We Offer Complete Reconstruction

We provide complete repair and reconstruction of Water, Fire, lightning, windstorm, vandalism, collapse, explosion or other property damage. Our staff is 100% dedicated and fully equipped for any emergency response, being available 24/7. We also offer Consulting, appraisals and inspections, Board Up, Repairs, Restoration, and Reconstruction for your Home or Business. With the professional services we provide ServiceMaster can help control the cost of the loss, minimize the period of interruption, all the while providing outstanding customer service.

Disaster can strike at any time and any building causing major upheaval to the occupants. Whether it is residential or commercial, sealing the building in order to make it safe as well as renovating and recovering the building are considered vital steps towards complete recovery from any kind of disaster.

BRRRRRR Honey, Its COLD outside…..

Do you know how to prevent a water damage? ServiceMaster is certified and specializes in water damage cleanup in Berks County and Surrounding Areas. Here are a few tips for you on how you can prevent water damage as well as what you need to do if you find yourself affected by one.

  • Tips for preventing water damage:
    * Ensure good drainage.
    * Inspect the roof for missing or lose shingles.
    * Repair any dripping or leaky pipes.
    * Repair any cracked caulking.
    * Insulate Pipes
    * Keep the Thermostat at a temperature that will ensure free flowing water wont freeze.
    * If you go away, make sure someone runs the water every day to avoid frozen lines.

 

  • Tips on what to do if you discover a water damage in your Pensacola home!
    * Turn off the water supply
    * Turn off the utilities
    *  Call ServiceMaster 610-374-1881

STAY SAFE AND WARM !!!!!!!!!!

WEEU Golf Outing

Skip Bell, Owner of ServiceMaster is the guy on the far left….   at A WEEU Sponsored Golf Tournament Event.

WEEU Golf Outing

 

Carbon Monoxide and Your Furnace

Staying warm is especially important during this cold winter weather, but there’s a chance your furnace could make you sick.

Homeowners need to be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter when furnaces are working overtime and cars are warming up in the garage.  CO (carbon monoxide) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 170 people die every year from carbon monoxide that comes from household appliances. A poorly running furnace can not only fail but it can quickly fill a home with carbon monoxide.  Gas pressure can end up being too high which means its burning hot and whenever you burn hot in an appliance, there is a possibility the heat exchange could crack, which would produce carbon monoxide.

Fire officials also echo heating experts and say the best way to prevent carbon monoxide from seeping into your home is to have your furnace checked every year; to make sure it’s not emitting carbon monoxide into your home. A yearly examination usually costs less than $100.

Anything that’s a combustible material, that can burn, has the potential to put out carbon monoxide.

Homeowners should also regularly replace the air filter and make sure snow and ice aren’t building up on the vents outside, because if you don’t pay attention to the largest appliance in your home, it could create a dangerous and even deadly situation.

Another main source of carbon monoxide in your home is your car, and with this winter’s cold weather, you likely warm it up almost daily. If you are going to warm up your car before leaving, DO NOT leave it in the garage, especially without the outside door open. A garage fills up quickly with carbon monoxide which can lead to fatality.

Be on the SAFE side and Check with your furnace company to see the last time you had maintenance, and get that scheduled; winter is still sticking around for awhile!

Freezing Temps and Frozen Pipes :(

Preventing frozen pipes

Risky locations Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when located:    • In an outside wall.    • Under a sink on an outside wall.    • In an unheated crawlspace.

There are a few things you can do to prevent the problem of freezing pipes:

  • Leave the water running at a slight trickle (the size of the lead in a pencil). The dripping water will keep the water in the pipe from freezing.  Be sure to have both hot and cold valves open.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom base cabinets and let room air circulate.
  • Open base cabinets and place a small portable heater near or in it to heat the pipes.
  • Wrap the problem pipe with electrical heat tape.
  • Insulate problem pipes with foam insulation wrap, especially those that run through unheated spaces.
  • Temper the currently unheated crawlspace by placing a heater in the crawlspace. You just need to elevate the crawlspace temperature to modestly above freezing, about 40°F.
  • Remove the hoses from your outdoor faucets, and then turn off the outside water supply at the shut off valve inside the house. 

Tips on thawing frozen pipes

If a pipe bursts before it is thawed, immediately shut off the water at the water main to prevent further damage!

  • Frozen but not ruptured? If you turn on the faucet and the water doesn’t come out or comes out in a trickle, your pipes are probably frozen. You need to act quickly to thaw the frozen pipe before it bursts.
  • Identify the frozen water supply pipe.
  • Open a faucet supplied by the frozen line, even if you have not found the frozen spot.
  • To find the blockage, follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas such as an exterior wall, unheated crawl space or in some cases an unheated basement if the pipe is near an outside wall.
  • Often the frozen area of the pipe will be frosted or have ice on it. If the situation is getting critical the pipe may be slightly bulged or look slightly fissured.

Frozen pipe behind a wall

Leave the main water valve near your water meter open when thawing the pipe.

  • If the frozen pipe is behind a wall or ceiling, you’ve got a challenge on your hands. You have three choices:
  • Turn up the heat in the house and wait.
  • Use an infrared lamp or lamps to heat the wall where you think the frozen area is located. Infrared lamps are better than regular heat lamps because the heat passes through the air without heating it, directing more energy to warming the wall and frozen pipe.
  • Tear out part of the wall or ceiling to get at the frozen section of pipe. Then thaw the pipe as an exposed pipe.

Exposed frozen pipe

Never use a flame torch because of the fire hazard it creates. Open flame torches are the most common cause of pipe thawing related home fires.

  • Heat the pipe from the faucet toward the frozen area. This way, the water can flow out as the ice melts and the water pressure in the pipe will force the ice out once it melts sufficiently.
  • If the frozen pipe is exposed, you have several options.
  • Hair Dryer One of the best and safest ways to thaw the pipe is to heat the area with a high power hair dryer. Again, make sure to open the faucet and then heat the pipe working back from the faucet toward the frozen blockage.
  • Heat Lamp or Space Heater Heat lamps and space heaters works well to heat an exposed pipe. You can use an infrared or incandescent heat lamp. Space heaters should be on a low setting.

If the pipe is close to the wall, put a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help radiate heat onto the back side of the pipe.

Burst Pipe Emergency

As soon as you discover a burst pipe:

Turn off the water supply

  • Turn off the main water shut-off valve. You should find this in the basement or where the service pipe enters your home.
  • Drain the system by turning on all your cold water valves.

Call us to repair the damage: ServiceMaster @ 610-374-1881 or 866-679-1919

  • We have staff on call 24/7/365.  We will professionally clean and dry your home.
  • Note: Electrical wiring damaged by water can be very dangerous. We can help with that as well as any repairs created from the water damage.
  • Note: You might need a reputable plumber to repair the burst or frozen pipe.  We can help with that also.

Do what you can to collect and manage the leak. If water has been leaking through for some time and the ceilings are bulging be careful. The room may not be safe to enter.

  • If you notice the leak quickly you can catch dripping water in buckets.
  • Make a hole in the ceiling to let water out.

Turn off electronics/appliances

  • If water leaks near your electronics or electrical appliances, switch off the breakers for each one of them immediately. If it is wet, don’t touch them!

Driving in Snow and Ice

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it.

Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared (TIPS), and that you know how to handle road conditions.

It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  9. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

If your rear wheels skid…

  1. Take your foot off the accelerator.
  2. Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
  3. If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
  4. If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  5. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse — this is normal.

If your front wheels skid…

  1. Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
  2. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

If you get stuck…

  1. Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
  2. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
  3. Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
  4. Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  5. Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
  6. Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner’s manual first — it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going

Not sure what to do when you have Water, Smoke or Fire Damage??

Here is a checklist of what you should do……..

  • Immediately report water, fire, trauma, mold, soot damage to your insurance agent.
  • Call a certified restoration company to secure your property and to mitigate damages.  Your insurance company may provide names and phone numbers of referrals. You are not obligated to use a specific company. ServiceMaster Restore is a full service restoration company; from the initial clean-up to the re-construction process.
  • Document damage with photographs and a list of affected items.
  • Be cautious of the possible contaminants in the affected environment and contents.
  • Turn off any electrical items that may be in or near the affected area.
  • Do not allow children, pets or elderly in the affected areas.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed.
  • Do not attempt to clean soot, smoke, and sewer damaged areas with any liquid. Your cleaning could set the soot or contaminant and cause additional damage.
  • Do not touch items without gloves. Oils in your hands can permanently set soot causing irreversible damage.
  • Do not enter the affected areas. Make sure children and pets do not enter the affected areas.
  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when on the scene and during repair process. The air can be contaminated, debris may be throughout the premises and overhead dangers may be present.
  • Once we come out and start the mitigation process, we will work with you on assessing damages to your structure as well as your contents.
  • Notify your ServiceMaster Restore® representative immediately of any concerns with items of high sentimental or real value.  The rate of survival of items that receive immediate restoration attention can be much higher.
  • ServiceMaster Restore® will, if needed, install equipment to dry-out the water affected structure.
  • Do not turn off or move equipment without contacting ServiceMaster Restore® as well as any power failure issues.

ServiceMaster Restore is committed to Restoring Your Peace of Mind !

 

PREPARE & PREVENT

The wet season is once again upon us. A winter of rain and snow will definitely show whether or not your basements are able to keep water on the outside. Don’t wait until it gets inside before you do anything about it!  Prevention is the best avoider.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS:

 Sump Pumps

If you live in a low lying area or are vulnerable to heavy rain accumulation in your basement, a sump pump deserves strong consideration. They work by removing water from the sump basin away from your home’s foundation. The upfront cost of a few hundred dollars to install one may save you thousands of dollars in repair costs later.

Gutter and Downspout Repairs

More often than not, basement water leaks result from draining problems around the house. Gutter and downspout repairs may be in order. As long as the roof slope of your home works in your favor and the water coming off your roof can easily be guided away from your home, simply adding an extension below the downspout can keep the water away from your foundation.

Winter is here, Make sure your water pipes are nice and warm and cozy. A Broken Water line would make a not so nice Happy Holiday !

How to Insulate Water Pipes

Begin by removing any dirt or grease from the pipes with a rag and mild cleanser. Allow the pipes to dry thoroughly before installing the insulation.

Choose the insulation, Foil, Fiberglass, or tubular-sleeve insulation which is the easiest to install and comes in a variety of sizes. Simply cut the sleeve to length and wrap it around the pipe. If more than one sleeve is needed to cover a longer pipe, be sure to duct tape the seam where the pipes meet

When working with fiberglass insulation, wrap the fiberglass in plastic to keep the pipes from dripping condensation.   Foil or Fiberglass insulation can be wrapped around the pipe with a 1/2″ overlap. Secure each end of the insulation with duct tape. Be sure to cover the entire pipe when wrapping around corners and bends and wrap with duct tape.

When insulating around corners or T-joints, cut slits or make miter angles where necessary, and secure these areas with duct tape.