Hoarding and Biohazard
What this homeowner thought was a hoarding situation turned into a biohazard. It takes a company with the proper training and equipment to safely adr
Sometimes things become overwhelming and situations get unmanageable. When these times happen it's time to call SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge to get the professional help needed.
This current situation is of a homeowner in Throop that went to check on an elderly tenant and sadly found that she was not doing too well. After addressing her situation his next task was the house, but where to begin?
Many hoarding situations become a biohazard area and a non-trained person should not attempt to clean. At SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge we have the specialized training and certifications to safely and professionally address a hoarding and biohazard situations. We help make it "Like it never even happened."
So if you find yourself in an unmanageable and overwhelming situation call us. We are the Lackawanna County's leader in specialty cleaning and have the expertise, equipment and training to handle a hoarding situation like this example. Don't place yourself in danger. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge. We are "Always here to help".
So You Found Mold, Now What?
Mold from a untreated water disaster can be the ideal conditions for mold to grow. here it is manifesting itself onto the walls of this home .
So You’ve Found Mold, Now What?
The first thing you will want to do is determine the severity of the mold growth. The biggest red flag will be a musty or moldy smell. If this odor is present, you have mold. The second and most obvious tell-tale sign will be spotty, mold stained walls, floors, ceiling, etc.
Next, you will want to determine the source of the mold growth. Has a water leak occurred or was the mold as a result of home inactivity? If a water leak has occurred, it must be fixed as soon as possible. If the presence of mold is obvious, the most common practice for real estate agents is to have a third party inspection to assess the situation. Some agents have found it helpful to have the inspection conducted before putting the house on the market. This way, if a mold problem is found, it will give them a chance to properly assess the problem and determine the proper steps to remediate. If you do choose a mold remediation company, always look for qualified specialists that will follow the EPA guidelines for mold clean up. [EPA 402-K-02-003] (Note: It is NEVER recommended to use chlorine bleach (commonly known as laundry bleach) to treat mold growth. Bleach is extremely toxic and will only make the mold return worse than before.) A knowledgeable inspector will recommend cleaning the mold with a non-toxic detergent and then applying a moisture barrier to prevent any future mold growth. I can’t emphasize how important this step is and how it must not be overlooked. Cleaning is NEVER enough with mold. Applying a moisture barrier will keep away further mold growth and protect future homeowners from the many health hazards of toxic mold exposure. In some cases, if the mold has spread into the internal structure of the home, you may need to contact additional services to replace or repair the materials affected.
Review the Following Tips To Reduce Liability and Feel Confident You Have Taken the Proper Steps To Treat Mold
- During your personal inspection of the home, always pay attention to the presence of mold or mildew odors.
- Remember, cleaning is never enough! Dead or alive, mold spores can still remain allergenic. Always insist on a moisture barrier that penetrates deep into the cleaned material to protect against future mold growth.
- Always be weary of an inspector or remediation company that recommends the use of bleach to clean mold. The EPA and OSHA have advised against the use of bleach as an effective means to clean mold. [http://www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html] [https://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib101003.html]
- It is always good to insist that a potential buyer have his or her own independent inspection conducted. If it is agreed upon that the buyer will remediate the problem, never settle for the “what if’s” in an unqualified mold remediation company. Educate the buyer! Share your knowledge about the hazards of bleach and help them decide on the proper products/company to use. In some states, real estate agents can be liable for years after the sale of a home. Using the proper products to clean and prevent mold will give you the peace of mind that the job was done correctly and the mold will not return.
Equipped with the basic knowledge of mold and how to properly treat and prevent it, you will be much better prepared to tackle disclosure and possible liability issues.
If you need advice call SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge, Lackawanna Counties premier mold Remediation Company.
5 Things Facility Managers Should Know About Preparing for a Natural Disaster.
Courtesy of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA): We have just experienced two major hurricanes here in the United States over the last several weeks, and are sure that there will be more natural disasters in our future. The responsibility for preparedness is a whole-community approach that rests on the shoulders of many stakeholders. Each segment of the community has a role in prevention, mitigation, response, continuity and recovery that can be addressed in a holistic manner. Facility managers are a vital cog in this chain. NFPA 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, one of NFPA’s most widely implemented standards, establishes a common set of criteria that sets a foundation for disaster management, emergency management, and business continuity programs using a total program approach (plus the PDF version of this standard is free to download!). Here are five things to consider as you prepare, respond, and recover from a major hurricane: 1) The most important thing to do is prepare and know you are part of a larger community and you need to help each other. As outlined in chapter 5 of NFPA 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity/Continuity of Operations Programs conduct a risk assessment, business impact analysis, and resource needs assessment before the event occurs. This will give you an idea of what you are facing and what you will need prior to the event. 2) Know your stakeholders; These are the people that utilize your facility every day. Poll them to know what their plans are and let them know what yours are. Keep track of those that are staying and make sure to account for anyone with access and functional needs. 3) Talk to your neighbors; keep track of local emergency management’s instructions and follow them. If you have capabilities and services to offer, let them know. Also, if you have resource needs, let them know. Being a good neighbor for others may save the life of one of your stakeholders or that of one of your neighbors in the event of a disaster. 4) Communicate; As early as possible, activate your plan and make sure that your stakeholders are aware of it. Assure that they know their roles and expectations if any. If you are operating a facility that is a critical infrastructure location, make sure that your on-duty staff have (to the best of their ability) secured the safety of their family and pets so that they can focus on the tasks at hand. Be sure that your support of this effort is communicated to them. For more see NFPA 1600 Annex K.5.) Trust the plan, but don’t let it hold you back; Even the best and smartest emergency preparedness planner can’t think of everything, and we know that mother nature isn’t interested in their best intentions. Your plan may be a script, but you will need to be flexible and make decisions and improvisations based on the need of the event. At the end of the day remember:
- The time of the emergency is not when you should be exchanging business cards for the first time with your local partners.
- Take care of you and your own first, so you can focus on the rest.
- All plans and activities are fluid and dynamic based on the needs of the event.
An indoor flood caused by a busted water pipe. We were called by the facilities director to ensure the building was safe for and dry.
Information courtesy of https://www.ready.gov/floods
This page explains what actions to take when you receive a flood watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a flood.
Know your Risk
Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods including heavy rain or snowmelt, coastal storms and storm surge, waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice, or overflow of levees, dams, or waste water systems, Flooding can occur slowly over many days or happen very quickly with little or no warning, called flash floods.
Flooding can happen in any U.S. state or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, stream, or culvert; along a coast; or downstream from a dam or levee.
Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (i.e., June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.
Basic Safety Tips
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
- Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
Steps to Take
Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
Prepare Your Home
Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
- If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.
Flood Warning = "Take Action!" Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.
Steps to Take
After a flood
Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.
When it is not flooding: Make a flood plan
SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is available 24/7/365 to meet any flood disaster at your home or business in the Lackawanna County area.
Know your flood risk
Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
Make a flood emergency plan for the relevant type/s of local flood risk with plans such as evacuation, shelter, locations for high ground.
Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a minimum of 3 days of food and water, flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
Consider buying flood insurance.
Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.
WNEP News Story-Allied Services
When a water disaster affects a prominent Scranton business, SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge gets the call and some extra news publicity as well. It is always a bonus when our hard working crews can be recognized locally with a news story outlining the work we do on a daily basis helping homes and businesses recover from disasters.
Allied Services outpatient clinic experiences a busted sprinkler head in it's Dickson City location. We were able to respond to the call and limit their business interruption. Responding quickly saves time and money and SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is available 24/7/365. We are always "Here to help".
WNEP was kind enough to do this story showcasing our franchise.
The SERVPRO team being interviewed on WNEP-TV regarding the current cold spell and broken pipes. SERVPRO-WNEP TV Story
Benefits of Cleaning Your HVAC Duct System
This is a picture of an HVAC duct before we cleaned it. How is your indoor air quality?
Top Benefits of HVAC Cleaning
NADCA’s rule of thumb for consumers is that “if your ducts look dirty, they probably are,” and that dirty HVAC systems should be inspected by a reputable, certified HVAC professional. Below are some other reasons homeowners choose to have their air ducts cleaned.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is one concern that homeowners have when they decide to investigate air duct cleaning. In a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through everyday living. Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system taken air in and breathes air out.
Through normal occupation in a home, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work.
While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home, school or workplace, they may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use.
When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.
SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is Northeastern Pennsylvania's premier specialty cleaning company. We provide free estimate for any air duct cleaning and offer preventive maintenance programs for both air and dryer ducts. We service all of Lackawanna and Susquehanna Counties.
Speciality Cleaning is Our Speciality
When the job is too dangerous, call us. We have the specialized training and equipment to handle any size disaster.
SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge does more than just smoke, fire and water cleanup and restoration. We are a specialty cleaning company with the motto: "If you can't clean it....We will."
If a home or business is a product of a hoarding situation or the tenant has lost the ability to maintain it, call us at (570) 235-1646. Unfortunately, many of these situations turn into bio-hazard situation and become serious health issues. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge has the equipment and training to meet the demands for these types of jobs.
From hoarding, vandalism to crime scene and death cleanup we have the training and expertise to handle the situation. If the job is too big or too dangerous call us and let a specialty cleaning company like SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge help make it "Like it never even happened." We service Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties 24/7/365.
September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month, an annual awareness event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). here at SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge we believe this is a great time for business owners to review their emergency preparedness and business continuity plans. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge points to startling statistics like this one to emphasize the importance of advance planning: according to FEMA, as many as 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a major flood disaster.*
"Business owners who think they are prepared for an emergency because exits are clearly marked and fire or flood drills are parts of the regular routine really need to take another look at their preparations," said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc. chief executive officer. "A comprehensive emergency plan also contains critical information about the location of shut-off valves, fire suppression system controls, emergency contact numbers and more -- information that can save emergency responders precious time and help contain damage and minimize injury."
Because SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge knows the time to create a disaster readiness plan is before you need it, they have developed the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. The business owner works with SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge to gather and document information that will become critical if a disaster strikes. Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO free smartphone app.
"For a business to survive and thrive, it needs to get back to business as soon as possible after a disaster strikes," said Steen. "With an ERP in place, SERVPRO's Disaster Response teams can immediately assess the situation and take the first critical steps to protect employees from harm and property from further damage, setting the business on the road to recovery."
SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge professionals specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it "Like it never even happened," for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on the SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program, please visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp.
Call SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge at (570) 235-1646 for your no cost/no obligation Emergency Readiness Plan. (570) 235-1646 to schedule an appointment. Proudly serving the businesses of Lackawanna County.
Why Clean Your HVAC Ducts?
An inside of an HVAC duct line at a business in Scranton.
Top Benefits of HVAC Air Duct Cleaning NADCA’s rule of thumb for consumers is that “if your ducts look dirty, they probably are,. Below are some other reasons homeowners choose to have their air ducts cleaned.
Indoor Air Quality: Indoor air quality is one concern that homeowners have when they decide to investigate air duct cleaning. In a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through everyday living. Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system takes air in and breathes air out. Through normal occupation in a home, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work. While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home, school or workplace, they may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies. Energy Savings According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn't have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.
SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton areas premier specialty cleaning company. We offer free estimates and competitive rates. Call us at (570) 235-1646.
Prevent Mold Growth Inside the HVAC Duct lines
An inside view of an HVAC duct line at a business in Scranton, PA.
Prevent Growth of Mold in Your Heating and Air Conditioning System
Depending on the situation and where the mold tends to grow, keep in mind the following principles of mold prevention in your heating and air conditioning system:
- Change the air filter regularly, typically every 2-3 months. Filters capture fine particles, which can create a place for mold to grow.
- Run a dehumidifier. This is helpful, especially in areas that tend to be damp and cool.
- Insulate if possible. By insulating air ducts, especially in a damp place like crawl spaces, the air immediately around the duct will be kept at a similar temperature and will reduce the amount of condensation. This works for cooling coils also.
- Hire a professional to clean the HVAC system, including the air ducts.
SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton areas premier specialty cleaning company. We do both mold remediation and duct cleaning (dryer and air) and service the Lackawanna county area and offer free HVAC duct cleaning estimates.