Recent Posts

5 Steps to Minimize Mold Risk During and After a Prolonged Shutdown

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

5 Steps to Minimize Mold Risk During and After a Prolonged Shutdown

  1. Maintain indoor humidity as low as possible, not exceeding 50%, as measured with a humidity meter. Building managers may consider continuous monitoring of indoor humidity using a digital hygrometer, ideally more than once daily, to minimize the need to access the building.
  2. After a prolonged shutdown and before occupants return, buildings should be assessed for mold and excess moisture.
  3. After an assessment has confirmed that mold and moisture are not detected, OR after remediation has been completed, a building HVAC system that has not been active during a prolonged shutdown should be operated for at least 48 to 72 hours (known as a “flush out” period) before occupants return.
  4. After a building is reopened and occupied, routine (e.g., weekly) checks of the HVAC system are recommended to ensure operating efficiency.
  5. If no routine HVAC operation and maintenance program is in place for the building, one should be developed and implemented.

Source: CDC

From 50 Firefighters to Re-Opened

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Fire at 6:00 AM

An early morning kitchen fire on Monday caused heavy damage at Tony’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, a landmark pizza shop on Crystal Street in East Stroudsburg.

The fire, reported by an automatic fire alarm just before 6 a.m., not only temporarily knocked Tony’s out of business but left three apartments unlivable, and five people without a place to stay, said Fire Chief Dale Fetterly.

The fire also left a big question mark over when Tony’s neighbor, Derailed Taphouse, would reopen.

“Not sure yet,” said owner Marc Jackett, who opened the business last summer. He said it was difficult to determine what was damaged because there was no electrical or gas service to the building...


SERVPRO came in as soon as the scene was secure.  While SERVPRO cleaned the interior of Derailed from top to bottom, owners worked on getting electric and gas restored. After a fast and thorough SERVPRO cleaning, Derailed was able to reopen at 5:00pm that same day, less than 12 hours after the first alarm.

Source: Pocono Record

Power Strips vs. Surge Protectors

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Not All Power Strips Are Surge Protectors

"Power strips and surge protectors, also called surge suppressors, are different. 

Typically, power strips are cheap, multi-outlet products that are merely an expansion of a wall outlet. These usually have a circuit breaker (on/off switch) of some sort, but most don't offer any real "protection" from electrical issues. Some might have the barest level of protection, but they're all pretty much just like plugging into the wall direct.

Surge protectors are relatively cheap too, but unlike power strips they offer some level of protection against power spikes. How much and how well varies considerably."

Source: CNET

How To Tell

When shopping for a surge protector, make sure you are getting a surge protector, and not just a power strip.  The easiest way to be sure your are going to be protecting your electronics is to check the Joule rating of the product.  A power strip will not have a Joule rating, as it does not offer any protection.  When looking at actual surge protectors, the higher the Joule rating, the more protection you have against power surges.

What To Do With Food After A Flood

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

What To Do With Food That Has Come Into Contact With Flood Water

When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away food that may have come in contact with floodwater – like:

  • Home-canned foods.
  • All foods in cardboard boxes, paper, foil, cellophane (plastic wrap) or cloth.
  • Meat, poultry, eggs or fish.
  • Spices, seasonings, extracts, flour, sugar, grain, coffee and other staples in canisters.
  • Unopened jars with waxed cardboard seals, such as mayonnaise and salad dressing. Also, throw away preserves sealed with paraffin wax.
  • Throw away any fruits and vegetables that have been in contact with floodwaters – including those that have not been harvested from gardens.
  • Wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers.

You do NOT need to throw away the following items if they have been in contact with floodwater:

  • Commercially canned foods that came into contact with floodwater and have been properly cleaned by: labeling cans with the name of food in permanent marker; removing labels; washing cans in water containing detergent; soaking cans for at least one minute in chlorine solution; rinsing in clean, cool water; placing on sides to dry (do not stack cans).
  • Dishes and glassware if they are sanitized by boiling in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of one teaspoon of chlorine bleach per quart of water.
  • If electricity at your home has been off for long periods of time, throw away perishable foods (like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leftovers, etc.) that have been above 40 degrees for two hours or more.

Source: PA DEP

SERVPRO can sort and dispose of any non-salvageable items after a flood and even create an inventory list for you and your insurance company.

How to Prevent Sewage Back Up After A Flood

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Tips to prevent sewage back up into your home after a flood:

• Plug all drains in the basement and drastically reduce water use in your home.

• Do not use the system if the soil is saturated and flooded. Conserve water as much as possible.

• Septic systems with pump chambers can be clogged by silt during times of flooding, take measures to prevent any silt from entering the system.

• Do not open the septic tank for pumping while the soil is saturated, this can lead to silt entering the drain field.

• Avoid any work on or around the disposal field while the soil is still wet or flooded to prevent ruining the soil conductivity.

• If the septic system backs up into the house check the tank for outlet blockage, as flooding will cause fats and grease in the tank to float and potentially clog the outlet tee.

• Ensure any electrical or mechanical devices in the system avoid contact with the flooded system until it is dry and clean.

• Mud and sediment have a tendency to clog filters and aerobic plants during a flooding event, these systems will need to be washed and racked to prevent clogging.

Source: PA DEP

SERVPRO can come in to clean flood water, or a sewage back up. No matter how much or what kind of water has flooded your home, SERVPRO can clean it up, disinfect, and make it "Like it never even happened."

What To Do After Flood Waters Recede

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

What To Do After Flood Waters Recede

• Do not drink well water until it is tested. Contact your local health department.

• Do not use the sewage system until water in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level around the house.

• Have your septic tank professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage. Signs of damage include settling or an inability to accept water. Most septic tanks are not damaged by flooding since they are below ground and completely covered. However, septic tanks and pump chambers can fill with silt and debris, and must be professionally cleaned. If the soil absorption field is clogged with silt, a new system may have to be installed.

• Only trained specialists should clean or repair septic tanks because tanks may contain dangerous gases. Check your local phone book for a list of septic system contractors who work in your area.

• If sewage has backed up into the basement, clean the area and disinfect the floor. Use a chlorine solution of a half cup of chlorine bleach to each gallon of water to disinfect the area thoroughly.

• Have the septic system pumped by a qualified contractor as soon as possible after the flood. Be sure that both the tank and lift station are pumped. This will remove silt and debris that may have washed into the system. Remember: The tank should not be pumped during flooded or saturated drain field conditions. At best, pumping the tank is only a temporary solution. Under worst conditions, pumping it out could cause the tank to try to float out of the ground and may damage the inlet and outlet pipes.

• Do not compact the soil over the soil absorption field by driving or operating equipment in the area. Saturated soil is especially susceptible to compaction, which can reduce the soil absorption field’s ability to treat wastewater and lead to system failure.

• Examine all electrical connections for damage before restoring electricity.

• Be sure the septic tank’s manhole cover is secure and that inspection ports have not been blocked or damaged.

• Check the vegetation over your septic tank and soil absorption field. Repair erosion damage and sod or reseed areas as necessary to provide turf grass cover.

Source: PA DEP

Call SERVPRO immediately after any flooding or sewage back up in your home.  SERVPRO will come in, clean it up, disinfect, and make it "Like it never even happened."  The sooner you call, the faster the process can begin.

Know the Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting vs. Sanitizing

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

Source: CDC

We are Cleaning Experts

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County, 570-424-2290

Proactive Cleaning for Coronavirus

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

SERVPRO® franchise professionals offer cleaning services including the removal of biohazard contaminants. They have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business.

About Coronavirus

The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has spread to 60 locations internationally (as of this publication), including cases in the United States. The virus known as “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”)i is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Scope of Cleanup Protocol

SERVPRO professionals can perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection where the customer states that there is no active known threat of COVID-19 contamination or exposure. The customer will be required to acknowledge that cleaning and disinfecting will only apply to the current state of the structure and contents. The structure would not be protected from future COVID-19 contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building. Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces as well, including:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving and Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Cleanup and Disinfecting Procedures

Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste.

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar type organisms to COVID-19.

SERVPROXIDE™, SERVPRO’s proprietary disinfectant, is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. In addition, SERVPROXIDE™ currently has dozens of EPA-approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1) and more.

Porous surfaces that are not water-sensitive, such as carpet and other fabric material, cannot be disinfected but can be sanitized using SERVPROXIDE™.

Use Caution After Flooding

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Cleanup & Restoration Information

For Homes, Businesses, Schools & More…

After the flood waters recede and the clean up has been done, most folks want to get back into their homes or businesses and start rebuilding. The problem is that wood that has been submerged in water has likely absorbed a large amount of water. Rebuilding too quickly after a flood can cause continuing problems such as mold growth, insect infestations, and deterioration of the wood and wall coverings.

Flood waters are not clean water; therefore, most porous building materials must be removed and replaced with new materials.


  • Inspect for structural and electrical damage from outside to determine if it is safe to enter.
  • Electrical safety is extremely important in floods. Check for fire hazards and gas leaks. Use battery-powered light sources.
  • Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or vinegar.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, rubber gloves, and eye protection.
  • Be watchful for fire ants, snakes, or other animals.
  • If mold is present, wear a respirator that can filter spores.

Source: Texas A&M