Recent Posts

Lehigh Valley - Things You Might Not Expect from Storms

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storms of all kinds are just a part of life. We usually know they are coming, and we know things will get wet and blown about. Sometimes there will be flooding in low-lying areas, and for the folks who live in those places, that’s to be expected, although certainly not something anyone looks forward to. But you know what to prepare for, and so you do. You check windows and doors, drainage systems, and you make sure everyone you care about knows what to do in those events. So far, so good.

But what about those storm events that cause things to happen that just didn’t seem possible, or that you weren’t looking for?

After a severe rainstorm, your property can suffer from an infestation of insects, for example. They might be seeking higher ground, or their nests were destroyed and they need to build again. Not something you would be thinking about, but it can happen! Make sure you know who to call if you develop a problem like that!

In the event of hurricanes and tornadoes, large items can end up in the strangest places! We’ve all heard stories or seen pictures of cars up in trees, or an entire outdoor table and chair set sitting in another yard down the street. This, too, is not something you would expect. What will you do if that happens? A professional cleaning company such as the team at SERVPRO of Easton is ready and waiting to help you if your neighbor’s stuff ends up on your property!

Some of the things that can happen are pretty scary, such as branches driven through walls, trees falling on roofs, or extremely large hail falls. Before storm season, maybe think about weather events that could happen, and make some plans. Do you have a safe place for your larger machinery and cars in case of extreme weather? Do you have enough non-perishable food items in case of longer-than-normal power outages? If you have elderly neighbors, do you know who would be helping them if they were in trouble? Does that huge tree in your yard look like a liability? Safety is serious business!

We are always ready to help in the event of water or fire damage here at SERVPRO of Easton (610-559-9380).

3D Mold in the Lehigh Valley

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO we have seen mold of all kinds and colors. Recently we even saw mold that had a unique shape. According to the CDC, “Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.”

The attached photo shows 3-dimensional mold found at a commercial location in the Lehigh Valley. Growth like this takes extended periods of time to occur. Be sure to have someone checking on properties that remain vacant for any long stretch of time such as vacation homes, unused offices, vacant warehouses or apartments. Discovering a water damage early is the key to preventing mold growth.

Contact SERVPRO of Easton at 610-559-9380.

Resource: https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

Contractor Relations

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Contractor Relations

By: Frankie Rapolla

Not long-ago contractors survived on referrals from insurance agents and claims adjusters to build their business. Smart contractors built strong relationships with agents and adjusters and maintained a level of trust with them that would keep those referrals coming in. The main things that would drive and protect these relationships were being prompt, fair and honest estimating, communication, and providing great customer service. The industry has changed dramatically over the past 20 years and for several reasons direct referrals have become a thing of the past. Because of this shift in the industry, if you are not a national name or a vendor for every third-party administrator out there, it's getting more difficult to find a consistent workflow than ever before. 

Because of the way the national contracts work, contractors end up working with independent claims adjusters or staff adjusters that are not always local. All communication is done by email and phone and the contractor is relied upon to provide accurate information to the carrier so they can settle the claim. At SERVPRO of Easton we believe those practices that kept our referrals coming in the past are more important than ever before. If the insurance company is going to rely on us to provide them the information they need to help our customer, we have a much larger obligation in this process than before. We have to be quick, accurate, and thorough so that customer and adjuster have the information they need to keep the process moving forward. Understanding that our clients didn't plan for this project and doing everything we can to make it a smooth process for all parties is what sets us apart from the competition. 

Use These Tips to Save Money

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

Your home is likely your biggest investment, and requires routine maintenance to keep it in good shape. Some things can be tackled on an annual basis while others should be done monthly. Here is our suggested list to keep your home running smoothly this year. 

Monthly

Frequently used items require regular attention.  Clean out your garbage disposal and regularly replace air filters. You should also periodically check your roof for leaks.

Seasonally

A seasonal checklist is easiest during mild weather.  Commit to a few simple tasks like trimming trees and shrubs away from your home's exterior.  While you are out there, check your gutters and clean out any leaves or debris that can lead to water backing up

Also, take a moment to inspect the weather stripping that is around windows and doors.  If you see cracks or broken seals, this is an easy replacement that will save money on heating and cooling costs. 

Annually

Inspect all your fire extinguishers and make sure they are up to date and fully pressurized.  Set aside one day a year to do things like schedule a chimney cleaning and have your HVAC system inspected. 

Organizing home maintenance tasks into a manageable schedule can help your prioritize prevention and save you money in the long run. 

Quick Response and High Standards Will Leave you Satisfied after Remediation

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

Quick Response and High Standards Will Leave you Satisfied after Remediation

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of 1,700+ franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great.

Storm damage can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “Like it never even happened.”

Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home or business to its preloss condition. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified, current in Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIICRC) for any procedure needed to bring your home back to the comfortable and comforting refuge you deserve. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored home or business.

Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of Easton. Dial (610) 559-9380 anytime during the day or night and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.

Cleaning Myths and The Facts - SERVPRO of Easton

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Myths and The Facts From Your Local SERVPRO of Easton

When you just want to clean your house after everyday use you want it to be done quick and easy. Not confusing and hard. These 10 myths about cleaning will be explained to help you clean with a more effective product or to show you that the product you are using doesn't work as well as you thought. Enjoy!

Myth: Newspaper does windows well

Fact: Wet newspaper tears easily and the ink can transfer to window trim, leaving more to clean. Use microfiber cloths to clean glass. They’re the best at cleaning without streaking.

Myth: Coca-cola belongs in the toilet

Fact: Coke isn’t “it” when it comes to cleaning your toilet bowl. Coke is acidic, so it could be effective at removing hard water stains BUT soda could actually darken stains and the sugar could encourage bacteria.

Myth: Handwashing dishes is better than using a dishwasher

Fact: If your dishwasher is a decade old, this may be true, but today’s models beat handwashing by a mile. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website, using a dishwasher that bears the Energy Star label can save some 5,000 gallons of water, more than $40 dollars in energy costs, and 230 hours in personal time over the course of a year, versus handwashing. And, because dishwashers heat the water to 140°F, they’ll sanitize the dishes, too.

Myth: Coffee freshens garbage disposers

Fact: Coffee grounds may act as a mild abrasive, removing gunk from disposer blades, but baking soda is a better choice: It’s also mildly abrasive, and because it’s a base it will counteract all the smelly acids that we put down the drain.

Myth: Vinegar cleans everything

Fact: Vinegar is an acid, so it can cut through dirt and can kill bacteria, but only if you use it at full or nearly full strength. Most people put a capful in a bucket of water, and that doesn’t do much. The acids in vinegar can damage natural stone and wood surfaces.

Myth: Hairspray removes ballpoint ink

Fact: This may have been true years ago, when hairsprays were formulated with more alcohol (which does remove ink) than they are today, but not anymore. Today’s hairsprays are full of stiffeners and hardeners that will just make the stain worse. Just use rubbing alcohol. It’s far less expensive than hairspray, and doesn’t include any extra ingredients.

Myth: Bleach cleans everything

Fact: Bleach actually doesn’t ‘clean’ anything—because it doesn’t remove soil. It can lighten stains, making things look cleaner, and it kills bacteria, so it’s better as a sanitizer than as a cleaner.      

Myth: Feathers make great dusters

Fact: Genuine ostrich-feather dusters do attract dust, but they’re expensive and are generally not as effective as lambswool or microfiber options. Most feather dusters just spread the dust around. Also, they tend to drop feathers which is just leaving you more to pick up.

Myth: Cleaning solutions work instantly

Fact: Nope. We recommend allowing any cleaning solution to sit on the surface for two to three minutes. Always follow the directions on the product’s label. Some solutions, like disinfectants, need a full ten minutes to truly kill bacteria.

Myth: String makes the best mops

Fact: Industrial-style string mops may look impressive, but studies have shown that microfiber mops are about 20 percent more effective at removing dirt and bacteria. String mops are very absorbent, so they’re great at cleaning up big spills, but if you want to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind on the floor, use a microfiber mop.

SERVPRO of Easton proudly serves you and specializes in fire, smoke, mold, water and biohazard damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Deodorization Powers of Ozone Gas - Easton, PA

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Many consumers may have heard miraculous deodorization powers of Ozone gas. What is ozone you may ask?  Here is an explanation. “Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive molecule and is very quick to chemically react with particles that it comes into contact with in the air and on surfaces” according to Ozonesolutions.com in an article titled “How Does Ozone Remove Odors.” Since Ozone is a volatile and reactive molecule, it is able to break down bacteria’s, molecules, or molds that are causing odors in homes. The fact that ozone is a gas means it can seek out hard to reach spaces and clean locations that you may not be able to find. Essentially, Ozone is able to clean anywhere that air can reach in a structure.

There are some safety concerns to be aware of. Ozone is deadly to what SERVPRO calls the three P’s, which includes people, pets, and plants. Additionally, Ozone can bleach materials such as carpeting or furniture under the correct conditions. Contact a SERVPRO professional to find out if using Ozone at your home or business is right for you to take care of any unwanted odors.

SERVPRO of Easton – 610-559-9380

Source: https://www.ozonesolutions.com/journal/2009/how-does-ozone-remove-odor/

Vandalism and Graffiti Clean Up in Easton

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from a minor prank to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant damages, like that from water, which can cause mold.

Here is a short list of what to do and what not to do if you find yourself a victim of vandalism.

Do:

  • Record all damage and photograph areas when possible.
  • Save containers revealing the ingredients of products used in vandalism damage, when available.
  • Hose or wash egg or other residue damage from building exterior as soon as possible.
  • Carefully vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.

Don't:

  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
  • Operate damaged electrical appliances.
  • Discard broken or damaged pieces from porcelain, furniture or other contents that may be repairable.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Easton will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we can also clean your driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic and masonry. Our highly trained technicians can help to restore your home or business back to its original beauty.

Need Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today – 
(610)-559-9380

Teaching Your Children to Handle the Unexpected

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Teaching your children to handle the unexpected

Handling the Unexpected

It’s almost that time of year again when schools are out for summer and the kids run free. Sometimes things happen and our children are left to fend for themselves for part of the day and sometimes the entire day.  This can come with some hesitation as we allow our children to grow up and fend for themselves.  Rest assured the more that you prepare them for this phenomenon, the better off you both will be. 

Handling the Unexpected

You can feel more confident about your absence if your child learns some basic skills that might come in handy during an emergency. Organizations such as the American Red Cross offer courses in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in local places like schools, hospitals, and community centers.

Before being left home alone, your child should be able to complete certain tasks and safety precautions, such as:

  • knowing when and how to call 911 and what address information to give the dispatcher
  • knowing how to work the home security system, if you have one, and what to do if the alarm is accidentally set off
  • locking and unlocking doors
  • working the phone/cell phone (in some areas, you have to dial 1 or the area code to dial out)
  • turning lights off and on
  • operating the microwave

Knowing what to do if:

  • there's a small fire in the kitchen
  • the smoke alarm goes off
  • there’s severe weather
  • a stranger comes to the door
  • someone calls for a parent who isn't home
  • there's a power outage

Regularly discuss some emergency scenarios — ask what your child would do if, for example, he or she smelled smoke, a stranger knocked at the door, or someone called for you while you're gone.

Call SERVPRO of Easton at 610-559-9380. We are Here to Help.

Lehigh Valley Technology Company and Disaster Planning

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

According to FEMA “40% of businesses never re-open after a Disaster.” This statistic, paired with the fact that many businesses do not have a plan to properly deal with a disaster means recovering from a major weather event is an uphill battle. While SERVPRO can repair the physical space and contents of your building, there is something that may be lost or destroyed that can be far more valuable. What would happen if you lost your data? Phone numbers, banking accounts, financial records the list goes on and on.

Scott Gingold of the Lehigh Valley Technology Company deals with getting his clients prepared for some of the very real scenarios that can result if you are not prepared for a disaster. Here are some details from a recent article.

“What would you do if you walked into your office and all your equipment was stolen? What if a bad storm causes a power surge that kills your server? Maybe you or one of your employees deletes an important folder of information? How would you react if your personal hard drive crashed and all your family photos and personal files were gone? The truth is, your data is at risk every day.

Would you be able to retrieve all your information, including customer data, financial information and other critical data quickly if one the many risks that threaten your data does destroy your files? Would you be able to get your business back up and running without your most critical information?

Experts say that 93% of businesses that lose their data for 5 days or more due to a disaster, file for bankruptcy or close their business within one year of the data loss.”

Don’t become another statistic. Create a disaster plan to ensure that your business can bounce back quickly and if you need help getting started, call SERVPRO of Easton at 610-559-9380. We provide free disaster planning services through our Emergency Ready Plans.