extinguished before continuing. For an electric water heater, access the circuit breaker to execute a complete shutdown.
Next, screw your garden hose onto the drain valve and place the loose end where you do not mind the evacuating water and sediment being deposited. Remember that wearing protective gloves during this stage is a wise decision.
Draining can now take place. Open the valve and let everything flow. Once a few minutes have passed, speed up the drainage by turning on the hot water in your kitchen. Wait some more and then switch the supply valve back to on until the flow completely halts. A quick, secondary flush is typically recommended.
With the old water completely expelled, you can once again activate your water supply. When your kitchen’s faucet is running smoothly and consistently, you will know the job has been completed properly. After confirming that the tank has refilled, restore power to the unit. The only task left is to turn on the heat source.
Needing a water restoration cleanup service to rush to your residence in Churchville, PA, and repair the fallout of a destroyed water heater can be entirely avoidable. Thankfully, with just a few, quick steps you can lower the possibility of such a calamity occurring.

3 Important Fire Safety Tips for Pet Owners

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Old man rescuing dog from natural disaster As an owner, you take pet safety seriously

Three Important Tips For Pet Owners

As an owner, you take pet safety seriously. You put the lid on the trash can and have the veterinarian on speed dial, but have you thought about your furry friend causing a fire emergency? Here are 3 important tips for pet owners when it comes to fire safety.

Pet-Proof Your Home
Owners know that pets get into trouble. They stick their noses everywhere, climb on tables and knock over all sorts of things. Make it harder for your pet to cause mayhem by doing the following:

  • Designate the kitchen a pet-free zone to keep them away from dangerous appliances.
  • Keep candles up high and blow out open flames when you leave the room.
  • Put pets away when you are not home.

Keeping your pets out of mischief gives you one less thing to worry about.

Have Plans for Pets, too
Every family has a fire emergency plan, and it should include pet preparation. Practice evacuation with your pets and have a backup plan in case you can’t get to them. Let fire rescue know how many pets you have by placing an alert sticker near the main entrance showing the number of animals in your home. You can also put these stickers on windows of the rooms that your pets are in to make it easier for firefighters to find them.

Be Ready for the Aftermath
Pet safety doesn’t stop once flames are extinguished. Know where the nearest emergency veterinary clinic is in case your regular facility cannot be reached. You should also have a place for your pets to stay during fire damage assessment and restoration. Family members or close friends are often willing to help, or you can put them in an animal boarding facility.
A fire emergency is stressful. Even more so when pets are involved. Being proactive and knowing who to ask for help in Forks Township, PA, will prepare you to handle that stress.

Bags of Sand Are No Longer the Kings of Flood Prevention

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Slope and earth retention wall management with rocks and wire mesh cage system in tropical hilly terrain Flood wall alternatives for your facility

Those tasked with keeping their companies safe from flooding often assume the Sand Bag method is their only reasonable recourse. While this option may seem appealing, modern devices currently available in Bethel, PA, have the potential for being vastly superior.

Disadvantages of Sand Bags

Using bags of sand as flood prevention comes with numerous drawbacks, including:

Building time. When storms strike, will you be able to erect a wall quickly enough?
Manpower. How many able-bodied employees exist at your disposal to effectively get the job done?
Removal. Once your border protects you from flood damage even once, it becomes a damp, useless mess. Does periodic rebuilding seem an appealing proposition?
Low reliability. Any Sand Bag wall is prone to collapse. Can you imagine needing a commercial water damage cleanup specialist after all that effort?

Also, bags filled with sand can be deceptively expensive, owing to their regular need for replacement. The long-term cost of this approach could well exceed that of other protection solutions.

Flood Wall Alternatives
Businesses are no longer limited to old-fashioned flood dams.
One contemporaneous choice is Watershed Innovations’ HydraBarrier, which utilizes a hose to spray a six- or twenty-inch defensive barricade, depending on height needed and your budget. It fills in less than two minutes and is conveniently reusable after draining.
The AquaDam goes even higher, rising a full three feet. Note, there remains a risk of it washing away should floods exceed this height. On the plus side, the setup is exceedingly efficient.
The AquaFence is more costly but erects an impressive four-foot barrier that extends the length of a city block. In addition to elementary installation, it’s constructed with an aluminum canvas that reinforces sturdiness.
New technology means the Sand Bag technique is no longer your only path for flood prevention. Maximize the time and money you spend protecting your office by making use of a scientifically advanced safeguard.

Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Worker with protective gear while sanitizing floor, wet floor, floodwater Commercial water damage

Work Place Water Damage is Restored by SERVPRO

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms. 
 
However, many business owners or space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment 
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that have appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails, water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. 
 
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall will get you back up and running again, call us anytime 24/7 at (800) 455-9453. We will return your business back to normal and make it "Like it never even happened."

The Commercial Resources SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall Has to Offer

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles on roll SERVPRO is Faster to any size disaster

When looking for cleanup for your business, we at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall can help with our commercial resources. Whether it is cleanup after a disaster or mold remediation, we help the Lehigh Valley’s businesses get back to conducting business as usual, as fast as possible. Nobody likes a disaster of any kind, and we are here to help you through it.

Lost time in cleanup for water or fire damage is better spent in your doing productive work for increased business opportunities. As professionals in the Easton area, we are nearby and ready to help with disaster cleanup. Our expertise can help you through our extensive commercial resources:

Water Damage Restoration

Flooding and water damage seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. We know that and can help you get back to work with our:

  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Highly trained water damage specialists
  • Restoration know-how

No matter the location of the water damage, whether in a small office building or big box store, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion to ensure your business is up and running again as quickly as possible. Our technicians have the training and certifications they need to handle your restoration needs, no matter the size.

Fire Damage Restoration

Lost productivity is the biggest result of fire and smoke damage. With firefighting systems, water damage may also occur from water used. As a trusted leader in fire and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall knows the ins and outs of fire damage and the extra damage that can come with it and are well-equipped to handle it, including:

  • Fire and Smoke Restoration
  • Odor Control
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning
  • Water Damage Restoration

Mold Remediation

Because mold, whether from a leak or plumbing, can cause serious problems and health risks to those who enter your business, give us a call at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall to discuss how we can manage it as we work fast to address the mold. We work fast to contain the mold growth and prevent it from spreading further. Our technicians are well-trained, including:

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialists
  • Water Damage Restoration Technicians
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Cleaning Service

We address everyday soil and grime that are beyond the scope of your janitorial staff.

Storm and Major Events

Whether you need our elite large-loss specialists who work with the hospitality industry, universities and property managers, or you have damage from a storm, wind and rain, we can help. With our 24-hour emergency service, we will be there quickly to assess and fix the damage. Moreover, we work with your insurance to make the process as seamless as possible.

Here at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, we have the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to help you with any mold damage or preventive practices. We are also available for cleanup after fire and water damage. 

SERVPRO Professionals Wear Many Hats

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Different hats on a table SERVPRO Hats Over the Years

”Commercial Buildings Are Not Large Houses!”

Our local SERVPRO franchise has several team members specifically trained in Commercial Loss scenarios and this is one of the first things they learn when attending an Institute Of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) class.

Drying and restoring commercial properties can be very complex and pose a multitude of situations not typically found in residential properties. Some of the differences between commercial and residential properties are obvious, such as size and uses, but others may not be that obvious like intricacies in HVAC systems, and complex electrical systems.

Other differences in commercial and residential structures that may concern a restorer will be things like public access, multiple stakeholders, construction materials & building codes, as well as the potential for increased safety issues in a commercial property.

Our certified Commercial Drying Specialists know the differences between commercial and residential properties and can “change hats” instantly from one to the other with very little effort. This ability to understand and adapt to these differences is one of the many things that help our restorers stand out in the restoration industry. It is also the reason that the majority of municipalities, utility companies, property management firms, healthcare facilities, and school systems in our area trust SERVPRO for all their restoration and cleaning needs.

SERVPRO is also on the cutting edge of document drying science and have the ability to dry, clean, sanitize, and restore documents once deemed unsalvageable a few years ago. This can save a business thousands of dollars and major headaches if these documents are ever needed to be produced.

Another advantage SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall has over other restoration companies is that although our local franchise can produce most commercial jobs on our own, if we get a job that is beyond our local capabilities, we can have our Corporate Large Loss Division assist us with staff and equipment to handle any size disaster.

Knowing the differences between residential and commercial properties is very important in our industry and if a restorer does not understand those differences, it could lead to catastrophic results from safety issues, or much higher cost of a commercial project than is necessary. Trust your business to the pros in the know, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall. We are standing by 24/7/365 for ALL your restoration and cleaning needs.

What To Do If You Suspect There Is Mold in the Air Ducts

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Male technician cleaning industrial air conditioner indoors Hire professionals to clean the system

Prevent From Shutting Down Your Business Due To A Mold Problem

While your HVAC system helps keep your employees comfortable during the workday, its vents can also facilitate the spread of black mold throughout your property. To prevent a mold problem from shutting down your Pen Argyl, PA, business, you need to clean contaminated air ducts as soon as possible.

Cleaning Air Vent Mold

If you see black dust or smell a musty odor in your ducts, you may have a mold problem. You should then follow the below steps.

1. Contact an Inspector
First, you should bring in a certified inspector to confirm whether your building actually has mold. After all, you do not want to spend thousands of dollars cleaning up spores that are actually harmless.

2. Examine the Insulation
If there is mold present in the system, you should next check the insulation near the ducts. Contaminated insulation should be replaced.

3. Disinfect and Clean the System
Unless the infestation is minor, you should not try to scrub the black mold yourself. Instead, you should hire professionals who know the right way to eliminate the spores.

4. Discover the Cause
You then need to work with the experts to discover the source of the mold growth. You can then take steps to stop the mold from returning.

Preventing Air Vent Mold
Indeed, while the actual black mold cleanup should be left to the professionals, there are steps you can take to limit the growth of the fungus within your HVAC system. Mold thrives in dirty, dusty areas. By changing your air conditioning filter regularly, you can stop the buildup of debris that leads to mold contamination.
Similarly, mold does not grow that much in clean ducts. You should thus have the ducts cleansed at least twice per year.
If you do not properly clean and maintain your air ducts, black mold can contaminate your entire building. You should thus regularly check the HVAC system for odors or dust and contact mold remediation professionals if you suspect a problem.

How a Winter Storm Can Damage Your Business

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling panels damaged huge hole in roof from rainwater leakage.Water damaged ceiling . Roof damage in Bangor, PA

How a Winter Storm Can Damage Your Business

Following a severe winter storm, your Bangor, PA business building can suffer from damages to these areas.

Roof
Gutters
Windows
Interior

Although extreme weather can compromise the exterior, the following conditions can lead to interior devastation.

Snow
During the winter, a roof can collapse or crack if it cannot withstand the weight of snow and ice that doesn't run off or melt. Small cracks or fissures can also cause melting snow and ice on a roof to leak into a building leading to potential flooding and mold development.

Ice
Snow and rain can freeze after it rolls into gutters. When these channels cannot direct additional water off a roof, it can accumulate across its surface and enter a building through small cracks and fissures that not be apparent. The resulting moisture within a building's walls and framework can ultimately promote mold growth that can spread to other areas.

Wind
Strong wind from a winter storm can deposit heavy objects on a roof, send debris crashing through windows or cause trees to fall on your building. When heavy rain or snow accompanies wind, gallons of water can enter a building through wind-damaged areas. The result can be widespread flooding, electrical fire, and mold development.

Temperature
As winter temperatures drop, water in uninsulated pipes can freeze. Icy water particles can expand, forcing unfrozen water toward the interior faucet faster than the pipe can accommodate it. Immense water pressure can cause the pipe to burst, causing gallons of water to flood your business. It is essential to prevent mold formation by extracting excess water quickly.
Winter storm damage can happen to your building's exterior and interior, even if you keep up with maintenance and repairs. Fortunately, you can count on a Bangor, PA disaster restoration company to help clean up, restore and prevent further damage so that you can focus on running your business.