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Winter Worries

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

A large amount of frozen pipes in an unfinished basement Frozen pipes are no joke!

Winter weather can bring about more issues than
just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.

FROZEN PIPES
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or
kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:

  • Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
  • Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
  • When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.


ICE DAMS
Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into
water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the
trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.” Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.


If winter weather causes water damage to your
property, your local SERVPRO of Lancaster East Professionals are only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.

September is National Preparedness Month

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month logo with a flashlight, piggy bank, radio, and first aid kit Contact SERVPRO of Lancaster East & Southern Lancaster County to find out how they can make it “Like it never even happened,” if disaster strikes.

PREPARE NOW This year for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities. Learn how to be prepared. Make and Practice Your Plan Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit? Make sure your family is informed and practiced in your emergency plan. Be sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app. Learn Life Saving Skills Does you or someone in your family know CPR? Could you turn off your natural gas if necessary? Do you know how to take cover in an earthquake? Knowing these life saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors. Check your Insurance Coverage Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster? Evaluate which hazards are relevant to your area and obtain the appropriate insurance for your home, business, or other property and become familiar with your coverage. Save for an Emergency Are you prepared financially in case of a disaster? Does your family have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses after a flood or fire? Check out FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for an in-depth document to help you identify and compile important documents and account information all in one spot. Just search “EFFAK” on fema.gov for the free PDF. Whether it's flood, wildfire or extreme winter weather, we must work together as a team to help ensure our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are prepared.

Say Thank You!

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Police, firefighter, and medic logos with an American flag background "Heroes are extraordinary people who choose not to be ordinary." -Kevin Brown

The first half of 2020 has been a roller coaster of fear and emotions. The world was thrown into a state of change that had not been seen for several generations. At the front of this battle, our heroes stood strong, not wearing tights or capes, but uniforms, scrubs, masks, and gloves all ready to fight this for all of us.

The words "Thank You" don't seem enough. How do we convey our gratitude to those that put their lives at risk so we can stay at home with our families to flatten the curve? Here are a few ideas to say Thanks.

Restaurant Gift Cards

It would be great to give out large enough gift cards so they could take their whole family to dinner, but think about ways to stretch your funds farther to reach more heroes. Consider $5-$10 gift cards to local restaurants. This will give enough money for either a drink or appetizer. It will also help the economy and struggling restaurants.

Food Drop Off

You will probably have to coordinate this in advance, but schedule a meal that you can deliver to our heroes. They will love some food to refuel. Drop-offs at police stations, fire halls, and emergency rooms are sure to boost moral.

Letters of Encouragement

Take the time to sit down with the family and write letters of encouragement to these heroes, expressing your appreciation for what they're doing. If you have children, get them to draw these heroes. Their artwork will be a blessing to these first responders. You can send them or hand-deliver (at a safe distance) to your local fire halls, police stations, and hospitals. They are separated from their families right now; these letters will include them in yours.

When They Call You, Call SERVPRO

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Wet ceiling tiles in a department store Call us for all of your structural cleaning, content cleaning, and deodorization needs.

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster a crew arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results-including lower claim costs. Within four hours of a loss notification, a crew will be on-site to help ensure fire damage is handled properly by utilizing the following services:

Structural Cleaning

After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. The crew will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found within the structure.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO professionals can provide wet and dry cleaning services. Additionally, all of the cleaned and deodorized to pre loss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO professionals can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items for agents and their policyholders.

Deodorization

SERVPRO professionals provide specialized services that rid your insured's home or place of business of offensive odors left behind by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

When Water Damage Strikes

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

An older couple sitting on their basement stairs surrounded by standing water For more information on recovering from water damage, contact SERVPRO of Lancaster East.

The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of receiving a loss notification, SERVPRO professionals will be on-site to help ensure water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

Inspection

SERVPRO 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 the work.

Emergency Services

SERVPRO professionals will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal property and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying.

Monitoring

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

Restoration Services

SERVPRO professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and contents. A final walk-through of the job site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to its preloss condition.

Emergency Water Damage Tips

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Wet floor in a family room with content consolidated to one section Be sure to follow these safety tips during a water damage loss.

  • Shut off the water source, if possible or contact a qualified professional to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
  • Do not enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Do not use a household vacuum cleaner to remove water! This could cause electrical shock or damage to the device.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter the rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

The Science of Drying

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Dehumidifiers and air movers drying a basement State-of-the-art dehumidifiers and air movers are placed accordingly in the damaged areas in order to complete the drying process.

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, your professionals at SERVPRO of Lancaster East are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers water damage, your professionals at SERVPRO of Lancaster East will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help "speed up Mother Nature"? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the materials-but only if the air is drier.

The only problem is, nature often takes too long, and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

Your professionals at SERVPRO of Lancaster East have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Your professionals at SERVPRO of Lancaster East also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

It's not only the equipment but the technology too! SERVPRO has developed DryBook™, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook™ Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process.

The bottom line? Your professionals at SERVPRO of Lancaster East have the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened."

Understanding Water Types

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Rubber ducks floating in a laundry room Our team responds to any size disaster to begin to clean up and restore to get you back in business!

When your home or business suffers 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 another 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 the 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 from 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 the 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 contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

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

It's The Water You Don't See

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Moisture meter reading red on a carpet All technicians use moisture meters to read the moisture levels of affected materials at a water loss.

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO professionals have the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damage occurs. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

When time matters, technology, and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO professionals will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by your SERVPRO professionals.

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRPO professionals to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO professionals can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

The bottom line? SERVPRO professionals have the training and equipment to make it "Like it never even happened."

National Volunteer Week

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Multi-colored stick figures in a circle SERVPRO is always ready to lend a helping hand.

The theme is: The Value of One, the Power of Many, which reflects on the awe-inspiring acts of kindness by millions of individuals and the magic that happens when we work together towards a common purpose.

This past year, we have seen people supporting family, friends, neighbors, and strangers, people standing up for their beliefs, and people sharing insights on how to create a more just and equitable society. "We recognize the value of the caring and compassion that each one has shown another, and we recognize the power of people, organizations, and sectors working together," according to The International Year of Volunteers.

The 2021 theme beautifully reflects the individual and collective efforts we have seen during the pandemic, and it sets the tone for re-imagining the next 20 years as the value of one act and the power of many enables us to thrive together.