Recent Posts

Does Mold Removal Require an Expert?

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

specialist in combating mold in an apartment Mold removal in Carrolltown, PA

A surprising number of homeowners in Carrolltown, PA, have been reporting black mold growth in recent years. It seems like it would be embarrassing, but believe it or not, mold spores are everywhere; studies show that between 1,000 and 10,000 fungal spores are in a typical cubic meter of air – even indoors.
The problem doesn’t come from a lack of cleanliness, but from water damage or a moisture problem. Homes are made from materials that are often loaded with cellulose – a feast for mold. All it takes for drywall or wood studs to grow mold is excess humidity or a water leak.

Can Mold Grow on All Surfaces?

Mildew is different from a fungus that can grow on almost any surface and is usually white. Mold is rarely if ever white, especially indoors. Most typically, it is found in shades of:
• Black • Blue • Red• Greenish-yellow
Black mold requires a significantly porous material to absorb water, along with nutrients found in cellulose, to form a colony. It actually starts growing below the surface, and mold cleanup can be difficult or even impossible without removing the moisture source, scrubbing the indoor air and replacing the affected items.

Do You Need an Expert to Remove Mold?

Most mold is harmless, and if it is just a small spot, the source is immediately obvious and easily fixed, chances are you won’t need professional help.
However, black mold won’t grow on building materials without unusual moisture levels. If you can’t identify the source, such as a leaking roof or pipe, you need a professional mold inspector to follow the moisture and determine the cause. This requires specialized equipment, such as a moisture meter, infrared camera, and hygro-thermometer.
A licensed mold cleanup company also has high-tech mold testing kits unavailable to the public. While home testing kits will virtually always show a problem (since, as mentioned mold is everywhere), the professional kits can help determine if your home really does have a mold problem. If necessary, they can then remove the source of moisture and begin mold remediation.

How Property Owners and Tenants Deal with Water Damage

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Renter's insurance can protect both parties

Property owners who rent their homes and complexes to Cresson, PA, residents are aware that they are responsible for protecting their tenants from all types of potential disasters, such as storms, flooding and the resulting water damage. However, the difference in what is covered can get obscured. Landlords and inhabitants must distinguish coverage distribution and use resources like renter's insurance to protect both parties.

Responsibilities of Property Owners

Owners and property managers have the primary duty to create a hospitable, safe environment for their tenants. They are supposed to contact plumbers and water damage repair specialists if the destruction is caused by structural issues. They are also responsible for covering damaged structures.

  • Damaged and broken pipes
  • Building's wiring
  • Affected floors
  • Attached appliances

Landlords can benefit from speedy emergency response. It keeps their property in strong shape and builds strong relationships with their renters.

Responsibilities of Tenants

The landlord's insurance coverage does not apply to everything in the rental unit. Tenants are also responsible for covering the damage done to their individual possessions. Property owners are only responsible for covering structural damage that can compromise the rest of the building. Tenants are also liable if their neglect or improper actions damage the building and their own content. Renter's insurance helps the policyholders cover their own property independently from the rental unit.

Best Solutions for Both Parties

While both property owners and tenants can cover different items after a natural disaster or water incident, they can both mitigate damage and coverage expenses. Landlords can respond and repair the affected areas in a timely manner, as well as require personal property protection for new tenants. The inhabitants can prevent negligent behaviors that lead to water damage. They can also report incidents fast to prevent escalation and lessen their liability.
Storm and flooding damage create great expenses for both the tenants and the property owner. Education and clarification between both parties can resolve conflicts and lead to tools like renter's insurance that ensure everyone covers what they are liable for.

How To Pick a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Black smoke coming out of a house When a home fire starts, you won't have too much time to act

Ask Yourself Three Questions During the Purchase

As soon as you see smoke, call 911 and evacuate your family. If possible, grab your fire extinguisher, and smother the flames, buying your loved ones those few extra lifesaving minutes. The device can help minimize the flames, allowing everyone to make an escape. The fire crew can handle the rest, and a fire restoration company in Portage, PA, can take care of the damage. Do your part. When you stock your home with an extinguisher, ask yourself three questions during the purchase.

1. Can You Lift It?

When a home fire starts, you won't have too much time to act. Flames spread within minutes; therefore, you must move swiftly throughout the house with it in your hand. For example, extinguishers are sold by the weight, sitting on shelves in 2, 5 and 10 pounds. In times of distress, you will carry them and hold them upright. So, consider if you would be able to pick it up and move it without anyone's assistance. You should be able to hold it on your own for several minutes.

2. What Does It Put Out?

Read the label on the fire extinguisher. Letters should be on it, indicating what type of blaze it can handle. The letter A means the object could put out fires starting from paper and wood. B means it has chemicals to manage sparks from oils such as kitchen conflagrations. Finally, the letter C indicates the device douses electrical fires. Several units smother all three, making them versatile for your needs.

3. How Long Will It Last?

Your device is an essential part of your fire preparedness plan. You'll want to make sure that it is functioning and ready to use. Over time, though, they can lose pressure. You'll need to check on it. Metal valves can be refilled, but plastic ones may need to be replaced.
When you go to the store for a fire extinguisher, look over the labels carefully. Can you use it easily? Would it last? Is it functional for your demands? Select the one that is best for your concerns.

Unfixed Water Intrusions can Lead to Larger Problems

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Several green mold spores Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth.

Excess Moisture can Lead to a More Expensive Problem Quicker than you Think. 

Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.

If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for: 

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response. Contact us today, at 814-472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you! 

How to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Covers of insulation for pipes Insulate your pipes

Having a pipe burst in your house is one of the worst maintenance disasters you could deal with. Frozen pipes can crack and cause flooding and serious damage to the structure of your home in Johnstown, PA. To avoid this devastating scenario, there are some easy tips you can follow.

Tips to Keep Pipes From Freezing

Insulate the Pipes - Pipes that are exposed to the air are much more apt to freeze so make sure all pipes in the attic and crawl space are protected with insulation.
Use Heating Devices - If you live in an especially cold climate, heat cables or heat tape can keep your pipes safe from freezing. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing them.
Seal Leaks - Any pipes that can be exposed to cold air should be checked periodically for leaks. Leaks can also be found in dryer vents and the area surrounding electrical wires. Using caulk or insulation around the leaks will protect the area.
Detach garden hoses - Before winter arrives, disconnect outside hoses to eliminate any possibility of freezing pipes near the house.
Keep Thermostat Constant - Keeping the temperature constant in your house will reduce the chance of having frozen pipes.

Protecting Your House When on Vacation
One of the most common times to have a pipe freeze is when you are on vacation. The worst part is that if a pipe bursts while you are gone, it may be several days before the problem is detected. There are some helpful suggestions to keep in mind before you travel in the winter months.

Keep the thermostat set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Have a neighbor check the house every day or so to make sure it is warm and that there is no water damage.
Turn the water system off while you are gone.
Keep open any cabinet doors that are under sinks so that pipes stay warm.

Following a few, quick and simple rules can protect your house from frozen pipes.

What to Do After the Water Retreats

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers drying floor Drying equipment in Ebensburg, PA

What Do You Do Now?

A water disaster can be devastating to your commercial property. It can quickly create a big mess and water damage can be extensive. After the water and panic have subsided, what do you do now? What can be salvaged? After the standing water cleanup has been completed, you should:

1. Dry Thoroughly

It’s important to dry everything in the affected area as quickly and thoroughly as possible. You can use fans, open windows and doors, turn your heating system up and use space heaters and dehumidifiers. Make sure that every surface is dried completely in order to prevent issues like mold or other secondary damage.

2. Inspect for Mold

Mold can start growing approximately 24 hours after the water has been introduced. It can get out of control fast once it starts growing. Make sure that you check all areas for mold. It can even grow in tiny crevices and behind drywall.

3. Discard Unsalvageable Material

Porous materials that can’t be cleaned and completely dried within 24 hours will probably have to be discarded. Porous items range from drywall to carpet to wooden furniture. Some of these materials will be irreparable due to warping, water staining or other water damage. Mold will start growing quickly and, along with moisture, can eventually cause structural damage (e.g., water soaks through the carpet and padding down to the sub-floor). So, removing all remaining moisture is critical.

4. Disinfect Thoroughly

Once unsalvageable material has been removed and everything is dry, you’ll want to make sure that the affected area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This is especially true for incidents involving black water (bacteria-contaminated water, such as that from sewage). Borax is an ideal cleaning option for porous surfaces.
If your commercial building sustains water damage from broken pipes or another type of disaster in Ebensburg, PA, call restoration experts. They’ll get it back in its preloss condition as soon as possible.

Speedy Recovery After the Storm

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mini van, and truck box heading out to an emergency SERVPRO prides itself on a number of things, including storm response time

While most insurance claims from storm or water damage may be relatively minor, when Mother Nature unleashes her ultimate fury in Belsano, PA, significant loss can happen. Especially when it comes to flood damage, time is of the essence after the storm is over to ensure storm restoration can happen instead of storm damage replacement.

24/7 Assistance

SERVPRO prides itself on a number of things, including storm response time. Once an insurance claim is made and a call comes through, adjusters and their clients can expect a fast response, no matter the time of day.

  • A local franchise will respond to the claim in about an hour.
  • Typically, a trusted restoration specialist will be onsite within four hours.
  • After the assessment, a detailed estimate will be electronically sent with two hours.

For catastrophic situations, SERVPRO has a Commercial Large Loss Division with elite specialists qualified to handle the worst disasters. Strategically located throughout the country, when a major event happens, they will be on their way to work with local franchise professionals and community safety officers to help restore things back to normal.

Stormy Recovery

Along with a quick response, our team of storm restoration specialists is trained and certified to handle any type of disaster. From wildfires to high wind damage and flooding from heavy rains, our emergency services can help minimize further damage from happening and keep costs down. In extreme conditions, we have a network of professionals that can help manage large losses and coordinate additional labor needed to ensure recovery happens as fast as possible. When it comes to claims, we work closely with insurance agents and adjusters, providing detailed documentation every step of the way to ensure a smooth restoration that gets clients back on track and stays within a policy’s guidelines.
Major weather events can turn storm restoration into an exceptionally complex situation. Keeping the client’s safety and needs first, count on professionals to quickly assist with cleanup, restoration, and claim services.

What Can You Expect From the Mold Removal Process?

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold in the corner of room wall. Preparation for mold removal. Black mold removal in Vinco, PA

A mold problem in your Vinco, PA, commercial building can create a severe business interruption and cause you to lose a significant amount of revenue. As the owner, you may be wondering what mold remediation entails and how long it will take for your commercial building to be restored so that you can return to business. Here is everything you need to know about the mold removal process and how long it typically takes to complete.

How Do Professionals Remediate a Mold Problem?

When mold remediation specialists arrive on your commercial property, they follow a series of steps that allows them to control black mold growth in your building. The typical mold remediation process involves the following stages:

  • Assessment of mold damage
  • Containment procedures to prevent spreading of mold
  • Use of specialized filtration equipment
  • Disposal of mold-infested materials
  • Deodorization and cleaning of belongings
  • Necessary repairs (may range from minor fixes to reconstruction)

The specific methods or repairs that specialists perform typically vary based on the needs of your business. By inspecting your building and determining the level of mold damage, professionals can begin the mold removal process accordingly.

How Long Does Mold Remediation Take?

The duration of the mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold present, the degree of harm caused by mold and the location of mold in your building. Generally speaking, the process of removing mold can take one to five days, although it may take longer in some cases. The process is complete when your building is properly restored from mold damage.
When you discover that your Vinco, PA, business has a mold problem, it’s crucial to call mold remediation experts for a mold removal as soon as possible. Based on what your unique situation calls for, these professionals can help to remove any traces of mold in your building and bring your business back to its normal state.

Everything You Need To Know About Commercial Property Insurance

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

The hands of someone signing a paper on a desk. Use commercial insurance to protect any manufacturing equipment or inventory

Everything You Need To Know About Commercial Property Insurance

If you own a massive building or acres of property in Gallitzin, PA, you may be wondering if commercial insurance is worth the cost. While this type of insurance can be expensive, it can also help pay for the repairs after one of the following emergencies:

  • Theft
  • Natural disaster
  • Fire

You may even be able to deduct the cost of your insurance premiums on your tax returns. This gives you an additional incentive to purchase coverage.

What Is Protected

You can purchase commercial property insurance for a variety of items on your premises. Obviously, you can insure the actual building that houses your company headquarters. You can also insure any equipment within the office, including phones and computers. The electronics and physical structure will be covered by insurance even if you rent them.
You can additionally use commercial insurance to protect any manufacturing equipment or inventory. It even covers fencing, essential documents, landscaping, satellite dishes and signs. The money you get from the policy can go toward the costs of repairs or restoration and cleanup services.

What Is Considered

The cost of commercial property insurance depends on a variety of factors. First, the insurer considers the location of your building. Offices in certain geographic areas may be more prone to water damage from hurricanes or similar natural disasters. Properties in regions with a higher risk of wildfires may face increased premiums, as well.
The insurance provider may also look at the steps you have taken to limit the fire damage to the property. For instance, the insurer will want to know if you have a working sprinkler and alarm system.
Insurers will additionally study the fire rating of a building. Properties with doors, walls and floors made of fire-resistant materials may get discounts on their insurance rate.
Commercial insurance provides coverage for both your office building and the equipment inside of it. Without an adequate policy, you might have to pay for the cost of smoke damage yourself.

What Factors Determine the Degree of Hail Damage?

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Marked hail damage on the roof of an insured party. Marked hail damage in a Summerhill, PA roof

What Factors Determine the Degree of Hail Damage?

A hailstorm is one weather event that usually occurs out of the blue and is over quickly. It’s dangerous to be outside during a hailstorm, so you can’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Your property can sustain severe damage in a just matter of minutes—sometimes less. Roof damage is one of the most common effects of hail since it’s usually the first thing to come in contact with weather. It’s important to be as proactive as possible when it comes to hail. So, what factors contribute to the amount of damage incurred during a hailstorm?

1. Building Materials

The amount of damage from hail depends on the age and weakness of the roof. All types of building materials react differently to the impact of hailstones. Asphalt shingles, aluminum siding and gutters can receive dents and dings. Vinyl siding and wood shake roofing can crack from hail hitting it. Under the right conditions, a roof can actually be penetrated by hail.

2. Barriers

Trees, awnings, other buildings or landscaping can create barriers between the falling hailstones and the building. Overhanging tree branches can do damage during an ice storm, but they can actually slow hail as it falls, minimizing the amount of roof damage.

3. Wind Speed

Wind can have a significant effect on the amount of hail damage incurred. After all, winds are one of the major factors in the formation of hail; repeated updrafts send water droplets into the freezing atmosphere, freezing into bigger and bigger stones, which eventually fall to the ground.

4. Hailstone Size, Density and Shape

Hail can be anywhere from pea-size to grapefruit-size. Atmospheric conditions determine the size and density of the hailstones. The hailstone’s jagged shape makes it more damaging than it would be it if were a smooth ball of ice.
Hailstorms can be very unpredictable. So, preparing ahead is superior to trying to react once it begins. Being proactive can potentially save your building from roof damage. If your Summerhill, PA, building sustains storm damage, be sure to call on storm cleanup experts.