Recent Posts

Large Commercial Water Damage in a Luxury Philly High-Rise

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

The inside of a gutted condo unit. The SERVPRO team prepared these units for restoration!

Last month, the SERVPRO of Society Hill team was called in to mitigate a large water damage at a luxury high-rise in Rittenhouse Square. A pipe burst on the building’s 9th floor had caused extensive flooding. Water poured all the way down to the ground floor, saturating walls, floors and furniture. Many of the units located on the building’s north side required partial demolition.

To many, a damage this large may seem overwhelming. But at SERVPRO, we've seen it all! We have the resources and experience to handle large commercial losses. 

All hands on deck! 

The longer it is left to sit, the more devastation a water damage will cause. Our goal was to mitigate the damage as quickly as possible to prevent further loss. More than 30 crew members worked around the clock to get the job done. Within three weeks, all units were gutted and prepared for restoration!

CAI Conference and Expo 2021!

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Woman in black blouse standing at a disco-themed booth. Rachel, our giveaway winner!

SERVPRO of Society Hill recently attended the annual Community Associations Institute (CAI) Convention and Expo at the Valley Forge Casino.

The Community Associations Institute is an international membership organization dedicated to building better communities. CAI provides education, information, and advocacy that are central to managing and governing responsible, exceptional community associations. The Keystone Chapter is the critical component to building better communities in Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and Northern Delaware.

SERVPRO was proud to sponsor the event’s Wifi! This year’s theme was Stayin’ Alive and Learnin’ to Thrive! Our booth- hosted in partnership with SERVPRO of Upper Bucks- included a disco diva and a 70s theme raffle game. Our lucky winner, Rachel from Radnor House Condominium Association, won a $500 visa gift card!

We enjoyed the opportunity to meet with community leaders and look forward to attending the event again next year!

Understanding Soot Damage

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

Back soot covering a white brick fireplace and wall. Accumulated soot appears as a dark black residue.

Soot is a highly acidic airborne contaminant made of tiny carbon particles created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels like wood, oil and coal. Individual soot particles are nearly microscopic - even smaller than dust. They easily travel through ventilation systems before attaching to a surface. Accumulated soot appears as a dark black residue and emits a smoky, ashy odor.

Is Soot Dangerous?

Simply put, yes. Soot accounts for over one quarter of the total hazardous pollution in the air and is known to cause various types of cancer and lung disease.  

During a house fire, both natural and synthetic materials burn. The resulting soot particles can contain acids, chemicals, metals, dust and other hazardous materials. These toxic particles then stick to surrounding surfaces, like walls and ceilings, leaving you and your home exposed to the harmful effects.

How To Clean Up Soot

Soot removal is a difficult and sometimes dangerous task. It’s acidic nature makes it very challenging to remove and simply scrubbing or wiping may only further the damage. 

If you’re dealing with a relatively small amount of soot, removing it yourself may be manageable. Wear protective gear and ensure proper ventilation by leaving a nearby window open. Vacuum the damaged area and use a special chemical sponge to wipe the affected surface.

If you have significant soot damage- call the experts. SERVPRO of Society Hill has years of experience in fire, smoke and soot damage cleanup. Call 215-772-1203 to schedule your complimentary estimate today!

Safety & Prevention

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

Keeping dryer vents clean is important for a number of reasons, including energy savings and more importantly, personal safety. Many forget that there’s more to it than cleaning the dryer’s lint screen between loads of laundry. A clogged dryer vent can lead to very dangerous results. 

Dryers work by pushing out hot, moist air so your clothes can dry. If your dryer vent to the outside becomes blocked by lint, the air will not be able to expel moisture like it was designed to do. The result will be trapped moisture that takes more heat energy to evaporate. A blocked vent could cause carbon monoxide to collect in your home rather than being vented outdoors. Along the same lines, dryer lint is highly flammable and can pose a fire hazard.

Five years ago, clogged dryer vents caused a fire to erupt in the laundromat pictured here. We’ve returned to perform routine cleanings of their vents ever since. They remain safe and fire free!

Having your ventilation system properly cleaned annually is the simplest way to protect your home or business. To schedule a dryer vent cleaning, call SERVPRO of Society Hill at 215-772-1203.

Water Damage Prevention: 3 Tips

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

A grey washing machine with a white towel inside. Aged and brittle washing machine hoses are a leading cause of water damage.

Water damage is a costly event that most homeowners are desperate to avoid. While not all water damages are preventable, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of encountering one.

Three preventative tips:

Know where your water main is located.

If you experience a plumbing emergency inside your home, knowing where your water main shutoff is located will make it easier to turn off the water right away, and hopefully minimize any damage.

Maintain appliances.

Check and maintain your appliances regularly for leaks according to manufacturer’s directions. Pay special attention to the state of your washing machine and refrigerator hoses. When these become old and brittle, they often become leaky and are among most frequent causes of water damage for homeowners. A hose typically has a life expectancy of about five years. Replace yours regularly to avoid a mighty mess and expensive damage.

Investigate and repair leaks promptly.

If you discover evidence of a leak in your home, investigate it right away. A small crack can quickly escalate to a full blown pipe burst.

If you opt to ignore moisture damage or postpone necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home. 

Keep in mind that homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental. Damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Hurricane Preparedness Week

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

A spiraling hurricane seen from space. National Hurricane Preparedness Week: May 9th- 15th

Hurricane Preparedness Week runs May 9 through 15. This is a designated time to prepare for the potential of a tropical storm or hurricane. Now is the time to ensure your home is secure against storm damage.

Follow these three basic steps to minimize the risk of a property damage:

  • Repair gutters and clear them of debris. Any method to divert heavy rain from your property will help, like French Drains.
  • Make sure you have a method in place to secure your property’s windows and doors. Check storm shutters if you have them. Be sure you have enough plywood to secure your windows if you opt for that method.
  • Determine where you will stow all outdoors items like furniture, that could become a damaging projectile. If you cannot move them indoors, have a way to secure them. Bungee cords and tarps will come in handy.

In the event of a disaster, SERVPRO of Society Hill is ready 24/7 to respond to your emergency!

Detecting Hidden Damage With Thermal Imaging

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Infrared camera shows hidden moisture behind a wall. Visible temperature differences indicate the presence of moisture.

Water leaks can cause serious damage to a structure and are often difficult to detect until it’s too late. The subtle signs are easy to miss until water begins dripping from the ceiling. At SERVPRO of Society Hill, we utilize advanced tools that allow us to detect hidden moisture. Chief amongst these is the infrared camera.

An infrared camera produces thermal images that reveal subtle temperature differences. How? Every object emits infrared light, even cold ones. An infrared camera measures the amount of infrared light that is emitted off of a surface. The measurement is then calculated to determine the temperature. Visible temperature differences indicate the presence of moisture.

However, identifying a pattern that looks like moisture does not always guarantee the presence of water damage. That's why we follow up on infrared findings using another valuable tool; the moisture meter. The meter will confirm whether what we’ve detected is in fact water.

These tools allow us to detect hidden moisture without cutting into walls, which speeds up the testing process helps keeps costs low. That's the SERVPRO difference!

Large Loss Specialists: SERVPRO Franchises Join Forces!

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

A high-rise building. SERVPRO's large-loss specialists can tackle any size disaster.

Last week, SERVPROs of Society Hill, Overbrook and Blue Bell joined forces to tackle a large commercial water loss in Center City, Philadelphia.

A pipe burst in a high rise building resulted in five floors of saturated walls, ceilings, carpets and office furniture. A team of more than thirty crew members quickly arrived on the scene to perform extraction and cleanup. The drying process took several days to complete and required more than 220 air movers and 60 dehumidifiers. 

High-rise buildings tend to have more water damage exposure. Thankfully, the elite large-loss specialists at SERVPRO are pre-qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster. The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation. 

Prevent Water Damage With Clean Gutters

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Heavy rainfall hitting a home's gutters. Protect your home with clean gutters.

April showers bring May flowers! That’s right, the welcome warm climate of Spring brings with it torrential rain. Heavy spring downpours fall straight into a home’s gutter system, making functional gutters essential to preventing a costly water damage.

When a home’s gutters are blocked, rainwater is unable to drain. As a result, the excess water travels down the siding and often finds its way inside. As moisture infiltrates the interior, what begins as a steady trickle eventually leads to substantial damage. Over time, water stains to the walls and ceiling are visible. As temperatures warm, the threat of toxic black mold growth is inevitable.

The proven method to prevent water damage from gutters is to clean them at least twice annually, in Spring and Autumn. A Spring gutter cleaning removes the accumulated debris from winter and eliminates the threat of blockage. This ensures your gutters are functioning properly and will increase their overall longevity.

For recommendations on gutter cleaning services in our area, call SERVPRO of Society Hill at 215-772-1203.

Why Is Floodwater Dangerous?

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

A street sign is submerged in murky floodwater. Floodwater often contains dangerous unseen contaminants.

Many of us fear floodwater for the threat it poses to property. But did you know floodwater also poses a serious health hazard? According to The National Severe Storms Laboratory, more people are killed in the U.S. by flooding each year than are killed by tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning.

Floodwater is often teeming with dangerous bacteria and contaminants, which can spread infectious diseases, contain chemical hazards and cause injuries. The worst contamination is caused by sewers or drains backing up in urban areas, or runoff from agricultural chemicals and animal waste in rural areas. In addition to microscopic contaminants, murky floodwaters may contain physical dangers such as downed power lines, sharp debris, or wild animals.

If your home is damaged by a flood, you should always assume that the floodwater is contaminated, even if you can’t see any obvious evidence within the water itself. Avoid contact with the water at all costs and contact professionals to assess the damage. At SERVPRO of Society Hill, we have the specialized training and equipment to carefully extract contaminated floodwater and return your home to safety.