Tornadoes are created out of powerful thunderstorms and can cause fatalities and devastation in seconds. They are rotating, funnel-shaped clouds that extend from the thunderstorm itself down to the ground, and generally occur near the trailing edge of the storm. Winds from a tornado have been known to reach 300 miles per hour and can be obscured by rain or low-hanging clouds, developing so rapidly that advance warning is often almost impossible.
A tornado watch means that the present weather conditions are favorable for violent weather. Keep an eye out for these danger signs:
• Dark and greenish sky
• Large, dark, and low-lying clouds
• Loud roar, often described as sounding like a passing train
A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground, or indicated by radar, and you will need to take cover immediately:
• Go to the lowest, most interior area of your home or business immediately, putting as many walls between yourself and the outdoors as you can.
• Stay away from windows, and do not open them.
• Use your arms to protect your head, or cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag/pillow.
• Remember where very heavy objects are on the floor above, and stay away from the area directly beneath, in case they fall through.
If you are in a mobile home, evacuate immediately. At school or work, you will need to follow the established drills to protect yourself. In an office building, go to an enclosed and windowless area near the center, away from glass and on the lowest floor possible. Make sure you stay off of elevators, as you could become trapped. Never try to out-drive a tornado; if you are caught in your car, get out of it and go to the nearest building. If you can’t get out, stay in the car with the seat belt on, and put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands, coat, or any other cushion. If you can safely get to an area that is much lower than the roadway, leave your car and lie down in that area, covering your head with your hands.
It is important to have a tornado safety plan in place at your home or office, letting your workforce and family know where to quickly take shelter.
When it comes to damages to your home or business by a tornado, hurricane or other severe weather, remember that the team here at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell is here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need us, we will be there right away.
When Water Damages Your Furniture
Water damage to your furniture is not always as bad as it might seem. Sometimes the damage is very manageable and can be repaired through some simple DIY steps. If you have some furniture that needs care after flooding or weather-related water damage, here are some tips you can follow to restore your furniture and carpeting.
Wood - When a piece of furniture made from wood has been soaked in water, the first step to be taken is to let it dry completely. Place it in a room that is warm and that enjoys good circulation. You can choose to turn on the heat and fans, as well. If the outdoor temperatures are warm, you may place the furniture outside, but take care that the temperature is warm enough - cold weather will cause the piece to dry more slowly and mold can establish a colony, while air that is too hot will cause cracks to form in the furniture.
White Spots - If you find white spots on the furniture, mix a solution of toothpaste and baking soda in equal parts. After dipping a wet cloth in this solution, rub it around and on the spots and polish the area with a dry piece of fabric made from cotton.
Mildew - Black spots indicate that water has seeped through the finish into the wood itself, and that leads to mildew. If this happens, it will require you to remove the finish, clean the mildew with a bleach solution and put on a new layer of finish.
Buckled Veneer - The veneer on your furniture may have buckled or warped through contact with water. You can soak the veneer with a moisturizer to cause it to lie down flat and then wipe it clean and dry. Next, fill a syringe with veneer glue, stick the needle between the veneer and the body of the furniture, emptying the syringe slowly. After it is removed, place a wood block on top of the veneer and wait for the glue to dry, following manufacturer recommendations.
When it comes to recovery of your property and possessions from water damage, the team at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell is always here to help. We are experts in the area of restoration from the damages of fire or water, and we are also mold prevention and remediation experts
Preparing for a Flood in your Business
You know that flooding, fire, and extreme weather can happen to a business at any time, and the structures and contents can easily be negatively affected. Staff can become injured or find themselves in dangerous situations, and these are scenarios you will want to be able to prevent or be ready for. You probably have an emergency preparedness plan in place, but when is the last time you looked it over? Updating your business emergency plan is a smart thing to do on a regular basis so that you will always be prepared:
• PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE. Make sure that all areas around your buildings are kept free from flammable materials and that landscaping is trimmed well on a regular basis to prevent fires from spreading if they occur. If you have replaced doors or windows lately, don’t just assume that they are properly sealed. Parking and entrance/exit areas need to always be clear and safe, in case of a disaster. Your emergency plan should include steps that need to be taken ahead of time that will lessen the effect a disaster could have. If there is heavy rainfall during inclement weather, or if the building is near a body of water such as a lake or river, low-lying spaces are going to be in danger. Keeping these areas in good repair before a flooding event occurs will go a long way towards avoiding bigger issues.
• EVACUATION INFORMATION. State law requires that you post an evacuation plan in a visible place for your staff and customers, and this needs to be up-to-date, with any floor plan or grounds changes noted. Make sure that your employees understand it and know how to carefully guide clientele to safe areas should a disaster occur.
• CURRENT CONTACT INFORMATION. Update your phone and email contact info monthly, so that all employees can be effectively alerted to important information whether they are at work or at home, should a disaster event occur.
Our team here at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell are ready to help with water and fire damage, and we are proud to be mold remediation experts. Our professional damage restoration company is an important and welcome resource during tough times; we are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner as well as keep you and your workforce out of harm’s way.
Water damage from a flood
If you live in an area that often experiences severe weather and flooding, you should make flood safety a priority in your home. Use the following tips to help keep you, your family and your home safe during a flood.
1. Make an Emergency Kit
Depending on the severity of the storm you are expecting, your emergency kit may vary from time to time. However, there are some items that should always be included, such as flashlights, radios and batteries in case the power goes out. Canned food and bottled water are good additions as well.
2. Have an Evacuation Plan
While an emergency kit can be helpful for less damaging storms, you need to know how to leave your home safely if the weather becomes a threat. Create a flood safety plan with your family that includes each member as well as any pets. Make sure to practice ahead of time so you are all familiar with the procedure.
3. Do Not Travel Through Flood Waters
If you do need to evacuate your home, only travel on roads that have not been flooded. Even if the waters look shallow, there may be road damage or debris lurking underneath. Depending on the speed and depth of the moving water, cars can be carried away resulting in a dangerous situation.
4. Have Your Home Cleaned As Soon As Possible
The need for flood safety does not end when the flood does. Flood waters can cause contamination and might make your family sick if it is not completely removed. If water from a flood has entered your home, it is a good idea to hire an emergency remediation service to help with cleanup as well as any necessary repairs. Throw away any food that has been in contact with the water.
It can be difficult to know what to do during an emergency situation. Keeping these safety tips in mind will be beneficial to you and your family the next time you find yourself expecting severe weather. If your home does suffer a water damage call the professionals at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell at 215.674.8222
Water Damage Odors
After a water damage in your home, you may be facing a variety of problems. However, one that you may not expect are the odors a water damage can create. Mold growth, sewer water, and debris can all leave foul smells behind, even after the water is drained away. If you have recently experienced a flood in your home, there are a few ways to sniff out the source of these smells so you can have them eliminated.
1. Musty Smells
After floodwater enters your home, it may be absorbed by drywall and other porous building materials. This can cause mold to grow in the interior walls, especially if they contain insulation. Mold can cause a musty, foul odor due to the mycotoxins it can release. In most cases, the stronger the musty smell, the more serious the mold growth invasion.
2. Dirt or Earthy Odors
When outdoor flooding invades your home, it can also bring mud, clay and other types of dirt along with it. Earthy or wormy odors can be left behind in your walls or under carpeting, where they can linger for weeks afterward. Having porous building materials replaced can alleviate this issue. Consider having drywall and molding torn out and the rooms professionally cleaned before any reconstruction takes place.
3. Sewer Smells
Few odors are as unpleasant as those that come from a sewer. If your home experienced a flood due to a sewage loss, the bitter, foul smell could remain long after the water is drained away. Calling in a waterdamage restoration service may give you a number of options for removing this smell, from the use of ozone machines to special cleaning techniques that typically cannot be found elsewhere.
Mold growth, dirt and foul sewer smells can make your residence smell unbearable after a flood. Learning where these smells come from and how to eliminate them can restore your happy home. Please call the water damage mitigation specialist at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell if your in need of odor removal or water damage mitigation. 215.368.4110
How SERVPRO can partner with your Business
Owning a business in the hospitality industry involves a unique set of challenges. Especially if your business is successful! You will enjoy lots of customers as a successful business owner, and that’s great! With lots of traffic, your business will experience wear and tear above and beyond the norm, however, so you need to be prepared for these types of events and take a proactive viewpoint to stay ahead of the game.
Having a company such as SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell on your team will be a great benefit to you here. SERVPRO professionals are experienced in cleanups after fire damage or water damages, whether large or small, as well as being experts in the area of mold remediation. As a national franchise, we enjoy great business relationships with insurance professionals, so anything that will involve claims will be a breeze when you work with us.
Does your business involve food preparation? Heavy duty cleaning projects for industrial kitchens are all part of a day’s work for the team at SERVPRO. Going over your kitchen areas thoroughly to get hard to reach places sparkling clean will be something you can enlist us to complete. Stripping all tips of floors and deep cleaning, sanitizing, and restoring them is also something that we here at SERVPRO excel in.
Perhaps your business is as a hotelier. Floors are a concern here, too, but from a different perspective. You will want all your spaces to look as though no one has even been there! Fresh and pristine hallways and lobby areas are great first impressions for your patrons, and a company like SERVPRO that has years of experience in cleanups of all kinds will be the perfect answer to this type of challenge.
In the event that your hospitality-based business suffers damage from storms, accidents, or machinery malfunctions, or any other unforeseen issues that can come out of nowhere, enlist the help of SERVPRO to get things back to normal as soon as possible.
The team at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell is proud to serve our clients. Call us today for help with all your clean up projects! 215.368.4110
Preventing a Fire at your Business
Fire damage in your business is a serious concern. Even moderate damage can result in your facility being closed for repairs for weeks on end, and this can be financially devastating. The unfortunate reality is that no business is immune to the risk of fire. Some facilities may be more likely to endure damage from a fire, such as a restaurant that uses open flames throughout the day. However, there are many fire hazards that are present in most workplaces on a daily basis regardless of the type of activities that take place in the building. When you know what these hazards are, you can take proper steps to address and mitigate those risks and prevent possible fire damage and smoke damage.
Damage to electrical wiring can result in sparks that quickly lead to damaging fires. Electrical wiring damage may include frayed cords, such as those connecting desktop computers to the wall power outlets. It may also include damage to internal wiring inside the walls, and these may be damaged by pests and other forces. Electrical fires may also start when power sockets are overloaded or when equipment gets too hot. Periodically review your company's wiring to identify areas of concern that need to be addressed.
Poor Equipment Maintenance
Other hazards in workplaces are related to poor equipment maintenance. For example, failing to service your furnace regularly may result in the accumulation of dust and other flammable debris. A gas leak in the furnace could result in a fire or an explosion. Fire hazards related to poor maintenance may also include dusty, dirty or greasy components, such as air ducts and vents, kitchen exhaust vents and many other features that are used throughout your facility. Scheduling necessary maintenance can decrease fire risk in these areas.
Flammable or Combustible Materials
Flammable and combustible materials are most commonly associated with industrial and warehouse environments, but even restaurants, hotels, dry cleaners and many other types of business may store combustible materials on-site. These materials should remain properly sealed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations at all times.
As you can see, there are numerous fire hazards that could result in serious damage in your business. If your business has already experienced fire damage, it is essential that repair work is completed as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster and Blue Bell is your trusted source for quality repair services. We can quickly restore your building to its previous condition so that operations can resume in your place of business. To request assistance with your damaged building, contact us today. You can reach us at 215.368.4110
Water and Flood Damage Prevention
No business owner wants to see a loss happen because of flood damages, especially when they could have been prevented. There are the floods that happen because of bad weather, and then there are the water damages that come about due to equipment failure or negligence. Here are a few water damage prevention tips for you that will help you avoid the worst of both.
All appliances have a limited lifespan, so it’s important to check your refrigerators, dishwashers, water heaters, HVAC units, and bathroom fixtures for any signs of failure. Flooding in these areas will create huge issues for you, especially if they happen over the weekend! Look for:
-The sound of running water
-Unpleasant odors in floors, walls, or drains
-Low water pressure
-Mold growing around appliance or fixtures
-Worn out hoses
If leaks are left untreated, they can lead to mold growth, stains, and floor and wall damages. Address any leaks immediately - this is one of the best water damage prevention tips we can give you!
Watching your water bill is another way to prevent problems. If it goes up considerably for no apparent reason, you probably have a leak somewhere. You can also read your water meter to maintain a check on it.
Maintaining roofs, gutters, and exterior windows and doors will go a long way towards keeping your business safe from the elements and flooding that can happen during heavy rains. Any drainage system on your property will need to be properly cared for, too, with debris and dirt clogging the system being removed regularly in case of heavy water. A backed up drainage system can be a huge flooding culprit.
If you are due for some landscaping, make sure any new large shrubs or trees are planted in places where they won’t interfere with pipelines, and remove those that are already in the danger zone. Root systems can easily break apart piping and create a flooding event. Choose those plants and trees that don’t have aggressive root systems, just to be safe.
When you are dealing with a flood or water damage, the SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell team is always here to help, 24/7. We are water and fire damage specialists, and we have years of experience with mold remediation and prevention, as well.
Sprinkler Systems in your Multi-Family Structure
The sprinkler system in your multi-family structure is made to go off when it senses extreme heat (174 degrees Fahrenheit or above). The heads contain a temperature-sensitive mechanism that can only be activated when the temperature at the sprinkler head exceeds the allowable range, and they operate independently, with those directly exposed being set off. Most fires are extinguished, or controlled, by three sprinklers or less, but the damage from just one sprinkler head can be significant: a sprinkler head can release from 15 to 40 gallons of water per minute and can fill an entire bathtub in under two minutes!
Prompt and professional decision-making following a sprinkler discharge in your multi-family structure is going to be essential; the actions you take in the first 24-48 hours will save you significant time and money in minimizing the water damage and help to eliminate the possibility of a mold colony getting started on your property. If your tenants complain of odors or signs of mold, respond immediately, and use professional help for mold remediation, should it become an issue.
The water in a sprinkler system is stagnant and non-potable and has absorbed oils and other contaminants within the piping, so cleanup actions will involve surface cleaning from stains, and elimination of odors, in addition to water damage restoration and moisture remediation measures. Where fabric and textiles are affected, prompt action must also be taken to avoid permanent staining and to preserve these articles.
The hard, non-porous surfaces in the condominium units, such as plastics, vinyl, ceramic tile, etc. will need to be done with a mild detergent followed by complete drying. Employ dehumidifiers for wet areas and during wetter seasons, as well, for comprehensive and complete drying.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell will arrive equipped with specialized instrumentation to facilitate comprehensive project investigation, design and implementation, and will complete your damage recovery in a timely and excellent manner. We are experts in water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial restoration, and much more! If your multi-family structure suffers a water damage please call the pros at 215.368.4110
Storm Damage Prevention for Spring
In South Eastern PA, spring is very welcome. After all the gloomy, cold days and nights, it’s great to see the sun again. The surrounding fields are green, and flowers are everywhere! We are all anxious to get outside and have some fun.
Spring also brings with it some stormy weather, so you will want to be prepared for that. Damages to your home and other properties can make you forget the joy that this season brings with it, so let’s talk about some Spring storm damage prevention tips:
Landscaping. A thorough cleaning of your landscaping for your home or business is in order after harsh winter weather. Some plants and trees will have suffered, and some may not have made it at all. Removing dead branches and trees or other large vegetation will prevent damages in a storm from flying debris.
Drainage. Make sure your property enjoys proper drainage; often the ditch system will be full of leaves, branches, and other debris from the winter, and when water starts running, this can present a problem. Floods, even small ones, are very damaging to your property and can become dangerous very quickly.
Roofing. Have a thorough inspection done of your roofing. Loose shingles, cracks, or damage from excessive moisture made by melting snow or ice can weaken your roof’s ability to keep water out. Make these repairs right away; if you need a new roof, don’t put it off!
Doors and windows. Take a good look at all exterior doors and windows to make sure they are in good repair and fit properly. Are they well-sealed against the coming wet weather of Spring? Did they sustain damages from winter? If so, schedule repairs soon before spring storms come.
Gutters. Be sure to have your rain gutters cleaned out to prevent damages to your building through spilling water. When debris and dirt clog your gutters, the water simply has nowhere to go but into your walls when it backs up. Waterlogged walls are a great place for mold to start a colony, and that is certainly something you will want to prevent!
Here at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell, we are always ready to help in the event you suffer from Spring storm damages. We handle all sizes of fire or water damage events, and we are experts when it comes to mold and its remediation and prevention.