Recent Posts

What Ice Can Damage

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What Ice Can Damage Ice scenario

Why YES, it is that time of year again when we will see snow! Snow is very pretty when it is falling from the sky, not so pretty when it is causing trouble in your home. Keep your home protected from winter disasters by taking some extra time to clear the snow and ice off your roof. Not clearing the ice and snow could possible cause ice dams. Ice dams are formed when the higher end of the rooftop temperature is above 32 degrees and the edge of the roofline is below 32 degrees. Snow from the heated part of the roof melts and flows down till it reaches the part of the roof below 32 degrees causing the water to freeze and form an ice dam. The water held back from the dam will back up and stay liquid. The trapped liquid will go under shingles finding cracks and flow into the attic; from there it could possible seep through the ceiling and into the interior walls. Sometimes you may have water coming through the ceiling. Sometimes the stagnant water that collects in the attic causes mold growth.

The best way to prevent this: clean your gutters when you’re installing your outdoor Christmas lights so that winter’s rain and melting snow can drain. As you’re cleaning the gutters, look for leaks and misaligned pipes and make sure the downspouts carry water at least 10 feet away from the house’s foundation.

If you do find mold in your attic, DON’T use bleach! The first step is to call in the experts for an evaluation.

At SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County, we’re standing by to answer any questions you might have about attic mold growth or anywhere in your home.

Cold Temps = Cold Pipes

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Cold Temps = Cold Pipes SERVPRO Flyer

Give your pipes a helping hand this winter season.

If your pipes run through a cabinet or vanity open the doors to give your pipes some warmth from the warm temperature of the room. If there is no doors to open, just leave the water trickle from the faucet. The cost of the water running is a LOT lower then the cost of a frozen pipe being repaired. 

If you would forget to leave the water trickle or a door open, here is what you can do to thaw the pipe.  

Turn off the main shut-off valve. Use warm air from a hair dryer or space heater to melt the water frozen inside the pipe. NEVER leave the space heater unattended. After the pipe is thawed slowly turn the main shut-off back on. When the water is running throw the pipe check for any cracks or leaks which could of been caused by the freezing. 

If you have a burst pipe, shut off your water and give us a call! We are here to help!

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – 717-665-1270

Mold Remediation in Mount Gretna/Lebanon Home

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

We remediated a home located in the Mount Gretna/Lebanon area. Mold growth started in the basement and the spores spread throughout the home. Quality air tests, dry ice blasting and cleaning put this home back into a safe environment.

Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours!

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Western Lancaster Today – 717-665-1270

What You Should Know About Mold Remediation and Removal

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold is found under the fungi classification. It is a soft green or at times grey growth which develops on objects or old food left for a lengthy period in warm, wet air. It can be found in outdoor and indoor places, thus, it is important for the indoor humidity to be kept below forty-five percent because a higher humidity supports the growth of this class of fungus. Floods and high humidity levels often lead to microbial growth and fungus. Microbial growth can be present in an area, but that does not classify it as mold. The most efficient method of controlling microbial growth is by the moderation of temperature.

When the temperature is lowered, the rate of microbial growth decreases rapidly. Mold and mildew are two fungi that people often tend to confuse. Mildew appears to be powdery and white in color then later turns to brown, black or yellow. The other fungus seems fuzzy but can appear in similar colors as the mildew. Mildew damages crops while molds damage the structural foundations of homes. Both fungi are usually accompanied by a musty odor which can lead to more health issues. It likes to thrive in moisturized areas and grows quickly into colonies with water exposure. These colonies are responsible for the production of irritants and allergens that affect the health of people. For mitigation of molds to take place, all sources of moisture and water need to be addressed otherwise it may regrow.

The first step is to remove all traces of moldy growth immediately. Five fundamental principles must be applied by homeowners and employers to ensure successful mitigation of this fungus. They should focus on the source and moisture removal, safety, contamination control and assessment. Proper mitigation is essential once the fungi is removed because areas must be monitored to prevent it from occurring again. It is important to determine the party that will be in charge of the mold cleanup. An environmental hygienist can determine what treatment can be used for this fungus. These hygienists mitigate the problem by sealing off the affected areas with plastic sheets to stop dispersion of the spores. Fungus should be dealt with by the wearing a face mask with high filtration and neoprene gloves.

Once the mold cleanup is finished, the air around it needs to be cleaned using air exchange and scrubbers. It is essential for the environmental hygienist to have a protective suit because harsh chemicals are used for the mold cleanup. Hard surfaces with moldy growth have to be scrubbed with water and detergent and left to dry completely. Porous materials like carpets and ceiling tiles need to be disposed of by the environmental hygienists if they get moldy. The crevices of these porous materials are prone to mold growth, and painting can only happen once the environmental hygienists complete the mold cleanup otherwise the paint peels off. The correct mitigation strategies need to be employed for effective cleanup.

Call SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County for more information on mold remediation. 717-665-1270

Six Signs Water Damage Is Ruining Your Foundation

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Lancaster County Can Be Restored by SERVPRO

Water damage may be fairly simple to spot, especially if you are a hands-on homeowner who fixes and repairs things as they crop up. The problem is that water damage to foundations is not an easy water damaging problem to identify.

Nevertheless, the key to minimizing the extent of the damage is always to spot it quickly and address it as soon as possible. How are you supposed to achieve this if you don’t know that there is water damage in the first place? This guide, provided by SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County, to some of the most common symptoms of water damage within foundations will help you spot any problem areas.

Symptom One: Water Below Ground

If you are routinely dealing with standing water in the basement, you are probably getting a little stressed out. As a consolation, however, it does mean that you can be reasonably sure of a foundation problem. Standing water only accumulates and sits in a basement if drainage systems are not functioning properly.

Symptom Two: Overly Damp Soil

If you speculate that there could be an issue with moisture, take a look at the soil around the foundations of the property. If it is unusually wet (even after days without rain), there is a good chance that groundwater is seeping into the foundation.

Symptom Three: Water in the Crawlspace

Standing water or condensation and moisture building up within a crawlspace is a pretty good sign that something is wrong with the foundation, circulation of air, lack of adequate insulation, or burst pipe. If it is too damp in this area, the quality of the air in your house can decline, and it may give off a musty odor.

Symptom Four: Sagging and Bowing Floors

A lot of homeowners walk up and down uneven floors for years before they spot a problem. You can test the level of your own with nothing more than a small rubber ball. Unless you know of a reason the foundation is or could be unlevel and not caused by water damage, imbalances should be checked out immediately. They can indicate soil erosion due to water.

Symptom Five: Slimy Patches Outside

When the water from rains and storms is draining away from the property in a secure and efficient manner, it never spends enough time close to the building to have a lasting impact. On the other hand, if groundwater is pooling, you may be able to spot slimy and moldy patches on the outer walls of your home.

Symptom Six: Mal-functioning Doorframes or windows

This might sound like a surprising sign, but if your doorframes used to open and close correctly, but have recently started to stick, the problem could be moisture related. It may be a sign that the doorframes have begun to warp, from excessive water absorption.

Call SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County for any unwanted water damaging situations that may occur on your property. We are experts in water removal, cleanup, and water damage restoration. We will recondition your home "Like it never even happened."

We’re Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists

As leaders in the water damage industry, SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County has advanced expertise and training, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. Call us 24/7 for help at (717) 665-1270

All You Need to Know About Flood Damage

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

There are different types of flooding that a customer needs to be aware of. A flash flood is common in any area and can happen due to inclement weather. A flood can damage a customer’s property but here at SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County our goal is to prevent the damage from happening and restoring the destruction “Like it never even happened." There is flood insurance that a customer can purchase, whether you are renting a home, a business owner or homeowner. A customer can purchase flood insurance through the NFIP. There are communities that offer the NFIP that can reduce a customer’s cost of flood damage. You can also refer to your local insurance agent for questions regarding flood damage. 

Floods can be devastating to any home or business. Having the peace of mind that can come from flood insurance, will ease the burden, in the event you do have flood damage at your residence or place of business.

Call SERVPRO of Western Lancaster at 717-665-1270

Steps in Storm Damage Restoration

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Storm restoration has become a common activity as incidents of storm damage continue to increase. Natural disasters have been on the rise occasioned by human activities that have played a role in promoting climate change. Common natural disasters that ca lead to storm damage include tornadoes damage, hurricane damage, river flooding, ice damming, ice damage and snowstorms. A flooded home often suffers from roof leaks, roof damage, structural damage, and water damages due to flooding and excessive ground water. Professional storm restoration services will help you with home restoration after flooding occurs or your home suffers a wind damage, a hurricane damage, or a ice damage. A flood pump helps you pump out flood water or excess ground water quickly. They will also need to fix frozen pipes that prevents water from flowing out and ice dams that may lead to roof leaks.

Below are the various steps that are involved during professional storm remediation.
i. Make an emergency contact with your service provider
After a flood water or excess ground water hits your home, the first step of water restoration is making an emergence call to your local water restoration company. You should be able to inform the water restoration company of the level of flood water or ground water in your home to enable them prepare sufficiently for the storm remediation. Local storm restoration companies provide their services on a 24/7 basis and you can call their offices at any moment. Roof damages due to storm damage can lead to roof leak and you will need to seek emergency roof repairs.

ii. Ensure that you are safe from any potential risks
Storms comes with various risks that can threaten your safety and you need to take preventive and precautionary measures. The first source of risks in case of a flooding is the power sources in our home or business and you need to ensure that all power sources are switched off immediately. The home restoration company should determine the river flooding levels, amount of flood water, wind damages, ice damage, hail damage, and river flooding levels at the beginning of the storm remediation. A flood pump can be helpful in getting rid of flood water or excess ground water and eliminating the risk of water damage for your households. In case there are broken pipes or frozen pipes, they will need repairing in addition to fixing any roof leaks.

iii. You should document evidence of storm damage.
You must document evidence of water damage, ice damage, hail damage, wind damage, and roof damage. Documentation of evidence is important, as it is important for insurance claim forms filling. In case you used a flood pump to get rid of water, you can take photographs, record videos, and record any relevant audios. Ice dams can lead to ice damming and this can lead to frozen pipes that are beneficial as they can cut water supply.

iv. Notify your insurance agent of the storm damages.
After you have done documentation of storm damages, you should notify your insurance agent so that they can initiate the process of compensation. In case the insurance company needs to carry out an inspection, they can do it as soon as possible when the state of your damaged property is still intact.

v. You can seek Federal Disaster Assistance when in need of extensive storm remediation.
The federal governments has an elaborate program to help those affected by river flooding, wind damage and other forms of natural disasters. The federal government provides subsidized loans to allow victims restore their homes by paying for minor services for roof repairs and water restoration. This makes it easy for you to cope with ice damming, flooding, hurricane damage, and hail damage.

vi. Management of ice dams, wind damage, hurricane damage, hail damage, and roof damage
Home restoration after a flood will involve minor ad major repairs such as window and door repairs, household replacement, restoration of water and electric supply, and checking for ice dams. A home restoration process should begin as soon as possible to minimize damages from hail damage and potential roof repairs. You should ensure that frozen pipes due to ice damming and frozen dams are heated up to restore water supply. In storm restoration, dehumidifiers are used to absorb water moisture and water suckers to allow the restoration personnel to pump water out using flood pumps. A roof repair is also important in fixing minor roof leaks.

Pipe Bursts ? Water damage What you should know ? Lancaster

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

According to Insure.com, water damage is among the most common causes of homeowners' insurance claims--and one of the biggest sources of confusion. If a flooding river inundates your home, your insurance is unlikely to cover the damage. But if the flood comes from within the home itself, the result of a burst pipe, you can breathe easier: Your policy probably will cover the damage.

In general, water damage from a burst pipe inside your home will be covered by a standard homeowners' insurance policy. If an outside pipe bursts and causes damage, that should be covered, too, though you must be able to demonstrate that the damage did indeed come from the burst pipe. If the insurer concludes that poor drainage--a non-covered maintenance problem--was the real culprit, your claim may be denied.