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Our Mold Damage Team Can Restore Your Lehigh Valley Home

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Our Mold Damage Team Can Restore Your Lehigh Valley Home Whether you find a small or large patch of mold in your home, contact SERVPRO for effective remediation and containment services.

SERVPRO Technicians Quickly Contain the Mold Infestation in Your Home

Mold can be visible or can present a stale or musty odor. If you notice mold in your home, call a professional right away to remediate any damages. Mold can cause health effects, which makes it imperative for homeowners to deal with it as soon as possible.


SERVPRO mold remediation professionals in Whitehall are highly trained to use industrial grade disinfectants and specialized equipment to get rid of mold inside your home. Our crew works quickly and efficiently to contain and reduce mold levels inside your home. Also, our crews take proper precautions to ensure they do not spread mold spores to any other areas inside your home. Our techs can use plastic sheeting and tape to seal and contain mold. Plus, our crews can set up areas to clean and sanitize items and any equipment they employ during restoration. 
 
Since mold spores are microscopic, there can be thousands of airborne spores inside your home. Our technicians use commercial grade air scrubbers to clean and to purify the atmosphere inside your residence. Specialized HEPA filters catch and trap mold spores, push them through a hose and contain them inside a bag outside of the residence. These machines can also get rid of stale mold odors. Our techs may also use professional grade anti-fungal sprays to clean areas and to stop mold growth. It is not possible to eliminate every mold spore inside your home, but our techs can get them down to a safe level. 
 
After our technicians remove mold spores and clean surfaces inside your residence, they begin to dry the structure. Drying helps prevent mold re-growth. Our technicians may also use air movers to eliminate moisture. Also, they may use axial fans to force damp air from your home and to speed up drying. 
 
SERVPRO of Whitehall offers mold damage restoration services that can restore your home when possible. Contact us at 610-435-9690 anytime. We are nearby and here to help.

Properly Maintain an Emergency Sump Pump

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Properly Maintain an Emergency Sump Pump Properly maintain your sump pump to ensure back up after a flood in the Lehigh Valley

If you live in the Lehigh Valley where heavy rains and flooding often affect the water tables especially around the rivers, streams, ponds and lakes, then you should become familiar with the value of maintaining flood equipment, such as a backup sump pump. This appliance protects homes with poor drainage, foundation weaknesses, and aging basement walls. 

Prepare for Action

When your emergency sump pump is in top condition, it may be able to remove two feet of water at a time from your basement. Keep it ready for action with the following maintenance.

Quarterly Maintenance

• Rinse pump inlet screen and remove dust or debris.
• Visually inspect power cord and power connection.
• Run water through to make sure the float rises, and the pump turns on.

Annual Maintenance

• Schedule professional inspections and maintenance for the sump. 
• Read your owner's manual for DIY maintenance, such as greasing pump bearings.
• Remove the pump to thoroughly inspect and clean it. Make repairs as necessary.
• Clean out the rest of the equipment.
• Reassemble the machine. 

Protect Your Primary Sewage System

When your primary sewage piping or sump system is at risk, a back up battery pump is crucial. This pump kicks in when water levels are high. It keeps your home safe when too much rain water and debris has overwhelmed your existing drainage system. An emergency battery-powered pump can keep your home safely dry when the power goes out. It may sit on the shelf, unused for months or years at a time, but with appropriate maintenance, it will be ready when you need it. 

If a sump pump isn't a possibility, you may be able to work with a remediation professional. These experts often have a truck-mounted trash pump, in addition to the sump. 

Act Immediately 

The immediate use of this equipment can prevent serious damages, mold growth, and the need for expensive repairs.  Protect your Lehigh Valley home and family from standing water, mold growth, and other flooding damages with a second layer of protection.  In the event of a flood where you find yourself looking for a professional company to handle the damage, call SERVPRO of  Whitehall at 610-435-9690.

Fire Safety for Pets

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to, according to their website – and also, they are the most preventable.  According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires.

It’s important to keep in mind that if you need a plan for your family in case of disaster, you should also have a plan for your pets.

Did you know?

  • The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets.

The best way to protect your pets is to include them in your family escape plan, in case of disaster.  Train your pets to go to you when you call their name that way in the event of a fire evacuation, you can leave with them easily and safely.

The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have provided the following tips:

  • Be sure your pet is not left unattended by open flames, such as cooking appliances, candles, or fire place.  Be sure to extinguish any flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house.  A stove is the number one appliance involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – these candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle (something cats are notorious for).
  • Secure your pets while you’re away – keep them confined in secure areas that don’t present a potential fire hazard.

Some other tips?  Keep pets near entrances when you’re away from your home and keep their collars on.  Have leashes nearby and ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.  You can also affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the cling to a front window.  This information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.

Pets become a part of our families, and we need to remember that we need to have plans in place for them too when it comes to safely evacuating a home in case of a fire. And remember, if you are victim of a house fire, SERVPRO® of Whitehall can help #LikeItNeverEvenHappened.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today – 610-435-9690

The Four Seasons of SERVPRO

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Whitehall is located in the beautiful State of Pennsylvania.  Here we are lucky enough to enjoy all four seasons.  But with each season comes difficulties for home and business owners.  In the Lehigh Valley we are prone to Snow Storms and Thunder Storms which each provide their own sets of challenges.

Winter often brings power outages from wind, downed trees, or ice which can cause pipes to freeze and split which causes flooding to homes and businesses.  Ice dams are also a concern when constant thawing and re-freezing causes water to creep into to a buildings roof and go un-noticed.  The water may keep coming in until the snow or ice is removed from a roof.

Spring, Summer, and Fall are the worst when it comes to storm seasons.  From Tornado season to Hurricane season, SERVPRO of Whitehall is always on alert when it comes to storms.  Wind that causes roofing and siding to blow off a building often open up the structure for rain to come in affecting the home with water damage.  High winds also leave the potential for trees to come down on structures and cause significant damage throughout the structure when it is open to the elements.  Lightning strikes leave a potential for a fire which is rare, but does happen. The most common issue we see from storm damages would be from the flooding.  Most issues are a result of an abundance of high flood levels.  Keep in mind the fact that even with a sump pump, there is a chance that they may not always work.  For example a power outage during a heavy rain storm where a sump pump may not work without a backup in place.  And last but not least would be sewage backups in homes during times of heavy rain or flooding.  This is a serious matter which we see all too often and most people are unsure where to even begin.

Please do not WAIT until it's too LATE!  Usually weeks after storms may have passed and water damage has gone un-noticed in a home or business, we receive calls to come out and estimate Mold Remediations.

Above all, make your safety top priority.

Remember to call the brand that you know and trust to take care of any storm damage that you may have suffered.

Call our local offices of Whitehall at 610-435-9690.

The Pentagon: A Case Study

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Following the events of September 11, 2001, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals were once more called upon to assist with the cleanup & restoration of the Pentagon. In spite of the emotions & difficulties involved in the restoration effort, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals dried nearly 300,000 square feet in addition to providing fire, soot, and smoke cleanup and restoration services. Upon completion of the drying assignment, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provided mold remediation services in other sections of the facility. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals met the challenge and completed the process in just 90 days. 

The Commercial Resources SERVPRO of Whitehall Has to Offer

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

When looking for cleanup for your business, we at SERVPRO of Whitehall can help with our commercial resources. Whether it is cleanup after a disaster or mold remediation, we help the Lehigh Valley’s businesses get back to conducting business as usual, as fast as possible. Nobody likes a disaster of any kind, and we are here to help you through it.

Lost time in cleanup for water or fire damage is better spent in your doing productive work for increased business opportunities. As professionals in the Whitehall area, we are nearby and ready to help with disaster cleanup. Our expertise can help you through our extensive commercial resources:

Water Damage Restoration

Flooding and water damage seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. We know that and can help you get back to work with our:

  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Highly trained water damage specialists
  • Restoration know-how

No matter the location of the water damage, whether in a small office building or big box store, SERVPRO of Whitehall will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion to ensure your business is up and running again as quickly as possible. Our technicians have the training and certifications they need to handle your restoration needs, no matter the size.

Fire Damage Restoration

Lost productivity is the biggest result of fire and smoke damage. With firefighting systems, water damage may also occur from water used. As a trusted leader in fire and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Whitehall knows the ins and outs of fire damage and the extra damage that can come with it and are well-equipped to handle it, including:

  • Fire and Smoke Restoration
  • Odor Control
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning
  • Water Damage Restoration

Mold Remediation

Because mold, whether from a leak or plumbing, can cause serious problems and health risks to those who enter your business, give us a call at SERVPRO of Whitehall to discuss how we can manage it as we work fast to address the mold. We work fast to contain the mold growth and prevent it from spreading further. Our technicians are well-trained, including:

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialists
  • Water Damage Restoration Technicians
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Cleaning Service

We address everyday soil and grime that are beyond the scope of your janitorial staff.

Storm and Major Events

Whether you need our elite large-loss specialists who work with the hospitality industry, universities and property managers, or you have damage from a storm, wind and rain, we can help. With our 24-hour emergency service, we will be there quickly to assess and fix the damage. Moreover, we work with your insurance to make the process as seamless as possible.

Here at SERVPRO of Whitehall, we have the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to help you with any mold damage or preventive practices. We are also available for cleanup after fire and water damage. Call us today at (610)-435-9690, or visit our website: SERVPROWhitehall.com

Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Work Place Water Damage is Restored by SERVPRO

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms. 
 
However, many business owners or space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment 
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that have appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails, water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. 

If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Whitehall will get you back up and running again, call us anytime 24/7 at (610)-435-9690. We will return your business back to normal and make it like it never even happened.

Freeze Drying and Why You Should Care - Whitehall, PA

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Freeze Drying and Why You Should Care - Whitehall, PA Water is not always your friend. Especially if you run an office that requires a lot of documents and secure information to be kept.

Do you have a lot of important documents in your office?

Is your office subjected to HIPAA regulations or client and patient confidentiality laws?

What is your plan for all those if you have a water damage event?

Did you know that SERVPRO of Whitehall has a solution for that?

It starts with a relationship with your facility and an understanding about what the process is and how it works. Here is a snapshot. We need to have someone from your office that can assist with proper labeling of the boxes so none of the files are misfiled.

The next steps are critical and will ensure the largest number of documents survive.

Freezing Documents/Cold Storage

Where to find Cold Storage Facilities. Grocery Stores tend to have a vendor in their area that rents cold storage spaces to store their excess frozen goods until they are ready to be put on the shelf. These facilities regularly have extra space and will store documents as well. Price may vary depending on your location. However, the average rate around the country is roughly $4 a cubic foot per month. These facilities should be used primarily if you need Long-Term storage.  SERVPRO Industries, Inc. also has cold storage available. Call and ask about available space and pricing. Documents should be sent to SERVPRO Industries, Inc. as soon as possible in order to minimize damage to documents and facilitate drying procedures to ensure efficient return.

Shipping

Any of the major shipping carriers (UPS, FedEx, USPS) will work for smaller orders. Overnight Shipping is a MUST. Whether the documents are frozen or not. It is crucial that we receive these documents as soon as possible in order to keep them frozen until they are ready to be cycled through the chamber. This prevents further damage and deterioration. Overnight shipping is most important when dealing with documents that have not been frozen PRIOR to shipping. The sooner we receive documents that have not been frozen the sooner we can freeze them and stop them from further damage/deterioration. Refrigerated Trucks and Trailers (Reefer Trucks) Reefer trucks come in many different sizes, ranging from 16’ box trucks all the way to 53’ tractor trailers. They can be rented from a lot of the major rental companies like Penske, and Ryder. There are even smaller rental companies all over the nation that rent reefer trucks. Reefer trucks work the best when dealing with larger quantities of documents. This is because it doubles as your cold storage as well as shipping! Once you have the truck packed, all you have to do is find a driver to drive it to us and we’ll handle the rest!

Benefits of Vacuum Freeze Drying

Vacuum Freeze drying

  1. Process in which an item containing moisture is frozen and dried using various vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation.
  2. Sublimation is the direct conversion of a solid (Ice) into a gas (water vapor), without passage through a liquid stage. Take Dry Ice for example. Dry ice is made of Carbon Dioxide, not water. When dry ice is exposed to normal atmospheric conditions it begins to sublimate, it turns directly from its sold stage into its gaseous stage bypassing the liquid stage

Why Vacuum Freeze Drying?

Vacuum Freeze Drying is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water damaged documents. It is the only method that is approved by NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) and the GSA (General Services Administration). Other Methods such as dehumidification can alter the structure of the paper’s fibers and cause the papers to become more brittle and is not recommended by any means.

Other Services Provided

      Digitizing

With the new age of technology majority of people have begun digitizing their documentation rather than keeping the hard paper copies. However, businesses that have been around for a long time (Hospitals, Law Firms, State and Federal Governments) still have a surplus of paper documentation. Most of these businesses do not have the time to digitize these old files. In the event that these documents need to be salvaged, digitizing may also be a good option. It makes them easier to access as well as easier to store. Many businesses have storage facilities that are specifically for documents, or they subcontract the storage and upkeep to a company like Iron Mountain. This makes accessing a particular file very difficult and painstaking.

In a contaminated water situation (Sewage or Flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. As you all know, in most storm situations you are dealing with contaminated water. Therefore most of the affected documents that you will encounter will be contaminated. If this is the case then de-contamination is always a must.

Certified destruction:

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Compliance

What is HIPAA?

Requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information.

Why HIPAA is important?

  1. Doctors by law cannot release PHI (Protected Health Information) to just anyone. With that being said, covered entities (Hospitals, Physicians, Doctors, etc.) cannot release PHI for the purpose of recovery and/or restoration to anyone unless that Business Associate (BA) is HIPAA compliant. This is to ensure that their patient records are being handled properly and with minimal risk for any PHI to be compromised.
  2. Chain of Custody is the tracking of sensitive documents (or any documents) through a process. This depicts whose hands the documents passed through and when, allowing any company to track down any leaks of sensitive information (if such situation where to occur). It is crucial when handling sensitive documentation, especially when dealing with protected health information (Commonly Referred to as PHI).
  3. HIPAA Certifications ensure that personnel are Master HIPAA certified to handle PHI. This certification allows SERVPRO not only to handle PHI, but tells Covered Entities that we are held to a high standard and can and will be held accountable if any information is compromised.

We hope that this has given you something to think about. Should you like us to go through this further with those at your office please call us at 610-435-9690 and set up your appointment today.

Mold in Your Commercial Property

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can be found almost anywhere. Issues arise after water and food sources are made available to the spores. These two factors allow the mold to colonize. Take this picture for example. Mold does not typically form on metal. However, the pipes had a significant enough amount of dust to allow it to support the mold colony. Keep this in mind when you are completing spring cleaning.

Once a problem area of mold is found the first step is making sure to alleviate the moisture issues. The second step is having the mold remediated. Often customers worry about what type of mold may exist in their home. According to SERVPRO, “Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”. Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing. Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.” Long story short, if you suspect a mold problem. Contact the professionals to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke and Soot in your Lehigh County Home

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Whitehall will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 610-435-9690