Seven Tips for Preventing a Mold Infestation in the Basement
Blog Summary: When homeowners have to deal with mold growth in the basement, they can turn to SERVPRO of Media, a local leader in restoration, remediation, and cleaning.
The damage restoration and cleaning technicians at SERVPRO of Media have the training and expertise to remediate mold in a home, including in the basement. The connection between basements and mold growth is understandable, considering how damp, dark, and poorly ventilated most basements are. Listed below are some measures to prevent a major infestation in the basement.
- Eliminate sources of dampness to lower humidity.
Mold thrives in moist environments where the humidity is above forty-five percent. Since the typical basement suffers from poor ventilation, moisture levels tend to be above this level. Humidity levels can be monitored using an inexpensive household digital hygrometer. Basement humidity levels can be controlled with a high-quality dehumidifier, which may range in price from $200 and up. The typical basement scenario does not require a commercial-grade dehumidifier to solve humidity issues.
- Clear out the clutter.
Clothing, shoes, furniture, stuffed animals, holiday decorations, and books restrict airflow and provide food for mold. Solutions include conducting a major cleanout, as well as storing items in plastic containers that take up less space and do not restrict airflow.
- Make sure rainwater and snowmelt flow away from the home’s foundation.
Adequate ground slope – 1 inch per six to ten feet – around the home’s perimeter, as well as free-flowing gutters and downspouts, can go a long way to prevent water from seeping into the basement. Mold needs water. Cut off the water supply, and mold growth will decline dramatically.
- Wrap or cover exposed pipes with insulation.
Condensation on cold water pipes acts as an irrigation system that invites mold growth around the pipes. Pipe wrap or foam pipe sleeves inhibit condensation and mold growth on the pipes.
- Mop up spills and leaks.
Promptly repair pipe and drain leaks. Mop up any standing water to prevent slip-and-fall injuries and to reduce the humidity in the basement. If the spill or leak is limited to a small area of flooring or carpeting, use a wet-dry vacuum to extract the water. Fans, a dehumidifier, or a hairdryer can be used to dry out carpeting, upholstery, or other items soaked by the spill or leak. Open windows and doors to increase natural airflow. If the flooded area is large and unmanageable, bring in a water damage restoration company.
- Install an exhaust fan and run it periodically.
The improved airflow will dry out humid basement air after a period of rain, snow, or high humidity. An exhaust fan is an affordable tool to keep the basement dry and reduce the potential for mold growth in the basement.
- Make sure the basement is waterproof.
Foundation leaks are a constant source of moisture in the basement. Seal cracks and holes in the walls and floor. Replace carpet and wood flooring with a non-porous surface. Consult with a waterproofing professional for advice on a comprehensive strategy to reduce water intrusion issues related to the foundation. A sump pump with a backup may be needed.
Why choose SERVPRO of Media for basement mold remediation?
SERVPRO of Media has the Applied Microbial Remediation Technician certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This certification testifies to the team’s proficiency in remediating mold.
When clients call SERVPRO for mold remediation services, they will receive an inspection and mold damage assessment in accordance with local and state laws. SERVPRO can advise customers on the documentation protocol process and provide guidance based on the customer’s unique situation.
Technicians carefully inspect the home or business for visible signs of mold and utilize technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. The SERVPRO professionals use various containment procedures, such as negative air chambers, to prevent the spread of mold during the remediation process. Specialized equipment filters microscopic mold spores from the air, and powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums prevent the spread of these spores during the mold remediation process.
Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from growing. The SERVPRO technicians will remove mold-infested porous materials where needed. These contaminated items such as drywall and carpeting will be disposed of safely and properly. Restorable items affected by mold will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The mold remediation specialists are also trained to remove odors associated with a mold infestation.
For more information about the Media, PA, damage restoration company, contact SERVPRO of Media by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com. The office can also be reached by calling (610) 566-5720.
What Steps Can Newton Square Property Owners Take to Protect Their Homes from Storm Damage?
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media shares strategies for protecting homes in Newtown Square, PA, from severe weather, heavy rain, and storm damage.
As a local leader in storm damage restoration, SERVPRO of Media is aware that Newton Square, Media, and the greater Lancaster County area have faced extraordinary amounts of rainfall on several occasions over the last year. In August 2020, Media and Newton Square received more than five inches of rain from tropical storm Isaias. As recently as September 1, 2021, areas of the Mid-Atlantic, including Lancaster County, Media, and Newton Square received between 3.5 inches and 8 inches in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Flooding and property damage were extensive. An average of 6 inches of water fell on this region of Pennsylvania in twenty-four hours or less.
Potential Catchment: Water on the Roof
The catchment is an area that serves to catch water, such as a roof. Potential catchment refers to the amount of water that a roof can catch and direct into the gutters and away from a structure. The potential catchment for a 2,000 square foot home is 2000 X 0.56 per inch of rain. When six inches of rain fell on roofs in Media, Newton Square, and the greater Philadelphia area, 6,720 gallons of water flowed over the shingles and into the gutter system.
Media, PA, and the surrounding communities average 43 inches of rain per year. In 2020 and then again in 2021, two months’ worth of rain fell in just one day. The result was massive flooding and property damage. By following the basic maintenance steps outlined below, the homeowner can prevent leaks and protect the home from rain throughout the year.
Tip #1: Maintain gutters and downspouts.
Begin by cleaning out gutters and downspouts twice a year. The ideal times are late spring and fall after the leaves have fallen. Gutters and downspouts free of debris are much less likely to clog and cause roof leaks leading to water damage.
Keep trees trimmed and keep branches away from the roof so that few, if any, leaves will land on the roof. Fallen leaves will end up in the gutters and downspouts. Intentional pruning by an experienced arborist can keep trees healthy and beautiful and the roof free of leaves.
Then, inspect the gutter slope. If needed, adjust the gutters to gently slope toward the downspout; the correct gutter slope will prevent water from pooling in the gutters. Downspouts should funnel water away from the foundation of the home. Excess water accumulating at the foundation is an invitation for the basement to flood.
Tip #2: Inspect window air conditioners for leaks.
Window AC units are growing in popularity in the Mid-Atlantic and northeast. Listed below is a checklist to guard against any water damage from a faulty installation or equipment malfunction.
- For wall-mounted units, make sure the size of the internal drainpipe is sufficiently large enough to allow for water to flow freely out of the unit.
- Maintain fresh caulking and weather stripping around the unit to ensure a water-tight seal.
- Ensure that the unit is sloped at a two-degree tilt so that rain will be directed off of the air conditioner.
Tip #3: Consider sealing the roof deck.
High winds can cause havoc with the shingles and underlayment on the roof. Water can then seep through the cracks in the sheeting, flooding the attic and walls. Sealing the roof deck can prevent up to 95% of this type of water intrusion.
A Glowing Review of SERVPRO of Media’s Storm Damage Restoration Services
A satisfied customer provided this glowing review of the storm and water damage restoration services they received from the SERVPRO of Media team: “We had a lot of water in our basement after the big snowmelt and rainstorm. SERVPRO had done good work for us on smaller issues in the past, and we called them immediately. Even though it was Christmas Day, they had a team on-site within a few hours, and that team worked very hard well into the night to get the water pumped out and start the drying process. The next day they came back to do the baseboard work. The team had a positive attitude and did good work, and we were pleased with their responsiveness.”
When storm damage strikes, call on the team of professionals at SERVPRO of Media. They are on call 24/7 and can respond in an hour. When storm damage has resulted in a major water intrusion through the roof or gutters, a quick response can prevent secondary advanced water damage, which adds time and expense to the restoration project. Pre-qualify SERVPRO of Media today so that when a property damage disaster does strike, one call is all that is needed to have a team of professionals on the scene and ready to restore the damage.
For more information about Newtown Square, PA, storm damage restoration service, contact the SERVPRO of Media office by phone at (610) 566-5720 or by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
How Homeowners Can Proactively Implement Fire Safety Practices for Clothes Dryers
Blog Summary: Failure to clean the clothes dryer is the leading cause of fires resulting from this home appliance. By proactively cleaning and maintaining the clothes dryer, the homeowner can minimize the potential for fire damage in the home.
In the aftermath of a fire damage disaster, homeowners often feel confused and devastated. They find themselves in need of a trusted restoration company to help them deal with the situation and guide them through the recovery process, which can be challenging and stressful. Many fire damage disasters are unexpected events that catch people completely by surprise; however, the proactive homeowner can take preventative measures in and around the house to reduce the likelihood of fires. One key area to implement fire safety practices is in the care and maintenance of clothes dryers.
Clothes Dryer Fire Statistics
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss….More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.” One of the most revealing statistics reported by the U.S. Fire Administration is that 34% of residential clothes dryer fires are caused by a failure to clean the appliance. In fact, a failure to clean is the top cause of home dryer-related fires.
Make Sure That the Dryer Is Properly Installed
After purchasing a clothes dryer, hire a professional to install the appliance. New clothes dryer units come with instructions and user manuals, and homeowners should familiarize themselves with these documents in order to properly use and care for the machine.
How to Safely Use a Clothes Dryer
Always make sure that the dryer has a lint filter that works properly and is not damaged, blocked, or loosely attached. The dryer’s wall damper should not be covered with a wire screen or cloth, which could accumulate lint and clog the vent. Never leave home or go to bed while the dryer is still running; instead, wait for the load of clothes to finish drying.
When drying a load of clothes, take care not to overload the appliance. Certain materials should never be put through the clothes dryer. These materials include:
- Glass fiber (unless specifically permitted in the manufacturer’s instructions)
If the manufacturer’s instructions direct that the item should be dried away from heat, do not place the item in the clothes dryer. Items that have gasoline, alcohol, cooking oil, or other flammable substances on them should not be dried in a dryer. To avoid fire damage, the homeowner should dry these items outside or in a room that has good ventilation and is away from sources of heat.
How to Clean a Clothes Dryer
Regular cleaning of the clothes dryer is essential to prevent the appliance from becoming a fire hazard. The lint filter should be emptied both before and after the laundry is dried. Remember to clean out lint build-up at the back of the dryer. Every six months, use a nylon brush to clean the filter; however, this procedure may need to be done more often if the filter is clogged. Every three months, lint should be removed from the vent pipe.
Professional dryer cleaning is a good service to invest in periodically. If loads of laundry are taking more time than usual to dry, the homeowner will want to call in a professional to clean the appliance.
How to Maintain a Clothes Dryer
The U.S. Fire Administration provides the following tips for clothes dryer maintenance: “Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted. Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow, and dirt. Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on. Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct. Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks. Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent. Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn. If you will be away from home for an extended time, unplug or disconnect the dryer.”
What to Do If a Dryer Fire Occurs
When a clothes dryer causes fire damage in the home, the best course of action is to quickly secure the services of a fire damage restoration company to prevent secondary damage such as water damage and mold growth. If the homeowner took steps to prequalify a restoration company before the fire damage incident, he or she only has to make one call to have technicians quickly arrive on the scene. Pennsylvania homeowners in the areas of Media, Newtown Square, and Broomall can turn to SERVPRO of Media for restoration services for fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, storm damage, and mold growth.
To learn more about SERVPRO of Media’s fire damage restoration services, contact the Broomall, PA, damage restoration company by calling (610) 566-5720. The office can also be contacted by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
The Benefits of Investing in Commercial Cleaning Services for Ceilings, Walls, and Floors
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media, PA provides time-tested and industry-approved cleaning methods along with EPA-approved cleaners for cleaning ceilings, walls, and floors.
SERVPRO of Media, PA, offers commercial cleaning services for ceilings, floors, and walls. Technicians have specialized training in time-tested and industry-approved cleaning methods, and SERVPRO’S proprietary cleaning system enables the team to properly clean and restore a structure.
Clean ceilings: Why are they important?
While walls and floors receive fairly regular attention, the ceiling is an area of a building that rarely receives the attention it deserves because it often escapes notice. Clean ceilings are important to the health and safety of the occupants. Ceiling hygiene can be challenging, but safe, effective solutions are available.
What is up with the ceiling?
The maintenance team and property managers would do well to consider the substances that collect on ceilings:
- Dust, pet dander, and dirt
- Cooking grease and oily grime
- Nicotine from smoking
- Soot and residue from welding and any previous fires
- Animal and insect nests
- Fleas, lice, and mites
- Insect, rodent, bird, and bat feces
- Mold, mildew, algae
The accumulation of these substances on the ceiling creates an unpleasant environment for anyone that enters the facility.
The challenges of cleaning ceilings
Commercial ceilings can be difficult to keep clean, whether the space is a school, daycare, hospital, office, or manufacturing unit.
Commercial ceilings may vary in size from a few thousand square feet to several hundred thousand square feet. Ceiling height may well exceed the usual eight to ten feet of the residential structure.
Dropped ceilings employ ceiling tiles to conceal the actual ceiling. Exposed ceilings create interest by accentuating plumbing, ductwork, electrical conduit, fans, lighting, the sprinkler system, security cameras, and audio speakers. The additional surfaces can be challenging to access and clean. Dust and grime will find their way into every crevice.
The benefits of clean ceilings, floors, and walls
- Occupants can breathe easier and stay healthy.
An unclean workspace can lead to diminished productivity, lost time from work, absenteeism from school, and potential litigation from affected parties.
- A clean facility from the top down creates a positive first impression for customers and visitors.
Over time, stains will appear on ceilings. The causes may include condensation from fluctuating temperatures in the facility, a leak in the roof, or an internal plumbing leak. The visible stain does not make a positive impression on visitors to the facility. Also, a dirty ceiling will begin to stink over time. The building’s employees will grow accustomed to the odor, but customers, clients, and vendors will notice the smell almost immediately. The offensive smell will hurt business, as well as the company’s reputation.
- A clean work environment improves worker productivity.
Cleanliness in a commercial setting eliminates distractions and improves worker morale. Employees, clients, and customers notice and appreciate the attention paid to cleanliness and respond positively.
- A ceiling free of dust and oily grime is more fire-safe.
Dust and grime on rafters, girders, ductwork, plumbing, and electrical conduits can spread flames throughout a facility covering several hundred thousand square feet in a matter of minutes, causing the destruction of the facility and sometimes the loss of life.
When ceilings, floors, and walls need cleaning, call a professional cleaning company
An employer puts untrained employees at risk by having them clean ceilings, floors, and walls without the proper training and gear. The use of harsh chemicals can cause skin irritation, eye injury, and respiratory distress. In addition, some cleaning solutions are flammable and present a fire hazard. Improper cleaning techniques can damage the ceiling texture, wallpaper, or floor finishes.
When a business needs cleaning services that are beyond the scope of its janitorial staff, the business owner or property manager can call SERVPRO of Media to provide prompt service. The cleaning professionals at SERVPRO of Media have the training, equipment, safe cleaning solutions, and the necessary personal protective gear to safely and efficiently clean the ceilings, floors, and walls of an office complex, school, church, hospital, or manufacturing unit. The company can also provide other commercial cleaning services, including carpet and upholstery cleaning, air duct and HVAC cleaning, drapes and blinds cleaning, odor removal and deodorization, and proactive viral pathogen cleaning.
For more information about commercial cleaning in Media, PA, contact SERVPRO of Media by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com. The damage restoration and cleaning company can also be reached by phone at (610) 566-5720
How Broomall, PA, Homeowners Can Help Conserve Water in Their Homes
Blog Summary: For many homeowners, conserving water usage is a priority. However, even the most conscientious homeowner may not be able to prevent a water damage disaster. It is important to prequalify a water damage restoration specialist to provide services should water damage occur.
SERVPRO of Media, PA, understands the inconvenience, frustration, and stress homeowners experience when a water damage disaster occurs. These water conservation tips help prevent water damage while preserving one of the most precious resources on the face of the planet: Water. Along the way, these water conservation tips can also save money and time for Broomall, PA, homeowners, and businesses.
Clean water is a precious resource necessary for life. Clean drinking water is sometimes taken for granted until a stretch of dry weather brings fire safety warnings and water conservation alerts. Decades of public service announcements have encouraged people to stop washing half loads of laundry or to turn off the faucet while brushing one’s teeth, two simple practices that conserve a significant amount of water each year. Listed below are some other ways to avoid wasting hundreds of gallons of water a day!
- Maximize the dishwasher.
Avoid washing dishes by hand in the sink. The arduous task wastes both time and water. While the dishwasher is cleaning dirty dishes, the family can be multi-tasking elsewhere. As much as 27 gallons of water go down the drain when washing dishes by hand; in contrast, an ENERGY STAR-rated dishwasher uses three gallons of water. Avoid pre-rinsing dishes. Simply scrape off the food scraps, load the dishes and soap, and turn on the dishwasher.
- Have vehicles mechanically washed.
By relying upon the neighborhood automated car wash to keep the vehicle clean, a car owner can save up to 100 gallons of water. The modern carwash is very efficient and uses ten times less water than the DIY backyard enthusiast washing a personal vehicle.
- Leak test the toilet.
Put a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. A change in the color of the water in the bowl indicates a leak, and a leaking toilet can waste up to 100 gallons of water per day. The remedy is a replacement rubber flapper or fill mechanism.
- Shut off the shower for the shave and shampoo.
Shutting off the water while shaving or washing one’s hair can save up to 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Ten minutes for a shave or a shampoo can save 25 gallons of water per shower.
- Go with the new high-efficiency appliances when replacing old appliances.
The local utility company may offer incentives and rebates on new water-saving faucets, showerheads, toilets, or washers. These appliances and fixtures will save the homeowner on water bills. If the appliance or fixture has an ENERGY STAR certification or a WaterSense label, expect to save money on both power and water bills.
- Look for leaks on the inside and the outside of the home.
Conduct a monthly leak hunt looking for dripping faucets, hoses, showerheads, and sprinklers. A new washer will stop most faucet leaks. Something as simple as attaching an automatic shut-off nozzle on the end of the garden hose could save five to seven gallons of water per minute.
Water conservation is challenging. Even the most conscientious homeowner may not be able to prevent a water damage disaster. In the event of a water damage disaster, the homeowner needs to identify the source of the water intrusion, stop the flow, and begin the water damage restoration process. Delay increases the scope of the disaster, which leads to a longer and more expensive restoration process.
While a wide-scale water damage disaster is a worst-case scenario, homeowners can take steps to implement a best-case response, which is outlined as follows: The water intrusion is discovered. The homeowner is able to immediately stop the intrusion by shutting off water to the leak, either at a supply valve or at the main water valve to the home. While all this activity is taking place, the homeowner calls SERVPRO of Media, a damage restoration company that the homeowner had prequalified earlier in the year. Within minutes of the call, a crew is activated and on the scene in less than one hour. Upon arrival, the water removal process begins.
The key to the best-case response listed above is prequalification. One call in preparation for a property damage disaster means that the homeowner only has to make one call in the event of a water damage disaster. SERVPRO prioritizes rapid response times to prevent advanced water damage.
For more information about Broomall, PA, water damage restoration, contact the SERVPRO of Media office by phone at (610) 566-5720 or by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
Safe Practices for Enjoying Outdoor Fireplaces and Avoiding Fire Damage
Blog Summary: Many homeowners love to sit outside around the outdoor fireplace on a summer evening. SERVPRO of Media highlights fire safety tips related to outdoor fireplaces to help homeowners safely enjoy this activity.
SERVPRO of Media, PA, is dedicated to helping local residents recover from property damage disasters, including the aftermath of fire damage. The restoration process for fire damage involves smoke damage, water damage from the efforts to extinguish the blaze, and mold issues from that water. To help Newtown Square, PA and Central Delaware County residents safely enjoy time around the outdoor fireplace, the Media SERVPRO professionals offer these fire prevention safety tips.
Many homeowners enjoy lounging outside around the outdoor fireplace on a summer or fall evening. Outdoor fireplaces account for nearly four thousand grass and wildfires each year. Though enjoyable, outdoor fire features do pose a hazard, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Homeowners should be aware that outdoor fireplaces need the same maintenance and attention to safety as indoor fireplaces. These outdoor fireplace safety tips will keep family, friends, and pets safe.
Purchase a Safe and Reliable Outdoor Fireplace
Select the safest model. Look for the following features:
- Size: The firebox needs to comfortably handle three or four 16-inch standard-cut fire logs.
- Weight: If the unit needs to be portable, make sure it is light enough to easily maneuver around the patio or porch without tipping over.
- Thickness: A thin-walled firebox will not stand up under heavy usage. A firebox with a thicker wall is better.
- Cover: Purchase a unit with a lid. The lid prevents debris and ashes from littering the area around the fireplace.
- Fuel shutoff: Gas or propane units should have accessible controls, especially the gas shutoff valve.
- Vents and screens: Choose a unit with screens, smoke vents, and mesh protection that prevents embers from escaping and possibly causing fire damage.
The purchase of a safe fireplace unit is the best first step to a safe outdoor fireplace experience. Proper installation, use, and maintenance are essential to avoid damage to the unit and to prevent fires and personal injury. Keep these safety tips in mind when enjoying the outdoor fireplace or fire pit.
- Always keep an eye on the fireplace. An unattended fireplace, even if the screen is in use, is a potential fire hazard.
- Install a fire pad under and around the outdoor fire feature if the unit will not be installed on a brick, stone, or concrete foundation. Avoid using a fireplace on an unprotected wooden deck.
- Position the vents to channel smoke and embers upwards.
- Have a garden hose, extra buckets of water, or a working fire extinguisher accessible at all times.
- Trash, plastic, or pressure-treated lumber should never be burned in a fireplace. These items produce toxic gases that can cause serious respiratory issues.
- Do not operate a fireplace under limbs, vines, or electrical wires.
- Locate the fireplace at least ten feet or more away from the home, garage, shop, or storage buildings.
- Adequate ventilation and airflow are crucial for fireplaces and fire pits fueled by propane or gas.
- A clean and debris-free outdoor fireplace is safest. Regular inspections and cleanouts are recommended.
- Rusting and wear indicate that a fireplace needs to be taken out of service and replaced.
By purchasing a better-quality fireplace and following these recommendations for operation, homeowners can safely enjoy an outdoor fire.
Traditional Fire-Starting Tips for the Homeowner
The use of accelerants such as lighter fluid, motor oil, diesel, and gasoline is dangerous. For a safe, controlled, and steady burn, use dry wood. The process of starting a fire begins with gathering dry material and firewood.
- Tinder: Tinder consists of pine needles, pine cones, birch or cedar bark shavings, cotton balls, and dryer lint.
- Kindling: This next layer of material in the fire preparation process includes twigs, small sticks, and wood splinters about an inch in diameter. Stack the kindling over the layer of tinder in a pyramid. Ignite the heap with a match or long-stemmed lighter.
- Fatwood: Fatwood, a form of kindling from split pine tree stumps, is high in flammable resin content. As the wood dries out and hardens, the sap concentrates, making fatwood an efficient natural fire starter. Fatwood kindling can be laid crisscross or in a pyramid shape over the tinder.
- Slab wood: Slab wood is the bark edge of a log. Similar in appearance to pallet wood, slab wood is almost all sapwood and burns hot and quick. Fatwood and slab wood create an excellent base for starting larger fire logs or split wood.
- Standard-cut fire logs: Standard-cut firewood is usually about sixteen inches in length. Put these logs on the fire when the base is well-established.
These tips are intended to make time spent around the fireplace pleasurable and safe. However, should a fire damage disaster occur, SERVPRO of Media is available 24/7, 365 days a year, to assist homeowners with fire damage restoration and recovery efforts. From start to finish, SERVPRO of Media can handle everything, including insurance claims.
For more information about fire damage restoration in Newtown Square, PA, contact SERVPRO of Media by phone at (610) 566-5720. The team of fire damage restoration experts can also be contacted by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
The Importance of Fire Safety Training in Commercial Environments Prone to Fire Risks
Blog Summary: In a commercial environment prone to fire risks, fire prevention and fire safety training is essential. SERVPRO of Media highlights the importance of fire prevention strategies for businesses.
Effective fire prevention strategies are essential to prevent commercial fire damage in Media, PA. Due to the raw materials involved in the production process or the process itself, certain industries are particularly susceptible to fires. This vulnerability to fire danger compels these industries to provide staff with fire prevention training to reduce these risks. If a fire should occur, resources must be tapped to get the business up and running as soon as possible. A key resource is a fire, smoke, and water damage restoration company with the knowledge, skills, and equipment to provide the needed restoration services.
Fire safety is a top priority and should be a prominent component of a company’s safety culture. Fire prevention needs to be an indispensable element of the daily workforce protocol. Fire safety strategies should be second nature for everyone who works in the industry. Over time, the workforce will embrace and internalize fire safety. Ongoing instruction and thorough training will instill the calm discipline required to respond to a fire emergency.
What are some common fire hazards?
All industries and businesses with on-site employees have some exposure to fire danger. However, some industries are more vulnerable. These vulnerabilities include:
- flammable materials, such as paper, fabric, and plastics, that are stored on-site or used in the production process
- chemicals such as solvents, petroleum distillates, and raw materials that, when combined with other ingredients in the production process, can ignite or explode
- various equipment, machines, and systems that utilize heat, require electricity, create friction, or produce sparks
If any of these vulnerabilities are present in an industry or business, fire safety should be at the core of the company’s training program.
Who should receive fire safety training?
Fire safety training should be mandatory for all employees, both old and new. New employees must receive upfront intensive training; however, established employees should not be exempted from frequent fire safety and prevention training. On-site product vendors and contract service providers should also be included in the fire safety training program for their own personal safety and to reduce potential liabilities should an injury or fatality occur during a fire.
Why is the management mindset essential?
A proactive management mindset is crucial if the workforce is to fully embrace fire prevention training. Experts in industrial fire prevention explain the vital role management mindset plays in establishing and maintaining an effective fire prevention training program: “How you [the business owner or senior management] approach and teach your staff of fire safety plays a large role in the overall effectiveness of training. Not only are you teaching the basics of fire prevention and safety, you are also showcasing the value of their life to you as the business owner.”
What are the benefits of fire safety training?
Listed below are some of the benefits of training management, staff, and the workforce on fire prevention and safety:
- Reduces the likelihood of a fire
Successful fire prevention is the single greatest indicator that fire prevention training is effective. Some fires such as those resulting from a natural cause like lightning are unavoidable. The prevention of one fire can justify the expense of implementing a fire prevention training program. Employee wages must be paid during the time spent in training. The cost of shutting down a production line to train the crew can be staggering.
However, a fire event can disrupt or shut down the entire facility for days or weeks. A partial rebuild might take portions of the facility offline for months. Equipment, resources, and inventory may be damaged or destroyed. Customer service can be interrupted. In the final analysis, fire prevention is worth the investment if it prevents a disaster that may have caused serious personal injury or fatalities.
- Minimizes property damage in case of a fire
Employees who know how to discharge a fire extinguisher, deploy a fire hose, and apply a fire blanket are, in many cases, capable of extinguishing a fire as soon as it erupts. Neutralizing a fire before it spreads out of control reduces the extent of the damage and the expense of restoration and repairs.
- Ensures proper and safe escape in case of a fire
A fire escape plan reinforced by having regular fire drills improves the safety of all employees. Regular fire drills reinforce familiarity with escape routes and the use of equipment to extinguish the fire.
- Opens up the lines of communication
A robust fire prevention program encourages management and employees to address concerns, ask questions, and propose improvements in prevention strategies. Employee insights can prevent fires and save lives.
Why call SERVPRO of Media, PA, for commercial fire damage restoration?
- Availability and rapid response
SERVPRO of Media, PA, is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and can be on scene within an hour. With each passing minute, advanced secondary damage increases the scope of the disaster and the cost of the restoration project.
- The ability to adapt and scale
Commercial fire damage almost always involves smoke and water damage. The area affected by the fire may range in size from a few thousand square feet to hundreds of thousands of square feet. The complexity of the disaster, the size of the facility, and the nuances of different environments are all factors that must be considered during the restoration process. A damage restoration company must be able to scale immediately and exponentially in order to handle a wide range of restoration challenges.
- The most advanced equipment, technology, and cleaning techniques
Commercial-grade equipment works quickly and efficiently, and the latest moisture detecting technology ensures that the water removal and drying process is thorough. The company uses proven cleaning techniques and EPA-approved cleaning solutions so that the client’s facility is clean and safe.
For more information about Media, PA, commercial fire damage restoration, call SERVPRO of Media at (610) 566-5720 or email office@SERVPROmedia.com
The Value of Employee Education in the Property Damage Restoration Industry
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media places great importance on employee education. Among other industry certifications, the company has received the certification of ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program.
The professional technicians at SERVPRO of Media, a damage restoration company serving the areas of Media, Newtown Square, and Broomall, often operate in dangerous and challenging environments. SERVPRO emphasizes the importance of training and certification to ensure the safety of the technicians, the provision of the highest quality restoration, and a superior customer experience. SERVPRO of Media has received ECTP certification, Employee Certification Training Program.
The Importance and Value of Professional Training and Education
Property damage disasters involving fire, smoke, water, sewage, and biohazards present serious challenges that require technicians to have extensive knowledge, thorough training, and problem-solving skills to safely and effectively address these situations. SERVPRO technicians receive rigorous and ongoing training to ensure excellent results for every type and size of property damage disaster.
Rigorous training across a broad spectrum of situations ensures a high level of competency on the part of the technicians. Property damage disasters are seldom simple and often involve a complex array of causes and effects. For example, a fire damage disaster requires knowledge, expertise, and training that also encompasses smoke damage, water damage, and potentially mold mitigation. The cleanup after an extensive fire must be meticulous and thorough, requiring skill in cleaning techniques.
Certifications, training, and continuing education are important to guarantee consistency in the performance of property damage restoration services. Ongoing training reinforces the use of best practices, ensuring the consistent provision of high-quality property damage restoration services. Property damage restoration is a team effort.
The various types of property damage disasters share a common set of challenges and solutions. Yet, no two fire damage disasters are identical. Every property damage disaster involves a danger factor unique to that type of disaster. A fire and smoke damage disaster creates a highly toxic environment. Technicians must wear full protective gear when working in hazardous situations. Fumes and soot must not be inhaled or allowed to come in contact with the eyes or skin. When SERVPRO professionals enter a fire-damaged home or business, they must be aware of physical dangers from a collapsing ceiling or floor. A water damage disaster that results in a mold infestation presents potential serious health effects to restoration specialists.
On a daily basis, SERVPRO professionals confidently and courageously work in hazardous environments. A thorough education in restoration techniques and safety protocols gives these valiant heroes the knowledge, training, and expertise needed to complete the restoration. Confidence in their training, equipment, techniques, cleaning solutions, and personal protective gear (PPG) empowers technicians to intentionally and efficiently tackle any size disaster, even disasters with elevated danger levels.
Highly competent technicians provide consistently high-quality job performance across the SERVPRO franchise family. Customer confidence and satisfaction peak when the certified, skilled, and confident technicians spring into action.
A Rich History of Emphasizing Training and Education
Since 1967, SERVPRO has been raising the bar of excellence in the mitigation and restoration industry. SERVPRO established the National Training Center in 1992 to instruct franchise owners and insurance industry employees in restoration and mitigation.
Employee Certification Training
Employee Certification Training is a self-paced program developed for the franchise employee who desires to obtain professional training and experience. Certification is awarded after the successful completion of course materials and an examination. Training modules include crew training, fire damage restoration, water damage restoration, and carpet and upholstery cleaning.
New Franchise Training
SERVPRO offers a fifteen-day in-house, hands-on training program at the corporate training facility. New franchise owners and their employees can benefit from the specially designed program. The program addresses fire and water damage restoration, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and mold mitigation.
Ongoing training to stay up-to-date on the latest advances includes web-based, self-paced video presentations and support materials. At the end of each module, technicians take a knowledge test to get credit for the instruction.
Other Training Opportunities
SERVPRO is distinguished as an IICRC-approved training school offering classes in fire damage and water damage restoration, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and applied structural drying in the specially built ASD (Applied Structural Drying) training facility.
SERVPRO’s commitment to continuing education includes credit and noncredit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, real estate professionals, and franchise staff. These programs seek to increase knowledge of emergency mitigation in a broad range of property damage disasters.
SERVPRO’s emphasis on professional training and education yields many benefits, including:
- a highly competent team of technicians
- consistently high-quality job performance
- confident professionals with the courage to tackle any type of disaster
- unmatched customer satisfaction
To learn more about damage restoration in Newtown Square, PA, and surrounding areas, contact the SERVPRO of Media office by phone at (610) 566-5720. The team can also be reached by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
How Media, PA, Homeowners Can Prepare for Thunderstorms and Severe Weather
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights safety practices from the Red Cross. These tips can help people stay safe during a thunderstorm.
Storm damage in Media, PA, can be a frightening and stressful experience for homeowners. However, by following thunderstorm safety tips and best practices, homeowners can help minimize or prevent property damage caused by severe weather.
What Constitutes Severe Weather?
According to the Red Cross, “A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.”
Before the Thunderstorm
Make sure all family members are equipped to meet the challenges posed by severe weather. Talk about storm safety with everyone in the household; even younger children can absorb age-appropriate safety tips. The individuals in the home should be very familiar with the following strategies:
- The designated place in the home for the family to shelter in during a storm (Generally, windowless bathrooms are considered a good place to shelter.)
- The evacuation plan should the family need to leave the house
- The protocol for reestablishing contact if family members are separated
In addition, put together an emergency kit, as well as a first aid kit. In order to use the first aid kit correctly, obtain first aid training, which could save lives in the aftermath of storm damage. Homeowners also can benefit greatly from online resources put out by reputable organizations like the Red Cross. Detailed storm safety checklists can help families identify the best strategies for weathering a storm. Look into weather and emergency apps for mobile devices; these valuable tools can give people a real-time look at how the storm is progressing.
Outside the home, remove dead or weak branches from trees and shrubs. Trimming the greenery will make it more resistant to gusts of wind. Identify outdoor living items that need to be brought inside or into the garage so that they will not be blown away by high winds and become projectiles that can damage houses.
During the Thunderstorm
If a thunderstorm is in the forecast, follow local news reports, weather apps on mobile devices, or the NOAA Weather Radio for storm updates. Cancel any planned outdoor activities to reduce the risk of injury. If thunder can be heard, people are at risk of being struck by lightning. National Weather Service recommendations advise people to remain inside for a minimum of thirty minutes following the last instance of thunder.
Remember, a severe thunderstorm watch indicates that conditions are present for a severe thunderstorm to potentially develop, while a severe thunderstorm warning indicates that a severe thunderstorm has actually been detected on radar or observed by storm spotters. By paying attention to warnings and taking the appropriate actions, homeowners can save lives and protect property.
In the event that a warning is issued, shelter in a sturdy structure. Evacuate mobile homes, which are susceptible to damage from high winds. Stay away from windows, doors, or skylights, which contain glass that is easily broken and could lead to cuts and lacerations. Do not bathe or shower. Avoid using plumbing.
After the Thunderstorm
If someone is struck by lightning, they will need emergency medical care, so call 9-1-1 immediately for lightning strike injuries. Since lightning strike victims do not retain an electrical charge, bystanders can check the injured person for burns, cuts, or other injuries. If the person is not breathing, CPR can be administered by an individual who has been trained in proper CPR techniques.
In the case of downed power lines or trees that have fallen on power lines, stay at a safe distance and report the situation immediately. When driving soon after a thunderstorm, never drive across a roadway that has been flooded. The depth of the water cannot accurately be gauged, and vehicles could be swept away by floodwaters.
Check for updates from local television channels, local radio stations, and NOAA Weather Radio. Local updates are especially important for determining the location and extent of road blockages, power outages, and similar information.
After storm damage, scammers are active, so homeowners should only trust a reputable, established storm damage restoration company to provide damage restoration services. SERVPRO of Media is a locally owned and operated business and has been serving the local community for 27 years. When thunderstorms damage homes or businesses in Broomall, PA, or the surrounding area, homeowners can turn to SERVPRO of Media for rapid, reliable restoration services.
For more details about storm damage restoration in Media, PA, contact SERVPRO of Media by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com or by phone at (610) 566-5720
How Delaware County Homeowners Could Be Affected by Storm Damage During Hurricane Season
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights the storm damage risk from hurricanes and tropical storms for residents of Media, PA, and the surrounding communities.
As the Atlantic hurricane season approaches, homeowners and business owners across the east coast should begin preparing for the possibility of storm damage from hurricanes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30.” NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center anticipates that the 2021 season will likely see above-normal activity, with forecasters projecting a 60% chance of above-average hurricane and tropical storm probability. The potential for severe weather during this time is a motivating factor for homeowners to plan their response to storm damage resulting from hurricanes and tropical storms.
Is Media, PA, at Risk of Storm Damage From Hurricanes?
Homefacts, an online resource for homebuyers, lists Media, PA, as having a “moderate hurricane risk.” The neighboring community of Broomall also has a moderate risk of hurricanes.
A History of Hurricanes in Delaware County and the Media, PA, Area
Recent hurricanes and tropical storms that have affected Media and surrounding communities include Tropical Storm Andrea in 2013, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and Hurricane Irene in 2011. Both Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene were destructive storms, and Sandy was the worst storm of the 2012 hurricane season in terms of strength, destruction, and deaths.
In 2012, Delaware County saw over 10,000 people without power as high winds and heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sandy churned through the area. Thankfully, Delaware County did not end up being directly in the path of the hurricane and was spared from a worst-case scenario. The Delaware County Daily Times wrote of the close call, “Just how bad the results could have been for Delaware County, no one knows for sure. But you can be sure that no one wants to find out. Steve Giancristoforo, the Delaware County System Communications Manager for the Delaware County Emergency Services and the Emergency Management Director for Tinicum Township, is one person who has to be prepared for that dreaded worst-case scenario. ‘There would have been considerably more damage,’ Giancristoforo said if Sandy’s path had been in line with Delaware Bay. ‘We tried to prepare for that. If you listen to what everybody was saying, we were in the direct path.’”
As with Hurricane Sandy, Delaware County residents were spared a worst-case scenario from Hurricane Irene in 2011. However, Irene caused “dangerous flooding” and storm damage throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “Dangerous flooding threatened residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey early Sunday, as Hurricane Irene washed over the region with slow, damaging bands of heavy rain. The storm barreled into the Philadelphia region and the Jersey shore late Saturday and then pushed further north up the East Coast. Irene chased hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and from shore vacations; thousands ended up in temporary shelters.” Mayor Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia at the time, described Hurricane Irene as “one of the worst storm events that has hit Philadelphia in the last 50 years.”
Only a few miles away from Philadelphia, Delaware County experienced heavy flooding on Darby Creek, and local officials implemented evacuations in Darby, Eddystone, and Chester. Shelters were also opened for those displaced by the storm.
Recovering From Storm Damage in Media, PA
One of the chief advantages of working with SERVPRO of Media for storm damage restoration in Media, PA, is the company’s ability to call upon national storm resources to respond to a disaster. As part of the SERVPRO franchise, the company has access to the personnel and equipment of the SERVPRO network, which comprises over 1,700 franchises across the nation. In addition, elite and highly-trained Disaster Recovery Teams can be deployed to provide specialized services for severe storms and disasters. In contrast, other local damage restoration companies can easily be overwhelmed by a hurricane or severe storm.
The national scope of resources and personnel is complemented by SERVPRO of Media’s ties to the community. SERVPRO of Media is locally owned and operated, and the company’s team members live and work in the communities of Delaware County. When a hurricane or other severe weather event strikes the local area, the community can have confidence that the damage restoration company is genuinely invested in helping those affected by storm damage.
To learn more about water damage restoration in Broomall, PA, contact SERVPRO of Media by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com or by phone at (610) 566-5720.