Recent Posts

Understanding Roof Damage Mitigation

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Trees fallen on top of a house after storm Storm damage in a Philadelphia, PA home

When a severe storm hits your Philadelphia, PA, home, the mix of rain, hail and wind may result in roof damage. After the storm calms, the first step should be to call your insurance company. Considering that many others could also be filing a claim, it could mean a significant wait time until the adjuster comes. In the meantime, it is likely that your policy requires you to mitigate against further damage. Calling a storm damage restoration specialist to complete an inspection will help provide guidance and a plan of action for restoration during the wait.

What Does Mitigation Mean?

Hail and wind damage can expose the roof, break windows and damage siding. If another storm moves in, those weakened areas will be more likely to suffer secondary issues, such as water damage or mold growth. In many cases, if mitigation measures aren’t taken, it may affect the claim. To avoid that, the following steps should be taken:

  • Cover any broken or cracked windows or skylights with plastic.
  • If there is an obvious leak roof, install a tarp in the attic to temporarily board it up. Ensure buckets are placed under the roof to catch any additional water leaking in.
  • A tarp should also be used on areas where there is missing or damaged siding.
  • Remove debris that could cause additional damage, such as hanging or fallen branches.

Extra Steps to Take
When roof damage happens, precautions need to be taken to ensure the claims process goes as smoothly as possible. Be sure to document all losses before any temporary mitigation, as well as after. When immediate repairs are needed, save any associated receipts. If there was hail, try to collect a piece and place in the freezer.
Dealing with roof damage isn’t always a fast fix. Be sure to protect your home from further damage by making temporary repairs. That will help minimize issues and may benefit your claim.

Pipe Break? Can Insurance Help Homeowners Out?

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up Of Water Is Leaking From The White Sink Pipe Pipe bursts are unpredictable

To See If Your Situation Is Covered, Ask Yourself These Three Questions

Cold weather and small leaks can create plumbing havoc. Pipes that appeared to function normally could bust open, spraying water all over valuables and kick-starting a flood that has lasting repercussions. To salvage the property, homeowners in Philadelphia, PA, should act quickly. The rooms need immediate drying and evaluation by a water restoration company. In addition, it's possible a rebuild is in the future. All of this together could seem daunting, emotionally, and financially. Is help available? Many residents have homeowners' insurance plans that could assist during this time.  

1. Was This Sudden and Unexpected?
First and foremost, you'll want to fix broken pipelines. Otherwise, the issues can persist. Is this part of cleanup covered? The answer usually lies with how the event happened. Gradual obstructions could have been mended. These circumstances may be refused. Usually, however, a pipe burst is unpredictable. It's unwarranted status and major impact on the building tends to lead to accepted appeals.

2. Was Anything Else Harmed?
The unfortunate part of flood destruction is that it effects a lot. Carpeting is usually torn out. Drywall must be cut and discarded. Belongings may require treatment. All of this is considered resulting damage, and it is often part of a your paperwork. The agency doesn't want to have the premises contaminated or harmed; it's in the best interest to correct everything now and avoid future complications such as rot, warping and mold growth.

3. Was the Residence Maintained?
Your insurance coverage typically stipulates that owners should care for the land. This means that they can question whether the plumbing was in good condition. If something developed over time (and homeowners knew about it), the insurer may claim negligence and deny the claim. Keep a file documenting personal efforts to care for the household. This evidence could be important in supporting your petition.
When a flood hurts your place, insurance may be able to alleviate some of the cost. Begin contact immediately, emphasizing the abruptness of the burden.

3 Major Tips to Cleaning Your Gutters This Fall

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Leaves clogging a gutter of a home Keep your gutters clean this fall to avoid ice damming in the winter

Gutters are great for directing water away from your home, but they also can accumulate leaves and other debris clogging them, making gutter cleaning inevitable. When the debris builds up, it can trap water in the gutter causing it to rust or break away.  It can also lead to ice damming which may force you to replace the gutters which costs money.

1. Start with a thorough gutter cleaning. 

The most effective gutter cleaning procedure is truthfully the only way to truly clean them: by climbing up a ladder and pull out the debris.

2. Trim your trees to reduce gutter debris.

Much of the debris found inside a gutter is composed of decaying leaves, twigs and pine needles that fall from overhanging trees. 

3. Invest in gutter guards. 

Some cover part of the roof itself and the gutter with a solid surface, allowing water to run into the gutter underneath them but blocking falling and blowing objects from clogging them up.

Others are installed directly over the gutter and have strategically placed holes that allow water to pass through.

Other types of gutter guards are simply mesh screens built to keep debris and animals like nesting birds out of the structure. Some are hinged to allow you to easily access the gutter for a thorough cleaning when needed.

Source: Eagle Building Solutions

Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Open window wind blowing through the curtains Ventilate your home

Keeping Mold Out Of Your Home

Black mold -- along with other residential species of fungi -- is extremely tenacious. You're likely to find that it has a tendency to keep returning to the same spots, even after you've already thoroughly cleaned it. If this is the case, you might have to try attacking the problem at the source. Read on to find out why your home in Philadelphia, PA, is plagued by continuous mold issues.

Reduce Moisture Levels

Mold requires continuous moisture in order to grow, so cutting down on excessive moisture levels can help reduce the chances of it coming back. Try implementing the following tactics:

Properly Ventilate Your Home: This is especially important in rooms that deal with a lot of water, like kitchens and bathrooms. Giving the water an escape route can help prevent it from sticking around.
Repair Any Leaks You Find: Leaky pipes can be difficult to spot. Routinely checking any exposed water pipes in your basement and underneath your sinks for leaks can help you catch leaks early. Repair any you discover immediately.
Monitor Indoor Humidity Levels: Mold only requires about 55% humidity in order to grow. Manually keeping your home's humidity levels below this benchmark can go a long way.

Change Your Cleaner
Many homeowners naturally reach for the bleach when they discover black mold. Unfortunately, they don't realize that this actually impedes their mold cleanup efforts. Opt for a cleaning solution that is specifically engineered to target mold spores instead. Better yet, you can create your own non-toxic cleaning solution using equal parts white vinegar and water. It's also important to know when it's time to give up on the cleaning. There are some objects that simply cannot be cleaned and must be thrown away.
Aggressively attacking black mold at the source is vital when it comes to keeping mold out of your home. If implementing the above tips doesn't work for you, then you may need to contact mold remediation experts for professional assistance.

Tips To Reduce Space Heater Fires

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Space heater Space heaters should never be run unattended

Try Using the Following Tips To Avoid Fire Damage

Home fires with injuries, hospitalizations, as well as extensive property damage can often be traced back to burned space heaters. Fortunately, you can work with a fire restoration company to return your home to a safe state if a fire occurs. Here are some tips to reduce space heater fires so that you can try to avoid fire damage.

1. Shop Wisely
When looking for a space heater to use in your home in Philadelphia, PA, do your research first. Choose one that has a safety certification label from an independent testing organization. These organizations run rigorous tests to ensure the products they certify are safe for home-usage. Look for included safety shutoff features that cause the heater to automatically shut off if it overheats or tips over. A grounded plug with a sturdy cord the length you need is also important when choosing a heater. Extension cords should never be used with space heaters to prevent overheating.

2. Choose a Safe Space
Only run space heaters on hard, flat, non-flammable surfaces. They are meant to be used on the floor, not on tables or counters. To prevent a burned space heater, choose a spot free from any flammable materials like curtains, bedding, and furniture. The heat emanating from these devices can be very attractive to someone looking for warmth. Establish a safe zone to keep curious children and pets away from them. Never run one in a child's bedroom.

3. Practice Safe Usage
Space heaters should never be run unattended. Turn off the device when you leave the room or go to bed. Unplug it from the wall when you turn it off and regularly check that the cord is in good condition. To avoid overheating, don't use any other electrical devices in the same outlet as a space heater.
Numerous home fires each year are caused by burned space heaters. Fire damage and smoke cleanup are costly and time-consuming. Reduce the risk of fire in your home by carefully choosing your space heater and using it safely.

How To Get Your Business Ready for a Disaster

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Paper with words BCP Business Continuity Plan Continuity planning should be a big part of your business preparedness strategy

How To Develop an Emergency Strategy

Before the next major storm arrives in Philadelphia, PA, you need to develop a disaster preparedness plan. This will keep your employees safe and your business operational. Below are some tips for developing your emergency strategy.

1. Prepare for the Worst
Ideally, none of your employees will get injured during the storm. Yet accidents can happen. That is why you should keep first aid supplies readily available. You may also want to encourage employees to take CPR training.

2. Gather Supplies
Encourage your employees to keep a survival kit in their desks or offices. You should also store important contact information — including for the phone number for your local emergency restoration company — at a secure off-site location.

3. Work Together
You may not be the only company in your building that needs a disaster preparedness plan. It thus makes sense to work with the other tenants as you develop your strategy. Consider holding evacuation drills together. After all, if an emergency strikes, everyone will be leaving the property at the same time.
This coordination should go beyond just talking with other managers. You should also contact any shippers or suppliers you use and include them in your storm preparation. This will help keep your company running in the aftermath of the disaster.

4. Make a Continuity Plan
Indeed, continuity planning should be a big part of your business preparedness strategy. Start by identifying the operations that are the most important to your company's success. Next, choose a select group of employees from your company to come up with ways to keep those operations functioning. The individuals you pick should include managers, executives, and lower-level workers with technical skills.
Disaster preparedness is not always a fun topic. Yet it is necessary to create an emergency plan and discuss it with other employees. That way, once the storm does arrive, they will know exactly what to do.

Mold Prevention Strategies

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores on the top of the pictures it says ANYWHERE Mold can grow almost anywhere

Black mold, or mold of any variety, growing in your Philadelphia, PA, commercial building can cause major problems. Fortunately, a little preventive maintenance can help your business stay mold-free.

Mold Growth Conditions

Although mold spores are nearly everywhere, there are specific conditions that must be met before mold can grow. Here are three things that mold needs in order to thrive:

  1. Warmth
  2. Food
  3. Moisture

Most indoor locations are sufficiently warm for mold to grow. Mold feeds on organic materials, such as dust, paper products, and food. Mold also needs moisture. This can come from spills, leaks, or even high humidity.

Mold Growth Prevention
Because most commercial buildings will have adequate warmth and sufficient food available for black mold and other fungal growth, the key to preventing an infestation is minimizing the water available. Try to keep the indoor humidity below 50% if possible. You may need to run a dehumidifier in particularly humid areas, such as kitchens. If you detect a moisture problem, address it immediately. Clean up spills and repair leaks as soon as possible. In addition to keeping the building dry, you can also minimize the likelihood of a mold infestation by decreasing the number of mold spores present. An air purifier with a HEPA filter can trap mold spores before they have a chance to begin growing. Keeping the building, especially the carpets, clean can also keep the number of mold spores down. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to prevent all mold growth. However, it can be caught early. Perform routine inspections of humid areas, places where mold has grown before and anywhere else susceptible to an infestation. With proper mold cleanup, you can likely solve the problem before major damage occurs.
Even the most conscientious business owner can discover black mold. If you need help getting your property back to normal, a certified restoration service can help you do so quickly and safely.

Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Shower drain backed up due to clog pipe Water damage in a Philadelphia, PA commercial building

Most Common Causes Of Water Damage

Water damage to your commercial building in Philadelphia, PA, can prevent your company from doing business. It can also put your staff at risk. Therefore, the moment you spot any damage, you should seek water repair options. Most problems can be prevented by monitoring potential causes of water damage. This means that you should know what the most common causes of water damage are.

Damaged Windows
Water damage is often caused by windows that are not properly sealed. These can allow moisture to seep in, leading to mold buildup and warped wood. Resealing the windows regularly is important to prevent water damage.

Damaged Pipes
Many things can lead to a broken pipe. These include:

  • Changes in pressure
  • Deteriorated supply lines and drains
  • Freezing temperatures

Bulging walls, water stains, loose tiles, and musty smells are all signs that you may have a broken pipe. Detecting these leaks can be challenging and often requires professional help.

Foundation Issues
If regular maintenance is not performed, you could find water leaking into your building through the foundation. Poor drainage is another cause of this issue. Some of the most common signs that your foundation leaks include puddles in the basement and framing that has become wet.

Roof Leaks
A leaky roof can cause a lot of water damage, including mold buildup, fire hazards, ceiling damage, and compromised structural integrity. If your building experiences a lot of heavy rain and snow, it could lead to a leaky roof. Similarly, if you have a lot of snow that is not properly removed, it could cause problems with your roof.

Sewer Clogs
Sewer water contains bacteria and other pathogens which cause illness and infection. If you see the signs of a clog, such as gurgling sounds or water backing up from a toilet or drain, you should have it fixed and call your water damage restoration professionals immediately. Remember, if you experience flooding from a sewer clog, avoid contact with the water.
Water damage in a commercial building is a serious problem that you should address immediately. It can have many causes including damaged windows, a broken pipe, foundation issues, roof leaks, and sewer clogs.

Floodwater Cleanup Requires Extra Precautions

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Background of blue water and on the middle a sign that says water categories There are three categories of water issues

When flooding happens in your Philadelphia, PA, home, any amount can be overwhelming and wreak havoc. Before diving into the cleanup process, it is vital to understand the type of water damage that you have experienced. Not all water is the same, nor is the cleanup process.

Water Categories

There are three categories of water issues:

Clean Water – It is toxin- and sewage-free. This type of mess often comes from a broken pipe, water supply line, overflowing sink or bathtub, or an appliance malfunction. It can be cleaned in a normal way without much worry unless it has sat too long. If that happens, it can become the next type of damage.

Grey Water – Often caused by toilet tank issues, washing machines, dishwashers, or sump pump backups, it may have some chemicals or contaminants. While not considered overly harmful, some care should be taken to ensure the affected area and items are thoroughly disinfected.

Black Water – If the source of the problem is flood damage, the water you are facing potentially has harmful contaminants, microorganisms, and debris from sewage, groundwater and nearby rivers or creeks.

Cleanup
If you have experienced flooding, don’t rush into to start the cleanup process. The contaminants in black water require extensive safety precautions and tools. Many items may not be salvageable or will require the professional cleaning services of a flood and stormwater restoration specialist. A simple wipe down and sanitizing doesn’t do the trick. Category 3 damage often requires:

  • Personal protective equipment, including boots, gloves, goggles, and a facemask.
  • Proper containment of the area during drying and water extraction.
  • Removal of contaminated items, some of which may have to be disposed of.
  • Replacement of organic materials, such as drywall and ceiling tiles.

Dealing with flooding is a trying time and may require expert help to ensure your home is a safe environment. At the first signs of water troubles, get help from professionals that are Faster to Any Size Disaster.

5 Facts Homeowners Should Know About Mold

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growing on both sides of a wall Mold growth in Philadelphia, PA

Five Facts About How Black Mold Advances

Most likely you've noticed the odd spotting on bread after it's been left out too long, especially in a hot, humid place. Those spots are a result of mold spores, microorganisms that occurs everywhere. When they find a home with the right combination of organic matter and moisture, the organisms replicate, making your environment their new home. As an owner, you'll want to be aware of these five facts about how black mold advances.

1. It Penetrates Material
If you're thinking that a household cleaner eradicates your fungus issue, then reconsider your mold cleanup habits. The organisms are microscopic, absorbing into porous objects and making it almost impossible to determine whether they've been completely wiped out. To effectively eliminate the contamination, spores should be taken off the property, tearing out affected structures.

2. It Grows Quickly
Black mold has a fast reproduction rate, spawning within one to two days, and becoming a major infestation within 2 weeks. If left alone too long, it can migrate to other rooms and get into the HVAC system, circulating throughout the entire residence.

3. It Favors Damp, Dark Areas
These microbes will prosper in areas with a moisture problem, making closets, crawl spaces and the attic an ideal host for development. Leaks can go undetected these areas, allowing them to spread unnoticed for quite some time. Regular inspections can help ward off possible trouble.

4. It Can Have a Smell
Fungal growth produces mycotoxins, a strange musty aroma. Many people refer to it as a stale scent. Should your nose detect this oddity, a mold remediation company could evaluate the premises, assessing a need to improve humidity ranges or remove any issues.

5. It Decomposes Organic Matter
As the spores continue to procreate, they feed on the organic source they've inhabited, breaking it down and hurting the structure. Floors, walls, and roofs can lose their integrity.
If you suspect black mold has occupied your abode in Philadelphia, PA, don't wait to act. Be aware of its immediate and long-term effects as well as how rapidly it propagates.