October Is National Fire Prevention Month
Fire Prevention Month (and week) raises awareness about fire safety and home safety to help ensure your home and family are prepared in the case of an emergency. This is a perfect time to discuss fire safety with your family. Every family's safety plans will differ from the next - that is why it is important to sit down with your whole family and plan your home's fire safety plans.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)'s 2018 campaign for Fire Prevention Week is "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. A fire can be anywhere."
According to the NFPA*, in 2016 there were 352,000 home fires, and 3 out of 5 fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms.
Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan.
Carbon monoxide is the #1 cause of accidental death.
These facts and statistics are reasons why your home needs to be equipped with the proper amount of fire safety equipment and alarms. Fire Prevention Month is a great time to kick start your families commitment to fire safety!
Remediating Commercial Flood Damage
Flooding in business is usually the result of damaged plumbing or a sprinkler system going off. This situation is bad enough in a private home but spread the damage across several floors, and 100 rooms and the restoration costs start to sky rocket!
Eliminating the effects of commercial flood damage in a Southern Delaware County hotel can take several days or weeks, depending on the amount of water on the floor and what is in it. With more than 20 years experience in the restoration business, SERVPRO knows that replacing carpets is one of the most common, and expensive, costs.
In most cases, the room and hallway carpets get soaked, but the water levels are not more than an inch. Our technicians can move in with water extraction wands to draw out the bulk of the water and remove it from the building within a day or two for each floor of the hotel.
With removal accomplished, we begin the process of drying the carpet. This procedure is needed to prevent the fibers from rotting, mold forming, and to stop delamination, which is the process where carpet fibers separate from the carpet backing. We use a combination of air movers and exhaust fans to direct warm, dry air across the carpet surface and force the damp air out of the rooms, down the hallways and into the stairwells where we can vent it outside. Our technicians prop open the fire exits to assist venting the air if weather permits.
At SERVPRO of Southern Delaware County, we understand that each day lost to water damage means a loss of thousands of dollars. To help keep your doors open and your guests happy, we keep a response team on 24-hour notice and arm them with the latest restoration equipment.
Business Owners: What You Should Know about Commercial Fire Damage
Investing in and growing your own business is the dream of many Americans. Along with the financial resources used to start a company, hard work and time are also used to make a business grow. A fire can cause all three of these types of investments to disappear quickly. Eliminating the soot left behind by a fire can help reduce the damages your business suffers, but only if it is done in time.
When commercial fire damage happens to your business many things begin to occur that are out of your control. Business operations are put on hold; employees can't come to work as scheduled, and customers and clients are inconvenienced, to say the least.
Hidden dangers related to the fire and the damage it caused remain behind. Soot can cause health problems, and the water from the firefighters' hoses can remain, causing perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. Structural aspects of your building may have been weakened, and it is now unsafe. Equipment vital to your day-to-day operations may have been damaged.
Fire damage in a commercial setting cannot be handled adequately by a janitorial crew. This type of damage requires skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable people with training and certification. Our technicians work together as teams to make the best use of their training and certifications. No site is too large for our teams to handle professionally and efficiently. We assess the damage and explain which areas can be safely entered, and can help you obtain necessary items from your business site before clean-up even begins.
SERVPRO Understands the Mold Life Cycle and Can Remediate Problems
Mold spores are everywhere. The only exceptions are hospital surgical rooms and maybe so-called ‘clean rooms’ needed for assembling some types of electronics. As inert spores, they are no more dangerous to homes or people than common house dust.
For homes in Southern Delaware County, mold damage is only a concern when three factors achieve the right levels of moisture, food, and temperature. To halt mold growth and deal with the damage, SERVPRO technicians know to interrupt one or more of these factors.
The temperature range most mold thrive in is 68 to 86 degrees. That encompasses the comfort range for nearly every home in Pennsylvania. Raising the temperature is fairly simple, all we have to do is turn off the air conditioning for about an hour. Since homeowners cannot live like that and it is too expensive to keep a home under 68 degrees, we can only alter the temperature in a commercial building like a warehouse.
Spores feed and grow on common building materials like ceiling tiles, drywall, and wood. Even the insulation in walls and attics can serve as food. As the mold colony grows, spores extend growths called hyphae to dig into the materials and feed. If they penetrate deeply, the only way to remove the mold is to remove the infested drywall or other material. Since it is impossible to remove all building materials from the home to prevent mold growth, SERVPRO technicians concentrate on interrupting the moisture.
The source for most moisture in a home is a leak or drip from a poorly connected or damaged pipe. The simplest way to find the source is to trace the mold growth and follow it to its origin. We do this with visual inspections and an air content meter which measures the number of spores in the air. Once we find it, technicians tighten the connection, repair the pipe or another leak source, or simply replace the damaged section. For complicated repairs, we recommend for the homeowner to hire a plumber.
SERVPRO Provides Proper Protocols for Successful Mold Remediation
Looking at everywhere mold can choose to grow on your property, it is no surprise that it often finds a comfortable spot in your basement. Basement mold is a common occurrence that many homeowners face, especially since mold only needs water, oxygen, and food to grow. Lack of sunlight is also a plus for these fungi to proliferate.
Gravity sends water to the lowest spot in your home. So, it makes sense that your basement or the crawlspace under your Southern Delaware County area home has the highest chance of mold damage. Regardless of what some sources might say, the species or amount of mold growing in your home has zero impact on your mold remediation process, and any amount or species may cause health effects. SERVPRO technicians follow specific guidelines designed to focus on controlling mold growth found in your home. We use EPA-registered disinfectants, negative airflow machines, and plastic sheeting to help reduce the spread.
Our team of SERVPRO IICRC-industry certified professionals removes saturated materials and additional debris and pay close attention to detail, cleaning every surface. Each material requires a specific cleaning method or a combination of cleaning methods to achieve favorable results. However, our technicians have years of experience performing mold remediation services and work in a quick, efficient manner to save you time and money.
SERVPRO Quickly Establishes a Drying Plan Based on the Initial Assessment
Any time water gets inside your residence, removing the excessive moisture within 48 hours is essential. If wood or paper materials stay wet for longer, then microbial formation can take place. Water can also saturate contents and building materials inside your home ruining them.
After something like a pipe break or an appliance malfunctioning takes place and causes water to flood your house, extraction occurs to pull out any standing water and moisture inside porous materials. The next step in any water removal project is the drying process. Rapid drying of contents and structural components is essential to prevent secondary damage and mold growth.
Before drying begins, the area gets tested to determine the extent of damage the moisture has caused. Our SERVPRO technicians check the temperature, relative humidity, and moisture content of wood and drywall. Once we figure out how wet the region got, we can formulate a drying plan.
The initial drying plan includes how many air movers and dehumidifiers get set up in the affected area. The plan also indicates drying goals. The drying goals are set by determining what the conditions were before the loss took place.
The ending goal is determined by coming up with a dry standard. To establish a dry standard, humidity, temperature, and the moisture content of drywall and wooden materials in unaffected areas of the building get tested. Once the standard is designated as the drying goal, our IICRC certified team uses their knowledge and experience to determine the right pieces of drying equipment to rapidly dry out moisture until it is back to preloss conditions.
Cleanup and Rebuild Needed After a Water Problem? Call SERVPRO
Flooding can ruin a home. Homeowners look at the standing water and want to give up before deciding to call a professional service to replace the damage caused by burst pipes or other failed plumbing and appliances.
Regardless of where the damage came from, SERVPRO is the water damage restoration and reconstruction company to use in Southern Delaware County. After the water has been pumped out, we continue to carry out an inspection from the foundation to the roof. Here are a few of the more common damages and how we rebuild after a disaster.
First things first, we replace damaged plumbing. Until we stop the source of the water, it is a waste of time to affect any other repairs. Our specialists are fully trained to replace bathroom fixtures, install new dishwashers or lay new intake pipe anywhere in the home. If the problem was a failed septic tank that backed up into the home or across the outside property, we can remove the old tank and set a new one, to include a new concrete cradle, in place.
Next, come the floors. If our inspection finds damage to the sub-floor, our technicians pull out each piece of the damaged frame and replace it. If necessary, we go down to the foundation and re-level the dirt or concrete to put down a surface without rolls or raised points. Our technicians have years of experience in framing and laying new wood floors that increase the value of the home and are appealing to everyone who sees them.
When it comes to walls, hanging new sheet rock is only the surface of what we do. Before putting up the new panels, we replace every bit of wall framing that shows water damage. Although we do not move load-bearing walls, we can expand closets or decrease a formal dining area to increase the living room for a young, growing family.
Rebuilding your home can be a lengthy process, but hiring the right company for the job can make it much less painful. SERVPRO of Southern Delaware County has the experience, training, and equipment needed to help you from the ground up.
Winterizing Tips to Prevent Mold Growth
The wet season in the winter months is one of the best times of year for molds to grow and expand. Many times mold is contained near sources of water where it can easily grow and reproduce. As it grows, mold can break down and compromise the integrity and strength of the source in which it lives.
Mold can be killed, but if it is not removed properly, it can remain in the area just cleaned and the dry spores can be released into the air. Prevention is key to keep your health from being affected by mold and homes and buildings strong.
Here are some winter weatherizing tips to keep mold at bay:
*keep all areas clean - mold feeds on dust
*make sure all seals on windows and doors are not compromised and in good working condition
*clean and repair roof gutters regularly
*if there are freezing temperatures, take measures to insulate pipes inside and out to ensure they will not crack and/or burst.
The 2 most important things to remember when trying to prevent mold growth are - keep everything clean and keep everything dry.
Houseplant Mold Prevention Tips
Many people have houseplants in their homes - they are used for both decoration and for helping to improve air quality. Unfortunately, houseplants can also be the source of mold. Since plants require a lot of moisture to survive, it make them the perfect feeding grounds for mold.
Mold needs 3 things to thrive - food, oxygen, and moisture. Organic matter, such as soil and leaves, are some of mold's favorite foods. To prevent active growth in plants, treat them just like any other parts of your home. That is to control the moisture levels. Listed below are mold prevention tips that will lower the chances of houseplant mold.
- don't over water - follow the watering instructions that came with the plant
- cinnamon - this natural, harmless, anti-fungal substance can be added to the soil
- gravel - adding gravel to the bottom of the soil will help the plant drain more efficiently
By following these tips, you can still enjoy the benefits of having plants in your home.
The Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage
When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms.
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.
2. Damaged appliances and equipment
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.
3. Broken pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails, water damage could be the result.
4. Backed up sewer lines
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.