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Storm and Flood Damage Restoration Professionals

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm and Flood Damage Restoration Professionals Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 570-759-0966
SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its original pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost and time required to restore your property.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm, hurricane or flooding disaster. We can access resources equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.


5/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties was contacted to provide an estimate for cleanup of bat droppings in a residential property's attic space. The property has been for sale for some time. The access to the attic was via a normal stairway, but the attic itself had only a 5 ft height in the center peak, down to a couple inches at the soffit edge. After providing a detailed estimate, including HEPA vacuuming; gross deposit scooping and cleanup; disposal fees; and Personal Protection equipment (suits, respirators, gloves), the customer gave approval to perform the cleanup of heavier concentrations of the droppings. Bat and pigeon droppings are considered hazardous materials, due to the possibility of fungal spores being present in the droppings, called Histoplasma. When these spores become airborne, possibly through agitation (sweeping the area with a broom, for instance), the result could be a lung infection, called Histoplasmosis. The effects are very similar to pneumonia and is treated with antifungal  medications.The crew was able to remove the heavy concentrations with manual means, then used a HEPA vacuum to remove smaller particles and dust. 

Emergency Water Loss

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

On Sunday morning, 04/22/2018, SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co. was contacted by a local Hospital building manager, regarding a water loss on the second floor of their office building in Bloomsburg, PA. SERVPRO responded quickly to be onsite to scope the loss. Originally it was reported the loss was on both first and second floors with close to 30,000 sq ft affected. The SERVPRO owner had contacted a neighboring office to line up support if needed, once the onsite appraisal was performed. Fortunately for the hospital group, the loss was only 2100 sq ft, but took place in a section of cubicles. Two cubicles were directly affected from the overhead water leak, approximately 22 others had water underneath chairs, file cabinets, personal belongings, etc.

Once extraction was completed and file cabinets blocked up, drying equipment was set up to address each cubicle area and aisles between. In two days dry time, all areas were back to normal moisture levels and all equipment was removed.

Mold on Basement Ceiling

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co  was contacted by a customer in open territory, 75 miles away from our office, and was asked to scope, treat, and complete a mold remediation process on the customer’s basement. The time frame was accelerated due to contractors waiting to start work on building the home atop the basement. The customer had completed the basement several years before and a Quonset type covering had been erected to protect the basement until the post and beam style home could be started. Unfortunately, the structure had water infiltration over the past winter and some rotted flooring and mold in the basement resulted. SERVPRO was able to provide quick service for this particular project, since areas of the floor would be removed/replaced, and the majority of the basement ceiling was stained by former mold growth. Very little active growth was evident on the initial inspection. HEPA vacuuming and treatment of the remaining surfaces were completed in a timely manner and the contractors is able to schedule the project within the following week.

Bonfire Safety..

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire safety is of prime importance if you are considering building a bonfire for your family and friends to gather around on a chilly night. It is imperative that you follow the necessary fire safety tips to prevent fire damage.

Some of those tips include:

Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.

Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.

Avoid starting a bonfire if it is windy because a strong breeze could blow sparks onto nearby people or surfaces.

Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke.

Don’t use lighter fluid or gasoline to get the fire going as it could get out of control. Don't burn tires, aerosols, fireworks, or anything containing paint or foam to avoid toxic fumes which could explode and cause injury.

Use a lighter and crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks to start the fire, then add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning.

Wear non-flammable clothing and hard-soled shoes when starting, sitting near, or extinguishing the fire.

Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.

Keep the proper fire extinguishing equipment, or at least a water hose, handy in case there is an emergency. You could also fill a bucket with sand, which can be used instead of water to help extinguish a fire.

As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in an specially designated ash storage metal can.

We at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are dedicated to having the fastest 24-Hour Emergency Service response to any fire damage that unexpectedly happens in our area. Immediate action is crucial to limiting the damage, and we have the trained and experienced team and specialized equipment that are necessary for the prompt activities and later for restoring a home or business.

Flash Floods

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

What Causes Flash Floods?

Not all floods are the same. Some develop over time, however flash floods happen quickly, and amazingly can occur without visible signs of rain. Causes of flash floods include:

  • Excessive rain – within minutes of precipitation or up to 6 hours after.
  • Slow-moving rain of a long duration, such as occurs with thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
  • A dam/levee failure.
  • A sudden release of water held by an ice jam.
  • Rainfalls or snowmelts that exceed the capacity of underground drainage pipes and sewage systems.
  • Floods after wildfires which reduce the capacity of the ground to absorb water.
  • Urbanization, such as paving, which reduces rainfall absorption and increases runoff.

What areas are at risk of flood damage?

  • Low-lying areas.
  • Areas near water.
  • Areas behind a levee or downstream from a dam.
  • Areas near canyons.
  • Even dry stream beds, culverts, gullies, creeks, small streams, and low-lying grounds that appear harmless in dry weather can be at risk of floods.

Watch or warning – what’s the big difference?

  • Watch
    Think of a watch as someone yelling at you – “watch out!” Conditions are ripe for a flood, but one hasn’t been spotted… yet.
  • Warning
    All hands on deck! A flood warning from your local weather source means a flood is occurring or is imminent within 30 minutes to an hour.

If a Flood is Likely in Your Area…

All joking aside, a flash flood is serious business. Flash floods are typically accompanied by a dangerous wall of roaring water, which often carries rocks, mud and other debris. If you find yourself facing a flash flood…

  • Evacuate.
    Evacuate immediately to higher ground. Save yourself, not your belongings. You may have very little time to respond.
  • Secure your home.
    If you have time, turn off utilities at main switches/valves and disconnect appliances. Do not touch electrical lines or equipment if you are wet or are standing in water. Move essential items to an upper floor and bringing in outdoor furniture to prevent flood damage.
  • Do not walk through moving water.
    Only six inches can make you fall. If walking through non-moving water, use a stick to gauge depth/firmness before each step.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas. 
    Two feet of water can carry away most vehicles. If swept away in your vehicle, remain inside. If water rises inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Choose campsites and parking wisely.
    Avoid areas along creeks, streams, or rivers, particularly during threatening conditions.

Flood Damaged?? Contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties at 570-759-0966.

Will You Be Ready

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average, researchers say

The Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average this year, Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers predicted Thursday. The researchers cited a "relatively low likelihood of significant El Niño" conditions as a main factor.

In total, the team believes there will be 14 named storms. Hurricane researchers predict seven of the storms will become hurricanes and three will reach "major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater."

They explained why El Niño patterns are likely to make a difference.

"El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form," the researchers said.

CSU hurricane researchers believe this season's activity will be about 135 percent of the average season. For reference, last year's hurricane activity -- which included one major storm after another -- was nearly two and a half times greater than average.

The team forms their forecasts by using 60 years of data, referencing sea surface temperatures, vertical wind shear levels, sea level pressures, El Niño conditions and other factors. They plan to provide updates on May 31, July 2 and Aug. 2.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

While the CSU team said their predictions provide "a best estimate" of what to expect, they're not foolproof, and coastal residents should be sure and take precautions to protect themselves.

"It takes only one storm near you to make this an active season," said Michael Bell, an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science, who worked on the report.

2018 Atlantic tropical storm names

Starting in 1953, the National Hurricane Center originally named all tropical storms. While you can still find a list storm names on their website, the names are now maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization.

Each list of names is used in a six-year rotation. That means this year's list will be used again in 2024. However, if a storm is considered too deadly or damage caused by a storm deemed too costly, the name is no longer be used for reasons of sensitivity. In those cases, a name is replaced during an annual World Meteorological Organization meeting.

Here are all the names selected for Atlantic tropical storms for 2018:

  • Alberto
  • Beryl
  • Chris
  • Debby
  • Ernesto
  • Florence
  • Gordon
  • Helene
  • Isaac
  • Joyce
  • Kirk
  • Leslie
  • Michael
  • Nadine
  • Oscar
  • Patty
  • Rafael
  • Sara
  • Tony
  • Valerie
  • William

Commercial Water

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can strike your business at any time. At SERVPRO, we understand the urgency and the delicacy of the situation. Mold growth can lead to serious health issues, as well as damaged property, lawsuits, and even potential structural issues. For a business, municipal building, or similar structure, floodwaters also mean one powerful truth: your building is closed for business until the damage is remediated. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give SERVPRO a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Water Damage Causes

Water damage can be caused by a toilet clogging or overflowing, general plumbing problems, a leaking roof or old pipes. Our experts will assess the issue by tracking down any pockets of excess moisture and remove them accordingly. The high-tech equipment used to locate these pockets include moisture meters and Thermal imaging to measure the moisture in hidden pockets and behind tile and other materials that may not feel wet on the outside. SERVPRO finds these moisture pockets and professionally dries the equipment and area to ensure proper recovery and remove any moisture from drywall or other materials. Through our process we can speed up drying to prevent the growth of any mold or other harmful bacteria by building drying chambers.

Is it essential that water damage restoration is given proper attention in a timely matter? If left unrepaired, it will worsen which will lead to more and more problems.

Water Damage Restoration Process

We will provide care and consideration to your concerns and business needs. The steps we take are as follows:
• Secure the site and assess the water damage
• Begin water extraction procedures immediately
• Remove carpet pads if necessary
• Take steps to prevent the growth of mold and mildew
• Use our state of the art equipment, including industrial-strength blowers and dehumidifiers to completely dry carpet, floors, walls, and ceilings

If a disaster should strike, whether a hurricane, fire or a simple sprinkler head break, SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is here to help. We’ll guide you each step of the way! We’re at your side through each step of the restoration process. It pays to be prepared!

While You Are Away..

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Save Energy While You’re Away

  • Unplug appliances that consume electricity even when they’re not in use such as DVD players, microwaves, coffeemakers and computers (also make sure to disconnect the computer from the Internet). This is both a cost savings and a safety issue. It’s not unheard of to have a cat tiptoe across a counter and unwittingly turn on the coffeemaker.
  • Turn the water heater down to the “vacation,” “low” or “pilot” setting.
  • During the winter, set your thermostat to 60 degrees F and have a neighbor check on the house regularly for furnace malfunctions.
  • In the summer, set your air conditioner to 85 degrees F so it runs less often but keeps electronics cool and gives the house an occupied appearance. Having no air conditioner humming and no windows open on a sweltering day is a sure signal to a thief that no one is home.
  • If you’ll be gone for an extended period, clean out the fridge (and freezer) completely, shut it off and leave the door propped open.

What to do after water damage is discovered..

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Discovering your home has suffered from water damage from flooding, a busted pipe, roof leak or a sump pump backup is not fun, extremely inconvenient and the water damage will quickly become your worst enemy. It’s important that you act swiftly and promptly after making a water loss discovery to help minimize the damage.

A fast response time is essential. This will help to reduce wicking into porous materials and secondary damage to other contents surrounding the affected damaged area. Additionally, a fast response will help to minimize the potential for mold and mildew growth and can cut costs in the long run.

Aside from notifying your insurance agent of the damage, contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties. After you’ve contacted SERVPRO, there are a few things you can do before the restoration professionals arrive to help get the restoration process moving faster. Here are some tips and things to do to help prepare:

  • Watch for slips and falls.
  • Make temporary repairs to protect your home or business from further or other damage.
  • Make sure source of loss is fixed (sump pump, broken water line, hot water heater, etc.)
  • If water came from overhead, make sure to stay away from those areas, as the ceiling could collapse.
  • Remove any artwork from the affected area.
  • Make sure wooden furniture is removed from the affected area or wooden blocks, plastic bags, or aluminum foil is placed under the legs.
  • Make sure that colored rugs are removed from the affected area, so that extra staining does not occur to the carpet
  • Remove fragile pieces from the affected area.
  • If it is the summer, keep the AC unit running as this helps eliminate some of the humidity.
  • Finally, things that are wet can be very heavy so be careful!

Remember that with any water loss situation, your fast reaction time to stopping the source of water loss from continuing and getting the right people for job onsite ASAP is crucial to limiting water damage and even cost.