If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (610) 559-9380

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Winter Weather Water Damage

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Snow covered house Snow covered house

With the impending wintry mix that is expected this week in the Lehigh Valley, we figured that  it would be a good chance to remind people of the most common water damage events that can happen due to cold weather and snow. For many in the US, the thought of getting home water damage from a cold snap doesn’t even register on their radar. But the truth is, any home can be susceptible to cold weather.  

Ice dam formations on your roof

This is more common in colder climates where snow and cold weather tend to stick around throughout the winter. But ice dams cause a significant amount of water damage each year and can oftentimes becomes a black mold damage problem as well if left untreated. There’s a number of different techniques people apply to try and rid themselves of existing ice dams, but the truth is these can actually hurt your roof and cause more lasting long term damage. So do yourself a favor and read up on the subject so you don’t have to deal with water damage from ice dams.

Roof damages from high winds

Winter storms can often bring with them damaging winds that can rip shingles off your roof. Just a small amount of damaged or missing shingles can end up allowing a lot of water into your attic and/or home if rain or snow accompany the winds. If possible, have a roofing company check your roof after a strong wind storm just to make sure you don’t have any damages that could cause significant water damage.

Pipe bursts

By far the most common winter weather related water damage comes from frozen pipes that burst. It happens all the time when temperatures plunge. If you live in a colder climate, it usually happens when an exterior hose spigot or other pipe in the crawlspace/basement is exposed to the elements. Make sure your pipes are insulated or you’re at risk of some serious flooding issues!

Snowmelt

Melting snow can impact any home, whether it has a basement, crawlspace, or a slab foundation. If enough snow ends up piling up next to your foundation, it’s going to create a lot of water once it melts. Hopefully when it does melt, your lawn slopes away from your house but if not you could end up with hundreds of gallons of water lurking next to your house. With that much water, over time it’s going to soak into and through your foundation and cause damage inside your property!

While these certainly aren’t the only way hazardous winter weather can cause costly water damage, they are the most common causes we see each winter. So like we always say on this blog, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Water damage costs can be high, and many types of damage aren’t covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. So it’s safest to take preventative steps on your own to make sure you greatly reduce the chances you end up with a problem on your hands!

Call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall at 800-455-9453 this winter!

Preparing your HVAC Systems for the Cold Weather Ahead

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

With cold weather rolling in, so is an increased fire risk. Why, you may ask? Home heating systems or temporary heating systems cause serious fire risks and are one of the highest causes of fires in homes. Here are a few tips for you before the cold weather fully hits and heating becomes a must.

  • Make sure that your electric or temporary heater is not plugged into a power strip. It should always be plugged directly into a wall
  • Do not leave an electric heater unattended
  • Inspect HVAC systems to make sure that there is no faulty wiring
  • Change the filters in your system
  • Be sure to consult your instruction manuals before making any changes to the location or set up of any heating system or portable heaters

To add another level of safety be sure to have smoke alarms installed in your home and test them regularly. Having a home fire extinguisher is also recommended item to keep you and your family safe. Please see the link below for more tips on how to make sure you are ready for this winter.

Information sourced from: https://www.esfi.org/resource/space-heater-safety-tips-146

Heating Systems and the Fire Risks Associated

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

With cold weather rolling in, so is an increased fire risk. Why, you may ask? Home heating systems or temporary heating systems cause serious fire risks and are one of the higher causes of fires in homes. Here are a few tips for you before the cold weather fully hits and heating becomes a must.

  • Make sure that your electric or temporary heater is not plugged into a power strip. It should always be plugged directly into a wall
  • Do not leave a electric heater unattended
  • Inspect HVAC systems to make sure that there is no faulty wiring
  • Change the filters in your system

To add another level of safety be sure to have smoke alarms installed in your home and test them regularly. Having a home fire extinguisher is another must have item to keep you and your family safe. Please see the link below for more tips on how to make sure you are ready for this winter.

Information sourced from: https://www.esfi.org/resource/space-heater-safety-tips-146

How to Prevent a Chimney Fire

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Roof Top Chimney Fire Prevent chimney fires from happening in your home

Imagine you’re curled up in your favorite blanket, surrounded by your loved ones during the cold winter months. But, what happens if you have a chimney fire; have we thought about how to prevent a chimney fire in our homes?

Here are 7 ways to prevent a chimney fire:

  • Have Your Chimney and Fireplace Cleaned and Inspected Annually- A damaged chimney can spread fire to the surrounding areas in your home. A dirty chimney with a lot of creosote and soot buildup is dangerous because these materials burn at very high temperatures, spreading the fire. It is therefore important to have your chimney and fireplace checked annually. For best results, use the services of a certified chimney sweep. Annual cleaning of the chimney will ensure better passage for the smoke and exhaust gases, in addition to regular removal of dangerous creosote.
  • Build Small Fires- A small fire that burns well does not produce as much creosote as a large fire that is burning slowly. This is because a fire that burns brightly produces lesser smoke and soot, thereby reducing the buildup on the inside of the chimney. Small fires are also safer and easier to control.
  • Use Seasoned Wood- Dry, seasoned wood is the best choice for starting a fire. This is because wet wood burns slowly, creating more smoke, which condenses on the inside of the chimney. This results in an increase in the creosote deposits in your chimney. To build any fire, always use wood that has been seasoned for 6 months or longer.
  • Never Use Paper or Combustible Liquids in the Fireplace- Never use combustible materials or liquids to start a fire. The flames can get out of hand very quickly, resulting in disaster. Never burn paper, garbage, plants, Christmas trees or wrapping paper in a fireplace. These materials can float up the chimney when aflame and ignite the creosote deposits on top, resulting in a chimney fire.
  • Use a Chimney Liner- A chimney liner is an essential part of a fire prevention plan. Chimney liners provide better air flow, better exhaust passage for combustion gases and also protect the chimney structure from excessive heating and exhaust fumes. As a result, your chimney is easier to keep clean. The chimney structure is protected from damage, thereby reducing the chances of a chimney fire.
  • Install a Chimney Cap- A chimney cap prevents unwanted elements in your chimney. Animals or birds setting up residence in the chimney could ignite a chimney fire. Also, leaves or twigs that could fall inside are highly flammable and can result in a chimney fire.
  • Ensure Good Air Supply- Restriction in the air supply to the fireplace aids in the formation of creosote. To improve air flow, ensure that the fireplace damper is fully open. Leave the glass doors open to ensure that the air supply is not cut off while the fire is burning.

In case you do have a chimney fire, here are 6 steps to put it out:

  • Step 1 - Safety First- As soon as you are aware that the chimney is on fire, evacuate all family members and pets from the building, and call the fire department. Even if you do end up extinguishing the fire by yourself, it is always a good idea to have firefighters on their way in the event that things go wrong. Before attempting to put out the chimney fire, evaluate the situation to ensure it is safe for you to tackle it yourself. Make sure you put on heat-proof gloves as well.
  • Step 2 - Close Openings- Close any primary or secondary openings into the fireplace or chimney. This helps to deprive the fire of the oxygen it needs to keep burning. This may eliminate smaller fires altogether or just lessen the flames in something larger. You will also lessen the chances of any embers taking light after you've put the fire out.
  • Step 3 - Put Out the Fire in the Grate- Tip a generous amount of sand or baking soda onto the fire. This also helps to starve the flames of oxygen. Keeping a bucket of sand by your fireplace at all times is generally a good, practical idea that might just save your home!
  • Step 4 - Try a Fire Suppressant- A few products are available on the market to help get rid of dangerous fires. Chimfex is similar to a road flare. Once lit, it is tossed into the fire where it consumes all the available oxygen in the flow path. These are fairly inexpensive and have a decent shelf-life. FireEx is another such product that tends to be a bit more expensive, but airtight plastic packaging ensures that it has an indefinite shelf-life. It is a good idea to have a few of these products handy at all times if you use your fireplace frequently.
  • Step 5 - Use a Fire Extinguisher- To be on the safe side, you can use a fire extinguisher on the flames as well. This should left to the last as extinguishers can create a big mess. Direct the nozzle towards the grate and spray in short bursts to make sure that any glowing embers or flames that didn't get extinguished by the sand are completely out. Don't stand too close when using the fire extinguisher as the pressure from the nozzle can throw glowing embers into the air.
  • Step 6 - Hose the Chimney Stack- When you are satisfied that the fire in the grate is no longer alight, go outside and hose-down the chimney. Do this from a standing position. If you have a power attachment on your hose, use it as you will find it much easier to direct the water towards where you need it. Use only a fine mist; the heat from the fire will turn it into steam that will help dampen what's left of the fire. Only perform this maneuver if you're confident that you know the right amount of water to use, as too much can end up damaging the flue liner.

Have a safe and cozy winter from SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall!

800-455-9453

Snow Predictions in the Lehigh Valley for 2019- 2020 Winter Season

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Camel on the side of road in the Lehigh Valley Snow Predictions in the Lehigh Valley

We are coming towards the end of October, which means winter is slowly creeping up on us. This winter season, we want you to be prepared on how cold it will be and when the snow might start.

Here’s what we know: 

How cold will this winter be?

On an October day when the Lehigh Valley was sweating in 90-degree temperaturesAccuWeather released its long-range winter 2019-20 forecast. According to the forecast: The Northeast as a whole will experience some chilly spells in December, but the real cold comes early in 2020. Above-normal snowfall is expected from New York City to Boston, with rain mixed with snow more likely in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., which will likely put the Lehigh Valley right around the dividing line.

When will we see the first snow?

Data from the National Weather Service shows that the Lehigh Valley on average sees its first snow around Dec. 2. But the actual first-snow date here has a fairly wide range. The earliest measurable snowfall of the season was an inch that fell on Oct. 10, 1979. The latest, on the other hand, was during the winter of 1999-2000 when snow held off until Jan. 13.

While AccuWeather says the first snow should arrive on time, its 2019-20 winter forecast says the worst wintry weather will be delayed: The harshest cold is expected after New Year’s, along with storms and above-average precipitation.

Be Prepared with Team EBW!

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall

800-455-9453

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes and What to Do if They Freeze Anyway

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

Brrrr it’s cold in here! There might be some frozen pipes in your house this year! Frigid winter temperatures can cause pipes to freeze – or even burst. Do you know how to tell if pipes are frozen? Here are some tips to help prevent frozen pipes and a list of suggestions for you to follow if they do freeze.

SYMPTOMS of Frozen Pipes 

One of the earliest signs of a frozen pipe is when no water comes out of your faucet when you turn it on. If you notice that, head first to the basement and check to see that the water is still turned on and that you don’t have a leak. Once you’ve confirmed these two things, continue your inspection to make sure one of your pipes has not burst.

If your search reveals that your pipes are frozen but none have ruptured, you have two choices:

  • Call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes. This is a good idea if you don’t think you can safely thaw the pipes yourself, you don’t know where the frozen pipes are or you can’t access the frozen area.
  • Attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself. Be aware this option can be dangerous if not done correctly.

How to FIX Frozen Pipes

If you attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself, keep the following tips in mind:
 

  • Keep your faucet open. Water and steam will be created during the thawing process, and your pipes need an opening to discharge this. Keeping the faucet open also allows for moving water to run through the pipe, which will expedite the thawing process.
  • Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen. This can be done by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, heating the area with a hair dryer or both. If you lack either of these items, using towels soaked in hot water will help as well.
  • Know what not to do. Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes. You should also avoid using a space heater unless you are sure the area is clear of any flammable material.
  • Continue applying heat until water flow returns to normal. Once you have successfully thawed the pipe, turn on other faucets in your home to check for any more frozen water pipes.
  • Take swift action if the frozen pipes are located inside an exterior wall. Cut a hole in the wall toward the inside of the house to expose those pipes to warmer air.

How to PREVENT Frozen Pipes

While we can’t control the weather, there are things we can do to prevent pipes from freezing. To prevent pipes from freezing and causing major damage, follow these steps:
 

  • Drain water from pipes that are likely to freeze. This includes your swimming pool and sprinkler water supply lines.
  • Disconnect any hoses from the outside of your home, drain the hoses and store them in the garage. Make sure to close the indoor valves supplying these outdoor access points.
  • Insulate the area around vents and light fixtures. This helps prevent heat from escaping into the attic.
  • Seal any wall cracks. Be sure to pay careful attention to the areas around utility service lines.
  • Open kitchen cabinets. This allows the warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Keep the garage doors closed to protect water lines.
  • Allow your faucets to drip cold water on the coldest days. The movement will make it harder for the water to freeze.
  • Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Never let it fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you leave your home.
  • Ensure you have proper seals on all doors and windows.
  • Place a 60-watt bulb in areas where you’re concerned about pipes freezing. Make sure there are no combustible materials near the bulb.

Call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall if you experience frozen pipes this winter season! 800-455-9453

Commercial Services | Industrial Hygienists

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

Industrial Hygienist writing on a clipboard wearing safety vest and hard hat Commercial Services - Industrial Hygienists

Do you have a mold problem or just a dirty basement? To answer these questions professionals, need to be consulted to find scientific answers. Industrial Hygienists are specialists in identifying issues in workplaces or public facilities that could pose risk to those occupying the building. They can provide testing, protocols and consulting to help mitigate, remediate or eliminate these issues.

When dealing with mold there are two tests that can be performed to discover if you truly have an issue or not. The first test is the Indoor Air Quality test. During this test a sample of air is taken utilizing an air pump and special filter that traps air particles that will later be analyzed by a lab. Based on the particles collected the I.H. can determine how contaminated the air is. The second type of test is called a lift test. This is used to identify how contaminated surfaces are. A sticky tape is utilized to take a sample to be analyzed by a lab. Either way before jumping to conclusions about mold be sure that you have the proper science being used to back up your decisions.

Commercial Real Estate Services

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Two people looking out over a city skyline from a large office window Commercial Real Estate Services

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall offers a complete collection of real estate services for both residential and commercial facilities alike. While commercial real estate and residential real estate have similar goals, their clients are much different. Business professionals expect a lot from real estate brokers. They require immediate attention and quick solutions to keep their business running.

SERVPRO can offer commercial carpet cleaning, deodorization services, duct cleaning, drape cleaning or upholstery cleaning. For emergency situations we also offer crime scene clean up or biohazard clean up services. Lastly, if a business requires a fit out for their new space, we also offer post construction clean ups. So, if you’re in the Commercial real estate profession, reach out to us so we can show you how SERVPRO can be a vital asset to your business.

800-455-9453

Commercial Water Damage | Tenant Safety

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Man standing in a flooded office with over a foot of water Commercial Water Damage

Commercial facilities are filled with a variety of different tenants. Any given building may house anything from a manufacturing company to a law firm. However, one thing remains the same. Most people have never been faced with the challenges and chaos that large scale water damages can bring. Here are a list of things you should keep in mind NOT to do if faced with a water damage.

DO NOT

  • Enter rooms with deep water that could have electrical hazards
  • Enter any water effected area that may be under construction or have any electrical issues
  • Leave rugs or any important documents in water damaged areas
  • Turn on or off any appliances such as computers, laptops, TV’s monitors, etc
  • Turn on lights or ceiling fans with water damaged ceilings

Always have a plan in place on how to deal with a disaster. If you do not already have one in place reach out to SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall. We can provide a free Emergency Ready Profile for your business at any time.

800-455-9453

Commercial Services | Document Drying

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Large document drying chamber in a warehouse SERVPRO Document Drying Chamber

Are you a business professional that has a facility that is required to maintain documents for a set period of time? Lawyers, Dentists, Offices, Medical service providers and a whole host of other types of facilities are filled with vital documents. After a disaster these types of locations may be left with a big problem on their hands. How do they get their paperwork back so they can function or meet legal requirements?

Look no further than SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall. We are fully equipped with our own document restoration chamber and document restoration specialists. No matter where you are in the country, we can help facilitate the shipping, storage, and restoration of your documents. Whether is one filing cabinet or a whole library don’t let wet or damage documents put you behind the eight ball.

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall

800-455-9453

Where to Look for Mold in Your Home

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can grow virtually anywhere—in any room of any house, in any commercial building and in any storage room. That said, some areas are more prone to mold problems than others. Knowing where to look for mold can help you detect, eliminate and prevent the problem.

Here are some common places you will find mold

  • Basements: Flooding, leaks, condensation, poor ventilation… The basement tends to be very moist, especially if you have had any flooding down there. Concrete floors in basements are a great place for mold to grow, as are the corners of your walls. The floor being cooler than the humid air causes condensation, which leads to moisture, causing mold.
  • Kitchens: Cooking, washing, inefficient exhaust fans…
  • Bathrooms: Showering, steam, leaks, inefficient exhaust fans… If you are not cleaning, and allowing your shower to dry often enough, if you are not drying your floors after you step out of the shower, and if you are not allowing air to circulate your washroom during, and after you shower, that can all cause mold to grow. The steam from your shower makes the perfect home for mold; it is so warm, and damp. When you finish showering and close the door behind you, not allowing it to air out, not only will your washroom smell like a wet towel, but it greatly facilitates the growth of mold.
  • Attics: Poor ventilation, insufficient air circulation, roof damage…
  • Crawlspaces: Leaks, moisture intrusion, poor ventilation… Your crawl space is usually dusty, which feeds the mold, and damp, which the mold needs to survive. So make sure you don’t neglect your crawlspace, every once in a while, go check it out, make sure it is clean, get any dust out of there, and take a good look at the corners, the walls, the ceiling, and the floor.
  • Laundry rooms: Washing, inefficient exhaust fans…
  • Air Conditioners: Leaks, moisture, poor ventilation… Another place that can cause mold in your home is your air conditioner. They are perfect for helping mold to grow. They cause a difference in temperature, which results in condensation, and they circulate dusty air. Make sure that if you have an air conditioner, you have clean, mold reducing filters, and you check it regularly for any signs of mold. If you see any mold on it, shut it off, put on a mask, to avoid breathing the mold spores in, and clean it thoroughly with a rag or wet vacuum, and mold cleaner.

Despite your best efforts, mold problems aren’t always visible–sometimes they spread behind walls and ceilings or underneath floorboards. This is often the case when there’s a crack in your home’s foundation, a leaky pipe or some other type of water intrusion. That’s why you should also keep an eye out for mold on drywall, carpets, curtains, wallpaper, wood, furniture, food, plants and soil.

If you find mold in your home, give SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall a call to make it “Like it never even happened.” 800-455-9453

What to Expect for Winter 2019-2020

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Shoveling snow to get car out. Winter is just around the corner.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- the countdown the Christmas begins. But, while we are all dreaming of a white Christmas, here is what to expect this winter according to the Farmers’ Almanac.

The 2020 edition of the Farmers' Almanac predicts that two-thirds of the country will face a colder-than-normal winter season. The worst of this year's bitterly cold winter will affect the eastern parts of the Rockies all the way to the Appalachians. The outlook says the Northeast, including cities such as Boston and Washington, can anticipate colder temperatures than typically expected. The biggest drop will happen in areas across the northern Plains to the Great Lakes. "With colder-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast and above-normal precipitation expected, our outlook forewarns of not only a good amount of snow, but also a wintry mix of rain, sleet—especially along the coast," the long range forecaster suggests. People in the western third of the US may be in luck, since the publication forecasts near-normal winter temperatures there.

When will the cold winter begin? The coldest conditions are expected to arrive during the last week of January and stick around through the beginning of February. The eastern half of the US will have a suspenseful start in 2020. The Farmers' Almanac predicts strong and gusty winds. Depending on where you live, January 4-7 and 12-15 could have "copious amounts" of snow, rain, sleet and ice.

What will this mean for spring 2020? Be prepared to stay bundled for a while. This year's winter will cause a slow start to a spring season, according to the Farmers' Almanac. People in the Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast and New England should expect winter to linger.

Be prepared to bundle up! Stay warm! – SERVPRO Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall – 800-455-9453

Effects of Hurricane Dorian 2019

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Damage from Hurricane Dorian - Top photo in the Bahamas / Bottom photo in North Carolina Hurricane Dorian 2019

As hurricane Dorian set out to sea again, we should still be aware of all the damage that was caused and all the people whose lives were affected by the hurricane.

Fast Facts about Hurricane Dorian

  • Relief efforts intensified in the northern Bahamas, which were decimated by then-Category 5 Hurricane Dorian for 48 hours, leaving an estimated 70,000 people homeless.
  • The Bahamas death toll rose to 45 and was expected to keep climbing. Thousands remained unaccounted for.
  • Dorian made landfall Saturday evening in Nova Scotia as a post-tropical cyclone and still had hurricane-force winds.
  • Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses lost power in Canada; it may take days to restore service.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center declared what was Hurricane Dorian "fully extra-tropical" in what the center said would be its last advisory on the storm. As of 11 p.m. ET Sunday, September 8, 2019, the center said Dorian's core was "over the cold waters of the Labrador Sea" off Canada. It was about 375 miles north of Cape Race, Newfoundland, racing east-northeast at 24 mph with tropical storm-force winds of 60 mph. It was expected to keep weakening and be absorbed by a larger low pressure system Tuesday. Dorian became a hurricane August 28, hit the Virgin Islands, brought catastrophic damage to the northern Bahamas, and then briefly made landfall over North Carolina's Outer Banks as it moved up the U.S. seaboard on its way to Canada. Floodwaters have receded in the Outer Banks, revealing a muddy trail of damage.

The humanitarian crisis in the Bahamas is growing increasingly dire almost a week after Hurricane Dorian made landfall. The death toll now stands at 43 and is expected to significantly rise. Food, water and other supplies are rapidly running out. The U.S. Coast Guard said it has rescued at least 290 people in the Bahamas since the hurricane devastated the string of islands this week. Six MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters conducted search and rescue operations and provided logistical support.

A tropical storm warning was issued Thursday, September 12, 2019 for the Bahamas, less than two weeks after Hurricane Dorian devastated the commonwealth's northwest region as a Category 5 hurricane. The U.S. National Weather Service issued an advisory warning that tropical storm conditions are expected in the northwest Bahamas, including the Abaco Islands, by late Friday. No significant storm surge is anticipated as the storm is only predicted to give off two to four inches of rain.

Stay Safe! – Your SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall Team

800-455-9453

What You Need to Know About Commercial Insurance

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Chalkboard with the word Insurance in the middle with words circling the chalkboard Commercial Insurance

Commercial insurance claims following a major damage to a facility can become difficult to manage if you do not have the proper knowledge or vendor involved with the process. Many projects can become bogged down in red tape or even worse, they may result in the insured having to pay fees out of pocket following a loss. Here is what you should know about your insurance prior to a loss:

  • Who is your insurance carrier?
  • What is your insurance deductible?
  • What does your insurance cover you for?
  • Do you have mold coverage?
  • Do you have any insurance Limits? (for example, do you have a 100,000 cap on contents)
  • Are you self-insured?

Having knowledge of all these areas before a loss occurs can greatly streamline how quickly your claim is processed. It will also help you be able to make informed decisions on how to move forward after a major facility catastrophe. The key is to make sure you have a plan, know your coverage, and have a trusted vendor like SERVPRO to help get you back up and running as quickly as possible.

Types of Weather Damage to Be Aware of in the Lehigh Valley

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

SEVERE WEATHER & STORMS

High-speed wind gusts, heavy rainfall or a combination of both pose a higher risk for property destruction than your basic rain shower. Severe weather storms including thunderstorms, flash floods, hurricanes, hail and tornadoes far surpass average storms with their sheer force and potential for damage.

TYPES OF SEVERE WEATHER TO BE AWARE OF

  • Thunderstorms Severe thunderstorms generate wind gusts greater than 57.5 mph. Winds of this speed can damage shingles, break windows, knock down trees and leave your home susceptible to water damage.
  • Flooding In the right conditions, storms can generate immense amounts of precipitation that quickly saturate the ground, overwhelm drainage systems and swell waterways. Rapidly rising water can easily inundate homes, where it may stay for hours or days before receding.
  • Hail storms Hail storms can cause immense damage to the structure of your home, ranging from creating vulnerabilities in the protection of shingles or siding to clear holes in your roof, windows or walls.

Severe weather can be scary, and the damages to your home can be even worse. When a harsh weather event impacts your home, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall can take care of your water damage needs, as we are always watching the storm patterns and ready to react in your time of need.

WINTER WEATHER

In addition to freezing temperatures, winter weather conditions can include rain, heavy snowfall, ice dams, sleet and blizzards. Dents from hail, roof damage from ice dams, and flooding from frozen and burst pipes and snowmelt are just a few examples of the potential damages that can be wrought by severe winter weather.

WINTER WEATHER TERMS TO KNOW

  • Wind chill advisory Issued when wind chill temperatures are expected to be a significant inconvenience to life with prolonged exposure, and if caution is not exercised, could lead to hazardous exposure.
  • Wind chill warning Issued when wind chill temperatures are expected to be hazardous to life within several minutes of exposure.
  • Dense fog advisory Issued when fog will reduce visibility to ¼ mile or less over a widespread area.
  • Blizzard warning Issued for sustained or gusty winds of 35mph or more, and falling or blowing snow creating visibilities at or below ¼ mile. These conditions should persist for at least three hours.
  • Winter storm watch Alerts the public to the possibility of a blizzard, heavy snow, heavy freezing rain or heavy sleet. Usually issued 12 to 48 hours before a storm begins.
  • Winter storm warning Issued when hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain or heavy sleet is imminent or occurring. Usually issued 12 to 24 hours before event.

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

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. 

Flood Insurance Update - What to do with the new wave of information

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

Living by the water has many rewards. But like most things in this world, those beautiful sunrises and long walks on the beach come at a premium – a flood insurance premium to be exact. Additionally, residents can find getting the right type of coverage from the right carrier isn’t always cut and dry.

There is also the paramount decision of whether to get a policy from the private market or one backed by a federal government program. According to Dawn Becker-Durnin, CSRM, with NFP Insurance with headquarters in Easton, Pennsylvania, the Flood Insurance market is one that is continually changing. The newest update, she explained, at the time of this article, currently surrounding the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a bill introduced on June 10, 2019 by ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), titled H.R.3167-National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019. “This bill is reauthorizing the NFIP until the end of the fiscal year of 2024 which is September 30th of that year,” said Becker-Durnin.

She went on to explain that “the bill includes increased budgeting for mapping, right to appeal and basis to appeal existing maps, increasing the Cost of Compliance from $30,000 to $60,000 as well as coverage for Cooperatives on the same terms as a condominium. Small loan exceptions to Mandatory Purchase Requirements from $5,000 to $25,000 as well as Frequency of Payment Collection amendment from annual to monthly installments. The bill also includes a Continuous Coverage provision allowing borrowers to leave the NFIP to purchase flood insurance privately with the ability to return to NFIP without incurring a penalty.”

Becker-Durnin is quick to point out that the provision is somewhat of a game changer. “The disadvantage to private flood insurance is it is not considered continuous coverage. You lose your grandfathered rate. Hopefully if this bill is passed, they are actually going to state that private insurance will be considered continuous coverage — which is a big deal,” she said.

Part of what makes flood insurance policies so hard to understand is that not everyone needs flood insurance, it is separate from the homeowners policy, and is the responsibility of whomever is on the master deed for an association. “Flood insurance is excluded under property coverage. If a typical condo association that has property coverage has a flood exclusion, you need to go and look at the mapping. Because if a particular condo is in a flood zone, a mortgage lender is going to require flood insurance. The duty of obtaining flood insurance falls on the condo association. Unit owners, even if they are responsible for the interior of their units, wouldn’t be able to purchase building coverage,” explained Becker-Durnin.

Becker-Durnin walked us through a typical protocol that she follows for someone buying flood insurance. “First we would pull a flood zone determination by address of the master deed,” she said. Interestingly enough, each building in the association has to be insured separately. “One building could be located a thousand feet away from anther building, and they could actually be in two different flood zones,” said Becker-Durnin. “Then depending on the rating, the premium is decided,” she explained. “The association gets the flood insurance through NFIP. We ask for the elevation certificate. We bring that back to the flood insurance underwriter. They plug all the elevation numbers into their modeling system and come back with their rate quote.”

If $250,000 per unit is not enough to replace the property, purchasing “excess flood” insurance through the private sector may be the best option. “Excess flood means it’s over the primary flood. Instead of purchasing through NFIP, a community can go and obtain private insurance,” Becker-Durnin said.

Think you don’t need flood insurance? Becker-Durnin said that is worth rethinking. As only about 17% of buildings are insured. “For example, during Superstorm Sandy there were areas that were never flooded before. All of a sudden, they had flood waters. Those people were unlikely to be insured because their mortgage companies did not require it and/or they didn’t think their properties would flood,” said Becker-Durnin.

An extra insurance policy is sometimes a steep luxury to property owners. That’s where the NFIP steps in to keep affordable options open. “If NFIP didn’t have this program, communities possibly couldn’t afford flood coverage. Affordability of the insurance can be a real problem. It can actually bring down the value of a neighborhood and hurt resales,” Becker-Durnin added. “NFIP offers insurance for everybody. But of course the pricing is determined by which zone the building is located in and the elevation of the building,” she continued.

No matter how you choose to insure, it has to be for the entire cost to replace the structure. “Flood insurance is for the full replacement of the building. That’s what you need to insure for to avoid penalty,” said Becker-Durnin. “The maximum you can purchase through NFIP is $250,000 per unit with a Residential Condominium Building Association Policy (RCBAP).” However, according to Becker-Durnin “replacement costs on a flood could be higher than others because a property policy doesn’t typically cover foundations. If you have a ten-unit building and the replacement cost is $500,000 per unit, now you are only insuring fifty-percent of the building. If you have a flood, and you are not insuring the building to full replacement cost, the federal government will penalize you and pay out less.”

Much of the determination of premium is based on the elevation certificate. “An elevation certificate is done by a licensed engineer or architect to determine the height of the property above sea level. They have to do this for each building on a property. One building could cost more than the others if that building is lower in elevation or closer in proximity to the coast,” Becker-Durnin said.

Can a board opt to only insure some of their structures that are more of a risk? “The board can make that determination. You have to evaluate the risk. A building that never floods can flood,” she said.

As stated, there is a lot to consider when choosing between the NFIP program and private insurance. There are certainly pros and cons to both. Whether it’s getting a good rate or feeling confident your claim will be paid, according to Becker-Durnin, it’s a tough call.

For example say “your property insurance carrier, because you are in a low-risk area, is willing to include flood via endorsement on your policy. So you can now cancel your NFIP policy. There are a lot of pros and cons with that. One issue is that NFIP wasn’t willing to grandfather the rate. If you canceled and wanted to come back, the map may have changed and the rate could be very different than when you canceled the policy,” said Becker-Durnin.

She also mentioned that there is the possibility of saving money. “The advantage to private insurance is the premiums are typically less than NFIP. With private insurance you can purchase whatever amount you want. It just has to be the replacement cost of the building,” said Becker-Durnin. She went on to point out “if I have private insurance, I most likely don’t have to provide an elevation certificate. Someone can save a couple hundred dollars on having an engineer complete a flood elevation determination if one was not performed in the past”

Private insurance also affords a few extra perks. “Another thing is NFIP only gives about $30,000 for “increased cost of compliance” or ICC, which is the cost to elevate, demolish or relocate if a building is substantially damaged. Flood insurance in the private market can offer higher limits. Also NFIP does not offer coverage if you have to temporarily live somewhere else. If you have to go stay at a hotel, you’re paying for that out of your own pocket. NFIP does not pay for additional living expenses. They also won’t pay for the loss of assessments. There’s no business interruption coverage for that. Private flood insurance can give the additional living expenses and loss of income for the association, which is a big deal,” said Becker-Durnin.

While private insurance can be bound instantaneously if paid in full or over time, the NFIP has a caveat to that. “There’s a thirty-day waiting period with NFIP. The only time NFIP will waive the waiting period is if you have a mortgage closing and/or refinance of a mortgage. The annual policy premium through NFIP has to be paid in full,” said Becker-Durnin. “The private market can also give discounts based upon the type of construction. NFIP doesn’t give premium discounts based upon construction factors,” she added.

Can homeowners have both NFIP and private at the same time? “You can have both. But one is going to say the other is the primary,” said Becker-Durnin.

After all that, you may think private is the way to go. But Becker-Durnin cautioned that getting a policy from a business a private market, especially a non-admitted excess insurer, can lead to a difficult matter when it’s time to make a claim. “The lenders may not accept private insurers, because NFIP is backed by the federal government. Plus the NFIP program the rates are pretty stable,” said Becker-Durnin.

Source: https://associationhelpnow.com/flood-insurance-update-%e2%80%a8what-to-do-with-the-new-wave-of-information/

Labor Day 2019 is just around the corner

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

Our last long weekend to enjoy what is left of our 2019 summer is almost here. Residents of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania are planning trips to the beach, the cabin, amusement parks, or maybe visiting family or friends for a cookout.

Before you rush out the door to start your trip, be sure to check that your home is safe from any fire hazards:

  • Kitchen range and oven have been turned off
  • Items are stored away from your Gas appliances
  • Dryer is not in use
  • Ceiling Fans are off
  • Small Kitchen appliances are unplugged (toasters, coffee maker, can openers)
  • Candles have been extinguished
  • Items are stored away from your Gas appliances
  • Unplug curling iron, hair dryer, iron, chargers, televisions, computers, and printers – all unnecessary electrical devices

Taking a few extra minutes to protect your home from a fire by taking these precautions can actually make your trip less stressful.

800-455-9453

Preparing for Hurricane Season

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Preparing for Hurricane Season

     That time of year is slowly approaching- the time for endless rain due to hurricanes and tropical storms. Stated in the preseason forecast, “the Atlantic hurricane season now is expected to be above normal, with 10 to 17 named storms, including five to nine hurricanes” the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on August 08, 2019. Two to four of those hurricanes are forecast to be Category 3 or stronger, with winds greater than 110 mph.

     The updated forecast was issued just ahead of the start of the most active hurricane period -- the roughly eight weeks that surround September 10, when hurricane season hits its statistical peak. There is now a 45% chance for above-normal tropical activity this season, the NOAA center said. That's an increase from the 30% chance in its May outlook. Last year saw an above-average Atlantic hurricane season, with Hurricanes Florence and Michael slamming US coastlines with devastating effect. An average season has 12 named storms, with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or greater.

Here are some tips to help prepare you for the storms:

  • Make sure you have plenty of water- stock up on water bottles from your local stores
  • Make sure to stock up on extra batteries, flashlights, and store in a waterproof container that is easily accessible
  • Keep your refrigerator closed- if you lose power you should keep your refrigerator closed to help save as much food as possible
  • Stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors- go to a safe area in your home
  • Come up with a safety plan with everyone in your household- a meeting point to stay together and things you all might need

Stay safe! – SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall  800-455-9453

6 Fire Damage Restoration Tips in the Lehigh Valley - Pennsylvania

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire.  Here are six of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.

Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained restoration specialists who will guarantee their work.

  1. Remove Smoke Damage

With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.

  1. Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps

Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

  1. Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall highly recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s cleaned up all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.

  1. Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors

Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.

  1. Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing

Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry.

  1. Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes

Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall also has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall (800-455-9453) anytime.


SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall
Call 800-455-9453 
24-hour emergency service

Are your DUCTS in a row?

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Are your ducts in a row?

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends having your ducts cleaned every 3-5 years. While other organizations like the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) suggests only having your Air ducts cleaned on an as needed basis. Some factors that may increase the frequency of cleaning  needed for residential HVAC system could include but are not limited to, having smokers in the household, pets in the household that shed high amounts of hair and dander, water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system, residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from having reduced Indoor air pollutants in the homes HVAC system. The EPA also suggests cleaning the ducts in your home after a home renovation or remodeling has occurred.

Not sure?

You can breathe Easier and Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall and the SERVPRO professionals will inspect your HVAC system and duct-work and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality. Call 800-455-9453 to schedule your free estimate today.

Summertime Heat in the Lehigh Valley

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

?It’s the best time of the year: SUMMERTIME! While we lounge by the pool, enjoy a week at the beach, or play in the yard with our kids, we aren’t focusing on the real issue… the heat.  In an average year, the Lehigh Valley will see its first 90-degree day around May 30, and its last around Aug. 27. Highs here have broken 90 as early as April 7 and as late as October 8.So far in 2019, the warmest the Lehigh Valley has been is 88degrees, a mark reached at least three times in the last two months, last checked June 2019.

?Here are some tips and tricks to beat the heat!

• Drink plenty of water: the average person should be drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, which equals to about 2 liters. This is known as the 8x8 rule. • Find ways to cool off: whether it’s jumping into a pool or running into the nearest building with air conditioning; find a way to cool your body off from the blazing heat. If you know you’re going to be out in the heat for a while, make sure you are taking breaks to cool off quick. • Wear light-weight/ light-colored clothing: something made of cotton is best. This will help avoid heat-related illnesses. • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during a hot day

Here are known symptoms of heat exhaustion: heavy breathing, sweating, headache, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, skin that feels cool and moist, and muscle cramps. If you are suspicious of heat exhaustion, try to move to a cooler location, apply cool wet clothes to your body, and drink water. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke- call 911 if someone refuses to drink water or vomits.

?If you have any concerns when it comes to the heat; download the OSHA standard Heat Index app in the app store. This app gives you the heat index for the day, temperature, humidity, and what heat related illnesses to look out for that day.

We at SERVPRO hope you having a safe and fun rest of your summer! Stay cool!

Why is today an Air Quality Action Day today in the Lehigh Valley?

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Why is today an Air Quality Action Day today in the Lehigh Valley?

Ozone is a colorless gas that can be good or bad, depending on where it is. Ozone in the stratosphere is good because it shields the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. However Ozone at ground level, where we breathe, is bad because it can harm human health. Ground-level ozone is one of our nation’s most common air pollutants.Ozone can cause a number of health problems, including coughing, breathing difficulty, and lung damage. Exposure to ozone can make the lungs more susceptible to infection, aggravate lung diseases, increase the frequency of asthma attacks, and increase the risk of early death from heart or lung disease.

Today July 10, 2019 is an Air Quality Action Day in the Lehigh Valley with an expected score of 102 and is considered a code orange. This means based on the Air quality Index scoring chart that ranges from 0-500 with 0-50 being considered good that Air Quality conditions today may be unhealthy for sensitive groups of people. Sensitive groups include people with lung disease such as asthma, older adults, children, teenagers, and people who are active outdoors including outdoor workers.

A few precautions that can be taken to protect yourself and loved ones on days like today when bad air quality is expected could include…

• Choose a less-strenuous activity• Avoid exercising outdoors• Limit time that your children spend playing outdoors • Take more breaks during outdoor activity• Reschedule activities to the morning or to another day• Move your activity inside where ozone levels are usually lower• Check daily air pollution forecasts in your area. The color-coded forecasts can let you know when the air is unhealthy in your community.

A few helpful resources to check the air pollution forecast in your area would be a local weather channel/app, airnow.gov, and even a free App you can download called Airnow App

Heat Safety Tool

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

By U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

When you're working in the heat, safety comes first. With the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool, you have vital safety information available whenever and wherever you need it - right on your mobile phone.

The App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple "click," you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness-reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.

The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Tool is available in English and Spanish for Android and iPhone devices. To access the Spanish version, set the phone language to Spanish.

Stay informed and safe in the heat, check your risk level.

For more information about safety while working in the heat, see OSHA's heat illness webpage, including online guidance about using the heat index to protect workers.

Source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall is dedicated to making sure our staff is taking the proper precautions in this summer heat. We stock the vehicles with coolers of water and require the crews to take breaks regularly throughout the workday.

Call us today to take care of your Fire & Water Damage Cleanup needs: 800-455-9453

National PrepareAthon Day - April 30th

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

NATIONAL PREPAREATHON DAY!

National PrepareAthon! Day on April 30th reminds us that crises happen suddenly. Being prepared needs to happen now, not later.

Natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and even winter storms can require us to make decisions with little to no warning. Do you have an emergency plan in place with your family in the event of an emergency situation?

HOW TO OBSERVE

Take action by visiting www.community.fema.gov to get prepared. Use #NationalPrepareAthonDay to share on social media.

Visit these sites for more information on making emergency preparedness plans:

Flood https://community.fema.gov/hazard/flood/be-smart

Hurricane https://community.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/be-smart

Storm https://community.fema.gov/hazard/winter-storm/be-smart

HISTORY

In 2014, The White House announced  America’s first National PrepareAthon! Day as part of President Barack Obama’s National Preparedness Initiative.

#NationalPrepareAthonDay #PlanAhead #EmergencyPreparedness #BetterSafeThanSorry #SERVPROEBW

Why SERVPRO

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

When looking at companies who can provide you with water mitigation, mold remediation and fire restoration services you might ask yourself, why SERVPRO?

Here are some things you should know about SERVPRO:

1. SERVPRO has been around since 1967 when Ted and Doris Isaacson founded the company; which started as a painting business. Today, more than 1,700 SERVPRO franchises exist nationwide. Therefore, SERVPRO has proved to be an outstanding company. SERVPRO is actually one of the top 10 franchises today.

2. Our local SERVPRO office started over 28 years ago. Our owners started a SERVPRO franchise in their house, with very few employees, one vehicle and just a couple pieces of equipment. Since then, we now operate with about 20 employees, multiple types of vehicles, and a wide range of equipment for all types of work in our field. We have been successful, which has allowed us to grow from one license to three.

3. All of our technicians are trained in the work that they do and are encouraged to continue growing and learning all the ins and outs of the restoration industry.

4. We work with your insurance company to make sure you are covered for the work that we complete.

5. We work quickly to ensure that your home is back to normal as soon as possible.

6. We appreciate your feedback! We would like to know if your happy with our services. We also are interested in knowing if you/re unhappy with our services.

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall - Call us today! (800) 455-9453

Why SERVPRO Cares

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Our team takes pride in our community! We care about the people in our community and want to help out in any way that we can. 

Our owners, Dawn and Steve Davis, have huge hearts and make sure to take time to donate to causes that they believes in. The Davises believe that the best way for us to show our support among the community is to volunteer our time. Throughout the year, members of our staff donate their time to various events across the Lehigh Valley. Some events include: Miracle League Trick of Treat, Let's Build Construction Camp for Girls, Red Cross events, Breast Cancer Awareness events, etc.

Each year, we go in search of new opportunities to get out into the community to give back.

If you have suggestions or opportunities for us, contact our office now.

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall - (800) 455-9453

Why SERVPRO is YOUR Choice for LOCAL Restoration Services

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

When you're looking for a company to clean up after water, fire or mold damage you can be sure that SERVPRO will be a reliable company for you! 

We are independently owned and operated. Dawn and Steve Davis have owned SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall for over 28 years. Dawn, originally a trauma nurse, started this company with her husband Steve in 1991. At that time, Dawn was a new mother, a full-time nurse, and new business owner. With the help and support from her husband, the two of them were able to overcome many obstacles along the way. Since 1991, the dynamic duo has grown the company from one license to three, and they operate with about 20 employees out of a 13,000 sq ft warehouse.

Unlike many business owners, Dawn and Steve are in the office 40-50hrs each week. They are active in the day to day operations of the business and want to ensure that our customers receive the best customer service their staff has to offer. The Davises understand how important your home and business are to you! That's why our SERVPRO will take care of you in your time of disaster.

Our office also takes pride in working with other local companies to ensure that everything needed to complete the job is done. We work with local dry cleaners, industrial hygienists, dumpster and storage companies, abatement and contractors. 

We will work with you and make you feel comfortable along the way. Our managers have been with our company for many years and are dedicated to getting you back into your home and business as quickly as possible.

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall - Call us today!

(800) 455-9453

Why Our Professionals Are The Best At Tackling Mold Damage In the Lehigh Valley

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Skilled IICRC-Certified Technicians for Lehigh Valley Mold Remediation

The discovery of fungal growth in your Lehigh Valley home has many owners turning to the internet for solutions that can save them money and allow them to care for their homes on their own. Unfortunately, with thousands of varieties of mold that could affect your property, solutions that can get found on the internet are not “one-size-fits-all,” which can lead to further structural damages or heightened potential health effects for those exposed in your house.

While professional mold remediation does cost money, it is often the only solution for removing harmful mold growth from your Lehigh Valley home and restoring the damages that the organism has caused. This effective approach begins with highly-trained IICRC-certified technicians that you can find on our SERVPRO rapid response team. This extensive training ensures that each of our professionals arriving at your home has the same knowledge and expertise to identify what the situation requires.

With inadequate “mold removal” strategies that you can find on your own, common practices only scratch the surface of the entire organism embedded in surfaces and materials throughout your property. While it might appear as though the work was successful, the organism continues to grow and spread beneath the surface, perpetually eroding and degrading the host material and continuing the potential health effects that result from exposure.

The extensive training that our SERVPRO professionals undergo to obtain their IICRC certifications for mold remediation is just the beginning for our knowledge of effective solutions for your damaged home. Our technicians continue training through ongoing educational opportunities both in-house and online to provide every customer with the most effective and efficient restoration work that their property requires amid a potential disaster like this.

As destructive as mold growth can be in your home, it is not something that you should leave to chance to remove. You can always count on the fast response of our SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall mold remediation technicians. You can reach our team 24/7 by calling (800) 455-9453.

Why SERVPRO is your Commercial Restoration choice

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

As a commercial business owner, you want to choose a company who is not only going to provide your clients quality services but also fast services. That's why customers call us, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, as their trusted provider because when they call, they know that we are quickly arriving to the scene and working long days to get the job done for them. 

We have serviced many different commercial clients in the Lehigh Valley from warehouses, churches, libraries, to insurance offices, and much more.  

We will offer direct billing to your insurance company, including all the photos, moisture maps, and estimate to allow you to focus on your job. 

We'd love to help you and your business in your time of need. Just give us a call at (800) 455-9453.

Why SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall Is a Restoration Leader

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Home and Business Owners in the Lehigh Valley Area Trust SERVPRO for Emergency Restoration Services

The foundation of our business is to provide our customers with the best possible service. What does that mean? Our customer is our boss, and we conduct the cleanup and restoration services to reduce the impacts of an emergency call for help, day or night. We aim to build a relationship of trust and security with our local residents even though each business dealing is a transactional matter.

When a commercial property owner, homeowner or renter from the Lehigh Valley area contacts our office, we handle it with compassion and understanding. This is the initial action in building a trusting relationship. We listen with empathy and gather relevant data so that we can speedily, within four hours or less, dispatch our crew to your property. This brief initial information gathering also helps to reduce stress from the caller knowing that they made the right choice. We understand the strain caused by a water, fire, or mold accident or disaster, as we place ourselves in the situation of the person on the other end of the line. We can instill confidence in our clients, and a sense of "everything is going to be okay," by committing to our promise of a prompt response and a compassionate and polite on-site experience.

SERVPRO crews that communicate directly with our customers during the initial visit understand the importance of the meaning of "a house is not a home." Your home is a sanctuary, a shelter and a place of security for you and your family. We appreciate each of our customers. 


Trust is a huge ingredient in our restoration business. Just as we are taught to “don't open the door to strangers” or “always be cautious when it comes to new people,” we take pride in putting you first, always. Another reason Why SERVPRO is an outstanding choice to help you through an accidental home emergency.

Home and business owners in the Lehigh Valley have come to expect a professional experience when you contact SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall (800-455-9453). We pledge to make you feel "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Professionals Wear Many Hats

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Seven different SERVPRO hats and hard hats 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 Pro’s in the know, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall. We are standing by 24/7/365 for ALL your restoration and cleaning needs.

Saving Water Damaged Electronics

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall can coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including TVs, DVD players, computers, tablets, cell phones, and more. 

The Key To Electronic Cleanup
The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall starts by cleaning the exterior of your electronic devices to help stop further corrosion and damage. With us, your electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician. 

Cleaning Up Corrosion 
When it comes to cleaning up corrosion after water damage, be careful.  If you don’t use proper tools and techniques you can further damage your water-damaged electronic devices. You could also potentially injure yourself. Remember: electronic devices and liquids generally don’t mix. Any time you apply a liquid cleaning solutions to an electronic device, you need to be cautious. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall recommends that the average consumer never attempt to repair a water-damaged electronic device without professional assistance. When in doubt, take your device to a professional. If you are confident about cleaning up corrosion on your water-damaged electronic device by yourself, please keep these tips in mind: 

1. Keep safety first 
If you’re standing in water or your clothes are wet please remove yourself from any potential shock hazard before even thinking about retrieving a submerged or soaked electronic device. If the device is still on, turn it off. If possible, rotate and shake the electronic device to try to drain out any fluid. 

2. Always remove any batteries or power connectors.
 This not only prevents harm to you, but also prevents any short-circuiting of your electronic device. By doing this, you will also be exposing extra connectors that may already have corroded, so exercise caution. A shorted battery may be a fire and/or chemical hazard. If you see or feel any heat, smoke, steam, bubbling, bulging, or melting avoid handling the electronic device. 

3. Look for white or green “crusty” areas on the device.
You may find them on the battery connectors, charging ports, SIM card connectors, or any other major metal connectors on the device. 

4. Use cotton swabs and a cleaning solution such as isopropyl alcohol.
You can also use baking soda and water or vinegar to clean corrosion. Gently apply the solution to the affected area and wipe back and forth until you’ve removed the corrosion. If necessary, leave some solution on the corroded area and wipe it off later. 

5. Dry your electronic device with a soft cloth or a hair dryer on a cool setting.
Do not use heat to dry out your device. Make sure your device is dried extremely well before attempting to replace the battery and turn the device on. Any water left in the device could cause additional water damage. 

6. Take special care with electronic circuit boards.
If you think water or any liquid has reached an electronic circuit board take the device apart carefully. Follow the instructions and remember the order of the disassembly so you can put the device back together later. Soak up any remaining liquid on the circuit board with a lint-free cloth. Don’t use paper products (they could leave lint or scratch the board). Avoid rubbing any cloth on the circuit board because that might scratch or dislodge parts. Place the cloth over the board and press gently. This will soak up the liquid. Remove the worst of any remaining particles by brushing with a toothbrush. This includes any globs of dried liquid. You don’t need perfection at this stage. Then remove any dust or loose pieces of dried liquid by spraying the board with compressed air. Spray in one direction in quick bursts, since the canister can become extremely cold if used for longer sprays. Rinse the circuit board with clean or distilled water to remove any sticky materials. If your circuit board was wet by clean water and you didn’t have to remove dried materials, you may be able to skip this. Pat the board gently with a cloth to remove the majority of the moisture and allow it to dry completely. Clean any residue off the circuit board using a cotton swab. Moisten the cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol. Do not use a dripping wet swab. Swab gently in stubborn areas and be careful not to upset the components. The alcohol should take care of most of the work without rubbing. 

7. Cross your fingers
When you try to repair a water-damaged electronic device there are no guarantees. The water-damage or corrosion may be permanent. These steps improve your chances of repairing it, but in the end you just have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. 

Call us today! 800-455-9453

Water Shut Off

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

In an emergency you may have to shut off the water to your home. For example, freezing or thawing may cause a water pipe to break. Water pipe breaks are also common with most types of natural disasters (winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more). Broken water pipes can lead to electrical hazards, long-term wood rot, long-term mold, or even drowning.

Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?
1. Look for the water shut-off valve where the water line enters your house. In warmer climates the shut-off valve may be outside your home where the water line meets your home’s exterior. But in most climates the water shut-off valve is just inside the house where the water line enters through your home’s foundation or exterior wall. Scott Finazzo, author of The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook, says that if your water comes in through a ground well the valves on either side of the pressure tank should both be shut off. 

2. Often the water shut-off valve is a quarter-turn ball valve. If that’s what you have, turn the valve a quarter of a turn until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe. Or your home may have a round handle that you turn clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. Don’t have a master shut-off value in your home? Have one installed. 

If You Have Water Damage Call SERVPRO Of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall At (800) 455-9453

3. Another water shut-off option is closing the municipal water meter shut-off valve. This valve, if you have municipal water, typically is in your front or side yard. Look for a round metal lid or box close to your property line. It’s often 24 to 48 inches from the curb or fence line.

If your water meter has a round metal lid use a wrench or pliers to rotate the lone nut on the lid counterclockwise. This will release the latch and you can open the lid. Another type of metal lid requires a screwdriver. Turn the lid until the tabs line up with the gaps and you can lift the lid off. A third type of water meter lid is square or rectangular. You can pry it open with a screwdriver or pry bar.

Don’t reach into the meter box until you inspect the area for debris and rodents. If the box is old and covered with a lot of growth you may want to wear gloves. Once inside the municipal water meter box you’ll need pliers or a specialty tool to turn the valve. Turn it until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe.
 
If You Have Water Damage Call SERVPRO Of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall At (800) 455-9453

Shut-Off Valves For Single Rooms
Sometimes you only need to shut off the water to one room. Most newer houses have shut-off valves at every sink and toilet. Your water heater may have several shut-off valves. If your issue is one leaking sink just shut off water to that sink. If you know the water heater is leaking just shut the valves to it off.

Thanksgiving Cautions: Dangers to Consider before Deep Frying Your Turkey

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Serving a deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving has grown in popularity over the years as people experiment more in their kitchens. While it may be a mouth-watering option is the risk truly worth it? Many of you may have seen the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires publicized online. Don’t run the risk of property damage or injury – make sure you take the proper precautions when menu planning this season; especially if you are taking on a deep fried turkey.

  • Turkey Fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area. Consider placement of the fryer, is it flat, sturdy, out of reach from children?
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill when the turkey is put in and a frozen or partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter (sometimes with great force) when put in the pot
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilt on a hot burner can cause a considerable flame or fire
  • Without thermostat controls some turkey fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire. Make sure it’s not too hot.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid and handles can get dangerously hot. Protect you hands when maneuvering to prevent injury or spillage

Your friends at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and remind you to stay safe. Remember, our team is on call 24/7 365 days a year, no matter what holiday or time of night. If you experience a fire SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall will come to your rescue, don’t hesitate to call 800-455-9453.

In Case of Emergency, Call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes in your home, you want to be sure you have the right people to restore your property and contents.  It holds true that not all restoration companies are alike. Unlike other restoration technicians, restoration professionals such as SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, have specialized training, skills, equipment, and professional quality meters to remediate the job efficiently and effectively.

In today’s business environment many companies are looking to increase their revenues by adding new services, for which they may have little or NO training.  Be sure that the restoration company you are working with to restore your property has been properly trained. These companies often appeal to homeowners or businesses to perform disaster restoration services but end up costing clients in the end.

It is very common for amateurs to simply tear things out and then replace the materials or the items.  A true professional performs a thorough inspection and identifies those materials and items that can be salvaged and restored to their preloss condition.  This allows those professionals to complete the job much more quickly; thereby allowing you to get back to your normal routine. Restoration, instead of removal and replacement, helps contain costs.  In some instances it eliminates the need to file an insurance claim.

Restoration Professionals have the necessary business licenses and insurance coverage that are required for such a business.  As a matter of course, professionals are continually conducting training to be sure that they are following the most current, Industry Best Practices for their services.

For all property damaged by water, fire, smoke, mold and any other disaster, call your local SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall office, The Paramedics of Property Damage.  We are standing by to provide professional service, 24-hours every day of the year, with a trained and certified staff, as well as the best tools and equipment to service all emergencies.

Commercial Properties in Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall Can Be Restored by SERVPRO

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

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 entrepreneurs and business 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 has 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 for fast help.

How to Test Your Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke detectors and fire alarms may be some of the most important items in your home when it comes to your family’s safety. These early warning devices may help alert your family to fire and dangerous smoke while there is still time to evacuate, but they need to be periodically tested to help ensure proper function.

Why Do It?

Electronic devices are not infallible. Batteries die, and other parts of the smoke detector can wear out over time. Testing them regularly and replacing batteries (or the entire device) is one way to help ensure your family stays safe should there be a fire in your home.

How Often?

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year. A good way to remember to do this is to change your batteries when you change your clocks for daylight saving time — when you spring forward or fall back. Make sure to review your smoke detector’s user manual — you may need to check more often if any of the following apply:

  • The detector often gives false alarms.
  • The alarm emits short beeps regularly without anyone touching it.
  • Frequent kitchen smoke has caused it to activate often, which may wear it out faster.

There are two main types of smoke detectors, according to the USFA:

Battery-powered: This type can be susceptible to defective or worn-out batteries. Monthly testing is critical. Never put old batteries into your smoke detectors and fire alarms.

Hardwired: These detectors are powered by your home’s electrical system, but they usually have backup batteries so the device can remain operational in a power outage. Hardwired smoke detectors still require monthly testing to help ensure that both batteries and parts are functioning properly.

How Do You Test It?

You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper method of testing your smoke detector and fire alarm. But, in general, the USFA states most battery-powered and hardwired smoke detectors can be tested in the following way:

Step 1. Alert family members that you will be testing the alarm. Smoke detectors have a high-pitched alarm that may frighten small children, so you’ll want to let everyone know you plan to test the alarms to help avoid scaring anyone.

Step 2. Station a family member at the furthest point away from the alarm in your home. This can be critical to help make sure the alarm can be heard everywhere in your home. You may want to install extra detectors in areas where the alarm’s sound is low, muffled or weak.

Step 3. Press and hold the test button on the smoke detector. It can take a few seconds to begin, but a loud, ear-piercing siren should emanate from the smoke detector while the button is pressed. If the sound is weak or nonexistent, replace your batteries. If it has been more than six months since you last replaced the batteries (whether your detector is battery-powered or hardwired), change them now regardless of the test result, and test the new batteries one final time to help ensure proper functioning. You should also look at your smoke detector to make sure there’s no dust or other substance blocking its grates, which may prevent it from working even if the batteries are new.

Remember, smoke detectors have a normal life span of 10 years, according to the USFA. Even if you’ve performed regular maintenance, and your device is still functional, you should replace a smoke detector after the 10-year period or earlier, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Installing smoke detectors can be a great way to help keep your family safe, but assuming they are working may lead to a dangerous situation. Taking a few minutes to check them regularly can help ensure they’re working properly.

This article highlights examples of precautions you can consider to help maintain your personal property. Please recognize that a particular precaution may not be appropriate or effective in every circumstance and that taking preventive measures cannot guarantee any outcome. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what’s appropriate and always consider safety.

https://blog.allstate.com/test-smoke-detectors/

Roof Damage Can Lead to Secondary Damage

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

There are lots of different issues that could cause damage to your home; Roof damage is one of those. Damage due to storms is the most typical, but there are several things that COULD cause the damage to your roof some being more visible than others.  It is always good practice to have your roof inspected every 10-12 years, unless there has been a specific issue that may have caused a reason to check it sooner such as a severe storm, hail, or some other sort of natural disaster.  Unfortunately, when your roof becomes damaged it can lead to bigger issues that may ultimately cause water damage to the interior of your home.

Here we mention a few things to look for when you are inspecting your roof:

  • Loose or missing shingles: this could be caused by high winds, improper installation, or simply wearing out over exposure to the elements through the years. Loose nails can also leave a hole in the shingle that water can find its way through as well.
  • Poor installation of the flashing. "Flashing" is the metal that is placed in the sections where the roof meets the walls, or in the valleys. This must be installed properly to divert water from the roof.
  • Gutters that are not placed with the right pitch, or that have seems that are not sealed properly can also cause water to back up and then overflow into the house causing water damage to ceilings and/or walls. Not having gutter guards to keep leaves and debris from collecting in the gutters can cause overflow of water that can result in damage to your roof and other areas of your home as well.
  • Rotted fascia or soffit can also be an area that allows water to intrude. 

If you suspect that you may have roof damage causing water damage to your home please feel free to contact us at (800) 455-9453 and we will be happy to assist you.

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall will be there for all of your home repairs or accidents.

Water Damage Can Be Disruptive

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water leaks within a home or business can seep into carpet, flooring, baseboards, and walls while moving throughout the structure.  SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall Professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for a family or business. Water leaks in a business can not only disrupt the facility, but also can interrupt day to day business functions, which could possibly close the business and affect revenues. 

Timely mitigation is key to the restoration process.  Quick response time helps ensure that damage is contained and the restoration process begins promptly. This saves on the amount of damage, cost of claims, and assists in reducing losses from business interruption due to a loss.  Timely and proper water mitigation will also help keep mold from developing which could cause people to become ill!  SERVPRO Professionals will be able to identify water regardless of where it hides. Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals cover the Charleston, WV, and surrounding areas.  We offer 24-hour emergency response from our trained professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened."

            Leak Prevention Tips

  •   Check roof for deterioration.  
  •   Check gutters and downspouts.
  •   Check basements and crawl spaces for moisture.
  •   Check appliances in kitchens, break rooms, and cafeterias.
  •   Check sinks and toilets in bathrooms.
  •   Check HVAC for leaks and blockages.

Call us today! 800-455-9453

Saving Water Damaged Electronics

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall can coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including TVs, DVD players, computers, tablets, cell phones, and more. 

The Key To Electronic Cleanup
The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall starts by cleaning the exterior of your electronic devices to help stop further corrosion and damage. With us, your electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician. 

Cleaning Up Corrosion 
When it comes to cleaning up corrosion after water damage, be careful.  If you don’t use proper tools and techniques you can further damage your water-damaged electronic devices. You could also potentially injure yourself. Remember: electronic devices and liquids generally don’t mix. Any time you apply a liquid cleaning solutions to an electronic device, you need to be cautious. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall recommends that the average consumer never attempt to repair a water-damaged electronic device without professional assistance. When in doubt, take your device to a professional. If you are confident about cleaning up corrosion on your water-damaged electronic device by yourself, please keep these tips in mind: 

1. Keep safety first 
If you’re standing in water or your clothes are wet please remove yourself from any potential shock hazard before even thinking about retrieving a submerged or soaked electronic device. If the device is still on, turn it off. If possible, rotate and shake the electronic device to try to drain out any fluid. 

2. Always remove any batteries or power connectors.
 This not only prevents harm to you, but also prevents any short-circuiting of your electronic device. By doing this, you will also be exposing extra connectors that may already have corroded, so exercise caution. A shorted battery may be a fire and/or chemical hazard. If you see or feel any heat, smoke, steam, bubbling, bulging, or melting avoid handling the electronic device. 

3. Look for white or green “crusty” areas on the device.
You may find them on the battery connectors, charging ports, SIM card connectors, or any other major metal connectors on the device. 

4. Use cotton swabs and a cleaning solution such as isopropyl alcohol.
You can also use baking soda and water or vinegar to clean corrosion. Gently apply the solution to the affected area and wipe back and forth until you’ve removed the corrosion. If necessary, leave some solution on the corroded area and wipe it off later. 

5. Dry your electronic device with a soft cloth or a hair dryer on a cool setting.
Do not use heat to dry out your device. Make sure your device is dried extremely well before attempting to replace the battery and turn the device on. Any water left in the device could cause additional water damage. 

6. Take special care with electronic circuit boards.
If you think water or any liquid has reached an electronic circuit board take the device apart carefully. Follow the instructions and remember the order of the disassembly so you can put the device back together later. Soak up any remaining liquid on the circuit board with a lint-free cloth. Don’t use paper products (they could leave lint or scratch the board). Avoid rubbing any cloth on the circuit board because that might scratch or dislodge parts. Place the cloth over the board and press gently. This will soak up the liquid. Remove the worst of any remaining particles by brushing with a toothbrush. This includes any globs of dried liquid. You don’t need perfection at this stage. Then remove any dust or loose pieces of dried liquid by spraying the board with compressed air. Spray in one direction in quick bursts, since the canister can become extremely cold if used for longer sprays. Rinse the circuit board with clean or distilled water to remove any sticky materials. If your circuit board was wet by clean water and you didn’t have to remove dried materials, you may be able to skip this. Pat the board gently with a cloth to remove the majority of the moisture and allow it to dry completely. Clean any residue off the circuit board using a cotton swab. Moisten the cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol. Do not use a dripping wet swab. Swab gently in stubborn areas and be careful not to upset the components. The alcohol should take care of most of the work without rubbing. 

7. Cross your fingers
When you try to repair a water-damaged electronic device there are no guarantees. The water-damage or corrosion may be permanent. These steps improve your chances of repairing it, but in the end you just have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. 

Call us today! 800-455-9453

3 Things to Throw Away After a Fire

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Recovering from a home fire is a long, frustrating process, sometimes compounded by the loss of cherished belongings. When you face the destruction of the furnishings and content of your Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, home, it can be hard to say good-bye to belongings that don't seem to have been affected. However, there are some items that you need to throw away, even if they don't look like they've damaged by fire or smoke.

1. Food

Obviously, you'll toss out any cereals and breads that were on the counter. Of course, you'll throw away anything in open containers and foods there were stored in cardboard or thin plastic bags. It may surprise you to learn, however, that even your canned foods should be tossed out. This is because the high heat of the fire will activate the growth of bacteria, even when food is sealed in glass jars and cans from the store. 

The contents of your fridge may be safe, even if the power has gone out, but remember that it's safer to throw out questionable foods than to suffer through physical sickness. Anything that smells smoky or odd, has visible soot, or doesn't feel cold should be disposed of. 

2. Medicine

The last thing you need after a fire is to be left without your necessary medications. However, these items can be affected by fire damage. If there's warping, charring, or signs of soot, throw it out. It's better to contact your doctor for refills than to become sick or suffer other side effects. 

3. Cosmetics

You may think that heat could affect cosmetics to the point that they are harmful to your health. However, the same temperatures that affect your food and medications could affect the chemicals in cosmetics to the point that they are no longer usable. 

Ultimately, it's best to throw away any belongings that have suffered fire damage. This is particularly true for food, medicine, and cosmetics. Don't put yourself at risk. Ask professionals from the fire department or a fire restoration company if you aren't sure if something is safe to keep. 

Preparing Your Home for the Cold Weather Storms

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

We have entered heating season in the Lehigh Valley.  Cold temperatures can create a negative impact on your home and property; it’s key that you take the necessary precautions for your home not only for cold weather, but for storm season as well in order to limit potential risks and damages.  When doing routine maintenance, it’s always better to be prepared and go the extra step to insure that you are limiting risks of damage. It’s important to be thorough while inspecting your building.

    • Basements and crawlspaces in your home can be areas where heat escapes.  Be sure to seal and insulate around any HVAC ducts, basement windows, and any exposed pipes.
    • Try installing foam-rubber gaskets behind electrical outlets & switch covers on exterior walls.
    • If you don’t use your fireplace, plug the flue with an inflatable plug, or another item, that is safe and limits possible water to entry into your home.
    • Make sure you replace any broken windows, re-putty any loose window panes, seal around windows and door trims, or use weather stripping for windows that are opened.  This minor step can make a world of a difference in heat efficiency and preventing water intrusion.
    • For attic spaces it’s best to weather strip & insulate the access door properly, seal around your chimney with metal flashing or a high temperature sealant, seal around plumbing vents, seal any holes between the heated space of your home and the attic, and don’t forget to insulate any exposed water pipes!

If water damage occurs in your home due to extreme weather or any other means, make sure to call the team with over 27 years of experience. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall has the crew that is trained and experienced in dealing with not only average water damage but storm water damages to buildings as well. Give SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall a call today for your building damages in the Lehigh Valley at (800) 455-9453.

Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Be READY, Biohazard, Crime Scene, Vandalism, Sewage and Mold Remediation and Restoration

Recognized as a leading fire, water, and mold restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO also offers fast and reliable biohazard, vandalism and crime scene cleanup and restoration services. 

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. 

SERVPRO technicians are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. 

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. 

Our services cover the following issues:

  • Bloodbourne Pathogens: SERVPRO removes and disposes of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substance resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Technicians clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
  • Methamphetamine Labs: Many chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO follows federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces. 
  • Crime Scene Residues: Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues can be cleaned from surfaces and contents to restore your property. 
  • Arson and Vandalism: After the fire trucks are gone, your home and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet. 
  • Sewage Backups: Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination. This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
  • Black Water Intrusions: This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
    • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
    • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation: Mold can produce allergens and irritants and has the potential to cause other health effects. Mold can spread quickly through your home or business in as little as 48 hours. If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If you have any further questions please call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall at 800-455-9453.

Are you ready? SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall Wants To Help Your Commercial Building Prepare For When Disasters Happen

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Catastrophic weather is nothing out of the ordinary anymore for us.  Recently the United States have been affected by many different types of disasters.  Flooding, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards threaten homes, businesses, and communities.  Statistically as many as 50% of businesses may not recover following a disaster, this is according to recent industry research.  The majority of these businesses that do survive these disasters were prepared and had a preparedness plan in place.

Pre-planning can serve as an additional insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.  By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire can affect your business!

Preparation is an important component in making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or flooding as we have recently experienced this past August into September.  The best time for planning for such events is not when the disaster happens, but well before it happens.  Contact your local SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall to establish your Emergency Ready Program.

Emergency Ready Program

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.

(This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.)

  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

(Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”)

  • A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.

(It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects, but it will save a lot of time if ever needed.

  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.

(This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.)

  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

(This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.)

For more info on our ERP programs, call (800) 455-9453 to have one of our professionals assess your building and put together this great tool for your business.

SERVPRO Can Treat Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall Commercial Fire Damages

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Can Treat Easton Commercial Fire Damage

If you are experiencing Lehigh Valley Fire Damage, it is crucial to work with professionals who can help you restore your property.  However, fire damage can take many different forms.  Watch out for the following types of Lehigh Valley commercial fire damages and call the experts as soon as possible to prevent the damage from getting worse.


One of the first and least dangerous types of fire damage is known as Class A fire damage.  This kind of damage can occur on any property, and it is often the result of a solid catching fire and spreading throughout.  The fire damage from Class A fires has quantifiable sources, and the solids may include rubber, plastic, paper or cloth.  This damage may spread from a single source, and it is often easy for individuals to contain if they are quick and isolate the burning source with a fire extinguisher.



Class B fire damage is another variety, and it is one of the most dangerous types that could occur. Class B fire damage typically results from flammable liquids or from solids that have become liquefied.  These are commonly caused by melted plastics and waxes as well as various types of oils, including petrol and grease.  While they are often caused by materials similar to cooking oil, cooking oil fires do not often count as Class B fires.  These fires often spread quickly and cause tremendous damage because of water displacement issues.



Class C fire damage involves flammable gasses and similar substances.  These can include fires caused by gas leaks such as hydrogen or propane, or they may be due to deposits of natural gas.  They can spread quickly through the property and result in a great deal of sudden surface damage.  More often than not, this type of damage is explosive and can cause tremendous destruction in the property's structure. It is one of the most common examples of Lehigh Valley commercial fire damages, and it may result in a long-term loss if not handled quickly.



Finally, Class D fire damage is a common variety of fire damage that occurs in industrial locations.  It is typically caused by combustible metals.  Some of the most common metals involved include sodium and potassium, and this type of fire is large and encompassing of the work area.  This damage can result in a variety of harmful ambient effects, so if you experience this sort of damage, it is crucial to have it taken care of as soon as possible. If left unattended, unwanted chemicals may become airborne and result in a variety of problems around the work area.



If you are interested in working with a locally owned business you can count on, be sure to call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall. We can help you manage any and all Lehigh Valley commercial fire damages as necessary.  No job is too big or too complicated for us, and we have the resources and experience necessary to help you and your family. Call us today at (800) 455-9453 to learn more about what we can do for you.

Water Damage - Category and Classes

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Do you know what is the water category of this loss?

Category 1 originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. It is important to note, it may not always remain clean after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.

Category 2 contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed. It may contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological).

Category 3 is grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.

Time and temperature can also affect the quality of water, thereby changing its category. *Refer to the IICRC S500 for complete definitions.

Class 1 is the least amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.  Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.

Class 2 involves a large amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects at least an entire room of carpet and cushion (pad).  Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches.  There is moisture remaining in structural materials and substructure soil.

Class 3 involves the greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  Water may have come from overhead.  Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually all of the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 relates to specialty drying situations.  Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity.  These types of losses may require longer drying times and special methods.

*Refer to the IICRC S500 for complete definitions. 

For your water mitigation and restoration needs call the professionals at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall (800) 455-9453

Highly Trained Restoration Specialists

Our SERVPRO Professionals are highly trained in property restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our SERVPRO training program includes, but not limited to, the following:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

SERVPRO Commercial Water Damage Assessment

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Damage Assessment Practices

Flooding and water damage events in Lehigh Valley commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Easton

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Have a question?

Call us today (800) 455-9453

Mold on the Outside of Your Home

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

When you think of places where mold may grow, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Perhaps a damp, dark basement or crawlspace?  While this may be one of the most common places, your home's exterior siding may also be susceptible to mold growth.  

Causes of Mold on Siding

Excessive humidity and moisture can create an attractive environment for mold growth on several kinds of siding, including low-maintenance vinyl.  Siding is designed to allow rainwater and other types of moisture to run off the exterior of your home, but sometimes otherwise durable siding can have mold growth under certain conditions.  Since some moldy types may need humidity to grow, warm and humid weather conditions can cause a mold outbreak on your siding.  

Mold likes darkness which can also play a role.  This means that the shady sides of your house maybe at risk.  These areas will tend to be the slowest to dry out after heavy rains so moisture levels will remain higher.  

Vinyl Siding Mold Removal and Prevention

First, keep your siding clean of dirt and grime. You can use a simple garden hose or pressure washer to do this.  

Second, try to target the trees and shrubs that are located around your house.   Check to make sure they do not have any contact with your siding.  Regularly trim your trees and shrubs to minimize shaded areas that can encourage mold growth.  

Finally, take steps to reduce the amount of moisture that comes into contact with your siding.  If you regularly water your lawn, be sure to adjust sprinklers so the water does not hit your house.  Check gutters in the spring and fall and make sure they are clean and in working order.  Clogged gutters can cause the rainwater to run down the side of the home and this can increase the moisture level. 

For any serious mold problems, don't hesitate to call in the professionals at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall  (800) 455-9453

Handling Mold in Your Carpet

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

In areas where the weather is often humid, keeping your carpet dry and free from mold spores and growth can be a challenge. With daily in and out foot traffic, dirt and dust and other contaminants are tracked onto the carpet, and it can be quite a challenge to keep those carpets spotless!

Here are some helpful tips for you to use if you do find mold spots:

  • If the carpet or rug can be taken outside, do so as soon as spots are found.
  • Sweep the affected area with a broom to loosen the mold growth.
  • Vacuum the area to remove as much mold as possible, and empty the vacuum bag into the garbage immediately.
  • Using a mixture of dishwashing soap and water, scrub the affected area with the solution.
  • Let it dry in the sun, as this is one of the best ways to disinfect material. If you cannot take it outside, pat it dry using dry towels or rags.

You can also use this method for the purpose of cleansing your carpet of mold:

  • Scrub the affected areas with a rag soaked in dishwashing detergent and water, or do a base clean with a steam cleaner.
  • Using household bleach with a gallon of water, soak the mold patch for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Using a steam cleaner, suck up the liquid, and then pat the carpet dry or remove outside into the sunshine.

If the mold growth is too much for you to handle on your own, or you would like the assistance of professionals, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall has the equipment and experience needed to help with any of your mold remediation needs!

The team at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall is experienced and equipped to help with mold remediation, as well as clean up after a flood and/or fire damage and water damage. Call us today at (800) 455-9453!

Preventing Mold Growth in Your Storage Unit

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Your storage unit is one of the areas you may not think about as much when it comes to mold growth, so keeping that issue in mind is going to be a good idea. You’ll need to practice preventive measures to ensure that you don’t develop a mold issue here where you are storing items that are important to you, such as paperwork, artwork, equipment, or family heirlooms, just to name a few.  

Storage units are often climate controlled, but they still need to be monitored since mold spores are everywhere. Once mold has established a hold on an area, it can come back even more quickly every time the humidity rises, even in places that are supposed to be immune.

Here are some tips to preventing mold growth in the first place:

  • When bringing any items to the unit, or removing them, check the floors, ceilings and walls for any signs of mold. That musty smell we are all familiar with will help you here.
  • Look out for standing water in this area. During storms, your unit could develop a leak due to roofing or wall damage. Alert the storage company and managers immediately, or contact a contractor or building expert to help with repairs on your own property.  
  • Ensure your storage area is well-ventilated. This information can be discussed with the managers of the storage company. If you are using storage areas in your home or business, you can always invest in a dehumidifier.
  • When you are repairing or upgrading storage areas, use mold-resistant products whenever possible. There are many kinds of paint, wood, and other materials available on the market today to help you with these types of projects.

Keeping mold out of your storage units and storage areas will keep your important items safe and in good repair.

Here at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall we have the experience, the knowledge, and the expertise necessary to help you with any mold damage or preventive practices. We are also available for cleanup after fire and water damage. Call us today at (800) 455-9453!

Do You Know What To Do When Floods Happen?

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

When a disaster happens, it’s difficult to know what steps to take. But when you’re facing a flood, doing the right things as soon as you can makes a big difference. Check out our tips for what you should do – and what you shouldn’t do – if your property ever suffers water damage.

In a Flood, You SHOULD:

  • Shut off your water. Locate the main shut off valve and turn it off (clockwise).
  • Get rid of as much water as possible. Mop up any standing water and open the windows to help dry things out.
  • Move furniture, carpets, and other belongings off the wet floors. Move valuables, carpets, and furniture out of standing water and off of wet spots. If any of the items are wet, set them down to dry with plenty of space between them – more space means more airflow, which will speed drying. Rugs should be hung up, but not over a railing or against a wall: the drying rug will just get the railing or wall wet.
  • Open and air out all containers. Containers aren’t always watertight; if a box, bag, trunk, or other container is damp on the outside, make sure you unpack it completely and air out the contents.
  • Dry clothing (unless dirty). Leaving clothes wet increases the chance of mold or mildew growth. If the clothing is dirty from dirty water, don’t dry it. Leave any delicate or specialty items for the professionals to handle.

Things To AVOID:

  • Never use a vacuum on water. Household vacuums aren’t designed to suck up water – getting them wet can be a safety hazard.
  • Don’t go near anything electrical. Outlets, plugs, and appliances are all off-limits after a flood. Just because you can’t see damage doesn’t mean all is well. Wait until an electrician has been able to determine safety.
  • • Don’t go into rooms with sagging ceilings. A sagging ceiling is waterlogged and could fall at any moment. Call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall as Soon As Possible 

The sooner we get on scene, the better. With water damage, the first 24 hours are critical: if you call us right away you increase the chances that everything can be salvaged. The longer something is wet, the longer the water has to soak in, the harder it is to remove, and the more likely it is to become mold or mildew.

Mold Prevention

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is a common household problem, developing in warm, damp environments. Mold can be colored green, purple, white, and orange. While mold plays an important role outside in the environment, breaking down dead plants, mold is unwelcome in homes.

Showers and bathrooms are a common location for mold to grow, but it is possible for mold to grow anywhere in a home. Mold can come inside a home from an outside growth through inadequately sealed windows or doors. Mold spores cannot be eliminated entirely, but they will not grow if the environment is dry and well ventilated. Mold growth can be prevented by ensuring if water damage occurs, clean up occurs quickly. Using air conditioners during humid seasons and exhaust fans in kitchen can help prevent mold from growing.

Other areas to monitor moisture to prevent mold growth: exterior walls and surfaces in need of insulation where condensation can build, air conditioner drip pans, check for leaks around refrigerator, ensure crawl spaces are well ventilated, and check for leaks around a tub.

These are a few simple tips for making sure mold is not growing in your home. If you do discover a mold growth, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall provides mold remediation services for all types of residential and commercial properties

Fire Damage - Restore vs Replace

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

The first 48 hours after fire damage occurs can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.  SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems.  Our trained professionals provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration.  These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.  

A back draft of emotions often sweeps over the homeowners after a fire ravages a home.  Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt about the future of the property can overwhelm the homeowner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared. 

After the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall help you restore it.  

So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call us today (800) 455-9453.

When the Severe Storms Roll Out, SERVPRO Rolls In

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Unexpected emergencies like severe weather call for immediate action. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall knows immediate reaction to the disaster is important to helping you get your life back to normal. 

Utilizing our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines we strive to:

  • Contact you within 1 hour from notice of loss to arrange for your service. 
  • Be-on-site to begin mitigation services within 4 hours of notification.
  • Provide verbal briefing of scope to you within 8 business hour of on-site arrival. 

Exceptions to our 1-4-8 Service Response times may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation. 

We also perform pack-out services, which is removing salvageable personal property from the affected area for off-site cleaning and storage.

If you have storm damage to your home or property, call us today (800) 455-9453.  Timely mitigation is the key to minimize secondary damages caused by severe storms.

Safety Tips on How to Handle Mold

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Safety Tips on How to Handle Mold

If you see visible mold or think you have mold in a room of your home, there are some measures you should take to keep it from spreading.

Things to do:

  • Call a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)
  • Stay out of the affected room
  • Turn off the HVAC system in that room

Things not to do:

  • Do not disturb the mold
  • Do not blow air in the area
  • Do not spray bleach or other cleaning products

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall specializes in mold remediation. We have technicians that are IICRC (Institute of Inspection of Cleaning and Restoration) certified specifically as AMRT (Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians).

If you have any concerns that you may have mold, call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall before buying the “do-it-yourself” mold testing kits from the hardware store. These kits typically involve a swab and a Petri dish. Because normal environments always contain a small amount of mold spores, using them will always end with a “positive” test result, even if there is no real problem in your home. A visual inspection by the professionals at SERVPRO, coupled with testing performed by a qualified CIH will give you accurate answers, and a plan to properly take care of any microbial problems you may have.  Count on your Local SERVPRO professionals and have us out to assess the damages.  Please call 800-455-9453where we are always here to help.

Restoring Your Lehigh Valley Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Lehigh Valley commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Certifications

  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
  • OSHA - Other Training
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
  • FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician

How Dirty is my Flood Water?

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water Has Many Different Uses

We all know that there are many different uses for water. In our household alone, water is used for drinking, sanitation and even sewer purposes. When water damage occurs, it’s important to know where the cause of the damage started so that we’re able to identify the category of the water that we’re dealing with. According to the Institute of Inspection and Restoration Certification, certain categories of water can pose a higher threat than others. The IICRC set the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration. The professionals at SERVPRO of Easton are highly trained by certified IICRC instructors. 

Categories of water contamination

Category 1 –

This category of water is also know as “Clean Water”; the most     known out of all of the categories. This is the water that is sanitary to drink, cook with and wash in. This water is only sanitary while in it’s source though, such as the pipes in your home. Once it is exposed to other elements, there is a possibility of becoming contaminated.

Category 2 –

Once the water reaches category 2, it usually is noticeable due to foul odor or different look. At this level, the water is unsafe to consume or come in contact with. This category is also known as “Gray Water”. It usually occurs from an overflow of the toilet or other appliances. Do not leave this water unattended for long.

Category 3 –

Category 3, or also known as “Black Water”, is almost always pretty noticeable to point out due to the high level of contamination. Being at this level means that it may contain raw sewage, pesticides, heavy metals or other toxic substances. This high level category is extremely toxic.

It is always important to clean any type of flood or water damage as soon as it is noticed. The longer the water damage sits, the higher risk of the water becoming contaminated and causing illness.

Source - http://www.IICRC.org/the-basics-water-damage-restoration-training-a-23.html

Is Your Office Prepared for an Emergency?

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

While you should always be prepared for an emergency, National Preparedness Month is a great time to go over your emergency plan(s) in your office building. Go over this list and make sure your office prepared for anything!

  1. Whether you work in a high-rise office building or in a single story building, it is important that you have your team prepared in case of an emergency. Take some time this month to meet with your team and practice different evacuation routes. It is important that everyone know at least TWO WAYS OUT from EVERY ROOM.

  2. Don’t forget to check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers (and to replace any that may have expired). Set a schedule for replacing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s best to replace the batteries before they run out of juice. Regular maintenance of air vents and sprinkler systems are also a great way to AVOID an emergency situation. Sometimes the best preparation is active prevention.

  3. Another way to make sure your staff is prepared for an emergency is to hold or offer classes for you team to learn potential life-saving skills! The Red Cross offers classes for CPR, First Aid, and AED among other skills.

Disasters and emergencies don’t plan ahead, but you can!

Aspects to Look at During Water Damage Restoration

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Effectively Tackles Water Damage Regardless of the Source of the Water

Water damage restoration is not all about extracting water from a structure and ventilating the area so that drying can take place. Professionals in this area understand the drying theory and how to apply its principles to achieve the drying goal. So, do not make a mistake of thinking that placing drying equipment and spraying products are all that professionals do during the restoration process. We are going to look at the various aspects that professionals consider when attending to such incidents in the Lehigh Valley. 
 
The amount of water in your property after a water damage event in Easton, Bethlehem, & Whitehall is also crucial. Our SERVPRO technicians start by determining its source - it can be black water, gray water, or clean water. Clean water does not contain waste products, and it is usually water from a treated source. It can come from faulty appliances, overflowing sinks, leaking roofs and burst pipes. Fewer health risks are associated with this category of water; though, it ceases to be clean once it flows across the soil. In most cases, carpets and pads exposed to clean water are salvageable. 
 
Gray water is also known as category 2 water, and it carries waste products - minus human waste. If your washing machine malfunctions and overflows, the water it dumps on the floor is under this category. It may present health risks if a person drinks, touches, or experiences any form of contact. Our SERVPRO team thoroughly cleans carpets exposed to gray water and replaces saturated pads. 
 
Category 3 water is known as black water - though it does not means the water must be black. It is majorly unsanitary water with much debris which exposes humans to health risks. Burst sewage back-ups and floodwater are examples of its sources. It is advisable to replace porous materials, pads, and carpets that are contaminated with black water. 
 
At SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, we respond immediately to storm, mold, fire, and water damage disaster. Call us at (800) 455-9453and let us make your property “Like it never even happened.” 

Our Mold Damage Team Can Restore Your Lehigh Valley Home

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water and mold damage along bottom 3ft of wall Whether you find a small or large patch of mold in your home, contact SERVPRO for effective remediation and containment services.

SERVPRO Technicians Quickly Contain the Mold Infestation in Your Home

Mold can be visible or can present a stale or musty odor. If you notice mold in your home, call a professional right away to remediate any damages. Mold can cause health effects, which makes it imperative for homeowners to deal with it as soon as possible.


SERVPRO mold remediation professionals in the Lehigh Valley are highly trained to use industrial grade disinfectants and specialized equipment to get rid of mold inside your home. Our crew works quickly and efficiently to contain and reduce mold levels inside your home. Also, our crews take proper precautions to ensure they do not spread mold spores to any other areas inside your home. Our techs can use plastic sheeting and tape to seal and contain mold. Plus, our crews can set up areas to clean and sanitize items and any equipment they employ during restoration. 
 
Since mold spores are microscopic, there can be thousands of airborne spores inside your home. Our technicians use commercial grade air scrubbers to clean and to purify the atmosphere inside your residence. Specialized HEPA filters catch and trap mold spores, push them through a hose and contain them inside a bag outside of the residence. These machines can also get rid of stale mold odors. Our techs may also use professional grade anti-fungal sprays to clean areas and to stop mold growth. It is not possible to eliminate every mold spore inside your home, but our techs can get them down to a safe level. 
 
After our technicians remove mold spores and clean surfaces inside your residence, they begin to dry the structure. Drying helps prevent mold re-growth. Our technicians may also use air movers to eliminate moisture. Also, they may use axial fans to force damp air from your home and to speed up drying. 
 
SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall offers mold damage restoration services that can restore your home when possible. Contact us at 800-455-9453 anytime. We are nearby and here to help.

Properly Maintain an Emergency Sump Pump

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Sump Pump Properly maintain your sump pump to ensure back up after a flood in the Lehigh Valley

If you live in the Lehigh Valley where heavy rains and flooding often affect the water tables especially around the rivers, streams, ponds and lakes, then you should become familiar with the value of maintaining flood equipment, such as a backup sump pump. This appliance protects homes with poor drainage, foundation weaknesses, and aging basement walls. 

Prepare for Action

When your emergency sump pump is in top condition, it may be able to remove two feet of water at a time from your basement. Keep it ready for action with the following maintenance.

Quarterly Maintenance

• Rinse pump inlet screen and remove dust or debris.
• Visually inspect power cord and power connection.
• Run water through to make sure the float rises, and the pump turns on.

Annual Maintenance

• Schedule professional inspections and maintenance for the sump. 
• Read your owner's manual for DIY maintenance, such as greasing pump bearings.
• Remove the pump to thoroughly inspect and clean it. Make repairs as necessary.
• Clean out the rest of the equipment.
• Reassemble the machine. 

Protect Your Primary Sewage System

When your primary sewage piping or sump system is at risk, a back up battery pump is crucial. This pump kicks in when water levels are high. It keeps your home safe when too much rain water and debris has overwhelmed your existing drainage system. An emergency battery-powered pump can keep your home safely dry when the power goes out. It may sit on the shelf, unused for months or years at a time, but with appropriate maintenance, it will be ready when you need it. 

If a sump pump isn't a possibility, you may be able to work with a remediation professional. These experts often have a truck-mounted trash pump, in addition to the sump. 

Act Immediately 

The immediate use of this equipment can prevent serious damages, mold growth, and the need for expensive repairs.  Protect your Lehigh Valley home and family from standing water, mold growth, and other flooding damages with a second layer of protection.  In the event of a flood where you find yourself looking for a professional company to handle the damage, call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall at (800) 455-9453.

Fire Safety for Pets

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to, according to their website – and also, they are the most preventable.  According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires.

It’s important to keep in mind that if you need a plan for your family in case of disaster, you should also have a plan for your pets.

Did you know?

  • The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets.

The best way to protect your pets is to include them in your family escape plan, in case of disaster.  Train your pets to go to you when you call their name that way in the event of a fire evacuation, you can leave with them easily and safely.

The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have provided the following tips:

  • Be sure your pet is not left unattended by open flames, such as cooking appliances, candles, or fire place.  Be sure to extinguish any flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house.  A stove is the number one appliance involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – these candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle (something cats are notorious for).
  • Secure your pets while you’re away – keep them confined in secure areas that don’t present a potential fire hazard.

Some other tips?  Keep pets near entrances when you’re away from your home and keep their collars on.  Have leashes nearby and ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.  You can also affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the cling to a front window.  This information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.

Pets become a part of our families, and we need to remember that we need to have plans in place for them too when it comes to safely evacuating a home in case of a fire. And remember, if you are victim of a house fire, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall can help #LikeItNeverEvenHappened.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today – 800-455-9453

The Four Seasons of SERVPRO

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall is located in the beautiful State of Pennsylvania.  Here we are lucky enough to enjoy all four seasons.  But with each season comes difficulties for home and business owners.  In the Lehigh Valley we are prone to Snow Storms and Thunder Storms which each provide their own sets of challenges.

Winter often brings power outages from wind, downed trees, or ice which can cause pipes to freeze and split which causes flooding to homes and businesses.  Ice dams are also a concern when constant thawing and re-freezing causes water to creep into to a buildings roof and go un-noticed.  The water may keep coming in until the snow or ice is removed from a roof.

Spring, Summer, and Fall are the worst when it comes to storm seasons.  From Tornado season to Hurricane season, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall is always on alert when it comes to storms.  Wind that causes roofing and siding to blow off a building often open up the structure for rain to come in affecting the home with water damage.  High winds also leave the potential for trees to come down on structures and cause significant damage throughout the structure when it is open to the elements.  Lightning strikes leave a potential for a fire which is rare, but does happen. The most common issue we see from storm damages would be from the flooding.  Most issues are a result of an abundance of high flood levels.  Keep in mind the fact that even with a sump pump, there is a chance that they may not always work.  For example a power outage during a heavy rain storm where a sump pump may not work without a backup in place.  And last but not least would be sewage backups in homes during times of heavy rain or flooding.  This is a serious matter which we see all too often and most people are unsure where to even begin.

Please do not WAIT until it's too LATE!  Usually weeks after storms may have passed and water damage has gone un-noticed in a home or business, we receive calls to come out and estimate Mold Remediations.

Above all, make your safety top priority. 

Remember to call the brand that you know and trust to take care of any storm damage that you may have suffered.

Call our local office of SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall at (800) 455-9453.

The Pentagon: A Case Study

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

When water pipes located in the basement of the Pentagon burst early one morning, pouring 1.8 million gallons of water over 565,000 square feet - or roughly 17 miles of hallway - SERVPRO Franchise Professionals completed the enormous task of drying the structure in just 7 days. 

Following the events of September 11, 2001, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals were once more called upon to assist with the cleanup & restoration of the Pentagon. In spite of the emotions & difficulties involved in the restoration effort, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals dried nearly 300,000 square feet in addition to providing fire, soot, and smoke cleanup and restoration services. Upon completion of the drying assignment, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provided mold remediation services in other sections of the facility. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals met the challenge and completed the process in just 90 days. 

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

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

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. Call us today at (800 455-9453, or visit our website: SERVPROEastonBethlehemWhitehall.com

Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Freeze Drying and Why You Should Care

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

"When water is not your friend!" words on water droplet background Water is not always your friend. Especially if you run an office that requires a lot of documents and secure information to be kept.

Do you have a lot of important documents in your office?

Is your office subjected to HIPAA regulations or client and patient confidentiality laws?

What is your plan for all those if you have a water damage event?

Did you know that SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall has a solution for that?

It starts with a relationship with your facility and an understanding about what the process is and how it works. Here is a snapshot. We need to have someone from your office that can assist with proper labeling of the boxes so none of the files are misfiled.

The next steps are critical and will ensure the largest number of documents survive.

Freezing Documents/Cold Storage

Where to find Cold Storage Facilities. Grocery Stores tend to have a vendor in their area that rents cold storage spaces to store their excess frozen goods until they are ready to be put on the shelf. These facilities regularly have extra space and will store documents as well. Price may vary depending on your location. However, the average rate around the country is roughly $4 a cubic foot per month. These facilities should be used primarily if you need Long-Term storage.  SERVPRO Industries, Inc. also has cold storage available. Call and ask about available space and pricing. Documents should be sent to SERVPRO Industries, Inc. as soon as possible in order to minimize damage to documents and facilitate drying procedures to ensure efficient return.

Shipping

Any of the major shipping carriers (UPS, FedEx, USPS) will work for smaller orders. Overnight Shipping is a MUST. Whether the documents are frozen or not. It is crucial that we receive these documents as soon as possible in order to keep them frozen until they are ready to be cycled through the chamber. This prevents further damage and deterioration. Overnight shipping is most important when dealing with documents that have not been frozen PRIOR to shipping. The sooner we receive documents that have not been frozen the sooner we can freeze them and stop them from further damage/deterioration. Refrigerated Trucks and Trailers (Reefer Trucks) Reefer trucks come in many different sizes, ranging from 16’ box trucks all the way to 53’ tractor trailers. They can be rented from a lot of the major rental companies like Penske, and Ryder. There are even smaller rental companies all over the nation that rent reefer trucks. Reefer trucks work the best when dealing with larger quantities of documents. This is because it doubles as your cold storage as well as shipping! Once you have the truck packed, all you have to do is find a driver to drive it to us and we’ll handle the rest!

Benefits of Vacuum Freeze Drying

Vacuum Freeze drying

  1. Process in which an item containing moisture is frozen and dried using various vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation.
  2. Sublimation is the direct conversion of a solid (Ice) into a gas (water vapor), without passage through a liquid stage. Take Dry Ice for example. Dry ice is made of Carbon Dioxide, not water. When dry ice is exposed to normal atmospheric conditions it begins to sublimate, it turns directly from its sold stage into its gaseous stage bypassing the liquid stage

Why Vacuum Freeze Drying?

Vacuum Freeze Drying is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water damaged documents. It is the only method that is approved by NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) and the GSA (General Services Administration). Other Methods such as dehumidification can alter the structure of the paper’s fibers and cause the papers to become more brittle and is not recommended by any means.

Other Services Provided Digitizing

With the new age of technology majority of people have begun digitizing their documentation rather than keeping the hard paper copies. However, businesses that have been around for a long time (Hospitals, Law Firms, State and Federal Governments) still have a surplus of paper documentation. Most of these businesses do not have the time to digitize these old files. In the event that these documents need to be salvaged, digitizing may also be a good option. It makes them easier to access as well as easier to store. Many businesses have storage facilities that are specifically for documents, or they subcontract the storage and upkeep to a company like Iron Mountain. This makes accessing a particular file very difficult and painstaking.

In a contaminated water situation (Sewage or Flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. As you all know, in most storm situations you are dealing with contaminated water. Therefore most of the affected documents that you will encounter will be contaminated. If this is the case then de-contamination is always a must.

Certified destruction:

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Compliance

What is HIPAA?

Requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information.

Why HIPAA is important?

  1. Doctors by law cannot release PHI (Protected Health Information) to just anyone. With that being said, covered entities (Hospitals, Physicians, Doctors, etc.) cannot release PHI for the purpose of recovery and/or restoration to anyone unless that Business Associate (BA) is HIPAA compliant. This is to ensure that their patient records are being handled properly and with minimal risk for any PHI to be compromised.
  2. Chain of Custody is the tracking of sensitive documents (or any documents) through a process. This depicts whose hands the documents passed through and when, allowing any company to track down any leaks of sensitive information (if such situation where to occur). It is crucial when handling sensitive documentation, especially when dealing with protected health information (Commonly Referred to as PHI).
  3. HIPAA Certifications ensure that personnel are Master HIPAA certified to handle PHI. This certification allows SERVPRO not only to handle PHI, but tells Covered Entities that we are held to a high standard and can and will be held accountable if any information is compromised.

We hope that this has given you something to think about. Should you like us to go through this further with those at your office please call us at 800-455-9453 and set up your appointment today.

Mold in Your Commercial Property

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can be found almost anywhere. Issues arise after water and food sources are made available to the spores. These two factors allow the mold to colonize. Take this picture for example. Mold does not typically form on metal. However, the pipes had a significant enough amount of dust to allow it to support the mold colony. Keep this in mind when you are completing spring cleaning.

Once a problem area of mold is found the first step is making sure to alleviate the moisture issues. The second step is having the mold remediated. Often customers worry about what type of mold may exist in their home. According to SERVPRO, “Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”. Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing. Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.” Long story short, if you suspect a mold problem. Contact the professionals to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke and Soot in your Lehigh Valley Home

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 800-455-9453

Quick Response and High Standards Will Leave you Satisfied after Remediation

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Tree fallen on roof of house after a storm SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall is ready to deal with any size storm damage. Call today!

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a home or business owner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home or building is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall delivers the help you need quickly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,700 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great. 
 
Storm damage in the Northeast can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “Like it never even happened.” 
 
Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home and in the process, we also restore your and your family’s peace of mind. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified, current in Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIICRC) for any procedure needed to bring your home back to the comfortable and comforting refuge you deserve. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored dwelling. 

Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall. Dial (800) 455-9453 24/7 and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.

Benefect Disinfectants and Cleaners - Used by SERVPRO in the Lehigh Valley

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Having an issue with water damage, mold damage, bio-hazard clean up needs, or fire is always a challenge. It can become even more difficult if there are at risk loved ones involved. But don’t worry SERVPRO can help cater to any need. For example, when a deep cleaning and disinfecting is needed SERVPRO can utilize all-natural biocides to help make sure an at-risk person won’t suffer the side effects that may be associated with other products. One product that we have in our arsenal is Benefect. According to their website, “Benefect's botanical disinfectants and cleaners are used by Insurance Restoration Contractors to clean up water damage, fire damage, mold remediation and trauma scene clean up. Using nature as the model, we've created cleaning products with no compromise in strength and without endangering human health.” Additionally, specialized equipment, such as air scrubbers can be set up to help minimize the amount of dust or odors that are produced after a damage, while also cleaning the air. If you have a loved one with an issue in their home, business, or care facility, reach out to SERVPRO for service that goes above and beyond.

Source http://benefect.com/index.php

Forensic Remediation

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Forensic Remediation

     Forensic remediation is a solemn but necessary practice in the field of restoration.  If you have ever had the misfortune to discover a deceased family member or loved one, you may not realize how important it is to inquire about forensic remediation services.  Forensic remediation can be necessary to restore a home back to preloss conditions.  The three main causes of forensic damage are suicide, homicide, and unassisted deaths.  An unassisted death occurs with someone expires and the body is not discovered for an extended period of time.  When a body sits for an excessive amount of time the advanced stages of decomposition sets in. Unassisted deaths are unfortunately common and more damage to the home can occur the longer a body is allowed to decompose. 

     The biggest reason to have a professional company such as SERVPRO to perform this service is safety.  It cannot be stressed enough how important safety is when it comes to any environment that may deal with blood or other bodily fluids.  First and foremost blood is pathogenic.  What that means is any fresh blood has the possibility to make you sick.  SERVPRO technicians are donned in Tyvek suits, gloves, and full face shields.  Having the correct personal protection equipment is crucial when handling any materials affected with blood.  There are times when the bereaved enlist volunteers to help clean up the areas whom wear little or no protective gear and are subjecting themselves to a harmful environment.  During extreme cases, any illness obtained by volunteers could potentially hold the bereaved liable for damages.  When you hire SERVPRO, you needn’t worry about any such complications because SERVPRO educates their employees to be certified in all restorative fields, and each franchise carries various insurances necessary for the restoration field.

    Another main reason to outsource this line of work to the professionals at SERVPRO is to insure that you are receiving the most quality of service.  Certified technicians will understand what types of materials are salvageable or not depending on how affected the areas are.  When blood is pooled on the carpet it is not safe to clean and sanitize the area.  The most appropriate step to take is to remove the carpet and pad.  Once the carpet and pad has been removed the technicians will now address the sub floor.  The sub floor will be cleaned and sanitize with an E.P.A. registered disinfectant and sealed with an antimicrobial sealer.  There have been scenarios where the bereaved have tried to clean and sanitized porous materials such as carpet, but then have become sick in the future.  If porous materials are only lightly affected by splatter instead of being completely saturated they may be cleaned and sanitized.  However, in many instances of cleaning and sanitizing these lightly affected areas still leave an unsightly stain.

    After the damage has been assessed, and the areas properly mitigated any soiled materials are then bagged in bio hazard bags and properly discarded and hauled from the work site.  A side effect of the deceased can be the odor.  SERVPRO has several different pieces of equipment that are designed to handle many types of odors, especially odors that are protein base.  Once the technicians are completely finished the affected area is now safe for the bereaved and will allow them to mourn properly without the added stress.

Being Prepared for Water Damage During the Summer

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Summertime can be wet. In some areas of the country, rain is almost a daily occurrence during the summer. Flooding can be a hazard when this happens, and that can be inconvenient and even dangerous. Possessions can be ruined, and even the structures of homes and businesses can be negatively affected. A professional water restoration company, like SERVPRO, can be a big help during such times, as they are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner.

While flooding can’t be predicted most of the time, educating yourself on the most common flood-prone areas will help you be prepared to handle such an event, and even to prevent it! Some areas of your home or business are going to be more apt to experience water damage than others during storms, such as low-lying areas like basements and cellars.

Here is a list of the three most common areas to suffer from summer water damage:

BASEMENTS

Basements and cellars, the lowest parts of a house or building, need to be watched during wet weather since they have a number of easy entry points for water. If there is heavy rainfall during inclement weather, or if the building is near a body of water such as a lake or river, they are going to be in danger. Keep an eye open for cracks in the foundation, ceiling, and walls of these areas!

ATTICS, ROOFS AND GUTTERS

A damaged roof, either from weather or fire, is susceptible to water damage and the areas underneath will suffer. A small leak can turn into a big problem before you know it. If the rain gutters have not been properly maintained, you may experience some problems stemming from standing water - even indoors.

WINDOWS, DOORS, AND ENTRYWAYS

Keep an eye on your doors and windows; if they are not properly sealed against wet conditions, you will know it right away. Entryways are also a potential problem area; make sure they are free of standing water and debris so that people don’t get hurt.

Our team of professionals, at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, is experienced in repairs and cleanup from damages caused by water, fire, and mold. You can call us at (800) 455-9453, or visit our website: SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall.

Smoke and Fire Damage from a Kitchen Fire Create Horrible Odors

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

White countertop in kitchen with smoke and a stove-top fire Kitchen fires can happen very quickly and spread. After the firefighters leave, contact SERVPRO for remediation services.

Team SERVPRO Arrives on the Scene Quickly After a Fire in Your Kitchen

Many residents in the Lehigh Valley add meat to the family meal to ensure adequate intake of protein by everyone present. This same protein can cause severe problems if the person cooking it forgets it and allows it to burn. Catching fire and spewing flames out of your cookware does not need to happen for smoke production to overwhelm your kitchen, but when it does happen, it only increases the amount of overall damage sustained. 
 
Rainy days during the Spring months can keep grilling endeavors indoors where the risk of fire becomes more likely due to interruptions, as well. Outdoor activities can easily cause anyone to lose track of time and forget about the steaks left on the kitchen stove. It takes only a few minutes of extra heat from the stove to go from 'perfectly done' to zero visibility conditions developing inside your kitchen area. 
 
Once we arrive, we set up powerful air movers. These machines move a large volume of air in a very short period. Our air scrubbers go one step further in reducing the amount of smokiness in your home. These machines filter out the particles that may have already passed into other parts of your residence and keep them from becoming constant reminders of a burnt meal. 
 
All meat contains significant amounts of protein that begin producing an extremely acrid, bitter odor after reaching a specific temperature. The oil that often accompanies such food while cooking only adds to the problem. SERVPRO technicians can also perform thermal fogging in cases where the odor persists. The heated fog that carries neutralizing agents permeate the same areas the smoke entered, resulting in significant improvements to the indoor air quality. 
 
Manual cleaning of all surfaces inside your kitchen protects them from soot's abrasive nature. We use special cleansers that cut through the greasiness and unique tools that then lift the mess off the area. After we clean everything and eliminate the smoke odor, without any trace of fire damage, everything in your home goes back to looking "Like it never even happened." 
 
SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall can help your family after a bout of smoke and fire damage from a kitchen flare up. Contact us at 800-455-9453 so we can assist you in getting your home back to normal again. We perform our services in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Continuing Education

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall focuses heavily on educating our staff on how to handle any situation, to make sure we deliver on our promise to make it “Like it never even happened." We focus on maintaining and updating our knowledge base constantly. Many professions require continuing education. Our office is proud to offer education credits to our local insurance agents and adjusters. Every month the sales team is up early cooking breakfast, prepping our classroom and greeting our attendees. Steve Davis, one of the owners of SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall, is a certified instructor. He can provide credits for our local agents and some of our classes can even accommodate agents or adjusters from New Jersey. So, if you or someone you know is looking to gain some credits soon or if you would like to visit and enjoy a great breakfast while bulking up your collection of credits. Give SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall at 800-455-9453.

If you are not an agent or an adjuster don’t feel left out. If you would like to learn more about how to handle fire, mold, or water damage, or how to take care of a bio-hazard issue talk to your local representative. We have provided several “lunch & Learns” to businesses in our local area. We have visited property managers, real estate offices, construction firms, and even school districts. We hope to hear from you soon.

Grilling Safety

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

With the Memorial Day holiday past us we are at the beginning of grilling season. The weather is getting nicer and SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall would like to provide you with some helpful tips to keep you and your family safe.

  • Grilling Safety Tips
    • Always grill outdoors
    • Grills cannot be used on the balcony with an overhang.
    • The grill should be at least 10 feet away from the house or building.
    • Keep children and pets three feet away from the grill while in use.
  • Gas Grill Safety
    • Make sure the lid is open when you light it, the propane can build up inside and when ignited, and the lid may blow off.
    • If you smell gas, turn the grill off immediately and do not move the grill.
    • Always make sure you turn the burners off and close the propane cylinder when you’re done using it.
    • Don’t ever leave a burning grill unattended.
  • Charcoal Grill Safety
    • Only use charcoal starter fluid. Never use gas or kerosene to start a fire.
    • Charcoal can give off carbon monoxide which can be deadly so always use your grill outdoors.
    • Always allow the coals to cool for 48 hours before proper disposal. If you can’t wait until they cool then soak them in water before putting them in a metal container.

Lehigh Valley - Things You Might Not Expect from Storms

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storms of all kinds are just a part of life. We usually know they are coming, and we know things will get wet and blown about. Sometimes there will be flooding in low-lying areas, and for the folks who live in those places, that’s to be expected, although certainly not something anyone looks forward to. But you know what to prepare for, and so you do. You check windows and doors, drainage systems, and you make sure everyone you care about knows what to do in those events. So far, so good.

But what about those storm events that cause things to happen that just didn’t seem possible, or that you weren’t looking for?

After a severe rainstorm, your property can suffer from an infestation of insects, for example. They might be seeking higher ground, or their nests were destroyed and they need to build again. Not something you would be thinking about, but it can happen! Make sure you know who to call if you develop a problem like that!

In the event of hurricanes and tornadoes, large items can end up in the strangest places! We’ve all heard stories or seen pictures of cars up in trees, or an entire outdoor table and chair set sitting in another yard down the street. This, too, is not something you would expect. What will you do if that happens? A professional cleaning company such as the team at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall is ready and waiting to help you if your neighbor’s stuff ends up on your property!

Some of the things that can happen are pretty scary, such as branches driven through walls, trees falling on roofs, or extremely large hail falls. Before storm season, maybe think about weather events that could happen, and make some plans. Do you have a safe place for your larger machinery and cars in case of extreme weather? Do you have enough non-perishable food items in case of longer-than-normal power outages? If you have elderly neighbors, do you know who would be helping them if they were in trouble? Does that huge tree in your yard look like a liability? Safety is serious business!

We are always ready to help in the event of water or fire damage here at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall (800-455-9453).

3D Mold in the Lehigh Valley

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO we have seen mold of all kinds and colors. Recently we even saw mold that had a unique shape. According to the CDC, “Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.”

The attached photo shows 3-dimensional mold found at a commercial location in the Lehigh Valley. Growth like this takes extended periods of time to occur. Be sure to have someone checking on properties that remain vacant for any long stretch of time such as vacation homes, unused offices, vacant warehouses or apartments. Discovering a water damage early is the key to preventing mold growth.

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

Resource: https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

Contractor Relations

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Contractor Relations

Not long-ago contractors survived on referrals from insurance agents and claims adjusters to build their business. Smart contractors built strong relationships with agents and adjusters and maintained a level of trust with them that would keep those referrals coming in. The main things that would drive and protect these relationships were being prompt, fair and honest estimating, communication, and providing great customer service. The industry has changed dramatically over the past 20 years and for several reasons direct referrals have become a thing of the past. Because of this shift in the industry, if you are not a national name or a vendor for every third-party administrator out there, it's getting more difficult to find a consistent workflow than ever before. 

Because of the way the national contracts work, contractors end up working with independent claims adjusters or staff adjusters that are not always local. All communication is done by email and phone and the contractor is relied upon to provide accurate information to the carrier so they can settle the claim. At SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall we believe those practices that kept our referrals coming in the past are more important than ever before. If the insurance company is going to rely on us to provide them the information they need to help our customer, we have a much larger obligation in this process than before. We have to be quick, accurate, and thorough so that customer and adjuster have the information they need to keep the process moving forward. Understanding that our clients didn't plan for this project and doing everything we can to make it a smooth process for all parties is what sets us apart from the competition. 

Use These Tips to Save Money

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

Your home is likely your biggest investment, and requires routine maintenance to keep it in good shape. Some things can be tackled on an annual basis while others should be done monthly. Here is our suggested list to keep your home running smoothly this year. 

Monthly

Frequently used items require regular attention.  Clean out your garbage disposal and regularly replace air filters. You should also periodically check your roof for leaks.

Seasonally

A seasonal checklist is easiest during mild weather.  Commit to a few simple tasks like trimming trees and shrubs away from your home's exterior.  While you are out there, check your gutters and clean out any leaves or debris that can lead to water backing up

Also, take a moment to inspect the weather stripping that is around windows and doors.  If you see cracks or broken seals, this is an easy replacement that will save money on heating and cooling costs. 

Annually

Inspect all your fire extinguishers and make sure they are up to date and fully pressurized.  Set aside one day a year to do things like schedule a chimney cleaning and have your HVAC system inspected. 

Organizing home maintenance tasks into a manageable schedule can help your prioritize prevention and save you money in the long run. 

Quick Response and High Standards Will Leave you Satisfied after Remediation

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

Quick Response and High Standards Will Leave you Satisfied after Remediation

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of 1,700+ franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great.

Storm damage can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “Like it never even happened.”

Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home or business to its preloss condition. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified, current in Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIICRC) for any procedure needed to bring your home back to the comfortable and comforting refuge you deserve. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored home or business.

Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall. Dial (800) 455-9453 anytime during the day or night and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.

Cleaning Myths and The Facts - SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Myths and The Facts From Your Local SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall

When you just want to clean your house after everyday use you want it to be done quick and easy. Not confusing and hard. These 10 myths about cleaning will be explained to help you clean with a more effective product or to show you that the product you are using doesn't work as well as you thought. Enjoy!

Myth: Newspaper does windows well

Fact: Wet newspaper tears easily and the ink can transfer to window trim, leaving more to clean. Use microfiber cloths to clean glass. They’re the best at cleaning without streaking.

Myth: Coca-cola belongs in the toilet

Fact: Coke isn’t “it” when it comes to cleaning your toilet bowl. Coke is acidic, so it could be effective at removing hard water stains BUT soda could actually darken stains and the sugar could encourage bacteria.

Myth: Handwashing dishes is better than using a dishwasher

Fact: If your dishwasher is a decade old, this may be true, but today’s models beat handwashing by a mile. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website, using a dishwasher that bears the Energy Star label can save some 5,000 gallons of water, more than $40 dollars in energy costs, and 230 hours in personal time over the course of a year, versus handwashing. And, because dishwashers heat the water to 140°F, they’ll sanitize the dishes, too.

Myth: Coffee freshens garbage disposers

Fact: Coffee grounds may act as a mild abrasive, removing gunk from disposer blades, but baking soda is a better choice: It’s also mildly abrasive, and because it’s a base it will counteract all the smelly acids that we put down the drain.

Myth: Vinegar cleans everything

Fact: Vinegar is an acid, so it can cut through dirt and can kill bacteria, but only if you use it at full or nearly full strength. Most people put a capful in a bucket of water, and that doesn’t do much. The acids in vinegar can damage natural stone and wood surfaces.

Myth: Hairspray removes ballpoint ink

Fact: This may have been true years ago, when hairsprays were formulated with more alcohol (which does remove ink) than they are today, but not anymore. Today’s hairsprays are full of stiffeners and hardeners that will just make the stain worse. Just use rubbing alcohol. It’s far less expensive than hairspray, and doesn’t include any extra ingredients.

Myth: Bleach cleans everything

Fact: Bleach actually doesn’t ‘clean’ anything—because it doesn’t remove soil. It can lighten stains, making things look cleaner, and it kills bacteria, so it’s better as a sanitizer than as a cleaner.      

Myth: Feathers make great dusters

Fact: Genuine ostrich-feather dusters do attract dust, but they’re expensive and are generally not as effective as lambswool or microfiber options. Most feather dusters just spread the dust around. Also, they tend to drop feathers which is just leaving you more to pick up.

Myth: Cleaning solutions work instantly

Fact: Nope. We recommend allowing any cleaning solution to sit on the surface for two to three minutes. Always follow the directions on the product’s label. Some solutions, like disinfectants, need a full ten minutes to truly kill bacteria.

Myth: String makes the best mops

Fact: Industrial-style string mops may look impressive, but studies have shown that microfiber mops are about 20 percent more effective at removing dirt and bacteria. String mops are very absorbent, so they’re great at cleaning up big spills, but if you want to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind on the floor, use a microfiber mop.

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall proudly serves you and specializes in fire, smoke, mold, water and biohazard damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Deodorization Powers of Ozone Gas

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Many consumers may have heard miraculous deodorization powers of Ozone gas. What is ozone you may ask?  Here is an explanation. “Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive molecule and is very quick to chemically react with particles that it comes into contact with in the air and on surfaces” according to Ozonesolutions.com in an article titled “How Does Ozone Remove Odors.” Since Ozone is a volatile and reactive molecule, it is able to break down bacteria’s, molecules, or molds that are causing odors in homes. The fact that ozone is a gas means it can seek out hard to reach spaces and clean locations that you may not be able to find. Essentially, Ozone is able to clean anywhere that air can reach in a structure.

There are some safety concerns to be aware of. Ozone is deadly to what SERVPRO calls the three P’s, which includes people, pets, and plants. Additionally, Ozone can bleach materials such as carpeting or furniture under the correct conditions. Contact a SERVPRO professional to find out if using Ozone at your home or business is right for you to take care of any unwanted odors.

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

Source: Ozone Solutions

Vandalism and Graffiti Clean Up

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from a minor prank to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant damages, like that from water, which can cause mold.

Here is a short list of what to do and what not to do if you find yourself a victim of vandalism.

Do:

  • Record all damage and photograph areas when possible.
  • Save containers revealing the ingredients of products used in vandalism damage, when available.
  • Hose or wash egg or other residue damage from building exterior as soon as possible.
  • Carefully vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.

Don't:

  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
  • Operate damaged electrical appliances.
  • Discard broken or damaged pieces from porcelain, furniture or other contents that may be repairable.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we can also clean your driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic and masonry. Our highly trained technicians can help to restore your home or business back to its original beauty.

Need Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today – (800) 455-9453

Teaching Your Children to Handle the Unexpected

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Teaching your children to handle the unexpected

Handling the Unexpected

It’s almost that time of year again when schools are out for summer and the kids run free. Sometimes things happen and our children are left to fend for themselves for part of the day and sometimes the entire day.  This can come with some hesitation as we allow our children to grow up and fend for themselves.  Rest assured the more that you prepare them for this phenomenon, the better off you both will be. 

Handling the Unexpected

You can feel more confident about your absence if your child learns some basic skills that might come in handy during an emergency. Organizations such as the American Red Cross offer courses in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in local places like schools, hospitals, and community centers.

Before being left home alone, your child should be able to complete certain tasks and safety precautions, such as:

  • knowing when and how to call 911 and what address information to give the dispatcher
  • knowing how to work the home security system, if you have one, and what to do if the alarm is accidentally set off
  • locking and unlocking doors
  • working the phone/cell phone (in some areas, you have to dial 1 or the area code to dial out)
  • turning lights off and on
  • operating the microwave

Knowing what to do if:

  • there's a small fire in the kitchen
  • the smoke alarm goes off
  • there’s severe weather
  • a stranger comes to the door
  • someone calls for a parent who isn't home
  • there's a power outage

Regularly discuss some emergency scenarios — ask what your child would do if, for example, he or she smelled smoke, a stranger knocked at the door, or someone called for you while you're gone.

Call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall at 800-455-9453. We are Here to Help.

Lehigh Valley Technology Company and Disaster Planning

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

According to FEMA “40% of businesses never re-open after a Disaster.” This statistic, paired with the fact that many businesses do not have a plan to properly deal with a disaster means recovering from a major weather event is an uphill battle. While SERVPRO can repair the physical space and contents of your building, there is something that may be lost or destroyed that can be far more valuable. What would happen if you lost your data? Phone numbers, banking accounts, financial records the list goes on and on.

Scott Gingold of the Lehigh Valley Technology Company deals with getting his clients prepared for some of the very real scenarios that can result if you are not prepared for a disaster. Here are some details from a recent article.

“What would you do if you walked into your office and all your equipment was stolen? What if a bad storm causes a power surge that kills your server? Maybe you or one of your employees deletes an important folder of information? How would you react if your personal hard drive crashed and all your family photos and personal files were gone? The truth is, your data is at risk every day.

Would you be able to retrieve all your information, including customer data, financial information and other critical data quickly if one the many risks that threaten your data does destroy your files? Would you be able to get your business back up and running without your most critical information?

Experts say that 93% of businesses that lose their data for 5 days or more due to a disaster, file for bankruptcy or close their business within one year of the data loss.”

Don’t become another statistic. Create a disaster plan to ensure that your business can bounce back quickly and if you need help getting started, call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall at 800-455-9453. We provide free disaster planning services through our Emergency Ready Plans.

Carbon Webbing

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

Looks like a dirty cobweb or spiderweb, right? Well, if you have seen something that looks similar in your home or business it doesn’t mean you need to step up your spring cleaning. Unfortunately, it means you have suffered from a fire or puff back. Burning materials causes a chemical reaction that causes carbon molecules to chain to themselves. Once this process occurs long enough the chains then become visible. The most common place to find them is in corners or around doorways. Since spider webs and cobwebs like to locate themselves in the same places the natural thought is that after a fire a cobweb or spider web absorbed the black discoloration from smoke damage. However, these are brand new structures that need to be cleaned to prevent further soot damage.

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

Drying Wall Cavities and Cabinets Damaged by Water

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Drying Wall Cavities and Cabinets Damaged by Water

After major water damage situations, such as those that result from storms, flooding, or burst pipes in a home, it may be necessary to dry wall cavities and other small spaces as part of the total restoration effort. When placing air movers and dehumidifiers close to the wall surface is proving ineffective, restoration professionals must drill holes into the surface to help speed evaporation.

Trapped moisture within a wall cavity can lead to the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria, not to mention compromise structural integrity. This is known as secondary damage. Microbial growth will occur on the paper surface of gypsum wallboard if allowed to remain wet for extended periods of time. In most cases, this form of damage requires the removal of the affected material.

Wall Cavities

Wet walls can present a challenge to water damage restoration professionals. Walls are usually covered with a variety of finished surfaces, making choosing the appropriate drying technique difficult.

For walls with a single layer of wallboard and flat paint, the only drying tool needed is an air mover blowing warm, dry air along the wall surface.

For walls that are covered with vinyl wallpaper, high-gloss enamel paint, or walls with multiple layers of wallboard, it is necessary to drill holes into the wall to allow air to flow into the cavity (the space between the wall studs). Airflow in the cavity will increase the rate of evaporation, which speeds drying. You can enhance drying and evaporation efforts further by feeding air movers blowing into the wall with a dehumidifier, or warming wall surfaces with direct heat.

In order to reduce the need for extensive repairs, it is usually best to remove the baseboards and drill into the wall at the floor level. Before removing the base, use a pencil to score a light line at the top of the base. Remove the baseboard and drill holes beneath the faint pencil line. Repairs will be easier, and after the base is replaced or reset, the holes will usually be covered by the baseboards.

When drywall is installed over concrete block, it is generally dry-able if there is no insulation in the airspace between the gypsum and the block.

For walls with extensive moisture damage, it may be necessary to completely remove all wet wallboard and all wet insulation. Be sure to evaluate the needs of the situation carefully before going this route, as it is the most destructive and expensive to repair.

Typically, gypsum wallboard that has not sustained primary damage will restore quite well. All of the gypsum's strength is restored through the drying process, and sometimes even enhanced. Minimal swelling can sometimes occur, causing tape joints and fastener heads to become visible. If this should happen, and repairs cannot be made, the wallboard must be replaced.

Cabinets / Vanities

When drying cabinets and vanities, it is essential that restoration professionals take extra care to minimize damage while still thoroughly drying the structure. Unlike drywall, which can be easily patched and painted, holes drilled into cabinets cause permanent damage that ruins the entire cabinet (and greatly upsets the homeowner). 

The best place to drill holes for drying cabinets and vanities is through the toe-kick, the cosmetic cover on the very bottom portion of the cabinet. The toe-kick is usually removable and/or replaceable.

If there is no access to the toe-kick, holes can be drilled through the shelving in the bottom of the cabinets, through the wall immediately behind the cabinets, or through the back wall of the cabinet itself. These holes are either located out of sight or can be easily repaired.

When drilling holes for your wall drying system, always use an adjustable drill stop to minimize penetrating plumbing or electrical lines hidden behind the wall.

General Advice

Be sure to follow the EPA's Lead RRP procedures when drilling into drywall in buildings built before 1978. Older buildings may have lead paint, and it is essential for the protection of you, your crew, and building occupants that safe lead abatement procedures are followed.

http://www.jondon.com/how-to/technical-tips/restoration-disaster-recovery/flood-recovery/drying-wall-cavities.html

Call SERVPRO at 800-455-9453 when you have Fire or Water Damage. 

Electronics Restoration

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Electronics are delicate items, as there are many factors that cause them to stop working properly. Since many irreplaceable items are stored electronically, it’s important to be prepared for the worst scenario. In the event of a fire, here is what you need to know about smoke damage and your electronics.

How Smoke Causes Damage

  • When electronics are covered in smoke, they become prone to extreme overheating, which leads to eventual failure. When smoke reaches the inside components of electronics, a black film develops causing insulation on the heat-producing parts. The magnetic charge of smoke causes the circuits to short.
  • Soot is pushed by smoke, causing contact everywhere in its path. Smoke travels to cooler temperatures and continues until its energy runs out. The main cause of damage is the acidity in soot. Acidity destroys metals, which causes discoloration and disintegration inside of your electronics.

Restoration for Electronics

  • After a fire, damaged electronics are a safety hazard. To prevent exposure, do not turn on any of the items before consulting with a professional. The smoke’s corroding acids will immediately cause failure to the device.
  • If you choose to clean the items without turning them on, wipe off the residue with a cloth. Taking immediate action will improve the likelihood of your devices surviving.

Helpful Tips

  • When recovering a computer, the most important part is the hard drive. Every bit of information is located on this, so removing these files as quickly as possible is crucial.
  • Replacing the computer’s battery is the next step in the recovery process. If it’s not replaced, the combustion of batteries can be dangerous.
  • To prevent your computer’s data being damaged from fire or smoke, consider investing in a backup program that stores the information somewhere else. Examples of this would be either and external hard drive or cloud based storage. These two items are essential for keeping those special documents safe. Most external hard drives can be found for under $100, and there are many excellent cloud based storage programs that are free.
  • It is important to make sure your files are backed up weekly, you can never be too prepared.

Common Household Molds

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

5 pictures of common household molds COMMON HOUSEHOLD MOLDS

COMMON HOUSEHOLD MOLDS

Mold can be found nearly everywhere. This hardy organism survives both indoors and outdoors alike. Despite many of the positive things mold can provide (the original antibiotic - penicillin, a variety of delicious foods like cheese, and acts as a natural decomposition agent of organic matter), mold causes problems for many of us. All molds are not the same, and some varieties are more harmful than others. Most of us have some experience with mold, but do you know which types are common household molds? Below is a short introduction to the different species of molds and where you can commonly find them.

INTRODUCTION TO COMMON HOUSEHOLD MOLDS

Alternaria

Indoors, it is often found in carpets, textiles, house dust, and potentially damp areas like window frames and showers. It can also be found in plant soil.

Aspergillus

Usually found in warmer climates in areas of water damage or extreme dampness. Aspergillus species are also commonly found in house dust. Also found in building materials and in fall leaves and other decomposing matter like compost piles.

Cladosporium

The most commonly identified outdoor fungus, but it can easily enter into the house through the HVAC and other airflow entryways. Cladosporium also has an indoor species that grows on textiles, wood and other porous, damp areas.

Penicillium

Species may be found growing on wallpaper, wallpaper glue, and decaying fabrics in water-damaged buildings or homes. It is also found in carpet and in interior fiberglass duct insulation. Some species can produce mycotoxins.

Stachybotrys

Pronounced (stack-ee-BOT-ris), Stachybotrys requires excessive moisture to thrive (usually running water) and is a slimy black mold. Fortunately, of all common household molds, stachybotrys is found least often in homes.

Have a Mold Problem? Call Today 800-455-9453

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services.

What NOT to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

The Water You DON'T See

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

With this cold weather causing plenty of pipes to break, it’s the water you don't see that can cause the most damage. A large portion of the time if you have a water loss you will walk into your kitchen and step into a puddle, although this is not always the case water can just affect behind your walls or between floors so make the right choice. A mop and common household cleaning products may not be enough for the unseen water intrusions.  While the surface may seem dry, the water you do not see can contain bacteria, or cause mold, rot and other unseen damage. Take the right steps at the time of loss to help prevent mold from growing instead of trying to save some money. When the warm humid weather comes your bill will most likely be the same as a water loss.

DID YOU KNOW...The insurance industry estimates that approximately 90 percent of household damages stem from water-related occurrences. The most commonly reported cause is leaky or broken pipes and plumbing fixtures.

AVOID WATER DAMAGE FROM APPLIANCES

Home appliances are considered a leading cause of preventable water damage. By implementing a simple inspection and maintenance program, homeowners can reduce their risk significantly:

  • Dishwasher - Periodically check around the base of the dishwasher, as well as the water supply line under the sink.
  • Refrigerator - For refrigerators with ice makers, periodically check the hose connection attached to the water supply.
  • Washing Machine - Hoses should be inspected regularly for wetness around hose ends, as well as for signs of bulging, cracking or fraying. Hoses should be replaced every three to five years.
  • Water Heater - While the service life of the standard water heater is 10 to 15 years, water heaters should be inspected routinely for signs of leaks or tank rust. Water heaters should be located next to a floor drain or placed inside a drain pan piped to the floor drain.

So before risking the value of your home or further damage by attempting to clean and dry it yourself, or if you want to be sure that a past event is not creating problems today, call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall today at 800-455-9453.

Fast Facts about Fire

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

This week is Fire Prevention Week!! We want to share some fast facts about fire with you so you can be ready for whatever happens.  

Home fires

  • Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Only one in five home fires were reported during these hours.
  • One-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den.
  • Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage.
  • On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Most fatal fires kill one or two people..
  • During 2010--2014, roughly, one of every 338 households reported a  home fire per year.

Escape planning

  • According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
  • Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, less than half  ever practiced it.
  • One-third of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. Only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!

Smoke alarms

  • Three out of five home fire deaths in 2010-2014 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80% of the time.
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.  

When disaster strikes, call 

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem & Whitehall! 800-455-9453

We'll make it LIKE IT NEVER EVEN HAPPENED.

Source of article:

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week/fast-facts-about-fire

Biohazard & Crime Scene Clean Up

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Do you ever stop to wonder who has to clean up the scene after a chemical spill or a death/suicide accident?

If not, you are probably like most and lucky enough to not have needed to consider this type of work. However, if you fall into the other category, you know very well that a hazardous scene must be left to the professionals to clean.

Blood borne pathogens, disease, risk of infection and chemical burns are a just a few items to consider when dealing with a biohazard clean-up. Luckily, our team at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall is highly trained and well prepared to protect both themselves and you from any potential harm.

Our team also fully understands that these situations are often extremely difficult and sensitive times in a person's life and therefore demonstrate compassion and empathy while completing the work in a timely fashion.

For more information on biohazard clean-up's, please check out the Biohazard Cleaning Section of our website. 

What To Do After a Home Fire

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Recovering from a fire is not easy by any means. It is an emotionally draining process that turns your life upside down. The hardest part comes at the beginning, when you feel helpless and are completely unsure as to how to proceed. With that in mind, our goal, at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall, is to present to you the fundamental steps you need to take immediately after the fire is extinguished.

Deal With Insurance

You should already be on the phone with your insurance agent before the firefighters even get done putting out the fire. Mind you, this is just the beginning. After a few days, you’ll need to get a copy of the official “fire report” from your local fire department. The insurance agency will likely send an adjustor out to survey the damage and help you get in touch with a restoration agency, such as the professionals at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall.

If you are renting, then you’ll obviously need to contact the owner of the home. If you own the house but don’t have insurance, on the other hand, then you’ll want to speak with the Internal Revenue Service. You might be eligible for something known as casualty loss.

Settle in Somewhere

Most likely, your home is currently in an unlivable state, meaning you’re going to have to find somewhere else to stay. Your best bet is to stay with friends or family. However, if that’s not an option, check with your insurance company to see if your policy covers temporary living expenses. Otherwise, contact the American Red Cross.

Before you leave, try to rummage through your home for some essential items like the following: Identification Cards, Medications, Eye Glasses / Hearing Aids, Wallets, Credit Cards / Checkbooks, Money. **Only do this AFTER you get permission from the firefighters to reenter your home.**

Turn Off Utilities

Make certain you get all of your primary utilities turned off.  Why waste money for services when you are not even living in your home? Plus, restoration cannot be performed on your home if there’s still electricity and such running through it. The risks of electrocution would be far too high.

Contact a Restoration Company

This is perhaps the most important step. You’ll need to contact a professional, full-service restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall. Our company is trained specifically to deal with post-tragedy damage. Below is a list of some of the things you can expect us to do:

  • The company will start by removing all the water from your home. During a fire, a lot of water from the firefighters hoses usually collects all over the place. Plus, fires sometimes cause pipes to burst, thus leading to even more severe flooding. The point is that restoration cannot begin until the water is first removed.
  • The company will then start with water restoration. Carpets, walls, ducts must be dried. Mold must be removed. Just this step itself can take a few days.
  • Next is the actual fire restoration. First and foremost, the company will inspect the structural foundation of your home and fix any major problems. Obviously, if a ceiling is about to crash, then it must be attended to before any other restoration efforts can be completed.
  • Once the structural foundation is secure, the specialists will start cleaning up soot/smoke damage, deodorizing everything (carpets, walls, furniture, etc.) and basically returning the home back to normal. If anything is so damaged that it cannot be repaired, it’ll be removed and thrown away. It’s your responsibility to let your insurance company know what items you lost.
  • Last, but not least, the company will clean up the remaining mess (dust, debris, etc.) and rearrange everything back into place.

Move Back In

Finally, you get to move back into your home and resume life. Unfortunately, it can take quite a bit of time before you even get to this final step. We’re talking about several weeks. The truth is that restoring a home from a fire takes a lot of time, a lot of resources and a lot of money.

Just remember to keep in close contact with your insurance company through the whole process. If all goes well, you’ll get your home back in one piece, and you’ll get your lost possessions replaced.

When you have fire, water and mold restoration service needs, give the experienced professionals at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall a call.

Mold Detection and Remediation

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall is an expert at mold detection, remediation and removal.

The SERVPRO mold remediation team is trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This means we know mold, and know how to effectively eradicate it so it ceases to be an issue.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall are also your neighbors, and are familiar with the climate around your home.

If you think you have mold, give us a call and we will come take a look. And if you do have a mold problem, we will solve it.

WHERE DOES MOLD COME FROM?

Mold can creep up from a variety of sources. Often, mold is a by-product of a flood or other water damage. Improper or incomplete drying is usually the culprit. That is why the experts at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall take extra care of thoroughly drying a job to ensure that mold does not creep up later. But you need not always have “water damage” – for example, over the years, a simple thing like a pipe condensation can cause mold, or a leaking roof, trapped moisture, a damp basement, or a hundred other reasons.

The key is to find it and remove it. Then, make sure it doesn’t come back. The trained professionals at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall will handle all phases of mold detection and removal, so you can be assured of your family’s health and well-being.

If you suspect you have mold, give the experts of SERVPRO a call today!

Preventing Lingering Pet Odor

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Having pets is a part of life. Having pet odor doesn't have to be. If you love having pets, but can't stand the lingering odors they create, then there are a few things you can do to help eliminate those unwanted odors.

Your carpet can be a big source of lingering odors. Dirt, pet dander, urine, and fecal matter can remain deep inside carpet fibers. Carpet powder only helps deodorize and clean the surface but does little to get in deep. Using a carpet cleaner is more effective but only if you know how to use it correctly. The experts at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall know how to deep clean your carpet to get rid of any unwanted odors. Their equipment and expert knowledge on carpet cleaning will get the job done right the first time and provide lasting results.

Odors can also linger within the air duct system of your home too. Cleaning the air ducts is a task that should only be left to the experts. SERVPRO has the right equipment to clean out your air ducts and eliminate those lingering odors. You'll notice the difference the first time you use your HVAC.

Pet odors can also linger within the walls and baseboards of your home. Pet urine can be absorbed by the wooden baseboards or absorbed into the gypsum material of your drywall. Priming and painting may not be enough. SERVPRO has the necessary chemicals to clean and deodorize your walls and baseboards.

Choosing SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall to help with your home's deodorization is the smart choice. Having a pet doesn't mean you have to live with lingering odors. The expert knowledge and equipment of SERVPRO can eliminate all of your home's odors and make it seem like you never had pets at all.

May is Electrical Safety Month

5/5/2016 (Permalink)

Power strip overloaded with electrical plugs Resource: plumblineservices.com

Home Electrical Safety

Many electrocutions and home fires can be prevented simply by understanding basic electrical safety principles and adhering to safe practices. ESFI has developed a number of resources to help educate homeowners, consumers, older adults, and children.
 
Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, electrical safety should be a top priority in your home. Awareness of electrical hazards is the key to reducing the staggering number of electrically-related home fires, injuries and deaths that occur every year.

The following information and resources from ESFI will help you gain a better understanding of how to use electricity and electrical products safely:

Prevent Electrical Overloads - Overloaded electrical circuits are a major cause of residential fires. Help lower your risk of electrical fires by not overloading your electrical system.

Extension Cord Safety - Roughly 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring 270 more. Extension cords can overhead and cause fires when used improperly, so keep these important tips in mind to protect your home and workplace.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Working smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a home fire, but there is more you need to do to ensure your family is prepared to safely escape from a fire emergency.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Electrical Safety - Review ESFI recommendations and safety tips before you decide to tackle electrical projects in your home.  

Virtual Home - Take a tour of ESFI's interactive virtual home for a visual introduction to your home electrical system and safety tips for using common electrical devices.  

Electrical Safety Videos - ESFI's video library contains a wide variety of safety videos that demonstrate critical home electrical safety concepts and tips.  Many videos are also available in Spanish.  

Home Safety Checklists - Use these easy checklists to help you identify and correct electrical and fire hazards in your home before a serious incident occurs.

Source: http://www.esfi.org/electrical-safety

CONTACT US

·  Call our office: 800-455-9453

·  Visit us: 860 N Kiowa Street, Allentown, PA 18109

·  Visit our websitewww.SERVPROEBW.com

Spring Cleaning

3/21/2016 (Permalink)

Spring Cleaning Chore Checklist

By Cynthia Ewer, Author of
Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized

March winds blow, telling us that Spring is on the way!

Warming breezes scour the last of winter from house and garden. Spring rain awakens the earth and calls forth new life.

Meet the rising sap with a new broom. Spring clean indoors and out to prepare home and hearth for the return of warm weather.

Our Spring cleaning chore checklist will help you take care of important seasonal chores and welcome Spring to an organized home.

Around The House:

·   Schedule a family garage clean-out. Create efficient storage for sporting goods, camping equipment, recreational vehicles, and garden tools. You'll have the jump on summer fun!

·   Inspect, clean and repair outdoor furniture.

·   Tour house exterior and grounds. Make a list of any needed seasonal maintenance.

·   Inspect the roof for winter damage: leaks, missing or broken shingles or tiles. Arrange for any needed repairs early; roofing contractors can be hard to find during summer's construction season.

·   Use a sunny Saturday to scrape, prime and paint peeling spots on trim or woodwork. You'll protect wood against Summer's heat and moisture--and prevent a more difficult paint job come fall.

·   Clear away any remaining dead foliage and weeds from beds and lawn. New growth will be protected from damage or disease.

·   Begin major Spring landscaping projects. Spring's the time to put in shrubs and trees, but check with your local extension office for specific planting recommendations for your area.

The Inside Story:

·   Changing seasons, changing clothes. Hold a family wardrobe check as you bring out warm-weather clothing. Sort winter clothing for discards and donations before you store.

·   Hold a garage sale! Declutter house and garage to turn trash into cash. Build your yard sale savvy here.

·   Pick a weekend and enlist the family for Spring cleaning. Many hands make light work! Reward the team with dinner at a pizza parlor.

·   Wash windows inside and out.

·   While at the window area, check drapes and window treatments. Vacuum any dust; send dirtier drapes to the cleaners.

·   Move furniture and vacuum beneath it.

·   Arrange for a spring inspection of cooling systems. Don't wait for the first hot day! Air conditioning firms will give better service when they're not busy.

·   When the weather warms, deactivate heat system humidifiers. Check the system manual for instructions on how to power down for the summer.

·   Drain sediment from hot water heaters.

CONTACT US

·  Call our office: 800-455-9453

·  Visit us: 860 N Kiowa Street, Allentown, PA 18109

·  Visit our websitewww.SERVPROEBW.com

Don't Let a Sprinkler Leak Get You Down

3/21/2016 (Permalink)

Don't Let a Sprinkler Leak Get You Down

Now that spring is on its way, you've likely started watering your grass again with an underground irrigation system. This is a great tool for handling the mundane task of preventing your grass from dying of not enough hydration. Unfortunately, not all good things are without problems. It's time to discuss ways to prevent your sprinkler system from having any problems or causing leaks. 

What is low head drainage?

This is when the sprinkler continues to siphon water once the system has been turned off. This typically occurs at one of the lowest points in your yard as water drains down to that water spout. According to experts at Sprinkler Warehouse, "If a sprinkler head is located in the lowest part of the system, water will flow out of that head until an equilibrium has been reached or all of the water has emptied out of the zone's pipes."

When this happens, puddles start to form and or water flows across walkways and driveways. This can be prevented by a few adjustments being made to your system or the installation of a drain check valve.

How does a broken pipe occur?

A broken pipe can occur in the main line or lateral line of an irrigation system. In the main line, there is continuous pressure, so if there is a break or leak in this pipe, then water is continuing to run. Unfortunately, this can cause erosion or a wet spot. Attention needs to be made to this problem immediately so that the water line can be completely turned off for repair.

A lateral line reaches different zones in your yard and are under pressure when the system is running. It can be hard to detect a leak because it's only visible when the system is on and you have to notice which zone actually has the leak. Regardless of its location, it too can cause erosion or holes in your lawn. If you notice a leak in your irrigation system, it can be fixed and should be addressed fairly quickly.

Use this information to keep an eye out for any leaks or problems that could arise this Spring.

CONTACT US

·  Call our office: 800-455-9453

·  Visit us: 860 N Kiowa Street, Allentown, PA 18109

·  Visit our websitewww.SERVPROEBW.com

Do's and Don'ts for Fire and Smoke Damage

3/21/2016 (Permalink)

Lehigh Valley: Do’s and Don’ts for Fire and Smoke Damage

DO

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further cross contaminate an otherwise unaffected area. 
  • Call SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall.

DON’T 

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting our office
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances, TV sets, computers etc. that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be damaged or wet.
  • Send garments to ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

CONTACT US

·   Call our office: 610-559-9380

·   Visit us: 860 N Kiowa Street, Allentown, PA 18109

·   Visit our website: www.SERVPROEBW.com

Helpful Tips to Cut Your Home Heating Bills

1/7/2016 (Permalink)

Hands shutting a window latch to prepare for winter weather Resource: http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/g737/9-sneaky-ways-to-cut-your-home-heating-bills/

Even in the middle of winter, you can slash your energy bills without sacrificing comfort.

Winter is officially here and the temperatures reflect that. It’s difficult not to notice the impact decreasing temperatures have on our home heating bills. Popular Mechanics’ Brett Martin has a few helpful tips for around the house that can reduce how much you need to spend to keep your home warm and toasty.

Replace Worn Weatherstripping

•  Worn and torn weatherstripping around doors and windows creates drafts and lets in cold air. Seven to 12 percent of a home's heat loss occurs around windows and doors, according to Black Hills Energy, and these leaks often prompt homeowners to turn up their furnace to keep comfy. Even if they don't turn it up, they're losing warm air, causing the furnace to work harder. "Weatherstripping around doors, and caulking around doors and windows, can cut down on drafts," says Jeff Rogers, president of the Energy Audit Institute, an energy audit training and certification company in Springfield, N.J.

•  Some weatherstripping needs to be replaced every few years because of wear. Replacing it is typically as simple as pulling off the old and tacking on the new.

Adjust Door Thresholds

•  If you can see daylight under your front door, then you're losing the indoor air you've paid to heat. "If the door is not in contact with the threshold, the air is going right under the door," Rogers said.

•  Some thresholds have four or five screws that let you adjust the height to eliminate a gap. Turn the screws counterclockwise to lift the threshold until daylight is mostly gone. A little light in the corners is okay, but don't raise the threshold so high that it interferes with opening and closing the door. And the door shouldn't drag on the threshold or it'll wear out the weatherstripping.

Plug Holes in Exterior Walls

•  Pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables that enter your house often have gaps around them that have been haphazardly filled with some kind of caulk. But that caulk eventually cracks, peels, and falls off. These gaps let in outside air, plus they are ideal entry points for mice and insects.

•  Seal the gaps with expanding foam. For water pipes under the sink, unscrew and pull back the escutcheon ring, then caulk around the pipe.

Cover Windows and Patio Doors with Plastic Film

•  Rogers says that windows account for 25 percent of heat loss in homes. Covering the windows and sliding patio doors with clear plastic film can reduce that loss. "Just by using that plastic, you're going to save about 14 percent on your heating bill," he says.

Keep Warm Air from Escaping Up the Chimney

•  Even when the chimney flue is closed, some warm air is probably still getting away. An easy solution is to block the airflow with an inflatable chimney balloon. The balloons are available on amazon.com and other retailers to fit various chimney sizes. They cost about $50. "They can save you up to $100 a year, so they're going to pay for themselves twice a year," Rogers says. "They are definitely a good investment."

•  Blow up the balloon and stick it in the chimney. If you forget to take it out before you start a fire, the balloon automatically deflates, so it won't cause the house to fill with smoke. However, be advised that the balloons can become sooty and hard to manage after repeated uses.

Seal Air Leaks in Ductwork

•  Take a look at the ductwork that's accessible in your basement or attic. Look for places where the ducts may have pulled apart at seams and corners. According to Energy Star, the typical house with forced-air heating loses about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the system to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. Place a mastic sealant or metal tape over any leaks to seal them.

Use the Sun To Your Advantage

•  Keep your curtains open during the day, especially on the south side of the house where you get more direct sunlight. Trim any tree branches or shrubs that block the sunlight around your windows to maximize the gains. Close the curtains at night so they act as barriers to reduce drafts.

Keep Heating Registers Clear

•  The warm air blowing out of your registers needs a clear path into the room to provide even heating. To cut heating costs, arrange your room so that the register is as unobstructed as possible.

Lock Door and Windows

•  Even when doors and windows are closed, they might not be pressed tight against the weatherstripping if they're not locked, which allows cold outside air to infiltrate the home. This makes a difference for your heating bill. Lock your windows early, especially if you live up north. If they freeze in their current positions, then they won't move and you won't be able to lock them without a lot of work.

To view the complete list of tips and tricks to reduce your heating bill, visit Popular Mechanics.

Categories

Archived Posts