Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

The Step Businesses Cannot Forget To Take Before a Storm Hits

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

Green truck SERVPRO of Whitemarsh/Cheltenham operates 24/7.

Storm Preparedness

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.

3 Benefits of Electronic Claims Services

2/19/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cel phone. 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.

How To Protect Your Building After a Fire

12/26/2021 (Permalink)

Windows of a building boarded up Board up building after a fire in Cheltenham, PA.

How To Protect Your Building After a Fire

After a fire, your business property will likely sustain extensive fire damage. Not only does fire destroy everything it touches, but the water firefighters use to put out the fire can cause problems with the structure, too. When a fire breaks out in your commercial building, your best course of action is to quickly call fire cleanup experts. They can help you take the following steps to safeguard your building from further damage.

Board the Windows

The heat from a fire often breaks any glass in the building. Windows are especially susceptible to breakage because they give the hot air a place to escape. This can leave your building in Cheltenham, PA, vulnerable to the following:

  • Vandalism
  • Animals
  • Bad weather

While technicians are working on the roof repair and waiting for replacement glass to arrive, have them board up the holes left by the fire. This can help prevent secondary damage that would be added to your insurance claim.

Secure Tarps Over the Roof

It is unlikely that your roof will be repaired in one visit. However, the holes in the surface can lead to more damage if left exposed, so it can be a challenge to finish the repair in a timely manner if the roof is uncovered when repair personnel are not present. Tarp services are an essential part of the fire cleanup process. Depending on the extent of the fire and smoke damage, technicians may cover the whole roof or just the affected portions. Using a tarp prevents additional water and debris from getting into your building.
A fire in your building can cause significant fire, smoke and water damage. You can help keep outside elements from exacerbating these problems by using tarp services in Cheltenham, PA. Your fire cleanup crew can recommend the tarp and board-up services that you need to keep your building safe and secure until repairs are complete.

How To Handle Water Damage in a Commercial Building

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

Wet carpet floor. Water damage in Flourtown, PA.

Water Damage In a Commercial Building

Whether it’s a pipe burst, a plumbing issue, or storm flooding, water damage can cause serious issues for a business. If this happens to your commercial building, your main priority should be drying up the moisture as soon as possible. Here are five damage tips you can use to make the process easier.

1. Identify the Source

The first thing to focus on is to stop whatever is causing the flooding. If it is through an internal system, shut off the water. Once you have done this, try mopping up extra moisture and removing carpets and rugs. Don’t forget to wear protective gear while dealing with potentially contaminated water.

2. Open the Windows

Natural ventilation is one of the best damage tips for preserving the structure of the building. Heat or forced drying can warp wood and prevent contents from drying completely. Open windows if it isn’t humid outside and turn on fans for air circulation.

3. Remove Valuables From Affected Areas

When it comes to damaged technology, documents, and other precious items, water is a known culprit. Move valuables upstairs or away from flooded areas and freeze exposed documents to prevent further exposure and deterioration.

4. Get Professional Help

If you want to get the restoration process going as quickly as possible, call in remediation professionals. A restoration company can give you immediate advice, share cleaning tips, and suggest where to go next. They can also help dry the building, prevent mold from spreading, and restore the structure.

5. Take Pictures of Everything

If your business in Flourtown, PA, has insurance, it’s a smart idea to call them and get compensation for your losses. Try to document all affected areas so that the insurance adjuster can assist you in the best possible way.

These water damage tips can help you avoid the most aftermath following a flood. By keeping a cool head and acting quickly, you can get started on the restoration process.

How Vinegar Can Help You Salvage Moldy Belongings

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on ceiling. White vinegar is an efficient mold cleaning product, but it is not an ideal solution for every item in your home.

A flood or burst pipe can cause significant destruction inside your Whitemarsh, PA, home, including mold damage. Some items inside your home may not respond well to mold cleaning and may need to be discarded. However, you can increase your chances of salvaging many of your possessions, if you act quickly. A variety of chemicals can aid your mold remediation efforts including one that may surprise you, vinegar.

Vinegar’s Mold-fighting Power

The white vinegar inside your pantry is a mild acid that can efficiently kill most mold types. Unlike bleach, which can damage colored cloth, vinegar is safe to use on numerous objects.

1. Non-Porous Materials

Glass and tile are examples of non-porous materials that you can easily clear of mold. To clean these items, spray or wipe the affected area with vinegar, and allow it to sit for approximately one hour. Then, rinse with warm water. To prevent regrowth, spray the area again and allow it to air dry.

2. Wooden Items

Vinegar can also help you clean and salvage moldy wooden items if you address the problem quickly. To accomplish this task, mix white vinegar, soap, and water and wipe the contaminated wood. You can also scrub the solution into the wood with a brush.

3. Clothing and Upholstery

Fabric is porous and offers many potential hiding places for mold spores. Hidden spores that are not properly removed during mold cleaning may re-contaminate your home. For this reason, you may need to dispose of heavily contaminated clothing and upholstered furniture.

You may, however, be able to salvage lightly soiled items. You can add a cup of vinegar into your washing machine, along with detergent. Once the clothing is clean, allow it to dry in the sun, if possible.

Additional Assistance

White vinegar is an efficient mold cleaning product, but it is not an ideal solution for every item in your home. Mold-damaged books and other paper objects are not usually salvageable. Leather products and electronic equipment are other items potentially susceptible to mold damage. Because these belongings are delicate, you should consult a mold remediation expert to help you properly clean them and assure they are mold-free.

Mold Emergency: What To Do When You Have a Mold Problem

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. SERVPRO can help you contain the mold problem in your home and start to fix it.

What To Do If You Have A Mold Emergency

When your home experiences water damage, it is important to have it cleaned up quickly, because black mold can start to grow within 24 to 48 hours. If you have a moisture problem, it is likely that you will eventually also have a mold problem. Here are a few tips on what to do and whom to enlist to help.

Immediate Action

Mold only needs three criteria to thrive:

  • Air flow
  • Moisture
  • A little time

Mold spores are transported through the air. Then, they settle in wet places and start to grow. To prevent the spread of mold in your home in Cheltenham, PA, you must control the airflow and moisture. The first thing you should do is turn off your HVAC system. This slows the spread of mold spores through the air and hopefully will protect your air ducts from an infestation of black mold. The second thing you must do is turn off the water. This helps to control moisture by cutting off any leaks throughout your home at the source.

Calling In the Experts

Depending on the type and extent of the damage, you may need to contact several professionals to help you with mold cleanup and the issues that exacerbate further growth. Your first call should be to a mold remediation specialist. The specialist can help you contain the mold problem in your home and start to fix it. It is also a good idea to have your air ducts inspected and, if a problem is found, cleaned before it can spread any further. Finally, as it does no good to fix a mold problem without addressing the moisture problem that led to it, you may need a plumber or some other water damage professional to take care of the root cause.

Black mold is not a problem to be taken lightly. If you act quickly, however, in initiating mold cleanup, you can fix the problem and prevent it from spreading.

3 Essential Things To Know About Black Mold in Homes

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Black and green mold growth on a drywall Mold development in a Whitemarsh, PA home.

Three Things To Know About Black Mold In Homes

As a Whitemarsh, PA, homeowner, you may be worried about developing mold in your house. However, you may also be unaware of how home-based mold works. If you're looking to learn more about this subject, here are three essential things to know about black mold in homes.

1. What It Is
This type of mold is also known as Stachybotrys chartarum. It generally looks somewhat green-black, hence the popular label. The mold is partly unique because it grows on materials with high levels of cellulose. These are a few materials that fit this description:

  • Paper
  • Fibrewood
  • Gypsum board

Since this type of mold releases spores, it can easily spread throughout the home. However, it's highly important to find the original source for mold cleanup.

2. Where It Grows
Black mold needs moisture in order to grow. Therefore, it tends to develop in the wetter areas of houses. One of the most important places to check is your bathrooms. Since so much water is introduced to bathrooms, many areas can sustain the growth of Stachybotrys chartarum. You'll also want to keep an eye on your kitchen and basement. If you live in a tropical area, you should regularly check these spots for signs of mold. It's also wise to immediately clean any spills or leaks you notice.

3. Next Steps
In the event that you find Stachybotrys chartarum in your home, you'll need to act quickly. Look for a mold damage restoration company to complete the mold remediation process. No matter what, don't try to clean the mold yourself. However, you should turn off your HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) systems. Doing this can prevent mold from spreading, especially if it's in your HVAC systems. If the mold is extensive, you may also want to leave your home until an inspection is completed.
If you think there may be black mold in your home, it's essential to act quickly. Consult professionals and stay on top of the situation.

How To Create an Inventory

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Hand hold and touching digital tablet with smart inventory application on screen in the warehouse. Keeping an inventory of all of your items ensures that you get paid for any losses you make on your insurance claim.

How To Create an Inventory

When filing an insurance claim, you are going to need to provide documentation of the damage. The best way to do this is with an inventory. Having a detailed list of everything in your business can ease some of the stress of the situation. This means you can focus on choosing a disaster restoration company and getting your business back to normal.

Include Important Information
To file a claim, you are going to need to prove your loss. This means you will need a detailed record of everything in your business in Cheltenham, PA. Otherwise, you will have trouble recounting all of your items and their details to your insurance agent. Here are some important details you need to include in your list:

  • Photographs
  • Descriptions
  • Make, models, and serial numbers
  • Receipts

Be Thorough
Creating this list may seem daunting, but it is important that you are thorough and don't skip any items. When you make your list, you can ensure that you don't miss anything by breaking your business down into sections. Then, you only have to worry about staying organized as you move between these areas. As you work, make sure to take pictures and videos of individual items and entire rooms. Once you have finished your list, create multiple copies and store them in safe locations, so you know you won't have to worry about your only copy getting destroyed or lost. Also, make sure you add any new items to your list as soon as you purchase them.

Use an App
Today, you no longer need to rely on written lists for taking inventory. You can download a mobile app to your smartphone that allows you to create and organize your list and easily send it to your insurance company and chosen remediation professionals, such as SERVPRO.
Keeping an inventory of all of your items ensures that you get paid for any losses you make on your insurance claim. This can help your business get all the replacement items it needs to start operating again.

Top 5 Places to Check for Mold

12/26/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall Mold growth in a Windmoor, PA home

Top 5 Places to Check for Mold

Mold damage has the potential to ravage your Wyndmoor, PA, home if the situation isn't handled properly. Performing regular home inspections to check for mold and mildew can help you catch the problem while it's still small and ultimately save you time and money in costly mold remediation. If you're not sure where to start looking, try checking the following locations.

1. Your Bathroom
Where there's water, there's the potential for mold growth. Your bathroom comes into a lot of contact with water. Check for mold in the shower, the bathtub, underneath the sinks, around any exposed piping and in the window sills.

2. Your Kitchen
You need to make sure that you regularly remove old food items from your refrigerator and pantry, as these can sponsor unwanted mildew growth. It's also important to check around and underneath the sinks as well.

3. Your Laundry Room
Your washing machine also has the potential to house mold. You need to make sure that you properly air the drum out after each cycle. At least once a month, you should also run an empty cycle on high heat with a cup of white vinegar in the drum. This can help prevent future mold growth and keep your laundry fresh.

4. Your Living Room
While you might not be able to see it as easily, your living room's carpet can also fall victim to mold damage. Neglecting to clean up spills right after they happen can lead to moisture getting trapped underneath the carpeting, causing black mold to grow on the flood boards beneath.

5. Your Basement
If you have an unfinished basement with exposed water pipes, then you need to take extra time checking for mold. Inspect your water pipes and around the water heater for signs of mold.
Performing regular home inspections can help you catch the problem before it has the chance to spiral out of your control. Make sure to contact mold remediation experts for assistance if your inspection does uncover signs of mold damage.

Tips for Mold Prevention in Commercial Buildings

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

The old wall is covered with mold due to humidity in the room Mold growth in Whitemarsh, PA

Ways To Prevent Mold Growth

Unattended mold growth will cause damages to commercial buildings in Whitemarsh, PA, leading to unexpected financial expenses. Mold prevention will keep these damages from accruing and becoming burdensome to the property owner. Prevention consists of routine maintenance to facilities that keep building conditions at a standard that prevents mold colonies from developing. Some ways to prevent mold growth are:

  • Routinely inspecting the building for water stains
  • Checking for hidden water leaks
  • Maintaining HVAC systems year-round

Regularly Inspect Plumbing Systems
Water damages can develop for numerous reasons ranging from old plumbing systems to inclement weather. Property owners should ensure their maintenance plans include routine inspections to their plumbing systems. This will prevent leaks from developing and creating a worsening condition for property construction materials.
The most dangerous type of water damage is the one that goes unnoticed. Inspecting pipes often will decrease the likelihood that leaks will cause severe damages to construction materials. Leaks that go unnoticed will create a habitat for mold in the dampened construction materials they damage. Mold will then decompose the construction materials of a building, which can cause severe risks to the building's structure.

Ensure HVAC System Settings are Optimal
HVAC systems should be well maintained to prevent poor air quality in a building. This will also keep humidity levels optimal for mold prevention. Fungus thrives in humid, dark spaces that give it the proper nutrients. HVAC systems provide this type of environment for mold in air ducts and drip pans. It is essential to inspect these regularly and clean them as soon as mold is found.
A mold remediation company will help to rid a facility of mold growth. Addressing water leaks quickly by hiring a plumber and a water damage restoration service will decrease the likelihood that damp materials will develop mold. After cleaning, steps for mold prevention should be implemented into regular maintenance routines to prevent costly damages in the future.

Keep or Pitch? Your Guide to Which Items You Can and Cannot Save from Mold Damage

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy food Moldy or water damaged food must be thrown away

Mold and floodwater can inflict devastating amounts of damage to your home in Wyndmoor, PA. Picking through the wreckage can be heartbreaking, especially when sentimental items have been affected. While all hope might seem lost, there are certain mold cleaning techniques you can use to save your possessions.

Items to Throw Away

It's important to know which items simply cannot be saved when attempting to expedite your mold cleaning efforts:

Porous Objects: Because of their tendency to absorb water quickly, it's unlikely that you'll be able to save objects with porous surfaces. This includes items made of cardboard, padding, stuffed animals, upholstered furniture, carpeting, and mattresses.
Paper Products: While it is possible to restore these items, the process is rather costly and should be saved for sentimental items. Place any possessions you wish to preserve in the freezer to prevent mold damage from spreading.
Food Items: Moldy or water damaged food must be thrown away. The same goes for any water damaged food preparation appliances.

Items to Keep
Likewise, there are many types of objects that you can easily disinfect and keep:

Glass, Metal, or Plastic Materials: Clean these items using either antibacterial hand soap or a homemade mixture comprised of 1 gallon of water and 1/2 cup of bleach.
Most Clothing Items: Time is of the essence with clothing, so make sure to wash them using regular laundry detergent as soon as possible. Leather clothing needs to be taken to a cleaning professional.
Electronic Devices: Appliances exposed to mold damage vary on a case-by-case basis. Any water-damaged electronics or appliances are potentially dangerous and need to be thrown away. You should consult a professional if you wish to restore these types of items.

Knowing which items to keep and which you need to get rid of can certainly help expedite your mold cleaning efforts. If you have any further questions or require additional help getting rid of mold, contact mold remediation experts as soon as possible.

Mold Minutiae

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores on the top of the pictures it says ANYWHERE Mold spores are almost everywhere

Mold Minutiae

Mold is a hardy little microorganism that usually isn’t associated with anything good. Normally, you find mold growth when your food has spoiled, or it could be the result of a leaky pipe in your Cheltenham, PA, commercial building. It’s not all bad, though — look how penicillin has changed the world for the better. Good or bad, mold is relentless.

1. Mold Creates Healtheir Gardens
Mold may have a bad reputation, but not all mold is damaging. It can play a valuable role in your garden, decomposing organic matter. This decomposition makes for healthier soil.

2. Mold Spores Are Almost Everywhere
Like most fungi, mold produces cells called spores which is their way of reproducing. These spores are always in the air (often by the millions) almost everywhere in the world. There’s no getting away from them, only keeping your environment uninviting to them (mainly by keeping humidity low).

3. Mold Can Damage Materials
Mold growth is a process of constant multiplication, which explains why it spreads so quickly. Nutrients upon which mold feeds can come from a variety of sources (e.g., fabric, drywall and wood). The decomposition process that mold accelerates can do permanent damage to some materials.

4. Mold Comes in Many Colors
Different kinds of mold can vary widely in color. You may have only seen it around the house in dark black or brown splotches, but some molds are other colors, such as white, green or orange.

5. Mold Remediation Can Be Complicated
If you discover mold in one place in your building, it’s probably hiding in less conspicuous areas as well. What looks like a very minor infestation could turn out to be a major problem. The only way to address the problem is to remove all mold-infested materials and thoroughly clean the affected area. Hiring mold cleanup professionals is the best route to go if you’re unsure about the extent of your infestation.
High humidity is the main cause of mold growth. Once your mold and water damage issues are resolved, make sure to keep your indoor humidity around 40% to avoid future issues.

Fascinating Facts About Mold

7/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores on the top of the picture it says MOLD SPORES NEED MOISTURE Mold spores need moisture

Facts About Mold That You May Not Know

Mold is a hardy living being, stealthily moving throughout its indoor haunts, invading the tiniest of crevices and spreading quickly. As much of a nuisance as mold growth is, it’s still a very interesting organism when you think about it. Here are some fascinating facts about mold that you may not know:

1. Mold Is Common
Mold is common, causing problems for about 50% of homes. More houses today suffer from mold problems than they did 50 years ago.

2. There Are Many Varieties of Mold
There are over 10,000 species of mold. Mold spores are almost everywhere and can’t fully be eliminated.

3. Mold Needs Nutrients
Mold must have a food source to survive. However, it can thrive on nutrients from many different materials such as carpet, paint, wood, paper, and leather, just to name a few.

4. Mold Can Survive Virtually Anywhere
Mold spores are virtually everywhere, outside and in. No amount of cleaning will totally eliminate them. Spores collect and mold growth can occur practically anywhere with high humidity and a nutrient source (e.g., in carpet or under flooring, within drywall and under sinks). Mold will thrive in dark areas; it’s one of only a few living things that doesn’t require light to grow.

5. Mold Grows Quickly
Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours of the introduction of moisture. It’ll continue to grow quickly, potentially covering large areas within a short amount of time.

6. Mold Can Be Destructive
Mold can be very destructive if not caught soon enough. It’s responsible for causing more wood destruction than termite, fire, and water damage combined.
The key to keeping mold growth at bay is to clean often and keep indoor humidity below 60%. Dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and exhaust fans can help with this. If your Wyndmoor, PA, home experiences a mold problem, you can count on mold remediation experts to help.

3 Ways a Claims Inventory Service May Help Your Claim

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help. The inventory claims service offered by your local SERVPRO may beagle to help your agent with your insurance claim in several ways.

After a flood or fire at your Cheltenham, PA, business, you may want to contact a local damage restoration service, like SERVPRO, to help with any cleanup and repairs. Fortunately, these professionals may also be able to help your insurance agent with the insurance claim as they also offer an inventory claims service. Here are three ways this technology may be beneficial to your agent.

1. Remote Access To Documentation

One of the main features of this system your insurance agent may appreciate is the ability to access information remotely. This means that they can quickly locate any files they may need regardless of their location. It also allows them to complete work on your claim from their own office without having to constantly visit the location to talk to the restoration crew, or interrupt their work with a lot of phone calls.

2. Save Time Locating Information

The ability to access information remotely can also help your agent save time when working on the insurance claim. This means they can know exactly where to look for certain pertinent pieces of information and not have to search through various files or play phone tag. A lot of time may be saved.

3. Store Everything in one Location

This system can also store a variety of information types including photographs, lists, repair estimates, and progress reports. This means that much of the information your agent may need will already be kept in a single location. This can help them locate files they may need to work on your claim quickly.

The inventory claims service offered by your local SERVPRO may beagle to help your agent with your insurance claim in several ways. It can give your agent remote access to the documentation stored in its server which may help save time in location important information. Additionally, this service can store all the information the restoration team collects in a single place making it easy to locate.

Count on Trusted Experts for Large Loss Recovery

6/20/2020 (Permalink)

Green truck. SERVPRO vehicle SERVPRO is Faster to any size disaster

Flooding, hurricanes, and tornadoes can lead to a catastrophic loss for businesses and homeowners in Flourtown, PA. In many cases, it can leave devastation behind for entire communities, making recovery seem like a daunting task that may never be accomplished. Luckily, there are teams of experts trained, certified, and ready 24/7 to help people get their lives back on track.

What Is a Large Loss?

In the majority of situations, a natural disaster is the cause of a large loss. For property owners, broken pipes, home fires or storm damage also have the potential to create extensive damage. In most standard insurance policies, an insurer considers an event a single-structure massive loss when:

  • Restorations require more than $50,000.
  • The damage affects multiple floors of a building.
  • A major portion of the structure has damage, requiring most of it to be repaired.
  • A business has to temporarily close due to the damage.

Why Choose SERVPRO?
When a catastrophic loss happens, time is of the essence. That means you need a trusted large loss recovery team that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. With more than 1,700 franchise locations, you can count on professionals arriving on-site within four hours, as well as the ability to quickly get additional help from nearby locations. That quick action can greatly impede further damage and ensure the claim process goes more smoothly.
Along with local assistance, every recovery team is supported by the national corporation. For clients in desperate need of help, that means access to a comprehensive claims system, enhanced communications, and oversight by a specialized manager. Being a national corporation with local franchises ensures that every professional on the team has the most up-to-date training and certifications to handle any type of mitigation and restoration.
A catastrophic loss is unimaginable to most people. In the event you are forced into that situation, know that there is help just a phone call away.

3 Ways To Stop the Spread of Mold

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

Finger of a woman turning off an air conditioning Turning off the HVAC system is essential to stop spores from spreading throughout a building

3 Ways To Stop the Spread of Mold

Once mold has started growing in a structure, spores can spread if containment measures are not in place and conditions are conducive to growth. Whether black mold or any other type of fungi are infesting a building in Whitemarsh, PA, a property owner should take the following measures to keep the problem from becoming more severe before mold cleanup can take place.

1. Restrict Air Circulation
If mold is visible in any part of a structure or a musty smell is present, a building owner should shut down the HVAC system. Circulating air can carries spores to every part of a structure through air ducts, registers, and returns. Mold may then form on damp surfaces anywhere in the building or in ductwork.
2. Reduce Moisture
Mold cannot grow without a steady supply of moisture. Resolving a moisture problem caused by leaky plumbing or roofing or any other source will make mold less likely to thrive. Even after available moisture has been reduced, mold that has already formed may continue through the growth cycle and become dormant until moisture levels rise again.
3. Clean Up Mold
Remediation is advisable regardless of the species of mold growing in a structure. Some types of mold, such as stachybotrys chartarum or black mold, are toxigenic and may pose risks to the occupants of a structure. Mold cleanup is a process that starts with inspection and containment. Highly contaminated building materials such as cellulose-based insulation and drywall may need to be torn out and replaced. Other materials must be cleaned and dried before the affected area can be restored.
Turning off the HVAC system is essential to stop spores from spreading throughout a building. Reducing moisture can slow growth rates and discourage new colonies from forming. Remediation will be necessary to control an infestation and reduce risks associated with black mold and other toxigenic fungi.

Learn the Basics of Protective Equipment for Mold Remediation

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Low angle portrait of factory worker wearing biohazard suit sorting reusable cardboard on waste processing plant Mold remediators should wear the right PPE before a job

While mold is not always deadly, it is still important for mold remediation professionals to protect themselves when they work. From face masks to shoe covers, they need to shield as much of their body as possible to avoid potential health risks. When these technicians arrive at your residence, expect them to cover the following body parts with the appropriate personal protective equipment. 


Protection of hands is essential since they are both necessary for important functions and are constantly exposed to other people and objects. Mold removers always wear gloves that not only protect their hands from exposure but also prevent spores from clinging on to them and spreading to other areas. Nitrile and rubber gloves are popular choices since their materials are difficult to penetrate. These gloves must also be the right size and fit, as loose gloves can expose skin to spores. 

Face and Head

Cleanup professionals should also protect their heads, especially their faces. This PPE consists of multiple items they might need depending on the severity of the mold damage:

  • Face masks
  • Respirators
  • Goggles
  • Hair covers

Certain protective gear is designed for different situations. For example, standard respirators protect workers dealing with nontoxic substances, while respirators that cover the entire face are appropriate for toxic environments and advanced mold spread. 

Rest of the Body 

The crew working on your Plymouth Meeting, PA, house also use protective equipment for the rest of the body. They protect their feet using shoe covers and heavy-duty boots that prevent spore spread. For minor cases, they wear clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants alongside head, face and hand protection. Meanwhile, larger mold presence, toxic contents and highly humid areas require remediators to use highly dense Tyvek suits, which cover the entire body. 
Mold remediators should wear the right PPE before a job, such as gloves, boots and face masks. Ensure that the people working in your home equip these items to protect everyone involved.

Do's and Don'ts of Using Fire Extinguisher

3/15/2020 (Permalink)

Hands holding a fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher is an important thing to have.

­A fire­ extinguisher is a key tool in the fight to protect your Cheltenham, PA property from kitchen fires or worse. Fortunately, most home or business fire extinguishers will sit gathering dust for years. But in the unfortunate event that you do need to use your extinguisher, it’s an absolute necessity that you know how to do it effectively. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of using an extinguisher.

How Extinguishers Work
On its face, an extinguisher works by pulling a trigger to release a fire extinguishing material. What that material is can vary but some of the most common ones are the following:

Water extinguishers - these use water to remove heat from the fire
Dry chemical extinguishers - these work by smothering a fire with foam or dry powder

The average fire extinguisher is a chemical one. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of using these devices.

Do Shoot the Base
Shooting wildly at a fire is not the best way to put it out. Instead, you’ll want to shoot the extinguisher at the fire’s base to extinguish the flames quickly. Point and shoot the extinguisher at the bottom of the flames.

Don’t Shoot Indiscriminately
The average extinguisher has only about 20 to 30 seconds of propellant power, so you should use it wisely. That means squeezing the trigger in a controlled way to ensure the extinguishing agent sprays the fire and not the rest of your property.

Do Use a Sweeping Motion
It’s important that when you spray, you use a sweeping motion. Spray across the base of the flames to ensure that the whole fire is covered with the extinguishing agent.

A fire extinguisher is an important thing to have. But it’s even more important to know how to use it. Use these tips from your local fire damage pros and you’ll know how to use an extinguisher should the need ever arise.

How can SERVPRO help during viral outbreaks?

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

Doorknob with bacteria graphics on. How can SERVPRO help during the viral outbreaks?

With the recent viral outbreak and the flu going around, many people are scrambling to ensure their property is protected. There is a consistent rise in business owners/parents/caregiver's interest to ensure that facilities are taking every precaution to prevent any widespread outbreaks. In this article, we will cover how viral strains spread, how you can protect yourself, and how SERVPRO of Whitemarsh/Cheltenham can provide assistance with cleaning and disinfection

How can I protect myself, my family, my employees, and my customers?

A number of things can be done to protect yourself and others from a virus. Make sure you are washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and ensure the meat and eggs you consume are fully cooked. Avoid close contact with those who are displaying symptoms of respiratory illness. With an incubation period ranging from 1-14 days, according to the World Health Organization, it is imperative to schedule commercial cleaning to further prevent the spread of the virus on high touchpoints. Pathogens can rarely be seen or detected with the naked eye; but surfaces, toys, furniture, doorknobs, etc are often carriers for communicable disease. When it comes to decontaminating surfaces and airborne Infectious diseases, it’s important to call on a professional that is trained & certified in biohazard remediation including the disinfecting of infectious disease. Surface cleaning is not enough these days, and unfortunately, the average consumer does not fully understand the products and the chemical components behind the product's intended usage. So many products we use and are familiar with are not used properly and thus get rendered ineffective which is not the case.

How can SERVPRO help during the viral outbreaks?

Our SERVPRO team offers thorough cleaning and disinfection services for schools, hospitals, and commercial properties. Our crews are always ready to go in their PPE to ensure the buildings in our community are safe to enter. 

Our disinfectants & virucides are EPA, FDA, and OSHA compliant, they have a very low toxicity rating, and are effective against the most common disease and odor-causing organisms. SERVPROXIDE has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses on hard non-porous surfaces. More product-specific information can be obtained on the TDS & SDS.

Call SERVPRO of Whitemarsh/Cheltenham today to ensure you have a proper disease control prevention strategy moving forward to help support a healthy and safe atmosphere. And should you ever suspect a potential outbreak, we can be onsite 24/7/365 to reduce and potentially prevent any business interruption and ensure the wellness of your students & coworkers. 

Cleaning and Restoring Your Home After a Flood

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe. Whether because of a pipe burst, sewer issue or bad weather, floods can find their way into your house.

Conscientious, responsible homeowners can take measures to protect their property from disaster. Flooding is one of the most common emergency issues people in Whitemarsh, PA, deal with. However, sometimes, despite your best efforts, something such as a pipe burst or sewer backup could occur. To clean up water damage in your house, a proactive approach is necessary.

Leading Causes of House Floods
The more you understand about how a flood may start in your home, the more effective preparation you can make to prevent these problems. Some of the most common reasons for water damage include the following:

Leaky or broken pipes
Overflowing toilet
Sewer backup
Heavy rains
Broken water line

Get It Out
As soon as you notice water in your home, try to identify the source of the flood, turn off the electricity and evacuate. Once you contact an experienced flood cleanup company, you can let the pros take over. A specialist will begin by inspecting the area and coming up with the cleanup plan. The team will extract all water from the house, including anything on the floor, on walls and on furniture.

Dry the Area
A pipe burst can expel a lot of water onto your floors. After removing the water, the technicians will thoroughly dry any wet spots. The team will use dehumidifiers and heavy-duty fans to make sure no moisture was left behind.

Time To Sanitize
Getting rid of water and drying everything isn't enough. The crew will use powerful chemicals and other cleaning agents to disinfect the affected spots. This will discourage the growth of mold and other fungi.

Before leaving your home, the flood cleanup company will replace any items crew members had to tear out, such as drywall and carpet. The company will work hard to make your home look even better than it did before the flood.

Whether because of a pipe burst, sewer issue or bad weather, floods can find their way into your house. Luckily, the professionals have effective methods to take care of even the worst water damage.

What Insurance Coverage Pays for Damage in an Apartment Fire

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke coming from a balcony of an apartment. Make sure you review your insurance policy today. Your commercial coverage should come to your rescue if you have an apartment fire.

If you own an apartment complex in Whitemarsh, PA, it's important to have the right insurance coverage. Just like you would do with your own home, you want to protect your business assets. If an apartment fire damages one or more units, commercial property insurance will pay for your losses. However, your tenants should consider renters' insurance to cover their belongings.

What Property Insurance Takes Care Of
Your commercial property insurance will cover losses due to an accident, theft, vandalism or an apartment fire. The insurance will pay to repair or replace the following (among other items):

Building materials
The roof
Burst pipes
Heating and air conditioning system

While this insurance will pay for items lost to fire damage, your policy will be void if damage occurs due to your neglect. For example, if you fail to properly maintain systems, components and areas of the building, the insurance will deny your claim. Also, intentionally causing damage such as a fire will not cover your losses (in fact, this could land you in jail).

Contents in Apartments
While apartment fire damage will fall under your commercial property coverage, tenants' belongings will not have this same coverage. People who seek payment for these losses should purchase renters' insurance. These plans will cover items such as furniture, jewelry, books, keepsakes, and other personal belongings. Renters should be prepared to provide a list of what items were lost or damaged. They will also need to estimate dollar-amount losses. An adjuster will verify the claim before the insurance company issues a payment. As the property owner, you are not responsible for paying for these damages. Similarly, you will not have to pay a content cleaning specialist to clean anyone's personal items.

Make sure you review your insurance policy today. Your commercial coverage should come to your rescue if you have an apartment fire.

How the Pros Clean up After Large Disasters

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Three air movers placed on wooden floor Cleaning up after storm damage in Cheltenham, PA

Just about every business owner in Cheltenham, PA, will face some sort of cleanup issue in their building at some point. Most of the time, you can handle the job without much difficulty or interruption to your day-to-day operations. What happens in the aftermath of a catastrophic loss such as a flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane or tornado? The rebuilding process would be overwhelming to any individual or company. Fortunately, experienced professionals have the knowledge and skill to handle even the worst disasters.

What the Pros Can Offer

Emergency cleanup specialists are equipped to help restore your business after the most terrible incidents. From storm damage to other acts of nature that destroy building materials, office equipment or personal belongs, the professionals have the expertise you can rely on to salvage your office and make your workplace safe once more. Professional cleanup teams will:

  • Assess the extent of the damage and make a cleanup and restoration plan.
  • Remove damaged materials and replace them.
  • Clean and sanitize affected areas.

Anytime Service

Flooding, fires or other incidents can occur at any time, any day of the week. No matter when you discover such an emergency, you'll need prompt help. The best disaster cleanup teams will be to your office within a few hours of your call. This will be the case whether you call late at night, on the weekend or holidays.

Combining Forces

For the biggest emergencies that cause widespread catastrophic loss, disaster relief companies can mobilize their forces to offer the most efficient help possible. When an emergency affects a large area, companies will send teams from multiple areas to the location. This helps ensure a more comprehensive response. You can have the peace of mind you need to know the right resources will come to your aid.
In the wake of an emergency, you will feel a great deal of stress and anxiety. Fortunately, professional cleanup and restoration crews can ease your mind and rebuild even after a catastrophic loss.

National Blood Donor Month

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

This January, the American Red Cross celebrates National Blood Donor Month and recognizes the lifesaving contribution of blood and platelet donors. As we begin the New Year, the Red Cross encourages individuals to resolve to roll up a sleeve to give this month and throughout 2018.

National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. During the winter months, inclement weather often results in cancelled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses like the flu may cause some donors to become temporarily unable to donate.

Blood donation appointments can be made by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or to receive more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

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Associated Builders and Contractors

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Founded in 1950, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association which represents almost 21,000 chapter members. The goal of ABC is to help its chapter members develop, win work and deliver said work in a safe and ethical manner that creates profit for all parties involved. ABC works hard to better the communities in which they and their members live and work. ABC’s primary activities include but are not limited to; government representation, legal advocacy, education, workforce development, communications, technology, and business development. ABC offers endless opportunities for its members to develop professionally, network and get involved through various committees and events.

SERVPRO of Whitemarsh/Cheltenham saw the benefit in joining such a prestigious association and garnered excitement among a few other SERVPRO affiliates and collectively joined as a group. We have representatives from SERVPRO who are apart of the workforce development committee as well as the young professionals committee. We take advantage of utilizing ABC East’s beautiful facilities to host our meetings and in the future, continuing education classes.

The ABC Easter PA Chapter, of which we are a part of, represents more than 14,000 construction employees who work for more than 450 member companies. SERVPRO saw this as an excellent opportunity to partner with ABC East and offer our Emergency Ready Profiles, free-of-charge, to the many members and businesses.

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