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Roof Maintenance Tips for Commercial Property Owners

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Roof Maintenance Tips for Commercial Property Owners By inspecting and maintaining your roof, you can identify problems and keep it clear of debris.

Some things are out of mind when they're out of sight. You may not give much thought to the roof of your commercial building in Ebensburg, PA, but the state of your roof can have drastic effects on the state of your building as a whole. If you have a roof leak, for example, your building could sustain structural damage over time from the water that seeps into it. Regular inspection and maintenance of your roof protects your whole building.

Inspections

It is advisable to have set times during the year to inspect your roof. It is also important to inspect it after every major storm to see if it sustained any hail, rain or wind damage. There are several key problems to look for during inspections:

• Missing or damaged shingles
• Dents in metal roof or gutters
• Signs of previous leaks
• Debris in gutters
• Gaps in rooftop vents or equipment

A sure sign of a roof leak is excess moisture in the attic or water stains on the ceiling. If you or trusted professionals are performing regular inspections, however, you may be able to avoid these problems in the first place.

Maintenance

After each inspection, the first thing you do is repair any problems that you found. Replace broken or cracked shingles, seal up cracks in vents and make sure the flashing over the joints is intact. Part of your frequent roof maintenance, particularly during storm season, is to make sure that your gutters are cleaned on a consistent basis. Trim trees and bushes so that errant branches are less likely to break off during a storm and get blown onto the roof. The better your roof is maintained, the less likely you will need to hire water remediation specialists to clean up after the problems a faulty roof can cause.

By inspecting and maintaining your roof, you can identify problems and keep it clear of debris. A little bit of attention goes a long way to preventing a major roof leak. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com/.

Pro Tips on What To Avoid After a Flood

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

A broken pipe is often a homeowner’s worst nightmare. In an attempt to clean up the water and prevent property damage, many people actually end up doing more harm than good. Here are four important tips from the pros on what to avoid doing after there has been water in the home.

1. Using Electrical Appliances or Devices in the Flooded Area

Be sure to unplug televisions and other electronic devices that could have been damaged in the flood or that are near flood waters. Even seemingly harmless electronics can pose a major safety risk when exposed to water. For example, you should not even use your virtual voice assistant to call for help.

2. Ignoring a Little Water

A broken pipe does not always mean instant flooding. It is important to pay attention to small amounts of water and quickly address the problem before you have major water damage.

3. Assuming the Flood Is Isolated to One Area

An overflowing toilet can quickly move beyond the confines of the bathroom. Canvasing the surrounding rooms is not only smart but also vital to avoiding unnecessary flooding. Assessing the issue is especially important if there is a basement or lower level under the flooded area.

4. Delaying Salvage and Cleanup

Although a call to a restoration company should be a top priority, you do not need to wait to salvage as much as you can from the affected area. Make sure to remove items that could continue to damage your carpet or flooring, and do not forget to document the flood for insurance purposes.

Recovering from a flood in your Ebensburg, PA, home is hard, and you will have plenty to do without worrying about whether you’re handling the cleanup correctly. The next time you find yourself in a losing battle with a broken pipe, keep these helpful tips in mind and you will be one step closer to getting your life back. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com/.

How To Remove Water From a Flooded Basement

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

A sump pump is often a home’s first line of defense against flooding during the heavy rainfalls that hit Ebensburg, PA, every year. Sometimes, however, the equipment fails to channel the water outside, and the basement fills with a foot or two of water. Here are steps for removing excess water once the storm passes.


1. Ensure the House Is Safe. 


Before beginning any cleanup and restoration work, make sure the house is safe. The combination of electricity and water can be very dangerous. Water causes surfaces to be slippery, and when there is extreme flooding, it may be difficult to see the ground and identify potentially harmful objects in the water.


2. Pump the Water Out.


If the sump pump is not working and there is a large amount of water in the basement, a more powerful pump is needed. The nature of the debris in the storm water, if the basement is finished or unfinished, and the contents stored in the basement will influence which type of equipment is best. A semi-trash pump can be used to extract water that is only slightly contaminated, with small amount of sand or dirt, for example. A trash pump can extract larger debris, such as pebbles or twigs, along with the water. There are portable and truck-mounted versions of these devices, but a truck mount provides more power, which can help clear out the basement quicker.


3. Dry the Basement and Its Contents.


This may be the hardest part, drying the basement and its contents. Once the water is completely extracted, additional measures will likely be needed to remove lingering humidity to prevent mold growth.

As with all storm damage, flooded basements can seem overwhelming. With the right equipment, a flood restoration specialist can assist in all steps of saving a family’s home and belongings from water damage, including water removal, drying, cleaning, sanitation and restoration.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

How To Avoid Fires From Cooking

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen is the one in which you may spend more of your active time than anywhere else. This is where you gather, entertain, eat and, of course, cook. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common areas in the home where fires start. Often, destructive fires start because of unsafe cooking practices. It’s important to follow some best practices and tips to keep fires away.


Stay Nearby.


Whether you’re standing at the stove or using an electric skillet, it’s important to not leave any cooking food unattended. Unmonitored cooking can lead to extensive fire damage.

• Stay in the kitchen whether you’re grilling, frying or broiling your meal.
• If you have to leave for any reason, turn the stove or other appliance off.
• If possible, have someone at your Ebensburg, PA, home watch your food while you step away.


Use a Timer.


It’s easy to throw something in the oven and forget about it, especially if you leave the kitchen and go into another room or outside. Setting a timer will help reduce the risk of a fire starting in the oven and spreading to other areas.


Clean, Clean, Clean.


Not only will cleaning up grease and other materials help your kitchen look nicer, but this will reduce the risk of a grease fire. As soon as you’ve finished preparing and cooking your meal, wipe down the surfaces of your stove.


Watch Your Clothes.


You may not think of your attire as being important when it comes to fire prevention tips. However, if you’re not careful, loose and dangling clothing could touch a burner or come into contact with grease. This could injure you and could even spread flames in your kitchen.

These simple fire prevention tips could help save you and your loved ones from catastrophe. Be conscientious as you cook and entertain so you can avoid the terrible consequences of a house fire.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

The Basics of Mold Remediation

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

If you have noticed black mold in your business in Ebensburg, PA, you need to act quickly and begin mold remediation as soon as possible. If left untreated, mold can spread quickly through a building. You may want to hire experienced professionals to do the job to ensure that all of the mold is removed properly. It is important to make sure that every step of the remediation process is followed to prevent the mold from reappearing.


The Mold Remediation Process.


The experts should follow these basic steps:

• Inspect the property to determine where the black mold is and how severe the damage is
• Contain the mold to prevent it from spreading anywhere else
• Filter the air with specialized equipment to capture tiny mold spores in the air
• Use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to remove mold and prevent regrowth
• Dispose of mold-infested materials
• Clean and sanitize items such as furniture, carpet, and decorative items
• Restore any building materials that were damaged or removed during the mold removal process


Preventing Black Mold in the Future.


Once the mold cleanup is complete and your building is back in shape, there may still be work to do. Unless you eliminate the problem that caused the mold in the first place, you run the risk of mold growing right back where it was. If your mold professionals identified the cause of the mold, you’ll want to deal with it as quickly as possible. Potential causes of mold include leaky roofs, windows, and pipes, flooding, and high humidity levels. Speak to your mold professionals to determine the best plan of action for you and your business.

Mold cleanup can be a time-consuming and expensive process. The key to minimizing damage is fast action. Take the time to make sure mold is removed correctly and you will save time in the future instead of dealing with it on a regular basis.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Stay Safe: Understanding the Categories of Water Contamination

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

There are few amenities as easy to take for granted as clean water, but also few amenities more damaging to be without. From maintaining hydration to hygiene, access to clean water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, access to clean water is not universal and many are exposed to contaminated water. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) classifies water into three tiers:

1. Clean water
2. Water that is contaminated
3. Sewer and outside flood water

It is important to understand these classifications in order to properly assess the safety of a water source.


Category 1 – Clean, Safe Water.


The highest classification is reserved for water from sources that pose no significant health risk. When using water from this category, it is important to ensure that the water has not become contaminated from an outside source elsewhere in the supply line, such as traveling through unclean pipes or being stored in a dirty receptacle.


Category 2 – Contaminated Water.


Water that carries potential risks is classified as category 2. Due to exposure to high levels of microorganisms, category 2 water should be avoided as it can lead to irritation or illness. Although ingestion of category 2 water is an obvious risk, it is also inadvisable to come in contact with this water as well, such as using it for cleaning, as the pollutants contained within it may not require ingestion to cause illness.


Category 3 – Septic and Outdoor Water.


The most polluted water is classified as category 3, and it carries extremely high levels of potentially harmful elements. The most common form of contamination leading to this classification is backed up toilet water, known as black water; however, septic water can also be caused by the introduction of unclean outside water sources into the supply line.

Exposure to contaminated water is a hazard, and cleaning it up is something that should not be put off to a later date once it’s identified. When unsafe water is discovered, it is important to contact a restoration professional in Ebensburg, PA, promptly. The professional can assess the contamination, identify the source of the pollution, and clean up the problem to once again restore access to healthy water.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Investigating Your Malfunctioning Sprinkler System

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

The irrigation system on your commercial property in Ebensburg, PA, is probably a pretty simple system. Most systems work in a similar way. A signal is sent to the control valves, the valves open to send water to the water line and this prompts the sprinklers to emerge and distribute the water. When something goes wrong at any point, however, the particular reason for it could be one of many, and ignoring it could cause flood damage that has to be remediated by certified specialists. Here are three common irrigation problems and their potential causes.


1. Faulty Sprinkler Head.


The most obvious reason for this problem is a broken sprinkler head, especially if you just have one that’s not working. Inspect it for damage and replace it if necessary. If the sprinkler shows no sign of damage, it may just be dirty. Remove it, rinse it out in a bucket of clean water and replace it.


2. One or More Malfunctioning Zones.


If one or more zones of your irrigation system isn’t working, your problem is most likely electrical. The zone may not be getting the voltage it needs to operate. You can test the voltage with a multimeter. If it’s not getting enough, the controller may need to be replaced. If the voltage seems fine, check the fuses and valves to make sure they aren’t defective. Test the outlet that powers the controller by plugging in another appliance to see if it works.


3. Low Water Pressure.


When your irrigation problems manifest as low pressure, the easiest remedy is to turn on backflow valves. Other issues that may cause a pressure problem are leaks and blockages. Once you locate the leak, you can fix your pressure issue by simply repairing the leak. If your problem is a damaged, blocked or crushed pipe, you must replace the affected portion to improve water pressure.

Identifying the source of the problem is the first step to fixing it. Problems with your irrigation system are usually relatively easy to fix, and it’s important to fix them so you don’t have bigger problems later.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

The Flood Cut

6/16/2018 (Permalink)

Whether it is a sudden, saturating downpour or steady rain from a suspended weather front, flooding is one of Mother Nature’s most devastating natural disasters. This is especially true for the business owner, as a flood can both ruin property upon impact and leave lasting effects, including moisture contamination of equipment and supplies and to the building structure. When the water restoration contractor must tear out the drywall from a structure’s walls because of flood damage, he or she may perform what is called a flood cut.


When It Is Necessary.


After flooding, unless the water damage is from clean water, a flood cut is often required. These situations include the following:

• There is insulation inside of the damaged wall.
• The water contains harmful pathogens or bacteria.
• The tainted water from a backed-up sewer line has contacted the wall.
• The wall has been wet for several days.


How It Is Done.


A flood cut is made at least 12 inches above the flood line. Though contractors can vary in how they approach this process, here are the basic steps:

• Measure – Though the drywall will clearly display how high the floodwater reached, the cut line should be made 12 inches above the flood line to ensure all water and damaged material are removed and to completely and properly restore walls.
• Lay tarps – This can conveniently catch all debris to help keep your area safe and clean.
• Cut the line – A cut should be made along the line using a sharp utility knife or other professional tool.
• Remove the drywall – Professionals in Ebensburg, PA, should remove the baseboard trim and electrical outlet plates. Then, drywall is pulled away from the studs until dry insulation is reached.

When flooding damages walls, a flood cut is often made. It can help ensure the removal of all damaged material to avoid future moisture problems within the walls. It can also help restore the wall’s – and your business’s – appearance.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Business Survival After a Fire

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

The fire department has left. The fire is out, but fire, water and smoke damage remain. Now it is time to resurrect the business from the ashes. This is where traditional fire insurance comes into play. It will help with the cost of fire restoration and, in time, the company can resume normal operations. Until then, however, there are still bills to pay. This is where interruption insurance enters the picture.


Financial Impact: Direct


A business that is partially shut down has less revenue. A business completely shut down has none. A shutdown impacts customers and stockholders, but at least they won’t be looking for payments from the business. For the landlord, utility companies and government, it’s a different story. Regardless of the situation, business owners still have to pay the following:

• Rent
• Utilities
• Taxes

In addition, other vendors may also come to collect. An interruption insurance policy can help the business deal with these problems and minimize the financial impact of the fire.


Financial Impact: Indirect


A business interruption can result in several other one-time expenses that don't directly impact revenue but affect profitability. Insurance can help with this as well. For example, if the operation can be temporarily moved to another location, the cost of relocating both ways could be covered. If employees need to be retrained to use new equipment, that could be covered. Even lost profits or some portion of lost revenue could be covered. A good interruption insurance policy can be the difference between a successful recovery and a dismal failure.


The Real Job


With the insurer handling the financial aspects of the fire, the business can focus on fire restoration. It is in everyone’s best interest that this gets done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, the business needs a qualified and capable restoration expert from Ebensburg, PA, on the job. Soon, the business will be up and running again, better than ever.

Can You Rely on Home Mold Testing Kits?

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

For the average do-it-yourselfer, it’s easy to want to rely on home mold testing kits when you first see the signs of black, fuzzy crud on the walls or floors of your Ebensburg, PA, home. But can you really rely on the results of a home mold kit? What do you do when it always tells you that you have mold but doesn’t give accurate enough responses to tell you where?


DIY Mold Kits Aren’t Reliable


It may hurt to find this out after already paying for an off-the-shelf kit, but DIY mold kits aren’t reliable indicators of mold in the home – and they may even lead you astray. There are a few reasons why home mold testing kits aren’t always accurate:

• Mold is always in the air around you as spores that have not yet developed into the full-blown fungus
• Home mold kits are incapable of distinguishing between spores and actual mold infestations and will always return a false positive
• This false positive means you are unable to narrow down which areas of your home have mold because every area will test positive

This means if you do have mold, you may end up missing it because the kit is giving you false results – but if you don’t have mold, you may end up panicked trying to find it when the kit’s results are too broad to be useful.


So How Can I Tell If I Have Mold?


Other than the obvious visible signs of mold in your home, the best way to detect hidden mold is by working with an environmental hygienist. Environmental hygienists specialize in mold testing, detection, and remediation, and they use specialized equipment far more sensitive than any home kit. This equipment can be essential in identifying hidden mold and taking steps to eliminate it from your home. Environmental hygienists can also educate you on the type of mold you’re dealing with and what you can watch for to prevent future outbreaks.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.