Are you aware of the adverse affects mold has on you and your home?
Mold causes more potential harm to you and your home than you may realize. If mold is discovered within your property, you must take action immediately. Long-standing mold not only introduces potential health complications but also presents possible structural issues.
While mold can be found anywhere, it is often located in warm, humid environments. Temperatures around 70°F and a 24-48 hour period of moisture build-up are ideal conditions for growth. Even minor humidity imbalances can aid in the growth of mold, which is why a humidity of 30% to 50% is ideal for prevention.
As mold grows, it feeds on and breaks down the organic matter of whatever materials it's growing on. When mold makes its way into your walls, carpeting, or insulation, the materials are often required to be removed. This also includes more personal belongings like clothing, sheets, or toys. Mold can be extremely difficult or even sometimes impossible to fully remove.
Strong musty odors that weren't common throughout your home previously could indicate that you have a hidden mold problem. Large build-ups of mold can begin to trigger "allergy-like" symptoms for the occupants of the property. Runny noses, irritated and itchy eyes, headaches, and even difficulty breathing can all be attributed to mold! If you suspect that your property may have a mold problem, call in the professionals ASAP!
2022 Campfire and Bonfire Safety
The warm weather is finally starting to arrive and that means more time spent outdoors! Get-togethers with friends and family to catch up with each other and to have some fun. Campouts and bonfires see a rise in popularity during the warmer months too but be sure to follow proper precautions if you're joining in. Campfires and bonfires carry much more danger than people may realize, dried leaves, grass or foliage can quickly and easily catch alight from even the smallest of embers!
It is best to start by surveying your campgrounds or bonfire area for any possible fire hazards. As mentioned, be on the lookout for dry or dying grass, bushes, and trees. After you've taken note of all potential hazards, clear the area to create a safe zone for your activities! You may even want to keep a small fire extinguisher or source of water nearby in case something goes wrong. Remember, it's okay to have fun and spend time with friends, but it's also important to be vigilant and careful. Stay safe and have fun!
2022 Spring Exterior Inspection
Spring is just a few days away and that means that outdoor weather will soon be upon us! Take advantage of the nicer weather to do a yearly check-up of the exterior of your home. The harsh winter months can leave your exterior worse for wear and cause all sorts of problems.
Your foundation should be one of the first sections to be inspected. Cold winter weather, along with snow or rain, can lead to new cracks in the foundation of your property or even cause old ones to grow. As moisture makes its way inside and freezes, it expands, causing further cracking to form. Depending on the severity of these cracks, water could potentially seep into the lower levels and cause water damage.
The next stop for a springtime inspection should be any outdoor deck, patio, or porch. Having friends and family over during gorgeous warm days is fun, but not when your deck is a disaster waiting to happen. Look out for things like broken or rotting wood planks, exposed or loose nails/screws, and even unsecured railings. Any of these problems have the potential to cause injury if left unattended!
Property inspections can be boring and even thought of as useless, but it's important to take note of possible issues and fix them before they cause damage or injury
Are You Prepared for Severe Winter Weather?
Winter storms cause much more damage than you likely realize. With heavy snowfalls, sporadic flooding, slick/icy roads and walkways, and extreme wind speeds there is a multitude of ways your home can face damage. Being caught out during severe weather could even put your life in danger. Creating a plan to follow in the event of an emergency is always a great first step!
Excessive amounts of snowfall can cause more damage to property than many know. It continues to pile on weight until structures just can't support it any longer and cave under the pressure.
When facing high wind speeds there is the potential of objects and debris being caught in the wind and thrown around at dangerous speeds. Damages to the exterior and windows of buildings are common but vehicles left out in the storm can also fair poorly. These broken windows and damaged exterior can let snow and water where they shouldn't be, leading to potential water or mold damage!
Icy walkways and driveways create a dangerous obstacle to face when leaving for work or while making a path through the snow. Be cautious to avoid taking a hard fail.
The examples above are just a fraction of the ways that winter storms impact people all across the country annually. Pay attention to local weather channels and be aware of any alerts issued to help properly prepare for the approaching storm. Create a plan with the whole family and practice it often, and be sure to put together bags packed with essentials like food, water, and warm clothing for sudden emergencies. Most of all, stay safe and stay warm!
Here's to a New Year!
Planning a celebration for New Year's with family and friends? Be sure to set some guidelines first!
If you intend on cooking for the entire party, be vigilant! Most cooking fires occur due to negligence while in the kitchen. Don't let the party distract you from your job!
Make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast for your area, especially if people aren't staying the night. Stormy weather or icy roads can be extra dangerous at night.
Finally, make sure that you abide by the rules set in place for your county in regards to COVID-19. The last way you want to start the New Year is to get sick. If you or any attendees aren't feeling well before the party, it may be best to forego the festivities instead.
From our family here at SERVPRO of Hanover Township / Bear Creek, we hope that this past year has been better than the last, so go out and have one last hurrah before the New Year! Have fun and stay safe!
Ice dams forming on your roof can lead to winter water damage!
Ice dams start to form during the colder months of the year. It starts when snow begins to melt and then refreezes and creates a wall. As this process repeats it begins to form a sort of dam. These dams will grow larger and larger until they are removed or the weather warms up for a lengthy period. These dams cause property damage by getting water into and under tiles/shingles and then freezing, which shifts them to create an opening! From here water can make its way into the home and cause all sorts of damages.
There are a few ways to take preventative measures against this though. Run heating cables in your attic that go along the sections of the roof that have the most trouble with dams forming. This helps prevent the water from being able to refreeze in bad areas.
Ice dams beginning to form also usually means that the attic of the house is leaking heat due to improper insulation. Take note of where the dams are forming on the roof and check that same area of the attic for inconsistencies! Trying to retain the heat in your attic is the natural way of combatting damming ice and can even help keep your house warmer overall.
Stay safe this winter season, and if you intend on directly dealing with any problems you or your family are facing be sure to be careful. Many instances of people getting hurt while they are attempting to help themselves or their family is due to negligence.
Do you have travel plans this holiday season?
It's a common affair to travel cross state or country to be with family for the Holiday season, but doing so can put you or your family in a dangerous position! In the lead-up to Christmas and the New Year, millions of people will be on the roads, leading to the busiest time of the year. Keep your eyes and ears open while traveling for the Holidays, and be on alert for possible issues that could impact your commute!
Inclement weather, traffic, and even drunk drivers all see a sizable increase in occurrence during the months that the Holidays find themselves in. Make sure to properly prepare by planning your routes and keeping up to date on weather and traffic reports.
Finally, as we find ourselves another year into the global pandemic, it is important to follow any restrictions or mandates that are active where you intend on traveling. While travel restrictions have eased up this year, there are still plenty of rules and regulations that should be followed to ensure a safe trip for everyone!
At the end of the day, we here at SERVPRO of Hanover Township / Bear Creek want you all to have a wonderful Holiday season with friends and family and to simply stay safe.
Prevent Winter Water Damage!
The temperature outside is starting to drop, so it is a great time to take the initiative and inspect or make changes throughout your home so that it is safe from potential winter water damage!
Firstly, it is important to take some time and check your home's water pipes to see whether or not you may need to make some changes, checking for insulation should be where you start. If your pipes have already been insulated then you're already a step ahead of the curve and your home will be safer for it.
First, it's important that you take the time to thoroughly check the water pipes situated throughout your home. It is important to figure out whether or not they are insulated so that you know if they are protected from the cold winter temps. If they already are, you are a step ahead of the curve and have much less to worry about as the cold weather moves in!
Second, if you've discovered that the piping throughout your home is not already insulated then you should take the time to look into it. Insulated pipes help prevent freezing and pipe bursts by keeping them and their contents from getting too cold.
Lastly, there are other precautionary measures that you can take to prevent potential winter water damage. By running your tap at a trickle the water in your pipes will continue to flow at a rate that makes it much harder for it to freeze and lead to a pipe burst!
By using these few tips you can help ensure that your home is protected from wintertime water damage!
Halloween 2021 Fire Safety
Its time to break out the cobwebs and jack-o-lanterns! Halloween marks a special time of year where people can dress up as their favorite super hero or brain eating zombie and not get any weird looks. Where the spooky is turned up to 11 and everyone has fun! But it also has a noticeable increase in property fire damages, specifically during the "Halloween" period, Oct 30th-Nov 1st.
During these 3 days of the year approximately 9,000 fires are reported nationwide. Of those 9,000 fires, approximately 9% are spread from Halloween decorations! That's not all though, property damage that occurs in this window sees a rough increase of 15% in the cost to repair when compared to the rest of the year. There is also an unfortunate 8% increase in fatalities that occur in these fires when compared to the yearly average.
Now, what can you do to prevent Halloween house fires? Primarily, you need to be cautious and aware of where you place decorations around your home. If you and your family enjoy making Jack-o-lanterns, use battery operated LED lights instead of a lit candle to light them up, but if you do end up using candles make sure that the pumpkins are far away from any flammable decorations, like string or paper, you may have strung up!
Do you know the different types of water damage that can affect your home?
When your home or business faces a water loss it can be rough. When estimating the damages, the category of the water is extremely important. Dirty, polluted water can lead to an increase in damages and often requires more work to restore and clean than if the damage was done by relatively clean water.
The first type of water damage is the one that occurs the most, as it comes from a clean or sanitary source. For example, leaky water pipes, faucets, and fountains. This type doesn't bring about as many variables when it comes to cleaning and restoring the damage done.
The second type of water damage is a water loss that contains some contaminants inside of it. These contaminants can cause illness and discomfort if ingested. A few examples of water loss sources that would be classified under this type are things like dishwashers, toilet overflows with urine, and other "used" water sources.
The third and final water damage type comes from water sources that are deemed to be dangerously unsanitary/heavily contaminated. Water from these sources can cause serious illness and even lead to death if unknowingly ingested. Examples of water sources that can lead to this type are things like sewage backup, floodwater, rising waters from rivers or streams, and dirty toilet water.
Knowing the differences between the types of water damage can aid you in the future. Knowing what to avoid and what is safe to work on clearing can keep you free from potential illness and allow you to properly react to any possible water emergency!