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How Homeowners Can Help Prevent Fire Damage by Safely Storing Flammable Household Items

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights seven common household products that are flammable and can lead to fire damage.

One of the risks of homeownership is the potential for fire damage, a costly and traumatic experience that no homeowner wants to face. SERVPRO of Media is highlighting seven items, which are commonly found around the house, that can lead to a dangerous blaze that inflicts expensive property damage on a home.

  1. Cosmetic Products

Some of the chemicals found in beauty and skincare products are very flammable. Products contained in aerosol canisters are especially dangerous because the highly pressurized container can explode under the right conditions. According to Safety Management Group, “As long as the can and the dispensing device remain intact, aerosol cans are safe. But any number of problems, such as a puncture, a faulty valve, excessive temperatures, or corrosion can result in unintended depressurization.”

Safety Management Group also provides the following recommendations for the storage of aerosol containers: “Aerosol cans should always be stored in dry areas where they will not be exposed to excessive temperatures. As the temperature rises, pressure in the can will increase, and ambient temperatures about 120 degrees Fahrenheit may lead to explosions….Aerosol cans should never be placed in fires or heated locations, because they may explode, and the propellant may be flammable.”

Skin creams, specifically paraffin-based ones, present another safety concern. Allure, a beauty publication, highlights a report that warns that “if someone uses skin-care products with paraffin on a regular basis but doesn’t change or wash their bedding or clothing often, the paraffin residue can soak into the fabric. Then, if that fabric comes in contact with a cigarette, or a flame from a heater or candle, that residue can act as an accelerant.”

  1. Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover

Because of their acetone content, nail polish and nail polish remover present a fire risk and should never be used or kept near an open flame. Regarding nail polish, Firefighter Insider notes, “Nail polish is usually flammable, at least when wet. Most nail polishes use an acetone base, which is flammable. However, once the nail polish dries it is usually no longer flammable, though it can still catch fire in some situations.”

Nail polish remover, on the other hand, often has a high acetone content and remains in a state that is extremely vulnerable to catching fire. Even non-acetone nail polish remover is very flammable due to the presence of chemicals such as ethyl acetate and methyl acetate.

  1. Hand Sanitizer

COVID-19 has generated a renewed appreciation for cleanliness and precautionary measures, such as using hand sanitizer. However, people should be aware that alcohol-based sanitizers are highly flammable and can be ignited quickly. Occasionally, even static electricity can cause sanitizer to burst into flames.

  1. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a common household product used for purposes such as first aid, cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing. This substance is also extremely flammable and should be treated with caution when used.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns homeowners against using rubbing alcohol to eliminate bedbugs. The EPA states that “this compound vaporizes quickly, is flammable and has caused numerous house fires when used to control bed bugs.”

  1. Laundry Supplies

From laundry detergents to fabric softeners, products used for cleaning clothes abound with chemicals that are easily set on fire. Wherever flammable chemicals are present, safe, secure storage is key to ensuring that the conditions for triggering a raging house fire are never met.

  1. Vehicle Care Products

The garage is filled with substances that can catch fire or accelerate an existing fire. Products that should be treated with care include:

  • Gasoline
  • Motor oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Auto wax
  • Polish
  • Antifreeze

In addition to implementing safe storage practices for hazardous substances, consider investing in non-flammable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly auto care supplies.

  1. Pool Care Products

Homeowners may not realize how dangerous pool chemicals can be. In Massachusetts, only a few states over from Pennsylvania, the State Fire Marshal issued a statement to remind pool owners to exercise caution when handling pool chemicals. According to the press release, “‘Pool chemicals can be dangerous when they become wet or are mixed with other chemicals,’ said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey, ‘The two most important things to remember are: always mix pool chemicals outdoors; and powder in the water, never water in the powder.’” The press release went on to highlight several incidents involving pool products, including a June 2020 situation involving accidental explosions caused when the resident combined two pool chemicals.

Should a fire occur at a home, the homeowner can turn to SERVPRO of Media to provide an emergency response. Relying on industry-leading training and equipment, the fire damage restoration technicians will work rapidly and thoroughly, enabling clients to enjoy a prompt return to the comfort of their homes.

To learn more about fire damage restoration services in Newtown Square, PA, call SERVPRO of Media at (610) 566-5720. The damage restoration company can also be contacted by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com

Staying Safe During Winter Storms: What Homeowners Can Do to Avoid Injuries

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media alerts local residents to the many potential injuries that can be suffered due to a winter storm, including frostbite, hypothermia, slip-and-fall injuries, and injuries from damage to the home from situations such as a fallen tree.

Winter storms and the accompanying hail, freezing rain, snow, and high winds can lead not only to property damage but also to personal injury. To avoid falling victim to broken bones and other injuries this winter, local residents must be aware of the potential dangers that winter weather brings so that they take steps to protect against harm.

Frostbite

Frostbite occurs when the skin and the tissue beneath freeze. Signs of frostbite include numbness, skin discoloration, and the presence of a hard or waxy appearance to the skin. The three stages of this condition are frostnip, superficial frostbite, and deep frostbite; while frostnip can be treated by rewarming the affected areas, superficial frostbite and deep frostbite must be treated by a medical professional.

Wind chill is a factor that contributes to the speed of frostbite onset. According to the National Weather Service, “Wind chill is the air temperature the skin feels when it is exposed to the wind. The wind chill temperature is always lower than the actual air temperature. The wind chill is dependent on air temperature and wind speeds with the colder the air temperature and the higher the wind speed, the colder the wind chill. Exposure to very low wind chills will allow for frostbite to take effect in a much shorter amount of time than higher wind chills.”

Hypothermia

Classified as a medical emergency, hypothermia describes the condition of losing body heat faster than the body can generate warmth, which causes a person’s temperature to drop below 95 F. For comparison, the typical healthy temperature is approximately 98.6 F. The dangerously low temperatures caused by hypothermia can lead to organ failure and, if untreated, death. Hypothermia frequently results from cold weather exposure, as well as being immersed in icy water.

Slip-and-fall injuries

The presence of icy surfaces makes slip-and-fall injuries a real concern. Taking a tumble on a slippery patch of ice could result in an injury as mild as a few bruises or as severe as several broken bones. Falling is of particular concern for the elderly, who are more susceptible to sustaining broken bones.

The National Floor Safety Institute provides the following slip-and-fall statistics: “Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits or 12% of total falls. Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall….Of all fractures from falls, hip fractures are the most serious and lead to the greatest health problems and number of deaths.”

Burns

To stay warm during winter storms, some homeowners turn to portable space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves, and candles to keep out the cold. However, improper or careless use of heating devices can lead to burn injuries and potentially a house fire that causes extensive fire damage.

Burns are commonly categorized by three levels of severity — first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. The Mayo Clinic advises, “The treatment of burns depends on the location and severity of the damage. Sunburns and small scalds can usually be treated at home. Deep or widespread burns need immediate medical attention.”

Who to Call When Winter Storms Damage a Home

If a tree weighed down by ice and snow falls on the roof of a home, the gaping hole in the roof allows snow, sleet, and freezing rain into the house, causing a water damage disaster when these icy substances melt. The stress, anxiety, confusion, and fear that result from winter storm damage can be overwhelming, especially if a family member has been injured.

When clients call on SERVPRO of Media for flood damage restoration, the team of technicians delivers a compassionate, considerate, and caring response that relieves stress and gives confidence and hope to victims of winter storm damage. The damage restoration company provides emergency service and responds rapidly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, even on holidays. Whether homeowners need water, fire, smoke, mold, or storm damage restoration services, they can turn to SERVPRO of Media to remediate the damage so that life can return to normal.

For more information about flood damage restoration services in Media, PA, contact SERVPRO of Media by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com or call (610) 566-5720.

What Are Some Common Sources of Water Intrusion at a Commercial Facility?

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights the five common causes of commercial water damage and offers tips on how a business can handle a water damage disaster when it strikes.

SERVPRO of Media provides commercial damage restoration for fire and smoke damage, water damage, and sewer backups. The damage restoration company also offers deep cleaning services for businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The restoration professionals at SERVPRO are experienced, highly trained, and well-equipped to handle the demanding challenges of commercial property damage cleanup and restoration.

A water damage incident at a business can produce a cascade of disastrous consequences such as:

  • Lost or slowed productivity spanning days or weeks
  • Revenue declines from lost sales
  • Increased overhead to cover workarounds
  • Customer migration to other suppliers or service providers
  • Employee migration to competitors or other jobs
  • Repair or replacement of damaged equipment, electronics, and tools
  • Replacement of damaged raw goods used in the production process
  • Inventory spoilage
  • Damage cleanup and restoration expenses
  • Increased insurance premiums

The actual cost of the cleanup and restoration may be minimal when compared to the cumulative economic impact on business operations, sales, the revenue cycle, customer satisfaction, and employee retention.

Prevention strategies and a recovery response plan are necessities for the business owner, operations manager, facility supervisor, or commercial property management company. Prevention, response, and remedy begin with identifying the most common causes of water damage at a business. Awareness of the most common causes of water damage in a commercial setting will assist the key decision-makers as they identify vulnerabilities and exposure to liabilities.

The roof

Roof leaks are an ongoing challenge and require constant attention. Regularly inspect a flat roof for pooling water. A square foot of water one inch deep weighs in at 5.2 pounds. A clogged drainage system can turn a commercial flat roof into a shallow pond weighing thousands of pounds. This additional stress can create a leakage nightmare.

Prevention strategy: Frequently Inspect the roof membrane, perimeter flashing, and roof penetrations (drains, pipes, and vents). Schedule an inspection with a professional commercial roof contractor. Re-caulk and re-seal before issues arise.

Equipment and appliances

Facilities with equipment that utilize water are constantly vulnerable to a water damage incident. Water heaters, air conditioners, and water filtration systems, as well as equipment involving pipes, tubes, filters, or gaskets in the production process, are at risk for a potential water leak. Significant water damage can occur if the leak happens outside the hours of normal business operations.

Prevention strategy: Schedule regular equipment inspections and maintenance. Take both written and photographic documentation of warning signs such as bulges, cracks, rust, and unexplained moisture. Periodically replace water supply lines. Re-caulk and re-seal cracks and crevices. Locate the source of leakages and abnormal deposits of moisture, and repair the leaks.

Remember to include the office refrigerator, ice maker water supply line, and in-line water filtration system in the inspection and maintenance schedule. A ruptured supply line can flow at a rate of 3 gallons per minute, or almost 1500 gallons during the eight-hour third shift when many offices are dark and deserted.

Pipes and drains

The plumbing system in a commercial setting is subject to constant usage and occasional damage from equipment. A one-eighth-inch crack can flood the office, waiting room, or sales floor with 250 gallons of water in a 24-hour day. A flooded showroom is not a welcomed sight on Monday morning.

Prevention strategy: Look for visible signs of a leak, including moisture, rust, blue stains, cracking, and bulging. Check for scale buildup inside pipes. Pipes susceptible to freezing should be adequately insulated. Consider installing a passive leak detection system where appropriate.

Sprinkler systems

Sprinkler systems are commonplace in commercial buildings to extinguish flames or at least to minimize fire damage. When a fire sprinkler system malfunctions, the water damage can be extensive.

Prevention strategy: Regular inspection and quick repair are the best course of action to prevent or minimize a water damage disaster when dealing with a sprinkler system.

Severe weather

Thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, flash floods, and snowstorms are unavoidable. Business owners and property owners should be aware of exactly what the commercial property damage insurance policy will cover and will not cover. If any exposures are identified, seek advice from the agent about adding endorsements to close gaps in the policy. The time to learn about coverage is before a property damage disaster occurs.

Preparedness strategy: A structurally sound roof, clean gutters, clear drains, a leak detection system, and an emergency-ready plan are important factors in helping a building weather a storm or other natural disaster. A site analysis of the landscape, including slope, grade, and drainage, may indicate the need to make manageable adjustments that could potentially prevent localized site flooding during a heavy downpour from a stalled thunderstorm or slow-moving tropical storm or hurricane.

What to do after water damage

Pre-qualifying a property damage restoration company before the water damage occurs can save precious time and prevent advanced secondary damage. Look for these features and services in a damage restoration company.

  • Available 24/7, 365 days, including holidays
  • Rapid response within an hour or less
  • Detailed estimate with documentation including video and images
  • Insurance claim management from start to finish
  • Can handle any size and type of disaster
  • The best equipment and highly-trained, certified technicians
  • Experience handling commercial property damage restoration
  • A positive track record validated by reviews and references

SERVPRO of Media meets each of the criteria listed above and more. A SERVPRO of Media representative will also work closely with business owners and property managers to formulate a Ready Plan tailored to the specific needs of the client.

To learn more information about Broomall, PA, commercial water damage, call SERVPRO of Media at (610) 566-5720. The office can also be contacted by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com

A Homeowner’s Guide to Prequalifying a Damage Restoration Company

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media offers advice on pre-qualifying a damage restoration company and explains why SERVPRO is a great choice for the local community.

SERVPRO of Media, PA, is committed to serving the needs of property owners who need emergency damage restoration services. Knowledge, expertise, certifications, industrial-grade equipment, advanced technologies, the ability to leverage the resources of 1,700 franchises, and dedication to customer satisfaction are some of the compelling reasons to choose SERVPRO of Media, PA when disaster strikes.

When is the best time to choose a property damage restoration company?

The best time to select a property damage restoration company is before a disaster strikes. This pre-qualification process will require some time to work through the information and speak with representatives from each company. However, when a disaster strikes, one phone call is all it takes to have help on the way.

When pre-qualifying a Media, PA, damage restoration company, take into consideration the following suggestions:

Read reviews.

Spend some time reading social media reviews on Facebook and Google. What is the company’s Better Business Bureau rating? Are most of the reviews favorable? When an unfavorable review has been posted, does the company make efforts to address the complaint and resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the customer?

Request references from the restoration company.

A reputable company will not hesitate to comply with a request for references. Any hesitation to fulfill the request is a red flag. Follow up on the references provided.

Reach out to neighbors, friends, and family.

A property damage disaster touches many lives. There are 14,000 water damage incidents each day and almost 360,000 house fires annually. It is almost certain that a neighbor, family member, or friend has had some encounter with a property damage restoration company. Solicit feedback from these acquaintances about their experiences.

Recommendations can be obtained from the insurance agent.

A homeowner’s insurance agent is an excellent resource for dependable restoration companies. It is in the agent’s best interest to make sure clients have a positive experience when going through a property damage disaster.

Resist the temptation to go with the first company contacted.

There is wisdom in having many options from which to select. One company may emphasize water damage restoration and mold mitigation and do a fine job in this disaster niche. However, competency in fire and smoke damage or a biohazard cleanup may be lacking. Look for a company with a long list of IICRC certifications that include fire, smoke, water, and storm damage competencies.

Reject high-pressure salesmen offering gifts, gimmicks.

Companies with a long history of solid performance in the property damage restoration industry do not need to employ high-pressure sales tactics, huge discounts, and “one-time” special offer gimmicks.

Reject companies that cannot manage the insurance claims process from start to finish.

The insurance claims process is extremely complicated. Maneuvering through this process can leave the client frustrated, angry, and dissatisfied. A competent property damage restoration company will highlight this feature as a benefit the customer should desire.

Refuse companies that cannot give proof of insurance, bonding, and licensing.

When a customer allows a property damage restoration without proper insurance, bonding, and licensing to provide services at their home, they take on significant risk, especially if an employee is injured or an accident causes further damage to the structure. A reputable company makes the commitment to ensure employees and customers are safe and protected.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Media?

A residential property damage disaster disrupts everyday life. The goal of the property damage restoration team is to restore the home to its pre-damage condition as soon as possible. A high level of trust and confidence in the chosen company is essential since technicians will be working in the home and handling the homeowners’ personal belongings. In the midst of the turmoil, compassion on the part of the technicians is essential. The impact of seeing family heirlooms damaged or destroyed can be emotionally devastating. There are no IICRC certifications for compassion, kindness, and empathy. Nonetheless, these character skills make a world of difference when a homeowner’s world has been turned upside down by a fire damage, flood damage, smoke damage, or water damage disaster.

SERVPRO of Media, PA, has been locally owned and operated by Michael May, Jr. for 27 years, and the company’s technicians live and work in the communities they serve. SERVPRO of Media is the damage restoration and cleaning brand Media residents know and trust.

For more information about pre-qualifying SERVPRO of Media, contact the damage restoration company by phone at (610) 566-5720 or by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com

What Are Some Common Causes of Leaks in and Around the Chimney?

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media shares five reasons why the chimney of a home in Media, PA, may be leaking.

The water damage restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Media are committed to helping homeowners recover from water damage. A small roof leak, if it goes unnoticed, can expand into a major water damage disaster costing thousands of dollars or more to repair.

The chimney is a large opening in the roof whose purpose is to provide appropriate ventilation for the fireplace. Also, the chimney must protect the home from the outside elements. When correctly designed, installed and maintained, the chimney will perform its function well. Smoke will be directed out of the home and away from the roof. Rain, sleet, and snow will be kept out of the house. The occupants of the residence will be safe, warm, and dry.

If moisture appears around the chimney on the inside of the home after rain or snow, the chimney may have a leak. A wet spot on the ceiling in the vicinity of the chimney is a telltale indication of a water intrusion. A small leak in or around the chimney over an extended period of time can lead to a large water damage disaster. By understanding the dynamics of a chimney leak, Newtown Square, PA, homeowners will know where and when to look for a leak and can prevent a potential disaster. When a leak is discovered, trained professionals can inspect the chimney, identify the source of the leak, and make repairs to ensure the issue is resolved and the chimney is functioning properly. Listed below are five common causes of water leaks in or around the chimney.

  1. Rain

One of the most common issues with chimneys is rain leaking through the top of the structure. While several reasons can account for this water intrusion, the most common cause is a cracked, malfunctioning, or missing chimney top cap. A water intrusion resulting from a faulty chimney cap puts the chimney and structure of the home at risk. The moisture can cause the damper to rust, resulting in chimney deterioration and major repairs.

The solution to the unwanted moisture in the chimney is to replace or repair the chimney cap. A competent chimney sweep should be able to handle the matter efficiently and safely.

  1. Cracks in the chimney crown

Issues with the chimney crown, the piece of cement at the top of the chimney, can also result in leaks. The crown prevents moisture from seeping between the spaces created by the flue lining and the masonry of the chimney itself. If damaged, the crown will not work correctly, and moisture will penetrate it, leading to water damage and possibly a mold infestation.

These cracks will expand over time, allowing more and more moisture into the structure. The accelerated deterioration can cause severe damage. An annual inspection by trained professionals can spot these cracks and make the necessary repairs to stop the moisture intrusion.

  1. Damaged chimney flashing

Flashing is utilized to create a tight, waterproof seal where the chimney joins with the roof. If this seal is compromised, water can leak into the chimney and the attic causing water damage. A problem with flashing is a very common cause of water damage from chimney leaks.

  1. Chimney cracks that are seeping water

Chimneys are usually constructed of bricks and mortar, both of which are porous and can absorb water. During cold weather, moisture can cause cracks in the bricks and mortar, resulting in leaks. Bricks and mortar can act like a sponge, soaking up water and then wicking that moisture into the chimney and the attic, causing serious water damage. Solutions include repairing cracks in the bricks and putting a watertight sealant on the exterior of the chimney.

  1. Moisture in the attic

Condensation from the chimney can cause excess moisture in the attic. The condensation issue is prevalent during the warm months when the attic is warm and the chimney is cooler. This residual moisture can lead to mold, mildew, and wood rot.

A chimney leak can involve secondary water damage, which is difficult to repair because it is extensive and may include mold remediation. Water damage restoration and structural damage repairs may require the dismantling of walls, ceilings, and baseboards. The presence of stagnant gray water or black water necessitates the use of appropriate personal protective equipment. Certain areas will need to be treated for mold. The job site will require disinfecting, sanitizing, and deodorizing with EPA-approved solutions to make the environment clean, fresh, and safe.

For more details about Newtown Square, PA, water damage restoration, email SERVPRO of Media at office@SERVPROmedia.com. The office can also be contacted by phone at (610) 566-5720.

What Are the Benefits of the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program for Broomall, PA, Businesses?

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media provides local businesses with the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, a commercial cleaning regimen designed to combat viral pathogens.

As a full-service damage restoration and cleaning company, SERVPRO of Media understands how disruptions affect homeowners and businesses. In recent memory, few events have been more disruptive than COVID-19. The ongoing pandemic continues to emphasize the importance of cleanliness, especially at businesses and commercial facilities. With the constant influx and outflow of people into and out of a building, business owners or property managers will want to do their due diligence to ensure that the space is as clean, safe, and healthy as possible.

Consulting with a Commercial Cleaning Professional

When hiring a company for commercial cleaning and disinfecting services, the business owner will want to identify a team that is experienced in cleaning commercial facilities and has the right equipment to complete the job. A cleaning protocol that can be tailored to the specific needs of the building is ideal.

At SERVPRO of Media, technicians provide a defensive viral pathogen cleaning program called Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Because not all businesses have the same disinfection needs, the program is designed to serve the unique needs of facilities in a wide variety of business sectors.

SERVPRO of Media assigns the commercial client a Cleaning Protocol Specialist who identifies the cleaning considerations of the individual business. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned evaluates a variety of factors, including the following:

  • In what industry does the business operate?
  • What is the size of the business?
  • How many high-frequency touchpoints are present in the facility?
  • What amount of foot traffic does the business see on a regular basis?
  • Where do congestion points occur?

The Commercial Cleaning Process: What to Expect

Once a plan of action for cleaning the facility is decided upon, SERVPRO of Media’s cleaning experts implement a deep clean of the premises. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned far exceeds standard janitorial cleaning practices; the program involves proactive cleaning that targets and defends against viral pathogens.

The company uses proprietary hospital-grade cleaning solutions that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One of the products that SERVPRO of Media utilizes to clean facilities is SERVPROXIDE, a hospital-grade disinfectant certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) for direct food contact surface use.

In addition, the team has training and experience in biohazard cleaning and decontamination for both porous and non-porous surfaces. Technicians are educated in the proper cleaning techniques through an industry-leading, proprietary training program. Clients can trust that these professionals will always adhere to the highest standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How Can Businesses Communicate a Culture of Cleanliness to Customers?

After cleaning the client’s facility, SERVPRO deploys communication touchpoints to inform the business’ customer base that the business is committed to making a healthy environment its top priority. From signage to markers for the business’s digital footprint, SERVPRO’s trusted and time-tested brand reassures both customers and employees that the premises have been cleaned and disinfected by industry-leading service professionals.

A key visual element is the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield, an emblem that is posted on the front window of a business cleaned by the SERVPRO team. The shield, along with other graphics, serves as a beacon that confidently welcomes consumers into a comfortable, secure, safe, and healthy facility.

Commercial Cleaning: A Valuable Service for Delaware County Communities

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, SERVPRO of Media has had the privilege of serving the cleaning needs of businesses through the community, including the areas of Media, Broomall, and Newton Square.

One client posted the following review of the commercial cleaning services that the SERVPRO of Media team provided: “We have used SERVPRO of Media to disinfect over 100 store locations since the COVID-19 pandemic began. They have not failed us once. Melissa always answers my calls no matter what time I call her and services us immediately. I highly recommend using SERVPRO of Media for all your cleanup and restoration needs, especially in emergency situations!”

Another reviewer wrote, “Great customer service experience provided by Brenda, she was quick and responsive. Rob provided a thorough COVID-19 cleaning of our facilities. He was on-time, professional, and very knowledgeable about the service he was providing.”

To learn more about Broomall, PA, commercial cleaning services or to inquire about the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, contact SERVPRO of Media by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com. The staff can also be contacted by phone at (610) 566-5720.

Seven Tips for Preventing a Mold Infestation in the Basement

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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?

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

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

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

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:

  • Plastic
  • Rubber
  • Foam
  • 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

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

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
  • Cobwebs
  • 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.

  • Size and height

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.

  • Different styles

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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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