Recent Water Damage Posts

How to Prevent Mold In Homes in West Chester

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spores can be found anywhere, and usually don’t cause any problems. . However, when mold grows indoors, exposure to it can cause different health problems as well as property damage. That’s why mold prevention should be a priority for any homeowner. In order to understand how to prevent mold, it’s important to know how and why it forms in the first place.

Mold only forms when the conditions are just right. It takes three different ways to make the conditions right for mold to grow. The first condition is food. This would mean anything that used to be alive (wood, cardboard, paper, wool, silk, leather, etc.). The next condition would be temperature mold thrives in the range of 68°F to 86°F. This can be especially tricky considering this is the same range we typically keep our homes. The final condition is water.  Very little is needed. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that indoor humidity above 60% is enough to allow mold to develop.

There are certain steps you can take to prevent mold from forming. There are many ways to help control moisture and prevent mold growth in your home. If you can see or smell mold, eliminate the excess moisture, then clean and remove any mold. It’s very important to quickly identify and correct any moisture sources before health and structural problems develop. Call SERVPRO of West Chester immediately if you have any water damage, or find mold in your home.

Carpet Damage in West Chester

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever been somewhere where the carpets smell? You may automatically think that the carpets are just old, and need to be cleaned. Have you ever been somewhere where the carpets never smelled, and ended up smelling on a different day? That could mean mold! Especially if you had previous water damage.

The first thing you should ever do if you get unexpected water in your home, is to call SERVPRO of West Chester. The most important thing is to immediately get the water properly cleaned up. If it is a pipe that was leaking, or an appliance, it is important to get the source of the problem fixed, to stop the water from coming back in, or to keep the water from coming in. The next step would be to get the water cleaned up, as soon as possible. This will be crucial to what will be able to be saved, if anything at all. It would then be important to dry the water up fast. This would be to prevent the water from further sitting, and causing more damage or mold.

The next step would be to steam clean everything that was affected by the water. Then to sanitize everything, to make sure there is less room for mold to grow. Mold can be very dangerous, and making sure it is out of your carpets, is very important for your health. Getting mold into your carpets, or underneath, would cause so many issues, especially to your health. Remember, in the unfortunate event that you experience water damage, or feel as if your carpets are smelling in your home after water damage, call SERVPRO of West Chester.

What You Should Do if your Washing Machine Floods

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

Washing machines use up to thirty gallons of water to clean our clothes on a regular basis.  If this convenient device were to flood, however, there would be extensive water damage to your home.  Disaster can strike when we least expect it, so it’s best to have some knowledge of what to do if you experience this problem. 

How to Fix the Problem

Cut off the electrical power supply to the washer at the fuse box.  Don’t stop the washer or immediately pull the electrical plug since doing so can lead to more flooding and possible electric shock. 

Remove the clothes from the washer and drain them in the sink to remove some of the water from the washer.

Check to see if the washer hoses are leaking water. Tighten the hot and cold water supply hoses, and ensure that the drain hose is properly in place.

Test the washer without laundry or detergent to ensure the problem is solved. 

To prevent your washer from flooding, do not put an excessive amount of laundry in the washer during a cycle, and make sure the machine was not recalled.

A water disaster can stem from a small problem, such as a washer leak.  If you experience any water damage in your home, SERVPRO of West Chester can handle the loss for you and restore your property to its preloss condition.

SERVPRO Quickly Establishes a Drying Plan Based on the Initial Assessment

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Any time water gets inside your residence, removing the excessive moisture within 48 hours is essential. If wood or paper materials stay wet for longer, then microbial formation can take place. Water can also saturate contents and building materials inside your home ruining them.

After something like a pipe break or an appliance malfunctioning takes place and causes water to flood your house, extraction occurs to pull out any standing water and moisture inside porous materials. The next step in any water removal project is the drying process. Rapid drying of contents and structural components is essential to prevent secondary damage and mold growth.

Before drying begins, the area gets tested to determine the extent of damage the moisture has caused. Our SERVPRO technicians check the temperature, relative humidity, and moisture content of wood and drywall. Once we figure out how wet the region got, we can formulate a drying plan.

The initial drying plan includes how many air movers and dehumidifiers get set up in the affected area. The plan also indicates drying goals. The drying goals are set by determining what the conditions were before the loss took place.

The ending goal is determined by coming up with a dry standard. To establish a dry standard, humidity, temperature, and the moisture content of drywall and wooden materials in unaffected areas of the building get tested. Once the standard is designated as the drying goal, our IICRC certified team uses their knowledge and experience to determine the right pieces of drying equipment to rapidly dry out moisture until it is back to preloss conditions.

The Four Classes of Water Damage

9/22/2018 (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.

Causes of Water Damage

9/18/2018 (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

5 Water Damage Clean Up Tips for a Broken Pipe in Your Home

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

You never expect it when a pipe breaks and wreaks havoc on your home.  The water damage clean up can be a headache so you always want to be prepared.  Here are 5 tips to help you recover quickly when a broken pipe leaks water all over your property.

 1. Find the source of the water damage.  It's easy to find a faucet left running or sewer backup.  However, if water is coming from a hidden pipe in the walls you need to shut off water to the house as quickly as possible.

 2. After the panic has settled down, access the level of damage to your home.  There are limited things you can do yourself to remove the water from your house but if carpeting, drywall, rugs or the ceiling below have become saturated, call a professional water restoration company like SERVPRO of West Chester immediately.

3. Move Quickly!  You need to start mitigating the damage before more damage piles up.  Bacteria and hazardous mold spores can begin to grow within hours of the catastrophe.  Open windows and turn on as many fans as possible to move air throughout the area.  Run a dehumidifier; it will pull moisture out of the air and prevent odors in the future.

 4. Use a shop-vac to remove as much water as possible until the professionals show up.  The longer the water sits on the floor, the more damage it will create.  Move quickly to remove as much water as possible.

 5. Take photos for your insurance claim.  Your insurance company will probably send out someone to investigate the damage but if you have pictures that show everything how it was the day the damage happened, you will have more evidence and it could smooth out the process.  After the damage is cleaned up, continue to move fresh air throughout the affected area and continue running the dehumidifier for several days after. 

We all hope to never have to deal with something like this but if you ever do, the professionals at SERVPRO of West Chester are there to help 24/7 to clean up and restore your home.  

Frozen Pipes

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

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.

How Can I Protect My Home from Water Damage?

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Preventing water damage is a whole lot cheaper than paying for repairs.  Here are 3 easy prevention tips:

*Ensure good drainage

clean your gutters

direct downspouts 5-10' away from the house

slope your yard away from the foundation

*Test your sump pump

check your sump pump once a year

test more frequently during storm season

*Fix water leaks

repair any noticeable dripping pipes

check for dark spots under pipes and on ceilings

repair any cracked caulking

inspect the roof for missing, loose, or damaged shingles

Water damage is the #1 culprit that can weaken your home's foundation and the very core that holds your house together.

What to Do When Your Basement Floods

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

A flooded basement can give any homeowner a feeling of helplessness and panic.  If this happens to you, try not to over-analyze the situation - it may not be as bad as you think.  Here's some tips you can use if you find your basement flooded.

*make sure to shut off any power around the area, including electricity and gas.  NEVER enter a flooded area while the power is on

*take action as soon as you notice flooding, unless the water is caused by rain.  In this case, wait until it's passed before getting to work

*if your basement has a floor drain, check to make sure it didn't become clogged.  Keeping it open and working will help drain the water

*start removing water by using a sump pump, pool pump, or wet/dry vacuum - depending on the amount of water

*move damaged items out of the basement to dry in a well ventilated area

You may want to call a professional for help if the water was more than several feet deep or if you see mold or mildew developing.

Preserving Valuable Assets and Documents

7/21/2017 (Permalink)

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

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.



Home Sprinklers Save Lives

5/21/2017 (Permalink)

Over 80% of fire deaths occur

in the home. Home fire sprinklers

can save lives and property from fire.

They respond quickly and effectively

to fire, often extinguishing the fire

before the fire department arrives.


 * Home fire sprinklers save lives and property. In many situations, a family who has survived a fire will also have their “home” to live in and enough of the items and space in their home to continue living their lives as they did before.

*  The cost of a home fire sprinkler system in a new home averages $1.35 per sprinklered square foot totaling an amount similar to what is spent for carpet upgrades, paving stone driveway or a whirlpool bath.

* A home fire sprinkler system can reduce the homeowner’s insurance premium.

* Fire departments typically use roughly 10 times as much water as a fire sprinkler would use to contain a fire.

* Fire sprinklers are environmentally friendly. They can reduce the amount of water run-off and pollution, fire damage by up to 71%, and water usage to fight a home fire by as much as 91%.

* Cigar smoke or burnt toast will not activate a fire sprinkler. Only the high temperature of a fire will activate the sprinkler.

*  A home fire sprinkler system is easy to maintain. Just inspect your home to make sure the sprinklers are not blocked by something that would prevent the water from coming out such as paint and be sure the main control valve is never turned off.

* Home fire sprinklers are effective in cold and warm climates. Guidelines have been created for the proper installation of systems to avoid pipes freezing. A home fire sprinkler system should be winterized the same as you winterize a domestic water supply. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water on the fire.

And Don’t Forget...

If moving into and apartment or condo building, make sure you look for sprinklers in the common areas. Also be certain the individual apartments are sprinklered.

If building a new home or remodeling an existing home, consider installing a home fire sprinkler system.

SERVPRO of West Chester is your local call to help you through the devastation of a fire. We work closely with your insurance company, adjuster and agent to support you back to "normal". Whether its a full blown fire damage, smoke, soot or fire extinguisher damage, we have the talent, tools and compassion to support you quickly in your time of need. Never hesitate to call our 24/7 Emergency Number 610-692-8884. We're always on call- ready to support you, our West Chester/Chester County neighbor.

Source: Fire Protection Research Foundation and the NFPA Public Education Division 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169. Your source for safety information