Recent Posts

Water Damage Comes in Many Forms

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

One of the first situations of water touching any surface, is damage. When water is left on a surface of any sort, it begins to cause this destruction. For furniture, it seeps into the inner padding and starts to penetrate every pore. When it gets on wood, it starts to break down the outer coating, even with the thickest of protection, and when left on a floor at the top level of a house or building, it tears out the floor and can drop the upstairs into the downstairs quickly. 

At SERVPRO of Southern Butler County, we know where to look when your home has been impacted by water standing too long, or simply touching things that water should not touch. The hidden damage of water may not show up until mold shows up, and by then we are talking about a new set of techniques for removing the mold. Because we want your valuables and your home to be protected, it is important that you call us as soon as you see the presence of water, so our highly trained team can come help protect your things. 

Water damage occurs for many reasons ranging from broken pipes, to natural disasters. When any of these things happens, you certainly are at risk for loss. Here are three things to look for to create a situation of restoration, not replacement. 

Presence of water on the walls or floor – if you see condensation on your walls, you probably are going to see water damage. Condensation can come from moisture under the foundation, and from a variety of other places. 

Water seeping in doors during a storm – If you see moisture gathered around your door frame just after a rain, you may have a slight space in between the door molding and the edge. Check to see if you should replace the rubber sealer. 

Brown Blotches on your Ceiling – This is the time to really get someone to come look at your roof and attic. Sadly, so many homes are totally destroyed by a leak in even a single shingle. 

If you see water anywhere it shouldn’t be, call SERVPRO of Southern Butler County today!

What will the 2019 Hurricane Season look like? 

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are predictable, more so that tornadoes or straight-line winds. We all know that storms are created to inflict damage, and it seems that we can’t escape this fury. However, when storm damage occurs, and if your home was not protected from this damage, it’s best to get a professional out to your home as soon as possible. Some storm damage can cause complete destruction while other storm damage can be subtle. To totally protect your valuables, it’s a great idea to have a game plan. 

In our previous blogs we have discussed this issue and we have given you some ideas on how to plan for what hasn’t happened yet, by look back at what has happened, like the hurricanes Florence and Michael. Florence plowed through North and South Carolina bringing the ocean into residential areas, while Michael sawed a path up and out of the US with blunt force trauma. 

If you are in an area where you are 90% sure that a hurricane will, at some point, be a reality, why not go ahead and have a game plan. The same with tornadoes. If you live in an area that has been touched by tornadoes, you can rest assured, another may touch down while you are there. 

Planning for a Hurricane – You know that hurricanes bring wind and rain, and it’s safe to assume that if you sustain damage to your home, you will lose your belongings. There are many steps you can take when assuming or planning for a hurricane. First, watch the weather. Second, ensure you have proper sealant around doors and windows before the hurricane. Finally, keep photos and other heirlooms on the top floor of your house by default. 

Planning for a Tornado – Tornadoes are very destructive storms that rip through an area like a buzz saw, leaving often nothing but a brief memory of what was there. Some tornadoes, however, simply rip off the roof. To be prepared for a tornado’s damage, the first word of advice is to have a plan, a shelter, or a specified room to go to. If the storm damage includes your roof being taken off, then you will need to be at the lowest floor. 

Storm damage comes in many forms, and winter storms are included in this mix.The accumulation of snow on various surfaces can cause damage that seems just as bad. 

If your home has been exposed to storm damage, please let our professionals take a look.

Mold can hide anywhere, but where do you start to look? 

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Remediation means to protect first and to take steps that can preserve your valuables. Mold is a natural substance that grows when warmth and residual moisture stay around too long. Although many people consider the presence of mold to be dangerous, it truly only impacts those who have a weak immune system, or an allergy. However, it’s not something you want to stay around. 

Whether from storm damage, a leaking pipe or hidden water in the ground underneath a home or building where dirt is present, moisture and heat can form the growth of mold. The best choice when dealing with the possibility of mold is to have a plan for when moisture comes in unwelcomed. When you are fast to call a mold removal specialist in Butler County, PA, you may can restore your valuables rather than replacing them. 

Here are 3 places mold can grow of which you may not be aware at this time. These are hidden places that can trap moisture allowing mold to begin to form. 

  • In the crawl spaces above and below the surface. These two hidden locations can be a haven for mold if moisture has entered in. A basement will hold moisture from the dirt below, where an attic may be susceptible to water from a leaking roof. Periodically checking these locations will help you in detecting mold before it becomes a problem. 
  • The space where drywall meets the ceiling can also be a prime location for noticing the presence of mold, or mold that may be growing. Look for black or darkness around the joinder and have a mold remediation specialist come out to inspect if you find discoloration in this location.
  • Pet Food is also a prime location for mold to grow, even though it may not be totally related to home damage. Mold can grow wherever moisture and warmth have met and stayed together. If you see mold anywhere, mold may be everywhere. 

As a reminder, we want you to restore and not replace, so anytime you have a slight feeling that mold may be present, call SERVPRO of Southern Butler County. Mold, while not dangerous to all people, can be dangerous to some people so it’s extremely important that you mitigate this issue with mold remediation. 

The perils of fire damage and smoke destruction.

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

No one expects a fire will ever be seen in their home, and they pray their home will never be engulfed or destroyed by fire, but the reality is, fires are not uncommon. Fires can start in the home from a wood burning stove or fireplace, from an unattended candle, from burning wires, or in older structures, from short-circuited breakers. Fires can totally destroy a structure, but they can also cause smoke damage when the actual fire damage was minimal. 

When a fire has been in your home, it impacts the air, penetrates the pores of soft surfaces, and causes a stench that you will never forget. Many people become very emotional when their belongings are penetrated with smoke odor. As with all damages to your home, the sooner you can get someone out there who has practice in reversing fire and smoke damage, the more likely your valuables can be restored. 

The smoke from a single fire, can cause odor for the life of that object. Stuffed animals, clothing and bed clothes are all items that provide for the absorption of smoke odor. You need to take steps inside of the home such as installing smoke detectors and C02 monitors to help keep the air quality good and to be alerted if a fire or smoke is found anywhere in the home or structure. 

If you suspect a wire fire, you can smell something odd inside of the house. Melting or burning wire has a unique smell. You may have experienced it during a previous fire. The odor is unmistakable. Walk around the walls and touch the surface looking for heated places, turn off the main breaker to your house and immediately get someone out there to look at the wiring and see if there is something heating up inside the wall. 

While burning candles, but sure to keep the wicks trimmed down so the flames that often get higher when a candle has been burned too much, don’t reach any above surface such as a counter top or curtain. Candles can cause tremendous damage when left unattended. 

The best way to protect against fire damage is to keep at it with the inspections of your home and the things you do with fire inside of the home. 

Commercial Damage when Storms Hit Your Location

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes and storms provide various levels of damage. Hurricanes can blow in rain in feet not inches, while tornadoes can shred a structure to bits. Buildings are often lifted off of their foundation, roofs blow off, windows blown out and wind damage to everything remaining. But, there are other ways that commercial buildings can sustain less noticeable damage when storms, even minor ones, blow through. 

Wind, for example, can break out a window allowing the slightest amount of water to come in. That water can hit computers, printers and other electronics, causing immediate damage. Other lesser know commercial structure damages after storms can be short circuiting of wiring. 

All commercial buildings need a simple mitigation strategy in place for preventing damage to valuable equipment, but the best strategy is to ensure your company’s insurance documents are safe and archived digitally and that all computer work is saved somewhere in the cloud or outside server. Damage to walls and flooring are often minimized by new safety protocols that use heavy duty material to prevent catastrophic damage to ceilings and flooring. 

The longer you wait to make a decision after your office building sustains damage, the more the damage will be, and the greater premium will be paid for insurance purposes. The best bet is always to be prepared with back up plans to operate your business if damage to the structure is sustained. Hurricanes such as Florence and Michael that recently ripped through South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida, bring a wrath with them and commercial business structures take a huge hit when damages of any size occur. 

We want your company to have the best possible clean up after a disaster strikes so have our number and contact information handy. 

What to Do and Not Do After Water Damage

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

After a flood has happened in your home, whether by the weather or a leaking pipe, there are a few things that you should immediately do. It’s easy to just dab around and try to get the visible water up, but it’s critical that you get the water spots dry and get loose items removed and away from the wetness. 

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT to Do After Flooding

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

After your home has been flooded you may slack in your action steps. Here are some details on what not to do when water is present. Remember that this is the fine line between total destruction and simple restoration of your valuables. 

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Spring Storms bring Storm Damage

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Spring Storms bring Storm Damage

We have had a rather wet and cold winter compared to prior winters in America. Now the winter is fading away and Spring is upon us. Bringing the potential for strong storms, Spring showers indeed create flowers in May but not before they have laid damage on your property from severe storms such as thunder storms and tornadoes.

A severe thunderstorm can create storm damage in ways that are not similar to the damage from a tornado. When your area is going to be hit with severe storms, understand that the straight-line winds are what can cause damage to your home and surrounding structures. Straight-line winds can snap a tree down from the middle of the truck, whereas tornado winds can uproot the tree.

Mitigation of storm damage from Spring storms starts with evaluation. Are there trees that need to be trimmed down? Does your property tend to hold water that stands on the ground surface more than a couple of days? Do you have loose lawn furniture that needs to be strapped to the ground?

Taking the time to analyze whether or not a Spring Storm would damage your property, helps you to file an appropriate claim with your insurance company if your buildings sustain storm damage. The spring gives you plenty of opportunity to be exposed to storms, so take some time and protect your valuables from the plethora of “what ifs”.

Tornado prong locations are normally flat in surface and the cone of a tornado seeks the flatness to fuel its path. You don’t see tornadoes as much on a mountain, for example. Thunderstorms, however, can strike anywhere and do not depend on the surface for fuel. They blow through and after about 10 minutes, they are gone. They leave behind snapped power poles, broken trees and lines and roof damage of every degree.

Fire Damage

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

In the previous blog about storm damage in the commercial setting, we talked about the importance of the plenum space and plenum wiring. The main reason we are discussing this now, is so you can be mindful of the damage that an inner wiring fire can cause to your business building. Whether you own a small barber shop in an old building, or you own a high rise in NYC, the issue of preventing fire damage is of significance.

Fire can pulverize everything it touches. Unlike water damage, fire damage is all consuming and can destroy everything in its path. In the home, fire damage can cause smoke that penetrates all fibrous surfaces. The flames can consume wood and fabric within moments. Wire fires start with ripped coating that cause the electricity to trickle out until the flame connects with the wall insulation and starts the flame process.

Older buildings usually do not have protective coatings that would prevent heat from escaping the wiring so if you are in an older building, have an inspector come out and take a look at the wiring inside of the wall space. If the wiring is old, it may be time to replace it or find a new business location. In newer structures, the wires may be sturdier but still not suitable for prevention of an electric fire in the future.

Fire damage inside of a corporate structure can also cause loss of data. Loss of data was an issue that was part of the 911 discussion on how to protect valuable information. If you keep paper files, you need a fire proof box to store those so your paperwork will not be lost. Many CEOs simply save a copy of their electronic documents in a remote place we call “the cloud”, which is a server somewhere outside of the business.

The best way to reduce loss is to have a professional fire damage specialist ready to assist.

Water Damage

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage

Do you live in a home that is over 100 years old and want to preserve the integrity of the surfaces? Water damage can be detrimental to the life of older homes. Because older homes are constructed from raw materials that probably were not loaded with protectants like new homes, the raw wood provides a surface that absorbs moisture.

Water damage can begin from a leaking roof, through a broken window and even from the ground surface coming up into the floor boards. Water damage to older homes can lead to irreparable damage to the surfaces.

Also, older homes have hard wood flooring that most likely wasn’t treated, thus inviting water to seep into the pours and cause mold. The mold may grow under the floor at the basement level and the only way to know it is there, is to detect it by the odor it emits, or to call a professional water damage team to assist.

Water damage to surfaces can lead to peeling of the paint on the walls, weakening of inner wallboards and damage to adjoining floors, tile and floorboards. Water doesn’t have to rush in to a room to do the damage, it simply needs a little hiding place to start the process of damage. The mere presence of water on any surface leads to the formation of mold. When you see water anywhere inside of your home or in the basement, get help right then because the damage has already started.