Fires are Preventable!
Prepare your home with fire safety precautions
When it comes to you or your insured's properties, there are certain safety precautions that can be taken to help prevent fires. Ready.gov shares the following tips on home fire prevention.
Electrical and Appliance Safety
- Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old, or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
Fireplaces and Woodstoves
- Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage and obstructions.
- Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
- Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
If A Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ready?
It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation.
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
- Develop and test emergency communication plans.
- Assemble or update emergency supplies.
- Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
- Participate in a preparedness discussion training or class.
- Collect and safeguard critical documents.
- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
- Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.
Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property.
When disaster strikes, be ready for the worst with the very best: Your trusted, SERVPRO professionals. Our team is faster to any size disaster, making it like it never happened.
Hoarding: A Serious Situation
According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.
Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.
Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County has encountered hoarding situations several different ways. Often, SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. Our Franchise Professional will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.
Another way SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County may encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes,
family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.
Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professionals are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County today at 717-464-5500.
WHEN WATER DAMAGE STRIKES
Water extraction from a laminate floor.
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. By calling 717-464-5500 when you discover your water loss we can, within four hours of loss notification, have SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.
SERVPRO Of Southern Lancaster County 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 any work.
The SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County professionals will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.
To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County professional will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.
Often SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walkthrough of the jobsite will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.
Drying Science ?
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? 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 local SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professionals 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 a water damage, your local SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professional 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 “speed up Mother Nature” mean? 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 material–but only if the air is, indeed,
drier. The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. For this reason, your local
SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professionals have been trained to use top-of-the line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help
dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more.
SERVPRO® also uses state-of-the-art monitoring
equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.
The bottom line? Your local SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professionals have the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Frozen Pipes !
Winter weather can bring about more issues than
just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
- Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
- When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.” Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to your
property, your local SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professionals are only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.
National Preparedness Month
SERVPRO Recognizes National Preparedness Month with a Reminder to Home and Business Owners:
“Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”
Local disaster restoration specialist offers no-cost tools to help property owners prepare a comprehensive emergency readiness plan
Willow Street, PA (Grassroots Newswire) August 23, 2017 - September is National Preparedness Month (http://www.ready.gov/September), an annual event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to raise awareness about the importance of preparing—in advance—for the unexpected. In support of this initiative, Joseph Barrett, owner of SERVPRO® of Southern Lancaster County, encourages Willow Street property owners to take the following two steps now to protect their family, home, and business in the aftermath of a disaster.
- Review and update your emergency preparedness plan, including business and life continuity plans. If you don’t yet have a plan, use the tools provided by FEMA to get started. (https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan)
- Collect and store time-critical information, like the location of shutoff valves, fire suppression system controls, and emergency contact numbers electronically, where it is immediately available to assist first responders.
“Evacuation plans and emergency supply kits help you survive a disaster, but a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan helps you recover from a disaster,” said Barrett. “The most effective response to any emergency is a fast response. That’s why having critical system and contact information at your fingertips is so important. A quick and effective response helps minimize repairs and downtime, helping both businesses and families get back on track in less time, with less stress.”
SERVPRO offers tools for both commercial and residential property owners to help them minimize damage and recover quickly from emergencies. The SERVPRO READY app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the free app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) and storing that profile in the READY app.
“Rapid response from a disaster cleanup and restoration specialist can help the property owner evaluate options, start the insurance process, and take the right steps from the beginning to bring their property back to normal,” said Barrett. “Even in the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, a property owner or manager using the SERVPRO READY app can reach out for expert help right from the scene, using a cell phone.”
SERVPRO® of Southern Lancaster County specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO® of Southern Lancaster County, please contact Joseph Barrett at (717) 464-5500 or SERVPRO8837@comcast.net.
THE SCIENCE OF DRYING
Hardwood Floor Drying System
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 local SERVPRO® of Southern Lancaster County Franchise Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages.
If your home or business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO® of Southern Lancaster County Franchise 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 material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.
Your local SERVPRO® of Southern Lancaster County Franchise Professionals 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 local SERVPRO® of Southern Lancaster County Franchise Professionals 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 local SERVPRO® of Southern Lancaster County Franchise Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened."
THE MOLD MITIGATION & REMEDIATION PROCESS
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak
or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property.
Fortunately, your SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same.The following steps illustrate a “typical”mold removal process.
Call SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County at 717-464-5500
A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Inspection & Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold
and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores
from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold
remediation is in progress.
Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from
forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents & Belongings
SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs,
such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.
UNDERSTANDING WATER TYPES
When your home or business suffers a 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 other 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 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 on the 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 a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance.
Call SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County at 717-464-5500.