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Tips On Fire Damage Cleanup

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

We might view fires as something abstract, but they are very real. Fires happen every single day, to others due to a variety of reasons. So, one does not usually imagine the scenario in which they, themselves, would have to go through such an experience. This is why most of us, seldom read about what it is that we can do to help ourselves after. However, we are going to change that today. If a fire does happen to occur on your property, then fire damage cleanup tips are something that you should know as they will, undoubtedly, come in handy. 

1.0 What Exactly Is Involved In The Fire Damage Cleanup Process

First thing's first, to understand the tips that we provide for the fire damage cleanup process, you must first know exactly what it is that the process entails. The process involves the removal of any debris caused by the fire, resolution of any sort of water damage, and removal of standing water within your property. That is not all, to ensure that the air quality in your home is as good as it was before the fire, you must start by eradicating the smell caused by the smoke and removing any soot accumulation in your house and places, such as vents. 

2.0 Tips

Now that we know exactly what we have to do during the fire damage cleanup process, here are some tips that will make the entire process much more easy and efficient.

2.1 Safety

Before you start the cleanup process, it is vital for you to ensure that you are safe and using protective gear at all times. So, our first tip is for you to wear protective clothing, such as shoes with heavy soles and work gloves. Next, to make it easier for you to breathe through the dust particles, make sure that before you begin the cleanup process, you water the debris to minimize them. 

2.2 Efficiency

To make the cleanup process more efficient, there are certain ways in which you can make the products you are using work for you. Firstly, to reduce odors set in your clothes after the fire, you can use cleanup products that contain TSP, that is, tri-sodium phosphate. However, make sure to wear rubber gloves when using such products. On the other hand, when cleaning the walls of your property, make sure that you work on one small area of the wall at a time. You can easily use a mild detergent or soap to clean soot from your walls. In fact, you can even mix it with TSP for extra ease and efficiency. Work your way up as this will ensure that your walls don't have any streaking. Then, immediately rinse with clear water. Make sure that you wash your ceiling after you have cleaned all of the walls.  

When dealing with a situation such as fire damage cleanup, things can start to become quite overbearing and emotionally overwhelming. This is why you should take each task one step at a time and remember these tips and all will be well.

5 Things To Do After A House Fire

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

A fire occurring in your house can be both surprising, overwhelming, and confusing. One can easily feel confused about what it is that they should do after going through such an experience. However, reading up and learning about what it is that you can do after a house fire can make you better equipped with dealing with such a situation. So, in order to help you protect yourself and your property, here are 5 things that you can do after a house fire.

Call An Emergency Helpline

Of course, the first step in any emergency situation is to call an emergency helpline. However, you must first ensure that everyone within your house is outside first. The first responders will arrive at your home and will focus their attention on the safety of you and others who live in your house. After all of the house occupants' are out of danger, they will then focus their energy on saving the structural integrity of your house. 

Take Some Time 

While the first respondents are working on dousing the flames, make sure to take time for yourself so that you are able to process the situation. Try to remind yourself and those who surround you that everything will be okay as spiraling will only make you feel more stressed and won't help the process go any faster. Be sure to take everything one step at a time so that you do not overwhelm yourself. 

Contact Your Insurance Agency 

After you have collected your thoughts, contact your insurance agency and ask for their timeline on securing your property, which includes the removal of any standing water as well as covering the doors and windows of your house. The entire process depends on the amount of damage your house has taken, both from the fire and the dousing. Your insurance will help in starting this process for you and will then authorize their company for restoration to secure your property.

Find A Safe Place

As your house, despite the ventilation holes, will now be filled with chemicals, which lowers the air quality drastically, to prevent any health issues, you must then find a safe place to stay for the time being. In fact, the restoration and recovery process can take several months to finish, which is why most people end up residing in a relative's house rather than a hotel. So, be sure to be monetarily prepared. 

Secure Your House 

If you are in a situation where the fire department tells you that your house is safe to live in, you will still have to take certain precautions, such as boarding up your house. This will prevent any outside impurities from entering your house. 

All in all, knowing the steps that you have to take after a house fire will not only help you but will also make you feel more at peace. So, if you ever do go through something like this, we hope that you do not, you will not feel confused rather you will, by default, go into autopilot and start taking the required steps. 

Hardwood Flooring Drying

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

There’s a misconception that when hardwood flooring gets wet, it must be removed because it’s ruined. Frequently, that’s not the case. SERVPRO of Mt. Laurel/Moorestown has the tools and training to evaluate and dry out hardwood flooring. We use specialized drying mat systems and balanced dehumidification to dry hardwood quickly, saving you the time and expense of flooring replacement. When evaluating water-damaged hardwood flooring, the length of time it has been wet is a critical factor. If the flooring is allowed to dwell in water for too long, it is possible for the boards to cup, warp, and possibly break. Rapid response is critical to success in saving hardwood.

When we respond to a water damage with affected hardwood flooring, we perform a preliminary inspection. What areas are wet? How long have they been wet? And specifically how wet is it? We use a combination of flooring extraction mats, and a powerful truck-mounted extraction unit to pull as much free water out of the flooring system as possible. After that’s done, we set up our drying equipment, and start the drying process. We return to the site daily to monitor the progress of the drying, using meters specially-designed for hardwood. Once the moisture level in the wood reaches an acceptable level, the hardwood flooring can be inspected by a flooring contractor

Mold Myths

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to mold, there are many misconceptions that leave homeowners confused and misinformed. Just by mentioning the word “mold” causes people to panic. Although mold can be a very serious problem and should always be taken seriously, it is critical to have all the correct facts, so you can make knowledgeable decisions when necessary.

  1. “Bleach kills mold”  
  2. Bleach is able to kill certain types of mold on nonporous surfaces, but it is uncertain on whether or not it can kill all types of mold on every surface. Most of the retail products out there only discolor the mold and are not suggested for porous surfaces for example, drywall, carpet, ceiling tiles and wood.
  3. “Mold is only found in homes with water damage”

It is true that mold generally forms in any areas that have problems of water seepage or flooding but unfortunately all homes could potentially wind up with having a mold problem. Molds and mildews are present both indoors and outdoors, and when mold spores land on a surface that contains moisture, that mold can begin to grow.

  1. “You don’t have to remove mold if you kill it” 
  2. Even if you are able to kill the mold, there are allergens that live in mold that are still active. These allergens can even become airborne even if the mold is dead. Mold can also go dormant until conditions in the environment are optimal for regrowth. To protect yourself and your home, it is necessary to remove the affected area and remove the items that contain mold. You need to be cautious not to spread the mold spores to unaffected areas. Professionals, like us, are properly trained to handle mold allergens without further contaminating your home.
  3. “A small amount of mold is nothing to worry about” 
  4. A small amount of visible mold in your home may just be the tip of the iceberg. Chances are it has been growing for some time now and requires a certified mold inspector to further inspect the situation.
  5. “Mold Remediation is easy to do on your own”

That is not always the case. When it comes to small areas of mold, it can be handled easily. But when the problem becomes pervasive, it is best to call the professionals. SERVPRO is always “Here To Help!”

Preventative Measures To Avoid Water Damage

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

We all know that prevention is the best medicine, but floods can happen at any moment from any number of causes. By completing regularly scheduled home maintenance and keeping an eye out for common warning signs, you can minimize the chances of a flood. However, nothing can give you a 100% guarantee of never having a flood. In that case, preparation is the best way to minimize water damage.

First, it’s a good idea to know your flood risk. Are you in a potential flood zone? Is your yard sloped away from your foundation? Knowledge is power so the more you know about how your home might flood, the more steps you can take to prevent it or minimize damage from it.

Using waterproof building materials is a great way to reduce damage from flooding and there are waterproof sealants and paints that can be applied to existing structures. In particular, there are many protective coatings for block or poured concrete walls which are common in basements.

Keep your valuables and irreplaceable items such as photo albums, yearbooks, and important documents on high shelves. Do the same with chemicals and paints. If they leak into flood waters, they could cause additional damage. Any items put away for storage should be in air and water-tight plastic containers. Never leave boxes or items on the floor; instead, invest in raised shelving units.

It may also be a good idea to raise appliances and electronics off the ground. Get wires and power strips out from behind your tv stand and organize them in a way that keeps them out of the flood danger zone. Put washing machines and dryers on cinder blocks or sections of lumber to reduce the chances that rising water levels will affect them.

If a flood does strike, turn off electricity, gas, and water lines and place buckets under active leaks. If the water is pooling slowly, soak up as much of it as possible to reduce the potential damage. Calling SERVPRO at the first sign of a flood is the best way to reduce water damage. Our highly trained technicians will solve your immediate problems and ensure you don’t experience lasting effects or further damage.

Flooding can happen to anyone. Take steps now to protect your home and keepsakes from water damage in the event of a possible flood.

How To Prepare For A Storm

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

It is better to be safe than sorry. Preventative measures are key to saving yourself and your home from the damage that comes with a storm. Storms bring heavy rain, winds, and lighting.

They can cause flooding, power outage, and a lot of destruction. This is why you must have a plan to deal with all these problems that may come with a storm.

However, if there is still damage caused to your property because of the storm then hire a professional storm cleanup service for your home restoration.

Here are the many safety tips you can follow to prepare yourself for a storm.

Ensure That The Exterior Of Your House Is Safe

You must take care of the outdoors to reduce safety hazards. For example, you need to trim down large trees and shrubs so that they don’t fall on something else or get tangled with wires.

Apart from that any plants, furniture, or other objects that are placed outside need to be brought indoors so they can be saved be from damage.

Keep Everything Powered Up

Make sure that the gas tank of your car is full. Charge any appliances that need charging such as your cell phone, laptop, etc. Apart from that, you need to test your generator beforehand so that it works properly in case of a power outage during the storm.

Also, keep extra fuel for the generator in case of extensive power outages. This way you will always have backup power.

Make An Emergency Plan

Nature is unpredictable and you never know how bad a storm is going to be. This is why you must have a contingency plan in case of extreme circumstances.

Come up with a plan of how you are going to get in touch with all the family members and where you will meet up to stay safe. This is because storms can happen anytime and not everyone will be home.

Clean Gutters

The main reason why urban flooding takes place because of a storm is due to the overflowing of gutters. With too much water coming in the water overflows and causes the area to flood.

This is why it is important to routinely get your gutters cleaned once in a while. This will allow the water to flow freely and prevent any blockages. It will also prevent the flooding of your basement and roof damage.

Create An Emergency Kit

This is only for a worst-case scenario. If you have to leave home because of some damage or in case of a power outage you will need an emergency kit.

Be sure to have essential medicines, first aid, batteries, important documents, non-perishable food, water, clothing, cash, and all other essential items that you may require.

It is always good to be prepared for an unprecedented situation that may arise due to a storm. Follow these tips to prepare before a storm and you will be good to go.

However, if there is any damage to your home due to the storm then give us a call (856) 778-4055!

Water Damage: DIY or Call the Pros?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Do It Yourself (DIY) projects around the home have plenty of appeal. They provide you with a sense of accomplishment upon completion. Typically they present an opportunity to save money by avoiding contractor fees. Frankly, some folks just enjoy completing projects on their own. DIY projects have their time and place, however, water damage restoration is one project we recommend hiring a professional restoration company for.

Unforeseen complications of water damage

Water damage in your home can be a frustrating experience. Even experienced DIYers may not have the expertise to handle a water loss in the home if they don’t have experience in the industry. It may seem a simple process on paper. Remove the water and use fans to dry the area, that’s it right? Well, not exactly. Water damage in the home is not so easily treated. There are many factors to take in to consideration that the average homeowner may not recognize.

Why you should use a professional water restoration company:

  • Expertise: This type of work is a restoration company’s bread and butter. They have handled water losses before and know all factors to consider. For instance, what was they source of the loss? Is the water clean or contaminated? How much equipment will be needed to properly dry the damage? Can the carpet be dried out or does it need to be removed and replaced?
  • Equipment: Restoration companies like SERVPRO have all the necessary tools and equipment on hand to properly mitigate your water damage. Imagine a scenario where the area sees a flash flood event. You will have people running to stores to pick up fans, dehumidifiers, shop-vacs and generators. A supply shortage is a very real issue to consider. SERVPRO has all of this equipment as well as specialized equipment like moisture meters that can find moisture in walls and other spots you may not think to look.
  • Insurance Claims: Depending on your insurance coverage, oftentimes, water damage may be covered under your policy which can save you money on repairs. However, some insurance companies will not pay out a claim if the necessary work is not done by a professional. SERVPRO of Mt. Laurel/Moorestown works closely with all insurers and can give you the peace of mind that your insurance will help cover costs.
  • Full Service: SERVPRO provides emergency response to water losses. We know the importance of a quick response time to mitigate the potential for mold growth that can occur 48-72 hours after a water loss. Along with our expertise, SERVPRO of Mt. Laurel/Moorestown is equipped to handle your loss from beginning to end. We can handle the initial response, any necessary demolition, as well as any necessary rebuild you may need.

Should you experience water damage in your home, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Mt. Laurel/Moorestown at 856-778-4055, anytime, day or night!

Sewage Backup Causes Safety Concerns

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is a Franchise company with over 50 years of leadership in cleanup and restoration.  Our track record of results has earned us the trust of the insurance industry and countless homeowners.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are a team of specialists, trained to professionally clean your home and personal belongings.

In the case pictured, it was discovered to be contaminated water, here are some things you should and shouldn't do to protect yourself:

DO:

  • Wear protective equipment
  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

DON'T:

  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
  • Attempt cleanup of any kind.
  • Touch or handle items that might be contaminated.

These Emergency Tips will assist you in taking the proper action until you SERVPRO of Mt. Laurel/Moorestown Professional arrives. 

We are Here to Help make it "Like it never even happened."  856-778-4055.

Steps To Take After Storm Damage

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

A storm can be quite scary and having to deal with its after-effects is challenging. It can leave behind a lot of damage that you will have to take care of. For this reason, you need to have all the right steps in front of you so that you can restore your home as quickly as possible. Here are 5 steps that you will have to follow after suffering from storm weather damage. 

Check How Much Damage Is Done

Before you go on to figuring out the solution for the damage, you will have to assess how much damage took place. It is best to take a look at every nook and corner of your home to know where all the damage is. 

Don’t miss out on anything as you want to ensure that every bit of damage is repaired properly. Observe every inch of the exterior so that you can know exactly what went wrong. Also, if there is seepage or any other time of damage as well, then make sure to take note of this as well. 

Keep Yourself Safe And Avoid Injury

As you go about assessing your home of damage, you want to make sure that you avoid injury throughout. To do this, you will have to keep away from all sorts of electrical equipment and risky areas around your home. 

If you see cracks on the roofs, then it is best that you avoid standing under or close to that particular area. The best thing to do is to make sure that your electricity is shut off to avoid getting damage from wires running through your home. 

Get Your Insurance Company On Board

Throughout the process, you want to make sure that you are collecting adequate proof to show your insurance company. They will probably also send someone for a physical examination to verify your case. Keep them in the loop so that you can claim insurance for the damages that you face from the storm damage. 

Limit Further Damage To Home

Sometimes, if you do not act quickly, there is a possibility of more damage happening to your home. You want to avoid this as much as possible. If there is an excessive wind blowing or water coming in, you might want to board your windows. 

If you’re not sure how to do this, then you must reach out to a professional service for help. And, that is our final step that will help with the damage. 

Get The Right Professional Cleaning Service 

You want to ensure that your home is not damaged beyond repair. This is when you need to get the right people on board to help you clean up the mess after the storm weather damage. You do not want to put the entire work on yourself as you might not have the right equipment to get this done properly. 

You should reach out to professionals who can help you clean your home and minimize the damage done to your home. Connect to https://https://www.SERVPROmtlaurelmoorestown.com/ and get your home cleaned up in no time. 

Preventing Damage Following a Power Outage

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

After a bad storm, no matter the season, you might lose power. If only for a few minutes or hours, or days... you should take proper precautions to prevent any fire damage after you get power back to your home (or business). 

At SERVPRO of Mt. Laurel/Moorestown, we know how power outages can go from inconvenient to damaging in no time. While it might not be the actual power outage causing damage, it can cause a domino effect and lead to other things. 

Preventing fire damage 

NEVER run a gas powered generator inside your home. This can cause carbon monoxide build up which can be dangerous to your health. And never use a gas powered stove or grill to warm your home. 

In the unfortunate situation where you may be cooking and the power goes out, be sure all stove units are off, as well as the oven.

Turn all knobs on the stove to be 100% positive they are off. 

Go around the house / building and check the smoke detectors to make sure they're in working order, in the case a fire does break out, you'll be alerted. While waiting for the power to turn back on, the last thing you'll want is a fire! 

Unplug appliances

Unplug all non-essential appliances like toasters, coffee makers, mixers, and electronics such as gaming consoles, computers, TVs etc. When the power does come back on, these could cause a surge that can cause damage. 

It's especially important to unplug appliances that don't have surge protection built in. 

After power is restored 

After you get your power back, take a walk in and around the house, check for any water leaks, functioning appliances, and check and extinguish any candles that are still lit for light. 

Keep our phone number handy if there is any damage, we're here to help.  

856 778-4055, ready for whatever happens