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When the Freeze Hits Home

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO When the Freeze Hits Home SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is here for all your water damage needs!

Are you prepared for freezing temperatures? 

Protect Your Pipes

We all know that water expands when it freezes. If water inside your pipes freezes, it also expands and can cause your pipes to crack or burst. Follow these easy steps to prevent this catastrophic damage:

  • -Leave water dripping from your faucets. Running water through your pipes overnight will help prevent pipes from freezing.
  • -Cover all outdoor faucets with foam insulators that you can get from a local hardware store.
  • -Know where your water shutoff value is in the case of emergency. In most homes it can be found in the basement or buried near the road.
  • -Leave your cabinet doors open under a sink faucet to help heat circulate. This is important for homes that do not have excellent heat circulation  throughout the house.

  Check Your Heat

The time to ensure you’re staying warm in your home is not during a winter storm. Now is a good time to check your furnace or heat source by turning it on and doing a test run. If you did not change your air filter at the start of the winter season you will want to consider replacing with a new one. A clogged filter is less efficient and means your home may not be warming properly.

We are here for you: 

If your property has been a victim of frozen pipes, call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour and Sullivan Counties! SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist with all your water damage needs. 

Call our office at (570)759-0966!

Faster to your Water Damage

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Faster to your Water Damage SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (570)759-0966

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

Prepared to Handle Your Water Damage

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is prepared to handle all of you water damage needs. Did your dishwasher malfunction? Did your washer overflow? Frozen/Ruptured pipes? We have the knowledge and experience to service all your needs. 

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage. If your water damage is not addressed, it can lead to bigger issues, including mold!

We are Water Mitigation Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Flooded Home? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (570)759-0966

Helpful Hints for Freezing Temperatures

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Helpful Hints for Freezing Temperature:

• Keep your home heated to a minimum of 65 degrees to keep the inside walls from freezing.

• Know where your main water shutoff is located within your home in case a pipe would burst due to freezing.

• Turn on Hot AND Cold faucets to a "slow drip" AND open cabinet doors below sink if there are any ... this will help to prevent freezing pipes.

• Make sure all hoses are disconnected from outside spigots.

• If you should happen to discover that pipes ARE frozen ... don't wait for them to burst. Take measures to safely thaw them immediately, or call a plumber for assistance.

• After all precautions ... if your pipes should still burst from freezing, first thing to do is turn off the main water line. Then mop up water as quickly as possible to prevent any further damage.

For all your water damage needs, call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties at (570)759-0966

Why Use SERVPRO for your Mitigation Needs

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Why Use SERVPRO for your Mitigation Needs Flooded Kitchen in Columbia County, PA

When you have flooding from a broken pipe, pipe burst cleanup is the first thought that pops into your head. You are a smart person, a homeowner and a handy one at that! So you can easily fix a pipe and clean some water, right? Unfortunately, you may be wrong. Water damage causes serious issues that may not be visible to the untrained eye. Restoration specialists have the skills necessary for any type of water damage, whether you require a clean water removal or sewer cleanup company. Remember the three Ts when considering if a restoration company is right for you:

1. Training

Our water restoration specialists are trained in the specific needs of both residential and commercial properties. Certification by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) ensures that the technicians of SERVPRO are knowledgeable and current in their field of expertise. This includes health and safety concerns, drying methods, pipe burst cleanup procedures and restoration of both structural elements and contents.

2. Tools

Restoration specialists have tools that you do not have at your disposal. Professional grade pumps and vacuums are used to remove excess water. Moisture levels are monitored with hygrometers and other specialized detectors. Industrial strength dryers and dehumidifiers remove any remaining moisture to prevent secondary problems such as mold. Hidden moisture is detected using infrared cameras.

3. Techniques

Restoration companies employ specialists in many areas, including water damage, storm damage and mold remediation. Different techniques are employed depending on your specific situation. For water restoration, a variety of cleaning methods are used including immersion, foam, wet, dry and others specific to the needs of the material. Restoration processes are tailored as well.

Pipe burst cleanup is not the same as wiping up a glass of spilled water. When you have significant water damage in your home, SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has the training, tools and techniques to restore your residence to preloss condition.

Why SERVPRO when it comes to storm damage!

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Although no one can stop the rains, there are ways to limit flooding in your home. Overland flooding or backups due to overwhelmed storm sewage systems are but two of the sources of floodwaters in the lower levels of your home. Regardless of the source of the water, we have the technicians and the equipment to help you recover.
 
Even though the water causing flood damage to your home may be drawing your eyes down as it seeps into the foundation or lower levels, the problem often is at the roofline. Clogged gutters and damaged downspouts cause water to pound down near the perimeter of your home, saturating the soil and ultimately invading through the slab, poured, or cinder block foundation. We can respond to and restore the damage but expect suggestions from our managers or production crew to minimize or even eliminate future flooding.
 
The grading and landscaping around your home can also contribute to the seepage of floodwaters into the foundation. Over time even correctly graded ground can erode and shift, encouraging rainwater to drain into your home rather than away from it. SERVPRO crews also see scenarios where plantings surrounding your home contribute to excess water moving into the porous materials making up the base and protecting the lower levels of your house. Irrigation systems or merely an overdone watering of foundation gardens have the unhappy result of a wet home.
 
SERVPRO evaluates the characteristics of the water flooding into your home to determine whether it needs to be contained and disposed of according to local regulations. The sooner you get our team to your home the more likely that the water checks out as Category 1. If the soil around your home is loose, dirt particles can flow in with the water. Lawn chemicals, fertilizers, and even pet wastes can taint the water, requiring careful handling. Gutter overflow can also contain bird and animal waste and mold, threatening the flooded area with microbial growth if not disinfected and dried out after the flood water evacuates.
 
Submersible pumps and water extractors pull most of the flood water out of your home. If Category 1 we can drain it outside, but take care to deposit far from the house to prevent it from flooding again. We use moisture meters and infrared scanners to locate hidden pockets of moisture and to set a baseline for drying goals. SERVPRO crews position air movers, heaters, and dehumidifiers to dry out the affected space. The moisture numbers are monitored to ensure we achieve standard levels.
 
The team at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has the necessary training and experience to remediate seepage-based flooding. Do not hesitate to call us if we can help!

Doing What It Takes

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Doing What It Takes SERVPRO will do what it takes to accomplish our goal of satisfying the customer!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co performed quite a number of flood cleanups following the many flash floods in Columbia, Sullivan and Bradford Counties from July thru September 2018. Our most notable cleanup wasn’t the house itself, which sustained approximately 12” of flood water from a nearby creek. It was the access to the property that caused some consternation among the crew. The cabin among others, is isolated across a creek that was, until the July flooding, was accessible by driving across a ford area. The flooding dredged the ford to a lower point making the drive impossible. The only access is to cross a 180’ suspension bridge, installed after the 2011 flooding destroyed an earlier foot bridge. This suspension bridge, while being safe to cross, tends to bounce and sway when crossing it. Especially when taking equipment such as airmovers and dehumidifiers across, also when carrying cleaning supplies. Just goes to show that SERVPRO will do what it takes to accomplish our goal of satisfying the customer!

Its That Time of Year, Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Its That Time of Year, Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather Cold Weather

Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather 

Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home. Here are some tips to put into practice when freezing weather, snow, and ice hit your area.

How to Deal with Frozen Pipes

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
  • Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
  • Turn off water to outside faucets, if available, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
  • Turn off sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them.
  • Close or cover foundation vents under house and windows to basements.
  • Close garage doors.
  • Insulate exposed pipes (both hot and cold) under house with foam pipe insulation.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks.
  • Drip hot and cold faucets in kitchen and bath. Drip single control faucets with lever set in middle.
  • Set ice maker to make ice if the water line to it runs under the house.
  • Don’t forget to check on pipes to your washing machine in the laundry room
  • Locate water main cut-off valve, and have a cut-off key handy.
  • Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or a portable space heater to thaw frozen pipes that have not burst.
  • Keep the faucet open when thawing frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
  • After the weather has warmed above freezing and any frozen pipes have thawed, turn off dripping faucets and monitor your water meter to check for unseen leaks.

How to Keep Warm in Your Home

  • Have your furnace inspected before cold weather arrives. Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks, install a clean air filter, and check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly.
  • Inspect fireplaces, and chimneys before using, and have them cleaned if needed.
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
  • Put up storm windows, or install sheet plastic window insulation kits on the inside of windows.
  • Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
  • Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls with foam seals available at home centers. 
  • Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
  • Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows.
  • Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air.
  • Put draft snakes on window sills, between window frames, and against doors.
  • If you heat with propane or fuel oil, make sure the tank is full.
  • If you heat with wood or coal, have plenty of fuel on hand.

How to Protect the Outside of Your Home

  • Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives
  • Check antifreeze levels in cars. Add if needed, then run the engine to circulate the new antifreeze through the radiator and engine block.
  • Add freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid, and spay to circulate it in lines.
  • Check air pressure in tires, since cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
  • Bring in container plants, add mulch around plants, and cover plants that are prone to frost damage. Remove covering when temperatures warm above freezing.
  • Drain birdbaths and fountains
  • Gently sweep snow off plants and shrubs in an upward motion with a broom.
  • Use rock salt, sand, or clay based kitty litter on walks and drives (NOTE: Salt can damage grass and other plants).
  • Don’t overdo it when using a snow shovel.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming in them.
  • Stay off your roof during freezing weather, but once the ice and snow have melted, inspect your roof for any damage.

Snow Storms & Extreme Cold

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Snow Storms & Extreme Cold Are You Ready?

During Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.so, which route will be safest for you to get home. Drive with extra caution.

After Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.

  • Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

Winter Weather Watches and Warnings

  • Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an extreme winter weather alerts:
  • Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.

  • Sleet - Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

  • Wind Chill- Windchill is the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside. The NWS provides a Windchill Chart to show the difference between air temperature and the perceived temperature and the amount of time until frostbite occurs. For more information, visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/windchill.shtml.

  • Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening. The NWS issues a winter weather advisory when conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening.

  • Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information. The NWS issues a winter storm watch when severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area but the location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued 12 to 36 hours in advance of a potential severe storm. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news sources for more information. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power.

  • Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.

  • Blizzard Warning - Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.

  • Frost/Freeze Warning - Below freezing temperatures are expected.

Fire Safety

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Please clean & inspect your chimney before first use this season!

As the weather starts to change, so should your fire safety considerations in your home. Preventing fires is important all year long, and focusing on the appropriate fire safety tips for the season can make your efforts more worthwhile.  Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as the temperature gets cooler and the leaves start to fall.

1. Candle Safety- You might be tempted to start bringing out your favorite fall scented candles soon. There’s just something about a beautiful, fragrant candle that feels comforting on a fall day. Candles come with their own safety considerations, however. Keep candles 12 inches away from anything that can burn and blow out candles when you are leaving the room. Never use a candle if there is oxygen being used in your home for medical purposes; electric candles are a safer option.

2. Heating equipment- Make sure your heating equipment is in working order and has been inspected before you start to use it. Since this equipment has been out of use for the last several months, it’s important that you follow the appropriate steps to make sure the unit is clean and functioning properly. If you use space heaters, make sure that they are surrounded by three feet of empty space and that they are turned off when you leave the house or go to bed.

3. Chimney inspection- if you have a usable fireplace, it’s essential to make sure that it is cleaned and inspected before you start using it to prevent built up creosote from starting a fire. Cozying up next to a beautiful fire might be a quintessential part of your fall, but make sure that you do so as safely as possible. Also, consider using a screen to prevent sparks from igniting a fire somewhere in your home.