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Fire/Smoke FAQ

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire/Smoke FAQ Smoke damage in Chambersburg

When your home or business has a fire or smoke damage there can be plenty of question that you’ll think of. Here is some frequently asked question for fire or smoke damage.

Smoke Webs or Cob Webs? If you look in the corners of door ways or by windows you can see black webs and you’ll think to yourself have they always been there? The answer is no, they are smoke webs that form by how the air travels during a puff back or fire.

Where did the smoke go? Each home, each room, each area is impacted differently and needs to be tested. When opening doors and windows to air out the home can cause the smoke to travel. Sometimes it can enter your ductwork be forced out threw the vents. We will test areas prior, during and after to inspect to determine in inside the cabinet/dresser needs cleaned or just the external.

How long will this take? Smoke cleaning project on the average take about 1-2 weeks to clean. Fire damages that are more extensive could be a few months due to the repairs needed.

Clothing and Electronics? Yes, these items typically need to be cleaned as well. Electronic are something that needs to not only be clean but validated it’s safe to use if the fire had any effect on the wiring or electrical outlets to the home.

Food and Medicine? During a smoke damage pending the severity of the smoke we may advise to dispose of all food or the open food to prevent ingestion of soot particles.

During your cleanup services SERVPRO will inspect and address your concerns base on your situation as to every fire/smoke damage is not the same. Call us today at 717-261-0310 to have a professional help you!  

Need to know about mold

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Need to know about mold Mold behind paneling in basement.

-Mold has existed since ancient times.

-The human species has always lived in the presence of mold.

-There are over 100,000+ species of mold identified. The unique flavor of bleu cheese is produced by mold.

-We are constantly exposed to thousands of different types of fungi in our everyday lives. Certain types of fungi tend to exist naturally in soils, plants, fruits and textiles.

-Exposure to these fungi in naturally occurring doses is generally not harmful to health.

-While the types and concentrations of fungi existing in the environment vary from one geographic region to another, the most common types are as follows: Aspergillus (most common), alternaria, bipolaris, Chaetomium, fusarium, penicillin, and paecilomyes.

Mold Needs the Right Environment to Grow

  • Water, moisture or high humidity
  • Food (any organic substance)
  • The right temperature (generally 68*F-86*F, but some can grow in 30*F or colder)
  • Lack of ventilation
  • Mold presents greater challenges to young children, the elderly and other immune-suppressed people.
  • Some molds can produce toxins if the environment conditions are right.

Biohazard & Crime Scene-Remediation & Cleanup

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Biohazard Biohazard & Crime Scene-Remediation & Cleanup After a trauma scene cleanup, can you tell?

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO of Chambersburg offer faster, reliable biohazard, vandalism, and crime scene cleanup and remediation services to residential and commercial property owners.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. Failure to properly handle and safely remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

We are trained to safely and effectively remove hazardous biological substances and prepare water for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products,  help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and businesses. SERVPRO of Chambersburg Professionals can help with:

    • Bloodborne Pathogens-  Removal and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. 
  • Arson & Vandalism-  Your local SERVPRO of Chambersburg Professional also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.
  • Sewage Backups & Black Water Intrusions- Sewage backups and clack water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO of Chambersburg Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, disinfecting as they clean. We ensure the structure is cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation
  • Crime Scene Residues

Oh no, I have mold now what?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Oh no, I have mold now what? Be informed about mold remediation.

If you suspect you may have mold in your home or you are certain that you have mold in an area that is larger than ten square feet, you should absolutely be seeking a professional hygienist to perform mold testing. Many of our initial conversations with clients consist of explaining the mold remediation process and guiding them towards taking the correct actions. In this article, we will explain what it means to have mold testing done in your home, why it is important, and what you can do to get the process going correctly.

Does SERVPRO Test for Mold?

Most of our callers assume that testing for mold and removing it are the same service.

We place this process of having an independent testing company is in the best ethical interest for businesses and homeowners. The separate processes ensures that you, as the homeowner, are safe from conducting business with any company that may wish to perform testing on your property, inflate estimates for remediation, and overcharge you for services performed.

If SERVPRO Can’t Test, Who Can?

The decision of who to call to schedule mold testing services is entirely up to you unless your insurance company specifies otherwise. While SERVPRO of Chambersburg does not provide this service, we understand how confusing the search for a trustworthy mold inspection company can be, which is why we provide our callers with recommendations for mold testers that have proven to be efficient and thorough.

What Should I Expect from The Mold Tester’s I Choose?

Multiple Tests

Solid mold testing companies in Chambersburg and the surrounding areas will perform more than one test in your home. Taking surface samples from your home can determine the type of mold you are dealing with, however, doing this type of testing alone is insufficient in determining the extent to which your home is affected or the actions that must be completed to successfully remediate and ensure the problem is gone.

Air quality samples should also be taken from multiple areas throughout your home. Mold is a living organism that releases spores that become airborne and can travel throughout hour home and ventilation, affecting other areas as well. Air quality tests will determine how much of your home is affected and to what extent.

Comprehensive Reports and Protocols

A professional mold assessor will provide you with the full details of your testing results and their findings. You should expect a report that contains a variety of information such as the type of mold species that was found, how many areas are affected, and which areas contain the highest concentration of spores.

Will SERVPRO Remediate Without Testing?

SERVPRO of Chambersburg will remediate without testing but a waiver will be signed acknowledging the limitation of the services that can not be identify without testing.

How to Get Mold Testing Started

Once again, finding your own mold testing company is your choice. Be sure to do as much research into the company you choose as possible and remember the key points made in this article. If you need assistance, direction, or recommendations for trustworthy mold inspection companies, call our office at (717)-261-0310 and we will be more than happy to assist you!

New homeowner or first time owner what you need to know?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

General New homeowner or first time owner what you need to know? Today's learning about new homeowner insurance.

New homeowner or first time owner what you need to know?

You’ve recently purchased a home and want to ensure your investment is protected. Reviewing your insurance policy is the first step.

Question to ask your insurance provider.

  1. Policy Limit – You need enough cover to not only repair your homes value but to demo possible during a claim. So, if you purchased your home valued at $180,000 means you need $180,000 + value of demoing the building. In a fire you may have sustain so much damage you need to remove the structure and start over, that price will exceed your purchase price.
  2. Content Limit – If you had to clean or replace all the items in your home what value is that? Furniture, decoration, clothing, food, appliances etc. Most insurance carries will have a formula to estimate the value based on your homes value.
  3. Itemize - Your specialty antique items, jewelry, and guns normally need to be itemized on your policy to ensure the replacement cost is adequate. Some policy standardly only come with $2,000 in guns and ammunition coverage.


3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage DOCUMENT RESTORATION SERVICES What if you document storage room got wet?

During a insurance claim you may find some very important documents that you need restored.SERVPRO of Chambersburg can provide those services to you for 1 box to 100+ boxes. Medical facility, tax documents, family keepsakes can be very important and need to be handled with special care. 

  • Drying - Process in which an item containing moisture is frozen and dried using vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation.
  • Cleaning - We offer onsite cleaning. This is cleaning each document front and back to remove debris and any surface particulate. 
  • Sterilization - Gamma Irridation is a process that is used for disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. 
  • Deodorization - Once paper has been wet, an odor can begin to form. Letting us deodorize your documents will reduce the odor and sometimes almost completely eliminate it. 
  • Destruction - We offer certified destruction onsite.
  • Digitization - Digitizing documents makes them easier to access as well as easier to store. We use state-of-the-art equipment to turn your paper copy into a digital file

Residential home fire, now what?

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Residential home fire, now what? Smoke damage from a fire in a bathroom.

When a fire occurs at your home it can be overwhelming to understand everything that needs to be done. SERVPRO of Chambersburg is your guide along this journey to help answer question, insure the insurance is properly informed, documentation of the process is completed.

After a fire has been put out and the fire fighters leave the scene it’s possible that the cause of the fire still needs to be investigated by a fire marshal or the insurance cause and loss inspector. For them to do their job the typically requested that there is little movement inside the home till their work has been completed to gather evidence.

Your home may need to be secure while you stay in a hotel or with family and friends as the fire fighters needed to break out window or doors to do their job. We can provide those services to secure the home called a “board up”.

Once we have received permission we will then enter and assess the homes damages determining what can be cleaned and restored or replace. We will talk with the insurance adjuster to see if a move out for a length of time is needed to complete the work. Move outs are common when a large area of the home needs services, or essential area need demoed like a kitchen or bathroom. Some projects can be little as a few weeks to others more extensive for a 6-9 months window.

During our process we will document with photos and measurement of before, during and after submitting our file directly to the insurance provide. Our detailed completed estimate will be itemized for the services provided as well. We also will be in constant communicate with insurance adjuster threw out the process.

SERVPRO of Chambersburg can offer start to finish services including repairs and lining up a variety of vendors needed to service your home and personal property. Including vendors who can clean clothing, electronics, document cleaning/drying, painting and other contractors.

When to file an Insurance claim?

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

General When to file an Insurance claim? Water damage in a basement.

When to file an Insurance claim?

Had a water leak, flood or fire damage to your Chambersburg home? You should notify your insurance company immediately and contact a professional cleanup service like SERVPRO.  There is almost always a phone number to reach the claims department at most insurance offices anytime to report a new claim.

Why to reach out to your insurance company immediately?

  • Insurance adjuster or agents can provide important policy information like limits, deductible about, preferred vendors.
  • Faster processing a claim. Most adjuster are a few days out from visiting a new claim they’re for the sooner that you get on their schedule the quicker the claim can be processed, and payments released.
  • The services provider, like SERVPRO, may need to ask the claims department question or get approval for specialized equipment, to provide updates and submit the billing in a timely fashion.
  • Coverage, some policy may have a time limit to how many days past the loss occurred date to issue coverage.

2018 Recap of the year of SERVPRO

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

General 2018 Recap of the year of SERVPRO

It's a new year so let's look back at 2018 and see what it looked like for SERVPRO of Chambersburg. If one thing stands out overall from this year it is RAIN. We experience a large amount of rain over and over again. April showers we expect every year but we were inundated with high volume call in Franklin County PA in April, June-August. According to the national weather services ( ) we had approximately 20 inches then our normal for the south central Pennsylvania area. 

What kind of services calls were there? Sub pump failure was the biggest issued homeowners were faced with. Either their pump wasn't able to keep up with the rate of rain they were getting or they simply stopped working. Then as homeowners were attempting to fix their pumps they were learning how the big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot were all sold out. 

Once the pump was up and working again the water in their basement was able to drain most of it then SERVPRO can in with the extractor and removed the remaining water then dried out the basement with air mover and dehumidifiers. 

Understand our terms and lingo.

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

General Understand our terms and lingo. Terms used in the Insurance Industry by restoration professionals.

SERVPRO of Chambersburg is always "Here to Help". We know that jargon can be confusing so we usually try to break it down as easy as we can out in the field, but we know that our customers like to stay informed. Here are some common terms used in the field with their definition so you can understand better what is happening in your home or business.

Anti-Microbials: A substance, mechanism, or condition that inhibits the growth or existence of an organism.Commonly applied after a water damage to prevent mold from developing.

Fire Damage Recovery: The process of restoring and recovering property and belongings after a fire. The objectives include minimizing existing damage, damage mitigation, structure stabilization, soot & odor removal and reconstruction.

Fungi: The unicellular or multicellular eukaryotic/ DNA organisms embracing a large group of microflora including: molds, mildews, yeasts, mushrooms, rusts and smuts.

HVAC: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

HEPA Filter: High efficiency particulate air filter, a specialized filter capable of removing 99.7% of particles. Commonly used in mold or odor job sites. HEPA Vacuum or HEPA air scrubber. 

Masking Agents: Designed to prevent or remove heightened awareness to odors by providing a fragrance, which is stronger and more pleasant to smell while the source of the odor is being eliminated.

Smoke Damage Removal: Neutralizing or removing smoke odors that linger after fires.

Smoke Particles: Smoke is composed of gases / sometimes aerosols, and airborne solids. Dry wood, natural fibers and paper all produce small non-smearing material. Plastic, foam, and rubber (polymers) produce large easily smeared residues.