Recent Posts

What To Do When Your Flight Is Canceled

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What To Do When Your Flight Is Canceled Be prepared for a weather delay or a canceled flight

Whether you’re traveling to or from Gilbertsville,PA, bad weather can sometimes interrupt your travel plans and even result in a canceled flight. There’s nothing that can be done about the atmospheric conditions, but with a little planning and forethought, you should be able to weather the storm without too much trouble.

Keep These 3 Tips in Mind

Finding out that your flight's been cancelled may be inconvenient, but it doesn’t have to ruin your travel plans. Here are three main points to remember:

  • Put safety first. Don’t go against travel advisories or other official recommendations. Bad weather can be fatal, so pay attention to storm tips and keep the safety of yourself and your family foremost in your mind.
  • Have a backup plan. Learn what hotels are in the area that you could stay at in case you are stuck in town for another day.
  • Travel light. The less stuff you have to keep track of, the easier it will be to change course should the need arise.

A Canceled Flight Is Nobody’s Fault

If the weather has caused your flight to be canceled, you may be stuck in place for a while. Stay calm, and ask the airline if you can rebook on a later flight. Often, if you remain polite yet persistent, the airline will compensate you in some way for a flight that's been cancelled. However, if you become belligerent or threatening toward the airline employees, they are less likely to work with you.

Ultimately, there’s not much anyone can do about weather delays or a canceled flight, so the important thing is to be prepared. Heed all safety warnings, and travel light so that any detours can be made as smoothly as possible. It is reasonable to request compensation for a missed flight (due to weather or other difficulties beyond your control), and it’s best to stay calm with airline employees. A little patience can go a long way in this type of situation. After the storm comes the restoration and repairs.

Tips for Removing Smoke Odor from Your Home

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Three Steps for Successful Odor Removal

After a fire cleanup, home deodorization can be an important next step to making the area livable again. When setting up the cleanup process may professionals in Boyertown,PA, recommend these three steps for successful odor removal.

1. Identify the Source

Knowing the source of the smoke odor can help determine the best cleanup plan. Odor can come from cigarette smoke, a house fire, or even extended use of a fireplace. In the event of a house fire it may be important to know what type of materials were burned, how long the fire lasted, and how long it’s been since the fire occurred. Smoke odor from cigarettes may also be stronger the longer it has been allowed to settle.

2. Use the Right Tools

When it comes to home deodorization, masking the smoke odor is only a temporary fix. Things may seem fresh for a while but over time the odor will reemerge. This is why it’s important to use the correct tools and cleansers from the start. The method used may depend on the severity of the smoke damage, but in most cases a ozone machine or thermal fogger may be the best tool for the job.

3. When in Doubt Call a Professional

Whether you’re dealing with cigarette smoke or fire cleanup, you may want to consider contacting a professional for your smoke removal needs. Many professional teams already have the tools needed to successfully remove the smoke odor from your home. They also have the knowledge they need to access the odor’s source and determine the best cleaning plan.

The process for home deodorization requires knowing the source of the odor, and which tools are best for the problem. Knowing these thing can help you formulate a plan for smoke odor removal. In many cases it may be best to contact a professional as they already have the tools and cleaning solutions needed for the job.

Don’t Break Your Back Over Sandbags, Try These Water Barriers Instead

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

If you know the water is coming, and you have weeks to prepare, tons of sand, and dozens of people to help you fill and move a sand bag around, this is a great way to keep the water from entering your land. But damming a commercial property in Kutztown,PA, before a storm can be difficult using one bag of sand at a time. Here are three new alternatives to the old way of property damming.

1. Water Barricade

Easy-to-use water tubes can be found in lengths between six and 50 feet. They also typically come in several diameters, including 4 inches and 20 inches. You simply lay the tube where you want the dam around your property to be, fill it with water, and watch the tubes prevent the floodwaters from damaging your property. After use, simply hang them up to dry, and store them away for the next time they are needed.

2. Water Fence

Don’t let the unusual design of a water fence put you off because it can protect as well as any sand bag. Many water fences have been engineered from marine-secure panels, reinforced with aluminum and stainless-steel, and covered in PVC canvas. Typically 4 feet tall, these fences are made of panels that can be reused up to 60 times, and that can provide protection from flood damage for years to come. Simply fold and store the sections of fence after use.

3. Water Dam

With a feel of fabric-covered diaper material, this type of floodwater protection may be one of the best flood dams available. Better yet, it can be found at most local hardware stores. Roll the sections out, run hose water over each unit, and watch it expand. The small tubes can also be stacked for additional protection. When the water recedes, the tubes can shrink as they dry out, waiting for the next storm to hit.

The back-breaking work of filling a sand bag can be a thing of the past with these new and surprisingly efficient options to raging floodwaters. Whether you need to protect a small building or a whole city block, it is easy to do with these inventive water barriers. If water does flood your property, contact a water damage specialist for assistance.

5 Things You Need to Know About Insurance and Flooding

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 5 Things You Need to Know About Insurance and Flooding Flood can cause a lot of damage to your Reading, PA home

When there is a flood in your home in Reading, PA, one of the first things you should do is call your insurance provider. Making this call can help you figure out if the damage done to your house is covered by your policy. Many water restoration professionals work side-by-side with insurance providers to help you through your claim when you can make one. While every policy may be different, here are a few flooding insurance basics that you should know.

1. Damaged caused by broken pipes is usually covered.

If you wake up to a burst pipe in your master bathroom, chances are the water damaged caused will be covered by your normal homeowner's policy. When an unforeseen event results in a burst pipe, you're covered.

2. Subsequent damage is covered

Initially, a flood may damage your walls and insulation, but as the water spreads it starts to ruin carpet, paint and furnishings. If you have coverage, it will help pay for much of the subsequent damage to ensure you can return your house to normal.

3. The plumbing bill may come to you

Even though your insurance is going to help pay for the restoration, it may not cover the fees to fix the actual leaking pipe. Because plumbing falls under normal home maintenance, your plan may not cover it.

4. Leaking pipes need to be addressed right away

If, however, you knew there was a small leak in your plumbing, but you chose to ignore it, the damage caused may not be covered. You're expected to fix a broken pipe if you know about it.
5. Rising water requires a special policy. If heavy rains send water surging into your basement, you may need to look closely at your insurance coverage. Most homeowner's policies won't cover this type of damage.

A flood can cause a lot of damage to your house. Thankfully, your homeowner's policy and other insurance plans can help you pay for the restoration process.

Berks County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Berks County Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and soot damage can cause a pervasive odor in you home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • 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.

Different Types 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. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Reading will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, 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 varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (610)779-8189

A Pipe Broke! What Now?

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial A Pipe Broke! What Now? Water loss due to broken pipe in Boyertown, PA

Bursting pipes are not something that any business owner wants to think about. Unfortunately, if you are currently facing such an incident, you will need to take action to prevent as much loss as possible. Read on for information on what to do after such an occurrence to prevent commercial water damage in Boyertown, PA.

Reasons To Get Help

After a water emergency at your company, you may be tempted to try to ignore the situation or fix broken pipe problems yourself. This is not a good idea for the following reasons:

  1. Waiting to get help from professionals can lead to mold growth or secondary damage.
  2. Cleanup services are better prepared to perform cleaning, drying and remediation procedures than you are, and trained technicians are knowledgeable about current or potential mold issues.
  3. Attempting to clean or fix anything in your building after a water-related incident takes away time from your schedule that should be spent focusing on your business and getting it back in running order.
  4. Ignoring destruction can lead to structural issues that affect your company down the road.

Water damage specialists are used to bursting pipes and other moisture issues. They are also typically able to arrive on the scene quickly and work in an urgent matter to mitigate the issue at hand as thoroughly as possible in a fairly short amount of time.

Do Not Go It Alone!

Business owners tend to feel very proud of their commercial property, and with that pride comes a feeling of personal responsibility for anything that happens to their investment. Bursting pipes may be something that you want to handle yourself or that you consider to be less important than keeping your workplace running smoothly. However, getting help from the right source as quickly as you can will do nothing but improve your chances of recovering from any damages to your structure and getting back to business as usual.

What Not To Do After a Flood

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What Not To Do After a Flood Water loss due to storm in Exeter, PA

Water damage is typically extensive in a flooded home, leaving many items destroyed. Flood water contaminates everything it touches, making surviving the aftermath almost as dangerous as the storm. Staying safe after a flood doesn’t have to be challenging, but there are a few things that you should not do.

1. Don’t Go Out in Regular Clothing

As flooding water is contaminated and it is likely hiding additional dangers, like downed power lines and submerged electrical outlets, it is essential to wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and rubber gloves. Additionally, you should avoid wearing anything that will allow your skin to come into direct contact with the water.

2. Don’t Touch the Water

You should avoid direct contact with any standing flood water because most of this water will be considered category three black water. Black water is a mix of sewage and other contaminants that are highly toxic to humans and animals, and this water does not need to be ingested to inflict harm.

3. Don’t Let Your Cell Phone Die

Try to maintain a full battery on your cell phone, if at all possible. As many areas will still be covered in water, a cell phone may be your only way of contacting friends and family or emergency services.

4. Don’t Buy New Furniture

While it is tempting to purchase replacement furniture for your home, buying new furniture so soon after flooding can be a bad decision. The cleanup process takes a lot longer than most homeowners expect, and you don’t want to bring new furniture into a contaminated space because you risk further contamination.

5. Don’t Go It Alone

You should check the Exeter,PA, area for local restoration specialists because they can offer the expertise, equipment, and personnel to ensure that your cleanup process goes as quickly and as smoothly as possible, allowing you to get back in your home.

Flood water is a dangerous substance that should not be taken lightly. Be sure to protect yourself by remembering the five steps above and recognizing the need to ask for help.

Know the Differences Between Mold and Mildew

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Know the Differences Between Mold and Mildew Mold damage after a pipe break on the wall in Reading, PA

If you own a home in Reading, PA, chances are you have experience with mold damage or mildew growth. You might have found some mold growth on an old rug in the basement, or some mildew on clothes or rags left in a damp area. But are mold and mildew the same?

Mold and mildew are somewhat similar, in that they both:

  • Thrive in moist areas
  • Like warm environments
  • Are fungi that spread through spores
  • Can grow on a wide variety of surfaces

But despite the similarities, mold and mildew have very distinct differences.

Mildew

Mildew is a specific form of fungus that generally forms on damp surfaces, and is powdery or fluffy in appearance. It's usually found in the home on moist surfaces, fabrics, paper, and on other organic materials. Outside of the home, mildew often causes a great deal of damage to agricultural products such as potatoes and grapes. There are two main types: downy mildew and powdery mildew. Downy mildew can vary in appearance but generally starts out with yellowish spots that turn brown after a time. Powdery mildew starts out as gray or white blotches that eventually become yellow-brown. Unlike mold, mildew can be removed fairly easily with a specialized cleaner and a scrubbing brush.

Mold

Mold is usually green or black with a fuzzy or slimy appearance. It is much more invasive than mildew, as it thrives under surfaces like the interiors of walls or under floorboards. Unlike mildew, mold damage can be far more harmful and much harder to get rid of once it's established. Also, there are a much wider variety of molds, the five most prevalent being penicillium, cladosporium, aspergillus, alternaria, and stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold. Unlike mildew, a mold problem is usually much more difficult to get rid of.

Mildew can be fully eliminated with a little effort on your part, but mold damage may require the skills of a professional mold mitigation company. Eradicating mold and mildew in your home is easy if you act promptly to get rid of it.

How To Drain Your Flooded Basement

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Drain Your Flooded Basement It’s inevitable that some of your possessions may have been damaged in the basement flood.

A flooded basement can be a homeowner’s nightmare, especially when you live in Reading, PA. Whether your home was subject to a natural disaster or there’s been a break in your water line, standing water in your basement can lead to an array of issues:

• Foundation damage
• Ruined possessions
• Water heater and HVAC system damage
Mold growth

It’s vital to battle your basement flood as quickly as possible to minimize the damage. If you’re not sure how to remove the water on your own, local restoration specialists can do that for you. Otherwise, you can use a submersible pump and sump hose combination to efficiently remove as much water as possible.

Prepare Your House for Pumping

Before you start the process of water removal, turn off your electricity. It’s also important to make sure the source of water has been stopped. If the cause was a burst pipe, make sure it’s been plugged, whereas if your basement flood is from regional flooding, wait until any outside water (in your yard or street) starts receding before pumping.

Begin Pumping Out the Water

Use an extension cord to connect the pump prior to putting it in the basement. Take all measures to keep the cord connection from getting wet; hanging it is highly recommended. Fit a hose to your pump – a garden hose can work, but a sump hose will be much more efficient due to its wider diameter. If flooding is in your insurance coverage, you may be covered for both the pump and hose rentals.

Place the end of the hose facing away from the house and, preferably, on a gradient that leads to a drain or sewer. Carefully lower the pump into the water and begin pumping. Reposition the pump to the lowest level of the basement once the water is only a couple inches high.

Take Small but Important Steps

It’s inevitable that some of your possessions may have been damaged in the basement flood. Likewise, carpet and drywall can need replacing or a very thorough cleaning. Check with restoration specialists in Reading, PA, to help repair damages and assess for further risks. You and your home will be grateful you did. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com/.

Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding Mold growth at some level is normal in every indoor area, but too much can be a real problem.

If your Reading, PA, business should be subjected to flood conditions after a storm, mold could quickly become a problem. Without proper mitigation, mold can grow as early as 24 to 48 hours after a flood. By following these three tips, you can reduce the chances of mold growth turning into a complicated mess for you and your employees.

1. Remove Standing Flood Water

Standing water is one of the top causes of bacteria growth that leads to mold. Make sure to reduce humidity as much as possible before even considering taking care of any current or future mold issues. This includes water removal as well as keeping your building’s indoor temperature at a level that will reduce humidity.

2. Contact Mold Remediation Specialists

A professional mold remediation company can help you find sources of mold that already exist in your building. Trained technicians will know what to look for and how to eradicate it to halt the growth of mold and further damage to your building. These workers will also know how to reduce or eliminate odors caused by mold. If you even suspect that mold may be a problem, a storm cleanup crew of this kind can help you figure out what to do.

3. Understand Sources of Mold Growth

Even after your mold situation is taken care of, it is a good idea to stay aware of the different ways that mold can enter your building. The last thing you want to do is have a new mold problem on your hands after clearing up the last mess. Understanding that open windows, air conditioner units and other sources of outdoor air can lead to increased mold will help you to be armed against future nightmares.

Mold growth at some level is normal in every indoor area, but too much can be a real problem. Since growth occurs so quickly and may do real damage in only a couple of days, being prepared ahead of time will allow you to save your property sooner rather than later. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com/.