Recent Storm Damage Posts

Polar Vortex 2019

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Polar Vortex:

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.

Winter Weather Preparation

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

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

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

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.

What are Ice Dams

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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.

Flash Flood Watch

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flash Flood Watch Florence is upon us. If your home or business experiences water damage, call us. SERVPRO is "always here to help"

The National Weather Center has issued a flash flood watch for parts of Northeast Pennsylvania including Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. With the ground already saturated, flooding will occur easily.

SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/harveys Lake has been extremely busy dealing with flooded basements from this unprecedented stormy summer.  This rain is certainly not needed and will most certainly cause additional damage to homes and businesses through the county. 

One benefit of SERVPRO is our ability to partner with other local franchises to ensure that your home or business is being mitigated and restored by IICRC certified companies and qualified restoration professionals. No disaster is too large.

if your home or business experiences water damage from this most recent storm call the Back Mountains leader in smoke, fire and water damage cleanup and restoration at (570) 562-6777. SERVPRO is "always here to hel

Storm Team-Resource for Wide Spread Flooding

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

The rains this past week were unprecedented and have resulted in flooded basements throughout Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. Monday night we fielded over 50 calls on our after hours line and more the following several days.

One advantage SERVPRO provides is our ability to handle widespread storm damage by utilizing other local franchises or by activating our storm teams. In this incidence our storm team was activated which means we called upon franchises throughout the Eastern part of the country to help families recover from this devastating storm. All in all, between the storm team and the Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge and Hazleton/Dallas/Harveys Lake franchises we were able to help close to 100 families recover from flooded basements. 

Hopefully the area does not experience another storm like this but if it does, know SERVPRO has the experience and resources to address large scale flooding issues. We are "always here to help"

Rain Rain Go Away

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Rain Rain Go Away Heavy rains have lead to flash flooding and basements filled with water.

Northeastern Pennsylvania has experienced what seems like several weeks of rainy days. From a consistent light rain to violent thunderstorm leading to flash flooding, SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harveys Lake is extremely busy helping home and business owners making it "Like it never even happened."

These storms have wreaked havoc in the region overwhelming sump pumps, backing up sewer systems and leading to flooded basements. Most times a homeowners insurance policy will NOT cover outside water in leading to thousands of dollars of out of pocket expenses and the secondary damage as a result of improper cleanup is yet untold.  If your basement does take water install a sump pump. And with sump pump purchased the sump pump failure rider on your homeowners policy as a  safeguard to situations like this.

Another tip to protect your property is to add the sewer and drain backup to your policy as well. While normally there is a limit, all category 3 water (sewage), should be professionally cleanup which is not inexpensive. As I have written before, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" a it's always better to be safe than sorry.

How to Reduce Flood Damage

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to Reduce Flood Damage This Hazleton property was damaged by a recent storm. The roof blew off causing extensive indoor flooding.
A broken water pipe filled this business with water damage in Hazleton, PA

Flood season is quickly approaching-Preparedness is the key.


Water-resistant materials can withstand direct contact with floodwaters for at least 72 hours without being significantly damaged and sustaining little more than low cost or cosmetic repair, such as re-painting.


  • Dry flood proofing protects the building by “sealing” the building so flood waters can’t enter:
  • Applying a waterproof coating or membrane to exterior walls.
  • Installing watertight shields over all openings, including windows and doors.
  • Anchoring the building to resist flotation.
  • Strengthening walls to withstand flood water pressures and flood debris.
  • Install a sump pump and foundation drain system.


Protect your property from shallow flooding by adding a waterproof veneer, a brick backed by a waterproof membrane is one example, and sealing all the openings.


Raising electrical system components above the anticipated flood level will help prevent damage to the electrical system and helps avoid the potential for fire from short circuits in flooded systems. All components should be raised at least 1 ft. above the 100-year flood level.


Unanchored fuel tanks outside your property can damage your building or be swept downstream, damaging other properties. The supply line to an unanchored tank in your basement can tear free and fuel can contaminate your basement. Make sure that fuel tanks are properly anchored.


Floodwaters can extensively damage heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) equipment. The extent of the damage depends upon the depth of flooding and how long the equipment is underwater. A good way to protect the HVAC equipment is to move it to an upper floor or build a flood proof wall around the equipment.


Flooding in some areas can cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up through drain pipes. Backflow valves are designed to block drainpipes temporarily and prevent return flow into the house.


Floodwater that enters a well can contaminate it and make the water unsafe to drink. A licensed well drilling contractor can inspect your well and suggest improvements

SERVPRO-Disaster recovery Team (DRT)

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO-Disaster recovery Team (DRT) A sea of SERVPRO green as we respond to large disaster at a local commercial property

When a natural disaster strikes it can be all too easy to lose hope in light of severe damage and loss. Whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood – the SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help fast.

No Disaster Is Too Big
The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harveys Lake smoke, fire, water and flood cleanup professionals are prepared for the unpredictable.

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big.

 Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:

  • 2014 Polar Vortex
  • 2012 Sandy
  • 2010 Nashville floods
  • 2008 Ike
  • 2007 Chicago floods
  • 2007 Ohio floods
  • 2007 California wildfires
  • 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita

Should a catastrophic storm strike, call (570) 235-1646. SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harveys Lake is the Luzerne County's leader in flood and storm cleanup and restoration. We proudly serve the local Hazleton and Back Mountain communities even in the face of a disaster, SERVPRO  of Hazleton/Dallas/Harveys Lake flood cleanup professionals will strive to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Emergency Services Company 24/7/365

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Emergency Services Company 24/7/365 Our team addressing a water loss at a business in Hazleton during the recent snow storm.

Neither rain, sleet nor snow will stop the SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harveys Lake team from responding to water disasters throughout Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. As this extreme cold weather pattern remains in force , our team continues to meet the demand for restoration services of burst water pipes. Drying homes and businesses, making them safe and returning them back to pre-damaged condition is our specialty. Mother nature will continue to wreak havoc throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania and if your home or business experiences a water disaster know that SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harveys Lake is available 24/7, 365 days/year to help make it "Like it never even happened."  We are the water restoration serving Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties including all parts of Hazleton.

Frozen Pipes-Preventive Planning

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Frozen Pipes-Preventive Planning This is the result of a frozen pipe that burst upon thaw. You can image the amount of damage it caused to a nursing home in Dallas.

As I woke up this morning freezing, the thoughts of frozen pipes occurred to me. Winter is the restoration industry's busiest time and busted water pipes are a leading cause. Many times this costly damage could of been prevented with some easy preventive maintenance steps.

1. Pipe wrap to insulate the expose piping in the basement of your home. This is an inexpensive way to be proactive and to ensure that the exposed pipes will not freeze.

2. Seal/insulate all small cracks and openings in your basement. Wires and pipes run inside/out of homes and could leave small open spaces which will permit freezing wind to directly affect an area of pipe. That area could freeze and burst. This again is a simply and cost efficient way to keep the heat inside and the cold out.

3. During those especially freezing nights, let the faucets slowly drip. Running water through the pipes will prevent it from freezing. Also, open cabinet doors under the sinks to allow the home heat to circulate underneath. Again, a few degrees can make a tremendous difference.

SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harveys lake is here to serve the Western Luzerne county for all your smoke fire and water cleanup and restoration needs. We are an emergency services company available 24/7 to help make it "Like it never even happened."

24/7/365 Reducing Business Interruption

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake is an emergency services company available 24/7/365 to meet any smoke, fire or water disaster. As a part of our agreements with all the major insurance companies we are required to be on-site working within four hours from the notice of initial loss (FNOL). Usually we are there much quicker.

Working from our shop in Sweet Valley, Pa. we can respond to anywhere in the Luzerne County area quickly. And speed in paramount in reducing secondary damage as well as limiting business interruption for all our commercial customers. Our goal is to where ever possible to keep your doors open and your business operating. We understand that downtime equals loss of revenue.

If your business experiences a smoke, fire or water disaster in the middle of the night, call the company that your insurance company trusts and know we will respond. SERVPRO of Hazleton/Dallas/Harvey's Lake is always "here to help"!