Recent Posts

Improve Your Air Quality: Duct Cleaning Can Help!

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Male employee laying on his back with a flashlight looking at air ducts To schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County at 717-519-0767.

The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the duct work in your home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and duct work clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. The professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County will inspect your HVAC system and duct will and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and duct work.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County can often restore the HVAC system and duct work to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends it be inspected for proper functioning and be services before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County use a portable ventilation and ait duct cleaning system to examine duct work and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

Are You Winter Weather Ready?

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for the upcoming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before cold weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can all cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may be gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entry ways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, considering shutting water off at the main valve in the basement of crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business faster following a disaster. Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well beforehand. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan and prepare for it.

Hurricane Hazards

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane on radar map by the United States Globally, September is the most active month for hurricanes.

Hurricane season has already begun and several named storms have developed in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. On average, there are 12 tropical storms that develop, with an average of six becoming hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service.

Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property damage. The National Weather Service lists the following as potential "hurricane hazards."

  • Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers and estuaries.
  • Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from land falling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
  • Tornadoes can accompany land falling tropical cyclones. There tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
  • Dangerous waves produced a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. There waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than 1,000 miles offshore.

Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property and take steps to protect your home or business. For more information on recovering from water damage caused by weather-related disasters, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County today.

A Message From Our CMO, Mike Stahl

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

Hand with a latex glove on touching a "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned" sticker on a window Mike is the Chief Marketing Officer with responsibilities for Marketing Services, National Accounts, Franchise Expansion, and Customer Care Center.

Did you know that 89% of consumers said they are hesitant about returning to brick-and-mortar establishments according to a recent survey? And of those, 40% say that cleanliness is a major factor for concern?

We all know they aren't talking about dirt. They are talking about invisible germs and pathogens that we can't see. They are talking about coronavirus, and patrons and employees want to feel safe and secure when America does reopen for business.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be cleaned. I am thrilled that we are part of the solution to get the country back, whether that is back to work, back to business, back to school, or back to community.

I am excited to tell everyone about a new program we are rolling out to take our COVID-related proactive cleaning work to a whole new level, or a "higher standard of cleaning."

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program is a cleaning and disinfecting program that will lend our community spaces as they reopen their doors. This program will give patrons and employees across the country peace of mind that the space has been protected by SERVPRO, the authority on what it means to be clean.

Severe Weather Safety

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Lightning at night over a city Watch: Conditions are favorable for severe weather. Warning: Severe weather has been spotted or indicated by radar.

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,300 tornadoes
  • 2 landfalling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know your risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather can impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts in your area. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazardous scenarios.

Take action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with family members, co-workers, and friends on social media. Your preparedness efforts may inspire others to do the same.

Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO's Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster. The SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County team can help you be "Ready for whatever happens!"

What's Happening in February?

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

A flame inside of a red triangle warning symbol It is important to take these safety measures to try and prevent burns and electrical fires.

Burn Awareness Week, observed the first full week in February (Feb 7th-13th), is a window of opportunity for organizations to mobilize burn, fire, and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn burn awareness and prevention message in our communities. The 2021 theme is Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap (A to Z)!

A is for Appliances: Plug major appliances directly into a wall outlet. DO not use extension cords or power strips. Only one-heating production appliance should be plugged into an outlet.

B is for Batteries: Batteries can short circuit when positive (+) and negative (-) terminals of a battery are in contact with each other. Batteries in a pocket with coins, keys, or other metal objects can short circuit and cause burns.

C is for Check Cords: Always check cords before use for cracks or frayed sockets, lose o bare wire, and loose connections.

For more burn prevention tips, visit ameriburn.org. If your home or business suffers from fire damage, contact us at 717-519-0767.

How Critical Are The First 24 Hours?

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Red neon sign that says "24 hours" Contact us as soon as possible to begin the restoration process!

Fire or water losses, even smaller incidents, can result in costly claims over time. The longer smoke, soot, or moisture have the to permeate contents and structural components, the more secondary damage one can expect to encounter.

SERVPRO professionals have been performing fire and water cleanup and restoration services for nearly 50 years. Experience has shown that fast, appropriate action delivered within the first 24 hours can dramatically reduce secondary damage. Smoke and soot have less time to chemically interact and damage or destroy contents, and moisture is prevented from spreading and breaking down structural components or promoting the growth of mold and mildew.

Offering 24-hour emergency services, SERVPRO professionals are committed to responding to fire and water claims during the most critical time period following a loss. Usually onsite in less than four hours. SERVPRO arrives prepared to begin emergency mitigation services to help prevent secondary damage to the structure and contents.

SERVPRO utilizes specific industry technology designed for the collection and reporting of claims information for the insurance industry. SERVPRO professionals can quickly gather the necessary information an adjuster will need to authorize the cleanup and restoration process. The end result is a better, more informed decision-making process, which can speed up the cleanup and restoration of the policyholder's property.

The objective of critical response is to help return homeowners and business owners' properties back to its preloss condition while also controlling claims costs. SERVPRO of Lancaster East can provide the emergency service, mitigation, cleanup and restoration experience and industry-specific technology to help you accomplish these goals. When a policyholder experiences a fire or water loss, even those that fall under the deductible limit or are excluded under their policy, reach out to the team at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County to help protect their property and contents now and in the future.

Are You Winter Weather Ready?

12/6/2020 (Permalink)

 Orange SERVPRO house with a check mark in a box under it that says emergency ready profile next to it Make an ERP plan for your home or business today!

Are you prepared for the upcoming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, can all cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery and hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperature dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinets doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask the professionals at SERVPRO of Lancaster East about completing an Emergency READY Profile®, (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business faster following a disaster. Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to have a plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well beforehand. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan and prepare for it.

When winter strikes, call SERVPRO of Lancaster East to strike back and help make it "Like it never even happened."

Cooking Can Cause A Fire In Your Home

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighter putting out an oven fire with a speech bubble saying, "It's another turkey" Never leave cooking food unattended.

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires? As the holiday season begins and you find yourself in the kitchen more often while hosting friends and family, fire precaution should be top of mind.

A property owner experiences a flood of emotions when a fire ravages their business or home. Fear, uncertainty, stress, and doubt about the future of their property and their livelihood can be overwhelming to the property owner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared. After the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let the crew at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County help you restore it to its preloss condition. Combining rapid response, the utmost professionalism, and open communication throughout the entire job process, we strive to restore not only the home or business structure, but the customer's peace of mind as well.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following eye-opening statistics on structure fires: more than one-quarter (27%) of reported fires occurred in homes within the last year. Even worse, 79% of fire-related deaths were caused by home fires. On average, U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average of 354,400 home structure fires per year resulting in $6.9 billion in direct property damage. Most home fires and fire causalities result from five causes; cooking, heating, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials.

If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes your home or business, give the experts at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County a call. We will help to make it "Like it never even happened."

Kitchen Cautions

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Two firemen putting out a house fire from the street Be sure to keep decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

Each year, around the holidays, families gather together to celebrate by preparing a delicious feast. However, not everyone practices safe cooking habits.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, cooking fires are are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent holiday cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stovetop or oven.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while the food is cooking, and use a trimer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire, like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, or hand towels, away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the flames.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you get out safely.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the kid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

SERVPRO of Lancaster East wishes you a safe & happy fall season!