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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Sewage Cleanup in Mechanicsburg

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

We received a call from a customer located on Darla Drive in Mechanicsburg. This customer had experienced a sewage blockage in the lateral between the home and the street. We quickly mobilized a crew and arrived at the home within an hour of the call! We promptly got to work and today the basement which was flooded with sewage is now clean, dry and ready for our construction crew to make it 'Like It Never Even Happened'!


SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara employs a systematic approach to cleaning that ensures each and every trauma scene meets or exceeds hospital-grade sanitation standards.  SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara's trained service technicians are skilled in removing harmful biological contaminants, as well as any lingering odors. As remediation specialists, our primary goal is to preserve the customer’s property and return the home to a safe, livable condition. 

Step 1: Control the Contamination

For maximum control, our technicians use proven decontamination procedures, by establishing three zones using plastic sheeting and bio-tape to separate the contaminated area from other parts of the building. This process prevents cross-contamination from occurring between clean and affected rooms: 

  • The Control Zone is the contamination area, where work will take place.
  • The Buffer Zone is where technicians put on personal protective equipment, and fill disposal boxes.
  • The Clean Zone is designated to store tools and equipment, in order to prevent cross contamination. 

During all stages of the decontamination process, SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara technicians are fully protected by Personal Protective Equipment, including respiratory gear, a double layer of gloves, and hazmat suits designed especially for biohazard recovery.

We treat all crime scenes as if they contain a life threatening infection, because some of the worst viruses are known to survive in blood and biological materials. Statistics from the CDC show that 1 in 24 people has either HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.

Step 2: Biohazard Cleaning and Structural Removal

  • Cleaning: SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara  technicians start by removing all traces of dirt, chemicals, blood and biological materials from the control zone. Personal property that cannot be remediated must be disassembled and disposed of as medical waste.
  • Sanitization: After cleaning, our technicians treat the control zone with specialized disinfectants by spraying surfaces at precise intervals. Following treatment, the crew wipes all surfaces manually a second time before using fluorescence testing, the same technology used by hospitals to verify sanitation level.
  • Deodorization: In the final step, SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara follows industry standard deodorization practices to eliminate the possibility of lingering odors.

If you are facing an unattended death cleanup, blood spill, or other trauma cleanup, trust SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara's professional decontamination process to safely remediate your home, vehicle or business. 

We proudly serve the Harrisburg, Swatara, Hershey, Palmyra, and Camp Hill areas.

John Langel on working at SERVPRO of Hershey

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Hershey - we aspire to live up to our tagline "Like it never even happened." 

Here is John Langel - one of our valued team members sharing what this means to him.


Professional Mold Remediation - Harrisburg

9/14/2016 (Permalink)

Understanding Mold

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Common Mold Misconceptions

With sensational news stories and misleading advertising, you can easily understand why so many people are misinformed about indoor mold. Learn the facts about mold and the mold remediation process.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Hershey?

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact them. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

We Are Highly Trained Mold Remediation Specialists

We specialize in water and mold damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. Our Professionals have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation.

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician

We Use Advanced Mold Remediation Techniques and Equipment

We use advanced equipment to detect the source of water feeding the mold. Next, we isolate the affected area using a negative air pressure chamber and perform mitigation work according to established professional standards per IICRC 520. 

Call us at 717-561-1404 if you suspect you may have a mold problem in your home or business.  We can help!

Mold 101 in Harrisburg

9/1/2016 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara we are experts in Mold Remediation.

Does your business smell a little musty when you walk through the door in the morning? It could be a tip that mold has begun growing. Mold growth can be responsible for damage to your building’s structure, the decay of essential records and your employees’ allergy symptoms. More than 1,000 types of mold thrive in the U.S. Their spores drift on air looking for wood, paper, carpeting or other materials where they can find nourishment. Although you can’t stop mold spores from floating through the air, you can protect your business from mold growth with a few easy steps.

Reduce the Humidity

Mold needs moisture to grow, so the key to preventing mold growth lies in eliminating water sources. Repair roof leaks, leaking pipes and cracks in walls or windows to prevent setting up an environment where mold can flourish. Maintain your HVAC system regularly to prevent excess humidity and get ductwork vacuumed annually to prevent dust-loving mold spores from setting up shop in the ventilation system. If relative humidity in your building is above 65 percent, mold will flourish. Use an industrial dehumidifier to reduce it.

Store Records Properly

Boxes of archived records are magnets for mold spores. Store cardboard boxes up off the floor to prevent them from getting wet in the event of a plumbing leak or flood. Placing boxes on shelves lets air circulate around them, but beware of storing them on the uppermost shelves where they’re susceptible to moisture from roof leaks. Silica gel packets taped under each box’s lid will help absorb extra moisture that might otherwise encourage mold growth. If you’re storing your files in a basement, closet or other enclosed space, monitor the relative humidity and use a portable dehumidifier if it rises above 65 percent. Finally, consider storing important records at a professional document storage facility where climate-controlled rooms deter mildew and other molds.

Move Quickly

Time is of the essence when your office is exposed to flooding, water leaks or other excessive moisture. Everything that has been exposed to moisture must be thoroughly dried within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. If you suspect mold growth in your HVAC system or near air intakes, don’t run the system. You’ll just further the spread of mold spores.

Be a Detective

Be alert for musty odors, moisture stains and unexplainable allergy symptoms that might signal an active mold colony. If you find mold in a file box or other movable object, seal it inside a plastic trash bag or wrap it in plastic sheeting to avoid spreading the spores to other objects. Place the object outside or move it to an isolated area where you can clean it with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. This will prevent spores from being dispersed into the air with the exhaust. Consult a professional like SERVPRO of Hershey to help determine and remedy the cause of the moisture in your building.

if you think you may have a mold issue - call SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara at 717-561-1404

Smoke and Soot Damage Restoration - Harrisburg, Pa

8/30/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
  • Limit movement to prevent further damage
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more siling.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with light coating of WD-40 or petroleum jelly
  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Don't attempt to clean carpet or upholstered furniture

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins,

SERVPRO of Hershey will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services:

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Hershey at 717-561-1404 754-9689

It's The Water You Don't See

8/30/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage It's The Water You Don't See Just a few of the specialty instruments we use to detect hidden moisture

SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara is a company that specializes in restoring water damage.

With any leak, its the water you don't see that can cause the most damage. When you experience a water damage, make the right choice. A mop and common household cleaning products may not be enough for the unseen water intrusions.  While the surface may seem dry, the water you do not see can contain bacteria, or cause mold, rot and other unseen damage.

DID YOU KNOW...The insurance industry estimates that approximately 90 percent of household damages stem from water-related occurrences. The most commonly reported cause is leaky or broken pipes and plumbing fixtures.


Home appliances are considered a leading cause of preventable water damage. By implementing a simple inspection and maintenance program, homeowners can reduce their risk significantly:

  • Dishwasher - Periodically check around the base of the dishwasher, as well as the water supply line under the sink.
  • Refrigerator - For refrigerators with ice makers, periodically check the hose connection attached to the water supply.
  • Washing Machine - Hoses should be inspected regularly for wetness around hose ends, as well as for signs of bulging, cracking or fraying. Hoses should be replaced every three to five years.
  • Water Heater - While the service life of the standard water heater is 10 to 15 years, water heaters should be inspected routinely for signs of leaks or tank rust. Water heaters should be located next to a floor drain or placed inside a drain pan piped to the floor drain.

So before risking the value of your home or further damage by attempting to clean and dry it yourself, or if you want to be sure that a past event is not creating problems today, call SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara today at 717-561-1404

Mold Damage Remediation - Harrisburg,Pa

3/27/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara is who you should call if you suspect you may have mold in your home or business.

Mold can produce allergens and irritants and has the potential to cause other health effects. Mold can spread quickly through your home or business in as little as 48 hours. If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by reviewing these mold damage tips.

If You See Signs of Mold, 
Call Us Today – (717) 561-1404

Understanding Mold

Some restoration companies advertise “mold removal” and may even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy because removing all mold from a house or business is impossible; microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Here are the facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara?

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

A minor mold problem can quickly become a major infestation if left untreated. We can start the remediation process immediately after you contact us. A faster response lessens the mold damage, limits additional damage, and reduces the remediation cost.

Learn More

We’re Highly Trained Mold Remediation Specialists

We are trained mold damage specialists who get started quickly to get your home or business back to normal, with specific training and certifications to handle your restoration needs.

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician

Learn More

We Use Advanced Mold Remediation Techniques and Equipment

We invest in the latest equipment and ongoing mold remediation training because it helps us restore your home or business quickly and effectively. We will isolate the affected area using physical barriers and a negative air pressure chamber.

Learn More

The Mold Remediation Process

Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation:

  1. Emergency Contact - (717) 561-1404
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  7. Restoration

Common Mold Misconceptions

It’s easy to understand why many people struggle to grasp the facts and issues surrounding indoor mold because sensational news stories and advertising cloud and obscure the real issues. Educate yourself with the facts about mold and learn about the mold remediation process.

Water Damage Restoration - Harrisburg

3/3/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Hershey Professionals understand that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help, 
Call Us Today 717-561-1404

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage. SERVPRO of Hershey Professionals utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned. 
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product. 


If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of Hershey Professionals can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. Move-out will provide several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.

Electronic Cleanup

Water-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. A SERVPRO of Hershey Professional will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. They start by cleaning the exterior of electronic devices to help stop further corrosion and damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the water damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-water damage condition, SERVPRO of Herhsye Professionals can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage.

Depending on the type of documents and the level of water damage, we have five options for the restoration of documents:

  1. Air Drying
  2. Dehumidification
  3. Freezer Drying
  4. Vacuum Freeze Drying
  5. Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO of Hershey Professionals can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding. Learn more about the Contents Claim Inventory Service.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most!

    We work with all mojor Insurance carriers

Water Damage Restoration - Harrisburg

2/13/2016 (Permalink)

The Water Damage Restoration Process

When your home or commercial property has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. Our experience and scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable us to properly dry and restore your property.

Water or Flood Damage in the Harrisburg or Hershey area?
Call Today – (717) 561-1404

Every water damage event is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. You can click on any of the steps below to learn more about that process.

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean all of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water. We are adept at cleaning contents using a number of techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.

Step 6 - Restoration

Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

What to do if your home is flooded in Harrisburg

2/13/2016 (Permalink)

If you discover significant water damage to your home your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A  Water Damage Emergency in the Harrisburg or Hershey area? Call (717) 561-1404

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Water and Fire Damage Certification - Harrisburg,Pa

1/25/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara technicians are highly trained and professionally certified through the IICRC (International Institute of Restoration and Cleaning Certification) to perform restoration services.  We invest in our team to make sure they have the latest training and most up to date equipment and tools at their disposal. 

The IICRC is a nonprofit certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. Serving the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, 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.

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.

    When it comes to cleaning, restoration and inspection, the IICRC writes the books

    As an ANSI-accredited Standards Developing Organization (SDO), the IICRC has led the way in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, upholstery and fabric cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation.

    Each IICRC standard takes years to develop and the coordination of several experts in the field, including allied tradespersons; manufacturers; international, national and regional trade associations; individual or franchise professionals; cleaning, inspection and restoration industry organizations; insurance industry; training schools; contractors; and public health professionals.

    These standards are reviewed and updated at least every five years. Many of these fields, such as the water damage restoration field, change rapidly and those who are certified keep up with the advancement of the science and generally accepted practices of the industry.

    The IICRC helps keep homes and businesses healthful

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person spends 90 percent or more of their time indoors, where levels of pollutants may be two to five times (and occasionally more than 100 times) higher than outdoor levels.

    This makes it extremely important to perform regular maintenance inside your home or business. In addition to vacuuming, cleaning and checking for water damage on a regular basis, using a certified technician for cleaning will help extend the life of your flooring and upholstery and ensure that your home or business is healthful for those who live and work there.

    SERVPRO First Responder 5k

    1/1/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara is proud to sponsor the First Responder 5k event on Saturady Jun 11,2016 at HACC.

    For more information on the race, including sign-up and sponsorship information - click here.

    We will also be holding a blood drive at the event.  To sign-up to donate blood, please click here

    SERVRPO of Hershey / Swatara provides water damage, fire damage, vandalism/& crime scene damage remediation as well as mold damage remediation in and around the Harrisburg area.  If you find yourself affected by flood, fire or other tramatic form of property damage - call us at 717-561-1404 and we will repond quickly with  aprofessionaly trained and certified team of hero's dedicated to helping you to recover..."like it never even happened" !!!!

    Why Choose SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara?


    We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

    When water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. Day or night, Hershey residents and business owners can expect us to respond immediately to your water emergency.

    Learn More


    We’re Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists

    As leaders in the water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-water-damage condition. Our process includes documentation of the drying process to validate your property is dry. Learn about our water damage training and certificates.

    Learn More


    We Use Advanced Drying Equipment and Techniques

    Properly restoring your home after a water damage event requires specialized equipment and products. This advanced equipment help us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. Finally, our technicians will clean the affected area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.

    Learn More

    Crime Scene Cleaner Quality and Compliance - Harrisburg,Pa

    12/17/2015 (Permalink)


    As a nationwide industry leader, SERVPRO of Hershey maintains the highest standards in cleaning, sanitation, and safety compliance. Many companies profess to have proper licensing and the certifications necessary to perform crime scene cleanup, but are they also legally able to haul away medical waste? Do they carry adequate insurance for the work involved? And how are their employees hired and trained?

    Your remediation company should be able to provide the following:

    • Evidence of bloodborne pathogen training and compliance. (OSHA-29 CFR 1910.1030 et seq.)
    • Evidence of personal protective equipment training and compliance. (OSHA-29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(3)(i) and 29 CFR 1910.132 et seq.)
    • Evidence of respiratory protection training and compliance. (OSHA-29 CFR 1910.134 et seq.)
    • Evidence of hazardous communication training and compliance. (OSHA-29 CFR 1910.1200 et seq.)
    • Evidence of a heat-illness awareness training program, including an on-site heat-stress level testing program, such as Wet Bulb Globe.
    • Evidence of job-specific OSHA training, such as Lock Out / Tag Out protocols for cleanings involve machinery, Lift and Fall Protection for cleanings involving ladders and scaffoldings, Hearing Safety for jobs involving high-noise equipment, and Back Safety for any and all lifting performed by employees.
    • Ongoing OSHA, medical waste handling/transporting, and process training for its employees. (OSHA-29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2) et seq. and EPA-40 CFR 745.80 Subpart E)
    • Evidence of expertise in environmental and regulatory compliance. (DOT, EPA, state & local agencies)
    • Evidence of compliance with asbestos regulations. (asbestos may be found in older homes & disturbing of asbestos without proper compliance violates multiple state & federal agency regulations)
    • A written exposure control program in the event of an accidental exposure incident. (OSHA-29 CFR 1910.1030(c)(1))
    • A training facility for its employees.
    • Proof of workers compensation insurance.
    • Proof of commercial general liability insurance.
    • Proof of contractor’s environmental liability insurance.
    • Proof of insurance coverage to protect against theft or property damage.
    • Proof of auto insurance for all company vehicles.
    • Biohazard placarding on its vehicles. (DOT-49 CFR Part 172, Subpart D)
    • Evidence of a medical waste transporter license.
    • Evidence of a contract with a licensed medical waste disposal company, where applicable.
    • Evidence of adhering and meeting requirements for packaging, handling, transporting, and reporting of regulated medical waste. (DOT-49 CFR Part 173, Subpart E and 49 CFR Part 173.6 Subpart A and state environmental agency regulations)
    • Evidence that biohazard technicians have had Hepatitis B vaccinations. (OSHA-29 CFR 1910.1030(f)(2))
    • Evidence of drug testing of its employees (random and pre-employment)
    • Evidence of background checks of its employees.
    • Evidence of clean driving records of its employees.
    • Evidence that the company does not use sub-contractors to do the remediation work.
    • Validated references or testimonials from customers.
    • Evidence of expertise in biohazard remediation.
    • Specifically designed chemicals formulated to serve the biohazard remediation industry.

    At SERVPRO of Hershey - we take pride in being the must trusted and most professional restoration company in the Harrisburg area.  Call us at 717-561-1404 if you need help with biohazard or crime scene clean-up in the Harrisburg,Pa or surrounding area.

    Biohazard / Blood Clean-up - Harrisburg Pa

    12/17/2015 (Permalink)

    5 Myths about Cleaning Blood Spills

    When it comes to cleaning blood spills, there is pressure to get it right the first time. Why? Because blood can harbor serious health risks, and bloodborne pathogens can seep into surfaces and cause potential illnesses, bacterial growth, and foul odors. It can be difficult to effectively clean a blood spill, however, if you do not have the correct information or tools to do so. Below are 5 common myths about cleaning blood spills.

    1. The best way to thoroughly clean a blood spill is with bleach. Bleach has long been thought of as the ultimate sanitizer. Unfortunately, according to Educating Wellness, "Chlorine bleach is a strong corrosive material. It will irritate the eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract by merely inhaling the gasses. The dangers of bleach are even greater when mixing it with other cleaners." Not only is it dangerous to your health, but bleach also has the ability to destroy carpet, furnishings, and other surfaces, and can disturb ecological balance if overused.
    2. Cleaning up a blood spill and sanitizing a blood spill are the same thing. Although these words are often used interchangeably, they mean very different things. Cleaning is simply the process of removing material from a surface, whereas sanitizing is completely ridding a surface of microorganisms and biological material. Remember: Although a surface may look clean, biological material may still be present.
    3. It is impossible to fully sanitize a surface without using bleach. Believe it or not, there are better ways to sanitize blood spills than by using bleach. Furthermore, many of these processes are not toxic to humans, animals, or the environment.
    4. If you are cleaning the blood of a family member, you do not have to take the same precautions as you would if you were cleaning up the blood of a stranger. No matter whose blood has been spilled, you should wear protective equipment like gloves and goggles. Because 1 in 24 people are carrying HIV, Hepatitis B and C, or a host of other pathogens (and are often unaware that they have been infected), all blood should be handled as if it poses a serious health risk.
    5. You are on your own. In the case of a homicide, suicide, or serious accident that happens at home, it is generally the responsibility of the family to clean up the scene afterwards. For many families, this seems like an impossible and trying task. Fortunately, no family has to go through this process alone.

    SERVPRO of Hershey is an industry leader in bioremediation, approaches cleaning blood spills with both a compassionate and scientific perspective. Our method for cleaning blood spills includes rigorous cleaning procedures, structural remediation, biohazard removal (cutting away affected carpet and flooring and remove them via legal medical waste transportation), and surface sanitization of affected and adjacent areas. 

    Contact us today at 717-561-1404 

    SERVPRO of Hershey - Guild Quality

    12/17/2015 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO Hershey/Swatara surveys all of their customers shortly after the completion of work, and their feedback appears in the summary on this page.


    If you are a SERVPRO Hershey/Swatara customer, and if SERVPRO Hershey/Swatara completed work for you after February of 2014 but you haven't yet received a survey,please let us know.

    As a GuildQuality Guildmember, SERVPRO Hershey/Swatara relies on our customer surveying to help them deliver an exceptional customer experience.

    We have surveyed customers on behalf of SERVPRO Hershey/Swatara in Harrisburg, PA; Hummelstown, PA; Hershey, PA; Middletown, PA; Carlisle, PA; Lebanon, PA; Palmyra, PA; Green Castle, PA; Enola, PA; Annville, PA; and 19 other cities in Pennsylvania.

    Water Damage Harrisburg

    12/17/2015 (Permalink)

    Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following:

    • IICRC Training
    • Employee Certification Training
    • Initial Franchise Training
    • e-Learnings
    • Continuing Education Classes

    IICRC Training and Certification

    The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.

    IICRC Certifications

    • Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT)

    This four-day course covers mold and sewage remediation techniques and how to perform these procedures in the field while protecting the health and safety of workers and occupants on your property.

    • Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD)

    Technicians learn to dry water-damaged structures efficiently and effectively using monitoring devices, extraction systems, and drying equipment. This three-day course includes comprehensive classroom and hands-on training to develop technical and practical drying expertise.

    • Carpet Cleaning Technician (CCT)

    This two-day course covers pre-inspection, fabric identification, cleaning chemicals and equipment, and proper cleaning techniques for residential and commercial applications.

    • Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT)

    Technicians will learn about types of smoke and fire damage, job planning, equipment, and practical cleaning procedures in fire and smoke settings. This two-day course also includes instruction on odor and deodorization concepts.

    • Odor Control Technician (OCT)

    Technicians learn to address odors and deodorization techniques. This one-day course covers odor control caused by biological sources such as decomposition, urine contamination, mold, and other sources.

    • Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician (UFT)

    Technicians learn fiber identification and upholstery cleaning methods. This two-day course also covers identifying upholstery cleaning problems before fabrics shrink, bleed, crown, or distort.

    • Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT)

    This three-day course covers the concepts of water damage and its effects in residential and commercial settings. Technicians learn techniques and procedures to deal with water losses, sewer backflows, and contamination such as mold.

    Employee Certification Training

    The Employee Certification Training is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:

    • Crew Training
    • Fire Restoration
    • Water Restoration
    • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

    SERVPRO of Hershey on Restaurant Impossible

    12/9/2015 (Permalink)

    Building Services SERVPRO of Hershey on Restaurant Impossible "Until this kitchen is cleaned they way I want it - it doesn't get cooked in...we brought in a professional team" Robert Irvine

    SERVPRO of Hershey was brought in to help restore an 'impossible' kitchen dissaster by Restaurant Impossible for its Dec 3rd 2016 show titled "Ambush; Facing Fear"

    The show really does depict the transformation of a restaurant in only 24 hours - without any notice.  So this was a job for the Disaster and Clean-up team that is "FASTER TO ANY DISASTER"!

    Ambush;Facing Fears

    If you ever find yourself faced with an 'impossible' fire, water, mold or bio hazard clean-up project in the Harrisburg area - call SERVRPO of Harrisburg 717-561-1404

    Harrisburg Kitchen Fire Damage- What To Do

    11/26/2015 (Permalink)

    When a fire starts in the kitchen, you need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control. But how you act depends on what kind of fire you have and where it is. Follow these instructions for putting out kitchen fires:

    ·         If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door or keep it closed, and turn off the oven. Don’t open the door! The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.

    ·         If your oven continues to smoke like a fire is still going on in there, call the fire department.

    ·         If you have a fire in a cooking pan, use an oven mitt to clap on the lid, then move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.

    ·         If you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don’t have a lid for the pan, use your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire — not the flames.

    ·         Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:

    ·         If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.

    ·         Throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse.

    ·         Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth.

    ·         Use a fire extinguisher.

    ·         Don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.

    ·         If the fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone out of the house and call 911! Make sure everybody in your family knows how to get out of the house safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape route

    After the fire – who will need help cleaning-up from the fire and smoke damage.  Depending on the extent of the fire, smoke damage can affect many other areas of the house.  You will need the help of a professional to properly remediate the damage and if necessary – repair and or replace the damaged items and property.  The clean-up protocols are vastly different depending on the type of fire and the type of materials affected.  The professionals at SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara are trained, certified and equipped to handle any size fire damage remediation project.   After the fire – call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara at 717-561-1404.

    Holiday Season = Increased Fire Risks!

    11/23/2015 (Permalink)

    Home Fire Danger Peaks During Holiday Season

    Local SERVPRO restoration specialist cites statistics on escalated cooking and candle fire risk that can turn festivities into a fire drill

    Harrisburg, PA (Grassroots Newswire) November 16, 2015 -- As the holiday season approaches and families gear up for decorating their homes and hosting large gatherings of friends and family, Brad Morgan of SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara reminds homeowners to take note of some sobering statistics about home fire safety from the National Fire Prevention Association:

  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires. The three peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.1
  • Candles fires peak in December. The top three days for candles fires are Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.2
  • “These statistics are a serious reminder of how the excitement of holiday entertaining can quickly turn into a life-altering fire or even a tragic injury or death,” says Morgan. “While glowing candles and elaborate meals set the stage for a great holiday get-together, homeowners need to exercise extra care in controlling the dangerous potential for fires.”

    According to the NFPA3, unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of home cooking fires, with frying posing the greatest fire risk and electric ranges posing a higher risk than gas ranges. Range top cooking in general started the majority of home cooking fires and caused 86 percent of related civilian deaths for the reporting period.

    While incidents of candle fires peaked in 2001 and have been falling since, candles are still one of the top 10 causes of U.S. home fires, according to the NFPA. As with cooking fires, unattended or abandoned candles account for a large portion of candle fires–almost 20 percent–but the most frequent cause of candle fires is placing the candle too close to something that can burn, like curtains, decorations or furniture.

    “It’s easy to see why cooking and candle fires both peak during the holiday season,” says Morgan, “and it’s also easy to see why homeowners need to take extra care when decorating their homes or entertaining. A moment’s inattention at the stove or a guest repositioning a candle on a tabletop may be all it takes to turn the festivities into a fight to save property and lives. While our business is fire and water damage restoration and we stand ready to help at a moment’s notice if disaster does strike, our sincere hope is that our friends and neighbors will enjoy a fire-free and festive holiday season.”


    For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com. For more information on SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara, please contact Bradley Alan Morgan at (717) 561-1404 or SP10241@SERVPROHersheySwatara.com.

    Fire Loss - What Do I DO Now ???

    11/21/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Fire Loss - What Do I DO Now ??? What do we do now??? Call SERVPRO of Hershey 717-561-1404

    The hours, days and weeks following a fire in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out—thanks to proper disaster planning and preparation—everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better.

    From the get-go, it’s imperative to stay organized amidst the chaos of your scorched surroundings. A three-ring binder with pockets is your new best friend. Take notes on every conversation and online correspondence with your insurance company and restoration professionals, because in any stressful situation, miscommunication can happen. Save all receipts and original documents; only give photocopies upon request.

    Binder in hand, your first call should be to your insurance agent. Not only is it required that you file your claim as soon as possible, it is also in your best interest. At this time, you’ll be asked to submit a proof of loss claim. The sooner you get the ball rolling, the sooner an insurance adjustor will arrive at your door to begin assessing damage.

    A reputable local cleaning and restoration team should be next on your call list. If you can find one that also specializes in professional construction services, you’ll save yourself time, money and headaches. Depending upon the extent of damage, your property will first need to be secured (boarded up, for example), and a high quality restoration team with carpentry skills can perform that service for you. On a side note, be sure to remain vigilant in the days ahead, because a fire-damaged residence or business is an easy target for theft and vandalism.

    Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, heated facility.

    Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

    • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
    • Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
    • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
    • Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

    With preparation, resources and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery.

    SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara can handle EVERY aspect of remediating your fire loss.  We service the entire Harrisburg area.  We will make it "Like it never even happened" Give us a call at 717-561-1404 and we will be happy to assist you!

    Tear Gas Clean-up - Harrisburg

    10/9/2015 (Permalink)

    There are three basic types of tear gas: CN (chloroacetophenone or Mace®), CS (O-chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile) and OC/OR (oleoresin capsicum or pepper spray).

    In the past CN was the most widely used product, but presently OC/OR has become the most popular, as it is sold in many over the counter personal defense sprays. Although referred to as tear gas, this is not exactly correct as these products are not gases, but in fact are fine particles that are dispersed as an aerosol. Therefore, the particles will eventually “fall out” and form a residue on surfaces that will need to be cleaned.

    Typically law enforcement agencies will introduce tear gas into structures through the use of small canisters, also referred to as “grenades”. These can either be thrown or shot with the use of a special gun. They also have a very big canister that is referred to as a “bomb”, which will release much more tear gas than the standard grenade. Cleaning up behind the “bomb’ is much more difficult, due to the increased amount of tear gas that has been released.  

    If your home or business is impacted by tear gas - call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara.  We serve the Harrisburg, Hershey and the capital region and we are ready to respond 24/7.  

    SERVPRO First Responder Golf Tournament Sept 18th 2015

    5/8/2015 (Permalink)

    2015 SERVPRO First Responders Golf TournamentSeptember 18, 2015 – Hershey Country Club

    Benefits American Red Cross & Hershey Volunteer Fire Company


    Tournament Sponsorship Opportunities:

    Tournament Sponsor - $5,000

    •  Large Banner @ Golf Course
    • 10 players w/Lunch, Dinner & Awards/Prizes
    •  Power Point Presentation running at registration, lunch & dinner
    •  Dinner Sponsor – Speaker/Presenter
    •  Inaugural Plaque to be kept at Country Club

    Course Sponsor - $2,500

    • 8 players w/Lunch, Dinner & Awards/Prizes
    • Lunch Sponsor
    • Tee & Green Signage
    •  Power Point Presentation running at registration & lunch 

    Players Sponsor - $1,500

    • 4 players w/Lunch, Dinner & Awards/Prizes
    • Tee & Green Signage
    • Power Point Presentation at registration

    Gold Sponsor - $750

    • 2 players w/Lunch, Dinner & Awards/Prizes
    • Tee Signage
    • Listing in Dinner Program

    Silver Sponsor - $200

    • Tee Signage
    • Listing in Dinner Program

    Individual Sponsor - $175

    • Golf w/Lunch, Dinner & Awards/Prizes

    For more information call 717-561-1404 or email SERVPROHersheyEvents@Gmail.com

    "Toxic Black Mold"

    2/11/2015 (Permalink)

    Insights on so the called  "Toxic Black Mold from Eric Mercer of Aether Assesments  http://www.aetheriaq.com/  

    " Before you start thinking that we are am jumping on-board with the media or other companies that use scare tactics to drum up business, the article title was merely meant to get your attention!  You will never see me write about toxic black mold on my website or in a report, despite the power it seems to have in getting people to open their wallets.  

    You see, there are actually many things wrong with that label.  One is that molds themselves are not toxic.  Under certain conditions they produce mycotoxins, but the actual research into doses and health effects is not very clear.  Second, even though it has become synonymous with Stachybotrys, many molds can appear black at various stages of their life cycle.

    Don't get me wrong - I have no doubt that reactions to mold and mold by-products exist and I am not down-playing any potential health issues that people have experienced, it is just that it is not feasible to quantify this reaction and exposure.  As a matter of fact I routinely experience multiple physical symptoms during an assessment.  In addition, mold is problematic as it is well documented that it is allergenic alive or dead, degrades building materials, and is indicative of an underlying water intrusion issue that needs to be corrected.

    So, with some exceptions your concern should be why do you have mold growth and not be so much whether you have toxic black mold - After all, if I were to provide an assessment and told you that Stachybotrys was not identified, but that the predominant genera appeared to be Penicillium or Cladosporium  would you be content to leave that nice fuzzy growth on your walls? Of course not.  That would be like saying you have a Pit Bull biting one leg and a Doberman biting the other, but you are only worried about getting rid of the Pit Bull because you have heard their bite is a little worse!

    Determining the predominant types of mold present can provide useful information in certain situations, but will typically not alter the recommendations for corrective actions and remediation procedures.  Therefore, I would recommend that you recognize that ANY type of mold growth on building materials is a potential signal that a deficiency is present that needs to be identified, corrected, and remediated in order to return your indoor space to normal fungal ecology..."

    At SERVPRO of Hershey Swatara - we are trained and equiped to remediate mold damage, following IICRC guidelines.  We proudly serve the Harrisburg area and we will glady provide you with a free estimate for mold remediation.

    Valuing Your Contents After A Fire of Flood

    12/30/2014 (Permalink)

    Right after a fire is not the best time to try to determine what contents you have and what the value of your contents.

    It is a very good idea to take a few minutes of time and walk through your home with a video camera of all of your contents and especially your valuables and collectable items.

    See the link below for some checklists for valuables from Enservio, a company that specializes in the inventory and valuation of contents, including: firearms, antiques, computers, art, rugs etc:


    At SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara - our job is to help families in the Harrisburg and Hershey area to recover from the trauma and flood damage.  Our trained and caring professionals will help get you back on your feet and make it "like it never even happened". 

    If you find yourself a victim of a fire - call us at 717-561-1404 and we will get started right away to restore your home and your content. 

    Odor Removal and Deodorization - Harrisburg,Pa

    12/28/2014 (Permalink)

    As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara Professionals are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside a structure.

    We follow IICRC technical guidance in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.

    We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contacts any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace.

    The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give usl a call, and leave the restoration to us.

    SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara


    6 Things You Need To Do After a Fire in Harrisburg, Pa

    12/27/2014 (Permalink)

    You may think a house fire will never happen to you. But what if it does? Are you prepared?

    Figuring out what to do after a home fire can be a very stressful and overwhelming process, and it can be hard to decide what to do first. With a little help from your insurance agent, though, you may be able to settle your claim more quickly and get your life back to normal.

    Here are the six things you should do after a home fire.

    1. Call your insurance agent immediately. You will be getting calls at all hours of the day from public adjusters and contractors who will try to offer you a deal on putting your house back together. These calls can create a lot of stress and confusion. I suggest you speak to no one but your agent to discuss your options at this point in the process.

    2. Ask about restoration companies (such as SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara) that can help with cleaning up soot, boarding up windows, and other construction. Immediately after a fire, especially if it is a minor one, you’ll need to clean up any soot or water damage. It is important to hire a reputable service to deal with these issues. Ask your agent or insurance adjuster to recommend a few different companies. They deal with these situations more often than you do and likely know of some businesses that fit your needs. Many of these restoration companies have connections to good contractors, engineers, and architects, as well.

    3. Separate damaged property from undamaged property. The insurance company will need a detailed inventory list from you after they inspect the loss. Separating your damaged property from your undamaged property will make it easier for you to make a list of your damaged items. This list needs to include the date you purchased each item, the brand name, the price you paid, and the serial number, model, or description of each item. If the item was a gift, be sure to indicate that as well.

    It’s a good idea to submit your receipts with this inventory list. If the receipts were destroyed in the fire, or you didn’t keep any receipts, request copies of prior bank statements. This can make obtaining duplicate receipts easier. Keep in mind that photos of any damaged items are always helpful if receipts are not available.

    4. Save undamaged property from further destruction. Any items that are not damaged should be put in a safe place, even if it means putting them in storage. Insurance adjusters are typically fair when it comes to adding additional costs for storage.

    5. Cooperate fully with the insurance company’s investigation. When a fire claim is reported to an insurance company, it is given top priority. Usually the adjusters come out to see the loss within 24 to 48 hours. To help settle your claim in a timely manner and to your satisfaction, be sure you are available and on time for all meetings, that you return calls promptly, that any requested paperwork is completed as quickly as possible, and that you contact the company or your agent immediately with any questions.

    6. Find somewhere to stay if you can’t live in your home. Most homeowner’s policies include “Loss of Use or Loss of Rents” coverage, which will pay for the food, clothing, and shelter that you and your family may need for a specified period of time. Keep in mind that your policy will pay for “like kind and quality” living arrangements. You may want to save the Ritz for a special occasion and instead stay in a more reasonably priced hotel.

    What to do before disaster strikes

    Review your homeowner’s policy to be sure you have replacement cost coverage, loss of use coverage, and adequate dwelling coverage. The last thing you want to hear after a fire is that you were underinsured.

    • Save all your receipts and put them in a metal fireproof box or in a storage facility off the premises, such as a safety deposit box. Better yet, scan the receipts and save them to a computer file. Taking a video of your entire home and the possessions within it is the next best thing to receipts. This will show the insurance company what sort of lifestyle you had prior to the claim.

    • Be sure to have smoke detectors in every room of your home to ensure that everyone gets out of the house or apartment safely in the event of a fire. Have exit ladders and fire extinguishers handy, and know how to use them.

    • Discuss escape strategies and plans with your family prior to a fire, and consider a fire drill to help ensure everyone’s safety.

    Source: Heidi Petschauer Fox - Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation


    If you live in the Harrisburg,Pa area and find yourself a vicitim of a fire in your home or business - call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara to restore your home and your contents.


    Harrisburg Area Fire Damage Response

    12/23/2014 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatra has responded to this loss and along with the help of the Red Cross and the family's awesome church family - we will make it "Like it never even happened!"


    Call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatra if you find yourself a vivtim of fire damage.  Beware of all the con artists that will decend upon you immediately following a fire.  

    Water / Fire Damage Restoration in Harrisburg,Pa

    12/23/2014 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO® Damage Restoration

    Residential and Commercial Restoration Services 

    SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara Professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services. SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara proudly serves Hershey, Harrisburg, Hummelstown, Lebanon, Camp Hill, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure caused by:

    Water Damage Restoration

    Basement flooding or storm damage doesn't wait for regular business hours and neither do we. We respond to your residential or commercial water removal and cleanup needs. Our fast response time and advanced drying methods help prevent secondary damage and mold. Common causes of water damage are: 

    Fire Damage Restoration

    We understand that smoke and fire damage is both devastating and disruptive to your family or business. SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara Professionals respond quickly to repair fire, smoke, and soot damage, including:

    • Fire damage cleanup
    • Smoke and soot damage cleaning and repair
    • Cleaning your home's contents and belongings
    • Eliminating fire and smoke odor and deodorization

    Mold Remediation

    Mold can present serious health concerns and can spread quickly through your home or business if left unchecked. SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara Professionals utilize proven mold remediation techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to protect you and your property. SERVPRO Professionals can assist you with:

    Biohazard Remediation 

    Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara Professionals are trained to safely remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations. SERVPRO Professionals can assist you with: 

    Mold Basics from the EPA

    11/19/2014 (Permalink)

    This course provides an overview of mold prevention and mold remediation. It is based on EPA's voluntary March 2001 guidance document Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Public health and environmental health professionals who are involved with mold issues may be interested in this course.  Building managers, custodians, remediators, contractors, and other professionals who respond to mold problems may also want to refer to this course. 

    Please note that the course and the document on which it is based provide guidelines; other cleaning and remediation methods may be preferred by some professionals. This course does not cover all situations and all potentially useful methods or techniques. The absence of a method or technique from this course does not indicate or imply that it is not effective. Please consult the Resource List for additional information. A Mold Course (PDF) (77 pp, 550 K, about PDF) of the course, a Mold Image LibraryGlossary of Terms and a Knowledge Test are also available.

    • These mold guidelines are for damage caused by clean water (not flood water); see the EPA Fact Sheet: Flood Cleanup - Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems for flood information.
    • Research on mold and on its health effects continues. This course does not describe all of the potential health effects related to mold exposure; it provides only an overview. For more detailed information, consult a health professional or your state or local health department.
    • Please note: EPA does not regulate mold or mold spores in the air.

    Stachybotrys - "Toxic Black Mold" ???

    11/18/2014 (Permalink)

    Is Stachybotrys—the Notorious Black Mold or Toxic Mold—Really That Bad?

    Written By: Dr. Henry P. Shotwell, CIH

    Much media attention has been lavished on Stachybotrys chartarum (a.k.a.:atza). Headlines have screamed “Toxic Black Mold,” “Deadly Black Mold” with many variations on this theme. Is “Stachy” really that bad? Is it really toxic? Is it really deadly?

    First off, Stachybotrys came to the public’s attention as a result of a very unusual condition, called Acute Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemorrhage (AIPH) or Pulmonary Hemosiderosis, which was seen in a group of 10 infants living in the Cleveland, OH area. One child died as a result. A preliminary study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggested that these cases were associated with major water damage to their homes within the 6 months prior to their illness and (not surprisingly) with increased levels of mold in their homes, including “Stachy.”

    The question CDC posed (as a Hypothesis to be tested) was: “Were these cases caused by powerful, volatile mycotoxins produced by molds? As a result of their intensive investigation, CDC concluded that a) not all of the cases were properly diagnosed, b) blood tests did not show evidence of exposure to molds or to their waste products (mycotoxins), c) test methods and interpretations were not standardized, d) interpretation of the degree of water damage was not standardized and e) there were no criteria for distinguishing between the mere presence of mold and clinically meaningful exposure.

    On top of these, the CDC reviewers also found a) the criteria for determining statistical significance was flawed, b) one of the investigators correctly figured out which of the houses being tested were controls and which were test homes. To be sure of getting “good data,” the investigator took twice as many samples in test homes as in control homes and used aggressive, non-standard methods, not used in the control homes, to generate an artificial environment which was then sampled, and c) that there was no difference in the Stachybotrys levels seen in water damaged houses compared to control houses.

    The CDC finally completed their study and came to the following three conclusions: 1) The illnesses seen in Cleveland did not resemble historic accounts of either human or animal illness known to have been caused by Stachybotrys or related fungi. 1) Clusters of this condition have not been reported after other flood events where conditions would have favored the growth of Stachybotrys, and 3) A similar cluster of illness did not involve mold.

    So, is “Stachy” really all that bad? Well, it certainly doesn’t seem to have caused the problems in Cleveland which gave Stachy such a bad rap. Is “Black Mold” a problem? Many molds have different colors at different stages of their growth. Stachy is not the only black colored mold. Is Stachy “toxic”? “Toxic Mold” is a phrase coined by the media. It has no scientific meaning. Molds produce waste products from their digestive processes. Some of these by-products are indeed toxic, but the molds that produced them aren’t, including Stachybotrys.

    Molds are Nature’s garbage men and recyclers. Aside from the fact that we would have no bread (Brewer’s Yeast) or beer (Saccharomyces cerevesiae) or penicillin (Pencillium chrysogenum) or cheese (Penicillium camemberti P. roqueforti, et.al.). Imagine what would happen if we had no mold to breakdown dead leaves, dead branches, and dead trees? In a few short years, the world would be buried under dead leaves!

    How do molds do this? Molds are unlike any other living organisms. They have their own Kingdom; Fungi, and are neither plants (no chlorophyll) nor animals (no mouths or digestive tracts). Since molds have no mouths or digestive tracts, how do they “eat?”

    When a mold spore lands on a surface or object that is composed of organic material (wood, paper, orange rind, dirt or dust) that has enough moisture and is in an appropriate temperature range, the spore will “sprout” and begin growing and spreading.

    Each individual mold cell secretes digestive enzymes that liquefy the “food” on which the mold cell is lying. Once digested, the “soup” can be absorbed back into the mold cell. There are two kinds of metabolites produced by mold: Primary and Secondary. Primary metabolites are used to provide the energy to drive chemical reactions that cause growth and reproduction. Secondary metabolites, also called mycotoxins are released into the immediate environment to give the mold a competitive edge or to protect itself. The classic example of this was the observation by Dr. Alexander Fleming that a petrie dish containing both Pencillium and bacteria had no bacteria growing in a band surrounding the mold colony. The sterile area had no bacteria because the mold was releasing a secondary metabolite which we called Penicillium, and still use today as an antibiotic to fight certain types of bacterial infection. Mold also produced Streptomycin, Lincomycin, Cephalosporins, Erythromycin and a variety of other antibiotics.

    In conclusion, Stachybotrys is no better or worse than many other molds, and the term “Toxic Black Mold” has no scientific basis. Thus, Stachybotrys may be a contributor to allergies and asthma, as are many other molds, but not likely to cause other illnesses or toxic effects. 

    For more information on Stachybotrys see: 




    Soruce:  http://atlenvtexas.com/noblack.html

    Mold Facts

    11/18/2014 (Permalink)

    If you find your home or building affected by mold - determining what to do can be a daunting task given all the information and Misinformation that is out there.  In an effort to help you to evaluate fact versus fiction, we present the following information from the EPA for your review:

    Ten Things you Should Know About Mold

    1.     Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.

    2.     There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

    3.     If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.

    4.     Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

    5.     Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.

    6.     Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

    7.     Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.

    8.     Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.

    9.     In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).

    10.   Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

    If you have IAQ and mold issues in your school, you should get a copy of the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit. Mold is covered in the IAQ Reference Guide under Appendix H - Mold and Moisture.

    Asthma and Mold

    Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma should avoid contact with or exposure to molds. Read more about asthma triggers on EPA's Asthma Website

    Additional Asthma Resources:

  • Allergy & Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics (AAN/MA)  (800) 878-4403
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)  For information, seewww.aaaai.org/global/contact-us.aspx 
  • American Lung Association  (800) LUNG-USA (586-4872); See also www.lung.org/healthy-air/ 
  • Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America  (800) 7ASTHMA (727-8462)
  • Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation "Fighting Mold - The Homeowner's Guide" 
  • U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (866) 284-4107/(301) 496-5717
  • National Jewish Medical and Research Center  (800) 222-LUNG (5864)
  • Floods/Flooding


    Information on Flood Cleanup

    EPA's Natural Disasters and Weather Emergencies

    Emergency Preparedness athttp://www.ready.gov/

    For information regarding Hurricane Sandy Response and Recovery, see www.epa.gov/sandy

    Mold growth may be a problem after flooding. EPA's Fact Sheet: Flood Cleanup: Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems (PDF) (2 pp, 67 K, about PDF) discusses steps to take when cleaning and repairing a home after flooding. Excess moisture in the home is cause for concern about indoor air quality primarily because it provides breeding conditions for microorganisms. This fact sheet provides tips to avoid creating indoor air quality problems during cleanup. U.S. EPA, EPA Document Number 402-F-93-005, August 1993.

    Additional Flood Resources:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): (800) 480-2520, See Flood information
  • U.S. Depart. of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Emergency Preparedness and Response page and Key Facts About Hurricane Recovery
  • University of Minnesota, Department of Environmental Health and Safety  Flood Information 
  • Health and Mold

    How do molds affect people?

    Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.

    EPA's publication, Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals, assists health professionals (especially the primary care physician) in diagnosis of patient symptoms that could be related to an indoor air pollution problem. It addresses the health problems that may be caused by contaminants encountered daily in the home and office. Organized according to pollutant or pollutant groups such as environmental tobacco smoke, VOCs, biological pollutants, and sick building syndrome, this booklet lists key signs and symptoms from exposure to these pollutants, provides a diagnostic checklist and quick reference summary, and includes suggestions for remedial action. Also includes references for information contained in each section. This booklet was developed by the American Lung Association, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the EPA, 1994.

    Allergic Reactions - excerpted from Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals section on: Animal Dander, Molds, Dust Mites, Other Biologicals.

    "A major concern associated with exposure to biological pollutants is allergic reactions, which range from rhinitis, nasal congestion, conjunctival inflammation, and urticaria to asthma. Notable triggers for these diseases are allergens derived from house dust mites; other arthropods, including cockroaches; pets (cats, dogs, birds, rodents); molds; and protein-containing furnishings, including feathers, kapok, etc. In occupational settings, more unusual allergens (e.g., bacterial enzymes, algae) have caused asthma epidemics. Probably most proteins of non-human origin can cause asthma in a subset of any appropriately exposed population."

    Damp Buildings and Health

    For information on damp buildings and health effects, see the 2004 Institute of Medicine Report, Damp Indoor Spaces and Health, published by The National Academies Press in Washington, DC. You can read a description of the report and purchase a copy at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11011 

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC's) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) 
    (800) CDC-INFO (232-4636), cdcinfo@cdc.gov

  • Frequent Questions on Mold - www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
  • Stachybotrys chartarum and health effects - www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm
  • Top of page

    Homes and Molds

    The EPA publication, "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home", is also available in PDF (English (PDF, 20 pp., 257 K) and Spanish (PDF, 20 pp., 796 K)). This Guide provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth.

    Biological Pollutants in Your Home - This document explains indoor biological pollution, health effects of biological pollutants, and how to control their growth and buildup. One third to one half of all structures have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants such as molds and bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions — including asthma — and spread infectious diseases. Describes corrective measures for achieving moisture control and cleanliness. The American Lung Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission prepared this brochure. The publication was updated by CPSC in 1997 www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/425.html

    Moisture control is the key to mold control, the Moisture Control Section from Biological Pollutants in Your Homefollows:

    Moisture Control

    Water in your home can come from many sources. Water can enter your home by leaking or by seeping through basement floors. Showers or even cooking can add moisture to the air in your home. The amount of moisture that the air in your home can hold depends on the temperature of the air. As the temperature goes down, the air is able to hold less moisture. This is why, in cold weather, moisture condenses on cold surfaces (for example, drops of water form on the inside of a window). This moisture can encourage biological pollutants to grow.

    There are many ways to control moisture in your home:

  • Fix leaks and seepage. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing. (The ground should slope away from the house.) Water in the basement can result from the lack of gutters or a water flow toward the house. Water leaks in pipes or around tubs and sinks can provide a place for biological pollutants to grow.
  • Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Be sure crawlspaces are well ventilated.
  • Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove moisture to the outside (not into the attic). Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
  • Turn off certain appliances (such as humidifiers or kerosene heaters) if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates, to reduce moisture in the air, but be sure that the appliances themselves don't become sources of biological pollutants.
  • Raise the temperature of cold surfaces where moisture condenses. Use insulation or storm windows. (A storm window installed on the inside works better than one installed on the outside.) Open doors between rooms (especially doors to closets which may be colder than the rooms) to increase circulation. Circulation carries heat to the cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners to promote air and heat circulation. Be sure that your house has a source of fresh air and can expel excessive moisture from the home.
  • Pay special attention to carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow. Use area rugs, which can be taken up and washed often. In certain climates, if carpet is to be installed over a concrete floor, it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) over the concrete and cover that with sub-flooring (insulation covered with plywood) to prevent a moisture problem.
  • Moisture problems and their solutions differ from one climate to another. The Northeast is cold and wet; the Southwest is hot and dry; the South is hot and wet; and the Western Mountain states are cold and dry. All of these regions can have moisture problems. For example, evaporative coolers used in the Southwest can encourage the growth of biological pollutants. In other hot regions, the use of air conditioners, which cool the air too quickly, may prevent the air conditioners from running long enough to remove excess moisture from the air. The types of construction and weatherization for the different climates can lead to different problems and solutions.
  • Moisture On Windows

    Your humidistat is set too high if excessive moisture collects on windows and other cold surfaces. Excess humidity for a prolonged time can damage walls especially when outdoor air temperatures are very low. Excess moisture condenses on window glass because the glass is cold. Other sources of excess moisture besides overuse of a humidifier may be long showers, running water for other uses, boiling or steaming in cooking, plants, and drying clothes indoors. A tight, energy efficient house holds more moisture inside; you may need to run a kitchen or bath-ventilating fan sometimes, or open a window briefly. Storm windows and caulking around windows keep the interior glass warmer and reduce condensation of moisture there.

    Humidifiers are not recommended for use in buildings without proper vapor barriers because of potential damage from moisture buildup. Consult a building contractor to determine the adequacy of the vapor barrier in your house. Use a humidity indicator to measure the relative humidity in your house. The American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends these maximum indoor humidity levels.

    Outdoor Recommended Indoor Temperature Relative Humidity Temperature Outdoors Indoor Relative Humidity+20o F.35%+10o F.30%0o F.25%-10o F.20%-20o F.15%Source: Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers (www.aham.org).

    How to Identify the Cause of a Mold and Mildew Problem

    Mold and mildew are commonly found on the exterior wall surfaces of corner rooms in heating climate locations. An exposed corner room is likely to be significantly colder than adjoining rooms, so that it has a higher relative humidity (RH) than other rooms at the same water vapor pressure. If mold and mildew growth are found in a corner room, then relative humidity next to the room surfaces is above 70%. However, is the RH above 70% at the surfaces because the room is too cold or because there is too much moisture present (high water vapor pressure)?

    The amount of moisture in the room can be estimated by measuring both temperature and RH at the same location and at the same time. Suppose there are two cases. In the first case, assume that the RH is 30% and the temperature is 70oF in the middle of the room. The low RH at that temperature indicates that the water vapor pressure (or absolute humidity) is low. The high surface RH is probably due to room surfaces that are "too cold." Temperature is the dominating factor, and control strategies should involve increasing the temperature at cold room surfaces.

    In the second case, assume that the RH is 50% and the temperature is 70oF in the middle of the room. The higher RH at that temperature indicates that the water vapor pressure is high and there is a relatively large amount of moisture in the air. The high surface RH is probably due to air that is "too moist." Humidity is the dominating factor, and control strategies should involve decreasing the moisture content of the indoor air.

    Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? - excerpt on duct cleaning and mold follows, please review the entire document for additional information on duct cleaning and mold.

    You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:

    There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:

  • Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
  • You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
  • If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
  • If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
  • Additional Resource

  • U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service fact sheet - Safe Food Handling- Molds on Foods: Are They Dangerous? September 2005
  • A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Occupational, Safety and Health Administration, Safety and Health Bulletin 03-10-10
  • Indoor Air Regulations and Mold

    Standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants.

    Large Buildings and Mold

    EPA has a number of resources available; you can start with the Indoor Air Quality Building Evaluation and Assessment Model (I-BEAM). I-BEAM updates and expands EPA's existing Building Air Quality guidance and is designed to be comprehensive state-of-the-art guidance for managing IAQ in commercial buildings. This guidance is designed to be used by building professionals and others interested in indoor air quality in commercial buildings. I-BEAM contains text, animation/visual, and interactive/calculation components that can be used to perform a number of diverse tasks. See www.epa.gov/iaq/largebldgs/i-beam/index.html.

    See also "Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers".

    Excerpt from the Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility ManagersAppendix C - Moisture, Mold and Mildew:

    How to Identify the Cause of a Mold and Mildew Problem.

    Mold and mildew are commonly found on the exterior wall surfaces of corner rooms in heating climate locations. An exposed corner room is likely to be significantly colder than adjoining rooms, so that it has a higher relative humidity (RH) than other rooms at the same water vapor pressure. If mold and mildew growth are found in a corner room, then relative humidity next to the room surfaces is above 70%. However, is the RH above 70% at the surfaces because the room is too cold or because there is too much moisture present (high water vapor pressure)?

    The amount of moisture in the room can be estimated by measuring both temperature and RH at the same location and at the same time. Suppose there are two cases. In the first case, assume that the RH is 30% and the temperature is 70oF in the middle of the room. The low RH at that temperature indicates that the water vapor pressure (or absolute humidity) is low. The high surface RH is probably due to room surfaces that are "too cold." Temperature is the dominating factor, and control strategies should involve increasing the temperature at cold room surfaces.

    In the second case, assume that the RH is 50% and the temperature is 70oF in the middle of the room. The higher RH at that temperature indicates that the water vapor pressure is high and there is a relatively large amount of moisture in the air. The high surface RH is probably due to air that is "too moist." Humidity is the dominating factor, and control strategies should involve decreasing the moisture content of the indoor air

    Schools and Mold and Indoor Air Quality

    The Agency's premier resource on this issue is the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools kit. Our schools-related resources on the web start at: www.epa.gov/iaq/schools.

    The asthma companion piece for the IAQ Tools for Schools Action kit, is Managing Asthma in the School Environment -www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/managingasthma.html. This publication has a section entitled Clean Up Mold and Moisture Control: An excerpt follows:

    Common Moisture Sources Found in Schools

    Moisture problems in school buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation, and excess humidity. Some moisture problems in schools have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the past twenty to thirty years. These changes have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems in schools are also associated with delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance, due to budget and other constraints. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems.

    Suggestions for Reducing Mold Growth in Schools

    Reduce Indoor Humidity

  • Vent showers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.
  • Control humidity levels and dampness by using air conditioners and de-humidifiers.
  • Provide adequate ventilation to maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-60%.
  • Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning in food service areas.
  • Inspect the building for signs of mold, moisture, leaks, or spills

  • Check for moldy odors.
  • Look for water stains or discoloration on the ceiling, walls, floors, and window sills.
  • Look around and under sinks for standing water, water stains, or mold.
  • Inspect bathrooms for standing water, water stains, or mold.
  • Do not let water stand in air conditioning or refrigerator drip pans.
  • Respond promptly when you see signs of moisture and/or mold, or when leaks or spills occur

  • Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours of occurrence to prevent mold growth.
  • Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  • Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely.
  • Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  • Check the mechanical room and roof for unsanitary conditions, leaks, or spills.
  • Prevent moisture condensation

  • Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  • Floor and carpet cleaning

  • Remove spots and stains immediately, using the flooring manufacturer’s recommended techniques.
  • Use care to prevent excess moisture or cleaning residue accumulation and ensure that cleaned areas are dried quickly.
  • In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation). 
  • SERVPRO First Responder 5k & 1K Fun Run

    11/13/2014 (Permalink)

    This is a 5k run and 1K fun/run walk – proceeds will benefit the Red Cross of Central Pa. 

    Entry fee is $25 and participants will receive a Moisture Wicking t-shirt.

    Packet pick-up starts at 8:30am race morning. Awards to the top 3 male and female overall and top 1 in age groups.

    Registration Page: http://tinyurl.com/mncd5ye

    Beware of Mothballs !!!! Naphthalene Poisoning

    11/12/2014 (Permalink)

    According to the EPA – “Naphthalene is used in the production of mothballs.  Acute (short-term) exposure of humans to naphthalene by inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact is associated with hemolytic anemia, damage to the liver, and neurological damage.  Cataracts have also been reported in workers acutely exposed to naphthalene by inhalation and ingestion.  Chronic (long-term) exposure of workers and rodents to naphthalene has been reported to cause cataracts and damage to the retina.  Hemolytic anemia has been reported in infants born to mothers who "sniffed" and ingested naphthalene (as mothballs) during pregnancy.  Available data are inadequate to establish a causal relationship between exposure to naphthalene and cancer in humans.  EPA has classified naphthalene as a Group C, possible human carcinogen.”

    If you can smell the mothball – detectable in the air at just a few parts per billion by the human nose – that means you’re also inhaling the same noxious gas that the CDC says can cause a significant amount of unpleasantness:

    “Headache, confusion, excitement, malaise (vague feeling of discomfort); nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain; irritation bladder; profuse sweating; jaundice; hematuria (blood in the urine), renal shutdown; dermatitis, optical neuritis, corneal damage.” It also causes cancer in rats.  

    If your home is affected by Napthalene – SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara can remediate the situation and rid your home of the cointamination.  The process involves many of the same steps involved in the proper remediation of mold contamination and the removal of smoke odors.  Basically – the first thing that must be done is to remove the source of the contamination. When the mothballs have been removed, we thoroughly clean the area and employ techniques to expedite release of the VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) from the material in the home (including clothes and linens). 

    Fortunately, once the mothballs are removed and remediation starts - it does not take long to eliminate the contamination.  Given the nature of the compound and its half-life, proper application of heat to the affected material and proper control of air flow - air quality can return to normal in just a few days. Air quality tests - pre and post remediation provide confirmation of success. 

    If you find yourself affected by Napthalene exposure – you should first seek medical attention and then give us a call to remediate the impact in your home. 

    Call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara at 717-561-1404 and we can help!

    For more detailed information on Napthalene – see the following links:




    The Stone Soup Library in Allison Hill

    10/27/2014 (Permalink)

    The Stone Soup LibraryBy  On  

    by Tara Leo Auchey and Andrea Fetchko

    On the 1600 block of Catherine Street in South Allison Hill is a house in a row with other like houses. However, this one is set apart by a bookshelf on the porch filled with a variety of children’s paperbacks and hardbacks and a handwritten sign beside the door:

    A book, I think, is very like
    A little golden door that takes me into places
    Where I’ve never been before.
    It leads me into fairyland
    Or countries strange and far
    And, best of all, that golden door
    It always stands ajar!

    It’s the Stone Soup Library.

    “Kids playing on the porch changed it all.”

    It began in March 2013. Shelley and Jesse Blade stocked their front porch with children’s books for the kids who lived near them. Where they live is considered “a bad part of town.” While that reputation undermines the positive things that are there, the neighborhood is definitely not without its troubles. A shuttered school and overgrown lot scattered with trash across the street has been the scene of fights and misconduct. Disrepair, neglect, and sad stories are familiar to the block.

    When the Blades moved here from the West Coast about a year ago, it didn’t take long for them to realize the good and the bad.

    One of the good things they discovered was the City of Refuge Church. It was there they found assistance they needed to help get them on their feet in this new place. “The lines were long of people waiting. Mothers had their children with them, and they’re kids so they were bored and restless,” Shelley recounts. “So, I started taking my guitar and playing while we waited. The kids loved it.”

    From there, the music moved to the porch of the Blades’ home. In the evenings, Shelley and Jesse would sit and sing and children would stop by and join in. Some played. Some curiously listened from afar, but over time, more and more came.

    That’s how the Stone Soup Library was born.

    The name of the library is inspired by the book “Stone Soup,” which is about a community pulling individual resources together to make something that can be shared by all.

    How it works

    The books are donated—books for children, teenaged and under—with no violence. They can be read there at the table on the porch or taken away. “These books are here for the children to have,” Shelley says.

    It has grown a life of its own with word of mouth spreading to surrounding blocks.

    “Guerrilla libraries,” Shelly calls it and says it can happen anywhere. “We’d love to see front porch libraries pop up all throughout South Allison Hill, throughout the city.”

    The books are continually donated to maintain the stock.

    At one point, children started showing up and asking for help with homework. Everyday after school, the kids can bring their homework and are welcome in the house to work on it with Shelley and Jesse.

    The Blades want to show the children that “everything you need is there within your reach,” as long as they are  willing to ask and go for it.

    “This is a place filled with so much potential for hope”

    It’s not about fixing the neighborhood. It’s about pulling resources together to make it a better place. The couple focuses on the physical condition of the neighborhood. They are determined to not let the neighborhood deteriorate any further. They have brought a revived energy and intention for the betterment of the community.

    Shelly has noticed a change not just in the children but also in many of the adults who live on her block. “Even if the parents don’t like each other, they will come together around the children.” This project is bringing the community together.

    Neighbors know one another’s names. Families up and down the block have become familiar and even friendly with one another. Children are making new friends and playing together. The street is clean and the block has become a fun, comfortable place to live.

    All members of the community are encouraged to bring whatever skills they possess to help others. “If everyone brings a little something to the table, we will be able to make a big difference,” she says.

    Just like the music lead to the library, which turned into homework assistance, more has evolved. Jesse hosts a repair shop for the teenagers in the neighborhood. Teens bring toys, bikes and other things that need repaired, and Jesse fixes them as well as teaches the youth to do repairs themselves. In return, the couple encourages the teens to clean up around the neighborhood and help those children who are younger and in need.

    The main point they want to drive home is community service. They want to show that bringing a community together only takes a few determined citizens.

    The proof of this is found on Catherine Street.

    Biohazard Cleanup and Restoration

    10/17/2014 (Permalink)

    Biohazard Cleanup and Restoration

    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 Hershey/ Swatara Professionals are trained to safely clean and remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

    Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara Professionals are here to help transform any unsafe environments back into clean, safe homes and offices.

    Please refer to our Biohazard Emergency Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

    Need Biohazard Cleanup?
    Call Us Today 717-561-1404

    The decontamination of a home or business due to trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding, or other biohazards can be both dangerous and emotional. Specialized training and experience is key when choosing a cleanup company to resolve these circumstances.

    The SERVPRO of Hershey /Swatara Professionals provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazard situations. These include the following:

    • Sewage backups
    • Crime scene residues
    • Suicide/death accidents
    • Homicide cleanups
    • Blood cleanup
    • Accident cleanup
    • Hoarding scenes
    • Animal waste/remains
    • Chemical spills
    • Tear gas cleanup
    • Meth lab cleanup

    Common Biohazard Scenarios

    Sewage Backups

    Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

    Bloodborne Pathogens

    SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara Professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.

    Methamphetamine Labs

    SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara realizes many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. Our Professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

    24 Hour Emergency Service

    Biohazard emergencies don’t always happen during regular business hours, and that’s why SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night. 

    Red Cross Ready Program

    10/14/2014 (Permalink)

    Ready Rating Membership Benefits
    As a member of the Ready Rating program you will receive the following benefits:
      • Access to the online Ready Rating Assessment Center and the 123 Assessment, which can help you to evaluate your business, organization or school's level of preparedness
      • Access to an information-rich Ready Rating Program Guide developed by American Red Cross preparedness experts
      • Access to the American Red Cross Ready Rating member seal that can be used to publicly display your commitment to preparedness to your constituents
      • Optional public recognition of your commitment to preparedness by choosing to be listed beside other like-minded organizations on this website in the Current Member Listing
      • Customized feedback and recommendations for improvement based on your assessment scores
      • Option to create an Organization Manager account that links the member accounts of multiple site/branches/locations/facilities, allowing for all of the 'child' accounts' assessments to be viewed by one 'parent' account.  Learn more...

         Want to learn more about how it works?

         Ready to join?

    Our Biohazard Clean-up Process

    10/3/2014 (Permalink)


    SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara employs a systematic approach to cleaning that ensures each and every trauma scene meets or exceeds hospital-grade sanitation standards.  SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara's trained service technicians are skilled in removing harmful biological contaminants, as well as any lingering odors. As remediation specialists, our primary goal is to preserve the customer’s property and return the home to a safe, livable condition. 

    Step 1: Control the Contamination

    For maximum control, our technicians use proven decontamination procedures, by establishing three zones using plastic sheeting and bio-tape to separate the contaminated area from other parts of the building. This process prevents cross-contamination from occurring between clean and affected rooms: 

    • The Control Zone is the contamination area, where work will take place.
    • The Buffer Zone is where technicians put on personal protective equipment, and fill disposal boxes.
    • The Clean Zone is designated to store tools and equipment, in order to prevent cross contamination. 

    During all stages of the decontamination process, SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara technicians are fully protected by Personal Protective Equipment, including respiratory gear, a double layer of gloves, and hazmat suits designed especially for biohazard recovery.

    We treat all crime scenes as if they contain a life threatening infection, because some of the worst viruses are known to survive in blood and biological materials. Statistics from the CDC show that 1 in 24 people has either HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.

    Step 2: Biohazard Cleaning and Structural Removal

    • Cleaning: SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara  technicians start by removing all traces of dirt, chemicals, blood and biological materials from the control zone. Personal property that cannot be remediated must be disassembled and disposed of as medical waste.
    • Sanitization: After cleaning, our technicians treat the control zone with specialized disinfectants by spraying surfaces at precise intervals. Following treatment, the crew wipes all surfaces manually a second time before using fluorescence testing, the same technology used by hospitals to verify sanitation level.
    • Deodorization: In the final step, SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara follows industry standard deodorization practices to eliminate the possibility of lingering odors.

    If you are facing an unattended death cleanup, blood spill, or other trauma cleanup, trust SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara's professional decontamination process to safely remediate your home, vehicle or business. 

    We proudly serve the Harrisburg, Swatara, Hershey, Palmyra, and Camp Hill areas.

    Why choose SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara?

    10/2/2014 (Permalink)

    We at SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara are focused on providing the highest quality service too our customers. We strive to make the experience of recovering from a loss as smooth and comfortable as possible.  As a restoration company - we take our role very seriously and we strive for the best possible experience as we help people recover.  

    To this end - we have contracted with Guild Quality to survey our customers to get a read on how well we are doing.  These reviews are posted online for everyone to see at:


    We arent perfect - but we strive to get better every day and we value the input of our customers as this feedback helps us to stay focused on things that matter the most! 

    Mold Remediation Standards - IICRC

    10/2/2014 (Permalink)

    At SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara - we follow the IICRC mold remediation guidelines which are comprised of five major principles of mold remediation.

    1. Make sure safety and health precautions are taken by cleanup professionals and occupants. Mold-contaminated buildings can be associated with a number of health problems. Anyone involved in the mold remediation process must be protected from exposure through a combination of practices and controls.
    2. A post-cleanup assessment by an independent environmental expert. An effective mold remediation cannot be developed without first determining the extent of the contamination to be removed. To ensure that remediation work is being properly performed, it is highly recommended that appropriate documentation of the remediation process be kept by project management
    3. Control of mold before it spreads further. Eliminating mold at the source of contamination is essential. Once mold spores spread through the air, it will be much more difficult to capture.
    4. Oversee the proper physical removal of the mold. The mold must be physically removed from the structure. Attempts to isolate mold or remove signs of mold on the surface are not adequate. Note that bleach alone cannot kill mold.
    5. Ensure that moisture is controlled to limit future contamination or recontamination. Mold growth is virtually inevitable if moisture is not controlled. Moisture problems must be identified, located and corrected or controlled as soon as possible.

    Application of these principles may involve multiple disciplines and professionals from a wide range of restoration and indoor environmental fields.

    If you think you have a mold problem and you wan it remediated by properly trained professionals then call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara.  We serve the Harrisburg, Hershey and Palmyra area.

    Basement Flooding!

    9/30/2014 (Permalink)

    BASEMENT FLOOD CLEANUP: If you have a flood in your basement because of  a broken hot water tank, sub pump failure or even a leaking foundation don’t try to clean it up yourself - call the experts at SERVPRO of Hershey Swatara. Our crews specialize in flood damage restoration.  We are certified by the IICRC in water damage restoration we are and trained and experienced in all phases of flood damage restoration.

    We serve the Hershey, Harrisburg, Lebanon and Palmyra area.  We are ready 24/7 - 365 days a year.  Call us at 717-561-1404.  

    We do quality work - you don't need to take our word for it.  You can see our reviews at  http://www.guildquality.com/ServproHersheySwatara

    What To Do AFTER The Fire

    9/29/2014 (Permalink)

    Becoming a victim of a fire loss is never on anyone's list of 'to do's', but when or if it does happen to you or a loved one - it's good to have a checlist of what you need to do right away:

    After the fire - your first call should be to your insurance agent to get the claim process rolling.  

    Next - you should locate or start replacement of:

    •driver’s license

    •insurance policies

    •military discharge papers


    •birth, death, marriage certificates

    •social security or medical cards

    •credit cards

    •titles to deeds

    •stocks and bonds


    •medical records


    •finance & income tax records

    •citizenship papers

    •mortgage papers

    Know your coverage as most policies will cover temporary living expenses in addition to coverage of your home and contents.  The mitigation and restoration process can take months - depending upon the extent of the fire, smoke and odor damage to your property.

    SERVPRO Mitigation Process

    1.Board-up/Secure the Property

    2.Detail Inventory

    3.Storage of Content

    4.Disposal of Wet/Burned Content

    5.Dehumidification of Structure

    6.Mitigation of Smoke and Odor

    7.Preparation for Re-Construction

    8.Restoration vsReplace


    Flood Watch vs Flood Warning

    9/29/2014 (Permalink)

    Know the difference in flood prediction terminology - especially if you love in an area that is prone or susceptible to periodic flooding. 

    Flood Watch vs Flood Warning

    9/29/2014 (Permalink)

    Know the difference in flood prediction terminology - especially if you love in an area that is prone or susceptible to periodic flooding. 

    Crime Scene Clean-up Certification

    9/27/2014 (Permalink)

    ABRA: Levels of Education and Proficiency


    Last June, ABRA President Dale Cillian proposed to the board of directors new criteria for the various levels of education and proficiency in the field of biorecovery. The ABRA board unanimously passed this proposal and foresees it will encourage individuals to seek advancement in their field of expertise. These levels will be distinguished on the National Bio-Recovery Registry, which is maintained by ABRA at www.americanbiorecovery.org.

    Once again, ABRA is raising the bar and dividing the playing field of those with good intentions and those that have professionalism. The levels are:
    • Level 1: ABRA Certified Bio-Recovery Technician
    • Level 2: ABRA Master Bio-Recovery Technician
    • Level 3: ABRA Licensed Bio-Recovery Technician
    Level 1: ABRA Certified Bio-Recovery Technician (present certification)
    • Pass the basic ABRA bio-recovery exam.
    • Maintain certification status with a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education (industry related) every three years.
    Level 2: ABRA Master Bio-Recovery Technician (5 years minimum experience in bio-recovery)
    • One year as an ABRA Certified Tech.
    • 40-hour HAZWOPER Certification.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Hand Tool Safety.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Power Tool Safety.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147 Tag Out / Lock Out.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146 Confined Space Entry.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.25-.27 Ladders.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120 HAZ Com (Right to Know).
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 Respiratory Protection.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910 & 1292 Fall Protection.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.331-335 Electrical Safety.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95 Hearing Conversation.
    Level 3: ABRA Licensed Bio-Recovery Technician (In addition to Level 1 and Level 2)
    • Three years as an ABRA-certified Tech.
    • Eight years doing bio-recovery cleaning.
    • 24-hour worker or 40-hour supervisor AHERA Asbestos Certification.
    • 8-hour lead training.
    • Elective courses: meth lab training, bio-terrorism training, 8-hour HAZWOPER.
    • 8-hour HAZWOPER Supervisor Training.
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120 HAZ Materials & Incident Command.
    • OSHA Disaster Site Worker #7600.
    • Additional specialization certification in bio-terrorism, bird flu, drug labs, Et

    Sewer Backup = Serious Bio-Hazard !

    9/27/2014 (Permalink)

    Biohazard Sewer Backup  = Serious Bio-Hazard ! Time to call Servpro of Hershey / Swatara!

    Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter homes or buildings. It contains fungi, bacteria and viruses, many of which are disease-causing. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the hazards that sewage presents, particularly for the very young or very old, or for those with compromised immune systems or respiratory problems.

    The IICRC complied guidelines for professional sewage clean-up called the Standard for Water Damage Restoration (S500).

    Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups:

    • Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic – disease causing – fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
    • Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.
    • It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
    • Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly.  This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too.  There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.
    • Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.

    Water Damage - More Than Meets The Eye !!!!!

    9/27/2014 (Permalink)

    Water Damage Water Damage - More Than Meets The Eye !!!!! This wall may LOOK dry - but it's not !

    Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

    More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to pre-loss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

    All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

    EPA Lead Safe Firm NAT-F117042-1

    9/18/2014 (Permalink)

    Federal law requires contractors that disturb painted surfaces in homes, childcare facilities and schools built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Always ask to see your contractor’s certification.

    Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renovating more than six square feet of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects or window replacement or demolition in housing, child care facilities and schools built before 1978.

    • Homeowners and tenants: renovators must give you this pamphlet before starting work.
    • Childcare facilities, including preschools and kindergarten classrooms, and the families of children under six years of age that attend those facilities: renovators must provide a copy of this pamphlet to child care facilities and general renovation information to families whose children attend those facilities 

    $2,500 Donation to the Red Cross of the Central Pa

    7/7/2014 (Permalink)

    Community $2,500 Donation to the Red Cross of the Central Pa SERVPRO of Hershey Owner Brad Morgan, Carol Ross of the Red Cross of Central Pa and Takia Colston Crow of the Harrisburg Stampede



    HARRISBURG, PA (JUN 19, 2014) – There have been many “First’s” for the Stampede this season, including their move to Giant Center, first season in the PIFL, first ever Teddy Bear Toss and now, the first-ever Corporate Partner Challenge. Front office members of the Herd created the challenge as a way for corporate partners and the Stampede to work in conjunction to benefit local non-profits.

    The program consisted of using ticket sales as a point system. For each ticket sold, the partner would earn 1 point and the Stampede would donate $2 to the community organization of the partner’s choice. By the end of the season, the partner with the “most points” would receive a donation in the amount of $2,500 to benefit their chosen non-profit.

    Takia Colston-Krow, Stampede VP of Marketing and Sales, announced today that SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara was the winner of the 1st Annual Corporate Partner Challenge and the American Red Cross, the beneficiary, would receive a check in the amount of $2,500 at the Stampede’s home season finale this Saturday at Giant Center.

    “This program was created as a way for our organization to work alongside our corporate partners to benefit a community organization of their choice” says Takia. “Our mission is to provide a positive social impact in the community, and what better way than engaging our partners and their employee bases to benefit our combined community.”

    The Stampede will recognize the efforts of SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara on field this Saturday as the Herd take on the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks in their home season finale. Kick off is 7pm from PinnacleHealth Field at Giant Center.

    Harrisburg Stampede - Red Cross Fundraiser

    5/7/2014 (Permalink)

    Buy a ticket to the Harrisburg Stampede game on Sat May 17th and the Stampede will donate $5.00 of the ticket price to help fund the American Red Cross Volunteers who help familes deal with crisis in the Harrisburg area

    To buy the tickest and contribute to the cause - click on this link and "run with the Herd !"

    What To Do AFTER The Fire

    5/6/2014 (Permalink)

    A fire will change your life in many ways that you cannot imagine. Knowing where to begin and who can help you is important. 

    Put Safety First 

    The safety of you and your family must be the first priority.Follow the advice and directions issued by local authorities. If the authorities ask you to evacuate, do not return until they report that it is safe and secured. 

    Contact Your Insurance Company

    The typical homeowners policy will provide reimbursement for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) such as the cost of hotels and food when a covered loss to your home makes the residence uninhabitable. 

    If you do not have insurance, your family and community might help you get back on your feet. Organizations that might help include:

    • American Red Cross (717) 234-3101;

    • Salvation Army (717) 233-6755 ;

    • religious organizations;

    • public agencies, such as the public health department;

    • community groups;

    • State or municipal emergency services office; and

    • nonprofit crisis-counseling centers.

    What To Expect

    A fire in a home, whether you live in an apartment, a single family, or multifamily home, can cause serious damage. The building and many of the things in your home may have been badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke, and water. You will find that things the fire did not burn up are now ruined by smoke and soggy with water used to put out the flames. Anything you want to save or re-use will need to be carefully cleaned. The firefighters may have cut holes in the walls of the building to look for any hidden flames. They may even have cut holes in the roof to let out the heat and smoke. Cleanup will take time and patience.

    Restoration Services

    You do not need to make a quick decision on who will perform the restoration services.  You will, however  need to have someone perform board-up services to secure the property. Many restoration companies - including SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara perform board-up services.  You are not required to use the same company to provide mitigation and restoration services.  Take you time to decide after consulting with your insurance adjustor and do some of your own research before you decide.

    Restoration and Mitigation Services Include:

    Restoration companies like SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara provide services that include the following: 

    • Documenting all items affected and items to be removed for cleaning / restoration
    • Removing unsalvageable items and material
    • Storing and cleaning contents and personal items
    • Restoring furniture and other personal property
    • Cleaning clothes, linens, etc
    • Drying the structure and contents
    • Deodorizing the structure and content
    • Preparing the structure for rebuild

    Once the structure has been miigated for the fire damage - the home owner can negotiate with contractors to rebuild. SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara can help the homeowner with the rebuild process as well.  

    What To Look For In A Mold Remediation Company

    5/1/2014 (Permalink)

    Many people will have a hard time trying to find a reliable mold remediation company here in Central Pa. It can be overwhelming. Here are a few ideas to help you wade through the myriad of mold remediation company listings, and hopefully find one that you can count on to do the job right, and for the right price.

    1. Check out the reputation of the company - do some research on-line. 

    2. Are they insured for what they do? Because of the litigation associated with mold there are many insurance companies who will not insure against mold. It is common for commercial liability insurance to exclude pollution that apply to mold. Those that do usually require high premiums to offset the risk they incur. As a result, companies that advertise themselves as remediation companies may not be properly insured against risks.  You ask specifically about pollution coverage because it will be a special coverage of the liability insurance.

    3. Are they trained?  Pennsylvania does not have any special certification requirements. However, that does not mean that the technicians performing the work are not trained. The company you use should have an employee training and certification program.

    4. What is the planned job process?  Mold should be contained, and then removed. Generally accepted guidelines for mold remediation recommends that any mold remediation in excess of 10 square feet should be isolated with a containment to prevent spread of mold spores. A HEPA filtered air scrubber should be used inside the containment, and it is most effective if it is set up to provide negative air pressure (meaning air is being sucked into the containment so that mold spores can’t leak out). Mold infested porous material like sheetrock, carpet, and carpet pad should be removed and discarded (bagged for removal to prevent spreading the spores when being transferred out of the containment). The surfaces of non-porous material should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. For example, wood framing can be sprayed with an EPA approved disinfecting solution, then wiped and physically abraded with a wire brush or sandpaper to remove mold.  All surfaces inside the containment should then be thoroughly HEPA vacuumed, and wiped using an EPA-approved disinfecting solution.  Finally, no mold remediation job would be complete without post-remediation testing performed by a certified independent laboratory.  There are variations of the job process, especially if the mold-infested materials are still wet. If so, you should expect that after setting up the containment, the mold contaminated porous material will be removed, the non-porous wet mold –infested structure will be cleaned of mold as much as possible and dried, and then remediated to completion.  Testing generally involves taking an air sample inside the containment area and comparing the results to an air sample drawn outside the house or building. Finally, the remediation company should have its workers properly protected. They should wear protective coveralls, gloves, and a HEPA filtered respirator.

    5. How do they determine pricing? Most mold remediation jobs being performed as part of an insurance claim should be estimated using an estimating software system called Xactimate. Almost all insurance companies expect Xactimate to be used, and your mold remediation company should be familiar with it, and capable of submitting the estimate in this format. If the job is not covered by insurance you can still ask to see an Xactimate estimate for the job. The Xactimate pricing list is based on monthly surveys performed in the local area, so the pricing for labor and materials are the average price for the job being performed. Any quote provided to you that is not consistent with an Xactimate estimate (either too high or too low) should raise flags and be investigated.  They should provide you with a detailed list of charges.

    6. Does the company stand behind its work? The company doing remediation should offer a guarantee on workmanship for the area being remediated. 

    7. Beware of scare tactics - Mold can be a scary problem but many people exagerate the health impact.  Do your own research first - don't let someone scare you with phrases like "You have toxic black mold".  Mold contamination can present significant health and quality of life issues - but don't let remediators scare you into signing a contract.

    Whenever you discover that you have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara. We promise that you will get an honest assessment of the problem, and we will ensure that you will be satisfied with our work.

    Congratulations to Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline !

    4/4/2014 (Permalink)

    We were very proud to present the 2013 Red Cross Firefighter Hero Award to Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline at the Red Cross Spirit of the Hero's event on March 27th. Chief Enterline was recognized for the service he provides to people after the fire is put out. He is working with Mayor Papenfuse (pictured on the right), HUD and the Red Cross to find a temporary housing solution for victims of fires who have nowhere else to go. Firefighters are Hero's by definition - but Chief Enterline was recognized for going above and beyond to help ease suffering and improve the face of city. Congratulations to Chief Enterline on this much deserved award and kudos to the Mayor's office for working together with other agencies and the Red Cross toward a mutual goal!

    Puff Backs

    3/9/2014 (Permalink)

    The term "Furnace Puff back" refers to the sudden expulsion of soot into the dwelling area caused by a malfunction in the heating system. The soot from a puff back is a sticky, greasy, grimy mess second to none. And, it can present a severe health hazard in the place that's supposed to be a haven - your home. All those miniscule, oil based particles embed themselves in curtains, carpets, and clothing while contaminating the air with known carcinogens. Running a vacuum over it only grinds the soot deeper and creates stains that will never come out. Wiping the soot from walls and ceilings creates a place where paint will no longer stick. And, unless the soot is quickly and professionally removed, it can cause corrosion of metals on doorknobs, faucets, and even electronic equipment throughout the home.  Because every inch of the home is affected, a puff back is an overwhelming job to clean properly.

    This where the SERVPRO team can help - you can trust SERVPRO to clean EVERYTHING. We're your one stop for puff back and smoke damage cleanup In the Harrisburg / Hershey area.  If your home has been affected by a furnace puff back - call us at 717-561-4040 - we can help you get your home and possessions back to pre-loss condition - Like it never even happened.® 

    Mold Cleanup and Restoration

    2/27/2014 (Permalink)

    Excessive amounts of mold and certain types of mold may present health concerns. It is essential for the health of you and your family, as well as the protection of your property, to address the issue and arrange for professionals to conduct mold removal and mold remediation as soon as the presence of mold is identified.

    Water damages can cause mold growth in your home or business, therefore it is important to have your water damage cleaned promptly and professionally.

    Signs of the presence of excessive mold include:

    • The presence of visible mold.
    • Strong, musty odors.
    • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
    • Excessive humidity.

    Mold Damage Removal

    If you think you might have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara at 717-561-1404.

    In most water damage situations, mold growth is something we can safely restore and bring your home or business to preloss condition. The need to address the mold removal can only be determined by an on-site, indoor environmental inspection.

    Mold Remediation

    In some situations an indoor air quality professional will be required to create a restoration plan for your home. We at SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatra are experienced at carrying out the assigned mold remediation plan and working to make it "Like it Never Even Happened."

    Ice Dams

    2/21/2014 (Permalink)

    With warming temperatures and significant build-up of ice and snow - ice damming is a significant source of water damnage.

    Ice dams form when melting snow on a roof refreezes at the edge of a roof. Why does snow melt on your roof when it’s freezing outside? OK, fair question. Well, it melts because the underside of the roof in the attic above 32 degrees Fahrenheit enough that it warms the outside roof surface to the point that snow melts. Now here’s the weird part. Ice dams start or get worse after a heavy snow because of its insulating properties. Since snow is such a good insulator (R-0.5 to R-1 per inch) the outside roof surface is able to warm up easier from the warm attic space, thereby melting the snow faster.

    Warm attic spaces occur because of inadequate outside air circulation (ventilation) through the attic (soffit to roof ridge), which is necessary to keep the roof deck cold. Attic warming from poor ventilation is made worse with the introduction of heat from the occupied floor below the attic including sources such as lighting, air leaks, ductwork, etc.

    As mentioned earlier, when roof snow is melted by a warm attic space, the water runs between the snow and the warm roof surface. The water then freezes and turns to ice when it gets past the exterior wall and hits a cold unheated roof edge or gutter. The ice dam grows as the snow pack continues to melt, and as water continues to flow down the roof surface. When the water flow hits the ice it creates a larger and larger ice dam.

    Ice Dam Damage
    If this situation continues, the ice can work its way back up the roof edge, get under shingles, melt and leak into the exterior wall, home or attic. Damage from ice dams may not be readily apparent. As the ice melts and possibly drips into the wall or attic, insulation can be become wet and lose its ability to perform. In some cases if the right temperature and humidity exist, mold may begin to grow in the attic. Often paint will peel or blister weeks or months after the ice dam has melted as moisture from the leak in the wall or ceiling cavities tries to leave and pushes outward.

    The most effective long term solution is to reduce or eliminate any sources of heat in the attic and ventilate the attic space of the roof. The underside of the roof deck must be close to the temperature of the exterior side of the roof. Ideally ventilation should be installed using a continuous soffit-and-ridge vent system with baffles at the lower side of the roof. Provide at least a 2-inch space between insulation and sheathing. By providing adequate ventilation as illustrated in this diagram, the temperature of the attic will be lowered thereby lowering the underside roof deck temperature.

    It is also critical to eliminate all sources of heat in the attic space. Make sure to eliminate sources of heat such as:

    • uninsulated recessed ceiling can lights installed in the floor below,
    • poor attic floor insulation (Use this DOE insulation calculator to see what insulation levels you should have for your home based upon your zip code location),
    • uninsulated folding attic stair openings,
    • heating ducts,
    • furnace or water heating equipment in the attic,
    • bathroom vent fans that improperly vent to the attic, and
    • other similar problems.

    How We Price Our Services

    2/19/2014 (Permalink)

    When providing estimates - people often want to know how we come-up with the price for the restoration services we provide.  We utilize Xactware to determine our pricing for the restoration services we provide. Xactware is an independent, third-party company that researches and reports on industry pricing. Currently, 21 of the top 25 property insurance companies in the U.S. and 10 of the top 10 Canadian insurers use Xactware property insurance claims tools

    Xactware uses pricing information from general contractors, subcontractors, insurance carriers, insurance adjusters, and a host of other industry professionals as we research and report on the average market price for each price-list item. Xactware goes to great lengths to ensure that no one party or industry segment has any undue influence on the pricing data that we research and report on.

    In order to provide the most accurate and defensible pricing information available, Xactware takes a unique, scientific approach to researching and reporting on market pricing for the insurance repair industry. This approach is based on a proven five-phased, iterative process.

  • Phase 1: Conduct market pricing research.
  • Xactware currently researches and analyzes millions of market price points each year from multiple, third-party sources. These include:
  • Thousands of in-field estimates that are submitted to Xactware every day (i.e. estimates actually used to settle claims)
  • Market surveys of industry professionals
  • Retail pricing research
  • Unit-price research based on surveys with over 100,000 contractors, insurance carriers, and independent adjusters
  • Pricing feedback from in-field users
  • Independent pricing verification requests
  • Customer-specific cost data
  • Catastrophe-specific pricing research
  • Additional research surveys
  • Multiple third-party sources for data such as worker’s comp, federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, and so on
  • Many other research initiatives
  • Phase 2: Review and verify all the market research gathered; conduct data integrity checks.
  • Phase 3: Analyze all the pricing research and perform a proprietary cluster analysis on various subsets of that research to identify the mid-range market price points. This proprietary process was designed by Brigham Young University Ph.D.’s and is monitored by an econometrician. (An econometrician holds a master’s degree in statistics and a doctorate in economics.)
  • Phase 4: Report on and publish market pricing research results.
  • Phase 5: Evaluate and refine our pricing research and reporting methodology.
  • For example, the building cost data used in Xactware’s products comes from:

  • Time and materials costs
  • Over 40,000 providers of materials, equipment and labor
  • Over 84,000 surveys each year*
  • Analysis of actual damage repair estimates (transaction-based research)
  • Over 3 million estimates each year*
  • Over 6 million data points each month*
  • Direct surveys of construction market costs
  • New construction/remodeling
  • General contracts and sub-contractors
  • Approximately 2,000 surveys each month*
  • For more details - visit http://www.xactware.com/en-us/resources/pricing-data-services/methodology/

    Guild Quality Membership

    2/13/2014 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara is now part of the Guild Quality network of home service providers. 

    GuildQuality is the nation’s leader in third-party customer satisfaction surveying for remodelers, homebuilders, and home services contractors. They gather unbiased feedback from their clients. With this feedback, we are able to build customized reports to track company performance, and continue to improve the level of our customer service.

    As a GuildQuality member, we are part of a community of quality-minded remodelers, homebuilders, and home services companies that share the belief that their ability to deliver consistently exceptional customer experience is important to their long-term success , and we rely on GuildQuality to help us monitor the quality of service we provide.

    We are excited about this partnership as we believe it will help us to achieve our goal of delivering the highest quality and value to our customers.  We want to WOW our customers so they are our most enthusiastic salespeople! 

    Keep Fire Hydrants Clear of Snow

    2/11/2014 (Permalink)

    With snow piling-up and even more on the way - make sure that you keep your fire hydrants clear of snow!  

    Be Prepared For The Thaw !

    2/5/2014 (Permalink)

    A midwinter or early spring thaw can produce large amounts of runoff in a short period of time. Because the ground is hard and frozen, water cannot penetrate and be reabsorbed. The water then runs off the surface and flows into lakes, streams and rivers, causing excess water to spill over their banks.

    Educate Yourself

    After getting flood insurance, there are several things you can do to minimize losses in your home and ensure your family's safety.

    1. Safeguard your possessions.
    Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:

    • A copy of your insurance policies with your agents contact information.
    • A household inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims. For more information visit www.knowyourstuff.org.
    • Copies of all other critical documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases.

    2. Prepare your house.

    • First make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
    • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
    • Anchor any fuel tanks.
    • Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home's projected flood elevation.
    • Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
    • Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.

    3. Develop a family emergency plan.

    • Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight.
    • Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911.
    • Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work, and school that are on higher ground.
    • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.
    • Have a plan to protect your pets.

    For more information on emergency preparation, talk to your insurance agent or visitReady.gov.  You can also prepare your home or business by utilizing the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program. http://m.servpro.com/Ready

    At SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara - we are ready 24/7 to help you recover quickly from flood damage.   Call us at 717-561-1404

    Don't Try This At Home ! Call a Professional

    2/5/2014 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatra Cleaning Services:

    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 Franchise Professionals are trained to safely remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

    Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.

    Sewage Backups
    Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

    Bloodborne Pathogens
    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Franchise Professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.

    Methamphetamine Labs
    SERVPRO realizes many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

    Crime Scene and Vandalism
    Crime Scene Residues
    From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals also provide general vandalism cleanup for graffiti and deodorization services for situations involving spoiled foods and human and animal waste.

    Understanding Flood Insurance

    2/4/2014 (Permalink)

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which works closely with nearly 90 private insurance companies to offer flood insurance to property owners and renters. In order to qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards.

    The NFIP, a federal program, offers flood insurance, which can be purchased through property and casualty insurance agents. Rates are set and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent. These rates depend on many factors, which include the date and type of construction of your home, along with your buildings level of risk.

    Flood insurance protects two types of insurable property: building and contents. The first covers your building, the latter covers your possessions; neither covers the land they occupy.

    Building coverage includes:

  • The insured building and its foundation
  • The electrical and plumbing system
  • Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
  • Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
  • Contents coverage includes:

  • Clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
  • Curtains
  • Portable and window air conditioners
  • Portable microwaves and dishwashers
  • Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage
  • Clothing washers and dryers
  •  The two most common reimbursement methods for flood claims are : Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and Actual Cash Value (ACV). The RCV is the cost to replace damaged property. It is reimbursable to owners of single-family, primary residences insured to within 80% of the buildings replacement cost.

    All other buildings and personal property (i.e. contents) are valued at ACV. The ACV is the RCV at the time of loss minus physical depreciation. Personal property is always valued using the ACV.

    At SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara - we are prepared to help you recover from flood damage and to get your life back!  Call us at 717-561-1404 

    Five Steps to Avoid Mold Growth After a Flood

    1/30/2014 (Permalink)

    Flooding is the leading natural disaster in the U.S and flooding can wreak havoc on a home or building that lasts long after waters recede. Over the past five years, the average paid flood insurance claim was more than $35,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). From damaged personal items to the growth of mold spores that can impact the health of a home and its inhabitants, taking the proper steps to restore a property after a flood can limit the extent of the damage incurred.

    To help direct home owners and businesses during cleanup efforts, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration and Certification (IICRC) and the Healthy House Institute (HHI) share the following five steps for preventing mold growth after a catastrophic flood. 

    Step One: Check it out!

    • Once a building is flooded from a river, lake, stream, hurricane or rainstorm, inspecting and documenting damage is very important for several reasons, including insurance and tax purposes. Electrical, gas, structural and other safety hazards present must be eliminated "before" assessing physical damage to the building and contents.
    • Once health and safety hazards have been eliminated, inspect the building and all contents. Generally, the rule of thumb is that everything below the water line gets thrown out. Building materials and contents above the water line should be inspected for discoloration, odor and damage. 

    Step Two: Get it out!

    • Extract standing water with a pump or wet vacuum from slabs, basements, crawlspaces, heating systems and anywhere water could be sitting. Shovel or flush out remaining silt and sand with water.
    • Next, remove all wallboard material (e.g., plaster, drywall, paneling), finished flooring (e.g., carpet, hardwood, vinyl flooring), insulation and any other wet materials that are below the water line.
    • Remove contents damaged by floodwater. Keep a record of your activities before, during and after cleanup. Take photo or video recording inventory of discarded material.

    Step Three: Clean it up!

    • Start with vacuuming as much loose debris and soil as possible. It is preferable to use a HEPA vacuum, but a simple wet/dry vacuum can work. When using a wet/dry vacuum, attach a hose to the exhaust and vent the exhaust air to the outside. This keeps dust, spores and other fine particles from being suspended in the air and settling back on clean surfaces.
    • Clean framing with a pressure washer or low-pressure flushing. Scrub framing with a mild detergent (e.g. dish soap) to remove embedded soils. Wipe all adjacent surfaces with a mild detergent. Rinse by low-pressure flushing or wiping with clean water. Vacuum all remaining moisture using a wet/dry vacuum.
    • If mold is visible and remains after cleaning, additional scrubbing or multiple rounds of cleaning may be necessary. If significant mold growth is present, or if occupants have immune deficiencies, are elderly, pregnant, or if there are young children present.
    • After all surfaces are clean, wipe surfaces with a sanitizer such as a solution of up to ¼ cup of bleach to one gallon of water. After 20 minutes, wipe surfaces using clean water. This step helps neutralize remaining or embedded contaminants. 
    • For those with chemical sensitivities, perform multiple rounds of cleaning as an alternative to using bleach.

    Step Four: Dry it out – quickly!

    • Mold spores are everywhere, and it is impossible to remove all spores and potential contaminants. All spores need to grow is moisture. To inhibit future mold growth, dry affected areas as quickly as possible, preferably within 24 to 48 hours from the completion of cleaning and sanitizing.
    • The key is directing warm, dry air across wet surfaces. This directed airflow should be exhausted outside or collected using dehumidification equipment. Take care to not spread contaminants. Properly directing airflow may require putting up barriers or containing the affected areas to prevent the spread of contaminants to unaffected areas.
    • Drying a wet building correctly is an art as well as a science. IICRC trained and certified experts know how to use state-of-the-art moisture detection and monitoring equipment that identifies hidden moisture in building materials, ventilation systems, flooring and walls. Certified restorers also understand and use the equipment necessary to dry buildings, while preventing the spread of contaminants.
    • In a community-wide flood, the availability of power and rental equipment to complete structural drying can be a challenge. If drying cannot be properly initiated, contact an IICRC Certified Firm. 

    Step Five: Keep it dry

    • The cardinal rule for preventing mold growth is to keep surfaces dry. Strive to ensure your home stays dry and you will be following industry best practices for preventing mold growth and protecting the health of others in your home. It’s also a way to protect the investment of your home, since excess mold growth and moisture will damage the structure. Try to keep indoor humidity below 50 percent using air conditioning or a dehumidifier.
    • Tip: Use a water-sensing alarm (battery-operated) in moisture-prone areas such as next to the washer, hot water heater, in the basement and other possible wet zones, so you are alerted to the accumulation of excess moisture. 

    No one wants to experience the devastation of a flood, but by keeping mold outside where it belongs, you can limit its impact on the health of your family and home.

    At SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara, we are ready and able to address any and all water damage issues that you may have in your home or business.  We have the resipources and the capabilities to remediate any size loss.  Give us a call at 717-5611404 or visit our website at www.SERVPROHersheySwatara.com for more information.

    Note: the source of the above information is http://www.healthyhouseinstitute.com/a-1328-Five-Steps-to-Prevent-Mold-Growth-after-a-Catastrophic-Flood

    Is My Water Damage Covered ?

    1/28/2014 (Permalink)

    There is a lot of confusion about what types of water damage is covered under a home insurance policy. With so many home insurance mold claims being denied, home owners are left with a lot of questions when it comes to water damage to their home. Let's take a look at what types of water damage is covered under your home insurance policy and what to do if water damage happens to your home.

    Examples of What Types of Water Damage Your Home Insurance Policy Would Cover

    Homeowners policies do not cover damages due to a flood, but they do cover other kinds of water damage. For example, they would generally pay for damage from rain coming through a hole in the roof or a broken window if the hole was caused by strong storm winds. On the other hand, if you have a hidden pipe leaking in your house and over time water damage occurs, that would not be covered. It pretty much boils down to whether the water damage was caused by a covered peril such as a storm... if the water damage was due to you not keeping your house maintained and repaired then your insurance would not cover it. If you don't know what water damage is covered, review your home insurance policy or check with your home insurance company now, before any damage occurs.

    Clean Up Your Water Damage to Avoid Mold

    Regardless of how the water damage happened, it is important to take similar steps to remedy it. Never ignore indications of an obvious water problem in your home. You should immediately attempt to find and stop leaks at their source. When water leaks into your property, moisture can collect, allowing mold to develop. Mold can cause further damage to your property and can potentially cause health problems. The adverse health effects from mold exposure can range from runny noses, coughs, nosebleeds, congestion, and sinusitis to more serious upper respiratory ailments such as asthma or bronchitis. A lot of insurance companies are restricting mold damage, but some mold damage may be covered if it was caused by a covered peril. You should immediately report any water damage to your insurance agent.

    When a Storm Causes Water Damage

    If sudden water damage occurs to your property, such as with a storm, it is important to dry all wet areas and provide air circulation to aid in the drying process. Also, cover any areas with a tarp to prevent more water damage. Covering, drying, and dehumidifying wet areas can help minimize the possibility that mold will accompany water damage. Always contact your insurance agent immediately to start the home owners insurance claims process.

    Gradual Water Damage

    What do you do if you find water damage that indicates leakage over a period of time? Unfortunately, mold may have already developed and more than likely your claim would not be covered. In this case, attempting to clean up the mold may spread the mold spores, causing greater property damage or health problems. Mold can be dangerous to your health, therefore it is important that mold testing and cleanup be conducted by professionals as soon as mold is detected. Contact your insurance agent to see if any of your damage can be covered under your policy and contact a professional mold cleaning company.

    SERVPRO Of Hershey / Swatara is able to help you recover from any size or type of Water Damage.  We can also remediate mold damage.  Call us at 717-561-1404 when dissaster strikes - we respond !

    SOURCE: http://personalinsure.about.com/od/preventio1/a/aa052007a.htm

    No Disaster Is Too Big!

    1/21/2014 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO Storm Damage Cleanup & Restoration

    Disaster Recovery Team

    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 Hershey/Swatara Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable.

    With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,600 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big.

    Recent mobilizations of the Castastrophic Storm Response Teams include:

    • 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 (717) 561-1404. SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara proudly serves Hershey, Harrisburg, Hummelstown, Lebanon, Camp Hill, and surrounding areas.

    Even in the face of a disaster, SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara Professionals will strive to help make it "Like it never even happened."

    The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption

    1/19/2014 (Permalink)

    Commercial The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Large Commercial Loss Team

    The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it NOW.

    As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. 

    By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

    Are You Ready?

    Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” 

    The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. 

    SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

    The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a no cost assessment of your facility. It provides: 

    • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency - a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
    • Facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.  Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

    At Servpro of Hershey / Swatara - we are commited to partnering with our commercial clients to reduce business interruption in the event of any type of disssaster.  To this end - we also work very closely with our partners at the Red Cross - leveraging thier resources and capabilites to supplement our own when dissaster strikes.  

    Call us at (717) 561-1404 to get started - it costs you nothing.  Not making the call may be VERY costly. 

    Water Damage Restoration 101

    1/16/2014 (Permalink)

    Water Removal

    When your home is being threatened by water damage from flooding or leaks, SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara Professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects water damage can have in order to help preserve and restore your property.

    Our Professionals have the equipment and experience necessary to handle the most challenging water damage and removal situations and are available around-the-clock.  We concentrate on safely drying, deodorizing and disinfecting the areas flooded or damaged by water, utilizing the following:

    Water Removal Equipment

    • Moisture detectors, hygrometers and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation.
    • Infrared camera may be used to identify water location for thorough water removal.
    • Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water.
    • Truck mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.

    Sanitizing Agents, Germicides, & Anti-Microbial Treatments

    • Deodorization products control odors from excessive moisture.
    • Disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.

    Hi-Tech Drying Equipment

    • Drying equipment helps prevent property water damage like swelling and warping of floors, walls and furniture.
    • Industrial grade dehumidifiers minimize secondary water damage.
    • High-speed air movers create airflow across walls, carpets, pads and furniture, evaporating moisture.
    • Some situations call for special drying techniques that require state of the art equipment and training.

    Our Professionals are ready to respond 24/7 to mitigate any size loss in the Harrisburg, Hershey, Swatara and surrounding area.  Call us at 717-561-1404.

    Mold Basics

    1/16/2014 (Permalink)

    Mold Basics

    The key to mold control is moisture control. If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem. It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

    Why is mold growing in my home?

    Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

    Can mold cause health problems?

    Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.

    In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.

    Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth

    This [guidance] provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

    How do I get rid of mold?

    It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.  

    This is where SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara can help.  Our team of trained and dedicated professionals are prepared to remediate your mold issue.  We work with certified indoor are quality professionals to asses the degree of impact on your facility and will mitigate the damage per the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) guidelines. 

    2014 Spirit of the Hero's - March 27th 6:30pm

    1/16/2014 (Permalink)

    Community 2014 Spirit of the Hero's - March 27th 6:30pm Spirit of the Hero Award

    Please join us in celebrating the efforts of the Red Cross Volunteers and the heroic actions of the Spirit of the Hero award recipients - ordinary people who performed extraordinary actions in a time of need. 

    Award winners are selected from nominations in the following categories

    • Community Impact Hero- Presented to an individual who displays leadership and commitment to his or her community by making a positive and significant impact.
    • Good Samaritan - Presented to an outstanding individual who displayed courage and caring upon encountering an unusual, significant or unexpected incident.
    • Youth Good Samaritan (Under 21) - Presented to an outstanding young man or woman who displayed courage and caring upon encountering an unusual, significant or unexpected incident.
    • Fire Fighter Hero- Presented to a professional firefighter who, in the performance of his or her job, acted above and beyond the call of duty.
    • Law Enforcement Hero - Presented to a law enforcement official who, in the performance of her or his job, acted above and beyond the call of duty
    • Animal Rescue Hero: presented to an ordinary citizen using life saving training skills to save the life of an animal or to an animal that saves human lives
    • Medical Hero: presented to a medical professional, an organization or an ordinary citizen whose life saving action goes above and beyond the call of duty.
    • Military Hero– Presented to an individual that works with or for the military and provides an impact to the military personnel and/or their families.

    Nominees must live or work in Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, Perry, eastern Cumberland, Mifflin or Juniata counties.

    Heroes will be honored during March as Red Cross Month at the Red Cross Spirit of the Hero Award program on March 27, 2014, at the Milton Hershey School’s Founder’s Hall, Homestead Ln, Hershey, Pennsylvania. For more information on this event - go to: 


    The Smell of Your Home May Be Making You Sick

    1/14/2014 (Permalink)

    Dr. Joan Wennstrom Bennett of the Plant Biology and Pathology points-out that VOCs from mold may be an important contributor to Parkinson’s disease.  As noted in a recent article in Discover Magazine, Bennett's discovery could possibly explain a long-standing mystery: Every known toxin that causes Parkinson’s is man-made and relatively recent, but Parkinson’s has existed for thousands of years. Bennett says that a variety of natural neurotoxins – mushroom alcohol as well as other VOCs – may lead to the disease.

    At SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara - we work closely with a Council-Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC) to assist us in assessing mold damage in your home or office because the full extent of the impact on the air quality can not be assessed by visual inspection only. Once the consultant has defined the extent of the damage - we get to work on remediation.

    The consultant then does a post remediation assessment to confirm that mold levels in the building are normal before we say we are done.

    Be Prepared For Flood Damage!

    1/12/2014 (Permalink)

    The NWS declaring ice jam related flood warnings and melting ice combined with rain - many people will be dealing with the ravages of flood damage in our region.

    Our partners at the Red Cross have prepared a very helpful list of action items to follow before and after you are impacted by flood damage.  

    When flood damage threatens to take-over your life - we at SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara are here to help you take back control.  Our hero's are ready to help 24/7.


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