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3 Common Types of Fire Damage

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Air mover placed on the floor, air mover plugged to wall. Drying equipment Fire and water damage in Doylestown, PA.

Three Types Of Damage Caused By Fires

One of the reasons that fires tend to be so destructive and expensive to recover from is that they usually cause multiple types of damage, requiring a variety of restoration services, such as water cleanup. These are three types of damage commonly caused by fires.

1. Smoke Damage
Almost all building fires generate a substantial amount of smoke, which can permeate structures and contents causing damage such as odors and stains. Smoke cleanup is often required to completely remove lingering smells and prevent additional damage. When smoke isn't completely removed, odors can persist for months or even years after a fire. Additionally, smoke residue can act as a corrosive agent, causing structures to deteriorate over time.

2. Water Damage
Water is an essential component of any attempt to put out a commercial fire. Most commercial buildings employ sprinkler systems, which can greatly reduce the spread of fires, but also cause substantial water damage to the building and contents. In addition to repairing the affected property, it is important to quickly employ water cleanup services to dry out the property. Otherwise, the excess moisture can cause additional damage and lead to other problems such as mold growth.

3. Fire Damage
The most obvious type of damage is the damage caused by the flames themselves. Fire can rapidly destroy the structural integrity of a building and cause severe damage to any property or inventory stored inside. The debris left behind often requires extensive fire cleanup. In some industrial settings, fires may cause explosions or the release of hazardous chemicals, making it important to immediately contact emergency services in  Doylestown, PA.
Businesses need to be prepared to deal with more than just damage from flames when making fire preparation plans. Smoke and water cleanup may also be needed to fully restore the property to preloss condition and prevent additional damage from occurring to the property.

4 Things You Should Do After a Fire in Your Commercial Building

4/17/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damaged kitchen. After an emergency, fire restoration should be done quickly.

The Following Are Some Things You Should Do After A Fire

It can be easy to panic when a fire occurs in your Doylestown, PA, building, but you should try to stay as calm as possible in this situation. Doing so will allow you to think more clearly and take the necessary steps toward fire restoration once the emergency has passed.

1. Stay Out of the Building
Because a fire can affect the structure of the building, it may not be safe for you to go inside right away. Some areas may have been weakened and could possibly collapse. For this reason, you should stay outside until you are told otherwise. An inspection will need to be done first.

2. File an Insurance Claim
Particularly if there is a large amount of damage, but even if the affected area is small, you will need to start a fire insurance claim as soon as possible. Cleanup and repairs can be costly, and you don’t want to have to pay for these out of pocket.

3. Contact a Restoration Service
When a fire occurs, the flames are not the only thing that can cause damage to your building. Soot and smoke cleaning will need to be done because these elements can travel through the air and may affect a large area even if the fire was contained. If a hose was used, you will be dealing with water damage as well.

4. Document the Damage
It is important to document your loss and make a list of affected items. This information can be used by your insurance adjuster to help determine the amount of your claim. A fire damage remediation company can help with this task before they begin work on mitigation and fire restoration.

After an emergency, fire restoration should be done quickly. This process will include cleaning, rebuilding and odor removal to return your building to its previous condition. The sooner it is completed, the sooner you can return to business as usual.

The Importance of Backup Power

4/17/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator It's a good idea to have backup power for your business.

It's a good idea to have backup power for your business in Doylestown, PA. You never know when a big storm or a power outage will affect your company. One smart step to take is buying a commercial generator that is big enough and powerful enough to run either all of your company or at least keep critical systems going. The initial cost for this equipment can be significant, especially if you buy a large one or one that kicks on automatically when the lights go out. Your electrical system may need to be altered or upgraded to accommodate the new equipment.

When Is a Commercial Generator Needed

Numerous reasons exist that can knock the power out in your building. Here are just a few of the situations that can result in a disruption to your power grid:

  • A major storm
  • A substantial flooding event or plumbing issue
  • An accident that takes down the power supply
  • An earthquake
  • A municipal blackout
  • A power overload in your building

Many of these situations may be brief and will be taken care of through time or by a visit from an electrician. Others, though, such as a powerful storm or flooding, may last longer. By having a strong backup plan, your business can still serve customers and keep the lights on.

How Can a Generator Be Maintained?
To avoid generator problems, you should keep a few things in mind. Proper maintenance will extend its lifespan, which can be as long as 5,000 hours of use, and make sure it will work when needed. Only use the device as indicated in the owner's manual. Make sure all guidelines for ventilation are followed.

Being prepared is all part of being a successful business owner. You never know when a disaster will strike. Therefore, look for a company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster to help you with storm damage recovery and cleanup.

What To Do If You Smell Natural Gas In Your Home

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Realistic images Show gas pipes are leaking. Natural gas is odorless, colorless, and nearly impossible to detect.

Ways To Prevent A Gas Fire From Breaking Out

Have you ever smelled natural gas? That’s a bit of a trick question. In its raw state, natural gas is odorless, colorless, and nearly impossible to detect. It’s also highly flammable — a dangerous combination. To reduce this danger, gas companies add a non-toxic chemical called mercaptan into the gas before distribution. Mercaptan is the source of that distinctive, “rotten egg” smell that most people associate with gas. The scent is unpleasant, but it makes a gas leak much easier to detect. If you ever smell mercaptan in your home, follow these precautions to prevent a gas fire from breaking out.

1. Keep the House Dark
Depending on the severity of the leak, any electrical current could spark a gas explosion. Don’t turn on any lights or other electrical devices. This includes battery-operated devices such as cell phones and flashlights. Never ignite a lighter or match.

2. Check Your Stove Knobs
A gas stove is one of the most common culprits of a gas leak, since bumping a knob can accidentally turn on the gas. Check the knobs on your stove to ensure that they are all in the “off” position.

3. Open Windows and Doors
Ventilating your home may help release some of the gas buildups that could lead to a gas fire. Open doors and windows, but only if you can do so quickly.

4. Get Out of the House
Evacuate the house, including pets. Do not start your car, especially if the car is in an attached garage. Don’t turn on your phone until you are a safe distance from the house.

5. Contact Authorities
When you are your family are safe across the street or down the block, call 911 or other emergency response service for Buckingham, PA, then call your gas company. Stay nearby and wait for help to arrive.
A home fire can be devastating, and fire damage cleanup is often long and arduous. Sticking to these tips will help minimize your risk of a gas fire.

Keeping Office Workers Safe and Productive During a Snow Storm

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian A massive snowstorm has the potential to cause severe workplace disruptions.

A massive snowstorm has the potential to cause severe workplace disruptions. Thankfully, technological advances have enabled offices to keep running even during inclement weather. During these times, always instruct workers to remain at home, where they can be both safe and productive.

Emergency Snow Kits

It's recommended that someone still arrive on-site in New Briton, PA, to watch for damage caused by intense freezing, such as a pipe burst. As soon as you identify a problem, contact a building repair specialist to repair the issue.
Those tasked with observing offices need winter weather emergency supplies stashed in their cars. Every vehicle needs:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlights
  • Bottled water
  • Sand
  • Warm clothes
  • Non-perishable snacks

These items can help assure safety even under the most perilous situations. Before hitting the road during a snowstorm, make sure your tank is full and your phone fully charged. These simple measures can make a world of difference.

Emergency Snow Warnings
The longer it takes to inform employees that they should remain in place, the greater the chance they will head out and fall into danger. Here are some tips for spreading the word as fast as possible.
Official storm warnings are generally issued between 12 and 24 hours before an imminent weather event. Tune into radio broadcasts and television stations with coverage that you trust and know will interrupt pre-scheduled programming. Create presets for The Weather Channel or your local weather station so you can quickly access the information you need. Install weather apps on your phone and turn on push notifications.
Have a list of everyone who works in your office. Make sure their phone numbers and email addresses are up-to-date and get in touch with them immediately after receiving news of impending winter weather.
Employees need to remain safe during a snowstorm, but they may still be able to work from home even under the snowiest conditions. With safety being the priority, early notification remains key.

The Consequences of a Plumbing Failure

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

three green air movers placed on kitchen floor Water damage cleanup services in Chalfont, PA.

It is hard to overestimate the importance of the plumbing system in your home. When it is working properly, it carries hot and cold water to your appliances with ease. Just as importantly, when things go awry as in the case of a pipe break, the consequences are life-changing, at least for a little while. Water is spilled into your home in Chalfont, PA, threatening to cause damage to walls, flooring and personal belongings. Therefore, it makes sense to pay attention to what your plumbing system is telling you. Several signs indicate it is time for a plumbing inspection or regular maintenance on your pipes.

The Importance of Listening to Your Plumbing

Just as with a vehicle, sounds are sometimes the first sign that something is wrong, that a pipe break or some other calamity is imminent. The following noises in the plumbing indicate trouble:

  • Whistling when a water faucet is turned on
  • Chattering or banging
  • Squealing

Your first option when you sense trouble is to try and troubleshoot the problem yourself. The more experience you have at this, the more likely you will be able to avoid a disastrous pipe burst by your efforts. Secondly, calling in a licensed plumber is often a good option. While this might be more expensive, it could save you the trouble of a major water spill in your home.

The Value of Professional Water Damage Mitigation

Any time water spills into your living space, it is smart to consider the services of a water damage restoration company. Highly-trained technicians will arrive on the scene quickly and work to fix broken pipe and take other actions. They will remove any standing water with the help of powerful pumps and vacuums. An experienced crew has the goal of restoring your home to its original condition. Experts can help you minimize the consequences of a pipe break in your home.

How To Know if Belongings Should Be Restored or Replaced

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building Commercial fire and water damage in Doylestown, PA.

How To Know if Belongings Should Be Restored or Replaced

If your business in Doylestown, PA, has suffered from water or fire damage, you may be struggling to figure out what items should be replaced and what items should be restored. It can be difficult to figure out which option will be more cost-effective. SERVPRO's pretesting methods can help determine what can be restored to keep your insurance claim as low as possible.

This water and fire restoration service can repair many different types of items, including:

  • Upholstered furniture
  • Photos and documents
  • Fabric
  • Electronics
  • Carpet and rugs

They are able to clean soot off of surfaces, sanitize items, freeze-dry documents, prevent mold growth, and more.

Insurance companies tend to prefer restoring items as opposed to replacing them. SERVPRO performs pretesting on items before attempting to restore them. This testing allows them to determine if an item can be restored before spending any time or money on efforts to restore the item. If they are able to restore an item, they will. If an item cannot be restored, they will recommend replacing it instead.

Restoring belongings is generally less expensive than replacing them. SERVPRO of Doylestown, PA, saves you money by repairing as many items as possible, so you don't have to replace them. Testing belongings before restoring them also allows you to create a more accurate list of the costs associated with damages for your insurance agent. It also lowers your insurance claim by avoiding unnecessary restoration costs.
If your belongings have been damaged by water or fire, a restoration service that pretests damaged items can help. Pretesting is an important part of the restoration process. It allows the restoration service to determine what belongings can be restored before attempting to repair anything. This maximizes the number of items that are restored and minimizes costs associated with replacing items and unnecessary restoration attempts. Keeping those costs down lowers your insurance claim.

The 3 Types of Water Damage

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle No matter what category the water is, you should promptly hire a remediation team to perform the cleanup.

Types Of Water Damage

Whether you experience a water pipe repair job gone wrong or a sewage backup, you must immediately remedy the water damage. The first step to fixing your New Briton, PA, business's damage is to hire a water cleanup company. They will categorize the water, so the proper remediation steps are taken.

1. Category 1 or Clean Water
Category 1 water damage is the least worrisome and is often caused by a broken pipe, overflowing sink, or appliance malfunction. This is considered clean water because it is free of toxins and sewage. Typically, the restoration following the water pipe repair will be quick, and there will be few side effects for the building. However, have remediation performed as soon as possible to prevent further damage and mold growth.

2. Category 2 or Greywater
Category 2 damage is caused by greywater. This includes water from a toilet, washing machine, or sump pump backup. While the water may not necessarily be harmful, it is important to have a water pipe repair performed and follow it up with prompt restoration and sanitation to avoid potential health concerns and further damage. This type of remediation will involve water cleanup and sanitation.

3. Category 3 or Black Water
Category 3 damage must be remedied immediately and is the most dangerous of the water categories. This includes water from sewage, storm surges, seas, rivers, and other bodies of water. When this occurs, most of your items will need to be removed for cleaning, and it will take extensive disinfecting to make your business safe again. It is also probable that you will not salvage some of your items and building materials.
If you have recently experienced a flooded business, you should take action quickly. No matter what category the water is, you should promptly hire a remediation team to perform the cleanup. Otherwise, you could endanger yourself and have further damage to your building.

How To Prevent Mold Damage in Your Commercial Building

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Humidity control icons The humidity level inside your building should be no more than 60 percent

Mold Prevention Tips

Whether you own a large commercial building or a small store, you do not want mold to spread unabated throughout your Buckingham, PA, property. Mold growth can occur anywhere, including

  • Above ceiling tiles
  • Inside walls
  • Around pipes

If an infestation occurs, you may have to temporarily close your building while experts perform mold cleanup and remediation. This shutdown could cost you a lot of money. Luckily, there are some simple ways to avoid extensive mold problems. Since the fungus thrives in wet areas, most mold prevention tips involve limiting water damage.

Addressing Water Issues
Start by surveying your property for signs of leaks. Plug those leaks immediately before they cause further harm.
You may also want to waterproof parts of your property. This could be expensive, but a mold infestation would be even more costly.
Pay special attention to sections of your building that are prone to flooding. If a flood does occur, have the water removed within a day or two.

Reducing Moisture
Mold does not only spread following major water damage. Even everyday moisture can encourage the growth of this harmful fungus. If your property uses stoves or dryers that create moisture, make sure those appliances are vented properly. You may also want to run an exhaust fan or open a window when these items are in use.
Indoor humidity is another common cause of mold growth. The humidity level inside your building should be no more than 60 percent. Use a moisture meter to monitor the humidity within the property.
Condensation is often a sign of excess humidity. Any drops of moisture on pipes or windows should thus be dried immediately.
To prevent mold in your building, you should reduce the excess moisture throughout your property. You should also clean up any water damage immediately. While the above tips will not completely eradicate the mold inside your building, they should prevent the fungus from becoming a major issue.

My Basement Flooded...What Now?

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. A visible line is showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Chalfont, Pa

My Basement Flooded...What Now?

Whether caused by a rainstorm or a broken pipe, a basement flood is an awful event to discover. Homeowners' insurance often doesn't cover natural disaster or weather-related flooding, but it's worth it to hire professionals to make repairs and restore your basement to its former glory. However, there are a few steps you should take before they get there that can help smooth the process.

1. Stop the Leak
Verify the source of the flooding as best you can, without going into the water. If you can see where the water is coming from, turn off the supply to that pipe, or possibly even the whole house. If a failed sump pump caused it, try to get ahold of a backup and plug it in away from the water to start alleviating the flood.

2. Call for Help
Homes are full of electrical wiring and gas appliances that don't do well with water. If you have any reason to believe electrical outlets or wiring has been compromised, do not go into the flooded area and turn off the electrical supply. If you can't shut off the electrical supply without going into the water, call your local fire department, who can disconnect your home from the electrical grid and pump the water out. Be sure to turn off gas lines as well, which should be accessible from outside the home. These are both important because shorted wiring or appliances can turn your basement flood into a house fire.

3. Call Your Insurance Agent
Once your home is safe, you can start the process of recovery. Your insurance agent should be your first call to verify insurance coverage, file a claim if necessary, and get recommendations for contractors. If the flood was due to rainwater, it may not be covered, but your insurance agent can often help guide you through the repairs process.
If you discover you've had a basement flood in Chalfont, PA, don't panic. These first steps can help you get through the immediate aftermath and start you on the path to restoring your home.