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Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Storm

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners can take preventative measures to help reduce damage if or when a severe storm hits. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your home for a storm.

*Clear limbs and trim trees - during a storm, dead tree limbs can get loose and cause damage to a home’s exterior or break a window

*Secure fences - ensure that fences are properly secured to help prevent them from being lifted up and thrown against the house by heavy winds

*Secure furniture - heavy winds can cause items like patio furniture and large toys to damage the exterior of your home.  You should also move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage

*Protect your valuables - protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take them with you if you should evacuate.  Make sure important documents, such as insurance policies, certificates, etc., are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.

Causes of Water Damage

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. Many different factors can create this excess water and thereby contribute to water damage. When you are aware of the potential causes, you can take precautionary measures to help insure against a leak or flood. You will also be able to spot a problem as soon as it arises and nip it in the bud before it has a chance to cause any additional damage. The more quickly you notice the problem, the less work the water extraction and water damage restoration company will have to fix.

Causes of water damage include:

  • Bursting or leaking pipes
  • Issues with the plumbing system
  • Buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, attics and basements
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances
  • HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues
  • Natural disasters and other weather-related water problems

Frozen Pipes

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

a pipe with icicles Be proactive so that you don't have to deal with the mess of frozen pipes this winter season. If you do need us though, SERVPRO is here to help!

With the cold weather right around the corner, it raises concern about pipes freezing in homes and businesses. When pipes freeze, it leaves a huge mess of water damage to your homes and businesses. That is when you call SERVPRO to help you clean up the mess and fix the areas that were damaged from the water. Here at SERVPRO, we make it our job to make sure that the customer is happy with the outcome of the job.

Here are a couple things that will help to prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Keep your home or apartment thermostat temperature set to at least 55 degrees.
  • Do not block heat to areas of your residence that contain plumbing or water fixtures. Keep doors open to bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and cabinets that contain pipes, especially those located on the north side of the dwelling, to expose the plumbing to warmer air inside the house.
  • Prevent drafts of cold winter air by keeping windows and storm windows closed. Repair cracks or holes around doors and windows to keep cold air from blowing in.
  • Cover pipes in unheated areas with heat tape or pipe insulation. 

If you plan to be away from your residence for an extended period of time, ask someone to check your house or apartment periodically. Show them what to do if water pipes freeze and where to locate your water shut-off valve in case of an emergency

The Four Classes of Water Damage

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Classes of water losses are determined by the rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected by water damage to your property. Determining the Class of Water is an important first step, and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to restore your business. There are four water damage classifications, they are as follows:

Class 1 - Slow Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or losses with lower permeance/porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, vinyl composition tile or VCT, concrete). Little or no wet carpet or cushion is present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, releasing moisture slowly.

Class 2 - Fast Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect an entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12" - 24". There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, concrete).

Class 3 - Fastest Evaporation Rate
Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor in the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations
These consist of wet materials with very low permanence/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, and crawlspace). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.

Whatever Kind of Storm - SERVPRO Can Fix the Damage

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Many homeowners expect only the worst storms to do damage to their home. Even short storms can cause damage to a home when trees are victims of disease. Many diseases can create weak trees with dead limbs, and some diseases can affect the roots of the tree instead. A tree that looks healthy may not be in reality, and it can actually be a huge danger to your home or garage without you knowing until it is too late. If your home or garage, or any other outbuildings, have been damaged by tree limbs or trunks, it is good to know that we have the skills and equipment to restore your property to its preloss condition.

When damage happens during a storm or when storm-like conditions happen, repairs should be started and completed as soon as possible. This can substantially reduce the risks posed by the elements to the interior of your home. Repairs will also keep insects and other pests from getting a foothold in further deteriorating your home's exterior. Termites and other pests, some of which may have been the reason behind any diseased trees on your property, won't be able to infiltrate your home's exterior if repairs are made, and completed, in a timely manner.

Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Storm

Homeowners can take preventative measures to help reduce damage if or when a severe storm hits. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your home for a storm.

*Clear limbs and trim trees - during a storm, dead tree limbs can get loose and cause damage to a home’s exterior or break a window

*Secure fences - ensure that fences are properly secured to help prevent them from being lifted up and thrown against the house by heavy winds

*Secure furniture - heavy winds can cause items like patio furniture and large toys to damage the exterior of your home.  You should also move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage

*Protect your valuables - protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take them with you if you should evacuate.  Make sure important documents, such as insurance policies, certificates, etc., are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.

Hurricane Safety

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until November 30.  A hurricane WATCH means that there's a POSSIBILITY that hurricane conditions could occur within 36 hours.  A hurricane WARNING means that sustained winds of at least 74 MPH are expected within 24 hours.

Before a hurricane

*have a disaster plan

*board up windows

*bring in objects from outside that could blow away

*know where all the evacuation routes are

*prepare disaster supplies kits for your home and car

During a hurricane

*stay away from low-lying and flood prone areas

*always stay indoors.  Leave mobile homes and to a shelter

After a hurricane

*stay indoors until it is safe to come out

*do not attempt to drive in flooding water

*stay away from standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines

Who Names Hurricanes?

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

From 1950-1952, hurricanes of the North Atlantic Ocean were identified by the phonetic (A,B,C, etc.) alphabet.  In 1953, the US Weather Bureau switched to women's names.  The naming rights now go by the World Meteorological Organization, which uses different sets of names depending on the part of the world the storm is in.  Around the United States, only women's names were used until 1979.  It was then decided that they should alternate a list that included men's names as well.  There are 6 different name lists that alternate each year.  If a hurricane causes significant damage, its name will be retired and replaced with another. 

Here are the names that will be used to identify hurricanes for 2019:

Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sabastien, Tanya, Van, Wendy

Has a hurricane ever been named after you?

Do’s and Don’ts Following a House Fire

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

notebook with "to do list" written on the page Let SERVPRO of West Chester help take some of the burden of dealing with a house fire....we are always here to help.

There are so many emotions and questions following a house fire that it is hard to know what you should and shouldn't do.  Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind.

Don’ts

*Do not enter your home until you've gotten permission that it is safe to do so

*Do not start or move your car if it has been damaged

*Do not try to clean any of the smoke or soot damage yourself

Do's

*contact family members/loved ones to inform them of the fire

*attend to frightened pets and ensure their safety and comfort

*call all utility providers (electric, gas, water) to inform them of the fire

*call homeowners insurance company to begin the claim process

*find somewhere to stay. 

Most homeowner’s policies will have coverage, which will pay for the food, clothing, and shelter that you and your family may need for a specified period of time

What is a Hurricane?

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

A hurricane is a huge storm!  It can be up to 600 miles across and have strong winds spiraling at speeds of 75-200 MPH.  A hurricane usually lasts for over a week, moving 10-20 MPH over the ocean.  Hurricanes gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters, and rotate counter-clockwise around an "eye" in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.  The "eye" is the center of the storm and is the calmest part.  When a hurricane comes onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds, and large waves can damage buildings, trees, and cars.

Hurricanes only form over really warm ocean water of 80 degrees F or warmer.  The atmosphere must cool off very quickly the higher you go.  Also, the wind must be blowing in the same direction and at the same speed to force air upward from the ocean surface.  Winds flow outward above the storm allowing the air below to rise.

Hurricanes are separated into categories based on their intensity and wind speeds:

Category 1 - very dangerous winds will produce some damage - 74-95 MPH

Category 2 - extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage - 96-110 MPH

Category 3 - devastating damage will occur - 111-129 MPH

Category 4 - catastrophic damage will occur - 130-156 MPH

Category 5 - catastrophic damage will occur - winds greater than 157 MPH

SERVPRO of West Chester Is Here to Restore Your Home After Fire Damage

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

smoke damage on wall from a fire Call SERVPRO of West Chester 24 hours a day/7 days a week...we are always here to help

Fires come in many sizes, just as homes range from small to extravagantly large. Large homes might have the luxury of spaciousness, but that can also cause homeowners to have a more difficult time detecting problems early. Fire is one such problem.

When a home in West Chester burns, homeowners often worry about the amount of fire damage their home suffers. However, the smoke and particles in soot pose just as much of a hazard to residents. These particles can carry carcinogens and irritants that make breathing difficult. SERVPRO of West Chester removes all the damage, making your home, no matter how large or small, “Like it never even happened” again, ready for your family to live in comfortable and familiar surroundings once more.

Removing charred building materials that once made up your home's interior can make your home seem bare, but it is part of the process we implement to prepare for new materials. Smoke-free, these materials pose no risk to your family's health.

Fire damage can impact any area of your home, from floors to ceiling, and we do our best to match new sections to undamaged areas. We know that continuity in your home, from one area of a wall to the next, is one of those small aspects that mean a great deal aesthetically. We want a clean, polished look for your home, just as we know your family appreciated before the fire.

Cleaning up the contents of your home is a job we perform by hand. Some items, such as knick-knack collections, clean up well on-site, in large tubs that we bring specifically for that purpose. Our team gathers together and transports other items, including large draperies and window blinds, for cleaning at our facility. Once completed, all steps, from the restoration of your home to cleaning and removal of soot and grime of your personal belongings and household furnishings, bring together your house, fully restored and waiting for your return home.