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.
How Practicing Proper Electrical Safety Can Help Homeowners Avoid a Fire Damage Disaster
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media is highlighting electrical safety tips to equip homeowners to prevent fire damage in their homes.
The fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Media understand the close connection between electricity and fire safety in the home. Electrical outlets, plugs, power strips, and extension cords are a part of everyday life. With many more people working from home or engaging in virtual education, extension cords and power strips have multiplied around the home, increasing the strain on the home’s electrical system. Outlets, switches, appliances, and other electrical devices are undergoing a heavy workload.
How important is electrical safety?
According to a source in the insurance industry, this matter is crucial since fire departments respond to over ninety fires a day caused by electrical issues. “Electrical safety involving outlets, plugs, and extension cords is one of the most important home safety issues. U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 34,000 structure fires a year involving an electrical fire or malfunction…”
The homeowner now has access to many safe electrical choices ranging from tamper-resistant outlets to GFCI (Ground Fault Current Interrupter) receptacles. By incorporating these options into the home electrical system, the homeowner can reduce or eliminate electrical hazards that could potentially cause fire damage. Consider these safety tips when using electrical outlets, electrical cords, and extension cords.
Safety tips for electrical outlets
- Avoid a “hot unplug” by turning off appliances before unplugging them. A “hot unplug” can cause an arc inside the outlet. This arc has the potential to cause a fire.
- Upgrade outdated two-pronged outlets to three-pronged outlets. Enlist the services of a certified electrician for this upgrade.
- Make outlets safe for children. Replace standard receptacles with child-safe tamper-resistant receptacles in outlets located where children are present.
- Before using a new appliance, read the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow all instructions before inserting the plug into the outlet.
- Toasters, coffee makers, and hair dryers are examples of heat-producing appliances that use a large amount of wattage when in operation. Only one of these items should be plugged into a receptacle outlet at a time. Following this tip will ensure that the circuit is not overloaded.
- As a rule of thumb, plug only one high-wattage appliance or device into an outlet at a time. Examples would include a microwave, AC window unit, dehumidifier, blender, food processor, or power tool.
- Install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent electrical shock hazards. The rooms that need GFCI outlets the most are the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, basement, garage, and outdoor areas such as an outdoor kitchen or workbench. Any location where electrical equipment is exposed to moisture or can get wet is a prime location for a GFCI outlet. GFCI capabilities can be installed in the electrical system. Some power cords have GFCI capabilities to prevent shocks. This shock-prevention technology has saved many lives.
- Have a certified electrician install arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). This technology protects against arcing and sparking fire hazards caused by problems in home wiring.
Safety tips for extension cords
Extension cords make life in the home much easier; however, damaged extension cords pose a serious fire risk. Remember, extension cords are intended to be a temporary solution. Additional circuits or outlets can eliminate the need for extension cords. Here are some additional power cord safety tips.
- Damaged electrical cords are a shock and fire hazard. Damaged electrical cords should be immediately replaced or repaired. Do not use the cord until it is replaced or repaired.
- Avoid running extension cords under carpeting or throw rugs.
- Major appliances such as a window AC, microwave, or portable dishwasher should not be used with an extension cord.
- Never place towels, wet rags, clothing, wet gloves, or anything that can catch fire over a heat-producing appliance.
- Convert to LED light bulbs. These bulbs last up to 15,000 hours, use 80% less energy than standard light bulbs, and operate at a much lower temperature.
Consult a qualified electrician if any of the following situations are discovered:
- Circuits trip or fuses blow on a regular basis
- Outlets or switches feel warm
- Appliances give off a burning smell
- Lights flicker, grow dim or get bright without cause
- Lightbulbs seem to burn out too frequently
- Appliances arc and spark
In case of a fire damage disaster, trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Media to handle the fire damage restoration process from the initial call to the completion of the project, including the management of the insurance claims process. For more information about fire damage restoration in Newtown Square, PA, call SERVPRO of Media at (610) 566-5720 or email office@SERVPROmedia.com.
How Move-Out and Pack-Out Services Give Homeowners Peace of Mind After Water Damage
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media demonstrates how move-out and pack-out Services enable homeowners to have peace of mind after a serious water damage incident.
When a home or business has sustained severe water damage requiring extensive damage restoration, SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County also provide move-out, pack-out, and storage services. The move-out team conducts an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area by itemizing, recording, and relocating the contents to a secure location.
Four Benefits of Move-Out and Pack-Out Services
- A move-out simplifies the restoration process for technicians.
With furniture out of the way, technicians have more room to work, and they can more easily access hard-to-reach areas behind a piano, bookcase, home entertainment center, or couch.
When technicians remove and relocate personal belongings, keepsakes, artwork, electronics, furniture, exotic rugs, and memorabilia, they do not have to constantly move, cover, or clean these items. The cleaning pros do not have to weave their way through a maze of furniture as they clean ceilings and walls. The restoration process moves forward at a more rapid pace. Less time required for the restoration process adds up to less expense for the homeowner. For the homeowner or business owner, a quick return to the home is priceless.
- A move-out protects items from potential damage.
Some property damage disasters are catastrophic in nature and expose large sections of a home or business to further potential damage. At times, the best way to protect personal belongings in the case of a severely damaged roof is to execute an emergency move-out. Additional precipitation may stress ceilings to the point of collapse. The situation is dangerous for occupants and technicians, too.
When many structures have been damaged in severe weather, emergency tarping and board-up may not be available for a while. An emergency move-out removes the homeowner’s belongings to a safe, secure, climate-controlled environment where the dry-out and restoration process can begin on each item. SERVPRO follows a “restore” rather than a “replace” policy whenever possible, which is better for the customer. The move-out service improves the likelihood that personal belongings, many of which have sentimental or historical value, may be saved, protected, and restored.
- A move-out protects contents from further on-site damage.
The restoration process involves many pieces of equipment, including industrial-grade wet vacs, dehumidifiers, rapid-spin fans, and carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment. The move-out process protects personal belongings by removing the articles from an environment loaded with moisture, smoke, or harsh chemicals in the soot. Some items can be more effectively restored off-premises in a carefully controlled, well-lighted, and secure area.
Upon completion of the property damage restoration project, the SERVPRO professionals work with the homeowner or business to coordinate the move-in according to the client’s needs.
The SERVPRO Move-Out Process
The move-out process usually involves six steps:
- Technicians will take video documentation of the property damage.
- A SERVPRO professional will perform an initial scope of work evaluation and provide a detailed job estimate. With SERVPRO, every effort is made to avoid any surprises.
- Trained specialists will pack, tag, and inventory items to be cleaned and restored. Claim items, which are the items for which the homeowner will seek a replacement from the insurance company, will be sorted, itemized, and inventoried for record-keeping purposes in the claims process.
- The customer’s belongings will be moved to a warehouse. The items will be cleaned and deodorized. Once the cleaning and deodorizing process is completed, the items will be repacked.
- SERVPRO collaborates with the client to come up with insurance claim list suggestions for the insurance company.
- The SERVPRO team members move items back to the customer’s residence or business once the water damage restoration process has been completed or has progressed to a point that allows for the safe and secure storage of the contents in the formerly damaged structure.
The SERVPRO professionals understand both the heartache and headache of coping with extensive property damage that requires a move-out and pack-out solution. When restoration is completed, SERVPRO works with the client to coordinate the move-in to accommodate the specific needs of that client. The services offered upon move-in may depend on the customer’s insurance coverage.
For more information about Media, PA, water damage restoration, contact the damage restoration company by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com or by phone at (610) 566-5720.
SERVPRO of Media and understands the stress experienced when water damage devastates your business or home. That is why we are available 24/7 to help, even on holidays. Our team of experts respond quickly to any job of any size.
Certified technicians will mitigate the damage to prevent mold, mildew or bacteria. SERVPRO uses EPA approved disinfectants. We will make your business or home safe to reenter and occupy. We ensure our team is trained and up to date with all of their credentials.
SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County are trusted by local businesses and insurance companies to assist with their water damage projects. We are there when your family needs help the most. Any type of damage in your home can be a devastating time and can cause a lot of stress in the household. Working with true professionals can definitely help the process and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.
SERVPRO Clarifies the Difference between Water Mitigation and Water Damage Restoration
What is the Difference between Water Mitigation and Water Restoration?
When asking yourself if you need water mitigation or water restoration services, you’ve likely had water damage and are looking for a water damage cleanup company for your business in Media, PA or Central Delaware County. While related, mitigation and restoration are different, and you will most likely need both. SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County specialize in both mitigation and restoration. Our team is ready and willing to assist you through the water cleanup process.
What Is Water Mitigation?
When you have any kind of water damage, you almost immediately think of keeping it from getting worse. That is where mitigation comes into play. Take these quick steps to start recovery:
- Cut off the main power supply to reduce the possibility of injury or fire.
- Block additional water from entering the area if safe and practical to do so.
- Prevent as much water as possible from spreading into other areas.
- Remove any easily portable items that can hamper mitigation efforts.
A water damage restoration company can help you take additional steps in the mitigation process. Water easily enters areas that aren’t open to your view. Experts will bring in water extraction equipment to further minimize damage any hidden water may cause. It’s also important to keep air circulating to assist with drying. This is usually accomplished by using commercial fans and/or dehumidifiers.
What Is Water Restoration?
Restoration is the process of getting everything back to normal. This usually takes longer than mitigation. At a minimum, it typically involves utilizing more sophisticated methods or equipment to locate and remove hidden water. Technicians with expertise in structural drying and odor control can determine how best to accomplish both of those tasks. This will to assist in reducing the financial impact of the damage. Depending on the scope and severity of the loss, restoration may include major structural repair. The restoration company you choose can manage the project to completion, alleviating you of that responsibility, allowing you to concentrate on serving clients.
Storm damage doesn’t always occur during business hours. SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County responds no matter when you call. Having a reputable water damage company on call anytime can help to minimize the impact repairing water damage can have on conducting your business.
For more information, visit us at https://www.SERVPROmedia.com.
Be Prepared for a Emergency Weather Event
It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of ensuring your family and household are prepared for an emergency weather event. Being storm prepared means developing a plan and then taking the necessary steps to ensure its success. A great emergency plan accounts for sufficient food, water, emergency supply storage, important documents, specific needs, and a plan for your family to communicate during and after a disaster.
Consider Specific Needs
Specific needs are needs that are exclusive to certain family members. Examples include dietary needs, medications, medical equipment, and needs specific to age and pets as well. For example, if you have any pets, contact hotels outside of your area and find out what their policies on pets are. If they have a “no pet” policy, ask if this would be waived during an emergency.
Plan Sufficient Food and Water Storage
It is crucial that if a storm or weather emergency takes place, you and your family have sufficient food and fresh water storage for up to 2 weeks. Have at least one gallon of fresh water per person, per day. This allows for fresh drinking water, and water for hygiene purposes. Stock up on non-perishable, easy to store food that is simple to prepare and does not require heat or water. Good examples include dried fruit, peanut butter, energy bars, and canned goods. Ensure that you also have a manual can opener to open any cans that you have.
Secure Important Documentation
Vital personal documentation should be stored in a fire and waterproof safe or safety deposit box. Some important documents to consider are:
- Photo IDs, birth certificates, and social security cards
- Housing payments, insurance policies, and sources of income
- Health insurance information and immunization records
Emergency Supply Essentials
Some emergency supplies that would be beneficial include:
- First aid kit, fire extinguisher, flashlights and extra batteries, a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, and portable battery powered two way radios.
- Change of clothes for at least three days, toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap
Communication during an emergency is crucial. Create a paper copy of important contact information for your family, friends, and facilities such as doctor’s offices and schools. Ensure that everyone has a copy on them at all times. It may also be helpful to post it in a central area of your home. You will also want to ensure that you have someone outside of your community or state who can act as a “contact person” to help your family reconnect. This is important, as it may be easier to make a long distance phone call rather than a local call where the phone lines may be jammed.
If a weather emergency strikes in your area, contact the experts here at SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County to help with the water mitigation process.
Avoid Post-Flood Mistakes using these Three Tips
After experiencing flooding in Broomall, PA, most homeowners are anxious to begin the process of water damage clean up and repair. With flood water subsiding and insurance companies involved, it may be time to begin the restoration process. Before jumping into the job with both feet, ensure you are prepared for what lies ahead. Use the following three helpful tips to stay safe and streamline the work that goes into repairing a home flood.
- Wear Proper Clothing
Keep in mind that flood cleanup is a large process to tackle. When beginning the duty of drying and restoring your home, don’t underestimate the importance of proper attire. Exposure to contaminated liquid may be dangerous, and walking into a longstanding pool of water can pose several risks. Essential clothing to consider during cleanup includes the following:
- Knee-high rubber boots
- Long-sleeved shirt and pants
- Disposable respirator mask
- Rubber gloves
- Don’t Touch Standing Water
For safety reasons, contact a licensed electrician to clear the area before getting started. If downed power lines are in contact with standing water, the risk of electrocution is very high. It may be tempting to walk around your flooded home to assess damage. Remember, it is never a good idea to enter a house that’s taken in too much moisture without having first cleared the area of electrical hazards.
- Follow Clean-Up Protocol
After taking in the severity of the water damage left behind by a residential flood, homeowners are tempted to speed-up the sanitation process as much as possible. To achieve the best results, consult a storm damage restoration specialist. Work closely with your insurance and follow its processes. This will ensure more timely results and proper repairs.
Keep these tips in mind as you begin to rebuild after flood damage. For a safe and efficient process, deal with flood water damages in a cautious and routine manner. If you need assistance contact SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County. Our team of professionals have the knowledge, training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO Provides Mold Remediation Services
You may have heard of the complications that mold can cause in your home, but what exactly is mold? Mold is not a plant, but a fungi. We are exposed to small amounts of mold every single day through the air.
When mold spores come into contact with a damp, moist surface and begin to reproduce, that is when they have the potential to become harmful. A home that has recently experienced a water damage event may provide perfect conditions for mold or microbial growth if not properly remediated.
Use the following to determine if mold may be present, or if your home is at risk.
Past Flooding, Water Leaks, and Condensation
High humidity and condensation create the perfect conditions for mold to grow. The microorganisms that turn into mold are always in the air around us. Once they are exposed to water, mold growth can start within 24-48 hours. If you have had past flooding, or have persistent high humidity in your home, it is at higher risk of developing mold growth.
Deterioration, Rust, and Warping
Condensation and moisture can manifest themselves physically in the form of deterioration and rusting. Some examples include pipes rusting, warped wood or drywall, paint chipping, wallpaper peeling, and other materials deteriorating. If you notice any of these, this could be a sign that a house has high moisture levels indicating a higher chance of there being mold growth.
Seeing and Smelling
If you see mold, immediate action is required. Very small patches of mold have the potential to spread. The fact that there is mold at all shows your home has the correct conditions for mold growth. This is important to note, as mold can grow in places you cannot see, such as the inside of wallpaper, walls, ventilation ducts, and under carpets and floorboards. It is possible to smell mold without actually seeing it. Mold has a persistent smell that, over time, you can eventually get used to. This is dangerous as it can give homeowners the false impression of the mold having gone away.
If you detect any signs of mold in your home or business, do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Media. Following industry standards for mold remediation, we will work to remove the mold and reduce the likelihood of future mold growth.
SERVPRO is Available for Emergency Water Restoration Services
SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Our team at SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County understands when you call us, you may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and possibly confused. You are seeking an expert to guide you through this difficult time. SERVPRO of Media has the knowledge, training and experience to help you restore your home after a fire, storm or water damage event . We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When your call is received, our representative will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. Every question asked assists us in determining what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
About SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County-
SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County are locally owned franchises serving Media, Broomall and Central Delaware County since 1993. We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Tips to Prevent Water and Storm Damage
Are you aware the one of the quickest ways to devalue a home is experiencing flood or water damage? In addition, storms can devastate your home and life in a matter of a few hours. SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County understands the frustration and confusion accompanying a major water event from a storm, and offers the following tips to assist homeowners reduce, or prevent damages caused by storms.
- Inspect the roof twice a year, or after every storm with high winds. Replace missing or damaged shingles. Damaged shingles are more likely to break free than secure shingles, and missing shingles are essentially a gap for wind and water to enter to cause more damage.
- Inspect the dwelling’s siding. Ensure that your home's siding is secure and undamaged. The siding, along with the roof, is a home’s first defense against the elements.
- Clean gutters 2 times each year at minimum. Making sure gutters are clear and water flows freely will ensure water is able to flow away from your home. Draining water away from your home will help prevent a number of problems, such as foundation erosion and basement flooding.
- Inspect your sump pump to ensure it is in working order. This should be completed every 3 to 4 months, with one inspection a year completed by a professional. The sump pump is usually located at the lowest spot in the basement where water is most likely to flow. It is responsible for keeping those areas dry, and also for protecting your home from extensive water and moisture damage.
- Regularly prune and maintain trees on the property. You can hire a professional tree pruning service. Having your trees regularly pruned will strengthen them and make it less likely for branches to break off during a storm. This is very important, as fallen branches can not only damage and harm your property, but the property of those around you.
- Most importantly remember your home and belongings are replaceable, but you and your family are not. Make sure to stay away from windows, and if possible, during particularly bad storms, relocate your family to a basement or shelter.
SERVPRO of Media has the experience, equipment, and tools necessary to handle any type of water and flood damage caused by storms. If you have water damage caused by a storm or other water event, contact us immediately to make it “Like it never even happened.”