Recent Posts

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."

Plan and Practice your Escape!

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared if a disaster strikes?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2019 theme is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!"

According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off, "you can have less than one to two minutes to escape safely," yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was their first thought after hearing a fire alarm. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today! Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone in your home or business enough time to get out.

How do you define hero? Is it a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at their own personal risk? A hero can be all of those things! A hero can also be someone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, be a hero in your household or community.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County wants you to stay safe, informed, and prepared to help ensure you are ready for any disaster that comes your way.

National Preparedness

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

A first aid kit, flashlight, battery, piggy bank, and radio with a caption saying "National Preparedness Month" Make sure you are prepared for any size disaster!

As a business owner, insurer, or property manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.

This year for National Preparedness Month (NPM), join your community as a whole to become more prepared. "Disasters happen" and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including business of all sizes.

The 2019 theme for National Preparedness Month is Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters. You can become prepared for a disaster by taking three simple steps:

  • Have a plan to stay in business
  • Encourage your employees to become ready
  • Protect your investment


We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship, and neighborhoods are ready for any type of disaster that can potentially affect your local community. At Ready.gov/business, companies like yours can find vital information on how to begin preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency situation. You can also contact your professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County to find out more on how to be ready when disaster strikes with the SERVPRO Emergency READY program.

The Science of Drying

8/1/2019 (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 a 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 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."

Stay Safe From Summer Storms

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Thunder and lightning storm in grasslands Prepare an emergency supply kit for when disaster strikes.

While the spring season is known for the potential to experience severe weather, the threat exists throughout the summer month as well. In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th also ending November 30th.

While is may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to help ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. One way to prepare your business for any type of disaster, is to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County to learn more about the ERP and how it can help you. Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm.

Before The Storm

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home or hard top vehicle (not a convertible).
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.

During The Storm

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  • Avoid to contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.

Managing Mold

6/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County handles water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth.

When there's water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a "typical" mold removal process.

Call the Team in Green

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call your professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection and 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 and can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the containment area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. The technicians at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County  utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to re-mediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents and Belongings

The professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County 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.

Restoration

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 understands mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Clean Up

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Our trained professionals are ready to help clean and restore your property.

Recognized as a leading fire and water clean up and restoration provided of hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County professionals also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential services and commercial property owners.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can post serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County can help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes, and offices.

SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County can help with the following issues:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

State and local regulations vary. Contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County today for 24-hour emergency service at 717-464-5500.

Destroy Odors with Deodorization

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Other odors that may required deodorization: cigarette smoke, pet odors, decomposition, and mold.

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in the hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

With technicians certified certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC), and the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County who provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or soot damage. The professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County does not cover up lingering odors from fragrance; they seek out and remove the source of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO's own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will be also professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts and more.

Ask the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and required deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County. Whether it's a fire, water, or mold damage or just stubborn odor that refused to go away, we'll help to make it "Like it never even happened."

Understanding Water Types

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

Our team responds to any size disaster to begin clean up and restoration to get you back in business!

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 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 form 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 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 contaminates.
  • 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 your local professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County at 717-464-5500!

Be Flood Smart

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Check out FEMA's Flood Map Service Center by visiting msc.fema.gov to locate properties at risk on a visual flood map.

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert-there is always potential for flood damage. Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last five years, all 50 states have experiences floods or flash floods.

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County. Even minor floods have the potential to cause damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO System is prepared to handle any size disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, your local SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professionals will help you take it back.