Archived Blog Posts
Common Causes and Remedies for Sewer Odor
Having a sewer smell in your commercial building is unpleasant. While the fumes may not be harmful, they can certainly be an unwelcome distraction. There are several reasons you may be smelling sewer gas in your building in Essington, PA, and most of them have pretty simple remedies.
Causes of the Odor
Smelling sewer odor does not usually mean that you have raw sewage wreaking havoc somewhere in your building. The more likely cause is the failure of one of several apparatuses that function to direct the gas outside. There are three main causes of indoor sewer smell:
- Dry traps with no wastewater to prevent gases from coming back through the plumbing
- Blocked vents with a clog or backup that is preventing the gas from escaping through the normal channels
- Damaged drain lines that release sewage under the property instead of carrying it away
To get rid of the smell, you must first locate the problem. It may have an easy fix that you can do yourself, but it's important to call a plumber or sewer remediation services if you need to do so.
Solutions for the Odor
The first thing you should try to do is pour clean water down the drain from whence the smell comes. Dry traps from underutilized drains are the most common cause of sewer odors in buildings and making sure that you use the drain frequently can help prevent the problem or help resolve it once it occurs. If that doesn't work, your drain may need to be cleaned. Disinfecting the drain takes care of any bacteria that may be causing the smell. If none of your efforts get rid of the smell, however, it is time to call in the professionals to assess a potentially larger problem.
Sewer smell can happen any time there is a backup or some other type of plumbing problem. If you can't get rid of the problem on your own, calling a plumber can help you get your building smelling fresh and clean again.
3 Tips for Maintaining Your Commercial Roof
Commercial roof inspection
Commercial Roof Maintenance
When you live and work in Collingdale, PA, storms and other powerful weather events can be a standard part of everyday life. They're also the reasons for all kinds of industrial and commercial roof damage, from damaged skins and flashing to leaks and clogs. Unfortunately, these kinds of problems can sometimes force businesses to close for repairs or clean-ups. Here are three non-nonsense tips for maintaining your commercial roof for years to come.
1. Schedule Regular Inspections
Two times a year is the recommended frequency for roof inspections. Whether they're done by you, the owner or manager, or by a professional roofing company representative, an assessment can highlight current or potential problems. Examples include issues involving the roof's materials, drainage and surrounding trees, and sunlight and wind damage.
2. Take Care of As-Needed Repairs
If you find that a recent storm or high winds have caused roof damage, go ahead and fix the minor problems before turning them into major headaches. Whether debris compromises a section of flashing or a microburst dislodges shingles, resolve these issues as soon as possible. If you and your team don't have the knowledge, tools and safety equipment to make the repairs, hire a reputable commercial services company to do the work.
3. Invest in a Maintenance Plan
Consider investing in a maintenance plan to reduce your stress and the risk of a complete roof rebuild. Many reputable commercial roofing companies offer maintenance plans that take into consideration your unique property and its needs. Having help on speed dial and on the way after a storm or unexpected event gives you great peace of mind.
These three tips for maintaining your commercial roof can take some of the stress out of business and property ownership or management. Implement one or all three to enhance the integrity and longevity of your property. Don't let roof damage ruin your or your customers' day!
How Do Air Purifiers Remove Mold Spores?
Mold issue in Folcroft, PA.
Air filtration systems or purifiers can lower the concentration of airborne mold spores within a residence in Folcroft, PA. This is particularly the case if the system in use includes a high-efficiency particulate air filter or HEPA filter. Find out more about how air purification works and its role in mold cleanup.
HEPA Filters Capture Particles AS Small As 0.3 Microns
An air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns, which means that this system captures all of the following substances:
- Mold spores
Fungus spores can vary in size, but the largest spores are around 20 microns and the smallest are about 4 microns. This is well within the particle size range filtered out by HEPA filters.
Fewer Airborne Spores Can Keep Mold From Spreading
A high spore count can make it more likely that mold will grow in any conducive location within a residence. Any area prone to moisture may develop mold if many spores are present. Air filtration can lower spore levels as part of an effort to clean up and control mold growth.
Filters Used For Mold Cleanup Should Be Replaced
If a homeowner uses an air purifier to capture fungus spores, it is important to dispose of this filter based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Even if a purifier unit has a reusable or washable filter, it may not be possible to completely disinfect this porous component, which could raise the risk of reintroducing or sustaining mold growth.
A HEPA filter can significantly reduce the quantity of spores that are present inside a home in Folcroft, PA. Air filtration can go a long way toward improving indoor air quality, but these systems are not sufficient to control or eliminate a mold problem. Consult with restoration specialists about the role of air purification in residential mold remediation.
The Wide-Ranging Consequences of a Business Fire
Severe commercial fire damage in Southwest Philadelphia, PA.
The Wide-Ranging Consequences of a Business Fire
A business fire has the potential to cause significant harm to many areas of a company. These impacts often come in phases or waves. First, it is the property damage of a fire. Each year, U.S. businesses face more than $2 billion in damages due to fires. Then comes the hit to revenue if a company in Southwest Philadelphia, PA, is shut down for a period of time. A strong interruption insurance policy is designed to reduce this impact. This policy, usually added to the main policy as a rider or add-on, pays some or all of the company expenses while repairs to the building are being made.
The Necessity of a Rapid Fire Restoration
It always benefits a company's bottom line to hire a franchise experienced in emergency restoration services. A highly-trained crew that is certified by industry leaders can minimize the duration of a business interruption. They will work rapidly by following a proven process:
- Building inspection and assessment
- Action plan
- Water removal and drying
- Soot and smoke damage cleanup
- Cleaning and sanitizing
- Structural repairs
While this is going on, interruption insurance will help pay the bills. Quick action and strong insurance can make the difference between a company surviving a fire or going out of business.
The Need for a Fire Prevention Plan
A fire is a potent adversary for any business. It can wreak havoc in many ways. A thorough fire prevention plan consists of many parts. The main goal is to prevent a fire from happening in the first place. If a fire does occur, it is important to minimize its impacts as much as possible. This is where fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems come into play. All of these precautions can reduce the severity of a fire.
Interruption insurance becomes a necessity in a large business fire. It allows a company to pay the bills until it gets back on its feet again.
Keeping Your Break Room Fridge Mold-Free
We can start the mold remediation process immediately after you contact us.
The moisture inside your break room’s refrigerator and the presence of spoiling foods are ideal conditions for mold growth. Since you don’t have much control over the fridge’s condensation, you need to address the expired foods. Taking preventative measures beforehand decreases chances of facing bigger problems later. Here are four steps that can be taken to prevent fridge mold.
1. Be Accountable
Everyone who uses the communal refrigerator should keep track of what they put in, when they put it in, and when it needs discarding. If employees have difficulty remembering, they can put date labels on each item. By following this simple suggestion, mold growth may be discouraged.
2. Perform a Weekly Purge
Choose one day each week to examine the contents of the fridge and get rid of anything that doesn’t pass inspection. Make sure to sanitize afterwards, as disinfecting the fridge is important for avoiding mold growth. Schedule this housekeeping every Friday so nothing goes bad over the weekend. No one wants to return to work on Monday and deal with fridge mold.
3. Pay for Sterilization
If employees feel that cleaning out the fridge isn’t included in their job description, consider hiring a cleaning service to tackle the task. It may be a costly expense, but it will be worth it. Footing the bill for routine cleanings is better than having a mold outbreak.
4. Know Who To Contact
If the mold prevention measures you took didn’t work, make sure to contact your mold removal specialists in Philadelphia, PA. They have the expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to quickly remove mold as well as other hidden sources that may be mold-infested.
Getting a whiff of that dreaded mold smell and later discovering fridge mold can be overwhelming and scary for employers. Follow the above steps to be proactive in your fight against mold rather than simply reactive after its formation.
Why Does the Sewer Back Up After a Storm?
We’re dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies.
As a commercial building owner in Philadelphia, PA, you are responsible for taking care of your property after a storm. You have to know who to call to take care of a problem. When you first enter your building, you may notice a foul, sewer smell. Sewer backup during a storm does not always happen, but it can. You may have to deal with this problem for the following reasons:
• Excess water
No matter why you have sewage seeping into your building, you may want to call in a commercial storm remediation team right away.
Storms are often associated with rain water. When there is a lot of water falling at once, the ground may not be able to hold it all. As the water table rises, flooding happens all over the area. Not only does the rising water table push water into basements and low-lying areas, but it also causes the sewer to run out of space. When the sewer cannot go down, it must come up.
Storms can also lead to blockages in your pipes or in other parts of the sewer system. When rocks and other debris are washed into the sewer, it may block up some of the piping. This again leaves the traveling sewage with few options. Because it cannot go forward, you may have to deal with a sewer backup.
When trees and powerlines are downed, sewer lines can get broken. When these lines are broken, you may have to deal with contaminated, black water seeping into your commercial building. A break may take a while to take care of, so your sewage may have to be turned off until the problem can be properly addressed.
It is never fun to deal with a sewer backup. When this issue is accompanied by other storm damage, you may feel overwhelmed and worried without the help of a team of experts.
Getting Ready for the Insurance Adjuster
Flooded basement in Essington, PA.
Getting Ready for the Insurance Adjuster
When your home in Essington, PA, has sustained water damage, it can be overwhelming to process what happened and know what to do next. However, as soon as you have a handle on the extent of the damage, it's important to place a claim with your insurance company as quickly as possible. Soon after you file your claim, a home adjuster should be sent out to assess the damage and file a report. While you're waiting for the adjuster's visit, here are a few tips to help the claims process go smoothly:
Know What To Ask Your Agent
Have your questions written down before calling your insurance company and be sure to ask:
- When to expect the visit from the adjuster
- What receipts you need to provide
- What the deadline is for filing
- What your deductible is
- Whether your policy covers the damage you incurred
- How long it will take to process your insurance claim
Itemize the Damage Thoroughly
Create your own "damage report." In addition to writing out a detailed list, photograph and videotape the overall damage and the damage to each item on your list. If you've saved receipts, collect them and make copies to give to the home adjuster, or if you don't have them, research the current replacement costs for what's been damaged. Get written estimates for repairs and include that along with everything else.
Act Quickly To Repair Damages
If your repairs require expertise not in your skillset, call in the appropriate contractors to begin the work as soon as possible. In many cases, your best option is to hire a water damage remediation service to address everything from the initial cleanup to preventing further damage in the future. Even better, these professionals can work with your insurance company to help speed along the claims process.
If you don't already have it, ask your home adjuster or agent whether you can add a flood insurance rider to your policy. Because water damage occurs unexpectedly, it's a good idea to be prepared ahead of time so you aren't hit with a big bill if the worst happens.
Where Do I Install My New Smoke Alarms?
Fire damage in Tinicum Township, PA.
How Do Smoke Alarms Work And Where Should They Go
Whether you're building a new home or need to revamp your current home-safety system, choosing a good smoke alarm and knowing where to install it is necessary. There are two basic types of detectors: ionization and photoelectric. They not only detect smoke differently but also detect some types of fires more quickly than others. Understanding how they work and where they work best will help you protect your family, home and possessions from harm.
How They Work
An ionization smoke detector uses a small amount of radioactive material to cause ions to be released, creating a current between the metal plates on either side of the material. Flaming, aggressive fires send up thick smoke that quickly disrupts the current and trips the alarm. Though ionization models also detect finer smoke particles, a photoelectric detector senses smoke from smoldering flames earlier. It uses light to detect smoke; when smoke particles block the interior light, an alarm goes off. If you want to create the best fire safety plan possible, use both types of alarms in your home.
Where They Should Go
At a minimum, you should have one smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every floor including the basement. Since many house fires start in the kitchen, it is good to have a detector there, and if you have a fireplace anywhere in your home, install one in that room as well. Finally, if you use gas or oil to heat your home, make sure to have a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector near the furnace and on every level. You can purchase wired-in or battery-operated smoke detectors; both are effective, though battery-operated ones require regular battery changes to ensure they're working properly.
Sadly, almost every home in the United States has had some kind of fire or smoke-related damage at one time or another. If there is evidence of damage in your home, a fire remediation service in Tinicum Township, PA can inspect every smoke alarm, repair damages, clean the area and remove any residual odors that are present.
Keep Your Employees Safe With Storm Preparedness
Flooded building in South Philadelphia, PA.
Weather Safety Guidelines
Keeping employees safe during a rain storm is the responsibility of every office manager. How you react to one is as important as the preparatory measures you take. Here are some extreme weather safety guidelines that should always be followed.
Before high winds and driving rains hit your office, reduce the risk of danger by employing these measures:
- Download an emergency weather app to your phone and turn on notifications
- Trim trees so that blown branches are less likely to break windows
- Install lightning rods with guidance from your local fire department
- Create an emergency first aid kit and inform everyone of where it is being stored
The danger presented by any heavy rain storm can be significantly reduced with the execution of these precautions.
When a storm strikes, remain calm and take charge. The odds of someone getting injured are lower when you stay in control and are aware of what to do.
If a company picnic or other outdoor activity is underway when bad weather rolls in, immediately call off the event. Usher everyone inside, reminding them of the danger from lightning strikes. Transfer as much fun inside as possible to reduce the temptation of heading back out. If conditions make re-entering your building impossible, avoid high ground, fences and sheds. Take shelter in another dwelling or a vehicle with the windows rolled up.
Shutter your workspace's windows and secure the main entryways. Resist the temptation to constantly peer outside, as windswept items can shatter glass.
Shut down computers. Instruct staff to avoid using telephones and other electrical equipment. If possible, temporarily replace these devices with battery-powered alternatives.
Only after the danger has passed should you concern yourself with how much damage has been sustained. Once you have taken stock of everything needing repair, get in touch with an office repair specialist and bring your workspace back to normal.
Every heavy rainstorm comes with the potential for disaster. Make sure your staff stays safe by taking smart actions both before and after one arrives in South Philadelphia, PA.
4 Things Insurance Companies Consider When Creating a Preferred Vendors List
Did you know that we are a Preferred Vendor for many insurance companies.
Steps Insurance Companies Use To Decide On Preferred Vendors
Your insurance agent just gave you a list of their preferred disaster restoration professionals. You're probably wondering how they decided on this list.
1. What They Offer
That list your insurance agent gave you will have similar companies. You will notice that they are well-known companies that are established in the remediation industry. They have the appropriate certifications and trained staff. Plus, they are capable of doing a variety of restoration work. Some may even be willing to work directly with your insurance company. This is not by mistake. Your insurance company sat down and searched out vendors in your area that offered the most desirable services.
2. How They Meet Requirements
Once they find potential vendors in Darby Township, PA, insurance companies sit down with them and determine if they can work together. They discuss what the insurance company is looking for in a vendor. The vendor will propose how they meet these requirements. It will also likely supply examples of past work. For instance, a restoration company may provide before and after pictures from a business damaged by flooding.
3. If They Offer Quality Work
You'll notice the list your insurance agent gave you has multiple vendors on it. This is because multiple contractors can meet the requirements. All of these candidates have gone through the vetting process. This process is what your insurance company uses to ensure they offer quality work. Your insurance company will examine all of their potential candidates and include those who offer quality work and meet their other requirements.
4. If They Continue To Perform
Once in the vendor program, the process doesn't end. The companies are monitored continuously. Their work is reviewed, and they must continue to provide high-quality services.
To the excitement of clients, many insurance companies offer a preferred vendors list. Choosing one of the companies on these lists, such as SERVPRO, ensures you get quality work. This is because potential vendors go through an extensive vetting process to become a preferred company.
How To Clean Category 3 Flood Waters
Sewage backup is considered Category 3 water damage
All types of flood water have the potential to cause damage, but some are more worrisome than others. Those deemed Category 3 are the worst, as these waters contain harmful toxins including negative bacteria and pesticides. Because cleaning this level of flooding requires the most care, here are a few things you should know about the origins and cleaning of these nefarious disasters.
Category 3 Spill Types
Also known as black water, Category 3 flooding has a number of causes, some of them being:
- Toilet overflow
- Sewage backup
- Rising rivers and streams
Improperly handling one of these noxious stews exposes you, as well as your employees in Sharon Hill, PA, to a significant danger. If you are incapable of following each of the below cleanup guidelines, contact a flood water restoration professional to do the job for you.
Category 3 Spill Cleanup
Individuals authorized to rid offices of contaminated water are required to wear safety gear such as goggles, boots and gloves. Before starting, rid your space of hazards like electrical wires touching water or cracked drywall in danger of collapse. Identify and halt any rushing source of liquid. Place desks and chairs that are not easily removed from the jeopardized area onto raised blocks.
Soaked carpeting needs to be dried with a sub-surface extraction device, but any overly compromised floor covering should be discarded. Sop up standing water with mops and squeegees and then use dehumidifiers to increase aeration. Once the zone is free of moisture, apply a biocide to prevent mold growth.
Check every room to make sure water has not seeped elsewhere, paying close attention to the moisture levels of affected areas. Keep track of completed steps and write down everything to be certain that nothing is skipped.
Flood water can wreak havoc within offices, especially that of the contaminated variety. Should your business become soaked with hazardous liquid, rid yourself of it with safety in mind.
3 Things Business Owners Should Expect During Mold Remediation
If you suspect black mold is growing, do not wait to seek action.
Three Steps To Clean Up The Trouble
If your business in Folcroft, PA, recently experienced water damage, the property could be hosting black mold. The spores thrive on moisture, reproducing quickly within one to two days. Leaky pipes, toilet overflows and lingering spills are just a few issues that trigger the dilemma, especially when they do not receive the appropriate restoration care. Towels and bleach aren't going to be enough to secure the area. Instead, owners must carefully tend to the moisture issue using the services of a water restoration company. The crew should implement the following three steps to clean up the trouble.
1. Determine the Contamination Zone
Specialists thoroughly evaluate the building, creating a mold cleanup. The experts assess air quality and dampness, deciding how much of the structure has been harmed. The impacted sections are blocked off to prevent additional infestation. Doors and windows should remain closed. Place barriers and signs in the rooms to keep others out. Use negative air chambers to stop the spores from moving through the air conditioner.
When people, mostly the work crew, do enter, they should have protective gear such as goggles, gloves and boots. Microbes love to hitch rides, so these items assist in mitigating their movement.
2. Eliminate Moisture
Black mold thrives on dampness; therefore, handle lingering wetness immediately. Use wet vacuums to suck up puddles, and run dehumidifiers to draw out the excess humidity. Then, wipe the walls down and extract saturated materials such as carpeting and drywall. Microscopic fungus spores penetrate porous substances, so removing them is necessary to lower the count.
3. Sanitize the Space
The mold remediation crew washes the remaining fixtures with soap and water, drying them carefully. They then apply an antimicrobial spray to baseboards, walls and other nonporous structures. At this time, voice any requests about content cleaning services. Technicians have specialized equipment to salvage documents and electronics.
If you suspect black mold is growing, do not wait to seek action. Contact professionals to guide you through the remediation process. The team's meticulous procedures ensure that the establishment is cleaned and ready to resume business.
3 Tips for Cleaning Your Contents After a Flood
Flooded content damage in Collingdale, PA
Content Cleaning Tips
A flood in your Collingdale home can not only cause significant damage to the structure but can damage or destroy the contents of your home. Some damaged contents will need to be discarded and replaced, but others can be cleaned and restored. These three content cleaning tips will help you salvage your water damaged property.
1. Observe Safety Precautions
Avoid walking through standing water. Downed power lines could present an electrocution risk. Additionally, there may be black water from the sewage system that contains untreated sewage and other contaminants. Before entering your home, look for foundation cracks or other signs that the structure may not be stable. Call your utility company to turn off the gas and electricity. Wear protective clothing such as goggles, gloves, and waterproof boots. Do not use candles or lamps with open flames that could ignite a gas leak. Do not force open doors. Watch for insects and wildlife.
2. Remove Water-Damaged Contents
Most contents that have remained in a flooded home for more than 24 hours after the water has receded will not be salvageable. Because of this, it is important to remove damaged items from the home as soon as it is safe. Discard carpet padding, mattresses, and upholstered furniture. Throw out all food products. Hose off, clean and sanitize metal, solid wood, and plastic furniture or contact a content cleaning service for assistance.
3. Document Your Damage
If the flooding was widespread in your area, it may take some time for the insurance company to be able to inspect your damage. You may be able to speed up the process by providing photographs of your damaged items to the insurance company.
Content cleaning can help restore some types of property that may otherwise need to be discarded and replaced. These three tips can help you salvage your valuable property and lower your restoration costs.
Does Water Damage Always Accompany Fire Damage?
Commercial fire and water damage in Sharon Hill, PA
Water and fire damage can coincide when a fire hose or another water-based method is used to suppress a blaze. Find out more about the ways that these elements combine and compound the severity of property damage.
Some Suppression Methods Use Water
Water can be effective for putting out some fires. Any of the following methods may be used to extinguish or suppress flames:
- Fire hoses
- Class A extinguishers
- Sprinkler systems
Fire hoses tend to cause more extensive and severe water damage than extinguishers or sprinklers, but the presence of any excessive moisture has the potential to compound the effects of fire damage. Water may also cause flames fed by certain combustibles, such as grease, to spread.
Not Every Suppressant Contains Water
Some Class A extinguishers and most multi-class extinguisher models contain dry chemical suppressants. These suppression methods limit damage caused by fire without causing more damage with water. The residue of these substances can be removed during cleanup along with ash, soot and debris.
A Fire Hose Can Cause Major Water Damage
The flow rate of fire hoses varies widely, but this suppression method can swiftly introduce hundreds or thousands of gallons of water into a burning structure. Although heat causes evaporation, any water that pools in a fire-damaged structure will become contaminated and have the potential to increase the risk of many other forms of secondary damage.
The quantity of water is an important factor in determining the severity of combined water and fire damage. Fire hoses emit hundreds or thousands of gallons of water, whereas fire sprinkler systems only activate the heads closest to the portion of a structure where high temperatures have been detected and have a lower flow rate. Make sure any extinguishers you use contain effective suppressants for the classes of fire that are most likely to occur at a building in Sharon Hill, PA.
How To Unclog a Drain Without Using Harmful Chemicals
You can try with a plunger to unclog the drain
Different Ways To Unclog Your Drain
Chemical cleaners may work on your clogged drain, but they can also damage your pipes. The chemicals produce heat which can cause metal and plastic pipes to warp. Using chemicals on drains that are completely blocked is especially bad since they will just sit on top of the blockage causing more damage to your Collingdale pipes. There are some safe and effective alternatives to unclogging your drains, however.
A sink plunger should be placed over the drain opening so that it seals the area completely. The vacuum created by the pumping action can sometimes clear the clog.
2. Wire Hanger
If a plunger doesn't work, try using a straightened wire hanger. Push the wire down into the drain and then slowly push it out and then back in several times to break up the blockage.
3. Drain Snake
You can rent a drain snake from your local hardware store in, to fix the clogged drain. Place the auger end into the drain and turn it while feeding the cable into the opening. Continue to twist the snake handle until you reach the blockage, allowing the cable to latch onto the clog. Slowly pull out the cable, along with the clog.
4. Baking Soda and White Vinegar
A great alternative to a chemical drain cleaner is using baking soda and white vinegar. The combination of the two ingredients causes a chemical reaction that eats through the blockage, without damaging the pipes. First, pour 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, followed immediately by 1/2 cup white vinegar. Cover the opening with a rag and leave it for about 30 minutes. Boil some water and pour it down the drain slowly.
It's important to remember that if you require any sewage cleaning, call a water damage repair service as soon as possible.
You don't need harsh chemicals to fix your clogged drain if you try these quick and inexpensive solutions.
3 Mold Prevention Tips for Your Commercial Property
Call SERVPRO of South Philadelphia / SE Delaware County to help with the proper mold remediation
Here Are Some Other Mold Prevention Tips
Mold is not something to be taken lightly. The fungus can appear on paper, carpets and other parts of your Collingdale, PA commercial building. Mold can even grow above ceiling tiles and behind walls. The fungus can cause extensive harm to your property that necessitates professional mold remediation services.
Mold is especially common in moist areas. You can thus reduce mold by limiting the amount of water damage to your building. Here are some other mold prevention tips.
1. Ventilate Properly
Commercial kitchens and laundry rooms can release moisture into the air that encourages mold growth. Make sure that any stoves and dryers are vented outdoors. You may also want to purchase dehumidifiers for your property. Clean these dehumidifiers regularly so they do not produce any additional moisture.
Energy-efficient buildings, in particular, may trap moisture in the air. If your property has energy-efficient appliances, consider running an exhaust fan or opening the window when they are being used.
2. Dry Wet Spots
Ideally, you should prevent leaks and other causes of water damage to your property. However, accidental floods may still occur. If you do discover standing water in your building, you need to address it within 48 hours. Any equipment or furniture that cannot be completely dried should be removed from the premises. Mold can even grow on wet clothes, so hang them to dry outside if possible.
3. Reduce Humidity
Humid locations are particularly vulnerable to mold. Keep the indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent at all times. You can purchase a moisture meter at a hardware store to make sure you are staying within this recommended guideline. Keep an eye out for condensation and other signs of humidity.
Since mold appears naturally in the environment, you cannot completely eradicate it from your property. However, by reducing moisture and immediately addressing any water damage, you can prevent excessive mold growth that could destroy your building.
How to Prevent Water Damage During Construction Projects
SERVPRO of South Philadelphia/SE Delaware county will restore your business to pre-damage conditions.
Proactive Measures That Can Help You Prevent Water Damage
Water damage can pose a big risk for builders. It can come from uncontrollable sources, like a flooded creek or an equipment malfunction. The result is damage to your project, the potential for adding water pipe repair work to your tasks and having to hire qualified restoration professionals. This can set your estimated completion dates back and cause you major losses. Water damage can cost you a lot of money as you try to fix the damage. It can also leave you with unhappy customers and impact your future business.
The good news is that it is preventable. The key to avoiding water damage is to identify potential threats and create a prevention plan.
Identify Potential Sources
If you wish to avoid adding water pipe repair work to your upcoming tasks, you should know your internal threats. Some potential threats to your water include:
- Sewer systems
- HVAC lines
Your machinery for missing, mortar mixing, wet saws, painting, mixing materials, and cleaning up could also be a threat if it uses water. Aside from this, weather can also pose a threat to your projects.
Have a Plan
If you wish to avoid adding water pipe repair work to your schedule, you need to develop a plan early in your construction process that incorporates any potential threats. Then, you should activate this plan and incorporate any necessary mitigation equipment necessary.
Use Damage Prevention Tools
The best way to prevent water damage to your project in Philadelphia, PA, is to conduct regular site inspections. This includes using damage prevention tools. One main tool is a shutdown inspection. This involves a site member walking the project and ensuring all the prevention methods identified in your plan have been activated before the site is closed for the day.
By identifying potential threats, creating a prevention plan, and using appropriate tools, you can prevent water damage to your construction projects. This includes weather-related issues and things like a broken pipe. Taking these measures will limit your losses and prevent unhappy customers.
Preparing Your Family To Flee a Home Fire
Fire damage to your Philadelphia home or business can very detrimental.
Dedicate The Time And Energy Into Teaching Everyone The Following Four Things
When sparks suddenly fly, there is very little time to coordinate and organize a proper evacuation. It's important that everyone in the family has prepared ahead of time, understanding how to handle the situation. Fire escape plan procedures not only prevent chaos, but they can save lives.
1. Know the Escape Routes
Because flames can block off routes, your emergency escape plan should include at least two exit strategies. As a group, walk through the home, determining the best way to leave. It should be easy for all ages to access. Select a spot outside where everyone can meet up.
2. Just Go
It's tempting to grab a few valuables before heading out. Fire escape plan discussions should include an awareness of this danger. Objects are replaceable, but people are not. Instill in everyone a sense of urgency to go immediately. Remember that a fire remediation company in Folcroft, PA has the ability to rebuild property and restore some contents.
3. Remain Low
Smoke rises, and it is hazardous; therefore, practice how to move throughout a burning residence. Your emergency escape plan should have protocols for how to check doors and hallways for possible danger. Touch doorknobs carefully. If they are hot, be cautious. Fire could be on the other side. Crawl low to the ground to improve air quality, avoiding heavy doses of carbon dioxide.
4. Think About Pets
Your furry friends are precious. Speak out about how to help fire crews locate them. Don't go looking for dogs or cats. This could jeopardize your safety. Place stickers near the door. State the names of your animals, and where they often reside. The professionals can try to free them as they tend to the conflagration.
Chaos is frightening. In a time of uncertainty, practice and understanding are essential. Fire escape plan protocols make a devastating event something manageable.
The Top 3 Mold Odor Elimination Methods
HEPA filters are rated to capture 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns
Mold Odor Elimination Methods
Mold odors originate as microbial volatile organic compounds released as byproducts of the metabolic process. This blend of ethanol, benzyl cyanide, geosmin, terpenes and other mVOCs is the source of the musty odor associated with fungal growth. Whether or not a species of mold produces mycotoxin, mVOCs are off-gases released during the growth cycle. When remediation is all-but-complete at a house in Philadelphia, PA, it may be necessary to neutralize traces of these gaseous compounds.
1. Remediate Mold Damage
Musty odors will intensify as long as mold keeps growing. If mold is metabolizing nutrients and has enough moisture to flourish, off-gases with mVOCs are released into the air. Removing mold from a structure and taking measures to prevent an infestation from returning will lay the groundwork for getting rid of mold odor.
2. Reduce Spore Counts With an Air Filter
A high-efficiency particulate air filter or another type of air purifier can catch spores. HEPA filters are rated to capture 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. Mold spores may measure anywhere from four microns up to 20 microns, which puts these contaminants well within the range to be filtered. Gaseous contaminants and residual mycotoxin may necessitate other air purification measures.
3. Ask About Deodorization Treatments
Home deodorization treatments may be the final stage in mold remediation. After all of the area affected by mold growth has been cleaned and ductwork has been cleaned in a home with central air, an ozone, hydroxyl or thermal fogging treatment may be helpful to eradicate any traces of musty odor.
Mold odors may be stubborn. While most air purification systems can filter out spores, mVOCs and mycotoxin may fall below the penetrating particle size limit. A combination of air filtration and deodorization may be needed to eliminate the last remnants of mVOCs and mold toxins at a home in Philadelphia, PA.
What To Do About Wet Building Materials and Contents?
Water damage in Philadelphia, PA
What Can Be Salvaged After Water Damage?
Water damage to your Philadelphia, PA, home can cause all sorts of damage, from swelling wood to mold growth. Understanding what can be salvaged and what must be replaced is key to an effective restoration process.
What Can Be Saved?
Depending on the extent of the damage, some of the items in your home may be salvageable. The following are some items that you or an experienced restoration service may be able to repair:
- real wood
- upholstered furniture
- paper items such as books and pictures
- some electronics
Solid wood can generally be restored if it is dried out quickly and thoroughly. Parts of the wood that have begun to rot can be excised and filled in with putty. Drywall, on the other hand, can only be salvaged if the damage is minor. If the drywall has begun to disintegrate or grow mold below the surface, it must be replaced. Like wood and dry wall, carpet and upholstery should be dried out as quickly as possible. If they can be fully dried before mold begins to grow, they should be salvageable. While the aforementioned items can often be restored with wet/dry vacuums, fans, dehumidifiers and moisture meters, paper items and electronics generally require more specialized care.
What Cannot Be Saved?
Although many items can be restored if they are dried out quickly, there are some items that cannot be salvaged. A lot of times swelling wood in cabinets, subfloors and composite wood furniture indicates that the material should be replaced rather than restored. The nature of the water also determines what can and cannot be saved. Water from a ruptured supply line or other clean source only poses a risk if it is allowed to stand for more than a day or so. Water pipe repair and cleanup should be completed promptly to avoid this scenario. Materials that come into contact with contaminated water should be thrown out if they cannot be thoroughly sanitized.
Whether you are dealing with swelling wood, wet carpeting or any other water damage it is important to act quickly. If not, your possessions may incur structural damage or mold growth.
Is Your Business Covered for a Flood?
Flooded commercial building in Philadelphia, PA
Understanding The Difference Between A Flood Policy And A Traditional Business Policy
When water makes its way into your business, it can cause upheaval for you, your staff and your bottom line. If you are not sure whether your insurance covers flood damage, this discussion about commercial insurance and flood insurance may clear up some of your questions.
If your property is damaged by flooding, you would be assisted with the costs of water cleanup and remediation only if you had purchased a specialized flood policy. Your conventional insurance would only cover water damage from non-flood-related sources, such as a water pipe leak. These details may help you decide whether you need a supplemental policy.
Conventional Business Insurance
Your business insurance policy will generally cover you for water damage from the following sources:
- Leaking appliances or equipment
- Broken pipes
- Overflowing bathtubs or toilets
- Roof leaks
- Moisture entering a broken window
If you have experienced water damage from one of these sources, your commercial insurance agent can explain your deductibles and coverage limits and help you file a claim.
Supplemental Flood Insurance
If your business is damaged by rising floodwater, you will need to have a separate flood insurance policy in order to receive assistance with the cleanup costs. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, issues these policies. You would need to hold the insurance at the time of the damage for it to apply. If your property lies in a high-risk area for flooding, the government may require you to purchase flood coverage. With studies showing severe storms are increasing in frequency and severity, your commercial insurance may not be adequate to protect you from water damage. Your insurance agent can generally explain the details of flood insurance and assist you with the purchase.
Understanding the difference between a flood policy and a traditional business policy may help you decide which option best serves your unique situation. If you experience water damage to your Philadelphia, PA, commercial property, it can be disruptive. Having the right insurance coverage in place can not only restore your property but also your peace of mind.
4 Steps You Should Take To Make Sure Your Sprinklers Are Working
Regular maintenance is important for making sure that your fire sprinkler system is functioning
Consider The Following Steps When Planning For Regular Sprinkler Maintenance
Regular maintenance is important for making sure that your fire sprinkler system is functioning properly when a fire occurs. Consider these four steps when planning your regular sprinkler maintenance routine.
1. Have an Annual System Inspection Performed
You should plan to have a fire service professional inspect your entire fire suppression system at least once every year. You should also be inspecting the system throughout the year, but it is still important to have a complete inspection done annually, because these inspections may uncover problems that you may have missed, such as corroded parts, improper calibration or problems with sprinkler pipes.
2. Move Objects That are Too Close to Your Sprinklers
To work correctly, your fire sprinkler system needs to be able to distribute water over a wide area. Tall items, such as filing cabinets, stacked storage boxes or equipment may block water from the sprinklers, causing some areas of your building to not receive enough water to extinguish a fire. When you have an inspection done, your fire professional can help you find alternative solutions to avoid this hazard.
3. Check the Water Pressure
Sprinkler systems rely on adequate water pressure to distribute water throughout the building. A quarterly inspection by a plumber or fire service professional is recommended.
4. Inspect Control Valves
Sprinkler systems have control valves that may be operated electronically or manually. If the valves are closed, the sprinkler system will not function. It is a good idea to check manually operated valves once per week, to ensure they are open. Electronic valves can be tested during your annual inspection.
Your fire sprinkler system is a vital first defense mechanism that can prevent small fires from becoming big problems. However, for your system to function properly, it must be regularly maintained. If you need a fire sprinkler cleanup, a fire restoration professional in Philadelphia, PA, can assist you.
Choosing a Security Fence for Your Business
Not every security fence is created equal
What You Should Look For In A Security Fence
Many business owners will install any fence for their store. They think having nothing is worse than a lousy wall. This is not the case. Some barriers can encourage visits from hoodlums and burglars when you are waiting on fire damage restoration professionals to fix your building. Read on to learn more about what you should look for in a security fence.
No Hiding Places
You want your security fence to be see-through. This allows you to see people who may be lurking. Non-seethrough walls can easily shadow burglars and need to be avoided.
Hard to Climb
To make sure no one can climb your fence, look for these features:
- At least 8 feet tall
- Primarily vertical rails
- Spiked or pointed top
Not Easy to Go Through
Having a nice fence doesn't help if someone can go right through it. Ensure that doesn't happen by securing it to the ground. Your best bet is to put concrete footings along the entire length of your fence. However, this can be expensive and unreasonable for a new business. Instead, make sure the posts are secured with concrete. You should also make sure that no one can cut through your fence. While chainlink fences may be popular, they are not a good idea for this reason.
Additionally, you will want to make sure that you have a solid gate. The gate is often the weakest point of a fence. Therefore, you need to make sure that your gate is made of as strong a material as your fence. Putting padlocks on the entrance of your business in Collingdale, PA is also a good idea.
Made From Metal
Be on the lookout for either wire mesh or metal fences. Metal fences use thin rods and can look very stylish. Mesh fences consist of wires that are tightly woven.
Not every security fence is created equal. Be sure you choose one that provides top-notch protection for your business.
The Consequences of Water Damage During Construction
Commercial water damage cleanup in Philadelphia, PA
The Consequences of Water Damage During Construction
A construction project for your company in Philadelphia, PA, is an exciting time. An expansion or a remodeling project could help the prospects for your company well into the future. However, this is also a time to be vigilant to ensure that the project is taking the necessary precautions to avoid damage from a water pipe repair or flooding. As a project manager or a business owner, it's important to make sure the construction team has a plan in place to avoid a setback. This includes proper planning and the identification of all water lines, both inside the property and from municipal sources. It also means being aware of weather patterns and the topography of the area.
When gallons of water are released unexpectedly from a broken pipe or due to heavy rains, the project will be impacted in a variety of ways. Your company could face the following disruptions:
- Time delays
- Added costs
- More complications
- Insurance matters
- Scheduling issues with contractors
At the minimum, a water pipe repair will mean more work for everyone. In most cases, expenses will increase and it might be difficult to meet important deadlines. Delays often require extensive rescheduling for contractors that have other commitments, thus making it hard to get work done in a rapid timeframe.
The best option is to prevent a water pipe repair in the first place. Once you are faced with a flooded construction zone, though, it is critical to take fast action. Calling in a professional water remediation company is vital to getting your project back on track. A team of highly-trained technicians will arrive on site and perform a quick inspection and assessment of the property. They will then take steps to mitigate the water damage and remove any standing water from the construction zone. They will work to help you get your project back on schedule.
Understanding Roof Damage Mitigation
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?
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
Keep your gutters clean this fall to avoid ice damming in the winter
Gutters are great for directing water away from your Collingdale, PA 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.
Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?
Ventilate your Collingdale, PA 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 Collingdale, 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
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 Folcroft, 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.
According to the NFPA, 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
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
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:
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
Water damage in a Collingdale, PA commercial building
Most Common Causes Of Water Damage
Water damage to your commercial building in Collingdale, 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.
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.
Many things can lead to a broken pipe. These include:
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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
Mold growth in Collingdale, 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. Water 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 Collingdale, PA, don't wait to act. Be aware of its immediate and long-term effects as well as how rapidly it propagates.
5 Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems
When a deluge sprinkler system is activated, all the sprinkler heads open
Five Common Types of Sprinkler Systems
A fire sprinkler can protect your Philadelphia, PA, business from fire damage. However, it is important to select the right sprinkler for your business’ needs. The following are five common types of sprinkler systems.
1. Wet Pipe Sprinklers
Wet pipe sprinklers are very common. Water is present in the pipes at all times. When a fire starts, the heat rises and causes the sprinkler head to burst. Because the sprinkler heads are heat-activated, only one is activated a time. This minimizes the need for fire sprinkler cleanup without diminishing the effectiveness of the sprinkler system.
2. Dry Pipe Sprinklers
Dry pipe sprinklers work very similarly to their wet pipe counterparts; however, water is not kept in the pipe. Water only goes to the pipes when a sprinkler head is activated. This type of fire sprinkler is ideal for cold areas where the water in the pipes could freeze.
3. Pre-Action Sprinklers
Pre-action sprinklers require two different triggers to activate the system. The extra layer of protection against accidental discharge makes this type of sprinkler system ideal for locations that store particularly valuable or irreplaceable items, such as libraries and museums.
4. Foam Sprinklers
Unlike other sprinkler systems that use only water for fire suppression, foam sprinkler systems use a mixture of water and fire-suppressing foam. The foam is ideal for fires created by flammable liquids. This type of sprinkler system is often used in marinas, airport hangars, and other locations that store flammable materials.
5. Deluge Sprinklers
Unlike other types of sprinklers, when a deluge sprinkler system is activated, all the sprinkler heads open. Deluge sprinklers are ideal for locations that could suffer rapidly spreading fires, such as power and chemical plants.
A fire sprinkler can protect your business from most fire damage. However, if you do experience fire damage or water damage from a sprinkler, a certified restoration company can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.
SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster
Call the "Faster to any size Disaster" team at SERVPRO for immediate assistance
SERVPRO Can Respond Quickly
As an insurance agent, you know how important it is to quickly address any damage to property. A delay of even a few hours can increase the cost of the restoration. That is why SERVPRO is the preferred vendor of most agencies. The emergency restoration company is faster to any size disaster.
SERVPRO can respond quickly because it has a locally owned franchise in Collingdale, PA. The cleanup professionals thus should not have to travel far to get to the damaged location.
Even though the franchise is local, that does not mean it has limited resources, however. Because the franchise is part of a larger company, it has the corporate reach necessary to handle even major disasters. SERVPRO can thus respond to all types of emergencies, including:
SERVPRO is not just faster to any size disaster. It also has qualified restoration professionals that will quickly and efficiently clean up the damaged property. Below is a brief description of the services the company provides.
SERVPRO has water damage restoration technicians who know the best techniques for cleaning wet items. The fabric and upholstery cleaning technicians, meanwhile, will get the furniture back to the way it was prior to the flood. Meanwhile, the odor control experts will eliminate the smells that often accompany standing water.
SERVPRO realizes that fires do not just burn items. They can also produce soot and smoke damage. Sprinklers or firefighter hoses can cause additional harm, as well. SERVPRO experts are prepared to deal with all of these issues.
SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team responds to all types of storms, including blizzards, tornadoes, and hurricanes. In fact, the company has assisted with some of the largest natural disasters in the country, including Hurricane Katrina and the 2017 California wildfires.
SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster. This reduces the cost of the insurance claim and makes you and your customers happier. It is no wonder that so many agencies choose SERVPRO of South Philadelphia/SE Delaware County as their preferred vendor.
Tips for Flushing Your Gas Water Heater
Flushing a water heater
It's easy to forget about your water heater until it doesn't function properly. Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can accumulate inside the heater, preventing it from working as it should. Replacing a heater can be a costly ordeal, so maintaining it is a smart idea. Performing a water heater flush periodically will keep your heater working properly for many years.
Steps for Flushing a Heater
Your water heater either runs on gas or electricity. Let's examine the steps to follow in flushing a gas model. First, have a large bucket, garden hose, and screwdriver at the ready. A pair of gloves is also a good idea to protect your hands from hot water.
Turn off the thermostat on the gas heater. The gas pipe that leads to the thermostat has a valve that must be turned to the “off” position. Then, turn off the cold water spigot, which is located near the top of the heater.
At the kitchen sink, turn the hot water on full. This will prevent a vacuum in the line as you drain the water from the tank. It will also increase the water flow as it drains.
Connect the hose to the drainage spigot and make sure the other end is either in the bucket or in an area outside away from the house.
Turn the spigot on and allow the water and sediment to drain completely.
Turn the drainage spigot off and disconnect the hose. Then turn the cold water spigot back on.
When the kitchen faucet water stream runs smoothly, the tank is full. Turn off the kitchen faucet, then turn the heater's thermostat back on.
To keep your home in Philadelphia, PA from running out of hot water, make sure to flush out your water heater every year. It could also save you from costly water damage repairs down the road.
The Specialized Equipment Needed To Remove Smoke Odors
We specialize in fire and water restoration.
The Specialized Equipment Needed To Remove Smoke Odors
After a fire, smoke cleaning is no picnic. It takes training and specialized equipment to rid a home of the persistent odors associated with smoke damage. A qualified fire remediation team has the resources to tackle the most challenging impacts of fire. Technicians may use the following machines to deodorize a home:
- Air filtration devices
- Thermal foggers
- Ozone machines
The home is cleaned according to the highest industry standards. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification promotes voluntary guidelines for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industry. A company that is certified by the IICRC or follows its recommendations is likely to do a professional job.
Eliminate Offensive Odors
After a fire in Collingdale, PA, smoke odor is likely to be present both inside and outside of the home. It may be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the smell is coming from without advanced equipment. Workers experienced in smoke cleaning can identify the location and the cause of the unpleasant smells and determine the best course of action to eliminate the smells. Improper methods or short cuts such as masking odors won't be successful. With the right methods, over time the odors can be removed without a trace.
Restore the Home
For smoke cleaning to be effective, it should treat all areas of the home and all of its belongings. This includes walls, carpeting, furniture, clothes, electronics, and documents. Different methods of cleaning and different equipment may be used depending upon the materials and how badly they are stained. In some cases, items may need to be thrown out. Where possible, though, a restore versus replace mentality saves time and money. The entire fire restoration process is designed to return a home to its original condition, even after a large fire. An odor control technician can do wonders with smells that pose a challenge to basic cleaning methods. A Professional job delivers quality results.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program
Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.
Let us help you get back to business
As our Collingdale community re-opens, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Extensive training and specialized products
As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.
From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.
3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify
When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
- Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
- Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible.
- Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.
Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation
We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.
Call SERVPRO of South Philadelphia/SE Delaware County today at 215-243-0430 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience. Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.
What Should You Do When the Upstairs Toilet Overflows?
Basement Bathroom Water Leak Damage
What Should You Do When the Upstairs Toilet Overflows?
For various reasons, pipes break or clog. Did someone use too much toilet paper? Did an employee continue to pour grease down a drain? In fact, sometimes it's no one's fault. It's simply defective piping. Whatever the cause, business owners end up facing the mess of sewer damage, an absolute physical, emotional, and financial drain. It's even harder when that break happens on the second story, allowing the polluted fluid to seep down below, ruining not just one floor but two. If this is the case, consider the following to get the building back to normal.
1. Have a Thorough Inspection
First, you can work with the sewage company to repair the source of the issue. After all, you don't want the situation to grow even worse. Then, contact a water restoration company. These experts in Collingdale, PA have specialized equipment and knowledge. When they arrive on scene, the staff should begin to survey the damage, section off the impacted zones, and prepare a plan to sanitize your space.
2. Discard Soaked Material
Unfortunately, sewer damage is highly contaminated with bacteria and other microorganisms. It's not something that is simply dried up. The safest decision is to eliminate anything that was heavily drenched. Therefore, the crew should begin removing the soaked flooring as well as the affected portions of the ceiling. If the liquid penetrated through, it may have harmed the downstairs. If that is the case, they could begin tearing out items from here as well.
3. Restore the Rooms
The flooded toilet and other fixtures may be replaced with newer items. The spaces are dried with dehumidifiers and then sprayed with antimicrobial spray. At this point, the restoration team begins construction, patching, painting, and replacing anything lost from the flooding. By the end, both floors should look like they did before.
Sometimes sewer damage is unavoidable. While you can't stop it, you can fix it. Seek the aid of experts who can lead and advise.
Tips for Navigating Mold Coverage in Your Commercial Insurance Plan
Roof Leak Causing Mold
Tips for Navigating Mold Coverage in Your Commercial Insurance Plan
Mold is covered under most plans, but you'll need to know how to navigate the plans and make sure you're fully protected. If you are curious about what's covered with your commercial insurance, you'll need to look under the umbrella term of "fungus" on your policy. The fungus policy includes damage from things like
Each of these types of organisms is omitted from blanket insurance coverage under something called a fungus exclusion policy.
About Fungus Exclusion
Essentially this exclusion protects your commercial insurance from needing to cover the most common causes of mold. Some circumstances are excepted from this fungus exclusion. For example, they'll cover in the odd scenario that the mold was caused by a fire. There's also a list of risky events that commercial insurance has called "specified causes of loss". These specified causes are also unlikely to cause mold damage. However, if your mold was caused by something on that list (think hail and vandalism), they'll cover it.
Mold Protection Under Limited Fungus Coverage
This exclusion is what covers mold related to water damage (the most likely event to cause mold growth). A notable, possible exception to some mold insurance plans is a flood exclusion. Some plans make you purchase flood coverage separately. Make sure you have flood coverage as part of your plan - should a flood disaster strike in Philadelphia, PA, flooding is almost guaranteed to invite mold.
Simplifying Your Claims Process
If you find yourself facing mold in your building, it's best to contain it and take photos of the damage before doing anything else. Then, contact your insurance immediately and give them a detailed account of the mold damage. After that, get in touch with mold remediation specialists as soon as possible, to prevent the mold from spreading.
Maneuvering insurance policy details can be tricky. By knowing what to look out for, you can ensure that you're prepared and protected from mold threats to your building.
Determining the Category and Class of Water Damage
SERVPRO of South Philadelphia / SE Delaware County is dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies.
When handling a water loss in Collingdale, PA, we have to identify the category and the class of the water that caused the damage.
- Category 1: Water originated from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure.
- Category 2: Water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.
- Category 3: Water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents.
- Class 1: Only part if a room or area is wet or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture. Little or not wet carpet and/or pad is present.
- Class 2: An entire room or more is affected. Carpet and pad may be wet. Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches. There is significant moisture remaining in structural materials.
- Class 3: Fully involved. Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, pad, and sub floor in virtually the entire area are saturated.
- Class 4: Specialty drying situations - Wet materials with very low permanence/porosity i.e hardwood, concrete, brick. Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity.
Tips To Keep Your Sump Pump Running Smoothly
Give your sump pump a little tender loving care so that it works when you need it most
During the average week, you probably don’t give your sump pump much thought. When a heavy rainstorm hits in Philadelphia, PA, however, it’s one of the first things you worry about. Since it is critical that your pump works when you need it, it’s a good idea to conduct some routine pump maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition.
How a Sump Works
The sump pump has a few main components that work together to pump water out of your home.
The groundwater collection system works by collecting the outside water through drain tiles and rocks placed under the soil along the house’s foundation. As the groundwater collects, it flows down through pipes to the basement and into the sump tank through an intake screen.
The sump tank is an appliance that is installed inside a specially-made pit placed in the lowest area of the basement. When water reaches a certain level in the tank, a float device will activate a pump.
The pump then forces the water out through a discharge pipe to the outlet drain outside, away from the house. When the water has been drained to a certain level in the tank, this triggers the device to shut off the pump.
What To Inspect
Since the sump mechanism can sit for a few weeks or even months without being activated, it should be inspected periodically. Every 2 or 3 months you should check to make sure the power cord is connected properly. Then dump a bucket of water into the tank to ensure the float device and pump do their job correctly.
At least once a year, you should conduct in-depth maintenance on the unit. Remove any debris from the discharge pipe and intake screen to prevent clogs. Also, clean out the pit area to ensure the unit will function properly. If applicable, replace the backup battery every 2 years.
Give your sump pump a little tender loving care so that it works when you need it most.
How To File a Commercial Insurance Claim
Submitting a fire claim can help you get reimbursed for the damages your property has sustained
If your business in Philadelphia, PA has sustained damage from a fire, you will need to call your insurance company as soon as you can. Your agent will walk you through the process of submitting a fire claim so that you can be reimbursed for the damages your property has sustained. Listed below are some important steps to follow when filing a claim.
Steps to a Follow When Filing Claim
When you talk with your insurance agent, give them the policy number and exact location of the fire. Make sure they have your cell phone number and at least one backup person’s phone number in case you can’t be reached right away. The more information you can give them over the phone, the quicker you can get your fire claim processed.
Plan to meet the insurance adjuster at the premises to walk them through the fire damage, unless the building is unsafe.
Take pictures of any damaged items that need to be removed immediately for safety reasons. Otherwise, leave the damage as it is for the adjuster to evaluate.
Secure the building, if possible, as soon as you can. Putting a fence around the property and boarding up windows will keep out vagrants and wild animals.
Organize your business records and expenses. Gather all documents that show the value of any damaged equipment, building structures and furnishings. Lost inventory and raw materials should also be included in the tally. Keep receipts for any repairs that you have initiated in the fire restoration process.
Business Interruption Insurance
Your typical commercial insurance policy will cover your property, but if the damage is so extensive that you need to leave the premises for any length of time, it is wise to have a business interruption policy as well.
Make sure your insurance policy is up to date and keep a paper copy in a safe location so that you are prepared if you need to submit a fire claim.
What To Know About Storm Insurance and Your Business
Having storm insurance for your business in Philadelphia, PA is one great way to protect the property
Things To Be Aware Of When Looking Over Your Coverage
When you have a business in Philadelphia, PA, having a storm insurance policy is one great way to help protect the property. When looking over your coverage there are a few things to be aware of.
1. What Terms Mean
It’s important to understand what the different terms used in your coverage mean. This will allow you to know what type of deductible you have if it’s a set amount or a percentage amount, what coverage is included in your plan, and what responsibilities you have as the property owner. Understanding your plan, and the terms used, will help you determine if everything you want coverage for is included, or if you will need any supplemental plans.
2. What May Be Covered
In many cases, storm insurance will cover the costs of repairing parts of the property harmed by storm damage. This may include heavy rain and wind damage, and can also include flood and hail depending on the policy. Your policy may also include the costs of hiring a preferred storm damage restoration service to help with cleanup and repairs. It’s important to know what is included in your policy beforehand to avoid any surprises.
3. What May Not Be Covered
It’s important to know which items may not be in your insurance coverage as you may want to purchase a supplemental plan for these items. In many cases, severe flooding may require additional protection as well as hail. You may also find that in the event the property was not properly protected from the elements some coverage doesn’t apply. Be sure to talk to your agent to ensure you know what steps you may be responsible for as the building owner.
When looking over the storm insurance policy for your business it’s important to be aware of a few things. Make sure you understand the terms used and how they affect your policy. It’s also important to know what is and is not included in your coverage and what you may want to get supplemental insurance for. If you have any questions your agent should be able to help.