Why Odor Removal Is a Key Part of the Fire Damage Restoration Process
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights the odor removal process, an essential part of a fire damage remediation project.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Media are skilled at tackling the many challenges of fire and water damage restoration. A fire destroys personal belongings and causes structural damage to a home or business. The damage restoration company is tasked with cleaning up not only damage directly related to the flames but also damage resulting from extinguishing the flames. The water and chemicals used to put out the fire must be cleaned up, and smoke and soot residue must be removed. Once all the water is evacuated, the contents have been cleaned, and the structure has been repaired, restoration specialists must remove the smoke odor. Even if the residence is physically restored to its pre-disaster condition, the lingering smell of smoke is a very strong indicator that the fire damage cleanup and restoration project is incomplete. The structure that has been damaged by fire must not only look great, but it must also smell smoke-free. Odor removal is an essential service that caps off a fire damage restoration project.
One of the greatest challenges facing a fire damage restoration professional is the removal of the smoke odor. The success of this crucial phase of the restoration process involves the utilization of specialized equipment and advanced cleaning techniques and products that only a property damage restoration professional can provide. Technicians should be IICRC-certified and must be knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled to operate the equipment in a safe and effective manner. They must also be aware of the hazards of working in an environment that has sustained fire and smoke damage and take the necessary precautions, including wearing the appropriate personal protective gear (PPG). A DIY fire damage cleanup and restoration project is not advisable for the untrained, ill-equipped, and inexperienced. The risk hazards and complexity of the cleanup and restoration are too great.
The Sources of Smoke Odors
Incomplete combustion produces lots of smoke. The smoke is rich in toxic gases, soot (particles), and oils. The combination of volatile molecules from these particles, oils, and gases released during combustion produces a noxious smoke odor.
Smoke odor is so pungent because of the diverse materials in a typical home, such as the following:
- Protein: hair, wool, meat, leather
- Cellulose: Wood, cotton, hemp, plants
- Synthetic materials: Vinyl, plastic, nylon
- Toxic metals and chemicals: particleboard, OSB, electronics, aerosols, paints, solvents, household cleaning products
The wide variety of combustible substances calls for knowledgeable technicians who are proficient in the complex procedures required for fire damage cleanup and restoration.
Steps to Remove Smoke Smells
Step #1: Identify and eliminate the source of the odors.
Remove fire- and smoke-damaged items such as drywall, flooring, furniture, cabinets, electronics, appliances, and personal belongings, including clothing. Once removed from the fire-damaged area, the items may be restored or discarded, depending on their condition.
Step #2: Clean salvageable items.
Exterior surfaces are pressure washed, scrubbed, and disinfected. Mild soap and thorough rinsing are applied to interior walls and surfaces. Closets, drawers, and cabinets are cleaned inside and out. Furniture, fabrics, and carpet are cleaned at a remote location.
Step #3: Clean the HVAC system, including air ducts.
The HVAC system must be cleaned early in the restoration process to prevent recontamination of the site. The complex, delicate system requires professional expertise and special equipment.
Step #4: Eliminate the airborne smoke smell.
Once the sources of the odor have been identified and eliminated, the smoke-contaminated air must be completely removed from the structure. Complete smoke odor removal can be achieved using proven technologies.
- HEPA filtration removes 99.7% of the airborne particulate matter that triggers the smell of smoke. Once the air is scrubbed and the sources of smoke odor have been eliminated, other technologies and techniques can be utilized.
- Thermal fogging neutralizes smoke odors with fragrance modification technology. A thermal fogger emits a misted, petroleum-based deodorizer which permeates the entire structure. Strict application guidelines are followed to ensure everyone’s safety, and the application process requires everyone not using PPG to evacuate the building.
- Vapor modification is a method that deploys vaporized non-flammable, non-toxic, non-oily aromatic mineral oils throughout the home with fans and blowers. This technology is effective on porous materials in furniture and upholstery and is also safe for humans and pets.
- Ozone machines use ozone to neutralize stubborn protein smoke, but technicians follow safety guidelines to avoid risk hazards associated with breathing ozone.
- Hydroxyl generators destroy pathogens and eliminate VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and odors from indoor air using an advanced oxidation process.
Smoke odor removal requires knowledge, expertise, and the right tools and cleaning products. The odor removal experts at SERVPRO of Media are trained to identify and eliminate the smoke odor at its sources. Technicians receive IICRC training in odor removal and deodorization technology and methods.
To learn more about Broomall, PA, fire damage restoration, call SERVPRO of Media at (610) 566-5720 or email the office at office@SERVPROmedia.com
When to Choose Professional Restoration Services Over a DIY Project
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights six types of people who should avoid DIY damage restoration projects.
SERVPRO of Media understands that a water damage disaster can be a stressful, frustrating, and disruptive situation, especially for homeowners who are unable to undertake the water damage restoration process on their own. The property damage restoration specialists at SERVPRO are committed to providing a rapid response and efficient and thorough cleanup and restoration services, as well as a sense of encouragement for homeowners who cannot manage the situation as a DIY project.
A DIY water damage cleanup and restoration project is not practical or feasible for everyone.
Circumstances where enlisting the services of a professional is the best practice.
- The elderly
A slip-and-fall injury can put an elderly loved one in the hospital and rehab for months. Also, a broken leg or hip can lead to aging parents having to move out of their own home to recover with a relative or to stay in an assisted living center.
The emotional stress of dealing with a major property damage disaster such as a supply line bursting or a sewage backup can be overwhelming for an older person. A large-scale water intrusion or a cooking fire is a situation that the elderly with physical limitations should not attempt to remediate on their own.
Finally, the physical stress of mopping, lifting heavy buckets of water, climbing a ladder, or getting up and down from one’s knees can put a strain on the joints, the back, and the heart. Past or present injuries can become aggravated, and recent surgeries can be negatively impacted. Also, older individuals are more susceptible to straining a muscle or other injuries.
- People with physical limitations
People with limited mobility, poor eyesight, lack of physical strength and stamina, or recent injuries should avoid undertaking a water damage cleanup project. A chronic illness or a recent surgery are compelling reasons to call in a professional to take care of the remediation process after a property damage disaster.
The realization that the job is too big to tackle alone can be frustrating and disappointing. A call to the professionals at SERVPRO of Media can begin the process of remediating the property damage and remedying the anxiety resulting from the disaster.
- People suffering from health conditions aggravated by poor air quality
Property damage to a structure can create poor air quality, which can negatively affect people who suffer from breathing related health conditions. In a water damage situation, bulk water needs to be removed immediately. Rapid-spin fans and commercial-grade dehumidifiers must be deployed to dry up the remaining water and moisture. Allowing the residual water to linger is an invitation for a significant mold infestation, which could lead to health effects.
- Homeowners who lack knowledge, equipment, and training
Property damage cleanup and restoration require knowledge, training, expertise, the proper equipment, specialized cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing products. Personal protective gear such as protective eyewear, masks, gloves, boots, face shields, respirators, hardhats, and knee pads are essential for safety. Advanced moisture-detecting technology is indispensable to ensure and certify that the site meets drying standards. Many of these items need special instruction for proper use. The homeowner or business owner who does not know what to do and who does not have the needed tools, equipment, and safety gear should not proceed with a DIY property damage cleanup and restoration.
- Homeowners with scheduling issues
Tight schedules at work, school, and home can make a DIY water damage cleanup project impossible to accomplish quickly enough to avoid advanced secondary damage such as a mold infestation. An upcoming vacation or business trip may be impossible to reschedule. Entertainment in the home for a holiday, anniversary, or birthday necessitates immediate action from the homeowner to secure water damage cleanup services.
People with physical limitations, health concerns, or heavy life and work commitments should avoid water damage DIY projects. The professionals at SERVPRO of Media offer a rapid response, 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. Customers are provided a detailed, documented estimate. The SERVPRO team can manage the insurance claims process from beginning to end, avoiding headaches and hassles for the homeowner.
For more details about Newtown Square, PA, water damage restoration, contact the SERVPRO of Media office by phone at (610) 566-5720 or by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
Helping Businesses in Springfield, PA, Recover ROI after Property Damage Disaster
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights several steps a business can take before and after a disaster to recover ROI in the wake of property damage.
SERVPRO of Media understands that when a business suffers a property damage disaster and needs storm, fire, or water damage restoration services, the consequences can be devastating to the building, the business’s daily activities, and the bottom line. Cleanup and restoration must be rapid and thorough for the resumption of normal business operations, a stable revenue cycle, and a return to profitability. Weathering a natural disaster or recovering from fire damage, a water intrusion, or sewage backup now shifts to the overall survival of the company. Effective management of the disaster recovery process is pivotal for a business’s success and ROI going forward.
Steps to Follow to Recover ROI After a Disaster
A solid, stable enterprise can weather a property damage disaster disrupting a day or two of normal business operations. The key to survival is a rapid cleanup and restoration that avoids a prolonged interruption of the business’s revenue cycle. Here are steps to disaster recovery that will have a positive ROI.
When Disaster Strikes
Step #1: Reach out to the insurer and inform them of the property damage disaster.
An immediate response neutralizes inertia, stimulates activity, and generates momentum in the cleanup and restoration process. Unnecessary and prolonged delays in reporting can impact claims coverage.
Disturbing the disaster site can complicate the assessment and estimating process. Document the disaster scene with photos and descriptive video. Take the initiative to protect lives, important documents, data, electronics, equipment, product, and inventory. Some commercial insurers may dispatch a rapid-response team to assess the site.
Cleanup immediately following the disaster may involve the removal of damaged inventory, merchandise, equipment, insulation, or flooring. Do not discard any of these items, which provide evidence of the severity of the disaster on the business.
Step #2: Seek assistance to overcome financial hurdles.
Assistance to weather the “financial storm” after the storm or other disaster may be available through the Small Business Administration and the Office of Disaster Assistance. Any business, large or small, located in a declared disaster area qualifies to make an application for a low-rate, long-term loan to fund recovery from property damage. The SBA recognizes that a business may sustain real economic injury and accepts applications from eligible businesses seeking relief in the form of a working capital loan.
Loan amounts, interest rates, and repayment terms are generous to subsidize the repair and replacement of machinery, inventory, and property. Additional monies above the disaster damages may be obtained for uninsured or under-insured losses to protect the property against future disasters of the same type.
Homeowners and renters can secure SBA disaster relief loans to repair or replace personal belongings and for home repairs needed as a result of the impact of the natural disaster.
Step #3: Keep the lines of communication open and flowing.
As soon as possible, provide customers, clients, and relevant vendors with a status update. Update the company’s website to reflect the status of business operations moving forward, including:
- Re-opening and business hours
Reach out across multiple channels, including texts, voice mails, and various social media platforms. Inform clients, customers, and vendors of the company’s status. Transparency in the moment of crisis demonstrates the management team, staff, and employees know how to overcome challenges that build trust with customers, clients, vendors, and fulfillment partners.
Step #4: Do not expect a rapid federal relief response.
Be aware that FEMA may be slow to deliver aid, especially if the disaster is widespread. Private insurance or an SBA loan will deliver needed capital at a faster pace than FEMA.
What to Do Before a Disaster Strikes
Preparation is the key to surviving a property damage disaster and re-engaging business operations.
Step #1: Formulate a coherent, executable backup plan.
A business continuity plan is a pathway to recovery. The business continuity plan includes the following elements:
- Preparation, planning, and drills before the disaster
- Response during the disaster, which may be several days if the culprit is a slow-moving tropical storm or hurricane
- Data backup action plan before, during, and after the disaster
- Cleanup and restoration immediately after the disaster
- Strategies to fill and track orders or provide client services
- Vendor workarounds
- Short-staff solutions such as remote work and critical-needs staffing
- Rapid funding pipelines to supply pressing needs for working capital during an interrupted revenue cycle
Consult with data recovery vendors and cloud services providers for an integrated, seamless, and secure response and recovery.
Step #2: Review and update insurance coverage.
Private sector insurance coverage is more agile and responsive than FEMA. Be aware that many policies do not cover earthquake and flood damage. A rider may be needed to cover wind damage from a hurricane or a power outage from severe weather.
Step #3: Pre-qualify a damage restoration company before a disaster strikes.
Look for these vital features:
- Rapid response within one hour
- 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays
- Solid references and reviews
- Experienced in handling the challenges of cleanup and restoration in a commercial setting
- Licensed, bonded, insured, and possessing the industry-standard IICRC certifications
- Rapid scalability to handle any size and type of disaster
- Locally owned and operated
SERVPRO of Media provides commercial damage restoration services for Springfield, PA, businesses, both large and small. The office can be contacted by phone at (610) 566-5720 or by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
Water Damage Prevention Tips for the Spring Cleaning Season
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights water damage prevention practices that homeowners can incorporate into their 2022 spring cleaning process.
Home maintenance is a never-ending list of chores, many of which must be repeated on a regular basis to ensure the home runs smoothly and without interruption from dust and dirt, as well as water damage or fire damage. Spring is accompanied by an extra load of home maintenance inspections, chores, and repairs. The harsh winter months take their toll on the roof, gutters, landscaping, and hardscapes around the house, and preparations must be made for the summer’s hot temperatures and severe weather. High winds, hail, heavy downpours, and potential flooding are seasonal challenges every homeowner faces. The period from June to November brings the threat of hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy thunderstorms, and tornadoes.
Besides these severe weather conditions, other causes of a water damage disaster include faulty plumbing, a ruptured appliance supply line, a messy sewage backup, or burst pipes from an unexpected late freeze. The opportunities for a surprise water intrusion are numerous.
With a few minor adjustments to the spring-cleaning list, Springfield, PA, homeowners can protect their homes from an unwanted water damage disaster. Any property damage disaster is disruptive and stressful. Below is a list of tips with some proactive steps to help prevent a water intrusion from happening at all.
Six Water Damage Prevention Tips for 2022
#1: Inspect the roof and give the gutters a good cleaning
Leaves and sticks can clog gutters during the winter. Spring and summer cloudbursts can dump inches of rain per hour onto the roof. If the water flow in the gutters is impeded in any way, an overflow is sure to occur. Clean and flush gutters so they are free-flowing. Inspect downspouts to ensure they are connected and are removing water away from the foundation of the home.
#2: Consider a sump pump solution to a basement and crawl space water intrusion
A sump pump system is a reliable solution to evacuate excess water from the basement or crawl space before it becomes a problem. A backup pump and an alternative power source are crucial to ensure the system functions properly during a power outage. The exhaust pipe should be located away from the foundation to prevent evacuated water from seeping back into the structure. The configuration and installation of the system are best left to licensed, bonded, and insured professionals who know sump pumps.
#3: Install backflow valves
Heavy water flow can overwhelm the capacity of a home’s plumbing system. When drains overflow and sewage systems back up, the sewage must go somewhere. The path of least resistance sends sewage into sinks, tubs, and showers. Appliances such as the washing machine and dishwasher are not immune to the sewage backup into the home. Since it contains raw sewage, the water is toxic and a danger to the health and well-being of both humans and pets. A certified, licensed, and bonded plumber can install valves and plugs that effectively prevent a hazardous backflow in the event of flooding.
The pathogens in contaminated water make for a hazardous cleanup scene requiring PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), special cleaning products, and certified technicians who know what they are doing. The odor must be eliminated, and the damage zone must be sanitized to make it a livable and safe environment for humans and pets.
#4: Install septic tank flood alarms
Septic tank flood alarms alert the homeowner that the septic tank may be close to full. During periods of heavy rainfall, such as in the aftermath of a hurricane or a stalled tropical storm, the sewage leach field may become saturated and unable to absorb water from the septic tank. The full tank will back up into the home if the household’s water usage is not immediately curtailed. Even if the septic tank was recently pumped, the excess wet weather may necessitate an immediate re-pumping to prevent a sewage backup. Once the weather clears and the ground dries up, the leach field will be able to disperse the liquids and absorb more of the fluids in the septic tank.
#5: Inspect for leaks while spring cleaning
When spring cleaning, look, listen, and smell for leaks around faucets, under cabinets, around toilets, and under appliances. Secure the services of a certified, licensed plumber to remedy these issues. A DIY disaster could be much more costly than the expense of hiring a plumber.
#6: Pre-qualify a property damage restoration company before a disaster strikes
If a large-scale spring storm strikes the Media, PA, area, the homeowner may find it all but impossible to reach a damage cleanup and restoration company. Thousands of homeowners and businesses may all be calling at the same time. With a pre-qualified service provider, one call achieves results. If the damage restoration company selected is SERVPRO of Media, a crew arrives on the scene within an hour.
To learn more details about Media, PA, water damage cleanup, call SERVPRO of Media at (610) 566-5720 or email office@SERVPROmedia.com
Five Technologies That Can Help Broomall, PA, Property Owners Weather Storm Damage
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media offers five technology tips that help homeowners survive and recover from severe weather and storm damage.
SERVPRO of Media, PA, is dedicated to providing the best storm damage restoration services for homeowners and business owners who have suffered storm damage from severe weather, including high winds, heavy rains, and flooding. Successfully weathering a storm damage disaster involves three components:
Technology is an important element in each of these components. When disaster strikes, the right technology can make a power outage or lull in the Wi-Fi manageable. The professionals at SERVPRO of Media offer the following technology tips to help the homeowner and business owner stay safe while weathering the storm.
Tip #1: Purchase a battery jump-start pack
This rechargeable device can jump-start a vehicle and recharge a cell phone, laptop, or tablet. Simple units are affordable, compact, portable, and easy to use. Some units come with onboard LED lights. Other battery backup power solutions are available, but they can be expensive. Consult with an electrician for the best options.
Tip #2: Have an ample supply of batteries and flashlights
In a disaster situation, darkness is dangerous. A surplus of flashlights is an asset when the power grid is offline. LED flashlights burn brighter and last many times longer than traditional flashlights. Compact, durable, and shock-resistant, this technology is a true life-saver. Models that are water-resistant and that operate on rechargeable lithium batteries should be included in the inventory of emergency lighting. Build up a supply of batteries with a long shelf life of at least five years. As time passes, use aging batteries and replace them with fresh batteries.
Tip #3: Acquire a weather radio and learn how to use it
Regions of the United States subject to snowstorms, severe thunderstorms, and turbulent weather from tornadoes, tropical storms, and hurricanes on occasion experience extended power outages from damage to the power grid. In these situations, accurate information is crucial for safety and survival. A reliable, sturdy weather radio can be a life-saver. In this digital age, the radio may seem like a technological dinosaur, but when the electricity is out and the Wi-Fi is down, a weather radio could be a life-saver. These radios receive information and instructions that are relevant for specific locations. The Emergency Broadcast System is fortified to withstand disasters and keep the news flowing. Homeowners are advised to purchase better quality units that run on batteries, solar power, or a hand-crank generator. Two radios are better than one. Store the radios in secure locations that are easily accessible. The weather radio gives listeners a heads up on immediate and future weather conditions.
Tip #4: Obtain several water purifiers
Water is essential for survival. The human body can only last around three days without water intake. According to Medical News Today, “The body needs lots of water to carry out many essential functions, such as balancing the internal temperature and keeping cells alive… For most people, drinking when they feel thirsty will provide them with more than enough water to function and thrive.”
The need for water may vary with age, health, physical activity, and temperature. Ensure an adequate and safe water supply by having water filters that remove both pathogens and sediment.
Tip #5: Invest in a generator
A typical thunderstorm might knock out power for a few hours. A large tornado, stalled tropical storm, or hurricane can leave tens of thousands of people without power and water for days and weeks. In these extreme situations, a generator might be a viable solution. A small generator can run an appliance or string of lights, while a whole-house generator can power most or all of the home. Consult with a licensed electrician when researching, purchasing, and setting up a generator. Be sure to keep a base supply of fuel on hand, and if the forecast calls for extreme weather, stock up on fuel.
SERVPRO of Media uses cutting-edge technology for storm damage and water damage remediation. Sophisticated moisture-detecting devices ensure SERVPRO technicians meet or exceed industry standards for dehumidification and moisture removal. Failure to remove moisture from water-damaged structures can lead to mold and wood rot. Certain devices allow technicians to remove water and moisture behind walls and under flooring without having to conduct a large-scale demolition. Other technology assists in document restoration and mold remediation. Advancements in cleaning techniques improve efficiencies and ensure the site is clean, sanitary, and safe. SERVPRO franchises utilize the industry-standard estimating software, Xactimate. This app enables SERVPRO of Media to efficiently handle the insurance claims process from beginning to end.
Contact SERVPRO of Media for more details about storm damage cleanup in Broomall, PA, and neighboring areas. The office can be reached by phone at (610) 566-5720 or by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
Four Ways a Commercial Damage Restoration Project Differs from a Residential Project
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights four key factors that make commercial restoration different from residential restoration.
SERVPRO of Media, PA, provides both residential and commercial damage restoration and restoration services. In many ways, property damage restoration in these two venues is similar. A home and a commercial setting such as a professional office, retail outlet, or manufacturing facility both require:
- A reputable property damage restoration company that is bonded, licensed and insured
- A rapid response
- Immediate scalability to meet the challenge of an expanding disaster scene
- An inspection, assessment, and industry-standard estimate with detailed documentation of damages
- Competent, quality-conscious technicians who are trained, certified and experienced in a broad spectrum of property damage restoration services
- Compassionate, conscientious, and caring staff
- A culture of professionalism
- Advanced, industrial-grade equipment to meet any restoration challenge
- Cutting-edge technology for moisture detection, mold mitigation, biohazard cleanup, document, and artwork restoration, and electronics restoration
- Safety protocols and PPG (Personal Protective Gear)
- Advanced cleaning techniques and safe cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing products
- Validation of services and industry-standard reporting apparatus for insurance and regulatory purposes
These factors are crucial for any residential or commercial venue and for any disaster type.
Commercial Restoration and Residential Restoration Compared
Commercial and residential property damage disasters share many non-negotiable requirements, as mentioned above. However, some distinct differences do exist. These differences factor into the decision-making process when choosing a restoration company to restore property damage at a commercial facility in Newtown Square, PA.
1. The scope of the restoration project
One difference between a commercial damage cleanup and restoration and a residential project is the square footage of the disaster. The scope of a residential restoration is usually smaller than that of a commercial facility. A typical home might total a few thousand square feet under the roof; a full basement can double this total. In contrast, a four-story office complex might encompass 5,000 square feet per floor. A weekend fire sprinkler failure on the top floor might infiltrate all four floors and the basement loading and storage area.
A commercial restoration company must have the expertise, appropriate equipment, and adequate manpower to rapidly mitigate the water damage before advanced secondary damage further complicates the water removal, dehumidification, cleanup, and restoration process. The choice to use a cleanup and restoration company only accustomed to small-scale residential projects could be a disastrous decision!
2. Stringent regulations and restrictions
The regulations and restrictions that apply to some commercial settings complicate the cleanup and restoration process. A medical facility cleanup may call for special personal protective equipment, while a daycare facility may require strict sanitation. A food packaging plant such as a commercial bakery requires meticulous attention to detail to ensure a safe and healthy environment. These settings demand the services of restoration technicians who possess expertise, skill, and appropriate training.
3. Sophisticated and expensive equipment
The residential setting will have its share of appliances, electronics, and equipment such as a microwave oven, home theater, and an all-in-one printer. A commercial environment might have sophisticated machinery, several 3-D printers, and a bank of computers valued at millions of dollars. When appliances and equipment are damaged in the home, often it is more cost-effective to discard the damaged items and purchase replacements. In the commercial setting, the cleanup and restoration, though costly, might be only a fraction of replacement costs for some of the damaged equipment. The removal, restoration, and re-installation of the equipment require knowledge and meticulous care.
In many instances, the location and positioning of machines, equipment, workstations, cubicles, testing centers, open spaces, and the copy center are configured to accommodate manufacturing processes, facilitate workflow efficiencies, enhance safety, and channel traffic within the commercial structure. Disruption of the flow of products, information, or client services can be very costly to a manufacturing unit, professional office, or medical clinic. The damage restoration company that takes on a commercial project must pay close attention to details.
4. Complex ventilation systems
Commercial ventilation systems carry a heavy load and are more complex than the typical residential HVAC system. The health and safety of dozens or hundreds of employees, customers, clients, students, or patients depend on the successful cleaning and restoration of the ventilation system in a commercial facility. Chemicals and contaminants must be removed to ensure proper air quality after fire and smoke damage, water damage, or a biohazard incident.
SERVPRO of Media has the equipment, highly trained and experienced technicians, knowledgeable support staff, and the skills and knowledge base of over 1700 other SERVPRO franchises around the country. The professionals at SERVPRO can handle the small-scale residential property damage disaster and the complex, large-scale commercial property damage disaster that requires the rapid, multi-front deployment of local or regional SERVPRO franchises.
Operations managers, facility specialists, property management companies, and homeowners are advised to pre-qualify a competent, capable, caring property damage cleanup and restoration company that can handle any size or type of disaster, 24/7, 365 days a year with a rapid response.
For more information about commercial damage cleanup, contact SERVPRO of Media by phone at (610) 566-5720 or by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
How SERVPRO of Media Builds Relationships with Employees, Clients, Other Businesses, and the Community
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media prioritizes building relationships in order to better serve Broomall, PA, and surrounding communities.
At SERVPRO of Media, the team of property damage restoration experts understands that cultivating strong, long-lasting relationships is the key to encouraging a positive work environment and consistent client satisfaction.
How SERVPRO of Media Builds Relationships with Employees
As the company’s main touchpoint with clients, employees are a central focus when it comes to building relationships. A team that has a solid working relationship will be able to create and maintain great relationships with clients.
One of the ways SERVPRO of Media invests in its employees is through industry-leading training and education. SERVPRO of Media is an IICRC-certified firm, and the team studies the standards and best practices established by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the certifying body for the restoration, cleaning, and inspection industries. Both initial training and ongoing training are conducted at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility.
Education does not just benefit the customer; it also benefits the employee. Proper training empowers technicians to have confidence in their ability to handle the restoration project. Being able to step in as experts who can quickly and dependably solve the client’s property damage problem generates a sense of accomplishment that comes from helping customers in time of need.
Certifications held by various technicians at SERVPRO of Media include:
- WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
- ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
- AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
- FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
- OCT - Odor Control Technician
- HST - Health and Safety Technician
- CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
- ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
SERVPRO also invests in the safety of its employees by providing them with the best and safest equipment, cleaning solutions, and personal protective gear. Due to the nature of property damage incidents, the task of restoration and remediation can be hazardous if technicians are not supplied with the correct tools and safety techniques.
How SERVPRO of Media Builds Relationships with Clients
Customer satisfaction is a priority at SERVPRO of Media. The team understands that property owners are usually in the middle of a property damage crisis when they make the call for emergency services. A homeowner may be facing a flood that has waterlogged precious keepsakes, while a business owner may be facing a fire that has endangered the entirety of the company’s inventory.
Empathy, compassion, and respect are the core principles that underlie each interaction SERVPRO of Media has with clients. The damage restoration company strives to not only restore the customer’s home or business but to also restore peace of mind to the customer by remediating stress and worry.
SERVPRO of Media provides 24/7/365 availability, including on holidays. In addition, the team manages the insurance claims process and works with the insurance company, lifting a burden from the client’s shoulders.
How SERVPRO of Media Builds Relationships with Other Businesses
SERVPRO of Media often receives referrals from contractors in other business sectors. These service providers have seen the team of restoration technicians in action and are confident in recommending SERVPRO of Media to their own clients and even their family members.
According to one review of the damage restoration company, “Any crew member I’ve met from this company has been really nice and easy to work with. All the work I’ve seen handled by them has been very good as well. I would feel very comfortable referring them to any of my friends and family as well as hiring them myself.”
How SERVPRO of Media Builds Relationships with the Community
The SERVPRO of Media family is proud to support charities and events in the local area. Having a presence in the community is essential for strengthening relationships, and the team enjoys the opportunity to meet their neighbors. SERVPRO of Media has been a participant at local events such as the 2019 Haverford Home & Garden Show.
A representative of SERVPRO of Media states, “SERVPRO of Media takes great pride in being a part of the Media community. We understand that communities like ours hold America together. We want to do our part to ensure the Media community thrives by helping those less fortunate, keeping the area safe, and making our community the best it can be.”
To learn more about the Broomall, PA, damage restoration company, call the office by phone at (610) 566-5720. SERVPRO of Media can also be contacted by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
Helping Newtown Square, PA, Homeowners Prevent Flood and Storm Damage This Spring
Blog Summary: As spring ushers in periods of freezing and thawing, Newtown Square, PA, residents need to prepare their homes to weather the unpredictable weather. SERVPRO of Media offers tips on how homeowners can avoid spring flooding and storms that cause water damage.
When a storm damage disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Media is prepared and ready to assist clients in Newtown Square, PA, and surrounding areas with water and flood restoration services, as well as storm cleanup. The damage restoration company’s rapid response helps homeowners and businesses recover from severe weather quickly and efficiently.
Early spring is that time of year when the weather is sometimes warm and calm and at other times cold and turbulent. Temperature variations can be extreme, and it is hard to predict when the shift will occur. The collision of warm air and cold air in the atmosphere can produce some of the most violent weather conditions, including tornadoes, large hail, and flooding.
In addition to producing storm activity, the freeze/thaw cycle is notable for making Pennsylvania roads more treacherous because the fluctuating temperatures create potholes. According to a Pennsylvania DOT publication, the freeze/thaw cycle is defined as “The calendar period between approximately February 15th and April 15th…” During the months of February through April, Pennsylvania residents would do well to not only pay more attention to the roadways but to also pay attention to their homes in preparation for potential water damage brought about by the storms and flooding of spring.
Listed below are some vital tips for the homeowner to prepare a home for unpredictable spring weather that can bring water damage, storm damage, and flooding. Many of these tips can also be useful for business owners.
Tip one: Inspect the grade around the foundation of the home.
When the home’s foundation is properly graded, water adequately drains away from the structure. The optimal slope is one inch per foot for the first five to ten feet. Re-grade any areas where the slope angles toward the foundation. Remove any obstructions such as timbers, bricks, or other debris that could hinder the free flow of water away from the foundation.
Tip two: Ensure flood drains around the home flow freely.
Leaves, grass, pine needles, mulch, and paper can build up on top of a drain grate, restricting the flow of water. A heavy thunderstorm can overwhelm the clogged drain, turning the yard into a shallow pond. The water can flood into the garage or seep into the crawl space. Even though the home or business may not be in a flood plain or qualify for flood insurance, insufficient grading and clogged drainage systems can create a situation that results in a micro-flood involving only one of two properties.
Tip three: Remove any obstructions from floor drains inside the home.
A floor drain can limit the scope of a water intrusion from a burst pipe, tub overflow, or roof leak, saving the homeowner time and money for a water damage restoration. However, if the drain is covered with items that restrict the flow of water into the drain, the results could be disastrous.
Tip four: Perform seasonal maintenance on gutters and downspouts.
Leaves, sticks, pine needles, and dirt can clog gutters and downspouts. When gutters are neglected over a prolonged period, the buildup of organic matter and sediment can foster the growth of saplings in the gutters. Overflowing gutters can cause structural damage to the home, promote mold growth, and lead to a flooded crawlspace.
Tip five: Consider installing water alarms and flood sensors.
Certain factors expose the home to flooding, and some homes are more flood-prone than others. Check the local flood map to see if the house falls in a flood plain.
Trust SERVPRO of Media for water damage restoration services in the event of a water damage disaster from storm damage, flooding, a burst supply line, or a sewage backup in Newtown Square, PA, or surrounding areas. Crews are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. A rapid response avoids advanced secondary damage from exposure to water and moisture. Trained, experienced, and certified technicians utilize the latest equipment and cleaning techniques to restore a home or business to its pre-disaster condition. Homeowners receive a detailed estimate with photo and video documentation. The staff at SERVPRO can handle the insurance claims process from beginning to end. The property damage professionals can also manage and coordinate all aspects of the project from start to finish, removing extra work and stress from the client’s shoulders.
For more information about SERVPRO of Media’s flood damage cleanup services, contact the team by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com. A customer representative can also be reached by phone at (610) 566-5720.
How Homeowners Can Prevent Fire Damage Related to the Use of Gasoline
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media offers tips on how to avoid property damage from a fire caused by gasoline usage.
Fire damage restoration is often a complex project involving not only fire damage but also smoke damage, water damage, and mold growth. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading causes of house fires include unattended cooking fires, heating equipment, electrical and lighting issues, arson, and smoking materials. The water damage from the fire department’s efforts to extinguish the flames may end up being a major cleanup and restoration project. Smoke from a low-flame fire can contaminate the entire structure with soot, toxins, and odors. Since a fire produces a multi-faceted cleanup and damage restoration event, prevention, early detection, and rapid extinguishing are crucial.
Flammable Substances in the Typical Home
The typical home and garage have numerous household products that are highly combustible. Examples include:
- Aerosols such as hair spray, deodorant, disinfectant spray, starter fluid, insect spray, oven cleaner, etc.
- Rubbing alcohol and alcohol-based products such as hand sanitizer
- Common household products such as paint thinner, fingernail polish remover, furniture refinishing products, some car care products, lamp oil, paraffin, and kerosene
Gasoline is dangerous when used or stored improperly. Due to its highly flammable properties and its many uses around the home, gasoline deserves special attention.
Preventing Fire Damage Resulting From the Use of Gasoline
From cars to lawnmowers, gasoline powers everyday life. However, the improper use and storage of this valuable commodity can cause fire damage or injuries. The following tips can help keep the family and home safe around gasoline:
- Follow safe storage practices. Store gasoline in a container engineered and sold specifically for that purpose. Containers with a volume of less than five gallons are best since the smaller quantity is easier to carry safely. Do not fill containers completely; instead, allow some room for expansion. Ensure that the container is tightly sealed when storing and before pouring. Avoid spillage as much as possible.
- When filling vehicles and equipment with gas, make sure the area is outdoors and well-ventilated. Also, if the vehicle or equipment has recently been used, allow it to cool off before refilling it. Diesel produces fewer fumes and burns more slowly than gasoline, but homeowners should practice the same safety precautions with both substances.
- Place a container on a flat, level surface before filling the container or transferring gasoline from one container to another. Some gasoline pumps are positioned on a raised concrete island. Before filling the container, make sure it is stable and away from the edge of the island. The safest policy is to place the container beside the raised island where there is little or no possibility of tipping. Again, take great care not to spill any gasoline.
- Follow a spill cleanup drill. Give immediate attention to gasoline spills, whether large or small. Clean up the gasoline with paper towels, rags, sawdust, or granular absorbent products, and dispose of the soiled items in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Never flush any gasoline-soaked items down the toilet. The gasoline can disrupt the bacterial breakdown that is necessary for a septic tank to function properly. A sewage backup, as well as damage to the septic system, can be very costly to diagnose and repair.
In the event of a large spill, seek assistance from the local government, such as the fire department or hazardous waste disposal center, about the safest way to clean up a large gasoline spill.
- Never store gasoline in the home or in an attached garage. A lawn shed a safe distance from any structure or automobile is best. Store gasoline away from heat sources such as a space heater, a furnace, or an electrical generator. Any device with an electrical arc poses a potential fire hazard from gas fumes.
- Avoid dangerous explosions which can result from the misuse of gasoline. When used as a solvent or cleaner, gasoline can be deadly. Do not substitute gasoline for the appropriate fuel when using a kerosene heater, oil lamp, or camp stove. Never smoke when handling gasoline or any other flammable liquids.
- Keep gasoline out of reach of children. Storing gas under lock and key is recommended.
When misused or spilled, gasoline can erupt into flames instantaneously, engulfing whatever is nearby and causing serious bodily injury or catastrophic property damage. In the event of fire damage, reach out to the fire damage and smoke damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Media. They provide twenty-four-hour emergency service and a rapid response within an hour of the initial call. The highly trained restoration technicians are equipped to handle any size or type of disaster. Locally owned and operated, the SERVPRO team cares about the clients they serve.
Contact SERVPRO of Media for more information about fire damage cleanup in Media, PA. The office can be reached by phone at (610) 566-5720 or by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com
The Importance of Having the Sewage System Pumped Before a Sewage Backup Occurs
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media offers five tips about septic tank pumping that can help homeowners avoid a disastrous sewage backup.
SERVPRO of Media, PA, is the property damage restoration company to call when a sewage backup occurs. The team utilizes industry-leading equipment, training, protective gear, and EPA-approved cleaning and disinfecting products. The trained professional technicians of SERVPRO help to restore the home or business that has suffered a sewage backup to a clean and safe environment.
Septic system longevity depends upon an intentional effort to properly maintain the system. A key component of a solid maintenance program involves having the septic tank pumped at the appropriate time. By scheduling septic pumping according to the rhythm of life in the home, the homeowner can prevent major issues from developing and extend the life of the system. Many residents forget, neglect, or put off maintenance until it is too late. SERVPRO of Media, PA, offers this advice to help homeowners, businesses, or any facility that has a septic system grasp the importance of proper care and maintenance.
Tips for Peak Septic Tank Performance
Tip #1: Time it right.
Many factors influence the frequency of scheduling an appointment with a reputable, bonded, and insured septic system maintenance and repair company. These considerations include:
- The size of the tank
- The number of people living in the home
- Frequency of flushing
- Frequency of baths and length of showers
- What is flushed down the toilet
- What is poured down the drain of the kitchen sink
- Additional guests
- The use of a garbage disposal
If any of these factors are excessive, then the time to pump the septic tank may need to be yearly. Premature pumping has no downside. The septic professional can evaluate any build-up and determine its source. The homeowner can make adjustments that lead to a reduction in the frequency of pumping and that extend the life of the system. While the tank is open, the technician can inspect and clean the filter if one is in use.
Tip #2: Reduce the build-up before there is a backup.
The property owner who procrastinates in pumping out the septic tank will end up with a tank filled with solids. This build-up of solids can lead to issues more costly to resolve than a simple pumping. By following a customized pumping plan, the homeowner or business can avoid the overflow of solids into the leach field. Excessive solids in the tank can cause backups and slow the rate of drainage into the leach field.
Tip #3: Proactive pumping prevents backup and other problems.
Proactive maintenance can help prevent the following issues:
- Cracked and leaking pipes
- Slow and insufficient drainage of liquids into the leach field
- Foul odors and strange sounds
A sewage backup is a black water event where the water has been contaminated with urine, raw feces, and toxic pathogens. Professional technicians equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment should be tasked with carrying out the sewage cleanup project.
Tip #4: Clean out potential clogs.
Certain items should never be flushed, and even some products described or marketed as “flushable” should not be flushed down the toilet. Here are some prime examples of potential clogs that, if not removed, can obstruct pipes and restrict the flow of liquid waste into the leach field.
- Cooking grease
- Food scraps
- Paper towels, napkins, or facial tissue (Only toilet paper is engineered to break down when flushed.)
- Feminine hygiene products
- Baby wipes and disinfecting wipes (even if the wipes are classified as “flushable”)
- Pet litter (including brands classified as “flushable”)
- Cotton products and clothing
- Diapers (even “flushable” ones)
- Hair and dental floss
- Bleach (Bleach is not an effective drain opener and can react with other chemicals in the drain, giving off harmful fumes.)
The first step is to immediately stop flushing these items down the toilet. The second step is to have the septic tank pumped to remove clogs. It does not take many wipes, tissues, or paper towels to disrupt the septic system. Clumped pet litter can gum up pipes and gum up the leach field.
Tip #5: Pre-qualify a restoration company with expertise in water damage and sewage backup cleanup and restoration.
A sewage backup is a highly toxic water damage disaster that requires a special skill set, experience, the proper equipment, commercial-grade personal protective equipment, and advanced cleaning techniques. Specialized cleaners, disinfectants, sanitizers, and deodorizers must be carefully utilized to achieve a clean, safe, and palatable environment.
SERVPRO of Media is able to meet the challenges of a sewage backup. Water removal, drying, dehumidification, cleaning, and restoration services are provided by experienced, highly trained, and certified technicians who work carefully to restore the disaster site to a clean and safe environment. Crews are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, and typically arrive at the client’s home in about an hour. When a sewage backup is involved, this quick response is vital to prevent advanced secondary damage and hasten the recovery process.
To learn more about SERVPRO of Media’s sewage and water damage cleanup services, contact the office by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com. The team can also be reached by calling (610) 566-5720.