Recent Posts

Benefect Disinfectants and Cleaners - Used by SERVPRO in the Lehigh Valley

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Having an issue with water damage, mold damage, bio-hazard clean up needs, or fire is always a challenge. It can become even more difficult if there are at risk loved ones involved. But don’t worry SERVPRO can help cater to any need. For example, when a deep cleaning and disinfecting is needed SERVPRO can utilize all-natural biocides to help make sure an at-risk person won’t suffer the side effects that may be associated with other products. One product that we have in our arsenal is Benefect. According to their website, “Benefect's botanical disinfectants and cleaners are used by Insurance Restoration Contractors to clean up water damage, fire damage, mold remediation and trauma scene clean up. Using nature as the model, we've created cleaning products with no compromise in strength and without endangering human health.” Additionally, specialized equipment, such as air scrubbers can be set up to help minimize the amount of dust or odors that are produced after a damage, while also cleaning the air. If you have a loved one with an issue in their home, business, or care facility, reach out to SERVPRO for service that goes above and beyond.

Source http://benefect.com/index.php

Forensic Remediation

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Forensic Remediation

     Forensic remediation is a solemn but necessary practice in the field of restoration.  If you have ever had the misfortune to discover a deceased family member or loved one, you may not realize how important it is to inquire about forensic remediation services.  Forensic remediation can be necessary to restore a home back to preloss conditions.  The three main causes of forensic damage are suicide, homicide, and unassisted deaths.  An unassisted death occurs with someone expires and the body is not discovered for an extended period of time.  When a body sits for an excessive amount of time the advanced stages of decomposition sets in. Unassisted deaths are unfortunately common and more damage to the home can occur the longer a body is allowed to decompose. 

     The biggest reason to have a professional company such as SERVPRO to perform this service is safety.  It cannot be stressed enough how important safety is when it comes to any environment that may deal with blood or other bodily fluids.  First and foremost blood is pathogenic.  What that means is any fresh blood has the possibility to make you sick.  SERVPRO technicians are donned in Tyvek suits, gloves, and full face shields.  Having the correct personal protection equipment is crucial when handling any materials affected with blood.  There are times when the bereaved enlist volunteers to help clean up the areas whom wear little or no protective gear and are subjecting themselves to a harmful environment.  During extreme cases, any illness obtained by volunteers could potentially hold the bereaved liable for damages.  When you hire SERVPRO, you needn’t worry about any such complications because SERVPRO educates their employees to be certified in all restorative fields, and each franchise carries various insurances necessary for the restoration field.

    Another main reason to outsource this line of work to the professionals at SERVPRO is to insure that you are receiving the most quality of service.  Certified technicians will understand what types of materials are salvageable or not depending on how affected the areas are.  When blood is pooled on the carpet it is not safe to clean and sanitize the area.  The most appropriate step to take is to remove the carpet and pad.  Once the carpet and pad has been removed the technicians will now address the sub floor.  The sub floor will be cleaned and sanitize with an E.P.A. registered disinfectant and sealed with an antimicrobial sealer.  There have been scenarios where the bereaved have tried to clean and sanitized porous materials such as carpet, but then have become sick in the future.  If porous materials are only lightly affected by splatter instead of being completely saturated they may be cleaned and sanitized.  However, in many instances of cleaning and sanitizing these lightly affected areas still leave an unsightly stain.

    After the damage has been assessed, and the areas properly mitigated any soiled materials are then bagged in bio hazard bags and properly discarded and hauled from the work site.  A side effect of the deceased can be the odor.  SERVPRO has several different pieces of equipment that are designed to handle many types of odors, especially odors that are protein base.  Once the technicians are completely finished the affected area is now safe for the bereaved and will allow them to mourn properly without the added stress.

Bethlehem, PA - Being Prepared for Water Damage During the Summer

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Summertime can be wet. In some areas of the country, rain is almost a daily occurrence during the summer. Flooding can be a hazard when this happens, and that can be inconvenient and even dangerous. Possessions can be ruined, and even the structures of homes and businesses can be negatively affected. A professional water restoration company, like SERVPRO, can be a big help during such times, as they are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner.

While flooding can’t be predicted most of the time, educating yourself on the most common flood-prone areas will help you be prepared to handle such an event, and even to prevent it! Some areas of your home or business are going to be more apt to experience water damage than others during storms, such as low-lying areas like basements and cellars.

Here is a list of the three most common areas to suffer from summer water damage:

BASEMENTS

Basements and cellars, the lowest parts of a house or building, need to be watched during wet weather since they have a number of easy entry points for water. If there is heavy rainfall during inclement weather, or if the building is near a body of water such as a lake or river, they are going to be in danger. Keep an eye open for cracks in the foundation, ceiling, and walls of these areas!

ATTICS, ROOFS AND GUTTERS

A damaged roof, either from weather or fire, is susceptible to water damage and the areas underneath will suffer. A small leak can turn into a big problem before you know it. If the rain gutters have not been properly maintained, you may experience some problems stemming from standing water - even indoors.

WINDOWS, DOORS, AND ENTRYWAYS

Keep an eye on your doors and windows; if they are not properly sealed against wet conditions, you will know it right away. Entryways are also a potential problem area; make sure they are free of standing water and debris so that people don’t get hurt.

Our team of professionals, at SERVPRO of Bethlehem, is experienced in repairs and cleanup from damages caused by water, fire, and mold. You can call us at (610) 838-0200, or visit our website: SERVPRO of Bethlehem.

Bethlehem, PA - Smoke and Fire Damage from a Kitchen Fire Create Horrible Odors

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Bethlehem, PA - Smoke and Fire Damage from a Kitchen Fire Create Horrible Odors Kitchen fires can happen very quickly and spread. After the firefighters leave, contact SERVPRO for remediation services.

Team SERVPRO Arrives on the Scene Quickly After a Fire in Your Kitchen

Many residents in the Lehigh Valley add meat to the family meal to ensure adequate intake of protein by everyone present. This same protein can cause severe problems if the person cooking it forgets it and allows it to burn. Catching fire and spewing flames out of your cookware does not need to happen for smoke production to overwhelm your kitchen, but when it does happen, it only increases the amount of overall damage sustained. 
 
Rainy days during the Spring months can keep grilling endeavors indoors where the risk of fire becomes more likely due to interruptions, as well. Outdoor activities can easily cause anyone to lose track of time and forget about the steaks left on the kitchen stove. It takes only a few minutes of extra heat from the stove to go from 'perfectly done' to zero visibility conditions developing inside your kitchen area. 
 
Once we arrive, we set up powerful air movers. These machines move a large volume of air in a very short period. Our air scrubbers go one step further in reducing the amount of smokiness in your home. These machines filter out the particles that may have already passed into other parts of your residence and keep them from becoming constant reminders of a burnt meal. 
 
All meat contains significant amounts of protein that begin producing an extremely acrid, bitter odor after reaching a specific temperature. The oil that often accompanies such food while cooking only adds to the problem. SERVPRO technicians can also perform thermal fogging in cases where the odor persists. The heated fog that carries neutralizing agents permeate the same areas the smoke entered, resulting in significant improvements to the indoor air quality. 
 
Manual cleaning of all surfaces inside your kitchen protects them from soot's abrasive nature. We use special cleansers that cut through the greasiness and unique tools that then lift the mess off the area. After we clean everything and eliminate the smoke odor, without any trace of fire damage, everything in your home goes back to looking "Like it never even happened." 

SERVPRO of Bethlehem can help your family after a bout of smoke and fire damage from a kitchen flare up. Contact us at 610-838-0200 so we can assist you in getting your home back to normal again. We perform our services in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Continuing Education in bethlehem, PA

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bethlehem focuses heavily on educating our staff on how to handle any situation, to make sure we deliver on our promise to make it “Like it never even happened." We focus on maintaining and updating our knowledge base constantly. Many professions require continuing education. Our office is proud to offer education credits to our local insurance agents and adjusters. Every month the sales team is up early cooking breakfast, prepping our classroom and greeting our attendees. Steve Davis, one of the owners of SERVPRO of Bethlehem, is a certified instructor. He can provide credits for our local agents and some of our classes can even accommodate agents or adjusters from New Jersey. So, if you or someone you know is looking to gain some credits soon or if you would like to visit and enjoy a great breakfast while bulking up your collection of credits. Give SERVPRO of Bethlehem a call at 610-838-0200.

If you are not an agent or an adjuster don’t feel left out. If you would like to learn more about how to handle fire, mold, or water damage, or how to take care of a bio-hazard issue talk to your local representative. We have provided several “lunch & Learns” to businesses in our local area. We have visited property managers, real estate offices, construction firms, and even school districts. We hope to hear from you soon.

Grilling Safety

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

With the Memorial Day holiday past us we are at the beginning of grilling season. The weather is getting nicer and SERVPRO of Bethlehem would like to provide you with some helpful tips to keep you and your family safe.

  • Grilling Safety Tips
    • Always grill outdoors
    • Grills cannot be used on the balcony with an overhang.
    • The grill should be at least 10 feet away from the house or building.
    • Keep children and pets three feet away from the grill while in use.
  • Gas Grill Safety
    • Make sure the lid is open when you light it, the propane can build up inside and when ignited, and the lid may blow off.
    • If you smell gas, turn the grill off immediately and do not move the grill.
    • Always make sure you turn the burners off and close the propane cylinder when you’re done using it.
    • Don’t ever leave a burning grill unattended.
  • Charcoal Grill Safety
    • Only use charcoal starter fluid. Never use gas or kerosene to start a fire.
    • Charcoal can give off carbon monoxide which can be deadly so always use your grill outdoors.
    • Always allow the coals to cool for 48 hours before proper disposal. If you can’t wait until they cool then soak them in water before putting them in a metal container.

Lehigh Valley - Things You Might Not Expect from a Storm

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 Bethlehem 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 Bethlehem (610-838-0200).

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 Bethlehem at 610-838-0200.

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

Contractor Relations

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

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 Bethlehem 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.