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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Top 5 Ways to Protect Pipes From Freezing

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Temperatures around East Stroudsburg are beginning to dip below freezing. With freezing temperatures comes the risk of frozen pipes.

Here are the Top 5 ways to protect your pipes from freezing this winter:

1) Pools and Sprinklers Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

2) Outdoor Valves Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

3) Home Insulation Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.

4) Pipe Insulation Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.

5) Pipe Relocation Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

Source: Red Cross

5 Steps to Thaw Frozen Pipes

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

If you follow the proper steps to protect your pipes from freezing, then frozen pipes shouldn't be an issue. But drastic weather always has the potential to be an issue.

If you find yourself with a partially or completely frozen pipe, here are the five steps you should take:

Step 1) If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.

Step 2) Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.

Step 3) Apply heat to the section of the pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hairdryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices.

Step 4) Apply heat until the full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

Step 5) Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

How to Prevent Sewage Back Up After A Flood

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Tips to prevent sewage back up into your home after a flood:

• Plug all drains in the basement and drastically reduce water use in your home.

• Do not use the system if the soil is saturated and flooded. Conserve water as much as possible.

• Septic systems with pump chambers can be clogged by silt during times of flooding, take measures to prevent any silt from entering the system.

• Do not open the septic tank for pumping while the soil is saturated, this can lead to silt entering the drain field.

• Avoid any work on or around the disposal field while the soil is still wet or flooded to prevent ruining the soil conductivity.

• If the septic system backs up into the house check the tank for outlet blockage, as flooding will cause fats and grease in the tank to float and potentially clog the outlet tee.

• Ensure any electrical or mechanical devices in the system avoid contact with the flooded system until it is dry and clean.

• Mud and sediment have a tendency to clog filters and aerobic plants during a flooding event, these systems will need to be washed and racked to prevent clogging.

Source: PA DEP

SERVPRO will clean it up, disinfect, and make it "Like it never even happened."

 

How SERVPRO Cleans and Disinfects Your Home or Business

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO always follows the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your home or business:

  • Wear reusable or disposable gloves for all cleaning and disinfection.
  • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.
  • Cleaning with soap and water reduces the number of germsdirt, and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
  • Focus cleaning on frequently touched surfaces. High touch surfaces include:
    • Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

SERVPRO always uses EPA-approved disinfectants and follows the EPA guidelines for safe and effective usage.

To schedule a cleaning and disinfection of your home or business, call us today at 215-877-2113

Commercial COVID-19 Cleaning

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has changed every faction of our lives. Businesses around the country are being forced to keep up with ever-changing CDC guidelines. Many businesses have hired SERVPRO of University City for both preventative cleaning and disinfection and cleaning for confirmed cases.

Scope of Cleanup Protocol

SERVPRO professionals can perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection where the customer states that there is no active known threat of COVID-19 contamination or exposure. The customer will be required to acknowledge that cleaning and disinfecting will only apply to the current state of the structure and contents.  The structure would not be protected from future COVID-19 contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building.

Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning

The CDC encourages the cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum.  These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces as well as the following suggestions:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving and racks
  • Sales counters
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Cleanup and Disinfecting Procedures

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 the cleanup process, and disposal of waste.

The CDC recommends the usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar type organisms to SARS-Cov-2.

SERVPROXIDE, SERVPRO’s proprietary disinfectant, is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-Cov-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces.  In addition, SERVPROXIDE Currently has dozens of EPA- approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. Coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1), and more.

Porous surfaces that are not water-sensitive, such as carpet and other fabric material, cannot be disinfected but can be sanitized using SERVPROXIDE.

Whether your business has a confirmed case or you are looking to prevent any future cases, SERVPRO of University City has you covered when it comes to commercial COVID-19 cleaning.

Janitorial Services vs Commercial Cleaning Services

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

If you own or operate a business, then you know how important it is to keep your workspace clean and organized.  The condition of your workspace leaves an impression on the people who visit your business, which can have a direct effect on your bottom line.  Few people will want to do business with a company that cannot keep its own space in good condition.  

While some companies keep their workspace clean by hiring an in-house cleaning crew, others either do not have the resources to hire an in-house crew or would rather hire a third party.  This means that they must hire a professional to provide janitorial or commercial cleaning services.  The phrases “janitorial services” and “commercial cleaning services” are often used interchangeably, but these terms actually describe two somewhat different types of cleaning services.  If you are looking to hire a cleaning professional for your office or commercial building, it helps to understand the difference between the two types of services. This can help to ensure you are hiring a professional that can take care of the cleaning you want to be done.

Janitorial Services and Commercial Cleaning: What is the Difference?

The difference between janitorial services and commercial cleaning is that janitorial services include small, everyday cleaning tasks while commercial cleaning involves bigger jobs that are done a few times per year.  For example, janitorial services include regular vacuuming of the carpeting while commercial cleaning services include deep carpet cleaning.  Hiring a janitorial service is beneficial for everyday cleaning and maintenance.  Companies can look into hiring commercial cleaning services for deep cleanings.

Janitorial Services

As stated above, a janitorial service provider will take care of everyday cleaning duties and keep your workspace clean and well maintained on a regular basis.  With consistent janitorial services, your office or facility will always look good and be ready for visitors, customers, and business associates.  Companies tend to schedule janitorial services based on their needs, typically on a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly basis.

Professionals that provide janitorial services are trained to use cleaning products and equipment to reduce the risk of cross-contamination and maintain clean and sanitary conditions.  These services typically include the following:

  • Restroom cleaning
  • Cleaning of employee breakrooms or kitchens
  • Sweeping and mopping of hard surface floors
  • Vacuuming of the carpet
  • Dusting
  • Emptying trash

Commercial Cleaning Services

Commercial cleaning services cover bigger cleaning jobs that do not need to be done on a regular basis.  You can hire a commercial cleaning service provider on a one-time, quarterly, or semi-annual basis. The cleaning services provided by a commercial cleaning company typically include:

  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Tile and grout cleaning
  • Hard surface floor cleaning
  • Furniture and upholstery cleaning
  • Window washing
  • Power washing

Deciding Between Janitorial Services and Commercial Cleaning

If you are interested in consistent cleaning services that keep your office or facility looking clean and presentable, then you need janitorial services.  If there are a couple of big cleaning projects you need to be done such as upholstery cleaning, power washing, or carpet cleaning then you need to talk to a company that provides commercial cleaning services.

SERVPRO of University City can help with all of your commercial cleaning needs. We have many different proprietary products that help to deep clean any size commercial cleaning job.

Recognizing The 3 Different Types of Fires

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

Synthetic: A synthetic fire is caused by the burning of oil substances. These materials include plastics and fabrics. Some examples of these materials include furniture, draperies, electronics, and carpet fibers. When these products are burned a thick-black smoke often appears. If a synthetic fire takes place in your home the best cleaning method would be to first vacuum the surface. Finish up the cleaning process with a dry-chem sponge.

Protein: A protein fire can be caused by the burning of meat products. These fires will often leave behind a yellowish-brown residue. Cleaning these fires can be very difficult due to their greasy nature. It is best that you use the proper cleaning chemical when dealing with these smoke residues.

Natural: A natural fire is caused by the burning of a wood or paper substance. These fires produce greyish-black smoke and are one of the easiest fires to clean. When cleaning these fires use a vacuum that has a bristled brush followed up by the use of a dry-chem sponge.

Now that you are aware of the different types of fires you may encounter and how to distinguish them. You will be able to apply the proper cleaning procedures stated above.

Sleeping With Your Bedroom Door Closed Could Save Your Life

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

Research has shown that a closed bedroom door can slow the spread of flames, decrease temperatures, reduce smoke inhalation, and improve oxygen levels in the room.

Just a few decades ago the average time it took to escape a home fire was about 17 minutes. Now it is three minutes or less. This is because of the synthetic furniture, more open floor plans in homes, and other flammable materials. Just closing your bedroom door at night can give you more time to get out the bedroom windows safely and call the fire department.

Research proves that a closed-door during a fire can mean the difference between 1,000 degrees temperatures and 100 degrees temperatures. Keep your bedroom door closed to keep the extra heat out!

During a fire, a closed door can also keep carbon monoxide levels at 1,000 PPM versus 10,000 PPM when a door is left open.

Close Before You Doze.

How To Prepare for a Winter Storm - Part 1

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

Protecting your family

  • Talk with your family about what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Discussing winter storms ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for young children.
  • Have your vehicle winterized before the winter storm season to decrease your chance of being stranded in cold weather.
  • Have a mechanic check your battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, and oil.
  • Install good winter tires with adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate but some jurisdictions require vehicles to be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
  • Keep in your vehicle: - A windshield scraper and small broom - A small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats - Matches in a waterproof container - A brightly colored (preferably red) cloth to tie to the antenna - An emergency supply kit, including warm clothing.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency and keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Keep a supply of non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery.
  • Service snow removal equipment before the winter storm season and maintain it in good working order.
  • Keep handy a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, water-resistant boots, and extra blankets and warm clothing for each member of the household.

How To Prepare for a Winter Storm - Part 2

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

Protecting your pets & animals

  • Bring your companion animals indoors. - Ensure that you have supplies for clean-up for your companion animals, particularly if they are used to eliminating outdoors (large plastic bags, paper towels, and extra cat litter).

  • Create a place where your other animals can be comfortable in severe winter weather:  - Horses and livestock should have a shelter where they can be protected from wind, snow, ice, and rain. - Grazing animals should have access to a protected supply of food and non-frozen water.
  • Be aware of the potential for flooding when snow and ice melt and be sure that your animals have access to high ground that is not impeded by fencing or other barriers. You may not be able to get to them in time to relocate them in the event of flooding. - Ensure that any outbuildings that house or shelter animals can withstand wind and heavy snow and ice- Install snow fences in rural areas to reduce drifting snow on roads and paths, which could block access to homes, barns, animal feed, and water.

Winter Storm Preparedness http://fw.to/WJPjQt

How To Prepare for a Winter Storm - Part 3

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

Protecting your home

  • Learn how to protect pipes from freezing
  • Make sure your home heating sources are installed according to local codes and permit requirements and are clean and in working order.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out.
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation to keep cold air out.
  • Consider buying emergency heating equipment, such as a wood- or coal-burning stove or an electric or kerosene heater.  - Stoves must be properly vented and in good working order. Dispose of ashes safely. Keep a supply of wood or coal on hand. - Electric space heaters, either portable or fixed, must be certified by an independent testing laboratory. Plug a heater directly into the wall socket rather than using an extension cord and unplug it when it is not in use. - Use a kerosene heater only if permitted by law in your area; check with your local fire department. Use only the correct fuel for your unit. Properly ventilate the area. Refuel the unit outdoors only, and only when the unit is cool. Follow all of the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Consider storing sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be cut off. Be cautious of fire hazards when storing any type of fuel.
  • If you have a fireplace, consider keeping a supply of firewood or coal. Be sure the fireplace is properly vented and in good working order and that you dispose of ashes safely.
  • Consider installing a portable generator, following our safety tips to avoid home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance, if you live in a flood-prone area, to cover possible flood damage that may occur during the spring thaw. Homeowners' policies do not cover damage from floods. Ask your insurance agent about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if you are at risk. More information on NFIP is available at www.fema.gov/nfip.

Winter Storm Preparedness http://fw.to/WJPjQt

Smoke Odor Factors

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

Fires can cause extensive damage throughout your home or property which requires the help of professionals to restore. Items can be burnt, soot-covered, or damaged by water from firefighting efforts. The smell of soot and smoke can linger for a long time after a fire.

FACTORS THAT AFFECT SMOKE ODOR REMOVAL

Removing smoke odors from your home or place of business can seem pretty straightforward. However, the amount of time needed to remove the smoke odor will depend on a variety of factors. These include:

  • Types of materials burned: Materials throughout your home react differently to soot and smoke molecules. Porous hard surfaces such as wallpaper, wood, drywall, and paint can become permanently stained or discolored unless treated quickly. Metallic surfaces may begin to rust and corrode with acidic soot. Cleaning chemicals may seep into your carpet as it dries, carrying with it soot and smoke molecules that can cause stains.
  • Type of soot: Dry soot is easier to clean and can be dealt with by using a sponge and a low-alkaline detergent. Oily soot requires the use of special techniques and equipment to be safely removed from your home. SERVPRO has a host of products for every time of soot imaginable.
  • Size of the fire-damaged area: The square footage of a fire loss area usually determines how hard it will be to get clean.
  • Size of the fire: A larger fire can cause more damage, which will in turn lead to more potential for smoke odor throughout your property.
  • Time delay after fire: The longer you wait, the worse the smoke damage will get. Even if the damage seems minimal, most types of materials at home can start to yellow, discolor, rust, or corrode due to the impact of acidic soot or smoke particles. 

Smoke from a fire infiltrates all areas of a home. It can seep into carpeting, furniture, clothing, draperies, books, and even woodwork. Often homeowners attempt to dissipate smoke smell with spray deodorizers and scented candles. These tactics only mask the odor of smoke and won't remove it from the home. Smoke particles bury themselves into fabrics, fibers, and other porous surfaces. In order to remove the smoke smell completely, items need to be deeply cleaned.

CLEANING UP SMOKE DAMAGED ITEMS

Essentially everything in a home affected by fire smoke needs to be cleaned. Some items may only require thorough airing to remove the smoke smell, but most items like carpeting, rugs, curtains, upholstery, and clothing will need a thorough cleaning and possible sanitization.

SERVPRO of University City has access to several proprietary deodorizers and cleaning products that help make fire damage and smoke odor "Like it never even happened."

Top 3 Things to Remember When You Lose Power

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

Natural disasters that cause the power to go out in the middle of winter pose many potential problems for home and business owners alike.

1) Power outages have the potential to cause pipes to freeze which is a leading cause of water damage in the winter.

Right now Texans are struggling with this all-too-common problem. When homes or businesses are left without power for extended periods of time, it allows temperatures to dip below freezing allowing the pipes to freeze. This can cause cracks or bursts which lead to water damage.

One measure that can be taken to try and avoid this is to insulate the pipes. This can be done by visiting any local hardware store. Most hardware stores carry special tape, polyester coverings, and a host of other products that are capable of protecting against extreme dips in temperature.

If you have community, town, or city water and have not lost your water supply it may be a good idea to run the water source furthest from the water main. This can allow a steady flow of water to avoid pressure building up from the water in the pipes becoming frozen.

2) Power outages have the potential to cause a septic backup.

When there is a power outage, effluent is not pumped into the drain field. The septic and pump tank collects the wastewater throughout the power outage and will release it all at once when the power is restored and the pump starts. Too much water pumped at one time can flood the drain field, causing surfacing or backups.

3) Power outages can cause a loss of drinking water if you have a well.

Power outages can cause well pumps to stop working which can lead to loss of water supply. This includes water for drinking, showering, and toilets. Not having access to clean, drinkable water can lead to many other issues. It is important to store additional bottled water in order to avoid dehydration.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Texans who will likely be recovering from this storm over the next several weeks. If there is anything to be learned from this terrible situation, it's that it is important to prepare for these types of disasters.

If disaster strikes and causes water damage, SERVPRO of University City can help.

Freezing Temps and Your Home's Outdoor Water Supply

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

How to turn off and drain outdoor water lines and faucets

Before the first freeze of the season, be sure to turn off your home’s outdoor water supply and drain the exterior pipes, including any outdoor faucets and hoses:

  1. Locate and turn off the outdoor water shut-off valve. Your home’s outdoor water shut-off valve is usually located near the ceiling, on the inside of the wall where the outdoor faucet is located. If the outdoor shut-off valve is tap- or knob-style, turn it clockwise, or to the right, to shut it off (remember: righty-tighty, lefty-loosey). If it’s lever-style, turn the lever clockwise or in whichever direction the “off” arrow is pointing.
  2. Disconnect the hose. Turn off your outdoor faucet by turning the knob all the way to the right and disconnect your outdoor hose. If there’s a nozzle on the hose, turn it on so that any additional water can drain out of the hose before you store it for the winter.
  3. Drain the pipe. Once you’ve removed the hose, turn the outdoor faucet back on to allow any remaining water to flow out of the pipes. When the water stops flowing, turn the faucet off.
  4. Drain the inside valve. Return indoors and place a bucket under the shut-off valve, then open the drain plug to allow any remaining water to flow out of the valve. The drain plug usually looks like a small metal cap located on the side of the shut-off valve. Once all the water has drained out, close the plug or cap.

If your home has multiple outdoor water sources, you’ll need to repeat these steps for each one.

Source: Economical.com

5 Steps to Minimize Mold Risk During Prolonged Shutdown

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

5 Steps to Minimize Mold Risk During and After a Prolonged Shutdown

  1. Maintain indoor humidity as low as possible, not exceeding 50%, as measured with a humidity meter. Building managers may consider continuous monitoring of indoor humidity using a digital hygrometer, ideally more than once daily, to minimize the need to access the building.
  2. After a prolonged shutdown and before occupants return, buildings should be assessed for mold and excess moisture.
  3. After an assessment has confirmed that mold and moisture are not detected, OR after remediation has been completed, a building HVAC system that has not been active during a prolonged shutdown should be operated for at least 48 to 72 hours (known as a “flush out” period) before occupants return.
  4. After a building is reopened and occupied, routine (e.g., weekly) checks of the HVAC system are recommended to ensure operating efficiency.
  5. If no routine HVAC operation and maintenance program is in place for the building, one should be developed and implemented.

Source: CDC

Top 4 Causes of House Fires

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Fire. It’s one of the scariest dangers for any homeowner, and while the number of house fires in the United States has steadily declined in recent years, these incidents still contribute to thousands of deaths and billions of dollars of damage each year.

While a fire alarm system can alert your family to danger and help you stop the problem before it gets out of hand, understanding what causes a house fire and knowing how to prevent these incidents is essential for protecting your home.

But what are the dangers you should be watching out for and what are the most common causes of house fires? Knowing these answers can help you protect your family and also save you from an insurance headache in the future. Below are the four most common causes of house fires and tips on ways you can help prevent them.

  1. Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are one of the most common threats homeowners face. Whether the result of an overloaded electrical outlet or a malfunctioning appliance, electrical fires can start suddenly and cause a lot of damage. The best tips for avoiding an electrical fire are first, be smart with your home’s electricity use! It's best not to overload a circuit or leave your lights on overnight (especially halogen lights and other high-risk materials). Use power strips in areas where you might need to keep several appliances or devices plugged in continually like at a home office desk.

Another great tip for doubling the safety in your home is to conduct an annual inspection of the electrical system to help avoid house fires. Professional electricians can identify faulty wiring, damaged outlets, and other hazards and then provide the repairs to keep your system safe. In older homes, the wiring can often be on a single circuit, which can cause breakers to short often and heighten the risk of an electrical fire. A professional can check your property for this and fix it if needed.

  1. Cooking Fires

Cooking fires rank as the number one cause of house fires in the United States, with the majority of incidents occurring when food is left unattended after cooking. Most commonly this happens when frying food, or any time when large quantities of grease are involved. Most of us are aware of proper kitchen and cooking safety, but sometimes we can be forgetful.

Your best bet to avoid a cooking fire is simply to keep an eye on your food at all times. Just like when you’re driving, don’t take your eyes off the road—well, the stove in this case. If a fire does occur, your key to fire safety is to cut off the fire’s oxygen and fuel supplies. There are three things that cause a fire to continue one is the heat, the second is fuel, and the third thing is the oxidizing agent (most often oxygen). Get rid of one of these sides of the triangle and you can kill the fire. The best tip to stopping a kitchen fire, or another fire on your property is to suffocate it by removing the oxidizing agent. Grease fires in kitchens should be covered with a lid over the pan, never use water to get rid of a grease fire-throwing water on a grease fire will actually make it worse. An oven fire can be handled simply by closing the oven door and turning the oven off.

Be smart and train others who live in your home or on your property to know how to respond the second a flame gets started. Taking the time to train and teach your family members is one of the best ways to avoid an insurance claim and protect your property, home and family.

  1. Dryers

You may not think of your clothes dryer as a fire hazard, but this kind of equipment accounts for tens of thousands of house fires each year. The problem most frequently occurs when lint and dust are allowed to build up over time. This can cause the dryer vent to become clogged with highly flammable materials, which easily combust when exposed to high temperatures.

Your best tip for dryer safety is to clean the lint trap each time before you use the dryer and to inspect and clean the dryer vent area to remove lint buildup and other potential blockages. Regular cleaning can ultimately make all the difference in avoiding a house fire. If other people in your house do the laundry, make sure they know to clean out the lint trap each time also. This simple practice can cut down on one of the main causes of so many different house fires.

  1. Candles

Candles may seem like the perfect fit for a romantic evening or a blessing in a moment of a blackout, but the minute you leave a lit candle in an unoccupied room you’re asking for trouble. We have two tips: always blow out a candle if you’re going to leave a room, and never place a lit candle in a spot near combustible items or where it could be tipped over.

Conclusion

It’s easy to assume you’re already practicing each of these safety tips in your home, but it’s easy to get lackadaisical and before long you might find yourself filing an insurance claim; something you never want to have to do. Take the time to sit down with your family and walk them through the risks and each of these tips. Teach them the proper steps to prevent a house fire and also the proper way to put out a fire in the home (remember, water isn’t always the answer). As you watch out for these common house fire hazards and take the necessary preventative steps, you can have peace of mind as you keep your family and property safe.

SERVPRO’s Veteran Initiative

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

In early 2021 SERVPRO announced a new initiative called “driven to serve”. This initiative is designed to provide returning veterans with employment. This was a renewed effort on SERVPRO’s behalf to help the more than 225,000 veterans who are discharged from the United States military annually. SERVPRO set a goal of hiring 1,000 returning veterans by 2022.

SERVPRO has always valued employing service members. In fact, on November 10, 2020, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia, recognized SERVPRO Industries, LLC as one of the 675 recipients of the “2020 HIRE Vets Medallion Award’’ during an award ceremony at the U.S. Department of Labor. SERVPRO earned the Gold Award after applying earlier this year. The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act (HIRE Vets Act) Medallion Program is the only federal award program that recognizes job creators who successfully recruit, hire, and retain veterans.

I am proud to work for a nationally recognized franchise that values those who served our country and sacrificed so much for us. SERVPRO of University City recognizes the importance of this “driven to serve’’ initiative. We understand how challenging it can be for some veterans to integrate back into the workforce. That is why we have decided to help in this effort. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly if you or someone you know has served and is looking for employment.

SERVPRO on the Frontlines of the Pandemic

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been on the front lines of this pandemic since it hit our shores. Early in the pandemic, the federal government was bringing people back from overseas. The government along with the world was still figuring out how the COVID-19 was spread. Even with a lack of consensus at the time, SERVPRO was the trusted Cleanup and Restoration company that the government turned to in their time of need. 

That is because SERVPRO is a leader in cleanup and restoration. We have over 50 years of experience in biohazard cleaning. Our trusted employees are trained, familiar, and equipped with leading industry technologies and supplies to clean up any Biohazard including COVID-19. We arm our cleaning support team with protective equipment, proprietary cleaning products which are FDA approved, and top-of-the-line production equipment to get the job done safely.

Each of our employees undergoes rigorous training and shadowing in the field to help them become familiar with safety protocols and procedures. This helps to ensure that they are getting the job done safely and effectively.

As we start to open our country up and hopefully put this pandemic behind us, it is important to remember that the standard of clean has changed.  In a recent survey, 80% of consumers surveyed expressed concerns about visiting brick-and-mortar locations, citing cleanliness as a top concern for them.

Having your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned with a decal on the front window can help communicate to consumers that you hear their concerns and you take their safety and well-being seriously.

Call today to make an appointment to have your University City home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned! (215) 877-2113

Why Choose SERVPRO?

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO?

Residents in Univerisity City can rest assured that the SERVPRO of University City Professionals will understand your situation. Our goal is to provide a premium service experience from start to finish on every claim you send our way.

SERVPRO Professionals are uniquely qualified to help. Our results create a measurable difference, giving you many competitive advantages.

Emergency Response to Claims

Restoring property is our SERVPRO Professional's first priority. Your customer will appreciate the immediate response and you will know everything is being done to limit the damage. We also understand the importance of having a production team that can comfort homeowners and business owners in their time of need.

Pretesting Reduces Claims Expense

Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Claims Professionals know the rule is, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." SERVPRO Professionals make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability. We are able to get results fairly quickly in most circumstances.

Claims Inventory Service

SERVPRO Professionals can provide an itemized loss inventory. You will receive an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items.

Electronic Claims Information

Our Claims Information Center provides fast, accurate information you need to make sound decisions, creating a well-documented and well-organized file for every claim.

  • A Complete Electronic Job File
    • First Notice of Loss
    • Detailed Estimate
    • Digital Loss Photos
    • Scanned Forms and Paperwork
    • All delivered by email or hard copy
  • Online Access to All Files
    • New Assignments
    • Pending Jobs
    • Completed Jobs
  • Informative Reports to Improve Results
    • Job Cost Data

Superior, Time-Tested Training

Effective training is the best way to help ensure your customers receive the service they deserve. Franchises are trained to IICRC standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration. In addition, continuing education classes are available to franchise professionals and insurance clients at our state-of-the-art IICRC Approved Training Facility.

Vendor Qualification Compliance and Professionalism

If you call SERVPRO, we will use only qualified vendors to service your customer. That commitment resulted in:

  • A Customer Care Center to achieve prompt handling of the claim
  • Implementation of best practices and job process programs
  • National Accounts qualification criteria and annual compliance checks
  • Crew and vehicle standards
  • Insurance requirements
  • File documentation requirements
  • Quality assurance program

Serving Adjusters and Their Clients

SERVPRO Professional's job is to perform premium service and report to you quickly. We know your job is to interpret the policy and adjust the claim, and not to deal with problems from vendors! Working together we strive to save you time so you can focus on priority files while having complete control of every loss you are assigned. 24-hour emergency response, damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic file are available to you within hours.

How SERVPRO Cleans and Disinfects Your Home or Business

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO always follows the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your home or business:

  • Wear reusable or disposable gloves for all cleaning and disinfection.
  • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.
  • Cleaning with soap and water reduces the number of germsdirt, and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
  • Focus cleaning on frequently touched surfaces. High touch surfaces include:
    • Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

SERVPRO always uses EPA-approved disinfectants and follows the EPA guidelines for safe and effective usage.

To schedule a cleaning and disinfection of your home or business, call us today at (215) 877-2113

Subtle Signs of Water Damage

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Sometimes water damage and its source are easy to identify. For example, when a pipe bursts or a major storm causes flooding. Sometimes the problem can be more subtle, which can lead to more damage over the long term if you don’t recognize a problem before it becomes a potential disaster.  

If you’re concerned there may be a water problem in your home or business, here are five common, but not-so-obvious signs to look out for.

Water Stains

If you see pale yellow or brown stains on your ceilings, wall, or floors, that may indicate the presence of a slow, but steady leak.

Many times, water stains will form directly under the water source. However, sometimes water will run along wire, pipes, or other materials, and then the drip can cause stains far from the source. Make sure you figure out the cause of the water damage you see.

Mold Growth

Mold grows where there is sufficient wetness for it to thrive, so if you have a mold problem, there’s a water problem.

Sometimes materials in your home will become mold-infested if they’ve become wet and have never been able to dry sufficiently.  This can happen to fabric, wood, insulation, and perhaps even your floors, ceilings, or walls.

Odors

A musty smell can be one of the first signs of a water problem, even if you can’t yet see any leaks.

Be on the lookout (or "smellout") for any sudden changes in odor.  Take note if it gets worse after a rainstorm or while you’re taking a shower or running the dishwasher.

Weak Wall, Floors, or Ceilings

Water will weaken your building materials. You might notice that your walls are becoming softer or “spongy,” your floors might be bowing, there may be a crack in your ceiling or a bubble in your paint or wallpaper.

A sudden large leak might cause a major, obvious problem, but if the leak is slow these issues might come on gradually over weeks or months.  The sooner you notice, the sooner you can address the root cause.

Higher Utility Bills

If you have a sudden and unexpected surge in your utility bill, that might be an indication of a water problem.

While slight fluctuations month to month is normal, be on the lookout for a sudden rise in the water bill, especially if there’s no corresponding increase in your sewer rates.  If there isn’t a reason you can think of why your water bill might be high this month, it may be that there’s a water damage issue.

Here at SERVPRO of University City, we know just how disastrous water damage can be to a home or business.  That’s why we’re passionate about helping the people in this community do what they can to prevent water damage before it becomes a major issue.

#1 in Storm and Flood Damage

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat to the United States and its territories in all months of the year. Flooding typically occurs when prolonged rain falls over several days, when intense rain falls over a short period of time, or when an ice or debris jam causes a river or stream to overflow into local neighborhoods  Flooding can also result from the failure of a water control structure, such as a levee or dam. The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain and/or snowmelt that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry it away. Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding. Below are the most common flood hazards to impact the United States:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Our Water Damage Restoration Process

Every water damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” water damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment

Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification

Step 5: Cleaning and Repair

Step 6: Restoration

Have Storm or Flood Damage?

Call Us Today (215) 877-2113

Why Choose SERVPRO of University City?

We're Faster to Any Size Disaster

We’re dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of University City has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring, and documentation.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

We can access the resources and personnel of 1,700 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters. We also have access to special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to catastrophic storms and events.

SERVPRO and Commercial business

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been working with Commercial Properties for decades. One thing that SERVPRO strives itself on is the fact that we can transition from a residential job to a commercial job without a problem. SERVPRO makes sure that all of its production crew members are trained and ready to take on anything. From cleaning out giant warehouses to removing mold in Hospitals, SERVPRO is there with a smile and ready to go. One major factor to SERVPRO's success with Commercial business is the fact that SERVPRO has built relationships to the point where it has National accounts that entrust SERVPRO to be its Sole and primary restoration company. Over the years this list of national accounts continues to grow and grow. This allows SERVPRO to grow as a brand as well. The more business we get the more the brand can grow. 

Top 3 Causes of Fires and Tips to Prevent Them

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

In this blog, we will discuss the top three causes of fires according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). We will also discuss standard tips to mitigate loss. Hopefully, this article will leave you with an understanding of how to avoid these common causes of fires. 

1) Unattended Cooking

The number one cause of home fires is unattended cooking. This usually happens when people get distracted while cooking. It is important to never walk away from food on the stove. An easy way to avoid this is to set an alarm if you have to step away for a short amount of time. Another suggestion may be to have someone watch the food while you attend to other matters.

Fire extinguishers should be placed in every room of your home, especially in the kitchen and garage. You should also learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher to be prepared in case you have to use one.

2) Heating Equipment

Space heaters should be used if only a small portion of your home needs to be heated. Keep space heaters away from anything that could easily catch fire, including laundry, blankets, tapestry, and furniture. If your home relies on a furnace during the winter, call a professional to get it inspected once a year to ensure it is running properly.

3) Faulty Wiring

Your home’s wiring is likely something that rarely crosses your mind.  Luckily, there are usually signs that point to a house having wiring that isn’t working correctly. A few noticeable signs are when your lights dim when you use other appliances if you are only able to use one appliance at a time and frequently have blown fuses.

Your first line of defense against home fires is a smoke alarm.  Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home and inside each bedroom, as well as tested monthly. This can help ensure that your family gets out in time in case a fire starts in your home.

If a fire strikes, you know you can count on SERVPRO of University City to restore your home and make it "Like it never even happened."

Restoring your University City Commercial Property

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at University City

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

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

About SERVPRO of University City


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

Large Loss Commercial Services

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.

Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.

When attending many conferences we found that many people only associate us with residential services but we handle many large loss jobs as well. Our crew is trained both on how to handle small apartment losses up to huge commercial business losses.

At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Get the professionals, call SERVPRO.

Clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include the following:

  • The Hospitality Industry
  • Property Managers
  • Universities
  • Municipalities
  • The Pentagon

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

The Do's & Don't after a fire happens

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

After a fire coming back to the house or building where it happened can be a very emotional experience. Here are some tips for what to do and what not to do in your house after a fire.

What To Do After a Fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as to not furth soil upholstery, walls, or woodwork.
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change the HVAC filter.

What NOT To Do After a Fire:

  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your local SERVPRO.
  • Do not use canned or packaged foods or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat, or water.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Do not send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set a smoke odor.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

The Dangers of Fire Damage

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

The dangers of fire damage can last much longer than the initial fire blaze. Two of the most toxic types of damage are the fire itself and the resulting smoke damage. Smoke and soot can damage a home by permeating through the walls, upholstery, ceiling, insulation, air conditioning vents, and other hard to clean places.
 
This is why it is important to understand that fire damage in homes can present itself in many ways. Depending on the type of fire that attacks your home, not only are the apparent soot, ash, and fire damage unsightly, but possible structure damage and future contamination are possible.
 
Never Have Your Fire Damage Overlooked Again
For example, depending on where a fire burns in a structure, it can affect support beams, load-bearing walls, and it can wreak havoc on wiring and insulation. Even if your fire emergency seemed localized to a particular area in the house, remember, the attic must be checked for damage as well.
 
SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris.
 
Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration.
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers.

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of University City anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

SERVPRO Tips for Hurricane Season

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is already among us and has taken a toll on places like North Carolina and Florida. Businesses and homeowners everywhere should consider many things during hurricane season to prevent damage to their property. Many of them seem obvious, but others, not so much. What are some of these preparation tasks you might ask? Let us try to answer this question.

Building and Street Maintenance

Consider the last time you cleaned your storm drains. If they have not been cleared out in recent years, this could cause a blockage of water from draining away from your property. When water gets clogged in drains, this can lead to a back-up. This means water will be coming back into your home or business and can cause very serious damage. If you have a shop vac (dry/wet vacuum), try to get some of the dirt and build up out of the drain. If you can’t clean it properly, call a professional.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are basically pumps used to get rid of water that has entered a building. When turned on, these pumps run water through a hose and outside of the property. If you own these pumps when was the last time they were tested? Do they have a battery back up in case of a power outage? Power outages cause almost 20 percent of water damage due to sump pumps not being able to run during these outages. If you do not own a sump pump, consider buying one especially if you commonly see water damage on site.

Generator Fuel Tanks

Many people like to store back up generators in their basements. This can be dangerous because if water seeps into your basement and gets in the fuel tanks, this will contaminate the gas and lead to failure to start the generator. In turn, this means no power and could lead to more damage.

Runoff

Does grading lead away from your building? Grading helps to move water away from your building instead of moving towards it. Checking your grading system can help keep water from flowing into your building.

Clear the Floor

One of the leading causes of water damage is the items on the floor. You can avoid this by removing porous materials, boxes, and paper from the floor of your basement. Keep all of your electronics off the floor and make sure to turn off your electronics when you are expecting heavy rains.

When Storms hit University City, SERVPRO is ready!

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of University City specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 215-877-6653

Water Damaged Equipment And Inventory

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Some businesses survive water damage with only minor issues. Other damages risk the ruining of specialized machinery and extensive stores of raw materials and finished products. Finding a restoration company that is willing to learn about the challenges your industry faces from water damage is the key to recovery.

Your family business boasts several generations of satisfied customers, and you now need help to keep water damage from destroying this history and disappointing clients. A water main burst and gallons of water threaten to ruin your machines and your extensive inventory. Our fast-acting team of water damage experts commits to walking you through every step of the process from waterlogged to dry and restored for both the structure and contents of your shop.

SERVPRO crews arrive to assess the situation and plan for the recovery as soon as possible. We outfit our vehicles with truck-mounted pumps and water extractors, allowing our technicians to begin water removal immediately, even if the power is off. Your equipment poses a risk of electric shock until the area dries, so our ability to evacuate the water without using your power sources is crucial.

Advanced training in material management supports the ability of our crews to pack out your inventory quickly and with an accurate listing that identifies what we moved. We store supplies, and your paperwork either in a dry area of your building or offsite if water damage is pervasive. Throughout the process, we maintain an evidence chain so you can reconstruct customer orders and provide documentation for your insurance company. Our training in drying technologies helps us advise which materials respond to drying and what items may need to be discarded.

Electronic and other equipment needs expert evaluation before it can be cleared for future operation. SERVPRO works with professionals who are trained to determine whether and how water damaged equipment specific to your industry can be dried successfully. We then take all steps necessary to reach that result.

While decisions are reached on your inventory and equipment, other members of the SERVPRO team work to dry out the structure of your business. Air movers and dehumidifiers achieve the drying goals after the standing water is removed, with constant moisture monitoring guiding the duration.

The technicians from SERVPRO of University City work persistently to restore your business after unexpected water damage. Call us at (215) 877-6653 to get our team in place and on task.

Commercial Water Damage Prevention

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Before hurricane season rolls into the area, business owners everywhere should start thinking about how to prevent commercial water damage. Everything from maintenance checks to grading systems should be checked. So how do you plan on protecting your business from water damage? Read on to find out what you should be considering.

Building and Street Maintenance

When was the last time your storm drains were cleared? Annual inspections of your floor, storm, and roof drains can help you avoid drainage problems. If your floor drains haven’t been cleaned lately, take a vacuum hose and clear it or call a professional.

Sump Pumps

There are at least two sump pumps in each sump under your building. Sump pumps are used to keep floodwaters from building up and causing water damage. But are you both working? When was the last time they were tested? Do they have battery backups in case of a power outage? Power outages were the cause of 18 percent of water damage incidents involving a sump pump. Because sump pumps run on electricity, power outages shut down the pumps allowing water to flood your facility. If these pumps are your main source of protection, you should consider a generator to keep them going.

Generator Fuel Tanks

In areas subject to flooding, it is important to relocate your generator fuel tanks out of the basement. Generator fuel can be contaminated in the event of a basement flood, prohibiting generator functions, and prevent power from reaching the pumps.

Runoff

Does grading lead away from your building? Grading helps to move water away from your building instead of moving towards it. Checking your grading system can help keep water from flowing into your building.

Clear the Floor

One of the leading causes of water damage is the items on the floor. You can avoid this by removing porous materials, boxes, and paper from the floor of your basement. Keep all of your electronics off the floor and make sure to turn off your electronics when you are expecting heavy rains.

Tips for Upcoming Winter Temperatures

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Cold temperatures can cause water pipes to freeze. Freezing in a pipe creates a lot of pressure inside the pipe and can cause the pipe to burst and likely lead to serious flooding, especially when there's no one around to turn off the water. The best prevention against frozen pipes is to keep them warm enough to stay above the freezing point. You can do this with any one of six simple steps or, better still, a combination of measures.

 Not Just for Cold Climates

It is a common misconception that frozen pipes are an issue only for homes in typically cold climates. However, the homes that are actually more vulnerable to frozen pipes are those in typically warmer climates because the pipes may not be properly insulated against frigid temperatures, or they may be located in unprotected areas (or even outdoors). Abnormally cold weather puts these pipes at risk.

Wherever you live, you need to worry only about the water supply pipes, not the drain pipes. Water pipes are small, only about 1 inch in diameter or smaller. Drain pipes are 1 1/2 inches and larger and are usually made of plastic. Drain pipes carry waste water, but they do not hold water and are not pressurized like water pipes, so freezing inside drains is not a concern.

 Tip #1: Keep the Heat On

If you or your tenants are leaving for a long period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on in your property. It may be difficult to convince your tenants to leave their heat on when they are away, especially if they are responsible for paying their own utility bills. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions.

The heat does not have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were actually in the property, but keeping it set above 50 F is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.

 Tip #2: Allow the Faucet to Drip

If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can open the faucet fed by that pipe just a bit so the faucet drips slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this relieves pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus keep the pipe from bursting. If the faucet is served by both hot and cold water pipes, open both faucet taps slightly, or set a single-handle faucet (such as a kitchen faucet) to warm.

 Tip #3: Keep Interior Doors Open

Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperature drops, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.

 Tip #4: Seal Up Cracks and Holes

Seal gaps around holes where pipes run through walls or floors, especially where the hole is letting in cold air. Use caulk or spray foam insulation (such as Great Stuff) to fill the gaps. If possible, seal holes on both the interior and exterior side of the wall or floor. Cold outdoor air that gets in through holes and gaps can make a cabinet compartment, which is usually pretty cold, even colder.

 Tip #5: Apply Heating Tape

Heating tape works like an electric blanket for pipes, supplying heat directly to the pipe to keep it warm curing cold spells. This can be a good solution for short sections of pipe that are at high risk for freezing and are easily accessible so you can install the tape and can monitor it for problems.

There are two types of heating tape. One type turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed. The other type must be plugged in when heat is needed and unplugged when not in use; it does not have an automatic or manual on/off switch. Much like a space heater, these products can be dangerous, so you must follow the product’s direction and safety procedures exactly.

 Tip #6: Add Extra Insulation

Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.

Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors, or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

Insulation can help keep a pipe closer to the temperature of the water inside the pipe, but it does not add heat to the pipe and will not prevent freezing if the pipe is exposed to prolonged freezing temperatures.

From: thebalancesmb.com by: Erin Eberlin

When Storm or Flood Damage Occurs, Call SERVPRO

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of University City specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit University City, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 215-877-6653

Winter Weather & Roofing Tips

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Keep Your Gutters Clean

Your gutters and drainpipes help shed water from your roof as snow and ice melt. Water collects in clogged gutters. This is bad news when temperatures plunge. Frozen drain spouts and gutters cause leaks in your building and damage your drainage system. Contact a professional gutter cleaning service before the cold weather sets in to make sure your roof is ready for the winter.

Inspect Your Roof

Think back to the last time you had your roof inspected or repaired. If you can’t remember, chances are it is time to have it looked at. A structurally sound roof is capable of withstanding even major snowfalls. Compromised roofs are not. Two obvious signs of a structurally unstable roof are:

  • A roof that sags in the middle
  • Evidence of water damage in ceilings and attics.

How Much Snow Is Too Much?

Major blizzards sometimes deposit more snow than your roof can handle. To find out how much snow your roof can safely hold, contact your roofing company. While you are at it, set up a snow removal plan with your roofer to make sure your home is protected this winter.

Stay Off Of Your Roof

It is tempting to take matters into our own hands when it comes to snow removal. Climbing out on a roof covered with snow and ice is a bad idea. Conditions are slippery at best, and one slip is all it takes to incur serious injury or death.

Single story homeowners with snow removal tools like roof rakes need to be careful as well. Large amounts of snow falling off of a roof are dangerous. Make sure all pets and children are inside, and never attempt to remove snow alone. Better yet, wait for professional assistance.

Help your roof keep you and your family safe and warm.

From: Russelroofing.com

Fire Damaged Materials Need Meticulous Clean

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

The dangers of fire damage can last much longer than the initial fire blaze. Two of the most toxic types of damage are the fire itself and the resulting smoke damage. Smoke and soot can damage a home by permeating through the walls, upholstery, ceiling, insulation, air conditioning vents, and other hard to clean places. 

This is why it is important to understand that fire damage in homes can present itself in many ways. Depending on the type of fire that attacks your home, not only are the apparent soot, ash, and fire damage unsightly, but possible structure damage and future contamination are possible. 

Never Have Your Fire Damage Overlooked Again 

For example, depending on where a fire burns in a structure, it can affect support beams, load-bearing walls, and it can wreak havoc on wiring and insulation. Even if your fire emergency seemed localized to a particular area in the house, remember, the attic must be checked for damage as well. 

SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris. 

Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration. 

Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers. 

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of University City anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

Handling Water Losses In Your Commercial Apartment Complex

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Large commercial properties have unique needs when it comes to flood damage restoration. You need an insured and licensed restoration firm with the technical capacity to take work in a larger space. The firm should also respect your priorities as an investor by assisting you in minimizing downtime and disruption. 

When there is commercial flood damage in your apartment complex, you can seek help from SERVPRO to restore it. Typically, apartment complexes contain many household items that are at risk of water damage. The apartment buildings can also be susceptible to several problems that can have repercussions for all tenants. The impact of floodwater on tenants on every level of apartment buildings can include:

  •     Water damage to ground floor apartments.
  •     Inaccessible entry and exit points.
  •     Water damage to sheds and garages.
  •     Disruption of utility services like gas, water, and electricity.
  •     Seeking temporary accommodation.
  •     Lift failures
  •     Backing up of drainage or sewerage systems.

As the property owner, flood damage can create unfavorable conditions that cause long-term consequences. You can lose revenue if tenants find another property to rent. You may also deal with lawsuits because of the loss of personal possessions. Loss of income can also lead to other issues, like being unable to pay your employees.

Apart from the financial repercussion, secondary water damage in an apartment building like mold growth can cause health effects to your tenants. Our SERVPRO crew can respond to your flooding emergency quickly to prevent these repercussions. We can assess the destruction to understand your unique needs and work to restore your apartment complex as soon as possible.

Our technicians can remove standing water from affected apartments using different pumps like self-priming trash pumps and high-pressure pumps. Our crew can also take out any salvageable contents that the water did not ruin. Floodwater typically contains microorganisms. Therefore, if porous materials like mattresses and upholstery are saturated with water, we can dispose of them appropriately.

Our technicians can also remove wet carpeting and padding, and any drywall or plaster that is saturated with the floodwater. We can also remove wall insulation like fiberglass, mineral wool, and wood fiberboard. Our technicians can also remove all debris and clean up the affected apartments thoroughly. We can use various water damage restoration products like antimicrobial agents, sanitizers, and disinfectants to stop or limit the growth of microbes. 

We can also promote drying by using air moving and dehumidifying equipment to remove excess moisture or humidity from the affected areas. Before you perform any refinishing task on building materials like wood framing and drywall, it is essential to check the moisture content. Our crew can use infrared cameras and moisture meters to confirm that the building materials are dry.

IICRC And Fire Damage

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

The IICRC explains why Fire Restoration is important after experiencing a fire in your home or business. When a home or business owner prolongs the restoration of their home or business after a fire, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke and soot exposure. Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control, and cleaning are delayed. The following is a timeline provided by the IICRC of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.

Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow and can cause small appliances located close to the source to discolor in addition highly porous materials like marble may discolor permanently.

Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms while fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow and uncoated metals tarnish, countertops may yellow and finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow in addition furniture finishes may discolor.

Within Days: acid residues may cause painted walls to yellow permanently and metal can corrode pit and rust; wood furniture may require refinishing while vinyl flooring may require replacement; clothing can become soot-stained and upholstery stains may be stained permanently.

Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate quickly. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently while silverplate can be corroded permanently in addition to glass, crystal, and china may require replacement due to severe etching caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.

Cleaning up soot residue must be done as quickly as possible. The IICRC explains that during combustion, soot residue and volatile vapors are carried by rising and expanding air to surfaces throughout a structure, and are then deposited onto structural surfaces in the home or business. This process occurs repeatedly until combustion ends, during which soot residue continues building up on surfaces layer by layer. This can make the soot very difficult to remove once restoration technicians arrive onsite.

Fire Damage Often Leads to Water Damage Cleanup!

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Being prepared in case of a fire is key for the safety of everyone onsite as well as keeping damage to a minimum. After following proper fire protocols, the next step is fire cleanup. Along with that, water cleanup will likely be part of the process.

Extinguishing the Flames Leaves Water Behind

Although smoke cleanup and rummaging through burnt items is to be expected after a fire, many may forget the massive amounts of water required to extinguish the flames. Depending on the extent of the fire, it could result in more water clean up than expected. The main water damage concerns include:

Wood Damage – Floors, furniture, and other items made from wood quickly soak up water. As it retains the water, buckling and other damage can take root. Items severely damaged will likely need to be replaced.

Ceilings – Along with inspecting for any fire damage to the structure of the building, ceilings with water damage will need to be repaired immediately.

Drywall – The walls of a building often take the brunt of both fire and water issues. If they made it unscathed from the flames, there could still be hidden water issues. Any areas affected will need to be replaced to avoid further deterioration and mold growth.

Electrical – Water can find its way into electrical equipment and outlets without being detected. A close inspection of all electrical components should be conducted.

Count On Professional Help

Lingering water left unattended can cause big problems long after the fire has taken place. A water damage specialist has the expertise to properly dry, clean, and restore your business back to new. Along with repairing physical issues, they can also help with the restoration of items such as documents, furniture, paintings, and more.
While you might not be expecting water cleanup after a fire, it’s important to make sure water damage doesn’t go unchecked. Getting the right help can help get your business back to normal.

Storm Damage Unnoticed For Several Months

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Rain can be unpredictable enough, but when storm damage is involved it can make matters even more complicated. In fact, a local office building experienced just that. Through the holiday season, they were closed for business and did not discover the damage from the rain until the office manager returned two days later.

When she and the rest of the staff saw that every inch of the carpet was soaked and files in cardboard boxes have been saturated, they began to panic. When we arrived on the scene, we let them know everything was going to be okay. Our production team began to extract water immediately from the wet carpet while the production manager measured what areas were wet and which were dry in the corners. After thoroughly checking for moisture, extracting all water and drying for a few days, we were able to save the carpet, saving the office and property manager hundreds of dollars.

If you have water damage due to a recent storm, let our office help! Give us a call at 215-877-6653 to schedule an inspection today. Our team is on standing and would be happy to help. 

Tips To Keep Packages Safe

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

A man shared a video from West Wichita. At his mom's home, in the video, a woman drives by, backing up into the driveway then stealing a crockpot and another item. He said it totaled about a couple hundred dollars.

Derby police say they have seen a spike in stolen packages over the span of a week. Officers there recently arrested a woman in connection to several stolen packages in town.

Derby's deputy police chief, Lt. Brandon Russell, says multiple stolen package reports have been made in the last week.

"The amount is not the concern to us, it's the fact that it's happening, that's the concern to us. You should be able to have a package delivered and not have a problem with that," said Russell.

While it seems to be happening more often, there are a few things you can do to keep your items safe.

1. Make sure someone is home
2. Deliver it to your office
3. Have it held at the store
4. Use lockbox

Story by: KWCH12 CBS

The Best Way To Minimize a Disaster at Your Home or Business is to Plan For it NOW!

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are You Ready? Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a startup approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference for what to do, how to do it, and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Have An Emergency Plan Before An Emergency Happens

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second-floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first-floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

Information from:

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/escape-planning/basic-fire-escape-planning

Tips For Business Fires!

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Tips for Dealing With the Aftermath of a Business Fire

A hot fire that gains momentum can leave a building in ruins with virtually nothing left to save. In many cases fire is stopped before it leaps out of control; this often results in many items that can be saved and restored. A partial fire loss leaves the business owner with a lot of decisions about what steps to take to save money, speed up recovery, and clean up the mess. Contacting a professional fire remediation service is Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd is a good first step.

An Inspection Is Critical

A thorough inspection by experienced technicians is the quickest way to know where you stand and to gauge the level of fire loss. The inspection should cover the following areas of your business:

  • The structural integrity of your roof
  • The extent of smoke damage in the building
  • The condition of the walls and flooring
  • The state of electrical and computer systems
  • The functionality of the heating and plumbing systems

For insurance purposes, all of the damage should be documented. It's also important to file a timely claim and to understand your policy and your rights. Don't settle for work that is shoddy, that does not match the original and that does not address hidden damages such as soot, water, and smoke damage.

A Good Cleanup Is Essential

A stellar fire restoration process will proceed quickly and restore items that can be cleaned of odors and grime. A reputable remediation team will have advanced equipment and a variety of cleaning techniques to get your building back in shape. The company will take the guesswork out of what can be saved and what should be thrown away and bought new. In many cases, clothes and upholstery can be restored to excellent condition again. The fire loss might not be as extensive as originally thought.

Causes of Dryer Fires

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

According to the US Fire Administration, nearly 2,900 residential fires are caused by dryers, and 34% of those fires are likely caused by a lint fire, meaning a failure to maintain or clean the appliance. Therefore, dryer fires can be prevented, and the best way to ensure your safety from these appliance disasters is to follow the three keys of ownership.

Proper installation
Routine cleaning
Inspection and maintenance


A dryer fire can occur because of poor installation. A professional installer will ensure that all electrical components are correctly connected and that all plugs and outlets are compatible. Also, while using a third party installer is wise, you should also make sure you read all the manufacturer's warnings and instructions before use.


If you fail to clean your dryer regularly, then you are putting yourself and your family at risk of a lint fire. To prevent such an issue, you need to not only clear the lint filter but ensure that lint is removed from any other likely areas. For example, you can develop a lint buildup in the back of the dryer at the exhaust connection. Also, lint can buildup in the vent pipe. For any difficult cleaning call on a professional.


Inspection and Maintenance


Most remediation companies and other appliance repair professionals in St Michael, MN recommend performing routine checks on dryers, typically every three to six months. These inspections should cover the cleaning, testing, and possibly replacing integral components.


If you are in the market for a new dryer or are concerned about the possibility of a dryer or lint fire, then follow the advice above. Dryer fires are often preventable fires. Therefore, ensure that they are correctly installed, cleaned regularly, and inspected every three to six months. Your home does not have to become a part of the statistics. Be an educated appliance owner.

Understanding the 3 Categories of water

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage in your home or place of business, there are different types or classifications of water that we can use.  Using this classification system, we can determine what health risks are associated with the water, and properly prepare to bring with us all necessary safety equipment and uniforms.  In this blog article, we are going to focus on three types: Clean, Gray, and Blackwater. 

Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilets holding tanks, snowmelt and rainwater. Over time, however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.

Gray Water: Gray water does contain a slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums, and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.

BlackWater: This water is a health risk as it is highly contaminated. Blackwater is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Blackwater should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. There can be many dangers associated with attempting to clean water damage on your own.  If ever you spot any type of water in your home or business, call SERVPRO of University City. We are faster to any size disaster and will have our highly trained team over to your house or place of business within the hour!  Remember, its best to not wade into any unknown water source without the proper protection.  Give us a call 24/7 at (215) 877-6653

SERVPRO of University City is an IICRC certified firm.

Tips for Hurricane Weather

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is already among us and has taken a toll on places like North Carolina and Florida. Businesses and homeowners everywhere should consider many things during hurricane season to prevent damage to their property. Many of them seem obvious, but others, not so much. What are some of these preparation tasks you might ask? Let's try to answer this question.

Building and Street Maintenance

Consider the last time you cleaned your storm drains. If they have not been cleared out in recent years, this could cause a blockage of water from draining away from your property. When water gets clogged in drains, this can lead to a back-up. This means water will be coming back into your home or business and can cause very serious damage. If you have a shop vac (dry/wet vacuum), try to get some of the dirt and build up out of the drain. If you can’t clean it properly, call a professional.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are basically pumps used to get rid of water that has entered a building. When turned on, these pumps run water through a hose and outside of the property. If you own these pumps when was the last time they were tested? Do they have a battery back up in case of a power outage? Power outages cause almost 20 percent of water damage due to sump pumps not being able to run during these outages. If you do not own a sump pump, consider buying one especially if you commonly see water damage on site.

Generator Fuel Tanks

Many people like to store back up generators in their basements. This can be dangerous because if water seeps into your basement and gets in the fuel tanks, this will contaminate the gas and lead to failure to start the generator. In turn, this means no power and could lead to more damage.

Runoff

Does grading lead away from your building? Grading helps to move water away from your building instead of moving towards it. Checking your grading system can help keep water from flowing into your building.

Clear the Floor

One of the leading causes of water damage is the items on the floor. You can avoid this by removing porous materials, boxes, and paper from the floor of your basement. Keep all of your electronics off the floor and make sure to turn off your electronics when you are expecting heavy rains.

Faster to Your Water Emergency

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of University City provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of University City arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs. Once the standing water is gone, the porous materials must be removed as drying equipment is being added. This makes the drying process go much faster because extra materials cause full room drying to slow down.

Fire Damage Awareness

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Fire can cause more damage than meets the eye. Of course, the fire itself causes much of the damage to a home or business. Did you know that smoke can cause just as much damage too? Smoke and soot can permeate through walls, ceilings, upholstery, and air conditioning vents. Many of these spots are very hard to clean when not properly educated on the issues associated with fire damage.

Not only is there visible damage to the structure, but also damage that can be unnoticed. Structural damage can occur to support beams, weight-bearing walls, and studs, etc. and these are places that you would not check unless you know how to properly restore a structure after this type of loss.

SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris.

Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration.
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers.

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of University City anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

What is Commercial Property Insurance?

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Let’s start by defining commercial property insurance. Often included as part of a packaged business owner's policy, but also as a stand-alone policy, commercial property insurance covers damage to a company’s building and its contents due to covered perils, such as fire, theft, or natural disasters. If your company has a building with land, computers, equipment, or inventory, you probably need property insurance.

The amount of coverage your business needs and the cost of this coverage, however, will vary depending on the nature of your business and the value of its assets. Coverage can either cover all risks except those specifically included or only those risks which are specifically named in the policy. The cost of this coverage will depend on how you value your company’s assets and whether you opt to include coverage for things like a business interruption or risks specific to your business’s location and industry.

While there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right commercial property insurance plan or business owner's policy, it doesn’t need to be complicated!

Source: IRMI Glossary

Minimizing Downtime and Damage

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can be a significant problem for a business owner. Unfortunately, many business owners don't know how to handle this type of property damage. However, learning more about the issue can empower you to take the steps necessary to get your commercial property back in pristine condition.


Water Damage Basics

Some of the possible causes of water damage:

Poor Ventilation

Leaking Pipes

Excessive Condensation

High Humidity

Damp Utility Closets

Roof Leaks

Damp Carpets

Flooding

Fire Sprinklers

Once water damage has transpired on your property, you'll need to determine the following three things:
Where the water came from?
What is the extent of the damage?
How long has the devastation has been in place?


Now it's time to get the right team.


When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO® of University City professionals respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. They closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.


Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO® professionals have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.” With over 1,700 Franchises nationwide, there’s a SERVPRO® expert nearby and ready to serve you.


Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO® of University City is strategically located to respond quickly to your water emergency event. We have been serving the Bradenton community for over 25 years! Call us SERVPRO® of University City today 215-877-6653

We are Cleaning Experts

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of University City at 215-877-6653

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Are you Ready?

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

When a fire or water damage emergency happens will you be ready?  None of us like to consider that we will become victims of a water or fire damage disaster.  Unfortunately, it could and inevitably will happen to each of us either at our home or at our place of business.  It’s extremely important to know what to do in the event of an emergency.  As leaders in the Fire and Water Damage Restoration Industry, SERVPRO is here to help you prepare for an emergency before it happens by offering to assist you with creating an ERP.

What is a ERP?

An ERP stands for an Emergency Ready Program.  It is a no-cost readiness plan designed to help home and business owners recover from a disaster faster, which leads to lower recovery costs.  Make sure you’re ready and not ruined with our Emergency Ready Program. 

Contact our office today for more details on how to get started creating your own ERP

Tips for Dealing With the Aftermath of a Business Fire

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

A hot fire that gains momentum can leave a building in ruins with virtually nothing left to save. In many cases fire is stopped before it leaps out of control; this often results in many items that can be saved and restored. A partial fire loss leaves the business owner with a lot of decisions about what steps to take to save money, speed up recovery, and clean up the mess. Contacting a professional fire remediation service is Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd is a good first step.

An Inspection Is Critical

A thorough inspection by experienced technicians is the quickest way to know where you stand and to gauge the level of fire loss. The inspection should cover the following areas of your business:

  • The structural integrity of your roof
  • The extent of smoke damage in the building
  • The condition of the walls and flooring
  • The state of electrical and computer systems
  • The functionality of the heating and plumbing systems

For insurance purposes, all of the damage should be documented. It's also important to file a timely claim and to understand your policy and your rights. Don't settle for work that is shoddy, that does not match the original and that does not address hidden damages such as soot, water, and smoke damage.

A Good Cleanup Is Essential

A stellar fire restoration process will proceed quickly and restore items that can be cleaned of odors and grime. A reputable remediation team will have advanced equipment and a variety of cleaning techniques to get your building back in shape. The company will take the guesswork out of what can be saved and what should be thrown away and bought new. In many cases, clothes and upholstery can be restored to excellent condition again. The fire loss might not be as extensive as originally thought.

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