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How to Winterize Your Home on a Budget

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

House and yard covered in snow As storm damage specialists, we have the experience and advanced training that enables us to restore your property quickly.

Winterization is the process of preparing a home for the harsh conditions of winter. It is usually performed in the fall before snow and excessive cold have arrived. Stay warm, save money and prevent damage to your home from the cold and snow with these simple winterization tips.

Clean Your Gutters

Clear leafs, tree branches and debris from your gutters. Failure to do so can result in leaks and the overflow of water whenever rain falls or snow melts. Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters now will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later. 

The benefits of cleaning your gutters before winter will help you avoid the unfortunate event of your basement being flooded with water, rotted fascia boards, cracked walkways or patios and many other potential areas of damage.

Cost: Other than your sweat and time, free.

Flush the Water Heater

Particles and sediment can collect over time in the bottom of your water heater, hindering the unit's efficiency. Flush the water through the drain valve to clear out the material and keep your heater functioning at its best. 

Cost: 100% free if you do it yourself!

Replace Filters

Well-oiled, clean HVAC machinery uses less energy and provides more effective heating and cooling than dirty equipment. A dirty filter will restrict airflow through the heating or cooling system.

Throughout the winter, evaluate the filters monthly and replace them if there's any accumulation of debris. Furnaces and heat pumps are operating constantly to stay ahead of the cold, circulating more air through the filter, leaving behind ample dust and debris to coat the filter. 

Cost: $20 to $35 for a pack of filters.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat relieves homeowners of that responsibility, enabling them to configure a heating and cooling cycle that corresponds to their daily schedules. The US Department of Energy says you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home's temperature during the winter. Install a programmable thermostat to save money by keeping the temp down when you're not at home. 

Cost: prices vary from basic versions $35 to $60 to smart-home options in the $100 to $200 range.

Clockwise Ceiling Fans

Set your ceiling fans to move in a clockwise direction. The gentle updraft pushes warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, down along the walls and back the floor. Homeowners who use ceiling fans during the winter can save as much as 15 percent on heating bills.

Cost: free if you have a fan.

Winterize Your Pipes

When water freezes, it expands. So if the temperature of your pipes drops below 32 degrees, even for a short period, you run the risk of a pipe fracture or worse. Take precautions now to avoid a major water damage. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes.

Cost: Pipe Sleeve $5 to $12 per sleeve; Insulation Tape $10 per pack;  Heat Cable $20 to $150 depending on length

Window Insulation Film

Window insulation film is a plastic film which can be applied to glass windows to reduce heat transfer. Window insulation film can keep up to 70% of heat from leaking out of the windows.

Cost: $5 to $15 per kit.

Weatherstripping

Place weatherstripping along doorjambs, and in the gaps between windows and sashes, to keep the chilly breezes out and the heat in. Weatherstripping can save you up to 20 percent on your heating bill. Choose a type of weatherstripping that will withstand the friction, weather, temperature changes, and wear and tear associated with its location. 

Cost: $5 to $10 per roll.

Draft Guards

In a drafty room, heat escapes under the door. A Draft Guard is a flexible, rubber strip that seals the gap at the bottom of the door to keep out drafts and prevent heat loss.

Cost: $10 to $20 or free if you place a rolled towel at the bottom of the door.  

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation slows the spread of heat, cold, and sound in structures. The material does this by trapping pockets of air, keeping rooms warm in the winter. For maximum heat retention, pack fiberglass insulation around basement doors, windows in unused rooms, and window AC units. Make sure your attic floor is insulated to stop heat from escape through the attic as it rises! 

 Cost: around $25 per roll.

Caulking

Any remaining gaps in siding, windows, or doors can be filled with caulk. For extra drafty windows and doors, caulk the inside too, pulling off moldings to fill all gaps in the insulation. 

Cost: $10 for a caulk gun and less than $5 for a tube of caulk.

Chimney Balloon

A chimney balloon is a balloon made of special heat reactive, durable material. Its purpose is to block the opening of a chimney that is not in use. If you do not regularly use your fireplace, a chimney balloon is the ideal solution to stop chimney drafts and save energy.

Cost: $25 to $60 depending on the size of the balloon.

Have Winter Storm Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby Today (610) 352-0700

Why Choose SERVPRO of Upper Darby?

Restoring storm- and flood-damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your property to pre-storm condition. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to minimize secondary damage.

Cleaning Tips to Help Prepare Your Commercial Property for the Upcoming Winter

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Yellow cleaning in progress sign in a commercial building Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO of Upper Darby

There’s no better time to make a cleaning and maintenance plans for this fall and the coming winter than now.  SERVPRO of Upper Darby offers these commercial property cleaning tips to help you get started on the seasonal transition.

Carpet Cleaning

Many facilities delay cleaning carpets before and during the winter months. This can be a mistake as the carpets can become saturated with contaminants and impact indoor environmental quality. 

Clean & Recoat Hard Flooring

Floors take a beating during adverse weather conditions. Scrub hard flooring, especially entry floors, to remove soils and recoat to give the floor added protection.

Repair Floor Defects

Repairing floor defects will prevent soils and ice melt from becoming trapped in chips, cracks, crevices, etc.

Floor Mats

Place 15 feet of matting inside each entrance to capture ice melt, salt and sand before it is tracked throughout the facility.

Restrooms

Cleaning professionals often develop cleaning habits, especially in restrooms. Seasonal transitions call for taking a fresh look at restroom cleaning procedures and adopting some new technologies, products and methods where appropriate.

Air Ducts & HVAC Cleaning

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect and clean the ductwork of your commercial property.

HEPA Filters

An easy way to remember when to clean or change HEPA filters is by changing them when Daylight Savings Time begins and ends.

Commercial Cleaning Professionals

While all the above are useful tips in keeping your office or commercial building clean and tidy they can take up valuable time you simply aren’t able to fit into your working day. Hiring the commercial cleaning professionals at SERVPRO of Upper Darby ensures you can concentrate on more pressing matters, yet still boast a clean, clutter free office space.

For More Information on Commercial Cleaning Services, Call Us Today – (610) 352-0700

Why SERVPRO of Upper Darby?

You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you can rely on SERVPRO of Upper Darby to make your workspace look its very best.

Our commercial cleaning services will ease the burden of the constant maintenance cleaning of your business, but will also create a safe, clean and comfortable working environment for you and your employees.

Cooking Fire Safety Tips You Can Be Thankful For

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving turkey on fire Cooking Fire Putting A Damper On Your Holiday Fun? Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby – (610) 352-0700

Thanksgiving is the nation’s leading day for cooking fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving is three times as high as on any other day of the year.

In addition to the hazards posed by stovetops, turkey fryers contribute to the elevated fire risk. When following a few basic precautions, preventing a cooking fires is simple. Remember, while you should always have a fire-extinguisher nearby and know how to use it, don’t delay calling 9-1-1. Ideally, use the extinguisher immediately, as someone else calls 9-1-1.

Turkey Fryers

Turkey fryers should never be used indoors, in the garage or on a covered patio because of the fire hazard. Many turkey fires occur while the oil is being heated. Since most fryers do not have automatic thermostatic controls, oil may heat until it catches fire. Fryers can easily tip over, spilling scalding hot oil, leading to fires, burns or other injuries. The sides, lids, and handles get extremely hot and may cause burns.

Turkey Frying Safety Tips:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Do not overfill the fryer with oil. Before filling the fryer with oil, test it out with water. Place the turkey inside and then fill it with water until the bird is submerged. Mark the water line on the fryer so you will know how much oil to put in the fryer.
  • Completely thaw the turkey.
  • Only use the oil recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Allow at least two feet of space between the liquid propane tank and the fryer burner.
  • Potholders or oven mitts should be well-insulated; wear safety goggles to protect eyes from oil splatter.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn OFF the gas supply.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.

Stovetops and Ovens

It’s easy to become distracted when preparing several dishes at once while also trying to entertain guests. Cooking fires can easily be prevented by following a few simple precautions:

  • Clean your stove and oven. Remove food and grease buildup from burners, stovetop and oven.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Stay in the home when cooking a turkey, set a timer, and check on it frequently.
  • Have a flame-resistant oven mitt, potholder or lid nearby to smother any flames.
  • If you have an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.

Cooking Fire Putting A Damper On Your Holiday Fun? Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby – (610) 352-0700

Why Choose SERVPRO of Upper Darby

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Upper Darby has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition. SERVPRO of Upper Darby is dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to prevent secondary damage and to reduce the cost of restoration.

‘Tis the Season – For Flu!

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Female holding a tissue to her nose with flu virus in the air SERVPRO of Upper Darby’s cleaning specialist shares commonsense precautions to help control spread of the flu virus

Commonsense Precautions to Help Control Spread of the Flu Virus

Flu season is here. The cleaning pros at SERVPRO of Upper Darby—experts in cleaning and sanitizing—remind New Castle County home and business owners how important it is to step-up routine cleaning efforts during this time of year. The flu virus can remain viable on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Cleaning surfaces and objects that are frequently touched minimizes the likelihood of contacting the flu virus when you touch an infected surface.

According to the CDC, nearly 15% of the U.S. population suffered from the flu in 2018. More than 950,000 people were hospitalized and almost 80,000 people died from flu complications, making 2018 the most severe flu season since 2009.

Protect Yourself From the Contracting the Flu

The CDC recommends the following to help protect yourself or your loved ones from contracting the flu.

  1. Get vaccinated. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important protection against this serious virus.
  2. Thoroughly wash your hands (20 seconds or more with soap and water) or sanitize them frequently throughout the day, even if you are not infected, to help protect yourself and others.
  3. Beware of frequently touched surfaces, like handrails and doorknobs. Keep them clean at home using a bleach and water solution and clean your hands as soon as possible if you must touch them in public.

Control the Spread of the Flu

If you or a family member comes down with the flu despite these precautions, keep in mind the flu spreads primarily through droplets from a sick person when they cough, sneeze, or talk. With that in mind, the CDC offers the following guidelines to help control the spread of the disease:

  1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, your sleeve, or your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue and clean your hands with soap or a sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol.
  2. Stay home and keep your distance. Infected droplets from a sick person’s nose or mouth can travel up to six feet and land in the noses and mouths of people nearby, exposing them to the illness.
  3. Wait until you are fever free – without medications – for at least 24 hours before returning to school, work, or normal activities.
  4. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated

There is no such thing as a foolproof flu protection plan but frequent hand-washing and conscientious cleaning practices at home, work, and in the community are precautions everyone can practice to help keep them and their loved ones healthy.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Upper Darby?

As an emergency response company, SERVPRO of Upper Darby understands the hidden danger of contaminated surfaces in a workplace or home. This time of year, the flu virus can be a hidden danger at home, at work, and in the community. It is a serious illness that should be taken seriously.

With advanced technology and techniques, SERVPRO of Upper Darby can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe homes and offices. For more information on SERVPRO of Upper Darby’s cleaning services, please contact us at (610) 352-0700

Making Your Appliances A Priority Will Help You Avoid A Water Damage In Your Commercial Property

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Appliances under a blue umbrella SERVPRO of Upper Darby is ready to respond immediately and work quickly to clean or restore your business.

Leaking and blocked appliances may not seem like a big deal, but a small leak can quickly cause lots of damage to your business. Paying attention to your appliances—and keeping them up to date—can save you money in the long run and ensure your business stays open and runs smoothly. Here are helpful tips for making your appliances a priority:

Mark Your Calendar

When you purchase new appliances, write down the expiration dates and recommended replacement dates on their parts and hoses.

Make a Date Every Friday Afternoon

Block out time every Friday afternoon to walk around your property and check your appliances. Make sure they’re hooked up to a water source, and check for any blockages or leaks. A small leak over a two-day weekend can create a large amount of damage, possibly even forcing you to temporarily close your business.

Don't Put it Off

When you discover a problem, fix it right away. Replace a leaky hose, or call a plumber to clear the blockage in your drains or sinks before it is too late. Finding and fixing an issue early on will save you a lot of trouble, time, and money in your business.

Need Emergency Service? Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby 24/7 – (610) 352-0700

Why Choose SERVPRO of Upper Darby?

Because emergencies don’t keep regular business hours, neither do we – we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays. With over 20 years of emergency response experience, you can trust us to be faster to any size disaster. 

Washing Machine Water Damage

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

A front loading washing machine with soapy water leaking from the front For over 20 years, SERVPRO of Upper Darby has specialized in water damage repair and restoration.

The national average claim for water damage caused by a washing machine is over $5,000. Understanding your machine’s functions, possible risks and preventative maintenance required is key to avoiding a costly water damage.

Common Causes of Washing Machine Water Damage

Supply Hose

Water damage caused by intake water lines contain very few biological contaminants and is a category 1 water damage.

  • Hoses should be replaced every 5 years.
  • Inspect the hoses for worn out gaskets, cracks, holes, or pinches.
  • Verify the hoses are connected tightly at both sides of the intake water lines.

Drainage

Standpipes drain directly into the sewer. A sewage back can cause a category 3 water damage.

  • Verify the drain hose is properly secured to the back of the machine and to the utility sink or standpipe.
  • Inspect drain hose for clogs.

Overloading

Internal leaks are considered a category 2 water damage, due to the exposure of water that contacts detergent and machine parts.

  • Review user’s manual for load limit to avoid overloading.

Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Washing Machine Water Damage?

Homeowners insurance will typically cover the cost to repair your home if your washing machine causes water damage. However, the costs to repair or replace the washing machine is not covered.

Have Water Damage Caused By Your Washing Machine?
Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby -(610) 352-0700

Why Choose SERVPRO of Upper Darby?

SERVPRO of Upper Darby is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. Even a delay of a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

Improving Indoor Air Quality at Your Business

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

two business men a a business woman sitting at a table wearing a face mask SERVPRO of Upper Darby is locally owned and operated, so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us

Most people spend an average of 90% of their time indoors. Much of that time, for adults, is spent in an office or warehouse environment. Indoor air quality can contribute to the health and comfort of your employees, customers, and all who visit your place of business.

What Affects Indoor Air Quality?

Several factors, both indoors and out, can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Potential factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Poor ventilation
  • Inadequate moisture and humidity control
  • Dust, dirt, and animal dander
  • Untreated smoke damage
  • Tobacco
  • Fungi, pollen, and other biological matter
  • Outdoor pollutants such as smoke, smog, etc.

How Can SERVPRO of Upper Darby Improve The Indoor Air Quality at Your Business?

SERVPRO of Upper Darby offers comprehensive services that tackle many of the factors that affect indoor air quality. We offer inspections with recommendations for the best course of action to leave your office with cleaner air.

Mold Remediation

Mold spores can travel through the air, impacting the indoor air quality and spreading the mold throughout the building. We have the training, equipment, and experience necessary to contain the mold and restore your property.

Water Damage

Water damage causes moisture and humidity issues that may lead to poor indoor air quality, along with other significant problems. SERVPRO of Upper Darby can help to identify the source of the moisture and restore any damage that may have occurred.

Fire and Smoke Damage

Walls, carpets, and even furniture can carry smoke and soot long after the fire is put out, which can impact your indoor air quality. If your property experiences a fire, we can handle the damage both big and small.

Commercial HVAC Systems

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can spread contaminants throughout your office. SERVPRO of Upper Darby offers regular inspections and cleanings of your HVAC ductwork.

Commercial Cleaning

SERVPRO of Upper Darby offers commercial cleaning services that go above and beyond typical janitorial or maid services. Regular cleaning can help combat potential air pollutants like dust, dirt, pollen, etc.

For more information on our commercial building services, call SERVPRO of Upper Darby at (610) 352-0700

Restoration Process for Water Damaged Carpets

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Image of a wet tan carpet with the SERVPRO logo When your home or commercial property has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property.

Water Damaged Carpets

Flooding and water damage can cause immense damage to carpeting, including color bleed, warping, mold growth, fraying of materials, corrosion, and other harmful processes. Resolving water damage in carpets is no easy task, and it’s one of the most involved processes for SERVPRO of Upper Darby’s technicians. To effectively clean up and remove signs of water damage, we may need to bring out a full arsenal of machines and treatment plans. Here are some ways we mitigate and repair the effects of water in carpets.


Water Extraction & Drying

The first and arguably most important part of our work to remove the effects of water damage from carpeting. While water remains in the carpet, it can continue to cause damage and wreak havoc on the home. We use heavy water extraction pumps and directed air movers to eliminate all traces of moisture in the area before moving on to other restoration tasks.


Restoration

Our primary course of action, however, is not replacement but restoration. We make every effort to save your carpet as we can, and in most cases, we can apply treatments and processes to prevent replacement. Our policy of "restoration before replacement" saves our customers, on average, hundreds or thousands of dollars over the course of our work on their properties.

Replacement

Sometimes, the carpet may be so thoroughly damaged that restoration is not a viable option. In this case, we can consult both you and the insurance adjuster to find and install suitable replacement carpeting. While some scenarios may necessitate removal of an entire room's carpet, we more commonly replace only a section of the carpet, seamlessly blending new and restored materials. Note that this may require some extra work such as fresh tack strips.

Have Water or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today – (610) 352-0700

Why Choose SERVPRO of Upper Darby?

When your home or commercial property has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. Our experience and scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable us to properly dry and restore your property.

What Is Causing Mold in Your Commercial Building?

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

office in a commercial building with mold growing on the walls SERVPRO of Upper Darby can respond quickly, working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building.

If you have found black mold or any type of mold growing in your commercial building, you’re likely wondering how it got there. Was it a moisture problem? Has it been there for a long time? Knowing what caused the growth may help you avoid the need for more mold cleanup in the future.


Stagnant Air

Airflow can help discourage mold because it may dry out the area mold has chosen to make its home. If you have to turn off the HVAC unit for your building, try to keep some airflow going with fans.


Moisture

Mold needs moisture to survive. This dampness can come from many sources, including:

• Burst pipes
• Leaky faucets
• Broken supply lines
• Flooding

Even something as simple as high humidity in a building can cause mold to grow. If your facility has 70% humidity, you may want to find a way to reduce the moisture in the air.


High Temperatures

Warmth is another element loved by black mold and many other types of fungus. Sometimes the temperatures in empty warehouses or busy factories can get high. Whenever possible, try to keep your buildings below the mid-70s on the Fahrenheit scale to discourage the growth of mold


Darkness

Another environmental element that could lead to more appearances of mold is darkness. Darkness alone might not be enough to cause mold growth, but it is often associated with damp, stagnant places. The environment of your commercial building can play a big role in the development of mold.

Have a Mold Problem? Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby Today – (610) 352-0700


Why Choose SERVPRO of Upper Darby?

SERVPRO of Upper Darby is experienced in commercial mold remediation. We will work with you to minimize the impact of our services on your business. From estimates to abatement to billing, our highly trained professionals will guide you through the process with transparency and trust, and make your commercial property look "Like it never even happened.”

How Does Mold Containment Prevent Cross Contamination in a Commercial Property?

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

plastic containment set up with a SERVPRO logo SERVPRO of Upper Darby can respond quickly, working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building.

If you are dealing with mold contamination in a commercial property, a mold cleanup service may recommend containment. Containment can help prevent cross-contamination, such as the spread of mold to a new environment or the reintroduction of mold spores back into a structure that has been treated for mold. 

Containment Procedures During Mold Remediation Services

Turn off HVAC Systems and Fans

Adequate ventilation plays an important part in promoting drying after water damage and can prevent mold from developing. Once mold is present, however, you should turn off systems that circulate air from the contaminated portions of a structure to unaffected areas. If spores spread and find other moist surfaces conducive to growth, the mold problem in your commercial property may get worse. 

Seal Off Affected Areas

If a mold cleanup service discovers anywhere from 10 to 100 square feet of contamination in your property, they may recommend limited containment. This involves using a single layer of polyethylene sheeting to enclose the affected area as well as a slit entry and exterior flap. It is also important seal off air supplies as well as vents, doors, and pipe chases.

Build Negative Air Chambers to Create Negative Air Pressure

If more than 100 square feet of your property is contaminated or mold growth is extensive, cleanup specialists may create an airtight containment area. This involves plastic barriers and double layers of polyethylene. It may also require a decontamination chamber.
 

Conduct a General Cleanup
Throwing out porous objects, such as baseboards, drywall, and insulation, can be an effective isolation procedure during mold cleanup. While this process is not always categorized as control, it does help stop the spread of fungus.

Sometimes specialized air filters can be used to help isolate the mold problem. HEPA filters, for example, are fine filters that can catch spores and other particles. Regular filters might not be able to stop the spread of fungus, which is why it is so important to use expert-recommended products when trying to stop the spread of mold.

Commercial Mold Remediation

Understanding the containment procedures used to stop mold spores during mold cleanup may make you more comfortable with the commercial remediation process. The experts at SERVPRO of Upper Darby can provide more insight into mold remediation for your home or business. Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby at (610) 352-0700 

Why Choose SERVPRO of Upper Darby?

SERVPRO of Upper Darby is experienced in commercial mold remediation. We will work with you to minimize the impact of our services on your business. From estimates to abatement to billing, our highly trained professionals will guide you through the process with transparency and trust, and make your commercial property look "Like it never even happened.”