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What You Should Do When Flood Waters Enter Your Norristown Home

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Who To Call When Your Norristown Home Experiences Flood Damage

Storms in Norristown can bring torrential rains that may cause dams to overflow or break. Resulting flash floods can be hazardous and may even require residents to evacuate their homes. Sadly, many of those who evacuate during heavy storms come back to find their house half underwater. Should your home become flooded, contact professionals who can remove the water and mitigate as much of the damage as possible.  

SERVPRO technicians have experience when it comes to flood damage in Norristown houses. We work efficiently to mitigate as much damage as possible to your home's interior and structure. Our crews of water damage restoration technicians (WRT) can arrive at your property in a matter of hours and can remove the standing flood waters with the assistance of industrial grade wet vacs and truck mounted pumps. We can use moisture meters to establish baseline moisture measurements and determine our drying goals.  

After long-term submersion, water can seep through hardwood lacquer, causing the wood itself to crack and lose its structural integrity. To prevent this, professionals from SERVPRO can deploy drying mats to speed up the drying process of the wood.  

Flood waters often consist of Category 3 black water which contains debris, dirt, and bacteria. Cat 3 water soils absorbent materials such as upholstery, creating health hazards for homeowners. Our crews are certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and can strip and dispose of upholstery that came into contact with the flood waters.  

It can be heartbreaking to be forced to evacuate from your home because of flooding and returning home to inspect the resulting damage can be even worse. SERVPRO of Norristown knows that it can be tough for you, so we do our best to restore your home as rapidly as possible. Call us now at (610) 272-8520 should you experience flooding.

More about Norristown.

A Moldy House After a Rainstorm May Be Evidence of a Leak

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage in West Norriton, PA

Black mold in your West Norriton, PA, home needs to be removed right away. Any delay in mold cleanup could just make the problem worse.
Of course, you first need to know what is causing the mold growth. If mold appears every time it rains, then you may have a problem with your roof. Before you contact your local contractor to fix the roof, however, you should figure out if you actually have a mold problem.

Is it Mold Or Mildew?

A musty odor in your home does not automatically indicate mold growth. There are other fairly harmless causes of musty smells, including:

  • Volatile organic compounds emitted from burning fuel
  • Chemicals from furniture and carpets
  • Pet odors

Even if you do spot a green fungus in your home, you may have mildew rather than black mold. Mold and mildew can seem similar, but mold is more dangerous. Mildew looks downy or powdery and typically appears on the surface of items. This makes it relatively easy to clean.
Mold, however, is thicker than mildew. This fungus can also penetrate items and damage the structure of your home. You thus should not attempt to remove it on your own. Instead, you should rely on a mold remediation company.

Why Is Mold Growing There?
Mold needs moisture to grow. If you do determine that mold is present in your house, you should check to see if you have a moisture problem. Mold damage near the windows, for instance, could be evidence of condensation.
Your home may also become moldy every time it rains. This could be a sign of a roof or foundation leak that is causing water to seep into your attic or basement. The mold will continue to return unless you fix the leak.
There are many possible causes of musty smells in your home. Pet odors and mildew are not that harmful. However, black mold is a serious problem that must be addressed. If the mold intensifies after a rainstorm, then you may have a leak in your roof.

5 Things You Need to Know About Nor'easter Storms

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

The more you know about the nor'easter storms, the better prepared you can be

Nor'easter Facts

A nor'easter storm is no ordinary storm. Named for the direction their winds blow, these dangerous storms typically hit Northeastern regions during the colder, winter months. Don't take any chances if you're worried that your home in Trooper, PA, might be at risk. Arm yourself with knowledge and review these nor'easter facts.

1. There are two different types of storms: J.E. Miller first classified these storms in 1946, and was able to name them after himself as a result. The storms are characterized by the regions that they typically form in. Miller "type A" storms are the most common and form in the Gulf Coast. Miller "type B" storms form in the Midwest and are usually much more severe.

2. They can form at any time: Due to the polar jet stream, these storms are much more likely to occur in September through April. However, it is possible to experience one at any time of year.

3. They're a hurricane's northern cousin: Both types of storms are characterized by heavy precipitation and high winds. The only difference is that hurricanes form in the south and have a warm core, while the nor'easter forms in the north and has a cooler core.

4. They're very dangerous: Due to their colder cores, these storms often bring heavy snowfall. This is a lethal combination when coupled with the dangerously high winds that they can bring. If they don't bring snow, then you're likely to experience flooding from heavy rains.

5. They can be classified based on wave height: Robert Davis and Robert Dolan developed the aptly-named Dolan-Davis scale in 1992 to help further classify these storms. A Class 1 is the weakest, with an average wave height of 2 meters. Meanwhile, a Class 5 is the strongest with a mean wave height of 6.8 meters.
The more you know about the nor'easter storms, the better prepared you can be. If your home has been damaged by one of these storms, make sure to contact a storm remediation expert to help take care of the problem.

Steps for Filing a Fire Insurance Claim

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

File your insurance claim

Steps for Filing a Fire Insurance Claim

Commercial property insurance can help you pay for fire restoration and cleanup services. You just have to file a claim and submit it to your insurer. The insurance provider may then send you a proof of loss form. Alternatively, an adjuster may visit your East Norriton, PA, property, and assess the extent of the fire damage. In fact, there could be one adjuster who surveys the structural issues and another who check out the contents of the building.
Before you make your fire claim and welcome the adjusters into your property, there are certain steps you should take. Following the below tips will make the process go more smoothly.

1. Secure the Property
You should leave much of the restoration to the professionals. However, you should take steps to protect your property from further damage. Sealing any broken doors or windows will prevent rain or looters from entering the premises and causing additional harm.

2. Photograph Damaged Items Before Discarding Them
Ideally, you should not throw out any destroyed assets until the adjusters have arrived. Sometimes, however, you may not have a choice. If you do have to discard some items, take video or photos of them to show to the insurance representative.

3. Keep Detailed Records
For your fire claim, you should make a detailed list of the items that were damaged by the blaze. Make sure to collect receipts or other documents that reveal the value of your harmed equipment. If you have to temporarily move your business during the restoration, you should also report any expenses that you incur as a result. Don’t forget to include any fire damage to company vehicles, as well.

4. Stay Connected
The insurance adjusters can't survey your property if they don’t know where you are. Make sure that the insurer has your cell phone number and other additional contact information.
Preparing in advance for the insurance adjuster's visit can expedite your fire claim. This, in turn, will help get your business back up and running more quickly after a blaze.

Our Experts Will Clean, Repair, And Restore Your Fire Damaged East Norristown Home

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning And Remediating Fire Damage In East Norristown

With the only body of water nearby the Schuylkill River, East Norristown residents are far more concerned over fires than flooding or any other disaster that might strike their homes. Cleaning up the damage afterward takes a professional service with trained personnel and the right equipment.

The key to remediate fire damage in East Norristown homes is a quick response. SERVPRO maintains a 24/7 operation and can respond within hours or even minutes after that first call. Each response team member is a certified Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician (FSRT) who can swiftly assess the situation and start the cleaning process.

First, the FSRT team removes everything from the affected parts of the home. If the property is restorable, it is set aside for team members to clean. For all property too damaged for restoration, they dispose of immediately. These actions clear the home of odor sources and make it easier to inspect the residence for further actions.

Next, SERVPRO teams divide to restore the personal and structural property of the home. Each group has access to a large inventory of cleaners and tools to restore everything from stained drywall and carpets to upholstered furniture and glass windows that survived the heat.

FSRTs start by wiping down all surfaces with dry sponges to remove the top residue layers left by the smoke and soot. If any particles remain, they repeat the action with a cleaning agent as needed. For thicker layers, teams also have access to specially designed vacuums with HEPA filters that catch and remove every bit of residue.

For surfaces like wall framing that absorbed residues and also suffered minor physical damage, technicians use hand or powered sanders. They carefully remove the layers of wood to dig out the residue particles and use more cleaning agents until they risk compromising the structural integrity and have to replace the affected section.

SERVPRO of Norristown is proud to serve our neighbors and the surrounding communities of Lower Providence Township, Trooper, and West Norristown. If you are dealing with the effects of a fire, contact us today at (610) 272-8520 to schedule a service call and start the process to return your home to its pre-fire condition.

For more about East Norristown click here.

Flood Damage Restoration in Your Norristown Home After a Flash Flood

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Flood Damage Restoration in Your Norristown Home After a Flash Flood

Flash floods can come without any warning in Norristown, just like other natural disasters. Even if you don’t live near a body of water, you can be at risk for flash floods, as they are not caused by overflowing of bodies of water, but rather by heavy rainfall from a thunderstorm. Other causes include a levee or dam break, or even a mudslide.

Aftermaths from a flash flood can be quite devastating to your Norristown home and the surrounding area. The water comes at a high intensity, likely bringing with it trees and debris, plus large quantities of water. Once the event is over, you need the assistance of a professional remediation company, such as SERVPRO, to help you clean up the mess left behind.

After the flash flood has passed, the essential thing to do is to ensure everyone in your family is safe and well. Before doing anything else, deal with any possible injuries. When you have determined that everyone is okay, you can then worry about your home. It is likely that your home and personal possessions were affected by the flash flood. The last thing you need after an event like this is to start a DIY project, which is why SERVPRO staff want to help.

Even if the damage is not too severe, we have you and your family remain out of your home for your safety until we can finish the restoration. Several dangers exist with flood damage restoration which can harm you. Besides the typical slip, trip, and fall hazards, flood waters are usually contaminated with debris and even chemical runoff and infectious waste. We are therefore careful to wear safety equipment at all times to protect us while we work.

Safety concerns are taken seriously, and we address them correctly before we even begin restoration work. A safe environment for everyone is a must. We identify all of the safety risks upon arriving at your home, so we do not leave anything to chance.

SERVPRO of Norristown wants to clean your home in West Norriton, Audubon, or Bethel Hill after a flash flood, but we ensure that everyone is safe while performing all cleaning and restoration tasks. When you call us at (610) 272-8520 for help, you can rest assured that we take every needed precaution before and during the job.

Click here for more information about the city of Norristown.

Our Specialists Can Clean Up Your Fire Damaged Property In Lower Providence Township

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning Up Commercial Fire Damage In Lower Providence Township

We know how devastating fire damage can be to a residential property and it can be even more so when a service-industry business such as a restaurant or physician's practice is affected. The longer the premises cannot open to serve customers or patients, the more livelihoods that are affected.
 
When SERVPRO receives a call for commercial fire damage clean up in Lower Providence Township, we start the restoration process during the first phone call; the technician gathers information regarding the type of fire damage and commercial property affected, so our service vans arrive stocked with the necessary equipment to get started immediately upon arrival.
 
SERVPRO technicians are IICRC-certified in fire and water damage restoration and make suggestions regarding the removal or restorability of both building materials and property contents affected by smoke and soot damage. Charred materials such as drywall, are removed with the permission of the property owner as they can retain unpleasant smoke odors.
 
If the fire was localized in a specific area, our technicians put up barriers to stop the spread of soot and speed up the drying process from any excess moisture left from extinguishing the fire. The cleaning process is meticulous, and the methods our technicians use depends on the type of residue left behind by the items in the fire. Synthetics and rubbers tend to leave heavy residues while wood and organic materials leave much lighter films on surfaces. There can be different types of smoke residues in the same room that require the use of wet or dry sponges and solutions for complete cleaning.
 
No one wants to come into a business that smells like smoke, even a bit. SERVPRO technicians have odor control equipment that can neutralize foul odors such as thermal fogging. It works in the same manner as smoke, but a heated solvent solution is delivered as a fog to penetrate anywhere the smoke went and eliminating odors.
 
SERVPRO of Norristown knows that every minute your business cannot be open is money lost. Our emergency response crews are available 24/7 to mitigate commercial fire damage to your property. Call us at (610) 272-8520, and our team can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Click here for more about Lower Providence Township.

How the SERVPRO Claims Inventory System Helps Insurance Agents

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

The CIC is thus another reason that SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many agencies

How the SERVPRO Claims Inventory System Helps Insurance Agents

There are many reasons to choose SERVPRO as the emergency restoration company for your clients. It combines local knowledge of Lower Providence Township, PA, with extensive corporate resources. The company also responds promptly to any disaster. In addition, every insurance agent has access to the Claims Information Center. This platform helps you track, troubleshoot, and research any insurance claim.

1. Tracking
Insurance agents need to know the exact status of each claim made by their clients. The CIC makes this tracking simple. The system includes an easy-to-read dashboard that lets you follow every step of the restoration process. You will thus know exactly when the cleanup project is started and completed.

2. Troubleshooting
If for some reason you need to change your claim, you sometimes have to deal with the contractors yourself. This can be a hassle and waste valuable time. The Claims Information Center makes this process go more smoothly. You do not have to visit the property or deal with communication problems. Instead, you can alter the insurance claim right from the CIC dashboard.

3. Researching
Research is an important part of an insurance agent's job. You must find out how much other companies in the area have paid following similar disasters. If you rely on unsubstantiated research, you could anger your clients or cost your company money.
Thankfully, the CIC includes a database of various claims made over several years. You can sort the claims by the type or cause of loss. You can also lookup claims in your specific region, state, or county. You can trust that this information is reliable.
Handling an insurance claim can be frustrating. The Claims Information Center, however, makes the process less stressful. You can focus on your job without having to call contractors or worry about the status of a claim. The CIC is thus another reason that SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many agencies.

Strange Signs You Have a Plumbing Problem

6/7/2020 (Permalink)

A leaky faucet in Norristown, PA

Strange Signs You Have a Plumbing Problem

Your plumbing system has hundreds of feet of pipes snaking throughout your entire home in Norristown, PA. Mostly, it functions at a high level, bringing clean water to you when desired, and taking away the used, dirty water. However, just like anything, it is not perfect. Many of the problems people encounter are familiar enough and do not require professional sewage cleaning services. These common problems include the following:

  • A slow drain
  • Low water pressure
  • A faulty appliance
  • A leaky faucet

Now and then, though, a plumbing problem can be mystifying. After all, each home is different. Some homes contain outdated materials for pipes that can affect the plumbing system. Other homes contain solutions that have been jerry-rigged in creative ways that result in strange problems.

The Case of The Toilet Overflow
Sometimes the use of water in one part of the home results in a problem in another location. This usually signifies a clogged pipe somewhere further down the plumbing system. For example, the use of the shower could result in the overflowing of the toilet bowl. As the shower drains, the water gets backed up by the clog and then returns to the toilet, causing it to overflow. Since this situation could result in contaminated water coming back into the home, the services of a professional water remediation company should be called for cleanup and restoration.

The Case of the Clogged Drain
Not all problem drains have the same solution. Some will quickly be solved by using a plunger or by running a plumbing snake through the pipes. Occasionally, the pipe materials can cause problems. Other times the problem is more mechanical, the result of poorly-engineered fixes in the past. If dirty water backs up from the drain, sewage cleaning services may be called for. Each home's plumbing system is a unique entity and can result in some interesting problems.

Is Your Space Heater Safe?

6/7/2020 (Permalink)

Never put a space heater in your kids' rooms

When you want to raise the temperature in one room of your house, without cranking up the heat in every room, a space heater can be a great solution. To reduce the risk of a burned space heater, however, you must be diligent when looking for the safest option.

What Safety Features Should You Look For?

Safety Certification - It's critical to choose a space heater that has been awarded a safety certificate from an independent testing organization. Examples include the ETL label from Intertek and the CSA International certification. The certification should be visibly displayed on the packaging.
Sufficient cord - The cord must be sturdy and at least 6 feet long. Never plug the heater into a power strip or extension cord. You could wind up with a burned space heater if it overheats.
Shutoff features - Choose a space heater with a smart sensor that automatically shuts the unit off if it starts to overheat. Another feature you'll want to choose is a tip-over switch, which will turn the heater off if it's knocked over.

What Safety Precautions Should You Follow?

Always set the heater on a surface that is hard, level, and nonflammable. Never place a heater on a table.
Keep the heater 3 or more feet away from any type of flammable material. This includes curtains, bedding, and furniture.
Never use a space heater if gas or paint cans are nearby.
Always turn the heater off before leaving a room.
Never put a space heater in your kids' rooms.
Periodically check the cord for damage or wear.

Smoke alarms must be installed in every bedroom and every level in your home. Test them monthly and replace the batteries every year. If smoke cleanup is required, contact fire damage professional for assistance.
Following these simple steps can protect your home from a potential burned space heater.