Recent Posts

Unique Hacks for Preparing for Flooding in a Storm

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

It doesn’t matter what type of severe weather is hitting Reading, PA; it can make life easier if you plan ahead. Braving a storm is one thing but suffering in the aftermath is yet another. If it is looking like flood water could be a real possibility, rather than wait until you have a flooded building and water damage, consider the following unique hacks that go beyond the usual commonsense preparations.

1. Preserve memories. There are some things that money simply cannot replace. Redundancy is key to preserving belongings such as scrapbooks, wedding albums and other precious keepsakes. To guard against water damage, put them in plastic bags — many layers, even — and then place the package in a closed dishwasher. To avoid the washer getting accidentally turned on, turn off the power at the circuit box. Also, keep in mind that this hack may work effectively if you get only a foot or two of flood water in your home, but beyond that it most likely won’t, hence the reason for the multiple layers of plastic bags.

2. Shut off the power. It is normal to want to keep the lights on as long as possible, but water and electricity do not mix, so preemptively shut it off as soon as you suspect water could enter your home. This also gives you a valuable test period to see what things you still need to do to prepare for the potential of being without power for a while.

3. Get pets in carriers. Trying to find a scared and hiding cat while water pours in or you’re trying to heed an evacuation order is not a good scenario.

The important thing is not to panic and to plan as though you may need to evacuate should rising flood water become a reality. If you do end up with a flooded building, it is best to get a professional on the job quickly. Standing water puts even waterproof things to the ultimate test and drives up the cost of water damage restoration.

Visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com for more information on storm damage.

Assessing Damage From an Overflowing Toilet

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage from an overflowing toilet is fairly common. Toilets are a necessary part of life, but they can create quite a mess. They can get clogged. Septic tanks stop draining properly. A flooded toilet is always bad news, and sewer damage due to an overflowing toilet or a backflow of sewage in Reading, PA needs to be dealt with immediately.

Stopping the Overflow

When you notice your bathroom is flooding, you need to shut off the water. The toilet shutoff valve is usually located behind the commode. Don’t attempt to flush the toilet until you discover the cause of the problem.

Clean up as much of the water as you can. In most cases, you need to call a sewage company to fix the problem. Backups can be caused by clogs, septic tank backups or excessive rain. A professional can ascertain the cause of your sewage issues and come up with a solution.

Dealing With Sewage

Much of the time, an overflowing toilet can cause sewer damage. The water coming out of the bowl may be considered gray or black water. These categories need to be dealt with differently because they contain contaminants that could make you sick.

You need specialized equipment to sanitize the area. Professionals have decontamination suits and the proper tools to deal with the situation. Regular household cleaners are inadequate to kill the bacteria associated with sewage.

Surveying the Damage

Certain types of flooring are more susceptible to damage. In some cases, your flooring may need to be replaced. If the flooding occurred on a second story, you could have leakage in between the floors. Depending on the level of water damage, you may need to dry the area extensively to ensure no mold grows. Dispose of as much as possible if the cause of the overflow was sewer damage.

An overflowing toilet can be a big headache. Don’t risk it if you are dealing with potentially contaminated water. Consult a sewage damage professional to get the job done right.
Visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com for more information on water damage.

What To Do When Your Pipes Freeze

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

When it’s very cold outside, pipes have the potential to freeze and burst, which can lead to serious water damage. As water within your pipes freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the metal fixture. Once a pipe bursts, a torrent of liquid can find its way into unwanted places within the building and can lead to some difficult water cleanup and mold control. Here are a few tips on what to do when your pipes freeze and how to take care of broken pipes.

Find Out If It’s Frozen

Frozen pipes in Reading, PA are a common occurrence when the temperatures drop. You might be able to tell if your pipes are frozen if water doesn’t come out of your faucets or your toilets won’t refill after flushing. If there is frost on any of your pipes, or they are slightly bulging, the water within is likely ice.

Thaw Your Pipes

First, it is wise to shut off the water supply before doing anything else. Sometimes frozen water can act as a plug and, once thawed, can lead to a sudden flow of water. If your pipes have any cracks at all, this may lead to some serious water damage. Once you’ve done this, try using a hair dryer or a heat lamp to thaw the pipe.

What To Do If the Pipe Bursts

Broken pipes are hard to repair, so it is a good idea to call a plumber as quickly as possible. Before making a phone call, make sure that your water supply is completely shut off. Use mops, towels, and sponges to clean up as much water as possible.

Frozen pipes can be disastrous if they are not taken care of quickly. It’s a good idea to take precautions to avoid dealing with broken pipes and water damage. By knowing how to handle the situation, you can make the water cleanup process as smooth as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com for more information on commercial water damage.

What Exactly is Mold and How Does It Grow?

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

What Exactly is Mold and How Does It Grow?

It’s extremely common throughout the world, it’s found in most homes in some form and all it needs to grow is sufficient moisture. Mold is a naturally occurring fungus, and its role in processes like biodegradation makes it essential to a healthy ecosystem. These types of fungi can also prove harmful however, such as when a moisture problem leads to growths within the home, including black mold.

Residential Woes

Indoor molds can be a major issue in City, State, threatening property while also causing potential health issues for people and pets. They can produce irritants and allergens, or potentially even mycotoxins, any or all of which may affect respiratory health. These types of problems may be more pronounced for those with existing ailments or allergies causing heightened sensitivity, making mold cleanup a crucial must for many families. Keeping a qualified mold remediation professional among your contacts is advisable for any homeowner.

Potential Growth

Molds are able to thrive indoors or out, provided the right moisture conditions exist. These fungi disperse microscopic spores into the air, and they’re found almost everywhere. It’s important to quickly determine if any green or black mold found growing in the home is harmful, and if so, develop a remediation plan as soon as possible.

Common Causes

These are some of the situations which often lead to mold growth within a residential space:

Leaks in your home’s water pipes;
Excess moisture accumulating in a crawlspace or basement;
Dampness resulting from wet weather and poor insulation, roofing problems, etc.

If evidence of this kind of growth is found in the home, it’s a good idea to have it tested promptly; visible molds frequently indicate more extensive growth in unseen locations. Remember that whether it’s green, gray or black mold, cleanup requires professional knowledge and equipment, so don’t attempt to tackle that moisture problem on your own. Visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com for more information on mold.

Preparing Your Fire Escape Plan

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Preparing Your Fire Escape Plan

A fire escape plan can be the difference between calm and catastrophe during a crisis. Fortunately, although every home in Reading, PA will have different needs, there are a few universal steps for creating an effective emergency escape plan.

1. Involve Whole Family

Your plan will impact everyone, so it’s important to include your family during all planning stages. Walk your household members through each room and strategize escape routes as a team.

2. Identify Potential Barriers

A blocked exit is an inconvenience in day-to-day life, but it can be deadly during a crisis. Identify potential barriers with your family, taking care to ensure each member can identify and address problem areas so they’re better prepared to select the best route during disaster.

3. Schedule Maintenance Checks

Regularly monitor the state of your fire safety equipment. Sprinklers and alarm systems should be tested at least once a year, but it’s always better to over prepare when possible. Consider turning your maintenance checks into opportunities to review your fire escape plan with the household.

4. Formalize Your Plan

Display a copy of your emergency escape plan somewhere safe and highly visible. The kitchen may be an ideal location for posting a laminated version it, providing both prominent and easy access to the information.

Additional information should include emergency contacts and the Pennsylvania fire department’s emergency number, although the National Fire Protection Association recommends having each family member memorize this number, as well.

5. Develop Post-Fire Plans

Finally, after laying the ground work for your escape, consider adding post-disaster action steps as the finishing touch. This addendum should include friends and family you might board with, insurance information for filing claims and contact numbers for restoration specialists.

More Than Physical

While developing an emergency escape plan alone cannot avert disaster, readying your response strategy can help you manage stress before, during and following a fire. Your fire escape plan isn’t just to protect your physical health – it’s also an important safeguard for your family’s peace of mind when disaster strikes.
Visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com for more information on fire damage.

How to Remove Two Feet of Water From a Commercial Basement

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

How to Remove Two Feet of Water From a Commercial Basement

After flooding or a storm, you might not be able to see the floor of the basement of your commercial business due to all the water. Thankfully, there’s professional equipment that can put you back on the road to recovery, such as a sump pump or trash pump. Learn how water cleanup and restoration professionals in Reading, PA can assist you and your business in getting rid of water in your basement.

The Trash Pump

Truck-mounted trash pump equipment utilizes hard suction and a discharge to take care of roughly 200 gallons of water every minute. A few of the most notable and standout features of this type of pump include:

It’s useful for taking care of various solids that might be mixed into the water in your basement.
They are able to prime themselves as long as the water stays above the impeller eye.
They’re easier to maintain, mainly because they don’t have very many components.
Such pumps are widely available in a number of different sizes to better match your specific situation and basement size.

The Sump Pump

With sump pumps, you can lower the water level to about one and a half inches. They use an external intake filter and short hoses to get the job done. One thing to bear in mind with this equipment is the outlet end of the hose has to be positioned either downhill or as far away from soil as necessary, mainly because any water pumped out can find its way back into your basement if allowed to seep into the soil around your building. Even though sump pumps can be positioned underwater, models that use float switches are often more beneficial due to being easier to rig.

The right equipment and the right professional services can help you see the bottom of your basement again. Know your options for the right trash or sump pump for the next strong storm that rolls through. Visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com for more information on water damage.

Winter is right around the corner be prepared!

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Tips for Preparing your Home for Winter Weather:

    • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes. 
    • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of the home. 
    • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shutoff valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off".
    • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shutoff. 
    • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage. 
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks. 

How to clean your gutters

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning How to clean your gutters Dirty Gutters?

Take action to keep downspouts running freely before those shade trees start shedding in earnest. One of these guards won’t totally free you of ladder duty, but it could buy you time between checkups.

How to Clean your gutters:

1. Climb a ladder and use a variety of tools to grab and remove the leaves and debris at eye-level.

2. Attach tools to a wet/dry shop vac to suck up the leaves or to blast them out of the gutters.

3. Attach tools to your water hose to spray leaves out of the gutters.

4. Use a long-reaching pole to remove leaves from the gutters while standing at ground level.

Being prepared when a hurricane or flood happens

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Being prepared when a hurricane or flood happens Tips on flooding

During a Flood Watch or Warning

  • Gather emergency supplies.
  • Listen to your local radio or television station for updates.
  • Have immunization records handy or know the year of your last tetanus shot.
    • Store immunization records in a waterproof container.
  • Fill bathtubs, sinks, gallon jars, and plastic soda bottles so that you will have a supply of clean water.
    • Sanitize sinks/tubs first by cleaning them using a solution of one cup of bleach to five gallons of water. Then rinse and fill with clean water.
  • Bring in outdoor possessions (lawn furniture, grills, trash cans) or tie them down securely.
  • If evacuation appears necessary: turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
  • Leave areas subject to flooding: low spots, canyons, washes, etc. Rememberavoid driving through flooded areas and standing water.

After Flooding Has Occurred

  • Avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water. As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Do not drink flood water, or use it to wash dishes, brush teeth, or wash/prepare food. Drink clean, safe water.
  • If you evacuated: return to your home only after local authorities have said it is safe to do so.
  • Listen to water advisory from local authorities to find out if your water is safe for drinking and bathing.
    • During a water advisory, use only bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, etc.
  • When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food and bottled water that comes/may have come into contact with flood water.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Use generators at least 20 feet from any doors, windows, or vents. If you use a pressure washer, be sure to keep the engine outdoors and 20 feet from windows, doors, or vents as well.

For more tips on flooding contact your local SERVPRO. 

Like it never even happened 

Is your roof ruin after a storm

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

After your home is damaged by wind, hail, or other natural elements, the storm isn't necessarily over in fact, it might be just the beginning. Here's what you need to know about the storm-induced insurance process from diagnosing the damage to filing a claim and making repairs so that weathering your home's recovery is as painless as possible. 

  • Know what is cover before the storm hits. Call you insurance agent. 
  • Document potential damage.  
  • Make Temporary repairs 
  • Make sure you hire a creditable contractor.
  • Check with your local SERVPRO to see if they have a contractor or teams that can help..
  • Work with your insurance agents to go over claims.