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Assessing Flood Damage After a Rainstorm

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement A rainstorm caused this basement to flood.

After a Rainstorm, Evaluate Flood Damage

Heavy rainstorms around Ebensburg, PA, have caused many homes to experience flooding, which can transport dangerous microorganisms into your residence. Unlike damage from a broken pipe or leaky appliance, floodwaters pick up bacteria and germs from outdoors and deposit them inside. Long after a storm has passed, leftover water and humidity linger behind in absorbent and porous materials. Determining the source of water in your home is an important step in the restoration process.

Understanding the Three Categories of Water Damage

Each water category requires a different cleaning and restoration procedure. The most important thing to determine is whether the water originated from inside or outside the residence. All damage caused by flooding from rainstorms is considered category 3.

• Category 1 and 2: Water from a source inside the home, such as a leaky pipe or appliance.

• Category 3: Water from an outside source that is brought into a residence and causes flood damage. This category can introduce a variety of contaminants into a home. Floodwaters have oftentimes been in contact with harmful elements, such as sewage, that may harbor dangerous microorganisms.

Starting the Cleaning and Restoration Process

After determining the category, the next step is contacting a qualified professional service that has the proper equipment and skills to handle water damage.

• Cleaning Category 1 or 2: Using extractors, experts should remove any water from saturated areas. Affected walls and baseboards would be removed and vent holes drilled to allow airflow. Fans and dehumidifiers should be strategically placed throughout the area to decrease humidity. Any category 2 damage would also include carpet disinfection.

• Cleaning Category 3: Contaminated areas should be isolated, and all remaining water removed. Nonabsorbent materials should be disinfected. After the decontamination, the rest of the procedure follows the same steps as a category 1 or 2 cleaning.

Dealing with flooding situations is never fun. However, with the help of qualified professionals, your home can be decontaminated and restored safely, quickly and correctly.

Dealing With Category 2 Water Damage

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Pipes, wet floor. Broken pipes cause water damage Broken pipes flood business.

If you've suffered water damage at your Belsano, PA, business, it's important to know exactly what you're dealing with. Whether it's from a broken pipe or a severe storm, professionals categorize water damage based on the type of water involved. In the case of Category 2 water damage, it's advisable to contact a professional water mitigation company to take care of any needed water pipe repair and to clean up damage to the flooded area.

What Is Category 2 Water Damage?

Category 2 water damage is defined by the presence of a significant amount of the following contaminants:

  • Chemical
  • Biological
  • Physical

Common sources include:

  • Dishwasher water
  • Toilet bowl water containing urine
  • Flood damage from sump pumps

Water from these sources is known as "gray water," and can contain harmful microorganisms. Exposure to this water can cause discomfort or sickness. If Category 2 loss has occurred, it's important to make sure workers or tenants leave the building until professional water mitigation can be completed.

Cleanup Process

When the water mitigation professionals arrive, they first carry out emergency repairs, which may include sump pump or water pipe repair, and removal of any standing water. Next, they assess the problem to determine the exact nature of the damage to the property. Based on this assessment, the technicians then decide which specialized techniques and equipment to use. Any affected areas of the structure that cannot be salvaged, such as drywall and carpeting, is removed. The same applies to any office equipment, furniture and or other items that have been severely damaged.

Once this is done, the water restoration professionals will thoroughly dry, clean and disinfect the remaining areas and items, using water extractors, dehumidifiers and specialized agents to eradicate any mold and microbes. The next phase includes any necessary repairs to the structure, along with cosmetic restoration such as wallpapering and painting.

If you have category 2 damage, it's important that you don't try to do the water pipe repair or water cleanup on your own. A professional water restoration company has the experience and know-how to make the necessary repairs, making sure your business gets back to normal quickly and safely.

What Is the Timeline For Water Damage Cleanup?

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment (air movers and dehumidifiers) placed on a kitchen that was damaged by water Water cleanup in a kitchen in Vinco, PA.

Water Damage Cleanup

Whether water damage results from bursting pipes or flooding, it is important to eliminate standing water and residual moisture as soon as possible. The cleanup process typically takes experts between three days to a week and a half to complete. Find out what to expect during a professional cleanup at a residence in Vinco, PA.

Average Cleanup Timeframe

Most homeowners should expect cleanup to take three to five days. The length will depend on:

  • The extent of the residents exposed to water
  • The contamination level of water
  • How long the water has been leaking or left standing
  • The materials saturated by water

Homeowners should fix a broken pipe or address the cause of damage as soon as possible. Afterward, professionals should remove all standing water, clean, and thoroughly dry the affected area. Avoid rushing the mitigation process, as attempting to rebuild or restore an area before it is completely dry may lead to mold growth.

Extenuating Circumstances

If wood flooring or other specialized materials are exposed to flooding or water from bursting pipes, it may take anywhere from seven to 10 days to complete the cleanup process. Hardwood floors may have to undergo several stages of cleanup, including:

  • Drying the subfloor
  • Sanding
  • Scraping
  • Retrofitting

The category of water involved can also prolong the duration of the cleanup. Clean Category One water can simply be removed and the affected area can be dried. Contaminated Category Two gray water or Category Three black water calls for cleaning, disinfection, and drying. Porous contents and materials exposed to black water may need to be torn out and replaced.

Homeowners should hire a professional water damage restoration service to establish a schedule for cleanup, mitigation, and restoration. It may take less time to fix damage resulting from bursting pipes than to clean up flooding. The affected area must dry completely prior to restoration to prevent mold from forming.

7 Appealing Candle Alternatives

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Fairy lights Stringed lights are another appealing light option.

Candles Alternatives

Many homeowners in Gallitzin, PA, may enjoy lighting candles. Although they may enhance the ambiance and aroma of a home, these devices can be a serious fire hazard. Fortunately, there are numerous appealing candle alternatives available that pose less of a safety threat.

1. Electric Candles

If you enjoy the way traditional candles look, an electric candle may be an ideal replacement. It’s battery-powered, can help brighten dim spaces and eliminates the threat of a candle fire.

2. Stringed Lights

Stringed lights are another appealing light option. Drape them around dressers, bookshelves, or the ceiling and maintain a festive atmosphere inside your home throughout the year.

3. Oil or Wax Warmers

If you want your candle replacement to emit light and distribute scent, an oil or wax warmer may be an ideal choice. These devices use a lightbulb, which warms the scented solution, helping to disperse it.

4. Plug-in Air Fresheners

Plug-in air fresheners are also attractive candle alternatives that distribute pleasant aromas through the air. Some models may also offer a light source.

5. Salt Lamps

Salt lamps are another electric, flameless option. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, these devices can help remove contaminants from the air. As a result, they may provide therapeutic benefits, such as enhanced sleep and decreased asthma and allergy symptoms.

6. Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oil diffusers are popular aromatherapy tools that emit evaporated essential oils, which may help purify the air and promote a relaxed state of mind. In addition to appealing scents, some devices may also emit light.

7. Reed Diffuser

If you like candles primarily because of their scent, you may enjoy using a device that does not require electricity. A reed diffuser, for example, uses absorbent reeds and scented oil to emit fragrance.

There are numerous candle alternatives available on the market that dramatically reduce the threat of a fire and its subsequent cleanup and restoration requirements. Although not every flameless device emits both a pleasant aroma and light, some offer potential health benefits that may be worth investigating further.

4 Steps to Fire Damage Restoration

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Drywalls covered with smoke damage Fire damage in Summerhill, PA.

Steps To Restore Your Home After a Fire

Fire restoration is usually an extensive process. Fire destroys building materials and contents and fills the remaining structure with ash, smoke, soot, and water from fire suppression efforts. Rely on a specialized cleaning company and a restoration company or a single service capable of cleaning up fire and smoke damage and completing the restoration. Here are the four steps necessary to restore your home following a fire.

1. Contact Your Insurance Provider

Notify your insurer as soon as the fire has been extinguished. You should clarify the limits of your policy for cleanup and restoration. You may also be able to ask for an advance for mitigation.

2. Obtain an Estimate

Schedule a consultation with a fire mitigation service. These specialists can give you an idea of the cost and duration of time necessary for damage cleaning. You can also contact a fire restoration company or seek out a single service with the expertise and equipment necessary to complete the entire process.

3. Clean Up Fire Damage

A cleanup company will start by removing any water introduced by fire suppression efforts. Experts will then use specialized methods to clean damaged building materials and contents. Non-porous or durable materials may undergo dry or wet cleaning or specialized methods such as abrasive blasting, immersion, or ultrasonic waves. Delicate or porous items may be cleaned by spraying and wiping or with foam.

4. Restore Damaged Materials and Contents

Contents with smoke damage can be cleaned and stored offsite. These items can be returned when the restoration is complete.

You may obtain the best results by relying on a single mitigation and fire restoration service in Summerhill, PA. Working with one service can ensure that the experts working in your home are aware of all of the work that has been done during cleanup and all the measures that should be taken during the restoration phase.

Commercial Property Maintenance: Inspecting a Building's Exterior for Damage

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Inspect your roof for missing shingles.

Commercial Property Maintenance

Commercial properties can require extensive interior and exterior maintenance, but one of the factors of any maintenance plan should be the routine inspection of the property. Inspections help property owners sustain both building and business operations. Therefore, to help ensure that your maintenance plan is working for your business, make sure you are inspecting the following areas regularly.

1. Inspect Likely Areas for Damage

Keeping your building maintained can be vital to continued operations. However, to ensure business continuity, you should inspect vulnerable areas for damage frequently. Windows and doors are two areas prone to damage because of the continual use and exposure to the elements. You may want to inspect these areas monthly to ensure that seals and weather stripping are in good condition.

2. Inspect Walls for Cracks and Separation

While interior inspections may show potential signs of external damage, it can be a good practice to perform exterior maintenance checks regularly. During these checks, you may want to pay particular attention to the foundation and walls. Look for cracks and separation, which can indicate foundational issues like sinking or sagging.

3. Inspect Roof for Holes and Damage

When performing a building inspection, look for signs of roof damage, like holes or missing shingles. Many roof issues can be easy to fix when caught early enough, but if left untouched, these issues can lead to significant internal and structural damage and may even lead to the production and spread of mold.

4. Set Up Regular Inspections

While routine maintenance can be performed by staff, it may be beneficial to set up regular inspections with a certified professional in Carrolltown, PA. These specialists have the experience and tools to look beyond the cosmetics of a property and possibly uncover problems before they become significant concerns.

Exterior maintenance goes beyond snow removal and window cleaning. Maintenance of a property should encompass routine inspections with the purpose of recognizing and correcting any potential damage. The key to maintenance is prevention because prevention ensures business continuity.

Four Steps To Mitigate a Water Heater Leak

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater Rusty water heater leaking.

Four Steps to Preventing a Water Heater Leak

The water heater in your home can trigger extensive damage if it starts to leak. Follow these four steps to mitigate damage caused by a leaking water heater.


1. Identify the Problem

Figure out exactly where the water heater leak is coming from. High pressure can cause water to spray from supply pipes. Pipes may also burst or leak. The gasket that connects heating elements to an electric water heater tank can leak, as well. Check the temperature and pressure relief valve and the drain valve for drips. Condensation during cooler weather or due to an obstructed vent in a gas water heater can also seem like a leak. If corrosion has eaten through a metal tank, you must replace the failed water heater.

2. Drain the Tank

Turn off the gas and either extinguish the pilot light or flip the switch at the breaker box. Shut off the water supply to the heater, and run hot water in a sink or tub to drain the tank. Open the pressure relief valve to test its integrity and drain water more quickly. Allow water in the tank to cool before connecting a hose to the drainage spigot with the opposite end in a large bucket. Turn on the spigot to finish draining the tank.

3. Repair or Replace the Heater

You may be able to fix a leaking water heater yourself. However, a specialist can skillfully repair a broken water heater or install a replacement, reducing the likelihood that a leak will reoccur.

4. Mitigate Water Damage and Restore Damaged Items

Eliminate standing water and thoroughly dry the area to prevent mold from forming. If the water damage is extensive, restoration experts can determine which building materials to restore or replace.

Follow these steps to limit the damage caused by a leaking water heater. Stop the leak and restore the affected area with the assistance of damage restoration professionals located in East Conemaugh, PA.

How To Remove Smoke Odors After a Fire

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Burnt drywalls Fire cleanup can be very dangerous, leave it to the professionals.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Odors After a Fire

When your business suffers a major fire, it isn’t only the burned areas that are affected. Smoke damage can affect materials through-out your building, even ones relatively remote from the flames. This can result in a ‘campfire’ type odor that lingers until a proper smoke cleaning has been carried out. Soot and smoke can penetrate and coat materials and permeate the air in a way that makes them nearly impossible to eliminate without the help of a professional fire restoration company in Cresson, PA.

1. Cleaning Porous Materials

Clothing, upholstery, furniture and carpeting are all porous materials. That means there are tiny spaces between threads that expand during the heat of the fire, then contract as they cool, trapping smoke and soot in every tiny pore. Professional dry-cleaning, foam cleaning and wet-cleaning techniques are used to remove trapped smoke and soot. This is an important step in eliminating the source of the smoke odor in your building.

2. Cleaning Non-Porous Materials

Non-porous materials can also be a hidden source of smoke smells. Any metal, glass, plastic, rubber or ceramic items with blind holes, narrow crevices or other intricate shapes that can trap and hide soot and smoke residue will continue to smell. Professional smoke cleaning involves using ultra-sonic cleaning to remove these residues. This is when high-frequency sound waves are sent through the cleanser bath were items are immersed, dislodging residue from hard to reach places.

3. Cleaning the Air

Once all the contents of the building have been scrubbed clean of smoke residue and soot, powerful air filtration devices are used to filter any remaining smoke and soot out of the air. Ozone generators are one of the most effective ways to eliminate lingering smoke smells. The ozone reacts with the molecules that create the smell, neutralizing them. Thermal foggers release a fine vapor that gets absorbed by porous materials and deodorizes them.

When you hire a fire restoration company in Cresson, PA, you can expect more than a restoration of the areas burned by the fire. Smoke cleaning is also an important part of the process, ensuring that your home looks and smells the way it did before the fire.

Eliminate Smoke Odor Post-Fire Once and For All

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

severe fire damage in a kitchen, cabinets totally burned Fire cleanup in Portage, PA

Smoke Odor Removal

Dealing with a house fire may be one of the worst things you have to go through as a homeowner, so when the Portage, PA, fire damage restoration team has come and gone, it can be like a breath of fresh air. Or is it? Unfortunately, you may notice some residual effects of the fire long after the last technician has packed his or her bags and left your home. One such effect is a smoke odor. The good news is that cleaning up smoke damage doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you implement a few tried and true smoke cleaning tips:

  • Air out your home.
  • Replace the air filter.
  • Clean the HVAC system.
  • Deep clean your home.

Air Out Your Home

The best thing you can do to reduce the risk of a linger smoke smells or to get rid of embedded odors is to air out your home. Open the windows and doors if it’s nice outside and turn on the fans. If it’s cold outside, you may need to face a fan inwards to force air into a single room with an open window or door.

Replace Your Air System’s Filter

You can deep clean your home as thoroughly as possible, but if you turn on an HVAC system that’s filter is contaminated with soot and odors, all your smoke cleaning efforts will have been for naught. Replacing the filter is a quick, affordable and efficient way to reduce the risk of lingering smoke smells.

Clean Your HVAC System

Smoke can permeate duct work and linger in the HVAC system, just waiting for the moment that you turn it on. Make sure that your system blows nothing but clean air by thoroughly cleaning within it.

Deep Clean Your Home

This final step may be the most difficult, but it is the most important. Steam clean your carpets, furniture and draperies. Wipe down any solid surfaces with white vinegar, dish soap and warm water. Finally, wash any windows, screens and shades to ensure that a cool breeze doesn’t turn into an odor-infested one.

3 Places Mold Hides in Homes

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on wet walls Mold growth due to wet walls in Johnstown, PA.

Mold Can Hide in Three Places in Your Home

Every home has mold, but if moisture and warmth conspire to give it a place to take root, you could have a mold problem. If you see evidence of mold growth in your home in Johnstown, PA, there may be a larger problem hiding out of sight. Surface mold is often indicative of a larger issue behind walls, under sinks or beneath your flooring.

1. Behind Walls

There are a few telltale signs of mold inside your walls:

  • Musty smell
  • Condensation on wall
  • Visible mold on wall

If you see mold on your walls, it is likely that you have moldy drywall behind them. It is a good idea to get a mold remediation specialist to inspect your home rather than try to take care of it yourself, as you could make the issue worse. Peeling moldy wallpaper, for example, could release mold spores into the air, causing the problem to spread.

2. Under Sinks

Sinks are notorious places for harboring mold growth. You may see mold on dirty dishes or on a wet washcloth. The area under the sink, however, can have mold problems for a long time before you realize it. Check for leaky pipes frequently so that mold doesn’t have a chance to take over the cabinet under your sink.

3. Beneath Flooring

Carpet can hide mold problems on the carpet pad underneath it. A musty smell may also mean that you have mold on wood that supports your laminate flooring. Fight the urge to tear up the flooring yourself and clean the affected area. This often aggravates the issue. Remediation specialists can test your floors for mold problems and offer services to eradicate the growth.

If your home in Johnstown, PA, shows signs of mold growth, it is time to call professional mold remediation technicians. They can test and treat your home and restore it to its rightful condition.