SPRING HAS FINALLY SPRUNG

April showers bring May flowers, and its already begun. Frequent, heavy showers can lead to flooding, which can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home.

To help minimize damage, use and share the following tips:

  • Fix leaky roofs and foundation cracks immediately.
  • Keep gutters and drains clear so they can do their job by carrying water away from the home.
  • Make sure your sump pump is working properly.  If you don’t have one installed, Invest in a battery-powered sump pump and a garden hose to pump water out of the home.
  • Move valuable items to a higher level of the home.
  • Prevent sewer backup by installing sewer or septic line check valves, which allow waste to only flow one way.

If you experience water damage due to flooding, ServiceMaster Restore® is available 24/7/365 to help you with:

  • Water damage restoration
  • Drying, dehumidification and water extraction
  • Mold remediation
  • Carpet, clothing, rug, and electronic cleaning

We also can help with Fire, Bio-Hazard, Re-Construction and Trauma.

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

 

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!

Happy Anniversary….. to one of our own ~~ Trucks !!

Warehouse on Wheels

Added to our fleet in 2012, our Warehouse on Wheels celebrates its first year of serving our Disaster Restoration customers.  The truck is a Chevy Express 4500 Cutaway, with a fully equipped interior to better handle all water/fire/mold remediation projects.  This truck hosts a butler truck mount extraction system, and plenty of shelving to hold dehumidifiers, air movers, and other miscellaneous equipment and supplies needed for our technicians to provide you with any emergency service at any time of the day or night.

On the exterior of the truck we had flood lights installed, so if you find yourself in the dark – no worries.  When we arrive on site extra lighting will be provided, if needed.

Our technicians keep the truck fully stocked at all times, which eliminates any down time for loading equipment prior to heading out for an emergency call.

Take a look……

004 (688x516) 006 (688x516) 010 (688x516) 009 (688x516) 008 (688x516) 003 (688x516) 005

 

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 !

 

Prevent Sewage Drain Back-Ups

Just as your body requires attention to prevent illness and maintain health, so does your home – especially when it comes to ensuring your home’s main drain system keeps on doing its job.  What comes in must go out, and half of plumbing is about getting rid of waste.  Drains, waste, and vents – commonly called the DWV system – are the last visible and least glamorous elements of your home’s plumbing. The trunk of the DWV tree is the soil stack; all drains and vents feed into it.

Here is some preventive maintenance steps that will help you guard against future problems with your home’s main drain.

Kitchen Sink

 Reduce the amount of cooking grease and fats going down the drain.

 Wipe greasy pans with a paper towel before washing.

 Use a degreaser regularly to prevent grease and sludge build-ups.

Garbage Disposer

 Follow manufacturer recommendations for proper usage.

 Run ample water before, during and after disposer use.

 If the garbage disposer is not functioning properly, depress the unit reset button, typically located at the bottom of the unit.

Bathroom Sink

 Run ample water washing soap, shaving cream and toothpaste down the drain.

 Use degreasers or enzymes to prevent build-up of body oils and soap residue.

Tub or Shower

 Install strainer to catch hair and foreign objects.

 Use degreasers or enzymes to prevent build-up of body oils and soap residue

Toilet

 Avoiding storing or placing small objects on the toilet tank or around the toilet.

 Keep the seat cover closed.

Laundry

 Keep your washer’s lint trap clean.

 Install a lint catcher on the laundry drain hose and clean it regularly.

 Use degreasers or enzymes to prevent build-up of body oils and soap residue.

Water Heater

 Follow manufacturer recommendations for proper use.

 Drain regularly according to manufacturer recommendations.

 Inspect for signs of leakage and rust.

 Listen for unusual noises.

Because it’s really never seen, your home’s drain can easily be forgotten. That is, until it’s not working properly!   If it did get clogged and found you now have an overflow… Contact ServiceMasterac.com to clean and sanitize. 610-374-1881

Water damage in finished basement before and after images.

801 Jackson Street  BeforeWhen water damage occurs in your home it is important to have experts repair and clean the affected areas. A water damaged basement can lead to cracked or warped floors or walls,  ruined carpet, and structural damage to your home. The worst part, a water damaged basement can lead to mold. Preventing further mold and deterioration is important in keeping the safety and health of your family.

801 Jackson after

To the left are the before and after images. Contact the experts at ServiceMaster to assess and fix your water damaged home of business.

 

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.