Recent Posts

Understanding Water Types

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Understanding Water Types Our team responds to any size disaster to begin clean up and restoration to get you back in business!

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water form wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn off HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminates.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have a water damage, don't leave your property to chance. Call your local professionals at SERVPRO of Lancaster East at 717-519-0767!

Be Flood Smart

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Flood Smart Check out FEMA's Flood Map Service Center by visiting msc.fema.gov to locate properties at risk on a visual flood map.

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert-there is always potential for flood damage. Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last five years, all 50 states have experiences floods or flash floods.

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County. Even minor floods have the potential to cause damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO System is prepared to handle any size disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, your local SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County Professionals will help you take it back.

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

1/31/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Alarms: Life Savers $7 Billion in property damage from fire losses occurs every year

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries.

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing, or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, and electrician, or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire frills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Lancaster East at 717-519-0767.

2019 Resolution: Plan Ahead

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Building Services 2019 Resolution: Plan Ahead The SERVPRO READY App is available for download on the Apple Store or Google Play.

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are "Ready for whatever happens" in 2019.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut off valve locations and priority areas.The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Lancaster East your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 50 years experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes- resolve to be READY. Call SERVPRO of Lancaster East to establish your Emergency READY profile, and be "Ready for whatever happens" in 2019.
Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Lancaster East as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Celebrate Safety This Holiday Season

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Celebrate Safety This Holiday Season Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are two of the top days for home candle fires.

Pretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season- however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or businesses this holiday season.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
  • Make sure light strings and other holiday are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire- pot holders, over mitts, wooden utensils, paper of plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains- away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.

SERVPRO of Lancaster East wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

Safety First Before the Feast

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Safety First Before the Feast Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries, with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking-related fires.

Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended-stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.
  • Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a "kid-free zone" and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything flammable-pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains-away from the stove, over or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Your local professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Fires are Preventable!

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fires are Preventable! Prepare your home with fire safety precautions

When it comes to you or your insured's properties, there are certain safety precautions that can be taken to help prevent fires. Ready.gov shares the following tips on home fire prevention.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old, or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.


Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage and obstructions.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

If A Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ready?

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage If A Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ready? Your #1 Trusted Disaster Recovery Team

It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation.

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
  • Develop and test emergency communication plans.
  • Assemble or update emergency supplies.
  • Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
  • Participate in a preparedness discussion training or class.
  • Collect and safeguard critical documents.
  • Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
  • Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
  • Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.

Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property.

When disaster strikes, be ready for the worst with the very best: Your trusted, SERVPRO professionals. Our team is faster to any size disaster, making it like it never happened.

Hoarding: A Serious Situation

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Hoarding: A Serious Situation Before Cleaning

According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.

Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.

Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.

SERVPRO of Lancaster East has encountered hoarding situations several different ways. Often, SERVPRO of Lancaster East is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. Our Franchise Professional will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO of Lancaster East, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.

Another way SERVPRO of Lancaster East may encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of  importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Lancaster East Professionals are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of Lancaster East today at 717-519-0767.

WHEN WATER DAMAGE STRIKES

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage WHEN WATER DAMAGE STRIKES Water extraction from a laminate floor.

The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. By calling 717-519-0767 when you discover your water loss we can, within four hours of loss notification, have SERVPRO of  Lancaster East on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.


INSPECTION

SERVPRO of Lancaster East professionals will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.


EMERGENCY SERVICES

The SERVPRO of Lancaster East professionals will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.


MONITORING

To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO of Lancaster East professional will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.


RESTORATION SERVICES

Often SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and  belongings. A final walkthrough of the jobsite will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.