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First Response Actions | SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

hot fire with red flames Fire damage can be very devastating for a business or commercial property. We are the fire and smoke damage restoration experts.

After a disaster, the only thing a business owner likely wants is to clean up the mess and get back to work. However, property damage from a fire or flood could suffer smoke and soot damage, water damage, and mold. Biological hazards from sewage and chemicals in the floodwater runoff make the cleanup a dangerous task.

Professional restoration services can salvage property that others may think are beyond help. The 24-hour services normally arrive on the scene within a couple of hours after a call, but anxious business owners can begin the process with caution.

Inspect for Safety

Stay away from evacuated areas until the authorities allow people to return. Do not enter a building with structural issues. Enter smoke-damaged buildings cautiously because the particulates in the air from the fire can harm respiratory health. Wear gloves, rubber boots, and face masks for protection.

Contact utility services or talk to officials in a flooded area about the safety of entering the building. Consider the building hazardous until utility workers or fire investigators have turned off the electricity and made certain gas utilities do not pose a threat. Wear rubber boots, or chest waders if needed, to ensure protection from any standing water.

Increase the Ventilation

Open the windows for better air circulation to remove smoke odors, but only if the weather is not rainy outside. You don’t want to add more water to the environment. If the utility services decide you can safely turn the power back on, install fans in the windows to direct air out of the building. Do not attempt to use any previously submerged electrical appliances.

Protect the Carpets

Do not walk across soot-stained carpets because this can cause the soot to spread and embed deeper into the carpet fibers. Plastic bags over furniture legs or sheets of aluminum foil under the legs can protect carpets from upholstery fabric dyes that may seep from wet furniture. Do the same for metal legs, as they can leave rust stains behind when wet.

Sort Some Items

Professional restoration services can salvage a surprising amount of property, including electronics, but cannot help when items have melted or burned severely. Remember to photograph and keep an inventory list of anything thrown out so the information is available for an insurance claim.

Remove Smoke Odors

If the fire occurred in a small area, like a break room, the rooms closed off from the event may only need air cleaning to make them usable again. Fill bowls of baking soda and distribute throughout the room to remove some odor. Install air purifiers as well if possible. Turn off HVAC systems to prevent the circulation of smoke and soot through the ventilation ducts.

Avoid Potential Pathogens

You can’t always salvage everything during extensive floods. Many business locations are in urban areas where a flood could cause sewage systems to overflow and expose people to pathogens. The water may also contain toxic chemicals like oil and gas from flooded cars or roads and runoff from industrial buildings.

Do not allow the floodwater to encounter any exposed skin. Do not allow employees to remove their property before the restoration company arrives because of the risk of pathogen exposure. Allow restoration professionals to clean any items deemed salvageable to ensure the belongings are safe to handle.

Business owners want to get back to work after a disaster, but they also need to exercise patience to avoid illness or the unnecessary loss of equipment. At SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside, we can help. Our restoration technicians will work with you and your insurance company to make the process fast and effective. Contact us today. 

Things You Can Do for Your Home After a Fire | SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

House with fire damage to upper level and roof If you've experienced a small isolated fire or a complete burn down, you need a property restoration company to properly assess the damage. SERVPRO of

Without a doubt, a house fire is catastrophic to a family. It does not matter if the fire completely destroyed everything or if only a portion of a single room was involved, your family will be greatly affected. You want to get things back to normal as soon as possible, which means you’ll need a professional fire damage company to do repairs and restoration.

But while you wait for the professionals to do their work, you can take care of some things yourself. Of course, you must wait until the fire department gives you the all clear that the place is safe for you to enter. Even if only one room was involved, you need to know that the house is secure. In any fire, burning materials release toxic fumes that linger and can be dangerous if you inhale them.

In addition to toxic fumes, the structure of the building may be impaired. The fire department is trained to inspect all the places that were involved in a fire and decide if the house is structurally sound or not, which is crucial before you can enter. Once you have been told the house is safe to enter, here are a few things you can do yourself.

Secure the House

You do not want any more damage to the house after a fire. To ensure that the house is secure from wind, rain, and any unwanted people, board up all windows and doors that are damaged. If the roof or walls were damaged, be sure to put a tarp over the open areas if you cannot cover them with wood.

If the whole house was damaged, you may want to put a privacy fence around the property. You don't want anyone going in or being around the place who may get hurt, cause more damage, or even take things from your exposed house.

Pump Out Water

Firefighters use a lot of water to put out a fire. You need to get any standing water out of the house before it starts to mold. You can rent a pump from a local tool rental facility. Make sure the fire department and electric company have okayed the use of the electricity for the pump. If not, ask a neighbor if you can run an extension cord from their home to the pump.

Remove Trash

Some of your belongings won’t have survived the fire. Go through your home and throw out anything that is not salvageable. This includes getting rid of food items in the refrigerator and cupboards. Be sure to get rid of burned clothing, medicine, and cosmetics too.

Pull Out Furniture

If the furniture has not been burned but is covered in ashes or has water damage, you should pull it out of the house. Even if you do not see any soot or water, the material will smell like smoke. Taking the furniture outside gives it a chance to dry and air out. Keep in mind the pieces will still need to be professionally cleaned if you plan to keep them.

Ashes and soot are difficult to remove from furniture, walls, floors, and ceilings. Getting the smell out of the house and furnishings is also hard to do. Professional fire restoration companies understand what is required and have all the equipment and know-how to get things back to as normal as possible.

Whether you need to have a few pieces of furniture cleaned, or the whole house restored after a fire, contact SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside to take care of things for you. We can handle it all so you can begin rebuilding your life.

Storm Damage Prevention and Restoration | SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Dealing with a strong storm, such as a severe thunderstorm or tornado, is not easy, but following the right procedures helps keep the damage to a minimum. Naturally, you want to prepare well for any upcoming storm, and of course, you also want to restore your home to its original condition if any damage occurs.

This article looks at how to prepare for strong storms and also examines some key restoration issues.

Preventing Damage From A Storm

One important task for homeowners expecting severe weather to strike their area is to trim back any large tree branches that could potentially fall on their house. In many cases, roof damage from strong storms is the result of large branches falling on the roof and letting rainwater into the home.

Doors and windows often sustain significant damage during strong storms. A good way to keep any damage to a minimum is to cover doors and windows with plywood. If you live in an area where storms are common, it's a good idea to install storm shutters, also known as hurricane shutters.

Do not leave any outdoor furniture outside when a storm is expected. Strong winds can easily lift outdoor chairs and tables and turn them into dangerous flying objects. Put all outdoor furniture in a garage or storage room well in advance of any storm.

Another good idea is to disconnect all of your electronic equipment, such as televisions and computers, before the storm hits. Also, make certain that you know how to turn off your utilities should this become necessary once the storm is over.

Restoring Damage After a Storm

Roofs frequently suffer a significant amount of damage during severe storms. The shingles are often blown off, or tree limbs and other objects create holes in the sheathing. To prevent water from getting into the house through a damaged roof, have a tarp placed over the roof by a professional restoration service, such as SERVPRO.

Also, if you must leave your home after a storm make sure that the doors and windows have been boarded up if you have not done so already. If the storm damaged any boards that you put up in advance, have the damaged boards replaced.

Another vital issue that typically crops up after a major storm is mold remediation. Storms tend to let water into the house, and excessive moisture provides an excellent habitat for mold growth. Mold can gain a foothold in your home in a short period of time, so you must deal with mold problems quickly.

Some mold is not harmful to humans, but other types of mold can cause health problems, so your best course of action is not to deal with the issue yourself. There is no reason to take a chance with your health when experts are available to do the job. Call a qualified restoration firm and have them get rid of the mold. 

It's also quite common for important documents to receive damage after a storm due to exposure to moisture. You will want to save your documents if at all possible. Document restoration is not a do-it-yourself job. Fortunately, many storm restoration companies offer document restoring services.

A great way to save damaged documents is to have them freeze-dried. Air-drying damaged documents is another option. The best method usually depends on the amount of damage the documents received.

Preventing storm damage is important, but it's not always possible to prevent a very strong storm from damaging your home or your belongings. If a storm does cause damage to your home or personal property, SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside can provide vital restoration assistance. Contact us for more information. 

Mold Remediation in Washington DC

4/26/2017 (Permalink)

Mold problems in the Washington DC area

In the Washington DC area, mold is a real problem for many families. That’s because it can cause irritation and allergic reactions for people in the household. Mold thrives in humid environments, and as we all know, the summer months are very humid in the DC, Maryland, VA area.


What is mold?


Mold is a microscopic particle that exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to completely remove all mold from a home or business. However, it doesn’t necessarily need to be removed, nor does it become a problem until the humidity – or moisture level – increases. That’s when the mold begins to thrive in number, and starts to form colonies. These colonies can produce allergens and irritants to people, especially to children and people with compromised immune systems.


Another effect of excess mold is the strong odor it produces. It’s an odor that you won’t want to smell again, if you’ve ever smelled it before. If that smell is in your home, where you and your family expect to be comfortable, and relax you'll want to take care of it right away.


For this reason it is important to monitor the humidity level in your home, especially in the DC area, where the humidity is present year-round, and the summer months can produce conditions in the environment that are favorable for mold growth. ‘


Generally, you want to keep the humidity level below 49%. When it is above this level that’s when these mold particles start to thrive and form colonies, producing the odor and causing allergic reactions in many people.


SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside properly inspects your home for mold, identifies the cause of the odor, and completely removes it without a trace. Give us a call for more information on our mold removal process today!

Causes of Water Damage in the Mid Atlantic

4/19/2017 (Permalink)

water damage in the mid atlantic

Water damage is a common problem among home owners. It can cause extensive financial loss, and damage to the home, but more importantly, it can force the inhabitants out of the house temporarily, or even permanently.

So how can we prevent water damage from occurring? We are going to cover that, but first, let's take a look at some of the most common causes of water damage in a residence.

The most common cause of water damage we have found is leaking pipes. Unfortunately, many times it is almost impossible to see that a pipe is leaking or malfunctioning because the problem is out of site.

In some cases the pipe will rust over time, or freeze over. In fact, any drastic change in temperature will cause stress on the pipe, and lead to minor damage of the structure.

So how do we prevent this from happening? The most common way is to simply allow the water to trickle out of the tap, even if it’s at a drip, through the night on particularly cold nights. This allows the water to continue to move, and discourage freezing.

Another cause of water damage is accidents. Most people with children know how this goes: action figures dropped in the toilet, kids overflowing the bathtub, anything like that. In this case preventing the water damage is simple enough. Simply being aware of what your child brings into the bathroom with them, and keeping an eye on their baths should help you avoid water damage in these cases.

Another cause of water damage is humidity in the basement, attic, or crawl space. In dark, damp, and humid places – especially in mid atlantic, where it's already humid - this environment allows moisture to drip through the foundation, walls, or roof. If left unattended over a period of time this can lead to damage to the walls ceilings, and floors of these spaces.

It’s tricky to spot the development of water damage in these places because the  damage happens gradually over a long period of time. A simple solution is to apply the use of a dehumidifier once in a while in these areas. That should prevent any significant water damage to them.

There are many other causes of water damage, but these are just some of the most common. As always, if you have a case of water damage in the Northern Virginia area you can contact us at SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside for the fastest service in town!

50 % of Businesses will NEVER Reopen...

2/3/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage

The New Year brings opportunity for new beginnings! Start 2016 off right be being READY!

Did you know up to 50 % of businesses that suffer a disaster may never reopen?

Of the businesses that do survive a disaster, the overwhelming majority had an emergency preparedness plan in place.

Make your resolution one that helps protect you and your business. Call us today at 1 (800) 320-0640 to learn nire about how we can help you be "Ready for whatever happens" in the New Year!