Recent Posts

Hurricane Hazards

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Image from space of a hurricane over the water Globally, September is the most active month for hurricanes.

Hurricane season has already begun and several named storms have developed in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. On average, there are 12 tropical storms that develop, with an average of six becoming hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service.

Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property damage. The National Weather Service lists the following as potential "hurricane hazards."

  • Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers and estuaries.
  • Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from land falling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
  • Tornadoes can accompany land falling tropical cyclones. There tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
  • Dangerous waves produced a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. There waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than 1,000 miles offshore.

Preparation is the best protection against the dangers against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property and take steps to protect your home or business. For more information on recovering from water damage caused by weather-related disasters, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County today.

When Our Logo Is On Your Door, Your Commitment To Clean Is Clear

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield logo Call us today at 717-464-5500 to schedule a cleaning!

Being open for business is just to the beginning of our new journey forward. Employees may be hesitant to return to work and customers may wonder whether the businesses they patronize are safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean. Are you ready to communicate to your customers and employees that you've chosen a higher standard of clean for all Americans? Are you ready to be Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned?

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive program that SERVPRO offers to commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 global pandemic. This is is a level of clean that goes far beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. This is a proactive viral pathogen cleaning. When you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you've selected a higher cleaning standard - you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on over 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.

From formulation and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE™, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will help ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy begins to reopen.

Say Thank You!

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Police, firefighter, and medic logos with an American flag background "Heroes are extraordinary people who choose not to be ordinary." -Kevin Brown

The first half of 2020 has been a roller coaster of fear and emotions. The world was thrown into a state of change that had not been seen for several generations. At the front of this battle, our heroes stood strong, not wearing tights or capes, but uniforms, scrubs, masks, and gloves all ready to fight this for all of us.

The words "Thank You" don't seem enough. How do we convey our gratitude to those that put their lives at risk so we can stay at home with our families to flatten the curve? Here are a few ideas to say Thanks.

Restaurant Gift Cards

It would be great to give out large enough gift cards so they could take their whole family to dinner, but think about ways to stretch your funds farther to reach more heroes. Consider $5-$10 gift cards to local restaurants. This will give enough money for either a drink or appetizer. It will also help the economy and struggling restaurants.

Food Drop Off

You will probably have to coordinate this in advance, but schedule a meal that you can deliver to our heroes. They will love some food to refuel. Drop-offs at police stations, fire halls, and emergency rooms are sure to boost moral.

Letters of Encouragement

Take the time to sit down with the family and write letters of encouragement to these heroes, expressing your appreciation for what they're doing. If you have children, get them to draw these heroes. Their artwork will be a blessing to these first responders. You can send them or hand-deliver (at a safe distance) to your local fire halls, police stations, and hospitals. They are separated from their families right now; these letters will include them in yours.

Extreme Heat

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

 Outdoor thermometer with flames coming from it and the sun in the background Prepare your home by using extreme heat safety tips that are found at ready.gov.

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected then those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.

According to the EPA, "the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50-90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces-often in more rural surroundings-remain close to air temperatures." These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset "due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure."

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or being them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.

If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale, and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical condition (CDC).

If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.

Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

"Here To Help" and SERVPRO logo with germ cells in the background We prepared to take on your cleaning needs!

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 Southern Lancaster County at 717-464-5500

Improve Your Air Quality: Duct Cleaning Can Help!

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Technician laying down looking at an HVAC system with a flashlight To schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County at 717-464-5500 today.

The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the duct work in your home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and duct work clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. The professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County will inspect your HVAC system and duct will and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and duct work.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County can often restore the HVAC system and duct work to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends it be inspected for proper functioning and be services before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County use a portable ventilation and ait duct cleaning system to examine duct work and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

Severe Weather Safety

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Street sign that says "Storm warning" Watch: Conditions are favorable for severe weather. Warning: Severe weather has been spotted or indicated by radar.

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,300 tornadoes
  • 2 landfalling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know your risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather can impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts in your area. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazardous scenarios.

Take action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with family members, co-workers, and friends on social media. Your preparedness efforts may inspire others to do the same.

Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO's Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster. The SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County team can help you be "Ready for whatever happens!"

2020 Resolution Plan Ahead

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

An aerial view of a town flooded There are more than 1,700 franchises that are ready to help in an event of a fire, water, or mold loss.

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a diaster or a water or fire damage to strike, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure your business is "Ready for whatever happens" in 2020.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP also establishes your local SERVPRO franchise professional team as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving out access to more than 50 years experience and a system of more than 1,700 franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO READY mobile app, this important information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting immediate help right at your fingertips.

Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in your building faster following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes- resolve to be READY by contacting SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County today to establish your Emergency READY Profile and be "Ready for whatever happens" in 2020.

Advantages of the SERVPRO ERP:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise profile document containing only the most critical information needed about your business and building structure in the event of an emergency.
  • Provides facility details, such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
  • Identifies the chain of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building quickly following a disaster.
  • Accessible electronically.
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County as your mitigation and restoration provider.

Are You Winter Weather Ready?

12/1/2019 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for the upcoming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before cold weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can all cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may be gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entry ways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, considering shutting water off at the main valve in the basement of crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business faster following a disaster. Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well beforehand. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan and prepare for it.

When winter weather strikes, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster to strike back and help make it "Like it never even happened."

The Behavior of Smoke

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke- wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.

Our professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, our professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and its contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows our professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County to focus on saving your precious items.

Our professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County know smoke can pentrate various cavitiies within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following points are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

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

Types of Smoke:

  • Wet Smoke. (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, and smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke. (Paper and Wood) Fast-burning, high temperatures; heat rises, therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue. (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors, paints and varnished, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot. (Furnace puff backs) While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, our professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Our professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County are trained to handle even the toughest of losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact us to help make it "Like it never even happened."