How To Maintain Your Home’s Furnace
The furnace filter should be changed every couple of months.
Reduce the Risk Of Your Furnace Malfunctioning
If you have problems with your furnace in Wyncote, PA, you are probably worried about needing a whole new heating system. A faulty furnace can cause a fire, however, and fire cleaning procedures can be even more expensive than the cost of a new furnace. The good news is that there are some routine maintenance steps you can perform at home to reduce the risk of your furnace malfunctioning.
1. Check the Burner Flames
Before you begin, turn off the electric power switch and remove the chamber door. Then turn the power back on and turn up the thermostat to activate the flames. Burner flames should be blue and even. If the flames are yellow, this indicates the burners are dirty.
2. Clean the Burners
Turn off the power again and then shut the gas off. Vacuum the burners and clean the base of the furnace as well. Check for soot and clean up any black powder to reduce the likelihood of needing a fire cleaning down the road. The blower door should also be removed to clean the blower compartment.
3. Remove and Clean the Blower
Remove the blower and carefully clean the blades with a small brush or handheld vacuum, making sure not to disturb the counterweights on the blades of the fan. A well-maintained fan also reduces the need for smoke cleaning in the event of a fire.
4. Change the Furnace Filter
The furnace filter should be changed every couple of months. Inexpensive fiberglass filters are usually sufficient in protecting both the blower motor and the blower. Consult your owner’s manual if you have questions about the type of filters recommended for your furnace.
Schedule an annual furnace maintenance checkup with a professional in addition to these DIY tips. It is also essential to call a fire restoration service if you ever experience a furnace fire.
Avoid the need for a fire cleaning by keeping your furnace well-maintained.
Leaking Roof? Beware of Mold
Mold damage on a ceiling.
As a business owner in Flourtown, PA, your daily to-do list may seem endless. Ensuring maintenance of the property may be easy to overlook, but even a minor roof leak may quickly lead to reprioritizing your list. While a mold remediation and restoration company is trained to eliminate black mold and restore the property, avoiding it altogether is a better alternative.
Types of Growth
Unfortunately, small leaks may go undetected. Since this pesky fungus only needs around 24 to 48 hours to start forming, it may have already spread into a big problem. For commercial properties, there are two main types of black mold growth that a leaking roof can cause:
Systemic Growth: If moisture has built up for an extended period of time, the growth may have spread to the entire attic under the roof. This requires more extensive remediation.
Limited Growth: If there is enough ventilation or the problem has been discovered soon enough, the moisture accumulation may be minimized to the affected area. With it being more contained, the cleanup process is typically much easier to address.
While a ceiling leak is a sure sign of a problem, that often takes time to happen. In many cases, the problem isn’t discovered until the damage has already happened. Along with having the roof inspected for potential issues or replacement if is a few decades old, general maintenance helps prevent problems and makes the roof last longer.
Remove any debris that has settled on the roof to avoid damage.
Regularly have gutters and downspouts cleaned to prevent water from pooling.
If the property is near a tree, ensure overhanging branches are trimmed back.
Being faced with black mold means time and money spent on cleanup. While the right conditions may make it hard to avoid, being proactive and addressing any roof issues helps minimize the chances of a problem.
Flooding Versus Storm Damage: 3 Differences
Commercial storm damage in Plymouth Meeting, PA.
Three Differences Between Flooding and Storm Damage
When you own a Plymouth Meeting, PA, business, the risk of storm and flooding damage may be high on your list of worries, especially when certain times of the year are known for violent weather. Storms may produce flooding, high winds and power outages; however, there are several differences between flood damage and other types of issues that result from storms, and understanding each may help you recover more quickly afterward.
1. Floods Contain Black Water
When flooding occurs at your business due to storms, the resulting influx of water is likely to come from a contaminated source, such as an overflowing creek or sewer. As a result, the porous building materials inside your business, such as drywall, may absorb this dirty water and cause stains and an unpleasant odor. You may have to replace such items.
2. Storm Damage Is More Varied
When storm damage occurs, it may be more varied and extended than flooding. High winds can break windows, tear away building materials and cause damage to your property's roof. When these types of problems occur, your storm repair and restoration service may have to spend more time ensuring all types of damage are repaired before you can reopen your business.
3. Insurance Differences
Some insurance companies define flood damage differently than that caused by storms, especially when the flooding came from an internal source, such as a broken pipe. Flooding caused by heavy rains may be covered under your policy; however, it is best to contact your local insurance representative and send photos of the damage before attempting to open a claim. You can protect damaged areas of your building by blocking broken windows with wood planks and using tarps to prevent rainwater from entering a damaged roof.
Flood damage and storms can severely affect your Plymouth Meeting, PA, business in a variety of ways. Understanding how each might impact your bottom line may help you put you on the path to reopening more quickly and reducing downtime for your employees.
During Regular Building Maintenance, Remember To Check Your Ceiling
Mold growth on a ceiling due to humidity.
Remember to Check Your Ceiling During Building Maintenance
When it's time to do preventative maintenance at your Cheltenham, PA, facility, don't overlook your ceiling tiles. Most commercial buildings have long-lasting, durable ceilings, which make them easy to forget. However, the porous material in many ceilings makes them vulnerable to dirt, water stains or tile mold.
When you evaluate your ceiling, look for tile discoloration or warping due to water damage. Even if your roof is intact, suspended ceilings are susceptible to damage from:
- Leaky pipes
- Humidity or condensation in the ductwork
- Dust and dirt, especially around vents
Grids can also become warped or rusty from exposure to water and humidity.
Your ceiling may have collected more dust and dirt than you expected. Wipe the grid with a damp cloth and some cleaner to see if it makes a clean spot. If so, your ceiling tiles are dirty, too. Clean your ceiling with a soft broom or a gentle commercial cleaner with no solvents.
Now is a good time to check any pipes or ductwork above the ceiling, especially in areas that appear stained or damaged. Cleaning your ductwork as part of a general maintenance routine will reduce the amount of dust above your ceiling.
If you find tile mold, a professional remediation company can help you find hidden water sources and mitigate damage.
If you need to replace some of your damaged tiles, check to see if the manufacturer still makes your pattern. It's a good idea to buy what you need plus about 2 percent extra to have on hand in case of future water damage or tile discoloration.
If you notice a big color difference between the old and new tiles, consider replacing all of them for a uniform look.
Maintaining the ceiling in your Cheltenham, PA, facility is a good way to keep problems like tile mold and excess dirt from getting out of hand.
The Step Businesses Cannot Forget To Take Before a Storm Hits
SERVPRO of Whitemarsh/Cheltenham operates 24/7.
There's no way to predict the exact catastrophic loss that will occur after extreme weather. However, you can look at the historical data. Billions of dollars in the U.S. are spent yearly due to widespread damage from natural disasters. This gives an inside look into just how devastating a large-scale disaster can be. Particularly, if you run a commercial business with several franchises in a storm-prone area, it's best to be prepared.
Types of Damages That Occur
The Bureau of Economic Analysis defines catastrophic loss as any event that causes greater losses than usual. This can include hurricanes, flooding, extremely cold weather, tornadoes, wildfires, and more. Some of the aspects of commercial businesses most affected are:
- Physical structures
- Income sources
- Depletion of goods
- Employee health
- Financial standing
- Document destruction
This is just the beginning. Storm damage can cause long-lasting effects if not tended to promptly and properly.
Professionals That Mitigate Damages
While you can't predict the future, you can plan ahead for storm damage. There are structural and financial steps to take, but there is one crucial element of storm preparedness that cannot be overlooked. Get in touch with an insurance-preferred disaster recovery team that can respond quickly and efficiently if and when disaster strikes. SERVPRO sends many locations to a storm area to help rebuild faster. The best experts across the country are sent to the site, not just the local team in Cheltenham, PA.
What You Should Avoid
While SERVPRO operates 24/7 and will get the experts to the affected area as quickly as possible, there are things that you can do to reduce damages in the meantime. You should avoid:
- Any suspected water contamination
- Operating electrical machines near water
- Keeping affected food, even canned goods
You should wear protective clothing and shoes at all times and try to wipe up water from surfaces where you can safely do so. Watch for mold growth. Catastrophic loss is never pleasant, but it can be less devastating with the right plan in place.
5 Reasons for Toilet Overflow
Avoid flushing toilet paper into your toilet.
Five Causes a Toilet To Overflow
A toilet overflow and sewer damage in a commercial building in Whitemarsh, PA, is everything else but fun. It gets even worse if it’s a recurring problem that you have no explanation for. If you have a flooded toilet, it’s best to reach out to a sewage company that specializes in commercial restoration soonest so your business can get back to normal. Here are five situations that can cause a toilet to overflow.
1. Clogged Drain Line
This is probably the most common reason for toilet overflow, and it is oftentimes associated with the line that connects the toilet to the main exterior line. However, it’s also possible that other lines are responsible for this. That’s why it’s recommended to have an expert assess the situation.
2. Sewer Issue
A flooded toilet can also be related to the sewer lines. It’s not unheard of that lines that run from the building to the main sewer line get clogged with foreign materials and objects. Even tree roots can block or damage pipes.
3. Septic Issues
Is your commercial property on a septic system? In this case, the tank can be full or unable to absorb any more water, which can lead to sewer damage.
4. Low-Flow Toilet
Chances are your toilets see a lot of usages and they might not be able to handle what they are being asked to do. Especially older low-flow toilets are known to be troublesome as they are not as strong and durable as their modern counterparts. You might not be able to control what type of non-flushable items or the amount of toilet paper people are trying to flush.
5. Blocked Trap
The trap between the base or bowl of the toilet and the drain pipe can get clogged up with foreign objects and even too much toilet paper. This can cause a water backup.
These are some of the most common reasons for toilet overflow. A sewage company can find the issue and clean up the sewer damage in your commercial building.
How To Prepare for a Home Fire When You Have Pets
Include your pets in your fire escape plan.
When You Have Pets, How Do You Prepare for a House Fire?
The thought of a fire in your home in Lafayette Hill, PA can be scary, especially if you have pets. However, being prepared for the worst can help you react appropriately if a fire emergency does occur.
1. Take Precautions
Although not all fires are preventable, it’s often wise to do what you can to prevent a fire from occurring in your home by focusing on pet safety. If your pets roam around the house while you are away, making sure to keep away potential fire hazards out of reach from your pets can be helpful. Since not all fire hazards can be easily moved, it’s often best to keep pets in an area where they do not have access to potentially dangerous items while you are out of your house.
2. Make a Plan
Knowing how to react in the event of a fire emergency is important for everyone, but it’s especially important when you have pets. Make a plan of escape and know how to escape your home if your first route of escape is blocked off. After you have a plan, it’s useful to frequently practice this plan. If a fire does occur, having a plan in place can save you time and energy and can ultimately keep you and your pets safe.
3. Prepare Documentation
Part of pet preparation involves updating documents about your pets and keeping them in a fire-resistant container. If your pet does need veterinary care after a fire, having all of your pet’s documents in one place can save you a great deal of stress. Additionally, placing a sticker on a window at the entrance of your home that includes the number of pets in your home can be beneficial for firefighters when entering your home.
Taking steps to prevent a fire from occurring, making a fire escape plan and preparing documents that pertain to your pets can help you prepare for a fire. If a fire emergency has affected you and your home, it may be useful to contact fire damage restoration experts.
3 Benefits of Electronic Claims Services
An electronic claims service can facilitate filing and processing an insurance claim.
SERVPRO Claims Information Center
An electronic claims service can facilitate filing and processing an insurance claim. These services are designed to benefit insured parties, insurance representatives and restoration professionals. There are three major benefits to services such as the SERVPRO Claims Information Center.
1. Easy Access
It should be easy for parties involved in the processing of a claim to be able to view data and track the process through an online service. By logging onto an electronic claims service, an insurance agent should be able to access:
- Collected data on claims, damage and cost
- Individual claim information
- Mitigation and restoration company comparisons
All of this information can help an agent or adjuster make sure that a claim is accurate and complete. The ease of accessing an electronic service can also reduce communication-related delays that may otherwise slow down the claim filing process.
2. Extensive Data
In addition to having access to an estimate and claim information for an individual insured party, an electronic claims service should also offer access to other useful data. Specifically, it can be useful to compare:
- Causes of loss
- Job file costs
- Response times
- Types of claims
This data can help an insurer make sure that the amounts of an insurance claim or estimate are reasonable compared to other claims filed in a county, state, region or nationwide.
3. Expedited Processing
One of the most significant advantages to electronic claims services is the elimination of several common causes of delays in settling a claim. Fewer back-and-forth communications between an insurance agent and mitigation and restoration company should be necessary when information is readily available through an electronic resource.
Every one of these benefits of electronic claims services is available through the SERVPRO Claims Information Center. This resource, combined with the company's all-in-one mitigation and restoration services, allows for faster insurance claim settlements after damage to a residence in Lafayette Hill, PA.
Assessing Damage From an Overflowing Toilet
Whitemarsh/Cheltenham offers sewage cleanup services in Wyndmoor, PA.
Counting the Costs of a Toilet Overflow
Water damage from an overflowing toilet is fairly common. Toilets are a necessary part of life, but they can create quite a mess. They can get clogged. Septic tanks stop draining properly. A flooded toilet is always bad news, and sewer damage due to an overflowing toilet or a backflow of sewage in Wyndmoor, PA, needs to be dealt with immediately.
Stopping the Overflow
When you notice your bathroom is flooding, you need to shut off the water. The toilet shut-off valve is usually located behind the commode. Don’t attempt to flush the toilet until you discover the cause of the problem.
Clean up as much of the water as you can. In most cases, you need to call a sewage company to fix the problem. Backups can be caused by clogs, septic tank backups or excessive rain. A professional can ascertain the cause of your sewage issues and come up with a solution.
Dealing With Sewage
Much of the time, an overflowing toilet can cause sewer damage. The water coming out of the bowl may be considered gray or black water. These categories need to be dealt with differently because they contain contaminants that could make you sick.
You need specialized equipment to sanitize the area. Professionals have decontamination suits and the proper tools to deal with the situation. Regular household cleaners are inadequate to kill the bacteria associated with sewage.
Surveying the Damage
Certain types of flooring are more susceptible to damage. In some cases, your flooring may need to be replaced. If the flooding occurred on a second story, you could have leakage in between the floors. Depending on the level of water damage, you may need to dry the area extensively to ensure no mold grows. Dispose of as much as possible if the cause of the overflow was sewer damage.
An overflowing toilet can be a big headache. Don’t risk it if you are dealing with potentially contaminated water. Consult a sewage damage professional to get the job done right.
3 Ways Roof Tarping Can Protect Your Business
A basic roof tarp is one of the easiest ways to protect your Wyncote, PA, business.
How Tarping Can Help While You Await Roof Repair
After a fire, your property is especially vulnerable. In addition to covering fire cleanup expenses, you must worry about the threat of additional damage and vandalism posed by broken windows, doors and in some cases, roofs. A basic roof tarp is one of the easiest ways to protect your Wyncote, PA, business from further damage that insurance won’t cover. Learn more about how tarping can help while you await roof repair.
A tarp is short for tarpaulin, a big piece of strong, flexible and typically waterproof material with a myriad of potential uses. These can be made of:
or any number of durable, water-resistant materials. Their size and durability make them a great choice for protecting your roof. Here’s how.
Prevent Weather Damage
Fires are notorious for burning through the roof, leaving gaping holes that can let outside weather in. Water seeping in through your roof not only damages the contents inside but can soak the insulation, creating the perfect scenario for a costly mold problem down the road.
Water isn’t the only thing that can get in through roof holes. Squirrels, birds and even mice can get into your building through roof holes, setting the stage for a costly infestation that can take months to resolve.
A damaged roof is a weakened one and everything from extra water to strong winds can create more stress that leads to a collapse - and even higher roof repair costs in addition to initial fire cleanup expenses.
How Tarping Works
Tarps work by creating a temporary but strong barrier against the outside while you await roof repair. Installers simply scale your roof and nail the tarp into place. It’s reliable and easily removed when you’re ready to fix your roof.
Protecting your roof during fire cleanup need not be costly. Contact a tarp services specialist to determine what your tarping options are.