Recent Water Damage Posts

Water Damage Tips

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

When you first notice signs of water damage, it is imperative that you act as quickly as you can! The sooner you get to the issue and begin to remedy, the less damage will be done to your property or belongings. 

One of the things you should immediately consider, is calling your local SERVPRO professionals to get to your home to begin inspection. We will look over all affected areas to determine the extent of damage before we start any work.

These inspections give us a great idea of how bad the areas are soiled, what type of work should be done, and how to avoid doing unnecessary work if we do not need to.

Our services are not only thorough and cost-efficient, but we see them through correctly!

For all of your restoration needs, call us TODAY!

Get Covered Before the Storms!

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

The following information was adapted from the United States Department of Homeland Security's website:

"Every part of the United States is at risk for winter flooding. Since many people are focused primarily on ice and snow this time of year, this is the time to remind customers to think about their winter flood risk.

Floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States. Flooding causes damage and destruction across regions nationwide—wiping out homes, businesses and personal financial resources.

Residents need to know that they can take steps to protect their property and financial security before disaster strikes. However, many residents who are eligible for protection are unaware they can get flood insurance."

Make sure you have some type of coverage before more inclement weather hits our region!

Contact SERVPRO for information on how you can set up an ERP before disaster strikes!

Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

There have been too many homeowners that have descended down their basement steps to find a pool of murky water greeting them. This instance is an all-too-familiar one, as many Americans claim to have dealt with a flood in their basement at least once. 

Water follows the path of least resistance, finding cracks and holes through basement walls. Flooding can often be attributed to insufficient drainage around basement walls, heavy rains, a faulty sump pump, or a combination of these factors.

The water that goes unseen could wreck havoc in your foundation, causing further damage and could also welcome an infestation of mold. This is a scenario you should strive to avoid at all costs!

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are highly trained in water damage restoration including basement and crawlspace flooding. They have the experience, expertise, and equipment to remove the water and dry your basement properly. Their water removal and drying process emphasizes monitoring and documentation to validate your property is dry.

SERVPRO Tackles Sewer Jobs!

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Does your water loss involve a sewer backup? If so, you should treat this situation as an emergency! You may be vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that can cause serious illness if you have been exposed to sewage water and waste.

Call your local SERVPRO franchise to send out a trained professional to handle these crappy situations for you — we will get the job done quickly and will safely clean your property of all its contaminants and dirtiness.

And don’t worry if you’re toilet overflows or if a pipe bursts in the middle of night — we got your back! No matter the time, no matter the day, SERVPRO is always ready to assist you and to make your disasters look like they never even happened!

Water Damage? Act Fast!

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is absolutely crucial. Our SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can respond immediately and will use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly, too!

We guarantee that we will closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly. This will help ensure that your property isn't dealing with water left in unseen areas. Finding these small puddles makes a difference when combating mold!

How can you act fast, though? Choosing SERVPRO!

Our 24/7 emergency service means that we are always faster to any size disaster; our reputation stems from this fact, making SERVPRO a trusted leader in the restoration industry. 

When you are in need of assistance, go with what you know. #ChooseSERVPRO

Gamma Irradiation

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Gamma irradiation is a process used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source producing ionization throughout a product.

In a CAT 3 situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. In most storm situations, you are dealing with CAT 3 water; therefore, most of the affected documents that you will encounter these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures, These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.

SERVPRO is always ready to help restore your documents and would be more than willing to assist you in any way that we can — give your local franchise a call for all of your restoration needs!

Vacuum Freeze Drying Wet Documents

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

As to be expected with flooding and water-damaged homes, important documents, like financial statements or paperwork, also get water-damaged and what is usually perceived as unsalvageable. However, SERVPRO offers services that can help you restore your important documents to reclaim their original form.

Utilizing our SERVPRO Vacuum Freeze Drying services is the most efficient and effective option for salvaging water-damaged documents. In fact, our Document Restoration Team uses the same techniques that the Library of Congress uses to dry water-damaged books!

The process, in which an item containing moisture, is frozen and dried using vacuums to achieve sublimation, from exerting a lot of pressure. Sublimation means that solids (ice) turn into gas (water vapor) without becoming liquid first. Think about the carbon dioxide derivation, dry ice; dry ice (solid) sublimates when it is exposed to normal atmospheric conditions, turning into gas directly from its solid stage.

If you have wet documents due to water damage, or have any questions regarding this process, contact your local SERVPRO Franchise today!

-Content by Rob D’Emilio Jr.

Local Flooding in Your Areas

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

With several inches of rain accumulating in our area, flooding is inevitable and can prove to be quite costly. In fact, in 2011, floods caused $8.41 billion in damages in the United States (LiveScience); in some degree, wherever rain falls, flooding can occur.

SERVPRO of Germantown’s technicians are highly skilled in dealing with flooding of all sorts, assuring each homeowner that the job will be done correctly and efficiently. From start to finish, our staff and technicians will support you each step of the way — no loss is too big for us to tackle!

There are measures that you could take to help limit the severity of damages to your home or business caused by flooding; putting together an emergency kit for your family and creating escape plans if you are anticipating a high volume of flood water will definitely keep you ready.

Furthermore, keeping your internal assets, like your furnace, water heater and electrical panels, up off the ground will also limit the likelihood of flood-related damages.

-Content by Rob D'Emilio Jr., Statistics from LiveScience.com

Water Damage Over Time

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Secondary destruction, due to an initial issue with water damage, is almost always inevitable if the appropriate, initial steps aren’t taken. Over time, water can cause your house to suffer from numerous issues. In fact, water damage can rapidly increase the owner’s claim costs in just a couple of minutes; moisture-sensitive furniture could start to turn white, or furniture that is resting on/in wet areas could begin to leach and stain the surrounding areas.

Within a few hours, any furniture that is resting in water will likely begin to swell and delaminate. Odors, which are typically considered normal for households, begin to become more apparent due to the humidity inside the property.

If left alone for days, warping and cupping of wood starts to become more noticeable, often leaving wooden floors unsalvageable. Wooden floors aren’t only affected, though, being that structural pieces (made from wood) begin to swell, warp and split apart. More possibilities include musty odors that could fill the property due to fungi development, or less abrasive instances where wallpaper adhesives start to peel away — just be sure to remove items that are being hung using this method to prevent further damage to those items.

Properties that go weeks without being tended to after water damage are liable to obtain a laundry list of issues. Mold starts to sink into organic material, ultimately ruining the integrity of said material. Due to microbial growth, allergen sensitivity may arise, causing any occupants to evacuate the property. But it gets worse; a complete gutting of the structure could be the only option. Not only will this drive out the occupants who are living in that residence, but will increase the claim substantially.

It is important to handle any considerable amount of water damage done to your home in a timely matter. Doing so could potentially avoid a large loss situation that could have been totally avoidable in the first place.

Are you unsure of what to do or how to handle your water damage situation? Call your local SERVPRO franchise for all of your water restoration needs!

-Content by Rob D'Emilio Jr. 

Restoration Cases Involving Contaminated Water Damage

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

When your home is affected by water damage, taking the appropriate, safe steps to restore the property is usually the correct response. However, if your home was damaged due to contaminated water, like sewage, there are some things to consider that will help prevent exposure to a range of harmful pollutants.

First and foremost, contact your local SERVPRO franchise to help you decide what your best course of action is. Our Franchise Professionals can identify the source and type of water, before utilizing drying equipment that controls the temperate and humidity, which minimizes secondary damage.

In the meantime, do your best to avoid any and all contact with contaminated water and the items it also may have contaminated. By not walking unnecessarily through damaged areas, you can reduce the possibility of spreading contaminated water through your property.

Do not use household fans or HVAC systems to dry the structure; spreading contaminants through the air could be a likely outcome by doing so. Furthermore, do not use personal hygiene products if they have been exposed to contaminated areas — if you’ve come in contact with contaminated items, wash your hands thoroughly.

To learn more about contaminated water and how it could impact you, visit epa.gov where you will find a complete list of possible contaminants due to contaminated water.

-Content by Rob D’Emilio Jr.

Dealing with Water Damage?

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

House affected by water damage? Here is what you should not do:

If your ceiling is wet or looks to be sagging, do not enter the room or attempt to turn on any ceiling fixtures for any reason. Avoiding rooms with standing water, where electrical shock hazards may exist, is of upmost importance; moreover, electrical shock hazards should be avoided at all costs. This means you should not enter areas if there are electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or any other kinds of electrical equipment that is directly exposed to copious amounts of water and/or water damage. Putting yourself in harm's way is an unneeded risk after your property suffers water damage — call your local SERVPRO franchise for further assistance. 

-Content by Rob D'Emilio Jr. 

Polar Vortex

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Polar Vortex

The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the Earth's North and South poles. The term vortex refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air close to the poles (left globe). Often during winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the polar vortex will become less stable and expand, sending cold Arctic air southward over the United States with the jet stream (right globe). The polar vortex is nothing new  – in fact, it's thought that the term first appeared in an 1853 issue of E. Littell's Living Age

Provided by NOAA.GOV

Water Damage Emergency Tips

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

When an emergency happens people tend to panic and sometimes do not have the proper tools to calmly deal with the situation. When water affects your house whether it be due to a heavy storm or a broken water heater it is always good to be informed on what to do next.

As in any emergency, safety should be you number one concern, and a water damage situation is no different!

  • “Is it safe to stay in the house?” This should always be the first question you ask yourself. If the water damage has any potential to put you or your family at risk, then leave the house.
  • Electrical and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most common concerns. Be sure to shut off an power source it is safe to do so safely.
  • Wet materials can be very heavy, so be careful when moving them.
  • Be sure to only do things to your house that are safe for you to do and leave the rest to the remediation crew.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

The SERVPRO Steps to Water Remedation

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

When you are faced with a water damage problem, whether it be from a broken water heater or from a heavy storm, it can be a pretty scary thing. Luckily at SERVPRO we have our own detailed way of handling these situations, from the moment you call to the time we leave the property.

Step 1: Emergency Contact:

When you call, our representative will guide you through several questions that will help the SERVPRO Franchise Professional respond to your water emergency more quickly and efficiently. This initial contact is an important part of a fast, effective restoration.

Step 2: Inspection and Water Damage Assessment:

They carefully inspect your property’s water damage, determining the type of water damage and the areas affected. This is a crucial step to creating an effective plan of action that will result in a successful restoration.

Step 3: Water Extraction/ Water Removal:

Typically, hundreds or thousands of gallons of water are removed using our powerful pumps and vacuums during the water removal process. The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals start this process as soon as possible to minimize further damage and to help prevent mold growth.

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification:

After the bulk of the water has been removed, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use specialized equipment to target the water that’s harder to access. They use less intrusive, scientific drying methods to draw the remaining water and moisture from your property with air movers and dehumidifiers.

Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing:

Water damage also affects your belongings, like furniture, clothing, and personal items. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can clean restorable items using a number of specialized cleaning techniques. They also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 6: Restoration:

The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition. The restoration step can be relatively minor, such as replacing a few drywall panels, or could include major reconstruction, such as rebuilding entire rooms of a home or business.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

The C's of Water Damage

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Many people see water in their home and immediately think the worst of the situation when in fact there are several components that go into assessing the level of damage the water has caused.

Classes of Water Damage

  • Class 1: This is the least level of damage as it only involves a section of a room that has only absorbed little moisture.
  • Class 2: This level involves water damage to an entire room and has absorbed in to the walls and carpet.
  • Class 3: The damage has now absorbed up in to most of the walls and may have come in through the ceiling. This is the worst level of damage.
  • Class 4: The water damage in class 4 requires special drying methods as it involves hardwood floors, concrete and stone materials.

Categories of Water Damage

  • Category 1: The source of this water is clean and coming from a clean water source such as a toilet tank or a broken pipe. This category can become a category 2 or 3 if it is left sitting too long
  • Category 2: This category includes water containing detergents or “grey water”. The water usually comes from washing machines or dishwashers. Water containing urine from an overflowing toilet can also be included in this category.
  • Category 3: The water in category 3 is completely unsanitary water coming from sewage, river floodings and even standing water that started to grow bacteria. This water is dangerous and can cause illness and even death if not handled properly.

Content By: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_damage 

Hurricane Florence to Cause Catastrophic Damage

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

2018 hurricane damage in billions of dollars.

Hurricane Florence is set to hit the Carolinas this week and was just downgraded to a category 2 hurricane. This downgrade doesn’t necessarily mean that the damage this storms sets to cause will not be catastrophic. The category of the storm only denotes the speed of the storms winds but not the storm surges. With this information it is hard to tell how much damage the storm will truly cause but is expected to be on par with the level of damage that last years historically destructive storms caused. Forecasters say that Hurricane Florence will cause its destruction with its high winds, coastal surge, followed by its inland surge. The hurricanes are causing more and more damage each time as more people are moving to the coast and investing in bigger, more expensive houses. Many of the houses will take a hit as it is expected to dump around 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina alone. Make sure you and your house are prepared for any level of damage with this storm.

Content and picture by: https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/13/us/hurricane-florence-south-east-coast-wxc/index.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/09/12/hurricane-florence-costs-damage-deaths-harvey-irma-maria/1265643002/

The Different Types of Moisture Meters

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

This is an example of a penetrating moisture meter.

Many times when a customer experiences water damage it can be hard to tell how bad the damage is just by looking around at the property. There can be underlying damage that is not visible to the eyes and this is where moisture meters come in to play. A restoration moisture meter or sensor measures the amount of moisture in an environment and in certain materials. Drywall, flooring and other structural components can be measured to assess the damage they may have incurred as well. These meters are very useful to put a number on the level of damage a property may have incurred.

There are a few different types of meters that all have a different pros and cons. Some jobs will only require the use of one but others will require more.

  • Non-Penetrating Meters: These are one of the easiest meters to use and are a popular choice because they pose no risk of causing any damage to the flooring or structure. These have two flat sensors usually located at the bottom of the device and compare the amount of moisture located between them. They are best for quickly comparing levels between affected and unaffected areas.
  • Penetrating Meters: These meters have a series of prongs that will penetrate the surface of a structure to take the moisture reading. These readings are much more accurate and are great for finding any trapped moisture on a site.
  • Hydrosensors: These meters are a type of penetrating meters that are great for seeing how far moisture has traveled from the surface of the structure. These work best for carpet or carpet padding but do not work with drywall.
  • Thermo-Hygrometers: Thermo-hygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity, which both will affect how drying equipment will function. These essentially test whether or not an environment can be efficiently dried with the tools that are at the teams disposal. The measurements these put out are helpful in determining if your dehumidifier is working properly.

These tools are very essential in water damage restoration projects as they give you a good understanding of how big or small the job will be. Also it gives you readings to bring back to the customer and discuss the work that will need to be done in more detail.

Content By: https://aerindustries.com/blog/2018/03/01/water-restoration-moisture-meters/

Picture By: https://www.sperdirect.com/pocket-moisture-meter-1842-prd1.htm

Commercial Water Loss in Philadelphia

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Earlier this year, a sprinkler line went off inside a building over 300,000 sq/ft in Philadelphia, PA and SERVPRO of Germantown was there to help! 

As usual, we were available at any time, so when we were called, we were there!! 

The water damage done to the building impacted every floor of the building including the basement! The water damage done throughout the building also caused electrical fires as well, so we had to move quickly. 

We were able to extract the water and also provide a generator since there was no power in the building. We not only restored the damage, but we also swept up broken tiles and chemicals from the fire extinguisher to help make the building more presentable.

This loss was so big, that we worked together with other SERVPRO's in the area to ensure the job would be completed quickly.

SERVPRO can handle any commercial loss, no matter the size. We all work together to help you, and to restore your building as quickly as possible, so you can get back to business. 

Have questions? Call SERVPRO of Germantown at (215)-848-8875

Ready for whatever happens...

Burst Pipes? Prepare Ahead of Time!

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes? No problem for SERVPRO!

What exactly causes a burst pipe?

The cold weather season may be great for those who love to ski or snowboard but those who own/rent a house, may feel less enticed by the decreasing temperatures.

Polar vortexes, frosts and reoccurring cold fronts can cause severe damages to the pipes in and outside your home. While several factors can result in a burst pipe, the main reason is freezing temperatures. When the water inside a pipe freezes, the freezing process causes the water to expand thus creating pressure on the pipe from within. Additionally, trickles of water may still be flowing through and in between the frozen walls of the pipes.

All combined, the pressure becomes too great and the pipe ruptures at a weaker joint or even in the middle at times. As pipes can run from underground, outside and up through your home, the amount of water damage can be extensive and costly.

Tips:

  • Instill a regular seasonal maintenance plan-i.e. disconnect and drain any outdoor hoses before the cold weather; as one of these bursting can cause extensive damage to your entire plumbing system
  • For plumbing pipes located in an unheated area of your home or business, consider foam pipe insulation ($50-$200 depending on length)
  • If you migrate to a warmer climate throughout any extended time during the winter months; make sure your furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees and the main water supply is shut-off during the time you are away

215-536-7989: Attention Germantown Residents!

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO if your sump pump fails!

Sump Pump Failure?

Many homeowners in and around the Quakertown area (yes, that means those of you in Perkasie, Sellersville, and Coopersburg too!) rely on a sump pump to keep their basement from flooding. But have you ever stopped to think what may happen if your sump pump fails?

Will you realize it's not working?

Will you wake up to several inches of water in your basement?

These are questions that many people typically do not consider until it is too late. Be sure to do your routine maintenance and make sure all of the working parts which comprise your sump pump are working properly.

If you do happen to wake up to that unwelcome surprise in your basement, no worries! Just call your local SERVPRO office located in Perkasie and we'll make it, "Like it never even happened." 215-536-7989