Recent Posts

Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can. Just like that, everything can change. Call SERVPRO of West Chester today for a FREE Emergency Readiness Plan (ERP). You'll sleep better.

SERVPRO of West Chester Recognizes National Preparedness Month with a Reminder to Home and Business Owners: 

As your local disaster restoration specialist, we offer no-cost tools to help property owners prepare a comprehensive emergency readiness plan.

 September is National Preparedness Month http://www.ready.gov/September), an annual event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to raise awareness about the importance of preparing—in advance—for the unexpected. In support of this initiative, the owner of SERVPRO® of West Chester, Rich Quinn, encourages property owners to take the following two steps now to protect their family, home, and business in the aftermath of a disaster.

  1. Review and update your emergency preparedness plan, including business and life continuity plans. If you don’t yet have a plan, use the tools provided by FEMA to get started. (https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan)

  2. Collect and store time-critical information, like the location of shutoff valves, fire suppression system controls, and emergency contact numbers electronically, where it is immediately available to assist first responders.

“Evacuation plans and emergency supply kits help you survive a disaster, but a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan helps you recover from a disaster,” said Quinn. “The most effective response to any emergency is a fast response. That’s why having critical system and contact information at your fingertips is so important. A quick and effective response helps minimize repairs and downtime, helping both businesses and families get back on track in less time, with less stress.”

 SERVPRO offers tools for both commercial and residential property owners to help them minimize damage and recover quickly from emergencies. The SERVPRO READY app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the FREE APP at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp.

Regional West Chester area business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of West Chester as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO of West Chester professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) and storing that profile in the READY app. “Rapid response from a disaster cleanup and restoration specialist can help the property owner evaluate options, start the insurance process, and take the right steps from the beginning to bring their property back to normal,” said Quinn. “Even in the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, a property owner or manager using the SERVPRO READY app can reach out for expert help right from the scene, using a cell phone, call 610-692-8884 or https://www.SERVPROwestchesterpa.com.”

The Secrets to Selling Your Home Faster and For More $$$!

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

General The Secrets to Selling Your Home Faster and For More $$$! Help your future buyer imagine living in your home with great staging.

DID YOU KNOW that SERVPRO of West Chester is often brought in to do a last minute deep cleaning for a realtor, property manager or homeowner before the "stagers" come in to transform a home?

According to blogger, Cynthia Biggs, a well-staged listing is a many-splendored thing. Not only does it give potential buyers a chance to visualize your home's design potential, it turns out that staging your space (aka showcasing your home with furnishings) might very well help your home sell faster—and for more money. According to the "Staged to Sell" study released by UpNest, a free website service that allows you to compare multiple agents and real estate quotes, home staging is also a powerful tactic; one that can give you a competitive advantage in today's cutthroat housing market. Still not convinced?

1. Buyers spend 5 minutes in an empty home, but 40 minutes in a furnished one.

Believe it or not, UpNest's research reveals that the homebuyers only spend about five minutes inside of a vacant listing, as opposed to the average 40 minutes they spend touring a furnished one. Translation: a staged home gives prospective buyers the opportunity to get emotionally attached to the space; which undoubtedly leads to quicker sales for higher values.

2. Staged homes sell 87 percent faster.

According to UpNest, over 90% of buyers use internet for their home search. Well-staged homes ensure better images and video tours, which often translates to more buyer interest. In fact, RESA (the Real Estate Staging Association) homes staged before listing sit on the market for an average of 23 days and sell 87% faster than homes staged post listing (which on average spent 183 days on the market). Additionally, another study by the IAHSP (International Association of Home Staging Professionals) concludes that 95% of staged homes sell, on average, in 11 days or less (compared to 90 days for un-staged spaces). It's safe to say staging is a good way to expedite your selling time.

3. . . . and for 17 percent more money.

UpNest's study shows that professionally staged homes have a higher perceived value by buyers than non-staged ones, which inevitably leads to higher offers. Research suggests that on average, a staged home will sell for a whopping 17% percent more than a comparable un-staged space. Additionally, the study says that 69% of buyers will spend up to 5% more in dollar value for a staged home versus an empty one (while 38% will spend up to 10% more).

4. Staging certain rooms can make a difference.

Not so surprisingly, UpNest's study shows that staging certain rooms in a home can have a bigger impact on buyers than others. For instance, research suggests that staging a living room and kid's room makes more of a difference than a staged dining room; while a well-staged bathroom and master bedroom can leave much more of an impression on prospective buyers than a furnished kitchen or guest bedroom.

5. Hiring a professional stager is easy... and worth the investment.

Whether you're a first-time seller or a seasoned agent, UpNest's data overwhelming proves that staging your home before listing is an easy investment that truly pays off. Not only have websites like RESA streamlined the process of finding a professional stager in your area, research shows that when sellers spend around 1% of their home's value on staging, they see on average a 1000% return of investment—yes, 1,000-percent!

If you're interested in having some pre-moving or pre-selling deep cleaning done by the pros at SERVPRO of West Chester, call Jeannie at 610-692-8884. We will give you cost-effective solutions to get rid of odd smells, stains, or if you need drapes and upholstery cleaned, we do it all. Have your dryer and HVAC ducts been cleaned? Ever? Might be time for the SERVPRO of West Chester to give you a hand getting your house ready for the stagers to make it look beautiful. www.SERVPROwestchesterpa.com

DUMPSTER LINGO MADE EASY

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

Building Services DUMPSTER LINGO MADE EASY When ordering a dumpster, be sure to ask, what days it can be delivered and picked up. many companies will rent for a specific length of time.

DID YOU KNOW that SERVPRO of West Chester can support a repair project after we have handled the front end water, fire, or clean up efforts at your home or business? 

One of the many project management 
tasks we will handle for our customers is arranging for a dumpster to be delivered and removed. Let's say that you have had a water damage in the bathroom that SERVPRO of West Chester serviced for you. And now the bathroom's drywall, cabinetry, flooring, trim and cove are all going to need to be removed and replaced. We can continue to support your repair efforts.  

SERVPRO of West Chester is committed to making your home look like It Never Even Happened, so we will gladly handle your repair efforts if you would prefer for convenience sake. We gladly will work within the parameters that the adjuster's estimate has identified.  If you are tackling corrective measures without involving your insurance carrier, we can help, too. Ordering a dumpster is the first step, but what size do I need?  

A cubic yard is the volume of a cube with a length, width and height of one yard (3 feet or 36 inches). You can easily calculate cubic yardage by converting all three dimensions of an item into yards and multiplying them. For example, if you have debris that is 9 feet long, 3 feet wide and 12 inches tall, you have one cubic yard of material. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Given that 3 feet is equivalent to 1 yard, 9 feet equals 3 total yards in length.
  • The width is easily measured as 3 feet equals 1 yard in width.
  • Given that 12 inches is equivalent to 1 foot, 1 foot equals 1/3 of a yard in height.

Multiplying the three dimensions, once converted to yards, will give you the total cubic yardage of your debris. In this case, 3 yards x 1 yard x 1/3 yard equals a single cubic yard.

While calculating cubic yardage will not always be that simplistic, especially for materials like concrete, gravel and dirt, having some understanding of how to do so can go a long way in filling up a dumpster.

Estimating Cubic Yards in Your Dumpster Rental

An easy way to answer “How much is a cubic yard?” is to compare it to common items you’ve seen and used. The most popular example of this is equating cubic yards to pickup trucks. In this case, the typical full-size truck bed can hold between 2-3 cubic yards of material. That means a 10 cubic yard dumpster can hold at least three pickup truck loads (depending on the weight of your debris).

Here’s what our other common dumpster sizes can hold in terms of truck loads:

  • 20 cubic yard dumpster – Equivalent to about six pickup truck loads.
  • 30 cubic yard dumpster – Roughly equivalent to nine pickup trucks of debris.
  • 40 cubic yard dumpster – Can hold about 12 pickup trucks of materials.

It may also be beneficial to think of a cubic yard in terms of wheelbarrow loads, as it’s a great tool to bring materials into your container. Typically, 9-12 wheelbarrow trips are equivalent to one cubic yard of material. Keeping this in mind can help you estimate cubic yards as your project progresses.

Knowing what a cubic yard looks like can be helpful when filling up your dumpster, but it’s critical to follow some basic guidelines to ensure you get what you need.  Most importantly, keep your materials below the edges of the container. Nothing should be sticking up over the top or hanging over the sides. Stacking your materials into the dumpster accordingly, as you see in the picture above, can go a long way in maximizing your space.

Note: Volume is not equal to weight limit in regards to the size of a dumpster. In addition to knowing the total volume of what you’re throwing away, knowing the approximate weight of these items will help you avoid overage fees and receive the right size dumpster for your project.

SERVPRO of West Chester has been supporting the greater West Chester communities for over 26 years. Call the office 24/7 for any type of clean-up support, 610-692-8884. Also for updates, like us on FB.

Is Your Local SERVPRO on your SPEED DIAL?

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Your Local SERVPRO on your SPEED DIAL? Stay Calm and Call SERVPRO of West Chester. We're faster to calls in our region.

Your disaster may not always be fire & water related, but the Professionals at SERVPRO of West Chester are always here to help when it comes to many other situations. If you have something that is stinky, messy, overwhelming or just plain disgusting, think of your local SERVPRO of West Chester as your 9-1-1 rescue clean-up-call. We’ve seen just about everything in 26 years serving our beloved Greater West Chester area.

There are several services that you may never think of until a related disaster strikes your family, home or business including mold, sewage, biohazard, crime or death scene cleanup.  Equipped with the knowledge, experience, training and compassion, the SERVPRO of West Chester team will start helping the moment you call us at 610-692-8884 on a 24/7 basis.

West Chester is a charming college town. In the lazy days of summer, we are often called by the local University, property managers and rental housing investors to come in and do a “Deep Clean” on the entire property to get it ready for the students returning in the fall. Rest assured, we not only clean the structure thoroughly including baseboards, blinds, walls, ceilings, flooring, carpets, bathrooms and even dryer ducts (to name a few things), but we can repair drywall or cabinets if this sort of repair work is needed, too.

Get to know your SERVPRO of West Chester team, because when disaster strikes, (and we all know it’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”, you want to have us on your smart phone and office speed dial. No matter how big or small the loss is, your local SERVPRO of West Chester team will be ready to guide you through insurance concerns and jump in immediately to help make your business property or home  "Like it never ever happened."  We are available day or night 365 days a years to help.

Be sure to Like Our SERVPRO of WEST CHESTER Facebook page.

Preserving Valuable Assets and Documents

7/21/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Preserving Valuable Assets and Documents Don't despair, SERVPRO of West chester has the technology available to resurrect wet documents and valuables.

Day in and day out, your customers and employees trust you with their sensitive documentation, valuable client information, financial & legal records, blueprints, engineering drawings, medical or government files and sometimes personal artifacts. From a security standpoint, you may already keep these valuable assets and files under lock and key for compliance purposes, and hopefully they are scanned in a protected file as back-up.

Yet what happens if your office or home is faced with smoke, soot, mold, water damage from a pipe bursting or an overhead sprinkler erratically going off over the weekend? Much more than the structure becomes affected. Everything, including furniture, upholstery, electronics, paintings and even important documents may need immediate CPR, and a comforting dose of tender loving SERVPRO care.

Residents of the Greater West Chester area can breathe a sigh of relief. WHY? Thankfully the technology exists today to save, salvage and restore valuable furniture, documents, photos, equipment and computers in many cases. If your business or even home experiences an issue that impacts the structure and/or contents of the property, remember to stay calm. Just call SERVPRO of West Chester (SPWC) we're right around the corner.

SPWC will walk you through every step including interfacing with your insurance claim adjuster or agent to identifying clearly the steps needed to clean, preserve or refinish the items that are especially meaningful to you personally or critical to your business.

DID YOU KNOW that SPWC can arrange to have damaged documents receive the vacuum freeze-drying service to assist in the recovery of these important documents and other media? 

SERVPRO of West Chester will review a series of steps that will take place during this preservation process such as cleaning, digitizing, sterilizing (through gamma irradiation), deodorizing, and certified destruction services, if needed. Even on large Category 3 losses or items affected by microbial growth from dirty or sewage water, a drying chamber can help recover items. The freeze drying chamber can dry almost 800 cubic feet of documents in each cycle. The standard run time for that size of a load is about 4-8 days depending on the nature of the items and the amount of moisture that is in them. Most drying chamber teams are available 24/7, 365 days a year to assist with customer concerns, HIPAA certifications, proper shipping, and the drying process.

Getting a customer back to normal is the Number 1 priority.

If you experience a water disaster, SERVPRO of West Chester recommends these easy steps before help arrives.

  1. Shut off the water. If you can't manage this, get a neighbor to quickly help you.
  2. Only when the access to the power distribution panel is safe, turn off circuit breakers for the wet areas.
  3. Use a wet vac to suck up as much clean water as possible. Stay away from any “dirty” water (sewage-related).

Celebrating our 26th anniversary serving the West Chester area, SERVPRO of West Chester is  proud to be a long-time Greater West Chester Chamber member. We understand the disruption fire, water or mold damage causes to your life. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption and quickly make it "Like it never even happened." SERVPRO of West Chester specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties from deep cleaning or readying a property for sale to mitigating mold, mildew and pet odors. Reach us 24/7 at 610-692-8444 or at jeannie@SERVPROwestchester.com.

Restoration vs. Replacement

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

Restoration doesn't just save money. It saves time by getting you back in business faster. At SERVPRO of West Chester, our main focus is always restoration versus replacement.

Our efforts will always be to restore items instead of replacing them with costly new versions. Recently, our local university experienced a challenging water damage that impacted several floors, teachers offices and student labs as well as conference space. The water damage occurred on the third floor and everything below it on the second and first floor incurred water damage. Specifically, a heavily used student/teacher conference room was impacted, especially the two very large conference tables. As the University started to look for replacements, SERVPRO of West Chester reached out to our furniture refinisher to see if these tables could be salvaged. The answer was YES, we were able to save the University thousands of dollars by having the table tops redone versus replaced. The University Department Chairman was thrilled especially since it was done in less than a week minimizing the inconvenience to the faculty.

SERVPRO of West Chester has proudly served WCU and the West Chester community for over 26 years. If you come across a water, mold or fire damage situation, or in need of some deep cleaning and restoration support, please call the brand you can trust at 610-692-8884.

Why Happiness Matters at Work

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

General Why Happiness Matters at Work Happiness is a Choice! Choose Happy at Work.

When you were little, and the teacher asked you what did you want to be when you grew up, bet you didn't say MISERABE!

At every stage in life, unhappiness is not a state to which we aspire. The economy, our jobs, drama in the family or at work can seem like we are on tiny little inflatable rafts in a big scary ocean of fear. So we hold on, not really knowing how to move beyond the unhappiness that has set in.  Medical evidence suggests being unhappy at work affects our memory and our capacity to learn while increasing the risk of illness.

So happiness does matter. We all have the capacity to derive pleasure and satisfaction from hard work. Here are a few tips for training your brain for happiness at work.

1. Celebrate Success. Whether it's the achievement of a major goal, or another week that the printer didn't act up, give yourself and your colleagues (and your printer) a pat on the back. This little gesture can make a huge impact in a tense office.

2. Seek Meaning. Happiness at work comes from doing something that gives us pleasure and meaning. If your job currently provides neither, make sure your day or week includes some engagement in activities that do. It could be volunteering, reading something fun and not work related, doing a hobby, taking a course, doing some exercise. Appreciate yourself.

3. Think it. Happiness depends mostly on your OWN state of mind. It's not related to status or income. Find ways to be happy, and work on being happy for others.

4. Express Gratitude and Be Generous. Be grateful for everything that makes your day better, from a colleague's good news, someone's positive nature to sharing your appreciation for the littlest of things someone does.

5. Practice Being Thoughtful. Happiness occurs in the smallest of ways and sometimes when you're not even looking for it. Make it a HABIT to be thoughtful towards others. Give out 3 free compliments a day. If you are the boss, make it a daily habit to give a compliment to everyone you interact with during the day and watch your employees spirits and production rise.

HAPPIER PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO . . .
* make better team players/employees
* be more creative, confident and productive
* have a strong network of support & allies
* require fewer days off

If you're a boss and you have an employee who is always sick, down in the dumps, leaves work early, calls in sick, comes in tired . . . they're not happy. Don't ignore the signs or them.

The #1 thing management can do is set a tone for happiness and appreciation at the office. It can change your entire culture.

Excerpts from Top Coach International 2009

Use Extension Cords Properly

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

General Use Extension Cords Properly TEACH YOUR COLLEGE BOUND KIDS HOW TO USE AN ELECTRICAL CORD PROPERLY.

Roughly 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring 270 more. Extension cords can overheat and cause fires when used improperly, so keep these important tips in mind to protect your home and workplace.

  • Don’t attempt to plug extension cords into one another.
  • Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the device being used.
  • Do NOT overload extension cords.
  • A heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have additional outlets installed where you need them.
  • Inspect cords for damage before use. Check for cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections.
  • Do NOT nail or staple extension cords to walls or baseboards.
  • Do NOT run extension cords through walls, doorways, ceilings, or floors. If a cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard.
  • Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots. Never cut off the ground pin to force a fit, which could lead to electric shock.
  • Buy only cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory.
  • Do NOT substitute extension cords for permanent wiring.
  • Do NOT use an extension cord or power strip with heaters or fans, which could cause cords to overheat and result in a fire.

Red Cross Shares 15 Safety Tips for A Fun Summer

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

Community Red Cross Shares 15 Safety Tips for A Fun Summer Swimming With A Buddy Is Always More Fun!

Whether outside in the sun, at the pool, or behind a grill, here's how to help stay safe all summer long.

The American Red Cross offers these easy tips to keep in mind as the summer rolls along.

HEAT SAFETY

1. Stay hydrated, keep drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid an abundance of alcohol and caffeine.

2. Wear loose fitting, light colored and lightweight clothing. Dark colors attract the sun's rays.

3. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Stay cool inside.

4. Use the buddy system when working in excessive heat. Check on each other. Keep drinking fluids and take breaks.

5. Always check on neighbors, family and friends, especially those that live alone or do not have air conditioning. Check on their pets, too.

WATER SAFETY

6. Be Water Smart, make sure everyone in the family learns to swim well.

7. Actively supervise children by staying within arm's reach of newer swimmers and young children. Don't get preoccupied on the phone or in a book.

8. Don't fool with a pool. Fence it in and be sure your children are at someone's house that has a fence around their pool. Don't be shy to ask. Is it self closing and self-latching?

9. Always when in a boat, wear your U.S. Coast guard-approved life jacket. Water wings and inflatable toys can be fun, but they are not a replacement for wearing a life jacket. Keep the adult supervision on high alert when boating.

10. Once again, use the buddy system, never swim alone even if you are in front of the lifeguard station at the beach or lake. This tip is for adults as well as children.

GRILLING SAFETY

11. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. DO NOT Add charcoal lighter fluid after coals have already been ignited.

12. Never grill indoors, in your home, camper, tent or any enclosed area.

13. Make sure everyone stays away from the grill, especially toddlers and pets.

14. Inspect where your grill is in relation to your house. Have the grill out in the open away from the house, the deck, tree branches, awnings, patio furniture - anything that could catch fire.

15. Use long-handled utensils especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

SERVPRO of West Chester is proud to be a partner with the Tri-County American Red Cross. For more useful tips go to redcross.org.

15

Water Damage Can Ruin Your Day

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

When water damage affects your home, response time is very important. The longer you wait to remedy the issue, the further the water damage can spread to other areas of your home. If you’re looking for a company to assist you with removing the water damage, look no further than SERVPRO of West Chester We have years of experience in dealing with water damage and know exactly what to do to put your home back together.

Our call center recently received a call from a homeowner in West Chester requesting our water damage remediation services. The homeowner told us that her plumber had found a pinhole leak in a copper line. He let her know that she’d need to contact a water damage remediation company for assistance in removing the resulting water damage. When she asked if he could recommend anybody, the plumber referred her to SERVPRO of West Chester. 

After talking to the homeowner on the phone, we immediately sent our Project Manager, Blake Quinn out to inspect the damage. He found that the leak had caused damage to two bedrooms, the hallway and living room. He knew that this was the perfect project for SERVPRO of West Chester, so Blake Quinn contacted the rest of our crew and asked them to make their way over to the home.

When the rest of our team arrived, we first removed the affected drywall and carpet pad. Fortunately, we were able to dry out the affected tile flooring and carpet. To make sure that all the water damage was completely gone, we set up heavy-duty drying equipment in all the affected areas.

The homeowner was very impressed with our staff. She thanked them for being so knowledgeable and helpful in removing the water damage from her home. We were happy to help!

If water damage is ruining your home, contact SERVPRO of West Chester for help. Call us today and we’ll remove the damage from your home in no time at all!

When water damage affects your home, response time is very important. The longer you wait to remedy the issue, the further the water damage can spread to other areas of your home. If you’re looking for a company to assist you with removing the water damage, look no further than SERVPRO of West Chester We have years of experience in dealing with water damage and know exactly what to do to put your home back together.