SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties received a call for a fire at a five apartment structure. The fire was quite extensive on the rear apartment, with varying amounts of damage and soot/water damage to the remaining 4 other apartments. SERVPRO conferred with the building owner to start on the left two apartments, which sustained the least damage and soot. Contents had been left in the apartments by the tenants and were given ample notice and time to remove what was wanted All the rest was removed to dumpsters by both the owner and SERVPRO personnel. SERVPRO has been working on cleaning the structure as well as removing the flooring materials per the owner. SERVPRO is on the third apartment which is much heavier contaminated with soot. The fourth apartment will require mostly demolition due to proximity to the fire origin.
With the weather finally changing for the better here in Northeast PA, more people are gathering around a fire pit/bonfire for their relaxation. During this time, it is of prime importance to consider where you will be building your fire. 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.
Imagine you are away on vacation, relieving the stress from normal everyday life. When you return home, you walk in to water pouring from your ceiling! This happens more than one would think.
Here are a few tips you should consider before leaving:
- Turn off your water valve.
- Turn off your gas.
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.
Commercial Roof Leak
Falling, wet ceiling tiles...
SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co was called to a commercial water loss at the training Medical Center in Laporte, PA. The loss was caused by a roof leak when the flat roofing material was being replaced. Suspended ceiling tiles were affected in the front half of the building, as well as insulation on the heating duct, drywall in a hallway and a bedroom and bathroom. Minimal damage occurred to the building: SERVPRO was able to remove vinyl cove base to ventilate the wall cavities and dry the walls. The ceilings were dried by placing air flow both below and above the surfaces. Carpeting had dried prior to our arrival. Once drying was accomplished, within 3 days, the roofing company was proceeding in restoring the building.
Have You Been Affected By Fire?
This is a picture of a tarped roof.
Have You Been Affected By Fire?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 374,000 U.S. homes catch fire annually. The cumulative cost for these fires is almost 8 billion annually. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home structure fires and injuries. Most people know of someone that has
been affected by a fire. We all see the effects on property with boarded up and tarped buildings. The effects on the people that have sustained a home fire. The physical stress is enormous as is the emotional stress of losing your material possessions and possibly family or pets. Financial liabilities can ruin the family if insurance does not adequately cover the loss or if there is no insurance. Even if you rent a property, it is recommended that you have renters insurance to cover your contents.
Smoke Pressurized in Walls
Some types of smoke or soot cleanup can be less intrusive than others. When the smoke or soot is caused by slow burning, lower heat fires, the cleanup may be on surfaces only. For hotter burning fires, the air pressure increases on the
wall and ceiling surfaces, forcing smoke into the spaces inside the wall and ceiling cavities. This can be evident around electrical outlet or light switch covers. Failure to remove the walls and ceiling surfaces and any insulation in the cavities will leave the odor to become a large problem later in the restoration process. This adds immensely to the cost of the remediation and restoration.
Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for all your cleaning needs, 24/7 at 570-759-0966
Will you be ready?
Will you be ready?
Floods are the most common type of natural disaster in the United States and the leading cause of weather-related deaths. Floods can be caused by many different natural or manmade phenomena including hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis or sustained heavy rains.
Unlike other types of disasters that tend to be more regional or seasonal in nature, flooding can happen at any time and in every part of the country. Just because an area has never had flooding doesn’t mean that it will never experience one. And, areas that have flooded previously may experience another flood in the future.
Floods vary in nature. Flash floods develop quickly, sometimes within minutes of a rain event. Other floods develop over a period of days, or they may accompany another disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane. Flooding can also occur if a dam or levee breaks.
Flood Terms you should know
100-Year Flood: A statistical estimate that models stream flow peaks over a period of time to determine if a watershed has a 1% chance of flooding in any given year, or a chance of flooding once every 100 years.
Flash Flood Statement: A statement issued to inform the public about current flash flood conditions.
Flash Flood Warning: A life and property threatening flash flood is occurring or will occur within the next six hours. Anyone in a flood prone area should move to higher ground.
Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. This is issued when flooding is expected within 6 hours after a heavy rain has ended. Be prepared to move to higher ground.
Flash Flood: A flood in hilly or mountainous areas that occurs after a heavy rain.
Flood Advisory: Announcements issued to advise the public of a minor flood event.
Flood Stage: The point at which a body of water overflows banks onto dry land.
Flood Warning: An 80% chance of moderate or major flooding is occurring or will occur soon. Prepare to evacuate. Evacuate if advised to do so.
Flood Watch: There is a 50% chance of flooding.
Flood: Partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land or of two or more properties by tidal waters, runoff of surface waters, mudflow or collapse of land surrounding a lake or other body of water.
Floodplain: Any land area that is susceptible to flooding from any source.
Major Flooding: Flooding with extensive damage to structures and/or roads.
Minor Flooding: Flooding with minimal or no property damage.
Moderate Flooding: Flooding that impacts some buildings and roads near a stream or other body of water.
Now that you know more about the major storms that you could experience, use this checklist to make sure your facility is prepared to handle these weather events. We also included specific steps to take before, during and after each major storm.
SERVPRO will be standing by to help as needed
3 Types of Water Categories
Let us help you to understand the different categories of water damage. There are 3 different types.
CAT 1 - water that comes from a sanitary water source and that do not pose substantial health risks. Even if the water loss came from a clean water source in the beginning, the environment or the time that passes since the damage occurred can change the classification of the water to a Category 2 or a Category 3.
CAT 2 – water that originates from toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure, and water discharge from dishwasher or washing machines. Rainwater that makes its way into a home from the outside is also considered and treated as a Category 2 since there is no way of determining what types of contaminants it encountered before entering a property.
CAT 3 – Black or Toxic Water – water that is extremely contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. This kind of water may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toilet trap (no matter what is in it or the color), all forms of flooding ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams, and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather related events.
We’re always here to help you understand your situation, to resolve your water loss problems and get you back to “Like it never even happened”!
4 Classes of Water Damage
CLASS 1 – Slow Rate of Evaporation. The water affects only a portion of a room. Materials have a low permeance/porosity. Minimum moisture is absorbed by the materials.
CLASS 2 – Fast Rate of Evaporation. The water affects the entire room of carpet and padding. The water may have wicked up the walls, but not more than 24 inches.
CLASS 3 – Fastest Rate of Evaporation. The water generally comes from overhead, affected the entire area, walls, ceiling, insulation carpet, carpet pad, etc.
CLASS 4 – Specialty Drying Situations. This involves materials with a very low permeance/porosity, such as hardwood floor, concrete, crawl, plaster, etc. Drying generally requires very low specific humidity to accomplish the drying process.
Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties 24/7, 570-759-0966
Assessment of Water Damage
HEALTH & SAFETY
Every situation is different and requires careful assessment and constant monitoring to ensure proper removal of water and any contamination. When handling a water loss, we will be exposed to many hazards. The water may contain sewage, pesticides and other waterborne organisms that can cause disease. There may even be sharp objects and other debris in the water. Therefore, we take caution when entering any water damaged structure. We are not only concerned about the health and safety of our technicians, but also the health and safety of you, our customers.
INSPECTION & INITIAL STEPS
We will schedule to scope the damages of the water loss, using thermo hygrometer and moisture content meters, take pictures and measure the affected areas. We will determine what areas need to be dried out and areas that need to be removed. In order to dry these areas, we will use industrial size LGR dehumidifiers, desiccant dehumidifiers, air movers, and axial air movers.
It is important to note that Water Damage Mitigation is unlike most other types of contractor work. An upfront estimate is typically not provided due to the progressive conditions inherent to water damage. Most of the time when a contractor is hired they will provide a general scope of work in their contract and begin work immediately. Unlike other contractors who have time to price out different materials and know exactly what work needs to be done during a remodeling of a home for example, emergency restoration contractors are working against the clock and taking the necessary time required to estimate a job would cause the spread of water unaffected areas as well a potential for mold.