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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Water Happens, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County can help!

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

When water strikes it can affect your personal belongings One that can be a real pain to deal with is your mattress.  Before you start to take the steps to recovery you may want to decide if it is worth it.  Some things you may want to consider are the price and age.  If you have a cheaper or older mattress it may just easier to get a new one rather than restore the wet one. Depending on the material of the mattress it may be a lot more difficult to dry out cotton, foam, or rubber ones.  Mattress's with springs dry out much easier.  Finally the extent of the damage, sometimes it's just to serious and easier to get rid of the mattress. It is important to act quickly if you decide save the mattress.  Calling SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will save you a lot of pain and struggle.  Having the proper equipment to dry out the mattress properly.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will have your mattress completely dry and odor free in no time! We are here to help!

Three types of contaminated water

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know there are different types of water? 

A common water damage scenario is sewage backups. Below are the three types of contaminated water: 

Category 1:  "Clean water" 

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated immediately, the water can turn into a category 2 or category 3. 

Category 2: "Gray Water" 

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Be aware this water may contain bacteria and viruses

Examples include:

  • Washing machine overflow
  • Toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces
  • Dishwasher overflow

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes

Examples include: 

  • Flooding from rivers or streams
  • Water from beyond the toilet trap
  • Water from the toilet bowl with feces
  • Standing water that has begun to support microbial growth

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County professionals are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are water damage restoration specialists with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.

Commercial Space? We can help!

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County is being called on by numerous businesses and community leaders to perform the necessary bioremediation services to clean, disinfect and sanitize their properties. SERVPRO uses EPA approved products and follows the CDC guidelines cleanup practices. If you are interested in inquiring about our services we’re here to help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while life gets back to normal in the communities we all call home.


The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line meet this standard and carry the EPA-registered emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC.


SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.


The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces.

Mold in Commercial Space

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

There are many different types of mold.  A common one that can be growing inside your commercial business is known as Botrytis mold, also known as gray mold.  It can be found almost anywhere that plants are being grown including inside your business. It can spread easily through wind and water, and grow on a variety of surfaces.  It first appears as a white fuzzy color rapidly turning to gray, and sometimes even brown.  Like most molds Botrytis thrives in moisture and attacks the weak part of a plant and spreads to the healthy areas.  Some frequent household foods that are affected are strawberries, grapes, lettuce, onions, and cabbage.  Botrytis mold is highly allergenic.  Because of all these issue, it is very important for this mold to be removed right away.  At first sight any infected plant must be removed and disposed of to stop any further growth.  To make sure your home is completely mold free contacting SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County is a smart decision.  We can have one of our trained professionals out to your building to run air quality tests, and identify any mold issue that you may be dealing with.  Once this is done if there is any mold that is found our team at SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County will be ready to remove and treat the affected area.  Keeping your building mold free is the way to be!

Commercial space is no issue for us!

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in Allentown and Western Lehigh County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property as soon as possible to make it look "Like it never even happened."

Are you afraid you might have water damage in your home or business?

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Here are some signs of water damage.

  • Do you feel any unusual dips or soft spots while walking? 
  • Has there been an increase in your water bill?
  • Is there an unpleasant smell or increased humidity?
  • Do you hear sounds of water? 
  • Are you noticing dark spots?
  • Is there cracking, bubbling or flaking? 

If you observe any of these signs, it is important to take care of it immediately to avoid more damage. If you wait to respond more damage can occur costing you more to fix it. Whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a water damage contractor, start repairing the damage as soon as possible. 

If you observe these signs, call SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County to inspect the property. During our inspection, we will provide the customer with the next step to address the concern. We are able to use our specialized equipment to properly dry out your property. 

Fire Safety Tips

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Fires can be devastating to you and your family. Here are some tips for fire safety:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. 
  • Make sure to change the batteries of the smoke detectors. 
  • Always practice your escape plan with your family, including your pets. 
  • If a fire occurs, escape your house as soon as possible and never go back inside for anything or anyone. 
  • Don’t leave burning candles unattended. 
  • Secure your wires out of sight of your pet, as you do not want them to mistake them for a chew toy. 

According to the American Red Cross, the leading cause of a fire is cooking fires. Always be mindful when you are cooking. You should always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking, such as frying, grilling or broiling food. 

Fire! SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County can help!

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Fires can cause stress to home owners or property managers. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has trained professionals to help you during this devastating circumstance. We have 24/7 emergency response service.

The first step to a fire damage restoration is to contact SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County. Next, our professionals will go to your property to inspect the damage caused by a fire. After that, we will board up missing windows, walls and tarp the damaged roof. This is to ensure security and to stop further damage to your property. If water is in the home, we remove it with our specialized equipment and techniques. We remove smoke or soot followed by cleaning and sanitizing your home or business. The final step is to make it look “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is a Chamber of Commerce member.

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO worker with their dog Our Digital Marketing Manager, Molley attended this event with her dog, Karl!

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is a proud member of the Chamber of Commerce. We take pride in being active in our community, which is why we have been members of the Chamber of Commerce. With this being said, we attend ribbon cutting ceremonies, grand openings and sponsor local events.

We recently sponsored an event to raise money for The Sanctuary at Haafsville, a local animal shelter. The Sanctuary at Haafsville is a volunteer-based organization that keeps animals safe until they find their forever home. They depend on fundraising to help cover the cost of spaying or neuter surgeries, vaccinations, fleas or parasite treatments and heartworm testing. 

At this event, we interacted with our community while handing out waste bag dispensers. 

In addition, we are involved in the Chamber’s committee. We are happy to be active in the Chamber of Commerce and looking forward to attending upcoming events.

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County was Top Dog!

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO staff at a table This is our table we had at the Paws at the Park event!

On May 16th, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County sponsored the first annual Paws at the Park event hosted by Western Lehigh Chamber of Commerce, Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and The Sanctuary of Haafsville. 

This event was held to raise money for the Sanctuary of Haafsville. This facility has cats and dogs looking for their furever homes. We were honored to be the Top Dog Sponsor at this event. In addition to our love for animals, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has sponsored this event as we deal directly with the indoor upkeep with owning a pet. Specifically, we specialize in pet odor removal for new home buyers, pet dander/allergen cleaning, carpet cleaning and duct cleaning services.

Our staff enjoyed having a table and interacting with our community. We handed out dog waste bag dispensers. 

Water Damage? SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County can help you!

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

House with water damage House with Water Damage

Water leaks within a house or business can seep into carpet, flooring, baseboards, and walls while moving throughout the structure. We use advanced drying equipment and techniques to ensure we get your house or business back to pre-water-damage condition. We can detect hidden moisture. 

Quick response time helps ensure that damage is contained and the restoration process begins promptly. We firmly believe that you cannot waste time when it comes to water damage. As soon as water damages occur, contact us immediately! 

Here are ours steps in the water damage process: 

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment

Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification 

Step 5: Cleaning and Repair

Step 6: Restoration

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will be able to identify water regardless of where it hides. We offer 24-hour emergency response from our trained professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Call us today at 610-776-7774!

Storm? Call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County!

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is here for you, your loved ones and your home. We know storms can be devastating and leave you with nothing. We want to take the time to share some information about what to do when you are experiencing a storm. 

What to Do After a Hurricane

Find your loved ones. ...

Don't go home until it's safe. ...

Document the damage. ...

Contact your insurance company. ...

Apply for assistance. ...

Stay out of the water. ...

Prevent further damage. ...

Listen to local clean up news and advisories.

Standard homeowners policies cover wind damage. So, if hurricane winds or tornadoes wreck your home, you should be OK. However, if a storm surge or flood carries off your house, a standard policy won't make you whole. You'll still have a mortgage if your house is destroyed by flooding.

Fill your bathtub with water, unless you have little children. This water can be used for drinking, washing, and flushing the toilet. Water supplies are often compromised by hurricanes and either become undrinkable or stop flowing.

Stay Safe After a Hurricane or Other Tropical Storm

Stay out of floodwater.

Never use a wet electrical device.

If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Be careful near damaged buildings.

Stay away from power lines.

Protect yourself from animals and pests.

Drink safe water. Eat safe food.

If you have no flood insurance, FEMA's IHP grant will help you in a specific set of ways after a flood or other disaster. ... This is much less coverage than NFIP flood insurance, which covers up to $250,000 to repair or replace your home and belongings.

Once the storm clears, call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to help you!

Soot Happens!

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Ultrasonic Machine with items with soot to be cleaned. This is our Ultrasonic Machine to clean your items!

A fire can cause soot and smoke damage to the structure and personal belongings. Fires can be traumatic leaving homeowners, renters or landlords stressed. 

What is soot? Soot is a black powder 

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has specialized equipment and highly trained technicians to remove soot or smoke damage from ceilings, walls and other structures. 

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has an ultrasonic cleaning machine to clean your personal belongings, such as electronics, knickknacks, window blind cleaning, chandeliers, dishes, antiques, etc.   

Step 1: Electric lift lowers the baskets into the water. 

Step 2: Once the baskets are in the water, they are cleaned by ultrasonic energy to scrub particles off of the items. 

Step 3: The baskets are raised out of the water by the electric lifts.

Step 4: The baskets are moved to another machine that lifts them down into water to be rinsed. 

Step 5: Items are lifted out of the water and will be moved to a table for the final step. 

Step 6: Drying the items.

Call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County today at 610-776-7774!

Storm Damage!

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. We have highly trained staff and specialized equipment to restore your property!  We have 24 hour emergency service. 

Faster to any disaster: 

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Storms: 

When storms hit Lehigh County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

We can help you with your storm damage! Call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County at 610-776-7774!

Commercial Services! SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County can help!

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County offers cleaning services for commercial and residential properties.

Our cleaning specialists can deep clean bathrooms, kitchens, offices, carpet and upholstery cleaning, air duct cleaning, odor removal, sewage and biohazard clean up. We can handle tough grime, odor and moisture. We also specialize in fire and water damages cleanups. 

Someone vandalized your business or property, no problem just another one of the many cleaning/removal jobs our crew will take care of. We want to take care of our community and want you to know that we are here for your home and business 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Give us a call, and we will have a crew immediately out to help and clean in any way possible to get the facility back to running during regular business hours.

Trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County!

Storm Damage Professionals!

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Storms occur and we will be able to respond quickly to any disaster! We specialize in flooding and storm damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage and storm restoration training that allows us to get your home back to normal quickly.

At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County, we can restore storm and flood-damaged properties. Our highly trained professionals have the skills and expertise to restore your home or business. We can mitigate, remediate, abate, cleanup, and reconstruction services. 

Locally owned company with National Storm resources: 

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Emmaus community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.

We are proud to serve our local communities: Emmaus, Macungie, Fogelsville, Zionsville, Coopersburg, Center Valley, Alburtis, Breingsville and Trexlertown.

Why SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County?

4/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been helping homeowners and businesses since 1967. There are over 1700 franchises nationwide. We offer 24-hour emergency service. Our staff is trained to walk you through the job process and then work quickly to restore your property. 

Our staff consist of technicians, crew leads, production managers, Estimator, Operations Manager, Administrative Assistant and a Digital Marketer and Content Creator. 

Our production team undergo extensive training, including Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Certified. 

We have specialized equipment to tackle any sized job. We offer services for residential and commercial property. 

We offer the following services: fire, smoke and soot cleanup and restoration, water removal and dehumidification, crime scene, biohazard, vandalism cleanup, Mold mitigation and remediation, contents cleaning, air duct and HVAC cleaning and more. 

Call us today at 610-776-7774!

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County- IICRC Certified!

4/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is an IICRC firm. What is an IICRC certified firm? The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. 

As a IICRC Certified firm we present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County, we take pride in our work. Our staff has the skills and communication to handle any job. 

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Storm Damage? SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County can help!

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

A storm can cause damage to your house or business. When damage occurs you need to take action quickly. You may feel stressed after your property was affected by a storm. However, it needs to be handled fast and effectively. First, check how much damage is done. It is important to check every inch of your property to ensure proper repairs are made. 

Safety first! When you are checking the damage you should avoid electrical equipment. If you observe any cracks on the roof, do not stand under or close to the affected area. 

Contact your insurance! As you are in the house, you will want to take pictures as proof of damage for your insurance company. In addition, they will most likely send an insurance adjuster to your property to examine the damage. 

You will want to call professionals in to clean and restore your home. Who are you going to call? SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County! Why SERVPRO? You should call us because we are faster to any size disaster and offer 24-hour emergency service! 

Call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County at 610-776-7774!

Why SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County?

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning Supplies These are some of our specialized cleaning products!

We are family owned and operated. Charles and Donna Doyle purchased their first SERVPRO franchise in 2005.  Since then they own multiple franchises, including locations/territories in Allentown, Philadelphia, Carbon County, Pocono Pines and Mount Holly/Burlington Township. 

Our team includes certified Technicians, Crew Leads and Production Managers. In our office, we have Administrative Assistants and a Digital Marketer and Content Creator to handle the behind the scenes work. 

An emergency can happen causing a lot of money to fix it. Do not worry, we can work with your insurance to perform the work needed to restore your home. We make your claim stress free and help manage the insurance process and paperwork. 

We understand an emergency might occur at an inconvenient time. That’s why we have 24/7 emergency service! Our professionals are trained to respond quickly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays! Faster to any size disaster!

Does your business need our services? Does your house need our services? No problem! We can provide quality work to residential or commercial properties!

In order to provide quality work, we have to have advanced restoration and cleaning equipment! From air movers to specialized cleaning agents. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has them!

Need our services? Call us at 610-776-7774!

Commercial Cleaning for Retail Spaces

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

A retail store with white floors and clothing racks. As America’s #1 cleanup and restoration brand, SERVPRO can keep your retail space clean.

Your business's appearance speaks volumes to potential customers. A clean and sanitary store leaves a positive impression that is guaranteed to generate greater sales.

With employees and customers coming in and out of your store all day, it is no surprise that retail spaces are a hotbed for germs. In the era of Covid-19, customers have especially high expectations when it comes to retail cleanliness. As America’s #1 cleanup and restoration brand, we’re here to help.

At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County, we provide a range of commercial cleaning services, including:

  • Air Ducts and HVAC
  • Biohazard
  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Ceilings, Floors, and Walls
  • Covid-19 Decontamination
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Odor Removal
  • Sewage
  • Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Vandalism

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is our defensive cleaning program backed by over 50 years of experience. We use EPA-approved products, including our proprietary cleaning agent SERVPROXIDE, a hospital-grade disinfectant. So whether you’ve experienced a property damage or have sanitization concerns, we have the expertise to keep your retail space clean. Call us today at 610-776-7774 for more information and a complementary estimate.

Our Commercial Decontamination Services Keep Your Business Operating Safely

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee in hazmat suit decontaminates floor using sprayer. SERVPRO professionals are uniquely prepared to clean and disinfect your business.

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is here to help protect your customers and employees from Covid-19 with our commercial decontamination services. In the event of a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19, we have the tools to keep your business operating safely.

With years of experience dealing with biological contaminants, we are uniquely prepared to clean and disinfect your business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. Our staff is trained to perform a proactive cleanup that involves the use of hospital-grade disinfectant that is NSF certified for direct food contact surface use. We go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform to deliver a higher standard of clean.

During the early stages of the pandemic, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County’s decontamination services were covered by Lehigh Valley’s local newspaper, The Morning Call. Since then, we’ve helped many local businesses impacted by the pandemic operate safely. If you’d like to read the article, visit this link: https://www.mcall.com/coronavirus/mc-nws-coronavirus-impact-on-cleaning-services

The decontamination procedure generally includes: cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, supplies and all high-touchpoint surfaces. 

For further details on this process and a complementary estimate, please contact us today at 610-776-7774. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County, ensuring the safe operation of your business is our business.

What happens next?

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Every fire damage event is different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact: The restoration process begins when you call the SERVPRO Customer Care Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day. 

Step 2:Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment: Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test all rooms of your property to determine the extent of the smoke, soot, and fire damage

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service:  To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we may board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present): The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces: We will use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from all surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing: Our professionals will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire.

Step 7: Restoration: The final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition.  

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible.

How do you prepare for when disaster strikes?

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.

At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. 

Sourced from www.Everydayhealth.com, below are 4 things to do before a disaster strikes:

1. Learn Evacuation routes: Be sure to contact your local officials and find out how you should get out of your area if you need to.

2. Have a family emergency plan: it down and talk about the emergencies that are most likely to happen in your area. Determine how your family will react in each situation.

3. Assemble an emergency kit: In a tote or other easy-to-carry bag, store copies of important documents such as birth certificates, photo identification, medical cards, cash and extra checks, spare keys, an extra supply of prescription medications, a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food (don't forget pet food), a first-aide kit a flashlight, matches, blankets, and changes of clothing.

4.Keep your gas tank filled: Since you will likely need your automobile to evacuate your area, it is a good rule of thumb to always refill your gas tank when it dips below half.

How to recover after a fire damage

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

If you are dealing with fire damage from any commercial or residential building fires, the experienced team at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is ready to respond. Since we are locally owned and operated, we are prepared for damage from any fire in the Lehigh County and the surrounding areas, and are able to respond quickly. Immediate action and a fast response can limit damage, prevent further damage and reduce restoration costs. 

Sourced from www.RedCross.org, below are 4 steps you should take immediately after a home fire. 

1. Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection. 

2. Let friends and family know you’re safe.

3. People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.

4. Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.

As fire and water damage specialists, our business is built upon fire and water restoration expertise. We have the knowledge and the specialized equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition.

Have any questions? Call us today - 610 776 7774

Three types of contaminated water

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to natural disasters. Regardless of the source, SERVPRO Professionals can handle any size disaster.

A common water damage scenario is sewage backups. Below are the three types of contaminated water: 

Category 1:  "Clean water" 

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated immediately, the water can turn into a category 2 or category 3. 

Category 2: "Gray Water" 

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Be aware this water may contain bacteria and viruses

Examples include:

  • Washing machine overflow
  • Toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces
  • Dishwasher overflow

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes

Examples include: 

  • Flooding from rivers or streams
  • Water from beyond the toilet trap
  • Water from the toilet bowl with feces
  • Standing water that has begun to support microbial growth

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County professionals are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are water damage restoration specialists with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.

Our unique 3 C's

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, our new defensive pathogen cleaning program, goes way beyond standard janitorial cleaning practices. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning. With over 50 years of experience in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination, you can trust SERVPRO professionals to bring a higher standard of clean to the places we gather.

So how does it work? It’s grounded in our unique 3 C’s:

  • Consult: Not all businesses are the same, so we’ll tailor a bespoke cleaning program based on the unique needs of each facility.

  • Clean: Based on the agreed plan, an expert deep clean is initiated using our proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions and always adhering to the leading level of cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC.

  • Certify: You’ll know a business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned by the shield posted on their front window. Along with digital emblems and other collateral, this beacon represents their commitment to the comfort and security of their employees, customers and community.

So when you see the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield, you can walk in with confidence. Because you’ll know the #1 choice in clean up and restoration was there.

Your local SERVPRO Professional will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:

  • Award-winning training
  • Over 40 years’ experience in the industry
  • More than 100 exclusive cleaning products

Keeping Your Property Safe During The Winter

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared, and help take the sting out of winter weather. Check your property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injury.  Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.  Ask SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County about completing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

How An ERP Can Save Your Property

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

What is an ERP you ask, well it stands for Emergency Ready Profiles.  These are very beneficial to property manager and building engineers in large commercial buildings.  Having a ready plan in place can save your business and building. A trained SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County staff member will walk through the building with you, and fill out all the information needed.  After completion all you have to do is download an App on your phone or tablet, and you will have all the information one click away.  Paper versions are also available.  These ERP's come in handy when an emergency occurs and someone may not be familiar with the building, and needs important information.  It also helps out our SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County crew members when going into an unfamiliar building. Providing them all the information they need to get the job done correctly. Changes and updates can always be made by anyone with access through the App whenever they may be needed.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.  We have had the damage, and cost significantly dropped from ERP's being available to a building. Just remember this is all done at no charge to you or your building, and is super helpful!

Learn More About Flooding

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Even if you live in a low risk area, it's important to remember that anywhere it rains, you can experience flooding. Below are a 6 quick facts to learn more about flooding. 

Quick facts to learn more about flooding: 

1. All 50 states are subject to flash floods. No region is safe from flooding.

2. 5. Flooding is caused by heavy rains, snow melt runoffs, flash floods, or mudflows. 

3.To stay safe during a flood, go to the highest ground of floor possible. If your skin comes in contact with flood water, make sure to wash it with soap and disinfected water.

4. Floods are the most widespread natural disaster aside from wildfires.

5. In preparation for a flood, it is important to stock up on first aid items, non-perishable foods, battery operated radio for weather reports, 3 gallons of water for 3 days, extra batteries, and personal hygiene items. 

6. Flash floods can bring walls of water from 10 to 20 feet high.

Don't forget that you can count on SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to be there to help with all the after affect cleanup. This means removing any standing water, properly drying the water damaged areas, and making sure no mold begins to grow. 

How to Identify Mold in Your Commercial Property & How SERVPRO Can Help

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

There are many different types of mold.  A common one that can be growing inside your commercial business is known as Botrytis mold, also known as gray mold.  It can be found almost anywhere that plants are being grown including inside your business. It can spread easily through wind and water, and grow on a variety of surfaces.  It first appears as a white fuzzy color rapidly turning to gray, and sometimes even brown.  Like most molds Botrytis thrives in moisture and attacks the weak part of a plant and spreads to the healthy areas.  Some frequent household foods that are affected are strawberries, grapes, lettuce, onions, and cabbage.  Botrytis mold is highly allergenic.  Because of all these issue, it is very important for this mold to be removed right away.  At first sight any infected plant must be removed and disposed of to stop any further growth.  To make sure your home is completely mold free contacting SERVPRO of Western Lehigh county is a smart decision.  We can have one of our trained professionals out to your building to run air quality tests, and identify any mold issue that you may be dealing with.  Once this is done if there is any mold that is found our team at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will be ready to remove and treat the affected area.  Keeping your building mold free is the way to be!

Fire Safety Tips for Your Household Dryer

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we care about your safety of you and your family. Dryer safety is important to know.  Not maintaining a dryer properly can result in a potential fire hazard. Here are some tips to keep your dryer safe from any potential fire, and keep your family safe.  

  • Have a professional install and repair the dryer
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter
  • Always clean the lint filter before/after loads
  • Clean any loose or accumulating lint in and around the drum
  • Rigid or flexible metal should be used in venting for proper use and drying for the dryer
  • If clothing takes longer than usual check the vent pipe for any possible blockages
  • Never leave a dryer left on during the night while sleeping or when away from your home

These are great tips to follow and a great way to prevent fire happening in the home.  Although it is our job to help mitigate and restore after a fire.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County would much rather have everyone be safe and not see someone have to deal with fire damage. 

How to Classify a Water Damage

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Classes of water losses are determined by the rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected by water damage to your property. Determining the Class of Water is an important first step for SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County, and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to restore your business. There are four IICRC water damage classifications, they are as follows:

Class 1 - Slow Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or losses with lower permanence/porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, vinyl composition tile or VCT, concrete). Little or no wet carpet or cushion is present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, releasing moisture slowly.

Class 2 - Fast Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect an entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12" - 24". There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, concrete).

Class 3 - Fastest Evaporation Rate
Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor in the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations
These consist of wet materials with very low permanence/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, and crawlspace). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.

Call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County today if you experience any of these at anytime. We have all the certified equipment and staff to make sure your water damage is taken care of in no time at all.  An untreated water damage can lead to mold growth and no one wants to go down that road.  

How to Handle a Flood Before, During, and After.

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

We have been dealing with a lot of rain this summer. Which means many people will be dealing with some type of flooding issue. Floods can happen at anytime, and be caused from a variety of circumstances. Whether it's from all the rain we have been getting, or from an inside source in the building. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County wants to provide a list of safety tips for before, during, and after a flood.

Before

  • Make sure any cracks or openings to the building are sealed securely.
  • Clean out all gutters, drains, and downspouts.
  • If there is a sump pump in the building, make sure it is working properly, and have an automatic secondary backup.  Sump Pump failure is one of the biggest causes of floods in basements.
  • Create an emergency plan with a designated meeting place

During

  • Move any valuables or items that you don't want damaged to a higher area.
  • Shut off electrical, furnace, gas and water, and disconnect appliances if safe.
  • If serious enough not only move items to raised area, but move yourself to higher ground or evacuate the building safely. 
  • Always remain calm and listen for any updates if the flooding is serious enough
  • If you are driving never drive through moving water.  Although you think you can make it, water is much stronger than you think. 

After

  • Clean, disinfect and dry every flood-contaminated room.
  • Look for signs of mold contamination.
  • Keep fans running to dry affected areas
  • Remove pooled water and damaged materials
  • Report the damage to your insurance provider and local municipality.

Hopefully these tips will help you stay safe when floods do occur. Don't forget that you can count on SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to be there to help with all the after affect cleanup. This means removing any standing water, properly drying the water damaged areas, and making sure no mold begins to grow.

What is a Green Roof and How it Will Benefit Your Property

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Storm water runoff is among the highest causes of basement flooding.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County professionals are called out to more homes and businesses impacted by storm water flood damaging their properties; as rural areas continue to develop into urban sprawl, it's important to think green and continue to invest in sustainable construction options such as green roofs.  

So what are the benefits of having a Green Roof? Although the structural, waterproofing, and drainage requirements of green roofs will always make them more expensive than traditional roofs, green roofs offer significant long-term economical and environmental advantages that more than justify the higher initial cost:

• Green roofs are visually attractive. The variegated coloring of flowers, grasses, and wild herbs is more appealing than stark black or white monolithic surfaces. Green roofs can transform urban wastelands into urban gardens.??• Green roofs are energy-efficient. They are cool in the summer and can be as effective as white roofs in reducing the urban heat island effect. The thermal mass of the soil reduces heat gain and loss by isolating the building from temperature extremes.

• Green roofs are permanent. By shielding the waterproofing from the sun and reducing temperature swings. Imagine the plants soaking up all the sun instead of a normal roof which will raise the temperature in the building.

• Green roofs significantly reduce storm water runoff, typically retaining half to three-quarters of the annual rainfall and retarding the runoff of most of the remainder.

Just think of how much nicer your roof will look, and the amount of flood damage they can reduce

Commercial Sewage Backup

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

If you have any type of building small or large you are bound to run into type of sewage problem.  For smaller buildings and homes the actual damage may not be so large, but it can leave behind some not so pleasant smells. For the larger buildings that may be located in the city damages can come in all sizes.  Especially when you are dealing with a main city sewage line.  These can cause not only terrible odors, but huge cleanups as well.  Whether a small or large scale backup, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is ready to dive in to get the waste out!  Extracting whatever kind of waste is present is the first line of duty.  Followed by extreme power washing to make sure no residue is left behind.  If any is missed the smell with return and linger around.  Finally after everything is washed and wiped down its time to get rid of that smell.  Using special chemicals that are made to rid the area of the smell and keep it that way! When stuck in a sticky and smelly situation call on SERVPRO of Western Lehigh county to do the dirty work!

Always Stay Fire Prepared!

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Fire spreads quickly. If a fire breaks out in your home, there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life threatening. In five minutes, your home can be up in flames. Be prepared for a fire before it starts.

Top tips to stay prepared
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside bedrooms, at the top of open stairways, and at the bottom of stairways that are closed in between two walls.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries twice a year. Make it a habit when you reset your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
  • Replace your smoke alarms once every 10 years.
  • Plan and review your home escape routes with your family. Practice getting out of each room.
  • Check that windows are not nailed or painted shut. If you have security gratings or burglar bars on windows, make sure they have a fire safety opening feature and can be easily opened from the inside.
  • Think about getting escape ladders if your home has more than one level.
  • Teach your family to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer) when getting away from a fire.
  • Put A-B-C-type fire extinguishers in your home and teach family members how to use them.
  • Put heaters at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire. Be very careful when using temporary heating sources like space heaters.
  • Make sure your home is insured. If you rent, consider buying renter’s insurance.

Just know that if you do suffer a fire damage, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will be ready at a moments notice to get your property back to normal. 

How to Handle a Water Damaged Mattress

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can affect just about any household item.  One that can be a real pain to deal with is your mattress.  Before you start to take the steps to recovery you may want to decide if it is worth it.  Some things you may want to consider are the price and age.  If you have a cheaper or older mattress it may just easier to get a new one rather than restore the wet one. Depending on the material of the mattress it may be a lot more difficult to dry out cotton, foam, or rubber ones.  Mattress's with springs dry out much easier.  Finally the extent of the damage, sometimes it's just to serious and easier to get rid of the mattress. It is important to act quickly if you decide save the mattress.  Calling SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will save you a lot of pain and struggle.  Having the proper equipment to dry out the mattress properly.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will have your mattress completely dry and odor free in no time!

Fire Vandalism Clean Up

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County understands your hardships and wants you to know we have a staff that is willing to do what ever it takes to get you back up and running. This means providing services at any time during almost any situation at hand.  We are always there to help fix the disaster that has taken place.

We offer all services from pressure washing graffiti off of walls to bio hazard cleanings to boarding up fires and rebuilding a facility. Our staff here can clean up the smoke damages by using chemical treatment and taking down charred and damaged. We can remove odor out of a building and extract water that may have came out of a sprinkler system. We can dry your structure so it does not grow any mold. If you already have mold then we offer remediation and treatment for it to keep you and the others around you safe. 

If you are looking for a company who can do it all SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is here for you and do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Vandalism Clean Up

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Although some graffiti may have artistic merit, it is plaguing cities throughout the world. These eyesores can hurt property values, and can be associated with an increase in crime.

According to the Bureau of Justice, graffiti is the most common form of vandalism, and its cleanup is burdening businesses and property owners, while taking a chunk out of municipal budgets. American cities spend an estimated $12 billion on graffiti cleanup each year, not to mention countless law enforcement resources.

Some of the most common graffiti targets include schools, businesses, public transportation vehicles and stations, utilities, shopping malls, and government buildings. 

With everything going on in the world today SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County offers Services where we can completely remove and clean the walls and floors of these buildings for affordable and reasonable prices. We understand you want your building and your city looking clean and respectable because your image is crucial to people returning or coming in your doors for the first time. 

Our experienced staff uses chemicals, pressure washers and heat to remove these unwanted tags to make it look fresh, clean and new. We care about your business and your establishment so do not hesitate to call us!

Sewage Back Up

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

If you have any type of property such as a residential home, commercial warehouse, building small or large you are bound to run into type of sewage problem. For smaller buildings and homes the actual damage may not be so large, but it can leave behind some not so pleasant smells. For the larger buildings that may be located in the city damages can come in all sizes. Especially when you are dealing with a main city sewage line. These can cause not only terrible odors, but huge cleanups as well. Whether a small or large scale backup, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is ready to dive in to get the waste out! Extracting whatever kind of waste is present is the first line of duty. Followed by extreme power washing to make sure no residue is left behind. If any is missed the smell with return and linger around. Finally after everything is washed and wiped down its time to get rid of that smell. Using special chemicals that are made to rid the area of the smell and keep it that way! When stuck in a sticky and smelly situation call on SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to do the dirty work!

Protect Your Home From The Storm!

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we care about the safety of you and your loved ones and your home. Storms can be devastating and leave you with nothing. We want to educate you on some popular questions people ask when a storm of any kind comes through a home. 

What to Do After a Hurricane
  • Find your loved ones. ...
  • Don't go home until it's safe. ...
  • Document the damage. ...
  • Contact your insurance company. ...
  • Apply for assistance. ...
  • Stay out of the water. ...
  • Prevent further damage. ...
  • Listen to local clean up news and advisories.

Standard homeowners policies cover wind damage. So, if hurricane winds or tornadoes wreck your home, you should be OK. However, if a storm surge or flood carries off your house, a standard policy won't make you whole. You'll still have a mortgage if your house is destroyed by flooding.

Fill your bathtub with water, unless you have little children. This water can be used for drinking, washing, and flushing the toilet. Water supplies are often compromised by hurricanes and either become undrinkable or stop flowing.

Stay Safe After a Hurricane or Other Tropical Storm
  • Stay out of floodwater.
  • Never use a wet electrical device.
  • If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Be careful near damaged buildings.
  • Stay away from power lines.
  • Protect yourself from animals and pests.
  • Drink safe water. Eat safe food.

If you have no flood insurance, FEMA's IHP grant will help you in a specific set of ways after a flood or other disaster. ... This is much less coverage than NFIP flood insurance, which covers up to $250,000 to repair or replace your home and belongings.

Most important after you know your family is safe, call SERVPRO to help you get your life back together. 

Commercial Cleaning Services

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is being called on by numerous businesses and community leaders to perform the necessary bioremediation services to clean, disinfect and sanitize their properties. SERVPRO uses EPA approved products and follows the CDC guidelines cleanup practices. If you are interested in inquiring about our services we’re here to help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while life gets back to normal in the communities we all call home.
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line meet this standard and carry the EPA-registered emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC.
SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces.

Common House Fires

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

It is very easy to forget that you left the iron on went to bed with a lit candle and forgot but house fires should be taken very seriously. No one knows that more than SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County. We know the process to get you back on your feet can be tough not to mention the danger it brings to you and your family. 

Here are some tips to prevent a common house fire.

  1. Stay in the kitchen. Don't leave a hot cooking surface unattended. ...
  2. Check the dryer. ...
  3. Maintain electrical cords. ...
  4. Know your shutoffs. ...
  5. Store flammable products properly. ...
  6. Be careful with candles. ...
  7. Be a conscientious smoker. ...
  8. Use the fireplace responsibly.

Fires start very easy and can you guess the most common way?

Appliances, Heaters, & Children Playing with Fire

Other common causes of home fires include overuse of appliances, home heating systems, and children playing with fire. Faulty or over-used appliances can easily cause a fire with just a few sparks.

Where are home fires most likely to start? Home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in the home. The second leading cause of home fires are heating sources like wood stoves, and fireplaces. Fires caused by smoking are the leading cause of deaths.

Take this advice and use this information as a learning experience.

Storm Damages

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Storm damages can be very scary and can take a while to recover from. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has done quite a few clean ups after some storm damages. Here are some good things to learn about storms. 

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

After a hurricane hits a coastal area, it can travel inland. At this point, the storm has typically weakened, but it can still cause damage. Torrential rains from the storm can cause rivers to flood their banks and mudslides to form. Around the world, about 10,000 people die each year in hurricanes and tropical storms.

Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and earthquakes typically is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Storms have the potential to harm lives and property via storm surge, heavy rain or snow causing flooding or road impassibility, lightning, wildfires, and vertical wind shear. Systems with significant rainfall and duration help alleviate drought in places they move through.

Stay Safe!

Storm Damages

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Storm damages can be very scary and can take a while to recover from. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has done quite a few clean ups after some storm damages. Here are some good things to learn about storms. 

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

After a hurricane hits a coastal area, it can travel inland. At this point, the storm has typically weakened, but it can still cause damage. Torrential rains from the storm can cause rivers to flood their banks and mudslides to form. Around the world, about 10,000 people die each year in hurricanes and tropical storms.

Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and earthquakes typically is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Storms have the potential to harm lives and property via storm surge, heavy rain or snow causing flooding or road impassibility, lightning, wildfires, and vertical wind shear. Systems with significant rainfall and duration help alleviate drought in places they move through.

Stay Safe!

Educate Yourself On Mitigation

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County wants everyone to understand what consists of a water damage and understand what it takes to get your property back to normal. 

Full restoration consists of two major phases. The first, mitigation, consists of occasional demolition, cleaning and drying out the structure and belongings. This phase usually takes no more than 3 – 4 days.

Causes of water damage include:

  • Bursting or leaking pipes.
  • Issues with the plumbing system.
  • Buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, attics and basements.
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances.
  • HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues.

If left untreated, water damage can permanently weaken your home's structure or cause you and your family to become ill. Even a little bit of moisture can attract whole colonies of mold or bacteria.

Within 1 to 24 hours – When water damage lasts for 1 to 24 hours, drywall begins to bulge and break, furniture begins to swell and crack, and metal surfaces begin to tarnish. Within 2 hours to 7 days – You will experience growth and spread of mold and mildew.

It is safe to say that a water damage should be taken seriously and not let untreated. If you ever have to experience this, be sure to call SERVPRO!

Educate Yourself on Mold

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County wants you to understand what mold is and how to spot it to keep you safe so you know to call us for a remediation. 

With that definitionMold Abatement means the ending of mold or removing mold from your home or business. Remediation means the action of remedying something, in particular of reversing or stopping environmental damage. ... We are removing the mold which is remediating the mold situation which is ending it, abatement.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will carefully inspect your property for visible signs of moldMold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. They use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. 

The cleanup process is the same for Level 1 and Level 2 mold remediation and comprises these steps:

  • Repair the water problem. ...
  • Isolate the contaminated area. ...
  • Suppress dust. ...
  • Remove materials. ...
  • Place materials in plastic bags. ...
  • Clean. ...
  • Clean the affected area and egress. ...
  • Visibility test.

50-200 spores – still very low levels; the toxic mold species Stachybotrys and Memnoniella are the only species to be considered an issue at this level. 200-500 spores – the most common species (Penicillium/Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Curvularia) are not an issue and stay within the normal range.

If you think you have seen any of this make sure you call us out for an estimate!

Why Choose Us

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Fires can be very sudden and can happen at any time. Having to evacuate your home because of a fire may be one of the most scary things that can happen to a homeowner. It means that you could be in incredible danger, and it might mean that your home could be completely lost. An evacuation means you have to move quickly and effectively, while making sure that nothing is forgotten. That means having a plan set out ahead of time so you are prepared to go at a moment’s notice. Here at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we care about your well being more than just your home being put back together by us after a fire. It is important to us that you take the time out of your day as soon as possible and get together with your loved ones and put a plan in place where you have steps and procedures to get out safely and everyone understands what they must do in case the it does happen. It is better to be safe than sorry and that is why you should chose SERVPRO because we want the best for our customers and hope they never have to experience something worse because there were no precautions.

We Are The Cleaning Professionals

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

Contact us at (610)776-7774

Email: dand@SERVPROofwesternlehighcounty.com

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County at 610-776-7774

Email: dand@SERVPROofwesternlehighcounty.com 

Learn After The Storm

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

After a harsh storm a lot of damage can occur due to water. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we are here to help you understand. The water damages materials. Wallboard will disintegrate if it remains wet too long; wood can swell, warp, or rot; electrical parts can short out, malfunction, and cause fires or shock.

Mud, silt and unknown contaminants in the water not only get everything dirty, they also create a health hazard.

Dampness promotes the growth of mildew, a mold or fungus that can grow on everything.

The following steps work on all three of these problems. It is very important that they be followed in order.

Lower the humidity: Everything will dry more quickly and clean more easily if you can reduce the humidity in the home. There are five ways for you to lower the humidity and stop the rot and mildew. But you'll have to delay using some methods if you have no electricity.

Open up the house: If the humidity outside is lower than indoors, and if the weather permits, open all the doors and windows to exchange the moist indoor air for drier outdoor air. Your body will tell if the humidity is lower outdoors. If the sun is out, it should be drier outside. If you have a thermometer with a humidity gauge, you can monitor the indoor and outdoor humidity.

On the other hand, when temperatures drop at night, an open home is warmer and will draw moisture indoors. At night and other times when the humidity is higher outdoors, close up the house.

Open closet and cabinet doors: Remove drawers to allow air circulation. Drawers may stick because of swelling. Don't try to force them. Speed drying by opening up the back of the cabinet to let the air circulate. You will probably be able to remove the drawers as the cabinet dries out.

Use fans: Fans help move the air and dry out your home. Do not use central air conditioning or the furnace blower if the ducts were under water. They will blow out dirty air, that might contain contaminants from the sediment left in the duct work. Clean or hose out the ducts first.

Run dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers and window air conditioners will reduce the moisture, especially in closed up areas.

Floods can be a problem for you and your basement

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Ever own a house or a business and every time there is a heavy downpour the sewage drains come overflowing?  Well that can be a major issue and cause some big problems in many ways.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is the company to call when faced with this smelly situation. First and foremost it is important to get the source of the issue fixed so the problem does not keep occurring  Once the source is fixed SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County can respond to the issue with all the necessary equipment. First all the sewage water/waste will be extracted from the area.  Once this is complete a full detailed cleaning will begin on the floors,walls, and any other affected area.  This means scrubbing, washing, and spraying everything down to insure that nothing is contaminated, and all the odor is gone.  Our experts will leave the place spotless "Like it never even happened."   

Helping With All Types of Commercial Building Cleanups!

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial building drywall that has massive holes in it. This commercial building wall has serious damage to it caused by a group of teenagers.

It may not be the prettiest or easiest jobs to do, but SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County offers fast, reliable bio hazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration for any type of property.  Especially commercial buildings who can not have there reputation ruined by vandalism. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can cause serious health issues for anyone that comes in contact, or is around them.  If these contaminants are not taken care of properly, and removed they can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. Equipped with the proper safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will make sure unsafe environments are restored into clean, safe homes and business.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County also specializes in vandalism damage and cleanup.  Here are a few do's and don'ts when dealing with them.

DO:

  • Record all damage and photograph when possible.
  • Hose or wash egg or other residue damage from building exterior as soon as possible.
  • Carefully vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.

DON'T:

  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
  • Discard broken or damaged pieces from porcelain, furniture or other contents that may be used for repair. 
  • Operate damaged lamps or appliances.

All of these issues can be hard to deal with physically and emotionally.  That's why SERVPRO of "Western Lehigh County" is always ready to leave it "Like is never even happened."

7 Big Warnings & Risks of Holiday Fires!

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

A whole kitchen is burnt after this stove caught fire! Forgotten food was the cause of this kitchen fire!

TOP 7 CAUSES OF ACCIDENTAL HOLIDAY FIRES

Stay safe this holiday season by reviewing SERVPRO’s top causes of holiday fires and be prepared to prevent them.

 The holidays can be such a wonderful time of year as people enjoy putting up decorations, cooking, traveling to visit friends and family and celebrating the time together. But because everyone is operating outside of their normal routine during the holidays, it can also be a recipe for risky behavior and accidents.

As SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has experienced over the years, one prominent accident that can often occur during the holiday season is unwanted fire! Fires can quickly lead to serious home damage or even injury. That's why it's important to look out for the top causes of holiday fires to ensure you keep your home and family safe throughout the holidays.

  1. COOKING FIRES

One of the best parts of celebrating the holidays is the FOOD! Casseroles, cakes, cookies and more, food can be the focal point of the holidays. But when cooking extra food and feeding more people than usual, it can be easy to make mistakes such as leaving the stove unattended. Luckily, you may have additional people around to help monitor hot areas such as the stove and oven. The holidays can be one time where it’s perfectly acceptable to have too many cooks in the kitchen. So, surprise those family members that offer to help this year by accepting their offer!

  1. PORTABLE HEATER MALFUNCTIONS

Brrr, it’s cold out there! For those of us who celebrate holidays in colder climates, it’s nice to have some extra heat around. But beware the portable space heater! According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for 43% of home fires in the United States! Always read your space heater safety instructions and review the safety precautions with any visitors to your home who may be using the heaters without your supervision.

  1. SMOKING IN BEDROOMS

Smoking cigarettes indoors is still a leading cause of home fires. The holidays can add a lot of stress so it’s understandable that some may look to ease the stress with their favorite stress reliever, even something as unhealthy as cigarettes. But when it comes to smoking, it’s best to keep it outside whenever possible and never smoke when in a situation where you may fall asleep such as in a recliner, on the couch or in bed. When in doubt just put it out!

  1. ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AND CORDS OVERHEATING

With decorations comes the need for many plugs and extension cords. Overloaded sockets can sometimes cause sparks or fire. This can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation. Be sure to only use one extension cord per socket. Also, only use electrical power strips or block adapters that have their own fuse. To stay safe at night, be sure to unplug as many decorations as you can until the morning. Decorations are a wonderful addition to any holiday but be sure to read the safety and proper use instructions every time! 

  1. CANDLES LEFT UNATTENDED

There is a reason why many hotels don’t allow guests to light candles in their rooms, they can easily lead to burns or fires. When using candles, be sure to always place candles in a prominent place away from flammable items such as napkins, curtains or clothing. Place a non-flammable object underneath the candle so as the candles burns the heat from the bottom of the candle won’t burn the object it is resting on. Finally, NEVER leave a candle unattended. If you light a candle, remember to blow it out before leaving the area or going to sleep. Turn it into a holiday game by telling the kids they can make a wish for each candle they blow out at the end of the night.

  1. GRILLING TOO CLOSE TO THE HOUSE

Grilling can be a delicious addition to the holiday cooking and it’s great when entertaining guests. When grilling in the winter, however, it can be a common mistake to keep the grill close to the house or try grilling on a small porch. When a grill is placed too close to a building it can cause the wall to unsafely heat up, buckle or burn. Grills used on porches or other structures with ceilings can potentially ignite the ceiling as the heat and flames travel upward. So be sure to keep your grill at least 10 feet away from any flammable structure both during cooking and after cooking while the grill cools down. And NEVER start a grill or outdoor fire with combustible fuels such as kerosene or gasoline. Use gas grills or self-lighting charcoal whenever possible to easily get your grill heated up to cooking temperature.

  1. CURIOUS CHILDREN

The holidays often bring families together with kids in tow. Children can be very curious, especially in a new location. It’s important to remember to put away matches and lighters that may normally be accessible when children aren’t present. Also, make sure flammable liquids such as gasoline are stored safely out of reach in the garage or shed. Kids should also be taught about the dangers of fire whether around a grill, indoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit. When cooking smores by the fire, be sure instruct children to never try and put out a burning marshmallow by waving their stick around and accidentally flinging the burning marshmallow into the air!

 The SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County team hopes this list helps you have a safer holiday experience this season and beyond. If an unexpected fire should occur this holiday season leading to damage to your home, please call us for a free quote on repairing the damage and getting your home back to normal!

Happy Holidays!

ERP's are worth the process, they save lives

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Plans help businesses keep track of the important details of your commercial buildings to ensure that when things happen and time is of the essence you can remain calm because your Emergency Ready Plan is easily accessible and has all the answers. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we encourage all commercial buildings to dive in on our non-cost ERP's, they provide valuable information and resources for critical times when you need answers and solutions fast. With an Emergency Ready Plan, it provides exact locations to shut-off, emergency switches, and power source equipment that can be helpful for all employees and emergency responders for any incident. With photos and exact descriptive locations for all switches and emergency sources even new employees wont have to worry about having trouble using the ERP to help fix any problem fast. You will be able to feel confident and comfortable knowing that your Emergency Ready Plan is set up and ready to go. 

Apartment Complex Fire

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Debris from the fire is scattered over the apartment complex property. This is the scene after the flames were extinguished at the apartment complex.

There are times when the worst happens and you can not control when a fire occurs in your property.  A fire started on the roof of a Western Lehigh County apartment building affecting five floors plus common hallways and the lobby. Our crew worked together to keep each tenant satisfied through the process of the cleanup. A chemical sponge was used to brush the entire structure. We ran vapor sharks and we had air scrubbers with charcoal filters to eliminate odors and performed demolition on anything that could not be restored. This way we could bring in brand new dry wall and kitchen cabinets to replace, and remove the odors of the smog.  We were however able to salvage the floors as we use our top of the line equipment to make the process as quick and cost effective as possible. The hard work of SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County team were able to save the original hardwood floors. With in a total of 5 days we were able to have this building completely restored. Next time you have a fire do not hesitate to call.

Storm season is upon us

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

As it turns out you dont need rain for a storm to be dangerous. Strong winds can easily knock down power lines and cause fires that can destroy homes and make life difficult. You cant always plan for when disasters will strike, but you can be prepared for what to do after your home or business has been affected by storm damage. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we want you to know that we have years of experience in cleaning up messes that a storm can leave behind. Whether your house is flooded from heavy rains or there's a hole in your roof from a tree falling down we have the equipment and expert man power for the job. We can handle all of your problems and needs quickly and thoroughly to ensure that your normal life whether at home or at your business is back up and running.

High Winds and Heavy Rain can cause leaky roofs

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

As the summer season comes to a close we at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County want to remind you that the summer season of heavy winds and rain can take a toll on your roof and can cause problems not too far down the road. When storm season is said and done your roof can be left with missing shingles and wore down areas that can lead to leaking and potential structural damage when snow season arrives. Leaky roofs can damage property and cause your bills to rise if heating or air conditioning escapes through the holes in your roof from a rough storm season. It can also lead to disastrous cave-ins if there is a rough snow season, when snow piles up on your roof it can be heavy amounts of weight on your roof. When a roof isn't structured enough it can lead to cave ins and potential damage to everything in your top floor of your house. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we want you to be safe and be smart by keeping up with the wear and tear of your roof during storm season and to know who to call when problems arise 

The aftermath storms can bring!

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

When storms happen in the northeast part of our area, it is always some kind aftermath of the storm. Whether its down tree branches and power lines. The aftermath damages from a storm from the wind or hail to home or business. Flooding from the rain, in and around the buildings or homes. Power outages or other utility outages. It is a mess that no one wants to tell with, but you can always count on the professional of SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to regain some peace of mind and to return to normal with our clean up services to the community both residential and commercials. We are here to service your day or night from that aftermath of any storm that comes to the Allentown area.

Colder weather means time to clean the fireplace & chimney!

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

It's almost that time of year again. Where the family is gonna gather round the warmth of the fireplace. An before you throw those logs on and spark it up, its very important that your fireplace and chimney are properly cleaned, and SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is the place to call! During the spring an summer seasons when your fireplace is not in use a variety of things could have built up in the chimney. Such as soot, leaves and sticks, or even a variety of critters! A chimney is a great place for birds,squirrels, and other varmints to build there nests. Whether the critter is still there or not this still is a huge risk or starting a fire. Always take a flashlight an do a self inspection to make sure your chimney flue is clear of all debris. Even if you think you've done a sufficient cleaning, its always safe to have a professional come out an inspect it properly. If you own a gas fireplace make sure all gas lines are tightly secured, and don't have any leaks. Although it may seem alright to leave it untended. you should always turn it off when leaving your home or going to sleep. Fireplaces are nice an cozy, but if not properly cleaned an attended to they can become a huge fire risk for your home. So just follow the step given an you and your family can enjoy your fires safely! From all of us at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County have a great fall/winter seasons!

Always responding during hurricane season!

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

We are in the middle of hurricane season.  Right here in the United States, September is recognized as National Preparedness Month which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit.  Did you know SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County offers a FREE emergency ready profile that anyone can set up using a smartphone or tablet?  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has ensured making your emergency ready plan is available at the touch of your fingertips through our FREE app available in your app store. Of course, in the spirit of being prepared and ready for any disaster that could happen, we hope everyone adds SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to your contingency plans both at work and home.  Protecting your home by knowing our services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days each year is a great way to stay prepared. 

Knowing all types of storms and the destruction they can cause!

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Being prepared to act quickly can be critical to staying safe during a weather event. in 2018, there were seven weather and climate disaster events across the United States. These events included five severe weather tornado events, a major floor event, and the western drought heat wave. Overall, these events killed 353 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others. You can never predict when a large storm may hit, or the destruction it could bring.  Knowing that SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will be one of the first to respond to help in disaster cleanup is always good to know.  We are trained for these type of terrible situations! 

Take these precautions as the Summer season comes to an end!

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

As much fun as summer can be, it has to end at some point. As the trees begin to change and the weather shifts from hot and humid to cool and crisp, it’s time to prepare for the onset of cooler months. Whether you’re not ready for the heat to be gone or are looking forward to unpacking your favorite cold weather clothes, there’s a lot to do to get ready for the changing seasons. To begin inspecting your roof can really help to show if you need repairs before the season changes.  If you have a heavy rainstorm or a foot of snow, can your roof take the burden? Before settling in for another chilly fall and a freezing winter, take a look at your roof for weak spots, cracks in your shingles, granules, and wind damage. If you see anything that looks off or unstable, a roofer may be what your home needs to weather this winter’s storms. Another big step to take is cleaning out your gutters.  As the leaves begin to turn, you know you’re only weeks away from them falling off entirely and stopping up your gutters. Before you find yourself with a big mess on your hands, take the time now to clean out your gutters and drainpipes to prevent the possibility of water damage and clogs. A clean early in the season may not suffice through the winter, but it will make sure you’re prepared for the harsher weather to come. Water damages can be caused by clogged drains; overflowing water to collect on your roof or house and most outside water damage is not covered by insurance!  These are just two big steps on the checklist before colder air moves in.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh is always here when called upon during the colder seasons.

Here to help with all you mold remediation needs!

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we care about your health and your family’s health. We are providing great tips in keeping an eye out on Mold. A common sign of Mold is having allergic reactions to it. When being at home isn’t so pleasant by sneezing, having sore eyes and running nose or nasal congestion all the time and then stepping out the house and not having an any of these symptoms you could be having mold in your home. The second sign is the odor of Mold. If you smell humid, damp or like decaying wood, it is the odor of Mold and is another big sign that you are experiencing Mold. Another important and visual indication is seeing mold. Mold will start off small but will eventually grow into bigger patches with very different colors of black and white are the most common colors sometimes in most extreme case color may vary from gray-brown and gray-green or even orange, pink or purple. This sign maybe ignores at times because it is not present now but when water leaks and past flooding happen, in the home one would need to keep an eye out on mold growth, but if you have had these events in your home most likely you have mold growing. Condensation is the tell-tale sign of mold; condensation happens when a high amount of moisture or humidity present in the house. Condensation is the breeding grown of mold if this problem is ignored most likely you have mold in the home.  At the first sign of any mold issue, contact SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County right away for service!

Responding At All Hours!

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is always ready at a moments notice to respond to any call that comes in.  Availability is are main priority, because disasters don't have a schedule, nor do they wait for a confident time.  That's why we offer our services 24/7 365 days a year.  If your water heater decides to burst in the middle of the night, you better believe we will respond and have a crew out in no time.  Some company's may make you wait till the morning, that's only going to cause more damage and cost more on your pocket.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County 24/7 answering service will make sure your call is directed to the correct person to have a crew shipped out to your damages.  Even if you are not facing an emergency our phones are always on if you need to set up an appointment for someone to come out and help you.  

SERVPRO has been a growing company for over 50 years

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we want you to know that when you're calling us you are making the right decision. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has been a growing company since 1967 and we continue to grow and become a better company to serve you and all of your remediation/restoration needs. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is the newest addition to the SERVPRO franchises with a crew right in your area to be there when you need it most. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is apart of an expanding franchise with a new sales staff and our joint franchises in Society Hill and Burlington County/Mt. Holly we are bringing our services closer to you now more than ever. Fall is right around the corner, and the cold bitter winter weather isn't too far behind, knowing who to call when it's 2 am and your basement is flooded will make the inconvenience a breeze when you pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County.

We Do It Right The First Time!!

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

When you call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we know you expect the work to be done correctly the first time.  We also hold our crew to the same standards.  You are most likely going through some tough times and the quality of work we perform can really affect that in either way.  The quicker and more efficient we are at cleaning up the job, the more likely the customer will feel relief and gratitude.  On the other hand if we continue to make more work of a situation and the process drags on the customer is going to continue to worry and the relief they thought was coming now looks farther away.  This is why SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County makes sure your stress free and that you know the job will be completed and done correctly the first time.  Our customers deserve to know this to ease there mind in troubling times

Delivering Fast Reliable Water Damage Cleanup

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County handles all types of damages and cleanups.  The one we see and handle the most is the water damages.  They can occur in many different ways so you never know what the cause or when it could happen. After you make the call we will ask a few questions to help our crew out before they head to the damage site.  This helps to determine how much equipment should be brought as well as how many crew members to call upon. A few other questions that will be asked will be insurance information, size of the damage, and what the source was.  Always remember to make the call to SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County ASAP.  The longer the issue goes unattended, the more it will cost you.  More item should could become ruined as well as the risk of mold growth. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

Gusty Winds Can Lead to Tumbling Trees and Costly Numbers

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

With fall approaching the trees and leaves are  changing and everything looks festive and pretty. But strong winds can lead to trees giving out and falling, and if you find yourself with a tree through your living room and pipes burst in the basement from the crash it could be a bad day with no end in sight. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we want you to know that we can be there for you to help when it seems like the sky is falling. We can have a crew out to help clean up the damages from the fall and soak up the water in the basement. We also do a great job of restoring as much as we can and have contracting crews that can put your home back together. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is here for whatever whenever and with it getting cold out, you can count on us to be there. 

Fire Cleanup Professionals

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County takes pride in our highly trained team to make sure after something as devastating as a fire in your home or business we get you back to normal as soon as possible. With that being said when you call us we make sure you are getting the best service and one of the ways we do that identifying the type of fire to best perform our duties to restore the property.

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. 

With our highly efficient equipment, and trained professionals there isn't a fire damage that we can't handle. The fire may burn it down but SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is there to build it back up!

Teaming up with local Fire Departments!

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

The fire department is very important to our community. Their goal is to decrease the number and severity of all fires within our town. We believe this can be accomplished through an active code enforcement program, public education activities, engineering and plans review, and investigations. We strive to provide these services utilizing well trained and highly motivated personnel who understand the importance of customer service and fire safety education.

According to the US Fire Administration each year, more than 4,500 Americans die and more than 30,000 are injured in fires. Many of those deaths and injuries could have been prevented if people had a better understanding of fire.

The local fire companies have the responsibility of educating the community, inspecting local businesses and various public establishments, and enforcing codes to ensure the safety of the community. This website has been established in order to assist in dispensing information to the community as well as aiding in its education.

That is why SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County does all it can to help local first responders out.  Providing them with cases of bottled water is one of the small things we provide to these fire stations. We are continually teaming up to help educate communities about fire safety.

Don't Let Water Leaks Bring Your Business Down

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water leaks within a business can seep into carpet, flooring, baseboards, and walls while moving throughout the structure. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County understands how disruptive water damages can be for a business. Water leaks can not only disrupt the facility, but also can interrupt day to day business functions, which could possibly close the business and affect revenues. Timely mitigation is key to the restoration process. Quick response time helps ensure that damage is contained and the restoration process begins promptly. This saves on the amount of damage, cost of claims, and assists in reducing losses from business interruption due to a loss. Timely and proper water mitigation will also help keep mold from developing which could cause people to become ill! SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will be able to identify water regardless of where it hides. We offer 24-hour emergency response from our trained professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Always Ready For The Flood Call!

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is one call away when water damage strikes your home. A flood in your home could occur at any moment without warning! An Mother Nature is not always to blame. Most people don't inspect their pipes as often as they should, or ever at all. Wether it be they can see them or they just plain forget. Over time these pipes can start to rust and erode away. When this occurs the end result could end in leaking or worse completely broken. An that's when flooding an water damage hit your house! Here at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County cleaning up these problems is our specialty. No matter if it was a small water damage from a dripping pipe, or two feet of water sitting in your basement. Our crew will respond to your call swiftly, an get the job done professionally. SERVPRO is equipped with all the right tools an machinery to get the water out, and dry the area out quickly. Brining down the risk of more water damage or even worse...mold! No need to worry, water and mold damage get taken care of as well! So don't let leaky or broken pipes sink your house! Call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to pull you out of the water. 

Helping to Cleanup Our Community.

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is servicing all medical facility with all cleaning services. Cleaning services for deep cleaning multiple bathrooms and kitchens or cafeterias as well as providing cleaning to any bio hazardous. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is the professional in cleaning services and making the facility look at its optimum. We also specialize in fire and water damages cleanups. Someone vandalized your business or property, no problem just another one of the many cleaning/removal jobs our crew will take care of. We want to take care of our community and want you to know that we are here for your home and business 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Give us a call, and we will have a crew immediately out to help and clean in any way possible to get the facility back to running during regular business hours. Trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County!

#1 in Storm & Natural Disaster Cleanup

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has dealt with our fair share of storms over the years. We all know how devastating something such as a hurricane can be especially when you may live by the water. Flooding and then mold occur and can completely ruin your home, building, or business. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County takes pride in how we come together across the country to help those in need. We have traveled far and wide for the largest of damages. We understand how important it is to get your life back together so with all the franchises across the country we band together to get towns, cities, states back up and running. With our tractor trailers of equipment and vehicles filled with employees ready to repair everything as soon as possible. We understand your property hold value to you in more ways than one and we want you to have that comfort knowing we care and we go the extra mile to handle a disaster recovery. Just know that you can call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County for any job no matter how big or how small. We can handle it!

The Three Water Damage Categories

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Society Hill we are an IICRC Certified Firm.

There are 3 Basic Categories of Water

Category 1 originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. However, it may not always remain clean after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.

Category 2 contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. It may contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological).

Category 3 is grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.

We want you to be aware of the types of water damages that are out there and have comfort knowing we can take care of you.

Always Have Your Commercial Buildings Prepared

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in Western Lehigh County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity.

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property as soon as possible to make it look "Like it never even happened."

Just Look for the Green Truck and the Orange Logo!

8/7/2019 (Permalink)


Our green trucks, vans and cars are always ready with our many different types of vehicles.  It is most likely that you have come across one in your travels.  During emergency water and fire calls we respond with our trucks all ready to go! Our crews and staff goes above and beyond to make sure our vehicles are fully stocked in case of any emergency we are ready to up and leave. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County wants to be there as soon as you have a loss happen.

We have a water truck that we bring to the job site to extract water right on the premises. This helps to ensure that the drying process can start quickly so your water emergency can get cleaned up. We also have other vehicles that are designated for large loss jobs and removing your affected content for cleaning at our shop. When you see the green SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County vehicles you know we are helping you, your neighbors, and your local businesses get back to everyday life quickly and efficiently.

Summer grilling tips to keep only the food cooked

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

It's summertime and that means backyard barbecuing season is well underway! There's nothing like a burger or hotdog right off the grill, but if you're not being safe you could be leaving yourself getting burned.... An average of 8,800 home are damaged or destroyed from grilling incidents involving lack of safety. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County, we want you to be safe and have a fun summer with these tips on grilling safety!

1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from house or any type of overhangs. You should also avoid carpets or mats around your grill that could start a fire.

2.  Clean your grill regularly and make sure to do a big cleaning at the start/end of summer.

3. When using a gas grill you should check the  gas lines and connections for leaks. An easy way to do this is with some liquid soap and little bit of water, you can rub the lines and connections with soap and look for bubbles to form in areas that either have a leak or a connection that isn't tightened properly.

4. Keep decorations away from the grill. Decorations help spice up the backyard and especially make things festive during the holidays, but they can be dangerous near a grill and can be a fire hazard for everyone in the area. Let the food be the sight to see.

5. Keep a spray bottle of water nearby in case of any flareups, the spray bottle can help calm down the flare up and the water wont ruin your food.

6. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a big flare up, you can buy more food, but its a lot more expensive if you have to buy a new backyard.

7. Don't ever leave the grill unattended, you never know what could happen when your not looking. The grill master needs to stay by the grill.

8. Don't start the gas up when the grill lid is closed, this can cause a buildup under the hood and cause a fireball-like flare that can be harmful to you and the things around you.

9. Never overload your grill with food especially if the food has fat on it. The fat can drip down into the fire and cause a flare up that can be dangerous.

10. Never use a grill indoors, too many things can go wrong and not only will fire be a danger but also smoke damages and unhealthy breathing issues can occur. 

At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we want you to have a happy and safe summer! You can call us with all your Fire/Water/Mold restoration needs to get you back behind the grill and enjoying the sunshine.

Natural Disasters Can Strike Anywhere!

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

With all the natural disasters happening down south, it may be easy to lose track of when there is an emergency other than what you see on television. Please be aware that floods can happen anywhere at anytime. Have you checked your hot water heater lately? Could one of your pipes start leaking through the ceiling down to the first floor from the bathroom? Maybe some rainfall came through the roof? The answer is YES! Unfortunately these damages can happen to any one on any given day or night. These damages can cause a long and painful process for a home owner if not handled properly. Luckily there is SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to the rescue. With our experienced crew members and vast majority of equipment we can make your disaster look like it never happened and have you living comfortably in your home. We are just a phone call away 24 hours a day 7 days a week.   

Dryer Safety to Prevent Fires

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County  we care about your safety of you and your family. Dryer safety is important to know. Here is some tips to keep your dryer safe from any potential fire.

  • Have a professional install and repair the dryer
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter
  • Always clean the lint filter before/after loads
  • Clean any loose or accumulating lint in and around the drum
  • Rigid or flexible metal should be used in venting for proper use and drying for the dryer
  • If clothing takes longer than usual check the vent pipe for any possible blockages
  • Never leave a dryer left on during the night while sleeping or when away from your home

These are great tips to follow and a great way to prevent fire happening in the home

Lehigh County Commercial Properties : Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your building/business.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your building. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 610.776.7774

Faster to your Lehigh County Water Damage Event

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Lehigh County

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 610.776.7774

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Lehigh County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Lehigh County Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 610.776.7774

IICRC Certified Firm

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm.

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

When Storms or Floods hit Lehigh County, SERVPRO is ready!

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lehigh County.

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Lehigh County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 610.776.7774

Identifying Mold & Mold Removal From Homes

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation. Not only will we remove the mold, but with our special eco friendly chemicals we will make sure it's not going to be growing back anytime soon.  Letting a mold problem go unattended to can be a dangerous health hazard over time.  This is why SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is the place to call if you are dealing with any of these issues. 

National Preparedness Month: National Flood Insurance

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures.

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.

For more information, visit www.FloodSmart.gov. Watch this short informative video, Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

This year (2018) the NFIP celebrates 50 years of protecting people in the United States against the perils of flood damage.

HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA NOTE: If you've been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, this page provides resources about how to File Your Flood Claim.

 

I Don't Have Flood Insurance--Why Do I Need It?

Use our interactive tool to find out how much a flood could cost you, and watch this short but informative video to learn more about the value of having flood insurance, Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

FACT: Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.

FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.

FACT: Floods can happen anywhere--More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone. Check out The Big Cost of Flooding.

FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: Most federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and you have to pay them back. FEMA offers disaster grants that don't need to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover. A claim against your flood insurance policy could and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA--and you don't have to pay it back.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data visualization tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have provided in terms of federal disaster aid after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see that having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

I Have Flood Insurance--Do I Really Need To Keep It?

You realize your flood insurance policy is about to expire and you’re on the fence about renewing: It hasn’t flooded in your area in years (or ever). And you really could use that extra money to buy something you really want. Watch this short, informative video, Why Do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

But wait!

DON’T. RISK. IT.

FACT: Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every region and state, including yours.

FACT: Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated.

FACT: The damage from just one inch of water can cost more than $20,000. Check out The Big Cost of Flooding.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high-risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

FACT: If you allow your flood insurance policy to lapse for either more than 90 days, or twice for any number of days, you may be required to provide an Elevation Certificate (if you don't have one), and you may no longer be eligible for policy rate discounts you might have been receiving prior to the policy lapse. It's important to talk with your insurance agent before canceling or not renewing the policy.

FACT: You can file a flood claim even if there is not a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance.

FACT: No home is completely safe from potential flooding devastation—why risk it?

FACT: If you live in a high risk flood zone, and you've received federal disaster assistance in the form of grants from FEMA or low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, you must maintain flood insurance in order to be considered for any future federal disaster aid.

FACT: Storms are not the only cause of floods. Flooding can be caused by dams or levees breaking, new development changing how water flows above and below ground, snowmelt and much more.

FACT: Too often, Americans are caught off guard by the emotional and financial costs of flood damage.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data Visualization Tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA has provided in terms of federal disaster aid (through its Individuals & Households Program) after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance Program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

To renew your policy, call your flood insurance agent. If you don’t have your insurance agent’s contact information, call the National Flood Insurance Program’s Help Center at 1-800-427-4661.

Who Can Buy Flood Insurance?

If you are a renter or homeowner (residential policy); or business owner (non-residential policy) and your property is located in a NFIP-participating community, you can purchase a policy. Contact your insurance agent to find out if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood insurance from the NFIP is only available in participating communities. Ask your agent if your state and community participate, or look it up online in the Community Status Book.

Learn more by watching these short videos, What Do I Need To Know About Flood Insurance Coverage? and How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

Find an insurance agent near you. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance too.

You can only purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can:

  • Contact the National Flood Insurance Program’s Help Center at 1-800-427-4661 to request an agent referral.
  • Watch this informative video, How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

What Do I Need To Know When I Buy A Flood Insurance Policy?

How Do I Renew, Change Or Pay For My Flood Insurance Policy?

Your flood insurance agent can help you make changes to, pay for, or renew your flood policy. If your lender requires you to have flood insurance, contact them directly to ask questions about renewing or changing your policy. Your payments could be included in financial transactions associated with your mortgage.

My Question Is About Flood Maps--What Should I Do?

Find out if your community has a recent or upcoming flood map change. When your community’s  flood map is updated to reflect the current risks where you live, requirements for flood insurance coverage and the costs of your policy can also change.

Find your community’s flood map (Type in your address and choose "Interactive Map")

Get answers to your flood mapping questions online or by talking with someone from FEMA’s Map Service Center.

Request a review of your flood zone designation (If you believe the zone your insurer or lender has determined for your property is incorrect.)

What Should I Know And Do Before, During And After A Flood?

The National Flood Insurance Program Desk Reference is in three distinct sections:

  • Before the Flood
  • During the Flood, and
  • After the Flood

Community and state leaders, insurance industry professionals, as well as policyholders, renters, homeowners and businesses will find its resources helpful. We have organized this guide to provide succinct information in an easy-to-navigate document and included important, key contact information. To ensure it can be updated as the program evolves, this document has been published electronically.

Read about everything from mitigating your home to reduce flood damage, to information about weather alerts and how to stay safe when it's flooding in, How to Prepare for a Flood.

Information for Policyholders, Help with or without a Disaster Declaration.

My Home Or Business Just Flooded--What Should I Do?

File Your Flood Claim

Flood claim appeals and guidance (please note--you cannot appeal a claim until you receive a denial [for some or all of your claim amount] from your insurance company.)

What Can I Do To Prepare For Or Even Reduce Flood Damage? And Can Doing These Things Lessen How Much I Pay For Flood Insurance?

What you pay for flood insurance has a lot to do with how much flood risk is associated with your building. It makes sense to reduce flood risk no matter what, but in some instances reducing flood risk can also lead to lower flood insurance costs. Below are some resources to help, but discussing your policy options with your insurance agent is the best place to start.

Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot be Elevated explains things that can be done to better protect a building from flood damage, and in some cases implementing these changes will reduce the cost of your flood insurance.

Communities enrolled in the NFIP's Community Rating System can get discounts on their flood insurance, learn more here.

The Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting can help you decide the right method to mitigate future damage and loss by considering various factors, such as hazards to your home, permit requirements, technical limitations, and costs. This guide also helps you develop a flood protection strategy.

The Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage, for eligible properties that are required to be in compliance with local floodplain requirements, can help pay for elevating a building after a flood. Another way to get help with the cost of elevating your building would be through one of FEMA's various grant programs. The grants are administered by states, and each state decides which projects it will fund and for how much. Contact your local floodplain manager for more information.

To learn more about elevating your property, read Elevating Your House.

Did you know? An elevated home, like the one shown on the 5 Ways to Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium, with a first floor elevated 3 feet above the base ­flood elevation, can expect to save 60 percent or more on annual ­flood insurance premiums.

Did you know? Elevating just one foot above the Base Flood Elevation often results in a 30% reduction in annual premiums.

Source: Ready.gov

National Preparedness Month: How to file a flood claim

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Collect all documents and protect them in a safe place in case of a flood!
How Do I File My Flood Claim?

It can be a very overwhelming time for a property owner or renter following a flood. The information below will provide you with what you need to know about filing a flood insurance claim, tips on what you can do and need to know before your flood insurance adjuster visits your property and the other visitors you can expect at your property. The more you know, the smoother the process will go.

You should report your loss immediately to your insurance agent or insurance carrier and ask them about Advance Payments.

Find your insurer on this list of insurance companies administering National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance and report your claim right away. If you need assistance finding your insurance carrier, please call 800-427-4661. Help is available in most languages. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can use TTY 800-462-7585.

If you have a policy written directly with the NFIP (i.e., your Declaration Page has the FEMA logo in the top corner), it's fast and easy to report your claim directly to the NFIP's Direct Servicing Agent.

You should have the following information available when reporting your claim:

  • Policy Declarations page (official document detailing your flood insurance coverage), if available
  • How you can be reached: telephone number or alternate contact number and email address
  • The insured property location
  • The name of any mortgage company(s)

A claims adjuster should contact you within 24-48 hours, but it may take longer, depending on the severity of the flood event.

NOTE: Your NFIP policy does not cover Additional Living Expenses, including temporary housing, but if you qualify, FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program might be able to help. So, it’s important to register for assistance with FEMA, even if you have flood insurance.

Registering online, at DisasterAssistance.gov is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance. If you do not have access to the internet, you may register by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. If you use 711 relay or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362 directly. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

NFIP policyholders must follow the guidelines of their flood policy when cleaning up. Read the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters.

Before entering a flooded building, make sure it’s safe.

Take as many photos and/or videos of your flood-damaged property as you can, both on the outside and the inside of the building, and label them, by room, before you remove anything—including items of exceptional value. For items like washers and dryers, hot water heaters, kitchen appliances, televisions and computers, make sure you take a photograph of the make, model and serial number. This information should be provided to your adjuster.

Remove your flood damaged items:

  1. For your building items (e.g., flooring), retain samples such as carpet, wallpaper and drapes for your adjuster’s inspection.
  2. For your personal property items, separate the damaged from undamaged items for your adjuster’s inspection.
  3. Immediately throw away flooded items that pose a health risk, such as perishable food, clothing, cushions and pillows, after photographing them.
  4. Confirm your available NFIP coverage. Some policyholders may only have building or contents (personal property items) coverage, not both.
  5. Contact repair services if the building’s electrical, water or HVAC systems are damaged. It’s important to consult your adjuster or insurance carrier before you sign any agreement/contract with a cleaning, remediation or maintenance contractor.
  6. Contact your community building department and floodplain administrator to get the following information:
  7. Whether your property was substantially damaged;
  8. Tips on how to better protect or repair your home; and
  9. How to obtain a building permit. This is a very important step to ensure you are rebuilding in compliance with local ordinances.

When your claims adjuster arrives, he/she should show you their official identification (Driver’s License and Company ID or Flood Control Number (FCN card)). The adjuster should also provide you with their contact information, such as their name, email, phone number, the name of their adjusting firm and their telephone number.

What you should expect from your adjuster:

  • An explanation of the NFIP Flood Claims Process.
  • An inspection of your property—during which he/she will scope your loss by taking measurements and photos.
  • An explanation of what an Advance Payment is and how, or if, you can get one.
  • Information about how you should present your loss to your insurance carrier, and a discussion about your policy coverage.

Other things to know, do and/or discuss with your adjuster:

  • The insurance carrier, not the adjuster, has the authority to approve your claim.
  • Be sure to provide your current mailing address and phone number if you are displaced.
  • Ask if you are eligible for Increased Cost of Compliance.
  • The adjuster should never ask you for money or collect your deductible amount.

At the end of your inspection, your adjuster should provide you with information about what you need to do and what will happen next. The adjuster should hand you a physical copy of this information along with his/her contact information. Read more about what to do after your inspection.

Your adjuster may assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss (your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming, including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damage. A Proof of Loss can be many things, but must contain the specific details set forth in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. You'll need to file your Proof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the date of loss.

You'll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damage and the insurer has your complete and signed Proof of Loss. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims.

Note: Signing a Proof of Loss does not waive your rights to file for additional claim payments in the future if additional damage is discovered.

Note: The requirement to file the Proof of Loss could be waived by FEMA depending on the severity of the event. Your adjuster or insurance company will let you know if this happens.

Source: Floodsmart.gov

National Preparedness Month: Home Fires

9/15/2018 (Permalink)

Learn how to prevent home fires!

In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Learn About Fires

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Before a Fire

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan.  Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

Smoke Alarms

A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries).
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.

Smoke Alarm Safety for People with Access or Functional Needs

  • Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
  • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
  • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.

More Fire Safety Tips

  • Make digital copies of valuable documents and records like birth certificates.
  • Sleep with your door closed.
  • Contact your local fire department for information on training on the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers.
  • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.

During a Fire

  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People with Access or Functional Needs

  • Live near an exit. You'll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near an exit.
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you get through the doorways.
  • Make any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways, to facilitate an emergency escape.
  • Speak to your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.
  • Contact your local fire department's non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
  • Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.

After a Fire

The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies.  If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items.  Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
  • Try to locate valuable documents and records.  Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process inside this brochure.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss.  The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.

Prevent Home Fires

Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Smoking

  • Smoke outside and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.

More Prevention Tips

  • Never use stove range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

Source: Ready.gov

National Preparedness Month: Flood Insurance

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Don't wait until it's too late to get flood insurance!

How Do I Buy Flood Insurance?

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies can be purchased through thousands of insurance agents nationwide. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may also be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance. Here is a list of participating Write Your Own (WYO) companies.

If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661. NFIP flood insurance policies can only be purchased for properties within communities that participate in the NFIP. Ask your agent if your community participates, or look it up online in the Community Status Book.

  Why Buy Flood Insurance

No home is completely safe from potential flooding. Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated. Just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage—why risk it?

The Cost of Flooding

Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event.  Without flood insurance, most residents have to pay out of pocket or take out loans to repair and replace damaged items.  With flood insurance, you're able to recover faster and more fully.  Use the tool below to see how much flood damage—even from just a few inches of water—could cost you.

 

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

Here are some important facts to keep in mind:

  • FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
  • FACT: More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones.
  • FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
  • FACT: Disaster assistance comes in two forms: a U.S. Small Business Administration loan, which must be paid back with interest, or a FEMA disaster grant, which is about $5,000 on average per household.  By comparison, the average flood insurance claim is nearly $30,000 and does not have to be repaid.
All About Flood Maps

The primary feature of flood maps are flood zones, which are geographic areas that FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk and type of flooding. These zones are depicted on the published Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM). Everyone lives in an area with some risk of flood—it’s just a question of whether you live in a low-, moderate-, or high-risk area.

To find your community’s flood map, visit the FEMA Flood Map Service Center, then type in your address and search. You may view, print and download flood maps, open an interactive flood map (if available), and view all products related to your community.

Find out if your community has pending or preliminary map changes underway. When your community’s flood map is updated to reflect the current risks where you live, requirements for flood insurance coverage and the costs of your policy can also change. Want to receive an alert when your community’s flood map changes? Sign upto receive email notifications when products are updated.

Get answers to your flood mapping questions online or by talking with someone from FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center.

How Can I Pay Less for My Flood Insurance?

What you pay for flood insurance often has a lot to do with how much flood risk is associated with your building. Mitigation and other factors play a role in protecting properties from flood damage, but sometimes they can also help reduce how much you pay for your flood insurance policy.

Did You Know?

 

An elevated home, like the one shown in 5 Ways to Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium with a first floor elevated three feet above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), can expect to save 60% or more on annual flood insurance premiums. 

Does my community get a discount?

If your community is enrolled in the Community Rating System (CRS), you may be receiving a discount on your flood insurance. The discount is calculated based on the community's efforts to reduce the risk of flooding. If you have questions about CRS, call your insurance agent or insurer.

Are there ways to protect my property from flood damage?

 

The Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting can help you decide the right method to mitigate future damage and loss by considering various factors, such as hazards to your home, permit requirements, technical limitations and costs. This guide also helps you develop a flood protection strategy.

Elevation: is it the answer?

 

The Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage, for eligible properties that are required to be in compliance with local floodplain requirements, can help pay for elevating a building after a flood. Another way to get help with the cost of elevating your building would be through one of FEMA's various grant programs. The grants are administered by states, and each state decides which projects it will fund and for how much. Contact your local floodplain manager for more information.

If you would like to consider elevating your home, learn more about it to determine if it might be a good option. It can be very expensive, but can substantially reduce flood damage and could be a way to reduce the cost of your flood insurance. Here’s another helpful resource: Chapter Five in Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting.

I cannot elevate my property, so what can I do?

 

Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot be Elevated explains things that can be done to better protect a building from flood damage, and in some cases implementing these changes will reduce the cost of your flood insurance.

Source: Floodsmart.gov

National Preparedness Month: National Flood Insurance

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures.

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.

For more information, visit www.FloodSmart.gov. Watch this short informative video, Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

This year (2018) the NFIP celebrates 50 years of protecting people in the United States against the perils of flood damage.

HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA NOTE: If you've been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, this page provides resources about how to File Your Flood Claim.

 

I Don't Have Flood Insurance--Why Do I Need It?

Use our interactive tool to find out how much a flood could cost you, and watch this short but informative video to learn more about the value of having flood insurance, Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

FACT: Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.

FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.

FACT: Floods can happen anywhere--More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone. Check out The Big Cost of Flooding.

FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: Most federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and you have to pay them back. FEMA offers disaster grants that don't need to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover. A claim against your flood insurance policy could and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA--and you don't have to pay it back.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data visualization tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have provided in terms of federal disaster aid after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see that having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

I Have Flood Insurance--Do I Really Need To Keep It?

You realize your flood insurance policy is about to expire and you’re on the fence about renewing: It hasn’t flooded in your area in years (or ever). And you really could use that extra money to buy something you really want. Watch this short, informative video, Why Do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

But wait!

DON’T. RISK. IT.

FACT: Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every region and state, including yours.

FACT: Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated.

FACT: The damage from just one inch of water can cost more than $20,000. Check out The Big Cost of Flooding.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high-risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

FACT: If you allow your flood insurance policy to lapse for either more than 90 days, or twice for any number of days, you may be required to provide an Elevation Certificate (if you don't have one), and you may no longer be eligible for policy rate discounts you might have been receiving prior to the policy lapse. It's important to talk with your insurance agent before canceling or not renewing the policy.

FACT: You can file a flood claim even if there is not a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance.

FACT: No home is completely safe from potential flooding devastation—why risk it?

FACT: If you live in a high risk flood zone, and you've received federal disaster assistance in the form of grants from FEMA or low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, you must maintain flood insurance in order to be considered for any future federal disaster aid.

FACT: Storms are not the only cause of floods. Flooding can be caused by dams or levees breaking, new development changing how water flows above and below ground, snowmelt and much more.

FACT: Too often, Americans are caught off guard by the emotional and financial costs of flood damage.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data Visualization Tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA has provided in terms of federal disaster aid (through its Individuals & Households Program) after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance Program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

To renew your policy, call your flood insurance agent. If you don’t have your insurance agent’s contact information, call the National Flood Insurance Program’s Help Center at 1-800-427-4661.

Who Can Buy Flood Insurance?

If you are a renter or homeowner (residential policy); or business owner (non-residential policy) and your property is located in a NFIP-participating community, you can purchase a policy. Contact your insurance agent to find out if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood insurance from the NFIP is only available in participating communities. Ask your agent if your state and community participate, or look it up online in the Community Status Book.

Learn more by watching these short videos, What Do I Need To Know About Flood Insurance Coverage? and How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

Find an insurance agent near you. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance too.

You can only purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can:

  • Contact the National Flood Insurance Program’s Help Center at 1-800-427-4661 to request an agent referral.
  • Watch this informative video, How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

What Do I Need To Know When I Buy A Flood Insurance Policy?

How Do I Renew, Change Or Pay For My Flood Insurance Policy?

Your flood insurance agent can help you make changes to, pay for, or renew your flood policy. If your lender requires you to have flood insurance, contact them directly to ask questions about renewing or changing your policy. Your payments could be included in financial transactions associated with your mortgage.

My Question Is About Flood Maps--What Should I Do?

Find out if your community has a recent or upcoming flood map change. When your community’s  flood map is updated to reflect the current risks where you live, requirements for flood insurance coverage and the costs of your policy can also change.

Find your community’s flood map (Type in your address and choose "Interactive Map")

Get answers to your flood mapping questions online or by talking with someone from FEMA’s Map Service Center.

Request a review of your flood zone designation (If you believe the zone your insurer or lender has determined for your property is incorrect.)

What Should I Know And Do Before, During And After A Flood?

The National Flood Insurance Program Desk Reference is in three distinct sections:

  • Before the Flood
  • During the Flood, and
  • After the Flood

Community and state leaders, insurance industry professionals, as well as policyholders, renters, homeowners and businesses will find its resources helpful. We have organized this guide to provide succinct information in an easy-to-navigate document and included important, key contact information. To ensure it can be updated as the program evolves, this document has been published electronically.

Read about everything from mitigating your home to reduce flood damage, to information about weather alerts and how to stay safe when it's flooding in, How to Prepare for a Flood.

Information for Policyholders, Help with or without a Disaster Declaration.

My Home Or Business Just Flooded--What Should I Do?

File Your Flood Claim

Flood claim appeals and guidance (please note--you cannot appeal a claim until you receive a denial [for some or all of your claim amount] from your insurance company.)

What Can I Do To Prepare For Or Even Reduce Flood Damage? And Can Doing These Things Lessen How Much I Pay For Flood Insurance?

What you pay for flood insurance has a lot to do with how much flood risk is associated with your building. It makes sense to reduce flood risk no matter what, but in some instances reducing flood risk can also lead to lower flood insurance costs. Below are some resources to help, but discussing your policy options with your insurance agent is the best place to start.

Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot be Elevated explains things that can be done to better protect a building from flood damage, and in some cases implementing these changes will reduce the cost of your flood insurance.

Communities enrolled in the NFIP's Community Rating System can get discounts on their flood insurance, learn more here.

The Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting can help you decide the right method to mitigate future damage and loss by considering various factors, such as hazards to your home, permit requirements, technical limitations, and costs. This guide also helps you develop a flood protection strategy.

The Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage, for eligible properties that are required to be in compliance with local floodplain requirements, can help pay for elevating a building after a flood. Another way to get help with the cost of elevating your building would be through one of FEMA's various grant programs. The grants are administered by states, and each state decides which projects it will fund and for how much. Contact your local floodplain manager for more information.

To learn more about elevating your property, read Elevating Your House.

Did you know? An elevated home, like the one shown on the 5 Ways to Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium, with a first floor elevated 3 feet above the base ­flood elevation, can expect to save 60 percent or more on annual ­flood insurance premiums.

Did you know? Elevating just one foot above the Base Flood Elevation often results in a 30% reduction in annual premiums.

Source: Ready.gov

National Preparedness Month: Safety Skills

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Save yourself and others by getting certified in First Aid & CPR!

Learn First Aid & CPR 

Take a first aid and CPR class. Local American Red Cross chapters can provide information about this type of training. Official certification by the American Red Cross provides, under the “good Samaritan” law, protection for those giving first aid.

Get more information about the supplies in a first aid kit.

Learn to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Make sure you have one or more up-to-date fire extinguisher and be sure everyone knows where they are kept and how to use them. You should have, at a minimum, an ABC type.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate. Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area. Get more information about preparedness for a fire emergency.

Know how to shut-off Utilities

Natural Gas

Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital that all household members know how to shut off natural gas.

Because there are different gas shut-off procedures for different gas meter configurations, it is important to contact your local gas company for any guidance on preparations and response regarding gas appliances and gas service to your home.

When you learn the proper shut-off procedure for your meter, share the information with everyone in your household. Be sure not to actually turn off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedures.

  • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve, if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.

  • Caution: If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.

Water

Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve. 

  • Before an emergency happens, locate the shut-off valve for the water line that enters your house and label this valve with a tag for easy identification. Make sure all household members know where it is located.

  • Make sure this valve can be completely shut off. Your valve may be rusted open or it may only partially close. If so, replace it.

  • Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.

The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve. (This is not the street valve in the cement box at the curb – the street valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool.)

Electricity

Electrical sparks have the potential of igniting natural gas if it is leaking. It is wise to teach all responsible household members where and how to shut off the electricity.

  • Locate you electrical circuit box. For your safety, always shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit.

Source: Ready.gov

National Preparedness Month: Evacuation

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Plan for evacuation in your community!

Plan to Evacuate

A wide variety of emergencies may cause an evacuation. In some instances you may have a day or two to prepare, while other situations might call for an immediate evacuation. Planning ahead is vital to ensuring that you can evacuate quickly and safely, no matter what the circumstances.

Before an Evacuation

  • Learn the types of disasters that are likely in your community and the local emergency, evacuation, and shelter plans for each specific disaster.
  • Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.
    • Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
    • If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
    • Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
    • Always follow the instructions of local officials and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.
  • Develop a family/household communication and re-unification plan so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you and re-unite if you are separated.
  • Assemble supplies that are ready for evacuation, both a “go-bag” you can carry when you evacuate on foot or public transportation and supplies for traveling by longer distances if you have a personal vehicle. 
  • If you have a car:
    • Keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
    • Make sure you have a portable emergency kit in the car.
  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if needed. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.

During an Evacuation

  • A list of open shelters can be found during an active disaster in your local area by downloading the FEMA app
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
  • Take your emergency supply kit.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.
  • If time allows:
    • Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
    • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
    • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
    • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
    • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
    • Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
  • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.

After an Evacuation

If you evacuated for the storm, check with local officials both where you’re staying and back home before you travel.

  • Residents returning to disaster-affected areas after significant events should expect and prepare for disruptions to daily activities, and remember that returning home before storm debris is cleared is dangerous.

  • Let friends and family know before you leave and when you arrive.

  • Charge devices and consider getting back-up batteries in case power-outages continue.

  • Fill up your gas tank and consider downloading a fuel app to check for outages along your route.

  • Bring supplies such as water and non-perishable food for the car ride.

  • Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. 

  • Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.

  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.

Source: Ready.gov

National Preparedness Month:Emergency Alerts

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Don't wait until after the emergency, prepare now!

Public safety officials use timely and reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters.

Wireless Emergency Alerts

During an emergency, alert and warning officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), made available through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) infrastructure, are just one of the ways public safety officials can quickly and effectively alert and warn the public about serious emergencies.

What you need to know about WEAs:

  • WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States
  • WEAs can be issued for three alert categories – imminent threat, AMBER, and presidential
  • WEAs look like text messages, but are designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration, both repeated twice
  • WEAs are no more than 90 characters, and will include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, as well as the agency issuing the alert
  • WEAs are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt texts, calls, or data sessions that are in progress
  • Mobile users are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe
  • To ensure your device is WEA-capable, check with your service provider

Visit the FEMA Media Library and download these tools:

Emergency Alert System

  • The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), is a modernization and integration of the nation's existing and future alert and warning systems, technologies, and infrastructure.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.
  • EAS may also be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, imminent threats, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.
  • The President has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level EAS will be activated. FEMA is responsible for national-level EAS tests and exercises.
  • EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable, providing an added layer of resiliency to the suite of available emergency communication tools.

Emergency Alert System fact sheet  

NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office.

  • NWR broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • It also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security, natural, environmental, and public safety through the Emergency Alert System.

Source: Ready.gov

National Preparedness Month: Make a Plan

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

Make and practice your plan.

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

  2. What is my shelter plan?

  3. What is my evacuation route?

  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household

  • Responsibilities for assisting others

  • Locations frequented

  • Dietary needs

  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment

  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment

  • Languages spoken

  • Cultural and religious considerations

  • Pets or service animals

  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

Source: Ready.gov

Western Lehigh County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Lehigh County.

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

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today – 610.776.7774

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

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