Polar Vortex 2019
SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake is in the midst of addressing the prevalence of burst pipes throughout Northeastern Pa. Unfortunately this extreme weather pattern will continue for the next few days exasperating the problem. When this extreme weather pattern changes early next week, we will see a increase in the number of burst pipes. It’s not the freeze but the thaw that causes the disaster.
It is possible that we are unaware of any frozen pipes until it is too late. Whether it be a dishwasher, an infrequent used bathroom or a washing machine, sometimes we are unaware. As proactive as we may be, sometimes things happen and SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake is here for those times.
We are available 24/7 to respond to any water disaster resulting from this storm. We have the experienced water restoration technicians and specialized equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened." We are proud to serve our local Back Mountain/Hazleton area communities.
Benefits of Hiring a IICRC Certified Company
IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate) Benefit:
The IICRC is a nonprofit certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. In partnership with regional and international trade associations, the IICRC represents the entire industry. The IICRC is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource.
Why use a certified technician?
Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling any escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their preloss condition.
If you’re looking to hire a restoration company, look for the IICRC logo and ask for the company's certified membership number.
IICRC Certified Firms have earned the right to display the IICRC logo as a symbol of quality. In order to achieve IICRC-certified status, firms must meet a rigorous list of standards in business ethics and expertise.
All 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 actively has relationships with fiber producers, carpet and fabric mills, furnishing manufacturers and retailers, and others affiliated with the industry. The use of IICRC service professionals is specified in leading manufacturers’ maintenance brochures and warranties.
SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake is an IICRC certified firm. Our membership number is 203810. We follow all IICRC standards in our water, fire and smoke cleanup and restoration as well as our mold mitigation work
Winter Weather Preparation
Winter is a volatile season for weather. Depending on where you reside the type and degree of preparation you need to address winter weather may vary. In the south east or southern California, you will not likely have to prepare for severe blizzards, but cold, often freezing weather may still occur. For most of the U.S, preparing for winter weather involves preparing for ice and snow. The blizzard that struck the northeast U.S yesterday and the severe storms that hit before the holidays are examples of how important preparing for winter storms is. From transit shutdowns and road closures to widespread power outages or just arctic temperatures, winter is a trying time and requires ongoing preparatory measures. Here is a brief look at a couple of steps you can take to better prepare yourself for the bitter cold weather.
Maintain a Consistent Temperature Inside
Keeping your home a consistent temperature during the worst of the cold weather will help prevent pipes from freezing and ensure that your appliances continue to function well. Furnaces, water heaters, and plumbing lines all need to be used regularly during the winter to maintain functionality. If you are away for long periods during the winter, make sure to set your thermostat to a consistent, warm temperature. Even though you are not around, it is important to keep your home heated. Set the temperatures moderately–not too high to run up energy costs, but not so cold that your home is adversely affected. If you are away, consider keeping cabinet doors where pipes are housed open to allow warm air circulation to keep them from freezing. Also, consider allowing a small trickle of water to run out of the faucets and down the pipes.
Keep Emergency Supplies
An essential part of adverse weather preparation is to maintain a supply of emergency materials. In the cold of winter, this includes things like alternative heat sources such as generators, lanterns, and portable heaters, or fireplaces. Having a wood burning fireplace can be a great benefit in the winter–particularly if you lose power–but there are other solutions if you don’t. Always ensure that you have plenty of warm bedding and clothing on hand. Keeping a power generator can be a good idea if you have an emergency need for power. These can be useful if power is down for a number of days as well. Beyond heat sources, make sure you have a supply of food for at least one week and plenty of water. Other items such as: flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, shovels, ice melt, and battery or solar powered radios are all good items to have available for a storm.
Beyond keeping a supply of essential items to combat winter weather, monitoring the forecasts and taking caution when leaving the house are all good practices. During a severe storm and arctic temperatures, staying indoors is especially important. The recent scourge of record cold across the U.S is an example of the importance of staying prepared.
SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is Northeastern Pennsylvania leading specialty cleaning company and we are happy to supply you with these simple tips. Should you experience a weather disaster give SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge a call.
Extended Frigid Temperatures
SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's lake is in the midst of addressing the prevalence of burst pipes throughout Northeastern Pa. Unfortunately this extreme weather pattern will continue for the next few days exasperating the problem. When this extreme weather pattern changes early next week, we will see a increase in the number of burst pipes. It’s not the freeze but the thaw that causes the disaster.
It is possible that we are unaware of any frozen pipes until it is too late. Whether it be a dishwasher, an infrequent used bathroom or a washing machine, sometimes we are unaware. As proactive as we may be, sometimes things happen and SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's lake is here for those times.
We are available 24/7 to respond to any water disaster resulting from this storm. We have the experienced water restoration technicians and specialized equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened”. We are proud to serve our local Back Mountain/Western Luzerne County community.
Chimney and Wood Burner Fire Safety
A night by the fireplace will keep your heating bill lower and keep you nice and toasty. But wood burning appliances have become the largest source of heating-related fires in U.S. homes, so it’s important to understand how to safely maintain your chimney and fireplace.
Know Your Hearth
Take the time to learn just what kind of chimney and fireplace you have. If you have a freestanding wood burner with a factory-built metal chimney, make sure to have a professional install it or follow the manufacturer’s specific guidelines, as those have been created using the appropriate national standards. Also, be aware of the proper placement of a fireplace in a room. Always have a floor protector below it, and have it extend at least 18 inches on all sides. You don’t want a loose piece of wood to pop out of the fire and end up on the nearby carpet or wall.
With a masonry chimney, always close the screen once the fire is lit. Be especially cautious with your young children, and don’t let them within three feet of any kind of fireplace. Stoke your fire with the poker and andirons, not other pieces of wood. And keep the chimney flue open to ensure that the fire is properly ventilation.
Know Your Creosote:
The most significant thing to consider in regards to chimney safety is creosote. This is a black tar-like residue that collects in the chimney flue from past fires. Creosote is highly combustible, and over time can accumulate thickly enough to start a chimney fire. For this reason, you’ll want to call a chimney sweep at least once a year before the heating season for a professional cleaning.
The sweep should fix any cracks, blockages, or leaks in the masonry or lining of your chimney that could present a future hazard. Inspect your chimney often; a good rule of thumb is to have the chimney cleaned if there is 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch of creosote on the walls or lining. In the meantime you can take precautions to avoid further creosote buildup. Only burn seasoned wood. Not all firewood is created equal. You’ll want wood that was cut the previous year and has been stored away since that time. This wood is dark or gray compared to freshly cut, unseasoned “green wood.” It is brittle, has cracks running through each piece, and is quite dry. It will produce the most heat and least amount of creosote.
Avoid slow, smoldering fires. Having more smoke than flame in your fireplace is never good. Reduce the smokiness by not burning newspapers or cardboard for kindling. Cut wood into thin sticks to get the fire going. Also, don’t use lighter fluid because it burns up quickly, leading to more smoke.
Burn everything up. Use a highly efficient fireplace that fully burns all the combustibles and turns everything to dust.
SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake, Northeastern Pennsylvania premier specialty cleaning company is proud of our relationship with State Farm insurance and is pleased to provide these safety tips. SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake proudly serves all of the Back Mountain/Western Luzerne County.
What are Ice Dams
Ice dams on the outside can cause water damage to an interior of a structure like at this home in Dallas, PA. Be pro-active to avoid this damage.
The weekend forecast calls for exceptionally cold weather. This is problematic on several fronts for homeowners and businesses, but with the recent snow on the roofs, ice damming is a main concern.
What is an ice dam?
Ice dams are a pervasive and damaging winter roofing problem caused by poor roof ventilation and a warm attic space. Left untreated, ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof, gutters, paint, insulation, drywall, structure and even contribute to mold. Ice dams form when melting snow on a roof runs off and refreezes at the edge of a roof. This condition occurs when the snow is melted by a warm roof, creating water running between the snow and the warm roof surface, then freezing and turning to ice when it gets past the exterior wall and hits a cold unheated roof edge or gutter.
The water backs up and eventually seeps into the inside of the home or business. SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake responds to many water emergencies which are the result of ice damming. Water is an amazing phenomenon and without professional drying can lead to both structural and health concerns over the long run.
Be proactive and prevent your home or business from experiencing an ice damming situation and a costly repair. However, if it does occur call a professional restoration company to ensure you and your family's health and safety. SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake is the back Mountain/Western Luzerne county's leader in smoke, fire and water cleanup. We are an IICRC certified firm and follow all the recommended guidelines in drying any water disaster. An emergency services company we are available 24/7/365.
How to Reduce Risk of Freezing Pipes
This frozen water line lead to the pipe bursting causing an in-door flood.
When The Mercury Drops
Even if you’ve taken the right preventative steps, extreme weather conditions can still harm your pipes. Here are a few more steps you can take:
- A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
Before You Leave
Travelling in the winter months might be good for the soul, but don’t forget to think about your pipes before you leave. What can you do?
- Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F (12°C).
- Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it's warm enough to prevent freezing.
- Shut off and drain the water system. Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it may be deactivated when you shut off the water.
If Your Pipes Do Freeze
What do you do if your pipes still freeze, despite your best preventative measures? First step: Don’t panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do:
- If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
- Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water: You could be electrocuted.
- Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house!
- You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
- If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.
SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake is the Back Mountain/Western Luzerne counties premier specialty cleaning company. We excel in the mitigation and restoration of water, fire and smoke damage on a 24/7 emergency services basis.
Toliet Supply Lines- A Common Cause of Residential Water Disasters
Toilet supply lines are a common cause of all residential flooding.
Pictured is a broken toilet supply line. Unfortunately this part is a common cause of many residential water disasters. The disaster becomes worse when the homeowners are not home and the water continues to flow unabated from top down. SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake was recently called by the homeowners insurance company to a home in West Hazleton which had three floors damaged by this exact scenario. This seemingly harmless part which most do not even think about caused thousands of dollars in damage. SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake water restoration professionals were able to begin the mitigation process and help reduce any secondary damage. Call us for all your water disasters. We are proud to serve our local Back Mountain/Luzerne County communities.
Preventative Maintenance Programs
HVAC duct system. How is your indoor air quality?
SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake understands the difficulty facility managers experience in keeping current with a preventive maintenance programs for their facility. For this reason we offer commercial property owners and managers preventive maintenance on air duct and dryer duct cleaning as well as cleaning services.
Working with the facility directors we can determine each facility's individual needs and schedule accordingly. Whether it be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake can utilize its certified technicians and specialized equipment to help keep the facility current, clean and safe. These programs can certainly help reduce the possibility of any future disaster.
This picture is of a dryer duct at a hotel in Hazleton, Pa. The build up on lint is a potential fire hazard and without regular maintenance. Call SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake to discuss a preventive maintenance program.
Sewage Backups Pose a Health Risk
Always call a professional cleanup company when dealing with a sewage backup like this one in Hazleton, PA.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments.
SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake certified technicians are trained to safely remove bio hazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.
Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake certified technicians remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized
Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.
SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake is the Scranton areas premier sewage cleanup company. Don't take the risk of doing it yourself. Call us for all your cleanup needs: (570) 562-6777