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Understanding Water Types

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

Rubber ducks floating in a laundry room Our team responds to any size disaster to begin to clean up and restore to get you back in business!

When your home or business suffers water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe or another water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn off HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have water damage, don't leave your property to chance. Call your local SERVPRO professionals at 717-464-5500!

When Water Damage Strikes

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

An older couple sitting on their basement stairs surrounded by standing water For more information on recovering from water damage, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County.

The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of receiving a loss notification, SERVPRO professionals will be on-site to help ensure water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

Inspection

SERVPRO professionals will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning the work.

Emergency Services

SERVPRO professionals will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal property and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. 

Monitoring

To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO professional will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated with you.

Restoration Services

SERVPRO professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and contents. A final walk-through of the job site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to its preloss condition.

Emergency Water Damage Tips

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

Wet floor in a family room with content consolidated to one section Be sure to follow these safety tips during a water damage loss.

  • Shut off the water source, if possible or contact a qualified professional to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
  • Do not enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Do not use a household vacuum cleaner to remove water! This could cause electrical shock or damage to the device.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter the rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

When They Call You, Call SERVPRO

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

 Wet ceiling tiles in a department store Call us for all of your structural cleaning, content cleaning, and deodorization needs.

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster a crew arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results-including lower claim costs. Within four hours of a loss notification, a crew will be on-site to help ensure fire damage is handled properly by utilizing the following services:

Structural Cleaning

After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. The crew will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found within the structure.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO professionals can provide wet and dry cleaning services. Additionally, all of the cleaned and deodorized to pre loss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO professionals can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items for agents and their policyholders.

Deodorization

SERVPRO professionals provide specialized services that rid your insured's home or place of business of offensive odors left behind by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

It's The Water You Don't See

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Moisture meter reading red on a carpet All technicians use moisture meters to read the moisture levels of affected materials at a water loss.

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO professionals have the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damage occurs. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

When time matters, technology, and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO professionals will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by your SERVPRO professionals.

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRPO professionals to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO professionals can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

The bottom line? SERVPRO professionals have the training and equipment to make it "Like it never even happened."

The Science of Drying

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Dehumidifiers and air movers drying a basement State-of-the-art dehumidifiers and air movers are placed accordingly in the damaged areas in order to complete the drying process.

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, your professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers water damage, your professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help "speed up Mother Nature"? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the materials-but only if the air is drier.

The only problem is, nature often takes too long, and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

Your professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Your professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

It's not only the equipment but the technology too! SERVPRO has developed DryBook™, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook™ Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process.

The bottom line? Your professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County have the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened."

National Volunteer Week

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

Multi-colored stick figures in a circle SERVPRO is always ready to lend a helping hand.

National Volunteer Week is April 18-24, 2021.

The theme is: The Value of One, the Power of Many, which reflects on the awe-inspiring acts of kindness by millions of individuals and the magic that happens when we work together towards a common purpose.

This past year, we have seen people supporting family, friends, neighbors, and strangers, people standing up for their beliefs, and people sharing insights on how to create a more just and equitable society. "We recognize the value of the caring and compassion that each one has shown another, and we recognize the power of people, organizations, and sectors working together," according to The International Year of Volunteers.

The 2021 theme beautifully reflects the individual and collective efforts we have seen during the pandemic, and it sets the tone for re-imagining the next 20 years as the value of one act and the power of many enables us to thrive together.

Spring Cleaning Has Arrived!

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

Rain droplets on a window Call us at 717-464-5500 to schedule!

April showers bring May flowers, and also a good chance to get in some spring cleaning! Spring is a great time to sweep those winter blues away and freshen up your environment. SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County can help.

In addition to air duct and HVAC cleaning, the technicians are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep with your carpet, as well as focused stain removal. Other services to help with your spring cleaning include upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, and deodorization.

A clean environment is a healthy environment. Improve your living and workspaces this spring. If you need a little help, do not worry! SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County has the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!

A Salute to First Responders

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

American flag waving Thank you to our first responders!

When I was a boy, I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." This famous Mr. Rogers quote comes to mind when we celebrate first responders, those who arrive first on the scene of any disaster or emergency.

In the event of a disaster or emergency, there are many different agencies and people in your community who are ready to respond. Whether it is a house fire or a hurricane, we are thankful every day for these first responders.

Local fire and police departments, as well as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), are often first on the scene of an emergency. In the U.S., there are more than 29,000 fire departments with 1,217,300 total firefighters, according to the U.S. Fire Administration website. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports almost 245,040 EMTs and paramedics in total across the country. There are about 19,000 federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, employing more than 875,000 full-time sworn officers, according to the Uniformed Crime Reporting Program collected by the FBI.

When events such as natural disasters strike, different branches of the military are often the first line of response. The Army National Guard and Air National Guard, with over 354,000 soldiers, respond domestically when deployed by their state Governor, often during states of emergency from weather-related events. They can also be called upon during terrorist attacks or civil unrest or called overseas by the President of the United States. Active-duty soldiers can also be called upon for certain domestic events as well.


As a part of FEMA's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), these volunteers are trained to be prepared for any disasters that may affect your local area in an effort to support professional responders. CERT volunteers are trained in "basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and diasters medical operations," according to FEMA. With more than 2,750 CERT programs, over 600,000 individuals have been trained nationwide. Teams are managed locally but supported nationally by FEMA.

SERVPRO recognizes these and the countless other first responders in our communities for keeping our communities safe.

Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Cold Weather Killer

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

Red triangular carbon dioxide danger sign Symptoms: dull headache, weakness, dizziness. nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision. loss of consciousness

You can't see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year more than 400 American die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimated another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups-including unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems-being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.

An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes drying or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk or carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips provided by the United States Fire Administration.

Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year.
Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stove top to heat your home.
Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials.
Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
Only us barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or garage, even if the doors are open.
Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.