Recent Posts

Keeping Pets Safe From a House Fire

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Dog held by an old man who is a wearing a safety helmet. Learn basic first aid procedures for the type of pet you own.

Keeping Pets Safe In The Event of A House Fire

Pet lovers in Lexington Park, PA are like pet lovers everywhere: they consider their furry, feathered, or scaly friends beloved members of the family. In the event of a fire emergency in the home, it is important to have an evacuation plan for pets just like the rest of the family and make sure everyone is aware of it. The fire department, your insurance company, and restoration experts will take care of the rest.

Proactive Measures

Having either hardwired or battery-powered smoke alarms on every level of your home is a must to keep everyone safe. Check them regularly to make sure they are operational. In the event of a fire emergency, it is important to have a few other items and established procedures in place for pet preparation.

  • Practice your evacuation plan with your family, including your pets. For pet safety, train them to come when called, and for those in enclosures, designate an appropriate rescuer.
  • In the family emergency kit, include what your pet might need. First aid supplies, any medications, and nonperishable foods should be packed.
  • Learn basic first aid procedures for the type of pet you own.
  • Affix a pet alert to a window or door to alert fire fighters to the number and type of pets in the home and where they are kept. If you are unable to evacuate them, professionals can perform the rescue.
  • Have a plan in place for housing your pet if you become displaced from your home.
  • Keep pet ownership records and proof of vaccinations in a fire box.

Proper planning can reduce the kind of chaos that can lead to avoidable losses in the unfortunate situation of a fire emergency in the home. Practicing evacuation procedures and assembling an emergency kit can help keep all members of your family out of harm’s way.

Keeping Mold From Being an Unwelcome Guest at Your Restaurant

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Food in containers inside a refrigerator Store food properly.

If you work in the food service industry, you may be quite familiar with how uncomfortable working in a too-hot kitchen in Philadelphia, PA, can be. But while your physical discomfort may be bothersome, the food that you’re preparing can potentially suffer far worse. Kitchens play host to an abundance of warm, moist air as it is, and when that hot air merges with an occasional blast of cool air coming into the kitchen from an air-conditioned dining area or a back door, the condensation that ultimately forms can quickly lead to mold growth on your food.

Keeping Food Mold-Free

Mold growth can occur quickly under the right conditions. Taking these steps can help prevent mold from contaminating the food in your work kitchen:

1. Properly launder all kitchen towels, sponges, and dishcloths on a regular basis. Keeping these items dry and well ventilated prior to laundering will help prevent mold and mildew from forming.

2. Take special care to clean wood cooking tools. Wooden kitchen tools in particular are at high risk for developing mold. Make sure that these tools are properly washed and thoroughly dried, preferably in a spot where there is plenty of air circulation (and light, if possible).

3. Keep your refrigerator clean. Cleaning the place where the food will be stored will help cut down on the risk of mold. A solution of one to two tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in a quart of warm water is an effective cleaner for the fridge.

4. Carefully inspect any food you buy. Fresh produce should be examined closely for any bruising, pits, or dents, which will indicate damage during shipping and/or potential rotting on the inside. Choose firm, evenly colored produce with a relatively smooth surface and a fresh smell. Similarly, check fresh meats, poultry and jarred food items for any signs of mold.

5. Store food properly. Protect your food from any airborne mold spores by keeping it tightly covered with plastic wrap. Cover and refrigerate perishable foods and ensure that they do not sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Consume leftovers within 3-4 days.

Utilizing a Proper Ventilation System for Mold Prevention

When managing an area with high humidity such as a restaurant kitchen or bakery, it is imperative to have an adequate ventilation system to keep air cool and circulating. Since experts recommend keeping the relative humidity level to below 40 percent, more than one HVAC unit in a commercial kitchen – one in the front and one in the back – is a wise choice. Also, be sure to maintain all gaskets and vents, keeping them clean and free of any dust or debris. Taking this approach, in addition to employing efficient exhaust hoods and fans, help prevent food spoilage as well as overheated conditions for kitchen workers. If water damage has already occurred in the walls or ceiling, you may want to enlist the help of a specialist to remove any resulting mold.

Keeping your kitchen in Philadelphia, PA, free of mold growth is a continual process, but following these tips will help ensure that your workspace remains as clean and effective as possible.

How To Find a Good Air Purifier for Your Home

7/18/2021 (Permalink)

Closeup view on air filter. Filtration concept. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.9% of particles .03 microns in size from the air that passes through.

Tips For Picking The Best Purifier For Your House

Mold spreads via spores in the air. Air filtration can thus help you limit the amount of mold in your Rhawnhurst, PA, home.
You can filter your house with an air purifier. Of course, not all purifiers are the same. 

1. Look for a HEPA Filter
A high-efficiency particulate air filter is the gold standard. It removes early 100 percent of particles down to 0.3 micrometers in size. You need a filter that will remove both large and small particles since mold spores are quite tiny. Other types of purification systems, including HVAC filters, may not remove these particles.

2. Calculate the Air Flow
You can measure the airflow of an air filtration system by calculating the Clean Air Delivery Rate, or CADR. This tells you how much mold-free air is coming out of the machine. The higher the CADR, the more clean air you will have.
To figure out the ideal CADR for a particular room in your house, first, figure out how big the space is in cubic feet. Multiply that by the number of air changes you want in the room per hour (ideally four or five). Then divide this product by 60 since CADR is measured in cubic feet per minute.

3. Check the Noise Levels
Once you have located the purifiers with HEPA filters and a good CADR, it is time to make your final choice. Choose a system that is easy to use and relatively quiet.
Keep in mind that while the above purifiers work well, they may not be completely effective following a major water damage in your home. Even if you have a purifier, you should still call mold cleanup experts to ensure the flood or leak does not lead to a severe infestation.
Air filtration can help remove mold spores from your home. This should keep your environment clean and keep the structure of your house intact.

How To Recover From Water Damage

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Bursting pipe A burst pipe can cause major damage to your home in Philadelphia, PA.

While the prospect of a water leak in your home might be terrifying, the recovery process is not as hard or lengthy as you might think. There are a few things you should do immediately after you’ve had bursting pipes in your home to make cleanup easier:

  1. Disconnect the power and remove any electronics from the area.
  2. Remove as much standing water as possible using buckets and towels.
  3. Dry the affected area thoroughly; open windows and turn on fans for the best air circulation.
  4. Place any wet objects and furniture to dry in a room with good air flow, out of the sun.
  5. Contact a restoration specialist to assess the extent of the damage as soon as possible.

The Speed of Recovery

Recovery from water damage usually takes three to five days, although it may take between seven and 10 days if you have wood floors. Any broken items should be removed and discarded safely, whereas any salvageable items should be hung to dry indoors so they won’t be affected by sunlight. Items such as books or clothes should only be put away again once they are truly dry to avoid any mold growth.

As for recovery of the house itself, the time required will depend on the extent of the damage. While It may not take long to fix a broken pipe, drywall, floors, carpet and other surfaces need thorough drying and disinfection to prevent further issues.

The Dangers of Water Damage

If your home was subject to damage from a natural disaster or bursting pipes, it may be at risk for a number of potentially dangerous consequences:

  • Contaminated water
  • Mold infestation
  • Structural damage
  • Property damage

To avoid these issues, follow the steps above and find a specialist in Philadelphia, PA, who can help you assess your home for any unseen issues. Bursting pipes can’t always be prevented, but a restoration specialist will help you feel secure in your home knowing that you’re protected against greater risks.

Why Calling a Clean-Up Crew Should Be Your First Post-Fire Priority

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Bedroom damaged by fire, ceiling collapsed, bed and wall covered with soot. Fire damaged a bedroom in Fox Chase, PA.

Why Calling a Clean-Up Crew Should Be Your First Post-Fire Priority

After you’ve just finished watching emergency service take care of a fire in your home, the shock can sometimes make it difficult to figure out which step you should take next. However, if you want your home to stand the best chance at a full recovery, you’re going to need to make a few calls.

First, dial-up your insurance company in Fox Chase, PA. Next, you’ll want to reach out to a local fire damage cleanup crew. Doing this early on is imperative because

  • Quicker action yields better results
  • Mitigation of water damage is easier
  • You’ll be able to salvage more of your belongings

Fast Action

When a fire happens, it doesn’t just affect the things it burns. It releases soot and smoke that seeps into materials surrounding the fire as well. Over time, these byproducts set in, discoloring and damaging porous materials. The longer these surfaces go without being properly cleaned, the more likely it is that the damage will be irreversible, which is why calling a fire damage crew right away is so important.

Water Damage

Many people don’t consider water damage to be an issue when there’s a fire, but with gallons and gallons of water coming out of the fire hose pointed at your home, it’s definitely something you’ll need to contend with. Professional cleanup crews have the tools to dry out carpets, furniture and more, faster.

Salvaging

Salvaging your belongings is not only a way to keep restoration costs down, but it preserves a little peace of mind as well. Choosing a cleanup crew to come in right away can help you make the most of your remaining belongings, so you can reinstall them in your restored home when the job’s done.

Fire damage cleanup crews are trained to handle every challenge your house has to offer. Having them on the job right away means you can get back in your home sooner, so you can get back to the life you love.

Exterior Inspection Tips for Your Commercial Property

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Building Inspector completing an inspection form on clipboard Perform regular inspections of your building to avoid any damage to your property.

What To Look For During Your Inspection

Owning a commercial property is a big responsibility. You must be vigilant to make sure that your building in Pennypack, PA, is a safe place for occupants to enter. Making a building inspection a regular part of your exterior maintenance plan is a good way to ensure that this happens. Here are some tips on what to look for during your inspection.

Walls

To keep your building maintained properly, you must pay attention to the exterior walls. Look for signs of damage. Even regular wear and tear can become a problem over time, making it necessary to hire restoration specialists to repair your building. Pay particular attention to the following issues:

  • Water and air infiltration points
  • Paint inconsistencies
  • Holes or weak spots, particularly where different parts of the wall connect

All problems with your walls can't easily be seen with the naked eye, so it's important to test the wall for issues, especially when it comes to areas where air or water could enter.

Cladding

Cladding is the coating on the structure that provides insulation and resistance to outdoor elements. It also makes the building look nicer. Your exterior maintenance plan should include an inspection of the cladding to make sure there are no chips, dents or holes in it. If left unchecked, these problems that may seem minor at first can lead to bigger issues, because they leave your building unprotected.

Windows

Inspecting your windows and initiating necessary repairs is a great way to save on energy costs. It is also important, however, for protecting the building from water that might seep into weak weather stripping or a broken seal. Make sure your windows have proper insulation so that air and water stay out of your building.

When a storm rages and your building is not able to withstand it, the breakdown can often be traced back to something missed because exterior maintenance was neglected. Regular building inspections can help you identify and resolve problems before extreme weather strikes.

Holiday Season

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

After effects of a residential fire

This time of year, everyone is gearing up for the holidays.  While we will all surely be eating turkey on Thanksgiving day, we may be preparing it differently.  

In the last few years, deep frying turkeys has become a wildly popular method to cook the food.  However, according to a "Home Fire Involving Cooking Equipment" report, home fires caused by cooking are nearly 4 times as likely on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.  Deep frying turkeys, while delicious, is also very dangerous.  So before you get into some deep frying fun, here are 3 quick safety tips for you to protect your home:

1) Stay Away from The House – Set up the turkey fryer more than 10 feet away from your home and keep children and pets away. Never leave it unattended.

2) Use a Thawed and Dry Turkey – Make sure your Thanksgiving turkey is completely thawed and dry. Extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire.

3) Be Prepared – Have a fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry-powder) ready at all times in the event that the oil ignites.

From all of us here at SERVPRO of Fox Chase/Torresdale, we want to wish you and your family a Happy (and safe) Thanksgiving!

SERVPRO on Puffbacks

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

The culprit in this residential puffback

The term puffback refers to the sudden expulsion of soot into a dwelling area caused by malfunction in the heating system.  The soot consists of petroleum based particles formed by incomplete combustion in the furnace.  Permanent damage can occur unless the soot is removed quickly utilizing professional cleaning agents and methods.

What to do when you have a Puffback...

  • Shut down heating systems immediately
  • Contact the oil company that services the furnace
  • Avoid contact with contaminated surfaces
  • Contact remediation specialists to restore the home or office to its preloss condition

Why use SERVPRO?

  • We are experienced in all areas of puffback restoration
  • Immediate response to the problem
  • We work with all Insurance Companies
  • Proper inspection and testing procedures
  • Air duct cleaning and soot sealing
  • Deodorization
  • Complete structure and content cleaning
  • We take care of clothing, carpet, upholstery, and drapery cleaning.

What not to do when a Puffback happens...

  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.  This will make the damage worse.
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fans
  • Do not send soft goods to an ordinary dry cleaner
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical components

The Pentagon

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

An overhead of the pentagon

Following the events of September 11, 2001, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals were called in to assist with cleanup and restoration of the Pentagon.  As everyone can remember, it was a difficult, emotional, and uneasy time to travel, or simply go to work.  In spite of the emotions and difficulties involved in the restoration effort, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals dried nearly 300,000 square feet in addition to providing fire, soot and smoke cleanup and restoration services. Upon compeltion of the drying assignment, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provided mold remediation services in other sections of the facility.  Despite the size of the project, the emotional sensitivity of those involved at the time, and other unique aspects of the project, SERVPRO Frachise Professionals met the challenge and completed the project in just 90 days.  

What should I do until help arrives?

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

A flooded basement leaves contents floating in the water

You never expect it when a water damage wreaks havoc on your home.  The water damage clean up can be a headache so you always want to be prepared.  Here are 5 tips to help you recover quickly when a water damages your property.  1. Find the source of the water damage.  It's easy to find a faucet left running or sewer backup.  However, if water is coming from a hidden pipe in the walls you need to shut off water to the house as quickly as possible.  2. After the panic has settled down, assess the level of damage to your home.  There are some steps you can take to remove the water from your house, but if carpeting, drywall, rugs or other structural damage has occurred, call a professional water restoration company like SERVPRO of Fox Chase/Torresdale immediately.  3. Move Quickly!  You need to start mitigating the damage before more damage piles up.  Bacteria and hazardous mold spores can begin to grow within hours of the catastrophe.  4.  Use a shop-vac to remove as much water as possible until the professionals show up.  The longer the water sits on the floor, the more damage it will create.  Move quickly to remove as much water as possible.  5. Take photos for your insurance claim.  Your insurance company will probably send out someone to investigate the damage, but if you have pictures that show everything as it happened, it could smooth out the claims process.  Of course, the best kind of water damage is the one that never happens, but if you do ever find yourself in need, the professionals at SERVPRO of Fox Chase/Torresdale are here to help you 24/7.