Thanksgiving Day Fires
Every year we receive at least one phone call from someone who has had their thanksgiving day ruined by a turkey fire. These types of protein fires have severely strong odors, sticky yellowish soot, and can remain for the entire holiday season if not addressed properly.
SERVPRO has over 200 different cleaning agents with some created just for this type of damage. The use of what cleaning agent may vary with the source of fire. To successfully reverse the effects of a protein fire, all surfaces in the affected area of the home need to be cleaned and deodorized in an effective manner. SERVPRO also utilizes specialty deodorization machines to help neutralize the odor in the affected area. Often, even belongings like clothing or coats in closets may need to be taken to the dry-cleaner to remove the odor fully. Other belongings such as furniture or pillows need to be cleaned alongside the affected rooms need to be sealed and painted to complete the process of deodorization.
SERVPRO of The Main Line has technicians on call 24/7 to help get you back in your home as soon as possible.
As bad as your Thanksgiving may be if you suffer from this type of loss, a quick call to SERVPRO of The Main Line can ensure that the rest of your holiday season does not go down in flames with the turkey!
Oh No! The Pipes are Frozen
There’s no better way to escape the harsh cold Main Line winter than a vacation to a nice and warm location. But unfortunately for this older couple their heater decided it would take a vacation too, and by vacation I mean the heater stopped working.
Once the heater malfunctioned, temperatures inside the home dropped quickly and the kitchen sink supply line had frozen and burst. When they arrived back home the picture shows what they found in their basement recreation room. What a mess!
Luckily for them, their homeowner’s insurance company told them to call SERVPRO of The Main Line and we arrived that day to clean up the mess. When the crew arrived they got right to work. Contents of the rec room were sorted, cleaned, and wet non-salvageable materials were removed and disposed of. Drying equipment was later set up and the basement was cleaned. The whole process was completed in a matter of hours by our experienced certified water damage technicians. The homeowners were still unpacking by the time the crew left for the evening.
REMEMEBER if you take a winter vacation this year; remember to have your heat on and working, but if something you cannot control happens remember that there is always someone here to help at SERVPRO of The Main Line.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that is grouped under the fungi family alongside mildew, mushrooms, and yeast. Although not all fungi are a threat to one’s health, under such conditions some fungi types are known to contribute to illness and disease. When fungi is able to grow and multiply in its ideal environment, that’s where problems start. What is an ideal environment you may ask? Well here at The Main Line we know that for mold spores to land, grow, and survive on a surface three criteria need to be met.
- Food Source: Mold as an organism needs a food source to survive which can be provided from organic materials such as wood, paper, drywall, insulation, and natural fibers.
- Temperature: Mold grows rapidly in more humid temperatures usually between 68° and 86°
- Moisture: Mold spreads rapidly in humid temperatures and when the humidity is over 65% it is ideal for growth.
Under the right circumstances, mold grows and reproduces through tiny spores. These spores are so tiny that they are not visible to the naked eye and travel through the air until they land and settle on a surface. Spores are built to survive and can lie dormant until all three criteria listed above are present.
Mold remediation Standard
Under the guidance from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) SERVPRO follows and implements a 5 principle mold remediation standard. The goal of mold remediation principles are to reduce mold, protect people and buildings from further mold contamination, and correct the moisture problem.
- Principle 1: Provide for Health and Safety Since moldy buildings are associated with health problems, re-mediators protect the health of workers and occupants. Some safety work practices prevent workers from exposure as they disturb the mold during cleanup. Other work practices prevent mold from spreading to clean areas of the building.
- Principle 2: Document Conditions and Processes Re-mediators record conditions in the building such as the extent of the contamination and the amount of moisture saturation. Once remediation is completed, an independent indoor environmental professional may record that mold in the building is returned to normal conditions.
- Principle 3: Control the Mold Contaminant at Its Source Work practices aim at keeping mold contamination from becoming airborne and then spreading from the source to clean areas. This reduces the amount of airborne mold that workers are exposed to. It also makes the process of removing mold more efficient.
- Principle 4: Remove Contamination Once mold has grown beyond normal levels, the most effective solution is to remove the excess mold contamination. This may be accomplished by physically removing materials damaged by growing mold, by vacuuming excessive mold spores into HEPA filters, and by damp wiping soiled surfaces with detergent cleaning products.
- Principle 5: Correct the Moisture Problem This is the key to dealing with mold. Stop the source of moisture that initially contributed to mold growth. Even the best cleanup efforts will not keep mold from returning if a building continues to have moisture problems.
October is National Fire Prevention Month
October is National Fire Prevention Month and at SERVPRO we want to bring awareness to the importance of fires safety and fire prevention. The month of October allows for the opportunity to educate the community on significant actions that can be taken to ensure the safety of the public. The Fire Prevention campaign for 2019 is, "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!" Which focuses on motivating families to plan and practice a home escape plan in the event of a fire. A fire escape drill that includes two ways out of every room and an outside meeting place is key. Making an action plan to get out of your home safely is critical to the prevention of a significant tragedy.
Escape Planning Tips from the NFPA Website
- MAKE a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home.
- KNOW at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
- HAVE an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
- PRACTICE your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year.
- PRACTICE using different ways out.
- TEACH children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- CLOSE doors behind you as you leave.
When and How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Alongside Fire Prevention Month, at SERVPRO we strive to educate and provide information to our Mine Line community and customers on fire prevention all year round. Smoke and fire damage is something that is inevitable in the event that a fire occurs, but here at SERVPRO we are here to help. In the event of a small fire, here are some tips on choosing and using the correct fire extinguishers for each specific fire.
When to Use a Fire Extinguisher:
- Have I alerted others in the building that there’s a fire?
- Has someone called the fire department?
- Am I physically able to use a fire extinguisher?
- Is the fire small and contained in a single object (like a pan or a wastebasket)?
- Am I safe from the fire’s toxic smoke?
- Do I have a clear escape route?
Only when all the answers to the questions above are answered “yes’ use a fire extinguisher. If you are uncertain whether or not it is safe to use a fire extinguisher when answering the questions leave the building and immediately call 911.
Types of Fire Extinguishers:
- Type A is for the use of ordinary materials like cloth, wood, and paper.
- Type B is used on combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil and oil based paints.
- Type C is used with electrical equipment like appliances, tools, or other equipment that is plugged in.
- Type D is used with flammable metals
- Type K is used with vegetable oils, animal oils, and fats in cooking appliances.
While there are five different types of fire extinguishers, there are also multipurpose fire extinguishers. Extinguishers could be labeled “B-C” or “A-B-C” that cover a broader range of uses and can be found at improvement stores.
It is stated in the U.S. fire administration website for those who are operating a fire extinguisher to use the PASS method.
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Vehicle deodorization services
For many Main Line residents driving is a part of daily life. We keep our cars clean and fresh but if something happens that creates a smell, it can make a short trip to the grocery store a nightmare.
The most common smells our customers ask us to remove are:
- wet musty water related smells;
- fire and smoke smells;
- gas and oil smells from spillage inside the vehicle;
- pesticide and fertilizer;
- bio-hazard related smells;
Typically wet musty smells and fire smoke smells can be resolved through upholstery cleaning and a deodorization treatment like ozone. But the smell of gasoline is a little more tricky to remove.
The vehicle pictured had a 5 gallon gas container spill. The heavily contaminated fabrics were removed by a body shop and the car was towed to our facility (smell was so strong it wasn't safe to drive). SERVPRO of The Main Line then follows are own proprietary 10 step process to remove the odor fully. The vehicle is then tested in several different ways to make sure the odor is 100% removed. If their is still a smell, then entire process is repeated until the vehicle is odor free.
The Wayne owner of the car and the body shop were very pleased with the results.
Containment makes all the difference
Wayne hotel days before Villanova graduation
Business owners face unique challenges dealing with property damage. Missing walls and ceilings, noisy drying equipment, busy crews working in plain sight, and construction related dirt and debris can make for a miserable customer experience.
SERVPRO of The Main Line believes that no business should have to jeopardize their customer experience for property damage. We have over 30 years of experience cleaning up and restoring business. We know how to minimize the disruption and keep you open during a difficult time. That is why we construct beautiful containment barriers around the work area while remediation and repairs can be made out of sight and out of mind.
Picture below shows a Wayne, PA hotel only one week before the Villanova graduation. A sprinkler head burst in the lobby; the ceiling collapsed, custom cabinets were damaged, wallpaper walls destroyed, carpet saturated. The SERVPRO of The Main Line emergency crew arrived within hours and cleaned up the damage then began the drying process. The drying was finished 3 days before guests would begin to flood the hotel. The hotel repair crew began immediately, but problems arose. The wallpaper was out of stock and wouldn’t be available for three weeks. The custom cabinets were on rush but would not be completed for two. Time was an asset the hotel did not have.
Luckily SERVPRO of The Main Line set up a containment barrier that kept the work area out of sight and the lobby clean. While the hotel was not able to use a section of the lobby, the customer experience remained intact and the hotel did not loose any business.
If you’re a business owner in need of emergency cleanup, trust the professionals at SERVPRO of the Main Line to make it "Like it never even happened." while it is currently happening.
Basement flooding prevention tips
Example of poor draining downspout.
As hurricane season approaches many of us will be vulnerable to basement flooding. Basement flooding can be a major disturbance to a family. Loss of use of a part of your home, damage to flooring and walls, damage to personal property, potential of mold growth, and just overall an experience we would avoid if we could.
To begin trying to prevent basement flooding first we must understand why basements flood. Think about when your home was being built. A large hole is dug and the masonry foundation is built inside that hole. The area outside of that foundation wall becomes a trench. This trench is later back filled with dirt. However this dirt is different in composition from what was removed. Typically the soil make up in Southeastern Pennsylvania is a hard clay soil under top soil layer which is hard and compacted. The trench soil is loose, not as compacted, and drains more rapidly. So when water fills this trench in a heavy rainstorm it has only 3 possible directions to go, away from home through hard clay soil, down below the trench through hard clay soil, or into your home though porous masonry walls. The most important step to preventing water damages from rain/flooding is to keep water away from this trench. There are other causes for basements to flood like hydrostatic pressure and sump pump failures but this is the most common cause from our experience.
Below are some tips from the pros that may help you avoid a water damage:
- · Check your gutters and clean them if needed. Clogged gutters cause overflows which lead to water pooling outside the foundation walls. If enough water pools by your foundation, some will most likely enter your basement.
- · Check on your gutter downspouts. If your gutters are clean and operating properly but the water is being discharged to close to your foundation some water will most likely enter your basement. Local home stores sell inexpensive downspout extenders. Use downspout extenders to make sure the water is being discharged away from your foundation and not pooling.
- · Check on your sump pump and pit. Many of us don’t know that our sump pumps aren’t working until it’s too late. Get a 5 gallon bucket of water and fill the pit till the pump kicks on. Make sure it’s working and just like the downspouts, discharging away from your foundation. Also and dirt and debris in the sump pump pit can get sucked into the pump and create a block or shorten the life span and power of your pump. Detach the pump (if possible) and vacuum the pit out with a shop vac to remove any dirt/stones/debris.
Sometimes no matter what we do and what steps we take to prevent it, water will find its way into your home. If that’s the case, we are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Ceiling collapse in Wayne
Kitchen ceiling on the floor
When you come home from vacation the last thing you feel like doing is unpacking, let alone cleaning your kitchen ceiling up off the floor. If a water leak starts when no one is home to shut it off, the damage can get extensive. This picture shows a home after the owners took a weekend trip to the shore. They returned to find a toilet on the second floor was clogged and kept running once they left. The water went through the bathroom floor and into the kitchen ceiling causing the collapse. SERVPRO of The Main Line offers 24 hour emergency service for fire and water damage. Our crew went out that night to start the cleaning and drying process. Situations like this can be traumatizing but once the SERVPRO crew arrives, the customers mind is put at ease.