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After a Home Fire Remediate Fire and Water Damage

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

firefighters parked outside of a home on fire Fire damage in Wind Gap, PA.

Fire and Water Damage

Once the fire department stops the blaze, homeowners in Wind Gap, PA, are left with the daunting task of repairing the fire damage. First thoughts likely revolve around fixing the charred walls and smoky odor; much of the property's trouble, though, could actually stem from water damage. In fact, a fire restoration company must attend to the moisture issues first before eliminating the ash. Here are three things to understand about tending to the premise's destruction.

1. Why Is Water Troublesome?
To eliminate the flames, the fire crew used hoses and tons of water. At the time, it was absolutely necessary in order to minimize the home's harm. Water damage, however, can cause issues such as rot, mildew and mold. The fluid soaks into porous materials, and it doesn't dry up easily. This humidity can trigger fungal spore growth. To avoid this complication, experts assess the structure and begin to dry it out immediately. They run dehumidifiers around the clock, use moisture readers to ensure appropriate levels are reached and extract drenched materials that cannot be salvaged.

2. What Do Teams Do About the Ash?
With mold spread under control, the specialists tend to the fire damage. Using highly specialized equipment, ash and soot are removed from surfaces, including ceilings, walls and floors. The entire vicinity is washed and then sanitized. Content cleaning crews assess and salvage personal belongings and electronics as well. It may seem lost, but it's possible, with the right techniques, it's okay to keep.

3. How Is Odor Eliminated?
The fire hose took out the conflagration, but it didn't remove the unpleasant aroma. Opening windows may provide some relief, but it's hard to handle this stench on your own. Remediation employees investigate the source of the smell and use sophisticated technology to eradicate it from the residence.
Fire damage alone is a lot to handle, but it's essential for homeowners to realize that water damage is pivotal too. To get the home back in order, residents should care for both issues.

The Value of Regular Water Heater Maintenance

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Man works on a hot water heater with a pipe wrench Your water heater should be maintained regularly.

Nowadays, a modern home is filled with miraculous devices that many people take for granted. At the press of a button, the flick of a switch or the turning of a handle, people have access to running water, controlled cooking flames and light. The water heater is one such amazing device. It essentially brings hot water to your fingertips whenever you want it. Your unit requires little in the way of maintenance and it will last a good ten years in most cases. With a little maintenance and extra care, though, you might be able to extend the lifespan of your unit and maybe even avoid a damaging water spill.

Indications Your Water Heater Is Misbehaving

As with any other appliance or mechanical device, your hot water tank will show signs of trouble if something is amiss. This often comes in the form of unusual sounds. If you hear any of the following, it could be a good indication your device is in a bit of trouble:

  • Cracking, popping and rumbling
  • Humming
  • Knocking or hammering
  • Screaming and screeching
  • Tapping

Upon hearing any of these sounds, it is time to take action. Either call a licensed plumber or attempt to troubleshoot the situation yourself. In many cases, the problem is minor and the adjustment of a valve or the replacement of a piece of hardware is the solution. At times, a water heater flush is needed to remove sediments that have collected on the bottom of the tank.

Implications of Neglect

If you are not careful and vigilant, your water heater can fail all at once, emptying forty or fifty gallons of water into your home in Easton, PA. This can cause damage to flooring and other elements of the house. To mitigate the situation, the services of a water damage franchise are often needed to clean up the area and minimize damages. Any appliances that use water should be maintained regularly to avoid a water spill in your home.

When Emergencies Strike, Responsiveness Matters

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded office Commercial water damage in Coffeetown, PA.

When Emergencies Strike, Responsiveness Matters

Natural disasters and emergencies can happen in Coffeetown, PA, without warning, leaving your business vulnerable to extensive property damage that requires professional cleanup and costly repairs. It can be difficult to know what to do and who to call first in the midst of a stressful situation, so it's helpful to have a plan in place before the worst happens. It's also an excellent idea to identify your go-tos for remediation and claim services so you'll have the right numbers on hand when you need them. Time is of the essence, and the faster the response, the greater your chances are of minimizing damage and loss.

Faster To Arrive on the Scene
When you're in a crisis, the last thing you want is to wait a long time for help to arrive. An emergency response team like SERVPRO will be onsite within 24 hours, prepared with the manpower and tools needed to promptly begin the remediation process. They will get to work right away assessing, cleaning, and fixing the damage. Less time to arrival means less damage and less money to shell out.

Faster To Itemize Damage
An emergency response team understands the insurance claims process well and knows that repairing is almost always less expensive than replacing. They are also experienced at itemizing damage and collecting the information that will help you get to work on your claim before the claim services adjustor arrives. This speeds the process along so the insurance company can focus on its priorities and you can receive your reimbursement check as quickly as possible.

Faster To Get You Up and Running
The primary goal of your insurance company and remediation service is to get you back in business quickly for as little money as possible, which is your goal as well. Having a response team that works together with your insurance company makes the whole process go faster and more smoothly for everyone.
As a Coffeetown, PA, business owner, you need a full-service emergency response team that is preferred by insurance companies nationwide to work with their claim services. Together, they'll help you restore your property and your peace of mind.

What To Do If a Pipe Bursts in Your Commercial Building

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

wet carpet, standing water, water damage in an office. Water damage in Stockertown, PA.

If You Encounter Bursting Pipes Here Are Some Steps You Should Take

Older commercial properties are particularly broken to frozen pipes. However, this phenomenon can occur in newer buildings as well. Water flowing through any cold, uninsulated pipes may freeze into ice. As the ice expands, it can put pressure on the pipes until they break. This could lead to massive water damage in Stockertown, PA.

1. Shut Off the Water and Electricity
The water will continue to escape from the burst pipe until you shut off the main valve. Make sure that everyone in the building knows where this valve is. You should also turn off the electricity in the damaged part of the property. This will prevent electrocutions during the drying process.

2. Call a Professional
A broken pipe can leave you with a huge puddle of water in your building. The water may also soak your walls, carpets, or ceilings. Over time, this could lead to the growth of mold that causes even further damage. You thus need to contact emergency cleanup professionals as soon as you discover the bursting pipes. Look for a company that provides 24-hour service. Even a few-hour delay could have severe consequences.

3. Take Preventative Measures
Once the cleanup is complete, talk to the experts about limiting additional pipe breaks. They can tell you how to spot and thaw frozen pipes before they burst. You can use warm washcloths or hair dryers to heat up the pipes. You may also want to keep a trickle of water flowing through the pipes at all times. This will stop the water from freezing.
Frozen pipes can flood your Stockertown, PA, property during the winter. If this happens to you, turn off the water immediately and contact experts who know how to fix a broken pipe. The professionals can also help you prevent bursting pipes in the future.

4 Things To Know About Commercial Insurance and Mold Damage

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on ceiling Mold damage on ceiling in a Churchville, PA building

Important Points Related To Insurance And Mold Issues

One of your most valuable assets for your business is your commercial insurance. The ideal policy protects your company from a wide variety of perils such as fire, water damage, vandalism, and certain types of liability. The right policy makes sure that you will not be saddled with huge costs that can bankrupt your business. A full understanding of how your insurance works is hard to come by, but speaking with your insurance provider on a regular basis helps. Here are a few important points related to insurance and mold issues.

1. Mold Damage. Many insurers offer limited coverage for damage to your building because of mold. Your insurance company might reimburse you for costs related to mold repair, removal, and restoration.

2. Owner Responsibility. A commercial insurance company takes a hard look at claims that are caused by neglect. For example, if mold is allowed to grow in a building for months or even longer, the insurance provider is likely to deny or limit the scope of a claim. For this reason, if your company experiences a water issue, often a precursor to mold growth, or if mold is found, it is important to take quick action. A local mold mitigation company in Churchville, PA, can help you get an outbreak under control.

3. Mold Remediation. A professional team has the experience and knowledge to eradicate mold colonies from your building. Technicians will locate the presence of mold, identify the cause of the outbreak and work to restore your building to its original condition. A quality remediation company can help you document expenses and damages for a mold insurance claim.

4. Professional Restoration. In addition to causing musty odors and air quality issues, mold also can break down the structural integrity of materials such as drywall and carpeting. Commercial insurance will often pay for this restoration expense. To find out more, contact your insurance agent for information on your coverage for mold concerns.

Replace Your Leaking Toilet in 3 Simple Steps

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Plumber replacing broken toilet in a washroom Installing a new leak-free toilet

Follow The Steps Below and Avoid Mishaps

A leaking toilet can result in structural damage to your home; sometimes, they even require a water damage restoration specialist. But that doesn't have to happen. Tackling the problem early can help you avoid damage and more extensive repairs later on. Luckily, it only requires a few tools and some basic DIY skills to replace an old toilet.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Toilet repair is something that pretty much every homeowner will have to handle at some point, so you will want to have the right tools for the job. Here's what you'll want to have on hand to replace a leaking toilet:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Both Phillips and slotted screwdrivers
  • Small hacksaw
  • Putty knife
  • Bucket
  • Large rag or piece of cardboard

Step 2: Remove the Existing Toilet
Once you have the right tools together, you can begin to address the offending toilet. Using the shut off valve, turn off the water. Flush the toilet to drain most of the tank and scoop whatever remains into a bucket or nearby drain.
Carefully uncover the bolts attaching the bowl to the floor. Using the adjustable wrench, loosen and remove the nuts. Lift the bowl straight up and off the bolts, then scrape the excess wax from the bottom. Place it off to the side on a large piece of cardboard or a heavy towel. Remove any wax remaining around the toilet flange.

Step 3: Install the New One
Now comes the fun part: Installing your new leak-free toilet. Install an appropriate replacement wax ring onto the flange. Note that the closet bolts are installed into the gasket. Place the bowl of your toilet over the bolts and press gently to seat it. Tighten the nuts evenly until it is firmly secured and trim off the excess bolt length with the hacksaw. Now you can install a new water supply line to the shutoff valve and toilet supply, then flush the toilet a few times to check for leaks.
Replacing a leaking toilet is a straightforward process that many homeowners in Palmer Township, PA, can accomplish. Be sure to use patience and follow the steps carefully to avoid any mishaps.

Can Office Electronics Be Cleaned After a Fire?

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Computer keyboard with fire flame and the words DO NOT USE Do not use electrical equipment that has been exposed to heat

The owner of a commercial property affected by fire may weigh the advantages of attempting to have office electronics cleaned and restored or replacing these appliances, computers, and devices to avoid an electrical fire. The following pointers are helpful for determining whether experts may be able to restore device functionality or retrieve important data.

Assess the Level of Damage

Electronics exposed to direct flame or very high temperatures that show signs of charring or melting may not be salvageable. Seek a professional opinion about items exposed to the following forms of indirect damage:

  • Heat
  • Smoke
  • Soot

Content restoration professionals specializing in computer cleanup and recovery can determine whether the functionality of a computer or any other device can be restored or data can be retrieved and transferred to replacement electronics.

Address Heat and Smoke Damage
Temperatures in a building fire peak at thousands of degrees. Electronics exposed to direct flame are likely to be ruined, and internal components may actually fuel an electrical fire. Computers and devices that are not directly affected may suffer damage but still be candidates for cleaning or recovering data.

Advance With Cleanup or Data Recovery
It may be possible to use electronics that have been shielded from immediate exposure to fire. Have content cleaning professionals who specialize in restoring digital equipment inspect these devices before use, as smoke damage can cause an internal film to form and cause short-circuiting, overheating, and an elevated risk of another fire in the future.
The degree of damage that is caused by exposure to direct flame, high heat or soot, and smoke will determine whether content restoration experts can restore the functionality of electronics or retrieve important data from storage media to transfer over to replacement devices. Commercial property owners and occupants should exercise caution with fire-damaged electronics to reduce electrical fire risks at a structure in Churchville, PA.

4 Tips for Protecting Your Home From a Flood

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! Shut off electricity at your breaker panel

Measures To Take To Increase Flood Safety

Flooding causes billions of dollars in damage to homes and other property every year in the United States. It is not practical to flood-proof your home; however, there are measures you can enact to increase flood safety and reduce flood damage.

1. Locate Electrical Equipment Above Flood Level
Wiring, circuit breakers, switches, and sockets should be installed at least one foot higher than the expected flood level in your area. If your water heater, furnace, or other anchored indoor equipment is not already above the flood level, modify it so that it is.

2. Don't Forget Last Minute Measures
Some flood safety steps should be taken far in advance, but there are still steps you can take when flooding is imminent. Clean debris out of your gutters and downspouts. Shut off electricity at your breaker panel. Place major appliances on concrete blocks. Move furniture, electronics, rugs, and other valuable contents to the top floor of your home. If your belongings get wet, consider contacting a flood restoration company in Stockertown, PA, to clean and dry them.

3. Elevate and Anchor Outdoor Equipment
Fuel tanks, generators, and air-conditioning units located below the flood level outdoors can break free causing ground contamination. Elevate these items above the flood level and anchor them so they can not easily be swept away.

4. Modify Your Landscaping
Observe how water flows around your house during a rainstorm. If it is collecting in areas near your home, it can be helpful to modify your landscaping to direct water away from your home. Consider adding features such as swales or rain gardens. If your yard doesn't slope away from your home, you may need to have it graded. Add native plants that increase drainage.
Having a flood safety plan is critical for protecting your family and your home from flood hazards. These four safety tips can help you prepare for a flood situation in your home.

3 Mold Questions Answered

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on ceiling Mold damage in Bangor, PA

When your property in Bangor, PA, starts to develop a musty smell, your first worry might be black mold. Before you panic, ask yourself if you know enough about mold to be sure that it is the reason your business needs a good scrubbing.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that spreads through airborne spores. There are many species of mold, but here are some common types and where they can be found:

  • Aspergillus grows on starchy foods such as potatoes
  • Penicillium cultivates in damp areas like basements
  • Cladosporium spreads in fabrics and carpets
  • Stachybotrys chartarum or “black mold” thrives in wet, humid areas

Identifying mold is not an easy task. Many species look similar and change throughout their growth, so asking a mold remediation specialist is the best way to know what is growing on your wall.

What Causes Mold to Grow?
Mold needs moisture, nutrients and time. All of these can be found in your building. Moisture can come from a leaky pipe or a poorly ventilated bathroom. Mold feeds on cellulose, which is found in building materials like wood and drywall. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it only takes mold 24 to 48 hours to settle. If you have a moisture problem hidden in your ceiling, mold will have the time it needs to grow.

What Does Finding Mold Mean?
When you find mold, look for the water issue that is aiding mold growth and get it repaired. Simply spraying the fungus with bleach will not get rid of all of the spores, so ask an expert for help. Mold cleanup is a process that includes inspection, containment, air filtration and removal of contaminated materials. While extensive, this process ensures that the job is done right.
Any type of mold, not just black mold, is a concern, but by understanding the fungus, you have already taken the first step to keeping it out of your business.

3 Tips To Keep Your Property’s Pipes From Freezing

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Icicles hanging from a frozen water jets, tube, yellow pipe. aged wall background. winter time concept Prevent water damage from frozen pipes in your business

3 Tips To Keep Your Property’s Pipes From Freezing

The last thing you want as a business owner is to open your building on a cold morning and find that your pipes have frozen. Preventing water damage from frozen pipes means being proactive and readying your facility for the oncoming winter in Bethel, PA.

1. Check Your Valves
Shut-off valves are the fastest way to stop water flow, so they need to be checked to make sure they are operating properly and can be shut off quickly in case of an emergency. They are your first line of defense against flooding and help minimize water cleanup for the commercial restoration company you hire for repairs. Inspect valves on your property weekly and repair or replace any that are showing signs of wear.

2. Inspections
Routine inspections will keep your pipes flowing and more fortified from extreme cold. Inspect your plumbing system regularly for any leaks or corrosion. Making these small repairs will help keep your pipes strong in the winter and water damage at bay.
Autumn roof and HVAC system inspections are important, too. Plumbing runs throughout your building, so having your roof in good condition will help keep the cold weather away from them. Testing your HVAC system ensures that while the roof is protecting your pipes, your furnace can keep them warm. Your facility should be kept above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the risk of freezing.

3. Protect External Pipes
Remember that you might have pipes that run outside of your facility or in indoor areas that are not heated. To avoid broken pipes in these places, insulate them yourself with pipe insulation that can be found at almost any hardware store, or you can hire a plumbing expert to help you.
Water damage is a problem anytime during the year, but even more so in the winter. By being prepared, you can protect your pipes from the bitter cold and keep your facility up and running.