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Be Prepared for the Destruction Caused by Lightning | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

multiple lightning strikes off in distance of dark purple night sky If you are dealing with smoke or fire damage from a recent fire, call SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara to learn about a restoration solution for your issue.

Homeowners work hard to protect their properties from flames by practicing fire safety and utilizing firefighting tools. While many interior fires are manmade and largely preventable, other house fires can start as a result of natural threats and can impact your home out of nowhere.

More than 70,000 damage claims resulting from lightning strikes were made in 2020. While it is actually very uncommon for a person to be struck by lightning, your property is considerably more prone to being hit. And when lightning does strike, it has the power to wipe out your electricity, destroy trees and even ignite a fire.

Approximately 6,000 lightning strikes are thought to occur per minute. This shows that nobody is truly immune to this danger and that every one of us needs to be ready to safeguard our homes and ourselves before a storm takes place.

What Is Lightning?

Lightning is a massive flash of electricity that occurs among clouds in the air and on the ground. Thunderstorms aren’t the only cause of lightning, though. It can also strike during volcanic eruptions, strong wildfires and even intense snowstorms.

We relate lightning to dangerous weather, but it can also strike when the sky is completely clear. “Dry lighting” is produced without rain and poses a very significant danger because wildfires are created as a result. So, while we start to get ready for storms, we also need to think about fire safety.

Protecting Your Home From Lightning Fires

When lightning strikes your home, fire may soon follow. Fires are a result of either the temperature of the strike or the electricity created by the strike.

It might not be immediately apparent when a fire begins as a result of the strike, as a lightning-related fire will typically erupt up in your attic or between your walls.

Listen for a distinctive, loud boom when the strike occurs. If you discover your home has been struck, look for indications of burning and call the fire department as soon as you detect black markings or smell smoke.

One of the most effective strategies to avert lightning-related fire is to install a lightning rod. This metal pole can direct the power of a lightning strike away from your house so that it is not directly affected by the heat and electrical current of the hit.

When Lightning Strikes Nearby

Lighting is a common culprit of wildfires and other outdoor flames. There are several “peak” seasons for lightning fires in various regions of the country, but on average, 9,000 fires are ignited by lightning strikes annually.

Clear your yard of any debris or decaying vegetation, and utilize a defensible zone to keep your property safe from the hazards of a lightning strike. Make sure to install a smoke alarm on every floor of your home so that if a fire breaks out, you will instantly be notified.

When your home is damaged by flames, contact our team of professionals at SERVPRO. Fire restoration can be a difficult process, but our team makes it quick and painless through years of expertise and the use of state-of-the-art technologies. We will get your home back to its pre-fire state as soon as we can.

Have you experienced smoke or fire damage in your home? Call us today to get the restoration finished fast.

Addressing the Flooding Risk for Your Property | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara

9/12/2022 (Permalink)

a group of residential homes with major flooding in back yards Experienced water damage in your home? Call SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara to get the restoration process started right away.

No matter what your risk of flooding is, you should always be prepared for the unexpected. Water can cause extensive damage, even when it is a seemingly small amount.

In addition to the extensive damages, floods can be tricky to recover from as not all homeowners insurance policies cover flooding. Thinking about having to foot the bill for the entire restoration should have you taking preventive measures today!

The highest risk of flooding occurs along any of our waterways, like Brandywine Creek. We are also always at risk of springtime flooding when the snow melts, as that water can raise water levels and also soak down through the earth and into our basements.

Start With Your Property

All it takes is one ill-timed thunderstorm with heavy rain to leave you with a large water mess. Take some simple steps to prepare your home outside, like clearing your gutters and ensuring your downspouts are connected. These are great ways to keep water flowing away from your home.

You can also make your garden work for you! In addition to providing fresh vegetables or pretty flowers, a garden can help soak up excess water and prevent pooling in your yard. Just make sure to angle your garden plot away from your home so the water will flow down to your garden.

Also consider adding a rain barrel to your property! Rain barrels can keep the water flowing from your gutters in one localized area, which allows you to dictate exactly where it will go.

Flood Problems Inside the Home

Flood issues often originate in the basement, so taking the time to care for your foundation is a great place to start. Seal up any cracking you notice and address any dampness you discover right away.

Having a sump pump is another option to help you keep water away from your basement. If you live in a particularly high risk area, look into investing into a battery-operated pump so that you won’t ever be caught without help, even when we lose power.

Unreliable appliances and rusty or long forgotten pipes can also increase your flood risk inside your home. Address any dripping water or leaks right away, and add leak sensors below any appliances that will alert you of any problem the moment they detect water.

Lastly, take care to store the things that mean the most to you up high or out of harm’s way. Water loves to destroy photographs and other keepsakes, so have a way to keep them safe. It is also important to keep copies of any documents and your emergency plan in a waterproof location as well.

If you still find water in your home after preparing as best as you can, don’t panic! Just be sure to act quickly to prevent long-term problems and irreparable damage.

Experienced water damage in your home? Call SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara today to get your restoration completed faster.

A Fire in your Home?

9/7/2022 (Permalink)

Finger pressing button on smoke detector If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here to help. Contact SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara to learn more.

At SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara we know that going through a house fire is something that nobody ever wants to think about, but considering how you can prevent one can go a long way in protecting your home. Fires can spread in 30 seconds or less, jumping from a small flame to a major disaster situation quickly.

Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to ensure your home is as safe as possible from fires. While you will never be able to entirely prevent them from occurring, you will be able to significantly improve your chances of never having to experience a fire in your own home.

Reduce Your Chances of Experiencing a Fire in Your Home

Check your smoke detectors. Having smoke alarms is the foundation of fire safety, so it is important to make sure you have enough of them throughout your home. They should be on every floor and outside of every sleeping area, and it is recommended to test them monthly to ensure they have not malfunctioned.

Create a fire escape plan. Making sure your family does know how to get out of the house if a fire starts is so important. You will typically only have about two minutes to exit the house in a fire, so having a plan and practicing it often goes a long way in your overall safety efforts.

Limit your fire risks. There are many ways you can limit your fire risks simply through practicing good habits in your everyday life. Small things, like not leaving flammable objects near your stove, staying in the room if there is an open flame and storing chemicals safely, can all lower your risk of a fire breaking out to begin with.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. While fire extinguishers should only be used if it is absolutely safe to do so, they can prevent a small mistake from turning into a household disaster. Any time there is an open flame present, it is good to have an operational fire extinguisher nearby and be sure you know how to use it just in case things get out of hand.

If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 24⁄7 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at any hour to report your damage and receive a quick response. SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara can be reached at 717-561-1404.

The 3 Major Sources of Storm Damage | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara

9/1/2022 (Permalink)

a large lightning strike off in the distance of a dark sky When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, make SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara your first call.

Severe storms can be devastating for homeowners and can lead to costly damage that must be repaired. While some homeowners believe their home is prepared for this severe weather, many times they are proven wrong when an extreme storm passes through and creates significant losses inside and outside their property.

Strong winds and weather-related calamities can throw around debris as well as create heavy rains, hail storms, lightning and floods. Depending on the season and the type of storm, they are all a threat to your home and any of your belongings.

Depending on the kind of storm and events taking place, your home may be subject to different degrees of destruction. Multiple elements play a part in determining the intensity of potential damage, like the landscape around your property, the geography of the area and the quality of your home’s foundation or building materials. (We’re not going to deny that there is an element of chance as well.)

Being knowledgeable about the many kinds of weather threats is helpful, but understanding the specific conditions that frequently affect our area is even more beneficial. Lebanon faces thunderstorms, winter storms and flooding frequently. This weather has led to significant damage to properties all over our area.

To better prepare you for extreme weather, let’s examine the three primary types of storm damage:

Wind

When structures are subjected to powerful gusts of wind at extraordinarily high speeds, this type of destruction ensues. Tornadoes and hurricanes are the most common causes of strong winds, but thunderstorms can produce gusts of up to 100 mph.

Wind gusts might scoop up debris in your yard and toss it into your car or house. And the wind itself can also be powerful enough to rip shingles off the roof. It is critical to remain inside when a storm is on the way and away from any windows or outside walls in case glass breaks or the walls are pierced by debris.

Prepare your yard before a storm touches down to prevent excessive damage due to wind. Clean up any branches, large rocks, unsecured furniture or decaying trees to give strong wind gusts less to work with once they start blowing.

Water

Water damage is known to cause costly damage inside homes before and after a storm. Even a small storm can produce rain showers that cause water to collect outside your home and then leak inside through the seals on your doors and windows.

When there is a significant amount of water, it may soak into your foundation and seriously destroy its structural integrity.

Try utilizing strategic landscaping methods that help to direct water away from your property to minimize the degree of damage that water may do to your property. Alternatively, you could build a rain garden, which will help prevent water from accumulating near your home and make it look beautiful at the same time!

Also, be sure to keep your gutters clear of debris so they function as intended during severe weather. Clogged downspouts create backed-up water, which builds up until it eventually begins to leak down into your home.

Impact

“Impact damage” is another form of storm destruction that can have a devastating effect on your home. This damage presents itself as downed trees or debris being thrown into your home by heavy winds. Impact damage encompasses any damage done when an object hits or impacts your house or property.

To best avoid this type of damage, trim any branches that are near your home and have any decaying trees removed. This will prevent Mother Nature from sending them down onto your property.

Weather-related calamities cost more than $145 billion in losses in 2021 in the United States alone. These methods could help you save a significant amount of time and money and can help you prevent damage from occurring before a storm gets the chance to wreak havoc on your home.

Give SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara a call immediately if your household faces the devastating impact of severe storms. With state-of-the-art equipment and years of experience, our restoration specialists can handle any tragedy.

When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today to get your storm damage restoration started faster.

Keep Backyard Fires Under Control | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

a close up view of a bright campfire burning at night If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara

Relaxing by the campfire in your backyard is a great way to make memories with your family. S’mores, hotdogs and scary stories are just a few of the activities you can enjoy around the fire.

Backyard fires can be used for a variety of purposes, like enjoying a meal or removing old debris and providing pest control, but even the safest of fires comes with its own set of hazards. The National Park Service states that around humans are responsible for 85% of wildfires.

In 2021, Pennsylvania suffered from twice as many wildfires as had been normal for the 21st century. So, as wildfire danger increases in Pennsylvania, it’s essential to know how to protect your Lebanon home.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t still burn your yard trimmings, like your tiki torches, toast your marshmallows and barbecue burgers if local laws allow it. Taking precautions every time you burn will allow you to safely enjoy your backyard fires and reduce hazards.

Recreational Fire Hazards

While open flames are hazardous, grills, fireworks and campfires are some of the most prevalent ways backyard fires get out of hand. Grills are responsible for approximately 8,800 home fires each year, typically they are started by user error. Always supervise your grill when cooking food and be sure to check the propane tanks and gas lines that allow it to function.

Choose a safe location away from any buildings or forestry and only use a lighter or a match when building your campfire. Once you’ve gotten your flame going, only use wood to keep the campfire alive, and always keep a close eye even after you’ve put the flames out.

Fire pits are a great way to recreate the experience of relaxing at a campsite, but this equipment should be used with the same precautions as a regular campfire. If you can move your fire pit around, keep it away from overhangs and never place it on a wood deck.

While burning is a simple way to get rid of construction or household trash, you should only use approved firewood.

If you’re going to light fireworks, make sure they’re lit in an open area with plenty of room to land away from buildings, trees and other debris. Fireworks are only allowed to be set off from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round in Lebanon, with the exception of select holidays, when they are allowed to be set off until 1 a.m.

Other Outdoor Fire Hazards

Even with the hazards they pose, fire and flammable materials can still be used in useful ways. If your yard collects a large number of leaves in the fall and you have no way to dispose of them, burning your yard debris might be the best way to keep your yard clean.

Before burning anything, though, ensure your local authorities allow you to burn debris in the first place. Be aware of any burn bans in place and apply for a permit if necessary. At the moment, in Lebanon, you can burn any yard trimmings, leaves or any other safe-to-burn debris as long as you check with local authorities to confirm that burning is allowed.

Clearing your yard of dead leaves and shrubs is a useful way to protect your home from wildfires, as well as strategic landscaping that slows the spread of flames from reaching your home. Knowing what is safe to burn and following general fire safety protocols can help you keep your fire under control.

We all most likely have gasoline in our sheds and garages to power our yard tools and vehicles, but irresponsible storage can have a disastrous impact. Be sure to only store gas in approved containers, and keep containers where your kids can’t reach them. Gas should only be used for what it was designed for so when you can’t get those flames started, don’t reach for that fuel can.

Before lighting a backyard campfire, check your local weather conditions. If conditions are windy or very dry, reschedule your campfire to another day and save the marshmallows for later.

And if a backyard fire gets out of hand and leads to substantial damage, contact our experts at SERVPRO. Our crew is trained to examine and repair any fire-related damage, and we can restore your home or business back to normal as soon as possible.

Burn safely outdoors. And save some chocolate for us! If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact us today to get restoration started faster.

Stay Weather-Aware to Protect Yourself and Your Home | SERVPRO® of Hershey / Harrisburg East

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

a red and white severe weather alert sign If you suspect any damage to your home from a recent storm, call SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East 717-561-1404.

There are about 42 different types of weather warnings, each categorized into seven different weather-related groups. These alerts are sent out when severe weather conditions arise in your location. This information can be complicated to understand when a strong storm is forecast to strike your neighborhood.

Understanding what these weather warnings based on where you live can help you prepare for whatever circumstances may arise. These alerts are also a useful way to safeguard your home before severe weather impacts it.

While being aware of all kinds of weather scenarios is beneficial, being aware of the weather patterns that could hit our community here in Hershey / Harrisburg East is even more vital.

How Alerts Are Issued

So, how are forecasters able to provide these weather warnings? Since weather forecasts are merely predictions, how can we determine the severity and location of a storm? There are many factors that impact why these alerts get sent out.

The National Weather Service works to provide accurate weather forecasts as well as weather alerts as these conditions develop. These advisories are issued by six regional offices around the country, allowing for more accurate predictions based on location. You’ll find Hershey / Harrisburg East alerts provided from the Eastern Region headquarters in Bohemia, New York, along with local offices nearby.

Meteorologists use solar activity, weather balloons, satellites and even ocean buoys to make forecasts. These predictions will vary based on the severity of the weather event, but the primary objective is to provide the most accurate forecast possible.

The Most Important Alerts to Understand

When deciphering these alerts, the words “watch” and “warning” tend to pop up often. You’ll see this language used in weather alerts, including those for thunderstorms, winter storms and flooding.

A watch means a storm is being monitored and could become dangerous, so you should make a plan to be able to withstand potentially hazardous conditions. Watches are often issued in a larger area, while a warning is issued in a smaller, more specific area like a county or city.

A warning means a severe storm is imminent and you should take precautions immediately.

It’s also crucial to know what kind of weather to expect in your area so that when you get these alerts, you’ll know what your next plan of action will be to keep safe. Here in Hershey / Harrisburg East, we see a mixed bag of weather throughout the year.

Winters are snowy, icy and often very cold, while our summers are warm and humid. We may see strong winter storms, along with the potential for thunderstorms and even tornadoes in warmer times of year.

Protecting Your Home During a Storm

While monitoring weather alerts is the safest approach to defending your property and life during severe weather, there are a few other things you can do around the house to reduce the risk of damage.

Clear your gutters and fasten any outdoor furniture to protect your home from the impact of weather like floods or strong winds. Locate a secure place to wait out the storm and have an exit plan prepared in case your family needs to relocate.

SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East can take care of any of your restoration needs if your home is impacted by severe weather. We can devise and carry out an effective repair plan to restore your home to its original condition.

Staying informed about weather conditions that may affect your neighborhood is an excellent approach to protect yourself and your property from tragedy. Understanding the various weather alerts will help you best prepare for any storm that may pass through our area.

Experienced storm damage to your home or property? Contact us today for a quick response!

Restoring Your Hershey / Harrisburg East Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

7/5/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges Contact SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East for all of your commercial water damage needs! 717-561-1404

Flooding and water damage events at Hershey / Harrisburg East commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East

SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

For Immediate service in Hershey / Harrisburg East, call SERVPRO

7/5/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Hershey / Harrisburg East Staff in front of a SERVPRO van Hershey / Harrisburg East Residents: We provide immediate service day or night! 717-561-1404

SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Hershey / Harrisburg East. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 717-561-1404

Residential Services

Whether your Hershey / Harrisburg East home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Hershey / Harrisburg East commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: Commercial Restoration Cleaning

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

How Can I Tell if My Basement Has Water Damage? | SERVPRO® of Hershey / Harrisburg East

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

concrete block showing water damage If you have experienced any signs of water damage in your basement, give SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East today! 717-561-1404

Basements are a wonderful addition to any home. While it’s a great place for additional storage, a “bonus” room or an at-home gym, it can also act as a safe place to go during the event of seriously inclement weather.

However, due to the nature of how basements are dug into the ground, they can come with their own challenges, particularly water damage. While it’s not a guarantee that your basement will suffer water damage, many homes do for a variety of reasons.

Because of this, it’s good to be extra vigilant for signs of water damage so that you can prevent any further damage later on. Here will be looking at some signs of water damage so that you can keep your basement in peak condition.

3 Top Signs That There Is Water Damage In a Basement

Musky, unpleasant odors. Water that gets into a basement can remain stagnant for quite some time, and when it evaporates, it can leave quite an unpleasant smell. This pungent odor is almost exclusively caused by mold and mildew in the environment, so if you suspect that it’s just the common “musty smell” that most basements have, remember that this is a common misconception and it may be a serious red flag leading to water damage.

Flaking paint from the walls. Waterproof paint is sometimes adhered to interior basement walls and masonry with all good intentions by homeowners and landlords. However, this paint can oftentimes simply mask any issues related to water damage and results in compounded problems later on. Even though it’s classified as waterproof, it’s still possible for this paint to chip, peel and bubble on the surface under the right circumstances.

Foundational cracks. Cracks in homes can sometimes be caused by the house settling over time, but finding cracks in the foundation should be investigated as it may be a sign of water damage. Hairline cracks aren’t a major cause for immediate concern, but if they grow in size or width, they should be seen and treated by a professional immediately.

If you have experienced any of these signs of water damage in your basement, give us a call. We’ll be happy to have our water restoration technicians review the damage and give you an assessment on how we can help treat it properly. Contact SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East today!

Improve Your Air Quality: Duct Cleaning Can Help!

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Person laying on back inspecting HVAC To schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East at 717-561-1404 today.

The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the ductwork in your home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and duct work clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. The professionals at SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East will inspect your HVAC system and duct will and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, the professionals at SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East can often restore the HVAC system and duct work to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends it be inspected for proper functioning and be services before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, the professionals at SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East use a portable ventilation and ait duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.